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.

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.

 

Would You Rather with Jessica R. Patch & Giveaway

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I’m delighted to have author Jessica R. Patch and the hero and heroine from her debut Love Inspired Suspense, Fatal Reunion, with me today. I’ve had the privilege of being a guest on Jessica’s blog a few times, answering her “Would you rather” questions on behalf of myself and my characters, so I’m thrilled to now be able to turn the tables on her and ask the questions of her!

To orient us, here’s the back cover blurb for Fatal Reunion:

Fatal ReunionWRONGLY ACCUSED

When her beloved grandmother is almost killed during a home invasion, Piper Kennedy isn’t surprised that she’s a suspect—especially since Luke Ransom is on the case. The handsome detective she once loved thinks she knows more than she’s telling about the attack. And given her crooked past and the heartbreaking way she’d been forced to betray Luke years ago, Piper understands why he doesn’t trust her. But when attempts are made on her life, Luke insists on keeping her safe and finding out who wants her dead. And Piper and Luke soon realize a remorseless criminal will do anything to keep them from the truth…or an unexpected second shot at a future.

Piper is such a cool name! And let me just add: I had the chance to read this book last week. Two things that made it particularly interesting for me were Piper’s unique occupation–she’s a karate expert and dojo owner, a skill that comes in handy a few times in the story  😉 –and Jessica managed to add twists I didn’t see coming, which is always a fun surprise!

Okay, on to my questions for Jess and her characters:

Would you rather have loved and lost or never have loved at all?

Luke: That’s tough because I have loved and lost. I guess loved and lost because I can’t imagine not ever loving Piper.

Piper: I’d say love and lost since I never really experienced romantic love before Luke. Just people who said they loved me but only wanted to manipulate me.

Jessica: Loved and lost. I think everyone needs to experience love. And heartbreak can be healed.

Agreed. 😉

Would you rather change the past or be able to see into the future?

Luke: Well, asking me that today I’m saying change the past so I could have done things differently concerning Piper. Had you asked me that before Piper came back into my life, I’d say see the future—I’d want to know if I was ever going to fall in love again. Not that I believe I ever could have.

Piper: Luke, you are so sweet, but I know you’re buttering me up for a puppy. Okay, now to answer the question. I don’t want to know the future. But there are so many things in my past I would love to have done differently. For one thing, not getting involved with Chaz Michaels and his crew.

Jessica: I’m with Piper. I don’t want to know the future, unless I can change something bad that might happen to one of my children. But I would like to change a few mistakes I’ve made.

Ooh, do tell… 😛 

Would you rather get stuck in a broken elevator or stuck on a broken ski lift?

Luke: Ski lift. I want to snuggle with my honey under a blanket….and with our puppy. wink wink

Piper: LOL! Elevator. With a puppy we’re only watching for one day. Then when you have no way to clean up the mess, you’re reminded of why I said I didn’t want pets. (Luke: You’re harsh.)

Jessica: Definitely an elevator because I hate the cold and heights. Although, if I happened to get stuck with Luke, Piper, and a puppy…scrunches nose

Hmm, I’m with Luke, although a squirming puppy up there could make it a tad dicey!

Here’s more about Jessica:

JessicaRPatchJessica R. Patch lives in the mid-south where she pens inspirational contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. When she’s not hunched over her laptop or going on adventurous trips in the name of research with willing friends, you can find her watching way too much Netflix with her family and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she’ll probably never cook. Her novel, Fatal Reunion, releases with Love Inspired Suspense in January, 2016. She is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.

Links:

Get Patched In! Jessica’s newsletter subscribers get first looks at book covers and excerpts as well as receive notifications of new book releases and other cool news. Sign up at www.jessicarpatch.com

Join in the conversation on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jessicarpatch

and Twitter! https://twitter.com/jessicarpatch

Check out Jessica’s Pinterest story board where you can meet the cast of Fatal Reunion and peruse some of the scenes set in the book. https://www.pinterest.com/jessicarpatch/fatal-reunion/

Your Turn: Answer one of the questions I posed to Jessica and her characters for a chance to win a copy of her book. (winner will be randomly drawn from comments  made before midnight EST Jan 9, 2016

Introducing: 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers

I learned about the new anthology 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers over the weekend and wanted to share it with the writers and aspiring writers amongst my blog readers. (And there’s a bonus surprise at the end for readers!)

This anthology deals with seven key areas for Christian writers: Time with God, Healthy Living, Time Management, Honing Writing Skills, Crafting a Masterpiece, Submitting, and Marketing.

The contributing writers, all members of ICWF— InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship—come from various walks of life and write in various genres for a range of audiences. Through fiction, poetry, and nonfiction such as devotionals, essays, and articles, they generously share their own discoveries, success stories, and hard-won lessons in order to encourage and support other Christian writers.

Here’s what well known authors are saying about the book:

Phil Callaway, bestselling author and host of Laugh Again Radio says, “I love seven things about this book: It is practical. It is affordable. It is encouraging. It is worth highlighting, underlining and dog-earing. Plus it made me forget about my toothache.” He continues his endorsement: “Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran writer, you’ll discover 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers to be jammed with instantly actionable advice that will make you a better writer. Dig in.”

Jeff Goins, bestselling author of The Art of Work and other titles says, “This book is a beautiful blend of faithfulness and craft. It will help you answer the practical questions of what it means to be a writer while honoring what you believe. I wish I’d read this when I got started.”

Kathi Macias, award-winning author of more than 50 books, says, “7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers is an absolute gem! I love that it covers all the basics a writer needs to know, making them simple and practical. I also love that the book has many authors, giving us ideas and suggestions from their own writing journey. I highly recommend this book to anyone seriously considering writing as a vocation or even an avocation, particularly those writers who see their work as a ministry—which it certainly is!”

Nancy Rue, bestselling author and creator of Shadow to Shelf, a mentoring program for writers, says, “There are hundreds of how-to-write books on the market, but none that I know of touches both of the vital aspects of writing as a Christian better than this anthology from InScribe. The practical and the spiritual are woven into a whole by a remarkably creative group of writers who are in the trenches as we speak. I intend to snack on this fare again and again.”

The e-book is currently available on Kindle. The paperback version will be released in September, during the ICWF Fall Conference in Edmonton, Alberta. Click to learn more about ICWF and their annual conference.

Giveaway Opportunity: Stephanie Nickel, one of the anthology’s editors, is generously giving away a paperback copy (open to US and Canadian addresses) when it releases in September, to one randomly selected commenter below who lets us know an essential habit he or she is working on as a writer.

Bonus Giveaway for the non-writers who took the time to read this post anyway: 😉 

An advanced copy (once available) of my next mystery, A Fool and His Monet, will be mailed to one randomly selected commenter who shares a humorous or unusual personality quirk or incident he or she would like me to include in the next novel. 😆

P.S. My newsletter subscribers will receive a sneak peek of A Fool and His Monet this week. Click here if you don’t want to miss it.

Behind the Scenes Glimpse of the Writing of Gone Without a Trace by Patricia Bradley

“Shh.” I glanced from side to side. “It’s a little known secret that authors think their characters are–uh, hum, there’s no less absurd way to say this than just to flat out admit it–real. They think they’re real!”

Case in point: I invited Patricia Bradley to interview her character for today’s blog, and…  PT Bradley (1)

This is the scenario I walked in on:

“You busy?” Pat said to the hero of her latest novel, Gone Without a Trace.

She looked from his computer to the doorway. Alex Jennings leaned against it, a frown on his face. “A little. Do you have a problem?”

“No. I just want to hang out.”

I could tell this bugged her. She’s confided in me more than once that she hates it when characters won’t tell her what’s wrong, when she has to drag it out of them. She closed the top on her Macbook. “Spit it out.”

“Spit what out?” He stepped into the room and moved a research book from the Queen Anne chair beside her desk (a very nice chair I might add) and then sat down. Of course, his 6’2” frame looked ridiculous in it.

“Hold on a sec,” she said, and exchanged places with him. “Now, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” He crossed his arms and stared out the window.

She waited. Although I noticed her toe impatiently tapping.

After two minutes of staring, he turned to her. “What am I doing in Logan Point, Mississippi? I’m a Texan, all the way back to the Alamo, and Texans belong in Texas.”

“You don’t like Logan Point?”

“I didn’t say that.” He smiled. “Actually, it’s a great little town. And I love Kate’s B&B. Did you know that woman can do some cooking?”

“Hmm. I think I knew that. So, what’s the problem?”

Alex pressed his lips together. “It’s that detective you paired me with. Livy Reynolds. She’s driving me crazy.”

From the slight curve in Pat’s lips, I could tell that warmed her heart, but she managed to restrain a full blown smile. “Exactly how does she do that?”

“She’s going to organize me to death. Have you seen her lists? That woman makes a list for everything. And that’s not all. She.Is.A.Control.Freak.”

“And you’re not?”

“Hmph.”

She doodled with her pencil. “Do you like anything about her?”

A gleam lit his eyes. “Have you seen her with Abby? That little girl has Livy hogtied.” He tilted his head. “And she has courage. She’s pretty, too.”

“So it’s not all bad?”

His eyes widened. “Uh, uh. You’re not going to—” He jumped up and palmed his hands up . “No. Don’t you dare try to get us together. Not happening. Not in a million years. She’s too bossy. And she hates flying.”

“If you say so.” She took her chair back and shooed him out of her office. Gone without A Trace

I slipped out of my hiding place behind the curtain to find Pat madly typing. “What’s up?” I asked.

She laughed sinisterly. “I just figured out another way to torture the both of them!”

Wasn’t that fun? (Okay, I might’ve made up her sinister laugh. Pat is really quite sweet even if she does love to torture people, ur, characters.)

Patricia, thanks so much for giving us a behind-the-scene glimpse of your character development!

Blog readers, if you love romantic suspense, you’ll enjoy this book. I was ridiculously pleased to have figured out whodunit before the end, but…Pat still managed to make me think I might’ve gotten it all wrong in those tense last chapters.

Pat hails from Mississippi, where I’ve never been, but I’ve enjoyed vicariously visiting the Deep South through her novels. I had the privilege of rooming with Patricia at last year’s Writer’s Police Academy and have to say that honoring God through her writing is her number one priority. Gone Without a Trace is the fourth book in her Logan Point Series from Revell, and…

I’m giving away a copy of Gone Without a Trace.

Answer one of these three questions in the comments to enter:

1) Where would you rather live Texas or Mississippi?

2) Do you make lists? How much do you put on them–as detailed as eat breakfast & brush your teeth or just the big projects?

3) How long do you think a couple should date (or know each other) before they talk marriage?

Thanks so much for visiting today! I hope you enjoyed meeting Pat and Alex. You can learn more about Pat at her website: http://patriciabradleyauthor.com/ or connect on Facebook.

And…for first time visitors to my site, check out Deadly Devotion, book one in my Port Aster Secrets series, also from Revell Publishing. It’s currently free in Ebook format at online retailers!

 

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!

Hug a Librarian and Giveaway

It’s National Library Week in the US, and although I’m Canadian, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to encourage you to thank a librarian this week. How can you not love people who love books and who want to help you find just the right one to meet your needs?

I was blessed with parents that loved to read and who filled our home with books and many trips to the local library. Today, libraries and used bookstores are two of my favorite places to visit when touring a new area.

There aren’t many places that appeal as readily to young and old alike. And we authors believe in fostering that love of reading … young. 😀 authors and babies

Okay, for the record, the book that other author’s baby is engrossed in has pictures. LOL

Besides being able to browse through an amazing variety of titles, the architecture of libraries is often inspiring in and of itself.

Vancouver LibraryI wish I’d had the chance to do more than a “drive by shooting” of the Vancouver Library when we visited the city after our Alaskan Cruise.

Speaking of cruises… 😉 (nice tie in, eh?)

This week the heroine of Perilous Waters is visiting Margaret Daley’s blog. Stop by and leave a comment on her interview for a chance to win a copy of the book for you or a friend.

Your Turn: Do you have a favorite library memory to share?

Oh, by the way, for the curious, Canada celebrates National Library Month in October.

Warning Signs by Katy Lee – Review & Giveaway & Cool Video

I had the privilege of reading an advance copy of Katy Lee’s debut Love Inspired Suspense, Warning Signs, and unreservedly recommend it to all fans of the romantic suspense genre. This book will not disappoint. 

First the Back Cover Blurb:

Warning Signs CoverGUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT

When a drug-smuggling ring rocks a small coastal town, the DEA sends Agent Owen Matthews to shut it down. A single father with a deaf son, Owen senses that the town’s number one suspect—the high school’s new principal—doesn’t fit the profile. Miriam Hunter hoped to shrug off the stigma of her hearing impairment when she returned to Stepping Stones, Maine. But her recurring nightmares dredge up old memories that could prove her innocence—and uncover the truth behind a decades-old murder. Yet Owen’s help may not be enough when someone decides to keep Miriam silenced—permanently.

There are tons of things I love about this book. It’s fast paced. The villain is a mystery so the story keeps you guessing. It has a perfect blend of romance and suspense.

But what makes this book stand out for me is it’s unique heroine.

She is an avid swimmer and a principal of a small regular public school in Maine and she’s deaf. She refuses to let her physical challenges keep her from going after her goals.

These characteristics make for many insightful comparisons and intriguing twists, such as can we really trust her interpreter male sidekick?

Equally compelling, are the wonderful lessons the story conveys. It will transform how you think about, and interact with, those who are different from you, in particular the deaf.

One of the fun aspects of the story was learning about special signs for names. I invited Katy to tell us a little more about that. Click the “play” button to view her presentation. (Ensure your volume is on)

Cool, eh? I created this sign for my husband: his initial “M” waved over my heart to show my love for him.  😉

 

Your Turn: Create a sign for your name or the name of a loved one and share it in the comments for a chance to win a copy of Warning Signs. I’ll contact the winner by email and share the name here on Sunday.

Update: Sunday, Sept 29th — Our winner is Sonja! Congratulations, Sonja, please check your inbox for my email.

 

BTW if you haven’t read Katy’s first published book, you can check out my review here: http://sandraorchard.com/book-giveaway/lets-chat-about-real-virtue/ It is another must-read.

Pic of Katy Lee

As an Inspirational Romantic Suspense author, Katy Lee writes higher-purpose stories in high-speed worlds. Through her writing, ministries, and teaching, she dedicates her life to sharing tales of love, from the “greatest love story ever told” to those sweet romantic stories of falling in love. Katy and her husband are born New Englanders and love to travel with their three adventuresome children.  You can connect with Katy anytime at her website, www.KatyLeeBooks.com. There you will find links to Facebook and Twitter.  She’d love for you to look her up!

 LIGHTHOUSE PHOTO CONTESTWarning Signs by Katy Lee

Also on her site you will find details to take part in the Lighthouse Photo Contest.  She hopes to receive lighthouse photos from around the world. So please, take part!