WE LIVE NEXT DOOR is HERE!

I feel like it’s been a long run-up to this one… Literally, months of revising, copy editing, polishing, proofreading, and watching with trepidation as the early reviews started rolling in. And now my newest psychological thriller, WE LIVE NEXT DOOR, is available on Amazon in Kindle, paperback, Kindle Unlimited, and Audible formats!

Publication Day was three days ago and I’m a little late getting this post out because it’s been a whirlwind. One of the highlights was this gorgeous and delicious cake I received from my editor and the team at Bookouture! The main character in my book dreams of opening a cake shop, so this was the PERFECT gift!

From the Back Cover

You think you know the people next door… What if they know you better?

I always dreamed of moving back home to Ridgeview Pines, with its white fences and sloping lawns. I wish it had happened under different circumstances, but now I’m here I feel safe and ready for a fresh start with my little family.

The first thing I do every morning is pick up my phone and check The Neighbor List—our local message board. Maybe the people next door know a little too much about where their neighbors are and what they’re doing, but it’s safer that way, isn’t it? And my husband—he wouldn’t dare sneak behind my back with so many eyes watching.

Just when I’m beginning to relax, a woman I’ve known since I was small is found dead on the white tiles of her bathroom floor. I watch messages of condolence flood my screen. No one else suspects a thing.

But I know that among all these friendly people, watching out for one another, someone knows more than they’re sharing. And I wonder—how far back do they remember, and who’s next?

An utterly gripping psychological thriller that will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of The Couple Next Door, The Woman in the Window and Behind Closed Doors.

Readers are loving We Live Next Door:

Wow, just holy wow. This was a brilliant read. Set aside plenty of time to read in without a workday. It had my head spinning on the guilty person… Just get it, you will not stop until your jaw drops.” NetGalley reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

WOW WOW WOWI absolutely loved this!” Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Great book!! Wow what a storyline! This book had suspense, intrigue, action, and whoa so many twists and turns!!” Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Had me gripped from the very first page and did not let go until the very last. Clear your schedule, because once you start this shocking and completely addictive thriller, you will not be able to stop.” Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Thanks for celebrating Publication with me! If you enjoy reading dark and twisty psychological thrillers, I hope you’ll check out We Live Next Door!


Behind the Book

Curious about what inspired me to write We Live Next Door? It’s all here in this article Behind the Book published in Crimespree Magazine!

Title Change Announcement

My new release, originally titled The Lake House, now has a new title–Her Best Friend’s Lie. This change was made three weeks after its publication on March 17th, 2021, and, hopefully, will not confuse any readers. Everything else about the book remains exactly the same!

My publisher (Bookouture) gave me the title change news a few days ago after doing some market testing. While I was fine with the old title, I think the new title better encapsulates the story. It hints at secrets between friends, rather than just a house where people’s lives are in danger. While Her Best Friend’s Lie contains elements of horror (e.g. multiple murders), my novel is a psychological thriller at heart. I’m happy this new title conveys that message in a clear way in order to attract the most appropriate readers to my book. I hope you like the new title too!

How much does a book’s title influence your decision to read it? Have you ever been misled by a title? Tell me about it!

What a Review!

Every once in a while, a book blogger’s review of one of my books makes me jump for joy. I hope you don’t mind if I share this recent review by Nicki’s Life of Crime of The Lake House because this review made all of my pre-publication anxiety seem worth it! Click the link below to read the full review.

Nicki`s Life of Crime : BLOG TOUR,BOOK REVIEW – The Lake House by Laura Wolfe

Thanks for checking it out!

Has anyone ever gotten you out of a slump by writing a spectacular review? Tell me about it!

The Lake House is Here!

There are secrets beneath the surface

I’m taking a breath because my newest psychological thriller, The Lake House, was published yesterday by Bookouture! I’ve been wanting to write my own version of “locked room” mystery for some time now, and I’m happy to say I’ve now accomplished that goal with my story of a girls’ weekend gone murderously wrong. For anyone who is intrigued by the concept of false friendship or who enjoys reading dark, twisty, fast-paced murder mysteries, I hope you’ll check this one out. It makes a spine-tingling poolside or beach read!

