Monday, March 22, 2010

The Autograph Lunch

SEALed with a Ring

By: Mary Margret Daughtridge

Publisher: SourceBooks
Price: $7.99
Publication Date: March 2010

My guest is Contemporary Romance author, Mary Margret Daughtridge. She writes military based heroes that are hot and sexy and her latest is SEALed With A Ring.

Mary Margret made me laugh with her tale of her reaction at seeing her book for the first time--early--and her enthusiastic show and tell to everyone she met. But, let her tell the story:

When SEALed with a Ring was released at the first of March, an email came from a friend inviting me to meet her for lunch, and instructing me to bring along three signed copies of the new book.

A few days later while we ate I babbled away, as I always do, and my friend listened with every appearance of enjoyment—as she always does. After a while, she said, “How do you do it, Mary Margret? I read your books and I wonder, ‘How does she think of the things she puts in the books?’”

I’m not sure of the answer to that question. Parts of my books, like a lot of my life, seem at the time to “just happen” and it only becomes a story later when I put together the pieces.

For instance:
My first book, SEALed with a Kiss, unbeknownst to me, appeared on shelves at the local Barnes and Noble two weeks before its official release date. I was browsing the store when I saw it. I stood there, looking at the new release shelf bewildered by a spacey feeling, like “what’s wrong with this picture?” I had visualized it in exactly that spot so many times, I knew something was unusual about the display, but I didn’t know what.

After what felt like a long time, I spotted what seemed out of place. The cover of one of the new books looked just like the cover of mine! And the title was the same too.

Heart pounding, I stepped closer. Even the author’s name was the same as mine!

Let’s see. My cover plus my title plus my name…Finally, one drop at a time, it dawned on me that my book—OH MY GOD, MY BOOK!—was on sale.

I’ve told this story before, but I haven’t told what happened next.

I snatched up a copy, floated over to the cashier and paid for it.

I walked out of Barnes and Noble like I was walking on air, but crossing the parking lot to my car, I realized some of my lightheadedness might be due to the fact that I had missed lunch. I drove to a little mom and pop restaurant where they don’t mind if I tie up a booth while I scribble for an hour or more.

It was past two, the place was almost empty when I got there. At the sight of familiar faces, I finally completely bubbled over.

“Look!” I said to the woman at the register, “my book!”
“Look,” I said to my waiter, “my book!”
“Look,” I said to the busboy, “my book!”

Most people want to be kind, I think. They all oohed and ahhed—and if their faces were a little blank—I had enough enthusiasm for all of us.

A patron, a pretty woman in her middle years with great skin, perfect makeup, the tips of her short blond hair turned up in a free-spirited, windblown style, stopped by my table on her way out. “Excuse me,” she said. “Did you say you’re a writer?”

“My book!” I said, holding it up.

“I don’t think I’ve ever met an author before,” she told me. She introduced herself and asked if she could join me. “Tell me all about it.”

I told her I was a great believer in the power of visualization and what had happened at the bookstore.

She smiled with approval as I babbled away. She was a successful distributor of makeup and skin care and she was well acquainted with visualization techniques.

“I don’t read for entertainment much but I have to buy this book,” she announced after a while.

“It’s at Barnes and Noble,” I told her, thrilled with wonder that here was someone (not friend or family) who wanted to buy my book.

“No,” she said. She tapped the paperback on the table. “I have to buy this book. I don’t want a book I got from the store. I want the book from your hands. I want you to sell it to me, and I want you to sign it right now.”

That’s the story of how I sold my first autographed copy of my first book.

A few days later she emailed me that she had stayed up all night reading it. She loved it and was recommending it to all her extensive contacts.

You can understand why I was delighted, but hardly surprised when, last week, she asked me to meet her for lunch, saying I should bring three copies of SEALed with a Ring for her to buy. One she told me was for her; the other two were gifts for friends.

After we were seated at our table, I whipped out a pen and opened the top book to the flyleaf.

“For Linda,” I wrote, “my first official—and still my best—fan. Love, Mary Margret.”

Cover Blurb:

She’s got it all…except the one thing she needs most

Smart, successful businesswoman JJ Caruthers has a year to land a husband or lose the empire she’s worked so hard to build. With time running out, romance is not an option, and a military husband who is always on the road begins to look like the perfect solution…

He’s a wounded hero with an agenda of his own

Even with the scars of battle, Navy SEAL medic Davy Graziano is gorgeous enough to land any woman he wants, and he’s never wanted to be tied down. Now Davy has ulterior motives for accepting JJ’s outrageous proposal of marriage, but he only has so long to figure out what JJ doesn’t want him to know…

My Thoughts:

I will admit this is the first of Mary Margaret’s books I’ve read. I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than hot Navy Seals and the women who love them, or do bodily damage to a forgetful one.

