Tag Archives: Baked with Love

#Teasertuesday 11.24.2020 BAKED WITH LOVE ( A Match Made in Heaven, bk 3)

Since BAKED WITH LOVE is due out in less then 3 week ( I’m not freaking out.I’m not!) I figured a teaser from the book would be good for today. This scene is Maureen’s first indication Lucas may feel something for her more than friendship…

“What were the three of you talking about?” I asked Lucas once the others left the kitchen.

Before answering me, he closed the dishwasher and wiped his hands on a dishtowel.

He leaned back across the sink ledge and crossed his arms over his chest. The material on his dress shirt pulled against the bulk of his biceps, and my mouth went dry as unprocessed baking flour.

“Mac’s bachelor party. Cathy said she’s busy next weekend finalizing some wedding stuff with Colleen, so they’re both free. We’re gonna do something Saturday night.”

“What? Heaven’s not exactly the place where three guys can run amuck as a last hurrah to bachelorhood. Not that you’d ever run amuck, but still.”

His right eyebrow rose on his forehead. “Run amuck?”

I shrugged. “You know what I mean.”

When he dropped his chin to his chest, I got the distinct impression he was laughing at me and didn’t want me to see. When he shook his head, I was certain of it.

“I should pay you to help Robert with his SAT prep. Amuck. Good word.”

“And accurate. So, what are your plans? Getting out of town for the night? Driving into Concord or Manchester? Hitting a few bars and drinking your weight in beer?”

He angled his head to one side as he regarded me through half-closed eyes. His entire stance as he leaned against the sink, arms folded, ankles crossed and pushed out in front of him, radiated a calm, cool, and disinterested façade. I knew he was anything but. Lucas Alexander was never so focused, so intense, or so stealthy as when he appeared exactly the opposite.

His ability to remain calm and unreadable was another facet of his personality I loved.

“Why do you want to know?” he asked me. “What are you worried about?”

“I’m not worried.”

“You say one thing, but your body language says another.”

I rolled my eyes. “My body language says nothing. There’s no reason for me to be worried about anything since Slade and Mac are going to be with you, Lucas. Whatever you wind up doing, I know they’ll be safe. I’m asking because, like my sisters are fond of saying, I inherited Nanny’s nosy gene.”

His brows pulled together between his eyes and that head tilt shifted.

“What do you mean you’re not worried because they’ll be with me? And what did that crack about me never running amuck mean? Jesus.” He unfurled his arms and swiped his hands through his hair at the temples. “I’ve said amuck more times than I’ve ever said it in my life.”

“That’s a dumb question, since you’re the chief of police.” I held my hands up at my sides. “You’re the most responsible and trustworthy human being I know. You don’t do anything that crosses a line either morally, ethically, or legally. I’ve seen you drunk once in your life after Danny’s funeral, and you deserved to be since you’d just lost your best friend. You’re dependable, Lucas. Completely.”

It was a wonder he didn’t get a headache from the way the skin over his forehead puckered inward.

“Dependable and trustworthy? You make me sound like a cub scout, or an unemotional robot with a stick up his ass. Dull and boring. Like I don’t know how to have a good time and never do.”

“I’m sure you do, but I’m also sure since you became chief, you’re more aware than ever of the small minds and big mouths living in this town. You can’t be seen doing anything”—I shook my head again— “questionable or unseemly, like getting drunk in public at a bachelor party. You need to be on the safe side of gossip at all times. And you are. It’s what makes you such a good leader.”

“Unseemly? Lord, Maureen. Now you’re making me sound like a modern version of Josiah Heaven. You gonna accuse me of having a God complex next?”

How the heck had this conversation veered into him thinking I was comparing him to our town founder?

“What?” I fisted my hands on my hips, well and truly confused and getting irritated by the second. “Weren’t you the one who told my sister in that very breezeway”—I pointed behind me—“not more than two hours ago you weren’t going to condone anything illegal because, quote, you’re the chief of police, unquote? I don’t think I imagined it, Lucas.”

It was as if he hadn’t heard me.

“I’m not old and tired and worn out yet, you know.” He started pacing back and forth, his hands slung in his trouser pockets.

“I never said you were. I—”

“I’ve got responsibilities to this town and its citizens, Maureen. I’m on call twenty-four hours a day for the city. Never a day to myself, never a night to call my own. Christ. I had to promise Pete Bergeron three weekends in a row off in order to be free Saturday night.”

“Lucas, what—”

“I haven’t had a vacation in six years. In addition, I take care of a man who wants nothing more than to die and finds it amusing to take pot shots at my son.”

