Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Secrets She Kept {+ Giveaway}

I’m excited today to welcome New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak here today to talk about her latest romantic suspense novel, THE SECRETS SHE KEPT, the second installment in her Fairham Island Series.

THE SECRETS SHE KEPT (released July 26th, Trade Paperback Original, MIRA Books, $15.99) is the thrilling, emotional, intense follow-up to Brenda's highly acclaimed THE SECRET SISTER, a book the San Francisco Book Review called, “the best romantic thriller I’ve read.” To celebrate the release, Brenda joins us to answer some questions about her writing. In addition, thanks to Brenda and the lovely Meg at Tandem Literary, I have both books to giveaway to one lucky winner. Please see the end of the post for more details.

The things that happen in families are always surprising and sometimes shocking!
The rich and powerful Josephine Lazarow, matriarch of Fairham Island, is dead. The police say it’s suicide, but Keith, her estranged son, doesn't believe it.
Keith bears scars—both physical and emotional—from his childhood, but he’s worked hard to overcome the past. After walking away from his mother and her controlling ways five years ago, he's built a new life in LA. He's also accumulated a fortune of his own. But as soon as he learns of his mother's death, he returns to Fairham. He feels he owes it to his grandfather to put the family empire together again—and he's determined to find his mother's killer.
Problem is…coming home to Fairham puts him back in contact with Nancy Dellinger, the woman he hurt so badly when he left before. And digging that deep into his mother's final days and hours entails a very real risk.
Because the person who killed her could be someone he loves…

Please join me in giving a warm welcome Brenda as she graciously answers some questions for me. Welcome, Brenda.

What inspired you to write a romantic thriller?

I'm not sure you can call THE SECRETS SHE KEPT a romantic thriller. It's more of a women's fiction novel with romantic elements. But I do have a romantic thriller coming out next month titled HER DARKEST NIGHTMARE. I decided to write that because I have always been fascinated by psychopaths. I have so many questions about them! I want to know why kill, how they can do so without compunction, why they feel no remorse, how the people who love them cope with their behavior (and most often miss the fact that they are out murdering people), how to detect a psychopath before he/she becomes dangerous, etc. Creating a psychiatrist like Evelyn Talbot who studies such people gave me a chance to study them, too.

 Do you have an ideal writing environment and/or a favorite time to write?

I usually write in my room. My kids call it my "cave." I have a "retreat" with a desk on one side, but I often write on my new walking desk (it's healthier), which is right in the middle of the room, or even in my bed (to change things up). I work (write) every day--just like other people who get up and go to a day job. I'm not like those night owl writers who can write through the night. I need my sleep! LOL

How do you stay motivated to write and edit?

I love what I do. I think it's as simple as that. Each new book is a fresh challenge. I'm always in competition with myself, trying to create a better and better book. It's the search for the best book in me that keeps me going. (That and it's nice to have money to pay the bills! LOL)

What type of software do you use to write and edit your manuscripts or do you write in longhand?

I use Microsoft Word. I can't even imagine trying to write a 400+ page manuscript (like most of mine are) longhand. Wow! That would be a tremendous amount of work. Fortunately, I'm a fast typist and enjoy using a keyboard.

What projects are you currently working on?

I'm starting a brand new small town contemporary series (like my popular Whiskey Creek series) in a fictional town called Silver Springs (located just 90 minutes north of LA). I'll have four Silver Springs books out next year. I'm also writing another Evelyn Talbot novel (the psychiatrist who studies serial killers in a remote facility in Alaska series).

Brenda, thanks for joining us and answering my questions. I do enjoy the romantic elements you’ve included in THE SECRETS SHE KEPT.

Author Brenda Novak
Brenda Novak is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author that has written more than fifty books, with more than four million copies in print. This four-time RITA® Award nominee has won many awards, including the National Readers’ Choice, the Booksellers’ Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Daphne, and the Holt Medallion.

