Book Review: Woman in Shadow

Evocative Small-Town Thriller

Woman in Shadow
A novel by Carrie Stuart Parks
List price: $16.99

Carrie Stuart Parks, Artist, Author – Home

The small town of Targhee Falls, Idaho has a problem. A serial arsonist has been taunting the sheriff and someone else is hell-bent on sabotaging the remote guest ranch nestled into the wilderness outside of town. That’s where Darby Graham comes in.

After a leave of absence from law enforcement following a horrific accident that resulted in part of her lower leg being amputated, Darby’s detective skills are put to the test when she is assigned to go undercover and investigate the “oddities” happing at the ranch. The oddities in question range from busted pipes to accidental deaths that seem anything but accidental.

There is more than one criminal at work and Darby must outwit all of them. When a rockslide closes the road to the ranch trapping everyone on the property with a killer, Darby is forced to go for help. Does an amputee have the stamina to survive in the wilderness while being pursued by a killer? The short answer is yes, and the ending will surprise you.

Being an Idahoan herself, the author perfectly captures the feel and imagery of rural Idaho. Woman in Shadow is Christian fiction, but it doesn’t get bogged down in dogma or become overly moralistic. The book is first and foremost a thriller. As for the Christian aspect, it’s merely part of Darby’s character arc and plays well with the soul searching she inevitably undergoes after experiencing trauma and an amputation.

I’m giving this book two thumbs way up!

About the Author:

Carrie Stuart Parks is a multi-Christy, Carol, Golden Scroll, and Inspy award-winning author in addition to numerous other awards. She’s currently penning her tenth novel for HarperCollins Christian/Thomas Nelson. An internationally known forensic artist, she teaches courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals across the US and Canada. Carrie is a popular speaker and presenter and has been the Special Guest at the Writer’s Police Academy, Early Bird Special Presenter along with Frank Peretti at the American Christian Fiction Writers, Keynote at the Oregon Christian Writer’s Conference, as well as presented at ThrillerFest, Daphne Du Maurier’s Kiss of Death, Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference, and numerous other conferences. As a professional fine artist, her paintings hang in a number of corporate and private collections. She has written and illustrated best-selling non-fiction art books for North Light Publishers.

Carrie will be in Moscow, Idaho presenting a workshop at the Palouse Writers Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022 and will be available to sign books at the Books & Brews event that evening. Register for her workshop and see all the festival details here: 2022 Palouse Writers Festival – Palouse Writers Guild

 


Introduction to Book Marketing

A writer’s first priority is to set aside dedicated time to writing books. Their second priority is to sell those books. Since most writers juggle a day job in addition to caring for family and finding time to write, marketing often falls by the wayside. Yet, marketing information is the most common request I get from authors each year.

When authors think about marketing, often times they envision an advertising campaign that will magically draw people to their book. In reality, marketing encompasses much, much more. Marketing is defined as any activity an author undertakes in order to sell books. Consequently, a good marketing strategy begins the moment an author decides to write a book.

Below is a step-by-step guild that walks authors through the various stages of book marketing and includes a downloadable checklist to keep authors on track. Continue reading


Covid-19: Voice of the Dead

As of the writing of this post 968,663 people have died of Covid-19. That’s more people than the entire populations of the states of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Sometime in April, the State of Delaware will be added to that list. That means, nearly everyone in America knows someone who has died of Covid-19.

I personally know 5 people who have died of Covid-19. Among the people I know, the deaths of Don and Sharon Fiscus seem the most mind-boggling. One day he and I were chatting at the Potlatch Community Library while the kids did homework—3 weeks later he was dead. Sharon died the week after that. Continue reading


Rowan Meditation

In ancient Celtic culture, Druids received visions while foraying in dedicated rowan groves. With this guided meditation, into the rowan grove we go, to call out the darkest, scariest aspects of ourselves in order to examine our shadow side.

Rowen Tree

As a tree for all seasons, the rowan is sacred to many Earth religions. White spring-time blooms give way to lush summer foliage, which melts into golden and scarlet displays of autumnal color. In the winter, ruddy berries brighten the bleak landscape and provide a much-needed food source for songbirds. The tiny pentagram found on the base of its berries, gives a quiet nod toward the tree’s strong magical associations. Continue reading


Author Newsletters

Every author needs a newsletter. Newsletters get mixed in with blogs, guest articles, and social media posts . . . all things an author must write when they’re not writing a book. If it sounds painful, it shouldn’t. Why? Well, because newsletters are letters. They’re a special way to share your personal life and build connections with readers.

An author newsletter should contain the kind of updates you’d send a favorite cousin. The email format allows authors to be more personal and candid than they would on Facebook or Twitter. It’s the place to open up, be a little vulnerable, and totally authentic because newsletter subscribers truly care about and support the author as a person.

Develop a loyal readership by showing off your personality, sharing stories from workshops, and occasionally including pictures of pets. Don’t turn your emails into a diary. Just give small insights into your personal life and be sure to include something fun. Once readers understand that your newsletter is a conversation, not an incessant one-way sales pitch, they’ll be more engaged and far more likely to open the email. Continue reading



Lake of Spirits: Payback in a New Novel

I recently completed a book review of Stuart Scott’s novel, Spirit Lake Payback for the December 2021 issue of IDAHO Magazine. The article is more than just a book review. It also contains some juicy tidbits on the history of Spirit Lake, Idaho. Both Scott’s novel and the current edition of IDAHO magazine are available from BookPeople of Moscow.

Purchase your copy directly from IDAHO Magazine:
Buy it now!
OR
Purchase only the article and review here:
Lake of Spirits – IDAHO magazine

Continue reading


Covid-19: Disappointing Death Toll

Imagine waking up tomorrow, only to find that every man, woman, and child had disappeared from Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, or North Dakota. Vacant farmhouses, deserted freeways, and a host of newly abandoned ghost towns paying a silent homage to the missing. Would there be a national uproar? It seems not, but a lot of things about this pandemic have left me befuddled.

While listening to news coverage of the 20th anniversary on the 9/11 attack, I had an epiphany of sorts. Continue reading


The Wheel of the Year

In the Celtic calendar, the New Year starts at Samhain. This ancient framework merges solar and lunar cycles, dividing into just two seasons, summer and winter. The thirteen lunar cycles are purely Celtic, taking their names from the thirteen sacred trees. Holy days derive from the solar cycle, with the principal Celtic festivals occurring at the mid-points between the solstices and equinoxes. These days are considered auspicious as being part of the time between times.

The modern pagan calendar conflates the holy days from both the Celtic and Germanic traditions with the additions of Midsummer and Yule representing the solstices. The Lengthen Efiniht and Harfest Efiniht are the Vernal and Autumnal equinoxes, respectively.

Some of the holy days already have undeniable associations. The most obvious being Lugh/Lughnasad and Belenus/Beltene. Owing to the blending of Celtic and Germanic traditions, the remaining holy days are not so easily assigned. For those of us who prefer venerating Celtic deities, that means that one cannot simply point to archeological evidence and come up with a definitive answer, because no such answer exists for half the sabbats.

After a fair bit of research, reading, and soul searching, I have matched each sabbat with a Celtic deity. These are presented below: Continue reading


Covid-19 Milestones

Today, the United States reached another grim milestone for covid-19 deaths. More people have died of covid-19 than the entire populations of the states of Wyoming, Vermont, and Alaska. If the current trend for daily covid-19 deaths continues, North Dakota will be added to this list before Christmas.

This cartoon was published in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, November 2, 2021.