AUTHOR CHIT CHAT: Travis Myers + Natasha Myers Marsiguerra (Authors of sister margaret)

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing a talented brother-sister duo who brings crime fiction right to your doorstep. I loved the first installment, Sister Margaret, in the Tommy Keane series, and guess what…the sequel, Hayden Jon Marshall, is also out now! Thank you, Travis and Natasha, for taking the time out to do this author chit chat.

1) What inspired you and Travis to write Sister Margaret?

It was just an idea really. Both of my brothers, Travis and Henry, are great storytellers and when people would listen to them go on a tear, the comment ”You should write a book” usually followed. I’ve always had a love for reading and writing and my brother Travis called me one day and basically asked me what I thought of a collaboration. I immediately said yes, not quite sure what I was getting myself into, but a couple weeks later Travis sent me the rough for Sister Margaret. And I absolutely loved everything about it, I loved it’s flow, details, characters, everything. These are characters that Travis all plagiarized from real life, and I mean that whole heartedly, I mean I knew these people and I know this neighborhood, so it all rang so true, I was immediately sold. Now as far as me not knowing what I was getting into… Well my brother can definitely tell a story, but have you ever read a 200 page sentence? Because that’s what I was delivered. My job was to rewrite, edit, format, and describe all the details of this fabulous little story. Overall it seems everyone is happy with the end product, which is absolutely thrilling for us.


2) When you first saw the cover for Sister Margaret, what were your initial thoughts?

I really liked it, again I am a big reader, and one thing I love is old noir novels and movies and I think Sister Margaret’s cover definitely has that feel, I mean it could have come off of a book from the 1940’s, the 1960’s, or today. I have to give Travis credit for the idea, and a wonderful artist named Phred Rawles credit for the work. We liked it so much, we already have had him do the covers for the next two in the series, Hayden Jon Marshall and Jenny Black. And they are both fabulous.

3) If you could re-name your book title, what would you choose?

Gee, I don’t know? Maybe something like ”Murder of a Nun” or ”Murder at our Lady of Good Council”? I really don’t know. But I can tell you why it’s called Sister Margaret – it’s because she is the victim, and we decided every book in the series would be named after the victim. One, out of respect for the victims, and two, because when a detective starts his case folder, the victim’s name is written on it, and therefore the name of the victim becomes the name of the case.

4) If you could hang out with one of your fictional characters, who would it be and why?

Doreen, definitely Doreen. Now if I wasn’t married I’d be trying to get with Terry Callahan, because he is just so dead sexy. Tommy reminds me too much of my brothers and I already get enough of them. Doreen is loosely based off of a long time friend of both my brothers who I’ve met but don’t really know. And I just love everything about Doreen, she is a tough Detective from the Housing Division in Brooklyn, she is truly a hard girl, but is still very cute, very sassy, and an absolute dear.,

5) Do you or Travis have any quirks or rituals during the writing phase of a novel?

I know Travis has to be alone in his house. If anything distracts him, or he’s not in the right frame of mind he can’t write but at the same time, if he is in the right mood and conditions are the way he likes them, then he can write a third to a half of a book in one sitting, he just runs with ideas for eight to ten hours. Me, on the other hand, am completely opposite. I am married to a Sicilian and have learned the great art of tuning out, I can read and write anytime. I’ve worked on the book in my car waiting for my kids, I’ve worked on it in a bar, in the backyard, pretty much anywhere.

6) Last but not least, do you have anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

BUY OUR BOOKS PLEASE! I need to quit my real job! 😁 Other than that, I would truly like to thank all of our current readers, my brother and I are absolutely blown away with how great the response has been to Sister Margaret. We really had no idea it would sell any copies at all, never mind as many as it has, or that anyone would like it nearly as much as it seems everyone does. So yes…Huge thanks to all of our current fans. For our future readers all I can say is please give Sister Margaret a shot. It is a very realistic depiction of real Detectives doing real detective work, Tommy Keane is a great human being, and his life is intertwined with a cast of characters that anyone who likes crime fiction, or any fiction novels at all, will or should fall in love with. And I promise, the next four books in the series will definitely pull you so deep into Tommy Keane’s world you’ll feel like a regular at Bailey’s Corner Pub.

Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N 

SEQUEL OUT NOW!

Author Chit Chat: John Marrs (What Lies Between Us)

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Words cannot express how excited I am to have John Marrs on my blog today! After reading three of his brilliant novels, he’s hands down one of my favorite writers. One of my top thrillers this year was What Lies Between Us. The dark quality behind this twisted plot stands out like no other. I highly recommend you pick up any novel by John Marrs, he will never disappoint you! Thank you John for taking the time out of your busy schedule to partake in my interview feature.

1) What inspired you to write What Lies Between Us?

My last two books included a police procedural followed by a high-concept thriller, so this time, I wanted to write something very character-led and that encompassed a long period in two people’s lives. I wanted to come up with a dark, claustrophobic story with plenty of twists and turns and that kept readers on their toes. Some have compared this to a cross between Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects and Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Olyphant Is Completely Fine. I find that very flattering.

2) When you first saw the cover for What Lies Between Us, what were your initial thoughts?

You normally receive a variety of cover concepts sent to you by your publisher and you tell them what you like and what you don’t like. I loved the vibe of this immediately. Earlier versions had no brickwork and it was my idea to have figures in the top and bottom windows and a window that lay between them. I’ve learned to be vocal about what I like. In the end, it’s my name going on the cover so I have to be confident that it looks good.

3) If you could re-name your book title, what would you choose?

The working title was The Woman Upstairs and that remained right up until we were in the editing stages. Then suddenly What Lies Between Us came to my mind and it worked perfectly. I think it’s my favourite of all my book titles. I actually prefer the original title of The One though. It was called A Thousand Small Explosions when it was self published and then became The One when a mainstream publisher approached me to take it on.

4) If you could hang out with one of your fictional characters, who would it be and why?

None of them – they’re all mad! Possibly Laura in The Good Samaritan. She’s a very, very dark character, possibly my darkest to date and it would be interesting to be around her, albeit briefly. You wouldn’t want to get sucked into her world for long though. Oh and Joe Russell in Her Last Move. He was a good guy.

5) Out of all the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

It depends on when you catch me. At the moment, it’s What Lies Between Us because it’s still new and interesting to me, but on other days, it might be my debut, When You Disappeared. Welcome To Wherever You Are is still my only book that is self-published, so I have a soft spot for that one.

6) Do you have any quirks or rituals during the writing phase of a novel?

When I’m writing, it’s always in silence. I can’t do background music. I always print the book out to do my edits, makes notes in coloured pens I buy from a shop called Muji and when I make the on-screen corrections, that’s when I’ll listen to my own playlists on Apple Music.

7) Last but not least, do you have anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

I welcome all readers – existing ones who have been there from the start and brand new ones who have only just hopped on board the crazy train. Without you, I wouldn’t be getting to spend all day living in my own imagination and trying to find ways to twist and turn you and lull you into a false sense of security. I am grateful to every last one of you.

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Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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John Marrs is an author and former journalist based in London and Northamptonshire. After spending his career interviewing celebrities from the worlds of television, film and music for numerous national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time author. What Lies Between Us is his seventh book.

Follow him on his Website, Twitter and Instagram

Blog Tour Review: Mayhem by Estelle Laure

Mayhem_blogtourbanner_on sale now.pngMayhem by Estelle Laure
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: July 14, 2020

Book Summary:  The Lost Boys meets Wilder Girls in this supernatural feminist YA novel.

It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else.

But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good.

But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.

From the acclaimed author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back, Estelle Laure offers a riveting and complex story with magical elements about a family of women contending with what appears to be an irreversible destiny, taking control and saying when enough is enough.

Book Review: When Mayhem’s stepfather abusively crosses the line, she and her mother Roxy escape to her hometown of Santa Monica, California. After running away many years ago, Roxy is now back to the one place she never wanted to see again. Roxy’s sister and foster kids introduce Mayhem to the shadowy world shielded from her since birth. The revelation of supernatural family secrets and the search for a deadly kidnapper will lead Mayhem to dangerous territory. How will she make sense of all these unexplained events and handle the truth behind her calling?

