Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Author Guest Post - Mary Margret Daughtridge

Today I'm pleased to welcome Mary Margret Daughtridge, author of SEALed with a Promise. Her guest post here today is part of this book's virtual tour, courtesy Danielle of Sourcebooks.

About the Book

SEALed with a Promise
Mary Margret Daughtridge
Can the strength of her love temper his need for revenge?

Navy SEAL Caleb Delaude had a less-than-ideal childhood. His biological father abandoned his family at Caleb's birth and left them to a life of poverty, refusing to help even as his mother lay dying. So when he is assigned to protect the powerful senator who he suspects is his father, his vicious grudge turns into a strong urge for revenge.

But then he meets biology professor Emmie Caddington, a close friend of the senator's daughter. He thinks he'll use her to spring the secret of his illegitimate birth on the senator's unsuspecting family, but his interest in Emmie begins to get complicated.

He's a SEAL 24/7, and that doesn't leave much time for women or love. Her fascination with him finally makes him feel good about himself, but when the truth finally comes out, will their budding relationship be nothing more than a means to revenge... or is she the key to his salvation?

Author's Guest Post
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Seasons, Settings, and SEALs

The other day in a drug store, I stopped to look at a display of home weather station devices. As I compared wired and wireless thermometers and moisture sensors, another customer, an elderly man with a watermelon of a belly under a forest green shirt wandered over to kibitz.

After we had discussed the merits of the systems offered and their price tags, he asked me, “Why do you want one?”

“Oh, I like weather,” I said.

The answer seemed to puzzle him. “Are you meteorologist?” he persisted.

“No.” I searched for a more complete answer to give him, but I didn’t have one. “I just like weather.”

And I do. Weather is an essential element of setting. Readers won’t sit still for long descriptions of locale. By using weather I can place my reader inside the setting. I like to use weather, not so much to give the characters an obstacle to overcome, as to reveal character, establish mood and even to subtly underscore the theme.

SEALed With a Promise begins about a month after SEALed With A Kiss ends, which puts it near the end of November.

The likelihood of hurricanes notwithstanding, autumn brings the best, most enjoyable weather to Eastern North Carolina of the whole year.

First of all, fall is a season which lasts a long, long time—unlike spring which can come and be gone in a month, or winter which rarely gets serious for more than a couple of months.

In fall, the energy-sapping heat and humidity relent. Mosquitoes, flies, and gnats abate their annoyance. One miraculously perfect, seventy-eight degree, bright blue-and-gold day follows the next. Without the heat haze, the air is preternaturally clear, bright sun sparkles off every surface, and shadows are so sharp and dense they appear to be cut from midnight blue fabric and draped across lawns and streets and houses.

Everyday, people exclaim at the beautiful weather. And the next day, they exclaim that the perfection has miraculously happened again.

Caleb, called Do-Lord by his SEAL friends, meets Emmie on one of those exquisite fall days. It’s so warm that, for a wedding breakfast, linen-covered tables have been set out on the wide, white porches of the grand old Victorian—even though it’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Caleb comes from Alabama trailer-trash. For the first time he’s in a place where people are actually living the idyll of Southern hospitality and graciousness. The perfect weather underscores that these people can have anything they want. He—who has never even been to a wedding before, much less one among the upper crust—is meeting the challenge with a SEAL’s competence and adaptability, but on the inside he’s aware he’s faking it. He isn’t one of them and he doesn’t belong.

But his nemesis, Senator Teague Calhoun, does.

When Emmie, best friend of the bride, comes to him needing his covert operative skills for her cockamamie a scheme to liberate the wedding cake, he suddenly sees beyond her spinsterish exterior. She is one of these people, but she’s not. A fling with her would provide the cover he needs to infiltrate Calhoun’s world. If they’re a couple, he can hide in plain sight while he gathers the intelligence he needs to bring Calhoun down, something he’s waited seventeen years to do.

And it won’t be a hardship duty. The more he sees of Emmie, the prettier she gets, and the more he’s captured by her quirky charm.

For the first time in his life, he grants himself a luxury he’s never had before: time.

A season which seems to offer a respite from time’s relentless passage is the perfect setting to underscore themes of time and timelessness I explored in SEALed With a Promise.

A romance, though, is most of all about the progress of a relationship. For fun, I enjoyed letting the weather change every time Caleb and Emmie entered a new season in their relationship.

Here’s my weather log for today. The sky I can see (through the red fringe that has appeared on the maple outside my window) is an even, silky gray. It rained all day yesterday and today. Creamy white jonquils wait for the sun’s return with heads patiently bowed.

SEALed With a Promise will appear April 1.

Thanks for letting me come by A Book Blogger's Diary. So what’s your favorite season, or setting?

Thank you for that entertaining post, dear Author! Readers, your thoughts / comments are most welcome.


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2 comments :

  1. Hi all! I DO have a website! I just forgot to include it. Here it is

    http://marymargretdaughtridge.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. You know, my father LOVES weather, too. He has a little weather station by his chair and is constantly telling us the temp, wind direction, and humidity. So funny!

    ReplyDelete