Monday, November 28, 2022


We've got a double feature this week! Two bestselling suspense thriller authors with new releases this week! And both are members of the Killer Author Club (see link with their social media links.)


USA TODAY bestselling author Kimberly Belle returns with a deeply addictive thriller exploring the dark side of the digital world when a mommy-blogger’s assistant goes missing.  

When Alex first began posting unscripted family moments and motivational messages online, she had no intention of becoming an influencer. Overnight it seemed she’d amassed a huge following, and her hobby became a full-time job—one that was impossible to manage without her sharp-as-a-tack personal assistant, AC.

But all the goodwill of her followers turns toxic when one controversial post goes viral in the worst possible way. Alex reaches out to AC for damage control, but her assistant has gone silent. This young woman Alex trusted with all her secrets, who had access to her personal information and front-row seats to the pressure points in her marriage and family life, is now missing and the police are looking to Alex and her husband for answers. As Alex digs into AC’s identity – and a woman is found murdered – she’ll find the greatest threat isn’t online, but in her own living room.

Written in alternating perspectives between Alex, her husband, and the mysterious AC, this juicy cat-and-mouse story will keep you guessing till the very end.


"A missing assistant to an Instagram influencer, a mysterious dead body, and a nesting box of family secrets drive this cat-and-mouse thriller to a deliciously unexpected finale. A great page-turning read!" —Wendy Walker, bestselling author of Don't Look for Me

“Kimberly Belle has delivered another twisty, tense and terrifying tour de force! 
The Personal Assistant shows the consequences of living in an online world where nothing is as it seems, turning the glamor of an insta-worthy life into a nightmare. If you ever had dreams of being an Instagram influencer, this book will have you thinking again. Unputdownable and impossible to forget.” —Julie Clark, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight and The Lies I Tell


A husband with secrets. A wife with no limits. A riveting novel of marriage, privilege, and lies by Kaira Rouda, the USA Today bestselling author of The Next Wife.

Jody Asher had a plan. Her charismatic husband, Martin, would be a political icon. She, the charming wife, would fuel his success. For fifteen congressional terms, they were the golden couple on the Hill. Life was good. Until he wasn’t.

Martin’s secret affair with a young staffer doesn’t bother Jody personally. But professionally? It’s a legacy killer. Soon a reporter gets word of this scandal in the making, and Martin’s indiscretions threaten to ruin everything Jody has accomplished.

When Martin suddenly dies, it’s a chance to change the narrative—but the reporter won’t let go of his lead. As the balance of power shifts in the Asher house and on the Hill, it’s time for Jody to take control. And there’s nothing the ruthless widow won’t do to secure the future she’s entitled to. Even if she has a secret of her own.


“A deliciously diabolical take on marriage, politics, and the lies that bind.” Library Journal

“[A] wild mix of intrigue, secrets, and corruption.” Publishers Weekly

“What happens when ‘the woman behind the man’ has a dark secret of her own? Slick and rocket-paced, The Widow by Kaira Rouda is a top-notch political thriller. With hairpin twists and turns, insider knowledge, glamorous settings, and a whole cast of untrustworthy characters, Rouda expertly ratchets the tension, keeping her readers breathlessly turning the pages. And the deliciously devious Jody Asher is as cold and calculating as she is riveting. A captivating read!” —Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six

Author interviews:


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

I worked in nonprofit fundraising for years, both in the Netherlands and in the States, until 2008, when the economy crashed and so did my job. By that point I was pushing forty, and I still hadn’t written that novel I’d always dreamed of writing. I decided to see my sudden unemployment as a now-or-never moment, so I sat down and my computer and….realized I had no idea what I was doing. I spent the next couple of years learning how to build a story. I took courses, read everything I could get my hands on, found some critique partners and mentors, and then I wrote a book and then another. I was almost done with the second story when I attended a local conference and pitched it to a couple of agents. I ended up signing with one by the end of the month, and eight+ books later, we still make a great team.

Do you have a particular writing routine?

When I’m working on a story, I’m usually behind my laptop by eight, and then I give myself an hour or so to warm up by reading the news and checking emails and social media feeds. After that, I jump right in to writing, and I keep going until I hit my daily word count, usually by afternoon sometime. I’m not a fast writer but the words I produce each day are generally keepers, and my first draft is pretty clean.

Is there anything major that changed in this novel from when you first plotted it out?

I write from an outline, but even the most detailed plans can go sideways once I get into the weeds of writing. Sometimes the pacing is off, or a character’s actions don’t fit their personality. Sometimes a character I didn’t plan for walks into a scene and has something essential to say. I always give myself room to rework the story as I’m writing, but my beginnings and endings rarely change—and they didn’t in The Personal Assistant. What did deviate from the outline, though, were Anna Claire’s chapters. My editor loved that character and she wanted more, so I went back in edits and expanded, adding three more chapters in her voice. Luckily, they were easy to weave into the current story.