MAYHEM is an appealing 80’s themed novel that accurately tackles domestic abuse and showcases a revamped version of The Lost Boys. Estelle did a remarkable job in depicting parts of the cult classic, The Lost Boys, while giving the narrative a feministic flair. Mayhem was an empathetic character that longed to be accepted by her peers. I appreciated her protective stance with Roxy and the ability to adapt to new situations. If the roles were reversed, I don’t think I’d be able to withstand the changes as smoothly.

The foster kids were another aspect of the novel that brought an exciting element to the mix. Each personality shined with significantly different traits. By far, Jason was my favorite; there is something about a quiet, guarded persona that pulls me right in.

All in all, I thought MAYHEM was an easy read that flowed naturally with a suspenseful undertone. My only criticism is that the scenes surrounding the murderer on the loose felt a bit rushed. Ideally, I would have liked this part of the novel to have extended just a bit longer. Besides that, I thought it was a fun Summer read, and I’m looking forward to reading more books by Estelle!

Content Warning: Light moments of domestic abuse, rape, and discussed suicide.

My Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thank you Wednesday Books for including me in this blog tour and providing me a gifted copy of Mayhem for review.

!! Check out my Bookstagram post here !!

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About The Author:

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Estelle Laure, the author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back believes in love, magic, and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theatre Arts and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and she lives in Taos, New Mexico, with her family. Her work is translated widely around the world.

Twitter: @starlaure
Instagram: @estellelaurebooks
Website: https://estellelaure.com/
Buy The Book: Wednesday Books / Amazon / B&N

A Note from Estelle:

Dear Reader,

Like Mayhem, I experienced a period of time when my life was extremely unstable. I can still remember what it was like to be shaken so hard I thought my head would come off, to watch the room vibrate, to feel unsafe in my own home, to never know what was coming around the next corner. I wanted to run. I always wanted to run. I ran to friends, but also movies and books, and although girls were more passively portrayed in movies like The Lost Boys back then, that feeling of teenagers prowling the night, taking out bad people, being unbeatable . . . that got me through it. I guess that’s what I tried to do here.

I wanted girls who feel powerless to be able to imagine themselves invincible. And yes, I used a rape as the seed for that fierce lineage, not without thought. For me, there is nothing worse, and I like to think great power can rise up as a result of a devastating trespass. Please know I took none of this lightly. Writing this now, my heart is beating hard and my throat is dry. This is the first time I not only really looked at my own past, the pain of loss, the pain of the loss of trust that comes when someone puts hands on you without permission, the pain of people dying, the shock of suicide, and put all of it to paper in a way that made me feel victorious, strong, and warrior-like. It is also terrifying.

I know I’m not the only one who had a scary childhood, and I know I’m not the only one who clings to stories as salve to smooth over burnt skin. I am so sick of girls and women being hurt. This was my way of taking my own vengeance and trying to access forgiveness. Thank you for reading and for those of you who can relate, I see you and you are not alone.

-Estelle Laure

Author Chit Chat: Jennifer Hillier (Little Secrets)

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Thank you Jennifer Hillier for taking the time out to partake in my author feature! I am a huge fan of her novels, Little Secrets and Jar of Hearts. Jennifer is a pro a creating a highly addictive plot with heart stopping twists you won’t see coming. If you haven’t read Little Secrets yet, you must get your hands on it ASAP!

1) What inspired you to write Little Secrets?

I’m most inspired to write about what scares me, and as a mother to a five-year-old son (who was four at the time I wrote the book, the same age as Marin’s son, Sebastian), the thing that scares me the most now is losing him. However, I didn’t want to focus the story on Sebastian’s kidnapping, or the investigation – I wanted to explore how his disappearance affected Marin, and how she coped with not knowing where her child was. This meant I had to imagine it happening to me – which, let me just say, is a mental and emotional journey I’ll never want to take again. But I find that when I allow myself to imagine worst-case scenarios, it deludes me into thinking I can somehow prevent them from actually happening in real life. And if they do, then hey, I’m prepared because I’ve thought them through already!

2) When you first saw the cover for Little Secrets, what were your initial thoughts?

