Monday, March 12, 2012

Whitney Finalist: Rearview Mirror by Stephanie Black

Best first chapter of the finalists I've read.

I don't know what it was about the first chapter of Rearview Mirror by Stephanie Black, but when I got to the end I had to find my wife and read it to her. I'm definitely going to pick this apart once all my reading is over and figure out its secrets.

If you've never read one of Stephanie's books you're missing out. She's very talented. She's won the Whitney Award for the last three years, so she's the one to beat. And this category is no cakewalk either.

I've met Stephanie several times over the years. She is always pleasant and incredibly nice. I don't know where all those dark, creepy, mysterious thoughts hang out in her psyche, but you'd never know it to meet her.

I asked Stephanie what made this book stand out for her.
"One thing I particularly like about this book is the way several story lines feed into the main plot, all adding layers of interest and tension."
It's true. The storylines wove together nicely. And as for interest and tension (and creepiness and surprise and twists and layers of mystery), this book has them.

I wish you could read the whole first chapter, and lucky for you, it's already online. Here are the first few paragraphs to whet your appetite, and a link to the whole thing. Enjoy.
    Sleet whipped Linda Taylor across the face. She bent her head and trudged along the muddy path that led deeper into the wooded acres of her property. Bare branches dotted with spring buds wouldn’t provide much shelter, but this was exactly what everyone wanted for her, wasn’t it? Linda, cold and wet and alone. Shoved aside.

    On the top of the bank that sloped down to the creek, she stopped and listened to the water rushing onward to oblivion, unheeded. Just like Linda. She tried, but did anyone care?

    The wind tore at her hood, pulling it off her head. Sleet and rain soaked her hair, but she didn’t bother to fix her hood. It would only blow off again. She’d freeze out here, but better frostbite than going home to be insulted and ignored.

    She glanced over her shoulder, but saw only the empty path, bumpy with roots, and the gray-brown branches of trees trembling in the wind. No one cared enough to follow her. When she was dead of hypothermia, they’d realize what they’d done to her. Linda wiped her face with numb fingers. She’d forgotten her gloves. Why hadn’t someone at least brought her some gloves? How could she possibly remember her gloves when she was so upset?
Go ahead, click here to read the whole chapter. Then click here to learn where to buy it.


Stephanie Black said...

Thanks for the great spotlight, John!

Josi said...

Stephanie is a master, that's for sure.

Jordan McCollum said...

Yay, Stephanie! I loved Rearview Mirror. In fact, I need to get my copy back so I can read it again. Or maybe I should buy another copy ;)

John Waverly said...

Stephanie - Thanks for letting me spotlight your book.

Josi - I completely agree. Thanks for stopping by.

Jordan - I vote for both--get your copy back AND buy another one. That way you have one to loan out without having to worry as much. :)

Danyelle Ferguson said...

I haven't read this category yet for the awards, but I totally remember John reading me the first chapter. Sounds like another book to keep me up at night. =)

John Waverly said...

Danyelle - Probably, but it's good.

Creative Commons LicenseUnless otherwise noted, all posts on the John Waverly blog by John Waverly are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
* Background image based on Night Sky theme by Ray Creations