For this week’s Friday Read I’m featuring the gripping psychological thriller, The Summer House, by the talented Keri Beevis. So grab yourself a cuppa, get comfy and let’s find out a bit more about the book then get chatting to Keri.
Mead House was once our childhood home.
Despite my fears, I always knew we would have to return to face the demons of our past.
Back to the place where it happened, to where, as carefree teenagers, we lost our elder sister in the most brutal of circumstances.
As executors of our grandmother’s will, my twin brother, Ollie, and I needed to empty the house for resale.
What I didn’t expect to discover was my sister’s secret journal that contained her most private thoughts and shocking dark secrets.
Now I am questioning everything that I saw that night. Did I get it wrong, who I saw?
Did my evidence send an innocent man, my then boyfriend’s brother, to jail for the last 17 years?
I know I have no choice. If I want to find answers, I will have to go back to that fateful night my sister died. When she made her last visit to the summer house.
Here’s a short extract to whet your appetite
We are playing one of our games.
Wait for me in the summer house, your note had instructed. Midnight. Wear your red dress. And don’t put on any underwear. G xxx.
I know you like how the red dress looks on me, the way it dips between my breasts and skims my hips, but you have never made any specific request for me to wear it. Until tonight.
Well, it isn’t exactly a request. I had smiled earlier as I pulled it from the hanger, knowing I will do whatever I am told. It is all part of the thrill, of the excitement, not knowing what will happen next or how far you will push me.
The summer house is our special place. This private part of the garden, far away from the main house, is a place of secrets. They are ours alone and no one will ever learn what truly goes on inside this pretty white wooden building with its vaulted roof and panelled door. Here, when the cacophony of daylight sounds have finally quietened under a cloak of darkness, and while everyone sleeps, we creatures of the night come alive. This is when I can truly be myself.
My blood had heated in anticipation as I made my way across the lawn, the grass dry between my toes and the fragrant scents of honeysuckle, lavender, and jasmine clinging to the air. My excited heart beating faster as I wondered what tonight’s game would be.
The chair that had been positioned in the centre of the floor had drawn my attention as soon as I entered the summer house. The cushion had been removed and from the glow of the paraffin lamp, I could see a red silk scarf draped across the wooden seat. Behind it was a second note, which I opened with trembling fingers, reading your words.
Sit on the chair
Put the blindfold on
Do not move and do not disappoint me
Welcome to my blog, Keri. Your new book sounds fab. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I have, and perhaps it sounds cliché, but it’s been the dream ever since I was a little girl. Though admittedly I didn’t realise I wanted to be a novelist until I was in my twenties. I was the one in primary school writing plays and forcing my friends to perform in them, then in my teens I submitted many short stories to magazines – though I had a zero success rate. It was while reading on holiday that I first considered the possibility of writing a novel. Just a few months later my first attempt was completed.
Has any author inspired you?
There have been many. From Enid Blyton, whose Magic Faraway Tree books fuelled my love of reading, to Stephen King, whose stories I devoured in my teens, then prolific authors such as Nora Roberts, who showed me what type of writer I wanted to be.
I loved those Magic Faraway Tree stories! What do you like writing most?
I have definitely found my niche writing psychological thrillers with an element of romance. I shy away from calling my stories romantic suspense as they do tend to be darker than other books in that genre with a lot of misdirection and plenty of twists.
Do you have a special place for writing?
Last year I moved house and am lucky enough to now have a home office. It’s not the biggest space, but I have painted it a calming sage green and there are plenty of plants and books. It’s my sanctuary and the room where I know I need to knuckle down and write.
It sounds a very relaxing place to write. What are you writing at the moment?
My work in progress is provisionally titled The Rental and is another psychological thriller. A young couple head to a remote Airbnb on the Norfolk Broads, where their relationship begins to unravel and secrets come to light when sinister things start happening.
What time of the day do you write best?
I am very much a night owl. One who is incredibly envious of her writer friends who get up early and knock out a few thousand words while the sun rises. I have tried to change my routine, but it doesn’t work. My magic writing fingers come to life in a dark room when everyone else is fast asleep.
What advice would you give to other writers?
Don’t quit. Perseverance is key and the path to getting published – certainly if you want to go down the traditional route – is rarely straightforward. Believe in yourself, don’t take rejections personally, and continue to hone your craft. I had written five books before one was picked up by a publisher. It’s a tough industry, so don’t mope. Keep writing and show them why you are worth it.
Lovely to talk to you today, Keri. Thannks for dropping by. Wishing you lots of success with your new book.
Keri Beevis is the bestselling author of Dying To Tell, Deep Dark Secrets and The Sleepover. Her other titles include Trust No One, Every Little Breath and The People Next Door.
She lives in Norfolk, England, with her two naughty kitties, Ellie and Lola, and a plentiful supply of red wine (her writing fuel).
In 2022 Keri signed a four novel deal with Boldwood Books, and her first title with them, The Sleepover, was a UK Top 10 bestseller and a Top 50 bestseller in the US.
Her brand new thriller, The Summer House, is out now with Boldwood Books and available in all formats.
Karen King – Writing about the light and dark of relationships.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-King/e/B0034P6W7I