A little while back I did a run through on the chapter titles of Hunters, and how many of them are named for songs. Songs that I was listening to that gave me the right vibe for the chapter I was writing.

Book 2 of the saga, Blood to Earth, has been out long enough now to run through the same exercise.

If you missed the posts for Hunters, then here’s the links: PART ONE and PART TWO.

Now you’ve seen those, let’s get stuck in shall we?

There’s not as many chapters with song title names in Blood to Earth, and some of them are a little more tentative than in Hunters. That said, watch out because you’re about to enter spoiler territory…

Chapter 4 – Sanctuary

I used to love the TV show Nashville. 

For those that have never seen it, it’s a series that follows the lives of a bunch of Country & Western singers in the city of the show’s title. Nashville. I even bought a few of the soundtrack albums because I loved a lot of the original music. 

One of which is a song called ‘Sanctuary’, performed by Charles Esten, and Lennon and Maisy Stella.

In Chapter 4, Lyssa has been accused of being responsible for the Nexus attack and feels she has nowhere to turn. Then Allyson offers her a place to go. To be safe.

Let me be your sanctuary
Let me be your safe place to fall
I can take away your worries
The refuge from it all.

It’s not a perfect fit, but it is the tune I listened to for this chapter.

Chapter 58 – Crazy For You

Michale and Gayle are finally on their first date. A fancy restaurant where they eat, talk, and dance. It’s a soundtrack of old tunes from the 80s and 90s. I don’t explicitly state which tune they dance to, but in my head it was the wonderful love song by Madonna.

The two have spent so long dancing around both their own feelings, and their feelings for each other but at this moment in time they can feel everything they need to know in the first REAL kiss that they share…

“He felt her breath hot on his lips as she gently urged his head down toward her. He instinctively recognized where all this was leading and trusted his heart knew what it was doing. All he knew was that, in this moment, her touch was electric. He wanted her more than he had ever wanted anyone before. A sensation he couldn’t explain with words.”

That’s a tiny excerpt from the chapter. Here’s the lyrics for the song…

Trying hard to control my heart
I walk over to where you are
Eye to eye we need no words at all
Slowly now we begin to move
Every breath I’m deeper into you
Soon we two are standing still in time
If you read my mind, you’ll see.
I’m crazy for you
Touch me once and you’ll know it’s true
I never wanted anyone like this
It’s all brand new
You’ll feel it in my kiss
You’ll feel it in my kiss
Because I’m crazy for you
Touch me once and you’ll know it’s true
I never wanted anyone like this
It’s all brand new
You’ll feel it in my kiss
I’m crazy for you.

And this chapter leads directly into the next…

Chapter 59 – Naked

Well we all know where first kisses can lead…

Gayle ends up at Michael’s place and sexual shenanigans ensue. This is a big moment for them both, but especially for Gayle. She’s been bent and broken over the past year. She has scars both physical and mental to overcome and it’s not been an easy road for her to get to this point.

But she TRUSTS Michael enough to let herself go and be with him intimately.

There were a few songs that kind of fit the bill to some degree. I almost went with the classic ‘I Feel Love’ by Vanessa Mae (Which I actually prefer to the original Donna Summer version. I’ll put that in as a bonus being as this is a lighter post than the Hunters ones!)

I originally thought about going for this trippy dance kind of vibe, as Gayle gets lost in her own endorphin rush. The original writing of the chapter was kind of surreal almost, like she was in a dream state.

But then I decided to change tack and made the chapter much more…sexy. This is probably the closest I get to erotica in many ways as I moved to make the chapter more about the intimacy and Gayle’s feelings. Her insecurities being swept away by being in the arms of the man she has fallen head over heels in love with. 

So, I went with this song by The Shires. The lyrics are PERFECT!

Never let someone in
Never got under my skin
Always running for the door
When someone needed something more
And just enough of me

When I’m with you
I’m not afraid to show it all
When I’m with you
I’m not hiding anymore
I let you see inside
Who I am, under these clothes
Every scar all of my flaws
When I’m with you
I’m naked
I frikkin’ love this song and it’s just the perfect accompaniment to this chapter. It hits all the right notes. Gayle’s nervous insecurity, but also her trust in Michael and her willingness to show a side of her that no-one else has ever seen. A side of her that she’s been ashamed of in some ways for so long.
It also helps that this is a duet, with both female and male parts, because in a lot of ways Michael too is taking a step into the unknown. Trusting Gayle with all of his emotions too. 

