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Inspiration – and a book/CD giveaway

A dozen or so years ago, I attended a concert in South Carolina that made me an instant fan of a musician named Pete Riley.  He took the stage as the opening act for the headliner band.  In his acoustic set, he strummed his guitar a couple of times, introduced himself with an accent that was unmistakably British, then launched into a song that got everyone up off their seats and moving to the music. 

The second song was the most memorable one for me.  It got everyone back into their seats and took the audience to a more pensive, emotional place.  It was such a moving performance that I made a beeline to the merchandise table and bought Pete’s CD ‘After the Parade’ just on the merits of that song alone.

The song was titled ‘Broken Heart’ and told a tale of love lost.  The lyrics that grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go were these:

Who’s going to mend my broken heart?

Not you…

Wish it was you.

There was a story in those words that was begging to be told.  Years later, I sat down at my computer and wrote a book about a nurse named Mel who was recovering from a painful divorce, convinced that she wouldn’t find love again.  Just when she was ready to give up, she met Devin, who proved her wrong.  Sadly, Devin died.  But their friendship had been so meaningful and special to Mel that it left her a changed person, ready to heal and love again.  I titled that book ‘Broken Heart,’ inspired by Pete Riley’s song that had made such an impression on me.

A few weeks ago, Broken Heart jumped significantly in sales rank and hit #4 in the Nurse & Patient bestseller category on’s Kindle website.  I was feeling appreciative and couldn’t help but think back to the source of the inspiration.  On a whim, I looked up Pete Riley online.  I found him on Facebook and sent him a message to let him know that the impact that his work had made on me.

The next day, I got a reply from Pete’s wife, Alison.  “Pete is on tour right now,” she wrote, “but I told him about your message when he called last night.  He was absolutely thrilled about it and so glad that he inspired you to write such a successful book.”  After a few more email exchanges with Alison and Pete, I sent them a copy of my book ‘Broken Heart,’ and they sent me a copy of Pete’s new CD, ‘Rivers Apart,’ which he recorded with fellow UK artist, Amy Wadge.

I was hoping there would be a MP3 version of Pete’s song ‘Broken Heart’ online so I could share it with you, but unfortunately it’s not available in digital version.  It’s on the CD ‘After the Parade’ by Pete Riley if you’re lucky enough to find the complete album!  In the meantime, Pete sent me an extra copy of his newest album ‘Rivers Apart’ to share with the lucky blog reader that wins this contest!

Here’s how you enter:

Leave a post below describing a person or an event that inspired you.  Did someone or something lead you to create a work of art?  Or help you overcome something that was holding you down?  Or just impact you in an amazing way?  Post it below.  And if you’re able, and you haven’t already, reach out to that person who inspired you and let them know that they made a difference in your life (even if he or she is living all the way across the ocean in another continent)!

Share your inspiration!  We’ll pick our favorite post and one lucky winner who will receive the autographed copy of Pete and Amy Wadge’s new CD ‘Rivers Apart’ as well as an autographed copy of the nursing novella ‘Broken Heart.’  The winner will be contacted on May 1 by email.

(You can find out more about Pete Riley and Amy Wadge and purchase a download of the album Rivers Apart at:

6 Responses to “Inspiration – and a book/CD giveaway”

  1. Karen Allen says:

    Part 1.
    When reading this blog I immediately thought of a terrible hurricane that left my home with a huge pine tree implanted in the roof. This storm rendered my family homeless for 9 months. The first few days after the storm, there was no electricity and the weather was humid and uncomfortably hot. The entire area was still trying to recover from the hurricane and many places were closed because of the power outage. I had money but it did little good when it came to buying gasoline for the car or one of the most simple things like…ice.

  2. Karen Allen says:

    Part 2.
    I recall going for a short ride in my car just to temporarily escape the heat and misery of the devastation of my home. One of the first sights I happened upon was a gathering on the corner across from the church I attend. It was a truck with folks gathered around. My curiosity got the best of me and I stopped to see what was going on. A young woman approached my car and asked me if I needed anything. She began to tell me she had diapers, paper plates, bottled water and ICE. It was ironic that I had plenty of money to buy ice but nowhere to purchase it and standing before me was someone wanted to give me what I wanted and needed. I offered to pay and she explained that her church heard of our devastation from the hurricane and loaded a truck with things they were sure we could use. They had driven all night to give to people in need.

  3. Karen Allen says:

    Part 3.
    She put the ice in my car and as I drove away the tears fell from my eyes uncontrollably. I felt such gratitude and this forever changed the way I feel about any kind of charity drive or extending help to those less fortunate. I did not get the name of the person or even the church she was with. But I did get her message of good will and the selfless act of love to leave her comfortable surroundings to drive miles away to be kind to others who needed her.

  4. Danielle says:

    The person who has inspired me the most is my mother. My mother has always shined in times of darkness. Most recently she has had a total of five back surgeries, an ankle surgery, and neck surgery. I was at her bedside for each and she kept the most positive of attitudes. I watched her heal, recover, and restore all that was lost. She never complained not once even when she had to do things that physically hurt her. She now spends her days helping with the clothing closet and food bank at church. She works right through the pain and aches to ensure she is a blessing to someone else as she herself was so blessed. She amazes me and her compassion in the midst of pain inspires me to do more and bless others as I am truly blessed as well!

  5. Kim Garner says:

    The person who inspired me the most is not a person, but it was people. The saying, it takes a village to raise a child, reflects my childhood in so many ways. I was a very blessed little girl. I was considered the community baby. To some people, that would sound cruel and unacceptable, but that is far from the truth. My mother worked, so I was passed around the community to be shared by all. My daily thoughts and works are a contribution from each of these people. There is never a day that goes by that I don't think of one of these wonderful human beings. My mama Ann and Sue taught me to love children, my grandma Cattie taught me to be prissy and strong willed, Alice taught me how to use my manners. My sister,Gwen, taught me not to be lazy. To my mother and all these people, I owe my respect and love of God and mankind. A minister told me that I have a gift of knowing the true spirit of people. I smiled and thanked him as a flood of memories and people came to my mind. I only mentioned a sample of the wonderful people that influenced my life in so many ways. I am thankful that I was the community baby. The personalities and compassion of each of these people inspire me each day.

  6. Thanks everyone who responded! Kim Garner – you're our winner!

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