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A visit with YA author Christine Grabowski

Today I’m so pleased to welcome debut YA author and Wild Rose Press sistah, Christine Grabowski.

Christine’s debut YA Novel, Dickensen Academy, is out and doing fabulously with readers and reviewers alike.

 

Today, she’s brought along two of her characters from the book, Autumn and Ben,  for a sit-down to get to know them – and the book – better.  Let’s eavesdrop on their interviews for some insight into these two and the mysterious Dickenson Academy…

Tell us a bit about yourself, Autumn.

My name is Autumn Mattison. I’m from Seattle, and I just started my freshman year of high school at Dickensen Academy.

Why did you choose to attend Dickensen Academy?

Who wouldn’t? Almost no one gets in the place. So when I got in, it shocked us all. And it made my dad so proud. It’s got this great writing program, which I’m really excited about. And the art classes sound fun too. And I’ve got it admit, it was great to move out of the house. My dad is a control freak and sometimes I feel like I can barely breath around him.

What do you like about boarding school so far?

It’s so amazing to be off on my own. I’ve only been here a couple of weeks, and I’ve already made four really good friends. My roommate, Aditi, is so sweet. And then there’s Hannah, this girl I run cross country with. Ben and Ryan usually hang out with us too.

What about the classes?

I’m really liking school so far. The classes are small, and the teachers are super-passionate. Especially Mr. Robbins. He teaches Creative Core which is this art class that is supposed to be the backbone of the fine arts program. To me, it just seems like drawing and art. But the faculty says it’s much more than that.

Anything you don’t like?

Well…there’s something weird about this place that sometimes gives me the creeps. It’s almost like I’ve been here before. I keep having these déjà vu moments. But it’s probably all my imagination. My dad would say I have too much of that. But there are also all these rules. Like freshmen can’t leave campus until Thanksgiving, and we can’t hang out with the upperclassmen. There’s even this huge fence hidden in the woods. It feels like we’re locked in. But the teachers say it’s because up here in the mountains there are lots of wild animals. But it seems a bit overkill to me.

Do you have any goals for the year?

I’m hoping to get good grades. I don’t think my dad believes I can hack it on my own. But I want to prove him wrong. No way will I ever do as well as my brother, Josh. But hopefully I can do well enough to get my dad off my back.

Anything you’d like to add?

Well, there’s this guy, Ben. He’s really cute. We hang out a lot, but usually in a group. Aditi thinks he likes me. He even dreamed about me before we got in. Weird, right? But I doubt he’s interested in me. I’m sure he’ll end up with someone more like Hannah, who is model gorgeous.

(Peggy here: Mmmm… something a little creepy, eh? Sounds intriguing!) Christine sent along a picture of Dickenson Academy to share. 

All those tall trees surrounding it and the way the mist eerily is winding around them and the buildings…..wow!

And now, let’s listen in on the other student Christine has brought along with her…

Tell us a bit about yourself, Ben

My name is Ben Coleman. I’m a freshmen here at Dickensen and turn fifteen next month. My family lives in Seattle.

Why did you choose to attend Dickensen Academy?

This place has a great reputation for academics and fine arts. I’m a focused student and like the challenge. But I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to leave home. I’m really tight with my family, especially my mom. It was just the two of us for years until Jim came along. And then there’s my brother, Calvin. He’d just five. The kid looks up to me like crazy, and I do a lot with him, so my mom can get stuff done. I was worried about leaving them alone, especially because my brother has some medical issues. But then I had this vivid dream where my family was at Dickensen Academy, and I woke up feeling I needed to accept and that everything would work out.

What do you like about boarding school so far?

It’s great. I’ve got an awesome roommate named Ryan. He’s a bit of a goofball. But he gets me to let loose—something I couldn’t do much of at home when I always had to be responsible. Then there’s this girl, Autumn. We have the deepest conversations. But as I’ve gotten to know her, I realize she is beautiful in this I-don’t-even-try sort of way, always wearing jeans and hoodies. But I’m sure she sees me as just a friend, and I’m not really looking for a girlfriend right now.

What about your classes?

Love them. The teachers are fantastic. Most are really strict which I actually like. I’m here to learn. But then there’s Robbins. He teaches Creative Core which is this art class that is highly praised. He’s super laid back, so we get to chat with our friends while we work. It’s a nice break from the academics.

Anything you don’t like?

The rules. I’ve made some friends with some of the older guys playing sports after school. I’d like to hang out with them after practice, but supposedly we’re not allowed to “fraternize” with the upperclassman. What kind of a dumb rule is that? I’ve talked to this sophomore, Gabe. He basically said we could be friends later in the year, but not now. I feel like there’s something big they are hiding from us freshmen. Autumn gets the same vibe as me. She suggested it might be some form of hazing. But I don’t know. It feels bigger than that. Ryan tells me I’m paranoid, so I’m trying to let it go. But sometimes I really wonder if this school is more than it seems.

Do you have any goals for the year?

Good grades. Make friends. Just the normal stuff.

Anything you’d like to add?

Can’t think of anything.

(Peggy here- I can relate, Ben. I hate rules, too!)

 

Dickenson Academy by Christine Grabowski

This secluded high school may be her dream come true…or her worst nightmare.

Blurb

Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there.

Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs.

When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?

Excerpt 

“I feel like there’s something big we don’t know about. Something those students were protecting. I mean, really, why are we here?”

I thought it was just me who was confused. “Well…the recruiters said we’re creative and focused.”

“Yeah, that’s what Principal Locke said too.”

“And we have the right personality.”

Ben looked up at the sky, sighed then turned toward the forest. “What did he say…something about how it will soon become clear why we’re here, and there’s some ultimate purpose for our creativity?”

“I know. That whole creativity part was a bit bizarre.”

He shrugged. “It seems everyone is going with the flow. But I have so many questions.” Then he touched my arm to stop me, so I turned toward him. “I’m thinking they’re isolating us for some special reason,” he admitted in an embarrassed tone.

I tried not to laugh—he was acting paranoid. But I didn’t know Ben well. Maybe he was joking, trying to freak me out. Or was he hitting on me? The flutter in my chest moved to my stomach. I was already anxious about being away from home and whether or not I could hack the academics. I didn’t need to obsess about anything else. But I still had to know about Ben’s dream.

“So…I also had a dream about Dickensen before I accepted the offer.”

Ben’s head snapped toward me. “You did?”

Buy/Book Links:

Amazon // B&N // Apple // The Wild Rose Press  // GooglePlay // Kobo

A little about Christine Grabowsk

Dickensen Academy is Christine’s debut YA novel. After graduating from the University of Washington, she earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading.

When she isn’t reading or writing, Christine can often be found running, skiing, or hiking. She lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her supportive husband, two avid teen readers, and their energetic wheaten terriers.

You can visit Christine here:

website // goodreads // BookBub // FaceBook //Instagram // Twitter // Amazon //

 

* Book Trailer:

(Peggy here – Christine, thanks so much for dropping by today and bringing Autumn and Ben with you. I have to say, Dickenson Academy sounds like the kind of place I’d definitely want to visit.)

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#SundaySnippet 9.16.18

Here, for the first time, is the cover to my upcoming Holiday release CHRISTMAS AND CANOLLIS, a San Valentino Christmas Love Story. Don’tcha love the cover!!! Hee hee. Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin to whet your holiday reading appetite:

“You seeing anybody these days? Like, dating?”

Trixie was the oldest of all my brother’s wives and the one who routinely asked after my love life. Or lack of it.

“No free time,” I said. “The bakery takes up all my hours. When I’m not working, I’m planning, paying bills, ordering supplies. Throw in a few much-needed hours of sleep each night, and months can change before I realize it.”

Trixie shook her head, her over-Aqua-netted hair staying perfectly in place while she moved. “You’re too young, Reg, to be sitting alone at night in that apartment. You’re gonna shrivel and rot before your time. A girl’s gotta”—she lowered her voice and moved a little closer to me—“get some sometime, you know?” Her raised eyebrows underscored her meaning as her intent glare lit on me. “Don’t use it, you’re gonna lose it.”

“Lose what?” my mother asked in her usual thunderous voice at just the moment the entire table’s conversations screamed to a halt.

“Nothin’ Ma. Trixie and me were just talking about the bakery.” I hoped against hope she’d let it go, but it wasn’t my mother I needed to worry about. It was Trixie.

She leaned forward and cocked her head so she could see my mother across my chest, the few glasses of pre-dinner vino showing their effects. “I was just saying to Reggie that she should be going out, dating. Trying to find a guy worthy of her. Not one like her loser ex.”

Remember when I said there were times I’d wished I’d been a foundling? Yeah. This was a prime example of one of those times.

