The Dante Deception - Chapter Five

The Dante Deception: Playlist

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Every book I write has a soundtrack. It’s filled with songs that capture the mood of the story, or the point of view of a particular character. Here are the 23 songs that guided me through The Dante Deception. You can listen to the whole playlist on YouTube – or just click on any of the video images below. The YouTube video will play in a new tab. The links below, to song and album, are my Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but if you make a purchase, Amazon will contribute a few cents to my writer’s research fund. Enjoy!

1. Claudio Arrau playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata

Claudio Arrau: Moonlight Sonata

This is Augustus Sinclair’s favorite song. And by favorite, I mean the only one he ever plays. In the story, I have him playing a record that’s essentially this song on eternal repeat—he hired performer Claudio Arrau to play it over and over again. I listened to a lot of versions, and Arrau’s was the one that struck me with its softness in the beginning and its dirge-like quality as it builds to the climax. All you really need to know is that this song means something to Sinclair—and he can’t let go of what it symbolizes for him. For Sinclair, this song hurts so good.

Sinclair lowered the needle onto the record. “Beethoven is what sets man apart from the beasts and the boys.”

Chapter 28

2. The Dangerous Summer: The Permanent Rain

The Dangerous Summer: The Permanent Rain

At first blush, this is a rock anthem with a driving beat. But once you listen to the lyrics, you realize it’s about loss and death and finding the willpower to go on. The singer says, “So where the hell’s my hope / And why can’t I just try? / You know I’ve lost a lot / But I won’t let this die / You know I’ve got this friend up in the atmosphere / Another reason not to fear the sky.” There are two little boys in this story who grow up without mothers, and I think of them when I hear this song. That loss shaped both of their destinies for the worse. Later in the song, the singer cries, “I was just a kid.” I imagine both of these little boys screaming those words into the sky, railing against their vanished mothers.

You might also have noticed that I dedicated this book to Jacintha – one of my best friends from high school who died a few years later, literally days after we reconnected. If the boys in this book think of their mothers as the invisible watcher in the atmosphere, Jacintha is who I’m thinking about.

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He’d always thought she’d come back once she realized who he was and how much money he had. He’d make her believe he understood, that he forgave her, right up to the moment he killed her. Then he’d burn the goddamn painting and be done with it.

Chapter 16

3. The Sounds: Hurt the Ones I Love

The Sounds: Hurt the Ones I Love

The Sounds are a Swedish band after my own heart. You’re probably familiar with their hit “Hurt You” – you know, the one from that Neanderthal Geico commercial a few years ago. This song isn’t quite as danceable, and it took me a few listens to really appreciate it. It’s from the perspective of someone who doesn’t want to let down the ones who love her, but that she knows it’s bound to happen anyway. This one is for Natalie and Beth song. These two hurt each other deeply in this book, but always from a place of love—if that makes sense. The lyrics say, “I’ve tried so hard, but I can’t let you go / I can’t let you go…I always hurt the ones that I love.” That’s Beth and Natalie to a T.

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When everything was gone, she opened her eyes. There was Beth, by her side, looking at her with worry. Why do I keep hurting her? she asked Belial.

Chapter 47

4. Bloc Party: Signs

Bloc Party: Signs

This song sounds so hopeful in the beginning, like opening a music box that greets you with a tinkling melody. Then the beat kicks in, and it suddenly feels like a quest. This song sounds like a search for something. The singer misses his lover, who is dead. He says, “I see signs now all the time / That you’re not dead, you’re sleeping / I believe in anything / That brings you back home to me.”

This is Makar, my Russian gangster. A big bear of a man, he’s painfully in love with his wife, Elena. So much so that her actions change his life, and the lives of most of the rest of the characters in the book. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say Makar and Elena’s story doesn’t end well, and leaves Makar on a search that could sound a lot like this singer’s.

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Lazovsky curled his lip. “Money is all you Westerners care about. You do not have a poet’s soul.” He held his hand over the painted girl’s face. “Not like my Elena.”

Chapter Four

5. Sanders Bohlke: The Weight of Us

Sanders Bohlke: The Weight of Us

Sweet Jesus, this is a beautiful song. It has a soft, slow waltzing quality for me—but that waltz is the twilight of an empire on the brink of a tragic collapse. If you’ve ever read Embers by Sandor Marai, you know the feeling I’m talking about. This song builds with guitars and drums, so the casual listener might think, hey, that’s a nice mellow song, but the lyrics hint at something much deeper and darker. This song had me from hello when it mentioned thieves in the first line. What are Sinclair and Severin but a family of thieves? “There are thieves who rob us blind / And kings who kill us fine / But steady the rights and the wrongs / Invade us in innocent songs / I’m not ready / I’m not ready for the weight of us.”

