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Scary Movies? No sweat… today on the #RomanceGems

I’t my turn over on the ROMANCE GEMS. Stop by today and find out the reason I love to be scared….

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#RomancingtheGenres : On being scared.

It’s my turn over on ROMANCING THE GENRES and this month’s topic was an unusual one for me. Come check it out, here: RTG

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

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A Surprise #RomanceGems blog post today….


So you all know I write a monthly blog column/post for THE ROMANCE GEMS blog. It’s the 27th of every month and the topics vary. Today, though, I’ve got an extra post and there’s a little gift/giveaway attached to it. Hop on over and check it out — and make sure you leave me a comment so I can enter your name in my little contest.  THE ROMANCE GEMS

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Upcoming Facebook Event for MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA release day!

I’m nervous and excited at the same time!!! On October 14, not only does my new San Valentino Holiday RomCom MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA release into the book reading world, I’m also having an entire day Facebook Party/event to celebrate it. This is a first for me and I am wicked angsty! Hee hee

I’ve been a guest at many a FB event, but never the hostess and driving force. It’s not easy, either. There’s a bunch of stuff involved behind the scenes but I think I’m getting it all done correctly. I guess we’ll see on the day of the event, won’t we?

I have a wonderful array of author friends joining me, everyone from my WRP sistahs to my NHRWA sisters! All genres of romance will be on display, too, which is great. Like a really fabulous dinner party, it pays to have an eclectic group in attendance.

Here’s the schedule of my lovely friends who are helping me celebrate:

And here’s the link to the event: MMM Release Day Party

I hope you can make it. I know it’s going to be fun-filled day, despite my nerves.

You can pre-order your copy of Mistletoe, Mobsters, & Mozzarella  now, here: MMM

And there’s currently a Goodreads Giveaway you can enter for the book, here: GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

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#LongandShortReviews #weeklybloggingchallenge 9.30.2020

This week’s topic is a goodie ( but they’ve all been goodies, lately!! hee hee) : THE NON-FICTION BOOK EVERYONE SHOULD READ AND WHY.

I’ve got 3 and I’ve read them both multiple times because they are so fab.

  1. MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL by John Berendt This is a must read for any one who likes a society murder mystery who-dunnit. The story has everything from old society mores, nouveau riche money, hidden homosexuality, and a wealth of characters that you truly couldn’t think up for fiction. Forget the extremely tedious movie version and read the book. It is eons better!!!
  2. DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY   by Erik Larson A murder at the Chicago World’s Fair that is so intricately woven with real life events of the time, you won’t be able to put this one down. Its history is richly depicted and it’s not for the faint-hearted.
  3. UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN by Jan Krakauer  How the Morman church developed and how it turned into a Fundamentalist nightmare of murder, polygamy and corruption from within. Couldn’t put this one down. Once I read it, I went back immediately and re-read it. Believe me, this is not an easy read by an definition of the word. But so worth the effort!

All three of these books deal with greed, murder, and envy – a trifecta of deadly sins. If you like investigative journalism at its finest, mixed with historical accuracy and flavor, these 3 books should be on your Kindle.

Let’s see what some of the other authors in this challenge consider books worth reading: L&SR

And don’t forget: 10.14.2020 is the release of my newest Holiday Rom Com MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA. I’m currently on a book tour for the book and you can join in, here: MMMBookTour

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Hope….


It’s my turn over on Romancing the genres and this month’s topic is HOPE, something we all need buckets of right now!!!

Join me in the discussion, here: RTG

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#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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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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#TeaserThursday

Summer isn’t quite over YET, so here’s a little something from my Summer Romance VANILLA WITH A TWIST, one of the One Scoop or Two novellas that dropped this summer from the Wild Rose Press.

Today, an intro to Tandy’s favorite ice cream flavor….

Watching him work was both hypnotic and stimulating. He was the most methodical man she’d ever been around, which was saying something since her father invented the word.

While he’d removed the back and front panels of the machine, Deacon had asked, “So why an ice cream shop?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why do you own this place? I meant to ask yesterday but you got called away before I could. Hand me the Phillips head, please.”

She did. “My family runs a dairy farm. Have for three generations. My grandmother used to make her own ice cream from the fresh milk when we were kids and I loved watching and helping her when I was old enough. She only shared what she made with the family, though. When I decided to branch out on my own and leave the farm, making ice cream was the first thing that popped into my head.”

With the panels off, he crouched behind the machine, a different tool in his hand.

“Did you work on the farm, too, when you were a kid?”

“Not as much as my brothers. The physical work of running it, according to my father, was a man’s domain. The females were relegated to the house and allowed to tend the smaller animals like the chickens.”

Tandy rolled her eyes at the antiquated notions she’d been reared with.

“Sounds a little, I don’t know? Chauvinistic maybe, in this day and age?”

“Did and still does. My brothers manage the farm now and they would never think of letting a woman help out, no matter that I’m strong and can hold my own, physically. It’s all men’s work according to them. Their attitude was one of the reasons I left home. The idea of cooking, cleaning, and waiting on my father and brothers and not do anything productive with my life was a motivating force in propelling me into business.”

She held back the secondary reason. He didn’t need to know anything about that.

Deacon reached out a hand and said, “Can you hand me the wrench?”

Once he had it, he said, “Good for you. You’re able to run a successful business doing something you love, which is rare. Not everyone can.”

His words and affirmation warmed her. She did love it and told him so.

“It’s cool coming up with new flavors, trying them out, seeing if they’ll be a hit or a miss. Ice cream is much more versatile than most people think.”

Gah. She sounded like she was giving a sales pitch.

If Deacon though her comments dry and boring, he gave no indication.

“What’s your favorite?” he asked as he continued to work on the underside of the machine.

“I’ll give you one guess.”

His quiet laugh flowed upward, tickled her ears – and a few other places as well.

“Vanilla?”

“Got it in one. It’s the all-around easiest taste to combine with.”

“So tell me the flavor combo you love most.”

She didn’t even need a moment to consider. Tandy had devised hundreds of combinations over the eight years she’d owned the shop and she’d forgotten more than she remembered. But her all time favorite was one she’d devised on a whim one rainy Saturday night when she was feeling blue.

“Nutty ‘Nilla,” she told him.

There was a smile in his voice when he said, “I love alliteration.”

“Me too, because it’s easy to remember.”

“So what does Nutty ‘Nilla consist of? Vanilla for sure, right?”

“Yeah. I combine crunchy peanut butter with vanilla ice cream, then add in crushed shelled peanuts, a flavor shot of peanut oil, and top it off with salted popcorn kernels. One spoonful and I feel like I’m sitting at a big top circus.”

She closed her eyes and sighed. “One taste and you can hear the excited rumble of the crowd as they watch a trapeze act, or the roar of the lions as they’re put through their paces by a trainer. I haven’t made it yet this summer because I’ve been so busy. Plus, when I do make it, I tend to eat more of it than I sell, so there’s that.”

Deacon sat up and tossed the wrench into the box. A streak of oil slashed across his cheek and his shirt was a mess of dust and grime. He was dressed in preppy vacation clothes, but right now he looked more like a hot car mechanic than a Wall Street businessman. Tandy found that although she liked the successful corporate guy, she preferred the laborer.

Intrigued? You can get your own copy here: Universallink

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

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#LongandShortReviews #wednesdaybloggingChallenge 9.9.2020

When I saw today’s topic listed: TOPICS I NEVER GET TIRED OF TALKING ABOUT, I have to admit, from everything that flew into my mind, I knew I’d have to pare it down considerably! Because if there’s anything I lovelovelove to do, it’s talk about stuff near and dear to me — which, believe or not, is a lot of topics!

Hee hee

So, in no real order, if we were having lunch, here’s what I’d love to talk about and never tire of doing so:

Writing. Duh, right?

Skin care. I am a lady of a certain age and I am always ALWAYS on the lookout for new skin improvement gossip. Creams, treatments, pharmaceuticals, you name it and I am conversant in it and want to talk about it. Does that make me vain? Yeah, it kinda does and I ain’t apologizing for it.

Gardening. I can wax prolific for hours on end with anyone who want to talk with me about flowers. veggies, the best fertilizers, and crop rotation.

Books. Another DUH, right?

Let’s see what some of the other authors in this challenge have to “talk” about: L&SR

Did you know I’ve got a new Holiday 2020 RomCom releasing on 10.14.2020? It’s called MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, &MOZZARELLA and is up for preorder now, here: MMM

Finding a body in the freezer of the family deli isn’t the way Madonna San Valentino planned to start her day.

Adding insult to injury, the investigating detective is the one guy she’s never been able to forget. After seven minutes of heaven in the back seat of his car when they were teenagers, Tony Roma skipped town without so much as a thanks for the memory.

Just when Madonna thinks the present situation can’t get any worse, Tony is ordered to go undercover at the deli to ferret out a killer. Forced to work together, she vows to keep their relationship cool and professional. But with the sexy, longing looks he tosses her at every turn, Madonna’s resolve is weakening.

With Christmas drawing closer and Tony’s investigation taking an unexpected turn, Madonna is at her wit’s end. Can she really be falling for him again? And will he wind up leaving her broken hearted and alone like the last time?

Until next week, kids  ~Peg

Oh, and looking for me? I’m here: FOLLOW ME

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