Tag Archives: #amwriting

#Dreaming Big; #MFRWauthors #Blogchallenge

 

OMG! I could so totally take pages and pages and reams of paper to write this one!!! After debating with myself for the entire week about my choices, I narrowed it down to the following:

  1. Meet Matthew MacFadyen ( don’t laugh! Lovelovelove him!!!)
  2. Be a size 4 for the rest of my life no matter what I eat. ( Okay, you can laugh at this one because I don’t have the body frame to be a size 4!!)
  3. Star in a Broadway play ( again, laughter is okay because this is a PIPE dream!!! I can’t act, sing, or emote!)
  4. Make the NYT bestseller list, or the USA Bestseller list, or ANY FRIGGIN’ BOOK LIST!!!!
  5. Get a publishing contract for MMP and/or Hardcover.

After numerous hours of time wasting – er, I mean, debate (!) with myself, I figure 1-3 ain’t gonna happen in my lifetime. 4 is a slim-to-none possibility, especially since the NYTimes has recently changed and only lists HARDBACK books in their list, no more mass market one. ( DOPES! The NYT, that is)

So, number 5 is the winner-winner-chicken dinner!

I can actually SEE myself someday ( hopefully before I die!) getting a mass market paperback book deal, or even a hardcover deal. And I always think that if you can actually SEE your goal in your mind, give it weight, and do something about it, the dream will come true. In fact, because I give such weight to physical things, I actually make book boxes for my book giveaways. Here’s the latest one for Cooking With Kandy:

 

As you can see, it’s Hardback sized, has my picture on the back “cover” and it looks like a book!

There’s an old saying that “seeing is believing.” I’d rather say, “Seeing it makes it happen.”

So that’s my biggest dream!!!

And because this is a blog hop, here are some other authors who are dreaming big. Stop by their blogs today and find out all about they’re big dreams.

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Foodie, Friends, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

So, how was your day?

Every evening when my husband comes home from work and we sit down to dinner, he asks me two questions. How was your day, and what did you do today?

My answers are invariably the same. Good. Went to the gym and worked.

By worked, I mean I did writing stuff. It sounds so inconsequential when I just say worked, so I decided to give you ( and hubby) a breakdown of what I do on an average day, so here’s what happened the other  from the moment I woke up until I finally went to bed for a few hours ( chronic insomnia, remember?)

4am, Finally got out of bed after lying there for an hour, wide awake.

405am – 530 am Checked email, answered 6 messages. Wrote 2 blogs, uploaded one then posted on social media outlets and HootSuite for the day. Social media sites included uploads of blog on twitter, Triberr, Tumblr, Linked in, Goodreads, google+ and Pinterest. Hootsuites were posted for every 2 hours.

530-6. Got hubby up, ate breakfast. Got ready for the day.

630-930 am Gym, followed by grocery shopping for the week, Target, the post office and the bank.

930-1030am put the groceries away then started laundry, vacuumed bedrooms and living area. Started dishwasher.

1030-1pm wrote in current wip; worked on Copyedits just received for Book 2 in new cooking series.

1pm-130pm ate lunch then answered emails and checked social media sites. Changed laundry and started another load.

130-500 worked on wip; and worked on Copy edits for book 2 in new cooking series, plus plotted out book 4. ( book 3 is already done!)  Folded dried laundry and put it away.

5-545 walked on treadmill and read current NetGalley book for review. Folded the remainder of done laundry, put it away.

545-630 cooked dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, set table, worked on copy edits.

630-7pm dinner and conversation ( questions!) with Hubby. Cleaned up the dinner dishes.

7-830 worked on wip, answered email, worked on blog posting for the morning. Did a few pages of the copy edits for book 2

830-10 read Netgalley again

10pm-midnight. Slept

Midnight-4 am. wide awake in bed, reliving yesterday, planning today.

So…..how was your day, and what did you do?

When I’m not exhausted, you can usually find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

My newest release, COOKING WITH KANDY is available now in e-copy and print on demand from:

kindle // Apple // Google //  Kobo //Nook

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Life challenges, New Hampshire, Romance, Strong Women

Conference comedown #NECRWA2017 #romancewriter

This past weekend I attended the NECRWA 2017 conference in Burlington, MA. Historically, this is a fabulous conference for romance writers to network with professionals, learn about craft, catch up with old friends, and make new ones. This year was no exception. Ii fact, this was a banner year for the conference and for me.