The cover that’s on the book right now is the second one the publisher sent me. The first one was great, but I felt that it didn’t quite capture the intensity of the emotion in the book. So the publisher came up with this one, and I love it – it really fits Marin, and the story.

3) If you could re-name your book title, what would you choose?

I am terrible with titles! Seriously terrible, so I honestly don’t know. We went through dozens of possible titles before settling on Little Secrets, and of course now I can’t imagine it being called anything else. But the working title I had was “She & Her” (yes, it was awful), and the title I submitted the finished draft under was “The Darkest Dark” (which I think was slightly better, but still wasn’t right).

4) If you could hang out with one of your fictional characters, who would it be and why?

I’d hang out with Sal, at his janky bar, and watch football. He makes a great amaretto sour and really delicious garlic fries that I hopefully wouldn’t have to pay for.

5) Out of all the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

It’s like choosing between children! I feel guilty for picking just one, so I’ll pick two. Little Secrets, because there’s so much of myself in it, and Jar of Hearts, which was just a really fun book for me to write.

6) Do you have any quirks or rituals during the writing phase of a novel?

Oh, I have so many. I need to write in the same spot every day. I need coffee. I need complete silence. I’m also very secretive – I don’t like to show anyone any pages, or discuss any part of the story until it’s finished. That last one isn’t always helpful, though – I need to learn it’s okay to ask for feedback if I’m stuck on something. Even now, six books later, I have a hard time asking for help. Early on in my career, I got too much feedback on a first draft that wasn’t yet complete, and it destroyed my confidence in what I was working on. I’d like to get past that, and try to remember that my editor is there to help me get to the finish line, not tear my work (and me) apart.

7) Last but not least, do you have anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

Just that I hope everyone is well and safe during this strange time. And that I hope people are finding comfort, distraction, and entertainment in great books.

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Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Books A Million

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hi there, I’m Jennifer Hillier. I write about dark, twisted people who do dark, twisted things. My newest psychological thriller, Little Secrets, is now available from Minotaur Books. I’m also the author of Jar of Hearts (Minotaur), CreepFreakThe Butcher, and Wonderland (Gallery Books).

I was in born in Toronto, but I spent eight years in the Seattle area, which is where all my novels are set. I’m a Seahawks fan but I married a Packers guy. We have a young son who looks most like me when he’s crying. My favorite author is Stephen King (but whose isn’t?). I’m afraid of the dark and can’t sleep unless I’ve checked the locks on the doors several times. I love writing when it’s raining, sleeping when it’s sunny, and reading after everyone else has gone to bed. I cherish my family (those who read, and those who don’t), and my friends (those who write, and those who don’t).

I’m a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Crime Writers of Canada. I’m also a regular columnist at The Thrill Begins, where I talk a lot about my writing journey and dispense advice you may or may not find helpful.

You can also find me on Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but hopefully not every day.

Book Review: The Swap by Robyn Harding

image1.jpegThe Swap by Robyn Harding
Genre: Domestic Thriller
Publisher: Gallery/Scott Press

Publication Date: June 23, 2020
(Photo Credit: Me)

Book Summary: Low Morrison is not your average teen. You could blame her hippie parents or her looming height or her dreary, isolated hometown on an island in the Pacific Northwest. But whatever the reason, Low just doesn’t fit in—and neither does Freya, an ethereal beauty and once-famous social media influencer who now owns the local pottery studio.

After signing up for a class, Low quickly falls under Freya’s spell. And Freya, buoyed by Low’s adoration, is compelled to share her darkest secrets and deepest desires. Finally, both feel a sense of belonging…that is, until Jamie walks through the studio door. Desperate for a baby, she and her husband have moved to the island hoping that the healthy environment will result in a pregnancy. Freya and Jamie become fast friends, as do their husbands, leaving Low alone once again.

Then one night, after a boozy dinner party, Freya suggests swapping partners. It should have been a harmless fling between consenting adults, one night of debauchery that they would put behind them, but instead, it upends their lives. And provides Low the perfect opportunity to unleash her growing resentment.

