Tag Archives: #authorlife #writinglife

Food poisoning, a busted wing, and 3 deaths…oh my!

I was out of social media touch this past Tuesday because I had a horrible case of food poisoning. Don’t know what I ate, but I’m allergic to sososo many food items to begin with it could have been anything! I try to avoid the stuff I know I’m allergic to, so I don’t think it was something I ate by mistake, more that it was something I ate that was contaminated.

That thought alone sends shivers down my spine!

Thankfully, I’ve got a concierge doctor on call 24 hrs a day ( I call him Hubman!) and he was able to treat the rampant and complete dehydration I suffered from this bug/allergy/poisoning, take your pick. Within 24 hours I was back to my normal ( if you can call me normal) state.

So, while I was writhing in agony from diarrhea and simultaneous vomiting ( TMI?) I also got the MRI results from last weeks’ test. Torn rotator cuff.

Yeah, I know. When it rains, it friggin’ floods.

I go back to the doc next week for an eval and to see what we’re – and by that I mean him – is going to do about the tear. Surgery is the top option. Those of you who know what these initials mean will understand how I feel right now: FML

Andddddd beacause bad news always come in threes, the world said goodbye to 3 icons in the entertainment filed the same day I was down for the count.

Tim Conway, Peggy Lipton, Doris Day.

Each of these 3 amazing people made their mark in the world in different ways and each of them will be missed. I adored all of them for varying reasons, and their hordes of fans have all paid perfect homage to them. My favorite remembrance meme of the day, though, was this one:.

RIP Tim, Peggy, Doris. You brought us decades of love, laughter, and entertainment.

~Peg

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#1stKissFriday 5.10.19

Hee hee. I love this picture, don’t you?
Any hoo… It’s #1stkissfriday and today I’m pulling a kiss from DEARLY BELOVED. It’s a little long, but I wanted to give you the feel for the animosity that turns to desire these two have for one another. As a quick set up, they’ve gotten caught in a rain storm which Colleen refuses to come out of until she’s done with a task. Slade is pissed and thinks she’s the type who “doesn’t know when to come in out of the rain,” a character trait he can’t stand.

 

“You know, I can’t figure out if you’re obstinate by nature or you simply don’t like listening to anyone else,” Slade said. He fisted his hands on his trim hips and looked down his perfect nose at me. With his brows touching in the middle of his forehead, he shook his head in disgust. Rainwater flung from his hair with the motion, the cold droplets slapping me in the face.

I flicked a few off my cheek. “Both,” I shot back, letting my own annoyance break through.

It didn’t escape me that even drenched and aggravated the guy was something to look at. How was that fair? I knew—knew—I looked like a drowned poodle. I’d straightened my hair before leaving for the office, but I could hear it frizzing and recurling as I stood there, the humidity and moisture whipping it up into a waterspout of kink. I was sure my mascara had me mimicking a rabid raccoon and God knows what other harried feral creature.

But Slade Harrington looked like a model for a popular men’s fragrance. Any second, I expected him to murmur something in French, like oui or eau.

What was it about this guy that pissed me off to no end but turned me on enough to consider licking him from head to toes at the same time?

“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” He lowered his voice, dragged in a breath, and raked a hand through his hair from his temple to his neck, slicking it flat against his skull. Like a squeegee, water slid from the tips of his fingers with the movement. “Jesus. We’re drenched.” He looked down at his shirt and pants, and then back to me. His gaze took a slow amble from my head down to my neck, over my breasts and nipples, which were—gulp—as hard and pointed as his were, then farther down. My thin, cotton-blend skirt was literally glued to me from waist to knees. I could only imagine the view he was getting.

Every inch of skin on my body went goose bump crazy under his inspection. Or maybe it was because the rain was so chilly and the day had been so warm.

Nah. The temperature outside had nothing to do with it. The temperature of Slade’s expression though, did.

When he dragged his attention back to my face, the annoyed glare in his eyes changed. Irritation was gone and in its place, want.

Pure, bold, rain-soaked want.

I can’t truthfully say who moved first, but with the next breath I took, his mouth was on mine.

And mine, blessedly, was on his.

During the moments I’d fantasized about what kissing him would be like this past week, I’d imagined all sort of things.

His lips would be firm and forceful or, conversely, tender and soothing.

