Cheryl at The Book Connection asked me to write about the common thread in Lighting the Dark Side that ties the stories together.
I believe everyone has a darker side to their personality that troubles those who witness it. For most people, it is perhaps anger management some it is pure evil, and for others it is perhaps anger management or jealousy. The key to triumphing over this darkness is to recognise it, and to turn a light against it. This became my book’s title and is the common link that ties the stories together.
Although there is a common theme throughout, Lighting the Dark Side is a collection of six unrelated stories that run the gamut of fiction genres from thriller to romance. They are about human nature and how our darker side can impede our ability to cope with hardships. Each of the characters must face their personal weaknesses. Sometimes they barely overcome their shortcomings; sometimes they demolish them; and often they just make adjustments in themselves to live with them.
I wrote the stories in part to challenge readers to think in new directions, and by the end of the book I hope to have you questioning yourself. Would you resort to vigilantism in situations with no other way out? Would you go above and beyond what is expected to help a desperate child? Could you kill to save a loved one?
The book opens with a novella called “Bent, Not Broken” where we meet Dwayne Johnson, a man plagued with severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. His anxiety and low self-esteem cause him to keep people at a distance. When a mysterious woman is allowed into his world he struggles against old habits of avoidance and increasing anger until he pushes his new love away.
In “Blessing or Curse?” Brad Stewart’s bloated ego strains lifelong friendships after an enormous lottery win. His millionaire lifestyle suddenly becomes a nightmare when his son is kidnapped for ransom. He must reach out to his estranged friends as he calls on them to join him on a desperate quest to regain his child.
Also included is a police procedural called “Prominent Couple Slain.” Jack Staal is disillusioned about his career after it takes a nosedive from big city homicide investigator to small town detective. Desperate to prove himself, he ignores protocol to work a case that is not his to solve when a wealthy man and his wife are found dead.
The book closes with the largest piece, “Surviving the Fall,” a tale about James Goodal, a man
who has always taken the safe and easy path. Years spent avoiding the uncomfortable has left James lonely and facing divorce. This all changes when he takes in a young street girl named Ashley. The pair finds comfort in their unorthodox friendship until her violent world returns, forcing James to fight for her and for his own survival.
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