Interview with Dr. Harriet Bailey of Cobble Hill Farm

Lithograph after W.J. Allen. Original public domain image from Wellcome Collection


I’m delighted to have veterinarian Dr. Harriet Bailey, the main character and resident sleuth of the new Cobble Hill Farm Mysteries, here with us today. 

Harriet, that’s a cute “self-portrait” you’ve supplied, but how about telling our readers what you really look like? 

I’m pretty average looking, with brown eyes and long dark hair that I usually wear in a pony tail while working. I’m in my early thirties, petite, but strong, although my size still causes clients to doubt my capacity to do the heaviest tasks in a large animal practice. 

The way I hear it, you soon prove yourself to be more than up to the job. 

Yes, so far, I’ve been able to tackle most jobs with Polly’s or Will’s or the client’s assistance when needed.

Speaking of Pastor Fitzwilliam “Will” Knight, you seem to spend a lot of time with him. Is romance in the air? 

Do I? 😳 He’s been a good friend. But I wouldn’t want you to get any ideas about us. He’s a self-proclaimed bachelor.

How did you come to inherit your grandfather’s veterinary practice? 

That was an unexpected surprise. I assumed Cobble Hill Farm and everything connected with my grandfather’s estate would be divided between his two children–my Aunt Jinny who lives in the dower cottage and my dad. But my mom and dad love their life in New England. So, I guess my dad told my grandad to leave his share to me. It helps that I’m an only child. And I’m already a qualified vet–a career inspired by my grandfather from the time I was small.

But for you to leave your practice in the US and relocate to the UK must have been a huge adjustment? 

It was. But leaving was easier than it would’ve been a year or more earlier, when I’d been blissfully planning a wedding with a fellow vet at the practice. After Dustin broke off our engagement, continuing to work at the same practice was beyond uncomfortable.  Of course, it is taking the Yorkshire farmers a while to get used to their first female large animal vet. But as they like to say here in the UK, most folks have been brilliant about making me feel welcome. 

It must help that your grandfather’s practice was already well respected? 

Absolutely. In fact, I’m the third generation of Baileys to practice here. My great-grandfather opened the practice the year before the outbreak of the Second World War. The place has seen a lot of change since then, I can tell you. But I occasionally still use some of my great-grandfather’s original equipment, too. 

Your grandfather was also a talented painter, opening his own art gallery here on the farm to display his work. Do you plan to follow in his artistic footsteps as well? 

<Blows out a breath> I’m not sure that particular gift was passed on to me. And at the moment, the veterinary practice consumes most of my time. But…it’s something I might try my hand at one day. You never know unless you try, right? 

What was the most difficult adjustment for you since arriving in the UK? 

Hmm, there’s a few dishes, such as black pudding for which I still haven’t managed to acquire a taste. And understanding what some of the oldest clients are saying can still be a challenge, with the way they drop their ‘t’s and ‘h’s at the beginning of words and use many words I can’t for the life of me decipher.

But probably the biggest initial hurdle was learning to drive my grandfather’s beast of an old Land Rover on these hilly, narrow country roads. Never mind that I had to get used to roundabouts and driving on the left side of the road. I’d never driven manual and learning to do that on some of the incredibly steep grades we encounter in the moorlands is no easy feat. Add to that how close the stone walls enclosing the pastures are to the road in spots, well… I admit I’ve come close to clipping the side mirrors more than once whilst trying to pull over enough to pass a car coming from the other direction.

Notice how I slipped in the word “whilst” for “while”? 😀 I love the sound of that word. 

Driving is easy peasy when the roads are flat and empty like this, but…

it can get a little dicey when you encounter buildings that are practically on the road and you can’t see what’s coming around the corner. 

Then when I actually encounter oncoming traffic!!! I was catching a lift in a friend’s Renault when I snapped this pic through the windshield and the car’s warning siren was beeping hysterically because our “wing mirror” was scraping through the hedgerow camouflaging the stone wall behind it. I was glad not to be driving that day!

