#1stKissFriday 4.19.19

This meme is so appropriate for today’s #1stkissfriday edition because it’s from COOKING WITH KANDY and it’s about… a kiss!!! Hee hee

COOKING WITH KANDY is my  first book in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE series and introduces series “matriarch”  and cheflebrity Kandy Laine. When a private eye/bodyguard is hired to find out who’s stalking our favorite chef, sparks fly and love ensues, mixed in with a little eating, cooking, and romance. And guess what? The ebook is on sale now for just 99Cents for a limited time, so if you haven’t read it, now’s your chance!!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

“You’re gonna wash the floor? Now?” He glanced down at his watch.

It was almost midnight.

“I never leave off cleaning my kitchen after a big prep,” she said, filling the bucket with hot water from the sink.

“Here, let me do it,” he said, taking over. “You’ve been going since four thirty this morning. It’s time for bed, Kandy. Go get ready. You’ve had a full, exhausting a day.”

She wouldn’t give him the mop. “I’m doing this, Josh. It won’t take more than five, ten minutes, tops.”

“Your work ethic astounds me. I can’t decide if you’re just plain stubborn or obstinate, but you’ll be no good tomorrow if you’re overtired and have a house full of company to entertain. And you still have stuff to do in the morning.”

She didn’t budge.

“Kandy, it’s midnight. You need sleep. Rest. Now let me have the mop.” He put out his hand. She glared at it for a few beats and then ignored it, turning back to the sink to lift the bucket.

“No. You go to bed. I’m finishing this.”

“Look, I’m not playing around.”

“Of course you’re not. You’re just naturally bossy and domineering. Well, here’s a news flash, Joshua Keane,” she said, dropping the bucket back into the sink, water sloshing out the sides. “I’m a grown-up. I do want I want, when I want. And I want to wash my floor. Now. You go to bed.”

He couldn’t believe she was arguing with him over something so stupid. For that matter, he couldn’t believe he was contending with her. But something in her tone rattled him and, even though he knew it was childish, he refused to back down.

Arms crossed, legs braced in a stance of defiance, he said, “You know, I weigh double what you do. I can just take that mop out of your hands. It wouldn’t be hard at all.”

She turned back to him, the blue in her light eyes deepening. “Go ahead and try,” she challenged, one hand on her hip in a stance of rebellion, the other gripping the mop handle.

They were standing toe to toe, each unwilling to bend.

Josh’s hand snaked out to grab the mop and Kandy effortlessly slapped it away. Without missing a beat, his other hand wound around her back, yanking her full force against his chest, the mop between them.

Kandy’s cry of surprise spit from her as she stared, wide-eyed, up into his face.

They were so close he could see the pulse beating at her temple as he stared down at her.

“Don’t challenge me if you’re not prepared to meet the consequences,” he said, his voice low and blunt.

She stared up at him, a sneer just beginning to form on her lips. “You don’t scare me.”

In the span of a heartbeat his head came down to hers, while she craned her neck toward him.

When their lips met the argument died.

Damn it.

He knew she’d feel like this, taste like this.
Heaven. Pure and total heaven.
Josh snaked his hands down her back, delighting in every curve and crevice he touched, to settle on her sweet ass. He swallowed her gasp against his mouth and gripped her butt, grinding her against his immediate, rock-hard erection.

When he felt her, soft, warm, and plastered against his body, he echoed her groan with one of his own.

He’d dreamed it would feel like this with her. Hot and spicy, delectable and scrumptious, just like her cooking. Her mouth was made for kissing, full and lush, swollen with need and desire.

Josh wanted nothing more than to eat her whole.

Clenching her even tighter, his lips left the mouthwatering taste of hers to wander across her cheeks, down to her chin. His tongue tasted the hollow behind her ear, his lips gliding across the silky skin of her neck.

Like a man starved for a lifetime, he devoured her.
Kandy arched backward, giving him free access to all those regions, while clutching fistfuls of his hair in her strong hands.
His tongue laved at the exposed skin of her collarbone, trailed back up to the corner of her ear, and when he captured the small lobe in his mouth and sucked, felt Kandy shudder with such erotic violence against him, he almost dropped to his knees.

“Josh.”

He pulled back and stared down at her flushed and glowing face. Her eyes were closed, her lips parted, waiting for him to kiss her again.

She was, without doubt, the most beautiful, most desirable woman he’d ever seen.

She felt so good, so right, against him. As if they’d been created and carved for each other.

And he wanted her like he’d wanted nothing else in his life.
But he knew he couldn’t have her.
A cold fist of reality punched through his desire-drenched body. She needed him to protect her, not seduce her. The notion that she wanted him as much as he did her didn’t change that fact.

