#sundaySnippet THE SHERIFF & THE PSYCHIC #PNR #cowboys

So, I’m still hawking my online Holiday Book store ( shameless self promotion, lol!)
Today’s book is the 2022 first-book-in-the-Welcome to Renewal- series, THE SHERIFF & THE PSYCHIC. The title is kinda self explanatory about what the book is about, no? Hee hee. But just in case you aren’t sure, here’s the blurb before the snippet.

Police Psychic Silvestra Coeltrain comes to Renewal, OK to visit with old friends and to heal. After a year in which she was tested physically, mentally, and psychically, all she wants to do is sleep, fish, and bask in the tranquility of the sleepy town.

Sheriff Caleb Blackbear doesn’t understand the feelings he’s quickly developing for Renewal’s newest visitor. She responds to his kisses with a passion that equals his own. But she’s an enigma, filled with secrets and evasions, and he’s a suspicious man.

When several of the local ranches begin losing cattle to a mysterious illness, it’s Silvestra who claims the animals are being methodically targeted and killed. As Cal’s investigation zeros in on who and what could be slaying the animals, the murder of a prominent rancher’s daughter – and Cal’s former lover – complicates things. With Silvestra’s life now in danger, Cal is determined to keep her safe at any cost.

But can he?

“Want to dance?” Rising, he put his hand out for hers.

To Silvestra, it didn’t sound like a question, more a command. Especially when he stood waiting for her.

As Cal led her to the dance floor, she noticed the questioning stares and whispers behind hands as they made their way out to the middle, joining the other couples ready for a night’s fun.

“I think I should warn you I’m not very good at this,” she confessed when he took her in his arms.

The corner of his full mouth twitched upward. “Just follow me. It’s easy after you go around a few times.”

Shy tried to concentrate on his explanations, the direction his feet were taking, but acknowledged with regret, that she had more difficulty than usual. Being in arms that were as strong as steel traps, but she knew could be as gentle and soft as a feather, made focusing a hard task. When they should have been watching his feet, her eyes were drawn to where their hands were joined. The small hairs peeking out from under the plaid cuff, the length of his fingers, straight and taut against hers, took her breath away.

Cal maneuvered around the floor, keeping time with the music, quietly instructing her what to do with each turn. Soon Shy found herself enjoying the dance – and more- enraptured by the man holding her.

Shy’s head whirled. Touching him, being touched, made her mad with longing. She imagined just what it would feel like to have those long, powerful fingers massaging her naked flesh.

Stop it. This can’t be and you know it, so just stop your fantasizing right this instant.

Regret competed with the longing, one emotion proving stronger than the other.

The beat of the music quickened, as did the dancer’s steps. Silvestra laughed as Cal swirled her around the floor. In one move, he effortlessly twirled her to the right with a flick of his wrist at her waist. She felt as if her flesh had been seared and branded.

Spinning back into his arms, Silvestra stopped short, her body slamming hard into Cal’s chest. Instinctively, her hands came up, bracing, on top of his shirt. She could feel his heart hammering, felt the shifting of his rib cage with each breath. She sensed the pulsing of her own blood when his hands came up to enclose her wrists. Head tilting, she found raven-colored eyes burning and bright with an urgent need equaling her own.  Insides quaking, she tried desperately to quell the passion surging within. But gazing into those dark mirrors, the small glimmers shifting within them, burning into hers, Silvestra had no will to silence them.

They stayed this way, rooted, each oblivious to the rest of the crowd surrounding them.

Time didn’t move.

Eventually, Cal took a deep breath, his gaze never turning from Silvestra’s face. “Not bad. I thought you said you didn’t dance well.”

Shy shook her head.

“I don’t,” she said, breathless. “You’re a remarkable teacher, Sheriff.”

Cal’s lips twitched again, a gesture she found herself coming to expect from him.  A hidden mirth, rarely shown, but one, Silvestra knew, he felt comfortable displaying to her.

“Want to go another round, or would you prefer to sit this one out?”

The desire to stay exactly where they were weighed heavily. When Shy glanced around and discovered they were the sole occupants of the dance floor, a deep flush flew up her cheeks.

“I think I’d like to have that lemonade now,” she said.

He nodded and silently led her back to the table, empty now, as Jake and Mabel made the rounds of their friends.

