It’s my turn over on the Romance Gems. This month’s topic: Life Lessons. My addition? TRUST
Until next time ~ Peg
Nora LeDuc has a brand new mystery out titled TRAIL OF SECRETS and it’s a goodie. The reviews coming in have all agreed this may be Nora’s best work yet – and I’m thrilled for her!
Who killed the vivacious, Emily McGuire and laid out her body at the water tower? Orderly, rule-follower Mia McGuire is the least likely person to answer this question. Mia’s life has taken a downward spiral with her sister Emily’s murder, the breakup with her boyfriend, and losing her editing position. But when the homicide investigation crawls, Mia can’t stand by doing nothing. She hires the problematic Lucas Davis to help her find the truth.
After suffering trauma from a shooting on the job, Lucas Davis resigns from the local force. Once known as a daredevil in his small Florida town, he has become an embarrassment to his dad, the police chief. When Mia offers him investigative work, he quickly accepts the job to prove he still possesses the skills and guts to solve the case. Together, these two unlikely sleuths form an intimate bond and are determined to beat the odds. They set out to bring a terrifying killer to justice before he targets them next.
She shaded her eyes and stepped out of the glare. Her gaze fell on a form lying by the wire mesh fence. Was that a person? Was someone hurt or drunk? Mia shuddered inwardly but crept forward and stopped a few feet from the shape.
Zsa Zsa scampered to her side.
Dread worked its way up Mia’s throat. It was a motionless woman on her back, parallel to the base of Gram’s monstrosity. She was dressed in a dark dress. Black sandals revealed blue toenails. One arm lay outstretched with her fingers curled upward as though beckoning Mia to her. The polish decorating her manicured nails matched the shade on her toes. Long raven-colored hair covered her face from her forehead to her chin.
Zsa Zsa whimpered by Mia’s feet. She scooped up her pet and swallowed the lump of fear increasing with each step closer to the person. Had the woman fallen? Passed out?
The sweet fragrance of a perfume drifted toward her and stirred a forgotten memory. The familiar soft voice asked, “What else would a southern Florida girl wear but orange blossoms? It’s the cool new scent.”
Emily? A sliver of dread formed near Mia’s heart. No, it couldn’t be. Her sister’s hair was pink. But she often changed the color. Mia didn’t have to wait for the truth. The breeze lifted the strands upward from the woman’s face.
Mia’s legs wobbled. A rash of red points blotted her skin, and scratches crisscrossed her neck. Her lips were frozen in an “oh” of shock. Open, bloodshot eyes stared at Mia. Emily!
Tears blurred her vision. She clutched at a last hope. “Emily, is that you?”
The wind picked up and spun a foul sickly sweet odor around her, drowning the other scent. Mia coughed and stumbled backward. Only one certainty floated through her confusion. Her younger sister was dead.
Buy link: Amazon
A little about Nora:
Nora grew up in rural New England where she currently lives with her family. She enjoys visiting and spending time with her friends, the Winettes, in Florida, where she continues to write. Trail of Secrets is her sixteenth book. Her next story is already in progress.
She also contributes to the Romance Gems’ Blog every month.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
Nora LeDuc will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Enter here NORA LEDUC
** My review of TRAIL OF SECRETS
Romance readers love series. So do writers of the genre.
Last week I gave you a sneak peek at book 2 in the MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN SERIES, TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS, which should be out in the book reading world sometime this year. Today, I want to give you a little insight into book 3, which I’m currently writing.
The title? BAKED WITH LOVE, and if you’ve read book 1, you know the sister who bakes is sister Number 4, Maureen. Maureen owns and operates Inn Heaven, the award winning B&B in her hometown, in addition to being a fabulous baker. This is the first scene I’ve written in the story. It’s unedited, but you can feel the relationship that’s blooming immediately.
“Oh, my God, Maureen.” My sister Colleen’s voice rose a good two octaves from its normal sultry timbre. “Are those…penis pops?”
“Lower your voice,” I told her as I continued to pipe buttercream roses on the cupcakes I’d made for tomorrow’s wedding. “My entire Inn doesn’t need to know I’ve got those”—I grinned—“hardening in my kitchen.”
