Please join me in welcoming mystery author Sandra Orchard to my blog for our annual CAN Scavenger Hunt.
Sandra Orchard—winner of the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion Award of Merit, the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence and several Canadian Christian Writing Awards—leaps off the garden trails of her herbal-researcher-turned-amateur-sleuth (Port Aster Secrets) series, to the museum corridors of her plucky FBI art crime agent Serena Jones, in A Fool and His Monet. When not plotting crimes, Sandra plays make-believe with her grandchildren or hikes with her hubby along the escarpment, near their home in Niagara, Canada.
Sandra, as you’ve probably noticed from browsing about my website, I love to write about my experiences with animals. Do you have animals?
Yes, I live on a small hobby farm. We have laying hens, a horse and a dog. When my children were younger we used to also have a cockatiel, a goat and several cats. We were quite the sight when spotted on the road.
Fun! Do you include animals in your stories?
In some of them, yes, I had a lovable Golden Doodle who almost took over my sixth Love Inspired Suspense novel, Identity Withheld. He was so popular that he started giving his own interviews. Readers can check one out here. In my newest release, A Fool and His Monet, the main character, Serena Jones, has adopted her Great Aunt Martha’s cat, along with the woman’s apartment. The book is a light-hearted mystery and Harold, the tuxedo cat, became a fun foil to use.
That’s such a great title. I love impressionist paintings. Tell us a little about your book.
A Fool and His Monet is the first book in Serena Jones Mysteries.
Serena is a plucky FBI art crime agent forging her way through a museum of lies to expose the ruthless mastermind behind the recent theft of a priceless painting.
Her passion for uncovering lost and stolen art is surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about the art thief who murdered her grandfather. She’s joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother’s pleas to do something safer—like get married and give her grandkids—Serena’s hot on a new case–a Monet stolen from the local museum. The clues point in different directions and her boss orders her to cease investigating her most promising suspect. But determined to solve the case, and perhaps discover another clue in her grandfather’s case, she pushes ahead, regardless of the danger.
The story is set in St. Louis and readers can check out fun bonus features (such as location pics and deleted scenes) for this and my other novels at: http://sandraorchard.com/extras/bonus-book-features/
Could you share a clip of a scene with Harold?
Happy to. And here’s a pic of our own cat that inspired the character:
I stalked back to my bedroom and slammed on the lights.
Harold blinked indignantly.
“What kind of cat are you? There’s a mouse in the kitchen helping itself to my breakfast and you’re in here snoring.”
Harold stretched one paw out in front of him, then the other and arching his back let out a bored yawn.
“That’s it. It’s time you earned your keep.” I laid my gun on the bedside table, scooped Harold off my bed, stalked down the hall and plopped him on the kitchen floor next to the crumb trail left by the mouse. “Find it.”
Harold tapped a bread crumb with his paw then proceeded to bat it around the kitchen floor like he was the Blues next star hockey player.
“Wait till it starts stealing your food, then you’ll change your tune.”
Harold stopped mid-swipe and looked at me as if the prospect of a mouse daring to touch his kibbles seriously miffed him. He sat on his haunches and cast glances to every corner of the kitchen.
“I think he ran under the stove,” I said.
Apparently not up on his appliance names, Harold swiped a paw under the fridge.
LOL. You mentioned this is a series. Does each book standalone? Do they need to be read in order? When does the next one come out? How many will there be?
Yes, each book is a standalone mystery and they can be read out of order. The next one, Another Day, Another Dali, releases October 4th and is already available for preorder at many online retailers. The final book in the series, Over Maya Dead Body, as you might guess by the title is about antiquity smuggling, releases in June 2017.
There was a lot of buzz about the men in Serena Jones’s life in the first couple of months after A Fool and His Monet released. Can you tell us what that was about?
Yes, at the end of the novel, I invited readers to vote on which man in Serena’s life they’d like to see her date by the end of the series. It generated a lot of fun debate amongst my readers. Some even started fan clubs and their own hashtags for their favorite pick!
Will Serena ultimately choose your readers’ majority choice?
Oh yes, and their choice surprised me, so I had a lot of last minute tweaking to do to sway Serena to their choice before submitting the draft of the final book to my editor last month. <wink>
Now, our phrase for the scavenger hunt is “of traditionally published”. Are all your novels traditionally published?
Yes, I’ve written seven best-selling novels for Harlequin’s Christian Imprint—Love Inspired Suspense, and A Fool and His Monet is my fourth novel with Revell Publishing.
Well Sandra, it has been great having you visit my blog. Your blog is the next stop on CAN’s Scavenger Hunt. Can you give my readers directions?
Absolutely! For anyone just joining the hunt, they need to go back and start at the CAN (Christian Author’s Network) blog here: http://christianauthorsnetwork.com/newreleases/
At each stop along the way, readers need to collect the phrase divulged in that post and then piece them together and send their end result as detailed on that first blog for a chance to win a load of books.
Go to Stop #4 by clicking here: Sandra Orchard’s Blog
P.S.Bonus Giveaway (open to entrants world-wide):
Leave a comment here for Sandra for a chance to win a copy of A Fool and His Monet (or if you already have it, a copy of Another Day, Another Dali, when it releases). We’ll randomly choose a winner for this bonus gift after the close of the Scavenger Hunt.
P.S.S. Sandra asked me to post this note to all of you: “Hi Everyone, thank you so much for the enthusiastic response. I am staying at the hospital with my grandson this week and unfortunately, the hospital’s server isn’t playing nice with Rebecca’s site. But I wanted to thank all of you for your kind comments. Rebecca is kindly sending them to me by email.”