Cover Reveal: WE LIVE NEXT DOOR

I apologize for not posting in a while. I’ve been busy with summer activities and writing novels! Today, I’m so excited to reveal the cover of my upcoming psychological thriller WE LIVE NEXT DOOR. It will be published by Bookouture on November 5th, 2021 and is available for pre-order now. I think the cover designers really nailed this one. I hope you like it as much as I do!

So without further delay…

From the back cover …

I never wanted to hurt her. But what she wrote… it changed everything.

The pretty, leafy suburb of Ridgeview Pines is everything Jessica Millstone had ever dreamed of. The white picket fences, the neatly manicured lawns, the matching little post-boxes with their tiny red flags, right at the front of everyone’s yards. It’s the perfect place for Jessica and Mark to raise their three-year-old daughter, Isabelle, the perfect place to be a family.

Even when a neighbor has a tragic accident. Even when Isabelle falls unexpectedly from her high-chair. Even when strange messages begin appearing on Jessica’s phone, most people think nothing bad can happen here.

Because in Ridgeview Pines, everyone’s watching each other. And it’s all being noted down on an app called ‘The Neighbor List’. Everyone uses it, and most of the time it makes them all feel safe, secure, protected.

But telling tales on your neighbors is also a way to make enemies… And it turns out that even in the safest suburb, there are people who’d kill to protect the secrets they are hiding behind their front doors…

A totally and utterly gripping psychological thriller that will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of The Mother-in-Law, The Woman in the Window and Big Little Lies.


For my fellow Midwesterners, this one is set in a fictional suburb of Detroit. I wonder what suburban secrets are lurking behind those windows.

Thanks for checking out my upcoming release!

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!

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…

I Finally Get to Drink this Bottle of Wine!

The Story of the Bottle

IMG_4946When we moved to our new house almost three years ago, my husband and I made a binge-shopping trip to our local big-box store to stock up on groceries and necessities. In my haste to fill our cart and get out of the crowded store, I accidentally tossed in a $40 bottle of wine. (Normally, I purchase bottles in the more reasonable $10-$15 price range.) I didn’t realize my mistake until we were at the checkout, but things were hectic so we went through with it. When I got home, I felt a little guilty about the extravagant mistake, so I made a deal with myself. I told myself I would save the “good” bottle to open when I got a book deal.

One of my long-time goals has been to have my novels traditionally published by a large publisher. I’ve documented some milestones along this journey, including signing with an agent, completing and revising multiple manuscripts. parting with said agent, looking for a new agent, submitting my manuscripts on my own, all while still writing and being a mom to two kids. Well, you might be able to guess where this story is going. While I was busy writing, revising, submitting, and resubmitting, that bottle of “good” wine sat in our wine fridge for almost three years…

Pass the Corkscrew, Please!

About two months ago, I submitted my manuscript for a psychological suspense novel called, The Space Between, to an editor in the UK. Three weeks later, she asked me to make a few changes and resubmit. I did. A week after that, she asked me what else I had. I sent her summaries of my other manuscripts, one of which she asked to read. A few days after that, I received an offer for a three-book deal from Bookouture (Hachette UK!) I’d been hoping for a two-book deal, so a three-book option was beyond my wildest dreams! This past Friday, we signed the contract.

I now have three novels of psychological suspense coming out with Bookouture, The Space Between (August 2020), Where She Lies (November 2020), and The Cabin on Crooked Lane (spring 2021).  The third one hasn’t been written yet (minor detail!), but I’m now feeling validated and extra motivated to get it done. (There is more information about each book on my website, including a fourth novel, Top Producer, which I’ll be releasing through my own imprint on May 26th, 2020.)

I keep pinching myself. I’m so happy to finally get my books out into the world. Over the last several months, I had lost hope of accomplishing my dreams. I was contemplating throwing in the towel on my writing career. I was depressed at all the wasted time and effort I’d invested in writing and publishing. I’m so glad I didn’t give up. And for all of you writers out there with a dream in your heart and the willingness to hone your craft, I hope you don’t give up either.

Because I can tell you one thing–a glass of wine never tasted so good!