Friday, February 8, 2019

"Rotten Peaches" by Lisa de Nikolits

Rotten Peaches
by Lisa de Nikolits

Rotten Peaches by Lisa de Nikolits

Rotten Peaches by Lisa de Nikolits is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

For more books by this author, please check out my blog post on The NearlyGirl and my blog post on No Fury Like That.

Rotten Peaches is a gripping epic filled with disturbing and unforgettable insights into the human condition. Love, lust, race and greed. How far will you go? Two women. Two men. One happy ending. It takes place in Canada, the US, and South Africa. Nature or nurture. South Africa, racism and old prejudices - these are hardly old topics but what happens when biological half-siblings meet with insidious intentions? Can their moral corruption be blamed on genetics - were they born rotten to begin with? And what happens when they meet up with more of their ilk? What further havoc can be wreaked, with devastating familial consequences?

Book Video

I am not a killer. I just fell in love with the wrong man. I went too far this time, and there’s no going back. There’s no going anywhere, period. I nearly stayed afloat, but my luck ran out. Luck, that mystical mythical glue that holds the shards of despair together and makes life navigable. But fragmented despair, that’s what sinks you.
It’s the middle of the day and the ghost of a cat walks across my bed. I am hidden in the downy softness of bleach-laundered sheets, sheets ironed with starch and cleansed of their filthy sins by scalding Catholic water.
The bed is high and wide and the pillows are like clouds ripped from a summer’s sky. I bury my head in cotton balls, puffy meringues and whipped cream, and try to ignore the ghost of the cat that is walking the length of my back.
The cat settles at my feet but it gets up again and pads along my legs. When it first started its prowl, I sat up and reached for it but, like all ghosts, it immediately vanished and waited for me to turn away before settling in a warm, heavy lump against my side. Its weight is comforting in a way, like being massaged by the hand of God, but it isn’t God. It can’t be, because God, like luck, has left the building of my life.

Praise for the Book
“Wow. Just wow. Lisa de Nikolits' Rotten Peaches blew me away. A dark, compulsive, and addictive story in which the characters' secrets and needs conflict with each other and fold back in on themselves in an ever-tightening noose, Rotten Peaches will keep readers gripped until the very last page. Highly recommended!” ~ Karen Dionne, internationally bestselling author of The Marsh King's Daughter
“A noir page-turner that digs into the darkest corners of the human heart, Rotten Peaches dissects the lives of Leonie and Bernice, women who live continents apart but are linked by the attentions of a charismatic con man, JayRay. Leonie, a kleptomaniac chemist for an up and coming cosmetics company in Toronto, juggles her trade show junkets with a taste for petty theft and an abusive affair with JayRay. Meanwhile, in South Africa, JayRay's half-sister Bernice, author of a best-selling series of self-help baking books based on recipes she's appropriated from her black housekeeper, is in love with a man committed to returning South Africa to white control. Slowly the two stories begin to merge: as one woman struggles for redemption and self-knowledge, the other slips into a whirlpool of deception and violence. Lisa de Nikolits succeeds in creating a disturbing, mesmerizing tale in which the boundaries of good and evil, justice and punishment, are blurred by family secrets, racism, and sexual obsession.” ~ Terri Favro, author of Once Upon a Time in West Toronto
“‘I am not a killer. I just fell in love with the wrong man.’ In Rotten Peaches, two women grapple with Sisyphean circumstances, paralleled in the seeming inescapable strength of the demons they harbour. Lisa de Nikolits is a skilled craftswoman, gripping the reader from the first page, and suspends her there, brow furrowed, as each new disaster unfolds, highlighted always by our two heroes’ inability to turn away from the men they love and the dangerous plots they've been seduced into. With cons, political unrest, poison, sex, and murder plots, Rotten Peaches is an unflinchingly cinematic read.” ~ Robin Richardson, author of Knife Throwing Through Self-Hypnosis
“In Rotten Peaches, Lisa de Nikolits has masterfully written two protagonists that are both thoroughly unsympathetic and utterly compelling. It’s impossible to look away as these two women do very bad things in the pursuit of love, happiness and meaning. And I do mean ‘very bad’ - which makes this book a wild, weird ride, but one that’s very worth taking.” ~ Stacy Lee Kong, Contributing Editor, Flare magazine

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
The title (derived from the Elton John song of the same name) refers to outside beauty hiding the ugliness within. It’s an apt description for all four of the main characters: two ambitious women and the (wrong) men they fall for. Leonie, a chemist whose beauty cream promises more than it delivers, is having an affair with JayRay, a charismatic conman in pursuit of easy riches. He has his sights set on his half-sister Bernice, a self-help writer who is having an affair with political activist Dirk. They’re all hiding secrets and anti-social tendencies, and you never know what they’ll do next. The book is full of unexpected actions and revelations and, even though they are all despicable characters, you’ll find that you just can’t look away from this train wreck. It makes you wonder how much of an impact parents have in determining their children’s behavior as adults.
Check out the real-life version of Bernice’s book, Bake Your Way to Happiness, written by Lisa de Nikolits in association with psychotherapist Marilyn Riesz and food editor Gilean Watts. Below, you can find the recipe for Melk Tert as featured in Rotten Peaches.
Warnings: coarse language, sexual references, sex scenes, excessive alcohol consumption, infidelity, violence.

Some of My Favorite Lines
Leonie: “I owe a debt of gratitude to my pretty. It has perpetuated the outward lie that disguises the reality inside.”
JayRay: “I’m a rotten peach,” he says mournfully. “I never had a good heart. I’m rotten to the core. Even my father said so. He said, ‘boy, you may be the apple of your mother’s eye but you’re a rotten peach, just like me.’ He used to sing this song by Elton John, about peaches rotting in the summer sun. ‘That’s you and me, boy,’ he’d say. ‘Rotten peaches, rotting in the summer sun.’”
Bernice: “… here I sit, drinking to drown my sorrows, not that this is anything new. Sometimes I find my life ironic. I am, after all, a world expert on happiness and the state of the human psyche. It’s a good thing no one knows the truth.”
Leonie: “I can’t help but think that if my family had any idea how rotten to the core I am, they’d boot me out, brush the dust off their hands, and get on with their lives.”

In addition to Lisa’s amazing new thriller, she’s also released a new cookbook, Bake Your Way to Happiness. Grab your copy today and start baking your way to a nourished body and spirit!

Bake Your Way to Happiness

To celebrate she’s sharing the recipe for Melk Tert, one of the South African desserts mentioned in Rotten Peaches!

Melk Tert Recipe

About the Author
Lisa de Nikolits
Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits has lived in Canada since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy and has lived in the USA, Australia, and Britain. Her seventh novel, No Fury Like That will be published in Italian, under the title Una furia dell'altro mondo, in 2019. Previous works include The Hungry Mirror, West of Wawa, A Glittering Chaos, Witchdoctor’s Bones, Between The Cracks She Fell, and The Nearly Girl. Lisa lives and writes in Toronto and her very new book, Rotten Peaches. is hot off the press to reader and literary acclaim. Lisa is a member of the Sisters in Crime, Toronto Chapter, Sisters in Crime, Mesdames of Mayhem, and The International Thriller Writers.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card or a print copy (US/Canada only) or one of three ebook copies of Rotten Peaches by Lisa de Nikolits.


Books featured in this post: