Saturday, July 14, 2018

Blog Tour: The Mother-in-Law by Judy Moore (Review, Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway)

The Mother-in-Law
by Judy Moore
Genre: Suspense, Thriller

After a whirlwind romance, a young woman from California makes a rash decision and marries a handsome Floridian after knowing him for only one month. 

She gives up everything she knows to move cross countrv to live with her new husband, a widower, and his five-year-old son. 

Everything seems idyllic until they arrive at her husband's oceanfront home, and she meets her mother-in-law. There's something strange about the woman and the mother/son relationship. 
It's not long before her suspicions begin to overwhelm her as she becomes ensnared in the secrets and lies of her new family. 

Goodreads * Amazon

Excerpt from The Mother-in-Law

Victoria stepped out onto the patio, ambled around the pool, and stood at the gate, gazing out at the moonlit beach and listening to the waves crash against the shore. She inhaled the moist sea air and basked in the soft touch of the salty air against her skin.
The cool ocean air felt refreshing until she realized goose bumps had begun to appear on her arms and then across her entire body. Something was off, and it was giving her chills. She had a feeling that she wasn’t alone. A sixth sense told her that someone was watching her. Her body tensed, and she squinted out into the darkness.
Scanning the patio, she slowly turned around toward the house. Then she saw her, saw her silhouette, standing in the window staring down at her. Her mother-in-law didn’t move away from the window, didn’t wave, but just stood and stared down at Victoria. Victoria held her gaze for what seemed like at least a minute. Then, finally, the drape slid across the window, and her mother-in-law was gone.

Q: How do your stories & characters develop? 
I start with the victim and the killer and the why. Then I start masking the killer and the why, and spread other storylines around the crime to confuse the reader and throw them off the trail. The key for me is keeping the reader interested. To bore them is the ultimate sin. I like setting a scene so the reader can feel and see each scene, but I’m going to do that fairly quickly. I can’t stand reading books where the author spends a page describing a tree. I think that’s self-indulgent of the writer and torture for the reader. I would never dream of doing that to someone who bought my book to have a pleasurable reading experience.

Q: What is your favorite genre to read & write?
I love to read and write mysteries, especially whodunits. I expect good dialogue and a lot of humor as well. That’s my goal when I write too. Down-to-earth characters who sometimes find themselves interacting with some pretty zany, unpredictable people. My books are always PG-rated. I'm no prude, but I don't like to read sex scenes and I certainly don't like to write them. I think that often they're just a distraction from the story line.

Q: Do you have a favorite author whose books you love to read?
I have a couple of favorite authors. Carl Hiaasen is probably the first. He’s so funny and so out there. What an imagination. And he actually lives in my new hometown, Vero Beach, Florida. The other is Michael Connelly who writes fabulous crime dramas, including the Harry Bosch detective novels and The Lincoln Lawyer series. They’re both Floridians and attended University of Florida’s journalism school where I went.

How did you come up with the title of your latest book, The Mother-in-Law?
I think there is high interest in the relationship between new spouses and their mothers-in-law. Will they get along? Will there be problems? Mothers-in-law often get a bad rap, usually unwarranted, but in this case, rightfully so. So I wanted to keep the title simple. I think the name The Mother-in-Law, along with the image I chose, portrays the mysterious nature of the book.

What is your approach to writing?
I write in a simple journalistic style. Grab the reader’s attention and hold on to it. Use quotes effectively and succinctly. Above all, don’t let the reader get bored. Keep the story interesting and keep it moving! The biggest challenges in writing mysteries is to give the readers enough clues without giving away the killer. 

Why do you write what you write?

I grew up reading Agatha Christie and have always loved reading and watching mysteries. When I took an early retirement from my full-time editing job, I decided it was time to start writing mysteries myself. In the past few years, I’ve written three mystery novels and six novellas. The Mother-in-Law, a thriller, is my latest. Readers seem to really like it and it was fun to write. Murder in Vail is probably my favorite, a whodunit about a family home for the holidays who find themselves snowbound with a killer in their midst.

Rating: 4 stars

This book should serve as a life lesson for anyone who decides to marry a stranger, give up their life and move across the country for said stranger. Victoria and Brad have a whirlwind romance in Vegas while they’re both attending a training. Victoria is very naive. She believes she’s met the perfect man, married him, gave up everything in California to move to Florida, and then finds out that the perfect man is not a truthful man and has hidden some important things from her.

I found Victoria annoying. She married Brad, after knowing him a brief time. She let important questions go without an answer. She agrees to never discuss exes with a man she’s going to marry and then gets upset because she finds information out about said exes. Let this be another clue, if a man isn’t going to talk about the important things in life such as exes, his son, or his living situation, don’t marry him! Don’t get upset because you were kept in the dark about his secrets! But, Victoria did get better throughout the book, once she developed a backbone. She’ll never be my favorite heroine, but I didn’t think as poorly about her towards the end of the book.

I read the synopsis of this book, so I had some expectations going into the book. The Mother-in-Law was not a surprise, it is the title of the book after all. I expected her to be worse than she was, but she did have a lot of secrets she kept to hide her true self. Brad was weak and spineless and definitely showed why he needed to lie to find a wife in another state. There was a revelation about Brad and one of his wives that did not surprise me, at all. I think the real surprise for me was that he truly was so clueless because I thought he was in on everything his mother did.

But, don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy this book! I don’t need to love the characters to enjoy a well-written mystery. :) There were secrets to figure out and an ending where a conclusion to everything was chaotic and crazy. It was also not the conclusion I was expecting! If you enjoy thriller/suspense/mystery books, then you should definitely check this one out! Also, again, never marry a man you meet in another state who refuses to talk about the important things and expects you to give up your entire life to follow him!
**Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.**

Judy Moore writes mystery novels and thrillers, as well as lighter family fiction. She is a longtime news writer, editor, and magazine feature writer, and has a master's degree in journalism. Her fiction and nonfiction work has been published in numerous national publications, and her novels are published by BTGN publishers. Her most recent thriller, The Mother-in-Law, is a favorite with Amazon readers. A lifelong Florida resident, she is a former tennis pro and sports writer, so her stories sometimes have a sports backdrop.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


  1. I like the title. It captured my imagination .

  2. the title conjures up something sinister, more so when paired with that cover!

  3. Thank you for the excerpt and interview!