Special Valentine’s Interview & News

Harold has stopped by for an exclusive interview!

For those who haven’t read the Serena Jones Mysteries or if you’ve forgotten the characters, Harold is Serena’s lovable cat adopted along with the apartment from Aunt Martha.

Harold, in your first interview, after the release of A Fool and His Monet, you complained that you never got to see Serena in action. But that all changed in Over Maya Dead Body. Tell us about your trip to Martha’s Vineyard.

It was great. Well, except for those creatures on the beach with those nasty claws. <shivers> But the sweet feline I met made up for that. <purrs>

<gives his paw an absentminded lick>

Oh, and I was instrumental in finding important clues to solving the mystery.

Wow, that’s impressive for your first time in the field.


Now this was the big book a lot of readers were waiting for, because Serena finally falls in love. Were you happy with the man that ended up being?

Hmm, in my last interview I mentioned sneaking on Serena’s computer and voting for a certain someone, since you were letting readers dictate the outcome and all, so my answer could be a spoiler for anyone who hasn’t read Over Maya Dead Body, don’t you think?

Good point. You’re a smart cat.


A number of secrets were revealed in this book. Did you know them already?

<emits an amused snort> As long as I get two square meals a day and a warm bed to sleep in and a decent backrub now and again, I don’t get worked up about much else.

However . . . I will divulge something that isn’t in the book.

Oh, really? What’s that.

I’m going to ask that sweet feline you brought into my life to be my Valentine.  😎 

Ah, I’m sure she’ll be pleased.

Readers, if you’ve read Over Maya Dead Body, (and you’re on Facebook), I have a Valentine’s surprise for you too. Join our private Chat About Serena Jones Facebook group to read an alternate romantic scene between Serena and the man she doesn’t choose in the end.

Click here to read more fun interviews, including Harold’s first one.

Coming Soon:

From Feb 19-26, I’m participating in a BookSweeps event for Mysteries with Humor. Subscribe to this blog to be sure not to miss the entry link, or come back Feb 19th to find 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?”


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!


Introducing Susan Anne Mason

I’m super excited to welcome the fabulous new Canadian historical romance writer, Susan Anne Mason to my blog along with Brianna O’Leary, the heroine in her debut historical release with Bethany House, Irish Meadows, which received a starred review from the Library Journal

I first met Susan when we both attended an ACFW conference in St. Louis in 2011 when my debut book released. To think we live a mere couple of hours apart and we had to fly to St. Louis to meet!

Susan Anne Mason & Sandra Orchard
Susan, myself and our mutual friend Eileen who introduced us

Well, today, we’re all going to meet Susan’s heroine: Brianna O’ Leary

Welcome, Brianna. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Irish-Meadows-662x1024I am one of six children (five still living). We live in Long Island, New York where my father owns “Irish Meadows”, a horse breeding farm. Daddy is determined that once I graduate I will marry a man he deems suitable in order to keep up our position in society.

Ooh, I hope we’ll meet a few horses. Our family loves horses. Tell us your greatest dream.

My greatest dream is to attend college in Manhattan. I want more out of life than to just become someone’s wife and to attend endless social engagements. I want to study literature and perhaps become a teacher or a librarian, and prove to my father that I am a daughter to be proud of.

What is a quirk of your personality that most people wouldn’t know?

I was a true tomboy as a child, much to my father’s dismay. I used to steal my brother’s pants and ride bareback around the track when Daddy was away. Mama finally sewed legs into my old skirts and I wear them when I ride my precious mare, Sophie.

Yeah, I guess that answers my question about meeting horses, too! 😀 Name something you would hate people to know about you.

That I’m jealous of my older sister who is so beautiful and vivacious that every man in the county would love to marry her. She also has Daddy wrapped around her finger and gets her way every time, whereas I can barely get Daddy to notice me.

Wow, being a horseman, I’m surprised your Dad isn’t taken with you love of horses. Tell us about the man who has stolen your heart. What makes him special?

Gilbert Whelan and I grew up together. He was my best friend and he taught me everything about horses. Now that he’s home from college, I can’t help seeing him as more than a friend. Gil is kind, loyal, compassionate, and he understands me better than anyone else in this world.

