What You Don’t Know by: Merry Jones Blog Tour & Giveaway + Excerpt

TOUR SCHEDULE
http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2019/07/what-you-dont-know-by-merry-jones.html  

SYNOPSIS

Nora Warren hides her dark side well because she’s had years of practice.

The wife of a lawyer and mother of two girls, she slides under everyone’s radar, never revealing what she really is—a murderer.

At least, she feels like one.

Nora’s plagued by the secrets surrounding her older brother’s suicide decades earlier. Yet she lives as though he never existed.

Now, in her thirties, Nora suspects her husband, Dave, is having an affair with her friend, the wife of a leading US Senate candidate. When her friend’s body is discovered—another apparent suicide—Nora is left with haunting secrets and choices that dredge up her grim nature, the side of herself that no one ever sees. Will she act on her impulses? Mustn’t she?

How far will Nora go to protect the life she has built for herself?  

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY
Praise for MERRY JONES

“A nurturing and protective elementary school teacher is thrust into a web of unspeakable evil. Riveting, suspenseful and diabolical, Child’s Play keeps the reader anxiously and eagerly turning the pages.” ―Mary Jane Clark, New York Times best-selling author on Child’s Play

“…thrill ride…packs a wallop. By the end, the body count of Child’s Play adds up to eight (plus one rape), and delivers the shocking answer.” ―Mystery Scene on Child’s Play

“Surprising, dark, and even disturbing. A fragile and vulnerable young teacher faces a terrifying first day of school―and that is just the riveting beginning. Timely, provocative and sinister, this twisty story of family and friendship is not for the faint of heart.” ―Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author on Child’s Play

“What’s behind these horrors culminates in helter-skelter chaos. Elle’s home becomes the center of a tragic universe, since she ‘attracted tragedy and death.’ That combination is magnified many fold as bodies pile up. And readers are left enchanted by another ‘Elle-oquent’ thriller.” ―BookReporter on Child’s Play

“The murder of the principal and a teacher on opening day at an elementary school, a terrifying scenario. In Child’s Play Merry Jones showcases her unique skill in delivering this dark, very dark, thriller with a modicum of humor. The end, well, you won’t see it coming amid the tortuous twists and turns. Merry Jones at her best!” ―Patricia Gussin, New York Times best-selling author of After the Fall on Child’s Play

“In Jones’s fast-paced third Elle Harrison novel (after 2014’s Elective Procedures), the Philadelphia second-grade teacher believes that she failed Ty Evans, a former student who later confessed to killing his abusive father, but she hopes to redeem herself with his younger brother, Seth, now enrolled in her class. With Ty newly released from juvenile detention and clashing with their alcoholic mother, Seth’s home life is unstable. When the draconian school principal and a humorless teacher―both of whom treated Ty cruelly―are murdered, Elle is torn between belief in his innocence and her desire to protect Seth. Meanwhile, the realtor charged with selling her house becomes increasingly aggressive, and when someone drugs and rapes Elle, she doesn’t know whether to suspect the realtor or the killer. The identities of the rapist and murderer are obvious well before Elle or other characters identify them. Still, Elle’s complex feelings toward her late husband―who was murdered while they were separated―add nuance and depth.” ―Publishers Weekly on Child’s Play 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Merry Jones
 is an award winning author who has written humor (eg. I LOVE HIM, BUT…), non-fiction (eg. BIRTHMOTHERS), and dark suspense (eg. the Zoe Hayes mysteries, the Harper Jennings thrillers, and the Elle Harrison suspense novels). Now, with her twentieth book, WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW, she’s entering the domain of domestic psychological suspense. Jones taught college writing courses for fifteen years, and leads seminars, appears on panels at writing conferences, and, with fellow members of the Liars Club, cohosts a monthly writers’ coffeehouse and the weekly Oddcast, a podcast devoted to writing and other creative endeavors.

Jones’s work has been translated into seven languages and has appeared in magazines, such as American Woman and Glamour. Jones is a member of the Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Philadelphia Liars Club. The mother of two and grandmother of one (so far) lives with her husband in Philadelphia, where she is an avid rower on the Schuylkill River and a member of Vesper Boat Club. Visit her at MerryJones.com.

PHOTO CREDIT: BILL ECKLAND
WEBSITE: http://www.merryjones.com/1801.htmlTWITTER: @MerryDDJones
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/169626.Merry_Jones
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/MerryJonesBooks/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/merrydeedeejones/

Giveaway is open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter

–  1 Winner will receive one of Merry’s previous titles (CHILD’S PLAY or SUMMER SESSION) and What You Don’t Know Shirt. 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e849f7751696

ENDS: OCTOBER 28, 2019

Excerpt

This is from the first chapter of WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW
From Nora’s adult years

Friday, August 10, 2018

The screams came from Sophie, and they were serious, not the kind that happened in a game, or even in a fight. These were the kind that happened when someone severed a digit, when their hair caught fire. Nora jumped to her feet, slamming her coffee mug onto the table, noting the dark splash on the placemat, the stain that was already forming.

“Girls?” she bellowed as she ran to the playroom, images pulsing in her head. A finger crushed, an arm broken. An intruder at the sliding doors. With a knife, with a gun. Oh God.

Nora swung around the newel post, flew down the half-flight of stairs, took the left past the laundry room into the den. Her socks had no traction, so she skidded over the hardwood floors into the room. Her eyes darted left to right, right to left, searching for blood, for damage, for a stranger. Only when she saw her children intact and uninjured did she allow herself to breathe.

“What?” she panted.

At the sight of her mother, Sophie stopped screaming. She halted her stomping and flailing on the sofa as if only now remembering that she might get scolded for jumping on the furniture. Hopping down, she crashed into the coffee table and knocked her plastic tea set onto the floor.

Nora thought Sophie would barrel into her arms, but no, she stopped beside Ellie, who was crouching behind the sofa’s armrest, eyes gleaming and intense like Tommy’s. Seeing how much Ellie resembled Tommy was disturbing. Nora almost heard him chuckle.

“Mom! Do something!” Bug-eyed, Sophie raised a hand and pointed at the floor near the sliding glass door.

Nora blinked Tommy away and stepped farther into the room, her gaze following the trajectory of Sophie’s finger, unable to understand the panic.

“Goodness,” she began. “What’s the big—”

Nora stopped mid-sentence, her blood halting its circulation, her skin erupting in goose bumps. Some primal sense took over, some paleo-revulsion, and she recoiled, stepping backward, stumbling over her own feet.

The spider was huge.

Nora’s shoulders hunched and her throat tightened. Damn. Her knees dissolved, so that for a few seconds, she couldn’t move.

Sophie shouted, begging her to kill it.

Ellie hugged herself and stared.

Of course, yes. She would have to kill it. But, God, it was ugly. And as big across as Sophie’s hand, with long pointed spindly legs. Looking at it made Nora’s stomach wrench and her skin writhe, yet she couldn’t look away.

“Kill it, Mommy!” Sophie screamed. Or maybe it was Ellie. It could have been either of them.

For a few heartbeats, the playroom was silent, electric with tension. Six eyes gawked at the spider. And then Ellie burst into a high-pitched constant keening that reverberated in Nora’s bones.

“Get it, Mom!” Sophie yelled, covering her ears to muffle Ellie’s wails. When had her daughters become so casual about killing? Was it too much television? She’d have to monitor what the girls were watching and talk to Dave about it. Then again, he’d only tell her she was being overprotective, that the girls had to be prepared for the world they’d live in.

“It’s coming closer!” Sophie cowered behind Ellie, hands still over her ears.

“Ellie!” Nora barked. “Cut it out. I can’t think with that noise.”

“Mom said cut it out!” Sophie yelled into her sister’s ears. “Be quiet!”

“Sophie, don’t yell in her ears,” Nora yelled, then softened her voice. “In fact, don’t yell period. And Ellie, hush.”

Finally, Ellie stopped screaming. She stood up, rapt and silent.

The spider didn’t move.

Nora edged over to the bookshelf and retrieved a wad of drawing paper. She held her breath as she rolled it up and held the makeshift tube at the ready—a slugger waiting for the pitch.

“Mom, hurry. It’s going to get away!”

Nora half hoped it would. She watched it. An alien being without bones, without a brain. Was it even aware that it existed? That it was in danger? She stepped closer, her body wracked with disgust. And definitely, without a doubt, she didn’t just see but felt the spider tense, preparing all its several limbs for battle. Oh God. How did it know? Could it hear her heartbeat? Was it watching her?

Copyright © 2019 by Merry Jones

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Lies She Told by: Cate Holahan

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Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

SEPTEMBER 2017 SELECTION FOR BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB
ONE OF KIRKUS’ BEST BOOKS OF 2017

From the author of the USA Today bestselling novel, The Widower’s Wife, comes an electrifying story of love and deceit.

The truth can be darker than fiction.

Liza Cole, a once-successful novelist whose career has seen better days, has one month to write the thriller that could land her back on the bestseller list. Meanwhile, she’s struggling to start a family, but her husband is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. As stresses weigh her down in her professional and personal lives, Liza escapes into writing the chilling exploits of her latest heroine, Beth.

Beth, a new mother, suspects her husband is cheating on her while she’s home caring for their newborn. Angry and betrayed, she aims to catch him in the act and make him pay for shattering the illusion of their perfect life. But before she realizes what she’s doing, she’s tossing the body of her husband’s mistress into the East River.

Then, the lines between Liza’s fiction and her reality eerily blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the East River, and Liza’s husband is arrested for his murder. Before her deadline is up, Liza will have to face up to the truths about the people around her, including her own. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own.

My Review

Obviously, I have a backlog of review books on my Netgalley account and I am trying to read through them. This book, though released in 2017, still holds up well in the domestic thriller genre. In an interesting twist, the chapters alternate between the main character, an author, and her novel’s main character. I did listen to this on audio but I am confident that it would read the same in print. It was not one of those books with multiple POV’s that leaves you confused.

I did guess the main plot line twist about half way through however, it did not ruin the book for me. I enjoyed this book for what it was but I wasn’t blown away by it.

I gave this book 3 crowns.

I did receive this E-ARC from the Publishers through Netgalley in 2017 in exchange for an honest review.

The Arrangement by: Robyn Harding

Description from the publisher through Netgalley

Pretty Woman tale turns toxic and deadly in this provocative thriller of sex, obsession, and murder from Robyn Harding, the “master of domestic suspense” (Kathleen Barber) and the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Party and Her Pretty Face.

Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favors are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

Emotionally powerful and packed with page-turning suspense, The Arrangement delves into the sordid, all-too-real world of shadowy relationships between wealthy, powerful men and the young women who are caught in their web.

My Review

This was a twisted story that blurred the moral lines of Natalie, our young main character. The entire idea of Sugar Daddies and Babies is a disturbing one but was well described in this story. I am not going into details with this one but be prepared for a wild ride.

I enjoyed it as a well written story and gave it 4 crowns.

I received this E-ARC from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

29 Seconds by: T.M. Logan

Happy Publication Day! September 10, 2019

Description

From T.M. Logan, the bestselling author of Lies, comes 29 Seconds, a sensational new thriller that explores what happens when a split second thought of revenge takes on a life of its own.

“Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear.”

Sarah is a young professor struggling to prove herself in a workplace controlled by the charming and manipulative Alan Hawthorne. A renowned scholar and television host, Hawthorne rakes in million-dollar grants for the university where Sarah works—so his inappropriate treatment of female colleagues behind closed doors has gone unchallenged for years. And Sarah is his newest target.

When Hawthorne’s advances become threatening, Sarah is left with nowhere to turn. Until the night she witnesses an attempted kidnapping of a young child on her drive home, and impulsively jumps in to intervene. The child’s father turns out to be a successful businessman with dangerous connections—and her act of bravery has put this powerful man in her debt. He gives Sarah a burner phone and an unbelievable offer. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that can make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No traces. All it takes is a 29-second phone call.

Because everyone has a name to give. Don’t they?

My Review

I found the premise of the story to be interesting. If given the chance to do something drastic to someone else without being caught, would you do it? Sarah is in a terrible situation that is quickly spiraling out of control. Her marriage is falling apart and although she loves the work she does, her work environment is toxic. She is constantly harassed by a beloved colleague and has no way of reporting him.

I am not sure how I feel about this book. It has been a full week since I finished it and I don’t remember the ending. This obviously wasn’t too memorable for me.

I gave this book 3 crowns.

I received this E-Arc from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Sixth Wicked Child (4MK Thriller #3) by: J.D. Barker

My Review

This is the final (sad) installment of the 4MK Thiller series and I am speechless. I loved this series. It is the perfect combination of gore and suspense but done so realistically. The twists and turns are so unpredictable and it easily immerses you into the world. If you follow J.D. on Instagram, he sometimes posts images of sites that appear in his stories and that just adds to the intrigue.

I am not one to reread books, especially thrillers, but I am reading to start this series over again! This was a whopper of a book, coming in at over 600 pages, but I flew through it and didn’t really want it to end.

Well done! I will purchase anything J.D. Barker writes, without hesitation.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

Life and Other Inconveniences by: Kristan Higgins

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

“A heart-wrenching page-turner told with warmth and humor.”—People Magazine (Pick of the Week) 
 
“A rich testament to the power of second chances.”—Women’s World

USA Today Bestseller!

From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Luck with That comes a new novel about a blue-blood grandmother and her black-sheep granddaughter who discover they are truly two sides of the same coin.

Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley. 

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?

Recognition

 August 2019 LibraryReads selection

My Review

This was a great read. Emma is a character that is easy to relate to. She is a strong woman who has lived through some hardships. When she is asked to visit her dying grandmother that had kicked her out of the house when she was a pregnant teen, she struggles with the decision of doing what is right and doing what is easy.

Each character in this story played such an important part and I loved this book. I did listen to it on audio and the cast made it even more enjoyable. I highly recommend this book.

I gave it 5 crowns.

I received this E-ARC from the Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Things You Save in a Fire by: Katherine Center

Publication Date: August 13, 2019

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about courage, hope, and learning to love against all odds.

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew—even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…and it means risking it all—the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.

Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt and healing tour-de-force about the strength of vulnerability, the nourishing magic of forgiveness, and the life-changing power of defining courage, at last, for yourself.

Recognition

 August 2019 Indie Next selection

 August 2019 LibraryReads selection

My Review:

Katherine Center is quickly becoming my new favorite author. She has a way of hooking me into the story and keeping me there. These stories are not light, fluffy contemporary reads but stories with heart and meaning. They are so genuine crafted that the reader is fully immersed in the story.

Cassie is a woman who has suffered from pain and loss early in her life and to make up for it has worked her butt off to exceed as a female firefighter in a world made up mostly of men. When a series of events occurs that forces her to change her plans, she must learn how to break down walls and forgive.

This book pulled so many of my heart strings and taught me much about life and forgiveness. I adore Katherine Center’s writing and if you haven’t read either of books, I urge you to pick them up.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

I received this E-ARC from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.