Category Archives: Characters

A #Giveaway and a promise…

Hey all! There’s currently a Goodreads giveaway running for my October release of A SHOT AT LOVE, book 2 in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE series.  Just click on GOODREADS in the previous sentence to enter.

If I get 300 entrants, I’m going to post a special scene that didn’t make it into the final copy of the book here on my website, so please, pass this link on to anyone who enjoys romance!

I’f I get 500 entrants, I’ll choose a name for a special chance to win a signed first edition copy from me!

And Holy Smokes, if I get more than 500, well, I’ll think of something special to give away from me, never fear!!!

thanks, oodles!

 

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

#RWA17, Are we adulting here?

Something new at RWA this year was the adult coloring wall.

Yeah…I know.

But…. it was really cool. I took some pictures of the images on day one and then tried to remember every day to take more to show you the progress. Had I been able to access good internet service in the hotel ( bah humbug!) I would have been able to update these pictures daily instead of shooting them all to you in one quick shot. Anyway…enough complaining.

So here’s day one, then day 4:

   

Now, please remember, these were up on a wall, mural sized. Getting to the top of the picture required a ladder!

This one never got finished.. .I don’t know why not. It’s a great Beverly Jenkins cover!

here are a few more:

I was surprised they didn’t all get finished. I will admit one thing, though, it was a great stress reducer! Every day I stopped by and filled in a few more colors on all of them and I actually went away feeling lighter. That whole adult coloring craze has boomed, I think, by now, but still, this was a cute idea. It’ll be fun to see what the RWA board comes up with for Denver.

When I’m not adulting 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 Author, branding, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, love, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

A fiery Artist and a Horse Whisperer find love in Passion’s Palette; #MFRWBookHooks

PASSION’S PALETTE, book 5 in the MacQuire Women series, releases on 8.4.17.

Blurb: Talented and witty portrait artist Serena MacQuire is successful in everything but love. Her gift for capturing people on canvas is rivaled only by her fiery and legendary temper. A tragedy from the past keeps her heart securely locked away, preventing any man from getting close enough to claim it.

But Seamus Cleary isn’t just any man. After he left his professional football career to become a veterinarian, his bitter wife ended their marriage. Now, as he starts his life over in a new town, love is the last thing he’s looking for. The more he tends to Serena’s horses, though, the more he realizes her own heart needs tender care and healing as well.

Will he be the man who finally unlocks and claims her heart?

Excerpt:

Standing before her, his hands in the back pockets of his jeans, he wore a look of bashful sheepishness. “I guess I owe you an apology,” he said, tilting his head to one side. The sun was full force on his face, one eye winked closed from its glare.

“You don’t look apologetic. You could have told me you were David’s partner,” she said, cringing when she heard the whine in her tone, “instead of allowing me to believe you were one of the moving men.”

“Now, hang on a sec,” he said, moving closer to her. “You were the one who assumed that. I never told you I was one of the movers. In fact, you never gave me a chance to tell you who I was. You just assumed. Incorrectly, it turns out.”

“You could have said something,” Serena blurted, her lower lip pouting outward.

Links: Amazon // Wild Rose Press

Check out the other authors in this Book Hook Blog Hop:

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, female friends, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A visit with #author Jennifer Wilck

 

Happy August first. Since it’s a brand new month I thought I’d introduce you to a brand new author. Jennifer Wilck may not be a debut author – just check out her impressive Amazon page – but she is a new writing sistah to me, courtesy of Wild Rose Press, so I wanted to find out a little bit more about her. And boy, did I like what I did!!! Read along and discover some of the fun things about this fab author, and stick around – she’s giving you a taste of her newest WRP release, ADDICTED TO LOVE.

