Tag Archives: Heather Day Gilbert

Review: Guilt by Association, by Heather Day Gilbert

Guilt by Association, by Heather Day Gilbert. Murder in the Mountains book 3Guilt by Association, by Heather Day Gilbert (WoodHaven Press, 2017)

When Tess Spencer reluctantly goes to help her ex-con mother hunt for a new home and a dead body turns up behind her mother’s trailer, she has no choice but to stay and clear her mother’s name – even though she’s afraid her mom might be involved.

Along with the mystery, this is a novel with layers of heart. It exposes the tragedy of the drugs that really do run rampant in the areas where the novel is set – and in so many other parts of North America and the world. It touches briefly on child abuse and foster care.

And it shows Tess, away from home and missing her husband and young daughter, comparing the mother-in-law who mothers her with her biological mother who’s let her down more times than she can count.

Lest that sound like a depressing read, it’s anything but. The mystery is engaging and fast-paced, there are delightfully quirky characters, there are heart-warming moments and hope.

Fans of the series will be pleased and/or intrigued to see Axel again, albeit briefly. We need another Axel story, I think, and more resolution with Tess and her parents.

Heather Day Gilbert is a Grace Award winner and bests-selling author of contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Guilt by Association is book 3 in her A Murder in the Mountains series, set in the mountains of West Virginia. For more about the author and her books, visit heatherdaygilbert.com.

[Advance review copy provided by the author.]

Review: Undercut, by Heather Day Gilbert

Undercut, by Heather Day Gilbert | Hemlock Creek Suspense book 2Undercut, by Heather Day Gilbert (WoodHaven Press, 2017)

Her sister and brother used to follow their FBI father to the shooting range, but Molly McClure has always been different. She’d rather dress in pretty clothes and arrange her hair.

Truth told, she didn’t sound like my kind of character. But it didn’t take long for Molly to impress me, and she certainly carries the heroine role with courage. What I admire about Molly is that she knows what she wants, and instead of going to the extreme of either passive hinting or aggressive pressure, she takes an honest, direct approach.

This is a romantic suspense story, where Molly and PTSD-scarred ex-military sniper Zane Boone, now turned lumberjack, each carry a previous attraction to the other. When they meet again, she’s not pushy, but she’s sure not sitting back pining. She meets him as a confident equal, and while there are doubts, there’s not the angst we too often see.

The suspense comes because Zane is convinced someone’s stalking him. He’s very much in alert mode, and it shows in his reactions.

For a novella-length story (132 pages), Undercut packs a lot of action and emotional content. It’s book 2 in the Hemlock Creek Suspense series. Book 1 was Molly’s sister Katie’s story, so I assume book 3 will feature their brother, Brandon.

Undercut first released in the ebook box set, Kill Zone, and is now available on its own in print and digital formats.

Heather Day Gilbert always delivers a good read with strong characters, whether she’s writing about Vikings (God’s Daughter and Forest Child) or contemporary suspense (the Murder in the Mountains series and the Hemlock Creek Suspense series). For more about the author and her books, visit heatherdaygilbert.com.

[Review copy provided by the author.]

Viking Historical: Interview and Giveaway

What do Vikings and present-day folk in small-town West Virginia have in common?Heather Day Gilbert

They both thrive in the head of award-winning author Heather Day Gilbert, whose fiction can immerse readers into either world. Heather’s newest Viking historical, Forest Child, released this month, and she’s offering a free ebook copy to a randomly-chosen commenter on this post. [Draw closed Nov. 25, 2016.]

Janet: Welcome, Heather, and congratulations on your newest release. In both of your genres, you create heroines we can relate to, strong yet vulnerable. Except for your novella, Out of Circulation, they’re each married women. How important to you is exploring the relationship dynamics this brings to each story?