In Sealed With A Ring, we have problems and plans. Davy Graziano is a hotshot hero with a plan—he’s been brain-injured line of duty and may lose his career. He’s forgetful of things he knows he knows and it’s frustrating. But being a Navy Seal is his life and he will do what he must to return to it and then there is the matter of providing for his special-needs brother.

Enter savvy heroine with problem and also armed a plan. JJ Caruthers has a manipulative grandfather who threatens to sell the family car dealership—unless she gives into the pressure and gets married. Grandfather has a “perfect” man for her to marry. Ugh. She’ll marry, what choice does she have really if she wants to remain CEO? But prefers a man who won’t interfere with her business as CEO. What better solution than to marry sexy Davy Graziano who has forgotten not only that they’ve met—twice—but had hot mind blowing sex. JJ gets the business, and Davy gets to play hero in the hot spots of the world. Of course, nothing ever quite goes as planned in romance and so starts the fun.

Mary Margaret writes a good contemporary romance filled with laughter and glitches. She depicts her knowledge of Seals and military without the textbook preach. Her characters are three-dimensional and after a few pages are very real. This was a fun romance to read and just when you thought you could put the book down—one does have to do chores after all—she would throw in something and you’d find yourself saying, I’ll just read to the end of the chapter. Pfft. Do you know how many times I said that before I actually had the discipline to put it down and things done? Let’s just say, not much got done that day.

  • Two copies of SEALed with a Ring will be given away today. Two winners, US and Canada only. Please leave me a way to contact you.


Mary Margret Daughtridge, a Southerner born and bred, has been a grade school teacher, speech therapist, family educator, biofeedback therapist, and Transpersonal Hypnotherapist.

She has been a member since 2002 of Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Romancing the Military Soul, an online writing group, and she is a sought-after judge in writing contests.


~Sia McKye~ said...

Mary Margret, welcome to Over Coffee. I'm glad to have you!

Becky said...

I really enjoyed reading this post, especially about how Mary Margret sold her first autographed copy. This book sounds real good and I have added it to my list to get.

tonya kappes said...

Mary's books won't let you put them down. She writes where you have to make yourself put it down or it will be over too soon.

Judi Fennell said...

LOVE this first book story, MM! It's so surreal, isn't it? Seeing it there on the shelves for the first time? Especially with those gorrrrrrgeous covers!

Kat Sheridan said...

Oh, what a wonderful story! I simply can't imagine how that feels! Many congrats to you, and wishing you continued success! The books sound fantastic!

VA said...

What a wonderful story about your reaction to getting your book for the first time. I am smiling ear to ear. Frankly, there is nothing more beautiful in this world than a person genuinely excited about something. I love my accountant because she gets all twitchy when asking questions about deductions. Adorable, and makes me think that if everyone could find the secret bliss, how amazing this world would truly be.

Congratulations Mary. Now I have to read the excerpt. I had to comment before I forget the joy of reading your reaction.

VA said...! Glad I commented on my reaction prior to reading the excerpt, 'cause that was totally yummy and my brain can't think of anything else at the moment. *fans self

Sweet mercy, do I appreciate a direct man.

s7anna said...

Hi Mary,
Congratulations on your new release! What an incredible story you've shared with us...It must've been totally awesome to see your book on the shelves! I wish you many many years of successful writing to come.

Happy Reading

readwriteandedit said...

What a moment to treasure, seeing the book on the shelf, especially when you weren't expecting it. I hope each book you write gives you the same pleasure and excitement.

James said...

A wonderful story, both concerning the passion of seeing your book on the shelves as a writer and then finding that all important thought leader working on your behalf. You can't pay for that kind of sincere networking.

James Rafferty

Liv said...

I love that story! There really are people who use visualization. Way to go! I'm headed to B & N tomorrow and asking for that book.

Mary Margret said...

What can I say? I fell into a black hole that not only swallowed me, it seriously distorted time, and I didn't get out until this morning.
I appreciate all the comments.

Becky, glad you liked my little story.

Tonya, Thanks for the kind words about having to make the book last by putting it down. I do that too when I'm loving a book. You couldn't have paid me a higher compliment.

Judy, it's hard for a writer to admit, but there are no words for that moment, are there?

Thanks, Kat, for the good wishes.

VA I agree about liking to see someone deeply enjoying the moment. You description of you accountant is simply precious. What a wonderful character in a book she would make.

Anna, thanks for the good wishes, glad you liked the story.

James, you are so right! I was fortunate and I know it. I like the accuracy of "thought leader." Good wording!

Liv, I believe in visualization, big time. I've have used it and affirmation repeatedly along my publishing path.

Mary Margret said...

Liv, I looked for www.Visualization. but couldn't find it. Would you send me a link?