For the first time in my memory, Lucas’s voice rose. He was always the proverbial calm during a crisis, the one everyone gravitated to for guidance, the man people regarded as a natural leader.

It dawned on me he wasn’t simply tired, but exhausted. And not only physically. The weight of all the responsibilities he carried on those strong, broad shoulders was taking its toll, and he had no one in his life to help shoulder them.

Placing myself straight in front of him, I barred his pacing. I reached out, wrapped a hand around his forearm, and pressed, forcing him to pay attention to me.

He blinked hard a few times, as if coming awake after a deep sleep. The confusion in his eyes worried me.

“Lucas. Stop.”

He focused in on me, then to where I held his arm. When he lifted his gaze back to me, his forehead was furrowed. “Maureen?”

I squeezed his arm again. “Are you okay?”
 He tilted his head to one side while he continued to stare at me for a few beats.
“I’m worried about you,” I told him.

“Worried?”

“Yes. You’re being”—I shrugged then shook my head—“weird. And you’re scaring me.”

He blinked a few times. “You’re worried about me?”

“Yes, dammit.” I stamped my foot, frustrated and getting mad, now. “I care about you, and I’m worried because you’re acting so out of character. What about that is so hard to comprehend?”

I removed my hand from his arm, only to have him grab it back with his own.

“Let go of m—” I stopped dead. One look at the expression on his face and any and all words were forgotten. The confusion reeling in his eyes shifted, cleared, then flew completely to be replaced by a piercing, all consuming…hunger.

Intrigued? I hope so. You can preorder your ecopy here, now: BWL

And if you’d like a PRINT version before the book is released, I’m selling them on my website store for a drastically reduced price, here: STORE

And not to brag ( even though I am) Long and Short Reviews gave BAKED WITH LOVE a BEST BOOK RATING.

Love that!!!

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A #BestBook Review from @LASR for BAKED WITH LOVE

I’m not gonna lie…when I woke up the other day and found the email from Long and Short Reviews about BAKED WITH LOVE   concerning the review on their site, I was worried. This was the first professional review for the book, and considering it’s still in the preorder stage, I was concerned a bad review would effectively kill sales.

Hey. I’m a writer. We live and die for reviews and sales.

When I first clicked on the the link my heart sank because the very first thing I saw next to the book copy was 1 star.

1 star.

Think about what that means to an author to see 1 little star next to a book review and then multiply that feeling by a quadrillion and then square it and you know how I felt.

But then the review page opened and I saw that the 1 star had the words BEST BOOK written inside of it.

Okay, say what?
My eyes slid down to the start of the review and by the time I got to the end I couldn’t see my computer screen clearly any more because tears of joy clouded my vision. To mis-quote Sally Field, “She liked it! She really liked it!”

In fact, I venture to say, she loved it. Loved the entire Match Made in Heaven series, in fact.

Here’s the review:

I’m just going to be blunt and get right to the point. This is the best series I’ve read in a long time. It’s right up there with the Drake Sisters series by Christine Feehan and the Mackenzie Family series by Linda Howard.

When reviewing, there are many components in a narrative that I’m looking for. How developed and relatable were the cast of characters? Did the plot maintain my interest and flow at a reasonable pace with unexpected twists while keeping its realistic integrity? How was the chemistry between the hero and heroine? Did they receive their happily ever after? Were there any loose threads? Particularly from my point of view I want to laugh and feel a book glow for hours after finishing the book. It’s a bonus if I can add another hero to my list of book boyfriends. When I’m reading a series I want to feel that “coming home” sensation. The heartwarming feeling of being reunited with cherished friends and family.

It’s not often I can claim that a book meets all my criteria for what I consider a best book or best series. It is my honor to claim Baked with Love by Peggy Jaeger hit all my feel good spots. The Match in Heaven series has left a lasting impression on me. Yes, each book can be read as a standalone but I would not recommend it. The three together put any Hallmark show to shame. I’d like to see the series put into a movie.

I wish the characters were real and that I could meet them. I want to go stay at their inn. I’m a huge fan of Peggy Jaeger after reading several of her books.

The romance in this story is between Maureen and Lucas. I was waiting to read their story and I’m thrilled it was worth the wait. I can’t rave enough about how much I loved this book and the series. It’s a perfect Christmas present for your friends who love to read romance. This book will join my others on my book keeper list.

See why I was crying now??? That line about putting any Hallmark show to shame just about did me in!! In a good way.