One of the most stressful parts of publishing is waiting for the first reviews to come in. My publisher made my book available on Netgalley about six weeks before publication, so I was lucky enough to garner some early reviews. Here’s what some of those readers said about The Lake House

Finally, here’s a little blurb from the back cover:

You can always trust your closest friends. Can’t you?

This trip was a chance to reconnect away from our busy lives. The five of us used to be so close—going right back to our college days, when we shared a rickety house and all our favorite clothes, as well as every high and low of our lives—but that was then.

Now, the thought of three days in a small cabin far from anywhere, surrounded only by water and trees, with my four oldest friends makes my stomach sink and my hands sweat. Because if they knew what I’d done—the betrayals I’ve committed—they’d never forgive me. And neither would you.

The straight-A student, the sports star with a bright future ahead of her, the sheltered girl who blossomed away from her family and the hippie child who was going to save the world. Their lives have turned out so differently to how we pictured all those years ago. I try not to think about why.

But then danger strikes, and too late I discover I’m not the only one keeping secrets. And I wonder: who will go furthest to keep the truth hidden?

Gripping, addictive and totally unputdownable, The Lake House will have you reading late into the night. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the TrainThe Woman in the Window and Big Little Lies.

Thanks for stopping by and reading about my new release. I hope your weekend getaways go much, much better than the one I’ve portrayed in my book!

Until next time, happy reading!

IT’S COVER REVEAL DAY!

Today, I’m thrilled to reveal the cover of my upcoming release, The Lake House (Bookouture, March 2021). I’m fully prepared for my invitations to weekend getaways with friends to drop off after this one…

From the Back Cover:

The worst part was we could have avoided the whole thing. Only a minor change here or there would have done the trick—a different decision made last week or twenty years ago. Instead, every choice had led to this terrifying place.

It was supposed to be the perfect vacation: five old friends together for the first time in years; a secluded cabin by a private lake; late nights, wine and laughter. No one, least of all Megan, looking forward to a break from her suburban routine, thought anything bad would happen.

But who has been keeping a secret?

Who has been hiding a lie for over twenty years?

And whose life is in danger?

Megan thought she knew everything about her friends. But things change in the woods. The truth gets twisted. Lies rise to the surface. Bonds start to break.

And someone is watching them…

Dark, compelling and totally unputdownable, The Lake House will have you wanting to sleep with the lights on. Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware, Shari Lapena and The Hunting Party.

Amazon: https://geni.us/B08THVTFMTCover

Apple: http://ow.ly/oGWQ50Deq7S

Kobo: http://ow.ly/GEaX50Deq4S

Google: http://ow.ly/n6Fw50Deqb0

Thanks for checking it out!

New Year, New Blog!

Resolutions

Happy 2021, everyone! With the new year, I’ve decided to give my blog a little refresher so it better reflects my writing and books. So, Sustainable Writer is now Suspense with A Twist blog. I hope to post more regularly this year and also spotlight a few more of my author friends who have books coming out in the mystery/suspense/thriller genre.

As a second resolution, I’ve gotten more active on BookBub plan to use that platform to recommend one or two books a month that I truly enjoyed. These will most likely be in the mystery/suspense/thriller genre as that’s the majority of what I read. I hope you’ll follow me on BookBub and get some great reading recommendations in the process!

Exciting News from the Past Month

Apart from the holidays, it has been such a busy few weeks. Here are some recent highlights from writing and publishing life:

