To any authors/publishers/ tour companies that are looking for the reviews that I signed up for please know this is very hard to do. I will be stopping reviews temporarily. My husband passed away February 1st and my new normal is a bit scary right now and I am unable to concentrate on a book to do justice to the book and authors. I will still do spotlight posts if you wish it is just the reviews at this time. I apologize for this, but it isn't fair to you if I signed up to do a review and haven't been able to because I can't concentrate on any books. Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time. I appreciate all of you. Kathleen Kelly April 2nd 2024

17 May 2023

The Stepfamily Silicon Valley Series Book 1 by Bonnie Traymore Book Tour!


The Stepfamily

Silicon Valley Series Book 1

by Bonnie Traymore

Genre: Psychological Thriller 

Laura Foster's not the type to go looking for trouble. But it seems to be looking for her.

Laura’s on the verge of living the life she’s always wanted. At the age of twenty-seven, she put her career plans on hold, married handsome widower Peter Foster, settled down in his Silicon Valley home, and helped raise his two children.

Twelve years later, it’s her turn to shine. Her career is thriving, the kids are out of the house, Peter’s company is on the verge of an FDA approval that could garner a windfall in stock gains for them, and she’s training for the Ironman world championship in Kona.

But when a series of freak accidents can no longer be chalked up to bad luck, it becomes clear that someone is out to get her. Is it someone from work, jealous of her promotion? Or is it perhaps someone more dangerous? Someone closer to home?

Laura has no enemies that she knows of, but she senses that husband Peter is keeping something from her. And when she starts digging into the family’s past, she ends up with more questions than answers. But with the walls closing in on her, she needs to find out why someone would want to harm her…and what really happened to his first wife.

Before it's too late.

What readers are saying:

"This book had a bit of everything! It had suspense, intrigue, murder, mystery, and a few crazy twists and turns! The storyline was very interesting and kept me glued to my Kindle!" Netgalley Reader

"I devoured this in a few short hours. Very easy to read and the story keeps you coming back for one more chapter." Netgalley Reader

Excellent and gripping - recommended. The author's writing style is truly engaging and the plot is well-crafted, with plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end..... I def recommend The Stepfamily to anyone who enjoys a really good psychological thriller.” - Amazon Reader

I read The Stepfamily by Bonnie Traymore in a day and a half; only much-needed sleep had me putting this book down....Some jaw-dropping moments took me by surprise....I will read more by this author. I give this a 5 out of 5 stars. - Amazon Reader


I’ve never felt at home in this family because it’s not really mine. But I try. Why? I don’t really know. I could speak up. I could protest. I could leave. But I don’t. 

My husband is tenser than usual this morning. I can see it in his jawline when he walks into the kitchen.

“How’s the approval coming?” I ask.

“Oh, you know, the usual hurdles. Nothing to worry about,” he replies. He tries to hide it, but his discomfort breaks through. His voice is a little singsongy, always a sign that something’s up.

He walks over to the coffee pot, pours himself a cup, and pops a slice of bread in the toaster. A dark blue tie hangs loose around his neck. He never wears one. Hardly anyone in Silicon Valley does, so it must be an important day. But for some reason, I don’t think his unease has anything to do with work.

“Got a big meeting today?” I ask.

“The board wants an update,” Peter replies.

“Aren’t you just waiting for the FDA?”


“So, isn’t that the update?”

“Yeah.” He smiles. “But you know how they are.” 

Then he shrugs, and I smile back. He butters his toast and pours some more coffee into a travel mug. I can tell that’s all I’m going to get out of him. He’s a calm man—most of the time. But he does have a temper, and even after twelve years, I still can’t tell what might set it off. I can tell he’s stressed, so I leave it alone. 

I watch him walk over to the large beveled mirror that hangs in our dining room. He fastens his tie in one fluid motion. It looks sexy. Masculine. Commanding. The way he snaps it up and down at the same time to force it into compliance. He’s older than me, but he still gets my heart racing with his salt-and-pepper hair and chiseled physique. His sleeves are rolled up a bit, exposing his muscular forearms. 

