Shannon here: Janet W. Ferguson shares a romantic excerpt from her Contemporary Romance novel, Magnolia Storms. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for an e-copy. Deadline: Jan 20th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Janet:
Excerpt from Magnolia Storms by Janet W. Ferguson:
“Maggie.” He nudged her chin toward him, but she wouldn’t meet his gaze. Fine. He could say this to the top of her head. “How do you think I feel? I love you and your whole crew. Always have. Now you’re here and my son… I feel like I’m living in a dream, but I’m going to wake up one day, and you’ll be gone. And we’ll be… I’ll be…abandoned…like always. J.D. will be hurt. I’ll be torn apart. Again.”
Her head jerked up. Jaw squared and stormy eyes flaring, she shot him a hard look. “Me leave him? You leave him every two weeks, and every time you do, you could very well not come back.”
“I always come back. I’m a pilot. It’s what I do.” Why’d she have to be so stubborn? “You can’t ask me to give up everything that makes me who I am because you’re afraid.”
“Don’t you see?” Her head gave the slightest shake. “Piloting is not who you are. It’s a career. It’s not what I fell in love with. And you don’t have to be like my father to make anyone proud.”
At least she’d said it. The L-word. That was something. “Okay. You’re right. But Maggie, you can’t live in fear. Storms find you, whether you’re inland or on the Coast. What’s next? Are you going to live in a tornado shelter? Or build a house twenty feet in the air in case of a flood? Are you preparing for earthquakes? I mean you can’t tell me you feel alive living the way you do. You’re more than that.”
Her gaze dropped. “So what if I’m careful—prepared? I am alive. I’m happy enough.”
Every molecule of his being told him otherwise. She’d shut herself off. Partly his fault. Maybe a lot his fault. Part of it was simply life in this temporary and imperfect world. Bad things happened, and way too often, they happened to good people. But surely God intended Magnolia Marovich to be fully alive and engaged. And the Coast had been as deep a part of her as it was of him. Before Katrina had washed that life away as if it were a child’s sandcastle.
Josh pressed closer, holding her face with both hands, breathing in the view of the girl he’d loved since childhood. The woman who’d landlocked herself out of grief and devastation. “Maggie.” His breath hitched. “You’re more than what you’ve become.”
Liquid filled her already glistening eyes. “You don’t know me or my life. I—”
“Kiss me, Maggie. Then walk away like it meant nothing. Prove to both of us once and for all that you’re alive and fulfilled up there in Jackson. Not just playing it safe. Prove you don’t need me or anyone else.”
“I don’t have to prove anything to you.” Defiance laced her voice.
“Of course you don’t. Prove it to yourself. Afterward, say the word, and I’ll take J.D. out of town as soon as you can get someone else to fill in at the store. We’ll get out of your life. I’ll put my house on the market. Prove it, and I’ll do everything in my power to lessen the chances of you ever running into me again.”
Her jaw tightened, and from the looks of it, she gritted her teeth. “You… You are so maddening, Josh Bergeron.”
In one quick motion, she raised her gaze. Her mouth captured his. Caressed his skin with enough power to capsize him. She cupped the back of his head with her hands, teased his neck, sending shockwaves through his entire body. The power and intensity of her kiss crashed over him with more force than any hurricane ever could. He lost himself in the strength of it, drowned in his love for her. His fingers found their way to her hair and roamed through the ocean of soft curls.
With a sudden gasp, she pushed him away and pressed her fingers to her mouth.
Josh’s vision blurred as he stood dazed. Like a dream of another life had come true. For one second.
“I have to go.” Maggie turned and fled, running toward Ruth’s house.
He should have known better than to give her such a stupid and painful and intoxicating challenge.
About Janet: Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space. Janet loves to hear from readers! Learn more and connect:
She also contributes at Inspy Romance and Heartwings blogs once a month. Check out the authors and prizes!
About the book – Magnolia Storms: Maggie Marovich couldn’t save her father or her home from Hurricane Katrina, but she’s dedicated her life to meteorology so she can warn others when the monster storms approach. Except…she works three hours inland and rarely risks returning to her childhood hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Both her single-parent sister and the ship pilot Maggie once loved refused to leave the Coast, despite Maggie’s requests. Now a hurricane’s headed toward Mississippi, and Maggie’s sister is seriously injured, leaving Maggie little choice but to head south—into the storm.
The water and tides flow through Josh Bergeron’s veins, and he can’t imagine giving up piloting—even for the love of his life, the infuriating Magnolia Marovich. He tried to move on without her, marrying and having a child. But after his wife abandons him and his little boy, his career choice is threatened by the weight of his parental responsibilities. Moving next door to Maggie’s sister and sharing their child care seems like the perfect set-up. Until Maggie blows back into town.
Being forced to lean on Josh for help washes up the wreckage in Maggie’s faith. Where was God during the destruction of Katrina? Why do some prayers seem to go unanswered? Between the hurricane looming in the Gulf and another gale raging in her heart, can Maggie overcome her past and find the trust to truly live?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now: Magnolia Storms – Amazon
Question for Readers: Magnolia Storms deals hurricanes but also personal storms. How do you deal with the storms in life?
Come back Jan 16th for Jenny Carlisle!