Book Review: Obsession is a hell of a drug. Awakening someone’s desire could be a dangerous game, if not played right. The moment teenage Low comes in contact with the strikingly beautiful Freya; she is spellbound. Low’s mission is to become Freya’s primary friend, except when Jaime walks in, resentment starts to fester. One drunken night, Freya and Jaime swap husbands, leaving in its wake a whirlwind of deceit. With the wrong decision and a weakened structure, how will these lives be changed forever?⠀⠀
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Written in multiple POV’s, Robyn Harding did an outstanding job in building well-thought-out roles with an erotically driven plot. Still, even with the dynamic storyline, I found myself disassociating with everyone’s fixation over Freya. Her narcissistic personality was evident from the start, yet nobody wanted to see it. It takes a seasoned author to write unlikeable characters, but still manage to keep the suspense moving.⠀⠀
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Low, I have to say, was an unusually entertaining part of the narrative. At times, I felt terrible for how people dismissed her, and in other scenes, she was creepy and insane. I enjoyed Low as a whole and the rollercoaster of emotions that she bestowed along the way.⠀⠀
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THE SWAP was a complex domestic thriller with an easy-to-read premise. I recommend you pick this one up if you’re looking for a crafty novel with one surprising ending.

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

!! Check out my Bookstagram post here !!

Author Chit Chat: Samantha M. Bailey (Woman On The Edge)

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Thank you Samantha M. Bailey for taking the time out of your busy schedule to partake in my author feature. I am a huge fan of her thriller, Woman on the Edge and I highly recommend you check it out!

Congrats on your thrilling debut! What inspired you to write Woman on the Edge?

Thank you so much, Eleni! I was inspired by public transit. I think all writers are fascinated by the people around them. We observe what seem to be even the most mundane of situations and conversations, and for me, my best ideas come when I’m not looking so hard for them. Six years ago, I was waiting on a Toronto subway platform for the train when I saw a woman holding a newborn. She looked worn out and frazzled, as most new mothers do. As I did many years ago with my own two kids. I was curious what she was thinking about and how she was doing in this new life that we’re thrust into the minute our baby is put in our arms for the first time. I was afraid for her because she was so close to the edge. 

I imagined this mother asking me to take her baby, and I felt the exhilarating, heart-pounding excitement of a new story. Then my thoughts got darker. As the train pulled into the station, I scribbled the idea on an empty gum pack I found in my purse. By the time I’d boarded with all the other commuters, and happily, also the mother, who was nestling her baby against her, the premise for Woman on the Edge was born.

When you first saw the cover for Woman on the Edge, what were your initial thoughts?

I was so happy! I have zero visual design talent, so I couldn’t envision the cover I wanted. When Sherise Hobbs, my editor at Headline, my UK publisher, sent me and my agent the cover for approval, we both knew immediately it was the one. It was designed by Caroline Young, and I think she’s remarkably talented. We all loved the cover so much that my North American publisher, Simon & Schuster Canada, wanted it, too. I hope readers love it as much as I do.

If you could re-name your book title, what would you choose?

That is one of the most interesting questions I’ve ever been asked. It was my editor, Nita Pronovost, and the Simon & Schuster Canada team, who came up with that title. It was originally titled “Jump,” and we all felt it wasn’t quite right. As we were brainstorming, I suggested all sorts of awful, cheesy titles that inspired a lot of laughs but weren’t what we needed. When Nita asked what I thought of “Woman on the Edge,” I loved the double meaning; how it captured the premise; and I was sold. So, I can’t imagine re-naming it, but sometimes in my head, I still think about it as “Jump” because I lived with that title during years of revisions.

If you could hang out with one of your fictional characters in Woman on the Edge, who would it be and why?

Morgan. I love and admire her. She’s a selfless, empathetic social worker who protects everyone else above herself and doesn’t let anything stand in the way of saving the baby she’s been entrusted to take care of. She risks her freedom and life for a child she’s just met, and to me, she’s a warrior.

Do you have any quirks or rituals during the writing phase of a novel?

So many. I find comfort in routine. When I start a new book, I always buy a pretty, new notebook for my outlines, character sketches, etc. I buy a cheap, new pen because there’s nothing more exciting to me than seeing fresh ink on a clean page. I choose a different mug for each new story and drink coffee from only that mug for that story. I use cream and not milk when I’m working on a first draft. Oh my God, I sound so weird, but waking up in the morning and diving into my work-in-progress feels so good, and I love all my rituals associated with that. It’s pure joy.

