Meet my pets

Having grown up with dogs, I never considered getting a cat. But when someone in my family said they knew of a kitten who needed rescuing, I didn’t hesitate.

Joey joined my husband and I at 10 weeks old and he was our first pet together as newlyweds. He’s now 13 and he’s been an amazing first pet. He taught us how crazy cats are! He understands the word ‘sit!’ and will sit for his dinner, he wakes us up at 4am every morning in summer because he’s itching to get outside into the garden, and he can sleep for 20 hours straight if no one opens a food wrapper! He was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism so he’s now on daily medication which, thankfully, he takes well. He’s a very greedy cat and will eat everyone else’s leftovers no matter what brand or type of food so nothing goes to waste in our house!

When Joey was 4 years old we heard of another kitten who needed rescuing, and so Sookie (we named her after Sookie Stackhouse from the True Blood series) came to live with us at around 10 weeks old. Between you and me, she’s my favourite because she has so much personality. She sleeps on my desk every day as I write and she’s very lazy. She’s not interested in being outside unless we’re out there and it’s sunny. Like Joey, she also loves her food and gains weight easily, especially as she has one of those pouches that hangs low under her belly and jiggles as she runs. She wakes us up with her midnight zoomies around the house (because she sleeps all day she’s a night owl!). Although she’s very loving it’s all on her terms; we can only touch her if she’s in the mood and she dislikes her younger brother! Not in an aggressive way, she just won’t let him near her and throws him daggers with her well-rehearsed look of contempt! Which leads me nicely to Teddy-bear.

We rescued Teddy when Joey was 10 and Sookie was 6 and he has turned our lives upside down! He’s half Maine Coon and he’s got so much more energy than the other two. He literally never stops wanting to play. And if we don’t play with him, he’ll chase Joey or Sookie to try to get them to play with him. He’s not aggressive at all, he just needs a lot of attention. Perhaps because he was rejected by his mother as a kitten and is the only surviving kitten from the litter. He was very small when he came to live with us. He’s very attached to me and although he’s not much of a lap cat, every night at midnight he comes to find me in bed, lies across my chest and rubs his face across mine continuously whilst purring for ten minutes straight. Then he goes off to sleep on my feet, next to the other two.

I probably love my cats a little too much because I added them into one of my crime novels (Won’t You Save Me), as the pets of my forensic technician. But readers loved it!

I can’t imagine not having a cat on my desk as I write. They really are the best companions and someone to talk to during the lonely long hours of writing a novel.

Until next time! x

New release: Cry For Help

It’s publication day for book 2 in my Detective Madison Harper crime thriller series – Cry For Help.

This book starts where book 1 (Shadow Falls) ends, but you don’t need to have read book 1 in order to enjoy Cry For Help.

Madison and her new friend – PI Nate Monroe – have travelled to Madison’s home town of Lost Creek, Colorado in order to find out who framed her for murder seven years ago. She’s also looking for the son she lost to the care system as a result of her wrongful conviction. It’s all very exciting and twisty as we race to see who she can trust and who has been causing all her problems! Give it a try – it’s available on amazon (and Kindle Unlimited) and from all good book shops. Available in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

Here’s the book cover and back page blurb:

Shivering in the early morning chill, the caretaker flips the switch on the Ferris wheel and stumbles back in shock. The teenage girl’s body is slumped in a halo of pretty colored lights, long red hair spilling over her tear-stained cheeks, her eyes fixed forever on her dangling feet.

When teenager Nikki Jackson’s body is found at an amusement park, just hours after Fourth of July fireworks lit up the night sky, the Lost Creek police rule her death as suicide—a devastating final act from a girl who had lost all hope. But the absence of the knife used to make the wounds on her delicate wrists makes Detective Madison Harper think otherwise. And the partial fingerprint found on the girl’s face proves her right. Someone else was with Nikki in her final moments

Back home in Colorado for the first time in seven years to investigate the murder of a woman with ties to the son she lost to the care system, the pressure is on for Madison to work both cases at once. Fearing the team has missed a vital clue, Madison searches the crime scene alone and finds the last thing she ever expected: a note proving the victims knew each other, and that the cases are linked. Is this a coincidence, proof a dangerous murderer is on the loose, or a trap set to lead Madison off the trail?

