I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Visit from Sandra Orchard


By Patricia Bradley


And the Winner of Sandra's book is.....
Melissa Tagg!

Sandra Orchard is an award-winning author of Christian romantic suspense. She writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line, and Revell Publishing. Today I want to welcome her to the Ponderers to interview the heroine of her new book, Deadly Devotion. 

Sandra:    Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense. 
My name is Kate Adams and I’m a research scientist specializing in herbal remedies. My dear friend, mentor, and fellow researcher, Daisy Leacock, died recently, the police say by drinking the wrong kind of marigold tea. But my friend would never have made such a mistake, and she certainly wouldn’t have done it deliberately. I can’t bear the thought of people thinking she could. Let alone the thought of someone getting away with her murder. So since the police refuse to continue the investigation, I intend to find her killer myself.

Sandra: Do you have any family?
I have my church family, but I’m kind of new there so I’m not close to anyone, really. I live with my friend Julie whose wedding is in a few weeks. I have no siblings. My parents are also gone. Daisy was the closest thing to family that I had and now she’s gone, too. Her long-lost nephew Edward shares my grief, but he seems just as anxious as the police to let the investigation die.

Sandra: So, during the investigation you met Tom Parker.  Tell us a bit about him.  What was your first impression? 
He seemed kind and compassionate. He wore a suit and tie, not a uniform, which put me at ease. I am not comfortable around cops, not since one took my father away when I was a child. Of course, when he refused to reopen the case, I knew he just pressed his business card into my hand to placate me.

Sandra: Do you still feel the same?
I’m not sure. Half the time I think I can trust him, that he actually cares about me more than just as a witness or because I stumbled into danger. Then…he’ll go and do something that makes me realize that when he spouted his “People are rarely what they seem” motto, he was talking about himself.

Sandra: Is there one event that shaped your life and made you who you are today?
Yes, my father died in police custody when I was ten. I’ll never forget the day they took him away. He leaned his forehead against the window and said, “Remember Kate, I love you. I will always love you.” I didn’t understand why they took him away. Mom told me over and over again that he didn’t do anything wrong, but she also told me not to talk about him, so what was I supposed to think? We ended up moving very far away to live with my Gran and Gramps and escape the questions, and the merciless taunts of my classmates. It made me a very private person. Mom battled depression after that. My Gramps was a gardener. My Gran was into herbal remedies and my dad had been a medicinal researcher so I guess I came by my vocation naturally. My interest in finding a remedy for depression in particular came from watching my mom.

Sandra: You seem really brave striking out on your own this way to solve your friend’s murder. Aren’t you afraid the murderer might come after you?
The thought had crossed my mind, and my roommate pointed it out a time or two to try to discourage me, but if you understood how much Daisy did for me, you’d understand why I can’t let her reputation be destroyed this way. I’d be letting her down.

Sandra: Some have suggested you’re more concerned about how such a mishap on her part would reflect on the caliber of your research. Care to respond?
That’s ridiculous. Yes, this research is very important to me. And yes, if people believed Daisy accidentally drank tea made from the wrong marigolds, it would probably cause some concern among the board members of the foundation that provided our funding grant, but that’s not why I’m trying to clear Daisy’s name! She was my friend.

Sandra:  Is there anything you fear?
Sure, we all have fears. I guess deep down my greatest fear is finding out that my dad really had done something horribly wrong and was a bad person like my classmates had said. Maybe that’s why it’s so important to me to prove Daisy didn’t do anything wrong.

Sandra:  What do you value above all else?
Loyalty. Friends you can count on no matter what.

Sandra: What do you hope people will learn from your experience?
Believe in people. Don’t give up on them. Look past what they’re doing to the hurting person inside. Look for the good in people.

Patricia: 
Deadly Devotion is a book I've read and loved, not only for the characters, but I found the story line very intriguing, especially the herbal part of it.  I love the idea of a tea shop where you can mix your own herbal teas. 

So, do you have a favorite herbal remedy or tea? Leave a comment letting me know and one lucky person will receive my copy of Deadly Devotion! Comments open until Monday night, June 10, 2013.

You can learn more about Sandra’s books and bonus features at www.SandraOrchard.com or connect at www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard

Deadly Devotion—Port Aster Secrets #1
A romantic suspense/mystery series ~ Revell Publishing
Releases June 2013

Amazon US

67 comments:

  1. Hi Pat,

    Thanks so much for inviting my heroine to chat with you today. :) My favorite herbal remedy is a German product called Amol, which has oil of clove, oil of cinnamon, oil of peppermint, and oil of lavender. It's supposed to be good for indigestion, but I actually take it whenever I feel a sore throat or cold coming on, and it usually nips it in the bud. :)

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  3. Thanks for posting today, Sandra! Your books sounds fascinating! My favorite tea is spearmint all the way!

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    1. Hi Teri! I like spearmint, too.

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    2. Oh, yes, we like spearmint around here. I have a nice little patch growing beneath my kitchen window. :)

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  4. Enjoyed the character interview, Sandra. Interesting.
    I love a cup of spiced chai--don't know how medicinal, but I sure enjoy it.
    Thanks, Pat.

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    1. Spiced chai...I'll have to try that! Thanks for stopping by Anne.

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    2. Spiced chai seems to be a favorite among my daughter's horticulture friends. I love its aroma.

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  5. Sandra, I'm so glad you're here. Amol...I'll have to check that out! My favorite tea isn't herbal...it's that old stand-by--Earl Grey or Lady Grey.

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    1. And you get a caffeine boost to boot...sounds like just what I need this morning. :)

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  6. Fascinating interview. I'm intrigued by her career choice & plot elements so will definitely find and read this book. I've heard of Sandra in the "community" but realized I hadn't read her yet. On your recommendation, Pat, that she was also humorous, I now have 2 books from library & am about to dive in. I can tell this is a new author I will enjoy following and I wish you very well, Sandra, with this book and in future pursuits.

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    1. I hope you enjoy the books you picked up...aside from having fun with a few zingers...I wouldn't call them humorous, though. :)

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    2. Not exactly humorous, Dee, just some the responses her characters have make me smile.

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  7. Sandra, I loved this interview. It's always so fun to learn about characters (and their creators). I've used herbal remedies for years for myself and my family. My favorite for when I'm coming down with something is oregano-based because it's a natural antibiotic. We also like elderberry. :)

    As for tea, I love peppermint both for digestion and for it's fresh taste. We make sun tea with it in the summer. :) I like Good Earth tea too. Though I don't think it's medicinal. I just love the spicy taste!

    I'm going to be looking for your book, Sandra.

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    1. Thanks, Jeanne!I've never tried oregano. I'll have to try it. I'm a little nervous of elderberry, since it's poisonous if not fully ripe, unless cooked...one of the things I learned in my research. ;)

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    2. Never tried an oregano based tea! I like Good Earth tea too.

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    3. SANDRA —We use the elderberry syrup, Sambucus is the brand. I'm curious...how "into" herbal remedies were you before you began writing this story?

      Oh, PAT. Actually the tea isn't oregano-based. That would have a VERY strong flavor. :) I take supplements and use an oregano oil that are helpful.

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    4. I have back issues, so before I began writing this story, I was mostly familiar with herbs that acted as anti-inflammatories. But I have a friend who's really into them so I'd try different things now and again.

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  8. I love zingers. And it would be even better to win this book--exciting.

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  9. Tea -- I'm a plain Lipton girl myself but occasionally I get brave and try something different.

    Can't wait to read your latest book!

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    1. Oh, for my hubby, it has to be Tetley. LOL

      Thanks, Alena.

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    2. Alena, my dad started me drinking hot tea when I was 7 or 8. It was Lipton and he added evaporated milk and sugar. To this day, I think that is really my favorite tea drink.

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  10. What a wonderful unique interview ! Now I really need to read the book !
    Oil of Oregano, definitely a staple in this household. Right now, though,my top herbal remedy is called "Hormone Relief" Great herbs for the stomach and digestion too. It includeds...Blessed Thistle, Goldenseal, False Unicorn, Raspberry leaf, Squaw Vine,Cramp bark, Uva-ursi leaf, Black Cohosh, Ginger root, Sarsaparilla root, Jamaican Licorice root.
    No more pain ! That's the best part !

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    1. Hormone Relief...I know a few girls who will want to know more about this one! Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. I definitely will have to get myself some oil of oregano! Your hormone relief blend sounds very intriguing...I've never heard of false unicorn or cramp bark. They'd be great names to use in a book...going to look them up! :)

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  11. Sandra, I absolutely love, love, love your cover! Great interview, Sandra!

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    1. Thanks Michelle, the cover model even introduced herself to me on my FB page, and has helped me with research on an area for a future book!

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    2. Michelle, I love her cover, too, and you're the best to brainstorm with!

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  12. You'll probably throw my name out when you find out I don't drink tea, but I'd still love to read your book. Great interview.

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    1. Hi Tracy, you're in good company along with the hero of this book, Tom Parker. So no worries. :)

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    2. Throw your name out? No way! lol. So glad you stopped by Tracy.

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  13. Hi, Sandra! So great to "see" you here. I can't wait to read your latest book. It sounds wonderful!

    Pat, Thanks for this awesome interview with Sandra's character. Love it!

    For the record: Starbucks Chai Tea Latte rocks!

