Guest Author Brenda Jernigan w/ Giveaway

Hello Everyone, Sue-Ellen/Allie here…

Today is special! My longtime friend and first critique partner is visiting. Please welcome National Bestselling Author, Brenda Jernigan

BKJ BIO Pix Brenda

Brenda Jernigan is a bestselling author. Her books have been nominated for many awards: Bookseller’s Best Award, The Maggie Award, and The Holt Medallion Award. Publisher’s Weekly said, “Brenda Jernigan writes Romance, Adventure and Magic.”

She grew up living the life of a tomboy – climbing trees, playing ball, and excluding starry-eyed romance from her daily repertoire. Brenda discovered the love of books while taking her son to Story Hour at the local library — she was hooked. She set an ambitious goal and began work on her first novel. She continued to write six more novels in rapid succession. She figured having the same birthday as Ernest Hemingway couldn’t hurt.

She is a member of RWA, NINC, PAN, PASIC, and Outreach International Romance Writers.

Her books have been printed in several languages and her last book “Southern Seduction” written under the name of Alexandria Scott was printed in Russian.

BKJ Southern Seduction

Connect with Brenda…


Newsletter Sign-up:



Amazon Author Page:



Brenda is giving away a digital copy of her award-winning title, Western Seduction. The beautiful cover and its blurb are at the bottom of this post. To enter, just leave a comment. Brenda will announce a winner later tonight.

For now, let’s get to know her…

Guest Author ~ Brenda Jernigan

ER) As we’re longtime friends, I know you love visiting the North Carolina beach and also that you do the world’s best Christmas decorating. What other likes, hobbies, or activities do you enjoy? Maybe something that would surprise your readers.

BJ) Hobbies – I used to do a lot of things. I paint, cross-stitch, and make lampshades and baskets. However, once I was published, I didn’t have time for anything other than deadlines.

*Sue-Ellen/Allie notes: This is one of Brenda’s paintings. Isn’t she talented?

BKJ Painitng of Flowers IMG_2176

Now back to Brenda…

BJ) Something that would surprise readers – I kept a book from the library. I was trying to find a really good book and I found it. SOMETHING WONDERFUL by Judith McNaught. I loved this book so much that I didn’t want to turn it in, so I told the library that I’d lost it. I bet I paid $20 for that little $3.95 book but it was worth it. Later on, I met Judith at an RWA conference and had her sign the book. She laughed when she saw it and said it was an original.

BKJ McNaught Book IMG_2175 (1)-1 II

However, the book is so highlighted and full of paperclips that I doubt I could get any money for it. Judith said when she saw all my markings that she did the same thing with Jude Deveraux’s books.

On a recent trip to the UK, I visited Edinburgh and got to sit behind the desk where JK Rowling finished Harry Potter. I was on cloud nine, I was so excited.

BKJ - jk rowling desk II

ER) Do you have a favorite character from your own books?

BJ) That is a hard question. I like Adam (The Duke’s Lady) because he is so strong and hard.

BKJ The Duke's Lady

BKJ Christmas in Camelot

I like Sir Nicholas (Christmas in Camelot) because who wouldn’t love a knight in shining armor. I love Thunder (Dance on the Wind) because he is such a protector and someone you wouldn’t mess with.

BKJ Dance on the Wind

ER) What do you love best about writing? What not so much?

BJ) What I love best in controlling my entire world and seeing where the story goes. Unfortunately, I am a seat-of –your-pants author so sometimes I don’t know how the story will end. The best part about writing is typing The End.

What I don’t like is the constant doubt that I’ve said the same thing before or that the book might not be as good as my last one. I never want to let readers down. I want to take you away from your everyday world so that you forget the pile of bills on your desk, and most of all I want to make you laugh and cry and sigh when the book is over.

ER) What would you say is the hardest part of writing? The easiest?

BJ) The hardest part is getting the story right. With my newest book Western Seduction, I wrote the first half and set it aside for 4 years. I didn’t have any idea how I wanted the story to end.

The easiest is going back after a book is finished and reading your story later. Sometimes I think, “I wrote that? And why in the world did I think that was hard.”

ER) Finish this sentence: Authors beware, didn’t you know that…

BJ: Authors beware, didn’t you know that: writing is hard work with lots of doubts. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Not everybody will love you.

ER) If you weren’t an author, what would you enjoy doing?

