Hello and welcome to 2017 a few weeks early! You have the chance to win what is being called the next “Girl on the Train” and “Gone Girl” – personally I think, it’s even better.

EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE (Emily Bestler Books) by Mindy Mejia grabbed me by the throat and didn’t let go until I finished the book. It was the quickest three-hundred-plus pages I think I’ve ever read! Miss Mindy! EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE rocks!

Let me start off by writing, I’m so happy, grateful, thrilled, you get what I mean … very thankful that I am no longer a teenager. The pressure. The main character is Henrietta (Hattie) Hoffman, a seventeen, soon to be eight-teen year old who can’t wait to get the hell out of  south-eastern Minnesota. Pine Valley is a small farming community, where everyone knows everyone’s business.

She’s set her eyes on New York City and becoming as a famous actress. God help anyone who gets in her way. The night of the High-school play tragedy strikes and we realize Hattie’s acting skills went far beyond the stage. Hattie gets stabbed to death, in such a brutal way (not a spoiler) that you’ll find yourself hiding under the covers. From that point on, we’re off to determine who the killer is.

Local sheriff Del Goodman, a friend of Hattie’s parents vows to find her killer, but he keeps coming up with more questions than answers. It doesn’t help that his deputy and employees are clowns from central casting. The media arrive and the residents of Pine Valley begin to unravel with a killer on the loose. “Murders like this don’t happen in Pine Valley. They happen in the Cities.”

Told from three alternating points of view, including Hattie’s new to town, high-school English teacher, Peter Lund, whose own marriage is dying. He’s constantly berated by his mother-in-law who lives with he and his wife in their home.

EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE kept me guessing who committed the murder until the very end. There was one time when I thought I guessed the killer and bang, a completely unexpected twist. Throughout the novel we learn the small town’s dark secrets as we near the murderer. EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE challenges us to ask does love lead to self discovery or self-destruction? Innocence and guilt? Identity and deception?

Having lived in Minnesota, I loved how Mindy sprinkled some local flavor throughout the novel: Dairy Queen being center of the world, talking about the weather, Solera, the Stone Arch Bridge and of course, Mayo.

You can check Mindy out on Facebook, twitter @mejiawrites or her website   http://www.mindymejia.com


Mindy received a BA from the University of Minnesota and an MFA from Hamline University. Apart from brief stops in Iowa City and Galway, she’s lived in the Twin Cities her entire life and held a succession of jobs from an apple orchard laborer to a global credit manager. She’s currently working on a project set in Duluth and the Boundary Waters that may or may not be a trilogy.

Happy 2017 early! We have one copy, thanks to Emily Bestler Books, Atria Books and Mindy’s fab publicist, David at Simon & Schuster to giveaway! I swear, EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE is going to be one the novels everyone is talking about in 2017!

Just tell us the name of one of the characters in EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE. Shouldn’t be too hard. We’ll announce a winner Monday, December 19th.

EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE will be published, Tuesday, January 3rd. Be sure to pre-order your copy at your favorite independent bookstore.