September 6, 2017

Lies She Told by Cate Holahan - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book details:
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683312956

About this book:
Sometimes the truth is darker than fiction.

Liza Cole has thirty days to write the thriller that could put her back on the bestseller list. In the meantime, she’s struggling to start a family with her husband, who is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. With stresses weighing her down in both her professional and her personal lives, Liza escapes into writing her latest heroine, Beth.

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

Then the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the same 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 herself. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own.

Meet the author - Cate Holahan:
Cate Holahan, author of the acclaimed psychological suspense novel The Widower’s Wife, is an award-winning journalist and a former television producer. She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children.

Author Links
Webpage –
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Twitter –

Purchase Links

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Guest post:
Lies She Told is my third book, and I think my best to date. I’m not just writing that because the novel is the one I am currently selling. The past four years working with various editors and my agent has helped me grow as a storyteller and improve my craft. I’ve learned important lessons that I am now able to bring to bear in my work—lessons that I wish I’d known starting out.

Here are five that I believe have been most helpful to becoming better at my job.

#1. Know Your Genre

Your readers do, so you’d better. Fans of particular genres consume a fair number of books in their favorite section. Scanning GoodReads, this seems particularly true of crime fiction readers who often have dozens of thrillers and mysteries in their digital Read and TBR piles.

As a result of all this reading, fans have expectations of how a story in their beloved genre should be. Thriller readers in particular have a general sense of pacing, when they want to feel their heart in their chest and when they want to relax. They’re not happy with authors who make them wait much longer than average for the cycles of tension and catharsis. Mystery readers are used to looking for clues and will feel betrayed by story lines that don’t have a sufficient number of tells and red herrings. They also anticipate a twist and will be annoyed if it’s not surprising—and they’re not easily surprised thanks to all the gotcha moments they’ve already experienced.

So, how does one become familiar with their genre? By reading more than the average reader in it. When I started writing thrillers, I read a handful a year. Now, I read two or three a month, and I try to read all the best sellers in my category. To write something surprising that still plays fair, I have to know what my readers expect, what they’ve already read (so I don’t repeat it or unintentionally create something derivative), and what they might like to read next.

#2. Love Your Villains
It’s usually easy for a writer to love his or her protagonist. The main character is the hero. They are designed to be relatable and have admirable characteristics that will make a reader want them to succeed. They main character is also typically assailed with problems, often not of their own creation, which engender sympathy.

Antagonists are more difficult to adore. But a writer can’t make their villains easy to hate. Crazy serial killers who murder for pleasure because, hey, they’re born that way or they had a clichĂ©d abusive childhood are boring. The best villains are characters who, like protagonists, also have admirable characteristics that make readers want to root for them. They should be put under the same sympathy-inducing strains as the hero. But, they should have flaws that make them more likely to commit terrible errors that hurt the protagonist. Even better, they should have flaws that, when combined with the protagonist’s own failings, lead to disaster.

In real life, few people are all bad and few arguments are just one person’s fault. The same should be true in fiction.

#3. Burn Your First Draft

The embarrassment I might have been spared if I’d known this earlier is immeasurable. For writers like myself who pen standalone novels with a new cast of characters each time, I think the first draft is for hammering out who our protagonist really is and who else is populating our novel. As well as I might plot my story out before hand—and I, personally, plot a ton—the course of the novel changes for me after I write through how my characters react in certain situations, thereby solidifying who they are and what actions and reactions are realistic for them.

#4. Make Yourself Cry
The best scenes I’ve written were emotional for me. In some cases, they were so exciting that I had to continually put my work down to breathe and slowly add the details that I saw in my head. In others, the character was in such believable pain that I had to close my laptop and have a good bawl.

If the character feels real enough when you’re writing to make you weep, then, with luck, they’ll also bond with the reader.

#5. Protect Your Writing Time

Writing demands uninterrupted time to inhabit the scene you’re creating. It can’t be done well when you’re constantly getting pulled back into the real world by people and events around you. I write when my kids are at school and then again in the dark hours of the morning. I don’t answer the phone during this time (unless it’s the school nurse, who has a special ring, or my husband, who knows not to call in the middle of the day unless there’s an emergency. Sometimes, I’ll pick up for my mom.) I don’t turn on the television. I don’t post to Facebook. And I wish I’d been as disciplined about this in the beginning. It would have enabled me to create richer scenes without so many rewrites.



September 5 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
September 5 – Readsalot – GUEST POST
September 6 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT
September 7 – Girl with Book Lungs – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 8 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
September 10 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
September 11 – Must Read Faster – REVIEW
September 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 13 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 14 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
September 14 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
September 16 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
September 16 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 17 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
September 18 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 18 – Books Direct – REVIEW


  1. What an insightful post about what will draw in and keep readers. New to my author but going back to catch up and can't wait to read Lies She Told.

  2. Interesting topic for a book, a storyline featuring an author writing a book. Sounds like a great read.