He’d go slow, savoring the kiss, allowing each of us to get to know the other’s taste, or he’d swoop in and take over, overpowering me—willingly, I’ll add.

So many thoughts ran through my head and every single one of them proved true.

From the moment he put his mouth against mine, all annoyance fled and, with it, the cold. Where moments before I’d been chilled, now a furnace blasted all over me, heating me straight down to my marrow. I craved the warmth, clung to the heat.

Slade’s full lips completely consumed mine. Owned them. Branded them. Never in my life had I been kissed with such…possession. There really was no other word for it.

The sexy mouth I’d daydreamed about was at equal times hard yet soft, insistent yet giving. A thoughtful sigh bounced around my ears, followed by an erotic growl when he parted my lips and plundered. His hands, warm and wet, lifted my jaw, tilted my head back, and changed the angle of the kiss to go deeper, further, to draw out every and any response he could.

And there were quite a few, believe me.

He tasted of the rain—woodsy-fresh like morning dew—and clean. When I snaked my hands up his drenched shirt, kneading all that muscle and strength as I glided upward and then wound my hands around his neck to hold on fast, it never occurred to me I shouldn’t be doing this. I shouldn’t be standing in a storm, drenched with rain and desire, kissing a man like I’d never kissed a man before. Kissing a man who’d made no secret of the fact I annoyed the crap out of him.

A man who, for all thoughts and speculations to the contrary, was now totally absorbed with kissing me as if I was the last woman he ever would.

I don’t even remember moving, but I felt my back ram into the opened front door, slick with rain, my shoulders flattening against the wood. Slade’s knee eased between my thighs and rubbed side to side along the front part of my lacy thong while his tongue wound with mine and sucked to the same rhythm as the movement of his knee.

This time the groan that echoed around us was mine. His hands moved from my face, up and through my temples to clutch my saturated hair. A gentle tug and he changed the angle of my head again, this time though, his lips left mine to skim across my jaw. The feel of his hot breath along my neck as he made his way to my ear sent tiny shocks and jolts of electricity all through my body. I started to shiver, and it wasn’t because I was cold. About as far from cold as a girl could get, if truth be told.

When Slade let out a smooth chuckle against my neck and then pulled my earlobe between his lips and bit down, the shiver turned to a quake, then a little jump, and I simply lost the tiny bit of sanity I had left.

With more force and ardor than I think I’d ever invested with Vlad, I tugged on the ends of Slade’s hair, still gripped tight in my hands, and yanked his head so his mouth settled against mine again.

I felt a grin split his lips right before I touched the tip of my tongue to his bottom lip. The grin died when he sucked my tongue back into his mouth. That feeling of total possession overtook me again, especially when he slid his hands from my hair all the way down my back to cup my butt. Just as a clap of thunder boomed directly above us, Slade lifted and pressed me into him, so close in fact, I couldn’t tell where his wet clothes ended and mine began.

From shoulders to knees, in one fluid line of connection, our bodies molded together. I can’t begin to imagine how it felt for him to hold me this way, but I can tell you point blank, pressed against all that hard and defined muscle, all that rigid and long length of him—and, oh baby, was there a lot of length!—I felt so desired, so wanted, so bloody turned on, I didn’t care if a twister from Kansas whooshed around us and transported us to Oz as long as I could stand there, held in this man’s arms, and be kissed as if my next breath depended on it.

Look, it had been a long time since I’d tasted desire for, and from, a man. Too long. I’d thought more than once over the past year that Vlad had killed my on button with his lies and meanness. Because of his betrayal, I’d almost forgotten what deep want, that aching, needing longing, I’ll-die-if-I-don’t-have-this- man feeling was like.

For some weird reason, Slade Harrington knew exactly how to turn my sex-switch back to the on position—from zero to eleven with a kiss that shot me out of my shoes.

Another clap of thunder, closer and much louder, boomed above us. This time when I jumped, Slade’s arms tightened around me.

“I’ve got you,” he whispered against my ear, then trailed his mouth down to my collarbone. His tongue lapped the rainwater from my skin. When his lips nuzzled against the spot and I felt the subtle tug of sucking, combined with the gentle pressure of his knee between my legs, I swear on all that’s holy and blessed I was a heartbeat from shattering.

I truly think I would have come on the spot, standing up, my panties and the rest of me dripping with lust, if my cell phone hadn’t screamed “Trouble” right at that moment.

The phone call accomplished what the thunder hadn’t, namely, jolted us apart.

I snapped back too quickly, the back of my head careening off the old wooden door, the thwack competing with the crack of the rolling thunder.

Slade’s eyes went wide as soon as I yelled, “Ow!” and he slipped a hand behind my head.

“Are you okay?” He grabbed my shoulders and tried to force me forward while he dipped his head around to the back of me.

I slapped his hands away and gave him a non-too- gentle push. “I’m fine. I need to get this.”

Intrigued? You can get your own copy here: DEARLY BELOVED 

Dearly Beloved was recently named the Long and Short Reviews BOOK OF THE MONTH. You can read the review that sent it over the top, here: Review

And one last brag, I promise! Dearly Beloved came in 3rd Place in the New England Readers Choice awards for 2019 in the Long Contemporary category.

I’m so proud of this book!!! ~peg

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May 10, 2019 · 12:10 am

#AuthorInterview with Karilyn Bentley

 

I’ve got a favorite Wild Rose sistah with me today, talking about her newest book release and giving us a little insight into her writing life. Please welcome Paranormal and Urban Fantasy writer  KARILYN BENTLEY.

Karilyn has been my guest before but today I asked her some indepth questions about her writing, her writing process, and her life in general. Stick around, because after the interview, she’s giving us a peek at her newest book release DEVIL FORGET ME and you won’t want to miss it!

Karilyn, the Writer:

  1. What drives you to write?

I like to create stories that make people smile.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you write, and why?

I write paranormal and urban fantasy because I love to explore the possibilities of extra-normal abilities. In other words, I’ve watched too many superhero movies and shows.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?

I read paranormal, urban fantasy, and historical. I read paranormal for the same reason I write it and historical because it transports me to a different time and place.

  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?

Right now I write every day in the evenings after I finish the day job.

  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

At the moment I’m writing in the kitchen. I have a desk, but it is in my husband’s office in the basement and the view from the kitchen is more inspiring.

  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 tunnel-vision?

I prefer quiet but can write with noise or the TV as long as I’m not in front of it.

  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?

If I do listen, it has to be instrumental because I’ll start singing to the songs and that interrupts my writing flow.

 

  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

I knew the theme was greed but one of my writing friends helped me with the plot.

Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?

Usually the plot and then I “what if” the characters to go with the plot. The process is very interwoven together for me.

What 3 words describe you, the writer?

Slow and steady, a little funny, snarky (Peggy here: Lovelovelove those three descriptions!!!)

Karilyn, the Gal:

  • Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I taught a puppy training class for a couple of months when I was in grad school.
  • Who was your first love and what age were you? My first love was a little boy who was my friend. I was three. Mom set up a playdate and I hid under the couch because I was embarrassed he would learn I liked him. Silly, eh? My first real love was my husband.
  • 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…. I have no idea! Maybe a vacation day?
  • Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Briefs
  • If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Eyeliner
  • What three words describe you, the person? Funny, loyal and loving
  • If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? I can’t sing so I have no idea!
  • 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? Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. Why? The man has unexplored depths. I’d love to just talk with him, maybe take a stroll across the ground of Hogwarts. I’m assuming he’d talk with a Muggle.

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

Favorite sound: Birds chirping

Least favorite sound: cars backfiring

Best song every written: Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey and Hotel California by The Eagles (yes, I know, that’s two, not one)

Worst song ever written: No idea

Favorite actor and actress: Harrison Ford and Sophie Turner

Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead): The Queen of England. I’d like to see how the rich and famous really live.

What turns you on? Kindness and people who really listen to you

What turns you off? Rudeness and an inability to listen to other people’s ideas

Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”): I can’t remember so I guess nothing said was that bad!

What’s your version of a perfect day? Sleeping in then drinking coffee on the deck while reading a book

(Peggy here – Karilyn, you’re such a fascinating person! Thanks for taking time to talk with me today. Now, as promised, here’s a view of DEVIL FORGET ME)

DEVIL FORGET ME

What appears to be a simple crime, unmasks a chilling deception…

Gin Crawford, the world’s newest demon huntress, kills two minions who are breaking into a financial adviser’s office. But what she thinks of as another night in the life of a demon huntress leads to a cover-up of epic proportions. A demon haunts her employer, the Agency, and only she can stop it.

