Category Archives: Contemporary Romance

#Coverreveal for TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS #WRPbks #comingsoon

AT last!!! Here it is, my wonderful cover for TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS ( A Match Made in Heaven)

I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect depiction for this book. Thank you to DIANA CARLILE for such a gorgeous representation of Cathy and Mac’s story.

Here’s the official blurb to go along with the book:

Lawyer Cathleen O’Dowd wants to break free from her boring image. Widowed young, she’s toed the good-girl line but now wants a little fun and laughter in her days…and nights. Living in a small town, though, she can’t do anything that would tarnish her professional reputation.

Mac Frayne’s tragic past has turned him into a sullen loner. In town to write a book on the city’s founder, his plan is to get it done, then head home to his solitary existence.

When circumstances force them to work together, their opposing personalities clash, but the sexual attraction between them is palpable.

Can a simple affair with an end date be just the thing to brighten up their lives?

I have a tentative release date of December 4, and as soon as everything is settled, I’ll put up preorder links. I am sosososososo happy this book will finally be coming out. It was a hard book to write and it wrung me dry many times. I had to step away from it twice when the crying over my keyboard got a bit much!! heehee.

But don’t worry; Cathy’s story is sad in a few ways, but since this is an O’Dowd sister book, you know there are plenty of LOL moments, especially when 93 year old Nanny Fee is on the page. Trust me, she’s just as flirtatious and outrageous as ever. ( Thank goodness!)

I hope you love the cover as much as I do – and I REALLY do!

More to come when I have it.

Until next time  ~Peg

And if you haven’t read book 1 yet – Dearly Beloved, now is the perfect opportunity. DEARLY BELOVED was just voted the 2019 BOOK BUYERS BEST AWARD from OCCRWA!

Get your copy here:Amazon // Kobo  // Barnes and Nobel  //Apple // Google Play//

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#SundaySnippet 10.20.19

So, tomorrow I’m revealing the amazeballs cover for my upcoming Match Made in Heaven release TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS. I’m uber-excited for you all to read about Cathy O’Dowd Mulvaney and Mac Frayne. They are two very different people and I had to really stretch as a writer to get them together for an HEA.

Today, here’s a little something about the first time Cathy meets Frayne.

Any remnants of a grin remaining on my face died the moment my gaze lit on McLachlan Frayne.

On the book jacket, he’d given off an air of commanding arrogance as he’d stared into the camera’s lens. In the flesh, that description flew out the window.

He was tall, so I had to lift my head to view him properly. Those wide shoulders were covered in a dark sports jacket a size or two too big for his frame. Under it, a black V-neck sweater sat over the same color T-shirt, the collar peeking through the jagged neck of the vee. Yards of leg were covered by faded jeans, white from wear in all the regular stress places. Black Converse sneakers adorned his feet and looked so soft and comfortable, I grew a little jealous.

Shaggy hair a good time past a trim framed a face that could have been a tourism board ad for Ireland. Eyes the same color as frozen Arctic ice were deer-caught-in-the-headlights wide as a twin set of commas indented the corners of his mouth. The notion he was in some kind of pain shot through me, and for the briefest of moments, I wanted to reach up and run a finger along those grooves to smooth away whatever anguish had caused them.

Intrigued? Come back tomorrow to get a gander at the perfect cover for this story!! I actually cried when I saw it the first time.

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, New Hampshire

A little surprise and whole lot of joy!

I’ve entered a lot of romance/writing contests in the past 4 years. The main objective has never been to win an award ( although that’s nice!) but to get my work in front of industry people and romance readers who may like it enough to either review it, recommend it, or – hopefully – want to read more of what I’ve written. Like I’ve said, the goal hasn’t been winning.

But….

Imagine my absolute joy when I found out the other day – just through happenstance – that I’d WON ( yes, won!) The 2019 Book Buyers Best Award for published authors!

That’s MY name listed there, first. Gobsmacked is a word that has never felt more appropriate than when I heard about this.

The reason I say I heard through happenstance was because I had no idea I’d won and the winners were announced last week. I knew I was a finalist in 2 categories but since I didn’t receive any notification of a win, I never bothered checking the website to see what the results of the contest were, assuming that I’d be notified of something major.

And what’s that old saw about assuming anything, hmmm?

I was just checking my email on Tuesday evening and saw a note from one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs Maria Imbalzano.

She put up a notice that said “congratulations to Peggy Jaeger for winning the BBB Award.”

WHAT??!!

I immediately went to the website and sure enough, the above graphic was listed.

Yup, gobsmacked describes it nicely!

A while back I did a 2-post series  about Imposter Syndrome. Those feelings most – if not all – authors feel about their work are valid in the times we live in. But….winning such a prestigious award as the BOOK BUYERS BEST (BBB) is something that definitely helps in removing those feelings of inadequacy and fear.

Thank you so much to the readers and judges of the Orange Country Chapter of RWA    and congratulations to all the writers who entered, finaled, and put themselves “out there” to be judged.  It’s not an easy thing to do, that’s for sure.

And now, because it’s true that you’re only as good as your last book…off I go to finish my current  WIP!

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, love, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#SundaySnippet 10.13.19

Since my fall themed romance FIRST IMPRESSIONS is still on sale, I thought it would be a good idea to give you another little snippet to entice your romance book loving tastes!

Heehee

Par Cleary is a master at seduction as he easily proves in this little sumthin’ sumthin;.

Friday evening rolled around and she stopped at the local market to pick something up for dinner. Thankfully, during this outing, no patients stopped her and she’d been able to make a quick selection and be on her way.

At home, she’d no sooner toed off her shoes than the doorbell chimed.

She opened the door, surprised to see Pat standing there, a sheepish look on his face.

“I know I didn’t call or text, but I saw you drive by the clinic on your way home and I thought you might like a visit.”

Pleasure warmed her. An unfamiliar sound billowed from inside his jacket, though, a jacket zipped almost to his collar, despite the warm weather.

“What have you got in there?” she asked, her gaze dropping to his chest.

His grin grew into a wide smile. “Like I said, a visitor.”

With a gentle tug, he dragged the toggle down a little and a chubby, whiskered face popped through the opening.

Oh.” Clarissa reached for the kitten as Pat opened the rest of his jacket. “Come here, you sweet thing.”

When she lifted the little bundle and folded it lose in her arms, it meowed loudly and immediately began its pulsating purr. Clarissa brought the kitten to her face and dropped soft and tender kisses on its snout. Its fur smelled clean, fresh, and so like a kitten, for a second Teeny’s face popped into her mind.

She glanced over her shoulder at Pat as she carried the kitten to the kitchen. “Since you brought me such a wonderful present, I can’t very well kick you out.”

His devilish grin told her it was what he’d been hoping.

He tossed his jacket onto the back of her couch and followed her into the kitchen.

“When was the last time she ate?” Reaching up into the cabinet where she’d kept Teeny’s food, Clarissa took a small bowl down and filled it with water, never letting go of the kitten.

“Right before I left the clinic, so she’s set until I bring her back. My night crew will make sure she gets something later.”

Clarissa set the water bowl down at her feet. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, she released the kitten, who immediately began lapping at it. Her little blue-eyed gaze stayed locked on Clarissa’s legs as her tiny pink tongue flew back and forth from the water bowl to her mouth.

“Don’t let her drink too much,” Pat said, resting a hip against her kitchen counter, arms crossed over his chest. “You’ll have a mess on your hands.”

Clarissa looked up at him from her position on the floor to tell him she didn’t mind a mess and stopped breathing. He looked so handsome, so rakishly gorgeous settled against the counter. The ink black, errant cowlick was beginning to fall forward over his eyebrow again, and her hands actually throbbed to smooth it back. He had the making of a five o’clock shadow across his granite hard jaw, and the dimple clefting his chin appeared even deeper than usual. The cotton fabric of his shirt pulled against his shoulders, the muscles in his biceps pushing against the material. He was so completely and totally male in every facet of his being, Clarissa was, quite simply, in awe.

She had to mentally fight to draw her attention back to the now meowing kitten as it demanded her attention. When she picked it up and nuzzled it with her nose, she rose and asked, “What prompted this visit? Is she ready to be fostered out?”

“Soon. I wanted you to see her again, make sure you still want to.”

“I do.”

Pat nodded. “When we get back from Boston, we can make arrangements for when to transfer her over to you.”

At the mention of their planned trip, Clarissa’s nerves pushed forward. Since she was holding the kitten she couldn’t twine her hands together to quell them and in the next instant realized rubbing the soft downy fur was a much better form of self-soothing.

“What time are we leaving in the morning?”

Pat pushed off the counter and crossed to her. With a finger, he stroked the kitten’s neck, her eyes squinting in kitty ecstasy. Clarissa watched his finger move up and down across the fur, the strokes smooth and rhythmic, almost hypnotic, and licked her lips. What would it feel like for him to stroke her the same way? It was a safe bet she’d purr and moan like the kitten. Only louder.

“Moira said we’d pick you up around eight thirty. It’ll give us a relaxed driving time so we won’t be rushed.”

Clarissa nodded, knowing if she spoke, her voice would betray the raging desire shooting through her.

In the next instant, Pat’s stomach rumbled loud enough to be heard above the kitten’s deafening purrs.

Clarissa tried to contain her giggle so she wouldn’t startle the animal, but when Pat’s neck heated with a ruddy flare and he thrust his hands into his pockets, she couldn’t hold it in.

He squinted at her, and, with a menacing glare, pushed nearer to her. “You’re always quietly laughing at me,” he said, stopping so close she could feel his hot, moist breath on her face. “I can’t figure out why I want to be around someone who always laughs at me.”

“I know why,” she said, kissing the kitten again.

When his left eyebrow shot up his forehead, she answered. “It’s easy. Whenever we’re together, we’re usually eating. You’re hungry, so you want me to cook for you.”

His face went blank, and she couldn’t for the life of her discern what he was thinking. She could hear him breathing now, not only feel it, the air pushing out of him a tad faster than it had moments before. The flushed heat on his neck spread up his jaw. She could have melted to the floor when his eyes turned hot too, the lids hooded, so much so, Clarissa finally understood the meaning of a smoldering look.

His hands snaked out and grabbed her upper arms, pulling her and the kitten toward his chest. With the animal as a buffer between them, Clarissa could feel every inch of him as he pressed her body against his, one hand circling around her back and resting on her waist, the other trailing across her jaw. His eyes dilated as he crossed his tongue over his bottom lip, all the while pulling her in closer, molding her body to his.

Her panties grew damp in a heartbeat, and when he licked his lips, she felt her nipples pull and tighten inside her bra. Desire swam around the two of them. She could smell it, musky and potent, taste it against her lips, hot and spicy, and feel the heat of it warming her from head to curling toes.

“Pat?”

He didn’t answer, but continued to hold her prisoner, gaze, body and soul. She couldn’t take a full breath, didn’t dare to, afraid she’d break the spell he’d woven around them, afraid she’d lose the thin thread of control she clutched to prevent herself from jumping on him and eating him alive.

“Clarissa,” he whispered, his nose nuzzling along the outer edge of her jaw.

“Y-yes?”

His lips skimmed her throat, trailing lazily along the column of her blouse. He placed an open-mouthed, wet kiss along the skin beneath her ear, and she finally let out the breath she’d been holding, fearful she would faint dead away if she didn’t.

“I smell turkey,” he said softly, and took her ear lobe into his mouth.

As he gently sucked on it, Clarissa felt a punch of lust straight through her midsection. “Wh-what?”

She gasped when his tongue slid against her throat. “And biscuits.”

“Biscuits?” Confusion vied with a hunger that had nothing to do with food.

“Mmmm. Turkey and biscuits.” He licked her collarbone and then sucked at the skin covering it.
“Oh, sweet Jesus.”
With a smile dancing on his lips, he pulled back

and looked at her face.

“Clarissa, I’m starving.”
She blinked a few times.
“You wouldn’t, by any chance, want to share your dinner with me, would you? Friend.”

The cloud of erotic sensations he’d spun around her finally started to disperse. His stomach growled again, and even the kitten heard it this time because she startled and dug her nails into Clarissa’s arm.

“Ouch,” she said with a good-natured chuckle. “You scared her.”

“Hand her over.” He took the kitten and began stroking her chin again.

The sight of this big, strong and utter male holding the tiny kitten so tenderly and lovingly tugged at Moira’s heart. Right then she realized everything she’d heard about him was wrong.

Wrong and totally inaccurate.

“Since you brought me such a nice present,” she repeated, gazing up at him from under her eyelashes, “I think I have enough for the two of us.”

His charming grin broadened. When she turned around to finally unload the grocery bags, she heard him whisper, “Good job, kitty. It worked.”

She couldn’t help laughing.

Intrigued? Get your ecopy while it’s still just 99 cents here: Amazon /// Nook /// Ibooks

 

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, First Impressions, MacQuire Women, Romance, WIld Rose Press AUthor

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

Flying by the seat of my pants and saying a prayer ( or two or twenty!)

A little ominous for a blog title, no? Hee hee

The reference is to the upcoming release of my first Indie book on 11.1.19, It’s a Trust Thing.

Flying  by the seat of my pants refers to the fact that I learned everything about getting the book up on Amazon by myself. I asked a few Indie friends some questions ( hat’s off to Clair Brett!) for clarity, but for the most part I watched all the KDP tutorials and then just played around a bunch on the program to get the manuscript uploadable to Amazon.

From where I’m sitting, when I look at the “preview” screen of the book, it looks good. Release day will tell the true tale, though. I’ve ordered it to deliver to my kindle on release day – and yes, I really did. What better way to see how every other kindle reader will view the pages than to be a, well, kindle reader!? So I’ll be able to see if there any any issues with the download, how it looks, is formatted, etc. Because it’s self-published, I can go into the program again and fix any bugs. That’s one good thing about indie publishing – you have complete control over the manuscript.

Until that date comes, though, I am sitting here, a nervous Nelly to the max – which is kinda funny since my heroine’s name is Nell. Hee Hee.

In the interim, I’m writing the next two books I owe to WRP and trying not to stress too much. I gotta tell you, though, it’s wicked hard not to.

Tomorrow I’m going to show you all the sample covers I made for the book before I settled on this one:

Until next time ~ Peg

 

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, It's a trust thing, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Start your holiday reading early this year with books from…me!

A little self aggrandizing, I know ( Hee hee)

But the premise is clear – there are so many great Holiday themed books out there to choose from, if you start reading now, you’ll make it through the holidays, probably with some books to spare!

Here are my 3 most current Holiday themed romances:

HOPE’S DREAM ( Deerbourne Inn #2)

*** this title is available in E-copy only and is 98 pages long.
What if everything you’ve ever dreamed about was given to you but you had to sacrifice your heart to obtain it?

Hope Kildaire gave up her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner when a car accident killed her father and left her mother an invalid. Working two jobs and caring for her mother leaves the twenty-seven-year-old with no time for fun or relationships. When a law firm representing her paternal grandparents sends her several letters, Hope ignores them. She despises the family who disowned her father and wants nothing to do with them.
Lawyer Tyler Coleman’s job is simply to obtain Hope’s signature on a legal document. Getting it is harder than planned, though, when an unexpected attraction blossoms between them. If Ty is honest with Hope about why he’s in Willow Springs, he’ll fulfill his assignment but may risk hurting her.
The opportunity to have everything she’s ever desired is at Hope’s fingertips. Will her dream come true at the expense of Tyler’s love?

Readers who like the following stories will like HOPE’S DREAM: Sweet romance, Small town romance, Independent woman, family, moving on, grief and loss, New England, Deerbourne Inn series, Contemporary romance
HOPE’S DREAM is the second book in the DEERBOURNE INN SERIES from WIld Rose Press

Buy Links: Amazon // Nook // iTunes// Kobo

A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Can a kiss under the Christmas lights lead to a forever love?

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?

Buy Links: Amazon //  Barnes and Noble // KOBO // Google Play

CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS

Can a second chance at love heal a broken heart? 

With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him.
Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself–and his company’s reputation–in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.
Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?

Readers who enjoy the following kinds of stories will love CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS: big families, Holiday romance, RomCom, surviving loss, moving on, foodies, bakers, Christmas

Buy Links: Amazon//  B&N // Google Play // Kobo // itunes

I’ve got a few Holiday romances on my kindle right now, so I’m gonna go get reading! Enjoy, kids.

Until next time ~ Peg

 

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, audiobooks, Author, Contemporary Romance, Deerbourne Inn, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Hope's Dream, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#SundaySnippet 9.15.19

Romance readers love series. So do writers of the genre.

Last week I gave you a sneak peek at book 2 in the MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN SERIES, TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS, which should be out in the book reading world sometime this year. Today, I want to give you a little insight into book 3, which I’m currently writing.

The title? BAKED WITH LOVE, and if you’ve read book 1, you know the sister who bakes is sister Number 4, Maureen. Maureen owns and operates Inn Heaven, the award winning B&B in her hometown, in addition to being a fabulous baker. This is the first scene I’ve written in the story. It’s unedited, but you can feel the relationship that’s blooming immediately.

Enjoy.

Oh, my God, Maureen.” My sister Colleen’s voice rose a good two octaves from its normal sultry timbre. “Are those…penis pops?”

“Lower your voice,” I told her as I continued to pipe buttercream roses on the cupcakes I’d made for tomorrow’s wedding. “My entire Inn doesn’t need to know I’ve got those”—I grinned—“hardening in my kitchen.”

“Why, in the name of all that’s holy are there”—she counted out loud—“seven chocolate candies in the shape of male genitalia on your counter?”

“Because your bride’s maid of honor special ordered them for the attendants. I tried to talk her out of it, but she paid me triple to make them and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Be happy there are only seven. Originally she wanted one for each of the fifty females on the guest list. I was able to talk her out of it by promising to make those”—I chinned the pops—“for the bridesmaids. She’s going to present them tonight after the rehearsal. Thinks they’ll be, quote, a scream, unquote.”

My wedding planner and getting-bigger-by-the-second pregnant sister plopped herself down onto one of my kitchen chairs and sighed. Heavily.

“Oh, good Lord. Thanks for the head’s up. I’ll make sure the moms are nowhere in sight when she gives them out. I don’t relish having to listen to one more complaint about this wedding. I’ve had enough for the past week to last me until junior here”—she patted her round tummy—“is off to college.”

I flicked a glance at her and said, “Put your feet up, Coll. I can see how swollen they are from here.”

With more effort than was probably warranted – she is after all, related to our grandmother, who corners the market on theatricality – she hefted her feet onto an opposing kitchen chair then extended and flexed her toes a few times. This time the sigh that blew from her lips was thick with fatigue, and if I wasn’t mistaken, pain.

