Review – Violet Dawn

Being a proud original member of Violet Dawn so I could read the story and audition for Pastor Hank Detcher, one of the side characters in the book. I read the book several months ago, but I wanted to wait for the blog tour to talk about it in depth.

“Paige Williams harbored a restless kinship with the living dead.”

With that line, the adventure in Kanner Lake begins. I remember Brandilyn sharing that line on her blog one day, and I thought “What on earth could she be planning?”

Never doubt the possibilities when it comes to a Brandilyn Collins book.

Hot tubs are supposed to be sanctuary from the weariness of the world. As Paige slips into her rental’s hot tub in the middle of the night, all she is thinking about is getting some rest. But as tendrils of hair wrap around her, she leaps out of the tub, since she is sharing it with a dead body.

The book takes place over the next 14 hours, as Paige frantically tries to deal with her situation. She is concerned with survival. The real murderer is concerned with death. Sheriff Vince Edwards works on finding the truth in the midst of his own trials. Leslie Brymes, young hot shot reporter for the local paper is looking for the big scoop to advance her career.

Brandilyn’s tagline is “Don’t forget to b r e a t h e…” and this book doesn’t disappoint. The opening chapter grabs you, and the final chapter ties the opening round of the Kanner Lake series with a satisfying close – see if you can find the significance of the final words. The suspense keeps you turning the pages, wanting to see what happened next. I remember reading outside of my work on nice spring days, cursing that lunch was over so that I couldn’t keep reading.

Besides the twists and turns of suspense that keeps you guessing, the characterization mostly puts you in the place of Paige, Leslie, and Bailey nicely. I felt that Sheriff Edwards major character point was forced in the midst of the action. Otherwise, the characters have good motivation by what they do, and it spills over into the side details about them. Leslie Brymes “in-your-face” nature is shown not only by her determination to get the story, but her bright green VW bug with a pink daisy on it!

Overall Violet Dawn is a wonderful book. It is a good read with interesting pacing and plot, and you have to read it to see fully what I’m saying. So check it out, and tell Brandilyn that Pastor Hank sent you 😉

————————–

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was going to do a little series out of Francis Schaeffer’s book Art and the Bible. The various blog tours I’m involved in changed schedules up some, and it threw me off. Next week I plan on starting this. And I have a little something for those who read this series. Leave a comment anytime throughout the Art and the Bible discussion, and I’ll send you a free book! More details coming…

Review – Violet Dawn

Being a proud original member of Violet Dawn so I could read the story and audition for Pastor Hank Detcher, one of the side characters in the book. I read the book several months ago, but I wanted to wait for the blog tour to talk about it in depth.

“Paige Williams harbored a restless kinship with the living dead.”

With that line, the adventure in Kanner Lake begins. I remember Brandilyn sharing that line on her blog one day, and I thought “What on earth could she be planning?”

Never doubt the possibilities when it comes to a Brandilyn Collins book.

Hot tubs are supposed to be sanctuary from the weariness of the world. As Paige slips into her rental’s hot tub in the middle of the night, all she is thinking about is getting some rest. But as tendrils of hair wrap around her, she leaps out of the tub, since she is sharing it with a dead body.

The book takes place over the next 14 hours, as Paige frantically tries to deal with her situation. She is concerned with survival. The real murderer is concerned with death. Sheriff Vince Edwards works on finding the truth in the midst of his own trials. Leslie Brymes, young hot shot reporter for the local paper is looking for the big scoop to advance her career.

Brandilyn’s tagline is “Don’t forget to b r e a t h e…” and this book doesn’t disappoint. The opening chapter grabs you, and the final chapter ties the opening round of the Kanner Lake series with a satisfying close – see if you can find the significance of the final words. The suspense keeps you turning the pages, wanting to see what happened next. I remember reading outside of my work on nice spring days, cursing that lunch was over so that I couldn’t keep reading.

Besides the twists and turns of suspense that keeps you guessing, the characterization mostly puts you in the place of Paige, Leslie, and Bailey nicely. I felt that Sheriff Edwards major character point was forced in the midst of the action. Otherwise, the characters have good motivation by what they do, and it spills over into the side details about them. Leslie Brymes “in-your-face” nature is shown not only by her determination to get the story, but her bright green VW bug with a pink daisy on it!

Overall Violet Dawn is a wonderful book. It is a good read with interesting pacing and plot, and you have to read it to see fully what I’m saying. So check it out, and tell Brandilyn that Pastor Hank sent you 😉

————————–

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was going to do a little series out of Francis Schaeffer’s book Art and the Bible. The various blog tours I’m involved in changed schedules up some, and it threw me off. Next week I plan on starting this. And I have a little something for those who read this series. Leave a comment anytime throughout the Art and the Bible discussion, and I’ll send you a free book! More details coming…

The Dawn of Brandilyn Collins

No, Brandilyn Collins is not a new author to CBA. She has written numerous best-selling novels in the past, as well as a book for writers called Getting into Character. Violet Dawn, the subject of the current blour (BC speak for “blog tour), is only the latest.

I wanted to talk about her blog, and why I think it is one of the best on the web. I’ve been coming to it daily for well over a year now, and it is a major reason why I now have a ubiquitous blog (but don’t blame BC, it was MY idea).

She exploded on the blog scene on 2/7/05 with the post Why Christian Suspense? She explains her desire to share about Christian suspense and forensics. However, over time I believe her blog title, Forensics and Faith, suggests a limit that isn’t really there. There is so much more than forensics, but the name is out there and changing it now would be upsetting to many of us BG’s (bloggees – BC’s term for those who read blogs.)

One of the best things about her blog is her “Never Ending Saga”, or NES (there used to be a page devoted just to Brandilyn’s invented acronyms and words). Starting on 2/24/05, she takes us on the fascinating journey of her road to publication. The NES was definitely an appropriate title, as she talked about it (with a couple of interruptions) through 6/6/05! You may think that 3 1/2 months is an awful long time to talk about oneself, but this whole tale is VERY interesting for anyone wanting to pursue writing and getting published. We not only learned about the process of writing, getting an agent, and contracts, but Brandilyn would routinely leave us hanging in her story, and we would be tortured all weekend waiting to hear the next part of her saga. We learned the importance of keeping readers interested throughout this story as well.

Since then, she has taken us through many aspects of writing fiction. One brave BG offered up an action scene, which BC took us through step by step in an edit to see if we could punch it up. It was even a collaborative process, with BG’s commenting after each post. (See starting 6/10/05) She also discusses point of view (POV), plotting twists, and backstory. All of these are listed on the left side of the blog, for easy reference.

Not only is Brandilyn a great author, she is a wonderful fiction teacher. I know she just returned from a writing conference, and she does an excellent job live. But the blog has been a fantastic tool for me in learning more about fiction, not just in what she says, but how she says it.

Now I continue to be challenged in my writing through posting for the Scenes and Beans blog. And you can too! The initial group of bloggers for the Scenes and Beans runs through December. Starting January 2007, any reader wants to submit a post for a character can audition. If chosen, their tale will be posted and they will receive an autographed copy of Violet Dawn. More details are here.

So be sure to check out her blog. And check back tomorrow for my review of Violet Dawn, in which we discuss hot tubs and VW bugs…

The Dawn of Brandilyn Collins

No, Brandilyn Collins is not a new author to CBA. She has written numerous best-selling novels in the past, as well as a book for writers called Getting into Character. Violet Dawn, the subject of the current blour (BC speak for “blog tour), is only the latest.

I wanted to talk about her blog, and why I think it is one of the best on the web. I’ve been coming to it daily for well over a year now, and it is a major reason why I now have a ubiquitous blog (but don’t blame BC, it was MY idea).

She exploded on the blog scene on 2/7/05 with the post Why Christian Suspense? She explains her desire to share about Christian suspense and forensics. However, over time I believe her blog title, Forensics and Faith, suggests a limit that isn’t really there. There is so much more than forensics, but the name is out there and changing it now would be upsetting to many of us BG’s (bloggees – BC’s term for those who read blogs.)

One of the best things about her blog is her “Never Ending Saga”, or NES (there used to be a page devoted just to Brandilyn’s invented acronyms and words). Starting on 2/24/05, she takes us on the fascinating journey of her road to publication. The NES was definitely an appropriate title, as she talked about it (with a couple of interruptions) through 6/6/05! You may think that 3 1/2 months is an awful long time to talk about oneself, but this whole tale is VERY interesting for anyone wanting to pursue writing and getting published. We not only learned about the process of writing, getting an agent, and contracts, but Brandilyn would routinely leave us hanging in her story, and we would be tortured all weekend waiting to hear the next part of her saga. We learned the importance of keeping readers interested throughout this story as well.

Since then, she has taken us through many aspects of writing fiction. One brave BG offered up an action scene, which BC took us through step by step in an edit to see if we could punch it up. It was even a collaborative process, with BG’s commenting after each post. (See starting 6/10/05) She also discusses point of view (POV), plotting twists, and backstory. All of these are listed on the left side of the blog, for easy reference.

Not only is Brandilyn a great author, she is a wonderful fiction teacher. I know she just returned from a writing conference, and she does an excellent job live. But the blog has been a fantastic tool for me in learning more about fiction, not just in what she says, but how she says it.

Now I continue to be challenged in my writing through posting for the Scenes and Beans blog. And you can too! The initial group of bloggers for the Scenes and Beans runs through December. Starting January 2007, any reader wants to submit a post for a character can audition. If chosen, their tale will be posted and they will receive an autographed copy of Violet Dawn. More details are here.

So be sure to check out her blog. And check back tomorrow for my review of Violet Dawn, in which we discuss hot tubs and VW bugs…

Blog Tour – Violet Dawn


I am very pleased to be part of this week’s Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, because the featured book is Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins.

I have talked about this book frequently, because of the unique marketing campaign associated with it. In the book Violet Dawn, one of the characters starts a blog about the fictional town of Kanner Lake in order to draw tourists to the town. Bailey, owner of Java Joint, the local hangout, puts the posts in for the various regulars who post about Kanner Lake. The posts are written by various people who auditioned for Brandilyn through her blog, and one of the authors is yours truly. I share writing duties for Pastor Hank Detcher along with Bob Edwards.

The cool thing about the blog is that it is real time. If you read the July archives for Scenes and Beans, you’ll see Bailey talk about an “event” that happens in the town and has brought a lot of publicity (not the kind she wanted) for Kanner Lake. This event is told in the book Violet Dawn.


How cool is that? It is quite a distinctive tool for her book, and it has been a great pleasure to be part of it. Be sure to take a look at it this week, if you haven’t already.

I’ll have more on Brandilyn and Violet Dawn through the rest of the week.

Blog Tour – Violet Dawn


I am very pleased to be part of this week’s Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, because the featured book is Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins.

I have talked about this book frequently, because of the unique marketing campaign associated with it. In the book Violet Dawn, one of the characters starts a blog about the fictional town of Kanner Lake in order to draw tourists to the town. Bailey, owner of Java Joint, the local hangout, puts the posts in for the various regulars who post about Kanner Lake. The posts are written by various people who auditioned for Brandilyn through her blog, and one of the authors is yours truly. I share writing duties for Pastor Hank Detcher along with Bob Edwards.

The cool thing about the blog is that it is real time. If you read the July archives for Scenes and Beans, you’ll see Bailey talk about an “event” that happens in the town and has brought a lot of publicity (not the kind she wanted) for Kanner Lake. This event is told in the book Violet Dawn.


How cool is that? It is quite a distinctive tool for her book, and it has been a great pleasure to be part of it. Be sure to take a look at it this week, if you haven’t already.

I’ll have more on Brandilyn and Violet Dawn through the rest of the week.

Disappointing “Heroes”

One of my favorite internet places to hang out is Infuze Magazine. You can find it at the intersection of art and faith. Or by clicking on the link.

They do a great job of discussing movies, television, music, novels, comic books, and video games. They promote creativity from Christians, and being a portal to the entertainment world. I enjoy going there, and I have a habit of checking a few times throughout the day to get the latest updates.

One show that they have been excited about was NBC’s new show Heroes. The premise is that random people around the world begin to develop “abilities” that are special. One could say…super. The tagline is “Fate chose them – Destiny will unite them”. There is the Japanese corporate drone/comic book geek who seems to be able to control time, the cute Texas cheerleader who burns and falls and gets her hand caught in things like a sink disposal, but doesn’t get hurt, and the tortured artist who paints the future.

Overall it looks like a very intriguing show. Since I was the type who daydreamed of flying, saving the people around, and being extraordinary, it seems like a TV show I could finally get interested in.

Except…for one thing. Another character is Niki Sanders, a single mom with a gifted child who is in trouble with the Las Vegas mob for owing money. So to make money, she does what any typical blonde, beautiful American would do: she strips. In her home. On the net. For money.

Ooooo-kay. The creators take a great concept, but apparently think that it cannot fly on its own. So! Let’s introduce a character whose main purpose is to take her clothes off and titillate the audience. And she does. Not 10 minutes into the show she is down to thong underwear with her back to the camera. You may ask if the extended view of her skin adds to character development or further the plot…

I am frustrated. I don’t want to be a stereotypical “family-values” person who rants and raves about Hollywood. But come on! I would really like to challenge Tinsletown: are you even capable of creating something that is interesting without resorting to the lowest common denominator of sex? As I watch TV (which is rarely anymore), even the commercials show nearly naked women – typically as victims of brutal crimes for forensics shows to focus on (let’s add brutality to our sex, yeaaaah).

Yes, there is free speech and freedom of expression. But is there any such thing as “the greater good”? Just because we can push the envelope, should we? We know that sex sells. The only reason I started watching Star Trek: Voyager was, to my chagrin, the character Seven of Nine – a tall, leggy blonde in a tight catsuit. The show later caught my interest, but the only reason I stayed around was due to Seven. But I refuse to do that with Heroes. I’ve had it. I don’t care if I’m the only one to take a stand, but I will not have pornography beamed into my house by my volition.

What does this have to do with Infuze? I hope that as a great resource site for Christians, they can spur a discussion of where people of faith and creativity go from here. I agree with them that Heroes seems like a great concept for sci-fi/comic book fans. But I can only go so far. I plan on seeing it one more time, to see where it goes next week. But I won’t be drawn in by blatant images like that. I don’t need it, my family doesn’t need it. If it continues, goodbye Heroes.

Disappointing “Heroes”

One of my favorite internet places to hang out is Infuze Magazine. You can find it at the intersection of art and faith. Or by clicking on the link.

They do a great job of discussing movies, television, music, novels, comic books, and video games. They promote creativity from Christians, and being a portal to the entertainment world. I enjoy going there, and I have a habit of checking a few times throughout the day to get the latest updates.

One show that they have been excited about was NBC’s new show Heroes. The premise is that random people around the world begin to develop “abilities” that are special. One could say…super. The tagline is “Fate chose them – Destiny will unite them”. There is the Japanese corporate drone/comic book geek who seems to be able to control time, the cute Texas cheerleader who burns and falls and gets her hand caught in things like a sink disposal, but doesn’t get hurt, and the tortured artist who paints the future.

Overall it looks like a very intriguing show. Since I was the type who daydreamed of flying, saving the people around, and being extraordinary, it seems like a TV show I could finally get interested in.

Except…for one thing. Another character is Niki Sanders, a single mom with a gifted child who is in trouble with the Las Vegas mob for owing money. So to make money, she does what any typical blonde, beautiful American would do: she strips. In her home. On the net. For money.

Ooooo-kay. The creators take a great concept, but apparently think that it cannot fly on its own. So! Let’s introduce a character whose main purpose is to take her clothes off and titillate the audience. And she does. Not 10 minutes into the show she is down to thong underwear with her back to the camera. You may ask if the extended view of her skin adds to character development or further the plot…

I am frustrated. I don’t want to be a stereotypical “family-values” person who rants and raves about Hollywood. But come on! I would really like to challenge Tinsletown: are you even capable of creating something that is interesting without resorting to the lowest common denominator of sex? As I watch TV (which is rarely anymore), even the commercials show nearly naked women – typically as victims of brutal crimes for forensics shows to focus on (let’s add brutality to our sex, yeaaaah).

Yes, there is free speech and freedom of expression. But is there any such thing as “the greater good”? Just because we can push the envelope, should we? We know that sex sells. The only reason I started watching Star Trek: Voyager was, to my chagrin, the character Seven of Nine – a tall, leggy blonde in a tight catsuit. The show later caught my interest, but the only reason I stayed around was due to Seven. But I refuse to do that with Heroes. I’ve had it. I don’t care if I’m the only one to take a stand, but I will not have pornography beamed into my house by my volition.

What does this have to do with Infuze? I hope that as a great resource site for Christians, they can spur a discussion of where people of faith and creativity go from here. I agree with them that Heroes seems like a great concept for sci-fi/comic book fans. But I can only go so far. I plan on seeing it one more time, to see where it goes next week. But I won’t be drawn in by blatant images like that. I don’t need it, my family doesn’t need it. If it continues, goodbye Heroes.