Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Interview and Book Giveaway with Sandra Orchard

by Jeff Reynolds 

Aaaand... we have a winner!
Congratulations to Jackie Smith. 





This week, I'm interviewing author Sandra Orchard, and we will be giving away a copy of her latest, Deadly Devotion. At the bottom of this blog are three steps to being a winner.

I had debated asking Sandra Orchard if she uses an Apple computer to plant seeds for a fruitful and Delicious plot that goes out on a limb, developing core characters (such as, maybe, Jonathan MacIntosh and Granny Smith), and some Gala event at an a-peeling setting (possibly Fuji?), but she might say "Leaf me alone." So I'll put on my serious interviewer hat and begin.

Jeff Reynolds: Welcome to Sleuths and Suspects, Sandra. I had the privilege of reading your web-page bio, which mentions you started your writing journey by composing numerous reviews and articles for your homeschooling newsletter. Could you tell us about any of those that you have fond memories of?
Sandra Orchard: I loved doing reviews of homeschooling curriculum when my children were in the early grades and could do similar work. I often reviewed unit studies where all the subjects were integrated around a central theme, because…I got to try the studies with my family first. We loved the variety.

JR: At that time, your bio mentions that you never considered writing fiction. What changed your mind?
SO: The more I read Christian fiction (particularly romance and romantic suspense), the more I yearned to write it. Ideas soon followed. A back injury gave me the time and motivation.

JR: If my math is correct, this year will see the release of your fourth title with Love Inspired Suspense and your first with Revell. Could you tell us about them?
SO: Deadly Devotion, which released last month, is the first book in a three-book romantic suspense/mystery series called Port Aster’s Secrets. Each book will have a standalone mystery, but the romance and an underlying suspense plot will arc the series.

In book 1: Herbal medicine researcher Kate Adams knows her friend didn’t commit suicide, as the police suspect, and is determined to prove it. But standing in the way is Detective Tom Parker who has the niggling suspicion that Kate might be the killer.     When Kate’s investigation unearths a web of suspicious goings-on in the sleepy town of Port Aster, will Tom believe her innocence and catch the real murderer before Kate becomes the next victim?


My next Love Inspired Suspense, Fatal Inheritance, about a woman who inherits her grandparents’ century farmhouse, only to be terrorized by someone who wants her to sell, releases in August 2013.

JR: Do you work on one story at a time, or are you a multi-tasker as a writer? Also, are you one who outlines in advance, or are you more of a blank pager?

SO:
Out of necessity, I am a multi-tasker. Ideally, I’d be working on a first draft stage of one manuscript, while editing another, but… it doesn’t always work out that way. As of today, I need to start writing first drafts of both my next Revell novel and my next Love Inspired Suspense. Mind you, this is my favorite stage. It only starts to get scary when the book I’ve outlined—yes, I outline—begins to unravel as the characters assert themselves half way through the book and my outline becomes so much fire starter!

JR: Back to the bio. Your three twenty-something children (as well as your husband) help with your writing. You mention your youngest daughter is also a freelance writer and an aspiring novelist. What's it like mentoring her? Or is it the other way around?

SO:
I love having another writer in the house. She understands me.  She fully appreciates what a big deal little victories are and how devastating defeats can feel. She can relate to writer’s block, and the oh-so-sweet feeling when a scene comes together. We don’t talk stories too often since our tastes and writing are quite different. But we encourage one another to persevere and are the ever-present and much-needed listening ear when characters are being uncooperative.

JR: How do you work the faith element in the story? Do you start with theme and develop the story around it? Or do you start with a story and discover the theme?
 

SO: Well…yes and yes. Oftentimes I start with a theme and develop the story around it, only to have a different theme emerge as the story evolves. Sometimes, I start with more of a suspense plot and discover the theme as I write.

JR: Here's a challenge. What problem concerns you, and how would you -- as an author -- solve that problem?

SO: 
I would write a fictional story to help people walk in others’ shoes and see the view from their perspective. For example, I learned a lot about troubled youth and youth detention centers in my research for Shades of Truth, and hopefully, conveyed a more compassionate approach to their situations through my heroine in the story.

JR: Thank you for your time. Could you direct us where we could contact you?
 

SO: My cyber home is at http://www.SandraOrchard.com  I blog there every Monday, and you’ll find fun bonus features for all my books such as deleted scenes and location pics.

I also love to connect with fans on Facebook at: 

http://www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard
And I’d like to invite readers who wish to be notified of my upcoming releases to subscribe to my newsletter.


