Truth and Other Lies

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Published by: Puzzle Box Press
Release Date: March 8, 2022
ISBN13: 979-8-9896779-4-8
Pages: 356


Megan Barnes’ life is in free fall. After losing both her job as a reporter and her boyfriend on the same day, she retreats home to Chicago and moves in with Helen, her over-protective mother. Before long, the two are clashing over everything from pro-choice to #MeToo, not to mention Helen’s decision to run for the US Congress.

Desperate to reboot her life, Megan gets her chance when an altercation at a campus rally puts her face to face with world-renowned journalist Jocelyn Jones, who offers her a job on her PR team. Before she knows it, Megan is pulled into the heady world of fame and influence her charismatic mentor represents.

Until an anonymous tweet brings it all crashing down. To salvage Jocelyn’s reputation, Megan must locate the online troll and expose the lies. But when the trail leads to blackmail, and circles back to her own mother, Megan realizes if she pulls any harder on this thread, what should have been the scoop of her career could unravel into a tabloid nightmare.

Readers who love Jodi Picoult's topical plot twists and Liane Moriarty's character-driven novels will devour this fast-paced tale of three women whose lives converge as one fights a devastating accusation, another campaigns for a contested seat in Congress, and one, the young reporter with ties to both, navigates the tricky line between secrets and lies.



The media had a catch phrase for people like me: boomerangs. Young adults launched by relieved parents with great fanfare into the world, perfectly crafted missiles brimming with lofty dreams, only to turn around mid-flight, tail tucked between our legs—out of a job, out of money, and out of options.

God, I hated being a cliché.

When I phoned from New York, my mother said she’d be out of town until tomorrow night, but of course I was welcome to stay as long as I wanted. By the time I landed at O’Hare, it was dusk, the height of rush hour, and traffic was a snarl, so the trip out to Evanston took over an hour. I drummed my fingers against the seat cushion, wondering if the house would be different.

If she’d be different.

Once the Uber driver unloaded my bag and drove off, I retrieved the key from under the fourth flowerpot on the right. Not the most original hiding place, but this was the northern suburbs. Most of the crimes here happened behind closed doors.

I punched in the alarm code, flipped on the lights, and was stifled by my mother’s signature gardenia fragrance. Nothing had changed. The mahogany banister still gleamed with polish, the brass sconces on either side of the fireplace sparkled, the white carpet showed fresh vacuum lines. Straight out of House Beautiful. Mother was still the dyed-in-the-wool Martha Stewart acolyte she’d always been. Everything clean, tucked away, not even a scrap of mail scattered on the hall table.

Now her only child was back, messing everything up.