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Liv Bergen Mysteries « Sandra Brannan: Author of the Liv Bergen Mystery Series

Tag Archive for 'Liv Bergen Mysteries'

Sixth In The Series…

So excited to give birth to my 6th book in the Liv Bergen family!

Jacob’s Descent was released in March, 2016, and I have been so fortunate to receive quick and passionate responses from all my fans.

Growing up Catholic and now a Lutheran, I was somehow surprised to learn that priests in my hometown would choose to spend their free time reading mysteries, shocked to learn they were reading MY mysteries.  A priest who is no longer with us asked me to write a Liv Bergen incorporating a real mystery, the murder of a priest in Deadwood in the early 1920’s.  Because it was true crime and I am nothing but a fictional crime writer, I resisted.

Then, a second priest who was also a family friend, told me the first priest had said I would be writing a book on the cold case of Father Belknap’s murder.  I told him under no uncertain terms would I write a book about a true crime, feeling I could not do justice to the man, nor could I speculate on such a serious matter.  Instead, I write for fun, choose fiction, largely because my mind can’t handle true crime.

When he died, the monsignor asked me to write the book, told me the first two priests had told him about our discussions.  I explained that I had told them no, that I understood that their goal was not to solve the case, but to raise awareness about his death because they were hoping to nominate Father Belknap as a candidate for sainthood, which has a requirement of dying from an extraordinary act of faith at least 100 years earlier.

Monsignor O’Connell was insistent.  So I wrote the book under the condition that he read the first draft, help me get the storyline straight as to the life as a priest, and that he allow me to name both characters after him.  He agreed.

We recently lost the monsignor, but not before he read and blessed Jacob’s Descent.  If you enjoy the book, thank him.  If you don’t, blame me.

Thank you for choosing Liv AGAIN!

Jacobs Descent

Everything’s Coming Up Rabies

I love finding critters in the woods.  Always have.  From the day I could toddle, I was the kid upending a rock to see what would crawl out from beneath.  Then I’d catch it, study it, and release it back to its environs.  My mom was quite patient with me.  So when my boys were growing up, we had a catch and release system where they could catch and hold whatever they wanted for 24 hours, but then they’d have to release it back where they found it.

Hard to believe but in all those years, I never thought twice about going in for a rabies shot when bitten, scratched, or scraped by various creatures.  And then I found all these wonderful bats under my deck.  Hundreds of them at the most each day this summer and dozens on low volume days.  Of course it was the guano that revealed their hiding place to me.  Of course being the fiction writer that I am and since I had recently used guano as an explosives fertilizer to get my characters out of a cave in the middle east, I was rather excited about finding such a big cache of the practical stuff.

Anyhooo… I was video taping the bats for you all in my “Sandra Brannan’s Backyard” segments I post on YouTube (please do go watch so at least my efforts are totally wasted http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvpTyX4Cmeg ).  And a week later, went out to check on said bats, looked up, and yup… a bat tinkled in my eye.

Apparently 4% of all bats in South Dakota are rabid and with hundreds of bats up there, the doctor was unimpressed by my impassioned defense of the bats as healthy and thriving, not a one of them foaming at the mouth.  So I argued that urine is sterile, right?  Apparently that argument works if rabies is a bacteria, but it’s not.  It’s a virus.  So six rabies shots later and two weeks left of my treatment, I have made a mental note to change my behaviors.  Nope, not going to stop playing with critters, as that’s the fun part of my day.  And the doctor told me now that I have the rabies shots, I can pretty much wrestle a rabid raccoon without worries (my words, not his).  No, the behavior I will most certainly change is to where goggles before looking up when seeking out my bats.  And mouth will remain closed.

As to the rabies shots?  Not so bad.  No longer given in the stomach, which helps.  But they do make me feel thick and sluggish.

Before and after rabies shots…

Sandra Brannan - Before Rabies Shots Sandra Brannan - After Rabies Shots

Please share your comments with me on your rabies shot experience and whether or not you find this story believable.  I need some reassurance that this isn’t the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard a person do… or is it?

Happy Birthday USA!

One of my favorite holidays is the 4th of July!

I just miss seeing the fireworks at Mt. Rushmore, don’t you?  How about if I share with you a few rare photos of Mt. Rushmore from years past… these were taken by me behind President George Washington’s head with fireworks and a rainbow.


I really, really miss setting off those fireworks with my sisters.  Maybe if I get enough of you to comment on this blog, we can let the authorities know you want the fireworks again.  Oh, do comment.   Enjoy the fireworks and rainbows in your life this 4th of July!

Bottle A Mother’s Love For All Things New This Season…

Although my books have a terrifying premise, I always work toward a happy ending, finding a way to make all things new again. The Easter holiday season is about making everything new. Spring is here, grass is sprouting, flowers budding, animal babies being born.

I remind myself every year during this beautiful holiday to renew my commitment to my children, to those I love, and to my connection with a power beyond this world. To my God. Many of us become parents sometime in our lives. What a gift! Even if you’re not a Christian, the scene in The Passion of Christ where Mary watches her son suffer is a poweful testament to the bond between mother and child. The expression on this actress’s face, the raw emotion she brings to this scene, reduces me to tears every time I watch. Maybe it’s because I was blessed with the best mother in the world or that I have sons and unfortunately understand the loss of a child. But mostly, I know it’s because the bond between a mother and child is so incredibly powerful that the most horrifying gnaws to a mother’s heart is suffering inflicted on her child.

No matter your religion or spirituality, make all things new this Easter season and believe in everything beautiful. Especially you! Reach out this holiday season and hug a mother.

We could change the world if we could only bottle a mother’s love.

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