Guest Post: Music & Allerleiraugh by Chantal Gadrouy

Music & Allerleirauh by Chantal Gadrouy

I never knew authors used music to help them write until I discovered Twilight. I was an early fan of the novels (because all the RobPattz stuff, and the crying girls being slammed into mall doors) back in 2005. I would creep onto Stephanie Meyer’s website on our school computers and read everything she ever shared with her fans back in those days. And then I remember finding “The Playlist.”

I found this to be a real treat because I loved music so much! I never really thought about how a book could have a soundtrack, in a way, however unofficial it may be. I took it upon myself to try to find every single song that I could and arrange it in the same way S. Meyer had supplied on her site – and then quickly re-read the novel with headphones in my ears. It was an experience, to say the least. I started to do with with every book that I could. I even recall reading “Ella Enchanted” to the Peter Pan 2003 soundtrack – and still, to this day, I can’t listen to it without thinking of Ella and her glass shoes and the Prince.

With one novel already under my belt, and a developed soundtrack for “Seven Seeds of Summer,” approaching “Allerleirauh,” I knew I wanted a softer sort of music to tell this story. I started to go through my library, YouTube, iTunes – just searching for soundtracks of movies that I loved – or movies that I knew were either “romantic” or “historical” – and started to put them together.

It can be really influential when writing a novel – to have just the right music playing. It can really make all the difference in the world. A ball scene might feel even more real; a scene of discovered love –  the emotion between a Prince and Princess. Just as soundtracks do in movies, it helps to tell a story; to influence us – the viewer, the reader, in how to feel during a scene (or for books, after the fact.)

The Playlist to “Allerleirauh” is richly full of songs from Dario Marianelli – “Anna Karenina,” and “Jane Eyre.” Ilan Eshkeri’s “The Young Victoria,” Max Richter, Nick Murray (Aeon Album – you should just buy this.) Olafur Arnalds, Roberto Caccipaglia, Dustin O’Halloran, Hans Zimmer and The Cinematic Orchestra. It was a really fun playlist to put together and listen to – daily! I felt it really helped me in developing the tragedy in the Kingdom of Tränen between Aurelia and her father, and the love story between Aurelia and Prince Klaus.

  • “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey had a lot of influence in the novel. It’s probably one of the “main” songs that I listened to as “Allerleirauh” played out.
  • “A Historic Love” from the Tudors Soundtrack was actually a song I used for the few balls in the beginning of the novel. And for Part Two, different scenes between Klaus and Aurelia.
  • “Crystallize” by Lindsey Stirling was actually the first song on the “Allerleirauh” playlist. I had just discovered who she was on YouTube, and fell in LOVE with this song. She was a part of my early developing stages of Aurelia and Klaus. While it doesn’t really “fit” the novel – I never had the heart to take it off the list.
  • You might think it’s a bit strange that “Earned it” – a cover of the song, was a influence in the rape scene between the King and Aurelia (yes, be warned, there is a rape scene in this novel) – but the way the song has been covered, really kind of fit that uncomfortable sense as the scene unfolded. You can find a link to the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RWl24TUW6g (You might find a new creepy way of hearing this song.)
  • “Transformation” by The Cinematic Orchestra was always a song of hope. Whether it was while Aurelia and Myriah planned for a way of escape, or if it was Aurelia on the Lake with Prince Klaus. This song really captures the hope Aurelia feels; this is what I’d call the “Aurelia song.” It’s only fitting that the song would be called “Transformation” – for all the transforming Aurelia does!
  • “The Earth Prelude” by Ludovico Einaudi was probably one of the songs most played on this playlist. It was more heavily used during Part Two, when Aurelia went to stay in Saarland der Licht with Prince Klaus. The scene at the lake, the times that Klaus came to her door – this was the song really influenced the love between them.
  • “I Understood Something” — “Leaving Home, Coming Home,” “Dance with Me,”  “Someone is Watching,” “Lost in a Maze,”  and “A Birthday Present,” were the songs that I listened to as Klaus broke the news of an arranged marriage, their dinner and the scene of them in the forest – where they shared their first kiss.  (All from the Anna Karenina soundtrack.)
  • “Victoria and Albert” was the way I imagined the novel to end – on a soft and “recovered” note. Things have been played out between Aurelia and the characters around her – and there is a promise of hope and peace – and a future. (Without giving too much away.) Just listen, you’ll hear and understand.

I’ve actually made a playlist for all of you to enjoy as well! So if you’re curious, you can listen to some of the songs (I was able to find some of them) – and enjoy “Allerleirauh” differently the next time you read it! [Link provided below]

Thank you so much for having me today, and I hope you enjoy all the music! Until next time!

