Joanie Bruce & Alana Candler, Marked for Murder

Joanie Bruce & her debut novel Alana Candler, Marked for Murder

Joanie Bruce has written a fast paced, page turning romantic suspense novel.

This book captured my interested and held it throughout, despite the technical writing flaws which were few in number.

Normally, the first instance of "head-hopping" or "backstory dump" I would put the book aside and lose interest. BUT NOT this book...her writing style surpassed the flaws.

The faith of the main character Alana was evident and the growth seen in Jadyn was a smooth transition into a faithful believer.

Her twists and turns in the plot kept me guessing. Although I found myself correct in my assumption of the mastermind behind the crimes, throughout the book she had me second guessing myself. Hints and foreshadowing made me turn the page and read as fast as I could to see if my conclusions were correct.

For a good suspense with a beautiful romantic subplot, this book is highly recommended. It was enjoyable from first page to last.

I had the privilege to connect with Joanie and interview her for this blog. As a fellow Ambassador International author, I was excited to get to know her.

Read more about her and her book, Alana Candler, Marked for Murder, below:

Your 1st novel is Alana Candler: Marked for Murder,--tell us a little about it.

JB~ It's a Christian suspense book about a photographer, Alana Candler, who finds herself on someone's hit list. Of course, it's a romance as well when Jaydn Holbrook, CEO and owner of the largest company in Tennessee, saves Alana's life and promises to protect her. Alana's trust in God intrigues Jaydn and compels him to explore her faith further. When Alana mentions her aversion to rich, executive-type bosses, Jaydn keeps his position at his company secret trying not to destroy their fragile bond. As tensions build, Jaydn and Alana are caught up in a dangerous web of hiding from the pursuer trying to kill them and fighting the attraction they feel for each other. 

How did the idea and/or inspiration of writing this book come about?

JB~Years ago, before Christian romance novels had become popular, I happened to read my first Christian suspense book. I loved it! I had written mysteries as a teenager and loved the challenge of writing, so I wondered if I could write well enough to make a reader feel what the character was feeling. I sat down, just for fun, and wrote a chapter about a woman drowning in the lake. I had to laugh, because while writing that scene, I scared myself. It was then that I knew I might be able to write a suspense book. I wrote a plot around that one chapter, and if you read my book, you will realize that scene is in the second chapter. After that, it all fell into place. 

Your book has a strong faith element. How natural was this to write about?

JB~My faith permeates my whole life. It was easy to infuse that faith into the thoughts and actions of my characters. Some of the lessons they learned are ones I've struggled with in my own life. 

What do you hope readers take away from this book?

JB~ I want them to realize that there is a God who loves them more than they love themselves, and that if they let Him, He'll guide them through the mountains and valleys of their lives.  

Which of the characters in the novel is most like you and why?

JB~ I don't really see myself in my characters, but if I had to pick it would be Alana--probably because she has a strong faith in God to watch over her in all circumstances of her life, and because she struggles with being thankful during trials. 

Who is your favorite character?

JB~I think it would have to be Jaydn, because he grows the most. He listens to others, and applies what he learns to himself. He lets his situations enhance his life. 

What’s your favorite and least favorite part about being a writer? 

JB~My least favorite part about being a writer is proofreading. I don't hate it, but I consider it a necessary evil. :-)
My favorite part of being a writer would have to be the writing. I LOVE sitting down at my computer and letting the words flow. It amazes me how easily things fall into place when you pray for guidance and for the right thing to say.

What advice would you have for writers hoping to follow in your footsteps?

JB~ Persevere! If you want it badly enough, you CAN learn to write. Study every book on writing you can find. Choose the methods you like best, then use them in your writing. And, most importantly, listen to criticism. If you can see criticism as a way of learning and improving, you will improve! 

Other than writing, what else occupies your time?

JB~I love painting oil portraits, murals, and landscapes, taking long walks around our beef farm, cooking, and of course, reading. My family mean the world to me, and I enjoy spending time with them whenever we can all get together.  

You can connect with Joanie Bruce using the following links:

Alana Candler, Marked for Murder is available now!

I appreciate your time, Joanie, to discuss Alana Candler, Marked for Murder. It was a great and enjoyable read!


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