Dear readers,

I can’t wait for you to read my thriller, WHAT YOU MADE ME DO, and tell me what you think. The novel is set to be published by Crooked Lane Books in August 2024.

The Story

While searching for her birth mother, Anneliese falls head over heels in love with Willem Veldkamp. Engaged and pregnant, she moves into the Veldkamp family mansion. Instead of the loving home she has longed for her entire life, she’s confronted with a cold and hostile household.

Increasingly isolated, Anneliese is drawn to a creepy basement shrine to Willem’s mother, who presumably drowned—but whose body has never been found. Haunted by her own childhood demons, Anneliese must dig into the family’s past to untangle a dark web of secrets, inadvertently putting herself and her unborn child in grave danger.

The Setting

The novel is set in an affluent neighborhood in Amsterdam and on Wexalia, a fictional Dutch island in the Wadden Sea.

Picture of rain coming in on an island in the Wadden Sea.

Most of you have heard of Amsterdam, with its picturesque canals and tolerant society but you may wonder, where the heck is the Wadden Sea?

It lies along the northern coastline of the Netherlands and extends along the coastal areas of Germany and Denmark. It’s home to a string of barrier islands and to spoonbills, seals, flatfish, and crawly things that live on the bottom.

When the tide is out, you can walk across the mudflats from the mainland to the islands, but don’t dawdle or get your feet stuck, because the tide returns with a vengeance. Always cross with a guide! The less athletically inclined (which includes me) can take the ferry.

I hope WHAT YOU MADE ME DO keeps you turning the pages!

Best regards,
Barbara Gayle Austin