It’s only when Madison finally finds the knife used to harm Nikki, tucked in an almost impossible to find hiding place, that she knows she is closing-in on a twisted killer. But the last person she expects to see dragged into the department in handcuffs is her own missing son…

An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller that will have you sleeping with the lights on. Addictive reading for anyone who loves Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Melinda Leigh.

It’s had such wonderful pre-release 5 star reviews already:

Woohoo! I was totally blown away so shockinglyincrediblyamazinglygood… I hardly had time to fasten my seatbelt before I was thrown right in the middle of the action. 

OMG!… I never saw that coming… I barely had the time to pick up my jaw from the floor… Great, great book!’ B for Bookreview, 5 stars

Oh man, what a rollercoaster of a ride jaw-dropping and edge-of-the-seat… couldn’t put it down till it was finished!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wow, wow, wow! I loved this book…’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Absolutely LOVED… Kept me guessing right up to the end. Non-stop from page one. This is a must-read!’ Owl Books, 5 stars

Instantly hooked I literally couldn’t put it down Fantastic book!’ Life Between the Lines, 5 stars

A brilliant rollercoaster of a ride… I read this book in one sitting in less than a day and loved every minute of it.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

A can’t-put-down book! I read late into to the nightbecause I just had to know what the ending was going to be.’ Shortbook Thyme, 5 stars

Yes, yes, yes!… I love it!… Superb… perfect!… This thrilling and extraordinary book should be read by every crime lover.’ Tove Reads, 5 stars

Wow!!! unputdownable. From start to finish I was hooked… twists and turnsI did not see coming… brilliantly suspenseful…Would highly recommend.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wow!… I just read this book in one go and I simply couldn’t put it down!!!!’ Tropical Girl Reads Books, 5 stars

Phenomenal… I could not put it down… took my breath away and I gasped out loud.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Let me know if you enjoy it! xx

My latest book release: Shadow Falls

It’s publication day for the first book in my new crime series with my new publisher (Bookouture)!

Here’s the official blurb:

You thought your little girl was safe at summer camp. You were wrong…

When Detective Madison Harper arrives at a remote summer camp in Shadow Falls, northern California, her heart breaks for Jenny, the sweet little girl last seen splashing in the lake with her friends before she vanished. Peering into the silent cabins filled with rows of neatly made beds, Madison knows this idyllic place is hiding a terrible secret.

The girl’s parents are distraught, and the local police have no leads—they desperately need Madison’s help. She’ll do whatever it takes to crack this case, because it’s the only way back to the son she lost to the care system years ago when she was framed for a crime she didn’t commit.

But with the camp staff keeping tight-lipped and her new partner on the edge of a breakdown, Madison can’t find any truth to her instinct that there is more to Jenny’s perfect parents than meets the eye. Until she discovers a disturbing family portrait Jenny drew at the local library. Was this angelic girl more troubled than anybody knew? Was she in danger from those she trusted most?

One thing is certain, if Madison doesn’t find the answers soon, the lives of more innocent children will be at risk…

If that has piqued your interest you can get the book on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited in: paperback, ebook or audiobook. The ebook is currently only 99p/99¢ but not for long so grab it while you can!

Book 2 in the series – Cry for Help – is now available to pre-order on amazon and will be released on 22nd Feb 2021.

Enjoy!

