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N. N. Light's Book Heaven presents Heather Peck #authorspotlight #crimefiction #kidlit #mustread



Hi, I’m Heather Peck: ex sheep breeder, ex civil servant, now writer and always animal lover. And I’ll let you into a secret. This year, I celebrate my 70th birthday!

 

From 2017-2019 I found myself volunteered to edit a parish newsletter. As anyone who has done this will tell you, one of the problems for an editor is lack of material; so, I started writing stories to fill in the gaps. These were well received, and I was reminded I had always wanted to write a book. I looked at my birth certificate and wondered, ‘If not now, when am I thinking I might?’ 

 

This resulted in me doing an ‘Introduction to Crime Writing’ course run by the National Centre for Writing and the University of East Anglia in 2019. Since then, I have published five books and a novella in the award-winning DCI Greg Geldard series, and two books for children. Most recently I released a stand-alone thriller, ‘Milestones’, which follows a life studded with drama and disaster through world events from the coronation of Queen Elisabeth the 2nd, through Chernobyl and 9/11 to Covid 19.

 

The Geldard series is a collection of murder mysteries set in the picturesque landscapes of rural North Yorkshire and Norfolk. The series has already won 5 Firebird Book Awards and the second book, Glass Arrows, was shortlisted for the East Anglian Book Awards prize for fiction in 2021. All the books are available on kindle and as paperbacks, and the first three are also on Audible. Book No 6 in the series, ‘Beyond Closed Doors’, will be published in the summer of 2024 and I’m just beginning to write No 7.

 

My first children’s book, ‘Tails of Two Spaniels’ is heavily based on the antics of my own springer spaniels and follows the early life of a two puppies born on a Norfolk farm. A sequel, ‘The Animals of White Cows Farm’ is in preparation and I have also published a children’s picture book, ‘The Pixie and the Bear’.

 

Looking back, I have worn many hats in my varied professional life – mainly because of a long habit of never saying no to new experiences.  I have been both farmer and agricultural policy adviser. I bred both sheep and alpacas, raised calves, negotiated on behalf of the UK in international fora, specialised in emergency response, managed controls related to pesticides and GM crops, saw legislation through the UK parliament, and even got paid to eat KitKats while on secondment to Nestle Rowntree. 

 

Following early retirement, I chaired an NHS Trust, worked on animal welfare initiatives, sailed the Norfolk Broads, volunteered in Citizens Advice and the Witness Service, and was a volunteer vaccinator during the Covid pandemic. My trainer said my experience of injecting sheep and cattle would be invaluable, provided I remembered not to grab any of my human patients by the scruff of the neck!

 

I live in Norfolk, nestled between the picturesque Broads and the stunning coastline, where I and my partner, Gary, share our home with a menagerie of two dogs, two cats, two hens, and a female rabbit named Hero.

 

Sign up for newsletter: https://www.heatherpeckauthor.com

 

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Title              Glass Arrows

Author          Heather Peck

Genre           Crime / Thriller

Publisher Ormesby Publishing

 

Book Blurb

 

PREY, PREDATOR OR PROTECTOR - WHICH ARE YOU?

 

Shortlisted for the East Anglian Book Awards prize for fiction 2021

 

A body is found during a bird-flu turkey cull. DCI Greg Geldard, newly promoted and newly transferred to Norfolk, is about to face the most challenging case of his career.

 

His investigation starts with one body found amongst dead turkeys, but goes on to expose a range of crimes hiding in plain sight, from modern slavery to wildlife smuggling. The body count rises, a friend is threatened, and justice seems a long way off.

 

Excerpt

 

The light was fading fast by the time he reached his spot on the River Ant. Here the bank was clear for a few feet between heavily overhanging elders. The half-moon was a dim shimmer tracing a path downriver when he began fishing with his net, and he grunted with a dour pleasure when a reasonable yield of elvers were dropped into his keep box. They wriggled over and round each other like animated spaghetti, no doubt wondering why, after so many thousands of miles from the Sargasso Sea, their journey upstream had now been interrupted by a smelly Norfolk man with net, box and insurmountable greed.

 

He was just about to plunge the net back into the river for another scoop when he heard the quiet splash of a paddle. Freezing into stillness he listened and watched the water. He was too old a hand to make the mistake of moving away into the trees, knowing that movement was much easier to see than stillness. However, on this occasion the man in the kayak knew where to look. Jackson was surprised to see a kayak very his own.

