Thursday, 26 January 2012

Author Spotlight - BJ Robinson talks about destiny

I've always loved the beautiful white magnolia blossom that smells so sweet because Mom and Dad got married in the pretty little Mississippi town of Magnolia. I often asked her to tell me about how she met Daddy. Her hazel eyes would take on a faraway look, and she'd describ how she met him on a Greyhound bus. She was from the small town of Springfield, Louisiana, and he was from Brookhaven, Mississippi. Momma always told me it was fate that they met that day.

Momma was a strawberry farmer's daughter and Daddy was the son of a cotton planter. Destiny brought them together. They had so much in common. They both loved pretty sunshiny days, the country, and watching flowers or plants grow. Before Daddy grew sick and became disabled, he worked in New Orleans at a shipyard. He would stay in the city during the week while he worked and come home on the weekends. This was when I was a tiny baby, and we were living in Mississippi beside my Grandmother Russell, my father's mother. My father's brother, Uncle Ernie, took over the cotton farm in Mississippi. When I was only four years old, we visited his farm before Daddy died that year. He let me use a smaller sack than the other cotton pickers and told me I could help pick the cotton. I was tickled, and I was proud because I had a job and could earn my own spending money. I carefully filled my sack, and he paid me twenty-five cents for each sack I filled. I didn't make very much money because I soon played out, and I didn't fill very many sacks. I think I ended up with a dollar.

Grandma Russell let me play with whatever I wanted. I remember Mom telling me about how I got into her kitchen cabinets and tore all of the labels off from all of her canned goods. She just laughed about it and said that we would be having a surprise every time we ate for a while. Mom fussed at me and threatened to whip me, but grandma just said, "Oh Myrtle, kids will be kids. She'd done no real harm." I was spared a whipping, but Mom said, "You should be ashamed of yourself, young lady. Now grandma won't know what she's opening."

Another time I was at grandmother's house rocking in my little red rocking chair that Daddy had surprised me with on his last weekend trip home. I was rocking away as hard as I could. The next thing I knew, my rocker turned over, and my head hit the floor. Mom and grandma both came running when they heard my cries. "You're okay," Mom said. "Lucky for you, you've got a hard head." Funny, but I was to be called hardheaded many times after that, but I didn't know it yet. One day my own husband would tell me that I was one hard-headed woman.

The last thing I remember about my early Mississippi days was the way I loved to play outside in grandma's front yard with the little doodlebugs that looked liked little Volkswagon cars. I was fascinated by the way they rolled their little bodies up. Mom thought I should be lady-like and play with dolls and keep clean all of the time, but I loved the dirt and the mud, and my favorite pastime was making mud pies. If you read my novels, you'll discover how I've used my young experiences in my work. Writers draw from personal experience to create realistic fiction, and I draw from mine to create characters with a blend and mixture of qualities and traits.

Now, you probably realize why I write about strawberries so much, but Whispering Cypress that releases August 15, 2012, is not about strawberries. Last Resort and Southern Superstitions were.

Now, I promised to share more of my favorite authors with you. My writing mentor is Eva Marie Everson, and she's written wonderful novels about Cedar Key, Florida. One of her books will be made into a movie. If you're not familiar with her, be sure to check out her work. She wrote Things Left Unspoken and This Fine Life, two novels I've read and reviewed on my blog as well as her first Cedar Key novel, Chasing Sunsets.

Tim Gautreaux was my creative-writing teacher in college when I penned my prize-winning short story.

Last, but certainly not least, I'll share more of my favorite Desert Breeze authors. Michelle Levigne wrote a novel that has stayed with me. She has a series, and you'll love her work. I loved Forgiven, read, and reviewed it on my blog.

Sadie and Sophie Cuffe have written a beautiful book, and I'm in the process of reading and reviewing it. I love the title Faith in the Shadows.

Danielle Thorne has several titles. I love her vivid descriptions of the sea, ocean, and the way she relates those colors to her character's eyes. I'm presently reading By Heart and Compass, and I'm about half finished and loving those descriptions.

Desert Breeze's Editor in Chief, Gail Delaney, has many wonderful novels. Precious Things and Lighting Strikes Twice were among my favorites.

As you can see, I've read and reviewed many Desert Breeze titles, and there are more to come. So stay tuned and join us tomorrow to discover other Desert Breeze titles and authors B. J. Robinson has read and loved.

View the book trailer for Southern Superstitions here:

Author Shawna K. Williams endorses Southern Superstitions by B. J. Robinson. She says, " Southern Superstitions is an inspirational story that’s full of personality, as well as intricacy in the way it explores the complexities of family and the conflict between faith and luck. Barbara does a great job at pulling together the deeply rooted superstitions of the South and entwining them into a suspenseful tale of faith, romance and endurance. I especially enjoyed the setting and culture of the deep South."

Read the first review here:

Get a PDF file that may be read on your laptop or computer here, or ePub file. Get the free companion book to Southern Superstitions here. They're side-by-side on the homepage of the publisher's. Enjoy an article on crafting a villain here.

Read the first two chapters free here and purchase for your Amazon Kindle.

Southern Superstitions will be available at Barnes and, Sony, Kobo, etc. but Amazon is the first to offer it.
B. J. Robinson is a member of the Christian Writers Guild (CWG), a graduate of Long Ridge Writing Institute, a friend of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and belongs to several critique groups along with Nike Chillemi, author of Burning Hearts and Goodbye Noel. Her writing mentor at CWG was Eva Marie Everson during both courses. Karen O'Connor was her writing instructor with Long Ridge, and Tim Gautreaux was her creative-writing instructor in college. Visit her at


  1. Hey, Barb, thanks so much for including FAITH IN THE SHADOWS! We appreciate it!

  2. Oh, btw, we heart strawberries and are in the process of making a strawberry patch. Last year Sophie bought 10 plants and harvested 3 berries (but she shared them with everyone). This year... the world! Seriously.

  3. I bought a few strawberry plants, three in fact, and got a few berries from them, but my hubby is supposed to plant some hydrophonic ones for me this year, and they're supposed to do better. We'll see. I wrote about those in Last Resort. I enjoyed Faith in the Shadows very much and look forward to reading more of your books. Thanks for visiting my guest blog. Blessings, BJ

  4. I've enjoyed your first two novels and look forward to Whispering Cypress. Sounds intriguing! But I'll miss the strawberries!

  5. Barbara, I've really enjoyed your posts last week. Really interesting and would love to have you on my blog sometime. Thanks for sharing.