Category Archives: female friends

On #bingewatching, #beingcool, and #Millennials

I used to consider myself one of the “cool” people. Really. I did. I was always up on pop culture so I could talk to any age group; my daughter’s friends always asked me questions, opinions, and actually liked sleepovers in our house. They valued my opinion.  I was relatively thin ( for a few years!) and dressed in all the new season’s styles every year.

But something changed and I don’t know when it happened…

Let me esplain it, Lucy.

I was binge watching the E! show So Cosmo about the lives, loves, and careers of twenty-something millennials who all work at COSMOPOLITAN magazine.

I wanted to watch because I wanted to get a “feel” for what millennials are up to these days, to – maybe- use in my writing. I know about women in their 40’s and 50’s but I write about younger gals, so I thought I’d use this show as a sort of reference for putting my finger on the pulse of today’s woman.

What’s that saying about the best laid plans?? Yeah, not so much.

The basic plot line of the show involves the magazine’ surprising turnover of its Editor in Chief Joanna Coles to a new editor. Joanna is 2 years younger than myself ( me, 56; her, 54) and is a powerful, assertive, smart smart smart woman in an industry that has been typically defined and run by men: publishing. She brought COSMO  to the number one magazine women buy – both in trade ink copy and e-zine – during her tenure. To say she is a woman who gets things done and has her finger on the pulse of the Cosmo “girl,” is true. For the purpose of disclosure, Joanna was offered a new position with the Hearst organization ( the parent company of Cosmo) – a much more powerful position, which is why she was leaving Cosmo. You go, girl!

As I started watching the show I was quickly invested in the lives of the cast – all 20 and early 30 somethings. Most of them were single ( one was married with a kid), lived in Manhattan and took full advantage of city living by going out most nights to “party” and de-stress. Now, when I was their age (a millennia ago!) “party” meant literally that. Have a party to celebrate something. Apparently, it doesn’t mean the same thing anymore and this is where I realized my cool moniker was starting to shift.

By the third show I realized I was not only NOT cool anymore, I wasn’t going to be again in this lifetime if this was the yardstick to measure cool-dom by! I didn’t even understand most of the references the cast was using about fashion, life, and relationships. COSMO prides itself on being the voice of female empowerment and I totally buy that.  The Cosmo girl is billed as successful, smart, and sexy; able to live life to the fullest with no regrets, and the women in this cast are. Their purpose is to advise, counsel, and acquaint women on a myriad of topics relating to life, love, career, and finances.

But as I watched this show and the lives of its cast unfold, I began to realize that female empowerment does not mean the same thing to all women. For instance, the word “party” again. To some of the cast women it meant – basically – going out and getting as drunk as they could in an effort to unwind from the stress of their work lives. In the next breath, during the cast interviews, they would say they were living the dream life. So why then, is their work life so stressed they need to get drunk to unwind from it?
See what I’m saying?

They also look at relationships in a much different way than I thought. It’s cool now ( apparently) to hook up ( another word that doesn’t mean what it used to!)  with a series of people randomly, casually, and with no strings attached until you find one you may want to stay with…for a while. Maybe. Cosmo millennials don’t appear to view that whole Happily Ever After with a single mate concept as a  valid thing.

Okay, so now I am not only NOT cool, my whole existence for being -writing the HEA – isn’t ( apparently) relevant!

Before you write me scathing letters, hating me for trashing an entire generation of millennials,  know this: I realize this is just one little “reality” show on a network known for scripted reality shows. My daughter is a millennial who happens to live in Manhattan and I know she and her friends – who are all successful, smart women – don’t think and act in the typical Cosmo Girl fashion portrayed in this show.

Believe me – I get it!

It doesn’t erase the fact that I am no longer cool,  though!

When I’m not bemoaning my lack of cool, 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, Contemporary Romance, female friends, Life challenges, love, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

#InternationalWomensDay2017; #StrengthknowsNoGender; My Super power is that I’m a Woman!

