Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Blog Tour - Coral Moon

I'm excited that the CFBA blog tour this week features Brandilyn Collins and her new book Coral Moon.

I've been keeping tabs on Ms. Collins for a couple of years now. I've mentioned her blog, Forensics and Faith, as a prime writing resource before. That's where I first found out about this wonderful author, following along with her entertaining blog posts and signature cliff-hangers. Last year I was privileged to be a part of the marketing for her book Violet Dawn, the initial book in the Kanner Lake series. She devised a clever aspect to her books - a real-time blog created by one of her characters in Kanner Lake. Various denizens of the town would post about life there, with different readers playing the roles. I was on the tag team (along with Bob Edwards) that wrote Pastor Hank Detcher. The initial commitment to participate there is over, but I've contributed a couple of posts since then, the last one commenting (vaguely) on the circumstances of Coral Moon.

Anyway, Coral Moon continues the adventure started in Violet Dawn. It seems that a new hotel has been proposed for the lakefront, and residents are predictably torn on the benefits of progress versus keeping Kanner Lake the quaint little Idaho town it is known for. With that backdrop, hot-shot reporter Leslie Brymes is heading out to interview proponents of both sides when she finds an unexpected situation in front of her - a body in her VW!

The quiet town explodes with intrigue once again, as various citizens wrestle with keeping the village safe from an insidious evil...

Brandilyn Collins has a very strong, identifiable style - her Seatbelt Suspense. This book will not disappoint fans of heart-pounding fiction. She does not leaving you wanting AT ALL in the beginning, establishing the tension from the first page. Her strengths are in weaving believable characters into the backdrop of suspense that has spawned the Big Honkin' Chicken Club, a group of writers who can't read Collins' books due to the intensity of the story!

You don't *have* to read Violet Dawn before reading Coral Moon, but it definitely helps. The characters established in the first book become more alive, making the book very interesting. I like how she keeps you guessing about certain characters until the end of the book. I lost sleep the night before I finished the book, trying to work out "who did it" all night!

Coral Moon does have some intense scenes, and it have a fairly different vibe from the first book. The spiritual component, which was light in Violet Dawn, is much more front and center, due to the nature of what is happening in the story.

I have some very minor quibbles - I wouldn't bring them into a different review, but as a "student" of Brandilyn's via her blog, I can't help myself. Rarely Leslie slips out of her early 20's character and says something not appropriate for her age. Also, a couple of metaphors keep repeating, and they are so striking that they jumped out at me as they came back. (If you're up for a game, look for how many times the idea of something "zinging through veins" or "knocked/kicked up the spine" shows up throughout.)

Overall, the book is a very enjoyable continuation of the Kanner Lake saga, and is a great read for any fan of good suspense. Keep an eye out for Crimson Eve, the 3rd book due later this year.


  1. Hey Jason!

    Brandilyn has one of the coolest author blogs that I know of. I haven't read any of this series yet so I'm going to have to start at book one.

    Oh--could you check out a new section on my blog called "Promote" I think they're a cool social justice organization that you will like called Kupenda. I made a little banner/button for it so can put in the sidebar of your blog if you want. Also, there's some other cool stuff over there to promote. Thanks.

    Take care.

  2. Thanks for the heads up on the new book Jason. I enjoyed working with you giving flesh (or at least words) to Hank :) Hope all is well!

    Blessings, Bob