“Kandy. Open your eyes.”

When she did he almost lost the small amount of sanity he still possessed and took her right there, braced against the sink.

Her beautiful blue irises were transparent crystals filled with heat and longing. Josh swore he could see to her very core; he could have melted into them without thought. Her gaze raked down his face to his lips, and she pulled a hand from his hair and traced a delicate line in the dimple under his bottom lip, just above his jawline.

Josh’s abdominal muscles contracted. He grabbed her hand, placed a chaste kiss on the open palm, and watched her expression change from captivated to confused.

Intrigued? Remember, it’s on sale right now for just 99cents! You can order your own copy here: Amazon

and if you want to know a little more about what I write, you can connect with me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

Here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

And I can’t forget the OKRWA 2018 Award video

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#Long&ShortReviewsWednesdayBloggerChallenge 4.17.19


Today’s prompt was a thinker for me. We had to come up with 10 unusual things about ourselves. I actually think I’m the most boring person on the planet, so this was kinda tough to write. I had to dig really deep and even go back to high school days to come up with anything. So, here goes: 10 unusual things about me ( the most person alive!)

10. I love scary movies

9. my left eye is significantly smaller than my right ( 2 cataract surgeries, and 2 retinal detachments, plus facial fractures as a baby from an accident)

8. I have vocal cord polyps, which is why I sound like a big smoker when I’ve never had a cigarette in my life.

7. I can name every movie made in 1939 ( being a lonely kid made me a big TV movie watcher)

6. I can recite the entire Wizard of Oz movie along with it

5. I have a heightened senses of taste and smell because of an accident I had as a baby

4. I got a perfect English score on the SAT

3. I can sit in full Lotus

2. I can’t whistle, try though I might

1.  I’m a great mimic

Let’s see what some of the other authors in this blog challenge have that’s unusual about them: L&SR

And when I’m going about living my normal, boring days, you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

Here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

And I can’t forget the OKRWA 2018 Award video

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A visit with #Author Jean M. Grant

 


My Wild Rose sistah, Jean M. Grant, has a new book being born into the novel reading world today and she graciously accepted my invitation to visit and tell us a little about it. She decided to share a  wealth of fun facts about one of the major aspects of her book, Yellowstone National Park. Let’s give Jean the floor….

Thanks, Peggy. This is where the scientist in me (I have degrees in Biology, Marine Science, and Microbiology) comes out! Yellowstone is a scientist’s Disneyworld.

How about a few Fun Facts about Yellowstone National Park?

  1. It became the first National Park in 1872.
  2. Yellowstone is a hydrothermal wonderland with over 10,000 hydrothermal features: geysers, hot springs, mudpots, steam vents, and over 500 geysers.
  3. The park is the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined, covering 2.2 million acres.
  4. Yellowstone is a supervolcano. Two massive magma bodies bubble beneath the park.
  5. A supervolcano refers to a volcano capable of eruption of 240 cubic miles of magma (yes, that’s miles!).
  6. The park is not all geology wonderland…there are hundreds of unique bird, fish, and mammal species in this gem in northwest Wyoming. Some signatures: bears (black and brown/Grizzly), bison, and wolves. Because of extensive programs, endangered species now flourish in the park.
  7. Over 5 million people visit the park annually.
  8. Old Faithful has been very faithful, erupting approximately every 90 minutes.
  9. Sadly, human trash and pollution has caused many of the vibrant hot pools to lose their color over the years. However, Yellowstone has created innovated programs to manage waste and human impact.
  10. Yellowstone has had 3 [2 of them being “supervolcanic”] caldera-forming eruptions over the past 3 million years (2.1 million, 1.3 million, and 640,000 years ago, respectively). Will it erupt again? Yes. Soon, like tomorrow? Not likely. The last eruption: 174,000 years ago, with 60 smaller ones since.
  11. The VEI scale measures explosivity of volcanoes and runs from 0 to 8.
  12. Be safe and read danger signs! To date over 92 people have died in the park, mostly from falling into burning hot springs, off ledges, or tempting fate with a bison.

*****Where can you learn more? I have piles of geology, volcano, and Yellowstone books at home, but the USGS and Yellowstone National Park websites are great places to get accurate facts. Happy digging, my aspiring geologists!

(Peggy here: Yellowstone is definitely a bucket list place for me to visit, and now, after reading your facts, more than ever!)

Will Rise from Ashes by Jean M. Grant

 

Living is more than mere survival.

Young widow AJ Sinclair has persevered through much heartache. Has she met her match when the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, leaving her separated from her youngest son and her brother? Tens of thousands are dead or missing in a swath of massive destruction. She and her nine-year-old autistic son, Will, embark on a risky road trip from Maine to the epicenter to find her family. She can’t lose another loved one.