As a woman, a mother, a mother of a woman,…today I will embrace the celebration of National Women’s Day 2017. Today I will remember what it means to be a woman and all the wonderful things that go along with that. Things that only a woman can do, like give birth. Hey, men can’t…just saying.

But in celebrating I will also remember the things that women can’t do.  There are still parts of the world where women can’t choose for themselves who they will marry, or even if they want to get married. There are still countries where women can’t drive, go to school, walk about free in public. There are still places where women are viewed as the property of the men and are treated and abused as such. And there are still governments that would rather see a woman die, shamed and vilified than give birth to her eight  ( or more) child.

I grew up in the time Title IX came into effect. Prior to that, girls sports in schools weren’t funded.

My mother grew up in the time where if she didn’t want to have a baby she had 2 choices: don’t have sex, or procure an illegal abortion.

My grandmother grew up in a time where she was struck down and beaten in the streets by men when she protested for the right to vote for the leaders of HER country.

That’s just three generations of women who saw the need to effect change for the better. And did.

My daughter lives in a world where she knows no limits on what she can do with her life. She has the benefit of education, status, choice. What she still doesn’t have is equal pay for equal work. And if things keep going the way they are currently, she will lose even more of those hard-fought RIGHTS the women who came before her died for.

Today, in 2017,  I proudly stand on the shoulders of the courageous, fearless, determined women who came before me. Who fought convention, misogyny, and hate. I won’t forget them or their struggles.

And I will continue to fight –EVERY DAY — to ensure that they didn’t die in vain.

But today…today I will celebrate my gender. Tomorrow..well, tomorrow is another day.

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A little #gift from #Lyrical/Shine to you…

As a promotional gift, my new publisher Kensington/Lyrical Shine is giving you a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your appetite for my 4.4.17 release of COOKING WITH KANDY: the first chapter FREE! Click on the following link and read how Josh and Kandy meet. Then, I’ve given you the link to preorder the entire book!

And if you’re a NETGALLEY reader and honest reviewer, I’ve included the link for you to request, read, and review it as well.

Blurb:

cooking-with-kandy

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

Free chapter COOKING WITH KANDY

Buy Links: Amazon ///Kensington // Nook // i-Tunes //Kobo //Google

Read and Review on Netgalley

And when I’m not out promoting my books, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, female friends, Friends, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

#Predators&Editors #voting polls are open…Help a #writer out!

The 2016 Predators and Editors Voting polls are open and I’ve got 2 books nominated in the ROMANCE category. L ast year I came in third and I’d really like to elevate that status this year because something like this is a great way for writers to get their names out to people who otherwise wouldn’t know them.

If you have a few minutes please consider voting for either A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS or THE VOICES OF ANGELS, both in the ROMANCE category. I’ve included the links here: 

A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

Thanks for any and all support. Keep a writer working!!!

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Author Branding, branding, Characters, Contemporary Romance, female friends, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, New Hampshire, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

A #NewYear, a time for new #blogideas

2016 has exited the building – thank you, Jesus!  Now it’s time to figure out what I’m going to say here, in this forum, for the next 365 days.

No pressure….not!

I started this blog because I wanted to talk about writing with people who enjoyed writing as well. Over the past 2 years, it’s morphed into something more. More substantial; more funny; at times, more an internal reflection of my feelings and emotions about…stuff. I’ve been able to introduce you to new authors who are fab and promote their work. I’ve had some serious discussions about life, writing life, family stuff, and current events. I’ve veered away from anything controversial and/or political/ and negative. I’ve wanted this to be a fun place to spend a few minutes getting to know new writers, and to challenge you with ideas. I hope I’ve done my job…

So, 2017. What the heck am I gonna talk about??

Well, I do have some new author interviews lined up already and I can’t wait for you to meet these talented writers.

I’ve also got at least 2 books of my own coming out this year ( maybe 3!) and I know I’ll be going gungho with promoting them.

The publishing world seems to be changing daily, so we’ll talk about that.

I’ve got at least 4 writing trips coming up this year, so you know I’ll be showing you pictures of your favorite romance authors whom I’ll be meeting and fawning over, plus writing about my traveling experiences.

And I guess I’ll be divulging some more personal stuff – only the funny stuff, though!!!

2017 promises to be a life-changing one for me – I’ve got lots going on!!! All good and all exciting.

So, stay tuned and we’ll discuss……lots of stuff!

 

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Author Branding, branding, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, female friends, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, research, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

The Cleary House…ABA Halloween Blog Hop

 

halloween-hop1-680x863-1For this lovely Halloween Blog Hop, I wanted to give you a little view of how I envision the Cleary house from FIRST IMPRESSIONS. The book takes place in the Fall. Since the East Coast is so lovely this time of year, I simply had to set the plot in what many consider the most beautiful place to be in the autumn, namely, New England.

Seamus Cleary bought the rundown, abandoned farmhouse when he first came to Carvan, thirty years ago, and spared no expense restoring it. He found out from Serena  MacQuire that the farm was originally owned by the Johannsen family. When Mrs. Johannsen died, her husband was so grief stricken he wouldn’t let anyone take her body from the home. Serena’s mother, Alaina, was the one to convince him to do so. Ever since then, the house has stood vacant. The villagers in Carvan believe Mr Johannsen haunts the house – something Seamus wasn’t told when he purchased it! A native of Scotland, Seamus isn’t one to be bothered by the thoughts of ghosts and hauntings, though. This is the house he brought Serena to as a bride, and the one in which their 4 children grew up in.  In fact, twins Padric (FIRST IMPRESSIONS) and Moira (THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME) were born in the guest room because their parents couldn’t get to the hospital fast enough!

All my MacQuire Women stories take place in the fictional town of Carvan, Connecticut. Since FIRST IMPRESSIONS is an autumn story, I pictured the Cleary house as decorated for the season much like this:

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I can picture the 4 Cleary kids running around this farm in Halloween costumes, helping their mom give out the candy to the Trick-or-Treaters who come by, and generally just enjoying a childhood steeped in love and laughter.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS tells Padric  Cleary and Clarissa Rogers’ story.

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Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.

Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for “The One.” When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way.

Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?

I’ll be giving away 1 free e-copy ( from AMAZON) of FIRST IMPRESSIONS to a lucky winner who tells me this:

What Halloween candy was your favorite one to receive when you trick-or-treated as a kid?

Leave me your answer in the comments section of my blog post.

Have a wonderful, candy-filled Halloween, and don’t forget to visit the plethora of wonderful authors participating in this blog hop!

1. Casi McLean ~ A Haunting Halloween 2. Anna Durand ~ Spunk & Hunks
3. Claire Gem 4. Tena Stetler ~ Colorado Hauntings
5. Sorchia DuBois 6. Tricia Schneider
7. J. Rose Allister 8. Nell Castle
9. Jana Richards 10. Linda Nightingale ~ Wordsmith
11. Kayden Claremont ~ Tartan Temptation 12. Holland Rae
13. K.K. Weil 14. Peggy Jaeger
15. Maureen Bonatch 16. Jeannie Hall
17. Beth Caudill 18. Mary Morgan
19. Karen Michelle Nutt 20. Hywela Lyn ~ Romance That’s ‘Out Of This World’
21. Whitney Cannavina 22. Devon McKay
23. Starr Gardinier 24. Erin Bevan
25. Nancy S Reece 26. Kathryn Knight ~The Haunted Jail Haunting Halloween
27. Judy Davis ~ A Writer’s Revelations 28. Katie O’Sullivan
29. Darlene Fredette 30. Alicia Dean
31. Lisa DeVore

 

 

 

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Post Conference thoughts….

So you all know by now I was here over the weekend:

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The first ever FALL IN LOVE WITH NEW ENGLAND  conference was a huge hit by anyone’s standards! This was my first EVAH readers conference and I can’t tell you how tickled I was to meet so many lovers of romantic fiction – in all its genres. There were readers from every age group, background, and occupation. Some came from as far away as Oregon and as close as the next town over from the conference center.