Well, I certainly hope he sees you the same way. Thanks so much for visiting and thank you, Susan for bringing her by. that must’ve been one long ride!

carriage ride

And for those of you curious about Susan, here’s her bio:

Susan describes her writing style as “romance sprinkled with faith.” She particularly enjoys exploring the themes of forgiveness and redemption in her stories. Irish Meadows is her first historical novel and won the Fiction from the Heartland contest sponsored by the Mid-American Romance Author chapter of RWA.

Susan lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband, two children, and two cats. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA).

Connect with Susan Anne Mason at:

Webpage: www.susanannemason.com

FB Author page: https://www.facebook.com/susan.anne.mason.333

Introducing Kara Grant or… is she?

Identity_WithheldIdentity Withheld is my newest Love Inspired Suspense, and although the novel doesn’t hit bookstores until November, it’s already available directly from Harlequin. So, I thought I’d whet your appetite by interviewing the heroine today. [Just in: Tuesday & Wednesday only, buy 2 books and get 1 free at Harlequin, using coupon code: HNB2OC14]

Identity Withheld is Jake Steele’s story, brother to Sam Steele, the hero of Perilous Waters. But the identity of Jake’s romantic interest is a tad more complicated. Thankfully, I’ve managed to coax her into revealing a little more about herself here today.

Sandra:  Tell us about yourself, Kara, and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense. 

Kara:  My real name is actually Nicole Redman, but after witnessing what looked like a man buying a baby while out for a jog in the park in my hometown of Boston, bad guys tried to kill me with a parcel bomb and the police sent me into witness protection. I was quietly biding my time as the rechristened Kara Grant, nighttime janitor, living across the continent in a small town outside of Seattle, until the bad guys found me and set fire to my new home. That’s how I met firefighter Jake Steele.

Sandra:  Tell us about Jake.  What was your first impression? 

Kara:  My very first impression, was not good, I’m afraid. When he spotted me running from the scene, he thought I’d set the fire and grabbed me none too gently. But once he realized his mistake, he was very gentle and protective and had the sweetest, lopsided smile, even if he was annoyingly insistent that I go to the hospital when it was the last place I wanted to go.

Sandra:  It sounds like the two of you clashed more than once. What would you consider your strengths and weaknesses?          

Kara:  I guess my determination to do the right thing no matter the personal cost would be my best strength. My boyfriend in Boston warned me to not go to the police after I witnessed what I was sure had to be the sale of a kidnapped child, saying it would only lead to trouble, but I couldn’t not speak up. Thankfully, I’ve always been fairly self-reliant as well, which helped me a lot once I was placed in witness protection, although Jake would probably say that is my weakness, since I’m so resistant to letting him help me.

Sandra:  You have a scripture at the beginning of the story.  Tell us why this scripture is significant.       

Kara:  When I learned I would have to move across the country and cut off all contact with my friends and family, I clung to this scripture with all my might: “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”

Sandra:  Why can you never see yourself ending up with the hero?

Kara: My life isn’t my own. Kara Grant is not who I really am. And I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone who I was. Being with me, puts Jake and his son in danger and I couldn’t live with myself if I brought them to harm or had to uproot them from their family here in Washington State, because the bad guys have found me and I have to be moved again.

Sandra:  What do you hope people will learn from your experience?

Kara:   To do what’s right even when it hurts and trust God to work it all out according to his plan and purpose.

A worthwhile lesson! Thank you for visiting with us today, Kara.

Blog readers, if you’d like to read more of…

Kara’s interview and other bonus features, such as deleted scenes, as well as an excerpt of chapter one, click here.

If you like to bake, you’ll want to check out the recipe for Gran’s Pumpkin Muffins, also in the bonus features. October 13th is Thanksgiving here in Canada, so in preparation we’ve been experimenting with a few new recipes. As these pumpkin muffins baked, they made the house smell wonderful. They tasted great too!

Your Turn: If you had to go into witness protection, what would be the hardest thing for you to walk away from?


Interview with Heroine of Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley & Giveaway

I am delighted to introduce you to author Patricia Bradley and her debut romantic suspense, Shadows of the Past.


I had the privilege of reading an advanced copy of this wonderful book for endorsement. Here’s what I thought:

“In Shadows of the Past, Patricia Bradley has created the perfect kind of mystery-novel-hero—emotionally wounded with a heart of gold. Add in a determined criminal-profiler heroine, an unknown stalker, and an eclectic collection of wonderfully developed secondary characters (aka suspects), and Bradley had me totally hooked. An outstanding first book in the Logan Point romantic suspense series. Looking forward to the next installment.”

Since I enjoyed Patricia’s characters so much, I invited her to drop by and interview one of them for us. But first some background on story: 

Psychology professor and criminal profiler Taylor Martin prides herself on being able to solve any crime, except the one she wants most desperately to solve—the disappearance of her father twenty years ago. When she finally has a lead on his whereabouts, Taylor returns home to Logan Point, Mississippi, to investigate. But as she is stalking the truth about the past, someone is stalking her.

Nick Sinclair pens mystery novels for a living, but the biggest mystery to him is how he can ever get over the death of his wife—a tragedy he believes he could have prevented. With his estranged brother the only family he has left, Nick sets out to find him. But when he crosses paths with Taylor, all he seems to find is trouble.

Okay, take it away, Pat.

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Sandra. I thought your readers might enjoy an interview with Taylor. This character literally popped into visit one morning during my quiet time and she told me someone one was stalking her.

Patricia: So, Taylor do you always startle people?

Taylor: Not on purpose, but I do seem to have that knack.

Patricia: What do you think of Nick Sinclair?

Taylor: Nick? At first he made me uncomfortable, the way he defended his brother. After all, I did accuse his brother of stalking me. But then I got to know him, and his loyalty to his brother touched my heart. I would have reacted the same way if someone accused my brother Chase of stalking.

Patricia: You seem so sure of yourself and your opinions. Are you always right?

Taylor: Usually. (she grins). Really? Not always, but enough that I’ll stick to my guns until I’m proven wrong.

Patricia: enough talk about guns. Valentine’s Day is coming up. What is your idea of a perfect date for that special day? And with whom?

Taylor: Hmmm. The last question is a no-brainer. Nick. He is one exciting man! Just thinking about him makes my heart beat faster. Not that I wanted to like him at first. Seems like when we first met, all we did was argue.

And for where? If it’s one of those rare warm days we sometimes get in Logan Point, Mississippi in February, a picnic would be sweet. But since that probably won’t happen, I think I’d like for Nick to take me out to eat at the Blues Espresso. We could listen to some really good jammin’, and he could play his harmonica.

Patricia: That sounds like a great Valentine’s date! Do you want to tell the readers if you and Nick have a future?

Taylor, smiling mysteriously. Nope. But the answer is in the book…

That was great! Thanks so much, Patricia and Taylor for joining us.

Blog Readers: I’m giving away a copy of Shadows of the Past. If you’d like your name thrown into the hat, please scroll to the bottom of this post and ask Patricia or Taylor a question about the story, or about herself, or her next book in the series…whatever you’re curious about. And click through the rafflecopter options for additional opportunities to enter, and…a chance to win an advanced copy of my next Love Inspired Suspense, Perilous Waters.

open+heartWinner will be drawn on Valentine’s Day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goodreads members can also enter a giveaway there which ends Feb 18th: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/78819-shadows-of-the-past-a-novel


Patricia Bradley

Here’s a little more about Patricia to whet your curiosity. 😉

Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi and is a former abstinence educator and co-author of RISE To Your Dreams, an abstinence curriculum. But her heart is tuned to suspense. Patricia’s mini-mysteries have been published in Woman’s World, and her debut novel, Shadows of the Past, is the first of three set in Mississippi and will release February 4, 2014. She will present a workshop, Writing 50,000 words in 30 days, at the Midsouth Christian Writer’s Conference in Collierville, TN on March 8, 2014

Patricia’s Website: www.patriciabradleyauthor.com

Blog: http://mbtponderers.blogspot.com/

Twitter Handle: @PTBradley1


Character Interview ~ Song of the Meadowlark

Today I’ve invited “Cora Buchanan” the heroine of the inspirational romance, Song of the Meadowlark, to answer a few questions.

First a bit about the book: 
When trusting others only leads to pain and rejection, and loving ends only in loss, what will it take to restore hope again? Shamed by the uncovered truth about her missing husband’s secret life, Cora Buchanan sets out on a road trip for home, but winds up stranded in a small Georgia town. Add in an adorable little girl and her rugged widower cowboy father, and plunge with her into pure romance with a twist of mystery. Set in the charm of contemporary small-town Georgia.

1. Cora, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

I am the poster child of young adult rebellion gone straight. I married someone my parents didn’t approve of and left Florida to live in South Carolina with him. I thought we had a great marriage until he was arrested for trafficking drugs and then fled after his parents bailed him out. That’s when I realized my parents had been right and I started on my path to change. The saddest part about leaving South Carolina was leaving behind Clark’s parents who had been like parents to me.

