Hello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, CD Brennan, and her characters from Watershed. It’s a fantastic contemporary romance with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Maggie and Gray.
For Maggie (Margaret Mary) Keating
What are you proudest of?
Taking my trip to Australia on my own. Hands down, the most courageous thing I have done in my life. A few friends from Portumna also traveled overseas, but they went in pairs or groups. I was determined to embrace the adventure on my own. There were times that I wished when someone was there to share special moments with, but mostly, I loved that I could go anywhere at any time. I didn’t have to ask anyone else what they wanted to do. Australia was open to me in every way. There were also times when it was a bit intimidating, but that was the challenge and the reason why I needed to leave Ireland and see the world. I read a great saying the other day: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” That’s what happened to me. It has changed my life forever.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy Sunday?
Well, most days in Ireland are rainy, while Australia, where I live now, is the opposite. Sunday is my favorite day whether it rains or shines. I’m not a devout Catholic as many of we Irish were raised to be, but I have spent my fair share of time in Mass and Confession. It’s after Mass when my blissful Sunday starts. That will be six Hail Marys for me later. (Maggie laughs.) I love everything about the day. I love that there is nothing pressing, nowhere I have to be. It’s a day where you can have a pint in the afternoon, but not be expected to stay out all night. It’s a day where you can read an entire book on the couch, maybe getting up for a cuppa tea and put the washing in every once in awhile. Most folk don’t like Sundays because it means it is the end of their weekend and they have to start work again on Monday. To me, Sunday is lazy days, an infinite number of minutes to spend pottering about the house.
What do you like most about where you live?
Gray. He’s where home is. (Maggie gives Gray’s arm a squeeze. They share a smile.) But I do love the Australian outback. As a woman on a bus told me once. “The bush is a beautiful place, not many see it that way. They aren’t looking at it right. The gum trees–that’s the eucalyptus, you know–set a wonderful fabric to the land with their leaves full of texture and their white bark contrasting against the red soil. And when it rains, everything turns green in front of your eyes and the rain powers the rivers along beds that were moments before nothing more than rock and weed.”
For Gray Stewart
If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
More sex. (Maggie laughs.) Seriously, mate, the writer would just get to the good parts and then pull us up. Talk about blue balls! She only let us go there once. I know it was more about the romance. Bloody hell, as a bloke I even have a hard time saying the word. And how we “found” each other. Which is quite amazing when you think about it. Maggie is from Ireland, another hemisphere, almost twenty thousand miles away from The Gemfield Station in Queensland, Australia where she ended up with me in the middle of nowhere on our cattle property. What are the chances of that? Really? Our story is one of those where you have to ask yourself if there isn’t someone or something else in the world pulling a few fate strings to make it happen. But sorry, mate, back to your original question. The answer is more sex.
What do you find most appealing in women?
Big boobs? (Maggie punches Gray lightly in the arm. He laughs.) Did you see that? She just gave me the evil eye. You gotta watch the Irish, they got a bit of magic to them. Speaking of which, I hope everyone had a great St. Paddy’s Day. Since Maggie is Irish, we celebrated a bit harder this year in Emerald. (Pinches his temples) I’m still hung-over. Seriously, though, I am currently engaged to the lovely Margaret Mary so I have to say that everything about her is what I find most appealing in a woman – stunning, smart, strong, sexy. (Again, they look at each other and smile.)
What do you think is your strongest attribute?
I’m an Aussie male. We aren’t meant to be understood, we just are. If my mates could see me now, I’d be crucified, sitting here talking about myself like a dag. (Maggie motions for him to keep going. Gray rolls his eyes.) If I had to say something, it would be that I am committed. I put the effort in, for anything that is important in my life. I have integrity. I believe in something, I work for it. Obviously, my weakest attribute is expressing my true feelings. LOL. I’m working on it. For my Maggie. (They kiss.)
She left home to find herself…and found love along the way.