I get the feeling it’s sung by someone who knows the odds are against them, and is trying to decide which side to fight on. Pick the good side and you may die. Pick the bad side and you may win, but sacrifice your soul. Want to know which the singer chooses? Listen for the single lyric repeated multiple times at the end of the song. In terms of my book, this song makes me think of Christof. He’s caught between the thieves – Severin and Sinclair—and the king who kills just fine, Lazovsky. Also, that last line is kind of ironic for Christof’s character. You’ll see what I mean.

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“It was my fault.” He sank onto his haunches and raked his fingers through his hair. “I hear her screams every night before I sleep. I visited her parents and her grave and they still didn’t stop. Tell her…” He shook his head. “Tell her I won’t stop until the man who hurt her is dead. Tell her she doesn’t have to scream.”

Chapter 74

6. The Boxer Rebellion: No Harm

The Boxer Rebellion: No Harm

This is an awesomely haunting song – I can’t believe it hasn’t been used behind the opening credits of something like True Detective or The Killing. Driving and moody, this song just feels like danger. There isn’t even any remorse. It’s just a calm statement of fact. That makes it perfect for my villain, Lazovsky. As you’ll see, this dude has a screw loose. It’s also relevant to Constantine, whose experience as a mercenary in Chechnya has left a terrible longing in his soul for the freedom that can only be found in war. Maybe there’s a beast in him, too…

Here are the relevant lyrics: “Maybe there’s no harm / There’s no harm / There’s no harm in / Maybe there’s no harm / There’s no harm in you / And maybe there’s no harm / There’s no harm / There’s no harm in… / So watch what you say / There’s a beast that’s in me.” After the second chorus, a whisper of strings and a breathy “ah-ah” follows. Goosebumps, you guys. For real.

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“You got my present?” Lazovsky pointed at Constantine’s midsection. As if on cue, the wound began to throb beneath its gauze and tape. “I showed Serik on a diagram where to deliver it.”

Chapter 37

7. Vampire Weekend: Giving Up the Gun

Vampire Weekend: Giving up the Gun

Finally, an upbeat song! Erm…wait a sec. Maybe it just sounds that way. The lyrics of this one definitely have a darker edge. To me, this song is about two rivals who used to be friends or mentors. One rival promised to do great things and set the world on fire, but kind of failed and hasn’t done much at all. The other rival pulls no punches in reminding the first how he failed: “And though it’s been a long time / you’re right back where you started from / I see it in your eyes / that now you’re giving up the gun.”

This feels like a son reprimanding a father for giving up on his dreams and becoming too complacent—PERFECT for Severin and Sinclair. Sinclair wanted to rebuild his family’s name and home, but he ended up creating a horrible situation for his son. You’ll see what I mean…and then maybe you’ll also imagine Severin saying: “You felt the coming wave / told me we’d all be brave / you said you wouldn’t flinch / but in the years that passed / since I saw you last / you haven’t moved an inch.”

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“You taught me how to steal, not how to trust.” Severin dropped his hand to Nelson’s head and tousled the dog’s enormous triangular ears. “The only time you spent alone with me was when you taught me to pick pockets.”

Chapter 20

8. The National: Start a War

The National: Start a War

This song is about a crumbling relationship. Boy, the hits just keep on coming in this playlist, don’t they? Fair warning: if you want a story about rainbows and puppies, this is not the book for you. The lyrics in this song are what caught my attention: “Do you really think you can just put it in a safe behind a painting / lock it up and leave? / Walk away now and you’re gonna start a war.”

I was on the alert for anything mentioning safes and paintings, naturally, but once I listened again, this song spoke to me on several levels. It’s about taking people for granted and then wondering why they react with hurt and anger. It’s about shattered illusions. It’s about things that fall apart when the center cannot hold. The singer says, “You were always weird but I never had to hold you by the edges / like I do now.” In Dante, this crumbling motif fits so many of the characters. Natalie and Beth, Constantine and Viktor, Elena and…everyone, and Severin and Sinclair all fit that description.

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“Oh, you wanted this assignment and now it’s yours.” Viktor stopped at the door and looked over his shoulder. His black eyes glittered as he bared pointed canines in a vampire’s smile. “Careful what you wish for, Con.”

