Friday, May 26, 2017

An Interview with Sandra Orchard by Patricia Bradley

I am so excited to bring Sandra Orchard back to The Suspense Sisters. Sandra is a multi-award-winning author of mysteries and romantic suspense. When not plotting crimes, Sandra likes to play make-believe with her grandchildren or hike with her hubby near their home in Niagara, Canada. Learn more about Sandra's books and bonus features at or connect at Orchard.

Her third book in the Serena Jones Mysteries series, Over Maya Dead Body, releases July 4 – Who will Serena choose?

FBI Special Agent Serena Jones arrives on Martha’s Vineyard with her family, ready for a little bit of R&R and a whole lot of reminiscing as they celebrate the engagement of an old family friend. But crime doesn’t take a vacation, and she’s soon entangled in an investigation of a suspicious death tied to an antiquities smuggling ring. 

When her investigation propels her into danger, Serena must stay the course and solve this case before anyone else dies. But just how is she supposed to do that when the two men in her life arrive on the scene, bringing with them plenty of romantic complications–and even a secret or two?

I've enjoyed the competition for Serena's affections between Nate and Tanner in A Fool and His Monet and Another Day Another Dali. Will she really choose one of them in Over Maya Dead Body?

It's interesting that I never thought of the situation as a love triangle, and was surprised when readers started calling it that. But now that I reflect on it, your description of it being a competition for her affection, rather than her choosing is far more accurate. And yes, Serena does make a choice.

If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?  

A wife, mother and grandmother who loves the Lord and her family with all her heart and who feels truly honored when others enjoy the stories I write.

I truly agree with your description, Sandra. What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?

Play with my grandkids. As for hobbies, after years of restricting creative free time to reading and writing, I’ve finally resumed crocheting and painting. Of course, my first projects have been grandchild related—truck and car pictures using their footprints as the template and crocheting a knight’s uniform.

Oh, wow. A knight’s uniform. That is neat. Once I made a grandchild an 1800-style general’s coat. He wore it until it wouldn’t fit. What was your favorite book as a teen or child?

I didn’t have a favorite. But I remember enjoying the Trixie Belden mystery series as a preteen.

Trixie Belden…I know I read those. Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.

-       I’ve never lived more than 40 miles from where I was born
-       I’m eagerly anticipating my fifth grandchild
-       For years, I didn’t think I had enough imagination to be a fiction writer

All three of those surprised me! What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?

I started writing romantic suspense and when new ideas I had didn’t fit into the romantic suspense genre, I added mysteries to the mix.

I love all of your books. J What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The funnest compliment is hearing I’ve kept someone up all night reading. I try not to dwell on criticisms, except when they’re helpful in improving manuscripts in progress since it’s too late to change the book that’s already out there.

Totally agree. Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why?

Not at the moment.

If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be?

I wouldn’t have kept the fact I’d starting writing a novel a secret from my dad. I’d wanted to surprise him with a published book dedicated to him and to my already deceased mom. Unfortunately, he died unexpectedly about a year into my writing journey, without ever knowing.

Oh, that’s hard. I’m so sorry you lost your dad that way. But I totally understand wanting to wait. It would have been a wonderful surprise. What is the most important thing you’d like readers to take away from your books?

Several enjoyable hours of entertainment and hopefully some inspirational food for thought.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?

Don’t be in a rush to get published or to publish yourself. Take time to enjoy the journey. Persevere in learning the craft.

Excellent advice! 

To celebrate Sandra joining us today I'm offering a copy of the 2nd book in the series--Another Day Another Dali.  (Print version to a Continental US address or e-book outside the Continental US) 

To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment answering one of two questions. 

1. If you've read the other two books in Sandra Orchard's Serena Jones series, which man do you want Serena to choose? Nate, the building supervisor, or Tanner, her boss at the FBI? 


2. Which mystery genre do you like best?

Leave your answer to one of the questions in the comment section. The drawing will be Wednesday, May 31 and I will contact the winner by email, so be sure and leave your email addy.

 And here's a description of Another Day Another Dali.

Another Day Another Dali

When a valuable Salvador Dali painting belonging to her grandmother’s friend is mysteriously replaced by a forgery, FBI Special Agent Serena Jones is called in to investigate. Serena hopes finding the thief will also mean finally measuring up to Nana’s expectations. But when the evidence points to members of the owner’s own household, it becomes increasingly clear that Serena won’t be winning any popularity contests.

The Dali isn’t the only painting that’s fallen prey to the forgery-replacing thief, raising the specter of a sophisticated theft ring–one with links to dirty cops, an aspiring young artist, and the unsolved murder of Serena’s grandfather.

