A Finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, Agatha Award, and Lefty Award
“A subtly but relentlessly unsettling novel.” —TANA FRENCH, author of The Witch Elm
It was the perfect place to disappear…
sultry summer, Maureen Haddaway arrives in the wealthy town of Opal
Beach to start her life anew—to achieve her destiny. There, she finds
herself lured by the promise of friendship, love, starry skies, and wild
parties. But Maureen’s new life just might be too good to be true, and
before the summer is up, she vanishes.
Decades later, when
Allison Simpson is offered the opportunity to house-sit in Opal Beach
during the off-season, it seems like the perfect chance to begin fresh
after a messy divorce. But when she becomes drawn into the mysterious
disappearance of a girl thirty years before, Allison realizes the
gorgeous homes of Opal Beach hide dark secrets. And the truth of that
long-ago summer is not even the most shocking part of all…
How exciting to announce that One Night Gone is a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel! I’m thrilled to be in the company of these fine debut novelists: Connie Berry, S.C. Perkins, Ang Pompano, and Grace Topping.
Also, massive congratulations to all the other finalists, many of whom I call friends. One special shout-out: My husband, Art Taylor, is a finalist in the Best Short Story category for his story “Better Days,” which appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine last year. Yay!
The Bouchercon World Mystery Convention is almost upon us. This year the conference is in Dallas. It will be my first time in Texas, but unfortunately due to the whirlwind of activities, I’ll barely be able to enjoy it! No worries, though. I’m sure I’ll get at least one good Tex-Mex meal in.
One Night Gone launched last Tuesday, October 1, and what a wonderful week it’s been. I’ve been so overwhelmed with all the enthusiasm and excitement from friends and readers–you all are the best! Thank you!
I kicked off my first month of events with a book launch party at One More Page Books and More in Arlington, Virginia. I love OMP–they hosted my very first launch party for Modern Manners For Your Inner Demons so many years ago, and I’m still grateful to them for taking a chance on my little chapbook. Eileen and crew are so supportive of local authors. We are blessed to have them here in the D.C. area.
My husband and son and I recently invited another couple and
their daughter over to watch the Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016)
movie. We discussed with them all of the scariest moments of the film—when the
ghosts pop out unexpectedly, some serious treatments of death, even the more
vulgar gestures that might be too adult. We thought we’d done a great job of
And then we got to the mannequin scene.
“Oh no,” our friend groaned. “Ainsley is terrified of
None of us had any particular fear of mannequins. It didn’t even occur to us to warn them about that. We got through the scene unharmed, and enjoyed the rest of the movie, but it got me thinking about how personal and ingrained our terrors are. Like our fingerprints, our fears are truly unique. And they can define us.
Because fear, like humor, is a very distinct and unique
emotion, I wanted to discover more about the different ways it affects us. I
guess I just find it really interesting to know what scares people.
For that reason, I’ve decided to start a blog series
exploring this very thing. Horror. Anxiety. Night terrors. Monsters. You get
Twice a month—on the 13th (because…well, you know) and on the last day of the month—I’ll interview someone about their greatest fears. Most of the time, these will be writers (because I have a lot of writer friends), but you don’t have to be a writer to participate. If you’re really into exploring what’s spooky, then shoot me an email on my contact form for consideration.
Look for the first in the series — featuring Paul Tremblay!—starting October 13, 2019!
Friends of mine who love a good book bundle giveaway: I’m partnering with several kick-ass 2019 debut authors to give away copies of our new books to one lucky entrant.
The books included are:
SOPHIE LAST SEEN by Marlene Adelstein
PAST PRESENCE by Nicole Bross
LITTLE LOVELY THINGS by Maureen Joyce Connolly
ONE NIGHT GONE by Tara Laskowski (That’s me!)
COME AND GET ME: A Caitlin Bergman Novel by August Norman
HER DAUGHTER’S MOTHER by Daniela Petrova
The contest runs from May 25 through June 15, 2019. To enter, just fill out the form here at this link. Entering gives you a chance to win all six titles, plus you’ll be subscribed to our author mailing lists*, which will give you more scoop on our books and other giveaways and news.