BJ) I’ve pretty much done everything. However, I am the type of person who has to be doing something so why not writing. I would like to have one of those dreams like JK Rowling and Diana Gabaldon where the entire book comes to me. I mean … am I asking for a lot?

Fun Stuff Q’s

ER) Five Fun Facts about yourself.

BJ) I’m retired. I’m dyslexic. I’m a redhead. I’m easygoing. I hated reading when I was young.

WR - Late at Night

ER) Night or day writer?

BJ) I write on paper first. I have trouble sitting for long periods behind the computer – probably because I did it for so many years – so I write 30 minutes here and there unless I’m on a good scene and then words keep coming. I’m not a morning person or an evening person. However I do have several hours around lunchtime, which is my best time.

*SEW/AM adds: This above and below made me smile. I remember back when we were early critique partners and your snailmail chapters always arrived with a letter mentioning how you’d worked on the chaps on your lunch break from work.

ER) Quiet or music when you write?

BJ) When I worked – I used to go to the lake at lunchtime and write in my car. That was/is my favorite time, because it is quiet and nobody can bother you and you can’t see something else you need to be doing. Sometimes when I am typing on the computer, I will put on Beethoven because it is soothing.

ER) Favorite food(s)?

BJ) Steak and baked potatoes

ER) What you’d never eat?

BJ) Collards and I don’t care for mushy green stuff.

A - Deadline Dragon Tea

ER) Coffee or tea?

BJ) Both and I’m a Pepsi girl.

ER) Favorite season?

BJ) I like all the seasons but get tired of each one. My favorites are fall and spring.

ER) Favorite time and place to read?

BJ) In bed. I love it when you are trying to stay awake to read 1 more page and the book slips from your hand. Best way to go to sleep.

Books - Readers Reading in bed with lamp

Final Q’s

ER) What’s coming up for you?

BJ) I’m starting a new book. If the writing gods are good to me I hope to finish it this year. I will also have a few book bundles coming out in the next couple of months.

ER) Anything you’d like readers to know?

BJ) I do not put out books every few months. I’m a slow writer. When I was younger, I could work on 2 books at a time. However, I like to have a life and do other things so I am a little slower. Life is too short, remember to enjoy it. I do love to hear from readers. My favorite emails are the ones that say I kept the reader up all night because they couldn’t put the book down.


Brenda’s Giveaway! Digital copy of Western Seduction to one lucky reader! Leave a comment to enter.

BKJ Western Seduction

Western Seduction

Shannon McKinley flees Scotland to America hoping for a new life. She has answered an ad to be a nanny at Star Ranch in the Texas Territory. It doesn’t matter that she has never been a nanny. If she can handle men…she can handle children. As Shannon tames Luke Griffin’s two wild children, Luke proves a little more difficult as he still mourns his dead wife. Shannon will never accept being second best. As she begins to melt the ice from Luke’s heart, can he really let the past go and take a chance on love?

When a feisty Scot steps out of the stage in Cottonwood, Texas, Luke Griffin can do nothing but stare. He advertised for old and ugly, but this woman doesn’t fit that description at all. And she is much too small to survive in Texas. He will send her back on the next stage. But for now, Luke will take her to the ranch and ignore the heat that runs though his veins every time she is near him.

In this wild and rugged land, will Shannon’s dark secret endanger the family she has come to love?

Buy Links:


BN Nook





Thanks so much for being here, Brenda!

Follow Sue-Ellen Welfonder:

USA Today bestselling author Sue-Ellen Welfonder is known for her strong heroines, Alpha heroes, and weaving Highland magic and humor into her tales. Her passions are Scotland, medieval history, Celtic legend and lore, the paranormal, and animals. All can be found in her medieval romances and the contemporary paranormals she writes as Allie Mackay. She lives on Florida’s southwest coast with her husband and her muse, Snuggles the writer cat.

44 Responses

  1. Sue-Ellen Welfonder

    Hi Brenda! Welcome to Embracing Romance. I really enjoyed your answers. Your painting is beautiful. I love it so much. Love that you are creative with your artist’s eye and hands as well as your writing voice. Hope you enjoy your day here.

  2. bkj1608

    Hi Everyone. And thanks Sue-Ellen. You know I miss those days of sending chapters in the mail. I can remember how you couldn’t wait to get something from your critique partner so the mailman was your friend. Now when they brought rejection letter from publishers then you didn’t like them so much.