Heather: Thank you for those kind words on my characters, Janet! Ever since I started writing novels, I’ve had a burden for writing about married women and their struggles. Married characters have just always been intrinsically interesting to me… all the way back to those Janette Oke books that featured them. I feel that married love is so much deeper and more powerful than dating love. When we’re married, we see each other at our worst, we sacrifice for each other, we grieve together… and yet if we do it right, our love grows even stronger because we are fully committed to each other.

Janet: So true, and since part of the reason we read about others’ struggles is to learn for our own, we should be seeing a lot more of this. Along with the relationship themes, your novels also involve a fair bit of action. Which aspect of the writing comes easier: the characters or the plots?

Heather: Definitely the characters. Then I have to plug them into a rough plot (my plotting is really loose and involves chapter highlights) and then ask myself what would this character really do in this situation?

Of course, with mysteries, you have to stretch it a bit, because if I were off chasing baddies and having showdowns with cold killers like Tess Spencer, I daresay my hubby would force me to stop my sleuthing “hobby.” Although Thomas Spencer tries to do this, he hasn’t quite succeeded.

Often, my characters surprise me with what they say and do. There is this line that Ref says to Freydis in Forest Child that I didn’t see coming, yet when I typed it, I knew it was exactly what he would have said. It was both brutally honest and quite vulnerable, and it made me mad, just as it did Freydis. (if you read it, try to guess which line that is—you might know, Janet! 😉 )

Janet: Forest Child is, what, your fourth novel in print? You’ve said this was the hardest novel to write – why so? And was it worth it in the end?

Heather: Hm. It’s actually my fifth in print (God’s Daughter, Miranda Warning, Trial by Twelve, and Out of Circulation preceded it). Yes, this was definitely the hardest one I’ve ever written, for several reasons. First, I had to build the simple Icelandic saga accounts of Freydis into a fleshed-out story. That involves matching up timelines, events, and even some wording. Vikings of the New World boxed set

Second, what Freydis did in the saga accounts was something so horrific, it took me over two years to really come up with reasons why a woman would be driven to such actions. I honestly prayed God would give me ideas about that, and He did. While the reason shocked me somewhat, I knew it was a perfect catalyst for her actions. Historically, Freydis was domineering, she was wild, she was a warrior, she was rude, and the list goes on and on. The true challenge was drawing this character so readers could empathize with her.

Finally, I had to  fully get into Freydis’ head because I write in first person present tense, which meant I had to be her for a while. I was kind of afraid her way of thinking might trickle into my own thoughts, but as I wrote her, I realized that in some ways, we were already similar. Acknowledging that was rather terrifying, but ultimately it turned into something that was freeing, for me and for her. So yes, I feel the angst of writing Forest Child was worth it and I know the story turned out exactly the way it needed to.

Janet: You did a fantastic job making Freydis both shocking and relatable. I think her inner vulnerability, which she didn’t even see at the start, made a strong connecting point for readers. And for me, even the worst of what she did seemed like a perfectly natural outflow of her character.

As well as vibrant characters who make realistic choices, how important to you is each novel’s setting?

Heather: In the Viking novels, setting is obviously crucial (from describing the Viking voyages to their foods and longhouses), so that requires a lot of research on my part. I wish I could visit the Viking locales in Newfoundland, Iceland, and Greenland, but I haven’t been able to yet. I do the best I can with photos and my imagination.

I have noticed that in every one of my books, there is a forest scene. I think it’s because I spent a lot of time in the woods growing up. My West Virginia mystery/suspense is really what I know, because I grew up in WV and I live here now. The ways of the Appalachian people, the winding mountain roads, the issues this state is having with drug addiction… all these things play into my contemporary stories. I don’t go into paragraphs of descriptive detail, a la Thomas Hardy (whose writing I love, BTW), but I hope I include enough description that my readers can see the books playing out like a movie in their heads, which is what some reviewers have said.

Janet: Your forest scenes feel alive to me, likely because the ones of my childhood are similar. Now, my favourite question: What might happen if Tess from your Murder in the Mountains series met the Viking heroines, Gudrid and Freydis?

Heather: Oh my word! I can’t imagine! Tess would probably get along okay with Gudrid, since they both had traumatic childhoods and they might have similar issues. But Freydis and Tess… boy, that would be a clash of the titans! Let’s just hope neither of them would be armed! LOL!

Janet: Could make for an interesting time! Heather, thank you so much for visiting today, and for these fantastic reads. The care you invest in your writing shows in the finished books.

Heather is offering one free ebook copy (epub or mobi format) to a randomly-selected commenter on this post. Entries close at midnight, Nov. 25, EST. To enter, scroll down to the comments field. Just for fun, share something you either know or wonder about the Vikings.

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Forest Child, by Heather Day GilbertViking warrior. Dauntless leader. Protective mother.

Determined to rise above her rank as the illegitimate “forest child” of Eirik the Red, Freydis launches a second voyage to Vinland to solidify her power and to demand the respect she deserves. She will return home with enough plunder to force her brother, Leif, to sell her the family farm in Greenland.

But nothing can prepare her for the horrors she must confront in Vinland… and nothing can stand in her way when her family is threatened.

In her race to outrun the truths that might destroy her, Freydis ultimately collides with the only enemy she cannot silence—her own heart.

Historically based on the Icelandic Sagas, Forest Child brings the memorable, conflicted persona of Freydis Eiriksdottir to life. This immersive tale is Book Two in the bestselling Vikings of the New World Saga.

AUTHOR BIO:

HEATHER DAY GILBERT, a Grace Award winner and bestselling author, writes novels that capture life in all its messy, bittersweet, hope-filled glory. Born and raised in the West Virginia mountains, generational story-telling runs in her blood. Heather is a graduate of Bob Jones University, and she and her husband are raising their children in the same home in which Heather grew up. Heather is represented by Rebeca Seitz and Jonathan Clements of SON Studios in FL.

Heather’s Viking historical novel, God’s Daughter, is an Amazon Norse Bestseller. She is also the author of the bestselling A Murder in the Mountains mystery series and the Hemlock Creek Suspense series. Heather also authored the Indie Publishing Handbook: Four Key Elements for the Self-Publisher. Find out more at heatherdaygilbert.com.

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Review: Forest Child, by Heather Day Gilbert

Forest Child, by Heather Day GilbertForest Child, by Heather Day Gilbert (WoodHaven Press, 2016)

As Eirik the Red’s illegitimate daughter, Freydis has always fought for equality with her half-brothers. Her adventurous temperament and her father’s indulgence have shaped her into a fierce hunter and warrior and a skilled sailor.

Desperate to prove her worth and lay claim to the inheritance she believes should be hers, she has led a crew back to the New World to plunder its rich resources. When she meets tragedy and danger, she protects her family the only way she knows how – and carries the decision as an unconfessed burden she can share with no-one.

The story is set around AD 1000 and spans three parts: Vinland (the New World), Greenland, and Iceland. This is book two in the Vikings of the New World Saga, following God’s Daughter, the story of Freydis’ Christian sister-in-law, Gudrid.

You could read book two without having read book one, but not only would you miss a stellar read, you’d have less empathy for Freydis in Forest Child because you wouldn’t have as strong a sense of her past.

Except for the opening prologue, the story is told in the first person, present tense, by Freydis. This evokes a strong sense of place and a connection with Freydis, an impulsive woman whose actions are often misunderstood by those around her.

Readers see her thoughts and can trace her motives even in her most destructive choices. Understanding Freydis’ mindset (as a Viking but also as a strong woman afraid to depend on others or on God) is key to caring for her as the novel’s protagonist.

Freydis, as well as many of the other characters of this series, is based on a real historic figure. Much of the Vikings of the New World Saga draws on The Sagas of the Greenlanders, and so this fictional retelling of history has many predetermined events.

While the content is never gratuitous, the Vikings’ violence and pagan roots make these novels feel darker than what some might expect of Christian historical fiction. Forest Child is darker than God’s Daughter, because of the different natures of the protagonists, but both novels resolve with hope.

