If you’ve read Romance in Rodney, this might interest you.

maggiegirlSo not long after midnight on Christmas Eve, an idea struck me and it hasn’t quite gone away yet.

 I know what you’re thinking, “But Tonya, you have like FIVE other stories in progress!”

I know. I KNOW. Trust me, I know!  But this story will not go away.

 I decided I just had to do a tiny one-shot to see if it would help, and now I’m not sure.

Anyone who has read Romance in Rodney will probably remember Nate’s younger sister Maggie.  This story is from her point of view, and yes, every single character you remember from that novel will be making an appearance.

I’m not sure if I want to make it into a Christmas themed novella for next year, or if I just want to write a brand new novel that will be a sequel to the original.  It’s complicated.  (No one said being a writer was easy, okay?)

SO, how about I just let you guys read what’s been written so far, and maybe we can make a decision from there?

Don’t fret: The other books WILL be completed in 2014, but I really do believe this idea is something worth pursuing.  I miss Billie, Nate, and the gang.  And I think it’ll be fun to see how much everything has changed since RIR’s release in 2011.   I’ve learned an awful lot since way back then.

Okay…without further adieu, here’s what I’ve wrote thus far.  I hope you enjoy!

Maggie O’Reilly

     The sun had yet to rise and Maggie was already out of bed.  It wasn’t that she even had trouble sleeping, but she didn’t seem to fair very well in an unfamiliar bed.  It was a very nice bed, actually, but her back did not agree with that mattress.

Making her way down the stairs as quietly as she could, she crept into the kitchen in hopes of retrieving a glass of water without waking anyone else up.  Her brother would kill her if she managed to wake her nephews and niece before the alarm clock went off.  Then again, what child would actually sleep until 9 AM?  She didn’t know of a soul in the world that could resist the excitement of Christmas morning!

Her eyes travelled to the small illuminated numbers on the clock above the stove. 4:23.  Great.  That was just great.  She’d only gone to bed at midnight.  How was she going to survive on four hours of sleep?  She surely wouldn’t make it through the day at this rate.  She sighed quietly, shaking her head.


Maggie nearly jumped out of her snowflake patterned socks when she heard another voice in the kitchen, and she whirled about to see her sister-in-law seated at the table, a cup of coffee in hand.

Maggie’s hand flew to her chest as she leaned back against the counter.  “Christ, Billie. You nearly gave me a heart attack.  What are you doing up at this hour?”

Billie lifted her tired eyes in Maggie’s direction, offering a small smile before shrugging.  “I just couldn’t sleep.”

Maggie eased into the chair across from Billie, resting her palms on her lap as she frowned.  “Was it the nightmares again?”

Billie nodded in silence, taking another sip.  No one really talked about it much, but Billie had been dealing with night terrors for a long time.  No one could really blame her though.  Wouldn’t anyone be traumatized by two men breaking into their apartment and doing the things that man had done?  Maggie felt so bad for her sister-in-law, but she was helpless when it came to making it go away.  That man, Jimmy was his name, had done unspeakable things to Billie when he’d taken her hostage so many years ago.  Jake refused to talk about it, and Billie didn’t like to open up about it either.  It was an unfortunate situation for anyone to be in.

“I’m sorry,” Maggie whispered.  “Is there anything I can do?”

Billie smiled once more as she shook her head.  “No, Maggie.  I’m fine, really.  I just don’t sleep as much as people might like to believe,” she yawned then, lifting her hand to cover her mouth before she sighed.  “Do you want some coffee?”

“Sure,” Maggie nodded, pushing herself up from the table.

“I’ve got it,” Billie said softly as she stood as well.  “Just have a seat.  You want cream, right?”

“Yes, please.  Thank you,” Maggie smiled.

When her sister-in-law returned with two fresh cups of steaming caffeine, Maggie graciously accepted hers.  She took a sip and closed her eyes in appreciation.  “Perfect,” she commented.

“I’d like to think I make a mean cup of coffee,” Billie laughed.  She slid into her seat again and then rubbed at her eyes.  “I just know the kids will be up by six or so.  I’m sort of counting on it.”

Seamus, Shane, and Kerianne had grown a tremendous amount over the last short while.  Why, the twins were already in the second grade and Kerianne was in kindergarten!  Time was passing by too quickly, and it definitely made the wheels in Maggie’s head turn.  She and Jake had been dating for nearly five years.  She loved him and he loved her, she didn’t doubt it a bit; but he hadn’t popped the question yet.  She wasn’t sure if he was ever going to.

“What’s on your mind?” Billie asked after a moment.

“Nothing,” Maggie laughed gently.  “I’m just trying to wake up, I guess.”

Billie smiled as she leaned forward a bit, reaching across the table to take Maggie’s hand into her own.  “You’ve been here for three days, Mags.  You’ve been unusually quiet.  What’s going through that head of yours?”

Maggie sighed.  “I don’t know.  I’m just thinking about things.”

“What kind of things?” Billie questioned.

“Just..things,” Maggie replied with a shrug.

“Mhm, just things,” Billie echoed as she rested her chin against her fist.  “This is about Jake, isn’t it?”

Maggie wanted to sink into her chair as she met her sister-in-law’s gaze.  She could feel her face heating up as she gave a small nod.

“Well,” Billie started as she tucked some hair behind her ear. “I don’t know if this will ease your mind at all, but do you remember yesterday when you took the kids to see Santa at the mall?”

“Yes,” Maggie nodded.

Well,” Billie grinned.  “Jake and Nate were in the garage for an awfully long time.  Long enough, I believe, for Jake to ask Nate a very important question.”

Maggie frowned.  “What do you mean?”

Billie laughed gently as she pushed herself up from the table.  She tapped her index finger against the side of her nose.  “Let’s just put it this way, Mags.  A little birdie might’ve told me that a certain mechanic may have been inquiring about something.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Maggie asked as she watched Billie move towards the hallway.  “What was he inquiring about?”

Billie turned to gaze at her sister-in-law, a certain sparkle glimmering in her tired eyes.  “I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.”

And then she left the kitchen.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Maggie asked again, though she was alone without the slightest idea of what her sister-in-law was talking about.

Maybe she would find out in the morning.



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