Chapter 35

9. The Horrible Crowes: Sugar

The Horrible Crowes: Sugar

I love Brian Fallon. Love might not actually be a strong enough word. Everything this guy does just resonates with me on a level that’s blood-thick and bone-deep. You might know him from The Gaslight Anthem, but this song was released through a side project, The Horrible Crowes. It’s about a man confronting a woman’s who’s cheating on him, but the lyrics take it so much deeper. What I love about Brian is the way he conveys passion, pain, and venom in the sweetest growly voice. There’s some serious anger lurking behind this song’s beautiful lyrics. My book doesn’t have much time to deal with romantic love—too much crime, murder, and betrayal going on. However, there is a triangle that changes the course of everyone’s lives. That triangle shifts throughout the course of the story, and more than one member gets to spend time on the pointy end. They’ll be singing these lyrics: “I guess you need a little sugar / Cause you never wait around…You said no / That’s not the way it goes / But it is, don’t like / I’ve seen that curl up around your smile.”

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“Get out of my house!” Sinclair roared, pointing toward the door. “Leave us the way you left your other family. But Elena Lazovskaya is dead, and I won’t let you drag the Sinclair name through the mud. Who will you be when you walk out that door?”

Chapter 7

10. 30 Seconds to Mars: Stay (Rihanna Cover)

30 Seconds To Mars: Stay (Rihanna Cover)

Do you guys listen to the BBC Live Lounge covers? They’re freaking fantastic. In this case, it’s Jared Leto covering Rihanna. I listened to both the original and this version a bunch of times, trying to pick the right one for this list. I thought it would be the Rihanna version, because this song belongs to Liliya, my fearless freelance hacker. But this cover is just richer, deeper, and more raw. I had to go with this version.

If you read The Romanov Legacy, you met Liliya after she’d weathered a big storm. That storm begins here. She’s fighting her feelings for a man who doesn’t return them, but gives in just once…even though she knows that’s all she’ll ever get from him. Here’s where I see Liliya in this song: “Funny you’re the broken one, but I’m the only one who needed saving / ‘Cause when you never see the light, it’s hard to know which one of us is caving.”

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He held her gaze without speaking. Something in the set of his brow told her was going to refuse her. “I know you feel it,” she said. “You felt it that night in the office.” She stepped closer until her breasts touched his chest. “You feel it now, too.”

Chapter 39

11. Broods: Bridges

The Broods: Bridges

Although it’s sung by a woman, I picked this song for two of my male characters. It’s about a relationship crumbling (sense a theme yet?) and the weight of obligation. The singer says, “If I didn’t kill it / Would you still say you needed me? / Guess I walked right into it / Guess I made it too easy.” This makes me think of Severin and Alfie. Severin’s father, Sinclair, taught him how to do terrible things. Severin did them to earn his father’s love. This is a recipe for resentment…but Severin can’t write his father off, not completely. He still longs for parental love and approval. Severin’s school friend, Alfie, joins the con after college. Alfie is in a similar position, with Severin as an older-brother figure. He’s desperate for Severin’s friendship and approval, and he’ll do nearly anything to get it…with disastrous results.

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The best part of his day was the moment he woke up, that split second before he remembered who he was and what he’d done. Without the Sinclairs, he was no one. But with them, he was beholden to Fielding, to Christof, to Penfriends. He wasn’t a spy, either—he was an accessory to a crime. Alfie sighed. There were two confessions left to make. Then maybe he’d sleep a guiltless sleep for the first time in more than ten years.

Chapter 60

12. Zola Jesus: Dangerous Days

Zola Jesus: Dangerous Days

I first heard this song on a late-night rerun of Jools Holland, and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Now, it’s a regular on my trail-running playlist, too. The beat is pulsing and a bit menacing. The singer’s voice is dark and deep, which suits that beat (it’s harder to be sinister with a breathy voice). The lyrics talk about fighting for your name, and pretty much everyone in this book has to do that all the time. This song just sets the tone for the whole book. To wit: “It’s dangerous/ it’s dangerous to know / when it comes are you gonna throw / your might into the day / no words / fight for your name.”

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Gloved fingers spun him hard and gripped his jaw, just like his mother had. “Never say that word out loud, do you understand? Anyone hears you and we disappear into the Lubyanka.”

Christof’s cheeks burned with sudden anger, but not at Sinclair. Happiness had made him careless. “I’m sorry.”