She’s reviewed all the books in the series and has given me great reviews on each one. But a BEST BOOK review? Well, that was one that made me realize that maybe, just maybe, I was starting to get the hang of this writing career!

Here are the other reviews from L&SR for A Match Made in Heaven:

Dearly Beloved

Today, Tomorrow, Always 

And you can preorder BAKED WITH LOVE, which releases 12.9.2020, here: BWL

Also, because writers live and die for reviews AND sales, if you want a PRINT copy of the book now, instead of waiting for December, I’ve got copies at a very reduced price available at my website store, here: PJBS Just follow the instructions on the page.

Until next time, peeps ~ A-still-floating-on-air Peg

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#CoverReveal for BAKED WITH LOVE ( A Match Made in Heaven, bk 3)

Well, I’ve been teasing about it for about 2 weeks now!!!

I’m so excited to show you the youngest O’Dowd sister Maureen’s cover for BAKED WITH LOVE...ta da!!!!

OMG isn’t it gorgeous!!!

Graphic designer and artist Diana Carlile has done it again. She’s designed all 3 of the covers for this series and each one is more beautiful than the last!

Here’s a little about BAKED WITH LOVE, which gets released on 12.9.2020, just in time for  your Holiday shopping!

Innkeeper Maureen O’Dowd lives to cook and bake, spoils her family and friends, and is an expert at keeping secrets, especially about the man who’s held her heart for years.

Police Chief Lucas Alexander is dealing with an aging father and a moody teenage son, and he’s in love with a woman who only wants to be friends.

How can these two fiercely private people reveal their feelings for one another without destroying the friendship they already have? And if they’re successful, will another secret, if revealed, drive a wedge between Maureen and Lucas that can never be repaired?

I truly can not wait to see what readers think about these two and the twisted way they get to their HEA.

If you haven’t read the other two books in the series yet, let me make this easy….

Dearly Beloved

Today, Tomorrow, Always

I have many Writer friends who are helping me reveal the cover today so I’m off to thank them and help them promote their blog posts about BAKED WITH LOVE.

*** Be sure to check tomorrow’s blog post ( 11.12.2020) because I’ve got something very special planned for this holiday season for you! You won’t want to miss it because it’s going to make your holiday gift giving sosososo much easier this year!

And check out this amazeballs Book trailer Nancy Fraser produced for the book:

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#TeaserThursday

I’m waiting on copy edits for my third book in the MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series, BAKED WITH LOVE, but while I wait, here’s a little something from Maureen O’Dowd’s perspective….

Lucas nodded. “He seems pretty stoked about working, something I’m surprised about. Glad, for sure, but surprised. I figured…” He shrugged.

“I know. I thought a fifteen-year-old boy would rather be any place than in a kitchen every day, but he actually asked to work most days during the week and on weekends for the weddings. We’ll see how long this enthusiasm lasts.” I grinned up at him while I towel-dried a mug.

“I don’t know, Mo. If it was me, I wouldn’t mind being stuck in a kitchen every day—”

“That’s because you’re always hungry.”

“—if it was with you.”

My hand stopped rubbing the porcelain.

Okay, what?

I’m usually fairly adept at not showing my feelings or have what’s running through my mind cross my face. Nanny has commented many times over the years I’m the person she least likes playing poker with because she can’t read me. The ability to hide my true feelings has gotten me through some testy times with my parents, a bad breakup with a verbally abusive boyfriend, and my twin’s illness then death. Plus, for as many times as we’d been together over the years, Lucas had never once guessed how I truly felt about him.

Right now, though, I was finding it next to impossible to school my features and body into its usual calm nonchalance. I can only imagine how I must have appeared to him, standing there with the towel thrust into the mug, my hand paralyzed—my body as well—as I stared up at him, silent.

“What’s wrong?” He uncrossed his arms and took a step toward me, his brows grooving toward the middle of his forehead. “Maureen?”

I blinked a few times when his hand snaked around my upper arm. A soothing, comforting warmth seeped through me from his touch. I wanted to move in closer, melt into his arms, and snuggle into all his heat. When I found myself shifting so I could, I took a step backward, mentally and physically. Lucas didn’t drop his hold but kept his hand on my arm, his other one following suit.

“Nothing. Sorry. I’m fine.” I shook my head a few times and planted what I hoped looked like a self-deprecating grin on my face.

“I lost you there for a second.” His gaze swept across my face, searching, silently questioning.

“Sorry. I’ve got a lot going on up here.” I pointed a finger at my head. “Thinking fifteen steps ahead about what needs to be done around this place.”

He waited a beat, those intelligent, intense eyes never wavering from my own. “Why don’t I believe that’s all it is?”

It was no wonder he was such a good lawman. With his gaze zeroed in on me, piercing and probing, and his voice low, deep, and commanding, almost seductively sly in its cadence, I imagined people who’d broken the law were no match for him when it came to his garnering confessions.

I pulled a Colleen-worthy eye roll. “Because you’re a cop and you’re naturally suspicious. It’s ground into your DNA. Like the green in your eyes.”

One eyebrow quirked high up on his forehead. “The green in my eyes?”

His mouth stayed perfectly straight, but I got the distinct impression he was laughing at me.

“It’s true. Your eyes are green, and you’re naturally nosy.”

His inspection grew more intense as he dipped his chin and glared at me. The heat in his stare shot straight down to my core and exploded. I’m pretty sure I shuddered.

Lucas’s fingers kneaded my arms. Every nerve ending in my body stood straight up, like I’d walked across a rug in the dead of winter and then touched something metal, sparking an electric shock. I licked lips that had suddenly gone desert-dry.

His gaze took a slow stroll down to my mouth and lingered. Enough so those butterflies finally made a break for freedom. Without any will to prevent it, my mouth fell open and I dragged in about a quart of air, my shoulders lifting, then dropping with the effort. I lost the grip on the mug and when it slipped out of my hand, Lucas let go of my arms as we both reached for it at the same time.

My reflexes are quick. Lucas’s are like lightning.

Both our hands went around the cup at the same time, but in moving for it, Lucas had to bend from his substantial height. When he did, our heads connected and a resounding thwack echoed around us.

Ow.” I let the mug go free into his hand and palmed the spot of contact on my forehead. “Your skull’s made of cement.”

Lucas placed the mug on the counter, then tugged my hand off my head.

I swatted him away. It was like slicing air because it had no effect on halting him from touching me.

“Let me see. Stop squirming.” He cupped my chin to hold me in place.

In all honesty, I’d gone statue-still again the moment his hand curled around my jaw. I knew Lucas’s fingers were strong, an effect of being a life-long shooter. Thick-skinned, coarse, and powerful, his grip was surprising gentle though, as he held my face in one hand and pressed against the throbbing notch on my forehead with the other.

“You’re gonna have a goose egg.”

“And whose fault is that?” I mumbled.

“Better get some ice on it, fast.”

This time when I glanced up at him, he was attempting—and failing—to hide a grin.

Through narrowed eyes, I said, “Thanks for the advice. Mind letting go of me so I can?”

Lucas glanced at the hand wrapped around my chin, frowned, then drew his attention back up to meet my eyes.

Calling them green hadn’t done them a bit of justice. There are so many variations of the simple color, and none of them applied to Lucas.

They weren’t the bright green of a shamrock or the metallic sheen of jade. Neither were they pale like sage nor brilliant like winking emeralds. The purest and most accurate way to describe them was they mimicked the color of fresh moss at midnight: deep and dark with shards of yellow in the mix reflected in moonlight. Long lashed with a tiny tilt at the corners and subtle lines fanning out to his temples, Lucas’s eyes had always been captivating to me. Right now, with his hand holding my chin, and his body so close I could detect the brand of soap he’d used in the shower, they were mesmerizing.

The air between us changed in a finger snap. Energized. Ignited.

Something in Lucas changed, as well. His shoulders were drawn up almost to his ears, and his breathing went a little deeper, a little louder as we stood there. The groove between his eyebrows folded inward even more than it usually did. When his tongue flicked out and crossed over his bottom lip like mine had a few moments ago, I bit down on the need to press my own mouth to his.

I may have moaned.

The swift inhale Lucas took convinced me he’d heard the sound and recognized it for the naked desire it was. The hand at my chin tensed and drew me in closer. So close, I could count every hair of the afternoon stubble shading his etched cheeks and strong jaw.

An insane urge to run my tongue along the length of that shadow hopscotched through me. I might have succumbed to the impulse if Robert’s voice hadn’t spilt into the room.

“Dad?”

We both blinked at the sound.

“What’s going on?”

“Maureen dropped a cup,” Lucas told him after a moment, his attention never wavering from me. His voice was thick and low. “We bumped heads when we went to get it. Grab some ice from the freezer, would ya, son?”

“There’s a cold pack in there,” I said, stepping back when Lucas finally freed his hold on me.

He stood, immobile and silent, in front of me while his son set about his task.

I’d give anything to know what he was thinking, but his expression had gone back to its usual relaxed one. His body, though, remained stiff and tense.