    • Sue-Ellen Welfonder

      I so agree! Those were great times. The other big ‘great day’ was when the print edition of RT would arrive. Times sure have changed. Do not miss the slips of ‘Dear Author’ rejection ‘letters’ in my mailbox (the real one). Ha ha ha ha. No such thing anymore. Authors have total control and power now. (if they want it) love that!!!

    • Sue-Ellen Welfonder

      Thank you for looking in, lovely lady. Brenda and I go way back. Email didn’t even exist when we first started critiquing. Those were the days! 🙂

  3. Tonya Jones

    oooh another new Author for me to read. can’t wait. Although I do have a waiting list on my Kindle already. Too many to choose from lol

    • bkj1608

      But isn’t it fun Tonya when you find a new author that you really like? It’s like opening a box of candy and choosing the best one. 🙂

  4. Yolanda

    He advertised for old and ugly, but this woman doesn’t fit that description at all !!!!!! Im already intrigued with that line I haven’t read any of your books but that seems like my kind of book.
    Loved your interview some great answers I have liked your facebook page and like the others readers I also love finding new authors that take me on a journey while reading their books.

    • bkj1608

      Thank you Yolanda. I love getting swept about by a book. Glad you stopped by. I love that tag line too. 🙂

    • Sue-Ellen Welfonder

      Thanks, Julie! As an author myself, I sometimes get so tired of always getting the same interview questions. For instance, as I write mostly Scottish romance and have been doing so for nearly 20 years, there are times when I really think I will either scream or laugh uncontrollably when (for the bazillionth) time, someone sends me questions like: “Why Scotland?” “What is so special about Scotland?” “What is so appealing about Highlander heroes?” There are only so many ways to answer such questions because the answer is always basically the same for me. I try to put a fresh spin on these ever-repeated interview questions. So when I interview a fellow author, I aim to ask questions not asked all the time. So glad you enjoyed Brenda’s visit.

  5. AprilJ

    I am so happy to find a new author. Sounds like a good book that will keep me up all night when I can’t put it down.

    • bkj1608

      Hi April! Let’s hope so. The very first reader sent me an email saying that I kept her awake all night reading. Always nice to hear.

  6. Claudia Delgado

    Hello. What a great interview. Greetings from El Salvador. Today it’s too hot here. More than other holy Friday. Hope you both keep having lots of success with such wonderful stories.

    • Sue-Ellen Welfonder

      Thanks so much for looking in here, Claudia. You will love Brenda’s book. She’s a great writer. Share your feelings about the heat. Here in southwest Florida it gets way too hot too soon, too. Happy Easter! xx

    • bkj1608

      Hi Claudia. El Salvador. I know you are hot. North Carolina is 80’s and full of pollen so I would love a good rain today and nice 70’s. The kids can do the Easter Egg hunt tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Charlene Whitehouse

    Great interview. Do you have a new book in the works. I’m here in Vermont and the weather is cold and raining. A least its not snowing today. It did yesterday.

    • bkj1608

      Let’s trade Charlene. I bet Vermont is beautiful. I can picture covered bridges. I have started a medieval but it is early on. Lately, I’ve not been able to work on it because we are doing a little remodeling and it seems to be a lot of work that I have to do before the workers can do their thing. But hopefully once the carpet is put in then life will be normal.

  8. Marline sexton

    Hi Brenda welcome to an racing romance. Each and,everyday . thank you for all that you do so that we have a wonderful escape to enjoy. Loved the painting , and do you still. Crossstitch? If so

    • bkj1608

      Hi Marline, No I’ve not cross stitched in years. I still have everything and swear that I will one day. I have lots of pictures around the house that I cross stitched and framed and I used to love doing it. However by night my eyes are usually tired from looking at the computer so much. That is one bad thing about computers which we didn’t have before. They are hard on your eyes.

  9. Maggi Andersen

    Lovely to discover a new author. And artist! I love your painting.

  10. jessicajefferson

    Hello Brenda! It’s great having you on ER. I laughed when I saw your Something Wonderful pic – I have a copy that looks eerily similar.

    • bkj1608

      Thank you, Jessica. I think we are basically alike as authors but we all have a different voice when we write. But first we are readers and I can remember years ago what I wouldn’t have given to be able to talk to the authors I love so much. It was so much fun meeting Judith. I wish she was still writing.