Chapter 4

13. Mumford & Sons: Ditmas

Mumford and Sons: Ditmas

This song surfaced on my running playlist while I was thinking about this book, and as soon as I heard the chorus, I was like, YES, this is it. It’s about a relationship crumbling when a woman accuses her lover of changing. It’s one of those horrible fights most couples have, and some just can’t get past. It reminds me of the fight scene between Elena and Sinclair. She’s disillusioned with their life in England…and the people he’s kept in his life (cough, cough, Christof). Sinclair is blindsided when she tells him. He hasn’t changed—and he can’t see that’s why she’s angry. As the song says, “But this is all I ever was / And this is all you came across those years ago / Now you go too far / Don’t tell me that I’ve changed because that’s not the truth / And now I’m losing you.”

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Her smile framed a slightly crooked front tooth. “Send the German boy away.”

“I won’t do that.”

“You love him more than all of us! That strange, ugly boy who hates you in his heart—” Sinclair let go of her wrist and cracked his palm across her cheek. She shrieked, but the look in her eyes was one of joy.

Chapter 7

14. The xx: Angels

The xx: Together

Leave it to me to choose a love song that’s tender and depressing at the same time. The spare, raw instrumental pulls emotion out of thin air, and the lyrics are there to back up every heartbeat. I picked this song for Christof and Roza – the forger and the Bolshoi ballerina. The singer mentions how easily her lover moves through the room, and how his light is more than she thought could exist. Flipping the genders of the singer and the beloved, this is exactly how Christof feels about Roza. She’s beautiful, graceful, and tough, so much more than he ever dreamed he’d find. There’s one line in the song that hints at what happens in their relationship, but I’m not gonna spoil it for you. Here’s how this song captures Christof’s feelings for Roza: “Light reflects from your shadow / It is more than I thought could exist / You move through the room / Like breathing was easy.”

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“You draw the same way I dance.” Roza laced her fingers through his and rolled on top of him. “It’s how we show the world who we are.”

“Who am I?” he whispered. A little boy, wandering the streets of Unterlengenhardt. An older boy, grinding acorns into gall for ink. A man, running from a child he was too weak not to hate. “You don’t want to know me, Roza.”

Chapter 18

15. Sharon Van Etten: Ask

Sharon Van Etten: Ask

OMG, you guys, this song…it’s so beautiful it hurts. It’s about a woman who needs more from a man than he’s capable of giving. She’s trying to work up the courage to tell him, but it’s hard to be that vulnerable. This song builds in such a beautiful way, like the courage the singer is trying to gather inside her. It’s not going to work, though. She knows it will cause a rift that can’t be healed.

This song is all Liliya. She tries to be tough and independent, but even independent women have a weakness…and Liliya’s is Constantine. She wants more from him, but he’s not capable of that, not while he’s still dealing with PTSD (“Chechen syndrome,” as they call it in Russia). That’s what Liliya doesn’t see. She thinks he can give more, and then blames herself when she can’t get it from him. I just want to give Liliya a hug. I’ve been so rough on her. It goes a little something like this: “It’s not that I don’t try, it’s that you won’t again / And it hurts too much to laugh about it.”

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Heat and anger surged in her core. Her father, Constantine, PlasmaKutter—they all wanted things from her. They never asked what it cost her or how much she was willing to give. They just asked and asked and asked. Suddenly, she wanted to be rid of all of them. Better yet, she wanted to hold the things they wanted in her hands and force them to realize she wasn’t just going to hand them over. She wanted to make them earn it.

Chapter 46

16. Band of Horses: The Funeral

Band of Horses: The Funeral

I’m pretty sure this song makes it onto every book playlist I have. If not, it’s a careless oversight on my part. It’s one of my all-time favorite songs because it starts slow, builds to a rocking finale, and has lyrics that are depressing as shit—my trifecta of quality, apparently.

The lyrics here apply to almost every character in this book: “I’m coming up only to hold you under / And coming up only to show you’re wrong.” There’s something Shakesperean about the idea that someone would do something dangerous just to screw over someone else. But that’s what my characters do. Sinclair sells the childhood of his only son (literally? figuratively? I’m not telling). That son, Severin, shows what a good student he’s been when he applies what he’s learned at the end of the book. Christof ruins a good thing just to get revenge on Valentin. Valentin ruins everything to get revenge on everyone. I can’t decide if taking extreme action to hurt someone else is a form of selfishness or quite the opposite. I’m a writer, not a philosopher. But seriously…listen to this song. I don’t know how they did it, but Band of Horses just made me feel good about a funeral.

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He reached behind his back for the revolver tucked into his waistband.

