Shadow of Silence

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Judith Erwin

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A devoted young wife faces an unspeakable dilemma, makes an agonizing choice, and lives with the devastating consequences.



Short Summary

In a small town, east of Atlanta, ANNIE CAMERON and her husband, DAN, an FBI agent, have a seemingly ideal life, lacking only a baby. But when Annie discovers she is pregnant, her world implodes. At the approximate time of conception, Annie was raped by her brother-in-law, sexy, bad boy type, Cole Dalton. She failed to report the assault because of the potential effect on her older sister and other family members. In addition, because she had a crush on Cole in her adolescence, she feared her credibility might be questioned. Speculating the baby is Cole’s, Annie considers abortion. However, at the last minute, she rejects the procedure. Her choice made, she compromises her moral compass by protecting the secret. Plagued with guilt and fear of exposure, Annie’s misery is increased by family gatherings where she must disguise her disgust for the man she despises, cringing in horror at his touch.

After Annie’s sister, Alex Dalton, is killed in an auto accident, Annie becomes a surrogate mother to her youngest niece. When the girl becomes ill and requires a bone marrow transplant, Annie’s son may be the only available match. In an explosive climax, Dan accidentally discovers Annie’s secret. He leaves. Exposed, Annie confronts Cole, offering to have her son tested as a potential donor. To her shock, he not only denies the rape, blaming a misunderstanding, he also informs her that he had a vasectomy years before the alleged incident. A DNA test confirms the child is Dan’s. However, when Annie gives Dan the news, he is cold and fails to respond. The conclusion comes when several weeks after learning he is the boy’s father, Dan comes to recognize the depth of his love for Annie and the impossible circumstances she faced. He returns home and proposes they try to rebuild their family.


A rural Georgia town, Atlanta, and possibly Savannah, NYC, and Paris

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth, Voyage and Return, Emotional dilemma, tragedy with happy ending

Plot - Other Elements

Happy Ending, Twist, Philosophical Questions,Twist,Philosophical Questions

Mature Audience Themes

Sexual Abuse, Language/Profanity

Main Character Details

Name: Annie Cameron

Age: Mid-twenties

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Charming,Complex,Empathetic,Faithful

Additional Character Details

Name: Dan Cameron

Age: Early thirties

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Charming,Confident,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Selfless,Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

Name: Cole Dalton

Age: Late Thirties

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Sexy,Masculine,Unapologetic,Outspoken,Blunt

Additional Character Details

Name: Alex Dalton

Age: Thirties

Gender: Female

Role: sidekick

Key Traits: Charming,Confident,Blunt,Outspoken,Funny,Unapologetic

Development Pitch

Character driven and highly emotional, Shadow of Silence encompasses two social issues and the life-changing impact on the protagonist. Annie Cameron faces an impossible dilemma when she learns she is pregnant after failing to report her sister's husband, Cole Dalton, for acquaintance rape. Emotionally unable to abort the baby and unable to tell her husband for fear of the repercussions, she chooses paternity fraud and then lives with secrecy, guilt, fear, compromise of her moral compass, and the misery of enduring family events in close proximity to the man she despises. The fear Cole will suspect he is the father of her son haunts Annie throughout. When Dan inadvertently discovers what happened and leaves, Annie's world collapses, but in an unexpected twist, she discovers an ironic ending to her story. In a feel-good ending, Dan comes to terms with what happened and returns. Multiple readers of Shadow of Silence have said, "What would I have done?"

About The Author

Judith Erwin is an award winning author of romance, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction with a mystery series in progress. A graduate of the University of Florida, College of Law, Erwin practiced family law for more than two decades. Prior to obtaining her law degree, she worked as a freelance journalist, publishing numerous reviews, profiles, and other articles on dance and theater. THE STUDIO was a Gold Medal Winner in the FAPA President's Book Awards, a Finalist in the Reader's Favorite Book Awards, and an Amazon best seller. SHADOW OF DOUBT was a RPLA Finalist for Romance Novel of the Year.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Female Leaning

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Self

Year Published: 2014

Hard Copy Available



Information not completed