2. What do you do for fun?

It took me a while to remember what fun having fun can be. When I lived at the beach growing up, I loved to swim in the ocean. I still do but now I live on a ranch in South Georgia. I’m learning to ride horses although I’m still pretty scared of them.

3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?

Paying bills. I hate doing it!

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

I’m afraid of being abandoned—again.

5. What do you want out of life?

I want a family who will love me and who will support me in my dreams.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

I used to think a career and material possessions were the most important things in life. But now that I have been through a total life change, loving God is the most important thing to me.

7. Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

I love to read romances and mysteries.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would change the way I shrink away from conflict. I have learned that not all conflict is bad but I still tend to avoid it.

9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

I do not have a pet right now because I live on a ranch as a nanny. When I was growing up I had a black Labrador named Bandit. He stayed by my side all the time. I left him when I married and moved away to South Carolina.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

If I could travel back in time, I would go out West to the late 1800s. I have grown to love living on the Southern Hope ranch and think it would be exciting to live as they used to back then.

Song of the Meadowlark was written by Sherri Wilson Johnson.

Sherri is an Inspirational Romance novelist, a speaker, social media junkie, and a former homeschooling mom who loves to share God with others, while sharing her life experiences with them. You can learn more about Sherri and her books at: http://sherriwilsonjohnson.com/ 

Your Turn: Any questions for Sherri? Or how about answering one of the interview questions for yourself?

A House Full of Hope – Character Interview & Giveaway

I first met author Missy Tippens at a conference a few years ago and she’s as sweet as her book. In addition to being a wonderful writer, she’s the mother of three, wife to her pastor husband and an adjunct instructor at a local technological college in Georgia.

I’ve invited Missy here today to share an interview with Hannah Hughes, the heroine of A House Full of Hope.

1. What’s the most important thing in your life?

Without a doubt, the thing most important to me is my four beautiful children. They’re my pride and joy!

2. What do you like to do with your children?

I love to play hide-and-go-seek with the kids. And to read to them. I don’t have much time for free time, but if I did, I’d love to take them for a day at the beach.

3. What are you afraid of most in life?

I fear not being able to provide well for my children. Since I’m a widow, it’s tough to provide for them in the way I’d like. I want them to have a nice home with lots of room. I’m working toward owning a home to help give them a place to feel secure.

5. Beside your kids, what is the most important thing to you, personally?

Feeling secure and loved. Feeling like I’m important to someone. I guess it’s part of my “baggage” that I continually have to deal with. 🙂

6. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?

Who has time to read?! 🙂 Right now, my favorites are the books I read to my children.

7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d worry less and trust God more.

8. Do you have a pet?

We have a pet on our rental property that the kids have pretty much adopted. A black Labrador retriever named Blue. He’s into everything and about drives me crazy! But I’m growing more and more attached to him.

9. What’s your favorite childhood memory?

I’d have to go way back to elementary school–before my parents started having trouble and my sister got involved in the wrong crowd. I have good memories of laughing a lot with my dad (teasing my mom about being so uptight). And great memories of family vacations at the beach.

Wow, I can so identify with Hannah, right down to the dog that drives me crazy. LOL. Is it any wonder I enjoyed the book so much? One of the things that drew me to Christian fiction in the first place and inspirational romance in particular was seeing the characters face similar circumstances to what I was facing or circumstances I feared (losing a spouse) and overcoming. They inspire and give hope. 

Your Turn: How has a book inspired or given you hope in your circumstances or fears?  

Btw, A House Full of Hope is now in stores or you can order it directly from Harlequin. Use this link and coupon code SAVE10AFFO to receive an extra 10% discount off its already discounted prices before 3/31/12. 

I’m also giving away a copy on Friday to one of my commenters from Monday’s or today’s post. Be sure to check back on Friday. 

Lakeside Reunion – Character Interview

A couple of Mondays ago we talked about how the hero of Lakeside Reunion had to sacrifice a future with the woman he loved to do the honorable thing. Today, I’m excited to be able to bring him here to answer a few questions his choice raised for me.

But first allow me to introduce you to his creator, debut author, Lisa Jordan. I first met Lisa online through My Book Therapy and then later in person at ACFW conferences.  What a thrill it has been for us to see our debut novels come out with Love Inspired within months of each other. 
Heart, home and faith have always been important to Lisa Jordan, so writing stories that feature both comes naturally to her. Happily married for twenty-two years, Lisa and her husband have two young adult sons. When she isn’t writing or caring for children in her in-home childcare business, Lisa enjoys family time, romantic comedies, good books, crafting with friends and feeding her NCIS addiction. Visit her at www.lisajordanbooks.com to learn more about her writing. 
Before we dive into the character questions, here’s the back cover blurb for Lakeside Reunion:
Bed-and-breakfast owner Lindsey Porter prays she won’t run into Stephen Chase when she returns to Shelby Lake.Five years ago, the cop jilted her to marry another woman, and Lindsey fled town. But no sooner does she hit city limits than Stephen pulls her over for a broken taillight. Despite the past, he’s still able to stir up Lindsey’s old feelings for him. Now a widower and single dad, Stephen recognizes a second chance when he sees one. And he’ll do anything to make Lindsey trust in God and take a risk for love—again.Read an excerpt of Lakeside Reunion
Now, Stephen, you chose honor over love. Why?
I screwed up. Big time. I had to man up and face the consequences of my actions. What happened affected many people I loved, but I had to do the right thing, even if it meant giving up Lindsey.
What would you have missed out on if you had chosen Lindsey?         
I missed the first two years of Ty’s life. If I had married Lindsey, I would have become a weekend dad, and I didn’t want that. Tyler didn’t deserve that either. He was already losing his mother. The poor guy needed some security in his life.
And Bethany … she was a great person who didn’t deserve what happened to her. She was one of the kindest, gentlest people I’ve had the privilege to know. She loved Ty with all her heart. He’s a great kid, mainly because of her.
How did you feel when you saw Lindsey for the first time?
Like someone had just stepped on my chest. Man, she looked amazing. She was so close, yet so far away, you know?
What regrets do you have over hurting Lindsey?
I loved Lindsey. That never changed. But I had to do what was right for Bethany and Tyler. I was all they had. Breaking my engagement was one of the toughest things I had to do, especially since she was grieving her father’s death.
How did you grow to care for Bethany?
Bethany’s gentle personality made it easy. We were strangers when we got married, but as we talked, our relationship grew into a deep friendship. She was my wife, and I loved her. I will always cherish her memory and honor it for Ty.
Why is your job so important?
I’m a cop. I catch bad guys. But it’s more than that. I screwed up in the past. Being a cop showed I could do something right and honorable. Lindsey’s father was my mentor and believed in me. I couldn’t let him down.
What’s the hardest thing about being a single parent?
What’s not hard about it? You have to do everything yourself. Thank God I had my family to lend a hand or else Ty and I may have lived on chicken nuggets or mac and cheese. He deserved so much more. I do my best, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough. I miss having a partner to share his accomplishments or cute stories with. I hate having to juggle work, his school events, and making sure someone is always there for him.
What life lesson would you share with someone else?
God’s grace is a free gift—it’s up to you to accept it or deny it. Plus, life’s hard, but you don’t have to go it alone. Lean on family and friends, but most of all, lean on God. His shoulders can take it and wants to walk alongside us every day. 
Stephen and Lisa, thanks so much for joining us today and being so open with your answers. Lisa do you have anything you’d like to tell my readers? 
Yes, for the past month-plus, I’ve been holding a scavenger hunt to promote my Lakeside Reunion release. Also, blog commenters on my blog hop (like today) will be put in a drawing for fun prizes—breakfast basket, Love Inspired Authors basket, autographed copies of Lakeside Reunion. (U.S. addresses only, I’m afraid.) 
There are still a couple of days left to get in on the scavenger hunt. Visit my Lakeside Reunion Contest page for more information. For those participating…the token for this blog is a home-cooked meal.
Your Turn: Do you have any questions for Lisa or Stephen? 

Special Notice: Tomorrow at noon Mountain Standard Time, the For Canadians Only gift basket will go up on the fundraiser for Sandi Rog blog. The basket open to International for the 2500 word critique from the Christian Writer’s Guild will be on Friday. Be sure to stop in every day. These baskets are worth hundreds of dollars and feature everything from chocolates, crafts, hand-knitted items, jewellery, scrapbooking supplies to books. 


