Category Archives: Author Branding

The changing face of how we read…

Finally a blog post title I like! hee hee.

I write. Two little words that mean so much more than they can ever convey.

I write books. Three words that define me.

My books are available in many formats, not only print. That sentence is monumental. Why? Because I can reach so many more people/book/story lovers who aren’t able to read a standard print book.

My books are available in digital format – on phones, kindles, nooks, and tablets.

My books are available in audio form to be listened to and enjoyed for those people who can no longer read the written word.

My books area available to purchase, to loan ( in libraries) and for free in a subscription program called KU ( Kindle Unlimited.)

So many choices that just make my heart go zing!

For those who like to listen to books while they drive to work, fly, or simply relax and close their eyes, in audio ( on Audible) my titles include:

              

 

                  

For those who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited the following titles are available:

 

and my upcoming book It’s A Trust Thing will also be available in KU.

 

And all of my books are available in digital format or Print on Demand ( POD) here: Peggy Jaeger on :

Amazon//   Barnes and Noble//  Kobo //  i-books//   Google Play  //   Walmart 

When I was a kid, print books were the only way to satisfy my story love. Then came books on tape, and now, the digital revolution.

It’s an amazing time to be a book lover, a story teller, and a romance fan, isn’t it??

Happy reading/listening/watching.

Until next time ~ Peg

OH, and please don’t forget – one of my WRP books, FIRST IMPRESSIONS is on sale right now in the digital format in   Amazon /// Nook /// Ibooks  for just 99 cents.

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romance Books

#SundaySnippet 8.25.19

AS I continue with my no-using-my-right-arm imprisonment/status, I wanted to give you a little sumthin’ sumthin’ I’ve been writing, off and on, for about 2 months. Some days I get the urge to add to it, others not, even though it’s fully outlined and plotted.

I love my San Valentino family books and the newest one I’m penning concerns a branch of the San Val’s we haven’t seen yet. Luigi San Valentino is Sonny (CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS) and Joey’s ( A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS) cousin. He owns a deli and is married to Frankie’s sister, Gracie ( Both books, plus 3 Wishes Their oldest child is Madonna “Donna” and she works for her father in the deli. Madonna would really like to NOT work for her father, but, as the oldest, the responsibility has fallen to her, especially since her five younger brothers are all pains in the ass!

These scene is a long one and sets the tone of the book. It’s unedited so don’t send me any messages about misplaced modifiers, runon sentences, or tense issue. I already know about them because this is free-writing, not uberedited prose. Hee hee.

Chapter One

Life lessons for surviving in an Italian family, number 1: never let them see you sweat.

I knew something was wrong the moment I arrived at the deli. The first indication? The back door was unlocked, something my obsessive/compulsive father made sure never happened since he was the last one to leave the store every night. He did this religiously because I was the first one to arrive every morning at the crack-ass of creation, just like today, and had to plug in the security code on the wall box in order to gain entrance and get the deli ready for the day’s business.

My daily bread and roll delivery, courtesy of my cousin Regina’s bakery, sat outside the door in a large wooden crate. I grabbed  it, and hip checked the door wide open.

The second sign all was not as it should be was the lights were lit in the entrance hallway. Since I got to work when it was still dark out no matter if it was Daylight Savings time, or Standard, I routinely had to fumble to find the wall switch to illuminate the back end of the deli.

Not so this morning.

The final signal something was amiss was the smell.

I’ve been around raw meat my entire life since I grew up in my father’s kitchen and then worked at the deli he owned and operated in our neighborhood since I was eleven years old. The smell of animal blood was as recognizable to me as my mother’s knock-off L’ air du temp. Although, admittedly, mom’s perfume smelled way better. Most days, anyway.

The scent filling the air this morning was both familiar and different. Wrong, somehow.

“Hello?” I called out. “Is someone here?” An eerie sense of quiet surrounded me. I put the bread crate down on the tiled floor. Cautiously, I crept along the hallway leading to the front end of the deli, my hand sliding against the wall, my huge purse held in front of me like Wonder Woman’s golden shield of protection.

Being the oldest of six kids and the only girl to boot, I don’t scare easily. My brothers, are, each and every one of them, a pain in the ass to their cores and I’d grown up the victim of their arguably stupid shenanigans too many times to keep count. Cooked linguini placed in my bed to look like worms; a farting cushion stuck in my usual chair at the dinner table and just waiting for me to settle unknowingly on it; toothpaste spread on my sandwich instead of peanut butter. More times than I could remember one of them would hide in my closet and then jump out at me when I least suspected it. Anything and everything dumb and dumber they could think up to annoy me, they’d done. And still did to this day if they thought they could get away with it. Chronological maturity hadn’t made its way to their brains yet and they all still acted liked little boys when it came to infuriating me.

