Literary Lagniappe

Bloopers, bonus features, and behind the scenes views from all your favorite romances

The Making of Contentment by Margaret Ethridge


Hello Lagniappers! I’m back! This time I’m sharing a bit from my novel, Contentment, which has been included in the Love Finds a Way boxed set currently available for only $0.99!


This story is certainly an unconventional romance, so let me give you the blurb to set things up:


Tracy Sullivan seems to have it all, a handsome, devoted husband, three beautiful children, a steady career, and the perfect suburban home; but she isn’t happy.

The petty resentments that have built over fifteen years of marriage surface when Tracy tells her husband, Sean, that she is no longer interested in sex, and their marriage threatens to implode.

For the sake of their children, Tracy and Sean agree to lead separate lives under the same roof. With the help of a healthy dose of adult-rated fiction and some gentle prodding from a good friend, Tracy begins to rediscover who she is, what she wants, and the reasons she fell for Sean once upon a time.

After two years of soul-searching, Tracy is finally ready to embrace her happily ever after having learned that while happiness may be fleeting, contentment can last a lifetime.


Contentment was the first full-length novel I’d ever written, though not the first published. I learned a lot in the process, and part of that learning curve was coming to terms with cutting scenes I loved writing. One in particular is the scene below. This one involves my heroine, Tracy, and her brother-in-law, Tom.


The cross-examination came while the men were sprawled in front of the television engrossed in whatever football game was touting the largest turkey legs. Tracy was left alone in the kitchen with a stack of plates to load into the dishwasher. Hearing someone clear his throat, her head jerked up and she spotted her brother-in-law lounging against the doorframe.

Once upon a time, the instinctive understanding she shared with Tom had been a source of comfort to her. They were birds of a feather, finding validation in the achievement of their ambitions. Tom knew her all too well. He picked up on her ambivalence, and used it as a battering ram.

“Happy?” he asked.

His voice was low and soft, but a shiver of fear danced along her spine as she scented danger. “What?”

He pushed away from the doorway. “Are you happy now?”

Tracy’s heart stopped and then began to beat even faster when she met blue eyes so startlingly like Sean’s, and yet, so different. “Are you asking me about my dish loading skills or in general?”

“I can draw up the papers if you’re ready to file.”


Sparing a glance at the dining room doorway, Tom stepped into the room. “I love you, Trace. First, because Sean loved you, and because I thought you loved him. Then, I loved you for you,” he told her. “Please don’t make me hate you. If you don’t want to be married to him, let him go.”

“The kids…”

“People get divorced all of the time,” he said dismissively. “The kids will survive.”

“I don’t know,” she hedged.

“You don’t know if you want to be married, or you don’t know if you want a divorce?”

“I don’t know.”

Tom shook his head and reached for the refrigerator door. “Not like you.” He collected an armload of beers.

“Tell me about it.” Tracy closed her eyes, hating him for making her feel ashamed.

Tom nodded and turned to face her again. “First, you’re not fooling the kids. They’d be better off if you’d decide, one way or another and get on with it. Second, you’re killing my brother. Every day, he dies a little bit more. Fair or not, I blame you.”


Hard to throw away a guy as straight-shooting as Tom Sullivan, but I did it. At least in this book. To make it up to him, I gave him a story of his own (Commitment) to muck up. *wink*

If you like love stories that are a little out of the typical romance mold, then be sure to check out Love Finds a Way – available now at:




If you’d like a chance to win a copy of the Love Finds a Way boxed set, please comment below. Thanks for having me back – it’s always fun to hang with you! Contest ends 5/29 at 11:59PM EDT.


Author: emilycale

Erotic romance writer. Runs on caffeine and wine. Don't feed after midnight.

12 thoughts on “The Making of Contentment by Margaret Ethridge

  1. It’s so great to have you back, Margaret! That box set looks amazing!

  2. Pretty stories in a pretty box at a pretty price? Nothing better, you say? Now she says there’s a chance to get them for free!

  3. I like that scene; I can see why you didn’t want to cut it. Makes me want to go back & read Contentment again!

  4. What a great scene. It shows just how torn and confused Tracy is and how hard it is on Tom to see his brother going through this. Wonderful! And I’m right with Holly, wanting to go back and read it all over again!

  5. I soooo want to read these stories!!!!

    Josiehink122026 at gmail dot com

  6. The boxed set would be fantastic thank you.


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