Q: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
A: I like to write at least six days a week. Sometimes for an hour or two but often six or seven hours depending on how the story goes. But in my job, I also have to do other activities besides the actual writing of a story. I need to advertise my books as well as research and keep in contact with people in the industry and readers.
Q: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
A: A lot of times they just come to me out of the blue. Sometimes I see something on TV or in a movie that sparks an idea. Or I read/hear something in the news or something in my everyday life triggers a scene or a character.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
A: I love to read, spend time with my family, especially my grandchildren, travel and go to lunch and a movie with a friend.
Q: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
A: Over one hundred and five books. I’ve got several books as my favorite for different reasons. Heart of the Amazon because it was so much fun to write. Saving Hope because it was a story I had to write about human trafficking. And Severed Trust because it was another story I had to write about the misuse of legal drugs but also because the story just flowed out of me in six weeks (100,000 words).
Q: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
A: I send out a newsletter once a month, and I often hear from the subscribers of that newsletter as well as readers who contact me about a story they read of mine. My readers’ comments have been so uplifting. They encourage me to continue writing. I especially love hearing how my stories have affected them.
Q: What is an interesting writing quirk you have?
A: When writing mysteries/suspense stories, I often don’t know who is the “bad guy” because I set up several along the way. I don’t want to know. Usually it comes to me about 2/3 of the way through the story—sometimes even later.
Q: What has been your greatest joy in your writing career?
A: Reading the letters and emails from my readers.
Legacy of Secrets. Threats and Danger. Second Chances.
From USA Today Bestselling author, Margaret Daley, is another romantic suspense from her series Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations.
Down on her luck, single mom, Lacey St. John, believes her life has finally changed for the better when she receives an inheritance from a wealthy stranger. Her ancestral home she’d thought forever lost has been transformed into a lucrative bed and breakfast guaranteed to bring much-needed financial security. Her happiness is complete until strange happenings erode her sense of well-being. When her life is threatened, she turns to her neighbor, Sheriff Ryan McNeil, for help. He promises to solve the mystery of who’s ruining her newfound peace of mind, but when her troubles escalate to the point that her every move leads to danger, she’s unsure who to trust. Is the strong, capable neighbor she’s falling for as amazing as he seems? Or could he be the man who wants her dead?
“A fast moving thriller with a whole lot of action. Just sit on the edge of your seat because you’re going to end up there anyway.” Amazon Kindle reviewer
Excerpt from Deadly Legacy:
Sheriff Ryan McNeil stepped out onto his deck to relish the warm April evening after a long day at work. At least he was home at a reasonable time today. Lately, he’d been tied up with a series of burglaries. He and his deputies had finally caught two guys this afternoon. Looking through the leafing white oaks along the back of his property, he glimpsed Chesapeake Bay. This was his haven, a home that had been in his family for over a hundred years.
At the railing, he drew in a deep breath of the flower-scented air, enjoying the quiet. He’d spent the whole afternoon interviewing one of the two burglars, only to discover they were part of a larger ring. He’d deal with that tomorrow. For now, he needed to take Mick for a walk after being cooped up all day in the house.
He went inside, called his mutt, and picked up his leash. Mick bounded into the kitchen, yelping. His dog was a combination of several big breeds with brown and black coloring. Mick never met a stranger. He loved people, sometimes getting carried away with his greetings. Ryan was working on that with Mick, but he had been for a couple of years.
They headed out the front door and down the long bricked walk to the road. “Which way do you want to go, Mick?”
His dog sniffed the air, looked up and down the street, and then went left. This was a daily ritual between them, but usually he chose right. What did he smell that made him pick this route?
A minute later, Ryan discovered why he wanted to go this way. After passing the drive to the Calvert Cove Bed and Breakfast, Mick tugged him toward a row of three-foot-high scrubs along the street, part of the beautifully landscaped property.
Ryan caught sight of something red among the greenery. He moved closer. Mick stuck his head into the middle bush, his tail wagging.
“What did you find?” Ryan came nearer.
A young boy shot up through the foliage and glanced at the house behind him. When he returned his attention to Ryan, the child said, “I’m hiding.”
“You are? Why?”
“I told Mom she wouldn’t be able to find me. She used to play hide-n-seek all the time here when she was a little girl.”
“How long have you been hiding?” Ryan scanned the front of the bed and breakfast, not realizing the place was taking guests. He thought the renovation would last for several more weeks.
