When Demons Dance

Book Cover



Cara J. Swanson

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A female Native American police detective, raised in a Catholic orphanage, is forced to confront the demons of her own past when investigating the murder of an unidentified young woman found frozen in a North Dakota winter.



Short Summary

Olivia is woken by a phone call bringing her to the young woman's discovered body; she is immediately faced with her own tormented past, both by the damage done to the young woman's body and Olivia's own aching scars.

After being haunted by the evil following the dead woman, Olivia finally faces down the "demons" of her own past. She is brought face-to-face with the family she believed to have abandoned her and learns she was stolen when her mother was murdered


Grand Forks, North Dakota

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Tragedy,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest

Plot - Other Elements


Mature Audience Themes


Main Character Details

Name: Olivia St. George

Age: 24

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Badass,Complex,Insecure,Unapologetic,Lone Wolf,Outspoken,Empathetic,Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

Name: Matthew Gossett

Age: 35

Gender: Male

Role: Skeptic

Key Traits: Charming,Confident,Honorable,Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

Name: Whitney

Age: 32

Gender: Female

Role: emotional

Key Traits: Blunt,Selfless,Secretive,Empathetic

Additional Character Details

Name: The Demon

Age: Eternal

Gender: Other

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Secretive,Aggressive,Crazy,Desperate,Villainous,Narcisstic,Power Hungry,Sarcastic,Skillful

Development Pitch

In the age of #MeToo and numerous other social movements, it's high time for a strong female character who is allowed to doubt herself and struggle but still prevail. Olivia St. George is truly a character of our time; a woman overcoming her own painful past, a Native American without a tribe, an American lost in expectations, a woman without a family; despite all of this, her inner strength and resolve carries her through. What makes "When Demons Dance" truly a modern story is that there is no knight in shining armor and no white savior. Like real people, although Olivia will have (when she's willing to receive it) help from her friends, ultimately she will have to dig deep and tap her own resolve, her own capabilities, to find the strength she needs. Along the way, both her and the viewer's perception of reality will be tested. Is she really being haunted by an evil spirit or is she losing herself to the terrible truths still awaiting discovery? Are there actual demons set loose in the harsh North Dakota winter, or have all of Olivia's painful secrets become too much for her to bear? Like the best horror and psychological thrillers of our time, "When Demons Dance" will draw the viewer in to a world they never knew existed, shock them with the twists and turns along the way, and leave them eager to rejoin Olivia in her future travels.

About The Author

Cara J. Swanson is an author, educator, and active-duty military officer who has been writing fiction for three decades. She ranges across genres and tends to form her stories around strong-willed women struggling to find their own way despite society's expectations, biases, and stereotypes. She has lived in almost every region of the United States and currently resides in her home state of Colorado with her husband and four-legged children.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34

Target Gender: Female Leaning

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Nighthawk/Raven Publishing

Year Published: 2015

Hard Copy Available