The View From Here

As you may have deduced from my sparse number of blog posts of late, life’s kept me busy. A happy busy.

I’m grateful for Facebook that allows me to regularly connect with many of you. I do so love our interactions there. 

That said, the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a lot of posts around the blogosphere about a

“word”

each post’s author has chosen to focus on for the year and felt inspired to chime in. I’ve contemplated choosing a “word” a few times, but I’ve never made a conscientious effort to follow through. 

Last year, for example, I knew I needed to focus on finding balance (that is to say figuring out how to be a writer and have a life too). I did take an extended vacation with my husband and prioritized spending time with my grandchildren and rediscovered crocheting and amazingly, still managed to finish three manuscripts!

We won’t mention how few blog posts I wrote here.  😳 

‘Cause, hey, this weekend, I even FINALLY got around to finishing painting the very large rec room I’d started before my grandson’s accident two years ago!!!

As I was prepping the very old plaster walls (no easy task), the word perspective kept coming to mind. 

 

And wow, who knew how many cobwebs hide in the corners under those low tables? 

Remember . . . last year’s word was balance, so dusting wasn’t a priority.  😀 

The cobwebs got me thinking about the trouble I could get my newest heroine into and how I could shake up the story simply by changing her perspective of the situation.

Then came the leaking window.  😕 

The cracked plaster beneath the corner should’ve been my first clue. But the fact my plaster repair job refused to cure was the clincher.

So . . . I tore off trim and (reminisced about how much I missed renovating) 😉

Getting into the walls gave me a whole new inside-out perspective

(Unfortunately not one that, as of yet, has revealed the source of the window leak.) 

But it did entrench the compulsion to think more on perspective this year. 

The word actually goes hand in glove with balance, since it means “true understanding of the relative importance of things,” as well as, “a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something.” 

And . . . bonus . . . it can be a writer’s best friend in crafting stories!

Your Turn: Have you ever chosen a word to focus on for a year? If so, would you share how it worked for you.

 

Cobweb Image courtesy of Pansa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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Announcements

Please join me at the International Christian Fiction Writers blog today, where I am interviewing Canadian author Stacey Weeks, who also happens to be one of my treasured brainstormers (Nate’s champion in the Serena Jones series.)  😛 

And she’s giving away a copy of her debut romance The Builder’s Reluctant Bride to one randomly selected commenter. 

 

 

And the randomly selected winners from last week’s blog giveaway (using random.org) are: Pirrko, Lynda, Faith and a bonus winner, Jody. Ladies, please look for my emails in your inboxes. 

Have a wonderful week everyone!

 

Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley

After several weeks of finding little time to read, it was a pleasure to delve into my friend Patricia Bradley’s newest Memphis Cold Case novel, Justice Buried 

The heroine, Kelsey Allen is a unique security specialist and an art conservator and the story revolves around a murder and thefts at the Pink Palace Museum, which given all my research into art and antiquities for my Serena Jones Mysteries really sparked my interest. I can tell Pat did her research too! I especially enjoyed the details  about Kelsey’s rock climbing, since that was all new to me. 

Kelsey is a bit of a prickly character, but Patricia gives us plenty of insight as to why, which helps us to understand what drives her. I was ridiculously pleased to have deduced (or maybe guessed 😛 ) the culprit fairly early in the story. But I sure didn’t see the twist coming! It has a great surprise ending. 

Patricia also has a thriller coming out Oct 3rd as part of a “boxed” set with 9 other Christian thriller authors. 

And I’m gifting kindle copies to 3 randomly selected commenters (leave your comment here or on my Facebook post telling me what you like best in suspense). 

Selected recipients will be contacted Oct 3rd.

Run, Hide…Read! Giveaway

Romantic suspense, mystery, and thriller lovers, imagine curling up in a cozy chair on a rainy day this fall with 80 bestselling mainstream ebooks to choose from and a new Kindle Fire HD 8 to read them on. One lucky winner will get this prize package. Why not you?

 

The grand prize includes: ebooks by Janet Evanovich, Kendra Elliot, Melinda Leigh, Mary Burton, J.D. Robb, Gina Lamanna, and Loreth Anne White, and the list goes on and on, not to mention 30 page-turning reads donated by the talented authors sponsoring the giveaway (myself included).

Two runner-up prizes of $25 Amazon gift cards are also up for grabs. 

Enter here:

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

This Giveaway is Sponsored by

Anne R. Tan • Astrid Arditi • Barbara Wallace • Cailin Briste • Cathy Perkins • Christine Kling • Colleen Mooney • Deborah Coonts • Deidra D. S. Green • Ellen Byron • Ja’Nese Dixon • Jacqueline Diamond • Josie Brown • Josie Litton • Leeann Betts • Lisa Lieberman • Lori L. Robinett • Nancy Segovia • Noelle Greene • Nupur Tustin • Rachel Brimble • RJ Beam • Sandra Orchard • Soraya Naomi • Stephanie Queen • Tamara Ferguson • Tamra Lassiter • Tawny Weber • Taylor Marsh • Tina Susedik • Uvi Poznansky • Vicki Batman

Click Here to: See the books they are contributing 

Giveaway Rules: 
One entry signs you up for each of the 32 sponsoring authors’ newsletters once the giveaway closes. You can unsubscribe at any time, but please don’t mark us as spam. Who knows, you may just find your new favorite author! You can also earn bonus entries by subscribing to the individual newsletters before the giveaway closes. However, all winners will be verified that they are subscribed to an author’s newsletter before prizes are awarded.

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.

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!

Interview with Counterpoint’s Hero Raymond Alexander

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve done a character interview, so I’m excited to have Raymond Alexander with us today from my friend Marji Laine’s new novel Counterpoint. Ray is a former missionary and life-long resident of Heath’s Point, Texas. (You can check out his pic on the book cover below  🙂 )

Ray, you’re quite a hero in Heath’s Point—just back home from your mission work in such a dangerous area of the globe. And I hear you took down a sinister drug lord. You must be pretty proud of yourself.

Not exactly. I only happened to be at the right place and time to spot that drug exchange that put the cartel leader in jail. Seriously, I’m no hero. I should have been paying attention to the threats made against my mission. I played them off as a distraction. A desperate attempt to chase me away.

Well, you’re still a hero to most of us. And everything worked out all right, except the injury to your arm and the cut on your face.

Reminders of how stupid I’d been. There were other people at my mission who didn’t get away as easily as I did.

I bet your girl is glad you’re back.

Cathy and I are friends. At least I hope we can still be friends. We’d talked about working a foreign mission together, then this opportunity had dropped in my lap. And frankly, the fact that I was single was probably the main reason I was chosen for the position. Cathy and I didn’t get much chance to talk while I was away.

Then, you haven’t heard about her excitement? More like terror, I should say.

What? No, I haven’t seen her, yet. What happened? Is she okay?

You should speak to the police chief about that. I wouldn’t want to say something I shouldn’t. But thanks for the interview.

You can learn more about Ray and his story in the romantic suspense, COUNTER POINT, now available for pre-order at 40% off.

cpcoverfHere’s the short version:

Someone wants to complete the final assignment of a murdered hit man.

Her dad’s gone, her diner’s closing, and her car’s in the lake. Cat McPherson has nothing left to lose … except her life. And a madman, bent on revenge, is determined to take that, as well. Her former boyfriend, Ray Alexander, returns as a hero from his foreign mission, bringing back souvenirs in the form of death-threats. When several attempts are made on Cat’s life, she must find a way to trust Ray, the man who broke her heart.

Keeping Cat safe from a fallen cartel leader might prove impossible for Ray, but after seeing his mission destroyed and hearing of the deaths of several godly people, he knows better than to ignore the man’s threats. Cat’s resistance to his protection and the stirring of his long-denied feelings for her complicate his intentions, placing them both in a fight for their lives.

How can a small-town girl survive when ultimate power wants her dead?

Find COUNTER POINT at Amazon.com

And if you DO pre-order COUNTER POINT email your receipt to Write Integrity Press by October 30th and receive an ebook collection of Marji’s short romance stories, HEART SPARKS – only available through this offer.

 

2011-author-photoAbout the Author:

Schooled by experts such as Perry Mason, Jessica Fletcher, and Dr. Mark Sloan, Marji Laine writes the mysteries she craves with a touch of romance and a thread of faith. Her series are made up of stand-alone stories with satisfying endings where justice prevails. She sets most of her books in and around the Dallas area, where she has lived all her life, or in the small towns of East Texas that she adores.

Catch up with Marji at her website, MarjiLaine.com, on Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and at the Write Integrity Press website. Get news about Marji and her writing FIRST by signing up for her monthly newsletter! Join her CREW!

 

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.

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!

 

Let the Whirlwind Blog Tour Begin!

I’ll be flitting around the blogosphere a lot this month sharing tidbits about how I researched and wrote A Fool and His Monet. 

For those of you who are already deep into the story or <gasp> finished, don’t forget to vote for your favourite guy and check out the book’s bonus features.

Today – March 1st – 

I’m at Stitches Thru Time sharing through pictures how the story location and character evolved, and…hosting a giveaway of the winner’s choice of an oil or acrylic art kit to help her relax in the same fashion as my heroine, Serena Jones.  😉

Art Kit Giveaway Prize

Wednesday Mar 2nd – I’ll be at the More To Life Blog, chatting about listening to your mother, something my heroine finds herself wishing she’d done.

Pin 1

Thurs Mar 4th – I’ll be interviewed at USA Today’s Happy Ever After Blog and they talked me into sharing a…shall we say dated never-before-seen photo.  😎

I’ll also be interviewed on Motherhood Talk Radio and will share the link once I have it.

Fri March 5th – I’m being interviewed at Suspense Sisters

A Fool and His Monet Releases TODAY in Ebook

Join me at Patricia Bradley’s blog and meet the men in Serena Jones’s life. I had soooo much fun writing this.

285273_andHisMonetOrchard_Pins7

They and I are competing–game show style–in Are You Smarter Than Your Characters?

I’m not sure how I feel about creating characters who might actually be smarter than me.  😕

We’re also giving away fun stuff.

Hope to see you there!

 

On another note:

afoolandhismoney

Goodreads members, there is still time to enter the 5-book giveaway here:  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/170107-a-fool-and-his-monet