Wendy xx

2020 end of year review

I hope you all had a relaxing, peaceful Christmas. Like most people my plans were scuppered by you-know-what, so my husband and I were alone over the whole period. It will be a quiet New Year also as I’m too tired to stay up until midnight these days! To be honest I’ve only ever enjoyed one New Year’s Eve and that was on a plane over the Atlantic Ocean coming home from getting married alone in New York. The pilot held a countdown and the whole plane was served champagne. Understandably, nothing since has ever lived up to that!

With the year drawing to a close I always like to write an end of year review to show how far I’ve come and to reassure myself I haven’t wasted too much time! It’s safe to say 2020 has been my most productive writing year yet. Not only because I’ve stayed home all year and haven’t had any holidays or breaks away or even been to many shops, but also because I’ve had so many ideas for books and I’m finding that the more I write, the more I want to write.

So this is what I’ve been up to in 2020:

✔️ Had one book published in ebook and audiobook (Won’t You Save Me – Dean Matheson book 3).

✔️ Changed publisher (to Bookouture).

✔️ Signed a two-book contract for my new Detective Madison Harper series at a time when I’d only written book 1 in the series.

✔️ Written two full length novels (books 2 and 3 in the series).

✔️ Re-written and edited books 1 and 2 in the series ready for publication in Jan and Feb 2021.

✔️ Outlined books 4 and 5 in the series.

✔️ Written various articles and short stories.

✔️ Documented my life and reactions to the pandemic on video camera, from the minute the virus reached the UK.

Anything else…

✔️ Oh, and I survived a global pandemic. It’s no wonder I’m feeling a little exhausted!

For 2021 I’m looking forward to the publication of books 1 and 2, and to finishing books 3 and 4 completely. Obviously, I’m looking forward to the end of the pandemic, like everyone else, but there’s much else to be hopeful for. I’m really looking forward to my garden springing into life from March onwards, as it was a real source of comfort this year. I’m already planning which vegetables and plants I’ll be growing in my potting shed while my cats keep me company on the cold, frosty last days of winter. And who knows, perhaps by the end of summer we might be allowed to travel again, even if only within our own countries.

All that’s left to say is – to anyone who has read one of my books this year, or who interacts with me on social media; thank you for keeping me going and motivating me with your kind words. I appreciate your book reviews, support, cat memes and friendship.

Here’s hoping we have a healthy New Year and a better 2021 with no more ‘unprecedented’ moments.

Take care,

Wendy x

My books

Cover reveal for Cry for Help

Exciting news – today is the launch of the cover reveal and pre-order link for my latest book: Cry for Help.

It’s book 2 in the Detective Madison Harper crime series from Bookouture and will be released on 22nd Feb 2021. This series follows Detective Madison Harper and PI Nate Monroe.

Here’s the blurb and cover:

Shivering in the early morning chill, the caretaker flips the switch on the Ferris wheel and stumbles back in shock. The teenage girl’s body is slumped in a halo of pretty colored lights, long red hair spilling over her tear-stained cheeks, her eyes fixed forever on her dangling feet.

When teenager Nikki Jackson’s body is found at an amusement park, just hours after Fourth of July fireworks lit up the night sky, the Lost Creek police rule her death as suicide––a devastating final act from a girl who had lost all hope. But the absence of the knife used to make the wounds on her delicate wrists makes Detective Madison Harper think otherwise. And the partial fingerprint found on the girl’s face proves her right. Someone else was with Nikki in her final moments

Back home in Colorado for the first time in seven years to investigate the murder of a woman with ties to the son she lost to the care system, the pressure is on for Madison to work both cases at once. Fearing the team has missed a vital clue, Madison searches the crime scene alone and finds the last thing she ever expected: a note proving the victims knew each other, and that the cases are linked. Is this a coincidence, proof a dangerous murderer is on the loose, or a trap set to lead Madison off the trail?

It’s only when Madison finally finds the knife used to harm Nikki, tucked in an almost impossible to find hiding place, that she knows she is closing in on a twisted killer. But the last person she expects to see dragged into the department in handcuffs is her own missing son…

An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller that will have you sleeping with the lights on. Addictive reading for anyone who loves Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Melinda Leigh.

Cry for Help is available to pre-order worldwide here from Amazon for just 1.99. Out 22nd Feb 2021.

NaNoWriMo – Can you really write a novel in a month?

It’s that time of year again when writers start thinking about whether or not to attempt the madness that is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), or NaNo for short, and as I’ve participated quite a few times, I have some tips for you.

When I first heard of NaNo about 6 years ago, I laughed, shook my head and thought, ‘Yeah, right. As if you can write a novel in a month.’ I thought if someone finished a whole novel in one month then it would be utter rubbish and unedited. So, I avoided the idea completely…until I joined Twitter.

On Twitter, people take #NaNoWriMo seriously. That made me look into it in more detail and I discovered the point isn’t actually to write a whole novel in a month. It’s to write 50,000 words of a novel during November (the quietest time of the year, apparently, and therefore there should be less distractions). That works out at just 1,667 words per day. Just! So you’re not actually expected to start, finish and edit your novel in one month.

Once I signed up to the website (there are no fees involved), it felt like a challenge I wanted to try. So, on 31st October 2015, I sat down with a notepad and thought about what kind of book I wanted to write. All I had was a character and a location in mind. I didn’t plot or plan any more than that because I’m naturally what Nano-ers call a ‘pantser’, meaning I fly by the seat of my pants! But many people prefer to spend October plotting out their novels in advance so that when the time comes they can fly.

On 1st November, I sat at my computer, opened a blank Word document and started to write. It was easier than I had expected. What followed was 30 frenzied days of trying to fit in 1,667 words a day, around life and a day job. I learned that if you don’t write enough words one day, you can catch up another day. Or, if you’re really organised, you can write in excess of 1,667 words on the glorious days when the words are flowing and plentiful. There’s a great word count tracker on the NaNo website (www.nanowrimo.org) so you can log your progress. Plus, there’s a whole community of people willing to spur you along.

By 1st December I was a nervous wreck! I’d just managed 50k words and I had the shell of a first draft novel. But it wasn’t finished. I needed around another 40k words and many edits before I could consider it finished. I’m happy to report that I did finish it and then I edited it for months and sent it to two publishers. Somehow, both of them offered me a contract and the book has since been published (it’s called Who Cares if They Die and became book 1 of a 3-part series).

I believe NaNo got me into the habit of completing a first draft quickly and I’ve used it every year since.

This is what I’ve learned since participating:

The good:

  • It gets you into the habit of sitting down to write every single day. Something I’d never done before and I loved it – still do.
  • It kick starts a new novel and leaves no time for doubting yourself.
  • You’re less likely to edit as you go because there’s no time to! I love editing as I go but it slows me down completely. I once spent 6 months on the first 30k words of a book, editing it over and over. In the end I had to scrap it all and start again. That’s one of the hardest things to do as a writer but it made the novel much better.
  • The writing community on Twitter is amazing and the #NaNoWriMo hashtag is really encouraging during November. You really feel as though you’re writing with company for a change. It feels like we’re all in it together.

The not-so-good:

  • Writing every day gives me migraines. Staring at a PC all day was bad for my eyes. I should have had more regular breaks from my screen during my first attempt.
  • I exercised much less. My shoulders were aching and my hands turned into claws! Better time management on my part could have solved this and I’ve learned my lesson.
  • You need an understanding partner/family/roommate, because they will probably have to take over most of the housework during November. (Which is a bonus for us!)
  • You’ll want to put your novel to one side in December and not return to it for months! But that’s good, because when you pick it up again you’ll have a fresh perspective, which is invaluable for the editing phase.

So, what I’ve really learned is that while it is possible to write 50k in one month, it’s not really possible to write and edit a whole novel in one month (although I know some writers have mastered this). Also, writing every single day isn’t good for your body, but having a set routine of writing most days, whilst taking the weekend off, is best. NaNo can really get you motivated to start that new novel in a way that’s hard to beat.

If you’ve never tried it and always wondered about it, I highly recommend you give it a go. Even if you just kick start that new novel you’ve been thinking about but don’t make 50k words, it’s more than you’ve got now.

Good luck and see you on the hashtag #NaNoWriMo in November!

Wendy x

Update on my latest crime fiction series

With the harvest of my homegrown pumpkins ready for Halloween, it’s clear autumn is upon us. This is my favourite season as I enjoy dark nights and creepy movies, surrounded by fleeces, cats and pumpkins.

Spring and summer were busy for me because I’ve been hard at work on my latest crime series for Bookouture – which follows Detective Madison Harper and PI Nate Monroe.

I can’t say much about them yet but they certainly make an intriguing pairing and they don’t always get on. Madison and Nate start off as complete strangers in book 1, meeting at a vulnerable time in both their lives, and neither of them wants to trust the other but they have no choice as a child’s life is on the line. That’s pretty much all I can tell you for now, except maybe that – for those of you who loved Rocky from my Dean Matheson series – you’ll be pleased to know there’s a character in this series waiting for you to tell him he’s a good boy. 😉

Book 1 is completely finished – it has a cover and title, it’s been thoroughly edited and it will be released in January 2021. But you don’t have to wait until then to see the cover and blurb! The cover reveal will be held in late October, when it will also be available for pre-order. I’m absolutely in love with the cover, it’s the right mix of creepy and mysterious which perfectly epitomises what the book is about.

Book 2 is written and currently going through rigorous editing and that is due for release in February 2021, with a cover reveal/pre-order availability around late Nov/early Dec.

This book was written during lockdown and I’ve got to say it was the hardest book I’ve ever written. Although I’m at my writing desk every morning at 8am, some days the words just would not come because of what was happening in the world. It was difficult to concentrate and on top of the pandemic I had decided to leave my previous publisher and I hadn’t yet joined Bookouture, so I didn’t even know if book 1 would get published, never mind book 2. That has a big impact on motivation when trying to write a novel but perseverance paid off and writing it became my escape from the news. I knew who I wanted to publish the series (Bookouture) so I only sent it to them and, luckily, I was snapped up! They loved Madison and Nate so much they offered me a 2-book deal.

And books 3 and 4? Well, I’ll start writing book 3 very soon and I have an outline of book 4. It’s exciting to be starting a new story as I’ve spent the whole of this year working on the first 2 books so I’m ready to meet a new villain and see what this one is capable of! With a possible second lockdown looming, writing this will hopefully keep me occupied over winter. With the first lockdown we had amazing warm and sunny weather that tried to tease me away from my desk every day. This time it’ll be cold and dark so it should be easier to sit inside, as long as one of my three cats agrees to sleep on my lap and keep me warm. That’s Teddy-bear with the pumpkins by the way!

So thanks for your support so far and for asking after my new series. Keep your eyes peeled on here and Twitter/Facebook for book 1’s upcoming cover reveal. I just know you’ll love Madison and Nate as much as I do!

Until then, stay safe and warm.

Wendy x

Book giveaway!

Today I have announced a book giveaway on my Twitter and Facebook pages. If you would like the chance to win one of three signed paperback copies of book 1 in my Dean Matheson crime series (Who Cares if They Die) just head on over and follow the instructions. This is open to UK residents only, I’m afraid.

Depending on whether you visit Twitter or Facebook, all you need to do is like/follow my account, share the giveaway post and reply with your fave emoji. Winners picked at random next week.

Good luck!

Here’s the blurb and trailer for this book:

A series of suspicious suicides may be the work of a serial killer in this debut thriller novel featuring Officer Dean Matheson.
When the body of an unidentified woman is found hanging from a tree in the woods of Maple Valley, it looks like a clear case of suicide. But Officer Dean Matheson is unconvinced. Maybe he’s just looking for that big case that will help him make detective. Maybe he’s just trying to avoid his rocky marriage. Or maybe he’s really on to something. Because the closer Matheson looks at the facts of the case, the less they add up.

