Category Archives: Strong Women

#BookSale #99cents just in time for the Holidays!!

Long before Christmas, Long & Short Reviews gave A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS #5stars – read why! http://ow.ly/zNcQ30gYApl The book is on Sale right now for just #99cents Give yourself a little holiday gift or the gift it to the romance reader in your life & order it today! Here’s the link: http://ow.ly/15A630gYArl

Blurb:

Gia San Valentino is the beloved baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family. Family dramas, passion, and food rule the San Valentino clan, and Gia takes it all in stride, her family the touchstone of her life. But with Christmas fast approaching she longs for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to are all wise guy wanna-bes, with old world views on women – the pregnant and barefoot kind – just the type of man she’s trying to avoid.

When Gia lends a helping hand at her neighborhood parish’s Christmas Festival she meets a guy who has all her requirements for perfect-man status. Tall, sweet, good looking, and from a big Italian family of his own, it seems she might finally have found a man she can give her heart to. When a miscommunication has her believing he’s the new parish priest, her happily-ever-after hopes evaporate because he’s the proverbial forbidden fruit.

Or is he?

Buy Links:Amazon // Wild Rose Press  // Nook ( B&N) //

Excerpt:

He came toward me and I could see every ripple of muscle, every action and reaction of his gait, every blink of his eyes, as it happened. Detailed, distinct, delicious.

The bright sun shone low due to the hour, but it haloed around his form, bathing him in light.

He looked like an angel.

A dressed-all-in-black angel, but an angel, nonetheless.

“Need some help?” he asked when he was within a foot of me.

I still hadn’t moved, my fingers cemented around the ladder rungs. I couldn’t feel them anymore. Merda, I couldn’t feel anything I was so numb from just looking at him.

But I could hear. My blood, as it river-rafted crazily through my temples; my heart drumming like a heavy metal band in my chest.

And his voice. Mio Dio, his voice.

When I was six I had a terrible chest cold. Wheezing, choking on phlegm, unable to cough anything up. The doctor told mama to keep me warm and hydrated and the cold would ride itself out in time. Nonna Constanza, ancient even when I was a kid, scoffed and prescribed her own old world remedy. She sat me in her lap, cooing to me with her singsong voice and held a tiny shot glass up to my lips coaxing, “Tu bevi, Gia bambina. Tu Bevi.”

Drink, Gia baby. Drink.

She tilted the glass back into my mouth and I did. I drank every drop.

I don’t remember much after. Daddy told me later I slipped into a mini-coma for about sixty-two hours, bombed out of my head from the anisette nonna had dosed me with.

But this is what I do remember. The amber colored liquor slipped down the inside of my mouth to the back of my throat and onward into my belly, tasting of melted marshmallows and warming each place it touched like a million little hits of heat popping everywhere inside me. When it reached my tummy it settled and dug in, filling my senses with the sweet flavor of mama’s Sunday morning caramel rolls and sugar.

That’s what his voice sounded like: warm and sweet, thick, delicious, and soothing.

My entire body relaxed when I heard it. My paralysis flew and my frozen-in-place digits melted.

He’d held my stare the entire time, never wavering, never becoming distracted by something else. He looked straight at me; just me. Like a missile dead-eye-aimed for a target.

“Here,” he said, moving in closer, so close I could make out the actual color of his eyes now. I’d thought they were dark and from far away and they were. But seeing them now, face-to-face, I spotted little flecks of yellow and slivery shards of gold mixed into the center and surrounded by a ring of deep, rich, mink.

If his voice was warm and soothing, his eyes were hot enough to singe, and mama mia, I wanted to be burned.

 

 

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When typing THE END is only the beginning…..#NaNoWriMo 2017

And so we come to the end of another November. Thanksgiving has come and gone, leaving behind 5-7 pounds on our hips; Black Friday has exited the building with only a few minor scrapes and bumps to our persons; Cyber Monday has crashed and burned, leaving our checking accounts a little lower in the cash flow department.

And, NaNoWriMo has seen another year, end. Another attempt at that 50,000-word minimum tome has come and gone, leaving many writers joyful, others struggling, and the rest of us exhausted and elated simultaneously.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could keep the writing momentum of this month up for all 12 months? Imagine being able to actually write 2-3 books a year. The big names in publishing do it, like Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Jill Shalvis, Sarah Morgan. These writers know the benefit or writing EVERY SINGLE DAY no matter what. If there isn’t blood shedding, the zombie apocalypse approaching, or the world ending in a vortex of wind and rain, these writers write every single day, bar none. No excuses. No whining. No dilly-dallying.

The fire has been stoaked – you’ve already spent the past 30 days writing something every day. Even if you didn’t make the 50,000 mark, you still have more on the page now than you did on November 1, right? So keep going.

I know I am…and will. Pages to write, books to publish. No Excuses.

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Hopeful…

 

 

See this picture? What do you notice first? The keyboard? The notebook? Or is your eye drawn to that Bridal Cake Christmas ornament?
Yeah, mine too.

I found the ornament in Michael’s Craft store the other day and bought it on the spot. Why you ask? Well, I’m gonna tell you.

I think I’ve mentioned in a few previous blogs that I’m the kind of person that puts action and intention behind wishes and dreams.

I made those wooden book holders for my books because I have a dream to someday be published in hardback, not only in digital and paperback. By making those boxes and placing my paperback books inside of them, it gave the illusion of a hardbound copy. So, see? Dream…intention…action….hopefully it’ll come true.

 

 

I’m using the ornament the same way, as:

  1. a reminder
  2. a talisman
  3. visual prompt

The reminder is for me to think good and positive thoughts about the new Bridal Series I just sent to an editor ( who asked for it!)

The talisman is for the ornament to–hopefully– bring me luck with getting these books published.

The visual prompt is so I stay focused because sometimes I start to lag a little when I’m waiting for things to happen.

Cute, isn’t it?
The next time you see that ornament on any of my social media will mean I have good news to share….

 

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Gift a Book, Part 2

Yesterday I told you why I love to give –and get — a book for a holiday gift. Today I want to talk about the kinds of books you give to others.

The type of reader is as diverse and sundry as the genres of books available. From autobiographies to YA, from biographies to Military history. From Cookbooks to Craft books; True Crime and Murder to Cozy mysteries. And of course, my favorite, Romance.  Within each of those genres are several subgenres and to find the perfect book for the book reader on your list, you need to wade through all the varieties, skip over some of the styles, and comb through all the different classifications of each genre and subgenre.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it, just to find a book. Well, it may be a little tedious, but it’s sosososo worth it when you find the perfect one.

This is a very abbreviated list of the types of books I would give to my book reading peeps and family. Very abbreviated!!!

Babies: ( for Mommy and Daddy to read aloud) Goodnight, Moon 

In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.” And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room—to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one—the little bunny says goodnight.

 

Toddlers: If Animals Kissed Goodnight

If animals kissed
like we kiss good night,
Giraffe and his calf
would stretch their necks high
and kiss just beneath
the top of the sky.

In a cozy bedtime chat with her mom, a young girl wonders how animal families might say good night. Would Wolf and his pup “kiss and then HOWL”? Would Bear and her cub “kiss and then GROWL”? But what about Sloth and her baby? They move soooo slooowwwww . . . they’re sure to be kissing from early evening until long after everyone else is fast asleep!

Beginning readers: Any of the Berenstain Bears books and of course, my all-time favorite, The Little Engine That Could

Young readers: Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys ( dated, I know, but they all teach good concepts such as critical thinking, sharing, and trust)

Tweens: The Fault in Our Stars


Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Teens/YA: The Beginning of Everything

Varsity tennis captain Ezra Faulkner was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before—before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.

Adults from 20-100: I like true crime/history/biographies. Two of my absolute favorites, and which I’ve read more than once each are Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981.  Was it murder or self-defense?  For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares.  John Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction.  Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.

and Under the Banner of Heaven   

This extraordinary work of investigative journalism takes readers inside America’s isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities, where some 40,000 people still practice polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God.

As I’ve said, this is a very abbreviated list. I could go on for pages about the best books to invest in, but time is short and money is fleeting, so….

Of course, you can always gift one on my books to the romance reader you’re buying for( shameless plug, I know!) if the Christmas Spirit moves you. Here’s a complete list to peruse. Peggy’s books

 

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Why I love a #holidayRomance

So. There are probably going to be hundreds of blogs written in the next month by romance writers much more talented than I am about why we all love a holiday romance.

Be it a Hallmark movie, or a new theatrical wide-release Holiday RomCom, or even the plethora of new Christmas love stories that invade our Netgalley listings and Amazon review sites every year.

 

But, just why do we love a Holiday Romance story sosososo much? Valentine’s Day is the day devoted to Cupid and love. And yes, there have been a few movies and books devoted to that amorous day.

HeeHee – shameless plus!

But by and large, a Christmas themed romance book or movie just does — overall- better than any released at Valentine time.

Why?

I’m sure there are any number of reasons, but I’ve got a few of my own that I’d like to share.

First, the holidays tend to bring out the best in most of us. Oh, I know there are crabby, grumpy Scrooges out there – some I even know personally! And I’m not negating the people who suffer from depression, which can be heightened at this time of year. But overall, we collectively are happier during the holidays. And because we’re happier I think that tends to open our hearts up to the possibility of finding love. A Happy heart is an open heart, as a famous jewelry company keeps telling us!

Second is the Christmas Wish/Gift list. Most adults don’t physically write this list down on paper like they did as children. They tend to construct and keep it in their heads. And I just bet on every single man and woman’s mental wish list is a dream to meet the person of their, well, dreams. The guy or gal who will become their life partner. Their soulmate. And books and movies postulate that wishes and dreams DO come TRUE, so….

Third, Christmas Romance stories and movies all end HAPPILY. Like any good romance writer or romantic scriptwriter will tell you, you’ve got to make your characters go through hell and high water to achieve that everlasting love. As a romance reader myself – and not just a writer – I know that the more angst, turmoil, and tragedy the characters are put through, the more I root for them to wind up together in the end. I know what the ending will wind up being when I go it. It’s the journey I’m there to watch and read. And who doesn’t love a Happily Ever After ending?? Especially during the holidays!

Lastly, I always view the holidays as a time of rebirth. Sure, it’s Jesus’ birthday, and we should celebrate it like one, but for me, spiritually, it’s a time of rebirth, reorganization, and recognizing all the gifts I have. And  those gifts – the most precious ones – are the loves of my life! So, a holiday love story – whether it’s a finding a new love , or a retelling of an everlasting love, warms our hearts and make us just feel good.

I know there are oodles more reasons why Holiday romances sell well and touch our hearts, but to me, finding love and keeping it is the best!


I encourage everyone to see a new holiday love story this year and to read a new Christmas Romance novel. And as another shameless plug, I’ll offer mine up, here:

A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind.

Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not.

Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?

 

Click here for a preview: A Kiss

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Big news and more work for me!

 

So, because I don’t already have enough to do– writing, marketing, promotion — I’m adding something new in the New Year: A monthly author newsletter.

Yeah, I know….

I’ve been avoiding doing a newsletter for 2 years for a number of reasons, but the main one has been I really don’t know what I’m doing !!!!! Setting up this blog was HARD enough and the only reason I didn’t jump off a ledge doing it was because my uber talented cyber bestie Jill helped me. And you all know most of the other techy stuff my daughter assists me with.

But this one I’m all on my own with.

So…..

If you want to receive my newsletter in your email box once a month–yay for supporting me!–but I’ll need your email addresses. You can either private message me on my facebook author page, or leave your email in the comments section below. If you leave it here, I will immediately delete it after I copy it so no one else will have it and bother you.

One advantage of being a newsletter subscriber? 2 actually. Monthly contests to win books and it’s a way for me to share deleted scenes from my books that didn’t make the digital cut despite being GREAT SCENES in my humble opinion.

Thanks for being so supportive, peeps. It will make this process easier.

While I’m setting up my newsletter, you can find me here:

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The work never ends…..

While in the middle of NaNoWriMo2017  I received my proofs for my upcoming April 2018 release CAN’T STAND THE HEAT, book 3 in the WIll Cook For Love Series. Thanksgiving is this week. Christmas is but a calendar-page-turning away. Busy, much?

What’s that expression? When it rains, it pours??

Yesterday I sat – literally SAT – at my desk for 11 hours. 2 Bathroom breaks and one 10  minute stop to have lunch.

Not complaining — never complaining!– about too much writing/editing work. This is what I want my life to be, what I’ve dreamed of. What I wished it could be.

So, yeah. No complaints from this chickita.

(But a little sleep wouldn’t kill me! heehee)

If you need me, I can be found here when I come up from editing and writing for air:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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#NaNoWriMo2017….finished, but not done

 

So, this is the first time in my NaNoWriMo history that I got to the 50,000 word mark in so short a time span. Yesterday, I hit 51,000 + words. Yay, me!

But I’m not done yet. I’ve got miles to go in word count, plot points, characterization, etc, before this little book in officially deemed DONE!

Why did I get to this point so quickly this year when other years I’ve struggled to get to my minimum daily word count?

I think the real reason, aside from plotting ( which I always do) is that this time I actually saw the entire book play out in my mind like a movie, from beginning to end. A movie I really enjoyed watching and one I wanted others to go see ( metaphorically, of course, because you can’t, like, see into my brain – that’s another genre, not romance. HeeHee)

Anyway.

I’m uber motivated to get more words on the page and will continue to track them on the NaNo website. But as far as the NaNoWriMo powers that be feel, I’m a winner.

Winner, WInner, Chicken Dinner!!

Okay, so did I admit I’m tired, too? And punchy with it?

When I’m not getting my word count in you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Let me brag for a minute…..

I hate doing this….braggin’ on myself. I wanted to write about my daughter and her first marathon but I already did that. So, I decided to brag on the one piece of good professional news I’ve gotten lately.

I came in 3rd place in the long contemporary category in the 2017 Pages from the Heart Contest.

YAY, me!

The last 2 times I entered an unpublished piece in this contest I  finaled as well and both those books went on to be published by Kensington/Lyrical Shine: Cooking with Kandy and A Shot at love ( which was originally titled Gemma’s Greek.)

The book that came in third this year is book 1 in my new Bridal series, so if history runs true to form…….you can finish that thought because I’m afraid if I say it’s gonna get published I’ll jinx it…

Duh! I just jinxed it!

Let’s see what the other authors in this #MFRWauthor blog hop have to brag on….

 

 

 

 

 

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I get to do this and call it research! #ILoveMyLife

So yesterday I went to a bridal expo.

Hold the batphone, you say. Aren’t you married? Like, for a thousand years?

Yup, true.

Then why did you go to a bridal expo? you ask.

Research, I say. Research.

Let me ‘esplain.

For NaNoWriMo this year, I’m penning a new romance series about a family in the wedding business. To add some truthfulness into the narrative, I said to myself, “Self? Why not contact a wedding planner?” And then when I was driving to the gym the other day, I happened to hear a commercial about an upcoming bridal expo at one of my favorite places in New Hampshire, Alyson’s Orchard.

As soon as I got home I emailed the manager of Alyson’s.   I introduced myself, told her I wasn’t a bride-to-be (Not even close!) but that I wanted to do some bridal industry research for my new romance series. Luckily, she said, yes, I could come to the expo!

It was so much fun. I met some very lovely wedding planners, got some ideas about what’s involved in putting together a dream wedding nowadays – since I did get married a millennium ago, things have really changed –  and basically had a blast talking all things bridal with the vendors at the expo. One of my favorite people? Wedding officiant Jane E. Rokes. We talked for quite a while on all things officiant-related.

God, I love research!!!!

When I’m not out doing fun stuff, er I mean, gathering research, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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