News

For those who don’t follow my Facebook posts, these days I’m spending most of my time at the hospital helping however I can with my grandchildren, especially my almost-three-year-old grandson who was critically injured in a lawn tractor accident on May 20th.

Sandra Orchard and Jed

Thanks to the Lord’s mercy, the skill and dedication and quick action of emergency personnel and medical staff, and the prayers of thousands worldwide, we still have our sweet little boy with us.

Of course, he has a long recovery journey ahead of him. Currently he is fighting an infection in the skin grafts across his back. He has a badly broken left leg, but x-rays show it is healing nicely. He has broken ribs that the doctors think might never entirely knit together. He also has a torn diaphragm, and very tender skin grafts at the base of his amputated right leg (at the knee).

We are praising God that Jed’s injured spleen has already healed well. His digestion seems to be improving daily. He is responding well to reductions in pain meds (although he is still on a lot).

Emotionally, he’s been a real trooper. He is now able to sit for a few hours at a time in a special stroller and this weekend was even able to venture outside for the first time since the accident. We praise God that there was no brain damage or spinal cord damage and that the growth plates in both thighs appear sound. Once he recovers from the above injuries, he will transfer to a rehab hospital, where he will learn to walk with a prosthetic.

We thank so many of you who have joined our family in prayer for Jed’s recovery and ask that you continue praying. This week’s infection setback, which caused his heart rate and temp to get scary high, has reminded us of how rocky the road ahead might yet be.

We daily lean on the Lord for strength and hope, and knowing that a whole army of others are also standing in the gap on Jed’s behalf is incredibly encouraging.

Over the course of the summer, I will continue to post occasional updates on my Facebook page to let you know how he’s doing and alert you to specific ways you might pray for him. If you are not on Facebook, my updates also appear in the sidebar of this blog.

In Book News:

Deadly Devotion, book 1 in Port Aster Secrets, is on sale for $2.99 or less for the Ebook version at online retailers until June 30th.

Desperate Measures, book 3 in the series is a finalist in The Word Awards, mystery/suspense category.

“I loved how the author was able to give me a mystery with lots of co-4

I am currently working through edits on the final book in my Serena Jones Mysteries series. Thank you to all who took the time to vote for Serena’s future beau after reading A Fool and His MonetIt was a blast reading all your comments. It’s sad to see this series end. Another Day, Another Dali will release in October and the final book, Over Maya Dead Body, will tentatively release next June.

The Lighthouse Media

What will be next after that is still up in the air. Books are generally submitted a year ahead of publication, so although my writing has shifted to the back burner for the moment, my readers wouldn’t feel the effect, if any, until 2018. My publisher would like me to write a romantic suspense series next. So while I don’t have time to write at the moment, I am mulling over ideas and gathering a slew of new experiences and the whole gamut of emotions from which to draw.

I wish you a happy and safe summer.

Discover Some New Authors & Maybe Win a Prize

Today I am participating in a Facebook Hop Around the World Giveaway with Henery Press, celebrating their 100th book with a 100 authors.

unknown.jpg

They aren’t my publisher, but I thought it would be fun to join some fellow mystery authors of various publishers to give my readers an opportunity to win some free books.

Each stop on the hop features a giveaway, mine will be a signed paperback copy of my newest release, A Fool & His Monet + some fun extras. To enter, you must leave a comment on the pinned post before midnight EDT today, June 13th.

Then if you like, you can hop around to other participating author pages & enter for a chance to win any of their prizes that might appeal to you.

Where is Your Dream Escape?

I’m delighted to have Elizabeth Goddard, author of the Mountain Cove series with Love Inspired Suspense, here to share a bit about her latest novel, Deception. Take it away, Beth…

Thank you, Sandra. I recently read an article titled, “Where’s Your Dream House?” in Woman’s World magazine’s June 13 issue. Perhaps you read the same article. One gorgeous scenic image jumped out at me—a beautiful, clear river running toward a snow-capped mountain in the distance. Yes! That’s where my dream home would be.

Among the other choices were a beach, the country, the city and the suburbs.

Deception

The article explained that by choosing the mountains, choosing to live in a serene setting, I’m an introvert and that I “have an inherent ability to see situations with a wide perspective.”

I don’t know about the perspective part but I’m certainly an introvert! But the article made me think about the books I write—the part I love most about my stories is the setting. Writing novels set in places like southeast Alaska (my Mountain Cove series) let’s me spend all that time enjoying the setting, at least in my head.

I’ve always been a daydreamer, and if I’m not living somewhere then escaping to an exotic location in a novel set in such a place is the next best thing. When I’m searching for a new novel idea, I almost always look for the setting first.

As readers, I’m guessing that’s not necessarily what you look for first when deciding whether you want to spend the next few hours or days with a novel. If it’s set in a place you’d love to see, then that might catch your interest, but you also want action, adventure and intrigue. Throw in some romance and you’re all set.

