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A visit with #WildRosePress author Tena Stetler

It’s always a treat for me when a Wild Rose Press sistah drops by to chat – especially when it’s to chat about books and new releases! Today, Tena Stetler drops by to discuss her newest release A MAGIC REDEMPTION, book 5 in A Demon’s Witch series.  It’s in my Kindle queue and I can’t wait to start it! Sit back and let’s listen to Tena…

Good Morning Peggy. Thanks for inviting me over to talk about my new release A Magic Redemption. I am so excited!

Synn the heroine of A Magic Redemption, fifth book of A Demon’s Witch Series, bounced into being during the writing of A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance. I was surprised to see her transformation from a controlled warrior assassin that finally failed to do her master’s bidding. Then she risked her life to share important information to Bruce, the Demon Overlord for the Western Hemisphere for the benefit of man and magic kind. In exchange she was given her freedom and discovered what it was like to be part of a family again.

She was much more of a spit-fire than I imagined. Not having given it much thought until my editor, Lill, asked me what happened to Synn and Gavin at the end of A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance. It gave me pause, until Synn danced through my mind, tapping her tiny foot and demanding that I write her story. Now! Gavin took flight right behind her in support of her demands. What choice did I have? A Magic Redemption was born.

I hope the readers have as much fun reading her story as I did writing it.

(Peggy here – I am sure we all will!!!)

A MAGIC REDEMPTION by Tena Stetler

Blub:

Synn, a demon, carries extraordinary magic and power, but there is more within her than she dreams. Kidnapped as a child, her captors murdered her family and forced her into training as a warrior assassin. When an assignment goes horribly wrong, she finds herself at the mercy of the friends and family of her intended target.  Offering valuable information in exchange for protection, she gains her freedom, but it is not without its challenges.

Gavin Shaughnessy is the publican at his family’s Irish pub.  He is certain Synn is meant to be his and isn’t bothered by her past.  He must find a way to convince her, their future together is stronger than the dark memories that haunt her dreams.

When her past comes calling for revenge, will their love survive the raging inferno she brings down upon them? Or will the searing path of destruction destroy all they hold dear?

Exclusive Excerpt:

Darkness engulfed her. The voices in her head returned calling her a traitor suggesting retribution would be sweet and exacted soon. She fought against the words and covered her ears. As suddenly as the booming words came, it was silent. The dream shifted to a dank room, without windows, or light, and a darkness she could almost feel. Scraping sounds against a large wooden plank door grated on her nerves.

Magic failed her leaving her drained and unresponsive. She curled up in a fetal position. Baltizar’s voice whispered again in her mind. “I still control you. They’re all going to die a horrible death at my hands. You will get to watch. Just like when you failed to save your family.”

His wicked laugh echoed though her mind and faded. A warm liquid flowed over her hands. She looked down. They were covered in blood. Bodies were strewn over what looked like the dirt floor of a cave. Screaming, she awoke soaked with sweat, head pounding and blood trickled from her palms where her finger nails had sliced through the skin.

A loud bark came from the foot of her bed. She stumbled out of bed and rushed to Storm’s crate, knelt, and yanked open the door. A warm, fur ball bounded into her lap, the dog covered her face with kisses. She sat on the floor, tears streaming down her face dripping on the soft fur she buried her face in.

Never allowed to cry, she allowed the flood gates open, and cried for her family, mistakes made, decisions forced upon her, and wished she’d died in the battle with Baltizar. She wouldn’t be responsible for the deaths of her new friends, Gavin and his family, or Storm.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/lELj0amtkk8

Buy Links:
Available from Amazon,   Amazon UK, Amazon AU, Amazon CA,   itunes, The Wild Rose Press, Barnes and Noble  coming soon to Wal-mart.com

About the Author:

Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance. She has an over-active imagination, which led to writing her first vampire romance as a tween to the chagrin of her mother and delight of her friends. After many years as a paralegal, then an IT Manager, she decided to live out her dream of pursuing a publishing career.

With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of witches, shapeshifters, demons, faeries, and gryphons, with a Navy SEAL or two mixed in telling their tales. Her books tell stories of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, adventure and a bit of mystery flourish in her books along with a few companion animals to round out the tales.

Colorado is home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. When she’s not writing, her time is spent kayaking, camping, hiking, biking or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors. During the winter you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn. Visit Tena’s website at http://www.tenastetler.com where you’ll find links to all of her books, blog and pictures of recent travels and setting of her books.

Find Tena HERE:

Website //Authors’ Secret’s Blog // My Say What Blog // Facebook //Twitter //Goodreads // The Wild Rose Press // Amazon // Newsletter // Pinterest //Triberr// BoobBub // Instagram

 

 

 

 

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A visit with my good friend and author, Gina Leuci

I am so pleased today to have one of my favorite people, favorite authors, and much-loved NHRWA chapter-mate, Gina Leuci, visiting me! She’s got a brand new book out from The Wild Rose Press and she’s here today to give us the 411 about it. CAPTIVE HEARTS is the continuation of last year’s release CAGED SOULS – a book I devoured in one afternoon because I simply could not put it down!!! I’m planning to free-up another afternoon for CAPTIVE HEARTS as soon as it downloads on my Kindle! Here’s Gina – show her some love and support, peeps!

