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2 new thrillers by linda castillo and lisa unger – plus a giveaway!

linda castillo and lisa unger

Hey, it’s not my fault that the laundry is still in the hamper and the mail hasn’t been picked up in days.

Blame Linda Castillo and Lisa Unger. 

If they didn’t write such riveting stories, I would have been able to get my head out of their books and my butt off the couch.

But they did.

They always do.

I’ve featured both authors before, and am so excited they’ve come out with new thrillers just in time for summer reading.

Linda Castillo writes about murder in Amish country, bringing readers into this fascinating, culture where secrets are buried and nothing is as simple and innocent as it appears.

In The Dead Will Tell, an Amish family is ripped apart when a robbery goes wrong. The mother is abducted and the father and four children are killed, leaving only 14-year-old Billy.

Twenty five years later, people are dying and Police Chief Kate Burkholder suspects their deaths have something to do with the tragic events that took place on the Hochstetler farm.

I love the Kate Burkholder series because she’s such a complex character – strong with a vulnerability that keeps her easy to relate to, and I find it so interesting when she’s forced to remember and reflect on her own Amish roots.

The story quickly becomes a page-turning who-done-it, and, let me tell you, I was caught off guard.

Lisa Unger’s In the Blood is also about secrets but is more of a psychological thriller and it totally freaked me out.

College student Lana Granger takes a job babysitting a troubled boy who is manipulative, charming and possibly dangerous. He seems to know about her own childhood, riddled with violence, and the mysterious disappearance of her close friend.

The story is chilling, thought-provoking and just plain shocking. I now need to go for a manicure because I bit my nails down to nubs while gasping my way through the book.

I highly recommend both of these books as beach reading. Make sure, though, to slather on the sunscreen first because, trust me, you’re not going to want to move until you finish them.

I’m giving away a copy of both books to one lucky Midlife at the Oasis subscriber. For a chance to win, simply leave a comment below. Contest ends on July 13 at midnight Pacific time. Winner will be notified by return email. Prizes can only be sent to a U.S. mailing address.


  1. Oh, yes! those sound good!

  2. Carol Rogero says:

    Summer calls for a good thriller or two! Thanks Lois!

  3. What fun!!!! I’m crossing my fingers and toes, I can use a fun read (or two)!!! Thanks for the chance!

  4. Those sound like great reads — summer or not.

    That second one reminded me vaguely of “We Need To Talk About Kevin”. I can’t remember who wrote it off the top of my head, but it was great. I highly recommend it.

    🙂 J

  5. Thank you Lois for hosting the second stop on the IN THE BLOOD and THE DEAD WILL TELL blog tour for Lisa and I. Many thanks for the lovely reviews. (and apologies for that laundry!)

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      Ha ha! It’s my pleasure to host you wonderful writers any time — and, seriously, you did me a favor. xo

  6. Anne Mikusinski says:

    I would love to win these books!

  7. Jessica @EatSleepBe says:

    I don’t live all that far from Amish country. That one sounds like a winner to me!

    • Jessica–I’ll be touring in and around Ohio’s Amish Country next week when the book hits the shelves. The schedule is on my website. If you’re in the area, stop by and get your autographed copy. (or if you are the winner today, you can bring it and I’ll sign it for you!)

  8. Kathy King says:

    Love these two authors!!

  9. Amy Lemmert says:

    I have read all of Linda Castillo’s books and Love Kate Burkholder. I’m new to Lisa Unger and I have read one of hers. Fragile and it was awesome. I can’t wait to read some more. Thank you!!!

    • Thank you Amy! I’m so pleased you’re enjoying the books. I too loved FRAGILE and I’ve been a fan of Lisa’s since. You are going to love IN THE BLOOD–totally delicious!

    • Thanks, Amy … So glad you enjoyed Fragile! And thanks Linda! I am a huge fan of your work, so it’s an honor to hang out with you here!

      • Lois Alter Mark says:

        I am loving that you and Linda are hanging out here! Can we do this on a regular basis?! xo

  10. Love Linda Castillos books can’t wait to read the next one!

  11. I love books and would like to have these for vacation reads.

  12. Two of my favorite authors!

  13. You keep reviewing books I want to read. I think I’ll have to stay up all night and never sleep to read all of the books I want to get to; now I’ll add two more to my list. Thanks, Lois!

  14. Wayne Rice says:

    I have an addiction to reading good books. I have read all of Linda’s books and look forward to reading the coming book, The Dead Will Tell. I’ve never read any of Lisa’s books but this new one, In The Blood, sounds like it would be a good book to read and see if I enjoy her writing style. I will soon be in Sedona on vacation and will have some good books to read. Thanks, Wayne Rice

  15. Diane Ziegler says:

    I love Linda Castillo books and just received a recommendation for this book in another email and put it in my wishlist. They are always great and hard to put down. I haven’t had much luck with my book choices lately so even if I don’t win, this will be a purchase for me!

    Thanks for all the great recommendations!


  16. I love books that totally pull you in and these sound like just the kind of books I would read. Thanks for sharing.

  17. oh, wow. These BOTH sound like great reads. I’d love to win them. I’d curl up on my front porch and read until the mosquitoes get too bad. I love reading books that freak me out a little bit while outside!

  18. Thank you so much, Lois for the kind words! And thanks for hosting this fabulous stop on our blog tour. And I’m not going to apologize for your laundry! I’m happy our books gave you an excuse to put your feet up and disappear for a while! You deserve. Good luck to all who enter, and THANKS for reading.

  19. I’m a huge Kate Burkholder fan! And Linda Castillo fan!! I can’t wait to read The Dead Will Tell. Lisa Unger is new to me, but WOW, In The Blood is right up my alley!

  20. Stephanie Mika says:

    I would love to pull an all nighter with these books ! LOVE THEM BOTH!

  21. Georgie Camacho says:

    I’ve read all of Linda’s books, but haven’t read any of Lisa’s yet. Funny…I just happened to be thinking about heading over to the library to drop off some books and a dvd I borrowed. Guess I’ll just have to go in now and pick up a Lisa Unger book. Any particular recommendations on titles to start with?

  22. Sheila K. says:

    Two of my favorite writers—thanks so much for the opportunity to win what I know will be GREAT reads!

  23. Fran Pillersdorf says:

    Would love these books. Always looking for new books to read

  24. Great synopsis I will totally keep an eye out for these

  25. Love these authors – currently have a friend in England that I introduced to Linda Castillo’s books and she has raced through them all and is eagerly awaiting the newest. She is passing along the series to her friends and merry olde England is getting a lot of requests. Excited about the upcoming books.

  26. Lisa J. Jones says:

    I Love Love Love Reading Books Like This I Must Get ASAP Thank You!

  27. tarawynn says:

    LOVE both authors, can’t wait to read these books!!!

  28. Sarita Taylor says:

    So exciting! Can’t wait to read these. I’m going to be narcissistic and shout,”Me, me, me! I want to win them!”

  29. Those both sounds like books that I would love! I am adding them to my list.

  30. I am so excited about Linda’s new book! I have been a fan since the beginning! I actually have my first Lisa Unger book at home right now. It is riveting! I am excited to read more of her works and as a librarian to recommend them to others!

  31. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    Oooh those sound delicious! Both page turners — the best kind of book. I grew up just outside of Amish country so is love to read biggest books.

  32. They both sound good. I do enjoy a series especially because it is like revisiting with an old friend.

  33. Deb Simmering says:

    Linda,I have read all your books except for the new one and can’t wait to read it.Lisa I have not had the privilege to read any of your books but this one looks really good and am anxious to read it. Have a Blessed Day.

  34. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    Thanks for sharing! I am always looking for new books to add to my reading list!

