Welcome Guest – Maggie Brendan!!!

While I was writing Trusting Grace and beginning to develop the character of my heroine’s ailing father, it was as if God himself intruded into the sub-plot development with His own idea and what I was about to type totally changed. You know, it’s been said that a piece of an author finds its way into their writing subconsciously. Either way—in my proposal, I had the ailing father suffering from a stroke, but when I began to write about his symptoms it seemed God had other ideas in mind so I went with it. Who wouldn’t when the creator of the world wrote His love story to us?

The centerpiece of my historical romance story is about learning to trust and about finding love again for my heroine and hero who were both widowed. It speaks to the depth of how their characters faced trials through dependence on God. However, as the sub-plot eked onto the page, I finally acknowledged that I would need to do a little research before I went any further—something I hadn’t intended to do. To give you a little background—for five years my husband has suffered from a chronic and rare disease, CIDP, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy. It was clear God wanted me to make CIDP the heroine’s father’s illness and not merely a stroke. Could that have even been a possibility during this historical time frame of 1866? I laughed. I rather doubted it, but to my complete surprise I found that CIDP had its beginning as Multiple Neuritis discovered by Robert Graces in 1843 when little was known about the disease. I also found that some experts believe Franklin D. Roosevelt may have suffered from CIDP instead of polio. Wow, God! You knew all along. I smiled and went back to writing.

So what only started out with a story of love and loss for the hero and heroine also became a story of a father/daughter relationship battling illness with lovingkindness and the resilience of the caregiver, my heroine, Grace. It’s very true that God gives us more grace than we deserve, but even more so when we are facing huge battles whether it is death, illness, loss of love, job, financial or spiritual crisis. It was no mistake that three years before when I sent this series proposal to my editor, I called my heroine Grace.

One thing I’ve always enjoyed while writing was the research and it’s easy to get lost in it. So for all you historical writers of the West, when a random or crazy plot line you think couldn’t possibly work for your story, dig deeper into your research. Hopefully, you’ll be wildly surprised as I was and can add that to your novel.

If my story of love, hope, trust and restoration can help anyone who is a widow or have a spouse with a chronic illness help lift their spirits and give them insight, then I’ve written what I was supposed to write.

I’m giving away a copy of Trusting Grace-only in the US, please-for those who comment. The winner will be randomly selected by Petticoats and Pistols.

Have you been a caregiver for an ailing family member? What was the biggest challenge, and how did you overcome?

Fascinating Historical Sites by Maggie Brendan

Maggie Brendan PubMy latest book, Perfectly Matched, takes place in historic Denver, 1888. I lived in the suburbs of Denver and grew to love the city and Colorado for over seven years. When possible, I enjoy visiting the places I write about, and although I used to live there, we went again to visit for my story. I’ve had the privilege to have visited all these wonderful historic sites.

My hero and heroine, Anna and Edward, are married in the beautiful United Methodist Church in Denver where it still stands today. It’s a magnificent structure of sandstone and stained glass. At the time, it was the tallest stone tower in the US in 1888. The reverend at the time Henry Buchtel later became Colorado’s seventh governor. I love discovering small tidbits like this to use in my stories.

Trinity United Methodist Church


After the marriage of my heroine, Anna, a mail-order bride, I wanted her to have a unique calling from what is typical of a mail-order bride. So amid the conflict of two totally opposite people, a desire to care for abandoned animals begins to fill Anna’s heart. She learns about the ASCPA, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the desire to care for animals is born, much to the chagrin of her obsessive compulsive husband, who can only tolerate complete order.

As the hero begins to fall in love with his mail-order bride, he takes her shopping for pretty dresses and for tea at the famous tea room at The Denver, which was built in 1879. Later, it was called May D&F until its doors closed in 1986. I shopped there years ago before it was turned into apartments in 1994.

The Denver

 THE DENVERThe Denver's Tea Room


Elitch Gardens was another historic place in Denver’s history that was being built during the time of my story. Elitch Gardens was a famous family theme park. Mary Elitch’s support for Anna’s cause was a surprise, and Mary treats them to her restaurant.


Elitch Gardens


Through many disagreements, chaos, and some light-hearted moments, the story culminates at the place where Edward first laid eyes on his bride to be—the beautiful historic Union Station. This is another wonderful historic rail station that I’ve visited several times when I lived there. It is still in operation today and is just as beautiful. If you get a chance to visit Denver, you can discover its rich history and enjoy the Mile High City.

Union Station


Do you have a favorite historic building? Post me a comment for a chance to win a print copy of Perfectly Matched!!


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