Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Spotlight of The Hunting Wives by May Cobb




Heathers walked so Mean Girls could run.  

Desperate Housewives stunned suburbia so Big Little Lies could throw a pie at Meryl Streep. 

Now, it’s the East Texas elite’s turn to say “Hold my rosé” as they raze their small town to the ground with toxic friendships, obsession, lies, seduction and... murder. 

THE HUNTING WIVES (Berkley Hardcover; May 18, 2021) by May Cobb—a scandalous thriller sure to have everyone talking this spring.


“Nail-biting . . . Wild plot twists keep the pages turning up to the unexpected ending. This romp is a guilty pleasure.”Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

“ATTN anyone who loves Big Little Lies, Mean Girls, and Desperate Housewives: May Cobb’s upcoming suspense novel is for you.”Betches

"THE HUNTING WIVES is just like Texas...big, bold, and hot!!  This spicy nove s filled with unpredictable twists and unforgettable caractersl and it's mpossible to put down.  Put this book on your 2021 list, you won't regret it.”Samantha Downing, USA Today bestselling author of My Lovely Wife and He Started It

“Sultry, salacious, and utterly unpredictable, THE HUNTING WIVES is the kind of book your mother warned you about. You'll devour it.”Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of Home Before Dark

One of Goodreads“Most Anticipated Mysteries and Thrillers of 2021” 

One of PopSugars “Books Everyone Will Be Talking About in 2021"

A Cosmopolitan Must-Read of the Summer



In THE HUNTING WIVES, Sophie O’Neill is trying to establish her life in Small- Town, Texas but so far she remains on the outside looking in when it comes to the group of women who run the town—in particular the queen bee, Margot Banks. She does what any good millennial would do and uses social media to work her way into Margot’s and her friends’ lives. Once she’s accepted, much to her delight, Sophie is quickly swept up into the group’s dangerous orbit of late-night target practice and extreme partying, utterly blinded by Margot’s alluring power. The more Sophie inserts herself into Margot’s life the more she alienates her own, neglecting her son and putting a strain on her marriage.

The red flags start small. A “just one more drink” here. A “swear you won’t tell” there. Then the body of a teenage girl is found in the same wooded area where the women go to shoot skeet . . . and all the evidence points to Sophie.

Cobb raises the bar for domestic thrillers by taking the already compelling “corrupted nice girl meets murder” trope and making Sophie a complicated, fascinating train wreck of a woman—a refreshing take on the presumably naïve protagonist. Sophie knows what she wants and is willing to do what it takes to get it. What she wants is Margot and thanks to Cobb’s vivid characterization, it’s not hard to understand why. She exudes confidence and sexuality, like Darcey Bell’s Emily in A Simple Favor. You can see the darkness but choose to ignore it in favor of attention from someone who’s approval you desperately crave.

The author cleverly captures East Texas life while simultaneously making it feel just as exclusive and bougie as Hollywood—a testament to Cobb’s skill. THE HUNTING WIVES is a delightfully shocking novel that will keep you glued to the pages until the very end. Perfect for fans of Samantha Downing and Ruth Ware, we hope you will consider THE HUNTING WIVES for review, roundups, and feature attention this coming spring season.



 PHOTO CREDIT:  Steve Noreyko

May Cobb earned her MA in literature from San Francisco State University, and her essays and interviews have appeared in the Washington Post, the Rumpus, Edible Austin, and Austin Monthly. Her debut novel, Big Woods, won multiple awards. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family.

Connect with her online at www.maycobb.com, Twitter @maykcobb, and Instagram @may_cobb to learn more.


Bookshop: http://bit.ly/2KcI6v3  

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XG4tMu

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Kobo: http://bit.ly/39u1LiT

Add it on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/35PWJwB


Monday, May 17, 2021

Spotlight of Beyond The Headlines by R. G. Belsky

Beyond The Headlines

by R.G. Belsky

May 1-31, 2021 Tour


Beyond The Headlines by R.G. Belsky

She was a mega-celebrity—he was a billionaire businessman—now he’s dead—she’s in jail

Laurie Bateman was living the American dream. Since her arrival as an infant in the U.S. after the fall of Saigon, the pretty Vietnamese girl had gone on to become a supermodel, a successful actress, and, finally, the wife of one of the country’s top corporate dealmakers. That dream has now turned into a nightmare when she is arrested for the murder of her wealthy husband.

