Words & Music Monday with Elisabeth Staab
Music has always been my first love. There are songs that just…connect me, you know? To a memory, to a place, to an emotion. If it’s an old song, a popular song, it might be to a myriad of things. Vintage Springsteen reminds me of a road trip with friends, my favorite deep-dish pizza, and a silly crush on someone who once made me feel special, all at the same time. A thank-you-Jesus rarely played anymore one-hit wonder may forever and ever bring me back to one of the worst days of my life. Song is magical and powerful like that. They say that music may predate language. Certainly, it predates the written word.
Is it any wonder?
When I write, music connects me to my characters. A particular lyric, or a song’s instrumental tone may help tell me who a character is. What drives them. I’m fond of working the occasional mood music into a scene, so that my readers can come along with my characters for the ride.
In my debut novel, King of Darkness, King Thad is searching for his queen. A century-old prophecy has foretold of a mate for him, and it has been said that he won’t be able to lead properly until he has her at his side. When the book opens, his search has led him to a techno club, of all unlikely places. The Crystal Method is performing “The Name of the Game” for a throng of party kids:
The thing about prophecies, and “fated mates,” is you gotta have free will. Otherwise, there’s no tension. Isabel, Thad’s intended queen, she’s not exactly down having been tapped by the universe as part of the vampire ruling class. Still, when Thad sees Isabel, in his gut he knows she’s “the one.” The song I associate with their first encounter is “Rapture” by IIO. Here it is, being sung by the gorgeous Nadia Ali:
But the piece of music that I most often associate in my head with Thad and Isabel, is the music that plays when they first make love. They get to the smexing pretty fast–they think it’s going to be just a one night stand, but they connect on a much deeper level than either of them realize at the time. Thanks in part to some heady house music spun by Anthony Pappa
…Intense tribal beats sucked Thad back in time about a thousand years to the most feral part of his inner nature, spurring him to fuck her harder. Isabel’s head dropped onto her shoulders, hands planted on his upper thighs. Nails dug into his skin, and he hissed at the pain and the pleasure of it. Hopefully they would leave a mark, at least for a little while.
She rode him faster, rising and falling in time with a primitive rhythm that seemed to take them on a journey, to lift them higher and higher, both panting and gasping as the sounds of skin against skin joined the claps and thumps and crashes that filled the air around them…
The rest of the soundtrack for King of Darkness is a little more eclectic, and in most cases ties either to a mood, or an aspect of a particular character’s personality. Isabel’s difficulty opening up to Thad’s love for her, Thad’s panic when Isabel is kidnapped by their enemies… his despair when he believes that he’s lost her forever.
I hope you enjoy.
Songs in the key of King of Darkness:
Sometimes I hear a piece of music and I think “Oh yes, that’s their song.” In the sequel for King of Darkness, Prince of Power, that would be Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” for Tyra and Anton. It totally fits. You’ll see what I mean.
Scorned by the vampire community for her lack of power, Isabel Anthony lives a carefree existence masquerading as human—although drifting through the debauched human nightlife, she prefers the patrons’ blood to other indulgences. But when she meets the sexy, arrogant king of the vampires, this party-girl’s life turns dark and dangerous.
BUT TIME’S RUNNING OUT FOR THE KING OF THE VAMPIRES…
Dead-set on finding the prophesied mate who will unlock his fiery powers, Thad Morgan must find his queen before their race is destroyed. Their enemies are gaining ground, and Thad needs his powers to unite his subjects. But when his search leads him to the defiant Isabel, he wonders if fate had gotten it seriously wrong…
About the Author
Elisabeth Staab still lives with her nose in a book and at least one foot in a fantasy world. Her bestselling paranormal romance novel, KingofDarkness, is available now. Her second book, PrinceofPower, releases in January. Find out more at ElisabethStaab.com
**Alright ladies and gentlemen, now’s your chance to WIN a copy of KING OF DARKNESS!! Elisabeth will send one lucky commenter a *signed* copy of KING OF DARKNESS. All you have to do to enter is comment below. Which of the songs on the playlist touches you? Which song is your “aaahhhh, this is gonna be good” song?? Let Elisabeth and I know which gets YOU in the groove for this book for your chance to win it. Contest is open until next Sunday night, and winner will be notified next Monday by email.** GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!