“I can’t believe you’re still wearing those ridiculous heels when you’re almost eight months along,” I chided. “Standing in them all day can’t be good for the baby. Or your back.”

“Stop scolding me.” It was impossible not to miss the whine in her voice. “I refuse to take advice from someone who thinks flipflops are the greatest invention known to the shoe wearing population of the world. And just for the record, my back is fine and my feet don’t hurt.”

“No, they just look like flesh colored water balloons.”

“When did you turn so mean? You’re usually the supportive, quiet sister.”

In ordinary circumstances this was true. But with my heavily pregnant and three-inch heel wearing sister, I was more than willing to make an exception.

I piped the last rose on the final cupcake, laid my pastry bag down on the counter, and turned to face her. Camera ready face with her professionally polished outfit perfect and not a tendril of hair out of place, the middle of my three sisters looked something she rarely did: tired. With her hands folded over her protruding belly, she’d dropped her chin to her chest and closed her eyes.

The snarky remark I was going to make about the benefits of wearing flats died before I gave it breath.

Since lunch service had finished a half hour ago and my serving staff was done with cleanup, Colleen and I were alone in my kitchen. I put the kettle on for tea for the two of us and asked, “Did you have lunch?”

Colleen lifted head. Her eyes took a moment to clear and focus on me, lending credence to my thought she was tired. And maybe more than simply tired.

“There’s a salad waiting for me at the office. Charity texted me while I was with the florist that she’d gotten me one.”

“Text her back and tell her to put it in the fridge. I’ll make you something to eat.”

While she contacted her assistant, I plated the luncheon salad I’d concocted for today’s menu and then put half of a ham and cheese sandwich into my Panini maker.

“Eat this until the sandwich is done.” I handed her the salad and a bottled water.

“What is it?”

“Spinach, cranberries, walnuts, raisins and carrots with a light pomegranate dressing and shaved Parmesan.”

Colleen shoved a forkful in and groaned. “Oh. My. God. Honestly, Maureen, you should have your own cooking show. This is insane.”

“Everything she makes is insane,” a male voice said from the doorway.

I knew that voice well, since it was a frequent inhabitant in my dreams most nights. Husky and deep, with a dash of just woken smoke, it was a voice that could cajole a lover into seduction and cut off a criminal at the knees.

Unfortunately, I’d never been either.

“Truth,” Colleen said through a mouthful of salad. “Why are you here?” she asked Heaven’s Chief of Police, Lucas Alexander before I could. “Somebody call a cop?”

Lucas flicked his moss green, heavily hooded gaze from my sister to me, one corner of his mouth tilting up. I actually had to contract my pelvic floor muscles whenever he looked at me so I wouldn’t melt to the floor in a pool of want. My ninety-three year old grandmother, Nanny Fee, calls this girding your loins. As far as a descriptive phrase for the maneuver, it’s a good one.

“You got a minute?” he asked me.

I nodded. “A few. Then I have to get the dining room reading for tonight’s rehearsal dinner.” I turned and pulled Colleen’s sandwich from the press when the bell tinged. Lucas, always comfortable in my kitchen, moved to lean a hip against the counter and then halted mid stride.

I knew the cause of his sudden stop. I bit down on the inside of my lip while I handed Colleen her sandwich plate. She caught my eye, and my stifled grin, and realized the cause. Her lips lifted in a wicked grin.

Lucas cleared his throat. “Are those–? Wait. What, what are those? Are they…?”

“Are they what?” Colleen asked, innocence dripping from her voice, at the same time I asked, “Want one?”

Lucas turned to find the two of us staring at him, expressions blanked, and waiting for him to continue.

He huffed out a breath and dragged a hand through his hair. “Nothing,” he said, with a nervous shake of his head and shoulders.

Colleen glanced up at me, winked, and then took a huge bite of her Panini. “Oh, good Lord, Mo.”

I smiled and told her, “You’re welcome,” before I said to Lucas, “What’s up?”

He tilted his head to the right in a come-with-me move I’d seen him make innumerable times over the years.

In the breezeway that separated my private kitchen from the commercial one I used for the Inn I own and cook in, Lucas stopped, bit down on a corner of his mouth, and twirled his hat in his hands. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was nervous, but nerves weren’t an emotion that lived in this man. His training as an army sniper had taught him how to remain calm in any crisis, cool under the hottest of circumstances. I’d never even heard him raise his voice in all the years I’d known him.

I repeated the question I’d asked in my kitchen.

“I need a favor.”

I rolled my hand in a go on gesture.

“Cathy might have mentioned that Robert’s coming to spend the summer with me and dad. Nora’s getting remarried this weekend and then leaving on a month long honeymoon.”

