Today I’m spotlighting indie author Christie Stratos and her latest book, Anatomy of a Darkened Heart.
A pair of eyes underlined in weary darkness and punctuated with a knowing stare. These are not the normal eyes of a newborn baby. Abigail Delilah is the firstborn of three Whitestone children – and she is the most regretted.
But is it really her fault?
She can’t help that the revelation of Father’s wretched secret coincides with her birth. She can’t help the fear she feels during Mother’s psychological – and physical – assaults. As the shadows grow stronger over her soul and the noose of pain tightens around her neck, Abigail will find out which is stronger: her family’s wicked assumptions about her or her true self.
Take your first step into the Dark Victoriana Collection with Anatomy of a Darkened Heart.
Multi-layered with motifs, symbolism, and psychological depth, this tale of dark Victoriana will appeal to the literary reader and the leisure reader alike, combining key facets of several popular genres. And don’t be afraid to get addicted – the collection continues exploring the intertwining threads that weave together the complex tapestry of the Whitestone legacy.
Cop the Cover
I put the same amount of thought into the cover of Anatomy of a Darkened Heart as I did into the book, which means every single thing on the cover is symbolic. As you read it, you’ll start to see each part of the cover – from the wallpaper to the key to the dress to the staircase and beyond – play a part, and soon afterwards you’ll learn its significance. I worked very closely with my designer at Ebook Launch to make this happen, including sending him a poor drawing of the basic concept. We went back and forth discussing the tiniest details, like Abigail’s hair and the look of the wood on the staircase, so that it would represent the book literally, metaphorically, and historically exactly. I think this added attention makes the book even more enjoyable – you’ll see the cover differently before and after you read the book. But don’t take my word for it! Let me know what you think once you’ve read it!
Anatomy of a Darkened Heart extract:
The Hinsleys. Godparents.
Elizabeth knew what he was thinking. He was thinking they would grant Abigail Delilah plenty of gifts, money, bestow upon her all the things they could not give their own baby. But he was also thinking Mrs. Hinsley could act as a second mother to the child, replace Elizabeth even if only to a small degree. He was thinking Mrs. Hinsley would make Elizabeth into the woman he wanted her to be: her mother.
She would be no such thing.
Elizabeth’s mother was a pious woman, yes, but also hard, cold, so stern that Elizabeth never felt her love. Exactly what she married into. How do these horrible motifs carry through a person’s life? If she had already experienced distance from her parents, should she not experience warmth from her husband? Was that not what was due her?
It seemed not.
Elizabeth wondered… If she was more like Mrs. Hinsley, would Richard change at all? Would he become more considerate, more caring? Elizabeth doubted it. More likely he would remain the same but approve of her more. What does that feel like? She supposed it must feel like a child winning a game of fox and geese – hard won and short-lived. Insignificant in the long run.
No, she would not be her mother’s daughter.
She must take Mrs. Hinsley in, make her think that she was welcome in Elizabeth’s home at all times, that she was part of the Whitestone family now. Now that Richard had already made this enormous decision and informed them behind Elizabeth’s back, she must make Mrs. Hinsley feel like she belonged, bring her in close. That would be the easiest way to eliminate her from the picture.
Richard had changed the wallpaper. It was horrid. Black damask on blinding white. She would have preferred almost anything else. But why would he ask her? It was his house.
It was his house.
It was his house.
It was his baby.
But it was in her hands.
Dark Victoriana Collection:
The Dark Victoriana Collection is not a series but an exploration of the same town in which the Whitestones live. There’s plenty of crossover with events in Anatomy of a Darkened Heart as well as other happenings and new secrets we didn’t get to discover in AoDH. There will be five books total in the collection: the first novel (AoDH) followed by three novelettes and then a final novel. I can’t reveal too much without giving some things way, but I can reveal the titles and release years of the upcoming books.
Locke and Keye (early 2016) “When you make the lock, you own the key”
Love’s Bloom (mid 2016)
Mrs. Dodd’s Doll Shop (late 2016)
Surviving the Whitestones: Ashdon’s Account (2017)
There’s a lot to look forward to!
Christie Stratos is an editor and award-winning writer who holds a degree in English Literature. An avid reader of all genres and world literature, Christie reads everything from bestsellers to classics to indies, and is an audiobook reviewer at AudioBookReviewer.com. She is also a writer of published short stories, poetry, and novels. She dabbles in all genres.
Connect with Christie
Author website: http://christiestratos.com
Editing website: http://proofpositivepro.com
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Christie-Stratos