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That Was Then

Novelist M.K. Tod's pulse-pounding new thriller is not to be missed

I’m excited to welcome Canadian novelist M.K. Tod to the blog today in celebration of her exciting new thriller, That Was Then. I’m a big fan of M.K.’s historical novels, and I’ve heard fantastic buzz about this new contemporary thriller! Read on for more details about the book and learn why M.K. pivoted from historical fiction to contemporary fiction in order to tell this compelling story.

That Was Then

Eight years of secrets. Eight years of surviving. And a discovery that pits identical twins against a rapist and a right-wing conspiracy group.

“A page-turning tale filled with rich characters, family secrets, love, politics, ambition, and risky journalistic pursuits.” Lisa Barr, New York Times bestselling author of Woman on Fire

Andrea Larson never imagined she would have to face her worst nightmare again. But when she discovers that her rapist is running for Governor of Massachusetts, she knows she can’t stay silent. With the help of her identical twin, Andrea hatches a plan to take down Brad Greiner and expose his true nature to the world.

Set against the backdrop of the cutthroat world of politics, That Was Then follows Andrea as she infiltrates Greiner’s inner circle, using her skills as a journalist to gather evidence against him. But the closer she gets, the more dangerous it becomes. The stakes get even higher when a group intent on controlling American democracy gets involved.

Someone knows what the twins are up to. And they’re closing in.

Where to buy the book:

Amazon US 

Amazon Canada 



Goodreads link 

Seeds of a Story:

What compelled M.K. Tod to write a contemporary thriller? In her own words, here’s the scoop:

Stories emerge like sunbeams allowing bursts of light to illuminate the unexpected before disappearing to obscure the way forward. In the case of my latest novel, That Was Then, the first sunbeam came from an article I read about identical twins while eating breakfast. What drew me to that particular article? I can’t recall. Nor can I recall its specifics. But I do recall the feeling of excitement.

Aha. A story featuring identical twins. What might that be? What kind of story would I want to write that readers would want to read?

Historical fiction had been my world. I’d been writing, reading and blogging about historical fiction for eight or nine years by then. But the world that called out to me for this novel was the world of today. The first tagline I came up with was: Identical twins. One disappears while the other takes over her life. The literary agent I spoke with loved the idea and That Was Then was born.

Why would a woman disappear? Why would her identical sister agree to step out of her own life to help? Clearly it had to be something serious, maybe something momentous.

In 2017 and 2018 #MeToo was everywhere. Women were marching. Women were protesting. Women were posting their stories. In late 2014, Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi was arrested and charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking. He was acquitted in March 2016. Women across Canada – including me – were outraged.

In May 2018, Harvey Weinstein surrendered to the police after being indicted for rape and criminal sexual act. Other men – significant public figures – were being exposed for sexual assault and rape. It was a powerful, society-changing time.

Sexual assault happens to far too many women. A huge proportion of them do not take action. With these facts in mind, I decided that the twin who disappears – Andrea Larsen – would choose to do so when she learns that the man who’d raped her eight years earlier announces his candidacy for state governor. Her twin Emma decides to help by impersonating Andrea so that no one – in particular the men who are threatening Andrea – will know.

Of course, I added many twists and turns to the plot – readers expect that of thrillers – and wrote many, many drafts. But I’m pleased to announce that That Was Then is ‘out there’ on all the usual retail sites. I hope you’ll read it and let me know what you think.

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