About the Book
Years ago, Mary Margaret Sullivan changed her name, boxed up her previous life, moved into the Eagle Gate Apartments, and hid her painful memories in her chicken-wire storage unit in the basement. But secrets have an inconvenient way of surfacing when least expected.
Three weeks before Christmas, an elegant man in a penthouse, a young woman named Carly—homeless and ill with pneumonia—and two calculating thieves invade Maggie’s carefully reconstructed life, and in different ways, each is connected to Maggie’s difficult past. As Maggie and friends nurse Carly back to health, hearts begin to heal with a hope for the future. But all is not as it seems. When faced with the shocking truth, Maggie must rely on her wits, her friends, and her own strength as never before.
About the Author
Annette Haws’s literary strengths are based upon her experiences in the classroom. She began her teaching career as a junior high teacher in Richmond, Utah and ended it teaching Sophomore English at Murray High School in Salt Lake City. However, her favorite assignment was a five year period at Logan High School teaching English, coaching debate and mock trial, and watching the antics of her own three children who were also students in the same school.
Guest Post from the Author
Maggie’s Place is a contemporary work of fiction set in the Eagle Gate Apartments located at the intersection of State Street and South Temple in the heart of Salt Lake City during the Christmas season. As it is a mystery, a romance, a morality tale, and a Christmas story, the story crosses genre lines, and hopefully, will appeal to a wide audience. A little information about the story behind the story might be helpful to you.
My favorite aunt lived the last ten years of her life—her happiest years—at the Eagle Gate. During frequent visits, I met her delightful collection of neighbors who were docents at the Church History Museum and the Church Office Building. They regularly attended the Temple, the symphony, concerts at the Tabernacle, and free lectures anywhere they were offered. They played Scrabble, shared late night pizzas, visited back and forth, made shopping expeditions to Harmon’s and City Creek Mall; and most importantly, they cared for each other. Everyone had a story to share and most had secrets tucked away in the past. Inspired by what I observed, I sketched this story about people, still vibrant, entering the third act of their lives.
That said, I believe there are no boring people. Behind each face, placid or stern, young or old, there is a story worth telling. At my stage in this journey, all the “what ifs” and the “roads not taken” are as interesting to me as the choices actually made. What would have happened if Maggie’s husband had made different choices? What if she had asked her husband difficult questions earlier? What if her husband had walked away when he realized his business partner was defrauding friends? How difficult would it have been to turn away from affluence and social status? If they’d made different choices, would Maggie and John be sharing a remote or holding hands as the final lights flickered?
Several other issues were circulating in the back of my head as I started to put fingers on the keyboard for the first draft.
Affinity Fraud: a major theme in this book. There are more Ponzi schemes in Utah per capita than any other state in the union. Two-thirds of the population participate in the same religious community, and so the stage is set for people (I won’t call them religious because clearly they’re not) to take advantage of acquaintances under the guise of friendship.
Homeless adolescents: another theme in the book. “Lost boys” is a term used for young men, thirteen to twenty years of age, who’ve been excommunicated or pressured to leave the polygamous communities on the Utah/Arizona border to reduce the competition for wives. In the past decade, “lost boys” have numbered in the thousands. I also focus on the vulnerability of runaways. There will always be villains who take advantage of homeless kids, and Lemon is cast in the role of Fagin (think Oliver Twist), and it’s no accident his sociopathic cohort is named Bill.
I don’t pretend to understand the relationship that evolves between an author and her characters, because characters take on a life of their own. Occasionally, I think I might recognize Maggie or Ed if I saw them walking down the street; particularly if they were together. Announcing a favorite character is comparable to declaring a preference for one child over another, but I have to say, Ed is my favorite. He is the personification of redemption. He’s learned the lessons life has taught.
No one loves a good romance novel more than I do--I grew up on Jane Austen—but I hope your readers will also enjoy this cautionary tale, because at the end of the day what is more important than love, friendship, and most of all forgiveness?
Thanks again for your interest in literature and for the countless hours you invest in promoting reading over video games, mornings at the spa, and scrolling through Facebook. What I love doing would be impossible without you.
Part women’s fiction and part suspense, author Annette Haws has created a story with many emotions. Although a bit hard to get into in the beginning, after getting a few chapters in, readers will come to know and feel for the characters in this story. This story is not only about mistakes, heartbreak, and loss, but also family, friendship, forgiveness, and most of all second chances. This is a story filled with tough topics, as well as sweet and beloved characters that readers will easily relate to. Readers will love the back drop of the senior citizen center and downtown Salt Lake City. This is a book that strongly recommends to readers of women’s and LDS fiction.
Genre: women’s fiction, contemporary, suspense
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Publication date: November 1, 2019
Number of pages: 272
A review copy of this book was provided by Covenant Communications. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are my own.
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