Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Trouble With Hot Tubs

Actually there is no trouble with hot tubs. Unless you happen to be a suspense writer who began a novel with a not-so-pleasant event in said setting. If you're that person, replacing the hot tub in your own backyard--yes, the very one that inspired the gruesome scene in Violet Dawn--can lead to a little more than you bargained for.

The delivery had to be coordinated, see. We had a major backyard redo going on, with workers running all over the place. Landscape people. Decking people. Rubble everywhere, and the new hot tub would have to be trucked across the yard after the old one was taken out. As a result I spent more than a little time on the phone with the manager of the store from which we bought the new tub. We had to change the delivery date three times as our huge project's completion kept getting pushed back. The manager? That would be Bev Jacquemet at Sundance Spas in San Mateo, California. Nicest person. Just chats away and makes you feel like you can really trust the company. And every time our delivery got moved as we needed, no complaints on their part.

Somewhere in one of our chats the fact that I write suspense sort of leaked out (pun intended). "Oh, wow!" Bev said. "I love suspense."

"Great. When this fiasco is all over I'll bring you a book. I've got the perfect one in mind for you."


So post completion--finally--of our beautiful new backyard and the hot tub installation, which went without a hitch, I dropped in to see the lovely folks at Sundance once afternoon. Carting a copy of Violet Dawn, which I signed for Bev. "Okay, don't hate me. But more than one person's told me they're never going in a hot tub again after reading this book. I don't really have it out for your industry. It just appears that way."

Bev promised not to hold my terrible faux pas against me.

I'd brought a camera. Somehow we ended up in a hot tub. (An empty one.) Well, after all, it is a showroom of the things. We had our pick. We chose a big one. Another employee, Leah, was working the counter. She wanted in on the action.

Somehow the three of us just standing there with Bev holding the book didn't quite do the trick. The scene needed ... something.

There. That's better.

Bev loved Violet Dawn, by the way. Of course she had to say that. Or I might come back and strangle her again.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And Two More

Brandilyn, my name is Joyce Moccero and I am an uber lurker. I am coming out of hiding to add my name to the list of Barbara's newest novelists. (we need tee shirts) I read about Abingdon's new fiction line on your blog but alas, I let my novel sit on my hard drive until a friend shared the idea with Barbara. She requested the ms. and a week later I was presented with an offer. How cool is that! It was a long, hard, often frustrating journey but perhaps now because of the journey I count this success even sweeter. God is good, his timing, not ours. Thank you, Brandilyn, for keeping us informed. Thank you, Barbara, for believing in us. I can't wait to start working with you. My novel The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, will release fall 2009. For those of you still waiting--keep writing, perseverance is key.

Joyce's info about The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow:

Welcome to quirky Bright’s Pond, Pennsylvania, home of Agnes Sparrow. No longer able or willing to leave her home, 600-pound Agnes has committed herself to a life of prayer. Prayer that has resulted in numerous miracles, both large and garden variety, including a prize-winning pumpkin. But when a stranger comes to call asking for his miracle, this tiny rural town is turned on its head, and Agnes’s smelly feet of clay are exposed, forcing the town to its knees.

Hey Brandilyn,

We met this summer in Orlando at TWV [The Writers View] coffee. I’ve been lurking around your blog for some time. No chickens here. I love (and write) suspense. Just wanted to let you know that my novel Eye of the God has also been picked up by Abingdon. The deal was negotiated by my literary agent extraordinaire Jonathan Clements at The Nashville Agency.

Ariel Allison Lawhon

Ariel's background info about Eye of the God:

It has been said that all of history is in fact, His-Story, God’s story, and that we are just supporting actors. When viewed through that lens, the tale of the Hope Diamond takes on new meaning. The diamond, according to legend, was once the eye of a Hindu Idol named Rama Sita. Late in the 17th century, it was stolen, and Rama is said to have cursed all who would come in contact with the eye of the god. A quick glance at the lives of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and Evalyn Walsh McLean give the appearance that there is indeed something to the tale. Yet the curse has only increased the value of the gem, and at auction could fetch well over $200 million. Today, the Hope Diamond sits proudly in the Smithsonian Institute, and has become the most viewed museum object in the world, boasting more visitors each year than the Mona Lisa.

