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The Safest Place

Michelle Carrington hasn’t dated since she was attacked at 14. In the second half of her junior year of college, she simply wants to graduate and resume the singing career she put on hold. The girl with a plan, she has her future mapped out.

But when her roommate Reese Johnson learns she is dying, Michelle’s plans are altered as she encourages her friend to create a Bucket List. The semester becomes dedicated to helping her friend check everything off the list.

Reese adds see you date to her Bucket List, suggesting Michelle would be a good match for her boyfriend Peter Evans. Michelle tries to ignore the suggestion. But as she spends time with him while helping Reese finish her list, she finds herself falling for him. And Peter finds himself in love with her. Realizing they are moving on before she’s gone, Reese takes steps to prevent their happy ending.

Will Reese’s actions keep them apart? Will Michelle’s guilt? Or will they finally find their way to each other in The Safest Place?

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I’ve often said that music inspires me. In addition to the songs listed below, I listened to a lot of Hilary Duff and  The Little Mermaid while writing The Safest Place.

SPOILER ALERT : If you haven’t read the book and don’t want to know how it ends, read at your own caution.

Someone’s Watching Over Me - by Hilary Duff

This song is Michelle’s theme song.

Whatever Will Be - by Vanessa Hudgens

This song is Reese’s theme song.

The Best Is Yet To Come - by Tony Bennett & Diana Krall

This song is Peter’s theme song.

Wake Up - by Hilary Duff

This song represents Michelle’s idea of The Bucket List.

Let Go - by Vanessa Hudgens

This song represents Reese planning The Bucket List.

Skin (Sarabeth) - by Rascal Flatts

If you’ve heard this song, you can guess what it represents. It represents the illness that Reese is fighting.

Crazy Summer Nights - by Hope Partlow

When I first created the playlist, I had a different timeline in mind for the story. I thought it would take place mostly during the summer between Michelle’s junior and senior years. But as I later adjusted the time, the song came to represent the group of friends working to complete Reese’s Bucket List.

You Go First - by Jessica Andrews

If you’ve read the book, you can guess what scene this song represents during Spring Break.

We Could Be Together (Campfire Mix) - by Debbie Gibson

I picked this song to represent the changing relationship between Michelle and Peter, as they begin dating.

No One Needs to Know - by Shania Twain

This song also reprsents Michelle and Peter’s relationship. It hints at the idea of them trying to keep their relationship quiet.

Don’t Go - by Hope Partlow

I picked this song to represent Michelle and Peter’s breakup.

Inside Your Heaven - by Carrie Underwood

This song represents Peter and Reese’s wedding.

Written in the Stars - by Elton John & LeAnn Rimes

As Michelle is dealing with her broken heart, this song is featured as one of her favorites to sing as she wallows in self-pity.

On My Own - by Francess Ruffelle

This song, from Les Misérables, is also featured as Michelle made her decision to give up on her plans for her senior year and beyond.

The Great Pretender - by The Platters

I picked this song to represent Peter’s feelings after Reese has lost her battle.

Now Would Be the Time - by Trick Pony

I didn’t know how much of a role Peter’s sister would have within the novel. But this song represents her move to encourage Peter to go after Michelle before it’s too late.

Kiss the Girl - by Little Texas

This song represents my favorite proposal I’ve written. Who wouldn’t say yes if someone asked that way?

The Safest Place - by Leann Rimes

This song gave me my book title. It represents their happy ending, as it was their first dance.