Category Archives: Writing

The lonely goodbye…. #covid19 #quarantinelife

I didn’t have a blog piece planned today.

I was going to take a break for a day because the rest of the week and into the weekend is already plotted for me. But as I was trolling Facebook this morning, one of my friends posted this picture and I knew i had to write something to express how it made me feel when I spotted it.

If you know me you know how important my Catholic faith is to me. You also know that I have a medical background and sometimes the two theologies war with one another when I’m faced with decisions I need to make that have consequences. This may be the first time in my life that both teachings have collided so forcefully for me.

All that aside, when I saw this photo I started crying.

Inconsolably.

I don’t know what I would do, how I would be able to survive, if someone I loved died alone because they were in isolation. To not be able to be there when their last breath on this earth is expelled; to not be able to hold their hand while their soul leaves for Heaven; to be unable to kiss their forehead or cheek, or hug them one last time before you never see them again. I know in my heart, despite my faith, I wouldn’t be able to go on.

This is something I never talk about, but today I’m willing to share it because I need to face that the current pandemic may effect me in just this way. I am not afraid of many things. Truly, I’m not. But the one fear I do have and which is my biggest fear in life, is dying alone or having someone I love die without me there with them.

To be cut off from the people you love most in the world, to be isolated in a room surrounded by machines, shut off from human contact because hands are double gloved, faces are masked, and clothing is covered by protective gear, to not be able to hold the hand of your spouse or parent or child as they leave this planet and this life. All those things terrify me.

My darling daughter is quarantined 300 miles away from me. I have not seen her since Christmas. If she were to be stricken with the virus I would go mad with worry. Stark raving mad. Not to be able to care for her, touch her, be with her, would send me over the edge mentally and emotionally. I’m sobbing right now writing this at just the thought.

My parents are 30 minutes away from me and quarantined in their mobile home. Both are high risk due to age and chronic conditions and they have seen no one other than me when I deliver food to them for almost a month. I jumped on the bandwagon of self isolation early because I could see what was coming and I knew they were at risk. If either of them were stricken and, God forbid died, my heart would break because I couldn’t be with them.

Every night I pray for my family, my friends, the people of this country and then the world. To die is part of living, I know that and I get it. But to die alone, without the people who love you and who you love with you, is by far the worse thing I can think of. Human touch, the human one-on-one connection, is so ingrained in us as a species, that to be robbed of the ability to reach out and touch another person, or to sit with them or offer comfort, is anathema and counterintuitive to who and what we are.

As this pandemic kills even more people and destroys the lives of those left behind to survive without their loved ones, I am taking my cue today from Pope Francis and praying for all those who have died alone, and for those families who have never had a chance to kiss them goodbye.

And I am keeping all the front line doctors, nurses, police, fire fighters and EMTS who have become surrogates for so many loved ones,  in my prayers as well.  Their sacrifices can not have been made in vain.

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A few thoughts on the current world situation…. #stayhome #flattenthecurve

It’s been at least a week since #stayhome started trending everywhere in the U.S. I was actually a little ahead of the curve because I started self isolating the moment I heard about the nursing home patients in Washington. I knew, instinctively, that was just the beginning.

Am I psychic?

Not even a little. Just infection wise.

I became a registered nurse during the infant age of AIDS. Back when pneumocystis carini pneumonia( PCP)  was rapidly making its way through the gay male population of New York – where I worked and lived – I was a nursing student in Bellevue Hospital in NYC. During my intensive care rotation, I was assigned to, and  took care of, a young, comatose, black man. The nurse in charge told me that the health department was seeing an uptick in this new strange pneumonia infecting and killing young, gay men. The patient wasn’t in isolation at the time because the medical establishment thought the disease wasn’t transmissible. No one knew what AIDS was yet. Conventional wisdom dictated that you couldn’t catch pneumonia from another person. You can catch the bacteria or virus organism that may affect your respiratory system, but just being in contact with someone who has pneumonia doesn’t mean you will get it. Even still, precautions were taken when caring for the young man and we wore gloves while touching him.