Jeff to the reader: Now, the giveaway part. If you would like a copy of Deadly Devotion (winner's choice of print or e-book), here are the rules:

  1. There needs to be a minimum of ten entries for a book to be given.
  2. Include your e-mail address -- your entry does NOT qualify without one. (I always get at least one person who wants to enter the giveaway but does not include their e-mail -- and yes, you can spell out the icons like myemailaddress (at)bigcompany(dot)com.
  3. Finally, Sandra has suggested a question for you to answer, and it looks very interesting. Here it is: The heroine of Deadly Devotion, Kate Adams, is interested in herbal teas and remedies. What is the most unusual or most effective folk remedy, or herbal tea, that you or someone in your family has tried? For what ailment? And how well did it work?

51 comments:

  1. Would love to win a copy. My email address is saritawhite@gmail.com

    One remedy that seems to work on bug bites is a mixture of baking soda and water and then apply to bite.

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    1. Hi Sara, great to see you here. Baking soda is a great standby for so many things. Thanks for sharing this tip!

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  2. Very interesting interview. . . sounds like a great book!

    We rely on echinacea capsules and tea to prevent colds and illnesses. Also, I have mixed up several dried herbs and essential oils to make a muscle rub. You have to let it sit for over a month and then strain it through cheesecloth.

    I would love to win a copy of Sandra's new mystery.

    Sheri
    hspruitt[at]frontiernet{dot}net

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    Replies
    1. Ooh, would love the recipe for your muscle rub, Sheri. My back and shoulders have been horrible lately.

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  3. I would like to win a copy :) pacagirl29@ymail.com

    thanks to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I use Windex on my bug bites. It really works!

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  4. I won't include my e-mail to enter the contest because 1) I'm the interviewer so it wouldn't be fair and 2) I already know my e-mail (I hope).

    As far as home remedies, I've tried Valerian root to relax and when we ran out of that, my wife got some Melatonin. Now, I used to see Cat-nip tea in health stores, but not anymore. Too bad -- I thought it would be the purrfect way to relax. (BTW, I once saw a video at a big cat rescue center of how the various cats reacted to catnip. That was funny.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah catnip makes an appearance in Book 2 of Port Aster secrets. :)

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  5. Thanks for the great interview!

    Not sure if this qualifies as a "remedy", when my husband & I were younger, we Scuba dove. An ENT we knew suggested to save money by making own ear solution (like Swim Ear), 15 oz. rubbing alcohol & 1 oz vinegar. :-)

    Terri Moran
    Sdmoranclan@gmail.com

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  6. I would love to enter for a chance to win, the book sounds very intriguing! My email is tfisher356@comcast.net

    The best home remedies I have would be a paste of baking soda and water for bee stings, apple cider vinegar to keep fleas off of my four legged babies, and perioxide and water for excessive ear wax.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool, the last two are new ones to me! Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Hi, thanks! Gatosqueak at gmail dot com.

    We're fairly boring, but I recommended my spry 81 year old grandmother to try hot tea, lemon, and honey to soothe her throat. Worked like a charm :)

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    Replies
    1. Ah, my heroine would nod her approval. ;)

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  8. Thanks for the chance to win this book! It sounds awesome and I can't wait to read it! My email is tscmshupe at pemtel dot net. Whenever I hear about herbal remedies I think of the movie Arsenic and Old Lace lol. I don't know of any remedies I've used. Maybe the book would give me some ideas? This book sounds great and I can't wait to read more of your work!

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  9. Hi,
    One remedy I can remember my mom giving me as a kid was a mixture of a little syrup and orange juice to settle an upset stomach. I can't remember how well it worked, but it was passed down to her from my grandmother and probably even older than that.

    ratgirl@ymail.com

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    Replies
    1. Do you remember what kind of syrup? Maple? Corn? ??? Thanks!

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  10. Hi Sandra..thank you so much for the chance to won a copy of your book! I swear by Echinacea to boost your immune system..I worked for a doctor's office and the nurse practitioners taught me about it...it stops your cold from progressing..love the stuff...also my husband has been using lemon balm...it's a capsule that helps relieve anxiety and helps you sleep...kind of has the same affect on your brain as valium...he seems to enjoy that one..haha hope you have a happy forth!!
    ~barbara
    Barbararhoades@live.com

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    Replies
    1. Ooooh, I'd wanted to plant lemon balm this summer, because I'd heard good things about it...and forgot!