Along the way, they meet Reid Gregory, who travels his own road to perdition looking for his sister. Drawn together by AJ’s fear of driving and Reid’s military and local expertise, their journey to Colorado is fraught with the chaotic aftermath of the eruption. AJ’s anxiety and faith in humanity are put to the test as she heals her past, accepts her family’s present, and embraces uncertainty as Will and Reid show her a world she had almost forgotten.

 Excerpt:

Even from far away, I recognized the man’s plaid long-sleeved shirt and the large backpack, but now he was walking alongside a bike on his approach.

“Hey, look! It’s that guy you drove past this morning!”

I shuddered inwardly. Well, karma just bit me in the butt.

“How did he catch up with us?” Motherly instinct took over as I rose, my legs wobbly. “Will, stay there. Here, take this,” I said, handing him the tire iron.

“We already tried that, Mom.”

“Not for that, Will.”

He scratched his brown hair, which was overdue for a cut, and looked at me, confusion wrinkling his brow.

“Be my wizard, Will. It’s your sword.”

“Wizards have wands.”

“Will…”

The circuit connected. “Oh…yes, Mom, I’ll protect you!”

I smiled faintly. “Thank you, honey.” I didn’t want to explain further that it was me protecting him. I didn’t want to say that if something happened, to run and hide in the woods. Because he would run and hide. Then what? Who would come help?

I shoved my hand into my front jeans pocket to nestle my fingertips around the pocket knife I had given Harrison for our wedding anniversary. The man slowed his bicycle as he drew nearer. He gave me an understated, yet significant, nod. The nod of understanding, of kindness. I didn’t buy it.

“Hello, again,” he said.

Ouch.

You can purchase your copy here:

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ iTunes 

A little about Jean…..

Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she’s not writing or chasing children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.

You can connect with, and follow Jean, here…

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Bookbub ~ Amazon Author Page ~ The Wild Rose Press

Feel free to follow me on my BLOG TOUR, April 18-June 6. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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Meet my friend, #editor and #Author Lorelei Confer…

Today is an extremely special day for me. I’m introducing you to someone who – truthfully and literally – changed my life forever.

Once upon a time…a chubby, menopausal, muffin-topped and bottle blonde insomniac wrote a romance novel. After winning a contest that she entered her book in, she was given the opportunity to send the manuscript to an editor at a publishing house. That editor liked the book so much she contracted for it. That chubby, menopausal, muffin-topped, bottle blonde insomniac was me, and the editor was my wonderful guest for the day, Lorelei Confer

Lorelei became my first Editor and one of my treasured friends-for-life. I never miss an opportunity to meet-up with her at a conference if we’re both attending and I never pass over the chance to ask her advice. And she’s not only a great editor, but a great author in her own right. I am so honored to introduce you all to her today and to spotlight her newest release, DEADLY LESSONS.

So sit back and learn all about this wonderful, talented author and woman.

Donna… as a writer, 

What drives you to write?

Curiosity, I think most of all. I wonder what it would be like if this happens or that happens, i.e. someone falls in love with the “wrong-for-them” person, or they don’t pay attention to what’s happening around them and then their life is in jeopardy, or one teeny-tiny mistake one time and they’ve ruined their entire lives. Or did they??

What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?

I write what I like to read and that’s typically romantic Suspense or thrillers but not psychotic or horror. I like to be surprised throughout so I try to put many twists and turns in the book as possible.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday?

I’ve fallen a little behind in the last year or so and I’m just now getting back to writing every day. Whenever I have a new release the promo takes precedent, unfortunately.

Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

My husband and I are empty nesters so I can pretty much write anywhere but I’m still not all alone and that’s okay with me. He’s a reader too so he’s quiet, lol. I write primarily in front of the large windows in the living room where I sit on the end of the couch/recliner. I like to hear the birds, all the natural light, see the weather change, a storm move in and that’s always exciting in Florida.

Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision?

I can filter out. I meet with another writer every Thursday for most of the day. I can pretty much ignore the lunch rush and enjoy the afternoon quiet. It also provides fodder for descriptions of clothing, facial expressions as well as lots and lots of body language.

Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?

I don’t listen to music at home because I’d end up listening with rapt attention and writing the lyrics. And then on Thursday I can enjoy the music in the background because I’m more focused on writing, etc. and in the “mode.”

How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

The Deadly series and my new release, Deadly Lessons, pertains to Human Sex Trafficking which, I hope, always includes a message or a lesson for the reader. The first book came from a dream, I know sounds weird, but I woke up and remembered I’d been drugged and transported from CO to VA and was being held captive until my abductors met with a buyer and then sell “me” into sex slavery. When I wrote the first book in 2006 Human Trafficking was just then becoming a news item and everyone thought it only happened in third world countries. A week or so later an article appeared in my local newspaper regarding a “sting operation” of what turned out to be a brothel with enslaved young women. I met with the lead detective of the local Human Trafficking Task Force and verified what I’d written could be an actual happening. I also learned terminology, purpose of the task force, how effected the community, etc. It all kinda boils down to awareness at all times and I use different situations in my books as examples. This subject is, for some reason, very intriguing.

Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?

I’m a pantser so I don’t really plan or plot anything. My book comes from a thought and then the character is born as someone who something like this would/could happen to and what he/she has to go through to get through it and stay alive.

What 3 words describe you, the writer?

Dreamer, thoughtful, and kind. (Peggy here – I totally agree with those 3!!)

Now, Donna, for the Woman in you…

Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! My greatest achievement was raising our two boys into the strong young men they are today.

Who was your first love and what age were you? I invited my husband to my eighth grade dance, had a great time, just saw each other during school hours and talked on the phone quite a bit afterward but then slowly drifted apart. We both grew, he graduated from high school, and both dated other people. Then when I was a senior I happened to ask his sister how he was and she said she’d tell him I asked about him or I said Hello, etc. He called me later that night and asked me out on a date. I didn’t want to go, hadn’t seen him in years, didn’t feel like I knew him but I must have been a pushover because the next day he was at the school to drive me home and then we went out to eat and see movie. We have been together ever since, considered inseparable, and that was 50 years ago. OMG!!!

If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….   My husband was in the Army and did two tours in Viet Nam. When he left the first time we were engaged and he was there 13 months. When he came home, we got married and he left again on his second tour but this time only for 7 months. When he came back this time, I met him at the airport , actually ran out on the tarmac to hug him, and I had such a feeling of relief, “He’d made it back, I’d never ever have to go through anything like this again ever alone.” Life has a way of inserting twists and turns that make you stronger at every curve in the road.

Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Commando, of course.

If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Hairspray, I live in Florida and there’s so much frizz, etc.

What three words describe you, the person? Patient, loving, and tired. (Peggy here – I can relate to the tired!!)

If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Angel in the Morning

Bonus round

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound     Birds singing
  2. Least favorite sound   Arguing
  3. Best song every written Too many!
  4. Worst song ever written   Again, there’re so many!!
  5. Favorite actor and actress   Love me some Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) I like being me!!
  7. What turns you on? Bright blue skies and a dry cool breeze
  8. What turns you off? Drama
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date (here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”)   I can’t believe you’d go out with me.
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Sleeping late, morning sex, lazy breakfast.

And now, a sneak peak at DEADLY LESSONS

Lexi Morris, late to a Human Trafficking awareness seminar at her job and distracts Luke Miller, the presenter, an FBI Special Agent on the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force/Coalition in central Pennsylvania. Their eyes meet and an instant connection occurs.

After a long day, Lexi walks to her car in a dimly lit parking lot while texting plans for a fun weekend but her weekend comes to a crashing halt when she‘s abducted with the intentions of being sold into sex slavery.

Luke, at his cabin in the woods for the weekend, observes suspicious activity at his late uncle’s cabin. When he investigates, he finds Lexi held captive and rescues her but not before engaging in a shootout with traffickers. He sets off on foot in a snowstorm, Lexi in tow, seeking the safety of his own cabin with her kidnappers in hot pursuit.

But is it simply coincidence when Lexi finds money, lots of money, in his jacket pocket? Is Luke her buyer and not her liberator? What will it take for her to trust him? Can he really protect her from a life of sex slavery?

Twenty-eight-year-old Lexi Morris rushed down the long hall to the large seminar room. The flyer about attending the Awareness of Human Trafficking seminar presented by a local FBI agent had passed over her desk a week or so ago but she hadn’t planned to attend. She’d worked late every night this week and still had entirely too much work to do. But at the last minute her supervisor, Nancy, stuck her head in her office doorway and with a few choice words, “mandatory” being one of them, of course, encouraged her to go, even if she’d be twenty minutes or so late.

The door at the end of the hall closed with a bang; the vacuum seal sucking it shut. She hurried toward the sound of a man’s voice rumbling and glanced through the small rectangular window. Moving her head slowly left to right she surveyed the rows of chairs. She spotted one of the few empty seats in a back row beside a colleague she knew, Carol. An end seat, too? She grinned. She could get in and out without making a disturbance.

She slipped inside the room, her attention drawn to the front of the room by a booming voice. When she glanced up her eyes connected with the speaker. She stopped, immobile, holding the door behind her until it closed softly. His eyes roved over her stature from top to bottom. Heat spread throughout her as he undressed her with his eyes.

“Yes, come in. Please, join us. Since I’ve already started I’d appreciate it if you can get an update from one of your colleagues,” the handsome blue-eyed FBI agent said. Lexi felt her face flush as she stared dumbfounded at the man making a spectacle of her. Mental note: Never be late again to this guy’s presentation.

He was cute in an FBI agent way, intense nothing-gets-past-me blue eyes and a muscular body that knew how to fill out a suit. Longish sandy-colored hair curled on his light blue dress shirt collar and a day or two of beard growth highlighted his strong jaw.

There was an audible gasp throughout the room. Lexi stood in front of the closed door mesmerized by his handsomeness, his echoing voice, and his words.

“As I was saying before being interrupted, she was taken to a local hotel and held in a room, beaten and raped for days until she gave in to prostitution. The hotel staff was asked to do favors for her trafficker, such as unlock her door to let the men inside. They complied. No one called the police. No one asked questions. No one helped her escape.” He glanced around the room and caught Lexi’s attention.

“When one of her drunken rapists inadvertently left the door to her room unlocked, she escaped. She had been sexually abused by her father from the age of two and forced into prostitution at age sixteen. Now she was eighteen. Fortunately, she was strong and spoke out. When the hotel manager was questioned why the staff supported or helped the trafficker, the answer was,” he curled fingers to make air quotes, “they were only concerned in renting rooms and paying bills.”

He raked his hand through his hair and eyed the ceiling.

Lexi saw his Adam’s apple move up and down when he swallowed.

He continued, “One thing to remember is that abduction or kidnapping for slavery, whether for sex or not, happens to both males and females at any age. There are girls and boys as young as five years old in servitude and more happening every day. This is not, I repeat, this is not something that only happens in third world countries. This happens right here in your home town and right here in central Pennsylvania.”

Lexi shook her head to clear it of the vision of his face, not letting his words sink into her head. She turned toward the empty seat beside Carol, and stepped the short distance. When Carol lifted her face to Lexi, her cheeks were wet with tears. Lexi placed her hand on Carol’s shoulder and asked, “Are you okay?”

“Yes, I’m fine. How are you?” Carol whispered. “It’s been ages since I’ve seen you.”

“I’m fine, very busy. Especially this time of year.” When Carol raised her eyebrows, Lexi said, “Budget time, you know.”

The speaker cleared his throat and asked, ”Can I have your attention now?”

Lexi’s eyes locked on his; he stood facing her, as if speaking to her personally. He continued with his presentation. It was extremely hard for her to focus on the words coming from his perfectly formed lips, and his deep and smooth as maple syrup voice. When his eyes drifted her way she smiled, and he turned away revealing his muscular back.

Her phone vibrated in her hand too many times to count, blowing up with texts from her friends who wanted to meet for happy hour drinks. It was Friday after all, but she still had a lot of work to finish before she left for the weekend.

You can find DEADLY LESSONS here: Amazon // B&N // ibooks // Kobo

A little more about Lorelei…

Lorelei Confer lives on a peninsula in the mid west coast of Florida with her high school sweetheart, now husband, and AJ, her longhaired Chihuahua.

In the fourth grade, she wrote her first story—something about getting a shot at the doctors—that was produced by the teacher for parents and students in an assembly. When she was older, she spilled her guts in a journal every night and wrote long newsy love letters to Viet Nam.

She is a multi published hybrid author of romantic suspense with two series: the Deadly series and the Saddle Creek series. She also has written numerous novellas and short stories.

She loves to hear from her readers so if you want to stay “in the know” visit her website, sign up for her newsletters and contact her.

Connect with Lorelei here:

Website // blog //Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Goodreads // Amazon // Newsletter

 

 

 

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#1stKissFriday

One of my favorite first kisses came from my Candy Heart Romance 3 Wishes

Matt and Chloe are virtually strangers, but the attraction between them is so bright  they light up the night sky! They only kiss twoce in the entire book, but the first one is a doozy. Keep reading and see if you agree.

…he was looking at me as if I were the only girl in the world.

I can’t remember who moved first. All I do recall is when his arms came around my waist and he pulled me against his chest—solid as a rock wall—I felt his breath heat my cheeks while his lips trailed a string of kisses down my jaw, finally—finally—ending at my mouth. It felt so completely right to be standing there that way, with him.

I’d been correct when I thought his mouth was made for kissing. It was. Smooth as marble and warm as Mediterranean sunshine, his mouth took possession of mine in a kiss so all-consuming and powerful I wondered how I was able to stand.

And then I realized I wasn’t. He’d lifted me up and I’d wound my legs around his waist, his strong arms and hands supporting my butt. He turned us, and I bumped straight back against the shop door with him holding me, his mouth doing wicked and utterly sinful things to my own. My hands fisted in his hair, which, as promised, felt as plush and luxuriant as it looked.

