Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Today is the day! My DEEPLY DEVOTED promotion ended last night at Midnight, and the marketing team has just selected the winners. Are you on the list? Find out here! .

Many thanks to all of you for entering and liking my author page on Facebook, and I want to congratulate the winners and here's hoping you enjoy your prizes. It was fun coming up with the idea that I thought you'd all enjoy. :)

As Christmas draws near, I hope you're not too frazzled with shopping, cooking and family to enjoy--the true meaning of Christmas--Christ's birth.

Merry Christmas!!


Tuesday, December 06, 2011


I promised you a Christmas Giveaway that you just couldn't refuse!!

I’m excited to announce the launch of an incredible promotion from my publisher, Revell, in celebration of Deeply Devoted.The prizes are amazing: A $250 Bed & Breakfast Date Night, a 21-piece Blue Willow china set, or a gourmet Italian feast fit for a king (or queen!) Wouldn’t one of these prizes be the perfect way to start the New Year?To enter the giveaway, go here: The link is also on the sidebar on the left of my facebook author page as well.

Don't forget to savor the meaning of Christmas admist the shopping, decorating, etc. Slow down and take time to enjoy the free gift of God's incredible gift--the reason for our celebration.



Thursday, December 01, 2011


I've been Christmas decorating and squeezing in writing in between but I wanted to share something fun with you.

I know many of you are in bookclubs so I wanted to let you know about The Book Club Network with you in case you hadn't heard of it. My friend, Nora, set up this wonderful site where readers and authors can interact. Starting today, a Christmas party kicks off with a chance to win free books, including my Deeply Devoted and Dan Walsh's book, Remembering Christmas, another dear writing friend of mine.

Here's the link. It's fun and easy to join in all the fun. You may find some of your favorite authors online. :)

Maggie Brendan Check out The Book Club Network Christmas party for giveaways.


I have something really spectacular that I'm working on for my own personal giveaway that will include much more than just a copy of my book so keep checking the blog and I hope you will click the 'Like' button on my Facebook Author page Maggie Brendan then follow me on twitter@MaggieBrendan. More on my big giveaway later. Have an awesome week! Now back to my story set in Denver. :)


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


With Thanksgiving tomorrow, I have many things to be grateful for, especially in lieu of our nation's obvious financial and unemployment crisis. Today, the pleasureable smell of my pies I baked last night linger as I tick off my list the things still left to do. I'm so thankful that I live in American where we are free to worship as we choose, (although I have great concerns about how many references to God are reduced or eliminated in our institutions). I'm grateful for a roof over my head, food to consume, family, fairly good health, and friendships that matter most. I'm grateful to be able to do what I love the most. Write! I can't begin to list eveything here.

Today, I'm sharing what I'm thankful for on LifeWay's blog with some other wonderful writers. Click here to check it out. I'm on LifeWay's blog this morning. :) check it out. Then come back here and let me know what you're grateful for.


Monday, November 14, 2011


I met a wonderful lady, Carrie Pagels, while I was at the St. Louis ACFW conference in September. Carrie was a counselor for 25 years before starting a career in writing. She interviewed me for her blog, Overcoming Through Time. For those of you just getting to know me, I wrote about the circumstances that overshadowed my world while trying to meet my book deadlines.

I will be giving away a copy of Deeply Devoted and later Carrie will draw a winner when you post a comment.

Click her for the interview. to enter the contest.

Hope your fall is spectacular one as we move into Thanksgiving season soon. Can you believe it's almost time for Christmas?? It puts me in a panic :) So I'll focus instead on the blowing wind sending the colorful leaves about, creatinging its beautiful array of foliage outside my office window. It's a beautiful time of year, one for inward reflection and gratefulness.


Monday, October 17, 2011


Thanks so much to all of you that posted your favorite soup recipe! They look delicious and I want to try them all!! We drew a name and Sheryl, you have won the recipe box and an autorgraphed copy of Deeply Devoted! I hope you enjoy the set and jot down some of the ones posted here on your new recipe cards. I'll contact you for your snail mail address and get that out to you.

