Meet Maggie Brendan, author of No Place For a Lady
by Molly Noble Bull
Today I am interviewing author Maggie Brendan about her wonderful new western romance series Heart of the West. By the way, Maggie’s first book in the series, No Place For A Lady, received a fantastic rating of four and one half stars from Romantic Times magazine, and that book is still available. Book Two in the series, The Jewel of His Heart, will be published this month, received a 4 Star from Romantic Times, and A Love of Her Own will be published in June of 2010.
Maggie, tell us a little about each of these books, including their settings, and then give us your web and blog addresses so our readers can learn even more about you.
No Place for a Lady is a story about a Southern Belle who leaves Georgia for Colorado where her Aunt has a cattle ranch. A proper Southern Belle, Crystal is determined to hold her own in this wild land—even if a certain handsome foreman named Luke doubts her abilities. Just when she thinks she’s getting a handle on the constant male attention from the cowhands and the catty barbs from some of the local young women, tragedy strikes. Rising to the challenge, she struggles to save the ranch or return to Georgia defeated.
The Jewel of His Heart is a about Juliana Brady, drawn to a handsome gentle sheepherder, Josh McBride in Montana. When Josh discovers a rare kind of sapphire on his property and considers striking out on his own path in the world, he is forced to decide what’s most important to him: the world’s riches or the eternal value of love in a woman whose eyes rival the rarest of gems.
A Love of Her Own is about April McBride who’s used to having the world revolve around her. Life becomes a real hardship when she has to learn to do without and do things for herself that she always took for granted. Besides having servants care for her every need, her father doted on her and gave in to her every whim. She is high-strung, argumentative as well as manipulative and spoiled rotten. But who wants to tangle with her type?
When she decides on the spur of the moment to take a trip to see her brother, Josh in Montana, she finds more than she bargained for in the form of a contrary cowpoke named Wes, who’s rough around the edges clear down to his dusty leather cowboy boots and spurs when it comes to finery and manners. He’s used to getting by with very little and sees no need to live any other way, until his path crosses tall willowy April with her silky long blond hair and striking blue eyes that belies her stubborn mind-set.
John Barnum is more her type; refined, educated, good-looking, and most importantly to April, wealthy--All the components that appeals to her. Her life would be nearly perfect, or would it? Has April met her match? Will she lose her prideful control and learn that material possessions will not give her happiness? Will she finally learn that true love only comes without a price tag attached?
I’m presently working on a new series about mail order brides. The series title is The Blue Willow Brides. It’s about a young woman and her two younger sisters who come to America in the 1800’s. Catharine Olsen feels responsible for her two sisters and answers a mail order bride’s ad. She’s leaving behind a tragic past that will re-surface when she goes in search of hope and a better future. I’m really excited about this new series.
Readers can find me on my blog or at Bustles and Spurs were I am a resident blogger.
I know you are a southern girl. So tell as much about your background, home, and family as you are willing to tell. Then tell us why you decided to write western novels.
I had many dreams as a child, but was from a large family and the youngest of eight, so I had a hard time growing up and those dreams never happened. My father was an alcoholic and was hardly ever home, which left my mother working and playing both parental roles. (Side note-Molly’s book, The Winter Pearl, helped me see the other side of an alcoholic and be more understanding of my father). In the same way as Molly’s book, I had to forgive my father and God has blessed me above and beyond what I deserve. Since I was a child I always had a fascination with the West even as a child. I loved westerns like Roy Roger, The Lone Ranger, John Wayne movies, Wagon Train, and the like. I used to tell my mother that I was born in the wrong century. I wanted to be a cowboy!
When did you know you were a writer? And tell us about some of the people and books that inspired you to write and sell novels.
Even in the third grade I could see myself as a writer and would craft stories. My teacher gave me paper to use once I told her what I was doing. She encouraged me a lot.
I think reading Zane Gray books impressed me with the code of the west and a lure to the Rocky Mountains which did come true for me after I had two children. I loved Gone With the Wind and I was greatly inspired by LaVyrle Spencer’s romance novels. Though not Christian novels, she was a wonderful historical writer and I wanted to emulate her writing style. My brother, Jess McCreede, who wrote historical westerns, was huge encourager of my writing. He passed away five years ago quite suddenly which made me see how short my time on earth is so I worked even harder than before to get published.
I know that a faith in God is important to you. How do you present your person moral and religious beliefs in your novels?
I try to do that through my character’s roles in making decisions that will impact their lives and how they relate and treat others in my story. I want to elevate them to use their faith even in times when it seems impossible.
What else would you like for our readers to know about you?
I love researching my novels, even though it’s work for me. I adore my children and grandchildren and love spending time with them. All of them are truly a gift from God.
I love singing with my church choir and have sung since grade school. My husband and I once sang with an ensemble back in MS and went around to different churches performing. I’ve acted in many Easter Story performances and worked in the Worship and Music office handling among many things, our pastor’s sermon orders and compiling a ten year catalog for his radio ministry, Right From the Heart, now heard across the world. I’m a private “prayer warrior” which continues to build my own faith and trust in God when I receive answers to those prayers. Many people have no idea that I’m praying for them, but that’s okay by me because He knows. One of my little quirks is that I have started nice collection of different versions of the Bible, and I’m about to purchase the latest one, The Apologetic Bible. I recently bought myself a small Celtic Bible engraved with my pen name. I enjoy getting to know other authors and don’t mind helping aspiring writers because so many encouraged me along the path to publishing my books.
Molly: Thanks for sharing with us this month, Maggie. Your books sound great, and I know our readers will think so, too.
And remember, to find Maggie’s books at an Internet bookstore, write Maggie Brendan in the search slot.
Next month, author Tish Perry will pay us a visit.