Behind the Book: Dancing with the Shadows
“Bad is never bigger than good. It’s a trick, a game of shadows.”
Our minds are the most amazing things. When I started listing everything they can do, it seemed limitless. Creating, solving, imagining. Loving, hoping, believing. Doing, thinking, understanding. With the help of a few limbs, they can even do the hokey-pokey and turn themselves about.
But even the best minds go bad, turning their extensive power on *gulp* us. Oh, it happens to all of us. Don’t try to deny it. Sure, sometimes we blame “that time of the month” but what do you do when it’s the third time and you haven’t turned the calendar page? It’s just a bad day…or week…or *sigh* it’s gotta get better soon, doesn’t it?
In my newest release, Lost in Shadows, I wanted to explore how two very different type of people handle being victims of their own mind. Jeb McCormick is ex-military and living with PTSD. Carolina Walker is a talented reported who was victimized by a stalker and then a second time by her dismissive family. When you enter the game of shadows, it’s like walking down the street a dusk. You get to the end and realize it’s dark without noticing the light fading. Your eyes adjust, you zip your coat a little higher, you adapt and move on. That’s what Jeb and Carolina did. In fact, they didn’t realize they were dancing with the shadows until they met the other.
For Jeb, it was a matter of pride and strength. The men under his command who died in action haunt him. Each face is a painful reminder of failure. If he were just strong enough, the nightmares would stop. If he just pushed himself harder, his mind would calm. He didn’t talk to anyone because there wasn’t anything to talk about. By refusing to acknowledge it, it had no power over him…except it did.
For Carolina, it was a matter of survival. Her stealthy stalker admired her from afar, living little gifts of appreciation and breathy phone calls. She went to her uncle, the sheriff, and her military brother but after cursory consideration, they dismissed her insistence she was being followed. She began to exhibit the patterns of victimology, isolating herself from the outside world, building physical and emotional walls to protect. By hiding from it, it had no power over her…except it did.
I have always been entertained by how people can recognize character traits in others but completely miss those traits in themselves. Example: criticizing other people’s spending habits while attaining triple-platinum-pumpkin-spice-latte status themselves. With this story, I was able to tackle the short comings head on to get Jeb and Carolina to man and woman up, respectively, by holding up a mirror and forcing them to look.
I couldn’t let them off the hook easily though. Really, what would be the fun of that? They had to deal while with their issues while they escape stalkers, fight fires, have car chases, fight thugs, solve the mystery and, oh yeah, fall in love. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Through it all, Jeb learns that being strong doesn’t mean “going it alone” and Carolina learns that hiding from the shadows also means you’re hiding from the light. With the support of the other, they begin to see the game for what it is, a trick of lights that makes the bad look insurmountable. Holding on to the good, they find the happily-ever-after. You don’t have to be perfect to fall in love, you just have to fall perfectly in love.
Live a lot. Love even more. Laugh ‘til you cry. ADV.
About Lost in Shadows:
Private security entrepreneur Jeb McCormick is in over his head with his latest client. Not only is the painfully shy woman he’s meant to be protecting a total knock-out, she’s also his former Army buddy’s sister. Helping her find the reason why anyone would ransack her house is demanding enough, but keeping his hands off her is proving to be the real challenge.
Carolina Walker wants a quiet life, thank you very much. She left intrigue and deception behind in Washington D.C., never expecting it to follow her home to Bowling Green, Kentucky. When events happen that can’t be explained away, help arrives in the form of the very attractive and muscular Jebediah McCormick. But as the tension escalates between Jeb and Carolina, so does the danger facing them…
Each book in the Lost series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Lost novels by author Anita DeVito:
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