Judith D Collins
Watch Out For Her
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 04/26/2022
My Rating: 5 Stars +++ (ARC)
APRIL AUTHOR QA
A tense psychological thriller about a mother who must keep watch at all times if she wants to keep her family safe—from USA TODAY and #1 national bestselling author Samantha M. Bailey.
Wherever you go…
she’ll be watching.
Sarah Goldman, mother to six-year-old Jacob, is relieved to move across the country. She has a lot she wants to leave behind, especially Holly Monroe, the pretty twenty-two-year-old babysitter she and her husband, Daniel, hired to take care of their young son last summer. It started out as a perfect arrangement—Sarah had a childminder her son adored, and Holly found the mother figure she’d always wanted. But Sarah’s never been one to trust very easily, so she kept a close eye on Holly, maybe too close at times. What she saw raised some questions, not only about who Holly really was but what she was hiding. The more Sarah watched, the more she learned—until one day, she saw something she couldn’t unsee, something so shocking that all she could do was flee.
Sarah has put it all behind her and is starting over in a different city with her husband and son. They’ve settled into a friendly suburb where the neighbors, a tight clique of good citizens, are always on the lookout for danger. But when Sarah finds hidden cameras in her new home, she has to wonder: has her past caught up to her, and worse yet, who’s watching her now?
A spine-tingling, page-turning novel from USA TODAY and #1 national bestselling author Samantha M. Bailey, Watch Out for Her is psychological suspense at its very best—a chilling look at trust, voyeurism, and obsession in the modern age, and how far we will go to watch out for those we love.
Buy the Book
US AND CANADA
Available in Paperback, e-book and audio formats
Length: 336 pages
About the Author
Photo Credit: Dahlia Katz Photography
Hair/Makeup: Megan Fraser
Samantha M. Bailey is the USA TODAY and #1 nationally bestselling author of WOMAN ON THE EDGE, which has sold in eleven countries to date. She is also a journalist and freelance editor; her work has appeared in NOW Magazine, The Village Post, The Thrill Begins, and The Crime Hub, among other publications. WATCH OUT FOR HER is her second novel. Samantha lives in Toronto, where she can usually be found tapping away at her computer or curled up on her couch with a book.
Connect with Samantha:
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Q&A Elevator Ride with
bestselling author Samantha M. Bailey
"Behind the Book and the Author" | #AuthorElevatorSeries
Exceptional Authors. Standout Books. Elevator Talk.
INTRIGUING QUESTIONS | INQUIRING READERS WANT TO KNOW
We are super excited to have you join us today for a fun elevator ride. Our last interview was in 2020 with your debut WOMAN ON THE EDGE. We cannot wait to catch up with you, and your latest psychological thriller hit, WATCH OUT FOR HER. I loved it! The novel would make for a killer TV series or movie! Fingers crossed. Let’s dive in!
Q. SETTING: Tell us more about the book setting (s) and why you selected it?
SMB: This is my first book in a Canadian setting. I live in Toronto, and prior to WATCH OUT FOR HER, I always used American settings (I’m also a US citizen) because I wanted to reach as wide an audience as possible, with as relatable a setting as I could. I chose Chicago for WOMAN ON THE EDGE because it has a similar landscape, architecture, diversity, and feel to Toronto so I could immerse myself in it, and I wanted a place separate from me and my home so I could dig deep into the characters’ worlds.
With WATCH OUT FOR HER, though, I chose Canada because I love my country, and both Toronto and Vancouver felt right for the characters’ stories and how they come together. I made fictional suburbs in each city, near recognizable markers, and it felt amazing to showcase the beauty of both places. I hope all readers enjoy it.
Q. PLAYLIST: I believe you have developed a fun playlist to get you motivated for writing your latest novel. Can you share with us?
SMB: I’d love to! I can’t listen to music while I write, but I do listen before I write, to get me motivated, set the tone, and better access my characters’ thoughts, feelings, and motivations. Here it is!
“Somebody’s Watching Me”: Rockwell; “Every Breath You Take: The Police; “Poison”: Bell Biv DeVoe; “Above”: Mad Season; “Got Me Wrong”: Alice in Chains; “The Day I Tried to Live”: Soundgarden; “Possession”: Sarah McLachlan; “You Can Do It”: Ice Cube; “Something I Can Never Have”: Nine Inch Nails; “What’s Up”: 4 Non Blondes.
Q. TOPICS: Name 1-3 topics or themes addressed in WATCH OUT FOR HER.
SMB: Obsession, voyeurism, wanting to be accepted for who we are rather than who people want us to be. At its core, to me WATCH OUT FOR HER is about finding our identities, trying to control the uncontrollable, and trusting our inner voice that tells us something is off.
Give us your best Elevator Pitch for
WATCH OUT FOR HER
SAMANTHA: Wherever you go...she'll be watching.
When a mother hires a babysitter for her young son, it seems to be the perfect arrangement, until she sees something she can't unsee and flees to a new home with her family, only to discover someone is now watching her
I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
I’m a true Gemini. A very positive person with a dark mind.
I became a morning person during the pandemic. I used to sleep in as much as possible, which was hard with two kids. But as they got older, I’d revel in curling up in bed until I had to move. Now, I wake up between four and five am, when my house is dark and quiet, and everyone else is asleep. I love writing and working before the sun rises and can’t even sleep in if I want to anymore, because my eyes automatically fly open in the wee hours.
Dog. I’m severely allergic to cats anyway, but I’ve always loved dogs. I have a maybe-four-year-old rescue named Jasper, who is some kind of terrier mix. He has my heart.
FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC?
I love all different kinds of music, but I’d say 90s alternative and hip hop is what evokes the most emotion or energy in me. I love haunting melodies, hard-hitting drum beats, and raw, poignant lyrics.
FAVORITE SONG OR ARTIST?
I think I’d have to say Chris Cornell. His gravelly, soulful, sexy voice and heart-shattering songs completely undo me, in the best way. I was devastated when he passed away. His music will live forever.
WHEN YOU RECEIVE A SPARK OF INSPIRATION FOR A BOOK:
If I’m hit with a spark of inspiration, I’m usually not at my desk. I find that my best ideas come to me when I’m not searching so hard for them. If I have my phone, I draft emails to myself or voice record my thoughts; otherwise, I scribble the idea down on any paper within reach.
WHAT BOOK IS CURRENTLY ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND OR READING LIST OR BOOK YOU WOULD RECOMMEND?
I would read anything by May Cobb and want to live inside her brain. Both THE HUNTING WIVES and MY SUMMER DARLINGS consumed me. She’s brave, funny, dark, and devious, and I devour her books so quickly that I want to pay her to write more for me.
NAME ONE THING YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE BAD AT?
Math and directions.
INTROVERT OR EXTROVERT?
I’m an ambivert. I love people, and I’m energized when I spend time with my friends, go out, and take a break from the chaos of life and work. But I equally love my solitude, cozy on my couch with a book or watching TV.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT? (Excluding computer, tablet, phone)
I don’t think I could live without writing, or coffee.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER?
I have both a son and a daughter. I tell them to be proud of who they are, believe in their self-worth, follow their passions, don’t be afraid to fail and try again, and trust their instincts.
My first car was my grandfather’s blue Chevy Cavalier that broke down every winter I drove it. I always had to get someone to help me jump it, push it, and start it. Because I’m only five feet tall, and in the nineties, cars didn’t have levers to raise the seats, I used to drive sitting on pillows so I could reach the steering wheel.
Thank you, Samantha, for spending time with us today!
