Sandra Orchard
Giveaway this Week

Visit me this week at

MBT Ponderers

 and leave a comment for a chance to win a paperback copy of Blind Trust ;-)

Blind_Trust

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One Day Only Super Sale

Blind_Trust

Ebook Lovers here’s your chance to get Blind Trust for a steal!

And…it’s a cheap great way to gift Aunt Martha who got that Ebook reader for Christmas a great book. ;-)

It’s $2.99 or less wherever Ebooks are sold.

Here are some of the most popular links:

Amazon US
Amazon Canada

Amazon UK (£1.44 Kindle)

Amazon Australia
CBD.com (Epub version) only $2.39!
Nook
Itunes 

If you enjoyed Blind Trust, I’d love it if you’d tell your friends about this great deal! There are share buttons below to make it super easy. Of course…I highly recommend reading Deadly Devotion first. :-)

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Be Inspired This Summer

rainbow over fallsLast week, I was able to enjoy a few days away with my hubby at Letchworth State Park to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It was so nice to spend hours of uninterrupted time together, hiking through God’s beautiful creation, being awed by sights such as the rainbow above or soothed by the sound of waterfalls.

waterfall

I was reminded of Jesus invitation to his disciples at a time when they were very busy with people coming and going:

“Come with me

by yourselves to a quiet place

and get some rest.”

Mark 6:31

I don’t know about you, but I can be a bit of a workaholic, so I find it reassuring that Jesus stressed the importance of taking time to rest, to renew and refresh your spirit, soul, mind and body. With edits to do on one novel, another novel to finish, and my thoughts eagerly jumping ahead to a future series I’ve proposed, I know that this verse is talking to me. So…

My blogs may be sparse this summer as I’ve scratched “write this week’s blog” off my to-do list for the summer.

But…I loooove having conversations with my readers and with aspiring writers, so please don’t hesitate to comment or ask questions here or via email or on my Facebook page (where I will continue to check in each day).

 

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Brainstorming Characters

What a whirlwind this month has been! Can you believe we’re already in the last week?

I want to send out a huge thank you to so many of you who have already read Blind Trust and taken the time to blog about or post reviews. I really appreciate your support!

As I await edits on the third, and last, book in the Port Aster series, I’m enjoying brainstorming characters for a new series.

jennifer-connelly-people-in-tv-photo-u47.jpg"}}}I’ve copied and pasted a slew of handsome male actors’ pics into my male characters’ file,  :lol: and I think I’ve settled on Jennifer Connelly as the model for my heroine.

I love this part of writing, when ideas come fast and furious and it feels as if they’ll never stop.

I literally had to set a notepad and pen outside the shower, because all these punchy comebacks that I imagined she might say kept popping into my head. My notepad is now a tad soggy, but I’m not complaining!

Of course… the reality of publishing is that the Port Aster series needs to sell well for my publisher to want to start another with me. But I’m happily ignoring that minor detail at the moment.  ;-)

If you’re an aspiring writer and would like to learn a little more about how I create characters, join me at the Faith, Hope, Love blog on Monday where I’ll be sharing Keys to Creating Compelling Characters.

And I can’t resist sharing a pic of the biggest ‘character’ in my life these days–my soon-to-be-one grandson:

"Oh, nana, I know you just cleaned these all up, but I'm not tired enough to go to bed!"

“Oh, nana, I KNOW you just cleaned these all up, but I’m not tired enough to go to bed!”

Your Turn: What’s the most interesting character in your life these days? Real or imagined. :-D

 

 

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Rediscovering the Joy of Writing

This past week I had the privilege of both attending and teaching at Write!Canada.

I had tons of fun hanging out with my editor and my agent

my agent Steve Laube

My agent Steve Laube and I, goofing around for the camera before the awards gala. BTW, Deadly Devotion won the suspense category!

and old friends and new friends, and despite entering this new week severely sleep-deprived because of it, I have an I-can’t-wait-to-write-today anticipation that I haven’t felt in weeks, maybe months!

Fellowship with fellow writers and awesome classes can do that, but a huge part of the credit goes to Ted Dekker’s inspiring keynote address and class.

Okay, I honestly don't know why I look a tad spaced. He's not the least bit scary.

Okay, I honestly don’t know why I look a tad spaced. He’s not the least bit scary.

I have to admit that the last Dekker book I read was Three. The plots started getting too dark for my comfort level, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from his talks. But wow, I am so glad I didn’t miss them!

