99p/99¢ for a limited time!

Newsflash!

To celebrate the release of Little Girl Taken (Detective Madison Harper book 3), Shadow Falls – Book 1 – is currently on offer for 99p/99¢ worldwide here on amazon for a limited time!

Detective Madison Harper’s heart shatters when she searches the bedroom of twelve-year-old Jenny Lucas, the sweet little girl last seen splashing in the lake at Shadow Falls, northern California, with her friends before she vanished. A notebook decorated with stickers pokes out beneath a pink cowboy hat on the bed, which is neatly made up, ready for her return. Madison can’t help wondering why it took their close-knit community so long to raise the alarm.

The girl’s parents are distraught, and the local police have no leads—they desperately need Madison’s help. She knows better than most what it’s like to lose a child, and she won’t let it happen again, even if that means pressing Jenny’s grieving family for answers.

Then, canvassing the local area for hidden leads, Madison discovers a disturbing 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? If Madison’s instincts are right, then the life of another innocent child could also be at riskshe must find Jenny fast…

An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller that will keep you up all night! Perfect for fans of Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Melinda Leigh.

Available in ebook, audiobook (on audible) and paperback.

Detective Madison Harper crime series in order (links take you to amazon):

Shadow Falls

Cry for Help

Little Girl Taken

Enjoy! Wendy xx

Publication day for Little Girl Taken

I’m excited that Little Girl Taken – the third book in my Detective Madison Harper crime series – is out today!

It’s available in ebook, audiobook and paperback on amazon here. It’s also on Kindle Unlimited and audible and available from book stores. It follows Shadow Falls (book 1 in the series) and Cry For Help (book 2), but it could also be enjoyed as a standalone crime thriller. I wrote this book during a winter covid lockdown so it’s quite dark, with lots of secrets, lies and twists!

Little Girl Taken begins on Madison’s first day back as a detective at Lost Creek Police Department after her wrongful conviction (and serving six years in prison) for the murder of a fellow cop. But can she pick up where she left off? PI Nate Monroe and former police dog Brody are also back and along for the ride.

Here’s the cover and blurb:

Rain rattles through the trees as she leans into the car, careful not to touch anything. Two pretty blue eyes stare back through the dark, wide with relief, or maybe fear. A baby girl, wrapped up in a pink snowsuit, reaches out a tiny hand. Her mother is nowhere to be found…

An abandoned baby is the last thing Detective Madison Harper expects to find as she drives to her first day back at work since the case that ripped her life apart. But as she cradles the shivering child close, all her instincts tell her there’s something more sinister at play. Then she finds a lone sneaker down a muddy trail nearby, the laces spattered with blood…

In a town as small as Lost Creek, Colorado, the baby and the shoe are quickly identified as belonging to Kacie Larson, a waitress at the local diner who quietly stashed away her tips to make a better life for her daughter. A mother herself, Madison can’t believe that Kacie would just abandon her child, but she also can’t convince her new team. Not for the first time, Madison feels she must go it alone to get the job done.

But when a body is pulled from a nearby lake, and it’s not Kacie, the case takes an agonizing turn. Is this missing mother really who she says she is? Is there a chance she’s still alive? Madison barely has time to think before the sweet little girl she rescued is snatched on a crowded street. Gone, in the blink of an eye.

To break this case and earn her place back on the force, Madison must learn to trust her team, and herself again—and fast. If she doesn’t find this twisted individual in time, a little girl could die…

A pulse-pounding, absolutely gripping and totally addictive page-turner that will have you racing through the pages and reeling at the twists.

I hope you enjoy it!

Wendy xx

99p today only! Kindle Daily Deal

Newsflash!

Cry for Help – Detective Madison Harper Book 2 – is Kindle’s Daily Deal today making the ebook 99p in the UK all day. This is a one day only offer so grab it while you can here.

Description:

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.

Detective Madison Harper book series in order:

Shadow Falls

Cry for Help

Little Girl Taken

Enjoy!

Wendy x

99p today only!

