Category Archives: Romance

A Christmas in July WIP to talk about….

Since we are officially halfway done with this horrendous year and the Christmas holidays are a scant 173 days away, I figured now would be a good time to jump on the Christmas in July bandwagon and talk up my soon-to-be-released 2020 Christmas Romance.

Nothing like a little self promotion to the start the week with, no? Hee hee

So, the title of the book is MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS & MOZZARELLA and takes place a month before, and leading up to, Christmas. This book was written, for the most part, prior to the Covid 19 pandemic that seems to be changing the world in every conceivable way, but I did not include any mention of it in the book because….I didn’t want to. It’s that simple.

Here’s the working blurb for right now – I may change it a bit as I get closer to publication:

Finding a body in the freezer of the family deli isn’t the way Madonna San Valentino planned to start her day.

Adding insult to injury, the investigating detective is the one guy she’s never been able to forget. After seven minutes of heaven in the back seat of his car when they were teenagers, Tony Roma skipped town without so much as a thanks for the memory.

Just when Madonna thinks the present situation can’t get any worse, Tony is ordered to go undercover at the deli to ferret out the killer. Forced to work together, she vows to keep their relationship cool and professional. But with the sexy, longing looks he tosses her at every turn, Madonna’s resolve is starting to weaken.

With Christmas drawing closer and Tony’s investigation taking an unexpected turn, Madonna is at her wit’s end. Can she really be falling for him again? And will he windup leaving her broken hearted and alone like the last time?

It’s a RomCom and even though there’s a murder and an investigation within the plot line, the majority of the story is about these two, their feelings for one another, and family.

When I have the cover you know I’ll share it! Stay tuned in the coming months for teasers and snippets.

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

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Filed under Romance, Romance Books

A LoveRomanceReads Facebook party – part II! 4.25.2020

We had so much fun last Saturday, we’re doing it again today!

Games, free books, and fun!

Want a little escape? Join us for a Facebook Party TODAY, April 25th from 12 to 6 PM, California time. THAT’s PCT, folks. Three hours later on the East coast! I’ll be on livelivelive at 7:30 P.M. EST!! ( 4:30 Pacific time.)

Authors will stop by every half hour and host the event – a total of twelve different authors! This is your chance to interact with the people who make love come alive and create Happily Ever Afters for a living.

It’s the ultimate Escape Into Romance while staying at home.

Here’s the link to join us: Love Romance Reads Romp

I’ve got some fun things planned, plus I’ll be telling you all about my new release, dropping 5.20.2020 and there will be chances to win free ecopies of some of my books!!!
Pass this on to all your friends who love romance and need a feels-good boost during these trying times!!! See you late, peeps.
Here’s the schedule of participating authors: See your fav author? Then come and support her!!
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
Welcome
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
Margaret Kay
1:00 PM – 1:30 PM
CM Peters
1:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Elle Keaton
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Ellen Mint
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Miski Harris
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Kris Jacen
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
TL Travis
4:00 PM – 4:30 PM
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
5:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Laura M. Baird

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Filed under Romance, Romance Books

A Fun Facebook Party at LOVE ROMANCE READS – #EscapeIntoRomanceRomp

Games, free books, and fun!

Want a little escape? Join us for a Facebook Party TODAY, April 18th from 12 to 6 PM, California time. THAT’s PCT, folks. Three hours later on the East coast! I’ll be on livelivelive at 7:30 P.M. EST!! ( 4:30 Pacific time.)

Authors will stop by every half hour and host the event – a total of twelve different authors! This is your chance to interact with the people who make love come alive and create Happily Ever Afters for a living.

It’s the ultimate Escape Into Romance while staying at home.

Here’s the link to join us: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LoveRRsRomanceRomp/

I’ve got some fun things planned, plus I’ll be telling you all about my new release, dropping 5.20.2020 and there will be chances to win free ecopies of some of my books!!!
Pass this on to all your friends who love romance and need a feels-good boost during these trying times!!! See you late, peeps.

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A #99centsale for ANGELS FLY from #author Donna Simonetta

It’s no secret I love a sale. And a book sale is a favorite way to spend my money.

But a book sale on a great book by a fabulous author who’s also a friend  just makes my day, week, month!

Author Donna Simonetta is having a sale on her very first book! And it’s such a goodie you would be remiss not to take advantage of reading such a beautiful story, especially at such a great price!!

Blurb:

Two years after her husband’s death, Kelly believes her romantic life is done. Until she reconnects with her girlhood crush on social media, and as fate would have it, he lives across the street.

James is over the whole true-love thing. His grasping ex-wife tore that belief out of him, when she left him for a rich, old man. Then he finds out his first love moved to San Diego too, and their attraction burns as hot as ever.

What they don’t know is that Fate didn’t bring them together – the Guardian Angel Corps did, led by two unlikely Cupids – Kelly’s late husband and Zane, a rough and tumble, 19th century cowboy. When a Fallen Angel decides to tear Kelly and James apart, cherubs and harps aren’t going to cut it, and Zane’s unique skills might be just what they need to get a second chance at their first love.

Excerpt:

She flashed a bright smile at her old friend,  “I sent a friend request to Susie Davidson, and I want to see if she’s responded.”

“Susie Davidson,” Grace’s voice dripped with disdain, “we didn’t badger you into doing this so you could reconnect with Susie Davidson.”

“Hey, what’ve you got against old Susie? She was an integral part of our nerd squad in high school,” David said. “Right, Kel?”

When she didn’t reply, he glanced over at his old friend to see her frozen at her computer, all the color drained from her face. “Kel, what’s wrong?”

“I didn’t hear from Susie, but I did get a message from James Flynn,” she whispered.

David jumped to his feet and peeked over her shoulder at the computer screen. “Yummy James Flynn from Rye?”

Grace snickered, “Sounds like a sandwich. I’ll have a Yummy James Flynn on rye. Hold the mayo.”

Kelly and David swung their heads in unison to stare at her.

“What? It’s not my fault you two come from a town named after a bread.”

David shook his head mournfully and intoned, “Californians.”

“Native, baby.”  The blonde woman grinned playfully, “And don’t you New England Yankees forget it.”

“What does he say, Kel?” David asked with interest.

Kelly gulped, “He wanted to get in touch and maybe meet for a drink.”  She twisted her head to look up at David, her eyes huge on her pale face, “He lives here, David. In San Diego.”

Get your copy here:

amazon // Barnes and Noble // ibooks ( apple books)

Writing contemporary romance with heart, humor, and heat

A little about Donna….

Donna Simonetta writes the kind of books she loves to read––contemporary romances to help you escape the real world for a little while. Writing is Donna’s third career. She toiled in the business world, and when she decided being an Account Executive wasn’t for her went back to school to get her MLS degree. Next, she worked in a school library for many years. But, Donna dreamed of being an author since she was a little girl, and began to squeeze writing into her day. After the publication of her second book, Donna decided to leave the library and become a full-time author. It can be a solitary job, so she loves to connect with her readers––you can find her online

Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // Amazon

Donna lives in Maryland with her husband, who is her real-life romance hero. They enjoy traveling to visit far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

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Filed under Romance, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#SundaySnippet 4.12.2020

I’m working on a few projects right now, one of which I hope to release in the summer, a contemporary romance titled WOKE.

Here’s something I wrote yesterday for it: it’s still fresh and unedited, so don’t judge!

“Almost everyone has checked in,” I told Gillian Spring hours later. “I just have one reservation left. A”—I glanced down at the sheet of names—“Kincade Enright.”

“That would be me.”

I looked up and found a deep pair of green colored eyes that looked hauntingly familiar.

The guy from the rehab center. The one I’d almost fallen flat on my ass from barreling into.

“Well.” A smile danced on his lips. “We meet again. Talk about coincidence.”

Gillian looked from me to him, a tiny smile tugging on the corners of her lips.

“I see someone I need to talk to,” she told me. “I’ll see you inside.”

Before walking again she mouthed Oh my God to me.

She wasn’t kidding.

Goodness. The man had been appealing in workout clothes, all hard muscle and lean mass on display, but wearing a perfectly fitted, midnight colored, double breasted suit that I knew sold for over five thousand dollars, he was absolutely…mouthwatering.

And there was a phrase I hadn’t used, nor thought of as a description, in almost two decades.

I returned his smile and handed him an auction brochure along with his table number.

“It never ceases to amaze me how small a city with eight million people can actually be,” I said.

His smile grew.

“The silent auction has already started,” I said. “It’ll close when dinner is served in about,” I checked my watch, “twenty minutes, so you have some time to look around. The live auction takes place during dinner.”

He flipped through the brochure and stopped at one of the pages. “The Charles Dickerson painting is on the live auction, yes?”

I nodded. “Are you a fan?”

“I am. I’m not bidding on it for myself, though, but for a client.”

“A client? Are you an art dealer?”

He reached into his pocket and handed me a business card.

Enright Investments/Management

Kincade Enright, MBA, PFS

“So, you’re a… stock broker?”
“No, I’m in personal finance. I manage online investments and portfolios for my clients, one of whom wants an original Dickerson. So,” He lifted his hands in the air.

Talk about serendipity. Just yesterday I’d been toying with the idea of searching for a financial planner as a way to help grow some of the center’s donations. While my mother’s lawyer could point me in the right direction, I didn’t want someone conservative, which is where I knew he’d direct me. I wanted someone with a foresight and courage to help grow our coffers. Investing seemed like a good way to offset the times when the funds grew tight. Fingering the embossed card I tucked his name into the back of my mind.

“Well, I hope you can make your client happy tonight, Mr. Enright, and in doing so, you’ll both be benefiting the women’s center, so I’ll thank you in advance.”

“You’re welcome, and it’s Cade.” He stuck out his hand to shake mine. “And you are?”

My gaze took a quick dip from his grinning face to his outstretched hand. Manners had been ingrained in me from birth, both by my mother and Maeve, so I slid mine into his, ready to give it a perfunctory shake. The moment his fingers wrapped around mine, though, a bolt of lightning flashed between us and paralyzed me to my spot.

A tiny jolt of…something, flared across his eyes, telling me he’d noticed it, too.

Warmth steeped from him through to me and flowed all the way to my core, heating it like a nuclear coil. His skin was soft and smooth, like he wasn’t used to manual labor, but by no means was he weak. Strength and power surged from his grip. Instinct told me this was a man for whom character, depth, and a strong sense of self were integral parts of his makeup.

All intriguing qualities in a man.

Intriguing, and wildly alluring.

While he stood in front of me, still holding me hand, I realized I was supposed to answer him.

I blinked a few times to try and refocus myself and said, “A.J. Callahan. Sorry, I’ve got a lot going on up here”—I pointed to my head with my free hand—“and I’m thinking of fifty things at the same time.”

Lame, I know, but I was really caught off guard by his touch.

He pumped my hand once, then let it go. For a hot second I fantasized about pulling it back and maybe even wrapping it around my waist.

“Well, I’ll leave you to them, then. It was nice seeing you. Again.” He grinned.

“Enjoy the auction and the dinner. Bid often and bid high,” I added. “It’s for a worthy cause.”

Looking for me while I’m writing? I’m usually here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me

Until next time ~ Peg

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#longandShortReviews #Weeklybloggingchallenge 4.8.2020

If you’ve ever read any of my blog posts, you know I can talk.

A lot.

About a great deal  of stuff and not only related to writing.

So today’s topic prompt: Topic(s) I could give an impromptu speech on just sings to me.

Let’s start with the anatomy of the eye and then move on to contact lens care and keeping ( of your eyes and the lenses).

I worked in my husband’s clinic as a Contact lens technician for 20 years. I retired when my first book was published, but I can still give a lecture I wrote for doctors and patients verbatim if asked to right now.

Next. Want to talk about organizing stuff? Marie Kondo ain’t got nuthin’ on me! Containers, culling, and cleaning  are all topics I can ramble on for hours about.

I get excited when I think of all the ways I can stack and store stuff!

Lastly, I was the nursing care coordinator and head of an Alzheimer’s in patient unit before I had my baby. Memory loss, the aging brain, and new techniques and studies for improving cognition and quality of elder life are topics near and dear to me and I could spew on for hours just about memory techniques.

So, that’s it just for starters!!! Let’s see what some of the other authors in this challenge can wax prolific about: L&SR

I lovelovelove Long and Short reviews so much and this is just a tiny example of why: this fabulous 5 star review the recently posted for my recent Match Made in Heaven book, TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS! Read the review here: TTAReview

and if the review intrigues you, you can get your own copy here:

Available at these fine online retailers in Ecopy or Print: Amazon // B&N // Applebooks   // Rakuten-Kobo // google play // Books-a-million //

Also available at the TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP in Keene, NH

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

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#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

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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

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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?

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