“Why, in the name of all that’s holy are there”—she counted out loud—“seven chocolate candies in the shape of male genitalia on your counter?”
“Because your bride’s maid of honor special ordered them for the attendants. I tried to talk her out of it, but she paid me triple to make them and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Be happy there are only seven. Originally she wanted one for each of the fifty females on the guest list. I was able to talk her out of it by promising to make those”—I chinned the pops—“for the bridesmaids. She’s going to present them tonight after the rehearsal. Thinks they’ll be, quote, a scream, unquote.”
My wedding planner and getting-bigger-by-the-second pregnant sister plopped herself down onto one of my kitchen chairs and sighed. Heavily.
“Oh, good Lord. Thanks for the head’s up. I’ll make sure the moms are nowhere in sight when she gives them out. I don’t relish having to listen to one more complaint about this wedding. I’ve had enough for the past week to last me until junior here”—she patted her round tummy—“is off to college.”
I flicked a glance at her and said, “Put your feet up, Coll. I can see how swollen they are from here.”
With more effort than was probably warranted – she is after all, related to our grandmother, who corners the market on theatricality – she hefted her feet onto an opposing kitchen chair then extended and flexed her toes a few times. This time the sigh that blew from her lips was thick with fatigue, and if I wasn’t mistaken, pain.
“I can’t believe you’re still wearing those ridiculous heels when you’re almost eight months along,” I chided. “Standing in them all day can’t be good for the baby. Or your back.”
“Stop scolding me.” It was impossible not to miss the whine in her voice. “I refuse to take advice from someone who thinks flipflops are the greatest invention known to the shoe wearing population of the world. And just for the record, my back is fine and my feet don’t hurt.”
“No, they just look like flesh colored water balloons.”
“When did you turn so mean? You’re usually the supportive, quiet sister.”
In ordinary circumstances this was true. But with my heavily pregnant and three-inch heel wearing sister, I was more than willing to make an exception.
I piped the last rose on the final cupcake, laid my pastry bag down on the counter, and turned to face her. Camera ready face with her professionally polished outfit perfect and not a tendril of hair out of place, the middle of my three sisters looked something she rarely did: tired. With her hands folded over her protruding belly, she’d dropped her chin to her chest and closed her eyes.
The snarky remark I was going to make about the benefits of wearing flats died before I gave it breath.
Since lunch service had finished a half hour ago and my serving staff was done with cleanup, Colleen and I were alone in my kitchen. I put the kettle on for tea for the two of us and asked, “Did you have lunch?”
Colleen lifted head. Her eyes took a moment to clear and focus on me, lending credence to my thought she was tired. And maybe more than simply tired.
“There’s a salad waiting for me at the office. Charity texted me while I was with the florist that she’d gotten me one.”
“Text her back and tell her to put it in the fridge. I’ll make you something to eat.”
While she contacted her assistant, I plated the luncheon salad I’d concocted for today’s menu and then put half of a ham and cheese sandwich into my Panini maker.
“Eat this until the sandwich is done.” I handed her the salad and a bottled water.
“What is it?”
“Spinach, cranberries, walnuts, raisins and carrots with a light pomegranate dressing and shaved Parmesan.”
Colleen shoved a forkful in and groaned. “Oh. My. God. Honestly, Maureen, you should have your own cooking show. This is insane.”
“Everything she makes is insane,” a male voice said from the doorway.
I knew that voice well, since it was a frequent inhabitant in my dreams most nights. Husky and deep, with a dash of just woken smoke, it was a voice that could cajole a lover into seduction and cut off a criminal at the knees.
Unfortunately, I’d never been either.
“Truth,” Colleen said through a mouthful of salad. “Why are you here?” she asked Heaven’s Chief of Police, Lucas Alexander before I could. “Somebody call a cop?”
Lucas flicked his moss green, heavily hooded gaze from my sister to me, one corner of his mouth tilting up. I actually had to contract my pelvic floor muscles whenever he looked at me so I wouldn’t melt to the floor in a pool of want. My ninety-three year old grandmother, Nanny Fee, calls this girding your loins. As far as a descriptive phrase for the maneuver, it’s a good one.
“You got a minute?” he asked me.
I nodded. “A few. Then I have to get the dining room reading for tonight’s rehearsal dinner.” I turned and pulled Colleen’s sandwich from the press when the bell tinged. Lucas, always comfortable in my kitchen, moved to lean a hip against the counter and then halted mid stride.
I knew the cause of his sudden stop. I bit down on the inside of my lip while I handed Colleen her sandwich plate. She caught my eye, and my stifled grin, and realized the cause. Her lips lifted in a wicked grin.
Lucas cleared his throat. “Are those–? Wait. What, what are those? Are they…?”
“Are they what?” Colleen asked, innocence dripping from her voice, at the same time I asked, “Want one?”
Lucas turned to find the two of us staring at him, expressions blanked, and waiting for him to continue.
He huffed out a breath and dragged a hand through his hair. “Nothing,” he said, with a nervous shake of his head and shoulders.
Colleen glanced up at me, winked, and then took a huge bite of her Panini. “Oh, good Lord, Mo.”
I smiled and told her, “You’re welcome,” before I said to Lucas, “What’s up?”
He tilted his head to the right in a come-with-me move I’d seen him make innumerable times over the years.
In the breezeway that separated my private kitchen from the commercial one I used for the Inn I own and cook in, Lucas stopped, bit down on a corner of his mouth, and twirled his hat in his hands. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was nervous, but nerves weren’t an emotion that lived in this man. His training as an army sniper had taught him how to remain calm in any crisis, cool under the hottest of circumstances. I’d never even heard him raise his voice in all the years I’d known him.
I repeated the question I’d asked in my kitchen.
“I need a favor.”
I rolled my hand in a go on gesture.
“Cathy might have mentioned that Robert’s coming to spend the summer with me and dad. Nora’s getting remarried this weekend and then leaving on a month long honeymoon.”
I nodded. “I’d heard that, but not from Cathy.” To the question in his eyes I said, “Nanny told me the other day when I dropped off her scone delivery at the nursing home. She heard it from Tillie Carlisle who got it from Maeve Capshaw, whose granddaughter, Olivia, told her. Nanny said Olivia was the one who introduced Nora to her intended at a divorced-and-looking event she’d hosted.”
“Jesus.” Lucas shook his head. “Small towns.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “A curse and a blessing, as Cathy is fond of saying.”
“Yeah, well, your sister is one of the smartest people I know. Anyway. Nora doesn’t want to leave Robert home alone for the summer. He’s too old for a babysitter, but at fifteen, still too young to be left to his own defenses. He just started driver’s ed but doesn’t have a valid license yet, so it was easier to take him for the summer while she’s gone.”
“So he’s gonna live with you and your dad until school starts up again?”
“Why don’t you sound happy about that? I mean, whenever Robert’s visited for school breaks before you’ve always been thrilled since you don’t get to see him as much since they moved.”
He huffed out another breath and leaned a shoulder against the wall. My pregnant sister wasn’t the only one who looked exhausted.
“It’s not that I’m not happy he’s coming to stay with us. It’s more, things with dad now aren’t good and I’m afraid he’s gonna make the kid’s life miserable with all his complaining and griping all day. Last time Robert came for a weekend all dad did was harp on him. Get a haircut, stand up straight, stop mumbling. Poor kid couldn’t wait to get back to his mother, and that’s saying something, because she’s just as bad. But, that’s why I don’t want him to spend all his time with his grandfather.”
“And I’m assuming this is where the favor you need from me comes in?”
He nodded. “The kid needs something to occupy him while he’s here. I’ve gotta work and I can’t take any time. I don’t want him sitting home all day fighting with dad or locked in his room playing video games. I want him to get out of the house. Get a job. You hire high schools kids to bus tables and help serve at the weekend events here at the Inn. I’m hoping you’ll take Robert on as summer crew. That way I’ll know where he is every day, he’ll earn a little money of his own, and I won’t have to worry about coming home to World War III every night. Plus…”
“Well, if he’s with you all day, I won’t…worry about him. I know he’ll be in good hands. That you’ll feed him, take care of him like he was one of your own. Like you do everyone else.”
To say I was thrilled by the offhand compliment was an understatement. I didn’t even need to think about his request because even if I wasn’t on the lookout for extra help, I would have hired Lucas’s son.
“Sure. I can always use another body, especially in the summer when I’ve got a full house every weekend with Colleen’s weddings.”
Lucas’s shoulders dropped a couple of degrees from where they’d stationed themselves at his ears and he let out a breath filled with relief. “Thanks, Maureen. Really.”
I waved my hand at him. “Don’t worry about it. When does he get here?”
“Sunday morning. Nora’s dropping him off before she leaves for the airport.”
I nodded. “Get him all unpacked and settled and then you can bring him by Monday. I’ll go over everything with him then, okay?”
“More than okay. Again, I can’t thank you enough. You’re truly a lifesaver.” He took my hand and squeezed it. Lucas had done this hundreds of times over the years and like every other time he had, the wiring in my heart went a little haywire.
And like every other time, I swallowed the temptation to tug on his hand and pull him close enough so I could kiss him.
Intrigued? Me, too. Can’t wait to see how it ends. ( hee hee)
You can catch up on the O’Dowd’s now with book 1, DEARLY BELOVED. As soon as book 2 goes up for preorder, I’ll let ya know.
Get your copy at these fine vendors:
Until next time ~ Peg
You all know I simply adore when one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs comes for a visit. Today it’s author DENISE CARBO and she’s talking about her newest book, SCENT OF BETRAYAL, and why she likes writing series. So sit back and come meet my new author friend.
Denise… Why a Series?
First and foremost, I love to read a series. I get invested in the characters and want to know what happens to not only the primary characters, but the secondary characters too. So, of course, when it comes to my writing, I tend to write series. Currently I have three different series in the works. The Shifters of Rishard series originated because I wanted to put a twist on the shifter story. My shifters are aliens. I’d like to tell you I put a great deal of thought into the name, Rishard, but it was a spur of the moment entry. I’ve had people who’ve read the book try to put hidden meanings behind the name and I hate to disappoint, but alas there was none. There are four clans of shifters here on Earth. In Bloodlines I introduced the American clan residing in Wyoming. Scent of Betrayal explores the European clan based in Glasgow, Scotland. In the third I plan to return to Wyoming, but I’ll have to see which characters are the loudest in wanting their story told.
A Shifter, A Mate, A Conspiracy.
Wolf shifter, Davis Campbell is on a mission. His job is to babysit a woman from a rival clan. He believes all he has to do is get her back to Scotland. What he doesn’t figure on is her possibly being his mate.
Bethany Leitner, an owl shifter, has been betrayed, attacked, framed, and left for dead. Trust in herself and others is hard to find. So when her self-appointed guardian begins to bark orders, she is ready to show her talons.
Davis snorted. “Yeah, well, the little peacemaker tried to get rid of me when I didn’t kowtow to Aaron and the advisor. I don’t think she fully realizes the precarious position she and her clan are in right now.”
“On the contrary, I am quite aware, which is why I don’t see the need to make the matter worse by antagonizing everyone around me.”
Davis slowly swiveled his head to meet Bethany’s glare. She stood in the open doorway to the bathroom with her arms wrapped tightly around her waist. Her dark gaze pinned on him. She’d changed into a blue dress. It accentuated her tiny waist, skimming just below her knees, allowing him an appreciative view of her trim legs. Her pursed lips only accentuated the pink little bow of her mouth. He couldn’t help but imagine what it might be like to grab a taste.
An amused chuckle sounded in his ear.
“She doesn’t sound very happy with you, Davis. Are you sure you want to stay?”
“Yeah, I’m sure.”
A little about Denise:
Denise Carbo writes Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Contemporary Romance. She is a voracious reader, loves to travel, is fascinated by the supernatural, and enjoys figuring out the culprit of books and movies before the ending is revealed.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing and lives in a small, picturesque New England town with her high school sweetheart and their three amazing sons.
You can connect with Denise on her Social Media Links:
So if it’s Wednesday, it’s time for a L&SR blogging challenge.
This weeks’ topic? Favorite authors in the ROMANCE genre.
Honestly, I could write this one in my sleep while having a nightmare and sleepwalking.
No one. No. One. Writes like the doyenne of romance. Yes, she head hops, but so what? Yes, some of her stories, esp. the paranormals can be…farfetched. SO what, again? The recent plagiarism lawsuit she is involved with proves there are some writers so intimidated by her success and brilliance, they will take her words as their own to get ahead. As JD Robb, Roberts has given the romance reading world two of the best characters it has ever seen: Eve Dallas and Roarke. Le sigh…Roarke.
The second name on my list is a contemporary romance writer, Lauren Layne.
The very first time I ever picked up a Layne book as a Netgalley selection, I was hooked after the first page. It’s been that way with every subsequent book I’ve read of hers. Snappy, witty dialogue, delicious love scenes, and a casts of friends who would do anything for any one of their group. I simply adore the way she phrases a sentence.
And although she writes both historicals and contemporaries, I prefer Lisa Kleypas’ historical books. Lots of sexy spice and wicked, wonderful heros!
So, I read romance. A lot of romance. Let’s see what some of the other authors in this challenge read, and who their fav authors are: L&SR
Don’t forget, DIRTY DAMSELS is available now, in KU and at these sites:
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2XmMfBn
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2JkOZpA
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2XcgTZS
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2xnWg2x
One famous book reviewer called it the best romance she’s read all year!! That’s some praise, believe me! Get your copy today.
So, unless you’ve been living under a rock ( or not reading my blogs!) you know I had a new release this week – my first from LIMITLESS PUBLISHING, DIRTY DAMSELS. It’s a modern day twist on Cinderella with Prince Charming in a suit and a CEO Cynderella.
Here’s a little bit from one of my favorite scenes featuring Nell Newbery, Ella’s BFF:
After my few hours with Buddy –and have I mentioned how fantastic they were?- I’d found Nell holding a sobbing CarrieAnn in our room. Apparently, one of the bridesmaids admitted to a more than passing crush on Casey and had tried to seduce him away from CarrieAnn one night at a party after imbibing a few too many tequila shots. Casey’s heart belonged to CarrieAnn though, and he thankfully resisted the offer. He’d been a gentleman, letting the girl down gently, and never told the love of his life one of her supposed besties had made a sloppy, drunken play for him. When the teary-eyed bridesmaid confessed what she’d done to CarrieAnn, the bride hadn’t been as gracious as her groom-to-be.
Nell reported hearing raised voices from the connecting suite around one-thirty. By the time she got into the room, the voices were at screech mode and CarrieAnn had the girl by the roots of her hair extensions and was holding her suspended over the balcony safety railing. The other girls were crying and wailing, imploring CarrieAnn to let her victim go. Our rooms were on the tenth floor and CarrieAnn was leaning the girl waaaaaay backward over the rail. This fact hit home with Nell straight away and she went into commando mode in a nanosecond.
Now, CarrieAnn is five ten and built like a supermodel/athlete. Nell, all five foot spit of her would routinely be no match. But add hours of alcohol consumption into a system – any system – and it will wear strength and emotions down. Nell told me she grabbed a yard of CarrieAnn’s hair, yanked it hard, and when she reached out to pull it back – letting go of Desdemona the bridesmaid, when she did – the other girls rushed in and pulled Desi to freedom. Freedom being their bathroom, where they locked the door against a now screaming, fist-pounding, drunken, and angry CarrieAnn.
It was then Nell started texting me for help.
Intrigued? Here’s where you can order your copy RIGHT NOW!!! Hee hee: in addition to being live in KU:
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2XmMfBn
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2JkOZpA
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2XcgTZS
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2xnWg2x
Until next time ~ Peg
It’s my turn over on the ROMANCE GEMS today, and I’m talking about weddings – my own and fictional ones – and why I like the fictional ones more sometimes.
