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Thursday, October 18, 2007


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

(Zondervan October 30, 2007)

Brandilyn Collins


Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense™. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline “Don’t forget to b r e a t h e…® ” She’s so well known in the industry there’s actually a club for her non-readers. That’s right. The Big Honkin’ Chickens Club (BHCC) members are proud of the fact that they’re too wimpy to read Brandilyn’s intense fiction. Now and then one of them tries. Bribing works pretty well. (Just ask Deb Raney.) Somehow they live to tell the tale.

Brandilyn writes for Zondervan, the Christian division of HarperCollins Publishers, and is currently at work on her 17th book. Her first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows.

She’s also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons), and often teaches at writers conferences. Brandilyn blogs at Forensics and Faith.

Visit her website to read the first chapters of all her books.


Carla stared at the gun and David Thornby—or whatever his name was. Her mind split in two, one side pleading this was some sick joke, the other screaming it was all too real.

“Please. You must have the wrong person. There’s no reason for someone to want me dead. I don’t have any enemies.”

“Then you’d best rethink your friends.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Realtor Carla Radling shows an “English gentleman” a lakeside estate—and finds herself facing a gun. Who has hired this assassin to kill her, and why?

Forced on the run, Carla must uncover the scathing secrets of her past. Secrets that could destroy some very powerful people...

Brandilyn Collins fans and reviewers are saying Crimson Eve is her best book yet:

“Collins tops herself by creating a suspenseful nonstop thrill ride … Truly the best Christian Fiction suspense title so far this year.”
– Library Journal, starred review

“Crimson Eve is Collins at her very best. It left me feeling as if I’d climbed Mount Everest without oxygen … I didn’t think Brandilyn could outdo herself after reading Coral Moon. She did.”

“I’ve never edited a more tightly crafted, deftly woven, compellingly written book.” –a Crimson Eve editor, with 20 years experience

“This is your best book! I could not stop reading!” – one of many readers with similar responses

Read about Violet Dawn and Coral Moon, books one and two in the Kanner Lake series.

Sabrina Here:
Okay, y'all. I know it's no surprise that I loved this book. It was a fast paced ride from page one. I literally started reading it late afternoon and stayed up late finishing it up the same night. It might have something to do with the fact I was so excited for this particular story to be released. The story is about Carla Radling, Kanner Lake Realtor. Carla is the character Lynette Sowell and myself wrote for on the Scenes and Beans Blog. So Carla's story was close to my heart. :)
I can't think of anything to say about Brandilyn's writing that hasn't been said a dozen times...she writes a tightly paced story that keeps you guessing until the end. It's no wonder she has to remind readers to BREATHE. LOL. Anyway, this was one of my favorite books of hers and I hope you'll run out and get your copy. And if you've never read anything by Brandilyn, which I find unbelievable, here's something cool:
Do you know someone who’s never read a Brandilyn Collins novel? Surely no such person exists. However, should you scrounge up such a friend—someone who enjoys suspense—here’s a special offer from Brandilyn. Be among the first 50 people between now and October 21, 2007 to e-mail her assistant at with the person’s name, e-mail address and street address. (Due to exorbitant overseas mailing costs, United States residents only, please).

A signed copy of Crimson Eve will be sent to your friend—free—along with an e-mail from Brandilyn announcing the book is on its way, courtesy of you. (Don’t worry. Brandilyn won’t spam these email addresses. She just wants your friend to know who to thank.) No worries that this story is third in the Kanner Lake series. Each book stands alone. Brandilyn is convinced your friend will so love Crimson Eve, he/she will surely reciprocate with expensive chocolate.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Welcome Robin Caroll...Author of Bayou Justice

In celebration of the release of her first book, I've invited Robin Caroll as a guest blogger to share with us today. After the interview please leave a comment and once I receive Robin's book I'll draw a name for a free copy. :) It's common knowledge that Robin is a dillegent writer. Working hard to hone her craft, she's quite competent at getting book after book completed. She just finished her fourth contracted book that will also be released through Steeple Hill. I figured it would be fun to hear about her journey from unpublished to published.

Welcome, Robin Caroll!

Author of the much anticipated Love Inspired Suspense,

Thanks for hosting me, Sabrina. As per your suggestion, I'm going to share a little bit about the challenges on the transition from unpublished to published.

The biggest challenge for me, personally, is to have realized that once you sell your book, it’s no longer your baby, but a product to sell. It’s been sold to the publisher, but now you have to work with your editorial team to focus on selling to the target consumer. The title, the characters, the plot twists, the cover…everything is focused on appealing to your target consumer—the reader. I found this challenging because I had NO IDEA what all is taken into consideration during this process.
Editors know what the readers of their specific lines look for, what they expect, and they help steer you in the direction of providing exactly that. The entire team from editors, line editors, proofreaders, typesetters, art departments, etc. all work toward the same goal as you—to make your book the best it can be to appeal to your target reader. It’s an amazing process, and I love seeing how all these different team members work together and get the final product out there to the readers. I’m blessed to be going through this journey with the awesome team I have with Steeple Hill.

Another challenge I found was acknowledging the fact that deadlines can be our best friends, or our worst enemies. It’s one thing to set yourself a deadline, make one with your cps, or even one from your agent, but it’s a totally different feeling when you have a deadline to turn in a manuscript, or revisions, or line edits, or front & back material, or galleys….there are many people waiting on you, expecting you to turn in on deadline so they can do their job, and aside from the contractual obligations, there’s the whole aspect of if you fall late, you push everyone else in the lineup running behind as well.

One other thing that’s a transition, but it’s not really a challenge, is reviews. I didn’t realize how I’d actually be nervous to hear there was a review out on my books. I’ve done the contest thing and cringed and celebrated over judges’ comments and overall scores. I guess that was preparation for handling reviews. I’m blessed that for now, I’ve gotten really great reviews. But I know a bad one’s coming—that’s just a fact because not every reader is going to love my book. I’m trying to prepare for the not-so-great review so it won’t sting. I’m a big girl. Rejections, bad scores, and so-so reviews are part of this industry. I can take it. Well, check with me after I get one and let’s see how I did! Our heads can tell us one thing, but the reality sure can sting! LOL

Thanks, Sabrina, for having me. I’ve had fun!

Robin Miller is writing as Robin Caroll. Deep South Mysteries for an Inspired Heart BAYOU JUSTICE--October 2007 Steeple Hill BAYOU CORRUPTION--February 2008 Steeple Hill BAYOU JUDGMENT-May 2008 Steeple Hill BAYOU PARADOX-September 2008, Steeple Hill
Thank you, Robin, for sharing with us. Good luck with the books and I can't wait to review Bayou Justice next week. :) Now leave those comments and I'll put you in a drawing for a free copy of Bayou Justice. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Love Inspired Wednesday

Buried Secrets by Margaret Daley

Hidden Treasure?

Fresh from her grandfather’s funeral, Maggie Somers was shocked to find his home—all she had left of him—ransacked. What wasn’t so shocking was that a Collier stood among the wreckage. Maggie had grown up hearing all about the Collier clan—liars and thieves who couldn’t be trusted. Yet, Zach Collier asked Maggie to have faith in him, to put their fund and their families’ to rest. His grandfather had also recently passed away. Zach was sure the man—like Maggie’s grandfather—had been murdered for something hidden among his possessions. Something Zach and Maggie had to uncover before they became targets.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Hey, folks, it’s back. After a long hiatus, I’m back with my Love Inspired Wednesday Review. At the ACFW conference I took the LNC “Why we write for Steeple Hill” Hosted by Lenora Worth, Margaret Daley, Irene Brand, and Debbie Clopton. During the class, I won a copy of Margaret Daley’s October Release, Buried Secrets. I think I’ve mentioned before that I haven’t read many of Margaret’s books. In fact, this is only my second book of hers. (which is ludicrous considering she’s written a bazillion books for them)

Since finishing Buried Secrets I’ve purchased three of Margaret’s
older titles just because I’ve become such a fan of her writing. She absolutely has the ability to write a succinct story, yet with an intricate plot that keeps you guessing until the end of the story. This to me is the epitome of what a Love Inspired book should be. An enjoyable, easy, fast read that doesn’t skimp on plot/romance/suspense.

It was so good that I read Buried Secrets in one evening and I’m now eager to get a copy of Heart of the Amazon, a book about Zach Collier’s twin sister. Overall, I'd recommend Margaret Buried Secrets to anyone that likes a great romantic suspense book. :)

What Margaret says about the book:
I had so much fun writing this book. It combines my love of the Southwest and archaeology. I call this book National Treasure meets Indiana Jones. There’s a mystery to be solved and a treasure to be found. There are villains after the hero and heroine, all against a backdrop of stark beauty and harsh conditions.

