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

Tag Archive for 'Liv Bergen'

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

Honored To Be On USS Midway

I was so honored to have been selected as one of about two dozen authors invited onto the USS Midway for the Veteran’s Day weekend on Saturday, November 8th, this year.  Veterans and active military personnel alike joined in on the celebration of their service.

I was able to meet fabulous people from all walks of life, from all over this country who have served so that we might be free to blog, text, write, and shout from the mountain tops.  A special thank you to Elise Cooper writing for American Thinker for showcasing 4 generations of my family who have served, along with my husband and two brother-in-laws, covering WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Dessert Storm, Iraqi War, and Afghanistan War.   Because of Elise, I learned even more about them, not surprising that they rarely talk about their service, nor do they have any tendency to toot their own horns.

So let me toot a horn for them… doot doot doot dooooot!  Thank you for your service and sacrifice, to everyone who stood up for freedom.

Four Generations of Heroes

Bachelors Of A Different Kind

Living in the Dakotas certainly has its privileges.  Cold, yes.  But who gets to experience what it might have been like in the late 1800’s in the Wild West hunting buffalo?

Twice, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of observing how the unofficial national animal, the American bison, gathers in families and as bachelors during hunts.  Amazing how the matriarch of the family senses danger and spearheads a run, protecting the younger bulls in the center of the stampede.  Elsewhere on the tens of thousands of acres, the older bulls, which hang out as bachelors, respond quite differently when sensing danger.   Aggressive, standing their ground.  As a mother, it was nerve-racking to watch as my “little boy” crept up on the herd of bachelors.

Tatanka, the Great American Bison

Tatanka, the Great American Bison


Tatanka, the Great American Bison

Tatanka, the Great American Bison

We took our youngest son out this weekend to learn how to hunt an older bull and dress him out, just as the pioneers and Lakota Sioux of the old west had to do in earlier days.  Like a modern day John Dunbar from Dances With Wolves, inch hunter’s knife. He’s not so little anymore and it was as much a rite of passage for me —  the mamma, wanting desperately to gather him up and run, rather than letting him stand his ground — as  it was for him, a grown man at 18.

The meat will provide meals for hundreds and for a young man who came from an orphanage in Vietnam where food was limited, he is grateful to call his home America, where the buffalo roam.

No Longer That Fat Kid…

Do you remember in the olden days when the grade school P.E. teacher used to make us climb that stupid rope?  I don’t know about you, but no matter how I tried, no matter how much spit on my hands, I couldn’t seem to get more than one or maybe two handholds up that rope before gravity pulled me right back down to the gym floor as all the other kids moaned.  In fact, I can’t recall any one of us ever able to climb that stupid rope except maybe the thin, wiry kid that everyone envied.  Unfortunately, I was not blessed with that monkey-like ability or a thin-enough physique to accomplish that impossible task that seemed only intended to demoralize.  I felt uncoordinated at best, fat and weak in reality.

If I can do it, YOU can do it!

Sometimes life feels like a series of those stupid ropes, where I find myself facing the impossible task and feeling like that fat kid again.  Getting published was most certainly one of the longest ropes to the highest tree I’d ever stood beneath.  But today, I can say I have successfully beaten the odds and published four books in only three short years.  And I’m ready to climb again and again, no longer feeling like that fat kid.

Don’t give up!  Don’t let yourself feel like that fat kid in grade school facing the rope ever again.  Take hold and climb.  If I can do it, YOU can do it!

May Day is Loyalty Day

Everyone knows today is May Day.  But did you know it’s also National Loyalty Day, a special day designated by our Congressional leaders to remind us to reaffirm our loyalty to the United States of America? Today I will genuinely recognize my heritage to freedom as an American. Because of people like my dad and my husband, not to mention all the family, friends, and ancestors who have fought to keep us free.

My father, an 88-year-old WWII and Korean War vet, calls all his friends on this day each year to celebrate May 1st.  All of us enjoy receiving the call where he enthusiastically says “Hurray, hurray, the first of May!” He says his list is growing smaller.  Sad.  They are great Americans.

Loyalty Day reminds me why I flew half way across the world to adopt my youngest, driven to be a mother (of course) but also desirous of lifting one child from the clutches of communism to live free as a capitalist. And I have never met a more grateful, patriotic American in my life than my son!

Generations of Freedom

As a writer, thank you for giving me the power of speech. I take that right seriously and work to entertain through the stories I tell. If along the way I open some windows to a world some may not realize exist, well then fabulous!  Every time I sit at my keyboard, I reaffirm my loyalty to the heritage of American freedom.

Have You Seen The Liv Bergen Trailers?

I remember as a kid being asked if I’d ever seen a Norwegian trailer, only to follow for minutes, thinking I was being led outside to see some innovative fifth wheel with a tow bar that was painted in really cool Nordic ice stripes. But being Norwegian and eager to trail this guy, it would be no surprise to you that I was the Norwegian trailer. Fastforward and here I was being asked by my publicity team if I wanted a trailer created for the Liv Bergen series. I bet they wondered why I dug in my heels and said, “I’m not falling for that again.” In response to my bristling, they were patient enough to explain that trailers were a wonderful way to showcase the book in a mini-movie format, designed to entice potential readers to pick up the book. (They don’t get paid enough to work with someone like me.)

So enjoy the latest “trailers” for the Liv Bergen Mystery Series:

First Book, 2010 IN THE BELLY OF JONAH
Second Book, 2011 LOT’S RETURN TO SODOM
Third Book, 2012 WIDOW’S MIGHT
Fourth Book, 9/3/2013 NOAH’S RAINY DAY

… and although Liv Bergen is Norwegian, I promise not to ask you to follow me all around the internet with no other purpose than to tease you. Unless you consider it teasing you to buy the book!

The Power of Story…

Sandra Brannan with William Joyce, the brilliant creator of 2012 Oscar Winning Short Film “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”

With the release of WIDOW’S MIGHT in August, I’ve been touring across this great country of ours on weekends to say ‘hi’ to friends — old and new — who call themselves fans of the Liv Bergen Mystery Series and to thank as many of the independent booksellers for loving books so much. Because of the booksellers’ willingness to heft debut authors like myself onto their weary, yet very broad shoulders, I having been riding a wave of success so beautiful it’s almost hard to believe. I can hardly find the words to properly thank the members of the ABA Independent Booksellers Association for awarding my newest book, WIDOW’S MIGHT, the Indie NextList pick for August 2012.

I can never put in words how much the booksellers and librarians mean to me as beautifully as William Joyce said it in his Oscar winning short film, “Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” by Moonbot Studios. If you haven’t watched it, please do. Indulge yourself in this 15 minute love affair between us book lovers and the incredible power of story.

So grateful to all of you for spending time with me in bookstores during my 2012 Book Tour. See you next year! (Psst… spread the word about the power of buying books)

Advanced Reader Copy – Widow’s Might

Thank you to all you reviewers, booksellers, and bloggers who have asked to receive an ARC for the third in the Liv Bergen Mystery Thriller series.  Before they are even printed, the ARC copies in the initial print run have already been spoken for so the Publisher is adding an additional 200 copies.  Yippee!  Who knew?  I am so grateful to all of you for loving Liv so much!  She’s a pistol, isn’t she?  Hopefully you’ll love her even more in book #3, Widow’s Might,  as she takes off running right where book #2, Lot’s Return To Sodom, left off.  And infatuation leaps into bloom, but shhhh… I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Widow’s Might, a story of an incredible 80-year-old widow who overcomes her losing battle to cancer while in hospice just long enough to save a life or two from the deadly Crooked Man, takes place along the Mickelson Trail near Rochford, SD, nestled in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota.  Stay tuned to the reviewers, bloggers, and booksellers opinions about Liv’s third adventure with FBI Agent Streeter Pierce as the unusual yet dynamic crime solving partnership in Widow’s Might.   

I can’t wait to find out what they think!  And hopefully, their recommendations will inspire you to pick up a copy when it releases August 7th 2012.  Thank you for choosing Liv!!

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