Guest Chick: Hank Phillippi Ryan, and #Giveaway

We are so excited to welcome the incomparable Hank Phillippi Ryan to her first post as a Chicks guest. If you’re wondering what took so long – so are we! And not only is Hank visiting with us today, she’s giving away a copy of her incredible new mystery, The First to Lie to one lucky commenter…


hank launch at computer

I was trying to look at the bright side. I really was. I knew we were all in the same boat here, all of us who are launching books during the pandemic, so it was silly for me to complain. We live in this insane ridiculous world, and all I could think was: it’s always safe inside a book.

Every author knows that the night before launch day is absolutely crazy. Even though THE FIRST TO LIE got a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and terrific buzz, I was still in a panic. Did I do enough? Will real people love my book? Will it actually be in stores?  (Remember stores?) Will some person post a heartbreaking review, or will the book come out in all its five-star crossed-finger glorious glory?

Yes, I kept telling myself. You are lucky, this is good, one step at a time. And then I’d start worrying again. (Anyone recognize these emotions?)

And then there’s the launch party. Oh my goodness, the nerves. Will people come? In the old days, Before, I would invite everybody I could possibly think of to come to my local independent bookstore, and we would all crowd into the bookstore’s basement where they could cram in 100 people, not counting the ones draping themselves over the stairway, and standing in the back. The pictures of it all were amazing and memorable. In the past.

This year, of course, besides the fear that no one would virtually show up, there was always the weather.  Last year, when my book THE MURDER LIST came out, it was so hot that the governor declared a heat emergency! He was actually on TV saying: “Don’t go outside, it’s too hot! Stay home!”

Can you imagine? I’m at home, yelling at the television. “Don’t tell people to stay home,” I cried! “It’s my book launch!”

There was also the time that I dropped a case of wine I was carrying on the front sidewalk of the event. Great way to start a party.

But this year, as I said, I was trying to look at the bright side. People could come to my book party, virtually, from the comfort and safety of their homes, and we could still celebrate, and the bookstore drop-shipped me books to sign personally. We were going to make the best of it.

Then I heard the weather report. A huge tropical storm was coming up the coast and was about to batter New England. I know the world is not about me, but in one crazy self-centered moment of launch night, I thought, oh good! People will not have to drive to my book event in a in a tropical storm! Everyone can be home, watching the rain, and being cozy and safe, and not have to decide whether to slog through downpours and puddles lugging clammy umbrellas into my event. Everyone will be safe and cozy

As I said, I was madly trying to look at the bright side.

Then I started getting emails from my pals, saying that they had no power, and no Internet, and they would not be able to come.

I have to say–it was an event to remember.

Can you launch a book in a pandemic, and a tropical storm, and a power outage?

I did a whole Tedx talk about the uncertainty of the world, how we as human beings have no idea what will happen next, and have to call on our own courage and energy and perseverance and trust to take, always always always, the next step and then the next step and then the next step.

To all of you who are launching books, and writing books, and thinking about your next work in progress, I send you hope and courage and endless comradeship. We chose this profession, out of love and joy, out of knowing that it is always safe inside a story, and always safe inside our writing, and that we actively chose to make this part of our lives. Because we knew it was important, and valuable, and necessary

It still is. Now even more. The joy of reading, and the joy of writing, and the joy of creativity, and the joy of connecting.

Through pandemics, and tropical storms, and power outages, we persevere. And I am so pleased to be on this journey with you.

Readers, tell us your virtual adventures! Comment to be entered to win a copy of THE FIRST TO LIE! 

BIO: Hank Phillippi Ryan is USA Today bestselling author of 12 thrillers, winning five Agathas and the Mary Higgins Clark Award. The  Boston TV investigative reporter has also won 37 EMMYs.  She is past president of National Sisters in Crime. Her previous novel, The Murder List,  is a Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee. Her new thriller is the psychological standalone The First to Lie–the Publishers Weekly starred review says “Stellar. Ryan could win her sixth Agatha for this one.”


We all have our reasons for being who we are―but what if being someone else could get you what you want?

After a devastating betrayal, a young woman sets off on an obsessive path to justice, no matter what dark family secrets are revealed. What she doesn’t know―she isn’t the only one plotting revenge.
An affluent daughter of privilege. A glamorous manipulative wannabe. A determined reporter, in too deep. A grieving widow who has to choose her new reality. Who will be the first to lie? And when the stakes are life and death, do a few lies really matter?

