Tuesday, November 01, 2011

FROM THIS DAY FORWARD - Margaret Daley - Free Book

Welcome back, Margaret. As an author, I know it takes a lot of people to birth each book. Who were the people involved in the birthing of this book, and what were their contributions?
From This Day Forward is based on a sequel I had written as a secular book for Kensington. When I started writing over thirty years ago, I wrote historical romances. But the first book I sold was a contemporary romance. That is the direction I went from there on, except for a couple of books. I had a blast writing this inspirational historical romance.

If you teach or speak. What’s coming up on your calendar?
Nothing for the time being other than speaking as the President of ACFW at the annual conference in September.

If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why?
I would move to one of the Hawaiian islands on a beach with mountains in the background. I love living on a beach or in the mountains so having both would be a great place to live. A place where I could have both would be great.

If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be?
To keep working at it. It is a hard job but you will never sell if you don’t sit down and write, then send the book out to a publisher.

You’ve been asked to be in charge of a celebrity cruise. Who would you ask to take part, and why? (AS in what program, singers, etc. [it doesn’t have to be writing related])
Celine Dion would perform--I love the way she sings. The dancers on You Think You Can Dance would also perform.

Tell us about the featured book?
Penniless, pregnant, and newly widowed immigrant Rachel Gordon doesn’t believe her situation could get any worse...until she meets her new neighbors. Shortly after the War of 1812, Rachel and her husband set out from England for a plantation in South Carolina, which he had purchased sight unseen. However, while en route, Tom Gordon fell overboard and drowned, leaving Rachel, frightened and alone, to make a home for her and her newborn. Can a battle-scarred American physician who comes to her rescue also heal her wounded heart?

Please give us the first page of the book.
“We are going to die,” Rachel Gordon’s young maid cried out. Rachel looked up at the clouds rolling in. Dark, ominous ones. She shivered and pulled her shawl tighter about her as the breeze picked up. A storm brewed, and she still had several miles to go until she reached her new home in South Carolina.

“God willing, we will make it, Maddy.”

Fear deepened the lines on Maddy’s plain face. “’Tis like the squall on the boat.”

Lightning flashed, momentarily brightening the shadows of the forest. A clap of thunder rumbled the ground. Maddy screamed. The old gelding that pulled the cart—all Rachel’s meager coins could afford—increased its speed, weaving from side to side. Out of control.

Determined to be there before nightfall and in one piece, Rachel gripped the reins and fought to slow the maddening pace of the horse. Finally it resumed its plodding step. The weather-beaten cart she had bought near the dock in Charleston hit a bump in the road, jostling her into Maddy. Her maid clutched the seat with one hand and held onto Rachel with the other.

Steadying herself, Rachel rested her wrists on her rounded stomach. She had more than herself and Maddy to worry about now. Her life had changed so much since she left her ancestral home in England. She had married, conceived a child, and was now a widow, all in the space of a year. And worse, she was going to a place she had never seen because she had nowhere else to go. Her husband had used most of their money to purchase this plantation she was traveling to. It was her future, whether she wanted it to be or not.

The warmth of a spring day quickly faded as the sky grew blacker. Rachel stared at the menacing clouds through the treetops and realized she would not make it to her new home before the storm broke. She scanned the area for a place to seek shelter.

Sinister shadows lurked just beyond the road. Again she shivered, her imagination conjuring images of wild animals staring at her from the depths of the forest. She’d heard stories about the bears. Huge. Fierce. Sharp teeth and claws. Shifting on the seat, she darted a glance from side to side, feeling as though she were some beast’s next meal. She could not stop, even if it poured down rain.

Oh, how she missed England, with its gently rolling hills and refined beauty—not this raw wilderness. Like a fish floundering on land, she did not belong here. Nothing in her life had prepared her for this strange environment.

Drops of water spattered her. The wind picked up.

“That man on the boat told me about a big cat. They are out there.” Maddy whimpered, draping her shawl over her head and hunching her shoulders. “Lord, have mercy on us.”

Rachel forced herself to keep her gaze fixed on the road ahead. Once they were at the plantation Maddy would settle down. The squall two days out of Charleston had nearly sunk the ship they had traveled in. Surely this storm would not be as bad.

Taking deep breaths, Rachel calmed her racing thoughts and heartbeat. Pain spread through her lower back. She gripped the reins, the leather digging into her palms. The pain dulled to an ache. Another deep inhalation and the panic nibbling at her composure abated. Soon she would be at her new home and could sit in front of a warm fire, put her legs up, and rest. Hopefully the letter her husband had sent ahead would alert any staff to her arrival. Her glance strayed to the tall pine trees, swaying in the gust. Everything would be all right when she arrived at Dalton Plantation.

But even with Maddy next to her on the seat, the feeling she was the only person in the world overwhelmed her.

The wind picked up, whipping strands of her long brown hair that had escaped its coiffure about her face and threatening to whisk away her bonnet. Lightning zigzagged across the sky, followed by thunder. Maddy jumped in her seat. The gelding’s ears flattened.

A chill embedded itself deep in Rachel. She arched her back to ease the pang still plaguing her. Suddenly lightning struck a tree nearby, its flash a beacon in the growing darkness. A crack as the pine split into two pieces echoed through the forest. Immediately afterward, a boom of thunder cleaved the air. Maddy shrieked. The horse increased its pace while a few more splotches of water splashed Rachel. Then all at once rain fell in gray sheets.

The gelding lurched forward even faster. Rachel grasped the reins, trying to maintain control. She pulled on the leather straps to slow the horse. Nothing. He kept galloping down the road, oblivious to his surroundings, as though the hounds of hell were nipping at his hooves.

Rachel glanced from one side to the other but saw little except a wall of gray and green. Another peal of thunder spurred her horse into a dead run. The jostling motion bounced her around, nearly throwing her off the seat. A scream from Maddy competed with the din of the storm.

The cart hit another rut in the road. Rachel flew from the seat, the reins wrenched from her hands. The impact with the ground jarred her, knocking the breath from her lungs. Rain pelted her face as she sucked in oxygen-rich air. Stunned, Rachel closed her eyes against the continual downpour. Everything seemed to come to a standstill, as though her body went numb.

Then pain, as she had never felt before, ripped through her lower torso. She clutched her stomach, gritting her teeth to hold back the scream. She rolled to the side.

Need to get up.

Through the dim grayness, she glimpsed the horse’s straps snapping free. The gelding broke away and bolted, clamoring down the road and disappearing from view. The cart careened toward a ditch, plunged into it, and tipped over.

“Help!” Maddy’s cries sounded above the rumble of the storm.

She’s in trouble.

When the pang subsided, Rachel pushed to her hands and knees, the cold mud oozing between her fingers. Her body protested every move she made, the dull ache in her back intensifying. She had no choice. Peering around, she saw no one else to help. No sign of civilization. Her head pounded like the rain hammering down on her. Her world spun a wave of dizziness making her stomach reel.

“Help. I’m trapped,” Maddy shouted.

I can do this.

Rachel forced herself back on her heels, dragging in the cool, damp air. Another deep, fortifying breath and she struggled to her feet, her wet clothing siphoning her energy. She swayed. The trees swirled and danced before her eyes. She closed them and willed the dizziness away. No time for it.

She took a step toward the overturned cart, twenty or so feet away. Then another. The trees stopped spinning. She would make it. She could help Maddy.

Almost to her destination, she stumbled over a broken piece of a crate and staggered forward. Another stab of pain knifed through her stomach, its power taking her to her knees into the mud. Agony, like white-hot lightning, cut through her lower back and shoved her over the edge into a black void.

Wow! That is powerful. Where can we find you on the Internet?
My website is http://www.margaretdaley.com or you can email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com .

Thank you for stopping by my blog, Margaret. I know you're a busy lady.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
From This Day Forward

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win this. This looks like a great book. I would love to read this.

I am from Oklahoma

Margaret Daley said...

Rebecca, I live in Oklahoma, too. Thanks for stopping by.

wfnren said...

Thank you for hosting this giveaway. I live in Florida.


Mildred Colvin said...

Margaret, your book sounds like one I'd love to read. I'm your next door neighbor in Missouri.

Patricia said...

Margaret, We seriously need to arrange the cruise you described with Celine and You Think You Can Dance that would be a fun cruise.
I have read several of your books.
This book is already on my TR list.
Can't wait to read it.

plb1050 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this book. Thank You for the chance.

Anonymous said...


Rev. Kim Justice said...

WOW... Read the interview as well the first page of the book.. Would Love the chance to win the book and read the whole thing.. Sounds amazing... Thanks for this chance to win...

Margaret Daley said...

Patricia, I'm willing to go.
Hi, Mildred, waving from Oklahoma.
Wfnren, thanks for stopping by.
Angela and Kim, I hope you all get a chance to read the book.

scottsgal said...

I agree - I'd love to live near the beach and mountains
cheryl in Il
msboatgal at aol.com

Jackie S. said...

Love Margaret's books and want this one badly! Please enter me.
Live in NE Georgia.

Rev. Kim Justice said...

Thanks Margaret, will be watching this one closely.. I am from Ky. but also have a home in Fl. and I am back and forth during the year... so I would love to read this one while reviewing also on my blog..http://breathoflifebookreviews.blogspot.com/

Lorna Faith said...

Exciting beginning! I would love to read this book Margaret:) Please enter my name.

Lorna from Alberta

lornafaith at gmail dot com

karenk said...

thanks for the opportunity to read this wonderful novel :)

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Robyn said...

Oh my---I'm so engrossed by the opening page that I can't believe I have to wait until I can go buy the book to read it. ARGH!!!
Can't wait to read it.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Cathy said...

This book looks like a great story. Would love to win it. I'm from B.C. Canada Thanks!

Marianne said...

Sounds like a great novel, Margaret. i would love to win! Thanks Lena for a great post


from Peace River Country, Alberta

Margaret Daley said...

Kim, I grew up the first 12 years of my life in KY--Lexington. Love that area.

Cheryl, Hawaii has both mountains and beaches--like Kauai.

Jackie, I'm glad you found this contest for From This Day Forward.

Lorna, I tried to put myself in the shoes of someone newly arrived, pregnant and in a rainstorm. What could make that worse. She goes into labor.

Karen, nice to see you here.

Robyn, I hope you get a chance to read this story.

Cathy, good luck in the drawing.

Margaret Daley said...

Marianne, I must have been posting at about the same time as you. Great to see you here.

Patty said...

Sounds great. Living in SC I love to read books and learn more about the history of the area.

Patty in SC

Pam K. said...

I would love to win "From This Day Forward." It sounds like a really great book that I would enjoy reading. Thanks for the opportunity.


Aly Logan said...

I'd love to win Margaret's book!

Ann Lee Miller
Gilbert AZ

Trinity Rose said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. I think years ago I read one of your books Margaret. I really would like to read one of your newer ones. Story sounds really interesting.
Have a great day,
Trinity Rose from OH

Judy said...

I loved the interview with Margaret. I enjoy Margaret's books! "From This Day Forward" looks like a great read and I love the cover of this book!

Margaret, wouldn't it be great to live on the Hawaiian islands? My bags are packed! (Such wishful thinking on my part!!)

Judy B from Indiana

Judy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judy said...

I loved the interview with Margaret. I enjoy Margaret's books! "From This Day Forward" looks like a great read and I love the cover of this book!

Margaret, wouldn't it be great to live on the Hawaiian islands? My bags are packed! (Such wishful thinking on my part!!)

Judy B from Indiana

Judy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

This looks like a great book, Margaret! Thanks for posting this, Lena. I would love to read this but don't enter me in the contest. Will seek about picking it up on Kindle.

Patsy said...

I love Margaret's writing. She is such a talented author. Would love to read her book.

(Hey Margaret, I'm waving from Laurel, MS).

from South MS

Wendy said...

I enjoy Margaret's books. Thanks for offering it.
Wendy in Buffalo, MN

Faye said...

I loved reading the interview and the excerpt :)

From SD

Sarah said...

Sounds interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing.
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

Salena Stormo said...

I have this book so you don't have to enter me...but Margaret's book is really good! I started it last night and could hardly put it down to go to sleep. It grabs you from the start!

Courtney said...

Thanks for this chance to read this book!!

Courtney from WA state

Abigail said...

Enter me!
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Margaret Daley said...

Let's go, Judy. Winter is about to happen and Hawaii is looking better and better.

Patsy is from my mother's hometown. I used to spend summers there in Laurel with my grandmother.

Carrie, it will be out on Kindle soon from what I hear so hopefully you can get it.

Salena, I hope you enjoy From This Day Forward.

I wish I had enough books to give one to everyone. I wish everyone good luck in the drawing. Thanks for stopping by Patty, Pam, Aly, Trinity Rose, Wendy, Faye, Sarah, Courtney, and Abigail.

Debs Desk said...

This books sounds great and the cover is beautiful. Please include me in your giveaway.

Jo said...

This book sounds very good. I would love to read it. By the way, we lived in Oklahoma for 6 months when we moved out of New York City. Talk about culture shock.

Jo from Southern Arizona

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Margaret, I can't wait to read From This Day Forward. I know it will be great. Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.

Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

I live in Georgia

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Judy Cooper in Louisiana said...

Thanks for the opportunity to win, it sounds like it is a great book. Judy C. in Louisiana

Wilma said...

Love the cover and sounds like a really good book.
Thanks for the chance to win it.
Wilma from TN.


Kristie said...

I would love to retire where I can see the mountains every day. The beach would be an added bonus. Hawaii is on our bucket list. We'll probably go in a few years. Your books sounds like a winner. It's interesting, though not uncommon in that era, to buy a house sight unseen. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book! Thanks and God bless!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Mama Cat said...

Oh, I can't wait to read this! I have read many of your L/I and L/I Suspense books, and love it when the next one arrives! "From This Day Forward" sounds great - I would be so excited to win it! Blessings to you as you serve our Lord through your writing! I live in Arizona

Aizess said...

Seems interesting! Thank you for the chance to win this book. Please enter me in this giveaway!

I live in New York

rubynreba said...

I'm anxious to read this. Thanks!
Beth from Iowa.

Kd said...

Another great book I'd love to read. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

Kathleen in Montana

Lady DragonKeeper said...

Sounds like a neat historical --the War of 1812 is one of the time periods that are intriguing to me. Thanks for the chance to win!


(P.S. I'm from Hawaii)

Joanna Richmond said...

sounds very interesting I would Love to read this book enter me in the giveaway Thanks and God Bless
Joanna Richmod,
Blanch, NC.

Nathanael Richmond said...

Looks interesting!Please enter me in the drawing.
Nathanael Richmond
Blanch, NC.