Aidan Smythe, her guardian mage and lover, along with her brother T, and the healer Eloise, join her search in discovering the demon’s identity. A search thwarted by a powerful spell.

Breaking the spell requires her to join forces with Zagan, the demon of deceit, the demon who marked her as his. But working together comes with a price. One Gin is not sure she can pay.

EXCERPT:

She chuckles as I sip my beer. “Not nothing. I am trying to discover the identity of the demon at theAgency.” She frowns. “It’s not going well. I know I know who the demon is, but every time I think of its identity”—her hands move in a poof motion—“it

vanishes.”

“Yeah, I have the same problem.”

A memory pops into my mind. Two memories, actually. The first was of last night’s fight with Rahab. How the demon said he only had one demon left to kill in order to rule Hell. Mammon, the demon of greed. The second memory was from last week when Smythe and I went to the Agency. We ran into Chuck Tweedy, the Big Boss of the Agency, and my justitia couldn’t stop chanting “greedy.” I assumed the bracelet got its

words mixed up, exchanging Tweedy for greedy. But what if there was a connection?

A dull pain hammers my head. I rub my brow. What was I thinking? We were talking about the Agency demon. Who could it be?

“You do have the same problem.” Eloise touches my leg, and the headache disappears. “That’s what happened to me.”

“How did you know?” Eloise was blind, although I swear at times she sees fine. “I could feel your pain.” Her brow furrows. “Like a spell had been thrown at you that caused the headache. I wonder if the same thing happens when I get a headache from thinking on the demon’s identity.”

“Wait. You mean whenever I think about who the demon is, my thoughts trigger a spell? What does the spell do?”

You can get y our copy of DEVIL FORGET ME here: Amazon // B&N // ibooks //

A little more about Karilyn…

Karilyn Bentley’s love of reading stories and preference of sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works, blending fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.

Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest and started her writing career as an author of sexy heroes and lush fantasy worlds.

Karilyn lives in Colorado with her own hunky hero, two crazy dogs, aka The Kraken and Sir Barks-A-Lot, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish.

You can find Karilyn here:

Website // Newsletter // Facebook  // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest  // Book bub

 

 

.

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A little sample to whet your #bookreading appetites

I love when one of my publishers comes up with something new and exciting. The Wild Rose Press has put together a collection of 1st chapter samplers from many of its authors to whet the book reading appetites of readers.

Don’t know if you really want to read that new book you saw marketed all over Twitter? Not sure you want to take on a new-to-you author without first reading something by them? This is the perfect opportunity for you, then.

The first sampler is a collection of 10 Contemporary Romance first chapters, titled FALLING FOR YOU: Contemporary Romance Sampler,

and my own book DEARLY BELOVED is included.

 

The other fabulous authors  and their books included are:
Sunset in Laguna by Claire Marti
Dearly Beloved by Peggy Jaeger 
The Millionaire Mountain Climber by Laura Boon 
Morgan’s Walk by Suzelle Johnston 
Only the Beginning by Daphne Dubois 
Saying Yes to the Mess by M. Kate Quinn 
The Saffron Conspiracy: A Novel by Marilyn Baron 
Operation Sizzle by Darcy Lundeen 
Without Love by Theresa Stillwagon 
Don’t Let Him Go by Kay Harris

At just $.99cents, this is a great way to find some really good books to read and fabulous authors to get to know. In the coming months there will be more samplers in different genres released and I’ll be spotlighting them here.

Until then, I hope you find your new favorite author among this list ( and I hope it’s me! Shameless, thy name is Peggy!)

Find 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, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#L&SRWednesdayBloggingChallenge 4.3.19

I almost skipped writing this blog entry this week. My comfort food recipes are like  children to me: how can I choose my favorite?? Especially since each one serves to comfort in a different way, for different emotional needs??

There was really only one way to do it and that was to throw a mental dart at the ones that people request I make the most. I narrowed it down to three, then threw that dart. This is the absolute fav: CHOCOLATE TRIFLE. 

I find it very TELLING that my favorite comfort food is a dessert. But that’s a topic for another blog, so…..

Looks good, doesn’t it? It is, trust me.

So here’s the easy recipe:

You’ll need: chocolate cake, 2 tubs of  Cool Whip, instant chocolate pudding and a Cadbury Chocolate/Orange ball ( Or a Hershey’s chocolate bar – your choice)

For the cake you will need:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar, sifted
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted 
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup cold regular milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

To make the cake:

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Then grease and flour 2 9 inch round baking tins

  1. After sifting the dry ingredients mix the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder and the salt into a mixer.
  2. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
  3. This is a weird step, but once the ingredients are mixed, slowly mix in the boiling water. The batter will become very thin. This is okay.
  4. Halve the mixture and pour each half into the 2 baking rounds. Then, bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and flakey.
  5. Let the cake cook completely for about 3-4 hours. Then, slice the cake in half, length-wise to form 2 identical round discs.
To make the pudding: This one is easy. Just buy 2 large boxes of any commercial chocolate instant pudding mix and prepare them according to the box. Let them cool completely, even though they are instant. You want the pudding to be firmly formed, not watery or jiggly.
Once the cake is cooled and sliced, crumble one round and place it in the bottom of a trifle bowl. Press it down so the cake pieces cover the entire bottom of the bowl. Then, spoon in half the chocolate pudding, spreading it around the cake to form a layer ( refer to the picture above. ) Then spread a layer of cool whip -use about 1/2-2/3 of the tub. Again, refer to the above picture to see what it looks like.
So you now have 3 layers: cake crumbles, pudding, cool whip.
Do it again until you reach almost to the top of the bowl. If you have any pudding or cool whip left over, top the top off with it.
Take your Cadbury Chocolate orange and shave it using a small peeler to form chocolate shavings on the top.
Or, score a  Hershey’s chocolate bar into pieces for a bigger candy rush. On the above trifle I shaved the orange first then added Hershey’s pieces for a powerful chocolate punch.
Let the whole thing sit, covered with cellophane on the top, in the fridge, overnight.
Serve cold. Disclaimer: When I feel the emotional need to make this, NO ONE ELSE is allowed to have any.
Just saying.
WARNING: This is NOT for anyone on a  diet!!! hee hee.  You can reduce some of the calories by using SUGAR FREE INSTANT CHOCOLATE PUDDING and COOL WHIP FREE ( or FAT FREE COOL WHIP. )
Let’s see what some of the other authors in the blog challenge consider their fav recipes. L&SRWednesdayBlogChallenge
Bon Appetite ~Peg

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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A new week, a new attitude, a new chapter in my life….

 

So, last Monday I published a pity party post ( say that 5 times fast. I dare ya!) titled The Struggle Is Real…

If you haven’t read it ( shame on you!) it detailed the mental and emotional struggle I’ve been gong thru lately with my writing career. It was written when I was tired, crabby, pitying myself over the non-Rita nomination I surely thought I was going to get this year, and I think some seasonal affect disorder syndrome whittled its way in there, too.

It’s amazing how much can change in just one week’s time.

I’ve been holding on to making this information public for a few days because I wanted to publicize it at the beginning of the week as a way to brighten the week ahead. Just when I thought my writing career was pretty much going nowhere fast, I got a new publishing contract from a new ( to me) publishing house, LIMITLESS PUBLISHERS. The name of the house means so much to me because I truly feel I have no limitations on me right now.

Again, what a change a week can make in one’s attitude.

After I wrote the pity party post I was notified I’m a finalist in the New England Reader’s Choice Awards for my newest book DEARLY BELOVED;

Last week I felt hopeless my career was never going to move forward. This week I know it will.

Last week I despaired that I’d make the wrong decision in ever retiring and devoting myself to writing full time. This week I am optimistic that the choice was the correct one for my mental and spiritual well being, especially when one of my short stories, THE HOUSE ON CRIMSON STREET was published in Long and Short Reviews.

 

Last week I bemoaned the fact that once again I didn’t become a finalist in an industry award. This week, the video of the OKRWA International Digital winners was put up on YouTube and my winning entry, COOKING WITH KANDY, is the first one listed.

Again, so much can change in a mere seven days.

God sure knew what she was doing when she made the world in just one week!

Smile, peeps. It’s the start of a new day…

~ Peg

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 author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romance Books

The struggle is real…

I know we’ve all heard that saying, and most have us have probably quoted it a time or three. But the underlying meaning is true: I’ve been really struggling for some time and am finally able to give voice to it.

It started last year when I had a bit of mini-breakdown. Several personal things were happening to me all at once and in the span of one week I was responsible for so many things that I simply couldn’t function, so I stopped; functioning. I didn’t talk, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t write. ( I did eat, tho, so once again losing weight wasn’t something I was struggling with – because I wasn’t!! Losing weight, I mean!)