Bestselling and award-winning author and investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan delivers another twisty, thrilling cat and mouse novel of suspense that will have you guessing, and second-guessing, and then gasping with surprise.

Insta and Twitter  @HankPRyan



60 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Hank Phillippi Ryan, and #Giveaway

  1. There’s nothing quite like Mother Nature for reminding us how important it is never to take anything for granted! But she will NOT stop the books, or the readers, or the writers. Congrats on battling through to launch day x

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Ok! I’ve just changed my opinion about Mother Nature being on our side! I’ve just had my first post lockdown hair appointment. I looked like a wild woman when I arrived. After the initial gasps of horror my lovely hair dresser battled it into submission and worked an flippin’ miracle. Off I skipped down the High Street swishing my glossy mane … and that was when Mother Nature decided it would be the perfect moment to unleash ⛈💦⛈💦⚡️💦⚡️⚡️⚡️. Wretched woman!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. OH NO! I say: she was jealous! oooh, I am so sorry–It is SO glorious to finally have your hair done again–and then, boom. Awww… Someone needs to call her.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy to hear you made it through launch day safe and sound, though emotionally frazzled as anyone would be! I missed your launch party, but did see your Tedx talk and it was wonderful.

    I have had many virtual adventures in the last few months when everything went online. Usually it works out fabulously, but occasionally technology refuses to work. I’ve missed several events because of tech issues – sometimes with my internet, sometimes theirs. Unfortunately not much I can do to control that. Traffic jams are no longer a large problem but internet snags are.

    Congrats on the new release!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. My virtual adventures only involve Facetiming with my oldest granddaughter Maddie. She lives in NH and we are in FL and she likes to show us her drawings and the books she is reading. I love that she is a reader. I bought her the complete set of Harry Potter books for Christmas as that was what she wanted. She is 8. I’m not good with computers so my husband had to show me how to work this and when my son lived at home I drove him crazy. He told me I should stay away from computers. I was an executive secretary too. Thank you so much for this chance!! Hank Phillippi Ryan I love your books. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Isn’t it wonderful that you can have that connection with Maddie? And wow, we are all learning new things… And aw, thank you SO much! That is the best thing you could say. xooo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome, Hank! Your books are fabulous. It will take a lot more than a heat wave or power outage to stop people from reading them. I have to say, I’m enjoying the opportunity to “attend” a lot more author events now that everything has gone virtual. Luckily we don’t experience many storms or power outages where I live. And our whole summer is one big heat wave, so any opportunity to stay home and connect online is appreciated!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes the Heat wave! Yikes! Iti s SO hot here, but yeah, at least we are safe. ANd I do agree, there’s the opportunity to attend–and participate in!– lots more events than we could Before. Though Before was also good. xoo

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Hank, I know how you feel. Every launch I’ve had, I think, “But what if no one comes?” Last night I did my launch via Zoom with my local indie and I thought the same thing, “What if it’s just me and the owners and maybe my one friend?” Then, of course, I was worried no one would ask questions and the whole thing would be done in 10 minutes. Thankfully, we had a nice crowd, lots of questions, and talked for almost an hour!

    I can’t wait to dive into my copy of THE FIRST TO LIE!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Oh, THANK YOU! So great to hear yours was fabulous–Congratulations! that’s the one problem–if I’m at mine, I had to miss yours..but I will find another one!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. We’re getting there. The stuff is bought (who knew an 18-year-old boy would want a bean-bag chair shaped like a unicorn?). We got his required negative COVID test (woo-hoo!). Now to get him to pack and complete a couple last online requirements. Oh, and pack. Which means laundry. Good thing I’m going to my sister’s for two weeks after we drop him off. I’m going to need the rest. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hank, congratulations on the new book! There are two things I’ve learned dealing with Mother Nature living in the New Orleans with hurricanes. The first one is, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. The second one is, never ask what else could go wrong! Here’s to every launch being even stronger than all your previous launches combined!
    Best wishes to you.
    Colleen Mooney

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Hank, so happy you stopped by Chicks today! So far, my biggest virtual adventure has been discovering these miserable little critters known as ankle-biting mosquitos – nicknamed No-see-ums because you don’t see them; too tiny – which have arrived in SoCal. I was all excited about setting up an outdoor office in our backyard until I emerged from a virtual event with a half-dozen bites on my ankles and even one on my arm. No more outdoor virtual events for me!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Every year my publisher threw a big BBQ on the beach in Sanibel, FL. The first year, I had no idea what those nasty little buggers were—until I did. Yikes. I took my hubby there not long ago on vacay and warned him: No Sunset Viewing on the Beach. In the middle of the night he woke up with a terribly scary allergic reaction. I ran down to the front desk in my robe in a panic and they calmly handed me some meds for him (no idea what). Happens all the time, they said. Eek.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hank!

    First: Welcome! We’re thrilled you’re here!

    Second: Congrats on THE FIRST TO LIE! The buzz has been amazing and I can’t WAIT to read it.

    Third: Oh my gosh, I love this post! I’ve had launch (and pre-launch) jitters, but never the anxiety-producing trifecta of a pandemic, tropical storm and power outage. And although I’ve participated in virtual events, I’ve yet to launch virtually. If I do, I hope I’ll remember to wear pants.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. If anyone can launch a book in a pandemic, a tropical storm, and a power outage, it’s YOU, Hank!

    Congrats on the new book–which I know is going to be terrific!–and thank you so much for visiting the Chicks today!

    Liked by 6 people

  10. I’m super excited that you’re with us Chicks today, Hank! Congrats on your book–I’ve been hearing so much buzz about it!

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I think we writers really need to hear the support sometimes (especially as we’re more physically distant nowadays). On that note, I’m also grateful for First Chapter Fun and how you highlight upcoming books.

    For me, I’ve had ups and downs with my virtual adventures. On the downside, I have been Zoombombed. On the upside, I get to go anywhere virtually and make it to more author events–and do so in my jammies if I’d like.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yes, it is really a tightrope. No question. And zoombombing is terrible. Insane, and ridiculous, and even a bit scary. So you are TOUGH! xoxo

      Thank you for the kind words about First Chapter Fun. (DO you all know it? on FB and insta, 11:30 AM est every Tuesday and Thursday, Hannah Mary McKinnon and I read a new first chapter of someone’s book out loud! Join us!)

      Liked by 3 people

  11. What a crazy launch. I didn’t make it that night (time zone differences and work), but I did attend your event with Poisoned Pen on Saturday, something I couldn’t have done if it were in person instead of online.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Congratulations, Hank! If anyone can handle a launch with so many obstacles gracefully, it’s definitely you. And although I know it was probably so distressing (retroactive hugs for that), now you have this wonderful, inspiring story to share with the rest of us. So thrilled that you’re here and thanks for visiting us! xoxo

    Liked by 6 people

    1. AW, thank you, dear pal. And if that’s the worst it gets—well, wow, gotta hope it is, right? And we are all in this. Yeesh. SO wonderful to be here, I have to say, in the embrace of so many understanding pals. xxx

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Congrats, Hank! I’m a fan and can’t wait to read The First To Lie! My very first signing it rained cats and dogs. I worried no one would show up except my mother. But they came — and we sold out! The great thing about virtual events is they’re nation-, even world-wide! A power outage here or there shouldn’t dampen your turnout! Thrilled to have you visiting with us on Chicks!!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Raining! SO agree–in the old days, the WORST! (except here inBoston, where there could be–and have been–blizzards. Now, you are right–as long as the internet is up (cross fingers) we’ll be fine. Ish.

      And there is nothing better than SOLD OUT! Yay.

      Liked by 3 people

  14. Hank, we are truly thrilled that you’re visiting us here on Chicks today—and thank you for the gracious giveaway. First to Lie sounds fabulous!!! I know exactly which day your launch was, because I live 1.5 hrs north and we had tornado alerts going off all over the place. Yes, in NH. They actually told us to get to our basements—pronto. It missed us (yay!) but we did lose power til the next morning (not yay). Congrats again—and wishing you and First to Lie great success!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, poor thing! SO scary, And power outages..awful. I actually pat my freezer affectionately when I walk by–just to let it know I appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I had a book come out in March and one coming up Nov 3. Yeah. I’m a tad concerned. I love the fact we have found zoom and have begun to get a bit more comfy in its welcoming arms, but sometimes those arms still feel a bit cold. I’m ready to HUG A REAL PERSON again … ideally at a bookstore … at an event … where they buy all my books. Sigh.

    Congrats on your new book, Hank, and all your success. You’re always an inspiration to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes LOVE Poisoned Pen! I had such a fun event there… And it’s so great that you can catch up on the videos anytime.


  16. LOVE you all! And what a joy to be here! I know the magic chick-o-meter will pick a winner–and let me know where to send THE FIRST TO LIE! XXXX


  17. We have a winner! Using to generate a number, the giveaway goes to Marla Bradeen! Marla, email your mailing address to me at ellenbyronla (at)outlook (dot) com!


    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s