Newsflash!

Shadow Falls – Detective Madison Harper Book 1 – is Kindle’s Daily Deal today making the ebook 99p in the UK all day. This is a one day only offer so grab it while you can here.

Detective Madison Harper’s heart shatters when she searches the bedroom of twelve-year-old Jenny Lucas, the sweet little girl last seen splashing in the lake at Shadow Falls, northern California, with her friends before she vanished. A notebook decorated with stickers pokes out beneath a pink cowboy hat on the bed, which is neatly made up, ready for her return. Madison can’t help wondering why it took their close-knit community so long to raise the alarm.

The girl’s parents are distraught, and the local police have no leads—they desperately need Madison’s help. She knows better than most what it’s like to lose a child, and she won’t let it happen again, even if that means pressing Jenny’s grieving family for answers.

Then, canvassing the local area for hidden leads, Madison discovers a disturbing 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? If Madison’s instincts are right, then the life of another innocent child could also be at riskshe must find Jenny fast…

An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller that will keep you up all night! Perfect for fans of Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Melinda Leigh.

Available in ebook, audiobook and paperback.

Books 2 and 3 are also out now.

Meet the characters: Detective Madison Harper

Interview with Detective Madison Harper from Shadow Falls (Book 1 of 3 in this crime series):

Hi Madison. Could you tell us a little about yourself as you work on your first missing person case in Shadow Falls, California?

Sure. I’m in my mid-thirties and originally from a small town called Lost Creek in southern Colorado. I’d still be living there if I hadn’t served time in prison for a murder I didn’t commit. I have one son, Owen, and I have no idea where he is. He’ll be seventeen now but he was ten when he was taken from me after my arrest. I’ve been a cop for five years and just made detective before I was framed. Now I’m out of prison my goal is to clear my name, find my son and get my job back. I’m going to be busy.

Why did you become a detective?

I hate injustice. I’ve always hated seeing anyone get away with breaking the law and ruining people’s lives, even more so since I was framed for the murder of a fellow officer. I find satisfaction in helping victims get the justice they deserve in order to be able to move on with their lives.

What was it like spending 6 years in prison for a crime you didn’t commit?

I could go into detail but it would put you off your dinner, so let’s just say it was as bad as you’d expect it to be. A lot of the women in my prison were victims themselves. Our criminal justice system has a lot to answer for and prison should be about rehabilitation and education but instead it’s mostly about punishment, which means everybody is labelled as bad, instead of by scale of their potential to turn their lives around. I made some friends inside, but it was hard serving someone else’s sentence, especially as I had no idea where my son was. I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again. The days were long but the nights were longer as I’d wonder what Owen looked like now, and if I’d even recognize him in the street if I ever walked past him after my release. I don’t even know if he ever thinks about me. Has he got a new mother now? These are questions that keep me awake at night.

How did you meet Nate Monroe?

I’m smiling when you mention Nate because we were like chalk and cheese at first. Nate is someone who served 17 years on death row for the murder of his fiancée, except he didn’t kill her and was recently exonerated at 39 years old. He was known as the ‘killer priest’ in the media because he’d been training to become a priest before he gave it up for the woman he wanted to marry, but she was cruelly taken from him when they were just 20 years old. He became a PI on his release from prison and I watched his story play out in the media when I was inside. I knew he’d be the best person to track down who framed me, and to help me find my son, so I literally begged him to take on my case and give me a job too. He took a lot of persuading but eventually he agreed. He’s been a good boss, if a little unconventional. It’s thanks to him we have a retired police dog, Brody, tagging along with us everywhere we go. Nate’s a sucker for picking up strays.

What’s it like delivering bad news to the parents of child victims?

The case we’re in Shadow Falls to investigate is that of a missing 12-year-old girl; Jenny Lucas. She vanished whilst at a summer camp. Her parents are beside themselves but it’s the grandmother who gets me. She’s trying to do everything in her power to find that little girl. It sometimes feels like she’s got a stronger bond with Jenny than the parents do, so it’s killing her to think of the girl being away from the family with a potential predator. She’s the one who hired us to look into the case since the local police don’t have any leads. I just want to be able to reunite them so I never have to deliver the news they don’t want to hear.

