Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Kait Ballenger Guest Post, Giveaway and "Shadow Hunter" Review

Shadow Hunter Playlist by Kait Ballenger:

 A question I frequently hear from readers is ‘do I listen to music while I write?’, and ‘if so, what songs do I listen to?’ I find that silence works best for me while I'm actually writing, but in order to get my inspiration flowing and get into the mood of writing a particular scene or character, I do listen to music before I begin typing. I thought I would share some of the songs that influenced me while writing Shadow Hunter, a prequel novella to the Execution Underground series, which releases in the After Dark anthology with Gena Showalter on June 25th. This is an unofficial playlist for the book and is not endorsed by any of the musicians or artists mentioned in the post. 

 1. A Perfect Circle. When I wrote the opening to Shadow Hunter, in which Damon is hunting for a sadistic vampire in Rochester, New York, I imagined this being the song playing as Damon walks into Club Fantasy for the first time. Club Fantasy is a vampire club run by Caius Agyros Dermokaites, the master vampire at the top of Damon’s hit list. “Damon was going to kill him. He’d make sure of it this time.”

2. Rest in Pieces by Saliva. I listened to this song frequently before writing Shadow Hunter, particularly in any scenes with emotional and romantic conflict between Damon and Tiffany. Over their years of writing one another, Tiffany got much closer to Damon than he ever would have expected. Losing her after his hunting partner, Mark Solow’s (Tiffany’s older brother), tragic death destroyed him. All those feelings are drudged up all over again when Damon unexpectedly encounters Tiffany in Club Fantasy. “Tiffany Solow... Mark’s baby sister. His own Achilles’ heel.”

 3. Hate Me by Blue October. Anyone who has read the novel knows that Damon fears Tiffany hating him, but at the same time, he thinks she’s better off without him. When I was writing scenes related to those feelings Damon had, I liked to listen to this song. “How could he look her in the face when he held the blame for her brother’s death?”

4. Dust in the Wind by Kansas. Kansas is Damon's favorite rock band and this song is one that he uses to remind himself that he is just a small part of the greater scheme of this universe to them. Somehow, it’s comforting to him. Hunters are not known for having the longest of life spans. “’d lost so much blood. I managed to get you out of the restaurant, but then...”

 5. Bother by Stone Sour. This song is very influential in all my work. Anyone who has read more than one of my novels knows that I really like to torture my characters, particularly my heroes. I’ve used this song for emotional inspiration for Damon, Jace, and the hero of my YA work as well. “If he’d been a weaker man, he would’ve eaten his gun right then.”

6. Broken by Seether featuring Amy Lee. Tiffany is a big fan of Evanescence. When I was trying to get into the emotional state of her character, in particular in regard to her feelings about “B,” this song was a perfect fit. “You know how difficult it is for me to admit this to you, but I’m not okay. I can never be okay.”

 7. My Immortal by Evanescence. This is another song for Tiffany. This song was very influential as I wrote the scene where Tiffany really mourns the loss of her brother, Mark, and the role Damon played in his death within the middle of the novel. Tiffany’s life is also very consumed by the feelings of loss for her brother and the anger she feels, which is what drives her need to avenge his death. “He trusted you and you let him down, and now he’s dead because of it.”

8. Going Under by Evanescence. Yet another Tiffany related song by Evanescence. Are you noticing a theme here? ;-) In Shadow Hunter Tiffany is forced to play nice with the vampire responsible for her brother’s death. She even has to pose as his potential Host all in an attempt to give her the right moment to kill him. This is more emotionally grueling for her than she lets on to. “...because she was going after Caius and she wanted to get to him before morning”

 9. Carry On My Wayward Son. Another favorite song of Damon’s. In general, this song is one I would choose for the series as a whole. This is in part because this song reminds me of my favorite T.V show, Supernatural, which was a big influence on my drive to write the Execution Underground series and the hunters who are a part of the organization, along with the kickass females at their side. “Happy to oblige, she pulled her Smith & Wesson from her lower back, aimed and fired.”

10. Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayor. I listened to this song frequently before writing the first sexy scene between Damon and Tiffany in the novel ;-) Hubba hubba lol. “If he’d told her then that he loved her, that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her in his arms, he wouldn’t have been lying...”

11. Claire de Lune by Debussy. Little did you know, Damon has an extremely soft spot for classical music and jazz. Debussy is one of his favorite composers. 

Thanks to Underworld Love Addiction for allowing me to guest post on their site! 

 BIO: Kait Ballenger is a full-time paranormal romance author, wife, bellydancer, graduate student, and soon-to-be-professor. She is the multi-published, award-winning author of the Execution Underground paranormal romance series. With a B.A in English from Stetson University, Kait is currently earning an M.F.A in Writing. Kait believes anything is possible with hard work and dedication. One day, she hopes to be a bestseller and to see her novels on the big screen. Look for the next two books in her page-turning Execution Underground series: Twilight Hunter, book one (August 2013) and Immortal Hunter, book two (January 2014).

For more information, please visit
Follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Goodreads


Vampire hunter Damon Brock’s first assignment with the Execution Underground is Rochester, New York, a city crawling with the undead.  But he isn’t the only hunter in town gunning for vamp blood. Tiffany Solow is fierce and ruthless when it comes to slaying the monsters that destroyed her family-and she works solo. But being alone is no longer so desirable when she meets the mysterious hunter who wants more than just her turf. As they work to massacre the local covens, the line between good and evil blurs when they are forced to decide between their lifelong beliefs… and their newfound hearts.

Shadow Hunter is the prequel to Kait Ballenger's Execution Underground series.  It is currently being released along with Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld novella, The Darkest Angel, under the title After Dark.  It is scheduled to be released June 25th, 2013.

After witnessing the death of a fellow comrade and his best friend, Mark Solow, operative Damon Brock returns to his friend's hometown tracking the ancient vampire responsible for his death. What he doesn't expect is running into Mark's baby sister, Tiffany, cozying up to the vampire who killed her brother then finding out she's out for revenge too and she's not a baby anymore.

I really enjoyed this novella. The author keeps it exciting and had me wanting to keep turning the page until the end. I am anxious to see what happens with Damon and Tiffany.

The book has a Buffy the Vampire Slayer feel with the elite government slayer organization, (aka Riley Finn from Buffy) and the altered DNA. Although some parts were a little predictable, the ending of this novel actually surprised me. I'm looking forward to the next installment, Twilight Hunter. This author is definitely one for the watch list!

Rating 5/5

For more information about Kait Ballenger and her Execution Underground series, visit her website at

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An advance copy of this book has been provided by the author/publisher for an honest and fair review.


  1. Great soundtrack. Now if they would only make a movie on Shadow Hunter using this soundtrack

    1. That would be beyond awesome! It has always been a dream of mine to see one of my books in film. Thanks for commenting! =)