I couldn’t believe I was standing—well, being held up, really—in my shop with what amounted to a total stranger, practically having sex against my door.

This wasn’t the Angelina Chloe Gabriella San Valentino anyone knew.

Even I didn’t recognize myself.

His hips ground against me while he tightened his hold. The next thing I knew, my butt was lowered. I’d gone from being plastered against the door to sitting on top of the profiteroles glass display cabinet. He pulled back and cupped my chin with the palms of his hands.

“Chloe.” His breath danced across my lips when he said my name, his mouth a mere whisper from mine. I breathed him in, my heart pounding against my chest, my lungs filling with him, with his essence. One blue eye, one green, gazed at me, their colors heated with desire and something much more. Something I never thought I’d see reflected back at me from any man: pure, raw desire mixed with such a well of emotion it blindsided me.

Is it possible to fall in love in an instant? I don’t really know. But if it is, then this was it for me. Don’t ask me why or how, but I knew straight down to my core Dr. M. D’Amore was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I didn’t even know his first name, but I actually envisioned what our children would look like. Tall and lithe like their father, not short with a tendency to chubbiness like me. They’d either have blue eyes or green, but not both like their parents, and they’d all be cherub-faced bambini, complete with Botticelli curls in their hair and smiling, winking dimples on their faces.

He kissed me again, slow and unhurried, taking his time and driving me insane. He cupped my cheeks, his thumbs drawing small, nerve-tingling circles down my jaw, as his tongue mated with mine. Call it crazy, but I felt as if I’d always known his kiss, known it as surely as I knew my own name. The familiarity of his deep, sensual taste bounded through my brain, and I realized no candy I’d made had ever tasted as good as he did.

My legs tightened around his waist, my ankles crossing at his back. He slipped his hands from my face, down my torso and settled my butt in his palms, sliding me closer, closer to him, until I knew he could feel how wet I was through our clothes.

Just as the thought occurred to me of what would happen if I slipped my hand down between our bodies to grab him through his jeans, my store phone blared, shattering the silence. It was attached to my apartment landline so I’d be able to hear it wherever I was in the building.

Coming from a long line of drama-afflicted Italians, I knew no phone call after midnight ever brought good news with it.

With what I can only describe as sheer torture, I yanked my lips from his, pushed against his hard chest, and shimmied off the table, out of his arms. His brows pulled in tight toward the center of his forehead, confusion shooting across his eyes.

Intrigued? Here’s where you can get your own ecopy: 

Amazon // Nook // Kobo // itunes // google play // Walmart

Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Also available in audio book.

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On Girlfriends, a weekend away, and how not to take a selfie

I did something I rarely do this weekend: took off for a girls birthday getaway. Busy work schedules, life and geographic dispersement makes it difficult for me to hang out with my girlfriends as much as I’d like to. So this past weekend three of us finally managed to plan an entire two days of away time, just us, to hang, eat, exercise, shop, eat some more, and shop until we dropped.

Did I mention we shopped?
The first warm and sunny weekend of Spring allowed us to visit Newburyport and Portsmouth, NH, two gorgeous New England-y towns, rife with fun, food, tourist sites, and – you guessed it – shops!

From an old fashioned General Store that had more candy than even I could eat (!) to a housewares store that featured some of the best tea towels I’ve ever read:

   

 

Remember the specialty store SPENCERS? I haven’t seen one in a while now, but I found what I think is an upscale Spencers –  lots of funny stuff but not so dirty ( and by dirty I mean sexually explicit!)

When we weren’t eating and shopping we were walking along the beautiful coast line New Hampshire possesses. Yes, we are mostly landlocked, but we do have several miles of gorgeous coastline. And it was during our attempts at getting selfies with the beautiful water and sky horizon that I learned a valuable lesson about taking selfies, namely: I can’t!!

My girlfriend in the middle looks like one of those fashion DON’Ts from the old Glamour magazine back page, but that’s really my hand holding the camera up. This taught me that in future we need a selfie-stick to take pictures when we are looking toward the sun. And what’s with the prune face on me?? I think I was talking but who knows.

These are better, no?

One of my favorite places to shop is a bookstore. Any bookstore, and boy did we find some good ones. Here are a few of my newest Must-reads:

          

    

 

What a relaxing, fun, stress-free getaway! This was truly the theme of the entire two days:

I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have my girlfriends…and I don’t want to ever consider it.

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#L&SR #WednesdayBloggingChallenge 4.10.19

Today’s blog prompt, Characters I never want to meet, was a hard one for me to wrap my head around. I wondered if it meant characters who are already out in the book reading world that are so heinous and unlikable I wouldn’t want to waste a breath on meeting them. Or… if it’s people who haven’t been written yet, just little nuggets of character profiles.

