Happy Tuesday, Reader Friends!
I’ve got the amazing Janyre Tromp on the blog today. She’ll be talking about her latest novel, Shadows in the Mind’s Eye. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with her!
Light Sneaks Through
“We think everything eventually goes back to what we want it be. That everything’ll be happy and familiar, the good winning. But we never want travel beyond the point where everybody’s happy. Life’s everything after, and the question is, what are you going to do with the truth life drops in your lap?”
~Dovie May in Shadows in the Mind’s Eye
As a writer, my job is to find the truth and then write about it in a way that not only teaches but entertains.
But I never thought I’d nearly lose my daughter on the path to learning the truth about life.
Four years ago, I was halfway through writing a story inspired a bit by my grandfather coming back from WWII. The year had already been a little rough—I’d had a major surgery, my husband had spinal surgery, my son was struggling with recurrent pneumonia, and not only had my daughter torn her ACL, she was also dealing with debilitating abdominal pain.
So when I received a call from the school to pick up my daughter, I thought it was just another day, just another call.
But it wasn’t.
It was the start of six months in and out of the hospital, horrific tests, and fear that our twelve-year-old might not make it. I wanted to believe that it couldn’t get worse, but I knew all too well that it could. It’s the part of life that comes after the happy ending, and I had no idea what I could or should do about it.
I dug in and did the only thing I could—deal with one day and fall a few steps forward on the timeline.
But in taking those mincing steps forward, I had the chance to fight for my girl, to show her that her mom would never give up on her. I sat in the horrendous recliner, holding her hand, telling her stories to distract her from the pain that the morphine didn’t touch, teaching her deep breathing to trick her body and mind into not noticing the fear.
While I would never choose to go back, I learned some deep truths. I discovered ways to help deal with anxiety and nightmares and the inevitable PTSD we both experience as a result. And I rolled all that truth into the story I’d started before my girl collapsed at school.
My novel Shadows in the Mind’s Eye is about a soldier who returns from WWII with battle fatigue, and no one knows for sure if he’s seeing criminals in the mountains or if he’s become the real danger to his young family.
But the truth behind the story is how light sneaks through broken places and how you hold on in times of trouble, how you refuse to give in to the shadows and keep moving toward the ending you’ve seen in your mind’s eye. Yes, it’s a story of darkness and suspense and PTSD. But it’s also a story of hope. It’s a story of light breaking through, just like it did for me.
About the Book
“Tromp weaves a complex historical tale incorporating love, suspense, hurt, and healing–all the elements that keep the pages turning.”
–Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Perennials
Charlotte Anne Mattas longs to turn back the clock. Before her husband, Sam, went to serve his country in the war, he was the man everyone could rely on–responsible, intelligent, and loving. But the person who’s come back to their family farm is very different from the protector Annie remembers. Sam’s experience in the Pacific theater has left him broken in ways no one can understand–but that everyone is learning to fear.
Tongues start wagging after Sam nearly kills his own brother. Now when he claims to have seen men on the mountain when no one else has seen them, Annie isn’t the only one questioning his sanity and her safety. If there were criminals haunting the hills, there should be evidence beyond his claims. Is he really seeing what he says, or is his war-tortured mind conjuring ghosts?
Annie desperately wants to believe her husband. But between his irrational choices and his nightmares leaking into the daytime, she’s terrified he’s going mad. Can she trust God to heal Sam’s mental wounds–or will sticking by him mean keeping her marriage at the cost of her own life?
Debut novelist Janyre Tromp delivers a deliciously eerie, Hitchcockian story filled with love and suspense. Readers of psychological thrillers and historical fiction by Jaime Jo Wright and Sarah Sundin will add Tromp to their favorite authors list.
You can purchase a copy of her book here: Shadows in the Mind’s Eye a book by Janyre Tromp
About the Author
Janyre Tromp is a developmental editor by day and writer of historical novels with a healthy dose of lyrical intrigue at night. She’s the author of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye and co-author of both O Little Town and It’s a Wonderful Christmas. And that all happens from her kitchen table when she’s not hanging out with her family, two troublesome cats, and slightly eccentric Shetland Sheepdog.