Monday, October 08, 2012

Retreat Guest Blogger Shaunna Gonzales

Shaunna Gonzales
Why should we read Dark Days of Promise?? I've toyed with writing since a teenager but have only written in earnest since 2005. Like most authors, the first attempts were awful but this one was different. In an effort to give Dark Days of Promise an authentic feel I endeavored to include some experiences of veterans I know and could often be found discussing the realities of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in their lives and how it could honestly be shared in this project. On the evening of this books first promotion, a woman approached me, excited to find someone who knew enough that she could have a listening ear. I realized that the scope of PTSD reaches deep into the core of our society and includes infants, children, housewives, the working and unemployed as well as veterans; in short, all of us. In an effort to treat this subject fairly, I altered my writing course from "romance with a twist" to helping our society, sufferers and innocents alike to becoming aware. It is more than those who experience the violence, more than the victims who experience this debilitating disease that are affected. It is their families, the bystander of violent crime and all of us who dare to care for and love them.


Thirty-four year old Vicki Laramie must learn to trust before she can love, but she might die trying.

While Vicki’s children grapple with the death of their father -- a man whom she’s successfully fabricated as loving, a lie her rebellious teenager recognizes -- she must find a way to support her family and find a role model for her boys. She never intends to fall for Staff Sergeant Chase, her best friend’s son, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She’d much rather choose a safer man to love, but her children have a voice in the decision she makes. With two deaths to deal with, a suitor after her money, a rebellious son, and Sergeant Chase’s repeated attacks, she can only hope to survive the danger she faces. If she doesn’t, her children will be left without either parent.


Let's Chat:
Leave me a comment below as I'll be stopping by to chat with readers.


32 comments:

Tammie - Night Owl Reviews said...

Thanks for sharing such a deeply felt subject. It does touch us each differently and touches our society as a whole.

calstephanie said...

Sounds like a great book. PTSD isn't a topic that's covered too often in romances.

Shaunna said...

Tammie,
Touching to the point that I have to take a break from it. But there is another on the back burner with domestic PTSD.

Shaunna said...

calstephanie,
first, I love your blogger handle! I know way too many Stephanies. It is my hope that you'll pick it up and not be able to put it down.

Judy said...

Having grown up with it, when it wasn't recognized for what it is let alone discussed, I'm looking forward to reading your perspective.

Shaunna said...

Judy,
I hope I treated it with the empathy it deserves. I'd love to know what you think. I know it has different effects on each individual.

calstephanie said...

Thanks! :) I'm definately going to put it on my must read list. :)

brandi said...

This looks like a book that is going to be a good read! What made you decide to write a book that not only dealt with a parental loss but also PSTD?

Shaunna said...

The parental loss comes in as a secondary story, mostly one child "acting out".
As to deciding to write about this subject. It snuck up on me. I wanted a sweet romance. I wrote it and it fell miserably flat with me bored to tears. That's when I knew it needed more. I wrote a scene that has changed little since and went, "Wow, what would make him do that?" I had no idea when Kelly took over his role. I just knew I had to learn a lot more. SS Kelly Chase is a veteran. That means I will never get into his head. He won't let me. That is part of who he is. A survivor and very private on so many levels.
I know a gentleman that came home from Vietnam. The only scars he wore/wears are the ones deep in his psyche despite serving as a Green Barret and volunteering for every dangerous mission during his long tour of duty. He had no intentions of coming home, but he did. He met his wife. Set some very strict ground rules and dated her for years. He knew he would marry her and he told her so. But he also told her that he would not endanger her life. They have 13 grown children and I don't know how many grandchildren. He has never hurt them, but he is so very private -- and careful.

brandi said...

What an awesome way to come to a story.

Shaunna said...

You say awesome and I have yet to find an acurate descriptive. I know I loved writing this novel and yet I have to step back, stuff my own demons in a box until I can deal with them and keep writing on a lighter side, like my Talisman Trilogy that I'm curently working on (Time-travel that Isn't a true romance). Until I have the chance to dive into another deep cavern - a young man who loses it all, I'll go on a writing vacation to lighter things. Yeah, that one is going to drain me. But they are stories that need to be told and from the reviews coming in...I do it well. (Oh, I hope that doesn't sound vain.)

Christine Mead said...

Your book sounds really good! I am looking forward to reading it!

Shaunna said...

Christine (and all of you),
I'd love to hear your feedback and your stories dealing with PTSD, whether you or a loved one have it to a greater or lesser degree. I must admit that I draw on your experiences to write belivable situations. If I don't, I am limited to my own imagination of "what ifs?" I find reality much more potent! You are welcome to visit my blog www.shaunnagonzales (dot)com and leave me a detailed comment on an old post if you don't want it visable by other visitors.

debraaparmley said...

Hi Shaunna! *waving*

It's so good to see you here. If I hadn't told you already, I'm looking forward to reading your story. (Way behind on the to be read pile and the to buy pile and probably will be until I get past the book launch and current deadline.)

One of my best friends, a marine who was in some CIA opps that he can't tell me abut has PTSD as well as many physical problems. Getting to know him made me more aware of this issue and how deep reaching it is.

I'm glad you're balancing out the heavier subjects with some lighter ones. We need that balance when these subjects make our hearts heavy.

So on a light note, how much fun are we going to have this week at the online retreat? I'm excited!

Shaunna said...

Debra,
Lots of fun! So throw us a line ---when do you chat live? Are you planning on being at the Hospitality Suite? What evening?
Dish,dish. do tell.
I'll be at the Suite on Wednesday Evening.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I admire your courage, tackling such a difficult and important topic in such a way.

Shaunna said...

Thank you Natalie. It is my hope that those who deal with it or know those who do intimately will feel the same.

Raonaid Luckwell said...

Lucy really knows how to throw an event now doesn't she!

Shaunna said...

She certainly does! This is a learning experience that I plan to carry to other events when asked for suggestions and help.

debraaparmley said...

Gosh, thanks Shaunna!
Tonight I'll be at the Twitter PJ party. :-)

My blog time is Wed 10:00 am Pacific, then I'm hosting a travel trivia game on Wed.night. Come by and play!

I'll be in the hospitality suite Thur. from 6:00 pm Pacific to 7:00, but just for the first hr., then it's off to the local Celtic Pub to celebrate since that's release day!

I'm planning to be at Writerspace Friday chatting.

Linda Henderson said...

This is a very timely subject. I know there are a lot of veterans coming home with this issue.

Shaunna said...

Linda,
And they need a safe forum to discuss. I know most will go through a debriefing, even psycological testing and retesting to help them cope. But what of their loved ones? We need a way to open that line of communication. i really hope this book helps to do so.

Shaunna said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and especially for the comments. Enjoy this awesome week of insider meetings with the authors!

jude urbanski said...

Shaunna, thanks for raising our awareness of a very real condition.

Debby said...

PTSD is tough to handle. I have a child who suffered from that. The incident haunts still some 8 years later.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Carol L. said...

Thanks for writing about a serious problem that affects everyone around closely around the PTSD sufferer. Thanks for the post Shaunna.
Carol L.

Shelly said...

I agree that this is a timely subject....and too often glossed over in romance novels in order to get to the HEA...I am going to check out this book!

Jan Douglas said...

This sounds like the kind of book that grabs the reader's heart and won't let go.

Jen B. said...

I know someone who has had to deal with PTSD. He has struggled with violence and depression. Such a deep topic!

June M. said...

I have been reading more books lately that have characters that suffer from PTSD. Many military stories feature it, but also for women who have been abused in someway.

flchen1 said...

Very intriguing premise, Shaunna--thank you for sharing this story with us readers!

joder said...

Great sounding story! I love a hero with a scarred past. There's something sexy in that bit of vulnerability that makes you want to save them.

gogi1_2 AT yahoo DOT com