Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sandra Orchard

Sandra Orchard was the 2009 Daphne DuMaurier Award of Excellence in Mystery/Suspense winner in the unpublished category and sold to Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense the following year. Her newly released debut novel, Deep Cover, is the first book in her series, Undercover Cops: Fighting for justice puts their lives—and hearts—on the line. Sandra hails from Southern Ontario, Canada and she's here to talk to us today.

About Deep Cover, Book One, in the Series

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?

Intrigued, Readers? I know I am. And now it's time to learn all about Sandra Orchard.


DONNELL: Good morning, Sandra. Are you a big city or small town girl?

SANDRA: I’m a country girl. The nearest house is ½ kilometer away. That’s um…3/10ths of a mile.

DONNELL: What’s your favorite room in your house, and why?

SANDRA: I live in a big old drafty farmhouse so in the dead of winter, my favorite room is definitely the family room. I know, I know, I’m a romance writer. It should be the bedroom. But, hey, I write inspys. The family room has lots of big picture windows to look out on the snow, and a cozy wood stove with a window so I can watch the flames flicker, and reclining chairs so I can curl up with a good book, or my laptop.

DONNELL: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

SANDRA: Deep Cover is my first book, and it doesn’t actually hit bookstore shelves for another five days. But many book club members and eHarlequin shoppers have already read it and so far the reviews have been great. Yup, I read them. I am delighted every time a new letter from a reader pops up in my mailbox. The positive response to DC has definitely spurred me on as I languish in revisions to the third book in the series. But, yes, I dread the inevitable negative ones to come.

DONNELL: What’s in your refrigerator right now?

SANDRA: Oh, I’m proud to say I cleaned it last week. Good thing, because I couldn’t have identified half of what I cleaned out of there. Although my pup liked the job of helping. Now, it has dozens of eggs. (We have our own hens—country girl, remember) Lots of fresh produce, milk, butter, yogurt and condiments.

DONNELL: Is Elvis really dead?

SANDRA: Not in my heart. His song “Only Fools Rush In” is my husband’s and my song. We got engaged after only dating a couple of months, and have been married almost 25 years.

DONNELL: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

SANDRA: Oh yes. I check email, surf the net, eat, match socks, complain, lament, complain. Oh wait…you mean how do I break out of it? Well, that’s a topic for a whole other blog. (Sept 19th at Seekerville to be exact.) But I’ll tell you that one of my most consistently reliable methods is to jump ahead to a scene that I can visualize and start writing from there. Oftentimes, things will present themselves that allow me to work backward.

DONNELL: Dog person or cat person?

SANDRA: Definitely dog. Dogs teach us so much, such as: Don't bite when a simple growl will do. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk. Eat with gusto. And my favorite, when you're happy, jump around and wag your whole body.

DONNELL: What would you do if you had a time machine?

SANDRA: Sell it on Ebay. I'd fetch a mint!

DONNELL: How much money does it take to be happy?

SANDRA: Not much. My pleasures are simple--walking in the woods, playing with the grandchildren, kayaking or beachcombing. That said, I'd love to have a cook and a housecleaner, if only I could find a time machine to sell on Ebay!

DONNELL: What dreams have been realized through your writing?

SANDRA: To touch people's hearts with the message of God's love for them.

DONNELL: What’s the first thing you do when you finish a book?

SANDRA: Thank God. And I mean that most sincerely. Some days I feel like I’m ripping the words from my brain to come up with anything good to write, and I pray a lot. So when the story all comes together, I feel profoundly grateful.



Thanks for having me, Donnell.

Connect with Sandra Online:

Visit her website ~

Visit her personal blog ~

Like her Facebook Page ~

Subscribe to her newsletter ~ http://

Buy Deep Cover now from eHarlequin ~ http://http:/

Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an electronic Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

AND DON’T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter (#GetLostStories) or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Join us tomorrow when Cat hosts best-selling author Susan Wiggs. Remember to check back daily to GET LOST in your favorite stories! ~ Donnell


  1. Hi Donnell, Thanks for having me. I'm looking forward to hearing what about heroines drives readers crazy

  2. Good morning, Sandra, I love your question about heroines. -- Don't know that we've had it before....Okay, I'll bite. Heroines who do something dangerous with absolutely no motivation to do it. I read a book once where the heroine kept saying to herself, I know it's not a good idea to go down in that basement, but....I've got to go down there. Not I'll call the police and make THEM go into the basement, etc. Great question! Thanks for being with us today!

  3. Good morning Sandra and welcome to GLIAS !

    A character trait in a heroine? I can normally get around them, most authors will let the hero take care of it. But real life: popping or smacking gum...chewing with your mouth open. Absolutely reminds me of a cow chewing, doesn't matter who it is.

    Best of luck on the success of your books!


  4. P.S.
    I can agree with Donnell. The TSTL trait will make me stop reading a book...forgot that one, cause I just stop reading.

    TSTL = Too Stupid To Live
    i.e.: slasher movies, can't watch 'em...I laugh too much

  5. Sandra, great interview answers. Made me laugh out loud! Your book sounds intriguing and is now on my list to read.

    I have to agree with Donnell and Angi. Not only the heroine who does something stupid but the one who puts herself in harms way so the hero can rescue her.

    Here's wishing you many sales.

  6. Jerrie, thanks for stopping by. I know, I cracked up at Sandra's "sell the time machine on Ebay" answer. She's witty, and it shines through in her writing!

  7. I hate indecision. Does she love A? Does she love B? I also hate situations where the heroine is so insecure she runs away when she thinks she sees something that could be cleared up by just asking the hero.
    Thanks for your candid answers.

  8. Hi Sandra! I bought your book from harlequin and it is on the top of my tar pile. Very excited to read it and I'm so happy for you. As far as heroines that drive me crazy, I don't like when heroines refuse a hero's help just because they are independent. In other words, sometimes the decisions they make seem forced based on an author trying to create conflict.

  9. Aha, Lena, first I thought tar pile... But I'm quick and you can't fool me. To. Be. Read :)))) Deep Cover sounds like a phenomenal read, doesn't it? And you are so right. Motivation is everything. Now if she despises the hero and he offers help, and thinks she can get it elsewhere???? Thanks for stopping by!

  10. One characteristic that drives me crazy--shopping. When the main character is a sterotyped female who loves shopping. Since I hate shopping, I can't identify. The entire time I shop, I'm assess how much time I'm wasting when I could be reading or writing!

    Good idea about writer's block. I usually know my ending so I write it about half way through and write toward it.

  11. I'm another of those who go crazy when the heroine does something she knows she shouldn't because it is dangerous and unnecessary.

  12. I'm with Lena. I want an independent heroine as much as the next reader, but when she's knocking her head against the wall (for manufactured conflict), I'm done reading. Good luck on your release, Sandra!! :)

  13. Yes Donnell! My iPhone spellchecker struck again. I meant TBR - to be read!

  14. Oh wow, I got hijacked by a newspaper reporter and then my grandbaby and am absolutely thrilled to come back to all these comments.

    Donnell beat me to the TAR, quip Lena...I'm really beginning to despise the autocorrect on emails. It keeps changing blogspot to bloodspot. After a hundred and fifty times you'd think it would learn!!

    Donnell, Angi, Ruby, Jerrie, Misty, and Ellen, you've convinced me. I'm making my checklist on what to avoid.

    EB, laughed out loud at the shopping. I'm with you. Probably why I could never get into Chick Lit!

    One characteristic I learned to avoid pretty quick from my critiquers was the heroine who gets weepy at every turn.

  15. Hi Sandra, nice to meet you. I am sorry to say I have not read your books but that's going to change. I will be looking for them. Your book sounds really good. What I would like to know do you base your books on real things that have happen to you or your friends?

  16. Hi Virginia, great question. But first, I need to tell you that this is my first published book and although it's available on eHarlequin now, it doesn't hit stores like Walmart until around the 10th of September. I'm thrilled that you plan to look for it.

    In answer to your question, yes and no. Sometimes little mannerisms, or quirks, or events play into the story, but nothing major. heroine in book 2 is drawn largely from a friend's experiences working at a youth detention center...not the plot, just the day to day stuff of the job. My hubby and son had an interesting experience at the metal recycler, that I used as part of the backstory of one of my suspects in that same book.

  17. Great Interview Sandra! Congrats on your first book. The cover looks amazing!
    I hate when the heroine is mousey. In this day and age women should be strong, just like men.

  18. Thanks Sherie, I'm so pleased with the cover. They gave us a lot of opportunity for input. After they turned down my idea of the hero and heroine running from a burning building and asked for a scene depicting the mood of the story instead, I suggested this. The artist got it just right! And yes, I agree, no room for a mousey heroine.

  19. A character trait that drives me crazy is a whiner! I don't mind minimal complaining in situations that warrants it, but a constant whiner really puts me off. Also it brings the impression that the character has a negative attitude and it doesn't impress me. I like characters who are positive and show determination to get things done and problems solved.

  20. Yes, Na, I totally agree. We don't want to spend 200+ pages with a whiner, anymore than we want to in real life.

  21. What a great discussion! Sandra, I loved that question. I have one slight disagreement. Sherrie mentioned that women should be strong just like men. Well, yes, intellectually, spiritually, and a woman can even be in great physical shape. But I still enjoy the differences between a man and a woman. I never was a fan of the kick*** heroine. Princess Xena, well, okay. But I still love a strong man and a smart woman who team up to save the day.

    Sandra, thanks for being with us today!

  22. Yes, I agree, Donnell, In response to Sherie's comment, I'd started to write about the balancing act of writing a woman who's strong, yet in danger, and ideally needing to lean on the hero at least a little. Then I thought maybe I was reading more into the description than was meant. I love protective heroes, and heroines who accept that protection (maybe reluctantly) and appreciate it. But I like heroines to have a strength of character (perhaps that's a better label than some of the negative connotations of a "strong woman").

  23. Hi, Sandra! Your book sounds fabulous! I don't like heroines who think they are better than everyone else. Same goes for people in real life, of course.

  24. Thanks Cathy :) And I'm loving all these answers. We've made an impressive list.

  25. Sandra! Congrats on the book release. I am so excited for you and I am even more excited to read the book while I'm on tour. YAY!

  26. Thanks Joelle! Joelle is a contest judge who judged this story in it's early stages and her advice was tremendously helpful. And your support is much appreciated, Joelle. Have fun with your SECOND book tour. That's awesome! I loved the first and looking forward to reading the second.

  27. I don't know if any character quirk drives me crazy (at least I can't think of any right now).

    I would love to read this! Sounds really good!

    frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

  28. Good luck, Melanie. We'll be drawing the winner tomorrow, so be sure and check back