Please welcome romantic fiction author Maggie Jaimeson to Reviews and Interviews. She’s sharing today with us to talk about her newest novel, Healing Notes.
Maggie’s tour is every Monday for 12 weeks. Maggie will award one autographed cover flat to a randomly drawn commenter at
each blog stop. In addition, she will award a $25 gift card to either Amazon or
Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) as a grand prize to one randomly selected
commenter on this tour. You must leave an email
address to be entered into any of the drawings. And if you’d like more chances to win, visit other tour stops along Maggie’s tour and leave comments there.
Jaimeson writes romantic women’s fiction and romantic suspense with a near
future twist. She describes herself as a wife, a step-mother, a sister, a
daughter, a teacher, and an IT administrator. By day she is “geek girl” –
helping colleges to keep up with 21st century technology and provide distance
learning options for students in rural areas. By night Maggie turns her
thoughts to worlds she can control – worlds where bad guys get their
comeuppance, women triumph over tragedy, and love can conquer all.
Canyon series. The series follows an all women Americana band through their
tours, their trials, and tribulations together and as each finds love. This is
Rachel’s story, the fiddle player in the band.
previous book, Rachel was raped while the band is on tour. This was a huge blow
to her as she partially blames herself. She had been quite promiscuous while
trying to overcome the blow to her ego when her husband left her for another
woman. The book explores her recovery from rape, and how she and the man she
comes to love work through the questions surrounding that part of her life. To
complicate matters, the man has a young daughter and his own baggage from his
previous marriage that he is trying to balance with his feelings, his fears,
and his prejudices about Rachel’s past.
this is the second book in the series. When I wrote the first book, Undertones, I didn’t know that Rachel
would be raped. When the scene came to me and I started writing it, I have to say
it was as much a surprise to me as to my character. So, of course, I needed to
resolve that and find a happily ever after for her. One of the main reasons I
write romance is to prove that love conquers all and to have control over a
world and relationships where no matter what happens, there is a way to find a
happily ever after.
why rape, the antithesis of romance, even appeared in the first book, I suspect
it is the expression of a fear that always lurks in the mind of many women. I
come from a large extended family and more than 50% of the women in my family
have been raped—some as children. When I was in my 30’s and divorced from my
first husband, I was raped on a date. It was not nearly as horrific as what
happened to my character, Rachel. But like Rachel, I still blamed myself. I
asked myself what I did to deserve it. Unfortunately, I think it is also common
for women to blame themselves no matter the circumstances. In my case I blamed
myself for not seeing the signs, for being too trusting, for all kinds of
reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with it.
began writing Rachel’s story, I wanted to explore the question of why—even with
all the progress we’ve made for women’s rights—we still today blame the victim.
You are probably thinking: “Gosh, this sounds depressing.” Actually, I believe you
will find Rachel’s story very uplifting. For it is when you overcome the
longest odds and the deepest hurts that appreciate your happily ever after that
much more. I know I do.
excerpt from later in the book. Rachel and Noel have been building up to the
big sex scene for a long time. Noel has shared some of his past, secrets about
his ex-wife and why he’s so protective of his daughter. It’s very late at night
and, the sweet kiss goodbye before Rachel laves his house becomes really heated
and begins to move to the next step. As clothes begin to come off, Noel’s
daughter calls from her bedroom that she needs a drink of water.
into the living room and sat near her on the sofa. “I’m sorry, Rachel, I
shouldn’t have let that go so far. This is exactly why we can’t spend too much
me complaining?” she asked.
curved up in a combination of non-repentant rake and wistful regret. “I can’t
just sleep with you. I want to—oh, God, I want to—but I can’t do that to you,
knowing you’ll be hurt in the end. I have a lot of need stored up and it’d be
so easy to let it loose with you. But that would be all it is. I don’t have
anything else to give.”
girl, Noel. Don’t you think I can make my own choice here? What if I’m willing
to just be a friend and a lover, without the extra complications?”
