Category Archives: Writing

#TeaserThursday

I’m waiting on copy edits for my third book in the MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series, BAKED WITH LOVE, but while I wait, here’s a little something from Maureen O’Dowd’s perspective….

Lucas nodded. “He seems pretty stoked about working, something I’m surprised about. Glad, for sure, but surprised. I figured…” He shrugged.

“I know. I thought a fifteen-year-old boy would rather be any place than in a kitchen every day, but he actually asked to work most days during the week and on weekends for the weddings. We’ll see how long this enthusiasm lasts.” I grinned up at him while I towel-dried a mug.

“I don’t know, Mo. If it was me, I wouldn’t mind being stuck in a kitchen every day—”

“That’s because you’re always hungry.”

“—if it was with you.”

My hand stopped rubbing the porcelain.

Okay, what?

I’m usually fairly adept at not showing my feelings or have what’s running through my mind cross my face. Nanny has commented many times over the years I’m the person she least likes playing poker with because she can’t read me. The ability to hide my true feelings has gotten me through some testy times with my parents, a bad breakup with a verbally abusive boyfriend, and my twin’s illness then death. Plus, for as many times as we’d been together over the years, Lucas had never once guessed how I truly felt about him.

Right now, though, I was finding it next to impossible to school my features and body into its usual calm nonchalance. I can only imagine how I must have appeared to him, standing there with the towel thrust into the mug, my hand paralyzed—my body as well—as I stared up at him, silent.

“What’s wrong?” He uncrossed his arms and took a step toward me, his brows grooving toward the middle of his forehead. “Maureen?”

I blinked a few times when his hand snaked around my upper arm. A soothing, comforting warmth seeped through me from his touch. I wanted to move in closer, melt into his arms, and snuggle into all his heat. When I found myself shifting so I could, I took a step backward, mentally and physically. Lucas didn’t drop his hold but kept his hand on my arm, his other one following suit.

“Nothing. Sorry. I’m fine.” I shook my head a few times and planted what I hoped looked like a self-deprecating grin on my face.

“I lost you there for a second.” His gaze swept across my face, searching, silently questioning.

“Sorry. I’ve got a lot going on up here.” I pointed a finger at my head. “Thinking fifteen steps ahead about what needs to be done around this place.”

He waited a beat, those intelligent, intense eyes never wavering from my own. “Why don’t I believe that’s all it is?”

It was no wonder he was such a good lawman. With his gaze zeroed in on me, piercing and probing, and his voice low, deep, and commanding, almost seductively sly in its cadence, I imagined people who’d broken the law were no match for him when it came to his garnering confessions.

I pulled a Colleen-worthy eye roll. “Because you’re a cop and you’re naturally suspicious. It’s ground into your DNA. Like the green in your eyes.”

One eyebrow quirked high up on his forehead. “The green in my eyes?”

His mouth stayed perfectly straight, but I got the distinct impression he was laughing at me.

“It’s true. Your eyes are green, and you’re naturally nosy.”

His inspection grew more intense as he dipped his chin and glared at me. The heat in his stare shot straight down to my core and exploded. I’m pretty sure I shuddered.

Lucas’s fingers kneaded my arms. Every nerve ending in my body stood straight up, like I’d walked across a rug in the dead of winter and then touched something metal, sparking an electric shock. I licked lips that had suddenly gone desert-dry.

His gaze took a slow stroll down to my mouth and lingered. Enough so those butterflies finally made a break for freedom. Without any will to prevent it, my mouth fell open and I dragged in about a quart of air, my shoulders lifting, then dropping with the effort. I lost the grip on the mug and when it slipped out of my hand, Lucas let go of my arms as we both reached for it at the same time.

My reflexes are quick. Lucas’s are like lightning.

Both our hands went around the cup at the same time, but in moving for it, Lucas had to bend from his substantial height. When he did, our heads connected and a resounding thwack echoed around us.

Ow.” I let the mug go free into his hand and palmed the spot of contact on my forehead. “Your skull’s made of cement.”

Lucas placed the mug on the counter, then tugged my hand off my head.

I swatted him away. It was like slicing air because it had no effect on halting him from touching me.

“Let me see. Stop squirming.” He cupped my chin to hold me in place.

In all honesty, I’d gone statue-still again the moment his hand curled around my jaw. I knew Lucas’s fingers were strong, an effect of being a life-long shooter. Thick-skinned, coarse, and powerful, his grip was surprising gentle though, as he held my face in one hand and pressed against the throbbing notch on my forehead with the other.

“You’re gonna have a goose egg.”

“And whose fault is that?” I mumbled.

“Better get some ice on it, fast.”

This time when I glanced up at him, he was attempting—and failing—to hide a grin.

Through narrowed eyes, I said, “Thanks for the advice. Mind letting go of me so I can?”

Lucas glanced at the hand wrapped around my chin, frowned, then drew his attention back up to meet my eyes.

Calling them green hadn’t done them a bit of justice. There are so many variations of the simple color, and none of them applied to Lucas.

They weren’t the bright green of a shamrock or the metallic sheen of jade. Neither were they pale like sage nor brilliant like winking emeralds. The purest and most accurate way to describe them was they mimicked the color of fresh moss at midnight: deep and dark with shards of yellow in the mix reflected in moonlight. Long lashed with a tiny tilt at the corners and subtle lines fanning out to his temples, Lucas’s eyes had always been captivating to me. Right now, with his hand holding my chin, and his body so close I could detect the brand of soap he’d used in the shower, they were mesmerizing.

The air between us changed in a finger snap. Energized. Ignited.

Something in Lucas changed, as well. His shoulders were drawn up almost to his ears, and his breathing went a little deeper, a little louder as we stood there. The groove between his eyebrows folded inward even more than it usually did. When his tongue flicked out and crossed over his bottom lip like mine had a few moments ago, I bit down on the need to press my own mouth to his.

I may have moaned.

The swift inhale Lucas took convinced me he’d heard the sound and recognized it for the naked desire it was. The hand at my chin tensed and drew me in closer. So close, I could count every hair of the afternoon stubble shading his etched cheeks and strong jaw.

An insane urge to run my tongue along the length of that shadow hopscotched through me. I might have succumbed to the impulse if Robert’s voice hadn’t spilt into the room.

“Dad?”

We both blinked at the sound.

“What’s going on?”

“Maureen dropped a cup,” Lucas told him after a moment, his attention never wavering from me. His voice was thick and low. “We bumped heads when we went to get it. Grab some ice from the freezer, would ya, son?”

“There’s a cold pack in there,” I said, stepping back when Lucas finally freed his hold on me.

He stood, immobile and silent, in front of me while his son set about his task.

I’d give anything to know what he was thinking, but his expression had gone back to its usual relaxed one. His body, though, remained stiff and tense.

Robert handed me the cold pack and said, “Here.” When he glanced at my forehead, he added, “Ouch. Dad, you hurt her.”

“It’s nothing,” I said, wrapping the pack in the dishtowel I still held in one hand. I placed it against the throbbing ache I now felt on my head and winced. “Okay, ouch is right. But it was an accident, Bobby-Boy.”

I wanted to alleviate the troubled expression on his face, so I added, lifting my lips in what I hope was a comical smirk, “Your father’s got a head like a rock. No surprise, there.”

My quip hit its intended mark as both of the men in my kitchen grinned. Lucas’s shoulders finally relaxed, and the ghost of a sigh slid from him.

They left shortly thereafter with Lucas promising to have his son to work on time in the morning.

Intrigued? I’ll put up release dates and a cover when I have them. Until then, be well, peeps.

and look for me here: Follow me

 

 

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A new addition to our family…meet Maple Leaf

If you follow this blog you know that there have been some serious highs and lows in my life and that of my family’s lately. A wedding, a death, not to mention the continued pandemic running our lives and lifestyles.

Well, since we are already stressed out, my husband and I figured, why not add to that stress.

No, seriously, we didn’t say that!!!! Hahah. But the end result could be construed as stress producing.

Let me ‘esplain.

Last Thursday we adopted an-almost 8 week old puppy and brought her into our home and hearts.

Yeah, I know….puppy = stress, squared! heehee

It’s been a longlonglonglong time since we had a dog, much less a puppy in the house. We got our first dog-baby, a black Lab named Ella, in 1987. She passed in 1999. So 21 years since a dog roamed our house and 33 since we had a pup.

But….

Meet Maple Leaf Jaeger

12 pounds of pure puppy love, joy, and rambunctious energy!

She’s a chocolate Lab and loves to run around in the yard, carry sticks in her mouth, and play with empty plastic bottles.

Oh, and chew. Everything!!!!

She already has our hearts in her paws.

Our daughter named her Maple because she is a New Hampshire dog, born and bred and we wanted to keep her name native to the region. I added the middle name of Leaf, which I have to admit, my family thinks is dumb!!! But since I rule the roost, it’s staying.

With this new media-obsessed world we inhabit, Maple even has her own Instagram page. You can follow her daily antics here 

I know: I’m a little obsessed! Heehee.

But look at this face:

and tell me you wouldn’t be as well!!!

Heehee.

Until next time, peeps. Follow Maple Leaf on instagram and me, here: Follow me

 

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Author Joanne Guidoccio and NO MORE SECRETS

It is ALWAYS such a pleasure for me to host my guest today. Amazeballs writer JOANNE GUIDOCCIO has been a writer-friend for almost 5 years – ever since she hosted me on her own blog when my very first book released. Joanne is a one-click author for me because her books take me away from the world for hours of reading pleasure, and today, she’s here, talking about her newest release NO MORE SECRETS.

If I wasn’t already an avid reader of her work, I would become one just based on the blurb for this book, alone.

Here…come visit with Joanne ~

Inspired by Two Francescas

Twenty-five years ago, I sat with eyes glued to the big screen as Meryl Streep assumed the role of Francesca Johnson, an Italian war bride, in the romantic drama, The Bridges of Madison County. Based on the best-selling novel by Robert James Waller, the film focuses on a four-day love affair between two middle-aged lovers, Francesca and Robert Kincaid, a National Geographic photojournalist brilliantly played by Clint Eastwood.

Having spent years in a passionless marriage, Francesca falls deeply in love with Robert and contemplates leaving her loyal husband and teenage children. Here’s a moving excerpt that captures Francesca’s dilemma:

Francesca: Robert, please. You don’t understand, no one does. When a woman makes the choice to marry, to have children; in one way her life begins but in another way it stops. You build a life of details. You become a mother, a wife and you stop and stay steady so that your children can move. And when they leave, they take your life of details with them. And then you’re expected to move again only you don’t remember what moves you because no one has asked in so long. Not even yourself. You never in your life think that love like this can happen to you.

Robert: But now that you have it…

Francesca: I want to keep it forever. I want to love you the way I do now the rest of my life. Don’t you understand…we’ll lose it if we leave. I can’t make an entire life disappear to start a new one. All I can do is try to hold onto both. Help me. Help me not lose loving you.

Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that I needed tissues for the last third of the movie.

One year later (1996), I watched the movie on VHS with my mother, another Francesca. She was also moved by the storyline and provided her own perspective on the affair.

Five years younger than Francesca Johnson, Mama also left Italy during those post-War World II years. Mama settled in the Italian section of Sudbury (Canada), while Francesca Johnson ended up in the lush countryside of Iowa. I gather from the book and film she was the only Italian in that town.

As Mama’s thoughts traveled back to the late 1950s and early 1960s, her eyes glistened with tears. She shared her own stories and those of friends and relatives who had emigrated to Canada and the United States. As I listened, I started to imagine writing a novel about an Italian woman’s immigrant experience.

I was still teaching at the time, but I managed to come up with a very rough outline of the storyline. And then, I put it aside when the details of my own life became more challenging.

While cleaning out my files in 2018, I discovered the outline. I revamped the storyline, adding three more POVs, a psychic companion, and a more contemporary setting.

Take a look at No More Secrets

 

 Blurb

Angelica Delfino takes a special interest in the lives of her three nieces, whom she affectionately calls the daughters of her heart. Sensing that each woman is harboring a troubling, possibly even toxic secret, Angelica decides to share her secrets—secrets she had planned to take to the grave. Spellbound, the nieces listen as Angelica travels back six decades to reveal an incredulous tale of forbidden love, tragic loss, and reinvention. It is the classic immigrant story upended: an Italian widow’s transformative journey amid the most unlikely of circumstances.

Inspired by Angelica’s example, the younger women share their “First World” problems and, in the process, set themselves free.

But one heartbreaking secret remains untold…

Excerpt

Angelica smiled at her nieces. “You’re probably wondering why I’ve summoned you here in the middle of winter. I didn’t want to wait, in case…”

The three women exchanged alarmed glances.

“Ma said you were better,” Velia said.

“Did something happen this week?” Nora asked.

“I have been given a reprieve,” Angelica said. “I wanted to talk with each of you while I was at my strongest.”

An awkward silence followed.

Angelica sighed. It was going to be more challenging than she thought. She had hoped for more signs of openness. Right now, the three of them had reverted to wariness. “I’m hoping we can all share without judgment. As the eldest, I will start, but before I do so, I’d like all your assurances that you will follow suit. I don’t want to be the only one baring my soul.”

Each niece lowered her head, avoiding contact with Angelica and each other.

“Sharing is caring,” Angelica said in a sing-song voice.

Each woman smiled in spite of herself. But still, no promises were made.

“All right then,” Angelica said as a note of exasperation crept into her voice. “Let’s make a deal. If I succeed in shocking you, then you have to share.”

The younger women exchanged glances and smiles.

“Why now?” Nora asked. “Aren’t you afraid we’ll share your innermost secrets with our mothers, who will, in turn, broadcast them across Canada and Italy?”

Angelica laughed wickedly. “Go ahead, but do keep in mind that both of them have weak hearts.”

“I’ll share,” Teresa said in a loud voice that startled everyone.

“Me, too,” Velia and Nora added.

 

Book Trailer

 

Buy Links

Amazon US // Amazon Canada // Amazon UK// Amazon Australia

 

A little about Joanne…

A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Joanne Guidoccio writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romances, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.  

 

You can connect with Joanne, here: 

Website:  // Twitter: //    Facebook:  // Pinterest:  // Goodreads:  // LinkedIn:  // Amazon:

 

Joanne Guidoccio will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Find out more here:  Rafflecopter

Again, it was such a pleasure to host Joanne today. Look for her books and read them – you won’t be disappointed!!!

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

 

 

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#Author Jennifer Wilck presents WHISPERS IN WASHINGTON….

I love when my author/writer friends come to visit me here on this blog, and today is no exception!!! One of my talented sistahs, Jennifer Wilck,  has a new  book out – her very first indie release!!! – and she graciously agreed to come talk about it here with us all today!!!

So, without any more of me talking, I’m gonna give the virtual mic to Jenn….

Thanks so much, Peggy, for allowing me to visit with your readers today. I’m so happy to be here and to talk about why I decided to go the indie route.

In this particular case, I was actually asked to join a group of writers who were putting together a multi-author series, called Ticket to True Love. JB Schroeder, a fellow New Jersey Romance Writers author, was looking to make her group of authors a little more diverse, and knew I write Jewish romance. So she contacted me to see if I’d be interested.

I was flattered for many reasons. First of all, I’ve written four contemporary romances with Jewish characters, and it’s always nice for an author to be “known” by her peers—and readers—for something. Writing Jewish characters is something that’s near and dear to my heart—I truly believe diversity, in whatever way it is expressed, adds flavor and texture to romance.

Second of all, the other authors who are part of this series are very talented, and for them to consider me made my day. Authors like Savannah Kade, Shirley Hailstock, Terry Osburn, and Julie Strauss, just to name a few. I mean, I’ve READ their books and admired the way they told their stories. And now I’m writing with them!

The premise for the series also interested me. The series has a legend that every book must refer to somewhere in the story—that of a magical water spring that caused a couple to fall in love. Each author must incorporate that magical water somewhere in their book. For my book, Whispers in Washington, I have the heroine and her mother visit the town where the spring is located. In fact, the heroine’s mom wants her to drink the water and my heroine refuses—she’s been burned by love once and is in no hurry to repeat the experience.

Additionally, each story in the series must reference a “ticket” in some way. Mine uses parking tickets. My heroine gets a parking ticket at her new apartment complex, and my hero gives her his spot until she can fix the issue. Later on, there are more parking tickets that come into play as well.

I loved the idea of a few common threads tying all the books together, yet allowing enough creativity that no book is the same.

And JB is the designer of all our covers, as well, so they all look like they’re part of the set.

Finally, we all market for each other, so I get the benefit of other authors’ experience, as well as providing them with my own.

Now do you see why I jumped at the chance to participate?

WHISPERS IN WASHINGTON 

Naomi’s life has been destroyed

When Naomi Adelman’s crooked politician husband was arrested, her life, and that of her daughters, was destroyed. Divorced and rebuilding her life, Naomi is wiser, stronger, and determined not to let anyone hurt her or her family again. Her new life doesn’t include falling for her charming and good-looking neighbor.Max bet everything and lost…

 Max Bruder bet his entire career on the Adelman story and lost everything. So, he figures that karma has smiled down on him when Naomi moves in next door. This is his chance to revitalize his career. Except the closer he gets to her, the deeper he falls for her. And soon, the line between interview subject and lover blurs.

If they fall for each other, they may jeopardize their chance at a future. 

Excerpt:

Naomi wanted to finish, but she was full, and with reluctance, she pushed her plate away. “That was amazing. You can order for me anytime.”

A shard of interest sparked in Max’s eyes and he leaned forward. “Does this mean you’ll go to dinner with me again?” His voice beguiled her, his interest in her clear.

Her stomach fluttered. Warning lights flickered in her brain, but something else whispered, “’go for it.” She paused. “I will.”

He smiled, his look of satisfaction somehow attractive, instead of arrogant. She liked confident men, and Max oozed confidence. Except he carried confidence with ease. His broad shoulders emphasized good posture, rather than a puffed-out chest. Whoa, I might have had too much to drink. She looked at the wine bottle. Had she drunk three or four glasses? She couldn’t remember. Her neck heated with the same glow she felt after drinking. Maybe she should slow down.

What she did know was Max was sexy, and she liked the attraction sparking between them. After such a long time of feeling like a prop, and a duped one at that, it was nice to have a man look at her like she was worth something.

He rose, and she realized he’d paid the bill while she sat lost in her thoughts. He held out a hand to her and she took it. His grasp was firm, and her skin prickled beneath his touch. Was this what her daughters felt when they met a new guy? God, it had been ages since she’d done this. Rising, she met his gaze. His brown eyes were full of life—there was depth there, kindness, and inter‐ est. Depending on the light, the color changed from gold to walnut and shades in between. He smelled spicy and clean.

She squeezed his hand, and he kept her palm in his as he led her out of the restaurant. They stood in the doorway, her body only inches away from his, heat zinging between them, as they walked the few blocks to their apartment building. He still didn’t let go of her. She concentrated on the tensile strength of his fingers wrapped around hers, liking his strength and comfort.

He didn’t lead her around or pull her in a particular direction. Their hands together joined them. It felt natural. Holding hands with Malcolm always made her feel like a prop, as if he didn’t want a real connection.

Naomi didn’t want to think about Malcolm now, and she shook her head.

“Problem?” Max asked. They’d stopped in front of their building.

She turned so fast, her hair caught on the stubble at his jaw. “No.” She brushed the hair away from his cheek, the slight textured stubble rubbing against her palm and sending heat straight to her belly. His lips parted, and he leaned forward.

Would he kiss her? Did she want him to? She shouldn’t, she barely knew him, but her skin tingled, her breasts tightened and her breath came in short gasps.

He didn’t kiss her. Instead, he reached his free hand out and stroked the side of her head, smoothing her hair in place. “Yes,” he whispered.

She frowned, and tried to hide her disappointment. “Yes, what?”

“Your hair is as silky as I wondered.” He let his hand glide down her neck to her shoulder, and the contact brought out goose bumps. “Are you cold?” he asked.

She didn’t know how to answer. Was it okay for her to say, “no, I’m attracted to you?” Or should she say “yes”?

As if he understood her dilemma, he let go of her hand, slid his arm behind her shoulders, and drew her into the warmth of his body.

The man was a furnace and she wanted to groan in pleasure. They stood toe to toe, his hand running up and down her spine, her breasts pressed against his hard chest. Would he kiss her? Should she kiss him? Her brain short circuited and desire flooded through her. All she could do was focus on the warmth flooding her, the soothing sound of his humming something she couldn’t quite catch, and the zings of desire running throughout her body.

Too soon, Max pulled back. The cool evening air did little to stop the yearning for the man. Once again, he took her hand, and in silence, he led her into the elevator, down their hallway to where their front doors met. Her legs wobbled, and she leaned against the wall. The last thing she wanted to do was fall at this man’s feet.

“I liked getting to know you better,” Max whispered, leaning his free hand against the wall next to her head.

She was boxed in between the wall and Max, in her own little cocoon. He’d said there were limits to how far a reporter should go. For some reason, she felt safe. She trusted him not to take advantage of her. Her body warmed at his proximity. His eyes were dark—more mahogany than walnut, his forehead touched hers, and his breath was warm and minty. Her mind drifted to when exactly he’d taken a breath mint, and why, and should she. She opened her mouth to tell him how much she’d enjoyed it too, and to ask for a mint, but he didn’t let her utter any words.

Instead, he brought his mouth to hers and kissed her. Warm, commanding, yet soft, lips claimed her own. Her knees buckled and she grabbed his biceps, loving the solid feel of him beneath her fingers. Max wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. He exuded strength and she felt more protected than she could remember. His body was hard, his arousal pressing against her, but he didn’t force her or move fast. Instead, he moved with delicious slowness, as if he memorized everything about her lips and mouth. She wanted more. More kissing, more touching, more Max. She whimpered as she pressed against him and his lips stretched into a smile, before he sucked on her tongue and the last of her coherent thoughts fizzled.

Just as she was about to rip his jacket off and begin to unbutton his shirt, he pulled away.

“Goodnight.” His breathing was harsh, his words rough, his pupils wide and dark. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

She covered her mouth with her hand. She could taste him. He pushed away from the wall and entered his apartment, the jingle of his keys echoing throughout the hall.

Get your copy of  here : 

Amazon: // Barnes & Noble: // iBooks: // Kobo:

A little about Jennifer Wilck….

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. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, many of which feature Jewish characters in non-religious settings (#ownvoices). She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

You can connect with Jennifer here:

Website: // Facebook: // Newsletter: // Twitter: // Instagram: // BookBub:

Peggy here: OMGosh – doesn’t this book sound delicious??!! Thank you, Jenn, for stopping by today and telling us all about the fabulous new project!!! Happy Sales.

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

 

 

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2001-2020

19 years ago on this date – 9.11.2001 – I was at work listening to the radio in my office, which I did between patients just to clear my head and enjoy some tunes, when the broadcast was interrupted with the news a plane had flown into Tower 1 of the World Trade center.

It was 8:46 am.

First reaction? Oh, those poor people, the pilot must have had a heart attack or the plane malfunctioned.

When Tower II was hit at 9:03, my first thought before I knew anything else was, “We’re at war.”

And I’m not kidding…not even a little.

When the news of the attack on the Pentagon made the airwaves and then the plane crash in Pennsylvania, I went numb.

The media was on full alert, the President was whisked away to a hiding place and the citizens of this country got their first take of international terrorism here, on home ground.

When the Towers fell in a cloud of twisted metal and melting steel, my heart broke into tiny pieces. I’d had my 21st birthday party/dinner at Windows on the World. Now I have only my memories of the restaurant and photographs of the Towers.

I  vividly remember picking my daughter up from school the afternoon of 9.11. The teachers hadn’t told the kids anything about the attacks, leaving that to the discretion of the parents. This was the era before cell phones became an appendage for every kid in the world and access to  the immediate news of the moment was delayed. To this day I’m thankful they kept the kids naive for a few more hours of their childhood, because from that day on, their world was never the same and they were forced to learn what true hatred was.

I’m one of the lucky New York natives who can say I didn’t lose anyone that day to the attacks. But many of my old friends, my in-laws and even my husband, all knew at least someone whose life was cut short by the terror unleashed on that clear, bright, September morning.

The world turned upside down that day and, I feel, never fully righted itself again.

Today, 19 years later, our country is still waging war against terror – both globally and on home turf. Terrorists may not use planes now as weapons of mass destruction to fuel their hatred of this country and her people, but they still exist, they still plan to destroy us and our way of life, and we still need to be vigilant.

The Trade Center Towers have been replaced by the Freedom Tower, a tribute to the city that lost its heart that day and the people who lost their lives.

One thing I  never allow myself to forget, never let slip from my mind, is the idea that Freedom isn’t Free. Our founding fathers fought for this nation to be free of a crazy ruler’s restraints. Through every World War we’ve fought fascists, nazis, and dictators to remain free. And we still fight for the right to be free to this day, whether it’s with boots on the ground or over the cyberweb.

I had hopes that by this time in our lives, 9.11.2001 would be a  tortured memory of a sad day where we remembered those who’d died, and paid homage to those who’d kept us safe; memorialized the brave Souls whose lives were taken much too early and mourned with their families on the loss. I had hope we wouldn’t need to be worried about further or future attacks on this nation. I had hope the world would have learned a lesson about the beauty of freedom.

Unfortunately, those hopes won’t draw breath today and for that I am extremely sad.

But, as Lady Liberty continues to hold her lamp up in New York Harbor as a beacon of light and hope and freedom to all,  I am hopeful in 2021, they will…

The New Colossus, 

Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

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#MondayMusing On why I don’t write about certain stuff…

 

Honestly, my topic titles these days are getting weirder.

Anyhoo…

There are certain blog  and social media topics I won’t write about. One of them is my immediate family. I know I’ve posted things concerning something my daughter said, or an event I attended with my husband, and when I have it is with their permission . But there is an awful lot I keep silent on concerning my family and loved ones because they didn’t asked to be used as creative fodder.

I respect that. Even though I am not famous, I have always had a soft spot for kids and family members of celebrities. Most of them did not ask to be famous –  their parent(s) did. It must be hard to live in the shadow of someone super-famous if you don’t aspire to that kind of attention and lifestyle.

I’ve always said I would like to be rich, but not have to do anything publicly in order to be so. I just want to win the lottery! heehee

Privacy is a big thing with my family members and I will continue to abide by their wishes because my career could go the way of the dinosaur tomorrow, but my family is with me forever.

Another topic I am loathe to comment on (but do at times when I am angry) is politics. I’d rather comment on the world status than name/shame/denigrate any political so-called leaders who are in reality, as far from leaders as is possible.  But I will call out injustice. illegality, racism,  homophobia and anything human rights-abuse related and name names, and I don’t give a fiddler’s fart if someone who doesn’t agree with me is mad about it and blocks/unfriends/unfollows me. Sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand and call something out for the evil it is and then live with the ramifications of your actions.

Just sayin’.

I don’t write about sex topics on my blog – which is ridiculous considering I write romantic fiction. But I’d rather keep my sexy talk contained in my books than splashed all over social media in comment sections.

So, that’s what I’ve been musing on this Monday….

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

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10.14.2020

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I’m terrified….

Helluva post title, huh?

But really…I am. And no, it’s not because I’ve just read the latest Stephen King novel.

2020 has been as close to apocalyptic as any year in my lifetime of 60 years on this earth.

This is not the country I wanted to leave for my daughter when I envisioned what her world would look like.

The thing that terrifies me the most is when we got back to what most of us would consider normal :being about to hug one another, not wearing face masks, eating inside a restaurant again, attending an actual school and not a computer classroom, many of the things we’d learned and practiced for a lifetime will be gone.

I’m talking about manners and life skills.

Holding the door if you proceed someone through it. Saying “God Bless you” if someone sneezes ( into the elbow region!!) Letting another person finish speaking and not interrupting. Saying a simple please and thank you. Smiling. Sharing ( not hoarding). Looking out for one another. Not yelling to make your point. Helping elderly people or anyone who needs it, be it a physical ailment or disability. Going to church. Respecting one another.

We’ve been isolated, quarantined, and removed from one another due to this pandemic. Well, most of us have. There are those idiots out there…but that is for another blog. Many of us have worked from home and don’t even get dressed from the waist down ( or up,  for that matter) when attending internet meetings or classes.

I’m terrified we’ve lost…us. Our love for one another. Our respect. Our beliefs and practices. Our knowledge of right and wrong. Our basic social skills.

I’m terrified we’ve turned into an narcissistic, whining, confrontational, and spoiled bunch of brats who only worry about our own lives, our own finances, our own little space in the world.

What effect is this all going to have on our children? What kind of world are they going to be subjected to when the world turns right side up again – if it turns right side up again.

Maybe you think I’m being dramatic. I dare say I may be. But I know I’m not the only one worried about the present state of our world and what 2021 and beyond is going to look like for our children, ourselves, and our planet.

As for me, well, I’m going to remember my social skills. Even when I am in a store today, masked, and hand-sanitized, I still hold the door for others. Many don’t say thank you or even acknowledge my action with an eye flick, but I still do it. I say please and thank you – I think now more than I ever did before. I certainly say I love you a lot more to the people I do love. A whole lot more. Who knows if this may be the last time I get to say it…show it.

I’m determined to remember who I am – and was before the world turned upside down – and take that into the future with me. It’s really the only way I can keep my terror of what’s to come contained.

Just sayin…

 

 

 

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#TeaserThursday 8.27.2020 A recipe from BAKED WITH LOVE, Book 3 in A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

So all this week I’ve been doing edits on book 3 in the MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series, BAKED WITH LOVE. In the book there are several references to Maureen O’Dowd’s Insomnia cookies – the ones she bakes at 2 am when she can’t sleep. I figured it would be a good idea to share that recipe with cookie lovers to whet your romance reading appetite for the book which I’m hoping will be released this year.

Here’s a quick tease/reference to the cookies from the book, followed by the cookies themselves. And just incase you don’t think I really bake in real life, I’ve included a few photos from a batch of insomnia cookies I made on Tuesday when I was home cooking for my parents.

Enjoy!

When I pulled into the inn, I spotted a familiar car in one of the private spaces I kept for family. The sound of laughter rang out from my kitchen.

“How come I didn’t know we were having a party?” I said when I came into the room.

My sisters were sitting at my table, each with a cup in front of them, the tin of insomnia cookies opened and on the table between them. Robert was at the sink, washing dishes, as Sarah pulled something from the oven.

“Where have you been?” Cathy had one of Colleen’s swollen feet in her lap and was massaging it.

“I had an errand to run,” I said, sneaking a side-glance at Robert’s back. “Why are you two here?”

“I wanted to check to see if everything was set for Friday’s event,” Colleen said.

“You couldn’t just call? Or send Charity? Slade specifically said he doesn’t want you driving alone at this phase.”

“He’s not the boss of me.” She pouted then reached in to the jar and brought out two more cookies. “He’s treating me like I’m the first woman ever to have a baby. I’m pregnant, not infirm or useless. And I’ve got a business to run.”

“He’s worried about you, sis. This is your first baby. His too. He gets to be overprotective if he wants.”

“Says who? I’m the one carrying around a basketball the size of Montana in my body, not him.”

“It says so in the marriage rules,” I told her. “First-time fathers are allowed to be a little overbearing and overprotective of their pregnant spouses.”

The pout morphed to a tiny grin. “I must have missed that chapter.”

“Most likely wasn’t listed in your Cliff Notes edition.”

“Must be. Besides, Cathy drove. I merely thumbed a ride and rode shotgun when she said she was headed here.”

I drew my attention to my oldest sister, lifted my eyebrows, and tilted my head.

“Any reason in particular? Or where you just craving cookies?” I asked when she pulled a handful from the jar as Colleen had and put them on her plate.

“Don’t chide me. I’m stress-eating,” she mumbled around the cookie. “There are a million details running through my brain, and I’m petrified I’m gonna forget something. Between work, this wedding, and getting everything settled for the two weeks we’ll be gone, I’m going crazy. I don’t remember being so stressed and nervous the first time I got married,” she added after swallowing.

Maureen’s Insomnia Sugar Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose white flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into squares

1 cup + 2 tbsp white granulated sugar

2 tbsp light brown sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup white granulated sugar (for rolling)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, into a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and both sugars together in a large mixing bowl on medium speed until light in color and fluffy.

Add the egg and mix until well combined.
Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time and mix until the dough is well formed. Do not overmix.

Using a tablespoon-sized scoop, scoop cookie dough into individual pieces. Gently roll each into a ball with your hands, then roll each ball in white sugar to coat.

Put the balls on the baking sheet 2 inches apart. Cookies will spread once they heat, and you want them to have room to do so without touching one another.
Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes, but do not overbake. Remove just before the edges begin to turn golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a baking rack for at least 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

When I’m not baking you can find me here:

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

For a complete listing of my books, you can search here: Peggy Jaeger, Author

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#SundaySnippet 8.23.2020

A little story I’m working on about lost, then found, love….

~ ~ ~ ~

When she swallowed again and her chest lifted a hair with the quick breath she hauled in ( and Jesus, was she braless?) he knew her nerves were swarming and she was stalling for time in order to think of a response.

Old habits he knew well.

“Husband?”

“Yeah. You know? Mr. Hamilton?”

“It’s doctor, actually,” she mumbled.

Of course it is. His first name’s probably Alexander.

“And we’re not married anymore.”

His heart rate quickened at the disclosure.

“How long?”

“A little less than a year.”

Curiosity compelled him to ask, “Is that why you moved back home?”

She nodded.

“What happened?”

Sage lifted the pizza to her lips, took a small bite and simultaneously shrugged. “Simple and clichéd story. We wanted different things and neither of us was prepared to compromise.”

Well, that certainly sounded familiar.

“You’re divorced, according to Corrine,” she added. “You must now how it is.”

Nodding, he took his own bite of the delicious pizza and wondered if his ex sounded as bitter when she talked about their failed marriage as Sage did. Barbara had no cause to be, but he didn’t think it would stop her from badmouthing him if given the opportunity.

“What didn’t you agree on?” he asked.

She sighed again and he did a quick eye-dip to her chest.

Yup, no bra.

“I wanted children. He didn’t. Unfortunately, I didn’t find out until we were married almost seven years.”

Nodding, he said, “You always wanted kids. Even when we were teenagers you were a born nurturer. Remember when my grandparent’s cat had kittens? You took care of the mamma and her babies for over a month. Every day before we’d start working you’d make sure mamma was comfortable in the store’s back room, had enough to eat and that the kittens were thriving.”

The smile he’d loved the very first time he’d ever seen it cross her face lit up her eyes at the memory. “I think that was when I really decided to become a doctor.”

“It’s a wonder you didn’t become a Vet with the amount of animals you took care of back then. Mrs. Barclay’s chickens, old man Paley’s dog.”

“People are easier. They can tell you where it hurts.

“Truth.” He took another bite of pizza, his gaze staying on her. “So. What did Doctor Hamilton want that you didn’t?”

When she nailed him with a look so filled with hurt and yet so swimming in anger, he knew it was something big.

“Other women.”

His hand stopped its assent to his mouth, the point of the pizza wedge dipping down toward the plate. “He cheated on you?”

“Several times. It was his favorite hobby. Most doctors play golf on their days off. Leland played the role of happy bachelor. When I found out and confronted him he told me I didn’t need to worry about any of the women. They meant nothing. It was just sex. His libido was strong and he needed…more, than I could give him. He came home to me every night and I had his name, he said. That proved he loved me and me alone. Seems we differed on the definition of the word. Another thing about us I didn’t learn until several years after we married.”

“What a dick.”

Details about the story will be available soon.. But it’s got a Holiday 2020 release, so…

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

And if you’re looking for me, I’m usually here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// BookMe  //Watch me

 

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#IndependentBookstoreRomanceDay 8.15.2020

We may be in the middle of a quarantine and pandemic, but ROMANCE lives on!!

On Saturday, August 15, the second annual Independent Bookstore Romance Day will take place, and – as last year – I am honored and humbled to be included in a panel of kickass Romance Writers for a  discussion put on by the TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP in Keene, NH – via Zoom!

And isn’t that a sign of the pandemic times, hee hee.

Authors Clair Brett, Karen Coulters, Lisa Olech Laney Webber and myself will be participating in the Zoom panel from 4 – 6pm EST on 8.15.2020

You can register for the even here ( in order to participate or just listen!): IBRD 

Hope to see you the event! Happy reading, peeps.

Until next time ~ Peg

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