New York City TV journalist Clare Carlson does an emotional jailhouse interview in which Bateman proclaims her innocence—and becomes a cause celebre for women’s rights groups around the country.

At first sympathetic, then increasingly suspicious of Laurie Bateman and her story, Clare delves into a baffling mystery which has roots extending back nearly fifty years to the height of the Vietnam War.

Soon, there are more murders, more victims, and more questions as Clare struggles against dire evil forces to break the biggest story of her life.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: May 4th 2021
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 160809409X (ISBN13: 9781608094097)
Series: The Clare Carlson Mystery Series, 4 (This can be read as a stand alone mystery.)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

More: According to the author Beyond The Headlines does not include: Excessive Strong Language, Graphic Violence, Explicit Sexual Scenes, Rape, or other trigger situations. It does contain what some may consider to be: Steamy Clean (mild language, mild sexual tension and innuendo, no sex scenes). PICT staff have not read this book, however and cannot give additional information.

Read an excerpt:


“Do you know who Laurie Bateman is?” my friend Janet Wood asked me.

“I do,” I said. “I also know who Lady Gaga is. And Angelina Jolie. And Ivanka Trump. I’m in the media, remember? That’s what we do in the media, we cover famous people. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.”

“Laurie Bateman hired me.”

“As an attorney?”

“Yes, as an attorney. That’s what I do, Clare.”

We were sitting in my office at Channel 10 News, the TV station in New York City where I work as news director. I should have known something was going on as soon as Janet showed up there. We usually met at Janet’s law office which is big, with panoramic views of midtown Manhattan, and a lot nicer than mine.

Janet never comes to see me at Channel 10 unless she has a reason.

I figured I was about to find out that reason.

It was early December and outside it was snowing, the first real storm of the winter. The snow started falling during the night, and by now it was covering the city with a powdery white blanket. Pretty soon the car exhausts and trucks would turn it into brown slush, but for now it was gorgeous. From the window next to my desk, the city had an eerie, almost unreal quality. Like something from a Norman Rockwell painting.

My outfit for the day was perfect for the snowy weather, too. I’d walked in wearing a turtleneck sweater, heavy corduroy slacks, a blue down jacket with a parka hood and white earmuffs, scarf and mittens. The ski bunny look. I felt like I should have a cup of hot chocolate in my hand.

“Why does Laurie Bateman need you as an attorney?” I asked Janet.

She hesitated for what seemed to be an inordinately long amount of time before answering.

“Are we talking off the record here?”

“Whatever you want, Janet.”

“I need your word on that.”

“C’mon, it’s me. Clare Carlson, your best friend in the world.”

She nodded.

“Laurie Bateman wants me to represent her in divorce proceedings.”


“I thought you’d like that.”

“Is it too late to take back my ‘best friend in the world/ off-the-record’ promise?”

Janet smiled. Sort of.

“How much do you know about Laurie Bateman?” she asked me now.

I knew as much as the rest of the world, I suppose. Laurie Bateman seemed to have the American Dream going for her. Since coming to the U.S. as a baby with her family after the fall of Saigon in 1975, the pretty Vietnamese girl had grown up to become a top model, then a successful actress, and finally, the wife of one of the country’s top corporate deal makers. She had a fancy Manhattan townhouse, a limousine at her beck and call and her face had graced the covers of magazines like Vogue and People.

Her husband was Charles Hollister, who had become incredibly wealthy back in the ’70s as one of the pioneers of the burgeoning computer age. He was a kind of Steve Jobs of those early days, and he later expanded into all sorts of other industries—from media to pharmaceuticals to oil drilling and a lot more. He was listed as one of the ten wealthiest businessmen in America.

When Hollister married Laurie Bateman a few years ago, there were a lot of jokes about the big difference in age between the two—she was so much younger and so beautiful. Like the jokes people made about Rupert Murdoch with Wendy Deng and then Jerry Hall, his last two wives. People always assume that a younger and pretty woman like that is marrying for the money. But Laurie Bateman and Charles Hollister insisted they were in love, and they had consistently projected the public persona of a happily married couple in the media since their wedding.

Except it now appeared they weren’t so happily married.

“Is she trying to divorce him to get her hands on his money?” I asked.

“Actually, he’s trying to divorce her and stop her from getting her hands on any of his money.”

“So the bottom line here is this divorce is about money.”

“Always is.”

“Isn’t there a pre-nuptial agreement that would settle all this?”

“Yes and no.”

“Spoken like a true lawyer.”

“Yes, there is a pre-nup. But we don’t think it applies here. That’s because other factors in the marriage took place which could invalidate the terms of the pre-nup they agreed to and signed.”


I waited.

“Such as?” I asked finally.

“For one thing, Charles Hollister has a mistress. A younger woman he’s been seeing.”

“Younger than Laurie Bateman?”

“Much younger. In her twenties.”

“Jeez! Hollister’s such an old man I have trouble imagining him being able to have sex with his wife, much less getting it up for a second woman on the side.”

“Her discovery that he was cheating on her, along with a lot of other reasons, have turned Laurie Bateman’s life into a nightmare—a living hell—behind the walls of the beautiful homes they live in. She’s kept quiet about it so far, protecting the happy couple image they’ve put on for the media. But now she wants to let the world know the truth. That’s where you come in, Clare.”

Aha, I thought to myself.

Now we’re getting down to it.

I was about to find out the real reason Janet was here.

“Laurie Bateman wants to go public with all this,” Janet said. “She wants to tell her story in the media. The true story of her marriage to Charles Hollister. We know Hollister is going to use his clout to try and smear her and make her look bad, so that’s why we want to get her version out quickly. What I’m talking about here is an exclusive interview with Laurie Bateman about all of this. Her talking about the divorce, the cheating—everything. And she wants you to do the interview with her.”

“Why me?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why not Gayle King? Or Savannah Guthrie? Or Barbara Walters or Katie Couric or Diane Sawyer or another big media name? I’m just the news director of a local TV station here.”

“She wants you, Clare. In fact, I think that’s the reason she hired me for her lawyer. She found out you and I were friends—and she’s hoping I can deliver you to her to do this interview on air with her.”

“I still don’t know why she wouldn’t want to go with someone really famous . . .”

“You’re famous too, Clare. You know that as well as I do. And that’s why she wants you. You’re as famous as any woman on the air right now.”

Janet was right about that.

I was famous.

It could have gone either way—I could have wound up being either famous or infamous because of what I did—but in the end I’d wound up as a media superstar all over again.

Just like I’d been when I won a Pulitzer Prize nearly twenty years ago for telling the story of legendary missing child Lucy Devlin—even though I didn’t tell the whole story then.

“Laurie Bateman’s life with Charles Hollister is a big lie,” Janet said to me. “Now she wants to tell the truth on air about all those lies she’s been hiding behind. Like you did when you finally told the truth on air about you and Lucy Devlin. That’s why she wants you to be the one who interviews her.”

I still wasn’t sure how I felt about all this new found fame I’d gotten from my Lucy Devlin story, but there was no question that if it got me this Laurie Bateman story . . . well, that would be a huge exclusive for me and the station.

“When can I meet her?” I asked Janet.


Excerpt from Beyond The Headlines by R.G. Belsky. Copyright 2021 by R.G. Belsky. Reproduced with permission from R.G. Belsky. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

R.G. Belsky

R. G. Belsky is an author of crime fiction and a journalist in New York City.

His new mystery, BEYOND THE HEADLINES, will be published in May 2021. It is the third in a series featuring Clare Carlson, the news director for a New York City TV station – and follows THE LAST SCOOP, published in 2020. The first Clare Carlson book, YESTERDAY’S NEWS, won the David Award at Deadly Ink for Best Mystery of 2018. The second Clare Carlson book, BELOW THE FOLD, was named Best Mystery 0f 2019 in the Foreword INDIES Awards.

