Happy Holidays, everyone! Roxanne D. Howard here. I write contemporary and
paranormal erotic romance. With the release on December 13th of my second book
in the COSTA MESA Series, Toe the Line, I’d like to discuss my playlist for the
book and how Holiday music can lift our moods.
Each of the COSTA MESA books are holiday themed, and the main protagonist,
Piper Goldhirsch, is Jewish. In book 2, after two months apart, sea Captain Jack
Spencer is determined to get Piper back. They reunite and set sail for Catalina
Island for the holidays, but when a murderous convict escapes Orange County jail
and hijacks their boat with them aboard, the tides will rise.
From the playlist below, one song that stuck out to me is It’s the Most Wonderful
Time of the Year, originally written by Eddie Pola and George Wyle, sung in a
jazzy rendition by Harry Connick, Jr. Lately in America and in the media, there has
been so much political upheaval and unrest. This song really does bring it all into
perspective about what a wonderful time of year it is for people of all backgrounds,
ethnicities, political persuasions, and sexual preferences to set aside animosity and
focus on the spirit of giving that the Holidays bring. It’s a wonderful time of year
to come together, to hope, and believe in miracles.
Please enjoy the playlist below for Toe the Line.
I wish everyone a very wonderful holiday season, and I hope all your wishes may
come true from Santa. 😉
1. Not over you – Gavin DeGraw
2. Hello – Adele
3. Meet Me Half Way – Kenny Loggins
4. Sacred Emotion – Donny Osmond
5. Nocturne No 2 in E Flat Major Op 9 No 2 – Chopin
6. Sail Away – Enya
7. It’s Alright – Billy Joel
8. Stop Children What’s That Sound – Buffalo Springfield
9. Feel Like Making Love – Bad Company
10. Happy Hanukkah – Adam Sandler
11. Wannabe – Spice Girls
12. White Christmas – Nat King Cole
13. Christmas Eve – Celine Dion
14. Santa Baby – Madonna
15. It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of the Year – Harry Connick, Jr.
16. I Finally Found Someone – Barbra Streisand and Bryan Adams
What are some of your favorite Holiday songs?
Jack made his way up to the deck and pushed the cushioned bench away from the wheel
and helm. He preferred to stand while he navigated, and he enjoyed the way the wind played on
his face. He walked over to the dock pilings and cast off their moorings and then went over to the
wheel, started the boat, and threw it into reverse, pulling away from the dock. He felt on top of
the world. Once he had the boat turned and started the thrust, the bow of the boat cut through the
water like a pair of sharp scissors down silk. Right away, he’d noticed the difference from the
much larger and older Pacific Explorer; this boat sailed smoothly and almost glided through the
waves. Of course, they were still in the bay, so it would be different once they were out on the
He didn’t know how in the hell he’d convinced Piper to come with him, but he wouldn’t
let this chance slip through his fingers. She would get the royal treatment and nothing less. With
a thankful heart, he took Butterfly Eyes out to sea. He’d had a few practice runs after he’d
bought the boat, but this was the first proper trip. He was excited. As a child, he’d thought his
preoccupation with the ocean made him strange, until he’d realized it was a passion.
Some people got their high when they rock climbed, jumped out of airplanes, or skied off
a fresh, powdery slope. For Jack, it had been and would always be the deep-blue sea. Nothing
made a man feel more insignificant than being a small speck out on the ocean. It also made him
feel unique and powerful, something that drew him back each day. He had hired two new tour
captains since business took off in November, w had left him more free time to get his life in
As he left the bay and chartered into open water, Jack passed a pod of dolphins he
normally saw when on his whale-watching tours. The sun shimmered and highlighted their grey-
white bodies. The glare from the sun lit a golden path along the ridges of the waves. He opened
his shirt so he could feel the wind on his chest, turned on some music, and watched the dolphins
swim beside the boat. They loved a free ride. People could learn a lot about how to treat each
other from the ocean. Dolphins stuck together, had each other’s backs, and watched out for one
another when a shark came.
“You look deep in thought.”
He turned. Piper stood with her hand on the top of the bench seat. She wore cutoff jean
shorts and one of his white shirts, buttoned a little between her breasts and tied at the midriff.
Her flat abs peeked out at him. Her dark curls flowed loose and free about her face. She’d never
looked more beautiful.
“Oh, I’m always deep in thought.”
He cocked an eyebrow at her and returned his attention to the water.
She snorted. “What man is ever deep in thought?”
“Hey, Legs. Be nice now. Not all of us men are idiots. I mean, the majority are, but not
“Well, I worked with Larry for years, so you can’t blame me for a little disillusionment.”
“I’ll do my best to set you straight.” He glanced at her. She stood in the sun, and the
breeze lifted her hair. That wicked, wide mouth of hers set his imagination into overdrive. He
crooked a finger at her. “C’mere. You’re taking command.”
She pursed her lips and sashayed toward him with a confident prowl. “Ooh, I like being
in command. It’s sexy.”
“You’re sexy.” He brought both her hands up to the varnished wheel. “Stay right there,”
he breathed in her ear. He reached past her and switched the radio to CD mode. He selected a
track, and “Let It Snow” began to play. “Hang on,” he said. He flipped on a light switch on an
adjacent wall, and colorful fairy lights atop the boat and all around the helm lit up.
“Oh, how cute!”
“Wait for it,” he cautioned.
He took a small, flat remote control from his pocket and hit a button. Piper looked
around. Then a snowflake landed on her nose, followed by several more, until thick, white flakes
fell through the open sunroof. Her face lit up in a huge grin, and she shook her head fondly.
“Sunshine and snow… Jack Spencer, you’re a romantic.”
“I’m a crusty-old sea dog. I have no idea what you’re even talking about,” he said dryly
He wiped a snowflake off Piper’s face. She laughed as the holiday jingle serenaded them.
He kissed the top of her head and watched the ocean. Piper sighed and leaned into him.