Maggie isn’t looking for love on her backpacking trip through Australia. She’s got enough man troubles back in Ireland. Australia is her escape, a place of adventure where she can create memories to last a lifetime.
But some memories won’t be left behind.
Gray is ready to quit hiring backpackers to help with the work on his remote Queensland cattle station when Maggie turns up. She’s just passing through, but the connection they forge during the long nights herding cattle won’t be so easily cast aside.
CONTENT WARNING: A strong-willed Irish heroine, a stubborn Australian hero, and oceans of difference to bridge for love.
A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance
She couldn’t figure him, and this was the first chance they’d had to be alone since that night. She put on her best teasing smile. “How did a seasoned bushman like you let a bull get the best of ya?”
As soon as it came out of her mouth, she knew it was the wrong thing to say.
His brow furrowed, anger lighting his eyes. “It happens to the best of us.” He ripped another piece of bark from the tree and turned to go.
“Did you have a good time last night?” Maggie hurried on. “I mean, other than the incident with the bull.”
He shrugged. “It was all right. Did you?”
“It was brilliant. I had a fantastic time.”
“Yeah, it looked like you were having a good time with ol’ mate there.”
Maggie raised an eyebrow. “Jason?”
“Yeah, that skeg.”
He had noticed.
“What does that mean? Skeg?”
Gray shook his head. “It’s nothin’, forget it.”
Maggie’s temper flared. “I might not be an Aussie, oi-oi-oi,” she mimicked, “to know that it’s rude.”
Gray shrugged. “Anyway, looked like you guys were getting pretty close. Are you going to stay with him next?”
Now her temper kicked in. She pumped harder on the swing. If he would only step a few feet closer, she’d be able to get him with her legs. That’s what he needed, a kick in the bum.
“Maybe I will.” She raised her chin in defiance. “With Lizzy here, you don’t need my help anymore.”
Gray narrowed his eyes at her. “Who told you that you were any help?”
Her mouth fell open. How rude! He was treating her like he had when she first arrived.
Suddenly, a loud crack sounded, and then snap! The next thing Maggie knew, she was lying on the ground on her back, the rope in her hands.
Gray squatted down over her. “Are you okay?” He appeared genuinely concerned.
She let go of the ropes and let her head fall onto the grass. “I’m grand, just need to catch my breath a moment.” There she was lying on her back again, looking up at him, wondering what the hell had happened. This was twice now. Was it divine intervention? Maggie wasn’t superstitious like most of the Irish, but she was smart enough to know not to push her luck if things looked grim.
He hovered over her, and she could feel the energy building between them like it always did when they were close. He smelled of earthy oats. His eyes were darker in the shade, not the usual golden reflection from the sun. She gazed into them, feeling herself being pulled deeper into everything that was Gray. “Thank you for bringing my journal and phone to me at the hospital.”
His features softened. “No worries.”
She dropped her eyes away to play at the blades of grass, pinching individual stems and running them through her fingers. “You came like you promised.”
He grabbed her hand with both of his, forcing Maggie to return her gaze to him. He gently rubbed the outside of her hand with his thumb. “We ride out early tomorrow. Be saddled up by first light.”
He dropped her hand suddenly and stood to go.
Maggie yanked a bunch of grass from the ground and threw it at his retreating figure, letting her head thump onto the ground. God, was she in love with him.
Having traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now talks with a strange accent, a mix of distant terminology, a blend of culturally cute but confusing euphemisms that leaves everyone looking at her with a blank stare. Luckily, her Australian husband (who she met in Ireland) and her two Aussie/Yankee sons have no problem understanding her – well, except for the word “NO”.
Now settled back “home” in Michigan, she enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. She considers the last fifteen years abroad the perfect research for her Love Where You Roam series; matchmaking women and men from different cultures, even different hemispheres, helping them find their true one across oceans of difference.
As destiny plays a hand in all the stories, Cd Brennan truly believes that what is for you, won’t pass you by. She hopes to inspire others to get out there: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain] And of course, fall in love.
Get in touch with her at www.cdbrennan.com
Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!