Author Spotlight: The Forsaken Heart by Brenda Gayle

Today I have Brenda Gayle visiting and she brought dessert!!  Welcome Brenda. 🙂

The Forsaken Heart


Brenda Gayle

I am so glad to be here to celebrate the release of my new contemporary romance, The Forsaken Heart. I’ve even brought a special treat (more about that later).
The Forsaken Heart is the third book in my Heart’s Desire series, which chronicles the trials and tribulations of three cousins as they defy family expectations to search for true love and a meaningful life. While the first two books, The Hungry Heart and The Doubting Heart, deal with Hunter and Chad Graham’s rejection of the family ranch to forge their own careers, The Forsaken Heart focuses on Anna’s desire to run the ranch, despite being the wrong sex in the eyes of her uncles.

About The Forsaken Heart


When Anna Graham marries Callum Hart she’ll get both the man she loves and her uncles’ agreement to take over the family ranch. Will the return of Jackson, her long-lost first love—and Cal’s brother—throw it all in jeopardy?
Cal has been in love with Anna for as long as he can remember. It was he who picked up the pieces of her broken heart when Jackson disappeared years ago. His brother’s sudden reappearance, just when it seems Anna is ready to love again, is mysterious—as is his father’s casual acceptance of the prodigal son’s return.
But is something more sinister going on? Someone seems determined to prove Anna incompetent to her uncles and insincere to Cal. With an arsonist on the loose and cattle dying, old secrets are exposed, and Anna and Cal face a challenge that will test their love far more than Jackson’s unexpected homecoming.

k Buy Links k

Amazon  | The Wild Rose Press

A full list of retailers can be found on my website at



At someone’s request, the DJ had deviated from his usual dance mixes and the first agonizing chords of Lionel Richie’s Hello filled the air. Cal’s steps matched the song’s slow, sultry drumbeat. He was inches from her. His heart was hammering in his chest and he held his breath. “Would you like to dance?”

She nodded silently, took his hand, and followed him into the center of the dance floor.

…in my dreams I’ve kissed your lips a thousand times… 

Very carefully he pulled her into his arms. She held herself rigid at first, and then as the song continued she began to relax and they found their rhythm.

Her hand was small in his and he held it gently, afraid to ask too much of her. She wasn’t wearing her engagement ring. Cal knew he shouldn’t be surprised, but it cut just the same.

He directed her around the floor with a light pressure on the small of her back. It was torture to have her in his arms and know she wasn’t his. All he wanted was to pull her in close and hold on to her forever.

They danced effortlessly, their steps in perfect harmony. At one turn, Anna moved in closer to him. Cal waited for her to step away at the next turn. It had to be a miscalculation on her part. But she didn’t. Instead she moved even closer and rested her cheek against his shoulder.

He adjusted his hold on her hip and released her hand so he could wrap both his arms around her. As she raised her arms to circle his neck, her body molded to his and Cal inhaled the warm, sweet scent of her skin.

…let me start by saying “I love you.”  

As the whispered lyrics ended, the DJ morphed the song into a high-energy dance mix. Cal and Anna remained entwined on the dance floor for a few seconds longer, neither moving. Then Anna stepped back, her head cast down.

The place where her cheek had rested against his shoulder felt warm. He fingered the fabric of his shirt and was surprised to find it damp. “Anna?” He doubted she’d be able to hear his voice above the pounding of the latest hit 

He tucked a finger under her chin and slowly raised her head so he could see her face. Her eyelashes glistened with moisture and Cal stared in shock at the large teardrop trailing down her cheek.


k Meet the Author1 kBrenda_GayleI’ve been a writer all my life but returned to my love of fiction after more than 20 years in the world of corporate communications–although some might argue there is plenty of opportunity for fiction-writing there, too. I have a Master’s degree in journalism and an undergraduate degree in psychology. A fan of many genres, I am drawn to contemporary romance and enjoy creating deeply emotional stories with elements of mystery and suspense.

I live in eastern Ontario with my wonderful husband, two fabulous children, a rescued cat, two Siberian Huskies, and assorted aquatic wildlife.

You can find me at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


And now the Treat!

The Grahams are third-generation Americans. Anna’s grandparents emigrated from Scotland in the early 1900s and parts of their heritage are reflected throughout the books. One of these is the Dundee cake, a traditional Scottish fruit cake made with currants, raisins, almonds, and fruit peel. The top of the cake is usually decorated with concentric circles of almonds.

A popular story is that Mary Queen of Scots did not like candied cherries in her cakes, so the cake was first made for her as a fruit cake that used blanched almonds and not cherries

Anna’s mother makes this cake as a special treat in several of the books. I’ve tried it and it’s delicious.

Dundee Cake


  • 175g/6oz softened butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 175g/6oz soft light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp orange marmalade
  • 3 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 225g/8oz self-raising flour
  • 25g/oz ground almonds
  • 1 heaped tsp ground mixed spice
  • 400g/14oz mixed dried fruit
  • 75g/3oz glace cherries, halved
  • 2 tbsp whisky or milk
  • 40g/1½oz blanched almonds to decorate
  • 1 tsp granulated or caster sugar, to decorate (optional)

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Grease and double-line a 20cm/8in loose-based deep cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar in a food processor for 3-4 minutes, or until very light and fluffy.
  3. Add the marmalade and mix for a few seconds more. Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add the flour, almonds and spices to the batter. Mix slowly until well combined, then stir in the mixed dried fruit and cherries with a large metal spoon. Add the whisky or milk and mix until well combined.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin, smooth the surface and carefully arrange the blanched almonds in circles on top.
  6. Bake for 1½-2 hours, or until well risen, firm and golden-brown. (Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is done.)
  7. Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tin, peel off the lining paper and set aside to cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Store in a cake tin and eat within 4-5 days.


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