He walks back to the kitchen and wolfs down his toast. Standing at the island countertop, I continue to make a veggie sandwich to pack for lunch. He places his dish in the sink behind me. We don’t speak. It’s a comfortable silence, but I can’t shake the feeling that something is up.

I turn around to face him. “Well, I’m sure you’ll dazzle them.” I smile and rest my hand on Peter’s bicep. I run my thumb across its taut surface.

“I don’t know about that.” He places his hand on my shoulder, leans over, and gives me a peck on the lips. “Have a good day.” Then he grabs his coffee and heads out the side door to the garage.

I hear his car start and the garage door rise up. We have a two-car garage, but there’s only space for one car because he’s got all kinds of tools and sports equipment that take up the other half. It was like that when we started dating. Only one car in the garage. Twelve years later, my car still sits in the driveway. 

I don’t belong here. I’m still a visitor. Just like my car.


I’m searching through my clothes rack, second-guessing myself once again. I turn to look at myself in the full-length mirror that hangs on the opposite side of my closet. My navy skirt sits just above the knee, and I worry that people might think I’m playing up my sexy legs. But I’m not. It’s just how my legs look. I don’t want to wear pants. My blouse is modest, and I tell myself to stop being so insecure. I pull out a few different pairs of shoes from the cubbies and try them on. I land on strappy sandals with a medium heel. They’re dark, almost the same color as my hair. I look professional but in a confident, sexy way. It’s fine.

 I have a big day today too. My career is really taking off. Finally. I was so young when I met Peter. Only twenty-seven. I’d just finished graduate school, a marketing MBA, and at first, there was too much going on in our lives to do much of anything with it. But I’ve made up for lost time. And I recently got a big promotion. Laura Sato Foster, Vice President of Monetization. Is that what’s making him uncomfortable? The fact that I might not need him anymore? He’s always been a big supporter of my career. It can’t be that. But something is bothering him, that’s for sure. He even rejected my advances last night, which he’s never done before. He just turned fifty, and I hope it’s not a sign of what’s to come.

I make my way downstairs and out the front door to the driveway where my car sits. It’s a silver Audi A6, so it’s not an over-the-top choice, especially for this area, but it’s certainly garage-worthy. I plop my satchel in the trunk, and then I notice something. A small stream of fluid is running out from under the car. We live in Los Altos Hills near the top of a long road—a very winding and steep one. Our driveway also slants down a bit; otherwise, I don’t think I would have noticed the fluid. Thank goodness for gravity.

I’m a bit neurotic, the kind of person who runs back into the house to make sure the stove is off. I always pump my brakes before I back out of the driveway. Losing brakes on a hill like the one we live on could be fatal, and while that trickle of liquid could be anything, I have a sinking feeling in my stomach.

I open the car door and get behind the wheel. I press the start button and see the brake indicator light up. Then I step hard on the brake pedal. There’s a slight resistance at first, but then my foot sinks to the floor. I realize then that it must be the brake fluid—one of my biggest fears. I feel a strange tingling in the back of my head.

I try not to catastrophize, but it’s a pretty new car, although it’s due to be serviced. Do brake lines start leaking for no reason? Probably not. Even before I call for help, I know this isn’t good, and my stomach lurches as I consider the implications. It’s quite possible that someone has tampered with my brake line. 

Someone who’s out to get me?

Amazon * Bookbub * Goodreads

Bonnie Traymore is an author, educator, and consultant. A world traveler, she loves to include vivid settings in her novels. She is also an accomplished non-fiction writer, historian, and educator with a doctorate in United States History. She has taught at top independent schools in Honolulu, Silicon Valley, and New York City for over 20 years, and she has taught history courses at Columbia University and the University of Hawaii. Originally from the New York City area, she resides in Honolulu with her husband but frequents the Hudson Valley and New York City areas.


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  1. I would so love to read this one this summer.
    heather hgtempaddy

  2. The story sounds really good. I enjoyed the blurb.

  3. Good luck to the author for the success of the book!



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