Monday, November 4, 2013

These Sorrows We See

Congratulations to "Jaclyn L", the winner of Tamsen's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.

I’m not going to pretend to know even a tiny percent of the deeper cultural roots of the Indian holiday Diwali, a holiday the Indian community (and I suspect many others) recently celebrated. That said, in recent conversations and research on the topic (which consisted of talking to friends and perusing a few websites so I could at least participate in a rudimentary conversation with the kids about the holiday), I came across one interesting and overriding intent of the holiday – to celebrate the victory of good over evil. And in one of those ‘well, duh,’ moments, it hit me how awesomely appropriate it is that I launched These Sorrows We See, my third romantic suspense novel, on the eve of this auspicious holiday (and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that the holiday also celebrates the start of a new financial year and prosperity  :).

Why on earth would I even be thinking about these two things at the same time, you might ask. Well, because this past weekend my family and I attended more than one Diwali festival. If you aren’t familiar, Diwali, though it has many meanings, is mostly known for being the Indian festival of lights. Different communities within India celebrate different aspects of the holiday - some celebrate the marriage of certain gods, some the victory of a battle, and for some, including my husband’s community, it’s also the start of the New Year.

So back to the basics and why I love that the launch of These Sorrows We See coincided with the Diwali season.

The triumph of good over evil. That is what every romantic suspense novel I have ever read or written ultimately boils down to. In These Sorrows We See Matty and Dash, the main characters, are fighting for this even before they know they are. And even as they fight for it together against an outside force, they also each fight it internally against their own demons - especially Matty with her past that’s filled with violence, poverty, and apathy. And even though she’s a woman who has moved on in life, she’s done so by avoiding the battle rather than confronting it. But meeting Dash and learning more about her half brother, Brad, brings the war that is within to the forefront, leaving her to fight for the good that’s inside her for the first time in her life.

Diwali is about fighting for the good; the good in life, in each other, and in ourselves. And the lights that are lit during the holiday symbolize many things including moving from darkness into light, new hope, and the dispelling of ignorance while awakening compassion. And isn’t that what we all want from our main characters when we read a romance novel – transformation, a new awareness, and a sense that by letting the other person in, something good has won on that day? Well, at least that’s one of the things I love about romance novels.

And because it’s what I love about romance novels, it should come as no surprise that it is what I tend to write about as well. There is, of course, a mystery to solve and real, physical and mental battles to be fought and won, but Matty and Dash, in These Sorrows We See, grow, change, and expand their awareness of themselves because they know that’s the only way they’ll be able to do the same as a couple. They fight themselves, they fight with each other (just a bit), and they fight together against true evil. But in the end, good is victorious over evil. And because that’s what one aspect of real love is, I love that this book was launched during Diwali.


“Trust doesn’t come easily for me, Dash. For a lot of reasons, the biggest one being how and where I was raised,” Matty said. “We might feel some connection to each other, but trust takes time to build, and even more time to believe in.”
For a long, long moment, he just stared at her. Try as she might, she couldn’t read anything in his expression. And then, finally, he spoke.
“Sorry, Matty, that’s bullshit and you know it. I’m not saying that, under normal circumstances, trust doesn’t take time, but I am saying that trust isn’t the issue between us.”
Okay, not exactly what she wanted to hear. “How can you say that when we’ve known each other less than two weeks?”
He placed his forearms on his desk and leaned forward. Very deliberately, he held her gaze, not letting her eyes escape his as he spoke. “Look at me. Do you honestly think trust is the issue? Do you think I’m out to hurt you? Or that I’m going to betray you or lie to you? Look me in the eyes and tell me you think that’s a possibility.”
She searched his dark, dark eyes and knew he was right. She knew, in her heart, that he wouldn’t betray her, not even after so short a time together. He wouldn’t hurt her, not intentionally, and lying wasn’t in his nature with anyone. It was possible that he’d hurt her unintentionally, but that was part of being human and she couldn’t fault him for that. Especially not when she knew, beyond a doubt, that if that ever happened, and it was bound to happen at some point, he would make it right, they would make it right, in whatever way they could.

She felt like she wanted to throw up.
Tamsen will be giving away a digital copy of  These Sorrows We See to one lucky commenter from Nov. 4 or 5.     

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Nov. 5th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. I am not familiar with Diwali but it sounds like an inspiring celebration. The triumph of good over evil is definitely a reason I enjoy romantic suspense so much.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

    1. It's especially great when celebrating with family and friends. We're a little wiped out, but it was worth it! And who can resist a story of good triumphing over's what keeps me up at night.

  2. Thanks for the post as I've not heard of this holiday. It is apt that your launch of a book with the same themes falls on the celebration date. Your book sounds really interesting.

    Jonettaallen77 at yahoo dot com

    1. It was circumstantial this year, but I think I might make it an annual event since I do love the connection!

  3. These Sorrows We See sounds good based on the excerpt. I want to read more about Dash already.

  4. These Sorrows We See sounds good based on the excerpt. I want to read more about Dash already.

    1. I love Dash, he's a very cool guy and a perfect balance to Matty's life. If you pick up the book, I hope you enjoy getting to know him!

  5. This sounds like a great book! Thank you for the giveaway.

  6. Nice excerpt

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  7. Book sounds interesting. I always love the confrontation between good and evil.


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