Apr 2, 2010

Jessica Lee - Guest Blog and Contest

 Music for Writing
by Jessica Lee

Please welcome author Jessica Lee who visited PVN last September  to tell us about her sensual tale Desire to Die For (Warriors of the Enclave Book 1). Today she introduces us to her newest release, book 2 in the Warriors of the Enclave series.

Thanks, Patricia, for having me back to your wonderful blog to talk about my recent release, Dark Desires at Midnight. I really appreciate your hospitality.

Since several of the scenes in Dark Desires center around a Goth club, I thought it would be fun to discuss a few of the songs I selected to either listen to while writing or incorporated into the book.

I've heard several authors talk about how certain songs impacted or influenced them while writing. For me, that is true as well. When I was writing book one, Desire to Die For, I often listened to Daughtry's debut CD. You'll even note that I mention the song "Crashed" in chapter three when I'm introducing Emily's character. That particular song really spoke to me about Kenric's character, and slipping it into her scene was meant as a bit of foreshadowing as to what was about to happen to those two.

Below I've listed the top five songs that were in my playlist as I created Dark Desires at Midnight. Beneath each title is a link to either a video or to a url regarding the song, and then under that, I give a quick line about where it fit within the story.

    •    "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails

Love that song.  I could just hear it playing inside my head the first time Gabrielle and Arran saw each other again.

    •    "I Gotta Feeling" by Black Eyed Peas

Love this song! I heard this and knew right away this had to be for Guerin, the Enclave's second in command and resident playboy.

    •    "BloodRush" by Neil Dover

I'm a huge KMM fan, and I love the CD her husband wrote for her Fever series. The title song, "BloodRush" when I heard it was so perfect for later in the story when Gabrielle and Arran back in the club. The lyrics could have easily been penned by a vampire.

    •    "If I Was Your Vampire" by Marilyn Manson

    The first time we see Markus at the Goth club. This song, to me, reflects his relationship with Marguerite very well.

    •    "Cry Little Sister" from the Lost Boys Soundtrack

I'm such a huge fan of the Lost Boys. And if you've ever seen the movie, this song leaves a lasting impression. Very haunting, and for me, perfect for the first time Gabrielle and Arran made love.

Here's a blurb and excerpt that'll give you an idea of the story that generated the above playlist:

Arran MacLain is a vampire on a suicide mission, driven to kill his former partner who betrayed him and the Enclave they served. But two things stand in his way: Gabrielle, the human female who holds his heart, and the past that won’t let him go. If only death was enough to cleanse his soul.

Gabrielle Steven’s sister is missing. Her hunt for clues brings her face to face with the one vampire she can’t forget. Their missions combine and thrust them into the heart of evil. Will their passion be enough to overcome the pain from their past, or will their dark desires destroy them both?

Excerpt (intended for 18 years or older):

Arran rolled his Ninja into the parking lot beside Gabrielle’s car and killed the engine. She’d taken the newsflash about Markus and Marguerite pretty much like he’d expected. She’d mumbled an oath of determination right before she’d kicked him out of the car. Gabrielle wasn’t a member of the Enclave in name only. It didn’t matter that she didn’t work patrol. Gabrielle was as much a warrior as any of the males. Life hadn’t dealt her any favors. And she wasn’t one to lie down and let it bulldoze over her. She stood and fought for every inch of ground gained.

He waited for her to get out of the car, then removed his helmet.

“You didn’t need to follow me home,” she said over her shoulder, heading for the front door of her sister’s townhouse. He was surprised when she’d led him here instead of a hotel. The place must have belonged to her sister. He palmed his keys, slid off his bike, and shoved the keys in his pocket.

“I wasn’t going to let you leave alone after the info I just dumped on you,” he said as he came up behind her while she unlocked the door. “I wanted to make sure you got home safe. And I wanted to be sure you actually went home.”

