Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Now I Found You by Mila Oliver

Title: Now I Found You
Author: Mila Oliver
Publication Date: July 20th 2021
Print Length: 113 pages
Genre: Suspense, Thriller

Seven years ago, Kate Hartfield’s little sister disappeared.

An ordinary summer day of fun at the lake turned into a nightmare when young Emily Hartfield suddenly could not be found. When badly battered body parts were discovered three days later, the investigation concluded that they were Emily’s and the case was closed as an accidental drowning.

Now Kate has returned to her hometown in the Catskills for the first time since her sister’s death, for a work retreat. While at her boss’s lake house, she briefly spies a familiar face.

It’s Emily.

She’s all grown up, but Kate knows her sister’s face better than anyone. The sighting reignites the doubts Kate has always had, and forces her to revisit all the mysterious circumstances that surrounded that day. As she desperately tries to track down the girl she saw at the lake house, Kate discovers shocking secrets from the past, confronts her own guilt from that day, and becomes obsessed with uncovering the answer to one question.

What really happened to Emily?

Goodreads / Amazon

“Looks like the whole town is partying tonight,” James said after he pulled away, nodding out the back window at the lit-up docks that circled the lake, each filled with people. Kate could even faintly make out a few small boats on the water.

“End of summer. Peak season,” Kate shrugged.

“If the lake could talk, huh,” James laughed.

Kate stared at the floor and nodded. She hadn’t told James about that day. They had talked about everything from food to politics to career goals – all surface level things. He knew about Emily, probably. She was pretty sure the whole office knew she had a sister who died a while back. But he hadn’t said anything either way. And if he had sensed that she was upset, he didn’t say it either. He was just there. A comforting presence that got her through the night.

“This definitely isn’t what I ordered,” James said frowning down at his drink. He gave Kate an apologetic smile. “Do you mind if I quickly go get a new one?”

“Of course not, go ahead,” Kate said.

She watched him disappear into the crowd of her colleagues before turning back to look out the window. The house next door was smaller than this one, but closer down to the water. Its dock was on the smaller side too, but was cramped with people. She shuddered as she watched someone jump off the dock into the dark sheet of water. It was something she had done hundreds of times in her childhood, but now just seemed reckless. Dangerous. Deadly. She felt the overwhelming need to shake the person’s shoulders and scream, “It’ll take you under! You won’t come back! Don’t you understand?”

Kate suddenly found herself running out the back door and down the wooded trail towards the lake clearing. She stopped just short of the mouth of the lake, the cool water soaking her shoes. Her boss’s house did not have a dock. The trail just stopped, open-ended, into the plunging darkness. Kate let out a hollow laugh that skipped like a pebble over the lake.

She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths, something that her therapist had told her to do years ago. Kate hadn’t realized how often she used it as a coping mechanism. She opened her eyes and looked back up at the house, fully lit up and cheerful looking. She thought of James and his kiss and the way he looked in his short-sleeved polo shirt, with his tousled curly brown hair. Just thinking about it made the heaviness that had risen all the way up to her throat start to slowly sink back down.

Kate looked back at the lake, willing it to present itself the way it had when she was younger. Playful, sparkling under the moonlight. Beautiful. She bent down and gingerly dipped her finger into it. The water was cool but not too cold. A perfect temperature for a warm end of August night. She looked up and smiled at the cloudless sky, the stars shining vividly, literally twinkling. For the first time in a long time, she felt a stab of something hopeful. She stood up and took a quick glance at the people dancing on the dock next door, before turning to walk back up to her boss’s house.

Suddenly, she stopped walking, her feet seemingly glued to the spot. Her heart was racing and chills were crawling all over her body, and she didn’t understand why. Slowly, she backed up a few steps, her feet trailing heavily. She looked over at the dock next door again, her eyes carefully scanning each person there. It was a group of young people, probably college-aged by the looks of the cheap beer cans scattered everywhere. Some were dancing, some were drunkenly swaying, all were laughing and having a good time. She scanned them faster until her eyes locked onto a girl with lush blond hair, standing to the side, her face half hidden from Kate’s view.

Kate took a step closer, wishing she could jump over the water to be on that same dock. The girl looked so familiar, even just from a side. Kate looked down at her hands, surprised to see pricks of blood on her palm from where her nails had been digging into them. She looked up again just in time to see the girl laugh, her face turning towards Kate briefly.

Kate was vaguely aware of the glass she was still holding in her hand fall to the ground next to her, its drop silenced both by the soft earth and by the shrill ringing in her ears. The iciness in her body had spread everywhere, gripping her heart and lungs and squeezing tight. Kate’s hands flew to her throat as she struggled to breathe. She felt a dark curtain start to fall before her eyes, and determinedly kept her gaze glued for as long as she could on the girl on the dock. On Emily.
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(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, the entries, or the prize. Xpresso Tours is responsible for it all.)
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  1. The book sounds really intriguing.

  2. I've been looking for something to take ahold of me and not let go, and this one sounds perfect! Added to my Amazon wist list and Goodreads TBR!

  3. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

  4. Thislooks like a great book-thanks

  5. Lovely cover this sounds like a great book!

  6. This sounds good. I love a good mystery

  7. This sounds good. Weird timing b/c I'm helping a relative search for someone right now!

  8. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

  9. What an interesting thriller. Good work,

  10. I love a good mystery and your book sounds very interesting to read. Thank you for the giveaway!

  11. I love the book title and the picture on the book cover. Looks interesting to read.

  12. Sounds like an interesting read.

  13. I am so excited to read this book!

  14. Oh wow this book sound like a GREAT read!