A conundrum to be sure.

I’m gonna go with my first thought that it’s people who are already alive and walking around in the pages of books who I simply want to avoid at all costs.

Hannibal Lecter for example. I mean, would YOU want to meet a cannibal? I’m kinda chubby and I know he’d be thinking LUNCH whenever he looked at me.  Pass.

Jack Torrance is another one who’d I’d rather not shake hands with. He could have an axe behind his back, at the ready to whip it out and go-a-chopping-crazy. No thanks. Pass.

I’m thinking Amy Dunne is a gal I’d rather not meet up for a chat and a cuppa at the local Starbucks for so many reasons, but the biggest one is anyone who has that expressive a resting bitch face is the kind of person you know is planning 50 ways to make your life miserable while she’s chomping at a biscotti. Yeah…BIG PASS!

And does anyone REALLY want to meet Voldemort? I know I don’t. Creep factor aside, there’s that whole moving to dark side thing that’s so unappealing. Pass. Big Pass. Never-gonna-happen-pass.

Maybe the reason I stick to writing romance is because none of my villains are terrifying. Just nasty and petty. I can deal with nasty and petty. Terrifying? Not so much.

Let’s see who some of the other author/bloggers participating in this challenge want to avoid. L&SR

And please don’t avoid me or my characters! We’re nice people. Really. You can find us here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

Here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

And I can’t forget the OKRWA 2018 Award video

 

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A new #DeerbourneInn novella & visit from #author Charlotte O’Shay

I am so pleased to have another Wild Rose Press sistah with me today and her newest release, an addition to the  Deerbourne Inn series. Please welcome , an uber-talented author and my friend, Charlotte O’Shay and her new book FOREVER IN A MOMENT ( Deerbourne Inn).

Hi Peggy,

Thanks for inviting me to visit your busy blog. Today is release day and I’m so excited to share my new release Forever in a Moment.

Why did you write this story?

Perfect question. There are a million stories out there aren’t there? and so many romance tropes.

Forever in a Moment is my take on some age-old questions: Is there such a thing as love at first sight? What role does fate play in our lives?

I do believe in love at first sight, that instant connection that tells you this person, this guy or woman, is the one. And yet what we know as people and as authors is: nothing is ever that easy. If you asked Sam, my heroine, she’d tell you she didn’t believe anything, especially love happens that fast. Then she meets Jed…and wow. Now I think she’d say, “when you know, you know.”

What was your favorite part about writing this story?

My favorite part of this story was writing it in first person POV, which was the only way to write Sam. She’s a fish out of water in rural Vermont whose natural optimism is squashed when she’s jilted. Sam was like a friend who called me up to say: you’ll never believe the week I just had. She told me her story and I wrote it down. Fastest I’ve ever written a book.

I also Ioved the way our publisher’s series bible gave me an array of people like Jared Crawford who works at the inn and Karla Payne to work with. I met those characters and my imagination took off.

Favorite moments in the story?

I love the way Sam got to know the people in Willow Springs as individuals. She came up to the inn to lick her wounds but she’s a natural optimist and people person. I loved seeing the town and the people of Willow Springs through her eyes. She’s the quintessential empathetic person who’d give you the shirt off her back. I loved watching everyone warm to her…especially Jed *wink*

Now about you. What drove you to become a romance author?

Reading and writing were my companions at all levels of school and beyond, in spite of the fact that I have a large family. I fight my introverted personality and I’m always happiest deep into book whether someone else’s or my own.

I love the escape reading provides and the feeling I get in the hands of an author who can tell a good story well. It’s transportive. I strive to be that author.

Do you write in other genres?

Not yet. I do sometimes feel otherworldly or spiritual elements creeping into my stories. I talk about fate in the dedication to this book.

Here’s the Dedication:

I believe in destiny. I believe we drive the car but fate takes us on uncharted roads. I believe in the hope and fresh start of every New Year.

I love history too. But so far the stories that come fastest are the contemporaries and I’ve focused on them.

What’s next?

Book 3 in my steamy City of Dreams series, Their No Strings Affair will release on May 29th. You can find that blurb on my website.

Thanks Peggy!

Totally my pleasure, Charlotte. ~peg

 

A stormy encounter… 
Samantha DeMartino’s Christmas wedding is two weeks away when her fiancé calls the whole thing off. Word on the street: his cold feet are being heated by an old flame. With her well-ordered world in complete disarray, Sam’s friends convince her to go on her honeymoon—alone. A week at a charming Vermont inn away from the city and her demanding corporate career could be just what she needs to figure out her next steps. 
Between his twenty-four seven work schedule on his family’s dairy farm and teaching tourists to ski, Jed Armstrong’s too busy to think about how lonely he is…until Sam sings her way into his life during a Christmas blizzard. Now he has to figure out a way to convince her to stay. 
Can a vivacious city girl find forever with a reclusive farmer? 
Will her secret keep her from trying?

