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?
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 Amazon.com’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: www.peteriley.com)