That’s exactly what you’ll get in Deception, the 6th novel in the Mountain Cove series.

Here is what reviewers are saying:

I thought that the description of the wild Alaskan scenery was breathtaking and that it made me feel as if I was there. –Britt Reads Fiction

. . .the vivid imagery of the Alaskan wilderness . . . Deception is an exciting tale and a recommended read for fans of romantic suspense!—Buzzing About Books

Vivid descriptions and action bring the story to life—RT Book Reviews (4 STARS)

Thanks for having me, Sandra! And thanks for joining me, Readers!

 

Me again. My pleasure, Beth. Readers here is the back cover blurb for Deception and some more info about Beth.

TRAIL OF SECRETS

Jewel Caraway thought she’d left her mistakes in the past—but then her past arrives at her door. Though she’s thrilled to reunite with her estranged sister, something about her sister’s new husband makes Jewel uneasy. Does he know her secret? Is he the one behind the growing list of attacks against her? And if he is involved…does that mean her sister is, too? With nowhere else to turn, Jewel must rely on police chief Colin Winters—the first man to make the widow question her resolve to never love again. But will he stay by her side when her guarded secrets are revealed?

Mountain Cove: In the Alaskan wilderness, love and danger collide

To see purchasing options for DECEPTION, visit Beth’s website at Elizabeth Goddard.com or her Amazon Author Page

Elizabeth GoddardElizabeth Goddard is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than twenty-five romance novels and counting, including the romantic mystery, THE CAMERA NEVER LIES–a 2011 Carol Award winner. She’s a double finalist in the 2016 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense for her books BURIED and BACKFIRE in the Mountain Cove series.

A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of writing full-time. She currently makes her home in Minnesota with her husband and children.

To get book news sign up for her newsletter at her website: http://elizabethgoddard.com

You can also connect with Elizabeth on Facebook: http://facebook.com/elizabethgoddardauthor

or Twitter.com/bethgoddard

 

 

 

 

Look On the Bright Side…

So…here it is mid-Spring in Niagara, flowers are blooming, the trees are leafed out and the birds are tip-tapping at the window, and…it’s snowing! Fruit Trees in Blossom

But…on the bright side, if it were a beautiful, sunny, warm spring day like the day I took the above picture, I wouldn’t feel like polishing the manuscript that’s due in two weeks or reading the page proofs for another book in the pipeline or working on a new proposal for the next book.  😉

And my sweet hubby has fired up the old wood stove, so this is turning out to be a nice cozy afternoon. Of course…the real excitement starts this evening when I get to babysit my grandchildren. 😀

By later tonight, I should have a fun photo or maybe even a video to add to the bottom of this post. The children have discovered that their Poppy can video them in front of a green screen and send them to the moon or to wherever they like.

Okey dokey…I’ve procrastinated long enough. Have a great week!

 

Silence in the Dark by Patricia Bradley with Giveaway

I really enjoyed Patricia Bradley’s newest release,Silence in the Dark. This the fourth book in her Logan Point series, but you don’t have to have read the previous books to follow it at all. But if you have, it’s fun to revisit many of the characters you’ve met in previous books.

Silence in the Dark 

Here’s the book’s back cover blurb:

When Bailey Adams left Logan Point two years ago for the mission field of Chihuahua, Mexico, she thought she was getting away from her problems. Running into her ex-fiancé Danny Maxwell was not part of the plan—neither was being chased through the city by the local drug cartel, the Calatrava. Now despite her best efforts, Danny is her only chance of escaping the people chasing her and getting back to Logan Point safely. Can Bailey find the strength to face what’s coming? And in the midst of the chaos, can she keep herself from falling in love with her rescuer all over again?

My thoughts:

This fast-paced suspense kept me turning pages late into the night. It was a perfect blend of mystery, suspense and romance. Reunion romances make the idea of a romance blossoming in such a short time in such dire circumstances so much more believable. And I love that Danny got a second chance to prove his love. Pat did a fantastic job of believably portraying Bailey’s struggle to put God’s will for her life ahead of the desires of her heart. The spiritual thread is nicely woven through the story. And I love how Bailey’s parents show their love and support to her (but I won’t tell you how, because I don’t want to give anything away).  5 stars!

I asked Pat to answer a couple of questions about the book:

First where did you get the idea for this book?

Funny thing about that. Bailey came out of nowhere in a conversation between Ben Logan and Danny Maxell when I was writing the second book, A Promise to Protect:

“Have you heard from Bailey?” Ben asked when he caught up with him.

“A letter every now and then.” Danny’s clipped words warned Ben away from the subject.

I had to know why he hadn’t heard from her and where she was.

That’s too funny. Non-writers must get a chuckle over how little we sometimes know our own characters until the words spill out of their mouths. Now the first part of the book was set in Mexico. Did that present challenges for you?

A little. Since I’ve never been to Mexico, I had to talk to a lot of people who had, particularly to Chihuahua. From all the photos I found on the web, it is a beautiful area.

Hmm, it’s not a place I’d be in a hurry to visit after reading your novel! Too scary. 

Readers, I’m giving away a copy of Patricia’s book to one randomly selected commenter. I’ll pick the name after midnight EDT Saturday. So…

Your Turn: Do you have a question for Pat? About the book, the series or her writing?

If you’d like to connect with Pat, you can find her at: PT Bradley (1)

www.patriciabradleyauthor.com

www.facebook.com/patriciabradleyauthor
https://twitter.com/PTBradley1;

http://www.pinterest.com/ptbradley/

And her Silence in the Dark can be purchased at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

Meet me in St. Louis, ur Niagara Falls!

On Saturday April 30th, I will be participating in a wonderful event called Authors For Indies Day. This is the 2nd annual such day in Canada with the purpose of the event being to support and celebrate our local independent book stores who so kindly carry and promote our books.

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 3.59.24 PM

 Last year’s event saw 123 stores and 692 authors across Canada, taking part in their local shops. This year you can find me at R&B Novel-Teas on Queen Street in Niagara Falls. As an author I will be there to read and sign copies of my books but you might also see me behind the counter putting purchases in bags, serving a cup of tea, or helping someone find the perfect book to read.

Mark the date on your calendar! You can find more information about the national event at their website http://www.authorsforindies.com and the local event at www.novelteas.ca. If you don’t live in this area there may be a store near you who is participating. You can find a list of participating stores and authors on the website.

 At 1:30 PM, I’ll be speaking with with fellow Christian fiction author Lisa Belcastro.

Prebook tickets here (no cost, just helps with planning, but please bring a non-perishable food item for charity).

The super cool thing about R&B Novel-Teas is that it has a tea bar inspired by the tea shop in my Port Aster Secrets novels.

tea bar

Parking is free in downtown Niagara Falls and two local restaurants are offering 15% off meals that day so plan to stay for lunch or supper if you like.

 

Team Nate Supporters Have Their Say

Last week, I shared the impassioned reasons of one avid reader on why Serena should choose Tanner. This week, I’m giving the floor to the self-declared president of Nate’s fan club.  😀

Take it away, Lisa!

I’m loving all these comments about Nate and Tanner. And I’m convinced more than ever that Nate is the man for Serena.

Why Nate?

First – Nate takes care of Serena’s cat. As a cat lover and owner, any man who volunteers to look after my beloved cat is a great guy!

Serena's Cat

Second – They have common interests that do not involve Serena’s job. As a couple, one can expect initial chemistry, but there has to be shared interests and great conversation skills to keep a relationship growing and fun. Serena and Nate talk, laugh, watch movies, share meals, love pets, and enjoy art (impressionist art nonetheless). Nate also makes popcorn. Any man who makes me popcorn is a keeper.

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Third – Nate is smart, sexy, funny, handsome, and not married to his job.

screen shot from Bradley Cooper’s FB fan page

Fourth – Nate doesn’t kill the mice that appear in Serena’s apartment. He takes the time to drive them to a new location. This one hit home with me because my dad does the same thing. Whenever he or my mom find a mouse in their humane trap, my dad drives the little guy about ten miles away to a large field on the other side of town. My dad is one of the best guys on the planet, and if Nate shares some of my dad’s qualities, then Nate is perfect for Serena.

Fifth – I wasn’t overly fond of Tanner insulting Serena and Nate when he said that dating Nate is “an idiotic choice.” Petty comments reflect a person’s true character.

Sixth – Tanner’s also 10 years older. We’ve got to ask ourselves if he doesn’t have more of a bossy interest in Serena. He did manipulate his invitation to dinner through Serena’s parents, and he’s altogether too chummy with Serena’s father, essentially sucking up to his former professor.

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Lastly, while I do believe that Tanner is a nice guy, let’s not forget that he was her supervisor and that they still work together. I’m not thrilled with co-worker relationships, and FBI agents dating could become distracting on a case. Not a smart move on Tanner’s part. In fact, probably a selfish move on Tanner’s part.

coworkers fighting

Nate has a life of his own, a great deal of mystery to that life which is rather exciting. I love a good mystery, hence the reason we read Sandra’s books.  😉

reader on treadmill

Nate is the one, the only one, for Serena!!

Your Turn: Wow, Lisa gives strong arguments and twice as many as Team Tanner. What do you think?

If you missed the arguments for Team Tanner, you’ll find them in the previous post.

And if you haven’t voted yet, you can vote here but please read A Fool and His Monet first.

Photo Credits: Popcorn Image courtesy of Carlos Porto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net ; Two men chatting Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net; Business woman scolding her colleague Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

The Battle is Heating Up!

