Bookouture Blog Tour for My Husband’s House by Sheryl Browne

I’m excited to take part in the tour for this new suspenseful, thriller: My Husband’s House. I liked it a lot and could barely put it down; however, I will admit that I was frustrated with the main character in the last third of the story and I did not care for the very ending (which I found abrupt).

If you like twisty, suspenseful reads, pick this one up and give it a whirl!

Thank you for my copy and for making me part of the tour!

Book Description:

A new home. A loving wife. A secret that could kill…

With its peeling wallpaper and overgrown garden I know our new home isn’t perfect. But my husband Ben promises it’s the fresh start we need. I remind myself that he’s an amazing father to our two children, and that we have years of happy marriage behind us. He’s been distant for months but I’m desperate to believe the move will bring us back together.

When I meet our next-door neighbour Sara, I’m immediately relieved. She’s so welcoming and full of local gossip. But the moment she meets Ben I’m sure an angry frown flickers across her smiling face. Later he says I’m imagining things…

Why is my husband lying?

Then one night as I tuck our children into bed, the silence is broken by a knock on the front door. A stranger is standing on our doorstep. I turn to look at Ben’s face as he stares at her with unconcealed fury. Has he met this woman before? Nothing could prepare me for what she says:I know who you are. Get out of my house.

How well do I know the man I married? And by moving to this house, did I put my children’s lives in danger?

If you enjoyed reading The HousemaidThe Perfect Marriage and The Wife, you will love My Husband’s House. Gripping and totally addictive, you’ll be hooked from the first page.

Author Bio:

Bestselling Author, Sheryl Browne, writes taut, twisty psychological thriller. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies where she completed her MA in Creative Writing. Sheryl has also obtained a Certificate of Achievement in Forensic Science and – according to readers – she makes an excellent psychopath. Sheryl’s latest psychological thriller HER HUSBAND’S HOUSE comes to you from BOOKOUTURE. Her previous works include the DI Matthew Adams Crime Thriller series, along with contemporary fiction novels, The Rest of My Life and Learning to Love.

To find out more about Sheryl. go to

If you would like to join her Bookouture Mailing List you can grab her short story 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗖𝗘𝗥𝗘𝗠𝗢𝗡𝗬 #FREE!

Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases from Sheryl Browne here:

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Spotlight on The Siberia Job by Josh Haven

Happy to be spotlighting a new title today here on my blog!


A Texas businessman travels to the furthest reaches of post-Soviet Russia in search of the country’s new wealth ― and finds new dangers as well. Based on true events.

After the demise of the Soviet Union, the newly-established Russian government privatized its industry by issuing vouchers to all of its citizens, allowing them the chance to be shareholders in the country’s burgeoning businesses. The slips are distributed among the population and auctions are arranged where they can be exchanged for actual shares. For the country’s rural populations living in abject poverty, the vouchers appear to be little more than pieces of paper, totally separated from the far-off concept of potential future fortunes. 

But for Texas businessman John Mills and his Czech companion, Petr Kovac, the seemingly-valueless chits suggest a lucrative potential, worth much more than what the current owners are willing to sell them for. They travel to the furthest, coldest reaches of the country to acquire vouchers for the country’s national oil company, Gazneft, roving from town to town with suitcases full of cash. But  they quickly learn that the plan has complications ― for example, the fact that the auctions at which these vouchers are traded for actual shares have been planned at the most remote, inaccessible locations possible to deter outsiders from buying in. And when the Russian mafia and the oligarchs in charge of Gazneft catch wind of their successes, the stakes become suddenly more deadly.

A thrilling adventure inspired by true events, The Siberia Job charts a course through one of the most impactful periods in recent Russian history, whose reverberations continue to be felt in the present day.

About Josh Haven

Josh Haven is a novelist who has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and Jerusalem Post.  THE SIBERIA JOB (Penzler Publishers) will be his fourth book and his second crime thriller.  He also writes historical fiction as JH Gelernter published by Norton.  Before writing novels, he worked in physics, on the dark matter problem, the lunar orbital velocity problem, and the formation of Saturn’s moon Hyperion. He began his career as a production intern at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

About John B. Kleinheinz (aka John Mills in The Siberia Job)

John Kleinheinz is the founder and president of Kleinheinz Capital Partners, Inc., the

investment advisor for the Global Undervalued Securities Fund, a long-short equity and

global-macro themed hedge fund which at its peak managed nearly $4 billion. Mr.

Kleinheinz returned outside capital to investors in 2013 after a successful 20-year career.

He continues to run the Global Undervalued Securities Fund, which is active in a variety

of areas including Japan, US energy and technology markets and private equity.


“An astonishing story, excitingly told, and all too close to the reality of Russia in the murderous 1990s.”

―Charles Cumming, New York Times bestselling author of JUDAS 62

“The Siberia Job is one of the most original, well-written, and best-plotted post-Cold War stories I’ve read in years. Should be required reading for Washington’s policy makers. A ground-breaking novel that redefines the conventional action/adventure, chase and escape genre.”

―Nelson DeMille, New York Times #1 bestselling author of The Maze

“The Siberia Job is one of the most original, well-written, and best-plotted post-Cold War stories I’ve read in years. Should be required reading for Washington’s policy makers. A ground-breaking novel that redefines the conventional action/adventure, chase and escape genre.”

―Nelson DeMille, New York Times #1 bestselling author of The Maze

“A terrific post-Soviet thriller, distinguished by its portrayal of the wild potential of 1990s Russia and the subversion of that potential into pure corruption, the consequences of which continue to reverberate in the present day.”

―Martin Cruz Smith, bestselling author of The Siberian Dilemma and other Arkady Renko novels

“As Russia privatized all state owned companies after the fall of the Soviet Union, a few dozen intrepid Western investors showed up hoping to cash in on the most undervalued investment opportunity in the history of capital markets. Unfortunately, the reality proved to be much more challenging, unpredictable and dangerous than anyone could have imagined. Thrilling and suspenseful, The Siberia Job tells a lightly fictionalized account of a few of those early investors, navigating dishonest and xenophobic officials, and Russia’s enormous geography to claim a stake in what would become the largest and most profitable energy company in the world. Their narrative captures the sense of danger and adventure and is storytelling intrigue at its very finest.”

―Bill Browder, New York Times #1 bestselling author of Red Notice

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Mysterious Press

For my ears: DEMON COPPERHEAD by Barbara Kingsolver (Read by Charlie Thurston)


An Oprah’s Book Club Selection An Instant New York Times Bestseller An Instant Wall Street Journal Bestseller A #1 Washington Post Bestseller

“Demon is a voice for the ages—akin to Huck Finn or Holden Caulfield—only even more resilient.” —Beth Macy, author of Dopesick

“May be the best novel of 2022. . . . Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, this is the story of an irrepressible boy nobody wants, but readers will love.” (Ron Charles, Washington Post)

From the acclaimed author of The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees, a brilliant novel that enthralls, compels, and captures the heart as it evokes a young hero’s unforgettable journey to maturity

Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.

Many generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for listeners of this novel, but he provided its inspiration. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Barbara Kingsolver enlists Dickens’ anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can’t imagine leaving behind.

Wow! I have always loved Barbara Kingsolver (Poisonwood Bible being one of my fave books ever) and I think I’ve read just about everything she’s written. This novel, though, is pretty amazing. It’s a modern day David Copperfield, and it’s like you mixed David Copperfield with Hillbilly Elegy. It’s raw and stark, yet amazingly uplifting, too. You can’t help but love Damon the narrator (“Demon”) and you’ll root for him to the end. I felt the narrator did an incredibly job in capturing the accents and the nuances of this novel, too.

It’s a long one, but worth the time.

(I got mine through my Audible account.)

