Category Archives: Romance

#mermaids and a #99centsale from #author Joanne Guidoccio

I very rarely turn  my blog over to someone else. It’s the control freak in me, I think. So, you know that if I did give over my blog post for a day it’s going to be to someone whom I greatly admire and trust.

Joanne Guidoccio fits both those bills! When I was a neophyte author, Joanne’s blog was the very first one I appeared on to promote my soon to be released first book. She and I have been guests back and forth on both our blogs for the past 5 years, and she is one of my one-click authors whenever she has a new release.

Today, she’s here talking about Mermaids. Yes, you read that right! Joanne currently has 2 books on sale that concern mermaids. How cool is that? Seriously? How cool!! She’s written a blog post about Men and Mermaids and shares it here today, so sit back and prepared to be delighted!

Men and Mermaids

Guest Post by Joanne Guidoccio

Whenever I mention mermaids, I notice the emergence of Duchenne smiles on the faces of all the men in my circle.

What is a Duchenne smile?

It’s a smile that is characterized by the raising of the lip corners, which in turn raise the cheeks and forms crow’s feet around the eyes. French physician Guillaume Duchenne first recognized this smile while conducting research on the physiology of facial expressions in the mid 19th century. According to Duchenne, that distinctive smile is associated with strong positive emotion.

And, of course, George Clooney.

My conclusion: 21st-century men are still intrigued by those Sirens of Greek mythology, preferring to focus on their physical beauty and enchanting songs. Male minds can easily conjure up images of wavy auburn tresses, mesmerizing green eyes, and a curvaceous body.

So, when I describe the protagonist of the Between Land and Sea as an overweight, middle-aged ex-mermaid, I’m not surprised to see a variety of facial expressions.

At a workshop, an argumentative lawyer was very blunt (and rude) in his criticism: “I don’t understand why your mermaid has to be old and fat.”

“Fifty-three is not that old.” I ignored the weight issue.

He persisted. “It is when it comes to mermaids. Why couldn’t you let her be young, thin and beautiful?”

Thankfully, the conversation was interrupted by the facilitator’s call to resume the workshop. A few minutes more, and I might have lost patience with the annoying lawyer who couldn’t accept my vision of an older mermaid.

Very few men are as argumentative as the lawyer. My male friends and relatives want to hear more about Isabella of the Mediterranean Kingdom, aka Barbara Davies, and the international banker who dumped her. Several are amused by the concept of a mermaid carrying extra pounds. One friend asked if the artist was planning to feature an overweight mermaid on the cover.

In The Coming of Arabella, the unexpected arrival of Barbara’s perfectly-preserved twin sister evokes more traditional responses and more Duchenne smiles.

How would the men in your circle react to an older, wiser mermaid?

Blurb – Between Land and Sea

After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged, weathered, and abandoned on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England. She faces her human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.

With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, she reinvents herself as a career counselor, motivational speaker, and writer of self-help books. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers. As Isabella evolves into Barbara Davies, she embraces her middle-aged body, heals her bruised heart, and learns to love again.

This contemporary version of The Little Mermaid offers hope and inspiration to anyone who has been dumped, deceived, or demoted. It will also appeal to mermaid enthusiasts.

On sale for 99 cents

Amazon (US) – https://www.amazon.com/Between-Land-Sea-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B00F9U5Q50

Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Between-Land-Sea-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B00F9U5Q50

 

Blurb – The Coming of Arabella

 

On the day of her engagement party, an ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known. Under normal circumstances, Barbara Davies would be overjoyed, but her special day is already wrought with tension. While Barbara is not the first mermaid from the Mediterranean kingdom to settle in small town Ontario, she has yet to reveal her origins to her fiancé. So, when Arabella, the gorgeous sister whose disturbing black eyes banished her to the island of Crete, saunters into her life, clutching the arm of Barbara’s discarded lover, a powder keg of emotion is released.

Relationships falter and careers stall as envy stirs in the hearts of the sisters. On the verge of meltdown after her fiancé leaves Canada for a teaching job in Vermont, Barbara flees to Arizona hoping for a reprieve. There, she finds solace at a retreat for ex-mermaids and a second chance at love with a charismatic preacher. As she contemplates a new life in the desert paradise of Sedona, shocking secrets emerge and tragedy strikes. A stronger and wiser Barbara rises up to face these new challenges and embrace the best parts of her mermaid heritage.

On sale for 99 cents

Amazon (US) – https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Arabella-Mediterrean-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B0147VXEPU

Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coming-Arabella-Mediterranean-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B0147VXEPU/

A little about Joanne….

