Tuesday, March 27, 2018

THE GOOD LIAR, by author, Catherine McKenzie

When tragedy strikes, people react differently. Many panic. Others mourn. Some exist as if nothing’s happened. And some use tragedy to drastically change their lives…

In internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed novelist Catherine McKenzie’s riveting and thought-provoking new novel, THE GOOD LIAR (Lake Union Publishing; on-sale April 3rd, 2018; hardcover; paperback; e-book), the lives of three women are forever altered by a national tragedy—and by the choices made in its wake.

A year ago, Cecily Grayson became the poster child for a horrifying explosion that ripped a Chicago building apart. She was supposed to be in the building that day. Instead, she stood on the street and witnessed it going down, with her husband and best friend, Kaitlyn, inside. While she watched, a photographer snapped a photo of her—a photo that would become one of the enduring images from that day.

Franny Maycombe, a young woman in search of her birth mother, watched the horror unfold on the morning news, knowing that the woman she was so desperate to reconnect with was in the building. As the anniversary dominates the media, the memories of that horrifying morning become dangerous triggers. A thousand miles away in Montreal, a third woman, Kate Ring, is working as a nanny for a wealthy family. Haunted by the anniversary of the Chicago explosion, Kate fights to keep her past from catching up with her.

All three women are guarding important secrets. Just how far will they go to keep them?

The idea for this novel has been percolating in McKenzie’s mind for years and began with this thought: What if someone used a national tragedy to run away from their life? Later, she discovered stories about people faking their way into tragedies. And finally, she learned of a 9/11 widow whose divorce was about to be finalized right before the towers fell. From there, she thought what-if, and began writing THE GOOD LIAR.

An irresistible look at ordinary people in extraordinary situations and a gripping and incisive exploration of deceit, THE GOOD LIAR is Catherine McKenzie at her best!

“A Hottest Thriller of 2018”—GOODREADS

“Complex, thought-provoking…Who the good liar may be, and what that phrase might actually mean are questions that will resonate long after the book is finished. Many will devour this book in one sitting.”

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review

“Give this to fans of seemingly benign characters with dark inner lives like those in Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.”

“For many years, Catherine McKenzie has been writing some of the best thrillers around. She’s outdone herself with THE GOOD LIAR, the powerful and heartbreaking story of the painful aftermath of a national tragedy. It’s sharply written with engaging characters and twists and surprises up until the very last page. A smart, fast-paced, and riveting thriller!”
David Bell, author of Bring Her Home

“With twists and turns, the lives of three women intersect in the most unexpected ways during the aftermath of a tragedy. Thought-provoking, suspenseful, and mysterious, The Good Liar is a true page-turner that explores the ways stories are connected and created, and what can be hidden underneath. This is a book you won’t be able to put down!”

Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger

Some Q & A with Catherine ~ 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.

I’m a lawyer. I always wrote growing up – poetry mostly – but in 2006 I had an idea that wouldn't leave me alone and that turned into my first novel which lives in a drawer.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

Running, hiking, skiing, watching lots of TV and reading.

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?

Yep! I’m a partner in a law firm.

Where do you get your ideas?

Lots of places. Usually, I have several ideas coalesce into one – maybe a story I’ve heard, or an article I’ve read will start my imagination going.

Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?

Nick Hornby had a big influence on my early writing.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

Once I finished Arranged (the first “real” novel I wrote), I got an agent – that took about six months of querying. She then spent the next year and a half trying to sell it. In the meantime I wrote Spin. She finally sold that novel in a two book deal in Canada in July 2009 – almost two years after we’d started working together. It took another two years (and a change of agent) to get my first deal in the US in 2011. In short, I could paper a room with all my rejections.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?

Probably a lot of things, but that’s easy to say. I have a good career so I shouldn’t complain.

How do you market your work?

That’s a complex question! Hopefully, my publisher markets my work! I try to supplement through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and doing blogs like this. I also have a newsletter.

What are you working on now?

I’m on the 2nd draft of my next novel which is slated to come out in April 2019.

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?

I try not to do that. I might be inspired by real life things that I’ve read about.

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?

None comes to mind!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Read, read, read, read, read. If you don’t love reading, you’ll never be a great writer.

What are the downfalls of your writing career? The best parts?

Publishing books is asking to be criticized. That’s the main downfall, I think. The best part is hearing from readers whose lives you’ve affected.

Favorite band or music?  Favorite book and/or movie?

A big fan of Matt Nathanson. But I listen widely. I cannot pick one book!

Place you’d like to travel?

Too many places to name!

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you.

To connect with Catherine:

Catherine McKenzie
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Tuesday, March 13, 2018


In author Loretta Nyhan’s warm, witty, and wonderful novel, a widow discovers an unexpected chance to start over—right in her own backyard.

Paige Moresco found her true love in eighth grade—and lost him two years ago. Since his death, she’s been sleepwalking through life, barely holding on for the sake of her teenage son. Her house is a wreck, the grass is overrun with weeds, and she’s at risk of losing her job. As Paige stares at her neglected lawn, she knows she’s hit rock bottom. So she does something entirely unexpected: she begins to dig.