Last but not least, do you have anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

The biggest, most heartfelt thank you. It took me seventeen years, five books written, and two agents before the day I could finally walk into a bookstore and see my book on a shelf. Before I could tell my kids to keep going and never give up on their dreams because they can come true. In January, Woman on the Edge hit #1 on the Canadian bestseller lists for the first time, and I’ve never been more shocked and grateful in my life. That happened because of my readers, and all the people who support me: the bookstagrammers like you, bloggers, librarians, book sellers, and everyone who buys my book. You all changed my life.

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Photo Credit: Dahlia Katz Photography – Hair/Makeup: Megan Fraser

About the Author:

Samantha M. Bailey is a Toronto-based novelist, journalist, and freelance editor. Her work has appeared in Now MagazineThe Village Post, and Oxford University Press, among other publications. She was a writer-in-residence for Kobo Writing Life at Book Expo America 2013 and is the co-founder of BookBuzz, a promotional and interactive author-reader event held in New York City and Toronto.

Her debut psychological thriller, WOMAN ON THE EDGE, is a #1 Toronto Star and Globe and Mail bestseller, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, and was a PW Best Books Pick of the Week. It was the December Fiction Book of the Month at Indigo Books and the Shopper’s Drug Mart January Book Lover’s Pick. It made the Pop Sugar list of “25 New Books to Add to Your Reading List This Spring” and She Reads’s “Fifteen Necessary Thrillers to Read in 2020.” WOMAN ON THE EDGE is published in North America with Simon and Schuster Canada, and the UK with Headline. It will also be translated in seven countries world-wide, including with Garzanti in Italy, Roca Editorial in Spain, Heyne in Germany, General Press in Hungary, Euromedia in the Czech Republic, Ikar in Slovakia, and Znak in Poland.

Samantha loves reading as much as she loves writing so if she’s not tapping away at her computer, she’s probably curled up on her couch with a book.

LINKS

Connect with Samantha:


BUY THE BOOK:

Amazon Canada
Indigo
Buy Local
Amazon US 
Barnes & Noble
BAM
IndieBound
Amazon UK
Bookshop.org

Book Review: Only Ever Her Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

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Only Ever Her Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
Genre: Contemporary Thriller
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Pages: 298

Book Summary: Annie Taft’s wedding is four days away, and it will be one of the grandest anyone can remember in her small South Carolina town. Preparations are in order. Friends and family are gathering in anticipation. Everything is going according to plan. Except that Annie herself has vanished. Did she have second thoughts? Or has something much worse happened to the bride-to-be?

While her loved ones frantically try to track her down, they’re forced to grapple with their own secrets—secrets with the power to reframe entire relationships, leaving each to wonder how well they really knew Annie and how well they know themselves.

Book Review: A week before Annie’s wedding, she goes missing. Did she pull a Julia Roberts and run away? Or did someone make her disappear? When her mother’s convicted killer is set free, questions roam throughout the town. Will Annie’s family find her in time or will it be too late?

The story introduces us to Annie, a vibrant and beautiful young woman whose adaptable nature made her presence warm and easy going. With a wedding coming up, and the stress of her mother’s supposed killer being released, Annie has a lot going on mentally. I enjoyed getting to know her before and after her disappearance. Thanks to the secondary characters and the progression of the story, I was able to uncover all her layers.

For the most part, I delightfully enjoyed getting to know the perspective of each character. Some of their actions might have been questionable during the time of Annie’s disappearance, but judgement aside, everyone handles things in their own way. My only concern mainly focused on the missing holes in the plot. I would have liked some aspects to have been futher explained, but thankfully it didn’t take away from the overall book.

Even though this novel is advertised as a thriller, I wouldn’t necessarily categorize it as such. Told through a variety of character narrations, this novel emphasized on family and the life changing choices that leads us to our destiny. By the end, the undetected twist intrigued me and furthermore left me with an array of emotions. All in all, I recommend ONLY EVER HER if you’re looking for a light and fast paced read!

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and Little Bird Publicity for my review copy!

!! Check out my Bookstagram post here !!

