Tag Archives: tea

A Great Whodunit, Sandra Orchard Style

“Step into my parlor for a cuppa tea,” said the spider to the fly.Deadly_Devotion_Sm

I am a huge tea drinker, but Sandra Orchard’s latest suspense series, the Port Aster Secrets, now has me questioning every ingredient that fills my teabags. The titles of the teas on my canisters all sound delightful, but after reading the first book in Sandra’s series, Deadly Devotion, I have to question what exactly goes into my African Autumn Surprise teabags…eeeek!

Deadly Devotion is the first book in a three-book mystery series in which a romance arcs the series, along with an underlying suspense plot. The heroine of the series, Kate Adams, is a research scientist who knows her herbs. She knows which ones are deadly and which ones could go undetected in an blind trustautopsy. But knowing this doesn’t mean she’s safe from their poison–especially when she starts sniffing more than tea leaves. She’s putting her nose where it doesn’t belong, and her amateur sleuthing is going to get her into trouble. Will the handsome FBI agent-turned cop, Tom Parker, be able to help her out? All I will say is they make a great team, and I am looking forward to Book Two, Blind Trust, releasing in January.

If you haven’t read the Port Aster series, you can get started with Deadly Devotion now, then preorder Blind Trust for January. Or see below for a chance to win them!

Deadly Devotion

Research scientist Kate Adams and her colleague Daisy are on the brink of a breakthrough for treating depression with herbal medicine when Daisy suddenly dies. Kate knows that if it hadn’t been for Daisy’s mentorship, she wouldn’t have the job she loves or the faith she clings to. So when police rule Daisy’s death a suicide, Kate is determined to unearth the truth.

Former FBI agent Tom Parker finds it hard to adjust to life back in his hometown of Port Aster. Though an old buddy gives him a job as a detective on the local police force, not everyone approves. Tom’s just trying to keep a low profile, so when Kate Adams demands he reopen the investigation of her friend’s death, he knows his job is at stake. In fact, despite his attraction to her, Tom thinks Kate looks a bit suspicious herself.

As evidence mounts, a web of intrigue is woven around the sleepy town of Port Aster. Can Kate uncover the truth? Or will Tom stand in her way?

Blind Trust

Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can’t believe that it came from her sweet neighbor. Or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker’s investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor’s innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue that is far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation–and strikes too close to home for comfort. As family secrets come to light, her world–and her budding romance with Tom–begin to crumble. To Kate, it’s clear that she won’t be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster’s secrets. But is it too late for her and Tom?


Sandra Orchard is a multi award-winning author of inspirational romantic suspense with Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense imprint, and Revell Publishing. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and The Word Guild (Canada). A mother of three grown children, she lives in Niagara, Canada with her real-life-hero husband and now writes full time…when not doting on her young grandchildren.  You can learn more about Sandra’s books and bonus features at www.SandraOrchard.com or connect at www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard

At her website, Sandra loves to offer readers extra bonus features for each of her books such as deleted scenes, character interviews, location pics and even related recipes. And…


…as a special Christmas gift for her newsletter subscribers, she sends them a Christmas short story (this year’s is more like a mini-novella) that springboards from one of her novels.

If you’d like to receive it, click here to subscribe. You will receive a link to her 2011 Christmas story within the next day or two, so if you don’t see it in your inbox, be sure to check your spam folder. Your 2013 story will arrive in your inbox in December.

In the meantime, you can check out the rest of Sandra’s bonus features here:


She also has a giveaway going on now until November 26th.

If you’d like an opportunity win a copy of Deadly Devotion (or an advanced copy of the second book in the series, Blind Trust) for yourself or as a gift for a friend, please check out the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tales From the Spam Folder . . .

Happy Friday everyone! Casey here.

Today, rather than the usual blog post, I’d like to try something different. And it’s going to require audience participation (that means you, dear readers). Don’t worry, it’ll be fun. I promise.

The other day, I was cleaning out the spam folders for my blog and the Scribes. Normally, spam is a bunch of gibberish or poorly written attempts to sneak past Akismet (WordPress’ s filter program).

But on this day, I found something a bit different. A hidden gem that teased my imagination. The Scribes have talked about doing some type of round robin and I think this bit-o-spam would be a perfect start.

So here is how this will work. I am going to present the spam exactly as I found it. Then, I’m going to add my two cents. Next, each commenter is going to add  what they think happens next. The following person is going to build onto whatever the previous commenter has written. And so on. . . .

Let your imagination run wild. Feel free to add dialogue, more characters or whatever strikes you!

Hopefully by day’s end, we will have an interesting bit of story. And, I suspect this may be from a movie, so if anyone has any guesses, throw them out there.

Here is the spam: SMITH: Well, well, it’s been a long time. I remember chasing you was like chasing a ghost.

And away we go:

“Well, well, it’s been a long time. I remember chasing you was like chasing a ghost,” said Smith.

<here’s what we have so far>

Lady Tansy Mumford sipped her tepid and tasteless tea, unwilling to rise to the comment. Mr. Edward Smith, the most odious of men, stared expectantly, his forehead shiny and sleek in the afternoon sun. Was it wrong for a lady of her genteel upbringing to wish harm upon another? After all Mr. Smith was only pursuing her for one thing.

That’s because I am a ghost, and I’m going to haunt you until the end of your days. Accident, smackccident. You murdered me and I won’t rest til the day you join me. With a horrendous cackle, the translucent image of Smith’s ex-wife faded.

“Jesus,” said Smith to himself. I have to stop mixing antacids with wine. The combination not only gives me gas, but hallucinations, too.

Smith, his eyes ablaze, turned to the tap on his shoulder. He opened his mouth, his hand fell across his lips and he took a gulp the size of Niagara Falls. He reached out to touch the wisp of his wife . . .

“I swear, Sarah, it was an accident. I never meant to hurt you.” Smith’s arm fell to his side as he slowly backed away from his wife’s apparition.
“It seems your sins are catching up with you, Smith,” said Lady Mumford as she regarded him over the rim of her tea cup.

“So many sins,” she continued. “Remember that time you bought me a carpet cleaner for my birthday? Or those numerous times you clipped your toe nails in the bed? And the toilet seat! Do you know how many times I have fallen into that wet cold water? Oh, I’m going to haunt your ass, I’m going to annoy you so bad that you’ll go crazy and no other woman will want you.”
But ghost or not, you will not escape me. I will find you. I will fill your email box with offers for v@aagra and beutifull babes pron. You have no way to leave me behind except to change your email address, and that is only a temporary solution. We shall track you to the ends of the earth.

Well, Scribesters, time for you to add to the story. Have fun! At the end of day, I will compile the responses (in order) and add them to the blog post so everyone can read the results.