She also runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May at (her youngest son has this disease). To date she’s raised $2.7 million.

◊ Series: Fairham Island Series, Book #2
◊ Trade Paperback Original: 400 pages
◊ Genre: Women’s Fiction
◊ Publisher: MIRA Books (July 26, 2016)
◊ Language: English
◊ ISBN-10: 0778319067
◊ ISBN-13: 978-0778319061

This is a story that pulls you in with the first few pages. From there, you’re on a roller coaster ride of emotions until the surprised ending.

The characters are well-developed and realistic. The author has given the characters traits, faults and hardships readers can empathize with. The secondary characters add depth to the story.

Moving at a steady pace, the story flows smoothly with twists to keep you wondering. THE SECRETS SHE KEPT is a stand-alone book even though it’s the second installment in the series. New readers aren’t left in the dark.

The author takes intense emotional issues and combines them with a touch of romance for a well-balanced story. Readers will feel the emotions as the characters face their past and present. The mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat. Filled with family drama and mystery, this is a must read book. Once you start reading, you won’t be able to let go.

The Secrets She Kept by Brenda Novak, Fairham Island Series (Book #2), MIRA Books, @2016, ISBN: 978-0778319061, Trade Paperback Original, 400 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks to the amazing author and the lovely Meg at Tandem Literary, I have one print copy of THE SECRETS SHE KEPT and THE SECRET SISTER to giveaway. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only and will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Friday, Aug. 5. This means one winner gets both books!

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. A winner will be selected by the Rafflecopter widget and I’ll send an email with the subject line “Thoughts in Progress Giveaway.” The winner will have 72 hours to reply to the email or another winner will be selected. PLEASE be sure to check your spam folder from time to time after the giveaway ends to make sure the notification email doesn’t end up there. If you win and you’ve already won the book somewhere else or you just decided for whatever reason you don’t want to win (which is fine), once again PLEASE let me know.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you enjoy books that have emotionally intense issues included? What about books with hidden agendas?


  1. Kept secrets are powerful beasts. Sometimes dangerously so.
    And yes, I do like intense books which don't skate over confronting issues.

  2. We all have secrets but some can tear families apart and cause such terrible pain. But then, unfortunately, so can the truth. Looking forward to the latest from a favorite author.

  3. Congrats to Novak!
    Masy, where do you keep all these books you get for promos and reviews since you get them every day? :)

  4. Fascination with psychopaths? Everyone needs a hobby! Just kidding, Brenda. And I'm slow on both keyboard and by hand, so it really doesn't matter which one I slog through.

  5. I am a longtime Brenda Novak fan!!! She is a compelling storyteller writing in multiple genres. Two examples of her work which expertly incorporate emotional intensity and hidden agendas are "Through the Smoke" and "Home to Whiskey Creek"--both great reads. However, my number one Brenda Novak book is "Stranger in Town", which features one of my all-time favorite fictional heroes, Gabe Holbrook. A car accident left him wheelchair-bound and ended his pro football career--but Gabe is quite a guy!

  6. Family history and family secrets are such interesting premises for a good crime novel! Thanks for sharing, both.

  7. Emotionally tense issues and hidden agendas make for a great summer read—thanks for the chance to win The Secret She Kept!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  8. Family sagas with emotional tense issues and hidden agendas are authentic and profound. That is life.

  9. I haven't read any of her books yet so will add them to my ever growing list. I love to hear about where authors write.

  10. Sounds like a fun summer read.

  11. Love books with issues and hidden agenda's.

  12. Brenda, your story sounds intriguing. Best of luck to you.

  13. These sound like two books that would be fun to read over the summer . Thanks for the chance to win them.

  14. Brenda's a busy woman! Congratulations to her.

  15. I've always enjoyed her books and would love to read these!
    Thank you!

  16. I do love books with hidden agends, however, the emotional issues sometimes depend on the issues involved.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.