Monday, June 23, 2014

CHAIN OF MERCY - Brenda S Anderson - One Free Book

Bio: Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty, life-affirming fiction that offers hope and reminds the reader they’re not alone. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is currently President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball (Go Twins!), and she loves watching movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, area with her husband of 26 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.

Her debut novel, Chain of Mercy, Book #1 in the Coming Home series, came out in April of 2014, and Pieces of Granite, the prequel to Chain of Mercy, is scheduled to release on September 16, 2014!

Welcome, Brenda. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
You may not recognize me from the outward appearance or personality or behaviors of my characters, but each character, be it hero/heroine to secondary, each carries a piece of my heart.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don’t know how quirky this is, but it definitely registers on the geek meter. My entire family LOVES the Marvel Universe, and when a new movie comes out, we have to see it on opening day—or before opening day, if we can wrangle tickets. When The Avengers came out in theaters, we purchased Avenger Marathon tickets. That meant we were in the theater for Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, and finally The Avengers, all in one day. We had a blast! And were very thankful for free pop and popcorn refills. J

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. I still have stories I wrote back in grade school. Also, back in grade school, I wrote plays that our class put on for the elementary grades. Unfortunately, I don’t have copies of those plays.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’ll read any fiction. The classics, historical, romance, women’s fiction, mystery, speculative, etc. I don’t look at genre as much as I look for a well-crafted story. Give me a voice that has a lyrical quality to it, characters (protagonist and antagonist) who are multi-layered, descriptions that transport me to the setting, and a story that makes me want to know the ending, and it won’t matter what the genre is.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
By knowing my limits and learning to say “no.” I’ve discovered that when my plate gets overfull, it’s not healthy for me or my family. I’d rather do a few things well, than a bunch of things poorly. I also haven’t joined the modern world by having a smart phone, not that I’m afraid of it, but because I see too many people tethered to their phones. That life isn’t for me.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
First, I take care to choose names befitting the setting of the story and the ages and personality of the characters. From there, I don’t have any specific formula. In one novel, the characters all had names that symbolized who they were. In another novel, I chose names by looking at the authors’ names on my bookshelves. It’s whatever strikes me at that moment.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
That’s easy! My husband and I have raised three wonderful young adults (ages 22, 19, 18) who have a deep faith. Albeit, God gets more credit for that than we do.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d be a cat. Cats are very independent. They can be loving, and they can be playful. They’re social at times but also need their quiet time.

What is your favorite food?
Does chocolate count as a food? J

Honestly, I have a very bland palate, and I like simple meals. I could eat hamburgers all the time and be happy.

Chocolate is a food group in my house. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I tend to enjoy reading grittier stories than are currently popular within Christian fiction, and that’s what I write. I don’t curse in my books, nor do I go beyond the bedroom door, but my stories deal with the messy side of life. My main characters are usually very broken people, but it’s so much fun watching what God can do with that brokenness! Given that, finding a publisher willing to take a chance on my work was a challenge. But my persistence paid off. I kept praying, learning, networking, and querying, out of obedience—God wouldn’t let me stop. Finally, I found a publisher, Winslet Press, who was delighted to take on my mess-filled stories.

Tell us about the featured book.
Chain of Mercy is the first book in my 4-book Coming Home series. Writers talk about the story of their heart—that’s Chain of Mercy. Here’s the story description:

They forgave him for the accident that killed their son, but he will never forgive himself.

Manhattan businessman Richard Brooks was at the top of the world, drunk with success, wealth, and women. Until one disastrous evening, when his 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 suits in his closet.

Please give us the first page of the book.
“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.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Like all writers, you can find me a number of places:
Blog links:
Amazon Author Page:

Thank you, Brenda, for sharing your new book with us today.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Chain of Mercy (Coming Home) (Volume 1) - Amazon
Chain of Mercy (Coming Home) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Cindy W. said...

Chain of Mercy sounds like a book I would love to read. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & blessings,
Cindy W.

Melanie Backus said...

Thank you for the giveaway, Lena. I have read great things about Chain of Mercy and would love to be a winner!

Marianne Barkman said...

I'm thinking it's harder to forgive ourselves than others! I would love to win Brenda's novel. Thanks for a great interview Lena, and the chance to win


Brenda Anderson said...


Thank you for welcoming me to your blog today! I look forward to meeting your readers. :)


Brenda Anderson said...

Good morning, Cindy W! If you enjoy real-life fiction, then I'm certain you'll enjoy Chain of Mercy. Thanks for stopping by today. :)

Brenda Anderson said...

Hi Melanie! I'm glad to know you've heard good things about Chain of Mercy. Hope you have an opportunity to read it soon. :)

Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

Brenda Anderson said...

Welcome, Marianne!

I definitely agree that it's often more difficult to forgive ourselves, or to accept forgiveness, but it's so important to leave that sin at the cross.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Jackie McNutt said...

I loved the first page of Chain Of Mercy and looking forward to reading it soon.
enjoyed the interview also. Thank You from Ohio reader

Brenda Anderson said...

Hi Jackie!

I'm very glad you enjoyed the first page of Chain of Mercy. I hope you enjoy the rest of the book just as much. :)

Amy C said...

I've heard good things about this book and it does sounds like a read for me.
Amy C

Gert said...

First thank you so much for this amazing "giveaway" and your book sound like someone I'd like to meet and a book I'd love to read!


Brenda Anderson said...

Hi Amy C!

It's exciting to know that word is getting out about Chain of Mercy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Brenda Anderson said...

That's very kind of you to say, Gert! Thank you!

Thank you for commenting today!

Linda Kish said...

This sounds really good. I look forward to reading it.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Brenda Anderson said...

Hi Linda - Hope you enjoy Chain of Mercy!


Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela from KY

Anonymous said...

Chains of Mercy sounds like a great book! Love to win it! Shelia from MS

Mary Preston said...

What a moving story this promises to be.

Mary P


Patty said...

I would love to read Chain of Mercy. I've been following Brenda's writing journey for a while now and am so excited to see this new book! I follow her on Goodreads and always enjoy seeing her wide ranging reading choices.

Patty in SC

Brenda Anderson said...

Good morning, Angela from KY! I've heard so much from friends about your beautiful state, I have to visit some day.

Thank you for stopping by!

Brenda Anderson said...

Hi Shelia from Mississippi! Thanks for stopping by today. Hope you have a chance to read Chain of Mercy. :)

Brenda Anderson said...

Hello Mary - I would so love to visit Australia some day! It looks like such a beautiful country!

Thank you for visiting Lena's blog. :)

Brenda Anderson said...

Good morning, Patty! Nice to *see* you again. :) And thank you for being a loyal follower on my blog & Goodreads! I really appreciate it. :)

Danielle Hull said...

Chain of Mercy looks amazing! Just my style in Indiana!

Britney Adams said...

CHAIN OF MERCY sounds like a poignant story! Thank you for sharing Brenda's interview and giveaway!

Britney Adams, TX

Brenda Anderson said...

Hi Danielle - Yep, it's absolutely Indiana style! One of my critique partners is from Indianapolis, so Chain of Mercy must have a little bit of Indiana flavor. :)

Brenda Anderson said...

Hello Britney - I've been told Chain of Mercy has a few tear-inducing moments. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

sm said...

CHAIN OF MERCY sounds like a great read and I'd love to win it. sharon, Oceanside, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Brenda Anderson said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sharon!

kam110476 said...

Hi Brenda & Lena! Chain of Mercy sounds right up my alley! Heck, I love reading about messy lives and how God transforms them!! Chocolate is ABSOLUTELY one of the major food groups, and I believe that it should be made a law - unless you're allergic! I'm a Marvel Universe addict myself and the Avengers marathon you went to sounds like a little slice of Heaven!! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Chain of Mercy.
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

Brenda Anderson said...

Kristen from OK - I think you & I could be best friends! Anyone who likes chocolate & marvel & books about messy lives is on the top of my friends list. :)

So glad you stopped by!

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Brenda Anderson said...

Hi Sharon - It's always fun to meet another Bryant (my maiden name, which is far more interesting than my married name!)

Thank you for entering!

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda. Sounds like you have a great Debut book here. Congratulations on your 4 book contract. I would sure love to win your book. Lena, I enjoyed your interview with Brenda. Please put my name in the drawing. Maxie from Texas
> mac262(at)me(dot)com <

Brenda Anderson said...

Hello Maxie from Texas! I love seeing where everyone's from!

Thank you for the congrats! And thank you for stopping by.