Monday, September 29, 2014

Author Interview and Giveaway: Chain of Mercy by Brenda Anderson

Welcome to Christian Book Review Blog, Brenda! Thank you for being here! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thank you for welcoming me, Aizess! I’ve been married to Marvin for 27 years, and I’ve been a full-time mom for 22 of those years. An empty nest is lurking in our near future. We live in a suburb of northern Minneapolis, MN with our three kids (two in college and one a recent college grad) and one sassy calico cat. My dream is to live in an A-framed log home looking out over Lake Superior.

When did you first discover that you loved writing? 

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Even back in grade school I wrote plays that our class put on for the school. Writing a book had always been a dream, but it wasn’t until nine years ago that God got a hold of me and said, “I gave you this gift. What are you going to do with it?”

Why do you write the type of books that you do?

I tend to be a serious person, and my favorite novels have always been those that deal with the gritty side of life, so when I put fingers to keyboard, that’s what came out. My books aren’t light, but they show God’s love shining through the darkness.

What was your greatest obstacle in writing and how did you overcome it?

My greatest obstacle is myself. First in convincing myself that writing wasn’t a waste of time, then in learning that rejections aren’t personal. I’m blessed to be surrounded by a family of supporters. My husband is my biggest cheerleader, and our kids and parents are close behind. Having their constant encouragement makes it much easier to overcome obstacles.

Has writing changed your life in any way?

Absolutely. One of the biggest blessings is meeting new people, people who totally “get” your passion for writing. With writing, I’ve been forced out of my safe, introvert bubble by traveling alone to conferences around the country and pitching my stories to industry professionals. Definitely out of my comfort zone.

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most?

My favorite verse has to be “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13 – 14. When I’ve had those moments of wanting to quit, I just have to read that verse, and I keep pressing on.

Is there a book you’ve read that has been truly spectacular?

I love Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Jane is such an unusual heroine. She isn’t attractive, wealthy, or athletic, attributes that seem to draw the reader, yet she is a true hero. She’s gutsy, intelligent, wise, and passionate. The story is dark, yet it offers hope.

What’s the funniest/quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?

In 2012, my contemporary romance was a finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest. At the conference that year for the banquet, all finalists entered the banquet hall before the rest of the attendees. As I’m entering the room, rushing toward a table, I felt my panty hose start to slither over my hips and creep down my legs. Pretty soon I was waddling toward a table, praying the hose would stay above my knees. I grabbed a table and sat, wondering if I’d have a chance to sneak to the rest room. When the rest of the attendees entered, my critique partners joined me at the table, and I whispered to Shannon, telling her my problem. She told me to slide them off. No one would notice. So, I slipped them off and Shannon tucked them away in her purse. I was not surprised to find that episode detailed in one of Shannon’s published novels.  

Buy At Amazon
Please tell us about the featured book.

Chain of Mercy is the first novel I ever completed, so it holds a very special place in my heart. It’s the first in the four book Coming Home series. Here’s the back cover copy:

Manhattan businessman Richard Brooks was at the top of the world, drunk with success, wealth, and women, and he proudly lived that prodigal lifestyle, until one disastrous evening, when that world came crashing down.

Richard flees to Minneapolis where he repairs ancient boilers instead of solving corporate problems, and he's determined to live the solitary life he now deserves.

But Executive Sheila Peterson has other plans for the handsome custodian. Richard appears to be the perfect match for the no-strings-attached romance she's after, but she soon discovers that he's hiding more than the designer clothes in his closet.

Can you please give us the first page?

“The good news is that the company only lost a million this quarter.” Richard Brooks smirked at his assistant and slapped the quarterly report down on her desk.
“That’s the good news?” Verna stopped typing and turned to him, propping a hand on her hip, her Southern accent always a welcome sound in this sea of nasal New Yorkers. “Young man, in my day people didn’t make a million dollars, much less lose it. Now, tell me, if that’s the good news, what’s the bad?”
He stared at the Picasso print above Verna’s desk. Reminded him of his life. “It looks like we’re going to have no choice but to close the Phoenix plant.” How had he missed the unmistakable signs of its mismanagement? Now, because of his lack of foresight, hundreds of people would lose their jobs. In all his years in New York City, he’d never made such a costly blunder.
“Goodness. And you’re blaming yourself. I can see it in those beautiful blues of yours.”
“I should have seen it coming months ago. All the signs were there.”
“It just so happens you’ve had a few other things on your mind lately.”
The muscles in his cheeks tightened. “I’m not paid to think of other things.”
“You stop putting yourself down. It’s time I see that gorgeous smile again.”
He chuckled. “Happy?” Only Verna could make him smile under these circumstances.

Where can readers learn more information about you?

They can find me at:

(This giveaway is only open to followers of Christian Book Review Blog, so be sure you are a follower!) 
Brenda has generously offered to giveaway a print copy of Chain of MercyPrint giveaway is available to U.S residents only. Giveaway ends on Saturday October 11, 2014 at midnight (Eastern time). Thanks for coming by to enter!

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  1. Qwirky and funny, was me on a tricycle for a youth group relay race! :)

  2. Well, this was the first to come to mind. Some years ago. a group of people from our
    church had tickets for a special christian movie downtown Houston. well when it was over the people were standing around in the front of entrance when a younger friend and I went to the restroom. Well, we were just taking and walked into the men's room. We got out of there fast, but some of the ladies saw what happened and were laughing at us. Talk about embarrassed. Now after these years of time passing we can mentioned it and laugh. Would love to win this book. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

  3. One Halloween I sprayed my hair a pink color and it took trips to the beautician to get it out! Always remember it this time of year.