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HOME >> Product 0504 >> Dancing In The Dark>>

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Dancing In The Dark

Shirley C. Whitman

Emma Morgan’s husband dies suddenly, and she stumbles on evidence he siphoned off large amounts of their personal savings to an intimidating stranger. Gone are her stable marriage, her secure future, and the comfortable life in suburbia she’s always taken for granted. She must now find her way through a labyrinth of terrifying challenges, or cower behind the wall of her deepest insecurities forever.


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Complications increase when she is swept off her feet by a charismatic widower who is carrying secrets of his own; secrets that threaten to destroy her world all over again. Simultaneously, her dearest friend becomes ill, stretching her emotional resources to the breaking point.

Emma is forced to examine the past in order to determine why, throughout life, fear has dictated her choices. Insight begins to empower her. Compelled to uncover the truth of her late husband’s mysterious double life, she goes in search of the ghost in the Morgan’s family closet. Never could she have predicted the ghost would come back to life and knock her off her feet.

As she begins to reinvent her life according to her own design, she believes her tribulations are finally behind her. Then disaster strikes again, and she must admit one final truth she’s been denying—the passport to lasting happiness is close at hand, although it may be too late to reach out and claim it.





89737 Words





Cover Art:

T.L. Davison


Terrie Lynn Balmer


Shirley C. Whitman

ISBN Number:


Available Formats:

PDF; Microsoft Reader(LIT); Palm (PDB); Nook, Iphone, Ipad, Android (EPUB); Older Kindle (MOBI); Newer Kindle (AZW3);

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$9.99 Paperback Buy Link




“WHAT MAKES YOU think you can pull the wool over ole Rosie’s eyes after all these years?” Emma Morgan’s nearest and dearest friend, Rosemarie Harrington, asked in her blunt but kindly way. “I can read you like a book, kiddo, and I know you’re keeping something from me. I feel it in my bones.”

Emma shrugged, trying to appear casual. “I’m just tired, Rosie,” she said, with a sigh. Rosie was onto her and she knew it.

“And I’m Queen Elizabeth of England,” Rosie retorted, raising her eyebrows.

The two old friends were sitting in the Harringtons’ cluttered kitchen, late spring sunshine streaming through open windows. Emma saw carefree finches fluttering around the bird feeder outside, showing off their brilliant summer colours. How could the world be continuing on as it always had, while inside she was weighted down with a secret too devastating to share?

Never before had she kept anything from Rosie. This was a first. They’d been friends for years, ever since the Harringtons had moved across the street from the Morgans in the rural Nova Scotia subdivision Emma’s contractor husband, Bill, had built early in his career. They’d had an instant rapport, largely because they were both into gardening. Together, they had gradually created spectacular flower plots that drew fans from all around the county of Yarmouth where they lived; people who just wanted to drive along Hannah Drive and admire the view.

Another thing they had in common was workaholic husbands. Until Bill Morgan’s sudden death a few months back, his lucrative contracting business had kept him going like a bat out of hell from dawn till dusk. Richard Harrington was a surgeon at the local hospital and ‘overtime’ was his second name. Warmed-over dinners and partners too weary for conversation were the norm in both women’s lives.

Their companionship had been forged on grubby knees with their hands buried deep in garden soil. Through the years, as they worked side by side, they’d hashed over not only their personal lives, but the state of the world, and anything else that came to mind. Nothing much had been off limits. Emma knew, for instance, that Richard was a gentle, patient lover, and Rosie knew Bill was not. Rosie knew Emma was not as close to her adult daughter, Hannah, as she’d like, and Emma commiserated with Rosie’s grief over her childlessness. They’d shared a lot of laughter and a lot of tears.

Rosie sighed and pushed back her chair. Emma’s eyes followed her as she clumped about the kitchen decked out in baggy sweats and T-shirt, a baseball cap crammed on her narrow head—her habitual gardening costume. Thin to the point of scrawniness, her salt and pepper hair was cropped short and she never wore make-up. She was one of the most congenial and unpretentious people Emma had ever known.

