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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Night Side

Narrator: Helen Laser

ISBN: 9781666657524

Publisher: Severn House

Dreamscape Media

Publication Date: 03/12/2024

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: 5 Stars (ALC)



When Ruby was eighteen, she ran away from her home in Stoneybrook, Montana, and vowed she'd never return—not to life under the control of her manipulative mother, Ida, a self-styled medium and psychic scammer who made a career out of ruining people's lives; not to the small town where enemies lurk at every turn.


But now, twenty years later, Ruby is back. Her mother is missing, presumed dead, and Ruby reluctantly returns to a home filled with chilling memories and disturbing secrets to settle Ida's affairs. Did she really commit suicide by drowning, or is this another dark scheme? Ruby thought she knew all her mother's secrets, but the worst is yet to come...



Available in e-book, hardcover (Severn House)

and audio (Dreamscape Media) out now!

Narrator: Helen Laser (love the narrator)!

March 12, 2024

Paperback version coming JUNE 24TH (UK) AUGUST 24TH (US)

Available to purchase at all major retailers








About the Author


M.M. DeLuca is the bestselling author of The Perfect Family Man, The Secret Sister and the critically acclaimed historical suspense novel, The Savage Instinct which received a starred review from Publishers' Weekly. She spent her childhood in the beautiful cathedral city of Durham, which has often appeared as a setting in her novels. She moved to Canada where she worked as a teacher and studied Advanced Creative Writing with Pulitzer Prizewinning author, Dr. Carol Shields. She's received many local arts council grants for her work. She loves writing in all genres, is an avid reader, an eager painter and loves golfing as well as getting outside for walks, even in the depths of winter. Visit her online at www.marjoriedeluca.com.


Her Books







Exceptional Authors. Standout Books.

Elevator Talk.


INTRIGUING QUESTIONS. INQUIRING READERS WANT TO KNOW.


A fun #LitLift Author Chat with

bestselling Author, M. M. Deluca

Behind the Book & the Author



Welcome to the third March 2024 #AuthorElevatorSeries and #LitLift Author Chats! Joining us for the first time, a newfound and notable guest author, M.M. Deluca (Marjorie), with her tenth novel, THE NIGHT SIDE.

You are going to devour this one, thriller fans!

Atmospheric, dark, twisty, and sinister, THE NIGHT SIDE is a well-crafted psychological mystery thriller (with a Gothic vibe) in which the torments of the past return to wreak havoc in the present—the devastating power of family secrets.


Join us as Marjorie shares some behind-the-scenes exclusives from the book and up-close and personal fun moments from this talented author.


Welcome, Marjorie!




BEHIND THE BOOK


Q. Give us your best ELEVATOR PITCH for your new book.


Elevator pitches are tough, and I should be good at writing them since I love writing screenplays, so I’ll give it my best shot!


Twenty years ago, Ruby, a successful archaeologist, ran away from her mother, Ida, a self-proclaimed medium and psychic scammer, recently arrested for a massive con job on a reclusive millionaire. But when Ida suddenly goes missing, and suicide is suspected, Ruby is drawn back home into a dark, troubled past filled with secrets she fought to escape.



Q. DESCRIBE your novel in three words or less.


Dark, haunting, twisty.



Q. TOPICS: Name 1-3 topics or themes addressed in the novel?


  • Toxic mother/daughter relationships. Ida forces her own daughter, Ruby to take part in her psychic scam business from an early age without considering the traumatic consequences.

  • The “long con”. How scammers manipulate their victims and make big money by preying on their grief, their deepest fears, and their darkest secrets.

  • Resilience, courage and the power of love.



Q. DID YOU KNOW?


Name 3-5 things (or more) that readers may not know about THE NIGHT SIDE.

INSPIRATION:

  • My grandmother on my dad’s side was a spiritualist medium in Northern England. When my dad was a little boy, he used to sit by the door of the meeting room while they had their seances. He’d watch them speaking in tongues, channeling spirits and “tipping the table.” He said he was never scared!

  • I researched articles about a private eye who makes it his business to expose habitual psychic scammers and bring them to justice



Name 3-5 things that readers may not know about YOU, the author.