Do you think colleagues should date? Do you think opposites attract? Are you lining up on Team Tanner’s side? Or Team Nate’s?

Have no clue what I’m talking about?  😀

Well…at the back of A Fool and His Monet, I invited readers to visit my Vote For Your Favorite page to tell me who they want Serena Jones to be with by the end of the series–Serena Jones Mysteries.

Vote-for-Tanner

I REALLY do plan to let YOU decide!

And wow, readers are passionate about their choices!

Check out these reasoned arguments from “JL” championing Tanner’s cause:

Reason 1) Tanner is her best and most loyal friend. Friends with the whole family, not just Aunt Martha (and do we really trust Martha’s friend choices?)

Nate is an infatuation.

Reason 2) Tanner’s protective but respects Serena as a capable, strong woman. He’s confident but realizes he can’t have “any woman he wants.” He knows he has to fight for Serena, and she’s worth it to him. He also recognizes Nate is a worthy opponent, as much as he tries to hide it.

Nate is like the mice he’s catching – moves himself into her life without invite, appearing in unexpected places – like her window. Nuff said.

Reason 3) Tanner’s getting up there, he’ll likely want to slow down/settle down in the upcoming books, right after he plays a vital role in Serena solving the mystery of her grandfather’s death, and Serena decides crime investigation no longer means to her what it had.

Nate still has to hit his midlife crisis, where he’ll grow his hair, get an “I love mom” tat and Harley Davidson across America to the anthem of “Life is a Highway.”

Plus, Serena could develop a rare tea allergy or be transferred to a remote island without TV, or mice – and then what would she and Nate have in common?!

Tanner 100%. I rest my case.

Sandra here: I’m rolling on the floor, laughing, picturing Nate on a Harley with that tat.  😆

Your Turn: Agree? Disagree? If you’ve read the book, be sure to vote!

In a few days…I’ll share reasons from the president of Nate’s fan club.  😀

Skip the Meeting at Your Peril

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of facilitating my So You Want to Be a Writer? workshop at a meeting of the Niagara Branch of the Canadian Authors Association. We plotted a murder mystery set at the meeting and can you guess who we opted to make the victim?

A local thriller author who failed to appear.

Ideas for potential suspects and their motives abounded. We’re talking as diverse as an Argentinian in search of the grandson of W.E.B. Griffin, world-renowned author of spy novels, to an anger-management-challenged attendee whose parking place the victim scooped.

Nothing like a good brainstorming session to get the creative juices going.

We opted to make a librarian, who sat in on the meeting, our sleuth. Her stereotypical quiet, studious nature brought a lot of strengths to the investigation. And her introvert nature and resulting low self-esteem allowed us to show her personal growth through solving the crime.

I’m so glad they didn’t pick me as the sleuth. I REALLY didn’t want them to speculate on the areas of my life that could use improvement!

Hopefully, many of the attendees will take up the challenge to write a short story based on our brainstorming session. If you’d like to read one I wrote after a similar session last spring at a volunteers retreat, subscribe to my newsletter and I’ll email you the link and password.  😉 (Membership has its privileges)

Join Me Today at:

International Christian Fiction Writers, where I’m talking about family food favourites, inspired by my character Serena’s British heritage (which also happens to be mine.)

And for an interview at Suzanne Woods Fisher’s Amish Wisdom Blog No, there are no Amish characters in my novels, but if you’re burning to know the answers to such questions as can you make a living from writing and what do you like least about writing, I will tell all (more or less). 😉  And…there’s a giveaway!

Have a blessed Easter Week!

 

Feeling Stressed?

Tell me about it! My characters are out of control.

FBI agent Serena Jones has taken on a life of her own and is appearing around the blogosphere.

Today she’s blabbing about me and about painting to relax and about I’m afraid to look what else. But if you want to, you can check it out here:

http://anastasiapollack.blogspot.ca/2016/03/crafts-with-anastasia-guest-art-sleuth.html

If colouring to relax is more your speed, here’s a blog I found where you can download adult colouring pages:

http://nerdymamma.com/11-free-printable-adult-coloring-pages/6/

I’ve decided to colour the peacock. 🙂

I have to try something. My characters are stressing me out!

Later this week, Serena’s Aunt Martha gets into the act with an interview at Jaunty Quills. And when she talks, there’s no telling what she’ll say. I’ll share the link once it’s live on March 11th, if…I’m not too mad at her.  😉

In the meantime, have a great week. Happy colouring or painting or whatever you do to relax. If it’s reading, and you enjoy the thrill of entering giveaways, check out this book review blog:

http://bestreads-kav.blogspot.ca/2016/03/a-fool-his-monet.html 

Google alerted me this morning to the reviewer’s giveaway of A Fool and His Monet. Kav is a voracious reader and posts a new review (often with giveaways) almost every day.