For My Ears: SPARE by Prince Harry the Duke of Sussex (read by the author)

I should start by saying that I have always been a Royal Watcher. I adored Princess Diana. I have read about the courage and dignity of the Royal family during WWII. I have watched their weddings and have been excited to see their new babies. So – it was no surprise that I couldn’t wait to get this one (on audio through my audible account) and listen to Harry reading it himself. And of course I loved it!! It was so interesting to get his point of view in his words. I also have never been a Camilla fan and he’s not overly fond of her himself, it seems. And I’ve never been a huge Charles fan, but I softened to him as Harry shares that he is never called “Harold” by his father, but always “Darling boy”. I know other bloggers have criticized this title, but if you are entranced with the history, the pomp, and the personalities of the Royals, I think you’ll enjoy it. But do yourself a favor and get it on audio. I think hearing it in Harry’s voice is key.

Here’s the scoop:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Discover the global phenomenon that tells an unforgettable story of love, loss, and healing.

“Compellingly artful . . . [a] blockbuster memoir.”—
The New Yorker

It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow—and horror. As Princess Diana was laid to rest, billions wondered what Prince William and Prince Harry must be thinking and feeling—and how their lives would play out from that point on.

For Harry, this is that story at last.

Before losing his mother, twelve-year-old Prince Harry was known as the carefree one, the happy-go-lucky Spare to the more serious Heir. Grief changed everything. He struggled at school, struggled with anger, with loneliness—and, because he blamed the press for his mother’s death, he struggled to accept life in the spotlight.

At twenty-one, he joined the British Army. The discipline gave him structure, and two combat tours made him a hero at home. But he soon felt more lost than ever, suffering from post-traumatic stress and prone to crippling panic attacks. Above all, he couldn’t find true love. 

Then he met Meghan. The world was swept away by the couple’s cinematic romance and rejoiced in their fairy-tale wedding. But from the beginning, Harry and Meghan were preyed upon by the press, subjected to waves of abuse, racism, and lies. Watching his wife suffer, their safety and mental health at risk, Harry saw no other way to prevent the tragedy of history repeating itself but to flee his mother country. Over the centuries, leaving the Royal Family was an act few had dared. The last to try, in fact, had been his mother. . . .

For the first time, Prince Harry tells his own story, chronicling his journey with raw, unflinching honesty. A landmark publication, Spare is full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.

Bookouture Blog Tour for The Woman in Carriage 3 by Alison James

I loved this fast-paced thriller and if you have ever commuted on the train, you will identify with the characters in this story – brought together by a death one day. I have to say that I did not really like the protagonist. I found her self-centered and somewhat hedonistic with some serious personal issues, but I grew to like her by the ending.

Highly recommended! Thanks for my e-copy and for making me part of the tour!

Here’s the scoop:

An ordinary journey. A shocking secret. And the perfect murder…

Breathlessly, I rush into carriage 3 just as the train doors slam behind me. It’s the same train I get home every night – the 18.53 – and I always sit in the same seat, with the same people. Each journey is fairly uneventful. Except this one…

A passenger drops dead and shockwaves ripple through the train. The lights go out and we’re left waiting in darkness, trapped until further notice. Is it an accident, or something more sinister?

The unwritten rule is you don’t talk to your fellow commuters, but the group of people huddled around me all seem like nice, normal people. I just hope they don’t notice my dishevelled hair or smell the alcohol on my breath. Because my life is far from perfect and there are things I’ve done I’m not proud of.

But as we all get to know each other, I wonder if I can really trust them? Or are they all hiding dangerous secrets…

Was someone in carriage 3 involved in the passenger’s death? And if so, how far will they go to stop the rest of us finding the truth?

An absolutely addictive psychological thriller that will keep you up late into the night. If you love Behind Closed DoorsGone Girl and The Perfect Couple, you’ll be gripped.

Author Bio:

Alison James was born in the Cotswolds but spent most of her formative years abroad. She studied languages at Oxford, then became a journalist and author, returning to university after her two children to take a law degree. After a three-year stint as a criminal paralegal, she worked as a commercial copywriter and then a TV storyliner, before coming full circle to write fiction again.

Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases from Alison James here: 

Buy Link: NOT affiliated with BBNB


Bookouture Blog Tour for THE BEDROOM WINDOW by K.L. Slater

I could not put down this totally addictive novel by author Karen Slater! I read it straight through; and even though I figured out the ending in advance, it still was a great read! I particularly liked the protagonist in this story and found myself asking “what would I do if I were her?”

Thank you for my e-copy and for making me part of the tour.

Here’s the scoop:

They say they have no children. So who did I see at the window?

My darling little boy Albie adores playing at our new neighbours’ house. And after the terrible year we’ve had, I feel so lucky that we can start over in this perfect place, with new friends who treat Albie like the son they never had. He can’t stop talking about the tree house they’re building him, and the cookies they bake together.

But as time passes, something starts to feel wrong. Why don’t they ever open the front door more than a crack? They told me they had no children, so who does the small pink tricycle I saw in their hall belong to? And why can I hear a lullaby drifting across the garden when I’m tucking my own boy into bed?

Then, one night, I see a small shadowy figure in their bedroom window…

I thought I’d learned my lesson about trusting the wrong people, but now I’m forced to wonder what this perfect couple are hiding.

And if I try to save that little helpless figure in the window, will I do what I’ve always feared most, and put my beautiful boy’s life in danger…?

An utterly gripping psychological thriller from the number one bestselling author of The Marriage and The Girlfriend. If you like Gone Girl, The Housemaid and Lisa Jewell then you will be hooked by The Bedroom Window.

Author Bio:

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents but never made it off the slush pile. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases from K.L. Slater here:

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The Last Heir to Blackwood Library by Hester Fox

I love Hester Fox’s writing, so I was excited to get this through Net Galley. It was very gothic and rather suspenseful. I enjoyed it a lot!

Here’s the scoop:


 “Weaves a spell of darkness that’s mysterious and magical, and binds it with a knot of deathless love.” New York Times bestselling author Susanna Kearsley on A Lullaby for Witches

In postWorld War I England, a young woman inherits a mysterious library and must untangle its powerful secrets

With the stroke of a pen, twenty-three-year-old Ivy Radcliffe becomes Lady Hayworth, owner of a sprawling estate on the Yorkshire moors. Ivy has never heard of Blackwood Abbey, or of the ancient bloodline from which she’s descended. With nothing to keep her in London since losing her brother in the Great War, she warily makes her way to her new home.

The abbey is foreboding, the servants reserved and suspicious. But there is a treasure waiting behind locked doors: a magnificent library. Despite cryptic warnings from the staff, Ivy feels irresistibly drawn to its dusty shelves, where familiar works mingle with strange, esoteric texts. And she senses something else in the library too, a presence that seems to have a will of its own.  

Rumors swirl in the village about the abbey’s previous owners, about ghosts and curses, and an enigmatic manuscript at the center of it all. And as events grow more sinister, it will be up to Ivy to uncover the library’s mysteries in order to reclaim her own story—before it vanishes forever.

Lush, atmospheric and transporting, The Last Heir to Blackwood Library is a skillful reflection on memory and female agency, and a love letter to books from a writer at the height of her power.



Author: Lee Tobin McClain

ISBN: 9781335427441

Publication Date: April 25, 2023

Publisher: HQN Books

Buy Links: NOT affiliated with BBNB


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Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @LeeTobinMcClain

Facebook: @Lee Tobin McClain


Author Bio: 

Lee Tobin McClain is the bestselling author of more than thirty emotional, small-town romances described by Publishers’ Weekly as enthralling, intense, and heartfelt. A dog lover and proud mom, she often includes kids and animals in her books. When she’s not writing, she enjoys hiking with her goofy goldendoodle, chatting online with her writer friends, and admiring her daughter’s mastery of the latest TikTok dances. Learn more at

Book Summary:

Don’t miss this brand-new romance in New York Times bestselling author Lee Tobin McClain’s Hometown Brothers miniseries!

Running a bookstore on a quaint Chesapeake island is exactly the life Deena Clark would have chosen for herself. But helping billionaire businessman Luis Dominguez figure out fatherhood is part of the package. Can bonding over books and one little girl help them open their hearts to each other?