With plenty of edge-of-your-seat moments, Another Day, Another Dali gives the plucky Serena Jones–and readers–a new high-stakes case to crack.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Do You Have a Special Recipe You Make For Special Friends?

Today Suspense Sister, Mary Ellis, Shares a Recipe from Her Latest Mystery

Ever notice that when women get together food is almost always involved? From a cup of coffee with a few cookies to a full-blown extravaganza of culinary delights, Americans love to eat. And why not? We live in a land of plenty so we should be grateful and willing to share! Today I’m willing to share my favorite pie recipe—Key Lime Pie, a true Southern favorite. In my latest book from Harvest House, Sunset in Old Savannah, a special friendship develops between a twenty-something private investigator, Beth Kirby, and her 70ish client, Evelyn Doyle. As first Beth cannot understand why Evelyn doesn't divorce her husband when he breaks his vows and strays from their marriage. Evelyn is willing to take him back, providing he's sorry and agrees to counseling sessions with their minister. Throughout the story, Beth learns much from Evelyn about Christian forgiveness. She also learns that women share many of the same challenges, no matter what their age. In my favorite scene in my latest mystery, Sunset in Old Savannah, Evelyn serves her young friend Key Lime Pie. Now you can enjoy some too!

Ingredients for Key Lime Pie
1 ½ cups finely crushed graham crackers (20 squares)
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted 
3 tablespoons sugar 
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
½ cup Key lime juice
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

11.   Heat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar. Press in bottom and up the side of 9-inch glass pie plate. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown; cool. 
22. In a large bowl, beat milk and lime juice with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and thickened. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into cooled pie crust.
33.   Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour or until set. Store in refrigerator.

For a chance to win your choice of Mary Ellis’s last 3 mysteries, please leave a comment about what you like to serve special friends.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hot new inspy suspense!

An FBI agent must protect the woman who can identify a terrorist bomber in bestselling author Susan Sleeman's riveting romantic suspense novel.

Each day could be her last...but not if he can help it.

Tara Parrish is the only person ever to survive an attack by the Lone Wolf bomber. Scared and emotionally scarred by her near death, she goes into hiding with only one plan--to stay alive for another day. She knows he's coming after her, and if he finds her, he will finish what he started.

Agent Cal Riggins has had only one goal for the past six months--to save lives by ending the Lone Wolf's bombing spree. To succeed, he needs the help of Tara Parrish, the one person who can lead them to the bomber. Cal puts his all into finding Tara, but once he locates her, he realizes if he can find her, the Lone Wolf can, too. He must protect Tara at all costs, and they'll both need to resist the mutual attraction growing between them to focus on hunting down the bomber, because one wrong move could be fatal.

Monday, May 22, 2017

We’re planning another great week on the Suspense Sisters. Check out our posts, our interviews, and our awesome giveaways!


On our review page, senior reviewer Iola Goulton reviews A LADY IN DISGUISE by Sandra Byrd. Iola says: “I found the writing strong—I like the intimacy of first person point of view, although I know many readers don’t. The entire novel is from Gillian’s point of view, and she is a strong and intelligent character. I enjoyed the supporting characters as well, especially the irrepressible Ruby, who I feared for as much as Gillian did.”  

You can find her complete review HERE.  

On Tuesday, Suspense Sister Dana Mentink will share What’s Hot
in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery.


On Wednesday we’ll hear from Suspense Sister Mary Ellis. Mary asks: “Do You Have a Special Recipe You Make For Special Friends?” Mary will share a recipe from her newest mystery. Besides sharing a delicious recipe – she’s giving away copies of her last three books!

Friday, we’re interviewing author Sandra Orchard. You could win a copy of her new mystery, ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER DALI!

When FBI Special Agent Serena Jones takes on the case of a forged Dali painting as a favor to her grandmother, she assumes it will be a typical investigation. Hopefully collaring the thief will also mean finally measuring up in her grandmother's eyes. But the deeper she delves into the forgery and the suspects surrounding it, the less typical it becomes.

The Dali isn't the only painting that's fallen prey to the forgery-replacing thief, raising the possibility of a sophisticated theft
ring--one with links to dirty cops, an aspiring young artist, and the unsolved murder of Serena's grandfather. To make matters worse, someone connected to the forgeries seems to be determined to stop Serena's investigation--no matter the cost.

Another Day, Another Dali gives the plucky Serena Jones--and readers--a new high-stakes case to crack. You won't want to miss a single brushstroke!

That’s what’s happening this week on the Suspense Sisters. Don’t miss a single day. Sign up through email so you’ll get updates in the exciting world of inspirational suspense and mystery!

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