Thursday, September 8, 2011

Margaret Daley's From This Day Forward

Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest. Recently she has won the Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, Holt Medallion and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines, romantic suspense for Abingdon Press and historical romance for Summerside Press. She has sold seventy-five books to date.

Margaret is currently the President for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization of over 2200 members. She was one of the founding members of the first ACFW local chapter, WIN in Oklahoma. She has taught numerous classes for online groups, ACFW and RWA chapters. She enjoys mentoring other authors.

Until she retired a few years ago, she was a teacher of students with special needs for twenty-seven years and volunteered with Special Olympics as a coach. She currently is on the Outreach committee at her church, working on several projects in her community.

You can visit her web site at www.margaretdaley.com and read excerpts from her books and learn about the ones recently released and soon to be released. You can also find her online at twitter.com/#!/margaretdaley and www.facebook.com.

From This Day Forward

Rachel Gordon is stranded in South Carolina, pregnant, a recent widow when her husband fell overboard on the voyage to America. Nathan Stuart, a physician who came home from serving in the American army during the War of 1812, disenchanted with his life and the Lord, rescues Rachel and saves her life. Feeling responsible for her, Nathan tries to discourage her from living at a rundown farm her husband bought to start a new future in America. He wants her to return to England.


Rachel refuses to go back to England where her father disowned her for marrying against his wishes. The farm is all she has, and she is determined to make it on her own. But Nathan has other ideas and becomes her farmhand to discourage her from staying in America. Instead he ends up protecting her and being challenged by her. Can two wounded people heal each other?

Here's an excerpt of From This Day Forward:

Chapter One

March 1816

“We are going to die,” Rachel Gordon’s young maid cried out.

Rachel looked up at the clouds rolling in. Dark, ominous ones. She shivered and pulled her shawl tighter about her as the breeze picked up. A storm brewed, and she still had several miles to go until she reached her new home in South Carolina. “God willing, we will make it, Maddy.”

Fear deepened the lines on Maddy’s plain face. “’Tis like the squall on the boat.”

Lightning flashed, momentarily brightening the shadows of the forest. A clap of thunder rumbled the ground. Maddy screamed. The old gelding that pulled the cart—all Rachel’s meager coins could afford—increased its speed, weaving from side to side. Out of control.

Determined to be there before nightfall and in one piece, Rachel gripped the reins and fought to slow the maddening pace of the horse. Finally it resumed its plodding step. The weather-beaten cart she had bought near the dock in Charleston hit a bump in the road, jostling her into Maddy. Her maid clutched the seat with one hand and held onto Rachel with the other.

Steadying herself, Rachel rested her wrists on her rounded stomach. She had more than herself and Maddy to worry about now. Her life had changed so much since she left her ancestral home in England. She had married, conceived a child, and was now a widow, all in the space of a year. And worse, she was going to a place she had never seen because she had nowhere else to go. Her husband had used most of their money to purchase this plantation she was traveling to. It was her future, whether she wanted it to be or not.

The warmth of a spring day quickly faded as the sky grew blacker. Rachel stared at the menacing clouds through the treetops and realized she would not make it to her new home before the storm broke. She scanned the area for a place to seek shelter.

Sinister shadows lurked just beyond the road. Again she shivered, her imagination conjuring images of wild animals staring at her from the depths of the forest. She’d heard stories about the bears. Huge. Fierce. Sharp teeth and claws. Shifting on the seat, she darted a glance from side to side, feeling as though she were some beast’s next meal. She could not stop, even if it poured down rain.

Oh, how she missed England, with its gently rolling hills and refined beauty—not this raw wilderness. Like a fish floundering on land, she did not belong here. Nothing in her life had prepared her for this strange environment.

Drops of water spattered her. The wind picked up.

“That man on the boat told me about a big cat. They are out there.” Maddy whimpered, draping her shawl over her head and hunching her shoulders. “Lord, have mercy on us.”

Rachel forced herself to keep her gaze fixed on the road ahead. Once they were at the plantation Maddy would settle down. The squall two days out of Charleston had nearly sunk the ship they had traveled in. Surely this storm would not be as bad.

Taking deep breaths, Rachel calmed her racing thoughts and heartbeat. Pain spread through her lower back. She gripped the reins, the leather digging into her palms. The pain dulled to an ache. Another deep inhalation and the panic nibbling at her composure abated. Soon she would be at her new home and could sit in front of a warm fire, put her legs up, and rest. Hopefully the letter her husband had sent ahead would alert any staff to her arrival. Her glance strayed to the tall pine trees, swaying in the gust. Everything would be all right when she arrived at Dalton Plantation.

But even with Maddy next to her on the seat, the feeling she was the only person in the world overwhelmed her.

The wind picked up, whipping strands of her long brown hair that had escaped its coiffure about her face and threatening to whisk away her bonnet. Lightning zigzagged across the sky, followed by thunder. Maddy jumped in her seat. The gelding’s ears flattened.

