A Suitor For Jenny, Rocky Creek Romance Series #2A Suitor For Jenny, Rocky Creek Romance Series #2
Margaret Brownley
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When looking for a husband, it's best to go where the odds are in your favor. And that would be Rocky Creek, Texas, 1880. But Jenny Higgins's plan to find husbands for her two sisters hits a snag when enthusiastic applicants fail to meet her stringent requirements.

Rejecting her sisters' choices for mates and riding herd on her growing feelings for Marshal Rhett Armstrong, she refuses to give up.Jenny thinks choosing a husband is not a job for the heart. It'll take one strong and handsome marshal to convince her otherwise.
     


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Margaret BrownleyMargaret Brownley has penned more than twenty historical and contemporary novels. Her books have won numerous awards including the Reader's Choice. Though successful, she decided to leave behind the secular publishing world to follow God's will for her: to write inspirational fiction. Happily married to her real life hero, Margaret and her husband have three grown children and live in Southern California.

Favorite Verse:  Mark 10:27 All things are possible with God.

 

 Our Interview with Margaret Brownley


 

What is your favorite Bible verse?

My favorite Bible verse is a simple but encouraging one that has seen me through some tough and challenging times:  All things are possible with GodMark 10:27


Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I was always a storyteller and was constantly in trouble as a child for making up stories. The writer part was harder to acknowledge, partly because English was my least favorite subject.  My eighth grade teacher told me not to even think about being a writer. Diagram a sentence?  Never!  I’m like the musician who can’t read music.

I might have spent the rest of my life scribbling in notebooks and writing long flowery notes to my kids’ teachers had I not “volunteered” to edit my church newsletter. After I made the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, my former preacher took me aside and said, “Maybe God’s calling you to write fiction.”  Until that moment I never had the courage to follow my heart.  

On the personal side: My husband and I have three children.  As for hobbies, I like to
herd cattle, chase down bad guys, and rob stages.  Wait at minute. That’s not me;
It’s my characters that do those things. 

What inspired you to write A Suitor for Jenny?

The idea for my September 2010 release A Suitor for Jenny lurked in a dusty Kansas museum.  While rifling through old newspaper clippings I came across a meeting notice for “The Society for the Protection and Preservation of Male Independence.”   I have no idea what happened to the group or even if they ever succeeded in their goal to remain single, but I know a book idea when I see it and I pounced. 

From that clipping came the idea to have my heroine Jenny Higgins breeze into a town of confirmed, and unsuitable bachelors to seek husbands for her two sisters. Fireworks, anyone?
 
How did you choose the location for the setting?

I like to choose settings that carry a theme.  “A Suitor for Jenny” takes place in Rainbow Creek, Texas, a fictional town with a troubled past that was first introduced in “A Lady like Sarah.”   My goal was to create a town that mirrors the spiritual decay of its citizens for the first book in the series.  In Book 2 the town begins to grow and change in positive ways, along with its citizens, but there’s still one area where the town falls short—and that will be addressed in book 3.    

Do you have a favorite character in A Suitor for Jenny? Why?

That’s a hard choice, but if I have to choose one I’ll say Jenny. She’s always taking care of others but deep down she longs to be taken care of.  She drives her sisters crazy with her notes, lists of things-to-do and obsessive and sometimes even humorous regard for proper etiquette.  Yet, I believe readers will root for her because of her vulnerability.
 
What was the most interesting tidbit that you learned while writing A Suitor for Jenny?

I learned that there were two Lottie Moons.  My wonderful copy editor questioned that I called Lottie Moon a confederate spy in the book. She insisted that Lottie was a beloved missionary and that calling her a spy might offend some Christians.  Confused, I checked my sources but could find nothing about Lottie being a missionary.  Finally, I turned to good old Google.

It turns out that there were two Lottie Moons in the 1800s.  One was a spy and one a missionary.
   
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
 
In my other life I was a teacher.  At a teacher’s workshop I attended years ago the instructor asked the following life-changing question: At the end of your career which statement will be most accurate?  That you taught for 35 years?  Or that you taught one year 35 times?

I use that same philosophy in my writing career.  I don’t want to write the same book 35 or 40 times.  So the most difficult challenge for me is to stay fresh and original.
 
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

Watching the story grow and the characters develop is truly the thing I enjoy most.  My favorite time is when the first draft of a story has been written. That’s when I can really concentrate on working in all those little details that readers love so much.

What writing clubs or organizations do you belong to?

I belong to Romance Writers of America and the American Christian Fiction Writers.  My favorite organization, though, is the Boy Scouts for which I’m a merit badge counselor.   Helping young men grow to be upstanding citizens can be likened in many way to creating character arcs—but the stakes are so much higher.

 

What were your favorite books as a child?

I loved Little Women and pretended I was Jo, the writer. I also had an affinity for Ferdinand the Bull.  He would rather smell flowers than fight and that make him unique.  It’s the same sort of uniqueness I look for in developing my characters.  

What is your writing style?   (Do you outline?  Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants?   Or somewhere in between?)

I’m a by-the-seat-of my pants person—all the way.  I don’t even plan dinner. All I need is the opening sentence, a moral premise, a general idea and I’m off and running.  Come to think of it, since I don’t plan in advance, even dinner is a surprise.

Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?

They do, they do.  They even wake me up out of a sound sleep.
 
What other new projects do you have on the horizon?

  
I recently finished the 3rd book in the series which will be out June 2011.  Currently, I’m working on another series set in the old west.

What message would you like your readers to take from A Suitor for Jenny?

I love to write characters in a crisis of faith, and how they find their way back to God.  I hope this gives readers
hope that it’s still possible today, as it was more than a hundred years ago, to triumph against all odds.  I  also hope that my readers go away with a renewed belief in the power of faith, love and the wonder of God’s guiding light.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I would like to thank all the readers out there who helped to make A Lady Like Sarah a success.  I treasure your cards and letters.  You can email me through my website:www.margaretbrownley.com.  I’m also a resident blogger at www.petticoatsandpistols.

Have a little faith!

 

 

 

 


 

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