Check out Additional Bonus Features 

If you enjoyed this interview, you can find more bonus features for Into Thin Air on my bonus features page

Learn more about Into Thin Air Here: 

Into Thin Air

And Kindle Unlimited subscribers can currently read it for free! 

Into Thin Air by Sandra Orchard now on KU

Have you grabbed a copy of Into Thin Air, yet?

Book Cover for Into Thin Air

If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, now’s your chance to read Into Thin Air for FREE! I’m not sure how long it’ll be an option, but at the moment, you can still read the first and second books in the series–Digging Up Secrets and Hide and Seek–there for free too. 

Here’s the link for Canadians:

Being in Canada, I can’t see whether KU is an option when I log into Amazon for other countries, but I know it is an option in the US.

Into Thin Air is my first contribution to Guideposts new Mysteries of Cobble Hill Farm series set in England’s historic Yorkshire region that I’ve been talking about for a while. I’ve been caught up with things at home, so I’m behind at posting bonus features for the book. But I hope to get those up this week.

I’ll let you know here when I’ve posted the bonus features. In the meantime, you can read the back cover copy and find links to major retailers selling the book here:

Happy reading!


Mysteries of Cobble Hill Farm Now on Kindle!

I have awesome news for my Canadian and other non-US-based readers, the first book in the Mysteries of Cobble Hill Farm, Digging Up Secrets by Elizabeth Penney, is currently available as a free read for Kindle Unlimited members. And available for purchase on kindle (as well as in print).


Once the book finishes its run on Kindle Unlimited, I imagine, it will also be available to Nook and Kobo readers, since print versions are already available at the other retail outlets. Hopefully all the upcoming books in the series (i.e. my Into Thin Air, which is the third book) will be too! 

However, if you want to hold the book in your hand…

and live in the US, purchasing directly from the publisher is a better deal. They’re having a Mother’s Day sale until May 8th. Save 20% on orders over $30 with code SAVE20. That said, when I went there a few minutes ago, a pop up window offered me an instant 15% off with no minimum purchase. 

Please note: if that you only wish to purchase the first book and not subscribe to the series, choose the second option:

And while you’re there, if you’re looking for another book to reach that magic $30 mark, you can check out: 

Book Cover for Love's a Mystery
(click image to go directly to the book)


Mysteries of Cobble Hill Farm Launches

Attention fans of All Creatures Great and Small, cozy mysteries, or anything British…

Mysteries of Cobble Hill Farm is for you! 

I was honoured to be invited by Guideposts to contribute two stories to Mysteries of Cobble Hill Farm, a fifteen-book, multi-author series, set in God’s Own County–Yorkshire, UK. 

About Mysteries of Cobble Hill Farm

This exciting series from Guideposts is set in the charming, history-filled region of Yorkshire, England. Often called “God’s Own County” by the locals, you’ll fall in love with the area right along with newly transplanted Harriet Bailey. As she explores the rolling hills, marvels at the gardens that surround each cottage, and wanders through the ruins of old stone castles, she finds herself hoping she made the right decision when she moved here to take over her late grandfather’s veterinary practice. 

With lots of Extras to Enjoy 

Besides a fabulous mystery, many with historical elements, each story will also feature a yummy recipe for popular British dishes. This is where I have to retract Serena Jones’s statement in A Fool and His Monet: British cuisine. World renowned since never. 

Although in Serena’s defense, (and for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s really time you read her art crime mysteries), she was referencing Bubble and Squeak at the time. She was being facetious when she mused that rechristening leftovers with a cutesy name made them so much tastier. Especially when in Mom’s kitchen, Brussels Sprouts were inevitably involved in insidious ways.  

But I digress! 

Each book also features fun facts about people, places, or things in Britain, related to the story. 

In addition to those included in the book, I’ll soon be adding bonus features to my website for Into Thin Air, too. 

Book Cover for Into Thin Air

Into Thin Air, is my first contribution to the Mysteries of Cobble Hill Farm. Read more about it here:

Into Thin Air includes a kidnapping and an art theft (channeling Serena Jones again here 🙂 ) and lots of lovable characters of both the human and animal varieties. 😉 

Can’t wait to start reading Mysteries of Cobble Hill Farm? 

You can purchase books individually, or you can subscribe to the series and enjoy extra savings and two free gifts. You’ll find all the details at Shop Guideposts.

Shopping Tip: if you find other books you like, and spend more than $45, use coupon code FREESHIP45 to enjoy free shipping. 


Safe Haven Stalker Sighting!

Front Cover of Safe Haven Stalker

Fun news!

Safe Haven Stalker, my second contribution to the Hearts in Peril Book Club is now available. 

Readers looking for riveting romantic suspense can subscribe to this fifteen-book, multi-author club with Annie’s Fiction here: where you’ll have the option of choosing from hard cover books at $14.99 USD + shipping or Ebooks at $5.99 USD.  

In this series, you’ll find captivating, intelligent women caught in jeopardy, and the brave, steadfast heroes who will stop at nothing to win their hearts as they race against the clock to solve mysteries. 

Our rehabilitative journey with my grandson, Jed, inspired the career choice for my heroine in Safe Haven Stalker. And it proved to be a unique opportunity to highlight the passion and concern of so many in rehabilitative professions for their youngest clients.  

Read more about Safe Haven Stalker here:

Following the Example of the Magi

Image of the Magi

I’ve never thought much about the magi who followed the star from the east in search of a king. Yet…

the wise men have many qualities we’d do well to emulate.

When I’m writing a story, I research umpteen aspects of the location, characters, occupations, weather, etc. that will come into play in my story. For my latest story, I’ve been reading the UK’s Farmer’s Weekly every week to better understand the struggle of farmers and the challenges they and their vets face. I’ve researched changes to laws and subsidy schemes due to changing politics. I’ve researched the effects of WWII on farming to incorporate historical clues into my mystery. The list goes on and on. 

How much more diligently should we search out answers to life’s most important questions?

In their day, the Magi didn’t have such varied and vast quantities of information at their fingertips as we do today. They were highly educated men, who’d likely spent years studying religion, astronomy, medicine and so on. And when they saw a new star in the sky, they diligently searched their ancient texts for an explanation.

Finding it, they gathered gifts fit for a king and journeyed to find Him. 

Based on their recorded interaction with King Herod and his resultant edict, the Magi’s search had likely spanned almost two years. We can only presume that in all that time they continued to earnestly search for the king who’d been foretold. 

And when they found Him, they worshipped Him as a king deserves. They gave him gifts of tremendous value. Jesus was no more than two years old, yet they gave Him the best of what they had to offer.

May we follow their example. 

Best wishes to you and yours this Christmas season. 


Image by

Dangerous Prospects – Reading while Flying Not Recommended

New Release – romantic suspense

Dangerous Prospects, my newest romantic suspense, comes with a warning: don’t start reading this book on a plane. Unless you have nerves of steel. 😀

Of course, once you’re through the first couple of chapters, you’re good to go! 

Book Cover for Dangerous Prospects
Book#5 in the Hearts in Peril series

Then again, if you’re reading before bed…and would actually like to sleep, you might wish to rethink your choice. 😉 

I don’t want you to say I didn’t warn you! But I do so love receiving emails complaining that my book kept the reader up all night. 😆 

And Dangerous Prospects might. Reminiscent of Romancing the Stone, this fast-paced adventure will keep your blood pumping, while putting a smile on your face…when you’re not gnawing your lip in concern. 

More About Dangerous Prospects

After their plane is shot down in the Northern Ontario wilderness, three strangers fight the elements, hired guns, and each other, but what price will they pay to escape? Read more here:

It’s the fifth book in Annie’s Fiction new Hearts in Peril romantic suspense book club, and is currently available in Ebook and hardcover. Check out the club at: You’ll recognize many popular Love Inspired Suspense writers among the authors.   

Niagara-area Event

If you live near Niagara, Canada, I’ll have copies for sale (as well as older titles) at an author showcase at the public library in Fonthill on Saturday, November 4th from 10 AM to 1 PM, where you’ll also have the opportunity to meet many Niagara-area authors. 

Hope to see some of you there! 

Until next time, happy reading. 

Writing Mysteries for Guideposts

I am super excited to be writing contemporary mysteries for the Guideposts Organization. Started by the Peales in 1945, Guideposts has a rich history of offering a wide array of faith-based products including magazines, greeting cards, fiction and non-fiction books, music and videos, as well as children’s products.  

My first release with them, Love’s a Mystery in Last Chance Iowa, is a 2-in-1 hardcover book featuring connected historical and contemporary romantic mysteries. I wrote the contemporary story and fellow Canadian, Patricia Johns, wrote the historical.  

Book Cover for Love's a Mystery

Breaking News…

Then this week, my contract to write a second book in Guideposts’ new Mysteries of Cobble Hill Farm series landed. Yee!

The series is about a young American vet who inherits her grandfather’s practice in the UK’s beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Back in March of this year, I was so thrilled to be invited to participate in this series that I immediately booked a flight to immerse myself in the culture and setting while conducting background research for my story, and for the series as a whole.

The experience was amazing, and I know my stories will be richer for it.

I’m already compiling behind-the-scenes book extras, including lots of photos, to share as the books release. 

image of a traditional Yorkshire Farm

Until then…

Be sure to check out Guideposts’ other series.

I’ve been reading the Love’s a Mystery series and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.  

In my contemporary novella in book #11 set in Last Chance, Iowa:

Bereft over the loss of the beloved hand-carved miniatures given to her by her father, Rachel Jones finds an unexpected ally in Curtis Shoemaker, the quiet colleague at her new job. When they discover an estranged branch of Rachel’s family tree, they find that they aren’t the only ones on the trail. Who is the other elusive collector who’ll stop at nothing to beat Rachel and Curtis to the prize? In unraveling the mysterious disappearance and exposing their adversary, they find something more precious than family heirlooms…a chance at forever. 

To purchase this 2-in-1 set, follow this link: book #11 in Guideposts’ ongoing Love’s a Mystery series. Or you can subscribe to the entire Love’s A Mystery series and save 10% per book.  




The Best Christmas Gift of All!

Writing stories about the lives of fictional characters has given me lots of insights into my own life.

In a novella I recently finished, my characters were missing out on their happily ever after because of their fears of being hurt…or so I thought.

Closeup of a calligrapher working on a project

I eventually realized that what was really going on is something that happens to a lot of us when our life derails, and we get hurt.

We attempt to control everything within our power, as a means of coping with our fear of the future.

And that quest for a semblance of control can usurp the Lord’s rightful place in our heart and become the thing we cling to instead of God, because we’re no longer willing to trust Him with our future.

If you’re feeling in a dark place this Christmas season, I urge you to trust that God still has an amazing story to tell with your life.

Enkelten ilmestys paimenille, 1815, by Alexander Lauréus

The angels’ proclamation to the shepherds that first long ago Christmas is good news, precisely because our salvation through Jesus is a gift, not something to be earned.

Speaking of gifts…

Friends exchanging gifts at a Christmas party

it’s tempting to think if I just had—fill in the blank—I’d be happy. Children sure think that way when they eagerly write a Christmas wish list.

Child with Christmas wishlist

Yet, oftentimes, it isn’t until the stuff we think we want is stripped away is that we finally see what we truly need. For myself, I’ve noticed that when I don’t spend time with God, dissatisfaction can quickly seep into my days. Have you ever had that happen and find yourself blaming your job, or spouse, or children, or the state of your home, or whatever?

The glorious news of the Christmas story is that you were created by a God who loves you. A God who sent his Son in the form of a precious babe to deliver us from the sin that separates us from Him.

And finding our hope and purpose in Him alone is the best gift we can unwrap this Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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Save an Extra 25% on Jingle Bell Mysteries

Annie’s is celebrating Black Friday this weekend by offering an additional 25% off your purchase. 

Use coupon code 25OFFBF at checkout, to get the hardcover Jingle Bell Mysteries set for only $7.50 USD + shipping. 

Jingle Bell Mysteries book bundle

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