Spotlight and giveaway: One Night Gone

One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski

One Night Gone

by Tara Laskowski

on Tour September 23 – October 4, 2019 Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Suspense Published by: Graydon House Books (Harlequin) Publication Date: October 1, 2019 Number of Pages: 352 ISBN: 1525832190 (ISBN13: 9781525832192) Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

Synopsis:

“A subtly but relentlessly unsettling novel.” —TANA FRENCH, author of The Witch Elm

It was the perfect place to disappear…

One sultry summer, Maureen Haddaway arrives in the wealthy town of Opal Beach to start her life anew—to achieve her destiny. There, she finds herself lured by the promise of friendship, love, starry skies, and wild parties. But Maureen’s new life just might be too good to be true, and before the summer is up, she vanishes.

Decades later, when Allison Simpson is offered the opportunity to house-sit in Opal Beach during the off-season, it seems like the perfect chance to begin fresh after a messy divorce. But when she becomes drawn into the mysterious disappearance of a girl thirty years before, Allison realizes the gorgeous homes of Opal Beach hide dark secrets. And the truth of that long-ago summer is not even the most shocking part of all…

“A heart-wrenching and suspenseful novel of betrayal and revenge. Stunning!” —Carol Goodman, award-winning author of The Night Visitors

“Featuring a brilliantly executed dual timeline with two unforgettable narrators, One Night Gone is a timely and timeless mystery that will keep you obsessively reading well past your bedtime.” —Paul Tremblay, author of The Cabin at the End of the World

Read an excerpt:

Opal Beach was about a two-hour drive without traffic from downtown Philadelphia. It was somewhere halfway between Ocean City and Atlantic City and way less touristy. The beach always reminded me of vacations as a kid, running barefoot on hot sand, creating lopsided sand castles with plastic buckets, breaking crab legs and sucking out the meat. But there was also a sense of slowing down, of taking it all in, and I needed that now. I could feel the air change, the way it clung, coated, opened everything up. Through the car windows, the Oc¬tober air was shockingly cold but also reviving. The salty air had always bothered my mother and sister, who complained it was too humid and their tongues felt strange, but I loved the way it worked its fingers into my hair and curled around the tendrils. It made me feel a little wild, a little different. Untamed. Like anything could happen. Was I really doing this? Was I really pressing on this pedal, steering, guiding these four wheels to a stranger’s beach house, where I would live for the next three months alone? It had all happened so fast. A blur, really. Annie’s friend Sharon, with that same nurse-like efficiency that Annie had, set it all up so quickly that I’d barely had time to adjust to the idea before it was actually happening. But I was used to life messing with me now, used to tripping over a curb or forgetting to eat breakfast or chipping a nail, waking up only to discover that everything I’d known to be true was suddenly different. So in some ways this journey, the picking up and leaving behind, felt like an emerging. Like Rockefeller, the hermit crab I’d bought on our family vacation one year at a boardwalk shack, I was crawling out of a dingy shell and moving into a shinier, larger home. (Unlike Rockefeller, though, I hoped I wouldn’t die from the soap residue that was left inside the new shell when someone tried to clean it too vigorously before setting him inside the cage.) I drove down a two-lane road just off the ocean, the main drag for all the beachfront houses. I could imagine that on a weekend in July it looked like a parking lot as families navigated in or out of town, canoes and coolers tied up on their roof racks. But now it was eerily vacant, and I had the sense I was the last woman on earth, that in my quiet drive alone the rest of humanity had vanished. I was trying to decide if that was a good thing or not when a giant orange Hummer zoomed into view behind me and passed without slowing down. “Well, so much for that. Asshole,” I said. The houses were dramatically large and looming, blocking what otherwise would’ve been a magnificent view. You could tell which ones were just rentals—the monstrosities with thirteen bedrooms and a six-car garage that five families could rent out at once. But further down the road, the houses had more style and character. The kind of places—lots of windows, big porches, nice landscaping—that would make your mouth water even without the lush ocean backdrop as icing on the cake. I slowed as my GPS indicated I was getting close, but even so I almost missed the tiny driveway and its faded, weather-beaten road sign declaring my new mailing address: Piper Sand Road. I had made it. The long gravel drive split off halfway up, with one side leading to the Worthington house and the other side to their neighbor’s. When I’d first met the Worthingtons for my “job interview” just a few weeks before, I’d been so nervous about the whole thing that I’d taken the wrong driveway and parked in the neighbor’s lot and stared at it for a good minute before realizing the house number was wrong. But now, pulling into the correct driveway slowly, it felt like an adventure movie soundtrack should be swelling. And our heroine finds her destiny. I could imagine Annie’s reaction when she finally saw the house in person. It was stunning. The surrounding homes were propped up on beams, like old ladies hitching up their skirts so they wouldn’t get wet in the surf, but that just gave the Worthingtons’ house an understated effect. It stood confident and modest between them, a beach gingerbread house right out of a fairy tale, with light blue curtains and sweeping eaves. I parked right at the porch steps and got out, wrapping my cardigan around me to stave off the whipping wind. The front porch was small but quaint, with two wooden rocking chairs and a small white table with flaking paint. I ran my palm along the back of one of the tall chairs, and it creaked from my touch. The chairs seemed to be more for decoration than sitting. Dolores, Sharon’s sister who lived in town, was supposed to be meeting me to hand over the keys. Yet it seemed I’d arrived first. I’d had to come one week sooner than planned, as Patty and John had been whisked away to her mysterious assignment in Eastern Europe a little earlier than expected. Patty had called me from the airport with the news. I’d pictured her in her white visor and tennis sneakers rushing through the terminals, bags bouncing off her lower back as she breathlessly gave me instructions. Still, I half expected Patty to appear in the window as I squatted down and peered inside the house. It was hard to see with the bright sun glaring at my back, but I could make out the shadowy silhouette of the large island counter in the middle of the kitchen. Beyond that room, I remembered, was the living room, with doors and stairs leading to all the many nooks of the house. All empty now, waiting for me. A shiver curled from my spine up to my neck, unwinding inside me. Calm down, you idiot, I told myself. Not everything is a trap. Think positively, and positive things will come. *** Excerpt from One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski. Copyright © 2019 by Tara Laskowski. Reproduced with permission from Graydon House Books (Harlequin). All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

TARA LASKOWSKI TARA LASKOWSKI is the award-winning author of two short story collections, Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons and Bystanders, which was named a best book of 2017 by Jennifer Egan in The Guardian. She has had stories published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-American Review, and the Norton anthology New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, among others. Her Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine story, “States of Matter,” was selected by Amy Hempel for the 2017 Best Small Fictions anthology, and her short story “The Case of the Vanishing Professor” is a finalist for the 2019 Agatha Award. Tara was the winner of the 2010 Santa Fe Writers Project’s Literary Awards Prize, has been the editor of the popular online flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly since 2010, and is a member of Sisters in Crime. She earned a BA in English with a minor in writing from Susquehanna University and an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University. Tara grew up in Pennsylvania and lives in Virginia. One Night Gone is her first novel.

Visit Tara at: TaraLaskowski.com, Goodreads, BookBub, @TaraLWrites, Instagram, & Facebook!

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways! GIVEAWAY

Enter To Win!!!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Harlequin and Tara Laskowski. There will be 1 winner of one (1) copy of One Night Gone (print). The giveaway begins on September 23, 2019 and runs through October 6, 2019. Open to U.S. and Canada addresses only. Void where prohibited.

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski

 

Guest post by Catharine Riggs

What She Never Said by Catharine RiggsWhat She Never Said
by Catharine Riggs
on Tour August 19 – September 20, 2019

Genre: Psychological Suspense
Published by: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Number of Pages: 377
ISBN: 1542042135
(ISBN13: 9781542042130) Series: Santa Barbara Suspense #2

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Synopsis
How much would you pay to keep a secret? Ruth Mosby is the VP of operations at Serenity Acres, where the privileged elite go to die. For a hefty fee, wealthy retirees can live the good life in this posh Santa Barbara community—even after they outlive their money. But the savvy new boss has a new rule: if you can’t pay, you can’t stay. Guests whisper about an “Angel” who assists with suicides. Ruth has another word for it: murder. Ruth enlists her neighbor, an ex-detective named Zach, to discover the Angel’s secret identity. However, the two have a painful history, and Ruth has dark secrets all her own. To solve the mystery, Ruth must descend her golden tower—but can she bear the consequences of revealing her own sinister truths?
 

Why Readers LOVE What She Never Said

“Riggs keeps the tension high to the dramatic climax.” —Publishers Weekly What She Never Said is a fast-paced, compulsive read—and I speak as a slow-paced, easily distracted reader.” —Ashley Dyer, award-winning author of the Lake & Carver series. “A compelling read that will keep you awake well into the night.” —T.R. Ragan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Beneath the weight of metastasizing secrets, idyllic veneers buckle to reveal shocking truths that will haunt readers long after the final page. —P. J. Vernon, acclaimed author of the debut thriller, When You Find Me

GUEST-POST by the author
My “Overnight” Success

As an avid reader from a young age, I had always dreamed of becoming a writer, but like many, work and family intervened. Then on one of those marker birthdays, I decided to take a stab at writing a novel. The stab turned into an addiction. For years I toiled in obscurity, writing daily in the pre-dawn hours. I attended writing workshops, read articles, accepted criticism, adjusted plots, and wrote two novels for which I received countless rejections.

There was one agent who said she liked my novels but felt I wrote too far from the heart. Was there an event in my life I could mine for emotions to bring my characters to life? Her question led to the writing of my third novel, a near-future thriller. The book opens with my protagonist’s escape from an abusive marriage with her toddler in tow, only to be thwarted by a killer virus.

I again made the rounds of the agents, and this time the declines were kinder but just as disappointing. Then a friend told me about a workshop taught by thriller writers Robert Dugoni and Steven James. The bestselling authors centered their instruction around the first fifty pages of their attendees’ novels. Discouraged yet stubborn as ever, I decided to give my dreams another shot. I forwarded the requested pages and within a few weeks received an e-mail praising my work and requesting the full manuscript. To say I was excited is an understatement.

At the workshop, Robert Dugoni offered to forward my manuscript to his agent, and within weeks I had garnered representation. But my dreams got another drubbing when the near-future manuscript didn’t sell. We were told the interest in dystopia had waned, but several editors admired my writing and asked to see more traditional work. In a relatively quick four months, I wrote the first draft of a suspense novel, What She Gave Away, which I envisioned as part of a loosely linked series entitled Santa Barbara Suspense. Having grown up in a wealthy community, I was interested in using the psychological suspense genre to examine the pitfalls of wealth and privilege and the curse of living a life steeped in denial.

Within the year we closed a two-book deal with Thomas & Mercer. What She Gave Away was published in September of 2018 and its loosely linked sequel, What She Never Said, launches next month. I can’t thank Robert Dugoni enough for giving me my chance. The moral of my story? If you have a dream, fight for it. You just might achieve your goal.
 

Read an excerpt

RUTH MOSBY

ONE

Monday, May 6

My goal each day is ten thousand steps. A Fitbit monitors my progress. One. Two. Three. Four. This morning I’ll reach six thousand steps. Only four thousand left after that. It’s nice the days have grown longer. I’ll walk the harbor loop after work. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. I speed up the slope of Orpet Park through the grove of moth-eaten oaks.

At the summit of the steepest hill, I catch a peek of ocean gray. The islands are invisible today, shrouded in waves of lowering fog. June gloom. That’s what the locals call it, although we’ve barely stepped into May. Locals? I am a local. Or should be after thirty-some years. But oh no. Not in Santa Barbara. You can’t be a local unless you’re born here. Ridiculous but true. Sometimes I wonder why I stay. But at my age, where would I go?

Cresting the final hill, I catch my first glimpse of the mission bells. They’re a sad reminder of my walks with Carlyn and the chats we had every day. She thought the Queen of the Missions was a sign of God’s blessing on our tony beachside town. I wonder what she thinks of God now. I wonder what she thinks of me.

I continue past the mission lawn, verging on parched and dry. The agaves look weathered and dusty; they’re wilted at the tips. A handful of elderly tourists snap photos of the iconic scene. Their foreign chatter disrupts the calm, so I cross the street to the rose garden and follow the rutted trail. A lone dog shoots into view, and I slow my rapid gait. The golden Lab jumps, twists, and barks, nabbing a Frisbee in his mouth.

“Morning,” his master calls to me, a smile gracing his youthful face.

“Morning.” I lock my gaze on my running shoes. How did he miss the DOGS ON LEASH signs staggered every twenty feet? Or maybe he didn’t but somehow believes he’s above the city’s rules. I make a mental note to call animal control and continue on my way.

I pick up my pace for the final ten blocks, feeling better than I have in weeks. Turning down my narrow driveway, I cringe at the sight of my neighbor standing on his porch.

“Morning, Ruth,” he calls.

“Morning, Zach.”

Zach limps down his steps and through his drought-stricken garden, a frown rumpling his grizzled face. He’s dressed in board shorts and a tattered T-shirt, mended flip-flops shielding his feet. “You hear those kids partying last night?” he asks.

“No,” I lie. “Was it loud?”

“Hell yeah. I can’t believe they allow short-term rentals in our neighborhood. We’ve got to put a stop to that.”

“Well, kids will be kids.” I fail to mention I called the police at ten sharp. That’s when the noise ordinance kicks in.

“I’m going to complain at today’s city council meeting. Want to come along?” The breeze shifts, and I catch a whiff of spoiled milk. Zach has taken to strategic bathing, which results in an occasional stench.

“I would, but I have to work.”

“Bummer. There’s a better chance if we complain together.”

I nod, thinking he’d have a better chance if he made an effort to clean himself up. When we moved into the neighborhood decades ago, Zach had been a handsome man with an easy smile and a mop of thick black hair. A homicide detective whose pretty wife, Tina, taught art at the nearby elementary school. The perfect neighbors on a perfect street of tiny Craftsman homes. Then their son died in a tragic accident, and Tina passed soon after that. A broken man, Zach took early retirement and nearly drank himself to death. He’s in recovery now and has replaced the booze with an obsession for neighborhood affairs. “What about my petition?” he asks. “You plan on signing that?”

I bite my lower lip. “I’m not sure.”

“Construction begins next week.”

“I wish I could, but . . .”

Mumbling under his breath, he eyes me with a frown. He’s also taken to talking to himself. Is dementia creeping up? “But what?” he asks.

“I don’t think it’s wise for someone in my position to take a political stance.”

“Your position?” He rolls his eyes. “You work at an old folks’ home.”

“I work in a life-care community.”

“Same thing.”

“No, it’s not.”

His frown deepens into a crevasse. “So, you’re okay with those homes coming down?” He nods at the four vacant bungalows located directly across the street. They’re slated for demolition, to be replaced by a ten-thousand-square-foot mansion with an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Our future neighbors are a flashy young couple with toddler twins and an army of well-groomed staff. Seems our former middle-class neighborhood is attracting the fashionable Hollywood types.

“I’m not okay with it,” I say, “but what can we do? The planning commission has made their decision. We’re not going to change their minds.”

“But if we don’t take action, it won’t be long before people like us can’t live in this town.”

“At least we’ll make a mint when we sell.”

“You’re not thinking of moving, are you?”

“Of course not.” Although I might if the price is right.

Zach sniffs and takes a swipe at his nose. “I just wish we could stop these assholes. They even complained about my new picket fence.”

I hold my voice steady. “They did?” Last month, Zach replaced his aging fence with a synthetic version that lists from side to side.

“Hell yes. City says my fence is four inches too tall, and I’ve got one month to replace the thing.

Where the hell am I going to get that kind of money? My pension only goes so far.” He searches my face with his electric-blue eyes. They’re the only part of him that haven’t aged.

“That’s terrible,” I say, dropping my gaze and backpedaling down the driveway. “Got to get to work. Have a nice day.” I hurry through the gate, swimming through waves of guilt. What if Zach finds out I turned him in? He’ll be angrier than a cornered wasp. But by the time I step out of the shower, I’ve pushed away all my self-doubt. Is it my fault his fence is too tall? For God’s sake, rules are rules.

***

Excerpt from What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. Copyright © 2019 by Catharine Riggs. Reproduced with permission from Catharine Riggs. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio

Catharine Riggs Catharine Riggs lives and writes on California’s central coast. Before her dive into thrillers, Riggs worked as a business banker, adjunct college instructor, and a nonprofit executive.
What She Never Said is the second novel in her loosely linked Santa Barbara Suspense series.
The first, What She Gave Away, was published by Thomas & Mercer in September of 2018.

Catch Up With Catharine Riggs On: www.CatharineRiggs.com, Goodreads, & BookBub, Twitter!

Tour Participants

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

Enter Here To Win!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Catharine Riggs. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) print copy of What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. The giveaway begins on August 18, 2019 and runs through September 22, 2019. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.

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Review And Book Giveaway: Look for Her

Look for Her by Emily Winslow

Look for Her

by Emily Winslow

on Tour February 12 – March 16, 2018

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: February 13th 2018
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 006257258X (ISBN13: 9780062572585)
Series: Keene and Frohmann #4 | Each is a stand alone novel
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads

***

I had never read anything by Emily Winslow, and Look For Her offered a promising plot, so I decided to give it a try. This is the 4th book in a series, but it is supposed to work as a standalone.

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