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Debut novel by King local ‘makes a splash in the thriller genre’

February 14, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons

A King City resident is drawing on her experience as a first-time mom for her debut novel.
Brianne Sommerville’s debut thriller “If I lose Her” is due out March 5.
The novel will appeal to fans of domestic suspense novels as it explores a mother’s battle with postpartum depression, trust and the shadows lurking close to home.
“The early chapters of the novel read like a stream of consciousness from my perspective as a new mother,” said Sommerville. “Like someone writing in a journal, I would confide about my worries. Was my daughter gaining adequately? Was I producing enough milk? Was my daughter developing at the ‘right’ rate? From there, Joanna Baker’s story came to me, and I expanded on the novel, creating a psychological thriller. I believe mothers will find Joanna’s story relatable – the sleepless nights, the stretched, lonely days – but I also hope readers enjoy the twisty ride as they turn the pages to get to the truth.”
The story revolves around Joanna Baker about the baby blues, but when a near-fatal mistake places the first-time mom under the watchful eye of Child Protective Services, she receives a serious diagnosis – Postpartum depression. Jo hears the words, yet they don’t make sense. Nothing does. Her blackouts are increasing, and she can’t recall events she’s been accused of. As she fights to keep her daughter, she discovers cracks in her neighborhood, family, and her own home. With the support of her sisters, she attempts to piece together her traumatic past and uncover who is truly in control. Jo must battle her faltering mind to save what’s most important – her daughter.
“Debut author Brianne Sommerville makes a splash in the thriller genre with her captivating, compelling If I lose Her. I flew through this riveting, suspenseful story of a new mother whose past traumas might be unraveling her current reality, or someone else could be pulling the strings. As the list of suspects grows, Sommerville beautifully balances a woman trying to figure out who’s putting her child in danger with a deep, raw look at motherhood, marriage, and family that skyrockets in intensity on every new page. A fantastic read,” said Samantha M. Bailey, USA Today, and bestselling author of A Friend in the Dark.
The publishing process was definitely extensive and eye-opening for her. She found her publisher Rising Action (a women-owned and run small press based in Toronto) when she tweeted about the premise and caught the eye of her editor. The entire timeline from signing with my publisher to publication took about two years.
“My favourite part of the process was helping choose a cover design. Our designer offered three options and I had the final say. Another surreal moment was hearing the narrator of my audio book for the first time,” she shared.
She said she’s always been drawn to suspense and thrillers. Growing up my favourite books were mysteries like The Boxcar she used to watch Dateline and Unsolved Mysteries with her mom and sister.
“I love solving puzzles and it was a ton of fun being in the driver’s seat and having the opportunity and challenge of keeping readers guessing throughout the story,” she remarked.
She absolutely thrilled to note she’s already signed a second book deal with her publisher for her sophomore thriller “What She Left Behind,” which will hit shelves in August 2025. The story follows Charlotte Boyd as she oversees the renovations of her parents’ century home only to become obsessed with the previous owners and their secrets. It features two points of view, including a 16-year-old’s diary entries, in which Brianne used my own high school diary as inspiration for the voice.
Sommerville studied English Literature at Queen’s University where she discovered her love of creative writing, performing in open mic poetry nights and writing and directing theatrical productions. But it wasn’t until Brianne had her first-born daughter that her passion for writing fiction truly ignited. During nap times and sleepless nights, Brianne found solace in documenting both the joys and struggles of early motherhood, finding her inspiration for the fictionalized novel.
If I lose Her is available in paperback, e-book and audio book on March 5 and can be purchased online through Amazon, Indigo and Barnes and Noble. Brianne will also be on hand at bookstores in York Region, signing copies:
Sunday, March 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Chapters Newmarket and Saturday, March 23 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Indigo Hill Crest Mall in Richmond Hill.



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