Author, Spotlight

Guilt by Association with Heather Day Gilbert q&a

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 Guilt by Association!!!

About the Author

Heather Day GilbertHeather 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.

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Five Favorites

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!

Favorite series

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

West Virginia hiking trailHeather: 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.

Profits to Benefit

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!

Guilt by Association by Heather Day Gilbert (A Murder in the Mountains book 3)

Tess Spencer hadn’t planned on returning to her hometown, but when her ex-prisoner mom puts in a special request, Tess overcomes her hesitance to help her turn over a new leaf.

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.

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Beth: These covers!!! ????


Tell us about your next release

Heather: My next upcoming release will be a cozy mystery series with Kensington Books (Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass). 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!!!

Guilt by Association by Heather Day Gilbert giveaway on Faithfully Bookish

US residents only

complete giveaway rules

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Let’s chat about our favorite hero types, reader friends!
Do you see a correlation between fact and fiction? 

42 thoughts on “Guilt by Association with Heather Day Gilbert q&a”

  1. I love Heather’s books and especially her mysteries . . . . . they are wonderful! Tess Spencer is one of my very favorite characters!


  2. I’m not really particular about the type of hero, just how well the book is written. Thank you for the terrific interview and giveaway opportunity. I’m loving the rich colors on Heather’s book covers, plus the simplicity.


  3. I do think there is a correlation between fact and fiction. To me my hero is my husband. He’s everything a hero should be – honest, strong in spirit, dependable, faithful, very loving, always looking out for the underdog, stands up for what’s right, never looks for what’s in it for me, puts everyone else first, asks for very little of others, supportive. I could go on and on but you get the idea. So when I’m looking for a hero in a book, he has to have similar characteristics to be considered a hero. It not a uniform, job title or income that makes a hero. It’s what’s inside and how that is reflected to others that makes a hero in my mind.

    Loved the interview and can’t wait to read “Guilt by Association”. Thank you for the chance to win a copy. ❤


  4. Hello!!! Great interview!!! My favorite heroes are swoon worthy, but also realistic. I’ve got four brothers and a husband, so I know how real men opperate. Nothing’s worse than a hero portrayed as unrealistic. It takes me right out of the story.


    1. Aha! Yes, that’s a different type of hero from Thomas Spencer in my mysteries. This personality you’re describing reminds me of Snorri Thorbrandsson in God’s Daughter. I’m also writing a hero now who’s more open than Thomas Spencer, but I think that’s because my heroine is different from Tess Spencer (in Guilt by Association). I try to match the heroines to the heroes! 😉


  5. Heather: 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.

    I love this kind of guy. He would be an “ordinary guy”, because that’s what my husband and sons are, but he would think deeply, say what needed to be said, and have a quick sense of humor like my husband does.


  6. I like my heroes to be sensitive but tough types — manly men who don’t mind shedding a tear.

    I haven’t read any books by this author, but I’m really interested in this book’s topic. Opiod addiction is a huge problem in east TN where I live.


  7. Thanks for the chance at this giveaway! I first read of Heather Day Gilbert’s works in , God’s Daughter. It was fantastic and compelling for me! I read it in a weekend as I could not put it down! I will have to continue to read her other books are well. To answer the question about what kinds of heroes I enjoy reading about, I would have to say, characters (male and female) who are strong in the “right” ways; moral character, conscientious, and determined to pursue the right way of living even if it is a sacrifice that is hard for the individual to give up. I like characters who can overcome obstacles and find that their hard work does pay off in the end. There just has to be some hope even in the darkness! ????


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