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Monday, May 28, 2018

Lone Star Book Bloggers' Tour: The Widow's Watcher by Eliza Maxell ***ENTER GIVEAWAY***

THE WIDOW'S WATCHER
by
ELIZA MAXWELL
Genre: Literary Fiction/ Gothic 
Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: March 29, 2018
Number of Pages: 286

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From Eliza Maxwell, the bestselling author of The Unremembered Girl, comes a gripping novel about the mysteries that haunt us and the twists of fate that can unravel them…
Living in the shadow of a decades-old crime that stole his children from him, reclusive Lars Jorgensen is an unlikely savior. But when a stranger walks onto the ice of a frozen Minnesota lake, her intentions are brutally clear, and the old man isn’t about to let her follow through.
Jenna Shaw didn’t ask for Lars’s help, nor does she want it. After he pulls her from the brink, however, Jenna finds her desire to give up challenged by their unlikely friendship. In Jenna, Lars recognizes his last chance for redemption. And in her quest to solve the mysteries of Lars’s past and bring him closure, Jenna may find the way out of her own darkness. 
But the truth that waits threatens to shatter it all. When secrets are surrendered and lies are laid bare, Jenna and Lars may find that accepting the past isn’t their greatest challenge. Can they afford the heartbreaking price of forgiveness?
PRAISE FOR THE WIDOW'S WATCHER:
"There was a moment I had to tell myself that this is just a book..."
- Goodreads reviewer
"A well-paced story of healing, forgiveness and tragedy, with enough unexpected twists to keep readers guessing.”
-- Amber Cowie, author of Rapid Falls

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EXCERPT FROM THE WIDOW’S WATCHER
BY ELIZA MAXWELL

The stories were the flickering light of a lone star in an inky-blue sky. The fantastical, sweeping stories that had begun before Cassie could even write them.
This, Jenna had thought. This is it. Tangible evidence my DNA runs somewhere through this kid.
There’d been times she’d wondered. Was it possible the child had been switched in the hospital? Had some sly nurse slid into her room while she dozed and slipped a changeling into her arms, then snuck away into the night with her real daughter?
What had become of the daughter Jenna always thought she’d have? The shy, studious girl who would hide when visitors came? The child who would pull the bottom drawer out of her dresser, dump out the contents, and snuggle into her self-made nest with a pillow and a picture book?
That daughter came later. They named her Sarah, their second born.
But Cassie wasn’t her sister, or her mother, and never would be.
Accepting that made it easier for Jenna to appreciate and celebrate the daughter she did have. The wild, willful, wonderful daughter.
“Unless your goal is to end up stranded on the interstate in the middle of nowhere—which is fine if you’re going for horror, but not really your style—you need to put gas in the car, Mom.”
“Thank you, Cassie, for that astute observation. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“Neither do I.”
If the stories were a star in the sky, Jenna had been tracking that star her entire life. From a practical distance. She’d majored in journalism. Journalism was a marketable skill.
A springboard, she’d told herself. I’ll write that novel one day. When the time is right.
When Matt had encouraged Jenna to take a hiatus from her job and write the book she’d always planned, she’d hesitated.
“If not now, then when?” His optimism confounded her.
Cassie had other plans.
“I’ve decided to self-publish my book,” her daughter had declared at dinner a few months later.
“Wait . . . what?” Jenna’s fork stalled midair.
“Have you considered how to do it?” Matt asked. Cassie launched into a surprisingly well-researched discussion about platform and distribution, marketing and cover design.
The glob of pasta on Jenna’s fork lost its balance and plopped onto her plate. Her insides felt similarly flattened.
“It’s crazy,” she whispered to Matt that night while she massaged lotion onto her face. Her skin had started to show wear and tear approximately the day Cassie was born.
“I don’t know if crazy is the word I’d use.”
“What would you call it, then?”
Matt shrugged, his back turned as he pulled off his T-shirt. “Proactive? Enterprising?” He walked toward her and put his hands on her shoulders. He pulled her into a hug. “I’d call it brave.”
His chin rested on the top of her head. She listened to his strong, steady heartbeat.
“You don’t understand. You’re supposed to toil and shed blood and paper your walls with rejections. You learn from that, and they’re hard lessons. That’s how you become a writer.”
Matt shrugged again. “I guess Cass decided to do it her own way, Jen.”
“But what if the book’s not ready? What if she’s not ready? What if it’s not good enough and she’s buried under the failure?”
Jenna backed up to look her husband in the eyes as she shared her real fear.
“She’s so talented, Matt. And so young. What if she gives up?”
Matt managed to hide the smile lurking beneath the surface, but Jenna knew it was there.
“Then she’ll deal with that. And we’ll be there to help her. But, honey . . . our daughter? She’s not the kind of girl that gives up. She’s not that fragile.”
He didn’t say it, didn’t mean it, didn’t even consider what Jenna would hear in those words. Despite his intentions, not like her mother rang clearly in her head.
Jenna’s fears were unfounded. They often were. Cassie’s book was good. Could she see her daughter’s youth in places? Sure. But there were also glimpses of the woman Cassie would become—strong, decisive, and confident in herself and her words.
Cassie was destined to become the woman Jenna aspired to be.
And every vestige of that was gone now.
Jenna’s eyes were drawn to the passenger seat of the van, to the old wooden box that had been her grandmother’s.
It was all gone.
Jenna jerked the wheel and drove the minivan she no longer had any use for onto an exit ramp.
Everything was gone.
She was left with nothing. Nothing but her eldest daughter’s voice in her head and a carved wooden box that cradled the ashes of the family she used to have.



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Eliza Maxwell lives in Texas with her ever-patient husband and two kids. She's an artist and writer, an introvert and a British cop drama addict. She loves nothing more than to hear from readers.
Twitter ║ Facebook   ║ Instagram Website 
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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
Three Winners! 1ST PRIZE: Signed Copy + $25 Amazon Gift Card 2ND PRIZE: Signed Copy + $10 Amazon Gift Card 3RD PRIZE: Signed Copy
MAY 22-31, 2018
(U.S. Only)


VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
5/22/18
Book Trailer
5/22/18
Review
5/23/18
Guest Post
5/24/18
Review
5/24/18
Notable Quotable
5/25/18
Review
5/25/18
Author Interview
5/26/18
Review
5/26/18
Notable Quotable
5/27/18
Deleted Scene
5/28/18
Review
5/28/18
Excerpt
5/29/18
Top Five List
5/30/18
Review
5/31/18
BONUS Review

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