Intrigued? Lol. I hope so. You can order a print copy from my online website bookstore for a discount, here: TSATP or an ecopy for just #99cents everywhere digital media is offered online, here: SHERIFF

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Photo of the day, day 338 the 25 days of Christmas Ornaments

This little girl came into our lives 33 years ago and made us parents!!! For that, I am eternally grateful, plus she’s so darn cute in her Baby Dior going-home-from-the-hospital outfit!!

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Photo of the day, day 337 the 25 Days of Christmas Ornaments…

One of the loveliest people I’ve ever met, Jennifer Kerfien. For several years, now, she’s made me ( and several other authors) hand made holiday tree ornaments made from our books. How creative is that? This one is one of my faves!

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Photo of the day, day 336 the 25 Days of Christmas Ornaments

Another ornament from my sis-in-law Kathleen, this one of all the Jaeger sibs. Love it!

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N.N. Light’s Book Heaven Christmas & Holiday Book Festival

Calling all holiday-themed readers! We’re celebrating Christmas and the holidays all month long at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven’s Christmas and Holiday Book Festival. 30 holiday-themed books featured plus a chance to win a $75 Amazon gift card.

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA is featured today! Each author shares a family holiday tradition, including me. You won’t want to miss it.

Bookmark this event and come back every day:

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/christmas-holiday-festival

Finding a body in the freezer of the family deli isn’t the way Madonna San Valentino planned to start her day.

Adding insult to injury, the investigating detective is the one guy she’s never been able to forget. After seven minutes of heaven in the back seat of his car when they were teenagers, Tony Roma skipped town without so much as a thanks for the memory.

Just when Madonna thinks the present situation can’t get any worse, Tony is ordered to go undercover at the deli to ferret out a killer. Forced to work together, she vows to keep their relationship cool and professional. But with the sexy, longing looks he tosses her at every turn, Madonna’s resolve is weakening.

With Christmas drawing closer and Tony’s investigation taking an unexpected turn, Madonna is at her wit’s end. Can she really be falling for him again? And will he wind up leaving her brokenhearted and alone like the last time?

And just as an added bonus – MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA is just #99cents until the end of 2022! A great book at an even greater price.

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Photo of the day, day 335: The 25 days of Christmas Ornaments

I did this last year and had so much fun I decided to do it again this year, feature different ornaments that I have and still be able to do a picture of the day to fulfill my one-year commitment to post a pic every day!

So my sister-in-law, Kathleen, gave this to me last year after my grandson was born. All the names listed are the people ( and dogs) I love most in the world!!!

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Photo of the day, day 334

I made this ceramic wreath over 25 years ago! it weighs 6 pounds, so I can’t hang it on the door, but I usually put it on a tabletop with a holiday candle in the center. Good times….

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#author JAN SIKES SADDLED HEARTS #newRelease

You all know I love when my author friends come to visit and bring me their latest work. While Jan Sikes and I have never met, we are very good email and social media buddies! Today she is visiting me and talking about her newest release SADDLED HEARTS which is garnering fantastic reviews from readers everywhere. Let me have her tell you a little about it…

Jan….

Thank you, Peggy, for reaching out to me about a guest blog post for my newest book release, Saddled Hearts! I am honored to be visiting!

While the book is no longer on tour, there were still some parts of the story I had wanted to feature but ran out of time, so I’m going to share one of those here with your followers.

While doing my research for this book, I visited The Gold Horse Ranch. The owners shared a story with me about a colt born on the ranch. The mother died giving birth, and they had to pair the colt with an adopted mother. It was a process to find the right mare who would accept the baby as her own. On the Gold Horse Ranch, they named the baby Magic, and she has a star on her forehead. They said all the other horses gathered around the stall to witness the birth. I was so taken by the story I had to include at least something similar in Saddled Hearts.

Here is the excerpt:

Colt rambled on about the horses while he drove. Genuine caring came through his words. “Lightning is a horse I’ve had since I was a boy. He was born right here on this ranch, and it was a magical experience.”

“Magical?” Sage glanced in his direction.

“His mother died giving birth. I was there with my grandfather that night, and I swear to you, a light shone down inside the stall. I know it sounds corny, but like the pictures you see of baby Jesus and the Star of Bethlehem.”

The description made the hairs stand up on Sage’s arms. “That’s amazing! What do you do when a mom can’t feed her baby?”

“We have to pair the colt with another mare. We had to bottle-feed Lightning for a while. It took a few tries, but a mare finally adopted him and raised him. Now he’s getting up in years. The average lifespan of a horse, if it’s well-cared for, is twenty-five to thirty years. Lightning is sixteen.”

