What makes a #book #bingeworthy ?

This month on N.N. Light’s Book Heaven, it’s a celebration of Bingeworthy Books

I’m lucky enough to have my current Limitless Release DIRTY DAMSELS as one of those books being celebrated as bingeworthy – an honor, believe me!!!

I’m thrilled to have any book of mine thought of as one that has to be finished in one sitting! I have several favorite authors, who, when they release a new book, I devour immediately, unable to put it down until I know how everything resolves. And even though I read mainly romance, with the ending a guarantee of an HEA, an ending I KNOW is coming, I still can’t wait to finish the book.

SO, this got to me to thinking ( you knew that was coming, didn’t you? Hee hee): what, exactly, must a book have in it to make it a bingeworthy read for me?

  1. A heroine that I can get behind who’s independent, strong willed, compassionate, snarky – if she can be – and willing to stand up to people and situations because she believes in drawing a line in the sand when things are wrong. She will never be weak willed, nasty or mean, and she will always, always, fight for the underdog. She doesn’t go along with the crowd like a lemming, but forges her own path. And despite any troubles or conflicts that come her way, she always believes in herself and her capabilities. Oh, and I don’t care if she’s a size zero or a triple XL. All of Nora Roberts/JD Robb’s heroines are examples of women like this for me.
  2. A hero who doesn’t have to be conventionally tall, dark and handsome, but can have a face he fits into. He must be smart, he must be inherently kind  ( even when he’s being an absolute prick), love the heroine as if his life depended on it, be honest and truthful ( even when he needs to lie for plot reasons, hee hee) it doesn’t hurt if he’s witty or snarky and his ability to remain calm in chaotic situations is a must.It also doesn’t hurt if he’s seen the bad parts of life and survived some trauma, either. Sandra Brown and Lisa Kleypas‘ heros are examples of men like this.
  3. A plot that is believable and not contrived. Sarah Morgan and Tami Hoag are experts at this.
  4. Dialogue that flies off the page and makes me feel as if I’m listening to two people actually talking to one another. It takes a special kind of writer who can do this, seamlessly, and make you flip those pages one right after the other, anticipating what these two are going to say to one another and how they are going to say it. Jill Shalvis and Lauren Layne have this gift. In spades.
  5. Secondary characters I could see as my friends if they were to walk off the page. Again, nobody does this better than Nora in her JD Robb persona ( In my humble opinion.) The characters of Peabody, McNab, Summerset, Mavis, et al are all people I could see myself meeting for drinks and going to book club with!
  6. A setting I’d love to visit or live in. The way Janet Evanovich writes her scenes of New Jersey in the Stephanie Plum books is perfect for an example.

Each of the writers I mentioned above is a binge read author for me. The moment they release new books I stop whatever it is I am doing, whether it’s cleaning the house or writing my own books, and readreadread until I am done.

My greatest, secret wish is that I am a bingeworthy author for a reader!!

Hey – did you know I’ve got a sale going on? DEARLY BELOVED, book 1 in my Match Match in Heaven series is on sale ( ebook only) for just 99cents until 8.23.

 

The sale is in anticipation of book 2, TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS being released soon! Get your copy now  – if you haven’t already – and get all caught up before book 2 comes out into the book reading world.

get your copy here:

amazon // B&N // ibooks

Hopefully, it will be a bingeworthy read for you!

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Dialogue, female friends, Limitless Publishing, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#SundaySnippet 8.18.19

Last week I brought you a little sumthin’ from my upcoming WRP release of TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS. This week, I have another new WRP release coming out SOON from a new series called PRIDE OF BROTHERS. The first book is Rick’s Story.

Rick Bannerman’s job is to protect. An elite bodyguard and P.I., he’s used to denying his emotions and ignoring his feelings in order to keep those in his care safe, at all costs. When lawyer Abigail Laine becomes the target of a vengeful client, Rick slips in to protection mode even though Abby refuses his help.

Four years ago Rick left Abby standing on a balcony alone, after walking away from a kiss that sent them both reeling. His refusal stung, and Abby’s sworn to forget it so she can protect her heart and move on with her life. But now she needs Rick’s professional help and her reluctance to accept it could just cost her her life.

Can these two stubborn and independent people put their troubled past behind them and learn to trust one another?

Excerpt:

Rick was seated on the couch, his laptop on the table in front of him, an open bag of potato chips next to it.

“Where did those come from?”

“They were in the bag from Kandy,” he told her never looking up from his typing. “Josh took pity on me and sneaked them in.”

She pulled a bottle of water from the fridge. “Why would Josh need to take pity on you?”

If shamefaced had a proper name, it would be Rick, because that’s exactly the expression he wore on his face at her question. His shoulders curled forward a little, his neck almost disappearing into them. The tips of his ears turned ruddy, and he cleared his throat a few times before reaching for his own water bottle and taking a good chug.

He wouldn’t meet her eyes.

“Answer me,” she commanded when he put the bottle back down on the table.

She watched his neck work and couldn’t decide which emotion was stronger: the need to hear the answer to her question, or the desire to crawl into his lap and lick his neck—and every other part of him.

It was a testament to her analytical training that she opted for an answer.

“Maybe pity was the wrong word.”

Abby waited.

Rick scrubbed his hands through his hair and cupped the back of his neck. “Fine, but don’t get all pissy when I tell you, okay?”

For an answer, she cocked one of her eyebrows and dropped her chin.

“When we were over there, I happened to mention to Josh you don’t keep any junk food in the house. No cake, no chips, pretzels. Nothing to snack on.”

“Not true. I always have cut fruit in the fridge.”

The breath he blew between his lips told her what he thought of fruit as a snack. “Like I said, nothing to snack on. I kind of told him I was, you know, going through withdrawal, from the lack.”

She couldn’t help it: she laughed.

Rick straightened up in his seat, his eyes squinting at her. “You don’t have to laugh at me. You did ask.”

“How old are you?”

“What does my age have to do with anything?”

“You just said you were going through withdrawal because you haven’t had crappy snacks to munch on. Don’t—” She held a hand up to him to silence what he’d been about to say. “The stuff you like is crappy from a nutrition standpoint. The last time I heard someone complain like you was my nephew Declan when were all at the beach last month. He’s nine. Which is the age I’d expect a kid to be who’s made a statement like you just did.”

Rick shook his head. “I knew you were gonna get pissy.”

“I’m not being pissy because I eat food that’s actually good for me. You don’t live here, Rick. I do. You can fill your apartment to the ceiling with junk food and I won’t care, but this is my home, my space, and I don’t stock it full of bad food choices.”

“Why are you so hyper-vigilant and OCD about snacky stuff? It’s not gonna kill you to have a cupcake or some cheese puffs, you know.”

“Spoken like a man who can eat whatever he wants.”

“The hell does that mean?”

“It means you don’t need to worry about your weight. Ever. You’ve never struggled with an extra ounce of body fat in your life, Rick. I know that for fact. You have no idea what it’s like to count every calorie and watch every single thing that goes into your mouth because of the inevitability it’s going to wind up on your ass. I do. I wasn’t blessed with my grandmother’s metabolism like Kandy and most of my sisters. Ellie and I take after our dad’s side. We’re the only ones who do. One more thing to despise about him,” she added, pursing her lips. “I’ve had to deny myself food everyone else can eat with abandon since my teens. And it’s a struggle. A monumental one. I’m strong-willed, but sometimes willpower can only go so far, which is why I keep healthy foods around me so if I do snack, at least it’s on something I won’t obsess over about the calorie count.”

She took a long pull from her water bottle.

Rick’s gaze stayed on her while she drank. He didn’t seem embarrassed any more. In truth, she couldn’t tell what was behind that penetrating stare of his. She placed the bottle down on the counter next to her broken shoe.

“Come here,” he said, holding out his hand.

“Why?”

He wiggled his fingers. “Just, come here.” When she didn’t move he added, “Please.”

He took her hand when she got close and yanked her down onto his lap with her legs resting on the couch.

“For the record,” he said, winding one hand around her waist, the other across her thighs, “I love your ass. I love every part of your body. And whether you weighed fifty pounds or three fifty, you’d still be the sexiest woman I’ve ever known, Abigail.”

The words seeped into her soul. She wanted to believe them.

“And I’m sorry I dissed you to Josh. You’re right, I don’t live here, and I have no right to complain about anything. So, I’m sorry.”

Abby sat, quietly, staring up at him.

“What?” he asked when she tilted her head to one side.

“Contrition looks good on you.”

Intrigued? Stay tuned for more announcements on cover reveal, preorder links and release date!

And don’t forget, DEARLY BELOVED is still on sale until 8.23.19 Get your copy before book 2 comes out so you’ll be all caught up!

get your copy here:

amazon // B&N // ibooks

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Dialogue, Romance, Romance Books, The Laine Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Preparation….not my strong suit, I’ve gotta tell ya. #FML

So. Next week I’m having surgery.

I’m not looking forward to it because I won’t be able to use my right arm or hand for an indefinite period of time.

Long story, short: I fell 2 years ago and tore my rotator cuff, bicep tendon, and something called a labrum ( sounds kinda dirty, but since it’s in my upper arm, it’s really not.) In the beginning the docs told me all I had was something called a “frozen shoulder.” After 3 months of PT, multiple pain killers, rest and no exercise, the pain  never went away and they threw up their hands, and I really think they thought I was malingering or faking. When the pain proceeded to get worse they gave me cortisol injection. Didn’t work. I finally convinced someone to order an MRI.

Yeah…when someone says they are in pain, believe them first before you question if they’re faking it.

The MRI showed the above mentioned results.

And now I have to have surgery to repair all the damage. I can’t imagine it’s going to be easy on the orthopedic surgeon to correct the problems because they are – as mentioned above ( again!) 2 years old, not recent. There has to be some kind of scarring or something going on in there that will make this worse than I’ve been led to believe.

This has been ( despite my saying Long story, short) a long winded way of saying I won’t be typing anything for a few weeks. This week and next, before the surgery, I’m doing everything in my power to front load all my blogs, tweets, announcements, etc.

Can you spell stressed?

Yeah…my middle name.

While I’m recovering, I still have a sale going on and two books in edits – one in galleys! Yikes. Pray for me peeps. Pray for me.

Until next time, when I hope all is cured and my pain is gone ( just throwing that out there into the universe to see if it sticks!) ~ Peg

 

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Book sales, Amazon rankings, and being dropped by a publisher….yeah; happened to me. Twice.

There are so many days I wish I’d started writing fiction for publication in my 20’s. That would have been the height of the 1980’s where writers lived like kings, publishing houses hired publicists for their talented authors and book tours really involved actually touring to different places and not all over the internet.

I peaked too late, it seems.

In a time where major, traditional book publishers are dwindling as fast as an anorexic’s weight, book sales can mean the difference between a royalty check and getting bounced by your publisher for lackluster – or nonexistent – sales. Here’s my cautionary tale and lament.

You all know I’ve had a long standing publishing relationship with the WILD ROSE PRESS, who I love beyond all else!!! I’ve also had three books published by Kensington/Lyrical and recently, a new series contracted by Limitless Publishing. The series for Lyrical was originally seven books, but they dropped me after the third was published. Why, you ask? I was told at the time is was because the line was moving in a different direction away from romance and more toward cozy mysteries. And yet I still see new authors being promoted monthly with Lyrical romance releases.

Hmmmm.

After the recent publication of DIRTY DAMSELS, book 1 in the DotComGirls series ( 3 books planned), I submitted the second book in the series, HELPFUL HUNKS, only to be told the company was not going to be publishing any more of my titles due to lackluster sales. When I submitted book 2, book one had been out in the world for a total of 3 weeks.

3 friggin’ weeks!

