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Tour: Guest Post - Sara's Smile by Sandra Bunino

Today we are letting Sandra Bunino take over Redheads today. She is talking about one of my favorite things. Music. Take it away lady! :)

Music was my muse while writing my newly released, Saras Smile. I think that fact is pretty evident from the title. The timeless Hall & Oates tune, Sara Smile, is a reoccurring theme throughout Sara Wileys love life.

The song makes its first appearance during a flashback scene the night of Sara and Wills first kiss

Sash, look, she said and pointed to where Matt was playing. 

Sara turned around and saw Matt hand his guitar over to Will, who sat down on a log and swung the guitar up to his lap.  Everyone turned to watch him. What a surprise, Sara thought. I didnt know he played.  She recognized the song instantly from the first few chords Sara Smile.

She was even more surprised and impressed when he started to sing.

Do you need a little help visualizing the scene? Will sounded a little like this

Will played and sang for her. Sara sat on the sand with her hands wrapped around her knees, watching him, her heart beating rapidly in her chest. As he finished, Oh wont you smile a while, Sara, everyone went crazy, clapping and whistling.  Sara clapped and shook her head in disbelief.  Will stood, handed the guitar back to Matt, who gave him a pat on the back, and walked toward Sara.  Standing in front of her, he extended his hands and nodded toward the water. 

Sara took his hands and smiled at him as he helped her up.

 When? How? she asked. 

Will laughed. Come on, lets take a walk. Ill explain. 

As they walked Will told Sara that he had never touched a guitar until that week, but that hed practiced with Matt every day to learn the song.  Will stopped between the shoreline and the fire. It was dark but she could still see his face, dimly lit by the flames.

I cant believe you did that for me Will. It was amazing. Thank youbut why?

Isnt it obvious? Im crazy about you.  I cant wait to see you when I wake up in the morning.  When youre at work, I count the hours until youre back.  Ive never felt this way about anyone before.  I know you didnt want to get involved with anyone this summer, but I have to let you know how I feel. 

Youre leaving tomorrow. I dont know what to say. 

Not breaking his stare Will said, Actually, I talked my mother into letting me stay for the summer. I even have a job lined up at the Jet Ski rental place down at the pier. The Brices have invited me to stay with them.  So, what Im trying to say is that Im staying for the summer - that is, unless you dont want me to.  If you dont feel the same way about me, Sara, I am leaving tomorrow. 

She couldnt believe what she was hearing.  Why hadnt she let herself think about Will that way?  Cat was right. He did have feelings for her

And she realized, by the butterflies in her stomach, that she felt the same. 

Theres only one way we are really going to know how we feel about each other, she said, a smile spreading across her face.

Youre putting a lot of pressure on me, you know?

He cupped her cheeks and lightly brushed his lips against her closed mouth.

A spark flashed through her, and she felt a passion and urgency in her belly that she had never felt before.  When Will drew back, she put her hands around his neck and pulled him closer.

I think we need to try that again,she whispered. She parted her lips and gave a pleased murmur as Wills mouth explored hers.

That was when she heard it - clapping and whistling from the bonfire.  She and Will smiled sheepishly when they saw all of their friends watching them. 

Its about time!yelled Matt.

Sara and Will laughed and walked back to the group, holding hands. 

Cat was the first to approach Sara, smiling from ear to ear. 

Did you know anything about this?Sara asked her friend. 

Everyone knew. We heard him play that song about a thousand times! 

Oh yeah, said Clay. You should have heard him at the beginning of the week. He was horrible!

Since this is a reunion story, I wont give too much away when I say Sara and Wills paths crossed a few years later. They innocently agree to a dinner together to catch up on each others lives.

Sara Smile draws them together once again

Ill be right back, he said with a smile. 

What are you up to? she asked, but he was gone before she could finish the question. 

A few minutes later, Sara heard the first chords of a familiar tune.  And it seemed that she wasnt the only Hall & Oates fan in the bar, because many of the patrons clapped when the song started to play. 

Will returned as soon as the bands singer began.  Sara looked at him and smiled.      


He grinned. Did you think you were going to get away without hearing this song tonight?

They sang along, as did most of the people at the bar. At the end of the song, everyone clapped, and Sara hugged Will.  His body felt wonderful, touching hers.  She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, as familiar feelings came flooding back

Cut! I think you get the picture. ;-)

Sara Smile is not the only song that made it into the story. Theres a steamy boathouse scene where Phil Collins In The Air Tonight is heard playing from the main house. Its one of my all time favorite songs and I couldnt resist using it in the story. Take a listen to this live recording; I love the instrumentals in the intro

These are two examples where the songs became integrated into the story. But song titles dont actually need to be in the storyline to make a contribution. Two other songs in particular influenced the story and specific scenes of Saras Smile.

One of my favorite new songs is Springsteen by Eric Church.

These sexy lyrics were influential to the opening street corner scene:

I bumped into you by happenstance
You probably wouldn't even know who I am
But if I whispered your name
I bet there'd still be a spark

And these sweet lyrics from Lady Antebellums Dancing Away with My Heart set the tone for the rest of the book:

I haven't seen you in ages
Sometimes I find myself
Wondering where you are
For me you'll always be 18
And beautiful and dancin' away with my heart

I brushed your curls back so I could see your eyes
And the way you moved me was like you were reading my mind
I can still feel you lean into kiss me
I can't help but wonder if you ever miss me

As you can guess, Im on a country kick right now. Not the twangy banjo strumming tunes from years ago but the new crossover country songs of Keith Urban, Sugarland and Lee Brice are fantastic. My current favorite is Kenny Chesneys Come Over. I believe the sensual, lustful and sexy feel of that song will be found in my next story.

Thanks for reading my inside scoop to the making of Saras Smile. How do songs influence your life? I would love to know. Please leave me a comment and you may win a free ecopy of Saras Smile.


As an architect who specializes in restorations, Sara Wiley is a genius at returning neglected structures to their former glory. But when it comes to her own life, she has no idea how to reclaim the ruins, which are all that remain of her first true love.

When the biggest opportunity of her career and a sexy contractor comes her way, she’s thrilled…until she learns that the client is the long-ago boy who captured her heart and continues to invade her dreams. Is it a bittersweet coincidence or might there be a chance, after all, for Sara to revisit the mistakes of her past and build the future she has wanted for so long?

Author Bio:

Sandra Bunino began a love of romance stories while penning a creative writing assignment in high school. The story ended with the heroine receiving a long stem red rose in her locker on Valentine’s Day. Since then, all of her stories feature the hero presenting the heroine with roses. Sandra is constantly searching for different ways to achieve a heart-pumping, stomach-flipping, breath-catching reaction from her readers.

These days, Sandra lives on a wooded mountaintop not far from New York City with her family. She always looks forward to hearing from her readers and she may be contacted at Come back often to find out more about her current and future releases. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@sandrabunino). Remember, following is sexy!
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  1. I can see Dancing Away with My Heart in Sara's Smile. Great song!

  2. It's one of my favorites! Thanks for your continued support, Susan! <3

  3. What great songs!! I love Hall and Oates! I hope that doesn't date me that I can vividly recall most all of the older songs. Songs are so important in my life. Almost every occassion that is meaningful to me has some song associated with it. Much like a smell will bring back memories of specific holidays, songs do the same for me.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  4. LOL! Recognizing those songs doesn't date you, They're timeless!

    I feel the same way, Mel. Songs mark life's meaningful moments. Thanks for visiting me on Redheads Review site. I very much appreciate it.


  5. Thank you for having me on your site, Crystal!

  6. Love hearing about the musical inspirations for stories!