Monday, September 2, 2013

Noah's Rainy Day: A guest post from Sandra Brannan

Today one of my favorite authors is in the spotlight! I've been following Sandra Brannan and her Liv Bergen mystery series ever since the beginning! I've been drawn in every time by the dark mysteries that Sandra manages to create, all the while putting in experiences from her own hometown. It's amazing, and the newest book is almost out! I present to you Noah's Rainy Day.

From birth, Noah Hogarty has lived with severe cerebral palsy. He is nearly blind, unable to speak, and cannot run, walk, or crawl. Yet his mind works just as well as any other twelve-year-old’s—maybe even better. And Noah holds a secret dream: to become a great spy, following in the footsteps of his aunt, Liv “Boots” Bergen.

Now, freshly returned from training at Quantico, FBI agent Liv Bergen is thrown into her first professional case. Working side by side with veteran agent Streeter Pierce, enigmatic agent and lover Jack Linwood, and her bloodhound Beulah, Liv must race to find five-year-old Max—last seen at the Denver International Airport—before this Christmastime abduction turns deadly. Meanwhile Noah, housebound, becomes wrapped up in identifying the young face he sees watching him from his neighbor’s bedroom window, but he can neither describe nor inscribe what he knows.

And his investigation may lead to Noah paying the ultimate price in fulfilling his dream.

Noah’s Rainy Day (the fourth novel in Brannan’s mystery series) combines classic Liv Bergen irreverence and brainpower with an unflinching look at the darkest of human motivations, all while a whirlpool of increasingly terrifying events threatens to engulf Liv and Noah both in one final rainy day.

I am actually in the middle of reading this right now and, let me tell you, it's well worth your time! If you haven't started this series yet, I highly suggest you grab a copy of In the Belly of Jonah and get started. In the meantime, please enjoy a guest post from the fabulous Sandra Brannan!


Consider me a hopelessly devoted fan of your blog, Jessica!!

Three years have passed since my debut in September 2010 and you were one of the early billows to my career sails. Thank you, dear Jessica, for giving me 5 Keys To Your Heart for IN THE BELLY OF JONAH. Not only did you bless me with 5 out of 5 Keys in 2010, but you gave LOT’S RETURN TO SODOM 4 Keys in 2011 and WIDOW’S MIGHT 5 Keys in 2012. Wait, what? Am I the luckiest debut author ever?

WIDOW’S MIGHT was such a fun book to promote this past year. I've met so many people like myself who think the greatest generation, those eighty and ninety year olds who are still with us, are some of the most colorful, sincere, strongest people you’ll ever meet. Hence, why I made Helma the star of WIDOW’S MIGHT. I loved that little woman who came back from her death bed to save Liv Bergen and her sister Elizabeth. What a character!

Psst… I have a secret for you that I’ve never shared before about my quirky book journey. I didn’t like LOT’S RETURN TO SODOM when I wrote it because of the difficult topics addressed and of the knowledge that the people of my home state deal with these very real issues every year when 500,000 bikers ascend into a town of 5,000 for the annual event known as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Can you imagine? Now we all love seeing all you half million faces visit our fine state of South Dakota (which by the ways touts a whopping 700,000 total population) but why must you bring with you the one percenters, the motorcycle clubs who dominate our nightmares and drain our law enforcement budget? Without the one percenters, the m.c.’s, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally would be a perfect event. But with the good comes the bad, right? And although LOT’S RETURN TO SODOM may not have been my favorite, might not have been macabre enough for your tastes, dear Jessica, I want you to know that the stories I told were all too real and haunt my waking dreams each time in August as I worry for the good people around the Black Hills. Yes, our young teens are truly in danger every year during the rally because of those clubs who would like you to believe they have ‘changed their ways’ by doing nothing but good things for all the kids in their communities. Not true. Ask any law enforcement professional who has ever had to deal with the m.c.’s, who keep a sharp eye on them, as they mill about amongst the 99% other wonderful bikers attending to enjoy a good time. I wrote LOT’S RETURN TO SODOM in honor of my best friend, an FBI agent who worked the Rally all those years. When he was diagnosed with dementia, I pulled that book up in the series so he would see it go to print before he died. He lost his battle recently and I think about him often. The beautiful side of this story is that a year ago, the day before the 2012 Sturgis Rally, I was invited up by the 911 Dispatch Team to help boost morale of the wonderful team of law enforcement who suffered budget cuts and had to brave the 500,000 alone last year. The Sturgis Police Department, Meade County Sheriff’s Department, Rapid City FBI, and SD Highway Patrol did a fabulous job keeping all of those people safe despite the lack of reinforcements and I was honored to autograph copies of LOT’S RETURN TO SODOM especially for all of them. I doubt if I did much to boost their morale, but they sure boosted mine. So for the men in blue, I most certainly give them 5 Keys To My Heart.

I sure hope you enjoy the 4th in the Liv Bergen Mystery series, NOAH’S RAINY DAY and I can almost promise you even if I missed the mark on the book, Noah will earn every key you’ve got to your heart because he’s a pretty incredible kid! Just imagine being a prisoner in your own body, a 12-year-old with severe cerebral palsy, and knowing exactly where the missing boy from DIA on Christmas Eve is being held by the kidnapper. Tossing Noah a key can’t free him from the torture he must feel every day trapped in his own body, especially with his sharp mind.

Jessica, thank you!


Thank YOU Sandra!

After living in Wyoming, Washington, D.C., Washington state, and Colorado, Sandra Brannan returned to her hometown in South Dakota, where she is surrounded by family. She enjoys working with relatives in the mining business; living in the Black Hills with her husband, Joel; smiling with pride over the journeys taken by her four sons; doting over her three grandchildren; and appreciating all of life’s blessings, too many to count.



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