BLOOD WOUNDS by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Start with a catchy title: it’s hard to imagine two more evocative words than “blood” and “wounds.”  Put them together and you get Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer, a book that just got a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.  (Pfeffer is the author of many, many other books, including the acclaimed Life as We Knew It.)
Willa Coffey is 16 and lives with her mom, step-dad, and two older step sisters.  It’s a happily blended family - at least on the surface.  Willa has had no contact with the father her mother left when she was four. As far as she is concerned, she has no memories of that time.  
But then Dwayne “Budge” Coffey murders his new wife and two of their little girls. Taking the third, he seems to be heading from Texas to Ohio, where Willa lives.  Willa and her mom find themselves under police protection, their lives turned upside down.  
The book isn’t so much a thriller as it is an exploration of the things people chose not to say to each other, and the lies they tell themselves.  
Willa’s blended family may not be as happy as it seems from the outside. And whenever the stress gets to be too much, Willa cuts herself.  When Willa goes to Texas to attend the funerals of the step-sisters she has never met, she also gets a glimpse of the life she so easily could have had.  

Will the truths Willa and her old and new families have been hiding come out?  Can Willa find true happiness - or will everything fall apart?

About Susan

Award-winning author Susan Beth Pfeffer knows she's lucky — she found what she wanted to do at an early age, and she's never done anything else. Born in New York City, she grew up in the city and its nearby suburbs and spent summers in the Catskill Mountains. When she was six, her father published a book on constitutional law. Susan decided she, too, wanted to be a writer, so she wrote her first story about the love between an Oreo cookie and a pair of scissors. Her first published work took a little bit longer: she wrote the young adult novel Just Morgan during her final semester at New York University, and published it the following year.

Since then, Susan has been a full-time writer for young people. She has won numerous awards and citations for her work, which ranges from picture books to middle-grade and young-adult novels and includes both contemporary and historical fiction. Susan has also written a book for adults on writing for children. When she is not working, she enjoys watching movies, both new and old, and collecting movie memorabilia, reading biographies and histories, and eating foods that are bad for her. She lives in Middletown, New York, with her two cats, Alexander and Emily.

You can visit Susan at