“Where Shadows Lie” releases TOMORROW! It honestly feels so surreal to think that my second book will be published tomorrow! Oh how I’ve dreamed of this day. 🙂
To celebrate the final day of this book launch countdown, I want to share with you about the more recent events of the publishing process. Namely, receiving a 5-Star Review from Readers’ Favorite, recapping my cover and trailer reveal, returning to my excitement of last week when I received my first proof for WSL, and sharing a few of the technical difficulties my designer and I have had.
Before that, though, I think a never-before-read (publicly, that is) excerpt, and some music would probably be nice!
Behold, three paragraphs of the very first chapter in “Where Shadows Lie”!
* * *
My eyes flew open, and I shot upright. My lungs burned as I tried to catch my breath. Chills coursed through my body. A pool of sweat saturated my bed; the sheets choked me. My heart hammered against my ribs. I stood, placed my trembling hand along the cool pane of the window, and slid it open. I stared into the city lights, wishing I could forget these nightmares. Forget my dark past. Would they ever stop haunting me?
As the warm night breeze caressed my face, my mind suffocated in turmoil. I leaned over the windowsill, gazing at the part of town I used to call home. It was the darkest part of the city, as if it was smothered in coal. A bitter taste filled my mouth as the terror of my nightmare tingled my memory. I thought I was past this. I had changed. I served time for my crimes and was doing my best to live a new life. What more could I do?
Yet, my past life of hurt, anger, pride, and rebellion wouldn’t let go. No matter how far I tried to distance myself, it hung onto me, like shackles. Resolve began to settle in my mind. I straightened my back and narrowed my eyes at the city in disgust. I would not let it beat me. I had changed; I would continue to change, and I would not go back to that life—no matter how long my memories tortured me. I was not that man any longer, and I would not succumb to it.
* * *
I have to admit, there are two songs that always make me think of “Where Shadows Lie.” The first could even be an anthem for Shawn’s personal story. The song is “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. I know, I know, there’s a lot of controversy surrounding Michael Jackson. Still, “Beat It” tells a story of gang life. This song always takes me back to Shawn’s story.
The second song just makes me think of Shawn and Virginia and trying to get past the problems life throws at them. It’s none other than Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer.” I love this song!
Now, moving onto the more recent events of my publishing process. Back in the end of March, Readers’ Favorite gave “Where Shadows Lie” a 5-Star Review, which I have to say is the most amazing highlight of my journey with WSL so far. Due to some of my proofreaders’ reactions to the book, I was incredibly nervous to send it to Readers’ Favorite. Just the thought of a complete stranger reading and reviewing this book that had given me so many problems…well, it pretty much terrified me. Still, I knew that if I received a negative review, they wouldn’t post it and I would make necessary changes before publishing it. On the other hand, there was always the possibility of getting a positive review.
Let me just say that when I received the email about my review, I experienced a variety of emotions. Shock. Immense joy. Tears (yes, tears). Overwhelming happiness. I just couldn’t believe it. I happened to get the email while my grandparents were visiting us, and when I finished reading the review, I was completely giddy. I ran into the kitchen with my laptop to read the review to my mom and grandma, and they were both ecstatic as well. That night, my whole family partook in my happiness by celebrating with sparkling cider. I pretty much still can’t believe my book received such a review. It amazes me anew every time I read it, and I can’t stop praising the Lord for giving me this blessing. Here is a quote from the review, which appears on the back cover of my book:
“Where Shadows Lie has action and excitement on every page and there is never a dull moment. …This is a five star plus book that everyone can enjoy.” -Trudi LoPetro, for Readers’ Favorite
—The most recent and totally surreal point in the publishing process has been receiving my physical proofs. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of awe when I was able to hold my story in my hands as a printed and bound book. There’s just nothing like it. Though the first proof was absolutely gorgeous, the cover still printed up too dark around the title, regardless of my designer’s extra lightening.
However, after even more lightening, the second proof arrived and it is PERFECT.
—All in all, this process has seemed super long (even though it was half the time of start to finish for my first book), and was definitely very hard. Getting this book from inception to publication has been possibly the biggest and most rewarding challenge I have ever taken on. Yet, I wouldn’t change a moment of it. 🙂 All the encouragement and support from friends and fans has completely blown me away. If it wasn’t for all my readers, I don’t know where I’d be. Aside from Christ, all of you have been my lifeline in the process. Your constant motivation and support is what kept me going on several occasions! Thank you, my lovely readers, and I hope you enjoy the story.
I’ll end this book launch celebration with an image I found on Pinterest. From the moment it appeared in my feed, I knew it just screamed, “Where Shadows Lie.” It seems so sad, so deep, so intense. I absolutely adore it, and I hope you do too.
Come back tomorrow for the actual release post! Yay!!