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

Tag Archive for 'thriller'

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

A Warm Heart This Holiday Season

This holiday season I am reflecting on how I have been given so very much during this lifetime.  It’s no wonder one of my favorite bible passages is from Luke, “To whom much is given, much is required.  To whom much more is given, much more is required.”I know I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what God’s intention is for me on this earth so I keep working harder to find that story.  Before each time moving forward though, I must reflect and appreciate what He’s already shown me.  So thank you Suspense Magazine for the honor of being on the Best of 2013 List for NOAH’S RAINY DAY.  I worked hard at giving an authentic voice to those who haven’t one in that book.   And I am also grateful for NOAH being named a finalist in 2013 USA Best Book Award for Mystery.

If I could sing, it would be to the tune of 12 Days… Five golden sons!  Four grandkids.  Three living parents.   Two series growing.   And a spouse who still surprisingly loves meeeeeeeee!

Count your blessings this holiday season.

And God Bless… Sandra Brannan

Suspense/Thrillers Best of 2013Finalist for Mystery 2013

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!

Secret To Success…

What a wonderful country we have! 

I have met so many people across America — happy, successful people from all walks of life — since I first became published three years ago.   From 2010 to today,  I’ve met people with such colorful stories and intriguing lives that my mind is swimming with memories.  Everywhere I go, the smiles are plentiful.  

I started thinking about what all these happy, successful people have in common and I narrowed it down to three things they share as the secret to their success: 

1)  They work hard at using their God-given talents.

2)  They are overflowing with gratitude.

3)  They celebrate each day by sharing their joy and kindness with others.

To all of you who I’ve met at conferences & convention, at book signings & book clubs, and in libraries and lounges, thank you all for teaching me so much!

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.

Graves Are An Angel’s Footprint

I lost my son 20 years ago today.

Lucky me to have met an angel on earth. My other sons gave me a personalized calendar for Christmas with a quote for each day in 2013 and knowing the week proceeding their borther’s death is difficult for me, they shared wonderful and inspirational messages for me this year, like Heny Wadsworth Longfellow’s quote, “He spake well who said that graves are the footprints of angels”.

I thank God for flicking me onto this path 20 years ago today. I know my son is safe and warm and waiting for me. I appreciate the sons I have, hug them every day, and tell them I love them every chance I get. I love life more than I ever believed possible. And I write so I can manage the monsters who haunt my nightmares. So lucky me, scaring you each day with my Liv Bergen Mystery Series and hopefully my future thriller series, should my wonderful agent John Talbot, find me a home.

The best part about giving birth to an angel? They send me beautiful sunrises on special days like today.
Hold Little Ones Near.

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)

Widow’s Might is Two Weeks Away

Holy cow, what a great ride this roller coaster of writing has been!

The third in the Liv Bergen Mystery Series, Widow’s Might, is releasing on August 7th, 2012, just two short weeks away. Spoiler alert: The date is key to the storyline, which I hope you appreciate. I am humbled by the reviews from magazines, booksellers, newspapers, and bloggers. Thank you for loving Liv so much! Totally grateful to all of you booksellers, distributors, and associations who have requested books signings this fall. My book tour schedule is robust and I hope to see you when I come to your neighborhoods.

I had intended to stay home with my youngest this fall and work primarily through virtual tours until so many of you requested I visit your towns and stores and book clubs. Thankfully, my son decided not to play football this season so he could heal up for track and field next spring. Family always comes first and I would have chosen not to miss any of his games. He’s my youngest son. I’d choose him over Widow’s Might, my newest baby. You writers out there understand that. As it is, the pre-orders are amazing and thank you to all my fans who’ve enjoyed Liv’s adventures. Let me know what you think at sandra@sandrabrannan.com if you’re so inclined.

For those of you seeking suspense, intrigue and a little romance, I hope that Widow’s Might won’t disappoint. Keep your nose to the limestone!





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