Recommended Reads: Blood in the Paint

blood-in-the-paint-coverI know it’s long overdue, but my review of Jordanna East’s second book is finally here! I wanted my hands on this ever since I finished Blood in the Past, and it did not disappoint.

In the first book, we watched Lyla Kyle go from a semi-normal (albeit eerie) woman to a revenge-crazed psychopath. Now we have the joy of watching her commit one murder after the other — and we’re secretly dancing with glee every time she doesn’t get caught. As the body count rises to a number Sweeney Todd would commend, a sick feeling sets in. Oh yeah, we’ve been rooting for the bad guy. Someone needs to get in there and stop her.

How about Officer Brighthouse? He’s smart, plucky and looking to prove himself. His boyish charm brings in some much needed levity at just the right times to keep the drama and anxiety from feeling overbearing. And his problems with his wife keep him from feeling like just another paperback detective. He has more going on than just his pursuit of a beautiful murderess. And if we’ve learned anything from the last book, bad things are on the way if someone’s marriage is in a rocky place.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of this thriller is the tension between Jillian and Lyla. If you read the last book, you know their relationship could go up in flames at any second. For new readers, don’t worry. You’ll catch up right away.

This would not be a Jordanna East novel without some punches to the gut — and Ms. East does not pull her punches. It’s one delightfully maddening twist after another, and you won’t want to put it down.

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Note: In the original post, the cover of Blood in the Paint did not feature the Switzy Thoughts Recommended Reads stamp. Once I was able to access Photoshop, that was quickly updated.

Welcome Back to Jordanna East!

Author Ava Easterby (pen name Jordanna East) is no stranger to my blog. Last time I interviewed her, she talked about her less-than-ideal job working at a bookstore. Now, she’s here to talk about Blood in the Paint, her new book coming out later this year. And as someone who has already read it, I highly recommend it! (And, if you’re a book reviewer, consider getting your own ARC!)

Amanda Surowitz: My first question for you is why is Blood in the Paint coming out in winter?! Why not sooner?

Jordanna East: I am the biggest perfectionist I know. Simply put. That’s why Blood in the Paint didn’t come out sooner. I actually wrote Paint before Blood in the Past. It was finished last summer, but I took some time off to work on a totally new series before getting back to work on Paint. I read through it dozens of times, tweaking and adding, before I gave it to the beta reader team. When I got it back, I was at it again, tweaking and adding, before it went to my editor. When she sent it back, I took so long–you guessed it, tweaking and adding–that she emailed me to ask if everything was alright! I have a few more steps to go through (my proofreader and formatter), but hopefully it will be the best possible work I could put out there. That’s my promise to my readers.

AS: How’s it feeling to have your second book coming out this year?

JE: Putting out a second book has been entirely terrifying. What? Was that not the response you expected? Haha. My first release, Blood in the Past, did better than I expected. It wasn’t a mainstream bestseller, but it reached the top ten within several Amazon categories more than once. I read somewhere that very few books sell more than 100 copies, whether traditionally or independently published. I’ve been fortunate enough to have surpassed that by quite a bit, without counting free downloads which number in the tens of thousands.

So why am I terrified? Because what if my next release doesn’t live up to the minor hype my first book created? What if my earlier success was just a fluke and in reality, I suck at writing? These are the types of questions I grapple with on a daily basis and they often impede my productivity. Now that I’m inching closer to Blood in the Paint’s release day however, I’m finally starting to feel less scared for my life and more excited for my future. I’m reveling in it for the moment, since I have to begin outlining the next book in the series soon.

AS: Do you have a working title for the next one? And how many books are you planning for this series?

JE: It’s funny you should ask about working titles. When I first started writing the series, the working title was simply “Lyla Kyle.” But when I decided to break it up into the prequel novella and the first novel, I renamed them Blood in the Past and Blood in the Paint, respectively, to differentiate them, expecting to change them later. After a while, the titles grew on me and I kept them permanently. The next novel in the series is tentatively entitled Blood in the Paper, in keeping with the theme of the previous books. Since that novel is only in the outline stages, I can’t say for sure if I’m going to keep that title, too, but you never know, it could turn out like the working titles before it!

As of right now, there will  be three full-length books in the series following the prequel.

AS: Blood in the Paper sounds intriguing–and considering all the surprises in Blood in the Past, I don’t know what to expect. I don’t suppose you’d be willing to throw your readers a hint or two? Haha

JE: About Blood in the Paper? Hmm. It’s in its infant stages still, but I can tell readers that my characters will continue to be tested. Brighthouse’s ambition and credibility will be called into question, as will Lyla’s guilt. Why you ask? Because I introduce a new character whose obsessions are perhaps the most twisted to date.

AS: Oh gosh, I don’t know if I could handle that! Your twists are amazing and agonizing (in the best way haha).

JE: Haha, I try very hard to make them that way and I hope my readers enjoy all the dark paths I lead them down.

AS: I’m sure they will. Is there anything else you want to say about Blood in the Paint?

JE: I would just like to remind my readers that Blood in the Paint can be read as a stand alone novel, but I do recommend reading Blood in the Past as well to become familiar with the nuances of the characters’ backstories. Other than that, I hope everyone enjoys my new release and I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks!

Blood in the Paint will be available Winter 2014

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Visit Jordanna at her blog, her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter @JordannaEast.