Monday, January 7, 2013

Showcase: The Super Spies Series by Lisa Orchard


This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission. The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer.


This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?
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Hello! I'm Lisa Orchard and I want to tell you a little bit about myself.

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I am the oldest of four children and grew up in a small town in Western Michigan. I grew up reading mysteries, starting with "The Bobbsey Twins" and "The Nancy Drew" series.

By fifth grade I was writing my own mysteries and illustrating them as well. I've always known that I wanted to be a writer and I tucked that little piece of information into the back of my brain; determined to take it out and use it when it was time.

After graduating from Central Michigan University with a Marketing Degree, I landed a sales job. I was on my way! After spending 13 years in the Insurance industry, I met my husband. We soon married and had two beautiful boys. I decided to stay home with my kids. A tough decision, but one I don't regret.

I did, however, miss the hustle and bustle of work - and working toward a goal. That is when the little voice inside my brain said, "It's time to write."

So I did, and "The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer" was born, followed by my new book, "The Super Spies and the High School Bomber."

I am very excited as I begin this new "chapter" in my life.
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"MOTIVATION"

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you today! I’m Lisa Orchard, the author of the Super Spies series and I’m here as a guest of Emily’s. I’d like to take just a second and say thanks for having me here. Thanks Emily!

Today I’d like to talk about motivation. I think having hopes and dreams is a very essential part of happiness. These goals are the motivation that gets us up in the morning. Wouldn’t you agree? J

As I look back on my life I realize my happiest times were when I was pursuing a goal.  When I was a teen, I wanted to be a detective. That’s right; I wanted to be Nancy Drew. J

So, I got my friends together, we formed our own detective squad, and started detecting. We had the time of our lives! It was awesome! Not only were we occupied for hours on end, but we stayed out of trouble… for the most part. J

As I look back, I realized why I had so much fun.  It was because I was chasing a dream and it was my dream not my parent’s, or my teacher’s, or my coaches; it was mine and mine alone…along with my friends.  I feel this is an important distinction when it comes to motivation. J

And maybe that’s why there are so many problems in our educational system today. We have reluctant readers and kids who don’t want to go to school. I have to wonder why? I loved school when I was a kid and even though I had a hard time getting up in the morning, J I was excited about learning.

When I thought about why our young people don’t seem motivated to learn, I had to ask why. And then it hit me. We need to give our kids choices. J When my kids go to school they have to learn what the teacher or the state chooses to teach them. So, if they’re learning about a subject that doesn’t interest them, their motivation goes right out the window.

I say let’s give our kids choices. Why can’t our kids choose the books they want to read? The goal is to get them reading, right? Why not let them read the books that interest them? I think this would solve the motivational problem with some of our reluctant readers.

I know what you’re thinking? That’s kind of unrealistic. I mean we can’t provide different books for every kid.  Really?  J  Here’s my solution to the problem J. You knew I had one didn’t you? (wink).

Let’s provide all the students with e-readers. I know you’re laughing right now but let’s just think about this for a second.

If each student had an e-reader they would have a virtual library at their fingertips. With all the e-book choices out there I’m sure even the most reluctant reader would find a book he’s interested in reading. J

I know you’re worried about the cost, right? Well…e-readers are expensive that’s true, but have you checked out the price difference between paperbacks and e-books lately? I bet the savings between the two book formats would offset the cost of the e-readers very quickly.

And now that we’re talking about cost, why don’t we put text books in e-book format. Think of the huge savings there! J

So there you have it in a nutshell, my solution to the motivational problems for our reluctant readers. I’d love to hear what you think and if you have any ideas that would help ignite a young mind please share. And while you’re at it, check out my books.
I’ve got two available in my Super Spies series and I’ve been told that young readers have a hard time putting them down. J  They’re written for the Upper Middle Grade/ Young Adult market.  The covers and blurbs are below. And the first book in the series, “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer” is on sale now for $.99!

You can find me at these social media sites.

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