Interviewing a Villain

Since we talked about villains on Monday, I wanted to share here the interview Emile Laud did with blogger Suzanne Hartzman at the end of September. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed playing him. 
Visiting with us today is Emile Laud a character from Sandra Orchard’s debut novel Deep Cover. To help you better follow my interview with Emile, allow me to first share a brief description of the other main characters.

            Rick Gray (aka Duke Black) ~ Undercover cop working as a construction foreman on Emile Laud’s newest development—a group home for his mentally-challenged niece
            Ginny Bryson ~ A web copywriter and the PR person for her Uncle Emile’s construction project. When not trying to raise funds for the project, or writing copy for her uncle or other clients, she cares for her dying mother and coaches a T-ball team of special needs players, including her sister.
            Lori Bryson ~ Ginny’s eighteen year old sister who has a mental age of three to four and works in a supervised work placement during the day.
Suzanne: Your foreman Rick Gray, uh, I mean Duke, would have us believe you’re the villain of this story so I thought it only fair to give you a chance to defend yourself against these accusations. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Emile: I’d be happy to. I appreciate you having me here. I honestly have no idea why Duke would think such a thing of me, especially after I gave him a job. I’m a developer. I’ve done quite well over the years. I left Miller’s Bay almost twenty years ago, following the tragic death of my wife in a house fire. I simply couldn’t bear the reminders the town held of our happy years together. But I returned a few months back to re-establish my business in the community and to give back to the town that helped launch my career by building a group home for special needs adults.
Suzanne: Tell us a little more about the group home you’re building.
Emile: Foremost, the home is for my niece Lori. With her mother dying, it’s the least I can do to ensure she has a stable home in the future.
Suzanne: Tell us what your niece Ginny is doing to help with the group home.
Emile: Her assistance has been invaluable. Thanks to her tenacious fundraising efforts and government lobbying, grants and donations toward the construction are pouring in. She is such a lovely girl, always helpful, never questions my decisions. I try to help her out however I can. She has a lot on her plate holding the family together. Her mother, my dear departed wife’s sister, was an alcoholic you know. She’s quit now, they say. I suppose with the cancer making her so sick, she had no choice.
Suzanne: Oh, I didn’t know that. No wonder Ginny thinks the world of you. In fact, most people in Miller’s Bay seem to think highly of you. Why is that?
Emile: Why because money talks my dear. Show compassion to the less fortunate, donate to a worthy cause, build a home for the needy, and everyone thinks you’re honorable. If only the insurance company was so easily persuaded. If they paid the settlement on the townhouse fire instead of dragging on a fruitless investigation, I’d be able to move forward with construction much more quickly.
Suzanne: I’ve noticed you always dress in expensive three-piece suits and eat at the best restaurants and even own a yacht. Appearances seem very important to you. Why is that?
Emile: I was poor once. Bullied by kids at school. Mocked for my secondhand clothes. Ignored by the girls. I never intend to go back to that life.
Suzanne: I see. And why doesn’t Ginny’s mother, your sister-in-law, like you?
Emile: She blames me for her sister’s death I’m afraid. It’s understandable. I blame myself. If I’d been there that night instead of working late at the office, I might’ve been able to save her.
Suzanne: What evidence does Ri—uh Duke have to make him suspect that you torch some of your buildings to collect the insurance money?
Emile: Come now, you look like a woman of the world. You know how these rumors get started. I was working late the night my wife died. And yes, so was my secretary. But that didn’t mean I was having an affair. And yes, perhaps my business endeavors have been victimized by arson attacks more than most. But any evidence he believes he has is pure conjecture I’m sure. 
Suzanne: What threats are being leveled at Ginny?
Emile: < squirms, looking suddenly uncomfortable> There have been…shall we say, incidents. One nasty note she received said I know. And one way or the other, HE WILL PAY. Obviously, I’m concerned for her. Although it has occurred to me that Duke, not I, is the “he” to whom the note refers.
Suzanne: But—
Emile: I admit that a man doesn’t get to my position without creating a few enemies. That’s why I asked Duke to use his criminal connections to try to find out who’s behind the attacks on my dear niece and put a stop to them. Now, I ask you, if I were trying to hurt my niece, why would I ask Duke to protect her?
Suzanne: Hmm, good question. I guess I’ll have to read Deep Cover to find out who’s really telling the truth. 
Your turn: If you read Deep Cover, were you surprised at the end to discover who was trying to hurt Ginny?

Unlawfully Wedded Bride – Character Interview

I have the pleasure of introducing to you to a young debut author with Love Inspired Historicals, Noelle Marchand, and her endearing heroine.