  35. Chris McWhite says:

    I grew up in central Indiana and had the pleasure of witnessing the Amish buggies as a child. Later I traveled through Pennsylvania Amish country and was astonished at the peaceful nature they adhere too. Now my idealic vision of them is deliciously toyed with by wordsmith Linda Castillo. And I’m glad she does. Now if Lisa Unger is mentioned in the same sentence as Linda, I’m certain my literary world is about to go for yet another joy ride. >fires up the Nook<

  36. Jamie Johnston says:

    This would be amazing.

  37. I love books like these! The Amish book sounds like it would be a great summer read for me.

  38. Just ordered the newest Linda Castillo book and you’ve introduced me to a new author. Thank you for that. Just what I need – another author to follow. The stack of books keeps getting higher!

  39. Thanks for sharing! I’m always looking for a great book to curl up with.

  40. These sound like two good reads. So many books so little time. I have got to set aside a special time weekly just for me to read.

  41. These kind of remind me reading Mary Higgins Clark mysteries as a young adult. Love the thrilling page turners!

  42. Both of these sound really good!

  43. Leigh Nichols says:

    yes please!

  44. They sound like awesome thrillers!! I hope I win!!

  45. Ooh these do sound like the perfect reads for the lazy days of summer and therefore the laundry can wait! 😉 Thanks for the fun giveaway!

  46. nancy naomi says:

    Just my kind of read . . . .Thanks for the recommendations.

  47. Linda Hershfield says:

    These both sound fabulous! I would love to win either/or! 🙂


  48. Susan Morrison says:

    I love Linda Castillo’s Kate Burkholder series; I can not wait to read the latest. I just put together a display of her previous books at my library in anticipation of her newest release. I’m new to Lisa Unger, the books sound great. Will start with Fragile.

  49. Although it is impossible for me to win anything, a deal I must have made with the cosmos in exchange for something to be named later, I will still try.
    Love to win the books
    Have a great 4th

  50. These sound great! Adding to my list of must-read books.

  51. Linda Kuzminczuk says:

    I am a big fan of Linda Castillo and am looking forward to reading Her latest Kate book. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  52. Both of these books are on my to-read list! Can’t wait!

  53. Both of these books seems like they are a good read.

  54. Elisebet F says:

    I don’t think I’ve read a book by either author, but I love thrillers! If I can’t put it down, that’s the best.

  55. Always love a good thriller- thanks for the summer read suggestion!

  56. I’d love to win the books, but your review was so good Lois that I can ‘t wait. I have to go get them now! Great reviews! Virginia

  57. pam howell says:

    I LOVE LC’s Amish series!
    and Lisa U in massive tbr piles
    PICK ME!!!!

  58. I am always on the look out for new books. I will have to check those out. Thanks for sharing, perfect for summer reading

  59. What an interesting plot! I want one!

  60. Kristina says:

    I absolutely love Ms. Castillo’s Amish series! Kate Burkholder is a sister who needs a break. Lol.
    Looking forward to reading Lisa Unger’s books 🙂

  61. Jason F says:

    Love Lisa Unger’s writings love to have this book or try the other.

  62. pam howell says:

    I love this series!!!

  63. Both of these sound just awesome. I love when books keep you on the edge.

  64. denise adams says:

    Have loved the Kate Burkholder series from the beginning and very anxious to read In the Blood!

  65. Cindy Watts says:

    These sound terrific. Can’t wait to read them.

  66. Cynthia Richardson says:

    Pick me! Pick me! These sound great

  67. Commenting to enter to win the books! I’m a longtime fan of Linda Castillo’s writing, and from the blog tour I can’t wait to read Lisa Unger’s work as well.

  68. Hailey Fish says:

    Have never read any of Linda Castillo but am always looking for new authors to fall in love with. I’ve read Lisa Unger before and she writes some spine-tingling stories! I’d love to win!

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