The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz

The Writing Retreat is an imaginative dark story of the pressures of writing a best-seller, what some writers will do to obtain that achievement, and how others through no fault of their own have writer’s block for one reason or another.

Alex has always wanted to be a writer. For a while, she could crank out short stories overnight. But for the past year she has worked at a job she hates and has not been able to write a word. It seems when she and her best friend Wren ended their relationship, something Alex still does not understand, she lost her mojo. Alex in desperation tried to make amends with Wren, but unfortunately made everything worse.

So, when a friend has a book party for her first book, Alex goes, sees Wren there and flees. Her friend who feels terrible for her decides to submit an old short story she wrote a while back to a writing retreat being given by a prestigious, acclaimed horror writer named Roza Vallo, whom Alex has admired since she was just a child. She feels this could perhaps jump start her creativity and decides to attend the month-long retreat.

Unfortunately, when she arrives, to her surprise, she sees her ex-best friend among the other attendees. Well, this will surely add to her writer’s block! But being able to be in this beautiful old mansion with Roza Vallo seems to put her anxiety at bay. For now.

But as the women begin their writing journey, not everything feels right. Roza’s expectations are ridiculously high, her daily word counts enormous. They are required to write a full novel in this short time. The prize though, too good to pass up. A publishing deal.

Things begin to go downhill very quickly. Wren seems to be badmouthing Alex every chance she gets; Alex can’t seem to write because she can’t stop thinking about Wren and Roza for the most part is not very encouraging.

When she finally decides on a storyline, Roza becomes interested. Unfortunately, she also seems a bit unhinged. Then, one of the writer’s disappears during a blizzard and cannot be found. There is no phone service, and they are unable to call the police. Strange occurrences begin to happen and everything and everyone seems out of control.

The women are now faced with their own real life horror story, with all of them being terrorized with no reasoning as to why. Is this part of the writing experience? Or could there be something more sinister going on??

The Writing Retreat plot is dripping with anxiety, fear, a race to the finish and quite the page turner with a terrific explosive ending you don’t want to miss!

Thank you #NetGalley #Atria/EmilyBestlerBooks #JuliaBartz #TheWritingRetreat for the advanced copy.

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