Then more apparent suicides start cropping up. The victims are all women living on the fringes of society—addicts and criminals nobody would miss. Does anyone really care if they die? Matheson is making it his business to care, and that’s about to make him a target . . .

Books 2 and 3 are out now in ebook and audiobook on all digital platforms. Here they are on Amazon:

Book 2 – Where the Snow Bleeds

Book 3 – Won’t You Save Me

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Book 2 trailer:

Spotlight on: Shadows On The Water by Jo Lambert

For the first time ever I’m delighted to spotlight a new book release on my blog for friend and fellow author – Jo Lambert.

Jo’s latest book Shadows on the Water – book one in her new Cornish Coastal Romance series – was released as an ebook on Amazon yesterday (paperback to follow soon), and the cover is amazing! If you’re heading off to Cornwall for your holiday this year, or if you’re having a staycation and want to pretend you’re in Cornwall, this book is perfect! I mean, just look at this cover:

Shadows on the Water Cover LARGE EBOOK

Blurb:

After the tragic death of her fiancé, Ava Warren is slowly rebuilding her life. She has a supportive family, great friends and a job she loves, managing holiday letting company Estuary Escapes in her home town of Kingswater. Another relationship is the last thing she wants or needs. Until one evening she meets Alex Penhaligon.

Alex’s father Sam owns Heron’s Gate Vineyard and Alex has recently returned from California, where he has been working for the past five years. A case of mistaken identity gets them off to a bad start. But discovering his error, Alex is anxious to make amends and soon persuades Ava that he’s not quite as arrogant as she thinks he is. As their friendship begins to turn into something much deeper, Ava wonders whether she can at last put the past behind her and make a new future with Alex.

But someone is watching. A man who not only thinks Ava should be his but also holds a long term grudge against Alex. And he’s determined to get his own way irrespective of the lengths he has to go to or who gets hurt in the process.

Set in Cornwall Shadows on the Water is a story of family ties, lost love and tangled loyalties.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? You can find this book on Amazon, here:

UK Amazon

US Amazon

Jo’s other books on Amazon

Author Bio:

writer jo lambert

Jo Lambert lives on the eastern edge of the city of Bath. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. She has been writing since 2008. Her first five books, a set of linked romantic sagas following the lives of several families in rural West Somerset, were followed in 2015 by Summer Moved On, a contemporary romance set in South Devon. A sequel, Watercolours in the Rain was published 2017,

In June 2018 Jo signed to Choc Lit and her debut A Cornish Affair, set in North Cornwall was published in 2019 under their Ruby Fiction imprint.

Her latest novel Shadows on the Water is due for publication on 26th July. It is the first in a three book series. She is currently busy working on the second which will be published next year. When she isn’t writing she reads and reviews. She also has an active blog. Jo loves travel, red wine and music and long as it has a great melody and lyrics. Oh and she often takes the odd photograph or two…

Social Media Links:

Website: http://jolambertbooks.com

Blog: http://jolambertwriter.blog

Twitter: @jolambertwriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jolambert185

Instagram: jolambertwriter185

Well that was fun. I might do some other new release blog posts soon!

Thanks for visiting.

Wendy x

 

Bargain alert!

Just taking a breather from writing my latest crime thriller to let you know that all three of my Dean Matheson books are currently on sale on Kobo and Amazon, meaning you can grab the whole series for just £3.97!

I’m not sure how long this offer lasts so be quick! Here are the universal Amazon links for full blurbs and reviews:

Book 1 viewbook.at/WhoCaresIfThey

Book 2 viewbook.at/WhereTheSnowBl

Book 3 viewbook.at/WontYouSaveMe

Enjoy!

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