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About The Author: Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of When We Were WorthyThe Things We Wish Were True, and five previous novels. She speaks to women’s groups around the United States and is the cofounder of the popular women’s fiction site She Reads (www.shereads.org). Marybeth and her husband, Curt, have been married for twenty-seven years and are the parents of six children. Marybeth divides her time between the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina, and the coastline of Sunset Beach, North Carolina. You can find her at www.marybethwhalen.com.

Book Review: Mine by Courtney Cole

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Mine by Courtney Cole
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Pages: 304

Book Summary: Tessa was prepared for the hurricane. Lindsey was the storm she didn’t see coming.

When Tessa Taylor unlocked her husband Ethan’s iPad to discover nude photos from a twenty-six-year-old bombshell named Lindsey, her seemingly perfect life came to a screeching halt.

With a hurricane barreling toward Florida and Ethan stuck on a business trip, Tessa finds herself imprisoned in her own home with a choice to make: Does she ride out the storm until she can confront Ethan in person, or does she take matters into her own hands?

Increasingly restless and desperate for revenge, Tessa resolves to act. And when she lures Lindsey over a few hours later, there’s no turning back.

What ensues is a battle of wills between two well-matched opponents, blinded by love for the same man but driven by demons of their own. Like storm-ravaged Florida, neither woman will be the same when the skies clear.

He’s mine. Both wife and mistress would stake their lives on it. But only one of them can be right.

Book Review: “This can’t be real. But I’m staring at the words, at the proof, and my stomach heaves. My husband is having an affair.” – MINE

Forget the hurricane coming, this whole book was a storm in itself! From beginning to end, I was glued to Courtney’s every word, it’s as if my life depended on finishing the story. Now, what do you get when a wife and mistress are holed up under one roof with no escape? A shit show, that’s what! Shocked and confused, Tessa, Ethan’s wife, seeks out Lindsey for answers. Will Tessa uncover the truth behind her marriage or will it be more than what she bargained for?

Tessa has it all, looks, a beautiful family and a business savvy mind. But, when her whole world tumbles down on her, she snaps. I resonated with her personality a lot, her pain and anguish about her husband’s affair evidently grabbed at my heart and made my blood boil.

Weirdly enough, both Tessa and Lindsey, the mistress, had likable moments. Even in times where I wanted to grab Lindsey through the novel and pull her hair out. As for Ethan, ugh. Words cannot convey how much I despised him. He’s just a bad seed to man kind that never deserved a woman like Tessa.

All in all, MINE is an insatiable novel that questions the reality of marriage and the drama between two women fighting over one man. By the end, I was pleasantly surprised and I didn’t want it to end. I read this heart pumping thriller in two sittings and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a book that’ll make you feel bi polar. One minute you’ll want to throw it against the wall, and the next you’re getting emotional. Whatever Courtney comes out with, you bet your ass I’m buying it!

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thank you to Gallery Books and Netgalley for my review copy!

!! Check out my Bookstagram post here !!

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About the Author:
Courtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling novelist who would rather write than eat chocolate. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business, but no amount of working in the corporate world could quell her urge to write.

Courtney was born and raised in Kansas, home of incredibly friendly people and the most horrendous weather on the planet. Because summer days were so hot, she grew up reading stacks of books… and when she didn’t like the ending, she wrote her own.

Courtney has relocated to Florida where she writes beneath palm trees. To learn more about her, please visit her website, www.courtneycolewrites.com.

Book Review: Such A Perfect Wife by Kate White

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Such A Perfect Wife by Kate White
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks

Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Pages: 368

Book Summary:

Blonde. Beautiful. A loving mother.

And missing since Monday.

On a sunny morning in late September, Shannon Blaine sets off for a jog along the rural roads near her home in Lake George, New York.  It’s her usual a.m. routine, her “me time” after dropping the kids off at school…except on this day she never returns.

Is her husband lying when he says he has no clue where she is? Could Shannon have split on her own, overwhelmed by the pressures of her life? Or is she the victim of a sexual predator who had been prowling the area and snatched her before she knew what was happening.

