Hello Readers! Today I bring you debut author, Maggi Myers. Maggi self-published her first title, The Final Piece, earlier this month.
Maggi was born in West Des Moines, Iowa and raised in Miami, Florida. She has a deep love for The Heartland and really good Cuban food. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading or singing into the end of her hairbrush. She’s a steel magnolia and a mischief maker, wrapped up and tied with a sarcasm bow.
Currently she resides in Greensboro, NC with her incredible husband and sons. For more about Maggi and future projects, you can follow her on Twitter @Magnolia_B_My and Facebook.
Maggi is here today to share a little about The Final Piece. Keep reading to learn more about her debut title and enter to win a SIGNED copy! GIVEAWAY details are below.
Please help me welcome Maggi to That’s What I’m Talking About.
Thank you for having me here today! I’m so excited about my debut novel The Final Piece. The story follows the tumultuous life of Beth Bradshaw and the cast of characters that come and go throughout the years. Her story is about overcoming a painful past and finding redemption in putting the pieces back together.
Eight years ago the character of Tommy was born out of the grief of losing someone who meant the world to me. I wrote him a letter detailing all of the ways he shaped my life and how grateful I’d always be for his friendship. When I left that letter at his grave, I was overwhelmed with the feeling that my friend was there with me and I immediately heard Tommy’s voice in my head. It comforted me to create a character that possessed all the things I loved and missed about my friend; it still does.
Here is one of my favorite Tommy scenes:
After dinner, Tommy grabs his guitar case and plops in sand by the fire. As he starts tuning the strings, I am unable to resist the pull of the notes and move to sit closer to him. He looks up at my approach, giving me a brilliant smile and begins strumming the chords to “Beth” by Kiss.
I groan in mock misery and throw my hand up to my forehead, “Doesn’t that ever get old?” I whine.
He stops strumming and kicks my foot. “Kiss hater,” he laughs, “have any requests?”
I shake my head and wait for him to start again. This time he chooses an upbeat song, laced with a little reggae.
“I like this,” I encourage as I subconsciously begin swaying to the rhythm. He starts singing about how short life is and how we shouldn’t hesitate to grab it before it goes by. Slick move, tricking me with a carefree island beat that carries hidden philosophical words.
“I’m yours-ah,” he exaggerates the last line and chord. His enthusiasm is charming my suspicious nature into submission. As if he can sense a shift in my demeanor, he starts to play one of my favorite songs.
I lean back on my elbows and close my eyes as the sound of the notes moving across the fret board flow through me. Tommy starts to sing the first verse and I join him on harmony during the chorus. We drift along, singing in sync together like we have a hundred times before. I open my eyes when the song ends and find Tommy’s eyes swimming with unspoken emotion. “You sound just like your mama.”
The praise makes my heart full. “I do? Thanks, Tommy!” No one has ever said that I remind them of Mom in any way. Mostly I hear about how I’m not like her at all.
“You are more alike than you know, baby girl.” He chuckles.
When I sit up and brush the sand from my elbows, I see Ryan sitting across the fire, watching us. I hold my breath, waiting for him to start making fun of me. One side of his mouth tilts into a lopsided grin that starts my heart tripping again.
“Pretty.” He says.
My mouth drops open in cartoonish fashion at that one word. Tommy’s barking laughter reverberates in my ears and my entire body turns beet red.
“Your voice, Beth!” Ryan stammers, glancing back and forth between Tommy’s amused face and my shocked one.
“I know what you meant,” I lie. For a moment, I had been soaring at the thought of him calling me pretty. I stand and brush the rest of the sand off me, not wanting to stick around for round two of Awkward Conversations With Beth and Ryan.
“No! I mean, you are pretty and all,” he is stuttering now. “I just meant…I mean, you have a great voice but…you’re fourteen!” He’s rambling, which has Tommy howling. This only sends Ryan deeper into his despair when he blurts out, “Knock it off, Tommy! It’s not like that, I am not a pedophile!”
There it is. I can never get too comfortable without something dredging it back to the surface. I picture a neon pink sign flashing bright cursive letters above my head, “Pedophile Plaything.” My subconscious is cruel enough, but Ryan’s words sting like I have been slapped. My eyes blur with my hurt. It is a direct contradiction to the practiced smile I have cemented on my face. Before the tears can spill over, I spin on my heel to scurry out of there.
Within a few quick steps, warm hands grip my shoulders and spin me around. Tommy squeezes me against his chest whispering into my hair so no one else can hear, “He doesn’t know, Beth. He has no idea. He just thinks you’re embarrassed because he said you’re pretty. Shoot, he can hardly see past his own verbal diarrhea. He’s squirming over there.” Tommy’s words rumble deep in his chest, against my ear.
“It doesn’t matter,” I whisper back. Who cares whether he’s figured it out or not, it doesn’t change what I am or what’s been done.
“It does matter because it is your story to tell to whomever, whenever you want to tell it.”
Tommy’s words are reassuring, but I still want to find a big hole to climb inside. I let go of him and peek around his back at Ryan. He is sitting with his arms draped across his bent knees. He is shaking his head at the sand, and I wonder if he is replaying the scene in his head, like I am. He lifts his hand to run his fingers through his hair while he scans the beach.
“It’s better if I just scoot. Pops and Gran are packing up, anyway.” I wipe my face and smile at Tommy’s concerned expression. “I love you, Tommy. What would I do without you?”
“You’ve never got to worry about it, baby girl. I am always here. Always,” he promises with a kiss to the top of my head.
Thanks again for sharing your time with me today! Make sure you check back later for the review.
Thank you, Maggi for stopping by. It is a true delight to have you here!
As Maggi mentioned, stop by later today for Vampbard’s review of The Final Piece.
GIVEAWAY Thank you, Maggi, for stopping by That’s What I’m Talking About. Maggi is graciously giving away a SIGNED copy of The Final Piece. To be entered, please use the RAFFLECOPTER form below. As part of your entry, please leave a comment telling Maggi about a favorite music-related memory you may have. You do not need to be a google friends connect follower of my blog, but it is always appreciated. Contest is open from November 27, 2012 until Saturday December 1, 2012 at 12:01 AM EST. Contest is restricted to US mailing addresses only. One (1) winner will be selected from eligible entries. I am not responsible for items lost in the mail. If you have problems with the RAFFLECOPTER form, please email me at twimom227 (at) gmail (dot) com.