A member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime, Joanne Guidoccio writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Website // Amazon Author page // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest // LInkedIn

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under Romance

#LongandShortReviews #weeklybloggingchallenge 4.1.2020

I think any one who knows me could write my response to today’s topic for me: Favorite book series and why.

Most of the books I purchase now are on my kindle. Since I read sosososo much it makes sense from a storage capacity and cost issue. One series I still buy – not in kindle format – but in HARDBACK is J.D.Robb’s IN DEATH series.

Nora Robert’s doppelganger is 50 books in to the In Death series, the latest one, GOLDEN IN DEATH.

This series, a futuristic police procedural that is in reality a master class on writing a series romance, spoke to me from the very first book, NAKED IN DEATH, released in 1995 – that’s 25 years ago, peeps – and she’s 50 books in. That tells you she writes 2 of these massive tomes per year ( 300-400 pages each) and every one of them is a gem.

The heroine, EVE DALLAS, is an NYSPD cop who specializes in murder investigations. She has a terrible, dark past that includes rape, starvation, and torture, but she grew to a woman determined to a give a voice to the dead. In the first book she is a loner with nothing in her life but her job.

And then she meets gazillionaire Roarke.

Many writers can write heroes well. Robb, though, springs Roarke from the page.

He, too, has a terrible past so he recognizes a kindred spirit in Eve, and even though he is a murder suspect in a case she is working on, she is drawn to him. These two are opposites in every single way, and it is their differences that are so entertaining to read as they make their life together.

The first 20 books introduced new people in Eve and Roarke’s world, until now there is a fabulous cast of secondary characters that have become friends to me. I look forward to reading about the growing relationship of McNab and Peabody. I chuckle when I read about Feeney’s responses to the way Eve’s mind works. Summerset, the butler, is a man after my own OCD heart. And if they ever make a movie of this series, I’m going to petition to be cast as Dr. Charlotte Mira, the NYSPD psychiatrist and the women who is a mother figure for Eve.

Every couple of years I re-read the series from the the first book to the current one just so I can remember all the wonderful things that happens to this cast. I’m not kidding when I say reading this series is like taking a masterclass in how to write continuing books series. I highly recommend this series to everyone I know, too.

The 51st book SHADOWS IN DEATH releases in September 2020. I already have it preordered!
Let’s see what other series are favorites from the authors in this challenge: L&SR

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

11 Comments

Filed under Romance

#SundaySnippet 3.22.2020

SO I got the release date for my Wild Rose Press ONE SCOOP OR TWO addition, VANILLA WITH A TWIST. Publication day is May 20, 2020, so I figured I’d give you a little something for that soon to be released book today.

She pulled a paper towel from the dispenser, and before she thought better of it, cupped his chin intending to swipe at the grime on his face.

The moment she touched him Tandy knew she’d made a mistake. A big one.

His skin was as warm as sunshine, and the scratch of his evening stubble prickled her fingertips, the sensation vaulting though her and making her…yearn. It had been a long, long time since she’d experienced such an overwhelming sensation for a man—any man. Handsome guys on vacation came into her store every day. Sometimes with families in tow, sometimes not. A quick smile, a second glance, and a tiny show of interest on their part was something she was familiar with. But she’d never succumbed, never allowed herself to actually feel something akin to desire. The road to a quick and hot night of passion came with consequences that could last a lifetime. And she was the poster child for those potential consequences.

But now, standing in her shop after closing time, with the sun long gone and only the two of them for company, Tandy wondered what would happen if she gave in to the sensations swimming within her and centered on the man before her.

“You’ve got, um, motor oil. Here. Um, on your…face. Cheekbone.”

Goodness, it was bad enough she was babbling, but her hands held a fine tremor of visible nerves, too. He had to notice it.

“Go ahead and wipe it, since I can’t see it and you can.” His voice was smooth and modulated, the opposite of her jagged and blathering one. He dipped his head a bit so she didn’t have to stretch so far, his gaze zeroed in on hers. His face was so close it would take nothing, really, to bring her mouth to his. She couldn’t decide if the fact she could or that she wanted to was more terrifying.
She swiped the towel over the area, his chin still cradled in her hand. Standing so close to him, she detected a hint of citrus spice from his aftershave. The desire to run her nose along the column of his neck and inhale all that manly scent bounded through her and competed with the need she felt to kiss him.

Why did this man provoke such strong reactions in her? It was a question she couldn’t answer with any clarity.

