Monday, May 30, 2022


 A mysterious Ojibwa petroglyph has carried Justine Cook back in time to the moment her unseen enemy is born. But something is wrong... Separated from those she loves, she finds herself in a strange world surrounded by people she has only known in dreams, and stalked by a man who now haunts her reality. 

And time is running out. Knowing that even the slightest misstep could change the future, Justine must call on the strength hidden within her to save the lives of those she has left behind as she uncovers A Home for the Stars.

Reviews ~ 

Action and suspense combine with magic and compassion to create and exciting and satisfying ending fora twisting tale. Thank you for the adventure and the tears, Mrs. Kemp.

Nola Nash ~ Award Winning Author of the Crescent City Series

A stunning conclusion to a brilliant trilogy. Laura Kemp’s skill shines on every page of “A Home for the Stars” as she deftly navigates complex characters through emotional quandaries, supernatural folklore, and edge of your seat action. Take a breath and hope the story continues.

Rob Samborn ~ Author of Prisoner of Paradise

Author interview ~

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

 I always wanted to write… from the time I was little. My mom used to write the stories out as I told them to her. Then I would draw the pictures. From there it was just an obvious choice in school and college for me.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

I enjoy musical theatre and just performed the part of Ginger in ‘Gilligan’s Island- The Musical.’  I’m also in a Celtic Band as the lead singer and I like to read, hike and swim.

How do you start your day (a routine of sorts?)

I get out of bed and get my coffee LOL. Then for nine months out of the year I go to my job as a special education parapro in my local middle school. During the summer, I get up, get my coffee and try to get about three hours of writing/business down before the kids wake up.

Finish this: “I can’t write without…”

Being in the mood

If I had to spend a week on a deserted island, I would need…

My Gilligan’s Island Castaways LOL Just kidding… I would like a stack of books and my phone so I could play my music. I can’t live without my music. 

What career did you think you’d have as an adult?

I thought I might be a vet or a forest ranger. I like combining my love of animals and the outdoors. 

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I’m kind of adventurous and once sang ‘Shout’ onstage with the Drifters.


Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?


Yep! I teach special education in a middle school.


Where do you get your ideas?


Usually from personal experiences or people that I have known.


Do you have a manuscript(s) in your drawer? If so, will it ever see the light of day?


I have old books that I wrote and they will NEVER see the light of day in the condition they are currently in!


If I wasn’t an author, I might be…?


A camp counselor or forest ranger


Do you have a go-to first reader after you feel your manuscript is ready?


I have a team of beta readers who give me their insights.


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


I have always wanted to write but I love the writing style of Anita Shreve and strive to be like her in her vivid and gentle descriptions.


Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published (or this book?)


I think the patience and waiting was the hardest. You just have to sit back and continue on with life while you wait to see what is happening. Hybrid publishing is nice in the regard that you don’t have to do that. You can be on your own schedule.


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?


I don’t think so. Even the pitfalls have made me who I am as writer and business woman.


How do you market your work?


Any way I can LOL! I’m active on social media and I try to do the grassroots approach and get to know local librarians, bookstore owners etc… Meeting people is a really fun part of this job they never tell you about.


What are you working on now?


An historical fiction novel set in the Westward Expansion era. Kind of ‘Sleeping with the Enemy’ meets ‘Tombstone.’


What is a bestselling book you’ve been itching to read?

Where the Crawdads Sing… can you believe I haven’t read it??


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


Absolutely! Most all of my characters are a mish mash of people I know. And I only write about places I have been so I can get that organic experience.


Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?


I really love when Dylan and Justine are running for their lives in the first book, ‘Evening in the Yellow Wood.’  I really love writing action sequences. 


Do you have a favorite character?


Hmm… I so love Justine because I feel like she’s me in a lot of ways. I also love Adam because he is based on one of my old students.


Do you have other books you’d like to talk about here? (The research, how you came up with the idea for your story, etc.)


My historial fiction is set during one of my favorite time periods, and I loved reading the diaries of young women traveling on the Oregon Trail. It was really eye-opening.


What would your dream job be if you didn’t write books? (assuming this is your dream job!)


Forest Ranger


Finish this sentence: “If I could write about anything, it would be…?”


Growing up in the country on the lake. It was an experience!


What was some unique research you had to do for a book?


I read the Oregon Trail diaries of teenagers for my historial fiction piece.


Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?


Never give up. Never, never, never. If you can’t NOT do it, then keep it up, the rest will come.


