About my novels

It’s been a while since I’ve written about my four published novels, so I thought I would share some information about them as well as some reviews from Amazon and Goodreads. Reviews are super important for authors, especially independent ones. Reviews help other readers take a chance on an unknown author.
The four novels below are available at Dog Ear Books in Russellville, Arkansas, and on Amazon.com.
About Caroline’s Lighthouse:
What really happened at Bettencourt Estate?

In the mid-1800s, Caroline Marshall was forced to accept the marriage proposal of an attorney from a neighboring town. However, Caroline was in love with Thomas Cooper, the caretaker of the Bettencourt Estate Lighthouse and an orphan whom the family had taken in several years prior. At seventeen, Caroline took her own life by leaping from the top of the lighthouse. Upon learning what she had done, Thomas did the same.

Following the tragedy, the lighthouse was locked and never used again. In the years since the lovers’ suicides, people in the small town of Bettencourt, Virginia, watch as the abandoned lighthouse glows every year on the anniversary of Caroline’s death. The estate is rumored to be the most haunted place in town, riddled with tragedy for anyone who tries to live there.

In 1996, fifteen-year-old Caroline Douglas, named after the legendary ghost, visits the estate that has been in her mother’s family for generations. She’s not there long before strange things begin to happen. With help from her family and her best friend, Bo, will Caroline solve the mystery surrounding the haunting of her inherited home before it’s too late?
Praise from Naomi Raven on Amazon: Caroline and her family travel to the family estate. There they find ghosts and a mystery. Caroline’s Lighthouse is a remarkable tale of the past meeting the present. It is also a tale of the longevity of love. I adored it!”
Praise from Brandy N. on Amazon: Caroline’s Lighthouse was a wonderful read both me and my 12-year-old enjoyed. My daughter had no trouble with reading this story and enjoyed it very much. Not once did this story fall flat as we follow Caroline through her journey of discovering the truth and dealing with new found love. It’s beautiful and sad in all the beautiful ways it can be.
About Jordan’s Sister:
What if family obligations conflict with following your heart?

Former child star and aspiring singer, Taylor, lives in the shadow of her sister Jordan’s fame. Having a celebrity sister sounds like a dream, but the perfect facade shatters when Jordan unleashes her cruel, manipulative wrath on Taylor.

Afraid to open her heart to anyone, Taylor struggles to find her voice while spending time with Layne, a former boy band member overcoming his own issues. She tries to keep Layne at a distance to protect him from Jordan, but he won’t go without a fight.

Will Taylor find her own cadence, or will Jordan destroy everything she’s worked for?
Praise from Liz on Amazon: “This book really captured my attention from the moment I started reading it. Typically it takes me a few chapters to get really into a book, but from the first few pages I was glued to this story. Like another reader said, I too found myself wondering what was going on with the characters while I wasn’t reading. The story really comes together and the characters are so well-formed that this book is a must-read!”
Praise from Emily Y on Amazon: “There was something about Jordan’s Sister that stuck with me. Even when I was going about my day I would find myself wondering what Taylor and Layne were up to and where their story was headed. I can’t recall another book where that has happened. As I read the words I saw it play out in my mind as a movie. A very vivid movie that I couldn’t take my eyes off of. The only thing that I wish would have been included was having someone actually record the songs the characters wrote so I could get them stuck in my head for the rest of time.”
About What I Learned That Summer:
Lesson One: Shut up long enough to listen.

At almost sixteen, aspiring writer Kincaid Walsh isn’t thrilled about spending the whole summer with her grandparents and aunt at their small motel in Arkansas.

Away from her friends, Kincaid agrees to her grandfather’s challenge to write down every lesson she learns during her time there. As Kincaid struggles to heal from her painful past, she learns more than she ever imagined when she meets one of her writing idols.

When they’re forced to work together, Kincaid is annoyed by Joseph, the teenage maintenance guy, but she soon realizes he’s hiding heartache of his own.

What other lessons will her summer hold? Only time will tell.
Praise from Eli Cranor on Amazon: “Such a great read! I tore through this book. Collins’ characters are real people you can’t help but root for. My favorite character arc was that of Kincaid’s. A heartbreaking story, but one that will keep you flipping the pages! Highly recommend.”
Praise from Cary on Amazon:“I was dubious at first, and then the author proceeded to hit me in the feel when I least expected it… More than once.”
About One Shot:
What happened to Julia Manchester?

