Summer Thrillers Giveaway! Jeffery Deaver, Lisa Scottoline, Gillian McAllister & Bev Thomas!

I’ve got literal stacks of books around the house right now, so I thought it was time to give a few away. Here’s a collection of brand new, super fan thrillers for your summer beach reads! Check out the descriptions and enter to win below!

The Good Sister by Gillian McAllister: An electrifying novel about the unyielding bond between two sisters, which is severely tested when one of them is accused of the worst imaginable crime.

Martha and Becky Blackwater are more than sisters--they're each other's lifelines. When Martha finds herself struggling to balance early motherhood and her growing business, Becky steps in to babysit her niece, Layla, without a second thought, bringing the two women closer than ever. But when Layla is found dead one morning, at only eight weeks old, Becky is charged with the unthinkable: the murder of her sister's child.

Nine months later, Becky is on trial and maintains her innocence--and so does Martha. Unable to shake the feeling that her sister couldn't possibly be guilty, Martha sets out to uncover exactly what happened that night, and how things could have gone so wrong. As the trial progresses, fault lines between the sisters begin to show--revealing cracks deep in their relationship and threatening the family each has worked so hard to build. With incredible empathy and resounding emotional heft, The Good Sister is a powerhouse of a novel that will lead readers to question everything they know about motherhood, family, and the price of forgiveness.

A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas: A riveting page-turner that lets us inside the secret world of therapist and patient, where boundaries get crossed, and events spiral out of control. . .

Ruth Hartland is a psychotherapist with years of experience. But professional skill is no guard against private grief. The mother of grown twins, she is haunted by the fact that her beautiful, difficult, fragile son Tom, a boy who never "fit in," disappeared a year and a half earlier. She cannot give up hope of finding him, but feels she is living a kind of half-life, waiting for him to return.

Enter a new patient, Dan--unstable and traumatized--who looks exactly like her missing son. She is determined to help him, but soon, her own complicated feelings, about how she has failed her own boy, cloud her professional judgement. And before long, the unthinkable becomes a shattering reality....

An utterly compelling drama with a timebomb at its core, A Good Enough Mother is a brilliant, beautiful story of mothering, and how to let go of the ones we love when we must.

The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver: From the bestselling and award-winning master of suspense, the first novel in a thrilling new series, introducing Colter Shaw.

"You have been abandoned."

A young woman has gone missing in Silicon Valley and her father has hired Colter Shaw to find her. The son of a survivalist family, Shaw is an expert tracker. Now he makes a living as a "reward seeker," traveling the country to help police solve crimes and private citizens locate missing persons. But what seems a simple investigation quickly thrusts him into the dark heart of America's tech hub and the cutthroat billion-dollar video-gaming industry.

"Escape if you can."

When another victim is kidnapped, the clues point to one video game with a troubled past--The Whispering Man. In that game, the player has to survive after being abandoned in an inhospitable setting with five random objects. Is a madman bringing the game to life?

"Or die with dignity."

Shaw finds himself caught in a cat-and-mouse game, risking his own life to save the victims even as he pursues the kidnapper across both Silicon Valley and the dark 'net. Encountering eccentric game designers, trigger-happy gamers and ruthless tech titans, he soon learns that he isn't the only one on the hunt: someone is on his trail and closing fast.

Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline: From the New York Times-bestselling author comes a pulse-pounding domestic thriller about a group of friends who have been bound for twenty years by a single secret—and will now be undone by it. Someone Knows is an emotional exploration of friendship and family, as well as a psychological exploration of guilt and memory.

Twenty years ago, in an upscale suburb of Philadelphia, four teenagers spent a summer as closest friends: drinking, sharing secrets, testing boundaries. When a new boy looked to join them, they decided to pull a prank on him, convincing him to play Russian roulette as an initiation into their group. They secretly planned to leave the gun unloaded—but what happened next would change each of them forever.

Now three of the four reunite for the first time since that horrible summer. The guilt—and the lingering question about who loaded the gun—drove them apart. But after one of the group apparently commits suicide with a gun, their old secrets come roaring back. One of them is going to figure out if the new suicide is what it seems, and if it connects to the events of that long-ago summer. Someone knows exactly what happened—but who? And how far will they go to keep their secrets buried?


The Submission Process.... Worse Than Querying? Laura Heffernan Says Yes.

If there's one thing that many aspiring writers have few clues about, it's the submission process. There are good reasons for that; authors aren't exactly encouraged to talk in detail about our own submission experiences, and - just like agent hunting - everyone's story is different. I managed to cobble together a few non-specific questions that some debut authors have agreed to answer (bless them). And so I bring you the submission interview series - Submission Hell - It's True. Yes, it's the SHIT.

Today’s guest for the SHIT (Submission Hell, It’s True) is Laura Heffernan, the author of the Reality Star series (available now) and the upcoming Gamer Girls series (2019). The best place to find her is usually on Twitter, where she spends far too much time tweeting about writing, Canadian chocolate, board games and reality TV. She lives in the northeast with her husband and two furry little beasts.