Forest Child contains a few violent scenes that timid readers may wish to skim. They’re written with all possible sensitivity, and since the author drew from actual events, they’re not optional to Freydis’ story. What they do is allow characters and readers to consider themes of family, vengeance, murder, faith, and redemption. Oddly, the decision Freydis makes which troubled me most (the one I really wanted to make her reconsider) is not found in these scenes.

These fierce, long-ago Vikings become people we connect with, despite the differences in cultures. Many of us know too well what it’s like to fight for respect or position, to fall outside what’s socially acceptable… and to fear the vulnerability that comes with trusting others. Many also know what Freydis needs to discover: God loves us no matter who or where we are, and His forgiveness changes everything.

Heather Day Gilbert took the building blocks of history and breathed life and relatable motivations into these characters. I wish I had time to read the original sagas to discover where fact and fiction meet.

The book ends with a family tree of the main characters, and a glossary of Viking terms and pronunciations.

Heather Day Gilbert also writes present-day suspense novels set in West Virginia. As well as drawing readers into richly-detailed settings and believable characters, her fiction explores the dynamics of marriage relationships and how faith can affect daily life. For more about the author and her work, visit heatherdaygilbert.com.

[Review copy provided by the author.]

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Review: Out of Circulation, by Heather Day Gilbert

Out of Circulation, by Heather Day GilbertOut of Circulation, by Heather Day Gilbert (WoodHaven Press, 2016)

Katie McClure is the only one in her family who wanted to follow her father’s footsteps into the FBI. Instead, she works in the library in a rural Appalachian town and lives in an apartment that’s only steps away from her mother’s house.

When masked intruders invade the library with guns – and call Katie by name – her mother hires a handsome stranger to protect her. Ace Calhoun claims to be a freelance bodyguard, but he has ulterior motives for getting close to the McClure family.

Katie and Ace are appealing characters, even though Ace is deceptive. This is a novella, not a full-length novel, yet there’s time for character development, a budding relationship, and of course the mystery.

Out of Circulation is book one in Heather Day Gilbert’s new Hemlock Creek Suspense series. The McClure family is Katie, her sister and brother and their mother. Their father is dead. I hope the series will follow Katie, since I found her easiest to relate to. I’m also hoping her brother will move back home and resolve his resentment toward their father.

Heather Day Gilbert is also the author of the Murder in the Mountains contemporary suspense series and a Viking historical novel, God’s Daughter. For more about the author, visit http://heatherdaygilbert.com/.

[Review based on reading this novella in the romantic suspense collection, Smoke and Mirrors, from my personal library. Out of Circulation is now available as a stand-alone book.]

Review: Smoke and Mirrors, a romantic suspense collection

Smoke and MirrorsSmoke and Mirrors, a romantic suspense collection (2016)

This is an ebook box set of “hidden identity” Christian romantic suspense novellas. At present, it’s only available for Kindle.

Some characters are in witness protection, some are undercover, and some are just plain hiding – either from danger or for nefarious purposes. It can be love at first sight, a relationship that’s been developing for a few years before the story opens, or characters with a past connection now thrown together again.

Stories are set in various parts of the US, including Alaska. Sometimes the tension is high, other times more moderate.

My pick of the set is Heather Day Gilbert’s Out of Circulation, mostly because I always enjoy her characters and her writing, but also because her protagonist walks with a limp and isn’t as beautiful as her sister. It seemed I met a lot of gorgeous people in this collection.

I also found a spiritual nugget in Connie Almony’s The Long View, where one of the Christian characters searches his Bible for a verse to tuck into his mind to meditate on in his worship time. His reverence for God’s holiness challenged me.

If romantic suspense is all you read, then devour the whole collection in one go. I like more variety, and should have spaced them out a bit.

