Friday, November 20, 2009

Maggie Brendan ~ Interview + Giveaway

Today author Brenda Lott, a.k.a. Maggie Brendan (her pen name), is telling us about her new book, The Jewel of His Heart. She has offered to give away a copy of her book to one lucky commenter!

Welcome, Brenda! Tell us a little about yourself.
I love history so that’s one of the reasons I write historical novels and enjoy reading other historical writer’s books. I wrote stories off and on for many years, but really concentrated on getting published a little more than five years ago. My brother, who was a writer too, was very instrumental in giving me the extra push to finish my book. When he suddenly died, I realized how short my time on earth was, and if I was going live my dream to be a writer, then I’d have to work harder. I live in Georgia with my husband. I have two grown children and 4 precious grandchildren. I love to sing with our choir at church. I simply love the West (and the South, too :) ). But the mountains have always intrigued me with their awesome beauty and fresh mountain air.

How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
I’ve been writing stories most of my life but finally completed my first novel about five years ago. I have two books published now, No Place for a Lady, The Jewel of His Heart, and one releasing in June, A Love of Her Own.

If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, is your writing sweet, warm, sensual, etc. (in terms of romance/kissing)?
I’ve been compared to Janet Oke, Lori Wick, and LaVyrle Spencer and I’m honored because they are all wonderful.
I’d say my writing is sweet and warm in the terms of romance.

In your own words tell us a little about The Jewel of His Heart.
My series is titled The Heart of the West. The story is about love, forgiveness and choosing between the jewels of this world or the more eternal value of a woman’s love. It revolves around a sheepherder and a young woman determined who has little trust in men.

Romance readers have taken to Maggie Brendan's softer romantic style that perfectly captures life on the American frontier, introducing them to rugged, independent souls and their inner spiritual struggles, and the quest for love that makes for a satisfying read every time. Set in 1890s Montana, The Jewel of His Heart finds Juliana drawn to a handsome, gentle sheepherder--but sparks fly when he considers mining, the occupation that lured her father away from his family. Both Josh and Juliana must make a choice--the world's riches and promises, or the eternal value of love.

My review HERE.

What made you want to write this story?
The idea for this story came about after my brother, Jess McCreede (Jerry O’Neal) died, suddenly. He was a western writer and was Deputy Superintendent of Glacier National Park. About six months after he died, I attended the ACFW Denver conference and then traveled on to Montana to see his writing cabin. After exploring the historic nearby towns, I kept seeing Yogo sapphires in many of the shops windows. My husband bought me a pretty Yogo ring. Later I saw the book about the history of the Yogo and thought it’d be fun to create a story around the time of their discovery.

What research did you have to do for this book?
I visited Montana then I read a book on Yogos and its history to get the time frame to work with my story. A lot of research goes into using accurate details for 1896, and I read about sheepherding as well. When I’m heavy into reading and research my desk is strewn with Maps, books, articles, etc. What a mess.

Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
Dale Midkiff would be perfect for Josh McBride. Zooey Deschanel would be perfect for Juliana with her enormous blue eyes.

What are you working on now or going to write next?
I’ve recently signed a contract for three more books entitled The Blue Willow Brides. It’s about three sisters from Holland who comes to America as mail order brides.

How can readers get in contact with you?
This is my blogspot blog address:
I am one of many great authors who post on this blog:

What are you currently reading?
Oh my…let’s see, I’ve just finished reading a fellow writer’s historical for endorsement and I have a big stack started. Love’s Rescue by Tammy Barley, From a Distance by Tamera Alexander, are the two I’ve been trying to read first. My stack just keeps growing. I’m also reading several books on Wyoming for research for the book I’m writing now.

Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
I used to—many years ago—sing with an ensemble and in concert choir and I’ve done solos. I’m glad I did that when I was young because now I get too nervous!

If you could be any animal, which would you choose? Why?
The tiger is my favorite in the animal kingdom. They are exotically beautiful and I love cats. I like they way they appear aloof but never miss a thing, stealthy moving about.

TV show, and/or movie?
I’ve not had a lot of time to watch TV, but I love Dancing With the Stars, American Idol and I watch a lot of Hallmark movies. I could watch Little House on the Prairie every day.

