My “day job” is as a professor at a small New England liberal arts college. My scholarly work centers around social contexts within which children learn and I am the author of three works of nonfiction. My current research examines the impact of mindfulness on readers and writers, work that brings me tremendous joy and satisfaction.  I live  on a beautiful river. When not teaching or writing, my passions revolve around family, yoga, swimming, walking, canoeing, and teaching mindfulness to people of all ages.

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write?   And why?

M. Lee: Contemporary romance, mysteries, women’s fiction and young adult historical fiction.

I write what I love. I was fortunate to grow up in an incredible, loving family. The romances all revolve around loving families and communities, reflecting so much that I cherish. I love to read mysteries so my two mystery series sprung from my love of the genre and the fun of figuring out “whodunnit.” Same thrill, different process. My other books have come from interests and passions over the years.

Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

M. Lee: Oh gee—that’s hard to answer. My love of reading was definitely instilled by my parents, but all the hundreds of amazing authors I’ve encountered have certainly influenced me. College professors certainly encouraged my developing writer’s voice. Then a “push” came from a writers’ group of teachers. We formed to explore our own writing process so that we could bring that excitement to our work with young students. I found I loved writing and have never stopped.

Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?

M. Lee: Reading and experiencing life! I get ideas everywhere.

Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?

M. Lee: Little Lucy (now I’m dating myself).

M. Lee: S he was a plucky little gal and I saw myself in some of her antics.

Beverley: Who would you love most to meet ‘in person’ and why?

M. Lee: Ruth Fishel, a treasured spiritual teacher and writer. I’ve been reading and rereading her wonderful little book, Wrinkles Don’t Hurt: Daily Meditations on the Joy of Aging Mindfully for eight years and its teachings never grow old.  

Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?

M. Lee: Read, write, take a long walk, have lunch with a dear friend, spend time with family.

Beverley: What are you working on now?

M. Lee: Lady Love , number five in the Ricky Steele mystery series and a holiday romance set in Horseshoe Crab Cove, number seven in the Morgan’s Fire series, as yet untitled. 

2020 Character Interview:

Beverley: What’s your name?

Maggie: Maggie Williams

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Maggie: Saguaro Valley, AZ

Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?

Maggie: Present day

Beverley: What’s your story/back story?

Maggie: I was raised by my dad, Ned Williams, a veterinarian and Saguaro Valley’s most famous wrangler. The summer after my senior year I had an amazing one-night stand with Ben Morgan, the oldest son of Ben and Leonora Morgan, the Valley’s wealthiest landowners and owners of Morgan’s Run Ranch. The next day Ben left town and never looked back. My heart broken, I departed for college only to discover six weeks later that I was pregnant. I then came home, gave birth to my beautiful daughter Emma and went to work in the stables at Morgan’s Run.

Beverley: Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Maggie: Because I’m strong, resilient and hardworking. With my dad’s help, I’ve raised Emma, who is now four years old. I nursed her through a devastating accident that left her wheelchair-bound and continue to provide a loving and nurturing home for her.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Maggie: To be strong for Emma and to resist the charms of Ben Morgan, who has returned to Morgan’s Run to recover from a heart episode. I’m trying to find a way to tell him about Emma without having my heart shattered again.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Maggie: My conflicting feelings about Ben, to whom I’m drawn like a moth to a flame. I’m crazy in love with him while trying to protect myself and Emma from hurt. I’m also weighing the risks of a new surgery that may help Emma to walk again. Post-surgery Emma still cannot walk and is facing grueling months of physical therapy that does not appear to be helping. Endeavoring to keep her positive while working full-time and sorting out my feelings for Ben are all major conflicts in Emma’s Dream .

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Maggie: I have lots of help with this. Team Emma–my Dad and Ben’s family (parents and five siblings) step in to help with Emma’s post-surgery recovery. I slowly move toward allowing myself to love Ben again, although the road has a number of bumps and rolls!

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Maggie: I have an amazing community of friends and family who support Emma and me no matter what, most especially my dad, Ned Williams, the kindest, steadiest person I know. Emma’s Dream and all eleven of the Morgan’s Run books are, at their heart, about family and community. I am very fortunate, indeed.

Blurb for Emma’s Dream

A woman is the last thing on Ben Morgan’s mind as he comes home to Morgan’s Run, his family’s ranch in Saguaro Valley. Doctor’s orders, he’s home to heal, but the sooner he can get back to Santa Barbara, the better. Then he runs into Maggie Williams on Main Street, prompting vivid memories of a magical night, and Ben’s ailing heart skips a beat. 

Father of her beloved five-year-old daughter, the eldest of the Morgan sons is the last person Maggie expects to have crashed into her car and back into her life. For years, she has struggled to forget him and to make a life for herself and her daughter, Emma, the mirror image of a father, who is unaware of her existence. Now, here he is, looking more gorgeous than the day he ran out of town. Maggie swears Ben Morgan will never break her heart again.  

Excerpt from Emma’s Dream

     As Ben Junior made his way into town, he passed familiar sights, largely unchanged.  Nothing changed much in Saguaro. The Town Garage had a fresh coat of white paint.  “Whoop-de-doo,” he said aloud, making a mental note to drop the Rover off for servicing soon. 

         As he turned right on Main and headed toward Gracie’s Diner, a horn blared and the clunker in front of him screeched to a stop.  Ben braked, but not in time to stop the Rover before it tapped the rear of the clunker. Ben swore under his breath and backed up, pulling over to park at the curb. As he did, the clunker’s driver leaped from her car, screaming and waving her arms.  He shook his head. Foolish woman had left her heap in the middle of the street.  Tall and slender, she wore Jackie O. sunglasses, a baseball cap pulled low on her forehead, a faded cotton shirt over blue jeans, and cowboy boots, the uniform for nearly every female rancher in the valley. 

         “Geez, Toto,” he muttered, patting the Rover’s seat. “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”

         As she approached the Rover, Ben noticed her jeans hugged every curve, full breasts not quite obscured by the baggy shirt.  He couldn’t see her face, but he had to admit the rest of the package was intriguing and also vaguely familiar.  He approached as she bent to survey the clunker’s bumper. 

         “What’s the matter with you?” she screamed, walking in circles, arms still flailing.  “Oh, my God, oh, my God, what am I going to do?” 

         Ben stared at her back, astounded at what was clearly a huge overreaction. The clunker was fine, hardly a scratch on it, although it would be hard to tell with all the other dings.  Then, just as quickly as it started, the fire went out and she flopped down to sit on the curb, head between her legs, sobbing.

         “Hey, hey, it’s not that bad, is it?  We hardly touched each other.  No harm done.” He sat beside her, wondering whether he should pat her on the shoulder. Immediately she quieted and looked up at him. 

         “Oh, my God.  This just gets better and better. It figures.” 

         Ben Morgan, the one person she expected never to see again, sitting beside her in the middle of Main Street.  Could things get any worse?  She leaned forward, hiding her face, wondering whether he’d go away if she sat there long enough.

         “Maggie?  Is that little Maggie Williams?  After five years, I’m in town less than a minute and the first person I bump into is you.”

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