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Saturday, 3 August 2013

Tour Review, Post & Giveaway: Shudder - Samantha Durante

Reviewer: Bex
Rating: 4 out of 5 Fairies
Shudder is a strong follow on from Stitch, a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. What I particular enjoyed and thought that the author managed extremely well was the multiple viewpoints that she built in with the narrative. Not only did this allow us extra insight into the characters, but also the varying points of views added lovely depth to the novel.

Samantha Durante's craft has improved and developed since book one. On the whole, her writing is tighter and flows that much easier. There were still a few moments within the dialogue that I felt was a little awkward, yet others could easily disagree. I’m just a stickler and very particular with dialogue.

Yet again, there’s a fabulous twist that Durante mastered with skill and ease. This one wasn’t quite as much as a shocker as Stitch, but it still successfully made me do a double take just to be certain. Just the same as Stitch, Shudder left me ready and most definitely eager for the next, and final installment!
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Synopsis
It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…

The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.

Haven’t read the first book in the series? Check out my review here. Just $0.99 at Amazon!
  
Shudder Purchase Links
Amazon (Kindle $2.99, print $8.99)
Barnes & Noble (Nook $2.99)
Smashwords (multiple e-book formats $2.99)
Also available ($2.99 e-book) in the iTunes store, Kobo, and wherever e-books are sold

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Guest Post: Why I Love the First Line of Shudder by Samantha Durante, author of the Stitch Trilogy

Hundreds of acid voices swarmed about her, their derisive gibes poking at her ears as she shuffled her way through the crowd.  Stumbling over a loose rock, she caught herself, steadying her breath as it dawned on her that they’d all been gathered here for one purpose: to kill her. 

This is the first paragraph from Ch 1 of Shudder.  (Okay, I cheated a bit because there’s technically a Preface chapter that comes before this, but since that was included as a teaser at the back of Stitch, I tend to think of these as the “real” first lines of Shudder).  And I love these lines because they set the stage for everything that’s to come in Book 2. 

First, it’s intense.  There’s no slow build-up like in Stitch, no getting you comfortable only to later knock you off your seat (though hopefully you will jump at a few revelations along the way!).  Shudder starts out with high action, high tension, high danger – and it doesn’t really let up for our characters at all.

Second, it’s mysterious.  Who is this “her” that everyone is bent on killing?  Could it possibly be Alessa?  Maybe Janie or Lizzie or one of the other female characters from Stitch?  Or is it someone new entirely?  These lines get the reader questioning, which is something they should be prepared to do throughout the whole book – as in Stitch, you never really know what information you can trust, and you’re constantly second-guessing every assumption you make.

Finally, it’s immersive.  Readers have told me that they love my writing because they can really picture the story as if they were right there alongside the main characters.  My hope with this opening scene was to put the reader in the crowd, let them hear the menacing jeers around them, have that same disbelief and fear wash over them just as it does the unfortunate character in the passage.  There’s plenty more of this style of experiential reading to come, so you might as well jump on in!

Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. The Stitch Trilogy is her debut series. Learn more about Samantha at www.samanthadurante.com.

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