 

‘What you doin’ in my canoe?’ he exclaimed. ‘I niver giv you permission ta…’

 

then saw, too late, just what the paddler was pointing at him. ‘He tried to back off, but was hampered by the net with the long handle. Then something hit him hard in the chest and the last thing he knew was cold water on his face.

 

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Author Biography

 

Award-winning author Heather Peck has spent most of her working life in agriculture, both as a civil servant and as a hands-on farmer. This resulted in a wide variety of experiences, from managing the UK emergency response to the Chernobyl accident to breeding both sheep and alpacas commercially. She has been involved in international negotiations, pesticide legislation, food quality and animal welfare. After leaving government service she chaired an NHS Trust, then volunteered in Citizens Advice and the Witness Service before Covid changed everything and she combined her NHS and agricultural background by training as a Covid vaccinator. She lives in Norfolk with her partner Gary, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 hens and a rabbit. Heather’s books include a crime series for adults and animal-focussed books for children.

 

Social Media Links

 

 

Title              Fires of Hate

Author          Heather Peck

Genre           Crime / Thriller

Publisher Ormesby Publishing

 

Book Blurb

 

When a mysterious threat is received at a government laboratory and a terrorist attack precipitates a multi-agency response, DCI Greg Geldard is called in to investigate. 

 

As he delves deeper into the case, he finds himself on a dangerous path. Someone he cares for is put at risk before he can close in on a violent criminal driven by hate.

 

Excerpt

 

At 1310 precisely, Jack got up from his work bench, took off his white lab coat and left it over the back of his chair. Someone called to him as he left the lab, but mindful of his instructions he took no notice. Pretending he hadn’t heard, he headed for the exit and the car park, pulling his keys from his pocket as he went. Just as he approached his car, his mobile phone rang. He was now running a few minutes late.

 

The silver Ford Focus was already waiting a few yards away as he pulled out of the designated parking space. A man he didn’t know gave him a very cold stare, then looked over his shoulder to reverse into K14. Looking in his rear-view mirror, Jack saw him get out of the car and walk away towards the main entrance to the site. At this point, his phone connected to his car loudspeaker system and his mother became audible.

 

‘Jack, can you hear me?’

 

Distracted, Jack turned his attention away from the man walking briskly down the drive and concentrated on the squawking phone. ‘Hi, Mum,’ he replied.

 

He was interrupted by an overwhelming noise, more roar than bang, and his car was propelled violently forward into the car in front.

 

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Title              Dig Two Graves

Author          Heather Peck 

Genre           Crime/Thriller

Publisher Ormesby Publishing

 

Book Blurb

 

A gruesome murder and a missing colleague - Greg Geldard has problems. And that's before he attracts attention from a vengeful crime-lord.

 

As he seeks Sarah in a desperate race against time, he uncovers a sinister County Lines operation entangled with money laundering, knife crime and a labyrinthine web of organised crime.

 

The pursuit is intensifying, when Greg, his home, his partner and his cat are all targeted for revenge.

 

Excerpt

 

The last moments of flying time were passing swiftly, when, ‘Got him, there!’ said the navigator, pointing. ‘He’s in the field by the junction,’ he said into the mike. ‘I had him in the spotlight, then he dived into the hedge, and I lost him.’

 

‘We have to go now,’ interrupted the pilot. ‘Absolutely right now,’ and the helicopter dipped as it turned away.

 

On the ground, Inspector Rick Lake shouted into his radio, ‘Go! Go!’ and six men, all he could round up in a hurry, poured out of the blue-lit cars and ran toward the junction from all three directions. Moments later they met in a confused huddle.

 

‘Nothing?’ asked Rick.

 

‘Nothing.’

 

‘Then spread out down the hedgerows and take another look.’

 

As they scoured the tangled undergrowth with their powerful torches, the man panting in the ditch held his breath and readied his gun. In the mist eddying around the willows, the torches wavered, then passed over him. Two constables moved on up the side road and the man scrambled out of the dank, nettle-strewn dyke to run across the road with a curious, scuttling gait, rather like a large crab. The sound of his footsteps was drowned in the noise of the departing helicopter, but he was very lucky to make it over the road and the boundary before any of the searchers turned round. He lay by the fence he’d just hurdled, getting his breath back, then looked round. He was in a small garden, not very tidy, but not completely neglected. The lawn needed a mow, and the flower borders were overgrown, but there was evidence of some activity in the spade stuck in some recently turned earth. The smell of the disturbed soil reached his nostrils as he picked up the spade.