“She’s still young and beautiful,” Trixie continued. “She’s got needs like any young and healthy woman does.”

Forget about being a foundling. Maybe it would have been better if I’d never been born.

“Hush with that kinda talk, Beatrice Guilia,” my mother said, sharply. She made the sign of the cross over her chest. “We don’t talk about things like needs and such at the dinner table. There’s kids present. Madonna mia.”

Once Trixie starts on a subject, though, it’s hard to stop her. Not even ’Carlo pulling at her arm can sway her when she wants to make a point. “All I’m sayin’ is Reggie shouldn’t let the tragedy of her past prevent her from finding lasting happiness. She deserves to be happy. In every way,” she added, nodding. “Penny, you get me, right?”

I shot my gaze to my other sister-in-law across the table and sent her a silent, wide-eyed plea to keep her mouth shut.

Penny wasn’t tuned into my telepathic appeal, though. I assumed the vino had something to do with her inability to read my mind and eye signals.

“It’s true, Reg. You got no life outside-a work,” she said. “You need to get out. Meet people. Find a boyfriend. I know a couple-a single guys at work. I could set you up with one of them.”

“Nobody’s setting Regina up with nobody.” My father’s booming voice shot through the dining room. “She wants t’ meet a guy, I’ll introduce her to one. Last time, she went looking on her own, and we all know what happened.”

He looked pointedly at me, and I said a silent prayer for the dining room floor to open up and swallow me. The only guys my father was every going to introduce me to were the ones he associated with. None of whom had modern notions of a wife as a life partner, but more the old-fashioned and archaic ones of thinking of a bride as an unpaid domestic, a carrier of the next generation of sons, and a cook. In essence, a woman who was perpetually pregnant, barefoot in the kitchen, and subservient.

Yeah, I know. This is the twenty-first century, and we live in one of the most progressive cities on the planet. But we’re talking about a lifetime of shared social mores and cultural dictates that were infused into my family since birth. Maybe even before they were born.

Change was not gonna happen.

Coming 12.12.18 from The Wild Rose Press. Pre-order links coming soon!

Look for me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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Something new in Audio!

Overjoyed to announce my first San Valentino Christmas Story A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS is out on audio for all you book-LISTENING-lovers!!

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

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

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

Audio buy links:

Amazon //Audible // i-tunes- coming soon. For a complete list of all my print books, ebooks, and audiobooks, click here: Amazon Author Page

Here’s a little present from me to you to whet your romance reading appetite: The trailer to AKISS

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#SundaySnippet 9.9.18

At this rate, half the book will be on my blog before it’s released into the world! Hahahahah.

Today, a little tidbit concerning family members. Fiona Scallopini is Colleen’s 93 year old, 4 times married and widowed Irish born and bred grandmother. She’s feisty, unfailingly loyal, and loves nothing more than to buck the system. In this scene, she’s being held in the town jail by Chief of Police Lucas Alexander for a traffic violation. Colleen is tasked with bailing her out, something she and her sisters have done before….lots of times before. 

The hallway opened into a kitchen. The decor was circa nineteen sixties, the table an oval of solid oak surrounded by four chairs, one of which was occupied by a leprechaun. A flaming red-headed leprechaun with the bluest eyes ever produced. While the eyes were their birth color, the hair was not. The shade was simply one not found anywhere in nature. I knew it came out of a box—two different boxes, in fact—because Nanny had never been able to find the exact color she desired, so she created her own. All the O’Dowd women resembled our grandmother in coloring and facial structure. My sisters and I could still claim, truthfully, our red hair was from God.

“Nanny, I’m here.”

“Praise the Lord.” She jumped up from the chair and bolted across the room with more speed and vigor than a woman in her nineties should have. “Get me outta here, Number Two. Tilly’s probably having a coronary wondering where I am. I need to get to the home.”

As she spoke, her eyes grazed over Slade and narrowed thoughtfully. “And who might this be?” she asked, pointing her chin in his direction, but addressing me. “Got the look of a legal man about ’im.”

Before Slade could introduce himself, I moved to the other man in the room, one I’d known since birth.

“Lucas, what’s all this about? What’s Nanny done?”

“I’ve done nothin’, child. I’m falsely accused. Police brutality, ’tis. Pure and simple.” Nanny did her best to pull herself up some in height, but even standing on the tops of her toes, she couldn’t achieve more than four foot ten.