Eye of the God takes the fascinating history surrounding the Hope Diamond, and weaves it together with a modern day plot to steal the jewel from the Smithsonian. We follow Alex and Isaac Weld, the most lucrative thieves in the world, in their quest to steal the jewel for a mysterious art broker. The Weld brothers are the established choice for those dealing in stolen goods but are unprepared for the evil they bring upon themselves when they agree to steal the diamond. Ultimately it will claim the life of one brother, and change life irrevocably for the other.

Brilliant and ruthless, the Weld brothers are not prepared for Dr. Abigail Mitchell, the beautiful Smithsonian Director, who has her own connection to the Hope Diamond, and a deadly secret to keep. She has spent her entire career studying the jewel and learning the truth about the curse it carries. More so than anyone else alive she has reason to love and hate the diamond that has set her life on a collision course with betrayal. However, Abby committed long ago that she would not serve a god made with human hands, and the “eye of the god” is no exception. Her desire is not for wealth, but for wisdom. She seeks not power, but restoration. Abby holds the pieces to a complicated puzzle, and finds herself in the middle of a deadly game. It is in this context that her faith will be put to the ultimate test as she confronts the father that abandoned her, the betrayal of the only man she has ever loved, and the possibility that she may lose her life because of the legendary gem.

When all is said and done, and the dust has finally settled over the last great adventure of the Hope Diamond, we understand the “curse” that has haunted its legacy is nothing more than the greed of evil men who bring destruction upon themselves. No god chiseled from stone can direct the fates of men, nor can it change the course of His-story.


Congratulations to Joyce and Ariel!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Two More Abingdon Contracts

I'm so pleased to make these further announcements:

1. Dear Brandilyn,

I just want you to know that my novel, Surrender the Wind, has been accepted by Barbara Scott at Abingdon Press. I talked with her on the phone Friday and she is indeed a fantastic lady. I'm so thankful to you for posting on Forensic & Faith about Abingdon's new line and about Barbara. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be working with her. It was through your blog that I was shown 'the way I should go', and I mentioned to Barbara when I queried her that I read about the fiction line via your site.

My contract is on its way for me to sign. Again, thank you. I wish I could give you a hug. If it wasn't for the fact you listened to God and posted about Barbara and Abingdon Press I may not have ever known and landed a contract. It was an answer to prayer literally.

Rita Gerlach

From Rita's web site:

Surrender the Wind--coming to a bookstore near you in the autumn of 2009.

After a harrowing escape from the British, patriot Seth Braxton finds his father dead at Yorktown. Now battle scarred and grieving, he endeavors to settle down for a peaceful life along the shores of the Potomac by restoring the land his father loved.

Thinking he will forever stay in the secluded wilderness, he receives a message that he has inherited his grandfather's estate in faraway England. Seth is torn between the land he's fought for and the prospect of reuniting with his sister, Caroline, who was a motherless child at the onset of the Revolution, taking to England in order to spare her the horrors of war.

With no intention of making his stay at Ten Width permanent, he journeys to England to do his duty. When he arrives, he finds his sister in the throes of grief after being told her young son has died of a fever. In the midst of so much tragedy, he meets Juleah, the daughter of an eccentric landed gentleman. Her independent spirit and gentle soul steal his heart, and she becomes his wife and lady of the manor, enraging the man who once sought her hand and hoped Ten Width would be his own.

From the Virginia wilderness, to the dark halls of an isolated English estate, Seth inherits more than a crumbling ancestral home. He uncovers a sinister plot that leads to murder, abduction, and betrayal --- an ominous mix that threatens to destroy his new life and new love.

2. Hi, Brandilyn. Yep, your blog gets all the credit for opening this door for me! I'm a confessed lurker but I check it almost every day, and boy, was I glad I did that day! I had a query off to Barbara within hours of reading your post. Within a day she'd requested 3 of my proposals, and a few days later the full of one of those. A few more e-mails over the next couple of weeks made it pretty obvious she was getting serious, and then the call Friday! Wow!!!! She is absolutely the sweetest lady. Everyone who's ever had dealings with her has only good things to say, so I'm really looking forward to working with her.

Myra Johnson

From Myra's blog:

Twenty-five years and 200+ rejections later

... On the 200+ rejections leading up to this moment, I kid you not. I’ve changed my record-keeping system a few times over the years, so the exact number is kind of hazy, but I just went through all my files and it really does come out somewhere around the 200 mark ... I’m calling myself the poster child for publication perseverance. It has been a long, arduous journey, a roller-coaster ride emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I’m smart enough to realize I haven’t “arrived” yet. This is just the next leg of the journey, and one I can’t wait to explore!