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


Downfalls are bad reviews, waiting, promises made and not kept and the best part are all the wonderful people you meet- fellow authors and readers included!


Favorite band or music? 


Hard question! I’m in a Celtic band so I obviously love that type. I also love bluegrass, classical and anything that has a soft rock 70s, feel. If you listen to the soundtracks of my books, you’ll often find a mixture of those.


Favorite book and/or movie?


I love Where the Red Fern Grows… and Lord of the Flies. I know, really REALLY different types of books. I also love Stephen King and his ode to the craft ‘On Writing’ is one of the best.


Place you’d like to travel?


We travel a lot and one of our favorite places is the mountains. Recently we visited the Black Hills and Estes Park and were really, REALLY sad to leave. As far as places I’ve never been, French Polynesia is right up there. I’m into surfing and there are some cool breaks in Tahiti that should not be missed.


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


Thank you so much for embracing these stories. It makes all the hard work worthwhile when I know my story has touched someone, so don’t be afraid to reach out and let an author know how it affected you. 

To connect with Laura ~

Kemp Camp 


Monday, May 23, 2022


Climb into the mind of a killer: Lucas hired a hit man on the dark web to get rid of his outrageously rich and equally annoying wife but a month after her disappearance a photograph with a cryptic note shows up on his doorstep. Somebody knows what he did, and now they’re coming for him…    

Missing wife. Happy life.

Lucas Forester didn’t hate his wife. Michelle was brilliant, sophisticated and beautiful. Sure, she had extravagant spending habits, that petty attitude, a total disregard for anyone below her status. But she also had a lot to offer. Most notably: wealth that only the one percent could comprehend.

For years, Lucas has been honing a flawless plan to inherit Michelle’s fortune. Unfortunately, it involves taking a hit out on her.

Every track is covered, no trace left behind, and now Lucas plays the grieving husband so well he deserves an award. But when a shocking photo and cryptic note show up on his doorstep, Lucas goes from hunter to prey. 

Someone is on to him. And they’re closing in.

Told with dark wit and a sharply feminist sensibility, Never Coming Home is a terrifying tale of duplicity that will have you side-eyeing your spouse as you dash to the breathtaking end.

Reviews ~

“Fiendishly clever and deeply chilling, Never Coming Home is psychological suspense of the first order. With dark wit, searing prose, and a plot that twists like a strangling vine, McKinnon will lure you in and hold you breathless until the final page. Don’t miss this propulsive, hypnotic thrill ride.”—Lisa UngerNew York Times bestselling author of Last Girl Ghosted

“Hannah Mary McKinnon is the queen of dark thrillers! Never Coming Home captivates, horrifies…and it will make you laugh. Impossible to stop reading until you get to the final page.”—Samantha DowningUSA Today bestselling author of For Your Own Good

“McKinnon clearly had a blast devising this tale of revenge and comeuppance, and the reader benefits from this creepy glee. Fans of The Talented Mr. Ripley will devour this well-written, engrossing story.”— J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of Her Dark Lies 

Author interview ~

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

I was born in the UK to British & Swiss parents and grew up in the German-speaking part of Switzerland for the most part. After high-school I moved to Geneva to learn French for a year…which led to me staying in the French-speaking part of Switzerland for over two decades. I have two business degrees and was the CEO for a pan-European IT recruitment company before moving to Canada in 2010. I married Rob, my Canadian rock, in 1999, and we have three sons, including identical twins.

My writing career was largely born from failure when my Canadian start-up tanked. I had the option of working in a corporate environment again or to try something else. Eight book deals later, and although change was hard and challenging, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

I love getting outdoors and going to the movies. I live for the previews! I enjoy swimming and recently acquired a water rower, which is a fantastic and peaceful workout.

How do you start your day (a routine of sorts?)

Always with a cup of PG Tips tea (milk and sweetener, please) and a hug from my husband (and kids, if they let me, lol).

Finish this: “I can’t write without…”

…having a tidy desk! For me, a cluttered space = a cluttered mind.

What career did you think you’d have as an adult?

I remember telling my dad when I was about thirteen that I wanted to own a company. Not a huge surprise considering I grew up in the eighties when Wall Street and shoulder pads reined supreme. When I became a shareholder of the IT recruitment company. I worked for in Switzerland at age 26, I accomplished that dream and shifted the goal posts to becoming the boss, which I did age 35 when I was promoted to CEO. I’ve always been very driven, which definitely helped with my writing career.

