Monday, May 12, 2014
Maggie Meets her Match by Dinah McLeod
Please welcome Dinah McLeod to my blog today! She's here to talk about her latest book, Maggie Meets her Match, Swift Justice book 2. I loved the first book in this series, Swept off her Feet, and I'm looking forward to reading this one soon too. Okay, take it away, Dinah...
Hi Sue! Thanks so much for having me on your blog today! I’m really excited to tell you and your readers more about my new release, Maggie Meets Her Match. It’s the second in the Swift Justice series, and I’ve got to tell you, I’ve really taken a liking to these characters—I hope my readers come to feel the same way! It’s the first series I’ve ever done with recurring characters and it provides its own set of challenges. For example, I can all too easily forget that character A was 20 in book 1 and end up making her 18 in book 2. Thank God for editors!
It also comes with a unique set of rewards, too. For me, that reward is being able to sit and chat with characters I’ve already gotten to know. In this book, I got to see Maggie’s past as well as her future. She is one very lucky woman with Clay Callahan at her side!
I recently asked fans to tell me their favorite characters. Mine is Maggie, because she’s the most like me. However, Libby Swift is definitely the most fun. She says whatever’s on her mind, hairbrush be damned! She can have a red bottom and still be sassy—lucky for her, her stern husband Wesley knows how to handle it! Naturally, she and Maggie have a bit of a rivalry going on that is so much fun to write! (And hopefully to read!) So that’s the snippet I chose to share with you today. Enjoy!
I had to give Libby her due though, she put on a good show. When she came ‘round she was all simpering smiles and “yes, ma’am” and “that would be lovely.” It made me sick to watch, though Wesley didn’t seem to notice. No, he looked rather proud of himself for having such a prize. There was nobody that could deny Libby’s beauty—she’d grown from a pretty little girl into an even prettier woman, with the same reddish-brown hair, fair skin, and eyes bluer than the sky that I’d always envied.
“Pretty is as pretty does,” Mama reminded me whenever she saw me staring wistfully, but it was little use. I couldn’t stop envying Libby any more than she could stop being snide and puttin’ on airs.
Wesley had brought Libby by the house for a visit that afternoon and even now she was in the kitchen under the guise of helping Mama when really, she was sizing the place up and dreaming it hers, if you asked me. Not that anyone ever did.
Even Mama wouldn’t hear a word against her, even though I saw the way that her lips pursed tight whenever she saw Libby step down from the buggy.
“She’s going to be family one day, most like,” she told me gently, patting my hand. “You always wanted a sister.”
I screwed my face up in a mixture of horror and disgust. “Mama, you can’t—”
“Enough of that, Maggie. She makes your brother happy.”
Depends on how you see it, I thought uncharitably. Maybe he seemed happy now, but what use would a woman like her be on a farm? Could she even identify vegetables, much less tend to growing them?
“You could do it too, you know,” Mama said, interrupting my thoughts.
“Hmm?” I turned my head to look at her.
“You could get married.”
It was the first time she’d mentioned me courting in the seven long years since I’d lost Joshua. In that time, the pain had dulled to an ache that I carried with me everywhere I went, almost unaware of its presence beside my heart, making my chest all the heavier. Her words knocked the breath clean out of me. I stared at her, my mouth ajar, and tried to suck in enough breath to gasp.
“Oh, you’re being foolish,” she scoffed. “Stop lookin’ at me like you just ate a toad.”
I turned away from her, hoping she hadn’t seen the anguish that I was sure was on my face. How could I still feel so betrayed, so disappointed in life after all this time? I knew Mama only wanted what was best for me; I knew they all wanted me to move on. I just didn’t think I could. If it wasn’t for Joshua himself, then the fact that I’d feel like a ninny courting at my age when most women had a child on her hip and one at her breast.
“I’m sorry, Maggie, I didn’t mean to upset you, child. I just thought that… well, that maybe you wouldn’t be so jealous if you had your own beau.”
“I’m not jealous of Libby Park!” I declared, spinning around to scowl at her. “How could you even think…” I trailed off, because it was plain to see in her eyes that she didn’t believe me.
We dropped the subject, but even though we didn’t speak of it, it still lay between us. Across our knees, more like, in the form of the quilt we’d been sewing that I suspected Mama meant to be a wedding present. The knowledge made me feel ill.
Nineteen-year-old Maggie Swift is excitedly making wedding plans when her beau Joshua breaks her heart. Devastated and determined never to trust a man again, Maggie is convinced she’ll live out her life as an old maid… until ruggedly-handsome Clay Callahan comes riding into her life and sweeps her off her feet. She quickly discovers that though he is more than ready to take his strap to her bare bottom when she gets out of line, being Clay’s wife is pure heaven. Their love and passion grow by leaps and bounds, and soon Maggie is with child.
When tragedy strikes and it seems Maggie’s anguish will consume her entirely, try as she might to push him away, Clay proves that he is determined to do whatever is necessary to bring back his beautiful, sassy bride. Just as her heart begins to heal, however, a figure from her past suddenly reappears and reopens old wounds. Can Maggie put aside her fears and trust that with Clay at her side, they can weather any storm, or will the ghosts of her past rip apart their love?
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