Friday, August 26, 2011

Introducing Sandra Orchard

It's my pleasure from time to time to intoduce you to one of my author friends. This time it's new author Sandra Orchard, with her Love Inspired suspense novel. Be sure to check out her great new book!

Sandra Orchard lives in rural Ontario, Canada where inspiration abounds for her romantic suspense novels set in the fictional Niagara town she's created as their backdrop. Married with three grown children, when not writing, she enjoys hanging out with family, brainstorming new stories with fellow writers, and hiking or kayaking in God's beautiful creation. Her debut novel Deep Cover is now available on eHarlequin and hits bookstore shelves in September. You can buy it now at

Maintaining his cover cost undercover cop Rick Gray the woman he loved. Sweet Ginny Bryson never really knew Rick. He never gave her the chance. Not then, and not now, when he's back with a new alias to gather evidence against Ginny's uncle. The man's crimes led to Rick's partner's death, and Rick wants justice to be served. But his investigation is stirring up trouble, and Ginny is smack-dab in the middle. Someone wants Ginny to pay the price for what her uncle has done. But how can Rick protect her without blowing his cover, jeopardizing his assignment...and risking both their lives?

Deep Cover is the first book in the series, Undercover Cops: Fighting for justice puts their lives—and hearts—on the line.

Book 2 ~ Shades of Truth ~ March 2012
A compassionate youth worker fighting to preserve her dying father’s legacy battles the justice-driven detective who threatens her mission and her heart.

Book 3 ~ Dose of Deception ~ TBA (title tentative)
A nurse. An undercover cop. A killer who’ll stop at nothing to avoid being caught.

What reviewers are saying about Deep Cover:
“4 Stars. Great job…a good mystery, interesting characters and a satisfying ending.” ~ Romantic Times

“A great debut novel that will steal your breath away.” ~ Kav at Best Reads.

Visit Sandra Online at:
her website ~
her personal blog ~
On Facebook ~

Friday, August 19, 2011

On Being A Writer

Recently I gave a talk at an area library. Most of the participants were there because they were interested in Amish fiction, but there were a few who are aspiring writers. I always include a bit about how I started writing for those folks, hoping they will find encouragement from my story. Here's a little of what I said.

I began my career in fiction writing in a very small way, writing 3 or 4-page stories for church school take-home papers. Since I didn’t have anyone to tell me I was doing it the wrong way, I simply analyzed as many published stories as I could find to figure out what made them tick, and then tried to write my own.

The first story I wrote, called, I believe, “Kathy’s Bedtime,” was rejected its first time out. I figured I’d give it another try, so sent it out once more. It came back again, but this time the editor had taken the trouble to scribble at the bottom of the printed rejection slip, “Nice story.” Bless that anonymous editor. That response made me brave enough to try again, and that time it sold, to Story Friends magazine for the magnificent sum of $16. I took my husband out to dinner with the proceeds and told him I was a writer.

I’m telling you this not because I think it’s a remarkable story, but to show that writing careers, especially fiction careers, begin in all sorts of ways, some of them very small. If I had been discouraged by that first rejection slip, or if I had decided that the struggle wasn’t worth it for $16, I wouldn’t have reached the point of having published over 300 short stories and 43 novels.

I’ve known, over the past 30 years, so many very talented writers—some much more talented than I—who couldn’t keep going through the rejections, the slow pay, the no pay, the magazines that fold before your story comes out, the book lines that die inexplicably. If you ask me what the major ingredients are in success as a fiction writer, I’d have to say persistence and desire. Without those, writers don’t succeed, no matter how talented.

One of the participants at the library got in touch with me after the event, asking about writers' groups in the area, and I was able to refer her to a great local group. I think she's on the right track!