Tuesday, January 26, 2016

AVAILABLE NOW~A SWEET MISFORTUNE EBOOK RELEASES TODAY!

Yay! Today the eBook for A Sweet Misfortune is available now at these fine websites!

The paperback will release in stores on February 2nd. But you can pre-order the paperback now if you prefer that to an e-reader.

I'm really excited about this book and Rachel's story. If you haven't read the first chapter you can scroll down in the blog to read it. I hope it will captivate your desire to read the rest of Rachel's story.

 I'm busy writing the last book in this series, The Virtues and Vices of the Old West, which releases in 2017. A sneak peak of the first chapter is included at the back of A Sweet Misfortune.

On my last blog post I tried to give away three copies of The Trouble With Patience, but unfortunately, I had no one participate. :( I'm hoping that was because you all have your own copy but I thought it would be nice to give as a gift to someone, or you were busy with the holidays.) :)

If you read my last blog post, you saw that I lost my nephew suddenly right before Christmas. Since that post, two weeks later, my daughter lost her sweet, mother-in-law who live down the street from me, and it was very sudden to all of us. So December turned out to be a difficult month for me, so I apologize to all of you who've check back to read my blogs (even when you don't post a comment to me) and didn't see any a new post. Two deaths, two weeks apart--very difficult then trying to wrap my head back around the story when you're own heart is aching for all involved, especially my grandchildren and son-in-law was not easy.

I don't want to end on a sad note though, so I can tell you that God is good all the time and we are never far from His love even when life becomes so hard to bear. Trust Him. I wonder how those who don't trust in Him get through those difficult times.

Until next time,

Maggie

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

A Grateful Heart


Dear Readers,

I had intended to write a post about Thanksgiving with a giveaway, but another death in my family  occurred the day before Thanksgiving. My nephew passed away and it was rather a shock to all of us. He will be sorely missed. I had another relative die this year...my brother-in-law. Both of these, while sudden, are no surprise to our Lord. While we grieve for them, they wouldn't choose to return if they could since their souls are at rest in Heaven. This is our blessed hope.

Death is always a sharp reminder of the brevity of life. We can decide to let it keep us from experiencing life to the fullest or make us more mindful to choose what we do NOW wisely, thanking God for what he's done for us through his Son Jesus. I'm not saying that I'm over it, and the sadness of losing three family members in two years, (my nice) but even more I'm fixing my eyes on Jesus. What better time to do that in the Christmas season?

So many things to be grateful for~~my family and friends, my home along with the ability to somehow continue to write my stories for you. But I'll be honest it's a little harder in times of sadness.

Two things to tell you about: Deeply Devoted is a free eBook currently, if you've not had a chance to read it on these sites:
Christianbook.com: http://tinyurl.com/ocfkdtw
Nook: http://tinyurl.com/lxfdkkv
Google Play: http://tinyurl.com/j2mnmfu

Since I'm feeling grateful to you for reading my books, I'm giving away three copies of The Trouble With Patience!!! Here's how-- Just post me a comment  on my blog with the link to your Facebook AFTER you have posted the free Deeply Devoted eBook with the links on your Facebook wall or Twitter. That's all there is to it. :) We'll draw a winner. When you do this, be sure and leave a way to contact you if you're the winner for your snail mail address.

Soon, my new book, A Sweet Misfortune, will be released in February. Be looking for news on that. I'm so excited about it!

Happy late Thanksgiving! May your lives be fully blessed this season.

Maggie

 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

SNEAK PEAK CHAPTER~~A SWEET MISFORTUNE

Happy fall to my readers everywhere. I'm still waiting for fall to hit Georgia but I fear it won't be a pretty leaf change this year because of all the rain we've endured. :(

I thought you might enjoy a preview of the first chapter of A Sweet Misfortune releasing in February to whet your appetite. There's nothing like reading with a mug of your favorite hot beverage at your side and perhaps a fire glowing in the grate where you are. So sit back, relax and read the teaser of Rachel and John's story.

If you like what you read, I hope you'll pre-order your copy today. Happy Reading!

MAGGIE


A Sweet Misfortune

A Novel

Maggie Brendan

© 2016 by Maggie Brendan

Published by Revell




Printed in the United States of America

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—for example, electronic, photocopy, recording—without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data


A sweet misfortune : a novel / Maggie Brendan.

     pages ; cm. — (Virtues and vices of the old West ; book 2)

ISBN 978-0-8007-2265-4 (pbk.)

1. Frontier and pioneer life—Montana—Fiction. 2. Man-woman relationships—Fiction. 3. Ranches—Montana—Fiction. I. Title. PS3602.R4485S94  2015 813.6—dc23         2015032723

Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com

Scripture quotations marked NASB are from the New American Standard Bible®, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

16 17 18 19 20 21 22   7 6 5 4 3 2 1

For Bruce and his support, but most of all for his love.

 

 

[Jesus] said to them, “Watch out!
Be on your guard against all kinds of greed;
life does not consist
in an abundance of possessions.”

Luke 12:15

1

Paradise Valley

Cottonwood, Montana Territory

September 1862

John McIntyre reined in his horse along the ridge above Cottonwood Creek overlooking Paradise Valley below. The vista before him never failed to impress him, and this perfect fall day with its cloudless sky was no exception. He fished inside his leather vest pocket for a piece of paper and read it for the third time.

I need your help, John. After I left Paradise Valley, I received a letter from my sister, Rachel, that has me very disturbed. She is now working in a saloon called the Wild Horse as a dance hall girl. You have to get her out of that situation until I can return. I’m begging you, do what needs to be done—horse-tie her if you have to. And knowing her fiery disposition, you might have to. Get her out of there before it’s too late to save her reputation. With all your connections, maybe you can find her a decent job.

Your friend,
Preston Matthews

John sighed, wishing he didn’t have to get tangled up in a situation not of his own doing, and he stuffed the letter back into his vest pocket. He’d known Preston a long time and didn’t want to let his friend down. A saloon was no place for Preston’s sister. John hadn’t seen Rachel since she was a gangly adolescent and he’d already graduated from high school. Would he even recognize her now? He remembered a time when they’d argued at a church picnic after he didn’t want to enter the potato sack race with a girl. She could never take no for an answer.

With a gentle tug of the reins, he turned Cutter in the direction of the trail into Cottonwood. He wanted to get this done and get back to his ranch on the outskirts of town as quickly as possible—and he only knew of one way to do it.

John made his way through dust-filled Main Street, hearing piano music coming from the saloon long before he reached the hitching post. He dismounted, then stepped aside to let two drunks stagger through the swinging café doors. They dissolved into laughter and slapped one another on the back. The odor of liquor was strong, and he wondered how on earth a man could derive any pleasure from imbibing and losing control. He preferred to stay in control . . . most of the time.

He strode into the Wild Horse, his senses assaulted with the buzz of activity and music. There were girls dancing on a small stage, twirling about in scanty satin outfits, their bare legs kicking high into the air while they kept time with the beat of the banged-out notes of the piano. He scanned the room quickly, noticing men oblivious to the dance hall girls while they concentrated on their cards. He was surprised it was crowded this early—it wasn’t even dark yet.

John looked from left to right at the young dancers’ faces until he spotted Rachel. He strode to the stage and in one leap was in the middle of them, ignoring someone who yelled for him to get down. After lifting a strawberry blonde off her feet, he moved down to the floor again.

“What the devil do you think you’re doing?” The young girl thrashed about and pushed against his chest.

“Rachel, you need to come with me NOW!” he ordered.

“I’m not Rachel, you fool! Let go of me.” She twisted away. “I doubt Rachel’s gonna let you manhandle her either!” She giggled, covering her mouth in an attempt to hide the gap between her teeth.

“Beggin’ your pardon, ma’am,” he said, stepping back before swinging his line of vision across the stage floor to peer at each painted face.

Some of the ladies were still dancing, but one stopped—placing her hands on her hips and glaring at him. That’s Rachel! In two strides he was up the steps on the stage and lifting her unceremoniously to his shoulder, despite the pounding of her fists on his back and unintelligible mutters under her breath. The music stopped and the piano player stood up. “Where do you think you’re going with Rachel?”

