Brenda’s Banter & Balm

Sons Of A Gun Series is Here!

»Posted on Mar 15, 2020 in Brenda's Banter & Balm | 0 comments

After working on this new historical western romance series for over a year, the first book will be brought to you by the leprechauns, published on March 17th.

One family patriarch living with a decades-old secret.
Five sons who grew up on the family ranch.
Five young ladies who find true love.
Five books in a historical western romance series.

Book 1 – a young lady flees her home despite ruined plans to become a mail-order bride; Book 2 – the new schoolteacher attracts the attention of the local deputy and fears he will learn about her lawless past; Book 3 – a female horse wrangler disguised as a boy fears she will be sent to prison if anyone learns her true identity; Book 4 – a young neighbor lady is determined to save her family’s ranch despite being left penniless and alone; and Book 5 – an eastern girl’s search for a newly discovered family member could destroy a family legacy.

Welcome to the Town of Milestone, Montana where
the McLennon family and the Double M Ranch await you.

Romance, suspense, a bit of mystery, lots of laughs, and a few surprises.

Feel-good reads resembling a family saga.
Book One available on Amazon on March 17, 2020.



Lily Watson arranges to become the mail-order bride of a successful cattle rancher. She’s elated to escape marriage to a conniving man forty years her senior, but minutes before boarding the train, she receives a telegram stating the groom has changed his mind. That will never do! Using money her late mother left her, Lily travels to Montana Territory anyway.

Jackson McLennon enjoys a laugh when he learns his sister corresponded on his father’s behalf with an aging mail-order bride. When Lily Watson shows up at the family ranch despite the canceled proposal, both Lily and his father are in for a shock. Jackson has never set eyes on such a beautiful young woman, and now that his father has met Lily, Jackson worries his pa might regret withdrawing the proposal.

Lily’s determined to make Montana her home. Or will her past follow Lily out West and jeopardize her hopes for a happy future?

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Women of Stampede

»Posted on Jun 29, 2018 in Brenda's Banter & Balm | Comments Off on Women of Stampede

  The Women of Stampede Series

This is the cover for my book in this remarkable series of SEVEN stories centered around the Greatest Show on Earth… The Calgary Stampede.

Lydia Simpson-Crowchild’s to-do list could choke a horse. Besides competing in the powwow dancing and serving at catered events, Lydia originally planned to just spend free time with her friend, Emily. Well, that’s not happening with everything her controlling mother volunteered her for. And she continues to encounter that sous chef she crashed into at a recent event. She needs to decide if nursing is the career for her, but the only thing she sees in her future is that sexy chef.

Warren Chamberland has his entire future planned, and working as sous chef for Stampede Catering is providing him with the experience he needs to land his dream job. If he could only keep his mind off Lydia, the gorgeous Indigenous server, who nearly knocked him senseless in more ways than one.

Will Lydia discover nursing is her true path in life while Warren concentrates on achieving his dream job? Or will they discover that saddling a dream occasionally means you get bucked off?

Get your copy of Saddle A Dream here


or here

Universal Link

Happy Reading!




Book Launch Party and Readings at Owl’s Nest Books

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Royalty share. . .

»Posted on Dec 18, 2017 in Brenda's Banter & Balm | Comments Off on Royalty share. . .

I have news. . .

Since publishing Love to the Rescue in 2012, I’ve donated 50% of my royalties from this book to Humane Society Shelters. I recently visited the Central Alberta Humane Society shelter located at 4505 -77 Street, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.


Here, I’m presenting the CAHS shelter with a check for $450.00 while Tara Hellewell, Executive Director, is holding this handsome fellow named Donald, an eight-year-old Chihuahua mix who is up for adoption. is the link to the CAHS website or call (403) 342-7722. Please consider adopting Donald or one of the other dogs, cats, or rabbits waiting for their furrever home.


Tara gave me a tour of this wonderful facility, and I couldn’t have been more impressed! The CAHS is committed to helping animals and the community, and inspiring change through education. With a dedicated staff and a team of trained volunteers, the CAHS is making a big difference in the lives of hundreds of animals every year. All donations give these animals safe shelter, excellent medical care and a second chance through adoption no matter how long it takes to find their best home.


There is a huge variety of pet supplies for sale, including these gift baskets for holiday giving.  Don’t forget to put something under the tree for your pets!

 For more information on this wonderful facility,

please check out their website or visit in person.

And if you are able to, please consider adopting a new four-footed family member in the new year.


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»Posted on Nov 24, 2017 in Brenda's Banter & Balm | Comments Off on A NEW TRILOGY

After a very hectic 2016 dealing with family issues and working diligently on the Thurston Hotel Series with ten other authors, I decided at the beginning of 2017 to take some personal time for rest and relaxation and to regroup professionally. Now, I’m back!


My 2017 project has been turning my novel, Tangled Heartstrings, into a trilogy. I’m delighted to reveal all three covers and book blurbs, and to introduce the wonderful and varied mix of series characters.  These stories read like a family saga with a liberal sprinkling of romance mixed in. Or perhaps these are romances that read like a saga. I will let the readers decide.


In Book One, Tangled Heartstrings, Rory is a retiring pro bull rider and Catherine is a child psychologist.  

Professional bull rider, Rory Bennett, learns his biological father’s name at his mother’s deathbed. A new female acquaintance helps him come to terms with his recent loss, but Rory’s anger at his now-deceased father for never acknowledging him sends the cowboy off to confront his half-siblings. Is he heading down a destructive path or about to discover things he least expects?


Giving up on the idea of a traditional home and family, Dr. Catherine Wilson takes matters into her own hands. Then she meets Rory Bennett, a man who seems perfect for her. Could her recent decisions sabotage any chance of a future with the handsome cowboy?


