Hanging Between Life and Death-A Book Review

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I started reading Between by Clarissa Johal, but I know I found anything but.
For some reason I thought I was reviewing another YA book, and was caught off guard when “using protection” was mentioned early in chapter one. Then a sleep over a little later followed by booting the bartender out of bed in order to grab coffee with the best friend.
Definitely not a YA book.
So, two main female characters Lucinda and Marny are the best friends. The book is actually about Lucinda, a woman hiding from the pain of her past, her guardian angel, and her angel of death. Oh, and the spirit of every deceased person who hasn’t gone on.
Yes, Lucinda sees spirits. Has since she was very young. Her mother refused to let her even discuss it. Her father seemed open, but made it clear that her mother couldn’t handle the idea and she had to be silent about it.
Lucas and Cronan come into her life separately, and yet there are uncannily woven together. She senses them when they aren’t there. Her dog loves one and hates the other.
She seems to feel more comfortable talking to the one her dog growls at and goes on defense against. Immediately the reader knows this isn’t the right response to Cronan.
Lucas seems to love Lucinda too deeply too soon. Lucinda’s dog may love Lucas, but Lucinda can’t seem to tell him the things he wants her to tell him about her past.
She can’t tell him about her late fiance. She can’t tell him why she doesn’t drive any more.
Add in to the mix Michael, the new man in town, who also has an immediate crush on Lucinda.
The woman seems to have men, dead or alive, chasing after her. All the while, she seems not to care and is mostly rude to each of them and the various females in her life trying to get her to embrace life. She refuses to accept help, she refuses to go out, she refuses to follow the rules, Lucinda does everything on her own.
With all the relationships intertwined in this novel, there are also several mysteries running at the same time. Every chapter brings either another question, another twist, or another link to solve one of the problems. With each new conflict introduced, the reader comes to expect a major conflict or resolution. Even a totally unexpected plot twist thrown in.
None of those things happen.
At the end of the book, all loose ends seems to be tied up, but it is all very anti-climatic. I kept waiting for the big AHA moment, or the reveal that would make me gasp. Neither ever happened.
If you are into paranormal stories, this will be right up your alley. If you are looking for a mystery or romance novel, there are probably other books that would suit you better. However, Between does make you think about exactly what happens to people after they die. Do we go some where specific or are we stuck between?
Welcome to the Virtual Book Tour for BETWEEN!
Follow the Tour to Read Exclusive Excerpts, Interviews, and Reviews, and Make Sure to Enter the Giveaway!!
Second Place – Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2012 
Clarissa Johal’s novel BETWEEN is a “haunting” paranormal novel that will have you on the edge of your seat!
How far would you go to redeem yourself?

About BETWEEN:

As a young girl, Lucinda was able to see spirits, a gift that didn’t come without its problems. Now, a dedicated young veterinarian, she is committed to the idea that every life can be saved.

After a devastating accident, Lucinda tries to escape her past by moving to a small town. There, she meets a newcomer and feels an immediate connection with him. But there is another mysterious stranger to the small town, one that stirs within her a mixture of unease and desire.

As Lucinda is drawn into a bitter tug-a-war from the forces around her, she is likewise pulled into a dangerous twist of past and present events. Forced to make difficult choices, she finds that the two men are locked in not only a battle for her life…but a battle for their salvation.

Book Details:

Title: BETWEEN
Author: Clarissa Johal

Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Musa Publishing 
ISBN: 978-1-61937-459-1
Cover Artist: David Efaw
Number of Pages: 300
Purchase Links:

Amazon Author Page

About the Author:

ClarissaJohal has worked as a veterinary assistant, zoo-keeper aide and vegetarian chef. Writing has always been her passion. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing or taking photographs of gargoyles. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray animal that darkens the doorstep. One day, she expects that a wayward troll will wander into her yard, but that hasn’t happened yet.

*Member of the Author’s Guild
Coming May 19, 2015 from Permuted Press
VOICES, a paranormal psychological horror
STRUCK
(2014) Musa Publishing
*Indie Book of the Day Award
*Nominated for the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2014
BETWEEN
(2012) Musa Publishing
*Second place in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2012
*Paranormal Reads gives BETWEEN 4 out of 5 Bats
PRADEE
(2010) CreateSpace
*Second round finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award Contest 2012
Short stories:
PIGEONS
Susurrus Literary Journal
THE ROPE
Susurrus Literary Journal
Non-Fiction:
A WAY OF LIFE
The Sacramento Bee newspaper

Praise for BETWEEN:

Paranormal Reads gives BETWEEN 4 out of 5 Bats

Escape Into a Book “I loved how original the idea was for this book, I haven’t read a book like this one…fast paced and kept my interest till the very end.”

MommaSez “Creepy, scary, haunting–just up my alley…gothic romance that makes the hair stand up on my neck!”

Musings from an Addicted Reader “It was haunting, unpredictable, and intriguing. All the characters were unique and draw you in from the first chapter. Excellent read.”

Shut Up & Read “I love a good ghost story, and this one did not disappoint…I’ve heard the saying painting a picture with words, and that is exactly what the author does here. Each sentence is vivid and alive.”

Happy Tails and Tales “I would recommend it to my fellow ghost lovers, Gothic lovers, and historical paranormal lovers alike. There are some interesting paranormal characters…I wasn’t expecting them…a really well done plot twist. ”

Demons Do it Better “Between kept me guessing. I had no clue where the story was going to end but I made a couple of guesses along the way and I was wrong.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How did you come up with the idea for BETWEEN?

Three years ago, I was working on a sequel to a fantasy novel when I had this weird “calling.” Two characters came to me in a rush; Lucas and Cronan from BETWEEN. They weren’t fantasy characters nor they didn’t fit into what I was writing but they wouldn’t go away. I kept setting them aside but they’d come back, stronger than ever. I put the fantasy sequel on hold, wrote non-stop for a month, and finished the first draft. That never happens! It usually takes me months to finish a first draft. A year later, my edits were finished, and two months later, BETWEEN was picked up by Musa Publishing. I’ve got my feet firmly planted in the Otherworld now, the ideas come faster than I can write them down.

What first inspired you to become a writer? And what compels you to continue your career as an author?

I wrote my first short story in grade six. I was asked by the teacher to read it aloud to the class, which terrified me. After I was finished, I realized that I actually had everyone’s attention! I was shy and we moved every year, so I was always the new kid. When you’re in that situation, it’s kind of like being invisible. Finding my voice through story-telling made me realize how powerful writing could be. As far as continuing—truthfully? I think I’d go nuts if I didn’t write.

What made you choose the genre of paranormal gothic horror?

I started out writing fantasy fiction. I was working on the second installment to my PRADEE series when there were two characters that kept showing up on the page, over and over. They didn’t belong in fantasy novel, nor did they belong in my story! But their backstory came to me so vividly, that I set aside my series and wrote my first paranormal novel, BETWEEN. I’ve been pulled into the Otherworld permanently now. The ideas come faster than I can write them down.

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Tour Coordinated by:
~ Amber M. ~
Promotions Specialist and Media Contact at Musa Publishing amber.musa.ps@gmail.com
Owner of Sapphyria’s Book Promotions saphsbookblog@gmail.com
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