Tag Archives: #ChristmasRomCom

#SundaySnippet 10.21.18

So this weeks selection is from my last holiday release A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. The reason I’m going back in time here is to get you (hopefully!) ramped up for the next San Valentino Holiday release, CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS, which comes out on 12.12.18. Both stories are stand-alones – you don’t need to read the first to enjoy the second – but really, this family is so crazy and so much fun, you should read them all anyway! But that’s just my opinion…hee hee.

“Gia, I know a guy who’s looking for a numbers person,” Uncle Sonny said. “A new business venture he’s putting together on the Lower West Side. One of those trendy cybercafes. Frou-frou coffees with names no one can pronounce, big-ass muffins and breads and stuff. He could use someone with a math brain like yours to help him with the books and the spreadsheets. I could put a good word in his ear for ya.”

He was seated across the table from me, his bright blue suspenders sitting over his old-as-sin, used-to-be- white, wife-beater tee. The only time Uncle Sonny ever wore an actual shirt was when he left the house. Any time he was inside, no matter whose house it was—his own or someone else’s—he removed his dress shirt, electing to be comfortable in his undershirt and pants. The suspenders were a necessary item, not a sartorial statement, because he’d gained some substantial weight in the past few years and hated the wincing feeling of a belt around his ever-expanding waistline. His pants hung underneath his bulging abdomen and would have fallen to the floor if not anchored by the suspenders.

Before I could respond, Mama beat me to it.

“Salvatore San Valentino.” Her voice rose to a pitch that could summon dogs. “You will not give my bambina’s name to any of your wise-guy friends, do I make myself clear?”

“Frankie, honey,” Sonny said, all sweetness and light oozing from his voice, a smile Nonna always termed oily across his mouth. “No worries. This guy’s legit.”

“No one you know is legit,” she shot back, rising and moving around the table with the filled pasta bowl to give refills.
She slapped a wooden spoon the size of a cup measure onto my brother Gianni’s plate with a thwack. “It’s bad enough everything you own fell off a truck.” She moved onto my youngest brother, Edoardo’s plate. Thwack. “And that you associate with people on police wanted lists.” On to Antonio. Another thwack. “But you’re Joey’s brother, so I overlook all that.” Thwack onto Nonna’s plate—although she hadn’t eaten any of her first pasta round yet. “But I draw the line when you want to involve my baby girl in the businesses of your low-life, crooked friends.”

With a final thwack to Daddy’s plate, she slammed the bowl, which was almost as wide as she was, back onto the table and picked up the gravy boat.

“Who wants sauce?” she snapped, her crystal-blue gaze flitting with anger around the table.

“Here, Mama.” Chloe’s husband, Matt, stood and took the antique piece of imported Italian china from her. “I’ll do it. You sit. Eat. You must be tired from working at the church all day and then making this wonderful meal for us all.”

Gently, he nudged the gravy bowl from her hands, charming her with his dashing smile and melted- chocolate-colored eyes.

Unable to resist smiling back at him—he was after all the golden son-in-law since he was a doctor and had given her two more grandchildren to fawn over—Mama patted his cheeks. “You’re such a good boy, Matteo. I’m so happy my Chloe married you.”

From next to me, I heard my brother Paolo mutter, “Suck up,” and I choked a laugh into my napkin.

Peggy here: God, I love this family!!!!

Buy links:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Barnes and Nobel // Google books // Kobo 

also available in audio!


Audible //

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A Christmas Anthology

So I’m pretty stoked right now because one of my Christmas books, A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights, is featured in the Wild Rose Press Anthology A HOLIDAY PROMISE.

Here are the buy links that I’ve got so far and below are the blurbs for the books included in the boxed set.

Amazon  // Wild Rose Press //

In Mistletoe by Tammy L. Bailey 
Incredible circumstances leads Grace Evans to Mistletoe, Washington where she finds herself at the mercy of the town’s number one bachelor, Ayden McCabe. While Grace needs help finding her sister, Ayden is looking for a fake girlfriend for the holidays. When they strike up a deal to help each other out, the last thing they expect is to fall in love.

The Christmas Tree Wars by Robin Weaver
In the town’s Christmas Tree Contest, Suzette wants to beat high-profile socialite, Katarina Snodgrass. Spence James has returned to Merryvale, and she’ll need his help to win. As they work together, their attraction begins to sizzle. But Suzette’s promise of a tinsel bright holiday turns to coal when Spence’s NYC girlfriend arrives unannounced. Suzette is determined to ignore her broken heart and beat Katarina. Even if it means collaborating with a man who now seems more like Santa’s nemesis than a Christmas angel.

A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights by Peggy Jaeger
Gia San Valentino longs for a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. At her parish’s Christmas Festival she meets a guy who has all her requirements for perfect-man status: tall, sweet, good looking, and from a big Italian family. A miscommunication has her believing he’s the new parish priest, though, and her happily-ever-after hopes evaporate because he’s the proverbial forbidden fruit. Or is he?

