Happy Release Day: Twilight Hunter (Execution Underground #1) by Kait Ballenger


Though I didn’t listen to music while I was writing Twilight Hunter, I did listen to music before I sat down to write the novel. The following is a playlist of songs I’ve compiled based on music I listened to for inspiration in the first drafts of the book. Each song is paired with a short excerpt/quote from the novel. Enjoy!


1. Carry on My Wayward Son—Kansas

I chose this song simply because it reflects hero and werewolf hunter, Jace McCannon’s, own musical tastes—classic rock—and I think the song in itself is pretty self explanatory for a hero on a journey.


Jace McCannon palmed the Mateba and clicked back the gun’s hammer. The cold grip panels of the modified revolver sat comfortably in his hand. Six silver bullets for a rogue werewolf. Limited shots. But he was feeling lucky.


2. Hungry Like the Wolf—Duran Duran

Despite his hatred for the werewolves he hunts, Jace is part wolf himself. Paired with his heroine, packmaster and werewolf Frankie Amato, I couldn’t help but frequent this song.


You better believe it’s something. But what do you expect me to do, David? Tell the whole damn division their werewolf hunter happens to be so good at his job because he’s a friggin’ half-breed?”


3. She Wolf—Shakira

As the only female packmaster Rochester’s wolf pack has ever had, I wanted heroine Frankie Amato to be strong and fierce, yet feminine. This song helped me get in touch with the she-wolf side of her.


She bared her canines, growling from deep within her throat. The hunter strode closer. Shadows covered his face, and his gun pointed at her head. The silver dagger he’d pulled from his coat flashed in the moonlight. Her heart pounded in fear, knowing the fate she would be subjected to if she didn’t fight fast.

4. Virus of Life—Slipknot

No good novel is complete without a truly evil villain, so when I decided to write several small sections of the book from Robert’s point of view (the sexual sadist murdering and killing women in Rochester), I needed to get into the darker parts of human nature, like Corey Taylor does in this song. Robert’s scenes were disturbing and difficult to write, but ultimately I believe his point of view adds an extreme layer of threat to the novel’s already abounding conflict. One thing is for certain: Robert is a sick and twisted character.


Robert lingered in the shadows of the alley amidst the Dumpsters and the trash left behind by the resident lowlifes. He slipped through the darkness with the subtlety of a skilled predator. When he’d finished carving his latest masterpiece from his worthless slew of whores, he’d stuck around, and not just for his usual grind with his pale-faced pussy.


5. Hey Daddy—Korn

Not only does Jace take issue with his father for passing his wolf bloodline to Jace, but Jace’s father Thomas McCannon was abusive toward both Jace and his mother. Naturally, in adulthood, Jace has a lot of issues with his father, and strives not to be like him. These issues have to be confronted when Jace has to embrace his wolf nature, which he so closely identifies with his father.


Jace stared at the wall. The memories of his father beating his mother until she lay sobbing on the kitchen floor invaded his mind. His father turned his head, directing his anger toward Jace, his eyes glowing gold. “If I knew where he was, I would’ve done it already.” Jace shook his head. This whole situation was so messed up.


6. Alejandro—Lady Gaga

As packmaster, Frankie has been set up for an arranged mating ceremony with an alpha werewolf of her pack since childhood and it’s that ceremony which she’s trying to escape when she first encounters Jace. And what this arranged mate’s name? You guessed it: Alejandro.




Frankie’s words were garbled, as if she were holding back tears. “What do you want from me, Alejandro? I can’t give you what you want. You’re my friend—a very dear friend, despite the fact that you’ve been acting like a complete asshole lately—and you know I love you.” She paused. “But I’m not in love with you.”


7. Speechless—Lady Gaga

Anyone who knows Jace as a character knows that he has his fair share of flaws. I listened to Speechless whenever I worked on this scene, which to me, is the moment that Jace and Frankie move from the infatuation stage of their relationship into true love. Following a large fight they had earlier in the night…


“Holy crap. Jace, are you okay?”