“Oh my God, you can be such an ass sometimes.” Her back was to him, but Arran could almost hear her eyes roll with that statement. She was right. He was an ass. But while he was here, he would be taking care of hers.

Gabrielle flipped on the lights, and he followed her inside. The heels of her boots clicked on the hardwood floor of the foyer, echoing in the open stairwell of the two-story apartment. She couldn’t have been in town long, but the air in the place already carried her scent. He pulled in another slow, deep breath through his nostrils. His heart rate quickened. Honeysuckle. Arran wanted to smile but repressed the grin. Ironic that such a delicate and sweet fragrance emanated from the hellcat with whom he’d just been reacquainted.

Her keys clinked as she dropped them in a bowl on a table near the staircase. Arran’s gaze devoured her provocative profile. He’d never seen her dressed like she was tonight. Living with five male vampires within the Enclave walls, she usually dressed a bit more conservatively. Not matronly, but definitely not this revealing. A short black leather skirt barely covered the lush curves of her ass, and a shirt that couldn’t have been more than a decked-out bra did its best to contain her full breasts. Shiny black leather boots wrapped her legs, highlighting the toned sweep of her calves. This couldn’t happen again. Arran slowly shook his head. He would end up killing someone if she dressed like this again.

She turned her head to the side, facing him. “I don’t need a babysitter. I’m more than capable of taking care of myself.” She shifted and faced him head-on. “You’ve been gone a long time, Arran. Things have changed. I’ve changed.”

“Maybe so. But you’re not taking on that colony alone. I can’t believe Logan let you come here without him.” Gabrielle turned her back, rearranging her purse on the table. Shit. He recognized the body language. “You didn’t tell him, did you?” Arran closed the distance between them.

“No. I didn’t need him here.” Gabrielle looked up, fierce determination written on her face. “I can handle this. Alex needed me. And I’m going to be there for her.” She shifted to face him again, leaning her hip against the table. “I’m smart enough to know if -- and when -- I need help.”

Arran closed in, crowding her personal space, wanting a reaction. Aching for it, actually. Gabrielle straightened and took one step back but stopped and lifted her chin, refusing to cower and give him the reaction he itched for. She caught on quick.

“You think you have it all handled, lass?”

“Yeah, I do.”

“You got it all under control?”

The amber color of her irises had grown near molten. He allowed a small smile to pull at the corner of his mouth, loving the way she got all hot and bothered when he pushed her.

“Yes. I do.” The words had barely left her lips when she attacked, one leg coming out to catch the back of his ankle. Caught off guard, he stumbled.

Before he could regain his balance, she had his wrist locked in her grip. Swinging his arm up, she spun underneath, twisted, and wrenched his arm up the middle of his back, then shoved him face-first into the dank-smelling wall.

Well, damn. Not bad. “You’ve been training,” he mumbled against the Sheetrock.
“A little.” She sounded quite proud of herself. She was good. He’d give her that. But her heavy breathing told him it was all she could do to contain him, and he hadn’t even come close to tapping into his full abilities. She’d caught him by surprise, but she was human, a woman, and no match for a mature vampire. Especially in a multiple attack.

With a burst of speed, Arran pushed back, forcing Gabrielle to release him instead of falling on her rear. He whirled, catching her before she hit the floor. In less than a second, their positions reversed. Except this time, he’d pinned her back against the wall, her hands imprisoned by his, over her head.

The position pushed her full breasts up, almost spilling them from her top. Nice. He lifted his gaze, prepared for a hard glare. If her eyes were molten earlier, they were near boiling now. He couldn’t have stopped the next words that spilled from his lips if he’d tried.

“I win.”

“You ass!” She squirmed and bucked against him like a feral cat. Instead of gaining her freedom, though, each maneuver jammed her tighter into his hold. Her every inhale shoved her breasts into his chest. Heat radiated off her body, threatening to scramble his brain. Before he knew he’d even moved, his lips hovered over hers. What made him stop, God only knew. Maybe it was the way she’d suddenly grown still? Or maybe it was the moment she’d parted her lips, releasing warm, peppermint-scented bursts of air that seduced his mind. So damn enticing. All he had to do was lean in one more inch, and he’d --

Fire shot up his arm. “Son of a…” Releasing her, he jumped back and flung his gaze to the offending limb. Blood.

