"Mystery, suspense, romance, and just an enjoyable read." Secrets by @demeter94


by Barbara Winkes

Genre: Thriller

To save your life…would you trust a stranger with your secret? 

Disillusioned with the direction her life is going, Marsha Taylor wants to get away, to find out what’s left of her dreams. Picking up a hitchhiker along the way wasn’t her intention, but Jessie, a woman with troubles of her own, is hard to resist. 

A mishap on the road forces them to make a stop in a small town called Diamond Lake. Residents are on edge since a brutal murder happened in the area not long ago. Everyone has their secrets…some of them are deadly.

An excerpt from


Marsha couldn’t find the bracelet. It should be in her purse she’d kept with her at all times during the day. She had emptied all pockets, to no avail. Marsha never took it out, and it had been there when she’d packed for the trip. She was fairly surprised at tearing up over this discovery. Maybe she was just exhausted. If she didn’t find it in the morning, she’d go back to the police station and report it.

Marsha flashed back on her stop at the diner, before Jessie had come rushing in. Had someone watched her? What was the purpose of holding her up, and how could they have known about the bracelet? Too many questions.

She felt a little guilty about taking the bed, even though Jessie had said she didn’t mind. She’d collapsed on the couch, asleep within minutes. It looked comfortable enough, not worse in any case than the sagging mattress of the bedroom’s queen-sized bed. Marsha pushed back the covers and took off her shirt, lying back in just her underwear, waiting for sleep to come.

Inevitably, she wondered about the woman in the other room.

Maybe she simply needed a distraction, from life in general, if not the fact that her plans had been abruptly altered. She’d seen her share of vicious vandalism on patrol, not so much in her private life. It was disconcerting.

Jessie’s story was too, in a way. With friends who treated a person that way, there wasn’t much of a need for enemies, as the saying went. Her emotions had been genuine, but the story hadn’t been complete by far. Marsha might find out the rest in the next few days, or never. She’d been pitying herself lately, Marsha realized.

Many things hadn’t gone her way, for sure.

When Sandy left her, she’d been sad and disappointed. She’d chosen to take a spontaneous vacation, not driven from her home by anyone. Worse things could happen to a person than bad choices in career and relationships. Marsha pressed her face into the pillow, feeling lonely even with an intriguing stranger in the other room. She might have used the opportunity. She wasn’t sure if she could trust her that much. The thought was tempting, and Marsha allowed herself to get lost in the fantasy for a moment… The scream had her on her feet within seconds, her heart pounding.

Here's what

Fans are saying

I enjoyed Secrets the most of all of Ms. Winkes' books that I've read. I loved all of the twists and turns and the slow reveal of everyone's backgrounds. 

I like detectives and other main characters who have brains and actually use them, as the "good" ones do in "Secrets." 

Character development was fine, too, especially that of the serial killer. Using their own thoughts/words to inform the reader was very effective for me.

I liked the way the book slowly built up to the end especially the way it switched from character to character at the conclusion. Mystery, suspense, romance, and just an enjoyable read.

Author Bio

Barbara Winkes

Barbara Winkes, a psychologist/trauma counselor, left her native Germany to live with her wife in Qu├ębec City. Her debut novel "Autumn Leaves" and the follow-up, "Winter Storm", published by Eternal Press, tell the love story between two women in a small town, where neighbors take an interest in the life of others.