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  11. Sara White who reccomended baking soda and water for bug bites May I suggest one more thing be added to it? Add meat tenderizer,

    And God bless all of you Have a terrific 4th
    Chris Granville
    granville@frontiernet.net

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  12. I absolutely lived on peppermint tea during the morning sickness days of my pregnancies, and my daughters have done the same.

    Sandra, your book sounds wonderful!
    Deb Kastner
    debkastnerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com

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    Replies
    1. Ah, anything that helps with morning sickness should be shouted from the hilltops! :) I personally liked freezies. ;)

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  13. ~ the best remedy someone told me about was to dip a toothpick in peppermint extract and swish it in a bottle of warm water (4oz)give to a baby with a upset tummy instead of gripe water :)
    corningfamilyateastlinkdotca
    Michelle Corning

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    Replies
    1. Ooh, I'll have to remember that one. With a new grandbaby that could come in handy!

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  14. I love suspense/mystery fiction books. Your book sound like a great read. Thank for a second chance to win a copy.

    I also love the Love Inspired Suspense books.

    Wet tobacco for bee stings and honey for a cough if I am remembering correctly. Seemed to work pretty good.

    My email address is mawmawskids@yahoo.com. Donna McGinnis

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    1. I could have used some wet tobacco last night!

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  15. I'm looking forward to reading this book--whether I win a free copy or not :>) The strangest folk remedy I've tried is 2 tablespoons of pickle juice to stop nighttime leg cramps. I have a 50% success ratio. suzannebratcher@msn.com.

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne! I hope you enjoy the story. I've never heard of this remedy. It sounds like a great one for my heroine to recommend. :)

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  16. I keep Echinacea tea on hand for when I am feeling puny or around people who are sick. My favorite remedy is for scorpion stings. I mix tobacco and baking soda. Make a paste and hold it on the sting until it quits hurting. I have also used it on fire ant bites.. I keep at least 4 kinds of herbal tea on hand. Ginger is great for an upset stomach. I would love a copy of Deadly Devotion. fishingjan(at)aol(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad that neither scorpion stings or fire ants are a problem where I live! Ouch!!

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  17. Thanks for the interview and giveaway. I had always heard visine would reduce redness of pimples like eyes. I used it on my wedding day and it did.


    Melissa
    mo1202007@yahoo.com

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  18. Sandra,

    Thanks for stopping by! The most unusual herbal treatment I tried is bee propolis for endometriosis. I think it helped.

    Heidi

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    Replies
    1. Oh, wow, that is unusual. Glad to hear it helped.

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  19. I'm interested in a copy!!! My email is childoftheking@suddenlink.net

    I honestly can't think of a sort of ailment I've tried or my family has tried. Other than tea with honey.

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  20. For a cold we've tried eating raw, crushed garlic wrapped in a piece of buttered bread. It works pretty good. :)
    Worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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    1. Ooh, I bet the garlic kept lots of things at bay. ;)

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  21. I'd love to read one of your latest books...this one sounds great! Since I take quite a bit of medicine, I haven't been able to try some of the herbs that I would like to. I do enjoy having an aloe vera plant in my window for burns if necessary. A friend gave it to me while I was in NM and I brought it back to Boise!

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    1. Aloe Vera is amazing for burns. My daughter told me of a burn victim in which they poured aloe vera juice over extensive second and third degree burns with amazing results.

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  22. A minimum of 10 entries? Really Jeff. lol
    I love reading Sandra's journey...so glad she came over to the "dark"side of writing. This book is so good. I received a free copy, then gave it away and went back and ordered me one! Going now to preorder the LIS coming out in August.

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    1. You're priceless, Pat! Thank you!

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    2. Pat, it was Sandra's request. It didn't take long for us to reach it.

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  23. I have found that Valerian root capsules help me sleep better....and seem to help the nerve pain I suffer from at this time!
    So anxious to read your book, Sandra!
    Jackie Smith
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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    1. Jackie, I'm sorry to hear of your nerve pain, but so glad you shared this. I used it years ago for a weird shaky leg thing...and your mention of it has me wondering if it would give me some back pain relief.

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  24. I would love to win a copy of Sandra's book. It sounds so good!

    Lavender, Melaleuca, Purify, TerraShield essential oils are great for bugs.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    azladijo(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. And they all smell so much better than garlic spray! :)

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  25. When i was younger I used to pop Vitamin E tablets and rub them on my face for moisture. It smelled terrible and was sticky but it did the trick!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    mestith at gmail dot com

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    1. Interesting. You always read of it being in moisturizers. I never thought of applying directly. :)

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