“Move aside, man,” he said, pushing his way through the crowd who stood by watching. “Don’t get in the way of a lovers’ quarrel.”

“I ain’t never seed you here ’afore,” a snaggletoothed patron sputtered.

“Let me go, you brute!” the lady yelled, kicking her heels in the air.

John ignored her protest, continuing on past the café doors and straight to his horse. He straddled Cutter and, holding tightly to Rachel, settled her on his saddle. One swift kick in the side of his horse, and they galloped off—leaving bystanders in a cloud of thick dust.

———

Rachel had no choice but to hang on for dear life while she considered her options: jump off and risk a broken neck, or wait until the crazed cowboy came to his senses—which she hoped would be any moment now. He smelled of sunshine and the outdoors mixed with the peculiar smell of his worn leather vest, and despite her predicament, she found herself mystified by this man.

There was something vaguely familiar about his tall, dark looks and penetrating eyes that held hers briefly before he’d reached for her. Had she met him before? Perhaps he’d been to the saloon before. Why couldn’t she remember? Lord, help me get away! Her heart thumped hard against her ribs.

The landscape rushed past, and she closed her eyes to keep from getting dizzy until the horse began slowing. She opened her eyes to see they were at someone’s home. Before her sprawled a two-story Victorian ranch house, smoke curling from its chimney. Nearby were a large barn and corrals—some with horses and cattle being tended by ranch hands. A sheepdog rushed up to greet them as the cowboy slid off the horse’s back. Well, at least he didn’t take me to a deserted hideout to be his slave!

“Stay back, Winchester.” The dog sat next to his master with his tail curled, and the cowboy turned to stare up at her briefly, holding out his hands to assist her down. Instead of accepting his help, Rachel abruptly slid forward onto the saddle, grabbed the reins, then slapped the horse’s flanks and raced out of the front yard in the direction they’d come. She barely glanced back but saw the cowboy with his jaw dropped.

Teach him to snatch a lady! she thought with a chuckle. Suddenly there was a whistle from behind her and the horse came to a screeching halt. Despite her pull on the reins and another swift kick in his ribs, the horse wouldn’t budge. She muttered under her breath when she observed two ranch hands on horseback approaching her. There was no way out—the horse obediently turned around, trotting straight back to his master, who stood with hands on his hips and a dark look directed right at her.

———

John sighed and looked up at Rachel’s face, which was red with anger. He knew Cutter would listen to his commands, but he had to admire her—she had tried—and he supposed if it were him, he would’ve done the same thing. He walked over, taking the reins and giving Cutter an affectionate pat on his head. “Good boy.”

“Why don’t you let me help you down and then we’ll talk.”

WE have nothing to talk about!” she spat out. When she turned her nose up in the air like she was the queen of England, he laughed out loud.

“Suit yourself, but you’re going to get mighty tired sittin’ up there, and I believe supper is being held for us.” By now, more than a few of the ranch hands had sauntered over to see what was taking place, and stared at the pretty lady in her satin outfit.

“Meet Rachel Matthews, men. She’ll be staying with us for a while—”

“I will not!” Rachel sputtered, sliding off the horse to confront him, feet apart, her thin arms akimbo. She looked rather ridiculous in the frilly purple satin can-can skirt, high-top heels, and messy hair. “You had no right to bring me here and I demand that you find a horse to take me back to Cottonwood.” A snicker filtered out through the small bunch of hands, and she glared at them.

One bowlegged cowboy swept off his hat and bowed slightly. “Pardon me, ma’am, but I don’t think you’re gonna fit in with the bunch here lessin’ you know how to rope a steer!” The others guffawed and slapped their thighs.

“No thanks to you loggerheads—none of you are even man enough to stop this brute from kidnapping me!”

“Never interfere with a man and his lady when they’re in a spat, is my motto,” another cowpuncher added.

The cowhand’s comment seemed to infuriate her even more. “I’m not his lady!”

John watched as Rachel rolled her eyes, then folded her arms across her chest. He could tell she was not in the least bit flattered by their attention, and he hadn’t wanted to embarrass her. His eyes flicked over her willowy form and the pretty face underneath all the paint and powder. It was hard to believe she’d grown into such a beautiful young woman. Wonder why Preston never told me what a pretty young lady she’s become? He shifted his weight from one hip to the other. “You men go on about your business now.” The punchers shuffled out of the yard leaving the two of them to battle it out.

He stepped forward to take Rachel’s hand but she snatched it away. “Rachel, if you’ll step inside, I’ll explain everything to you.”

“How do you know my name?” She tapped her foot in the dirt. “And what do you want from me?” Her eyes snapped in anger. “I demand to know your name and why you’ve kidnapped me!”

“I choose to call it a rescue. My name is John McIntyre, and I own this ranch. Your brother, Preston, wrote and asked me to rescue you from the Wild Horse to protect you from that unscrupulous lifestyle.”

Her head thrust upward in surprise. “Preston? You’ve heard from Preston?” It was almost a whisper. For a moment her face softened and she seemed to forget her anger at him.

“Yes. Now, will you please come inside and we’ll have supper and talk?” He was pleading with her, which was against his nature. What had he gotten himself mixed up with? On any ordinary evening he would have been long finished with supper and sitting by the fire with a good book, or planning the next day with Estelle, his grandmother, or discussing ranch work with Curtis, his foreman. He was beginning to get impatient with this painted lady from the Wild Horse.

Reluctantly, Rachel nodded. “I don’t plan on being here for longer than I must, so you’d better explain what you have to do with my brother.”

“Fair enough.” John motioned for her to go ahead of him up the steps to the front door, then reached over and opened it for her. A light scent of rosewater tickled his nostrils as she walked past him, and he wondered how many men had held her in their arms . . . He shook himself, clearing away the thought. What she’d done in the past didn’t involve him one bit!

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

FREE EBOOK PROMO

Dear Readers,

I don't know about you but after a relocation to a new city and the heat and humidity, I'm getting ready for fall. I'll begin by dragging out my fall decorations and hope that cooler weather will soon follow. :) How about you? Many of you already are experiencing nice temperatures and I'm envious!

I'm excited to tell you that my publisher is having a promo for my book, Deeply Devoted. You'll find it free today on Apple and these other sites. Be sure and share with your friends.

 
Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/ps776nh
KindleUK: http://tinyurl.com/p7sawqh
 
I've finished page proofs for A Sweet Misfortune that releases next February and let me tell you~you don't want to miss this book!
With all the move and setting up the house, I've had little time to blog with my deadlines. Hopefully that will improve.
Back later and love to you all!
MAGGIE
 
 
 

Monday, June 22, 2015

NEW BOOK COVER AND NEWS

Dear Readers~I've been away buried under a numbers of things for a couple months but wanted to share my exciting new cover and tell you what's happening in my world.

I have such a fabulous team of designers for my book covers by Revell with beautiful models that depict my heroine perfectly. I'm pleased to share with you the new cover for book two, A Sweet Misfortune in my Virtues and Vices series. It's wonderful in my humble opinion. :)

Here's a glimpse into my new book that I hope you'll order when it becomes available in Feb. 2016 or for pre-order sooner.


Rachel Mathews isn’t one to rely on others to take care of her. Destitute and alone, she still wants to make her own way and her own money—even if she’s forced into the life of a dance hall girl. Horrified by her circumstances, Rachel’s brother sends a friend—the widely admired cattle baron John McIntyre—to rescue her, then sets off to earn enough money to buy back the family ranch. But when months pass without her brother’s return, Rachel isn’t sure she can take one more day in John McIntyre's home—especially once she discovers that he’s the one who holds the deed to her family’s ranch.
Sparks fly between this spunky, independent heroine and the ruggedly handsome hero as they navigate the snarled terrain of pride, greed, faith, and love in Maggie Brendan’s delightful series set in the Old West.

On the home front, the landscape has changed in a BIG way! My husband retired from architecture and we decided to sell our house, find another one and move from Atlanta to outside of Augusta, GA. My daughter and family live here and were are super excited about the move, as difficult as it was to leave our son and family. It's a smaller community with much less traffic which suits me to a tea.

My office is almost completely set up but it has taken some time to get it that way, and I'm ready to get back to the third book I'm writing.

It's been miserably hot in Georgia and I hope you're staying out of the heat and enjoying your summer with family and friends.

Back soon. Love to you all!

MAGGIE 



Saturday, February 21, 2015

NEW RELEASE AND CHANCE TO WIN!

Monday kicked off the release of my latest book, The Trouble with Patience! Have you got your copy yet? I hope so and that you'll take a moment to post a brief review on your favorite sites. But in case you don't have a copy, here's another chance to win one. I have an interview up my good friend Nora on The Book Club Network and some pictures that I think you'll find interesting. Post a comment back to me on that site to enter.

If you're not already a member, why not? There's lots of good book giveaways and prizes. Here's the link. http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com/ .

Atlanta is having very cold temps this week--cloudy and cold which means it's a good weekend to curl up with coffee or hot chocolate by the fire to enjoy reading a good book. Like mine. :)

Happy weekend!

Maggie

Friday, January 30, 2015

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY



Hello dear readers!

I hope 2015 is off to a fabulous start for you! Are you keeping your New Year Resolutions so far?
I didn't make a specific one, just want to be healthy since I had a birthday this month. The year flew by for me. Seems the older I get the faster they go.

I've been very busy and turned in the 2nd book of the new series and will be working on edits for that book as I prepare for the launch of the new book's release.

The new book, The Trouble with Patience, releases February 10th! To kick it off, my publisher is having a giveaway on GoodReads. They're giving away 5 copies of the book between January 30th thru March 2nd. It's easy to enter and if you are not a reader on GoodReads, I urge you to join. Here's the link-
 
The book is receiving great reviews and I couldn't be happier as I loved writing Patience's story.  Here's the 4 1/2 Star Review from Romantic Times:
 
"Patience is the perfect protagonist for this story - spunky enough to hold her own against the cowboys and gold minters of 1866 Montana!"
 
From Library Journal:
 
Patience Cavanaugh has a mind of her own. Moving to Montana after the death of her fiancé and inheriting a run-down boardinghouse, she discovers that life in a frontier town can be difficult. But, not as challenging as dealing with the local sheriff, Jedidiah Jones, when she asks him to do some minor repairs. In exchange, Jedidiah needs to feed the jail’s prisoners. After a rocky start, the two realize that they need each other although neither wants to be the first to admit it. ­VERDICT Brendan (“Heart of the West” series) delivers a charmingly quirky and endearing romance that reveals how love and faith can heal two damaged souls. Rendering skillfully depicted protagonists and an authentic Western sense of place, she provides plenty of pleasant escape reading for fans of Kellie Coates ­Gilbert and Lori Copeland.
 
Once I'm through with edits for book two, I'll start book three in the series. I always look forward to the challenge of building a story and creating interesting characters around my plots.
 
Tell your friends that No Place for a Lady e-book is free curretnly at these sites:
 
 
 
Amazon Kindle:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

FALL GREETINGS!

I must apologize for not posting on my blog more frequently but usually, what that means is I'm  a  hard at work writing novels for you, dear reader, and researching. :) Of course, I took time to plant my fall pansies that will cheer me all winter long. Looks like it was done just in time as Georgia is looking for our first really cold weather.

A couple of things occurred since I wrote you in July. I enjoyed teaching at the Catch the Wave Conference and not long afterward, my mother-in-law passed away. We were able to be with her when she passed, which was special. But that meant trips to Mississippi this summer.Those two events put me behind on the current book I'm writing, and page proofs for my new book y were waiting for me. But I'm back on track with good news! I was delighted to be told that I won first place for Book Buyers Best for inspirational in the Orange County, CA/ RWA! I'm very pleased because this award is chosen by judges from across the US. :) A nice feather in my bonnet indeed!

Speaking of bonnets...I love researching and looking at historical bonnets and hat for my stories. I wish we could bring hat wearing back into fashion. I quit wearing hats to church when I sang in the choir, but now hardly no one wears them. Therefore, I intend to add them more in my books.

