Gemini, Knight of the Rose

The Realm of Love and Romance

Beyond is a realm born in the depths of the heart and soul.  It is here that true love was first discovered.  Enter into a world where such concepts as soul mates are not just hopeful dreams, but a reality from which divine happiness is embraced.  Love becomes so much more than a simple word, it is an expression of an individual's ardent belief in another, an unconditional trust and faith one finds in the eyes of their kindred spirit.  It is here that happily ever after is not just found in the pages of a fairy tale, but in every day lives of people who believed in something that the world around them had long since given up on.  Walk among the roses of my garden, see in each a story of renewed faith in romance and the unwavering trust of one soul forever connected to another.  True love is born from the depths of passionate desire, comforting serenity, and unrivaled excitement.  Through its divine beauty, we find strength, courage, and the ability to overcome all obstacles to discover the magic within each of us to experience eternal joy in the embrace of a dream come true.

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The daughter of a cheating husband and his mistress, Mina shields herself behind a mask of frigid indifference.  She thinks of love as a weakness, refusing to become a victim of its influence.

Oliver was given the ultimatum by his ruthless matriarch: Choose a life of luxury or to follow his heart into an unforgiving world.  However, what was meant to be happily ever after ended in tragedy, leaving him a broken man.

Fate guides two lives who are about to cross paths, their future shrouded in uncertainty. 

In the depths of winter’s desolate landscape, a heartbeat begins to sound.

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Alice is a modern-day princess, born into privilege.  Having broken free from a dominating matriarch, she lives in fear of what her mother will do next.  When a mysterious man crosses her path, she is inspired by his noble soul buried under self-doubt.

Hoven has never known love. Abandoned by his parents, abused by all who entered his life.  Each day he thinks of suicide, a man without hope.  An accidental meeting leads to a glimmer of happiness in a world of despair.

Can a chance encounter reveal a future no longer shackled by uncertainty before it’s too late?

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Oliver is an idealist with an unwavering faith in true love. Mina considers herself a pragmatist, questioning the world around her with skepticism. Together they have formed a union of passionate harmony.

 

The scars of the past provide each with reasons to hesitate as they consider the possibility of matrimony. In these moments of doubt, the opportunity of lifetime presents itself. Mina must choose between a career on the other side of the world or the life she will be forced to leave behind.

 

Fate began their journey together, but now they must decide if two paths will become one.

Suffering from domestic abuse from an early age, a vision of hope inspires Logan to escape his tortured existence. Now a respected artist, he is driven by his passion for a woman he believes only exists in his mind. 

Kimberly found freedom from the rigid life of her youth through her drawings of a boy she dreamed about. As an adult, she has found sanctuary as an artist for a global comic book industry, famous for the mysterious man appearing in her work.

The lines between fantasy and reality become blurred as these two strangers are about to meet.

Curiosity has led Felicity down through the pages of antiquity to an obscure figure that she believes to be the inspiration behind many of the greatest turning points in human history. Her research has developed into obsession. Her thoughts are fixated on a man she believes to be the cornerstone of the utopia she now lives within. 

To have the opportunity to meet him, she embarks on the next step in human exploration. However, her journey to discover the truth will lead to a startling revelation.

The future meets the past as two souls transcend time to find one another.

Music often inspires scenes, helps mold the tone of a narrative, and in some cases, defines a character. What follows is a collection of songs that I believe to be the soundtrack to each of the novels revealed here in the Realm of Love and Romance.

 

Click on each image for a link to hear each song.

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Be My Forever : By Christina Perri

For the novel: Queen's Court

My romance novels always end on a positive note. For me, that's what love is all about, that happily ever after that we may not find in real life, you can read about in the pages of my book. This is wonderfully charming song to cap off the end of the book with a smile. What's interesting is that due to all the songs that inspired this book, I picture it as a musical of sorts when it becomes a movie. 

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Brave Enough : By Lindsey Stirling

For the novel: Dearly Beloved

The novel follows the path of two people that are in love with one another, but face uncertainty if they are worthy of the next step of their relationship. For Mina, its been a long, hard road since first meeting Oliver. She has struggled to trust another human being, let alone allowing herself the level of vulnerability it takes to truly love someone. The song represents the point in the novel when she is facing her own insecurities and doubts. It takes bravery to be willing to put your faith in someone, to trust them completely and unconditionally. Can she overcome her fears and finally let go of the past so she can have a future with him?

