Monday, July 21, 2014

Guest Post + Giveway: The Child Returns Soundtrack by Kristen Taber

Welcome to my stop on the book tour for the Aerenden series (The Child Returns #1, The Gildonae Alliance #2, The Zeiihbu Master #3) by Kristen Taber, a YA Fantasy available now. Kristen will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC and 10 copies of The Gildonae Alliance (Aerenden #2) Audible Book. Click here to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more stops you visit, the more chances you earn to win.

Guest Post


The Child Returns Soundtrack by Kristen Taber

Music and writing often go hand-in-hand. When talking to other writers, I find our conversations will often drift from outlining procedures to favorite bands and best writing songs. I’ve known a few authors who prefer silence, but the majority seem to write to music and I’m one of them. When I’m at home, I’m furiously typing to classical rock (like Bond, David Garrett, and 2Cellos), and when I’m in a coffee shop, classic rock fills my headphones (I’m a diehard Led Zeppelin fan). Most of my memories are associated with music in some way and my mind often drifts back to those memories in great detail when I hear a song (one of my earliest recollections is jamming out to “Black Dog” at age three). So naturally, when I dream about the Ærenden series being made into movies, I don’t cast my actors first. I cast my musicians.

Of course, you can’t have a good movie without a fabulous score. I’m a huge Howard Shore fan thanks to The Lord of the Rings, but I’m leaning more toward Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight, Inception) as a better match for the series, thanks to his flawless ability to capture the true depth of human emotion, from despair to blossoming hope to unexpected joy.

As to the actual soundtrack for the first book in the Ærenden series, it fluctuates by month and mood, but the following song list is what I currently hear in my head when I read The Child Returns. It’ll be interesting to compare these songs to the final soundtrack if my dream ever becomes reality.

The Child Returns Unofficial Soundtrack
  1. Feeling Good – Muse
  2. Cosmic Love – Florence and the Machine
  3. Assassins – Muse
  4. Hopeless Wanderer – Mumford and Sons
  5. Abducted – Cults
  6. Got Nuffin’ – Spoon
  7. Hail to the King – Avenged Sevenfold
  8. King and Lionheart – Of Monsters and Men
  9. After the Storm – Mumford and Sons
  10. Broken – Lifehouse
  11. All These Things I’ve Done – The Killers
  12. Put Your Lights On – Santana feat. Everlast
To hear this playlist in its entirety, please check out this link:

And hey, since we’re talking about music and movies, do you think this guy ( can act? I think he’d make a dreamy Nick.


Book One: The Child Returns 

Seventeen-year-old Meaghan has no idea her perfect life has been a lie — until she witnesses her parents’ brutal murders at the hands of red-eyed creatures.

After nearly sharing their fate, she escapes with her best friend, Nick, who tells her the creatures are called Mardróch. They come from another world, and so does she. Now that the Mardróch have found her, she must return to her homeland of Ærenden or face death.

Left with little choice, she follows Nick into a strange world both similar to Earth and drastically different. Vines have the ability to attack. Monkeys freeze their victims with a glare. Men create bombs from thin air. Even Meaghan’s newly discovered empath power turns into a danger she cannot control.

But control becomes the least of her worries once the Mardróch begin targeting her. When Nick confesses he knows the reason they want her, she learns the truth behind the kingdom's fifteen-year civil war — a long-buried secret that could cost Meaghan her life.

Buy Links: Amazon * Barnes & Noble


Book Two: The Gildonae Alliance

Several months after Meaghan’s return to Ærenden, the kingdom’s war has taken a turn for the worse. The Mardróch army hunts the new King and Queen, destroying villages in its wake. And Meaghan and Nick, training for battle in their remote section of wilderness, are far from safe. Danger hides in shadows and behind innocent faces. Allies become foes. Each day is a fight to survive. But in the end, only one threat matters. And it’s a threat they never see coming.

Buy Links: Amazon * Barnes & Noble 

Book Three: The Zeiihbu Master

Separated and on opposite sides of the kingdom, Nick and Meaghan face different pursuits which could change the balance of power in Ærenden forever.

While Nick trains the villagers to be soldiers, Meaghan and a small rescue party venture into Zeiihbu to find Faillen's young son, before Garon can use the boy's power to destroy those still fighting against his rule.

Everyone knows Meaghan could be on a suicide mission, but when Nick stumbles upon a secret concealed in one of the southern villages, he realizes that Garon might not be Meaghan's greatest foe. The enemy most likely to kill her is someone who has also promised to keep her safe.

Buy Links: Amazon * Barnes & Noble 

Excerpt from book one, The Child Returns

THE WALLS fell in first. A flash of light and smoke came next. Or could it have been the other way around? It happened so fast, she could not remember. The air smelled funny, like when Papa put out the fire before bed. It filled her mouth and her nose. It stuffed her lungs and clogged her breathing. Then it turned thick and black so she could not see. She coughed. She tried to stand, to run, but her legs sagged beneath her. Tugging on a curtain, she pulled three times before she grew tired of toppling over, and crawled toward her bedroom. She called for her mama, but heard only the sound of distant screams through the smoke. None of them was Mama.

“Mama? Mama?” she cried again, feeling her way along the floor. Her fingers brushed a rug, soft and cool compared to the stone floor. A glowing fire consumed part of the room, heating the stone. It crept toward her. Fires hurt. Papa had told her she should not touch them. Sometimes she thought about trying to see if he was right, but she did not want to try with this one. It seemed angry. Its flames popped and snarled.

The couch began to glow, and then disappeared as the fire swept over it. It folded in half, crashing to the floor with a loud bang. She yelped. Tears stung her eyes and wet her cheeks. Her arms shook. Her legs trembled. She backed away, and found the table that usually stood in the middle of the living room. It must have toppled over too. It lay on its side next to a body that looked like Mama.

Author Bio

Kristen spent her childhood at the feet of an Irish storytelling grandfather, learning to blend fact with fiction and imagination with reality. She lived within the realm of the tales that captivated her, breathing life into characters and crafting stories even before she could read. Those stories have since turned into over a hundred poems, several short tales, and five manuscripts in both the Young Adult and Adult genres. Currently, Kristen is completing the five-part Ærenden series from her home office in the suburbs of Washington D.C.


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  1. Thanks for participating in my blog tour :). Looking forward to answering any questions your readers might have!

  2. I like the excerpt, thank you.


  3. thank you for the giveaway! I like the excerpt

  4. I'm going to have to check out the tracks on the sound track. Fantastic!!