Thank you, Peggy, for hosting me today as I celebrate the release of Captive Hearts, book two in my Well of Lies series. This story was incredibly fun to write. The characters spoke to me constantly, and there were days when I would be at my day job with the next scene forming in my head, that I would grab scraps of paper to get the proper wording down while it was fresh so I could go home and write late into the night. I got to the point where I was afraid to write anymore because the story had become so massive that I was way over my word count, but my critique group told me to keep writing and let the story out, editing would come later. They were right, of course. In the end, there was a natural place to split the book at the middle of the story.

First a quick recap: in Caged Souls, we meet Grace and her friends who decide to go on a summer internship from their hometown in Vermont to a farming community in Pennsylvania, where they believe they will be living off the grid – no phones, no internet – for a summer working farms and playing with horses. When they arrive in the town of Wellington, gates lock behind them and they are forced to wear electronic tracking braces and Grace is quick to realize she is trapped and not allowed to leave. Despite the attention and pursuit of the Town Manager’s son, Grace finds herself attracted to the Police Chief, Caleb, whose job is to keep her from going home. At the conclusion of Caged Souls, Caleb agrees to help Grace to escape the locked community.

So that brings us to Captive Hearts, which starts where we left off. Despite the promise of a return home, Grace and Caleb are very quick to discover that the members of the town council will go to any and all lengths to keep those inside the gates from leaving. Without giving away too many spoilers, I will say that security is increased and even the police chief is put onto high security watch, making escape for either of them near impossible. Being forced to live in close proximity, the two fall in love, but they both know Grace needs to go home to her family in Vermont, and Caleb has his own family behind those gates. Happily ever after seems an impossibility for them.

 

CAPTIVE HEARTS by Gina Leuci ( A Well of Lies, Book Two)

Blurb:

Grace Adams has discovered the true reason she was brought to the gated town of Wellington. Now she wants to leave more than ever. With the security level of the town raised to fortress level she is forced to marry the town’s police chief. Hoping to gain the trust of the townsfolk, they pretend to make their marriage look real. It isn’t long before their game of deceit and reality blur together.

When Police Chief Caleb Wellington returned to his hometown, he had his own reasons for increasing the town’s security. Now, he sees the town for what it is: a prison. His relationship with Grace opens feelings he hasn’t had in a while. The last thing he wants to do is say goodbye. But he made a promise to get her home and he is a man of his word.

Excerpt:

Caleb shifted again as he reached over and took another sip of tea. “I’ve been giving that some thought. Do you remember what you said to me on your second day here?” He shook his head. “Probably not, you were stoned. Anyway, you said you needed to pretend to fit in so no one would know you planned to escape.”

I remembered making that plan with Jake, I didn’t remember spilling that to the chief.

He continued. “I think we should pretend to get along. Build trust. Act as though we are trying to make our marriage work.”

I swallowed, but had no saliva left. I grabbed my tea and gulped down the now tepid, bitter liquid. “How far are you planning on taking the farce?”

“Don’t go down that road, Grace,” he said softly. “You know I won’t disrespect you.”

 

About the Author:

Gina Leuci started reading romance at the age of thirteen and never stopped. She met her soul mate on a blind date and married him – not once, but twice: they eloped then had a church wedding, giving them two anniversaries to celebrate. They live in Southern New Hampshire with their son who makes them laugh every day, and two dogs who vie for control as queen of the residence.

Visit Gina at: www.ginaleuci.com or facebook: www.facebook.com/GinaLeuciAuthor

And look for book 1, CAGED SOULS

Plus, here’s my review of  Caged Souls. And a spoiler: it’s a 5star review!!!

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When saying “no” is a good thing…

Just as an aside, I am a member of an on-line chapter in my RWA organization, the Contemporary Romance Writers. Since this is what I write, it makes sense I’m a member, no? Hee hee.

CRWA has a blog that many of the members contribute to, including myself,  and the other day a new post was presented that I swear on everything that’s holy was written exactly for me. I  know it wasn’t – but it really could have been, because it was posted at a time when I was struggling with whether or not to compromise something I’d written just in order for it to be sold.

This is the post :Its’s Okay to Say No, written by  author Brighton Walsh. The gist of the article is that you should never say a yes when you’re feeling a no to a writing situation. As an author – and still one who is relatively unknown – this hit home for me. Hard.

Let me e’splain it Lucy….

I received a phone call – yes, really A phone call, not an email!!! from someone in the publishing industry the other day to whom I’d cold-sent a new manuscript proposal. (Cold sent  is what over the transom means nowadays. It’s basically an unsolicited email about a manuscript). This person called me and was utterly professional, very forthcoming and sincere, and really, really lovely and nice as he/she went about telling me everything that was wrong with my proposal and how I had to change it to make it something he/she could even consider worthwhile to try and sell. Everything from my character names, to their professions, even the plot arc of the book series was “weak” and cliched and needed to be tightened up. I was told that if I wanted to make all those changes  and did – I could feel free to send along the new proposal and manuscript for re-review.

