Today Wednesday Writers Welcomes Award-winning author LINDA WOOD RONDEAU. Linda will be talking about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a condition which the plagues the characters in her book The Other Side of Darkness.
Linda will do an ebook giveaway (via Amazon) if she gets 10 comments. So let your friends know about this chance to win an award-winning book. Take a peek at the book trailer for The Other Side of Darkness.
Linda is going to talk about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, since her book The Other Side of Darkness deals with this issue. Here’s what Linda wants her readers to know about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how it plays into the plot of her book.
As a veteran social worker, I chose to write books that encourage readers, hoping to inspire them to climb back up the hill from whence they fell and claim healing. In my view, this is the work of inspirational fiction.
And this is why I wrote The Other Side of Darkness. It was my eighth book but the first to be published, winning the 2012 Selah Award for debut novel.
Too often, even those of great faith, suppress the emotions that trauma evokes, believing we must be strong. As did my heroine, Sam Knowles, an adult survivor of child abuse. Driven to write the wrongs she endured, she sought a career as a prosecutor in the Special Victims Unit.
Obsessed with assuring villain Harlan Stiles received just punishment, Sam spends three years of her life determined to win a murder conviction. Afterward, her boss sends her on a much-needed vacation.
She becomes stranded in a small Adirondack Town called Haven. How was she to know that her hard fought case would unravel, that Stiles would escape? Vowing revenge against Sam he finds her.
Her case is not the only thing that unravels in Sam’s life. As she confronts her obsession, she must confront the trauma of her childhood abuse and the accident that claimed her father’s life.
While a seeming captive in Haven, Sam meets the mysterious artist, Jonathan Gladstone. He, too, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
These three, hero, heroine, and villain each experienced traumatic events that shaped their lives. The choices each makes in coping with the event, shaped the rest of their lives. Faith makes a difference.
The apostle Paul wrote, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” The first step in finding our way to wholeness after a traumatic event is to understand those threads that threaten to unravel the joy God wants us to experience in Him.
The causes of PTSD are not limited to war. As demonstrated in The Other Side of Darkness, there are many causes for PTSD. Natural disaster, an accident or fire, a terrorist attack, victimization as a result of a crime, child abuse or neglect, abandonment by separation or death.
Most individuals will experience one or more traumatic events within their lifetime. While not every traumatic event will result in eventual PTSD, it is believed those who have diminished coping skills due to: a family history of depression or PTSD, a history of abuse, a history of drug addiction, prolonged stress, or lack of social supports are more susceptible. Some PTSD emerges years later due to the unsuccessful attempt of the victim to suppress the event.
Traumatic events take a toll on the mind and body. Suppression and/or denial of these symptoms may serve to cause long-term psychological as well as physiological damage including gastric or heart disorders, panic attacks, feelings of intense anxiety, global aches and pains, and chronic depression.
It is common for sufferers of PTSD to become socially and emotionally isolated, losing interest in pleasurable activities, and submerged in feelings of hopelessness. Other symptoms may include: a sense of guilt, shame or undue self-blame; substance abuse, acting out behaviors, mistrust, reclusiveness, unexplained fatigue or systematic aches and pains, suicidal ideations.
Here are four things you can do to help you deal with PTSD.
- Think of yourself, not as a victim, but as an overcomer. Realize that you are the sum of your experiences and turn the negative into a positive.
- Reclaim your sense of power in positive ways such as helping others or volunteering your time and energy.
- Avoid isolation and reconnect with your community by joining a group hobby or social group. Start slowly.
- Learn relaxation techniques. Start a journal. Mediate. Seek professional counseling with a minister or psychologist or both.
If you or someone you know is suspected of PTSD, do not hesitate to get help.
Thanks, Linda, for the glimpse into PTSD. Now, here’s a glimpse of Linda’s award-winning book The Other Side of Darkness
The Other Side of Darkness
by Linda Wood Rondeau
Haven: a perfect vacation spot filled with mystery and romance except for a killer bent on revenge.