“It’s not coming off?”
Tandy blinked him back into focus.
“No.” She dropped her hand and took a few steps back, needing the distance. “I think you’d better do it yourself.” She handed him the paper towel.

With a nod, he headed for the bathroom.

Tandy pressed her hand across her abdomen, let out a full, tortured breath in a long whoosh, and bent at the waist, hands now on top of her thighs.

Jiminy Crickets, Tandy. Breathe. Just breathe.

VANILLA WITH A TWIST ( One Scoop or Two) by Peggy Jaeger

Tandy Blakemore spends her days running her New England ice cream parlor, single-parenting her teenage son, and trying to keep her head above financial water. No easy feat when the shop’s machinery is aging and her son is thinking about college. Tandy hasn’t had a day off in a decade and wonders if she’ll ever be able to live a worry-free life.

Engineer Deacon Withers is on an enforced vacation in the tiny seaside town of Beacher’s Cove. Overworked, stressed, and lonely, he walks into Tandy’s shop for a midday ice cream cone and gets embroiled in helping her fix a broken piece of equipment.

Can the budding friendship that follows lead to something everlasting?

More info coming soon, peeps.

Until next time ~ Peg

7 Comments

Filed under Romance, Romance Books

For The Love of You by Claire Marti. #newbookrelease #authorvisit

I’ve been so lucky to meet writers during my writing journey who astound me with their talent and inspire me with their bravery. When I decided to publish my very first indie romance, it was to writers like today’s guest, Claire Marti, to whom I looked and learned.

Claire has a new book out today, the third in her Pacific  Vista Ranch series, and she graciously allowed me to talk the book ( and it’s predecessors) up !!!

FOR THE LOVE OF YOU by Claire Marti

For a French soccer icon, and a gifted artist, a fake engagement is the perfect solution for their current dilemmas. But when last summer’s fling slips from lust to love, their pretend relationship becomes too hot to handle.

Gabriel DuVernay is heir to one of the oldest wineries in France, but his passion is playing soccer, not tending vines. When he signs a multi-million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy, he’s able to postpone his unwelcome duties and help his younger sister convince their old-fashioned father she should be their family’s first female winemaker. Another bonus of moving to California is reuniting with the striking redhead who snuck out of his apartment after the hottest night of his life.

Last summer, artist Dylan McNeill’s life on her family’s Southern California horse-breeding ranch was thrown into chaos and she escaped to Paris. One electrifying night with a gorgeous playboy athlete helped her forget her problems. She’s never forgotten Gabriel, but aspiring artists trying to break into the elite art world don’t have time for romance. She’s determined to get discovered without trading on her family’s famous name.

When Gabriel suffers a career-shattering injury, he needs to buy some time to figure out how to remain in America and choose his own future. His influential mother can open important doors in the art world and help Dylan fulfill her dreams ––for a price. A fictitious engagement seems like the simple answer until living at Pacific Vista Ranch and pretending to be in love starts to feel real.

Can last year’s one night stand and this year’s fake engagement turn into true love forever?

 

Get your copy here: Amazon // Kobo // Apple books ( ibooks) // B&N

EXCERPT:

Hands linked, they ascended a single flight of broad wrought iron stairs. When he opened the large door, her lips parted in wonder at his home’s simple classic beauty. Wide honey-colored plank flooring set off the soaring ceiling, stark white walls, and midnight navy couch and loveseat. Nothing distracted from the main attraction: enormous glass doors revealing the unobstructed view of the wide golden sand beach melting into the cobalt blue Pacific Ocean.

“Wow. So I guess you signed on the dotted line the minute you saw this view?” Dylan drank in the beauty of the late afternoon sky.

Gabriel’s laugh was a low purr in his throat. “Exactly. Come.” He slid the French doors open and led her out to an immense deck.

Immediately, the warm, salty breeze caressed her skin and the shriek of seagulls filled the early twilight sky. Streaks of mauve and raspberry and tangerine turned the horizon into a watercolor tableau worthy of its own canvas. She leaned against the white wooden railing and sighed with pleasure.

“This is amazing. When did you arrive and do you get to spend much time here?” The Major League Soccer season ran from March to December. Professional athletes didn’t get much downtime, even in the off-season.

He was close enough that the clean fresh scent of soap and shampoo tickled her senses. His hair held a hint of curl and glints of chestnut and caramel. He angled his head toward her. “The transfer came through a few months ago, but I finished up my contract with Barcelona. I was at practice the morning after I arrived. So, no, I haven’t spent enough time here yet.”

“Thanks for sharing it with me.”

He reached for her hand again, lacing their fingers together. “Let’s have some wine and choose something to order for dinner. What are you in the mood for?”

