A while back, a commenter, quite obviously a MORMON commenter, accused me of running this blog for one reason and one reason only: the almighty dollar. Or something like that. Since I rarely, if ever, mention my BOOKS in this blog, and no one pays me a penny for it, I was a little bit confuzzled. I guess he meant that the only reason I write this blog is to sell my books.
Yes, I write books, and yes, they are set in the Mormon culture in which I live, but I don’t usually say BUY MY BOOKS every other sentence, because a blog is an online journal. And I journal about my experiences living as an Ain’t in the land of Saints. It’s very real, and very cathartic, and I never run out of material. Remember, I am a writer. It’s what I do. I don’t make a ton of money off it, nor do I live in a big house, or drive an expensive car. In fact, I live rather tightly between royalty checks. I do this because I love it. I like Utah, I just don’t agree with some of the more interesting aspects of living in the land of the Mormons.
Still, it is necessary for Mormons to find some reason for what I do, and of course, because I do not agree with them, I must have nefarious reasons for blogging, such as THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR.
And since no one pays me a penny for this blog, that of course translates into my books.
And since I’m getting ACCUSED of writing this blog for that reason, I might as well actually DO it. So here is your blatant self promotion post.
WIVES AND SISTERS
BUY BUY BUY Wives and Sisters, which is a critically acclaimed book set in Mormon Utah.
Decades ago, young Allison Jensen and her best friend Cindy were separated in the woods. Cindy disappeared forever. Allison survived amid a web of small-town secrets and lies that greeted every anguished question she asked about that fateful afternoon.Years later, Allison has come home to the bedroom community of Farmington, Utah-back to the devout tyranny of her father, back to the close-knit society she rejected, and back to the conspiracy of silence that has plagued her with nightmares of guilt and loss. Out of her patchwork memory, the truth is emerging. So is Allison’s rage-and her hunger for justice. Now, in a courageous and terrifying voyage of self-discovery, it’s up to Allison to avenge the guilty…
Here are just a few of the reviews this book received.
“A white-knuckles ride all the way. Expert depiction of a young woman’s struggle with the oppressive “family values” of one kind of fundamentalism. Newcomer Collins is a talent to watch.”–Kirkus Reviews
“By anyone’s measure a gripping story, one that is hard to put down, and one that lingers in the mind long after.”—Indianapolis Star
“This is a book written with skill and passion and…it will resonate with women who have never set foot inside a Mormon church.”–The Washington Times
“The end of the book…was perfection itself. Wives and Sisters is clearly one of the year’s best books; riveting at times, painful at times, realistic always, and completely unforgettable. It not only makes you cry, it makes you think, which is my personal hallmark of an excellent read. Natalie R. Collins has emerged as one of the finest new authors I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.”–Rendezvous
“Don’t be surprised if you devour this book in one reading. Natalie Collins has captured the essence of a page-turner by giving us three dimensional characters, plenty of action and a healthy dose of controversy.”–Midwest Book Review
“Collins…draws readers in with her strong writing and compelling plot. An outstanding introduction to Collins’ fiction, Wives and Sisters stirs up emotions in the reader that will resonate long after he or she has closed the book.”–January Magazine
Behind Closed Doors
BUY BUY BUY Behind Closed Doors, another book set in Mormon Utah. For twenty years, they had been closer than sisters, sharing girlhood secrets, their hopes and dreams for the future—and a soul-searing promise. Melissa was the only one who knew what had really happened to Jannie beyond the sacred walls of the Mormon Temple the night that changed her life forever….
UNTIL HER BEST FRIEND VANISHED WITHOUT A TRACE.
Now Melissa has gone missing, just days after entrusting Jannie with a mysterious box that someone would kill to possess. And someone has—leaving in their murderous wake an innocent victim and a trail of blood that leads to the heart of Jannie’s hidden burden. Desperate to protect her secret, and to find out what has happened to Melissa, Jannie trusts no one. Not the stranger whose piercing green eyes have already seen too much, nor the family and friends whose familiar fold may be shielding a cold-blooded killer who is lurking BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.
Here are a few reviews about this book:
“An intense, suspenseful, character-driven mystery that I couldn’t put down. Collins expertly weaves a journey of self-acceptance with a page-turning mystery….A gripping story from the chilling opening to the startling conclusion.”—Allison Brennan, author of The Kill
“With Behind Closed Doors, Natalie R. Collins doesn’t just treat readers to a taut, compelling mystery, she gives us a riveting look at the very heart of contemporary Mormonism. This book is not, however, fired by an apostate’s anger, but rather by one pilgrim’s bittersweet search for true justice, faith, and community in the wake of her own brutal loss of innocence.”—Cornelia Read, author of A Field of Darkness
Jenny T. Partridge Dance Mystery Series
Now, of course, there is my slightly different take on Utah, the Jenny T. Partridge Dance Mystery Series.
The first of those books, TUTU DEADLY, is available now. This is a lighthearted look at a dance teacher in Ogden, Utah, where the Mormon characters are mostly background. My very-Mormon mother read this book, and said she enjoyed it. And this book is also getting good reviews, although most admit it is a light, and fun book, and it won’t change anyone’s life. And that’s okay.
The second book in this series, TAPPED OUT, will be available in October.
And then there is TWISTED SISTER, which will also be available in October, from Five Star. So far, I have nowhere to send you to buy this book. I’ll let you know when I find a link. I’m sure you will be waiting with baited breath.
Interestingly enough, the first book in the Sisters of Sin series, SISTERWIFE, is available on my Web site for FREE FREE FREE! Just click here to download it.
Fiction, ripped from the headlines: Prophesied to be the catalyst in a modern-day Armageddon, Kelsey Waite flees a life in Utah, freeing herself from a polygamous lifestyle and abusive father. She is forced to return to the state, and face her demons–and the charismatic cult leader who believes she is destined to be his second wife — when her daughter is kidnapped.
I watched a relatively new shot the other night, STANDOFF, which featured a scene much like one I have in this book. It shows the cowardly nature of many of these fundamental polygamists, like Warren Jeffs, who willingly hide behind women and children. The character in Standoff was even named Warren.
So, there you have it. My blatant self promotion post. Now all you who have been accusing me of seeking THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR can feel better.