Brandilyn Collins - Author of Dark Pursuit

I first became aware of Brandilyn Collin’s work when her suspense novel, Eyes of Elisha, was published by Zondervan in 2001. That book provided an exciting revelation for me. Christian fiction could cross over into any genre. It wasn’t confined to prairie romances, historicals, or stories of spiritual warfare.

Since then, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and knowing Brandilyn through the American Christian Fiction Writers of America (ACFW). She’s a warm, witty, and generous woman.

Brandilyn’s humor can bring a smile to anyone’s face. If you were to meet without being aware of her work, you’d never suspect that she’s known for seatbelt suspense. There are people who admit to not reading her novels before going to bed at night out of fear they won’t sleep.

I just finished reading her latest release, Dark Pursuit. Wow! What a page turner. From the first page until the last, you live the story. Brandilyn’s writing allows you to experience what the characters are doing, thinking, and feeling – only you won’t physically bleed!

Although known as a Christian fiction author, Brandilyn doesn’t hit the reader over the head with preaching or teaching. Instead, she weaves a subtle spiritual thread into her work.

If you enjoy books that keep you on the edge of your seat, read Dark Pursuit. This story won’t disappoint you with its relentless twists and turns. And as Brandilyn would say, “Don’t forget to breathe . . .”

Back cover copy . . .

Novelist Darell Brooke lived for his title as King of Suspense—until an auto accident left him unable to concentrate. Two years later, reclusive and bitter, he wants one thing: to plot a new novel and regain his reputation.

Kaitlan Sering, his twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, once lived for drugs. After she stole from Darell, he cut her off. Now she’s rebuilding her life. But in Kaitlan’s town two women have been murdered, and she is about to discover a third. She’s even more shocked to realize the culprit is her boyfriend, Craig, the police chief’s son.

Desperate, Kaitlan flees to her estranged grandfather. For over forty years, Darell Brooke has lived suspense. Surely he’ll devise a plan to trap the cunning Craig.

But can Darell’s muddled mind do it? And—if he tries—with what motivation? For Kaitlan’s plight may be the stunning answer to the elusive plot he seeks . .


Brandilyn Collins, known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense, is the best-selling author of Violet Dawn, Coral Moon, Crimson Eve, Eyes of Elisha, and other novels. She and her family divide their time between the California Bay Area and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Visit her website at and her blog at

Happy Reading!


Hope Changes Everything

While Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States, I sat in front of a TV screen in a room full of coworkers. All had come together with a desire to participate in the historical event.

As we viewed the sea of people cheering the new president, we were reminded that one of our coworkers stood in the midst of that crowd. A young black woman, she’d traveled across the country from Seattle to Washington DC to physically be present for the event.

Tears slid down the cheeks of people shown on the TV screen. I couldn’t help but get a little choked up myself. I’d never seen this amount of excitement or support during an inauguration.

Barack Obama is our first black president. That's awesome. But I believe something even bigger brought multitudes of people together on such a frigid winter day.


People have been given a renewed sense of hope for this country.

Hope changes everything.

Prisoners of war survive because they cling to hope of being released.

People with serious illnesses continue living because they hope cures will be discovered.

A childless couple doesn’t give up trying to get pregnant because they hope next month will be different.

When a starving child in Africa is given a cup of rice, he has hope of making it to his next meal.

When someone has lost their home to a natural disaster, they regain hope when given supplies to start over.

When friends lose loved ones and believe they’ll never feel joy again, they experience hope when hugged and given a reassuring smile.

Without hope, people die. If not physically, they die inside.

As Christians, we know all about hope. It’s what gets us through the darkest of days, insurmountable obstacles, and heartbreak. We have hope because we know that what we experience on earth is temporary. We know there is more beyond our life here.

What can you do to help give hope to someone this week?


The Need for Connection

People Need People.

Ahhhh . . . remember the song made popular by Barbara Streisand years ago? I still get swept away with emotion every time I hear her sing, “People . . . people who need people . . . are the luckiest people in the world.” I’m a fan of Barbara’s. But I’ll stop. This isn’t about her.

People do need people. From the very beginning, God saw that Adam was alone and it wasn’t good. So He created a companion in Eve.

We all desire companionship. But it seems to be getting increasingly difficult to find time to hang out with friends and acquaintances. Why?

My girlfriends and I have lately discussed this, but we haven’t come up with any solutions. We used to meet on a consistent basis for dinner or a movie. Now when we try to schedule something for the four of us to meet, someone inevitably has a conflict. It’s not that what’s causing the conflict is bad – or not meaningful. On the contrary. We’re all putting tremendous amount of energy into our families, personal goals, and ministries.

Several weeks ago I joined Facebook. It’s been great fun. To be honest – it can be addicting. I’m quite hooked. I’ve already made “friends” with many writer friends across the county, fellow church members, nieces, my nephew, and my own kids. It’s fascinating to read the one liners of what people are doing, feeling, and thinking. Photos are easily shared with numerous people at the same moment.

Facebook has caused me to think even more this past week about the need for people to connect with each other. In this hectic society, where people are scurrying from one thing to the next, with little time to sit down for a cup of coffee with a friend - Facebook, MySpace, Shoutlife, and numerous other online sites have become a place for people to still feel connected to other life forms.

I wonder what God thinks about a society so consumed by technology that we spend more time communicating through our computers and cell phones than face to face.

I believe connecting with people – no matter how it’s done - can be a good thing.

But I’ll always prefer sharing a bottle of wine with a good friend sitting across the table from me.


Stormy Night with God in a Hot Tub

The eight hour work day had felt twelve hours long. The commute home in traffic moving at the lightening speed of five miles per hour - while rain slammed down on the car windshield - felt even longer.

I called my husband and warned him ahead of time. He knew I needed a little space when I arrived home and kept his greeting low key. Smart man.

It took only a few minutes to change into a swim suit, pin my long hair on the top of my head, and grab a towel. Then it was out the back door into the dark night. Only a few more steps across the deck in order to reach the gazebo housing the hot tub. A luxury – and sooooo worth it.

I slipped my tired, aching body under the hot water. Not so hot that you turn lobster red in three minutes – but hot enough to soothe like a bath. One that doesn’t slowly become lukewarm and ultimately unsatisfying.

Rain pelted the top of the gazebo, and wind danced with the trees, but there was no thunder or lightening to warrant any concern about safety.

The underwater lights cycled through a rainbow of colors; the rays undisturbed by the stillness. I like it that way. No noise. No bubbles being thrown in your face. Just quiet and peaceful.

The tension in my taunt muscles began to relax. The sanctuary is a place for me to rest, clear my mind, think – and pray. I don’t need a hot tub to spend time with God – but I do know He’s more than willing to meet me there.

While natural forces partied hard, the water surrounding me remained calm. The wind occasionally blew a refreshing spray of cool rain on my face, but I never became chilled. When I returned to the house, I felt rejuvenated.

Our relationship with God can be very much like what I experienced that evening – if we let it.

The world can be a crazy place. But if we turn to God for sanctuary, He’ll give us peace - despite the storms that rage around us. When all we see is darkness and chaos, He can bring light and color into the bleakest of days. Spending time with Him will give us energy, strength, and desire to keep going. No matter what outside scary forces may briefly touch our lives.

Try resting this week in the warmth and sanctuary of God’s loving care.

And while you’re at it – treat yourself to a nice, hot bath.


Sandra D. Bricker – Author of Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas

Have you ever tried to be someone you’re not in order to fit in or impress people? Or been too impatient to wait for God’s timing?

Lucy struggles with both in the entertaining romantic comedy, Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas, by Sandra D. Bricker.

If you want to curl up in front of a fire on a snowy or rainy afternoon with a fun read, choose this book. I enjoyed Sandie's witty writing, and not only laughed with Lucy at her mishaps, I was touched by her heart’s experiences. I couldn’t help but cheer her on.

Back cover copy . . .

So what if she can’t hook a fish? This girl has a plan to snag something else . . . and his name is Justin.

Lucy Binoche is attractive and intelligent, and she has better-than average hair. So why is she nearly 30 and still single?

When stunningly gorgeous Justin Gerard joins the singles group at church, Lucy is convinced he’s the answer to her prayers. And when he signs up for a camping trip in Snowball, Arkansas, Lucy is quick to write her name on the line beneath hi. There’s only one problem; Lucy’ idea of “roughin it” is suffering through a long line at Star bucks.”