Chantal

Links & External Information

Allerleirauh Playlist

Book Trailer

Buy Allerleirauh (Amazon, Barnes&Noble)

Book Information

Allerleirauh
Name: 
Allerleirauh
Author: Chantal Gadoury
Type of Publication: Self-published
ISBN: 1522880801
Pages: 232
I received a free ebook copy from the author. I will be posting an honest review later on.

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About the Author

Chantal GadouryChantal Gadoury is a Young Adult author originally from Muncy, PA. Chantal enjoys painting in her spare time, having a good cup of coffee whenever she gets the chance, and appreciates watching her favorite Disney classics with her loved ones. When she’s not busy crafting or reading, Chantal is dedicated to her family: Mom, sister, and a furry-puppy-brother (and a wonderful father who now lives in heaven). As a 2011 college graduate from Susquehanna University with a degree in Creative Writing, Chantal is proud to finally call herself an author. It is a dream come true!

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Allerleirauh Guest Post

Dear Reader;

I am happy to announce that I’ll be hosting a guest post by author Chantal Gadoury. Her book Allerleirauh is a self-published work in the YA fantasy genre.

As most of you know, I have a love hate relationship with self-publishing. The concept of it I find to be quite lovely. Cut out the middle man (which is now two middle men in the form of not only Publishing Houses, but also in Agents whom you need to have in order to get to the aforementioned Publishing Houses) and get straight to the good stuff! The downside, however, is that often times self-published manuscripts are not as polished as many of the Publishing House books (and I don’t mean all, because I’ve seen actual published books that were horrid and I’ve seen some great manuscripts that were straight to self-publishing heaven). But I want to be clear that I support authors who are just trying to get their work out there and I’m not anti-self-publishing. Instead, I think that we need to make sure that people know what they’re getting into. That they realize that they still need to put in the same work and effort as someone who goes through a Publishing House. Otherwise, what’s the point? No one wants to read a bunch of poorly written junk! (Okay, there are some, but we’re not talking about them here.)

So I figure it’s important to encourage people to write, but also to edit. And it’s also important to help give a boost to the authors who are putting in the time and effort to get their stuff not only out there, but out there in the best way they can.

Which is why I’m so pleased that I will be able to host Ms. Gadoury on the 27th of this month (June, 2016)! There will be a special post by her talking about her book and some of her influences in writing. I hope you’ll all stop by and check it out. Feel free to ask questions via comments and check out her book!

I have the information for her book below as well as some info about the author herself. Check it out and help support some of the hard working writers out there!

Sincerely,

E.C. Orr

Book Information

Allerleirauh
Name: 
Allerleirauh
Author: Chantal Gadoury
Type of Publication: Self-published
ISBN: 1522880801
Pages: 232
I received a free ebook copy from the author. I will be posting an honest review later on.

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.

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About the Author

Chantal GadouryChantal Gadoury is a Young Adult author originally from Muncy, PA. Chantal enjoys painting in her spare time, having a good cup of coffee whenever she gets the chance, and appreciates watching her favorite Disney classics with her loved ones. When she’s not busy crafting or reading, Chantal is dedicated to her family: Mom, sister, and a furry-puppy-brother (and a wonderful father who now lives in heaven). As a 2011 college graduate from Susquehanna University with a degree in Creative Writing, Chantal is proud to finally call herself an author. It is a dream come true!

Review: The Girl by Lola St. Vil

**Also published on Goodreads**

Dear Reader

I’m going to give this 1.75 stars (which is being generous, I’ll just tell you now) because I can’t quite bring myself to make it a 2, though it got significantly better the farther I got.

So, the things I liked about this book:

The diversity. I liked that not every character was some white guy/girl who fit the stereotypical vision of American movie star beauty. That was refreshing, though I wish we got a little more of their cultural color through the writing.

… um, that’s about it actually. I was going to say the mythos of the Guardian world, but that wasn’t really original and by the end, there was so much darn junk added in that I just gave up on keeping it straight.

So, on to what I didn’t like.

Emmy. Ever. She was so… childish. Bratty. Selfish. Unlikable. Whiny. Ultimately useless. And the insta love was pretty gag worthy.

The love triangle. The one where Emmy and Marcus are basically two timing jerks. I mean, break up with Meana already or commit, but this whole I’m going to use someone else to resist the person I actually love is horseradish sauce! It makes everyone out to be a jerk and even while I HATED Meana, I liked her more than the other two, because in the end, she was in the right.

The action sequences. At first, I appreciated them. The fighting meant that they were actually dong something, but then they just dragged on and on and *on* a never-ending litany of weird angel fighting. I mean, jeez, just kill someone already!

The weird angel stuff. It was interesting ish, but every time something new came up it was a bout of endless exposition, all telling, no showing. And there was SO much of it. Way too much. Artifacts and Snaps and powers and types of angels… all of them with backgrounds so that we poor ignorant readers won’t be left out of the loop. Please. Give me some credit, this isn’t my first rodeo.

Rules. All of them. See above complaint.

All in all, I did not like this. It dragged. The characters were mostly interchangeable and unlikable. Emmy = worst heroine ever. Marcus = who not to fall for. Ameana = Xena Warrior Princess if Xena were a royal jerk.

I gave this over one star only because I saw noticeable improvement in the writing as the story progressed. Not enough to make me like the novel, but it was there.

Probably would never recommend.

Sincerely

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

The GirlTitle: The Girl (Guardians #1)
Author: Lola St. Vil
ASIN: B006VRXR42
Language: English
Approximate Length: 313 pages
Stars: ★★☆☆☆
I have an ebook version, the one with the girl only on the cover with the purple eyes. (A picture of which I could not fine with decent quality. This is the alternate cover.)

Review: The Dead of Summer by Heather Balog

**Also published on Goodreads**

Dear Reader

First, I just want to say that the reason I didn’t give this book a solid five stars, is because there were SO many darn grammar errors (mostly missing words). However, otherwise, the writing was solid and very fast paced.

Kennedy was incredibly likable and reminded me so much of me as a kid, that I had to put it down for a minute and reflect. It was crazy, but it was nice to see a real character – overweight, but most of the “ugliness” assumed by that trait (which is so bogus to begin with) in her head because she’s been leaned on so hard about it. Kennedy is quirky and nerdy, but not genius smart. Her friend is way more popular and she follows her around because she feels like maybe she has no options.

Carson was likable, too. The kind of boy whose done the popular thing and rethought it due to personal tragedy. It makes him a decent guy without being unrealistic.

And of course, the mystery stuff. It had me going and I couldn’t put the book down until I knew what had really happened! So well done. And I didn’t feel like it was too much Nancy Drew or too much One Tree Hill either. It was an excellent blend of mystery and romance (though it’s romance heavy in the first few chapters).

I will say that Carson’s story felt a *little* rushed at the end, but everything else was so good that it didn’t bother me.

I would definitely recommend this book!

Sincerely

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

Dead of SummerTitle: The Dead of Summer
Author: Heather Balog
ASIN: B012BBZBAO
Language: English
Approximate Length: 209 pages
Stars: ★★★★☆
I have an ebook version.

Review: Obscured by C.M. Boers

**Also posted on Goodreads**

Dear Reader

I received this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I had to start and stop and start this book about half a dozen times. I kept trying to tell myself “It’s nust a slow starter” or “I’m just not ready to start something new” but now I know the truth.

This book is terrible. I wish it were otherwise, but it’s just not.

I’ll start with the plot. Convoluted. Start with contemporary YA rom, then add a little thriller, then BAM switch to paranormal. Which, okay, fine, sometimes people can pull it off. Sometimes. When the writing is awesome and the plot is inspired and the characters are amazing. None of which was true here.

The plot jumps around, filling in gaps.with a bunch of random crap, and meaningless, boring “and they had waffles for breakfast! Again.” And what’s with the pizza obsession? Don’t this kids know what grease does to acne? Everything that happens seems so… boring. And uninterested. Like, girl’s night? Cool, except it’s all “and we tots look awesome!” I don’t want to read about that. And WHY did she want to go out with the murderer? And doesn’t she know stalkers aren’t sexy? By the time we get to the paranormal stuff you’re so bored and frustrated that you just don’t care. Kill Abby! Put her out of my misery! And Eli? WTF mate?

And we dive into this story with a list of characters that make you cringe. We start with a super boring girl who meets a stereotypical jock who apparently murdered someone. But that’s okay cause she STILL wants to date him. And then we’ve got the love triangle, sort of, and the Plain Jane who is Virtuous and Boring but everyone Loves Her. For no apparent reason. Then we’ve got obsessive stalker boy and BFF who is only there because every Main Girl needs a BFF. And don’t even get me started on the completely droll anx ultimately worthless Super Chipper parents. Um, no.

And then the writing itself. It was all… Boring. In the sense that there was very little style or variety. It was basic and there was a lof of summary and even more info dump. Like half the book is info dump. Most of which you can skip over and still follow the limited plot without much difficulty. I kept wondering why the last hundred pages even existed other than to torment me…

Honestly, I wish I had liked.this because I’m tired of knocking novels. I want to give a good review. But you gotta earn it and this one didn’t. So I’m sorry to say that at 1.2 stars, I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone.