Any hoo.

The situations, slowly, resolved, and I thought I was back on top of my game again.

Yeah, not so much as it turns out.

For the past two months I’ve been struggling with wanting to continue on my writing journey. Despite several efforts and the best intentions on my part, I still haven’t been able to find an agent who would want to take me on as a client. You’d think 15 books published traditionally would count for something. Apparently, not.

One of my publishers dropped me, and the editor I thought I had a really good relationship with won’t return my emails. Any of them. I even emailed her assistant who assured me she’d let the editor know I wanted to “speak” to her. Nothing.

I write in such a glutted market – contemporary romance – and trying to garner any kind of attention means I spend hours daily on social media, talking up my books and trying to make connections with readers. It’s exhausting – mentally, physically, spiritually. And let’s not forget financially. All my marketing, despite being traditionally published, is arranged for and paid by me. And as my mother used to tell me, money doesn’t grow on trees. I know that saying is true because I live in the woods and my diminishing funds aren’t being replaced by leaf currency.

The kicker came when the RITA finalists were announced last week. I submitted three books from last year that I wrote, one of which I really thought I had a shot at finaling with because it’s gotten nothing but 5 star reviews – most from people who don’t know me personally, either. Alas, March 21 came and went and I received no phone call.  Now I know what everyone says when you don’t get the call: it doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer or the book wasn’t good. It simply means 5 judges thought other books were better.

Yeah, you know what? That doesn’t make me feel any better.

At all.

I’ve always surmised the RITAS were a bit of a popularity contest, and this year I KNOW they are. Combined with the utter lack of diversity in the finalists – an egregious act – and I’m seriously considering whether the award really means anything at all anymore. I read two absolutely wonderful books that featured h/h as people of color (POC). I graded them sososososo high, too. Know what? Neither of them finaled. I rated one truly horrible book ( so many misplaced modifiers, spelling and tense mistakes) low and know what? It finaled. After finding out about how un-diverse the awards are, I stopped feeling sorry for myself about not finaling. Some amazeballs POC writers have never been given the honor of finaling or winner either, so who am I to have a pity party??!!

But as far as entering in the future, I give up. Truly.

I’m trying to chalk up this feeling of inadequacy and apathy to a passing funk, seasonal affect disorder, and not having a  vacation away in years. I’m trying really hard, as it happens.

Maybe I’ll come out of this stronger and more determined than ever.

That’s the hope anyway.

I didn’t write this as a subtle means of begging for positive reinforcement, or a way of garnering sympathy in the hopes people will buy my books. I may craft for a hobby, but believe me, I’m not crafty that way.

I simply wanted to put my thoughts and feelings down on paper and try and make some sense of why I’m feeling down in the dumps, writing-wise when so many other wonderful things ARE happening for me in my new career. I’ve finaled and even won other contests this year; I’m about to sign with a new publishing company ( more on that later!) and I recently was offered contracts for two books I’ve submitted to my first publisher.

So, life really is good, career-wise for me. I have to chalk this feeling of worthlessness and crabbiness up to winter.

I blame everything else that happens to me on the weather, so why not this, too? heehee

Any hoo…thanks for listening.

~ Peg

 

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I bet you didn’t know…..

Great teaser title, right?! Hee Hee

So here’s what you didn’t know about me: Before I wrote romantic fiction, I wrote more…morbid…stuff. I had a slew of short stories published in the suspense genre. You can see them listed if you scroll down to the FICTION part of my Publications page.

Any hoo. Let’s move to the present.

I recently re-energized a short story I’d written almost 2o years ago and submitted it to Long and Short Reviews. They have a short story submissions page, so I entered the re-tooled story to their contest a few weeks. And guess what? I won!!!

THE HOUSE ON CRIMSON STREET is a creepy ( to me, anyway) story of an elderly lady who rents out rooms. And since I like cooking so much, there’s an underlying cooking theme threaded throughout the story. It’s fairly short, so if you want to take a few minutes and read it, here’s the link: THOCS

And, because this is L&SR and they never do anything NOT well, they also made a cover for the story:
Can I tell you how in love I am with this depiction of the house?? It’s beyond perfect.

So, if you want to get a glimpse into the less romantic, more unsavory part of my brain, this is a good place to start.