“Italian or maybe French?” Her cheeks flamed. No innuendos there at all. Nope, not a one.

He waggled his eyebrows. “That can be arranged.”

Before she could react, he pulled her into his arms and lowered his head. He paused a few inches from her lips and slid one hand up her back to clasp her head. His minty breath mingled with hers and her lips parted in anticipation. His pupils dilated, his eyes black. With a growl, he captured her mouth and stroked and swirled his tongue with hers.

She melted against him, her knees buckled, and only his powerful embrace saved her from sliding to the deck in a boneless heap. She wove her arms around him, gripping the thin material of his t-shirt.

“Get a room!” A shout from the boardwalk below doused them like a bucket of freezing water. Gabriel’s hold softened and Dylan stepped back.

She exhaled a shaky breath and smoothed back her hair. Worked to slow her thundering heartbeat and gather some composure. When she’d agreed to come over to his house, she’d been anticipating flirtation and conversation, but nothing could have prepared her for experiencing the intensity of their chemistry again. They’d only spent one night together, but he’d left an indelible impression on her. Apparently, it was mutual.

Gabriel flashed a cheeky grin. “I’ve got several rooms inside, care to join me?”

“Aren’t you the clever one? Maybe we should slow things down and have that drink. And I am hungry.” Everything about him was seductive and she was inexorably drawn to him. If she didn’t at least gently tap the brakes, they’d be in bed before dinner. Or instead of dinner.

 

A little about my friend, Claire Marti:

Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga.

Her award winning debut novel, Second Chance in Laguna, was a Finalist for Best Contemporary Romance in the prestigious Stiletto Contest, won best unpublished contemporary romance in the Heart of the Molly and third place in the Maggie. Book two in the Finding Forever in Laguna series, At Last in Lagunaand Book three, Sunset in Laguna, ​are available everywhere. Sunset in Laguna ​was a Golden Quill finalist.
 
Claire’s exciting new Pacific Vista Ranch series set on a horse-breeding ranch in exclusive Rancho Santa Fe, California, launched in September 2019. 

When Claire’s not writing, she’s teaching yoga. You can find her teaching at studios in sunny San Diego or enjoy fifty online classes on the international website www.yogadownload.com. A breast cancer survivor, Claire is a sought-after speaker on the power of yoga and meditation. She’s been published in numerous magazines with articles on wellness and is the author of a memoir, ​Come Ride with Me Along the Big C, on her experience beating breast cancer. 
 
Claire is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Contemporary Romance Writers, and the San Diego Romance Writers.

You can find Claire here:

Website // Facebook  //Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads // Bookbub // Amazon 

Read books 1 and 2 in the PACIFIC VISTA RANCH SERIES now

NOBODY ELSE BUT YOU

A smoking hot stuntman. A fiery horse breeder. And a 220-acre ranch too small for both of them.
She’s avoided Hollywood for years…
When an arrogant Hollywood stuntman struts into Samantha McNeill’s breeding barn, sparks fly. She doesn’t care how mouthwateringly gorgeous he is, not when he assumes Pacific Vista Ranch’s resident horse breeding manager must be a man. Not to mention his job threatens to pull her family back into the paparazzi filled world they escaped from over a decade ago.
Now it’s at her door––wearing faded jeans and a wicked grin.
Holt Ericsson can tell the beautiful redhead hates him on sight and the feeling is becoming mutual. But he will call in a favor and convince Sam’s legendary director father that Pacific Vista Ranch is the only suitable place left in California to film an epic Western. Holt’s invested all his savings in the movie and his entire career is riding on it. No way will he allow one irritating, sexy woman to stand in his way.
Sam intends to fight him at every turn…if only her heart didn’t race when they’re together. Holt does his best to steer clear of her…except all he wants to do is hold her close. The sizzling attraction between them is either going to burn up the sheets or burn down the ranch…

THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU

A perfectionistic equine vet. A gorgeous fireman. An unrequited high school crush blazes hot twelve years later.
Reliable Amanda McNeill’s world toppled last summer when Hollywood invaded her family’s horse breeding ranch. Everyone’s moving onward and upward, but she’s in a massive rut. Weary of her label as the dependable older sister, she yearns to throw predictability to the wind and embrace spontaneity. She can be impulsive, even wild, and a hot fling with Jake Cruz might be the sizzle she needs to jumpstart her life.
When firefighter Jake Cruz rescues a dog from a hit-and-run, the nearest vet is none other than his high school tutor, Amanda McNeill. Face to face with his former crush, he finds her to be even more beautiful than he remembers, and her charming blushes and heated glances tell him she notices him this time around. While Jake longs to discover if this Amanda matches the girl who starred in his adolescent fantasies, his desire to become fire captain, and earn his family’s pride, requires he focus on work, not passion.
Could his dream woman become his real love or will his professional ambitions extinguish their chances? Once the smoke clears, will Amanda realize Jake isn’t a fling but her hero after all?

2 Comments

Filed under Romance

An awkward first meet…

I’ve got a guest post over on Romancing the Genres today about a meet cute for one of my book couples, Nell and Charlie from IT’S A TRUST THING. Hop on over and give it a gander!

Enjoy your weekend ~ Peg

Leave a comment

Filed under Romance

#CoverReveal for new #WildRosePress Series, One Scoop of Two: Vanilla with a Twist

I’ve been lucky enough to have been included in 3 previous WILD ROSE PRESS series: The Candy Hearts, The Deerbourne Inn, and the Australia Burns Anthologies.

Today, I’m giving you a sneak peek at the fourth: ONE SCOOP OR TWO, and my addition to the series ,VANILLA WITH  A TWIST.

That’s my heroine, ice cream parlor owner TANDY BLAKEMORE, on the cover, and in her shop!

I loved writing the story sososo much! It’s a small town, sweet romance and 35000+ words, but the emotion that’s packed into it is powerful. At its heart this is a story about two lonely people who find one another when neither was looking!

Here’s the blurb:

Tandy Blakemore spends her days running her New England ice cream parlor, single-parenting her teenage son, and trying to keep her head above financial water. No easy feat when the shop’s machinery is aging and her son is thinking about college. Tandy hasn’t had a day off in a decade and wonders if she’ll ever be able to live a worry-free life.

Engineer Deacon Withers is on an enforced vacation in the tiny seaside town of Beacher’s Cove. Overworked, stressed, and lonely, he walks into Tandy’s shop for a midday ice cream cone and gets embroiled in helping her fix a broken piece of equipment.

Can the budding friendship that follows lead to something everlasting?

I don’t have a release date yet or buy links, but it promises to be available in Summer 2020 ( which I’m hoping means June!) so  you know when it gets closer I’ll be putting up lots of promo.

Here’s a very quick passage to hopefully whet your reading appetite: 

For a few moments, she regarded him with a look his mother would have called insightful. The corners of her eyes narrowed, she dipped her chin a hair, and pulled her mouth into another appealing pout he was tempted to kiss.

“I bet,” she said after a long, drawn-out sigh, “you were the kind of kid who took apart clocks and fans and vacuum cleaners to see how they worked.”

“It was more washing machines and lawn mowers and anything with a motor, but yeah. I was.”

She shook her head, her own lips forming a lopsided grin. “Your poor mother.”

“She survived.”

Tandy rolled her eyes and shot her hands to her hips. “So it’s working again?” She thrust her chin at the ice cream machine.

“For now.”

“Okay, well, I can live with for now. And you think you know the real reason it’s been acting up?”

“I definitely do. But like I said, the water to the machine needs to be shut off to fix it.”

“Okay. Well, we close at nine.”

“I’ll come back a little before then. Get things ready. Is that okay with you?”

“I guess it’ll have to be.” She bit down on the inside of her cheek as her brows pulled together. “And you’re sure you want to do this?”

“If I weren’t, I wouldn’t offer, Tandy.”

Why her reluctance to have him help was such a turn-on was something he considered while he waited for his ice cream.

More to come, peeps, when I can….

Until next time ~ Peg

And when I’m not eating ice cream or writing, I’m usually here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me

 

6 Comments

Filed under One Scoop or Two, Romance

#SundaySnippet 3.7.2020

I love when characters get into each other’s heads, don’t you? In this scene from A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Abby Laine is digging deep into Rick’s motives. Her questions prove a little too spot on for his comfort. Enjoy~

 

“She definitely had some angels on her shoulders today,” she said after taking a sip. “I wish her son could be at the hospital with her. I’m so worried about him. About what his father could be doing to him.”

Rick’s stomach clenched. “Do you think he’d hurt the kid?”

“He has in the past. That’s what finally prompted Lila to leave. For a reason I will never understand, she tolerated being hit by her husband, but the moment he laid a hand on their child, she knew she had to leave. Why she bore being abused is beyond me.”

“Maybe as an adult, she figured she could take it. Not so her kid.”