Christmas in Kissinger by Misty Simon
ABSOLUTELY NO RETURNS OR EXCHANGES when going home to Kissinger for a wedding. But Jocelyn Moreland has no idea Sam Locke will turn her life upside down.
Logan West has DESIGNS ON A DAME and her name is Adele. When she catches the bouquet and he the garter, he discovers a holiday wedding is the perfect place for a first date. And Mason Nottingham may have messed up his life. But MAYBE THIS TIME, he’ll get his Christmas wish and show Paige he’s ready to make amends.

Christmas at the Rekindle Inn by Lori Waters
Seven days in December at a lovely Vermont inn sounds like the perfect Christmas present to Mary until she finds out her soon to be ex husband will be there too. The Rekindle Inn is the last place JT wants to spend his Christmas vacation but a battle of wills has him on a plane to Santaville faster than the time it takes to unwrap a candy cane.

Breakfast with Santa by Carol Henry
Mark Logan-aka Santa—can’t keep his eyes off Katelyn Sullivan in her sexy elf outfit, which brings back feelings better left hidden. After all, he only returned to Lobster Cove to keep his two-year-old son safe from kidnappers, not to rekindle an old romance. Katelyn Sullivan, conflicted with her renewed feelings for Mark, flies to Norway to reaffirm her feelings for her fiancé. But will uncovered secrets be the key to their happiness, or their heartache?

I feel like I’m in pretty great company for this holiday season!!! And wouldn’t this boxed set make a great gift for the romance reader on your gift list?? Think about it! Hee hee

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Something new in Audio!

Overjoyed to announce my first San Valentino Christmas Story A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS is out on audio for all you book-LISTENING-lovers!!

With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind.

Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not.

Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him

Audio buy links:

Amazon //Audible // i-tunes- coming soon. For a complete list of all my print books, ebooks, and audiobooks, click here: Amazon Author Page

Here’s a little present from me to you to whet your romance reading appetite: The trailer to AKISS

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#ChristmasinJuly Spotlight

Hey all, while I’m working my butt off at RWA I’m featured on the Christmas in July fete today over at N.N. Light’s Bookhaven

Drop by for a chance to win a copy and for a rafflecopter for a $100 Amazon GC!! Read A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS now and when CHRISTMAS AND CANOLLIS releases this holiday season, the San Valentino family be old friends!

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BUSY is a four letter word!

I saw a report on the news last night that stated 1 in 5 KIDS under the age of 6 are stressed out. For teens, the number is 3 in 5 and for adults, 1 in 2  are feeling so stressed it is effecting their health, their happiness, and they psychological wellness.

These numbers staggered me. If this is the normal amount of people experiencing stress on a daily level, what the heck must it be like during the holiday season? Those levels must jump to the stratosphere.

I found this definition of stress in my computer’s dictionary: a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

What is so demanding that 1 child in 5 under the age of 6 has to be stressed about? Well, the answer is probably clearer than I think. Single parent households, poverty, not having enough to eat, bullying. All those things will increase a kid’s stress levels, so I get that. Teens are so hormonally off the charts anyway, that the slightest tweak in a day can set their stress skyrocketings. Adults, well we all know the stressors attached to trying to make it in the world these days. Add in the very possible threat of nuclear war or a homeland terror attack and, well…’Nuff said.

The title of this blog is another factor in the stress I feel too many people around the holidays experience: we are friggin’ BUSY. Busy trying to squeeze in a little present shopping; having to attend the annual office party; getting the traditional cookies baked and wrapped and sent via a postal service that is getting more crippled every day. Then there’s the added stress of the relatives. People you’ve managed to avoid all year are now going to be sitting across from you at grandma’s table talking about stuff you’d rather not like politics, religion, healthcare.

Simple equation: BUSY + Holidays = STRESS. So when I call BUSY a 4 letter word, you know what  I mean.

Now, the antidote for all this stress, if there is one, should be bottled and given away for free. My simple solutions have worked well for me for years. I don’t stress out about all the stuff I need to do, places I need to go, or the people I absolutely need to see around the holidays anymore. This is what I do instead.

  1. Less is more in decorating. I used to decorate the entire inside of my house for Christmas. It got so cluttered I couldn’t move around in it. So, less decorations=less time decorating= less stress. ( Yes, I still have 4 trees, but 3 of them are little!)   
  2. You don’t need to have the party of the decade every year. I used to have a HUGE holiday party and did all the food prep. Yeah. It’s a wonder I wasn’t institutionalized for exhaustion after each one. Now, I have a simple, small dinner once a season with my closest friends, that I call a Christmas Comfort food Dinner. The menu is all comfort foods – mac and cheese, fried chicken, chili, and of course desserts. I tell my guests they can come in slippers, pajama pants, sweats, if they want. This is an evening filled with fun, good friends, and no stressing about what to wear, what to bring, and how long to stay. In fact, I have to shoo my guests sometimes out the door!!
  3. Do a Secret Santa for family gifts or have a Yankee swap. Now, I love presents, especially presents for me. This concept of not getting a present for and from every family member was a hard one for me to accept. But. In the end, it works out better. Less time spent trying to find the perfect gift for everyone, less time spent shopping and fighting the hoards, less time wrapping, carting, and obsessing if they’ll like it.  
  4. Realize the people you want to see and keep in touch with are the ones you already do. AKA, no Christmas cards. I stopped sending Christmas cards years ago because 1. it took forever to do, 2. I hadn’t seen nor heard from a lot of people on the list since college. With Facebook and other social media now, you can keep in touch with the people you really want to very easily. I don’t really care that a girl I spent one semester in college with now has six kids, all are traveling abroad ( and I’ve never met them) and she needs back surgery in the new year. I haven’t seen this chick since 1980. Wouldn’t know her if she passed by me on the street.  

Now, those are only 4 things I do to make the holiday season less busy and stressful. I’m sure you’ve got some good ideas as well. Share them in the comments section if you do!

And when I’m not busy – because I’m not! – you can find me here during the workday: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 ANd because I’m a shameless self promoter ( AKA WRITER!) another way to destress is to sit back and enjoy a good book. I’ve got one sale right now for one more day. It’s alittle Christmas tale of love and family and food. Enjoy:

A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS.

 

Gia San Valentino is the beloved baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family. Family dramas, passion, and food rule the San Valentino clan, and Gia takes it all in stride, her family the touchstone of her life. But with Christmas fast approaching she longs for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to are all wise guy wanna-bes, with old world views on women – the pregnant and barefoot kind – just the type of man she’s trying to avoid.

When Gia lends a helping hand at her neighborhood parish’s Christmas Festival she meets a guy who has all her requirements for perfect-man status. Tall, sweet, good looking, and from a big Italian family of his own, it seems she might finally have found a man she can give her heart to.

Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not.

 

Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?

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Why I love a #holidayRomance

So. There are probably going to be hundreds of blogs written in the next month by romance writers much more talented than I am about why we all love a holiday romance.

Be it a Hallmark movie, or a new theatrical wide-release Holiday RomCom, or even the plethora of new Christmas love stories that invade our Netgalley listings and Amazon review sites every year.

 

But, just why do we love a Holiday Romance story sosososo much? Valentine’s Day is the day devoted to Cupid and love. And yes, there have been a few movies and books devoted to that amorous day.

HeeHee – shameless plus!

But by and large, a Christmas themed romance book or movie just does — overall- better than any released at Valentine time.

Why?

I’m sure there are any number of reasons, but I’ve got a few of my own that I’d like to share.

First, the holidays tend to bring out the best in most of us. Oh, I know there are crabby, grumpy Scrooges out there – some I even know personally! And I’m not negating the people who suffer from depression, which can be heightened at this time of year. But overall, we collectively are happier during the holidays. And because we’re happier I think that tends to open our hearts up to the possibility of finding love. A Happy heart is an open heart, as a famous jewelry company keeps telling us!

Second is the Christmas Wish/Gift list. Most adults don’t physically write this list down on paper like they did as children. They tend to construct and keep it in their heads. And I just bet on every single man and woman’s mental wish list is a dream to meet the person of their, well, dreams. The guy or gal who will become their life partner. Their soulmate. And books and movies postulate that wishes and dreams DO come TRUE, so….

Third, Christmas Romance stories and movies all end HAPPILY. Like any good romance writer or romantic scriptwriter will tell you, you’ve got to make your characters go through hell and high water to achieve that everlasting love. As a romance reader myself – and not just a writer – I know that the more angst, turmoil, and tragedy the characters are put through, the more I root for them to wind up together in the end. I know what the ending will wind up being when I go it. It’s the journey I’m there to watch and read. And who doesn’t love a Happily Ever After ending?? Especially during the holidays!

Lastly, I always view the holidays as a time of rebirth. Sure, it’s Jesus’ birthday, and we should celebrate it like one, but for me, spiritually, it’s a time of rebirth, reorganization, and recognizing all the gifts I have. And  those gifts – the most precious ones – are the loves of my life! So, a holiday love story – whether it’s a finding a new love , or a retelling of an everlasting love, warms our hearts and make us just feel good.

I know there are oodles more reasons why Holiday romances sell well and touch our hearts, but to me, finding love and keeping it is the best!


I encourage everyone to see a new holiday love story this year and to read a new Christmas Romance novel. And as another shameless plug, I’ll offer mine up, here:

A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind.

Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not.

Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?

 

Click here for a preview: A Kiss

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