I just want to say that if God has given you the desire, talent, and skill to write--or whatever He may have gifted you with--until He personally tells you otherwise, keep on keeping on. If success seems long in coming, ask God to help you see what you still need to learn, how He still wants to grow you up. Our path through this life is not about what we can achieve, but what God wants to shape us into. He is the Potter, we are the clay. Be moldable!

Myra's book that sold to Abingdon is titled One Perfect Christmas.

Congratulations, Rita and Myra!

I know there are others of you who mailed in requested proposals only to be rejected. Perhaps for the nth time. That's happened in the past to these folks, and it surely happened to me. As Myra says, "Keep on keeping on." In the right timing, God will open the right doors for you. Even when you want to throw such a platitude across the room (I've been there more than once), hold on to it. It will prove true. God will lead.

If there are others out there who've been accepted by Abingdon, please let me know.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A BG Signs With Abingdon

I'm happy to let you all know that Ronie Kendig has sold her first novel, an espionage thriller titled Dead Reckoning, to Barbara Scott of Abindgon Press. The novel is scheduled for release March 2010. The deal was negotiated by agent Steve Laube.

About Dead Reckoning:

Underwater archeologist Shiloh Blake is consumed with passion for the water and angry at the injustices of life. Her first large-scale dig traps her in the middle of an international meltdown and forces her to flee for her life. When she spots a man trailing her, she questions who he is and how he's always one step ahead of her.

Former Green Beret Reece Jaxon now serves his country as a covert operative. His mission is entangled by the beguiling Shiloh Blake as he hunts down the source to a dead drop in the Arabian Sea.

The only way to prevent a nuclear disaster is to join forces with Reece. But will Shiloh violate her vow to never become a spy like her father? Will they put aside their differences to end this nightmare?

Congratulations, Ronie! Congratulations, Steve, for making the deal.

According to Barbara's last email to me, there's probably going to be at least one more reader from this blog who will make her list. We're anxiously awaiting that news.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Word of Mouth Marketing

Remember when I posted about Andy Sernovitz's book Word of Mouth Marketing in June? Well, word of mouth works both ways. Soon after that I heard Andy speak at a word of mouth marketing conference in San Francisco. I made sure to meet him after we'd emailed so much about his book and my posts. And I took a BHCC magnet, ready to tell him my version of one of his interesting points: Some of your best word of mouth talkers may not be your customers. Andy got my story on video. Turns out Andy posted about my posting about him, and ran my video on his blog in July. Check out the posts on July 26 and 27 here on Andy's blog.

House of Wolves

This week, the

is introducing
House Of Wolves

Thomas Nelson (August 12, 2008)


Matt Bronleewe


Matt Bronleewe is a recognized producer, songwriter and author. The former member of the band Jars of Clay, has earned numerous awards producing and co-writing albums that have sold a combined total of over 20 million copies. His songs have recently been recorded by Disney pop sensations Aly & AJ, American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke, and more. Bronleewe has worked with Grammy Award-winning artists such as Michael W. Smith, International pop singer Natalie Imbruglia and Heroes star Hayden Panettiere.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Bronleewe was raised on a farm in Kansas, where he lived until he left for college in 1992. At Greenville College in Illinois, Bronleewe formed the band Jars of Clay with his dorm roommate and two neighbors, and the group soon found success. Though Bronleewe opted to leave Jars of Clay early on to pursue an academic career, he soon found himself in Nashville, co-writing, producing, and playing music professionally.

To add to his list of accomplishments, Bronleewe has expanded his love of story telling beyond music into authorship. He is currently penning a 5 book series for Thomas Nelson Fiction. His first book
Illuminated began the adventurous series about rare manuscripts and the mysteries within.

Bronleewe currently resides in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife and three children. He continues to write and produce music, and he also volunteers through his church to help disadvantaged youth in the community. Bronleewe enjoys reading, taste-testing good food and watching sports, as well as indulging his interests in art, architecture, design and science.


A mysterious book with a dangerous secret.

An evil brotherhood out to conquer the world.

One man stands between them . . . with his family in the balance.

In the twelfth century, Henry the Lion collected the rarest relics in Christendom. And to protect his most precious acquisitions, he encoded the whereabouts in a gorgeous illuminated manuscript called The Gospels of Henry the Lion.

The manuscript has been showing up and disappearing ever since. No one knows where the relic has been hidden . . . or its ultimate power.

Only one man holds the key to the mystery.

He's carrying it in his briefcase at his son's school for show-and-tell, and he thinks it's a fake. But he's about to find out just how real it is.

Because the wolves are rapidly closing in. And if August Adams can't decode the secret in time, the world's balance of power will forever be altered.

If you would like to read an excerpt of
House Of Wolves, it will be HERE.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Civil Forum on the Presidency

Did you catch the forum last Saturday? We couldn't watch it at the time but taped it. I just got a chance to see it. If you haven't seen it, you should. Here's a website for viewing the interviews, also with a link to the transcript.

A few thoughts:

1. Seems to me there is a change in the air regarding the public declaration of faith in politics. I can't remember an election where so many in the running claimed unabashedly to be Christians.

2. This forum was a great opportunity to hear questions asked that you wouldn't hear anywhere else. We did hear some of the expected morality-based questions on abortion and stem cell research. But there were also some surprises such as "What has been your greatest moral failure?"

3. I thought Obama did well--until I saw McCain. The latter surprised me. Although I tend to agree with more of his views, McCain has hardly struck me as a good speaker or a very charismatic person. But in this forum he really did shine. Some of the stories he told brought tears to my eyes, and--at one point--a glimmer to his own. I saw more of who John McCain is in this forum than I've ever seen before.

4. The forum seemed very fair. A coin toss determined who went first. With McCain last, he waited in a soundproof area so he couldn't hear Obama's answers. The questions were exactly the same, the only difference being that McCain got to answer one or two more because some of his answers were more succinct and left extra time.

5. The relaxed interview style worked. With no timing on answers, each candidate could take as long as he wanted on any given question. Both men seemed to answer from the heart with less of the "stump speech" rhetoric we hear in other venues.

6. Of course there were many differences in the way the two men answered questions. One of the greatest differences for me was in response to the question, "Does evil exist, and if so, do we ignore it, negotiate with it, contain it, or defeat it?" Obama's first words in response: "Evil does exist. I mean we see evil in Darfur. We see evil, sadly, on the streets of our cities. We see evil in parents who have viciously abused their children, and I think it has to be confronted. It has to be confronted squarely ..." McCain's immediate answer: "Defeat it."

7. As Pastor Rick Warren said (paraphrased), "We need to learn to have discourse and disagreement in a civil way and without disparaging the other side." This forum accomplished that goal.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Latest Bestseller Lists

Here are the new bestseller lists, reflecting sales in the month of July. Books appearing only on one list are highlighted in blue. There's a difference of seven books this month.

Special kudos to Rachel Hauck for showing up on both lists!

CBA (Numbers in parentheses refer to placement on CBA Top Fifty List, which includes fiction and nonfiction.)

1 (1) The Shack, William P. Young, Windblown Media
2 (4) A Sister’s Hope, Wanda Brunstetter, Barbour
3 (19) Adam, Ted Dekker, Thomas Nelson
4 (22) Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers, Multnomah (WaterBrook)
5 (27) Dawn’s Light, Terri Blackstock, Zondervan
6 (34) Dead Heat, Joel Rosenberg, Tyndale
7 (35) The Forbidden, Beverly Lewis, Bethany House (Baker)
8 (36) A Lady of Secret Devotion, Tracie Peterson, Bethany House (Baker)
9 (38) Allison’s Journey, Wanda Brunstetter, Barbour
10 (39) The Edge of Recall, Kristen Heitzmann, Bethany House (Baker)
11 (45) Ever After, Karen Kingsbury, Zondervan
12 (46)
Someday, Karen Kingsbury, Tyndale
13 (47) The Last Jihad, Joel Rosenberg, Tyndale
14 (50)
Even Now, Karen Kingsbury, Zondervan
15 Wedding Machine, Beth Hart, Thomas Nelson
Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis, Zondervan
Riven, Jerry Jenkins, Tyndale
18 Sweet Caroline, Rachel Hauck, Thomas Nelson
19 Last Light, Terri Blackstock, Zondervan
Rook, Steven James, Revell (Baker)


1 The Shack, William P. Young, Windblown Media
2 A Sister’s Hope, Wanda Brunstetter, Barbour
The List, Robert Whitlow, Thomas Nelson
4 The Edge of Recall, Kristen Heitzmann, Bethany House (Baker)
5 Sweet Caroline, Rachel Hauck, Thomas Nelson
Covenant Child, Terri Blackstock, Zondervan
7 Allison’s Journey, Wanda Brunstetter, Barbour
8 Dead Heat, Joel Rosenberg, Tyndale
9 The Forbidden, Beverly Lewis, Bethany House (Baker)
10 Dawn’s Light, Terri Blackstock, Zondervan
11 The Last Jihad, Joel Rosenberg, Tyndale
12 Wedding Machine, Beth Hart, Thomas Nelson
13 Adam, Ted Dekker, Thomas Nelson
14 Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers, Multnomah (WaterBrook)
Flies on the Butter, Denise Hildreth, Thomas Nelson
16 Someday, Karen Kingsbury, Tyndale
Deep in the Heart of Trouble, Deeanne Gist, Bethany House
18 Last Days, Joel C. Rosenberg, Tyndale
The Ezekiel Option, Joel C. Rosenberg, Tyndale
20 Red Helmet, Homer H. Hickam, Thomas Nelson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Bethany House - July 1, 2008)


Robin Parrish


Robin Parrish had two great ambitions in his life: to have a family, and to be a published novelist. In March of 2005, he proposed to his future wife the same week he signed his first book contract.

More than ten years he spent writing for various websites, including,, and Infuze Magazine, which is a unique intersection between art and faith which he also conceived of and created.

One of his more "high concept" ideas for Infuze was to return to his love for storytelling and create a serialized tale that would play out every two weeks, telling a complete, compelling story over the course of nine months. That serialized story eventually came to the attention of several publishers, who saw it as a potential debut novel for Robin Parrish.

In 2005, Bethany House Publishers brought Robin full circle by contracting him for the rights to not only that first book,
Relentless -- but two sequels including Fearless and Merciless. A trilogy that unfolded in the consecutive summers of 2006, 2007, and this year, 2008. One massive tale -- of which that first, original story would form only the foundational first volume of the three -- spread across three books.

Robin Parrish is a journalist who's written about pop culture for more than a decade. Currently he serves as Senior Editor at, a community portal that fuses social networking with magazine-style features about entertainment and culture. He and his wife, Karen and son live in North Carolina.


The world as we know it has ENDED.
DEATH and CHAOS creep across the globe and only the POWERLESS can RISE UP to stop it.

But can anything stop the onslaught of the DARKWORLD

From the earth's depths crawls a figure with skin like granite, flames for eyes, and the face of Grant Borrows.
Oblivion has arrived.

Every clock around the world has stopped. Time has frozen.

The Secretum have fulfilled the prophecy, unleashing on earth the most powerful being to walk the earth in thousands of years. His name is Oblivion and his touch is death.

He can't be slowed.
He can't be stopped.
And he can't be killed.

But as long as any live who trust in hope and love and freedom, the fight is not over.

They have only one chance before he brings forth the Darkworld.

Oblivion is: Merciless

"Robin Parrish is the kind of writer who understands how to entertain from the word go. His stories are sure to shape fiction for years to come."
~TED DEKKER, author of ADAM

If you would like to read the first chapter of Merciless, go HERE.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

And They Say Toddlers Are Hard

Yes, I've been AWOL again. I have a good reason.

It all started last Thursday as we planned to fly from Idaho back to our California home. All clothes were packed up (mine representing a month away from California). The house was quiet--just me, Mark and Amberly--after all guests had gone home. I was throwing out some food from the wedding reception--and the kitchen sink backed up. Mark and I did all we could--put a big pot underneath the sink and opened up the plumbing to drain and clean the pipes. No back-up there. We did manage to make a fine mess of chickeney/beefy water under the sink and across the floor. Made for a fun clean-up.

The backup was further down the line somewhere, outside the house. Great. Time to call the plumber. By that time it was 1 p.m., and we'd planned on leaving the house within the hour. Not to be. By the time the plumber arrived and snaked out the problem (waaay down the line) it was going on 5:00. We nixed the plans for flying out that day and decided to get up early Friday morning to fly out. Which we did. We got wheels up around 9:30.

That put us in California early Friday afternoon. After a month away I had to go through the held mail (delivered just that day), try to unpack and repack for a weekend away. Right. I hit the office and did what I could there. As for unpacking--forget it. Problem was, I was still tired from all the wedding hoopla.

Saturday morning early we got up to fly Amberly to southern California to open up her apartment for college. My bag from Idaho remained unpacked in the bedroom. We arrived at Long Beach and left the plane in the good hands of an FBO at the airport (FBOs serve private pilots and their airplanes). We hopped in a looong rented van, took out the back seat and drove to the apartment to get the keys, etc. Then it was off to Ikea to buy a bedroom of furniture. We loaded I don't know how many heavy boxes of stuff. All the furniture would have to be put together the following day. By the time all the shopping and loading was done, it was after 7 p.m., and we were exhausted.

We hit an Applebees for dinner, sweaty and tired. Mark checked his Blackberry for phone messages. He had a message from the FBO. I watched as he listened to the message, a sick look creeping over his face. He clicked off and looked at me, shoulders slumped.

"Somebody hit my plane."


Mark called the manager of the FBO back to hear the details. One of those towing machines that push planes back clipped the end of a wing and crushed it in. The plane wasn't flyable. We had a full day of work ahead of us on Sunday, followed by plans to fly back to northern California at the end of the day. Mark and I both had full work days on Monday. Now we had no plane to get home.

Sunday was crazy. Putting all the furniture together, then running out and buying--everything. Think of all the stuff that's needed to start an apartment. Kitchen stuff. Bathroom items. Meanwhile the FBO put us on a commercial flight at 7:30 p.m. We barely made finishing the apartment and got back to the FBO in time to get to LAX.

Where, of course, our flight turned out to be late. Seven-thirty became 8:15. Then 8:30. 8:45. We were so tired. About that time the plane actually showed up at the gate. We took forever to board, then sat around waiting to take off. We were in the very back of the packed plane. Mark ended up in a center seat across from me. I was on an aisle. I offered to trade with him but he wouldn't do it. There was no place for my carry-on bag. I'd have to backtrack against the flow of traffic and look for a bin up front. Just the thought of that made me want to crawl into a cave. Mark took the bag from me and stuck it under his seat. Now he was not only in a center seat, he had no room for his feet.

"Mark, no way. Trade with me."

"No." He smiled. "I'm fine."

There is no other man alive like him.

Just before the doors closed a woman came stomping down the aisle, furious at the airline company and the world in general. She was lugging a large suitcase--I didn't even know how she'd gotten on board with the thing. She was loudly complaining there was nowhere to put it, so she'd just sit with it on her lap, and heaven help anyone who told her no. Mouthy Blonde threw it in the empty aisle seat right across from me--and next to Mark--nearly hitting him with it. The stewardess told her she couldn't hold it on the flight, which prompted more argument and attitude.

Great. The three of us were exhausted. Now we'd never get off the ground. MB would end up getting kicked off, I was sure of it, and the flight would just be delayed all the more.

Somehow the stewardess found room for the bag. Meanwhile MB and her mother, who had a voice like one of Marge's sisters on the Simpsons, ragged about how they wanted the stewardess's name because they were going to write the company and say how terrible she was to them. Everyone around me just wanted to shrink from those two. I turned around and looked over my seat at Amberly, on the very back row. She shook her head and narrowed her eyes. Good thing she wasn't sitting where Mark was. MB wouldn't have had such a patient seatmate.

Then San Francisco airport was reporting fog. We couldn't take off because we couldn't land there. So we waited some more. MB twitched in her seat. And moved. And twitched some more. I swear the woman was ADD on speed. Poor Mark.

Finally the wheels left the ground. MB popped around in her seat. I shut my eyes, trying to close out the world.

We arrived at San Francisco only to stand in the line outside for a taxi. I knew I was in trouble when the one that pulled up when we got to the front of the line had a driver holding a cigarette. Smoke really bothers me, and in a closed car--forget it. We piled in the backseat and buckled in. Good thing. Guy took off like a coyote on uppers. Leadfoot darted in and out of traffic and hit the onramp to the freeway at double the speed limit. The G-force half-circle onto the ramp threw me into Mark's lap. I pressed a hand over my mouth and tried not to squeak.

"You okay?" Mark asked once Leadfoot merged onto the freeway at 100 miles an hour.

"I'm fine. Just didn't know we were getting into a rocket." Buildings streaked by. That is, I saw them the few times I had the courage to open my eyes.

Our car was where we left it at the private airport. Leadfoot took the off ramp at our exit just like he'd taken the on ramp. This one put me into Amberly's lap. By this time the whole night seemed so bizarre, Amberly and I looked at each other and burst out laughing.

Leadfoot screeched up to a side gate at the airport and let us out. Our code to open the gate and get into the airplane parking area wouldn't work. We forgot--that gate closed some hours previously.

We lugged our bags to the main gate and punched in the code. It opened and in we went. Where we were met by security wanting to see an ID. Little wonder. We looked like refugees slogging into the lot.

We got home about 11:30 and fell into bed. I thought of all you BGs, I really did. But no way was I hitting the office to post for the following morning. I'd had it.

Yes, toddlers are a lot of work. But after this summer, and a wedding for our son followed by an apartment for our daughter just one week later, I'm convinced grown children take far more energy.

At some point Mark will have to fly back to Long Beach to pick up the plane after it's fixed. As for me, I'm just trying to get my head on straight and somehow start the rewrite of Exposure, due next week, and the proofs for Always Watching. And no, I still haven't unpacked from the month in Idaho.

I'll think about that tomorrow.

Friday, August 15, 2008

News Bits

1. Rick Warren, bestselling author of The Purpose Driven Life and pastor of Saddleback church, is on the cover of the August 8 Time magazine. This Saturday he'll be interviewing McCain and Obama. Here's more from the Zondervan blog:

... Warren will be interviewing Barak Obama and John McCain on the nationally televised Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency Saturday, August 16, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. PST.

“This will be an historic event. Never have the two candidates been interviewed by a pastor in a church. It will be a great day for all churches, showing the importance of the local church being at the civil table,” said Warren in an email sent to fellow pastors.

Warren confirmed that, at the candidates’ request, this two-hour event will be held in a non-debate format and open to all media. Questions will be posed exclusively by Warren, and each candidate will converse separately with Warren for approximately one hour, beginning with Senator Obama as determined by a coin toss. This historic forum will be the only joint campaign event prior to each party’s national convention.

For more information, visit the Saddleback Civil Forum website (

2. Releasing October 7, Anne Rice's next book, Called out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession, is the autobiographical account of her return to faith. The Publishers Weekly review states, "The author finally reclaims her Catholic faith in the late 1990s, describing it as a movement toward total surrender to God. She writes beautifully about how through clouds of doubt and pain she finds clarity, realizing how much she loved God and desired to surrender her being, including her writing talent, to God."

What a great story this will be to read. Kudos to Anne for writing of her journey, and even more kudos for keeping on the path.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Update on Abingdon Press

Yesterday I received this email from Barbara Scott, new fiction acquisitions editor at Abingdon:

Brandilyn, just wanted to thank you again for the blog posting about Abingdon. I received so many good proposals, a few of which have made the cut. It’s been tough turning some of them down, but they weren’t quite a fit. Once I have the final Fall 2009 list, I’ll let you know who came from your site. There are at least two, I think.

Wonderful news, isn't it. And I do understand Barbara's statement about not being "a fit." An editor at Zondervan once told me, "We turn away a lot of great books." Sometimes the house already has a book too much like it, or in the same genre. Or maybe the house just doesn't know how to market the book. Those are the hard ones for editors, who really like the story and are championing to get the novel approved, but can't get the rest of the publishing board to agree.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wedding Pix

We look forward to seeing the professional photographer's pictures. He had a great time using all the scenery around us. For now here are some pics that people at the wedding took.

The wedding began in the great room with the procession down the stairs. Once the wedding party was gathered at the wall of windows facing the backyard and lake, the ceremony moved outside to the gazebo. The wedding party processed out, and everyone watching followed.

The groom looked handsome and so happy. The bride looked like she'd just stepped off the cover of Brides magazine. (I have no pictures of me and Mark yet. But trust me, we did attend.)

Setting up great room and gazebo. (There's Mark
in the forefront.)

Picture taking before ceremony.

Wedding party.Brandon laughed at the part in the vows about "listening" to his wife.

Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Collins

Brandon, Sarah and Mom

Sarah in backyard.

Brandon and sister Amberly

Reception in the great room.

After the wedding and night had fallen--a picture of the gazebo
where the ceremony took place, strewn flowers on the hardwood floor,
the lake and town in the background.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What a Weekend

Well, I'm back. Tired but happy.

A houseful of company. Friday night--the rehearsal dinner in our home. Before which the guys in the wedding moved all the furniture in our great room out to a garage. Followed by a marvelous spectacle of a lightening storm. Oh, no! Is it gonna rain for the wedding?

Saturday--set up. Saturday evening--the wedding and reception. Followed by the guys moving all the furniture back in.

Sunday morning, 4:30 a.m.--get up to take two guests to airport (round trip 2 hours). Return at 7 a.m.

Sunday afternoon--clean up. Clean up some more. Wonderful remaining guests really helped.

Monday morning, 4:30 a.m.--get up to take last three guests to airport. Return at 7 a.m. and fall into bed.

I got up at 9:30 totally addle-headed. Tried to make my morning latte to complete disaster. Put the Splenda in the coffee holder. Forgot to get the milk ready for steaming. By the time I poured the milk, most of the steam was over. I poured too much milk, so when I put in the espresso it all overflowed. Leaned down to clean up spillage from floor without getting it all from the counter first. Ended up with tepid latte dripped on top of my head.

I had marketing copy due to Zondervan Monday. Plus emails piled high. Tried to get through it all with half a brain. Today I must do the proofs for Dark Pursuit. Life goes on. I will need days to recover from the three weeks of company, et al. Won't get it. This weekend it's a hop to So Cal to move daughter into her college apartment.

Went to sleep last night smiling. Ah, the memories.

Tomorrow I'll post some pictures of it all.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Tyndale House Publishers - July 9, 2008)


Chris Fabry


Ruthie Bowles once said I would wind up hating her. She was right.


This book is told in first person from various points of view, each chapter having a subheading as to what character is talking. I'd recommend this novel to the literary-minded reader. The plot unwinds slowly, with a lot of interior thought and general angst among the characters over all that's gone wrong in their lives. Revelation as to what has happened in the past to cause all the trouble is slow in coming. If you're a fast-pace kind of reader, you're likely to find this novel ponderous. But if you enjoy character-driven novels such as from Leif Enger or Lisa Samson, I suggest you give this one a try. Chris is a new writer to the adult market, although he's written many young adult novels. You just may find yourself a new author to follow.


Chris Fabry has a variety of titles to his credit including At the Corner of Mundane and Grace, Spiritually Correct Bedtime Stories, Away with the Manger, The H.I.M. Book, and The 77 Habits of Highly Effective Christians. His latest work is a collaboration with Jerry B. Jenkins and Dr. Tim LaHaye.

Chris has recently completed the final book in the Left Behind The Kids series, available Fall 2004. Readers of all ages have followed the lives of Judd, Vicki, Lionel, and the others. Now read how their exciting stories culminate in book 40 of this beloved series.
Dogwood is his first adult fiction.

Chris and his wife, Andrea, are the parents of nine children and make their home in Colorado. Chris has worked in Christian radio and now enjoys narrating audio books as well as writing. He believes his career as a husband and father is the real evidence of God's grace in his life.


In the small town of Dogwood, West Virginia, Karin has buried her shattered dreams by settling for a faithful husband whose emotional distance from her deep passions and conflicts leaves her isolated. Loaded with guilt, she tries to raise three small children and "do life" the best she can.

Will returns to Dogwood intent on pursuing the only woman he has ever loved--only to find there is far more standing in his way than lost years in prison. The secrets of Will and Karin's past begin to emerge through Danny Boyd, a young boy who wishes he hadn't survived the tragedy that knit those two together as well as tore them apart.

The trigger that will lay their pain bare and force them to face it rather than flee is the unlikely figure of Ruthie Bowles, a withered, wiry old woman who leads Karin so deep into her anger against God that it forces unexpected consequences.

If you would like to read the first chapter of
Dogwood, go HERE.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Backyard Sunsets

This sunset picture (taken from our backyard) gives you an idea of why I named the first in the Kanner Lake series Violet Dawn. We truly do get violet sunrises and sunsets.

And we'll also see a Crimson Eve now and then.

I've also seen more than one Amber Morn and a totally cool Coral Moon.

I'll try to blog this week as I can. Keep in mind I've got lots of company these days, and we're now in a count-down to the wedding this Saturday. If I'm quiet you can always talk amongst yourselves. Maybe the 99 percent lurker BGs will even emerge ...

Friday, August 01, 2008

Re-Released Series

Can you believe it's August first already?

Today Zondervan is re-releasing my Hidden Faces series with new covers. The Hidden Faces books feature forensic artist Annie Kingston. You can read about each book, and the opening chapter on my
web site.