Happy Book Birthday, Chain of Mercy! {Don’t Miss the Giveaway}

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging to celebrate the imminent release of Brenda Anderson’s debut novel, Chain of Mercy. Congratulations, Brenda! Today we’re talking about roller coasters, baseball, and Brenda’s journey to publication. Read on to find out more about that in my interview with Brenda. Don’t miss the giveaway, either, as Brenda is giving away one autographed copy of Chain of Mercy. All of those details are available at the bottom of this post.Website BannerBrenda, please tell us a bit about the inspiration for your debut novel, Chain of Mercy. How did Richard and Sheila’s story come to be?

I began writing Chain of Mercy nearly nine years ago with the original *What if* idea, “What if an abortion doctor decided to secretly save the babies women came to abort?” Well, that original concept is nowhere in this final version. God took my idea and molded it into something entirely different, something much better!

Forgiveness is one theme in this novel that resonates with me. If you could mention one thing you hope your readers take away from reading Chain of Mercy, what would that be?

I would love for my readers to know that whatever they’ve done, it’s not too awful to be forgiven. Jesus forgives all! You just need to lay it at the foot of the cross.

Your author bio states that you love roller coasters: name your favorite roller coaster ride ever and tell us why you love it.

My favorite ride would have to be Raging Bull at Six Flags Great America north of Chicago. It’s smooth and fast (73 mph) and high (202 feet high) and provides a complete adrenalin rush! I remember climbing that 20-story hill for that first time. I was seated next to my husband, watching the ground drop away, hands white knuckling, and I kept repeating “Why am I on here?” and “Never again!” But nearly three minutes of ride later, I couldn’t wait to get back on! Unfortunately, as I’ve gotten older, I can’t handle the spinning or corkscrewing rides as much, but the high and fast coasters are great!

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Definitely a night owl! I can always stay up late and read or watch a movie or TV, but you have to drag me out of bed in the morning.

Tell us about your writing space and/or the process. Where does the magic happen? Plotter or pantser or combination of both?

I have an office at home, also known as the library and the store-all room. With all that going on it’s not the neatest room in the house, but I can tune it out as I get words on the page. While I get my actual writing done in the office, pre-writing happens all over. Some of my best ideas come while I’m driving or walking.

I’m a pantser. I’ve even tried pre-plotting, but my characters and story never stay put. To me, it’s much more fun being a pantser because then I’m often surprised by the plot twists. If I’m surprised, I’ll assume the reader will be surprised as well.

Can you share a little bit about your journey to publication?

I’ve written for as long as I can remember, and even have stories from back in grade school. In college I majored in literature, but then I got married, had kids, and became a full-time mom. Writing took a back seat. Besides, I felt that there were better ways to spend my time than writing. It wasn’t until I took a LifeKeys course at my church, a course that focused on discovering our gifts and passions, that I considered writing again. God got a hold of me in that class and said, “I gave you a gift. What are you doing with it?” Talk about a wake-up call!

That was nearly nine years ago. I began writing what is now Chain of Mercy and have completed five additional novels as well.

But the journey to publication was far from smooth. In those nine years I’ve amassed some 30+ rejections from editors and agents. Although rejections aren’t personal, it’s still not easy to hear that your *baby* is ugly. There were so many times I wanted to quit pursuing publication and just write, but God kept nudging me to keep pressing on.

Then last November I came across Winslet Press. I was very familiar with their sister company Tekeme, so I checked into Winslet further and decided to query. Less than two weeks later, I had a four-book contract offer!

 If you watch television, what’s on your DVR?

I don’t watch that much TV, but there are a few shows I won’t miss: Once Upon a Time, Castle, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Blue Bloods, none of which remotely resemble what I write!

You and I share a mutual affection for the game of baseball. Are you a watch every game, fully devoted fan? Do you have a favorite stadium?

I won’t watch every game on TV, but I’ll likely have the game on the radio or be following it online. It’s on my bucket list to have season tickets some year. I’m not as hard-core of a fan as I used to be—having children cured me of that—but I’m still a pretty rabid Twins fan. My husband and I even had the good fortune of being in attendance for the Twins World Series’ victories in ’87 and ’91.

Besides the Twins’ Target Field (and the former Metrodome and the even older Metropolitan Stadium where the Twins first played), we’ve been to County Stadium (the old Brewers’ home) and Miller Park in Milwaukee and Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Although Miller and Kauffman are nice, Target Field wins hands-down! Another bucket list item is to visit every baseball stadium in the major leagues! But those bucket list items have to wait until my kids make it through college. 😉

Chain of Mercy by Brenda S Anderson

Book blurb: 

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.

Chain of Mercy is Book #1 in the Coming Home Series, published by Winslet Press. Both the paperback and digital edition are available here.

Brenda S Anderson

Author 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, comes out TODAY and Pieces of Granite, the prequel to Chain of Mercy, is scheduled to release on September 16, 2014!

Brenda enjoys connecting with readers and you can visit her website here. Brenda also blogs at Inkspirational messages. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, as well.

Drumroll, please … Brenda has graciously offered to give away ONE signed copy of Chain of Mercy. Eligibility limited to entrants with US mailing addresses only, please. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment below and share the name of your favorite amusement park ride (it doesn’t have to be a roller coaster). The contest closes at 11:59 PM Eastern time on April 30, 2014. The winner will be announced here on May 1.

Thank you so much for stopping by.









  1. marlys blizil northenscold:

    Congrats BRENDA, I am so proud of you, i remember as a kid going to your house and everyone was always reading something. AWESOME! The only ride I can do is the scrambler and a log water ride…the rest you can have says my body. HUGS


    • Brenda Anderson:

      Thank you, Marlys! I think we still all have our noses in books! And I love the Scrambler & water rides too. 😀


  2. meg lyons:

    Looking forward to reading the book! My favorite ride is the Batman ride at Universal in CA.


    • Brenda Anderson:

      Thanks Meg!
      I wonder if that Batman ride is like the one at Six Flags in Chicago. LOVE that one!


  3. Janet Estridge:

    My favorite amusement ride was the “Tilt-A-Whirl”. Since I’ve gotten older I am not amused about riding it and the only thing whirling will be me when I step off of it.
    Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.


    • Brenda Anderson:

      I’m the same way after the Tilt-a-Whirl! After I had kids, I couldn’t tolerate the uber-spinny rides anymore!


  4. Patty:

    I grew up in MI, Cedar Point amusement park was only a two or so hour drive away. So in my mind Cedar Point is THE amusement park. I loved the Gemini roller coaster. An older wooden roller coaster. It was my first experience with roller coasters. On the other hand I also love the giant swing ride!


    • Brenda Anderson:

      Patty – we road-tripped to Cedar Point two years ago. That was THE amusement park the kids had longed to go to, and we finally had the opportunity. My son who knows everything there is to know about every coaster in the world (and I’m not kidding!) ranks Cedar Point as the top park. Millenium Force and Top Thrill Dragster were the family’s favorite rides.


  5. Martha J. Sturm:

    I am a total fraidy cat. About the only thing I would think of riding would be a merry-go-round. I have never been to an amusement park, only the state fairs and local county fair.


  6. LeAnne Hardy:

    Great idea, Brenda. (Really catchy tag!) Congratulations. I’d love to read it. I am DEFINITELY NOT into roller coasters, but love water rides.


    • Brenda Anderson:

      Thank you, LeAnne! I like water rides, too, as long as it’s a very hot day! And I learned several years ago that it’s a very bad idea to where a tube-top on a water ride. 😉


  7. KayM:

    First, let me say, ‘Congratulations’ to you on the publication of your debut novel and also the 4-book contract! Chain of Mercy sounds like a wonderful story and I’m looking forward to reading it.

    I’ve always loved all the different rides. When I was young, my favorite was the tilt-a-whirl. I rode my first roller coaster at Excelsior Park in Minnesota–back in the 1960’s. I thought it was grand! My, how the rides have changed since then!


    • Brenda Anderson:

      Thank you, Kay!

      My mom grew up near Excelsior, so she went to that park all the time. The High Roller coaster at Valleyfair (Minnesota’s largest amusement park) is modeled after the Excelsior coaster, so in a way we get a taste of that old amusement park. 🙂


  8. Melanie Backus:

    It is so funny, I use to ride every ride available and love them all. Then something strange happened, I got older and even watching people ride some rides makes me nauseous. So at this stage of the game, It’s A Small World at Disneyland and Disney World is my safest bet along with The Haunted Mansion. Love these two!!!!!!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com


    • Brenda Anderson:

      Hi Melanie,

      I completely understand. Once upon a time, I could go all day at an amusement park, but now, after hitting all the coasters, I’m content with just watching the family have fun.

      (I love It’s a Small World and The Haunted Mansion too!)


  9. NIcole H:

    In the vein of old roller coasters, I like the Jackrabbit at Idlewild Park in PA.


    • Brenda Anderson:

      I had to look up the Jack Rabbit. It looks like a fun coaster! My kids would love to go to that amusement park!


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