Category Archives: Foodie

This never gets old and is always exciting!

So, just when my newest book released yesterday, DIRTY DAMSELS,

I received notification form the First Coast Romance writers chapter of RWA that I won the Contemporary Romance category for 40K-56K word books for CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS! Woot Woot!

I’m starting to think maybe this writing career will pan out in the end! hee hee

Blurb:

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?

Excerpt:

It had been a long, long time since a guy’s hands had been on me in anything resembling a carnal way. My ex had decamped to parts unknown five years ago after signing the divorce papers and I’d been so busy rebuilding my life that adding any kind of relationship to it wasn’t even a notion. Besides, with my hovering parents, one of whom worked for me while the other popped in daily to check up on their only daughter, I had enough on my plate fending off the men they wanted to introduce me to. Guys who, for the most part, had shady lifestyles, carried concealed, and owed my father innumerable favors. And by favors I mean the kind that usually get signed for in blood and paid back the same way.

Welcome to mia familia.

Buy Links:

Amazon//  B*N // Google Play // Kobo // itunes

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Foodie, Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#Tuesdayteaser 5.7.19 A Match Made in Heaven…book 2

So I’m taking a leap of faith here because this book is currently with my editor and has not been contracted yet. If all goes well ( and pray to Jesus it does) I’ll know by the end of this month. I’m hoping for a contact. I mean, it’s book 2!! I have to let you know how the people in book 1 are doing! Hee hee

So, Book 2 gives us oldest O’Dowd sister Cathleen and historical biographer, McLachlyn Frayne. This is another of those opposites attracting romances I love so well. The heat from these two jumps off the page so I figured I’d give you a little example of it. We start the scene with Nanny Fee and end it with our two would be lovers entering a pizza parlor.

“That lovely man took Fiona to the solarium,” one of the residents told me.

I found them huddled together on a day sofa in the sunroom. They were both laughing and Nanny had a hand flirtatiously placed over Frayne’s forearm. His laughter, rich, deep, and husky was a sound I could have listened to all day long. Hell, all year long. A tingling sensation tripped up my spine when his eyes narrowed, practically disappearing from his face as he smiled. He threw back his head and howled at whatever my grandmother was saying.

It was delightful to see him relaxed and happy and I have to admit, my heart stuttered a bit when he brought Nanny’s gnarled hand to his lips and pressed a sweet kiss against her knuckles.

“Number One, all done are ya?” Nanny asked.

I came into the room, a grin tugging on my lips.

“Nanny, what tall tales have you been telling Mr. Frayne? I could hear the both of you laughing from the hallway.”

“Ah, lass, nothing bad, to be sure. Merely sharin’ a few simple stories about me time touring.”

“Oh, good Lord.” I knew exactly what she’d told him. Nanny’s days as a concert pianist were legendary in our family. Legendary and naughty. She’d had affairs with at least two dukes, one baron, and a small smattering of lesser-titled men throughout the royal houses of Europe before coming back to Heaven and marrying her second husband. And then her third. And fourth, who was, thankfully, the last.

“Your grandmother has led an extraordinary life,” Frayne said, the light in his eyes bright and clear. “Her life touring would make for a terrific book.”

“Salacious, more than anything,” I said.

“Don’t be gettin’ any notions to write about me escapades, young man.” She swatted his arm with a grandmotherly thwack. “If I ever decide to write about me life, I’ll be doing the tellin’, not someone else.”

“I’d be thrilled and honored to be your scribe,” Frayne said. “Anytime. Simply say the word.”

“Ah, go on with ya.” She swatted his arm again. “Well, now I expect the two of ya will be off to dinner. Seldrine okay?” she asked me.

“She’s fine. Lucas is with her, taking her through everything she needs to be prepared for.”

“She’s a strong lass. Well,” she sighed deep and, because this was Nanny, theatrically. “Off with ya both now. Go enjoy a good meal and you,” she pointed at Frayne, “don’t be forgetting I want a full report on Robert when you’re all done with your research.”

“That’s a promise,” he told her.

“Good. Now, give us a kiss and run along.”

I wasn’t surprised when Frayne bent and bussed her cheek.

“And you,” she said when I bent to do the same. “I want to hear all about this event Olivia told me you’re signed up for. I want all the deets, as the kids say.”

I nodded, my cheeks scorching.

“You’re grandmother is a remarkable woman,” Frayne said once we were back in my car.

“That’s one word for her,” I said, slanting him a side eye. The grin on his face was equal parts heart stopping, sexy, and adorable.

“Pathetic.” I said, my own grin tugging at my lips.

“What is?”

“You and your whole gender.”

He turned in his seat to look at me. “What have I, and my entire gender, done to be labeled pathetic?”

I cocked my head his way then turned my attention back to the road.

“A little wink, a few arm taps, and a girlish giggle and you fall like a ton of bricks.”

“What?”

The sigh I exhaled was almost Nanny-worthy in its theatricality. “You have a crush on my ninety-three year old grandmother.”

