Newsletter no 80 August 2014

Now and then someone asks me what Ellie Quicke is like. Sometimes they say they think that she’s like me, and I say, ‘Yes, she is – sort of.’ Because she is not very tall, not exactly sylph-like and her hair is silver. But Ellie is not really me. I wouldn’t call myself a soldier for Christ – but then, neither would Ellie. Yet that is what she is, in a way. But she’s also a fallible human being who can be forgetful and leave the house with her skirt tucked up into her pants at the back. And yes, the other day I put on a full skirt, and as I was walking up past the shops, a woman I didn’t know called out to me and pointed . . . and then we both got the giggles. So perhaps I’m more like Ellie than I thought.

Do you know what the letters html mean? No, I don’t, either. But Severn House have very cleverly arranged to put seventeen of my books into this format, and if I put this list of figures and letters onto my newsletter or at the bottom of an e-mail it means that anyone doing Ctrl and click on them can get a picture of the cover, an extract from the book, and can even buy it direct from the site. I’ll try to put some of the list on the end of the newsletter. All I know is that there are some _ characters between the words of the title, but that they disappear when the whole ‘sentence’ gets underlined. I did try it out myself, putting in the _ signs and it worked. Amazing!

I recorded an interview and some extracts from my newsletters for the people who produce the Ellie and Bea audiobooks, and they have now gone live on their Soundcloud page. I do hope you like them. My website manager says he’s put links through my website on the home page – that’s the interview; and on the blog page. But you can also access the official Isis sites through this:

Podcast & Interview:

Collected newsletters 2011-2014 (one audio file)

Links to individual newsletters (click on each title)

Some more good news. I’ve got the first of the reviews in for MURDER IN TIME, published in May in the UK, and August in the USA. Booklist says that ‘The indomitable amateur sleuth Ellie Quicke is back doing what she does to perfection… An absorbing plot starring the always charming Ellie, and a slam-bang ending, makes this one a pleasure to read.’ AND – wait for it – Publishers Weekly says ‘Heley’s prose is sure, her characters well-drawn, and though her tone is light, the plot is satisfyingly dark and sinister.’ How about that!

I now have some new carpets. Yes! The bad news is that I’ve had to move my computer around again, with the usual set of problems which that entails. Updating my computer meant that the old method of storing and sending out pictures by email disappeared. Cue maximum confusion and frustration! But my wonderful guru taught me another path through the maze, and hopefully we’re back in business.

I’ve been trying to find out when the Holiday short story for the Methodist Recorder will be out. I’m told – sometime in August. Just keep an eye out for it, will you? If you can’t get a copy, I’ll send one to you by email in the usual way – but not before it’s published.

LONGSWORD is the next of my historicals to be brought out as an e-book by Severn house. We’re back in the lawless Middle Ages when a man fleeing from a wrongful conviction takes refuge in the castle in which lives a girl who’d once been promised to him in marriage. He’s a red-head but the cover gives him black hair. Oh well. Now, if I’ve understood this correctly, if you do Control and click on this URL, you get the cover and the first two chapters; And yes, it works!

And so, back to Ellie number sixteen. This is now roaring ahead, with Diana being threatened with hell-fire – am I enjoying that bit! – and suspicion being cast everywhere. I know that very soon I’m going to have the copy editing of the last Bea Abbot to do, so I’m trying to get ahead with Ellie while I can.

We finished our afternoon tea club for the over 65s at the end of July and will restart in September. My favourite cake is the mushy chocolate, but it does crumble a bit which means we have to get the hoover out at the end of the afternoon. We think it’s worth it. Coronation chicken is top of my list for sandwiches, but we have a different menu every week and it’s always a nice surprise to see what’s coming up.

A blessing: may you find enjoyment and not heatstroke in the sun, appreciate the wonderful range of summer fruits in the shops, and spent some catch-up time with a friend.

Veronica Heley

PS. I may send the next newsletter out a couple of days early as I’m at the Warwick Writers’ Conference at the end of the month.

PPS. I’ve just been told that Ulverscroft have put an opening section of False Diamond onto the cloud too. You can hear that on

Severn House e-books released in June, July and August

Bea Abbot: FALSE STEP:

Historical: LONGSWORD:

Ellie Quicke: MURDER IN TIME:

Don’t forget that if you would like a digital review copy of Murder in Time, it is available from Severn House through NetGalley. This facility is available to librarians, booksellers and established reviewers and bloggers, but NOT to the general public who only post reviews on Amazon or Goodreads – unless they are Amazon Vine reviewers or GoodReads librarians. Apply direct to Charlotte Loftus.

UNSUNG HEROES is now available as an e-book. This is a collection of short stories originally published in the Methodist Recorder, concerning the problems of three retired men and their families, plus some Ellie Quicke short stories. £3.40 UK, and $4.90 USA.

Find details of all the other E-books at