Monday, June 2, 2014

Melissa Maygrove's "Come Back"

I know; you look at the book cover image over on the left and wonder what the devil a sweet'n'spicy romance novel like that is doing in Goth Mom Lite's dark little claws. Well, even Goths can hanker after a wholesome love story set in the old American west (hey, the dudes from Fields of the Nephilim wore friggin' gaucho hats, and you can't get any Gothier than those cats).

Anyway, I'd been away from teh Interwebz for so long that when I learned fellow blogger and writer Melissa Maygrove had released her debut novel Come Back, I emitted a very unGothlike "SQUEE!" and made haste to purchase/devour it. Just the idea of it made me reminisce about the halcyon days of my youth, when I watched shows like Little House on the Prairie and believed that Good always beats out Evil and True Love comes to all. So if, like me, you're experiencing any bitterness or cynicism about life and/or love, Come Back is the perfect antidote.

Right, so; rather than cutting/pasting the book blurb, I thought I'd let Maygrove's truly gorgeous book trailer (Dudes, it gave me goosebumps, and I'm totally not exaggerating) tell you what you need to know (I recommend popping the viewer out for your visual pleasure).

::Sighs of romance-novel-digging-happiness::

My book-reading had been really slow. Then I picked up Come Back and inhaled it. It engaged me straightaway and I really just adored it. I wrote a little review for it on Goodreads and when Melissa e-mailed to thank me, I offered to interview her and feature the book on my blog this week. That's how much I liked the book, folks; I freakin' volunteered to do work I didn't have to do which, as anyone who knows me will attest, is about as likely an event as the proverbial pigs becoming airborne. Anyway, I winged some questions at the gal, to which she lobbed back the following answers:

“Come Back” is set in the old American West—how do you think you’d fare in that era? What modern convenience would you most hate to lose? Which do you think you’d do just fine without?
Melissa Maygrove
In some ways, I'd fare well. I've always felt I was born a century too late. But, due to some heart defects I was born with, I wouldn't have survived if I'd been born even one year before I was. So, in that respect, I wouldn't have fared well at all.

I'd hate to lose air conditioning. (Blogger's note: Gawd, so would I!)

I'd be perfectly peachy without TV. :)

In the book, heroine Becca and her family are part of a wagon train of people seeking better fortunes in California. It’s noted that folks making their way out west often had to dump things along the way. In your research, did you uncover any unusual items being found along those wagon trails? If it were you who had to part with something, what would be the first thing you’d toss?
I didn't really come across anything unusual, but that was where the inspiration for the book came from. My daughter and I once read a story together about a teen traveling west on the Oregon Trail (Becca and Seth travel the Gila Trail). When I read about westward travelers dumping belongings, I thought about how a young woman who'd been abandoned might use those things to survive, and off my imagination went.

Hm... I suppose I'd dump heavy items, such as furniture that wouldn't be needed until I reached my destination and could be replaced. Of course, if I'd done as the wagon captain instructed and hadn't overloaded my wagon, I wouldn't find myself in that unfortunate situation. ;)

What do you think was the greatest challenge facing a woman of Becca’s age, back in the mid-1800s?
The hardships of life (large families, the manual labor of growing and preparing food, chores, etc.) combined with the fact that women had few rights. We romanticize things in novels. Many men were honorable gentlemen, but many weren't, and it was a patriarchal society.

What bit of advice might you offer a man courting a gal in the old West? Would you offer that same advice to a 21st Century man as well?
Treat your lady with respect and don't ever strike her or betray her. That's important no matter what century you live in.

Amen, sister!

Below's an excerpt and all the pertinent buy/author links. I hope y'all will give Come Back a closer look; I recommend it to anyone in need of a bit of heart-warming and blood-bubbling lovin'.

*     *     *     *     *
A humorless chuckle echoed in the musty space. “And after years of living with a man who has no means to support you, will you still love me then?”

Becca wrapped her arms around him and pressed her cheek to his back. “I’ll love you no matter what.”

He straightened and his hands left the table, but he made no move to touch her. “Thanks for trying, but like I’ve told you, you’re not a very good liar.”

“I’m not lying.” She clung to him tightly and fought back a sob.

He didn’t react. Just stood there like a tower of stone.

A surge of anger pushed back her tears. If he didn’t want her, he was going to have to face her and say it. She wasn’t giving up this time.