Let me ‘esplain….

For the conference itself, the committee tried several new “things” conference-wise that just worked. A bigger and expanded book fair; an exceptional cocktail hour and meal service; a large and varied collection of conference topics, and two break-out sessions after the conference was completed. I don’t think I ‘ve ever heard so many participant comments in the past that were so glowing of all aspects of the conference, so Kudos to the conference committee. You should all pat yourselves several times on the back!

As for me, well, this was the first time I’ve ever given a professional writing speech. Okay, speech isn’t the correct word. It was a workshop on writing romance stories for people over the age of 40. I’d given this presentation to my local NHRWA chapter last month and it was warmly received. I even wrote a blog about my nerves concerning it.  But they’re all my friends. I didn’t think they’d be mean and they weren’t ( of course they weren’t!!!) This time, the presentation was for a room full of people I didn’t know. At all. Now, some of my chapter mates attended to support me ( gotta lovelovelove that, right!!) And I knew the moderator from previous conferences. But the majority of that room was alien to me and boy-oh-boy was I nervous.

Turns out, I didn’t have to be. They all laughed in the right places, asked en-pointe questions related to the topic and I never once saw people yawning, checking Apple watches, or fidgeting.

Nirvana for a speaker!!!!

The best part? A few hours later I met one of the attendees in another workshop and she stopped me and told me how much I had inspired her and that she’d had an immediate story plot jump into her head. When she told me about it I started to well-up because I could see – really SEE – how the talk had inspired her. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so emotionally invested in a stranger before! Sniff…sniff…

So, now I’m home, getting back to the editing and writing grind today. Although, it really isn’t a grind. It’s an absolute delight in every way, especially, now that I know my words and thoughts actually helped another writer.

Le sigh…..I’ve got a great life.

When I’m not attending conferences you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

Story inspiration; #MFRWauthors #BlogChallenge Week 14

 

Everywhere I look I find inspiration for stories. It doesn’t take a great deal of action or thought on my part, actually. I’m a naturally nosey person and I tend to eavesdrop on conversations that don’t involve me; watch strangers interact with people when I’m shopping; I even pay attention to how people react with one another when I’m on line in the grocery store. Little snippets of conversation, a careless wave of a hand while someone is speaking, and I’ve got a story jarring to be told shooting forth from the back of mind.

Like I said, I’m nosey. Not in your face ask you a million questions nosey and annoying, but I’m the kind of person people – strangers – talk to. I’ve got “that kind of face” I guess. Really, I could talk to a rock if I needed to. And it would probably answer back. This makes me sound like a harpy or a gossip, but I’m not. I don’t go forward and seek information from people – it is divulged to me willingly and without my asking. And just BTW, I’m that gal who people trust with secrets. So…just saying.

So, my writing process starts with people. I see people ( Now I sound like an M. Night Shamylan movie!), I watch them, and I build stories around them. Character always always always comes first. My husband has commented – frequently, I’ll add- that I tend to stare at people when we’re out in public, like at a restaurant or when we’re traveling. Some of my most influential character descriptions have evolved from watching how people behave when they’re on an airport check-in line. Think about the last time you traveled and were waiting….waiting…..waiting on that check-in — and then the security — line. You will see all kinds of human behavior just chockful of character insights.

So. First I see a person, imagine them as a character, then give them an imaginative ( my imagination) background. From there, a plot will form.

Here’s a quick example – and this really did happen. I was mall shopping one day and decided to have lunch so I hightailed it to the mall Pizzeria Uno. Love their grilled chicken salad. But I digress… As I was waiting for my lunch to arrive my eyes took a tour of the other lunch patrons. I saw this: 3oish man and woman across from me. Their body language said they were involved in some kind of an argument – he kept drumming his fingers on the table, she was looking down at her drink, a scowl on her face. They were dressed in business casual, so I assumed they were on a working lunch break. Here’s the snippet of conversation that drifted my way once my salad came:

Him: you need to deal with this. Today. Don’t waste any more time.

Her: Stop pressuring me. I’ll get it done. Just back off, will ya?

Him: Stop being such a bitch about it and just take care of.

So. What did I learn from this conversation? Nothing, really. But my mind went into hyperspace and overdrive at all the options available. Was she a whistle blower? Was he a corrupt banker? Was she pregnant and he was her baby daddy and her boss? Her married boss? Were they doing something illegal? Immoral? Unethical? Dangerous?
See? This is how my mind works.