Here’s the link to the blog and while you’re there, don’t forget to enter the monthly contest for June. There are some great prizes up for the winners!
And don’t forget to preorder your copy of DIRTY DAMSELS. It releases in just 6 days ( altho you can get the print copy now!!)
Here are the links:
So, today is a first for me. I usually spotlight romance writers when I do an author interview, but today I’ve got a treat. JOCELYN PEDERSEN is a Wild Rose Press sistah, but she writes mysteries and thrillers. So cool! She agreed to let me interview her recently and I had so much fun listening to her answers. Sit back and meet this fascinating author.
Jocelyn, The Writer
1. What drives you to write?
The love of writing. I’ve always written. When I was a kid I’d write letters to my aunties, I’d write stories and poems, and I’d write absolutely everything down. I’m a geek—the feel of ink being placed on paper is a bit of a thrill—I’m even picky about the pens I use because if they don’t have a certain feel when I use them on paper, I don’t like them.
2. What genre(s) do your write, and why?
I write mysteries and thrillers because I love a good puzzle. I adore using my mind to try to figure out a mystery before the end of a book and I make a mental note of how early in the book I figure it out. The best stories are the ones I can’t figure out because they have a twisty ending. In addition, I like the forensic element in solving the crime. I took a class called Forensics for Writers and found it to be very interesting. I think I would have made a good detective!
3. What genre(s) do you read, and why?
I like crime novels, mostly. I enjoy the police work, the sleuthing, and the forensics—again, because I like a good challenge with a great puzzle. I don’t mind some descriptive scenes that get a little gory, but I don’t like too much because readers want more and more of that and I don’t want to go that far into the dark cave.
4. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday?
I absolutely write every day of my life. I prefer to write in the morning before I get busy with my day. If I don’t write something, I feel like something is missing. I’m a journalist, too, so I track down stories and write freelance for several local and regional publications. I teach writing at the University of Oklahoma. As for novel writing, my brain never stops. I write in my head, I write snippets on my phone or on restaurant napkins, and on scraps of paper. When characters won’t leave me alone and they talk to me all the time, I know it’s time to get busy and sit at the computer. So, for me, writing is a huge part of my life and therefore I do it every single day.
5. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?
I have an old, wooden office desk in my den that I picked up at a used furniture store. On it I have two large monitors sitting side by side. Regardless of what I’m writing, I like to have notes on one screen, the project I’m working on another screen, and an Internet browser open on another part of a screen. If I run out of room, I launch the screen on my computer and have something open on that screen too. I think I like to see things laid out next to each other in this way because I grew up with books, not windows on screens. I can glance from here to there and have everything I need at my fingertips. I invested in a good chair, too, because I sit and write so much. Good ergonomic posture is imperative when writing as much as I do. I also have a split, ergonomic keyboard. I love it. In fact, I’ve used it so much, the letters are worn off the keys! The bonus side of that is that most folks can’t use a keyboard without letters, so visitors don’t want to use my computer to check their email. It’s kind of funny.
6. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision?
Total quiet. When I write, I am not “here,” I’m in the story.
7. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?
I’m in awe of folks who can listen to music while writing. If I listen to music, I find myself typing the lyrics rather than my story. Sometimes, when the weather is nice, I’ll take my laptop outside and sit on my back patio to write. I love the ambient sounds of my backyard fountain and the birds chirping.
8. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?
Since my current WIP is Book 2 of the Izzy O Crime Files, I’m using some of the same characters. I’m adding new characters, of course, and since I love animals, I’m adding police dogs. I am a graduate of the Norman Citizens Police Academy, where I learned quite a bit about police procedure and police dogs. I have been a professional dog trainer, so adding dogs will be fun. In addition, I took up Olympic-style weightlifting in the fall of 2018 to help me cut time off of my swim (I regularly swim 1/2 to a full mile). So, I’ve decided that in addition to adding dogs to my WIP, I’m going to have one of my characters take up weightlifting.
9. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?
I think plot comes first. Once I have an idea for a plot, the characters emerge and start filling in the story. I start with “what if?” and go on from there. Many of my characters are named for people I know and those who know me well know that some scenes have really happened in my life.
10. What 3 words describe you, the writer?
Driven. Creative. Perseverant.
Jocelyn, The Gal…
As I mentioned, I took up Olympic-style weightlifting less than a year ago. When I had been lifting for only a month, my lifting coach, the incredible Bob White, Jr. (who is the big brother I never had and always wanted), told me the team would be going to a weightlifting meet—when I picked my jaw up off the floor, I agreed. At that meet, I won gold in my division and the Best Master Woman lifter award. Since then, I’ve won three more gold medals, I’ve earned my coaching license, and I’m headed to the national meet in November. I’m very proud of going from never having seen a barbell to making nationals in seven months. Who knew I was any good at this!? Certainly not me.
2. Who was your first love and what age were you?
I was 12 years old—we had moved from my native Canada to Singapore—where I met Niccolai Murphy. I was smitten. We played bridge at lunchtime with friends and he taught me to make and fly model airplanes. We had a blast running around together flying airplanes and eating all manner of weird delicacies from street vendors—never asking what was in it. I still keep in touch with him and his lovely wife, Pat Hlavin. When my son, Al, became interested in flying at age 12, I took him to California to meet Nicco who, along with his friend, Frank Britton, took Al up and taught him to do loop-de-loops, and barrel rolls. They even had a mock dogfight. Al recently got his private pilot’s license. You don’t have many friends like Nicco in a lifetime.
3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….
August 23, 2017. Adams Hall, Rm 311 at 10:30 a.m. A student in my class, Michael Jackson, walked into the room. Of course, since it was the first week of class, I knew absolutely no one, but when he walked in I said to myself, “That’s Michael Jackson.” It was like I knew him from somewhere, but we’d never met. That man was, in fact, Michael Jackson, and after the semester was over we, like many of my students, had a cup of coffee. We are now best friends and are planning to go into business together. Age is a number. Who cares how old friends are?
4.If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?
Concealer. Acne has not been my friend…
5.What three words describe you, the person?
Loyal. Giving. Loving.
6. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?
Imagine Dragons’ Machine. It isn’t terribly funny, but it speaks to my fierce independence.
6. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it be, why, and what would you do together?
Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, because he stood up for the underdog. He stood up for what he believed in and knew was right. He showed love, compassion and empathy. If we could spend time together, I’d want to have a tall glass of tea on his front porch and ask him what makes him tick and discuss the courage it took to stand up for himself and Tom Robinson.
I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:
And now, here’s a peak at An EYE FOR AN EYE
Rookie detective Izzy O’Donnell is on the trail of a serial killer who’s murdering victims and leaving behind body parts wrapped in Bible verses. Izzy tracks him down with the help of her two partners—a very enigmatic Moreno and a rather grumpy Cal—her injured dad’s former partner.
Meanwhile, her wacky sidekick, Apple MacIntosh, totes a pet rabbit around in a baby sling, insisting he’s telepathic and can smell death on Izzy’s clothes. Unnerved by unexplained dreams, Izzy forges forth to solve the case. A homeless man, a philandering televangelist, and a mentally challenged gardener are among the suspects who distract Izzy from seeing the killer, who has been getting to know her all along.
Moreno hung up the phone and walked past Izzy, purposely brushing her elbow with his. Startled, she jumped and looked at him.
“You hangin’ in?” he said.
“Guess I’m a little shell shocked.”
They crossed the room and met Cal at the fireplace. He was bent over, examining the body.
“Cal, Moreno, you’d better take a look at this,” said one of the techies. He motioned them over to the blood-soaked couch.
Izzy hadn’t been called over, so she stayed at the fireplace. The scene was gruesome, and the stench wafted up her nose. She gingerly touched the body with a stainless-steel probe. It crunched. She steadied her queasies and took a deep breath. Get back on task.
