Anna Durand is an award-winning writer, a freelance librarian, and an audiobook addict. She specializes in steamy romances featuring spunky heroines and hunky heroes, in settings as diverse as modern Chicago and the fairy realm. Her romances have to date won eight awards and her novel Intuition was a 2016 RONE Award nominee, while her short story Tempted by a Kiss was a finalist in The Romance Reviews 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards. In her previous life as a librarian, she haunted the stacks of public libraries but never met any hot vampires hunting for magical books.
Whenever I write — and yes, even as I write this — I’m listening to music. Often while working on a book, I listen to orchestral film scores, like Thor: The Dark World, but for every book I also create a special playlist that evokes the characters, settings, or themes of the book in my mind. As I prepare to write, gathering my research or glancing over what I wrote the day before, I crank up my playlist to get in the right frame of mind.
The first two books of my Psychic Crossroads series feature the same hero and heroine, so I came up with a common playlist for both books — though it also includes some songs specific to one or the other. Today I’m sharing my playlist for Willpower and Intuition with you. What do these songs make you think of? Do they conjure certain images or feelings? I’m about to share what they mean to me, but I’d love to hear your take on them too!
The Psychic Crossroads Playlist
- “All That I Am” by Rob Thomas, from the album …Something to Be. For me, this song encapsulates Grace and David’s relationship and their all-consuming commitment to each, no matter what stands between them.
- “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan, from the album Surfacing. Another song that evokes Grace and David’s connection, and the way they save each other.
- “Uninvited” by Alanis Morrissette, from the City of Angels soundtrack. This dark and spooky song reminds me of Willpower, in the beginning when Grace refuses to acknowledge David is real — probably because he appears and disappears like a ghost!
- “Hunters and the Wolves” by Delta Goodrem, from the album Child of the Universe. This one speaks to Grace’s battles to survive in both books, as she fights both human enemies and her own greatest fears. The song also plays into how she fights her feelings for David in the first book.
- “I Promise You” by Judith Owens, from the album Mopping Up Karma. An epically romantic song, this one epitomizes the happily ever after Grace and David find together, particularly at the end of Intuition.
- “The Quest” by Bryn Christopher, from the album My World. This awesome, funky song is about the search for purpose and meaning in life, something Grace can definitely identify with.
- “Underestimated” by Jennifer Paige, from the album Best Kept Secret. Grace’s enemies constantly underestimate her, and in some ways, so does David in the beginning. This is her anthem.
- “Village Lanterne” by Blackmore’s Night, from the album The Village Lanterne. This haunting song is about meeting your destiny alone, something Grace believes she must do — though David has other ideas. The song works for both books, but especially Willpower.
By the way, book three in the series, Kinetic, features a secondary character from the first two books, Sean Vandenbrook. He has his own style and therefore will get his own special playlist, with more hard-driving beats and rough edges. Every book and every character deserves a unique playlist!
Here’s a little bit more about Intuition.
Ultimate power comes at the ultimate price.
Torn apart by their haunted pasts, Grace Powell and her fiancé David Ransom are struggling to reclaim their passionate bond. She yearns for a normal life — one without danger and paranormal powers — but David can’t renounce his obsession with hunting down rogue scientist Karl Tesler, who abducts and tortures psychics. David endured Tesler’s tactics himself, but despite what Grace believes, he’s not out for revenge.
Tesler covets her unprecedented abilities and her connection to a vast and mysterious source of psychic energy known as the Golden Power. He will stop at nothing to possess her, and David will do anything — even abandon and lie to her — to protect Grace from the mad scientist.
With a psychic stalker on her trail, Grace charges into a desperate mission to uncover the truth about David’s obsession and his secret past. But Tesler’s agents are closing in on her, and a terrifying new enemy is rising…
As events drive Grace and David toward a battle of epic proportions, they must risk everything — their relationship, their lives, and even their souls — to defeat an enemy who wields unspeakable psychic power. Can a bond borne of true love save them, and the world?
Grace rolled onto her side. Her nose bumped into David’s pillow. She drew in a long breath. The spiciness of his aftershave flooded her senses, along with another scent—a subtle, masculine smell unique to David. Indescribable. Delicious. Warmth suffused her, seeping into her heart and mind, smoldering in parts of her that ached for him. She inhaled another draft of his scent, her body responding as if he were there, caressing her. He may drive her nuts at times, but…
Oh, the way he kissed. Her lips tingled from the memory of it.
A chill whispered over her skin. Every hair on her body stiffened. Her sixth sense burst out of its slumber, clanging alarm bells in her psyche. Someone is here.
She bolted upright and whipped her head left and right. Nobody there. She swung her legs off the bed and pushed up onto her feet, nabbing her .357 Magnum revolver from the bedside table. A chill trickled down her spine. Eyes watched. Invisible, ethereal, but real. She turned toward the doorway. Nothing lurked there.
Why couldn’t she pin down the source of the sensation? Her paranormal radar was blanked out, as if overwhelmed by input.
Psychic energy crackled through her. Behind you. She whirled around, thrusting the gun up, clamped in both hands, and confronted—
Hell. She’d let her unease blossom into paranoia. Nobody hunted her anymore. Probably. Tesler wouldn’t find her here.
Her cell phone buzzed. A text message had arrived.
David. She snatched up the phone, tapping the screen until the message popped up. As she scanned the words, a shiver rattled through her.
“Come to me,” it said, “I can help you. 1325 Meroz Road.”
She didn’t recognize the phone number the message came from, and no name was given. Oh sure, she’d rush right out to the address texted to her by an anonymous whackjob.
The phone buzzed again. Another text message: “Your lip is bleeding.”
Her lip? She dabbed a finger on her mouth. It came away wet. Blood stained her skin. How did the texter know she bit her lip? Her heart pounded. Without moving, she searched the shadows for a figure, a camera, something to explain this, though she knew she’d find nothing. A thick curtain shielded the window. The person sending the messages could either see through solid objects or had another means of viewing her. Extrasensory means.
The phone tumbled from her hand, clattering on the floor.
No, she was jumping to conclusions. An intruder must’ve stolen into the house. With the revolver in hand, she sprinted out of the bedroom, down the hallway, through the kitchen, and into the living room. Vacant. All vacant. She rushed back to the bedroom and dug through the closet, scoured the dresser, even dropped onto her belly to investigate the space under the bed. No cameras. No stealthy intruders. Not a damn thing. Which left her with one unthinkable possibility.
Maybe she should call the police.
What for? They couldn’t help her with this kind of problem.
“You belong with me.”
She jumped. Her head smacked into the bed frame. She clutched the gun tighter. Where had the voice come from?
No, no, no, not again. Nausea swelled in her stomach, bile rising high in her throat. The voice did not originate in this room, or from outside. The source was much, much closer. Someone rammed the words into her mind.
A psychic intruder just hacked her brain.