Not only does the video for “Like I love you” by Justin Timberlake make me totally think of Zack’s earlier life on the streets, but a lot of the lyrics ring true for how he feels for Sloane (“You’re a good girl, and that’s what makes me trust ya. Late at night I talk to you…”), and how good he is at reading people’s body language (“if you smile, then that should set the tone…”). He’s a very edgy, sensory man.

“Stranger in Moscow” by Michael Jackson hits me square in the gut every time I hear it. It’s a chilling, desperately lonely song that I used to channel Zack’s flashback of his horrific childhood when he’s in the tunnel. I get choked up just thinking about it.

“How’s it gonna be” – this is the kind of tune Zack listens to…gritty, somewhat-folksy, thoughtful music. Because when he does listen, he wants the music to have meaning beyond the sounds—he listens to the words. A line in the song – “I wanna taste the salt of your skin” – that’s something that would resonate with Zack. He’s a very tactile man. *shiver* 🙂

“Diary” by Alicia Keys was on endless repeat on my speakers when Zack and Sloane made love throughout the book. Both of them have trouble with trust because of past betrayals and fear of exposure, so the idea of being able to share secrets with each other—to become one another’s living diary—is at once terrifying and exhilarating. Which is exactly the way incredible sex can be. 🙂

“Scream” by Michael Jackson perfectly encapsulates the inner psychological static Sloane is trying to outrun through a lot of the book. She’s viewed her gift as a curse for so long because it’s brought her nothing but grief, pain, and ostracism. So when Zack pressures her to help him, she freaks out…but holds her crazy inside. Until she can’t anymore. This is a fabulous “f*ck off, I’ve had enough” song.

I used “Grenade” by Bruno Mars when I was feeling Zack’s angst over a past destructive relationship. Anyone’s who’s been thrown under a bus by someone you once trusted can appreciate this song.

“Lonely no more” by Rob Thomas is an oh-so-sexy tune! I used this song in that in-between place when Zack and Sloane were magnetized by each other, but still mightily denying that attraction.

“One Step Closer” by Linkin Park was my go-to song for Sloane’s scary visions and her up-close-and-personal with the villain. A song that makes me break out in goose bumps even as it makes me want to bang my head on the wall in time with the beat.

“Right Here” by Brandy and “Hold My Hand” by Michael Jackson and Akon are songs I listened to a lot as I wrote the final chapter. Each of these song selections say things we all want to hear: a bone deep feeling of peace that someone will stand beside us—love us—no matter what challenges we face in life.