As the hole gets bigger, Paige decides to turn her entire yard into a vegetable garden. The neighbors in her tidy gated community are more than a little alarmed. Paige knows nothing about gardening, and she’s boldly flouting neighborhood-association bylaws. But with the help of new friends, a charming local cop, and the transformative power of the soil, Paige starts to see potential in the chaos of her life. Something big is beginning to take root—both in her garden and in herself.


“Endearingly quirky…Emotional yet funny…Confronting grief, change, and a new way of being, Nyhan’s lovely story captures the rejuvenating power of hard work that can start right in the backyard.” Publishers Weekly

“Charming…Nyhan has fun with a bubbly satire of business culture.” Kirkus Reviews

“On the surface, this is a sweet novel about aging, grief, and redemption. But Nyhan (All the Good Parts, 2016), who has experienced loss herself, shares very insightful observations. She reminds readers that comfort and hope can come in the most unexpected encounters if the heart is open.” Booklist

“[Loretta Nyhan’s] novels are emotional for sure, but they still manage to deal with tough themes in an upbeat and hilarious way…By the end of the book, you’re left in a place of healthy, hopeful bliss, a place only Nyhan could take us to.” —The Suspense is Thrilling Me

“Nyhan has done it again! Her characters captivate and her gift for vivid prose shines in this roller coaster of a tale. My hope is that it leaps from the page to the big screen! Any reader with a heart won’t want it to end!” —Nicole Waggoner, author of Center Ring and The Act

“I want to scream my love for this book from the rooftops. What a delightful, funny, authentic, wise story about the healing power of gardening and the struggle to root yourself in the untilled land of grief. With a full cast of unique characters, Digging In is a must-read for anyone seeking pure entertainment.” —Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son

“I loved this one! Tender and sweet and hilarious. Packed full of wise moments, with a fresh take on what it is to experience grief. The characters seemed so lifelike I caught myself considering Googling one of them to see what she was up to in her life now! Hilarious take on split-generation offices—hipsters vs the shoulder pad brigade. Recommend this read to anyone.” —Virginia Franken, author of Life After Coffee

Digging In is the loveliest novel. The title is perfect—a metaphor for digging deep. It is the story of a woman who has been brought to her knees by the loss of her husband, the love of her life. Now absolutely everything is on the line, her job, her relationship with her teenage son, and her will to live, hangs in the balance. The unique and surprising—even to her—ways she recovers had me turning the pages, and yet I wanted to linger. In her own inimitable warm, witty, and compassionate style, Loretta Nyhan has written a wise and poignant story of recovery from grief. I loved this book.” —Barbara Taylor Sissel, author of The Truth We Bury and Faultlines

Some Q & A with Loretta ~ 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.
I took a few creative writing courses in college, but didn’t have much faith in my abilities. I graduated and took a job writing for trade magazines, which definitely bettered my overall writing skills. I wrote fiction in secret through my 20s and early 30s, terrified to show anyone my work. After my youngest started kindergarten, I gave myself a tough love talk—either really try to get something published or stop dreaming. I decided to try.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
FOOD—making it, eating it, paying too much for it in fancy restaurants.

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?
I teach and tutor.

Where do you get your ideas?
Ideas don’t come to me neatly tied in a bow. Maybe I’ll read about something that piques my interest, then I’ll add something to the idea from my own experience, then my imagination takes over…the process is both complicated and uncomplicated.

Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?
I’m obsessed with John Irving and Charles Dickens. I like big, sprawling stories with heartwarming characters that continually surprise you.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?
Nothing. Seriously. It wasn’t easy, but I kind of like the way this all played out. Now, I wouldn’t mind having the success of a Rowling or King, but…I’m not them. And I’m okay with that. I write stories about characters I love and so far I’ve found publishers who love them, too. I consider myself lucky.

How do you market your work?
Mostly on Facebook and Twitter. I’m bad at marketing. Most writers are. This is one of the reasons I’ve gone the traditional publishing route—I like people who know what they are doing to handle most of the marketing.

What are you working on now?
A super secret project! (Translation—it’s early in the process and I don’t even have a title.)

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep at it---you have to force yourself sometimes. Tell yourself you’ll write for an hour or two every day, even if what you’re producing makes you cringe. You can always edit later.

What are the downfalls of your writing career?
The isolation. It gets mighty lonely sometimes!

The best parts?
The people I’ve met—the readers, the other writers, the publishing professionals. Wonderful, wonderful people.

Favorite band or music?  The Beatles. Always The Beatles.

Favorite book and/or movie?
My favorite books are The World According to Garp, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and a book by Susan Isaacs called Shining Through. My favorite movies are romantic comedies, particularly from the early 90s and starring Sandra Bullock.

Place you’d like to travel? Dublin, Montreal, Morocco.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans? 
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

To connect with Loretta:

Facebook & twitter under ~LorettaNyhan 
Instagram @LorettaNyhan