Book blast – OUT OF TUNE by Michelle D. Argyle

Today I’d like to welcome again Michelle, one of the first indie authors I met in the blogosphere. She went traditional for a while, then her publisher closed down (sigh) and now she’s back. She has a new book out, and wrote a short guest post for me. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Michelle D.Argyle!

How Out of Tune Has Changed My Writing Life

by Michelle D. Argyle

I first developed the idea for Out of Tune last November (2012). I’ve always wanted to write a book about a girl who plays the guitar. That was pretty much the only thing I had to go on when I first started figuring out what this girl’s story would be. For some reason, I wanted her to sing country music. That led into the idea that her parents were country music stars, and then … well, there always needs to be a problem in a story, so what was this girl’s problem? She can’t sing. In fact, she’s so bad her own parents have asked her not to sing anywhere in public. Ever. Ouch, huh? I was so excited to start Out of Tune, but I actually didn’t get around to starting it until January of this year, so I’m pumped that it is now out in the world!

So how has Out of Tune changed my life? In many ways, I’ll tell you that. Here are some of them.

(1) I’ve learned to absolutely adore country music.

I’ll admit I’ve never been a huge country music fan. I don’t know why I chose Out of Tune to be centered on country music, but it just felt right. So I had to learn to love country music! And I did. It took about three months, but country is now one of my all-time favorite genres. It’s what I have my radio set to permanently these days. I’m not sure my husband really appreciates it, but oh well.

(2) I’ve learned that it’s possible to overcome things that seem innate.

What do I mean by innate? My main character in Out of Tune believes she is absolutely 100% tone deaf. After all, she can’t hear when she’s singing off key. She even has trouble keeping time, which can go hand in hand with tone-deafness. But, to Maggie’s surprise, she finds someone who believes in her enough to teach her how to sing correctly. This doesn’t mean, however, that it’s easy.

I did a lot of research for Out of Tune, and part of that research was learning that it’s possible to overcome tone-deafness. Amusia, however—true tone-deafness, where the person literally cannot hear tones—is the only instance when a person cannot learn to sing in key, but it’s rare.

(3) I’ve learned even if dreams crumble around you, that you just have to keep going.

Out of Tune was originally supposed to be published with my publisher, Rhemalda Publishing, but earlier this year they had to close their doors. Because Out of Tune has had such a rocky road (failed querying, rewriting it from scratch, and now losing its publisher), I decided to put it out there myself. It’s a story centered on following your dreams, and I felt that getting it out there no matter what was serving it the justice it deserves. Never, ever give up.

Twenty-year-old Maggie Roads’ parents are legendary in the country music world. She wants nothing more than to follow their example, but the limelight is not reserved for singers who cannot carry a tune, let alone keep a rhythm.
When her parents tell her they are getting divorced, Maggie decides it’s time to leave home and take her future into her own hands. Moving in with Cole, her best friend and sometimes boyfriend might not be the best of ideas, but she has to start somewhere. 

Their off-and-on romance gets even more complicated when Maggie crushes on her new voice teacher, Nathan, who unlocks her stunning potential. 

A sensational music career of her own is finally within reach, but Maggie might need more than perfect pitch to find what she is really looking for.


Cole’s steady beat on the drum relaxed her. She could feel his eyes on her as she played, but she did not turn around. He would never know what this meant to her. She had wanted and dreaded this moment forever. She could only imagine what tomorrow would be like, with an audience full of strangers.
She closed her eyes as the music flowed into her. Iza came in on her fiddle, her notes weaving in and out like bright threads in a tapestry. Justin started singing the first lines and she tapped her foot, counting like Nathan had taught her. “Every beat is a physical thing,” he had said. “See the music, feel it, just like you’ve done your whole life. Pearls on a string—let each one slide through your fingers. Measured.”
Mandolin line. Then the bass started. Maggie’s turn.
When she came in, her voice was louder and stronger than it had ever been. Justin’s voice filled her up like honey. She swam through it, adding her own to his. Maybe he was a womanizer and constantly looking at her like, he wanted to get her in bed, but he was an amazing singer. They smiled at each other as they melted into the song.
She had never been inside music like this before. The stage lights sparkled in her eyes and she understood for the first time in her life why musicians put up with all that travelling and recording, and the stressful nights like when her mom was puking her guts out with the flu—the real
flu—but had to go on stage in five minutes. Maggie remembered her smiling as she wiped her mouth and shrugged. “It’s part of the singin’ life, hon. We don’t always get breaks when we need them.” She had patted Maggie on her twelve-year-old head and squared her shoulders as her makeup artist dusted some powder over her pale cheeks. Then she had left for the stage in a flutter of sequins and curls.

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Michelle lives and writes in Utah, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. She adores cheese, chocolate, sushi, and lots of ethnic food, and loves to read and write books in the time she grabs between her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter.
She believes a simple life is the best life. 
Michelle writes contemporary Young Adult and New Adult fiction (and other genres when she feels like it).
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Blog  | Facebook | Twitter

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  1. Thank you so much for posting, I really appreciate your participation. 🙂



  2. Thanks for being a part of the tour, Barb!


  3. You are both very welcome! 🙂


  4. I like the central premise of Out of Tune. I am tone-deaf to the extent that the only two tunes I can recognize are the National Anthem and Jingle Bells…and I can’t even sing Happy Birthday properly. I really don’t miss music, but I often wonder why other people enjoy it. While I don’t think I’ll ever appreciate music, I am definitely beginning to appreciate the eBook phenomenon. One of these days I am going to get myself an eReader and read some good eBooks…one of these days…sigh!


    • music is the first reason why I fell in love with Bollywood (then came SRK and Hrithik)! 😉
      And you already own an e-reader, you i-Pad owner… no need to buy another! 😀



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