“Nanny, please.” I turned back to the chief. “Lucas?”

“It’s what she didn’t do, Coll, that has her sitting here. Her driver’s license expired.”

“Oh, my God, is that all?” I relaxed for the first time since the phone call. “She can just retake the test, then. Her license isn’t too far out of date, is it?”

Lucas looked at Nanny and said, “Do you want to tell her when it expired?”

Nanny’s mouth clamped shut.

“Well?” My gaze bounced between them. “How long ago?”

“Ten years,” Lucas said.

What? “Te-ten? Years?”

Lucas nodded, flicked his gaze to my grandmother and then back to me.

“Obviously, you didn’t know. I wouldn’t have either, but she ran through the stop sign—”

“I did no such t’ing!” Nanny shouted.

Lucas ignored her. “—on Purgatory Place. Pete Bergeron was sitting in the squad and saw her blast through it.”

“Lies! All lies.”

“Nanny, please.” My hand flew to my left eye, bracing it when it started twitching like a meth addict in need of a fix. I turned back to Lucas. “Go on.”

I had to give the man credit. He never lost his composure when Nanny yelled her accusations. He simply waited until she wound down. “Like I said, Pete saw her run the stop and then gave chase.”

“Lights a-blaring, sirens a-blasting like he was chasing a notorious criminal.” Nanny shook her bottle-dyed head, the corners of her lips pulling down to her chin, a click of her tongue echoing with disgust. “The whole of Glory Road saw him barreling down on me like I was Whitey Bulger himself, come back from the grave!”

I ignored her outburst, never correcting her that the famous mobster was still alive and well and living out his days incarcerated.

“When he finally got her to stop,” Lucas continued, “he asked for her license and registration, and where she was speeding off to so fast she blew the stop sign.”

Nanny made a rude noise, crossed her arms in front of her chest, and said, “The man’s a complete askhole.”

“Excuse me?” Lucas’s voice dropped several notches. I imagined criminals wet their pants when he used it on them.

“It’s what she calls people who ask—in her opinion—stupid and pointless questions,” I explained quickly. “Askholes.”

My pulse slowed a little when I saw the ghost of a grin tug at his mouth. “The car’s registered to your dad,” he said after a moment.

I rubbed my eye, then batted it a few times to focus. “Daddy left it for her to use when he and Mom moved. Is the registration expired, too?”

“No. Just her license to operate a vehicle.” He finally turned his full attention back to my grandmother. “What I can’t understand is why you let it go so long, Fiona.”

“Don’t’cha be addressing me as anyt’ing other than Mrs. Scaloppini. You’ve lost the right to use me Christian name, treating me like a criminal as ya are. I used to wipe your snotty nose when your ma brought ya to catechism class. You’ve no cause to be calling me Fiona as if we were friends. We’re not from this moment on and never shall be.”

Nanny Fee provides a great deal of the humor – and angst – for the O’Dowd sisters in my MAtch Made in Heaven series. I just love me a feisty grannie!

DEARLY BELOVED, Book 1 in a Match Made in Heaven,  Coming in November 2018 – I’ll post the pre-order links as soon as I have them!

You can also look for them – and me – here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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Sunday Snippet 9.2.18

I had so much fun posting something from the soon-to-be-released DEARLY BELOVED last Sunday, I figured I do another this week.

Blurb first, so you know what you’re reading ( heehee)

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

Playboy Slade Harrington doesn’t believe in marriage. His father’s six weddings have taught him that life is better if you’re single and unencumbered. But Slade loves his sister and he’ll do anything for her, including footing the bill for her dream wedding. One thing he doesn’t plan on when he signs the checks is losing his heart to his sister’s smart-mouthed, gorgeous wedding planner.

When her ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, Colleen is forced to choose between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.

And now, a little sumthin’ sumthin:

“You’re early,” a familiar voice said from behind me.

How was it possible for anyone to look so damn good all the time? Slade was leaning against the doorjamb, arms crossed over his chest. He’d obviously just finished his run, evidenced by the steam gusting off his sweating body. His hair was plastered to his head, the ends spikey with perspiration. A saturated blue T-shirt molded and outlined every curve and bend of muscle in his torso and abdomen.

Every. Single. One.

The sweatpants dropping down his long, long legs rode low on his hips. Like the shirt, they clung to his thick, muscular thighs and did nothing to hide their power and bulging firmness.

Mother of God.

A ball of instant lust bounced through me, and I started to drool—drool! I swallowed, my neck muscles tight and rigid against the movement.

“Game day,” I managed to say. Okay, it was really more of a toad-like croak, but I couldn’t help it. The man turned every fiber of my being, every system in my body, every nerve ending, to the on position.

He smiled and my toes curled up inside my pumps.

“So this is your, what?” He moved toward me, stealthily, predatory, his hands dropping to his sides, flexing and extending his fingers as he walked. His lips lifted a bit. “Game day uniform?”

He stopped right in front of me. The surrounding air went up a good ten degrees around me from the heat sluicing off him, but my body responded as if it had been slapped with an icepack. My nipples pulled to two painful points inside my lace bra, and my skin prickled with goosebumps, precisely the way it had when he’d kissed me right before leaving my house several hours before. My nostrils flared, filled with the fragrance of the autumn woods he’d run through, mixed together with his natural, earthy, manly scent. Desire drenched me.

Slade reached out and pinched the lapel of my suit jacket. “This color is gorgeous on you.” His voice dropped to a sexy, just-out-of-bed timbre that made my knees wobble. “What’s it called?”

“Aub-aubergine. You know? Like eggplant?”

His left eyebrow lifted, and his eyes twinkled with mirth.

“It’s more like an autumn plum, and since Isabella wanted a fall color scheme, I thought this would be a good way to blend in when I’m running around and making sure things go as planned.” I swallowed again. “I don’t like standing out or drawing attention to myself when I’m working. I want people focused on the bride and the groom, so”—I shrugged—“this seemed like the ideal color for blending. So, yeah. Um…aubergine.”

I really needed to get some kind of therapy to correct this nervous babbling Tourette’s.

Slade’s grin turned wicked, his eyes filling with heat. His fingers clenched my lapel and pulled me in closer with a simple tug. My senses were quite completely filled with the very essence of him. “Am I making you nervous?”

“You’re making me insane,” I blurted. Lowering my voice, I added, “Do you know how incredibly hot you are right now, all sweaty and perfect and—” I waved my hand in front of his body, in lieu of finding the right way to describe what he looked like.

Is orgasmalicious a word?

That wicked mouth widened, and I knew exactly how Red Riding Hood felt when the Wolf grinned at her—like she was about to be devoured. Whole.

A breath later, I was.

Slade’s kiss sent an erotic shudder down my spine so powerful, my heart stopped then kicked back in at twice the normal rate. The only part of his body in contact with mine was his mouth, but he had me in a stronghold I couldn’t move out of. Not that I wanted to. Ever.

With innate mastery, his tongue parted my lips and feasted. He cupped my chin to hold me in place and tilted my head back a bit. The angle allowed him full power over the kiss, which I willingly gave up. I couldn’t have fought for control even if I wanted to, which—believe me—I didn’t.

Did I call him a master at the art of the kiss? What’s higher than a master? A prefect? A god? Whatever it was, Slade was so far up the scale, he made his own title.

He kept his body separated from mine, and I instinctively knew it was because I was dressed for the long day ahead of us while he was still in sweaty running clothes and needed a shower. I had an overpowering urge to step into him, wrap my arms around his trim waist, and forget everything. One of us needed to be the stronger person here, and I’m so glad it was Slade because if he’d even shifted a whisper closer to me, I would have put my yearning into action.

All too soon he pulled back. It took me a few moments to open my eyes and focus. When I did, he was grinning down at me again, his head titled to one side and his fists back on his hips.

“Insane, huh?” He shook his head. “Now you know what I feel like every time we’re in the same room and I can’t touch you. Insane describes it perfectly.”

A lump formed in the back of my throat. If I opened my mouth the frog brigade would croak again, so I took a few calming breaths instead.

“Colleen.”

My name had never sounded so sweet. A million tiny fluttering butterflies beat against my spandex-free tummy muscles. There was something hidden in the way he said my name. Something…promising.

Slade shook his head and stared down at the floor for a second, before pulling his gaze back to mine. A long, deep exhale filled with resignation blew passed his crooked grin. “Not the right time,” he murmured, almost more to himself, than to me. “I’ve gotta go grab a shower, get some breakfast. You’ll be around?”

“I’m taking Isabella and the girls to the beauty salon in a bit. As soon as we get back, it’ll be time for her to get dressed and ready.”

Was that regret in his eyes?

“Charity and Kolby will be here, though, if you need anything. Maureen’s available, too. Just ask.”

Slade took a step closer to me again. “I wish this day was over already.” His voice was soft and low, and a firestorm of need flamed low in my belly. “I wish I was back in your bed, this day behind us. I’d be able to take my time with you, knowing I had all the time in world. All the time to make you”—he leaned a little closer, dropped his voice to a caress—“scream my name over and over.”

What would it have cost me to admit to him I wanted that, too? Too much, at the moment. “Don’t say that.” I took his hand in mine. “Don’t wish your sister’s day away. She deserves an entire day filled with wonderful, lifelong memories. Don’t wish it away for her.”

He covered my hand with his free one, sandwiching mine between them. “I’m not. I want Izzy to have her moment, I do. I just want you, too.” A thin line spread between his brows. “I-it’s just…”

“What?” I squeezed his hand. “Tell me.

His breath was deep and if I had to hazard a guess, troubled. With another shake of his head, he said, “Nothing. Sorry. I’m in a mood. I’ve been thinking about potential parental drama. Today is the first time Janelle and my father have seen one another in a while. I’m not anticipating a happy reunion. For me, either.”

Why didn’t I believe seeing his father was the root of his unease?

Before I could probe further, he stepped back. “Listen. I’m gonna go get cleaned up. I know you’re going to be busy all day, but remember your promise.” That penetrating gaze of his seared right thought me. “I’m collecting at the reception, and you’re not gonna worm out of it.”

Like I would? Please. My parents didn’t raise an idiot, just a nervous twitterer. “I always keep my promises,” I told him.

“I’m betting on it.” He kissed my cheek and left me.

Something was up with him, weighing on his mind. While he might be a little anxious about how his father and ex-stepmom would behave was probably true, I’d wager the secret stash of chocolate covered peppermint candies hidden in my office drawer for emotional emergencies, that wasn’t all that was bothering him.

Tentative publication date is November 14, but I’ll be keeping you updated, peeps!

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#RWA2018, day 1 done…

First day done and gone. What a funfilled day it was, too. Got to reconnect with some old friends and finally met some of my Wild Rose sistahs in person. That was amazeballs.

Yesterday’s first and only workshop for me was a master class in perfecting your writing newsletter. I have to admit, it was waaaaaaay over my head almost from the get-go. That has nothing to do with the presenter and everything to do with my lack of techy skills. The language, the constructs, even the terminology was more than my little brain could take, so I didn’t master the class, I was strictly a lowly apprentice.

Very lowly.

I did get a chance to tour the area a bit, though, before everything started.

Found this appropriate plaque on a wall tucked in an alley. It’s like the Denver Chamber of Commerce set it up just for RWA peeps!

 

This little guy was tucked into another alley, just hanging out and smiling at the passersby.

Denver-ites sure do love their Tex-Mex cuisine. I took this pic at 8:10 in the morning and the locals were already lined up and buying their flavorful truck food for the day. The name on the truck says “Asada Rico – Mexican Grill.’ Burritos and tacos before 9. Whoa!

Along the 16th Street Mall there’s a center lane that’s filled with these food trucks, artists, even a few pianos placed by the Chamber, where people ( mostly the homeless) gather, sit, and in one very special case I saw, play Chopin brilliantly.         

This little stoop was a surprise. I found it as I was walking along and thought it was a private residence with an owner who loved his/her flowers. Here’s the surprise: it’s the MUSEUM of the Wild West!

Kinda cool, eh?

So that concludes my little Denver tour for the day.

Today is a full one. I’ve got tons of classes back to back AND my KENSINGTON BOOK Signing at 3pm, and capped off with the RITA AWARD ceremony tonight. For those of you who follow me, you know one of my dear and talented NHRWA chaptermates, Lisa Olech, is up for an award. All my chapter sistahs who are in attendance are going to be screaming our heads off when she wins. You might even hear us wherever you are.

Just sayin….

Off to the gym. More to come, so stay tuned.

And look for me posting about RWA here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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And so the madness begins….

So, it’s officially the beginning of the conference today, but after being here for 2 days already, I’ve done a ton of stuff.

Yesterday’s workshops with R.L. Syme and the amazeballs Damon Suede were the perfect little amuse bouches to get me revved up for the week ahead. But I wasn’t only listening and learning yesterday. I went exploring as well.