Forever in a Moment Buy links

Amazon // Kobo // Google Play //

A little more about this wonderful author…

Author Charlotte O’Shay was born in New York City into big family and then married into another big family. Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law. But after four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams. Charlotte loves to challenge her heroines and heroes with a crisis and watch them figure out who they are while they fall in love.

You can connect with Charlotte here: 

WEBSITE//INSTAGRAM//TWITTER// PINTEREST //  FACEBOOK PAGE

// BOOKBUB

My review of FOREVER IN A MOMENT is here ( Hint: I loveloveloved it!)

By Reservation Only      Hope’s Dream     Freedom’s Path   

      

Lyrical Embrace     Spirited Quest       Soul of the Storm

              

Lion Dancing for Love

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If I could turn back time…

Yeah, I know it’s a Cher classic,

but that’s not what I’m talking about today.

The other day one of my favorite writers, Christie Craig, posted this on her fb page:

If I could go back and change something in my past, I’d have told the guy who broke my heart that I knew I could do better. What would you change if you could go back in time?

That’s some thoughtful question, isn’t it?
The possibilities are endless…at least for me they are.

How many times in my life have I said, “if only…”

If only I’d told my mother how my grandmother used to verbally belittle and physically hit me when she babysat me and was drinking.

If only I’d told on my step-cousins when they locked me in a closet for three hours because they didn’t like having me around and then laughed when I cried.

If only I’d told a teacher the truth about why I let that mean girl cheat off me on a test.

If only I’d reported that college professor for putting his hand on my butt, or better yet, kicked him square in the balls.

If only I’d told my father what a shitty human being he was for sosososo many reasons.

If only I’d realized sooner what a loser the first boy I’d ever gotten engaged to was.

If only I’d spoken up when I saw that man hit his little boy in the parking lot.

The one thing I certainly would change if I could go back and have a do-over is that I’d tell my mother how much I loved her when I was a teenager instead of screaming at her about how much I hated her. I really didn’t hate her. I just hated the life we had and she was the easiest one to blame.

That one haunts me more than anything else.

So, What would you change if you could go back in time?

Things to things about, peeps. ~ Peg

 

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#99cent #EBook sale going on right now! #WIllCookForLoveSeries

For a limited time, Kensington/Lyrical has placed the entire WILL COOK FOR LOVE series on sale for just 99cents per ebook. This is a great opportunity to grab the series before it goes back to the original prices.

My WILL COOK FOR LOVE series was my first #Foodie romance series, featuring cheflebrity KANDY LAINE and her sisters and cousins.

Here are easy links to each book:

#1 COOKING WITH KANDY

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

#2 A SHOT AT LOVE 

Photographer Gemma Laine is looking for arresting faces on the streets of Manhattan when her camera captures something shocking—a triple murder. In that moment, she becomes a target for the mob—and a top priority for a very determined, breathtakingly handsome, FBI special agent. With deadlines to meet and photo shoots on her calendar, Gemma chafes at the idea of protection, but every moment she spends under his watchful eye is a temptation to lose herself in his muscular arms . . .

With two of his men and one crucial witness dead, Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos can’t afford to be distracted. But Gemma is dazzling—and her connection to Kandy Laine’s high-profile cooking empire makes her an especially easy mark for some very bad people. Keeping her safe is much more pleasure than business, but as the heat between them starts to sizzle, Ky is set to investigate whether they have a shot at love . . .

# 3 CAN’T STAND THE HEAT 

With three successful TV series under her belt, including her cousin Kandy’s, executive producer Stacy Peters is ready to helm her own show. But to make that happen, she has to do her network boss one favor first—spend two months on a ranch in Montana wrangling the notoriously difficult director of Beef Battles. Apparently, he eats producers for breakfast. Yet all Stacy can think when she meets the lean, rugged man is how hungry he makes her . . .

Dominic Stamp—Nikko to his very few friends—has had enough interference from TV newbies. And when Stacy climbs out of the car in Montana, he’s not convinced she’s even old enough to drive, much less produce his show. But he can’t deny that the long-legged blonde with the stubborn will and the dazzling smile whets his appetite. And as Stacy proves her talent with the crew and the budget alike, Nikko vows to prove to her that love is on the menu for both of them . . .

Get the entire series…you won’t be disappointed!

LOVE SO HOT, IT SIZZLES!

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