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Maggie's Betrayal by [Natalie Bright]

Young Maggie Sharrod is shuffled to the courthouse where she is given in marriage to a powerful, ruthless business man 31 years older. Set in the depression era of Fort Worth in 1936, she is pulled into the fun-time crowd. Hopeless and resigned to accept her lot in life, she meets her husband’s nephwe, Alex. He brings her hope. Her situation suddenly turns unbearable when she becomes the pawn in a business deal gone bad. Maggie finds the courage to save herself, annul the marriage, and trusts her battered heart to start over.

Alex and Maggie turn their car West on to Route 66, with an unforgiving, possessive man on their trail. Will they find their new beginning, or will the price be their lives?

A gripping story of family betrayal, deep despair, and finding the strength to follow your heart.

Bookcover Design by Carpe Diem Publishers



by Natalie Bright


Fort Worth, Texas, January 1936

Mama had cried, but not in front of me. I could see the tracks of tears on her cheeks under red-rimmed eyes.

Pa told me it was time to leave. “Put on your best dress, Maggie,” he said. The deal was final. There would be no argument.

Mama followed me into the room I shared with my younger sisters to help me pack. If you could say my measly belongings were worth taking anywhere.  Several blouses, undergarments, a thin nightgown, one pair of pants, and my loafers. They barely filled up half of a cloth flour sack. I left the brush and mirror for my sisters. Stuffing my feet into the black strap shoes that I had worn every Sunday since a neighbor had left them on our front porch, I pointed to a faded blue dress. Mama slipped the favorite of the only two I owned over my head and then she stuffed the beige one into the sack.

My feelings that day are difficult to describe. Hopeless. Angry. Heartbroken. The thought that my own father would do such a thing is something my mind could not, would not, comprehend. I felt numb. Too mad and shocked to cry. Betrayal is a horrible thing to face at nineteen.

Pa had told Mama over breakfast that morning that a deal had been made. I did not realize it involved me until later that morning when Mama told me. “It’s really for the best, Maggie. Your father thinks you’re too old to be living at home anyway. You need to get away from here and find your own life.”

My protests went unheard. With a weary voice my mother repeated the same answer she has for me anytime I express an opinion. “Just do as you’re told, Maggie.”

It was the best decision for all involved, except for me. How could this be the best thing for me?

We drove to the Tarrant County courthouse in silence. Mama sat in the middle of the pickup truck seat with clenched jaw and pursed lips. I refused to think about what waited for me. Instead I gazed out of the window and watched grey clouds roll over a January sky. It was going to rain later in the evening. I wondered if anyone would remember to put food in the shed for the cats, and to close the chicken coop tonight before the storm. It was almost time to turn the beds and pull weeds for the spring garden. I already had seedlings started for potatoes and sugar beets. Someone better remember to refill the dog’s water bowl.

Judge Phillips looked as depressed as I felt. Pa took a seat on the bench that extended the length of one wall just inside the room. Mama and I slid in beside him. The judge’s wife peered at us from behind a piano that filled one corner. She suddenly disappeared into the next room and returned with a bouquet of dusty, plastic flowers which she placed in my hands.

A gentleman arrived and my father rushed to close the distance to greet him at the door. They shook hands. “Mr. Brown,” Pa said as he extended his hand.

“Mr. Harrod.”

“This covers everything then. Are we agreed?” my father asked, and Mr. Brown nodded his head in agreement.

This emotion was new to me. I’d never felt hatred towards my family.