Did you now Denver lives…bulls? Or is it Broncos? Whatever…

    

I found these two beauties on my walk downtown yesterday. I’ve been told there are others scattered all over the city. When I spot new ones, I’ll post pix of them

Yesterday was the first official day to register for the conference. I’m all set….

  

I lovelovelove this pop-up in the registration area.

Dinner last night was spent with great company: My NHRWA chapter President and 2 other dear writing friends. When in Denver, you must eat in a local steakhouse.

Two of the gals had steaks – one bison, one cow – another had a delicious looking vegetable platter, and I settled for an old standby because, you know…..food allergies and such.

 

Cocktails were had – not moi, of course – andI  just have to put one of them on display because it was, to my non-alcohol-knowing eyes, so unusual. Tequila with a habanero pepper, a lime, and a sugar rim. Very western.

So, today’s agenda is a light one. A master class on writing Newsletters this afternoon at 2. Then I’m getting to meet with some of my Wild Rose Press sistahs for a littler meet and greet later on this evening. I’m super stoked about that.

More to come from Denver. Keep tuned….

And find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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#DiveIntoSummerHop with The Wild Rose Press

From July 9-16, my lovely publisher, The Wild Rose Press , is hosting a Dive into Summer Hop over on Instagram. Here’s the official post up on my Instagram page:

Welcome to tbe #DiveintoSummerHop w/@thewildrosepress. We are giving away some great prizes to celebrate #summer
HOW TO ENTER for a chance at an ecopy of The Voices of Angels: #comment and #TagAFriend who would be interested in our hop. Then hop over to @annaloresauthorAND follow her instructions. The hop runs july 9 to 16. Following all authors participating in the hop and @thewildrosepress is required for entry.

Instagram is not sponsoring or affiliated with these giveaways.
#instagramHop #IGHop #authorsifIG#authorsofinstagram #authorlufe #wrkbks#twrpbks #readroses #bookstagram#booksofinstagram #booksofIG#bookworms #readromance#romancereadersofinstagram#romancebookstagram

If you’re interested in participating, click on the following link, comment, follow me on instagram ( if you aren’t already) and the hop on over the author listed and follow her instructions. There’ tons of prizes: amazon gc’s. free ebooks, and more!

Have fun hopping! Click this link to participate on my page: Instagram:Peggy
When I’m not hopping ( heehee) I’m usually here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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#ChristmasInJulyFete

For the entire month of July, NNLightsBookHaven is sponsoring a Christmas In July Fete featuring dozens of romance authors  and a grand prize of a $100 Amazon ( US) gift card as a rafflecopter. Here’s the link for the contest: RAFFLECOPTER  

I’ll be featured on July 17, so make sure you check back at The Christmas in July Fete that day to see what I’m promoting for the (summer!) holiday season!

And when I’m not out celebrating the holiday season waaaaaaay early ( hee hee) you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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A sit-down interview with author Mary Morgan and Rory MacGregor

You all know by now that I lovelovelove when one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs comes for a visit. Today I have award winning author MARY MORGAN visiting and she’s brought along her hero in her newest book OATH OF A WARRIOR, Rory MacGregor with her for a little sit down tete-a-tete.

Let’s get right to it!

“Morning, Mary. ‘Morning, Rory.

Hello Peggy! Thanks for allowing us to visit your lovely blog. Rory MacGregor has graciously agreed to be here today. Though he can’t stay long (terms set forth from the Fae realm), I am confident he can share some insight into his story and the Fae realm.

Peggy: Since you’ve been on our earth for thousands of years, can you share with us how old you are?

Rory: (He arches an eyebrow in amusement) Old is a term for the weathered foliage in our kingdom. I am considered ancient by your standard of years.

Peggy: When Prince Conn sent you back in time to heal your wounds, were you prepared to do so, or did you have an alternate plan?

Rory: At the time, I was standing on the abyss of darkness. My soul was entering what we call the Realm of Shadows. It is a desolate, bleak, and tortured existence with no hope of returning. The prince was unwise in sending me back in time in my condition. Regardless, I am fortunate that the circumstances proved to be in our favor—mine and Erina’s. I will be forever grateful that the Fates granted us this second chance.

Peggy: Can you share what drew you to Erina?

Rory: (Leaning back, he smiles) Her soul called out to mine, and I accepted. Furthermore, it was her great love of the land and animals. Endearing qualities, I admire.

Peggy: What is one word that best describes you?

Rory: It would depend on whom ye asked. Since my brother, Liam, is not here to offer a protest, I would say honorable.

Peggy: Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Rory: Aye, she kens me well, and I am sorry for causing her so much angst in writing this tale.

Peggy: What is your greatest fear?

Rory: To speak a fear out loud is to encourage its existence. I’d rather not bring misfortune to our life.

Peggy: What is the perfect romantic date in the Fae realm?

Rory: Holding Erina in my arms spread out among the heather and foxglove on a warm summer night as we watch the stars near the Waterfall of Life.

Peggy: What is your favorite color?

Rory: The rose blush that begins on my lovely wife’s face, and then continues to deepen the more I trail kisses over her skin.

Peggy: What is your favorite drink?

Rory: Honeyed ambrosia, especially procured from the Fae Pleasure Gardens.

Peggy: What is your favorite dessert?

Rory: (A slow sensuous smile appears) My wife, Erina.

Peggy: Is your book part of a series? What does the future hold for the readers of the series?

Rory: Aye, ’tis a series. My brother, Liam’s story is next. ’Tis called, Trial of a Warrior. In addition, I believe the author is planning a fourth book on our mentor and one of the greatest Fenian Warriors in the Fae realm, Aidan Kerrigan. His story is called, Destiny of a Warrior.

Peggy: I’m in serious love right now, folks!!! Le Swoon!!!!!!! Thanks, Mary, for bringing the delicious Rory for a visit today!

 Can a timeline be rewritten for love?

Blurb:

“You met them in the Order of the Dragon Knights. Now, journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their legends!”

Fenian Warrior, Rory MacGregor’s love conquests are legendary, but he has never spoken of the one mortal female who captured his heart. After his dark secret is finally revealed, he is ordered to return and seal the wounds left open by her death. Yet, he finds the timeline altered and swears an oath to rewrite fate, even if it brings about his own death.

Erina MacIntyre is known for her healing herbs and love charms. Determined to aid others, she refuses to listen to the whispers that call her a witch. When a Highlander steps forth into her path, he ignites a thread of strange familiarity and sparks a flame of desire she is unable to control.

Can the destiny of two lovers find love once more among the ashes of death and betrayal? Or will history repeat itself, leaving a scorching path of destruction for both mortals and Fae alike?

Excerpt:

“Erina, mo ghrá,” he groaned, taking her mouth with savage intensity. She tasted of honey and spices, filling him completely and easing the torment that continually plagued him.

Breaking free, he placed his hands on either side of the door. Giving her all of him required something more from Erina. Without the assurance of accepting him for what he was, Rory would be a lost man.

“Are ye certain ye want to ken all of me? I want ye as sure as the sun rises and sets over the land each day, but ken this, Erina—there is more to me than a simple bedding. There are things about me that might frighten ye. What I’m about to share with ye may cause ye to question my existence, or worse, my sanity.”

Her laugh was seductive and soothing as she wrapped her arms around his neck. “From the moment ye stepped through those trees that first day, I realized ye were not like any man I had encountered. It was as if the trees parted and ye came forth from inside them.” She brushed her fingers along his brow. “For one, ye have the most mesmerizing eyes and they shift colors.”

“And the second?”

Her face turned a rosy glow, yet, she held his gaze. “I thought your body chiseled from the old Gods, especially with all the markings on your back and arms.”

His gaze swept over hers. “I am nae God, Erina, though some would call me a demon.”

She traced a finger down along his arm and shook her head. “Ye are not a monster, but I am nae fool. Ye are not like other men, Rory. I have seen the markings on your body elsewhere.” Her finger curved around his shoulder and he trembled. “They are similar to the ones on the standing stones carved by the ancients.”

Rory fought the tide of emotions sweeping through him. She had come to the conclusion all on her own. “And ye would not flee if I told ye I was one of those ancients? One where the bards wove tales of giants who lived thousands of years ago among your own people? Others would call the story incredulous and filled with heathen words.” He held his breath, fearing her reply.

The smile she gave him speared straight to his soul. “Nae. I would not flee.”

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

A wee bit about Mary Morgan:

Award-winning Celtic paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan, resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to retur

Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling–writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stori

If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.

You can connect with Mary here:

Website //Blog // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads // Amazon // Pinterest // Instagram // BookBub

 

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