A thin line of crimson blossomed along the outside of his bicep. She’d played him. Purposefully distracted him, so she could pull her hand free and reach for a blade that must have been hidden under her skirt and against her thigh. The little minx.
He swiveled his head back in Gabrielle’s direction. Air punched from his lungs. Christ. Blood surged to his cock. The overwhelming urge to stroke the rock-hard length at the sight of her was short-circuiting his brain. Gabrielle stood, one boot in front of the other, palming a short dagger. She was ready to fight.

He was ready to fuck.

Arran rocked from one foot to the other, searching within for the strength not to take what was his. Mentally, he shook his head. No. She’s not yours, asshole. But damn if his cock had the sense to listen.

“I know you weren’t about to kiss me, warrior. Were you?” She raised a delicate brow and tilted her head. “Because last I heard, my kiss was ‘forgettable.’”
Ouch. He’d had a feeling if he ever saw her again, that asinine comment would come back to bite him in the ass.

“Give me the blade, Gabrielle.”

“This?” She twirled the dagger, then palmed the hilt and held it up for display. “You want it?” A devious smile lit her face. With her other hand, she beckoned him with her fingers. “Come and take it.”

Bad, bad challenge, kitten. A tremor started in his gut and worked its way up, until it was a buzz inside his brain. Every cell in his body wanted to take.



A gasp of air in his ear was the only indicator that he’d grabbed her. He didn’t remember the trip. Arran lifted her feet from the floor, whirled, and gently laid her on the stairs, pressing his hips, his chest into hers. He had to get his body next to hers. Everywhere. The dagger fell from her hand, rolling and thumping its way down the steps, each tumble a hollow thud.

The loud percussions bypassed the noise inside his head and brought him to a dead halt. He lay with his hips between her legs, his groin pressed to hers. His mouth suspended above her lips. He dropped his gaze to her mouth. God, how he loved the delicate line of her lips, a perfect bow. So full and pink. Her tongue darted out and moistened the lower one. He couldn’t stifle the groan that rolled from the back of his throat.

He dragged his gaze back to her eyes. Passion mixed with doubt and fear stared back at him. “I’m sorry.” The whispered words tumbled from his heart.

She blinked, then swallowed. “Why?”

“For hurting you.”

Her eyelids shuttered, and her breath hitched. Did she believe him? Was an apology enough for what he’d done? He’d walked away, leaving her to think he’d never wanted her, when the truth was, he wanted her more than his next breath. Sorry sounded so insignificant, compared to how much damage he’d done to her heart.
“Gabrielle.” Long, dark eyelashes lifted. Beautiful, near gold eyes shimmered with unshed tears. Please don’t cry. If only he had the power to bring her tears of joy. Instead of the pain he was so damn good at. He wanted to kiss the hurt away.

“Remind me.”

Her lips parted first in silence before she asked, “Of what?”

Arran released her arms and cupped her face with his palms. He caressed her lips with his gaze before lifting it back to hers. “What I walked away from.”


Do you have a special playlist for your favorite books? 
Or as an author, is this something you do as well when you need that extra kick to get your muse in gear for a scene?

Thanks again, Patricia for the opportunity to stop by your blog. It was fun getting to share a few of the songs from behind the scenes of Dark Desires at Midnight.'s creation.

PVN: Jessica, it's always a pleasure to have you here, and thank you so much for the generous contest!


Jessica is offering a $10 Amazon e-gift card and a copy of Dark Desires to one commenter.  Contest is international!

*Answer one of Jessica's questions: One chance

You may also:

*Link to this contest on any of the social network sites, including Twitter, or your own web page. Let me know the url:  One chance for each link.