Now, in all reality, they could have been a young married couple who were still waiting to get their cable television system installed and he was getting mad she hadn’t called the cable company to light a fire under their installing asses. Who knows?
My point is, this is how my writing process works: see a person, imagine them as a character, devise a back story and then a plot for them.

Easy peasy, right?
Yeah…not so much. But it is fun people watching!

 

Since this is a BLOG HOP, click on the titles/names of the authors below to find out what their writing process if like. You put 1,000 writers in the same room and you’ll get 1,000 different responses!

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Romance, Strong Women

A visit with #author Claire Marti; #TWRP #Romance

 This is one of my favorite reasons for having a blog: To introduce people who read it to new and fabulous authors. Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to a new Wild Rose Press sistah, Claire Marti. Claire’s first book was released just this past Friday and she’s given us a sneak peak. But first, she recently “sat” down with me for my in depth author interview. Sit back and get to know this up and coming author. You’ll be glad, trust me.

 

Claire Marti, the Writer:

  1. What drives you to write? I’ve written since I was in elementary school. Letters, journals, stories…you name it. I love to read and believe writing flows from that passion.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? Contemporary and my next series will be historical. I started with contemporary because I love stories with realistic characters bumbling through life. Now that I’ve grown in my writing, I’m ready to tackle historical research and layer it into my prose.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Contemporary, historical, and occasionally paranormal or contemporary with paranormal elements. I love reading realistic contemporary stories and I love history. Historical romance is fun: I love the flirtatiousness and all the societal rules.
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? I write most days. I’m a yoga teacher and my schedule varies daily. On Mondays for example, I only teach one class in the morning and have most of the day free to write. Tuesdays, I teach four classes and I can only get in about an hour. The weekends usually provide me a few longer writing chunks. I enjoy mixing it up.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I write in our second bedroom/office. I have an amazing desk, but rarely sit at it. I’ve got a comfortable reclining chair and the arms are the perfect height for me to sit with my feet up and my fingers on the laptop. My cat Lola rests on the top of the chair and keeps an eye on me. I can see my desk and my bulletin board, which has a photo of me with Nora Roberts and some other inspirational photos. I also recently acquired a 1950’s pink Royal typewriter and it inspires me to write.
  1. 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 tunnelvisionIt’s funny, when I write non-fiction articles, I blast music. When I’m working on fiction, I need silence.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? I listen to music all the time and use it quite a bit in my yoga classes. I love attending concerts. I blast it and sing in the car. I gain inspiration from the music, but require silence when I write.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I’ve got two WIPs right now. I just returned the first round of edits for Book 2 in the Finding Forever in Laguna series to my editor and am tackling a rough draft of Book 3. Book 3 features a hero how has PTSD and needs methods to tackle anxiety and nightmares. I’ve got some yoga teacher friends who teach yoga for veterans, specifically targeted to help them cope. Working with this population triggered the hero, Christian Wolfe’s story.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Character all the way. I spend time creating their conflicts and issues and figuring out how they’d challenge each other, help each other grow, and ultimately be the perfect mate. Once I’ve spent all that time creating the hero and heroine, I play with them in the setting and create an open three act structure.
  1. What 3 words describe you, the writerPassionate, dedicated, truthful.

Claire,  The Person :

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! As a child, I lived in Nairobi, Kenya for 2.5 years.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? His name was Philippe and I was 19.
  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….Last summer, my husband and I were in L’Ile Rousse, a small village in Corsica where my father was born. I spent many summers there with the French side of my family. I hadn’t returned since I was eighteen years old. So, for my birthday last year, my husband and I went. The perfect day began with an enormous café au lait and fresh croissant at a small café in the Place di Paoli. Then, we walked out to the lighthouse and enjoyed the spectacular views of the Mediterranean. We spent the afternoon on the white sand beach and swam, snorkeled and read. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at yet another quaint café. This lazy day rounded out with watching the sunset and dining on a delicious Margherita pizza.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxers (Peggy here – a gal after me own heart!!)
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Hand moisturizer.
  6. What three words describe you, the person? Passionate, loyal, witty.
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Guns N’ Roses: Sweet Child of Mine
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? I’ve mulled over this question for hours. I don’t know if I can narrow it down to one! Jake Barnes from Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises because his flaws fascinate me. We’d sit in a café in Paris and drink Pernod until the wee hours of the morning and talk about anything and everything.

