Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

Inspiration: Guest Post by Sandra Orchard


algonquin mountaintopI’m so pleased to finish out Sandra Orchard week with a guest devotional. What a delight it is to hear her heart! I’m so glad to have gotten to know her this week and hope that you’ll take the opportunity to visit her website and pick up one of her books!

I’m going to do a Your Turn early, so make sure you read to the end. A particularly fun link is on the bottom.

(Once you finish reading) What was the last exceptionally difficult thing you did and what did you learn from it? Do share and show some love to our Author of the Week!

This summer my husband and I once again visited Algonquin National Park in Northern Ontario, a wilderness brimming with pristine lakes, winding rivers and spectacular views. Being avid hikers, we chose one of the more difficult climbs, and as we sweated our way up a very steep, very long incline, I began contemplating how very much like the writing journey this hike was becoming.

A few mosquitoes buzzed around taking chunks out of me, not unlike how I felt after reading the first few critiques of my writing.

The air was unusually humid and several times we were tempted to stop and turn back. Then we’d arrive at a plateau and feel the sweet cooling breezes and catch a glimpse of the spectacular view awaiting us at the top.

And once again I found myself contrasting the experience to my writing journey. How in a similar way, God had given me little glimpses of hope to refresh and to encourage and to spur me to keep moving forward.

As my husband and I pressed onward and upward, my mantra became you can’t see the view if you don’t climb the height. Sure I could experience it vicariously by listening to others rave about it, or by looking at photos, but part of what makes the view so very spectacular is the effort required to get there. I honestly don’t think I would have appreciated it nearly as much if I’d simply been able to pull up in my car and snap the photo. And I wondered if I’d have felt the same way if getting published had been easy, if the first novel I’d written had immediately found a home and launched my writing career. Somehow, I don’t think I would have savored the accomplishment nearly as much.

In the same way, the photo doesn’t do the view justice. You can’t feel the breeze on your face, hear the cry of an eagle soaring overhead or the rustle of the leaves, or smell the heat on the rocks or the scent of pine. Neither do you feel your pounding heart begin to slow as you recover from the climb.

As I stood at the height soaking in the spectacular view, Psalm 121 came to mind:
1I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

And I was filled with a profound gratitude for the arduous journey toward publication, because it taught me to lean wholly on Him, to follow where he leads and trust in Him for the fruit.


Sandra Orchard began writing fiction in the fall of 2004. In 2009, she won the Daphne DuMaurier Award of Excellence in the unpublished category and sold to Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense the following year. Her fifth book, Fatal Inheritance, released this month. Her books have received two Canadian Christian Writing Awards for Romance, a RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award, and a Readers’ Choice Award from Family Fiction Magazine. But her most treasured reward is hearing from readers.

You can find Sandra online at: where she blogs on Mondays

Read fun bonus features for her books at:

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

3 thoughts on “Inspiration: Guest Post by Sandra Orchard

  1. Ah, I’ve experienced an “arduous” writing journey, as well. I’ve often wondered, would it be worth all the sleepless nights, the never-ending waits, the heart-rending prayers, once I got published? Still not sure yet. But I can say that as I gear up to self-publish my Viking novel, the feedback from early readers is helping it sink in…my book is reaching people. That’s all I EVER wanted. And I will now say it really is worth the climb to experience that “view.” Great post.