Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Fall has tiptoed into Georgia quietly with pleasant humidity levels once again and slowly changing colors. I'm working on edits for the last and final book in The Blue Willow Brides series, Timeless Perfection. I must confess that I have a penchant for candy corn--a staple of autumn candy that's can usually be found at this time of year. It's a must have for me and I reward myself with a handful after a few hours of work each day.
When I emptied the bags in this pumpkin cookie jar, it's hard to walk past and not take a few kernels. I like to believe we shouldn't deprive ourself from a treat now and then. What's your favorite autumn candy?
I wanted to let you know I have an interview up on my friend Lena Dooley's blog this week. If you go leave me a comment, I'm giving away a copy of my latest book, Twice Promised. A week from Saturday, she'll select the lucky winner. Here's the link: .

I'll be book signing in October 20th for LifeWay's Fiction Event day in Kennesaw, GA and at LifeWay in Gulfport, MS-my hometown-November 17th. If you're anywhere near there, I'll love to connect with you. I enjoy talking with my readers, so I hope to see you.
Now back to my edits...and perhaps a handful of candy corn! :) Have a beautiful autumn!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Today I enjoyed being the guest of the Sassy Sisterhood Book Club in Marietta, GA. What a lively sassy group of gals they are and just as much fun as we delved into the discussion questions from my book, Deeply Devoted! I believe a couple of the ladies are missing from this photo.

We enjoyed a delicious lunch of taco salad with every delectable topping you can imagine and a scrumptious dessert of apple crisp (one of my all time favorites) with a scoop of ice cream. I particularly liked the southwestern plates Jane used.

I've known Jane Neal, the host of the luncheon, for a long time and I was very honored that they chose my book as a selection. But the best part of all besides the fellowship, was knowing that they really enjoyed my book and can't wait for Greta and Anna's story. They won't have to wait long for Greta's since it will release at the end of September. :-)

Thanks ladies for an enjoyable afternoon! Your encouraging comments fuel my desire to write the best stories possible for all my readers. We drew a name from the ones who signed up for my newsletter. The winner for a copy of Twice Promised is JANE HILL! I'll be sending you the book when the book is released. Thank you all for signing up for my fall newsletter.

What people are saying.

I love the story and Maggie makes all her characters come to life with her excellent writing. Lynn Underwood | 21 reviewers made a similar statement

Two mail-order brides, one groom and a few misunderstandings collide in the second blue Willow Brides book.  Brendan's characters are witty, charming and fun to be around, and she brings her trademark writing style to the Wild West.

Then Book summary:

In 1888 Black Hawk, CO, Greta Olson is determined to be happy as a mail-order bride to Jess Gifford.  Then she learns that another woman, Cora Johnson, has answered the same ad.  She is certain Jess didn't place the ad.  Jess knows that his brother, Zach, placed the ad and he's furious.  Zach and Jess will have to decide which woman each wants to marry-- but surprises await them when the women have their own opinions.  Patsy Glans

A brief note-RT reviewer got the city wrong. The story takes place in Central City, CO.

Don't forget-you can follow me on Twitter @MaggieBrendan and on Facebook at my author page. I'll be book signing for LifeWay's Fall Fiction Event Day on October 16th from 1-3 p.m. at their Kennesaw Store near Town Center Mall. Hope to see you there.

Until next time,


Thursday, August 02, 2012


TBCN INTERVIEW w/Nora St.Laurent

I'm please to have Nora St.Laurent visit my blog today. Nora's very dear to me and has been gracious enough to attend almost every book signing I've done. She's  a wonderful and enthusiastic Christian woman with a heart for book clubs. Here she is to tell you all about The Book Club Network!

Nora Stlaurent’s Bio: Nora is the CEO of The Book Club Network Incorporated. Nora and her husband run The Book Club Network She runs two book clubs near Atlanta, Ga., Former ACFW On-Line Book Club. Nora currently writes a Book Club column for the Christian Fiction OnLine Magazine and is a Book Club Talk Columnist for Novel Rocket. You can read author interviews on her Finding Hope Through Fiction blog, located at, and reviews around the web at The Christian Pulse Mag, Title Trakk, Novel Reviews, and Suspense Zone.

What inspired you start TBCN? The Book Club Network was born out of a desire to share Christian Fiction authors with other book clubs, share book club ideas with other leaders and to encourage the authors who are writing such amazing books. The economy has been really tough for a few years and people are not parting with money like they used to. Through TBCN they can take their time and find the right book or win it. We have give away opportunities each month. ALL of our contests are from the 19th – 21st of the month.

