Super excited to be hosting Thea Landen today. Welcome, Thea!
That One Eerily Perfect Song
I’m a music snob, I’ll admit it. Most people claim to be, but I can stick my nose especially high in the air since my bachelor’s degree was in music and I use that to give extra credence to my snobbery. Now, I’m not saying that I listen to nothing but Beethoven symphonies, but I am picky when it comes to choosing my music.
Around the time I first started plotting out Elysium, I had to travel an hour away for work one day. My car was in the shop and my husband works in the opposite direction, so I borrowed my mother’s old car until my car was ready. No big deal, until I embarked on that hour-long drive and realized that I was without my CDs and my phone adapter, and I was leaving the area of my few approved radio stations. UGH. WOE. FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS.
As I drove out to the middle of nowhere, I flipped through the available radio stations to find something palatable. I caught the beginning of an unknown (to me) pop song that started with solo piano. “Good enough,” I thought, since I do love the piano. I actually wound up really enjoying the song and tried to remember enough details to look it up once I got home.
Research told me the song I’d liked was “Say Something” by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera. Living under my music snob rock, I’d never heard of A Great Big World, but I was surprised to learn the identity of the female vocalist. It’s not that Ms. Aguilera doesn’t have talent, because she absolutely does, but she does sometimes have the tendency to scream rather than sing. Here, she treated the music with more sensitivity, and I approved of the results. (I’m a sucker for vocal harmony, what can I say.)
I listened to the song again while watching the music video (and as a warning, if you’re going to watch the video, have tissues handy) and realized the lyrics perfectly captured the book I was almost ready to start writing. Spooky! It was pure coincidence that I happened to hear that song that day. Fans of the 1Night Stand series will tell you, though, that when it comes to Madame Evangeline and her services, there are no coincidences.
As I wrote the book, whenever I felt stuck or unmotivated, I would turn to “Say Something” and the music would usually offer me the inspiration I needed. I encourage you to check out both the song (if you’ve never heard it) and Elysium, and like I said, keep a box of tissues nearby!
“You’re the one that I love
And I’m saying goodbye”
Great post, Thea. I tear up just thinking about that song! Readers, check out Thea's new book! It looks so good! ~VS
Elysium (1Night Stand), by Thea Landen
Will April ever be ready to love another man?
Two years have passed since April Patterson’s husband was shot and killed in the line of duty, and she’s trapped in a haze of grief and uncertainty. Having grown frustrated by all other efforts to engage her in activities where she could meet new people, her cousin pays for a date via 1Night Stand. Not thrilled with the idea, April nevertheless contacts Madame Eve and requests the impossible: a date with her deceased husband.
Brilliant software engineer Drew Monroe created his company, Elysium, to help give closure to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, through the use of virtual reality. Though passionate about his work, being constantly surrounded by heartache and death has taken a toll on his mental health. When he accepts the case of a young widow referred to him by Madame Eve, her tragic tale depresses him further, but he commits himself to programming April the romantic date she desires.
April arrives at Elysium and prepares to enter Drew’s virtual realm. Will she find the solace she seeks within? Or will she discover she doesn’t need a fantasy world to discover happiness again?
I licked a path down his neck, dragging my teeth across his skin. Downy hair sprinkled across his chest and I ran my fingers through the golden tufts. Firm planes and sinewy muscle defined his lean physique. Determination inspired me to examine every inch, every angle.
Roaming both hands over his sides, I peppered his pecs with feathery kisses. He was like a museum exhibit, a piece of fine artwork, and I played the curious spectator to study him in detail and show appreciation. My tongue darted out to flick across his nipple and he sucked in a sharp breath.
I teased the flat disc a little more before continuing onward. Working down his body, I flung the blankets back to grant uninhibited access. Skimming my breasts over him, I marked a trail down the center of his torso. With both my fingers and lips, I traced every contour of delicious definition in his abs.
Drew stirred beneath me and a low groan rumbled in his chest. Lower and lower I ventured, arriving at the ultimate destination at long last. His thick, engorged cock begged for attention. I hadn’t done this in quite some time, but only one way to get back in action, right?
I started at the base and used the tip of my tongue to paint a line along his entire length. He groaned again, louder than before. I laved the bulbous head with broad strokes, swirling in wide spirals. His fingers knotted the sheets and his lashes fluttered.
I paused in the ministrations. He was ready for me, yet I wanted to see his hunger. Not only did I need to know how badly he craved that intimate touch, how much he coveted me, but I sought satisfaction for more personal wishes, reassurance that I was desirable.
He opened his eyes when I whispered his name. Sweeping my hair over one shoulder, I turned back to his bulging cock. He watched me ease the tip into my mouth and a gasp left his parted lips. With our gazes locked together, I took more and more of him inside.
Barnes & Noble
Thea Landen lives in New York with her husband and a variety of houseplants. A former educator, she strives to encourage creativity and passion in all those around her, and uses writing to help inspire. Though she reads and writes in nearly all genres, she has a special fondness for science fiction, fantasy, and adventure and anything that pushes the imagination beyond its usual limits. When she’s not writing, or thinking about writing, her hands and mind are occupied by either yarn crafts or role-playing games.
V.S. Morgan has lived all over the US but calls Minnesota her home now. Her family includes her hubby, son, and a menagerie of pets.