What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free--and signed by the author!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Christian novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Veronica Heley and Free Books!

PhotobucketIt came naturally to Ellie Quicke to look after her family and friends, but there were no easy answers to the problems of those around her, and one of these was about to get way out of hand.

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the copy of Winnie Griggs's novel, Second Chance Family, is:

judyjohn2004@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways!

Now let's visit with novelist Veronica Heley, author of Murder My Neighbour (Severn House, May 2011).

PhotobucketVeronica Heley celebrated the publication of her 67th book this summer, having been  in the business for over 30 years. She is currently writing two gentle crime series; the Ellie Quicke Mysteries, the Abbot Agency series. Also some short stories. In the past she’s also written a straightforward biography of St Paul, some historical fiction, many articles and reviews, masses of children’s and resource books, and story-boards for cartoons.

She’s involved with her local church and community affairs, likes to break for coffee with friends and does the garden when she has time. She has been a member of a book reading club for 40 years, but has decided that life is too short to read depressing literature any more.

Please tell us five random things we might not know about you.

--I believe in chocolate when inspiration fails.

--I like to buy my clothes in Bruges, where they are accustomed to clients who like cream with their cakes.

--I prefer drinking beer to wine.

--I get cross when the powers-that-be change the Latin names of plants I’ve known since childhood.

--I love Sir Terry Pratchett’s fantasy books – even those originally meant for children.

Oh, my goodness, I can't tell you how many of your items rang true for me, as well, although I've never been to Bruges.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Murder My Neighbour.

PhotobucketEllie’s old friend and housekeeper falls of a ladder after seeing a ‘ghost’ in a neighbour’s house . . . while Ellie is trying to get rid of a desperate young man . . . who says he is looking for his great aunt . . . who has gone missing.

Flavia Pryce was supposed to have moved to a retirement home, but it seems she never arrived there. Ellie’s walk round the block reveals that someone is still tending the vegetables in Mrs Pryce’s garden. Perhaps the house is not as deserted as it looks?

So where is Mrs Pryce, and who knows more about her departure than they are prepared to tell? And how can Ellie deal with her difficult daughter Diana’s latest financial disaster?

What is it about your lead character that will make your readers care about her?

Readers identify with Ellie Quicke because she is a sixtyish housewife who has had the great good fortune, second time round, to marry her best friend. She doesn’t think of herself as intelligent, but she solves neighbourhood crimes because she has sharp eyes, and networks in the community. She is gradually learning how to deal with a family inheritance – and an appallingly ambitious daughter. Readers tell me they know someone just like Diana, and they cheer Ellie on in her constant battle to deal with her daughter’s problems.

Most novels feature a villain, whether in the form of a person or as an entity or psychological fear. Who or what would you say is your novel’s villain?

In Murder My Neighbour there are a number of people whose greed and stupidity leads them to commit acts which have disastrous and unforeseen consequences. The suspects in this book are not black or white; generally speaking, people aren’t all good or all evil, but shades of grey. Ellie comes across some unlikeable characters but also some for whom she finds sympathy.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

PhotobucketI’d love to see Imelda Staunton play Ellie, because she can do vulnerability as well as determination.

Exactly. She's excellent.

What is the last book you read that you would recommend?

At the moment I’m reading everything I can find by Lawrence Block, because he can take a flawed character and get us to understand and identify with him. And technically, he’s a master of suspense.

What are you working on now?

Another Ellie Quicke, provisionally titled Murder in Mind, in which I am killing off the members of a horrible family, one by one. I’m enjoying that.

Hilarious. I'm intrigued and very interested in that one. 

Where else can readers find you online?

My website is at www.veronicaheley.com. Readers can also sign up to receive my monthly newsletter, by pressing the button on the home page of the website.

The book is available for purchase at fine bookstores and via these online buttons:

Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

I have been getting published for over thirty years and have a large number of books – some for children, some for adults – which are now out of print. If I could find the time to do some editing on them, would you like to have them available on E-books?

Thank you, Veronica, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Veronica has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, August 22. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Veronica's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with MaryLu Tyndall, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of her book.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.


windycindy said...

I think it would be a great idea for you to create ebooks! I don't read ebooks as of yet, but I know a lot of
people who do!
Thanks, Cindi

lgm52 said...

I prefer hard copy to e-books, so that wouldn't interest me.

dancealert said...

I love e-books but think that childrens books should be actual books. I would love to get a copy of this book. Please enter me.

I'm a subscriber and follow by email. I posted this to my blog: http://dancealertreads.blogspot.com/2011/08/reading-writing-and-stuff-in-between_15.html

dancealert at aol dot com

Judy said...

I love books in soft or hard cover. I enjoy seeing books in my book shelves and so no I wouldn't be interested in e-books.

I enjoyed the interview with Veronica. She is a new author to me. Her book "Murder My Neighbour" sounds like a fantastic read. I would love to win a copy of it.


by Pegg Thomas said...

I am not an e-book reader. Maybe some day - when forced by the industry - I'll get an e-reader. But not until then.

I haven't read an Ellie Quicke book but I love how you've described her here. I think she's a character I could very much enjoy. :)

twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

Trish Perry said...

I'm really surprised by the general non-e-reader trend here! I personally prefer a print book, too, but I've been thinking I'm in the minority.

Still, e-readers are here to stay, and I feel writers and publishers need to be ready and willing to have their books available in both formats.

Very good point, though, dance alert, about children's books. But that, too, may be different with the newer generations growing up in such an electronic world.

T. Wilhelm said...

I don't have an e-book device yet either. I do love the feel and smell of a book, but I think when I can invest in an ipad I will begin to buy ebooks. We'll see. Please Enter Me! I think this looks like a great read for fall!

Carol M said...

I also prefer print books and don't plan on getting an e-book device. I think it's good for children to have print books, too. However, I do know that lots of people are getting them now and it would be good for an author to give them that option.

mittens0831 at aol dot com

Cindy W. said...

Murder My Neighbor sounds like a wonderful book to read. I love a good mystery/suspense novel.

In answer to your question, YES! I have been hoping and praying that more authors and publishing houses would bring some of the out of print books back and right now probably the best way to do that would be in ebook format. I say Go For It!1

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Rebecca said...

I think that Ebooks are a great idea. I say go for it. Good luck.

Thank you so much for the chance to win this. This looks like a great book. I would love to win this. Thanks again.


Anonymous said...

I do prefer a hard copy of a book, but...I received an e-reader for my birthday. Since I personally have an e-reader, and have two others in the house, with my other two children wanting one as well...I would love to have your books in e-reader format. I do agree with a previous poster that children's books should be in print, only.

Thank you for the interview and the giveaway!
Kelly Y. in Virginia

Jo said...

I have been debating about reading e-books. Still have so many copies of hard books to read that not sure if it would be worthwhile for me to do. Please enter me in the giveaway.


apple blossom said...

I don't have a book reader so I'd prefer the book in copy form

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

wfnren said...

Yes, I just got a kindle and sometimes it is convenient to use it rather than carry a book. Saying that, I don't want to do away with hard copies, I love holding a book in my hands as I'm enjoying it.




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