The Stealing is a story of an independent young women's journey and struggle to escape the control of a domineering father and find life's purpose, meaning, love and happiness. But she is trapped in a dangerous life-and-death triangle between a modern gentlemen hero (Grant Eriksen) and an obsessive, self-interested, supernatural being (Max) interfering in her journey to find an empowered path.
Sarah Vise's life is a literal dead-end street. She lives in isolation on a coastal road to nowhere working endless hours on her father's fishing boat in the shadow of a run-down, gutted lighthouse. Her father, the captain, will not entertain the idea that she may be able to become a boat captain someday.
To find her life's purpose, and to escape her father's control, she longs to go away to college. But when her father forbids her from going away to college, she is forced to face a future without hope and decides to surrender her life to the sea.
But Sarah's destructive, emotional decision is foiled by her neighbor, Grant Eriksen.
Sarah is rescued by her neighbor, Grant, from a storm wave, but that night she is killed by a supernatural being, Max. Then he captures her spirit against her will and traps her in his realm.
Max, with seemingly good intentions, attempts to befriend and mentor her in the image of what she most physically desires in a man. She finds herself attracted to him physically, his magical power, and knowledge, but is repulsed by his behavior.
To free herself from his control, she makes a terrible bargain. He will return her to her life she now desperately desires. She will be free to follow her heart, but only for a while.
But the clock is ticking. Once she fulfills her end of the bargain, he will steal her spirit again. Forever.
The Stealing is a complex, multi-layered speculative Gothic fiction. It is an example of both Female Gothic and American Gothic. It also dangles on the edge of Southern Gothic such as "To Kill a Mockingbird". To unwrap this novel, the author has offered insights here. See blog for other topics.
The Stealing is about an independent young woman’s journey to free herself from her father’s control and social norms set in the 1980s. Because of her father’s gender-role bias, Sarah, the captain’s daughter, is unable to become a boat captain someday but dreams of going away to college. When she realizes her father will never let her leave the misery and isolation of her dead-end coastal road, a fatal decision places her on the path of a sublime gothic storm. While sleeping her spirit is stolen by an obsessive supernatural being. To escape him she makes an impossible bargain and embarks on a dangerous journey to find her love.
Powerful stories stay with us, and I wanted to write a book that was both entertaining and would provide an example of how a heroine found success starting from a place of isolation and despair. Some of the keys the hero discovers along the way are things I learned in business as an entrepreneur. I prefer to tell a story than to give facts and figures and decided it was a better way to connect to the reader. If the story connects to the reader, it then may also inspire them. The story is a fictional journey of a heroine, who makes a grave mistake and has many bad things happen, but she learns from her experience and finally triumphs.
The Stealing’s hero is an intelligent, yet inexperienced and unsupported [by female role models], young woman isolated on a dead-end road surrounded primarily by men. Without the help or support of other women, she struggles to find a place for her independent spirit among men who love and try to save her but also want to possess and control her. The book pulls the reader into the experience and point of view of a young woman navigating the world of male-dominant culture in the 1980s.
The book cover reveals the inner conflict of a young woman trapped in a dangerous love triangle between romantic love, self-love, and the obsessive love of a supernatural being. The sublime gothic storm looms and the cover beautifully hints at the mystery of whether the story is only the overactive imagination or fantasy of an isolated young girl coming-of-age or if she is experiencing something much more real. The cover is traditional gothic without the classic castle or haunted mansion. The powerful supernatural being shown on the cover takes many forms and is not confined by walls. And unlike traditional gothic romance covers in which the heroine runs from the dwelling, escaping this supernatural being is not going to be easy.
Business is the ultimate romantic journey. Ever been trapped in a salaried job and dream of one day starting your own business? A romanticized flurry of ideas takes hold and soon becomes all-consuming. Soon you’re buried in notions of one day becoming financially independent. Think of it—no more dull meetings. And no more boss. It’s Love.
The Stealing is a journey into the sublime gothic storm, and entrepreneurs must face frightening, seemingly impossible, conditions to achieve their business goals. The book begins on a dead-end road and a journey filled with obstacles reveals important keys to unlock the path to success. Although The Stealing is a modern gothic romance, it is also a business book—in disguise.
Growing up is difficult, and the transition to adulthood is both exciting and scary. We wonder what the future holds as we search for our unique life purpose and happiness. The last days of high school are a time of aspiration. It’s also a time that many of life’s decisions
are made with very little experience and only a glimpse of who we really are and who we may become. The Stealing is a coming-of-age story about that very important, small window of time that has the potential to change the course of our lives for the better or worse. Whether
a reader sees the sublime gothic storm coming or is standing in the calm eye of the storm, the journey continues until the storm has passed. We will, or have already, experienced the powerful beauty of being tested and overcoming difficulties in our lives. The connection to the heroine of the story is that there is a long road to happiness, but when it happens the
reader can witness how and the exact moment it happens.
The Stealing is a modern gothic and points out many issues which trouble me, past and present, with how we treat, characterize, and view each other. The heroine begins in a place of misery and despair because of her circumstances—justified or not. The world can be cruel, unjust, and unfair. The heroine is not perfect, and she makes mistakes, but she learns and perseveres. I hope the reader is entertained by The Stealing. If the reader heads into the sublime gothic storm with the heroine, I hope the reader also experiences the feeling of joy,
the book’s reward, which is waiting for them at the end of the journey.