Sunday, March 4, 2012

Maggie Mae by Sandy Wolters: Character Interview, Excerpt

July 4th 2005, Maggie's wedding day was the happiest day of her life, the most painful day of her life and the day she died three times.

Maggie lives as a recluse in the home that she and her dead husband, Jimmy, built together. It's all she has left of him. She has her friends, but has turned her back on the world and any possibility of spending her life with another man.

Five years after Jimmy's tragic death, Maggie's world is once again turned upside down when the last hold she has to her husband, their home, is destroyed. Maggie is thrown into the path of a man, the only man, that can bring her back to life. Elk Bend Chief of Police Michael Rogers is there to help her pick up the pieces and move on.

Rafferty, a close friend, has loved Maggie for years.  He has been waiting for her to get over the loss of her husband and knows that in time she will be with him.

Rafferty has inserted himself into Maggie's life so deeply that she doesn't see his obsessive behavior. She doesn't realize that she has been stalked by Rafferty even before the death of her husband or the danger that Rafferty represents to her. Maggie is his and he will do whatever he has to in order to keep her.

Will Maggie be able to start a new life with Michael? Or will she be so consumed with the fear of losing him that she is paralyzed to move forward with her new life?

Will Rafferty have the power over Maggie to extinguish any feelings she has for Michael? Or will he destroy her trying to wrestle her away from her fate with another man?

This book will make the readers weep uncontrollably when they read about the tragic murder of Maggie's husband, Jimmy, and laugh with the interactions of Maggie and her friends. They will take a journey into the life of the characters that will make them escape and feel the wonder of love transcending death.

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Here I stand, me, Maggie Mae Dixon, on the beach at dusk, in front of friends and family marrying the man I love.

People talk about love and how it changes your life, but does anyone really believe it until it happens to them? I certainly didn’t. I didn’t know what I was missing in my life until this gift was thrust upon me like an out of control eighteen-wheeler speeding down a steep mountain grade. I didn’t know I was lonely. I didn’t know I was just striding through life with no bearing until the first time my eyes met his, and everything and everyone else disappeared. This man, James David Carson, filled my world when I didn’t realize it was empty. I feel sorry for every other woman because this man is mine and will always be mine.

Does he know that he is everything to me? Does he understand that I’m not the same person when he leaves the room? 

We’ve accomplished so much in the two short years since we’ve met. We’ve built our dream house with our own hands just outside the most beautiful, small Northern Arizona community. We’ve never spent a night alone since we’ve met. We cease to exist without the other.

As I listen to the pastor and get lost in this man’s eyes, I can’t help but smile. We’ve got a secret. We’re pregnant. I can’t wait to tell everyone. He knows what I’m thinking at this moment, and the warmth of his smile sends me reeling. I can’t keep my eyes off of him.

As I look at him, I start to feel cold pricks down my spine. He senses my fear and grips my hands stronger. I don’t know what is happening, but as I watch him, his face slowly starts to shimmer, becoming transparent. I try to talk, but nothing comes out of my mouth. He is slowly vanishing in front of my eyes. I am still holding his hands, but I no longer feel them. I still don’t understand what is happening, but panic is thrusting downward to my very core to such a degree that I can’t breathe. Where is he going? Why can’t I make a noise?

Even though I can barely see him now, his words are clear. “Maggie, my darling, I love you. I will always love you. I promise I will never leave you.” And then, he is gone.

Confused and frightened, I look around and it’s dark. There is no sign of friends or family. I can’t see the sand or the water. I look down at my hands, and there’s blood, too much blood, all over me. Besides the stickiness on my hands, the only sense I have is the awful coppery smell of the blood. The sour sweetness of it is suffocating me. I can’t open my eyes. I try to shout his name, but nothing is coming out of my mouth. My God! Where is all of this blood coming from? Please someone help me!

The next moment Maggie woke up. She was in mid-scream, but no sound was coming out of her mouth. Panicked and covered in sweat, she couldn’t catch her breath. It felt as though her heart was being squeezed in a vice. As she focused on the hotel room around her, she once again felt the loss.

Jimmy gave her everything life had to offer, and then he took it all away when he died. She knew in her heart she should have died with him that day, but life, with all of its cruel fates, had condemned her to face the world without him.

Maggie moved into the bathroom, washed her face and looked into the mirror. How did her life turn into such a mess? If the past five years were any indication, she would be having this gut-wrenching dream for the next month. Why was the universe so cruel? Why did she have to consistently be reminded of what she’d lost?

Backing up to the bathroom door, she let her body slide down the door jamb. Sitting on the floor with her face in her hands, she begged for answers, her anguished cry enough to still one’s heart. “Oh, Jimmy, you promised me. You promised you’d never leave me.”

The man who had been shielding himself from her and pacing the room stopped and turned toward her. The power of hearing her say his name with so much torment brought him to his knees. He knew now that the chain of events he had set in motion was the only way she could move on with her life. He never again wanted to hear her cry out his name with such heartbreak attached to it. He wanted to always hear the love and joy in her voice that she felt when she remembered the magical times they had had together.

He knew that what he had planned for the next few days would cause his Maggie great distress, but she would never be able to achieve joy in her life if he didn’t proceed.

Carefully moving toward her, he whispered, “Maggie, my darling, I love you. I will always love you. I promise. I will never leave you. It’s going to be okay, baby. You’re going to move past this and have the life you deserve. No more despair. You just need to be strong a little while longer.”

With that, he disappeared.

Character interview:
Maggie from my book, Maggie Mae

Laurie, it's so nice of you to have me on your blog today.  We have a mutual friend, Sandy Wolters.  She's told me a lot of very nice things about you.

What do you think makes a good story?

Being a writer myself, I think the characters are the most important aspect of any book.  The reader must be emotionally invested in the characters enough to care what happens to them and want to continue getting to know them.  Even if the character is despicable, you want your reader to hate that character enough to continue reading about him/her to see if he or she gets their due in the end. You never know in my books if they will or if they won't.

Since I write romance, I also love that all important first moment when the characters meet for the first time.  Some of my characters have an instant attraction to each other and flirt shamelessly.  Sometimes the characters have an instant dislike to their potential suitor, but they are put in the position of having to fight with every ounce of their self control against an extremely serious sexual attraction they feel for the other.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

If you would have asked me this question a year ago, I wouldn't have been strong enough to answer it. 

A few years ago, I married the love of my life, Jimmy.  I wish you could have known him, Laurie.  He was such a special person.

We were together for two wonderful years before he was murdered.  Part of me died that day.  It changed my life.  I became a shell of myself, a recluse.  I just didn't want to live my life without him.  Until one day, I came home to find the beautiful house we built together destroyed. 

Michael came into my life that day, I believe by divine intervention.  I wouldn't have been able to survive that last blow, losing everything Jimmy and I had built together, without Michael's strength to hold me up.  He brought love and joy back into my life.  Michael was my second chance at life and I grabbed on with both hands.

I believe that everything happens for a reason.  There are no words to describe what losing Jimmy did to my soul.  It took me five years to finally be in a position to move on with my life.  The major lesson that I learned throughout that devastating period is that we all grieve differently.  I've spoken to many people since I was finally able to move on, and I find it very cathartic. 

When I speak of this period in my life with people, my main goal is to help others with their loss.  There is just no right or wrong to grieving.  I've since learned that while I couldn't see or touch Jimmy, he had never really left me in the first place.  Our love was just too strong to end so abruptly.  I still feel him around me at times.

What makes you happy?

After spending so many years of my life in limbo over the loss of Jimmy, everything makes me happy now.  I don't take anything for granted anymore.  I know that it could all be gone tomorrow, so I now savor every moment in my life.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
I live in what I believe to be the most amazing place in the world, Northern Arizona.  Michael and I have the most beautiful meadow on our property.  It's my special place.  When I need to unwind or just think, I'll go down to the meadow with my critter bag and wait for the wildlife to show up.  We've seen deer, elk, antelope, black bear, hawks, you name it.  It's the most peaceful place on earth.
What is your favorite meal?

My all time favorite meal is fried chicken, fried okra, mashed potatoes and white gravy with homemade rolls.  It's my special birthday dinner I have every year.

My name is Sandy Wolters.  I am an author and blogger. My genre of choice is contemporary romance and romance/suspense/thriller, both with a ghostly paranormal twist.  Nothing beats a good romance, especially when those you love and have lost come back to assist you in unexpected ways when you need them most.
I host a blog called Sandy's Spotlight.  I introduce fabulous authors to avid readers every other Friday.  I provide information about the author and a book review for the featured book.  I also host a book discussion to run simultaneously with the author and book that is appearing on Sandy's Spotlight for readers to interact with the featured author.  No invitation needed!  Everyone is welcome to join in.
Website  |   Spotlight Blog 

All of Sandy's books are now available in all digital formats as well as print on Amazon.
Here are the links to Amazon, B&N and Smashwords for all of my books:

Maggie Mae         Justice For Emily       A Brother's Love   



Sandy said...

Laurie, Thanks so much for hosting me today. The blog is beautiful. Off to share.

Arthur Levine said...

Great interview

A.S. Lane/ Ashlynne Laynne said...

What a moving and beautiful excerpt and a great interview.

Jordan K Rose said...

Hi Sandy. I loved the interview and excerpt. That first paragraph of the post is fantastic and poor Maggie Mae! I'm looking forward to reading her story. Also, I love fried Okra, too!

Rebecca Forster said...

Just want to say this is the most amazing interview. I have known Sandy for awhile and the woman I know is happy, giving, loving, and an amazing writer. I had no idea until I read this insightful interview that she had suffered such great losses. Sandy, you are incredible. I knew it before, I just didn't know how exceptional a human being you are. XXOO from your most ardent fan in California

Sheri Fredricks said...

Character interviews are so much fun!

Wicked Leanore said...

This was touching and I am tipping my hat to such a strong wonderful woman, Sandy Wolters.
Laurie Jenkins!!! I missed ya so much. The Website here looks awesome as always. A very good spot here today!

Kellie said...

I love this interview. It gives such incite to the author and the character. Thank you for sharing it with us.

jennymilch said...

Love this interview with your character, Sandy!

Sandy said...

Thanks for stopping by, Arthur!

Sandy said...


Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! I know how busy you've been on your blog tour introducing your new book, Perpetual Light.

It doesn't get much better than fried Okra. I think I'm going to have to make some tonight!

Sandy said...

Rebecca, Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving this comment. I know how busy you are.

For those of you that aren't aware, Rebecca is one of my all time favorite authors. I just can't get enough of her books! If you're looking for a fantastic police procedural to read, check her out. You won't be disappointed.

Sandy said...


Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I'm so glad you enjoyed Maggie's interview!

Sandy said...

Thanks, Wicked Leanore! I'm glad you liked Maggie's interview. She is a wonderfully strong woman that I really enjoyed writing about.

Sandy said...


Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed Maggie's interview. It's one of the first character interviews I've done. She's just so much fun to write about.

Sandy said...

Jenny, Thank you for your support. I really appreciate it. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

Sandy said...

Ashlynne Laynne, I just wanted you to know that I got an e-mail with your comment on it. There was some sort of wonky thing that happened and it didn't post on the blog. Thank you for taking time out of your busy blog tour for your first novel, The Progeny, to stop by and comment. I really appreciate it!

Sandy said...

I'm sorry I wasn't around yesterday, everyone. My husband, Michael, took me out for the day on a romantic picnic at the lake! The first date of the spring season! Woot! I'm already looking forward to the second!