True crime writer Bailey Weggins, on assignment for the website Crime Beat, heads north from New York City to report on the mysterious disappearance. An anonymous tip soon leads Bailey to a grisly, bone-chilling discovery. Every town has its secrets, Bailey reminds herself, and nothing is ever as perfect as it seems. She keeps digging for answers until—when it’s almost too late—she unearths the terrifying truth.

Book Review: A beautiful mother goes missing while jogging, is the perpetrator in her community or is their more to the story? Blaire, a Crime Beat reporter comes into town to write about Shannon’s disappearance. As she digs for the truth, will her life be put into danger as well?

Usually in books, reporters are perceived as pushy and desperate. But, Blaire was by far one of my most-liked characters. Her ability to search for information without overstepping boundaries fascinated me. She dived into looking for Shannon blindly and I was amazed at her bravery and dedication to the case.

Plus, all the other secondary characters, even the ones who didn’t play a big part, were developed beautifully. Not once did the plot falter, everything flowed gracefully and all the points intertwined bringing an unforgettable conclusion.

SUCH A PERFECT WIFE, is an all around thriller that’ll keep you guessing until the end. With an enthralling story and detailed narrative, Kate has climbed up to my list of favorite authors. As a thriller enthusiast, a missing wife theme has been repeatedly used. However, Kate managed to put an original twist on it where I couldn’t get enough of the story. I highly recommend adding this novel to your TBR list, it’s one of my favorites this year thus far!

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thank you to Harper Collins (Harper Paperbacks) for my review copy!

!! Check out my Bookstagram post here !!

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About The Author:
Kate White is the award winning New York Times bestselling author of 13 works of fiction–five psychological thrillers and eight Bailey Weggins mysteries, including SUCH A PERFECT WIFE, published in May. She is also the editor of the MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA COOKBOOK.

You can get updates from Kate by signing up for her newsletter at katewhite.com–and/or following her on Facebook @KateWhiteAuthor.

The former editor-in-chief of five major magazines, including Cosmopolitan for 14 years, Kate is also the author of several popular career books, including THE GUTSY GIRL HANDBOOK: YOUR MANIFESTO FOR SUCCESS; I SHOULDN’T BE TELLING YOU THIS: HOW TO ASK FOR THE MONEY, SNAG THE PROMOTION, AND CREATE THE CAREER YOU DESERVE and WHY GOOD GIRLS DON’T GET AHEAD BUT GUTSY GIRLS DO.

Book Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

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The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: William Morrow Books / Harpercollins

Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Pages: 336

Book Summary:

Everyone’s invited…everyone’s a suspect…

For fans of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a shivery, atmospheric, page-turning novel of psychological suspense in the tradition of Agatha Christie, in which a group of old college friends are snowed in at a hunting lodge . . . and murder and mayhem ensue.

All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.

During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.

They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.

Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.

The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.

Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.

Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close?

Book Review: A group of friends gathered together on a New Year’s getaway to a remote location. With festivities in mind, the mood was set for an unforgettable reunion. Little did they know, that one of them was a dead person walking. I appreciated how this thriller started off with a murder. It set up the perfect atmosphere for a suspenseful plot, or so I hoped.

As I read, I slowly realized that the characters lacked substance. I couldn’t connect with any of them. I kind of preferred the estate’s staff, instead of the main personas. They seemed to secretly hate one another, and faked it for old time’s sake. Why torture each other with these yearly reunions then? I personally didn’t get it.

So, the aspect of the story was to find out who the killer was. You literally have to read 90% of the book, to finally find out the truth. I normally wouldn’t mind this outcome, but the interweaving of the past and present between most of the characters ended up bringing a tiresome quality to the narrative. At certain moments, I had to re-read parts of the chapters because I unfortunately found myself disengaged.

THE HUNTING PARTY by Lucy Foley started out promising, but regrettably fell short for me. With that being said, this could still be a likable thriller amongst readers. It does have great elements in it, just not enough for my taste. I must say though that Lucy’s writing ability was grand. Her word play and overall imagination was pleasurable and evident from the beginning. I’ll definitely give her future works a try!

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

Thank you to William Morrow Books for my review copy!

!! Check out my Bookstagram post here !!
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About the Author: Lucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time. The Hunting Party is her debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination. Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages. 

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