Readers: Check out my glowing 5-star review (Top books of 2022) and advance praise. Be sure and pick up a copy of WATCH OUT FOR HER and post your review on your favorite social media platform and retail sites. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
“Yet again, one of our most beloved thriller writers brings us a story with the heart of a family drama and the pulse of an edge-of-your-seat spine-chiller. Filled with foreboding from the very first page, this one will keep you up all night—and have you checking the locks!”
— MARISSA STAPLEY, New York Times bestselling author of Reese’s Book Club Pick Lucky
“A cleverly written, twisty, and brilliantly creepy thriller. With compelling characters intertwined with obsession, lies, simmering menace, and secrets at its heart, this is a page-turner which drew me in and kept me hooked. A real must-read!”
— KAREN HAMILTON, internationally bestselling author of The Perfect Girlfriend
“A tense and claustrophobic thriller in which Bailey makes you question whether the heart of a family is a place of safety or danger. Paranoia, obsession, and secrets ensure a twisty read.”
— GILLY MACMILLAN, New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew
“Creepy, surprising, and relentlessly tense, Watch Out for Her is so much more than a thriller; it’s an unflinching exploration of the roles we allow women to fill. With dark secrets and cliffhangers galore, this thrill ride will keep you up long past your bedtime. I couldn’t put it down.”
— ANDREA BARTZ, New York Times bestselling author of Reese’s Book Club Pick We Were Never Here
“Samantha M. Bailey’s latest thriller is as propulsive as her sizzling debut. Two troubled women enter into a complex relationship that could shatter not only their lives, but the lives of everyone they touch. A page-turner in the most literal sense of the word, I could not put this book down until the final shocking twist.”
— ROBYN HARDING, bestselling author of The Perfect Family
“An irresistible story about what happens when we take our obsessions too far. Propulsive, electrifying, and sinister, I could not tear myself away from the narrators, two women each hiding dark secrets from their families. Bailey’s assured prose delivers as enthralling a tale as her stellar debut.”
— STEPHANIE WROBEL, bestselling author of This Might Hurt and Darling Rose Gold
“Addictive and relentlessly twisty. . . . Nobody else writes a propulsive, family-centered mystery quite like this: Bailey is queen of the domestic thriller for a reason. Watch Out for Her masterfully deals with the shifting power of obsession, and the secrets we keep from our loved ones . . . and ourselves.”
— LAURIE ELIZABETH FLYNN, bestselling author of The Girls Are All So Nice Here
“Wow! Relentlessly tense and incredibly twisty—Watch Out for Her proves the amazing Samantha M. Bailey is the queen of family suspense. With authentic emotion and complex and heartbreaking relationships, Bailey shows her brilliance in revealing the destructive power of love and the intensity of the need to belong. I flew through the cinematic pages, riveted and completely immersed in this propulsive and original thriller. Everyone will be talking about this—do not miss it!”
— HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN, USA Today bestselling author of Her Perfect Life
“Samantha M. Bailey turns our most visceral fears into an artform in Watch Out for Her—a fierce and terrifying tour-de-force that puts unseen eyes on the back of your neck from page one. Through rich and palpably unsettling prose, Bailey delivers a relentlessly tense and inescapably honest thriller that scared the hell out of me as only she can. Read this book.”
— P.J. VERNON, author of Bath Haus and When You Find Me
“I’d planned on reading a chapter or two but ended up devouring Watch Out for Her in a day. Compulsive, propelling, and unputdownable, this twisted thriller is as enthralling as it is surprising. A fantastic read that’s sure to be a huge hit!”
— HANNAH MARY McKINNON, bestselling author of You Will Remember Me
“An addictive read from start to finish, Samantha M. Bailey’s talent and skill are on full display in this well-crafted domestic thriller. Watch Out for Her will have you second-guessing everyone you meet and rooting for characters you don’t trust—and there is nothing more fun than that. Absolutely riveting.”