What is something about you that people would surprise people?


I only attended school in English for three years, from age 8-11. The rest of my studies were in German and French, so I never took English literature (sorry, Shakespeare)! Oh, and my maiden name is Abplanalp, a very traditional Swiss name that has a story about a baby, a crib, and a landslide


Where do you get your ideas?

So far, I can pinpoint exactly how each book started. Book 1, Time After Time, is a story about a woman who’s unhappy with her life, which was me when we moved to Canada and my HR company crashed and burned, although the rest of the novel is fictional. The idea for book 2, The Neighbors, came to me when two houses on our courtyard went up for sale, and I wondered who might move in. Book 3, Her Secret Son, stemmed from a news segment I saw while I was at the gym (probably wishing I were eating cake instead).

Book 4, Sister Dear, was a radio segment about a woman who’d found a wedding ring at a playground and was trying to locate the owner through social media. Book 5, You Will Remember Me, was inspired by the true story of a man who vanished from a ski hill in Lake Placid and showed up six days later in Sacramento with amnesia.

Book 6, Never Coming Home, was different – this one was character driven. I wanted to write a story from a male antagonist’s point-of-view, and Lucas literally popped into my head and said, “Ta-daa! Okay, I’m here, get writing!”

If I wasn’t an author, I might be…?


Gosh, working in publishing in some capacity, I hope. Now I’ve been in the industry for years, I don’t want to leave.


Do you have a go-to first reader after you feel your manuscript is ready?


Fellow crime author A.F. Brady and bookstagrammer Sonica Soares have read my last three and two before anybody else. They’re extremely insightful and give brilliant, candid feedback, which is exactly what I need.


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

Long-standing favorite authors are Lisa Jewell and David Nicholls, but it was one of my closest friends, Jennifer Hillier, whose debut novel Creep propelled me to the dark side of suspense. We didn’t know each other at the time, but when I discovered her work it reminded me of my love of thrillers, and that I wanted to write edgier stories.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published (or this book?)


I made a lot of mistakes before my first novel was published, including rushing to submit the manuscript to an agent before it was truly ready. After editing it for two years, taking creative writing courses, and reading a lot, I managed to secure representation. If I’d taken those classes and learned about the industry earlier, it may not have taken as long…but the rejections it kept my feet firmly on the ground, and made me even more determined.


How do you market your work?

In collaboration with my publisher, HarperCollins who are incredibly supportive and have a fabulous team I can’t praise highly enough. I’m also very active on social media and love connecting with readers, reviewers, and bloggers. My author friends and bookstagrammers / book bloggers are fabulous champions of my novels, too. Their tireless enthusiasm is a balm for the writerly soul and I’m grateful to every single one of them. It really does take a village.

What are you working on now?

Book 7 (slated for 2023) is another psychological thriller. It’s about a woman named Frankie who has some anger issues, and writes a list of people she could work to forgive as a therapy exercise. She thinks nothing of it when she loses her list in an Uber, until one by one the individuals become victims of freak accidents. Frankie desperately tries to determine if the tragedies are indeed accidental, and if not, who’s behind them before someone else gets hurt, especially as one of the names on the list is her own… I’m so excited for this next novel and can’t wait for you to meet Frankie and the rest of my cast next year.

Is anything in NEVER COMING HOME based on real-life experiences?


Heck, no! I’ve never been on the dark web, let alone felt the need to hire a hitman. Thankfully, my books aren’t true crime. I do sprinkle details here and there that my family would recognize: I was born in Manchester like Lucas, and worked in recruitment. Superman pajamas. A stuffed toy. Mud runs—those kinds of things but otherwise I pull very little from my life. My job is to make things up and it’s a part of the process I thoroughly enjoy. Besides, I’ve found the more I write the more I invent—my life isn’t that interesting J

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene in NEVER COMING HOME?


More than one! I loved writing the scenes with Bobby and Lucas, especially the banter between them. There’s a scene in a forest that was creepy and unsettling to write, and I’m glad I did so with the lights on. I’m a visual person, so I was describing what I pictured in my head, which was a little gruesome. To counterbalance that, Lucas’s one-liners and wry sense of humor made me chuckle, and he kept pushing me to explore his character further. But if I must pick a favorite chapter then it has to be the last two. I cackled as I wrote them. Out loud.

Do you have a favorite character in NEVER COMING HOME?

