Excerpt #2 from VANITY

From the chapter:

History is a Nightmare from which I’m Trying to Awaken

 “It is the disconnect between dreams and reality that causes the wishes of the past to swell up like waves on the bay and threaten to capsize the vessel of hope…” – Cassidy Whitson, Alligator Blogger

And if that isn’t a description for VANITY, I don’t know what it is. What VANITY does, and its attendant preoccupations is it progressively makes for us a gallows out of the very stuff of life, and before we know it we are caught in a sort of liminality.  If purgatory is that limbo that exists between heaven and hell, then liminality is a kind of purgatory for the living.  It’s not a place you want to find yourself, because you are trapped, paralysed and unable to live or die. 

Personal and social crisis and collapse can bring this on, but in either case, weakened foundations don’t collapse overnight.  They are eaten away by poisonous dreams:

Via Wikipedia:

Without stable institutions (which are effectively broken down in a liminal period), “people will look at concrete individuals for guidance”. This notion of imitation is closely tied to that of the trickster figure. The trickster is a universal figure that can be found in folktales and myths of nearly all cultures. These tricksters can be characterized as follows:

[they] are always marginal characters: outsiders, as they cannot trust or be trusted, cannot give or share, they are incapable of living in a community; they are repulsive, as – being insatiable – they are characterized by excessive eating, drinking, and sexual behavior, having no sense of shame; they are not taken seriously, given their affinity with jokes, storytelling, and fantasizing.

In the context of liminality, the trickster is a very dangerous figure: “in a liminal situation where certainties are lost, imitative behavior escalates, and tricksters can be mistaken for charismatic leaders”.


Do you see Jodi in that?  Do you see the relationship between the collapse of ‘stable institutions’ (these could include parents, authority figures or just good old ordinary leadership) and rise of tricksters.  Tricksters are by their very nature opportunists, who prey on vanities of the disenfranchised, and they do so using empty populism.  If this doesn’t sound particularly bad, well, the greatest arch villains of all time – factual and fictional – fall into this category.  They rise when the world falls.  They enter the world through its darkest cracks.  They are the Joker, Loki and Hitler.  And Jodi Arias.   If we are not careful, tricksters emerge through the fabric of our own lives, and may ruin vast fractions of our fortunes and eat away at our Life Force.

VANITY is available on Amazon

Vanity by Nick van der Leek-p19m7kbveb1p87h9ftdf127017rj

First Review of VANITY

VANITY: Jodi Arias– Is a must read for anyone who followed this tragic case!

By Paige on May 27, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
VANITY is one of the most comprehensive books written about the tragic relationship between Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias. Even though I had followed the trial of the convicted murderer and also read nearly every book written, I still learned more about the dynamics between these two people that I hadn’t known before.
The writers have delved deep into the psyches of both Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias. They share such insight into what we viewers and readers couldn’t quite understand–How this relationship between two people came to such a horrifying end.
On June 4, 2008, Jodi Arias butchered Travis Alexander with such absolute fury and savagery. At first glance, Jodi Arias seemed too meek and mild to have carried out such a heinous crime. Then, she confessed to killing Travis Alexander. It was still hard to fathom. I know that I was really watching her “interviews” with any media outlet who would give her the air time. Each time I watched I wanted to try to understand why. Why in the world did Jodi Arias kill Travis Alexander?!? What could make a person do such an evil thing? Was she possessed by an evil demon? I really wanted to understand.

With this book, VANITY: Jodi Arias, the authors Lisa Wilson, and Nick van der Leek, have answered some lingering questions I have had.

Case in point, one question I have had is why did Travis let Jodi inside his home when she showed up on June 4, 2008? Since reading this book, the answer is crystal clear.

I’ve read all four books in this series, and I thought this one was the absolute best. I look forward to reading their next book. Highly recommend this book!!

Available on Amazon

An Excerpt from VANITY – Book #4 in the Jodi Arias Series

From the Chapter:

Bad Boy, Bad Girl

While Travis is sexting with his buddy Maria, and hoping that Mimi says yes to Cancun, there’s something more ominous going on with Jodi.  Her snooping has graduated to a whole other level.  The email, text and social media hacking was bad enough, but this time she’s gotten into Travis’ personal journals.  Jodi’s dark tree, nourished on the ashes of failed relationship misery is coming into its full shadowy extent.  But look closer.  Are those branches? Are those leaves?  Or is that jagged outline something far more monstrous? A cunning beast of many forms is rippling through her skin, trying to emerge. Something alien, and evil, and almost reptilian is stirring, expanding through her from the inside.  It infiltrates every cell like a cancer.  Some unutterable rage, like a black ink, like some invisible chimera claiming its host, moves through her, making her able change her colours with each passing sentiment. She’s morphing into her true self; a cunning chameleon and a killer.

Vanity by Nick van der Leek-p19m7kbveb1p87h9ftdf127017rj

Jodi’s plot is simple. She’ll take her time and gather the information she needs, and then she’ll watch Travis go nuts.

April 23, 2008 Text Message

19:25:10 TRAVIS TO JODI: I just noticed that in addition to my last journal that I lost my journal before that are missing too. The 2 journals encompass all the time I was with you. Jodi please, if you have anything to do with this, if you ever had any ounce of love for me you’ll give them back. Out of all things in my life that I hold precious, my journals are near the top. It is my life that I wanted to pass down to posterity. Please Jodi, these mean everything to me. So much of my life has vanished without them. To lie about this would be the sickest thing so far. To take away so much of some body for personal interest is something that should haunt someone forever. It is killing me and could neve[r] completely get over it. Please Jodi, I am begging you. From the bottom of my heart please. I’ll do almost anything.

What’s Jodi response to this?…

VANITY is now available on Amazon.

You don’t need a Kindle to read the book, you just need to download the Kindle Reading App for your devices.

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