“How did he get his name?”

“You’ll see when you meet him. He has a mark on his forehead that looks like a lightning bolt, and he could run like the wind. Still can when he wants to. His mother was a Thoroughbred, and his sire a Quarter Horse. That’s a great combination. I won many a race on his back.”

***

I’ll always treasure the day I spent on The Gold Horse Ranch soaking up the way of life and all the stories. I shared some versions of several of them in my book. I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever been around animals that had to be adopted by another to survive? Let’s talk!

BLURB:

Colt Layne owns the Layne Horse Sanctuary. He lives an idyllic life between caring for the animals and playing music with his band. That is until a stranger appears with unreasonable demands. When someone murders the man, Colt is arrested. He’s been framed, but by whom and why? 

He needs to talk with his deceased grandfather. But that’s impossible. Or is it?

Sage Coventry is gifted with the ability to communicate with the deceased. Skeptical but desperate, when Colt consults with her, he gets more than messages from beyond the grave as she breezes into his heart with sweet patchouli fragrance and tempting lips he longs to kiss.

The race against time to clear his name and save the ranch launches them on a mission that brings shocking revelations.

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK:  https://linktr.ee/Rijanjks

BOOK TRAILER: https://youtu.be/_MQ9fYH5PrI

You can connect with Jan here:

WEBSITE: http://www.jansikes.com

BLOG:   http://www.jansikesblog.com

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/jansikes3

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/jks0851/

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

BOOKBUB:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jan-sikes

INSTAGRAM:  https://www.instagram.com/sikesjan/

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

Peggy here: Jan thanks so much for stopping by today. SADDLED HEARTS sounds amazing!

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Photo of the day, day 333

Kinda says it all, doesn’t it?

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#CyberMonday Bookish Event from NN Light #cybermonday2022 #romancebooks #99centssale

I’m so excited to be a part of @NNP_W_Light’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday Bookish Event. Today, my Holiday romance SASHA’S SECRET SANTA is featured here: SSS.

After a terrifying incident derails Sasha Charles’ career and confidence, she moves back to her hometown of Dickens to heal, reorganize, and start over.

The only problem? The paralyzing panic attacks that plague her whenever she thinks about going back to nursing. Sasha is mentally, and emotionally stuck, and has no idea how to move forward.

Steve Caldwell is the new Director of Services at Dickens Memorial Hospital. After witnessing her save the life of a local resident in Dorrit’s Diner, he knows Sasha would be perfect for the new trauma center he’s planning. When she refuses his job offer outright, he sets out to change her mind.

But Sasha has thick, protective walls erected around her so Steve must first break through them. With patience and kindness, he does. As the two grow closer, each begin to have second thoughts on what their futures should look like, until idle, small town gossip threatens to derail their budding relationship.

With the imminent arrival of Christmas, will Steve be able to convince Sasha he has her best interests at heart?

Check out all the book deals and enter the giveaway to win a $20 Amazon gift card: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/black-friday-book-deals

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Photo of the day, day 332

On watch and patrol. I am safe.

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#sundaySnippet MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA #romcom #holidayromance #Family

COntinuing with my holiday romcom theme, today’s snippet is from my last SanValentino book MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA ( and don’t worry – by LAST I didn’t mean the final one. There are a few more planned, this was just the last one published!)

And just FYI, MMM is only #99cents across all digital media now until 12.31.2022, so if you’re a kindle reader or a nook reader, or even a kobo reader, the price is the same. Plus, you can order the print version from me via my website bookstore for a deeply discounted price.

Finding a body in the freezer of the family deli isn’t the way Madonna San Valentino planned to start her day.

Adding insult to injury, the investigating detective is the one guy she’s never been able to forget. After seven minutes of heaven in the back seat of his car when they were teenagers, Tony Roma skipped town without so much as a thanks for the memory.

Just when Madonna thinks the present situation can’t get any worse, Tony is ordered to go undercover at the deli to ferret out a killer. Forced to work together, she vows to keep their relationship cool and professional. But with the sexy, longing looks he tosses her at every turn, Madonna’s resolve is weakening.

With Christmas drawing closer and Tony’s investigation taking an unexpected turn, Madonna is at her wit’s end. Can she really be falling for him again? And will he wind up leaving her brokenhearted and alone like the last time?

SNIPPET

One look in the den and I felt like history was repeating itself because Giacomo’s twins were face down on the carpet, lying on top of one another, their limbs all twined together, grunting baby noises coming from deep down in their little bodies. Rocco, or maybe Carlo, was on top, unintentionally smothering his brother whose face he was sitting on, smashed flat into the carpet and making breathing impossible.

My brothers, engrossed in the game playing on television, were clueless to the potential disaster right in front of them.

I’d learned long ago yelling at them served no purpose. They were all masters at the art of ignoring me.

I made my way to the babies and, silently, lifted Rocco – or maybe Carlo – off his brother with one hand, the other flipping Carlo – or maybe Rocco – so he was supine. His little face was pale, his lips ringed with blue, but he took a huge breath, startled once, and then let out a bloodcurdling screech sounding remarkably like the wail his father had made back in his own baby days.

All five pairs of male eyes turned to me at the sound. Not one of them moved from their comfy positions.

“Hey, Donna,” Giacomo said. “Everything okay?”

“Marvy,” I mumbled, hoisting a boy onto each hip, one of them silent, the other screaming like he was spewing out a lung or being dismembered. “I’m bringing the boys to their mother,” I said, wincing from the earsplitting shrieking. I wouldn’t be surprised if my left ear went deaf before the night ended.

Giacomo toasted me with his beer and said, “Thanks, sis,” his attention already focused back on the game.

In the kitchen, I handed the screaming baby over to his mother and told her how I’d found her sons. It wasn’t my job any longer to discipline or try to guide my brothers. They had wives for that now. And from the look of abject fury on Margaret Rose’s face I knew Giacomo would be getting his comeuppance later on when they were home.

I didn’t feel an iota of pity for him.

With the fratricidal wannabe glued to my hip, I went back to the dining room and finally opened the wine bottle single-handedly.

Here’s the link to my online store order form if you’d like to gift this little treasure to yourselves or anyone else this holiday season: ONLINE ORDER FORM.

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Photo of the day, day 331

I think it’s time to get her a nicotine patch…

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Toadstool Bookshop appearance 12.4.2022 #booksigning #holidayromancebooks

So excited to announce I’ll be at the TOADSTOOL Bookshop in Keene next Sunday, 12.4. from 2-4 pm signing books and talking about all things Christmas romance related.

I would love to see you!!! If you’re out holiday shopping, stop by, sit for a while and chat and, of course (LOL) buy a book for yourself or someone on your holiday romance reading list.

here are the deets:

KEENE ~ Hosts local romance author Peggy Jaeger!

Sunday, December 4th at 2pm

Peggy Jaeger

She will be at the Toadstool presenting her Christmas titles along with her 2022 book releases!

I’m a #contemporaryromance writer who writes #RomComs about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If I can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, I’ve done my job as a writer!

#Family and #food play huge roles in my stories because I believe there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, I bring all topics of daily life into my stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents I longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through my books, I’ve created the families I wanted as that lonely child.

As a lifelong diarist, I caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit me at peggyjaeger.com where I’m blogging about life, writing, and stuff that makes me go “What??!” daily.

I’m a social media junkie! You can visit me at all these sites any day and I’ll probably be there.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Pinterest :https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peggyjaeger_author/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/peggy-jaeger

Facebook :https://www.facebook.com/PeggyJaeger.Author/?ref=bookmarks

You Tube : https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=peggy+jaeger

Event date: 

Sunday, December 4, 2022 – 2:00pm

Event address: 

12 Emerald Street

Keene, NH 03431

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#SmallSaturday an NNLight Bookish Event #small2022 #Readromance #books

I’m so excited to be a part of @NNP_W_Light’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday Bookish Event. Today, my Holiday RomCom FIXING CHRISTMAS is spotlighted here: FC

Christmas has never filled writer Abra Charles with undiluted pleasure. If you’d been left on a doorstep on Christmas Eve morning, you might have a few issues with the holiday as well.


Abra’s avoided her hometown of Dickens for the past twenty Christmas seasons, but now she’s returned in an attempt to get her writing mojo back. Twice-divorced and with her third engagement ending in heartbreak, anger, and blackmail, Abra is now six months behind on submitting her current book. She hopes renting Copperfield House and immersing herself in solitude will cure her writer’s block and get her life back on track. The house she rents isn’t helping her achieve her goal, though, as one thing after another breaks, collapses, or floods.


Colton Bree, Dickens’ very own Mr. FixIt, can’t help but wonder if the new resident of Copperfield House is cursed. After being called to repair a broken window, he’s then needed to fix an exploding coffeepot, an overrunning toilet, and a washing machine that has a mind of its own. Bree doesn’t mind all the unexpected repair jobs, though, because the sexy renter is something to look at despite being a little neurotic and a whole lot of snarky.


Can Abra get her book done with all the distractions and craziness of her life, the biggest distraction being the flannelled hunk with the bedroom eyes and scowling yet oh-so-kissable mouth?

Or will Dickens’ Mr FixIt have to step in and save the day and in so doing, fix Christmas for Abra forever?

Check out all the book deals and enter the giveaway to win a $20 Amazon gift card: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/black-friday-book-deals

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Photo of the day, day 330

I looked up from working to see this. Not sure if she is swimming, stretching, or playing deaddoggie. Either way, you can really see her weight loss in her tummy now! Maybe I should pose this way in pictures so my tummy looks concave. Something to ponder today…

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#BlackFriday Bookish event via NN Light. #99cents #blackfriday2022 #onlineshopping

I’m so excited to be a part of @NNP_W_Light’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday Bookish Event.

Today, my SanValentino romance MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA is spotlighted, here: MMM

Finding a body in the freezer of the family deli isn’t the way Madonna San Valentino planned to start her day.

Adding insult to injury, the investigating detective is the one guy she’s never been able to forget. After seven minutes of heaven in the back seat of his car when they were teenagers, Tony Roma skipped town without so much as a thanks for the memory.

Just when Madonna thinks the present situation can’t get any worse, Tony is ordered to go undercover at the deli to ferret out a killer. Forced to work together, she vows to keep their relationship cool and professional. But with the sexy, longing looks he tosses her at every turn, Madonna’s resolve is weakening.

With Christmas drawing closer and Tony’s investigation taking an unexpected turn, Madonna is at her wit’s end. Can she really be falling for him again? And will he wind up leaving her broken hearted and alone like the last time?

Check out all the book deals and enter the giveaway to win a $20 Amazon gift card: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/black-friday-book-deals

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Photo of the day, day 329

#truth

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Happy Thanksgiving! #thanksgiving2022 #givethanks

As the banner says, there is always something to be thankful for.

Please remember those who don’t have the luxury of family, friends, health, home, and food today. Those forgotten in nursing homes, abandoned in mental health facilities, our veterans in VA hospitals, the homeless, and our Americans fighting overseas. Every one of them would trade places with you in a heartbeat. Remember them as you sit down today with those you love ( maybe only tolerate a little) and enjoy this wonderful day.

Be thankful. Be grateful. Be kind.

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Photo of the day, day 328

Got this little gem at Pier 1 before it closed down. Original price: $239.00

Going out of business price: #$39.00

#Score

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Photo of the day, day 327

Crikey! We have a lot of Christmas decorations!!

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#holidayshopping2022 #onlineshopping Gift a book for the Holidays from @peggyjaeger

Since the pandemic I have shunned in-person shopping as much as I can, opting for home delivery when it’s available – or other online ways to get what I need.

This holiday season is no exception for me. The thought of being crammed into a mall with coughing kids and grumpy shoppers is not my idea of undiluted pleasure.

If you’re like me ( yay!), have a romance book reader on your Holiday list – or even if it’s you, and want to get them something special, take advantage of my 2022 Holiday book store this year. All the books listed are in print, $11.00 a piece – a sizable discount even from the ‘Zon, and shipping/handling is cheaper than the post office.

Why am I doing this? Simple – I want to make it easy for people to get my books without spending the horrible markups you see in retailers and online distributors. With the economy still in recovery mode, this is the very least I can offer to my readers.

Interested?

Check out the order form here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17Ve1YnqXBl034ujM-Ygq7Af2-03AApZwABtGygzMBIE/edit

and visit my author page here to see blurbs for the books offered: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B00T8E5LN0

Happy Holidays, kids, from one romance reader to another.

This is just a sample of the dozens of books available:

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Photo of the day, day 326

Edited, from my end. Now off to Magnolia for their approval. Hope they like it!! LOL

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Photo of the day, day 325

Looking longingly at daddy’s supper because she is on a diet and he is no longer allowed to give her stuff from his plate.

Poor pup.

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#SundaySnippet CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS #romcom #holidayromcom #holidayromance

So today, another snippet from one of the books available in my 2022 Holiday Book Store on this website.

CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS is the third San Valentino book I wrote, and I know you’re not supposed to say this, but it’s my fave in the series for so many reasons!!!

With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him.

Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company’s reputation—in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.

Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?

Ten pairs of eyes glared at me from all corners of the table. Some were wide-eyed; some were narrowed. All of them were filled with varying levels of emotions ranging from shocked ( Ma) to suspicious (my brothers) to pleased (my sisters-in-law).

“Regina.” Ma threw her napkin on the table and slammed her cutlery next to her plate. “What is your father talking about? What man spent the night at your apartment?”

“It’s not like it sounds, Ma. It was late and we were talking, and then we both just fell asleep—”


Holy Madonna.” She made the sign of the cross and closed her eyes, hands clasped together as her lips moved silently in prayer.


“Where?” ’Carlo asked.


“Where what?”


“Where did the two of you fall asleep? In your bed?”


Another finger cross from Ma. This time she kissed her fingertips afterward and threw a prayer up to the Lord.

“I don’t think you get to ask me that question, ’Carlo. I’m thirty-two years old, and you’re my brother, not my father.”

“What I am is suspicious,” he spat back. “How come we didn’t know you were seeing a guy? Why you keeping him a secret?”

“First of all, what I do in the privacy of my own home”—now Ma was rocking back and forth as she prayed—“or don’t do, is none of your business. Second, I’m not seeing anyone, so the fact that it’s a secret is null and void. Stop with the third degree, GianCarlo. Use it on your own kids, ’cause like I said, you’re not my father.”

“But I am,” Pop said, his tone hard and filled with anger, “so answer it. Where did Irish sleep last night?”

“Irish?” Petey exclaimed. “What the hell kinda name is that?”

“Language, Pietro,” Ma said, awaking from her spiritual coma to chastise her son.

There are so many things I simply adore about my family. The unshakeable connection and love we all have; the fact that we live close to one another; our shared faith and sense of tradition. But the one thing I do hate is the antiquated morality system they adhere to. Girls don’t have sex with men before marriage, plain and simple. Of course, since the one and only time I’d done just that, I’d wound up pregnant and forced to get married, my parents’ concerns made sense.

To them.

I was almost fifteen years older, much wiser, and a full-fledged adult now, but I was still treated like an ignorant bambina who had to be protected from wolves and scoundrels. If my father had his way, I’d be married right now to one of his goombahs, eight months pregnant with probably our seventh child, and in the kitchen making gravy.

So many times over the years, I’d wanted to smack him on the back of the head much the way he smacks us, and say, “Wake up! It’s twenty-first-century America, not eighteenth-century Sicily.” Wanting to do something and actually doing it, though, are very different beasts.

So.

I don’t get mad often, especially with my family, but I was tired, overworked, emotionally drained, and royally pissed off right now, so the anger bled through my usual calm.

I rose from my chair and threw my napkin down on the table like my mother had.

“You know what? I’m done. I’m done with you all treating me like a child. I’m not one of your underlings, Pop, who needs to be kept on a short lease and told what to do every minute of the day because you don’t have enough trust to let them act on their own. And”—I glared at my brothers— “I’m not five years old and unable to defend myself against bullies and bad guys. You don’t have to hold my hand so I can cross the street and not get hit by a car.” I grabbed my plate and walked to the kitchen. “I’m done with you all thinking I can’t make a wise and appropriate decision with my life,” I added over my shoulder. I placed the dish in the sink and called out, “I’m done with the checking up on me, the second-guessing me, and the way you all think you have a right to manage my life.”

I yanked my coat off the hall tree and yelled, “I’m a thirty-two-year-old grown-ass woman who owns and manages her own business and her own life. I don’t need protectors, handlers, or any of you telling me what to do, who to see, or how to conduct myself. I’ve been on my own a long time, and I think I’ve done a great job with myself, even if you all don’t.” I shrugged into my coat and wound my scarf around my neck. “If I want a man to spend the night or not, it’s none of your damn business. Deal with it.”

I may have screeched that last part.

I slammed the door behind me and sprinted down the stairs of the brownstone, my ungloved hand waving in the air for a passing cab.

As an exit line, I think it was a pretty good one.

So…what do you think? hahah. If you want to read the whole book, it’s available in my online store here, with all the other San Valentino Christmas romcoms: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17Ve1YnqXBl034ujM-Ygq7Af2-03AApZwABtGygzMBIE/edit

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Photo of the day, day 324

She’s sitting there with that smile on her face, waiting patiently for me to think she deserves a treat. The treats, as you can see, are directly above her on the counter. I think she thinks if she sits here looking all pretty and nice under them, the natural thought will be that she gets one.

Smart dog.

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Photo of the day, day 323

Not too spoiled. That’s my pillow, kids.

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#teaserThursday It’s Witch o’clock somewhere…

So, the third book in my ROMANTIC HAUNTINGS series from Magnolia Blossom Publishing is almost ready to send to the editors. I thought I’d give you a little sneak peek at my character images for Genevieve Gordon and Declan Wolffe, my heroine and hero.

Gigi is a tenth-generation witch, real estate agent, and all-around great gal. I actually gave her lavender eyes just like Liz Taylor and they’re a plot point in the book. Gigi’s vowed never to marry because explaining her status and abilities to a would-be-husband is daunting to say the least and might prove catastrophic in the long run. The only man who’s ever known what she is Declan Wolffe, her first and only love. The problem is, Declan left town at 18 leaving her brokenhearted and in the emotional dust without so much as a backward glance.

But now Dec’s back in town.

Declan’s family life was anything but exemplary. His father was an abusive alcoholic, his mother a schizophrenic who never sought treatment. The town viewed Dec as less-than, something he always hated. When he left at 18 he made a promise to himself that one day he would return a success. And he has.

And he wants Gigi back in his life.

The problem: She’s made her own promise to never let any man stomp on her heart ever again, and that includes her first love.

Sound good?

I hope so, hee hee. More details to come once I have a publishing schedule, but for now, here’s a little snippet I wrote about these two meeting up again:

IT’S WITCH O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE

A sudden kerfuffle behind her had heads turning. The City Council members all shifted and glanced over her shoulder at something in the back of the room.

The noise level rose and Gigi, along with every other person in the room, tried to see what was causing the commotion. From the doorway into the chamber she could see a tall man with shoulders almost as wide as the door, standing and regarding the room.

From her vantage point she couldn’t see his face, only the outline of his body and the fact he wore dark sunglasses. He was huge, though, that much she could tell. Well above six feet.

A wave of sound swelled around her until it became a tsunami of words she couldn’t discern with any clarity.

The man moved into the room and Gigi was stuck at once by his command of the space. Those standing in the aisles moved out of his way as he stalked – there really was no other word for it – toward the front.

There was a familiarity to that strut, but she couldn’t for the life of her think what it was.

Short hair outlined his face, dotted with streaks of stark silver at the temples. His skin was deeply tanned, giving an indication he spent a great deal of time out of doors. A fawn-colored sports jacket covered a jet-black collared shirt open at the neck, sans tie. As he moved through the crowd, and even though she couldn’t see his eyes behind the glasses, she had the unmistakable impression he was staring right at her.

Her heart rate kicked up a little as a sixth sense of awareness shot through her.

Harlan Peters banged his gavel to quiet the rumbling room. When the noise hushed, his voice rang out. “Sir, you are interrupting a town business meeting. Who are you and what business do you have here?”

“My apologies,” the man said.

The voice was hauntingly familiar, too.

He stopped just shy of the podium where she stood, his attention focused on the panel at the front of the room.

“I meant no disrespect, but I thought it might make a difference if you heard from me in person,” he said. “It is, after all, my proposal you’re voting on.”

A collective gasp ran around the room.

“You’re Weber?” Peters asked.

A smile as recognizable now as it has been twenty years ago lit the man’s face and made Gigi’s lungs empty of air.

“Weber’s the name of my company,” he said, “named after my—”

“Mother,” Gigi finished.

Turning to her, the man removed his sunglasses and she found a pair of eyes she’d thought never to see again in this lifetime.

With a nod, he said, “Hey, Genny,” a corner of his mouth dipping down on one side in a smirk that still snuck into her dreams. “Long time.”

“Not nearly long enough,” she said to the first boy she’d ever kissed.

And the one who’d shattered her heart into a million irreparable pieces.

Anger crashed through her and before she could get a grip on the escalating fury the ceiling lights flickered and then two bulbs directly above them simultaneously exploded.

And just in case you haven’t read them, here are books 1 and two in the series, MERRY’S GHOST and THE HAUNTING OF WILTON JUNE

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Photo of the day, day 319

This pic really shows off how much weight she’s lost. Le sigh… I can help my dog lose weight; why can’t I help myself. LOL

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