Blog Tour—Violet Dawn Review

First, our contest info. You have two opportunities to win a copy of Violet Dawn. Either leave a comment and wait to see if your name is drawn. Since I will be unable to conduct the drawing until Monday, the deadline for eligible comments is extended until Sunday midnight PDT. The second way to win is to correctly answer the Brandilyn question of the week. If more than one person gives the correct answer, I’ll hold a drawing from those names.

And the question is:

What house published Brandilyn’s first book?

If you are a regular at Brandilyn Collins’s blogsite and have read her NES (Never Ending Saga) about her road to publishing, you know she once upon a time wrote women’s fiction instead of suspense.

    violet dawn

Violet Dawn, the first book in Brandilyn’s Kanner Lake series, has a hint of lace showing from her women’s-lit slip, and quite frankly, I like it.

Paige Williams (as I recall, at one time Brandilyn had named her Paige Turner. I do not lie! 😀 ) is a girl with a secret, such an important one she is willing to cover up a murder just to keep herself out of the public’s prying eyes. And of course, in a small town like Kanner Lake, there is no such thing as keeping out of the public eye, especially when the local reporter, with aspirations for the big time, gets wind of a story.

Faithful to her “Seatbelt Suspense” trademark, Collins constructed a fast-paced novel with numerous “what will happen next” moments. But along with danger, the protagonist must face her inner turmoil, which gives the character that added depth that makes Violet Dawn a bit more than the average suspense novel.

Some of the things I found especially endearing in this book: a touch of humor; a fully developed heroine; a believable antagonist but one that does not overshadow the protagonist; the development of place such that it almost becomes one of the characters; the hint of hope without any unrealistic, overnight spiritual change; a satisfying ending, wrapped up so perfectly by the final scene with the crew that makes up the Scenes and Beans bloggers.

Some things, in my opinion, would make this book stronger. Of course, you have to remember, this is not my genre of choice. I love mystery, but am not crazy about the dire jeopardy the protagonist gets in time and again in a suspense. Mayhap those readers who love the adrenaline rush would have a different view.

I thought the beginning was “too suspenseful.” For one thing, I didn’t know enough about Paige at that point to care like I did later. For another, I thought it—specifically the scene to retrieve the anchor from the garage—seemed more dramatic than it needed to be.

Also at the beginning, with a cast of characters to become familiar with, I felt a little disconnected, but that soon changed, and knowing that Collins was launching a series centered on the people in this town, I was willing to wait. I was certainly not disappointed.

This, in my opinion, is Collins’s best novel to date. Highly recommend.

Published in: on September 29, 2006 at 5:00 am  Comments (6)  


  1. So her first book was a Question of Innocence, the publisher, was… how do I tell you this without giving it away to everyone, so I will say that ” ” calling. or it’s not Mary Kay, or the Bard lived in the village by this river. Am I close?


  2. It was published by Avon


  3. Now that’s what I’m talking about


  4. Okay. I like the way Marvin handled that. How can I show I went searching and read her blog posts (all three of them about her beginnings) and say who published the first without sounding as if I just ready Serena’s comment? Oh, well. I did enjoy the posts–and learned something on the way. I remember trying to find out about poisons once and calling the Poison Control Center. You would have thought I was about to do the deed myself, the way they grilled me. That also happened when I called the homicide division about the effects of certain types of bullets and what a corpse would look like if sh’d used one or the other to shoot herself. If only I’d met the detective at my son’s soccer game! As it was, he wanted a LOT of info about me after I asked the questions.


  5. Well-done. I should have thought about having you e-mail me with the answer, but you all handled this very well. Yes, Normandie, you completely convinced me that you researched this out. (I would have believed you anyway. 😉 )

    Brandilyn’s first book was her non-fiction, true crim Question of Innocence published by Avon. Now to do the drawing … (is the suspense building?_

    For answering correctly, Serena, you have just won a free copy of Violet Dawn.

    The good news for Marvin and Normandie, there’s still one more drawing.

    Serena, I’ll contact you privately and you can e-mail me a mailing address where you’d like to receive your book. Congratulations!



  6. Yea! I won! I think I gave the wrong email address though. This is the right one!


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