  11. Leah Weller

    What a beautiful painting! This entire post left me with a smile on my face as we both share so many similar aspects. I think all of us have “that book” that made a huge impression on our lives. Mine is The Wolf and the Dove by Woodiwiss. I have every issue released of it and cherish them dearly. I searched many a used bookstore to find them all. Especially those first editions. They are worn and the pages are almost coming apart from the binding but they are well loved. 🙂 You’re so very blessed in the fact you got to meet Judith and get it signed. I am not one for regrets, but the closest I’ve came to one was never letting Kathleen know how her book changed my life. Back when I started reading I was fairly new to the internet and could never find an actual email address for her or even a mailing address. Maybe I just didn’t look in the right places and at the time, back then, I never thought to get in touch with her publisher to try to get her a message that way. I’d like to think that she knows now. 😉

    • bkj1608

      I have copies of Kathleen Woodiwiss on my keeper shelf. She was one of the first authors that I read back in the day when they were first published. Back then the only way you could contact an author was to send a letter to the publisher and sometime/not always they would forward to the author. You couldn’t contact any authors directly. Now it is a bit easier. But she would have loved to know how much you loved her books. She died much too young. Thank you for sharing your story. 🙂

  12. Mary Preston

    Shame on you for not returning a book to the library – understandable though.

    • bkj1608

      I know Mary. But I’ve given them so many books – I don’t feel bad about it. And do you know until this day every time I read Something Wonderful I still cry. Now that’s a good good. And what is really funny I cry at the ending of Christmas in Camelot which I read every Christmas. And I know it will have a happy ending since I wrote it but I still cry. 🙂

  13. Lee Garcia

    Oh! I am excited! You are a new author to me! I am so cited to discover your books!…. (I don’t know how I have missed your books but look forward to checking them out!…thanks!

    • bkj1608

      Thank you Lee. I hope you will enjoy one of my books. Please send me an email and let me know how you like them. My email is in all my books. Thanks.

  14. bkj1608

    I will check in the morning and read the rest of the messages and pick a winner. I tend to start typing backwards this time of night.

  15. Glenda

    Gorgeous painting, Brenda! I love that you got to sit at the desk where JK Rowling finished Harry Potter! Loved your post!

    • bkj1608

      Hi Glenda. That was probably the thrill of my life. I knew where she finished the last book and since I was staying at the hotel I ask the clerks if I could see the room. I was like a kid in candy land. I was hoping that some of her brilliance might rub off if I sat in the chair. Not sure that has happen. But I have an entire bookshelf full of her books, her research books and the books she loved as a child. One day I want to write a YA book.

  16. Terry Evans

    Any friend of Sue-Ellen’s is a friend of mine ! I loved your five fun facts . BTW your hair is gorgeous !

    • Sue-Ellen Welfonder

      Bless you, Terry. You really made me feel good tonight, seeing your kind words. Yes, Brenda has gorgeous hair, doesn’t she? She has not changed at all in the many decades we have been friends and is just as beautiful in person as in pictures. Also super nice. Thanks so much for looking in here. Love you! xx SE

    • bkj1608

      Hi Terry. Now you are a true fan for Sue-Ellen and I’m glad you are going to give me a chance. Sue-Ellen and I are only children so we have to stick together. 🙂 And thank you for the comment on my hair. I have a thing about my hair. If it doesn’t do right then my day is shot – really. Sad but true.

  17. Marti Sigsbee

    Have enjoyed reading about the author as a person not just about the contents of her books. I will now give her books a try and feel I have discovered a new author. Thank you for sharing.

    • bkj1608

      Hi Marti, I guess we do talk about our books a lot. But I think I’m very dull which is why I don’t usually post personal stuff. The excitement we get out of our books because our heroines can do anything and do it well. 🙂

  18. bkj1608

    I want to thank everyone who stopped by to say hello. A big thanks to Sue-Ellen who ask such great questions. We will be putting out a bundle book next month of Scottish and Regency so be looking for it in May. Congrats for the winner of the free book –Leah Weller. If you will send me an email with Embracing Romance in the subject line then I will get you an ebook of Western Seduction. I love to put humor in my books so I’m hoping that I will be able to make you smile once you’ve finished a book. Thanks again.