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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Excerpt from "Master of Emotion" by D. Ogden Huff

Beau’s getting loads of attention lately. Whether he wants it or not. Even if it’s his worst nightmare.
Announcing the release of Master of Emotion, a YA paranormal romance by D. Ogden Huff.
When a reclusive teen with the enhanced ability to read others’ emotions finds more teens with similar powers, he must confront his fears before a budding romance and his twin brother’s life fall into the hands of the devious doctor who created them all.

Movies have soundtracks. Why not novels? Why not my novel, Master of Emotion?
  Ultimately, that idea pushed me into self-publishing my novel as an e-book. By intertwining music and a novel, the words give mental images to the music and the music enhances the emotion of the words. I didn’t think a traditional publisher would be willing to allow me the freedom to pursue my idea. So I did it myself.
  The musical artist that fits best with my novel is John Vesely, who records under the name Secondhand Serenade. He is a talented singer/songwriter who is a modern “one-man show” singing and performing many of the multilayered vocals and instruments himself. Check out his website at http://www.myspace.com/secondhandserenade to listen to and buy his music. I think you’ll agree he’s very talented. The teenagers and young adults in my house are big fans.
He’s not only talented, but he’s the voice that I “hear” in my head when Beau, the main character in Master of Emotion, talks. Listen and see if you agree. Within the text of the excerpt from the novel that you will find below, when you find something that looks like this:
“Listen to the unofficial Master of Emotion Soundtrack here
I invite you to follow the link and listen to one of Secondhand Serenade’s songs that fit the emotion of that moment in the novel. I’ve included a website address or two where you might be able to listen to the full song. But if you like the music, go back later and buy the songs—make your own soundtrack.
I hope you enjoy my unofficial attempt at a soundtrack.
I wasn’t sure I felt well enough to go to school on Monday. My head hurt, most likely caused by lying awake at night, staring at the lines on my water stained ceiling, but seeing Rose. My emotional control felt as thin and fragile as light bulb glass. I shut down as much as possible, but pain flared up with each renewed memory like stepping on a blister I couldn’t avoid. I dreaded seeing Rose again, and that emotion felt wrong.
 Avoiding her at lunch and in the evenings was easy, but we had two classes together. I’d see her, knowing there was no hope. Being friends wasn’t an option. Her feelings for Bradley burned strong and the charred spot around my heart still stung. I could already feel my wall going up again, protecting me.
(Listen to the unofficial Master of Emotion Soundtrack –
“It’s Not Over” from Secondhand Serenade’s “Awake” album at http://www.myspace.com/secondhandserenade/music/songs/it-s-not-over-245165
My wall built up, in all its strength, as I sat in our first hour class. Leaning forward, I put as much distance between our desks as possible and gripped the front edge of my desk with white knuckles. Rose walked into the room and stopped a few feet away from me. She hesitated, as if making a decision, and then with an audible sigh, sat down behind me. Neither of us said a word the entire hour, yet I could hear the tension crackling between us. The ending bell rang, and she leaned forward and whispered.
“Beau, can we talk?
I didn’t move; I didn’t turn to look at her. “It won’t help.”
“Fine! Have it your way.” Her words burned through me.
“I usually do,” I acknowledged, sending ice in my voice to douse her fire.
It seemed appropriate when the monsoon storms rolled in that evening. Black billowing clouds flashed lightning and rumbled thunder across the desert horizon, precursors to the torrential downpour that rained from the dismal sky. My mood matched the weather; the rest of the week, I was a heated storm. Angry clouds built at school. I rumbled and thundered at home. Lightning flashed while I ran, and rained quiet tears at night. And people around me ran for shelter.
Rose and I never spoke, and I avoided any contact with her other than our two classes. I ate alone in the truck at lunch. At work, I forced myself not to look at her house. I took another route to the high school and back home when I ran each night. Students, and even teachers, kept their distance and gave me wide berth wherever I stomped. Even Bryce avoided me. Until Thursday night, that is.
Leaving school on Thursday, I caught sight of Bradley and Rose talking in the parking lot. He had one hand leaning on her car and the other hand on her arm. At work, the toilets got an extra hard scrubbing while I pictured Bradley’s face on the stained, dripping brush. Even work didn’t relieve my tension and my desire to hit something.
Bryce hardly said a word when I picked him up later that evening. In fact, he hadn’t talked to me for several days. When I pulled up to the house, Luke’s bike lay in the driveway, and he sat out front with a friend. Slamming the truck door, I stormed over to him.
“Get your crap off of the driveway!” I shouted, pointing to his bike.
“My stuff is not crap!” he yelled back as I thundered into the house. Bryce followed on my heels. I stomped into our room and threw my books on my bed. Bryce pursued me and slammed the door.
“I’m done with this! What is your problem?” he yelled.
I slumped down on my bed with my head in my hands.
 “I get it. I do.” Bryce’s voice calmed. “Something happened between you and Rose, and you don’t want to talk about it—not even to me. All I want to know is … is it repairable?”
“Not for me.” My voice fell flat with despair.
“Too much pain.”
“Pain!” he shouted. “And this is better? You’re not in pain now? What about everyone around you? Their pain doesn’t matter?”
I shrugged, my head still in my hands. The silence rang with the truth of his words.
I finally looked up. “What do I do?” I honestly wanted to know.
“Fix it.” Bryce said with resolve. “At least be friends with her. You were happy for a while.”
“She probably hates me now.”
“We all do.”
“Oh. Yeah.”
“There’s a fine line between love and hate,” he added placing a hand on my shoulder. “Just cross back over that line, Beau.”
(Listen to the unofficial Master of Emotion Soundtrack –
“Something More” from Secondhand Serenade’s “Hear Me Now” album at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aps1NhPcqKc )
I hope you like the combination of music and writing as much as I do!
  D. Ogden Huff

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About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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