Just Finished…Death by Jade Varden

So The Tower, Book 2 in Jade Varden’s Deck of Lies series left us with a real cliff-hanger, so what did the third book Death deliver?

Death is a great third addition to this series of books, after the flood of revelations and lies that came out in The Tower, which got to the point of being near overwhelming, Death has a more mellow pace – it’s like that period of disquiet (I certainly can’t call it calm) that comes after a storm…or perhaps that odd come down you feel after a major adrenaline rush and reality begins to sink in. Rain/Chloe/? our protagonist is still in the thick of it, with lies, odd family connections and dirty deeds seeping out of every brick in the fancy mansion she lives in…

Rain continues her quest for the truth – but what truth that is continues to change: her hunt for her identity led to a murder, her hunt for a murderer led her to more of her own secrets… Death delivers a good dose of reflection on the previous rollercoaster of events from Books 1 and 2, whilst continuing to throw up more surprises. I really liked the development of Rain’s character in this book – her experiences are certainly changing how she operates in the vicious world she’s found herself in. The re-appearance of one of my favourite characters was also nicely dealt with – definitely some good potential there for the last book in the series Judgement.

Deck of Lies is a fantastic YA mystery series, with plenty of twists and fans of soaps like Dallas, Days of Our Lives and Sunset Beach, will love the mad hookups and random family relationship relevations. Jade’s writing is style is vivid and concise, helping you to completely immerse yourself in her stories.

Overall Verdict: 4.5* If you’re not already into this series and enjoy a good contemporary YA read, then you’re missing out! I can’t wait for Judgement

The Tower by Jade Varden

Welcome to the penultimate Book of the Day feature – we hope you’ve enjoyed Indie Author Month so far. Make sure you’ve entered the massive book giveaway from the featured authors, which is on our facebook page. Now let’s hand over to Jade Varden – our special guest today and friend of the blog 🙂

The Tower is the immediate sequel to Justice and the second book in the Deck of Lies series, but readers don’t have to read the first book to quickly pick up on what’s happening in this one. The Tower continues the story of Rain, who recently discovered that she was kidnapped as a child. Freshly returned to her biological family, Rain is trying to fit into her new school, learn more about who she is…and deal with the murder that happened recently. The murder has had far-reaching consequences that threaten Rain’s closest, and maybe only, friend. Things get even more intense when suddenly Rain becomes the target of a police investigation. She thought she discovered all her family secrets already — but there are many more deceptions lurking in the shadows. Could one of them hide a homicidal rage?

***EXTRA GIVEAWAY – Visit the Giveaway Site to Win The Tower – EXTRA GIVEAWAY***

The Tower also features in the Event Grand Prize Giveaway – so you have two chances to win!


 Author Mini-Interview

Where do you find your inspiration? Everywhere! Sometimes I’m inspired by a show I’m watching or a game I’m playing. Even a line in a song might give me an unexpected idea.

What is your favourite aspect of The Tower? I really enjoyed re-visiting some of the characters I introduced in the first book of the series, particularly those in the main character’s immediate family. Everyone has been changed by the murder that occurred at the end of the first book, so it’s fun to sort of flip them all upside-down and show a new side to them.

Who is your favourite character from The Tower and why? Sawyer is my favorite in this book, maybe because he’s consistently the most present throughout the story, but there are several brand-new characters that I’m excited about as well.

I can see why – I really liked Sawyer…but my fave was RVR – What are you working on now? Now I’m getting started on the third book of the series, Death.

Oh-o – that sounds ominous! What do you love about most about writing? Doing the research, probably. I love researching the setting and discovering someplace new to take my characters.


About the Author: Jade Varden is a teller of tales from Louisville, Kentucky. The Deck of Lies series is the first in several young adult series and stand-alone novels Jade will publish in 2012 and 2013.


Want to know more? Check out the links!

Official site – http://www.wix.com/jadevarden/jv

@JadeVarden – https://twitter.com/jadevarden

Jade’s blog – http://jadevarden.blogspot.com/


Note from Aside from Writing: From April 2012 we began featuring Jade’s fantastic ‘Writing 101’ guest posts – fantastic for all levels of writers – keep an eye out for them!

Guest Post…With Help from Mysteries by Elisabeth Foley

Whenever I read a good mystery, it makes me want to write one.

Reading is one of the best things a writer can do to stimulate their creativity, and I really believe that reading mysteries has a particularly potent effect on mine. I nearly always come away from a good mystery with a mind full of new ideas—none of them directly from the story I just read, but the process of trying to solve the mystery, and then looking back over how it was constructed after the solution is revealed, seem to set the wheels spinning in my brain. Even if I’m not writing a mystery at the time, if I find my inspiration for a project running dry, I’ll often pick up a good whodunit to refresh myself.

This past week I’ve been reading Lost Man’s Lane by Anna Katharine Green, an early American pioneer of detective fiction. She published her acclaimed debut novel The Leavenworth Case in 1878, and continued writing up through the 1920s. Lost Man’s Lane is the second book featuring one of her most entertaining characters, Miss Amelia Butterworth—a spinster lady of great propriety and determination, who is often regarded as a forerunner of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and other spinster detectives. Miss Butterworth assisted Green’s most frequently recurring character, the detective Ebenezer Gryce, in three books—That Affair Next Door (1897), Lost Man’s Lane (1898) and The Circular Study(1900). Miss Butterworth, who opens her narration of That Affair Next Door with the memorable words, “I am not an inquisitive woman…” is always careful to assure her readers that her “interference” in detective matters is prompted entirely by a sense of duty, though she shows a keen interest and relish in all her sleuthing.

One of my recent projects has been the creation of my own middle-aged lady detective, in the style of Miss Butterworth and Miss Marple, but with certain elements all her own. She is a widow, not a spinster. She’s not quite as forceful a personality as Miss Butterworth; she’s a kind-hearted woman who frequently employs her detective skills to help people in trouble. Though a romantic at heart, she also has a sense of humor and is eminently practical. The setting for her adventures is Colorado, shortly after the turn of the 20th century, which allows me to combine some of the drama and sophistication of Anna Katharine Green’s Victorian and Edwardian-era mysteries with the more rural setting to which I’m accustomed from writing Western stories. I can’t say positively when she’ll make her first appearance in print, but it will probably be sometime this year.

One thing I am sure of, though—if I get stuck working on one of her stories, I’ll be heading back to the bookshelf to find fresh inspiration from another mystery.


Today’s guest post is by Elisabeth Foley, author of The Ranch Next Door and Other Stories, a collection of Western short stories that go beyond the standard action and adventure of the genre to focus on character and conflict. In the award-winning “Disturbing the Peace,” honorable mention in the 2010 Rope and Wire short story competition, a sheriff experiences a revelation about himself and his relationship with the people of his town, while in “The Outlaw’s Wife,” a country doctor worries that his young friend is falling for a married woman whose husband is rumored to be a wanted criminal. From the suspenseful “Cross My Heart” to the comedic romp of “A Rangeland Renaissance,” to a Western twist on star-crossed romance in the title story, “The Ranch Next Door,” these stories will appeal to a variety of readers, as well as established fans of the traditional Western.
Want to know more? Check out the links!
The Ranch Next Door and Other Stories available at AmazonBarnes & Noble and Smashwords