He also is the author of two thrillers written under the pen name of Dana Perry – THE SILENT VICTIM (2019) and THE GOLDEN GIRL (June, 2020).

Belsky previously wrote the Gil Malloy series – THE KENNEDY CONNECTION, SHOOTING FOR THE STARS and BLONDE ICE – about a newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News.
Belsky himself is a former managing editor at the Daily News and writes about the media from an extensive background in newspapers, magazines and TV/digital news. He has also been a top editor at the New York Post, Star magazine and NBC News.

His previous suspense/thriller novels include LOVERBOY and PLAYING DEAD. Belsky lives in New York City.

Catch Up With R.G. Belsky:
BookBub – @dickb79983
Instagram – @dickbelsky
Twitter – @DickBel
Facebook – @RGBelsky

It's Monday!! What Are YOU Reading? - 5/17/2021

I hope you had a great reading week.
This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn at BOOK DATE!

Post the books completed, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish at some point.
Books Completed:

THE STEPSISTERS by Susan Mallery - review will be on June 18.



HAIRPIN BRIDGE by Taylor Adama - review will be on June 15.
THE SISTERS OF THE RESISTANCE by Christine Wells - review will be on June 8.
IN TIMES OF RAIN AND WAR by Camron Wright - review will be on June 7.
THE WARSAW ORPHAN by Kelly Rimmer - review will be on June 4.
THE PHOTOGRAPHER by Mary Dixie Carter - review will be on May 25.
Interesting story line, but slow.

YOU WILL REMEMBER ME by Hannah Mary McKinnon - review will be on May 24.
Thriller fans won't want to miss this book.
LOCAL WOMAN MISSING by Mary Kubica - review will be on May 19.
Tense and good.
THE NEWCOMER by Mary Kay Andrews - review is in the book's title.
Enjoyable with great characters.

Book Currently Reading:

LIE BESIDE ME by Gytha Lodge - review will be on June 22.


Books Up Next:

THE FIANCEE by Kate White - review will be on June 29.

THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER by Leigh Fleming - review will be on June 30.

THE PERSONAL LIBRARIAN by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray - review will be on July 1.

 KILL ALL YOUR DARLINGS by David Bell - review will be on July 5.
STRANGER IN THE MIRROR by Liv Constantine - review will be on July 6, 2021.
THE FOREST OF VANISHING STARS by Kristin Harmel - review will be on July 7.
THE THERAPIST by B. A. Paris - review will be on July 13.
THE LIGHTS OF SUGARBERRY COVE by Heather Webber - review will be on July 19.
THE OTHER PASSENGER by Louise Candlish - review will be on July 20.
SAFE IN MY ARMS by Sara Shepard - review will be on July 27.
THE WIDOWS OF CHAMPAGNE by Renee Ryan - review will be on July 28.
THE IRISH STORM by J. Walter Ring - review will be on July 30.

WHERE THE TRUTH LIES by Anna Bailey - review will be on August 2.
DARK ROADS by Chevy Stevens - review will be on August 3, 2021.

IN MY DREAMS I HOLD A KNIFE by Ashley Windstead - review will be on August 4.
EMILY'S HOUSE by Amy Belding Brown - review will be on August 5.
SUCH A GOOD WIFE by Seraphina Nova Glass  - review will be on August 9.
 GONE FOR GOOD by Joanna Schaffhausen - review will be on August 10.
THE FAMILY PLOT by Megan Collins - review will be on August 16.
THE BOOKSELLER'S SECRET by Michelle Gable - review will be on August 17.
THE GUILT TRIP by Sandie Jones - review will be on August 18.
WHEN THE SUMMER WAS OURS by Roxanne Veletzos - review will be on August 24.
WHERE I LEFT HER by Amber Garza - review will be on August 26.
THE LAST CHANCE LIBRARY by Freya Sampson - review will be on August 31.
THE LIVING AND THE LOST by Ellen Feldman - review will be on September 7.
BETTER TO TRUST by Heather Frimmer - review will be on September 21.
LAST GIRL GHOSTED by Lisa Unger - review will be on October 5.