Book Review of Watch the Shadows
Sponsored by Virtual Author Book Tours
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Publisher: White Whisker Books (April 20, 2015)
Tour Date: March 16-April 30, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook,
In the college town of Isla Vista, California, small, odd things start happening. Science-geek Nicole notes the crows are leaving. Meg Burdigal can’t find her tabby cat, Schrand. Brian the postman feels uneasy at the rustlings, the shadows he’s seen at the edge of his vision on his delivery route in town. Now Nicole sees fewer and fewer homeless in the park. Using her knowledge of biology and forensics, Nicole searches for answers—but will anyone take the horror she finds seriously? In this unusual thriller, 'Watch the Shadows', author Robin Winter explores where the ordinary slams against the extraordinary.
Praise for 'Night Must Wait':“'Night Must Wait' is a knockout. Robin Winter really delivers the goods with her twisting tale.”-Norb Vonnegut, author of The Trust
“The world Robin Winter takes us to in 'Night Must Wait' is not the fantasy of Dorothy and Toto, no longer in Kansas; it is the scary, all too-real Africa.”-Shelly Lowenkopf, author of The Fiction Writers’ Handbook
"Readers never know when they pick up a novel if the story will become so compelling that they are taken away to that magical place where one finds oneself inside the world of the book's characters, conscious of little else. 'Night Must Wait' did this for me. I read, forgot that I existed."- Gina Rose St John, Amazon Reviewer
"Robin's way around a sentence is nothing short of gorgeous. The beauty of her prose only highlights the tragedies of war and betrayal. In an era when women were still relegated to wife or teacher, Robin's characters want, and get, more in ways both shocking and violent. I might not want to go to war torn Africa, but I do want to go on more adventures with Robin."- Kathleen O'Donnell, Amazon Reviewer
Praise for 'Future Past':"Robin Winter's 'Future Past' is an original, meticulously crafted science fiction tale that blends the fantasy of Pinocchio and the hero's journey with elements of time travel, redemption, and a post apocalyptic world that brings readers to a satisfying, yet unexpected conclusion."- Matthew J. Pallamary
"Truly imaginative, unique, and gripping -- I really really liked it! Robin Winter has a gift for inventing a world we'd be interested in saving, characters we'd be enriched to meet, and ideas about the human condition we'd be wise to ponder."- John Foran
"Winter shows the strength and versatility of her writer's voice in 'Future Past'. Published shortly after her debut novel Night Must Wait, in which the setting offers a strong sense of place as a separate character, the science fiction themes of 'Future Past' haunts the reader long after the book is finished. Her first person approach with Ash gives chilling insight into a man-made world with apocalyptic consequences. Winter's prose is crisp and her pacing sharp, giving fans a science fiction a thrill that is worth the spooky ride."- Gretel Russell
About Robin Winter:Robin Winter first wrote and illustrated a manuscript on “Chickens and their Diseases” in second grade, continuing to both write and draw, ever since. Born in Nebraska, she's lived in a variety of places: Nigeria, New Hampshire, upper New York state and now, California. She pursues a career in oil painting under the name of Robin Gowen, specializing in landscape. Her work can be viewed at Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara or on-line at www.sullivangoss.com/Exhibits/RobinGowen2012.asp
Robin is married to a paleobotanist, who corrects the science in both her paintings and her stories. She's published science fiction short stories, a dystopian science fiction novel, Future Past, and Night Must Wait, a historical novel about the Nigerian Civil War.
You may contact Robin or read her blog at: http://robinwinter.wordpress.com, or on her website: www.robinwinter.net
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Watch the Shadows Web Tour Schedule
Indie Review Behind the Scenes Mar 6 Live I 6 PM cst
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Mar 16 Tour Kickoff With Giveaway
Bound 4 Escape Mar 17 Review
Confessions Of A Reader Mar 18 Excerpt
Inspire To Read Mar 19 Excerpt
Carole Rae's Random Ramblings Mar 20 Review
Devoted Mommy of 3 Mar 23 Review
The Book Diva's Reads Mar 24 Excerpt & Giveaway
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Pinky's Favorite Reads Mar 26 Interview & Excerpt
Mythical Books Mar 27 Review, Guest Post, & Excerpt
Cassandra M's Place Mar 30 Review & Giveaway
Kritters Ramblings Mar 31 Review
I Sold My Soul For Books Apr 1 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway
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100 Pages A Day Apr 10 Review & Giveaway
WV Stitcher Apr 13 Review
Mary's Cup of Tea Apr 14 Review
Beth's Book Nook Apr 15 Review
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What U Talking Bout Willis? Apr 17 Review & Excerpt
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Buried Under Books Apr 22 ReviewDeal Sharing Aunt Apr 23 Review
From Chapter Twenty Seven, p. 76
Nicole saw the bag man at the end of Pescadero. She stared with admiration and envy. Someone had cobbled together a disguise made entirely of plastic trash or shopping bags. No; second thought stopped her. Not envy. A costume entirely of plastic wouldn’t breathe, the sweat would be streaming in no time. The person stood for the moment, stooping, alone at the end of the street.