Bonus round

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound: Waves crashing on the shore.
  2. Least favorite sound: Dentist drill, especially when it’s near my mouth.
  3. Best song every written: Black by Pearl Jam
  4. Worst song ever written: So many to choose from, but any time I hear True by Spandau Ballet I have to change the radio station.
  5. Favorite actor and actress: Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead) Jim Morrison. He was a tortured musical genius who loved France. I’d love to be him at one of his earlier concerts. I was supposed to be a rock star and he’s the one I’d like to be for a day.
  7. What turns you on? A gorgeous square-jawed man who loves to read. Also, tortured rock stars. J
  8. What turns you off? Indecisiveness, passivity, narcissism.
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) I don’t like to read. (Peggy here:  TOTAL deal breaker!!!)
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? It always begins with coffee. Then, yoga or another workout. Write for a few hours with my cats and dog keeping me company. Lunch with a girlfriend. Time outside in nature, preferably a walk on the beach. More time to write. A glass of wine while watching the sunset over the Pacific and a delicious dinner with my husband, preferably cooked by somebody else. A concert at a small venue.

 

BLURB:

When Sophie Barnes’s fiancé jilts her at the altar, her carefully planned life implodes. Considering her ex’s betrayal to be a rude wake-up call, she leaves everything she knows in San Diego and flees to Laguna Beach. She vows to transform her life by avoiding men for a year and by fulfilling her dream of writing a wildly successful novel.

Sophie’s new landlord, Nicholas Morgan, is a gorgeous, successful architect with a player reputation. He makes it tough for Sophie to remember that she’s sworn to be single. Nick’s avoided the intimacy of a long-term relationship–until Sophie’s independence, courage, and beauty touch his guarded heart. Both Sophie and Nick are terrified of being hurt again, but can they resist the pull of true love?

 

EXCERPT:

Nick arrived right on time, looking gorgeous in faded jeans and a plain white t-shirt. How did he always manage to start the butterflies fluttering in her stomach? Just by standing there with the setting sun framing him? She was in trouble.

“Hi beautiful, ready to go?” He clasped her face in his hands and planted a soft kiss on her lips.

Returning his kiss, Sophie wound her arms around his neck and deepened it. She couldn’t resist. His strong arms wrapped around her waist, hugging her close to his broad chest.

“Mmmm, feel free to greet me like that every time I come over,” he said, lips curved up into a sweet smile.

Heat washed her cheeks and she returned his smile. “Let’s go. Prepare to be blown away by the movie snack of the century.”

Determined to keep things light and enjoy the movie before “the talk,” Sophie thrust down the lick of panic bubbling in her gut. She’d accomplished next to nothing all afternoon, instead wrestling with whether she needed to tell him about Doug.

The angel on her shoulder whispered to tell him because if they were going to have any kind of relationship, even a friends-with-benefits one, honesty and trust were vital.

The devil urged her to zip it. They’d only known each other a few weeks. What if he lived up to his “Player of Laguna” reputation and expected only a fun fling? Even though he seemed deeper than that. What if she scared him off with a premature talk?

BUY LINKS:  Amazon // WRP // B&N // Kobo // iBooks

Bio

Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. She teaches at studios, online for the international website YogaDownload.com and also has a Yoga for Cancer Recovery DVD. She’s the author of Come Ride with Me Along the Big C, a memoir on how yoga helped her cope with breast cancer.

Her debut novel, Second Chance in Laguna, won best unpublished contemporary romance in the Heart of the Molly and third place in the Maggie. She’s hard at work on the second and third novels in the Finding Forever in Laguna series.

Claire is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the San Diego Romance Writers.

Claire loves to connect with people. You can find her here:

Website //Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

Peggy here: Claire is was a total pleasure getting to know you! I love how you embrace writing as your passion and I’m looking forward to reading more of your books. Be well and keep writing. PJ

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

I’m so Excited! #newrelease, #coming soon to @KensingtonBooks

I’m so excited. In just a few more days ( April 4th) COOKING WITH KANDY releases.

This is the first of my new Kensington/Lyrical book series WILL COOK FOR LOVE about the lives, loves, and recipes of the Laine Family. Kandy Laine is the first, with her sister Gemma coming later in A SHOT AT LOVE

and then cousin Stacy makes an appearance in 2018 in CAN’T STAND THE HEAT? I’ve got two more books lined up after that, as well. More on them in the future.

But back to being SO EXCITED!! And yes, I feel like an honorary Pointer Sister. And if you don’t get that reference it means you were born after the 1980’s!

This will be my first book for Kensington/Lyrical and I am over the moon. I join a very well established stable of writers of all genres in the country’s oldest family owned book empire – and I don’t use that term loosely!

I am truly blessed at this point in my career to be writing for such a well-respected house.

Yippie!
So, if you see me in the next few days and I look a little dazed and unfocused, you’ll know why: the excitement is getting to me and I am just silly with it.

I’ll be hanging out at all my Social media sites, esp. on 4.4.17, so if you want to find me, look here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, female friends, Friends, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Laine Women

Why I need to see my characters before I write, part 2

So yesterday I showed you how my mind works. Get your own minds out of the gutter! I meant visually, that’s how!

I see things way before I ever type a single word of my manuscripts. My characters, my settings, the clothes people wear, the weather, everything, really, must be visual to me first.  I have stacks of current magazines in my office that I comb through frequently. Fashion mags, exercise, mags, home improvement ones, even travel issues. I’ll flip through the pages, see an interesting face, or place, or image, and rip it out, storing it in a big box on one of my library shelves.

I troll through Pinterest periodically as well, typing in search words for images I want, such as brown eyed and blonde hair women, or green eyed men.

When I see images that gel with what I’ve been seeing in my mind, I pin them to storyboards in my Pinterest site and sometimes even print them out for inclusion on my visualization board. You may think a great deal of this is redundant, but just having them loaded in a computer file isn’t enough for me. I need to actually see them every day while I’m writing my story.

As I’ve gotten older, I tend to forget little details that are important for my characters and stories. It’s not because I’ve got any kind of creeping dementia or cognitive memory loss. It’s more that there is so much going on in my life in one single day, that remembering what color eyes I gave my hero six weeks ago in chapter one, tends to be difficult if I don’t have the actual picture of the guy close by. A few months ago I was writing my soon-to-be-released 5th book in my Wild Rose Press series of the MacQuire Women, PASSION’S PALETTE,  and one of the characters had  chin length snow-blond hair initially, and the next time we meet her, it’s turned strawberry blonde and is down the middle of her back – three days later! I wasn’t paying attention to my vision board very well during those days, but luckily I caught a glimpse of it one day before submitting the story and fixed the mistake! So that’s all the proof I need to tell me making my vision boards is a worthwhile way to spend some of my creative time.

I’m just gonna throw this out there and say story boarding and plot visualization are as old as civilization. Didn’t primitive cave-people and early societies leave cave and cliff drawings, depicting their ways of life? Their history? Sounds to me an awful lot like storyboarding. Just saying….

So. Hope this helps you understand the way this writer’s brain and creative process works. I don’t think I’m alone in my storyboarding, either. I tend to think since the advent of Pinterest, more writers work this way, simply because it’s so easy to.

When I’m not storyboarding, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Why I need to see my characters before I write them

I love a good vision board – especially for one of my own books. Since my writing tends to fall out of a visual tendency, I make vision -or story- boards for each of my books. Knowing what the characters actually look like while I am writing about them helps me “see” the story as it unfolds from their eyes and viewpoints. For instance, here’s the board I worked with for my October 2017 release, A SHOT AT LOVE:

You can see how I envisioned Gemma Laine and Ky Pappandreos, plus how I categorized aspects of their lives, such as photography info for Gemma and law enforcement stuff for Ky.  I sent their pictures to Lyrical when I was asked how I “SAW” my hero and heroine looking. I think they did a great job with portraying my vision on the cover:

This is my working vision board for the third book in the series, tentatively titled CAN’T STAND THE HEAT”

This book has  few more integral characters, but the H/H look like Grace Kelly ( Stacy Peters) and Pierce Brosnan ( Nikko Stamp)

I’m currently working on 2 more books in this series. and the first one, (working title: IT STARTED WITH HIS KISS) looks like this:

You can see I don’t have too much filled in yet, but I will….no worries.

