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Happy publication day to Anna Lou Weatherley. The Couple On Ceder Close is out now on eBook and Physical copy. Anna Lou stops by today for a natter.
💫 The Couple On Ceder Close by Anna Lou Weatherley
One sunny August afternoon, the residents of Cedar Close throw their annual summer barbecue. Children play in the cherry-tree lined street, tables are laden with food, and the wine is flowing. For Laurie Mills, it’s her first time meeting the neighbours. And it’s the first time she discovers her husband Robert is having an affair.
Cedar Close has always been a nice place to live – a quiet suburban street where everyone looks out for one another and bad things don’t happen.
Until late one evening, when Robert Mills is found dead in his bedroom.
Downstairs, in their beautiful kitchen, his wife Laurie sits alone in the dark with her head in her hands.
She can’t remember the last few hours, but she knows she didn’t kill Robert.
The trouble is, no-one believes her…
‘Ten stars for being able to keep me up until 4 a.m. I just HAD to finish this book! I cannot begin to describe how riveting this novel was. Great writing, characterizations, plot, timing, suspense–it has it all. Trust me, you will NOT be able to put it down until you finish reading it.So many mediocre thrillers out there that this one hit me like a ton of bricks. Absolutely SUPERB!’ NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars
💫 About the Author
Anna-Lou began her career as a dancer but a moped accident in Ibiza put paid to those aspirations and so she went back to her first and one true love – writing! She re-trained as a journalist, specialising mainly in women’s interest and celebrity, becoming the Editor of J-17 and Smash Hits as well as writing for a host of women’s magazines.
Anna-Lou has written three Adult Fiction titles – Vengeful Wives and Wicked Wives, both published by Avon in the UK and Bookouture in the US and Canada and Pleasure Island published by Bookouture.
- Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
The Couple on Cedar Close is a domestic psychological thriller that begins with a murder that at first glance looks quite cut and dry (pardon the pun, he has his neck slashed). You think you know who the murder is off the bat, but as things unfold, you soon see it is much more complex than that, particularly when there’s another murder and an attempted third! It focuses on a marriage that is very toxic, a friendship that is much more than it appears on the surface and deals with issues such as emotional and domestic abuse, personality disorders, infidelity, family secrets, deceit and betrayal and the effect one person can have on numerous people’s lives. It delves quite deeply into the psychology of the characters, what makes them tick and their motives for why they do the things they do. It’s a bit of a guessing game, did she, didn’t she? And there’s a big reveal towards the end. It’s the second novel I have written featuring Detective Dan Riley, and features some of his on-going struggles and his inimitable style of getting to the truth.
- Who would your book be perfect for?
I think this book would be perfect for all fans of psychological thrillers, particularly those who enjoy domestic settings and getting inside the minds of flawed but hopefully empathetic characters. The Couple on Cedar Close is very much about what really goes on behind closed doors, twisted lives, dark secrets, betrayal and deceptions. It’s voyeuristic in that respect, so if you like something thought-provoking and a bit sinister, then I hope you’ll enjoy it!
- Did you have a favourite character to write?
Character-wise, I love Dan Riley, of course. I really have enjoyed developing Dan and I think he is a well-balanced human being, a caring, empathetic character with his own personal struggles to deal with as well some grizzly murders to get to the bottom of. I’ve enjoyed watching his story grow. I think he has quite a good sense of humour and is very intuitive and I think I would like him in real life. He’s a strong but subtle character. For some reason I really enjoy writing from the male perspective. With this book though, I really did want to explore the issue of toxic and emotionally abusive relationships and the psychological impact they have on people and their lives. I enjoyed writing Robert’s character and getting inside the mind of a narcissistic personality and the dynamic between him and Laurie, his wife, and how his narcissism affected her life. To be honest, though, I relay enjoyed writing them all!
- What has been your proudest bookish moment?
I’ve had a few proudest bookish moments.. It’s difficult to single just one out, but the few that stick in my mind are receiving my first ever book deal with Harper Collins, a decade ago, and the launch party for my debut novel, Chelsea Wives. Finally seeing my book in print and holding it in my hands for the first time, plus walking into WH Smith and seeing it on the shelf was a truly amazing feeling too. My second novel, Wicked Wives, was also published in Italy and when I flew to Rome to meet my publishers, there was a billboard featuring my book at the airport. It was a real Carrie from Sex in The City moment and felt amazing. More recently, a very influential book blogger voted The Couple on Cedar Close his book of the year – coming from someone who is such a prolific and avid reader this was a huge accolade and a very humbling moment.
- Do you have any questions for your readers?
I’d like to ask my readers how they go about choosing what to read. Does the cover pull them in most, or the blurb, or do they always go on the recommendation? I’d also like to discuss what they think makes a good ending. I’m obsessed with good endings and really think about mine as I have read some excellent novels only to be bitterly disappointed by how they tie things up at the end. As a writer, I know how tricky endings can be to write though. I’d also like to know what subjects readers find absolutely taboo or off limits. I like to challenge taboo subjects but without turning readers off, or turning their stomachs!
- What is your favourite read of your whole life and why?
Favourite read of my whole life? Oh gosh, what a difficult question! I’ve read so many books that I love and have meant something to me or impacted my life in some way. I don’t think I have an absolute favourite. Anything by Daphne Du Maurier I could read over and over again and Milan Khundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being has always stayed with me, as did Patrick Suskind’s Perfume – which has just been made into a Netflix series that I’ve yet to watch. I like autobiographies too and Marianne Faithfull’s, Faithful is my absolute favourite – what an amazing, colourful life of highs and lows!
- What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on two novels – yes, two, simultaneously, which I have never attempted before. One is another Dan Riley psychological thriller that, like the others featuring Dan, could work as a stand-alone too and the other is something a little different, though it does feature a detective in it as well, female this time. I can’t say too much at this point but I can’t wait to write them and will keep you posted!
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