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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spotlight on Maggie Brendan and The Jewel of His Heart


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, and is a resident blogger on 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.

by Maggie Brendan
Published by Baker/Revell


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.

* * * * *

Thank you, Maggie, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of The Jewel of His Heart.

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when the winners are announced each time.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.


Anonymous said...

This Jewel of His Heart is a great book.I love her books, I have read must if not all of them. Please do not enter me, as I have already gotten the book and read. This was a great post.

Cherie J said...

Great spotlight! Please enter me in the drawing for this book.


Casey H. said...

The more I read of this book, the more it interests me, I would love to read this book!


Maggie Brendan said...

Thank y'all for stopping by. I'm excited about my new release, too and thank you Amber for having me in the spotlight.

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book! Please enter me. Thanks!

Martha A. said...

I read the first book in this series and would enjoy reading this second one! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Anonymous said...

a wonderful post...would enjoy reading this book...thanks for the opportunity.

karen k

Kelly Long said...

What a great interview with Maggie Brendan! I liked this book because it's a keen reminder that every woman is "the jewel" of God's Heart!
Kelly Long

Edwina said...

Great interview and nice to "meet" a fellow Georgian!

I would love to read this book so please sign me up!

Linda said...

I haven't read anything by Maggie Brendan. This would be a great opportunity. Please enter me. Thanks.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Carole said...

This is a great series and I would love to win The Jewel of His Heart. What a great title! Thank you for the interview and giveaway.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Maggie Brendan said...

Hi Carole, My title was one that the publisher let me keep, and I was grateful because of the story behind my title. My brother that I were very close to died, as I mention in the interview and I created a scrapbook for my neice for Christmas. I wrote a caption under one of the pictures of the two of them that said, you were "The Jewel of His Heart." Later as I was about to mail it to her, I took one last look at the album and read the caption again and said-"That's the title of my book!" Perfect, just as we are like the jewel of God's heart. My editor like too!

Giveaway Lady said...

Please enter me:) I would love to read this. It has sparked my interest since I first saw it in the Christian bookstore. Thanks for a chance to win it!

Anonymous said...

Please enter me.

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this book!
Count me in:)

Michelle said...

Thank you for entering me!!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Anonymous said...

It sounds great! Please enter me in the drawing. ~Abby

abster dot rose at yahoo dot com

Sylvia M. said...

Hello! Could you enter me into this drawing? I read the previous book and found it interesting, so would like to read this one also.


Mark said...

I'd like to enter

Carla Gade said...

I'd love to read this book! This was a great interview. You ask excellent questions and it was nice learning about Maggie!

carlagade [at] gmail [dot] com

Merry said...

What an interesting background for a story. I would love to win The Jewel of His Heart.


adge said...

I checked out the first book from the library and enjoyed it. Please include me in the giveaway. Thank you!

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:


Congratulations! I have emailed you for your mailing information so Benda can send out your book.

As always, thanks to everyone for your continued support.

Maggie Brendan said...

Tiffany and all, thanks for your interests in my new release and congratulations, Carla! I enjoyed being able to do the interview.