Not gowns. Not masks. Not respirators.

Just gloves.

I remember so vividly thinking at the time the we should have–if not for our own safety, but for that young man’s– been better protected. He was already immunocompromised. What if the staff carried something to him? We could have been making his condition even worse. ICU’s are a hotbed of germs and invisible pathogens. When you are caring for someone in a coma you come in very close contact. Even a common cold could have killed him if one of us breathed over him and sneezed, or coughed.

Flash forward 40 years ( and doesn’t that blow my mind!!! 40 years since I was in nursing school) to this moment in time. As with  PCP, Covid 19 came out of no where and is now decimating people all over the world. And this time we know for a fact that if we are carriers of the virus we can infect and potentially kill people.

Read that again. If we have the virus, even if we are not symptomatic, we can potentially kill people we come in contact with.

Why, then, are there still individuals walking around without a care in the world? Why, then, are the Gen X’s still on spring break, crowding into bars? Traveling in packs? Why are people in retirement communities still going to bingo and rumba lessons? And for God’s sake, why aren’t all schools – all levels, including college – still not closed?

Have we truly become a nation of people who don’t care about others? Care about how our actions affect other people, those who are already compromised due to chronic health issues, or homeless, or have no access to adequate health care?

I don’t think we have – at least I hope we haven’t. All indications to the contrary aside, I truly believe we are a nation who cares.

So if you fall in the category of people who I think care about others, first, bless you. Then, if you are not an essential member of the work force – nurse, doctor, EMT, fireman, grocery story worker, pharmacist – then stay the hell home. If you don’t care about infecting others, then care about being infected yourself. This is the one time in your life it will be okay to be a hermit.

This is a practice the medical experts tell us will surely flatten the curve of new cases developing, which will in turn get us out of the situation faster and hopefully with less people afflicted and/or dead.

Listen to the experts. Not your next door neighbor or your son’s girlfriend’s mother who owns a nail salon and says that the virus won’t get to them. Hey, they wash their hands, they tell you. Often. Don’t listen to political pundits who tell you everything is fine and we have nothing to worry about. They just want your vote so they can stay in their cushy jobs.

Ignore these people.

LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS. The Public Health doctors and scientists and researchers who have as their purpose in life the health and well being of the population.

Take this time to take a beat and do what is recommended by the people in the know. This will pass. If we take precautions and listen and do as we are told, it will pass quicker and with less loss of life, erosion of our economy, and destruction of our lifestyle.

Life as we’ve known it will return to normal if we listen to the people who know best. Don’t be a self righteous, ignorant dick and think you are the one person in the world this will not touch. Because it will.

 

 

 

 

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On Book reviews – good ones, bad ones, and ones that make you go “WHAT??!”

I’m not gonna lie….I read my book reviews.

Many authors will tell you they never do because they don’t want to hear anything negative about the book, or that it makes them uncomfortable, or anxious or ( insert your own descriptor).

Not me.

I read every single, friggin, review I find, especially those from people I don’t know. You kind of expect the people you know to say something nice about your book. But it’s the ones I’ve never met, who don’t know me from Eve, who when they take time to write something about one of my books, I sit up and take notice. I’m not arrogant enough to think my words will inspire, entertain, and bring happiness into every single reader’s lives. It’s my hope, but not my reality, peeps, heehee.

What I always find intriguing though, is when one book has polarizing reviews – both ends of the spectrum from 5 stars to 1.

Let me e’splain….

This was a recent review from a very famous author I know through a publisher connection. We have never met, but I thoroughly enjoy reading her books and she is a one-click author for me. For TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS this is her review, up on Amazon:

Katie O’Sullivan

Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2020

Format: Paperback

Peggy Jaeger has done it once more, proving why I keep returning to her stories again and again. The vivid portrait of small town life, the depth of the characters and the breadth of emotions… I love escaping to the worlds this author creates on the pages.