Complete bafflement filled his face. A half second later his eyes widened and he tossed out another of those deep, throaty laughs. The lower half of my body turned molten-lava hot.

“Tell me I’m wrong.” I turned the car onto Glory Road and spotted a parking spot on the street right outside the place where I wanted to eat. This is another one of those reasons I love living in a small town: you never have to search for parking.

“You’re not. God. You’re not.” His head shook back and forth while his smile turned into a wicked grin.

I put the car in park and got out. Over the hood I said, “See? Pathetic. Every man I’ve ever known falls for her the moment she shines those twinkling blue eyes at him. I swear she casts a spell with a glance.” I shook my head. “I hope you like pizza because I’ve been craving it for days.”

I walked toward the front door of Paradise Pizza but Frayne stopped me in my tracks. With his hand circling my arm he turned me around to face him. Gone was the playful expression, the laugh a mere memory.

“Cathy.”

Talk about casting a spell. I’d never really liked my name, thinking my parents had chosen one plain and common and not exotic or fancy because they wanted it to be easy to remember. Although, it was way better than being called Number One any day of the week.

But still.

“Y-yes?”

He shifted and moved in closer, his hand still gripping my arm. Through my coat, and the even the suit jacket underneath it, the heat from his hand singed my flesh. Standing on Glory Road during a frigid January evening with a brisk wind kicking around in the air, a tiny trickle of sweat beaded down my spine.

Frayne took another step closer.

The back of my throat suddenly clogged, my tongue turning the consistency of sand paper when I rubbed it against the roof of my mouth.

“What…what were you going to say?”

His pale eyes did that little tilting thing down to my lips again before coming back up to settle on my own. The hint of a grin kicked up one side of his gorgeous mouth.

“I love…pizza.”

“Oh. Okay. Well, good.” I reached to push the door open, but he beat me to it. “Then you’re gonna love this place. Best pizza in the state.”

And if you want to see how I envision Cathy and Mac, have a gander at my Pinterest board: Cathleen and Mac ( what else?? Hee hee) This is an actual scene in the book.

Say a prayer for me, peeps, that this book gets contracted. I’m working on book 3 even as we speak ( or, I’m speaking…you’re reading, but you get what I mean. I need some caffeine….)

As always, look for me here when I’m not writing:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Foodie, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#1stKissfriday 5.3.19 Can’t Stand The Heat

There’s nothing I like more than an opposites attracts trope, and in Can’t Stand the Heat ( book 3 in the Will Cook for Love Series), I had a doozy of a bi-polar couple! And by that I mean they were at two opposite poles of the personality spectrum. Stacy, cool and calm, nothing fazes her and everyone loves her, and Nikko, angry, gruff, prone to outbursts and the air could make him mad! But there’s a reason for his arrogance and Stacy is just the gal to figure out what it is. This snippet is a little longer than usual but because of the dynamics of their budding relationship, I wanted to present it in its entirety.

He wasn’t looking at her now with his usual aggravated glare, or even the doubtful one he’d given her just moments before. Nor was his expression simple curiosity at her expertise.

No, what was in his eyes was something she’d never expected to see from this man: need.

A stab of unexpected hunger, so piercing and swift, sliced right through her midsection and dropped lower, tickling the area between her thighs.

And the hunger had nothing to do with the fact she hadn’t eaten anything in hours.

Nikko took a step forward, then another, until he stopped directly in front of her.

Stacy had to tip her head back to maintain eye contact with him. Hypnotized by the intensity in his eyes, she couldn’t look away from it; didn’t want to.

“Yes,” he said, his breath drifting over her, making her insides flutter like a flimsy curtain battling a sudden breeze. “I remember that. I remember you massaging my leg for some time.” He moved in closer, their torsos just a hair’s width from her breasts scraping along his chest.

“I remember the feel of your hands on my leg. Kneading. Rubbing. Your fingers, gliding along my muscles, up and down. Helping me. Easing my pain.”

“I—I…” She backed up a step and hit the dresser, her spine flattening against it. She braced her hands behind her, the tips of her fingers landing across one drawer. “I’m glad I did. Help, I mean.”

Was that her voice? It sounded as if she’d just run a marathon. Uphill.
 In thin air.

Nikko’s hands rose, slowly, purposefully, and came to rest on the top of the dresser, bracketing her between them, effectively imprisoning her. With every breath she took now, her torso grazed his.
His knees bumped hers as his head lowered, his eyes never moving from her own.
“Easing my pain,” he repeated softly, as if she’d hadn’t spoken, “and making me…want.” His lips floated a breath above hers, then touched hers once, just a brief buss; a sample; a promise. “Want…you.”

In the next breath he fulfilled that promise by resting his mouth fully against hers. Soft yet powerful, seductive and masterful, his lips glided over hers. Pressed. Savored.

Asked.

Stacy answered by relaxing against him, moving into the kiss without thought, without reservation, without worry.

He kissed like a man who knew what he was doing. He demanded nothing of her than to simply let him pleasure her mouth, and yet she poured everything inside her, offered every bit of herself into kissing him back without the slightest bit of hesitation or concern.