How many sales were they hoping I’d get in that time frame? I didn’t even have a book promotion planned until august when  I got back from RWA so I could devote time to it. I did a ton of preorder promotion and hoped my opening day sales reflected all that work. I was in London during the release and tracked my ranking the entire time I was there. According to my amazon results, I had the best release week of my life, with the second week even better. And this is my first book in Kindle Unlimited, which you don’t even see included in your ranking.

How can that possibly mean lackluster sales?

I think the major mistake I made was in submitting the second book so soon. I should have waited at least three months to do so. I don’t even get a royalty check until the end of this month, so that’s going to be interesting to see. The publisher was obviously basing contracting book 2 based on book 1 sales, which, at that time, weren’t even in.

Lesson learned.

I used to wonder why so many authors self published. I’m starting to get it, now.

And…because the promo never ends, don’t forget I’ve got a 99cent sale on  for DEARLY BELOVED until August 23rd. If you haven’t read it yet, do so soon because book 2, TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS releases soon and you’ll want to know what’s going on in the lovely town of HEAVEN, NH before it does!

get your copy here:

amazon // B&N // ibooks

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Dirty Damsels, Dot Com Girls Romance, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#LongandShortReviews #WeeklyBloggingChallenge 8.14.19

I love these weekly challenges because the topics SPEAK to me sososo much! Today, it’s Books I had to read in school and didn’t like.

Kids, there were hundreds! Hundreds, I tell you!

The number one book I hated was CATCHER IN THE RYE.  I hated Holden, I hated the premise of the book, I hated the theme that was supposed to be universal and was sososo not! I struggled to read it and when we had to write a thematic opinion book report on it, I was scathing with my words. Got an A+, BTW, on it!

Didn’t like the GRAPES OF WRATH because it was sosososo depressing. And yes, I get that it was written in the depression, but still…just sayin’.

1984 seemed a little farfetched in 1972 to my 12 year old mind, and I couldn’t get into it.

Great Expectations was too sad and lugubrious a read for me. I struggled to finish it and write my book report.

War and Peace was a month of  my life I will never get back. Plus, it was boring!

The Picture of Dorian Gray. I really wanted to slap somebody silly when I read this one. Again, a scathing book report and another A+.

Maybe I should have been a book critic instead of an author….

Nah!

Let’s see what books the other writers in this challenge struggled through in school. L&SR

Hey, don’t forget I’ve got a book sale going on. Before book 2 in my MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series releases, book 1 DEARLY BELOVED is on sale for just 99cents until 8.23. If you need one more book to complete your summer reading list, this is the one for you!

Colleen O’Dowd manages a thriving bridal business with her sisters in Heaven, New Hampshire. After fleeing Manhattan and her cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in happily ever afters. But with a demanding business to run, her sisters to look after, and their 93-year-old grandmother to keep out of trouble, she’s worried she’ll never find Mr. Right.

Until next time ~Peg

 

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A visit with #author Karilyn Bentley, and a little exciting news to share!

When I first started writing I knew I’d meet people/writers on whose shoulders I would stand. Writers who paved the way, took risks, and basically helped me be a better writer in the long run. Today’s guest is one of those people/writers. Wild Rose sistah Karilyn Bentley has visited with me several times before when she’s had one of her newest, fabulous books released. Today’s visit is extra special because she’s got some amazeballs news for us all.

Karilyn…..

Hi Peggy! Thank you for letting me drop by for a visit!