Chapter 81 – Make This Go On Forever

The lyrics of Snow Patrol’s amazing ‘Make This Go On Forever’ fit if you twist them a little. The song is really about a man making amends for a mistake he’s made, a matter of infidelity that he knows it’ll take him a long time to regain his partners trust from. 

It’s a song about guilt. 

Twist it a little and you can feel Gayle’s guilt over the death of her team. Something she will be eternally sorry and shameful about, and wish she could make amends for. 

Please don’t let this turn into something it’s not
I can only give you everything I’ve got
I can’t be as sorry as you think I should
But I still love you more than anyone else could

All that I keep thinking throughout this whole flight
Is it could take my whole damn life to make this right
This splintered mast I’m holding on won’t save me long
Because I know fine well that what I did was wrong

Gayle has, in many ways, been trying to hold on to anything she can that will keep her afloat amongst the guilt she feels. But finally she realizes that it’s time to face the past, hence her return to Malta to retread the steps she took a year earlier. 


Also, the general vibe of this song was exactly what I was looking for to give life to Gayle’s walk to Fort Elmo and her final ascent up the steps to where her team died. I can listen to this song, the way it builds, and close my eyes and see Gayle’s slightly nervous but determined footsteps almost in slow motion.

It creates the perfect atmostphere for the reveal to come.

Chapter 83 – March March

This another one of those tunes that fits the mood I wanted for the moment, but the lyrics don’t really go with the scene…except for one.

March, march to my own drum
March, march to my own drum
Hey, hey, I’m an army of one
Oh, I’m an army of one

It’s this bit.  This chorus. 

It’s the moment when Gayle comes to terms with her powers. When she finally accepts what she did and who she is and lets the power flow through her. What her friend Amanda had witnessed a year ago, but she cannot remember, manifests itself as she faces off atop Fort Elmo with the Adze Alpha.

The power of the Fae, unfettered. All her abilities working in concert. 

At this moment she is a goddess. A weapon of mass destruction.

An army of one who has always marched to her own drum beat.

And there you go.  I hope you enjoyed that trip through the my mind and the thought processes I was having in conjunction with the music I was listening to. It also gives you a little inkling into the broad range of my musical tastes.

Till next time!

Love & Books

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  1. KTReed

    Now I’ve got Madonna’s song, Crazy for You, running through my head. She is still the Queen of Pop to me. Nice addition to the blog, Jon. I love hearing about the inspiration behind your creative ideas.

    • Ideas gotta come from somewhere right? LOL I’m inspired constantly by a great many things. People, places, songs, a feeling…
      I think most creatives are the same as me.

      • KTReed

        That’s my favorite type of blog post, Jon, so keep ’em coming. I appreciate that your website is interactive and that you share so much behind-the-scenes info with us.

        • Thanks, KT
          I see the website as much of a record for me of what I’ve done/been doing as I do think of it as sharing with you guys. I feel like it’ll be a good trip down memory lane for me one day, while also providing a bit of a roadmap for anyone else who wants to go down the self-publishing route.

    • Ethan

      I’m with you on this one. I haven’t heard Madonna in forever! I was a closet Madonna fan back in the day. I’m going to have to dig up some old Madonna records now.

      • I used to online DJ back in the old days, lol, and as such I have a digital storage of close to 10k tracks across all manner of genres. I generally have the collection on a random play while I’m writing and sometimes a track strikes a chord with what I’m writing. I honestly hadn’t listened to Madonna in years till that track came on and I was like AHA!

  2. Huxley

    Thank you for sharing that song by the Shires. It’s beautiful and so suitable for our dear heroine, Gayle. She is a wounded, but fierce soul. That song perfectly describes her vulnerability.

    • We went to see The Shires in concert on Tuesday night this week, and they were AWESOME. So many of their songs inform my writing, that is just an example of one where I felt the lyrics PERFECTLY fit the moment.

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