It’s Welcome Wednesday here at Notes From a Romantic’s Heart and not only are we celebrating a visit from a fellow author, but it’s also her “Book Birthday”. Author Linda Bradley visits today and brings with her, Maggie’s Fork in the Road, the second book in her Montana Bound series from Soul Mate Publishing.
Maggie’s Fork in the Road is not just a sequel, but it takes up where book #1, Maggie’s Way, left off. Please join me in welcoming Linda to the blog.
About the Book:
While trying to digest the news and accept John’s decision to leave Michigan, Maggie ventures to Chicago with Chloe to see Chloe’s Hollywood mother in a photo shoot, where the three kindle a quirky bond making it even harder to say goodbye.
With the support of Maggie’s meddling mother, best friend Judy, and a surprise visit from Montana rancher, Winston Ludlow McIntyre, Maggie begins to wonder which fork in the road leads home.
You can find Maggie’s Fork in the Road on Amazon
Breathe, I told myself.
The dim room grew foggy as my eyes searched John’s face. “Really,” I said. “Why now? And why here?” What was it about delivering bad news in a restaurant? First, Beckett, now John. For the love of God, I wondered if breaking a woman’s heart in public got them into a secret men’s club.
Letting my guard down proved one thing. Hurt was inevitable. John and Chloe’s absence would leave a hole in my heart, a gorge of sharp edges. We were more than neighbors. We’d become friends that navigated life’s ups- and-downs together. And now they were moving. I’d have new neighbors and I didn’t want new neighbors. I wanted John and Chloe. I needed John and Chloe. We bonded last summer when I dealt with breast cancer. Their craziness made mine seem normal. John and Chloe weren’t any ordinary neighbors; they were family, eccentric misfits, like myself that conformed to the beat of life while traversing the bumps in the road.
Massaging my temples, I caught my breath. The throb pierced my skull. Since John and Chloe’s arrival, there’d never been a dull moment. Mom came around more often. And Chloe’s mother, Brook. Jesus, she flitted in and left like a summer storm leaving sky-high humidity and heat that scorched everything in its path.
Broken-hearted, Chloe had wept over false promises, her bags packed, her hopes magnanimous. And God, Beckett.
My ex-husband found his footing with a new lifestyle that didn’t include me, or any other woman. I’d heard through the grapevine that he was dating and wondered if his better half was as handsome as he was.
I searched John’s face for an answer.
“I didn’t know how to tell you. I’m sorry, Maggie. I don’t belong here,” he said, lowering his voice. “I can practice medicine in Montana and my dad could really use the help.”
Montana was one hell of a long ways away. I swallowed the sting of disappointment. John’s eyes searched mine. His news left a bitter taste at the back of my throat. “You can’t leave. I love you,” I whispered.
The pressure behind my eyes burned something fierce. How was it possible that I felt so much for someone I wasn’t romantically involved with? I certainly thought about it enough and the few recent kisses we shared established a deeper connection spurring buried promises that I’d made to myself. Moving forward in the wake of waiting for perfect timing proved difficult.
The corners of John’s mouth drooped. His jaw clenched.
“I can’t believe I said that.” I stared into my half-empty glass of Merlot, my cheeks smoldered from the realization that he didn’t return my sentiments. My chin quivered as he touched my hand from across the table.
“I want to put the house up for sale when Chloe’s school year ends.”
My forced smile hurt. It was the kind that everyone knows is fake and by John’s expression, my attempt to lighten the moment had failed. He squeezed my hand. I sipped my wine trying to avoid eye contact with the waitress. Her return with the dessert tray came at the most inopportune moment. After listening politely, John asked for the check. I wrapped my shawl around my shoulders trying to hold myself together. “I’ll meet you outside,” I said, fumbling with my purse.
“I won’t be long,” he said. “Maggie—”
The leg of my chair got stuck on the carpet. I shook it loose in disgust, studying the face of a man that I thought just might be a permanent fixture in my life. His eyes sadly apologetic.
“Damn, you’re beautiful.” With a heavy sigh, he paused. “I’ll be out in a minute.”
I began reading Maggie’s Fork in the Road about a week ago, but I put the book aside after only a half-chapter. My inner-reader/writer told me to stop. To back-track and read the first book in the series before I went on with the new one.
And boy am I glad I did. Book 1, Maggie’s Way, has over 30 well-deserved five-star reviews. I predict this follow-up story will do just as well.
I love a mature heroine…a woman who’s conquered some pretty compelling obstacles. Cancer, divorce from a man she loved but truly didn’t know, and acclimation to a new home and surroundings. In search of peace, she found wonderful chaos.
In the follow-up, we see Maggie being tested again. The man and child she’s come to know and love is leaving her. Will intervention from a number of outside sources convince her to follow her heart? Is she willing to uproot herself for a second chance at happiness?
Author Linda Bradley shows us another side…a stronger side…of a heroine I already admired. It could only get better from there.
About the Author:
Linda’s inspiration comes from her favorite authors and life itself. Her women’s fiction highlights characters that peel away outer layers of life to discover the heart of their dreams with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. Her writing integrates humor found in everyday situations, as well as touching moments, thus creating avenues for readers to connect with her characters.
Linda has an Associates Degree in Interior Design and a Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts with undergraduate work in Elementary Education and Fine Arts. She wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled, The Hunter for her Master’s Degree. Linda is a member of RWA, as well as the Greater Detroit Chapter of RWA.
Linda has two grown sons, lives with her husband, and rescue dog in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Congratulations to Linda on her newest release. I love celebrating book release days here at Notes From a Romantic’s Heart! Please come back again on Saturday for my Sneak Peek/Author Favorites feature and then again next Monday when I start a new feature, More the Merrier Mondays, a look at series books.
Until then, please stay happy, stay healthy, stay well-read.