October 31, 2017

Mary Rose Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt + Giveaway

http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2017/09/mary-rose-by-geoffrey-girard.html


Mary Rose
Author: Geoffrey Girard
Release Date: April 17, 2018
Publisher: Adaptive Books 

Description:

Mary Rose Moreland and Simon Blake are the perfect couple: successful young professionals in Philadelphia, attractive, madly in love, and ready to start a life together. When they travel to England for Simon to ask her parents’ permission to marry Mary Rose, he learns an unsettling secret: Mary Rose disappeared when she was a little girl while the family was vacationing on a remote Scottish island. She reappeared mysteriously thirty-three days later in the exact same spot without a scratch on her and no memory of what had happened.

After Simon hears about this disturbing episode in Mary Rose’s childhood, he becomes obsessed with finding out what happened. He proceeds to launch his own investigation and arranges during their honeymoon for them to visit the island where she disappeared. But as Mary Rose’s behavior gets stranger after their engagement, the need for Simon to unlock the truth about her past grows even more urgent. What he uncovers is beyond his most terrifying fears.

Mary Rose is author Geoffrey Girard’s chilling and modern take on a classic ghost story originally written by J. M. Barrie. And for years, master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock attempted to adapt Mary Rose into a film but was never successful. With this novel, Girard taps into the nightmarish fears that inspired both Barrie and Hitchcock, while also bringing the story to the present day with his own unique voice.  


Praise for MARY ROSE:

"An exceptional gothic thriller. Girard's literary roots shine through, and the dread rises with every turn of the page. Mary Rose will send a true chill down your spine. A haunting, scary, and beautifully written novel." ―J.T. Ellison, NYT bestselling author of LIE TO ME

"Girard's eerie descriptions exploit the fear of the unknown and the unnatural; and secretive characters, including the enigmatic island, hide their intentions. This is a nightmarish tale of repressed memories and misdirection." ―Publishers Weekly

"The supernatural terror in MARY ROSE is masterfully invoked via a setting that quietly feeds on the past. Yet the novel's most chilling element is its aching and desperate love story. The titular character is as multifaceted as a dark gem, and Geoffrey Girard's genius is in his ability to cause fear of, and for, Mary Rose at the same time. MARY ROSE has the effect of burrowing under your skin, lodging next to your throat - and then your heart." ―Vicki Pettersson, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author of SWERVE and SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC series

"Mary Rose is an elegant, classic ghost story that is, at once, truly literate and truly scary. Geoffrey Girard is a storyteller at the top of his game." ―Jacquelyn Mitchard, #1 NY Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean and Two if by Sea 


You can purchase Mary Rose at the following Retailers:
        
 
“She has no face,” she gasped.
 
“What?” Simon slumped in uncertainty.
 
Mary Rose scrambled away from the chair, toward the stairs, and he fell back. “My God . . . Why don’t I have a face?”
 
The room went black.
 
He heard the chair clatter to the ground, skid across the floor.
 
Simon cursed, fumbled with his phone in the dark to see what he’d done. It showed a 0 percent charge and then even that faint light shut off completely. He’d somehow burned through a quarter charge in less than five minutes.
 
“Mary Rose . . .” He glared around the room blindly, the dimmest of light in one corner showing where the steps must be.
 
“Mary Rose?”
 
He needed to find her, to take care of her, protect. Couldn’t fathom what she must be feeling now. The memories. The horror.
 
The room had grown colder. And he could suddenly feel all the pentagrams and snakes and stick people on the walls, skirting closer in the darkness. “Mary Rose . . .” He called out again, and his voice had sounded chillingly fragile.
 
“It’s okay,” her stronger voice floated back. “I’m right beside you.”
 
Simon froze, his eyes staring wide but seeing nothing—nothing at all. Or, rather, something enormous now squatted in the farthest corner of the room. Impossible. He saw nothing. It was a darkness so complete, it was like he was the one blindfolded, he was the one captured, hidden away in the ground.
 
Something touched his hand, and he flinched.
 
Mary Rose.
 
Her fingers wrapped around his wrist. Cold and skeletal in the dark. He grimaced in the void, ashamed at what had been the best word to describe the feeling.
 
“Don’t be afraid,” she said. “I know where we are now.”