He shifted, changed the angle of his head, and lifted his hands from the dresser to cup her cheeks between them. Tipping her head back, her body arched as he deepened the kiss, greedily parting her lips with his tongue then forging between them, overwhelming her, claiming her.

Under the thin robe her nipples came to two hard points as his tongue tugged and wound with hers. He tasted like…nothing she could put a name to. Full-bodied, like the thirty-five-year-old port her father favored after dinner; sweet and refreshing like Grandma’s orange sorbet, her favorite dessert; savory and woodsy like air in a forest after a quick, unexpected downpour.

A fleeting thought that maybe, just maybe, Nikko didn’t dislike her as much as she’d believed flew through her mind.

Her hands developed a will of their own as they danced up his broad, rock-hard chest, and wound around his thick neck to grip his hair. Fisting it, she hung onto the ends as if her life depended on it. As if she’d crash back to earth if she let go.

His fingers drifted along the column of her throat, across her shoulders, down her back, to settle, through her robe, on her butt. Molding his hands to her rounded flesh, he pulled her in closer, folding her into him and letting her know just how much what he was feeling wasn’t dislike.

Not even close.

Except for her thong, she was naked under the silk robe and as his hands glided over the material, whispered over her body, the luxurious feel of the fabric rubbing against her bare skin shot erotic flares all along her spine, straight down to her toes.

While his tongue mated with hers, his hands slipped under the hem of the short garment to cup the bare skin he found there.

As she’d massaged the muscles and sinew over his leg the night before, he returned the favor, squeezing and kneading her butt in his warm, firm grasp. For a heartbeat, Stacy tensed, her gluteal muscles instinctively tightening. The touch of a man’s hands so intimately pressed against her flesh wasn’t something she was used to.

In the next instant, spurred on by the gentle, thorough pressure of his fingers, she relaxed and pushed in even closer, nothing separating their bodies but their clothes.

Nikko slipped one finger under the strip of her thong, tugged it to the side, and with another traced a line down along the cleft between her cheeks. Her knees buckled when he thrust a knee between her thighs, forcing them to open for him, pressing intimately against her. She could feel the soft denim of his jeans through the tiny wisp of the thong’s lace panel and when he began rubbing his knee across her mound, her insides turned to melting gold.

Good Lord.

Every nerve fiber in the lower half of her body stood straight up at attention. Stacy widened her stance as much as she could. It was then she realized she was standing on the very tips of her toes. Nikko bore most of her weight as she leaned against him.

He shifted again, reached down, and dragged his finger along the heat pouring from her core, now separated and open to his touch.

A guttural moan, deep and filled with longing, escaped in the air as his lips left hers to trail down and nuzzle the sweet spot behind her ear. He tugged the lobe between his lips and bit down, while his wicked and persistent finger dared to dip into the long, wet length of her.

And she was wet.

Drenched, in fact.

His strong, steady finger glided from one end of her to the other, slipping across her flesh and through every defense she had.

A quick thought that nothing had ever felt so good, so god-blessed good as Nikko’s hands on her skin, came to her.

She clutched the ends of his hair tighter, her breaths shallow and fast as his fingers dragged along her, their rhythm timed to perfection with the movement of his tongue in her mouth.

The air around her exploded with the echo of a deep, reverberating groan.

Just as she realized she’d been the one to make the sound, the room was shattered by a blare of static from her walkie-talkie.

“Stacy? Stacy? You copy?”

Nikko jerked his head back, surprise and anger mixing on his face as he heaved his gaze from her face to the device resting on the bed, and then back to her.

A well of boiling heat suffused his half-closed eyes as he gazed down at her. His lips were swollen and kiss-slick-wet, and when his tongue flicked out and ran across his top lip and then the bottom, as if savoring the taste of her, Stacy’s breath caught.

He still had her pinioned against the dresser, one hand caressing the nape of her neck, the other burrowed between her legs.

“Stacy? You there?”
Reality washed over her like a tidal wave.
“I—I have to get that.” She pushed against his chest, tried to slide from his hold.
The man was as solid as a fortress. He stood, stone-still and immobile.

Intrigued? You can order your copy here, along with  the other WIll Cook For Love books,

COOKING WITH KANDY and A SHOT AT LOVE

     

and one thing before you go: I just found out ( yesterday!) that CAN’T STAND THE HEAT is a finalist in the Desert Rose RWA GOLDEN QUILLS Contest for 2019!

So exciting! ~Peg

 

 

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

Introducing #Audiobook #Narrator, Anna Marie Peloso

In addition to this blog, I do a monthly post on the ROMANCE GEMS blog site and for the past two months I’ve written about the explosion of  audiobooks in publishing. You can read those posts here if you’d like: March and April. Especially popular with Millenials, who are never far away from their ear buds and devices, offering a book in audio is oftentimes a tedious process. If an author is lucky enough to find the perfect narrator to bring his/her book to life, that’s the equivalent – in my mind – of finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or a unicorn!

