Writer's moments

Guest Author Denise Wheatley on Going from Sweet Romance to Thrillers

I’m so delighted to welcome author pal, Denise Wheatley back to the blog today! Denise  is a lover of happily-ever-afters and the art of storytelling. She has written (and ghostwritten) numerous novels and novellas that run the romance gamut, from contemporary to suspenseful, sweet to steamy. Denise strives to pen entertaining stories that embody matters of the heart, while creating strong characters who are colorful and relatable. She is an RWA member and received a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago, the city where she was born and raised. When Denise isn’t sitting behind a computer, you can find her at home reading a great romance novel, on a tennis court, watching true crime television, or chatting on social media.

I love, love her writing and she’s here to tell us how she went from writing sweet romance to writing thrillers. The floor is yours, Denise…

Hello Nan! Thank you so much for hosting me once again on your blog. It is always a pleasure to stop by and spend time with you and your readers.

As an author, one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is how I went from writing sweet romance novels to thrillers. The short answer is, I love true crime! Over the years, I’ve been so passionate about penning romance novels. The festive holiday books that I write for Tule Publishing have been my favorite. But last year, as the pandemic hit and we were all living in our individual little bubbles, I began wanting something more. I felt adventurous and wanted to spread my wings. So I decided to incorporate my love of true crime into my writing and haven’t looked back since.

I am particularly passionate about cold cases. I’ve seen so many stories where people have gone missing or turned up dead, with no explanation as to where they are or how they passed away. I find myself trying to solve the cases on my own, running interrogation questions through my head, the whole nine! Needless to say, writing thrillers has become an amazing outlet for me, and I am living vicariously through my characters.

My latest novel, COLD CASE, TRUE CRIME, was released by Harlequin Intrigue on June 29. It tells the story of Samantha Vincent, a writer who runs a crime blog called Someone Knows Something. When she receives a call from an old friend asking for help in investigating her brother’s mysterious death after the case goes cold, Samantha jumps at the chance. But it soon becomes clear that law enforcement doesn’t want the case solved. Samantha turns to a new detective in town, Gregory Harris, hoping that he’ll be willing to join forces with her. He’s hesitant considering he doesn’t want to go against his brothers in blue. But when Samantha becomes a killer’s target, he has no choice but to partner with her and uncover the truth before she loses her life.

I so enjoyed writing this book. It was quite the adrenaline rush! Once I’d turned it in to my editor, I was inspired to continue exploring the world of thrillers. I now have several new projects in the works with Harlequin Intrigue. My next novel, BAYOU CHRISTMAS DISAPPEARANCE, will be released this December. It tells the story of an investigative journalist who’s covering a high-prolife missing persons case in the Louisiana bayou. The case is personal for her considering the missing woman is her best friend from college. She and the lead detective clash after he accuses her of turning his investigation into a media circus. But when the journalist becomes the kidnapper’s prey in an effort to deter her reporting, the detective vows to protect her before she becomes his next victim.

I’ll be releasing a series with Intrigue next year about a family of law enforcement titled A LOVE FAMILY MYSTERY that I’m really looking forward to sharing with readers. I just submitted Book 1 to my editor. So there is a lot to look forward to.

Ultimately, when it comes to my writing career, switching genres has taught me to continue following my passions. You never know how much joy will come from trying something new until you actually do it! I hope that this will inspire others to do the same. 😊

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Cold Case True Crime

True crime is her beat.  But this cold case is personal…

Samantha Vincent has turned her fascination with true crime into a popular blog. When an old friend asks her to investigate a murder the police couldn’t solve, she begins to suspect that the cops want this case to go cold. Sam is confident she’ll catch the killer when Detective Gregory Harris agrees to help her, but everything changes when she becomes a target…

An Unsolved Mystery Book

From Harlequin Intrigue: Seek thrills. Solve crimes. Justice served.

Discover more action-packed stories in the An Unsolved Mystery Book series by Denise N. Wheatley. All books are stand-alone with uplifting endings but were published in the following order: 

Book 1: Cold Case Colorado by Cassie Miles
Book 2: Cold Case Reopened by Caridad Piñeiro
Book 3: Alaska Mountain Rescue by Elizabeth Heiter
Book 4: Cold Case Flashbacks by Janice Kay Johnson
Book 5: Cold Case True Crime by Denise N. Wheatley