Category Archives: Secrets and Lies

Secrets and Lies Interview

Secrets and LiesRon Hughes from HopeStreamRadio interviewed me last month, and while it’s not archived on their site, I’ve posted it to mine. We talked about a few aspects of writing and about my novels, and I read an excerpt from Secrets and Lies. The interview is about ten minutes long, if you’d like to have a listen (just click the “play” triangle in the media player below).  And do check out HopeStreamRadio. They currently provide about two hours of content per day, which repeats throughout the day. There’s teaching, music, and a variety of interesting content (including author interviews!)

[Media player didn’t show up for you? Click here to listen to the interview.]

Book Giveaway: Clean Indie Reads

CIR Blog Hop March Madness

The Clean Indie Reads group is giving away over 40 ebooks! One winner gets them all, and will be well-stocked for reading for the next little while 🙂 The books for the Grand Prize can all be seen at the March Madness Grand Prize link.

You can enter at each stop on this blog hop, and the more times you fill out the form, the more chances you’ll have.

My contribution to the Grand Prize is a copy of my Christian romantic suspense novel, Secrets and Lies. 

Secrets and Lies, by Janet Sketchley

Carol Daniels thinks she out-ran her enemies, until a detective arrives at her door with a warning from her convict brother. Minor incidents take on a sinister meaning. An anonymous phone call warns her not to hide again.

Now she must cooperate with a drug lord while the police work to trap him. Carol has always handled crisis alone, but this one might break her. Late-night deejay Joey Hill offers friendship and moral support. Can she trust him? One thing’s certain. She can’t risk prayer.

Several of the Clean Indie Reads authors have dropped their prices for a sale at the same time. Grab a good read (or more!) now at the CIR sale site.

Enter below for the Grand Prize, and remember you can enter at each blog. So, once you’ve entered, click the blue frog image at the bottom of this post to reach the other stops on the blog hop. Contest dates: March 16-20, 2015. As always, contest void where prohibited by law.

[Edited: Congratulations to Shelly Hammond, winner of the Grand Prize package. Forty-one books… hmm… I’m not sure that’s a full year’s worth, but it’ll keep Shelly reading for a while. Thank you to everyone who participated in the blog hop. I hope you had fun and discovered some new-to-you authors.]

If the entry form doesn’t load properly for you, you can enter the draw by following this link.

Ready to hop on to the next stop?

 [Don’t see the frog? You can reach the blog hop list here.]

Secrets and Lies Photo Album

Most of the settings in Secrets and Lies are fictional: Carol’s café, the Linden House art gallery, the apartments, Paul’s school. Two sites are real: the Roy Thomson Hall where Carol and Patrick attend the symphony, and the Toronto Island parks.

I wrote the island scenes with some help from Google Maps, but in 2013 my husband and I were in Toronto and visited the island parks. Like Carol and Joey, we took a water taxi to the islands and rode back on the regular ferry. I took hundreds of pictures, to capture the feel, and although we visited in mid-August and Carol and Joey went in September, they may have seen things like this:

Toronto Island gardens

Some of the Toronto Island gardens [photo credit: Janet Sketchley]

This is the path they walked along before the guy stole Carol's bag. If you walk far enough, it becomes a boardwalk. This is the concrete wall they'd have leaned on to watch the paddleboarder.

This is the path they walked along before the guy stole Carol’s bag. If you walk far enough, it becomes a boardwalk. This is the concrete wall they’d have leaned on to watch the paddleboarder.

Plenty of activity on the water -- the paddleboarder they watched may have looked like this.

Plenty of activity on the water — the paddleboarder they watched may have looked like this. [photo credit: Janet Sketchley]

This is the regular passenger ferry to/from the Island parks, with the CN Tower in the background.

This is the regular passenger ferry to/from the Island parks, with the CN Tower in the background. [photo credit: Janet Sketchley]

Roy Thomson Hall... sadly, we didn't get inside to enjoy a performance.

Roy Thomson Hall. What an interesting shape! Sadly, we didn’t get inside to enjoy a performance. [photo credit: Janet Sketchley]

Giveaway: Secrets and Lies

Secrets and Lies, by Janet SketchleyOne reader will win a copy of Secrets and Lies on 2/1/15.

Enter now, and feel free to share with your friends who like Christian romantic suspense…

Entry details on Anne Garboczi Evans’ blog.