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Break the Wall : By Anna Blue

For the novel: Queen's Court

The lyrics of the song when I first heard it instantly made me think of the relationship between Alice and Hoven. I think of her singing this song to him, how he's this isolated man who avoids interactions with others unless necessary and has built up this emotional barrier between himself and others. The tone of the song is this determination, nothing will hold her back from accomplishing what she has set forth to do. That is Alice, she wants to get through to Hoven and to help him break free from this prison he has created for himself.

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Centuries : By Fallout Boy

For the novel: In a Heartbeat

Opening scene in movie reveals Christopher's birth, childhood, his struggle and limitations due to his heart condition. Reveals him writing his book before panning back through a window to the outside his house. Time speeds up to show transformation of the world. Cuts to Felicity arriving on a flying transport. She is greeted by Lynx and they go to her research center where she's mapping out all those who helped create their utopia in a holographic projection. The leads to her attempting her experiment as the song is coming to a close. When it becomes silent, the opening of the book begins and she says the opening line.

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Close Your Eyes : By Michael Buble

For the novel: Dearly Beloved

Listening to the lyrics of the song, I instantly thought of how Oliver considered Mina. The way someone is described in the song is the many ways that he considers the woman he loves. He sees her as the source of his strength, his protector, his guardian angel, a fierce warrior that can handle the challenges of the world when he falters. One of his greatest insecurities is that he's not strong enough, not good enough for her. The path he takes in the novel is figuring himself out and what kind of role he wants to play in her future. 

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Diamond Heart : By Alan Walker

For the novel: Heart of Ice

The soundtrack to the book should be filled with references to the heart, which is an ongoing theme of the novel. This is a perfect reflection of Mina's feelings in that she wants to be more emotional, connect with others, feel that level of personal feelings with others but is afraid to do so. The lyrics speak of someone who would do these things if they didn't have to fear being hurt. What if you couldn't be harmed, no risk of losing something in the attempt. That fear of being hurt, choosing to shut off that part of herself led to her heart of ice.

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Done With Love : By Zedd

For the novel: Heart of Ice

I have this entire scene mapped out in my head as to what it would be like in a movie, but doesn't belong in the novel. This would be used in the final scene of the movie where the group is attending a public karaoke location and Mitch is up on stage singing this song mimicking his idol, Freddy Mercury, in the way he moves. At one point, Mina does a solo dance, showing off her moves. Then Oliver responds with a beautiful waltz with her, reflecting their different personalities. All of which leads into the sequel, Queen's Court which is strongly influenced by music.

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Hold My Heart : By Lindsey Stirling

For the novel: Heart of Ice

This is one of those songs that I discovered after the book was published. When I hear it, I instantly think of one particular book. To me, this song is the theme song for the main character, Mina. I love the strength and independence of the person singing the song. I picture her starting her day in the opening of the movie, you get some insight to her day to day life. Then at one point in the song she's dancing with a man in her mind, having a romantic interlude, before snapping out of her revere and returning to the world around her.

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Hold On : By ZZ Ward

For the novel: Heart of Ice

What I find incredible about this song is that it's about the duality of someone struggling with being this strong, independent, don't need anyone attitude, with a yearning to connect with someone. That is Mina in the novel. A part of her wants to forge relationships with others, its how she makes friends with Mitch. Then when Oliver enters her life, she feels as if she has all these expectations being made of her. The song plays with this concept of being this powerful being, and yet pleading for this person in their life not to leave, to give them a chance.

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How Long Will I Love You? : By Ellie Goulding

For the novel: Dearly Beloved

There is a moment when Oliver and Mina are departing each others lives. She is in an airport, leaving for months, uncertain of when they will be reunited. They stare into each others eyes, absorbing every detail they can as time slowly slips away from them. This music begins to play and memories flood their minds, images of their time spent together, pledges of devotion made, words of love spoken. Each time we say good bye to someone, it may be the last we ever see them. The future is never certain and for these two noble souls, this song represents that moment.

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Human : By Christina Perri

For the novel: Dearly Beloved

There is a period of time during the novel that Oliver feels isolated, separated from Mina, he doesn't know how to cope. This song represents this feeling of trying to be brave, put on a smile, be strong while she is pursuing her career in Europe. During this time, he begins to struggle with several personal concerns and it slowly wears him down to a near breaking point. Often he is considered this stoic individual not bothered by the troubles of the world, inspiring others to find their own inner strength. He is still only human, able to endure only so much.

