Cover art for Please Don't Take My Sisters

Please Don't Take My Sisters

7 ratings

Summary

Three-year-old Lexie, five-year-old Amelie and thirteen-year-old Leo come to Maggie after Leo confesses to a teacher that his mother's addiction problems and her latest violent relationship has left him as the sole carer to his younger sisters.   

Maggie welcomes the three children into her home and is touched by the gentle care Leo shows to the two little girls. It is clear that Lexie and Amelie adore their big brother and rely on him for comfort and reassurance. But Leo has experienced the neglect and abuse of his mother and her partner for far longer than his sisters and is struggling with an eating disorder and showing signs of OCD.  

When Social Services begin to look at adoptive families for the children, Maggie is horrified when Social Services suggest that the two angelic little girls will have a much better chance of being adopted without their damaged older brother. Knowing the impact that losing his sisters forever will have on vulnerable Leo, they face the ultimate dilemma. Should the children stay together and dash the hope of them ever having a forever family? Or do they sacrifice the close bond between the siblings to give the girls a chance to be adopted?

©2019 Maggie Hartley (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

Available on Audible
Cover art for Who Will Love Me Now?

Who Will Love Me Now?

3 ratings

Summary

At just 10 years old, Kirsty has already suffered a lifetime of heartache and suffering. Neglected by her teenage mother and taken into care, Kirsty thought she had found her forever family when she is fostered by Pat and Mike, who she comes to see as her real mum and dad. But when Pat has a heart attack and collapses in front of her, Kirsty's foster family says it's all her fault. They blame her temper tantrums for putting Pat under stress and they don't want Kirsty in their lives anymore. Kirsty is still reeling from this rejection when she comes to live with foster carer Maggie Hartley. She acts out, smashing up Maggie's home and even threatening to hurt the baby boy Maggie has fostered since birth. Social Services must take Kirsty's threat seriously and Maggie is forced to choose between eight-month-old Ryan, who she's grown to love, or angry Kirsty, who will most likely end up in a children's home if Maggie can no longer care for her. Maggie is in an impossible position, one that calls into question her decision to become a foster carer in the first place....

©2017 Maggie Hartley (P)2017 Tantor

Available on Audible
Cover art for The Little Ghost Girl

The Little Ghost Girl

1 rating

Summary

Ruth was a ghost of a girl when she arrived into foster mother Maggie Hartley's care. Pale, frail and withdrawn, it was clear to Maggie that Ruth had seen and experienced things that no 11-year-old should have to, that she had been conditioned to 'see no evil, speak no evil'. Ruth is in desperate need of help, but can Maggie get through to her and unlock the harrowing secret she carries? Through love, reassurance and patience, Maggie starts to unravel Ruth's painful past - a past defined by cruelty and abuse by the very people who should have protected her. Raised by a cruel stepmother and her father after her own mum abandoned her, Ruth was abused, underfed and ignored while her half siblings lived a life of luxury. It's up to Maggie to help Ruth find her voice - to be a ghost no more and bring those who have harmed her to justice.

©2016 Maggie Hartley (P)2017 Orion Publishing Group

Narrator: Penny MacDonald
Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Too Scared to Cry

Too Scared to Cry

3 ratings

Summary

Maggie Hartley is one of the UK's most prolific foster mothers. This inspiring collection includes three heartbreaking, true short stories about the children who have passed through Maggie's care.  'Too Scared to Cry' When Ben and Damien arrive on Maggie's doorstep, the two toddlers are too scared to speak. More disturbingly still, their baby half-brother Noah is completely unresponsive - he doesn't smile or play or crawl. The three siblings have been conditioned to be seen and not heard, and it's up to Maggie to unpick what has caused this terrible void.   'The Girl No One Wanted' Eleven-year-old Leanne is out of control. With over 40 placements in her short life, no local foster carers are willing to take in this angry and damaged little girl. Maggie is Leanne's only hope, and her last chance. If this placement fails, Leanne will be put in a secure unit. Where most others would simply walk away, Maggie refuses to give up on the little girl who's never known love.  'A Family for Christmas' A tragic accident leaves the life of toddler Edward changed forever and his family wracked with guilt. Maggie must help this family grieve for the son they've lost and learn to love the little boy he is now. But will Edward have a family to go home to at Christmas?  These heartwarming and inspiring short stories show the power of a foster mother's love, and her determination to help the children who come into her care. 

