Summer is Upon Us–Guest Author Linda Bradley

Today’s guest author, Linda Bradley, talks about summer.

Maggie Abernathy and I have a few things in common so our feelings about the summer months are quite similar. Maggie Abernathy is a school teacher and so am I. We both love summer days! It’s the time to rejuvenate, hide-away, and spend the days enjoying the summer sun. Summer is her favorite season. It’s my favorite season, too.

Maggie Abernathy lives in the suburb of Grosse Pointe in Michigan. It’s a charming place with a quaint village where one can shop, visit the library, or get a bite to eat. Maggie is lucky enough to live near the lake. It’s a place I know well, as it was my home for many years.

GP Park Landscape

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For Maggie, she spends quite some time tending her garden. She loves peonies, lilacs, and her tomatoes.

Peonies

She becomes quite fond of the pooch that her mother left on her doorstep. Bones can be a rascal, but he’s lovable.

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Maggie’s pastime is taking photographs. After she develops them, she paints them, something that she dreams about publishing someday. She loves cows.

White Cattle

Maggie Abernathy is a cancer survivor and so am I. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, I put my blinders on, went through two surgeries, and radiation. It prodded me to write Maggie’s story.  I’ve been cancer-free for three years and I suspect Maggie will not have another bout of this trying disease. Several readers wanted to know if my debut novel, Maggie’s Way was autobiographical. Not really. Although we shared the experience of cancer and the same occupation, everything else is fictional. So I imagine, if I were to meet Maggie on a summer day at the beach, our conversation might sound something like this:

Me: May I pet your dog?

Maggie: (Smiles.) Absolutely, but I wouldn’t ask him to tend your garden.

Me: (With a chuckle.) Why is that?

Maggie: Let’s just say he likes tomatoes.

Me: I love his floppy jowls.

Maggie: He is kind of cute. My mom gave him to me. I suspect as a lesson. (Peers out over the lake and watches a young girl splash at the shore. The girl’s feet are covered with sand and her hair is damp.) Guess she didn’t want me to go through cancer alone.

Me: I’m sorry to here that. Been there done that and it sucked. I hate my tattoos.

Maggie: (With a grin) Sure does, but I’ll be okay. (Young girl runs over to where we stand and peers up at us.) Hi Chloe.

Chloe: Hi Maggie. I see Bones is behaving today. Good dog! (She pats his head and nuzzles her face close to his.)

Maggie: Yes, it’s a good day.

Me: It’s a great day with the sun. Summer is my favorite season.

Maggie: It’s my favorite season, too. My name is Maggie Abernathy.

Me: I’m Linda Bradley. Nice to meet you.

Chloe: I’m Chloe. Maggie’s not my mother, but I wish she was. She lives next door to me. I’m kind of like that kid that’s always around.

Maggie: (Smiles at Chloe.)

Me: You too must be good friends.

Chloe: (Shades her eyes and squints into the sun as she stares at Maggie.) I think we are. Are we good friends Maggie?

Maggie: Yes, we’re good friends.

Chloe: When do you think that happened cause I thought maybe you thought I was too much of a pest.

Maggie: Not sure, kiddo. Friendships are like magic. Sometimes they just happen.

Me: Kind of like a midnight wish on the wings of a summer fairy sprinkling her fairy dust over the people that love summer the most.

Maggie: (Smile grows bigger.)

Me: You do believe in fairies, don’t you?

Maggie and Chloe: (In unison) I do. (They share a quiet giggle and Chloe reaches up to hold her hand.)

Me: It was nice meeting you two. Enjoy the day. (I bend down and pat Bones’ knobby head.)

Maggie: (Nods) You, too.

Me: See you around. (I wave and walk away.)

Chloe: (Her voice trails into the breeze) She was nice. Remind me to make a wish on the summer moon tonight.

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Linda’s inspiration comes from her favorite authors and life itself. Her women’s fiction highlights characters that peel away outer layers of life to discover the heart of their dreams with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. Her writing integrates humor found in everyday situations, as well as touching moments, thus creating avenues for readers to connect with her characters.

Linda has an Associates Degree in Interior Design and a Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts with undergraduate work in Elementary Education and Fine Arts. She wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled, The Hunter for her Master’s Degree. Linda is a member of RWA, as well as the Greater Detroit Chapter of RWA.

Linda has two grown sons, lives with her husband, and rescue dog in Royal Oak, Michigan.

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