Just sayin’ ~Peg

And when I’m not writing scary stuff, you can find me writing romance 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

 

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I love to read, but…

Yesterday, my writing friend, author Holland Rae, wrote a blog post titled  Why I DNF. I highly recommend you click on that link and read it.

Now, for those of you who don’t now what DNF means, it stands for DID NOT FINISH. Anyone who has judged the RITA awards has seen these 3 letters mentioned over and over again the past year in the judging instructions and online. To the regular world, the letters are for readers who have failed to finish a book. Not because of time constraints, but for reasons that run the gamut from not being on board with the subject matter, to hating the mealy mouthed, weak heroine. I’ve picked up books after reading the back blurb, thinking I was getting one story, and when I started reading, was given an entirely different one. This kind of publishing bait and switch isn’t common, but does happen. I think I’m getting a romantic comedy about a run away heiress and the private eye sent after her to bring her back, and once I get into the story it’s really about a spoiled bitch who doesn’t deserve to live, or the hero is a misogynistic bore.

I stop reading. Really, I’ll never get that hour I wasted back now and don’t feel I want to invest any more of the little time I have left to finish the dopey story.

I picked up a book recently by an author that I’ve read before and enjoyed and that was touted as romantic suspense and there was – literally – nothing suspenseful or romantic about the plot. The story  crammed as much sex into the pages as the author could while the h/h were being followed by a stalker. Sex in a tiny car, in a public bathroom ( yuk! Just…yuk), under a desk, in a closet. If the book had been marketed properly and not labeled a romantic suspense, I might have passed on it at the get-go. I have a large list of one-click authors, though, and she was among them, so I never really delved into the blurb.

I’ve stopped reading books and tossed them into the recycling pile, not even the donate to the public library pile because I didn’t think anyone deserved to waste their time on  poorly written, boring stories.

Judgmental, thy name is Peggy, I know.

In Holland’s well written article, she states,

  • “I…will finish problematic or frustrating reads because it teaches me how to avoid making the same mistakes. As an author, I think it’s important to read books that aren’t perfect so we can perform more effectively in our own stories.”

That is such a valid point, and I agree with it 100%…in principle. When I was first starting out in my fiction writing career, I did commit to finishing all the books I read, even though some of them were awful. Learning what not to do is as important as learning what to do, and this was my validation. Nowadays, though, I simply don’t have the time to devote more to a book that just hasn’t captured me in the first 3 or four chapters.

The deal breakers for me about whether to DNF a book or carry on til the end to see if it gets any better ( and really, haven’t we all done that?) are as follows:

The characters curse a lot.

I know this is kind of dumb, but I hate watching a movie where every other word is the f-bomb. Use our beautiful language to paint a picture, writers, and not depend on expletives to do it for you!!

The sex is all Insert A into Slot B, lather, rinse, repeat. 

I was a Registered Nurse in my before-writing life. I know how sex works. I don’t need an anatomy or a causal lesson in how to do it. What I do need – what I crave – is reading about the emotions the people involved in the act are going through while they are…acting.

Cruelty as a plot point. We’ve all read the redeemed hero. I happen to love a redeemed hero. What I don’t love – and what no one should – is a hero who starts out sadistic, mean, verbally or physically abusive, caustic, or nasty and then magically  – through the love of the heroine, someone who comes along to show him how to love for the very first time – changes into a sloppy puppy without ever finding out why he is the way he is. Dumb, just…dumb and lazy writing. I’m tossing that one down in chapter one.

Vapid, walk on secondary characters. 

 

(Holland and I agree on this one.)My real-life friends are fully formed human beings with working minds, opinions, and thoughts. They have jobs, families, hobbies, things they love and  things they hate. They were not put on this earth to walk into my life, act as a sounding board for my choices, and then walk out again. Another toss in the recycle pile if I find this in a book.

Voice.

