Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
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.
TWICE PROMISED RELEASES AT THE END OF SEPTEMBER:
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 www.bookfun.org 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 http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com, 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 www.bookfun.org 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
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
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
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.