I’m in the middle of reading this novel right now and the blog tour crept up on me!

I’m happy to share an excerpt of Chapter One:


“Have you ever considered slowing down?” The doctor’s words were as out of place as his
white coat in Luis Dominguez’s busy corporate office. Mergers and acquisitions were what they
did here, and at a fast pace. No one slowed down, ever. “What are you trying to tell me, Doc?”
Luis attempted to ignore the text messages that kept pinging into his phone. “I’m only
twenty-eight. I can’t have something wrong with me.” Dr. Henry fastened the blood pressure cuff
on his arm. “My understanding is that you got dizzy at a board meeting. And that you live on
coffee and nachos.” He tightened the cuff, studied the numbers and frowned. “It’s 130/90. That’s
concerning. Family history of heart or kidney disease?” “I don’t know.” Luis didn’t want to go into
his family medical history, or lack of one, in the middle of a regular work week in mid-April. “I’ll
try to take it easier. Eat better.” Even as he said it, he knew it wasn’t true, but he needed to get
on with his day. “I hope you will. Your board members are worried. Apparently, you’re
indispensable.” The man patted Luis’s shoulder. “I’ll see you next week. We’ll need to talk about
medication, unless I see significant improvement.”
“You’ll see it,” Luis promised. Ever the overachiever. He was a bit touched that his board of
directors was worried enough about his health to set up weekly inoffice checkups. He’d built a
life where no one had to worry about him, and he didn’t have to worry about anyone else. That
was how he wanted it, but every now and then, it was good to know someone cared. He went to
the door and gestured for his assistant, Gunther, to come in. “Everything ready for today’s
presentation?” “Slides are all cued up and people are arriving.” Adrenaline surged. “Good.” The
doctor clicked his medical bag closed. “How about getting a hobby? Starting a family? Being
married is good for your health, you know.” “Not gonna happen.” Luis had already made peace
with his single status, mostly. He was no good at forming and maintaining relationships. Didn’t
want the responsibility. Didn’t want to fail at the responsibility, the way his parents had. Plenty of
women were up for a no-strings fling with a millionaire. The trouble was, that lifestyle got old
fast. “Come on,” he said to Gunther, heading for the door. “Let’s start the party.” The offices of
Dominguez Enterprises buzzed with energy, people leaning over computers, the elevator
pinging, voices speaking rapidly into phones. This was Luis’s hobby. This was his family. He
was on track to reach his financial goals by age forty, but his lifestyle didn’t leave room for
coaching Little League or cutting the grass.
“Excuse me, Mr. Dominguez?” A gorgeous blonde woman came out of the reception area and
intercepted him. She was holding a toddler dressed in pink, a bow in her dark curls. Cute. Luis
liked babies. He reached out and tickled the little one’s chin, clicking his tongue, and the child
giggled. “Can I speak to you for a moment, sir?” the woman asked. He refocused on the blonde.
“Not now. Make an appointment with Mrs. Jackson, there at the desk.” He gestured toward her
then headed into the conference room, smiling at the sight of the suit-clad men and women
around the table. Men and women from whom he’d soon make a bundle of money. Fairly and
legally, of course. The small tech firm that was being acquired by the larger one would get a
boost of capital and be able to keep all its employees on payroll, and the bigger firm would
benefit from the diversification. Ideally they’d all leave as happy as he was. In fact, two hours
later they did leave happy. Everyone shaking hands, his own people congratulating him and him
thanking them for their hard work. Who’d have ever thought that a kid from his background
would end up making deals with some of the most important businesspeople in Washington,

