Life’s Like That

Ever notice how challenges have a way of piling up on you? 

Being a writer who exploits such scenarios on a continual basis, I’ve grown to take a philosophical approach to the twisters that want to wreak havoc on my plans.  

This month the twisters came mostly in the form of helping care for sick grandchildren and trying not to succumb myself. So when my edits landed in my inbox and the children all seemed to be on the mend, I envisioned an entire uninterrupted day of work. 

😆 😆 😆 

A stray dog, with no collar, had another idea. The adorable, lovable and unbelievably needy chocolate brown lab showed up on my doorstep at 7 am. I fed her and tied her up . . . three times. She looked to be about 8 months old, but clearly had already learned the fine art of being an escape artist.

Of course, she didn’t run away each time she escaped. No . . . She came and threw herself at my door and begged to be let in. I think my dog thought Christmas had come early in the form of a playmate, but I wasn’t about to let the kamikaze canine inside.

Visions of Christmas tree ornaments spewing in every direction at the wag of the dog’s tail filled my head!

So . . . I did what any responsible person would do. I woke my nearest neighbours to ask if they knew who she belonged to. 😳 

They didn’t. And of course, the local animal shelter didn’t open until 10. 

Yup, my FULL day of working on edits was quickly spiralling out of control. 

The title of said novel, YULE BE SORRY, was clearly an omen. 

But alas, eventually the friendly lass was carted off to await her owner’s call and I was able to sit down to my edits. 

 

The whole episode reminded me of Rusty, the heroic goldendoodle in Identity Withheld. 

 

Have you read that story? Do you remember Rusty? 

For fun, I thought I’d share his interview once more. Identity Withheld takes place at Christmas time, so if you haven’t read it yet, it’d be a fun one to pick up for an edge-of-your-seat read on a blustery day. 

Sandra: Rusty, could you start by telling us about yourself?

Rusty: I’m a really, really, really good dog. Don’t pay no attention to what Tommy’s dad, Jake, says. He’s a firefighter and gets hot under the collar just because I chew a shoe or corner of the couch or something. His parents adopted me for their grandson Tommy who is the nicest boy on the face of the earth. I live with them, next door to Tommy and Jake. Tommy’s mom died not long after he was born so Tommy’s at his grandparents a lot when his dad’s working, and we play and play and play.

Sandra: I hear you took a shine to Kara Grant, too, when Jake brought her to his parents after her house burned down and she had nowhere to go.

Rusty: Oh, yes, I loooooove Kara. She understands dogs. I could tell she was sad so I sat right down beside her and let her cry into my fur and she let me sleep on her bed with her. And she taught my person, Tommy, how to train me so his dad wouldn’t get so mad at me. Of course, I didn’t listen when she told me to stay before she went out for a jog, because I sensed she wasn’t coming back and I knew that would make Tommy real sad.
 
Sandra: So what did you do?
 
Rusty: I chased after her. And it worked! She came back to the house to stay a while longer. But…she was more scared than ever, because bad guys are after her.

Sandra: Did Jake have a new respect for you after that, too?

Rusty: More like he was jealous that Kara was always hugging me instead of him.<big, tongue-lolling grin> But after that, at least, he figured “I was smarter than I looked.” Although…I think I look adorable. Don’t you?

Sandra: Absolutely. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Rusty: I don’t want to give away the story, but everyone keeps calling Jake the hero, when I should get top billing. Kara fell in love with me the first time she laid eyes on me and… <glances from side to side and lowers his voice> if you read Identity Withheld, I’m sure you’ll agree that it wouldn’t be much of a story without me.

 

Me Again: I hope you enjoyed catching up with me. It has been awhile!

For those of you who aren’t on Facebook or who may have missed the post I made there. I’m proud to share that my grandson, who lost his leg in the lawn tractor accident a month before his third birthday, is this year’s War Amps Safety Ambassador.  

If you’d like to see the commercial he did with a couple of Hamilton’s TiCats, you can find it here:

 
A 2 ½ min behind the scenes feature is here:  https://youtu.be/9uJKzPvSpMI 
 

Crying Baby Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Download A Fool and His Monet for Free in August

If you haven’t met my plucky FBI art crime agent, Serena Jones, this month is your chance to read about her first adventure for free! 

 

 

Almost every online retailer is on board, offering a legal free download of A Fool and His Monet by Sandra Orchard.

Here are links to some of the most popular retailers: 

Amazon US.    Nook.     Kobo.    CBD

Google Play      iBooks.  

Amazon Canada

Amazon AU

Amazon UK 

If you know others who might enjoy A Fool and His Monet or all the Serena Jones Mysteries, please let them know about this great deal.

Click here to learn more about A Fool and His Monet.

Click here to checkout its bonus features.

Justice Betrayed – A review

I’m afraid I’ve been quiet online for much of the summer. I have been enjoying cultivating my vegetable garden, well, four gardens plus a pumpkin patch to be exact. And I’ve been having tons of fun experimenting with new recipes, including making sourdough for the first time and fermenting some of this year’s bounty from the garden! 

But in between reading “how to” articles and watching videos to hone these new skills, I have managed to do some reading. One of the books I most anticipated delving into was the next instalment in my friend Patricia Bradley’s Memphis Cold Case series. Although if you haven’t read the first books in this series, it does read well as a standalone. And . . . if you’re a longtime Elvis fan, you’re especially in for a treat! 

 

Here’s the book blurb:

It’s Elvis Week in Memphis, and homicide Detective Rachel Sloan isn’t sure her day could get any stranger when aging Elvis impersonator Vic Vegas asks to see her. But when he produces a photo of her murdered mother with four Elvis impersonators–one of whom had also been murdered soon after the photo was taken–she’s forced to reevaluate. Is there some connection between the two unsolved cases? And could the recent break-in at Vic’s home be tied to his obsession with finding his friend’s killer?

When yet another person in the photo is murdered, Rachel suddenly has her hands full investigating three cases. Lieutenant Boone Callahan offers his help, but their checkered romantic past threatens to get in the way. Can they solve the cases before the murderer makes Rachel victim number four?

My Review: 

Justice Betrayed is a keep-you-guessing romantic suspense that is light on the romance. Now, I have to say that I prefer it when authors keep the “bad guy” a mystery, even in a suspense, so I was a little disappointed to “meet” the bad guy in the prologue. Until . . .

I discovered I didn’t have a clue who the person actually was in the present!

I love being kept guessing and Pat provided enough possibilities to keep me on my toes. She also had some great secondary characters, including the heroine’s polar opposite grandmothers, as well as, a sweet, mentally challenged young woman whose adoration of Elvis inadvertently entangles her in the mystery, which takes place during Elvis week in Memphis and begins with the death of a tribute artist. 

I really enjoyed this book. Ask for it at your favourite bookstore or find it all the major online retailers.

And . . . if you’re looking for Ebooks to stock your kindle, iPad, tablet or phone these last few weeks of summer…

 

A Fool and His Monet and Another Day Another Dali are both only $1.99 each through to the end of the month. You can find them on google play for your android devices, iTunes for your Apple devices, Nook, Kobo, and Amazon for kindle.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Go Green! Pass it along to your favourite Patty’s Day Pal.  🙂 

 

Click here to: Read an excerpt.

 

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!