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    1. Thanks, Roxanne,

      Confession...I've never shopped at Starbucks. ;)

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    2. I'll have to try the Starbucks Chai Tea Latte, Roxanne!

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  14. The only tea I bother with is mint tea. This format with interview of the heroine was a great idea. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I'm dying to know if she ever finds out the truth about her dad.

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    1. Ah...so pleased to hear that my devious plan worked. ;)

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    2. Sandra is devious that way. lol Thanks for stopping by Renee!

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  15. I'm not a tea drinker, but I talked to someone earlier today who is making a fizzy iced jasmine tea for an event we're going to on Saturday. It sounded so interesting (the recipe calls for brown sugar) that I'm going to try it. Thanks for the interview, Sandra. Kate is an intriguing heroine, and so is the storyline. Wishing you the best!

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    1. Ooh, I've never tried a fizzy iced herbal. But I have decided that I prefer iced herbals to hot ones...especially raspberry, which my pregnant daughter is drinking all the time these days. :)

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    2. I hope you enjoy the fizzy iced jasmine, Johnnie...and that you'll soon be dry. (She's been experiencing TS Andrea)

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  16. An interview was a great idea for a blog post! Good job :)

    My niece and I always have a pot of Earl Grey after church along with a mango. Not necessarily my favorite (sorry, Pat!), but I enjoy our little tea time.

    I recently read how having tea can be calming because you have to wait for the water to boil, then wait for the tea to steep, and then drink it slowly because it is hot. Had never thought of that, before. I guess it's what following Christ, writing/reading suspense, and tea all have in common...waiting!

    Jenny G. (I tried this on iphone, so if this is a repeat entry, feel free to delete one :)

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    1. What a great way analogy, Jenny!

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    2. Jenny, try the Lady Earl. It has the great taste but isn't as strong. And your iPhone entry worked great.

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  17. I am a big fan of tea! Love ginger peach, tea! Can't wait to read this book.

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    1. Mmm, I love anything with peach! Thanks for liking my FB page, tonight. I'm guessing you're the same Tina whose name I just picked as my 500th fan. :) Pop back over to see what you won.

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    2. Congrats Tina on being Sandra's 500th fan! Thanks for stopping by.

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  18. Sandra, your book sounds wonderful, especially after I learned a bit about it during the MBT Voices Author Spotlight. I love the herbal researcher career...it's unique.

    Thank you for being on the Ponderers blog and sharing your character interview with us!

    I love Good Hope Vanilla tea...it's a rooibos tea from Africa. I love chai tea too. As far as herbal goes, I love mint tea. I'm not a flowery tea fan.

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    1. I know what you mean about flowery. I sampled lavender hot chocolate when I was doing research for the book...I think it must be an acquired taste. :) Chai seems to be a popular choice!

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    2. Lisa, I like the Orange spice teas, not too crazy about some of the flowery teas, either. And absolutely do not like Caramel, vanilla or hazelnut teas. :-)

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  19. The closest I've been to a herbal remedy was when my sister and I were vacationing in Chicago. I got sick the first day there and spent 24 hrs. in bed. Then went on a tour of Chicago. We stopped to get Godiva chocolate. I went around the corner to a tea shop. The employee knew just what I needed. I sipped that tea for 1/2 hr. and felt so much better. Wish I could remember what the name was.

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    1. Oh, too bad, Martha, I was really hoping you were going to say the Godiva chocolate cured you!! I'd stock up! :)

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    2. I was hoping it was the chocolate, too! Thanks for stopping by, Martha.

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  20. I just love mint tea... Not sure if it is a remedy but I find it relaxing :)

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    1. It's also good for upset tummies. :)

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  21. Lisa, next to Lady Grey, mint tea is my favorite, too. And if it relaxes, then it must be a remedy!

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  22. One of my favorites is the Chocolate Chai by Zhena's Gypsy Tea. The tea tins are so pretty!

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    1. Oh, tea tins! I wish more teas came in tins. I used to love all the ones my gran had.

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  23. I love raspberry tea but have discovered that my very favorite is white peach tea. Yummy!

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

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    1. You've got me wanting one now. :)

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  24. I have found that drinking a cup of echinacea tea in the winter helps keep me from getting sick.

    This book sounds awesome!!

    Sheri
    hspruitt(at)frontiernet(dot)net

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    1. Oh that's interesting. I've put echinacea drops in water, but I've never heard of it as a tea. Sounds much more appetizing!

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  25. I am SO late to respond here, but just wanted to say great interview!! (Sandra, I need to have you as a guest over on my personal blog!) Thanks for bringing us the interview, Pat! :)

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    1. Better late than never, Melissa! I'd love to be on your blog. :)

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  26. And I'm bringing up the rear, Sandra. So sorry. Congrats on the new book. Sounds great and I LOVE the cover!

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