He was so open and honest, talking writer to writer.

We learned about his childhood on the mission field in Indonesia and at boarding school, and his rocky journey to publication, and the new fears and struggles that came with sudden success. Too often our identity is wrapped up in our job or our children or spouse or in what we accomplish instead of in the Father and what he’s done for us.

Then he shared a proverb about a person who climbs a rope to get away from the tiger chasing him, only to be faced with a second tiger at the other end of the rope and two mice nibbling through the rope.

Tigers

He likened the tigers to our fears and how if you’re focused on them you won’t escape the fear and see the beauty around you…the strawberries.

He admitted that he often needs to consciously let the fear fall away before he begins writing each day and remind himself that the accuser is the one telling him he doesn’t love this.

When we let go of the fear & the lies, rivers of living water–creativity–can flow.

sandcastleHe likened our stories to sandcastles and authors are like kids playing in the sand.

We’re having fun making stuff up. If we don’t like it, we can wipe it away and start over. Change the story.

So go have fun and build a sandcastle!

 

Tiger image courtesy of anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
photo credit for sandcastle: KenC1983 via photopin cc

 

 

 

 

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Help, Am I Perfectionist?!

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

                                                                              Albert Einstein

An interesting revelation unfolded for me this past week. A writing acquaintance offered to read a summary of my current work-in-progress, or more accurately, my work-not-progressing, and share her perspective on what themes or root problems the characters might shed light on.

I figured that I was struggling because I’m a lot like my heroine, in that I tend to keep my emotions under wraps.

(ruckus in the other room)

“Okay, yes, dear, except when I’m mad.” Sheesh, I was sure my hubby never read my blog!

Anyway…this writer saw my characters as perfectionists and expounded on various truths they’d need to learn.

I was totally floored. I never saw them that way at all.  Stunned Emotiguy

My hubby would never accuse me of being a perfectionist. He’s the perfectionist. Takes forever to do things or starts things, because everything has to be right, whereas I just want to get them done. Except…

Then I pulled out a trait book and read examples of root causes and the various ways the trait might manifest, and I was stunned to realize that my friend was right.

My characters are both perfectionists. They each respond very differently, but the trait is the same.

Gasp! And a lot of the descriptions were eerily apt descriptions of me, too.

ID-100162371 vacuuming

“Yes, hubby, dear. Unbelievable, I know. But I do submit a very clean manuscript no matter how thick the dust bunnies in the corner of the bedroom.”

Sorry, I promise he won’t interrupt anymore.

Anyway, if that revelation wasn’t surprising enough. As I was browsing my daughter’s blog, JLOrchard.com, I discovered a post she wrote about being a perfectionist. And was stunned again.

I never thought of her as a perfectionist. Am I really that inept at understanding what drives people?

I thought I did pretty good with the characters in my books!

I found that quote of Einstein’s at my daughter’s blog, along with this revelation:

Nothing frustrated my music teacher more than my resistance to answer a question. He’d say, “You make a choice, it’s either right or its wrong, but at least you’ve made a choice.” There’s always been this strand of perfectionism in me. Growing up I’d punish myself cruelly for little mistakes to the point where I’d rather give no answer than the wrong answer.

Well, I remember her music teacher saying that, but I can’t say that I ever noticed the other. And I homeschooled her!

Hmm, I can see that I have a lot more to learn about my characters, and apparently myself, before my current writing-not-in-progress starts progressing!

Your Turn: Can you offer me any insights into the mind of a perfectionist?

emotiguy Image courtesy of farconville / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

vacuuming guy image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Blind Trust Blog Tour & Special Deals

Blind Trust is now shipping and I was tickled to already hear from a few readers over the weekend! I’m very excited to be visiting several blogs this week to celebrate the release. Oh, and check out the new cover I found online!

Blind_TrustBlind_Trust_HC

The image on the right is for the large print, hard cover edition that will release in August from Center Point Publishing. Cool, eh?

I’d love for you to pop by one of my blog stops for a visit!

My hero & I will be chatting about all sorts of things.

Today I’m at Trish Perry’s blog, answering questions about Blind Trust and life and if you leave a comment sometime this week, you’ll have a chance to win a copy.

This week, Detective Tom Parker will be answering questions at Margaret Daley’s blog.