DC? Then again, maybe his career was at least a little predictable. As a young teenager, he’d
borrowed a few bucks from a friend and bought a case of high-caffeine soda, then sold it at a
markup on test days. With the profit, he’d bought two more cases and expanded his business
from the middle school to the high school. Of course, he’d had to skip class to do that.
“He’s not the brightest kid, but he sure does have the Midas touch,” the teacher who’d caught
him had said to his foster mom. And Luis had done his best to make the most of whatever
talents and abilities he had. Now, as he walked out of the conference room, the woman who’d
approached him before came toward him, this time accompanied by Mrs. Jackson. The woman
looked a little disheveled, blowing the blond hair off her face as she shifted the now-sleeping
toddler in her arms. She was still pretty, though. Maybe even prettier with her face flushed and
her hair loose. “I’m sorry, Luis,” Mrs. Jackson said. “She wouldn’t leave.” “I really need to speak
with you.” The woman’s voice was low, but determined. There was a sexy rasp to it. He’d have
blown her off if it weren’t for those stunning slate-colored eyes that seemed to hold all kinds of
secrets. But it had been weeks since he’d had a date, and he was feeling celebratory. “Come on
back, I have a few minutes,” he said, gesturing toward the hallway that led to his office. He
usually avoided women with kids. He definitely avoided women with husbands, so he stepped to
the side and checked out her left hand as she passed him. No ring. She wore a dark skirt and
vest and a white shirt, and there was a slight swing to her walk. He reached the office just
behind her and held open the door. “Go ahead, have a seat by the window.” He kept his voice
low so as not to awaken the child. He nodded an it’s okay to Mrs. Jackson, who tended to be a
mother hen, and followed the woman inside. He knelt down by the minifridge. “Something to
drink? I have water, soda. Juice if the kiddo wakes up.” Outside, he could hear people calling
goodbyes to each other. He’d given everyone the rest of the day off. They worked late for him
plenty of times, so he liked to offer perks when the occasion merited it. “Water, please.” The
woman spoke quietly, too, but the child murmured in her arms and opened her eyes. “Juice as
well, if you don’t mind.” He stood, holding two bottles of water in one hand and a juice in the
other. He twisted the top off a water bottle and handed it to her, then did the same for the apple
juice. Sitting on the edge of his desk, he studied the woman. “So what can I do for you?” She
sipped water, cradling the child in one arm, and then looked at Luis with a level stare. “I’d like for
you to meet someone.” “Tell me more.” So she did have an agenda. Probably some project she
wanted him to finance. Bringing her kid was a rookie mistake, but because she looked so
serious and earnest, he’d let her down easy. She nodded down at the baby. “This is Willow,” she
said. “Hi, Willow.” Luis smiled at the little one, then sipped water. The woman’s skirt slid up
above her knees in the low chair. He lifted his eyes to her face. “What’s your name?” “I’m Deena
Clark,” she said. “But Willow is the important one.” The baby held a small rubber doll out to Luis.
He took it from her, hid it behind his back and then held it out again, jiggling it, making her laugh.
“Why is Willow the important one?” he asked. “Because,” the woman said, “she’s your
daughter.” There. She’d gotten it out. Deena blew her hair out of her eyes and made soothing
circles on Willow’s back, holding the apple juice for her to sip. She inhaled Willow’s
baby-powder scent and patted her chubby leg. She loved the two-year-old fiercely, and she
hadn’t wanted to give up even the modicum of control that would come with rich Mr. Dominguez
knowing he was the child’s father. But she was pretty sure Luis wouldn’t want much, if anything,
to do with the baby. He was too wealthy and entitled. His wealth would make it easy for him to
pay some child support, though. And that would allow Deena to stop working so much, to spend

