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📚 The Countdown to Sydney Rye

📚 The Countdown to Sydney Rye

  • 20 February, 2023
  • Emily Kimelman

Are you ready for the next adventure?

Relentless, Sydney Rye Book 16m goes live in my bookstore in less then 3 weeks! Other retailers will release March 17th. Are you ready?



To her neighbors, Jennifer Johnson seemed odd, just a little off. How could she not? Her entire existence was a lie.

While the child at her breast was really hers, the husband by her side…not so much. They shared the same innocuous last name—second most common in these United States—but he was not the father of her child, or the love of her life.

Those honors were held by a dead man.

The Johnsons didn’t bother with baby gates because of their dog, whom they called Buddy, the second most popular dog name in the country. Tall as a Great Dane with the snout of a collie, the markings of a Siberian husky, and the thick coat of a wolf with one blue eye and one brown, that dog monitored the baby as if he were part of some kind of military operation. It was adorable.

Buddy wasn’t fixed, though, something noted by the Homeowners Association. A discussion ensued as to whether he was even allowed to be in the neighborhood, such a large, menacing-looking dog with such big balls. Is that what Hidden Bush was all about?

Of course, Mrs. Katagan’s sin-red tulips came up. Unfortunately, there was no stipulation as to the color of plants in the bylaws, so while it irked her neighbors to see such glossy, colorful petals, the tastefully muted tones of their homes and their own plantings reassured them that all was well and good in the neighborhood. Mrs. Katagan was a widow, though; it did seem uncommonly brash to grow such flowers.

Once the neighbors got to know the dog and saw how devoted and sweet-natured he was, they quickly forgot about his balls.

And the husband, John Johnson, everyone liked him. Tall, fit, and handsome, he had beers with the men and helped women with their groceries—didn’t even have to be asked. He’d just start grabbing bags, talking about the weather, or something pleasant from the news.

He worked from home, some kind of remote job. He said they’d chosen this community because they liked it, which made people feel good about them. The world was changing, after all. Working remotely wasn’t that odd. They’d let Mrs. Katagan’s flowers pass; they could let Mr. Johnson’s unconventional work life go. The Johnsons could live anywhere, and they’d chosen Hidden Bush…that said something good about the neighborhood for sure. For absolute sure.

The wife was a bit odd, though, everyone had to admit. And they did, as often as possible in hushed whispers. She ran more than was probably healthy. Nursed that baby still…and it was ten months now; the boy, James, was walking.

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson shared the housework as far as anyone could tell, but Mrs. Johnson never mentioned a job…shouldn’t she do all the housework if he was the one working? Why did he so often do the shopping? And he’d been seen folding laundry under the flickering light of their TV at night…by a neighbor on a dog walk. She wasn’t spying. Not at all. It was a mere coincidental glimpse.

The Johnsons never went on dates. Seemed like Mrs. Johnson didn’t ever leave that baby. Many women suspected that Mr. Johnson needed to be saved from his wife…but to be truthful, they needed to be saved from their own marriages and were really just projecting.

After all, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson weren’t real, remember?


I’m so excited for this release! I LOVE this book on so many levels. And I can’t wait for you all to read it–I think you’re going to love it too.

Jamie, my business manager, and I are going to discuss all the juicy details on March 31st. We have a poll going in the group to pick a time that works for the most people. Go enter your vote.


Not caught up on the series yet. You still have time to catch up.

Pay what you want for the first 8 ebooks or digital audiobooks. Save 40% on the paperbacks:

Need the next box set? Take advantage of this exclusive set of books 9-14:

And here is a link to Undefeated, Sydney Rye Mysteries Book 16

Have a great week!


P.S. Jagged Truth, Sydney Rye Mysteries Book 17, is now available for preorder. Check out this amazing cover—we love it. 😍

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