Patrick’s Territorial Cat

Where do writers get their ideas? If you’ve read Secrets and Lies, you met Patrick’s cat. (Although, as he says, it’s hard to think of something that independent as his.)

The cat appears in chapter 6. Carol and Patrick are in his living room. It’s her first time there, and she chose to sit in the rocking chair:

As Patrick pulled his cell from his pocket, a slender Siamese cat paraded into the room and positioned itself in front of the rocking chair like a guard. Its stare turned Carol’s admiration to unease.


He looked up, and the question on his face turned to resignation as he saw the cat. He set the phone on the table in front of him. “I know, Isis. It’s all right. Go find something else to do.”

Carol risked another glance. The cat’s blue eyes glowed, irises narrowed in the equivalent of a scowl. A low rumble vibrated its throat. Carol shivered. “Patrick?”

Muttering a curse, he pushed up from his chair. The cat swivelled one ear in his direction and crouched to spring. The unblinking blue eyes targeted Carol’s face. The rumbling growl deepened to a snarl.

Carol bolted from the rocker. She caught at the door frame to steady herself, her feet sliding on the hardwood floor. She checked for pursuit, but the cat was sitting straight and tall in the rocking chair, staring at her.

[Later, in the safety of another room, Patrick explains:]

“Isis considers humans to be lower life forms, with the exception of my wife. She and Rita had a special bond, and she is somewhat… protective. That rocker was Rita’s favourite chair. I usually put it away before I have guests.” [Excerpt from chapter 6 of Secrets and Lies, by Janet Sketchley]

I’ve been accused of being a “dog person” because of this cat, and let me say I love cats and I don’t intend this one to represent the greater feline population. On the other hand, I have a hearty respect for the attitude with which a self-respecting and indignant cat can fill a room…

Why would I name the cat Isis? That’s an Egyptian goddess, as well as a violent Islamic organization. I knew the cat’s name before I knew about the terrorists, and although they made me think a bit, I decided to keep it.

Patrick’s wife, Rita, likely named the cat after the Egyptian goddess, but for me the name was prompted by an episode of the original Star Trek series. “Assignment, Earth” featured a human raised on another planet, and a beautiful alien woman who shape-shifted into a black cat (named Isis). Attitude and territory were two traits she radiated.

My fictional Isis is Siamese, because of the elegance and nobility they possess. (In fairness, the only two Siamese cats I’ve met have been very affectionate.)

Her territorial aggression? It’s a nod to my childhood pet, a black cat named Willie, who was nowhere that hostile — but he did claim ownership of one of the living room chairs, and if a visitor sat in it, Willie would sit in the middle of the room and stare hard enough to make the visitor uncomfortable.

Photo of a black cat

Willie (Yes, we lived in black and white in those days)

New Release and Giveaways

Secrets and Lies released Nov. 5, and a huge thank you to everyone who bought a copy or spread the word. Because of you, the novel hit a few of Amazon’s “hot new release” lists, which helped more people find it.

Two giveaways are happening now:

Print copies are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble (for Halifax-area readers: Miracles Christian Store will also be carrying them). Canadians, says the book “usually ships in 1-3 months” — when ordered, a copy will be printed in the US, shipped to the Canadian distribution site, and then sent to the customer. I don’t suspect it’ll really take even one month. They just want you to know it’s not sitting in their warehouse ready to go.

Tomorrow (Nov. 8) is my local book launch, thanks to UPS’s super-fast delivery of my books. (I’d originally set the launch for the end of the month, to allow time for shipping and for delays at customs.) If you’re in the Halifax area, stop and say hello, and maybe grab a cookie or two. We’ll have a brief reading, some door prizes, snacks, and oh yes, books for sale!

Secrets & Lies Book Launch 2pm, Nov. 3, 2014 at Regal Road Baptist Church, Dartmouth, NS, Canada

tags: giveaway, Secrets and Lies, Redemption’s Edge, romantic suspense, Christian fiction, book reviews, giveaway, book launch, Janet Sketchley,

Secrets and Lies: preorder special

Secrets and Lies ebook preorder sale price 99 cents until Nov. 5, 2014


I’m very excited to announce that Secrets and Lies is available to pre-order in ebook format. Print copies are in the works, too. Click the image or click the following link to visit the Secrets and Lies book page, complete with more information (including a sample chapter) and purchase links. If you’re planning to read it as an ebook, grab it now for 99 cents (slightly higher outside the US).

