I'm very pleased to welcome guest author
to the blog today!
Take it away, Jennifer... (and don't miss the giveaway, below!)
The Soundtrack to Our Lives (Or a Book)
I don’t do silence. I can’t. I grew up surrounded by chaos instrumented by three demons by the names of Ryan, Liam, and Trevor, my three younger brothers. These were not, and still aren’t, studious, well behaved darlings who liked nothing better than to sit down with a good book or play with her dolls like their angel big sister. No, these boys had enough energy and testosterone to supply an entire Starbucks and bodybuilding gym with some still left over to attempt to “kill” or “wrestle” their sister and each other. Screams, whining, and loud bangs on the television were staples of my youth. So when I moved out on my own, I soon discovered I needed the noise. There is always a television or radio on, even as I fall asleep. This is true when I’m writing as well. I can write pretty much anywhere (if you have a strong desire to stalk me, see the acknowledgments page of my book Mind Over Monsters to see where I write), but the one thing that helps get my creative juices flowing the most is music. The right song can make or break my scene, even inspiring me on some occasions.
As I was writing Monsters, I found that certain songs really helped pump up the visuals and mood. They helped me get to a place where I needed to get inside my head to convey what was going on in my imagination and translate that to the page. Music just adds so much more to the experience. So I started compiling playlists for the books. Like the book, the soundtrack has a narrative flow in line with the book. You don’t have to like all the songs, I have eclectic taste, but at the very least if you sample them, you’ll get a feel for the book. So here it is:
MIND OVER MONSTERS: THE SOUNDTRACK
- Magic to Do - Ben Vereen from the musical Pippin
- Edge of the Ocean - Ivy
- Cold - Annie Lennox
- If It Wasn’t For Bad - Elton John & Leon Russell
- Shadows of the Night - Pat Benatar
- Four Minutes - Madonna fet. Justin Timberlake
- Tainted Love - Soft Cell
- Say It Right - Nelly Furtado
- Fields of Gold - Sting
- Ordinary World - Duran Duran
- Savin’ Me - Nickelback
- Precious - Depeche Mode
- Home - Depeche Mode
BLURB: Very few people know the truth about Beatrice Alexander. She’s no ordinary schoolteacher with a fondness for classic movies. Beatrice can move objects with her mind, an embarrassing and dangerous skill that she’s never learned to master — or embrace. After nearly killing her brother by accident, she joins F.R.E.A.K.S. The Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals is a top-secret offshoot of the FBI that “neutralizes” ghouls, trolls, and other monsters threatening humanity.
Beatrice has no desire to become Buffy the vampire slayer. But F.R.E.A.K.S. offers training to control her power. Also, she doesn’t feel like such a freak next to the other supernatural members, including a cute former detective who’s a werewolf and an unbearable vampire determined to seduce Beatrice. Despite a natural instinct to flee from hideous, bloodthirsty zombies, Beatrice must prove herself on her first mission to find a cunning necromancer.
Oliver is oblivious to my plight. He’s busy with the veritable wall of walking dead surrounding us. The moment he knocks one into a tree or tombstone another seems to take its place in the line like a zombie Pez dispenser. Two of them, one a man and the other unidentifiable, grab Oliver but he pushes them away. Another grabs my arm and tries to bite, but I kick it away. My martial arts trainer would be so proud. His buddy behind me grabs the other arm and chomps down on it. I scream. The gun in the other hand reaches her forehead and a second later, her head is nothing but puzzle pieces.
Enough of this.
Something I’ve never felt seizes control. My body turns warm then hot in an instant, like someone’s switched on my boiler. My breath becomes ragged and then stops. The breeze stops moving and everything but the dozen soldiers surrounding us turn black. There are no screams, no moans, no Oliver. The air moves toward me, inside me, through every pore of my body. What feels like two hands squeeze either side of my brain, but it doesn’t hurt for once. I don’t know what’s happening to me…but I like it. I close my eyes and feel the blood trickle out of my nose. I release. Power explodes out of me like a fiery gust of wind in a hurricane. It knocks me on my back. Several daggers plunge into my brain. I cry out, clutching my head. Oh God, it hurts! Just stop it! Hands grab my shoulders.
“Trixie!” a familiar voice shouts. I know that voice…who… “Open your eyes!” I do. It’s blurry at first, but I blink until I see Oliver kneeling beside me. God, he’s good looking when he’s worried.
“My dear, can you speak?”
“Never mind. Can you walk?”
“Um…” Without letting me finish he hoists me up by the arms, my injured one throbbing. When I’m up the sight before me draws a gasp. Oh…my…lord. There’s nothing left but the kind of destruction I see on TV after a tornado. Trees lie on their sides, tangled roots above ground. Every headstone within forty feet around rests on its side, a few older ones are now nothing but pebbles and dust. The zombie horde is literally nothing but pieces. Twitching legs, arms, jaws still trying to make their way toward us litter the grass. Every piece bigger than a foot still tries to continue on their mission, but I doubt any of them is a threat to us anymore. A few fresher corpses remain intact but shuffle far in the distance.
“Remind me never to anger you,” Oliver says, serious as death. I’ve scared a vampire. Holy heck. And we take off running.
Jennifer Harlow is the author of the paranormal mystery Mind Over Monsters, the first in the F.R.E.A.K.S Squad series. You can read her blog “Tales From the Darkside” at her website www.jenniferharlowbooks.com. Also friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter at jenharlowbooks.
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