March 7, 2015

Review + Excerpt + Giveaway: Dead Spots by Rhiannon Frater

(Click the banner for the entire tour schedule!)

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Dead Spots by Rhiannon Frater!
Today I have an excerpt, my review of the book, and an awesome tour-wide giveaway!

Warning: This book contains some mature themes including violence, profanity, and sexual content. Recommended for readers ages 18+.

Author: Rhiannon Frater
Release Date: 2/10/2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Horror

Book Summary
In the dead spots, dreams become reality, terror knows your name, and nightmares can kill you.

The stillbirth of Mackenzie's son destroyed her marriage. Grieving, Mac reluctantly heads for her childhood home to seek refuge with her mother, who constantly reminds her of life's dangers.

Driving across Texas, Mac swerves to avoid hitting a deer...and winds up in a dead spot, a frightening place that lies between the worlds of the living and the dead. If they can control their imaginations, people can literally bring their dreams to life—but most are beseiged by fears and nightmares which pursue them relentlessly. 

Mackenzie's mother and husband haunt her, driving her to the brink of madness. Then she hears a child call for help and her maternal instincts kick into overdrive. Grant, Mac's ally in the dead spots, insists Johnny is a phantom, but the boy seems so real, so alive....

As the true horrors of the dead spots are slowly revealed, Mackenzie realizes that time is running out. But exits from the dead spots are nearly impossible to find, and defended by things almost beyond imagination.

*My Review*
Dead Spots is the first book I have ever read by Rhiannon Frater. I really loved her writing style, characters(even the ones I hated!), and the story in general! I knew it was in the "horror" genre, so I truly didn't expect to feel anything other than fear or well...horror! I was pleasantly surprised by the plethora of emotions that this story brought out in me. 

The first few chapters are so unbelievably sad. Going along with the main character, Mackenzie, as she recalls the stillbirth of her son at 8 months pregnant had me wiping tears from my eyes. I could feel her pain pouring through the pages as if it were my own. I felt anger at the people in her life for how they treated her. Especially Mackenzie's husband(who almost immediately turns ex-husband) and her mother. Her mother raised her to be afraid of pretty much ever awful thing that could happen to a person...

Just when Mackenzie begins to try and move on from her failed marriage and the loss of her son by driving back to her hometown in Texas, she gets caught in a "dead spot". We learn pretty quickly that these dead spots are a kind of "gateway" between the regular world and a place of dreams and nightmares. Things get creepy as soon as Mackenzie enters this world, where your worst fears can literally manifest and kill you. Well, lets just say that Mackenzie has a lot of fear and insecurity for the world to use against her. 

I really loved this book, but I don't think I will be entering any abandoned buildings, diners, theaters, ect. for the foreseeable future! I rooted for Mackenzie the whole way through this nightmare-like journey, and loved how much she changed for the better as a result of everything that is thrown at her. 

Dead Spots is a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride through a world that is creepy as hell, and I loved every minute of it! I will definitely be reading more from Rhiannon Frater!
My Rating:

 Chapter 1
Six Months Later

The crib was empty.

Mackenzie couldn’t tear her eyes from the spot where her child should have been playing with his toes and cooing at the Winnie- the- Pooh mobile rotating above his little head. Instead, the mobile was packed in a box along with all the clothes he would never wear, the toys he would never play with, and the soft, yellow baby blanket that he would never snuggle in. The crib and house were as vacant as her hollowed- out heart.

Feeling faint, she gripped the crib rail and clung to it for stability. This was it. The end of everything she had held dear. Today was the day she closed the door on the life she had shared with Tanner. It was time to build a new one alone.

“Mac?” Angie, her sister- in- law, called out. “Are you okay?”

Turning, Mackenzie saw Angie leaning against the doorjamb. Her pink blouse was sticking to her ample chest and full arms though the matching crop pants still looked crisp from ironing. Angie’s look was distinctly that of a mom. Mackenzie, meanwhile, was clad in tight jeans, her favorite high- heeled boots, and a pale blue silk T-shirt. Her lightweight navy blue leather jacket was set aside with her purse and keys for the cold weather that would soon be blowing into the area.

Knowing that a truthful answer was not what Angie wanted to hear, Mackenzie mutely nodded.

“The men from Goodwill are here, Mac.”

Mackenzie didn’t answer, not sure she could speak quite yet. It was so hard to remove all traces of Joshua from the house that should have been his home. Yet, the house was an empty shell now, devoid of everything that had once given it life. Her son had been born without once taking a breath or opening his eyes. Her husband and all his possessions were in another woman’s home now. All that was left was the remnants of her broken dreams.

“I know it’s hard, Mac,” Angie said sympathetically after an uncomfortable moment of silence. “But it’s time to let go.”

The ludicrousness of her sister- in- law’s comment hit her like a bad joke. Mackenzie had no other choice than to let go of her dead child, her empty house, and her soon- to- be ex-husband. There was nothing left to hold on to and keep her in Shreveport.
Yet, she couldn’t verbalize these morose thoughts. Though she knew Angie sincerely cared about her and was attempting to be supportive, the truth was that Angie could never truly understand what Mackenzie was experiencing. It was a very lonely thought.
With a sigh, she made a point of releasing the rail and stepping away from the crib she’d long ago painted pale blue when the world still seemed perfect and full of hope.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Angie tilted her head, worried.

“I’m trying to be.” It wasn’t a lie. After months of surrendering to her grief, she was finally moving forward. It was a daunting endeavor, but she was determined to claw her way out of the black pit of depression she’d fallen into when the doctor had been unable to locate Joshua’s heartbeat.

Angie’s tawny hair stuck to her neck and cheeks as she shuffleed into the room. Behind her were the men who had come to cart away all the objects from Joshua’s unlived life. The electricity was disconnected and though it was morning, the air was thick and humid inside the house. Sweat pooled between Mackenzie’s breasts and trickled down her back. Angie’s skin was beaded with moisture and she fanned herself with one pudgy hand. An early-autumn cold front was about to sweep into Shreveport and
Mackenzie couldn’t wait for the break in the heat though she dreaded the thought of the storms. She’d never been able to shake her childhood fear of thunder.

Buy the Book

*About the Author*
Rhiannon Frater was born and raised a Texan. Though 
 has lived in various towns all over the state, she finally settled in Austin, Texas where she met her husband and worked as a governmental consultant.

During her travels for her job, she was inspired to write the story of two women fleeing into the Texas Hill Country in an attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse. Originally published as a serial online under the title As The World Dies, she later self-published the series in three novels to satisfy the many fans of the story. The first novel in the series, The First Days, won the 2008 Dead Letter Award for Best Book (Fiction). The second book, Fighting To Survive won the 2009 Dead Letter Award in the same category.

The As The World Dies books were purchased by Tor in 2010.The first book, The First Days, was released in July 2011 and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The second, Fighting To Survive, was released on November 8, 2011. The third book, Siege, was released in April 2012.

She is also the author of over a dozen independent works such as The Last Bastion Of The Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog). Her next novel for Tor, Dead Spots, will be published in 2014.
Rhiannon continues to live in Austin, Texas with her husband and is now a full-time writer.
She is represented by Hannah Brown Gordon of the Foundry Literary + Media and Brandy Rivers of Gersh Agency.
Visit Rhiannon:

  • 7 Winners will receives a Copy of Dead Spots by Rhiannon Frater
  • Giveaway is open Internationally
  • Must be 13+ to Enter
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This sounds really good! I don't normally read horror, but I think I'll read this one. Excellent review.

  2. Jessabella ReadsMarch 08, 2015

    Thanks! I know you will love it. :)


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