Category Archives: Writing

#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

 

 

 

 

11 Comments

Filed under Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing

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

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing

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

 

1 Comment

Filed under Today Tomorrow Always, Uncategorized, Writing

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

 

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Writing

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

 

9 Comments

Filed under Writing

#NNLightsBookHeavenBookathon #septemberreads

 

Calling all readers! Have you read all your beach reads over the summer and are looking for new books to dive into this month? We’re celebrating books from all genres at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven’s second annual Fall Into These Great Reads Bookathon. 51 books featured plus a chance to win one of the following:

Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, FIRST IMPRESSIONS, is featured today!. Wait until you read why I think my book is a must-read in September. You won’t want to miss it. Click here: Bookathon

Bookmark this event and tell your friends:

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/fall-into-these-great-reads-bookath

Leave a comment

Filed under First Impressions, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing

Why #IndependentBookstores are so near and dear to my heart….

I’ve talked a lot on this blog about how much I love the Independent bookstore I have in my town, THE TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP.

The managers are so welcoming and supportive of local authors and arrange booksignings, author meet and greets, and fun events for the entire community, in addition to stocking local indie author books ( something the big name book retailers do not!)

This year, when I heard about Independent Bookstore Romance Day,  on August 17, 2019, I called The Toadstool in Keene and asked if they were doing anything to celebrate the event. At the time, they weren’t, mainly because they didn’t know,  but once I informed them about the celebratory day, the managers went into hyperdrive to plan something to commemorate the day. I shunted some of my favorite local romance authors their way, and before I could say #iloveromance, an event was up and running.

See? This is why I love the TOADSTOOL so much!

So, come join me and four other fabulous romance writers on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 4pm at the Toadstool Bookshop in Keene!

You can checkout the authors who’ll be featured at the event on their Amazon profile pages, here:

Angie Moran

Cheri Allen

Clair Brett

Amber Cross

Peggy Jaeger

I really hope I see a bunch of romance readers I know – and even more I haven’t met yet! – at the event. The Toadstool will be selling our books during and after the panel discussion, so click on the links above to see the books available. All of my print books are currently on sale at the Toadstool, but for the e-print only ones, you can find them here: 3 Wishes, Hope’s Dream, A Holiday PromiseFalling for You, and Be My Hero

Leave a comment

Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, Deerbourne Inn, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, Writing

In a world of #followers I’d like to be an #Influencer

I’m going to bet if you know what the above icon is, you’ll understand the title of this blog.

First, a little backstory.

When I was a kid, roughly 175 years ago, my third grade teacher, Mrs. Karen Sinclair, said something to me one day that has stayed with me all these millennia later. I was an overweight, thick glasses-wearing, curly haired, shy kid prone to impulse control issues when it came to talking in class. I was bullied – horribly – by both girls and boys. At that age, there really is no division along sex lines with bullying. One day, after an especially verbally vicious attach on the recess playground, I came back into the classroom, sullen and non-communicative. When class ended for the day, Mrs. Sinclair asked me to stay after. She wormed out of me what had been said on the playground. When I cried that all I wanted to do was fit in, be like everyone else, but couldn’t because 1. my clothes were wrong, 2. my hair was wrong, 3. I was ugly, 4. I was fat…etc…. (you get the picture) she took my hand and told me this: “Don’t be a follower.  Don’t be like everyone else. You were born to be a leader, Margaret, to be yourself. There’s only one you. Don’t settle for less.”

Yeah, she was my favorite teacher of all time.

Fast forward 165 years to the present.

The above symbol is the INSTAGRAM logo. Since I started my writing journey, I’ve been attempting to get people to read my books through various marketing methods, one of them, posting on Instagram. Recently, I came across a phase that “called” to me: Influencer. Apparently, there are people (millennials, mostly) who have huge Insta-followers and who get paid for taking pictures of themselves with products. The companies who manufacture the products, pay these kids  for simply posting a picture. People see the picture and are Influenced to buy the product because they want to be like the cool person they are following.

Can you spell BRILLIANT!!

I have a decent amount of Instagram followers and I’m gonna work on getting more, but for now, here’s me at my new job, taking a picture with a product I’d like to tell people about so they can buy it and be cool like me. I’m an Influencer:

Hee hee

Sorry the book is backward – this whole Influencer thing is gonna take time to perfect. 🙂 But  you get the idea.

~until next time ~ Peg

And just FYI: The book’s on sale for 99cents right now until june 21~~ Get yours here:

DEARLY BELOVED

Amazon

Nook

Apple books

 

12 Comments

Filed under Author Branding, Dearly Beloved, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing

Welcome to #Walmart

In this never ending quagmire of publishing, I discovered today that my ebooks are all available at WALMART.Com

So, if you shop Walmart on line and are looking for some bargains on my books, here you go. These titles are currently available.

Skater’s Waltz 

There’s No Place like Home

First Impressions 

The VOices of Angels

Passion’s Palette

A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights

3 Wishes

Cooking with Kandy

A Shot at love

CAn’t Stand the Heat

SO, in addition to Amazon, WRP, Nook, Kobo, Apple and Google +, I’m really just everywhere these days! hahaha

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Candy Hearts, Family Saga, First Impressions, Food lover, Foodie, Friends, Hope's Dream, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women, The Laine Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, There's No Place Like Home, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing