Shadowed Lights is the official title of the next Ella M. Kaye novel. As of November 29th, the full first draft is complete with 67,840 words (145 paperback pages).
Of course it needs rewriting, filling out, shifting a few scenes around and such, but the story is there, the characters are real and fully fleshed, and the setting is so active in my mind (and the story) that I’m nearly surprised when I look out the window and find where I truly am.
My debut novel, Pier Lights, was called “a visual kind of story” and this one is no different. Set in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey a few months after being by Superstorm Sandy, imagery is a big part of the story. The beauty of the Jersey Coast has been shadowed by destruction, mirroring Delaney’s destructive shadow over her own life. Delaney Griffin is a Jersey Seabird with heavy wings who longs to soar.
Sometimes it takes an outsider to step in and see the bare glowing light emanating from within the rubble and pull it out.
Eli was the man for the job. A hard-working construction expert from Indiana with plenty of experience in rebuilding, Elijah Forrester steps up to the task. He only means to help with the Jersey rebuilding and see a few undamaged sights, but the sand shifts under his feet swift and strong and puts him on a path he couldn’t have expected.
Maybe I shouldn’t share excerpts from the first draft, but I’ve never been one to be held down by someone else’s shoulds and shouldn’ts. The following excerpt is the beginning as it stands right now; it’s what came out when I sat down to write this story. Remember, it is a first draft and may change in editing, so do me a small favor and send your friends here to read if you’d like, but do not quote.
More to come as I work out the rewrites. I don’t at all mind sharing my process with readers. Have questions? Ask away! As long as it won’t give spoilers, I’m glad to answer.
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Eli felt his shoes sink into the damp sand as he stared out at the abandoned flooded house swept into Barnegat Bay several months ago. He should have gone out with the crew, his crew. Instead, he studied the structure from the shore. A beautiful home, former home, with an enclosed porch. One he could imagine living in, if it was farther from the water. At least far enough it would never get swept up and taken into gaping, consuming, drowning level water.
He knew, and had been told often, that you could also drown in only a tablespoon of water, but thought was so ridiculous, he brushed it off easily. As long as his feet touched something firm and his head was in the air where he could breathe, he was fine with water. He could wander the shoreline up to his waist, even up to his shoulders. But he didn’t swim. His parents had tried. Panic always ensued when his feet lifted off the bottom of the pool or lake or pond. It was impossible to swim that way.
Dread had knotted his stomach when his Indiana crew decided to go to the east coast to help with cleanup. Work was slow in his area. The idea of helping with cleanup sounded right. But ... the ocean.
Eli had never in his life been to the ocean and he hadn’t wanted to come, although he wanted to help. He wanted to work. He always wanted to work. Even when he was no more than ten years old, his greatest pleasure had been going to work with his father, helping to stir mortar and learning to apply it neatly and carefully. The praise he got for a job well done, the only time his father said much of anything, stirred his blood. Construction was in his blood. It was his life.
This... A shudder consumed him as he stared out at the vast blue green brown of Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. This was a whole hell of a lot of water. Unpredictable water. Life taking water.
An irony, he knew, even as he thought it. Water was the ultimate survival need. But like anything, too much of a good thing was still ... deadly dangerous.
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Interested in Shadowed Lights? How about checking out Pier Lights in the meantime? It is adult fiction recommended for 18+, available at most major ebook retailers for $2.99. Or get it directly from Smashwords.com for only $1.99 with coupon code EL89S in any format you choose.