• I have a fear of clown dolls! They often crop up in my writing. There’s actually a scene with one in The Night Side. I even wrote a short horror screenplay about one named Boris!

• I love history and I write historical suspense. One of my earlier books, The Savage Instinct, features a real-life serial poisoner who was executed in my home town of Durham, England, in 1873 for murdering at least twenty people including her husbands, stepchildren, natural children and mother.



Q. UPCOMING: Can you share what you are currently working on or what is next in ten words or less (or more)?


I’m working on a murder mystery set in the LA music industry that involves aging rock icons.



Fascinating! Now for more up close & personal with Marjorie!

Continue reading below.




BEHIND THE Author


BIRTH STATE? or (Country)

Durham City, England


CURRENT STATE?

Manitoba, Canada


ZODIAC SIGN?

Libra


FAVORITE FLOWER?

Yellow tulips.


FAVORITE COLOR?

Every shade of green except lime green.


FAVORITE HOBBY?

Golfing, swimming and painting.


FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC?

Blues, R and B. I love Joe Bonamassa and Anita Baker.


IF YOU WERE STUCK IN AN ELEVATOR ALONE WITH ONE CELEBRITY, AUTHOR, OR CHARACTER— WHO WOULD IT BE? (Male or Female)

Margaret Atwood! I went to one of her readings. She has such a wry and wicked wit.


THE FIRST BOOK YOU REMEMBER READING THAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME AN AUTHOR—THE ONE YOU CANNOT STOP THINKING OF.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Lush and lyrical prose and a timeless story. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier comes a close second. Love the dark Gothic setting and eerie sense of mystery and suspense.


FAVORITE TV SERIES? (Or Movie/Video) binge-watch, series, etc.?

Mad Men. Don Draper is the best. A complex character you love and hate at the same time


MOST MEMORABLE PLACE YOU HAVE TRAVELED?

Granada, Spain. The Alhambra Palace in the spring when all the lilac trees are blooming. Gorgeous!


YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO WRITE?

In my office with my pink flamingo neon light on. Also, if I’m stumped for ideas, I go for a walk and the ideas often come flooding into my head.

 

NAME A BOOK TITLE ON YOUR BOOKSHELF OR NIGHTSTAND THAT WOULD SURPRISE YOUR READERS?

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. One of the most brilliant and imaginative works of science-fiction I’ve read.


HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN?

Nine that were published, two completed unpublished works, and two works in progress.


NAME ONE THING YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE BAD AT?

Handicrafts like knitting, crocheting and sewing. I get bored too easily and make terrible mistakes.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HORROR MOVIE

“The Little Stranger”, a chilling movie based on the book of the same name by the brilliant Sarah Waters.


INTROVERT OR EXTROVERT?

70% introvert, 30% extrovert.


DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS OR LESS?

Determined, imaginative, outspoken.


NAME A TRAIT YOU INHERITED FROM YOUR DAD OR MOM? (Good or bad)

The ability to stay calm in a crisis, inherited from my dad. I’d probably have made a good pilot or spy.


YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A PARENT?

Being a good listener when my kids need someone to talk to. Adult kids still need a sympathetic and non-judgmental ear.


ONE THING YOU OWN YOU SHOULD THROW OUT?

My old riding hat from my horse-riding days. I was a fanatical rider and pony-trekker in my teen years and the black velvet hat is currently gathering dust in my closet.


ONE BIT OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE AN ASPIRING AUTHOR?

Go for the jugular. Don’t beat around the bush.


BEST PART OF BEING AN AUTHOR?

Talking to fans and hearing their feedback. Being invited to book clubs and listening to fans analyze my novels. Reading the messages they send to my website. I have an open-door policy at  https://www.marjoriedeluca.com.


ONE THING YOU HAVE LEARNED SINCE YOUR DEBUT NOVEL?

Cut descriptions in half.


SOMETHING YOU WILL NEVER TRY AGAIN?

Water skiing. I got massive rope burns on my legs when I wiped out!!


WHAT SOUND DO YOU LOVE?

Rain.


THE ONE FOOD YOU COULD NEVER GIVE UP?

