Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Heather Day Gilbert & Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass

Posted June 20, 2019 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, Heather Day Gilbert, mystery/suspense, romance / 27 Comments

I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Heather Day Gilbert to the blog as part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for her new cozy mystery Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass! She is one of my fave people & authors, and I’m honored to kick off her blog tour.

SERIES: Exotic Pet Sitter Mystery #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Lyrical Underground/Kensington
RELEASE DATE: June 25, 2019
PAGES: 192

When exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake moves into a carriage house in tony Greenwich, Connecticut, she’s hoping to find some new clients. Instead she discovers a corpse in the garden—and a knack for solving murders . . .

Pet-sitter Belinda Blake doesn’t rattle easily, but move-in day has been eventful, to say the least. The python in her care tried to slither to freedom—just as she met Stone Carrington V, her landlords’ disarmingly handsome son. With the constrictor back in its cage, she heads out to the garden, only to discover a designer shoe poking out of the boxwood hedge—attached to a woman’s dead body.

The victim, Margo Fenton, was a Carrington family friend, and no one in their circle seems above suspicion. Between client trips to Manhattan and visits to her family in upstate New York, Belinda begins to put the pieces together. But though she’s falling for Stone’s numerous charms, Belinda wonders if she’s cozying up to a killer. And soon, daily contact with a deadly reptile might be the least dangerous part of her life . . .

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Carrie, I’m so delighted to visit your blog today. You know I’m a huge fan of YOU as a reader and author encourager! I’ve especially appreciated all you’ve done for indie authors, although the book we’re talking about today is traditionally published. It was an absolute delight to meet and hug you at the Christy awards gala this past November!

>> side note interruption from Carrie: Meeting YOU and getting that hug was a highlight of that day for me! You know I’m a huge fan of you too 🙂

I’m so excited to get Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass out to readers on June 25th. I wrote all three books in the 3-book series over the course of last year. The second, Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, will release in October, and the third, Belinda Blake and the Birds of a Feather, will release in February 2020. This series really felt like it came together fairly easily, with a fun concept (an exotic pet-sitting, video-gaming amateur sleuth, Belinda), and with villains I think my readers won’t be able to guess, which is very important to me, since I grew up reading Agatha Christie!

I know many of your readers are Christians, and they might wonder why I made the jump from Christian mysteries to general market mysteries. First, I’d say that I felt God was leading me that way, so when Kensington offered a contract, with the advice of my agent, Julie Gwinn at The Seymour Agency, and my critique partner Becky Doughty, I signed on the dotted line for a 3-book series.

Also, my readers know what to expect from me—no graphic sex/language/violence, and that will hold true in this series. They also know I strive to write believable characters, and there are all sorts in this series—from those struggling with alcoholism to the really solid family unit Belinda is part of. Since it’s a cozy mystery series, the tone is lighter than my previous mysteries, but it still won’t shy away from deeper motivations and experiences. And since Belinda is a twenty-something single gal, there will be some romance involved…

And for those who are scared to read about a snake, I hope it’s reassuring that cozy author Emily James felt the same way as you (despised snakes), but after reading Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass, she felt the ball python was one of her favorite “characters” in the book! I did a lot of research on ball pythons, and they do seem to delight their owners, so Belinda kind of changed in her feelings toward snakes, too. Book two will feature wolves on a wolf preserve, and book three will feature homing pigeons, and it was so fun to do the research on each animal!

In other words, this ain’t your grandma’s cozy mystery series! I am hoping moms and grandmas will pick it up and realize it’s a clean, fun mystery for their teens and grand-teens. 🙂

Thanks for having me here today, Carrie! HUGS TO YOU and your readers!

HUGS right back to you, dear Heather! I’m so excited about this new series – and those covers are just the cutest 😀

Heather Day Gilbert, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Like Belinda Blake, Heather plays video games, although so far she hasn’t done any exotic pet-sitting or hunted any murderers. Find out more on

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What about you? What interests you most about this book? Have you read any of Heather’s books before Belinda Blake?

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27 responses to “Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Heather Day Gilbert & Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass

  1. Susan Snodgrass

    I have read all of Heather’s books! I am on her team and so happy about that! I’ve actually even met her in person, too. She is a sweetheart.
    Thank you for the extra I don’t Tweet entry. I always feel left out cause of that!

    • Dianne Casey

      I haven’t read any of Heather’s books and I think the exotic pet sitter storyline is really interesting and unusual.

  2. Keren H Lyles

    New Author to me. But interrsted to read her books. Thank you for this chance at one. Blessings always.

  3. Just wanted to pop in and say I read an early copy (thank you Goodreads give-away!) and really enjoyed this fun book! Looking forward to the rest of the series!

  4. Diane Buie

    I am so glad to see of my favorite people featured on this page today; Heather Day Gilbert and Meez Carrie! 🙂 love Meez Carrie’s reviews and I am a fan of Heather’s books on Vikings, God’s Daughter was one of my first to read and since then, I am a “hooked” fan of Heathers’! 🙂 Thanks for the chance to enter.

  5. Pam K.

    I really enjoy cozy mysteries. This sounds like a great new series that I’d like to read.

  6. Aww! I love seeing so many comments from both new and loyal readers! I DO so hope people enjoy meeting Belinda Blake and her family and friends. I’m truly hoping this is a mystery series that can span the generations AND continue to make readers wonder whodunit! 🙂 Thank you for letting me visit, Carrie!

  7. Anne L. Rightler

    Loved this first in Heather’s new series. Can’t wait for the next ones. And you are so right, the covers are just the cutest!

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