Category Archives: Characters

Research is spelled P-I-N-T-E-R-E-S-T!

This is a funfunfun topic for me. I sincerely don’t know what writers did before PINTEREST came along. The first time I was ever told about the site and then visited it, I was addicted. For Life. Seriously.

You all know I’m a huge plotter when it comes to my books. I have everything lined up, plotted out, and squared off before I ever start writing because I’m so anal. It’s that damn scientific background – I always need to know where I’m going. In the past I’d look for pictures of my characters or places or settings in magazines. Being able to visibly “see” how I wanted someone to look made it waaaaay easier for me to write about them. With the advent of Google, I tossed the mags and started trolling celebrity sites – because back in the day they were the only pictures you could really find.

It’s a new day, people. We don’t need google images anymore -we’ve got PINTEREST. Anyone can upload a picture of pretty much anything ( legal, that is!) From the moment I used Pinterest to categorize and help me plot/storyboard my books, my life got sosososos much easier. I had more time to write because I didn’t need to troll endlessly looking for images thru mags anymore. I simply plugged in something like “guys, 30’s black hair, green eyes” and 9,000,000 PINS instantly popped up for me to choose from.


So, for the first time, I’m giving you a little glimpse into how I storyboard my characters on Pinterest. The links below are to my Will Cook For Love Series books. These Pins/pictures are how I “saw” the books when I was writing them. (A few of the books haven’t been published yet so this is like a little teaser!)  Let me know your thoughts.

Will Cook for Love

A shot at Love/Gemma

Melora and Riley

Abby and Rick

Ellie and Sloan

And I even have an alternative, breakout, spinoff series to Cooking with Kandy called Bros, Inc.

You’re welcome for that last one!

When I’m not doing RESEARCH ( wink wink) you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me



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Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

Another word about speaking in public…

The other day I wrote about how miserable a public speaker I’ve become. In truth, it’s because I don’t get the chance to do it as often as I used to so I’m kinda out of practice. Hand in hand with being terrified to speak in public is my fear of reading my own words out loud when there are more people than just me in a room.

Case in point: last year at NECRW2017 I was part of a group of authors who did a live reading of their current books. I thought it would be a good way to get my written work out there and hopefully garner some new readers. No brainer, right?

Yeah, no.

Up until the moment I was called upon to read I still hadn’t chosen the excerpt I wanted to share. The book was my newest one for Lyrical, COOKING WITH  KANDY, which had come out a few weeks earlier, and I wanted to read something that would spark ( hopefully) a listener enough to want to buy the book. Right up to the second moderator and host Damon Suede called my name, I was still undecided.

Then, my name was called and up to the microphone I went. I took a breath – three in fact – so deep it looked like I might be having the beginning of an asthma attack to those who knew what to look for(!) and read a simple passage loaded with emotions between the two main characters.

495 words.

8 minutes to complete.

I kinda left my body for the experience, because I really don’t remember much. When I sat back down, Damon said, “Am I right that was your very first public reading?”

My heart stopped beating when he said that. Christ! Had it been that bad? That obvious? That horrible a reading?

I nodded, unable to form coherent words in response.

Damon grinned and said something like, “So, yay! You’re not a reading virgin anymore! We popped your cherry!”

Everyone – including me – laughed. I know I turned sixteen shades of boiled tomato red, but still, his comment broke the tension that had coiled deep in me. Bless the man!

Next time ( and I can hear you now asking She’s gonna do it again???!!), yes, NEXT time, I’ll be less nervous, better prepared, and practice what I want to read before I get up and do so.

And BTW, Damon Suede has a great article in this month’s RWA magazine –  for those of you who subscribe –  about authors and public reading of their work. It’s well worth the read!

When I’m not obsessing about speaking in public you can usually find me here:

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, female friends, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Laine Women

Another oldie but a goodie!

Two years ago I was part of a Valentine’s Day book/novella collection from the Wild Rose Press called THE CANDY HEARTS SERIES. My contribution, 3 WISHES, introduced the book reading world to the San Valentino Family – a family based VERY loosely on my Italian step-family while I was growing up. A second book, A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS was released in 2016 for the Christmas holidays, featuring more of the same family, their lives, their loves, their crazy existence!.

Since Valentine’s day is quickly rolling around, I thought I’d re-introduced you to Chloe and Matt, my two lovers in 3 WISHES.


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


At about five minutes of ten I was almost ready to turn the Closed sign on the door when it opened. I heard Janie’s breath hitch and turned from where I was sweeping up. Staying open late is always a risk, with the thought thieves will invade at the end of the day.

If the guy standing at the door glancing around the shop was a thief, then Dio mio, I wanted to be robbed.