Becca let go of him and stepped back. “If you regret marrying me, then turn around and tell me so.”

She gave him plenty of time to respond, but he didn’t move. Didn’t speak.

Embracing him again, she splayed her hands across his chest. She stood on her toes and grazed her lips across the back of his neck.

A shudder rippled through him and raised little bumps on his skin. Her tower of stone was beginning to crack.

“You can push me away and act like you don’t care,” she whispered, her breath skimming his ear, “but I’m not giving up. Do you want to know why? Because I’m not the one pretending.” Becca slid her hand lower and molded her fingers around the evidence of his arousal. “You are.”

Seth ripped her hands from his body and spun around with a growl. His lips were on hers before she could suck in a breath. He banded his arms around her, crushing her to him, and ravaged her mouth like a man possessed.

“You picked the wrong man to love,” he rasped when he came up for air.

“No I didn’t!” she shot back as his mouth came down on hers.

Seth’s hands roamed her body, matching the desperation of his kiss. And she gave it right back, groping and clawing as if she couldn’t get enough. She never would.

*     *     *     *     *


Where to find Come Back:

Where to find Melissa Maygrove:
Website / Blog / Twitter @MelissaMaygrove / Facebook / Google+
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  1. Come Back has been popping up all over the blogosphere lately. Glad it was able to engage you so much! It's always great when a book becomes addictive like that...

    Also, great interview! I agree, it'd suck to lose air-conditioning, haha...

  2. Wow, Mina! *I've* got chills after reading all the kind things you had to say about my book. You know, everyone mutters about bad reviews and the like, but nothing prepares you for people seeking you out to tell you they loved your story. Every time I turn around, I'm heartwarmed and humbled by what people say to me.

    You did an awesome job with the post! Thanks for hosting me. :)

  3. Sounds like a great book! I love the old west too. Have you ever read 'Ordeal By Hunger' about the Donner Party? The Breen family left with a double decker wagon stuffed with their possessions. They had to leave almost all of them behind in various places due to the difficulty of the non existent trails. Wagons would have to be disassembled and hauled up rock faces only to go 20 feet and do it all over again. As romantic as the old west has been made to look on TV, I couldn't live w/o running water and indoor plumbing or a/c.

  4. So true about air conditioning! Especially in Texas. Great interview. I don't think I would have fared well at all as a pioneer woman.

  5. I think this will be my vacay, just for fun read! I so totally love drifting back in time, pretending all the patriarchs were noble, good, and true.

  6. I think pretty much everyone here agrees that we could not live without air conditioning! Great interview, Melissa. Congrats on your book and all the success I know it will bring! :)

    1. Thanks, Quanie. :)

      Thanks for visiting, Jojo, Carol, and Elizabeth.

  7. This book sounds really interesting. I wouldn't mind a holiday in the old West, but I wouldn't want to make it permanent :-) Good luck to Melissa.

    1. LOL - Agree about the holiday.
      Thanks,. Annalisa. :)

  8. To call that excerpt engaging would be the understatement of the year. That was very, very hawt! Yowsa! And I loved the interview. Of course your prelude to it all, Mina, had me from the first word :-)

    1. Aww. You're sweet.

      My friends and I have been chuckling about ch. 33... the tack room scene. Becca takes 'character arc' to a whole new level. hehehe

      Thanks for visiting, Angela.

  9. Thanks for stopping by, everybody! I think we're all agreed: the old west = nice place to visit, but wouldn't want to live there! Luckily, Melissa provides an easy, commitment-free way to visit! ;-) (And AW, THANKS ANGELA!)

  10. Awesome you found a great book to inhale. :)

  11. Yay for Melissa! I love hearing great things about her book, and happy to hear you found a inhalable read too, Mina. :)

    I have a recommendation for you (not at all related to Melissa's book!). Christopher Buehlman. Start with The Necromancer's House. So original, dark, disturbing.

  12. Congrats to Melissa! It looks like a great book!

  13. "Treat your lady with respect and don't ever strike her or betray her. That's important no matter what century you live in." - YES! *nods emphatically*

    Wonderful interview. I smiled when I read Melissa would be peachy without TV. Sweet and fuzzy!

    1. Ha. The problem with that is, I also miss the news. I don't even know what's going on in the world half the time. *hangs head*

      Thanks for visiting, Loni. :)


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