I run two face to face book clubs one at the Christian Book Store I work at and the other at the church I attend. It’s a position I never imagined I’d be in since I didn’t read for pleasure much before I started working in a Christian book store 11 years ago.

But since I love talking with people and the main thing to talk about in a book store is books I started reading Christian Fiction (publishers sent ARC copies to our store and I started checking them out) The first book that rocked my world and got me hooked in Christian Fiction was a book by Linda Nichols called Not a Sparrow Falls her next book did me in and I couldn’t stop talking about it, At the Scent of Water was her next book that prompted me to contact the author and let her know how much her book touched my spirit.

After reading these two books and telling customers about these reads I had a reason to read. These books spoke to me because I wasn’t expecting it. It reminded me of the stories in the bible. Jesus is the greatest story teller and He knew a story could change a life or prick our spirit and move us in a direction we never thought we’d be in.

I tell you all that to say I’m dyslexic and I have not been a fan of reading. Movies were more my thing. I could watch a movie of a book and have a lot more fun. Reading Christian Fiction changed my life in more ways than one. I wanted to tell everyone about the greatest book I read, and I’d do that at the book store. It was possible to talk about the new book I read and loved for about a month or more but when At the Scent of Water and Not a Sparrow Falls were not on the shelf anymore, I had to find some other books to talk about at work. I’m not a very fast reader so; discovering the next new book was a challenge. Would I get the book read before it disappeared from the shelf? How long do books live on a book shelf? The shelf life of a book was a mystery to me and still is.

I was whining to my husband Fred about my problem. How can I get the word out about great books for a very long period of time??? Being a man who likes to face challenges head we began to talk about how we could do this and the fact that I can’t read books fast enough to keep up with it’s shelf life at the store.

I also told him as a book club leader I wanted to promote great books and share them with other groups. Not everyone has the advantage of working at a book store and see what new books hit the shelves each week. Another struggle I had was if I had an author speaking at my book club I wanted to share them with other book clubs in the area. How could I do that? Where are book clubs meeting?

Our answer to many of these questions and more was the birth of The Book Club Network - TBCN. Connecting authors to book clubs and readers to their books; it’s also a network of book clubs as they post what they’ve read and how the meeting turned out.

It’s a place to find where a book club is located. We have a member map where you can find a book club near you. Message them and see if they are accepting new members. I envision it to be similar to be similar to the Weight Watchers program (don’t laugh Grin) you can go to a meeting anywhere in the country right? All you have to do is look on line and get connected. This is my hope for the future of TBCN.

Have there been any surprises for you @TBCN? What benefits have you seen by bringing readers and authors together? I’ve been encouraged and fascinated by our growth. I can see there were other people out there like me wanting to connect with other book club members.

I’ll tell you what has surprised me is the author/reader interaction each month. This is something I didn’t foresee as I’ve watch the authors are having a blast interacting with the readers and visa/versa. The beauty of this discussion is it’s there forever for all to read no matter when you join TBCN.

The authors have done a great job coming up with questions for reader to answer that give them a peek into their book – create interest and then the discussion helps book club leaders connect with the author. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the amount of authors that want to be featured @The Book Club Network. It’s been a great thing.

The interaction with the authors is almost like having a book club meeting on line. It’s a huge benefit for both the authors who’ve wanted to ask clubs questions and readers who want to get to know authors. The authors are catching on. Our sponsors have loved the interaction as well. Members have told me that they love the author interaction from the 19th-21st as much as having a chance to win all these books. It’s hard to know if a book will be a fit for your group so these interaction times are helpful for that and so much more. Another thing I love about TBCN members is the fact they are not afraid to share what they think in a good way. I’ve learned so much and laughed out loud in some discussion where the questions lead to sharing funny moments.

My hope is that book club leaders and/or members participate in the discussions and make that book connection with the author and their book. I want TBCN to be a tool for them in picking out their books. Maybe invite the author to speak to their book club on the phone. It’s my hope. The discussion will be there forever. No worries about a books shelf live here @TBCN. So, everyone has time to get to know each other!! It’s a beautiful thing!

How can readers join in the anniversary celebrations? It’s easy to sign up to be a member of TBCN. We ask a few questions for you to answer and for other information that helps us keep spammers and other information seekers out of the network. It’s also FREE. You have opportunities to win lots of books. For our BIRTHDAY BASH we are giving away 10 books a day and announcing winners once a week. You’ll have all week to enter the daily featured contests.

