About this Book

Meet the Dearings, a crazy, loving, boisterous family in small-town Mississippi. There’s mom and dad, three daughters and their families, and the youngest—twenty-five-year-old Ben. Oh, and the family dog, a Yorkie who thinks she’s royalty.

“This one’s perfect,” Ben says about his new fiancée, Christina, when he brings her home for a family reunion. Ben is just sure everyone will love Christina, and she’ll fit right in.

He always did tend to wear rose-colored glasses.

Christina loves Ben but secretly fears their relationship will never work. They’ve only known each other ten weeks. She hasn’t told him about her horrific past as an only child—the beatings, the neglect, and verbal abuse. Christina doesn’t know how to trust or be honest about her feelings. Being thrust into the middle of a tight-knit family like the Dearings is sure to send her over the edge.

With poignancy and humor, That Dog Won’t Hunt explores the complexities of relationships and the inner strength needed to overcome a difficult childhood. The Dearings are no perfect family, but they know how to love—if only Christina will accept it.

Product Details

  • File Size: 540 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0989240614
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Challow Press (May 24, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

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Author Details

The Interview

I can’t tell you how excited I am to have this interview with Brandilyn Collins. She was the second author to stop by my blog (long before it was Favorite Christian Books) and left a comment that she was glad I enjoyed her book. I was on cloud 9 to think that someone like her would take time to comment on my blog.

FCB: When you reach heaven, other than Jesus, what Biblical character are you most looking forward to meeting and why?

Brandilyn: Jeremiah. I think he got a really rotten deal in the Old Testament. God called him to be a prophet, to warn Israel of its evil ways. To preach to the people and not hesitate to tell them God’s truth. But, God warned Jeremiah, they will never listen to you. Can you imagine being called to do something difficult—that would put your life at risk—for your entire life, knowing you would never see any results?

FCB: What would be the first question you would like to ask him/her?

Brandilyn: How did you do it, Jeremiah? How did you sustain your fortitude and faith in God over all those years? How were you able to say “Great is Your faithfulness” (a statement that became one of our greatest hymns) in the midst of witnessing Israel’s total destruction?

FCB: We see a lot of advice out there for writers, but what advice would you give someone like me, who enjoys reading and writing reviews on a book? What makes a good review?
Brandilyn: This is a great question. As far as plot goes, a reviewer should state the beginning premise of the book and little more (at least no more than is on the back cover). Once you start to tell more than that, you are robbing the reader of the surprises you were able to have while reading the book. You’ve “telegraphed” what is to come. This is especially important in a genre such as suspense, in which twists play an important part of the story.

Then write about the aura of the story. Your personal experience with it. How it made you feel. Did you like the characters? Like one more than the other? Were their motivations clear to you?
Then you might talk about the techniques of the novel. Was it written in first or third person? Whatever POV, was it done well? Did the sentence structure seem flawless or clunky? How about the dialog? Etc.

Then perhaps you might give your overall rating for the book. In reviews for sites such as Amazon, that rating system is built into the review. Also, for sites such as Amazon that want a title, write that last. Think carefully about those words. They should encapsulate the essence of your review.

FCB: I have to ask, you are known for your suspense novels, why such a radical change in genre with this series?

Brandilyn: When I first began to be published in fiction in 2001, I was writing in both the suspense and women’s fiction genres. After a three-book women’s fiction series—the Bradleyville series—I turned to writing suspense full time. But I always had a hankering to return to women’s fiction. I love exploring relationships, especially those of family in small towns. In fact I had the idea for the Dearing Family series way back when I wrote in both genres, and the books were contracted with my publisher. When the publisher’s marketing team and I decided I should write only suspense, the Dearing Family books were set aside. Now that today’s technology is making self-publishing so easy, I decided to finally write this series. I will continue writing the Dearing Family series, releasing its books in between my Seatbelt Suspense® novels.

FCB: How have your suspense fans reacted to That Dog Won’t Hunt?

Brandilyn: Very well. First, I’ve made sure through the book cover and marketing of the novel that readers can easily see this is not a suspense. If you bring a reader to a book expecting something that it’s not, that reader won’t tend to like the story. In the book I’ve included both plenty of humor and pathos. I love writing humor (who would have guessed that, from someone like me who likes to kill people off?). But humor alone isn’t enough for me. I want a meaty subject, some issue of life to tackle. In That Dog Won’t Hunt it’s the issue of the new fiancee, Christina’s, background of child abuse. How those experiences position her to be at total odds with a loving family. Even though she wants to be part of them, she doesn’t know how to love them back—and trust them. Here are just a few feedback statements I’ve received about both the humorous and serious aspects of the book:

“Hysterically Funny, Painfully Honest, Brutally Addicting” –Amazon reviewer

“You perfectly captured the emotion and inner turmoil Christina went through being suddenly thrown into the middle of a big family. I could so relate to her. I grew up in the south with alcoholic parents. I’ll never forget the first time I was around a big family. I absolutely didn’t know what to do. You pegged it spot on! Truly amazing. I’m awestruck.” –Reader email
“Funny, moving & heart warming. Makes me wish I was part of the Dearing family.” –Amazon reviewer
“I have never laughed out loud so hard when reading a book.” –Reader note on Facebook
“The point that struck me was how secret abuse is and how secret the resulting struggle is. [This book] shows the walls built up during abuse and how the walls can be broken in a healthy relationship. Inspiring.” –Amazon reviewer
FCB: Thanks so much Brandilyn for taking the time and sharing with us!

My Review

Review summary: This is a very different from what I’m using to seeing from Brandilyn Collins, but it was a very enjoyable story. In recent years Brandilyn Collins has been known for her suspense novels, but in this story she takes a step back to her roots of women’s fiction. This story was a fun look inside the Darling family, a southern family full of warm hospitality for everyone they meet, especially the girl their pride and joy, Ben, is about to marry. This story is full of laughter and fun that makes it a relaxing enjoyable story to read. But it’s more than just a funny story to make you laugh. We see in Ben’s fiancee, Christina,  she carries secrets from her past that threatened to destroy the upcoming nuptials. This main story line was touching as we watch Christina not only deal with this boisterous family but her past. This story will speak to many women and hopefully remind them there is hope.

Digging deeper: This was the first book I’ve read by the author that wasn’t a suspense novel and I must say it was a fun change of pace that made me laugh and cry at times. The characters were unique and fun individuals that played into the story adding dimension to the story. The only character that “bugged” me was Ben’s sister, Jess. I found myself wanting to slap her from time to time, but I loved Maddy and her quirky habits.

I enjoyed this story. You see the contrast of two worlds and what can happen when they come together.  Christina is an only child, from an abusive home. She is shy and very insecure and fears the relationship won’t work with Ben. The Darlings are loud and loving and enjoy each other and are willing to accept anyone into their home. As the two worlds come together Christina struggles to deal with the Darlings and they are not too sure how to deal with her. It becomes a learning experience for both sides.

There are plenty of laughs in this story as well as some touching moments. The interaction between characters is great as you watch the women learn to deal with the other. It was also touching to watch Ben as he learned more about Christina and himself. This is a feel good story that left me you wanting more. I’m excited to see what comes next from the Darlings.

Disclaimer: I did receive the book from the author in return for my honest review.

If you found this review useful, please click here and say “Yes” for my Amazon Review

The Give Away

Brandilyn Collins has been gracious enough to offer a copy of the ebook for this wonderful story. To enter please fill out the form below. I’ll pick a winner July 31st and will notify the winner via email. For an extra entry like the Favorite Christian Books Facebook page.

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