These eight original novellas are written by authors Connie Almony, Sally Bradley, Hallee Bridgeman, Heather Day Gilbert, Kelli Hughett, Alana Terry, Rachel Trautmiller, and Alexa Verde. In some cases they’re stand-alone stories, and in others they either begin or continue other works from the authors.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

Review: Trial by Twelve, by Heather Day Gilbert

Trial by Twelve, by Heather Day Gilbert | A Murder in the Mountains #2Trial by Twelve, by Heather Day Gilbert (WoodHaven Press, 2015)

Despite her troubled past, Tess is thriving in the close-knit Spencer family. She’s a feisty, straight-talking (and straight-shooting) wife and mother, trying to supplement the family income. She’s not looking for trouble, but trouble finds her – this time in the form of skeletons found buried at the spa where she works. Newer deaths suggest the killer isn’t finished yet.

Tess nearly lost her life the last time she investigated a mystery, and with a young daughter, she’d rather stifle her curiosity and stay safe. Unfortunately, her boss needs her on-site, and the investigating detective asks her to be his eyes on the scene. He promises to do all he can to keep her safe – and then advises her to conceal carry a gun just in case.

This is a satisfying novel, where plot, characters and setting blend into a compelling read. Heather Day Gilbert knows how to keep readers turning pages. Tess is one of those rare-to-me characters I’d like to have as a real-life friend.

Most chapters open with a letter from a disturbing man to the child he left behind, who he’d trained in bow-hunting. If the man was the original killer, are the new deaths a second-generation event? His letters refer to Buddhism and various philosophers, but don’t let that put you off.

Set in the mountains of West Virginia, Trial by Twelve is a clean read, featuring Tess and her family as Christian characters but without the strong spiritual theme that is sometimes expected in Christian fiction. Here is Tess’ most overt thought on faith, comparing herself to her mentor, Miranda:

“I feel so inadequate in the face of her faith, but I know she’d tell me we each grow at our own speed and the point is to be growing.” [Kindle location 3072]

And an example of her sense of humour, which means no disrespect to the church prayer chain:

“Quite a few people have police scanners in these parts, to keep up with the local news. It’s a lot faster than the newspaper, but maybe not quite as lickety-split as the prayer chain.” [Kindle location 3001]

Trial by Twelve is book two in the A Murder in the Mountains series. I’m not sure if it’s stronger than book one, Miranda Warning (which I very much enjoyed) or if I feel that way because I’m getting know the characters better. Either way, bring on book three!

Heather Day Gilbert is also the author of the acclaimed Viking historical novel, God’s Daughter. A sequel, Forest Child, is in the works. For more about the author and her books, visit heatherdaygilbert.com. To read sample chapters from Trial by Twelve, click here.

[Review copy provided by the author.]

Top 10 Books From 2014

‘Tis the season for “best of 2014” lists, and here are  my picks for top 10 books I’ve read this year. (Goodreads tells me I read 64… ouch! And I know I didn’t record everything there.) Some were published in 2014, and some are older. These are in no particular order, and each one is best in its own category.

Non-fiction:

Fiction:

My stash of books to read is already intimidating, but how about sharing some of your picks from 2014? I can always add a few more…

Review: Miranda Warning, by Heather Day Gilbert

Miranda Warning, by Heather Day GilbertMiranda Warning, by Heather Day Gilbert (Heather Day Gilbert, 2014)

After the depth of character, plot and setting of Heather Day Gilbert’s Viking historical novel, God’s Daughter, I had high expectations for her new novel, Miranda Warning. This one’s a contemporary suspense set in the mountains of West Virginia. Different characters, different issues, different voice. Same skill that drew me to keep reading.

Miranda Warning tells two stories in one, tying them into one satisfying ending. Tess is a young woman whose best friend, Miranda, is in her 70’s. When Miranda gets a letter in a dead woman’s handwriting, Tess starts asking questions.

The bulk of each chapter is in the first person, as told by Tess. However, each chapter opens with a third-person, past tense segment from 40 years earlier, narrated by Rose, the dead woman.

