Brenda S. Anderson – Romantic Real Life – Character Interview & Excerpt – Part 3 of 3

Shannon here: Romantic family drama author, Brenda S. Anderson shares insight into her real life romance, her characters’ romance, plus a romantic excerpt from her debut novel, Chain of Mercy. Comment on any post dated May 19 – 23 to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: May 31st, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Brenda:

Brenda Disney CruiseBrenda's coverBrenda Anderson


1. What’s the most romantic thing your spouse has ever done for you?

For my 26th birthday, my husband took me on a mystery drive. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going! We ended up at the Humane Society where he had me pick out a kitty. This from a guy who grew up in a cat-hating family!

2. Do you and your spouse have a favorite romantic vacation destination?

I don’t know if others would consider this romantic, but my husband and I love Disney World. We’ve been there a number of times, with and without our kids. Last year, for our 25th Anniversary, we stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge at Disney World and had exotic animals right outside our balcony!

3. What is the most caring thing your spouse has ever done for you?

From the moment I told Marvin I was writing a book, he supported me 100%. He’s my biggest and loudest cheerleader. He reads all my books in their early stages, and always loves them.

4. What is the most caring thing you’ve ever done for your spouse?

My husband loves golf and had always talked about having a golf weekend with guy friends, but he never put one together. So, for Marvin’s 50th birthday, I booked a weekend at our timeshare in Wisconsin, contacted his brother and best friend, and planned a surprise golf weekend. I had to tell him about it the night before so he could pack accordingly, but he was surprised and really enjoyed the weekend.

5. Where did you and your spouse go for your honeymoon?

Well, right after we got married, we went to New Orleans, but I don’t consider that a honeymoon because he was at a conference. We were even given a room with two twin beds! The hotel was full, so we couldn’t exchange. So, that wasn’t much of a honeymoon. About a year later that we went on what I consider our real honeymoon: a Disney cruise that also included a stay at a Disney Resort. (As I said above, we really like Disney World.)

Hero & Heroine Interview

1. What’s the most romantic thing your hero ever did for your heroine?

(Sheila) Richard’s always doing romantic things; he’s far more romantic than I am. On our second date, he gave me a single-stem orange rose—orange for fascination because he found me fascinating. And then, each Saturday after that, he gave me another orange rose.

2. Where is the most romantic place your hero and heroine have ever been?

(Richard) I don’t know how romantic Sheila thought this was, but we spent a day at an amusement park, and I packed a picnic for the middle of the day. Just being with her that day, watching her shake off the worries of the corporate world and watching her enjoy life, was amazing. That’s when I realized how much I cared for her.

3. What is your hero’s favorite romantic vacation destination?

(Richard) Our favorite romantic destination is actually the same: the north shore of Minnesota, along Lake Superior. There’s something about the water and wildlife and forests that’s incredibly calming.

4. What simple gesture does your hero do that melts your heroine every time?

(Sheila) Does smiling count? Oh my, his crooked smile makes my heart flutter. And his midnight blue eyes sparkle like they’re lit up with stars. Just picturing his smile makes me weak in the knees.

5. If your hero and heroine end up married, where will they go on their honeymoon?

(Richard) Well, it’s a bit early to be talking marriage, but I’ve always felt that a honeymoon would have to be spent on a tropical island. I can’t think of anything more romantic than having an island all to ourselves, can you?

Excerpt from Chain of Mercy:

The doorbell rang as Sheila glanced in the full-length mirror hung on her front door. She tugged on the hem of her black satin sheath, pulling the V-neck down a pinch more, just enough to add mystery without disclosing the whole plot. That would be revealed later tonight. In this curve-caressing dress, victory was inevitable.

Smiling, she opened her door. Her mouth hung open in silence.

The debonair man standing there was not who she expected. No way. This man’s black suit was designer quality and, definitely, not purchased in Minneapolis. Even his hair was meticulously styled.

Wearing his killer, crooked smile, Richard reached out, took her hand in his, and kept his other arm braced behind his back. “You look stunning tonight.” His eyes captured hers, and he raised her hand to his lips, kissing it without relinquishing eye contact.

“As do you,” she finally managed to squeak, trying to numb the current electrifying her hand and tingling up her arm.
This man was not supposed to make her feel like this. The man standing in her doorway couldn’t possibly be the company custodian. He had clearly stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine or Hollywood movie. No, that wasn’t right either. Those men were too plastic with Botoxed faces and bleached smiles. They lacked any sense of character, as if their lives were dedicated to standing there smiling or pretending to smile. Perhaps they were.

But, this man’s smile was slightly crooked. His eyes held mysteries she desired to solve. This man clearly had lived a life beyond what she saw of him at work. He was no more a janitor than she was. So why was he there now?

He drew his arm from behind his back, delivering a single stemmed, orange rose.

She accepted it without speaking, afraid her voice would betray the unwanted feelings he summoned in her.

“Do you have a vase?”

It was a simple question, but her cheeks burned all the same realizing he was inviting himself in. “I’m sorry.” The words whispered across her lips as she gestured for him to enter. “Please come in.”

She led him to her kitchen and pointed upward. “Center cupboard, top shelf.” She could have reached it herself but found it far more gratifying to stand back and observe.

The man glided through her kitchen with the practiced precision of someone who’d been there before. He was obviously comfortable in his own skin, or any surrounding, for that matter. Not chameleon-like. No, this man could not blend in if he wanted to. How had he eluded her eye for so long?

He set the single bud in a vase he’d filled with water and centered it on her dining table. He was right in choosing a solitary flower. Its simplicity matched her home, and he clearly knew that, probably remembering her understated decor from the brief moment he stepped inside the other night.

“Orange?” She fingered a silky petal, certain he chose the specific color for a reason.

He smiled the adorably crooked smile again, his eyes detaining hers.

She couldn’t have looked away if she wanted to. She didn’t want to.

“Single stem for simplicity, although I doubt there is much that is simple about you. Orange for fascination. I find you fascinating and complicated, Ms. Peterson, and your interest in me has whetted my curiosity.”

About Brenda: 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, released April 22, 2014, and Pieces of Granite, the prequel to Chain of Mercy, is scheduled to release on September 16, 2014!

Learn more and connect: Website:, Blogs:,, Facebook:, Twitter:, Pinterest:, Google+:, Goodreads Author Page:, Amazon Author Page:

About the book – Chain of Mercy, Book #1 in the Coming Home Series:

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.

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