Maggie Robinson


May 8
2010
Reeling from Release/Relief

The past few weeks have been chock-full of such highs and lows I’m not sure who I am anymore (Oh, yeah. I am two people, Maggie Robinson and Margaret Rowe, LOL. Confusion is understandable.). What began as a totally terrifying end of April has smoothed out to a very mellow May.

Why? On Saturday, April 24, I brought my husband to the emergency room at 7 AM. By 7 PM, he was in the OR having a tumor and part of his colon removed. The doctor sat with me and my oldest daughter around midnight, talking about chemo and radiation, and a future operation six months from now to reattach his plumbing.

By Monday the diagnosis had changed miraculously from cancer to an unnamed gremlin mass which had twisted and tormented everything inside, resulting in a diseased colon.

On Tuesday–release day for Mistress by Mistake–I bought a house. Yup, while John lay seriously stoned in his hospital room I put a deposit on something we looked at before he got sick. I was totally operating on the “Life is short” mode, and after watching my kids try to put together a dinner for me in my tiny kitchen Sunday night, I knew we all needed a change.

I spent the rest of the week not sleeping and wondering if I could do what I needed to do. By Friday we were home, my big strong ex-jock husband lying in bed quietly while I suited up in rubber gloves.

I could hardly pay attention to the book release stuff–I had posted my guest blogs early and my fabulous critique partners Elyssa Papa, J.K. Coi, Tiffany Clare and other equally fabulous writing friends were running my Twitter contests, giving books away, and generally cheering me on. I will never, ever be able to express how much I appreciate everything they did. There are not enough words.

Mistress by Mistake has gotten some great reviews. It’s one of the books on the Dear Author Recommends for May list. Five blue ribbons from Romance Junkies. Other good stuff too. Kensington made it available for free downloads and I was actually #1 in Historical Romance on Kindle, and #4 overall for a while. Free is the magic word. ;) Mentioned in the L.A. Times. Surreal.

Got my first slam on Amazon to prick my balloon, though. I know, I know. You’re not supposed to read them. One star, and nearly ALL the plot revealed. Why, thank you for downloading the free book and then complaining so eloquently. But in the grand scheme of things, a disgruntled reader can’t affect me right now. My husband is going to be okay, knock wood, and I can depend on my four children who have turned out to be caring, loving, funny adults. Any dread I had about negative reviews is now firmly put into perspective. Not that I’m asking for more. ;) But if they come, so be it. I’m going with the flow.

So maybe release day wasn’t quite as I planned. Much of life never turns out quite how you expect it to. But I feel we’ve been given a gift, a second chance. And since I get a second debut next month with Margaret Rowe’s Tempting Eden, maybe things will be a little different next time around. :)

20 comments to “Reeling from Release/Relief”

  1. Elyssa Papa
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     · May 8th, 2010 at 3:54 pm · Link

    Oh, Maggie, I’m so glad John is doing okay and that you have a new house (squee!). And yay on all the positive reactions on Mistake! I’m not surprised one bit. And had any of this happened to any of us, you’d be the first one there for us.



  2. Virginia C
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     · May 8th, 2010 at 4:20 pm · Link

    Dear, dear Maggie! I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. All of this going on during the release of “Mistress by Mistake”. My hope for you is that the “bitter” will only make the “sweet” even sweeter!



  3. Marnee
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     · May 8th, 2010 at 5:50 pm · Link

    Maggie, I’m so sorry it’s been such a crazy few weeks for you. I’m glad John is doing better and wish him a very speedy recovery.

    Congrats on the new place! Moving is stressful and exciting. I hope it brings you everything you wish.



  4. Santa
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     · May 8th, 2010 at 6:06 pm · Link

    You continue to amaze me, Maggie. So happy and proud of you as your books debut.

    Doubly happy for John’s continued good health and, dang it, for a new house.

    Auguri, mazel tov and congrats on all counts. And, you know, I’ll always have your back. LYG!



  5. Maggie Robinson
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     · May 8th, 2010 at 7:07 pm · Link

    Santa, LYG, too! Lots.

    Ely, you know the Vixens are like extra daughters to me. You just can’t inherit the diamonds. ;)

    Virginia and Marnee, thanks so much for your prayers and good wishes. I think it will do us both a world of good to sit on our new deck and watch the world go by and not sweat the small stuff.



  6. Juliana Stone
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     · May 9th, 2010 at 5:48 pm · Link

    Lady you are one strong woman! I’m seding the biggest hugs your way and am positive your John will make a full recovery. Kudos on the new house…sometimes new beginnings are all we need to get us through….your book is staring at me….I was so thrilled to be able to buy it! Looking forward to meeting you one day!



  7. Maggie Robinson
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     · May 9th, 2010 at 9:09 pm · Link

    Jules, thank you for buying the book! I don’t know how strong I am, but I do know I’m awfully lucky to have a strong support system all around me. We are both so looking forward to moving…now it’s time to throw everything away!



  8. etirv
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     · May 10th, 2010 at 8:17 pm · Link

    Maggie! I think about you and your hubby a lot. You’re a survivor with an A+ attitude! Happy new house, too! Hope you had a grand Mother’s Day!

    I always read amazon reader reviews (not exclusively!) and I’m glad you’re not dwelling on that “one.” Hawaii readers love you!



  9. Maggie Robinson
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     · May 11th, 2010 at 10:00 am · Link

    etirv, aloha! Actually some writing friends and I share the craziest criticisms we get, and mine doesn’t begin to compare yet. Give it time, LOL. Writing is so subjective that I found I only want to share my feelings on the books I love. Life’s too short to dwell on the negative. But writing reviews seems like homework to me (all those book reports in elementary school), so I never do it.

