Alex has all but given up on her dreams of becoming a published author when she receives a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: attend an exclusive, month-long writing retreat at the estate of feminist horror writer Roza Vallo. Even the knowledge that Wren, her former best friend and current rival, is attending doesn’t dampen her excitement.
But when the attendees arrive, Roza drops a bombshell—they must all complete an entire novel from scratch during the next month, and the author of the best one will receive a life-changing seven-figure publishing deal. Determined to win this seemingly impossible contest, Alex buckles down and tries to ignore the strange happenings at the estate, including Roza’s erratic behavior, Wren’s cruel mind games, and the alleged haunting of the mansion itself. But when one of the writers vanishes during a snowstorm, Alex realizes that something very sinister is afoot. With the clock running out, she must discover the truth—or suffer the same fate.
A claustrophobic and propulsive thriller exploring the dark side of female relationships and fame, The Writing Retreat is the unputdownable debut novel from a compelling new talent.
I’ve read several reviews of this incandescent debut comparing it The Plot, The Secret History, and other novels. But I am here to tell you that this is like nothing you’ve ever read before.
This is psychological mayhem at its very best.
All I’m going to say is READ THIS!
“Sex, suspense, and the supernatural fuel this propulsive debut.” —People
“Darkly satirical and action-packed….An absolutely splendid debut!” —Wendy Walker, nationally bestselling author of Don’t Look for Me
“I loved this chilling, tightly plotted, feminist, seriously effed-up thriller…and not just because my brilliant sister wrote it! Can’t wait for everyone else to fall in love with this wicked debut.” —Andrea Bartz, NYT bestselling author of Reese’s Book Club pick WE WERE NEVER HERE
“A sexy, thrilling, compulsive mediation on art and competition amongst women who ought to be sisters, only something malignant gets in the way.” —Sarah Langan, award-winning author of GOOD NEIGHBORS
• “A wild ride from page one . . . This thrill-packed story brims with secrets, intrigue and murder. I dare you to put it down.” —Janice Hallett, internationally bestselling author of THE TWYFORD CODE
“THE WRITING RETREAT is bonkers in the best way, and it left me with a brutal case of author envy.” —Layne Fargo, author of THEY NEVER LEARN
“NIGHT FILM meets THE SECRET HISTORY in Julia Bartz’s bold, brilliant, and genuinely scary debut . . . Palpable atmosphere, sinister characters, full-body chills, jaw-dropping twists, and stay-up-all-night suspense. I am obsessed with this book. I never wanted it to end.” —Megan Collins, author of THE FAMILY PLOT
“Equal parts nightmare and erotic fantasy as five would-be writers are pulled deeper into the secrets of Blackbriar and its inhabitants.”—Jennifer Fawcett, author of BENEATH THE STAIRS