Thursday, June 16, 2011

Guest Post and Giveaways: Spellbound Playlist by Cara Lynn Shultz

About Spellbound from Goodreads:
What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?
Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.

But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

Today I am SO excited to have Cara Lynn Shultz on the blog as part of the Kismet tour for Spellbound.  Cara goes over the playlist for Spellbound and explains what certain songs mean. You can listen to the songs while you read the post by checking out the player below! Also, you have a chance to win a iPod nano with the playlist loaded and a copy of the book! So make sure to check out the details for that at the bottom of the post.

About Cara Lynn Shultz: 
Also you can find Brendan on Twitter and Facebook (he's hilarious and cute)
Cara Lynn Shultz’s love of supernatural writing began when she was 7 and wrote a play about ghosts, which she and her friends acted out on her grandparents’ porch. Since then, her work has appeared in Teen People, Alternative Press, Stuff, InStyle, Us Weekly, The Guardian UK and countless posts on Facebook and Twitter. She is a proud graduate of Fordham University and is currently a senior editor at Cara lives in her native New York City with her husband, tuxedo cat and 8 million other people. Spellbound is her first novel..


Throughout Spellbound, there are several mentions of Brendan and Emma listening to music. When you’re a teenager—possibly more than any other time in your life—the music you listen to not only defines you, but starts to shape you. You identify so strongly with bands, with lyrics—when you feel like you can’t speak, you put on your headphones and let the music speak for you. I remember being a teenager and repeatedly listening to songs that resonated with me. Although back then, we had cassettes, so it was much harder to marinate in your angst. (Sit there, wait for it to rewind, then hit play and hope that you didn’t over-rewind. It could really put a cramp in your brooding.) Both Emma and Brendan are huge music fans. In the back of the book is a playlist of the songs Brendan and Emma listen to at certain points in the story. I didn’t want to list the specific scenes (or else it’s two tickets to Spoilertown—apologies if I let anything slip here), but here’s why I picked these specific songs (apart from the fact that I also like all these bands): 

"Runaway" — Linkin Park
The lyrics are brutal and pained, but Chester Bennington’s vocals define angry. Emma’s feeling particularly tortured at this time in her life, so sonically and lyrically, it’s the perfect song for how she’s feeling. I see her pretty much listening to nothing but Linkin Park at this point in her life.

"Sounds of the City" — Bouncing Souls
Brendan’s a native New Yorker, a DJ and obviously, a big music fan. His tastes lean more towards punk rock and hardcore, so it made sense for me that he likes a local favorite old skool punk band. They’re well known to the Warped Tour fanbase. Also, they’re one of my favorite bands of all time and I just had to include them. Seriously, every time I’ve ever interviewed the Bouncing Souls, it’s like an episode of that old SNL skit, the Chris Farley Show.

"Carousel" — Blink-182
Emma’s also into rock, but she tends towards more melodic fare. This song is one of Blink’s older songs (remember, they formed before either one of them were born), a real fan favorite that it just seemed like something she’d be into. Also, it’s fast—and for this scene, she’s running in the park, so she can jog along with it with ease.

"Hurricane" — Something Corporate
This is the band that Andrew McMahon was in before Jack’s Mannequin, a band I see both characters liking (maybe Emma more than Brendan, although he appreciates Andrew’s talent). And honestly, I just love this song. It’s fantastic and lyrically, so perfectly illustrates where Brendan and Emma are at this point in the story. When the guitars come raging in…basically, this song just kicks butt.

"Stand Inside Your Love" — Smashing Pumpkins
Another jogging song for Emma, and you can definitely jog along to the almost plodding bass. It’s one of the saddest, sweetest songs about longing and love. The lyrics are so beautifully tortured and pained...and it’s melancholic while still managing to rock. Also, I had to throw in a little something from a band I personally loved in high school and college. I totally had a Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness poster on my dorm wall.

