July 13, 2014

Character Interview: Maggie from Written in the Cards @LaurenLinwood #RLFblog #western

Written in the Cards 

About the Book

Title: Written in the Cards
Genre: western historical romance
Author Name: Lauren Linwood
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG13
Maggie Rutherford jilts her too-perfect society groom at the altar and flees New York for the American West, where she turns her travels into dime novels that she writes and illustrates under the pen name Lud Madison.
After the Civil War, veteran Ben Morgan marries his childhood sweetheart and takes her to homestead on the Great Plains. Losing her and their unborn child in an Indian attack, Ben detaches from emotion and becomes a roaming gambler. When he kills a cheating opponent in self-defense, the man's gunslinger brother swears revenge upon Ben.
Ben hides on a cattle drive and brings in a herd to Abilene, where a waiting Maggie wants to find a rough and tumble cowboy to interview for her next story idea. Sparks fly as the dangerous drover and popular novelist wind up living in the same household, running a general store east of Abilene. But with Black Tex Lonnegan hot on his trail, will Ben run from his growing attraction to Maggie and the gunfighter's promise of death–or will he make a stand for his life–and love?

Buy This Book

Interview with Maggie Rutherford:

Tell us about yourself, please.
I'd be delighted to. My name is Maggie Rutherford, and I grew up in New York City. I was the
one who spoke up and objected to being married at my own wedding. I rushed out, leaving hundreds of society gossipers to rake me over the coals. I decided that I couldn't marry a man I didn't love or respect, and so I've made my way across the West. I write dime novels under a pen name for my family's publishing company. I thought my stories of adventure would sell better under a man's name, and I definitely didn't want my brother, the head of Rutherford House, to give me a pity publish.
What is your family like?
My mother died when I was quite young, so I don't remember her at all. Papa totally ignored me for his publishing empire, disappointed that I was a girl. I worshipped my older brother Marcus, and I'll admit he spoiled me rotten. I traipsed after him and his best friend Frank, who's truly family to me. If they rode, so did I. If they took fencing or boxing lessons, then I was their shadow and learned every move. My aunt Harriet feels she's failed me somehow because I'm not interested in needlepoint or the necessary social graces to be a success in society.
What special skills do you rely on?
Outlaw Muse
My brain is my largest muscle, and I flex it every chance I get! I don't understand these empty-headed females—or at least those who pretend to be empty-headed. I'm blessed with two skills that are helping me support myself since I've moved to the West. I have quite an imagination, and I draw upon it heavily as I write my dime novels. I'm also quite handy with pen and ink or charcoals, and so I also illustrate my books. The money I've made as a dime novelist has helped me pay my way without relying on my family's publishing fortune.
If someone from your past showed up, who would you NOT want it to be, and why?
I would not want to spend a single minute in the presence of my former fiancé. Richard was not the man I thought he was, and that was bitterly disappointing. He would never have let me spread my wings and soar. He wanted to keep me in a cage that would have become my prison.
Are you happy with the way your story ended? Why or why not?
I couldn't imagine being any happier than I am at this moment. I've found a career that I can be proud of. I've discovered the town I'm meant to settle down in, with my dearest friends Frank and his fiancée Rebecca, who's become as close as a sister to me. Most importantly, I plan to spend the rest of my days—and nights—with the man who has changed me for the better. Ben Morgan brought love and laughter into my life. He respects me. He challenges me. He's almost too good to be true. I can't wait to build a life and have a family with him.

About the Writer

Why did you choose to write about this character?
I thought it would be interesting to create a heroine who was a writer as I am. It's funny just how much we have in common as we try to research and write our stories—even if we're writing more than a hundred years apart. I've always loved the name Maggie and saw her in my head for a long time. She was smart, feisty, and talented, and I just loved her red hair! I simply had to wait till the right story for her came along.
Was there anything you discovered about this character that was a surprise to you?
Maggie was much more vocal (in my head) than some of my characters have been in the past. When I wanted to make Ben the dime novelist in my story, she wouldn't hear of it! She believed she had the talent and drive to be the writer—and she was exactly right. That freed Ben up to become a gambler on the run, and it made for a unique, stronger storyline.
When you wrote about this character, what made you the most happy? What made you the most sad?
I was always happy writing about when Maggie was experiencing new things, especially her growing attraction to Ben. Maggie's just as much a gambler as Ben is. She will try anything and relish the opportunity she's been given. It was hard to allow her to let Ben go when Black Tex Lonnegan came to town to kill him. Rationally, she knew he needed to leave to save his life . . . but giving him up was like cutting away pieces of her heart and soul. That was difficult to write.
Why do you write?
I am compelled to write. I feel I have so many stories to tell. I want to bring the kind of pleasure to my readers that I've known as I've read books over the years. I want readers to be entertained. To laugh aloud. To cry. To feel they've discovered new friends.
What other character from this book do you want to write about? Care to tell us why?
I might try to write Marcus's story one day. He's such a terrific older brother to Maggie. He's a good friend to Frank. He's a successful businessman. The US was on the brink of change at this time in history, and it might be interesting to see those changes through Marcus's eyes. Another character that would be fun to follow would be Tim, the teenager Marcus takes under his wing. To go from being the son of a hotel desk clerk to helping develop a new town and a publishing empire? Hmm…I'll have to think about this one!
A Game of Chance 
Is there anything you'd like to say to your readers?
I just want to express my gratitude to those readers who have bought my books and told me they've enjoyed my characters and their stories. That puts a smile on my face.

Author Bio

Lauren Linwood became a teacher who wrote on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones. Her romances use history as a backdrop to place her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another grow into the deep, tender, treasured gift of love.
Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with five mile walks. She is thinking about starting a support group for Pinterest and House Hunters addicts.

Author Social Media


  1. Welcome, Maggie. And you too, Lauren. :)

  2. Thanks for having both of us on RLF today, Kayelle! We enjoyed getting to share something about each of us.


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