Category Archives: Alpha Hero

My Ideal Romance Hero

Tall, dark, and handsome is such a cliche. Not to mention, boring. If you don’t think this is true, here’s a bit of dialogue from Chris Pine’s character in INTO THE WOODS,. addressing his wife, Cinderella. “Darling, I was raised to be charming, not sincere,” the Prince tells her when she confronts him about his extramarital affairs.

Yup, that about says it all about that plastic tall, dark, and handsome description. There’s no meat to it; no substance.

Every ideal romance hero will differ depending on the writer writing him. Some writers will only pen total alphas, incapable of human emotion until the heroine comes along and – BAM – turns him magically into a fully functioning, emotional being. Disclosure here: I hate that kind of hero.  A writer friend of mine – whom I adore – described this hero type as an alpha-hole. Perfect descriptor!!!

Some writers pen the six foot, chiseled jaw, warm-eyed hero who has never realized he’s a hunkadoodle. Disclosure again: While I don’t hate this type, it’s hard for me to believe the guy doesn’t know he’s panty-dropping hot. I mean, does he own a mirror, or what?

So. Enough about the heroes I don’t fancy. What do I want in my ideal romantic hero?
A guy who makes me laugh…

A man who not only has a brain but also stimulates my brain and who can discuss topics other than sports…

Richard Geere

A guy who brings you breakfast in bed; a man who bakes you the most decadent treat; a hero who wants to feed you — heart, mind, body and soul.

I know, right!! I adore a man who can cook.

This is Master Baker Paul Hollywood. He can frost my buns any day.

Le swoon!!!

A man who’s not afraid or ashamed to tell you and show you he cares. The following is a line from my favorite JD Robb book, NEW YORK TO DALLAS.

It’s one of the final scenes. Lt. Eve Dallas has just had a knockdown, drag-out fight with a serial killer. She’s battered, bruised, and a little loopy from the painkillers they’ve given her. She’s speaking to her good friend Dr. Charlotte Mira, with Eve’s husband – the panty-dropping Roarke, in the background.

Eve says:

“Want to finish, give my report. Is my face messed up? I hate when that happens. Not like I’m pretty or anything, but—”

“You’re the most beautiful woman ever born,” Roarke said from the doorway, and Eve sent him a woozy, drugged smile.

That’s my perfect hero.

A man who loves you above all others – even himself; who will make love to you when you have wake-up morning breath, sheet marks on your cheeks and eye boogers, desire you even if you haven’t showered, be devoted to you no matter what comes along in life to try both your souls. A man who’s willing to not only put you first but do anything to keep you there.  A hero who sees you, simply, as everything good in his life.

My ideal romance hero is the kind of man I want in my own life: calm, smart, witty, kind, strong willed and soft-hearted, willing to take a stand and fight for it, but able to see someone else’s opinion without censure. A man who will listen, speak up when needed, and know when a hug is all a woman needs. A man who won’t just try to solve my problems, but will help me solve them. A guy who can take charge and take a back seat when the situation calls for it. A man who will let me be me, get me, and support me – in every way.

In all honesty, my perfect romance hero is…my hubby.

Yeah…le swoon!

Since this is a blog hop, click on some of the other MFRW authors writing about their ideal romantic hero.

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

The art of #naming your characters

I love names. Especially names where you can actually see the origin. Like SIOBHAN ( Irish!) NICOLLETTE (French) ANTONIO (Italian.)

Naming characters has always been a little bit of an obsession for me because I like to find names that actually mean something inherent in the person. For instance, my name, Margaret, means PEARL. If I was going to write a story with that name as my heroine’s ( and I never will because I hate my name!!!)  I would most likely give her attributes associated with pearls – strong outer shells, they take a lifetime to evolve, they are rare. You get the idea.

When I start a new book I always start with my characters first and the naming process usually takes me a few days to get right, especially with my hero and heroine. I want their names to connect, to go together, to be individualistic, but nonetheless when you hear the names mentioned you think “couple.” Like Oprah and Stedman, Goldie and Kurt, Elizabeth and Darcy. See? They go together ( why does that song from GREASE keep playing in my mind??)

Some writers spend more time naming their fictional characters than normal, non-writing people do naming their children. I feel both are crucial. You don’t want to name your alpha hero Marmeduke and please don’t name your child Zippity Doo Cogwheel or FeMale Jones. Don’t laugh…I have a doctor friend who told me a story of her OB/GYN internship days and a couple named their daughter after the name tag the hospital gave her: Female. But they thought it was pronounced  Fe-mal-ay. People are weird. Names shouldn’t be.

There are as many books and websites detailing names as there are, well, names. Baby Naming books get new editions yearly, as the popular and trendy names for kids change with the culture. Old Bibles are great places to get names especially if you are writing an historical novel. Writers who cater to fantasy or science fiction have a great deal of leeway in naming their characters because they can call them whatever they want ( like Zippity Doo Cogwheel) since they are inventing their own world with their own rules.

You don’t even need a baby naming book – although they are a fast, easy reference tool. You’re on your computer, so just get to your search engine. If you click Google images and type in name-meaning ( and then the name you want, like Margaret) you will get an unlimited array of images with the meaning of the name. That’s how I got the Margaret sign above.

Naming your characters and then giving them attributes associated with the name is a fabulous way of actually bringing your characters to life and having them be memorable to readers. Would Scarlett O’Hara have been such an icon if Gone With The Wind was published with the original name Margaret Mitchell gave her of Pansy? “Frankly, Pansy, I don’t give a damn!” doesn’t have the weight of “Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn!”  Pansy means “thought”, Scarlett means “Sent from Heaven.” Now we all know Scarlett O’Hara never gave a “thought” to anything but herself and Tara, and as seen through the eyes of the men in her realm, sent from Heaven seems appropriate, no?

So, when you decide to name your characters ( or your children!) please please please give it careful, complete, thought. Don’t just pick a name out of the air or call them fruit ( anyone remember Apple Martin?) or weigh them down with a moniker they’ll never live down like Dweezle or Moon Unit. Give them normal, easily pronounced, meaningful names. After all, you want your readers to discuss your book with their friends and remember the characters names don’t you? You seriously don’t want them to struggle to remember what you called your hero and heroine. And if you’re really good – and very lucky – those character names will stand the test of literary time, like Elizabeth and Darcy, Jane and Rochester, Scarlett and Rhett all have.

When I’m not naming characters, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

 

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

#CoverReveal A SHOT AT LOVE; #KensingtonPublishers #ContemporaryRomance

I’m sosososososo excited ( again I sound like the Pointer Sisters!) because the second book cover for my WILL COOK FOR LOVE series is being revealed today and here it is:

Book 2 features Kandy Laine’s sexy, sassy, and smart, photographer sister, Gemma. Kandy makes a few appearances in the book as well, but the heat that screams from the pages is all about Gemma and uber-hot FBI SPecial Agent Ky Pappandreos. Here’s the blurb:

A SHOT AT LOVE 
by Peggy Jaeger
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pub Date: 10/3/2017
Nothing’s impossible when love is on the menu. In Peggy Jaeger’s luscious series, the only thing more tempting than a delicious meal is a truly delectable romance . . .
Look for exclusive recipes in each book! 
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 . . .
Amazon // B&N // GooglePlay // Kobo // Apple
If you’re looking for me, I’m usually here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#Memes for COOKING WITH KANDY; #LyricalShine

One of the parts of the publishing business I have absolutely no knowledge of is marketing. Until my first book was published in 2015, I didn’t even have any idea how powerful social media was with trying to get your book noticed.

Two years have made a world of difference, let me tell you.

One of the facets of marketing I have come to treasure are things called memes. A meme is defined as:

  • an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
  • • a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.

Kensington/Lyrical has put together a series of memes for my upcoming release COOKING WITH KANDY. I’ll be using them in my Twitter feed a great deal for the next few weeks, in addition to Facebook, but I thought I’d give you a little sumthin’ extra today and show them all to you. I’ve got permission from my publicity team ( and don’t I just lovelovelove saying that I have a publicity team!) to use them at any time in promotion, so here you go:

 

And just to refresh your memory:

Blurb:

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

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. . .

Excerpt:

He made his way to the other side of the room, ignoring the stares and whispers of the crowd, found the lounge, and knocked. “Kandy? It’s Josh. Can I come in?”

It was Gemma who answered. “Yes.”

The sisters were seated in twin floral Queen Anne chairs, Gemma reclining back in hers, arms crossed over her chest. Kandy was opposite, head wrung in her hands.

“Cort thought you could use this.” he said, handing her the champagne flute.

He’d expected tears, but was surprised to see Kandy’s beautiful face pinched in a scowl, her eyes flaring with sweltering anger and venom when she looked up at him.

“Thanks.” Kandy took the drink and downed half of it in one gulp.

When she wiped her lips with the back of her hand, the corners of Gemma’s mouth lifted and she asked Josh, “What did you do to the turd?”

“Explained he needed to leave, put him in the elevator, and made sure he went down in it.”

“Made him how?” Kandy asked.

“Little persuasion trick I know. His wrist’s gonna be sore tomorrow. Maybe for the next few days.”

“You physically removed him?” Gemma asked.

Josh almost laughed at the excitement in her voice. He shrugged. “Yeah. He was going to follow Kandy if I didn’t.”

“Please tell me you have unmarried, available brothers at home,” Gemma said.

It hurt to keep the smile from his face, but he did. “Three, in fact.”

“Are they all like you? No, scratch that.” She sighed, the sound wistful. “I doubt there’s anyone like you.”

“If you mean are they all workaholics and career-driven, then no. They’re not like me. But they are available.”

“I’ll keep it in mind.” She glanced at her sister and said, “Well, looks like my work here is done. She’s all yours now.” She stood and kissed the top of Kandy’s head. “Evan Chandler is an egotistical, phony prick. Remember that.”

“How could I forget it?” Kandy grabbed her sister’s hand and kissed the back of it. “Thanks.”

When Gemma left, Josh took her empty chair. “You okay?”

She took a deep breath before saying, “Mad, but okay. I underestimated him.”

“How so?”

“I didn’t think he’d have the guts to crash my party. I thought he was too much of a wimp to risk it after our last encounter. Guess I was wrong.”

She stood and crossed to the vanity. Peering at her reflection, she ran a lazy hand through her hair, fluffing the curls. She caught his gaze, watching her, in the mirror. “Aren’t you going to ask me about it?”

He’d considered it. But the weary look in her eyes told him he was better off asking Stacy or Gemma. “No. If you want to talk, I’ll listen. Otherwise, you’ve got a pretty fancy shindig going on out there.” He cocked his thumb in the direction of the ballroom. “Maybe you want to get back and enjoy it. Bask in the adulation,” he said with a good-natured grin.

She turned to him and her eyes softened, losing the skepticism he’d just witnessed. When her lips moved upward into a small, lazy smile, the dimples dancing, his legs went a little soft and he was thankful he was seated.

“Yeah,” she said, moving to him. When he stood, she linked her arm in his. “Thanks. You’re right. Let’s go have a party.”

He mimicked her smile, glad he could help.

“You’re not so bad, Keane. This bodyguard thing might be fun after all.”

It was a moment before he trusted himself to speak. “I aim to please.”

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2cavJvc

If you’re looking for me, I’m usually here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

 

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

A little #gift from #Lyrical/Shine to you…

As a promotional gift, my new publisher Kensington/Lyrical Shine is giving you a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your appetite for my 4.4.17 release of COOKING WITH KANDY: the first chapter FREE! Click on the following link and read how Josh and Kandy meet. Then, I’ve given you the link to preorder the entire book!

And if you’re a NETGALLEY reader and honest reviewer, I’ve included the link for you to request, read, and review it as well.

Blurb:

cooking-with-kandy

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

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. . .

Free chapter COOKING WITH KANDY

Buy Links: Amazon ///Kensington // Nook // i-Tunes //Kobo //Google

Read and Review on Netgalley

And when I’m not out promoting my books, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, female friends, Friends, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

I #write words, but I see images; #Pinterest

Strange blog title, I know. It  kinda reminds me of “I see dead people.LOL But there’s a reason behind it, so let me ‘esplain it to, Lucy.

lucy

I’m a very visual person. I’m one of those people who sometimes think their dreams are real and have actually happened because they are so vivid and fully detailed. (I’m sure a psychiatrist would have a field day with that statement, but I digress.)

lucy

I was actually that (weird) kid who enjoyed going to art museums. I could spend hours – and did – strolling along hallways and chambers chock full of art from every time period, decade, and century. The colors, the way light was used, or the absence of it; the way the artist positioned a hand in a portrait, or the background in a scene. Just looking at those beautiful portrayals and representations of life was awe-inspiring for me. And got my creative storytelling mind revving.

art

Images help my writing in ways that are too numerous to describe. Suffice it to say, I see a book in my head before I ever type a word into my laptop. If I wrote science fiction my world-building would the size of a dictionary before I ever got to the plot. So, because I’m such a visual person,  I love PINTEREST. 

pinterest-logo

Really, what did we ever do before Pinterest? I do remember saving fashion magazines for months on end when I was working on a story just so I could troll through the pages to find perfect depictions and portraits for my characters and settings. Other than that, I had no place to search.

Pinterest is to a visual person what words are to writers. Both are necessary for creativity to blossom and grow. And you can find anything on Pinterest. Anything.

I use it as a shorthand form of a storyboard for each of my books. Seeing what my hero and heroine, plus the ancillary characters look like, helps me describe them better in the story. I usually have several pictures of my h/h in various setting and with different expressions, just so I can write them vividly enough that you can see them clearly in your reading mind. I do the same thing with settings, buildings, even rooms.

Check out my newest board, Rick and Abby. I’m currently adding to it daily, so it’ll get filled up fairly soon, but I’ve got a good idea of Rick ( boy do I!) and I’m working on Abby. This is a wonderful way for me to make my characters come to life in my mind and on the page. Again, a shrink would go to town with that last statement, but you know what I mean.

freud

If you don’t know Pinterest, you should. Especially if you’re a writer.

‘Nuff said. Gotta go pinning….

When I’m not trolling through Pinterest, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

And just to see who really reads my posts: The first person to tell me in a comment here who the guy in this picture is will win an e-copy of one of my books of your choice. This should be illuminating…

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

A #visit with #author Donna Simonetta

interviewheadercircle1

You all know I lovelovelove introducing you to authors. It’s one of the most fun things about having a blog and a forum for writing. Today I have a real treat. I recently sat down with author Donna Simonetta for a little chat about….stuff. She’s got a new book out TODAY from Wild Rose Press called A SWEETER SPOT, and she graciously allowed me to share a little of it below. SO, sit back and prepare to be dazzled.

Here’s Donna… THE WRITER

  1. What drives you to write?

I have always wanted to write. I remember going to Pequot Library in Southport, Connecticut as a child and looking at the stacks to see where my books would be shelved once I was a published author. However, real life got in the way, and I explored other career options. After a health scare made me evaluate my life, I realized I always wanted to write, and there was no time like the present to try it! So I did. And I love it, in a way I’ve never loved my work before.

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

I write contemporary romance–some with strong fantasy elements, like in Angels Fly, and some without fantasy, such as A Sweeter Spot.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?

The earliest romance books I read were historical. To be specific, Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances. Loved them way back in the day, and still enjoy re-reading them now. However, now I also enjoy contemporary romances with a little humor and a little steaminess. Think Jill Shalvis or Rachel Gibson.

  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?

I try to do something related to my writing every day, but now that I’ve been published, sometimes it’s more promotional in nature, but there’s nothing I love more than sitting down and writing. I work part-time in a school library, which limits my writing time during the school year, but I do try to set aside time every day to work on something related to my writing.

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

My husband jokingly calls where I write my “Command Center”. I sit in our living room, with everything I need in arms reach. I keep a basket next to me, piled high with papers and notebooks related to my current work-in-progress. Right now, that would be the third book in my Rivers Bend trilogy, which focuses on Jason Braden, the youngest Braden brother. I’m enjoying writing about the woman who can make him leave his playboy ways behind! I’m also working on a ghost story that I’m really excited about!

  1. 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 tunnelvision?

I am not someone who does well in total silence! I like to have some sound in the background. Maybe that comes from my years of being a librarian in a boys middle school library. There is always noise there.

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

I do like to listen to music when I write. However, when I’m working on editing/revisions, I prefer music without lyrics. I find that they distract me from my own words at that point in the writing process.

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

The kernel of the idea for my ghost story was a house my Aunt Em lived in for a while in Salem, Massachusetts. She was a social worker and the house was an old sea captain’s home, which housed the agency where she worked on the first two floors. She lived on the top floor, and family lore had it that it was haunted. While visiting when I was a child, my mom had an eerie experience there that I’ve knicked for my ghost story. I’ve transplanted it to Richmond, Virginia, but its’ origins are in Aunt Em’s apartment in spooky Salem!

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

The character comes first for me. I start a new notebook for each book, and flesh out my characters right away. I might have an idea for the plot, but I feel that so much of what happens is character-driven, so I like to establish the people first. That way, I know how they’ll respond in any given situation.

  1. What 3 words describes you, the writer?

Happy. Passionate. Organized.

And Donna…the Gal

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!

I met my husband over the telephone before I met him in person. I was working as an Account Executive and he was my client.

2.Who was your first love and what age were you?

I had LOTS of crushes over the years–ask any of my girlfriends from my teenage years. The first one I remember clearly was in fourth grade. But I have to say that, sappy as it sounds, my first and only love was my husband, and I was thirty-one when I met him.

3. 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 and I go to St. Pete Beach every year to celebrate the end of the school year. I would happily relive any day there, over and over and over again…white sand beach, tropical cocktails, a good book, my honey?? Who wouldn’t want to relive it every day?

4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?

Hmm..boxers or briefs…so maybe boxer-briefs! Commando seems like it comes with an inherent risk of harm.

5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?

My best friend lives in Ireland and last year she gave me a gift of a monthly beauty box delivery. Through it I discovered Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm for my hair, which is kindly described as ‘curly’. A more realistic word would be ‘frizzy’. A little dab of this stuff and it calms that frizz right down! Hard to find in the U.S., but…wow!…is it worth it!

6. What three words describes you, the person?

Funny. Loyal. Hardworking.

7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?

Elvis Costello, (What’s So Funny ‘ Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding.

8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together?

Nancy Drew. And we would solve a mystery together. (Peggy here: that is sososo cool!!!)

Why? I had all the Nancy Drew books–passed down from a cousin, and I treasured them. I read, reread, and reread all of them. Again. And again. To have the chance to drive around in her roadster with Nancy, Bess, and George, while we solved a case, would be a dream come to life for me!

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound

The surf. There’s nothing more soothing than the sound of waves.

  1. Least favorite sound

Alarm clock on a weekday morning.

  1. Best song every written

This is a tough one. There are a lot of songs that I really love. Joni Mitchell is a favorite. Her songs were always like short stories, or poems.

  1. Worst song ever written

The Macarena came on at the spa the last time I was getting my hair cut, and it was even more dreadful than I remembered. And really long. My hair stylist and I couldn’t imagine who would pick it for a spa music rotation. At the first chord, she rolled her eyes and said, “Lucky you. You’re here for Macarena o’clock.”

  1. Favorite actor and actress

These are old school answers, but the truth is Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn are my faves. ( Peggy here – love them!!!!! Bringing up Baby, The Philadelphia Story – classics!)

  1. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead)Living or dead? How about imaginary? I would like to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer for one day. Preferably in the Spike years, not Angel. I would love to see how it feels to be so strong, powerful, and totally kick-ass. And a petite blonde.
  2. What turns you on?

As you can probably tell from most of my heroes–I like a man who is intelligent, with a sense of humor. Kind, with a little bit of an Alpha thing happening.

  1. What turns you off?

Arrogance and rudeness.

  1. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”)

I can’t really think of an answer for this one, but I have to say that I love yours! Too funny! Peggy here – and it’s true!!!

  1. What’s your version of a perfect day?

I have two versions of a perfect day, but in either case it would have to be summer. I am not a winter person. In my vacation version, I would like to be on a beach somewhere, with a gentle trade wind blowing, a good book, no pressures or responsibilities. In my everyday version of a perfect day, I would get up, have a cup of coffee with a hazelnut flavored creamer, put on some music and write! Not so realistic in this version, would be servants taking care of cooking and laundry! Hey, what’s a perfect day without a little fantasy, right?

Blurb:

donna2-10-17

Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff’s world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?

Excerpt:

“Being cheated on is no fun. It happened to me once. Up here,” he tapped his forehead. “You know it’s not your fault. But here,” he tapped his chest over his heart. “You feel like it has to be your fault – like you could’ve done something to prevent it. But you couldn’t have. It’s all on him, Maggie. Not you.”

She picked a dandelion, whose flower had turned into a puffball, and blew on it, scattering the fluff to the wind. “Maybe. Maybe not. But thanks for the support.”

She pushed to her feet and took a couple of steps toward the river. Jeff rose and followed.

How could he be so angry at a man he didn’t even know? How could this Pierce jerk have slept around on a woman like Maggie? And the prick had even made her doubt herself in the process. It was written all over her anguished face.

He stood behind her and gently kneaded her shoulders. He turned her to face him and cupped her face in his big hands.

“This Pierce guy is the biggest fool on earth to go to someone else when he had you at home, Maggie.”

She blinked away tears, and he felt his heart constrict. Before he could think it through and decide it was a really bad idea, Jeff dipped his head and captured Magda’s lips in a gentle kiss.

Buy Links: Amazon //TWRP //B&N //

A little more about Donna:

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After years working in the business world, my love of reading led me to get my MLS, and I currently work part-time in a school library, a job that allows me lots of time to explore my other love – writing romance! I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

You can connect with Donna here:

Facebook // Twitter

 

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An #Interview with #author Brenda Whiteside.

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One of the best parts of being a blogger is that I get to read and introduce you to great authors and their work. Brenda Whiteside is an example of that. A fellow Wild Rose Press sistah, Brenda is a multi-published, successful author who not only writes romantic suspense but pens 2 blogs as well. The links for those sites are listed below. In December 2016, she had her newest book THE POWER OF LOVE AND MURDER released by WRP and after today’s interview she’s giving you a little bit to whet your reading appetites – and believe me: you’ll be hungry for more!
Sit back and learn about Brenda, the writer, and the regular gal.

Brenda, The Writer 

  1. What drives you to write? Good question, but I’m not sure I have a definitive answer. I think we all need some sort of creative outlet. I’ve been story telling ever since I have memories. I also drew and painted, and thought that was my main thing which led to a major in college. But a creative writing class turned that upside down. Now, if I go a day or two without writing, I feel less than whole.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? Romantic Suspense is my current genre. I grew bored with straight romance. Villains are extremely interesting to write. Coming up with new devious behavior and various hero/heroine ways to deal with it keeps me writing.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I read suspense, romantic or otherwise. And for the same reason I write it…the combination of good vs. evil, villain vs. hero/heroine.
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? I’m up at least three hours before my husband, FDW. Part of that time is spent writing and part dealing with promo and email. Once he’s up, and if he’s not fishing, we eat and run errands or walk. By mid-morning I’m writing again. I intend on writing every day, but it doesn’t always happen. Holidays really put a kink in my schedule.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? We’re full time RVers right now. If FDW is around, I normally write in the bedroom. If he’s fishing, I sit in the living room looking out on the forest.
  1. 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 tunnelvision? Mostly, I need quiet, yet if I’m really into it, I can go deaf to my surroundings.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? No. Music is one thing that distracts me. I find myself singing!
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I’m on book five of the series and the last planned book. I love creating characters (or letting them create themselves) and this series is character driven. When I set out to write a series, I wanted romance but also heavy suspense. I brainstormed the first book with FDW, and the rest of the series spun off those first characters.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Character. I don’t really know why. Maybe I need the character to reveal the plot to me.

Brenda, The Person 

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I used to belly dance.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? I know there were little boys before my teen years, but I’d say my first love, I thought was love, was Ted Harpchak when I was fifteen. He was a base player in a band. He didn’t feel the same, and I shed many tears!
  3. 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…. The first time I set eyes on and held my son. ( Peggy here: Awwwwwwwwww!)
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Briefs but not TOO baggy.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Liquid makeup
  6. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? I can’t possibly answer this because I’ve never watched Jimmy Fallon. Am I weird? ( Peggy here: NO!!You are not weird!!)
  7. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? Lucas Davenport of the Prey series by John Sandford. I was so hooked on that series. I would love to be able to keep a storyline going with the same character who grows and changes over years. Lucas is a hunk, a good cop, but not perfect. I would want to follow him around and learn enough to write such a well-rounded character.

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound My granddaughter’s laughter.
  2. Least favorite sound Football on TV
  3. Best song every written Smooth
  4. Worst song ever written Mustang Sally
  5. Favorite actor and actress Matt Damon and Meryl Streep
  6. What turns you on? A good laugh
  7. What turns you off? braggarts
  8. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) You’re awfully forward, aren’t you?
  9. What’s your version of a perfect day? Up early. Two hours of intense and fruitful writing followed by breakfast cooked by FDW. Then a hike with FDW. In the late afternoon, a patio meetup with friends and wine. In the evening, dinner and a favorite show on TV, with FDW of course

Blurb: The Power of LOVE AND MURDER

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For thirteen years, Penny Sparks has managed to hide from the political powers who murdered her family. When she unwittingly exposes her true identity, not only is she marked for death, but the people closest to her risk meeting the same fate.

Jake Winters is out of rehab and coming to grips with his demons. When he meets his sister’s roommate, Jake believes Penny might be that someone who can help him find life after rock star status…until her secrets blow up his world.

With a government agent turned hit man closing in on her, Penny and Jake race to expose the presidential contender behind the murders of her family. Even if they win the race with death, the murder that stands between them could end their hope for a new life.

Excerpt:

Jake nodded, but all he could concentrate on were Penny’s last words before the officer appeared. When they were alone again, he threw up his hands. “What do you mean, go back to Phoenix? Why the hell would I do that?”

She turned her back on him, went to the open door of the bathroom, and lifted her clothes from the hook. Beneath the thin, hospital gown her spine was straight, her movements tight, as if coiled and ready to spring.

“Penny, I know how much she meant to you.” How much she meant to both of them. He wanted to hold her, share their loss. “I’m not leaving you.”

Untying the gown, she let it drop around her feet, and sidestepped out of the heap. She pulled the dark gray sweater over her head then stepped into black velvet jeans, refusing to make eye contact or speak as she sat on the green plastic chair.

This was killing him. The need to hold her, help her with her pain—his pain—rushed through him. Haltingly, he made his way to her, touched her head, and waited while she zipped her boots. “Penny.” She resisted, but he tipped her chin, forcing her to look up. “Come on, baby. You don’t have to worry about me leaving you.”

“You will.”

“No—”

“When I tell you the truth, you will.”

Buy Links: Amazon  Wild Rose Press   Barnes&Nobel

ABOUT BRENDA

brenda

Brenda and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. Currently, they split their time between the pines of Northern Arizona, the desert of Southern Arizona, and the RV life. Wherever she roams, she spends most of her time writing stories of discovery, suspense, and the tangled relationships of life.

Visit Brenda here:

website // Facebook // Twitter //Roses of Prose Blog // Personal Blog //

Amazon //Goodreads

 

 

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A #Goodreads #Giveaway…

I’m just tickled pink to share this with you: Kensington/Lyrical is having a GOODREADS giveaway of my soon-to-be-released novel COOKING WITH KANDY, book 1 in the Will Cook For Love Series. The giveaway starts on January 30, so you know I’ll be mentioning it frequently to remind everyone to enter!.

Here’s the link to enter the giveaway: GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

And here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your appetite for the book:

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

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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… 

Excerpt:

Editing is the tedious part of the job,” Kandy told him in the elevator. “Prepare to be bored.”

Josh nodded. “Boredom is a state of mind.”

“Brawn and brains,” she said, eyebrows lifting, eyes widening in a mocking motion.

When his lips twisted into a full grin, Kandy’s heart started to tap dance against her chest.

Since meeting him in Stacy’s office, Josh Keane had made her pulse trip more than it had in some time.

If ever.

Seated across from her cousin, his long legs splayed out in front of him, Kandy knew even before he stood he would tower over her. No easy feat for most of the male population she came in contact with. When he’d stood, she found herself staring up into the greenest pair of eyes she’d ever seen. The color of moist grass, deep and verdant, they possessed a forceful intensity she assumed perceived much more than the average man.

Kandy suspected this was a guy who set pulses on race mode to every female he encountered. Shoulders that went on for yards tapered into a narrow waist and slim hips, set in what she recognized as expensive trousers. The black crew neck shirt he wore matched the color of his hair.

All in all, a man a girl could lose her head over.

 

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

A Visit with #HistoricalRomance #writer Clair Brett

One of the nicest, most talented writers I know is releasing her debut novel, DEALING WITH THE VISCOUNT at the end of this month and I have the privilege of introducing her to you today in anticipation of that wonderful event. I met Clair Brett 3 years ago at a romance writing meeting and was instantly capitated by her quick wit, her intelligence, and her kindness. Plus, she’s a helluva good writer. So,  sit back and get to know the writer I call a friend ( and I’m always so pleased to say those 2 words in the same sentence – writer and friend!)

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Clair, The Writer 

What drives you to write?

I have written since I can remember. As an only child, I would create stories in my head. Now, as an adult, I love the feeling of bringing my characters to life and since I am a pantser at heart, even though I do plot in my own way, I want to see how the story will end. I write the stories for me first.

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

Right now I am writing Historical Romance set in the Regency period with a spatter of suspense because that is what I love to read. When I started reading for pleasure again after college, I was teaching full time, had two babies 12 months apart and we were a typical young struggling couple. I liked the historical romance genre, because it was so far removed from my own life and let me step into a world that was glitzy and glamourous, but not familiar. I believe reading for pleasure should be an escape. I do have a couple of contemporary ideas and even a YA dystopia retelling of a childhood classic, oh and there is that Scottish Highland hero who keeps raising his hand now and then…

What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?

Obviously, I love Historical romance, but find when I am writing a new book, I can’t have another historical writer banging around in my head. I also love a good romantic suspense. I am also fortunate enough to edit for some writers so I get to read a variety of genres then as well. One of my goals for 2017 is to read more. As a writer I find I have less and less time to just read, not to mention I feel guilty when I sit down to “just” read. I am starting my list of books for 2017 on goodreads and I am trying to branch out.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?

Ha, funny. Seriously, I am still working on that. It depends on the day and my workload from the day job. My goal is to write or edit every day, but I haven’t gotten there yet. I try to get emails and some marketing out of the way when I first sit down, because my brain is too scattered with everything that I have to do that day, but once I have been able to settle my mind, I usually open the MS mid-morning and I will set a timer to make sure I don’t get distracted. Once I begin writing, I already know where that scene has to go and I can bang out 2000 words fairly quickly. I work away from home two days a week, and don’t usually get much writing done on those days. My goal is to get to the point where I can write in the morning, earlier than I do now, and then work on edits in the afternoon, with the other business stuff stuck in between.

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

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When I got done teaching 5 years ago now I had a wish for an office. For a while I moved into what I thought of as our dining room, but was not being used as that, at the time. Two years ago, my contractor husband finally agreed to move forward with some major remodels on our house and we closed in the middle part of our wrap around porch and created a very cozy office for me. I will eventually have sliding pocket doors for more privacy, but it has a bank of windows to let in the sun and warm breeze in the summer, and it is just big enough to fit my desk, an over-stuffed chair for editing and reading, and my two bookcases. It is by far my favorite spot in our house now! Before we put up the drywall, my daughters and I went around on the studs and wrote inspirational messages, one of which above the doorway says “bestsellers are written here”, so I feel like I am surrounded by positive thoughts.

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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 tunnelvision?

I am fine with normal “noise”, but when people are talking, or yelling as teenaged girls are prone to do, I can’t get into the scene. That is why I can’t wait for my sliding doors. I did find recently at a writers’ meeting when we did a write in for NaNoWrimo that I also am calmed by the sound of clicking keyboards. Yes, I am letting my geek flag fly. I went home and I now have a download of clicking keyboards that I can play when I don’t want to listen to music.

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

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I usually play instrumental music. I choose classical most days because I am not familiar with any lyrics, because if it is a song I know I have caught myself singing it in my head. I have a writing and editing playlist I listen to on Spotify and it helps me settle into the mood of writing, since I only listen to it when I am writing or editing.

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

My current WIP is the second book in my debut series Improper Wives for Proper Lords. The hero, Lord Breakerton was meant to be a secondary character in Dealing with the Viscount, which debut’s on January 31. Instead he tried to take over every scene he was in. I knew he needed his own book and was trying to figure out his story. At a writers’ meeting we learned how to use tarot cards to help plot a story. During that workshop I kept getting cards with swords and like a lightening bolt I got a scene of my hero having a sword fight with the heroine and just like that I knew she was a highwaywoman dressed as a man, and he was sent to apprehend, or kill the highwayman, and a story idea was born.

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

That is a hard question. My first reaction would be to say character, but usually I get a full scene, which may or may not end up in the book, but it is the main character, sometimes hero, sometimes heroine doing something, from there I start asking questions and might just sit and journal freestyle for a bit to try and get a handle on what I saw. Then, I will have to find the romantic interest. Sometimes as I am writing one story I have a character, like Lord Breakerton, who screams for their own story, then I will try to learn about them as they evolve throughout that story. My stories are, as most romances, character based and so I would guess I have my characters and try to figure out their stories, instead of coming up with a plot and sticking a character in to fit it.

What 3 words describe you, the writer? Determined. Scared. Perfectionist.

Clair, The Person :

Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!

My nickname growing up was Charlie. I didn’t always like it and the first day of first grade I hit an older boy in the chin with my metal “Sigmund the Sea Monster” lunchbox for calling me by it. (he still has a little scar). I grew into it however, and there are still people in my little town, and family that only call me Charlie. (My dad used to call me Charlie Brown and it got shortened)

Who was your first love and what age were you?

Donny Osmond, and I was 6 or 7 maybe younger. (Peggy here – I lovedlovedloved Donny Osmond!!!)

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….

Ooo, this is tough… I would have to say the second day of my honeymoon. We were officially married and unpacked at the hotel. We had two weeks of vacation ahead of us, with no worries and plenty of money for tropical drinks. No worries, oh and his snoring didn’t yet drive me nuts. lol

Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?

I like a little mystery, so I’m going to say boxers. They have a tendency to be a bit more fun with the patterns lending to a laid back feel, and I am not a fan of commando. A girls like a little mystery. Wink, wink.

If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?

Hair dryer. Without it my hair is curly, and not the “oh, look at her beautiful curls” curly, more like “Is she trying to create dreads?” curly.

What three words describes you, the person? Loyal..Reserved (some would say repressed. =) ).Focused

If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?

“My Fight Song” is my current favorite song. But I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, so I hope I never have to do that!

If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together?

It is no secret that I have an unhealthy love of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, so I would pick Elizabeth Bennett, because she really was very modern for her time and out spoken. To have a woman that self-possessed during that time period was unique. I would like to sit with her, have tea, and talk about the topics of the day to see how they affected her and her sisters, and also to get her thoughts on how life should be.

Bonus round

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

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Favorite sound; Rain, or ocean waves, but water definitely!

Least favorite sound: An alarm clock

Best song every written: “Light My Fire” by the doors (love all Jim Morrison’s lyrics):

Worst song ever written: Any of the “screaming music” if it sounds like you need a laxative or an ambulance, it isn’t music.

Favorite actor/actress  Gerard Butler// Kate Hudson

Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead)

I would like to be Eloisa James, Historical romance writer extraordinaire, for a day. She is wildly talented, and she is married to Italian aristocracy. She gets to travel all over the world, and she just always looks so elegant and composed. I would love to be her and then take what I learn to get myself to where she is.

What turns you on? Humor and thoughtfulness

What turns you off? Cockiness or conceit

Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “You remind me of my ex.” Ok, it is 6 words, but you get the idea. =)

What’s your version of a perfect day?

Summer, a warm breeze comes off the ocean and floats into my bedroom waking me with the sounds of ocean waves and birds chirping. My hardworking husband brings me a cup of tea and we sit and talk enjoying the sunrise and the warm weather. Then I get dressed and go to my obscenely opulent patio and have the entire day to write, with no marketing, advertising, or “business stuff” to do because my assistant has that under control. In the afternoon, after my massage and a snorkeling session, I would stroll into town and sit at a café eating something rich, but non- caloric. I would end the evening with my hardworking husband, and a dinner of lobster and steak with champagne, and maybe a chance to curl up in the moonlight and read a good book, before we go to bed…

Have you ever thought of going into intelligence gathering, Peggy? What a list of questions. Lol!

Love ya! Clair!

Peggy here: Love ya, back!!!

 

And now……

DEALING WITH THE VISCOUNT

 Blurb:claire1

After making a wager of marriage to settle her father’s gambling debts, Ella Bowen-Thorn Renwick escaped the husband she foolishly began to fall for and disappeared into the Scottish countryside carrying a secret. Four years later, and the owner of her own bakery, she is still not free of the demands of men when a violent and anonymous blackmailer threatens her, her livelihood…and her daughter. And then, there is him…

Viscount Renwick still mourns the wife he began to love before her untimely death–that is until he discovers her alive and well living in Scotland. Now, Devon’s face to face with the wife he thought he’d buried and the daughter he never knew existed. He’d like nothing more than to welcome Ella back into his arms, but mysterious and troubling incidents and a history with an unloving father have Ella trusting no one.

But, if Renwick convinces his wife he’s the husband she always dreamed of and the father their daughter deserves, will the scandalous secret the blackmailer is holding threaten their future together once more?

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle:    Nook:    Kobo:   Apple:

 

A Little about the author:clairebanner 

Dragon keeper and historical romance author, Clair Brett lives in NH with her hard working husband and two teenaged daughters. Her office staff during the day consists of Cinta, a black cat and the matriarch of the fur babies, Mojo, a yellow kitten who spends his day holding Clair down in her seat to get her word count in, a boxer/beagle mix puppy named Willow, who sleeps next to her chair to make it hard to do an Oreo run without doing a pee run as well, a hermit crab who keeps to himself, and a bearded dragon, who is kind of upper management.

A former middle and high school English teacher, Clair has had a lifetime love affair with reading. Once she read Pride and Prejudice as an extra read in high school, she was hooked. Clair began pursuit of publication when she was a new mother in need of a hobby. Her oldest daughter will be graduating in 2017, so you do the math. Clair is a firm believer that a reader finds a piece of who they are or learns something about the world with every book they read. She wants her readers to be empowered and to have a refreshed belief in the goodness of people and the power of love after reading her work.

Visit Clair on the web

Website:    Facebook:   Twitter  Goodreads:   Amazon Author Page:   Pinterest:   Newsletter signup:

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Historical Romance, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women