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#1stKissFriday 4.19.19

This meme is so appropriate for today’s #1stkissfriday edition because it’s from COOKING WITH KANDY and it’s about… a kiss!!! Hee hee

COOKING WITH KANDY is my  first book in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE series and introduces series “matriarch”  and cheflebrity Kandy Laine. When a private eye/bodyguard is hired to find out who’s stalking our favorite chef, sparks fly and love ensues, mixed in with a little eating, cooking, and romance. And guess what? The ebook is on sale now for just 99Cents for a limited time, so if you haven’t read it, now’s your chance!!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

“You’re gonna wash the floor? Now?” He glanced down at his watch.

It was almost midnight.

“I never leave off cleaning my kitchen after a big prep,” she said, filling the bucket with hot water from the sink.

“Here, let me do it,” he said, taking over. “You’ve been going since four thirty this morning. It’s time for bed, Kandy. Go get ready. You’ve had a full, exhausting a day.”

She wouldn’t give him the mop. “I’m doing this, Josh. It won’t take more than five, ten minutes, tops.”

“Your work ethic astounds me. I can’t decide if you’re just plain stubborn or obstinate, but you’ll be no good tomorrow if you’re overtired and have a house full of company to entertain. And you still have stuff to do in the morning.”

She didn’t budge.

“Kandy, it’s midnight. You need sleep. Rest. Now let me have the mop.” He put out his hand. She glared at it for a few beats and then ignored it, turning back to the sink to lift the bucket.

“No. You go to bed. I’m finishing this.”

“Look, I’m not playing around.”

“Of course you’re not. You’re just naturally bossy and domineering. Well, here’s a news flash, Joshua Keane,” she said, dropping the bucket back into the sink, water sloshing out the sides. “I’m a grown-up. I do want I want, when I want. And I want to wash my floor. Now. You go to bed.”

He couldn’t believe she was arguing with him over something so stupid. For that matter, he couldn’t believe he was contending with her. But something in her tone rattled him and, even though he knew it was childish, he refused to back down.

Arms crossed, legs braced in a stance of defiance, he said, “You know, I weigh double what you do. I can just take that mop out of your hands. It wouldn’t be hard at all.”

She turned back to him, the blue in her light eyes deepening. “Go ahead and try,” she challenged, one hand on her hip in a stance of rebellion, the other gripping the mop handle.

They were standing toe to toe, each unwilling to bend.

Josh’s hand snaked out to grab the mop and Kandy effortlessly slapped it away. Without missing a beat, his other hand wound around her back, yanking her full force against his chest, the mop between them.

Kandy’s cry of surprise spit from her as she stared, wide-eyed, up into his face.

They were so close he could see the pulse beating at her temple as he stared down at her.

“Don’t challenge me if you’re not prepared to meet the consequences,” he said, his voice low and blunt.

She stared up at him, a sneer just beginning to form on her lips. “You don’t scare me.”

In the span of a heartbeat his head came down to hers, while she craned her neck toward him.

When their lips met the argument died.

Damn it.

He knew she’d feel like this, taste like this.
Heaven. Pure and total heaven.
Josh snaked his hands down her back, delighting in every curve and crevice he touched, to settle on her sweet ass. He swallowed her gasp against his mouth and gripped her butt, grinding her against his immediate, rock-hard erection.

When he felt her, soft, warm, and plastered against his body, he echoed her groan with one of his own.

He’d dreamed it would feel like this with her. Hot and spicy, delectable and scrumptious, just like her cooking. Her mouth was made for kissing, full and lush, swollen with need and desire.

Josh wanted nothing more than to eat her whole.

Clenching her even tighter, his lips left the mouthwatering taste of hers to wander across her cheeks, down to her chin. His tongue tasted the hollow behind her ear, his lips gliding across the silky skin of her neck.

Like a man starved for a lifetime, he devoured her.
Kandy arched backward, giving him free access to all those regions, while clutching fistfuls of his hair in her strong hands.
His tongue laved at the exposed skin of her collarbone, trailed back up to the corner of her ear, and when he captured the small lobe in his mouth and sucked, felt Kandy shudder with such erotic violence against him, he almost dropped to his knees.

“Josh.”

He pulled back and stared down at her flushed and glowing face. Her eyes were closed, her lips parted, waiting for him to kiss her again.

She was, without doubt, the most beautiful, most desirable woman he’d ever seen.

She felt so good, so right, against him. As if they’d been created and carved for each other.

And he wanted her like he’d wanted nothing else in his life.
But he knew he couldn’t have her.
A cold fist of reality punched through his desire-drenched body. She needed him to protect her, not seduce her. The notion that she wanted him as much as he did her didn’t change that fact.

“Kandy. Open your eyes.”

When she did he almost lost the small amount of sanity he still possessed and took her right there, braced against the sink.

Her beautiful blue irises were transparent crystals filled with heat and longing. Josh swore he could see to her very core; he could have melted into them without thought. Her gaze raked down his face to his lips, and she pulled a hand from his hair and traced a delicate line in the dimple under his bottom lip, just above his jawline.

Josh’s abdominal muscles contracted. He grabbed her hand, placed a chaste kiss on the open palm, and watched her expression change from captivated to confused.

Intrigued? Remember, it’s on sale right now for just 99cents! You can order your own copy here: Amazon

and if you want to know a little more about what I write, you can connect with me here:

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

Here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

And I can’t forget the OKRWA 2018 Award video

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense, Strong Women, The Laine Women

You gotta be in it to Win it!

I know I made a New Year’s resolution to blog only 3-4 times per week because last year it got to be waaaaaay too much to do it more often. Well, I’ve already broken that resolution. Last week I blogged 7 times. There’s a pattern here somewhere and I’m gonna figure out why I am so compelled to do this, but that’s a blog for another day.

The reason I’m blogging today is because I have a number of things going on right now in the Romance reading universe and I wanted to let you all know about them at the same time to save myself a hours of Hootsuiting. I don’t think that’s a verb, but whatever. You all know marketing isn’t my strongest point in this publishing arena.

Right now, I’m participating in 3 Rafflecopter giveaways for the month of February. The prizes vary in each from a Kindle fire to free romance books and book bundles, so you’ll want to click on each link below to see what’s being given away. And you should enter each of them. The prizes are fab and in all honesty you gotta be in it to win it!
In no particular order, here are the links:

NN Lights Love and Romance Book Festival : Link to enter 

The grand opening of the new ROMANCE GEMS blog: Link to enter

Author Constance Bretes Love Forever Romance Ebook giveaway : Link to enter.

And….. don’t forget that 3 WISHES ebook is on sale for 99cents until Feb. 15. Links to buy

 

and last but not least, 3 WISHES is also a BARGAIN BOOKSY deal today!

 

I need a nap! ~ Peg

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Foodie, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

One more day!!!!

I’m so excited! One more day until CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS releases into the book-loving ROMCOM world. Today, I’m over at Journeys with Jana, talking about my favorite scene from the book and READ YOUR WRITES BOOK REVIEW Blog as part of my Goddess Fish tour.

Stop by and leave me some love!!!

 

With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him.

Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company’s reputation—in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.

Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?

Excerpt:

It had been a long, long time since a guy’s hands had been on me in anything resembling a carnal way. My ex had decamped to parts unknown five years ago after signing the divorce papers and I’d been so busy rebuilding my life that adding any kind of relationship to it wasn’t even a notion. Besides, with my hovering parents, one of whom worked for me while the other popped in daily to check up on their only daughter, I had enough on my plate fending off the men they wanted to introduce me to. Guys who, for the most part, had shady lifestyles, carried concealed, and owed my father innumerable favors. And by favors I mean the kind that usually get signed for in blood and paid back the same way.

Welcome to mia familia.

Buy Links:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Nook // Google Play ( books) // Kobo

 

 

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Where do I Begin? #MFRWauthorBlogChallenge Week 42

So, last week we discussed when to end the book. This week it’s how to begin it. Or more importantly, where to begin it.

I’ve heard from several traditionally published authors that most editors despise a prologue. They find them wordy, too backstory-laden, and don’t do much to push the story forward or get readers engaged.  They think most prologues are too much tell and not enough show. The editors feel  writers should be able to weave all the story details they want to tell before they tell the actual story, into the actual story and not weigh down the beginning with details that could be divulged elsewhere.

There’s something wise about this, I think.

But….

The very first book I had published, SKATER’S WALTZ, had a three page prologue that showed my heroine winning her first Olympic gold medal. I felt it set up her emotional makeup and allowed the readers to know a bit about why she was the way she was when the book opened in chapter one.

 

My editor ( whom I lovelovelove with all my heart) didn’t agree. For all the reasons I gave above she felt we should nix the prologue and start the story in chapter one. Since this was going to be my first time being published I bowed to her wisdom, bit my lip, and agreed to trash the first 3 pages.

Did I regret it? At the time, yeah. Do I now? No, because she was right. The book started where it needed to start. And I was able to incorporate those winning moments into the story without any problem. Where I placed them actually made sense for the scene, too, so yay for that!

Fifteen books later and I still struggle with wanting to put in a prologue for some on my novels. It still feels right to me and I get all angsty about giving too much info away at the beginning and knowing when to pull back. Or thinking the reader simply needs to know these details now so they’ll understand where the story is going. I think I’d be a better writer if I remembered to simply tell my story the way it should be told – with the reader learning everything she needs to know as she is reading the book and not beforehand. Foreshadowing is a good literary tool when used effectively within the story. But too much is, simply, annoying.

Many famous and well-selling authors use prologues all the time and their readers don’t seem to mind. I certainly don’t. I like a good prologue because to me it sets the story up, let’s me know that something good ( or evil) is coming, and gives me a sense that the past events that happened to these characters is going to mold their story.

I’ll be honest and tell you I haven’t published a book with a prologue yet. Have I written them? You betcha. Published? No.

Maybe one day…..

Let’s see what some of the other authors in the blog hop think about prologues. MFRWAuthorBlogChallenge.

And, when I’m not struggling over whether to include prologues or not in my stories, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

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#TheGreatAmericanRead “What we do for Love” Episode #4, #PBS

You can guess by the title of this current episode, that we’re talking about books where love features heavily. And it’s not just romantic love either. There’s love of family, love of country. There’s even love of self.

The books listed fall into different categories of love, starting with love that’s not exactly of the normal definition.

  1. Destructive love. In these books, we see what the protagonist thinks of as love, can be something else entirely. From obsession to unrequited to leaving the love of your life,  these loves fall on the darker side of the emotion. Americanah, Looking for Alaska and the Great Gatsby are part of this category.  Is there anyone on the planet who doesn’t think Jay Gatsby is just a little left of stable, mentally? He is so obsessed with Daisy he remakes himself into something he isn’t just so he will fit into the man-mold he thinks she wants. Ultimately and too late, he realizes how destructive that love is. Unrequited love is the major theme in Look For Alaska, John Green’s Debut YA Novel. The story concerns Miles and a classmate of his, the out-of-his-league Alaska. Americanah is told from a Nigerian immigrant’s perspective and deals with coming to a new country and leaving a first love behind.
3. My favorite category, of course, is romantic love and the two books listed, Pride and Prejudice and Gone With The Wind are my two favorite books of all time, as anyone who is a frequent reader of my blog knows! Pride and Prejudice set the tone and example for what a romantic novel should be almost 3oo years ago. Jane Austen quite literally redefined the blueprint of the romance book. And, like Little Women, the protagonist is a second sister. Independent, outspoken, opinionated Elizabeth Bennet is Fitzwilliam Darcy’s foil on every level. Or is she? That’s the crux of their story. This may be the first enemies to lovers trope written and it is still at the top of the heap.
Mitchell’s GWTW tells the tale of another independent and opinionated woman, Scarlett O’Hara, but where most people who have seen the movie think Rhett Butler was the love of her life, they’d be wrong. Which is why, in my mind, the book is always better than the movie. Hands down. Scarlett’s one real, enduring love is her home, Tara. Keeping it is the motivator in almost all of her actions and thoughts, something the book details way better than the movie ever could.
4. The last “Love” category explored was the Enduring love story, or the love that lasts eternally. Some of the choices here were a bit odd to me, but when delved into, do deserve to be here. They include Call of the Wild, The Notebook and (another fav of mine) Anne of Green Gables.
Call Of the Wild tells -at its  basic level – the story of a man and his dog – and how that love they have for each other endures even when one of them dies. While I am not a Nicholas Sparks fan, the Notebook does a good job of showing how, when you love someone, you will go through all the trials and fires of life with them and still love them even when they don’t remember who you are.
Anne Shirley is another of those protagonists who just settles into you heart from the first page. By her shear love of life, living, and people, she turns a sour, dour spinster who doesn’t even want Anne, into a woman who is devoted to Anne entirely. This book covers all aspects of love, from family to friendship, to romantic love, and enduring love. It’s a great book!!
 
This documentary series has been so wonderful to watch and learn from, I sincerely hope you catch it when it’s aired or watch it on demand or on-line later. Since it’s so much easier for me to speak than write – go figure!- I’ll be giving a facebook Live talk this afternoon on my FB author page at 2pm EST of you want to join in and discuss some of these books. Here’s my link: Peggy Jaeger, Author Hope you can join me.

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