Introducing Chain of Mercy’s Hero Richard Brooks & a Giveaway

Before I begin my interview with Chain of Mercy‘s hero, Richard Brooks, allow me to introduce the debut author behind the story, Brenda Anderson. Brenda has introduced many new authors to the blogosphere over the years, including me, and I’m delighted that I now have that privilege to do the same for her.


Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty, life-affirming fiction that offers hope and reminds readers they’re not alone. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and is currently President of the 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 area with her husband of 26 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.


And to give you a little background on her novel’s hero, here’s the back cover blurb from Chain of Mercy, which officially releases, Tuesday, April 22nd, from Winslet Press:

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.

Oooh, has that spiked your curiosity? Well, let’s grill Richard a little, shall we? 🙂

Question: Thanks for talking to me today, Richard! The grapevine tells me that you used to work in corporate America, a Vice President in a Fortune 500 company, but now you’re doing custodial work. What compelled you to make that huge career move?

Richard: (sighs and tugs at a chain around his neck.) It’s not that big of a change. I’ve always been a fixer. I grew up on a dairy farm, and we fixed anything that broke down. It was a natural progression to become a corporate fixer, but that’s a high-pressure position. Working as a custodian has relieved much of that pressure.

Question: Why make the move from Manhattan to Minneapolis?

Richard: Minneapolis is close to family, and family is very important to me. Now I get to see my nieces and nephews more often. I won’t miss birthdays, holidays any more. I get to take the nephews fishing, go to ball games. I get to spoil my nieces.

Question: Family is important to you, yet you’re a confirmed bachelor. Have you ever considered settling down, starting your own family?

Richard: (fiddles with the chain again) I’ve always wanted to be a father, and thought maybe I’d found that someone to share my life with, but it didn’t work out. Right now I’m satisfied with being an uncle.

Question: Hmmm. That grapevine I referred to earlier has you connected with Sales Executive, Sheila Peterson. Any truth to that rumor?

Richard: (Laughs) Do you really think a company executive would want to be seen with a janitor?

Question: Hmmm. That’s exactly what I intend to find out!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s interview. You can connect with Brenda at the any of the links below, and if you’d like to be entered in the giveaway for a copy of Chain of Mercy, please leave a question for Richard in the comments. Let’s see if we can squeeze some more info out of him. 😉

Giveaway is limited to US or Canadian addresses and all comments must be made before 10 pm EST, Sunday April 27th. Winner will be notified by email.

Website link:

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BTW, Tuesday, April 22nd, I’m guest posting at:

Seriously Write, talking about persevering through Writer’s Block



    • Manhattan and Minneapollis really aren’t that different. The arts/theater/music scene in Minneapolis is 2nd only to New York. Minneapolis is a progressive and highly educated area. Even our nickname, the Mini-Apple, is similar.

      The people tend to be friendlier in Minneapolis (the reason we’re called Minnesota Nice). The traffic is hectic, but more manageable than NY. Green space, parks, beaches abound in the Twin Cities. And I actually enjoy the extreme weather in Minnesota.

      I do miss the noise of Manhattan, the busyness, the lights. And, I admit, I miss the mental stimulation that my old career provided. But having my nieces and nephews clost more than makes up for that!

  • Okay, Richard, I’d like to hear the rest of the story. After all, custodial work is a far cry from a career in corporate America. . . a far, far, cry . . . and worlds apart, no matter the city. Where do you really belong? I’m intrigued.

    • Well, Lorna, you’re right. The two worlds are far apart, but right now I belong in the boiler room. And I’m good at what I do.

      But to answer your question fully, I’ll defer to my story, Chain of Mercy.

      • I didn’t expect to hear you say that the boiler room was actually the right place for you. So, I guess, then,
        whatever you need to be working out, it is best done in a boiler room. Huh? Can’t wait to find out more in your book, Chain of Mercy.

  • Richard, why wouldn’t Sheila want to be seen with you? I’ve heard that a woman who makes more money than her man feels more powerful and more in control. A sales executive like she sounds right for that type of personality. I look forward to reading the book and learning more about the entire situation.

    • Hmm. That’s an interesting perspective, Kyle. Guess we’ll have to wait to see what happens.

    • Yes, I do miss it, Jennifer. I miss the challenge of the business world, the satisfaction of saving businesses. This may sound arrogant, but I miss the accolades. The food, of course, was great, but to be honest, I prefer my mom’s old-fashioned meals. As much as I miss all that, it really is good to be home.

  • Working with boilers, Richard, you’d be familiar with the safety valves that protect them. It will be interesting to see if you turned to the ultimate safety valve—Jesus Christ—when you could no longer fix the problems dangerously boiling in your life.

    Congratulations to you, Brenda. May there be many more novels to follow.

    Thanks, Sandra, for interviewing Richard.

    • Uh, well, you see, I’ve tried religion, my family’s very religious, but it’s just not for me. I appreciate your concern, but things’ll work out fine for me. They always do. I don’t need God as a crutch.

      (Janet – LOVE that analogy! Wish I’d have thought of it!)

  • Chain of Mercy sounds like a fantastic book and I certainly want to read more about Richard and Shelia. Richard can seem to grasp that a big wig would look twice at a janitor but something is Richard caught SHELIA’s eye. I want to know what it is….what it stiructly physical or did Richard give off vibes that Shelia felt and picked up on? This mind is wondering !

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    • Hi Melanie, this is Sheila. I thought I could better answer your question.

      Honestly, what first caught my eye was Richard’s appearance. A well-groomed janitor wearing a neatly-pressed uniform? How could I not notice? And then his smile? And eyes? Yes, Richard is a very nice looking man. Very nice indeed.

      But all that was window dressing. Yes, his appearance caught my eye, but what held my attention was his obvious intelligence, which also aroused my curiosity. And he’s very tight-lipped about his past, which piques my curiosity even more. I need to know who he is beyond that grey uniform, and I will find out!

  • It’s been so much fun reading everyone’s comments and question for Richard this week and his cryptic answers. 🙂 I’m glad you’ve all had fun with the interview. I’ll leave the comments open for three more hours and then we’ll draw to see to whom Richard will personally mail his answers. 🙂

    • Sandra,

      Thank you for welcoming me (and Richard!) to your blog. This was so much fun! 🙂 I’m definitely stealing this idea for future guest posts.


      • My pleasure, Brenda. I’m looking forward to having my hero or heroine visit your blog in June. 🙂

  • Congratulations on your debut novel, Brenda! It sounds like something I’d really like. What I’d like to know from Richard is what are you really afraid of? And I’ll bet Shelia will find a way to get you out of the boiler room.

    • Hi P.T.,

      A few years, or even a few months back, I would have told you I’m not afraid of anything, but a man grows when faced with a crisis. What I fear is not being in control, not being able to fix a situation. That’s never been a problem before. Not until now anyway…

      (Thank you, P.T.! I hope you have an opportunity to read Chain of Mercy!)

Great to "see" you here today! I look forward to reading your comment.