Tuesday, June 16, 2020

New Release Review: Borderland by F.E. Feeley Jr & Jamie Fessenden #Review #Giveaway

Title: Borderland
Authors: F.E. Feeley Jr. & Jamie Fessenden
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Publication date: June 1, 2020
Length: 68,000 words

Reviewed by Sammy


They were young.
In the prime of life and recently married.
And then the diagnosis came.

George and Jason make arrangements to travel back to George’s home state of Vermont so he may pass away in the town where he grew up, but a terrible storm diverts the couple into the gates of an out-of-the-way hotel called Borderland.

Sure, the employees are well dressed and polite. Sure, the food and entertainment is old time fare. But it’s all a schtick, right?

Or is there something far more sinister at work here?

Welcome to the Borderland Hotel, where you may check in, but you’ll never, ever leave.

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The last thing George and Jason wanted to hear was that the cancer hadn’t gone away—all the months of chemo had done little to shrink the deadly tumor growing in George’s brain. Jason is devastated but George is resolved. He refuses to spend what little time he has left wallowing and waiting for death. He convinces Jason to go on a trip with him—just get in the car and go. Their final destination will have to be to George’s parents—the same one he is estranged from but Jason insists they must tell them. A they head to Vermont a freak rainstorm, a sudden falling branch and a punctured tire and bent rim later lands them in a quiet, unobtrusive hotel named Borderland.

At first, Jason and George are charmed by the proprietress, Rebecca, her small staff and their rather backwards way. It seems just a little strange that they are wearing what can only be costumes from the early 1920’s but then that is just the hotel’s thing—or so the men think. But the lack of internet, phone, television and other guests seems just a bit odd. Then others appear—as if out of nowhere. Other guests—this time in costumes from the 1940’s and they are different—strange—scary. But what really jangles both Jason and George is the fact that George seems to be getting better, one might say he looks robust even, but Jason suddenly becomes quite ill—with the flu. Not the modern day flu but the great influenza strain from 1920…the one that killed millions. Or is it just the flu? What exactly does the mysterious Margie, the USO entertainer have to do with everyone not quite remembering the past and Jason suddenly becoming deathly ill? There’s something evil lurking at the Borderland and George must discover how to defeat it before it takes the life of the man he loves.

When I heard two of my favorite authors, Jamie Fessenden and F.E. Feeley Jr. were collaborating and releasing a mystery/ghost story/romance I was intrigued. I had to read it and I am so glad I did. These two men are standout authors in their own right but as a team they are amazing. This is a novel I read with the lights on and my heart in my throat. It was a beautiful romance, an awesome ghost story and a twisty mystery all rolled into one.

From the onset we know George has an inoperable brain tumor but what he does with the months he is left with is what this story is really all about—that and how love endures through time and comes full circle. The opening pages where the two husbands find out the outcome of the torturous treatment George has undergone is just incredibly sad but these authors don’t let us dwell there long. Instead they thrust us into the heart of a story that is the stuff of nightmares and allow us a birds eye view of two men determined to survive it with their love for each other intact.

What follows is a twisting macabre story of a hotel caught in time where people check in but rarely check out. The spirits that live there are both malevolent and benign but what is most scary is those that George and Jason can see—that are completely corporeal but are unaware of the fact that they are trapped in time. They have been cast under a spell of sorts and as George helps them untangle it all and see what has happened the action throttles up to full speed and the story becomes one scary encounter after another. But there is always hope—ever present and spurring George and Jason on through it all.

This dynamic writing duo gives us a thrilling novel in Borderland. I completely enjoyed every moment of the story and was absolutely all in when it came to the supernatural elements. I highly recommend this book to any who enjoy a good horror story infused with deep romantic love and a hopeful future.


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