I’m happy to announce the release of The Shadowheart Curse! This book is special to me for several reasons, the main one being that it will be turned into a movie. You can even live stream the making of the movie! Pretty cool, eh? I was asked to write the book based off an idea the movie director had. He wanted to turn ten books into movies and I was asked to write one of those books. Super exciting! And nerve wracking. I had to write a story with an already decided upon locale, character goals, and basic plotline. The story is set in Italy, a place I’ve never been to, and the whole story takes place at an abandoned mill (totally creepy!). Needless to say, research was needed. Most of my research centered on abandoned mills like the one in the story. It started off as a way to try to see what the inside of an ancient mill looked like (the pictures the director gave me of where the movie will be filmed only showed the outside), but quickly turned into a fascinating side trail. There is a place in Sorrento, Italy called Valley of the Mills where a bunch of mills were abandoned and the land took over. The buildings are creepy, yet cool, to look at with moss and trees covering their stones. Check it out: http://desertedplaces.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-abandoned-mill-in-sorrento-italy.html

You’ll have to watch the movie to see the pictures of the mill in The Shadowheart Curse. <evil laugh!>

The movie comes out 2/14/20 and you can go here (https://deadlyten.com) and sign up to know when the live streaming event occurs.

Read on for the book blurb and excerpt. And don’t forget to go to https://deadlyten.com and sign up to know when the movie is live streamed!

 

BLURB:

Escaping New York after a client’s untimely death, medium Adrianna Sinclair flees to her family property in Italy. All she wants is to avoid ghosts, but an attractive one tempts her in ways she never knew possible.  Luca Fausto has been trapped on the Romani property for over a century for a crime he didn’t commit.  Adrianna may be the answer to breaking the curse that keeps him bound.  Standing in their way is a demonic spirit’s plan for revenge.  Will they prevail or will Luca be cursed to the shadows forever?

 

EXCERPT:

Lights drew her attention to the opposite wing of the mill, where a man stood staring at her window. At her. Breath caught in her lungs as she froze.

But only for a brief moment until she realized it wasn’t a man, at least not a living one. Her breath escaped on a whoosh of relief. Intuition whispered the man was the spirit who’d watched her last night.

The one from her dream.

Shadows clung to his body, ghostly fingers releasing as he stepped into the dim slash of moonlight. Lights flickered from behind him, like the dying gasps of sputtering candles. Dressed in a white shirt with an old-fashioned high collar, sleeves rolled halfway up his forearms, and dark trousers, he reminded her of a working man in a World War I photograph. As if he had removed his coat and tie and rolled up his sleeves to get to work.

Except the men in those photos didn’t sport the wide-eyed, happy look of this man. Ghost. Whatever. Yeah, he wasn’t the only one surprised. She’d sworn never to see a ghost again, yet there stood a ghost, captured by her gaze. The man was hot, in an old-fashioned way. At least he didn’t sport a handle-bar moustache.

He gestured to her, his hand beckoning in a “come here” motion.

She squeezed the bridge of her nose. Was she actually thinking of heading his way? Judging by the way her feet pointed toward the door, she’d already decided. Dammit. She might not want to see a ghost or speak to a spirit, but past experience told her if she ignored them, they ramped up the annoying factor.

How bad could it be to talk to an attractive spirit?

Buy LInks

Amazon // B&N // iBooks 

A little about Karilyn :

Karilyn Bentley’s love of reading stories and preference for sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works, blending fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.

Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest and started her writing career as an author of sexy heroes and lush fantasy worlds.

Karilyn lives in Colorado with her own hunky hero, two crazy dogs, aka The Kraken and Sir Barks-A-Lot, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish.

 

Where to find Karilyn:

Website // Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest // Bookbub

Peggy here: OMG!!! isn’t that the most exciting news!!! I can’t wait to watch the movie and read the book. Thanks so much for allowing me to share your fabulous news today, Karilyn. Best of luck to you, and as always, thanks for being such a supportive WRP sistah! 

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Contest finalist x 2!!!

Some days it really pays to get out of bed in the morning! I was notified today that 2 of my recent books are both finalists in the OCCRWA BOOK  BUYERS BEST contest!!!

DEARLY BELOVED ( which is currently on sale!) is in the Contemporary category

 

CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS is in the mainstream category.

The Winners will be announced on October 12th at the Orange County RWA Birthday Bash in California!!

So excited!!!.

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Author, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Foodie, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Introducing #WildRosePress #author Denise Carbo

You all know I simply adore when one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs comes for a visit. Today it’s author DENISE CARBO and she’s talking about her newest book, SCENT OF BETRAYAL, and why she likes writing series. So sit back and come meet my new author friend.

Denise…  Why a Series?

First and foremost, I love to read a series. I get invested in the characters and want to know what happens to not only the primary characters, but the secondary characters too. So, of course, when it comes to my writing, I tend to write series. Currently I have three different series in the works. The Shifters of Rishard series originated because I wanted to put a twist on the shifter story. My shifters are aliens. I’d like to tell you I put a great deal of thought into the name, Rishard, but it was a spur of the moment entry. I’ve had people who’ve read the book try to put hidden meanings behind the name and I hate to disappoint, but alas there was none. There are four clans of shifters here on Earth. In Bloodlines I introduced the American clan residing in Wyoming. Scent of Betrayal explores the European clan based in Glasgow, Scotland. In the third I plan to return to Wyoming, but I’ll have to see which characters are the loudest in wanting their story told.

A Shifter, A Mate, A Conspiracy.

Wolf shifter, Davis Campbell is on a mission. His job is to babysit a woman from a rival clan. He believes all he has to do is get her back to Scotland. What he doesn’t figure on is her possibly being his mate.

Bethany Leitner, an owl shifter, has been betrayed, attacked, framed, and left for dead. Trust in herself and others is hard to find. So when her self-appointed guardian begins to bark orders, she is ready to show her talons.

Excerpt:

Davis snorted. “Yeah, well, the little peacemaker tried to get rid of me when I didn’t kowtow to Aaron and the advisor. I don’t think she fully realizes the precarious position she and her clan are in right now.”

“On the contrary, I am quite aware, which is why I don’t see the need to make the matter worse by antagonizing everyone around me.”

Davis slowly swiveled his head to meet Bethany’s glare. She stood in the open doorway to the bathroom with her arms wrapped tightly around her waist. Her dark gaze pinned on him. She’d changed into a blue  dress. It accentuated her tiny waist, skimming just  below her knees, allowing him an appreciative view of  her trim legs. Her pursed lips only accentuated the pink  little bow of her mouth. He couldn’t help but imagine what it might be like to grab a taste.

An amused chuckle sounded in his ear.

“She doesn’t sound very happy with you, Davis. Are you sure you want to stay?”

“Yeah, I’m sure.”

Buy Links:

Amazon // B&N // iBooks // Kobo

A little about Denise:

Denise Carbo writes Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Contemporary Romance. She is a voracious reader, loves to travel, is fascinated by the supernatural, and enjoys figuring out the culprit of books and movies before the ending is revealed.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing and lives in a small, picturesque New England town with her high school sweetheart and their three amazing sons.

 

You can connect with Denise on her Social Media Links:

website // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Instagram // Amazon Author page // Bookbub

 

 

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#SundaySnippet 8.11.19

Okay, so I don’t have a cover for this book yet, but book 2 in my Match Made in Heaven series, TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS will be out -hopefully – in the fall. 

If you’ve read book 1, DEARLY BELOVED, you’ve met oldest O’Dowd sister, Cathleen O’Dowd Mulvaney. Cathleen’s a family lawyer who took over her father’s practice when he retired. She’s a 39 year old widow and the emotional rock of her tight-knit family. She’s the sister everyone turns to for guidance, support, and advice because they all think she’s the most responsible, grounded one. What no one knows, though, is how emotionally fragile and tormented she really is.

In this snippet, my writer-hero Mac Frayne, and Cathy are sharing a pizza at the local pizzeria, and she divulges why she assumed the role of the “responsible sister” early on in life.

Read on…..

The line thickened, and he cocked his head in his familiar way. “Your sisters said you’re the one who takes care of everyone in a crisis.”

I nodded again.

“Why?”

A good question and one I’d debated with myself for most of my life. “The easiest answer is I’m the oldest and have always been what my parents termed the ‘responsible one.’ ”

“That doesn’t seem…fair.”