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my pot of gold, er… favorite narrator, Anna Marie Peloso. Anna Marie is, simply put, the perfect narrator for my San Valentino books.

If you’ve read any of the books you know the family hails from NYC, is of strong Italian heritage, and doesn’t mince words – either in English or Italian! You can listen to a sample of her reading from A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights here. Just click on the Audible Sample on the left side of the page.

Because I adore the way Anna Marie narrates, I wanted to introduce her to the blog reading world, so she agreed to write up a little sumthin’ sumthin’ about her journey to the fun career.

Here’s Anna Marie Peloso in her own words….

My journey into narration began after my husband took a trip to Sweetwater Studios in Indiana. Now for those who don’t know, Sweetwater is a music emporium; everything music. My husband was there to have a private recording session with Eric Johnson, an all time favorite of his. Sweetwater arranges these sessions and it’s really awesome. While there my husband had many conversations with those also in attendance about voice-over work. Intrigued, my husband asked a lot of questions because he thought that might be something I would really enjoy.

Upon my husband’s return home he told me all about his experience and then shared all that he learned about voice-over work. I was immediately interested and we began looking into how I could start.

My husband is the one who actually set up my room/closet to record in and all the bells and whistles. There is a lot to consider when beginning this kind of work and I’m very fortunate my husband knows a lot about the gadgets and would be able to do the work to master my finished recordings. ACX is very popular and so we read up on them and decided to start with them to see how this all would go. Being new can be very intimidating, but I set up my profile and started to read about available manuscripts looking for a narrator. I selected three and followed the proper protocol for submitting an audition. It’s all very exciting and nerve wracking at the same time, cause now you wait…until you get a notification stating that you have been hired!

And that is how my lifelong love of reading became what I do today and I get to call myself a Narrator.

You can visit Anna Marie’s website and listen to some of the books she’s already narrated here. Currently, she’s working on my next San Valentino audible selection, CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS and I hope to be able to offer it on Audible soon!!!! Stay tuned for more info coming your way about this!

My thanks to Anna Marie for allowing me to introduce her here, and for being the perfect person to bring the San Valentino family to life!

And if you’re looking for me, here I am most days:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Foodie, Romance Books, ROmance Gems, The Wild Rose Press

#1stKissFriday 4.19.19

This meme is so appropriate for today’s #1stkissfriday edition because it’s from COOKING WITH KANDY and it’s about… a kiss!!! Hee hee

COOKING WITH KANDY is my  first book in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE series and introduces series “matriarch”  and cheflebrity Kandy Laine. When a private eye/bodyguard is hired to find out who’s stalking our favorite chef, sparks fly and love ensues, mixed in with a little eating, cooking, and romance. And guess what? The ebook is on sale now for just 99Cents for a limited time, so if you haven’t read it, now’s your chance!!

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. . .

“You’re gonna wash the floor? Now?” He glanced down at his watch.

It was almost midnight.

“I never leave off cleaning my kitchen after a big prep,” she said, filling the bucket with hot water from the sink.

“Here, let me do it,” he said, taking over. “You’ve been going since four thirty this morning. It’s time for bed, Kandy. Go get ready. You’ve had a full, exhausting a day.”

She wouldn’t give him the mop. “I’m doing this, Josh. It won’t take more than five, ten minutes, tops.”

“Your work ethic astounds me. I can’t decide if you’re just plain stubborn or obstinate, but you’ll be no good tomorrow if you’re overtired and have a house full of company to entertain. And you still have stuff to do in the morning.”

She didn’t budge.

“Kandy, it’s midnight. You need sleep. Rest. Now let me have the mop.” He put out his hand. She glared at it for a few beats and then ignored it, turning back to the sink to lift the bucket.

“No. You go to bed. I’m finishing this.”

“Look, I’m not playing around.”

“Of course you’re not. You’re just naturally bossy and domineering. Well, here’s a news flash, Joshua Keane,” she said, dropping the bucket back into the sink, water sloshing out the sides. “I’m a grown-up. I do want I want, when I want. And I want to wash my floor. Now. You go to bed.”

He couldn’t believe she was arguing with him over something so stupid. For that matter, he couldn’t believe he was contending with her. But something in her tone rattled him and, even though he knew it was childish, he refused to back down.

Arms crossed, legs braced in a stance of defiance, he said, “You know, I weigh double what you do. I can just take that mop out of your hands. It wouldn’t be hard at all.”

She turned back to him, the blue in her light eyes deepening. “Go ahead and try,” she challenged, one hand on her hip in a stance of rebellion, the other gripping the mop handle.

They were standing toe to toe, each unwilling to bend.

Josh’s hand snaked out to grab the mop and Kandy effortlessly slapped it away. Without missing a beat, his other hand wound around her back, yanking her full force against his chest, the mop between them.

Kandy’s cry of surprise spit from her as she stared, wide-eyed, up into his face.

They were so close he could see the pulse beating at her temple as he stared down at her.

“Don’t challenge me if you’re not prepared to meet the consequences,” he said, his voice low and blunt.

