#TeaserThursday

I’m waiting on copy edits for my third book in the MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series, BAKED WITH LOVE, but while I wait, here’s a little something from Maureen O’Dowd’s perspective….

Lucas nodded. “He seems pretty stoked about working, something I’m surprised about. Glad, for sure, but surprised. I figured…” He shrugged.

“I know. I thought a fifteen-year-old boy would rather be any place than in a kitchen every day, but he actually asked to work most days during the week and on weekends for the weddings. We’ll see how long this enthusiasm lasts.” I grinned up at him while I towel-dried a mug.

“I don’t know, Mo. If it was me, I wouldn’t mind being stuck in a kitchen every day—”

“That’s because you’re always hungry.”

“—if it was with you.”

My hand stopped rubbing the porcelain.

Okay, what?

I’m usually fairly adept at not showing my feelings or have what’s running through my mind cross my face. Nanny has commented many times over the years I’m the person she least likes playing poker with because she can’t read me. The ability to hide my true feelings has gotten me through some testy times with my parents, a bad breakup with a verbally abusive boyfriend, and my twin’s illness then death. Plus, for as many times as we’d been together over the years, Lucas had never once guessed how I truly felt about him.

Right now, though, I was finding it next to impossible to school my features and body into its usual calm nonchalance. I can only imagine how I must have appeared to him, standing there with the towel thrust into the mug, my hand paralyzed—my body as well—as I stared up at him, silent.

“What’s wrong?” He uncrossed his arms and took a step toward me, his brows grooving toward the middle of his forehead. “Maureen?”

I blinked a few times when his hand snaked around my upper arm. A soothing, comforting warmth seeped through me from his touch. I wanted to move in closer, melt into his arms, and snuggle into all his heat. When I found myself shifting so I could, I took a step backward, mentally and physically. Lucas didn’t drop his hold but kept his hand on my arm, his other one following suit.

“Nothing. Sorry. I’m fine.” I shook my head a few times and planted what I hoped looked like a self-deprecating grin on my face.

“I lost you there for a second.” His gaze swept across my face, searching, silently questioning.

“Sorry. I’ve got a lot going on up here.” I pointed a finger at my head. “Thinking fifteen steps ahead about what needs to be done around this place.”

He waited a beat, those intelligent, intense eyes never wavering from my own. “Why don’t I believe that’s all it is?”

It was no wonder he was such a good lawman. With his gaze zeroed in on me, piercing and probing, and his voice low, deep, and commanding, almost seductively sly in its cadence, I imagined people who’d broken the law were no match for him when it came to his garnering confessions.

I pulled a Colleen-worthy eye roll. “Because you’re a cop and you’re naturally suspicious. It’s ground into your DNA. Like the green in your eyes.”

One eyebrow quirked high up on his forehead. “The green in my eyes?”

His mouth stayed perfectly straight, but I got the distinct impression he was laughing at me.

“It’s true. Your eyes are green, and you’re naturally nosy.”

His inspection grew more intense as he dipped his chin and glared at me. The heat in his stare shot straight down to my core and exploded. I’m pretty sure I shuddered.

Lucas’s fingers kneaded my arms. Every nerve ending in my body stood straight up, like I’d walked across a rug in the dead of winter and then touched something metal, sparking an electric shock. I licked lips that had suddenly gone desert-dry.

His gaze took a slow stroll down to my mouth and lingered. Enough so those butterflies finally made a break for freedom. Without any will to prevent it, my mouth fell open and I dragged in about a quart of air, my shoulders lifting, then dropping with the effort. I lost the grip on the mug and when it slipped out of my hand, Lucas let go of my arms as we both reached for it at the same time.

My reflexes are quick. Lucas’s are like lightning.

Both our hands went around the cup at the same time, but in moving for it, Lucas had to bend from his substantial height. When he did, our heads connected and a resounding thwack echoed around us.

Ow.” I let the mug go free into his hand and palmed the spot of contact on my forehead. “Your skull’s made of cement.”

Lucas placed the mug on the counter, then tugged my hand off my head.

I swatted him away. It was like slicing air because it had no effect on halting him from touching me.

“Let me see. Stop squirming.” He cupped my chin to hold me in place.

In all honesty, I’d gone statue-still again the moment his hand curled around my jaw. I knew Lucas’s fingers were strong, an effect of being a life-long shooter. Thick-skinned, coarse, and powerful, his grip was surprising gentle though, as he held my face in one hand and pressed against the throbbing notch on my forehead with the other.

“You’re gonna have a goose egg.”

“And whose fault is that?” I mumbled.

“Better get some ice on it, fast.”

This time when I glanced up at him, he was attempting—and failing—to hide a grin.

Through narrowed eyes, I said, “Thanks for the advice. Mind letting go of me so I can?”

Lucas glanced at the hand wrapped around my chin, frowned, then drew his attention back up to meet my eyes.

Calling them green hadn’t done them a bit of justice. There are so many variations of the simple color, and none of them applied to Lucas.