So here are the emotions that went barreling through me at that call: ( in order of their appearance!)

  • thrilled to have been called and not summarily sent a form email
  • nervous
  • hopeful
  • anxious
  • doubting myself as a writer
  • depressed
  • flummoxed

When the call ended I seriously don’t think I took a breath for a few moments.

Here’s the thing: I lovelovelove the story I wrote. truly. It’s got one of my favorite heroine/hero couples that I’ve ever written and every point in the story from their careers to the story arc is exactly how I wanted their story to unfold.

But this in-the-know person in the industry was saying if I made these changes the book might have a chance of being sold to a publisher.

See my dilemma?

Was I willing to change almost everything I’d written with the story just on the slim marginal chance it would be published? Was I willing to sacrifice a storyline and an entire series plot arc, rename characters and change their professions, just to get the story published? Was I willing to abandon all that I’d written and tailor-make it to someone else’s specifications inorder for my words to see print commercially?

I seriously gave myself a stomach and headache that afternoon from all the angst ripping through me.

And then I saw the new CRWA blog post.

After reading it, it was as if the sky had opened up and was shining after a downpour had moved through and darkened it. A little dramatic, but true. I was able to breathe again. My headache disappeared and my stomach pains went the way of the dinosaur. My decision has been made and I think you can guess what it was.

I’ve been talking a great deal about angels lately and how I think they are surrounding me and sending me messages almost daily. I truly believe that blog post was something I was meant to read and learn from. And, just BTW, it’s a really good blog post! You should read it because it can be interpreted for way more things than just writing.

The power of saying No to something that just doesn’t feel right deep down in  your soul, is an amazing sensation.  As women we need to learn to do that more often, especially if saying yes means we have to compromise our integrity. As writers, new and even established, no is a word that doesn’t get said enough.

If my story never gets sold commercially, that will be okay with me, because with all the options of self publishing available these days, I know I could release it on my own.

The power of NO. It’s, as Martha says,  a Good Thing.

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

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on #BookThemes, new releases, and a little introspection

It’s no secret I’ve had a couple’a new books released lately. If you subscribe to this blog you know that I’ve been talking about them ad nauseum! Sorry, but gotta get the word out there, hee hee!

But today I wanted to give you all a little insight into the reasons why there’s such a running theme in my current books.

Forgiveness has been front and center in the last three of my book releases, HOPE’S DREAM, DEARLY BELOVED, and the 12.12.18 book CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS.

In Hope’s Dream, Hope must forgive the grandparents who disowned her father in order for her to be able to move on with her life.

In Dearly Beloved, Colleen must forgive her ex-fiance for cheating, her parents for abandoning her and her sisters during a crisis, and Slade must forgive his father for a myriad of sins.

In Christmas and Cannolis, Regina must forgive her father for his actions in sabotaging her newfound love.

As you can see, forgiveness takes many forms and comes about for many reasons. The reason this has been a prevalent theme for me this year is because…I had to forgive someone in my life.

It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was the most difficult thing I ever had to do. I was stuck in a mad, sad, horrible place in my head for the past ten years +, being angry at this person for something that was done to me. Numerous somethings, in fact.

But, one day my husband suggested I forgive this person so I could start to move on with my life. There was no way, I felt, I could do that. But then it dawned on me: if I forgave the person, I could let the anger I harbored go from my life. Forgiving didn’t mean the person and I were going to be hanging out, or chatting one another up on the phone all day. It didn’t mean this person had to be a part of my life. No. Forgiving them was more about me than the person. More about my feelings, my resentments, my inability to move on.

So. I sat down, wrote a list of everything this person had done and then one by one, ticked off each entry and spoke the words “I forgive you” into the universe. The person who needed to hear them, didn’t. But I did.

And you know what? Once I said them, meant them, and then threw the piece of paper away, I stopped being angry. I stopped being resentful.

I haven’t thought about that person since and before the forgiveness I thought about them all the time.

So, is it any wonder I needed to thread forgiveness into the books I was working on at the time I was doling out that forgiveness?
The lesson learned through this all? Forgiveness isn’t for the person who is receiving it, but for the betterment of the person giving it.

Is there someone in your life you should forgive? Think about it. Then think about how your life would change if you did dole out some forgiveness. Think about how it won’t if you don’t.

I’m pretty sure which track you’re going to take on the forgiveness train.

 

if you’re looking for me, I’m usually here:

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

 

 

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#Blackfriday #cybershopping Avoid the crowds!

I stopped shopping in brick and mortar stores on Black Friday eons ago. I’m not a crowds person.

At all.

Claustrophobia and agoraphobia live in my DNA helix and being shoved, pushed, yelled at, jostled, stepped on, and banged into just to save a few bucks is not my idea of a fun-filled way to spend the day after Thanksgiving.

But that’s just me.

I tend to think that Internet shopping was invented for people like me, and thank you Jesus for that!

So, if you’re like me and avoid all the people ambling about like extras from the Walking Dead, you probably shop from the privacy of your computer. If you do, and you’re looking for something to give to the romance reader on your list, I’ve got a few deals for you!

All my WILL COOK FOR LOVE books are now on sale at AMAZON and KOBO 

All my new digital releases from The Wild Rose Press are on sale for 40% off now until Cyber Monday


And Nook has all my MacQuire Women Books at a discounted rate.

And if you really like shopping in a real, brick and mortar store, you can even find ALL MY TITLES in print form at the TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP in Keene

SO, there’s really no place you can’t find me.

Hee hee!!!

Happy Shopping at whatever venue you choose.

 

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#HappyThanksgiving

I tend to think the actual message of Thanksgiving gets lost somewhere amongst all the tedious and never-ending travel, shopping, cooking, and planning for Black Friday shopping.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Thanksgiving, for me, is a day to reflect on my life. Where it’s going; where it’s been; how can I make it better. This year, as I have every year for the past 3 years, I’ve written a blog post for my writer friend Angela Hayes’ Thankful Authors blog.

 

Unlike in past years, though, this year I asked a question instead of writing about what I was thankful for. I’m reblogging the post here, and providing a link so you can read all the other blogs for the month on Angela’s website.

My question this year? Are you a blessing?

Blessings come in many shapes and take different forms for different people. Sometimes a blessing is a gift, given to you just when you need it the most. Other times, it can be the fact that someone was thinking about you and reached out, never knowing you were having a horrible day. Their out-of-the-blue connection helped you get through that tough time. A blessing can also be a notion that was put in your head that sparked into a full fledged idea, and then with a little elbow grease and good luck, blossomed into something that changed your life – or the lives of others.

However you define it, a blessing is always – ALWAYS – as Martha Stewart is fond of saying, A Good Thing.       

I’m blessed in many ways.

I’m healthy. I have a wonderful and close family unit and structure. I have my faith that gets me though everything on a daily basis. I live in a country where I’m not imprisoned for having an opinion. I have a roof over my head, warm clothes in the winter, and more food on the table than I can ever eat. I get to do what I love for a living and I am supported by friends and family in whatever I try.

I never take those blessings for granted. Never.

Ever.

And I tend to think I am the exception to the norm, especially during the current time we live in. In the affluent community I reside in there are homeless citizens begging on the streets. There are children who are separated from their families and living in foster homes because of incarceration or drug addiction issues with their parents. There are elderly people who must choose between eating and paying their winter fuel bill. There are children who have no access to new, warm winter clothes. There are veterans suffering from PTSD without access to the help they need. There are families who have nowhere safe to live because of the economic ravishes brought about by job loss or illness.

Where are the blessings for these people? Where is their hope?

I know I’m lucky. Believe me, I know that there, but for the Grace of God, go I.

So what’s the point of this ramble you ask? If I’m so blessed, what am I droning on about?

Just this: if you are as blessed as I am, have you ever thought about being a blessing to someone else?

Maybe reaching out and volunteering to serve a meal or two at your local food shelter/pantry? Donating the clothes you haven’t worn since you bought them to a shelter for those who have nothing but what’s on their backs?

Have you ever thought of purchasing a few extra food items when you do your weekly grocery shopping and  then donating it to your church food pantry, or the local food bank?

Have you ever adopted a child or a family for Christmas and helped them with the cost of much needed winter wear or even the ability to give a few toys to the kids?

Have you ever thought what your life would be like without your blessings?

I have. I was one of those kids who didn’t have enough food at times when I was growing up. I didn’t have a new winter coat and had to wear one two sizes too small and missing some buttons. I had no winter boots to guard against the frigid, wet snow. And because I remember what that time was like, I honor the blessings I have now by giving back. By volunteering. By trying to make someone else’s life better.

Thanksgiving is a reflective time for most people. If it is for you and you realize how good you have it, maybe you’ll consider being someone’s angel this year.

Maybe you’ll decide to be a blessing to a person or family who needs one.

Believe me, the blessings you have are nothing compared to the ones you give to others.

Wishing you and your loved one the Happiest of Thanksgivings. May your tables be full, your heart overflowing, and your blessings be immeasurable.

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A visit with my friend, #author Judy Kentrus

Every now and again you meet a person who you know is going to be special in your life. Author JUDY KENTRUS is such a person for me. We met last year at the NECRWA  conference and realized we both had a passion for telling stories about real people who weren’t in their 20’s and 30’s, but a wee bit older. We call what we like to read and write Seasoned romance and romancelandia is finally getting on board with the concept of love over the age of 40! And thank you, Jesus, for that!

Anyhoo… Judy is a prolific and talented author and she stopped by a bit ago and let me interview her about her writing and her personal life. I’m so pleased to share a little something from her latest release,  A CHRISTMAS WISH, with you  as well.

Judy, The Writer 

  1. What drives you to write?

There’s a little person that dances around my head with ideas; characters that demand their own story – some from my other books; it also fills a void in my life…

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?

Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, Seasoned Romance. What would a story be without comedy and mischievous kids. My characters are in their late thirties, forties and fifties. This age range opens up a world of HEA opportunities: starting over after a breakup/divorce; second chances, finding love later in life; empty nesters hoping to rekindle their love, etc. In The Wedding Gift, three ninety-year-olds, The Lemon Sisters, they formed a singing group, “borrowed” a van so they could crash the bridal shower.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?

I’ve an eclectic taste in books, right down to graphic novels like Captain Underpants and Dogman. Romance heads the top of the list, but a variety of books offer insight to all the genres so I don’t get bored.

  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday?

I write every day, at least six to eight hours. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, boot up my laptop and write it down. If I’m not writing a book, I’m doing research. My daughter teases me about what I’ve researched, right down to how to sabotage break lines on semi, the ingredients in crystal meth, or how to give lap dance.

  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

I have an office with a desk top computer. On the wall to the left of my writing area, is a dry erase board with my writing schedule that keeps me on track. It’s filled for 2019. Two large windows overlook my backyard. The wide windowsill is filled with a variety of houseplants. Since I live in the Poconos, my daily visitors are deer, rabbits, wild turkeys, red fox. Occasionally, black bears and their cubs meander up the driveway.

  1. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision?

Total quiet? What’s that? My daughter and her family live with me so my two granddaughters – six and eight – keep things lively. They respect that when my office door is closed, I’m working, but… Yup, tunnel-vision.

  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?

Music? Absolutely. I love Sirius and Amazon Prime music. Depending on my mood, I listen to country, easy listening (depending on what I’m writing) old-school rock, the 70’s, 80’s. In every one of my books, I reference music. In my book Tea in Time, I had my character do a lap dance to Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night.”

  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

My current WIP is my US Park Ranger Series. I read about the problem National Parks are experiencing with makers of Crystal Meth. I had a character shouting in my head – “Pick me! Pick me!” I also have a US Park Ranger living in my community and he agreed to be interviewed. I was blown away by what these Federal police officers have to face and decided to do a series.

  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?

I’d say it’s fifty-fifty. Plots play an important part of a book and drive the story, but it takes strong characters to move it along. My characters have a tendency to take over the storyline and take me in directions I never planned. I also like to people watch. Many times it leads to what if…

  1. What 3 words describe you, the writer?

Driven, hard-working, dedicated,

Judy, my friend 

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!       I LOVE to bake, especially cookies. My family calls me the Cookie Queen. 
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you?  My first love was my husband. We met when we were 14 and never broke up.
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…  The day I married the love of my life.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? I like boxers, but my guys have a tendency to go commando.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Lipstick (this is funny because my daughter works for L’Oreal) 
  6. What three words describe you, the person? Loving, kind, sentimental.
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? I’d like to sing with him and Billy Joel – “Only the Good Die Young.”
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together?  I love Eve Dallas, the Lieutenant from Nora Robert’s In-Death books. I’d do a ride-along on one of Eve’s cases. (Knowing her, she’d object to the intrusion, lol.) Then I’d have dinner with her and Roarke at their mansion. (Peggy here: SEE??? this is why we are friends!!!! that’s my answer to the question every single time!!!)

 

Bonus round

 

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound – my husband’s voice
  2. Least favorite sound – ping from a cell phone
  3. Best song ever written – To Where You Are, by Josh Groban
  4. Worst song ever written – Who Let the Dogs Out
  5. Favorite actor and actress – Sean Connery and Julie Andrews
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) – Kathleen Woodiwiss, the Author. She was an incredible writer and I’d love to have her writing expertise. (Peggy here: I swear we are sisters from another mister!!!)
  7. What turns you on? Music
  8. What turns you off?  Rude, obnoxious people
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “You don’t look like your picture.” (I know six words)
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Summer: Temp: 80, sitting on the deck, enjoying the sunshine, music playing, drinking ice coffee, laptop on the table in front of me, and looking forward to having dinner with my husband.       In the winter, sitting in front of the fire in our family room, writing, and looking out the window at the falling snow, drinking hot chocolate.

(Peggy here: Can you see why I love this lady so much??!!)

 

A CHRISTMAS WISH

 

Caleb Hughes Thompson, owner of Hughes Department Stores, business-driven world is shattered when he receives a letter, written by his recently deceased brother. Daniel thrived on high adventure and lived each day as if it were his last. His dying wish is to have Caleb locate his daughter, the result of a one night stand. He was to start his search in Eden Prairie, Kentucky.

Erin MacKenna is a single mom and a third grade teacher in the Abraham Lincoln primary school in Eden Prairie, Indiana. One crazy night of indiscretion resulted in the most wonderful gift she’d ever been given, her daughter Danielle. Not wanting to damage her daughter of a preacher reputation, she tells everyone she’d was artificially inseminated.

Caleb needs someone to help plan their in-store holiday promotion, Santa Traditions. A teacher in the primary school would qualify to help him   It would also be the perfect place to start searching for his niece.

BONUS SHORT STORY: Danielle’s Snowy Wish

Formerly KW: Undercover Heart

Excerpt

Caleb Hughes Thompson looked out his wall of windows that overlooked Indianapolis. Their building was surrounded by skyscrapers, but he had a perfect view of the historic Soldier and Sailor’s Monument. In the ten years he’d lived here, he’d never taken the time to walk to the top of the monument. He had a bird’s eye view of the holiday tree lighting ceremony they had ever year, but he was too absorbed in his work.