How much did you know about the submission process before you were out on subs yourself?

Almost nothing. I knew that everyone said it sucks a lot, and I didn’t quite believe it could be worse than querying. (Spoiler alert: it’s worse than querying.)

Did anything about the process surprise you?

The main thing that surprised me about the process is how bad I felt. Like, it was very exciting in the beginning, because of course I assumed that everyone would love my book and read it right away and we’d go to auction within a couple of weeks. (Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen.) But as things dragged on and we didn’t get replies, it got demoralizing if I let myself think about it too much. Especially when I saw other people announce offers, and especially the ones who went out on sub after me. 

Did you research the editors you knew had your ms? Do you recommend doing that?

Not at first. I knew enough about myself to realize that I didn’t want to know the names of the editors who had my book, because I’d spend all my time on Twitter. I trusted my agent to tell me what was going on.

With later books, as we got to the point where editors stopped replying as much, I liked to know who had my book. I don’t recommend this. I looked up one editor on Twitter and saw her make a comment about reading a book with a horse in it (she also edits historical romance, so it’s not like horses are super uncommon) and because I had a horse in the book that was out, I became obsessed with the idea that she was reading my book at that very moment. (Spoiler alert: She wasn’t. Or, I don’t think she was. She never responded to my sub, and that was about 3 years ago.)

What was the average amount of time it took to hear back from editors?

Forever? It all feels like forever. We were getting about one response a month. Most editors took about 1-6 months to reply. Later, some editors stopped replying at all. When we got the offer, it was after about 4 months.

What do you think is the best way for an author out on submission to deal with the anxiety?

Find something else to do. Everyone says “write another book.” Well, I write fast and my book was on sub for 18 months. Meaning, by the time I got an offer, I had 4 or 5 other books written. Every time someone told me to write another book, I wanted to scream.

What actually helped me is that we happened to be buying a house around the same time, but applying for mortgages, packing and moving is also not a long-term solution. The most important thing really is to have friends you can vent about the process with. Privately.

If you had any rejections, how did you deal with that emotionally? How did this kind of rejection compare to query rejections?

The first rejection we got was SO NICE that it really dulled the sting. The editor had nothing but positive things to say about me and my work. Even though she didn’t buy the book, I took the time to thank her at RWA a couple of years later, because it really stuck with me. That’s very different from all of the form “I didn’t connect with the voice” query rejections you get.

If you got feedback on a rejection, how did you process it? How do you compare processing an editor’s feedback as compared to a beta reader’s?

I never got any useful feedback. I had editors say things like “We don’t think we could launch it big enough.” I still don’t know what that means. In some ways, that’s really frustrating because you don’t know what changes to make. At least beta readers give you some direction.

When you got your YES! how did that feel? How did you find out – email, telephone, smoke signal?

By the time we got the yes, AMERICA’S NEXT REALITY STAR had been on sub for approximately 18 months, with two different agents. (My first agent changed positions after we went out.) My agent had nudged the remaining editors reading with no response, and we were actually preparing to go out on sub with a completely different book. I got the news while out for a walk sans phone (a very important daily ritual for me, especially during sub.) So when I saw that I had a Facebook message and email from her, I didn’t really think it was unusual. But as soon as I sat down to read everything, I started crying and messaged her back right away. Since I’d completely given up on that book, it felt AMAZING to know that we finally had an offer.

Did you have to wait a period of time before sharing your big news, because of details being ironed out? Was that difficult?

 We had to wait 3-4 months. In some ways, it was really tough. At the same time, I’d been on submission for 18 months at that point, so most people didn’t even ask how it went (Ouch, right? I know). I wound up telling a lot of my friends privately because I was just too excited.




Betty Bites Back Cover Reveal Plus ARC & Swag Pack Giveaway!

Yes! It’s another cover reveal from yours truly. This time I’m working in tandem with my fellow authors Kate Karyus Quinn and Demitria Lunetta to share with you the cover of Betty Bites Back: Stories to Scare the Patriarchy. The three of us edited this anthology, and we’re very excited to share the cover with you today!

Contributing authors:

Liz Coley

Shannon Green

Elaine Griffin

Lindsey Klingele

Kamerhe Lane

Jenna Lehne

Demitria Lunetta

Emilee Martell

Tracie Martin

Cori McCarthy

Kyrie McCauley

Mindy McGinnis

Azzurra Nox

Kate Karyus Quinn

Melody Simpson

Amanda Sun


Behind every successful man is a strong woman... but in these stories, she might be about to plant a knife in his spine. The characters in this anthology are fed up - tired of being held back, held down, held accountable - by the misogyny of the system. They're ready to resist by biting back in their own individual ways, be it through magic, murder, technology, teeth, pitfalls and even... potlucks. Join sixteen writers as they explore feminism in fantasy, science-fiction, fractured fairy-tales, historical settings, and the all-too-familiar chauvinist contemporary world.

Betty Bites Back Releases September 16th!

Enter below for a chance win an advance copy, plus a Betty Bites Back tote bag and swag from some of our awesome authors!