Meet Patrick Stairs

At 35 years of age, Patrick Stairs has a good life, carefully built. He has a rewarding and prestigious position as a senior investment consultant, and office gossip pegs him as the VP’s replacement within the next year.

He works long hours, plays racquetball at his club three times a week, and is a regular at business and social functions. A man with many acquaintances, but no close friends.

Patrick’s been walking empty for three years now, since his wife, Rita, lost their fight with the brain tumour. He tried every kind of treatment, to save her. When the expenses grew too extreme, Patrick began handling certain discreet deliveries. Amazing, how many executives in the city spice up their lives with drugs.

Now the boss – Lear – has tagged him with a new assignment. Carol Daniels. Pretty. Blond. With no idea Lear has her in his sights. She’ll know soon enough. Patrick pities anyone who had to deal with the drug lord. Including himself.

It’s not a hard assignment. Take a few meals at the café where Carol works, feed information back to Lear. She’s attractive enough. Patrick can feign interest for the time it takes to gain her trust.

Success could mean release from Lear’s clutches. Or so the drug lord promised. But the only promises Lear keeps are threats.

"Curse Lear and his string pulling. Someday the drug lord would get what was coming. Patrick just hoped he'd be there to see it."

Meet Joey Hill

Joey Hill is an ordinary-looking guy with a wispy moustache and a wide smile. He jokes that people expect him to be bigger, to fit his nose.

Joey was a popular radio personality on Canada’s West Coast until a very public disgrace cost him his job, his relationships and his freedom. He’d tell you the one good thing about losing everything is that he found Jesus. Or Jesus found him.

Now he’s starting over in a new city, hosting a late-night all-request oldies radio show. And lucky to have a job in the field he loves. The hours are terrible, the pay is worse.

Next to the music, his callers are the best part of the job. Mostly they chat about sports scores, movies, singers and songs. But something about the faceless contact with a friendly voice lets some of the regulars open up to him. That’s when Joey feels they cross the divide from acquaintances to friends—even if he’d never recognize them on the sidewalk.

Those calls are where he tries to make a difference, by his words or with a listening ear, and with a little prayer after he says goodbye.

He’s never felt driven to actually meet a radio friend before, but there’s this one woman, Carol. Joey can’t get her out of his mind. From the little she’s shared, he knows there’s a lot of pain in her past.

She sounds like she could use a friend. Carol’s very private, though, almost paranoid. She’d never agree to meet him in person.

When an opportunity to meet her drops into Joey’s lap, he takes it. Just to be a friend. Until he figures out how to do life as a man of faith, he doesn’t dare complicate it with a relationship. The protective surge he gets when he’s talking to her? Friends are protective. That’s all it is. Really.

Ron stretched out his palm for the car keys. "Do yourself a favour, Joe, don't do anything stupid." Joey snorted. "That's my new motto for life."

Meet Paul Daniels

Keeping secrets? Just a few.

Paul Daniels is sixteen years old and living a double life. If his mother knew he was playing in a band, she’d freak. So she won’t find out.

Paul needs the music like he needs to breathe. It’s something he inherited from his father. The only plus about Mom dragging him half-way across the country to start a new life is the chance to take guitar lessons from Mr. Morelli. Paul works after school at the music store to pay for lessons. And he’s in a new band with some friends.

It’s hard fitting school work into his schedule, so Paul asked one of the class brains to help with his math. Bonus for him, she’s kind of cute. But he wouldn’t dare try adding a relationship into his jam-packed life.

He could never make it with Tara-Lynn anyway. He’s hiding too much. She’d be sympathetic about how his younger brother died of a drug overdose, but the anonymous caller who’s threatening his mom would scare her away. If that didn’t do it, hearing about his convict uncle would.

Is a sixteen-year-old even allowed to exchange letters with a dangerous offender? But Paul wants to know if his Uncle Harry has really changed. Now it sounds like Mom may have to write to the man, and Harry knows about the band. It all comes down to whether a convicted killer can keep a secret.

Sex and drugs and rock-n-roll--playing in a band is the least dangerous of the three. It's all Paul Daniels needs, but if his mom finds out, he's toast.