In a little while, he had a meeting with department heads to review the holiday marketing for their two hundred department stores throughout the country. This would be their biggest push to achieve the company’s financial goal before the end of the year. Their online sales had already surpassed initial projections. He had seven weeks to prove his new marketing strategy would double their in-store sales.

As of an hour ago, his focus had changed.

He pushed his glasses to the top of his head and gently brushed his eyelids, trying to erase the burning sensation in his eyes. Crying had never come easy, but his body had sought some relief. The letter he’d just been given from his deceased brother would change his life, his priorities. His future.

He walked across the thick carpeting and settled in his high-back leather chair. With a slightly trembling hand, he picked up the letter written in his brother’s own hand six months ago.

Caleb, since you are reading this, I’m dead. Don’t cry for me. I’ve avoided responsibility, lived my life carefree, just the way I wanted. I knew there would be a high risk in this climbing adventure so I left this letter with our lawyer. You need to sit down before you read further.

            I’m pretty sure I have a daughter.

            Now close your mouth while I explain. About nine years ago, Ned, Paul, and I met three girls in a bar in Galveston Island. I know I slept with one of them because my pillow smelled very sweet. I also found a pair of pink panties.

            Ryan worked at Marshall’s Stables before he took the bar exam and sometimes helped with the kids when they rode the horses. This little girl fell off her horse and hurt her foot. Ryan removed her boot and sock and was shocked to see the little hook in her pinky toe. He made a joke and asked her if she got her cute toe from her mother or father. She said her father because her mom had pretty toes. The little girl had a great laugh and called it her candy cane toe, the same thing we called our toes at her age. She was about six or seven and had reddish-brown hair. Unfortunately, Ryan never got her name. I haven’t lost my mind, but I plan to look for this kid when I get back – if I do.

            You need to try to locate this little girl. I’d start in Eden Prairie, Indiana where Marshalls’ is located. This is just between us. No lawyers and don’t tell Mom and Dad. Don’t even know for sure if this kid really exists.

            Right now you are cussing me out, calling me irresponsible, why didn’t I use protection, how the hell are you to find a kid that may or may not be your niece?

            Get it, Caleb. Your niece.

            She’s probably the only grandchild Mom and Dad will ever have, unless you decide to become a father at forty-two. Just make sure the kid is okay. If you can confirm she’s my daughter, get to know her. Who knows, some day you might be able to tell her about me. She’ll also be very rich.

            On a personal note from brother to brother, you feed on ambition and success, but you’re choking behind that big-ass desk. Get out of that damn office. Take it from me, it’s time you changed your diet. You’ve got lots of money, but a very lonely future. Find someone to love.

            No one ever took us for twins, but you were the best brother. I never said it much, but I love you Caleb. If St. Peter actually lets me in, I will keep a watch over you. If you’re doing something wrong or heading in the wrong direction, I’ll send down a message, better yet, a lightning bolt in the shape of a boot and kick you in the ass.              

Daniel

            Caleb removed his glasses and rubbed his hands over his damp cheeks. Maybe Danny hadn’t been wrong living the vagabond life. He was always warm and giving, a little-known philanthropist, but every day had been an adventure. Was it time he took his brother’s advice and changed his diet? Would he be able to find this little girl?

Buy Links: Amazon // B&N // Kobo

A little more about Judy

 

I’m a romantic at heart, having married my high school sweetheart, who is still the love of my life. While raising our two children, I was a “closet” writer and managed to complete four books. With the e-book explosion, I bottled up my courage and selected my favorite book, reworked the story line, and self-published “Elusive Obsession,” November 6, 2013.
I like to create characters that the reader can relate to/with. Sometimes while writing a scene, I find myself laughing out loud at the hilarious situations I literally toss them into. They’re not perfect with beautiful bodies, they make mistakes, their not afraid to say I’m sorry, they are not afraid to compromise and they suffer all human emotions. Most important, they love with all their heart..
I like to read books with a “twist” or two in the storyline and you’ll find these OMG situations in my stories. They are stand alone books, but I bring the characters from the first book into the follow-up story. I’ve already got readers clamoring for the next book, “Maid to Order”, that centers around Russell, a character from “Elusive Obsession.”
My characters also love to spend time in the kitchen and whip up their favorite dishes and treats. You’ll find a yummy dish or sweet from the books on my website: judykentrus.com.
I hope you enjoy my books and I love to hear from my readers.

You can connect with Judy here:

Amazon // Goodreads // Website // Facebook // Twitter

 

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A chat with my #WildRosePress sistah, Jennifer Wilck

 

It’s always a good day when I have one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs visiting me. Today, Jennifer Wilck drops by and I finally got her to answer my author interview questions. Hee hee!! She did a great job, too! And Jenn’s got a new WRP book out titled LEARNING TO LOVE that she’s giving us a little taste of after the interview, so stick around!

Jennifer Wilck, The Author 

What drives you to write? The voices in my head. No, I’m not crazy, but characters pop into my brain demanding their story be told. Plus, I like taking control of something and making things work out exactly as I’d like.

What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write contemporary romance because I like setting things in the current time and world, and then improving upon reality.

What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I love reading historical romance because I’m fascinated by history and what life was like hundreds of years ago.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? Schedule. Ha! That’s funny. I try to write every day, and in a perfect world, I do. Unfortunately, life isn’t perfect, so it doesn’t always happen. But when all the stars align and everyone cooperates, I typically get business-stuff done in the morning (blogs, marketing, etc.) and then write until my daughter comes home from school in the afternoon. At that point, if she doesn’t need me for anything, I’ll do some more writing or editing until it’s time to get ready for dinner. 

Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I’m kind of a nomad, actually. With my laptop, I can go anywhere, so while I start at the dining room table while I eat breakfast, I move to the couch or onto the deck in the nice weather, or sometimes my desk. As long as I have a window I can look out of to see the trees and flowers, I’m happy.

Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision? I prefer quiet, so I don’t listen to music or have the TV on in the background. I can filter out background noise if I’m sitting in Starbucks or Panera, though. Actually, sometimes writing there is really good because it forces me to concentrate on what I’m doing and not on what’s going on around me.

How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? My current WIP is a four-part series about men who are philanthropists and the women who challenge them. It’s a damaged-hero trope and I love working on it. The idea came to me while my oldest daughter and I were away on college visits in Boston. I’m not sure what happened, but we were sitting in our hotel room while she completed some homework, so I took out my laptop and started to write. Five thousand words later and she said she was hungry for dinner.

Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Usually my characters come first. They’ll start talking to me in the middle of a scene and I’ll have to flesh it out. Once I see that it can work—it doesn’t always—then I’ll figure out the character’s backstory and motivation and create a story around it.

What 3 words describe you, the writer? OMG, you’re limiting me to three??? Pantser, emotional, quick.

Jennifer, The Gal 

Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I always look at the dessert menu first when going out to dinner so I can plan whether or not I want to leave room.

Who was your first love and what age were you? His name was Teddy and I was in elementary school.

If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. That’s a tough one. I’d have to say one of the vacation days with my husband and two girls. We always have a great time together.

Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? All three?

If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? I guess concealer. That way everyone would see how tired I actually am and maybe come up with a solution?

What three words describe you, the person? Friendly, snarky, caring

If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Well that would never happen because I can’t sing. J But if I had to pick, maybe “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt. Or a girl-power song.

If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? Dumbledore. This world needs fixing and I’m starting to think he’s our only hope. Plus, you know, magic.

Peggy here – I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound—my daughters’ laughter
  2. Least favorite sound—whining
  3. Best song every written—that’s way too hard! I love Christina Perri’s Thousand Years, though
  4. Worst song ever written—um, some of the rap songs my daughters’ listen to
  5. Favorite actor and actress—George Clooney and Catriona Balfe
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead)—Christiane Amanpour. I think she is fascinating and I’d love to experience her life for a day.
  7. What turns you on?—humor and intelligence
  8. What turns you off?—ignorance and bigotry
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”)—Is that what you’re wearing?
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day?—spending time with my family without conflict, just enjoying each other’s company and doing something together.

And here, as promised, a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from LEARNING TO LOVE

Dina Jacobs is a single librarian who has never fit in due to her off-the-charts intelligence, frizzy hair and rounder-than-socially-acceptable figure. She left her past behind until she receives an invitation to her ten-year high school reunion, and all her insecurities return.

Adam Mandel is a single corporate attorney who just missed his third deadline at his father’s law firm, the law firm where he is up for junior partner. With his reputation on the line, Adam needs all the help he can get to convince his father that he deserves the promotion.

When Dina and Adam run into each other on a deserted road, Dina thinks Mr. Flashypants can’t possibly be interested in someone like her. Adam thinks Dina is just the person to help him improve his reputation. Lies and insecurities force them to take a look at themselves. Can they trust each other to look beyond the surface?

Excerpt

What the hell just happened? She wanted to be friends.
The only kind of “friend” he wanted to be with her had “boy” attached to it. No, that wasn’t true. He enjoyed her friendship because he loved talking to her, hearing her opinions, sharing himself with her.

But he was becoming more attracted to her. So far, they’d only kissed, but that one kiss, that unbelievable kiss, haunted him. His lips still burned where they’d touched hers, his insides still turned to jelly when he thought about it. In fact, he’d been hoping there would have been more kissing in her apartment once he’d apologized for his gaffe.

But she’d focused on their arrangement and her overreaction, and here he was pulling away from the curb into rush hour traffic.

She thought he was dating her only to impress his father. If he were one hundred percent honest with himself, he’d acknowledge the partial truth in that statement. But the more time he spent time with her, when he wasn’t royally screwing things up with her, the more he wanted to move beyond their arrangement.

His head was another matter. It was still focused on not making a fool of himself, on maintaining the right reputation, on spinning the right message.

But listening to his head was probably what had gotten him into this mess in the first place. As unbelievable as it might sound, it was time to follow his heart.