Speaking of books...The Trouble with Patience is releasing soon. February to be exact. I hope you've ordered your copy or put it on your Christmas wish list. I'm very excited about Patience's story! The endorsements for this book has been wonderful thing for me because they are all very fine and best-selling authors. Here's the endorsements which I hope will pique your interest in the book:


“Maggie Brendan pens an entertaining romance set in my home state of Montana. She takes the reader on a delightful tale of love, betrayal, and intrigue that will keep you turning the pages. If you’re looking for a good book to curl up with, The Trouble with Patience will fit the bill nicely.”
Tracie Peterson, bestselling, award-winning author of over one hundred novels, including A Moment in Time

The Trouble with Patience is a gentle, engaging romance set in the rugged wilds of gold rush Montana. When Patience Cavanaugh inherits her grandmother’s Nevada City boardinghouse, she soon butts heads with the town marshal, Jedediah Jones. Between the challenges of restoring the dilapidated boardinghouse, dealing with murdering cattle rustlers, and some dark secrets in Jed’s past, Patience and Jedediah face many obstacles in their budding romance. Maggie Brendan deftly captures the flavor of the Old West in a sweet love story filled with suspense and well-developed, interesting characters that will surely capture the hearts of readers.”
Kathleen Morgan, author of the Brides of Culdee Creek series, A Heart Divided, and A Love Forbidden

“Maggie Brendan has created a wealth of memorable characters in this heartwarming story about a determined boardinghouse owner and an equally stubborn deputy marshal. Romance, mystery, and an intriguing plot all add up to a winning combination that’s sure to delight readers.”
Margaret Brownley, bestselling author of Gunpowder Tea and Petticoat Detective

“Yes, patience is a virtue, but The Trouble with Patience is virtually wonderful! Maggie Brendan is a master at tender love stories that tug at your heart while touching the soul, providing rich historical detail and tension that races the pulse. Which means the only trouble with this ‘patience’ is that it’s over too soon!”
Julie Lessman, award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and The Heart of San Francisco series

I couldn't have asked for better endorsements! Hope your fall is spectacular! Don't eat too much candy on Halloween. Thanks for stopping by.

MAGGIE


Friday, August 08, 2014

CATCH THE WAVE WRITING CONFERENCE



Have you every wanted to write a book or desire to try your hand at writing? Well, if you live in the greater Atlanta area, I have news for you--I'll be teaching a beginning writer's workshop at the Catch the Wave Writing Conference hosted by The Christian Authors Guild (CAG) August 15-16, a top-notched conference at a great value.

I'll cover plot, character development and setting, etc. to help you understand story structure which is the backbone of writing. Another workshop I'll teach is Deep Point of View, all to help your reader get into the head and heart of your characters.

This conference attendees may make 15 minutes appointments (free of charge) from industry leaders, acquisition agents, publishers and authors. All the details are listed on their websites so check it out, it's not to late to register. Here's the link. http://www.christianauthorsguild.org/2014-writers-conference/

If you have a deep desire to write and have been putting it off, hop on over to the conference link where you can read about it. At the top tool bar, you can also click on conference for the schedule and more details.

I'd love to meet some of you there.

MAGGIE 



Tuesday, July 01, 2014

NEW BOOK TO RELEASE IN 2015 & ICRS

Finally, I can share with you my new book cover for The Trouble with Patience, book #1 in my new series Virtues and Vices of the Old West. I've been at the ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) in Atlanta so this is the first chance I've had to blog. The cover is gorgeous and the heroine's face perfectly depicts my character, Patience. Revell designs the most beautiful covers, I think you'll agree. It's already up for pre-order, so I hope you'll jump on it and get your copy before it hits the shelves in Feb. 2015. The lace edging on the cover is a nice touch.

Here's the link to preorder: http://tinyurl.com/nvoq37x
 
 
Don't forget that No Place for a Lady for e-readers is still free on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com and Christianbook.com . Please pass the word along and tell your friends.

