Carla Interviews Brenda M. Collins About ‘Witch in the Wind’

Hi, I’m Carla Roma and welcome to Bandit Creek, a small town with a mountain of secrets.

Up here in the mountains, May is the time of year when you might have to shovel snow one day and be out in your shorts the next. It’s that wonderful month when anything can happen. While I’m all for getting out in the sunshine whenever possible, I didn’t mind our last rainy day because it gave me a chance to read the latest Bandit Creek paranormal romance, Witch in the Wind, by Brenda Collins. Afterwards I had to call Brenda to find out where she came up the new magical dimension for Bandit Creek.

Carla: I hear you’ve been a closet writer for a long time. What made you finally take the leap to publication now?

BMC:  I’ve wanted to be a romance writer since I was twelve years old, but didn’t start seriously studying the creative writing craft until middle age. As for finally releasing something, I have the Bandit Creek gang to thank for taking me on this wild ride called e-publishing. The authors who’d given it a try were so energized by their experience, they just drew the rest of us into the Bandit Creek project.

Carla: How do you feel about the growing popularity of e-books?

BMC:  I’ve spent most of my career working in high tech so I appreciate the benefits of digital publishing and was an early adopter when it came to eReader devices. But I also love the feel of a traditional book and the experience of snuggling under a blanket on the couch with a good book on my lap. It doesn’t have to be either, or. There’s room for both in the marketplace.

Carla: What is the biggest benefit in your opinion?

BMC: For both the reader and the author, it removes a lot of the restrictions that limit how the story is told. EPublishing lets me blend, and cross, genre lines so I can tell the story in the best way possible for the readers to experience it. My hubby described ‘Witch in the Wind” as a paranormal romantic adventure with mystery elements. Where would that fit in the tradition book publishing market?

Carla: When we first met back in the day, you were writing murder mysteries. Why the flip to fantasy with this one?

BMC: The Wizard of Oz captivated me as a kid and, even as an adult, I read all of the Harry Potter and Twilight books as they were released, so writing fantasy isn’t that big a leap for me.  Witch in the Wind did start with a murder but then the story just took on a life of its own.  A powerful warlock showed up to investigate the murder, and a stray dog arrived with some very strange characteristics. Before I knew it, the heroine’s whole world was not what she thought and she was fighting for her life while trying to figure out who killed her parents.

Carla: I thought your story did have a touch of The Wizard of Oz meets Twilight to it. Seems to me, I’ve read something about your hero earlier in the Bandit Creek series.  Has he been living in town all along?

BMC: My warlock, Marcus Egan, is not from Bandit Creek but we met him very briefly in Shanna Gekko’s story, Skin Deep (Jan. 2012). When Shanna’s hero, Kai Hunter, needs magical help he calls Marcus from The Otherland.

Carla: The Otherland? That doesn’t sound like Montana.

BMC: You’re definitely not in Montana anymore. And any dog in The Otherland named Toto would have to be a magical creature like a familiar.

Carla: (Laughing) And Dorothy isn’t anywhere to be found?

BMC:    Absolutely not! My heroine is Avalon Gwynn. She grew up in Bandit Creek and has no idea she’s an extraordinary, hereditary witch.

Carla: Where on earth does your imagination come from?

BMC:    Newfoundland, where I was born, is definitely on earth although far enough out in the North Atlantic to forget at times. Its history dates back to the Vikings and leans heavily to Irish. Folktales are bred into my family genes.

Carla: Do you see yourself writing another story about Marcus and Avy.

BMC: Who knows? The Otherland is a complex world so there’s lots of room to develop more stories if readers are interested.

Carla: Congratulations on your first publication, Brenda!

Witch in the Wind will be available on May 1, 2012 from and

Help Support Brenda Novak’s Auction for a Cure for Diabetes!

The Bandit Creek Books group of authors has put together a fantastic basket of goodies to be auctioned off at Brenda Novak’s annual Cure for Diabetes auction online. You can view the auction HERE, and check out the list of goodies below:

The winner of this auction will receive a basket from the authors of the unique Bandit Creek series of books!

The basket will include the full library of current Bandit Creek books:

  • Lost by Vivi Anna
  • Siren’s Song by D.L. Snow
  • Penny Candy and Hard Candy by Jade Buchanan
  • Devil Unknown by Steena Holmes
  • Death at Bandit Creek by Amy Jo Fleming
  • Quinn’s Christmas Wish by Lawna Mackie
  • The Gift by C.J. Carmichael
  • Skin Deep by Shanna Gecko
  • Prohibited Passion by Alyssa Linn Palmer
  • Shafted by Kymber Morgan
  • A Stranger’s Kiss by Roxy Boroughs
  • Spunky by Sherile Reilly
  • Always a Lady by Victoria Chatham
  • Fool’s Gold Anthology featuring stories by Louise Behiel, Victoria Chatham, Alyssa Linn Palmer, Julie Rowe, Sheila Seabrook, Brenda Sinclair and Trip Williams
  • Heart of Mine by Michelle Beattie
  • A Witch in the Wind by Brenda Collins
  • A Bandit Creek Miracle by Brenda Sinclair


  • Montana Wild Huckleberry Pancake Mix and Jelly Beans from Jade Buchanan
  • One Japanese screen hard covered notebook from Lauren Hawkeye
  • Soups For All Seasons by Anne Ellis and The WG2E All-For-Indies Anthologies: Viva La Valentine Edition from Sheila Seabrook (featuring her story The Valentine Grinch!)
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Communicating with Spirits by Rita S. Berkowitz and Deborah S. Romaine from Vivi Anna

The auction begins on April 30th, and ends on May 31st! Help us support finding a cure for diabetes!

‘Heart of Mine’ Released Today!

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of ‘Heart of Mine’ by Award Winning Author Michelle Beattie. Available in Kindle format.

To avoid a forced marriage, Laura Gibbs has little choice but to go along with her controlling father’s plan to deceive the man she’s secretly loved for years. Scared and alone, she lies next to a drugged and sleeping Jake knowing fully well the position she’s putting him in. Jake Evans has been burned in the past and has learned the hard way that nobody is interested in him, only his money. So when he wakes to find Laura in his bed, he’s convinced that she’s yet another in a long line of women who only wants his share of his recently inherited gold mine. A fact soon confirmed when her father storms in the room and demands Jake make an honest woman out of Laura, lest he be charged with rape and hanged. A bitter Jake agrees, but vows that money-grubbing Hugh will never see a cent of his money. As Laura gains freedom from her oppressing father, she also gains courage. Determined to make a real marriage with Jake, she refuses her father’s demand that she steal from her husband and instead concentrates her efforts on showing Jake the woman she truly is. Despite Laura’s deceptions, Jake can’t deny his attraction to her. With the physical attraction sizzling between them, Jake begins to believe he’s finally found the woman for him. But there’s trouble brewing. Hugh, neck-deep in gambling debts with no money in sight, seeks drastic measures that won’t only risk Laura and Jake’s marriage; it’ll risk her very life.

Click Here To Read First Chapter

Carla Interviews Michelle Beattie about ‘Heart of Mine’

Hello.  I’m Carla Roma and if you’ve been following the Bandit Creek Books as closely as I have, you know that I interview each author about the upcoming release of their novella.  These interviews have taken me to some very interesting and fun locations and this one is proving to be no different.  Having caught Michelle at the Edmonton International Airport as she returned from a trip to Las Vegas, she promptly invited me back to her home.  Now sitting at the kitchen table of her ranch-style house, which is nestled in the heart of the Alberta Prairies, and enjoying a glass of white wine, I sit back and sigh.  After all the travelling and airports I see in a year, the quiet of the country is bliss.

Carla:  You know, Michelle, seeing this house (did I mention Michelle’s home runs completely off solar power?) and knowing you as I do, I can’t even picture you in Las Vegas.

Michelle: (smiling) I’m not a city girl, but my writing is a solitary process and sometimes I need to get away and live a little.  It keeps me sane.

Carla:  (raising her glass) I’ll toast to that.  You were raised in the country, and you’ve now chosen to build a home here to raise your family.  What is it about country living you like so much?

Michelle:  It’s quieter, simpler almost.  I can hear myself think here.

Carla:  Is that why historical westerns appeal to you so much?

Michelle:  Definitely.  I’m not saying it was easier back then, because it wasn’t, but it was more elemental.  It was about families working together and staying together.  There weren’t the distractions there are today.

Carla:  (with a gleam in her eye) Come on, girlfriend, I know you.  That’s not the only reason.

Michelle:  (laughing) Okay, I like the cowboys too.

Carla:  I’ve read all your books and one of the things that ring true in all of them is that you write very strong women.  In Heart of Mine Laura is no exception.  You’ve put her in quite the predicament.

Michelle:  Well, in a novella, you don’t have the luxury of time the way you do in a full-length novel, so I had to jump right into things.

Carla:  That’s hardly new for you.  All your books start with action.

Michelle:  I guess so.  I try to grab the reader form the onset and I try my hardest not to let them go

Carla:  Well, you didn’t let me go, I was hooked until the end.  But getting back to Laura, you start her in bed with Jake and you don’t hide the fact that she’s deliberately misleading him.   Are you worried the reader won’t sympathize with her?

Michelle:  No, I make it clear why Laura’s doing it and though she agreed to her father’s plan, she really didn’t have much choice.  To me, taking charge of your future and your life is heroic.  Besides that, she’s always loved Jake so what she’s doing isn’t being done maliciously.

Carla:  One of the things I like most about your stories is that you always pair up such unique and compelling characters.  Jake is sexy, rich and desperately jaded when it comes to money.  I love that while Jake resents Laura because he believes she trapped him for his money, Laura’s sole source of pride is that fact that she earns her own.  And yet the fact that she does irks Jake because he feels it reflects poorly on him.  Nothing’s ever simple, is it?

Michelle:  If it were, it wouldn’t make for a very good story.

Carla:  True enough.  You chose to make Laura’s father the villain.  Why is that?

Michelle:  It’s not from experience, thank goodness, but unfortunately in life sometimes it’s the people that shouldn’t hurt us that end up hurting us the most.   Having the villain be family adds to the conflict and makes the black moment that much darker.

Carla:  Excellent point.  Now, before I take my leave and head back to the airport, I wouldn’t be any sort of an interviewer if I didn’t ask what’s next on Michelle Beattie’s horizon?

Michelle:  Your choice of words is perfect.  I will be finishing my pirate series.  I’ve begun the forth book and I will end the series with the fifth book.

Carla:  You seem so at home with westerns, can we expect more?

Michelle: Once I’ve finished the pirates, I’ll write at least two more.  I’ve had such wonderful response to Another Chance that I’ll write a few stories from the secondary characters in that book.

Carla:  Well, Michelle, as always it was a pleasure.  I wish you much success with Heart of Mine and I have to say that I’ve read all your books.  While they cross many genres, I’ve loved them all.  You’re a wonderful storyteller.

Michelle: Thank you.

Carla:  My thanks to Michelle for offering her home for this interview.  It was a lovely respite from the hustle and bustle.  Heart of Mine, a Bandit Creek novella, will be available April 15th at Amazon and Smashwords.   You can see more of Michelle’s books on her website  She is also available on Twitter and Facebook

‘Fool’s Gold’ Anthology Released Today!

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of ‘Fool’s Gold’ today. Click here for Kindle format and here for other formats!

Fool's Gold Anthology

FOOL FOR LOVE by Louise Behiel
A woman is dragged from a contented, happy marriage to a life on the run.

Two boys play an April Fool’s joke on their employer.

WISHFUL THINKING by Alyssa Linn Palmer
CeeCee tells Ruth about her past, but how truthful is she?

On her way home from her tour of duty in Afghanistan, Dr. Abigail Westward discovers it’s not easy to leave her fellow soldiers or the memories of combat behind.

BABY FEVER by Sheila Seabrook
Baby cribs and baby swings and a winking, blinking doll. Oh my!

LUCY’S APRIL FOOLS by Brenda Sinclair
Will this be George Jack’s year to catch Lucy in an April Fool’s joke, or will his wife outsmart him again?

Not all the rabbits in the mountains of Bandit Creek are cute and cuddly. Some come with a warning label.

Read an excerpt.