When 13-year-old Julia disappears after a babysitting job, her older sisters Charlotte and Liv fear the worst. With their father running for president and their mother a retired actress—anyone could have taken Julia.

Exhausted from growing up in the public eye, the Manchester sisters want every spotlight shined on their family to find Julia—if they can convince the police she’s not a runaway.

Soon, Charlotte’s boyfriend Vincent suspects there’s something sinister about Julia’s disappearance, but Charlotte doesn’t know what to believe or who to trust.

Will Julia make it home safely, and will her family ever recover?
Praise from Alexis on Amazon:“This book had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning. The Manchester family, in the midst of a presidential campaign, thinks their world is shook when the eldest of three sisters comes home to share some news, but shortly after their world is turned upside down when the youngest sister goes missing! The prologue starts off with a bang and it definitely ends with a bang. It was wonderfully written with beautiful relationships, just enough romance, and lots of excitement. My favorite from Collins so far!”
Praise from Sarah Dale on Goodreads:“Another great story by Brandi Easterling Collins. I loved the suspense and tension. Can’t wait to read more from this author.”
I’m working on my fifth novel, though slowly. I hope for a 2022 publication date for Lydia’s story. I am basing some of it off of my very first attempted novel called When Does Life Begin? that I wrote when I was 13. Obviously, it needs a lot of work, and probably only a few things in the original plot will survive my edits, but it is nice to see my collection of novels take shape into formats ready for publishing.

In the meantime, check out my current novels and writing on this website.
-Brandi Easterling Collins

Finding Inspiration

Snoopy's Night Idea

A question writers (and other types of artists) often get is “Where do you find your inspiration?” I honestly get mine from everywhere. My family. My friends. My coworkers. My surroundings. My travels. My experiences. My fears. My doubts. My successes. You get the picture?

Background vector created by Bluelela – Freepik.com

As far as inspiration goes, everything you consume is material. Movies you watch, novels you read, music you hear, conversations you overhear, the human emotions and actions you witness. You can create a story for the situations you encounter.

Why is the man screaming at the store clerk? Well, maybe his father just died, and he’s having trouble dealing with it. Why is the woman crying at the bus stop? Well, maybe she just spent the last of her money on medication and doesn’t have enough money left to pay rent. There are endless possibilities with stories because no two authors will tell stories in the same way.

Good writing practice is to find a headline in a newspaper (printed or online) and retell the story with great details about what happened before or after the story. There are also some books with writing prompts that are helpful to get into the habit of writing every day if you need that kind of discipline. *I am not a writer to writes every day. I only write when I am inspired or have a strict deadline (in the case of writing for my day job at a university). I find that forcing myself to write when I am not inspired causes a headache and a lot of junk that I end up cutting out during the editing process.

Another good way to practice writing is to find a song that you love and write a story or poem to go along with it. How does the song make you feel? Who or what is the song about?

I think about things I’ve read and wonder how the stories could be different. I think about situations my friends have experienced and how their stories could be told in different ways. Many of my stories feature characters who have certain traits I’ve taken from friends, family, or myself. It makes my characters feel real to me, and hopefully to my readers. This is especially true with showing the characters’ flaws. In fiction, flaws make the characters feel real to me. It’s the flaws and human emotion conveyed that make me what to jump into the pages (or through the e-reader screen) to hug the character.

There is inspiration all around you if you look for it or let it find you. I keep a notebook beside my bed in case I get an idea in the middle of the night. So many of my ideas just come to me in my dreams, or while considering the “what ifs” of life as I’m trying to fall asleep after I’ve exhausted myself reading or playing word games on my phone.

For more information on the types of written content I produce, read more: Continue reading

Almost-winter writing update


It’s almost winter, which is my second favorite season after autumn (fall). I enjoy snuggling under fuzzy blankets to read great books while drinking hot chocolate (But who am I kidding? I can do that in any season).

I held a book signing at Dog Ear Books last night. It’s an awesome independent bookstore in Russellville, Arkansas. Now, some new readers will discover my books. Book signings are fun and nerve-wracking at the same time. I enjoy talking to readers of my work, but I also am a natural introvert, so the public venue is difficult for me.

Dog Ear Books author signing event, December 6, 2019.

Trying to sell my work is the most difficult part of writing. I sit there and watch a person pick up one of my novels to read the back cover blurb. I don’t want to stare at the person during the reading, but I am silently chanting in my head the whole time: “Please like my blurb so much that you just have to buy this book!” Continue reading