I'll be book signing at LifeWay Christian Bookstore at Town Center in Kennesaw, GA this coming Friday, October 21st from 5-7 pm. for their National Fiction Event Day. I hope you'll stop by if you live in the area. It's a great store and wonderful staff with many other great books to choose from as well as mine and gifts galore. Then on Saturday, October 22nd, I'll be at the LifeWay store in Buford, GA next to the Mall of GA. from 11-1 pm. I hope to see you there. :)


Monday, October 10, 2011


Fall is the perfect time for sharing your favorite soup with family or friends on the backdrop of a chilly day. This pumpkin and black bean soup has always been a nice change from my homemade beef soup, my all time favorite. It's so delicious with crusty bread or rolls. I'll post the recipe at the end of the blog. If you haven't bought your copy Deeply Devoted, here's your chance. Write and tell me what your favorite soup recipe is and I'll draw a winner Sunday night for a copy of my new book, Deeply Devoted AND the pretty recipe box pictured here, complete with recipe cards. (Blue Willow Teapot not included). Now what can be easier than that? Deeply Devoted is receiving great reviews and I feel sure you'll enjoy the story. Why not give a copy to your best friend or mother?

I was away for five days at the end of September at the ACFW conference in St. Louis and some family illness has kept me extremely busy. But I'm happy to report that I turned in book #2 of The Blue Willow Brides and this past week got my edits back to my editor. You can be looking for that book next Aug/Sept. 2012. My working title is Three Little Words-but I never know if they'll keep my title. I had a wonderful time at the conference meeting with my agent and editor and oh so many of my great writer friends that a love of you read. One of my favorite book so far this year is Rooms by James Rubart, a contemporary novel. Quite different from the historicals I usually read. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

I have a few things I'm pondering for a Christmas contest that I think you'll like later, so stay tuned. :)


2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil,
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 C canned or packaged vegetable stock
1 can (14 ½ oz) diced tomatoes in juice
1 can (15 ½ oz) black beans, drained
2 cans (15 oz) pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
1 C of heavy cream
1 Tbsp curry powder,
1½ tsp ground cumin,
½ tsp cayenne pepper or less depending on your taste
Coarse salt
20 blades fresh chives, chopped or snipped for garnish
Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add onion. Sauté onions 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, black beans & pumpkin. Stir to combine ingredients & bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream, curry cumin, cayenne and salt, to taste. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve garnished with chopped chives.

God bless,


Monday, September 05, 2011


My first book in The Blue Willow Brides has been released! September 1st, Deeply Devoted landed in the bookstores and online. I'm already receiving reader feedback. One reader wroter:

"You employ some really descriptive and metaphoric language which I love.... My favorites are- He was "deliciously handsome", "stared into the dark liquid", "love was spilling over into her heart", "you wear the dirt well", "she hugged the secret to herself", "the filtered sunlight kising its bank and overhanging trees", and the outdoor smell kissed the laundry with a fresh fragrance all its own". These really stirred my senses.

I felt your intimacy with God weaved throughout the book. You really showed how the love between Peter and Cath was founded by their faith in God and his purpose for them and others in their lives and how love endured through the strength of their faith."

Another reader read until 1:30 in the morning to finish. This is what an author loves to hear. :)

I'll hope you'll pick up a copy at your favorite bookstore, Amazon or You'll find the links on the side-bar. No Place For a Lady is a free download right now on Kindle and Nook if you haven't read it. Click here: or here

I plan to have a give a way soon connected with Blue Willow Dishes so stay tuned. I've been a little bit out of step lately after a bad fall, a broken bone in my foot, sprained ankle and badly sprained hand. I had more than 2 months of therapy eating up my time while I was completing book 2 in this series. To say I was a bit overwhelmed would be an understatement. Now you know why I've been behind on blogging, but I hope to get back on track.

Georgia is dealing with rain and tornado warnings today from the now tropical storm Lee. So it's been an unevental Labor Day. Hope you have sunshine and barbeque for Labor Day wherever you are. As for me--I have a big pot of Camillia Red Beans and Andouille sausage simmering. Mmm...good!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ICRS in Atlanta

Monday I was at the ICRS, Internatinal Christian Retailers Show in Atlanta. I went as a guest of Baker Publishing Group. I went with the manager of our church bookstore, The Bookmark. I had a great time seeing authors that I knew and meeting new ones. I was able to see my friends Tamera Alexander, Deborah Raney, Tricia Goyer, and Brandilyn Collins, and have enjoyed their novels. I met Melody Carlson and got a copy of her latest book to read. The line for Karen Kingbury was so long that I ducked out, but I was able to get a copy of her book. Actress Roma Downey was there also, but I waited too late to get in the line for her.

