Book Review: Watch the Shadows by Robin Winter

Watch the ShadowsWatch the Shadows
Robin Winter
White Whisker Books, April 2015
ISBN 978-0-9863265-0-9
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

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?

Back in the late 1950’s, there was this wonderfully goofy movie called “The Blob”, starring a yummy Steve McQueen (the re-make isn’t worth talking about so let’s pretend it didn’t happen). The blob in question was a thing from outer space and it oozed its way around this small town, getting bigger and bigger while it sort of sucked up people and animals wherever it went. Naturally, the only folks who know what’s going on are some teenagers and, of course, nobody believes them. Do I need to tell you that these teens save the day? Anyway, this movie is equal parts scary and campy and hilarious and it’s a genuine classic, not to mention starring my heartthrob Steve McQueen 🙂

From the moment I finished the first chapter of Watch the Shadows, I thought of “The Blob” and knew I was in for a real treat. I’m happy to say I was not mistaken. Full of ooey-gooey scary stuff and mystery and the occasional snicker, this book kept me on the alert all the way through even though there are some periods when the pace kind of grinds to a, well, ooze (sorry, couldn’t resist). Nicole is a cool nerd with parents who are just as nerdy and I loved spending time with her as she put her know-how to use, determined to figure out what was in the neighbor’s kitchen. Mailman Brian and Meg, a woman who collects dogs and the homeless, are also growing more and more suspicious of the odd things happening and Jack makes a great sidekick for Nic.

Storyline aside, I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Winter’s descriptive abilities and her creative ways with words, such as:

A semi thundered by, breaking wind like a fat man.

and…

“No,” Brian said. “You’re right, Jack. Nicole. Both of you.”

“Did you believe Jack because he’s male? You didn’t believe me alone, before,” Nicole said.

“I didn’t believe either of you in the beginning because you’re kids,” he said. The truth surprised him.

“Age-ism,’ Nicole said. “I see.”

Bottomline, I got a real kick out of Watch the Shadows—and I believe I’ll lay in a large supply of Italian salad dressing 😉

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, April 2015.

About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARobin 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, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/winterobin13 and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/robin.winter.144734?ref=ts&fref=ts

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Cover Reveal: Pixelated by L.S. Murphy

Pixelated

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Title: Pixelated
Author: L.S. Murphy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Young Adult

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Synopsis

Senior Year.
Middle of nowhere.
What’s the new girl to do?

For Piper Marks, the answer is simple. She’s determined
to have her photography rock the cover of National
Geographic someday, and moving to Clarkton, Iowa, for
her last year of high school is not going to stop her. Even if
her usual subjects have changed from bright lights
and skyscrapers to fields, cows…and more fields.

But when the photographer at the local paper quits in a huff,
she steps into his spot. Her new job keeps Piper busy capturing
tackles, and zooming in on first downs and end zone dances,
not to mention putting her directly in the path of varsity
football star Les Williams IV. Her new friends warn her off,
but she can’t resist the pull she feels toward this mysterious
country boy. But this small town is keeping a secret, and it’s
one that could destroy any chance they have to be together.

It’s up to Piper to decide what to do with the distorted truth. Can
she risk exposing her heart? It might be worth it, ’cause Les is about
to change her world from black and white to fully saturated color.

Goodreads

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Praise for Pixelated:

“In Pixelated, L.S. Murphy weaves a complex web of
secrets and lies with a ‘will they or won’t they’ romance
that kept me turning pages and holding my breath!”
~ Julie Reece, author of The Artisans and Crux

“Beautifully written, with a full spectrum of emotion
and complex characters, Pixelated will tug at all your
heartstrings. I easily lost myself in the world L.S. Murphy
created and couldn’t stop reading because I needed
to see how the story ended.”
~ Kelly Oram, author of Cinder & Ella

“L.S. Murphy brings something for every reader
with Pixelated: romance, secrets, mystery, and a main
character torn between two choices. Murphy’s writing is
sharp and steeped in emotions, deftly hooking her readers
from the first sentence to the last.”
~ Sarah Bromley, author of A Murder Of Magpies

About the Author

L.S. MurphyL.S. Murphy obsesses about St. Louis Cardinals baseball, fangirls over her favorite authors, and watches every episode of “Doctor Who like it’s the first time. When she’s not doing those time-consuming things, the former farm-girl turned city slicker turned suburbanite writes sweet romances for teens and adults.

Author Links:

 

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