Tuesday, I’ll be posting at the Craftie Ladies’ Blog on interesting factoids I learned while researching Blind Trust. ;-)

And…here’s the special I learned about from my publisher over the weekend:

This week only, Deadly Devotion will be on sale in Ebook format at most retailers for only $2.99. I highly recommend reading it before Blind Trust, which has a spoiler for the mystery in it.

And… the Ebook format for Blind Trust will be on sale until July 14th for the special price of $6.99!

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend & Another Giveaway

I don’t live in the US, but any excuse for taking a day off a giveaway will do. :)

Well, that and because I’m up to my eyeballs preparing powerpoint slides for the classes I’m teaching at Write!Canada in a couple of weeks.

Actually…having waaaay too much fun picking fun pictures to liven up the lessons. Like this one on how to write romantic suspense:

AgentHe looks like a go-to kind of guy when you need to get out of a dangerous situation. The kind of guy who’d take a bullet for you, or…at least for the president. ;-)

And if you happen to live near Southern Ontario and love to write, you can still register for Write!Canada.

June 12-14, 2014

June 12-14, 2014

Giveaway Opportunities for Blind Trust

Ending Sunday evening – http://jennifershirk.blogspot.ca/2014/05/fun-interview-and-giveaway.html

Ending May 30th in AM – http://elainestock.blogspot.ca/2014/05/sandra-orchard-master-at-intrigue.html

Ending June 17th – for Goodreads members – https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/92614-blind-trust

How to Make Money

Bank_Notes_1

Wow, did that get your attention? :lol:

Yes, that’s what Canadian money looks like, now, courtesy of the Bank of Canada website. This past week I had fun blogging at International Christian Fiction Writers about what I learned about counterfeiting while researching for Blind Trust.

For example…

Did you know that new photocopiers and printers are designed to lock up if you attempt to copy money?

A number of years ago a kid in Canada did it successfully and passed the bills off at school (before our money went plastic), but one of the blog readers confirmed that yes, photocopiers freeze up. She’d tried copying a bill for a play prop…or so she claimed. ;-)

Intrigued?

You can read the whole post here: http://internationalchristianfictionwriters.blogspot.ca/2014/05/on-making-money-more.html

Have a great week!

Your Turn:

Could you help me with my class prep for a Fictions Basics? If you’re a writer, what was the one element of craft you learned that leapfrogged your writing forward? For everyone…what makes you put a book down and not pick it up again? Thanks so much!

 

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Countdown to Blind Trust Release – Recipe & Giveaway

It’s a holiday here in Canada, but…with the release of book 2 in my Port Aster Secrets series mere weeks away, I figured it was time to whet your appetite.

 french toast

Whoops, wrong picture. I’ll get to that one in a minute!

Blind_Trust

Here we go.

Here’s what Booklist had to say about Blind Trust in their May 15th issue:

“The second of Christian romantic-suspense author Orchard’s Port Aster Secrets novels, Blind Trust finds Kate Adams still reeling from her friend’s murder as she attempts to get her life back in order. However, what begins as a seemingly small-time counterfeit operation soon spirals into something much bigger, with Kate at the center. Detective Tom Parker has his eye on Kate, and not because she’s a suspect. His feelings for her continue to grow, as does his desire to protect her, but Kate’s determination to get to the truth on her own means that Tom is often getting her out of trouble, rather than keeping her from it. When the action shifts from mere counterfeiting to poisoning, theft, and decades-old secrets, Kate insists on researching her way to the facts. Orchard infuses romance with suspense and keeps the excitement coming page after page. Readers will love the ever-deepening mystery as Kate extends her investigation and finds herself and her long-dead father tangled up in an international corporate conspiracy. Will Kate be able to clear her father’s name, and stay safe?”

Intrigued?

Today, I’m hanging out at Jennifer Shirk’s blog sharing some tidbits about the book and some fun stuff about me–because she asked. ;-) And giving away a copy of Blind Trust to one randomly chosen commenter (ends Sunday). So hop on over, but…

before you go, I’d like to share the recipe for the yummy Mother’s Day breakfast my daughter made me.