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I Get To Love You : By Ruelle

For the novel: Dearly Beloved

Ever since I first heard this song, I thought of the first dance between a couple on their wedding day. One day when I get married, I will dance with my wife to this song. In a movie adaptation of the novel, there will be this song playing at the end with clips of the wedding reception after the conclusion of the original story. The novel ends before this event takes place, but in my mind, I want to pay homage to the brilliant ending of Final Fantasy 8 where a scene is playing during the closing credits that concludes with the couple together at the end.

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I'm Talking To The Moon : By Bruno Mars

For the novel: Dearly Beloved

At one point in the novel, Mina is in Europe and Oliver remains in America. During that time, it is said in the novel that he would talk to her, hoping that she could somehow hear him. This song about someone talking to the moon, knowing that person they care about is looking up at the same sky may hear them reminded me of this. When she speaks of this connection they share, its truly beautiful.

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Just The Way You Are : By Bruno Mars

For the novel: Dearly Beloved

This is one of those songs that fits into the movie version of the book rather than the original text. To introduce the movie, there would be a montage of memories, a camera panning across framed images depicting the blossoming relationship between Oliver and Mina. Meanwhile, this song is playing for this is a culmination of how he sees her. From the moment they met, he felt she was perfect, that she did not have to change anything about her to deserve to be loved. Never once has he asked her to alter who she is, for he accepted her as she was.

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Let Her Go : By Jasmine Thompson

For the novel: Dearly Beloved

Jasmine's version of the original song done by Passenger has a haunting quality to it that resonates with the novel more so than the original. She creates this sorrow to the song that reflects the emptiness, the sadness of what Oliver is confronting during the events of the novel. This is a man who is willing to sacrifice everything to make Mina happy, to help her, to support her, to provide her what she needs in life. In this case, it was giving up the opportunity to be with her, possibly forever. The song speaks of that willingness to let someone go if you truly love them.

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Only Time : By Hanna Christianson

For the novel: Queen's Court

When I first heard the song, I instantly thought of the opening of Queen's Court as a movie where Alice has this wide eyed optimistic viewpoint of the world. She's walking through the city she lives in, saying hello to strangers, marveling at what she encounters, and enjoying the richness of the world around her. In a way, I think of it as her theme song. The lyrics describe someone who is thinking about a future unburdened by the past and that is a theme throughout the novel. Alice is trying to figure out where she belongs in the world and the song reflects that.

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Queen : By Loren Gray

For the novel: Heart of Ice

Mina earns herself the title of the Ice Queen. The concept of a queen becomes a central subject in the sequel to this novel but it is here that it takes root. She represents a powerful woman, someone who is in control of her life, won't allow anyone to control her, and is someone who demands respect. In my mind I see her struggling with what has made her a cold, emotionally distant person. She fears letting down her guard, letting someone into her life romantically, may strip her of that queen like power. Is there strength to be found within love?

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Roar : By Katy Perry

For the novel: Queen's Court

It is because of this song, that Mitch wears a dress at one point in the novel. He is trying to teach Alice that a woman can feel empowered, in control, while wearing a dress if she so chooses. When a woman wears a dress, its not all about attracting men or looking good for men. Maybe a woman just enjoys the feel of wearing a dress. To prove his point, he wears a dress himself, complete with high heels. He does all of this with Alice in public, not caring about how people judge him. I imagine a montage of them throughout the city and I laugh so hard when I do.

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She is Love : By Parachute

For the novel: Eye of the Beholder

I was writing Eye of the Beholder when I first heard this song and I loved how simple it was, straight forward, honest without trying to be this flowery sounding love song. She is love. That's all the singers wished to express. To me, that is how Logan views the woman he draws so often, who he has had visions of since he was a teenager. To him, there is no explanation needed, she is the embodiment of love. Nothing more, nothing less, and he won't be told otherwise. There is a purity to his devotion to this woman he thinks about that I believe this song reflects.

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Silent Scream : By Anna Blue

For the novel: Queen's Court

This is the song that defined the entire book. It inspired the concept of Alice wanting to get into Karaoke as a way of self expression. Listening to the song, the lyrics fit Alice's struggle with a strict childhood that nearly stripped her of her humanity. All she wanted was to be loved by her mother, who was cold, distant, and unforgiving in molding what she felt was an ideal daughter. There is a scene where Alice sings on stage and it is this song that in my mind, she's singing. It is the major turning point for her emotionally and how she deals with her mother.

