Happy holiday season! I can’t believe we’re already halfway through December! This year has been a whirlwind – mostly in a good way. I will tell you more about my books and writing from the past twelve months at the end of this post, but first let’s spread some cheer.
My Favorite Reads of the Year
First up, my favorite reads of 2021! (Please note, some of these books were not necessarily published in 2021.) I had to check my Goodreads reading challenge to remember all the books I read, and (no surprise) most of them were psychological thrillers. So here were my 2021 reads that stood out from the rest:
- Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica — I absolutely love everything Mary Kubica writes and this one was right there at the top in terms of my favorite books she’s written, and that many of her books are set in Chicago, where I used to live.
- Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier — OMG! I was not expecting to love this book so much or to find a new favorite author to follow. This one kept me turning the pages from start to finish.
- The Guest List by Lucy Foley — I love a good locked-room mystery, and this one transported me to a distant island wedding where the guests were isolated by a storm and everyone was a suspect!
- One by One by Ruth Ware — This was another great locked-room mystery featuring a work trip at a ski resort gone murderously wrong. I’ve seen lots of mixed reviews for this one, but I really enjoyed it!
- Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle — I’ll admit that I found this one in a little free library near my house, and I’m SO GLAD I picked it up. It was my first book by this author and I DID NOT see that twist coming! I look forward to reading more of her books in the coming year. (I will buy them this time.)
- Her First Mistake by Carey Baldwin — Double bonus for this one because it was written by one of my fellow Bookouture authors. It was so well-written and I never knew whether or not to trust the narrator, which is the thing I loved the most about it!
Now I’d like to give a shoutout to a couple of authors who have gone above and beyond in supporting my books in the last year. It wasn’t too long ago that I was an Indie author and I very clearly remember how difficult it could be to find a readership without the backing of a large publisher. Here are a couple of Indie authors to look out for:
Author D.G. Driver — This is a Nashville-based author who writes a little bit of everything, from picture books to YA, and beyond. I became acquainted with D.G. when we both had YA books published by the same small publisher back in 2015. Since then, she has supported several of my books by reading, reviewing, and recommending them to others. I enjoyed her YA mystery, Lost at Sea, as well as her Juniper Sawfeather YA fantasy series, which is great for young readers who enjoy reading fantasy and/or are concerned about environmental issues. Her most recent release is a musical romance called Songwriter Night. It’s an audiobook filled with songs–perfect for the broadway musical and/or country music lover! You can view all of her books on her website: www.dgdriver.com
Author Joan Hall — I have never met Joan Hall in person, but I’ve noticed that she is usually one of the first people to read and review my books as they come out. I so appreciate her early reviews (and she writes great ones!) Joan writes mysteries and romantic suspense. I hope a few more people discover her books through this post. Please check out her books on her website: www.joanhall.net
My 2021 Highlights
As for my own books, I had a productive year. Her Best Friend’s Lie was published by Bookouture in March and eventually reached the Top 50 on the US Amazon Kindle store! It was also recently named as a favorite read of 2021 by Nicki’s Life of Crime book blog! In November, We Live Next Door, my fourth novel with Bookouture, was published and reached Amazon’s Top 10 Kindle Bestseller in Psychological Fiction and reached the Top 100 in the Amazon UK Kindle store!
What’s coming in 2022? I have recently completed structural edits to my next psychological thriller, The Girl Before Me, coming from Bookouture in April 2022. I’m REALLY excited about this one, set in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, because it’s scary and has a killer twist that I hope readers won’t see coming.
I’d like to wish everyone a happy holiday season and a healthy and happy New Year! Thank you to everyone who has supported my books in some way this past year. I greatly appreciate it!