Aural Pleasures, Exclusive Excerpt

Aural Pleasures: Suzanne van Rooyen’s SCARDUST

Scardust Suzanne van Rooyen

As a musician, music is an extremely important part of my writing process. I couldn’t sit down to write without the appropriate soundtrack. While writing Scardust, I listened to a lot of music that I felt evoked the barren and unforgiving landscape of thirsty Panhandle Texas. Albums by the bands Explosions in the Sky, This Will Destroy You, and If These Trees Could Talk played on repeat while I was drafting this book. If you would like to listen to these artists and more, you can access my Scardust playlist below. Even better if you choose to listen to this playlist while reading Scardust 😉


Later, when it came time to edit, I started creating separate playlists for the main characters and even for individual scenes, finding the exact tracks I needed to perfectly capture the mood and emotion I was trying to create in words. It was around this time that I let Raleigh and Crow choose their own songs for each other, and I put together a playlist that encapsulated their relationship. You can find that playlist below.

I hope you enjoyed listening to the music behind Scardust and that these songs provide a little insight into the story.


Full lips and green eyes, a cluster of freckles on his left temple that spill over his nose and dimpled chin. He drags a hand through his hair, and I’m jealous of his fingers. My pulse ratchets up a gear when he catches me staring.

“What do you remember?” I lower my gaze and my hands clench into instinctual fists. Aside from the occasional rig, we’re alone out here. Inhale. He’s unarmed and the chances of him getting the drop on me are next to nothing. Exhale. All banged up like that he’s in no state to fight. Inhale. And this time I would fight back. Exhale.

“Not much. I woke up in the motel down the road. Do you know it?” He pushes Bear away. Without all the blood on his face, the bruises don’t look half bad. He heals fast.

“Yeah.” My gaze returns to his freckles, and I swallow hard. “That’s my place.”

“Yours?” He squints up at me through his purple fringe.

“My sister’s. We found you in the desert last night and took you back to the motel.”

“You found me?” Doesn’t sound like he believes me.

“All beat up. I think you…” I suck in a breath, wondering how crazy he’ll think I am for telling him about the meteor.

“What?” He flicks hair off his face and fixes me with an intense stare.

“There was a meteor, and then suddenly there you were, naked on the ground.”

“You think I hitched a ride here from outer space?” His smile is lopsided, and I answer it with a shrug.

“My sister patched you up.”

“Ah-huh.” His smile evaporates. “Does she work at the gas station?”

“Sometimes. Why?”

“Just wondering.” His tongue darts between his lips, lapping at a bead of blood oozing from the sun-dried corner of his mouth. For a moment I forget to breathe.


Suzanne van Rooyen is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Sweden and is busy making friends with the ghosts of her Viking ancestors. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) wall climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.

Suzanne can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and SuzannevanRooyen.com.

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