This past weekend I attended my first Malice Domestic convention in Bethesda, Maryland. I’d been to the Agatha Award banquet dinners in the past — cheering on my husband Art Taylor as a nominee (and four-time winner!) of the Agatha, but this was my first time attending the full conference.
I’ve heard often from regular attendees that Malice is a family, but I never truly understood what they meant by that until this weekend. So many wonderful people have been so kind to me in small and big ways, and that generosity is so amazing. Like all families, there are, of course, some moments of disagreements or bickering, but overall, Malice has always felt very warm and welcoming, and as a debut writer, I’ve never appreciated that more.
Art and I brought our son Dash with us, and while he wasn’t the only child there, he was certainly in the minority, and yet everyone eagerly accepted him into the fold. We had a babysitter (THANK YOU, AVERY!) watching over him, but at times it felt as though we had hundreds of people watching over him. And us, too! During one panel, Art got a text message from someone saying, “I have your name badge!” Turns out Art had lost the name tag in his badge without even realizing it, but he had it back, safe and sound, before the panel was even over.
This year was also my first Agatha nomination — for Best Short Story — so both that was both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking, I’ll admit. And yet, once I got into the swing of things and started to feel that warmth, I realized that no matter what, everything was going to be just fine.
The weekend was a whirlwind, as all good conferences are, but here are some highlights:
My first Malice panel on short stories, with fellow nominees Leslie Budewitz, Susanna Calkins, Barb Goffman and my husband Art Taylor, moderated by the wonderful Michael Bracken. I got to talk a bit about Dash entering his first writing contest (which embarrassed and excited him, apparently).
Lunch with my Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine editor Linda Landrigan. It was so great to catch up with her. Later in the weekend, I also got to record an audio reading of my very first AHMM publication, “The Monitor,” which I’ll link to here when it goes live!
Talking with new friends and old. I’m sure I’ll forget someone, so I don’t want to even attempt to name names, but I love love love you all!
Author signing on Saturday morning, where I got to sign the very first copies of the advance readers of One Night Gone!!
The Agatha banquet! Although I spent the majority of it super nervous, it was truly an honor and a delight to find out I was tied with Leslie Budewitz as a winner of the Agatha for Best Short Story! What an amazing experience! I have my own teapot now! Also, massive congratulations to all the winners this year: Ellen Byron, Sujata Massey, Dianne Freeman, Shari Randall, Cindy Callaghan, and Jane Cleland!
Now it’s back to (boring) reality again. But, can’t wait for next year!
This week has and continues to be a whirlwind! Last Thursday, we traveled up to New York City for the Edgar Awards. We spent some time at the Dell Magazines cocktail party, where my friend Stacy Woodson was honored with the Readers Choice Award for her story “Duty, Honor, Hammett” in the Nov./Dec. 2018 issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, along with other friends Josh Pachter and David Dean rounding out second and third place.
If that wasn’t enough mingling for this introvert, I’m now looking ahead to this coming weekend and the Malice Domestic convention in Bethesda, MD. I’ll be on a panel at 2 p.m. on Friday, 5/3, with the other Agatha Award nominees for Best Short Story–Leslie Budewitz, Susanna Calkins, Barb Goffman, and Art Taylor. You can read all our stories here if you want to check them out!
I’ll also be doing an author signing from 10-10:30 a.m. on Saturday, 5/4, and I’m told there will be galleys of One Night Gone out in the wilds of the conference (or stuffed into registration bags), so if you happen to snag one, come see me so I can practice signing my novel. AHHHHHH!!!!
Surprise! Just when you thought I had a cover….I have a new cover.
The smart, lovely team at Graydon House/Harlequin decided that my original cover didn’t quite speak enough to the suspense/thriller genre that my book really fits in. So they gave it a facelift! And a beautiful one at that.
For those of you who were fans of the creepy house in the original–good news! It’s still there. But we’ve shifted focus slightly to the stormy night sky instead of the sandy beach, giving the overall look one with more menace and intrigue. Check it out!