more time at home and to get Willow the services she needed. Maybe this would go okay. Luis
Dominguez wasn’t quite what she’d expected. True, he’d made her wait for two hours, but then
again, she’d arrived unannounced. She’d heard him saying nice things to his workers, and he’d
gotten her and Willow something to drink. So maybe he wasn’t as uncaring as Willow’s mommy
had believed. He was hot, too. Deena didn’t do relationships, but if she did…well. Curly black
hair, light brown skin, an athletic body and a dimple in his cheek when he smiled… No wonder
Tammalee had gone for him. He took a sip of water, studying her. “I wouldn’t have invited you in
if I’d known you were one of those women.” “What women?” She bounced the baby doll in front
of Willow, who laughed and grabbed for it then held it to her chest in an adorable imitation of
motherhood. “Women looking to pin paternity on a wealthy man.” Luis crossed his arms over his
chest. She raised her eyebrows. “That happens?” “Pretty often.” He took another sip of water
and then put the bottle down with a thump. He looked oddly disappointed. “I’m not falling for it,
so why don’t you take your child and your scam elsewhere.” “This isn’t a scam. I’m serious.” “It’s
a new twist,” he said in a fake-thoughtful way, “approaching a man you never slept with.
Creative.” That made her cheeks heat. She didn’t sleep with anyone, not that he needed to
know that. “No,” she said, reaching for her phone. “You slept with my roommate.” She scrolled
through her pictures, found one of Tammalee and held it up for him to see. He squinted at it.
“Oh, yea-a-ah,” he said, his brows drawing together. “Sweet girl. But why are you coming here,
not her, to claim this is my child?” Deena glanced at Tammalee’s smiling photo, swallowed hard
and slid her phone back into her purse. “Tammalee is dead,” she said. His eyes widened.
“What? Really?” She nodded. “An accident.” “I’m sorry to hear that.” He stared at the carpet for
a minute and then met her eyes. “You realize I’m going to verify all this?” She blew out a sigh.
“Look up Tammalee Johnson, obituary.” He studied her a moment as if wondering if there were
even a chance her story was true. She must have looked honest, because he walked around his
massive desk, bent over the computer and typed and clicked. He found what he was looking for.
“She died two months ago?” He turned the computer so she could see. The large-size picture of
her friend, the one that had accompanied her obituary, made Deena choke up. And that made
her angry at herself, and by extension, at this guy. Neither reaction made sense, but then, grief
didn’t make sense. The baby stiffened in her arms, probably sensing her tension. Or maybe
she’d spotted the picture of her late mother. “Shh, it’s okay,” Deena whispered, rubbing her back
again. But this time, it didn’t help; Willow wailed. The high, keening cry was a sound Deena had
heard daily for the past two years, but it still grated on her. “Okay. Okay, honey. Want more
juice?” Willow slapped the bottle away, spilling juice all over Deena, and the guy’s fancy carpet.
“Sorry.” Although she shouldn’t apologize for what his own kid had done. She rocked Willow in
the vigorous way that sometimes calmed her down, trying to gauge whether this tantrum was
likely to be a long one. She looked at Luis from under the cover of her lashes. Tammalee had
been sure he wouldn’t understand Willow, saying he only cared about money. Still, if this
meltdown went on, he might require an explanation. But first things first. She needed to get him
to acknowledge paternity before going into Willow’s issues. Willow’s cries were softening, to
Deena’s experienced ear, but they were still grating. Luis looked uneasy, his forehead wrinkling.
“Can’t you do something?”
“She’s hungry and tired,” Deena said by way of explanation. “You could have found a better time
to talk to me about this, when you didn’t have to wait.” “You could have given me five minutes
before your big important meeting.” But she could see that the baby’s crying was impacting Luis,

and she didn’t want it to make him dislike Willow before even getting to know her. “We can
leave,” she offered, “but only when you agree to the next step.” “Fine. I’ll do a DNA test.” He
sighed. “There’s a doctor I can call.” “I have a test right here.” She fumbled in her purse and
pulled out the drugstore version. “You just have to rub the swab inside your mouth for fifteen
seconds.” It had cost a hundred dollars, which was a hardship, but for Willow, it was worth it. He
was already opening it. “How long does it take?” “Two days from receipt. You mail it in, so…next
week?” “I’ll take care of it.” He pulled out his phone. “Mrs. Jackson? Hey, before you leave,
could you get a courier up to my office ASAP?” He listened. “Yes, I’m still here. I know. Soon.”
He ended the call and looked at Deena. “I’ll have it sent to a better lab and try to get the results
faster.” He studied Willow, still crying, and shook his head. She could tell he was hoping he’d get
the good news that he wasn’t Willow’s father. Which, she supposed, was a possibility.
Tammalee had enjoyed life, and men, and hadn’t been particularly choosy about who she’d
spent time with—in or out of bed. But she’d insisted that Willow’s father was Luis, and Deena
believed her.
She swabbed the baby’s mouth, making her cry again. Handed Luis the swab, and stood. “She’s
a terrific kid and deserves the best,” she tossed over her
shoulder as she left.
Whether the best outcome would be having Luis as a father, or not having him, she didn’t know.

