Scroll down for a chance to win a copy of Sandra Orchard’s book, Over Maya Dead Body. Winner will be announced in the next Author Spotlight feature. Congratulations to last week’s winner of Freedom’s Price, Myrtle Thorn! Please e-mail your mailing address to my assistant Christen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
FBI Special Agent Serena Jones arrives on Martha’s Vineyard with her family, ready for a little bit of R&R and a whole lot of reminiscing as they celebrate the engagement of an old family friend. But crime doesn’t take a vacation, and she’s soon entangled in an investigation of a suspicious death tied to an antiquities smuggling ring.
When her investigation propels her into danger, Serena must stay the course and solve this case before anyone else dies. But just how is she supposed to do that when the two men in her life arrive on the scene, bringing with them plenty of romantic complications—and even a secret or two?
Award-winning author Sandra Orchard keeps readers guessing with this fast-paced mystery laced with romance.
Over Maya Dead Body is the third and final book in my Serena Jones Mysteries series about an FBI agent who specializes in art crime. Serena is supposed to be enjoying a little R&R on Martha’s Vineyard, but trouble has found her once again—this time in the form of an antiquity smuggling ring that is not above murder. Each book has been a stand-alone mystery, but for those who have been following Serena’s exploits from the beginning and enjoyed getting to know her family and the men in her life, and perhaps voted for their favorite, the big question of which man becomes the man in Serena’s life is ultimately answered.
Is anything or anyone in this book based on real-life experiences?
Yes! A May weeklong visit to my friend author Lisa Belcastro, on Martha’s Vineyard, inspired the choice of location, since many of the wealthy summer residents collect art and antiquities. Once I started plotting out the story, Lisa invited me back and we visited every location from scouting where Serena’s Uncle Jack would live to questioning local police, to visiting restaurants and beaches she’d visit.
The antiquities crime itself and references to other investigations are based on several similar crimes I’d researched.
Who was your favorite character in this story, and why?
Tanner. I love his easygoing nature and sense of humor, and the fact, Serena knows she can count on him to have her back.
Compared to your other books, was this one easy to complete or challenging? Any idea why?
Well…it had been going along swimmingly. Serena’s quick wit and interactions with her entourage have been so much fun to write. But while writing I’d envisioned it not being the last book in the series. Then five weeks before it was due, I received confirmation it would be, which meant to satisfy my readers, I needed to wrap up the romance.
Now…I’d been leaning Serena toward the man I thought the majority of my readers would vote for, only they didn’t. So in those last few weeks, I did a lot of rewriting to bring together Serena and the man my readers voted for (or at least the majority of those who cast a vote in time to be counted).
What was the hardest scene in this book to write? What made it difficult?
The ending. I had so many ideas of things I still wanted to do with all of these characters, yet in order to wrap up the series with a satisfying ending, I needed to expose the little secrets some of the characters in Serena’s life had been keeping.
What did you (or your editors) edit out of this book?
The editors didn’t edit out anything significant. As I mentioned in a previous question, I had to edit “in” a lot of stuff before submitting.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing from the point of view of the opposite sex?
Ha, I actually find it easier to write from a man’s point of view. But in this book I didn’t have to, because it’s written entirely in first person from Serena’s point of view.
Sandra Orchard is the award-winning author of many inspirational romantic suspense and mysteries, including Deadly Devotion, Blind Trust, and Desperate Measures. Her writing has garnered several Canadian Christian Writing Awards, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, a National Readers’ Choice Award, a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, and a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. In addition to her busy writing schedule, Sandra enjoys speaking at events and teaching writing workshops. She lives in Ontario, Canada. Learn more about Sandra’s books and check out the special bonus features, such as deleted scenes and location pics, at http://sandraorchard.com.