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Something Just Like This : By Coldplay

and the Chainsmokers

For the novel: Eyes of the Beholder

When I first heard this song, I instantly thought of Eye of the Beholder. The lyrics refer to comic book characters and super heroes, which falls perfectly into the what is at the center of events in the novel. I picture this song playing at the end of the movie based upon the book where it shifts between two presentations. The real world and the pages of a comic book. A scene occurs in the real world, then a comic book version of it overlaps. Then a scene in a comic fades into the real world version of that. It's a perfect ending to the story. 

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Spectrum : By Zedd

For the novel: Heart of Ice

I have liked this song since I first heard the faster paced, dance version. Then I heard a version that was much more slowed down, soulful and beautiful sounding. It was the iTunes Sessions version that when I heard that approach to the song, I thought of a scene mentioned in the novel but not described. In a movie version of the book, the scene would play out as the two main characters are dancing together for the first time. What I love about it is the lyrics reflects Mina's struggle to allow love into her life and the connection she feels with Oliver.

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Superman : By Rachel Platten

For the novel: Dearly Beloved

In a heartbreaking moment in the novel, Oliver confesses to Mina that he's been hiding much of the problems he's been coping with from her. He didn't wish to burden her with what was troubling him, that she was dealing with enough concerns on her own then to deal with what was bothering him. In his attempt to shield her from what he was enduring alone, he was suffering in silence. This song expresses her response, telling him that he doesn't have to do it alone. If they are to have a future together, it is a life sharing in both joys and sorrows of life.

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This is Me : By Kealla Settle

For the novel: Queen's Court

The song began as an element of a movie, the Greatest Showman, but has transformed into a theme for people who has felt out of place and isolated. I think of the ending of the book every time I listen to this song. Alice begins singing while looking at a mirror, then steps outside and is joined by her friends. It shifts to Mitch dressed up at a comic book convention, which is a personal connection to me as well as he represents the gay community. Lastly, the scene ends with Alice on stage with her friends behind her doing chorus.

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We Found Love : By Lindsey Stirling

For the novel: In a Heartbeat

In my mind the end of the movie based upon the novel is telling a story of sorts. The two characters are exploring the world together, seeing all the wonders it has to offer, doing what was previously denied to Christopher before Felicity entered his life. Now given a second chance at a life, he can now do everything he couldn't before. There is three parts to the song. The first section says "fell in love in a hopeless place". That represents the time Christopher was born into, how he feels about his life, hopeless. The next section is "fell i n love in a holy place" which represents the era Felicity comes from, this utopia where all the pain, suffering, poverty, crime, all of its gone. The last section is not in English. I think of this as representing the language Felicity speaks, which Christopher doesn't understand. 

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Who Wants to Live Forever : By Queen

For the novel : In a Heartbeat

There is a scene where Felicity decides to leave Christopher to his fate, essentially he's going to die soon and for a time traveler, you have to choose to not disrupt the past. The first part of the song is her walking away, deciding to leave. Then near the end of the song, it shifts to a more positive message and that's when she comes back to see him again. This song would tell that emotional journey of her leaving, then returning, not willing to give up on him.

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You're Gonna Be OK : By Jenn Johnson

For the novel : Queen's Court

The novel confronts the topic of depression and suicide. At one point Hoven is standing on a bridge, considering leaping off the ledge to end his life. Alice stops him from doing so, telling him, "I want you to stay.“. “What you are about to do isn’t heroic, you’re not saving anyone from what you are going through. I’m not here to save you. I can’t. No one can without your permission. I want to help you understand that you are worth saving because you’re the only one who can do that for you.” It is a scene that this song embodies beautifully.

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You Say : By Lauren Daigle

For the novel: Dearly Beloved

Every time I hear this song, I think of a scene where Mina is staring out the window of an airplane as she flies back home after spending what feels like a lifetime  away from those she cares most about in the world. She is thinking of Oliver, how he thinks so ideally of her and yet she has all these doubts about herself. The theme of the song fits this duality of her questioning her self worth while thinking about how his vision of her that she wishes she could become.

© 2017 by Matthew Allen Dickerson

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