Charles Martin Maggie (Awakening Series #2)

ISBN 13: 9781595540553

Maggie (Awakening Series #2)

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9781595540553: Maggie (Awakening Series #2)
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"When Maggie opened her eyes that New Year's Day some seventeen months ago, I felt like I could see again. The fog lifted off my soul, and for the first time since our son had died and she had gone to sleep-some four months, sixteen days, eighteen hours, and nineteen minutes earlier-I took a breath deep enough to fill both my lungs."

Life began again for Dylan Styles when his beloved wife Maggie awoke from a coma. A coma brought on by the intense two-day labor that resulted in heartbreaking loss. In this poignant love story that is redolent with Southern atmosphere, Dylan and Maggie must come to terms with their past before they can embrace their future.

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About the Author:

ADAM VERNER is a voice over artist and actor. He has worked extensively on stage and screen and narrated a diverse array of audiobooks, from fiction and fantasy to nonfiction self-help and history. He’s been involved in the world of audiobooks since 1980 when his father recorded Golden Books for him to listen to. Adam holds his MFA in acting from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and his commercial voice over clients include Gillette, Kmart, McDonalds, Harley Davidson, Wrigley, Keystone Beer, and many others. If he could be any animal in the world it would definitely be an orangutan.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

Sometime before daylight, I heard it. Inches from my face, it sounded like a mouse sliding a saltine across a wooden floor. Seconds later, it sounded like the horn section of a symphony, tuning up. Then like cat purring lazily in the sun. And finally, like a woman who'd been in a coma for several months and was regaining the muscle tone she'd lost in her throat.

It was one of my favorite sounds--the sound of sweet dreams, the sound of contentedness, the sound of my wife next to me--the sound of Maggie sleeping. At that moment, she was sacked out and snoring like a sailor. I lay with my eyes closed, playing possum, listening and smiling because she'd die if she knew. "I don't snore!" Unconsciously, I had paced my breathing with hers, making sure to inhale deeply enough and to exhale slowly enough.

Moonlight filled our bedroom with a hazy grayish-blue, telling me the moon was high, full, and shining like a Milky Way spotlight on Maggie. I watched her, lingered there, and milked the Milky Way. Most nights she flopped around like a fish tossed up on the beach; then, on into morning, she'd settle down a bit and start spreading out horizontally. Now she lay sprawled across the bed like a snow angel, hogging all corners as if she'd grown accustomed to having the bed to herself.

My left cheek barely hung on the edge of the mattress, and not a single square inch of sheet covered me, but I could not have cared less. If I ever do, somebody ought to beat me into next week. Her feet told me she was wearing socks, her neck told me she was wearing Eternity, and her arms told me she was wearing me. All the world was right.

Around four in the morning, Maggie flung herself sideways, stretched like Blue, and then reencircled me like an octopus. When she settled, her hair draped across my chest like tentacles, mingling into me. Maggie's hair had grown well past her shoulders. Long and shiny, it was made for shampoo commercials. Mine, because of the coming summer heat and what would be long hours atop the tractor, was cropped relatively close, exposing my neck to the sun, dust, and dirt. When Maggie cut it, she had nodded in approval, reminding me that my grandfather would have nodded too. She tucked her nose up close to mine, where her breath filled my lungs either before or after mine had filled hers. Her chest rose and fell in an easy rhythm, and her skin was warm. Making sure she could not be uprooted, she hooked her right leg around mine like a boat anchor, stretched her right arm across me like a bowline, and then drove her right hand into the mattress like a tent peg.

Reluctantly I untangled myself and slid out from beneath the pegs. I pulled the covers back over her bare shoulders, tucked the hair behind her ear, and walked to the kitchen to put on the percolator. Blue followed, stretched, and stood at the screen door, his nose pressed against the latch. He knew how to flip it open, but with Maggie around he'd grown lazy and now waited on me with an air of expectation. I looked at him, and his ears dropped. I pointed toward the bedroom. "Hey, pal, she was in the coma. Not you. Let your own self out."

Blue whined, nosed up the latch, and disappeared off the porch.

While the percolator coughed and sputtered--the sweet sounds of my addiction--I stepped out onto the porch under a clear sky and onto the stage of my life. Judging from the thick black figures silhouetted against the dawning skyline, several turkeys roosted in the trees that lined the river and towered above our son's grave. I couldn't see it, but unless something really bad had happened to the world, the river flowed silently beyond those trees, filling the earth--or at least most of South Carolina, and me--with life.

Before me spread the rows of corn, silent sentinels, six feet tall and swaying in rhythmic, military unison under the quiet whisper of the spring breeze. As my eyes adjusted, ten thousand shades of black reflected off the cornstalks like slender hands waving toward heaven. Papa once told me that farmers are the choir conductors for heaven. It took me a few years and several hundred hours atop the tractor to understand what he meant.

From my perch on the porch, I could almost read the brass plaque that squatted below the roses--my testament to Maggie's "Yard of the Year." I stared and shook my head because I was smiling at a post-coma memory. Something that, at one time, I wasn't sure I'd have again.

The evidence that Maggie was alive, breathing, and back home spread around our house like an English garden. Camellias, roses, gardenias, wisteria, iris, anthurium, agapanthus, and even orchids bloomed in every patch of earth not covered by grass, porch, stepping-stone, or house.

I sniffed the air and walked to the side of the porch, looking over the tips of the cotton rows that had come up thick and bulbous. It was only May; it'd be late June before we saw any blooms. And, like everything in life, that depended on the rain. Waist-high now, they would be the last plants to show their color. And I'm not talking about the cotton; I'm talking about the little white flower that precedes the cotton, telling all the word that the white gold is coming, spring is over, summer has arrived, and the hard work is about to start. Judging by the buds, we were still a couple of weeks off.