Do you have any other comments for my readers? If you are avid reader this is the place for you to learn about the latest in Christian Fiction and interact with the author each month. Are you a book club leader? Well this is the place for you to find your next book club pick. We’d also love for you to set up your Book club page at our site for others to see. It’s a place to share your latest featured book. Post pictures of your club and the field trips you’ve taken. The authors you’ve met and the book fun you’ve had. Learn from other book clubs that have already set up their pages.

Want to start a book club but felt it was too overwhelming? You can learn from other experienced book club leaders, and you can start right away making your book club list!

Do you like to win books? This is the place for you. You’ll have a chance to get to know the authors and their books and read genre’s you normally wouldn’t. We’ve been giving away about 100 books a month and for our birthday bash it’s going to be 10 books every day; starting August first. Winners are picked weekly and announced each weekly.

THANK YOU! You’ve been a grand host to have me here and let me talk about The Book Club Network and our Birthday Bash!! I hope to see you there @TBCN You are a Blessing!! Nora :o) The Book Club Network CEO

Nora, I've enjoyed hearing about your journey to form TBCN. I'm blessed to know you and so happy that you created TBCN for readers and authors like me. :)I hope my readers will check it out and sign up. What a fun place, too! See you at my next book signing this fall. :)


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Winner of Mother's Day Giveaway

We have a winner for a free copy of my book, Deeply Devoted! Wendy was selected! Yay! I want to thank you all for taking a moment to post me a comment. I loved hearing about your moms. I hope your Mother's Day was special as we reflected on what our moms meant to us now that we're adults--some with our own children.

I'm working hard on my deadline for the 3rd book in The Blue Willow Brides. My title is Timeless Perfection. Of course, the publisher may have other ideas. Lol! Twice Promised will be out this fall, which I just finished galleys then page proofs for. So I've not had a lot of time to blog with my different deadlines. After I turn in book 3, I'm hoping for a break and a little bit of free time.

I appreciate all of my readers and the great feedback that you send me. It keeps me working hard to write the next best story....

School's out and summer has arrived, and I hope to spend  a little more time with my family. I planted a small herb garden and flowers which allows me time to enjoy our beautiful outdoors. I may post a picture of the herb patch once it's established. The flowers are a different story. We have a rabbit problem and they love to eat the tender flower buds. :( We did spray offensive smelling stuff, so I'll have to see how that goes. 

Have a wonderful week, and get out and enjoy God's beautiful handiwork everywhere that he left for us so that no one is without excuse.


Wednesday, May 09, 2012


MAGGIE O'NEAL (my mom)

Mother. There's no other word quite like it or carries the same weight as the word Mother. Whether you call yours, Mama, Mother, or Mom, or whether you're mom is not your natural mother but raised you, she still counts as Mother. Mothers love us despite our many faults or any disagreements we may have had, unconditionally, just like the Father's love for us. :) Most pray for us, were present to place a cool cloth on your brow when you were sick growing up, made you cookies and pressed your school clothes, praised you when it was worthy, and worried over you when she knew something was wrong. My mother told great stories and made us kids laugh. She loved country and western music, gospel and ELVIS! Sometimes I think she liked Elvis more than us kids. Lol! She danced a gig around the living room or kitchen to the music from her Hi-Fi (that'll date you!) and danced with my children as well. She made the best dumplings and cornbread you ever put in your mouth! She lived on social security for many years in a tiny apartment, but never complained about it. She watched every nickel she had just like it was sill the depression she went through, but somehow managed to have a good hot meal on her table always when anyone dropped by or was sick in her complex. She had so many grandchildren and great grandchildren that I've lost track of the total.

My mama was tough! A true Steel Magnolia. She grew up on a farm in Mississippi in a large family. She worked hard in her life in years my dad wasn't present in our family, taking on all kinds of odd jobs to keep us from going under and she wasn't too proud to work at any job if it meant putting food on the table or paying the bills. From doing other people's laundry, ironing, shucking oysters, working at a chicken plant, plucking chickens, picking cotton, waitressing, working on a dairy farm, picking up pecans, and as housekeeper at the local motels on the Gulf coast, she gave it her all her best. I'm sure I've left one, out but these are the ones that I was aware of. You hardly see that kind of dedication any more these days because people now feel they are entitled to "everything" when they're just starting out in life.