They weren’t the bright green of a shamrock or the metallic sheen of jade. Neither were they pale like sage nor brilliant like winking emeralds. The purest and most accurate way to describe them was they mimicked the color of fresh moss at midnight: deep and dark with shards of yellow in the mix reflected in moonlight. Long lashed with a tiny tilt at the corners and subtle lines fanning out to his temples, Lucas’s eyes had always been captivating to me. Right now, with his hand holding my chin, and his body so close I could detect the brand of soap he’d used in the shower, they were mesmerizing.

The air between us changed in a finger snap. Energized. Ignited.

Something in Lucas changed, as well. His shoulders were drawn up almost to his ears, and his breathing went a little deeper, a little louder as we stood there. The groove between his eyebrows folded inward even more than it usually did. When his tongue flicked out and crossed over his bottom lip like mine had a few moments ago, I bit down on the need to press my own mouth to his.

I may have moaned.

The swift inhale Lucas took convinced me he’d heard the sound and recognized it for the naked desire it was. The hand at my chin tensed and drew me in closer. So close, I could count every hair of the afternoon stubble shading his etched cheeks and strong jaw.

An insane urge to run my tongue along the length of that shadow hopscotched through me. I might have succumbed to the impulse if Robert’s voice hadn’t spilt into the room.

“Dad?”

We both blinked at the sound.

“What’s going on?”

“Maureen dropped a cup,” Lucas told him after a moment, his attention never wavering from me. His voice was thick and low. “We bumped heads when we went to get it. Grab some ice from the freezer, would ya, son?”

“There’s a cold pack in there,” I said, stepping back when Lucas finally freed his hold on me.

He stood, immobile and silent, in front of me while his son set about his task.

I’d give anything to know what he was thinking, but his expression had gone back to its usual relaxed one. His body, though, remained stiff and tense.

Robert handed me the cold pack and said, “Here.” When he glanced at my forehead, he added, “Ouch. Dad, you hurt her.”

“It’s nothing,” I said, wrapping the pack in the dishtowel I still held in one hand. I placed it against the throbbing ache I now felt on my head and winced. “Okay, ouch is right. But it was an accident, Bobby-Boy.”

I wanted to alleviate the troubled expression on his face, so I added, lifting my lips in what I hope was a comical smirk, “Your father’s got a head like a rock. No surprise, there.”

My quip hit its intended mark as both of the men in my kitchen grinned. Lucas’s shoulders finally relaxed, and the ghost of a sigh slid from him.

They left shortly thereafter with Lucas promising to have his son to work on time in the morning.

Intrigued? I’ll put up release dates and a cover when I have them. Until then, be well, peeps.

and look for me here: Follow me

 

 

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Writing

#CoverReveal for ARRESTING JEREMIAH by Amber Daulton

 

 

 

 

Title: Arresting Jeremiah

Author: Amber Daulton

Series: Arresting Onyx (book 2)

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Release Date: October 14th, 2020

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Heat Rating: 5 Flames

Injured Parole Officer Jeremiah “Jim” Borden never expected Calista Barlow, the sassy blonde waitress he’s craved for months, to ring his doorbell. She slips into his heart—and his bed—but he’s obsessed with a gangland investigation that threatens his career and maybe even his life.

Calista doesn’t trust easily, not with a daughter to protect and the stalker who keeps calling her. After her violent ex-boyfriend returns, she finds solace in Jim’s arms.

Jim may have to forego his need for answers to protect the ready-made family he adores, but how will he and Calista escape an unseen enemy that is always one step ahead of them?

Excerpt

He hated to upset Calista all over again, but he had to know. “What were you thinking when you tried on the necklace?”

Air whizzed through her teeth. Silence stretched between them as they walked toward the diner. She sighed, her voice soft. “No offense, but I don’t know or trust you enough to let you in that much. I’ve made some mistakes—things I don’t want to talk about. Give me some time.”

Trust? He couldn’t blame her for that. If he demanded to know her secrets, he had to tear down the barbwire he’d erected around his.

No. That couldn’t happen. His life depended on his silence. Did her private thoughts and memories hinge on life and death too? His stomach twisted. Nothing bad would happen to her, not if he was around to stop it.

“What can you tell me?” Hell, only an asshole would ask something like that without opening up in return.

“The necklace reminded me of something I once wanted more than anything. Not the pearls itself, but what it represented. I couldn’t have it because I wasn’t good enough.” She pulled from his grasp and wrapped her arms around her middle.

“I’m sorry I forced you to try on the necklace. I thought you liked it. All women deserve something that makes them feel pretty.” The stench of oil filled his nose, and he sneezed. He glanced at the noisy passing cars and pulled Calista farther back along the sidewalk, away from a puddle in the road, before a vehicle splashed them. “I understand about lack of trust and the need for secrecy. I hope someday you can tell me what happened, but I do know one thing, even if you never tell me. You were good enough. You always have been and will always be.”

Her blue-green eyes widened. She traced her fingertips over his smooth jaw, leaving sparks in her wake.

“You’re so kind. I almost believe it when you say it. God, I wish I’d met you years ago, Jeremiah.”

“Why do you call me Jeremiah? Everyone else calls me Jim.”

“It feels more personal, as though you belong only to me. I may have to share Jim with the rest of the world, but Jeremiah—the strong, kind man I’ve admired over the past several months—is all mine.”

Her admission branded him like a fire poker to his skin. If he were alone, he’d beat his chest and roar. No woman had ever wanted to claim him. No one but her ever called him Jeremiah.

He coughed, clearing his throat. “Friday is only two days away, but I can’t wait that long. Let’s get in my car and go to a park, somewhere private, to talk.”

“Talk? Is that code for necking like teenagers?”

“I’m game if you are, but I don’t want to be rushed. We’ll have time for kissing and touching later.”

She pecked his cheek. “We better go before the rain starts again.”

He grasped her hand and they hurried back to the diner.

PREORDER YOUR COPY HERE: 

Amazon //  Barnes and Noble //  Apple //  Universal link//

Add to Goodreads 

Check it out on BookBub

Official Book Trailer

 

*************Great news! Arresting Mason, book one in the Arresting Onyx series, is on sale for .99 cents.

Limited Time Only!

 

 

Find it here: https://books2read.com/u/m2vvY7

 

Release Tour Sign Ups

I’m working with the wonderful Maia from Silver Dagger Tours to host the release of Arresting Jeremiah. Readers, authors, and bloggers alike—we would love to have you on board for the month-long tour, beginning on October 14th.

There is also the option to review before the book goes LIVE!

You can find out more here: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/tour-sign-ups/arresting-jeremiah-tour-sign-ups

 

A little about Amber Daulton…

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press, Books to Go Now, and Daulton Publishing, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.

You can find Amber here:

Website//  Facebook Author Page //  Twitter //  Pinterest //  Goodreads  //  Amazon Author Page//  Book Bub //  LinkedIn //   The Wild Rose Press//

 

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Filed under romantic suspense, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A new addition to our family…meet Maple Leaf

If you follow this blog you know that there have been some serious highs and lows in my life and that of my family’s lately. A wedding, a death, not to mention the continued pandemic running our lives and lifestyles.

Well, since we are already stressed out, my husband and I figured, why not add to that stress.

No, seriously, we didn’t say that!!!! Hahah. But the end result could be construed as stress producing.

Let me ‘esplain.

Last Thursday we adopted an-almost 8 week old puppy and brought her into our home and hearts.

Yeah, I know….puppy = stress, squared! heehee

It’s been a longlonglonglong time since we had a dog, much less a puppy in the house. We got our first dog-baby, a black Lab named Ella, in 1987. She passed in 1999. So 21 years since a dog roamed our house and 33 since we had a pup.

But….

Meet Maple Leaf Jaeger

12 pounds of pure puppy love, joy, and rambunctious energy!

She’s a chocolate Lab and loves to run around in the yard, carry sticks in her mouth, and play with empty plastic bottles.

Oh, and chew. Everything!!!!

She already has our hearts in her paws.

Our daughter named her Maple because she is a New Hampshire dog, born and bred and we wanted to keep her name native to the region. I added the middle name of Leaf, which I have to admit, my family thinks is dumb!!! But since I rule the roost, it’s staying.

With this new media-obsessed world we inhabit, Maple even has her own Instagram page. You can follow her daily antics here 

I know: I’m a little obsessed! Heehee.

But look at this face:

and tell me you wouldn’t be as well!!!

Heehee.

Until next time, peeps. Follow Maple Leaf on instagram and me, here: Follow me

 

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Author Joanne Guidoccio and NO MORE SECRETS

It is ALWAYS such a pleasure for me to host my guest today. Amazeballs writer JOANNE GUIDOCCIO has been a writer-friend for almost 5 years – ever since she hosted me on her own blog when my very first book released. Joanne is a one-click author for me because her books take me away from the world for hours of reading pleasure, and today, she’s here, talking about her newest release NO MORE SECRETS.

If I wasn’t already an avid reader of her work, I would become one just based on the blurb for this book, alone.

Here…come visit with Joanne ~

Inspired by Two Francescas

Twenty-five years ago, I sat with eyes glued to the big screen as Meryl Streep assumed the role of Francesca Johnson, an Italian war bride, in the romantic drama, The Bridges of Madison County. Based on the best-selling novel by Robert James Waller, the film focuses on a four-day love affair between two middle-aged lovers, Francesca and Robert Kincaid, a National Geographic photojournalist brilliantly played by Clint Eastwood.

Having spent years in a passionless marriage, Francesca falls deeply in love with Robert and contemplates leaving her loyal husband and teenage children. Here’s a moving excerpt that captures Francesca’s dilemma:

Francesca: Robert, please. You don’t understand, no one does. When a woman makes the choice to marry, to have children; in one way her life begins but in another way it stops. You build a life of details. You become a mother, a wife and you stop and stay steady so that your children can move. And when they leave, they take your life of details with them. And then you’re expected to move again only you don’t remember what moves you because no one has asked in so long. Not even yourself. You never in your life think that love like this can happen to you.

Robert: But now that you have it…

Francesca: I want to keep it forever. I want to love you the way I do now the rest of my life. Don’t you understand…we’ll lose it if we leave. I can’t make an entire life disappear to start a new one. All I can do is try to hold onto both. Help me. Help me not lose loving you.

Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that I needed tissues for the last third of the movie.

One year later (1996), I watched the movie on VHS with my mother, another Francesca. She was also moved by the storyline and provided her own perspective on the affair.

Five years younger than Francesca Johnson, Mama also left Italy during those post-War World II years. Mama settled in the Italian section of Sudbury (Canada), while Francesca Johnson ended up in the lush countryside of Iowa. I gather from the book and film she was the only Italian in that town.

As Mama’s thoughts traveled back to the late 1950s and early 1960s, her eyes glistened with tears. She shared her own stories and those of friends and relatives who had emigrated to Canada and the United States. As I listened, I started to imagine writing a novel about an Italian woman’s immigrant experience.

I was still teaching at the time, but I managed to come up with a very rough outline of the storyline. And then, I put it aside when the details of my own life became more challenging.

While cleaning out my files in 2018, I discovered the outline. I revamped the storyline, adding three more POVs, a psychic companion, and a more contemporary setting.

Take a look at No More Secrets

 

 Blurb

Angelica Delfino takes a special interest in the lives of her three nieces, whom she affectionately calls the daughters of her heart. Sensing that each woman is harboring a troubling, possibly even toxic secret, Angelica decides to share her secrets—secrets she had planned to take to the grave. Spellbound, the nieces listen as Angelica travels back six decades to reveal an incredulous tale of forbidden love, tragic loss, and reinvention. It is the classic immigrant story upended: an Italian widow’s transformative journey amid the most unlikely of circumstances.

Inspired by Angelica’s example, the younger women share their “First World” problems and, in the process, set themselves free.

But one heartbreaking secret remains untold…

Excerpt

Angelica smiled at her nieces. “You’re probably wondering why I’ve summoned you here in the middle of winter. I didn’t want to wait, in case…”

The three women exchanged alarmed glances.

“Ma said you were better,” Velia said.

“Did something happen this week?” Nora asked.

“I have been given a reprieve,” Angelica said. “I wanted to talk with each of you while I was at my strongest.”

An awkward silence followed.

Angelica sighed. It was going to be more challenging than she thought. She had hoped for more signs of openness. Right now, the three of them had reverted to wariness. “I’m hoping we can all share without judgment. As the eldest, I will start, but before I do so, I’d like all your assurances that you will follow suit. I don’t want to be the only one baring my soul.”

Each niece lowered her head, avoiding contact with Angelica and each other.

“Sharing is caring,” Angelica said in a sing-song voice.

Each woman smiled in spite of herself. But still, no promises were made.

“All right then,” Angelica said as a note of exasperation crept into her voice. “Let’s make a deal. If I succeed in shocking you, then you have to share.”

The younger women exchanged glances and smiles.

“Why now?” Nora asked. “Aren’t you afraid we’ll share your innermost secrets with our mothers, who will, in turn, broadcast them across Canada and Italy?”

Angelica laughed wickedly. “Go ahead, but do keep in mind that both of them have weak hearts.”

“I’ll share,” Teresa said in a loud voice that startled everyone.

“Me, too,” Velia and Nora added.

 

Book Trailer

 

Buy Links

Amazon US // Amazon Canada // Amazon UK// Amazon Australia

 

A little about Joanne…

A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Joanne Guidoccio writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romances, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.  

 

You can connect with Joanne, here: 

Website:  // Twitter: //    Facebook:  // Pinterest:  // Goodreads:  // LinkedIn:  // Amazon:

 

Joanne Guidoccio will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Find out more here:  Rafflecopter

Again, it was such a pleasure to host Joanne today. Look for her books and read them – you won’t be disappointed!!!

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

 

 

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#SundaySnippet 9.20.2020

I never got around to doing  teaser Thursday this week, so today’s alliteration will do. Hee hee.

From my upcoming release of MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA. Meeting the guy 18 years later that you gave more than your heart to when you were 17 is awkward anywhere it happens. When it occurs right after you’ve found a murdered body? Well, it’s traumatic to say the very least.

I knew those eyes.

Intimately.

When they weren’t filled with anger and pain, like they were right now, I knew how captivating they could be. The palest of blue and heavily lashed, they tilted up a tiny bit at the corners. Jealousy ramped through me. How unfair was it a man was gifted eyes like this when I’d been cursed with the most dull and boring brown color ever blended?

Light hair, a mix of natural honey and wheat husks, straight and clipped short covered his head. Shoulders spanning almost as wide as the doorframe were covered by a dark tan sports jacket, the pants a deeper hue of the same color palette.

“Donna,” Angelo said, his voice thick with fear, “why’d you attack Detective Roma?”

“I didn’t attack…wait? Detective?”