Lucas for the win! He’s wry and funny, and his sense of humor is very much like mine (minus the murdery bits). He really was a hoot to hang out with.


Finish this sentence: “If I could write about anything, it would be…?”


More mayhem and murder. I love crime fiction and am very happy in this genre. Does that sound weird? J


What was some unique research you had to do for NEVER COMING HOME?


This novel took me to some very strange places. First, I needed to understand the dark web, and I listened to several podcasts about it, which were both fascinating and disturbing. I had to spend a lot of time thinking like a criminal, all the way from pickpocket to murderer. I also spoke to the former commander of Ontario’s Emergency Medical Assistance Team and an emergency physician to get the medical details right. As always, my go-to policing and crime scene advice came from retired Detective Sergeant and fellow author Bruce Robert Coffin, and Forensic Detective Ed Adach. I swear they keep helping me get away with fictional murder and we have a blast doing so.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?


Read as much and often as you can and listen to audio books. I wrote an article about how the latter make you a better author here. Write, even if you think it’s rubbish, because an empty page is impossible to edit. Another tip someone once suggested was to skip ahead if I couldn’t get a grasp on a chapter or scene, that I should focus on another part of the manuscript and trust myself enough to backfill later. It was revolutionary to me, and it beats the heck out of staring at a blank page or shoving my hand in the cookie jar. Also, I was advised to read my manuscript out loud. Every. Single. Word. Doing so helps avoid repetition, improves cadence, and zaps stilted dialogue. And, finally, share your work. It can be scary, but it’s the only way you’ll get feedback and improve your craft. Speaking of feedback: try not to take it personally. It’s unlikely lip service will get you where you want to be.

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


I listen to all kinds of music but I’m useless at remembering the names of singers or bands. Impossible to choose a favourite book, but one of my favourite movies is Inception because it’s so utterly brilliant. The other is still Love, Actually. I watch it every Christmas when I’m wrapping presents, know most of the words and absolutely adore it. I’m also partial to the Marvel movies, particularly when watched in chronological order of when they take place as I got so many “Aha!” moments that way.

Place you’d like to travel?


Once things go back to normal, I’m looking forward to visiting my family and friends in Switzerland. I can’t wait to get back into the mountains.


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


Have you heard about First Chapter Fun on Facebook and Instagram? It’s one of the good things that came out of the pandemic. Back in March 2020, when Covid first hit Canada, I was in a Messenger chat with a group of authors, discussing how we could help promote one another and give our books a boost. I half-jokingly offered to read the first chapter of their novels on Facebook and Instagram, and within a few days I had over 40 daily readings lined up and launched First Chapter Fun. I read for 53 days in a row (didn’t think the “must do hair and make-up” thing through very well), introducing viewers to a new novel and author each day.

In May 2020, I teamed up with my partner-in-fictional-crime, powerhouse author Hank Phillippi Ryan. We created a new Facebook group and We read twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday (the days with a “T) on both platforms simultaneously at 12.30 pm ET, and often have book giveaways. All the previously aired episodes are saved and can be viewed at leisure. It’s a wonderful community where we share the love of books and introduce new and/or new-to-you authors twice a week. Our goal is to keep your “to be read” pile completely out-of-control and, or so we’ve been told, we’re succeeding. Hank and I have also become great friends and talk all the time, something for which I’ll be eternally grateful.


Hannah Mary McKinnon was born in the UK, grew up in Switzerland and moved to Canada in 2010. After a successful career in recruitment, she quit the corporate world in favor of writing. While her debut, TIME AFTER TIME, was a rom com, she transitioned to the dark side thereafter. Her suspense novels include THE NEIGHBORS, and bestsellers HER SECRET SON, SISTER DEAR, YOU WILL REMEMBER ME, and NEVER COMING HOME. Hannah Mary lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband and three sons. Connect on Facebook and Instagram @hannahmarymckinnon, and on Twitter @HannahMMcKinnon. For more, visit



Facebook:          (@hannahmarymckinnon)

Instagram:          (@hannahmarymckinnon)

Twitter:              (@hannahmmckinnon)



First Chapter Fun

Monday, May 16, 2022


From the author of Husbands and Other Sharp Objects comes a witty, bighearted novel about the happy accidents that lead to love and second chances.

Forty-one years old, the last of her friends to marry, and down to a size 12, Lauren Leo is in her gown and about to tie the knot. There’s just one thing missing: the groom. With one blindsiding text, Lauren is unceremoniously dumped at the altar.