She stared up at him, a sneer just beginning to form on her lips. “You don’t scare me.”

In the span of a heartbeat his head came down to hers, while she craned her neck toward him.

When their lips met the argument died.

Damn it.

He knew she’d feel like this, taste like this.
Heaven. Pure and total heaven.
Josh snaked his hands down her back, delighting in every curve and crevice he touched, to settle on her sweet ass. He swallowed her gasp against his mouth and gripped her butt, grinding her against his immediate, rock-hard erection.

When he felt her, soft, warm, and plastered against his body, he echoed her groan with one of his own.

He’d dreamed it would feel like this with her. Hot and spicy, delectable and scrumptious, just like her cooking. Her mouth was made for kissing, full and lush, swollen with need and desire.

Josh wanted nothing more than to eat her whole.

Clenching her even tighter, his lips left the mouthwatering taste of hers to wander across her cheeks, down to her chin. His tongue tasted the hollow behind her ear, his lips gliding across the silky skin of her neck.

Like a man starved for a lifetime, he devoured her.
Kandy arched backward, giving him free access to all those regions, while clutching fistfuls of his hair in her strong hands.
His tongue laved at the exposed skin of her collarbone, trailed back up to the corner of her ear, and when he captured the small lobe in his mouth and sucked, felt Kandy shudder with such erotic violence against him, he almost dropped to his knees.

“Josh.”

He pulled back and stared down at her flushed and glowing face. Her eyes were closed, her lips parted, waiting for him to kiss her again.

She was, without doubt, the most beautiful, most desirable woman he’d ever seen.

She felt so good, so right, against him. As if they’d been created and carved for each other.

And he wanted her like he’d wanted nothing else in his life.
But he knew he couldn’t have her.
A cold fist of reality punched through his desire-drenched body. She needed him to protect her, not seduce her. The notion that she wanted him as much as he did her didn’t change that fact.

“Kandy. Open your eyes.”

When she did he almost lost the small amount of sanity he still possessed and took her right there, braced against the sink.

Her beautiful blue irises were transparent crystals filled with heat and longing. Josh swore he could see to her very core; he could have melted into them without thought. Her gaze raked down his face to his lips, and she pulled a hand from his hair and traced a delicate line in the dimple under his bottom lip, just above his jawline.

Josh’s abdominal muscles contracted. He grabbed her hand, placed a chaste kiss on the open palm, and watched her expression change from captivated to confused.

Intrigued? Remember, it’s on sale right now for just 99cents! You can order your own copy here: Amazon

and if you want to know a little more about what I write, you can connect with me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

Here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

And I can’t forget the OKRWA 2018 Award video

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#SundaySnippet 3.1.19

I loved writing this wrap-up book for the Will Cook For Love Series sososososoos much! It’s the first book of mine that has a physically scarred heroine and an angsty teenager as a major secondary character. Nikko Stamp is either a love him or not hero for people. I, of course, love him, because even though he’s a bear of man to work for, there’s a real reason he’s the way he is ( you need to read the book to see why! heehee). Plus, he absolutely adores his daughter and would do anything for her. I love a hot dad!!!

This little scene introduces Stacy to Nikko. As you’ll read, Nikko’s new Executive Producer isn’t anything like he thought she’d be.

This couldn’t be the new executive producer.

She looked like an intern, barely out of college, not the seasoned television producer Teddy Davis had emailed him about.

The one he’d emailed back saying he neither wanted nor needed.

Hair the color of champagne fell just below her shoulders in a soft cascade of waves and ripples. Even in the heat and humidity engulfing them, it looked fresh. Her face was a perfect heart, a tiny dip in the center of the hairline bifurcating her brow into two perfectly aligned sections, her flawless chin falling into a delicate point. She had one hand out to shake his, the other shading her eyes from the strong and harsh afternoon sun, but underneath her fingers he was able to make out a pair of sloe-shaped eyes in a deep, forest green.

Taller than average but small boned, her legs took up most of her lissome body. With her lips held together in a tight line, she reached him.

“I’m Stacy Peters, Mr. Stamp.”

He stopped and planted his feet, his gaze shifting to her outstretched hand and then back up to her face without taking it. Her eyes narrowed into a determined glare and it looked as if she wasn’t going to back down until he shook it. With reluctance, he did.

Like the rest of her, her fingers were narrow and thin as they coiled around his.

A blast of heat instantly warmed and calmed his entire body like a few shots of his favorite Irish whiskey did after a rough and painful day. The subtle aroma of vanilla floated to him, filling his senses with the sweet fragrance. The persistent, throbbing ache in his left leg the liquor helped chase away was momentarily forgotten with his hand rooted in hers.

As soon as she pressed her fingers firmly against his palm once, she pulled her hand back.

For a split second, Nikko missed the touch. In the next, he found his anger again. “Look, Miss Peters—”

“Stacy is fine.”

He ignored her. “I told Davis I didn’t need an executive producer. I don’t need anyone telling me how to run this show, what’s going to make it a hit, how to rip the best from the concept. The show will be fine without someone questioning every decision I make and counting every dollar I spend.”

Stacy nodded and folded her hands together in front of her, her gaze staying locked on his as he spoke.

“Those last two he sent me were worthless and more trouble than I could stand.”

“Yes. I know there were…problems with the previous EPs—”

“Problems?” His scornful bark of a laugh was loud and harsh as he cut her off. “Two of the most annoying, incompetent people I’ve ever had the misfortune of meeting. One was worse than the other. They had no knowledge of how to run a television production. Knew nothing about costs, location shots, or even how to set up food service for the crew. Between the two of them together, I don’t think they had a full brain.”

Surprised was too tame a word to describe his reaction when she laughed out loud. The sound hit him square in the chest like a bullet ripping through his rib cage.

Christ, was she laughing at him?

His eyes narrowed and he took a step closer, forcing her head to lift so she could meet his gaze. If he’d thought to intimidate her with his height, he knew he’d failed when she stood her ground, her gaze never wavering from his, her shoulders staying square.

A tiny bit of respect warred with the irritation churning inside him.

“They never even made it out here, one of them quitting an hour after she arrived at the studio. I don’t need incompetents like that around me or this production.”

“I agree.”

Her words didn’t stop him. “Davis promised me creative control when I signed on to this show. That included managing the budget and costs as I saw fit. He gave me his word no one would bother me about piddling things like the price of airfare, how many damn cups we use for coffee or how much it would cost to film at night.”

He took another half step closer, so close now his body almost came in contact with hers.

“What he didn’t promise me was annoying paper pushers who don’t know a thing about running a television show, so you can get right back in that car and have Dixon take you back to the airport, because you’re not needed or wanted here.”

From the side of his vision Nikko saw a small crowd had formed around them. Set technicians, a few of the ranch hands Dixon employed, even the food-service people. He knew he should get a leash on his temper, but the annoyance of being saddled with yet another producer—and one who didn’t even look old enough to vote—had him unable to curtail his fury. Added in was the throbbing mess his leg had turned into from sitting in Dixon’s truck for so many hours.

She’d been nodding at everything he’d said and hadn’t interrupted him once. When he finally stopped, she came to life.

“I can assure you, Mr. Stamp,” she said, her gaze slicing through him with its intensity, “I have no intention of taking any control away from you. This show is yours. Your name is on it, not mine. It’s your baby. And unlike my two predecessors, I do know what I’m doing.” She took a breath, snaked a side-glance at the gathering group of people, and added, “This isn’t my first rodeo.”

The crew laughed.

Before Nikko could form a response, she shot her gaze to the senior rancher. She moved toward him, saying, “Mr. Dixon? I’m Stacy Peters, from EBS. Thank you so much for allowing us to film our competition here, for putting us all up, and putting up with us all.”

Nikko watched a free and easy smile grow on her face, one with twin dimples winking at the corners of her mouth, as she slipped her hand into the rancher’s.

“Well, aren’t you just the prettiest thing I’ve seen around here all day,” Amos Dixon said, shaking her hand and wrapping the other one around it to cocoon it between his. “And it’s my pleasure, young lady. My pleasure.”

Stacy giggled at the rancher, her nose crinkling. Nikko’s stomach muscles contracted at the adorable expression on her face.

“I was familiarizing myself with your ranch on the flight and I have to tell you how impressed I am with your business, and how I’m a little in awe of the scope of everything I’ve seen so far. I can’t imagine living here, seeing all this beauty everyday. It’s breathtaking.”

Dixon’s barrel chest puffed out at the praise.

“I’d be delighted to take you on a tour around the ranch anytime, darlin’—you just say the word.”

“I’d love that.”

“Well, you must be tired from the long trip,” Dixon said, keeping her hand tucked in his. “And I imagine you’re getting hungry too. Little thing like you needs a good, hot meal in her and I’ve got the best cook in the state.”

She laughed and said, “I can always eat, Mr. Dixon—”

“Call me Amos, darlin’. Everyone does.”

She nodded. “And a hot meal sounds great right now, but I’ve got some things I need to see to first before I take you up on your offer.”

Turning her attention back to Nikko, she was all professional polish once again, the smile gone, a blank, unreadable look on her face when she said, “Why don’t I drop off all my stuff, and then I can meet with you privately, Mr. Stamp? I know filming starts the day after tomorrow and there’s probably a million things that need to get done before that. I’ve been brought up to speed on everything, but I’d like to hear from you what you need, when you need it, how I can help you get it, and how I can make

everything easier for you. Would fifteen minutes be good?”

Dumbfounded, Nikko just nodded.

“Great.” She turned to Dixon’s son. “Beau, can you show me to my

room?”

Nikko watched father and son jockey for her attention as Dixon senior said, “Boy, you get the little lady’s bags. I’ll show her up. Shall we?” He held a cocked elbow for her to take, while his son pulled luggage from the trunk of the car.

As the trio walked up the drive and then the porch steps, Nikko’s gaze lasered on the slim back and long legs of his new executive producer as she smiled and listened to the senior rancher wax on and on about his “family’s spread.”

What the fuck had just happened?

Nikko turned to see a battery of eyes staring at him.

“Don’t you have things to do?” he bellowed. “This isn’t vacation camp.” Like lemmings, they all turned as a unit and scurried away.
Nikko rubbed his throbbing thigh, the unceasing pain careening through him. He needed to sit down, put his leg up, and relax for a while.

Maybe more than a while.

Intrigued? If you want to read more, you can get your copy here:

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#SundaySnippet 2.24.19 A Shot at Love

When I set out to write A SHOT AT LOVE I wanted to write my first bad-ass heroine. Gemma Laine jumped to the head of the line in my head and exploded on the page. She’s the type of gal I’d want in my corner if I was ever kidnapped by terrorists, if I was walking down a  dark and deserted street at night, and if I ever needed someone to -literally – cover my 6 ( Gibbs reference there, peeps!) This scene proves what a warrior she is.

“How many do I have to hit for you to be satisfied?”

Ky looked over to where she stood at the side of the garage, the Glock in her hand, its barrel aimed at the ground. Her eyes had gone wide at the hidden supply of weapons Bannerman had in the pantry access room, but her only comment had been a muttered, “Why am I not surprised?” before she’d made her choice.

He’d watched her load the clip, then weigh and balance the gun in her hand like she did it every day of her life.

“This’ll do,” she told him.

He found a box of empty beer and wine bottles in the garage and set them up at varying distances from where he’d told her to stand. He wanted to ensure she was comfortable shooting up close and far.

“All of them.” He came and stood next to her.

“Are you kidding? All of them?”

“You might never get a second chance if a first bullet misses an attacker, so yes. All of them.”

She moved to the line in the grass he’d drawn for her to shoot from, mumbling something he couldn’t hear, but guessing it wasn’t something complimentary.

“Ready?” he asked.

“Yup. Any particular order you want me to hit them in?”

He had to bite back the grin threatening to fly free at her snooty, disgruntled tone.
“Your call.”

Gemma nodded and planted her feet. He wasn’t surprised when she angled her body with one foot slightly behind the other in a Weaver stance—a more aggressive, weight-forward position—and not the triangular, or Isosceles stance. Gemma held her gun up to her face, lining up her shot, both elbows bent and close to her torso. Her brother-in-law, Josh, had been a New York City cop, and if he’d taught her to shoot, it made sense he’d taught her this way. Although the Isosceles stance was the more popular, Ky knew the Weaver was a power stance, and Gemma was a woman for whom power could have been a middle name.

She flexed her shoulders and neck, the motion so subtly erotic, it made his pulse quicken, and shifted her weight. From his viewing position behind her, he appreciated just how tall and lean she was. Narrow shoulders were relaxed and tapered down into a waist no bigger than a hand span. How many times in the past few days had he thought what it would be like to slip his own hands around that tiny area and pull her in close? Too many for prudence, that was for sure.

The first bottle, the one he’d placed the farthest from them, shattered into a thousand fragments. Before he could take a full breath, she’d hit the next two.

The final three closer ones she dispatched with equal ease.

When she turned to him and asked, “Satisfied?” in a tone filled with condescension, Ky had to physically restrain himself from running to her, lifting her up in his arms, and kissing the gorgeous smirk off her mouth.

Because he’d discovered how much he liked sparring with her—go figure that out—he pursed his lips and nodded. “Not bad.”

Gemma’s smirk grew into a self-satisfied grin.

“But they were all stationary targets. Really adept shooters practice with moving targets, so I really can’t gauge how well you’ll do with that. But for now, you’ll do.”

The squinty-eyed glare she aimed at him would have made a lesser man run for the hills.

“Trust me.” She dropped the empty cartridge case from the weapon into her free hand. “I can shoot those as well.”

He handed her another clip and watched as she loaded it.

“Let’s hope you never have to prove it to me.”

Gemma slapped the cartridge in place. Ky handed her a holster and waited until she fastened it around her waist.

After tightening it, she secured the gun in place, dropped her hands on her hips and asked, “Can we go now?”

She looked like a warrior armed for battle. Strong, self-possessed, and so bad-assed sexy standing in front of him, her bangs blowing back from the slight breeze surrounding them, her perfect chin tilted up defiantly.

He could imagine her leading an army into a crusade against evil, each soldier following her blindly, minions pledged to fight for her, perhaps die for her without hesitation.

And he’d be one of them.
“Sure. Get your camera. I’ll secure the house.”

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#1stLineFriday A Shot at Love 2.22.19

Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos scanned the midtown Manhattan street in front of him and swore. “I want to see the cops who were first on scene right now,” he demanded of the uniformed NYPD officer next to him.

Nothing’s impossible when love is on the menu. In Peggy Jaeger’s luscious series, the only thing more tempting than a delicious meal is a truly delectable romance . . .
Look for exclusive recipes in each book!  
 
