Category Archives: Strong Women

#LongandShortReviews #wednesdaybloggingchallenge 3.4.2020

I’m really loving this year’s themes and topics from L&SR! Today’s is: CHARACTERS WHO REMIND ME OF MYSELF AND WHY.

This could be a really looooooooong blog post, but I’m gonna narrow it down to 2!

The first DR. CHARLOTTE MIRA from the IN DEATH books by JD Robb. Mira is a touchstone in Eve’s life. In the early books she shows her compassion and caring for Eve from a professional standpoint, as she tries to get the (then) detective to see herself as worthy of love and respect, and as more than just her job. Eve’s tragic past has been pushed deep down in her memory banks and as Mira works with Eve, she comes to remember killing her father and the horrible events that lead to it. Throughout the now 50 books and still growing series, Charlotte has come to love Eve like a daughter and has shown Eve a mother’s love that she never had. Mira is smart, soso smart, caring, compassionate and well respected not only by the police department, but by her peers. Since my background is in psychology, I love reading Mira’s profiles on the criminals and murderer’s Eve asks for, plus her husband, the yummy Dennis Mira, is just so wonderful I would love to call him my own! If they ever make an In Death movie, I am going to petition HARD to be cast as Mira…hey, we can all dream, right? Heehee

The second character who reminds me a lot of me is one I wrote: GEMMA LAINE from the WILL COOK FOR LOVE SERIES/ A SHOT AT LOVE. Gemma is such a dichotomy – much like me. She is  a successful photographer; she can shoot any gun you give her, and she has two black belts in different styles of karate. She is intensely loyal to her family, yet due to a sexual assault when she was a shy, introverted teenager, she is leery of ever letting a man get under her skin. She keeps people at at distance – except for her family – and uses her snarky, sassy personality to keep people at a distance. She never shows what she is truly feeling and goes after what she wants without regrets. Gemma is my doppelganger in so many ways. I also shoot, have studied 2 styles of karate, and use humor and snarkiness to keep people at a distance. While I may not have been sexually abused at a teen, I was emotionally and physically abandoned by my father, so I know the pain of feeling like you are not worthy or not enough for someone to love.

Let’s see what some of the other authors in this challenge have to say. L&SR

Until next time ~ Peg

You can usually find me here; :Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Filed under Long and SHort Reviews, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#WinterGames are going strong and #Raving

So since February 1, I’ve been participating in a wonderful author/reader challenge titled WINTER GAMES. 50+ authors, offering their books for free or at 99cents to the members/readers who signed up for our read-a-thon. The only rules? Once you read the books you have to post a review.

I offered IT’S A TRUST THING up for read and review. On 2.1.2020 I had 3 reviews on Goodreads. I now have 16 and more will be coming because we still have 2 weeks left!
Yowza!

Tomorrow, starting at 5pm EST, I’m one of 5 authors who are RAVING, which doesn’t mean what I think you think it means ( Okay, end of Princess Bride reference). A RAVE at the WINTER GAMES means we will be hosting the FB page for 1 hour, talking abt our books, giving away prizes, and generally, getting to know our readers. If you’ve signed up for the WINTER GAMES, first; YAY! Next, I hope you requested my book and if you have BLESS YOU. And third, please consider joining us for a fun hour of author mayhem!! heehee

If you’re a member, here’s the link to the rave: WintergamesRave

Even if you aren’t a member, you can still read IT’A TRUST THING. It’s free on KU and only 99cents on kindle. Not a bad price for hours of fun and laughter.

Nell Newbery has trust issues. It’s hard to trust when you’re the daughter of a fallen financial scion who bilked people out of billions. Nell’s done everything in her power to keep away from men who see her as their ticket to fortune and fame. All she wants to do is run her ultra-successful business, HELPFUL HUNKS, in peace.

But it wouldn’t hurt to find a guy who doesn’t know a thing about her father’s felonious past; one she can give her heart to and trust it won’t come back to her battered, bruised, and broken.

Is Charlie Churchill that guy? On the surface he seems perfect, all polished manners and quiet mirth. Nell’s convinced he knows nothing about her, other than she likes superhero movies and views junk food as a food group.

Can she trust him to be what he appears to be? Or is he just pretending?

For Nell, trust is everything in life…and in love.

See ya at the RAVE!

Until next time, kids ~ Peg

Oh, and if you’re looking for me when I’m not raving, here’s where I’ll be:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me // Watch me

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Filed under It's a trust thing, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

#SundaySnippet 2.16.2020

So, the other day I sent off the manuscript for the final book in my Match Made in Heaven series, BAKED WITH LOVE, to my editor at Wild Rose Press. Fingers crossed she likes it.

I get a great deal of inspiration for writing my characters from my PInterest Boards. I have a few for Baked with Love you can troll thru:

Maureen’s Aprons //  Nanny Fee // Maureen and Lucas

Below is the opening scene I’ve written for the book. Here’s hoping it stays as is when it gets edited, because I lovelovelove this scene so much! Hope you do, too.

Chapter 1

Oh, my God, Maureen.” My sister Colleen’s voice rose a good two octaves from its normal sultry timbre. “Are those…penis pops?”

“Lower your voice,” I told her as I continued to pipe buttercream roses on the cupcakes I’d made for tomorrow’s wedding. “My entire inn doesn’t need to know I’ve got those”—I grinned—“hardening in my kitchen.”

“Why, in the name of all that’s holy are there”—she counted out loud—“seven chocolate candies in the shape of male genitalia on your counter?”

“Because your bride’s maid of honor special ordered them for the attendants. I tried to talk her out of it, but she paid me triple to make them and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Be happy there are only seven. She wanted one for each of the thirty females on the guest list. I was able to talk her out of it by promising to make those”—I pointed my chin toward the candy—“for the bridesmaids. She’s going to present them tonight after the rehearsal. Thinks they’ll be, quote, a scream, unquote.”

My wedding planner and getting-bigger-by-the-second pregnant sister plopped down onto one of my kitchen chairs and sighed. Heavily.

“Oh, good Lord. Thanks for the head’s up. I’ll make sure the moms are nowhere in sight when she gives them out. I don’t relish having to listen to one more complaint about this wedding. I’ve had enough for the past week to last me until Princess here”—she patted her round tummy—“is off to college.”

I flicked her a glance and said, “Put your feet up, Coll. I can see how swollen they are from here.”

With more effort than was probably warranted – she is after all, related to our grandmother, who corners the market on theatricality – she hefted her feet onto an opposing kitchen chair then extended and flexed her toes a few times. This time her sigh was thick with fatigue, and if I wasn’t mistaken, pain.

“I can’t believe you’re still wearing those ridiculous heels when you’re almost nine months along,” I chided. “Standing in them all day can’t be good for the baby. Or your back.”

“Stop scolding me.” It was impossible not to miss the whine in her voice. “I refuse to take advice from someone who thinks flipflops are the greatest invention known to the shoe wearing population of the world. For the record, my back is fine and my feet don’t hurt.”

“No, they just look like flesh colored water balloons.”

“When did you turn so mean? You’re usually the supportive, quiet sister.”

In ordinary circumstances this was true. But with my ready-to-pop and three-inch heel wearing sister, I was more than willing to make an exception.

I piped the last rose on the final cupcake, laid my pastry bag down on the counter, and took a good look at her. Camera ready face with her professionally polished outfit perfect and not a tendril of red hair out of place, the middle of my three sisters looked something she rarely did: tired. With her hands folded over her protruding belly, she’d dropped her chin to her chest and closed her eyes.

The snarky remark I was going to make about the benefits of wearing flats died before I gave it breath.

Since lunch service had finished a half hour ago and my serving staff was done with cleanup, Colleen and I were alone in my kitchen. I put the kettle on for tea and asked, “Did you have lunch?”

When she lifted her head her eyes took a moment to clear before they focused on me, lending credence to the fact she was tired. And maybe more than simply tired.

“There’s a salad waiting for me at the office. Charity got one for me while I was with the florist.”

“Text her back and tell her to put it in the fridge. I’ll make you something to eat.”

While she contacted her assistant, I plated the luncheon salad I’d concocted for today’s menu, then put half a ham and cheese sandwich into my Panini maker.

“Eat this until the sandwich is done.” I handed her the salad and a bottled water.

“What is it?”

“Spinach, cranberries, walnuts, raisins and carrots with a light pomegranate dressing and shaved Parmesan.”

Colleen shoved a forkful in and groaned. “Oh. My. God. Honestly, Maureen, you should have your own cooking show. This is insane.”

“Everything she makes is insane,” a male voice said from the doorway.

It was a voice I knew well, since its owner was a frequent inhabitant of my dreams. Husky and deep, with a dash of just woken gravel, it could cajole a lover into seduction or cut off a criminal at the knees.

Fortunately, I’d never been the latter. But I’d fantasized about being the former for years.

“Truth,” Colleen said around a mouthful of salad. “Why are you here?” she asked Heaven’s Chief of Police, Lucas Alexander before I could. “Somebody call a cop?”

Lucas flicked his moss green, heavily hooded eyes from my sister to me, one corner of his mouth tilting up. I actually had to contract my pelvic floor muscles whenever he looked at me so I wouldn’t melt to the floor in a pool of want. My ninety-three year old grandmother, Nanny Fee, calls this girding your loins. As far as a descriptive phrase for the maneuver, it’s a good one.

“You got a minute?” he asked me.

“A few. Then I have to get the dining room reading for tonight’s rehearsal dinner.” I pulled Colleen’s sandwich from the press when the bell tinged. Lucas, always comfortable in my kitchen, moved to lean a hip against the counter and then halted mid stride.

I knew the cause of his sudden stop and bit down on the inside of my cheek while I handed Colleen her plate. She caught my eye, and my stifled grin, and realized the cause. Her lips lifted in a wicked grin.

Lucas cleared his throat. “Are those–? Wait. What, what are those? Are they…?”

“Are they what?” Colleen asked, innocence dripping from her voice, at the same time I asked, “Want one?”

Lucas spun around to find the two of us staring at him, expressions blanked, and waiting for him to continue.

He huffed out a breath and dragged a hand through his hair. “Never mind,” he said, with a nervous shake of his head and shoulders.

Colleen glanced up at me, winked, and then took a huge bite of her Panini. “Oh, good Lord, Mo.”

I smiled and told her, “You’re welcome,” before I said to Lucas, “What’s up?”

He cocked his head in a come-with-me move.

In the breezeway separating my private kitchen from the commercial one I used for the inn I own and cook in, Lucas stopped, bit down on a corner of his mouth, and twirled his hat in his hands. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was nervous, but nerves weren’t an emotion common to this man. His army training had taught him how to remain calm in any crisis, cool under the most volatile of situations. I’d never even heard him raise his voice in all the years I’d known him.

I repeated my question.

“I need a favor.”

I rolled my hand in a go on gesture.

“Cathy might have mentioned Robert’s coming to spend a few weeks with me. Nora’s getting remarried this weekend and then leaving on a long honeymoon.”

I nodded. “I’d heard that, but not from Cathy.” To the question in his eyes I said, “Nanny told me the other day when I dropped off her scone delivery at the nursing home. She heard it from Tillie Carlisle who got it from Maeve Capshaw, whose granddaughter, Olivia, told her. Nanny said Olivia was the one who introduced Nora to her intended at a divorced-and-looking event she’d hosted.”

“Jesus.” Lucas shook his head again. “Small towns.”

I couldn’t help but smile. “A curse and a blessing, as Cathy is fond of saying.”

“Yeah, well, your sister is one of the smartest people I know. Anyway. Nora doesn’t want to leave Robert home alone. He’s too old for a babysitter, but at fifteen, still too young to be left to his own defenses. He just started driver’s ed and doesn’t have a valid license yet, so it was easier to take him while she’s gone.”

“So he’s gonna stay with you and your dad until they get back?”

“Yeah.”

“Why don’t you sound happy? Whenever Robert’s visited for school breaks before you’ve always been thrilled since you don’t get to see him as much since they moved.”

He huffed out another breath and leaned a shoulder against the wall. My pregnant sister wasn’t the only one who was tired.

“I’m not not happy he’s coming to stay. It’s more, things with dad now aren’t good and I’m afraid he’s gonna make the kid’s life miserable with all his complaining and griping. Last time Robert came for a weekend all dad did was harp on him. Get a haircut, stand up straight, stop mumbling. Poor kid couldn’t wait to get back to his mother, and that’s saying something, because she’s almost as bad. I don’t want him to spend all his time with his grandfather while he’s here, getting criticized for merely breathing.”

“I’m assuming this is where the favor you need from me comes in?”

He nodded. “The kid needs something to occupy him while he’s here. I’ve gotta work and I can’t take any time. I don’t want him sitting home all day fighting with dad or locked in his room playing video games. I want him to get out of the house. Get a job. You hire high school kids to bus tables and help serve. I’m hoping you’ll take Robert on as summer crew. Then, I’ll know where he is during the day, he’ll earn a little money of his own, and I won’t have to worry about coming home to World War III every night. Plus…”

“Plus?”

“Well, if he’s with you I won’t…worry about him. I know he’ll be in good hands. You’ll feed him and watch out for him like he was one of your own. Like you do everyone else.”

To say I was thrilled by the offhanded compliment was an understatement. Even if I wasn’t on the lookout for extra help, I would have hired Lucas’s son.

“Sure. I can always use another body, especially in the summer when I’ve got a full house every weekend from Colleen’s wedding parties.”

Lucas’s shoulders dropped a couple of degrees from where they’d stationed themselves at his ears and he let out a breath filled with relief. “Thanks, Maureen. Really.”

I waved my hand at him. “Don’t worry about it. When does he get here?”

“Sunday morning. Nora’s dropping him off before she leaves for the airport.”

I nodded. “Get him all unpacked and settled and then you can bring him by Monday. I’ll go over everything with him then, okay?”

“More than okay. Again, I can’t thank you enough. You’re truly a lifesaver.” He took my hand and squeezed it. Lucas had done this hundreds of times over the years and like every other time he had, the wiring in my heart went a little haywire.

And like every other time, I swallowed the temptation to tug on his hand and pull him close enough so I could kiss him.

“Any time okay?” He let my hand go and I had to physically refrain myself from pulling it back.

“After breakfast service would be good, so around ten-ish?”

He nodded. Whatever he was going to say was cut off by the beeper at his waistband blaring.

“Sorry.” A quick glance at it and he shoved his hat back on his head. “Duty calls.” He grinned. “See you Monday.”

I waited until he walked out the Inn’s front doors before going back to the kitchen. In all honesty I needed a moment alone to center myself. Seeing Lucas, no matter when or where, always made my insides flutter, my toes tingle, and my heart beat faster.

From the time I’d turned nine Lucas Alexander had been the only man I’d ever loved. At eighteen, nine years older than me, he’d been my brother-in-law’s best friend from the cradle and a part of our family since I was a baby. But the first time I’d ever spied him in his army uniform I’d lost my heart forever. Cliché though it is, Lucas in a uniform had slayed me, even as a little girl. Twenty-plus years later I still felt the same way whenever I saw him in his police attire.

And in his regular clothes, too.

Colleen was still in her chair, feet up, the plates in front of her now empty, and her chin kissing her chest again. I had to smile. This was the sister who defined the term perpetual motion. To see her actually napping during daylight hours was akin to seeing a leprechaun’s pot’o gold. This pregnancy, her first at the age of thirty-seven, was weighing heavily on her and zapping the energy she was blessed with. I didn’t have the heart to rouse her.

With as little noise as I could, I went about tidying the kitchen. The sharp ping of her cell phone signaling an incoming text ten minutes later called her slumber to an end.

She startled, blinked a few times, then tugged her phone from her pocket. No one I knew could type faster than my sister. A series of rapid-fire finger taps and then the whoosh of her text being sent filled the room.

“Did I fall asleep?” she asked, while she stretched her arms high above her head.

“Just for a few minutes. I’m betting this was the first time you’ve sat all day.”

With another of those soul-weary sighs, she hefted her feet from the chair and stood. Another full body stretch, then she said, “No rest for the wicked. Or wedding planners the day before a big wedding.”

“Where are you off to now?”
“The church, the spa to check tomorrow’s appointments, the printers to pick up the programs for the ceremony. Then back to the office for a conference call.” She ticked each stop off on her fingers. “I can check off the rehearsal and reception right now. Everything set?”

“All taken care of. When you all get back from the rehearsal, I’ll start service. Some of the non-bridal party guests have already begun arriving. I had Janie put all the goodiebags in their rooms this morning. The bridal suite is all set for tomorrow. I have the champagne in the cooler and I’ll put it in the room during the reception.” I swiped a hand toward the cupcakes I’d been decorating when she arrived. “In lieu of the cake your bride didn’t want, I’ve got the cupcakes she did all ready to go.”

Colleen sighed and kissed my cheek. “I honestly don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“You’d survive but you wouldn’t get the family discount or the personal service-with-a-smile you’re used to.”

Her laugh warmed my heart.

“Before you go,” I moved to my industrial refrigerator, pulled out a bundle of aluminum foils and put them in a shopping bag. “Here. Leftovers from yesterday for you and Slade. Now you don’t have to cook tonight.”

Colleen took the bag and then tugged me into her arms for a full body hug, not an easy accomplishment with her belly bump in the way.

“I simply adore you,” she said, with another cheek kiss. “My husband does, as well. You take care of us better than anyone.”

“I aim to please.”

“Speaking of, what did Lucas want?”

I glared at her. “How did you take ‘I am to please’ and equate it with Lucas?”

“He’s just another person in your realm who adores you and who you take care of.”

I shook my head. “Okay, first? He adores my cooking, not me. And second? My realm? Really, Coll? You make me sound like some imperial and benevolent ruler.”

“Benevolent for sure. I won’t go so far as to call you a ruler because then I’d be your subject and I’m older than you, so, no way.”

Her laugh drew one from me.

“And as far as Lucas adoring your cooking and not you, they’re one and the same, sis. Now, why was he here?” She held up the shopping bag. “To mooch one of these go-bags for him and his dad?”

She wasn’t wrong in asking if I’d given him his own to take. More times than not, Lucas would stop by on his way home after a long day for a quick cup of coffee and a chat. He never left empty handed if Sarah—my assistant—or me had anything to say about it.

I explained about Robert Alexander and the favor Lucas had asked me.

“Win win for you,” she said. “You get extra help, which I know you can always use, plus you get another person to take under your smother-love maternal wing and care for.”

“What do you mean?”

“You know exactly what I mean, Maureen Angela Bernadette.” She flapped her free hand in the air like she was waving a wand. “You may be the baby in our family, but you act more like a mother hen any day of the week. You cook for us, look out for us, heck, you even research solutions to problems like you did when Cathy’s dog got sick, or when I was suffering through that awful early stage morning sickness. Adding Lucas’s son, a teenaged boy who’s probably got all the angst and raging emotions inherent in the breed under your wing, and I bet my secret stash of Peppermint Patties the kid’s never gonna look at his own mother the same way again.” She kissed my cheek one more time and said, “I’ve gotta go, so toodles. I’ll see you later when I come back to escort the bridal party to the church. Thanks for lunch.” She lifted the bag. “And dinner.”

