Sunday, 23 December 2012

4.5 STAR Review & $50 Gift Card Giveaway: Bluff by Lenore Skomal

Original Title: Bluff
Author: Lenore Skomal
Publisher: Lenore Skomal Press
Release Date: October 1st 2012
Source: From "Novel Publicity"
Genre: Psychological Thriller

"To the medical world, I was a host body, surviving only to bring a new life into the world. And while I wanted to die more than anything in the world, I never wanted this. No, I never wanted to cease to exist. This was the worst death of all.”

Jude Black lives in that in-between, twilight place teetering on death but clinging to life in order to bring her baby into this world. Only she knows the circumstances surrounding her mysterious fall off the bluff that landed her in the hospital being kept alive by medical intervention. Only she knows who the father of her baby is. In this poignantly crafted literary novel, the mystery unfolds and the suspense builds as the consequences of Jude’s decisions threaten to reveal everyone's deceptions, even her own.

Bluff offers a sensitive look at essential questions such as the value of human life, the consciousness of those in a coma and the morality of terminating life support. At the core is the story of a tragically misunderstood woman who finds peace, acceptance, understanding and even love on her deathbed.


My first thought: I am going to recommend this to everyone, who can read emotional novels.
Second thought: Wait, I think I am going to cry. :(

The first reason I picked this up: BLURB.  Read the above blurb.  After reading that, I just can't pass this on.  And like so many other books I accepted for review, I am glad again for my decision.

There are some things we consider as good and bad.  But, that obviously differs from person to person.  When I read about each of the characters in this book, it only made me feel like an immature girl.  Reason?  Let me explain..

Jude, the protagonist of this novel, is always sad and prefers loneliness.  The novel starts with Jude falling off a bluff (a high steep bank (usually formed by river erosion)), heavily injured.  She is rushed to the hospital, due to some anonymous call to 911 about the 'incident'.  Then we meet Frances, Jude's best friend (actually, the only friend), who has been with Jude for nearly two decades.  Jude completely adores Frances, while Frances trusts and loves Jude unconditionally.  Then there is another bomb thrown at you -- Jude is pregnant.  In spite of Jude's battered condition, the baby is healthy and can be saved.  So, there starts the questions:
  • Did Jude commit a suicide?
  • Is this a murder?
  • Who is the father of the baby?
  • Will Jude survive enough to provide nutrition the child?
  • Will the baby survive?

With all these questions still running in your mind, there are many papal issues, whether Jude must be continued with the life support system, that you have to worry about.

And then there are other characters --

April:  Jude's sister.  Working as a secretary and mistress to her boss.  Jealous of her sister and loathing Frances, April's entry in Jude's life (or existence) after twenty years is another shocking change.

Mary Shannon:  Nurse and neighbor of Jude.  Although portrayed with many flaws at the beginning, she did show her brighter side in Jude's case.

Gay:  God, I don't even know whether I hate or like her.  I think I am leaning towards hate.  Well, she is Jude's mother, who made her life more miserable and now, dead.

Jude's unborn child's dad:  I just HATE YOU!

There are so many other minor characters, but coming back to 'feeling like an immature girl', you see why?  I learnt again that people have different sides.  Not all are good, but not all are bad.  There are motives behind everyone and I really appreciate the author for making me understand and agree to that fact.  I know this, but I still judge people on how they behave to 'me' - not with who they really are (because I never take the pain to know?  Yeah, maybe!)  This is what makes me feel immature.

As the story unravels secrets after secrets, it just kept me hooked.  Yeah, I was sad at most places, but the need to know more was so great, that I had to keep going on.

The author has written an amazing novel.  This is not your light read.  It needs some patience, more than that, an open mind.  But, I can assure you that you are in for a great read here.

This one is just going to hurt for some time.  But, that again is the success of this novel.

Really, I want to give this to 5 STARS!  But, this novel was something I never want to read if I want to move to some happy world and forget my real life.  For this reason, I give this 4.5 stars!



Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of Bluff?
  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official Bluff tour page.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I've posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the tour page linked above.
About the author: Lenore Skomal wants you to eat her books. Her passionate desire is to touch your heart, inspire you, and luxuriate in the world of the written word. She is an award-winning author with the single goal of resonating with others. Winner of multiple awards for blogging, literature, biography and humor, her catalogue spans many genres. With 30 years of writing experience, 18 books published, a daily blog and weekly newspaper column, the consistent themes in her work are the big issues of the human experience and adding depth and voice to the intricacies involved in living a multi-dimensional existence. She has won many Society of Professional Journalist awards, the Whidbey Island Writer's Conference honorable mention for best fiction, Writer's Digest 73rd Annual Fiction Contest, New York Public Library's Best Books for Teens 2003, and most recently, the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award for humor for “Burnt Toast.,” her first anthology of her award winning humor columns. From journalism, to literary fiction, to humor and biography, her writing is consistent, if not in genre, then in message. Connect with Lenore on her website, Facebook, GoodReads, or Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks so much, Vidya, for your enthusiastic endorsement of my novel. I very much appreciate the fact that as a reader who doesn't routinely gravitate towards books such as mine, you took the leap nd didn't regret it! I bow to you! Lenore Skomal

  2. Wow, so glad you liked this book. Can't wait to read it myself!

  3. Well, I like the idea of this novel. Bluff is an interesting name, and to pose such important moral questions and contradictions is very daring.
    I added this to my TBR
    GREAT review, Vidya!
    Your reader,

  4. Thank you for such a fabulous review. A must read for me.

  5. Sounds fantastic! thanks for sharing!

  6. Great review, Vidya! I'm so glad you enjoyed Bluff even though it made you sad! Thank you for joining us on this tour, and if you have a moment, please cross-post your awesome review to Amazon and GoodReads.

    Thanks :-D


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