Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Excerpt & Giveaway - - The Fixer Upper

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie Mae Gallagher grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Maggie never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Maggie is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes erotic romance under the name Anya Summers. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

Learn more about Maggie at her website. Connect with her online at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Amazon, and BookBub.

The Fixer Upper
by Maggie Mae Gallagher
Echo Springs - Book 1
Publisher: Blushing Books
Release Date: September 6, 2019

Abby Callier is more in love with Shakespearean heroes than any real man, and she’s beginning to wonder if there is life for her outside the pages of a book. It doesn’t help that her esteemed parents tend to view her as they would one of their science experiments gone wrong. On the eve of finishing her dissertation, she escapes her staid existence to live in the house she inherited from her Great Aunt Evie in the small town of Echo Springs, Colorado. Because, let’s face it, when a woman starts comparing her life to horror films, it might be time for a break. 

Sheriff Nate Barnes believes in law and order and carefully building the life you want. In his spare time, he has been remodeling his house in the hope that one day it will be filled with the family he makes. But Nate doesn’t like drama or complications and tends to avoid them at all costs. And yet, when Miss Abigail Callier, his newest neighbor, beans him with a nine iron, he can’t help but wonder if she might just be the complication he’s been searching for all along. It doesn’t hurt that he’s discovered a journal hidden away by the previous tenant, and decides to use Old Man Turner’s advice to romance Abby into his life. 

Abby never expected her next-door neighbor, the newly dubbed Sheriff Stud Muffin, to be just the distraction her world needed. The problem is she doesn’t know whether she should make Echo Springs her home, or if this town is just a stopover point in her life’s trajectory. And she doesn’t want to tell Nate that she might not be sticking around – even though she should, because it’s the right thing to do, the honest thing – because then all the scintillatingly hot kisses with the Sheriff will come to an abrupt halt. Did she mention that he’s a really great kisser? 

 The Fixer Upper by Maggie Mae Gallagher

Exclusive Excerpt for The Romance Dish

Abby opened a bleary eye at the incessant knocking originating from the front door. The clock on her nightstand declared it was just after eight in the morning. On a Saturday, no less. When the knocking didn’t stop but increased in pace, she slid out of bed with a grimace, grabbed her robe and put her glasses on as she headed downstairs.
First order of business for today, kill whoever was at the door. Second, make coffee. Abby was not a fan of mornings. In fact, it was better just to leave her be until she’d had, at the very minimum, one cup of coffee—two were better, three were optimal. Did she have a problem where coffee was concerned? Probably. Did she care? Not in the slightest.
Who the hell was at her door at this hour? She was thinking maybe she should have grabbed her nine-iron until she heard a deep rumbling woof. Rufus, which meant it was Sheriff Stud Muffin banging on her door at this ungodly hour. It would be bad form to kill the sheriff, wouldn’t it? Running a hand over her hair, wishing like hell she had thought to run a brush through it, she unlocked and opened the door. Rufus’ hulking form barreled in, prancing around her entryway with his hello, I’m so excited to see you flair, while his owner stood in the doorway with a bemused expression, sexy as sin in dark jeans and a button-up royal blue flannel shirt, the sleeves rolled up to display his muscular forearms. It should be a crime that he looked so fresh and alert, tackling the early morning the way he appeared to do everything—with the utter assurance that the world bent before him. Abby cringed internally because she knew, when it came to mornings, she always looked like something the cat dragged in, and bemoaned her haggard appearance. Especially considering a part of her brain pushed past wakefulness into aroused as she stared at the way the flannel clung to his broad shoulders and licked her lips. Who knew flannel could be sexy?
“Morning?” Nate’s baritone voice resonated as if calibrated to the right dissonance and frequency to spark every cell in her body to stand at attention.
“Morning,” she croaked, her voice crackling from lack of moisture, making her sound more like a frog than the well-put-together woman she wanted to appear to be. Who the hell was she kidding? Part of the reason she was here, instead of hiring someone to handle her aunt’s estate, was to get a handle on her life and decide what she wanted. It was why she was dipping into her inheritance for the next few months. She had to figure out the right direction, meaning deciding on the university where she wanted to teach and potentially conduct research at after graduation. Both were huge decisions in the scheme of her life, with potentially cataclysmic ripple effects if she selected the wrong one. Perhaps she’d been part of her parents’ world of academia for too long. And while there was a part of her that didn’t want to choose, and would much rather burrow into reality here, she couldn’t forget that this wasn’t home—this was a stopover.
He quirked a lopsided grin in her direction and asked, “Did you forget our date?”
Abby’s brain misfired completely. Date? They didn’t have a date, did they? “What date?”
Date? When did Nate ask her on a date? She would have remembered that little detail. Surely, she wouldn’t forget Sheriff Stud Muffin asking her out. Her brain scrambled to recall their conversations, but it mingled with the romance novel she’d indulged in last night as her body whimpered for coffee.
Nate tilted his head to the side and gave her a perplexed stare. “Our firewood date, remember? Or am I that easy to forget?”
Her body simply went into overdrive at his flirting, with her ovaries doing a victory dance and the distinct urge rising to satisfy her oral craving for caffeine by latching her mouth onto various parts of his body. She stuttered, actually stuttered, flames heating her cheeks which she was certain must be fire engine red by now, and said, “N-n-n-no, I-I-I didn’t forget. Come on in while I make some coffee.”


PJ, here. One thing guaranteed to draw my attention to a book is a dog on the cover. Even better if the dog has a fun role in the story. In fact, I can't walk past a book with a dog on the cover without stopping for a closer look. And I can't walk past a big dog in real life without stopping for a cuddle. 

What draws your attention to a book's cover?

Tell me about a dog (or other animal) who brings (or brought) joy to your life.

Two people who comment before 11:00 PM, September 12, will each receive a copy of The Fixer Upper. Many thanks to Maggie Mae Gallagher for the giveaway! 
(U.S. only)


  1. A cover has to be attractive and reflect the story. My dog, Bogie, who we got from Lap Dog Rescue is a devoted, loyal,smart and delightful dog. He gives me such enjoyment and fun. We walk twice or more daily to the park and he is sensitive, knows whom to trust and love and keeps me closeby always.

  2. What grabs my attention to a cover is the design, colors and artwork. We had a dog when I was very young and she lived for 18 years. Ginger was a small dog who looked like a Corgi. We obtained this dog from a farm very close to the lake where we vacationed each summer. We were crazy about Ginger and spoiled her but she was a very well behaved and good dog. Everyone who met her was in love with her.

  3. Animals on a cover do catch my attention as does the overall artwork and colors used. (I know not very specific). I've never been without at least one pet. Our last 2 dogs have been amazing golden retriever. My current pup is 13, he is still my shadow when I'm home even though it is harder for him to move these days.

  4. Love any animals on the covers of books..i am a animal lover!! And I have a very rotten cat . She Found Me last year in November after my two fur boy cats had died. And I said " No more Animals" my heart could take another pet... And then she found me :)

  5. While I do love pets in (and on) books, I'm really not a "book cover" person. The description, more than the cover, intrigues me. Thanks for the post and giveaway.

  6. First of all, any story who has a Sheriff Stud Muffin gets my vote for everything.

    All my life, I lived with dogs who were athletes, Boxers and Cockers. When my two Boxer babies both died of cancer within a short period of time, I went into a deep funk. My kids told me I needed to get another dog.....I said probably not....but if I did, I would get a female, short haired, medium sized dog.

    Shortly after that, two different times I saw a picture of a dog who had been abandoned. The man who had him had dumped him out. In fact, the second time literally dumped him out of his moving truck. I could not let that continue to happen. I contacted the people who had taken him in and said I would take him.

    Yes, a him. A pekingese, small, male, long haired and definitely no athlete. I have had him about 2 years now and he recently started wagging his tail at me and he also has started wanting me to pet him. He and I are working on getting him to the point he is an actual dog.

    He is nothing like what I thought I wanted. He is exactly what I needed and he is the love of my life.

    I am drawn to a book for the cover, but I also read the blurbs and hope to be familiar with the author. Having a dog or cat on the cover, may draw my interest, but I need more than that to want to read a book. Real life dogs will nearly always draw me for at least a few pats and scratches.

  7. I think the cover of this book is pretty indicative of what I find generally appealing. Lately, I have found myself gravitating towards covers that don't necessarily portray hero or heroine.
    An animal that brought great joy to my life was our family cat, Reba. She was a ginger-striped tabby who was gentle and playful.

  8. I just want to go up those steps and pet that dog. It is the cover that is drawing me in and will make me read the book.

  9. A cute dog is a draw as well as a hunky hero. Thanks for the chance.

  10. I love covers. An interesting or beautiful cover will draw my eye, but it is the description of the book that determines my final selection. Having said that, I have missed out on good books because the cover was meh. I love animals on covers, that always attracts me. This book sounds really good.

  11. The cover is what draws me and I love when there is a dog there.

  12. I do like a dog on the cover but it is the storyline on back or a fav author that determines whether I buy or not.
    Karen T. (Natty's Mama)

  13. Love a dog on the cover, but I usually look for the couple or if it's a pretty illustrated cover which matches the title.


  14. Dogs are a given for me to check out a book. We have had about a dozen of the, two at the moment. That doesn't count the litters we fostered for the local animal shelter. We have had several favorites, 3 of them making it to 17 years. Our two favorites were Noli, a beagle mix & our first dog, and Olivia, a lab mix. Noli was a sweet dog who moved cross country with us twice. She was a dream to travel with. She would curl up on the floor and didn't move until we stopped. Unlike our cat who howled all the way both times. Noli was a great dog to have for our girls who were 2 and 3 when we got her. She was gentle with them and very tolerant. When she died, the girls were a senior in high school and a sophomore in college and we had a son in 4th grade. Olivia was the dog we got to replace her so our son would have a dog of his own. She was from the first litter we fostered. My husband is a dog magnet and they all love him. As much as our son loved Olivia and played with her, it was still my husband she came to. She was a real sweetheart, gentle, and no trouble at all. She was the alpha of our pack that numbered 4 at times. There were never any disagreements among the dogs and we didn't have problems when new ones were introduced. She has been gone for 9 years, but it seems like only yesterday. We both miss her so much. The two dogs we have now are our son's but live with us. When they are gone - hopefully to our son and his new wife's home, we may get another dog. When we do, it will be a lab for sure and maybe a beagle for company. The animal shelter had the perfect little beagle this week, but we can't get another one right now.
    Well I certainly spent too much time on this and now it is way past midnight.

  15. Covers that have color, and yes, animals on the cover. It also has to reflect on the story itself. I myself have no animals but my daughter & ALL have a beautiful european shepard, silk black coat and he's huge. He actually looks more like a Wolf then a dog. 😀 He's so darn lovable. He's really just a big baby.
    Carol Luciano

  16. I like covers that are colorful and unique. Covers should definitely give you a “feel” for the story. I am usually drawn to a book with any animal on the cover but if a dog is on the cover I’ll definitely reach for the book and read the description! My dog Snoopy is quite a character. First off, he picked us! My husband and I went with our two sons to a Husky rescue to see a litter of Husky puppies. We had five Huskies but one by one they died, mostly of old age. We knew we wanted to rescue a Husky. As we’re looking at the puppies in the pen this older puppy named Snoopy kept following us around the pen. Every time we would try to pet one of the younger pups, Snoopy would sit down and hold out his paw. After several attempts to play with one of the other puppies, my husband picked up Snoopy. Snoopy immediately hugged my husband. When my husband set him down next to my 9 year old son, Snoopy crawled in his lap and fell asleep. My son looked up at the two of us and said “I guess he picked us! Let’s take him home. We’re his family now. That’s exactly what we did. Snoopy has been with us for ten years now. When I got really ill several years ago, Snoopy never left my side. He’s a wonderful, loyal and completely entertaining member of our family and he is truly loved!

  17. It has to be pretty and reflect the story.

  18. I like a pretty cover with lots of vibrant colors and do enjoy an animal on the cover.

  19. I love cover art and always enjoy dogs in stories! Cats are so independent but dogs just unconditionally love! thanks for this one1
    Kate Sparks

  20. Thank you so much for having me! And I'm thrilled that y'all like the cover for The Fixer Upper!

  21. I have two cats that I love so much and bring me joy every day. Ridley and Lola Bear are rescue cats and always stick to my side. I think they love me just as much as I love them. Thank you

  22. I had two of them seven years ago but they crossed the rainbow bridge and I've sworn off pets since then. It's too painful and hurtful when they die