About six foot, his hair was the color of a deer’s pelt, with autumnal golds and browns shot together in a glorious patchwork that grazed the collar of his jacket and curled a little at the ends. He wore a faded brown bomber jacket over a shirt I couldn’t see, but he had shoulders almost as wide as my doorway. A pair of well-worn jeans covered his mile long legs, and the fabric on the stress points at his knees was practically white.

“We’re about to close,” I heard myself say. “Can I help you?”

It was at that moment he looked over at me.

His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth, forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth and deep. And his mouth, mother-of-God, his mouth. Full, thick beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.

“Sorry,” he said, those fabulous lips pulling up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”

So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.

Buy links: 

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Barnes and Nobel


And of course, you can always find me here if you need me:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Foodie, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press




See this picture? What do you notice first? The keyboard? The notebook? Or is your eye drawn to that Bridal Cake Christmas ornament?
Yeah, mine too.

I found the ornament in Michael’s Craft store the other day and bought it on the spot. Why you ask? Well, I’m gonna tell you.

I think I’ve mentioned in a few previous blogs that I’m the kind of person that puts action and intention behind wishes and dreams.

I made those wooden book holders for my books because I have a dream to someday be published in hardback, not only in digital and paperback. By making those boxes and placing my paperback books inside of them, it gave the illusion of a hardbound copy. So, see? Dream…intention…action….hopefully it’ll come true.



I’m using the ornament the same way, as:

  1. a reminder
  2. a talisman
  3. visual prompt

The reminder is for me to think good and positive thoughts about the new Bridal Series I just sent to an editor ( who asked for it!)

The talisman is for the ornament to–hopefully– bring me luck with getting these books published.

The visual prompt is so I stay focused because sometimes I start to lag a little when I’m waiting for things to happen.

Cute, isn’t it?
The next time you see that ornament on any of my social media will mean I have good news to share….


Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me


Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Why I love a #holidayRomance

So. There are probably going to be hundreds of blogs written in the next month by romance writers much more talented than I am about why we all love a holiday romance.

Be it a Hallmark movie, or a new theatrical wide-release Holiday RomCom, or even the plethora of new Christmas love stories that invade our Netgalley listings and Amazon review sites every year.


But, just why do we love a Holiday Romance story sosososo much? Valentine’s Day is the day devoted to Cupid and love. And yes, there have been a few movies and books devoted to that amorous day.

HeeHee – shameless plus!

But by and large, a Christmas themed romance book or movie just does — overall- better than any released at Valentine time.


I’m sure there are any number of reasons, but I’ve got a few of my own that I’d like to share.

First, the holidays tend to bring out the best in most of us. Oh, I know there are crabby, grumpy Scrooges out there – some I even know personally! And I’m not negating the people who suffer from depression, which can be heightened at this time of year. But overall, we collectively are happier during the holidays. And because we’re happier I think that tends to open our hearts up to the possibility of finding love. A Happy heart is an open heart, as a famous jewelry company keeps telling us!

Second is the Christmas Wish/Gift list. Most adults don’t physically write this list down on paper like they did as children. They tend to construct and keep it in their heads. And I just bet on every single man and woman’s mental wish list is a dream to meet the person of their, well, dreams. The guy or gal who will become their life partner. Their soulmate. And books and movies postulate that wishes and dreams DO come TRUE, so….

Third, Christmas Romance stories and movies all end HAPPILY. Like any good romance writer or romantic scriptwriter will tell you, you’ve got to make your characters go through hell and high water to achieve that everlasting love. As a romance reader myself – and not just a writer – I know that the more angst, turmoil, and tragedy the characters are put through, the more I root for them to wind up together in the end. I know what the ending will wind up being when I go it. It’s the journey I’m there to watch and read. And who doesn’t love a Happily Ever After ending?? Especially during the holidays!

Lastly, I always view the holidays as a time of rebirth. Sure, it’s Jesus’ birthday, and we should celebrate it like one, but for me, spiritually, it’s a time of rebirth, reorganization, and recognizing all the gifts I have. And  those gifts – the most precious ones – are the loves of my life! So, a holiday love story – whether it’s a finding a new love , or a retelling of an everlasting love, warms our hearts and make us just feel good.

I know there are oodles more reasons why Holiday romances sell well and touch our hearts, but to me, finding love and keeping it is the best!

I encourage everyone to see a new holiday love story this year and to read a new Christmas Romance novel. And as another shameless plug, I’ll offer mine up, here:


With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind.

Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not.

Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?


Click here for a preview: A Kiss

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Foodie, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

In my own words….

So, this is the first new blog piece of mine since the start of my Goddess Fish tour in October. An entire month of blog posts that were written a month before the tour. Can I just tell you how exhausted I was after that?!!

Lots has happened lately that I haven’t had a chance to talk about. I was at the Fall In Love with New England conference a few weeks ago; I had another book signing for my newest release A SHOT AT LOVE from Lyrical Shine Books; I’m currently gearing up for NaNoWriMo for next month. I’ve been entering oodles of writing contests. Just lots of stuff to keep me busy and involved.

I’ve been storing a few topics in the back of my mind and I’ll be releasing them the next few weeks before NaNo, so make sure you check back here or follow my tweets and social media posts. For now, I’ve gotta go work on my new bridal series….more to come about that in the future.

BUT…. the most important thing right now is that I am a finalist in the NH State Library book Notes. Here is the link. A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS is a finalist so if you have a moment and feel the need, I would REALLY appreciate your vote.Thanks in advance!
If you need to find me I can usually be spotted here:  Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookBub


Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Food lover, Foodie, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

The end is in sight, #GoddessFishBlogTour

Today’s virtual tour brings me to the Mixed Book Bag. Drop by and see the five places I’d love to travel to learn about the native cuisine.

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, female friends, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, research, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense, Strong Women, The Laine Women, Uncategorized

Favorite Book Quotes #MFRWAuthors

Last week we were charged with giving our readers our favorite quotes. Today, it’s our favorite books quotes. I actually quote from books a lot in my everyday life, especially when something happens that requires it. So, in no order, here are my favorite book quotes:

“I knew I could!” from The Little Engine That Could. Best book about self-motivation EVAH!

Has there ever been a better expression of love than Pooh to Piglet, in Winnie the Pooh?

I read The Lord of the Rings a million-bazillion years ago but this quote still resonates.

Everyone who knows me knows what a HUGE J.D. Robb fan I am. There are simply too many fabulous quotes throughout the IN DEATH series for me to choose my favorite, but here are some of my favs because they all go to the character of Eve Dallas.


From my spirit guide to the romance world, Jane Austen, I give you these: 

Genius. Pure genius.






I can’t wait to see what favorite book quotes are listed for all the other fabulous authors in this blog hop. Click on the links below to visit them.



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

#GoddessFishBlogTour…day 2

It’s day 2 and I’m over at Lisa Hazelton‘s talking about…what else?,,,writing and my new release!! Stop by and take a chance on an Amazon gift card!

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Dialogue, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

A little present from me to you…

In just a few weeks my next Lyrical Shine book A SHOT AT LOVE, bk 2 in the Will Cook For Love Series, will be released. To whet your appetites ( like that pun??!)  I’m going to start posting little snippets and excerpts of the book every few days. Today is day one.

First, here’s the back cover blurb:

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 . . .

Now….meet Gemma Laine, for the first time, through Ky’s eyes:

That’s her.” The officer pointed to a police vehicle in the middle of the barricaded street a moment later. “Name’s Gemma Laine.”

A woman stood next to the vehicle, a cell phone at her ear, her back to him. Tall, maybe as tall as he was, and slender, her back tapered down to a minuscule waist, her legs clad in tight, faded jeans. When she turned Ky almost stopped midstride, the questions he intended to grill her with jumping out of his head. His breath caught as he simply stared at the loveliest woman he’d ever seen.

Hair the color of midnight, straight as a board, fell to just below her shoulders, blowing back from her face in the gentle afternoon breeze. Blunt, chopped bangs fringed a pair of large, bright blue eyes. Plump, coral-colored lips moved as she spoke into the phone and for a brief, hot second, Ky wondered if they’d taste as delicious as they looked.

Her gaze stayed on him as she spoke.

“I’ve gotta go,” she said into the phone. “Yeah. I’ll call when I’m done. Love you, too.”

“Miss Laine?”

She tucked the phone into her back pocket.

“I’m Special Agent Pappandreos. I need to speak with you about what you saw.”

“Special Agent?” Those delicate brows furrowed under her bangs. “Like, FBI?”

Jesus, where does a woman get a voice like that? Whiskey laced with honey and rolled into one smooth pitch.

“Yes. I understand you witnessed the shooting? You photographed it?”

She nodded. “I was working when it all started. I took a series of shots while it was happening.”

His gaze flicked to the camera she held in one hand.

“I need to see those pictures.”

His first impression of her height had been correct. She was maybe three or four inches shorter than his six-foot-one frame. As she moved closer, the hairs on the back of his neck stood straight at attention. She smelled as good as she looked and his nostrils flared from the scent of sweet cherries blended with some hot exotic spice.

“It all went down so fast,” she said. “But I got some good shots.” Handing him the camera, she added, “Press this button to advance.”

PreOrder Links:

Amazon //Apple //Google // Kobo // Nook

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women