Manhattan prosecutor Samantha Knowles is stranded in a quirky but intriguing Adirondack town. But she must return to NYC to repair the unraveling case against convicted child killer, Harlan Styles.
Teacher Zack Bordeaux fears he is doomed to a life of mediocrity if he remains in Haven but would be willing to stay if it means a life with Sam.
Landscape artist Jonathan Gladstone feels bound to an estate he both loathes and loves, haunted by the deaths of his wife and son until he falls in love with a spirited attorney and rediscovers his artistic passion.
These three, betrayed and betraying, must find their way from the darkness of broken hope to the light found only in Christ, our surest haven.
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed…and He guided them to their desired haven.
Spaghetti legs, Daddy called them, spindly appendages that kinked when stressed—like now.
Samantha Knowles leaned against the table for support as Bailiff Don Hunter came to the front of the courtroom. “All rise.” Judge Normandy entered, his limp necessitating a much longer plod from his chamber to the bench. Soon, the wait would end—three years of sleepless nights, endless days of preparation, postponements, and courtroom theatrics by defense attorneys. After three interminable years, Justice would now show its face.
As the judge took his bench, the crowd silenced to await his summation. Sam glanced at the defendant’s table where a calm Harlan Styles sat, a wart on the cheek of humanity, an insulated icicle against the rising heat, tried and convicted—the rest up to Normandy’s guillotine.
She fingered her notes, though she didn’t need to see them—the image of Kiley’s tiny, battered body tattooed on Sam’s brain, a brazen scar, indelibly etched on her heart.
Judge Normandy spewed his rhetoric—penal codes entwined with case facts, cold, distanced from the victim, yet succulent to Sam’s ears. In spite of their dry, unflavored essence, she feasted on his words—each pursuant finding heaped upon the other and topped with the last morsel, “The court can find no other just rendering than life imprisonment.”
Victory should taste better, like syrup over pancakes—not this metallic aftertaste.
A woman’s scream silenced the murmurings, and Sam turned with the rest of the throng toward the source. Kiley’s mother, Brenda Smith, had leaned over the rail and grabbed Styles’s sleeve while Don Hunter ordered her to step back.
Brenda was weak—just like Mama was weak. Brenda Smith deserved the same fate as Styles. Too bad stupidity wasn’t a felony.
The DA stood in the back of the courtroom. Without a word, Abe Hilderman, her boss and second chair, abandoned Sam to shake the DA’s hand. A simple, “Good job, Counselor,” would have been nice, even a slap on the back. Nice, but not necessary. Abe often said that Justice was its own reward.
Emboldened, Sam stepped closer as the deputy handcuffed Styles. He saw her, pulled free, put his shackled hands on the prosecutor’s table and leaned into Sam’s face, his cologne lethal… a designer blend—suede, water, and moss—like Daddy’s. Sam fixed her stare into steel-gray eyes, magnets that drew her headlong toward a spinning saw—Styles’s demeanor, a calloused calm…except for his lips… parched, purple–tinged lips that formed his threat. “Keep your light on, Miss Knowles.”
Her spaghetti legs wobbled. Three years of lamp-lit nights had failed to chase away the recurring dreams—dreams Sam kept secreted from everyone, especially Justine, Sam’s best friend. How, then, did Styles know she kept a light on all night?
Want to read more? Go to Amazon to download Linda’s book.
About the Author:
Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel The Other Side of Darkness, LINDA WOOD RONDEAU, writes blended contemporary fiction that speaks to the heart and offers hope to those with damaged lives. After a long career in human services, Linda now resides in Jacksonville, Florida. A Christmas Prayer, (aka A Father’s Prayer) was a finalist for both the 2014 Selah and Carol Awards.
It Really IS a Wonderful Life, inspired by the author’s personal experience, quickly became a Christmas classic. Watch for Fiddler’s Fling and Red Sky Promise, inspirational romances expected to be released later in 2015.
For sci-fi lovers, Rondeau offers a free download of her book, The Fifteenth article, from her website. Feel free to share with friends and family.