“Smith & Wesson Model 36.” His father smiled weakly. “Not very accurate from across the room.”

Severin closed the distance between the sideboard and his father’s chair. “How about now?” he said, aiming at his father’s forehead.

Chapter 58

17. Chvrches: Empty Threat

Chvrches: Empty Threat

If this song doesn’t make you move, you’re probably dead. Just sayin’. I love the way the fast, synth-driven beat backs lyrics that are pretty serious. This isn’t weightless Euro pop. This is something much deeper. To me, this song is about choosing sides…and drowning after you made the wrong choice. In the story, Natalie tries to push her sister away, thinking Beth is better off without her. In a different chapter, Beth debates what to do about it—let Natalie go and make her life a hell of a lot easier? Or double down on family and damn the consequences?

What Natalie doesn’t realize is that these two sisters are always stronger together. I listen to this song and imagine Natalie and Beth, each alone, each hating how much pain they unintentionally cause the other…and unable to turn away from each other. If they threaten to go it alone, it’s…you guessed it…an empty threat. Here’s how Chvrches puts it: “Taking back an empty threat / more than you could ever know / take it back with no regrets / I was better off when I was on your side / and I was holding on.”

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Natalie was her blood. They were clay and bone fired in the same kiln, but they’d emerged with different points of strength and weakness. Natalie was the better, stronger part—she was sure of it. Her sister wasn’t cynical or jaded like she was. Her sister’s first impulse was never to find a hack or a cheat or a bribe. A goddamn hallucination of a poet had told her to slit her wrists and she did it because she respected his work. There was no purer heart than her sister’s, as twisted as her condition made it seem.

Chapter 65

18. Cold Specks: Blank Maps

Cold Specks: Blank Maps

Cold Specks took her stage name from a James Joyce line, so that’s awesome right there (“cold specks of fire” was the line, if you’re curious). She once described her music as “doom soul,” which pretty much makes it perfect for me. It’s also perfect for Natalie, who believes an angel lives inside her, and Beth, who knows it’s probably not true…but has seen some stuff she can’t explain without a little help from the supernatural.

Belial, Natalie’s angel, is a third wheel in their relationship. He talks to Natalie, she answers him (out loud, usually), and having a conversation with the two of them takes a bit of getting used to. That’s why this line rings so true for Beth: “Even the dead can be astoundingly alive / I am I am a goddamn believer / I am I am I am I am a goddamn believer…” Beth may not believe in Belial, not 100% anyway, but she believes in Natalie with a ferocity I haven’t even begun to tap.

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Beth stumbled into the kitchen and sank to her knees, pressing her hands to her mouth to muffle the sob. I can’t fight this, she thought. I don’t know how. For years, Natalie had kept Belial in check, but now it seemed like the vengeful spirits in her sister’s brain were out to get her. If one of them didn’t kill her, another stepped up to try.

Chapter 79

19. Maggie Eckford: Everything Is Lost

Maggie Eckford: Everything Is Lost

In this book, Dante takes Natalie to a very dark place and asks her to do something for him. My day job is in marketing, and his request is what we’d call the “big ask.” The biggest, in fact. Natalie fights with herself, and Dante, before she makes her choice. I’m not going to tell you what she decides, but the lyrics to this song must have been going through her mind. They mention angels and demons at war within the singer. As soon as I heard that, I knew this was Natalie’s song. Here’s what the song says: “And I can’t wake up because the darkness won’t let go / and I can’t wake up because the darkness has taken hold / everything is lost/ and this nightmare is closing in.”

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Natalie knew something was wrong before Beth knocked on the door. A tendril of fog—or maybe it was smoke—floated over her brain. She shivered and looked at the book in her lap. Dante and Virgil were in the seventh circle of hell, in the Wood of the Suicides. The suicides’ souls were encased in thorn trees, fed upon by the harpies. As long as the harpies tortured them, the trees bled. As long as the trees bled, the souls of the suicides could speak. “That’s us, isn’t it, Belial?” she asked.

Chapter 23

20. Cam: Burning House

Cam: Burning House

I’ve always suspected the best sad songs are country songs. I grew up on outlaw country (late ’70s / early ’80s) and have returned periodically when I want songs with more meaning and depth than pop can conjure for me.  This song breaks my heart when I listen while thinking of Natalie and Beth. Of course, since it’s a country song, it’s a “done-you-wrong” song from the perspective of the wrongdoer. In the song, a woman dreams of her lover in a burning house – and chooses to stay inside as they go up in flames since that’s the only way she can stay close to him. The singer would literally stay inside a burning house if it were the only way to stay close to the man she betrayed. At the end of the book, this is Natalie and this is Beth. This is the choice they have made for each other. In other words, this is what they’d tell each other: “I had a dream about a burning house / You were stuck inside, I couldn’t get you out / I laid beside you and pulled you close / And the two of us went up in smoke.”