  1. In December, TWO WIDOWS hit #34 on Amazon out of ALL KINDLE BOOKS and #1 in each of its categories! This was beyond my wildest dreams. I’m happy that it is continuing sell steadily so many months after publication.
  2. My newer release, SHE LIES ALONE, is off to a strong start and has reached its own milestone with already over 200 reviews on Amazon! (As an added bonus, most of them are positive!) I’m thrilled that SHE LIES ALONE reached the Amazon’s Top 100 in the very competitive Psychological Fiction and Psychological Thriller categories.
  3. My self-published suspense novel, TOP PRODUCER, survived the slush pile and was named to the Long List in the 2020 Clue Awards (the mystery/suspense division of the Chanticleer International Book Awards.) My book will now move onto the next round of judging and I’ll let you know in a month or two if it makes the shortlist.
  4. And finally, I’ve just completed final edits to my third book (recently re-titled, THE LAKE HOUSE) to be published by Bookouture in March 2021. I hope you’re not envisioning a posh, glass-walled mansion overlooking a bustling lake, because this lake house is a lot creepier and more remote, and (spoiler alert) not everyone makes it out alive! I can’t wait to share the cover and the back cover blurb with you in a future post!

That’s all I have for now… I’ve started outlining my next novel and will soon be busy writing. Thanks for hanging out with me for a few minutes. Until next time, happy writing and reading!

The Emotional Turmoil of Getting Published

What is Success in Writing?

For so many years, the end goal of my writing was to land an agent, sign with a publisher, and have my fully-legitimized book thrust out into the world with the approval stamp of the publishing house on its spine. After that, I imagined myself throwing confetti in the air and basking in the joy of post-publishing glory. In this idealized vision, publication equaled success. I never thought much about what came after publication. For some reason, the reviews that would follow–both good and bad–didn’t factor into my daydream.

Well, fast-forward a few years. I landed (and fired) my agent. I signed a three-book deal with Bookouture, who recently released Two Widows, the first of three stand-alone suspense novels. My second suspense novel, She Lies Alone, is coming out in less than two weeks. These stories–the ones I spent literally years of my life crafting, writing, and revising–are now out there for people to read and review. It’s exciting, yes. It’s also terrifying.

I’m happy to say that Two Widows has been very well-received by the suspense-reading community. Still, like almost every book, it has garnered occasional one and two-star reviews. As much as the reviews praising my book have injected me with a sense of euphoria (especially the ones that say they would give it MORE than five stars if they could!), the mean reviews hurt equally as much. These critical people do not hesitate to share how much they HATED my book. Some negative reviews are easier to disregard–for example, those written in one extremely long run-on sentence with no punctuation and brimming with misspelled words, or those that state incorrect facts, demonstrating that the reader has zero reading comprehension, or those that are hateful toward gay people and offended that my main character reconciles with her gay son and admits she’d been wrong to blindly follow a few bullies in her small town church. As authors, it is difficult to not be able to respond to these. But we can’t.

The advance Netgalley reviews for She Lies Alone are starting to show up on Goodreads. The first three people who read it left FIVE-STAR reviews. Woo-hoo! (I must have really found the pinnacle of success with this second book.) Then a few four star reviews followed. (I’ll take a four-star review any day.) The last five reviews have been 3 stars. (Can you feel my energy deflating?) Reading some of these new comments about my book being “average” and “predictable” feels like something akin to emotional abuse, to someone berating my child in front of me. I went from having a wonderful day to wanting to jump off the nearest bridge. (Did I mention I’m a highly sensitive person?)

Apparently, some readers are disappointed that the cover doesn’t match the story. I’m wondering why these people didn’t bother to read the back cover blurb. Others are disappointed that my book is not a true “thriller.” That’s correct, She Lies Alone is a novel of psychological suspense, just as it says in the subtitle! Maybe you can see why I’m frustrated…

How to Cope

For my fellow writers who are finding the thrill of publication tarnished by negative reviews, here are some things I’ve found that help:

  1. Look up a few of your all-time favorite books on Amazon or Goodreads. See how members of the general population left average and bad reviews the book that you so loved. You know they aren’t right. Now apply the same logic to YOUR book.
  2. Remind yourself (as my editor often reminds me) that no book is going to please everyone. It has literally never been done.
  3. Look for constructive criticism and use it to make your next book better. As much as I hate to say it, when several people are saying the same thing over and over again, there’s a good chance they might be on to something.
  4. Don’t read the reviews. Okay, I had to say it, but no one believes that is going to happen.
  5. Remember why you write. I write because there is a story within me that needs to be told. I write because I enjoy being creative. I write because I’m good at it. This passion of telling mysterious and suspenseful stories is for me, not to please some twenty-two-old woman with a permafrown who lives in a crappy apartment building in the middle of Arkansas and who’s initials are K. M. and who I’ve never met and probably wouldn’t like if I did meet her. (Too specific?)