What was the original title of this book?

My original titles have never stuck, and honestly, I’m okay with it. The marketing and sales folks at Harper Collins are so much better at it than I am, and they’re thinking about things like title trends and catchy words, so I’m happy to let them do their thing. When I turned in The Personal Assistant, its title was “book 8.”


If I wasn’t an author, I might be…?

I worked for years in non-profit fundraising, and as much as I loved the job, I’m not sure it’s something I would go back to. I would miss the flexibility of working from home, and the creative kick I get from finding just the right word. But I do love to travel, so I would probably look for a job that allowed me to see the world. Especially now that my kids are grown, I could spend much of the year on the road and not get homesick for a single minute.


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

My agent is my first reader. She’s so good at story and plot and holding the suspense until the last possible moment, and I really trust her vision for not just my individual books but the Kimberly Belle brand as a whole. That’s one of the many surprises I had when I began in this industry, that books really are a team effort. Yes, I write the words, but my agent and editor and all the folks at my publishing house creating covers and writing back copy are really helping to elevate the book and make it as good as possible.


What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on two projects: Desperate Deadly Widows, an Audible original and second book in the Widows series, coauthored with Vanessa Lillie, Layne Fargo and Cate Holahan. My solo book is The Paris Widow, a thriller about a couple vacationing in Paris when the husband is killed, the victim of what looks to be a freak accident—but when the gendarmerie point to him as the target of the explosion, she begins to wonder what kind of man she married…and worse, if his killers might be after her next.


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

Yes, finally! I’ve been dying to write about my second hometown of Amsterdam, and in The Paris Widow I got to set a scene there. I also based a character on a real life Dutchman, an art detective known as “the Indiana Jones of the Art World” for his remarkable recoveries of looted artifacts. My character in The Paris Widow is the female version.


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

So much of what happens once we send a book out into the world is out of our control. Market trends, publicity that doesn’t quite catch on, a pandemic that comes out of nowhere. Success isn’t always predictable, and penning a bestseller often feels like a mixture of hard work and pixie dust…which is why I’ve worked very hard to find my tribe. Fellow authors who are not competition but a refuge. I use them as sounding boards, brainstorm buddies, and accountability partners. I ask them questions, get their advice, let them talk me off the ledge. They make this job so much more fun and fulfilling.


What do you do to support other authors?

Every month, I choose my Top 5 favorite new releases and announce them via livestream on Instagram and in the Facebook group Readers Coffeehouse. One lucky winner goes home with all five books, so make sure to check it out on the last Wednesday of every month at 11 am ET. And on the Killer Author Club, Kaira Rouda, Heather Gudenkauf and I interview killer authors every other week in our Facebook group and on YouTube, and we’ve recently started a monthly book club, as well. All the links and past shows are at 


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

My first novel, Here, Home, Hope,  published in 2011 and it represented a lifelong dream come true. I knew I wanted to be an author in third grade. Needless to say, it took a long time for the dream to happen, but I never gave up. Resilience is the name of the game in publishing, and in life.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

I love to travel, especially with my family. We have four adult kids and any time we get to spend with them is a treasure. I love to play pickleball with friends.

Do you have a particular writing routine?

I prefer to write in the afternoon. But aside from that I just write.

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

I always wanted to be an author, as I mentioned, and I also loved marketing. My dad was a marketing professor in the business school for Harvard, Ohio State and UT so I always say I earned a homeschooled MBA.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I lived in five states growing up, and went to college in a sixth. I like that I had experiences living all across the country.

What was the original title of this book?

The original title of The Widow was The Widow’s Mandate. The tradition of The Widow’s Mandate is what inspired the novel. First there was Mae Ella Nolan from California who became a US Representative after her husband died in 1922. Throughout the next century, 47 additional American women followed in her footsteps most notable recently including Mary Bono, Sonny Bono’s wife, and Cindy McCain, John McCain’s wife. Their husbands’ deaths made them widows. The Widow’s Mandate made them politicians. When I realized that statistically speaking, for women aspiring to serve in congress, the best husband has been a dead husband. This notion could lead to the ultimate perilous power struggle. And that’s where my story began.


What do you do to support other authors?

During the pandemic, it was both isolating and frustrating not to be able to have book events, especially around the launch of a new book. So my fellow authors, Heather Gudenkauf and Kimberly Belle and I, got together and created the Killer Author Club, a bimonthly show where we host suspense and thriller authors. It was a great way to connect during the pandemic and we decided it is a fun way to stay connected now. We have a private Facebook page – Killer Author Clubhouse – that’s growing every day, and our YouTube channel, Killer Author Club, is, too. For more, please visit our website:



To connect with these authors:

Kimberly  Belle:

website instagram facebook twitter goodreads

Kaira Rouda:

And check out the Killer Author Club 

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