“What’s with the weight loss and the dark circles under the eyes?” Rosie prodded, sitting back down and taking up the subject where she’d left off. She placed a steaming earthenware mug in front of Emma and pushed a plate of homemade cookies her way. “Damn it! I wish Richard and I weren’t going on this month-long vacation to England tomorrow. I really hate to leave you right now, kiddo. You worry me.”

Emma took a sip of rich, dark coffee, squirming inwardly beneath Rosie’s sharp scrutiny. Bill’s untimely death three months ago had been like a bombshell exploding out of the blue and she was still reeling from the aftershock. He had been well-known as a contractor and businessman, and everyone in the area had come forward to share her grief.

Not a single soul, however, knew about the second bombshell; the revelation which came to light a few weeks after the funeral. She intended to keep it that way. There were certain things that just couldn’t be shared, even with your closest friends.

There were footsteps on the patio and Richard opened the French doors. Rosie’s mouth dropped open in surprise. “What on earth brings you home in the middle of the day?” she asked.

Richard grinned and stepped into the kitchen. “Hello to you too,” he replied. “I decided to quit early so I could help you pack for the trip.”

Emma discreetly brushed a tear off her cheek and jumped up to snatch a tissue from the Kleenex box. Richard’s penetrating grey eyes followed her—those eyes that always seemed to see too much. “You’ve lost weight, Emma,” he commented, leaning against the kitchen counter. “You’ve got to start looking after yourself better.”

She groaned inwardly and bit her lip to keep from saying something she’d later regret. She loved the Harringtons dearly, but right now their concern was suffocating her.

“I think I’ll head for home and let you two get on with your packing,” she said, trying to hide her frustration. Rosie followed her to the door, and slung an arm comfortingly around her shoulder.

“Sorry for being a pain in the ass,” she said sheepishly. “You’re important to us.”

“I know. You’re important to me too but I just need a little space right now,” Emma said, forcing a smile.

“Okay.” Rosie stepped back, holding up her hands. “You’re stronger than you think, you know. Things are going to get better; you’ll see. When Rich and I get back from England next month, we’ll dig up that new garden plot we’ve been designing. It will do us both good to get our hands in the dirt.” She turned and went back in the house.

* * * * *

TOGETHER, RICHARD AND Rosie watched Emma walk slowly along the walkway. “I’m worried about her, Rich. She’s not herself,” Rosie said.

“Well, of course she’s not. She just lost her husband a few months ago. What do you expect?”

“It’s more than that. I know her almost as well as I know you and I tell you, there’s something troubling her that she’s not telling us about.”

“Like what?” Richard put an arm around her and rubbed her shoulder.

Rosie shrugged. “Wish I knew.”

“Could it be financial problems? They’ve never wanted for anything as far as I can tell. That was one thing Bill did right. He might have been an insensitive so-and-so and a womanizer, but—”

“I know you didn’t like him but that’s a bit harsh,” Rosie interrupted, butting him with her bony hip. She sighed. “I don’t think Emma’s ever really figured out who she is. At one time, she wanted to be an artist . . .”

“Maybe she just needs more time,” Richard said.




READER Review for “Dancing In The Dark”

Holly Kritsch

I was lucky enough to read “Dancing in the Dark“ while Shirley was in the process of writing it and I have to say I waited anxiously for each instalment. For me the sign of a good book is when you forget that you are reading a story and escape into the plot. I laughed and cried and got mad when bad things happened. This is a novel I am definitely recommending to my friends and anyone else who will listen to me.

Reader Review

Just finished reading "Dancing in the Dark" ! Wonderful book! I laughed out loud and cried real tears! This book has everything you want in a spellbinding story. Including a satisfying ending. Many Congratulations Shirley C Whitman!!

Dorothy Techentin

"One day Emma Morgan is living an ordinary, uneventful life. The next, she finds herself alone, facing grief, loss, betrayal, and threats from an unknown source. She dreams that she is dancing in the dark on the edge of a cliff—will she have the courage to rescue herself, or will she fall into the abyss?"

Take a wonderful and insight trip of self rediscovery with Emma Morgan as she recovers from the sudden death of her husband, which has left her left her with a secret that she cannot share even with her best friends, Richard and Rosie Harrington who are also her neighbours. They share a lot with one another, and have always been there for one another.

Emma had been an aspiring young artist with great promise. However, she had been forced to put her dreams on hold when she married Bill Morgan; a brash, Type A personality in whose shadow she lived while raising their young daughter. Bill was a successful building contractor who provided his wife and daughter with the best of everything in life from a materialistic standpoint.

"Emma is forced to examine the past in order to determine why, throughout life, fear has dictated her choices. Insight begins to empower her. Compelled to uncover the truth of her late husband’s mysterious double life, she goes in search of the ghost in the Morgan’s family closet. Never could she have predicted the ghost would come back to life and knock her off her feet."

As Emma begins to emerge from "the emotional" fog in which she had been for the duration of her marriage, she finds love again with Jack McGuire, but complications arise, as Jack has a secret of his own....

While she continues to rebuild her life, disaster strikes once again, and Emma is forced to face a truth she has been denying herself all along: The key to her lasting happiness has been there right in front her all along, but would she, and can she reach out an grab it once and for all?

Dancing In The Dark is a wonderful and insightful debut novel from Ms. Whitman, which I found myself unable to put down once I started reading it.

T.L. Davison….Author, Love’s Legacy

A Reader Review

I just read Dancing in the Dark By Shirley Whitman ,What a great story from the start to finish .I couldn't put it Down .Great Novel

Anne Bonenfant


Reviewer : Leanne Schneider

Source: Good Reads

I just finished reading the lovely and engrossing debut novel “Dancing in the Dark” by local author Shirley C. Whitman. I was sent a preview copy to read and I believe the print copy will be available next month from Club Lighthouse Publishing.

The story is set here in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and perfectly captures our beautiful seaside town and all of its’ charms.

It is a very fast paced story and once I started, I could not put it down. The characters draw you in with their authentic dialogue and life events ... both the beautiful and the tragic. There are mysteries that unfold with every character, and you’re never quite sure how everything is going to turn out until the very last page. Whenever I thought I had part of it figured out, it would go off in a completely different direction.

I also enjoyed the fact that it took place in a local setting, where I could easily imagine the events taking place. And being an avid gardener and bird watcher myself, I loved that these were the main pastimes and passions of Emma and Rosie. The descriptions of their gardens and homes, made me feel as if I were their neighbour, sitting on my front porch drinking tea, watching their lives unfold. However, even though it has a local setting and is written by a local author, I believe the book itself will have a broad appeal. It will definitely be of interest to those who have visited Yarmouth or to those who were born here and have moved away. But it will also resonate with a wide variety of readers because the themes are universal... love, loss, family, nature and the ability to start over, no matter what kind of losing hand you are dealt.

This book is the first of a trilogy. I cannot wait for the next two installments. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

Dancing In The Dark – Reader Review.

Dancing in the Dark is the first of a three book series authored by Shirley C. Whitman in the Mainstream/Women’s Fiction genre, published by Club Lighthouse Publishing, in 2020. This is the first book from this new author that I have had the pleasure to read and if this story is an indication, Ms. Whitman has a successful writing career ahead of her.

In this story, Emma Morgan is forced to deal with the repercussions that follow the shocking endings of not one but two loving relationships. Gone is her stable marriage and when she has finally come to grips with life again disaster takes the life of another loved one. Emma must face her own insecurities and overcome the consequences of lost partners. Once she moves forward with some too long abandoned lifestyle changes she begins to accept that true love and happiness are much closer than she ever expected.

Set in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Ms. Whitman has created this story as an emotional compelling read. This is a book which deserves to be a best seller.

D.C. Clark

March 1, 2020

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