— JENNIFER HILLIER, bestselling author of Little Secrets and the award-winning Jar of Hearts
“This insanely addictive, utterly propulsive, and unbelievably tense thriller will consume you. With intoxicating, scalpel-sharp prose and gasp-worthy twists, Bailey has crafted a fresh and deeply unsettling take on obsession and voyeurism. Reading Watch Out for Her is like pulling a pin from a hand grenade and waiting for it to detonate. This is destined to become the most talked about, explosive thriller of the year."
— MAY COBB, author of The Hunting Wives
“A deep dive into a world of secrets, where no one is who you think they are, and everyone has something to hide. Bailey’s deft hand at ratcheting tension makes this an exquisite read. It will suck you in and you’ll love every moment of it!”
— AMINA AKHTAR, author of Kismet and #FashionVictim
Spine-tingling. Chilling. Top-level thriller!
The talented bestselling Canadian author Samantha M. Bailey wowed us with her debut, WOMAN ON THE EDGE; however, her sophomore psychological thriller takes it to another level.
Brilliantly crafted, WATCH OUT FOR HER is a highly suspenseful, sinister, and twisty game of secrets, obsession, and voyeurism that will have you second-guessing every character from the first page to the last. An ending you will not see coming.
Told from two POVs, Sarah and Holly (BEFORE and NOW), two women enter into a complex and twisted relationship that will change their lives.
Who's Zoomin' Who?
Meet Sarah Goldman, mother of Jacob (6 yr old) and husband, Daniel. Sarah had befriended her young twenty-something babysitter, Holly. Everything was idyllic until it wasn't. Holly looks up to Sarah and will do anything to protect this family. A family she has always wanted, unlike her own.
As a reader, we do not know until much later in the novel, what actually went down. We know the Goldman's are moving from Vancouver to Toronto to escape with Daniel's new consulting job. A new start. Something happened and they are leaving their babysitter, Holly behind.
Upon arrival at their new home, Sarah is watchful, untrusting, and almost paranoid. She locates hidden cameras in the house. Then there is the next-door neighbor. In their old house, Sarah had cameras. She was also a photographer and you could find her photographing late at night through windows.
So have the tables turned? They had left Holly behind, but could she have followed them.
Who is watching now?
WOW! Off the charts EPIC! WATCH OUT FOR HER is highly creative and impressive. Samantha M. Bailey CRUSHED IT! I read this in one sitting over Valentine's weekend.
Propulsive, claustrophobic, and mind-bending.
At the heart of this addictive well-written thriller is love. How far do we go for love and acceptance? Filled with emotion, intrigue, intensity, and the secrets we keep from our loved ones and ourselves.
SO MANY SECRETS. Every character in the novel has secrets.
What I enjoyed about WATCH OUT FOR HER was how the author keeps you guessing as to the why, how, who, and where? From the mysterious characters to the twisty plot. It has it all! Holly's family was totally weird, yet you want to learn more. I really liked her character. What was Daniel hiding? Your loyalties change throughout the novel. You suspect everyone, and the last twist was utterly explosive! There are so many moving parts and the author does an excellent job of keeping you in suspense.
I love the front cover and the creepy tree branches in the background of each chapter. I am enjoying these new thrillers about watching and moving to new neighborhoods to often find they are even a worse nightmare when the home is supposed to be a safe haven. If you enjoyed A Perfect Stranger by Shalini Boland, and Carter Wilson's The New Neighbor, WATCH OUT FOR HER is for you!
Stay tuned for my #AuthorElevatorSeries Interview on pub date where we go behind the scenes of the book and this powerhouse author. You can sign up for my monthly newsletter to receive it in your inbox. In the meantime, check out her smashing debut, Woman on the Edge!
I was honored and grateful to be included in the acknowledgments with all these fine bloggers in the book community. Many thanks. 🙏
A very special thank you to @SimonSchusterCA and @NetGalley for a gifted early ARC. A pleasure to read and review.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5/5 Stars
Pub Date: April 26, 2022
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