Maggie Pearson is the heroine in Debra's Christmas at The Corral.
Maggie is a character I created for the first book in my holiday spin off series. The hero, Van, was mentioned in This Can't Be Love, so he's the 'tie-in', but Maggie was brand new. I made her the administrator for the Reed Adoption Fund, a fund Sharlie and Logan (from This Time for Always) started to help with the financial burden involved with adopting.
Maggie is a planner: organized, precise, focused. She gives fully to others and always puts them first. As a result, she's never found time in her busy life for love. When a last-minute change in plans threatens the success of the Fund's annual Christmas dinner, Maggie is none to pleased. She's got a crisis to resolve, and definitely doesn't have time to be hit on by a mysterious stranger at The Corral. But as it turns out, even business-comes-first Maggie isn't immune to the laidback charm of one Van Rawlings.
Here's where we pick up the story in Maggie's perspective:
Maggie Pearson sighed. Finally. Message received.
After finding out Zach wouldn't be home in time for Christmas, the last thing she needed, or wanted, was a random stranger hitting on her.
She snuck a glance. Slightly wavy but neatly trimmed hair. Not brown, but not blond either: that indescribable in between shade. Wide shoulders filled out a light blue denim shirt worn untucked from faded jeans. Snake skin cowboy boots peeked from the slightly frayed hems. She checked his profile again.
Odd. He looked vaguely familiar, but she couldn't put her finger on where she knew him from. And what was with the third degree about her man troubles? Trying to figure out if she was available?
Well, she wasn't, thank you very much. Plus, he was right about the trouble. She had plenty without inviting more.
She'd been counting on Zach. Her carefully laid plans were crumbling. Would everything fall apart without him? Of all times to go traipsing off to Vail with his wife.
She chided herself for the uncharitable thought as she stared at her reflection in the evergreen-bough draped mirror behind the bar. Pathetic puppy dog eyes gazed back. She frowned at the image. No sense feeling sorry for herself. ‘Twas the season of giving and sharing…not moping.
She centered both glasses of wine, one half empty, in the exact center of the coasters. She inched the square pieces of cardboard into perpendicular alignment with the back lip of the bar.
Did she wish Zach hadn’t flown off at this particular time? Yes.
Was there anything she could do about it now? No.
Would everything work out fine in the end? Of course.
Time to stop sulking and move on to plan B? Definitely.
First step, getting off the barstool.
After she finished her drink…s.
Before she could raise the glass to her lips, a hand, palm up, appeared in front of her. She glanced up. Mr. Twenty-Questions smiled. Emerald eyes twinkled at her. A strange, fluttery sensation quivered in her stomach.
"Would you care to dance?"
Christmas at The Corral is being released on November 4.
Until next time,