Sincerely

E.C. Orr

P.S. It makes me sad that so many reviews that I’ve written lately seem to be, well, really bad. I don’t like putting down other people’s work, but I really need something substantial in a novel to give it a good review. I can overlook typos. I can forgive some of the minor characters who have been cookie cuttered for brevity’s sake. I can even forgive a few plot holes that just slipped through the cracks. But this is getting out of hand. Where is the cohesion? Where’s the time and effort? Where’s the damn editor! I’m not saying that I think people should stop trying, but rather that I think they need to try harder and put in real time. Writing is a small business, not a ticket to stardom, and if you’re just in it for the quick money without all the legwork, then you need to pick a different profession. I’m not saying that’s what’s going on with everyone, but with the explosion of (YA especially) book popularity, I think people are a little confused about what it means when they say “writer.” You want to be prolific? Go for it, but don’t think you can get away from putting in the time and effort that every successful writer before you has.

End. Rant. Sorry about that.

Book Information:

ObscuredTitle: Obscured (The Obscured Series #1)
Author: C.M. Boers
ASIN: B00NA818IW
Language: English
Approximate Length: 209 pages
Stars: ★☆☆☆☆
I received a free ebook copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

**Also published on Goodreads**

Dear Reader

Okay, so the premise of this book is sort of interesting. I don’t usually go for the angel demon explanation (because it seems so common these days), so that was slightly off putting, but I was willing to look past it. Having the stuff with the Roanoke colony was cool and I actually wish that had been more of the focus. The present day stuff was too much and over the top. All the glam, the brands, the rich jerk attitude. It was like half the book was just name brand dropping and I just didn’t care. I don’t care about brands in real life, why would I care in a book?

Beyond that, the Blue Blood stuff was confusing. It seemed to jump around and half explained something only to tell you just kidding a second later in lieu of some other preferable explanation.

And the twincest.

Um, ew. No. It’s just too weird and hard to get away from and that’s the kinda stuff that shows up in horror movies when you finally figure out someone’s the villain. So no. Not comfortable with that.

I didn’t care about Mimi, or really Jack for that matter. I liked Oliver until he was something in the realm of Blue Bloods. Bliss was annoying. Dylan was sort of just an errant thought. And why did she love her cold, emotionless grandmother again? Forget the adults anyway. They were all worthless.

And finally, the constantly shifting POVs was not working for me. Too much going on and not enough focus.

All in all, I didn’t really care for it and wouldn’t recommend it I don’t think. Which is a shame, because I had relatively mediocre to high hopes for this book and there’s another series that I want to try by the same author, but this one hasn’t made me want to dig into it…

Read at your own risk.

Sincerely

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

Blue BloodsTitle: Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods #1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
ISBN: 0786838922
Language: English
Approximate Length: 302 pages
Stars: ★★☆☆☆
I have a softcover version purchased from a used bookstore.

Review: Howl by Jody Morse

**Also published on Goodreads**

Dear Reader

I’ll be generous and give this book ABOUT 2 stars (which is closer to about 1.6 stars, but I’ll round up for the sake of brevity… which I just completely nullified with this author’s note). Then I’ll preface this by saying it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read, but it wasn’t very good either.

Most of my problem with this was the writing, some of my problem was the story itself, and some of it was how it ended.

The Writing: While the writing wasn’t so riddled by mistakes that it was holey, it had numerous ones that could have easily been remedied by a decent editir (or even a mediocre one probably). The language and structure of the writing was middling at best, and while it never sunk to the level of bad fan fiction, it never reached the level of good fan fiction either. I felt like this was written by a high school student who hadn’t gotten to the finer points of finesse and how to craft interesting writing. There wasn’t enough development making the lack of passion grating and even silly, there was too much telling without showing, and as a result it was difficult to become attached to the characters.

The Story: So this is about werewolves, obviously. But what sort of werewolf society allows for their kid wolves to go around killing each other? How can you have “potential” mates? That basically discounts any concept of loving someone for who they are AND it means a weird instalove thing that is beyond annoying. And she doesn’t even know the damn boy!!! Ugh, no. Also, why would she even consider joining a pack that’s planning on killing her, with her best friend and brother apparently just aokay with the whole thing? Like, really? Is anyone here likeable? No, me thinks not. And is it just me or does Sam snap at her “mate” a lot and without much care about him?

The Ending: No spoilers, but this was a pretty big cliffhanger. You didn’t get anything resolved. You’re left with a pretty dramatic moment. And you don’t really know why or what is fully happening. Sure, meant to reel in readers, but it didn’t work for me. It was just irritating.

So the verdict: I wouldn’t recommend this book. The author needs way more experience and probably some writing classes before I’d consider another of her books.

Sincerely

E.C. Orr

P.S. I just discovered that not only has the author written this series, but also at least two (or three?) others. I am horrified.

Book Information:

HowlTitle: Howl (Howl #1)
Author: Jody Morse
ASIN: B006Q1L7MM
Language: English
Approximate Length: 262 pages
Stars: ★★☆☆☆
I have an ebook version.