Here’s Jennifer…..

the Author

  • What drives you to write?An inability not to? I have stories and voices in my head, dying to be written down.
  • What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?I write contemporary romance. I love writing about people falling in love and I have no faith in my ability to create other worlds or time periods. So for me, contemporary makes sense.
  • What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? My favorite genres of romance to read are historical and military. I love the alpha heroes in military romance and as for historical, I love everything about the 1800s—the dresses, the customs, the houses. That’s the time I’d go back to if I could time travel, so reading about it makes me happy.
  • What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?I try to write every day during the week, and my daily word count goal is 1,000 (that started when I participated in my local RWA chapter’s version of NaNoWriMo). Usually, I get blogging and marketing out of the way in the early-ish morning and then I write starting around lunchtime and going until late afternoon.
  • Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I have a laptop, so I can write anywhere, and often wander—walking around helps me focus and getting up and moving keeps me from getting distracted. I wander from my dining room table to my family room sofa to my desk and back. If it’s nice out, I’ll sit outside on my deck as well.
  • 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? That depends. When I’m home by myself, I write in total quiet. When my kids are home, I tolerate a little noise, although I often look around and think to myself, “Am I really writing this sex scene while they’re doing their homework here?” But in general, the quieter the better.
  • Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? No, I can’t because I’ll start singing along, and then writing the lyrics down. J
  • How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? My current WIP is book 3 in a four-book series. I came up with the series idea while writing book 1. It’s a group of four men (one per book) who are wealthy beyond wealthy, but who pool their money and invest in charity projects. The hero of the first book was a loner, but I had to give him people to talk to, so I started thinking about what friends he would have, whether he would distance himself from them too and why or why not, and the series idea was born.
  • Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Character always comes first. I’m always curious about why people behave the way they do. So I come up with who and why and then fill in the rest. And I have a thing for tortured heroes, so my method lends itself well to that.
  • What 3 words describes you, the writer? Must have chocolate. Oh wait, are you talking about professionally? Tortured heroes rule. (Peggy here: Both are fabulous!!!)

the Person:

  • Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I’m an only child, and I totally wing it when it comes to sibling issues between my two children.
  • Who was your first love and what age were you? A boy in my first grade class. He used to give me presents that he stole from his sister.
  • 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…. Probably the last time I was with my grandma.
  • Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Can I choose all three?( Peggy here: yes, you can!!)
  • If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?It would have to be makeup, because I can’t give up my hair products—my hair is awful as is, and that’s after I use them!
  • What three words describe you, the person? Kind, loyal, funny

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

  1. Favorite sound: Rain on the window
  2. Least favorite sound: Wind
  3. Favorite actor and actress: Emilia Clarke & David Tenant
  4. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) Ruth Bader Ginsberg—her intelligence and wit amaze me.
  5. What turns you on?: Humor and compassion
  6. What turns you off? :Hate
  7. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) I don’t remember the words because they were slurred—he was drunk. It was not cool.
  8. What’s your version of a perfect day? Surrounded by my family/close friends, spending time together, laughing

 

Blurb: ADDICTED TO LOVE

Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah.

Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. She’d like nothing better than to find her own Mr. Right, after too many Mr. Wrongs. A sexy older man with a teenage daughter was never in her plans.

As they navigate their relationship through adolescent attitudes and grandmotherly interference, they realize age is just a number and love can be right in front of them. But when the terrible truth of Dan’s former struggles is exposed, Hannah must decide if she can get past his deception and allow love to conquer all.

Excerpt:

“What are we looking at?” she whispered out of the side of her mouth, pursing her lips together and giving him an insane urge to kiss them.

“What?”

“I assumed since we’re standing here you must be looking at something, and I wanted to join in the fun. Or did you not realize we weren’t moving?”

Her nostrils flared and she bit her lip. Dan realized she was trying not to laugh. Now he really wanted to kiss her, to capture her mouth with his, to make her his own. Before he could act on it, his stomach growled.

“Was that yours or mine?” She looked at him, an eyebrow raised.

His lips twitched. His breath hitched. He couldn’t keep his amusement to himself any longer. It bubbled in his chest, and he let it out as he shook his head.

“Okay, while I am older than you, I’m not old enough to be senile. Yet. So yes, I did know we weren’t moving. But thanks for that. And yes, my stomach growled, because I’m hungry. Except I think I need to put eating on hold for a moment, because what I need more than anything else right now, what I’ve needed all night long in fact, is to kiss you.”

