Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Paint, Parks, and the FBI? with Guest Sandra Orchard #Giveaway

What better way to write a fun adventure than to have one of your own?!

A Fool and His Monet is about a plucky, claustrophobic, FBI agent, headquartered in St. Louis, who investigates art crime, so of course…I needed to tour her place of work and meet her colleagues.

Yes, I convinced the FBI’s powers that be that I am really a writer and not a threat to national security, being from Canada and all, and they graciously invited me to visit. Of course…I wasn’t allowed to bring in any audio or visual recording devices, so…this is the closest pic I have and you’ll just have to take my word for it that they let me inside.

Next I needed to scout out the museum where the crime would occur. I rechristened it Forest Park Museum so as not to sully its good name.

And what’s a trip to Forest Park without a tour through the free zoo? Or the free museum? Or the myriad of other fabulous sites to be seen? My heroine is bound to encounter them in one adventure or another eventually.

Then I needed to figure out where my heroine would live. Where her parents lived. Where the bad guys might live. Where future books’ art crime victims might live. Thankfully, my good friend and her sister-in-law were more than happy to drive me around the city and make recommendations.

Lastly, I had to go up the arch in a teeny weeny compartment that would send the most stoic claustrophobic into a full blown panic attack, because really what kind of heroine would Serena be if she couldn’t face her worst fears?

It’s a good thing she has her painting to help her relax, because after the days I put her through she’d be a basket case otherwise. At times like those, she’s fond of quoting Pablo Picasso—the purpose of art is washing the dust of daily lives off our souls.

The same could be said of a good novel. So if you’re looking for a laugh-out-loud whodunit with a dash of romance, check out A Fool and His Monet.

Your Turn: Leave a comment for Sandra about what you like to do to relax for a chance to win your choice of an acrylic or watercolor art kit.

Blurb for A Fool and His Monet:
Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art and—one that's 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 and—like get married and—Serena's learning how to go undercover to catch thieves and black market traders.

When a local museum discovers an irreplaceable Monet missing, Jones leaps into action. 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 murder, she pushes ahead, regardless of the danger.

With spunk, humor, and plenty of heart-stopping moments, Sandra Orchard gives readers an exciting string of cases to crack and a character they'll love to watch solve them.

Sandra Orchard—winner of the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award and the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence—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. www.sandraorchard.com.


  1. I love the hands on, eyes on, research. It must reflect well in the writing I always feel.

    1. It certainly makes it easier when I've been able to experience the places first hand.

  2. I enjoy walking the beach looking for sea glass, or going on a long run by the ocean.

  3. Definitely reading a book. :) or watching old sitcoms like I Love Lucy or Little House on the Prairie. :)

    Thanks for being our guest today, Sandra. :)

  4. I knit to relax...or throw mud on a wheel and see what pops up. You have definitely piqued my interest in the coloring books! And A Fool & His Monet is wonderful!

    1. Thanks Pat, I've never tried pottery. Sounds fun.

  5. I enjoy making Exploding Picture Boxes. Here is a link to my Pinterest Board showing boxes I've made.

    1. That is so cool, Debbie. I've never seen anything like that before. That pirate one looked like it especially had a lot of fine work.

  6. My first thought, of course, was that reading is my favorite way to relax but I also love to walk. I can't run because of joint issues but I am able to walk so I enjoy seeing nature and having time to reflect on my problems and my blessings!
    Your book sounds delightful!