Out Now: The Illuminated Heart

Illuminated Final


Yes, that’s right! The Illuminated Heart is officially available as an ebook!

What it’s about:

Dagný’s only brother, Kaj, is dead. He died of illness before his life had really begun, and Dagný blames God for it.

About a week after his death, Kaj comes back as a draugur, a creature intent on the ruin of those it had known in life. With his unholy power, he kills their crops, causes their animals to go insane, and brings them to the brink of starvation. Every single member of Dagný’s village, convinced that her family has brought this curse upon themselves through sin, leaves them alone to die.

Then, one day, a polar bear arrives at their door with a proposition:

“Give me your youngest daughter, and I will make you wealthy.”

The adventure that follows thrusts Dagný into a world where the supernatural intrudes on the natural as a matter of course, where she must act without any assurance of safety, and where she must decide whether to throw away all she’s believed or finally trust in it for the first time.


What Others Have Said:

[The Illuminated Heart] interested me from the start and I love [Thea’s] poetic descriptions. [She’s] explored some really interesting concepts and it had a very fairy tale feel to it which I love.
~Ruth Ellen Parlour

From [Thea’s] descriptive style to the way [she weaves] in the characters (sic) faith and beliefs without demanding the reader to believe the same way or implying that they should – to Dagny’s own struggles and questions in her relationship to God – it creates a huge opportunity for the reader to dig deep and ask questions about his or herself that might not otherwise get contemplated no matter what their religious background (or lack of one…).

[She blends] the fairy tale with draugurs (sic) seamlessly as if the draugur was meant to be a part of the story all along and the original artist somehow overlooked that fact.
~Lori Stalter



Inspirational dark fantasy. Yes, that is now a thing.


Fun facts:

  • I wrote most of the first draft as a part of Camp NaNoWriMo this April.
  • The theme song I picked for the book is Brennensteinn, which is off of the new album by Sigur Rós (a really awesome Icelandic band).
  • The final wordcount for the story comes in at 26,396, which is 6,396 words more than I expected.
  • While writing the book, I researched things about Iceland like the history of Christianity there, their stories about the draugar, Icelandic idioms, what kind of food was available when, the Old Icelandic Calendar, and geography.
  • I also researched the heck out of the Northern Lights, and then happened to see them in the city for the first time while still writing. That was cool.
  • And I listened to this playlist obsessively while writing the first draft.


Closer to home:

Dagný’s story is very important to me, as her experiences and struggles with God in this story strongly parallel some of my own. For a decade, I believed that God had abandoned me at a time when I needed him most. It was only just before I started writing this story that I discovered what he had done for me when I had refused to listen.

I have learned that, if God is worth his salt, he knows the path to healing we’re willing to take, and he’s already prepared the way for us.

And, sometimes, that way involves the undead and talking polar bears.

How Do You Get This Fine Piece of Literature?

If you want to boost my Amazon rankings, you can buy it on Amazon.

If you want to better support me monetarily, you can buy it on the Bookshop.


(The Kobo link will go up as soon as they tell me it’s ready)

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