In the aftermath, her mother is an endless well of unsolicited advice (Stay on your diet and freeze your eggs). Her sisters only add to the Great Humiliation: one is planted on Lauren’s couch while the other is too perfect.

Picking her heart up off the floor, Lauren turns to her work in advertising as she gathers courage to move on and plan her next step. She should know by now that nothing in life goes according to plan. What lies ahead is the road to self-acceptance and at long last feeling worthy. With a new way to measure love and success, Lauren chucks her scale—and finds a second chance in the most unexpected place.


“Poignant and funny, Crazy To Leave You is chock full of Rothstein’s signature fast-paced, smart dialogue and brimming with wit. A heartfelt, delicious story.” —Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace

Crazy to Leave You is the funniest book I’ve read in practically forever. Lauren Leo, who’s been jilted at the altar at forty-one, is sarcastic, lovable, brave, and drop-dead hilarious—in other words, perfect. As she makes her way through the humiliation of her postwedding world, not only does she have to deal with some pretty rough dieting decisions, but she’s also got some needy sisters, a judgmental mom, a crazy work life, and waaay too many wedding presents. Plus, there’s the really big question on everyone’s mind: Is anybody ever going to love her again? Trust me: this book will have you snort-laughing from page one. Do not be drinking hot liquids while you read.” —Maddie Dawson, author of The Magic of Found Objects

“I’ve been eagerly awaiting Marilyn Simon Rothstein’s next novel, and Crazy to Leave You exceeded my expectations. From some of the funniest one-liners I’ve read in years to a cast of all-too-relatable characters, this witty, heartfelt story of one woman’s attempt to live on her own terms after her fiancé leaves her lifted my spirits and reminded me of what a gift it is to have choices—even the kind that take some warming up to. This is exactly the book we all need right now.” —Camille Pagán, bestselling author of I’m Fine and Neither Are You

“With her trademark wit and wisdom, Marilyn Simon Rothstein brings us her most delightful and disarming heroine yet in Lauren Leo, a jilted fortysomething bride who finds her superpower. Fun, funny, and smart, Crazy to Leave You will keep you turning the pages and aching to offer your own shoulder to cry on as Lauren turns her tale of woe into a tower of strength. If you haven’t yet experienced the sheer joy of a Marilyn Simon Rothstein novel, this is a perfect place to start.” —Jamie Brenner, author of Blush

Author interview with Marilyn ~

Tell us about your new novel, Crazy to Leave You.

I guess you could say I spent decades of my life researching this book about a scale-obsessed advertising executive in the world’s most dysfunctional Jewish family--not including my own, of course. Yes, I looked deep into my refrigerator, found the Dr. Brown’s Diet Cream soda, and invented the fictional character of Lauren Leo, a 41-year-old left at the altar by a man she first kissed back of Bunk 8 when she was thirteen at a sleepaway camp named after a rabbi. 

My discovery of Lauren Leo was followed by her body-shaming size four mother, in-laws more irritating than vaginitis, a best friend who presents a vibrator as a something-blue wedding gift, a younger sister--so perfect she demands to be disliked--and Margo Lamour, a soap opera star. Add an old-fashioned boss who never saw a skirt he thought was too short. A scale that finds its way under water. And at last, a hot limo driver named Rudy Cohen.

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

 I am pretty sure I wrote in the womb. I have been married 45 years to a man I met in an elevator. I have two daughters, two son-in-laws and three grandchildren. I would tell you how fabulous my children are but there’s not enough room here. My lifetime hobbies are reading and writing.


What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

I enjoy being with my family. I like big gatherings around the round table in my kitchen. Hours in, someone says “Shouldn’t we get up and go for a walk?” But we never do. That’s what qualified me to write a book about a woman who tosses her scale into a bath tub filled with water.


How do you start your day (a routine of sorts?)

Yoga—or is it yogurt?


Finish this: “I can’t write without…”

Beating myself up first.


If I had to spend a week on a deserted island, I would need…

The Sunday New York Times, coffee, a bagel--and a boat to get back to the mainland.


What career did you think you’d have as an adult?

I thought I would demonstrate men’s razors in Macy’s.


What is something about you that people would surprise people?

My kitten spent the night in the freezer and survived.

To connect with Marilyn~


Crazy to Leave You

Husbands and Other Sharp Objects

Lift and Separate