Broken — (A Wounded Promise)

March 4, 2015



This is Ashavan Doyon, back again to talk about A Wounded Promise.

So I wanted to talk a little about trauma, and Justin’s particular feelings. Specifically, the difficulties he has as a survivor of sexual assault.

This is something Justin talks to Russ about relatively early in the fledgling moments of their relationship in The King’s Mate. It’s also at the root of much of Justin’s fear. We see this almost immediately. Sam’s reaction to Justin fleeing the home he’s been working to build with Russ. Sam says as much: (one more edit… block quote is not showing up, so I put the excerpt in italics instead)

“I haven’t seen you like this in a long time.”

“Since Peter.” Justin closed his eyes. It was hard to see, but Sam noticed. After Peter, Sam had learned to notice a lot of things.

“You need to know, Justin, I’ll always believe you. I don’t care if he’s—”

“It wasn’t that.” Justin looked up, and Sam’s heart splintered again. The steel-blue eyes that were the mirror of Sam’s own seemed to almost drown in the red that surrounded them.

“You cried all night?” Sam asked softly.

Justin’s answer was a shy nod and a look away.

“I mean it. I’ll believe you.”

“I know you will. It wasn’t that. I promise it wasn’t.” Justin pulled at the blankets with his toes. After a moment he let out a very long sigh. “We had a fight.”

Sam nodded. “I guessed. He hit you?” Sam braced himself for a yes.

An ongoing theme in the story is Justin’s struggle not to see himself as broken. I didn’t want the idea of Justin being a survivor to just disappear. He absolutely remains affected by his experience, and it’s the unexpected interaction between those triggers and Russ’s drunken anger that leads to Russ waking up alone at the start of the story. It’s important to me that a character being sexually assaulted isn’t some minor plot point. When I included that detail in The King’s Mate, I knew I had to bring it back to the forefront in the sequel. I hope I’ve done that some justice.

What are your favorite stories that deal with some element of survivorship? Comments for my remaining posts tonight count as entries to win a copy of A Wounded Promise in ebook format.


Forgot that pesky buy link again. You know you want to… just click buy now when you get to the page!

7 Responses to “Broken — (A Wounded Promise)”

  1. Susan says:

    I like the Fall trilogy by Kate Pavelle and several of Chris T. Kat’s books.

  2. ashavandoyon says:

    Susan -

    I think I’ve only read one of Chris T. Kat’s books, but as I recall I liked it. The title escapes me. I’m going to have to look when we’re done.

  3. H.B. says:

    I have quite a few stories I like for the survivalist or in case stories with disease, hope element to it. Here are a few: The Fault in our Stars by John Green, All for the Game series by Nora Sakavic, How to Raise an Honest Rabbit by Amy Lane, Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier and the list just goes on.

  4. ashavandoyon says:

    H.B. I haven’t read any of those! exciting. Always interesting to see what people suggest.

  5. JJ says:

    “How to Raise an Honest Rabbit” and “Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny’s Lair” Amy Lane are two books off the top of my head that dealt with brokenness etc that were memorable to me.

  6. ashavandoyon says:

    I haven’t read those two either! Ack. My reading list keeps getting longer!

  7. H.B. says:

    Book 3-5 in The Granby Knitting series by Amy Lane (How to Raise an Honest Rabbit, Knitter in his Natural Habitat, and Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny’s Lair) were awesome books. Have tissues handy though once Jeremy story gets his claws into you and you see what happens, you’re going to need it.

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