More about vision boards and how they help writers in tomorrow’s edition of PEGGYJAEGER.COM

In the meantime, did you know that COOKING WITH KANDY, book 1 in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE SERIES releases next week on April 4?? Here’s a little sumthin’ to whet your romance-reading appetites.

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

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. . .

Excerpt:

“Clock stops at five-thirty,” she told him, spying the way he glanced at the empty desks. “That’s a rule I never break. No matter how busy we are, or what our deadline is, I make sure everyone up here is out by then.”

“Why? I would think in this business long hours are the norm.”

“Everyone deserves free time, time with family, time to wind down. I won’t have people working for me when they’re exhausted, or thinking about the soccer game they’re missing for their kid. No one’s productive then. I like everyone to be rested, fresh and on the ball. I realized early on it was the way to bring out the creative, productive best in people.”

“But you don’t adhere to your own rules.”

She leveled a gaze at him. “That’s because I’m the boss. I thrive on deadlines and do some of my finest work when I’m exhausted.”

The slow grin that spread across his face made her stomach muscles giddy-up again.

“I bet you give great holiday bonuses,” he said, rocking back on his heels.

Because it was true, she smiled.

“My office is in here.”

She pushed through another set of doors and preceded him in.

While he took in the surroundings Kandy wondered if he saw the room the same way she did. She’d chosen this space simply because of the windows. A corner office, it had full-length, floor to ceiling matted glass surrounding the outer perimeter of the office on three sides. Her view was of downtown Manhattan, an unobstructed visage of Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty.

The interior design was her own and she’d gone for comfort and ease in the furnishings. Three couches circled one another in the center of the room, and in the middle sat an impressive glass table, currently covered with files, paper, magazines, and a few fabric swatches. A grandfather clock sat, unwound, on the far wall, the hour hand stuck at nine, the minute hand at twelve.

A large, cherry wood desk faced the windows, not the inner room, complete with two computers, a laptop, and two printers on a pull-out stand next to the desk.

“Interesting.” Josh gazed around the room. “I assume the reason your desk faces this way is for the great view?”

She lifted her shoulders to her ears and then brought them down again. “Why waste it by having my back to it?”

“Good thought. What’s up with the clock?”

She glanced over at it. “That’s the exact time my first book went on sale.”

“So, what? Time stopped for you then?”

“No. The way I see it my life started precisely at that moment.”

His eyebrows rose. “Says a lot about what you expect and want out of life.”

“Don’t read too much into it,” she said, unaccustomed embarrassment washing through her. Without even knowing her he’d hit her personality right on the head. “The clock also has sentimental value. It was Grandma’s.”

Kandy moved to the couches. “Come on, have a seat. Let’s talk specifics.”

Josh sat opposite her, leaned back into the couch, crossing one long leg over the other.

“I’m going to say this once because I feel we should get it out of the way,” she started. “I don’t think I need a body guard, and I don’t think anything that’s happened recently can’t be explained away. I find this whole situation of having someone follow every move I make unnerving. I’m not used to it. Not used to working this way. I don’t want to have to stop every five minutes to explain where I’m going, who I’m going to be meeting with. I just go. I have too much to do in a day to worry about someone keeping up with me.”

When he nodded, she continued. “I’m willing to go along with the entire scheme until you prove there’s really no reason for it, which I think you’ll discover pretty quickly. But I won’t be hampered in going about my day in any way. Understand?”

Buy Links: Amazon //Nook // Kensington/Lyrical // Kobo // Apple // Google

available in e-copy and Print on Demand ( POD) fro Amazon and Kensington.

 

 

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

On #bingewatching, #beingcool, and #Millennials

I used to consider myself one of the “cool” people. Really. I did. I was always up on pop culture so I could talk to any age group; my daughter’s friends always asked me questions, opinions, and actually liked sleepovers in our house. They valued my opinion.  I was relatively thin ( for a few years!) and dressed in all the new season’s styles every year.

But something changed and I don’t know when it happened…

Let me esplain it, Lucy.

I was binge watching the E! show So Cosmo about the lives, loves, and careers of twenty-something millennials who all work at COSMOPOLITAN magazine.

I wanted to watch because I wanted to get a “feel” for what millennials are up to these days, to – maybe- use in my writing. I know about women in their 40’s and 50’s but I write about younger gals, so I thought I’d use this show as a sort of reference for putting my finger on the pulse of today’s woman.

What’s that saying about the best laid plans?? Yeah, not so much.