I nodded. “I’d heard that, but not from Cathy.” To the question in his eyes I said, “Nanny told me the other day when I dropped off her scone delivery at the nursing home. She heard it from Tillie Carlisle who got it from Maeve Capshaw, whose granddaughter, Olivia, told her. Nanny said Olivia was the one who introduced Nora to her intended at a divorced-and-looking event she’d hosted.”

“Jesus.” Lucas shook his head. “Small towns.”

I couldn’t help but smile. “A curse and a blessing, as Cathy is fond of saying.”

“Yeah, well, your sister is one of the smartest people I know. Anyway. Nora doesn’t want to leave Robert home alone for the summer. He’s too old for a babysitter, but at fifteen, still too young to be left to his own defenses. He just started driver’s ed but doesn’t have a valid license yet, so it was easier to take him for the summer while she’s gone.”

“So he’s gonna live with you and your dad until school starts up again?”

“Yeah.”

“Why don’t you sound happy about that? I mean, whenever Robert’s visited for school breaks before you’ve always been thrilled since you don’t get to see him as much since they moved.”

He huffed out another breath and leaned a shoulder against the wall. My pregnant sister wasn’t the only one who looked exhausted.

“It’s not that I’m not happy he’s coming to stay with us. It’s more, things with dad now aren’t good and I’m afraid he’s gonna make the kid’s life miserable with all his complaining and griping all day. Last time Robert came for a weekend all dad did was harp on him. Get a haircut, stand up straight, stop mumbling. Poor kid couldn’t wait to get back to his mother, and that’s saying something, because she’s just as bad. But, that’s why I don’t want him to spend all his time with his grandfather.”

“And I’m assuming this is where the favor you need from me comes in?”

He nodded. “The kid needs something to occupy him while he’s here. I’ve gotta work and I can’t take any time. I don’t want him sitting home all day fighting with dad or locked in his room playing video games. I want him to get out of the house. Get a job. You hire high schools kids to bus tables and help serve at the weekend events here at the Inn. I’m hoping you’ll take Robert on as summer crew. That way I’ll know where he is every day, he’ll earn a little money of his own, and I won’t have to worry about coming home to World War III every night. Plus…”

“Plus?”

“Well, if he’s with you all day, I won’t…worry about him. I know he’ll be in good hands. That you’ll feed him, take care of him like he was one of your own. Like you do everyone else.”

To say I was thrilled by the offhand compliment was an understatement. I didn’t even need to think about his request because even if I wasn’t on the lookout for extra help, I would have hired Lucas’s son.

“Sure. I can always use another body, especially in the summer when I’ve got a full house every weekend with Colleen’s weddings.”

Lucas’s shoulders dropped a couple of degrees from where they’d stationed themselves at his ears and he let out a breath filled with relief. “Thanks, Maureen. Really.”

I waved my hand at him. “Don’t worry about it. When does he get here?”

“Sunday morning. Nora’s dropping him off before she leaves for the airport.”

I nodded. “Get him all unpacked and settled and then you can bring him by Monday. I’ll go over everything with him then, okay?”

“More than okay. Again, I can’t thank you enough. You’re truly a lifesaver.” He took my hand and squeezed it. Lucas had done this hundreds of times over the years and like every other time he had, the wiring in my heart went a little haywire.

And like every other time, I swallowed the temptation to tug on his hand and pull him close enough so I could kiss him.

Intrigued? Me, too. Can’t wait to see how it ends. ( hee hee)

You can catch up on the O’Dowd’s now with book 1, DEARLY BELOVED. As soon as book 2 goes up for preorder, I’ll let ya know.

 

Get your copy at these fine vendors:

Amazon // Kobo  // Barnes and Nobel  //Apple // Google Play//

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Just when I think it’s over…..

I don’t usually post full face pictures of myself on this page for a number of reasons, but the biggest one being I hate full face pictures of myself!!!

Cindy Crawford I am not.

I’m not even Helen Mirren and she’s in the same age group as me.

But when I received this award over the weekend, I also received a letter from FCRW that asked the winners to take a picture with the award and their winning book to post on the FCRW Facebook and Twitter pages. Since it was going to be so publicly displayed anyway, I figured, why not blog about it, too,  and post the picture.

So…

I am still rehabbing from my surgery, so you can see a tiny speck of the immobilizer covering my right hand as I hold the beautiful award. Yes, I’m in my nightgown, there’s nothing on my face except Retin A, I’m wearing my daytime glasses and my hair isn’t combed because I can’t do that yet ( due to dominant arm surgery!) But it would have taken too much time, effort, and energy – none of which I have, to look camera ready.

But..all that aside, this award truly touched my heart.

The past two months have been filled with self doubt, feelings of inadequacy, and  frustration over my writing career. After being dropped by two publishers and receiving some horrible reviews for my books, in addition to still not seeing my sales and readers increase, I’ve been struggling with the concept that writing for publication is something I’m not cut out for. There’s so much more involved than just writing stories of my heart. The time and cash spent on marketing, the query letters, the waiting to hear back, the time delays between book publications – it’s all starting to take a toll on my psyche.

