Thursday, March 17, 2022

Hush, My Darling by Winter Austin - Book Tour + Giveaway

Hush, My Darling (Benoit and Dayne Mystery Book 2)
Winter Austin

289 Pages
Tule Publishing
January 27, 2022

Book Links:


Sometimes, the past starts to bleed into the future…

Dark memories haunt Eckardt County Deputy Lila Dayne. Two years ago, she survived a serial killer’s attempt to add her to his growing list of victims in Chicagoland, but the fight cost her more than just time lost to surgeries and rehab. Now she’s finally beginning to connect with the people in this small section of southeast Iowa, even if she can still sense him watching her.

Sheriff Elizabeth Benoit has her sights on bringing down Eckardt County’s corruption when two bodies surface, both bearing striking similarities to the serial killer victims discovered along I-80—and one delivers a personal message for her department. Lila spirals out of control under the pressure, pushing everyone out of her life.

As Elizabeth and her deputies try to bring Lila back into the fold, the killer closes in, marking his next victim. Lila must shake free of her fears and trust those who have supported her—or the killer will finish what he started.

Author Q&A
1.     What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
Streaming services. There are so many shows on a lot of the services I’m behind in watching and I’m trying to catch up. Takes away from the writing when I’m watching, but they do feed the ole imagination.


2.    If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
It’s going to take a long time to get to your goal, but you never give up. It’s a lot harder than it looks too.


3.    Favorite childhood memory involving books?
Most every memory I have involved books. When I went horseback riding, I pretended to be reliving scenes in the westerns I was reading at the time. (I rode alone most of the time for this work and had a fantastic horse who knew where he was going.) Books have always been a part of my life even from an early age. My parents read to me when I was a baby, and when I was strong enough to sit on my own and crawl around, my mom would find me with a book in my lap and babbling out the story to myself.


4.    If you could dine with any literary character, who would it be and why?
Only one?! If I had to choose only one, I guess it would be Walt Longmire from the Longmire series. I have a penchant for getting old war dogs to tell me their stories, some they have never revealed to anyone else, and I think I’d get Walt to reveal a few. Also, he’s so much like one of my great uncles it would be like reliving my childhood all over again. A few drinks at the Red Pony with Henry and I’d be in heaven.


5.    Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
Yes, I did. It’s a part of me I’ve revealed a few times, but it all stems back to reading my first Walter Farley Black Stallion book and learning he had become an author at a young age. Then I earned the right to go to a young writer’s conference with a mystery, all very 4th grade-ish. The love of writing and a sense of purpose was cemented. And here I am today, living my dream.


6.    If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Crazy, tenacious, chatterbox.


7.    What is your most unusual writing quirk?
I must have the right soundtrack playing while I write. I live and die on that hill at times, and writing will come to a grinding halt if I don’t have the perfect music playing for the scene environment. There have been hours wasted while I scan for music to play and eventually, I end up down rabbit holes that result in no writing done and the time gone. This process is usually really bad when I start writing on a new project, as I grind through to the meat of the story it gets easier, and the soundtrack is set.


8.    What’s one movie you like recommending to others?
It’s usually not a movie, it’s a TV series: Yellowstone. However, the creator and producer Taylor Sheridan has done movies and the one I always go back to is Wind River from him. I recommend anything by Taylor Sheridan because I am enthralled with the man’s creative genius. I love to study others’ work and learn how to better my creative skills, but if it’s solid acting and writing, I want people to appreciate the great work behind it all.


9.    If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be?
Well, since I’m a farm gal, and have had a lot of the animals that I love to keep as a pet, I’m really not sure I have one. Though, I’d love to get my own farm property and keep a few horses and cattle for my own.


1.     How do you select the names of your characters?
Names are usually picked in regard to family heritage and setting location. Once I have a few narrowed down, I let the characters tell me who they really are and go from there.


2.    What are your top 5 favorite movies?
v The Man from Snowy River

v John Wick

v Zombieland

v All the MCU movies

v Wind River


3.    If you could live in any time period, what would it be and why?
1850-1900’s As bad as death and sickness were along with war and hate, I feel this was my time period. I’ve always wanted to brave those wilds of western America and live among the people there. I’d love to hope that I would not be a product of my upbringing and be exactly like I am now, but it’s hard to say.


4.    What is your favorite genre to read?
I’ve got a wide range, but I always go back to my thrillers and historicals. My tastes have changed over the years, but mysteries have never gone out of style for me.


5.    When did you write your first book?
I want to say it was the handwritten western I wrote the summer before I started high school. I wrote a lot of stories and fan fiction—though I didn’t know that was what I was doing at the time—but my first real book had to be that western.


6.    What sparks your creativity/how do you get your ideas?
Reading and watching shows that are inline with what I’m writing at the time. I need that creative outlet and that’s where I get it. Listening to music while I’m driving to and from work helps a lot with the imagination and fuels future scenes in my books too. Real life will filter in as well, adding to that adage of What if?


7.    What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Just nap. I’m so busy all the time with work, family, my daughter’s show cattle schedule and writing, just decompressing and taking a nap is nice. I love to cook and bake too, but those are taking a backseat to all the other things in my life.


8.    If you could travel anywhere in the world to write, where would you go?
I have an open invitation to come to Ireland to my brother-in-law’s little cattle farm on the coast. He offered to build me a cabin facing the ocean and let me have run of the place. I’m waiting for the day to take him up on that offer. After that, it’s wide open, because both my husband and I would love to just travel parts of Europe and explore our European heritage.


Author Bio:

Winter Austin perpetually answers the question: "were you born in the winter?" with a flat "nope." Having recently changed her address back near her hometown, Winter has stepped into the chaotic world of a full-time wife, mom, author, coach, and employee. With her ability to verbally spin a vivid and detailed story, Winter has translated that into writing deadly romantic thrillers. Combining her love of all things rural, agricultural, and military, she's turned her small town life upside down.

To keep up with Winter's recent releases join her newsletter:


Author Links:



A copy of The Killer In Me and Hush, My Darling

Hush, My Darling




  1. I am totally into thrillers and murder mysteries. This twist where the killer is stalking a victim not killed in the initial attempt... I like it!


Please try not to spam posts with the same comments over and over again. Authors like seeing thoughtful comments about their books, not the same old, "I like the cover" or "sounds good" comments. While that is nice, putting some real thought and effort in is appreciated. Thank you.