Nicole looked about at the other masqueraders, an angel of indeterminate sex in sparkly tights, a crocodile with a flushed, drunken human face grinning out of the jaws, a horse costume that was surely down this alley in order to get out of the thickest part of the crowd. The owner of the horse was trying to duct-tape the rump back on —it had already been wrenched sideways, and no construction could withstand the stumbling raucous crowd next street over. The woman in riding breeches and pink riding jacket, her white stock already smeared with something like chocolate, helped him apply the tape; they must be a couple. So why did Nicole feel so alone when she looked back down to the end of the street at the plastic man? Was it the simple lack of eyes?
The creature made of garbage bags seemed to float towards her, eyeless, faceless. She decided she didn’t like it, and Nicole believed in her own instincts. Familiar somehow, the way it stood, moved—made her feel as though she knew who the plastic bag man might be. Oh no. Dale, Dwayne, whatever his name was. The creepy guy Mrs. Meg liked. The turd who’d tried to steal her book.
She wanted nothing to do with him, but he seemed to be heading her way. With the caution of a cat, Nicole sidestepped down the alley, moving fast, back into the main crowds.
Nicole recalled Mom saying that anonymity made for bad behavior, and her own experience agreed. Better to go away when you felt that kind of unease. She’d never make the heroine of a horror movie. She looked back once and saw nothing in the alley but two couples making out. She averted her eyes fast. There were some things she didn’t want to observe. If some day she wanted to do things like that, she wouldn’t want to be out in public. Watching seemed even more embarrassing to her than it was for the participants.
Down another side street, between apartment buildings, further from the main press. Not too far, she knew she didn’t want to end up isolated. Crowds at Halloween held danger but safety as well.
She glanced past the edge of one building, along the wall, movement catching her eye. What was that guy in the sequin costume doing with a plastic bag on his head? So peculiar. He slumped against the wall, sliding down to his knees, the bag billowing, seeming to stretch bigger.
“What are you doing out alone, missy?”
She jumped, looking over her shoulder. Plastic bag man. Yes, that was Dwayne again, closer than she ever wanted him to get. She took a fast step aside and sprinted away. Maybe she hadn’t got a letter in track, but by the end of this year, she was going to think about it.
* * *
About an hour later, Nicole had seen as much as she could take for one Halloween. She’d only been pinched once, and the man who did it had obviously taken her for another male. His apologies, when she turned and confronted him, made her erupt in giggles as soon as she managed to get far enough away that he wouldn’t likely see. But he’d been under the influence, so she probably could have laughed in his face, and he’d never remember.
Crossing Del Playa, she felt she’d left her departure a little on the late side. The tenor of the crowd had changed to both more relaxed and more aggressive. She had to push herself between people, too much contact for comfort, and she hoped Dad’s jacket wasn’t going to show some horrid anonymous smear when she got home. Yes, later than she ought. She heard the unmistakable spatter of someone throwing up. Yuck. Nicole pried herself out from the press of the crowd, all the smells of perfume, perspiration and alcohol, the sweet waft of candy and melting chocolate combining with incense from the nearby apartment building with jack o’lanterns in the windows. Smoky pumpkin and a mixed reek of humanity.
There are too many of us. Ripe for the picking. She looked up at the stars dimmed by all the lights here below. Humans were ready prey for some new predator to come along. What you can’t see can come and get you. She’d definitely stayed out too long. She’d been careful enough not to eat or drink anything, even all the free goodies proffered with smiles and good wishes, but she felt now like she’d eaten too big a meal of sticky things. Yuck.
This story is definitely for science fiction or horror fans. Reading it is a lot like watching "The Twilight Zone." This is not a genre I generally read, but it was interesting.
It is well written and right on the edge of believable/unbelievable. I had trouble with parts of the story dragging, but it quickly picked up.
I give this story 3 out of 5 clouds.
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