About the Book
Book: The Good Shadows
Author: Carol Alwood
Genre: Young adult romance with a supernatural twist
January 10, 2020
She believed him when he told her some Shadows were good.
When sixteen-year-old Violet Blackstone seeks to belong outside of her Christian community, she opens doors to a dark world she doesn’t understand.
Her parents’ secret separation and conflict at church fuel her desire to find something more. She sneaks out to a party at Chuckanut House and meets Dakota Selby, the mysterious new guy at Bellingham High School who reads her tarot cards and tells her she doesn’t belong. When she discovers his family owns Chuckanut House, she plans to hold her parents’ twenty-fifth-wedding-anniversary party there to reunite them in the beautiful mansion surrounded by forest and ocean—and to spend more time with Dakota to prove she fits into his world.
Violet works her way into Dakota’s life and must face the secrets and Shadows buried deep within Chuckanut House and her own family’s past. Entrenched in darkness, Violet searches for light and love as she battles Shadows threatening to capture her soul.
When her life falls apart, where will she turn?
Winner of the 2016 Orange County Christian Writer’s book proposal contest.
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About the Author
Author Carol Alwood grew up in the green haven of Bellingham, Washington, the setting of The Good Shadows series. Now living in Southern California, she misses the raindrops on maple leaves, so when she isn’t home for a visit she writes stories that take place in her hometown. Carol adores fiction and is the author of the novelette, Ghost of a Girl. She also wrote Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys, a newly released writing-craft book.
More from Carol
Magic isn’t a new topic for Christian fiction.
Many readers of this genre often enjoy spell-filled stories that take place in faraway lands because they know the narrative involves make-believe creatures and battles. But what if by becoming used to magic in stories we have allowed a gentle pathway for magical ideas to trickle into our lives? What if in one sudden moment (in the same way other things have become acceptable overnight) magic, a.k.a. magick, touched our fingertips in the real world, and we felt compelled to wield its power? Could it be that magic is already here? All one has to do is check online for tarot card readings, potion recipes, and steps for casting spells. What if while we scoffed at the thought of magic as something more than the stuff of fantasy our children stumbled upon it? From this logic, The Good Shadows was born.
Violet Blackstone is a sixteen-year-old pastor’s daughter who struggles to feel whole. Her parents hide their secret separation, she feels like she doesn’t fit in at church, and she meets a Wiccan priestess’s son who shows her another way of thinking. Nestled in the shadowy forests of the Pacific Northwest, Violet sets out on a new pathway that leads toward love and magick. Meanwhile, she uncovers disturbing information about her own family’s past. Her friend Owen tries to stop her from heading down this dark path, but she’s drawn in by a boy with forest green eyes and the desire to exercise control over her crumbling life.
What will it take for Violet to realize she has opened doors to a dark world and there are shadows are after her soul?
This award-winning book is available on Amazon in paperback and as an ebook (Kindle Unlimited). The Bible study at the end is ideal for small groups or individuals to enjoy an in-depth study on magick and sorcery. Don’t miss Ghost of a Girl, a novelette in The Good Shadows series, and The Dark Shadows (book two coming out June of 2020).
Carol Alwood is also the author of Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys and the book’s corresponding workbook. Both are available on Amazon. While Carol lives with her husband and two daughters in Southern California, she loves visiting her hometown of Bellingham, Washington, where The Good Shadows takes place. The road to Chuckanut is a real place with stunning views and inviting forests. Check out her website for a virtual hometown tour and to read chapter one of The Good Shadows.
This is not a book that I would normally read, and in most cases I would have stopped reading it early on for reasons that I’ll discuss later. However, I read Carol Alwood’s nonfiction book, “Focused Backstory”, a few months ago and enjoyed it so much that I decided to take a chance on this fiction story. With any author, there is no guarantee that they can write proficiently in more than one genre, or that the reader will necessarily enjoy their different works. Therefore, I went into this venture with some apprehension, but I am so glad that I took advantage of this opportunity!
First off, “The Good Shadows” is a novel about Wicca and magick and how they attract impressionable people under the guise of innocence. The main character is high school student Violet Blackstone, a pastor’s daughter who begins dabbling in the occult as a means of fitting in and seeking acceptance. Because she wears a nose ring and dyes her hair pink, she feels as though she does not truly belong in the Christian community. Her parents have their own significant issues, which contributes to her rebellion and search for love. This is one way in which this book provides valuable insight into some of the problems within the church. We can’t pick and choose those whom we deem worthy because none of us is worthy; it’s by God’s grace alone, demonstrated ultimately in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, that we can enter into a relationship with God.
Given the fact that by its very title it clues the reader in to some of what to expect, there are some very creepy scenes, and I will say that overall I found the story disturbing. Nevertheless, this is a clean read insofar as there is no profanity or sex, and as Alwood points out in her author note, the “good shadows” do not exist. For those who read and believe in the Bible, witchcraft and its related practices are forbidden. At various times throughout the narrative, Violet suddenly recalls a Scripture verse that fits her situation, although often she ignores these promptings. While it is easy to sit back and condemn her for making bad choices, it is far better to understand what led her to that point and to remember that no one is without sin. These are issues that are daily becoming more prevalent, and we need to reach out to the lost with the love of God and the truth of His Word.
Due to its controversial subject material, I would recommend this to mature young adults and adults. At the end of the book, there is a Bible study that explores some aspects of the novel in light of the Bible and offers a six-week guide with questions pertinent to teens today. I love this, especially because I believe that it is so important to have spiritual discernment and to be able to recognize when someone is heading down a dark path. As Owen tells Violet, “It’s never too late to turn things around.”
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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Just the Write Escape, May 10
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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 12
Blogging With Carol, May 13
For the Love of Literature, May 14
Genesis 5020, May 14
Emily Yager, May 15
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 16
Locks, Hooks and Books, May 17
Inklings and notions, May 18
For Him and My Family, May 19
deb’s Book Review, May 20
Pause for Tales, May 21
To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away the grand prize package of a signed paperback copy of The Good Shadows & $10 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.