Blog Tour: The Shadow Writer by Eliza Maxwell!

Happy Game of Thrones day everyone! I’ve got a hell-of-a week ahead of me with a business trip Monday and Tuesday, one of my best friends graduates with her Master’s on Thursday and then my husband and I are headed to NM for his interview and to look at houses. It’s sure to be a whirlwind! However, before that happens I get to deliver you guys a review for a great new read and my first blog tour review – ever!! I’m really excited about this one because I’m teaming up with other Lone Star Book Blog Tours Bloggers (LSBBT) to represent, read and review Texas authors. If there’s one thing I can tell you about Texans, it’s that we love to plug our state!
THE SHADOW WRITER
by
ELIZA MAXWELL
Genre:  Psychological Suspense / Domestic Thriller
Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: May 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 348
Scroll down for the giveaway!

Every writer has a story. Some are deadlier than others. 
 
Aspiring author Graye Templeton will do anything to escape the horrific childhood crime that haunts her. After a life lived in shadows, she’s accepted a new job as protégé to Laura West, influential book blogger and wife of an acclaimed novelist. Laura’s connections could make Graye’s publishing dreams a reality. But there’s more to Laura than meets the eye. 
 
Behind the veneer of a charmed life, Laura’s marriage is collapsing. Her once-lauded husband is descending into alcoholism and ruin and bringing Laura nearer to the edge. 
As the two women form a bond that seems meant to be, long-buried secrets claw their way into the present, and the line between friendship and obsession begins to blur, forcing each to decide where her loyalties lie. Running from the past is a dangerous game, and the loser could end up dead.

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Graye Templeton wants two things in life, first to escape her truly horrific past and second to become an author. She wants to be real, and seen and knows that the best way to achieve this goal is to publish the book she’s been working on for some time. When Graye lands the job as a TA to the best selling author and now professor at her university, David West, she feels like the tides are finally turning and luck is sure to follow. When Graye accidentally bumps into, and subsequently pours her coffee all over famed book blogger and wife to David – Laura West she sees her entire future flash before her eyes.
Laura takes an immediate shine to Graye. She’s vulnerable, yet passionate, naive yet there’s something there that Laura can’t quite put her finger on that draws these two women together. As Laura and Graye get to know one another, it turns out that the Wests are headed to Texas and Graye sees that future she planned on going up in smoke. Graye is desperate for Laura’s reputation for catapulting unknown authors onto best seller lists and when a happenstance interview brings them back together again in Texas, Graye jumps at the opportunity to become Laura’s personal assistant. Soon, Graye is indispensable to Laura, especially as Laura’s life and marriage seem to be circling the drain.
The past is coming for Graye. She can feel it, in spite of her reassurances to the girl on the phone. It’s coming for them all. 
As Laura’s life quickly unravels and Graye’s past is coming to catch her at an ever increasing rate, things go from bad to worse. Told from alternating POVs, mostly between Graye and Laura, we’re also given snippets of the perspective of people from Graye’s past as we learn more and more about her challenging and brutal childhood. As Graye’s past collides with Laura’s present, things quickly continue to go downhill for both of our main characters. And when a shocking murder comes into play, it’s a race against time to unravel the secrets that have been long left buried.
So first things first, I really enjoyed this read! This is my first work by Maxwell and I was left impressed both with the development of a very tangled web, as well as the writing itself. There are quite a few moving pieces going on between characters, along with a past timeline and a present one. I really appreciated that Maxwell broke from the mold of flipping between that past and the present because, while it works sometimes, I often find myself feeling like it’s a little too formulaic and the easier route. Instead, Maxwell flawlessly developed a well paced story that unfolds in the present by giving the reader snippets of the past without wholly focusing on it. It created a very cohesive and suspenseful story line.

When he catches her watching him, his eyes narrow and he stands straighter, facing her head-on. There’s no mistake. A dizzying sense of vertigo takes hold of her as she stands with her future on one side, and her past staring her down on the other.

There were a few points throughout reading this that I feared Maxwell was going to drop the ball, given how many cogs are moving at one time. However, I was consistently proven quite wrong when it felt like pieces were missing when they would come back into play at the perfect moment. Psychological suspense is a difficult genre to write because it’s less jump scares and cheap thrills and more sinister undertones, and Maxwell delivered this in spades. While the majority of our cast of characters weren’t particularly likable I found myself drawn to them and rooting for them despite some shadier decisions they made. It’s easy for an author to make a likable character well-liked; what’s more difficult and in the end, more impressive is when you can make a reader connect to someone who is grade-a crazy pants.
She quickens her pace, but that’s the thing about ghosts. They’re impossible to outrun. They travel in the heart of the people they’ve hurt the most.
All in all, I really enjoyed this read and would definitely suggest it to others who enjoy the psychological suspense genre. It felt a little slow to start for me, but once it got moving it really kept pace and I felt genuinely invested and intrigued by how it would end. I also felt that the ending made sense, and there was nothing coming out of left field for the sake of shocking the reader. It all blended together into something realistic and I thought the ending was a bit poetic personally. I loved that this was set in Texas and I’ll definitely be picking up more works by Maxwell in the future!
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.
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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
TWO WINNERS: Signed Copy + $25 Amazon Gift Card
ONE WINNER: Signed Copy 
APRIL 30-MAY 10, 2019
(U.S. Only)

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4 thoughts on “Blog Tour: The Shadow Writer by Eliza Maxwell!”

  1. This is a really insightful review of the book — thank you for sharing it. I felt the same way about waiting for the ball to get dropped. There was SO much going on, but Maxwell juggled it all and made it all work for readers. That’s talent.

    Like

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