Blog Tour: The Orphan, The Soulcatcher and The Black Blizzard

Friday, 15 June 2012.
Today, I'd like to welcome author Kimberlee Ann Bastian, who has stopped by with a guest post and an excerpt for her blog tour. Check it out!

The Soundtrack and Score
Out of all the historic elements that make up The Orphan, the Soulcatcher, and the Black Blizzard, being able to pick its soundtrack was fun. Music has always been a big part of my life, whether it was performing, playing an instrument or dancing to it. When trying to come up with songs to feature in the book, the 1930s staple Big Rock Candy Mountains (watch on youtube) came to mind. The folk song was a good start, but my setting takes place in Chicago, so I knew I needed something more. I did a little digging and after a time I came across a singer who apparently was kidnapped by the gangster, Al Capone to play at his birthday party. This singers name was Fats Waller and his song Honeysuckle Rose proved to add lightness to a tense scene. (Listen: youtube)

For my other featured song, I realized I needed a jazz song and potential something I could use as plot device. It was much harder than I thought to find as I went through lists of songs released in the early 1930s and then having to listen to them if I could. I just about threw in the towel when I stumbled on a Ethel Waters’ 1933 song, Stormy Weather. Originally sung and recorded by the singer at the Cotton Club in Harlem, Waters song worked on the two levels I needed. Highlighted a song and using it as a plot device to foreshadow the coming of the Black Blizzard. (Have a listen to her jazz single: youtube)

In addition to the three songs, I needed an overall score to the story and I could not think of a better instrument to feature than the harmonica. The mouth organ or blue’s harp as it is sometimes known, became a character all its own, weaving a tone a regret, wickedness, and a somber lullaby throughout the story which at times was accompanied by strings, a steal guitar, or a washboard. Of the characters in the story that can the harmonic, Hades’ theme resonates with mischief and malice, blending with the sound of a screechy fiddle. Charlie on the other hand, who learned how to play the harmonic from his Uncle Gert, plays with minor, somber notes forming a sort of lullaby known as Jimmy’s Song. The story also briefly featured the swanky sound of a jazz piano to accompany the singing voice of the Canary (slang for a woman who sings) at Ziemba’s Speakeasy. If the book ever makes it to the big screen, I would be able to share the score with you, but until then, the music will sadly remain in my head, as I cannot write it, I can only read it.

And now, a short excerpt from Chapter 10: Lament – After a long day, Charlie battles of the ghosts of his dead family as he falls asleep......Enjoy!!

Charlie hates himself, but he hates the slight sense of relief he feels buried beneath his sorrow even more. He is free to do as he pleases without the burden of someone else’s life on his shoulders. No longer does he have to listen to his mother’s voice telling him to look out for those smaller than he. Charlie lets out another wail, this time conflicted. He presses his head to his knees, not wanting to have to shoulder the weight of responsibility any longer. He does not want to take in any more strays. Someone else can do it. The only person he wants to worry about is himself. The pressure builds in his head and fatigue finally takes hold of him. As his sobs wane, he falls asleep, his mind escaping to happier times.

Charlie’s five-year old head lies in his mother’s lap while they swing on the front porch of their farmhouse. His older brother, Wendell sits on the white-painted rail, leaning against one of the support columns, grumbling about being too old for Sunday afternoon story time. A stern look from his father, Cletus, however, changes his tune. Charlie’s twin sisters, Ursula and Yanka, sit cross-legged on the porch floor, their matching bluebell day dresses are clean for once. Charlie and his siblings, and even his father and Uncle Gert who are rocking in their chairs and talking in low voices, listen to Adele as she reads from her favorite book—the only possession she has from Czechoslovakia. She runs her fingers through his hair as she reads. Charlie nuzzles his head in appreciation. 

Today’s story is entitled, “The Trickster and the Shepherdess.” Wendell calls it a watered-down version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but Ursula and Yanka disagree. The argument ensues, until Cletus settles the matter with yet another stern look—well, and it does help that it is his favorite story. 

Charlie’s mother continues with her voice tranquil. “It was no secret the Shepherdess was in love with the Trickster. For under the pettiness and uncouth deeds, beat the silent heart of a man more giving then even he knew possible. She did all she could to help him regain his gentle nature, but at times, the Devil’s twisted hold on him could not be tamed, even by her. One day the Shepherdess approached the Trickster and without warning, he turned on her. Grief-stricken by what he had done, the Trickster knew he could no longer put his faithful love in danger. Her injuries were more than he could bear and so he made the decision to leave—but he could not just sneak away into the night. He owed it to his love to say goodbye. Heartbroken, the Shepherdess ran out into the stormy night in search of her love’s rival, the Devil himself.”

Buy The Orphan, The Soulcatcher and The Black Blizzard: Amazon/The Book Depository


Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

Ok so Kimberlee Ann Bastian is Kim Harrington? I enjoyed reading about the songs you picked! A little jazz is a nice change up. Love the cover on this so dark and mysterious!

Giselleco said...

Great post! I'd be so bad at choosing songs for books >.< It's the first time I hear about this book but I have Kim's Clarity on my wishlist :)

Kimberlee Ann Bastian said...

Morning Suzanne from the States! Thanks for letting me stop by today and for being a part of the book tour. So cool that you're from Dublin! I've always wanted to visit! Just one thing, you have Kim Harrington's pic and bio under my guest post. No worries, just don't want people to get confused:)

Kimberlee Ann Bastian said...

I'm glad you think so Giselleco. However, you'll want to put "The Orphan, the Soulcatcher, and the Black Blizzard on your list. Kim Harrington's Clarity is a different book. :) Thanks for stopping by the tour:)

Kimberlee Ann Bastian said...

No, we're two different people, Heidi. Haha. Thanks for stopping by the tour. Glad you like the music change up and the cover:)

Kimberlee Ann Bastian said...

Oh and this is my website:

Suzanne @ Paranormal Book Fan said...

Oh Kimberlee I am so sorry about this. I was just checking the info I was sent to see had I been sent incorrect information, but no, this is all me. I don't know how I did that. And I obviously just pulled that authors info out of the air because she's not someone I'm familiar with. Again, I am so sorry.

Giselleco said...

O_O Oh I thought this was from Kim Harrington too! I saw her bio here (I think) but it's gone lol.

Carole Di Tosti said...

Gd-ay...from NYC. Thanks for sharing this on the tour. Interesting. Will recommend to friends still teaching YA. Will enjoy this.

Joined your blog. Tweet me at @mercedeskat45 if you like. I will prodigiously promote you. ;-)

Love a return of favor...join my blog. It's I post about everything...cultural, including books and drama and celebrities I rub elbows with in NYC. To join you need to scroll down a'll find it then.

A pleasure to connect.
Thanks for supporting a fellow writer and blogger and authors.
Ciao for now,

Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

I love hearing about the soundtrack behind a story. Thanks for sharing! Interesting excerpt too - I would love to read more. :)

Kimberlee Ann Bastian said...

No worries Suzanne. It happens. No apology needed:) Thanks again for hosting me today, you're a doll:)

Kimberlee Ann Bastian said...

Thanks for stopping by Sam. I'm a big music geek so its really an important part for me. I wanted to be sure all the essentials were covered in the story. And music in Chicago is a must.

Kimberlee Ann Bastian said...

Carole, you rock my face off! :)

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