I was privileged to sit on a contemporary workshop panel with three other contemporary authors, who I now consider my friends-not only in writing-but in life as well, Terri Osburn, Caridad Pineiro, and Claire Gem. Each of these writers brings something very unique and individual to their novels and each is a master of the contemporary genre. Our workshop room was packed with readers-and a few other authors-who were interested in hearing why we write in the genre we do, how we come up with ideas, what are no-nos for us as writers, and where do we push the envelope in sex, relationships, and  plot-lines. Many of the readers didn’t know what TROPES were, so we each gave our version of our favorites – and least favorites! I’m not too sure why my mouth is open like a fish in this photo…it may have been because I was talking ( which is what I do. Constantly!)

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I was so impressed and awed by the depth of  knowledge, passion, and love these readers have for romance novels ( and their authors!!) I feel like I’ve finally found my people after a long, exhausting search! And these readers are ravenous for new material, as evidenced by the tremendous amounts of books they purchased at the author signing. Who says print is dead? Not these loyal readers, that’s for sure.

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In addition to the workshops, authors and readers got to interact and have funfunfun at a costumed dinner on Friday night. Here are a few pictures from the laughter filled night, that included  costume prizes, a reader basket raffle, where the 5 readers at my table each won an impressive basket filled with books, and other reading sundries.

filne3     filne1  As you can see, I was a chef. I’m sitting next to the lovely Ana E Ross and the fabulous Marianne Rice is behind me as Harley-Quinn from Suicide Squad. There’s a cute little cat woman over on the right. That’s uber-talented author Karen Stivali. This was one power-packed table of authors. We all write in romance but we all write in different genres. The readers at our table were amazeballs as well!

A pizza party and a movie ended the weekend on Saturday night with plan to do this all again in 2017.

I sosososo plan on being there!

When I’m not cavorting at conference and such, you can usually find me here:

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Home, hoarse, happy and inspired…

This past weekend I was thrilled and delighted to attend the first ever Fall In Love With New England Readers and Writers conference in Manchester, NH. and from the moment I arrived until I got back in the car to head for home I had a non-stop moving, talking, chatting and party-ing few days of fun, laughter, and friendship ( new and old!)

filwne-fb-cover

I’m planning a bigger blog post about the events of the weekend itself set for later this week, but for now I just wanted to say the following stuff. Please bear with me..or not; up to you!

I’ve said many times how I’m like a hermit when I’m in writing zen mode. There are actually days that I won’t leave the house, so intent on whatever it is I am working on – be it a first draft, editing, or making sure galleys and edits are correct. During the winter it’s almost as if hibernate, like a new species of bear: Ursus Americanas Writerus. (Grammarly won’t let me BOLD the last two words because they are made up!!) But you get the picture – I don’t leave the house and I don’t talk to anyone, at all, all day long. A quick goodbye to hubby in the a.m. and then nothing until a How was your day? in the evening. This is my life, peeps. And I’m happy – not complaining.

But attending a reader/writer event such as FILNE is such a soul-empowering and enriching occurrence, I have to admit it out loud ( or on the laptop, as it were!) Meeting other romance writers who are at the peak of their careers or just starting the climb, speaking with them, learning from them, giving advice and imparting wisdom to them is such a rewarding and worthwhile experience. Every conference I go to I learn something or make a new writing friend. At this conference, I learned a few new things, but  I made DOZENS of new writing friends and readers of romance, too!! And they liked me! They really, really liked me. I’m starting to channel Sally Field, here, so I’ll make this short and sweet…

For a writer – of any genre – getting out and meeting others who are as passionate about writing as you are, or readers who are passionate as you are about what you write (!) is something I would never deny myself. SO for all the hibernators out there, here’s a little tidbit of advice: get out of the house! Go to a conference! Interact with other humans who like what you like to read and write what you like to write.

This has been a Public Service Announcement from your friendly romance writer, Peggy Jaeger. (HeeHee)

Thank you, and good night!

 

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Public Speaking…Part 2

So  I promised you I’d give you a little insight into the 2 sessions I taught ( very loose use of that word!) at last week’s Womens’ Weekend Retreat.

