Dee Ernst returns to the blog with a favorite character arc for all who read, the struggling author in
Maggie Finds Her Muse
Maggie Bliss has been a successful author, and her most successful trilogy ever is garnering even more attention with plans for film rights and a summer release. Unfortunately, book 3 isn’t progressing AT ALL, and she’s stuck. With deadlines pushed back twice already, she’s got to get the writing done –but can’t find the motivation. And with her most recent relationship hitting the skids, officially, and an opportunity to head to Paris with her agent and his partner to write – she takes the plunge.
Arriving in Paris with her agent and partner and being handed off into the very capable hands of Solange, the housekeeper / maven of all things, Maggie is enthralled by Paris, less enamored of the farting Frenchie, and completely out of her element. But when Solange’s son Max arrives for a few days between business engagements, a spark flies between the two – and some clever manipulations by Solange leaves Maggie in Max’s hands and influence.
What follows is Maggie’s muse returning, probably in the form of Max, and the words start flowing as rapidly as her fantasies about the handsome Frenchman multiply. Max is kind, warm, funny and very French, and helps Maggie to find that confidence that was long buried under a plethora of sweats, old t-shirts and comfy ‘writer wear’. With her daughter not far from Paris by train, and her ex-husband, the travel-phobic math geek also appearing, the three meet up to see the sights, and her daughter Nicole expresses her own childhood fantasy that her parents reconnect. Sure, things are good with her ex, and they are friends – but the writing is powered by thoughts (and the presence of) Max, and the feelings that the two are developing for one another.
I loved this story: knowing a couple of authors that I edit for well; when the muse strikes there is little that will distract, and each person is completely ‘enamored’ of their muse, even to the point of superstition. Maggie has spent so long catering to the needs of others and suppressing her own very illustrious career in the face of less ‘popular’ partners’ works, Max is a breath of fresh air and just what the doctor ordered. But not being wholly honest could tank the relationship, and with Maggie’s obsession with her muse – the book. With writing that is better than anything else (even in a first draft) and complications with release date and her having pushed things back – it looks as if her dreams for a shore-side house and media and film rights may just be gone. Until grand gestures, honest decisions and a reconnection moment not to be missed come full circle. Ernst makes Maggie an example of hard work, chance-taking and new hope and brings her to us with all her flaws and foibles, a great sense of humor and a story that is told as she writes it – to leave everyone with a smile.
Title: Maggie Finds Her Muse
Author: Dee Ernst
Genre: Contemporary Elements, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Friendship, Humor elements, Older Heroine / Hero, Romantic Elements, Setting: France
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Published on: 20 April, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 7 Hours: 18 minutes
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A sparkling romantic comedy starring a bestselling author who goes to Paris to overcome writer's block and rediscovers family, independence, and love along the way.
All Maggie Bliss needs to do is write. Forty-eight years old and newly single (again!), she ventures to Paris in a last-ditch effort to finish her manuscript. With a marvelous apartment at her fingertips and an elegant housekeeper to meet her every need, a finished book—and her dream of finally taking her career over the top—is surely within her grasp. After all, how could she find anything except inspiration in Paris, with its sophistication, food, and romance in the air?
But the clock is running out, and between her charming ex-husband arriving in France for vacation and a handsome Frenchman appearing one morning in her bathtub, Maggie’s previously undisturbed peace goes by the wayside. Charming and heartfelt, Dee Ernst's Maggie Finds Her Muse is a delightful and feel-good novel about finding love, confidence, and inspiration in all the best places.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.