Inside the Author: Blindspot by Maggie Smith

Blindspot by Maggie Smith

BLINDSPOT

by Maggie Smith

April 29 – May 24, 2024 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Blindspot by Maggie Smith

From the author of the award-winning Truth and Other Lies comes a gripping suspense novel about an ambitious prosecutor on the hunt for her sadistic stalker . . . only to be framed for murder when he turns up dead.

Rachel Matthews is used to stress—from the cutthroat world of the district attorney’s office to her escalating clashes with her teenage daughter. So when a stranger sends a lavish bouquet with a macabre message and leaves a disturbing video on her doorstep, she’s quick to act. Teaming up with an old classmate turned private investigator, she wades through old case files, searching for someone harboring a grudge. But before she has time to pinpoint a suspect, her stalker issues a demand—he wants money, lots of it, or he’ll hurt her daughter.

Desperate to protect her child, Rachel agrees but soon finds herself fleeing a bloody crime scene, fearful for her life. As evidence mounts against her, Rachel realizes it’s up to her to unmask the enemy behind this vendetta before it’s too late.

Fans of Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent, Julie Clark’s The Lies I Tell and Heather Chavez’ Before She Finds Me will embrace this taut tale of long-simmering revenge right up to its surprising and twisty climax.

Inside the Author of BLINDSPOT:

I’m so excited to share that Maggie Smith, author of BLINDSPOT visited with me recently. Here are some highlights from our conversation.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I sold the business I had owned for thirty-some years and found myself with time on my hands. Like most writers, I was a voracious reader and had always wondered about what it would take to write a novel. I signed up for a week-long writing class in northern Wisconsin at a retreat center and caught the bug. Once I got started, I had to finish—I couldn’t bring myself to leave those characters just hanging out there in mid-air. I had to find out what happened to them.

In that class, the instructor gave the prompt: “What could you never write a book about?” I wrote down mothers and daughters because I had a contentious relationship with my own mother and have not been a biological mother myself (though I’ve helped raise four step-kids). So in my debut novel, Truth and Other Lies, one of the central relationships is between (you guessed it) a mother and her daughter. And now my next book, Blindspot, also has that as a central theme. I sometimes describe it as a legal thriller wrapped around a mother/daughter love story.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not a thing. For some reason, this one just clicked into place. This was after months of hard work and planning, but miraculously, plot holes that I struggled with initially came together seamlessly toward the end, and I think it’s a nearly-perfect puzzle. I hope readers will agree.

Who has impacted your life the most and in what way?

I would have to say my father. He died at a young age, only 49, when I was a junior in college but before that, he was a role model for me in that he always encouraged me to be the best I could be, thought that being “a brain” in school was a positive, not a negative, so I think he implanted the message early on in me that I could do anything I wanted in life. In the beginning, I think I heard that as “you can be everything you want to be, so I had to learn to make choices—that I couldn’t be a psychologist AND a lawyer AND a teacher AND a business woman. But at least he gave me ambition and self-reliance and those have had a big influence on the person I am today.

What event in your life do you remember first when asked for a humorous story?

What a great question! I’ve never been asked that before so initially I was stumped. Then I remembered the time my husband and I were spending the weekend in Chicago and walking across the park to a new restaurant. It was summer and we’d had perhaps one too many cocktails before leaving, so we both had on sunglasses and as we walked, we got in a silly mood and decided we looked like celebrities so we left the glasses on when we entered and pretended to be all snooty. Once we were seated, we noticed people glancing at us so that played into our delusion. The waitress asked if we’d eaten there before and when we said no, this was our first time, she proceeded to start reading the entire menu to us starting with the appetizers and moving on to salads, soups, etc. – that’s when we realized she didn’t think we were famous, she thought we were blind. We quickly swiped off the sunglasses and tried to act normal, though we were laughing so hard at ourselves that it was hard to catch our breath. So embarrassing.

Oh my! What a fun story! Thanks for sharing… and thanks for sharing Blindspot. I love that your books center around a mother-daughter relationship. It’s such a unique relationship for everyone. I can’t wait to focus on my copy of Blindspot.

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Suspense
Published by: Puzzle Box Press
Publication Date: May 21, 2024
Number of Pages: 318
ISBN: 9798989677917
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

April 24, 2023, County Courthouse

The killer is sitting in this courtroom and it’s up to me to prove it.

It isn’t every day a murder this sensational happens in Milwaukee. Sure, we’ve had our share of drive-by shootings, domestic arguments that escalated, home invasions that turned deadly. And yes, there was that lurid trial a while back where the deranged sicko drugged, then ate his victims. That one landed our city in the national spotlight. A once in a lifetime case.

But this one’s right up there. Everyone involved is high profile. Which means it warrants the top guns. Which means my boss of nine years, Marcus Huntley, Deputy DA, is sitting first chair. I catch his eye and his expression confirms what I already know. This is the most important case of my career, and if the verdict goes south, any hope for that promotion goes right along with it.

But this isn’t only about winning for me. There’s a lot more at stake. Consequences I don’t dare think about or I’ll lose my nerve. Because even though the police are convinced this is an open and shut case, I know better.

I know they’ve arrested the wrong person.

Because I witnessed the murder. But for reasons I can’t reveal, I have to keep quiet. Only two people know the whole story and I’ve sworn them to secrecy.

I watch the crowd. Examine every person in detail. Who’s talking to whom, who’s staring at their lap, who’s looking around the room. Who’s fidgeting, adjusting their tie, or rummaging through their purse. Who looks bored and who looks agitated? But even though I’m an expert in spotting a tell, I’m coming up empty.

The electricity in the air ratchets up as the judge enters and the bailiff calls the case. I’ve been up most of the night, pacing the floor, rehearsing my lines, imagining how today would go. What to say and what not to say. What needs to happen so I can walk out of here satisfied.

Part of me wants to scream. Part of me wants to whimper. Part of me wants to rush out the door and never look back.

But I don’t do any of those things. Instead I steel my nerves and set aside the theatrics. A bead of sweat slithers down my spine as I stand to address the judge.

In an orange jumpsuit. And handcuffs.

“Rachel Elizabeth Matthews. You stand accused of first-degree intentional homicide.

How do you plead?”

“Not guilty, Your Honor,” I reply.

***

Excerpt from Blindspot by Maggie Smith. Copyright 2024 by Maggie F Smith. Reproduced with permission from Maggie Smith. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Maggie Smith

In a career that’s included work as a journalist, a psychologist, and the founder of a national art consulting company, Maggie Smith added novelist to her resume with the publication of her debut, Truth and Other Lies, a women’s fiction novel set in Chicago and released in March 2022 by Ten16 Press. It won NIEA’s Juror Grand Prize, the Star Award for Debut Fiction from Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Foreword INDIES Gold Metal for General Fiction, and was selected for the Women’s Book Association Great Group Reads.

In addition to her writing, Maggie hosts the weekly podcast Hear Us Roar (215+ episodes), blogs monthly for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and is Managing Editor for Chicago Writer’s Association Write City E-Zine. She resides in Milwaukee WI with her husband and her aging but still adorable sheltie. Her second novel, a psychological suspense called BLINDSPOT will be released in May 2024.

Catch Up With Maggie Smith:
MaggieSmithWriter.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @MaggieSmithWriter
Instagram – @maggiesmithwrites
Threads – @maggiesmithwrites
Facebook

Tour Participants:

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1 Comments Text
  • “she thought we were blind.” ~ Hahaha! Oh my gosh, that is hilarious! But what a kind waitress! LOL

    Great, fun interview! This sounds like a great book. It is on my summer reading list! 🙂

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