These were my notes for the two programs:

pulbicspeaking4

One talk was called DREAM BIG, the other HOW TO WRITE A BOOK. That second one sounds a little pretentious, but it really wasn’t!

The Dream Big session was about how we, as women of a certain age ( read: menopausal and above) have tended to place our hopes and dreams on the back burners so our families, spouses, and everyone else can see fit to fulfill their hearts’ desires. I gave reasons why we do this, why we put ourselves last, why we never reach for the brass ring when we get to a certain age.

Then I told the group why they were all wrong to do that.

Yeah, that went over big.

dreams

Using myself and many other much more well-known women as examples, I showed how it didn’t matter what age you’d reached in life, you could still fulfill the dream of your heart. You just had to believe you could make it come true and start figuring out ways you could, right away. Then I showed them what those ways were.

That went over a little better.

The second talk was basically an overview of how to get from idea to published. This talk was packed and it did my little heart so good to see so many women had a story to tell. And what stories they were!!

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I could have used two or more hours on this session because the women had sosososos many great questions.

Now, the point of this blog was to talk about public speaking and how much I abhor it. I know people always smirk and lift their eyebrows in wonder when I say that because, well, I talk all the time. A lot. I’ll talk to a rock if no one else is around. But talking one-on-one with someone is sososososos much easier than having to get up in a group and deliver an erudite message.

And the last word anyone can associate me with is erudite. Look it up if you don’t know what it means.

But…

I sucked up my nerves and luckily there were a few women I knew personally in the groups, so that made my whole speaking to strangers anxiety abate a tad. What I truly did was just have a conversation with the women. Not a talk, well, not a classroom-like one, anyway, Just a basic back and forth interchange of ideas and questions.

This I could do. Easily.

And– yowza– I did! It was…fun. Much more so than I’d originally thought. In truth, anytime you get a group of women of a certain age in a room together, the exchange of thoughts, ideas, information, and laughs is soul-elevating.

So, if they ask me to come back again next year I….might.  I’ll certainly reboot my “talks” and make some changes, but I think I might be okay doing it again. I didn’t fall flat on my face, cry, or speak in tongues from nerves, so those are all positives, right??

When I’m not having anxiety attacks about public speaking you can find me here:

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One event down…

Last weekend I was thrilled to be included in this event:

womensweekendad2016-copy

I thought I’d give you a little overview of what it’s like for someone like me – basically, a total introvert/hermit – to attend an event like this as a vendor, hawking my books, and as a presenter, giving two diverse classes.

The Friday night meet-n-greet included a few hours where volunteer vendors could meet the women attending the weekend and sell their wares. After an hour of setup here’s what my table looked like:

woemnswekkendsales

Yes, that’s a banner with my smiling mug on it that you see. I used one of Stephanie’s pictures from my recent photo shoot and sent it to Vistaprint, where, for about $20.00, I had this banner made. It has my name, tagline, and website address on it. Conceited, much??!!

Anyway…

Those are all the print books I have out right now on the table, along with a promo-card for my holiday release of A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS which is in galley edits right now and which I should have a release day for any minute ( I HOPE)

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There is also a big basket of favors on that table, complete with individually wrapped portions of M&Ms, PepperMintPatties, and Hersey’s Kisses attached to one of my bookmarks. I use this as promo too, because, really, who doesn’t like free chocolate and a bookmark??

SO, for a few hours I stood, talked, smiled, schmoozed with the other vendors and tried to engage and entice people over to my table ( free chocolate, remember?), and sold books.

I am going to admit freely that this is the hardest, most difficult thing I do as a writer.

I am not a natural salesperson. My thought is browsing is king and if you need to ask a question, find a store clerk. I hate being accosted by salespeople when I shop, so I don’t like to accost people when I am the one doing the “selling.” In all honesty, in this day and age, this is not a good way for a writer to be, I KNOW this. So I tried to accost without, you know, accosting and being obvious about it. It must have worked because I had a lot of people at my table.

In my next blog I’ll tell you how the classes I taught ( and I use that word very very very loosely) went.

When I’m not hawking my books, you can find me here:

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

 

 

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