    I have been thinking of you. It was 39 degrees here yesterday, and I woke up to frost on the cars. Where did spring go?



  10. Irisheyes
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     · May 11th, 2010 at 4:51 pm · Link

    Oh, Maggie, I’m so glad that John is going to be okay. Health scares are the worse and thank god for the kids, huh? I don’t know how people without support do it.

    Talk about adding a little stress… a new home! At least it sounds like good stress – although that always cracks me up. Stress is stress is stress. Sounds exciting, though, and like it is needed.

    Hang in there and don’t read the bad reviews!!!! It just wasn’t her cuppa – different strokes for different folks. I can’t wait to read the next installment. I’ll have to work myself up to Tempting Eden. I heard you say it was a little dark. I love dark but definitely have to be in the mood for it. I still haven’t work up the guts to read Anna’s Claiming the Courtesan :) I’m a big scaredy cat sometimes.

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers!



  11. Terrio
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     · May 11th, 2010 at 8:11 pm · Link

    You are one brave, talented, inspiring woman, Maggie. Prayers and good healing vibes are flowing your way. Congrats on the new house and I hope the move is as easy as a move can be. Funny how things that seemed important a few years ago lose their sentimental value when looking at moving them across town (or in my case, across state lines.)

    Reading MBM now and can’t wait to get my hands on TE. Love and hugs to ya, darlin’!



  12. Maggie Robinson
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     · May 11th, 2010 at 8:12 pm · Link

    Thanks so much, Irish! We feel very fortunate with our kids. Tomorrow my oldest daughter is coming over to help me pack…I want her to tell me to throw everything away, LOL.

    You should read Claiming the Courtesan. I thought it was spectacular, and couldn’t get why it was so controversial. TE, on the other hand—I know exactly why that will be controversial and I’m wrapping myself up in bubble wrap now. :)



  13. Maggie Robinson
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     · May 11th, 2010 at 8:18 pm · Link

    Terri, I’ve got stuff from college, smelly, mildewy old papers. I must be strong and pitch them, because really, when I’m dead the kids will only throw them away anyway. Every time we move, we get a little less burdened with crap.

    Thanks so much for your encouraging words. I know I can count on you to cheer me up.



  14. etirv
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     · May 12th, 2010 at 5:53 pm · Link

    Wish I could give you our 80s weather today. I also think like you do, all these things will be thrown away when I’m gone so I’m regularly getting rid of stuff and trying not be be too sentimental about things… but don’t know why, there’s still plenty of clutter, ay!

    I don’t know how you do it all, Maggie, truly amazing!

    To Irisheyes: Read Claiming the Courtesan! It made me an Anna Campbell fan and I still think it’s one of her best and most unforgettable novels.



  15. booklover1335
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     · May 12th, 2010 at 7:08 pm · Link

    Maggie,
    You are insane woman! But I’m glad that your husband is going to be ok. Congrats on the release, the new house and your great accomplishment as a mother. To have four children that you are proud of is something that every parent strives for.



  16. Maggie Robinson
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     · May 12th, 2010 at 8:10 pm · Link

    etirv, the HEAT is still on here! This is the crummiest May I can remember. I’m very proud of myself—with my oldest daughter’s help I filled up 4 trash bags of old newspaper clippings and unflattering pictures. :) My trash guys on Friday will be charging me extra.

    booklover, I am indeed insane. It is an established fact. I figure by June all this will be a dim memory and we’ll be laughing around the new dining table I don’t have the time or money to buy yet. I do love my kids—we’re very lucky. This new house will be like the Kennedy compound without the politics or the teeth.



  17. Cristen
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     · May 12th, 2010 at 9:00 pm · Link

    So glad your hubby will be ok! What an eventful time… and don’t worry about the Amazon review… did that person ever get anything published? Likely not.

    Looking forward to your alter ego release!



  18. Maggie Robinson
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     · May 12th, 2010 at 9:53 pm · Link

    Cristen, thanks so much. I surprised myself by not feeling too bad when I read that review. Reviews were what I was seriously dreading, and now they just don’t seem like such a big deal. I read stuff all the time I don’t like, but I’m way too lazy to put my opinion out there. ;)



  19. Gillian Layne
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     · May 13th, 2010 at 7:18 pm · Link

    Well I’m so glad I made the time to stop by today. My copy of Mistress by Mistake, compliments of the fab ladies of Write Chic, came yesterday. I’m about 60 pages in, I think.

    Anyway–Maggie, it’s brilliant. Here’s a review for you–and I don’t do reviews–Mistress by Mistake is earthy and lush and real. Sensual humor and an unapologetic lust for life punctuate the pages. I wanted to thrust my copy into a stranger’s empty hands and demand they read it! But I won’t–because it’s mine. :)

    Maggie, my brother nearly died last year from a colon “issue” our small town doctors couldn’t figure out. A trip to the Mayo clinic saved his life. He’s happily learned to live with rearranged plumbing. And as my husband has treated cancer patients for over twenty years, we’re constantly reminded of what true priorities are, and what grace in the face of adversity looks like.

    Blessings on your continued success, and enjoy your new home.



  20. Maggie Robinson
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     · May 13th, 2010 at 9:19 pm · Link

    Gillian! I love you and your review, LOL. So glad you’re enjoying the book.

    John and I are grateful every day that our small town doctor figured out what was what. Everyone we’ve encountered through this has been unbelievably wonderful and helpful. I feel like I should be passing out boxes of chocolate to the world. :)