She undid the chain and threw open the door. Jace stumbled through, a nearly empty bottle of Bushmills in his hand. His green eyes were bloodshot with dark bags underneath. He looked as if he’d been up all night.

“I never should have picked you up in that damn alley.” He slurred his words together until they became an unintelligible mumble. He made the shape of a gun with his thumb and forefinger. “Boom. Done for. Would’ve been easy.”

“Jace, are you drunk?”

“But no, I had to be a fucking moron.”

“That’s what you’re being right now.” Anger coursed through her veins.

“And look what happened. Look what happened.” He laughed bitterly and stumbled.

Frankie slipped underneath his arm in a futile attempt to support him. He was easily twice her size, and she groaned beneath his weight. “Okay, buddy. Let’s get you sobered up. Thank God for supernatural metabolism. At least you’ll burn it off quick.” She dragged him into the bathroom and toward the shower.

“And why are you doing this, huh? Because you’re a good fucking person, that’s why.”

Trying to ignore his drunken words, she pushed him into the shower and helped lower him to the floor. “Take off your clothes,” she said.

He did as he was told. He fumbled with his coat and shirt until he managed to remove them.

She threw them onto the floor outside the shower, along with her robe. Then she reached carefully for the faucet, trying not to get her nightie wet. Cold water spewed from the shower head and hit Jace’s half-naked body.

He cursed and wiped the water from his eyes. “I don’t deserve you,” he mumbled.

“What did you say?” Her breath caught. She knew what he’d said, but she couldn’t comprehend it.

He blinked several times as the cold water slapped him in the face. “I said I don’t deserve you.”

Her throat tightened.

“Taking you captive was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made, but I wouldn’t change it even if I could,” he went on. “I never wanted to have feelings for you.” He met her eyes with a look that was half joy, half agony. “But I do.”


8. Lose Yourself—Eminem

Despite being woefully unprepared, Jace has one shot to defeat Robert and he has to make a choice whether to take it, or ultimately lose the woman he now loves.




Shane cleared his throat and leaned in between the two front seats, his face hovering between Jace and David. “We need a plan.”

Jace growled. “I’ll tell you the damn plan. We kill that motherfucker and then carve his eyes out with a dull blade.” Jace’s grip tightened on the steering wheel. “No one touches my woman.”


9. Iris—Goo Goo Dolls



~ Kait Ballenger


14288739Jace had never felt more nervous in his life. His stomach flipped as he clutched Frankie’s hand in his, drawing small circles across her tanned skin with his thumb. He inhaled a deep breath. This was it.

He cleared his throat and prepared for the worst while hoping for the best. “Knowing I caused you pain hurts me more than you can imagine. This is the thing, Frankie. I don’t want to be enemies. I have to have you. I want all of you, every inch of you. If this ends right here and now, I don’t know if I’ll ever be capable of caring for anyone again. I know I’m not perfect, not even close. I’m more flawed than anyone I know. I’m uncontrollable, stubborn, hardheaded and proud. I smoke, I swear, and I drink like a fish. It takes a brave soul to love me. I don’t know how you ever managed it. I sure as hell couldn’t have.”


Released TODAY!


Hunters of the supernatural, the Execution Underground are an elite group tasked with protecting humanity…but what happens when danger collides with desire?

Jace McCannon has one loyalty: the Execution Underground. Despite his mixed blood, his hatred for the werewolves he hunts is legendary. But in his search for a sadistic killer, Jace finds himself face to face with a stunningly seductive packmaster…and longing for a night with his mortal enemy.

Nothing can stop Frankie Amato from defending her kind–or catching the rogue responsible for killing women in her territory. For that, this alpha female needs Jace’s skills more than she wants to admit. But as their investigation exposes evil truths, need burns into a passion that dare not be fulfilled. For to do so will have deadly consequences for them both…