Monday, April 11, 2016

Book Soundtracks with Karissa Laurel

Mentioning Twilight might make me popular with a lot of readers, but it will make an equal amount groan and roll their eyes. I’m not here to pass judgement on Twilight, either way, but I credit its author, Stephanie Meyer, for introducing me to the idea of book soundtracks. Of course she didn’t invent the concept, and I’ve since noticed lots of authors including them in the extra pages of their books after the acknowledgements section, or on their websites. Meyer’s soundtrack for Twilight (not the one in the movie) really meshed with my tastes, though. Thanks to her I have become a devoted fan of Muse. For that alone, I shall be eternally grateful.

I don’t listen to music while I’m writing, except for an occasional bit of classical as I’m scribbling longhand in a notebook while sitting in the car, waiting for my son to finish wrestling practice. Music with lyrics is too distracting—I find myself singing along instead of writing. But when I’m not writing, I often hear songs that speak to me about a scene or a character, and not necessarily my own. For example, my friend, Rachael K. Jones, wrote a story called Mercedes of Theseus, and I think of it whenever I hear Fast Car by Tracy Chapman.

Writers try so hard to capture the senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound. But describing music in words falls short of experiencing the real thing. We can talk about tempos that inspire the desire to dance and the way a heavy bass beat vibrates in our chests. We can reflect on how a sweet voice portrays the innocence of a simple folk melody. But a small part of every reader wishes they could simply hear that song for themselves. That’s where book soundtracks come in handy

Music plays only a minor role in my book, Midnight Burning, but I devised a soundtrack for it because the songs capture a certain tone or mood that augments the reading experience and, perhaps, amplifies the reader’s imagination. Maybe you’ll check out Midnight Burning’s soundtrack and decide for yourself.

·       Hunger by Of Monsters and Men

·       Bronte by Gotye

·       Sigh no More by Mumford and Sons

·       Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

·       She’s Leaving Home by The Beatles

·       Animals by Neon Trees

·       Howl by Florence and the Machine

·       Fight Song by Rachel Platten

·       Ain’t no Sunshine (When She’s Gone) by Bill Withers

·       Thunder and Lightning by Azedia

·       Run the World (Girls) by Beyonce

·       Salute by Little Mix

·       Trouble by Pink

Midnight Burning
The Norse Chronicles
Book One
Karissa Laurel

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Date of Publication: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-1940215501
ASIN: B01055ET1A

Number of pages: 278
Word Count: About 95K

Cover Artist: Streetlight Graphics

Book Description:

Solina Mundy lives a quiet life, running the family bakery in her small North Carolina hometown. But one night she suffers a nightmare of a vicious wolf devouring her twin brother, Mani, who lives in Alaska. When Solina learns her dream was real, she journeys to the Land of the Midnight Sun to search for answers.

Solina soon suspects Mani’s friends are more than they seem, and she’s certain they know more than they’ve admitted to the police. Val and Thorin resist and elude Solina’s efforts, but Skyla, an ex-Marine, joins her crusade for the truth.

As Solina and Skyla delve into the mystery surrounding Mani’s death, Solina learns her own life is tied to Mani’s friends, his murder, and the fate of the entire world. She must learn to control her newfound gifts and keep everyone safe because, if she fails, a long-lost dominion of gods and monsters will rise, and everything she knows will fall into darkness.

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Excerpt – Chapter One

My brother, Mani, once told me Alaska was the first place he had ever travelled where he knew he was somewhere different—somewhere decidedly not home—before he ever set foot on the ground. I didn’t understand what he meant until now. Outside my airplane window, the glassy waters of Cook Inlet reflected a bright blue late-summer sky. Dark and looming, the Chugach Mountains encroached from the east. Far to the north, the ghostly, snow-crusted visage of Mount McKinley rose above the landscape, an ancient king, high on his dais, surveying his kingdom.
By comparison, Mani and I had been raised somewhere a little more commonplace. Home was a small town in the foothills of North Carolina, over three thousand miles away. And this was the first time I had ever left it. I probably should have eased into long-distance travel in the same way I eased into a cold swimming pool—one toe at a time. A trip over the border into Gatlinburg. A weekend visit to D.C. But no, I had taken a plunge from the high dive instead, and boy, was I in over my head.
The captain’s calm and assuring voice spilled across the cabin, announcing our approach and descent into Anchorage. Seatbelt signs chimed and flashed. A pair of flight attendants swept down the aisles, collecting trash and reminding passengers to raise seat backs and lock away tray tables. I closed my eyes, drew in a deep breath, and urged my heart to return to its regular pitter-patter pace, but it refused to obey.
I breathed in again and trapped the breath in my lungs. Chill, Solina, I told myself. It’s only a week. I could survive anything for one week, right? And I wouldn’t be on my own. My brother’s best friend, Val Wotan, was at the airport waiting for me. Val had texted me a dozen times to make sure I hadn’t missed my connecting flights or fallen out of the plane somewhere over Canada. Val was expecting me, and I was a glutton for fulfilling others’ expectations. I also owed this trip to my brother, to the honor of his memory. How could I ever look myself in the eye again if I gave in to my doubts? If I didn't give Mani my absolute commitment?
Val deserved my loyalty, too. In the few years I'd known him, Val had risen from casual acquaintance to something I wasn't quite ready to label, but just thinking of him made my heart beat a little faster, my breath come a little quicker. Val had earned my regard by being the sibling I couldn't be for Mani after he’d left home. He had watched Mani's back, made him welcome and comfortable in a strange and foreign place. He had even saved my brother’s life once.
I chuckled, remembering how Mani had loved to recount the story of the raging bull moose—deep in a rutting frenzy and crazed by the need to mate with anything female and fight anything that wasn’t. Not long after Mani had first arrived in Alaska, he and Val had gone off on a backpacking trip. They came upon the moose on the edge of a meadow and caught it off guard.
The moose turned its hostile gaze on Mani, lowered its rack, and charged. Stunned and uncertain how to react, Mani stood frozen in place and watched his life pass before his eyes. Meanwhile, Val calmly drew a .44 Magnum from the side pocket of his backpack and fired off a warning shot. The moose reconsidered his challenge and lumbered away into the woods.

If only Val and his gun had been there the night my brother died. Then I might have been coming to Alaska for an entirely different set of reasons.

About the Author:

Some of Karissa Laurel’s favorite things are coffee, chocolate, and super heroes. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. She loves to read and has a sweet tooth for fantasy, sci-fi, and anything in between.

Sometimes her husband convinces her to put down the books and take the motorcycles out for a spin or go hunting for rusty old relics at flea-markets. Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie.

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1 comment:

Karissa Laurel said...

Thanks so much for participating in my tour!