A chill embedded itself deep in Rachel. She arched her back to ease the pang still plaguing her. Suddenly lightning struck a tree nearby, its flash a beacon in the growing darkness. A crack as the pine split into two pieces echoed through the forest. Immediately afterward, a boom of thunder cleaved the air. Maddy shrieked. The horse increased its pace while a few more splotches of water splashed Rachel. Then all at once rain fell in gray sheets.

The gelding lurched forward even faster. Rachel grasped the reins, trying to maintain control. She pulled on the leather straps to slow the horse. Nothing. He kept galloping down the road, oblivious to his surroundings, as though the hounds of hell were nipping at his hooves.

Rachel glanced from one side to the other but saw little except a wall of gray and green. Another peal of thunder spurred her horse into a dead run. The jostling motion bounced her around, nearly throwing her off the seat. A scream from Maddy competed with the din of the storm.

The cart hit another rut in the road. Rachel flew from the seat, the reins wrenched from her hands. The impact with the ground jarred her, knocking the breath from her lungs. Rain pelted her face as she sucked in oxygen-rich air. Stunned, Rachel closed her eyes against the continual downpour. Everything seemed to come to a standstill, as though her body went numb.

Then pain, as she had never felt before, ripped through her lower torso. She clutched her stomach, gritting her teeth to hold back the scream. She rolled to the side.




You can purchase From This Day Forward from Amazon.

Margaret is giving away a copy of From This Day Forward. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

24 comments:

Linda said...

What a tender book this seems to me despite the circumstances. Don't ask me why, it's just what I feel so deeply. Please enter me. Thank you.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

This book looks good!

Sunny

cjajsmommy said...

Wow, if a short excerpt can have me on the edge of my seat, what will the rest of the book be like? This is on my "must read" list. Please enter me for a copy.

apple blossom said...

oh, please enter me in this book giveaway thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Rebecca said...

This looks like a great book. I would love to read this. Thanks so much for the chance to win.

agent_beckster(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jo said...

This sounds like a very good book. Please enter me!

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Jackie S. said...

I love Margaret's books and admire her...a great person. Please enter me for this book....I am looking forward to reading it. Thanks!!!
jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

Charity said...

Please enter me. I have read many of Margaret's LI books and loved them:) Thanks!

Charity U said...

Please enter me! :) Thanks!

wfnren said...

I am really wanting to read this book, thank you for the chance to win it.

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

Diana Flowers said...

This book has been on my wishlist ever since I first saw the cover and read the description of the book! I live in SC, so any historical fiction book with the setting in SC has me drawn in...hook, line, and sinker! Would love to win! Thank you!

dianalflowers@aol.com

PriviesAndPrims said...

Not very nice to leave us hanging like that!

Hoping I win~
Doreen
priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

ann said...

This sounds like my kind of reading material. I do hope I have the chance to read this one


amhengst at verizon dot net

Lois Hudson said...

I, too, was left panting for more -kept clicking the down bar till I realized that was all there was!
Please enter me.

Lois

hudson5107@aol.com

Margaret Daley said...

Lois, I'm so glad you enjoyed the opening.
Ann, I hope you get to read the book too.
Doreen, I love leaving cliffhangers.
Diana, South Carolina is a beautiful state.
wfnren, I hope you get a chance to read the book.
Charity U, I love your picture--one of my favorite movies.
Charity, thank you for reading some of my LI books.
Jackie, you are so sweet. Good to see you here.
Jo, waving to you.
Rebecca, I hope you can read the book.
Abi, it's great seeing you here.
Cjajsmommy, I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt. I love action in my stories.
Sunny, thank you for stopping by.
Linda, I hope I capture the fun as well as the tenderness of this story.
I wish everyone could win a copy of the book.Thank you all for making me feel so welcomed here at the Barn Loft.

Pam K. said...

This book has a lovely cover and after the excerpt, I certainly want to read the rest of it! Thank you for having the book giveaway. I'd love to win a copy of "From This Day Forward."
Thanks.
pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

lgm52 said...

Beautiful cover...sounds like a great read!
lgm52@hotmail.com

Margaret Daley said...

Igm52 and Pam, thanks for stopping by. Good luck to everyone in the drawing.

Amy said...

Sounds good and the book cover is lovely. Please enter me. Thanks.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

karenk said...

would love to read margaret's latest novel...

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

It takes an exceptional and extraordinary person to teach special needs children! My hat is off to you, Mrs. Daley! "From This Day Forward" looks like a beautiful story about overcoming all odds! Thank you for the chance to win!

Blessings,
Kelly Y. in VA
kelly*at*dkcountryarts*dot*com

Unknown said...

This sounds like a wonderful book about faith and trust.

God Bless

Tracy Smith said...

Thank you for the chance to win this wonderful sounding book.

countrysunset40 (at) aol dot com

Diana Flowers said...

I hope I win this so I can quit blog stalking! lol

dianalflowers@aol.com

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