*If you are a Google follower (see sidebar on right): One chance

*If you are a member of the PVN Facebook page: One chance

*If you are an email subscriber: One chance

If your email is not associated with your ID, please put the address in your response.

Contest ends April 16


Stephanie G said...

Do you have a special playlist for your favorite books?

I don't listen to much while I read but when I read that my characters are listening to music I can hear it in my head.

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buddyt said...

Special playlist - I am only a reader and not a writer and I tend to concentrate quite hard on what I am reading, so any music is just background to me (volume turned down) !

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Cherry said...

My answer to Jessica's question:
I don't listen to "a particular" song or kind of songs when I read... but sometimes I cannot help hearing songs playing on the radio. Like when Jai Ho by the Pussycat Dolls hit the top ten, I was reading Brent Weeks' Night Angel Trilogy. Now everytime I hear Jai Ho, I remember the characters in that book. Here is my blog post about it: http://www.cherrymischievous.com/2009/06/beyond-shadow.html

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marybelle said...

Do you have a special playlist for your favorite books?

I do not listen to music while I read, I find it very distracting. I like to just immerse myself into the book.


marybelle said...

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Sue A. said...

Hi Jessica, great to have you here!
I don't have a pplaylist for my favorite books, since I like to read in silence late at night when everyone's asleep. But I love movie soundtracks.

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J.A. Saare said...

Hey Jessica ~

Just dropping in to say hello and show you some love. You already know how I am when it comes to playlists. Speaking of, you can never go wrong with NIN. ;-)


Stacy Stew said...

No special song list, but I do like to read while in the tub.
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Anna Dougherty said...

There's just something about NIN that speaks to vampire fans! When I was reading the Maker's Song series I could hear With Teeth in my head the entire time. Lately I've been listening to the Queen of the Damned soundtrack and Shinedown's Sound of Madness. I always picture Dark Hunters when I hear that song.

Anna Dougherty said...

And I totally forgot...

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throuthehaze said...

I do not have a special playlist for my favorite books. Music distracts me when I read.


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Cathy M said...

I loved the songs you picked, for inspiration, Jessica, especially the ones for Lost Boys, and Black-Eyed Peas. No soundtrack for me, I need complete quiet when I read, music tends to take me out of the moment.

Anyone who hasn't started this series yet, you are going to love, Desire To Die For.

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Dot S. said...

I don't listen to music when I am reading. I find it too distracting.
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Carole St-Laurent said...

I just discovered Dommin- good haunting music and voice. I also listen to Red and to Skillet, both of which I'm going to see live, soon. So excited!

Suzanne said...

I have a playlist when I'm revising or editing, but not when I'm writing. I like to match the mood of the music to the mood of the story I'm telling. Since I've been writing about Louisiana, I've been listening to a lot of Beausoleil lately!

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blackroze37yahoo.com said...

slow songs and then hard rock, dependingon mymoood

jellybelly82158 said...

I listen to anything country

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misskallie2000 said...

I don't usually listen to music when I read. I listen to music when I am in the mood for rock, or alternative, love songs, etc. When I read I am so engrossed in the book I don't hear music. Just the phone or doorbell,,LOL

Loved the interview and the book sounds like a winner. Thanks for the contest and pls enter me.

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Martha Lawson said...

No i don't! I loved this excerpt!! I need this book, please enter me for it!!

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Sandra Allan said...

Wow - Jess, another winner kiddo! Love it but then you know I loved loved loved 'Desire to die for.' I can see how the songs really get you in the zone. Congrats.

Amy Lynn said...

posted it at http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=817271669

Amy Lynn said...

I follow on twitter, facebook, and I think google...? Let me know if not so I can add on. As previously mentioned, I posted on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=817271669. And I think I'm an email subscriber? If not, I need to be. =)

Amy Lynn said...

