by Susan Elizabeth Phillips —
Phillips is back with a delightful novel filled with her sassy wit and dazzling charm.
It is deepest winter on an isolated island off the coast of Maine and there are a man, a woman, puppets and a mysterious house looming over the sea.
The man is a reclusive writer whose imagination creates chilling horror novels and the woman, Annie Hewitt, is a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids’ puppet shows.
He knows a dozen ways to kill his characters with his bare hands.
She knows a dozen ways to kill an audience with laughs. But she is not laughing now.
Hewitt has arrived in the middle of a snowstorm — broke and dispirited, but not quite ready to give up.
Her puppets, romantic novels and a little bit of courage are all she has left.
She could not be more ill prepared for what she finds or for the man who dwells in the mysterious mansion.
When she was a teenager, he betrayed her in a way she can never forget or forgive.
Now they are trapped together on a frozen island, along with a lonely widow, a mute little girl and townspeople who do not mind their own business.
Is he the villain she remembers? Her head says no, but her heart says yes.
It is going to be a long, “hot” winter.
$26.99 hardcover — HarperCollins Publishers, 195 Broadway, New York, NY 10007.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 33, Number 6, December 2014/January 2015.