Abby shook her head as she stirred the contents of the wok. “You can hit me but not my child? That’s convoluted thinking and shows how little we’ve really evolved as a society. Unfortunately, I see too many instances like this in my practice. Women, who for whatever reason, are convinced they deserve to be treated abominably, that a marriage license gives their husbands the right to hit them. The legal right.” She shook her head again. As she stirred the chicken around the wok, it popped and sizzled over the heated oil.

A flash of himself at eight, his parents’ screaming voices above him, pushed to the front of his mind. The resounding thwack of the back of his father’s hand striking his mother’s cheek was as loud and terrifying to hear in his head now as it had been then. Rick took a deep breath and shoved the memory back down.

He took a large swig of the water. “Any calls from your cop buddy? Updates?”

“I checked when I was getting changed. Nothing.” She sighed and then tossed two wrappers into the now- boiling pot of water. “In a minute, everything will be ready,” she said. “The rice needs to set.”

“That’s rice? It’s the wrong color.”

“You’ve never seen brown rice before?”

“Seen it. Had it. Just didn’t know it came in wrappers.”

This time she didn’t try to hide her grin. “If you tell Kandy, I’ll deny it until my dying breath.”

“Tell her what?”

With another subtle eye roll, Abby said, “That I take shortcuts. If Kandy was making this meal, the rice would have soaked in warm water for an hour, then would have been cooked in a rice steamer for another. I don’t have two spare hours. This”—she pointed to the pot—“is quick rice. Something I don’t think my darling chef sister has ever prepared. You know Kandy. She never uses commercial products. Everything is fresh, raw, and unprocessed.”

“Truth. And don’t forget delicious.”

“To use your word, truth. But cooking is what she lives for. I cook so I won’t starve, and most of the time I’m in a time crunch. So”—she waved a hand— “shortcuts.”

“As long as it tastes good and I didn’t have to make it, I don’t care how long it took to prepare.”

“Which is why takeout was invented for people like you. Here we go. All set.”

She spooned the chicken mixture onto a serving plate and, using tongs, pulled the rice from the pot, sliced the sides open, and poured the grains into a bowl.

“Take these to the table.” She handed him the food. “I’ll get plates and utensils.”

Once they were settled, Rick dug in.

After eating in silence for a few moments, he said, “This is good. Really good.”

Abby laughed. “Surprised, are you?”

“Impressed. This tastes like our favorite chef- lebrity made it.”

“She hates being called that, you know.”

“And still…” He lifted a hand.

God. You’re such a pain.”
He could see the humor skirting in her eyes.

“You’ve called me that before. Several times over the years, including on Kandy’s wedding day.”

The moment he said it he knew her mind traveled back to the same memory of the day as his did: their kiss. Her beautiful blue eyes widened, then narrowed, a thin worry line creasing the spot between her sculpted brows. The little flush of heat pinking her cheeks was the same color as her fuzzy socks.

Who knew she was so easy to tease? And why did it give him such a kick to see the nervous little shake of her head when he did?

“You were being an exceptional pain in the butt that day. If I remember correctly you called us minions. Not exactly a flattering phrase, Bannerman.”

He leaned back in the chair and took a chug from the water bottle. “Just calling it like I saw it. What description would you have preferred?”

“Attendants is the appropriate term. Bridal attendants. Calling us minions made us seem like mindless…lemmings.”

He laughed out loud. “From where I was standing, that’s exactly what you all were, although I wouldn’t call you mindless. You were all dressed identically, did everything together as a unit, and were at Kandy’s beck and call. She said jump, you all asked how high.”

“That’s what we were supposed to do. Our job was to make sure Kandy’s day ran smoothly, with no worries. Haven’t you ever been in a wedding party?”

“Nope. I’ve been lucky to miss that experience so far.”

Her mouth pursed around her fork. “Do you even have friends?” she asked after swallowing.

“ ’Course I have friends. What kind of a question is that?”

“Aside from Josh.”

Well…

“You don’t give off a ‘let’s get together and have a beer’ vibe, you know.”

Intrigued, he asked, “Really? What kind of vibe do I give off?”
When she didn’t respond, he pressed. “Come on, Abigail. You can’t leave me hanging.”

“Right there.” She aimed her fork at him as if it were a spear. “Perfect example. You know I hate being called Abigail. I’ve lost count of the hundreds of times I’ve told you and you still do it, knowing it pisses me off. And”—she cut him off before he could speak— “your usual response is to lift your hands and say ‘and still’ when you’re called on it. Who does that? What kind of person persistently and purposefully annoys people?”

“So you’re saying I’m intentionally annoying?”

“Persistently, so. Yes. Makes the lawyer in me wonder why.”

Just the lawyer?

“Any answers come to mind?”

“Plenty.”

“Care to share?”
She placed her fork down next to her plate and regarded him across the table. “You really want to hear this? Because if you know anything about me, you know I’m truthful. I don’t hold back.”

Oh, he was sure she didn’t. And wouldn’t. Her tenacity was one of the things he’d first been drawn to. That and her fabulous ass.

“I’m a big boy,” he said with a grin. “I can take it.

She took a sip of water first, her eyes trained on him the entire time. “Okay. If you really want to hear this.”

He waved his hand for her to continue.

“I think you use your cocky, aren’t-I-simply-too- witty attitude to keep people at a distance. You’re guarded. Emotionally. Like you don’t want to get close to anyone. You don’t want people diving in too deep, digging under the surface to see the real you. You don’t allow people to get to know you. Really know you.”

Because she came a little too close for comfort, Rick reached for his water.

“You never talk about yourself. Ever. Every time I’ve been in your presence at any function, barbecue, whatever”—she swiped a hand in the air—“you’re always the one asking questions. Probing. Being nosy. But when you’re asked a question, a personal one, you deflect and redirect.”

It was true. He never talked about himself. The army shrink he’d been forced to see had told him point blank he was fearful of rejection, afraid if people knew the real him, they’d run for the hills or in the opposite direction and want nothing to do with him. She hadn’t been too far off the mark.

“Did you ever think it’s because I feel people are more interesting than I am?”

“I’m calling bullshit, Bannerman.”

Again, because it was true, he had no real response. She cocked her head and pierced him with what he was now and forever going to call her lawyer death stare. “I don’t know anything personal about you,” she said. “We met four years ago, have been together dozens of times over the years, yet until today I didn’t even know where you lived. If it weren’t for Gemma, I wouldn’t know you’d been in the army.”

“You’ve discussed me with your sister?” Why did knowing that give him such a rush of delicious pleasure?

Abby waved a hand in the air again. “She mentioned it one night after she’d done some photography work for you on a surveillance job. About how you were much better suited to the boring wait- around-for-something-to-happen of surveillance work than she’d ever be because you were—her word— stealthy. It was probably because you’d been a sniper in the army, she said.”

Rick shook his head. He’d forgotten he’d told Abby’s younger sister about his army stint. It came out one day, unbidden, when he’d taken her target shooting at the practice range.

“I would never have known if she hadn’t told me. I didn’t even think to ask if you’ve got a gun with you.”

After a few moments, he nodded. “It’s in my duffle. But don’t worry. I don’t need the gun to protect you.”

Duh. The gun business aside, you’re partners with my brothers-in-law, but I don’t know if you’ve ever been married or divorced. If you have any kids. Living parents. It’s as if you don’t want people to know anything about you. To know you. Or to like you. Almost as if you go out of your way to make sure they don’t.”

This conversation was getting entirely too close for comfort. He wished he’d never pressed her into explaining.

From the corner of his gaze, he saw the cat hobbling into the room, beelining for her mother. He reached a hand down as she skittered by and grazed her fluffy back. Moonlight stopped, turned, and moved as his fingers trailed across her back again. When she did it a third time, Rick smirked across the table.

“Well, your cat likes me, so I can’t be all bad.” He reached over and single-handedly pulled the animal up to his lap, surprised she was so light. From the girth of hair on her, he figured she’d be heavy. “You really are a furball, aren’t you?” The rub of his finger across her neck had the cat running like a motorized propeller again.

He glanced across the table. “What’s the look for?”

She immediately blanked her face, grabbed up the last bits of her chicken with her fork, and shoved it through her lips.

Intrigued? You can get your copy here: Amazon //B&N //Ibooks//  Booksamillion

Until next time ~ Peg

Leave a comment

Filed under A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Romance, Romance Books

#RomancebookGiveaway from @Booksweeps #folllowme Steamy & Erotic

 

Today, I have a fun surprise to share with you…

I’ve teamed up with 30+ fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Steamy & Erotic Romances to 2 lucky winners!

Oh, and did I mention the Grand Prize winner gets a BRAND NEW eReader? 😁

You can win my novel DIRTY DAMSELS

plus books from authors like Nikki Mays and Tara September.

Enter the giveaway by clicking here 👉 bit.ly/SteamyRomance-Mar2020

Good luck and enjoy!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Dirty Damsels, Dot Com Girls Romance, Romance, Romance Books, RomCom

Marching to the beat of my own drummer! #romancingthegenres

On this leap day I’m up on Romancing the Genres and the theme this month is one I know intimately: Being different. Or in this case, Marching to the beat of a different drummer.

You can read the post here: RTG

Until next time, peeps ~Peg

Leave a comment

Filed under Romance, Romancing the Genres

On Book reviews – good ones, bad ones, and ones that make you go “WHAT??!”

I’m not gonna lie….I read my book reviews.

Many authors will tell you they never do because they don’t want to hear anything negative about the book, or that it makes them uncomfortable, or anxious or ( insert your own descriptor).

Not me.

I read every single, friggin, review I find, especially those from people I don’t know. You kind of expect the people you know to say something nice about your book. But it’s the ones I’ve never met, who don’t know me from Eve, who when they take time to write something about one of my books, I sit up and take notice. I’m not arrogant enough to think my words will inspire, entertain, and bring happiness into every single reader’s lives. It’s my hope, but not my reality, peeps, heehee.

What I always find intriguing though, is when one book has polarizing reviews – both ends of the spectrum from 5 stars to 1.

Let me e’splain….

This was a recent review from a very famous author I know through a publisher connection. We have never met, but I thoroughly enjoy reading her books and she is a one-click author for me. For TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS this is her review, up on Amazon:

Katie O’Sullivan

Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2020

Format: Paperback

Peggy Jaeger has done it once more, proving why I keep returning to her stories again and again. The vivid portrait of small town life, the depth of the characters and the breadth of emotions… I love escaping to the worlds this author creates on the pages.

Ms. Jaeger writes in a first person point of view that drags the reader along on a sometimes chaotic ride with Cathy O’Dowd, a small-town lawyer and the eldest O’Dowd sister in the small town of Heaven, New Hampshire. She took over her father’s practice and responsibilities when her parents retired, one of which was sitting on the board of the local Historical Society. When a well-known author comes to town to research his new book, the pair are thrown together and sparks begin to fly.

Okay, none of that sounds terribly exciting, does it?

Small town lawyer. Author doing research. Historical Society.

It all reeks of dusty pages and yawns hidden behind polite hands. And yet…

This story crackles with emotion and tension, as the main characters are instantly drawn to each other but trying desperately to ignore the electric connection. The stubbornly broken characters kept me glued to my Kindle rooting for them to give into their feelings, to get over their sad pasts and find a happily ever after with each other. The scenes with Cathy’s grandmother, Nanny Fee, add comical humor and lightness to the overall story. Ms. Jaeger does a wonderful job of creating real characters we can relate to and root for, with the strong background themes of family and forgiveness running throughout.

I finished this book in a day, and loved escaping into the world Ms. Jaeger created. The first book in this series, Dearly Beloved introduced the town of Heaven and the sisters… And I know there’s one more O’Dowd sister whose story has yet to be published (I can’t wait!)

Amazing, right? And such an ego stroke I can’t tell you!
Now, here’s the same book and a review from Netgalley from someone I don’t know from Adam:
Maggie – 1 star
I have thoroughly enjoyed what I have read so far in Today, Tomorrow, Always. I love the small town atmosphere, the family surrounding Cathy, and the love and patience she has for her family, her sweet dog and her community. The buildup of Mac’s background and loss of his family add to an intriguing mystery. Why did you throw in a gay marriage? My decision is to not finish this book and not request any more of Peggy Jaegar’s books. I read Christmas and Cannolis last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thus, I requested this book. Please leave LBGTQ topics no matter how small under LBGTQ headings. It may be only a minor one-page item, but I am not interested in finding out. I will not be leaving a review on Twitter or Amazon as I do not believe in writing negative reviews.
The last sentence made me laugh. THAT’S exactly what she’s done, isn’t it??
Like it’s been said many times in the past : You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Now, if this reviewer had said the story was boring, or the writing was sophomoric, or even that the characters were unrealistic, I would have taken her words to heart and chalked up the bad review to someone who just didn’t like the book. This is still America, people, and we are allowed to have opinions that differ.
But…. this isn’t really a review of the book, is it?
Think about it.
Reread her words.
This is about 1 scene, 250 words, 1 page of a book that she even claims she was enjoying up until these 250 words came into play. For whatever reason this was a trigger for her and she decided to condemn me for the rest of my book writing life.
This is just one of those aspects of being an author that makes me go… WHAT??!
If you’re looking for me I’m usually here ( or out reading my reviews!)Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me // Watch me
…And liked Katie mentioned above, Book 3 BAKED IN LOVE is with my editor, but you can read the opening scene here: PJBlog
Until next time, kids ~Peg

13 Comments

Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing