Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blog Tour: The Jewel of His Heart

In the second book of her "Heart of the West" series, The Jewel of His Heart, Maggie Brendan has created a story set in 1890s Montana, featuring Josh McBride a "handsome, gentle sheepherder" and Juliana Brady, a young woman left semingly orphaned by the death of her mother.

Woven into the story is Juliana's efforts to discovery her identity and a future - after the death of her mother (her father had abandoned the pair years before), along with Josh's desire to have a secure future.

Along the way, Josh discovers a rare kind of sapphire on his property and considers striking out on his own path in the world. That discovery forces him to decide what is truly his heart's desire - world’s riches or the eternal value of love in a woman.

Maggie Brendan's style - of capturing the rugged, adventurous life on the American frontier - has been compared to Lori Wick and Kim Vogel Sawyer.

So What Did I Think?
Ok, let's face it. This is a historical romance set in the American Frontier. If you don't like any of those factors, than you probably won't like this book.

With that said, I enjoyed reading the book. I "figured" Josh and Juliana would find their love at the end of the book, let's face it - it's a Christian romance, and with such, there's a "formula" to the manuscript.

However, it's a sweet, simple story, with several twists and turns including the ultimate reappearance of Juliana's father - in an unexpected way.

I truly enjoyed the book - it's the kind that you can "loose yourself" into after a long, stressful day, along with a cup of hot chocolate or tea.

A few references in this story, raised a couple of questions - which I assume were answered in the first book. However, it easily stood alone - so you could grab it without feeling as if you need to read the first book.

I'm looking forward to reading more books by Maggie/Brenda. I think this is a romance book I could easily hand to some of the middle school/high school girls I work with - the girls devour romantic titles on a daily/weekly basis - without missing a beat.

This story has the earmarks of a Hallmark mini-series....I wouldn't be surprised if Michael Landon Jr. turns it into his next western scripts.

More Info About the Book
“Available October 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
Want to find out more about the book? You can order it online at

More about Maggie
Maggie Brendan (the pen name for Brenda Lott) is a member of American Christian Writers and the American Fiction Writers Association. She is the author of No Place for a Lady and lives in Georgia.

Brenda chose her pen name because she wanted something that "sounded like an Irish romantic name."

"I also wanted to maintain a way to write non-fiction under my real name," explained Lott. "I almost went with my maiden name, O’Neal, I’m part Irish, but I really like my pen name. Maggie was my mother’s name and my granddaughter’s name is Maggie. I was nicknamed Maggie years ago by sister-in-law and it stuck."

According to her blog (click her for additional info) When Brenda is not writing, she likes to paint, scrapbook and be with her four grandchildren. She is also a member of a large sanctuary choir.

Hot off the Press
If you read The Jewel of His Heart and like Juliana and Josh's story....just wait...Maggie has woven a tale featuring Josh's sister, April. It's set for a June 2010 release.

April McBride has suffered a broken engagement once before and fully intends to guard her heart when she travels to Lewistown, Montana, to attend her brother's wedding. 

One look around the small mining town convinces April that this won't be difficult--just a bunch of dusty shops, bad service, and ill-bred cowboys. But a run-in with a horse trainer named Wes Owen opens up vast possibilities for frustration, embarrassment, friendship, and . . . love?

And Remember, the series begins with "No Place for a Lady."

Crystal Clark arrives in Colorado's Yampa Valley amid the splendor of a high country June in 1892. After the death of her father, Crystal is relieved to be leaving the troubles of her Georgia life behind to visit her aunt Kate's cattle ranch.

Despite being raised as a proper Southern belle, Crystal is determined to hold her own in this wild land--even if a certain handsome foreman 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 the ranch.

Crystal will have to tap all of her resolve to save the ranch from a greedy neighboring landowner. Can she rise to the challenge? Or will she head back to Georgia defeated?

As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Revell Publishing. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting The Jewel of His Heart and I'm happy you enjoyed it. My email hasn't been working for over a week now, and I just saw your post.

    Thanks again for your nice remarks about the story.


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