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Guest Blog: Jeri Smith-Ready

May 27, 2008 - Amy Phelps
I'd like to welcome author Jeri Smith-Ready to my blog. Jeri is the author of the new release, "Wicked Game" which I reviewed a couple of weeks back.


Hi everyone! I'm thrilled to be guest-blogging today. Amy asked me to talk about the soundtrack for my vampire DJ novel WICKED GAME ( If there's one thing I love more than books, it's music. Put the two together, and I'm heaven.

Since Wicked Game is about vampire DJs, it's not surprising that music inspired a lot of the creation and development of the novel. Specific songs appear in many scenes, so my publisher asked me to gather them into in a 'playlist' for the front of the book. Also, each chapter is named after a popular song.

Here are a few songs from the playlist, and a bit about what they mean to me and the characters.

1. I'll Never Get Out of These Blues Alive by John Lee Hooker. It's a lonely, middle-of-the-night song, perfect for vampires. When I hear it, I picture a smoky bar where people drown their heartaches in bourbon, dreaming about the one they loved and lost. When our heroine (Ciara) hears it on the radio at the end of Chapter One, it makes her restless, and she wonders if she can ever outrun her con artist past and be happy with a normal life. (Hmm, she's about to find out that life at her new radio station job is anything but normal.)

2. Hard to Handle by The Black Crowes. The novel's hero (Shane, a vampire DJ) tells Ciara that every morning when he ends his program, the last song he plays will be for her. This is the first of these "5:54 a.m. songs." It shows that despite his cool, aloof exterior, Shane has his fun, raunchy side, too. Ciara's never sure whether the title is meant to describe her, him, or both, but his intentions are clear from the beginning—he wants to be her man.

3. Ciara by Luka Bloom. For their first date, Shane takes Ciara on a picnic and plays the guitar for her (food and music—my ultimate romantic fantasy!). He surprises her with this yearning song that portrays an unreachable, angelic woman—someone very far from the picture our Ciara has of herself. (Luka Bloom, by the way, is a phenomenal Irish folk-rock singer, and this song was the origin of the character's name.)

4. Drain You by Nirvana. After a couple of sweet, romantic guitar songs, Shane breaks into the music of his soul, and the wild, animalistic vampire returns. It's visceral, obsessive, and it just plain rocks.

5. Crucify by Tori Amos. Though Ciara pretends she doesn't believe in right and wrong, she carries a load of guilt for the things she's done. And like Tori, Ciara has serious father issues.

6. A Thousand Kisses Deep by Leonard Cohen. Ah, the love scene. Ciara's been to hell and back by this point in the story, adding another layer to the tenderness-tinged-with-doom aspect of this song. Cohen's music combines hope, sadness, and longing in a way that always makes me sigh.

To hear many of the songs that inspired Wicked Game, visit the music page on my website, .

As they say in radio, thanks for listening!


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