A week ago, I attend my publisher's Baker/Revell 75th Anniversary dinner at Fernbank Museum in Atlanta. It was great to see the marketing team again, and folks who work behind the scenes at Revell. I got to connect with one of my editors, Carol Johnson, (The Carol Award was named after her :), fellow authors that I already knew, and I met a few new ones as well. It was a very nice meal as my husband and I sat with the body of a dinosaur hovering above us with the VP of Lifeway, Tim Vineyard, and Christian book distributors, Ted Terry, his lovely wife, Marietta, Agent Janet Grant, and two ladies representing Guidepost. Twila Bennett, marketing with Revell hosted our table.
 

Me with editor, Carol Johnson
 
 
The Baker/Revell Dinner
 
Me with Marietta Terry

Dining under Dinosaur Ribs!


Me with Karen Kingsbury and Kelsey
 

On Tuesday I was at the ACFW booth helping out then later walked around to see who was book signing and found the lovely and talented Karen Kingsbury, author of a zillion books! She has a new line of greeting cards that she and her daughter, Kelsey, designed. My church's bookstore, The Bookmark, carry them.

With the 4th of July days away, I'm looking forward to fireworks and  a bit of relaxing plus staying out of our scorching Atlanta heat. How do you spend your 4th? I hope it's wonderful spent with family and friends.

Have a safe and HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

MAGGIE

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

MY SPECIAL FRIEND

 
One of the best things an author can have is a support team for their writing. I was fortunate enough to have a group of girlfriends on a prayer team I called Mag’s Peeps—seven of them. A few of them are from my writing group previously that I’d led in my home. They'd agreed to pray for my current novels and personal battles. I could relate many encouraging emails and phone calls from all of them, but for this post I want to tell you how one girlfriend in particular  who ministered to me in a most thoughtful and unusual way one summer.

Karen Casey is an award-winning wedding consultant, and loves to give people hope and something worth celebrating by creating a special “moment” in their lives. Once, she whisked me off to her gorgeous mountain home, despite my protest, where I could concentrate on completing my novel. Her deck had a fabulous view overlooking the valley and the North Georgia Mountains surrounded by total peace and quiet.
 KAREN CASEY

I desperately needed this time away to work uninterrupted. Karen plied me with lunches and delicious suppers she’d prepared. Her guest room was anyone’s dream—white fluffy pillows, comforter, with touches of white and lime green decorations sprinkled about the bedroom and my own bathroom. To my delight, my own private sitting room was attached with the spectacular view of the mountains. I felt restful, refreshed and pampered by this tiny woman who never, ever raises her soft southern drawl but who's voice can tame even the wildest of beasts. With her sheltering me, I was able to get a lot of word count done and write without distractions.
Some of the type of photos she'd send me.
 
She even got the  bridesmaids at one of her weddings to pose for my word count!
 
When another deadline looming and other major stressors, Mag’s Peeps started praying to that end. I was also preparing a proposal for a new series at the same time to my editor. Karen went a little further than most. One day my doorbell rang and she handed me a pretty glass jar decorated with an elephant filled with Hershey’s Kisses—a favorite of mine! One kiss for every 500 words until I reached my goal of 50,000 words to complete my novel, along with a card that read, “How do you eat and elephant? One kiss at a time!” Her kindness brought me to tears. She left as quickly as she’d arrived so she wouldn’t interfere with my work. Sometimes I was working so hard and the words flowing that I forgot to “eat the elephant” and she would send me a gentle reminder to reward myself.

 
Another day, she brought me a beautiful bouquet of summer hydrangeas from her garden. Karen continued throughout my deadline to send me photos that depicted 50,000 words written across them, using her friends or an object or bridesmaids that were in a wedding, encouraging phone calls, and once a brief outing for lunch to maintain my sanity until I completed my novel, Perfectly Matched, which released 2013. Karen truly went out of her way to lift me up, pray for me and encourage me during her own busy schedule but that is just who she is--always looking to spread God's love to others, and impart peace and comfort--it's her gift! There's so much more that I could tell you about her but suffice to say, I'll be eternally grateful to her. God bless you Karen and all of Mag’s Peeps!

What about you? Have you had a special day or time that holds a wonderful memory you had with your girlfriend? I'd love to hear about it. Post me a comment.

By the way all my books are current only sale and No Place for a Lady is still free on Amazon, CBD, and Barnes and Noble . Snag your free e-book today!

Maggie