Photographer Gemma Laine is looking for arresting faces on the streets of Manhattan when her camera captures something shocking—a triple murder. In that moment, she becomes a target for the mob—and a top priority for a very determined, breathtakingly handsome, FBI special agent. With deadlines to meet and photo shoots on her calendar, Gemma chafes at the idea of protection, but every moment she spends under his watchful eye is a temptation to lose herself in his muscular arms . . .
 
With two of his men and one crucial witness dead, Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos can’t afford to be distracted. But Gemma is dazzling—and her connection to Kandy Laine’s high-profile cooking empire makes her an especially easy mark for some very bad people. Keeping her safe is much more pleasure than business, but as the heat between them starts to sizzle, Ky is set to investigate whether they have a shot at love . . .

Available here: Amazon // Apple // Google // Kobo // Nook 

Goodreads Reviews for A SHOT AT LOVE

Want to read a preview? Click here.

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

Here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

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#SundaySnippet 2.17.19

Cooking with Kandy was my first book for Kensington/Lyrical Shine. Introducing the world to the life and family of cheflebrity Kandy Laine was fun. The fact this book spawned a few more in the series was an added bonus! Kandy is reluctant to have a bodyguard, and doesn’t feel any of the weird things occurring lately warrant one. Her family disagrees. 

The heat between Kandy and Josh is palpable from the first time they meet. In this little snippet, Kandy is finally beginning to see what an asset Josh could be to have around – and in more ways than one.

He made his way to the other side of the room, ignoring the stares and whispers of the crowd, found the lounge, and knocked. “Kandy? It’s Josh. Can I come in?”

It was Gemma who answered. “Yes.”
The sisters were seated in twin floral Queen Anne chairs, Gemma reclining back into hers, arms crossed over her chest. Kandy was opposite, head wrung in her hands.

“Cort thought you could use this,” he said, handing her the champagne flute.

He’d expected tears, but was surprised to see Kandy’s beautiful face pinch in a scowl, her eyes flaring with sweltering anger and venom when she looked up at him.

“Thanks.” Kandy took the drink and downed half of it in one gulp.

When she wiped her lips with the back of her hand, the corners of Gemma’s mouth lifted and she asked Josh, “What did you do to the turd?”

“Explained he needed to leave, put him in the elevator, and made sure he went down in it.”

“Made him how?” Kandy asked.

“Little persuasion trick I know. His wrist’s gonna be sore tomorrow. Maybe for the next few days.”

“You physically removed him?” Gemma asked.
Josh almost laughed at the excitement in her voice.

He shrugged.

“Yeah. He was going to follow Kandy if I didn’t.”

“Please tell me you have unmarried, available brothers at home,” Gemma said.

It hurt to keep the smile from his face, but he did. “Three, in fact.”

“Are they all like you? No, scratch that.” She sighed, the sound wistful.

“I doubt there’s anyone like you.”

“If you mean are they all workaholics and career-driven, then no. They’re not like me. But they are available.”

“I’ll keep it in mind.” She glanced at her sister and said, “Well, looks like my work here is done. She’s all yours now.” She stood and kissed the top of Kandy’s head. “Evan Chandler is an egotistical, phony prick. Remember that.”

“How could I forget it?” Kandy grabbed her sister’s hand and kissed the back of it. “Thanks.”

When Gemma left, Josh took her empty chair. “You okay?”

She took a deep breath before saying, “Mad, but okay. I underestimated him.”

“How so?”

“I didn’t think he’d have the guts to crash my party. I thought he was too much of a wimp to risk it after our last encounter. Guess I was wrong.” She stood and crossed to the vanity. Peering at her reflection, she ran a lazy hand through her hair, fluffing the curls. She caught his gaze, watching her, in the mirror. “Aren’t you going to ask me about it?”

He’d considered it. But the weary look in her eyes told him he was better off asking Stacy or Gemma.

“No. If you want to talk, I’ll listen. Otherwise, you’ve got a pretty fancy shindig going on out there.” He cocked his thumb in the direction of the ballroom. “Maybe you want to get back and enjoy it. Bask in the adulation,” he said with a good-natured grin.

She turned to him and her eyes softened. When her lips moved upward into a small, lazy smile, the dimples dancing, his legs went a little soft and he was thankful he was seated.

“Yeah,” she said, moving to him. When he stood, she linked her arm in his. “Thanks. You’re right. Let’s go have a party.”

He returned her smile, glad he could help.
“You’re not so bad, Keane. This bodyguard thing might be fun after all.” It was a moment before he trusted himself to speak. “I aim to please.”

Intrigued? You can find COOKING WITH KANDY at these on-line retailers:

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Reviews for COOKING WITH KANDY

Read a preview of 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…

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

#1stLineFriday Cooking with Kandy

“Hold on to your forks, folks, because today I’m making one of Grandma Sophie’s to-die-for layer cakes, guaranteed to make your sweet tooth tingle.” Kandy Laine aimed a wide, dimpled grin at the television camera.

 

Buy links: Amazon //Apple // Google // Kobo // Nook//

Walmart // Books-a-Million

Reviews for COOKING WITH KANDY

Read a preview of 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…

 

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