Posted in Holidays, Madison Harper, Psychological Thriller, Update, Writing

SAYING GOODBYE TO APRIL

Here we are, once again, saying goodbye to yet another month. We are now a third of the way through 2022. Where has the time gone?

On the writing front, I’ve had a complete overhaul of my writing timetable.  I had planned to have my ms ready for editing by the time we go away in May. That is now definitely not happening, which has had a bit of a domino effect, pushing the publication date to later in the year.  I’m now looking to publish in early September.  Having agreed this change with my editor and formatter, as you can imagine, it’s taken a whole lot of pressure off me. The delays which have caused me to fall behind have been due to health issues. Nothing serious, but it has definitely impacted on my writing.

Note sure whether any of you know, but I live in a village on the eastern side of Bath. We’ve been here many years and have been lucky enough to look out onto open fields at the rear of our property.  When we first moved in, a farmer rented the field and we had a herd of Friesians as neighbours  Then it was sold off to someone in London and there was talk of them wanting to sell it for building.  We realised that things change and although not ideal, this could well happen.  A retired businessman not far from us used to pay for the field to be mowed twice a year and then, last year, we heard that he’d managed to purchase it.  The great news now is that it is now being developed as a nature reserve.  Last September we noticed seed being sewed and automatically thought it was meadow flowers. However, with the arrival of spring, it’s clear they were planting different types of grasses.  This week a team have arrived and given an oak tree, which stands a few hundred yards away, a bit of a makeover, cutting out the dead wood.  In addition, young trees are being planted in small copses around the field, which when established will provide a useful habitat for wildlife.  

 

I think everyone in the road is relieved that any new neighbours will be of the fur and feathered variety rather than the human kind.  Living in an area of outstanding natural beauty and having been incorporated into the Cotswolds it’s a relief to know the area behind the houses will be preserved and won’t be given over to another extension of suburbia.

Our first holiday is imminent. We are spending a week in Cumbria and have chosen a location which gives us the benefit of being able to visit the Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales.  We’ve not been to the Lakes since the 1980s when we stayed at Ambleside.  I have to admit to not ever having visited the Dales, so a new adventure for me – and hopefully plenty of photo opportunities!

And finally, my April reads. I went slightly mad this month. The problem was there were so many good titles to choose from. I ended up with seven in all, which I set out below.  Although I enjoyed all of them, two in particular became favourites – Gone To Her Grave by Wendy Dranfield, the fourth in her Detective Madison Harper series. One which I have to say gets better and better with each book.  The second was Out of Her Depth by Lizzie Barber.  A gripping read, helped by the wonderful Tuscan backdrop which brought back memories of holidays in places like Florence,  Sienna and San Gimignano. 

So that’s it for another month.  The next time I’m in touch, I hope to able to post some holiday shots. Until then….

Best wishes

Jo 

Posted in AUTHOR PROMOTION, Crime Thriller, Madison Harper

Happy Publication Day to Wendy Dranfield. Madison Harper is back in a fourth unputdownable Crime Thriller…

Gone to Her Grave

(Detective Madison Harper book 4)

In the golden morning light, a beautiful young woman lies diagonally across the bed, dressed for a night out, her long lashes pressed against her cheeks as if she’s sleeping. But the crimson that creeps across the sheets tells the story of an innocent woman who has drawn her last breath…

Detective Madison Harper is pulled away from Thanksgiving preparations when a local care worker, Terri Summers, is found dead in her home on the outskirts of Lost Creek, Colorado. Terri’s inconsolable mother can’t understand who would hurt such a kind soul who had dedicated her life to helping others. But analysis of the blood spatter at the scene indicates Terri knew her attacker, that she looked them right in the eye before her life was taken.

The awkward way Terri’s body is positioned catches Madison’s attention. Carefully moving her, she finds a bracelet—possibly a child’s—with a single red bead clenched in the woman’s fist, as if she was hiding it. It’s the lead Madison so desperately needs, but the sudden death of one of her own team sends the investigation into a tailspin.

With her coworkers crumbling around her, Madison must work day and night to trace the bracelet and crack the case. But when she’s dragged back into the disappearance of a woman and child from years ago, and finds a link to someone in her own family, can Madison stop this twisted killer before another precious life is taken? And at what cost?

Amazon link: http://viewbook.at/GonetoHerGrave

AUTHOR BIO

Wendy is the bestselling author of the Detective Madison Harper crime series.

She is a former coroner’s assistant turned crime writer who writes a mixture of standalone thrillers, crime series and short stories. Some of her books have been shortlisted for various writing competitions and awards, including the Mslexia novel competition and the International Thriller Writer Awards.

Website: wendydranfield.co.uk

Facebook & Instagram: Wendy Dranfield Author

MY REVIEW

While Detective Madison Harper is in charge of investigating the murder of a care worker, PI Nate Monroe has been hired to look into a cold case. A woman and her grandson who disappeared six years ago.   When Madison receives upsetting news that a close colleague has committed suicide, she refuses to believe he has taken his own life. And when she finds a connection between the care worker and the dead lawman, she requests another autopsy, convinced the two deaths are linked.

This is the fourth book in the Madison Harper/Nate Monroe series and in my opinion the best yet. The storyline is gripping and keeps you guessing all the way (although I have to say I had my suspicions about one character). Wendy’s writing simply flows onto the page. I love the way the relationship between Maddie and Nate is developing and also the addition of one new character who looks as though they are going to stay around for a while.  Nate’s dog Brody has also become an essential part of the team.

As with the other books in this series, you get the feeling although everything has been wrapped up and the case solved, there is more to come – I do hope so!

Looking forward to what’s in store next for our crime fighting couple.

Posted in Author Promotion, Crime Thriller, Madison Harper, Writing

It’s Monday 25th January and publication day for Shadow Falls, Wendy Dranfield’s debut for Bookouture…

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…

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

 

Buy link:

Available on amazon and Kindle Unlimited: http://viewbook.at/ShadowFalls

Wendy is a former coroner’s assistant turned crime writer who lives in the UK with her husband and 3 cats.

As well as her two crime series and the YA crime novel – The Girl Who Died – Wendy has several short stories published in UK and US anthologies. She has also been shortlisted and longlisted for various competitions, including the Mslexia Novel Competition.

Wendy’s social media:

Website: https://wendydranfield.co.uk/
Twitter: @WendyDranfield
Facebook: Wendy Dranfield Author
YouTube: Wendy Dranfield Author
Pinterest: Wendy Dranfield
Instagram: Wendy Dranfield Author

MY REVIEW

I’ve read quite a few psychological thrillers this year.  Many promise the reader an ‘unputdownable read’ or an ‘edge of your seat experience’.  Some live up to those promises, some don’t.  Shadow Falls, Wendy Dranfield’s debut for Bookouture delivers all of that and more.  It is indeed an unputdownable read with a plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat from page one until ‘The End’.  I’ve read her other three thrillers and really enjoyed them, but this book seems to have elevated her writing to another level.

Central characters Nate and Madison come with baggage. They’ve been in prison, both wrongly convicted. So, as well as their first case, to find a missing twelve-year-old, the need to prove their innocence is an issue for both of them. Madison also needs to find her son who was taken into care when she was imprisoned.  It’s an easy read and the characters are well developed. Nate was studying to be a priest when he was arrested and imprisoned for murder and Madison was a serving policewoman when she was incarcerated. New evidence has seen Nate released with massive financial compensation while Madison served her term and is all but broke.  Wanting someone to help her clear her name and also find her son Owen, she approaches Nate. She also needs a job, and figures that with his similar background he might employ her to work for him. He already has his first case – to find a missing child – and she convinces him with her police background she could be useful.  Nate eventually agrees.

In the beginning they tend to rub each other up the wrong way but each brings their own individual talents to the partnership and as the book progresses, they begin to settle down together.  In their search for missing twelve-year-old Jennifer Lucas, there are false trails, shocks and surprises, all of which keep you on track, wanting to know what exactly did happen to her. It’s a brilliantly written story and I’m really looking forward to the second book which comes out in February. Oh, and as a postscript if you loved Rocky in her Dean Matheson series I’m sure you will love Brody too.

Well deserving of five stars.