Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass
(An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery)
by Heather Day Gilbert

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About the Book

Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass (An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Lyrical Underground (June 25, 2019)
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108841
ISBN-13: 978-1516108848
Digital ASIN: B07HVYQ9XZ

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 . . .

About the Author

What initially got you interested in writing?
I’ve loved reading since I was about four years old, so I had an early love of the written word. After winning writing contests in fifth grade and high school, I started to realize I enjoyed writing, and I took many writing classes in college. I wrote my first novel (in a month!) for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) when my youngest child was six years old, and then I realized I could complete an entire book if I put my mind to it.

What genres do you write in?
I write contemporary mysteries/suspense and Viking historicals. My Viking novel was my first published book, and while that 2-book series has many fans, I realized I enjoyed writing contemporary mysteries a bit more.

What drew you to writing these specific genres?
I wrote the Viking historicals (God’s Daughter and Forest Child), which are based on the real women who sailed to North America (one was Eirik the Red’s daughter), because I’m allegedly related to Eirik the Red. I started reading the Icelandic sagas and was blown away by the stories of those real, brave women that needed to be told.

I wrote my first mystery for fun, then I was hooked. I think it’s because I’ve read mysteries since I was young (from Trixie Belden to Agatha Christie), and that’s the genre I’m most strongly drawn to.

How did you break into the field?
I independently published my book after shopping it to Christian publishers, who didn’t feel they could market Vikings. Suffice it to say, the Viking trend blew up in the years following that (How to Train your Dragon, Thor, and the Vikings miniseries, to name a few). I was glad I went ahead and got my book out to readers, because it established me as the only girl who was writing Viking books in Christian writing circles.

What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
As far as my mysteries, I truly want to provide them with entertainment that portrays believable characters, surprising villains, and twists they can’t see coming. If I wanted to model an author, it would be Agatha Christie.

What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Hearing readers talk about my characters as if they’re real, or as if they’re friends. I love when that happens.

What do you find most challenging about writing?
Definitely trying to make an income from it! ;) I have three children who will be in college this fall, so I’m working on another series to shop around to publishers right now.

What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
You have to be the strongest advocate for your book. Don’t expect an agent or an editor or your publicist to believe in your book more than you do. You have to know it’s something that’s worth reading, then you have to be willing to market it that way.

What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Mysteries and psychological thrillers. Also classics, although I wish I had more time to read those. I read a lot of early reader copies of books for my Christian author friends, as well, since I’m happy to influence for them.

Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
Like Belinda Blake, I like to play video games, and that’s kind of rare among moms, I’ve found. ;)

What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
You can find me online here:

Facebook Author Page:
Twitter: @heatherdgilbert
Instagram: @heatherdaygilbert
E-Mail: heatherdaygilbert (at) gmail (dot) com


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

Author Links



Facebook Author Page:


Twitter: @heatherdgilbert



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