Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Dream Come True with Guest Sandra Orchard!

by Sandra Orchard

A few minutes ago I received my first letter from a reader of Shades of Truth. In that first daunting second, uncertain of what I’d find, I hesitated to click on the email. When I saw the word “Wow”, my heart soared.

Then the letter brought me to tears.

Each day when I sit down to write I pray that God will give me words that will touch a reader’s heart. Little did I realize how God would use those readers to touch my heart.

I discovered Christian romance soon after my mom died. My children were little. My husband was traveling a lot and I had so many emotions I didn’t know how to handle. I’d never been an emotional person. My family never really talked about feelings or cried openly and I carried that modus operandi into my marriage. So my husband was pretty clueless about what was going on in my head and heart.

But reading about characters facing similar life-changing events, seeing them work through the fallout and grow and change and become stronger truly inspired me. It wasn’t many years later that God stirred a desire in my heart to write those kinds of stories.

The kicker was that as I learned how to write publishable fiction, God taught me far more. I learned how to wait patiently for His timing, how to accept rejection and criticism. I learned to lean not on my own understanding, but to trust in Him in all things. I learned that He could use my writing (published or not) to encourage others in ways I’d never imagined.

I also learned truths along with my characters. Scripture took on richer meaning to me as I read it in the context of my characters’ struggles. And yet, none of those lessons prepared me for the stories readers would share with me.

Stories of a police officer whose legs and career were shattered by a boy not unlike Shades of Truth’s hero had been as a youth. An officer who was told he’d never walk again, but for whom God had different plans. Or of a mother of a special needs child who saw the future of her other daughters in the heroine of Deep Cover. She told me that the story helped her think through some things that she didn’t ordinarily spend much time thinking about, and more than that, got her praying more about them.

I sit at my computer and imagine heart-wrenching scenarios while my readers live them. That they would find encouragement or inspiration or hope in something I’ve written is truly humbling. That they take the time to send me a note to encourage me to keep writing makes my heart swell.

Touching readers’ hearts with my story is a dream come true.

Your Turn: What is or would be your dream come true?

Book Blurb for Shades of Truth, a March 2012 Love Inspired Suspense

Big city detective Ethan Reed is working deep undercover at a Christian youth detention center. The kind of place he spent some harrowing time in as a kid. Ethan’s mission: ferret out who’s recruiting resident teens for a drug ring. He expects help from the lovely, devoted director of Hope Manor. But Kim Corbett won’t tell Ethan anything— even when she’s threatened and attacked. When Ethan discovers what Kim is protecting, his guarded heart opens just a bit wider. Enough to make this the most dangerous assignment of his career.
This is the second book in Sandra’s series, Undercover Cops:
 Fighting for justice puts their lives—and hearts—on the line.

Bio & Links to Connect with Sandra:
Sandra Orchard lives in rural Ontario, Canada where inspiration abounds for her romantic suspense novels set in the fictional Niagara town she's created as their backdrop. Married with three grown children, when not writing, she enjoys hanging out with family, brainstorming new stories with fellow writers, and walking her dog in God's beautiful creation. She loves to connect with readers, and has created “novel extras” to enhance readers’ experience of her books.

Check out these and other resources for both readers and writers at her website:
For updates on new releases, special subscriber-only reads and giveaway opportunities, sign up for her newsletter

She’d also love for you to connect on her Facebook Page and join in the conversations about characters on her blog


  1. Sandra--so good to have you here today! I clicked over to your blog and saw you had Eva there--we love her, too!

    I too received an email about my book that made me cry. What touching stories the readers have for us.

    I think God continues to give us dreams to pursue. I've been so blessed to have my dream hubby, a dream of writing and getting published, a dream of great friends.

    And I say never stop dreaming! :)

  2. Sandra, thanks for your great post. I've been so touched by reader letters as well. Some that share heartbreaking stories. But then I'l so bless that something in the story touched them. It really is a true blessing that they write to us!

  3. Thanks Missy and Lindi for having me here!

  4. Sandra,
    This is inspiring. Awesome that readers wrote to you and shared the impact your story had on their lives! God @ work - love it!!

  5. I think my dream come true is the same as yours. Writing to touch lives. But I'd add speaking :) to me, it's a dream come true to have all my writer friends like you in my life as well!!