©2018 Maggie Hartley (P)2020 Orion Publishing Group

Narrator: Penny MacDonald
Length: 5 hrs and 42 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Groomed to Be a Bride

Groomed to Be a Bride

3 ratings

Summary

Maggie faces one of the most challenging cases of her career when a young, orphaned Syrian girl comes to live with her. Barely able to communicate without a shared language, Maggie must battle to reach the vulnerable refugee and help her to start to overcome the traumas she has endured.  But there is more horror to come when Maggie starts to suspect that the young girl is being groomed by relatives back in Syria to return and join ISIS....

©2020 Maggie Hartley (P)2020 Orion Publishing Group

Available on Audible
Cover art for Daddy's Little Soldier

Daddy's Little Soldier

Summary

Having recently lost his mum to cancer, when eight-year-old Tom comes to live with Maggie, he is scared and alone. Tom has been taken into care following concerns from his teachers about his dad Mark's ability to cope as a single parent following the death of his wife.

As a former soldier, Mark has resorted to his military training in order to cope with his young son, forcing him to scrub the floors until his hands bleed and perform repeated push-ups as punishment for his misdemeanors. 

Working with both father and son, Maggie Hartley must try everything she knows to help the pair grieve for the mother and wife they've lost and reconnect with one another. But can dad Mark overcome his own demons and become the father his son so desperately needs?

©2019 Maggie Hartley (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

Available on Audible
Cover art for Too Young to Be a Mum

Too Young to Be a Mum

3 ratings

Summary

When 16-year-old Jess arrives on foster carer Maggie Hartley's doorstep with her newborn son Jimmy, she has nowhere else to go. Arriving straight from the hospital having just given birth, Jess is like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Scared, alone, and practically a child herself, she is overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for a newborn without the support of a loving family or her beloved boyfriend. With social services threatening to take baby Jimmy into care, Jess knows that Maggie is her only chance of keeping her son. Maggie can see that Jess loves her boyfriend and wants to be a good mother to her son. Can Maggie help Jess learn to become a mum? Will the family ever be allowed to live together?

©2017 Maggie Hartley (P)2017 Tantor

Available on Audible
Cover art for Sold to Be a Wife

Sold to Be a Wife

4 ratings

Summary

Fourteen-year-old Shazia has been taken into care after a conversation at school leads her teacher to suspect that the teenager's family are planning to send her to Pakistan for an arranged marriage.  To her family's fury, Shazia is sent to live with foster carer Maggie Hartley whilst social services investigate. But with Shazia denying everything and social services unable to find any evidence to support the teacher's fears, Shazia is allowed to return home.  But a few weeks later, Maggie is woken up in the middle of the night by a phone call from a terrified Shazia, who has managed to escape the family home through a window. Sobbing, she confesses to Maggie that her parents are planning to send her to Pakistan to be married in a few days and have threatened to kill her if she speaks out again.  Returned to Maggie's care, Shazia is petrified that her parents will track her down and kill her, and Maggie must be on constant alert. But the worst is yet to come when it emerges that Shazia is the victim of FGM. Can Maggie help this damaged and traumatised young girl understand what has happened to her and to find a way to heal?

©2018 Maggie Hartley (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

Available on Audible
Cover art for Is It My Fault Mummy?

Is It My Fault Mummy?

1 rating

Summary

Maggie Hartley is one of the UK's most prolific foster mothers. This inspiring collection includes three heartbreaking, true short stories about the children who have passed through Maggie's care.  'Is It My Fault Mummy?'  Seven-year-old Paris is trapped in a prison of guilt. Devastated after the death of her baby brother, Joel, Maggie faces one of her most heartbreaking cases yet as she tries to break down the wall of guilt surrounding this damaged little girl.  'A Desperate Cry for Help' Twelve-year-old Meg arrives at Maggie's after a fire destroys the children's home she's been living in. Traumatised by the fire and angry and vulnerable, having been put into care by her mother, Meg is lashing out at everyone around her. Can Maggie reach this damaged little girl before it's too late? And before Meg's destructive behaviour puts Maggie's life - and the lives of the other children in her care - at risk? These heartwarming and inspiring short stories show the power of a foster mother's love and her determination to help the children who come into her care.

©2020 Maggie Hartley (P)2020 Orion Publishing Group

Narrator: Penny MacDonald
Length: 5 hrs and 38 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Tiny Prisoners

Tiny Prisoners

3 ratings

Summary

Evie and Elliot are scrawny, filthy and wide-eyed with fear when they turn up on foster carer Maggie Hartley's doorstep. Aged just two and three years old, this brother and sister have hardly set foot outside their own home. They have been prisoners, locked in a terrifying world of abuse, violence and neglect. Maggie soon realises that Evie and Elliot are lacking the basic life skills we all take for granted. The outside world terrifies them; the sound of the doorbell sends them into a panic that takes hours to abate. Gradually unlocking the truth of their heartbreaking upbringing, Maggie tells their shocking true story. From emotionally scarred and damaged little children, we see how - with warmth and dedication - Maggie transforms their lives. As this moving story unfolds, we share Maggie's joy when these children finally smile again - when they realise they do have a future after all.

©2016 Maggie Hartley (P)2017 Orion Publishing Group

Narrator: Penny MacDonald
Length: 7 hrs and 7 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Denied a Mummy

Denied a Mummy

4 ratings

Summary

When Maggie's latest placement arrives on her doorstep, the three young siblings have clearly been through unspeakable traumas in their short lives. Violent, malnourished and showing signs of sexualised behaviour, the two brothers and their big sister have been left to fend for themselves by their drug-addicted parents. Maggie must use all of her skills and experience as a foster carer to help these damaged siblings to learn to be children again. With much love, care and patience, their behaviour gradually starts to improve, and social services start looking for a forever family for them. But alarm bells start to ring when Maggie meets the couple who have been matched to adopt the siblings. It is clear that they're looking for the perfect ready-made family, and they're not going to get it with these vulnerable brothers and sister. Despite raising her concerns with social services, Maggie is powerless to prevent the adoption from going ahead, and she must put aside her own fears to help the siblings settle in with their new parents. But she can't shake the feeling of dread as she waves them good-bye.       Six months later, Maggie's worst nightmares come true when she learns that the children have been handed back to the care of social services following the breakdown of the adoption. Maggie must fight to get the children returned to her, but is it too late to undo the damage that has been done?

©2018 Maggie Hartley (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group Limited

Available on Audible
Cover art for Battered, Broken, Healed

Battered, Broken, Healed

1 rating

Summary

When six-week-old Jasmine is placed with foster carer Maggie Hartley, Maggie is delighted to have a baby in the house again. Jasmine has been taken into care over fears for her safety after the police are called to the family's home several times following her birth. Her mother, Hailey, vehemently denies that anything is wrong, however, and social services allow her to have daily supervised visits with Jasmine. Baby Jasmine is a joy to be around, but Maggie suspects that all is not quite as it seems with her mum. Maggie struggles to draw timid and extremely quiet Hailey out of her shell and fears that she may be suffering with postnatal depression.  Then one day Hailey arrives for the contact session with her hair streaked with blood and her body covered in bruises. Breaking down, a terrified Hailey admits that she is being abused by her violent husband and is too afraid to leave him.  Maggie realises that the only way mother and daughter will be reunited is if Hailey admits what's going on behind closed doors and leaves her husband. But after years of physical and psychological abuse, that's easier said than done....

©2018 Maggie Hartley (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

Narrator: Penny MacDonald
Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Exploited

Exploited

4 ratings

Summary

A teenager trapped in a world of abuse and coercion. Can the love of a foster mother set her free?  Fourteen-year-old Hannah comes to live with foster carer Maggie Hartley after her mum pleads with Social Services to take her into care, unable to cope with her daughter anymore. Previously a good student and a loving daughter and sister, Hannah is now playing truant, drinking and taking drugs. Angry and mistrustful, it seems that nobody can reach this troubled teenager.  Maggie is used to difficult teenagers, but Hannah's behaviour brings into question everything Maggie has ever learnt in all her years as a foster carer. Determined to push away everyone around her away, Hannah's life seems to be spiralling out of control. But when Hannah finally breaks down and confides a shocking secret to Maggie, the truth behind her chaotic behaviour is finally revealed.  Can Maggie help this vulnerable young girl overcome the trauma of what's happened to her and set her free from the demons that haunt her? 

©2020 Maggie Hartley (P)2020 Orion Publishing Group

Available on Audible