Robert handed me the cold pack and said, “Here.” When he glanced at my forehead, he added, “Ouch. Dad, you hurt her.”

“It’s nothing,” I said, wrapping the pack in the dishtowel I still held in one hand. I placed it against the throbbing ache I now felt on my head and winced. “Okay, ouch is right. But it was an accident, Bobby-Boy.”

I wanted to alleviate the troubled expression on his face, so I added, lifting my lips in what I hope was a comical smirk, “Your father’s got a head like a rock. No surprise, there.”

My quip hit its intended mark as both of the men in my kitchen grinned. Lucas’s shoulders finally relaxed, and the ghost of a sigh slid from him.

They left shortly thereafter with Lucas promising to have his son to work on time in the morning.

Intrigued? I’ll put up release dates and a cover when I have them. Until then, be well, peeps.

and look for me here: Follow me

 

 

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#TeaserThursday 8.27.2020 A recipe from BAKED WITH LOVE, Book 3 in A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

So all this week I’ve been doing edits on book 3 in the MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series, BAKED WITH LOVE. In the book there are several references to Maureen O’Dowd’s Insomnia cookies – the ones she bakes at 2 am when she can’t sleep. I figured it would be a good idea to share that recipe with cookie lovers to whet your romance reading appetite for the book which I’m hoping will be released this year.

Here’s a quick tease/reference to the cookies from the book, followed by the cookies themselves. And just incase you don’t think I really bake in real life, I’ve included a few photos from a batch of insomnia cookies I made on Tuesday when I was home cooking for my parents.

Enjoy!

When I pulled into the inn, I spotted a familiar car in one of the private spaces I kept for family. The sound of laughter rang out from my kitchen.

“How come I didn’t know we were having a party?” I said when I came into the room.

My sisters were sitting at my table, each with a cup in front of them, the tin of insomnia cookies opened and on the table between them. Robert was at the sink, washing dishes, as Sarah pulled something from the oven.

“Where have you been?” Cathy had one of Colleen’s swollen feet in her lap and was massaging it.

“I had an errand to run,” I said, sneaking a side-glance at Robert’s back. “Why are you two here?”

“I wanted to check to see if everything was set for Friday’s event,” Colleen said.

“You couldn’t just call? Or send Charity? Slade specifically said he doesn’t want you driving alone at this phase.”

“He’s not the boss of me.” She pouted then reached in to the jar and brought out two more cookies. “He’s treating me like I’m the first woman ever to have a baby. I’m pregnant, not infirm or useless. And I’ve got a business to run.”

“He’s worried about you, sis. This is your first baby. His too. He gets to be overprotective if he wants.”

“Says who? I’m the one carrying around a basketball the size of Montana in my body, not him.”

“It says so in the marriage rules,” I told her. “First-time fathers are allowed to be a little overbearing and overprotective of their pregnant spouses.”

The pout morphed to a tiny grin. “I must have missed that chapter.”

“Most likely wasn’t listed in your Cliff Notes edition.”

“Must be. Besides, Cathy drove. I merely thumbed a ride and rode shotgun when she said she was headed here.”

I drew my attention to my oldest sister, lifted my eyebrows, and tilted my head.

“Any reason in particular? Or where you just craving cookies?” I asked when she pulled a handful from the jar as Colleen had and put them on her plate.

“Don’t chide me. I’m stress-eating,” she mumbled around the cookie. “There are a million details running through my brain, and I’m petrified I’m gonna forget something. Between work, this wedding, and getting everything settled for the two weeks we’ll be gone, I’m going crazy. I don’t remember being so stressed and nervous the first time I got married,” she added after swallowing.

Maureen’s Insomnia Sugar Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose white flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into squares

1 cup + 2 tbsp white granulated sugar

2 tbsp light brown sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup white granulated sugar (for rolling)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, into a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and both sugars together in a large mixing bowl on medium speed until light in color and fluffy.

Add the egg and mix until well combined.
Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time and mix until the dough is well formed. Do not overmix.

Using a tablespoon-sized scoop, scoop cookie dough into individual pieces. Gently roll each into a ball with your hands, then roll each ball in white sugar to coat.

Put the balls on the baking sheet 2 inches apart. Cookies will spread once they heat, and you want them to have room to do so without touching one another.
Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes, but do not overbake. Remove just before the edges begin to turn golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a baking rack for at least 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

When I’m not baking you can find me here:

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

For a complete listing of my books, you can search here: Peggy Jaeger, Author

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