Love Romance and Business Series
In this series, Gail follows Maggie McLaurin from 1982 to 2012, taking readers along for the journey from a sheltered childhood in a wealthy but dysfunctional Atlanta family into an adulthood filled with ambition, achievement, failure, more heartbreak than she thought she could bear and happiness greater than any she thought she'd know again. Along the way, she loves (and is loved by) men who frustrate, excite and (sometimes) alarm her, even as she deals with financial brinkmanship and the mother from hell. All the volumes feature characters who reappear throughout Maggie's life, but each book is a satisfying and complete read in and of itself.
Reader reaction has ranged from one extreme to the other. Not only comments left on Amazon and various review sites, but also messages sent to the author, show a full spectrum of opinion.
Those who like the series appreciate seeing the evolution of a modern woman and the fact that she must juggle all parts of her life, from the jobs she holds in order to meet her financial obligations, through her ongoing struggles in dealing with the mother from hell, to the men with whom she interacts personally or professionally, from choice or out of necessity. Typical comments include insights such as: "You get the sense of a real person;" "The men and the sex are hot;" "I like her caring about her work;" and "I like seeing a heroine at different ages."
Those who dislike the series seem to find the concept of a female protagonist who attempts to manage her life in a proactive manner distasteful and/or object to her attitude toward life, men, sex, or her mother. Typical comments include opinions such as: "Who cares about a good-looking woman trying to make money;" "No respectable woman is going to jump into bed with first one man and then another like that;" "The work stuff is boring;" and "I won't read a romance novel about a woman in her forties."
Those who dislike the series really dislike it. Gail reports that one reader even sent an email stating that it was women like this who were killing the idea of the American woman as a superior being to be cherished, protected and cared for.
Gail's reaction to the reactions is to say that her goal was to present a type of woman she's encountered several times, a woman who starts life with many advantages and the promise of a charmed existence who, in the end, has anything but. No matter how attractive or intelligent or even hard-working she is, nothing plays out as it should. It often takes this woman years, if ever, to find either the work opportunity or personal commitment that would give her what she seeks. Gail wanted to present the story of such a woman at different stages of her life and to see if a case could be made for an (ultimately) happy ending.
Without further ado, we give you Maggie McLaurin.
The Girl Who Almost Died of Love
Spring 1982. Student Maggie, almost eighteen, tries to recover from a broken heart at a clinic on Lake Garda in Northern Italy, where she meets an intriguing cast of characters from the cream of international society (or at least those wealthy enough to use the clinic as a drying-out place.) All of them have individual agendas, as does Maggie herself. The question is: whose agenda will prevail - that of the inexperienced innocent from the States or those of the delightfully decadent (and sometimes depraved) international cognoscenti? Available in both ebook and trade-paperback versions. Click here to access the Amazon product page.
Love Me After
Fall 1997 through Spring 2002. Businesswoman Maggie has the big-time corporate world on a string, or so she thinks. Here's what happens when a young woman from the South falls prey to office politics and must relocate to New York City for the job, leaving behind life in Atlanta, the city in which she was born, for a tough environment made bearable only by probably the nicest man she's ever met. Available 2014 in both ebook and trade-paperback versions.
Loved Me Once
December 2008-February 2009. Consultant Maggie is stuck in a dead-end job that doesn't pay her enough money to meet her considerable obligations - that big family home back in Atlanta is her responsibility to keep in repair and it absorbs money at every turn. At the very moment that she doesn't think that things can get worse, they do, and the personal relationships she'd finally let herself commit to work out catastrophically. Available in both ebook and trade-paperback versions. Click here to access the Amazon product page.
Love Me Now
February 2009-May 2009. Survivor Maggie finds herself navigating the treacherous shoals of personal involvement even as she must be protected from a violently obsessive stalker. Meanwhile, the mother from hell gets worse, and Maggie worries about finding another job. Available in both ebook and trade-paperback versions. Click here to access the Amazon product page.
Love Me Tomorrow
June 2009-June 2011. Maggie's through with men, she vows, stalkers or otherwise. It's time she focuses totally on her career, and for two years she tries to do just that. With her best friend she sets up a consulting business and fights off financial ruin in the midst of the the worst recession in recent years. Complicating things is the fact that the kind of business that some potential clients have in mind has little to do with corporate strategy. Available 2015 in both ebook and trade-paperback versions.
Loved Me Then
July 2011-September 2012. Forced by circumstances to give up her business, Maggie joins an old flame abroad to live the quiet life, only to realize that stately ancestral acres do not necessarily equate to environmental tranquility. Available 2015 in both ebook and trade-paperback versions.
Love Me Always
October-December 2012. Life comes full circle as Maggie returns to the States to deal with a shopping list of old problems and discovers, in the process, that happiness is sometimes disguised in unlikely robes. Available 2016 in both ebook and trade-paperback editions.