“Fair?” I shrugged. “Maybe not. As the oldest, I assumed responsibility more times than not, as a kid. It stuck through to adulthood.”

“Why?” I was charmed when the tips of his ears went florid. “I ask because family dynamics are intriguing and alien to me. As an only child, I don’t have any kind of firsthand knowledge about”—he flipped his hand in the air—“sibling pecking order and such.”

It was another good question and the answer one I’d never discussed with anyone. Why I was compelled to with him, though, seemed right.

After a moment to collect my thoughts, I leaned back in the booth and stretched my hands out on either side of my plate. “When the twins were four, my mother decided to go back to work a few days a week. Nanny was touring again, and my parents figured it would be fine if I was left in charge of watching my sisters for an hour or two after school. Mom didn’t need to work. My father made more than an adequate income but”—I shrugged—“I guess she needed some time away from kids, crying, and sister drama. Be with adults, you know?”

He nodded.

“Anyway. I hated being in charge of them. Colleen was okay because she was only a few years younger than I was and she never caused any trouble, but the twins were rambunctious. And wicked spoiled. They never listened to anything I told them, and I finally started ignoring them, left them to watch television or play by themselves. One afternoon, I was doing homework when I should have been minding them. They were screaming they wanted to go to the park, but I was tired and I had a test to study for, so I banished them to their room and forgot about them. Eileen, somehow, managed to get outside. She was always a little Houdini when it came to crawling out of her crib or high chair, but I never for a moment thought she’d be able to unlock the door and leave the house.”

The terror I remembered feeling when Colleen ran into my bedroom to tell me Eileen was missing wormed its way up from my memory and made my body start to shiver.

“Good Lord. What happened? Did she get far, or get hurt?”

I shook my head. “Luckily, a neighbor boy out walking his dog spotted her, right as Colleen and I sprinted down the road to search for her. The minute I saw her, I started screaming, which made her cry. Even Colleen was bawling. Maureen, who Colleen was holding, started up then. Mitchel Kineer, the poor kid who found her, was so uncomfortable with all of us standing in the road sobbing our eyes out, he beat a hasty retreat. When we got back to the house, I sat them down in the living room and read them the riot act. In truth, I think I was more frightened than they were. Colleen recovered quickly since she wasn’t in trouble and told me I was lucky Eileen hadn’t been hit by a car, or worse, and that our parents were going to be angry when they came home and found out what happened.”

“As a parent, I can understand that feeling.”

“It was the ‘or worse’ that got to me. My baby sister could have been taken by some psycho, or even wandered off into the woods and been lost forever. She was only four. She had no survival skills, no sense of right or wrong. Right then and there, I vowed never to complain about being left in charge or being the responsible one again.”

“You were a kid, Cathy.”

Was I ever just a kid?

“When my parents came home, I confessed what happened. Of course Colleen added her own sense of drama to the situation. If I wasn’t distraught enough about the whole incident to begin with, the looks of disappointment my parents gave me solidified the fact I was a horrible and irresponsible child. My mother quit her job soon after that. Like I said, she didn’t need to work. It took a long time before they trusted me again.”

I didn’t add I’d gone out of my way for years to prove I was a good, responsible, worthwhile daughter. I did chores before I was ever asked to, got straight A’s in school, helped my sisters in whatever way they asked or needed, all without being told or asked to by my parents.

“Didn’t you ever feel…I don’t know? Resentful, maybe?”

I was sure he wasn’t only talking about my status as the oldest sister. “Honestly, no.”

His brows were almost touching now, the skin around his eyes tight. “You’re a much better person than I am.”

“Better? I don’t think so,” I said. A smile bloomed quickly before I told him, “Nanny claims it’s because I’m a control freak like my father. Falling apples and trees, you know?”

My heart did a little stutter dance when the corners of his lips twitched.

“The same has been claimed about me a time or two.”

Intrigued? I hope so. More to come on TTA when I have “news” like book covers, release dates, etc. Stay tuned.