 Mama kept her Bible always opened on her coffee table as far back as I can remember at whatever passage she was studying that given day. Many of the those verses I can still hear her quote in my head, and are a big part of my life today. She instructed us in the way we should go, and danged if we didn't. We all wanted to make her proud because she was proud of us.

She lost a baby girl at eight months old and a daughter who was nearly 59 and her husband at 62, but yet she toughed it out when life seem to hold no joy. I'm glad she wasn't here to see my other three brothers pass on. She loved being outdoors, and worked in her flower bed until she fell at 87 and never fully recovered.

There's so much more I could say about my mama. She never owned a home, or drove a car, but she  filled our home with love and laughter and most of all her Faith. I'm eternally grateful for her telling me who Jesus Christ is. It's been 14 years since her passing, but the loss is just as fresh on my mind, especially on Mother's Day, as it ever was. I'd like to be able to say I have some of her strength in me.

I want to honor her by giving you a chance to receive a copy of my latest book, Deeply Devoted. All you have to do is leave me a comment--short one please, about your mother. I'll randomly draw a name next week. Leave you email address,--put symbols in parenthesis, know the drill 



Saturday, March 17, 2012


Kiss me, I’m Irish. Yes, I’m part Irish, English and Creek Indian, but on this day if you are a little or a lot Irish, it doesn’t matter if you want to celebrate. My maiden name was O’Neal, so I feel Irish today. St. Patrick used the shamrock to represent the Holy Trinity and placed the Irish symbol of the sun onto the Christian cross. You can see it on my bible in the picture. He was a missionary to Ireland where most of the Irish worshiped nature based pagan Gods. He shared the “good news” of Christ and converted many to Christianity.

My father was buried on this day, 37 years ago. Unfortunately, I was not there for the funeral, due to unfortunate circumstances. I did see him about 6 weeks before he died, and it was a very tough visit with a small toddler on my skinny hip (at the time, Okay, lol!)

One good thing that came out of this visit was that he and I knelt one evening in his bedroom, and he prayed to receive Christ as his savior. This still brings fresh tears to my eyes now. I don’t credit myself for this. I was merely the instrument God chose to use. I feel like that was the purpose of my visit, because I knew that I would not be able to come back. At the time I was okay with that. But after a few years, I came to realize that I did not get closure—if there can be any—because I wasn’t able to be there, to grieve with my family or to say a final goodbye.

Now 37 years later, I still wish I could have been there because I needed my family’s support in loosing a father that I loved so much, even though for the most part he was an absentee father.

Today, as I have my coffee, I set an extra cup for the absent father as a tribute to his memory. He gave me my first taste of coffee, while sitting on the back porch steps in his undershirt after work. He would pour me a sip in the saucer and I would eagerly devour it before mama would catch us! Pretty much the same way that I have done with my own grandchildren. My father was a kind, gentle soul. He never raised his voice that I can remember. He called me Baby, never Brenda. I can understand why my mother loved him in spite of all his flaws. He was handsome and sweet and well liked by everyone. The two of them must’ve celebrated his birthday this past Thursday in Heaven. Someday I’ll be joining them as well. What a day of rejoicing that will be.

Enough of all this blarney…So here’s to you, John Samuel O’Neal…I miss you still.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Here's the brand new cover just approved for Twiced Promise. It's such a beautiful cover! Of course I didn't expect anything less from the art department at Revell.

You'll have a few months to wait for it. It releases in October, but I'm hoping you will think it's well worth the wait. Here's a brief description:

Seeing how successful her older sister's "mail order marriage" has been and longing to strike out on her own, Greta Olsen answers an ad for a mail order bride in Central City, Colorado. But when she meets Jess Gifford, owner of a thriving mercantile, she begins to harbor doubts. He didn't place the ad to begin with and his business in a busy mining town leaves him little time or energy for love. To compound her troubles, she was not the only bride to answer the ad! Will either bride strike the match she hopes for?

Filled with amusing and awkward situations that will keep the reader interested and guessing, Twice Promised is another sweet romance from Maggie Brendan.

I've been staying busy working on the last book in this series and working up a new proposal for a new series. More on that series as it developes later. These things can take a while to iron out. Along with that, life has thrown me a few curve balls to dodge, but then I know that things arise in everyone's life to take our focus away from what's important. I do hang out on my Facebook author page when time allows, so I hope you'll check that out and you can also connect with me at Twitter. It scrolls on the right hand bar on my page here.

Spring is just teasing us here in Georgia presently, and I hope you're staying healthy and warm whever you live and you're reading a good book by a crackling fire and something hot to drink.

God bless,