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Y’all know I adore today’s featured author and her Viking historicals! swoon! Also on my tbr are her mysteries which is a little bit out of my usual go-to genres but I’ve heard so much about them and one of y’all will WIN one!!!
About the Author
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.
Favorite fictional couple
Heather: Hands-down, it would be Tommy and Tuppence Beresford from Agatha Christie’s mysteries! I love how they joke around in their marriage and they support each other—and challenge each other to do better without being harsh about it. They were the inspiration for Thomas and Tess Spencer in my mystery series.
Beth: How sweet! They sound like a lovely couple!
Heather: That’s hard, because I have several. My current fave series is Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache mystery series. She gets a depth with her mysteries that’s hard to find. And they’re traditional mysteries, not cozies, so they’re a bit grittier. Still set in a small town, though—in Quebec.
Beth: Small towns have my heart!
Favorite time period to read
Heather: I know it doesn’t jibe with my Viking historicals, but I love reading contemporary fiction. If I do read historicals, they have to feel very immediate and teach me things without being didactic. Like Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. I also tend to migrate to first-person point of view, no matter what genre.
Beth: As readers, we are allowed to love what we love! Personally, I have to have variety but historical is the genre of my heart!
Favorite outside activity
Heather: I don’t get outside nearly enough since I’m writing/marketing all the time, but I love walking in the woods, tending to my perennial flower beds, and going shooting with my husband. If you read my books, you’ll notice a common thread in nearly every one is that there are scenes that take place in the forest. That’s partly why I chose WoodHaven Press for my small press name. The woods are also a haven for me (and I live in the West Virginia mountains, so there are plenty around!). And I often work flowers and guns into many of my contemporary novels, as well.
Beth: I’m an inside gal myself but I do love to take walks and the woods are a lovely place to do so!
Favorite character type
Heather: I find it interesting how everyone has a different kind of male protagonist they “swoon” over. I’m not a huge Mr. Darcy fan—I would definitely blast him for his rudeness and then he would be dead to me (I’m an ENTJ on the Myers-Briggs…we’re kind of fierce that way). Anyway, my ideal male protagonist is loyal and quiet, has serious integrity, but he isn’t afraid to speak up and correct the female lead, because he’s a leader himself. Farmer Gabriel Oak in Far from the Madding Crowd embodies the type of dude I tend to write as hero. And there is no doubt it’s because he reminds me of my husband! Thomas Spencer from my mysteries and Thorfinn Karlsefni from my Viking historicals are similar to this type of hero. 🙂
Beth: I think that might be the key to our favorite fictional heroes… they remind us of our real-life heroes! 😍
Tell us about your latest release
Heather: My latest release is Guilt by Association, Book 3 in A Murder in the Mountains mystery series, which features Tess Spencer. This one is close to my heart because it explores the opioid epidemic in my home state (West Virginia) and we have personally seen the effect of this epidemic.
I’m giving half the first month’s profits to a WV long-term women’s drug rehabilitation facility because long-term rehab is one of the only ways people can hope to break these nearly unshakeable addictions. In this mystery, Tess has to wrestle with doubts about her mom, who’s finally out of prison for dealing drugs in the trailer park. You can find my Pinterest board of inspirations for Guilt by Association here.
Beth: I love that, Heather! How wonderful!
Pearletta Vee’s drug-dealing past is resurrected when the body of an overdosed teen shows up—right next to her trailer. Tess decides to stick around and investigate, yet the evidence is stacked against Pearletta. Tess suspects a setup—but why?
Never one to back down from a challenge, Tess takes on a wayward teen, an abusive grandma, and more than one drug dealer in her quest for the truth. But it’s going to take a miracle to keep her from becoming a casualty in her own personal war on drugs.
Plunging into the shadowy reality of the drug epidemic in West Virginia, Guilt by Association is the third book in the award-winning Murder in the Mountains mystery series.
Beth: These covers!!! 😍
Tell us about your next release
Heather: My next upcoming release will be a cozy mystery series with Kensington Books. I’m hoping the first (and/or second) will release in 2018. I’m really excited about this one, and while I don’t think I can give details yet, it’s been really amusing to write.
Beth: Yay for more books! Go, Heather!
Describe your writing style in five words
Heather: I’m going to cheat and use words my readers gave me, because they are THE BEST! They say my books are realistic; unforgettable; complex; vibrant, and have well-developed family relationships.
Beth: Yep! You have some smart readers!
What books are you reading right now?
Heather: I’m honored to be reading my author friend’s books: A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner, The After Glimpse by Wendy Paine Miller, Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks, and Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof. Every single one is excellent.
Beth: Mmmhmmm, I have some of those lovelies on my tbr as well! 😍 Thank you so much for joining us today, Heather!
Heather Day Gilbert has generously offered to send one fortunate Faithfully Bookish reader a paperback copy of Guilt by Association!!!
US residents only
Let’s chat about our favorite hero types, reader friends!
Do you see a correlation between fact and fiction?