Chat Noir Mystery

It was such a treat to speak with Linda Kozar on her blog talk radio show about my newest Serena Jones Mystery—Over Maya Dead Body—amongst other things. 

She almost tripped me up with a few mystery questions at the end, but I managed to pull through. Whew!

Your Turn: Any questions you’d like to ask?

Will Serena Jones Lose Her Independence?

Happy Independence Day to my American friends! 

What an appropriate day to set free Serena’s final (or is it?) art crime mystery.

Then again, how long can she hope to keep her independence with her fans (not to mention her mother!) demanding she choose a man? 

Her mother is hopeful the engagement they’re traveling to Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate will inspire Serena. 

But first Serena needs to survive investigating the Maya antiquities art crime she stumbles onto. Did you know that some reports purport antiquities smuggling has become the second largest source of income for at least one major terrorist group? 

It’s an appealing way to make cash. After all, artifacts don’t set off metal detectors or attract gun- or drug-sniffing dogs.

Surprised? We shouldn’t be. The Nazis and Khmer Rouge financed their endeavors the same way.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced mystery, Over Maya Dead Body, will not disappoint. 

If you’re counting on the guy who you’re rooting for to win Serena’s heart…

 

I can’t make any promises.  😉 

BUT… if you’re on Facebook,

I’ve created a private group you can join after you’ve finished reading Over Maya Dead Body where you can chat about (or commiserate) on Serena’s choices without worries about spilling spoilers for the uninitiated.

We might even chat about how the series could continue. 

If there’s enough interest, I’m open to the idea. The head of security at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has suggested Serena try her hand at solving its 27-year-old, unsolved art heist. He said he could use her help.  😆 

I’ve already scoped the location. 😉 

 

I hope you have as much fun reading the Serena Jones Mysteries as I’ve had writing them. 

If you haven’t snagged a copy yet, click here for the synopsis and buying options. 

Your Turn: What would you like to see next?

 

Image Credits:

Ancient Ruins Image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Nazi Plunder Image: By Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-729-0001-23 / Meister / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5477656

 

 

Goodreads Giveaway for Over Maya Dead Body

Over Maya Dead Body releases in one month and that’s exactly how much time Canadian and American members of Goodreads have to enter this 5-copies giveaway. Enter here: 

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/218368-over-maya-dead-body

In this final instalment, Serena is trying to vacation, without much success.

I, on the other hand, scarcely let “work” distract me while enjoying a much anticipated thirtieth anniversary celebration vacation with my husband last month. But…I’m back at the writing now and brimming with new story ideas.

Of course…I also have a month of missed time with my grandchildren to make up.  😛  

I Would Appreciate Your Vote

I just learned that Another Day Another Dali is one of the choices in Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion Readers’ Choice Awards. 

I would love your vote! 

You can vote here: http://killernashville.com/silver-falchion-readers-choice-awards/ 

Another Day Another Dali is listed alphabetically (across columns, depending on your device) in the mystery category. 

Thanks so much for your support! 

If you’d like to read their review, it’s here: http://killernashville.com/past-book-reviews/

And if you’re wondering…Over Maya Dead Body, the final Serena Jones Mystery, releases July 4th!

Introducing Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

Looking for a new romantic suspense series to read? Or a book to discuss in your book club? 

Justice Delayed might be just what you’re looking for.

Back Cover Blurb:

In one week, the wrong man will be executed for murder.
Let the chase for the real killer begin.

Eighteen years ago, TV crime reporter Andi Hollister’s sister was murdered. The convicted killer sits behind bars, his execution date looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned didn’t do the crime, Detective Will Kincaide of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, this case is personal: the man who confessed to the crime is Will’s cousin. Andi and Will must find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But what can happen in only a week? Uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and, perhaps, falling in love?

My Review:

I really enjoyed Bradley’s last series and this introduction to the new “Memphis Cold Case” series is equally promising. Bradley incorporated more investigators/sleuths in the case than we typically get to see. Some even enjoyed scenes from their own point of view. It made for an interesting multi-faceted book, although occasionally it meant the reader was hearing similar information two or three times and I found myself flipping back to find out who already knew something and who didn’t. On the flipside, I am now really interested in all of these characters and hopeful that future books in the series will spotlight each in turn.

Bradley does a great job of showing the reactions of family members coming to terms with learning the man they’ve believed guilty of their loved one’s murder for the past eighteen years may be innocent, as well as facing truths about her they couldn’t believe. While I didn’t love the heroine Andi, I did find her actions believable given that she was under the influence of too many painkillers. It is a good wakeup call to how easily and quickly addiction can happen. By the end Andi does start to see the folly of her choices and I like that Bradley doesn’t make Andi “all better” unrealistically quickly to tie the ending in a neat bow. Hopefully we’ll glimpse Andi’s continued growth in future books, especially with the positive influence of Will, who I really like. <grin>

This would make a good book club book as it presents several issues worthy of discussion. The book itself doesn’t delve deeply into the spiritual side of them, but it offers a great springboard from which to launch the discussion

My Questions for Patricia:

What inspired you to give your heroine a growing pain med addiction?  

A good friend has just gone through drug rehab after a thirty-five-year addiction. It started when she was twenty and was prescribed hydrocodone after having her wisdom teeth extracted. I wanted to show just how easy and quick it is to become addicted

I didn’t have to do a lot of research since I had lived through the addiction and rehab with my friend. But there is a lot of information on the web about drug addiction. It is an insidious disease that destroys families. 

What’s next in the series? Will we see these characters again?

Andi will be back in book 4 and more of her journey will be discussed then.

The second Cold Case Novel is set at the Pink Palace in Memphis and opens with the heroine, Kelsey Allen breaking into a building. The hero is Brad Hollister. Here’s the blurb:

In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she’s ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she’s out of her league–and possibly in the cross hairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he’s the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.

About Patricia Bradley:

Winner of the 2016 Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in Suspense, Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi with her rescue kitty, Suzy. Her books include the romantic suspense Logan Point Series and sweet romances with Harlequin Heartwarming. Justice Delayed, a Memphis Cold Case Novel, released in January.  

 

Patricia loves connecting with readers on her blog every Tuesday where she has a Mystery Question for them to solve: www.patriciabradleyauthor.com/blog

Twitter: @ptbradley1

FaceBook: www.facebook.com/patriciabradleyauthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ptbradley/

Where You Can Find Me in April & A Giveaway

Wondering where we can meet? 

I post retreats, conferences, and book signings I’ll be attending on my “News” page and you can always find the link for it in the menu bar below the sites banner. 

Speaking Engagements

In April, I’m excited to be speaking at two women’s retreat days. 

On April 8th, I’ll be at a Niagara-Hamilton Baptist Women’s Event – “Finding and Sharing God in Unexpected Places” @ Harmony Baptist Church, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

On April 22nd, I’ll be the Keynote Speaker at a Women’s “Creativity for the Soul” Retreat @ Wesley United Church, in Welland, Ontario, Canada

More details for those who wish to attend are on my News page

If you’d like to have me speak at your event, you can find details of the talks I offer here.

Newsletter Subscribers: Please be advised that the speaking engagement advertised for March 30th in my last newsletter was rescheduled to earlier. 

Giveaway

(For US residents; ends March 25th)

To enter: click on the image to visit the SKGFun blog that is hosting this giveaway.

99¢ Sale on A Fool and His Monet

If you haven’t started reading my Serena Jones Mysteries yet, here is your chance to for less than a buck! 

Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art–one that’s surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about the art thief who murdered her grandfather. She’s joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother’s pleas to do something safer–like get married–Serena’s learning how to go undercover to catch thieves and black market traders.

When a local museum discovers an irreplaceable Monet missing, Jones leaps into action. The clues point in different directions, and her boss orders her to cease investigating her most promising suspect. But determined to solve the case and perhaps discover another clue in her grandfather’s murder, she pushes ahead, regardless of the danger.

Here’s what others are saying about A Fool and His Monet: 

an enthralling whodunit, replete with action, suspense, danger and a lot of humor. And there’s a hint of a real romance developing. Serena is a terrific lead series character.” ~Mysterious Reviews

“This intriguing look into the world of art theft from the perspective of an FBI agent, will keep readers guessing the twists and turns as to the identify and motive of the thief.” ~ RT Book Reviews

“Orchard debuts a lighthearted mystery series. Her quirky characters are laugh-out-loud funny and reminiscent of the protagonists in ­Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum stories. Readers looking for a humorous mystery with a dash of romance may find it here.” ~ Library Journal Review

But don’t wait. The 99¢ sale ends Feb 28th 

Find it at your favourite Ebook retailer for all popular Ereaders: 

Kindle          Kobo           Nook                iBook

 

Laugh out loud and…develop your vocabulary!

And if you love the book, you can revisit the characters in: 

 

 

A Romance for Your Valentine’s Day and Other Fun Stuff

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

…a little early  😉 

If you’re on Facebook, check out my most recent post (also in the blog’s sidebar) and share your favourite or most memorable romantic line for a chance to win books.  😀 Go ahead and share in the comments below, if you’re not on FB.

Do you have big plans for Valentine’s Day? 

I’ll be sharing dinner with this handsome fellow. 

Am I lucky or what?

Shh, don’t tell my husband, but I secretly find bald guys so adorably cute.  😉 

This is my youngest grandson, who at 7 months is now over 13 1/2 lbs (he was <2 lbs at birth)!

NOW…here’s the promised story: 

For the past two weeks on the Craftie Ladies of Love Inspired blog, we’ve been sharing a collaborative, seat-of-our-pants serial romance for our readers. You can begin reading by clicking here.

And then click on “newer posts” beneath the post to read subsequent instalments. The story will finish on Valentine’s Day…I think. 😉

The Power of Remembering

We authors like to use symbols to enrich our stories. They work so well because we can all relate to having a memento or song or special place that instantly transports us to another time.

The Christmas ornaments I place on our tree do that for me. My mom started my collection by gifting me a special ornament every year until she died. So…as I put those ornaments on the tree, I remember her and my dad and the many happy Christmases we once shared. 

shameless doting nana pic :)
shameless doting nana pic 🙂

Other ornaments were lovingly crafted by my children, and those transport me to many happy memories of making them together. I even have one my eldest granddaughter made for me! 

dove

Now, one of the most special ornaments my mom gave me was this dove. It became an important symbol in my first novel  Deep Cover (Love Inspired Suspense, September 2011).

book-deep-cover

The undercover cop hero gave the dove to the heroine with these words:

A soaring dove to remind you God is watching over you when I can’t be.

It hung from her rearview mirror and at the end of the novel, after the heroine’s world crashes around her, and literally, around the dove in the car, the hero sets out to rescue and return the gift as a symbol of God’s protection where he failed.

As I opened my box of Christmas ornaments this year and pulled out that dove, it reminded me once again of the story thread it inspired, and more importantly of the truth behind it–that God is watching over each one of us.

With everything that has happened in our family this past year, (read here and here) the impact of revisiting the symbol’s meaning was particularly intense.    

We may not always feel that God is watching over us, but if we’ve surrendered our hearts to him, He has promised to never leave us.

David repeatedly writes in his psalms that he “meditates” and “remembers,” especially at times when God seems slow in responding to his prayers. For example: “I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.” (Psalm 143:5)

Remembering times of blessing and remembering how the Lord has carried us through tough times helps to keep our focus where it should be–on the author of our faith. 

This year I certainly experienced the truth of these words: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

My prayer is that each one of you will experience His love in a richer way this Christmas season.

Begin Reading Another Day Another Dali…

It’s official…Another Day Another Dali, the second book in my Serena Jones Mysteries is now available. 

Here is an excerpt from the opening chapter to whet your appetite: 

 

I tore my gaze from the porch that wrapped around the drug dealer’s house and cringed at the number on my phone’s call display.

Mom said there’d be days like this.

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Tanner, still decked out in his SWAT gear, peered over my shoulder as the phone vibrated insistently in my hand. “Good thing you’re a field-hardened FBI agent, so you don’t let little old ladies scare the pants off you.”

I sent him a silencing glare. Ignoring his grin, I turned away from the rest of the team traipsing in and out of the building, and clicked Connect. “Hi, Nana,” I said, injecting fake cheerfulness into my voice. “What’s up?”

“I need you to come see me.”

“You nee—are you okay?” My heart stuttered. If anything happened to Nana . . .

“Of course I’m okay. Stop stammering, girl.”

Tanner, still hovering close enough to hear her strident tones, snickered.

I placed a muffling hand over the phone.

“Excuse me, sir,” I said sweetly. “Don’t you have a forgery to bubble-wrap?” 292908_anotherdayanotherdaliorchard_romtimes_160x600wb

“Forgery?” His stunned look was so comical I forgave myself for rushing to a verdict before my usual careful perusal. Not that I was in any serious doubt about this particular painting.

“Really?” he said, broad shoulders slumping. When I arrived on scene, he boasted they’d turned up art so hot it was still smoking.

“Yup. Fake.” I, too, felt a pang of genuine regret that the “Renoir” hanging in the drug dealer’s den wasn’t the one on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.

But I’d left Nana hanging.

Straightening my shoulders, I put the phone back to my ear. “Sorry, Nana. Um, I have to be at the youth drop-in center by seven to teach the art class, so . . .” I glanced at my watch and cast about for a workable solution, but there just wasn’t enough time. “I’m afraid—”

“Never mind,” she interrupted. “Obviously, you’re at work.” Where you shouldn’t be taking personal calls, her tone implied. “Call me when you get home.”

“Okay,” I said to dead air.

Annoyed at myself for the guilty feeling I couldn’t stop from churning my stomach, I turned to study the front of the house once more. Something was niggling at my brain.

“Um . . . Tanner,” I said, hesitating.

“Yeah?”

“There’s something . . .” I squinted against the dropping September sun, mentally reviewing the interior.

He grinned. “Stop stammering, girl. Spit it out.”

“Ha, ha.” Wait . . . “Oh, that’s got to be it!” I stuffed my phone in my pocket and headed back inside.

Tanner followed me. “What’s it?”

I stopped at the door to the den and glanced at the window three feet from the side wall.

“Serena? What’s going on?” Tanner pressed, trailing me to the next doorway, this one into a bedroom.

“The window is three feet from the wall, just like in the other room.”

“So?”

“Where’s the attic hatch?”

“Mason checked the attic.”

“Humor me.”

“Don’t I always?” Tanner said. “I’m a funny guy.”

“Uh-huh.” He actually had the quickest wit of any guy I knew, even if he did run to cheesy puns sometimes.

Not that I’d admit that to him.

“Over here.” He steered me toward a stepladder set up near the back door. “But there’s nothing up there but insulation and mice.”

“Mice, huh? Are you trying to scare me out of looking?” I started climbing, and Tanner moved in to hold the ladder steady.

I pushed open the hatch and stuck my head into the attic.

“See?” Tanner said.

“Yes, I do.” I stepped down a couple of ladder rungs and flashed him a grin. “A false wall six to eight feet in from the back of the house.”

Tanner squeezed past me and beamed his flashlight around the vacant space. “Unbelievable. Mason should’ve caught that.”

“The wall’s covered in cobwebs and dust. It wouldn’t have registered unless you were looking for it.”

Tanner muttered something I couldn’t make out, but having been on the receiving end of his displeasure during my FBI training—granted, always earned—I didn’t envy poor Mason.

Tanner hoisted himself into the attic, then balance-beamed his way across a joist to the wall and examined every inch of it. “I don’t see any way to access what’s behind it.” He shone the light over the attic’s insulation-covered floor and then the shoe impressions he’d left in the dust on the joist. “It doesn’t look like anyone else has been up here recently. There must be another ceiling access panel.” He climbed back down, eyeing me with interest. “How’d you know to look for a secret room?”

I shrugged evasively.

Tanner followed me back to the room where the fake Renoir had been found and swept his flashlight beam over every inch of the ceiling. “There’s no other way up there that I can see.”

I maneuvered around the agent photographing evidence. The wall between this room and the next was decorated in wood panels and elaborate moldings that looked uncomfortably familiar. I ran my fingers along the moldings.

Tanner studied me. “What are you doing?”

“Looking for a secret panel.”

“Uh-huh. And you seem to know exactly what you’re doing here, Nancy Drew, because . . . ?”

I expelled a breath. “There was one at my grandfather’s house, okay?”

“Your grandfather? The one who was murdered?”

“Yes.” I blew away a strand of long, blond hair that had escaped my ponytail. “Maybe you could be helpful instead of giving me the third degree?”

“Sorry.” Tanner beamed his flashlight over the section of paneling I was running my hands over.

My fingertips made contact with the pressure sensor I’d been seeking and my breath caught. “Tanner, I’ve found—”

“Wait!”

Primed to open it, I tossed a frown over my shoulder. “Are you really going to pull the SWAT-clears-every-room-first rule on this one?”

“No, I thought I’d rock-paper-scissors you for the privilege.” He motioned me to get out of his way.

My finger still on the sensor, I sidestepped two feet so he’d have a clear view as I pulled back the panel. “You ready? I’ll slide it open and you can call the all-clear.” I slid it three-quarters of an inch and froze. “Uh-oh.”

Tanner cursed. “Please tell me you’re messing with me.”

I gulped. “You don’t hear that ticking?”

He crouched down and shone his flashlight through the gap I’d opened. “Blast, Serena, don’t move a muscle.”

Yeah, got that.

“Blast!”

“Tanner, could you stop using that word?”

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Hooked?  🙂

Ask for it at your local bookstore or click here for more buying options: http://sandraorchard.com/books/another-day-another-dali/afoolandhismonet

If you missed the first book, A Fool and His Monet, I recommend reading it first, but each novel is truly a standalone, so not reading it won’t inhibit you from following book 2 in any way.

Tomorrow, October 19th, I am being interviewed at Emilie Hendryx’s blog and will be offering a paperback copy of Another Day Another Dali to one lucky commenter. Hope you’ll stop by and tell a friend.

 

In other News:

All my Love Inspired Suspense titles are on sale for only $1.99 for kindle at Amazon until October 25th

Find them here: http://amzn.to/2dj8gpA

loveinspiredsuspensebooks