Judith D Collins
By: Claire Seeber
Publication Date: 7/15/2016
My Rating: 4.5 Stars The perfect wife. A fairy tale family. Don’t believe your eyes… Jeanie and Matthew are a happily married couple who both have teenage children from previous relationships.
No one said it would be easy to raise a blended family under one roof but Jeanie and Matthew are strong. They will make it work. And whilst Jeanie’s step-daughter Scarlett rejects her, Jeanie will just have to try harder to win her over.
But Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret she thought she’d buried a long time ago. And now, it’s coming to the surface, threatening to destroy her new marriage.
Someone is playing a terrifying game on Jeanie and she must put a stop to it once and for all.
After all, a fairy tale needs a happy ending … doesn’t it?
A compelling, dark and twisty psychological thriller that will grip fans of Behind Closed Doors, Between You and Me and The Teacher.
A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Nice cover! Claire Seeber delivers a nightmare of a fairy tale, THE STEPMOTHER- A gripping domestic and twisty psychological suspense, with more red herrings than you can imagine. A perfect read for Halloween! Is the stepmother as bad as you think, or is someone making her appear to be? With a devilish twist of Snow White, Cinderella, old houses and creepy—join the disturbing stepfamily to learn which one is really evil. From violence, rage, jealousy - a psychopath. Inflicting pain on the helpless. The horror of the Malum House. Jeanie believed in fairy tales. She subscribed to the myth. However, the fantasy life crumbled. The beautiful idyllic stuff fell away. Shiny and unreal. She always looked for the best in people. An optimistic. Jeanie marries Matthew. They have a blended family. "Why do you think little Snow White’s stepmother struggled with her? Was it merely because the girl was young and youth is always to be coveted? Was it because the girl was the queen’s daughter, who was first recipient of the king’s great love? Was it perhaps because the king love her- his little Snow White, firstborn- more than he could ever love the stepmother? Or was it because Snow White was a spoiled, little cow, used to getting her own way all the time?" Mothers and daughters can be tricky. Teenage children from former relationships. A blended family. Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret. Someone is playing a frightening game. It seeks to destroy. From Jeanie to Marlena, two sisters; things are not as they seem. Can things be put away in the past, tidied and boxed up? Jeanie Randall marries her prince charming, Matthew King. Jeanie has a son, Frankie from a prior relationship, and Matthew has two fourteen–year-old twins, Scarlett and Luke from a former marriage to Kaye. Jeanie is now a stepmother. She wants to be accepted and wants everyone to be one big happy fairy tale family.However, someone does not feel the same. Strange, weird things-begin happening. Driving someone to the brink of insanity. A family imploding. Step families are hard work. However, who can be trusted? Someone has a secret and it threatens to destroy. Dark and compelling, wickedly evil! Plenty of twists and surprises to keep you guessing. A fairy tale family turns deadly. A game which threatens to drive someone nuts. Seeber sends her reader into a labyrinth of creepy twists and grotesque turns. The secrets of the past refuse to keep quiet in this disquieting, taut thriller. Razor-sharp and intense THE STEPMOTHER hooks, grips, and draws you into the web of deceit - impossible to put down.
Wow, an author to follow!
About the Author
Because of a love of travel, 10 years after my Austrian father met my English Rose mother over cheap Chianti and original cappuccino (ie not Starbucks) in a beautiful city in the Umbrian hills, I was born in Greenwich, London.
I spent a few months myself in Perugia when I left school but not only did I fail to learn Italian (too much coffee drinking and cigarette smoking and not enough study), I didn’t meet my future husband either. My academic career culminated in a degree in Drama & English, and an ambition to act – stemming, probably, from my family thinking it was such a bad idea. (I did like to play the rebel in those days). Bit parts in The Bill etc became too frustrating when I truly hankered after the RSC, and I constantly got cast as prostitutes, bimbos and drug dealers (draw your own conclusions). Eventually I abandoned everything to travel the tropics; did a bit more acting on my return – see Pete Cattaneo’s Screen Two film, Loved Up as the high point in my acting career – but eventually slid smoothly behind the camera instead. (OK, I collapsed there after an audition where I was commanded to be ‘ witty with a Pringle crisp ‘. You try it.)
I was far happier out of the limelight. My TV career spanned MTV through chat-shows to documentary television, giving me the opportunity to travel the world, be it after oil barons in Oklahoma or Viagra merchants in Surrey (yes really), pop stars in New York or dysfunctional families looking for a fresh start in Australia – although please believe it really wasn’t all glamour (I’ve been sworn at, punched in Amsterdam’s red light district, threatened and propositioned more than once – which kept me on my toes, I suppose). I also started writing features for The Independent on Sunday, The Guardian and The Telegraph.
Somehow I became an expert in confessional journalism and after having my first baby, I wrote my first book in a bid to stay at home with him and not keep getting punched in Amsterdam. I was lucky to get snapped up fairly quickly by Harper Collins, and have had 4 novels published by them, and in various countries. A change of direction recently means…well, all will be revealed if you please watch this space 🙂
In 2014 I also started studying psychology, moved up to Derbyshire for a year, moved back down South, missing the smog (not really, I hate the smog) with my children, my very tall partner and lots of animals. I am still undecided on who is the most feral. Read More