I tried to lick some moisture back into my lips but my salivary glands had gone dormant during the flight or fight response. I glanced at each of the men standing in front me, stopping last on the one Ange had referred to as a detective.

With one hand still cupping his jaw where my knee connected, the man pierced me with his gorgeous gaze and just like I had when I’d been seventeen and climbed into the back seat of his brand new Z8, I lost what little sanity I still had.

“Hey Donna,” Tony Roma said, shaking his head. “Long time and all. I see you’re still as sweet and mild mannered as ever.”

Intrigued? You can preorder it now or wait until 10.14.2020 to get it. Personally, I love me a pre-order.

hee hee.

Pre order here: MMM

Add it to your Goodreads WANT TO READ list here: MMM

Looking for me? Follow me, here – after you click on the link, just click on one of the icons.: FOLLOW  ME

 

 

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Emotional rollercoaster – my life in a nutshell…

Another weird post title that somehow says it all, and correctly!

Last weekend was a weekend to end all for me ( and my family). Two major life altering events took place, back to back, and they couldn’t have been more different in every way, from the emotions they elicited, to the way they were carried out.

Let me e’splain.

Saturday, my darling, wonderful, talented and much loved daughter got married. The event was originally supposed to happen in May of this year with a guest list of over 300. A three day affair scheduled in the White Mountains. Then…Covid hit. She postponed the big wedding until Labor day, but had to put it off once again because we are still in the throes of a pandemic. September 12 was the fifth anniversary of my daughter and now husband’s first date, so they decided to get married in a small scale event, Covid-compliant, and with immediate family only.

It was the most joyous of affairs. A church wedding and mass, after which we all proceeded to my new son-in-law’s childhood home for an outside dinner and celebration, catered, and Covid compliant to the hilt. It was simple, elegant, religious, and filled with all the love these two deserved.

Happiness was the order of the day.

Sunday, we all had to switch emotional gears because we attended my brother-in-law’s wake ( celebration of life). After a valiant and hard pressed  11 year battle with kidney cancer, my husband’s younger brother – and the baby in the Jaeger family – finally succumbed to the ravages of the disease. The decision to wake and bury him on my daughter’s wedding weekend was made since the entire family would be in attendance for the wedding. Since my bro-in-law was my daughter’s Godfather, she agreed with this plan.

The wake was emotional but in an entirely different way from the wedding. Sorrow, grief, pain. These words don’t seem to do justice to what filled the hearts of the people who came to pay their last respects to a man who brought joy to so many people’s lives.

Monday we attended a Catholic burial mass, then laid him to rest.

I kept a close eye on my husband throughout the weekend because I was concerned about his emotional welfare the most. From the highs and elations of walking his only child down the aisle to marry the man of her heart, to the cavernous depths of despair at saying goodbye to his baby brother, I feared my poor man wouldn’t be able to cope. Many times emotions overcame him. And just as many times he was able to get himself back in check and soldier on.

There’s a quote that Rose Kennedy espoused when her first son was killed in combat during WWII. “I know God will never give me a burden to heavy to bear. He has faith in my to carry any weight and carry on.” That about sums up how I got through this weekend.

Life and death are two halves of the same coin. Never was that so evident in my lifetime as this past weekend.

I don’t routinely give advice because I hate getting it, especially unsolicited, but I’ll drop my guard for a moment and just say this: tell the people you love the most that you do. Often and in every way you can. When we have nothing else left in our lives, we have the memories of the people who loved us and whom we loved.

 

 

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#Author Jennifer Wilck presents WHISPERS IN WASHINGTON….

I love when my author/writer friends come to visit me here on this blog, and today is no exception!!! One of my talented sistahs, Jennifer Wilck,  has a new  book out – her very first indie release!!! – and she graciously agreed to come talk about it here with us all today!!!

So, without any more of me talking, I’m gonna give the virtual mic to Jenn….

Thanks so much, Peggy, for allowing me to visit with your readers today. I’m so happy to be here and to talk about why I decided to go the indie route.

In this particular case, I was actually asked to join a group of writers who were putting together a multi-author series, called Ticket to True Love. JB Schroeder, a fellow New Jersey Romance Writers author, was looking to make her group of authors a little more diverse, and knew I write Jewish romance. So she contacted me to see if I’d be interested.

I was flattered for many reasons. First of all, I’ve written four contemporary romances with Jewish characters, and it’s always nice for an author to be “known” by her peers—and readers—for something. Writing Jewish characters is something that’s near and dear to my heart—I truly believe diversity, in whatever way it is expressed, adds flavor and texture to romance.

Second of all, the other authors who are part of this series are very talented, and for them to consider me made my day. Authors like Savannah Kade, Shirley Hailstock, Terry Osburn, and Julie Strauss, just to name a few. I mean, I’ve READ their books and admired the way they told their stories. And now I’m writing with them!

The premise for the series also interested me. The series has a legend that every book must refer to somewhere in the story—that of a magical water spring that caused a couple to fall in love. Each author must incorporate that magical water somewhere in their book. For my book, Whispers in Washington, I have the heroine and her mother visit the town where the spring is located. In fact, the heroine’s mom wants her to drink the water and my heroine refuses—she’s been burned by love once and is in no hurry to repeat the experience.

Additionally, each story in the series must reference a “ticket” in some way. Mine uses parking tickets. My heroine gets a parking ticket at her new apartment complex, and my hero gives her his spot until she can fix the issue. Later on, there are more parking tickets that come into play as well.

I loved the idea of a few common threads tying all the books together, yet allowing enough creativity that no book is the same.

And JB is the designer of all our covers, as well, so they all look like they’re part of the set.

Finally, we all market for each other, so I get the benefit of other authors’ experience, as well as providing them with my own.

Now do you see why I jumped at the chance to participate?

WHISPERS IN WASHINGTON 

Naomi’s life has been destroyed

When Naomi Adelman’s crooked politician husband was arrested, her life, and that of her daughters, was destroyed. Divorced and rebuilding her life, Naomi is wiser, stronger, and determined not to let anyone hurt her or her family again. Her new life doesn’t include falling for her charming and good-looking neighbor.Max bet everything and lost…

 Max Bruder bet his entire career on the Adelman story and lost everything. So, he figures that karma has smiled down on him when Naomi moves in next door. This is his chance to revitalize his career. Except the closer he gets to her, the deeper he falls for her. And soon, the line between interview subject and lover blurs.

If they fall for each other, they may jeopardize their chance at a future. 

Excerpt:

Naomi wanted to finish, but she was full, and with reluctance, she pushed her plate away. “That was amazing. You can order for me anytime.”

A shard of interest sparked in Max’s eyes and he leaned forward. “Does this mean you’ll go to dinner with me again?” His voice beguiled her, his interest in her clear.

Her stomach fluttered. Warning lights flickered in her brain, but something else whispered, “’go for it.” She paused. “I will.”

He smiled, his look of satisfaction somehow attractive, instead of arrogant. She liked confident men, and Max oozed confidence. Except he carried confidence with ease. His broad shoulders emphasized good posture, rather than a puffed-out chest. Whoa, I might have had too much to drink. She looked at the wine bottle. Had she drunk three or four glasses? She couldn’t remember. Her neck heated with the same glow she felt after drinking. Maybe she should slow down.

What she did know was Max was sexy, and she liked the attraction sparking between them. After such a long time of feeling like a prop, and a duped one at that, it was nice to have a man look at her like she was worth something.

He rose, and she realized he’d paid the bill while she sat lost in her thoughts. He held out a hand to her and she took it. His grasp was firm, and her skin prickled beneath his touch. Was this what her daughters felt when they met a new guy? God, it had been ages since she’d done this. Rising, she met his gaze. His brown eyes were full of life—there was depth there, kindness, and inter‐ est. Depending on the light, the color changed from gold to walnut and shades in between. He smelled spicy and clean.

She squeezed his hand, and he kept her palm in his as he led her out of the restaurant. They stood in the doorway, her body only inches away from his, heat zinging between them, as they walked the few blocks to their apartment building. He still didn’t let go of her. She concentrated on the tensile strength of his fingers wrapped around hers, liking his strength and comfort.

He didn’t lead her around or pull her in a particular direction. Their hands together joined them. It felt natural. Holding hands with Malcolm always made her feel like a prop, as if he didn’t want a real connection.

Naomi didn’t want to think about Malcolm now, and she shook her head.

“Problem?” Max asked. They’d stopped in front of their building.

She turned so fast, her hair caught on the stubble at his jaw. “No.” She brushed the hair away from his cheek, the slight textured stubble rubbing against her palm and sending heat straight to her belly. His lips parted, and he leaned forward.

Would he kiss her? Did she want him to? She shouldn’t, she barely knew him, but her skin tingled, her breasts tightened and her breath came in short gasps.

He didn’t kiss her. Instead, he reached his free hand out and stroked the side of her head, smoothing her hair in place. “Yes,” he whispered.

She frowned, and tried to hide her disappointment. “Yes, what?”

“Your hair is as silky as I wondered.” He let his hand glide down her neck to her shoulder, and the contact brought out goose bumps. “Are you cold?” he asked.

She didn’t know how to answer. Was it okay for her to say, “no, I’m attracted to you?” Or should she say “yes”?

As if he understood her dilemma, he let go of her hand, slid his arm behind her shoulders, and drew her into the warmth of his body.

The man was a furnace and she wanted to groan in pleasure. They stood toe to toe, his hand running up and down her spine, her breasts pressed against his hard chest. Would he kiss her? Should she kiss him? Her brain short circuited and desire flooded through her. All she could do was focus on the warmth flooding her, the soothing sound of his humming something she couldn’t quite catch, and the zings of desire running throughout her body.

Too soon, Max pulled back. The cool evening air did little to stop the yearning for the man. Once again, he took her hand, and in silence, he led her into the elevator, down their hallway to where their front doors met. Her legs wobbled, and she leaned against the wall. The last thing she wanted to do was fall at this man’s feet.

“I liked getting to know you better,” Max whispered, leaning his free hand against the wall next to her head.

She was boxed in between the wall and Max, in her own little cocoon. He’d said there were limits to how far a reporter should go. For some reason, she felt safe. She trusted him not to take advantage of her. Her body warmed at his proximity. His eyes were dark—more mahogany than walnut, his forehead touched hers, and his breath was warm and minty. Her mind drifted to when exactly he’d taken a breath mint, and why, and should she. She opened her mouth to tell him how much she’d enjoyed it too, and to ask for a mint, but he didn’t let her utter any words.

Instead, he brought his mouth to hers and kissed her. Warm, commanding, yet soft, lips claimed her own. Her knees buckled and she grabbed his biceps, loving the solid feel of him beneath her fingers. Max wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. He exuded strength and she felt more protected than she could remember. His body was hard, his arousal pressing against her, but he didn’t force her or move fast. Instead, he moved with delicious slowness, as if he memorized everything about her lips and mouth. She wanted more. More kissing, more touching, more Max. She whimpered as she pressed against him and his lips stretched into a smile, before he sucked on her tongue and the last of her coherent thoughts fizzled.

Just as she was about to rip his jacket off and begin to unbutton his shirt, he pulled away.

“Goodnight.” His breathing was harsh, his words rough, his pupils wide and dark. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

She covered her mouth with her hand. She could taste him. He pushed away from the wall and entered his apartment, the jingle of his keys echoing throughout the hall.

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A little about Jennifer Wilck….

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, many of which feature Jewish characters in non-religious settings (#ownvoices). She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

You can connect with Jennifer here:

Website: // Facebook: // Newsletter: // Twitter: // Instagram: // BookBub:

Peggy here: OMGosh – doesn’t this book sound delicious??!! Thank you, Jenn, for stopping by today and telling us all about the fabulous new project!!! Happy Sales.

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

 

 

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#LongandShortReviews #Wednesdaybloggingchallenge 9.16.2020

So my post today is going to be short and sweet. I’ll explain why in a sec.

Today’s topic is BOOK(S) WITH THE MOST WORDS I HAD TO LOOK UP.

This is so easy.  I am a logophile from waaaaaaaaaaythehell back. My favorite Christmas gift when I was 6? A dictionary. Words just do it for me and I very rarely have to look one up. And since I don’t read SciFi, I’ve never had to struggle through made up words, names, and places.

But…..

When HARRY POTTER hit the world, all those latin phrases, names, and words were a bit much for me, especially since my 8 year old daughter and I were reading it at the same time and she kept asking me what different things meant.
I hadn’t a clue. Latin wasn’t my thing in college.

So, that’s my post for the day. Hee hee

Let’s see what some of the other authors in this challenge, and probably the ones who read SCI Fi the most, have to say: L&SR

Hey! Did you know I’ve got a new book releasing on 1014.2020? It’s  Holiday RomCom titled MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA and it’s up for preorder right now, here: MMM

If you like books with strong female heroines, hot cops, food and family, AND you like to laugh, this is the book for you.

Just sayin’. Hee hee

Until next time, peeps, ~Peg

Looking for me? Find me here:  Follow Me

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2001-2020

19 years ago on this date – 9.11.2001 – I was at work listening to the radio in my office, which I did between patients just to clear my head and enjoy some tunes, when the broadcast was interrupted with the news a plane had flown into Tower 1 of the World Trade center.

It was 8:46 am.

First reaction? Oh, those poor people, the pilot must have had a heart attack or the plane malfunctioned.

When Tower II was hit at 9:03, my first thought before I knew anything else was, “We’re at war.”

And I’m not kidding…not even a little.

When the news of the attack on the Pentagon made the airwaves and then the plane crash in Pennsylvania, I went numb.

The media was on full alert, the President was whisked away to a hiding place and the citizens of this country got their first take of international terrorism here, on home ground.

When the Towers fell in a cloud of twisted metal and melting steel, my heart broke into tiny pieces. I’d had my 21st birthday party/dinner at Windows on the World. Now I have only my memories of the restaurant and photographs of the Towers.

I  vividly remember picking my daughter up from school the afternoon of 9.11. The teachers hadn’t told the kids anything about the attacks, leaving that to the discretion of the parents. This was the era before cell phones became an appendage for every kid in the world and access to  the immediate news of the moment was delayed. To this day I’m thankful they kept the kids naive for a few more hours of their childhood, because from that day on, their world was never the same and they were forced to learn what true hatred was.

I’m one of the lucky New York natives who can say I didn’t lose anyone that day to the attacks. But many of my old friends, my in-laws and even my husband, all knew at least someone whose life was cut short by the terror unleashed on that clear, bright, September morning.

The world turned upside down that day and, I feel, never fully righted itself again.

Today, 19 years later, our country is still waging war against terror – both globally and on home turf. Terrorists may not use planes now as weapons of mass destruction to fuel their hatred of this country and her people, but they still exist, they still plan to destroy us and our way of life, and we still need to be vigilant.

The Trade Center Towers have been replaced by the Freedom Tower, a tribute to the city that lost its heart that day and the people who lost their lives.

One thing I  never allow myself to forget, never let slip from my mind, is the idea that Freedom isn’t Free. Our founding fathers fought for this nation to be free of a crazy ruler’s restraints. Through every World War we’ve fought fascists, nazis, and dictators to remain free. And we still fight for the right to be free to this day, whether it’s with boots on the ground or over the cyberweb.

I had hopes that by this time in our lives, 9.11.2001 would be a  tortured memory of a sad day where we remembered those who’d died, and paid homage to those who’d kept us safe; memorialized the brave Souls whose lives were taken much too early and mourned with their families on the loss. I had hope we wouldn’t need to be worried about further or future attacks on this nation. I had hope the world would have learned a lesson about the beauty of freedom.

Unfortunately, those hopes won’t draw breath today and for that I am extremely sad.

But, as Lady Liberty continues to hold her lamp up in New York Harbor as a beacon of light and hope and freedom to all,  I am hopeful in 2021, they will…

The New Colossus, 

Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

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#TeaserThursday

Summer isn’t quite over YET, so here’s a little something from my Summer Romance VANILLA WITH A TWIST, one of the One Scoop or Two novellas that dropped this summer from the Wild Rose Press.

Today, an intro to Tandy’s favorite ice cream flavor….

Watching him work was both hypnotic and stimulating. He was the most methodical man she’d ever been around, which was saying something since her father invented the word.

While he’d removed the back and front panels of the machine, Deacon had asked, “So why an ice cream shop?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why do you own this place? I meant to ask yesterday but you got called away before I could. Hand me the Phillips head, please.”

She did. “My family runs a dairy farm. Have for three generations. My grandmother used to make her own ice cream from the fresh milk when we were kids and I loved watching and helping her when I was old enough. She only shared what she made with the family, though. When I decided to branch out on my own and leave the farm, making ice cream was the first thing that popped into my head.”

With the panels off, he crouched behind the machine, a different tool in his hand.

“Did you work on the farm, too, when you were a kid?”

“Not as much as my brothers. The physical work of running it, according to my father, was a man’s domain. The females were relegated to the house and allowed to tend the smaller animals like the chickens.”

Tandy rolled her eyes at the antiquated notions she’d been reared with.

“Sounds a little, I don’t know? Chauvinistic maybe, in this day and age?”

“Did and still does. My brothers manage the farm now and they would never think of letting a woman help out, no matter that I’m strong and can hold my own, physically. It’s all men’s work according to them. Their attitude was one of the reasons I left home. The idea of cooking, cleaning, and waiting on my father and brothers and not do anything productive with my life was a motivating force in propelling me into business.”

She held back the secondary reason. He didn’t need to know anything about that.

Deacon reached out a hand and said, “Can you hand me the wrench?”

Once he had it, he said, “Good for you. You’re able to run a successful business doing something you love, which is rare. Not everyone can.”

His words and affirmation warmed her. She did love it and told him so.

“It’s cool coming up with new flavors, trying them out, seeing if they’ll be a hit or a miss. Ice cream is much more versatile than most people think.”

Gah. She sounded like she was giving a sales pitch.

If Deacon though her comments dry and boring, he gave no indication.

“What’s your favorite?” he asked as he continued to work on the underside of the machine.

“I’ll give you one guess.”

His quiet laugh flowed upward, tickled her ears – and a few other places as well.

“Vanilla?”

“Got it in one. It’s the all-around easiest taste to combine with.”

“So tell me the flavor combo you love most.”

She didn’t even need a moment to consider. Tandy had devised hundreds of combinations over the eight years she’d owned the shop and she’d forgotten more than she remembered. But her all time favorite was one she’d devised on a whim one rainy Saturday night when she was feeling blue.

“Nutty ‘Nilla,” she told him.

There was a smile in his voice when he said, “I love alliteration.”

“Me too, because it’s easy to remember.”

“So what does Nutty ‘Nilla consist of? Vanilla for sure, right?”

“Yeah. I combine crunchy peanut butter with vanilla ice cream, then add in crushed shelled peanuts, a flavor shot of peanut oil, and top it off with salted popcorn kernels. One spoonful and I feel like I’m sitting at a big top circus.”

She closed her eyes and sighed. “One taste and you can hear the excited rumble of the crowd as they watch a trapeze act, or the roar of the lions as they’re put through their paces by a trainer. I haven’t made it yet this summer because I’ve been so busy. Plus, when I do make it, I tend to eat more of it than I sell, so there’s that.”

Deacon sat up and tossed the wrench into the box. A streak of oil slashed across his cheek and his shirt was a mess of dust and grime. He was dressed in preppy vacation clothes, but right now he looked more like a hot car mechanic than a Wall Street businessman. Tandy found that although she liked the successful corporate guy, she preferred the laborer.

Intrigued? You can get your own copy here: Universallink

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

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