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)

 

 

 

 

Title              Milestones

Author          Heather Peck

Genre           Crime/Thriller/History

Publisher Ormesby Publishing

 

Book Blurb

 

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, there have been a number of significant milestones: dates when millions of people around the world can say ‘I know where I was when...’


Aelfwyth, born on the day Elizabeth II was crowned Queen, finds her life has shared many pivotal events with such milestones, from the childhood moment when she heard of the death of Kennedy and met the Five Towns Flasher, through wars and the Chernobyl disaster to the culmination of her ex-husband’s persecution coinciding with 9/11.


Milestones follows a life through joys and disasters, from first love to last, through loss and abuse to survival and the realisation, at the end, that what really matters is love and hope

 

Excerpt

 

There was a loud bang that brought me to a sitting position as the door flew open, hitting the chest of drawers behind it and bouncing back to slam shut again. But by that time the dark shape that had been standing at the end of the landing was straddling me on my bed, and I was flat on my back with a cushion pressed over my face.

 

I gasped for air to shout, then gasped again just to breathe. I could hear my heart pounding in my ears as my lungs laboured to fill and failed. I heaved my whole body but couldn’t shift the weight on me. I clawed at the hands holding the cushion, but they seemed to be wearing gloves and I could make no impression. I was already failing, getting weaker, when Lucky intervened.

 

I couldn’t hear much at first, but became aware that the pressure was less, and suddenly the cushion fell to one side. For a moment I could do nothing but draw in huge breaths with painful whoops, and it was a second or two before my ears caught up with what else was going on. There was a fearsome growling coming from Lucky that wouldn’t have been out of place from a Rottweiler. As my eyes struggled to focus, I could see a dark shape on the floor by the bedroom door, shouting and struggling with an enraged terrier apparently engaged in ripping his balls off. For two seconds I was torn between cheering her on and worrying for her safety. At that moment, the figure succeeded in tearing her from his groin, at what cost I didn’t know, and threw her across the room. Then he wrenched the door open and dashed down the stairs for the front door.

 

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Title              Tails of Two Spaniels

Author          Heather Peck

Genre           Children’s Chapter Book/Animal Stories

Publisher Ormesby Publishing

 

Book Blurb

 

Springer Spaniel Patch has four puppies on the farm where she lives with Marigold the House Cow, Gertie Goose, Sally-for-short the Sow, and lots of worried woollies. But the puppies can't stay forever and they have a lot to learn.


A story of the antics of puppies, told from the puppies' perspective and brought to life by charming illustrations. For animal lovers

 

Excerpt

 

There was a pen in the corner of the yard and in it was an animal as large as Marigold the House Cow, but with much shorter legs and no fur! Just bristles.

 

‘Hello,’ said Bramble politely ‘What are you?’ The big white animal looked at her and snorted loudly.

 

‘I am Ormesby Sally Ann, known as Sally-for-short, and I’m a sow.’ The puppies looked at each other.

 

‘What’s a sow?’ whispered Bumble quietly, but not quietly enough. Sally-for-short gave a big rumbly laugh and said,

 

‘A sow is a mummy pig. Look at all my baby piglets.’ The puppies put their front paws on the gate of the pig stye and stretched to look in.

 

‘Oh look,’ said Bumble in excitement, ‘there are lots of little pigs and they are all pink and round like sausages.’

 

Sally coughed. ‘We don't say that word here,’ she snorted.

 

‘What word?’ asked Bumble in surprise? ‘You mean Saus…..’

 

‘Ssh,’ said Sally. ‘The S word is banned!’ she whispered.

 

Not that any of the piglets were taking any notice.  They all put their front trotters on their side of the gate and stretched to see the puppies. The puppies and the piglets exchanged sniffs, little puppy noses to little piglet noses; but at that point Farmer Fred came into the pen and tipped lots of food into a long trough. The piglets all lost interest in the puppies immediately and ran to the trough to get their share of supper.

 

‘Bye piglets’, said the puppies. ‘Bye Sally!’ But no one was listening.

 

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1 Comment


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Apr 15

Thank you, Heather, for sharing your writing and books with us!

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