She scrutinized the area, searching for fibers and trace evidence. When she picked up the fireplace poker that lay nearby, a blood-soaked packet tumbled off the hearth and plopped on the carpet. Izzy glanced around to see if anyone else had noticed. When she realized she was the sole recipient of this piece of evidence, heart skipped a beat. This could be her first break – her way to show those seasoned guys that this newbie knew her stuff.
Get AN EYE FOR AN EYE here:
A little more about Jocelyn:
Jocelyn Pedersen is an award-winning, AP-published, professional journalist with hundreds of published clips in various newspapers and magazines. A lover of the mystery and thriller, she eats popcorn while watching documentaries about serial killers and huddles under blankets on the couch while watching Criminal Minds with her friends and family.
Jocelyn is a gold medal-winning power-lifter breaking records every month. She works with Bob White of Team Metro in Norman, Oklahoma.
She enjoys her kids, the beach, teaching writing at the University of Oklahoma, and being a former sheep farmer, considers herself a sheepie slipper aficionado. She has more animals than brains and wouldn’t have it any other way.
You can connect with Jocelyn here:
Jocelyn, thanks so much for visiting me today!!! ~Peg
Today I’m super excited to present another DEERBOURNE INN novella to you from one of my favorite, one click authors, my friend DONNA SIMONETTA. Donna’s Inn addition is titled LOVE CALLS YOU HOME and it’s a wonderful coming home again, second chance romance ( my absolute fav trope!) At the end of the blog I’ve given a link where you can read my review for this lovely book. Here’s a hint: 5 stars isn’t high enough!
Here’s a little about LOVES CALLS YOU HOME
Stephanie Williams left skid marks on the road out of Willow Springs, Vermont after she finished high school. She didn’t return until her company sent her to evaluate the town for a massive development project. Back then she thought the town was way too small and too cold. Now the cold isn’t as much of an issue since she’s reconnected with her childhood friend, Donald Flanagan. Stephanie doesn’t remember his eyes being quite so green, or his body quite so built. He’s smart and funny as he ever was, and a forest-fire sized attraction burns between them.
Donald never understood his old friend’s driving need to leave Willow Springs. He loves everything about it. When he learns the truth about Stephanie’s project, and how it will turn his hometown into a theme-park version of itself, will it extinguish the flame that has sparked between them?
It was much darker on this side of the building, without the bright, neon lights around the entrance, and even though they could hear the muffled music through the wall, it felt as though they were all alone in the world. Donald stopped and turned to face her, which placed her between him and the building. He cupped her face in his hands, and Stephanie marveled that she’d never noticed how big his hands were before. He leaned down a little and studied her face. His eyes seemed to be searching for a clue as to what she wanted. There were complications aplenty––putting their lifelong friendship at risk, and her work here in town, which Donald still didn’t know the extent of, being two major hurdles, but Stephanie knew what she wanted right now. She knew it from the bottom of her toes to the top of her head, with a certainty she’d never experienced before. Her blood pounded in her veins, and she felt a little breathless with excitement about the step they were about to take.
“Hurry up and kiss me, Flanagan, before I spontaneously combust.”
One side of the mouth she longed to be kissing quirked up in a sexy half-grin. “There’s no turning back if we take this step, Williams. Are you sure?”
Get your copy here:
Meet my friend, Donna:
My career has been a winding road. I worked in the business world for years, got my MLS and worked in a school library, and am now living my dream as an author. I love to read and write contemporary and fantasy romance. I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.
You can connect with Donna, here:
As promised, here’s the link to my review of this wonderful story: Goodreads
The Deerbourne Inn Series grows monthly! Here are the books already out in the book reading world. AS each one releases, I’ll be promoting them here on the blog.
By Reservation Only by Barbara Edwards
Hope’s Dream by Peggy Jaeger
Freedom’s Path By Linda Carroll Bradd
Lyrical Embrace by Amber Daulton
Spirited Quest by Julie Howard
Soul of the Storm By Jean M. Grant
Lion Dancing for Love by Laura Boon
Forever In A Moment by Charlotte O’Shay
Witches’ Cliff by Peggy Chambers
Mystic Maples by Tena Stetler
Love Calls You Home by Donna Simonetta
and coming soon……Love Proof by Luanna Stewart