announcing my next novel: Blood Sisters, out in August!

I am so excited that I can finally talk about my next novel!

BLOOD SISTERS is an adult thriller about twin sisters with a deadly secret and a serial killer framed for murder…or was he?

I can’t spill all the details, but I can say Blood Sisters will be out August 22, 2023 from Aesthetic Press, and give you this blurb:

A college girl notices that a serial killer’s victims look an awful lot like her, so she figures out a way to frame him and fake her death. At least that is the story her twin sister desperately clings to even as her intrusive thoughts about her sister’s supposed murder haunts her 10 years later.

Cue the dramatic music!

Yes, I’ll give more teasers as we get closer.

And yes, there’ll be a knitting pattern to go with the preorders – Marcy got a shawl, and Nessa’s getting a shrug. My sample’s been done since last May, and I’ve been sitting on it except for this shot of secret kitten posing with it on my mannequin:

… because publishing timelines are long and involve a lot of sitting on things you really, really want to talk about.

There’s still a lot I can’t tell you just yet, so today I’d like to pull the curtain aside a bit and get into those timelines.

The thing is, I told people I had a book announcement coming and got a lot of “I can’t believe you wrote a book while teaching high school!” But the thing is … I didn’t.

Let’s take a look back on everything you haven’t seen, shall we?

Early 2016: James Patterson’s MasterClass has a competition to be his coauthor on a book. I get an idea, incredibly vague, about identical twins. One of them goes missing and the other is … accused of her murder? I wasn’t sure. That wasn’t the idea I ended up submitting for the competition, but that’s the first seed of the idea for the book that eventually became Blood Sisters. Note that this even predates Not Your Mary Sue by over a year. I hadn’t thought of Jay and Marcy yet, but Sunni and Skye were there, and those have always been their names.

April 2021: I finally came back to the twins for Camp NaNoWriMo and made two lengthy attempts to figure out their story. How lengthy? According to my stats, that month I wrote 106,622 words, so it was around 50k per attempt. That shows you how badly I wanted to tell their story, but neither of those really worked. I’d done a bunch of research into Jaycee Dugard and other children who’d been kidnapped for long periods of time, thinking that that was the twins’ story, but … it didn’t pan out.

Summer 2021: I did it! I got a full draft of the book! It turns out that Sunni and Skye are important, but there are other people at the center of the novel. The first draft had a first person POV for one of those other people.

December 2021: I completed my revisions – the ones I felt I needed to do to polish it up before submitting it – and rewrote it to be in third person with two points of view (neither of which was Sunni or Skye).

Spring 2022: I signed the contract with Aesthetic Press. The shrug design and cover design quickly followed … giving me more to sit on as I waited.

So, even though the process of writing this book took about six years …

None of it was written while I was teaching. If you don’t know how I do it all, it’s because … I don’t.

So I’m looking forward to telling you more about Sunni and Skye, and Nessa and all the others, and to introducing you to the plot and setting of Blood Sisters. I’ve been thinking about all of this for a long, long time, so you know I’ve got plenty to say.