Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Justine Sullivan is right on time...plus a book giveaway

Photo by Sam Simon
We're excited to introduce Justine Sullivan today and talk with her about her debut domestic suspense novel, He Said He Would Be Late. Speaking of domestic suspense, she won over Melissa when she told us that she loves Bad Sisters (see Melissa's recent post about this show if you need a good binge watch). We enjoyed chatting with her about her book and her life in Boston, as well. Thanks to Henry Holt, we have two copies to give away!

Oddly enough, we're the ones who are late in posting about this novel. It actually published last week.

Justine Sullivan was born and raised just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, where she failed to learn how to shuck  a crab and never attended a single Orioles game. She did, however, discover a passion for reading at her local  Harford County Library. She went on to study English Literature at the University of Delaware and then earned  her master's in journalism from Boston University and has since spent a number of years working in both newsrooms and the world of branded content. Justine lives outside of Boston with her husband and two terribly behaved dogs. 

Liz Bennett knows that she is one of the lucky ones. Wealthy and charming, Arno is a supportive husband to Liz and a doting father to their daughter, Emma. A rising banker at a top firm in the Boston area, he is the picture of perfection, rounding off their idyllic New England life. But when Liz sees a text on Arno's phone with a kissy-face emoji, her anxiety kicks into overdrive and she begins to worry that her luck has run out.

Plagued by persistent skepticism and countless sleepless nights, Liz decides she must uncover the truth about her husband—as any wife would. So she takes a deep breath and dives down the rabbit hole. As Liz peels back layers of deceit and tracks down every lead, a frenzy begins to take over her life. Could Arno really be unfaithful? Or is Liz's imagination getting the best of her? When everyone around her is convinced she's become unhinged, she must prove, if only to herself, that a woman's intuition expands beyond a single cryptic text. (Courtesy of Amazon.)

"Frank, funny...a read-in-one-sitting ride that’s crazy, heartfelt, and maybe a little heartbreaking as well."
―Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of The Nanny

“He Said He Would Be Late is mesmerizing and propulsive―at once a humorous and relatable exploration of motherhood and marriage and an entirely successful story of suspense. I absolutely adored this book.”
―Nora Murphy, author of The Favor

In one sentence, what was the road to publishing like for you? 
Very fast, then very slow — something I imagine all debut authors feel as they come down from the high of selling their first novel to the reality of editing, more editing, copy-editing, proofreading, more proofreading, etc.!

How is Liz similar to or different from you?
Liz and I are both anxious people by nature, but she definitely catastrophizes far more intensely than I do. I also have not experienced the same ambivalence toward motherhood (which is totally fine and normal to feel, by the way!) that Liz has. 

If He Said He Would Be Late was made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
Liz would be played by Meghann Fahy and Arno could be played by Miles Teller.

Which TV series are you currently binge watching?
Currently watching Shrinking on Apple TV. It’s like a warm cup of tea. But the best show I binged this year was Bad Sisters.

What is your favorite springtime activity?
Taking a walk in the Arnold Arboretum with my family and dogs to see the flowers bloom. 

If we were to visit you, what are some places you would take us to see?
Well, my husband and I live on the South Shore (about an hour south of Boston), so first we’d start the day with coffee and donuts at SlackTide Coffee Roasters (the best coffee on the South Shore!) Then we’d go for a leisurely walk at Norris Reservation in Norwell, Massachusetts, along the peaceful banks of the North River. We’d round out the day by popping into Storybook Cove in Hanover for some book-shopping.

Thanks to Justine for chatting with us and to Henry Holt for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

Giveaway ends March 26th at midnight EST.

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Listen to this book on Speechify!


Burma Turner said...

I am almost always early!

Marta Suárez Mazaira said...

Usually on time!

Jess R said...

Usually just a few minutes early...not too much but not late.

Tatum Rangel said...

I'm usually early. I hate being late.

Donna Shaw said...

I make it a point to be a wee bit early.

diannekc said...

I'm usually early.

satkins said...

I am usually early-

Mary Preston said...

I tend to be early too.

Anita Yancey said...

I am always on time or early.

Mary Patricia Bird said...

Pretty much right on time. Sometimes I underestimate the time it takes to get somewhere since I live in a small town and might be a couple of minutes late. But usually I'm on time.

Mary C said...

I tend to be early.

Texas Book Lover said...

I'm usually early.

Annmarie Weeks said...

I have to admit that being late is a pet peeve of mine. I'm usually about 5-10 minutes early to anything.

Linda Kish said...

I am usually a few minutes early.

Kelly Rodriguez said...

I’m usually running late.

Lisa D said...

I'm usually way too early!

bn100 said...


Lelandlee said...


Xia Lee said...

Usually early

Katherine said...

Usually early. Congrats on the new release!