"My Life Inside Your Heart" — Rise Against
Rise Against is awesome—they rock hard, sing hard, perform hard. I always saw them as being one of Brendan’s favorite bands, but in this case, he’s listening to one of their more sentimental songs. It works for him—he’s kind of a badass, but a big softy when it comes to Emma. This song has its screamy elements, and seriously raging guitars—but lyrically it’s so sincere. And it just jumps right into it—there isn’t any wimpy build-up here. It’s just—boom! Drums! Guitars! Perfect for the scene.

"Six Feet Under the Stars" — All Time Low
This song is definitely poppier than Brendan’s usual fare, but I wanted him listening to a less aggressive song for when he finally accepts how he’s feeling about Emma and decides to pursue her. Besides, this song (and the whole album) is so damn infectious.

"Miracle" — Paramore
I’ve always seen Emma as a Paramore fan. She even sings along to one of their songs in the shower. This particular song (which wasn’t a single) seemed perfect for her to listen to at a pretty pivotal point in the story. The way the music builds into the bridge, the lyrics—it just all fits.

"Just Like Heaven" — The Cure
Another total homage to my high school years, I’ll admit. I loved this song. Also, Brendan can be a little broody emo boy at times, so he’s definitely got a few Cure albums in his collection. At this point in the story, I thought it was fun that he’s listening to the happy, peppy, so-in-love song from one of the quintessential sad bands. I love the idea of Brendan standing there, waiting for Emma, kind of happily bopping along to the keyboards on this song.

"What It Is to Burn" — Finch
Aaaand we’re back to aggressive music for angsty Brendan. This song is a little older (circa 2002), but I could see a barely teenaged Brendan discovering post-hardcore music and finding Finch. They’re melodic yet angry, and this song is perfect for how he’s feeling about Emma as their story ramps up to the finale.

"Church on Sunday" — Green Day
I don’t want to say too much that might be spoilery, but I do think the penance theme of this song works for Brendan at this point. Also, I loved, loved, loved Green Day in high school. I had to include them. It’s a moral imperative.

"The Adventure" — Angels & Airwaves
It’ll be way too spoilery to say why lyrically this song works, but I’ll say this is a pretty epic song and it just felt like the perfect thing to play while the credits rolled on the book, so to speak.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Harlequin has been nice enough to giveaway a copy of Spellbound to Hooked to Books readers! 
Just fill out THIS FORM! Contest ends June 30, 2011.
US/Canada Only. Must be 13+.

Contest rules for the iPod give-away
In order to enter to win a iPod nano  including the Spellbound Playlist and covered in a GelaSkin of Spellbound's cover art, you must collect the pink highlighted words the text messages between Brendan and Emma that are provided each day at the individual tour stops.  The daily words can be joined together in sequential order to create the winning secret message.  Once you've constructed the winning secret message, you will need to enter that message on Spellbound's tour home page .
No purchase, affiliation, status as follower to a certain blog or any other association is required to enter.
Full rules for the contest can be found at the Spellbound tour home page
Winner of the iPod give-away will be announced on Cara's homepage  on Tuesday, July 5th.
(Click to make bigger)

Make sure to check out the rest of the stops to get the rest of the text messages!
June, 13th - The Page Turners / Character Interview , Brendan
June 14th - Candace's Book Blog / Guest Post
June 15th - Baffled Books
June 16th - Hooked To Books /Guest Post, Playlist
June 17th - Truly Bookish

June, 20th - Paranormal Opinion
June 21st  - Mission to Read /Interview with Cara
June 22nd - Reading Angel / Character Interview, Emma
June 23rd -  Miss Page Turners
June 24th -  Books At Midnight

June, 27th - Pure Imagination
June 28th - (Spellbound Book Birthday!)The Unread Reader special Guest post
June 29th - Bookish Delights
June 30th - Mimosa Stimulus / Guest post
July 1st - writers write, right? /special Guest post

Tuesday, July 5th: Announcement of the big prize winner on Cara's Site!

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