Noelle Marchand’s love of literature began as a child when she would spend hours reading beneath the covers long after she was supposed to be asleep. Over the years, God began prompting her to write by placing ideas for stories in her head. Eventually, those stories became like “fire shut up in her bones” leading her to complete her first novel by her sixteenth birthday.

Now, at the age of twenty-two, that fire of inspiration continues to burn. Her first published novel, Unlawfully Wedded Bride, will be on store shelves October 2011. She is currently working on her fourth novel.

Noelle is a Houston-native who will graduate from Houston Baptist University. She is currently a senior double majoring in Mass Communication with a focus in journalism and Speech Communication. She has gained writing, editorial, and publishing experience by working for HBU’s student newspaper. 
Kate O’Brien is the heroine of Unlawfully Wedded Bride and I’ve asked her a few questions…
1) Your younger siblings, Sean and Ellie, have hinted to me that you may be a bit of a workaholic. Is that true? What do you usually do for fun?
I think Sean and Ellie are exaggerating a bit. I just do what has to be done to keep our farm going. If that means I work hard then I work hard. As for fun…I guess I haven’t thought about that much since my parents died. Although since Nathan Rutledge arrived I guess you could say things have become more fun if that means exciting and unpredictable.
2) When did you first realize someone is trying to kill you? Describe how you felt?
Someone’s trying to kill me? Don’t be silly. Is this another rumor started by Mrs. Greene or Andrew Stolvins? If so, I can tell you it isn’t true.

3) What made you choose Peppin, TX as your home? Can you tell us a little about the place?
Well, my family moved to Peppin from Illinois when I was just a child. It is a small town with a very close-knit community. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing almost before they do it. It can be a bit disconcerting at times but good because we all look out for each other.
4) How did you meet Nathan Rutledge? What did you think about him the first time you met?
I met Nathan Rutledge when he showed up at my farm claiming to be my husband. I admit I thought he was handsome. I also thought he was slightly delusional until he showed me the marriage certificate then I saw him in an entirely new light. After all, he gave up his former life as a rancher to marry me and help me with the farm. It was a nice if unnecessary gesture. I may miss him just a little after we get the annulment and he goes back to wherever he came from.

5) Showed you a marriage certificate?! How could you possibly think it was real? You’d have to sign it. 

I had. In a moment of desperation when I realized that I needed a husband to get a loan from the bank and save the farm, I’d signed an absentee affidavit. But then I decided to try to find a less drastic way to go about things and never intended to send it. Except Sean found it and sent it off. 

6) What are your strengths and weaknesses?
My strengths are that I am a strong, determined, independent woman. My weaknesses… well, some have said that I’m too strong, determined and independent for my own good.

7) What do you value above all else?
Family. My siblings mean everything to me. I’d do anything to keep us together and protect my parent’s legacy.
8) What do you admire about the hero?
He isn’t afraid of hard work. He makes Sean and Ellie laugh. He is also very kind.
9) Why could you never see yourself ending up with the hero?
I’m pretty sure I don’t need a hero. In fact, I’m positive I don’t. I’ve been doing pretty well by myself.  I’m not interested in depending on a man so I guess that’s why I couldn’t see myself with him.
10) What’s your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is letting my parents down by not taking care of my siblings. I’ve been doing my best to provide for them. If I’m honest, I’m afraid that won’t be enough.
11) What is the one thing you would never do?
Work at the Red Canteen Saloon. My former beau (if you can call Andrew Stolvins that) has offered me a position several times. I would never accept it.
12) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I have a bit of a temper. I suppose it would be nice to be a bit more level-headed. 
Thank you Kate for visiting with us today. 
If you’d like to read Kate O’Brien’s complete story, look for Noelle’s book in stores this month. 

Kate O’Brien can’t believe her ears. She’s been married, by proxy, to a man she’s never met, thanks to her young siblings’ meddling! Kate offers her “groom” room and board at her farm until the annulment is granted—nothing more. After all, what else could this predicament be but a blunder that needs fixing?
Nathan Rutledge arrives on Kate’s doorstep, seeking a fresh start—with a family that needs his help more than Kate will admit. The shadows in both their pasts will be no match for a bright new beginning. But first, he has to convince a woman frightened of love to throw caution to the Texas wind… 
If you’d like to learn more about Noelle and her books, visit her online at: http://www.noellemarchand.com