I was delighted to talk with Cecil Murphy at the Baker dinner, whom I met about 5 years ago. I so admire that man. His book, The God Who Pursues, is one of my absolute favorites that I read a long time ago, but he has written many books. I talked with Kevin Leman, another favorite of mine, who makes me laugh.

Another real highlight for me was meeting Gary Chapman and getting his autographed copy of how to really Love your Adult child. No, I haven't messed up the capatalization. Check it out for yourself. Gary is warm and friendly, and it was indeed an honor to meet him. I listen to him on the radio.

To my huge surprise, I was talking with Jim McBride, the author of Rite of Passage, a Father's Blessing, before he told me that he is an executive producer of the films released by Sherwood Pictures: Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants, and Flywheel. He is the executive pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in GA. I was so tickled to be talking with him.

I met my marketing gal from Revell and enjoyed seeing her face to face and so many of the others on staff at Baker. Beverly Lewis sat at annother table, but sadly, I didn't get a chance to talk with her. I was able to meet Suzanne Woods Fisher who writes Amish. It was fun meeting her since we'd talked online.

The gals who manned the ACFW booth were delightful, as usual. Ane Mulligan, Cynthia Rutchie, and Maragaret Daly were there when I went. Such wonderful ladies.

I've probably left someone out, of this post, so forgive me. Naturally, I came home with a sore shoulder from hauling books. :) But I'm not complaining. So many books, and not enough time.

I've just submitted book #2 in The Blue Willow Brides series today. Yeah for me! It won't be long and Deeply Devoted will be released around August 15th. I'm am so excited about this book.

More on that later. I hope your summer is going great. Right now, I'm looking for a little bit of down time before starting the final book in the series.

Happy Trails,


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Substitute Father

I took the round about way home today after a physical therapy appointment to drive past our house we lived in before the present one. The house where neither of my children grew up in. Both were away at college at the time when we decided on a change, partly because my brother Gary and his family had moved to Marietta, and enjoyed the neighborhood they’d moved into.

I have fond memories of the white two-story house with dormer windows. The porch with sunshine spilling across the painted planks, seem to say, ‘pull up a rocker and sit a spell’. A beautiful magnolia tree a friend planted in memory of my sister, Gail, and a pink dogwood in memory of my mother, still stands gracefully in the front yard. I drove slowly alongside the backside to see the beautiful Pin Oak that I planted for Gail which was big and strong, filling me with hope, like she did. The huge back porch that ran the entire length of the house, had been my favorite retreat with its Southern wicker furniture, white swing, plants with blue and white accessories. Many ideas and dreams of mine were birthed on the back porch, and many a conversation with my brother, too.

I took my time leaving, filled with many good memories and a few not so good, but today I chose to dwell on the good ones. I recall hanging thick garland on the pristine white porch railing when it was always a bright cold November day. Many Christmas parties were given there, with Gary and his family. A favorite time was when my children would come home from college, each enjoying their private haven and delight me with their tales of dorm life and of course my son’s fat laundry bag! My aging mother would come to visit in the summer and fall, and Gary and I would share her visits. She loved the back porch and would spend time on it either ironing, or having coffee with us but usually napping. What a precious time that was.

I was so excited back then to be living only three miles from my brother and his family. Never in a million years did the two of us ever dream that would happen. So I then inched my way down the street to his old house in this unusual bittersweet mood. Many afternoons I’d go over to his house after he’d get home from work, and we'd have coffee while he waited on the ‘jewel’ in his eyes to arrive home from middle school, then high school, then later college. How the years have flown by now. We had many a meal at their house and they ours, and I cherish every single one, especially when he made gumbo or carmel pie! He spoke at my writer's class at church, and I was so proud to introduce him! Later Gary moved to Montana and not long after that, I lost him to a terrible virus, but more importantly, my sweet niece lost her dad and my sister-in-law her husband and best friend. I watched my niece grow into a lovely adult woman and my sister-in-law a widow. Such hard, hard times back then.

