Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Interview with B.J. Robinson

As you all know I'm a suspense junkie. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a new author to Desert Breeze Publishing, BJ Robinson. Her new mystery sounds like it's right up my alley. So pull up a chair and let's learn more about BJ and her book Last Resort.

[Anne] Thanks for joining me today, BJ. According to your bio (which I'll include at the end of the post) you've been published in numerous magazines and devotionals but Last Resort is your first book. How has the experience been so far? Is there anything you wish you had done differently?

[BJ] Last Resort has been a different experience. I spent three years honing my skills and working on the novel and loved every minute of it. I think we always wish we'd done something differently, but all in all, I'm happy with the romantic suspense and pleased with comments from readers. Of course, a part of me wishes it would've been available in paperback, and I've lost some sales as a result. However, I've also sold LAST RESORT to some who are experiencing their first eBook with it. So, it's been an experience for me as well as for some of my readers.

[Anne] Please share a little bit about Last Resort with us.

[BJ] Last Resort is a 79,000 word woman-in-jeopardy romantic suspense novel that tells the story of Faith Grace Roussell, who escapes an abusive fiancé and endeavors to start a new life filled with peace and contentment. She returns to her family home to farm strawberries only to discover it's not the safe haven she hoped it'd be, when the backdrop of the berry farm suddenly turns dangerous, but she vows to stand firm. It's set in fictional Bridal Wreath and Key West, Florida.

Faith is stalked and forced to search her conflicted heart when she collides with Matt Allen and finds herself drawn to the pull of his magnet-brown eyes. In a battle of love, loss, and raging jealousy, she strives to build a new life with peace and contentment, but she could get as lost in Matt's searching brown eyes as she could in unknown woods. Will he prove to be a helpmate? A series of incidents take place to try to force her to leave. When she doesn't budge, arson, attempted murder, and murder keep the reader turning pages. Will she be forced to use The Pink Lady? Where will she be when the smoke clears? Will Faith and Matt's love survive? Pursued by an ex-fiancé, shattered dreams, an awesome God, and a cowboy farmer, there's only one place she can turn . . . .There's only one last resort

What early Readers Had to Say...

"B. J. Robinson's Last Resort is an inspirational romantic suspense story that keeps you hanging on the edge of your seat -- both to see if the villain is overcome and to see if Matt and Faith end up together. You don't want to miss this one with its twists; it's a great read!" ~ Deb Haggerty, Author and Speaker

"The warm, sweet romance, yet insightful story, will touch your heart with its simplicity and charm."  ~ Janet Perez Eckles, Author and Speaker

[Anne] How did you come up with the idea for it?

[BJ] I overhead a woman say that she'd hide her heart so deeply in Christ that to find her, a man would have to find Him first. Pieces came to me at different points and times. I started to title it Hidden Treasures, then True Hidden Treasures because of the gems found in the Bible, but finally settled on Last Resort. A reader said she enjoyed the play on words with Last Resort. It started off as a sweet romance and turned into a book with several themes. There was a lot of controversy about guns in the news and gun control. At the same time, there were many incidents of private citizens who owned guns coming to the rescue. I thought about how I could show growth and change for my main character and thought I'd have her not wanting to own a gun and show her become stronger as she changed her attitude and learned to use one for all the right reasons, of course. Many women are stalked by former spouses and/or boyfriends, so I thought it'd make a good story. I was inspired to include Sunflower, my golden cocker spaniel, because I'm a dog lover and thought it'd appeal to pet lovers. I love reading books with pets included

[Anne] Was there much research involved?

[BJ] My research involved visiting and touring Key West a couple of times and visiting and touring two different hydroponic strawberry farms. The research was fun.

[Anne] Why mysteries?

[BJ] It's not exactly a mystery. It's a romantic suspense novel, but I grew up on Nancy Drew mysteries and read every one I could get my hands on. So, I have red herrings to keep the reader guessing throughout the novel. I challenge readers to put the puzzle pieces together and see if they can make them fit before the end of the book. I've always loved a good mystery, especially on a rainy day. I find writing romantic suspense allows me to combine the romance and mystery. For the same, reason I enjoy reading romantic suspense, and it's my favorite genre.

[Anne] You've received rave reviews for Last Resort. Is there one in particular you were thrilled with that you would like to share?

[BJ] This is one of my favorite five-star reviews:

Just when you think it's another church supper, the hero makes his entrance...and what an entrance it is. He crashes in and winds up with strawberry shortcake all over him. Then there's the guy with the gun. Creepy. He turns out to be a stalker who relishes the hunt. Scary. Faith Roussell is determined not to fall in love again, not after her ex-fiancé cheated on her. But Matt Allen has eyes that ...

[Anne] Are all of your stories contemporaries?

[BJ] Southern Superstitions releases January 11 and begins in the early eighties, and I like to write about the fifties and sixties, too, though I haven't published any material in that time frame at this time.

[Anne] What's on the horizon for you? Any new releases coming up?

[BJ] Southern Superstitions is a romantic suspense novel that will release January 11 by Desert Breeze, and Whispering Cypress, another romantic suspense will release August 11 by them.

[Anne] I see you're an animal lover. Tell us about your pets.

[BJ] I have a shelter cat named Frankie, a golden retriever named Honi, and a cocker spaniel named Sunflower, who is a character in Last Resort. I had a beloved German shepherd we had to put down due to hip problems. Her name was Dakota, and she's featured in Whispering Cypress, another romantic suspense to release August 11, 2012.

[Anne] Aw, they're precious!  If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

[BJ] Ireland. My dad had some Irish in him, and I have the green eyes. I've read books about how beautiful it is. I've been to Hawaii, so my next choice would be Ireland. I may never get there in person, but I can always travel through the pages of a great novel.

