Category Archives: Contemporary Romance

My current #SocialMedia obsession…

So you can probably guess the answer to the blog title today. I discovered TRIBERR a little over a year ago when author (and good friend) Marianne Rice spoke to my NHRWA chapter about using social media to build a target audience. It was a great workshop overall, but when she told us about TRIBERR, I immediately looked into securing a spot on the media site.

So, what is Triberr and why is it such a worthwhile Social media site to be a part of? Here’s a great article on exactly what it is and does, link, but in a nutshell, Triberr hooks you up with other bloggers on  the web who will share your content to their sites, blogs, social media posts, etc. When I first joined the social media world I had a world wide web “reach” of maybe ( on a good day) 100 people. That included Twitter, FB, and Instagram.

After one week of joining Triberr, I saw a 10 percent increase in traffic across my sites and within a month, that had risen ten fold. My Triberr reach as of today is 171,ooo. I don’t even know 100 people, much less 171,000!! My Twitter followers increase daily ( this morning they number 2,220) and my FB author page is up to 1,301, up nine since  last Monday. I know those numbers may not seem impressive, but when you’re a virtual nobody like I am, getting your name out there so poeple can buy your books is hard. The fact that when I started writing for publication I had 1 follower on Twitter ( my darling daughter) and now I number 2k+ is amazeballs!

How I increased those numbers is no secret: I joined TRIBERR and then started following other TRIBES devoted to writing, marketing, and author branding. This is my own site (called a TRIBE) Strong Women. Loving Men

where my blog postings get listed daily, and where other authors/bloggers/readers ask to join my tribe. I’m a member of about a dozen other tribes where I read and post those bloggers’ content daily, thereby increasing my own web reach. It’s a win/win situation as far as I am concerned.

Since I’ve limited the type of tribes I want to be associated with – all romance writing, marketing, and review sites – I can target my reach to those individuals who read and write and review romance books. If I wanted to really expand my reach, and I probably will in the next year or so, I’d include book bloggers, readers, and reviewers of all book genres, not only romance. But even if you wanted to narrow down your scope to, say, just romance readers/bloggers/reviewers who only read/review/blog about Paranormal Romance, or historical romance, you could do that as well.

The site is free, the only cost – the time you take to share the posts you want to each day. And you don’t even have to do it every day. I do because I typically blog every day, but if you’re a once a week blogger, that’s fine. As long as you share other posts in your tribe, you’re fine.

If you’re looking to grow your on-line and social media presence, Triberr is a great way to do so with very little every and a whole lotta reach! I’ve even included it in my search engine sites.

And when I’m not on Triberr, you can usually find me here:

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

 

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

A first for me….

Recently, I penned my very first Sweet romance. ( I hate the new industry term clean romance because it makes all the others sound  a little….dirty. Just saying. ) Can I just tell you how hard ( no pun!) it was for me to write that story, sans sex? And it wasn’t only the lack of sex that was difficult to leave out. It was the fact I couldn’t curse, and had to convey desire in ways that didn’t detail any kind of sexual physical reaction. You know: nipples hardening ( and other things!).

I have to admit it wasn’t easy. But it was a great exercise in writing because I had to figure out other ways to show the h/h were falling in love.

In the June 2018 edition of Romance Writers Report, Stacey Donovan, the director of Hallmark Publishing ( yes, that Hallmark!) and Rhonda Merwarth, a freelance acquisitions editor for Hallmark, wrote a detailed and valuable article titled,  Fifty Ways to Show the Spark Without the heat about how to show chemistry between your characters while keeping it “chaste.”

Some of the best tips mentioned were:

1.Finding a quirk or flaw that endears one character to another. I love this tip because we all know there are weird and quirky things about our lovers that we simply adore.

2.An increased heart rate. This can be described or shown in so many ways, that I can’t believe it isn’t one of my regualr go-tos!

3.Disclosing something private or vulnerable to another. Lovelovelove this!! Can you see how valuable this is in building trust and allowing someone “in?”

4.taking extra care with grooming before meeting someone. Again, the heroine changes 16 times before she meets the hero for — whatever! The hero realizes his hair is in bad need of a barber. Clothing selection is key, too.

5. A grand gesture to demonstrate love. Le sigh. Don’t we all simply adore a grand gesture?? Think about the guy in the movie LOVE ACTUALLY who showed up at Kiera Knightly’s door and was holding all the cur cards. Or John Cusak with a boom box over his head.

6.Flushed cheeks/mouth going dry/ prolonged eye contact without words. All signify desire and want without throbbing, pulsing, or lengthening descriptions.

7. A brush of fingers, accidental at first, then purposeful. Can we just say, Pride and Prejudice?

You may think these things sound trite, but believe me, when you’re used to writing about body parts thrumming, cores quaking, and certain areas of the body growing….damp, these little examples are gems.

I actually had to dig deep and remember what it felt like to fall in love. Hey, what can I say: it’s been a while. I’ve known and loved my husband for 2/3 of my life and my memory isn’t what it used to be, peeps. When I explored the way I FELT  falling in love with him, it was easier to picture any and all of the sensations mentioned in the article happening. And if I could experience it, so could my characters.

It will be interesting to see if my readers appreciate this physically scaled-down version of my romance writing. I’ll keep you posted once the book is released into the world.

Until then, you can find me here, where I’ll be writing about body parts doing…interesting things once again.Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

Shameless author branding…

So, you know I went to Iceland recently. I had hubby, my fabulous daughter, and my gorgeous niece with me. On a particularly rainy, cold, and bleary day – or as the Icelanders call it, a typical day of the week (!) ( Not kidding. Not even a little!) we found ourselves sitting in an eatery called Te & Koffe. I don’t think I need to translate the name.

Anyhoo….

My daughter asked if I had any chapstick and of course I did. I whipped out my newest swag piece and handed it over. My niece wanted one, too, and of course, because it’s me after all, I had a spare, so I gave her one. While they were chapping up I had a brilliant idea.

Well, I thought it was brilliant.

I asked them each to pose with the chapstick because I wanted to put the pix on my Instagram account. You’ll see why when you see the picture below. They both very graciously, amid much eye rolling, complied. Once I snapped the pictures, my daughter said, “You can caption it Peggy Jaeger Brand Ambassadors.”

Do you see why I love this child to the moon and back??

Here are the photos I took:

My name, my website, my tagline as bold as bold can be on two simply gorgeous girls.

Le sigh. I love my life.

And my family.

In addition to my Instagram account, you can usually find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Strong Women

The best kind of surprise….

So. I’ve been on radio silence for the past week because I’ve been vacationing with family in Iceland. More on that experience to come in the next few days.

But…

While I was on the never ending customs  line at JFK yesterday after touching back down on home turf, I checked my Twitter and Facebook feeds and found out from two friends that I’m a finalist in the romantic suspense category of the 2018 Stiletto Contest for my book A SHOT AT LOVE.

When my week-long email file finally uploaded, I found the official letter telling me this!!  I”m so excited. I was a finalist last year, too, for  my novella A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights.

It’s such an honor to be nominated. The winners in each category will be announced at this year’s Stiletto Awards ceremony in Denver, CO during RWA 2018.

I’ll keep you updated!

In the mean time, I have a ton of laundry to do, groceries to get because there are literally crumbs in my cabinets, bills to pay and a 1,000 email box to declutter. See ya in a couple of days ( if I’m lucky!)

In the mean time, find me here:

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

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Contemporary Romance, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense, RWA

Love Romance Reads opening week


A fun, interactive new site for readers and writers of romance. Join us during opening week. Enter for prizes and author giveaways – mine included!. Here’s my link for my post and giveaway: Peggy Jaeger

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romance Books

What 5 books influence(d) you as a writer?

Okay, I’m going to say this up front: I stole this idea from another author I saw  tweet about it the other day. I just knew it was worth a blog post.

There are really waaaaaaaaay more than 5, but these are the ones that did it – and do it – for me as a romance writer.

Pride and Prejudice – the original wonen’s fiction, but really, a true romance at heart. A loving heroine, a brooding hunk of a hero, a ditzy family, secrets, lies, and scandal. It’s simply perfection in every way.

Gone with the Wind – again, not billed as a romance but as historical fiction. And again, really a true romance. I mean, come on. There’s a reason no other h/h in the romance world are named Rhett and Scarlett. Just sayin…

 

Shanna – the very first ADULT romance I read at 17, and by adult I mean – it had sex. A lot of sex. Really, really, well written, sexy sex. Woodiwiss was a master and if you’ve never read anything by her, correct that situation today.

Irish Thoroughbred – the very first book by the queen of us all. Tender, sweet, a voice that was like no others on the market at that time. This book has stood the test of time, changing writing styles, and everything else in romancelandia.

Sense and Sensibility – my favorite scene in a Jane Austen book. Captain Brandon walks into a music room where MaryAnn is playing. While he listens, he falls in love with her. If you’ve seen the Emma Thomson/Kate Winslet movie version, you know the scene I’m talking about. Perfection. The best love-at-first-glance I’ve ever read. Bar none.

So, what 5 books have influenced you as a writer? Or reader? Let’s discuss…

And if you’re looking for me, I’m here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romance Books

When did this become my life?

There’s an old expression: If you want something done fast, give it to a busy person?

Story of my current life. Let me ‘esplain.

When I retired to write full time I thought, “Yippie! Now I get to spend all my time during my days writing down the stories that have been swirling in my head.”

That jubilation lasted about a year. With the advent of more books published, I had to start doing other things than write to ensure that my writing got seen by people so they could, you know…buy the books. ( It’s all about sales, peeps).

First came a website, then social media accounts that needed postings, then book signings, author appearances, conference presentations, media appearances, all to get my name and my work “out there.”

 

Soon, it wasn’t so much about the writing as it was about the selling, and my desire to write all day long the stories that had been swirling around inside me started to become secondary.

This is an example of what I’ve been working on the for the past week when I should have been concentrating on finishing a book with a July 1 deadline – a deadline that can’t be moved or added to. (And let’s remember, I’m traditionally published. If I had to do the self publishing of my work I’d probably quit because I’d have no time. Make that definitely quit because I had not time.)

  1. Listen to auditions for a new book going to audio.
  2. Listen to a completed book on audio for mistakes, changes, etc. and edit.
  3. Galley edits on a Christmas 2018 release.
  4. second round of edits for the first book in my new small town bridal series.
  5. work on writing the second book in my new small town bridal series.
  6. outline 3rd book in the new small town bridal series.
  7. promote ( via sm)my current book release
  8. promote ( via sm) my current audio relase
  9. finish first draft of book due COMPLETED july 1.
  10. blogs posts for the week for the website.
  11. MFRWauthor blog post for next friday.
  12. create sale posters for books to promote on sm
  13. a face book party
  14. read and write reviews for 3 friends’ new book releases.
  15. query letters to agents and editors
  16. sm posts to keep my name in the public eye, daily.

All of that in addition to the normal every day stuff like bathing, eating, laundry and trying to slip in a gym workout everyday. Plus, some very real and personal issues that have cropped up during the past few weeks and that are extremely time consuming, time sensitive, and soul sucking.

I don’t know how I would handle all this if I didn’t have chronic insomnia.

I’m not telling you this so you’ll feel sorry for me ( Well, maybe a smidge ***holds index finger and thumb up, almost touching!**) I’m simply lamenting that my desire to just write the stories that have been swirling around in me ( 3rd mention!! heehee)have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Another old saying? Be careful what you wish for; you just may get it.

Now you tell me!

In addition to everything else, you can usually find me hanging out here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance

Imposter Syndrome, Part II

 

Last week I wrote a blog post about Imposter Syndrome. I was floored by the responses I received from readers and writers after it went live. For two days my email inbox was crawling with dozens of responses about what I’d written. Most of them were from authors – some of whom I don’t know personally. A few were from readers. All of them thanked me for calling out what it is to feel  like a professional failure, even though you’ve had a modicum of success. I ended that blog piece by saying, “STOP THINKING YOU ARE AN IMPOSTER AT THIS WHOLE WRITING THING. You write, ergo ( and don’t I just love being able to use that word!!) YOU ARE A WRITER!!!

Why don’t they get that?

A few authors wrote me that they felt like failures, and not “real” writers,  even though they had sold thousands of books, recently signed new contracts, and generally had well known names in the romance writing community. I was stunned by these revelations. My questions to each of them was : HOW DO YOU DEFINE A REAL WRITER and HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS, because it obviously isn’t in sales, or name recognition. The other question that blew through me was WHY? Why do you feel like a failure? You’ve written a book – some of you several books. They’ve been published – some traditionally, some independently. You’ve received royalties – some a lot, some not so much, but still…money! Readers know your name. Readers await your next book release. Readers WANT to read your work. So, again, WHY do you feel like professional failures?

I’m gonna take a wild guess here to answer that question, and I’m gonna ask for a little patience while I present my case, because some of you are gonna get all hot and bothered ( and not in the good, romance reading way) about what I think.

Since I write romance, that’s the genre I’m going to latch on to here for my discussion. The majority of romance writers are WOMEN. The majority of romance readers are WOMEN. The majority of people who pay cash-money for books of all genres are WOMEN. The majority of people who read for pleasure are WOMEN. The majority of people who make the most money on the planet and are responsible for the majority of decisions made ( and most of them are bad ones!) are ( wait for it ) MEN.

The definition for professional success for most men is very different for woman. Men equate success with money, material possessions, social status, and titles ( CEO, CFO, etc.) Women equate success almost the same way, but where a man will wear his success with pride and boast about it, women, it’s been my experience…will not. They tend to brush off well meaning compliments and try to turn any conversation away from themselves.

Again, this is my opinion based on years of being around very successful MEN and WOMEN and seeing how they react so differently when given praise or asked about their accomplishments. I’ve been in a room filled equally with writers of both sexes and the male voices are usually the loudest, the ones filled with the most hubris, and the ones bragging on their next book sales. The women, when given praise about their own bestsellers and highly anticipated new releases, have typically waved off the compliments, and redirected the praise. When you ask a male writer what he is working on you get chapter, book, verse and verbal diarrhea about the plot and everything else. Women will give you an elevator pitch and then move on to another topic.

Women do not like talking about themselves. Most women, that is. There are a few who drone on incessantly as if they were the only ones on the planet or in the discussion. We all know people like that. But for the majority, women still tend to take a back seat when it comes to broadcasting their successes and this is the reason I think they feel like imposters, frauds, and are faking it.

To these wonderful woman I say OWN IT!! 

Own your success. Wear it like a badge of courage for all your hard work.

 

I raised my daughter to be proud of herself – her successes and goal achievements. I raised her to accept her failures, learn from them and grow with them. I raised her with the knowledge she could walk through any door with her head held high, knowing she could make of herself anything she wanted. I thank the gods of everything she is the woman she was always meant to be. She doesn’t brag, but when given a compliment, accepts it, graciously. She doesn’t extol her own virtues and successes, but she doesn’t dismiss them with an embarrassed hand wave when someone mentions them, either. And she is forever lifting others up both verbally, spiritually, and emotionally.

To all the female writers I know who suffer thru imposter syndrome please know this: YOU ARE NOT AN IMPOSTER and no one has the right to make you feel less than a success.

Own it. Be it. Wear it. YOU ARE A WRITER.

‘Nuff said.

 

If you’re looking for me, I’m usually here:

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Strong Women

Children learn from your example

Mother’s day was Sunday and I usually don’t post anything on facebook or social media except for a generic ( but heartfelt!) HAPPY MOTHER’S Day greeting to all the moms out there. This Sunday was a bit different, though. I didn’t post anything – as usual- but my daughter did. What she wrote floored me, and I’ll admit freely – had me bawling my eyes out. I copied it from her facebook post here – not because I want to brag on her or myself, but because it reminded me that no matter what you may think as a parent, your kids ARE watching what you do and LISTENING to what you say, how you say it, and to who you say it to and about.

Here’s the post:

My mom has given me many gifts, but none so powerful as the example she’s set by following her calling as an author.

About five years ago, she left a comfortable job to pursue romance writing. For some, it would’ve sounded like a whim or a pipe dream — but she had stories to tell and she wanted to share them with the world.

She sent out hundreds of queries to agents and publishing houses. The inevitable rejections came, but she never lost focus on her own North Star. She was, of course, incredibly privileged to be able to follow this dream with my dad’s support — but that doesn’t dilute the work she put in. Finally, she got an acceptance letter, and then another one. Five years later, she’s authored a whopping 11 published books and has another 5 on the way.

In charting her own course, she sent messages to me whose power continues to crystallize: that it’s never too late to pursue a dream; that external validation comes and goes, but internal motivation is what will carry you through; that magic happens when you combine a little luck with a lot of hard work; and that the joy of the journey is, itself, the destination.

We are so proud of you, Peggy Jaeger. Thank you for the example you’ve set.

And because I’m in marketing: if your mom likes romance and you need a last-minute gift, grab one of her e-books today!

https://www.amazon.com/Peggy-Jaeger/e/B00T8E5LN0

https://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/…/peggy-jaeger-intervi…/

When I was a kid there was an expression: “Little pitchers have big ears.” It was meant as a reminder to people to be careful what they said around children if they didn’t want something repeated that shouldn’t be. I’d like to add my own version of that expression here: Your kids may never tell you this, but what you say and do IS making an impression on them. They’re seeing and they’re listening and they’re learning.
So, I ask you: Are you teaching them the right things? Are you sending them the right impression? Are you setting the right example for them?
Food for thought today.
And can I just tell you how much I lovelovelove my daughter!

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Imposter syndrome….

Last month at my NHRWA meeting, one of my uber-talented and wonderful writing chaptermates spoke a phrase I had never heard before:  Imposter Syndrome. She gave me a very good definition of the word, but when I got home I decided to delve a little more into the meaning. Here’s the best explanation I found of it:

“Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters‘ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.” ~My 2008 Harvard Business Review

Hmmm.

That kinda sounds like very writer I know.

I’m plagued with doubts about my writing Every Single Day of my life. Does that mean I have I.S.? 

I worry that my next book will be trash, my editor will have me completely rewrite it, the public will hate it – and me – and I’ll have to go out and get a job cleaning floors at night in office buildings to make ends meet ( not that there’s anything wrong with that!!)  Does that mean I have I.S.?

When I read a less than flattering review of one of my books ( and by less than flattering I mean a 1 on Goodreads and Amazon!!) I think : this is it. I’m done for. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. No one will read this book now. Does that mean I have I.S.?

The moment I read something back I’ve written and think, “this sucks wind so bad, it’s a hurricane of a mess!” I start to sweat, my heart rate goes tachycardic, and I get a sick, vomit-worthy sensation swell up in my throat. Does this mean I have I.S.?

 

No. Emphatically no. I KNOW I am a decent writer. I may never win any major writing awards, or have a million seller, but that’s okay. I’ve said this before but it needs to be repeated here: Even if I’d never had any book of mine published, I still would have kept writing because I love doing it so much. I didn’t need accolades, royalties ( not that they are necessarily a bad thing!)  or good reviews to validate that I AM A WRITER.

This, I think, is the difference between thinking you might have I.S. and actually having it. My sense of self worth, my idea of success, my feelings of value, are not tied up in whether or not the book reading world knows my name, buys my books, or clamors to retweet anything I’ve put on Social Media. What it adds up to is that – in my very humble opinion – I have a strong, well defined, and productive EGO. And I’m not talking about the posturing, self important, look-at-me-and-no-one-else part of an Ego. I mean, simply, I know my worth, am okay with it, and can hold my head up high.

Okay, peeps, here’s my writing PSA for the day: STOP THINKING YOU ARE AN IMPOSTER AT THIS WHOLE WRITING THING. You write, ergo ( and don’t I just love being able to use that word!!) YOU ARE A WRITER!!!

‘Nuff said.

Looking for me? Here I am:

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

 

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Filed under Author, branding, Contemporary Romance