Brenda’s Banter & Balm

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.


read more


»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!

read more

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!

read more


»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

read more

Thurston Thursday #9 is here!

»Posted on Nov 24, 2016 in Brenda's Banter & Balm | Comments Off on Thurston Thursday #9 is here!

the-thurston-heirloomTHE THURSTON HEIRLOOM (sweet romance) is Book 9 in the 12 book Thurston Hotel Series of sweet-to-warm, stand-alone romance novels, connected by common settings, characters and events. (

It was time to move on. Time to start over.

Mariah Patrick, Jill-of-all-trades and recently dumped by her fiancé, has decided to leave town. She wasn’t marriage material. Better to learn that now, than later.

With her debts finally paid, she has enough money for a Greyhound ticket south, and a peanut butter sandwich. The funny thing is, once she arrives in Harmony, the town looks so welcoming—and familiar. Almost as if she’s been here before.

Teague Farraday, businessman, owner of Mountain Jewel Sports, and mountain guide—mostly, mountain guide—watched as the young woman stepped down from the bus. She had reddish brown hair, and lots of it. Creamy white skin, and tired eyes. And he―

He had a feeling he knew her, from somewhere. Somehow. But even if he didn’t, he was going to meet her now.

Buy your copy here and happy reading!

read more

Thurston Thursday Continues

»Posted on Nov 17, 2016 in Brenda's Banter & Balm | Comments Off on Thurston Thursday Continues


Betting on Courage

(warm) is Book 8 in the 12 book Thurston Hotel Series of sweet-to-warm, standalone, contemporary romance novels, connected by common settings, characters and events.

On the run from her stalker ex-boyfriend, Charity Wong finds herself in Harmony. She takes a job waitressing at the 100-year-old Thurston Hotel and rents a room from an older man–a man one of her co-workers warns her about. She’s not sure what to expect from him and the last thing she expects is to fall in love.

All David Evans wanted was someone to run errands and help him stay cocooned from the world. But with his new boarder, he’s experiencing more joy in his life than he has in years. Can he possibly fall in love when he can’t even manage to go out on a date?

And, when he learns Charity is in danger, can he overcome his fears and save her?

Get your copy of the next book in the series at the link below and Happy Reading!

Check out all the books in the Thurston Hotel Series on our Facebook page





read more