French Toast with Spiced Pears

What you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup liquid honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp each ground ginger & cinnamon
  • 1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup mild
  • 4 slices whole wheat breat
  • 1/4 cup toasted, sliced almonds

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Stir 3 tbsp honey with lemon juice and 1/4 tsp each of cinnamon and ginger. Spread evenly in a greased 8 inch square baking dish. Arrange the pears over top
  • Beat the eggs with milk and remaining honey, cinnamon and ginger then soak each piece of bread in mixture and arrange over the pears. Pour any excess over the bread.
  • Bake for 20 mins or until golden. Cut into triangles and turn onto plates pear-side up. Sprinkle with almonds and drizzle with syrup from baking dish.
  • For an extra touch add yogurt or maple syrup
  • Enjoy! we did. :-D

Your Turn: What’s your favorite breakfast treat? Or the most unusual breakfast you’ve been served?

 In addition to the giveaway on Jen’s blog, Goodreads members can enter to win a five-book giveaway here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/92614-blind-trust

 

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Devotional with guest writer Alexa Verde

My characters and I have been in knock-down, hair-pulling tussles for days as I try to get the truth out of them about what their problems REALLY are, so…when one of my blog readers, Alexa Verde, emailed to ask if she might write a guest post for me, I was happy to say “Yes!” … One less thing for me to think about. ;-)

I asked her to write a devotional, secretly hoping my own characters might learn something about playing nice. :roll:

Alexa Verde PhotoAlexa tells me that she fell in love with writing at age eight when she penned her first poem. After publishing 200 short stories, poems, and articles in the five languages she speaks–yes, five!–she’s turned her creative passion to writing novels. She is currently participating in the Killer Voice program with Love Inspired Suspense, hoping to soon write for them, and she is also venturing into the world of self-publishing.

“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10, NIV)

The parable of the Prodigal Son is my favorite in the Bible. The story of the Father forgiving his rebellious Son and celebrating his return with a feast gives us hope. It gives us the promise of endless mercy from our Heavenly Father when we reach out to him with humble hearts. But sometimes it’s difficult for us to ask for forgiveness, isn’t it? Years ago, I concentrated on my past mistakes instead of moving forward. Fortunately, my friend, a wonderful Christian woman, helped me to come to the Lord and repent.

By putting that woman in my path when I was a proverbial prodigal daughter, God guided me through my life journey. God guides writers through their writing journey as well if we listen to His message.

I’ve tried to write other books before my upcoming release that didn’t include faith elements, ignoring God’s calling, and it took me nowhere. So I needed to write a book where I could grow together with the heroine and become a better person.

While writing this book, I started growing emotionally and spiritually through my heroine’s journey. We both learned the lessons we saw in the Prodigal Son story but had never identified with before.

We have to find courage and humility to ask for forgiveness when we do something wrong.  When we stray from the right path, we need to find our way home, our way to God. Even though our actions are far from perfect, God always loves us, and His love has no limit. That’s a beautiful thing about writing – you let your characters take risks and open themselves to hurt (something we avoid in real life), and in the end they just might teach you something.

Heartfelt thanks to Sandra for letting me share this on her wonderful blog.

Your Turn: Dear readers, what is your favorite story in the Bible? Have you ever dwelt on past mistakes instead of asking for forgiveness from God? How did you overcome it? I’ll be giving away an E-copy of my new release to one randomly selected commenter.

Sandra back again: Alexa, thanks so much for sharing. I’d have to say Ruth is my favorite book of the Bible for many, many reasons.

Alexa’s debut inspirational romantic suspense, COLOR OF DANGER, releases this Friday. It is the first in her Secrets of Rios Azules series—set in a fictional small Texas town where rivers and emotions run deep and the richest family in town has a taste for fine food, jewelry, and murder.

ColorOfDangerCoverHere’s the Back Cover Blurb:

Former runaway Mari Del Lobo works hard to save her struggling restaurant and to trust people again. Dallas surgeon Dr. Luke Goodman turns her world upside down with terrifying news. A recent murder has her late brother’s – aka the Smiling Killer – signature and MO. When attacks on her escalate, Mari fights her growing attraction to the good doctor as fiercely as she fights for her life. To rescue herself and those she loves, will she be able to stop the murderer before he strikes again?

Luke couldn’t save his fiancée from the Smiling Killer, but he’ll do anything to prevent more murders, even ask help from the serial killer’s sister. Finding a kindred tortured soul and the perpetrator’s next target in Mari, Luke is determined to protect the stubborn ex-rebel. But Mari would rather face danger than risk the safety of the man she comes to love.

To connect with Alexa for news, recipes, giveaways, (self-pubbing tips) and more, please visit www.alexaverde.com.

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Sandra Orchard
Sandra Orchard
Sandra Orchard

 
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