Just found Jessica's comments. Yes, I do listen to certain playlists. Not so much per book, but I read a lot of series' and I have a few that I've created playlists that generally go with the tone. If I find I'm off, I just switch it up a bit. Also, I create playlists to help me get better into a scene when I'm proofreading or doing a reading group with other authors. Helps the mood to stay consistant. I've got my daughter doing the same thing while we "write" books together.

Ellie said...

Writing Playlist- When I write, I tend to listen to soundtrack selections, Evanescence, Disturbed and the like. When I'm focusing on something in particular, like when I was writing this one scene/chapter I listened to "Requium for a Dream" over and over.

Ellie said...

I'm now a follower too.

Bookie said...

When I'm reading I tend to turn the music off and just focus on the book. If the characters are listening to music in the story I swear I can hear it in my head. I could be a little crazy. :)

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elaing8 said...

Great excerpt.

Do you have a special playlist for your favorite books?
I don't listen to music when I read, but when I do listen music it doesn't remind me of any books.

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Marianna said...

I used have this one instrumental CD that I'd always play when reading the manga series Fruits Basket. I notice that if I actually listen to anything with words I want to get up and dance. Dancing with a book isn't exactly helpful to actually reading.

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jeanette8042 said...

I don't really have a playlist because it sometimes distracts me while I'm reading, but I sometimes listen to Parachute.

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etirv said...

I prefer quiet when I'm reading!


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EVA SB said...

Or as an author, is this something you do as well when you need that extra kick to get your muse in gear for a scene?
If my muse is on the fritz, every word seems dead or wooden. Then I turn on music that stirs me emotionally - it can be classical or pop it just has to be easily to hand - and began a directed day dream. The best ideas turned up in that fashion.

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Tore said...

I dont listen to any particular music when reading. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Lisa R said...

Do you have a special playlist for your favorite books? I usually don't listen to music while reading but if out at the pool reading I do keep any easy listen channel playing in the background.


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Lisa R said...

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Ina said...

Hi Jessica!
thanks for your post - I really enjoyed reading it and I'm listening to "your" songs right now...

to answer your question: I've no favorite songs during reading, because I can't read with music in the background...
wish you all the best and congrats on the release!

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Carol M said...

I never listen to music when I read. It keep me from concentrating on the story.

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Donald said...

I really don't have a playlist for reading, and for writing, I do a lot of my first drafts in the break room at work, so...LOL Whatever muzak they happen to be playing, I guess.

When I get stuck writing, I usually try to play the scene through in my head, trying to visualize it as if it were a movie. That works the most often for me.


donnas said...

I dont listen to music when I read unless I am on a plane. Than no I dont have a specific one just for reading. I am mostly using it then to drown out the other sounds so I can concentrate on my book.

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Holly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holly said...

I don't really listen to music while I read, I've found it distracting. But when I'm not reading, I love playing music on iTUnes.

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Naima Simone said...

"Cry Little Sister"!! I love, love, love that song!! Not to mention I am a "Lost Boys" too! *high five* LOL! I cannot write without music! 80s music never fails me. "Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister! Guaranteed love-making song!!

Congratulations on your new release! It's as wonderful as Desire to Die For!

sidhevicious said...

I don't listen to music while I'm reading though the radio may be on in the background playing softly. I too find it somewhat distracting while I'm reading.

I could definitely envision playing music to set a mood or put you into a certain frame of mind for writing though!

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Bunny B said...

Nope, I don't have a special playlist for my fave books. I never think or hear music when reading :P I'm always engrossed in the story :)
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blackroze37yahoo.com said...

mostly no, but sometimes i do listen to music, ac/dc to the band, to waylon jennings

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Stella (Ex Libris) said...

+1 I don't usually listen to music when I'm reading for 2 reasons: 1) I prefer to concentrate on the story rather than on outside "noises", 2) I usually read on ym way to and from work on the bus, the bus is so loud that I wouldn't hear much of the music, but it would still bother me, that I'd try to listen to what is palying

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