(this is another point I have in common with Holland). I like to read books written in all points of view. First, third, revolving, omniscient. If the story is solid and the characters are well formed, the voice (or  POV) the story is told in shouldn’t be a negative factor. I know someone who says he/she never reads anything that is written in first person. Suffice it to say she isn’t reading anything of mine, then. But back to my point. If a writer has decided on telling his/her story in first person, that characters’s voice better be the best one for the job. I don’t want to read an historical romance in first person where the heroine states, Lord Suchanass was a total tool last night at Lady Fatass’s shindig. Um…no. Just…no. That’s a DNF straight into the garbage, never mind recycling. Having said that, if an author is going to use revolving first or third person, she/he better make sure the person speaking is immediately identifiable and doesn’t sound like every other person in the book. I’ve truthfully had to start a chapter over because I thought I was in the heroine’s POV when I was actually in the hero’s. There was no distinction between the two voices. That’s just poor writing at its core, peeps.

I need to own up to this: my DNF pile has grown exponentially as I’ve had more of my own books published. As stated, I simply don’t have the time to waste on a book if it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do on page one or in the first chapter: capture the reader’s ( ME!) attention. I hope I’ve learned to write that way. I’d hate to be on anyone’s DNF list/pile.

If I have been on yours…have pity on my fragile ego and don’t ever tell me! I’m better off not knowing.

~Peg

When I’m not reading you can find 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

 

 

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#L&SR #WednesdayBloggingChallenge 3.13.10 A DAY IN THE LIFE

Well, a day in MY life, is the actual prompt for today.

Okay peeps, ready to be bored senseless? Hee Hee

I’d love to tell you I rise from a bed with sheets as soft as clouds, a skylight of sunshine raining down on me, waking me with its soft, warm kiss to start my day.

In reality I’m up hours before the sun ever thinks to wink open its eyes or that proverbial cock has a notion and a tickle in his throat to crow. Somewhere between 2:30 and 3am is the time my body says “Hey! Get the hell up and start working.”

So I do.

Hours 3-5:30 are spent in my attic office scheduling all the social media promos I need to for the day, after first getting a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew and a cup of tea to fortify me. And yes, it takes me that long everyday on promotion. I write for several blogs and they need to be promoted. I’m usually involved in one or two giveaways each month so those need to be promoted, and right now I’m having  a sale on my debut book and I need to get the word out there about it, so THAT needs to be promoted. This is the time I answer, or send,  emails, too, plus it’s the time of day I typically write and post my Netgalley book reviews and/or write my blogs.

After all of that is done I get washed and dressed for the day and head to the gym. Since I spend upwards of 8-10 hours per day sitting on my butt – and I’m not as young as I used to be, so all that stuff about ass-spread when you reach a certain age is real, peeps – I need to do something physical and strength train-y to make sure I’m strong and healthy for the next hundred years.

After the gym, back home to the lap top where I write for about 3-4 hours on my current WIP. I’ll answer emails at this time, private messages that come through, and retweet anything my writing sistahs send me to. At 11 am every day I take my lunch break to watch The View. Love those ladies, every one of them!

Since all my friends still work at outside-the-home day jobs, and I work from my home, there aren’t any people I can hang out with during the day who will call and try to distract me from what I need to do: write.

After the View and lunch it’s back to writing for another 4-5 hours depending on what time I need to get dinner started. If it’s a late night for my hubby at work I start dinner about 6 ( most days are late nights for hubby!)

By 7:30 pm my eyes have had it with looking at a screen most of the day so I veg with some mindless Real Housewives television.

 

Now, in between all that writing during the day, I do a bunch of adulting things. Laundry doesn’t wash, fold, iron, or put itself away, so if Hubby and I don’t want to walk around with smelly clothes, or – GOD FORBID – naked, I need to wash our dirty clothing. Groceries don’t magically appear in the cabinets delivered by quiet elves after midnight, nor do I have a life-in chef who prepares all our meals for us. And the dust bunnies who silently reside in every nook and cranny of my home need regular round ups. Floors get washed, rugs get vacuumed, and things get put away where they belong.

I’m also the primary caregiver/driver for my elderly parents now who live 25 miles away, so once a week I shop for them, cook for them,  and clean their house, in addition to chauffeuring them to doctor appointments and anywhere else they need to go.

Before slipping into bed I typically check my email again, address what needs to be answered, then make a list of all the promo that needs to be done in the morning.

In bed, I’ll call up my latest Netgalley download for read and review on my kindle and read until my eyes start to bleed with fatigue. Lights out and the day starts all over again 2 -3 hours later.

See? Boring.

Let’s see if any of the other authors in the blog challenge have a more exciting life ( because you  know they do!!!) Long and short Reviews Wednesday Blog Challenge

Looking for me? I’m usually here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+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

 

 

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