double-time. She wanted more. Oh, God forgive her, she wanted the whole package
even if she didn’t deserve it. But, for now, she would take whatever he was
willing to give.
can’t. For me it’s all or nothing. With Claire, I have to think that way.” She
shook her head, unwilling to accept defeat. Before she could say anything, he
put a finger to her mouth. “Suffice it to say that if you and I … had sex … it
would be a relationship.”
eyes and took two deep breaths. No! She would convince him otherwise. She’d
always been able to convince men to have a fling. She squared her shoulders and
her breathing quickened. She wasn’t going to walk out of here in defeat, not
when it was obvious he wanted her.
front of him, her teeth clenched. “What is it you were offering just a moment
ago? Sex or love?” She leaned toward him, making sure he could see down the
scoop neck of her shirt.
sat back, wresting his eyes from the view. “Come on, Rachel. You know we both
got carried away. Don’t make this a wrestling match neither one of us can feel
hadn’t called, would you have gone all the way? Would you still be inside me
her, then nodded, but he didn’t move even an inch toward her.
him on the sofa, her knees trapping his legs, her hands on each side of his
shoulders. She leaned into him, her breasts grazing his mouth, and whispered
into his ear with a sultry voice. “I want you. You want me. What’s wrong with
giving each other pleasure? What’s wrong with helping each other forget the
complications in our lives?” She ran her tongue along the inner flesh of his ear.
He groaned. She nuzzled his neck and rained it with kisses.
for another night, if you want. I can even wait until you get a babysitter for
Claire and we meet somewhere else.” She lowered to his lap and moved against
him, feeling the hardness build. “But there’s no reason for two adults who like
each other not to help each other in this way. If it grows to something more,
great. If not, we both entered into it willingly.” She looked into his eyes and
could see the desire warring with something else.
hands firmly at her waist and held her still. He brushed a kiss across her
lips. “God, you drive me crazy.” He took a deep breath, then lifted her off him
and stood, placing her feet safely on the ground a good foot away from him. “Rachel,
it’s not you. It’s me. I just…can’t. I need…”
seemed to catch in his throat. He opened his mouth to complete the sentence,
but he couldn’t. She saw him clamp down on the words and the thoughts. He
stood, silent. Rachel felt that silence deep in her soul. How often had she
wished for a good man? A man who could love her forever, and for a child, a
daughter? Now, he was staring her right in the face and she couldn’t reach him.
All the running she’d done. All that time trying to prove to herself that she
was woman enough for any man.
down. What did she think she was doing, coming on to him so strong? That was
the exact wrong approach. That was her old M.O. wasn’t it? Exchange sex for
love. Deep inside, she knew she could never hold on to love, so sex was what
had kept her together.
found the right man, she wasn’t right for him. She never would be. In fact, if
he knew about all that proving she’d done in her past, it would drive him even
further away from her.
her hand. “I’m sorry.”
pounded. She felt his pain through her skin, like the drone of bagpipes at a
funeral, the funeral of his soul. And it hurt so much she couldn’t move. She
couldn’t find any words of comfort for either of them. She knew what it was
like to feel completely abandoned, to wonder if it was something you did wrong.
Drake had taught her that lesson when he raped her and left her to die. What
Noel’s wife did was like that—a rape of his soul, and with Rachel he feared for
his daughter’s soul.
her hand and her heart dropped. She wanted him. She wanted Claire and she
didn’t know how she could make it right.
Noel, begging him to say something. Do something. He looked away, no longer
able to meet her eyes.
over,” she said. “I’m not Clarissa. I admit I have my problems, but I’m not
selfish and I don’t offer myself lightly. Well at least not anymore.” She
walked to the kitchen, her spine straight, and slung her purse over her
shoulder. She returned to stand only a few inches from him. “I love Claire.
I’ve loved her since the moment I first saw her. I would never hurt her.” She
bent forward and brushed her lips on his cheek. “Or you.”
let herself out the door.
three projects I’m working on right now. One is I’m completing the Sweetwater
Canyon series. The next book, Heartstrings,
is Sarah’s story and the complete opposite of Rachel. Sarah has been the sweet
one in the band—the one that everyone is convinced is a 29 year old virgin. That
is scheduled for release in July 2013. The final book of the series, Two Voices, is Kat and Theresa’s story.