The basic plot line of the show involves the magazine’ surprising turnover of its Editor in Chief Joanna Coles to a new editor. Joanna is 2 years younger than myself ( me, 56; her, 54) and is a powerful, assertive, smart smart smart woman in an industry that has been typically defined and run by men: publishing. She brought COSMO  to the number one magazine women buy – both in trade ink copy and e-zine – during her tenure. To say she is a woman who gets things done and has her finger on the pulse of the Cosmo “girl,” is true. For the purpose of disclosure, Joanna was offered a new position with the Hearst organization ( the parent company of Cosmo) – a much more powerful position, which is why she was leaving Cosmo. You go, girl!

As I started watching the show I was quickly invested in the lives of the cast – all 20 and early 30 somethings. Most of them were single ( one was married with a kid), lived in Manhattan and took full advantage of city living by going out most nights to “party” and de-stress. Now, when I was their age (a millennia ago!) “party” meant literally that. Have a party to celebrate something. Apparently, it doesn’t mean the same thing anymore and this is where I realized my cool moniker was starting to shift.

By the third show I realized I was not only NOT cool anymore, I wasn’t going to be again in this lifetime if this was the yardstick to measure cool-dom by! I didn’t even understand most of the references the cast was using about fashion, life, and relationships. COSMO prides itself on being the voice of female empowerment and I totally buy that.  The Cosmo girl is billed as successful, smart, and sexy; able to live life to the fullest with no regrets, and the women in this cast are. Their purpose is to advise, counsel, and acquaint women on a myriad of topics relating to life, love, career, and finances.

But as I watched this show and the lives of its cast unfold, I began to realize that female empowerment does not mean the same thing to all women. For instance, the word “party” again. To some of the cast women it meant – basically – going out and getting as drunk as they could in an effort to unwind from the stress of their work lives. In the next breath, during the cast interviews, they would say they were living the dream life. So why then, is their work life so stressed they need to get drunk to unwind from it?
See what I’m saying?

They also look at relationships in a much different way than I thought. It’s cool now ( apparently) to hook up ( another word that doesn’t mean what it used to!)  with a series of people randomly, casually, and with no strings attached until you find one you may want to stay with…for a while. Maybe. Cosmo millennials don’t appear to view that whole Happily Ever After with a single mate concept as a  valid thing.

Okay, so now I am not only NOT cool, my whole existence for being -writing the HEA – isn’t ( apparently) relevant!

Before you write me scathing letters, hating me for trashing an entire generation of millennials,  know this: I realize this is just one little “reality” show on a network known for scripted reality shows. My daughter is a millennial who happens to live in Manhattan and I know she and her friends – who are all successful, smart women – don’t think and act in the typical Cosmo Girl fashion portrayed in this show.

Believe me – I get it!

It doesn’t erase the fact that I am no longer cool,  though!

When I’m not bemoaning my lack of cool, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, female friends, Life challenges, love, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

My Greatest strength #MFRWauthors; #blogChallenge

This is one of the easiest blogs I’ve ever written. I didn’t even have to think because I really only have 1 strength – my perseverance, or to put it in terms I like to use, The TAO Of NGU NGI.

Perseverance is defined as: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Yeah, that about says it perfectly.

I’ve done several blog pieces on the TAO of NGU NGI and written of it often in interviews. It’s what keeps me motivated and inspired when sometimes the daily grind of life gets to me.

Basically, The TAO OF NGU NGI means “Never give up; never give in.”

I’m Irish, so the part about never giving up is genetic. Seriously! My Irish ancestors were sturdy, stalwart souls who faced famine, pestilence, religious persecution, and poverty of the most egregious sort. And they never gave up on the hope of a future at the end of a rainbow. Love that!

I’m the product of divorced parents, so the never give in part is the nurture part of my nature vs nurture upbringing! I never give an inch. In a childhood filled with bullies, substance abuse, and mental anguish, I never gave in to the negativity I was surrounded by. I never allowed myself to be engulfed in to its destructive storm. I simply never gave into any fight or disturbance, no matter how inconsequential it may have seemed. It’s been said of me by people who know me that I have a backbone forged in steel. Truth.

So, my greatest strength? Perseverance.

When I’m not persevering, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

Please visit the other #MFRW authors who are participating in this week’s 52 week blog challenge:


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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Strong Women