With women and secrets, lies and deceit, friendships and forgiveness, Pretty Revenge (Gallery Books) delivers a suspenseful dose of crazy in this fifth novel, an emotional thriller, from Emily Liebert, slated for release this July.
Ah, revenge! Eighteen years ago, Kerrie’s life was turned upside down. Hurt by the betrayal and disappointment she once felt, and having never fully recovered, she is stuck in a bad relationship with no job and feeling disappointed.
After coming across the person she blames for her sad life on TV, old memories rise to the surface and retaliation becomes her goal. She takes a job and reestablishes her life in the city, with the sole purpose of revenge.
Jordana is a sophisticated New Yorker who seems to have it all. She is a sought-after wedding expert with a handsome, wealthy, successful husband and a beautiful apartment in the best part of town. With dark secrets, she is running from her past while keeping herself busy with wedding plans for her wealthy clients.
When the job demands become overwhelming, she hires a much-needed assistant who is agreeable to everything she is asked to do and seems to be extremely competent. Focused on the details of expensive weddings and client management, the two women seem to develop a solid working relationship. But are they truly who they say they are, and how well do they really know each other?
From her bestselling women’s novels focused on complex female relationships to this psychologically thrilling suspense, where we see a slightly darker side of those relationships, Liebert’s new spin is worth it. Easy to read with witty language, the novel’s impending dread constantly builds as it brings us to the truth, and appealing to one’s Pollyanna side, we are led to believe everything will tie up in a bow after the last page.
Liebert recently sat down for a Q&A on her writing life.
After your success with women’s fiction novels, what made you decide to try psychological suspense?
EL: Writing women’s fiction novels was fun and fulfilling, but—ultimately—I wanted something edgier to sink my teeth into. I started reading a lot of psychological suspense and became motivated to challenge myself to try something new and bigger.
Are your characters in Pretty Revenge based on anyone you know?
EL: I rarely base my characters directly on people I know, but there are always circumstances and stories from my life or from my friends’ lives that meander their way in. I don’t believe I know anyone who’s hidden his/her past life and is pretending to be someone else. I do, however, believe that everyone has at least one secret, some bigger than others.
The cheating husband of the woman who appears to have it all is not a new idea. Why do you think we love to read about those types?
EL: Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason, and I think people relate to them. They see their own lives reflected in the characters and plot. I always say even if it’s not a revolutionary idea, there’s a fresh spin on it.
I was a fan of Kerrie’s from the get-go, but I felt compassion toward Jordana as her real life was revealed. Who did you root for in Pretty Revenge: Jordana or Kerrie?
EL: As the author of the book and the creator of the characters, I have to say I was rooting for both of them in different ways. You think Kerrie is the underdog at first and you understand why she wants revenge. But then, my hope is that people will realize how broken and vulnerable Jordana is too.
Your writing is very witty and fun to read. Do you add descriptive phrases and detail afterward or does it just come out on the page as we see it?
EL: That is me! I’m funny (if I do say so myself). Also, I think you have to be able to laugh in life, even when it may not seem like the right moment. A big bucket list item for me would be to do standup comedy just once. I imagine it would be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’m not sure I’d be able to go through with it, but stay tuned!
When you are starting a new book, do you develop your characters first, assigning them a past, present and future, or do you write the storyline and their details develop along with the plot?
EL: There’s always a nugget of an idea to begin with and maybe one character who I assign to that. Then as I start fleshing out the idea, I’ll establish who the two or three main characters are and begin defining their personalities. After that, I’d say the storyline and the characters’ pasts/presents/futures unravel together.
What three books have you read lately that you recommend, and what is on your nightstand right now?
EL: Three books I’ve loved recently are advanced copies of The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine and The Night Before by Wendy Walker (both publish in May), and Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell. On my nightstand are an advanced copy of Jane Green’s The Friends We Keep and Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty.
Pretty Revenge will be available for purchase July 2, 2019.
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About Emily Liebert
Emily Liebert is the USA TODAY Bestselling Author of five books. Pretty Revenge, her forthcoming novel, will release on July 2, 2019. Her first book, Facebook Fairytales, is available across the globe. In 2012, Emily wrote her debut novel, You Knew Me When, which published in 2013. Her second novel, When We Fall, published in 2014. Those Secrets We Keep, her third novel, released in 2015, and her fourth novel, Some Women, came out in 2016.
Emily is featured often in the press, and has also served as a spokesperson for Microsoft, appearing on TV and radio stations nationwide.