I jumped, grabbed the porch rafter, and stood hanging and swaying from the truss. I looked at the cotton primed to erupt and paint the world with white flowers, and I marveled at the life I lived. Each day of my existence amazed me. I pulled up a couple of times, remembered that I wasn't as young as I'd once been, hopped down, skirted around the roses, and then stepped into the cotton--walking up one row and down another.

The bolls slapped my thighs while the sandy dirt sifted up through my toes, reminding me of Charleston and our month at the beach. I looked up, closed my eyes--the stars still shining in my mind--stretched my hands across the heavens, and filled my chest with the night--yawning in his pasture was a farmer's delight.

Between the buds, the many and various flowers lighting up the house, and the smile that spread daily across Maggie's face, I noticed someone unusual, an old invisible friend, as I walked around my house. He had moved out just after delivery, but once he heard she'd come home, he did too. He had returned slowly--a flash here, a sound there. He'd been back a week when I finally cornered him in the barn. When I asked him to stay, he moved his things into the space above the ceiling fan and made his bed on the rafters. I tried to make him feel welcome, because he brought with him the smell of gardenias and magnolia blooms, hot baths, cool sweat, and gut-busting laughter. He routinely tap-danced on the roof, sang in the rain, listened to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra all hours of the night, and laughed for little to no reason. Each day, he'd flutter down off the rafters, or the ceiling fan where he enjoyed multiple revolutions, and light on Maggie's shoulder. Pretty soon, he went wherever she did.

And that was good.

I walked back to the house, pressed my nose against the window, and gazed at Maggie sprawled across the bed just a few feet away. Her eyes were moving back and forth behind her lids, and her right index finger looked like it was writing in cursive.

Yes, life had thrown us a curve, but nothing short of death would dim her desire to have a child. You could tell it in the way she had repainted the nursery, the way she ran her fingers along the teeth marks on the railing of our secondhand crib, and the way she tapped me on the shoulder in the middle of the night when her clock told her it was time. I suppose she was like most women. Maggie dreamed of the delivery, of the excitement of getting to the hospital on time, of timing the contractions, of her pushing and me cradling her head and helping her count. Of looking down across her swollen tummy at the doctor's face as he waited for our child's head to appear through the canal. Despite the pain, the sweat, and the blood, she dreamed of hearing his or her first cry, of being handed our child with the umbilical cord still attached, of watching me cut the cord, and then, finally, of pressing him to her pounding chest and feeling him breathe, suckle, and pull at her with tiny, wrinkled, God-fashioned fingers. She dreamed of watching his eyes open and being the first person he saw. She dreamed of needing, being needed, and giving unselfishly--something she was good at.

But I knew that she, my simple complexity, and the dream didn't end there. She dreamed of pulling that wet, gooey, covered-in-white-paste kid--who no doubt looked a lot like me--off her sweating, flushed chest and of passing him to me--of extending him across space and time and placing him in my shaking arms. She dreamed of watching my face light up as I cradled the son or daughter we'd made--of giving me that part of herself, a second time.

For me, the desire for a child had grown over time. Maggie had planted the seed, watered it, and then waited. I first recognized it as my own desire, distinct from Maggie's, some twenty months ago. It was the moment I placed my son's casket in the dirt down by the river beneath the oak. It was a strange and new feeling. Something unexpected. I didn't know what to do with it. Yes, I felt guilty--what parent wouldn't--but I also knew I wanted to try again. I wanted to be a dad, and I wanted Maggie to be a mom. I wanted us to share the ups, the downs, the hard times, and the great times. I wanted to build a fort with our son or daughter, play catch, go to the beach and dig in the sand, laugh, wrestle, go fishing, teach him how to whistle, how to drive a tractor, and yes, I wanted to walk her down the aisle.

I cracked open the screen door and crept inside. I tiptoed down the hallway, making the floors creak, sat in my chair, pulled the door shut, and picked up my pencil. The single lightbulb fell out of th...

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Book Description WestBow Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. USA TODAY bestseller from the author of The Mountain Between Us, now a major motion picture! When Maggie opened her eyes that New Year s Day some seventeen months ago, I felt like I could see again. The fog lifted off my soul, and for the first time since our son had died and she had gone to sleep--some four months, sixteen days, eighteen hours, and nineteen minutes earlier--I took a breath deep enough to fill both my lungs. Life began again for Dylan Styles when his beloved wife Maggie awoke from a coma. A coma brought on by the intense two-day labor that resulted in heartbreaking loss. In this poignant love story that is redolent with Southern atmosphere, Dylan and Maggie must come to terms with their past before they can embrace their future. Seller Inventory # AAC9781595540553

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Book Description WestBow Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. USA TODAY bestseller from the author of The Mountain Between Us, now a major motion picture! When Maggie opened her eyes that New Year s Day some seventeen months ago, I felt like I could see again. The fog lifted off my soul, and for the first time since our son had died and she had gone to sleep--some four months, sixteen days, eighteen hours, and nineteen minutes earlier--I took a breath deep enough to fill both my lungs. Life began again for Dylan Styles when his beloved wife Maggie awoke from a coma. A coma brought on by the intense two-day labor that resulted in heartbreaking loss. In this poignant love story that is redolent with Southern atmosphere, Dylan and Maggie must come to terms with their past before they can embrace their future. Seller Inventory # AAC9781595540553

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