This spine tingling sense of unease ripping through me didn’t feel like this was one of their usual pranks, though.

But with my brothers, you never know.

“I swear to Christ, Rafeale,” I called out, naming the baby in my family and the one voted most likely to do something asinine, “if this is some dumbass attempt to scare me, I’m gonna make you suffer.”

I crept along the hallway, passed my father’s office and my own. Both doors were open, the rooms empty.

Now that I was closer to the front of the store, the smell was stronger, more pervasive and…ripe.

If you’ve ever left a piece of meat or pork out all day trying to defrost it, and forgotten about it until too late, you’ll recognize the odor.

“Vinny? Vito? Are you guys here?” I called out again, naming my twin brothers. Silence came back at me.

The overhead lights in the front of the store weren’t on so I couldn’t see much inside the deli-proper. A tiny bit of illumination filtered in through the storefront window, enough to make out the shapes of the little tables and metal chairs that lined the front windows. A few years ago my mother had the idea to install these tables so people could come in on a lunch hour, order, and then sit down for a few minutes to eat instead of taking it away with them. It turned out to be a good idea, too, because once we added them, lunch hour business doubled by the end of the first month. It was the one and only time my father had ever listened to one of my mother’s business ideas.

She never let him forget it, either.

When I’d left yesterday afternoon, the tables and chairs were all straight and set into their little spaces surrounding the front window. When he closed the store, my father would upend the chairs onto the tables so he could sweep and then mop the floor.

I sidled up to the back of the glass display cases and looked right, then left. Nothing was amiss, but that itchy feeling hadn’t left me yet. I slid my free hand along the wall, found the switch and threw the place into total light, something I never did at this time of the morning. If anyone passing on the street saw the lights, they’d think we were open for business, which we weren’t, not for another two hours.

In retrospect, I should have left them off and never have come into the store once I found the back door unlocked and standing open.

Hindsight, as my Nonna Constanza used to say, is for sciocchi—fools— who think too much after the fact.

She wasn’t wrong when she was alive, and she wasn’t now, either.

The seating section looked as if a bomb had exploded. Tables and chairs were scattered every which-way, some turned over, others pushed up to the wall, a few of them lying on their sides. Glass salt and pepper shakers were smashed, their contents sprinkled across the tiled floor in a dust cloud of seasonings, the glass embedded within the debris. The breadbaskets I was due to fill were in a tangled heap on the floor, alongside broken bottles and jars of stock items that had slipped from the wall shelves.

If it wasn’t an explosive device that had caused this mess, than at the very least some kind of fight had occurred here during the night.

My eyes darted across the mess. Fury had replaced that tingle of uneasiness as I came around the display cases, calculating how long it was going to take to clean all this up.

I stopped short in front of the mozzarella display I’d rearranged yesterday, when I discovered the reason for the sickening smell: a wet pool of what I knew instinctively was blood, splattered across a two foot by two foot area. It looked like an obscene Rorschach blob.

It was at this point I knew my annoying brothers weren’t attempting to play a sick joke on me and something else entirely was going on here.

I pulled my cell phone from my shield/purse, fingered in the 911 code and then walked back down the hallway, heading toward the back door I’d come into less than five minutes earlier.

After speaking with the dispatcher, who assured me she was sending a unit to the store immediately and a caution to touch nothing, I went back out to the parking lot and called my father.

***

“Madonna Maria, why didn’t you call me when you first saw the door was open?” my father asked, twenty minutes later. His thick white hair stood all on end and the right side of his face was a web of sheet marks, indicating I’d woken him and all he’d done was thrown clothes on to get here as fast as he could. Half of one shirt-tail was tucked into his suspendered pants, the other, hanging free. He had two different sneakers on his feet, another indication he’d flown the coop fast. As he stood behind the deli counter with me, our two uniformed neighborhood beat cops examined the blood splotch.

“What if somebody was hidin’ in here, little girl? You could’a been hurt. Or worse.”

My father, unlike my mother, tends to keep a tight hold over his emotions and reactions. Perpetually calm and unendingly rational, even when plagued with five obnoxious sons who invented the term rambunctious, Luigi Leonardo San Valentino was the endless calm in a sea of family bedlam. Since my mother had no sway over the behavior of her ragazzi—the boys, especially—she tended to either ignore everything or get so pazzo—crazy—that nine times out of ten any situation, even the most innocuous and miniscule, could escalate to the equivalent of Mount Vesuvius erupting.

So when my father called me by my full given name instead of Donna, like he had every day of my life, and then little girl, I knew he was genuinely distressed. The sight of the six foot three, two hundred and forty pound bear of a man whose DNA I shared, with his forehead creased like Venetian blinds and the corners of his lips pulled down into two concerned commas, made me want to ease his mind any way I could.