Check out Margarets blog and website. She's always doing interviews and giving away books. :) Oh and leave me a comment about your favorite Margaret Daley book and I'll enter you in a drawing for the end of the month. I'm giving away a couple LI books. Sadly, not Margaret's as my copies either have my name in them or I haven't read them yet. LOL. But I do have some other great LI books that you'll enjoy. So leave those comments folks. :)

Thursday, October 04, 2007


This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Avon Inspire (September 4, 2007)


Kristin Billerbeck


Haley Cutler is the consummate trophy wife. Perhaps "was" is the more accurate term. Haley married Prince Charming when she was only twenty years old – back in the day when highlights came from an afternoon at the beach, not three hours in the salon.

When Jay first turned his eye to Haley, she was putty in his slender, graceful hands. No one ever treated her like she was important, and on the arm of Jay Cutler, she became someone people listened to and admired. Unfortunately, after seven years of marriage, her Prince Charming seems to belong to the Henry the XIII line of royalty. When Haley loses Jay, she not only loses her husband, she loses her identity.

With her first independent decision, Haley leaves LA and moves home to Northern California. Feeling freedom just within her grasp, Haley learns that her settlement payments must go through one of Jay's financial advisers, Hamilton Lowe. Haley believes he's nothing more than a spy. And the feelings of distrust are mutual. Yet, somehow, Hamilton finds himself handing over the monthly checks in person, and Haley can't deny that there's a kind of tenderness and protectiveness in Hamilton that she's never experienced in a man before.

But before Haley can even consider another relationship, she must learn to accept her inherent worth, and what it is to be loved for who she is, not what's on the outside.

Q & A with Kristin Billerbeck

1. Does the Trophy Wives Club represent a departure in any way from your past books?

It does and it doesn’t. There’s romance, humor and a feisty heroine – which is normal for my books, but in this one, there are also some serious issues: a neglectful husband, an emotionally battered wife, and the fear of the unknown.

2. How did you go about creating the character of Haley?

I watched a husband take his wife for granted as though she were a plotted plant, and I thought, what would happen when that wife wakes up to her life? What might happen if she never did wake up and her life crumbles around her? I thought about the type of wife who tries to do everything right, but still can’t keep her marriage together, since it ultimately consists of two people.

3. Haley is able to draw strength she didn’t know she had from the refreshing example of a group of independent, professional women friends. What made you decide to focus in this way on the importance of female friendship?

Now that I’m older, I’ve watched marriages flourish, fail and flounder. One thing remains constant and that is your girlfriends. They will support you no matter what the situation is, and I wanted to pay homage to that.

4. Haley isn’t a committed Christian at the beginning of the book – she’s actually a skeptic. What do you think are the advantages to portraying a character who initially has no spiritual or religious leanings?

I don’t really think of it in terms of advantages, or crossing over. I just thought it went with Haley’s character. She was walking through life asleep and one day she’s forced to think about her actual opinions. Someone else has been telling her what they were and she was too weak to realize it. The stronger one person gets in a relationship, the more unbalanced, and the weaker the other person feels. That seemed to be where Haley was in her life. I wanted to be true to her, not preach a message. I write for women and I try to look at the harder questions in life and provide a humorous, lighthearted read at the same time. To me, story comes first.

5. The Trophy Wives Club has a clear inspirational message but isn’t heavy-handed in its use of religion. How do you think this helps the crossover appeal of the book?

I think this is indicative of my faith in general. I believe God meets us where we are. Some of us live godly, straight-and-narrow lives and some of us have to mess life up fantastically for Him to get our attention, but really, God doesn’t send floods or whales very often. He’s subtle.

I ended with this question because this is one of the reasons I loved the book so much. Kristin is right when she says God meets us where we are. Even among other Christians, we can be so different. We are so similar, yet so different. Something I allow my son to do a friend of mine might think I’m horrible. Then again, I may not agree with something she does with her children. I liked that Kristin’s heroine, Haley, was real. She spoke and acted like I would have acted. She was angry, and rightly so. Her scumbag ex-husband kicked her to the curb and she had no say over her situation whatsoever. I think the way Kristin had Haley progress from victimized wife to strong single woman was not only fabulous, it was believable.

If you love quick witted, snappy dialog, along with a great character driven plot, then be sure to pick up The Trophy Wives Club. I’d go so far as to say, if you know someone who’s been through divorce recently, even if they weren’t considered a “trophy wife”, they would enjoy this book. :)