But I had lost a dear friend and a substitute father. I loved my real father, but he was never home for long, and my brother Gary had to shoulder the responsibility of becoming the head of the house when he was way too young for such a role. But handle it, he did! He worked long, hard hours while still in high school stocking shelves and unloading trucks at A & P Grocery to help pay the bills and put food on the table. Later, he worked his way through college during some tough financial struggles for all of us. All the while, he was being the best friend, brother and substitute father that he could, offering advice when needed and instruction, though he was only six years older than me. When he became a published author, I was so proud of him and so were my siblings, but especially my mother! He wrote seven westerns under the pen name of Jess McCreede, and was Deputy Superintendent at Glacier National Park in MT, the place where he felt most at home. He had a wonderful sense of humor, always making me laugh and we had fun talking about our writing. He was extremely intelligent, a friend to all, a quiet, soft-spoken man with gentle hands, whom almost no one had an unkind word to say.

So my tribute this Father’s Day is to my brother, Gary (Jess) or known to his peers as Jerry O’Neal, who was always there for me, in my corner, in my face, in my world, my mentor, my dearest friend, always encouraging, believing in me, lifting me up when I was down, and in my life as much as he could possibly could until his death. He wasn’t my only brother but he was the best one. Jess, I miss you still…


Sunday, February 27, 2011


Isn't this the most beautiful book cover?? Deeply Devoted is now up on your favorite shopping sites for pre-order. I'm very proud of this book and hope you will enjoy reading it. It all started with a children's Blue Willow Tea set given to me by my brother and his wife many years ago when I was in grammar school. If you're wondering how that could be--I was the baby of 8 children and my oldest brother married when I was only 5 or 6.

My imagination took me many places as I played with my tea set, which sadly didn't make it through the years, but I truly treasured it. My brother and sister-in-law have since passed on as well, but they and the tea set live on in my heart. With my fascination of Blue and White, my dining room hutch displays a "grown up" set of Blue Willow, which is still my favorite among the sets of dishes I own. Don't you just love Blue Willow? It never goes out of style.

Here's a brief synopsis of Deeply Devoted:

A Blue Willow tea set, a tragic past, a worn letter, and devotion to her two younger sisters, is all that mail order bride Catharine Olsen brings from Amsterdam to Cheyenne, WY to meet her future husband. Peter is a gentle, but hard-working wheat farmer, who doesn't realize the extent his meddling mother will go to in order to discredit his bride after he decides not to marry the lady she chose for him. Will Catharine's secret past threaten the idyllic life she has created with her new husband?

Be on the lookout for a book give away and maybe something more in the near future!

Also, check out my publisher's site, (Revell) for more details.

I've been busy just living life as I'm sure you have, and I haven't lived up to my promises to blog more often. Besides writing, I was honored to endorse another book and a chunk of my time in February was spent in the dentist, endodonist and oral surgeon's chair and I had the virus that's been going around my state to add to my misery. But I'm trying to get back on track and with the purple leaf plums bursting out yesterday in all their pink finery, I'm looking forward to spring. How about you?

So what have you all been reading and how have you been spending your time? Drop me a note. I enjoy hearing from you.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Two things my brother and I had in common were writing novels and a great love of the West. Jess McCreede wrote seven wonderful westerns. This was his writing cabin in Montana on their "farmette" as he called it. It has been painted since this snowfall, but I love this picture. He was instrumental in where I am today. So honoring the West and him, I'm thrilled to let you know that my website is finally up and running. I wish he was still here to see it and brainstorm ideas with me. But somehow, I feel he already knows.

The slogan I came up with that fits my stories is "Romancing the West" because I write historicals which always have romance at the core while imparting a slice of history. So I hope you'll check out the site. Let me know what you think. Since I love the Georgia dogwoods that I used for my blog, I told my designer that I needed to have the Rocky Mountains for the website. After a lot of templates and playing around with backgrounds and colors, (I hope I wasn't too hard to please), she came up with this beautiful banner and template.

I hope to keep it updated with whatever I'll be involved with that relates to my books for my readers. In March I will be able to share the goregous cover for my new book releasing in September, Deeply Devoted. Once again, Revell gave me what I asked for. It's beautiful! They are letting me keep my series title too-The Blue Willow Brides.

If you are interested in creating a website of any kind, I can highly recommend Tina Dee, the moderator for Bustles and Spurs. She's not only knowlegeable, but patient and understanding to give you the best of what you need. Her site in linked on my favorite blog lists on the right hand side toolbar called The Homestead Heart. Here's her link. You can contact her there or leave me a comment as well.

I survived the historic record breaking snowfall in Atlanta and just today the snow and ice is almost gone. New beginnings ahead as I launch into the year 2011 with a new series.

Happy Reading,