“Daddy.” I wrapped my arms around his barrel chest and squeezed. “Don’t worry. I’m okay. There was no one lurking in here, waiting to do God knows what. I got out as soon as I called the cops.”

My father rubbed a beefy hand down my back. Whatever he’d been about to say was stopped when one of the beat cops called his name and asked to speak with him, privately.

“We can use my office,” he told them.

“Can we get that cleaned up?” I asked, pointing to the stain. The smell was even worse that when I’d found it. “We’re due to open in an hour.”

“I’m afraid you won’t be opening for business today, Donna,” Angelo Racconova, one of the cops told me. Angelo and I had gone to school at St. Rita Armada’s Academy. He was three years younger than me and had been best friends with my brother, Vito, ever since they were both in second grade. To say he grew up in my house wouldn’t be a lie.

“Why not? Can’t you just,” I swiped my hand in the air, “mop that up and go file a report or something?”

“Sorry, no.” His tone implied there was no arguing with him. “We don’t know where the blood came from. We gotta leave it there for the forensics guys to deal with. Don’t touch it, or nothing else, okay?”

“Well, when can we open, then? We’ve got a business to run here, Ang. Customers who depend on us.”

“I can’t tell ya, that, Donna. Not today, maybe not even tomorrow.” He turned away from me. “Mr. S?”
My father slid me a side-glance, then nodded to the two cops.“Donna, call the crew. Tell them we’re closed today and we’ll be in touch later on. ‘Kay?”

Fuming, I nodded.

He led them into his office and before shutting the door behind them added, “And call your Uncles. Tell ‘em to get over here.”

He didn’t need to tell me which uncles.

I did as asked, first making sure the closed sign was obvious on the front door and then going into my own office. I notified our staff we were taking an unexpected day off and told them the store had been broken into. I omitted telling them about the blood I’d found. There was only one employee I couldn’t reach,  one of our delivery guys. I had to leave a voice message for him, figuring he was already on his way.

That done, I called my Uncles Sonny and Joey. They aren’t really my uncles, not in the true definition of the word, since they aren’t my father’s or my mother’s brothers. They were daddy’s cousins, boys he’d been raised with and who he’d grown side by side into men with and were still close with to this day. My mother, Gracie, has an older sister named Francesca, my Aunt Frankie, who’s married to  Joey. So that makes him my Uncle Joey. In reality, he’s my second cousin—I think—but in the ways of Italian tradition and culture, anyone senior in a close family is called aunt or uncle out of respect.

Yeah, it’s a little weird. But…famiglia, you know?

Both of my uncles assured me they were on their way.

“Don’t call the cops until we get there and see what’s what,” Uncle Sonny advised.

“Too late. They’re in with daddy right now.”

A long, drama-laced breath filtered through my cell phone. Uncle Sonny’s rep in the family is as “the fixer.” Need a brand new car for way under list price, no credit questions asked, minimal down payment required? Call Uncle Sonny and he’ll hook you up. Want to take the little woman to the hottest Broadway show for your anniversary? The one that’s been sold out for six months straight? Give Sonny a jingle and you’ll have two front row tickets waiting for you at the theater box office. For every family wedding and funeral we were treated to a fleet of no-cost, maxed-out limousines, courtesy of a guy who knew a guy who owed Uncle Sonny a favor. No one in my family ever really knew what the favors being paid back were, and no one asked.

The San Valentino’s originated don’t ask, don’t tell long before the armed forces claimed it.

Sonny’s heavy sigh through the phone spoke volumes.

“Just keep things under wraps as much as you can, Donna, until me and Joey get there, okay?”

“Will do.” I didn’t bother telling him I’d already notified our workers.

Daddy was still sequestered with Angelo and his partner, and I was getting antsy. By now, on a normal business day, I’d already have re-stocked the shelves and display cabinets, gotten the sinks and prep areas ready and put out the coffee urns, milk and cups for our regular morning customers. Since Angelo had ordered me not to touch anything, I couldn’t occupy my time with any of those ordinary tasks. Even though we probably weren’t going to open today, the hope was that we would tomorrow, so I decided to get a jump on the supply ordering. First, I needed to check everything in our walk in storage areas and our industrial refrigerator.

Our supply list seemed to grow larger each time I ordered, something that warmed my mercenary shop-keeper’s heart. More supplies needed meant more things were being sold, which amounted to greater – here’s the mercenary part – profits.

A cold blast of icy air smacked me in the face when I opened the freezer’s heavy door. The usual mounds of deli meats and cheeses, salads, and produce lined the steel shelves from ceiling to floor. I ticked each item and the amount we had off on the clip-boarded list I’d brought in with me. Then, I moved towards the back to see if we needed to order any of the bigger meat items we routinely kept stocked, when I tripped over something sticking out from between two of the metal shelves.

I reached out and braced myself against one of the shelve posts to keep me from falling flat on my face and the clipboard fell from my hand. When I stooped to pick it back up and see what I’d stumbled over, it took me a moment to realize what it was.

A sneaker.

A man’s sneaker. Black and white, it looked…familiar. Like I’d seen it in a magazine or a television ad.

I tracked the shoe from the sole, up across to the laces—which were dirty and knotted and spackled with little droplets like paint—and then all the way up to the tongue.

Then my gaze traveled further. Up a jeans-clad lower leg.

“What the—”

I left the clipboard where it lay on the concrete and moved closer to the leg. I don’t think I realized, truly realized, what I was seeing until I peaked between the two shelves the foot was poking through.

The one worker I hadn’t been able to notify not to come in today, Chico, was laying on his back, his wrists bound and folded in his lap, a frosty mask of ice crystals covering his head and face. A thin knife, the kind my father uses to clean fish with, was perched in the center of his chest, the hilt sticking up. Little frozen red and white balls covered his t-shirt.

I may not scare easily, but the amount of times in my life I’ve encountered a dead—no, make that murdered body—can be counted on the fingers of one hand and still have 5 left over. A loud gasp blew through my cold lips as I sprinted back to the door. I needed to tell the cops what I’d found. Now.

I yanked the industrial door open, shot through it, and barreled, full body, into a solid wall. The wall smelled, strangely, of citrus. I would have bounced back and hit the door if the tangy smelling behemoth hadn’t reached out and, with a grip forged in steel, imprisoned me within hands as large as the ham my mother was planning to serve for Christmas dinner in a few weeks.

Trapped and suddenly terrified—who wouldn’t be after finding a murdered guy?—my body reacted in that instinctual flight or fight way it’s programed to during stress or danger.

My body, as usual, chose fight.

One valuable lesson being the sibling who was routinely charged with breaking up brotherly fights has taught me, is how to get out of a death hold.

In a move I’d learned out of necessity I took a step forward instead of retreating like a person being held routinely would, bent my arms at the elbows, lifted them up and then twisted them inward. The front of my forearms collided with the giant’s forearms and when they did I pressed outward with every ounce of force I had.

The hold broke, as I’d known it would.

Before the giant could draw a breath and grab me again, I lifted my arms, gripped him by the ears and hauled his head down to meet the knee I’d raised.

A loud, guttural groan reverberated around us.

And then several things happened at once.

The orange smelling wall of a man sputtered, “Jesus Christ, Donna,” while he held his nose in his hands.

My father’s furious “Madonna Marie!” lifted to the ceiling at the same time.

And Angelo Roccanova’s “Holy Shit,” competed with both of them. Another besuited man I didn’t know stood behind the three of them, but he kept his mouth closed and just stared at the guy I’d knee-ed

Confused and breathing like I’d just swam the length of the Hudson river twice, my gaze bounced from my wide-eyed and worried father, to a shocked and nervous Ang and then to the bent-at-the-waist colossus in front of me.

My throat bobbed up and down and the moisture in my mouth evaporated when the hulk lifted back to his full height, his piercing and angry gaze mating with mine the entire time. As he’d stood tall I’d been forced to take a step back in order to maintain eye contact. The now closed steel refrigerator door barred me from going any further.

I knew those eyes. Intimately. When they weren’t filled with anger, 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 it was that a man was gifted eyes like that 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 that spanned almost as wide as the hallway were covered by a dark tan sports jacket, the pants a deeper hue of the same color palette.

“Donna,” Ang said, in a tone filled with fear, “why’d you punch Detective Roma?”

“I didn’t punch…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 Ang had called a detective.

With one hand still covering his nose, the man lifted his gorgeous gaze to mine 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 possessed.

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

The next few minutes were a buzz of activity.

Once I snapped my shocked mouth closed at having the man I’d given my virginity to, who was now a card carrying NYC detective, standing in front of me, a lifetime of ingrained Catholic confession made me blurt out, “I didn’t kill him, I swear. He was dead when I found him.”

The four men staring at me stared a little harder.

Before I could be hauled off to jail, an embarrassment my parents would never survive, I told them to follow me back into the freezer. Once they’d all seen who exactly it was I hadn’t murdered, Tony Roma, the virginity taker, ordered everyone out of the freezer.

Intrigued? Guess we’ll have to see where the story goes….

Check out my PINTEREST page where I’m storyboarding the book, MADONNA, MOBSTERS, and MOZZARELLA

Until next time ~Peg

The San Valentino Holiday Books, available at Amazon. // B&N // Apple // Kobo // GooglePlay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 3 Wishes, A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Author Branding, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

The new and weird world of (K)indle (U)nlimited

This is not going to be an explanation of KU, sorry. I’m still as stupid and in the dark about the whole process, myself, and I really think I need an instruction workshop to have it make any sense to me.

No, this posting is part of that never ending branding and marketing portion of my life. You see, two of my books have recently been put into KU – not by me! I’m traditionally published and had no say in the matter when the publishers decided to go this route.

The two books are

COOKING WITH KANDY, book 1 in my WIll Cook for Love series from Kensington/Lyrical 

and DIRTY DAMSELS, DotComGirls, bk1 from Limitless Publishing

So, if you are a KU subscriber, do a little romance author a favor and read a few pages ( or download the entire book! – even better! hee hee)

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under Author Branding, author promotion

What makes a #book #bingeworthy ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

get your copy here:

amazon // B&N // ibooks

Hopefully, it will be a bingeworthy read for you!

Until next time ~ Peg

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

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

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

I peaked too late, it seems.

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

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

Hmmmm.

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

3 friggin’ weeks!

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

How can that possibly mean lackluster sales?

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

Lesson learned.

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

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

get your copy here:

amazon // B&N // ibooks

Until next time ~ Peg

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

Why #IndependentBookstores are so near and dear to my heart….

I’ve talked a lot on this blog about how much I love the Independent bookstore I have in my town, THE TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP.

The managers are so welcoming and supportive of local authors and arrange booksignings, author meet and greets, and fun events for the entire community, in addition to stocking local indie author books ( something the big name book retailers do not!)

This year, when I heard about Independent Bookstore Romance Day,  on August 17, 2019, I called The Toadstool in Keene and asked if they were doing anything to celebrate the event. At the time, they weren’t, mainly because they didn’t know,  but once I informed them about the celebratory day, the managers went into hyperdrive to plan something to commemorate the day. I shunted some of my favorite local romance authors their way, and before I could say #iloveromance, an event was up and running.

See? This is why I love the TOADSTOOL so much!

So, come join me and four other fabulous romance writers on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 4pm at the Toadstool Bookshop in Keene!

You can checkout the authors who’ll be featured at the event on their Amazon profile pages, here:

Angie Moran

Cheri Allen

Clair Brett

Amber Cross

Peggy Jaeger

I really hope I see a bunch of romance readers I know – and even more I haven’t met yet! – at the event. The Toadstool will be selling our books during and after the panel discussion, so click on the links above to see the books available. All of my print books are currently on sale at the Toadstool, but for the e-print only ones, you can find them here: 3 Wishes, Hope’s Dream, A Holiday PromiseFalling for You, and Be My Hero

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, Deerbourne Inn, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, Writing

#1stKissFriday 6.21.19

It just stands to reason that since I’m promoting my upcoming DIRTY DAMSELS release, I might as well show you the first kiss between Ella and Buddy, no?

Hee hee.

Problem is…I really can’t. This blog is billed at PG13 and the first kiss between these two occurs during a time that’s…not. ( PG 13, that is!!!)The second kiss is equally as sexy, so I can’t show that one, either.

Sorry! ( Not, sorry!)

To make up for it, here’s a little snippet between them that’s fairly tame…maybe!

In a smooth move he pulled me into his arms, the length of our bodies touching.

“You don’t have to thank me, Ella. I’m just happy I could put that beautiful smile back on your face.” He kissed the tip of my nose. “And it sounds like it’s about time someone took care of you for a change.”

Can I just tell you how I almost melted into a puddle at those words?

Without thinking I shouldn’t – for so many reasons – I lifted up on my toes and pressed my lips against his, just as I had in the hotel room. Kissing him for the first time at midnight when I knew what was about to happen between us had been a new and titillating experience. But now I knew how he tasted, how amazing his lips and tongue felt mating with mine, and anticipation pushed aside all the thoughts of why I shouldn’t be doing this with this man again.

I hadn’t known who he was before or what the consequences of being with him could be. Now I did.

And you know what? I didn’t care.

His hands tightened around my waist pulling me even closer. The beat of his heart quickening drummed through his chest and pounded against mine. He kept the kiss sweet, apparently giving me the choice to deepen it.

I did.

Some inner wicked spark made me swipe at his lower lip with the tip of my tongue, then drag along the seam separating his two lips. When they parted for me on a breath, I dove in.

The kiss went from sweet and thoughtful to frenzied and mind-blowing in a nanosecond. One of his hands ran up my spine to cup the back of my neck, the other dipped lower to mold over my ass. I let my head fall backward into his able grip while Buddy changed the angle of the kiss, allowing him even greater access to my mouth. All of my mouth.

With his tongue twined around mine he tugged at it with tiny pulses, the motion striking a flame deep in my core. My legs grew restless and the bubble of need churning in me sought relief as my hips pushed in even closer to his body. The hand at my butt squeezed. Hard. At the same time Buddy pressed me against the counter and slid his knee between my quaking knees. The weight of him against me, coupled with the erotic motions of his tongue dancing with mine pushed all coherent thought from my mind. All I could do was feel and respond to his touch.

Intrigued? you’ll be able to read more when DIRTY DAMSELS releases on 7.2.19. Preorder links should be available soon and you know I’ll post them when they are.

For now, come back on Monday, June 24 for the big cover reveal! I can’t wait to share it with you.

 

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Dirty Damsels, Dot Com Girls Romance, Limitless Publishing

Meet Wild Rose Press #author Jocelyn Pedersen

So, today is a first for me. I usually spotlight romance writers when I do an author interview, but today I’ve got a treat. JOCELYN PEDERSEN is a Wild Rose Press sistah, but she writes mysteries and thrillers. So cool! She agreed to let me interview her recently and I had so much fun listening to her answers. Sit back and meet this fascinating author.

Jocelyn, The Writer 

1. What drives you to write?

The love of writing. I’ve always written. When I was a kid I’d write letters to my aunties, I’d write stories and poems, and I’d write absolutely everything down. I’m a geek—the feel of ink being placed on paper is a bit of a thrill—I’m even picky about the pens I use because if they don’t have a certain feel when I use them on paper, I don’t like them.

2. What genre(s) do your write, and why?

I write mysteries and thrillers because I love a good puzzle. I adore using my mind to try to figure out a mystery before the end of a book and I make a mental note of how early in the book I figure it out. The best stories are the ones I can’t figure out because they have a twisty ending. In addition, I like the forensic element in solving the crime. I took a class called Forensics for Writers and found it to be very interesting. I think I would have made a good detective!

3. What genre(s) do you read, and why?

I like crime novels, mostly. I enjoy the police work, the sleuthing, and the forensics—again, because I like a good challenge with a great puzzle. I don’t mind some descriptive scenes that get a little gory, but I don’t like too much because readers want more and more of that and I don’t want to go that far into the dark cave.

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

I absolutely write every day of my life. I prefer to write in the morning before I get busy with my day. If I don’t write something, I feel like something is missing. I’m a journalist, too, so I track down stories and write freelance for several local and regional publications. I teach writing at the University of Oklahoma. As for novel writing, my brain never stops. I write in my head, I write snippets on my phone or on restaurant napkins, and on scraps of paper. When characters won’t leave me alone and they talk to me all the time, I know it’s time to get busy and sit at the computer. So, for me, writing is a huge part of my life and therefore I do it every single day.

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

I have an old, wooden office desk in my den that I picked up at a used furniture store. On it I have two large monitors sitting side by side. Regardless of what I’m writing, I like to have notes on one screen, the project I’m working on another screen, and an Internet browser open on another part of a screen. If I run out of room, I launch the screen on my computer and have something open on that screen too. I think I like to see things laid out next to each other in this way because I grew up with books, not windows on screens. I can glance from here to there and have everything I need at my fingertips. I invested in a good chair, too, because I sit and write so much. Good ergonomic posture is imperative when writing as much as I do. I also have a split, ergonomic keyboard. I love it. In fact, I’ve used it so much, the letters are worn off the keys! The bonus side of that is that most folks can’t use a keyboard without letters, so visitors don’t want to use my computer to check their email. It’s kind of funny.

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

Total quiet. When I write, I am not “here,” I’m in the story.

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

I’m in awe of folks who can listen to music while writing. If I listen to music, I find myself typing the lyrics rather than my story. Sometimes, when the weather is nice, I’ll take my laptop outside and sit on my back patio to write. I love the ambient sounds of my backyard fountain and the birds chirping.

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

Since my current WIP is Book 2 of the Izzy O Crime Files, I’m using some of the same characters. I’m adding new characters, of course, and since I love animals, I’m adding police dogs. I am a graduate of the Norman Citizens Police Academy, where I learned quite a bit about police procedure and police dogs. I have been a professional dog trainer, so adding dogs will be fun. In addition, I took up Olympic-style weightlifting in the fall of 2018 to help me cut time off of my swim (I regularly swim 1/2 to a full mile). So, I’ve decided that in addition to adding dogs to my WIP, I’m going to have one of my characters take up weightlifting.

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

I think plot comes first. Once I have an idea for a plot, the characters emerge and start filling in the story. I start with “what if?” and go on from there. Many of my characters are named for people I know and those who know me well know that some scenes have really happened in my life.

10. What 3 words describe you, the writer?

Driven. Creative. Perseverant.

Jocelyn, The Gal…

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

As I mentioned, I took up Olympic-style weightlifting less than a year ago. When I had been lifting for only a month, my lifting coach, the incredible Bob White, Jr. (who is the big brother I never had and always wanted), told me the team would be going to a weightlifting meet—when I picked my jaw up off the floor, I agreed. At that meet, I won gold in my division and the Best Master Woman lifter award. Since then, I’ve won three more gold medals, I’ve earned my coaching license, and I’m headed to the national meet in November. I’m very proud of going from never having seen a barbell to making nationals in seven months. Who knew I was any good at this!? Certainly not me.

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

I was 12 years old—we had moved from my native Canada to Singapore—where I met Niccolai Murphy. I was smitten. We played bridge at lunchtime with friends and he taught me to make and fly model airplanes. We had a blast running around together flying airplanes and eating all manner of weird delicacies from street vendors—never asking what was in it. I still keep in touch with him and his lovely wife, Pat Hlavin. When my son, Al, became interested in flying at age 12, I took him to California to meet Nicco who, along with his friend, Frank Britton, took Al up and taught him to do loop-de-loops, and barrel rolls. They even had a mock dogfight. Al recently got his private pilot’s license. You don’t have many friends like Nicco in a lifetime.

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….

August 23, 2017. Adams Hall, Rm 311 at 10:30 a.m. A student in my class, Michael Jackson, walked into the room. Of course, since it was the first week of class, I knew absolutely no one, but when he walked in I said to myself, “That’s Michael Jackson.” It was like I knew him from somewhere, but we’d never met. That man was, in fact, Michael Jackson, and after the semester was over we, like many of my students, had a cup of coffee. We are now best friends and are planning to go into business together. Age is a number. Who cares how old friends are?

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

Concealer. Acne has not been my friend…

5.What three words describe you, the person?

Loyal. Giving. Loving.

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

Imagine Dragons’ Machine. It isn’t terribly funny, but it speaks to my fierce independence.

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

Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, because he stood up for the underdog. He stood up for what he believed in and knew was right. He showed love, compassion and empathy. If we could spend time together, I’d want to have a tall glass of tea on his front porch and ask him what makes him tick and discuss the courage it took to stand up for himself and Tom Robinson.

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound                      Waves crashing on the strand.
  2. Least favorite sound             High-pitched squealing.
  1. Best song ever written So many! I’m a singer, so this is hard… If I had to    narrow it down, The Rose would be at the top.
  2. Worst song ever written      This is the Song That Never Ends
  3. Favorite actor and actress    Morgan Freeman and Susan Sarandon
  4. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead)                        Mother Teresa because she showed incredible compassion, empathy, and love toward others.
  5. What turns you on?              Caring.
  6. What turns you off?              Meanness.
  7. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”)   Are your boobs real?
  8. What’s your version of a perfect day?  Going to a beach and doing something active!

And now, here’s a peak at An EYE FOR AN EYE

Rookie detective Izzy O’Donnell is on the trail of a serial killer who’s murdering victims and leaving behind body parts wrapped in Bible verses. Izzy tracks him down with the help of her two partners—a very enigmatic Moreno and a rather grumpy Cal—her injured dad’s former partner.

Meanwhile, her wacky sidekick, Apple MacIntosh, totes a pet rabbit around in a baby sling, insisting he’s telepathic and can smell death on Izzy’s clothes. Unnerved by unexplained dreams, Izzy forges forth to solve the case. A homeless man, a philandering televangelist, and a mentally challenged gardener are among the suspects who distract Izzy from seeing the killer, who has been getting to know her all along.

Excerpt:

Moreno hung up the phone and walked past Izzy, purposely brushing her elbow with his. Startled, she jumped and looked at him.

“You hangin’ in?” he said.

“Guess I’m a little shell shocked.”

They crossed the room and met Cal at the fireplace.   He was bent over, examining the body.

“Cal, Moreno, you’d better take a look at this,” said one of the techies. He motioned them over to the blood-soaked couch.

Izzy hadn’t been called over, so she stayed at the fireplace. The scene was gruesome, and the stench wafted up her nose. She gingerly touched the body with a stainless-steel probe. It crunched. She steadied her queasies and took a deep breath. Get back on task.

She scrutinized the area, searching for fibers and trace evidence. When she picked up the fireplace poker that lay nearby, a blood-soaked packet tumbled off the hearth and plopped on the carpet. Izzy glanced around to see if anyone else had noticed. When she realized she was the sole recipient of this piece of evidence, heart skipped a beat. This could be her first break – her way to show those seasoned guys that this newbie knew her stuff.

Get AN EYE FOR AN EYE here:

amazon //  B&N

A little more about Jocelyn:

Jocelyn Pedersen is an award-winning, AP-published, professional journalist with hundreds of published clips in various newspapers and magazines. A lover of the mystery and thriller, she eats popcorn while watching documentaries about serial killers and huddles under blankets on the couch while watching Criminal Minds with her friends and family.

Jocelyn is a gold medal-winning power-lifter breaking records every month. She works with Bob White of Team Metro in Norman, Oklahoma.

She enjoys her kids, the beach, teaching writing at the University of Oklahoma, and being a former sheep farmer, considers herself a sheepie slipper aficionado. She has more animals than brains and wouldn’t have it any other way.

You can connect with Jocelyn here:

Website // Facebook,// Twitter//, LinkedIn,// Pinterest//GoodReads.// Facebook // Instagram

Jocelyn, thanks so much for visiting me today!!! ~Peg

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, author promotion, WIld Rose Press AUthor

In a world of #followers I’d like to be an #Influencer

I’m going to bet if you know what the above icon is, you’ll understand the title of this blog.

First, a little backstory.

When I was a kid, roughly 175 years ago, my third grade teacher, Mrs. Karen Sinclair, said something to me one day that has stayed with me all these millennia later. I was an overweight, thick glasses-wearing, curly haired, shy kid prone to impulse control issues when it came to talking in class. I was bullied – horribly – by both girls and boys. At that age, there really is no division along sex lines with bullying. One day, after an especially verbally vicious attach on the recess playground, I came back into the classroom, sullen and non-communicative. When class ended for the day, Mrs. Sinclair asked me to stay after. She wormed out of me what had been said on the playground. When I cried that all I wanted to do was fit in, be like everyone else, but couldn’t because 1. my clothes were wrong, 2. my hair was wrong, 3. I was ugly, 4. I was fat…etc…. (you get the picture) she took my hand and told me this: “Don’t be a follower.  Don’t be like everyone else. You were born to be a leader, Margaret, to be yourself. There’s only one you. Don’t settle for less.”

Yeah, she was my favorite teacher of all time.

Fast forward 165 years to the present.

The above symbol is the INSTAGRAM logo. Since I started my writing journey, I’ve been attempting to get people to read my books through various marketing methods, one of them, posting on Instagram. Recently, I came across a phase that “called” to me: Influencer. Apparently, there are people (millennials, mostly) who have huge Insta-followers and who get paid for taking pictures of themselves with products. The companies who manufacture the products, pay these kids  for simply posting a picture. People see the picture and are Influenced to buy the product because they want to be like the cool person they are following.

Can you spell BRILLIANT!!

I have a decent amount of Instagram followers and I’m gonna work on getting more, but for now, here’s me at my new job, taking a picture with a product I’d like to tell people about so they can buy it and be cool like me. I’m an Influencer:

Hee hee

Sorry the book is backward – this whole Influencer thing is gonna take time to perfect. 🙂 But  you get the idea.

~until next time ~ Peg

And just FYI: The book’s on sale for 99cents right now until june 21~~ Get yours here:

DEARLY BELOVED

Amazon

Nook

Apple books

 

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Filed under Author Branding, Dearly Beloved, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing

Proof that I work hard…even if I never get out of my pajamas!

I was a little silent on Social Media over the weekend because I was flat out, ass crazy busy with writing stuff. I’ve got a sale going on right now for DEARLY BELOVED; I’m partnered on two Booksweeps  giveaways, one in Romantic Comedy , one in Sweet Romance, and I’ve got a ton of blog appearances set for the next two weeks in addition to other authors visiting my blog.  I got one newly contracted book back for edits, another I needed to finish and a third I needed to start.  This past Saturday and Sunday I spent all day, both days, playing catch up.

My husband, who still thinks when I say “I’m working,” means I’m sitting in my office trolling the Internet, for the first time understood what that meant.

You see, I write a detailed daily to-do list each week in a spiral notebook I keep on my desk. Each page is filled with what I need to accomplish for that specific date. This weekend there were 48 individual things on the list. He came into my office yesterday morning, saw the list on my desk and asked, “is that everything for next month?”

My reply? “No. Thats everything for today and tomorrow.” Then I flipped the pages and showed him the week ahead.

He won’t be asking anymore what I do all day.

Hey – here’s a reminder. Tomorrow I’m doing a facebook page takeover over on Trashy and Terrific. Here’s the page link: T&T 

I’ll be on from 4am EST until about 9 pm EST, so join me. I’ll have games, a few giveaways and lots more stuff!  Pleas join me and pass it on to all your book reading and romance loving friends.

Until next time ~Peg

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