Oh, and BTW – the e-version of DEARLY BELOVED is currently on sale for just 99cents. If you haven’t read it yet, now is your chance before for book 2 drops, so you’ll be uptodate with the shenanigans going on in Heaven, NH ( hee hee!)

Buy Links:

amazon // B&N // ibooks

Until next time ~ Peg

 

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Filed under Dearly Beloved, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Dearly Beloved #onSale Now! #augustbooksale #Weddings

I love an ebook sale, don’t you?? Book 1 in my MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN SERIES, DEARLY BELOVED, is on sale now for just 99cents. If you haven’t read it yet ( and let’s talk about WHY you haven’t, heehee!) now would be a good time to because book 2, TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS is releasing soon, and you want to be caught up with the shenanigans of the O’Dowd sisters and Nanny Fee.

Colleen O’Dowd manages a thriving bridal business with her sisters in Heaven, New Hampshire. After fleeing Manhattan and her cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in happily ever afters. But with a demanding business to run, her sisters to look after, and their 93-year-old grandmother to keep out of trouble, she’s worried she’ll never find Mr. Right.

Playboy Slade Harrington doesn’t believe in marriage. His father’s six weddings have taught him life is better as an unencumbered single guy. But Slade loves his little sister. He’ll do anything for her, including footing the bill for her dream wedding. He doesn’t plan on losing his heart to a smart-mouthed, gorgeous wedding planner, though.

When her ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, Colleen must choose between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.

I stared at him for a moment, mulling over how I wanted to ask him what I’d been dying to ask since we’d been in my office.

Finally, because there was no other way to get around it but bluntly, I said, “I feel like we need to discuss your father. Come to a decision about where he fits in the wedding.”

When the warmth in his expression shifted to ice, a weaker-willed person might have stopped there. Since I’m not weak and my parents have always told me I have a real problem with knowing when to quit, I pushed on. “It seems to me as if Isabella wants him to be included. Whether in a father-of-the-bride role, or simply as a guest, I really do think she’d like him to attend, but, for whatever reason, she’s reluctant to press you on it.”

Did I say ice? What’s colder than ice? Because whatever it is, that was the expression floating in Slade’s eyes right then as he glared at me.

Warning bells blared in my head, but that thing about me not knowing when to quit? Yeah, it’s real.

“I think Isabella’s afraid of upsetting you if she tells you how she feels or asks your permission. She loves you so much and respects your opinion.”

“You don’t know anything about my sister. Or me.” He lowered his hands from his hips, kept them fisted at his sides. “Or our relationship with our father.”

“True, but I get the sense—”

He barreled over me as if I hadn’t said a word.

“You’ve been hired to do a job, Miss O’Dowd. I suggest you do it and keep your thoughts about my family to yourself. You’re a wedding planner, not a family counselor.” His voice dropped a level, deepening as it became softer. The cadence became clipped, the tone more…lethal.

If this was the way he acted in business, it was a wonder he hadn’t been convicted of corporate homicide yet.

“Look, I’m not asking simply to be nosy,” I said, my voice rising in opposition to his. “I really do have to plan all this out. There’s still the rehearsal and the dinner after it left to deal with. Then there’s the reception seating. Plus, if he is included, I’ll need to make sure he has a room, a tuxedo, and find out if he’s bringing a guest.”

“What aren’t you understanding about this, Miss O’Dowd?” Slade asked, taking a step toward me. If he’d thought to intimidate me with his height, he’d miscalculated. Retreat wasn’t a word in my lexicon. I simply lifted my chin and stared right back at him.

“I understand a lot more than you think, Mr. Harrington. About all sorts of things. Arrogant and pigheaded men included.”

When he continued to stand like a plank of wood in front of me, his mouth turning down and creasing the sides of his jaw, I knew—knew—I should stop.

But…

 

Take advantage of the sale price, peeps!!! And soon I’ll have something to tell you all about Book 2, oldest sister, Cathy’s, story)

Until next time ~ Peg

 

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Dearly Beloved, WIld Rose Press AUthor