ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MAGGIE BRENDAN is a member of the American Christian Writers (ACW) and the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She was a recipient of the 2004 ACW Persistence Award.
Maggie can be found on her blog, http://southernbellewriter.blogspot.com and is a resident blogger on http://bustlesandspurs.blogspot.com. Her first book, No Place For a Lady, the first book in the Heart of the West series, was released in January 2009 and received a 4.5 star review from Romantic Times. The Jewel of His Heart, book 2, will be released October of 2009, and received a 4 star review from Romantic Times. A Love of Her Own is scheduled for release in June 2010.
She has begun writing another historical series called The Blue Willow Brides. Maggie is also quoted in, Word Weavers, The Successful Writer’s Critique Groups, that was released in June 2008. She has led a writer’s critique group for the last six years. A TV film version of No Place for a Lady is currently in development for possible movie production.
She recently spoke at a Regional Church Bookstores and Libraries conference in Marietta about The Value of Christian Fiction. She has participated in two of LifeWay Christian Store’s Annual Fiction Event Day.
Maggie is married with two grown children and four grandchildren. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, singing, painting, scrapbooking and being with her family. She lives in Marietta, GA.
THE JEWEL OF HIS HEART
by Maggie Brendan
Published by Baker/Revell
ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
Readers, buy your copy of The Jewel of His Heart today!
1. What gave you the inspiration for 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.
2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?
Josh’s sense of adventure would be one thing that we have in common. I enjoy traveling to other places and learning new things, which is what my hero does. I consider writing an adventure because it’s like sticking your neck out there and hoping that someone will love your stories. But Josh tends to think he knows what others are thinking about him, and I try to be just the opposite. Until the book was finished and my critique partner pointed it out to me, I didn’t realize that Juliana’s life of growing up without her father may have mirrored mine. However, Juliana is a lot more cautious than I am. I tend to be too trusting in most cases.
3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?
Josh would be vanilla since I see him as calm, loyal and steady. Juliana might be butter pecan since her life has been filled with a lot of hard spots to deal with.
4. Are there any themes in The Jewel of His Heart that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the stories progressed?
I’d say the theme is finding out what is more desirable?—the love for the jewels of this world and what they can buy or finding the more eternal jewel—the true value of a woman’s love.
5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?
That would be the really big conflicts between the hero and heroine. I want to make them as genuine as possible to reflect real life. My favorite without a doubt is describing the outdoors. I love nature and being outside and learning the landscape of the different states is so enjoyable to me.
6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?
My next book is A Love of Her Own, the last in Heart of the West series and will be released June, 2010. It’s the story of April McBride, Josh’s sister, who travels to Montana to visit him. She’s used to having the world revolve around her with little regard to others. In Montana she finds more than she bargained for in the form of a contrary cowpoke named Wes, who’s a bit rough around the edges. When their paths cross, they mix like water and oil. It’s a face-paced story and character growth for both of them.
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Thank you, Maggie, for being in the spotlight with us.
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