Buy Links:

Amazon // Apple // B&N 

A LITTLE MORE ABOUT JENNIFER

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Connect with Jennifer here:

website // facebook //FacebookReader Group // Newsletter // Twitter // Instagram // Book Bub

 

 

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Being thankful…

This week I was lucky and proud to have a blog posted on LOVE ROMANCE READS. Since we’re coming up on Thanksgiving next week here in the US, I wanted to write about something I’m thankful for. Here’s the link so you can check it out:  https://www.loveromancereads.com/4/post/2018/11/what-are-you-thankful-for-by-peggy-jaeger.html

 

 

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Introducing #author Sadira Stone

 

 

In the past few weeks, I’ve introduced you to a number of new-to-me authors from the WILD ROSE PRESS. Today I’ve got another  new writing sistah with me, Sadira Stone. Sadira has a new book that’s just dropped titled THROUGH THE RED DOOR and it looks like a goodie! She dropped by recently to talk a little about the inspiration behind the story. Sit back and get to know this rising author.

Inspiration for the book:

Until last year, I was one of those readers–you know, literary snobs who look down their noses at romance for the usual stupid reasons: too corny, too predictable, too fluffy. After finishing another (as yet unpublished) mystery manuscript, I read a few online articles about how fun and lucrative writing erotica can be. I thought, what the heck? Let’s try.

I have never had so much fun with a writing project! It nearly wrote itself, though it damned sure didn’t edit itself. And now, my first contemporary romance Through the Red Door is out from The Wild Rose Press! I’ve totally immersed myself in the world of romance, gobbling books like popcorn, filling my ears with romance podcasts, and joining the Romance Writers of America. I find this genre excellent psychic self-defense against the current political poop-storm. At least in these stories someone will have a happy ending.

Why set the series in a bookshop? Ever since I was a wee lass, I dreamed of owning one. Add to that my fascination with historical erotic art and literature, and you’ve got the Book Nirvana series, set in an indie bookshop with an extensive erotica collection behind a locked red door.

I love stories in which a couple’s powerful physical attraction leads them to consider a partner outside their usual M.O.—one who just might turn out to be their perfect match. That’s how it happened for my husband and me, and my romance fiction contains that element.

I sort of pulled the setting out of a hat. I live in Washington State, and wanted to set my series in a college town. I’ve heard that Eugene, Oregon is a great one with a lively arts scene and a continuing counterculture legacy from the hippie era. After touring the city via online research, correspondence, and Google Earth, I finally made the trip. Eugene is even lovelier than I’d imagined. Kate Rock, a resident author, kindly shared her knowledge of the city’s history and the flavor of the different neighborhoods. I look forward to many return trips.

 

 Letting him inside could be her salvation…or her undoing.

Blurb:

Clara Martelli clings to Book Nirvana, the Oregon bookshop she and her late husband Jared built together. When rising rents and corporate competition threaten its survival, her best hope is their extensive erotica collection, locked behind a red door. In dreams and signs, her dead husband tells her it’s time to open that door and move on. When a dark and handsome stranger’s powerful magnetism jolts her back to life and he wants a look at the treasures of that secret room, she can’t help but want to show him more.

Professor Nick Papadopoulos is looking for historical erotica. Book Nirvana’s collection surpasses his wildest dreams, and so does its lovely owner. A widower, he understands Clara’s battle with guilt, but their searing chemistry is too strong to resist. Besides, he will only be in town for two weeks, not long enough for her to see beyond the scandal that haunts his past.

 Excerpt:

The amber flecks in his eyes danced in the candlelight. Their glow drew the truth out of her like a magnet tugging metal. Deep breath. Just ask. He won’t bite.

“Nick, how did you know when it was time?”

“Time?”

“To move on. To let someone in.”

He shifted away, but the saggy sofa cushion slid him back against her thigh. “Can’t fight gravity.” He chuckled and draped his arm across her shoulders. “Honestly, my body was ready before my heart was. Even if the heart is withered, nearly dead, the body goes on—eating, breathing, feeling, wanting.” He fingered a strand of her hair, his gaze far away. “A friend saw how closed off I’d become, and she…helped me.”

“How?”

“By seducing me. There was wine involved, and music. She wouldn’t take no for an answer.” He cupped her shoulder. “And I’m so glad she didn’t.”

Avoiding his penetrating gaze, Clara focused on the flickering candles. “Did you love her?”

“Not really. And yet—yes, very much.”

“Huh?”

“You see, I’ll never love anyone the way I loved Diana. She was unique in all the world. But she wouldn’t want me to spend the rest of my life pining for her, miserable, alone. My friend helped me see it’s okay to enjoy my life. She helped me realize that one day I might even love again. She told me it’s not something you can rush, but it will come in time if you relax and open your heart.”

Buy links:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // B&N 

A little about SADIRA STONE:

Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. But it wasn’t until her 50s that she tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance and cozy mysteries from her home in Washington State. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, plays guitar badly, and gobbles all the books.

You can Visit Sadira  here:

website // Facebook // Twitter

 

Peggy here: Sadira, thanks so much for stopping by. Any story that has a bookstore as its setting is a book I want to read! Be well and happy writing.

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