Category Archives: What’s Playing Wednesdays

Touched by Lightning Playlist 5

I really meant to blog Monday and Tuesday, but forgot. Things have been insane. I’m just glad I remembered to blog today!

I can thank Avenged Sevenfold for that. They’re coming to Lafayette in April and I want to go because I love their music, but they helped me blog today because thinking about them reminded me of this song which was one of the frequently played songs while I was writing Touched by Lightning.

But before I get to that, I just wanted to let y’all know that beginning March 1st, I’m taking part in the TRR (The Romance Reviews) Anniversary Party. That’s right, not only do I have another blog tour starting on the 3rd with prizes, but I’m also giving away an ebook copy of Touched by Lightning to the winner of my Q&A on TRR’s site. So I have two buttons for you to check out when the time is right. On Friday I’ll post the schedule for the blog tour which begins on Monday. Is that confusing enough? LOL

anniv2014

Touched by Lightening Button 300 x 225

So back to the song.

Again, I love Avenged Sevenfold. And not just because I’m crushing hard on several of the members. *cough* Their music works for me when I’m writing. I could probably list an easy half-dozen songs that I listen to while I’m working, but when I think back to certain moments in the book, I recall this song being one that stood out the most. My heroine has had to become tough due to her past. She’s afraid to trust, but in the end, she has to actually make herself vulnerable.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but this whole book is about second chances and working for your own happiness. It’s dark. I know I’ve said that before, but I’m not sure people realize just how dark it is. And I did that on purpose because without that darkness, that pain, how can you truly appreciate the beauty of the second chance Gyda’s been given? Ah well, I hope when readers are in the story they realize there’s a method to my madness.

Anyway, today’s song is Afterlife by Avenged Sevenfold. Enjoy!

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Touched by Lightning Playlist 4

Here it is, time for What’s Playing Wednesday again.

Touched by Lightning is out now through ARe, Amazon and Ellora’s Cave if you haven’t picked up your copy yet. We’re also only one day away from the end of the Superhero Scavenger Hunt, so if you haven’t entered to win, you’d better hurry!

I’ve made it no secret that Gyda and Brit’s story is one of painful pasts and strong emotions. For the most part, this book wrote itself with little input from me, but when I got to the end, to the big dark moment, I needed a little help. That’s where my music came into play. (Pun intended.)

As y’all probably know by now, I listen to music all the time. When I’m writing, when I’m sleeping, when I’m reading. It’s just a part of who I am and I’ve always been this way. I could probably blame it on my grandfather who’d fall asleep listening to his big band music, but I think it’s just one of my quirks. I must have music playing somewhere around me.

I have a big playlist I created for my regular work days and writing times. It’s a mix of reggae, metal, hip hop and a little dance music. It usually helps me in any situation when I’m writing because it’s such a broad mixture of songs. But when I got to that dark moment in Touched by Lightning I needed something a little more personal. So I created a playlist I called “Broody Songs”. Yes, broody because I wanted to sink into those dark feelings to give my characters more depth.

One of the songs on that list is one I’ve loved for years. I remember hearing it in the Natural Born Killers soundtrack, which I had to buy after watching the movie, and while it still conjures disturbing images of Mickey and Mallory Knox, it worked perfectly for writing a few scenes in Touched by Lightning. There’s something so haunting about this song, the vocals all whispery and soft, that it breaks my heart.

So today’s song is Cowboy Junkies’ “Sweet Jane”.

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Touched by Lightning Playlist 3

Can y’all hear me counting down from wherever you are? Because it’s almost time for release day. It’s my favorite day ever. Right after nearly every day at RomantiCon, which I’ve registered for. Yay! Just need to call about a hotel room.

Okay, so I’m easily distracted today. Can you blame me? I love release days! They’re better than Christmas and scarier than Valentine’s Day for a single woman. All this pent-up excitement that your baby is going out to the big wide world and all this fear that your baby is going out to the big wide world mingles to make what can only be termed a hot mess.

I already know the drill. I’ll compulsively check my email. Check facebook. Check Amazon. Check Barnes and Noble. Check my email some more (no idea why I’ll do this since all the edits are done). Check the blogs hosting me on Release Day. Rinse and repeat. Normally with a release date like this, I’d go out to dinner with family to celebrate. Just my luck my release date is Valentine’s Day. Twice the reason to be nervous, excited and scared. Meh.

But that isn’t what today’s blog is about. Nope. Today it’s about the music that makes up Touched by Lightning. The last two songs were perfect to get my brain in that dark, gritty mood, but today’s song just screams my hero’s beliefs. When I wrote the original synopsis for this story, which I did before I even started the story, I had plans to make him a guy with a chip on his shoulder, someone who would resist his emotions, resist his soul mate.

Then I started writing and I realized Brit had dark things happen in his past, but he hasn’t let it shape him the way Gyda has. He’s strong, sweet and protective of Gyda in a way that makes me heart him so hard. It’s typical to fall for your own hero, isn’t it? Because I’d have Brit’s babies if I could. That’s normal, right?

Eh. So anyway, today’s song reflects his all-consuming love for Gyda. It doesn’t happen right away of course, but it’s close enough that this song instantly reminds me of them. It’s powerful, dark and yet so sweet it grabs my heart.

If you survived watching that video without crying, stop by Queen Tutt’s World of Escapism to check out this review of Touched by Lightning as well as another chance to enter the Superhero Scavenger Hunt!

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Touched by Lightning Playlist 1

I’ve been such a blog slacker lately! I’m pretty sure I said something back at the end of 2013 about being a better blogger and then I promptly dropped the ball. And I don’t even have a good excuse. So, I’m just admitting it. I’m a slacker.

But I’ll try to do better. Honest, guv!

And I figured today was as good a day as any because Touched by Lightning comes out next week. To say I’m excited about this book release is an understatement. I’m probably more excited about this book release than all of the others. There are a lot of reasons for it, but I think most of my excitement comes from all of the hard work we’ve put into it. Back in May 2013, Lea Barrymire and I locked ourselves in a room for six hours to hash out the world for this series.

There was a lot of “OMG, I got it!”. She was plugging away at her laptop while I did my pace-and-thinking-and-doing-terrible-impersonations thing, but it worked. In six hours we managed to develop 8 central characters, a plethora of superhuman powers our characters could have along with each powers’ weakness and came up with an entire organizational structure for our heroes/heroines to be a part of. Thus the Order of Themis was born. Over the summer, we smoothed things out, got some input from Amy Ruttan, A.M. Griffin and Cara Carnes on even more characters for us to use while I began writing Touched by Lightning.

And that’s what today’s post is about. The writing process.  This story is one of the darkest I’ve ever written. When we came up with this series idea, we knew we wanted something dark and gritty. I like to think of the Love’s Defenders series as a cross between X-Men and The Crow. Actually, that’s how I proposed the series to our publisher. We wanted a world where nearly every genetic mutation was possible, but minus the spandex. Where the superheroes were flawed or had painful pasts. A world where you can only sit there and think “God, I hope he/she finds someone who’ll accept them for who they are.” And that’s what we did.

So to help with that darkness, I had to have the perfect music. This month I’ll play songs that really spoke to me during the writing process. Granted, I have several playlists I used for this book, but some songs managed to put me in the place I needed to be to connect with my characters better than others and those are the ones I’ll feature this month.

First on the list is Seether’s “Driven Under”. It’s moody, it’s dark and it really worked for Gyda and Brit’s story.

Check back next week to find out what other songs were pivotal for writing Touched by Lightning!

CoverBook one in the Love’s Defenders series.

When empath Gyda St. Germaine is rescued from a sex-trafficking ring, she vows vengeance on her tormentors. Aided by two distinct personalities who bolster her powers, she becomes a vigilante, hungry for revenge. Her path of retribution tosses her into the arms of an Order of Themis Siphon and her world is turned upside down. Fighting her past takes a backseat to her all-consuming desire for the man whose honor and sense of justice go against everything she believes.

The moment electricity manipulator Brit Harper stumbled across a feral woman with a bloody knife, his life changed. Black and white becomes gray as the scales of justice tip. Fascinated by her strength and the darkness in her eyes, he vows to teach her the true meaning of justice and help her explore the passion sizzling between them. But when the evil haunting Gyda’s dreams returns in the flesh, he’ll have to choose between his beliefs and the woman he loves.

February 14, 2014 buy link: http://www.ellorascave.com/touched-by-lightning.html

P.S. I can’t believe I forgot today is the start of the Superhero Scavenger Hunt! Be sure to stop by and test your superhero movie knowledge for a chance to win a $25 gift card and an Order of Themis travel mug!

Lea Barrymire 2/5- Wed
In The Pages of a Good Book 2/6- Thur
A.M. Griffin 2/7- Fri
Literary Nook 2/8- SAT
deal sharing aunt 2/10- Mon
For Whom The Books Toll 2/11- Tue
Queentutt’s World of Escapism 2/12- Wed
Tattooed Book Review 2/14- Fri
Unearthly Musings 2/14- Fri
AReCafe 2/15- SAT
Riverina Romantics 2/17- Mon
Clutter Your Kindle 2/18- Tue
For the Love of Bookends 2/19- Wed
Lusty Penguin Reviews 2/19- Wed
Sizzling Promo 2/20- Thur

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The Sickness

It had me. I mentioned that last week, I think, but it got worse over the weekend. I medicated myself with cough syrup and had no luck so I carried my sick ass to the doctor on Monday for him to diagnose me with bronchitis and upper respiratory infection.

I’m finally back in the land of the living. Yay. I feel so much better. Life is about to get cray-cray with real life stuff. Mostly EDJ things I have to do like training and the like, but that’s okay. Right? It’s for a good cause. It just means I won’t be around as much until right before Christmas.

I know, don’t cry for me…er Argentina.

And because life is about to be crazy, I don’t have a lot of time to post anything terribly witty or meaningful. So to commemorate my life for the last four days, I picked DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat”. Cause that’s what I’ve been doing. A lot.

Happy Wednesday!

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Stuffy Heads and Dark Days

That’s not all doom and gloom by the way. I just have a bit of an allergy or sinus thing going on. I don’t know which and frankly, I don’t care because it means I can’t breathe properly, I sneeze at the wrong time and I cough as though I’m trying to expel a lung. The dark day is just a little hint of the crappy weather we’re dealing with here in south Louisiana. Meh.

But it’s not all bad. If things go as planned, Sweetest Taste of Sin will release next week. Things are moving on Touched by Lightning and I’m almost ready to start work on the fourth Cajun Heat book, tentatively named Primal Dance. Of course that means I have other characters crowding my head wanting their book written next, but whatever. They’ll just have to wait their turns. However, it does look as though 2014 is going to be a busy year for me in terms of writing. I’m not doing many conferences next year, just RomantiCon, but that’s such an epic conference, it makes up for anything else I might miss.

That’s next year though. I’m hoping I can use the month of December to find my zone and prepare for the onslaught. In other words, I might be lazy this month. Heh. Y’all know I like my lazy moments. Well, lazy in terms of writing. Real life is going to be busier than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest.

Which brings me to today’s song. I heard it this morning and it’s one of those songs that both pumps me up. I have Motley Crue with “Kickstart My Heart”. I’m really not a big fan of the stuff they did in their later years, but this is a good song and a perfect way to kick off a dreary day.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

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Rock My World

On the Sixth Day of Pre-Release the author gave to me…

…Fusion music! The inspiration for some of the tunes mentioned in the Unveiled Seductions series, including book four, which is being released on December 4, 2013.

Anya Cover From the first time I envisioned the character of Xbal Montegro, jaguar god, sex magic practitioner and hero of Jaguar in the Sun, I knew he was going to be a music promoter. It fit with the story line since the Midnight Café, setting of the series, had branched out from tattooing to become a hangout spot, complete with stage shows. Besides, I loved the idea of the kinds of fusion music you might find beyond the Veil, a place where old gods, fey, weres, vamps and all kinds of other characters of myth and lore live.

The first mention I made of music in the series was a Vamp-Ska band… and I had a gypsy-ska song my daughter had introduced me to years before as the inspiration. Neither of us could remember exactly which song it was (might have been Coffee, God and Cigarettes by Mischief Brew, but I seem to remember more of a ska beat to the song) so I went looking on YouTube to see if I could find it. Of course, I found something even better (and a new favorite group) in Gogol Bordello. Here’s sort of what I had in mind when I dreamed up Vamp-Ska, although Gogol Bordello is usually described as Gypsy Punk:

 

In Jaguar in the Sun the heroine, Cassie, goes to Xbal’s office to proposition him and there’s a band in the lobby, jamming. This is the description of what she hears:

Immediately she was bombarded by a blast of sound coming from a group of people lounging in the reception area, each one with an instrument in hand. This was music unlike any she’d heard before, with a driving, almost discordant backbeat provided by a couple of guys, one with a pair of Congo drums, the other with what looked like a plastic tub. Above it was overlaid the wail of a bagpipe and the counter-beat of a bass guitar. And flitting through it all were the high, sweet notes of a wind instrument—a piccolo by the sound of it—diving and climbing between the other sounds, weaving them all together into something magical and strangely compelling. Enchanted, she paused in the vestibule and let the door swing shut as the music washed over her, somehow soothing her nervousness and, at the same time, heightening her anticipation.

There are a number of really good Celtic fusion groups and sounds, but being attracted to the sounds of Africa, this fusion of Celtic and Gwana music really appealed to me:

I love all kinds of music, as you might have figured, so this has been so much fun to dream up and research. I’m already cruising YouTube looking for the next inspiration! Tomorrow on the Seventh Day of Pre-Release, I’ll be at Amy Ruttan’s blog talking about my idea of where the old gods go when they disappear from our world. I bet you can guess where that is!

Anya Richards

Journeys Through Seduction

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Blurb:

Jaguar in the Sun

Anya Richards

Book four in the Unveiled Seductions series.

Cassandra Solinar has a bucket list and jaguar god Xbal Montegro is on it. About to undergo an essential rite she won’t survive, she wants to wring every ounce of pleasure out of the time left. Including discovering if Xbal’s sex magic technique is as good as rumored.

It’s no hardship for Xbal to accept Cassandra’s invitation for one erotic encounter, but far more difficult to let her go once he gets a taste of the explosive passion between them. Now he’s determined to hold on to her, no matter what.

Cassie can’t tell Xbal the truth about what she’s about to do. It’s illegal, but without her death the entire world will perish. It’s a job she’s been preparing for from birth, but the loss will be greater now. For in Xbal she finds a soul-deep connection she doesn’t want to lose, and the one thing she made a point of not putting on her bucket list—love.

A Romantica® paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

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