Light Among the Shadows follows a woman who is running from her grief and finds work on a secluded property where she meets a man with an equally dark past. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
There’s actually a little story behind my inspiration for this book. Two years ago, I was going through some old poetry and journals I had stored in a box. As I was flipping through a notebook, a piece of paper fell out. On it was a very brief outline of an idea, and the first few paragraphs written down of a woman driving alone in the dark, running from something.
It took me 20 years to find this piece of paper, and I was immediately drawn into discovering who this woman was. It was a story that I would not have been able to pull off at the tender age of 18. Things always come to us when we are ready for them.
Your characters are emotionally stirring and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
All my characters are inherently flawed and wounded, carrying baggage, and hiding behind their walls. I wanted to address what happens when two people come together and learn how to honor the broken pieces inside. There is a beauty that can be found there, a space that opens up inside allowing healing to take root.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I wanted to address the themes of loss, of guilt, the process of grief and how it can destroy a marriage, and how people navigate their disabilities.
How do you live with the kind of pain that rips you apart? How do you communicate the subtitles of emotion with someone who cannot see you? How do you learn to let go of guilt, and give yourself permission to find happiness again?
Grief and loss are such an integral part of the human experience, but how many of us run from it? The moment we can sit with it, that is when the healing begins.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My current WIP is much different than this one. More of a woman’s literary fiction, with a dash of romance thrown in. It is about a woman who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the changes she is forced to make in her life and the journey back to herself. The overlying theme of this heavy subject matter being… it’s not how much time you have that really matters in the end, it’s what you do with that time.
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Lara is grieving the death of her son but feels suffocated by her failing marriage. She constantly tries to run away from confronting her own emotions and is unable to make peace with her loss. She is afraid of facing the harsh reality and questions plague her mind. But when she stops in Montana, she is offered a job by Miriam at the local cafe. Lara impulsively agrees to be a live-in help for Miriam’s brother, Peter, a blind young man who lived on a farm with his three horses and a dog. What they don’t know is how this sudden encounter would drastically change each of their lives, inspiring them to ultimately let go of their past traumas and begin life anew with Hope.
Written in a sensitive and empathetic voice, the story grabs our attention right from the beginning as Lara mindlessly speeds over the freeway towards Montana late one night, desperate to escape the stifling emptiness that grips her soul. Her grief is introduced to us in patches of flashbacks and random anxiety attacks that leave her feeling numb and drained. The trauma of losing her son to a car accident, sits heavily in her heart. The wound is still fresh and the fear of experiencing such agony once again makes her build a wall around herself. But when she meets the roguish young man, Peter, with a tragic backstory of his own, she finally discovers true love and with it, her walls come crashing down.
This book can easily make a reader cry because of the heart wrenching emotions described within it, especially the overwhelming sense of guilt that Lara feels when she is happy with Peter after a long time since losing her son. It makes her question her own right to be happy in the first place. It is wonderful to watch how the characters grow and evolve in the span of the book but the author ties off all the loose ends, creating an ending that’s almost too perfect. However, it is significant to note that the protagonist remains disabled until the very end which ensures that there is no kind of appropriation of the identity of Peter that could compromise his personality. It is also important to note that there is a conscious effort and decision behind the representation of marginal figures in this book.
What remains in our mind after reading this story are the lines quoted from Cohen, that reflects its core theme, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Light Among the Shadows is a heartwarming story about overcoming anguish and letting go of pain, and to re-embrace life with new vigor.
Pages: 274 | ASIN: B09B6HNTC5
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, contemporary romance, ebook, fiction, goodreads, grief, Jennifer Leigh Pezzano, kindle, kobo, Light Among the Shadows, literature, love story, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, story, womens fiction, writer, writing
Jezebel is used to being alone. It might not be ideal, but she has grown accustomed to keeping her thoughts to herself, staying busy when she isn’t working, and distancing herself from others. It’s a life she wouldn’t necessarily choose, but it’s what she knows. And then came August. An innocent meeting on the beach leads to what Jezebel believes is the opportunity to work for a wealthy local. When she can’t help but be mesmerized by the very thought of his attention, she quickly begins to realize there is much more to August than meets the eye and much more to the relationship he desires.
Awakening, by Jennifer Leigh Pezzano, is a supernatural romance novel for the ages. Jezebel, the book’s main character is the perfect mix of an unlikely heroine lacking a certain amount of self-confidence and a woman ready to take on the world. Her encounter with the mysterious but incredibly desirable August is one that takes even the reader by surprise.
From the first chapter, Pezzano’s writing is striking and flows beautifully across the page. Whether it’s her main character’s inner voice or the narrative that fills the space between the unique encounters between Pezzano and August, her words are simply breathtaking. The more intimate moments between the two characters are touching without being overtly sexual and explicit.
There is a profound sadness to August’s story, and I loved the bits of history Pezzano includes in her work. These elements of reality only serve to deepen the reader’s involvement in the plot. Pezzano knows how to engage readers, pull them into her characters’ dilemmas, and feed them just enough reality to make them question whether her story is born of real events–she is just that good–she makes the reader feel like a meeting De Sanguine might be a distinct possibility.
I encourage any fan of vampire romances to give Pezzano’s work a try. It does not fit the mold. It does, however, offer readers a new and fresh take on an old genre. I was thoroughly impressed with the depth Pezzano is able to give her characters and the extent to which she is able to take a story set in recent years and make it feel so refined, so detailed, and so stunningly beautiful.
Pages: 344 | ASIN: B08P5SMG3M
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Awakening follows a woman with a tragic past who meets someone who expands her heart and soul and opens a new world to her. What were some sources that informed this novels development?
Well, I have always been fascination by the vampire archetype, but was never fully satisfied with how they were portrayed. I wanted to explore another avenue of possibility with this story, to pull in more elements of spirituality, sexuality, and healing because I believe that these things are all so intrinsically connected to one another. The character of August, and of him “being of sacred blood” in my book, in a way represents the aspects of wholeness held within us. We all have the profound ability to tap into a deeper way of living. To discover something richer and more meaningful in our lives. But we have to let go first… and love is the ultimate letting go.
Jezebel and August have a deep and enthralling emotional connection. What were some ideas you wanted to explore with their relationship?
All of my work dives into the human condition, the darker and more fractured aspects of ourselves, the things we are hiding or running from. But beneath all that lies so much beauty. I wanted to explore all the different layers of rebirth that can occur when two people learn to surrender to one another. Love is the driving force in everything that we do, whether it is romantic, platonic, or familial. It is the glue that binds us together and gives us purpose.
I really enjoyed the various ideas shared in the book, and how intricately it was all woven together. Was the novel planned before writing or did things develop organically?
This novel originally started out as a short story of sorts, but then evolved and grew into something much more. I had no idea where this story was going to go beyond part 1, and it was such an exciting journey for me to go on, one in which I became both the writer and the reader. How I managed to wrap it all up cohesively without plotting is still beyond me. Writing is a lot like alchemy.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next book is very different than this one. I’m a bit of a genre bender, and I enjoy exploring all avenues of narration, but I always keep the central theme of love in place. My current novel “Light Among the Shadows” is more of a contemporary romance about a woman trying to live after the loss of her child, and a blind man trapped in the darkness of his disability.
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Tags: author, Awakening, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, erotica, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, Jennifer Leigh Pezzano, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, nook, novel, poetry, read, reader, reading, romance, story, writer, writing