Excerpt from MARY ROSE by Geoffrey Girard © 2017
I'm at a loss right now about how to review Mary Rose. There were definite pros and cons for me, but my mind is still reeling and trying to process everything that happened and/or possibly happened. That probably doesn't make sense, but if you'll read the book I think you'd get it. I'm just going to break it down so I can keep my thoughts straight.

Pros: 
Plot: The plot was incredible. I found it complex and layered and it had so much happening that it still makes my mind spin. But that's part of what I loved about it. I guess you could categorize this novel as mystery, suspense, and/or horror - but it's honestly an unique blend of all three. I don't do spoilers in my reviews, so I can't go into the plot and all of my questions without giving anything away. Which makes this extra hard. I'm just going to say that there were several twists and turns you don't see coming and completely blindside you. You'll think that you have an idea of what's happening or the truth of the past - but you don't. Trust me. There were several story lines that wove together into the overall plot of the novel in a way that captured my imagination and my heart. I never thought I'd also describe a horror novel as having a romantic aspect, but this one definitely does and makes up a big part of the story (in my opinion).

Characters: The characters were well rounded and fascinating - especially Mary Rose and Simon. Obviously the story focuses on Mary Rose (hence the name) and we get to know her pretty well throughout the book. Not as much as I would have liked though. (See my comment below on writing style.) She was layered and had a lot going on, and I really wish we got to connect with her on a deeper level. I loved watching Simon and Mary Rose's relationship change and grow over the length of the novel. The secondary characters - namely Mary Rose's parents - were decently complex with their own flaws and issues that are exposed throughout the book.

Cons:
Writing Style: This is always a huge point for me and one I almost always touch on in my reviews. My preferred style is the first person because of the deep connection with the narrator. The author wrote the story from the third person, alternating between Simon and Mary Rose. I liked getting to see things from each of their perspectives, but I couldn't connect with either of them as much as I wanted. I truly believe that if I could've identified more with Mary Rose - or even Simon - I would have had a different and probably better experience. I understand why the author chose to write the book this way and it does make sense with the story, it's just my own personal preference.

Pace: There were times throughout the story that seemed to drag on without anything happening. These periods made my mind start to wander and took me out of the world the author created. It felt like it took too long for things to actually happen during the story - and when it did, it was just a snippet of something. Until the last third to quarter of the novel, when things finally took off full speed and everything came out. It doesn't seem like this makes sense, and it might not to other readers, but that was my take on the pacing.

Overall, this was an original and fresh novel that mixed together several genres to create something new. I really enjoyed most of the book, but there were issues that made my experience less than I hoped. I do recommend it for fans of horror, mystery, suspense, thrillers, and paranormal.
 
Geoffrey Girard writes thrillers, historicals, and dark speculative fiction. His first book, Tales of the Jersey Devil, thirteen original tales based on American folklore, was published by Middle Atlantic Pressin 2005, followed by Tales of the Atlantic Pirates (2006) and Tales of the Eastern Indians (2007). Simon and Schuster published two Girard novels simultaneously in 2013: CAIN'S BLOOD, a techno thriller, and PROJECT CAIN, a companion novel for teen/YA readers which was nominated for a Bram Stoker award for "Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel."
 
In 2017, Carolrhoda Books published TRUTHERS, a YA novel about the 9/11 conspiracy, and Adaptive Books published MARY ROSE, a psychological thriller/ghost novel.
Girard's short fiction has appeared in several best-selling anthologies and magazines, including Writers of the Future (a 2003 winner), Prime Codex, Aoife's Kiss, The Willows, Murky Depths, Apex Horror & Science Fiction Digest, and the Stoker-nominated Dark Faith anthology. The debut collection of his short fiction, first communions, was published by Apex Books in May, 2016.
 
Born in Germany and shaped in New Jersey, Geoffrey currently lives in Ohio and is the English Department Chair at a famed private boys' high school. Prior to teaching, he worked as an advertising copywriter, web developer and marketing manager. He has a BA in English literature from Washington College and an MA in creative writing from Miami University, where he is now working on an MFA. He has presented and led workshops on creative writing at schools, bookstores and various writers' conventions/events.

    
 
(5) Winners will receive a Copy of MARY ROSE by Geoffrey Girard.
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter