Tuesday, July 30, 2013

That Dog Won't Hunt - a Must-Read!

I have adored Brandilyn Collins since meeting her a couple of years ago finally managed to read her newest release, That Dog Won't Hunt, which came out in April. What a treat! As I'll mention in the "official" review below, those who have only read her infamous Seatbelt Suspense® and have seen the more "sinister" side of her mind and imagination have no idea that she can be an absolute hoot! She has a brilliant wit and a streak of mischief, and in a large gathering you usually can tell which group she's in by the peals of laughter emanating from that area! She also is an incredible prayer warrior and has a huge heart for God and for others. While I'm glad she's still writing suspense, (her next book, Dark Justice, is coming in October!), I'm thrilled that she is writing a women's fiction series. She wasn't able to be at ICRS but we have plans for an email interview, so be watching for that, hopefully coming soon!

That Dog Won't Hunt
(The Dearing Family #1)
Brandilyn Collins
(Challow Press)
ISBN: 978-0989240611
April 2013/254 pages/$10.99/(Kindle $2.99)

Meet the Dearings, a crazy, loving, boisterous family in small-town Mississippi. There's mom and dad, three daughters and their families, and the youngest—twenty-five-year-old Ben. Oh, and the family dog, a Yorkie who thinks she's royalty.

"This one's perfect," Ben says about his new fiancée, Christina, when he brings her home for a family reunion. Ben is just sure everyone will love Christina, and she'll fit right in.

He always did tend to wear rose-colored glasses.

Christina loves Ben but secretly fears their relationship will never work. They've only known each other ten weeks. She hasn't told him about her horrific past as an only child—the beatings, the neglect, and verbal abuse. Christina doesn't know how to trust or be honest about her feelings. Being thrust into the middle of a tight-knit family like the Dearings is sure to send her over the edge.

With poignancy and humor, That Dog Won't Hunt explores the complexities of relationships and the inner strength needed to overcome a difficult childhood. The Dearings are no perfect family, but they know how to love—if only Christina will accept it.

Read an excerpt.


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 . . ."® Brandilyn's 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. Brandilyn's awards for her novels include the ACFW Carol Award (three times), Inspirational Readers' Choice, and Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice.

Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). The Writer magazine named Getting into Character one of the best books on writing published in 2002.

When she's not writing, Brandilyn can be found teaching the craft of fiction at writers' conferences. She and her family lives in northern Idaho.


Brandilyn Collins is widely known for her heart-pounding suspense novels, but she is equally adept at writing women's fiction. That Dog Won't Hunt introduces the fun-loving and energetic Dearing clan, whose lively annual reunions overflow with good-natured teasing, a bit of bickering, and a whole lot of love. Collins's expertise at character development shines as she creates unique and step-off-the-page authentic personalities for each member of this gregarious family-including Lady Penelope, the dog!-and then deposits emotionally-scarred Christina smack-dab in the middle of it. Some novels addressing such difficult relational issues can tend to be a bit oppressive and full of angst, making the story drag a bit. Brandilyn Collins avoids this by infusing the story with the humorous moments that often occur in the chaos of extended family gatherings. Readers who only know the more serious, suspenseful side of Collins's imagination will delight in experiencing her wit while at the same time gleaning the important truths from this wonderful tale. I can't wait to see what happens next with the Dearing family. (A bonus at the end from Brandilyn explaining where she came up with some of the shenanigans situations in the book was an utter delight, especially the one that explains a precious tradition between Mama Ruth & Sy/Dad Dearing!) I'm so glad I bought this book and highly recommend it!


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