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She looked at Beth, humming and arranging plates on the drying rack. It was strange to think the number of people she gave a damn about had just doubled. Their family was small and strange, but it was all she had in the world. “I swear to you,” she said, leaning her face over Seth’s. “Whatever’s coming, I won’t let it hurt you. Either of you.” Her heart clenched as she looked back to her sister. “Let it all come through me first.”

Chapter 17

21. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Skeletons

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Skeleton

I can’t say much about why I chose this song without giving away part of the plot. Suffice to say, there are two reasons this song made it on the list. Make that three, because to start with, it’s just a beautiful song. Secondly, listen to the drumbeat. Does it sound like a military tattoo to you? That’s what it reminds me of, and the character I chose it for has a protector in the military.

Thirdly, listen to the lyrics. There aren’t a lot of complete sentences. They go something like this: “Wait, don’t cry / Love, don’t go / Love, don’t cry / Skeleton me.” That’s as coherent as it gets. The song feels floaty and disconnected. The drumbeat is what’s pulling us forward, providing a sense of order. The dreamy lyrics and synth notes could float away if they weren’t anchored by that drum. This is how one  of my characters ends the novel. She’s disconnected from reality because something terrible happened to her. Her lifeline—her protector—couldn’t save her in time. She’s in a dreamy netherworld, floating above the pain and suffering in the real world, anchored only by the memory of the only man she can trust. As if that weren’t bad enough, the violence in him that makes him a fierce protector is also what’s eating him alive.

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He shook his head to clear the memory of blood and cordite, looking to his sister’s tear-streaked face. When had she started drinking in the kitchen at night? Had it been while he was deployed? “They put us in Khatuni,” he said softly. “Where the FSB was stationed. They said the mountains were full of mujahideen.”

Chapter 51

22. Lord Huron: Love Like Ghosts

Lord Huron: Love Like Ghosts

If Cold Specks is “doom soul,” this feels like rockabilly séance. It’s high time for an upbeat tune, so of course I found one that talks about ghosts and moonlight. It was the moonlight that caught my attention. In Chapter Seven, Christof confronts Elena by moonlight. In a bunch of other chapters, Sinclair only listens to his favorite song, Moonlight Sonata. And then we get this: “Oh and the moonlight baby shows you what’s real / There ain’t a language for the things I feel / And if I can’t have you then no one ever will.” Beethoven’s Moonlight is the only place Sinclair can put his grief. The moonlight under which Christof confronts Elena is the only place he can confess his hatred. Moonlight can be so bright it hurts, but as the song says, it also shows you what’s real.

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Elena’s black eyes glittered in the moonlight. She pressed his hand to her chest, holding it in place. “If I had known you would help me, I would have gone long ago.”

Chapter 7

23. Chvrches: We Sink

Chvrches: We Sink

This is the perfect song to end the book…and the playlist. We’re back to something musically upbeat, but once again, the lyrics are not happy. Are you surprised? Don’t be. I’m probably the only person who actively dislikes Pharell’s “Happy.” I don’t think I know how to be happy, and neither do my characters.

This song makes me think of Natalie and Belial, although now that I’ve edited the book twice, it could apply to so many pairs of characters. Here’s the relevant lyric: “I’ll be a thorn in your side / till you die / I’ll be a thorn in your side /for always / if we sink we lift our love.” This is pure Belial, tormenting Natalie with the fact that she’ll never be rid of him. At the end of this book, though, there are a lot of unhappy people with storylines that didn’t get neatly wrapped up. Why? Because they’re all coming back in The DuBarry Diamonds, that’s why.

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“I used to be normal.” In the glass, she saw the reflection of her quivering chin. “That’s all I ever wanted to be, and you took that from me.”

The others are jealous of what they cannot have and do not understand. You are destined for greatness, little one.

“I don’t want it.”

If you’re strong enough, you’ll see that you do.

Chapter 9

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I write thrillers, romance, historical fiction, tiara posts, and more. Right now, I'm working on a nonfiction trilogy: Grand Duchess Hilda of Baden, Grand Duchess Elizaveta Mikhailovna of Russia, and Princess Augusta of Brunswick.

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