Message From The Author

Sherryl Woods

Genre: General Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Romance

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Author's Message

Never let it be said that I don't listen to readers! If it weren't for the fans of the Sweet Magnolias series, Karen and Elliott wouldn't be featured in their own book, Midnight Promises (July, MIRA Books).

You see, I thought I'd told their story several years ago in book three of the series, Feels Like Family. Even though their story was secondary to Helen and Erik's, I was sure readers would be happy knowing that Karen and Elliott were headed to the altar, but no, they wanted much more.

Since the duo had gotten married and appeared briefly in subsequent books, it was difficult to come up with a story filled with conflict for a couple already living happily-ever-after. Or were they?

Had Karen's troubled financial past, thanks to a deadbeat ex-husband, come back to haunt her new relationship? In his desire to protect her from worrying about money, was Elliott reverting to the macho ways of his father? Was Karen reluctant to let Elliott adopt her kids because she didn't quite trust that a relationship this good could last? So many issues, faced by real couples, could rip these two apart.

But unlike far too many people in the real world these days, Karen and Elliott recognize that theirs is a marriage worth saving. They don't cut and run at the first sign of trouble. They talk, albeit not enough. They struggle to find time to be together. In other words, they fight for the dream, rather than letting it die and heading for divorce court.

Their struggle is counterpointed against the crumbling marriage of Elliott's sister, a relationship that has sapped energy and self-esteem and is way past saving.

All this could be dark and dreary, I suppose, but not with the Sweet Magnolias around as backup and a few "Senior" Magnolias stealing the limelight with their antics.  I'm a huge believer that it's vital to laugh, even on the darkest day.

I hope you'll enjoy Karen and Elliott's emotional journey. I also hope if you ever find yourself fed up with a relationship, you'll find a way to take a step back, remember the power of the love at the beginning and see if you can recapture that before throwing in the towel. Some marriages are worth saving. Some aren't. But it's incredibly important to take the time to know the difference.

- Sherryl Woods

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