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Heleen Kist Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

In Servitude (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Stay Mad, Sweetheart (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Heleen Kist is a Dutch businesswoman and author best known for her crime and suspense novels. After growing up and working all over the world, she got married to a Scotsman and moved to Glasgow from where she learned English. While she writes novels during the weekends and at night, she holds a day job and is a renowned expert in Access to Finance, where she designed and built several innovative public sector funds through her company Skillcast. She has also chaired and been a director for many companies in finance and been a mediator in a variety of commercial deals. Kist published her first novel “In Servitude” in 2018 and the novel was a huge success. The novel won a Spotlight Award at Bloody Scotland, made the shortlist for the 2019 The Selfies and was voted in at number 16 on the Best 50 Indie Books of 2018. Her debut novel was inspired by a friend’s courageous idea to start a vegan restaurant combined with her expertise in small business finance. Her second novel “Stay Mad, Sweetheart” was published in 2019 and is set in Edinburgh.

Heleen had a very satisfying life as her professional practice was doing very well. However, just like everyone, she needed something exciting and new to help her get through the mundane in life. To shake things up she had always engaged in daunting tasks such as stand-up comedy, though she had never done something as hard as writing a psychological suspense novel. She had always had a way with words given that both her parents were columnists. But given that the only piece of writing she had ever published was during her college, days, she had no creative editing experience. Undergoing some kind of midlife crisis and not pleased that she was the only child in her family that did not have a book published she vowed to have one by Christmas. Kist did not know what she would be writing about but since she lived in Glasgow she knew crime would be a great theme. Still, she knew very little about crime except for what she had seen on TV or read in novels. She wondered about how an ordinary person would become a perpetrator of a crime rather than just being a victim. Heleen signed up for a James Patterson Masterclass online and over the next two months made a point of becoming extra watchful. Everything she heard or saw had her asking could this be a story? When a friend mentioned that she wanted to open a vegan restaurant, Kist thought that would make for a great setting as it could be a front for money laundering if it did not work out as expected.

Since Heleen worked in small business finance, “write what you know” had to include something about this as well. Once the idea for a financial crime was planted, she knew that it was what she needed to write about given her expertise. Grabbing some old wallpaper from her garage and spreading it out on some old table, she drew out the plot Game of Thrones war map style. Everything she needed including the red herrings, the twists and subplots she mapped out on that piece of wallpaper. It was hard but since she had her outline, she went about it writing a chapter in turn and then picturing it like a movie before starting to write. The dialogue was the easy part as it was like the characters were whispering inside her head and she always knew what to write. It was all just a matter of putting them in a compelling setting and capturing their actions as they followed a plot. All Kist needed to be careful of was keeping out all the mind-numbing accounting terminology. Her debut novel “In Servitude” was a family drama with plenty of betrayals that also portrayed how beholden we all are to one another.

Heleen Kist’s first novel “In Servitude” is a novel set in Glasgow that tells an emotional story. The psychological suspense novel opens to the news that Glory has died in a grisly road accident. She has left behind her husband and their two children, her parents and one sister, and a café. Her sister Grace steps in to help Stephen her brother in law and the children left behind. Her father asks that she look for any financial papers that Glory left behind and this leaves everyone perplexed. Why would he ask her instead of her husband, who would clearly know more about the financial matters concerning his wife? The following days and weeks are not easy as everyone is dealing with grief. But the whole enchilada changes when a stranger approaches Grace while she is out exercising her dog and requests that she reopen the café that her sister used to run. She opens the vegan café and within a few weeks, she is surprised to learn that the little hole in the wall makes a lot of money. But when she looks into the financing and gets an odd package she is shocked by what she discovers. She had been very close with Glory when they were children and they often stuck together and looked out for each other in times of trouble. Grace believes it is up to her to help the family her sister left behind. But the more she tries to do what is right the greater the rift between her and her boyfriend grows.

Heleena Kist’s novel “Stay Mad, Sweetheart” demonstrates that there is a fine line between revenge and justice, guilt and innocence. Laura is a data scientist that would rather read than be out there in the world or even worse be interacting online. But then Emily her best friend becomes the victim of cyberbullying and she vows to track down the horrible persons targeting her friend. Meanwhile, Suki who is a petite corporate financier is on the cusp of outshining all the boys at the office. She is in charge of acquiring one of the most exciting startups in the city of Edinburgh but she cannot get Laura her brilliant but distracted boss to engage as she should. Claire the event planner has to work on salvaging the annual conference the company always holds since her boss Laura goes missing for days. She is determined to make it work even if Emily is not available since it may just earn her a promotion. The paths of the three women intertwine as they team up to fight against insidious discrimination and plot the downfall of the people that have wronged one of their own. The only questio0n is will the punishments they come up with fit the crimes committed?

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