The boy shrugged. “A long time.”
Which in child speak could be anywhere from five minutes to five hours. Ryan smiled. He used to play all kinds of games outside as a kid with others in the neighborhood. He was trying to remember the family who lived here before the place was sold and turned into a bed and breakfast. The Randalls? Yes, that was it. There were two girls, but he didn’t remember much else.
“I’m Ryan. I live next door.” He pointed toward the large white, colonial-styled house peeking through the trees.
“Are you a policeman?”
Ryan glanced at his tan uniform. “Yep, and this is Mick.”
The child held out his hand for the dog to smell before he petted him. “I wish I had a dog.”
“Where do you live?”
The kid pointed to the house.
“When you’re not on vacation?”
“I’m not on vacation. Mom says I have to start school here on Monday. Yuck.” The boy puckered his lips as if he’d had too many lemons.
Was his mother another live-in employee? He was usually familiar with the people who worked at the bed and breakfast. He didn’t realize there would be a new person. Richard and Harriet Bell were the only ones who lived on the property. He hadn’t talked to them in a week with his crazy long hours, but maybe he should. The Calvert Cove Bed and Breakfast was renowned in this region and had brought in a lot of tourists. He liked to stay on top of what was going on there.
“Shaun! Where are you? The game is over.”
The child whirled around. “I’ve gotta go.”
Before Ryan could say anything, the boy shot out of the shrubbery and raced across the yard. The woman spied him plowing his way through a rose garden, mindless of the flowers he was trying to dodge and not always succeeding. Even from a distance Ryan saw the lady wince as Shaun leaped over the last bush and fell short.
“What do you think, Mick? Should we introduce ourselves?”
His dog barked once as Shaun picked himself up from the ground and continued forward, limping slightly.
“Okay, since she and her son will be living here.” Ryan would forgo charging through the row of scrubs. Instead he took the long way back to the driveway and strolled toward the porch.
While he covered the distance to the woman with long blond hair pulled into a ponytail, he overheard her conversation with her son. She wasn’t too pleased that Shaun had hidden outside. Obviously she’d spent the last half hour searching the house.
“Mom, you didn’t tell me I couldn’t go outside.”
“You need to wash up. Dinner will be ready soon.”
Shaun hung his head and shuffled toward the front door while the woman kept her blue gaze fixed on Ryan as he approached her.
“I’m Sheriff Ryan McNeil. I live next door.”
She shook his hand. “I’m Lacey St. John, the new owner of this bed and breakfast.”
“Ah, that explains why your son said he lives here.”
“Yes, we arrived earlier today.”
“Welcome to the area. This part of the peninsula is usually quiet.”
“That’s good.” She tilted her head to the side. “How long have you lived here?”
“All my life, thirty-five years.”
“Ah, that’s why your name sounds familiar. I lived here until I was twelve. I was Lacey Randall back then. My older sister had a crush on you.”
“Your sister is—Laura?”
“Yes, she was two years older than me and was boy crazy back then. Now she’s happily married and living in Colorado.”
“I’m glad to hear that. How did you end up back here?”
“Mr. Hopewell bequeathed the bed and breakfast to me in his will. It came out of the blue, but I thank God every day he did. Only a couple of days earlier there had been a murder in my apartment building in New Orleans.”
“We haven’t had a murder in this county for a couple of years, and I hope to keep it that way.”
Lacey glanced over her shoulder at the front door. “I know this is last minute, but if you haven’t had dinner, come join us. From what I saw in the kitchen, Richard prepared enough food to feed us and then some. I’d love to hear how this area has changed since I moved away. I always had fond memories of living here.”
“Since my cooking is lousy, I’m not going to pass up that offer. I’ll take Mick home then come back.”
“Great. I’ll let Richard know we’re having another guest for dinner.”
As Ryan cut across their yards, avoiding any flowerbeds, out of the corner of his eye, he caught a movement in the shadows of dusk. He stopped and stared at the rear of the carriage house. He walked closer. He didn’t see anyone, but then Mick started growling.
Margaret Daley, a USA Today’s Bestselling author of over 105 books (five million plus sold worldwide), has been married for over forty-eight years and is a firm believer in romance and love. When she isn’t traveling or being with her two granddaughters, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense/mystery thread and corralling her cats that think they rule her household. To find out more about Margaret visit her website at http://www.margaretdaley.com.
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