She assumes she can rely on the grace of God and the assistance of her best friend, Matt, to thrive in the great outdoors. Will Lucy pretend to be someone she’s not just to snag a boyfriend? Or will she discover that she can be loved just as she is?

View the video trailer at

Interview with Sandie

What inspired the theme for the book?

I guess I did. I wanted to tell a story about how easy following the Lord's leading in your life can be, and yet how complicated we make it when we decide to take the reins from Him. I've been fighting this all my life because ... now don't be shocked! ... but ... I'm a bit of a control freak. So I'll often get a certain thing in my head and fly off to make it happen without a second thought about God's timing and intervention. I've become far less impetuous with age, and I've learned a lot of life lessons from the results of my behavior, so I wanted to tell that story. Maybe remind a few people out there who are like I used to be that just because we have the plan to make it happen doesn't necessarily mean it's in our best interest if it does. The will of the Lord is a fine and beautiful thing. Following it doesn't always have to be filled with struggle and sacrifice. He's pretty good at planning, if we'll just let Him.

Since Snowball is an actual place, how much research did you have to complete in order to write the story?

I did a lot of research. My editor at Summerside is really committed to making the locations as real as possible. I'd been to the area several years ago. I was a publicist at the time, and one of my clients had a charity appearance in Little Rock, so I went along. We spent a couple of extra days there, exploring the area, and I came home convinced that I would someday retire there. It was just so beautiful and lush. Although I grew up in southern Ohio, I'd just spent the last 15 years or so in Los Angeles, which of course is a virtual desert. Arkansas was green grass, thriving trees and blue skies. It was inspiring. So when the chance to write Snowball came up, I jumped at it. I followed up what I already knew with about two weeks of research via the internet and phone calls to local businesses. I met some great people by phone who told me so much about the area. By the time I started writing, I felt like I knew the place intimately.

Are you considered a funny person by those who know you?

You might have to ask them just HOW funny, of course ... but yes. I'm pretty much known as the class clown. I'm a believer that, like scripture says, a merry heart is a great medicine. And the Lord blessed me with that kind of mind that just sees something quirky or odd to laugh at in almost any situation. It can sometimes be questionable behavior to those around me, but fortunately I'm surrounded by people who "get" me.

Does writing comedy come naturally for you? It seems to flow effortlessly across the pages.

What a lovely thing to say, Dawn! Thank you so much. It really does come naturally to me. I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing in some form. Short stories and poetry and journals at a very young age ... I studied screenwriting when I moved to Los Angeles ... and then books came after that. I've always had this picture of God, when He was creating each one of us, right there at the end before He moved on to the next one, cupping us in His big hands and leaning down and whispering something into our hearts. For others, it might be "Musician" or "Organizer" or "Mom" ... but for me, it was definitely "Writer."

Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas, is part of the new series of romance novels being released by Summerside Press. The novels are uniquely named after actual American towns with quirky, interesting names. Tell us about your upcoming releases with Summerside.

I'm very excited to have been invited to write two more novels for Summerside. The first, due out at Christmas next year, is set in Holiday, Florida. When my editor asked me to write it, I didn't even know where Holiday was! And then I discovered it was just 30-40 minutes away from me in Tampa Bay, and I'd visited every town around it at least once! My best friend flew in from Ohio one weekend, and we made a road trip out of it (any excuse, you know), and we really dug around in Holiday. It was such fun, and I think the book is going to be a lot of fun too. Then in 2010, I'll have another one set in Big Sky, Montana. I've only been to the area once, but I did take some pictures, so I'll be digging around to find those sometime next year to begin my research. That story is going to be a real adventure too.

Any books coming out with other publishers?

Yes, in Spring 2010, Abingdon Press will release The Big Five-OH!, a romantic comedy about a woman whose birthday always seems to bring a dark cloud of disaster. In an effort to break the chain, she leaves Ohio in time to celebrate her 50th for two weeks in the Florida sun.

Thanks, Sandie!

You can read more about Sandra Bricker and her writing at

Happy Reading!

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