[Anne] Which would you rather have: A custom made office or kitchen?

[BJ] I have a kitchen I was able to choose, and I love it, so even though I love to cook, I'll say a custom-made office. Custom made would mean I get to pick the setting, too. It'd have to have a bay window or sliding glass doors overlooking a lake or river. I love the water, and it brings out my creativity. I'd relish plenty of bookshelves and a huge L-shaped desk with plenty of working area. Ah, to dream. Meanwhile, I do have an L-shaped oak desk by a large picture window overlooking a yard with flowers and a small oak right by the window. I can hear the birds sing without cracking the window. I have a golden cocker spaniel and a golden retriever who are beside my feet on the floor by my desk. I love gazing at water while I write, and I enjoy writing the traditional way, outdoors at times with a pen and notebook, while I listen to birds and nature.

[Anne] How do you relax after a long day of writing?

[BJ] By reading a great romantic suspense novel by another author.

[Anne] Thank you so much for joining me today, BJ. It's been a blast getting to know you, and I'm looking forward to reading Last Resort. Speaking of which, let's end with an excerpt. Also, please let us know where we can purchase your books and where we can find you on the web.

Last Resort Excerpt:

Faith tore out of the jail's parking lot and prayed she wouldn't get a ticket. She turned Old Blue into the flowing traffic. Her heart pumped faster than a race car engine. Dear God, please don't let me be too late. She reached down and punched Matt's number again. Come on, Matt, where are you? Pick up. Still no answer. She snapped the phone shut and focused on the road ahead. Who could possibly have it in for him? He was such a great guy. She gassed the truck as she passed the city limits and left the jail behind. Why wasn't he answering? She'd never had a problem before. This wasn't like him.

Faith whipped into the drive. She jumped from her pickup, strode to the side door, and knocked. No answer. She pulled out her cell and tried again. It rang and rang, then went straight to the voicemail. This time, she hung up without leaving a message.

She yanked the screen door, and it flew open, unlatched. The door knob turned, and she shoved the door open and yelled, "Matt, are you there?"

No response. She briskly marched through the house and called his name. She checked each room. In Matt's office, the swivel chair faced the door. Blood spotted it. Faith's heart lurched. Oh, God, please don't let me be too late. She spotted blood droplets on the carpet and followed them back through the kitchen and to the garage. Matt's truck ran. Dear God, what will I find when I open this door? Please let me be in time. Why didn't Matt use his pistol?

Faith jerked the garage door, but it wouldn't budge. She ran to the kitchen and hit the automatic door opener. The door slowly opened. She raced inside the garage, and the gas fumes nearly knocked her out. She coughed and held her nose with one hand. Her eyes burned, but she yanked open the driver's truck door. Matt tumbled out.

She let go of her nose and turned off the truck. Faith slid her arms under Matt's and locked her hands in front of his chest. She hefted. He didn't budge. She had to get him out of there. Now. No time to waste. She hauled in a breath, grunted, and heaved. He lifted, and she pulled him toward the door. One foot. Two feet. Three more.

"Matt, we're out of the garage." Please, Lord, help me. She couldn't drop him now. The outside air hit her face and tears of relief filled her eyes. She tenderly laid him on the grass by the side of the cement drive and yanked her cell from its holster. She dialed 911.

Assured the ambulance was on its way, Faith closed her phone and felt for his heartbeat. She rubbed her knuckles against his breast bone and stroked his face. So still. She touched his neck and held her breath. No response. She tilted his head and lifted his chin, then put her ear to his mouth and listened. Nothing. She looked for chest movement. Nothing. She listened for air blowing through his mouth or nose, or on her cheek. Nothing. He wasn't going to die if she had anything to do with it.

She ran her tongue over her lip and tasted perspiration. Why did sweat always taste salty, and why would she even think to question that at a time like this? She took a quick, shallow breath and whispered, "Come on, Matt. Breathe! BREATHE!"

It'd been a long time since she'd trained for CPR. Would she remember what to do? A bluish pallor stole over Matt's complexion, and his body became a dead weight. She had no time to lose.

Faith pinched his nose and made a seal over his mouth with her own. She breathed big enough to make his chest rise, let his chest fall, and repeated the rescue breath again. She listened for an intake of breath, an exhale, but the only sound was the pounding of her own heart in her ears.

BJ's Bio:

B. J. Robinson writes Christian romantic suspense from Florida, where she lives with her husband and pets. She's published numerous devotionals, articles, and short stories. Last Resort is her debut Christian romance novel. She won first prize for a short story penned in college competition and developed it into a romantic suspense novel titled Southern Superstitions that will release January 11. Her current WIP is Whispering Cypress, which releases August 11. All three novels are romantic suspense presented by Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. of California. She's blessed with children, grandchildren, pets, and faith. Jesus is her best friend. Visit her at She's completed the Apprentice and Journeyman courses with Christian Writers Guild and is a member of ACFW.

Visit me at my blog and my books will be available wherever fine eBooks are sold. Below are links to Amazon and Barnes and Noble, where readers may get a free sample.

A free excerpt is available at

Enjoy a book trailer here:


B. J. Robinson said...

Thanks for the interview, Anne. I enjoyed it. My blog is where readers can browse for more information about my novels and check out recent book reviews, including the one of your A FAMILIAR EVIL. I really enjoyed that novel. Thank you for having me and blessings. BJ

Anne Patrick said...

Glad to have you, B.J.
And thank you for your kind words, and your wonderful review. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Natalie on cocker spaniel care said...

I enjoyed reading the interview with BJ Robinson. Very interesting and informative too.