RETRO READS: Within the Shadows

Hi all!  Welcome to Retro Reads, where I talk about my favorite books that were published at least ten years ago. You can still find most of them online, though sometimes they have been re-released with a different cover and/or title. I will let you know if a book is out of print or otherwise unavailable.

Brandon Massey
Publication year: 2005
Out of print/available used


I have been a longtime Brandon Massey fan, ever since I reviewed his first commercially published book, Dark Corner. I met Brandon in person at Book Expo America in 2005, where I received my autographed copy. He has provided good writing advice over the years (thx, Brandon!), even as he has successfully adapted to the ever-changing publishing landscape.

Within the Shadows is Massey’s third book and the story of Andrew, a successful writer in the Atlanta area who becomes involved with a beautiful woman, Mika. Mika, however, turns out to be a stalker on a whole ‘nother level, aided by seemingly unlimited funds and a Grand Canyon-sized sense of entitlement. While trying to fend off Mika’s increasingly unwanted advances, Andrew also tries to rekindle his relationship with his estranged father, Raymond, which had taken an unexpected nosedive after both were involved in a car accident in rural Georgia. Unbeknownst to Andrew, Raymond was compelled to cause the accident and his secrecy ends up getting a few folks killed…and Andrew may be next.

Massey continues his recurring theme  of strained father/son relations, which is present in most of his books. He also spins on the “sins of the father” trope in Within the Shadows. Massey utilizes the supernatural in a way that taps into that part of us that we as people don’t like to acknowledge: the knee-jerk denial of the otherworld. The strong secondary characters of Eric, Andrew’s best friend and Carmen, Andrew’s not-so-unrequited love, help round out the story. While Mika’s character can be too over-the-top at times, it ends up working within the context of the greater story. Perhaps the best part of the book is realizing Raymond’s part in this whole mess and how it both harms and heals his relationship with Andrew.

Within the Shadows won’t keep you up at night, but it will provide some thrills and chills.

Thanks for stopping by.

NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo: Day 1

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30 

Today’s word count:  1,734

Today’s blog count: 1

Total words written: 1,734

Total blog posts: 1

Hi all!

Today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for 2014. 30 days, 50,000 words (approx. 250 pages). I am also participating in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month): 30 days, one blog post per day. WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

I am working on a suspense novel for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I started writing earlier today, then went to the NaNoLanta (the regional NaNoWriMo group in Atlanta, GA) kickoff event at The Varsity, a famous eatery in Atlanta that is known for its chili (the chili dogs are LIFE-AFFIRMING. Tell a friend!).

Me at the NaNoLanta/NaNoWriMo Kickoff:

We had a blast, and I won a prize for writing the most words in five minutes (718 words):


The panda is the official mascot of NaNoLanta. 🙂

There was also a goodie bag, and cake (custom made and decorated by one of our Municipal Liaisons. That’s her day gig.)! It was my first time eating a vegan chocolate cake. It was pretty good!


Pen, pencil, post-its, index cards, stickers, eraser, glow stick,trivia, and instant coffee!



Vegan chocolate cake, made & decorated by one of our MLs. Tasted pretty good!


Anyway, it was a nice day to start this year’s NaNoWriMo, and it was nice to meet fellow NaNoers in the struggle (as well as multiple-year winners–very inspiring!). Today is in the books, and now I need a nap. 😀

Thanks for stopping by.