Don’t Dwell. Keep Writing.

While easier said than done, I’m striving to let negative reviews roll off my back. I’m going to appreciate and gain energy from the positive feedback. My third book has just been sent to my editor to prepare for the line edits, and that is where my focus needs to be, not on books that I’ve already written, re-written, revised, and edited. I’ve already poured my heart and soul into those books and they can’t be changed now. I like my books. Actually, that’s not true. I love my books. And for a writer, maybe that’s the true mark of success.

Book Release Day! TWO WIDOWS!

One secret. Nowhere left to hide.

I’ve been waiting for this day for months and can’t believe it’s finally here! My suspense novel, TWO WIDOWS, has been published by Bookouture.

TWO WIDOWS will be on a blog tour through September 2nd on a wide variety of fabulous book review blogs. See the schedule above to check it out!

The eBook version is currently only $.99 from a wide variety of retailers:

The body of an unidentified woman has been found on a local beach in a small town. The police have no suspects.

Gloria is used to solitude. Widowed and still grieving her late husband, she spends her days with only her faded photographs for company. But when a young woman is murdered nearby, Gloria grows anxious. Living alone in an old farmhouse, surrounded by empty woods, there’s no one for miles who would hear her scream.

When freelance travel writer Beth arrives with her trailer to live on Gloria’s land, Gloria is relieved not to be alone. The police have no suspects in the murder and fearless Beth makes Gloria feel safe. Then Gloria discovers Beth is a widow too: the women become closer and begin to share their secrets.

But soon Gloria starts to wonder… what does she actually know about Beth? About what brought her to this isolated spot? About how her husband really died? Is it a coincidence that she’s arrived just as this small town has seen its first murder in decades?

Gloria thought that Beth had told her all her secrets. She was wrong.

An utterly compelling suspense novel that will have you hooked, Two Widows is a gripping thriller that will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, The Couple Next Door and The Woman in the Window.

Thanks for celebrating my book release with me! I hope you’ll check out TWO WIDOWS if you love reading dark and twisty suspense…

Cover Reveal – TWO WIDOWS

It’s Cover Reveal Day!

I’ve had an exciting week in writing. On Tuesday, I released my commercial fiction suspense novel, Top Producer. Today, I get to reveal the fabulous cover of Two Widows, my first suspense novel to be published with Bookouture this August!

So, without further ado…

TWO WIDOWS Cover

Two Widows releases August 27th from Bookouture, but is available for pre-order now on Amazon, iBooks, Google, and Kobo!

From the back cover –

I’d grown desperate for company since the discovery of the dead woman in town…

Gloria lives alone in an old farmhouse surrounded by empty land, miles from the nearest town in northern Michigan. Widowed and grieving her husband, mourning her broken relationship with her estranged son, lonely Gloria searches for answers in self-help books and has only faded photographs and stacks of unpaid bills for company. Her days all look the same.

Then the dead body of an unidentified young woman is found on the beach near Gloria’s house.

When freelance travel writer Beth arrives with her trailer to live on Gloria’s land, Gloria is relieved not to be alone. The police have no suspects in the murder and fearless Beth makes Gloria feel safe. Then Gloria discovers Beth is a widow too: the women become closer and begin to share their secrets.

But soon Gloria starts to wonder… what does she actually know about Beth? About what brought her to this isolated spot? About how her husband really died? Is it a coincidence that she’s arrived just as this small town has seen its first murder in decades?

Gloria thought that Beth had told her all her secrets. She was wrong.

A deeply compelling suspense novel that will have you hooked, this is a gripping thriller that will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, The Couple Next Door, and The Woman in the Window.

Thanks for checking it out!