Hello everyone!  So I just recently re-read the original Bellwood book, Shadows of Deception.  I wrote this book over the span of many months.  From May 1997 until July of 1998, I toiled and typed over the original story.  So here is a comparison because I was shocked that I actually kept a lot of key points from the first book and interwove them into the new version without even realizing that I had done it. I had not read my original book since I was in high school.

In Shadows, the narrator is Lillian Bellwood, the sister.  She is just 14 years old when the story begins, much like I began the story with Patrick Bellwood being 14 years old.  In Shadows we begin the year in 1955.  In Broken, the year is 1997.  Much like in Broken, in Shadows, the seemingly idyllic family starts to have issues right from the start, with the parents arguing.

So the biggest difference from Shadows to Broken is the children’s ages.  In Shadows, Logan is 16 at the beginning, where in Broken, he has just turned 17.  In Shadows, Lillian is 14, about to turn 15.  The biggest shocker is that Patrick Bellwood is very young in Shadows, being only 12 years old.  In Broken, Patrick is very close in age to Lillian, being 14 years old in 1997.

The most striking thing I noticed was how wacky I made Logan Bellwood.  If you hated him in Broken, at first, you would have absolutely despised him throughout the entire book in Shadows.  He wasn’t a very pleasant character and didn’t appear to have any redeeming qualities in the original story.  I didn’t want that for Broken, so I gave him his flaws, which can be understandable as he is a teenager and sometimes that can be a factor, but he does have some redeeming qualities.

Lillian Bellwood, where do I begin to describe thou?  From the get go, her prose is over dramatic and full of angst.  Of course, she is a 14 year old girl but I didn’t really feel any empathy for her while reading Shadows.  If anything, she reminded me more and more of the stepmother as I read through to the end of the book.  She became cruel, vindictive and twisted.  In Broken, Lillian Bellwood becomes a driving force, standing up against the stepmother and eventually leading to Diana’s demise.

Patrick Bellwood, how do I regard thee?  Poor, poor Patrick.  Even in Shadows, the youngest Bellwood child was weak and prone to being bullied by the other boys in school and by his older brother, Logan.  Of all the characters of the Shadows version, I actually liked Patrick more than anyone.  I think this is why I chose to narrate through him when I began to formulate the new draft for the year 1997.  Patrick Bellwood, for all his weakness, is actually very intriguing.  He watches from the shadows and is observant, much like the modern version of his character.

Darcy/Diana Mason.  Diana’s name in Shadows was originally Darcy.  I decided to change the name to something that was stronger sounding.  When I hear the name Diana, I think of the ancient goddess of lore; however, both Shadows Diana and Broken Diana are evil and cruel.  I think the Shadows version of Diana takes the cake.  She could give Joan Collins a run for her money on cruelty.  1997 Diana is the tamer version, yet still cruel enough version, of the stepmother.

Devin Bellwood, the father that everyone loves to hate.  Devin is horridly bipolar in Shadows but follows much the same path that he takes in Broken.  After the death of his wife, Nancy, his personality undergoes a change and soon he marries Diana without pause.  When his children try to come to him with stories of abuse or wrongdoing he ignores them, swatting them away like they are annoying flies.  The biggest difference from Shadows to Broken is how Devin dies.  In Shadows, he is slowly poisoned to death by Darcy (Diana).

Nancy Bellwood, the mother that everyone seems to love.  Poor Nancy Bellwood.  In Shadows, Nancy’s personality reeks of the privileged life that she once had.  In the original book, Nancy is spoiled and doesn’t seem very invested in her children.  She eventually begins to go insane from mental illness and plummets to her death from the 3rd floor of the house while her children watch in Shadows.  Fortunately, 1997 Nancy is much sweeter and seems to have forgotten she is from a rich family altogether.  Though we didn’t get to know her well before she tragically passes, from what you can see, she deeply cares about her children and is bitter towards her husband, Devin, over supposed rumors about town.

Some things remained the same from Shadows to Broken.  But some things didn’t quite make the cut from Shadows.  In the original book, Lillian’s boyfriend’s name is Tucker.  Nope.  Changed that to Jake.  In Shadows, the character that most resembled Renee’s character was named Susan. The character that most resembled Darlene was named Jessica.  In the original story, Lillian and Logan develop an inappropriate relationship which is highly disturbing.  I spun this around to something completely different yet still highly taboo for modern times.  In Shadows, Lillian becomes pregnant.  This was scraped because I am developing the character of Lillian Bellwood for modern times and modern Lillian would not let herself become pregnant.  Near the end of the Shadows, the house catches on fire and burns to the ground after Darcy (Diana) murders a neighbor with an axe and comes after Lillian and her brothers.  I scraped this as well because the house is as much of a character in Broken as the characters themselves.  I didn’t want to destroy a major character with fire.

At the end of Shadows, we have the children running away to South Carolina to seek out their mother’s mysterious family.  I decided to spin this differently and the end of Broken leads directly into the next book, Tainted.  By Cursed, the third book, we will begin to actually meet Nancy Bellwood’s mysterious family from South Carolina.

There you have it.  A brief comparison of the books and their themes.  I am actually about to re-read the original second book to gain insight on the characters.  In the original second book, I narrate through Lillian, Logan, and Patrick from chapter to chapter.  In Tainted, Patrick is still narrating the story.  I will post a comparison of Tainted Vs Whispers in the Dark after I read.  Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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