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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Guest Blog: Maggie Berkley: My Great Romantic Lead

My vast amount of research on love is limited to one man and twenty-one years of marriage. Not enough for someone who writes urban fantasy romance books. But then again, I do write it with a twist. Happy endings? Not always. True love at first sight? Call it lust. The hero is strong and true? Sometimes you have to shove him into that position. Do romance book characters always have to be sappy sweet or cause vast amounts of heart ache before 'true love' wins over all? Why don't ogres ever get their time in the spotlight?

I've been asked before if I base my main characters attributes on my own relationship. After wiping tears of laughter off my cheeks and catching my breath I finally answer and of course, it's a resounding 'NO'. It's not that my husband wouldn't make a good romantic lead, but seriously, most women would run screaming from him. He's not disfigured, nor is he hygienically challenged but his gruff attitude and dominate demeanor is enough for most ladies to scratch their heads and wonder why I would put myself in that kind of eternal tortuous position. Call me a sucker for punishment. One older lady at my church even called me a saint. Me? I just smile and know there's an off button for my husband's tirades and it's the ever precious, magically wonderful earplugs. Believe me, I use them a lot, for my hubby has an opinion about everything. Don't get me wrong, this is not a slam blog on domineering husbands (mine in particular) nor is a venting outlet. It's more of a love letter. More than once I have to remind myself, 'I do love this man' and in a way, his little spiels of 'this is how it should be' and 'I know best' keeps up that love for without it I would have a hard time remembering why I locked myself a way with him for the rest of my life.

I've been asked many times over my marriage why I married my husband. One lady in particular even thanked me for taking him off the market and saving the rest of womankind. His nature is quite abrasive at times and his opinions about himself quite high. And when he starts on a roll about things he thinks 'could be better if...' I just snort and roll my eyes as I pull my earplugs out, knowing he'll continue rambling on for a full thirty minutes after I stopped listening, sometimes to make a point, sometimes, I feel, just to hear himself talk. But the big secret about him, that all those other women didn't know, is that he's a good man. An honest, tried and true, good man. Those creatures are rare these days, with TV/movies, music, sports and the news telling males that in order for a man to be 'A MAN' he must earn a ton of cash (not always legally), must call a woman a 'bitch' and a 'ho' (treating them like dirt to be abused and walked on), must have some kind of crisis which always involves another woman (because after all, boys will be boys and after a dozen roses and sweet promises all will be forgiven) and always put himself first in everything.

Now my hubby is no movie star nor great white rapper (though he tries at times) and if he called me a 'ho' or 'bitch' I'll smack him a new one. The thought of him cheating, let's say we've had this conversation before and it always ended with me redecorating the room in red, blood will never happen. He does at times put himself first then I have to kick him out of gear and remind him there are two other people living in the house (we have a son, almost as bad as his father). He mumbles and grumbles about being unappreciated then picks up the Playstation controller to do a little kickass Fallout style.

Truth be told, my good man... my unappreciated, gruff, domineering, good man works hard to provide for us. This man whom others have labeled and at times scorned would bend over backward to help someone in need. And though he does complain about things he puts his money/actions when his mouth is. He has a heart for the unsavory, ignored and disadvantaged. He comes to the aid of those in need and has a convection for what's right and just. Where most would just walk past, he would stop and talk to the homeless. He visits the old and incarcerated, letting them know they are remembered and not forgotten. He would, and has, defended me and my honor for the ump degree.

When I'm sad and upset, with fears at times misbegotten, he gives me comfort and warmth. He forgives and forgets ( forgets a little too much at times. Wondering if he has a memory problem. I've been after him to finish remodeling the bathroom for years). Romance is not his forte, but he surprises me at times and keeps his promises. And his sense of humor...let's just say I'll be laughing long after I've grown old and senile, forgetting who that strange man sitting next to me is.

Let's face it, I've married an ogre: big, gruff, opinionated, domineering and at times not so nice, but underneath all those layers is a heart of gold (you just have to dust it off every once in a while to see it shine). Those polished Princes, the ones the world views as, you can have them. I'll stick with my man. The one no one else wants. In my opinion he's worth the price of a few ear plugs.

A long time fan of dark fantasy with a touch of romance and horror, Maggie Berkley grew up in a world all her own, one she created as a teenager during her long times of parental lock down due to a rebellious nature. As a youth she created stories and plays for her friends to act out for anyone willing (and at times unwilling) to watch and as time went by drew upon her love of fantasy and horror to write longer stories and fan fiction. Due to the encouragement of friends and family she decided rather than keep her stories for herself she would publish and in doing so created different worlds to feature her vast imagination.

Maggie lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband of many, many years, an extremely tall teen-age son, one rowdy puppy and two cats that rule their lives with an iron claw.

Maggie currently has two novels out published by Red Rose Publishing. Enter the Night and Behind the Throne, part of the Morgan Crowe Trilogy, as well as a short novelette, Diary of a Vampire. She is currently working on the conclusion of the Morgan Crowe Trilogy entitled Out of the ShadowedLands.

Her website is and readers can also find her on and You can find my books at Red Rose Publishing, on Amazon Kindle, Bookstrand and Fictionwise. If anyone wants to drop her a line they can do it at

BLURB: Book Two in the Morgan Crowe Trilogy: Behind the Throne

Alone, pregnant and cranky, Morgan Crowe finds herself surrounded by enemies and with no one to trust when luck finds her on the doorstep of a friend long forgotten. Taken in by the daughter of a powerful King who would rather see her dead, Morgan relies on her instincts for survival and hopes she could live through the next few months in order to give birth, and then she would be up to her normal strength and skill.

As her rotten luck would have it an enemy has found itself in her safe haven and has taken revenge, by taking her only surviving friend and causing her to come face to face with her past. Court intrigue and danger rears its ugly head as the grip on her tightens, causing her to reach out for help and learn that to trust may not be as bad as she thought. Especially when that trust comes in the form a young Werewolf met once on a rainy night that seems so long ago.

But attractions are not that simple are they? Especially when an old rival shows up and the heat between them flares. But Morgan has no time for macho games, especially when her friend’s life is in her grasp.


Tina Donahue said...

Wow, sounds like you have your hands full. Glad it works for you. I tend to be the alpha type (read Iron Lady) - always said I would've made a better guy than a gal, so if I had ended up with a man like your hubby it probably would've been WW III. :)

Sandy said...

LOL Maggie, you husband sounds like mine. Ron goes tirades all the time. After hearing it once I tune him out. He does have an opinion about everything just as I do. lol I always tend to try to show him a different perspective, which he considers me disagreeing with him, and that isn't always the case.

On the other hand, my husband loves animals and children. He hates people who are cruel to them.

I count on my hubby to always be here for me no matter what. We have been married for almost 35 years, and he would never run around on me. Of course, I warned him when we were married that if he prized his family jewels he'd better not stray. Snort!

Maggie Berkley said...

Thank you for your comments, Tina and Sandy. I always reading them. We've had several WW III (me being Irish and quick tempered) but I've learned to shrug it off and laugh. and Sandy, congrats on 35 years. It's rare these days to see such a long marriage and I definintly strive for that!

jean hart stewart said...

Interesting post. All marriages are different, and if they work, they work. Good for you....Jean

Sandy said...

Actually, Maggie, my hubby has been married 55 years of his life. This is his second marriage. lol I'm always sympathizing with him because he's been married most of his life. lol

Kenzie Michaels said...

LOL....I started reading this and by the 3rd paragraph wondered if you were living in my house w/o my knowledge! You just described my SU!

And yes, there are plenty of days in the past 21 years I've had to keep reminding myself 'He's one of the good guys...'

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