Sunday, September 4, 2016

Welcome Maggie Tideswell's new release—A Convenient Marriage

The idea of two complete strangers getting hitched has always intrigued me, for one simple reason—why would they do such a thing? Could such a relationship succeed? By successful relationship, I understand not only the longevity of the marriage…but is it possible for the participants to actually fall in love with each other in such a strange arrangement? Love is found in the most unexpected places.

A Convenient Marriage grew over a number of years. The basic story was simple—a divorcee with two children, an ex-husband being difficult over visitation, as well as a fiancée unable to commit. Holly’s friends suggested that she needed a new husband, placing an advert in the paper for one behind her back. Joshua was struck by a simple plan when he saw the ad and responded to it.

Why would Holly marry a man she’d never met, and why would Joshua respond to an ad for a husband, then actually propose to a woman he had never clapped eyes on? So, in came the dawdling fiancée, Nicole. Both Holly and Joshua were justified in not planning the marriage to be a real one, because they each had an agenda of their own, but Nicole was the injured party. For their plan to succeed, they had to marry—the real kind, down to that all-important piece of paper married—and they had to seem to be totally in love with each other. That it is all a scam, only they would know.

And here comes the ‘but’. Holly and Joshua’s plans go awry from the moment they meet on the steps of the chapel where their fake marriage is to take place, when both recognize the immediate attraction. Back at Joshua’s wine estate—yes, he is a rich landowner where Holly expected him to be a pauper—Holly meets Joshua’s mother, his brother and sister-in-law, and Nicole, the fiancée, who found out about Joshua’s duplicity in a room full of people. No one can blame Nicole for being a tad upset. Or can they? To add to Holly’s woes, she seems to have acquired a ‘ghost’ demanding she tell a story.

Amidst Nicole’s shenanigans, Joshua’s mother’s disapproval, Holly’s ex’s aggression, and the ghost following Holly around, will these two accomplish what they set out to do? Or will life get in the way?

Joshua’s and Holly’s journey through the uncharted seas of a blind marriage, where no rules apply, is a stormy one. Place your order here:

About the Author

Maggie Tideswell lives in Johannesburg—South Africa, with her husband, Gareth. She began writing when her kids were still very young, squeezing a few paragraphs at a time between the hectic schedule of raising three children, and working full time in the catering industry. She wrote many books before considering having them published. Now that the children have all made lives for themselves, there is more time for writing.

After much experimentation, Maggie writes passionate paranormal romance, of varying levels of heat. The paranormal, things that happen for which there are no logical explanations and ghosts are of particular interest to Maggie. What events in a person’s life would prevent that person from ‘resting’ after death? The ‘Old Religion’ is another special interest. And love, of course. Why do people fall in love? What keeps them together for a lifetime when so many relationships fail?

Maggie’s advice to aspirant novelists is two-fold. Never give up, and write every day. Writing is a craft that has to be honed with practice. And the only way to practice writing is by doing it. And a bonus, never stop reading your favorite genre. Reading it and writing it is the only training for a writer.

“Maggie Tideswell's latest novel, A Convenient Marriage, will have you turning pages as her characters cope with a marriage of convenience, well-meaning but nosy friends, a meddling ghost, jealous exes, and more. My advice: Make room on your Keepers shelf for this story!” (Loree Lough, best-selling author of 107 award-winning books, including Harlequin Heartwarming's "Those Marshall Boys" series.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

BORN IN ICE—Now Available

Born in Ice is now available at Amazon as a KDP selection. Print will be available soon.

Frozen in ice for seventy-five years, Zana Forrester suffers the agony of rebirth to learn her son is dead, and her daughter's whereabouts is unknown. The year is 2155. A man's soothing voice and gray eyes haunt her drug induced dreams. When she recovers, she meets their owner and finds her heart in danger.
But, a relationship isn’t a consideration; she must find her daughter.

Brock Callahan is drawn to the beautiful woman taken aboard his salvage ship. He's determined she'll be his wife and a mother to his young daughter, but he vows not to love her. All the women he’s loved died. While Zana searches for her daughter, Brock must protect Zana from the evil that threatens.

I hope you'll pick up a copy and please, leave me a review. All reviews—good, bad, and/or ugly are appreciated.

Happy Reading and Writing!


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Where to get a copy of A Way Back

A Way Back, my time travel novella set in the 1930s oil fields of Kilgore, Texas, is now available at Amazon in both ebook and paperback. It's also at Barnes and Noble, and print is available at Createspace.

I hope you'll pick up a copy and after you've read, please leave a review on Amazon.

Many thanks and Happy Reading and Writing!


Monday, August 8, 2016

A Way Back—New Cover!

A Way Back, my time travel set in the 1930s oil fields of Kilgore, Texas has a new cover. It is being republished by me. The ebook is out now and hopefully I'll have the print copy ready soon. If you haven't read it, I hope you'll pick up a copy at Amazon.

Amber Mathis, a Wall Street investment banker, returns to her office after burying her mother. Distraught, tired of the rat race, she's determined to make a career change. In the elevator she falls and rises to find herself in a vintage lift.  The date is February 25, 1930, and a man stands on the window ledge in her office ready to jump.

Wellman Hathaway, owner and CEO of Hathaway Bank in New York struggles to pay his depositors half their losses. A woman claiming to be from the future appears in his office and involves him in a scheme that forces them into marriage. With Amber's knowledge of the financial history of the 1930s, they travel to the oil fields of Texas to recoup Wellman's funds.

Two people from different centuries are thrown together to survive a difficult time. Will they find more than A Way Back to prosperity?

Thanks for Reading!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How's Your Summer Going?

It's hard to believe it's half over. Here is Texas, it's been hot, but not as unbearable as other areas in the U.S.

For many folks, summer is a time for travel. Though we like to travel during the fall, we've done our share during these warmer months.

As is our habit, the Riley girl cousins had our yearly trip in late April. We prefer to be on the road before summer break. This year we went to New Orleans. We'd wanted to tour the cemeteries but decided to take in the free sight and save our money for other eating binets at Cafe Du Monde. Yum! My very first binet experience. Loved them.

Bourbon Street—my first and last visit. It's a place for the younger crowd.
Historic building on Jackson Square.
Macaroni and Cheese with Lobster.
Thunderbird Lodge—the grounds
In late June, Larry and I drove to Gallup, New Mexico where I wanted to shop for a Zuni fetish necklace. While there we stopped again at El Rancho Hotel and ate lunch in their restaurant.

El Rancho.
From there we traveled to Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. We stayed at Thunderbird Lodge on the Navajo Reservation. It was a very nice place, quiet, and surrounded by greenery.

Ancient ruin seen from the canyon floor.
Part of the canyon from above.

The canyon is filled with pueblo ruins, petroglyphs, and fascinating rock formations. Run by the Navajo people, they guide the tours and share their history with visitors. There is not park entry fee for Canyon de Chelly.

Where will your travels take you this summer?

Happy Reading and Writing!


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Followup on Stagecoach Travel—an excerpt for A Touch of Texas Irish

I've had so much fun with researching this story, I've decided to post a short excerpt about stagecoach travel as told in my latest novel, A Touch of Texas Irish. I can't post too much as it's been sent to my editor, but it's not contracted yet.

In the spring of 1890,  Dr. Samuel Walker and his young Irish bride travel from Boston to Monahans, Texas via the train. In Monahans they catch a stagecoach for Fort Stockton, Texas.

A Stage Stand replica near Fort Stockton, Texas (Google Photos)

A friendly mule posing for a snapshot. That or waiting for a treat.
(Google Photos)

They'd just finished breakfast in the cafe next to the depot and returned from the outhouse when the stage roared in and stopped in front of the stand, sending dust flying. Aileen watched in fascination as a gate swung open, and the six mules and stagecoach entered. In ten minutes, the coach came out the same door with fresh stock and a different driver. She'd like to glimpse the inside, but the tender called out, "If you're traveling to Fort Stockton, pay up. First come, first served."
Sam took her arm and hustled her over to the man. "I want two seats facing the front." He counted out a number of bills.
"Claim your seats, mister."
Sam helped her inside. She sat in the middle of the front facing seat and he took the one to her right by the door. A man in a military uniform took the seat on her left. An older couple and a cowboy sat down across from them. Seven men still stood around the tender.
"Any of you men interested in the center seat?" Several stepped forward and paid their money. "The rest of you'll ride on top. You can switch out with the center seat 'bout half way there."
Thank goodness they didn't have to bump knees with those three men. Plus the middle bench had a makeshift backrest—a wide piece of cut leather stretched and attached from one side to the other. Pieces of leather dangled from the ceiling. Aileen shot Sam a questioning glance. "Those in the center hold on to steady themselves when the road is rough." He pulled her arm under his and laid her hand on his bicep. "We'll get more dust on this row, but traveling backwards makes some folks sick." He leaned down and whispered in her ear. "Plus, I didn't want you interlocking your knees with the center row."
Aileen felt sorry for the elderly lady, but not enough to offer to trade places.
The station tender stood at the open door. "All right, folks. Remember no shooting out the windows unless it's in defense. If you don't follow the rules, the driver will put you off in the desert. He's done it before. Men, be respectful of the ladies." He slammed the door.
Sam squeezed her hand. "Hang on."
She heard the crack of a whip and the driver's bellow, "Go boys!" The coach leapt forward and Aileen's head bounced against the back wall. Thank goodness it was padded.
Sam caught Aileen to steady her and prevent further jostling until the coach settled into a steady gait. He chuckled as she repositioned her hat. "You all right?"
"I'm fine. You said he'd take off like a shot, but I assumed you were exaggerating."
The lady across the way eyed Aileen with distaste. Sam noticed she listened in on his and Aileen's conversation, and then said something to her husband. He frowned and muttered, "Mind your own business, Ethel."
Ethel studied Aileen from head to toe, well, as much of her toes as she could observe. Aileen wore one of her new dresses—blue cotton, but it was thick enough for winter wear. He'd cautioned her to wear something comfortable. Over the dress, she wore her new jacket, which she could take off if it grew too hot. Ethel wore a suit dress of heavy gray wool and appeared to be fully corseted. She'd already removed the matching cape and placed it on her knees. Sam hadn't purchased a blanket, as he didn't believe the weather would warrant the need for one. With any luck, he'd not made a mistake.
Ethel made up her mind. She lifted her chin, sniffed, and asked, "Where you from, young woman? Sounds like you have one of them Irish, accents."
"It is Irish. I've only been in the states for three months." She smiled up at Sam. "We've been wed just a little over a week."
The matron snorted. "Come over to get you a rich husband, huh?"
Her husband bit out, "Ethel, for God's sake, woman. Shut your mouth."
Aileen's face reddened and she sat up straighter. "Ethel, not that it's any of your concern, but I didn't have to marry for money. I admire Dr. Walker."
Sam had difficulty keeping his anger in check. The old biddy had no right to insult Aileen. He leaned down and kissed her hair, and then glanced back at Ethel. "As a matter of fact, madam, my wife is an heiress." He winked at Aileen. "I'm the one who married for money."
The three cowboys in the center roared with laughter. One slapped his knees as he hooted, "Har, har, har." He turned back and tipped his hat. "Good for you, old man. Looks like you got a beauty in the bargain."
Aileen blushed scarlet. Sam slipped his arm around her shoulders and worked it down to her waist. He snuggled her closer. "I did indeed, sir."
"I'm Johnson." The one who'd spoken swiveled around and offered his hand. He pointed to his companions. "This here's Dickens and Smith." He pointed to the wrangler by Ethel. "That be Oats." Sam shook Johnson's hand, thumped the brim of his hat, and nodded to the others. "Pleased to meet you. I'm Samuel Walker and this is my wife." They all four tipped their hats and mumbled, "ma'am." The two with their back to her, had to twist their necks.
Sam leaned forward and turned to the soldier. "How about you, Lieutenant?"
"Jeremy Hawkins, sir." He offered his hand. "You are Captain Walker, are you not?"
He didn't recognize the young man, but time on the prairie changed a person. "I am, or was, but I'm sorry I don't remember you."
"No reason to. I was fortunate enough to stay away from your domain, but saw you around from time to time."
"Frank Hardy, gentlemen, ma'am. As you've surmised this is my wife, Ethel. She can be quite nice when you get used to her ways."
Ethel snorted and shot daggers at her husband. He merely patted her knee. His belly bobbed up and down with his silent chuckles. Sam glanced at Aileen. Her eyes were round as saucers and she'd caught her bottom lip with her teeth. He supposed it was to keep from giggling.
Sam pointed out the window, "Look at those plants with the long green stalks and red flowers on the top?"
She peered around him. There were a number of them growing amid the prickly pear cactus, creosote bushes, and buffalo grass, names she'd learned when they'd neared Abilene and Monahans. "Yes, I see them." She tilted her head. "I guess they could be pretty with the right backdrop."
"Wait until you see a field full of them in bloom at sunset. It resembles a sea of red." She leaned back in the seat.
"I'd like that. Do they bloom all the time?"
"No, usually around this time of year—March through April—depending on the amount of rain we get. You can break one of the long stalks off and plant it in the ground. Eventually, with time and care, you can have a living, blooming fence." He lifted one of her hands and examined the soft pads of her fingers. "You must be careful though, as behind each little green leaf is a thorn. Always wear thick gloves."
She looked around and scrunched up her nose. "What is that smell?"
All three men on the middle seat chimed. "Oats!"
The young man blushed scarlet and blurted, "It weren't me." He kicked the shin of the wrangler across from him.
"Yeow! Darn it, that hurt."
Johnson added, "Ma'am, please excuse Oats. He didn't have a mama to teach him manners."
Wide-eyed and red-faced, Aileen turned to Sam. "I'm talking about that stinky medicine smell."
Silence reigned. Sam struggled to keep a straight face. Hardy didn't even try. He slapped his leg and howled, "Har-d-har-har-har." Everyone else in the coach joined him, even Ethel. Aileen gazed around in confusion, but finally chuckled with them.
She sobered. "I don't appreciate being the butt of jokes," she threw her hands up, "especially when I don't have a clue what you're talking about."
"Aw, ma'am, we weren't laughing at you. We thought Oats had...well, know."
When she didn't respond, Sam leaned close to her and whispered, "They thought someone had passed gas and that was the odor you were smelling."
She stiffened and murmured. "Gosh, why would I draw attention to such?"
"Well, anyways, I think what you're smelling is the old ugly creosote bush." Johnson pointed out his side of the coach. "See the small bush with the little yellow flowers and green leaves?"
She nodded.
"They stink so bad the cattle won't eat them less they're starving, but I'm told the Indians make medicine from the shrub." He looked to Sam for confirmation.
"That's right, they do. They dry the leaves and stems, crush, and then boil them to make a tea used for a variety of ailments. The mixture can also be made into a paste to treat conditions of the skin."
"And, Dr. Walker, do you make use of these concoctions in treating your patients?" Asked Mrs. Hardy.
"No, ma'am, I do not, but only because I don't know enough about them. I hope one day to be able to visit one of the Indian medicine men in the area and learn."
 "Harrumph. You'd trust anything those heathens told you about healing?"
"Yes, ma'am, I would—especially if out in the middle of nowhere without medical supplies. I'd say their teachings would be invaluable."

I hope you've enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for stopping by and Happy Reading and Writing!