Saturday, May 4, 2013

Book Playlist: Strong Enough by Ellen Harger

Publication Date: February 25th, 2013
Publisher: Ellen Harger

Starting over is hard.
And sometimes, you have to burn a few bridges to do it.

Whitney Brown is average--average height, weight, and personality--but she wants to be someone new. To kick-start her rebirth, she wears formal mourning, a black veil and vintage dress, to a wedding in her hometown, Woods Cross, a community that treasures family values. Is it an attack on marriage or has she just gone bonkers?

Emboldened but lacking a plan, she forces her foot in the door of a radio station in Sundown. A small metropolis of nearly 150,000, Sundown is a notch of urban flair along the Midwest's Bible Belt.

Getting in proves to be the easy part and the anonymity of being a DJ suits her well. But off air (and in person), Whitney must stand up to Sadi, an angry feminist and the bane of her college years while an old friendship with her former roommate, Leah, devolves around a guy.

It's 2002 and the Midwest radio scene is changing. Just as Whitney hits her groove, the radio station undergoes its own identity crisis. But what rocks Whitney to her core is the moment the condom breaks. Her abstinence only background leaves her embarrassed and facing a difficult choice.


Prologue: White Wedding by Herman's Hermits, When Pigs Fly
Get the Party Started by P!nk, M!ssundaztood
The Middle by Jimmy Eat World, Jimmy Eat World
Pink Houses by John Mellencamp, Uh-Huh!
Like a Virgin by Killer Lord, Lords of the New Church
In a Little While by Uncle Kracker, No Stranger to Shame
Rebels of the Sacred Heart by Flogging Molly, Drunken Lullaby
Mystery Dance by Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True
Someday by The Strokes, Is this It
Superman by Mensen, Delusions of Grandeur
What Would Happen by Meredith Brooks, Blurring The Edges
Fell in Love with a Girl by The White Stripes, White Blood Cells
So Much to Say by Dave Matthews Band, Crash
Breathless by The Corrs, In Blue
What A Wonderful World by Joey Ramone, Don't Worry About Me
Love Songs by Fleming and John, Delusions of Grandeur
Be Careful by Patty Griffin, 1000 Kisses
Dance the Devel Back Into His Hole by the Frames, Dance the Devil
Would? by Alice In Chains, Dirt
Near You Always by Jewel, Pieces of You
Headstrong by Trapt, Trapt
Muddy Hymnal by Iron & Wine, The Creek Drank the Cradle
Lousy Lullaby by Marry Me Jane, Marry Me Jane
Tiptoe by Ani DiFranco, Not a Pretty Girl
Sweetest Goodbye by Maroon 5, Songs About Jane
One Way by The Levellers, Levelling the Land
Good Riddance by Green Day, Nimrod

Ellen Harger was born at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. As a military brat, she moved often during her childhood--something she never resented and continued as an adult. The constant starting over influenced her first published novel, "Strong Enough."

At 14, her family settled in Missouri as civilians, permitting Ellen to attend one high school. She stayed in the Midwest to attend a small liberal arts college, studying creative writing and art. After 11 years, she moved to Boston. While there, she continued to study creative writing in Cambridge. Ever willing to explore new places, she moved next to the San Francisco Bay area. After 11 years away, and loving the symmetry, she returned to the Midwest to finish "Strong Enough." She has published a poem, "Guidelines," and released her novel as an e-book. 

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