Excerpted from The Beach Reads Bookshop by Lee Tobin McClain. Copyright © 2023 by Lee
Tobin McClain. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

Dead in the Water by Mark Ellis

LONDON, England – In “Dead in the Water” (Jan. 17, 2023, Hachette) Detective Chief Inspector Frank Merlin is back in Mark Ellis’ vividly atmospheric WWII crime series. The newest addition to the series that NYT-bestselling author Andrew Roberts calls “masterly and compelling” does not disappoint as readers dive into DCI Frank Merlin’s next case.

In the summer of 1942, the Second World War rages on but Britain now faces the Nazi threat with America at its side. In a bombed-out London swarming with gangsters and spies, DCI Frank Merlin continues his battle against rampant wartime crime. A mangled body is found in the Thames just as some items of priceless art go mysteriously missing. What sinister connection links the two?

Merlin and his team follow a twisting trail of secrets as they investigate a baffling and deadly puzzle–and lovers of mystery, espionage and historical crime fiction will eagerly consume every new clue until the novel’s thrilling end.

I’m happy to be promoting this title today! This is my first Mark Ellis mystery but I love the combination of WWII, London, mystery, and suspense. It is well-plotted and well-written. I’m sure this title won’t be my last of his! Thank you for my Net Galley copy!

Here’s a bit about Mr. Ellis:

“Dead in the Water”
Mark Ellis | January 17, 2023 | Hachette | Historical Crime Fiction
Paperback | 978-1786159885 | $17.99
Ebook | B09NVP3PCF | $4.99

More about MARK ELLIS

Mark Ellis is a thriller writer from Swansea and a former barrister and entrepreneur. His books treat the reader to a vivid portrait of London during the war skilfully blended with gripping plots, political intrigue and a charismatic protagonist.

Mark grew up under the shadow of his parents’ experience of the Second World War. His father served in the wartime navy and died a young man. His mother told him stories of watching the heavy bombardment of Swansea from the safe vantage point of a hill in Llanelli, and of attending tea dances in wartime London under the bombs and doodlebugs. In consequence Mark has always been fascinated by WW2 and in particular the Home Front and the fact that while the nation was engaged in a heroic endeavor, crime flourished. Murder, robbery, theft and rape were rife and the Blitz provided scope for widespread looting.
This was an intriguing, harsh and cruel world. This is the world of DCI Frank Merlin. Learn more at

Follow Mark on social media
Facebook: Mark Ellis- Author Page | Twitter: @MarkEllis15 | Instagram: @markell1

Spotlight on THE LIONESS OF LEIDEN by Robert Loewen

Here’s the scoop:

Poignantly drawing on the fascinating first-hand account of his mother-in-law’s lived experiences in the Dutch resistance, Robert Loewen’s historical fiction debut introduces the world to three brave every day women who defied societal expectations and fought against the Nazi Gestapo in World War II. With The Lioness of Leiden Loewen shines a light on the female spies and resistance fighters of the Netherlands.

When the Germans invade the Netherlands, Leiden University student Hetty volunteers as a courier for the resistance along with her roommate, the beautiful Mimi, and a local 17-year-old girl, Maria, the daughter of a slain resistance fighter. At great personal risk, the three women carry documents, secret messages, and cash to protect Jews, downed pilots, and others hiding from the Nazis. Challenged by a gauntlet of spies and betrayal, they heroically fight back and take on increasingly dangerous assignments.

Complicated family dynamics, the tragedies and triumphs of war, and strong female friendships animate The Lioness of Leiden, bringing these true events evocatively to life. Fans of Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale and Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network will love this compelling story.