7 Songs To Hear With First Impressions: A Novella

During the course of writing my book, First Impressions: A Novella, several songs came to be an integral part of the story line.

I will say that none of these songs inspired any part of the story, but when I heard each one of these songs as some point or another, they each reminded me of specific parts of my book.  This led to me creating a Book Playlist on my Spotify account, and I thought I’d share it for anyone who has read the book or would like to.

Those songs, and the associated parts of the book, are as follows:

1. Here by Alessandra Cara – Chapter 1 – This is the music I hear playing in the Book Shelf as you begin reading the book.  (I also hear a later verse of this song – think “right next to the boy who who’s throwing up cause he can’t take what’s in his cup no more, oh God why am I here…” – playing in Chapter 5 just before Dylan and Zia leave the Thunder Lounge for “unexpected reasons.”)


2. Goodnight Moon by Go Radio – Chapter 3 – This is one of the songs the cover band sings while Zia and Dylan are at the Daylee Grind on Halloween night.


3. Falling In Love In A Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg – Chapter 3 – This is another song I mention in this chapter that the cover band plays.  Both of these songs were used and actually mentioned in the book for a reason… hello foreshadowing!



4. Jealous by Labrinth – Chapter 6 – I think of this song when Zia gets left behind in the yoga studio and starts realizing that she has some unresolved (and likely unrequited) feelings that are becoming harder to deny.


5. Chandelier by Sia – Chapter 9 – This is the perfect song to describe the part of the story in Chapter 9 when Zia is sitting at the Book Shelf alone, trying to drink away her sorrows.  If you can’t understand all the lyrics, definitely check those out!


6. When A Heart Breaks by Ben Rector – Chapter 10 – I think of this song at the very beginning of Chapter 10, the morning following the night at the Book Shelf and the subsequent, questionable decisions she had made that may have cost her everything she had with Dylan.


7. Who Am I To Stand In Your Way by Chester See – Chapter 10 – This is the song I think of when Zia runs into Dylan after she and “others” run into Dylan after his soccer game they attend.


At this point, I can’t really add any more songs to this list without including any pretty obvious spoilers, so I will leave it at this list for now.  I hope you enjoyed it, and until next time!


First Impressions: A Novella

I am excited to announce that my new book, First Impressions: A Novella, is complete and available for order on Amazon!

Click for the E-Book (Kindle Edition) $2.99

Click for the Print Edition $6.99

Marzia Benagli is a psychology student at the University who enjoys people – watching. One night while out for drinks with her roommate Clara, a table of guys catches her interest. First Impressions Front CoverGirls flocked to this table as if paying homage to some kind of celebrity, and the most attractive of the three guys appeared to be the pack leader. When the same guy, Dylan Porter, happens to run into Zia on campus the following week, Clara fills Zia in on Dylan’s popularity as a star player of the university soccer team.

When Dylan catches up with Zia that evening while she studied at a nearby coffee shop, he admitted to Zia that, while he could admittedly get any girl he wanted, all the girls he’s dated have been the same. Zia and Dylan strike up a deal; Zia will use her psychology background and intuitive skills to teach Dylan how to find the right girl. They go out to various venues where Zia teaches Dylan what to look for and what to stay away from when looking for a girl. Before all is said and done, will this arrangement work out or end in disaster? What will Zia learn about first impressions along the way?

Please let me know what you think!  I would value any and all feedback, as this is my first shot at fiction writing.  It is completely self-published, so I did the writing, editing, and cover designing all on my own.  (Also, if you see a typo, please let me know.)


  • 102 pages
  • About 25,000 Words
  • Categories: Romance; New Adult and College; Contemporary Fiction

Sneak Peak: Chapter 1

I’m getting closer to finishing my first book, and it looks like, at the moment, I am right on schedule with my self-imposed deadline of 2/29/16 to have it finished by.  It was looking questionable with some unexpected things happening this month that really set me back; however, since I had the day off today for President’s Day, I have been able to sit down and dedicate some time to finishing up some of the loose ends I had in my story, and may even have a title!

I thought I would share the first chapter of my book to see what kind of feedback and/or interest I might get from anyone willing to check it out.

You can read it here: Chapter 1

You might like this book if you like:

  • Romance books/novellas
  • Young Adult fiction
  • Psychological fiction
  • Books about college-aged characters
  • Realistic fiction (sorry, no fantasy/sci-fi in this one)


I would genuinely be interested in hearing feedback and opinions about this first chapter, so please leave me a comment about any of your thoughts or questions!



Working Title (In Progress)

In February 2014, I got an idea for a fiction book and began writing the first few chapters.  I had a plot line, main characters, supporting characters, and a bunch of notes for specific things I had in mind for directions I wanted the story to go.

Nearly two years later, on a week-long vacation from work between Christmas and New Year’s, I remembered that story I had started a couple of years ago and found the file on my laptop.  I read what I had already written and picked up where I had left off.  Next thing I knew, I went from about two and a half chapters to 10 (and counting)!

The Story:

“Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” -origin unknown

Marzia “Zia” Benagli is a psychology student at a university who shares an apartment with her BFF, Clara.  One night out with Clara, Zia had stepped away while Clara chatted up a hot new guy and was people-watching when she happened to notice Dylan Porter, obviously a typical playboy with girls lining up to talk to him.  The following Monday at school, Zia happened upon a lost History book just in time for its owner, none other than Dylan Porter, to find where he had left it.  That night while studying at a coffee shop, Dylan came in and invited himself to sit with Zia to study and talk.  Dylan revealed that while he could admittedly get any girl he wanted, they all seemed to be the same.  He was ready for something different.  Zia and Dylan struck up a deal.  Zia would use her psychology background to help Dylan find “Ms. Right” instead of “Ms. Right Now.”  She would get the practice on human behavior, and he would get a more fulfilling dating life.  It’s win/win, right?

Zia and Dylan would go out to various venues around the city while Zia teaches Dylan what to look for in a girl and why.  Of course, this would take getting to know him better to do this right.  Will Zia be successful at helping Dylan find the right girl, or will things end in disaster for everyone?


Now What?

My book is still a work in progress (I don’t even have a title yet!), but my goal is to have it finished by the end of February 2016.  I am currently at just over 19,000 words and I still have at least 2 more chapters to complete before I begin making the final edits.  Lengthwise, this places it in the “Novella” category.

I plan to self-publish this book, so I will be looking for people to read it for free in exchange for honest reviews.  Please let me know if you are interested in helping me out by doing this!