Buy Links: Wild Rose Press // Amazon // B&N //Kobo

A little more about Jennifer:

When I was a little girl and couldn’t fall asleep, my mother would tell me to make up a story. Pretty soon, my head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Each character had a specific personality, a list of likes and dislikes, and sometimes, even a specific accent or dialect. Even as an adult, I think about the characters and stories at night before I fall asleep, or in the car on my way to or from one of my daughters’ numerous activities (hey, anything that will drown out their music is a good thing).

One day, I started writing them down (it was either that or checking into the local mental hospital—the computer was way less scary) and now I’m a published author. My first book, A Heart of Little Faith, was just declared a Finalist in the Fiction: Romance category of the 2016 Best Book Awards.

In the real world, I’m the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men I know. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling and watching TV. In between chauffeuring my daughters to after-school activities that require an Excel spreadsheet to be kept straight, I run youth group activities, train the dog we recently adopted from a local shelter, and cook dinners that fit the needs of four very different appetites. I also write freelance articles for magazines, newspapers, and edit newsletters.

When all of that gets overwhelming, I retreat to my computer, where I write stories that let me escape from reality. In my made-up world, the heroines are always smart, sassy and independent. The heroes are handsome and strong with just a touch of vulnerability. If I don’t like a character, I can delete him or her; if something doesn’t work, I can rewrite it. It’s very satisfying to be in control of at least one part of my life. My inspiration comes from watching the people around me and fantasizing about how I’d do things differently.

You can connect with Jennifer here:  Facebook // Twitter //Website // Blog // Pinterest 

 

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

An interview with #author Karilyn Bentley

 

Today I get to introduce you to another of my wonderful, talented, and prolific Wild Rose Press sistahs, Karilyn Bentley. Karilyn writes in a genre I am ashamed to say I don’t know much about: Urban Fantasy. But I’m going to rectify that today because the little snippet of her current work she’s talking about today sounds amazeballs! Come and meet Karilyn….

Karilyn,The Writer Questions

  1. What drives you to write? The stories and characters in my head keep talking to me and I have to put them on paper or go nuts!
  2. What genre(s) of Romance do you write, and why? Currently, I write urban fantasy. I started off writing paranormal and fantasy romance, but something about the urban fantasy genre drew me in. I love to write in first person with a snarky female heroine.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Historical, paranormal, mystery, and urban fantasy are my favorites. I like to be taken to a different place when I read, and of course, I need the HEA.
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? I try to write every day but oftentimes am not successful. I work mornings at the day job, so I try to write either in the afternoons or the evenings.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? We moved last year and prior to that, I had my own office. When we moved, my desk went into the room where my hubby works from home, but instead of using that desk, I now write at the kitchen table. The view is prettier. And I don’t have to listen to hubby’s conference calls. J
  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 need almost total quiet. I can’t even put on headphones or listen to music. Spoken words distract me when I try to write. (Peggy here: me, too!!! I should live in a sound booth that keeps all noise out!)
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? Nope, no music. Too distracting!
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? It’s part of my urban fantasy series so I am trying to wrap up plot threads. J But, the original idea for the series was a cross between an old TV show and a nurse who has problems. I wanted it to be a little funny, a lot snarky, and have a bit of a mystery.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Usually plot, but for this series, the main character came to me first. I wanted to tell Gin’s story. But now that I have her character in my head, it’s the plot that comes for the other books in the series.

What 3 words describe you, the writer?

Slow. As in, I’m one of the slowest writers ever!

Pantser hybrid. As in, I have to know where the story ends but nothing else.

Creative.

Karilyn, The Person 

    • Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!
      • I can’t leave the house until the bed is made. (Peggy here: oooo! Me, too!!)
    • Who was your first love and what age were you?
      • I was in love with a little friend from the time I was 3 until I was 12. Yeah, crazy. As far as men goes, I’d have to say it was my hubby. J
    • 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….
      • Oh wow. I have no idea. But that’s a great question! There are a lot of things I’d like to do again (as in places to travel to) but I’m not sure about one day.
    • Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?
      • Briefs
    • If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?
      • Lipstick
    • What three words describe you, the person?
      • Funny, a good friend, likes to listen (Okay, so that’s more than three. I’ve never been good at math. Ha!)
    • If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?
      • I can’t sing!!
    • 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? Claire and Jamie from Outlander. They always seem to be having an adventure, so I’d go along with them.
  • I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:
  • Favorite sound — My windchimes
  • Least favorite sound – I know it’s cliché, but anything that sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard (am shivering just thinking of that noise!)
  • Best song every written – Too many to pick just one!
  • Worst song ever written – I don’t like country/western, but not sure it’s the worst ever written.
  • Favorite actor and actress – I love Harrison Ford and Robert Redford. Not sure about the actress, I like several of them.
  • Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead)
    • A guy, just to see how the other half lives. (Peggy here – this is one of the best answers EVAH to this question!!!)
  • What turns you on?
    • Umm…
  • What turns you off?
    • Rude people
  • Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date (here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”)
    • I can’t believe someone asked you that on your first date! Here’s mine: “Let’s go to Hooters. They have good wings.” (they do have good wings, but let’s face it, that’s not why the guy wanted to go)
  • What’s your version of a perfect day?
    • Sleeping in late, drinking several cups of coffee while sitting on my deck and reading a book.
    • DEMON CURSED  
    • Blurb:
    • Gin Crawford, the world’s newest demon huntress, just wants to enjoy a football game, but finds herself hunting a serial killer minion instead. When his victims turn out to be the local football star’s female fans, she must determine if the player has joined forces with the minion, but her efforts lead her deeper into danger. When her mentor, Aidan Smythe, is attacked, Gin resolves to go to any lengths to save him, even if it exposes her most tightly held secret. Minions and demons, however, aren’t the only terrors she faces. Will she realize the greatest danger lies within—before it’s too late?
    • Excerpt:I shake my head at him before straightening my shoulders. And slapping a hand over my mouth and nose. Yuck. Hours-old death in humid Texas weather makes for a smelly situation. At least I’m not the only one with their hand, or handkerchief, over their mouths.“What happened?” Smythe meets the gaze of each guard and the hyperventilating janitorial women who clearly found the body.One of the women points to where the body lies in front of the Dumpster, flat on her back, hands resting in classic death pose on her bloody stabbed chest, a red rose clasped in her fingers. Her open eyes stare into the night, her mouth curled into a grimace of pain and death. Her clothes look like she came from a club: tight, short, and low-cut, with spiky heels. At one time, I would’ve been jealous of her hot-to-trot figure. Now all I notice is the pain and terror stamped on her face and the unfurling anger deep in my core.Fucking murderers. I might be a fancy-assed demon huntress, but I destroy minions, not human killers. Lucky for me, I can tell which type of kill this scene belongs to with little effort.

      Closing my eyes, I start to take a deep calming breath, think better of it, and focus on activating my minion sensors. Tapping into the power of the entity lying along my nerves, I open my eyes to a tactical grid display of reds and oranges, a clear indication of a minion’s presence at the scene.

      Looks like I’ll get my wish to annihilate the bastard who killed this poor woman.

      Buy Links: Amazon // B&N // Wild Rose Press // iBooks //

       

      A little more about Karilyn

    • Karilyn Bentley’s love of reading stories and preference of sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works, blending fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest and started her writing career as an author of sexy heroes and lush fantasy worlds.Karilyn lives in Colorado with her own hunky hero, a crazy dog nicknamed The Kraken, a silly puppy, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish.Connect with Karilyn here: Website // Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter //Blog // Goodreads // Pinterest //AmazonPeggy here: Karilyn, it has been such a privilege and joy getting to know you, today! Much luck in all your future endeavors! Keep writing.

 

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Filed under Author, Characters, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

One week from today!

Join me and many other Romance Authors next Saturday, July 29  at the Dolphin Resort in Walt Dinsey World for a mega book signing.I’ll be there from 3-5pm EST with copies of COOKING WITH KANDY and A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS to sign.  The money that’s paid for the books goes to the Nora Roberts Foundation for Literacy – so you not only get to meet your favorite authors, you get to support Literacy too! How cool is that?!!

 

Can’t wait to meet you all!

 

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Characters, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Laine Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A 99cent Sale for the VOICES OF ANGELS before PASSION’S PALETTE releases!

I lovelovelove a good sale – especially when it’s a book I’ve been waiting for!
For the next 2 weeks, my lovely publisher, THE WILD ROSE PRESS has put THE VOICES OF ANGELS on sale for the the ecopy at just  .99Cents. If you haven’t read it yet, or any of the MAcQuire Women, here’s your lucky chance. When PASSION’S PALETTE releases on 8.4.17, and you’ve read Voices, you’ll already be an expert on the MacQuire sisters.

To whet your sale-buying appetite, here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from VOICES:

Blurb:

Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Excerpt:

“I…” Carly began, then stopped. “Oh, hell. I’m not good with words in situations like this.”

His laugh came quick, charmed by her nerves. “Pretty pathetic declaration for a writer.”

Carly stuck out her bottom lip in a very alluring pout. He was tempted to stop and take her mouth with his again.

“Don’t mock me. When it’s on paper I can get it right. Real life has no re-writes, no editing.”

“Granted.”

The sunlight played with the alternating auburn and fire-red highlights in her hair as they began to walk again. He was convinced no color had ever been so alive.

Carly squared her shoulders. “I don’t want you to get the wrong impression about me. Concerning men.”

When he didn’t comment, she continued. “It’s only, well…I haven’t been involved with anyone since my husband died. I’ve been busy with my daughter and my writing. I haven’t met anyone I’ve been interested in, I guess.”

“Until now.”

Carly turned to look at him. Irritation crossed in her narrowed eyes. “You’re pretty sure of yourself.”

“No,” he replied. “I’m more sure of you, though.”

“Excuse me?”

Mike laughed again. He stopped and cupped her cheeks. “You’re even more beautiful when you’re angry. Your left eyebrow arches ever so slightly and your eyes turn the most incredible forest green.” He kissed her and felt her pulse trip again under his fingers.

Sale Buy Links

Amazon // WILD ROSE PRESS // Nook //

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Life is a lesson unto itself

 

I will admit this freely: I hate a preachy book. You know the kind. The book that just bleeds with not-so-hidden messages for the reader. The book that condescends to the reader, the author making sure you know he/she is so much more educated than you on the topic.

It even happens in romance books. I read a book years ago by an author who I won’t name ( and never read again!) whose secondary character was basically a doormat and let every person in the book walk all over her because she thought that’s how she deserved to be treated since she was a bastard. All through the story, her internal dialogue droned on and on about how she was unworthy of ever finding love because of this. In the end, she winds up alone and caring for the heroine’s two children. The life lesson I took away from all that drivel, and the one I really think the author intended: bastard children don’t deserve happiness.

Yeah…that’s why I’ve never read anything by this author again.

When I set out to write a book I don’t automatically think about the life lessons that should be incorporated into the story. For me, I think the story itself and how the characters move in and out of their lives, should decide this. Looking back on my books I can objectively say these have been the basic life lessons I’ve written about:

  1. Trust is earned. Every day. (First Impressions)
  2. Everyone deserves a second chance at love. (There’s No Place Like Home, The Voices of Angels)
  3. You can’t be all things to all people and you are stronger when you let people help you  (Cooking with Kandy)
  4. First Impressions aren’t always the correct ones (A Kiss Under the Christmas tree)
  5. Forgiveness is a gift (3 Wishes)
  6. Family is more than just the people you are related to (Skater’s Waltz)

I don’t preach in my books. That’s not my job. My job is to entertain the reader. If the reader gains any insight into her own life, or sees parallels within it from the storyline, then that’s a good thing. What isn’t a good thing is if I’ve insulted the reader by presenting a situation or a problem that may be comparable to something in their own life, and then telling them this is how the situation should be solved. No. Not gonna happen.

Life lessons are important. No one is denying that. I just don’t want to get slapped in the face with it when I read. And, I also don’t want to be the one slapping!

I’m sure the other authors in this blog hop are just chock full of life lessons, so why don’t you hop on over to their sites and see who they handle writing these lessons in to their own books.

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Christmas in July…Bah Humbug??? Maybe not.

I’m going to be brutally honest and tell you one of the things I hate, historically, has been what’s called Christmas in July by the retail and commercial selling world. Christmas is Dec. 25 a winter holiday, so I have never understood why Hallmark and the Christmas Tree Shops, just to name 2, go bat-shit crazy during one of the hottest months of the year promoting the holiday shopping season.

Since I’ve published a Christmas-themed novel, though, my thoughts have changed. I now understand the WHY of such early promo. You want your readers to start reading and reviewing your holiday works so that when the actual dates roll around, the gift-of-a-book-buying public will choose yours, based on buzz.

I get it now. In spades.

Or maybe that’s in Christmas cookies(!)

For my Christmas in July, here’s A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS from The Wild Rose Press. The book is also up for a Contemporary  Romance Writers STILETTO AWARD this year. Keep your fingers crossed. I’m a finalist and the winners are announced on July 28!

Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your holiday appetite.

Blurb: 

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?

Excerpt:

He came toward me and I could see every ripple of muscle, every action and reaction of his gait, every blink of his eyes, as it happened. Detailed, distinct, delicious.

The bright sun shone low due to the hour, but it haloed around his form, bathing him in light.

He looked like an angel.

A dressed-all-in-black angel, but an angel, nonetheless.

“Need some help?” he asked when he was within a foot of me.

I still hadn’t moved, my fingers cemented around the ladder rungs. I couldn’t feel them anymore. Merda, I couldn’t feel anything I was so numb from just looking at him.

But I could hear. My blood, as it river rafted crazily through my temples; my heart drumming like a heavy metal band in my chest.

And his voice. Mio Dio, his voice.

When I was six I had a terrible chest cold. Wheezing, choking on phlegm, unable to cough anything up. The doctor told mama to keep me warm and hydrated and the cold would ride itself out in time. Nonna Constanza, ancient even when I was a kid, scoffed and prescribed her own old world remedy. She sat me in her lap, cooing to me with her singsong voice and held a tiny shot glass up to my lips coaxing, “Tu bevi, Gia bambina. Tu Bevi.”

Drink, Gia baby. Drink.

She tilted the glass back into my mouth and I did. I drank every drop.

I don’t remember much after because Daddy told me I slipped into a mini-coma for about sixty-two hours, bombed out of my head from the anisette nonna had dosed me with.

But this is what I do remember. The amber colored liquor slipped down the inside of my mouth to the back of my throat and onward into my belly, tasting of melted marshmallows and warming each place it touched like a million little hits of heat popping everywhere inside me. When it reached my tummy it settled and dug in, filling my senses with the sweet flavor of mama’s Sunday morning caramel rolls and sugar.

That’s what his voice sounded like: warm and sweet, thick, delicious, and soothing.

My entire body relaxed when I heard it. My paralysis flew and my frozen-in-place digits melted.

He’d held my stare the entire time, never wavering, never becoming distracted by something else. He looked straight at me; just me. Like a missile dead-eye-aimed for a target.

“Here,” he said, moving in closer, so close I could make out the actual color of his eyes now. I’d thought they were dark and from far away and they were. But seeing them now, face-to-face, I spotted little flecks of yellow and slivery shards of gold mixed into the center and surrounded by a ring of deep, rich, mink.

If his voice was warm and soothing, his eyes were hot enough to singe, and mama mia, I wanted to be burned.

Buy LInks: Amazon //WRP // Nook // Kobo //

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A visit and a debut novel….

 

Today I’m introducing you to another of my lovely and talents Wild Rose Press sistahs, Dee Gatrell. 

Dee’s first book SWEET SUNSET was released in December 2016 to wonderful reviews. Stay tuned after the interview because she’s giving me ( and you!) a little glimpse of the book.

Dee, The Writer

  1. What drives you to write? I have always been driven to write. When I was a child, I loved getting mail and answering letters. Writing helps to keep me sane, especially when life gets me down.
  2. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I like all types of romance and mystery books. I like to mostly write Women’s Fiction, but have an inspirational romance at the publishers that I’m working on revisions now.
  3. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Over they years I have read many types of romance novels, except erotica.
  4. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? I try to write every day, but can’t always. I prefer writing in the morning and sometimes in the evening.
  5. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? Well, you’ll love this. I used to have a bedroom that was my office to share with my hubby. Three weeks ago I fell off the treadmill and dislocated my right shoulder. We had given a couch and chair to my granddaughter since we had two sets, living room and family room. Then we set the treadmill and bike in the mostly empty living room. A nurse came to visit and suggested the living room would make a great office, much larger.. My husband agreed . There I was, arm in sling and hubby and one son decided this was the perfect time to make a switch. I’m giving the treadmill that nearl killed me to my older son as I’ll never use it again. My husband has multiple health issues, including cancer, and should not be moving stuff around, but he did with the help of son. Then daughter and grandson visited and finished the move for him. WE have both our desks in here, me facing the set of three windows with bushes growing in front of them, him facing the rest of the yard and the house at the end of the street that sits on three acres. We have one acre, which is plenty. All the things I said like we’d have to move the phone and computer lines? Wrong. They didn’t need changed. By the way, last week hubby was sitting on the love seat, stood up and so did Ellie, our large dog. Hubby tumbled right over dog, grabbed my bad arm, but thankfully for me he continued falling without taking my arm out of joint. Bad for him as he was bruised but thankfully didn’t break or displace anything.
  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 tunnelvision? My house has always been chaotic, so I’m used to noise. Although I do ask my husband to quit talking out loud at times. Take last week, I had three grands here, ages 11, 10 and 7. They said they wanted to come help Gammy. Ahem. Well, they did do a few things, but the weather wasn’t great to be outdoors much, therefore they played hide and seek in the house. When my PT was here, they came sneaking into the bedroom and then hid in the bathroom, leaving the 7-year-old looking for them. Then I told them they couldn’t hide underneath the computers. They did play some board games and watched a few movies. The 7-year-old is the most helpful, asking to take out the trash, going to the curb to get the containers etc. And now it is us and the three dogs. I hope to get more writing done now.
  7. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? I like to listen to music but don’t always.
  8. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I started this book, Sweet Sunset, several years ago. I think most of us have dysfunctional families. No, the story isn’t all about my family, but my mom did have dementia and did weird things that I used. My granddaughter went to high school wand was friends with a gay boy whose mother did commit him thinking he was crazy and was upset when they wouldn’t lock him up. One of my daughters was in an abusive marriage. And my one dog is named Zeus and we had another one named Coal. Oh, and June was the mother of friends and I had to use some of the stuff she used to say. The rest is my imagination.
  9. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Character. I have to have people to work with, give them problems and find happiness for them in the end.
  10. What 3 words describe you, the writer? Determined, dreamer, and humorous (Peggy here: I lovelovelove those 3 descriptions!!!)

Dee, The Person

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I once took belly dancing lessons.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? You mean besides Elvis? OK at age 16 his name was Gary.
  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 day I won $8,000 on the lotto and nothing since then. So that day I would love to do over and over.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Briefs
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? lipstick
  6. What three words describe you, the person? Wife, Mother, Writer
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? A Million to One (that was mine and hubby’s song when we got married, the words fit)
  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? Gone with the Wind. Scarlett O’Hara. Probably get in trouble together.

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

  1. Favorite sound:  Music
  2. Least favorite sound : Rap
  3. Best song every written: Too many to name
  4. Worst song ever written ????
  5. Favorite actor and actress : Tim Allen Sandra Bollock
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead): Sandra Brown. She’s a great writer and I got to spend time with her once. She’s really a nice person and admired by many. ( Peggy here: She’s one of my all time favorite authors and I am uber-jealous that you got to meet her!!!)
  7. What turns you on?: being at the beach
  8. What turns you off?: stinky smells
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”): Been too long to remember (Peggy here: LOL! that’s 5 words!!!)
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day?: Being with family and doing something fun

 

Blurb:  SWEET SUNSET

Myrtle Sue Henderson, widowed, didn’t count on her mother-in-law moving in with her when her husband passed over. But Myrtle Sue’s loopy in-law troubles aren’t her only family baggage-she’s ailed with three adult children who use her like a pair of Depends. With a daughter and two grandchildren attempting to escape an abusive husband, a second daughter who is pregnant with twins, and a son who refuses to grow up, she’s at her wit’s end.

Myrtle Sue didn’t figure she’d ever meet another man she’d care for, until she went to church to get away from her troubles, only to find more when her mother-in-law causes chaos and hits an elderly man with her cane and helps herself to money out of the collection plate. That’s how she meets Zack. She figures once he meets her dysfunctional family,  he’ll run as fast as he can-away from them.

Excerpt:

Hazel walked into the kitchen and glanced around. “Who’s here? Oh my goodness. It’s my son Harold. How are you, honey?” She bent over and kissed Adam’s cheek. “And why don’t you ever visit your mommy,  you naughty boy?”

I rolled my eyes and waved toward Adam. “Hazel, Harold’s been dead for twenty years. This is Adam, Sonja’s friend from the hospital. Remember? He’s a nurse and stays with you while I work.” I should’ve added whatever we paid him was worth every penny. He really was good to her.

“Oh yes, Adam, dear.” She frowned at me. “Why can’t you be kind like Adam, Myrtle Sue. You’ve always been so mean to me.”

Sonja grinned. “Hi, Nana. How are you?”

“I’m fine.” She took a seat and grabbed a muffin. “Who are you? Are you Violet’s daughter?”

Sonja narrowed her eyes at her grandmother. “Nana! I’m Sonja, your granddaughter. Myrtle Sue and Don’s daughter.”

“Of course.” She laughed and pointed at her head. “You know how it is when you get old. Some day your mother will be just like me.”

Shuddering, I mumbled, “God Forbid.”

“I hope you made roast beef for Father,” Hazel said.

“Yes, of course. And I made garlic rolls, too,” I lied, and then whispered, “Sonja, want some garlic tied around your neck?”

“Mom!”

I hope you’ll enjoy visiting Myrtle Sue and her wacky family. Drop by anytime for some good cooking.

Buy Links: Amazon // Wild Rose Press // B&N // Kobo

A little about Dee: 

 Dee Gatrell is a mother and grandmother. She spent time raising her children and didn’t attend college until she was in her thirties. She graduated from Seminole Community College and the University of Central FL.

When her husband’s job relocated them to Ohio, she worked as a reporter for the Galion Inquirer and later as a free lance writer for the Mansfield News Journal. When the family returned to Florida she accepted a job working at Seminole State College as an educational advisor. She also did freelance writing for newspapers and magazines during this time. She sold a story to Chicken Soup for the Soul and sold many stories to the confession magazines.

Deciding it was time to retire and do what she always wanted to do, write novels. Sweet Sunset is her first published novel. She likes to refer to the book as her dysfunctional family novel. Who doesn’t have a dysfunctional family? She always had a lot of quirky relatives and friends, so writing about these folks was natural for her.

She lives in Florida with her husband, Larry, one son, Doug, and three dogs. They also have two grown daughters, Michelle and Diana,  and a grown son, Chris, and a herd of grandkid (a happy dozen.) Their rescue lab, Ellie, finds them boring and loves it when the grands come to play with her. They also have two white schnauzers, Zeus and Icarus.

You can visit Dee here: Amazon // Goodreads // Wild Rose Press // Twitter // Facebook

(Peggy here: Dee thanks so much for visiting me today and for introducing us to Myrtle Sue!!! Her story sounds like a real corker!)

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