Rory falls hard for the beautiful child psychologist he met at the lowest point in his life, but he isn’t prepared for the shocking news he learns about her. Will the cowboy and the doctor be able to overcome the challenges they face and work toward a future together?


In Book Two, Tangled Memories, I chose an older couple: Wade is the foreman on the Carsen family ranch and  Candace is a real estate agent from Toronto.

After the recent death of the wonderful man who raised her, Candace Reynolds learns he was not her biological father. Searching online, she experiences a double loss when she learns that her biological father is also dead. But she discovers five half-siblings who don’t know she exists. Feeling cheated at having been raised an only child, she is compelled to meet them and learn who she is.


Expecting to be spurned by her new family in Calgary, Candace is surprised to be welcomed with open arms. And despite a painful divorce after twenty years of marriage, Candace is immediately attracted to Wade Sharp, the handsome foreman on the Carsen family ranch. She agrees to the family’s request for a DNA test, but a greater test awaits her when a Toronto drug dealer follows her out west, determined to retrieve what he believes she has stolen from him.


Wade Sharp cannot deny that the beautiful lady who shows up at the Rolling Acres Ranch sends his heartbeat racing. But when he learns the reason she’s there, he is forced to ignore her and keep their true relationship a secret. Too bad, because at fifty-eight, he thought he’d finally found the woman for him.


Will a deadly menace keep Candace from her new-found family and the love of her life? Or will Candace learn what family truly means?


In keeping with readers’ current wishes for more diverse characters, I totally mixed things up in Book Three, Tangled Intentions, with Mackenzie, a First Nations addictions counsellor from Winnipeg, and Ellie, a recovering alcoholic, who works as a server at Betty’s Coffee Shop.


Mackenzie Turnbull finds a letter his mother wrote but never mailed. When Mac delivers the letter to the addressee, he learns the name of his biological father, but he considers his obligations to his deceased mother complete. At odds with life, Mac’s best option is relocating to Alberta and accepting a staff position at the Carsen Rehab Centre. His half-siblings hound him to take a DNA test to prove his heritage, but Mac has no intentions of joining this family of strangers. He’s more interested in starting his own family with Ellie, the beautiful server he met at the local coffee shop.


Ellie Ford is attracted to the handsome newcomer to town, until she learns Mackenzie, an addictions counsellor, is applying for a position at the Carsen Rehab Centre. Ellie’s past is about to slap her in the face and she regrets wasting so many years with destructive habits. She is turning her life around, but she doubts Mac has any intentions of trusting her to have changed. She is formulating a plan for a future alone. Too bad though, the handsome Indigenous man would have been the perfect guy in her life.


Will Mac and Ellie forge a new friendship and grow the happily-ever-after love they have both dreamed possible? Or will past bad decisions and poisonous relationships keep them apart?

So, saga or romance or a bit of both? When I think of a saga the words ‘change’ and ‘future’ come to mind. The characters’ lives, especially the heroes and heroines in these books, are altered beyond their control as their stories unfold, and the landscape of the Carsen family and its member’s futures have been forever changed by the decades old actions of the deceased patriarch, Albert Carsen Sr. And as with every romance, these stories have the happily-ever-after ending readers expect. Regardless of whatever genre each reader determines this trilogy best fits, I hope you enjoy the books.

I loved writing this trilogy and offering readers a varied group of heroes and heroines. Book One, Tangled Heartstrings, and Book Two, Tangled Memories, are available now on Amazon. Book Three, Tangles Intentions, will be available soon. Happy Reading!

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My fave pickle recipe

»Posted on Jul 15, 2017 in Brenda's Banter & Balm | Comments Off on My fave pickle recipe


As promised in my guest blog post with fellow author and good friend, Victoria Chatham… here is the recipe!


16 cups washed and thinly sliced medium-sized pickling cucumbers

4 cups peeled and thinly sliced white onions

1 green pepper and 1 sweet red pepper washed, seeded and cut into thin strips

Combine the vegetables in a large preserving kettle, sprinkling 1/3 cup coarse salt between layers.

Mix ice cubes through the vegetables and cover with more ice cubes.

Let stand 3 hours.

Drain vegetables well.


3 cups white wine vinegar

5 cups white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric

1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds

2 tablespoons mustard seeds

Pour over drained vegetables.

Heat to boiling point only. (No further cooking required).

Pack in hot sterilized sealers, seal and store in a cool place for 1 month for using.

Yields approx. 8 pints.

Note: For crisper and better colored pickles, I divide the batch in half and cook separately.

These are a family favorite! Enjoy!

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»Posted on Dec 14, 2016 in Brenda's Banter & Balm | Comments Off on #THURSTONTHURSDAY FINALE

Today is the release of the final book in the Thurston Hotel Series!

A Thurston Christmas

After months of preparation, Riley Hamilton is finally marrying Brock Anderson one week before Christmas. With only three weeks to go, the wedding planner, Wendy Thurston is still going crazy with demands from the bride’s mother, Riley is second guessing the choice for a wedding dress, and everyone’s favorite senior, Mrs. Arbuckle, has taken ill. And the wedding planner is finding the best man to be the biggest complication of all.

Thirteen years Wendy’s senior, Reg Anderson had no trouble convincing himself that the teenager he met years ago was too young for him. Now, when he sees the gorgeous forty-year-old woman she has become, the old argument is losing steam. Especially when he’s spending time with the overstressed wedding planner at the gym or at dinner.   

As the citizens of Harmony prepare for the marriage of the mayor’s daughter during the busiest time of year, new problems keep showing up. How much more can go wrong?

Available today at

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