About ME · Book Reviews · Fiction

National Book Lovers Day and ‘Bear Necessity’ book review

Happy National Book Lovers Day & Thank You @scribnerbooks for my gifted copy of ‘Bear Necessity‘ by James Gould-Bourn! (pub 8/4)

As many of you know from my last Instagram post, my 4-legged family member, Zeus, passed away on Friday. He would have been 16 yrs old on 9/12. The last year has been a rough one for him (& of course for me as his main caregiver.) I have struggled all weekend w/ coming to terms w/ our loss, so to get out of my head, I read this book that was kinda relevant to what I am going through.

‘Bear Necessity’ is about a father & son overcoming their grief in surprisingly inventive ways.

Danny’s life is falling apart. He’s become a single father to 11-yr-old Will—who hasn’t spoken since the death of his mother in a car crash a year earlier—& Danny has just been fired from his construction job. To make matters worse, he’s behind on the rent & his nasty landlord is threatening to break his legs if he doesn’t pay soon. Danny needs money, & fast.

After observing local street performers in a nearby park, Danny spends his last few dollars on a tattered panda costume, impulsively deciding to become a dancing bear. While performing one day, Danny spots his son in the park, & chases off the older boys who are taunting him. Will opens up for the first time since his mother’s death, unaware that the man in the panda costume is his father. Afraid of disclosing his true identity, Danny comforts his son. But will Danny lose Will’s trust once he reveals who he is? And will he be able to dance his way out of debt, or be beaten up before he has a chance?

Filled with a colorful cast of characters, ‘Bear Necessity‘ is a refreshingly unpretentious & ultimately uplifting story of a father & son reconnecting in the most unlikely of circumstances. This debut novel definitely had it’s heartbreaking & tough-to-read-about moments, & of course I cried more than once (honestly, I would have no matter what, all things considered…), but ‘Bear Necessity‘ is at its heart uplifting & hopeful. The book deals with overcoming tragedy & grief in a unique way while a father does whatever he can to fix whats left of his family. Poignant, heartwarming, & utterly delightful, ‘Bear Necessity‘ is truly a wonderful book!

Click HERE to add ‘Bear Necessity’ to your Goodreads list.
Click HERE to give my Instagram post (& maybe some others) a LIKE.
Click HERE to visit James Gould-Bourn on Instagram.

What others are saying about ‘Bear Necessity’:

“James Gould-Bourn’s novel is a comedy of sadness and dancing bears. That alone should convince you to pick up a copy, but I’ll add that it’s a delightful story about fatherhood and childhood. And dancing bears.”
Owen King, author of Double Feature

“Fast, fresh and very very funny. Moving effortlessly from comedy to poignancy, it’s a story of joy, of connection and of the overwhelming resilience of the human spirit. Reading it made me want to dance. An absolute gem of a book.”
—Katie Marsh, author of The Rest of Me

“A deeply comforting story… heartfelt themes and wit further elevate charming plot twists and a well-tuned cast of quirky, supporting characters who prove that the spirit of friendship can build bridges to greater understanding and brighter days. Gould-Bourn is a beautiful, perceptive writer who has crafted a moving, sensitive story that is also very funny. Bear Necessity is a perfect literary antidote to anxious, troubled times.”
Shelf Awareness

“Refreshing…. a well-written, speedy read that focuses on the love between a dad and his son and how it can lead to friendship.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Promising, sweet… a feel-good story about coping with grief.”
Publishers Weekly

❤RIP Zeus Almighty…(9/12/04-8/7/20)❤


BeachReads · Book Reviews · Fiction

Book Review: ‘A Star is Bored’ by Byron Lane (pub 7/28)

Click HERE to give my IG post some LIKE love!

Thank you @henryholtbooks for my gifted copy of ‘A Star is Bored‘ by Byron Lane! (pub 7/28)

A hilariously heartfelt novel about living life at full force, & discovering family when you least expect it, influenced in part by the author’s time as Carrie Fisher’s beloved assistant.

Charlie Besson is about to have an insane job interview. His car is idling, like his life, outside the Hollywood mansion of Kathi Kannon. THE Kathi Kannon, star of stage & screen & People magazine’s worst dressed list. She needs an assistant. He needs a hero.

Kathi is an icon, bestselling author, & an award winning actress, most known for her role as Priestess Talara in the iconic blockbuster sci-fi film. She’s also known for another role: crazy Hollywood royalty. Admittedly so. Famously so. Fabulously so.

Charlie gets the job, & embarks on an odyssey filled with late night shopping sprees, last minute trips to see the aurora borealis, & an initiation to that most sacred of Hollywood tribes: the personal assistant. But Kathi becomes much more than a boss, & as their friendship grows, Charlie must make a choice. Will he always be on the sidelines of life, assisting the great forces that be, or can he step into his own leading role?

Laugh-out-loud funny, & searingly poignant, Byron Lane’s ‘A Star is Bored‘ is a novel that, like the star at its center, is enchanting & joyous, heartbreaking & hopeful.

I adored Carrie Fisher, not only as an actress, but as an author, way back to her early novels, ‘Postcards From the Edge’ (’87) & ‘Surrender the Pink’ (’90). So to read a (fiction) book authored by someone who was her personal assistant for 3 yrs was intriguing, to say the least. You can 100% picture Fisher as ‘Kathi’ even though Lane has stated that the story is a work of fiction.

At times this book was absolutely heartbreaking, but mostly it was laugh-out-loud hilarious! (And the books depiction of mental health struggles was very realistic & not exploitative. ‘A Star is Bored‘ is quirky, engaging, heartfelt, & amusing…anything but boring. I highly recommend this fun book which is available now!

Click HERE to give my Instagram post some LIKE love!
Click HERE to add ‘A Star is Born‘ to your Goodreads list.
Click HERE to find this & any other books at an independent bookstore using BookStoreLink.

What others are saying about ‘A Star is Bored’:

“Wildly funny and irreverent… Lane’s writing lifts the novel far above its gossamer Hollywood setting, suffusing [the novel] with a complex sensitivity.”
― The New York Times Book Review

“The fun summer read so many of us are craving.”
― USA Today

“A sweet goodbye and an ode to friendship… it delights”
― NY Post

“Ingenious and very droll… Lane turns out to be such a good writer, so funny and rapier sharp…He’s made a fascinating character out of his perennially bored star, a pill-popping, foul-mouthed creature at once cynical and sentimental, self-loving and self-hating, with a lust for life and a self-destructive streak as wide as Santa Monica Boulevard… [Lane] gives us the best of both worlds, savage satire leavened with compassion…This reader was rarely bored.”
― L.A. Times

“With prose in turns incandescent and uproariously funny, as well as poignantly tender and sweet, Lane’s novel is a love letter, not only to Carrie Fisher, but also to the ridiculous, bizarre and oft-magical world of Hollywood.”
― Variety

“Carrie Fisher’s spirit animates this funny, dishy, and deeply affectionate roman à clef by her former personal assistant. The force is with him.”
People “Must-Reads for Summer”

“Lane debuts with a fizzy roman à clef about a celebrity assistant, playfully alluding to his experience working for the late actor Carrie Fisher. Lane begins with Charlie Besson’s job interview…an assistant to Kathi Kannon, famous for playing the beloved Priestess Talara in the science fiction epic Nova Quest. Lane brings wit and tenderness to Kathi’s mostly acerbic personality, and her attachment to Charlie is potent and palpable… Lane’s affecting tale would show how the real Charlie found his own superpower―as a novelist.”
― Publishers Weekly

“Aside from being laugh out loud funny, brazen, charming and exquisitely observed, ASIB is romantic, soulful and filled with tender sweetness. For those of us who knew Carrie and Byron it all brings back chokingly funny and necessarily sad memories of a uniquely beautiful and deranged ménage, but it will make every reader feel at home and a part of it too.”
― Stephen Fry

“I’m in love with this hearty story of a hilarious Hollywood friendship. It’s fierce and funny and will warm your heart in these often frigid times. This is some queer chicken noodle soup for my soul, honey.”
― Jonathan Van Ness, New York Times bestselling author of Over the Top

“I didn’t go into this expecting a love story, but the one here between a Hollywood assistant and his famous, hilarious and deeply lonely boss came very close to breaking my heart.”
― Julia Claiborne Johnson, bestselling author of Be Frank With Me

“Byron Lane has written a book that will touch you on so many levels. I was prepared for the laughs, but didn’t expect the poignant story of a relationship both difficult and wonderful at the same time. A terrific read.”
― Laurie Gelman, bestselling author of Class Mom and You’ve Been Volunteered

“A Star is Bored is an absolute knockout. Riotously funny and wickedly tender. The pitch-perfect absurdity and sharp heartbreak of this story come to life so vividly that the last page left me aching. Completely outrageous and positively lovely.”
― Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones and the Six

Byron Lane is an author, playwright, & screenwriter. His debut novel, A STAR IS BORED, is about a celebrity assistant struggling to manage his eccentric & hilarious movie star boss, inspired in part by Lane’s time as assistant to beloved actress Carrie Fisher. The novel has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, OK Magazine, & People Magazine which hails: “Funny, dishy, deeply affectionate… the force is with him.”

Lane also wrote and co-stars in the play TILDA SWINTON ANSWERS AN AD ON CRAIGSLIST, a comedy hit having sold out runs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, and Edinburgh Fringe. It’s been critically praised by The Guardian, British Theatre, & Broadway World which says, “Hysterical… Lane has written a brilliant tour de force.”

Lane wrote & co-stars in LAST WILL & TESTICLE, an award-winning web series about his testicular cancer diagnosis which screened at festivals around the world, was called “fearless” by Cosmopolitan Magazine, & named “New York Television Festival Pilots to Put on Your Radar” by NBC Out. He wrote & co-stars in a feature film called HERPES BOY, starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, which won Best Comedy at Comic Con & an Audience Award from Austin Film Festival. And he wrote & produced a trailer for a series called GAY DIVORCE which was a finalist in Project Greenlight’s See Yourself contest.
​​
Lane is a regional Emmy Award winner from his time as a TV News journalist. He’s originally from New Orleans & lives in Los Angeles with his boyfriend, best-selling author Steven Rowley, and their rescue dog, Tilda.

Book Reviews · BOTMs, · Fiction · Thriller

Book Review: ‘Behind the Red Door’ by Megan Collins

Click HERE to give my IG post some LIKE love!

Thank you @atriabooks for my gifted copy of ‘Behind the Red Door‘ by Megan Collins, author of  2019’s ‘The Winter Sister! (pub 8/4)

QOTD: Are you a fan of psychological suspense/thrillers? If so, then have a got a goodie for you!

Megan Collins returns w/ a darkly thrilling novel about a woman who comes to believe that she has a connection to a decades old kidnapping & now that the victim has gone missing again, begins a frantic search to learn what happened in the past.

When Fern Douglas sees the news about Astrid Sullivan, a 34-yr-old missing woman from Maine, she is positive that she knows her. Fern’s husband is sure it’s because of Astrid’s famous kidnapping—& equally famous return—20 yrs ago, but Fern has no memory of that, even though it happened an hour outside her New Hampshire hometown. And when Astrid appears in Fern’s recurring nightmare, one in which a girl reaches out to her, pleading, Fern fears that it’s not a dream at all, but a memory.

Back home in NH, Fern purchases a copy of Astrid’s recently published memoir—which may have provoked her original kidnapper to abduct her again—& as she reads through its chapters & visits the people & places within it, she discovers more evidence that she has an unsettling connection to the missing woman. As Fern’s search becomes increasingly desperate, she hopes to remember her past so she can save Astrid in the present…before it’s too late.

Featuring Collins’s signature dark, tension inducing & all-consuming prose w/ plenty of shocking twists, ‘Behind the Red Door’ is a suspense-filled thriller that will haunt you long after you turn the last page.

With well-drawn characters (some you will love to hate), this ominous, gripping, & psychologically harrowing page-turner was so hard to put down! I was utterly spellbound! If you haven’t already, get ‘Behind the Red Door‘ on your TBR lists, pre-order it & while you are pre-ordering, why not add Collin’s previous novel, ‘The Winter Sister’ to your cart as well? I got that one from Book of the Month last year & loved it! (Click HERE to join BOTM & get ‘The Winter Sister’ as an add-on book! Click HERE for more info on BOTM & why they are the BEST bookclub out there!).

More praise for ‘Behind the Red Door‘:

“In Behind the Red Door, Megan Collins has achieved something remarkable—a dark, disturbing story that is both elegant and fascinating. Exquisite writing, compelling characters and a story so captivating I finished it in a weekend. Few books live up to the word chilling, but this one does.”
—Samantha Downing, USA Today bestselling author of My Lovely Wife

“Spellbinding, poignant and atmospheric, Behind The Red Door is one of those rare stories you can get utterly lost in. With writing so richly evocative I could vividly imagine every detail, this is a mesmerizing tale in which family bonds are broken, lifelong secrets are exposed, and a woman who suffers a debilitating anxiety disorder must find the truth about her connection to a decades-old kidnapping. Intensely moving, beautifully written and thoroughly enjoyable, I can’t recommend this highly enough!”
—Christina McDonald, USA Today bestselling author of The Night Olivia Fell

Behind the Red Door isn’t just a gripping, finely-tuned thriller, it’s a masterful meditation on fear. Dark forests, crumbling cabins, and mutating nightmares all populate this New England landscape where one woman may hold the key to saving a kidnapping victim. But in order to do so, she’ll have to confront a lifetime of terror, including the ultimate fear: not knowing who can be trusted or where the monsters live. I was hooked from the first page.”
—Mindy Mejia, author of Strike Me Down

“Collins nimbly orchestrates Fern’s growing sense of terror as she slowly sifts in echoes of long-repressed sounds and sights…a tricky mystery. Even in the final pages, Collins avoids any expected resolution, leaving the reader deliciously unsettled and disturbed. A dark psychological thriller riddled with twisted family dynamics.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Megan Collins is the master of emotionally resonant, deeply personal suspense fiction where the small details are just as chilling as the dramatic turns. Behind the Red Door is gripping and gorgeously-written and, like her stellar debut The Winter Sister, I’m certain this book will haunt me for years to come.”
—Layne Fargo, author of Temper

“Taut, provocative, disturbing—Megan Collins’ sophomore novel is more than a thriller; it’s a dark and deeply compelling examination of the knife’s edge between trust and fear. With muscular prose and richly wrought characters, Behind the Red Door grabbed me, startled me, and didn’t let go until I’d torn through every chilling word.”
—Andrea Bartz, author of The Lost Night and The Herd

“Atmospheric and haunting, Behind the Red Door is at once a chilling tale of complicated family dynamics and a riveting mystery. Elegant prose, intriguing characters and taut pacing make this book unputdownable.” 
—Daniela Petrova, author of Her Daughter’s Mother 

“Harrowing… Collins plays her cards carefully to maximize suspense.”
Publishers Weekly

Behind the Red Door is stunning in every way. Fern Douglas digs her fingers into your brain until you’re hooked and want more. I’m still reeling from this. Megan Collins is a masterful writer and this novel is full of twists you didn’t expect. It will leave you breathless and shaking in the best way.”
—Amina Akhtar, author of #FashionVictim

The Winter Sister‘ by Megan Collins (pub 2/2019):

A young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother & begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.
Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—& years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth really will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.
The Winter Sister’ is a mesmerizing portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and forces us to ask ourselves—how well do we really know the people we love most?

Click HERE to add ‘Behind the Red Door‘ to your Goodreads TBR.
Click HERE to add ‘The Winter Sister‘ to your Goodreads TBR.
Click HERE to go to MomLovesReading Instagram page & give some LIKE love!
Click HERE to find ‘Behind the Red Door‘ (& other books) at an indie bookstore using BookStoreLink.

Megan Collins is the author of ‘The Winter Sister’ & ‘Behind the Red Door’. She teaches creative writing in Connecticut, where she lives, & is the managing editor of 3Elements Review. A poet & fiction writer, her work has appeared in many journals, including Off the CoastSpillway, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, & Rattle.
Visit her at: Twitter Facebook Instagram Website

Book Reviews · BOTMs, · CrimeThriller · Thriller

Book Review: ‘The Night Swim’ by Megan Goldin (pub 8/4)

Thank you @stmartinspress for my gifted copy of ‘The Night Swim‘ by Megan Goldin! (pub 8/4). (Click HERE to see this post on Instagram & give it a LIKE, Comment or Save!)

After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation & set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―& the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a hs student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing & investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places.

Someone is following her, & she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister 25 yrs ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―& when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past & present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial & the lives of everyone involved.

I flew through this mystery/courtroom drama in mere hrs! It kinda gave me ‘Are You Sleeping‘ (fic) meets ‘Know My Name‘ (non-fic) vibes as it deals w/ the relevant issue of rape culture & a true-crime podcast. Goldin did handle the subject matter w/ care & respect & not exploitatively. I will warn you, there is some disturbing & graphic content that may be triggering or hard to read.

The Night Swim‘ is emotional, thought-provoking, heartbreaking & often cringey & uncomfortable to read, but it’s a great book if you can handle the subject matter. This book is also an August Book of the Month, so if you want to get it at a discount & you’re not a member, click on my referral link HERE & read my last Instagram post HERE for all the great benefits of being a BOTM member. This book publishes on 8/4.

Click HERE to add ‘The Night Swim’ to your Goodreads.
Click HERE to look for this book (or others) at a local indie bookstore using BookStoreLink.
Click HERE to give my Instagram post some LIKE love!

Praise for The Night Swim:

“Goldin’s prose is inviting, at times electrifying, and always sensitive in dealing with hot-button issues…well done.” ―Booklist (starred)

“Outstanding…[Goldin’s thriller] casts a searing light on small-town politics.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Remarkably strong.” ―Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The Escape Room:

“The pages turn themselves…a sleek, well-crafted ride to a surprisingly twisty conclusion.” ―New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice

“THE ESCAPE ROOM works as the ultimate locked-room mystery…Goldin excels at illustrating the pressures of a Wall Street career.” ―Associated Press

“Addicting.” ―Time Magazine

“High wire tension from the first moment to the last. Four ruthless people locked in a deadly game where victory means survival. Gripping and unforgettable!” ―Harlan Coben

“Fantastic. One of my favorite books of the year.” ―Lee Child

“Amazing…a thriller set in an elevator [that explores] the vast territory of people’s worst natures. A nightmarish look inside ourselves. Simply riveting.” ―Louise Penny

“A shrewd, brilliantly structured thriller doubling as a takedown of corporate culture.” ―Shelf Awareness

“There is clearly no happy ending likely for the four colleagues trapped inside [the escape room]; but fans of JP Delany and Ruth Ware will want to be right in there with them…a nail-biting tale of a corporate team-building exercise gone horribly wrong.” ―Booklist

“Riveting…[a] tale of greed and revenge set on Wall Street…Thriller fans will eagerly turn the pages to see what happens next.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Cancel all your plans and call in sick; once you start reading, you’ll be caught in your own escape room―the only key to freedom is turning the last page!” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Smart and compelling… I devoured this novel!” ―Karen Cleveland, bestselling author of Need to Know

“A sharp, slick, utterly engrossing thriller. This knockout debut hooked me from the first page and didn’t let go.” ―Cristina Alger, USA Today bestselling author of The Banker’s Wife

Megan Goldin is the bestselling author of “The Escape Room”, praised by Lee Child as “one of my favorite books of the year”, as well as “The Girl In Kellers Way”, a critically-acclaimed domestic noir thriller nominated for Australia’s leading crime fiction awards.
Megan worked as a journalist for Reuters, the Australian ABC and Yahoo! News before writing her debut psychological thriller The Girl In Kellers Way.

Book Reviews · CrimeThriller · Fiction · Thriller

Book Review: ‘The First to Lie’ by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Click HERE to give IG post some love!

Thank you @forgereads for my gifted copy of ‘The First to Lie‘ by Hank Phillippi Ryan!

Are you looking for your next all-consuming, page-turner of a psychological suspense/thriller with some secret investigation/super twisty/revenge plot flare? Then look no further. There’s a reason this gifted writer has won 36 Emmy awards, has won many high honor writing awards, including the coveted Mary Higgins Clark award, & is the author of 12 thrillers w/ original, fresh plots & storylines…she is simply AMAZING! (Oh, & she’s an on-air investigative news reporter in Boston when she isn’t writing spellbinding thrillers…when does this Super Woman sleep??)

USA Today Bestselling & award-winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan delivers another twisty, thrilling cat & mouse novel of suspense that will have you guessing, & second-guessing, & then gasping with surprise.

We all have our reasons for being who we are―but what if being someone else could get you what you want?

After a devastating betrayal, a young woman sets off on an obsessive path to justice, no matter what dark family secrets are revealed. What she doesn’t know―she isn’t the only one plotting her revenge.

An affluent daughter of privilege. A glamorous manipulative wannabe. A determined reporter, in too deep. A grieving widow who must choose her new reality. Who will be the first to lie? And when the stakes are life and death, do a few lies really matter?

Hank has knocked another one out of the park as I expected she would! Lies, twists, betrayal, family secrets, & some well-planned revenge, ‘The First to Lie’ is not your average, over-used thriller plot. Expertly paced, sharp as a tack writing, & flawlessly executed, I loved this book so much! It’s my 3rd HPR book & I am planning to get all of her earlier ones as well, giving her books some well-deserved shelf space in my home library.

The First to Lie‘ is fresh, masterful, brilliant, & keeps your guessing right up until the very end! Get this book on your TBR list, preorder it from your local indie bookstores & look for it this Tues, 8/4.

Click HERE to add ‘The First to Lie‘ to your Goodreads list.
Click HERE to visit Hank Phillippi Ryan on Instagram.
Click HERE to visit Hank’s website.
Click HERE to give my Instagram post a LIKE.

Praise for The First to Lie:

The First to Lie is a twisty, winding road of deception and secrets that starts with a bang and ends with an explosion. Put this one on your list because Hank Phillippi Ryan is at the top of her game.” ―Samantha DowningUSA Today bestselling author of My Lovely Wife and He Started It

The First to Lie is a masterfully twisty tale full of all my favorite things: interesting women, family secrets, & well-plotted revenge. Start reading early, because you will tear through the pages of this breathless, keep-you-up-all-night thriller.” ―Jennifer Hillier, award-winning author of Jar of Hearts

“With flawless pacing and impeccable character development, Hank Phillippi Ryan delivers yet another powerful, relevant story of deceit, betrayal, and the extent to which someone will go to right the wrongs they have suffered. The First to Lie is a magnificent, intricately plotted thriller that will have you questioning everyone’s motives until the stunning ending.” ―Samantha M. Bailey, bestselling author of Woman on the Edge

“A taut, propulsive plot with twists that will take your breath away…book clubs will gobble up The First to Lie.” ―Sarah Pekkanen

“From one of our top thriller writers―a chilling tale of deception and revenge. Filled with sharp insights, The First to Lie is a house of mirrors, taking us on a thrilling ride of dizzying twists and shocking revelations.” ―Angie Kim, national bestselling author of Miracle Creek

“A must-read for thriller lovers–the compelling and twist-filled plot fearlessly delves into the intersections of revenge and family secrets.” ―Vanessa Lillie, bestselling author of Little Voices and For the Best

“Ryan delivers a mystery plotting masterclass …expert pacing, richly drawn characters, and seamless storytelling are just some of the ingredients that make this novel impossible to put down. Fabulous!” ―Hannah Mary McKinnon, internationally bestselling author of Sister Dear

“Ryan masterfully escalates the suspense in this smart, twisty thriller. With jaw-dropping discoveries, The First to Lie will shock even the savviest of suspense readers. Ryan’s best yet.” ―Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence

USA Today bestselling author HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN has won five Agatha Awards, in addition to the Anthony, Macavity, Daphne du Maurier, & Mary Higgins Clark Award for her bestselling suspense novels. As an investigative reporter, her work has resulted in new laws, criminals sent to prison, homes saved from foreclosure, & millions of dollars in restitution for victims & consumers. Along with her 36 Emmys & 14 Edward R. Murrow awards, Hank has received dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism. A former president of national  Sisters in Crime & a founder of MWA University, she lives in Boston with her husband, a nationally renowned civil rights & criminal defense attorney. She is the author of  The Murder List, Trust Me, & the Jane Ryland series (The Other Woman, The Wrong Girl, Truth be Told, What You See and Say No More). (**Author Photo Credit: Steve Bucci)