Place to go on vacation?
I love to vacation in Telluride, Colorado or Glacier National Park in Montana or Jackson, Wyoming. All are so magnificent!

The Jewel of His Heart released October 1, 2009.

**USA residents only, please**
***If you have any questions for Brenda, leave a comment and she will stop by throughout the week to answer back***
Okay readers, here is your chance to win a copy of The Jewel of His Heart! To enter: Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win), and please specify that you want to be included in the contest! *If you want an extra entry, become one of my followers.* The comment is mandatory. (Please, say in the comment if you are a follower!! It makes my job easier when you do.) You will not be entered unless you leave a comment. If you are already a follower, and then you leave a comment, you will still get two entries in the contest. The contest will run from today (Nov. 20) until 10:30 CST on Thursday (Nov. 26). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 27th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner. Good luck! Thanks for visiting.


Virginia C said...

Hello, Ladies! Lovely, lyrical romantic stories of the West make my heart sing! Dale Midkiff : )

Please enter my name in the drawing. I am a subscriber.

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

collettakay said...

Thanks for the interview. Now I need to go look up what a Yogo is.

Please enter me in the drawing.


Eileen Astels Watson said...

I'm Canadian, so don't enter me, but I just wanted to say that this was a very interesting interview and the series sounds wonderful.

Maggie Brendan said...

Ladies, thanks for posting and for Carmen having me as a guest. I'm so excited about this book and the one coming out in June and I hope y'all will be too!

apple blossom said...

I'd love to be entered in you book giveaway. Thanks.

I'm a follower too.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Halle said...

I'd like to be in the give-away! Sounds like a pretty awesome story ;]
hellokitty6010 at yahoo dot com

SuperMom said...

I'm a follower!

SuperMom said...

CARMEN... I have a blog award for you!!

Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

Please don't enter me I already have the first 2 books (LOVED them btw) I just had to stop by and say great interview Carman!!! I can't wait to read A Love of Her Own and the mail order bride series!!! Mail order stories are my favorites!

xoxo~ Renee

Ashley (Ibreath2read) said...

Hey Carman,
I just LOVE it when you do interviews. Your blog is a true delight to read:~)I would love to be enterted in this giveaway.

You bet I'm a follower!;~)

Love Ya,

Chel-ray said...

Hey Carman,
This is RachelIe, and I would love to be entered to win this book (:
I am also a follower :]


Julie J. said...

Great interview! I'd love to entered to win this book!


Unknown said...

This is anna paquette. Just started following this blog. Please enter me in drawing.


lynn said...

Ok this is the third time I tried to leave a comment. Hope this works:
Great interview.
Please enter me in your giveaway.
I am a follower.

Diane said...

I just signed up to follow you. Love your interview and her answers. Thanks for the opportunity! :O)

Carole said...

This was a very interesting interview, Maggie and Carman, and I'd love to win a copy of The Jewel of His Heart (love that title!). Maggie and I share a fondness for many of the same TV shows - and this is the best season for Hallmark movies. Maggie's new series, The Blue Willow Brides, also sounds great.

Thank you for the contest and chance to win a copy of Maggie's book. I'm also a follower, Carman.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Katie Bensch said...

OMG! This book sounds so good! I would LOVE to be entered in the drawing for this book! :)

Edwina said...


Forgot to tell you earlier, but your blog has also been awarded the Kreativ Blogger Award! You may pick this award up tomorrow at

Lindsey B. said...

hey carman,
thanks for having the interview and give-away! :) they're so interesting and i enjoy them a lot. i would like to be entered for Jewel of His Heart. Thanks

Maggie Brendan said...

Hi everyone! I'm so thrilled to drop by Carmen's blog and read how many of you are interested in getting a copy of my book. It was pure joy to write it.

Hope said...

Great interview!
I've been wanting to read this book for a while. Please enter me!

Hope said...

I just became a follower, too!

Anonymous said...

Please enter me....have been soooo anxious to read this book! I am a follower! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Reading the interview let me know that this is my kind of author and story line. A sweet writer friend told me it was a book I would like. She knows me so very well.