As they are mother and daughter I had to write their story together, and I had
to wait until Kat was an adult. The final book is scheduled for release in
just completed a YA Fantasy novel that is the first in a series, under the name
of Maggie Faire. This is my first YA novel and I have to say I absolutely loved
writing it and I want to spend a long time in the world I built there. It’s
being shopped to publishers right now, so I don’t know yet what will happen
with it or when it will come out.
been different times in my life when I thought of myself as a writer. In High
School and into my early 20’s I regularly wrote poetry. The few I had published
garnered me attention at least among my friends and family. But it was not a way
to make a living. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s I started writing and
selling short stories, primarily to SF markets. But after a couple of years I
stopped, again wondering why I was wasting time on something that could never
be a career. For the next decade, I did write but it was non-fiction. I did
publish four non-fiction books during that time. It was on my 50th
birthday that I gave myself permission to truly be the fiction writer and
follow my dream. I vowed that I would not stop this time, that I would make it
a career. That was when I began writing novels.
years I wrote late at night, on weekends, on planes when I traveled on
business. I squeezed writing into my 50+ hour work week as an academic
administrator. In that time I completed eight novels. Four of them have now
been published. The other four will never be published because they simply
aren’t good enough and I have no desire to go back and redo them. Though I’ve
always known that one part of myself was a writer. I now see myself as a
committed fiction writer. I think that’s the big difference.
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
a full-time writer since this past September and I can tell you it is such a
feeling of freedom. I have written more words the best two months, than in the
past two years. It really does make a difference in my production. It’s also
been such a blessing to have time to connect with other writers, to keep up on
my blog and to keep up with my readers.
a couple of months to slow down and change my 50+ hour per week pace. I was
very focused on finishing my YA novel before the end of the year and getting it
out so I just delved in and wrote all the time. However, I now have a more sane
plan. That up at 6:30 or 7:00am and have breakfast. I get to my computer about
8:00-8:30am and do writing-related things. That might be research, email,
social media, etc. Do some type of exercise from 10am to 11am. I’m still
settling in on what that looks like. Right now it is Zumba DVDs.
write from 11am until about 6pm straight with a 30 minute break around 3pm for
an afternoon snack. At 6pm I take a break, help my husband with dinner (he’s
the cook in the family), and spend some time with him. I usually return to the
computer about 9pm to review what I wrote that day, do some editing or make
notes about what I want to work on the next day when I’m fresh. I’m in bed by midnight.
schedule five days a week. On the weekends I may get in another four to five
hours of writing time, depending on what things my husband and I have scheduled
to do. I also spend some time on the weekends catching up on TV programs I
recorded during the week.
that would drive people crazy if they sat near me, is that I talk to myself the
entire time I write. I say the words I’m writing as I type them. I think there
are two reasons for that. One, is that I’ve always been an auditory learner and
so, when I’m developing a story, saying the words makes it stay in my mind.
Second, I’ve come to believe that saying the words as I type also helps me to
hear the rhythm of my sentences and to judge if the dialog is working.
when you grew up?
changed from doctor to dancer to astronaut and musician depending on what was
going on in my life at the time and what caught my interest. I had a very
fortunate childhood. As the oldest of nine children, I always had playmates and
among us we had lots of chums in the neighborhood. I also lived only four
blocks from the elementary school. In those days schools still provided free
summer programs like tap, ballet, jazz, various sports, chorus, and free band
or orchestra, as well as general neighborhood social opportunities. Without
those programs I would have never experienced any of those things, as my family
would not have been able to afford lessons for any of us.
with the readers?
so much for having me on your blog today. I love the opportunity to meet
readers and to talk books. I’m a rabid reader myself. I read about 100 novels a
year, so talking books and finding out from others what are some great stories
they’d recommend always makes me happy.