Ms. Jaeger writes in a first person point of view that drags the reader along on a sometimes chaotic ride with Cathy O’Dowd, a small-town lawyer and the eldest O’Dowd sister in the small town of Heaven, New Hampshire. She took over her father’s practice and responsibilities when her parents retired, one of which was sitting on the board of the local Historical Society. When a well-known author comes to town to research his new book, the pair are thrown together and sparks begin to fly.

Okay, none of that sounds terribly exciting, does it?

Small town lawyer. Author doing research. Historical Society.

It all reeks of dusty pages and yawns hidden behind polite hands. And yet…

This story crackles with emotion and tension, as the main characters are instantly drawn to each other but trying desperately to ignore the electric connection. The stubbornly broken characters kept me glued to my Kindle rooting for them to give into their feelings, to get over their sad pasts and find a happily ever after with each other. The scenes with Cathy’s grandmother, Nanny Fee, add comical humor and lightness to the overall story. Ms. Jaeger does a wonderful job of creating real characters we can relate to and root for, with the strong background themes of family and forgiveness running throughout.

I finished this book in a day, and loved escaping into the world Ms. Jaeger created. The first book in this series, Dearly Beloved introduced the town of Heaven and the sisters… And I know there’s one more O’Dowd sister whose story has yet to be published (I can’t wait!)

Amazing, right? And such an ego stroke I can’t tell you!
Now, here’s the same book and a review from Netgalley from someone I don’t know from Adam:
Maggie – 1 star
I have thoroughly enjoyed what I have read so far in Today, Tomorrow, Always. I love the small town atmosphere, the family surrounding Cathy, and the love and patience she has for her family, her sweet dog and her community. The buildup of Mac’s background and loss of his family add to an intriguing mystery. Why did you throw in a gay marriage? My decision is to not finish this book and not request any more of Peggy Jaegar’s books. I read Christmas and Cannolis last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thus, I requested this book. Please leave LBGTQ topics no matter how small under LBGTQ headings. It may be only a minor one-page item, but I am not interested in finding out. I will not be leaving a review on Twitter or Amazon as I do not believe in writing negative reviews.
The last sentence made me laugh. THAT’S exactly what she’s done, isn’t it??
Like it’s been said many times in the past : You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Now, if this reviewer had said the story was boring, or the writing was sophomoric, or even that the characters were unrealistic, I would have taken her words to heart and chalked up the bad review to someone who just didn’t like the book. This is still America, people, and we are allowed to have opinions that differ.
But…. this isn’t really a review of the book, is it?
Think about it.
Reread her words.
This is about 1 scene, 250 words, 1 page of a book that she even claims she was enjoying up until these 250 words came into play. For whatever reason this was a trigger for her and she decided to condemn me for the rest of my book writing life.
This is just one of those aspects of being an author that makes me go… WHAT??!
If you’re looking for me I’m usually here ( or out reading my reviews!)Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me // Watch me
…And liked Katie mentioned above, Book 3 BAKED IN LOVE is with my editor, but you can read the opening scene here: PJBlog
Until next time, kids ~Peg

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Roses for Australia; AUSTRALIA BURNS #Anthology from #TheWildRosePress

I’ve been a proud member of the WILD ROSE PRESS  Rose Garden for 5 years but never have I been so PROUD to be published by them than I am right now. Below is letter from our Editors In Chief, Rhonda Penders and RJ Armstrong about a project the WRP has recently undertaken, AUSTRALIA BURNS. It’s a 3 volume anthology of short stories in various genres from Wild Rose Authors who volunteered to have their stories published to benefit the charitable organizations of Australia and help them with the costs of rebuilding this beautiful country. Neither the authors nor the publisher are assuming any royalties from the sale of these books, all proceeds going to Australia. All the editing and graphic design was conducted by the editors of WRP on a volunteer basis. This truly was a labor of love.

Please read this letter then go to the WRP website and purchase the books. I’ve provided the links below

My short story THE TUESDAY NIGHT MEETING is in volume 1.

Authors have always been known to help one another but when our own Australian author, Stephen King, asked his fellow authors what could be done to possibly help his beloved Australia during the horrendous wildfires, The Wild Rose Press authors stepped up in a big way.

The result of that initial conversation, less than a month ago, is a 3 Volume Anthology.  Over 40 authors donated a short story.  The Wild Rose Press’ editors, artists and production staff donated their time and talents to edit these stories and compile them into an anthology.

 

Volume 1 and 2 have been released and are available to purchase on our website in print form.

https://www.thewildrosepress.com/product-category/writers-shop-cat/special-release-paperbacks

The first volume in ebook can be found on Amazon as well as any other distributor where you purchase ebooks.

https://www.amazon.com/Australia-Burns-Show-Some-Love-ebook/dp/B0848W2HQT/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Australia+Burns&qid=1580208647&sr=8-3

All proceeds from these 3 anthologies will go to help support the recovery of Australia.  We asked Stephen to decide where the profits would go to do the best work and after much research he continued to come back to The Red Cross.  We can identify where we want the donation to go and we will have it go directly to the efforts of The Red Cross in helping with the recovery effort in Australia.

Stephen gave us an update today and if you want to read more about what is happening directly from someone who is there you can read more here:

Recent rains have helped enormously, still there are fires, but not to the same extent as there were, and the focus now is more on recovery and rebuilding. To that end there are advertising campaigns now to stop what’s called the second wave disaster and that is people staying away from tourist areas and business who rely on travelers and visitors to survive. Most of our tourist destinations are unaffected, yet people think the whole country is gone, which of course isn’t true. The problem of course is that if people stop visiting, businesses will go broke, making the overall recovery much harder. With the rains, re-growth has already begun and some burnt out areas have grasses and shrubs recovering already.

Then of course there is the wildlife, and those organizations such as the RSPCA, and others are doing remarkable work rescuing animals and rehousing them. A lot of our native trees are Eucalyptus, and with millions of trees gone, Koalas only eat those leaves, so regrowth and resettlement is going on in huge numbers to save a cuddly species from extinctions in the wild. Kangaroos will bounce back, and in time, the feeling is most other animals will to, but the key words are – in time. In a lot of cases we hope the burnt trees themselves will regrow as they have evolved to grow after bushfires. I’m told with heavy rains in recent days some are showing green growth, which is encouraging.

All charities are ‘working their bums off’ but the one who seems to be doing the most is the Red Cross. So in closing, two things.  Firstly – and I know I’ve said it before – my heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you for participating in whatever way you have. Forty eight stories simply is mind-blowing, and the offers for promotion, trailers, editing, cover design, formatting and of course redirecting the money has been so uplifting I can’t even begin to tell you – and for someone who uses words all the time – that’s saying something.

Secondly, if ever you’ve thought about visiting this country, now’s the time. And as Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee) once said in some fantastic famous ads in the US and across the world. “Come on down; I’ll throw a shrimp on the barby for you.  – Author Stephen King

Available in paperback through our website – click here  and will be at Nook, iTunes, KOBO, Scribd, and other fine retailers within a few short weeks.

 

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#Author Donna Simonetta on #writing series Romance…


 

Recently, I wrote a blog about my favorite one-click authors.   I’ve actually done several, and one name is consistently on that author list: DONNA SIMONETTA, who’s visiting me today.  I “met” Donna through our mutual publisher, the Wild Rose Press , and from the first book of her’s that I read, I was hooked as a reader. I’m so proud to know her and call her a friend, but I’m really blown away by the fact that she calls me one!

Donna’s got a new entry in her RIVERS BEND series that she’s talking about today. I have the book uploaded on my Kindle and I’m starting it tonight!!!! Who wants to bet I’ll be getting even less sleep than I usually do tonight? heehee.

Here’s Donna…

My new release, What Was I Thinking, is the final installment of my Rivers Bend Trilogy. To celebrate, Peggy Jaeger invited me to visit her blog and talk a little about writing a series. Since Peggy has written so many series I loveloveLOVE, Will Cook for Love, San Valentino Family, The MacQuire Women, DotComGirls, and A Match Made in Heaven sound familiar? I think I got all of your series, didn’t I, Peg? ; ) My point is––Peggy is a queen of series romance, so having little ole me write about it on her blog feels a little bit like bringing coals to Newcastle. But here goes…

My Rivers Bend books are set in a fictional small town on the Virginia-Maryland border. The river in question is the Potomac, which flows through the town. And the series follows the romantic adventures of the Braden family. Oldest brother Jeff is a former NFL player, and favorite son of the tiny town. He runs the Retreat at Rivers Bend, a corporate retreat facility, and is raising his tween daughter on his own, since her mom passed away when she was just a baby. He’s happily single…or so he thinks! He may just have met his match in newcomer to town, librarian Magda Horvath, a Yankee transplant, who blows into town with her one-eyed shih-tzu rescue dog and turns Jeff’s world upside down. Their story is told in book one of the series, A Sweeter Spot. Which is coming out as an audiobook very soon!

 

Jeff’s sister Heather is featured in book two in the trilogy––Love is Lovelier. She works for Jeff at the Retreat, and is seriously unhappy with her brother when he hires her first love to work at the Retreat, in a job that should be hers. To be fair, Jeff didn’t know about Heather and Mick’s history. But now that Mick is living in town, old passions flare, and maybe they’ll get a second chance at their first love in Rivers Bend.

What Was I Thinking wraps up the trilogy with youngest brother, Jason Braden. He’s the romantic wild child of the family…never settling down with one woman. But when Lily Davis moves to town to take care of her niece Hadley (Jeff’s daughters’ BFF, and featured in the previous books), sparks fly between Jason and Lily. At first, they are sparks of mutual antagonism, but a wild Vegas fling changed them to sparks of attraction, and maybe by the end of the series, these two opposites will find their happy-ever-after in Rivers Bend.

This little town has begun to feel real to me. I’ve been so immersed in it for the last few years, while I’ve been writing these stories. I can picture the town green, with its’ gazebo on the river, the old brick library where Magda works, and would love to get a cup of coffee at the Nosh Pit, or a slice of pizza at Mancini’s. I’ve been walking its’ streets in my own mind for so long, I’m going to miss it now that the Rivers Bend trilogy is complete. The Braden family, and all the quirky secondary characters who reside in the Bend have become old friends to me. And while I’m proud to have finished the series, and excited for all of you to read the third book in the trilogy, it’s a bittersweet moment for me. I don’t know if I’m ready to leave Rivers Bend yet. Mick’s little brother moved to town, and he’s just crying out for his own HEA, and maybe the next generation of Bradens, oldest sister’s Deidre’s college age twins, will need their stories told too. Never say never.

In the meantime, I’m polishing up an unrelated novel, about ghost hunting brothers in Richmond, VA, which has the potential to become a series too, and I’ve had the idea for a spin-off of the Rivers Bend series nagging at me for a while. It’s set in my current hometown of Baltimore, and features Lily’s best friend Roni, and Heather’s musician friend, Chase. But right now, their story is just a twinkle in my eye.

I hope all of you enjoy visiting Rivers Bend, as much as I enjoyed creating it, and all my old friends in the small town become new friends of yours, as you read the series.

 

 

A Vegas fling never leads to love…does it?

Blurb:

A wild Vegas fling isn’t the traditional Thanksgiving celebration, and Lily and Jason have been like oil and water since they met. Blaming their steamy hook-up on too many shots at the bar, they head home.

Back in the real world, Jason wonders if he’s ready to give up his crown as the Playboy King of Rivers Bend to be with just one woman. And Lily has enough on her plate right now without adding Jason Braden to the mix, even if their attraction is crazy-strong.

But life is good at throwing curveballs, and a lot can happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Maybe even enough to lead these two polar opposites home to each other in Rivers Bend.

Excerpt:

“I think about a lot of things.”

She felt him stiffen up behind her, and Jason’s tone of voice was defensive. She hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings. “I know you do; I didn’t mean anything by it. We poke at each other”—she shrugged—“it’s kind of our thing.”

His grip on her hand loosened, and then he took control of the dance, by twirling her until her back was pressed to his front, and he began to move sinuously in time to the rhythm. His breath tickled her ear, as he spoke right in it to be heard over the music. “We’ve got a thing, Moonbeam?”

Jason had ditched the tie and suit jacket after the wedding, and his body heat scorched her through his crisp white dress shirt. And man-oh-Maneschewitz, his lean, hard body felt good. Really good. The Marine might be bulked up, but Jason’s body felt like it had been made for hers, which given their mutual antagonism, seemed like proof Fate was enjoying a good laugh at her expense. Against Lily’s better judgment, her body melted into his warmth and began to move with his.

“Sure, we’ve got a thing,” she said over her shoulder, and was irritated to hear a trace of breathlessness in her voice. She cleared her throat and continued, “Like that—you calling me Moonbeam, because you know it bugs me.”

Buy Links:

Amazon: // Barnes & Noble:// Kobo //  Google play //Books-a-million

A little about Donna:

Donna Simonetta writes the kind of books she loves to read–contemporary romances with heart, humor, and heat. The kind of books that help you escape the real world for a little while. Writing is Donna’s third career. She toiled in the business world, and when she decided being an Account Executive wasn’t for her went back to school to get her MLS degree. Next, she worked in a school library for many years. But, Donna dreamed of being an author since she was a little girl, and began to squeeze writing into her day. After the publication of her second book, Donna decided to leave the library and become a full-time author. It can be a solitary job, so she loves to connect with her readers–you can find her online Here:

FaceBook // Twitter // Goodreads // Amazon // BookBub // Instagram// Wild Rose Press//

Donna lives in Maryland with her husband, who is her real-life romance hero. They enjoy traveling to visit far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

Peggy here: for the record – Donna is amazing at series romance, herself, so don’t let her fool ya!!! I’ve reviewed the previous books in her Rivers Bend series and am so looking forward to reading WHAT WHAT I THINKING?? 

My reviews:
Love is Lovelier

Love Calls You Home

A Sweeter Spot

Happy reading, peeps.

Until next time ~ Peg

 

 

 

 

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How A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK came to be….

I’m visiting fellow WRP author Alana Lorens today, talking about my inspiration for RICK BANNERMAN. I wasn’t always going to write his story…come find out why: APoB:R

And RICK drops one week from today! Have you ordered your copy yet? Here, let me make it easy for you ( heehee)

Amazon // B&N // i-books // Books-a-million

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A look ahead….

 

Seems appropriate that I title this one a look ahead when the last blog was about looking back.

I’m nothing if not consistent, peeps. Hee hee

I’ve got some career goals for 2020 that I want to accomplish, in addition to some personal ones that need doing, as well.

1.Write a minimum of 1000 words before I start my actual day – what this means is that while I’m still in jammies, I write. Once 1000 words is achieved I get to get dressed, and do the adulting things I need to – like gym, laundry, etc. When they are done, I can write more.

  1. Finish 3-4 complete manuscripts in 2020; self-pub one of them. A lofty goal.
  2. Gym 6-7 times per week. No excuses. I’ve got a wedding I need to be camera ready for in May 2020.
  3. Eat better, and by better I mean, cut out the crap!! All of it.
  4. Double my book sales this year through organic exposure. More about this in 2020 blogs!

These seem more doable than last year’s goals, only 2 of which ( out of 7 ) I managed to keep. That’s a horrible track record and i hope this year is sosos much better for me.

 

Some of the amazing things coming for me in 2020 include:

  1. My daughter’s wedding in May
  2. My 60th birthday (also in May!)
  3. I have just signed on to write another monthly blog for a blogging group called ROMANCING THE GENRES. That makes 2 blogs, in addition to my own, that I can get exposure to the masses. Not too shabby, eh?? Heehee
  4. My 33rd wedding anniversary.

I’m sure more wonderful stuff will come down the pike for me, especially if I stay positive, focused, and keep my eyes forward and not dwell on the negatives.

I think that’s a good start, don’t you. We’ll see how far they get, which ones drop off by the wayside, and which ones become habits-for-life.

The happiest of New Years, peeps. ~Peg

 

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A look back…..

As I’ve gotten older, I find myself in a reflective mood this time of year. The current year is drawing to a close, the New Year is just over the horizon. Since I’m such a lesson-oriented person with a tad of goal-making obsession thrown in, I wanted to look back on this year at the highs – and lows – and see what I can learn to guide me into 2020 with a brighter, enthusiastic mindset. At the end of 2018 I made some goals for myself for  2019. Of the 7 things I listed, I only stuck to 2. More about that on tomorrow’s blog.

For now, since being positive is such a good thing, let’s start with the good things that happened this year.

  1. I had 3 books published through 2 publishing houses and I released my very first indie pubbed book into the world  ( the story of how this came about is detailed on tomorrow’s blog, so check back.)      
  2. I celebrated my 59th birthday and my 32nd wedding anniversary. No small feat, either of them.
  3. I never wrote them all out together until now, but I won ALL of the following awards this year:
  4. 2019 NERFA WinnerContemporary romance 40k-56k CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS
  5. 2019 Book Buyer Best Top pick of the year Contemporary Romance – DEARLY BELOVED
  6. 2019 Book Buyers Best First place in Mainstream Romance: CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS
  7. 2019 International Digital AwardsWinner CONTEMPORARY NOVEL – CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS (this is the second year in a row I’ve won this division, so YAY!)
  8. 2019  Golden Quill ContestWinner Contemporary CAN’T STAND THE HEAT
  9. 2019 Maine Romance Writers Strut your Stuff Grand Prize Winner DEARLY BELOVED
  10. I finaled in a bunch more contests, but the wins have a tad more cache ( hee hee)
  11. I sold more books than ever before this year, so I hope that means I gained some new, loyal readers. That’s the goal, anyway!
  12. I joined a fabulous Blogging Group called the ROMANCE GEMS where I get to blog to the masses once a month ( more if I want a special day!) The support and love in this group is astounding.

And of course, there were things that weren’t so great that happened and need to be listed.

  1. I was dropped by one of my publishing houses after book 1 of a 3 book series was published due to low sales. I never realized they wanted me to sell 1,000,000 books right out of the gate. And yes, if that sounds bitter….I am.
  2. I received some not very flattering reviews for a few of my books ( and yes, they were outnumbered in droves by the positive ones, but the negative ones are the ones you ALWAYS remember)
  3. I tore the rotator cuffs in both arms, the bicep tendon in my right and had to have surgery to fix the right arm so I could function like a human being again. ( Left arm is next year)
  4. I continue to see my parents deteriorate with age and that truly saddens my soul.
  5. Several of my friends lost their parents this year making # 4 a reality for me to come.
  6. The world around us is very dark and scary right now and I truly am sick and tired of seeing another high school or mass shooting, or another home-terrorist attack every time I look at the news. I am trying to be hopeful for the future, but it’s hard.

I am happy and hopeful, though to see that there were more good things listed above than bad things.

So, I look forward to starting 2020 renewed, recharged, and delighted with the potential happiness the year will bring.

Happy New Year, peeps  ~ Peg

 

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A brand new release from #author Barbara Bettis…

I have a special treat today for lovers or romance, medieval times, and historical books. My dear writing friend, Barbara Bettis, has just released a brand new KNIGHTS OF DESTINY novella, titled A WINTER KNIGHT and she graciously gave me a sample to share with all of you! So sit back and enjoy!

A Winter Knight (A Knights of Destiny Novella)

 

Blurb:

He’s running from his past; she’s running from her future. But on a snowy winter night, they find each other and the surprising gift of love.

Sir Nicholas has given up on marriage. These days he’s content to captain his friend’s troops and avoid entanglements—until one winter night when he rescues a half-frozen woman from a snowstorm. Her irrepressible spirit and kindness to others reminds him that all ladies aren’t like his former intended, who wed his brother while Nick was on crusade. But he can’t open his heart to Lady Clare. She’s bound to another, and Nick won’t forfeit his honor. Even if she were free, he has nothing to offer but love, and this lady deserves everything.

Lady Clare’s dying grandfather has arranged her betrothal, but the arrival of the man she’s to wed sends her fleeing into a snowstorm. Injured when her horse stumbles, she’s rescued by a mysterious knight. She recovers at his run-down manor, safe at last—until her betrothed tracks her down two days before Christmas. Trapped at home with the wedding imminent, she longs for the winter knight she’s come to love.

Only a miracle can bring Clare and Nick together. But at Christmas, anything is possible.

Get your copy here: AMAZON: https://amzn.to/356xovq

 

EXCERPT

Who was she? And why in Satan’s name was she out here alone? Maybe she’d lost her wits and took flight in a disordered panic. He’d seen women—men too—lose their reason and go wild with grief. Or loneliness. Had she been confined to the same place for weeks on end, with no voice to hear but her own? Had she finally set out alone to find someone—anyone— else alive in the world? His shoulders stiffened. Where in Hades did that thought come from?

He glanced at the soft bundle he held and tightened his arms. Answers would have to wait until she woke. Giving Solomon a touch of heel to pick up the gait, Nick followed his earlier tracks and made it back to the manor quickly.

“Send for the healer,” he called to the guard as he rode through the gate.

“Don’t got one,” came the answer.

Of course not. Someone sure as Hades was needed to care for this unwanted guest.

Tom waited at the stable door.

“Take care of Solomon, then come to the hall. I have an errand for you.” Surely a woman lived somewhere close and could help out on the morrow. Provided the lady lived so long.

# # #

Sound came to Clare first. Why was there such noise? Her eyes ached behind closed lids, and her head pounded like a kitchen mallet on boar’s meat. She was so cold. Except, her fingers burned—and tingled, as if a score of needles stuck there. Her toes—she didn’t feel them. Where were her toes?

The noises increased and she tried to turn her head to escape the din, but she couldn’t seem to move. Where was she? The loud clatter settled into voices. Deep voices. Men. Panic clogged her throat. Sweet Mother Mary, he’d found her and brought her home.

She’d failed.

A little about Barbara: 

Award-winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she considered becoming an archeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math. Through careers as a newspaper reporter and editor, then a college journalism and English professor, she’s retained her fascination with history. Give her a research book and a pot of tea, and she’s happy for hours. But what really makes her smile is working on a new story. Now retired, she lives in Missouri where she edits for others and spins her own tales of heroines to die for—and heroes to live for.

 

Find Barb Here:

Amazon // Bookbub // Twitter // Facebook // BLog/Website

 

 

 

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5 things I could not live without…

We’ve all played the game if you were stranded on a deserted island, what would you have to have with you in order to survive?

The routine answers are fresh water, toilet paper, shelter.

I think if you ask millenials, they’d say their iPhones and electronic devices before anything else.

But, assuming you have the things you need ( water, shelter, etc). what would be the 5 things other than the necessities you could not live without?

For me, the answers are easy.

#1 Diet Mountain Dew.  I’d need to have my daily fix

#2 My skin care products. I’m not going anywhere without my RetinA, sun block, body moisturizers, and eye cremes

#3 unlimited paper and pens. I can’t be stranded without something to write the tale of my deserted island experience about on.

#4 Flashlights with long lasting batteries. I don’t like the dark. Or things that crawl and creep in the dark, like on a deserted island.

#5 My kindle, loaded with 5000 books. Hey, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be bored, so books are the best friends that you can take anywhere!

What are the 5 things you couldn’t live without??

Until next time ~ Peg

 

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