How Does Pressure Shape Leaders? By Elisabeth Staab

A while ago I watched this great documentary about the inner workings of the FBI. The stress, as if we didn’t know, is tremendous for the agents who work in the Bureau. As someone who lives and works in the DC area, and who used to work with government agents, I’ve wondered why some of them seemed so damn serious. This documentary gave me a better appreciation.

Hell. I’d be tense, too.

I remember when a plane hit the Pentagon, and my friend’s father ran out of his office with a crack forming over the ceiling. And when we were all a little afraid to stop for gas near the beltway for fear of being shot at by a sniper. I remember that fear as a citizen. Thanks to this video, I got to see the pressure and blame these agents felt for not having been able to stop the attacks before they happened. The strain of working the cases and trying to catch the folks responsible in a timely manner. Wow. I saw men admit to shaky knees, and cry on camera. Men who said every day they left home worrying that they wouldn’t kiss their kids goodnight. Then there were men in charge like Hoover, who it seemed really let the pressure and the power make them a little bit crazy—literally crazy, it sounded like.

I would imagine there’s no greater pressure than on the president. The buck stops with him. Literally, the welfare of every person in the country is (or should be) his concern, but he can’t even begin to handle all the aspects of that himself. He has to rely on others to be his eyes and ears and to carry things out. Still, he’s elected to this position. He seeks it out with the belief that he has what it takes to handle the strain.

So one of the “what-ifs” in my head when I started King of Darkness, was what if had a leader who was born to the position, and thrust into the role before he was ready? What if he’d started as your standard cocky alpha, but then crisis after crisis on the heels of tragedy pushed him to the edge?

Well. Thad’s vampire communities are being attacked by villainous wizards. The fate of the race is in his hands, and if he doesn’t pull it together, everyone is doomed. But wait! There’s been a prophecy. One that has foretold a queen for him. Turns out though, the female in question is not really down with this whole prophecy business, so that’s another hurdle for hm. But maybe, just maybe, if he can get the right mate to be by his side, he will turn out to be the leader he needs to be…

About King of Darkness:


Scorned by the vampire community for her lack of power, Isabel Anthony lives a carefree existence masquerading as human–although drifting through the debauched human nightlife, she prefers the patrons’ blood to other indulgences. But when she meets the sexy, arrogant king of the vampires, this party-girl’s life turns dark and dangerous.


Dead-set on finding the prophesied mate who will unlock his fiery powers, Thad Morgan must find his queen before their race is destroyed. Their enemies are gaining ground, and Thad needs his powers to unite his subjects. But when his search leads him to the defiant Isabel, he wonders if fate had gotten it seriously wrong…


…He had already admitted that he was falling for Isabel. In a big way. That seemed like a misnomer, really. Not that he had much experience with this sort of thing, but once you realized you were falling in love with someone, wasn’t it already too late? He shook his head slowly against the door. Yeah, might as well admit it.

Thad Morgan really was in love.

To truly claim it, even if only to himself, lifted him up. It loosened the hard squeeze around his heart that had nagged him quietly since he’d first met Isabel and made him stronger. Somehow, he would find a way to work this out with her. Get her to hold on until he could court her properly. Show her how good it could be with him and how he could take care of her. Clearly, her life had been rather solitary, except for her friendship with Alexia, and he wanted so much to take care of her.

It was something he had desperately needed. He just hadn’t known that before now.

“Damn,” he whispered to the air molecules in the silent hallway. “Now what?”

From the moment he was born, Thad had been groomed for the position he was now to fill, yet he had always been too overwhelmed by the enormity of the role to take it seriously. He was ashamed to admit that he’d stuck his head in the sand and naively assumed that his father would continue to rule until he retired to the Council of Elders on his one thousandth birthday. In theory, Thad should have had another century to get accustomed to all of the responsibility that now sat squarely on his shoulders.

Part of him still secretly felt like the ten-year-old boy who had gleefully tromped up and down the hallways of this house, swimming in his father’s boots. It was time now to put on the big-boy pants and grow a pair. If he didn’t, Isabel would never trust him to take care of her. Nor would the rest of their kind. Then it would only be a matter of time before the race fell to its enemies…

King of Darkness is available at:  Amazon : Barnes and Noble : IndieBound: Book Depository

Elisabeth Staab still lives with her nose in a book and at least one foot in a fantasy world. Her bestselling paranormal romance novel, King of Darkness, is available now. Her second book, Prince of Power, releases in January. Find out more at or sign up for her newsletter.


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