Music in Jordan’s Sister

While music is an important element in each of my novels, this is especially true for Jordan’s Sister. Taylor and Layne are singer-songwriters. Their entire lives are filled with music. I’m a writer who can barely carry a tune, and music is such an integral part of my life that I’d be lost without it.

To me, music is a doorway straight to the soul, and lyrics are poetry expressed with more feeling than what can be conveyed by words merely spoken.

There are 23 songs referenced in the novel. Four songs are featured in their entirety (because I wrote them) and the others are referenced by title only with or without the artist’s name (because doing so does not violate any copyright laws). I’d never written a song before when I wrote the songs for Jordan’s Sister. There are two each that Taylor and Layne write during the story. I’ve shared their two main songs on this blog, and the others are in the novel. Those songs won’t be shared here because one contains a major spoiler and the other is extremely cheesy (as I intended), so you’ll need the context in the book to get it.

Unfortunately, I lack the musical talents of my parents. I don’t sing well or play any instruments. I recorded myself singing both of the main songs so I won’t forget the melodies I had in mind for each. Only my husband has heard the tune of two of the songs, and it was excruciating to share that with him. I can speak to a crowd of hundreds of people but don’t ask me to sing to anyone but one of my children. I don’t know why it is that singing to others feels the same as the thought of running naked through a crowd.

I had a Spotify playlist of songs while I rewrote Caroline’s Lighthouse and have one now as I write What I Learned That Summer. Both contain songs popular during the years the stories took place. Hearing music from when I was a teenager takes me back in time to the emotions I felt then so I can better relate to those characters since their stories took place in the mid-90s when I was a teen.

The playlist for Jordan’s Sister contains the 19 songs written and performed by others which are mentioned in the book.

These songs:

Each song has some significance in the novel. I’ll share brief thoughts on each. Warning: There may be mild spoilers. Continue Reading “Music in Jordan’s Sister”

Best laid plans: Jordan’s Sister Update


As of  April 26, Jordan’s Sister is available in paperback format on Amazon.

From April 24, 2018:

Today was supposed to be the launch day for Jordan’s Sister, the first novel to be published under Luminesce Publishing. The launch date was a deadline I set myself, so not meeting it isn’t the end of the world. For now, I will have to settle for a partially-met goal.

The eBook launched early, on April 21. You can purchase a copy on or read for free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription. There is a “Look inside” feature that allows you to read just past the opening of Chapter 4, which will allow readers to check out my style and story opening to make sure they wish to purchase to continue reading.

I hope to have the paperback out before Saturday, April 28, 2018. I will update more as soon as I can.

-Brandi Easterling Collins


We’ve all experienced rejection. Relationships and jobs seem to be the ones most people experience on a regular basis.

I’ve been rejected more often than I’ve been the rejector when it comes to relationships. I’m not saying that to wallow; I’m just stating a fact. I’m more likely to stick things out than to run away, an odd combination of optimism and fear of the unknown. It hurts to be rejected. We ask ourselves difficult questions after a relationship ends, like: “Why wasn’t I good enough?” “What does he(she) have that I didn’t?” “What did I do wrong?” Sometimes those questions don’t ever get answered.

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Job rejections are in the double-digits at this point in my life. Some came without an interview, and some came after an interview. The ones that came after an interview hurt the worst, especially the jobs I really wanted and know I would have been good at. There was one I applied for twice. The first time, I was interviewed and didn’t quite make the cut out of three people. I felt so defeated. The next time the job came open, I tried again before the search was changed to something else. By the time it came around again, I had given up.

Artists are privileged to get to experience it on a whole new level. The rejection of our voice, our work, the deepest expressions of ourselves. Musicians, visual artists, writers—I think it stings no matter what when we share something with the world and get criticism. Everyone is entitled to their own tastes and opinions. I try to find something positive to say about other artists’ work when they share it with me, even if it’s to say that it isn’t my usual genre and then point out something I liked about it. I try not to leave bad reviews on books if the author is still living. I probably rate books higher than I do other works of art because I know how difficult it is to write a novel. Continue Reading “Rejection”