GUEST BLOG: Sisters by Heather Chavez Plus Giveaway!

My second thriller BLOOD WILL TELL is a book about sisters. Sure, it’s about other stuff, too. It’s a thriller, so of course, there are also long-held secrets and people behaving very badly. But its core is the relationship between Frankie and Izzy Barrera.

The first draft of this book was very different than the one now entering the world. It had a different setting. Different secondary characters. Different plot. But the one thing that remains from that discarded version: Frankie and Izzy. That connection was always the heart of the book, and the reason I was drawn to write it.

In BLOOD WILL TELL, Frankie Barrera helped raise her much younger sister Izzy, who hasn’t always made the best choices. Then again, Frankie has made her share of mistakes, too. One of the few paragraphs that made it from that early draft to the finished copy: I slid my hand closer to Izzy’s, stopping just short. The tailgate warmed my palm. I wanted to cross that last inch, place my hand on hers, reassure her as I had so many times. But after everything that had happened the day before, I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to believe her again. In that paragraph, I hoped to capture the layers of their relationship. Frankie’s love. Her urge to protect. Her frustration. Because anyone with a sister knows how complicated the relationship can be.

In my own family, I was the younger sibling. My sister, Michelle, was two and a half years older than me. She was the extrovert. I was the introvert. She was impulsive. I was not, though I always envied her fearlessness. She was better at foreign languages and math. I liked to write. She was a John Saul fan. I’ve always loved Dean Koontz. (Okay, those two aren’t that far apart.) One of my last memories of my sister is taking her to register her children for school. Michelle always knew she wanted to be a mom. Me? Strangers’ children were absolutely terrifying. So Michelle and I were opposites in nearly every way—and yet, we were sisters.

Recently, I came across a review of BLOOD WILL TELL. Confession: I don’t usually read reviews, unless someone tags me. As they say, reviews are for readers. And though the first draft is wholly mine, by the time publication date approaches, the book is for readers, too. Still, on that recent day, my curiosity got the better of me. I opened Google. Braced myself for that possible one-star review. (Hey, it happens. No book is universally loved, right?) But after about a minute of scanning, I came across a review that stopped me: My sister and I are really close. We have gone through a lot together and so this one hit home. The relationship between Frankie and Izzy was so close to ours that I felt it deep down in my soul.

That part got me. Like, deep down in my soul.

As I mentioned above, the earliest draft is wholly mine. When I first sit down to create the story and acquaint myself with the characters, I let it be messy. Though I outline, I still allow myself to be surprised. I probe for the story’s heart. Why do I care about these characters? Why is this the story I need to tell?

But as I edit, my thoughts turn to potential readers. Or, more precisely, that one reader. The one who will pick up my book and, hopefully, connect with it in exactly the way I intended. In the way, I myself did while writing it. As authors, we don’t usually get to know when that happens, but when we do—I’ve got to admit, there’s nothing better.

I think this review, and this book, would’ve made my sister Michelle proud. About The Book

Publication Date: April 26, 2022

Blood Will Tell is a fierce novel of suspense, secrets, and family drama. Chavez brilliantly intertwines story and tension into a captivating novel. “ — Samantha Downing, internationally bestselling author of My Lovely Wife and For Your Own Good

From the author of the acclaimed debut No Bad Deed, a twisty novel about the bond between two sisters—and the crimes one covers up to protect the other. For fans of Lisa Gardner and Harlan Coben.

Schoolteacher and single mom Frankie Barrera has always been fiercely protective of her younger sister Izzy—whether Izzy wants her to be or not. But over the years, Izzy’s risky choices have tested Frankie’s loyalty. Never so much as on a night five years ago, when a frantic phone call led Frankie to the scene of a car accident—and a drunk and disoriented Izzy who couldn’t remember a thing.

Though six friends partied on the outskirts of town that night, one girl was never seen again . . .

Now, an AMBER alert puts Frankie in the sights of the local police. Her truck has been described as the one used in the abduction of a girl from a neighboring town. And the only other person with access to Frankie’s truck is Izzy.

This time around, Frankie will have to decide what lengths she’s willing to go to in order to protect Izzy—what lies she’s willing to tell, and what secrets she’s willing to keep—because the dangerous game that six friends once played on a warm summer night isn’t over yet.

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About The AuthorHeather is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley’s English literature program and has worked as a newspaper reporter, editor, contributor to mystery and television blogs, and in communications for a major health care organization. She lives with her family and two cat overlords in Santa Rosa, California, where she is at work on her next novel.



Dayna Linton
Dayna Linton
Dayna is the owner of not only Novels Alive but of Day Agency, a full-service self-publishing agency for independent authors. She has been assisting independent authors to achieve their dreams of becoming published authors for over 15 years. From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors to the first-time author to every author in between. Dayna is a self-professed bibliophile. While dancing has always been her first love, reading came as a very, very close second, with gardening coming in as a close third. Dayna is also the divorced mom of four adult children and a very proud grandma. She is also a web designer, social media specialist, book blogger, and reviewer. She's a long-time Disney lover and a Utah Jazz, Utah Utes, and Dallas Cowboys fan. See Dayna's reviews here: Dayna's Reviews


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