What’s it like living in small town Colorado?

Lost Creek, Colorado is remote to say the least. It’s nestled amongst mountains and forests and has the most beautiful scenery you could ever want. But that place is troubled. The welcome sign says Lost Creek is “where the lost are found”, but whoever thought that up must have been on drugs. There are good people in every town of course, but also bad, and I fear that if I ever get back to Lost Creek – which is my ultimate aim – I’ll find out that the person who framed me for murder all those years ago is someone who was close to me. Someone who wanted me put away for a reason. I just have to figure out what that reason was.

Shadow Falls is available to buy on amazon and kindle unlimited here. Ebook, audiobook and paperback.

Book 2 in the series: Cry For Help

Book 3 in the series: Little Girl Taken

— If you have any questions for any of my characters drop me a line on Twitter or Facebook and I’ll host an interview with them using your questions! —

Detective Madison Harper’s heart shatters when she searches the bedroom of twelve-year-old Jenny Lucas, the sweet little girl last seen splashing in the lake at Shadow Falls, northern California, with her friends before she vanished. A notebook decorated with stickers pokes out beneath a pink cowboy hat on the bed, which is neatly made up, ready for her return. Madison can’t help wondering why it took their close-knit community so long to raise the alarm.

The girl’s parents are distraught, and the local police have no leads—they desperately need Madison’s help. She knows better than most what it’s like to lose a child, and she won’t let it happen again, even if that means pressing Jenny’s grieving family for answers.

Then, canvassing the local area for hidden leads, Madison discovers a disturbing 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? If Madison’s instincts are right, then the life of another innocent child could also be at riskshe must find Jenny fast…

An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller that will keep you up all night!

What readers are saying

5 star reviews:

Wow, wow, wow!… A read-all-night page-turner of the highest order… I was hooked from page one… I was kept guessing until the very end.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wow!… Awesome! I was on the edge of my seat getting whiplash from reading so fast!!’ Barbs Beautiful Bookshelf, 5 stars

I LOVED THIS BOOK!… I was hooked It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through… so many twists and turns that keep you guessing.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wow, just wow.’ Spooky’s Maze Of Books, 5 stars

Wow… an absolutely thrilling read… unpredictable and brilliant. I LOVED IT!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

OH MY DAYS!!!!… Gah, I am still thinking about this book!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

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

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.

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

It’s Publication Day!

It’s Publication day for book 3 in my Dean Matheson crime series: Won’t You Save Me.

This is my fourth publication day and does it get any less exciting as the books go on? Well, a little, if I’m honest. It’s hard enough to get family/friends to care about your first publication day, never mind your fourth, so there’s no fuss or celebrations this time.

This is where social media comes in. My Twitter and FB friends will make a fuss, RT my posts and make me feel special. It’s so lovely and encouraging to hear from readers of the first two books in the Dean Matheson series, who are eagerly awaiting this release. I still can’t believe anyone out there even reads my books, let alone enjoys them!

So, Won’t You Save Me sees Dean back home in Maple Valley, which was really fun to write as we get to see all the old characters from Who Cares if They Die. I missed Frankie (from Frankie’s Diner) so much and he provides some much-needed comic relief in what is otherwise quite a dark book. It tackles child sexual exploitation as well as how people wear masks to hide their true motivations. I know from experience that we sometimes have to place our trust in those we are meant to turn to for help but they can be the ones who let us down the most. There’s also a shocking revelation in this book that will change things forever and now I have to write book 4 to see how that turns out! Oh, plus, as well as Rocky the wannabe police dog, this book contains cats. What can I say, I’m an animal lover and I have 3 cats so they sometimes end up in my books!

I have to give a special thanks to Zoé from Zooloo’s Book Diary who is helping me celebrate publication week on her blog, and to all the bloggers who have shared her posts. Thanks also to Jo Lambert (fellow author) for sharing my publication day links. Jo’s current book can be found here and it’s the first in a new series, with books 2 and 3 on the way soon. At the time of writing this it’s on offer for just 99p but not for much longer so grab yourself a bargain!

And of course I have to thank my publishing team at Ruby Fiction for the opportunity of sharing my characters with the world. My books are a little (okay, a LOT!) darker than what they usually publish so taking me on was a bit of a risk! Hopefully I don’t have them shaking their heads in despair at my creepy plots and messed-up criminals!

Thank you to everyone who’s ever bought/borrowed/read one of my books. Whether you loved them or hated them, at least you gave me a try. It sounds like I’m retiring but I’m not! There is still plenty more to come from me and if you’re interested in my latest release, see below for the blurb and buy links. I really hope you enjoy it. Now I’m going to have a sneaky glass of wine to celebrate publication day with the cats…

Won’t You Save Me is now available on all digital platforms and the audiobook will follow shortly.

Blurb:

Detective Dean Matheson has returned to his hometown to begin his new job and put the traumatic events of his past behind him – but his fresh start won’t last long when the local area is hit by a series of strange disappearances and twisted killings …
A nameless girl badly beaten and dumped in front of the mysterious new church. A shocking murder scene discovered in the apartment over the diner. A child missing without a trace.
These are the crimes Dean Matheson is confronted with in his first week as detective. Are they isolated events, or is something altogether more disturbing happening in Maple Valley now that Dean’s back in town?

Buy links:

Amazon

Kobo

Apple books

GooglePlay

Nook

Book 1 – Who Cares if They Die

Book 2 – Where the Snow Bleeds

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Coroner’s assistant to crime writer

It’s not surprising that I became a crime writer. After all, crime has always played a part in my work life. I’ve worked as a university adviser for prisoners who were seeking rehabilitation through education and I’ve worked in a coroner’s office, where we sought justice for those who may have passed away through medical negligence or even murder. So perhaps I feel compelled to write about crime in order to seek justice for those unable to seek it for themselves. Those who have been murdered, or those with no family to care about them.

Who Cares If They Die is the first book in my Dean Matheson crime series and it explores exactly that: what happens when women who are living on the margins of society are killed in suspicious circumstances. Does anyone care if a drug addict overdoses? What about if a prisoner commits suicide? The killer in this book hopes not. But these women are still someone’s mother, daughter, sister, despite what they’ve done.  Don’t they deserve as much justice as anyone else? Officer Dean Matheson thinks so and he makes it his business to find out the truth, because he’s unwilling to accept their deaths were suicides.

In the sequel – Where the Snow Bleeds – Dean is called in to investigate a police department that is happy to write-off two missing teenage girls from a remote ski town in Colorado as runaways, when all the evidence clearly points to the opposite. With the popularity of true crime documentaries rising, we are becoming more aware of corruption in law enforcement and just how big a problem it is, how many wrongful convictions take place each year. This book explores how far people will go to turn a blind eye in order to protect their own interests.

I think we’d all like a Dean Matheson in our lives, someone who will dig a little deeper in order to seek justice for those who can’t seek it for themselves.

But it’s not all doom and gloom! Just as I have cats who keep me company while I write, Dean has his rescue dog, Rocky, helping him in his investigations. Rocky is a gentle rottweiler and wannabe police dog and he’s the character I get the most emails about! I often laugh at how crime fiction lovers (me included) can read about the most horrific crimes to humans but I’ve been told on no uncertain terms that I can never, ever, allow anything bad to happen to Rocky. Quite right too.

This is a short article I wrote for Female First to celebrate the release of the paperback version of Who Cares if They Die on 5th Nov 2019. It is now available in all good book shops (and on their websites) and in UK libraries as well as on all digital platforms as an ebook and audiobook. Book 3 in the series is out in Jan 2020.

Watch the one minute teaser trailer to see if you’re interested!

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