Blueberries.



Thank you, Marjorie, for spending time with us today!

This has been so much fun getting to know you!




Want a psychic reading?

Check out THE NIGHT SIDE for this and much more!





Praise


“A vividly atmospheric and frightening thriller”

—Carole Johnstone, bestselling author of Mirrorland

“A spine-tingling read that will haunt you long afterward” —The Big Thrill

“Genre fans will relish the head-spinning twists and white-knuckle suspense in this compelling, suspenseful, gothic-style mystery”

—Booklist






My Review



M.M. DeLuca's latest darkly thrilling tale of survival and obsession, THE NIGHT SIDE—will keep you glued to your AirPods (or pages) from beginning to end. In this twisty, multi-layered domestic suspense of secrets, lies, and a web of deceit, the past and present converge for an explosive finale.


This well-crafted mystery relentlessly uncovers a multitude of dark secrets, leading readers down a delicious path of fear, lies, and long-awaited justice, with an ending that will leave jaws dropping.


Ruby Carlson grew up in a highly dysfunctional family in Stoneybrook, Montana. Her mother, Ida, grew up as a carnie also in a dysfunctional and abusive environment and a fight for survival.

Ida, her mother is a life-long scam artist and will do anything for money. She forces Ruby to go along with her psychic scam or else she does not eat or get clothes. This woman is crazy, dangerous, and a psychopath.


Her selfish mother does not care about her daughter's school work or life, just manipulating and controlling Ruby to continue to scam others and take their money. She is pure evil. Ruby was traumatized; being underage forced to go along with it because there was no escape.


Her only outlet was her best friend, Aidan. However, she had to leave him to escape this madness.

When she turned eighteen, Ruby left and said she would never look back. She escapes to England, cutting all ties with the town and her crazy mother, and becomes a well-respected archaeologist.


Now, twenty years later, she receives a message from Aidan, her old boyfriend and first love, that her mother is believed to have drowned herself and she needs to return to sort out her affairs.


When she arrives in Montana, she learns she has many enemies. Many people lost money and their savings due to their manipulation and cons. However, Ruby is just a child forced to lie and deceive when she does not want to.


However, some liked Ida because she knew how to charm and stab you in the back the next minute. Now, who can Ruby trust in this town?


The more Ruby learns, the more sinister things appear. Is Ida dead, or is this a setup to escape all the debt that now falls to Ruby? Soon, she learns tidbits of the past, and no one is as they appear. Something is going down, and she is determined to solve the mystery. She wants to leave and return to her everyday life in London.


Ruby is forced to revisit memories she's worked hard to leave behind. Ruby's entire life has been a lie, the more she learns.


How far does Ida's manipulation go? What else has Ida taken away from Ruby? (more than you can imagine). From twists and turns leading to a showdown of MURDER. How far will some go to keep their dark secret hidden?


How many people are involved in Ida's scheming, and who will die next? Will Ida and Aidan finally wind up together?


Atmospheric, dark, and sinister, a well-crafted psychological thriller (with a Gothic-vibe) in which the torments of the past return to wreak havoc in the present—the devastating power of family secrets.


THE NIGHT SIDE is a brilliant, wicked, spine-chilling tale of greed, justice, obsession, revenge, and one woman's dark past. The author cleverly depicts psychological terror, trauma, and moral ambiguity in her well-developed characters and the shocking betrayal.


My first book by the author, and I look forward to reading more.


AUDIOBOOK: I listened to the audiobook narrated by the fabulous Helen Laser, who delivered an outstanding performance. She made the characters come alive. INTENSE! Ida's voice was chilling, pulling for Ruby all the way.


I highly recommend the audiobook!


Ideal for fans of Lisa Unger, Jennifer Hillier, Ruth Ware, Freida McFadden and Ellen Marie Wiseman's The Life She Was Given.


Thanks to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for a gifted ALC for an honest opinion.


@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Mar 12, 2024

My Rating: 5 Stars





THE THRILLER ZONE 157th episode of The Thriller Zone, and in celebration of Women Thriller Writers Month, I'm happy to introduce you to M. M. DeLuca.


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