The warnings turn into threats, but Tess is determined to protect her elderly friend. Tess is a strong yet vulnerable character. She and her husband, Thomas, live in a cottage behind his family home. Tess loves her in-laws; they’re the family she never had. But she hasn’t been able to find work, and now she’s pregnant. And she doesn’t measure up to her mother-in-law’s talent of baking and decorating.

Although the suspense is the main plot, I found it interesting to see hints of how Tess’ self-comparisons kept her from realizing her true worth. How often do we, as real people, fall into this trap? It was also fun to watch her as a young bride under the combined stresses of the mystery, her husband’s long hours on the job, and pregnancy hormones. Tess didn’t see a positive example of marriage as a child, so she’s figuring this out as she goes along, with her in-laws as proof that a marriage can last.

Some of my favourite lines:

His piercing gaze reminds me of those hawks I see staring at small birds from the fence posts. [Kindle location 250]

I love the tactile experience of walking in the woods. Its muted browns, grays, and greens comfort me. The moss and leaves give softly under my boots. Large, scattered rocks feel permanent and unshakable. The pull of the mountain is like gravity for my soul. [Kindle location 1196]

This must be how you make your marriage work for years: you fix things and move on. [Kindle location 3234]

Heather Day Gilbert plans to release another Viking novel, Forest Child, as well as to continue her A Murder in the Mountains series. For more about the author and her books, visit her website: heatherdaygilbert.com. If you missed it, here’s a link to my interview with the character of Nikki Jo, Tess’ mother-in-law.

[Review copy provided by the author.]

Character Interview: Nikki Jo Spencer

Heather Day Gilbert

Heather Day Gilbert

Regular readers of my blog may recognize Heather Day Gilbert as the author of the epic Viking historical, God’s Daughter. Heather also writes mysteries, including the recently-released Miranda Warning, a contemporary Appalachian suspense novel set in West Virginia.

Today, one of the characters from Miranda Warning joins us for an interview. Meet Nikki Jo Spencer. Nikki Jo, welcome. I hear the mountains of West Virginia are beautiful. Could you help us imagine being there?

Nikki Jo: Oh honey, it’s hard to capture it, but I’ll give it a shot. I live in the town of Buckneck… there’s a story behind that name, but my husband tells it better than I do. Anyway, our house is snugged down in a little valley just outside town. Our roads are crooked as a dog’s hind leg. Everyone loves our mountains in the fall, but I think the spring is even more impressive. It’s green just about everywhere you turn your head.

Janet: It sounds beautiful. Is there a down side? Anything you wish would change?

Nikki Jo: Not one blessed thing. I’ve always loved living in West Virginia—my family goes way back here, and so does my husband’s. My church family is wonderful, my son and daughter-in-law live nearby, my youngest has a great school… all in all I’m just pleased as punch.

Janet: What’s your biggest challenge right now?

Nikki Jo: Well now, it might be time management. I have lots to keep me busy around the house but I’m also really active at church. I like to keep my yard up and I have a bunch of bulbs I need to plant, but just no time to get around to it. My boys keep me hopping, too.

Janet: Tell us a bit about your family.

Nikki Jo: My husband, Roger, has a great sense of humor. That’s partly why I married him. I have three sons: Petey’s the youngest, and he somehow got red hair. Andrew is our middle boy, and he’s in college studying to be a doctor. He… well, he goes through girlfriends pretty fast. No idea why, but I’m hoping that will slow down someday. Like I said, my oldest, Thomas, lives in our cottage behind the main house. Thomas married Tess. She’s a West Virginia girl, like me.

Janet: Ah, yes, Tess. Is she a good match for Thomas?

Nikki Jo: They haven’t been married long, but I’d have to say yes. Thomas has always been pretty serious—he’s a lawyer now, so that’ll tell you something. Tess sort of lightens him up. She’s pregnant, you know. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I’m hoping it’s another girl to balance things out in our family. I want to teach my grandbabies to cook and sew… all those things my boys didn’t care about.

Janet: What about that mysterious letter? How do you think she should handle it?

Nikki Jo: I don’t know what letter you’re talking about… and what do you mean, handle it?

Janet: Oops! I assumed you knew. What will you do now, ask Tess about it, or wait for her to ask for advice?

Nikki Jo: Oh, I don’t pry. No ma’am, I don’t. But maybe you can tell me a little more about what you know when we’re done talking….

Janet: Do you know a woman named Rose?

Nikki Jo: Rose Campbell? Only Rose in these parts. She was the prettiest woman ever born around here… but honey, Rose died forty years ago. What does she have to do with anything? She was best friends with Miranda Michaels—Tess’ good friend over at the Haven. That’s an assisted living home.

Janet: Oh… and it’s Miranda who showed the letter to Tess. She said it looked like Rose’s handwriting. I wonder what’s going on.

Nikki Jo: Rose’s poor husband, Paul, still lives in that house where she died. Don’t think he ever got over her. But then again, you never know. He’s a quiet one.

Janet: Are you a woman of faith? If so, is there a particular song or Scripture verse that’s made a difference for you?

Nikki Jo: Yes, I’m a Christian. I love to sing in the choir—the old hymns are my favorite. I know it’s not popular to sing about blood these days, but I do love Alas and did my Savior Bleed. I don’t like watered-down gospel. Jesus died and bled for me and that’s something I’m always going to be grateful for.

Janet: Grateful indeed! I understand you love to cook for a crowd. What  are some of the dishes your family looks forward to?

Nikki Jo: My boys each have their favorites. For Roger, it’s meatball subs. For Thomas, it’s a good ol’ southern pork barbeque. Andrew likes my cabbage rolls. And Petey… right now he’s happiest when I fix plain old sloppy joes.

Janet: It all sounds good to me! Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Nikki Jo: Morning. Why not get up and greet the day head-on?

Janet: What’s your favourite season?

Nikki Jo: Oh, I love Christmas. Every year I have a special theme for my tree. I think this year will be my most unforgettable yet.

Janet: That gives us something to look forward to! I’m sorry to come back to Tess, but I’m concerned about this letter she hasn’t told you about. If there’s trouble, do you think she might try the lone ranger route?

Nikki Jo: I wouldn’t put it past her. That girl has been through more than she’d ever say out loud and she’s tough in her own ways. Still, if she is in any kind of trouble, we all need to know. With her being pregnant, well… maybe they’d better move up into the big house with us if there’s anything dangerous around… I think I need to go find my phone….

Janet: I guess I’ll have to read Tess’ story and find out what happens. Thanks for visiting today, Nikki Jo, and introducing us to your world.

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Miranda Warning, by Heather Day Gilbert

Miranda WarningBook One in A Murder in the Mountains Series

Child of the Appalachian mountains, Tess Spencer has experienced more than her share of heartache. The Glock-wielding, knife-carrying housewife knows how to survive whatever life throws at her.

But when an anonymous warning note shows up in her best friend Miranda’s mailbox—a note written in a dead woman’s handwriting—Tess quickly discovers that ghosts are alive and well in Buckneck, West Virginia. Hot on a cold trail, she must use limited clues and her keen insight into human nature to unmask the killer…or the next victim might be Tess herself.

Tinged with the supernatural and overshadowed by the mountains’ lush, protective presence, this twisting psychological mystery is the first in A Murder in the Mountains series.

Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing stories about authentic, believable marriages. Seventeen years of marriage to her sweet Yankee husband have given her some perspective, as well as ten years spent homeschooling. Heather regularly posts on Novel Rocket about self-publishing.

You can find Heather at her website, Heather Day Gilbert–Author, and at her Facebook Author Page, as well as Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Goodreads. Her Viking novel, God’s Daughter, is an Amazon bestseller. You can find it on Amazon and Audible.com. Her Appalachian mystery, Miranda Warning, released June 20th.