The endless questions: have I peaked out? Is this all worth the time and expense? What am I killing myself for?

Dramatic? Yeah, maybe, but hey: this is me we’re talking about. Drama in my confirmation name.

And then this happens.

I think sometimes the universe, and/or God knows just what to do to make me realize my decisions and my life are worthwhile.

So…no more moping, overthinking, doubting, bitching or complaining.

Now if I could just brush my hair…..

Oh, and because the marketing aspect NEVER ends, here’s the book that won the award, available in ecopy, print and audio.

CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS

Amazon ///B&N // AppleBooks //GooglePlay// Kobo // AmazonUK

 

With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him. Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself and his company’s reputation in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family. Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under Author, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#SundaySnippet 9.8.19

I don’t have a cover yet for my next A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN book, just a title: TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS. This is oldest O’Dowd sister CATHLEEN’S story. Widowed, lonely, and bit of a workaholic, Cathy is despairing she will ever find another man to warm her bed at night and one she can love forever. She agrees to attend a speed dating night, organized by her high school friend, Olivia, a local matchmaker. This little scene is after the event:

The lights were still on inside the house when Olivia dropped me back home three hours later.

“I don’t want you to be discouraged, Cathy,” she said as I unbuckled my seatbelt. “This was just your first event.”

And if I had anything to say about it, it was my last.

“Tonight was a mish-mash of personality types and age groups. I’d invited you so you could get a feel for what’s involved in the process. I didn’t expect you to meet or connect with anyone. We need to get together privately so I can figure out the type of man you’re interested in. Then, I can set up something in the future more to your taste level.”

My taste level? Good Lord. If tonight was any indication, there were no men out there who even came close to an appetizer much less a main course.

“Liv, I don’t know if I’m ready for this. I’m busy with the practice, handling Nanny’s affairs.” I swiped my gloved hand in the air. “I’m not sure I have the energy to be involved at the moment.”

She smiled and nodded. “Going out to dinner or a movie with a nice guy doesn’t mean you have to sign a marriage contract, Cath. According to Fiona all you do is work.”

“Well, yeah. Because I’m busy.”

Duh.

“I get that. But you can take a break every now and again, you know. Just think about it,” she added when I opened my mouth again, ready to protest.

Resigned, I nodded.

“I’ll call you in a few days and we can grab some lunch, okay?”

“Sure,” I said.

The house was lit and warm when I walked through the front door. I’d thought Frayne had left the lights on so I wouldn’t come home to a dark, empty house. The moment I closed the door behind me I realized I was wrong, because the house wasn’t empty at all.

Mac Frayne was seated at my dining room table, a laptop opened in front of him.

“You’re still here.”

Why that blue-eyed and befuddled stare meeting me through those thick lenses was such a turn on is a mystery I don’t think I’ll ever solve, but the moment his dazed gaze zeroed in on me and then cleared, his eyes widening, then narrowing, my legs got a little wobbly and my pulse jumped.

He tugged the glasses off and tossed them onto the table, his gaze never wavering my face.

“And you’re back early,” he said, rising.

I draped my coat over my forearm, kicked off my shoes, and shrugged. “It wasn’t supposed to be a long, drawn-out evening.”

Frayne took a few steps toward me, the lines in his forehead grooving deeper. “How was it?”

“Horrible,” I said, before I could stop myself. I shook my head as I moved towards the hall closet. “That’s unfair,” I added, as I hung up my coat. “It wasn’t horrible, as much as something not for me.”

I turned and barreled into Frayne.

Jesus.” His hands shot out and braced my upper arms. “You don’t make a sound when you move.”

“A lifetime of apartment living,” he said. Once I was sure footed and guaranteed not to fall into him again, he lowered his hands.

If I’d had any nerve I would have asked him to put them back. Instead, I swallowed, turned, and walked toward the kitchen, as he asked, “Why wasn’t it something for you?”

I ignored the question. “I’m starving. Have you had anything to eat?”

I wasn’t surprised when he followed me.

“Not since lunch at the Inn. Maureen had soup and sandwiches today, which, like everything else she’s served since I’ve been here, were delicious.”

“Mo only knows how to do delicious.” I peeked inside my fridge. “And speaking of,” I pulled out a glass container. “This is fried chicken she gave me this morning. Want some?”

He leaned a hip against the counter and cocked his head.

“You don’t mind sharing?”

“We both have to eat.”

I put the mashed sweet potatoes she’d sent along in a microwave bowl, then set the timer.

“I hope you like your chicken cold because I’m in no mood to wait for the oven to heat.”

That darling little curl popped up in the corner of his mouth.

“Cold is fine.”

“Did you read any more of Josiah’s diaries?” I asked while I pulled plates from the cabinet.

When he didn’t answer I looked over at him. His quizzical head cock was in place again.

“What?”

“I’m curious why you won’t answer my question.”

I stared at the microwave, taking a moment to formulate my answer.

“The whole concept of dating is alien to me. I knew Danny since the second grade and we got married when we were eighteen. He was the only guy I ever went out with, and it wasn’t even what anyone would consider dating, since we’d been together forever. Having to start all over at this age is”—I lifted one shoulder—“mentally exhausting.”

“Why did you agree to go, then?”

“Because, as my grandmother succinctly put it, it’s time to move on.”

“And you thought hiring a matchmaker was the way to meet someone?”

“I didn’t seek Olivia out. I kind of got railroaded into it.”

I explained how the situation came about while I put the food on the kitchen table. Once seated, I continued.

“Before I knew it, I’d agreed to go to tonight’s”—I waved my hand in the air—“thing.”

“So, again, why wasn’t it for you? I don’t know a lot about speed dating, but from what I’ve read it’s popular among millennials. Along with right-swipe hookups.” The jagged shake of his head told me all I needed to know how he felt about the way people met these days.

“And that’s the problem.” I pointed my sweet potato-laden fork at him. “I’m in the wrong age bracket. Call me old fashioned but I prefer to meet someone and get to know them organically and over time, not try and stuff the story of my life into three minutes before an egg timer beeps. Even though I didn’t participate I was tense and stressed watching the others who were. It all seemed…desperate to me.”

I stopped, mortified I’d admitted it, because in truth, that’s what I’d been feeling watching the group tonight.

From the moment we’d arrived at the restaurant I could tell I’d made a big mistake. The women were all older than me, had hungry, hopeful gleams in their eyes and when they caught sight of me, a few of their stares turned hostile. I was all set to beat a hasty retreat when Olivia’s hand at the small of my back propelled me forward.

Part of the restaurant had been cordoned off, a half dozen tables for two set-up in a semi-circle. Six women, six men, I assumed.

What’s that saying about what happens when you assume something?

A quick glance back at the hostility bowling my way and I realized it wasn’t because of my outfit or my age, but the fact I had the wrong chromosomes.

With me included, there were eight women. I’m better at words than math, but even a five year old knew that left a smaller number of men.

With a gentle prod, Olivia shoved me towards the gaggle of women. For the first time in my life I understood any sympathized with how Daniel must felt walking into the lion’s den.

“Ladies,” I said, with head bob and a tremulous smile.

Silence came back at me. I could stare down the most antagonistic of witnesses in a courtroom without even a thought, but for some reason all my courage flew south as these women glared at me through overly made-up, amateurly applied smoky eyes.

I swallowed the golf ball of fear in my throat.

“How’s everyone doing tonight?” I asked.

Lame, I know, but I was truly out of my element.

“You’re new,” a voice said. “Haven’t seen you before.”

“Y-yes. I’m a…friend…of Olivia’s.” If they thought I posed no dating threat, I figured they wouldn’t disembowel me.

“You joining in tonight, then?”

“Just an observer,” I assured her.

“Hey, aren’t you Fintan O’Dowd’s oldest?” One of them asked. Well, accused would be more the appropriate word choice.

Another quirk of living in a small community, especially with a well-known parent: everyone knows who you are and who you’re related to whether you know them or not. Since I didn’t recognize the woman asking, I nodded.

“Thought you was married.” Yup, accused was the correct word.

“I was. I’m a widow. My husband died…was killed. In Afghanistan.”

Immediately, their collective animosity flew right out the restaurant’s front door. They approached me in a cluster, cooing, and clicking their tongues in sad support of my plight.

If I’d known that was all it took to get them to put their invisible pitchforks and blunderbusses away I’d have led with it.

And yes, I know that’s dramatic, but their facial expressions up until then were fifty shades of scary.

A few moments later Olivia clapped her hands and called us to order.

I stood with her off at the side while she read the rules and held a stopwatch. A small bell sat on the table in front of her. At the first ding, the room went into motion.

The seven women all took their seats while the five men inspected them like hunters evaluating prey, and then made their way to the tables of their choice. I felt bad for the two women who sat solo.

“Don’t worry about them,” Olivia said, when I voiced my concern. “Everyone will have a chance to meet. You want to sit down at one of the tables and give this a go?”

Having a root canal without anesthesia while simultaneously getting my fingernails removed had more appeal. I declined, nicely, and said I just wanted to watch.

Intrigued? I’ll be posting soon on the cover and the release date, so stay tuned.

And don’t forget, book 1 DEARLY BELOVED is available now: Amazon // Kobo  // Barnes and Nobel  //Apple // Google Play//

 

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor