Category Archives: Strong Women

#1stLineFriday 2.1.19

“I’m culling,” my mother said. With a snap of her wrist she sent another two-hundred-dollar silk shirt into a black plastic trash bag situated next to her bed.

3 Wishes ( A Candy Heart Romance) 

Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Buy links:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Kobo // B&n // Walmart // Google play //i-books // Books-a-million

also available in audio

Audible // i-tunes

and you can find me here:

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

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

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Filed under 3 Wishes, audiobooks, Author, author promotion, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, Foodie, Romance, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Coming up on Feb.9, 2019

I’m so excited about this. On February 9, 2019 at THE BOOKERY in Manchester, NH, I’ll be appearing alongside fellows authors – and friends – Marianne Rice and Ashlyn Chase from 2pm -4pm. We’ll be talking about our latest book releases and discussing how the romance genre has changed over the years.

If you have a few hours to spare on a Saturday afternoon, please consider joining us. We’ll be signing selected books from our catalog after the talk. For me, it’s the first book in my new MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series, DEARLY BELOVED.

Join us for a great afternoon of all things romance – right before Valentine’s day ( really, what could be better? Hee Hee)

 

Colleen O’Dowd manages a thriving bridal business with her sisters in Heaven, New Hampshire. After fleeing Manhattan and her cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in happily ever afters. But with a demanding business to run, her sisters to look after, and their 93-year-old grandmother to keep out of trouble, she’s worried she’ll never find Mr. Right.

Playboy Slade Harrington doesn’t believe in marriage. His father’s six weddings have taught him life is better as an unencumbered single guy. But Slade loves his little sister. He’ll do anything for her, including footing the bill for her dream wedding. He doesn’t plan on losing his heart to a smart-mouthed, gorgeous wedding planner, though.

When her ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, Colleen must choose between Mr. Right and Mr. Right No

Available at:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Kobo // B&N // Google Play // Books-a-million

and if you’re looking for me, here I am: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

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

 

 

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Author, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Dearly Beloved, love, Romance, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#SundaySnippet 1.27.19

It stands to reason since my #1stlineFriday was from THE VOICES OF ANGELS my Sunday Snippet should be as well, no? ( Hee hee!)

Here’s the blurb for Carly and Mike’s story:

Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

and now, a little sumthing’ sumthin’ from the book:

A sudden gust of spring wind swept Carly’s hair into her face. Mike stopped and brushed it back with his hands. He wound a curly tendril around his finger, marveling at its silky softness, its sheen. “I’ve wanted to do this since I saw you sitting in the window.”

Since she was tall, she almost mimicked his height. But not quite.
Locking his gaze with hers, he took her face between his hands and very slowly brought his head down. Her body tightened, her shoulders lifted and froze. Ignoring the response, his lips grazed across hers, tasting, testing, moving hurriedly. When his tongue parted her mouth and leisurely explored the hidden treasures within, she tilted her head back. As he deepened the kiss, taking his time, not rushing, just discovering, she finally relaxed against him.

Sweet. So sweet.

His mouth continued to move on its lazy course while his hands framed her face, the velvety softness of her skin a delight to touch. Ignoring the hammering sounds of the traffic around them, oblivious to the irritated pedestrians forced to maneuver around them to pass, he concentrated only on her.

With a steadied slowness warring with the quaking fighting within his system, he raised his head. Carly’s eyes were closed, her lips still parted. She took her time opening them, and then stared up at him through drowsy, languid confusion.

“Am I the only one who’s feeling something here?” His voice was a soft murmur over the loud hum of the city surrounding them.

“No,” she whispered. He saw the regret of her hasty reply a second later when she lowered her eyes.

“Good.” He smiled. “You just made my day.”

“Mike, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea.”

“About what?”

Carly eased out of his embrace, shoved her hands into her jacket pockets and began walking again. Possessively, Mike snatched her arm back and circled it within his.

“I…” Carly began, then stopped. “Oh, hell. I’m not good with words in situations like this.”

His laugh came quick, charmed by her nerves. “Pretty pathetic declaration for a writer.”

Carly stuck out her bottom lip in a very alluring pout. He was tempted to stop and take her mouth with his again.

“Don’t mock me. When it’s on paper I can get it right. Real life has no re-writes, no editing.”

Granted.” The sunlight played with the alternating auburn and fire-red highlights in her hair as they began to walk again. He was convinced no color had ever been so alive.

Carly squared her shoulders. “I don’t want you to get the wrong impression about me. Concerning men.” When he didn’t comment, she continued. “It’s only, well…I haven’t been involved with anyone since my husband died. I’ve been busy with my daughter and my writing. I haven’t met anyone I’ve been interested in, I guess.”

“Until now.”

Carly turned to look at him. Irritation crossed in her narrowed eyes. “You’re pretty sure of yourself.”

“No,” he replied. “I’m more sure of you, though.”

“Excuse me?”

Mike laughed again. He stopped and cupped her cheeks. “You’re even more beautiful when you’re angry. Your left eyebrow arches ever so slightly and your eyes turn the most incredible forest green.” He kissed her and felt her pulse trip again under his fingers. “I would bet,” he said into her hair, breathing in the fresh fragrance of the shampoo she’d used, “no man since your husband has made your heart beat this fast, or your breath come in such spurts, as when I do this.” He lowered his head to kiss her again.

When she arched her back, Mike’s hands did a slow slide downward, coming to rest on the dip under her waist.

“Tell me I’m wrong,” he commanded, his voice charged with challenge.

“You are.”

“You’re a liar, Carly Lennox.” Before she could refute him, he continued, “You’re breathing is way too fast, and your eyes are unfocused. But for now I’m willing to back off. I know we’ll be together. I’m certain of it.”

“Why you arrogant, egotistical—I said you were nice. Ha!” She turned on her heel and started to walk away. His vise-like grip on her arm stopped her short. Mike spun her around, drew her to his chest, and his mouth crushed down to hers in a kiss neither patient, nor tender. It bespoke all the raw desire and hunger churning inside him.

Her resolve began to slip under his hands as she relaxed against him again. He knew she didn’t want to respond, but seemed to have no power to pull away, as he had no power to stop the craving for her firing within him. Instead, she moved closer, molding her body to his and winding her arms up and around his neck. Through her light spring jacket he could feel the softness of her body, the desire vibrating through it as her kiss answered his, meeting it measure for measure. Mike pulled her deeper, immersing them in a contest of shared longing.

A blast of sanity blew through his mind when a car horn blared close to them. He clamped down on his rising desire, and eased his hold, releasing her. Carly lowered her head and, once again, avoided his eyes.

Mike’s hand gently cupped her chin and lifted her face back to his. Through eyes narrowed to slits, he said, “Okay, that kiss was a little crude, I’ll admit. As a rule I’m not so-”

Peggy here – want to find out the rest? Here are the buy links:

amazon // wild rose press // kobo // barnes and noble // google books // walmart // books-a-million

and just for you, THE VOICES OF ANGELS is also available on audio here: Audible

Lastly, if you’re looking for me you know I can always be found hereabouts:

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

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

 

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#1stLineFriday 1.25.19

Carly Lennox strode into the television studio armed with the self-confidence she’d been born with.

THE VOICES OF ANGELS, The MacQuire Women, book 4

Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // B&N // Kobo // Walmart // Books-a-million // Google Play 

Also available on AUDIBLE: 

Find your bliss today, peeps, and let your beauty shine.

And you know I’m always here if you need me:

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

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

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Filed under audiobooks, Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#WinterWonderland #L&SR #WednesdayBlogChallenge

So this week’s topic is FAVORITE THINGS TO DO IN THE WINTER. Timely, no?

I could be really perky and positive here and tell you I love to ski, ice skate, snow board. Or that I go for long, long walks during the most brutal of winter days, fully invigorated and stimulated by the frigid air whipping around my face. That curling is my sport of preference, or animal tracking in the woods is a fun family activity.

I could tell you all those things…but it would all be lies.

I’m not going to mince words here: I absolutely hate winter.

I hate the cold.

I hate that I have to wear 947 layers just to go from the car to the inside of the grocery store.

I hate snow, ice, wind. In no order, and all together!

I hate wearing hats and gloves. Boots and snow tires. Using shovels and snowblowers.

Get the picture?

Yeah. I hate winter.

And because I do I spend as much time as possible indoors, hibernating, reading, and drinking hot drinks.

So, my favorite thing to do in the winter? Well, a picture is worth ten million words, so….

And since reading by the fire truly is one of my favorite pastimes during the long, long, ridiculously long winter months, here’s one of my new favorites that just also happens to be one of mine:

Find it here :  amazon //wild rose press // b&n // kobo // apple // google play // books-a-million

Now, since this is a blog challenge, I wonder if I’m the only one who despises winter. Click here to find out: L&SRWednesdayBlogChallenge

In the winter you can find me inside, here:

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

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

 

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Long and SHort Reviews, New Hampshire, Romance, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Rags to Riches; #L&SR #WednesdayBlogChallenge

 

Today’s topic – WHAT I WOULD DO WITH A MILLION DOLLARS – is a timely one for me( And probably the rest of America, especially those effected by the Government shutdown).

I’d like to be humble and say I’d donate all of the million dollar windfall to varying charities; adopt a few families in need; give to my church so they can build a new, badly needed, kitchen. I’d like to be truthful and say I’d invest some of it so it could grow and I could help even more people.

That’s what I’d LIKE to say, but…

Let’s go on the premise that my church is set, the government is back to work, and charities are bursting from  holiday donations. Then, there really is only one thing I’d like to do with the money, and it’s a very frivolous thing, but don’t judge me. Please.

Let me explain…

My darling daughter recently got engaged. She’s an only child, the love of my husband’s and my own heart, and she’s truly one of the best people we’ve ever known. I’d like to take some credit for that, but I can’t because she is her own person and has been since she came from my womb! Any way. She recently got engaged to a man who loves her as much as we do and of course, as loving parents, we want to give her the wedding of her dreams. Well, the wedding of her dreams is estimated to be $ 375,000.00 all in, as she says. The venue is the major cost.

It’s Ellis Island.

For those of you who don’t know what that is, or have forgotten your American history, once upon a time every immigrant who came to these shores had to stop at Ellis Island in NYC to be officially documented. People from every nation passed through it’s doors, were examined by doctors, and then documented as visitors to this country. Many people were denied entry due to diseases they contracted and then carried from spending long ocean voyages  in cramped cargo ships, packed in like rats– all for the chance to be a free American. People were quarantined; families were torn apart; original names were changed to sound “more American” by the ones doing the documenting and registration.

Ellis Island is located in  New York Harbor.

It’s the location of the NYC/Hudson River 4th of July fireworks spectacular every year.

It’s also been declared a national Monument. So, in order to have a wedding (or really any event) there, permits must be obtained from the States of NY, New Jersey, and probably the National Government, too. Assuming those are granted, since the venue is a museum and on an island, not your typical hotel wedding site, everything has to be brought in for the reception.

And I mean everything.

Flowers, linens, chairs, tables, glassewear, food, people. And how are they brought in, you ask? Via a ferry from Manhattan Harbor. Do you have any idea how much it costs to rent a ferryboat? Yeah, I don’t either but I’m assuming it’s not a couple hundred bucks and a nice thank you to the ferryman!

The wedding planners that my daughter spoke with gave independent values to having her wedding there and they estimated that the cost would be that ridiculous $375,000.00 mark. There’s no way her father and I can afford that. I’m a little romance writer, happy if I actually get any amount of a royalty check every three months. My husband is entering retirement age and we’ve been planning for our own future so we aren’t left destitute and on the streets when the time comes ( exaggerating, folks, but you know what this economy and the stock market are like right now!)

But, if I had a million dollars…..

Hee Hee.

And talking about weddings ( shameless plug segue), my newest book DEARLY BELOVED is about a – wait for it –  wedding planner. Timely, no?

Available here: Amazon // Wild Rose Press // B&N // Kobo // Apple // Google Play // Books-a-million

See what other authors are saying they would do with a sudden cash influx on Long and Short’s Wednesday Blogging Challenge.

 

And you’re always able to find me if you need me, here:

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

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

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Long and SHort Reviews, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#SundaySnippet 1.6.19

This year, I’m going old school with my Sunday Snippets.

Starting today, I’m giving you a sample each week of every book I’ve written, in the order it was written, in the hopes it will spark readers to explore my backlist ( and isn’t it amazing that my backlist only starts in 2015! Hee hee)

So, today,I’m bringing you a little scene from my very first published book SKATER’S WALTZ.

Enjoy!

Blurb:

Figure skater Tiffany Lennox is busy with rehearsals for an upcoming ice show when the only man she’s ever loved comes home after a two-year overseas stint. She needs him to see her for the woman she’s become and not the child he knew to ensure he stays home. This time, for good. With her.

For all his wanderlust and hunger for professional success, Cole Greer returns to New York wanting nothing more than to rest, relax, and recover. He is delighted in being Tiffany’s hero and has a special place in his heart reserved for her. But faced with the oh-so-desirable woman she’s become, he starts questioning his determination to keep their relationship platonic. When forced by the television network to go back on assignment, Cole—for the first time in his life—is torn between his career and his heart.

She was clad in white tights, white ballet flats on her feet, and a skintight black, sleeveless bodysuit that hugged her form like a second skin. She’d secured her hair on top of her head, the same way it had been for ice practice. The morning sun lighting through the windows glazed over her skin and frame, haloing her silhouette as she moved to the music.

For one brief moment, Cole’s heart stopped beating.

When had she developed this body? This totally alluring, completely sensual, and womanly body?

The quick bullet of desire that shot through his system unnerved him. This was Tiffany. Desire wasn’t an emotion equated with her. Because his hands started to shake, he thrust them into his jeans pockets.

The dancers continued to glide across the floor. When Patrick spun Tiffany around by her waist, only to rope her frame back to his body, Cole’s breathing ceased. With her back lying flat against the man’s chest, they looked like two lovers embracing. Their arms, torsos, and legs touched so intimately, so seductively, Cole was blinded by an emotion he’d never possessed before.

God, he couldn’t be jealous. This was just a dance routine.

Then why were the emotions brewing inside of him at war with one another?

Intrigued?? If so, you can get your copy here in either print or digital form:

Buy Links:

Amazon // B&N // Wild Rose Press // Walmart-OnLine // Kobo // Books-a-million // Google Play

And during the week you can always find me here if you need me:

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

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

HAPPY READING IN 2019!!!! ~ Peg

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Family Saga, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

If you’re still looking for that perfect last minute gift…..

You didn’t think I could go silent for the holidays before another shameless plug, did you??

Silly peeps! Hee hee

But in all sincerity, if you are still looking for a last minute gift for that book lover or romance reader on your list, take a chance and send one of my new releases to their Kindle or Nook or even iPad. The books and links are listed below. The prices are decent and not bank-breaking. Go ahead and give the gift of reading, books, and romance all rolled into one.

It’s the perfect present!

CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS

 

Amazon // WILD ROSE PRESS // B&N // Google Books // Kobo

DEARLY BELOVED – bk 1 in A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Amazon // WILD ROSE PRESS // B&N // Kobo // APple // Google Play books // Books-a-Million

HOPE’S DREAM ( DEERBOURNE INN NOVELLA)

Amazon // WILD ROSE PRESS // B&N // Apple

and if you’re looking to save a few cents (!) THE WILD ROSE PRESS has all ebooks on sale for 40% off until New Years! Give a great gift and sale some coin!

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading ~ Peg

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Dearly Beloved, Deerbourne Inn, Food lover, Foodie, Hope's Dream, love, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Another #book, another #GoddessFishTour – for me!!!

So, the newest addition to the San Valentino Holiday Romances that I lovelovelove writing, CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS, releases this Wednesday, 12.12.18. If you’ve been following my blog here, ( and of course you have! hee hee) You know that Nook is currently featuring the book as a NOOKFIRSTLOOK, allowing Nook readers to get the book a full 2 weeks in advance of actual publication. So if you’ve been lucky enough to read it first, yay! Hope you liked it. And btw – it’s still available as a first look until tomorrow – so if you haven’t gotten it now, here’s your chance.

As with most of my new releases these days, I’ve entrusted the wonderful owners and operators of GODDESS FISH BLOG TOURS to help me promote my book to the blog reading masses. Below is a list of all the virtual stops I’ll be making on this tour, and just because it’s fun, I’ve included a rafflecopter at each spot for a chance at a grand prize!!! So be sure to stop in daily, read the posts, link up for a chance to win and – of course!- but the book!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Blogging!
Peg

December 10: Christine Young

December 11: Read Your Writes Book Reviews

December 12: Fabulous and Brunette

December 13: Romance Novel Giveaways

December 14: Danita Minnis

December 17: Andi’s Book Reviews – review

December 18: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart – review

December 19: Lauries Thoughts and Reviews

December 20: Harlie’s Books – review

December 21: Edgar’s Books

December 31: Books,Dreams,Life

January 1: T’s Stuff

January 2: Bookaholic

January 3: Sharing Links and Wisdom

January 4: Book Magic – Under a spell with every page – review

January 7: Locks, Hooks and Books – review only

January 8: Buried Under Romance

January 9: Two Ends of the Pen

January 10: It’s Raining Books

January 11: wendi zwaduk – romance to make your heart race

January 11: Long and Short Reviews

Blurb:

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

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

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

Excerpt:

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

Welcome to mia familia.

Buy Links: Amazon // Wild Rose Press //Nook

ibooks //

 

 

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Foodie, Goddess Fish Tours and Promotion, love, Romance, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#SundaySnippet 12.2.18 An Oldie but a goodie ( and an award winner, too!)

 

I’ve got an oldie but a goodie here today, peeps. My first book for Kensignton/Lyrical Shine and my first book in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE series, COOKING WITH KANDY. I chose this book for today because it’s currently on sale – the ecopy – for 99 cents and I thought to myself, “self, what a great way to promo the book so people can learn about it and buy it for the romance readers on their holiday lists.” 

Shameless self promotion, thy name is Peggy.

Also, after this post was already in production, I found out that COOKING WITH KANDY won first place in the Contemporary Novel category in the OKRWA  IDA contest! So YAY for me! Here’s the link to the winners; OKRWA IDA My name and the book are listed first – and yes, that makes me very conceited to mention it, but happy too!

Here are Josh and Kandy…..

Josh returned to the filled room and scanned it for Kandy.

“She’s in the ladies’ room with Gemma,” Cort said, coming up and handing him a drink. “Here. Give her this. She’ll need it. And by the way, good move with Chandler. I never liked him.”

“Seems to be the general consensus.” He took the proffered glass.

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

It was Gemma who answered. “Yes.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Made him how?” Kandy asked.

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

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

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

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

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

“Are they all like you? No, scratch that.” She sighed, the sound wistful. “I doubt there’s anyone like you.”

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

“I’ll keep it in mind.” She glanced at her sister and said, “Well, looks like my work here is done. She’s all yours now.”

She stood and kissed the top of Kandy’s head. “Evan Chandler is an egotistical, phony prick. Remember that.”

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

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

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

“How so?”

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

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

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

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

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

He returned her smile, glad he could help.

“You’re not so bad, Keane. This bodyguard thing might be fun after all.”

It was a moment before he trusted himself to speak.

“I aim to please.”

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