To her retreating back I said, “Just FYI, it’s not such a secret stash. We all know where you keep your candy.”

Her response was to toss me a backhanded wave as she went through the doors of the Inn.

With my hands fisted on my hips I shook my head.

So what if I tend to spoil the people I love? Make sure they got enough to eat? Always have a bed ready they can crash in, or a willing ear they can confide in? They deserve it. It’s my humble opinion if more people showed how much they cared about one another, instead of simply tossing out an offhanded I love you every now and again, people, in general, would be much happier.

If that’s smothering, so be it.

Back in my kitchen I washed Colleen’s dishes, then reheated my cup of untouched tea. While I drank it, I planned the next few days in my head and went over the staffing I’d need for the busy weeks ahead of me. When I added Robert Alexander’s name to my mentally tally, it was his father’s ruggedly handsome face that popped into my mind’s eye.

The exhaustion I saw floating in his eyes was worrying. Having his aged and ailing father living with him was taking a toll on Lucas’s mental wellbeing. Hogan Alexander cornered the market on the term curmudgeon. He’d been crabby and ill-tempered ever since I could remember. My grandmother claimed it was because his wife up and left him after sixteen years of marriage, saddling him with a teenaged son Hogan didn’t know how to relate to. The fact Lucas grew to such a wonderful man and upstanding citizen was one of the wonders of the modern world. Cursed with a father who doled out complaints instead of compliments and a mother who left to find her self at the age of forty, Lucas could so easily have gone to the dark side. Instead, he’d enlisted in the army with his best friend, served three tours, then come home to roost.

When his own marriage had gone south, Lucas didn’t turn bitter as his father had, but made every effort he could to be a good father to his son.

A quick glance at the wall clock and I stopped my wool-gathering. I had to get the private dining room ready for Colleen’s bride’s rehearsal dinner. Before though, I needed to wrap the chocolate pops and get them to the Maid of Honor. Remembering the look of confused horror on Lucas’s face when he spied them brought a smile to my own.

But then, just thinking of him always did.

Yeah, I know it’s a long one, but every word I truly loved writing!!!

I’ll let you know about publishing details if and when I have them!

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

#Enter2Win @Booksweeps Steamy Contemporary Romance Contest

It’s almost a new year and I’ve a great way to kick off your 2020 Reading Challenge!

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

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

You can win my novel IT’S A TRUST THING, plus books from authors like my Wild Rose Press sistahs Clair Marti and Donna Simonetta.

Enter the giveaway by clicking here bit.ly/SteamyRom-Dec2019

Good luck and enjoy!

Nell Newbery has trust issues. It’s hard to trust when you’re the daughter of a fallen financial scion who bilked people out of billions. Nell’s done everything in her power to keep away from men who see her as their ticket to fortune and fame. All she wants to do is run her ultra-successful business, HELPFUL HUNKS, in peace.

But it wouldn’t hurt to find a guy who doesn’t know a thing about her father’s felonious past; one she can give her heart to and trust it won’t come back to her battered, bruised, and broken.

Is Charlie Churchill that guy? On the surface he seems perfect, all polished manners and quiet mirth. Nell’s convinced he knows nothing about her, other than she likes superhero movies and views junk food as a food group.

Can she trust him to be what he appears to be? Or is he just pretending?

For Nell, trust is everything in life…and in love.

 

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Filed under Dot Com Girls Romance, Strong Women

#Bookrelease Day!!! TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS is here!

I can’t fully explain how excited I am to finally have this story in print! Cathy O’Dowd’s path to an HEA was tortuous for her – and me!!!! This book wrung me dry so many times! I’m thrilled to finally be able to share it with the romance reading world.

Blurb:

Lawyer Cathleen O’Dowd wants to break free from her boring image. Widowed young, she’s toed the good-girl line but now wants a little fun and laughter in her days…and nights. Living in a small town, though, she can’t do anything that would tarnish her professional reputation.

Mac Frayne’s tragic past has turned him into a sullen loner. In town to write a book on the city’s founder, his plan is to get it done, then head home to his solitary existence.

When circumstances force them to work together, their opposing personalities clash, but the sexual attraction between them is palpable.

Can a simple affair with an end date be just the thing to brighten up their lives?

Excerpt 

Frayne was alone at one of the computer workstations, sheets of paper and files scattered about the desk next to him.

I took a moment to observe him before announcing myself. Thick-lensed reading glasses perched on the very tip of his nose, a millimeter from falling from his face. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why that was so endearing, but it was. His hair fell over the collar of his shirt, today covered with a jet-black pullover. A tiny moth hole crossed over his bicep. The notion he needed someone looking out for him, caring for him, making him take care of himself, bounded through me.

The story Maureen related spilled back to me, and my heart sighed. I knew the emotional devastation losing loved ones could wreak, and since I was now aware of what had happened to Frayne’s family, I understood the perpetual grief in his eyes.

Another striking thing about Frayne was that for all his awkwardness, some might even say shy demeanor, he was an extremely attractive man, and the very fact I noticed it was astounding. I hadn’t looked at nor thought about another man in all the years of my marriage, even while Danny had been away for years on end on active duty.

The only man I’d ever loved, ever considered being with, ever looked at, was Danny Mulvaney. Picturing Mac Frayne as someone I could see myself getting to know on a purely personal and physical level was behavior so far out of my emotional wheelhouse it startled me.

“I’m sorry I kept you waiting.” I tossed my coat and bag on a chair “I came as soon as the ceremony ended.”

Frayne peered at me over the tops of his glasses through eyes a little unfocused, a little startled, and a whole lot of befuddled cute.

He blinked, and then his gaze swept from my face down to what Maureen calls my marriage duds. When I officiate, I pair a plain white silk blouse with a black double-breasted jacket and either a black A-line skirt or trousers, depending on the season. On one lapel of my jacket, I always wear a 14-karat-gold, single rose pin, gifted to me by Colleen, to symbolize the love and affection of the couples I marry.

With a quick flick of his hand, Frayne swiped the glasses from his face, and tucked one of the bows into the vee of his sweater. His gaze made its way up to my face again, and he cocked his head in a move I was coming to recognize signaled he was going to ask a question. “You didn’t stay for the reception?”

“Like I told you yesterday, sometimes I do, but most times I simply sign the paperwork, take a few photos with the happy couple, and then let them have their party. If I stayed at every wedding, I’d never get anything done on the weekends.”

“I’ve been to my share of weddings”—he stood and tilted his head to one side—“but I’ve never had to sign papers at one, other than my own. Are there that many people you know getting married that your weekends are typically so full?”

A grin split my face at his words. “They are when I’m performing the ceremonies.”

It took him a second, then the cloud of cute confusion cleared in his eyes. “You’re a wedding officiant?”

“Technically, I’m a justice of the peace. But yes, I officiate at weddings. I came here from Inn Heaven after performing a ceremony.”

“Well, that certainly explains it.” His lips twitched at the corners, and for a brief moment, an image of pressing my own against them burned quick and bright in my head. “I saw them setting up the ballroom for some kind of event before I left this morning. Your sister was everywhere.”

“I know that’s the truth because I’ve seen it for myself. Maureen is exceptionally organized, a trait that runs rampant in our family.”

His gaze swept down my attire again, the small grin tugging on his mouth, broadening. “I spotted another redhead in commando mode, too. She resembled you and Maureen.” His grin grew. “I’ve never actually seen someone bark orders before.”

“The barker was Colleen, my middle sister. She’s a wedding planner and was in charge of today’s event. I officiate at a lot of her non-religious ceremonies.”

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

Please enjoy the lovely Book Trailer my friend Nancy Fraser made for the book: TTA

Add it to your Goodreads List: TTA

Add it to you BookBub List: TTA

Now, I’m off to read TTA again!
Until next time ~Peg

 

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Life challenges, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, Today Tomorrow Always, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#CyberMonday is tomorrow…Are you ready?

When I was a kid 175 years ago there was BLACK FRIDAY and then regular shopping days until Christmas.

Welcome to the new world, peeps.

CYBER MONDAY starts at midnight tonight and Cyberspace is predicted to be the most jammed it’s ever been this year with people looking for great sales on gifts.

Well, because the marketing end of the publishing business never takes a day off, I, too, am offering up  some great ( in my humble opinion!) sales items. 2 of my books are marked down to just 99 cents on Amazon, Book, and Itunes.

 

CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS, my award-winning San Valentino holiday romcom is on sale for 2 weeks here: Amazon  Nook  Itunes

With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him.

Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company’s reputation—in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.

Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?

 

And my indiebook IT’S A TRUST THING in on sale exclusively at Amazon.

Nell Newbery has trust issues. It’s hard to trust when you’re the daughter of a fallen financial scion who bilked people out of billions. Nell’s done everything in her power to keep away from men who see her as their ticket to fortune and fame. All she wants to do is run her ultra-successful business, HELPFUL HUNKS, in peace.

But it wouldn’t hurt to find a guy who doesn’t know a thing about her father’s felonious past; one she can give her heart to and trust it won’t come back to her battered, bruised, and broken.

Is Charlie Churchill that guy? On the surface he seems perfect, all polished manners and quiet mirth. Nell’s convinced he knows nothing about her, other than she likes superhero movies and views junk food as a food group.

Can she trust him to be what he appears to be? Or is he just pretending?

For Nell, trust is everything in life…and in love.

So, if you are shopping in your jammies, haven’t brushed your hair or teeth yet, and are looking for a great book deal for the Romance book reader on your holiday list – or if you just want to gift yourself a good book – I hope you’ll take advantage of my sale.

Be well and happy shopping!
Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Dot Com Girls Romance, Romance, Romance Books, RomCom, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#SundaySnippet 11.3.19

It’s not difficult to figure out what the Sunday Snippet is this week, is it? Since IT’S A TRUST THING released on Friday, it makes sense I offer a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your appetite and hopefully get you to read the book. Hee hee.

There’s nothing I like more than when a strong woman  – or man – shows his/her vulnerability. In this scene, it’s Nell who does. This is the beginning of her learning to trust in a man she knows practically nothing about except he makes her feel like no other man ever has.

Can she trust him? We’ll find out, won’t we? Hee hee

This is nice,” I said again, eyeing the treetops and the panorama of the horizon. “Do you love sitting out here?”

“I do. Sometimes, when I’ve got nothing that needs my imminent attention, I’ll sit out here on an afternoon and read a book, or bring my laptop out and catch up on what’s going on in the world.” He glanced over at me. “Probably sounds pretty boring to you.”

“Not in the least. I love quiet days, truthfully, because they happen so rarely.”

“What’s your idea of a perfect day, then? One where you could do anything you wanted?”

I didn’t even need to think.

“I love to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and spend an afternoon strolling along the waterfront.”

He cocked his head.
“Have you ever done that? Walked from Manhattan to Brooklyn?”
“I haven’t, no.”
“It’s so much fun, especially on a sunny weekend day. Families with kids in strollers; old folks walking arm in arm. Musicians set up along the walkway and play for donations. I love to people watch. Plus it’s a great way to get in a few miles of exercise without thinking of it as a workout.”

“We’ll have to do it sometime, together. Sounds like a fun day.”

“It is.” A little ball of pleasure bounced through me that he wanted to do it with me.

When I bit into the red velvet cupcake I’d put on a dish, I couldn’t help the moan that broke through my lips. I closed my eyes and let the sweet flavors dance over my taste buds, Forget pumpkin spice. I could eat red velvet cupcakes every single day,” I said, “and still come back for more. They’re so sinful.”

“Hmm. They are good.”

When I opened my eyes, Charlie was sampling his own. His lips, those full and utterly kissable lips, were open and pressed against the cake. A dab of cream cheese frosting dotted the corner of his mouth as he took a bite, then swallowed. Without even a thought to stop myself from what I was about to do, I reached over and swiped my index finger across his mouth.

Charlie went stock-still. He was so still I wasn’t sure he was breathing. The dimmed outdoor lighting reflected twinkling shards of moisture in his eyes as he stared at me. Silent anticipation drifted from him in waves.

Or maybe it was from me.

With a tiny bit of pressure, I swiped the frosting from his mouth, then slid my finger between my lips to suck it off.

How was it possible it tasted better coming from his lips than it had from my own?

The air suddenly changed around us as Charlie let out a deep breath. I was right in thinking he’d been holding his breath, because the volume of air he expelled was vast.

With deliberate and careful movements, he placed the rest of his uneaten dessert on the snack table between us, tossed his legs over the edge of the chaise, and rested his elbows on this thighs, his fingers folded together. With his chin dropped to his chest, he took in another breath, as if bracing himself for something. When he lifted his gaze to mine I had a pretty good idea what it was.

With the sun almost set and the lights from the city shining around us, his beautiful blue eyes had turned to pale ash. They were so enflamed with heat I wouldn’t have been surprised to see smoke billow from their corners.

The look of desire is something I’m familiar with. Too many times I’ve seen one of my hunky employees glance at one of Ella’s girls with blatant sexual hunger filling their faces.

I’ve seen it boldly displayed on some of the men I’ve dated who’d thought being with a fringe celebrity was a boost to their narcissistic fantasies, to puff up their already swollen egos. Their desire was more for the situation than for me.

The need in Charlie’s eyes wasn’t like any of those other examples. No, his was pure and raw and all about…me.

A moment ago the tea had protected me against the cool evening air.

But I didn’t need it now. The warmth from Charlie’s gaze was enough to counteract any external chill. And despite the cauldron of heat coming my way, the hairs on my skin stood straight up at attention.

This man, this lovely, charming man whom I still really knew nothing about except his name and a few minor tidbits of his life, wanted me.

Me.

No hidden agenda; no nefarious reasons; no thoughts to use me to his own gain.

Just…me.

How I knew this to be true was baffling. But I was as sure of it as I was that the moon would rise and then give way to the sun. What I was going to do about it was the question.

I don’t remember tossing my legs over the edge of the lounge chair or placing my dish on the table between us, but I did.

Charlie sat up straight, his face an open mask of curiosity with a dose of caution mixed in.

I took a step—literal and emotional—toward him, moving into the open space between his thighs. For a hot second I was afraid it was the wine making me bold.

In the next breath I realized that for the lie it was. Alcohol had nothing to do with what I was about to do.

“Nell?” His hands lifted to settle on my hips.

I licked my lips. “Can I ask you something?”

“Anything.”
I nodded.

“Can I lie down, here, next to you?”

If he thought the question odd, he kept his opinion hidden as he continued to peer up at me.

“I have this overwhelming need for you to hold me right now,” I told him with more honesty than I’d ever given another man. “Is that okay with you?”

Intrigued? I hope you are! You can get your copy here: Amazon 

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under Dot Com Girls Romance, It's a trust thing, Strong Women

A little surprise and whole lot of joy!

I’ve entered a lot of romance/writing contests in the past 4 years. The main objective has never been to win an award ( although that’s nice!) but to get my work in front of industry people and romance readers who may like it enough to either review it, recommend it, or – hopefully – want to read more of what I’ve written. Like I’ve said, the goal hasn’t been winning.

But….

Imagine my absolute joy when I found out the other day – just through happenstance – that I’d WON ( yes, won!) The 2019 Book Buyers Best Award for published authors!

That’s MY name listed there, first. Gobsmacked is a word that has never felt more appropriate than when I heard about this.

The reason I say I heard through happenstance was because I had no idea I’d won and the winners were announced last week. I knew I was a finalist in 2 categories but since I didn’t receive any notification of a win, I never bothered checking the website to see what the results of the contest were, assuming that I’d be notified of something major.

And what’s that old saw about assuming anything, hmmm?

I was just checking my email on Tuesday evening and saw a note from one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs Maria Imbalzano.

She put up a notice that said “congratulations to Peggy Jaeger for winning the BBB Award.”

WHAT??!!

I immediately went to the website and sure enough, the above graphic was listed.

Yup, gobsmacked describes it nicely!

A while back I did a 2-post series  about Imposter Syndrome. Those feelings most – if not all – authors feel about their work are valid in the times we live in. But….winning such a prestigious award as the BOOK BUYERS BEST (BBB) is something that definitely helps in removing those feelings of inadequacy and fear.

Thank you so much to the readers and judges of the Orange Country Chapter of RWA    and congratulations to all the writers who entered, finaled, and put themselves “out there” to be judged.  It’s not an easy thing to do, that’s for sure.

And now, because it’s true that you’re only as good as your last book…off I go to finish my current  WIP!

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, love, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Book trailer for It’s A Trust Thing….

I’ve made so many great friends and met so many wonderful writers and people since I started my writing journey. Nancy Fraser is one of them. Not only is she an award winning writer, she’s also a damn fine graphic producer and artist. She made my book trailer to Dirty Damsels and did such a  great job I asked her to do one for my 11.1.19 release of It’s a Trust Thing. I think it captures the essence of the book perfectly. Have a gander:

Isn’t it great!!!??

Remember, It’s a Trust Thing is up for pre-order right now and will be available ONLY in Kindle and KU. And if you haven’t read DIRTY DAMSELS yet, let me whet your appetite with Nancy’s trailer for that book, too! Hee hee

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under Dot Com Girls Romance, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

#SundaySnippet 10/6/19

Since I’ve got a book on sale this week, I thought today’s snippet should be from that. Makes sense, no? Hee hee

Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from FIRST IMPRESSIONS, one of the MacQuire Women books. It takes place in New England in the fall and follows Clarissa and Pat on their rocky road to a happily ever after.

This is the blurb:

Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.
Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for “The One.” When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way.
Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?

“Have you ever been friends with a girl before?”

“Have a beer and shoot some pool friends? Or the kind with benefits?”

When she laughed out loud, he tried to think what was so funny.

“Have you ever just been friends with a girl without sex mixed into the equation?”

“Not since I was sixteen,” he admitted and felt his neck heat.

“That’s what I thought.”

“Why?”

She cocked her head. “It’s no secret I’m attracted to you. I think the way I just responded to you proves it. But I don’t jump into bed with a man just because I’m attracted to him.”

“So, what’s being friends got to do with anything?”

Clarissa sighed and leaned a hip against the doorjamb. “I’ve been hearing about your reputation with women since I moved here, and I’m not looking to be the flavor of the week, Pat.”

He stared at her for a second as hurt washed through him. “You don’t sugar coat things do you?”

She reached out and gripped his forearm. Her hand felt so good against his skin, he instinctively laid his own over it. He swore he saw a flash of lightning spark from underneath his fingers.

“I don’t mean to insult you, but I’m trying to build a professional reputation in this town and I don’t want to do anything to give gossip mongers any fuel.”

“And dating me would?”

“Dating anyone would. This is a small town and everyone knows one another. But like I said, you have this rep where women are concerned.”

“I’m not going to apologize for liking women, Clarissa. I’m a guy.”

“That, you are.” Her lips split into a huge smile.

Intrigued? You can read the rest of the story at any of these venues for just #99cent right now. The sale ends of 10.18, though, so act fast!!! Amazon /// Nook /// Ibooks

Until Next time ~ Peg

 

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Filed under Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press