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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Interview & Giveaway: Janet Sketchley ~ Author of Heaven's Prey!

Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Janet!! Will you tell us a little about yourself? 
I live in Nova Scotia, on Canada's east coast, with my husband and three soon-to-leave-the-nest sons who add warmth, encouragement and laughter to my life. I'm a writer-homemaker, learning to set boundaries between work-at-home and free time. The tenacity of God is one of my themes in writing, because it's something I've experienced in my own life.
What is your novel, Heaven's Prey, about?
A grieving woman is abducted by a serial killer—and it may be the answer to her prayers.

Despite her husband’s objections, 40-something Ruth Warner finds healing through prayer for Harry Silver, the serial killer who brutally raped and murdered her niece. When a kidnapping-gone-wrong pegs her as his next victim, Harry claims that by destroying the one person who’d pray for him, he proves God can’t—or won’t—look after His own. Can Ruth’s faith sustain her to the end—whatever the cost?

Heaven’s Prey is about a villain’s last chance at redemption and a vulnerable woman’s obedience to pray for her enemy—not the gentle inspirational read many associate with the Christian genre.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 
When I was a child, I turned part of my closet into a "writing office" and wrote some admittedly awful stuff that has not survived. University papers cured me of writing until I became an at-home mom without enough time to read. I started making up stories to amuse myself, and when the seeds of Heaven's Prey came along I didn't want to daydream them, so I started writing the story. Once I rediscovered how much fun it is to write fiction, I didn't want to stop.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? 
Each March I bake a cake to celebrate my imaginary friends. There's so much uncertainty in the publishing world, I think my family and I need a treat we can enjoy along the way.
Where do you like to write? 
I'll write anywhere I can be alone with my laptop. Instrumental music can help, but lyrics distract me.
What do you like to do when you're not writing? 
I love reading, music, knitting and cross-stitch... and tea. I get to the gym a few times a week, and I sing in our church worship team.
What is your favorite genre to read and why?
Action, suspense, mystery, science fiction and fantasy are my top picks, and if they have twist endings it's a bonus. I like stories that entertain and give hope, and I try to avoid anything with brutality or sex or profanity. Those ones make me uncomfortable.
What is your least favorite genre to read?

Horror. My imagination's too vivid!
Is there a place you'd like to visit, but haven’t yet? 
I'm enough of a science fiction fan that my biggest dream is to get into space. Here on earth, Australia and New Zealand top my wish list.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse? 
Proverbs 3:5-6 may be my life verses (perhaps because it'll take me a lifetime to apply them). "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." (NIV)

The older I get, the more I think the Christian life is summed up in the phrase "trust and obey." Very simple. Very hard.

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie? 
I love too many songs to pick just one! My favorite movie is either The Scarlet Pimpernel or the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I'm also very fond of Casablanca.
What is your favorite holiday? 
Thanksgiving, which Canadians celebrate on a different date than our US friends. I love Christmas and Easter, but the commercialism and social pressures make them a bit harder. With Thanksgiving, I can relax and be grateful for so many blessings.
What is your favorite season and why is it your fav?
I love them all, but autumn is my favourite. I live in Eastern Canada, and the maple leaves turn these brilliant shades of orange and red. We also get yellows and browns from other trees. When the leaves fall, it's a treat for me to walk in the woods and scuff my feet through every pile of leaves I can find. Plus, cooler weather means cozy sweaters and socks, fresh apples and homemade soup.
Some this-or-that questions:

Snowstorms or Thunderstorms? thunderstorms
Chocolate or Vanilla? vanilla
Tea or Coffee? tea
Call or Text? email
Cats or Dogs? cats
Early-bird or Night-owl? I'm still trying to find my "awake" time
Introvert or Extrovert? introvert
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
Mystery or Romance? mystery
Sneakers or Sandals? sandals

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint? 
Heaven's Prey has a few scenes with the villain's sister, Carol, and I'm working on her story, called Secrets and Lies. What would it be like to live with the public shame of having a dangerous offender for a brother? What if his enemies, who can't get at him easily, decided to target Carol and her son? And what if this single mom had to handle all this in her own strength, because she was afraid to pray for help?

Thank you so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?
Thanks for hosting me, Melanie. This has been fun. I most like to connect with readers at my website: janetsketchley.ca. It's kind of like having them come to visit. Wish I could find a way to offer them tea and cookies!
Readers of Christian suspense are invited to sign up for my monthly newsletter, and the Heaven's Prey bonus features page has a link to read chapter 1 for free, plus character interviews and other tidbits. My blog, Tenacity, is part of the site, and I post weekly reviews, devotionals and features. I also have a Facebook author page and I spend a bit of time on Twitter.

Author Bio:

Janet Sketchley's debut novel, Heaven's Prey, is a story of suspense and redemption. You'll find her Christian living articles and book reviews at janetsketchley.ca, plus a true-life story in the award-winning anthology, A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. Janet lives and writes in east-coast Canada.

Janet's monthly newsletter: http://bit.ly/JanetSketchleyNews

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Heaven's Prey! Giveaway is open internationally and the winner can choose either a print or eBook copy! Ends 5/22

How to enter: Sign into the Giveaway Tools form below (it might take a moment to load) and submit each entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Giveaway Tools and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Giveaway Tools or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


  1. This book sounds quite different than most I have read. I usually enjoy most Christian books and would like to read this one, as well.

  2. Janet, "Heaven's Prey" sounds so good! I also see we have a few things in common. I'm a stay-at-home mom trying to be a writer, I've always wanted to visit New Zealand, I can't read horror, and I'm also involved with our church's worship team. :)
    Thanks for the interview, Janet and Melanie -- I enjoyed it!

  3. Thank you for hosting me, Melanie, and I love that photo of the cat in the box!

  4. Jennifer, we have a few things in common indeed! Keep writing, and enjoy life along the way.

    Sonja, it's different all right :) But reader response has been good.

    Thank you both for chatting!

  5. Melanie and Janet--really enjoyed the interview. It was nice to meet Janet. I wish we could sit down and have a cup of tea together. Janet, I've always wanted to visit your part of Canada. It's one place my husband and did not make it to, when we had our motorhome. Your book sounds very intriguing. I'm looking forward to reading it. Thank you for offering a copy.

  6. Hi Melanie. Boy would this be a test of faith. But, I think she will pray for GOD to help her. I would love to win and be able to read this book. Sounds very suspenseful.. I think one of the hardest things to forgive is someone who murders a family member or even someone else. Sure have to have a strong faith.

  7. KayM -- tea would be great! Motorhome travelling sounds like the perfect way to explore the country.

    Anonymous, it would be a test of faith indeed, and I hope none of us ever have to face one like it! Yes, the forgiveness would be very hard.

  8. I find it amazing when people can forgive people who commit heinous crimes against a loved ones. This sounds like an intriguing read. God can help us do the most impossible things!
    Thank you for this opportunity to win this giveaway!

  9. Sharon, we sure need God's help to forgive even small offences, let alone horrible ones! It's amazing what He can do in us when we cooperate. Blessings!

  10. This book I need to read. I have heard of so many who forgive the murder in cases where it s a family member. I think that would be be of the hardest things to do, yet GOD tells us to forgive. I would sure need GOD's help in doing this. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  11. Maxie, we'd sure need God's help to do this! We'd need His help even to be willing to obey and try to forgive. It's way beyond what humans can do.

  12. Informative interview


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