Tag Archives: #Contemporaryromance

WOKE is FREE on Kindle for a limited time

So, I’m doing something for the first time EVER!!! From Saturday, August 1 until Wednesday, August 5, the ebook version of WOKE, my Sleeping Beauty redux, will be freefreefree on Kindle.

To download your copy and read it – if you haven’t yet – here’s the link: WOKE

And I’ll ask just one favor – if you do download it and happen to like it ( which I hope you will) please consider writing a review for Amazon. It can be short or long, I don’t care. But the more reviews I garner, the more Amazon will help promote the book and in this day and age, that is HUGE for an author.

Thanks, peeps.

Waking up each day is a gift….

On her 21st birthday, someone slipped a potent drug combination into socialite Aurora Brightwell’s champagne putting her in a coma for the next ten years. It’s been a long road back, and it’s time to reclaim the life she lost and find out exactly what happened on that fateful night.

Financier Kincade Enright has his own reason for helping Aurora discover who poisoned her, but for the time being he’s keeping that – and his true identity – to himself. What he can’t keep hidden though, are his growing feelings for the one-time paparazzi darling and party-girl.

When this prince of finance joins forces with the former sleeping beauty, nothing can stop them from finding the answers they seek…or prevent the powerful emotions developing between them as they search for the truth.

 

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#teasertuesday 7.14.2020

I’m on track to get my first edits back today for the third book in my MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series, BAKED WITH LOVE, so I figured this was a good time to put out a little something from that for today’s Teaser Tuesday.

Book 3 is Maureen’s Story, the inn keeper, baker, youngest sister, and the moral compass of the family.

Oh, my God, Maureen.” My sister Colleen’s voice rose a good two octaves from its normal sultry timbre. “Are those…penis pops?”

“Lower your voice,” I told her as I continued to pipe buttercream roses on the cupcakes I’d made for tomorrow’s wedding. “My entire inn doesn’t need to know I’ve got those”—I grinned—“hardening in my kitchen.”

“Why, in the name of all that’s holy are there”—she counted out loud—“seven chocolate candies in the shape of male genitalia on your counter?”

“Because your bride’s maid of honor special ordered them for the attendants. I tried to talk her out of it, but she paid me triple to make them and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Be happy there are only seven. She wanted one for each of the thirty females on the guest list. I was able to talk her out of it by promising to make those”—I pointed my chin toward the candy—“for the bridesmaids. She’s going to present them tonight after the rehearsal. Thinks they’ll be, quote, a scream, unquote.”

My wedding planner and getting-bigger-by-the-second pregnant sister plopped down onto one of my kitchen chairs and sighed. Heavily.

“Oh, good Lord. Thanks for the head’s up. I’ll make sure the moms are nowhere in sight when she gives them out. I don’t relish having to listen to one more complaint about this wedding. I’ve had enough for the past week to last me until Princess here”—she patted her round tummy—“is off to college.”

I flicked her a glance and said, “Put your feet up, Coll. I can see how swollen they are from here.”

With more effort than was probably warranted – she is after all, related to our grandmother, who corners the market on theatricality – she hefted her feet onto an opposing kitchen chair then extended and flexed her toes a few times. This time her sigh was thick with fatigue, and if I wasn’t mistaken, pain.

“I can’t believe you’re still wearing those ridiculous heels when you’re almost nine months along,” I chided. “Standing in them all day can’t be good for the baby. Or your back.”

“Stop scolding me.” It was impossible not to miss the whine in her voice. “I refuse to take advice from someone who thinks flipflops are the greatest invention known to the shoe wearing population of the world. For the record, my back is fine and my feet don’t hurt.”

“No, they just look like flesh colored water balloons.”

“When did you turn so mean? You’re usually the supportive, quiet sister.”

In ordinary circumstances this was true. But with my ready-to-pop and three-inch heel wearing sister, I was more than willing to make an exception.

I piped the last rose on the final cupcake, laid my pastry bag down on the counter, and took a good look at her. Camera ready face with her professionally polished outfit perfect and not a tendril of red hair out of place, the middle of my three sisters looked something she rarely did: tired. With her hands folded over her protruding belly, she’d dropped her chin to her chest and closed her eyes.

The snarky remark I was going to make about the benefits of wearing flats died before I gave it breath.

Since lunch service had finished a half hour ago and my serving staff was done with cleanup, Colleen and I were alone in my kitchen. I put the kettle on for tea and asked, “Did you have lunch?”

When she lifted her head her eyes took a moment to clear before they focused on me, lending credence to the fact she was tired. And maybe more than simply tired.

“There’s a salad waiting for me at the office. Charity got one for me while I was with the florist.”

“Text her back and tell her to put it in the fridge. I’ll make you something to eat.”

While she contacted her assistant, I plated the luncheon salad I’d concocted for today’s menu, then put half a ham and cheese sandwich into my Panini maker.

“Eat this until the sandwich is done.” I handed her the salad and a bottled water.

“What is it?”

“Spinach, cranberries, walnuts, raisins and carrots with a light pomegranate dressing and shaved Parmesan.”

Colleen shoved a forkful in and groaned. “Oh. My. God. Honestly, Maureen, you should have your own cooking show. This is insane.”

“Everything she makes is insane,” a male voice said from the doorway.

It was a voice I knew well, since its owner was a frequent inhabitant of my dreams. Husky and deep, with a dash of just woken gravel, it could cajole a lover into seduction or cut off a criminal at the knees.

Fortunately, I’d never been the latter. But I’d fantasized about being the former for years.

“Truth,” Colleen said around a mouthful of salad. “Why are you here?” she asked Heaven’s Chief of Police, Lucas Alexander before I could. “Somebody call a cop?”

Lucas flicked his moss green, heavily hooded eyes from my sister to me, one corner of his mouth tilting up. I actually had to contract my pelvic floor muscles whenever he looked at me so I wouldn’t melt to the floor in a pool of want. My ninety-three year old grandmother, Nanny Fee, calls this girding your loins. As far as a descriptive phrase for the maneuver, it’s a good one.

“You got a minute?” he asked me.

“A few. Then I have to get the dining room reading for tonight’s rehearsal dinner.” I pulled Colleen’s sandwich from the press when the bell tinged. Lucas, always comfortable in my kitchen, moved to lean a hip against the counter and then halted mid stride.

I knew the cause of his sudden stop and bit down on the inside of my cheek while I handed Colleen her plate. She caught my eye, and my stifled grin, and realized the cause. Her lips lifted in a wicked grin.

Lucas cleared his throat. “Are those–? Wait. What, what are those? Are they…?”

“Are they what?” Colleen asked, innocence dripping from her voice, at the same time I asked, “Want one?”

Lucas spun around to find the two of us staring at him, expressions blanked, and waiting for him to continue.

He huffed out a breath and dragged a hand through his hair. “Never mind,” he said, with a nervous shake of his head and shoulders.

Colleen glanced up at me, winked, and then took a huge bite of her Panini. “Oh, good Lord, Mo.”

I smiled and told her, “You’re welcome,” before I said to Lucas, “What’s up?”

He cocked his head in a come-with-me move.

In the breezeway separating my private kitchen from the commercial one I used for the inn I own and cook in, Lucas stopped, bit down on a corner of his mouth, and twirled his hat in his hands. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was nervous, but nerves weren’t an emotion common to this man. His army training had taught him how to remain calm in any crisis, cool under the most volatile of situations. I’d never even heard him raise his voice in all the years I’d known him.

I repeated my question.

“I need a favor.”

I rolled my hand in a go on gesture.

“Cathy might have mentioned Robert’s coming to spend a few weeks with me. Nora’s getting remarried this weekend and then leaving on a long honeymoon.”

I nodded. “I’d heard that, but not from Cathy.” To the question in his eyes I said, “Nanny told me the other day when I dropped off her scone delivery at the nursing home. She heard it from Tillie Carlisle who got it from Maeve Capshaw, whose granddaughter, Olivia, told her. Nanny said Olivia was the one who introduced Nora to her intended at a divorced-and-looking event she’d hosted.”

“Jesus.” Lucas shook his head again. “Small towns.”

I couldn’t help but smile. “A curse and a blessing, as Cathy is fond of saying.”

Intrigued? Hee hee, me too. Here’s a mockup of the cover. I don’t know what it’s really gonna be yet, but this is one I use while I’m writing.

And did you know that book 2, TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS has some exciting news? Not only is it a finalist in the GRDWA contest in the Long Contemporary category,

But it’s also just been named a 2020 RECOMMENDED READ from AuthorShout

Exciting times, peeps.

Until next time ~ Peg

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Voting is open…no, not for President! For me – and a whole bunch of fabulous authors!

Hey – exciting news, peeps. Voting is open now for the SEMI-FINALISTS in the RAVEN AWARDS and DIRTY DAMSELS is up in two categories: Favorite Cover and then in the Contemporary category, so you can vote twice for me ( if you want to!)

Many of my Wild Rose Sisters are also in the running, but luckily none of them are in the contemporary category with me!!! So I don’t feel disloyal, cuz I voted for them in their categories.

Here’s the link: RAVEN AWARDS

I’m in the first 2 categories. Just scroll down until you see this:

Click the bubble next to my title and then scroll down and hit VOTE!!!

This is the cover up for the award:

 


Bless you all!!! I’ll let you know how the voting goes. You can vote daily until 7.12.2020!! And again, bless you!

~ Peg

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#TeaserThursday 6.18.2020

Since this book comes out in 13 days, I figured a few lines from its pages would be a good teaser for today.

Here’s the blurb so you know what’s what:

Waking up each day is a gift….

On her 21st birthday, someone slipped a potent drug combination into socialite Aurora Brightwell’s champagne putting her in a coma for the next ten years. It’s been a long road back, and it’s time to reclaim the life she lost and find out exactly what happened on that fateful night.

Financier Kincade Enright has his own reason for helping Aurora discover who poisoned her, but for the time being he’s keeping that – and his true identity – to himself. What he can’t keep hidden though, are his growing feelings for the one-time paparazzi darling and party-girl.

When this prince of finance joins forces with the former sleeping beauty, nothing can stop them from finding the answers they seek…or prevent the powerful emotions developing between them as they search for the truth.

And here’s the teaser:

“Sorry I’m late,” I said when I met Cade at The Smith on Friday evening. “Traffic was ridiculous. I hope you haven’t been waiting long.”

“I offered to pick you up,” Cade said, rising from his seat. He took one of my hands in his and bussed my cheek. “But you insisted we meet here.”

“It just made sense from a travel standpoint.”

The waiter held my chair for me to sit; a server immediately filled a water glass.

“I took the liberty of ordering a bottle of wine,” Cade took his own seat across from me. “I hope you don’t mind.”

I flittered my hand at him. “Not at all. A glass of wine sounds great about now.”

While the sommelier appeared instantly at his side, I took stock of Cade.

Or more accurately, Cade in a tuxedo.

A well fitted, expensive-as-sin, double breasted, midnight black tuxedo, complete with a bow tie I knew without a doubt wasn’t a clip on.

The man had been a walking advertisement for yummy in the suit he wore to the auction. But a tuxedo increased his hot and sexy quotient to a level I don’t think I’d ever graded a man on before.

He wore it as if he’d been born to it.

He wore it as if he’d been born in it.

The deep, inky color set-off the green in his eyes, deepening them to an unrefined, natural jade.

While he lifted his glass and sampled the wine, diamond cufflinks on his wrists winked in the dim, mood lighting around us.

This man oozed class and wealth from every pore.

He gave a quick nod of acceptance then waited while our glasses were seen to.

“Alone at last,” Cade said, the corners of his lips lifting. We clinked glasses, sipped.

“Oh that’s nice,” I said, the dry, slight citrus flavor dancing over my palette and making my taste buds hum. “Good choice.”

“I’m glad you like it.” He lowered his glass then leaned in closer across the small table and took my free hand. “You look lovely tonight.”

Something warm settled in me and I don’t think it was the wine. Flirty Rory showed herself as I cocked an eyebrow and asked, “Only tonight?”

His smile was quick and devastating. “More so tonight than usual.”

Intrigued? Or should I asked, teased? Hee hee.

Here’s the buy link if you’re so inclined to read more:  Amazon

Until next time ~ Peg

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A #99cent #ebooksale, a kiss, and Christmas – what could be better?

So my first San Valentino Christmas book is on sale now for 99cents! A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS tells the story of Gia San Valentino and her quest for a life of her own.

Can a kiss under the Christmas lights lead to a forever love?

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?

Available at Amazon // Nook // ibooks for just 99 cents!

Get a copy for the romance lover on your Holiday gift list this year!

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Fall in Love with New England 2019…

I’m so happy today has finally come!! the first FILNE reader and writer conference in 2 years starts today. We have a boatload of wonderful workshops for our readers, a costume party dinner and then trickortreating this evening. Who says kids get to have all the fun!

Last night was an epic swag bag stuffing with over 20 authors and readers helping to stuff this year’s good bag with over 3o items and print copies of fabulous romance books.

If you’re attending, hope to see you around the hotel. I’m sponsoring a romcom table at lunch! Come and join me. 9 Lucky lunchers will get lovely prizes and the chance to win a basket filled with romcom movies, adult beverages and candy for a girl’s night romcom marathon.

I love my life.

Until next time ~ peg

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#SundaySnippet 9.8.19

I don’t have a cover yet for my next A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN book, just a title: TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS. This is oldest O’Dowd sister CATHLEEN’S story. Widowed, lonely, and bit of a workaholic, Cathy is despairing she will ever find another man to warm her bed at night and one she can love forever. She agrees to attend a speed dating night, organized by her high school friend, Olivia, a local matchmaker. This little scene is after the event:

The lights were still on inside the house when Olivia dropped me back home three hours later.

“I don’t want you to be discouraged, Cathy,” she said as I unbuckled my seatbelt. “This was just your first event.”

And if I had anything to say about it, it was my last.

“Tonight was a mish-mash of personality types and age groups. I’d invited you so you could get a feel for what’s involved in the process. I didn’t expect you to meet or connect with anyone. We need to get together privately so I can figure out the type of man you’re interested in. Then, I can set up something in the future more to your taste level.”

My taste level? Good Lord. If tonight was any indication, there were no men out there who even came close to an appetizer much less a main course.

“Liv, I don’t know if I’m ready for this. I’m busy with the practice, handling Nanny’s affairs.” I swiped my gloved hand in the air. “I’m not sure I have the energy to be involved at the moment.”

She smiled and nodded. “Going out to dinner or a movie with a nice guy doesn’t mean you have to sign a marriage contract, Cath. According to Fiona all you do is work.”

“Well, yeah. Because I’m busy.”

Duh.

“I get that. But you can take a break every now and again, you know. Just think about it,” she added when I opened my mouth again, ready to protest.

Resigned, I nodded.

“I’ll call you in a few days and we can grab some lunch, okay?”

“Sure,” I said.

The house was lit and warm when I walked through the front door. I’d thought Frayne had left the lights on so I wouldn’t come home to a dark, empty house. The moment I closed the door behind me I realized I was wrong, because the house wasn’t empty at all.

Mac Frayne was seated at my dining room table, a laptop opened in front of him.

“You’re still here.”

Why that blue-eyed and befuddled stare meeting me through those thick lenses was such a turn on is a mystery I don’t think I’ll ever solve, but the moment his dazed gaze zeroed in on me and then cleared, his eyes widening, then narrowing, my legs got a little wobbly and my pulse jumped.

He tugged the glasses off and tossed them onto the table, his gaze never wavering my face.

“And you’re back early,” he said, rising.

I draped my coat over my forearm, kicked off my shoes, and shrugged. “It wasn’t supposed to be a long, drawn-out evening.”

Frayne took a few steps toward me, the lines in his forehead grooving deeper. “How was it?”

“Horrible,” I said, before I could stop myself. I shook my head as I moved towards the hall closet. “That’s unfair,” I added, as I hung up my coat. “It wasn’t horrible, as much as something not for me.”

I turned and barreled into Frayne.

Jesus.” His hands shot out and braced my upper arms. “You don’t make a sound when you move.”

“A lifetime of apartment living,” he said. Once I was sure footed and guaranteed not to fall into him again, he lowered his hands.

If I’d had any nerve I would have asked him to put them back. Instead, I swallowed, turned, and walked toward the kitchen, as he asked, “Why wasn’t it something for you?”

I ignored the question. “I’m starving. Have you had anything to eat?”

I wasn’t surprised when he followed me.

“Not since lunch at the Inn. Maureen had soup and sandwiches today, which, like everything else she’s served since I’ve been here, were delicious.”

“Mo only knows how to do delicious.” I peeked inside my fridge. “And speaking of,” I pulled out a glass container. “This is fried chicken she gave me this morning. Want some?”

He leaned a hip against the counter and cocked his head.

“You don’t mind sharing?”

“We both have to eat.”

I put the mashed sweet potatoes she’d sent along in a microwave bowl, then set the timer.

“I hope you like your chicken cold because I’m in no mood to wait for the oven to heat.”

That darling little curl popped up in the corner of his mouth.

“Cold is fine.”

“Did you read any more of Josiah’s diaries?” I asked while I pulled plates from the cabinet.

When he didn’t answer I looked over at him. His quizzical head cock was in place again.

“What?”

“I’m curious why you won’t answer my question.”

I stared at the microwave, taking a moment to formulate my answer.

“The whole concept of dating is alien to me. I knew Danny since the second grade and we got married when we were eighteen. He was the only guy I ever went out with, and it wasn’t even what anyone would consider dating, since we’d been together forever. Having to start all over at this age is”—I lifted one shoulder—“mentally exhausting.”

“Why did you agree to go, then?”

“Because, as my grandmother succinctly put it, it’s time to move on.”

“And you thought hiring a matchmaker was the way to meet someone?”

“I didn’t seek Olivia out. I kind of got railroaded into it.”

I explained how the situation came about while I put the food on the kitchen table. Once seated, I continued.

“Before I knew it, I’d agreed to go to tonight’s”—I waved my hand in the air—“thing.”

“So, again, why wasn’t it for you? I don’t know a lot about speed dating, but from what I’ve read it’s popular among millennials. Along with right-swipe hookups.” The jagged shake of his head told me all I needed to know how he felt about the way people met these days.

“And that’s the problem.” I pointed my sweet potato-laden fork at him. “I’m in the wrong age bracket. Call me old fashioned but I prefer to meet someone and get to know them organically and over time, not try and stuff the story of my life into three minutes before an egg timer beeps. Even though I didn’t participate I was tense and stressed watching the others who were. It all seemed…desperate to me.”

I stopped, mortified I’d admitted it, because in truth, that’s what I’d been feeling watching the group tonight.

From the moment we’d arrived at the restaurant I could tell I’d made a big mistake. The women were all older than me, had hungry, hopeful gleams in their eyes and when they caught sight of me, a few of their stares turned hostile. I was all set to beat a hasty retreat when Olivia’s hand at the small of my back propelled me forward.

Part of the restaurant had been cordoned off, a half dozen tables for two set-up in a semi-circle. Six women, six men, I assumed.

What’s that saying about what happens when you assume something?

A quick glance back at the hostility bowling my way and I realized it wasn’t because of my outfit or my age, but the fact I had the wrong chromosomes.

With me included, there were eight women. I’m better at words than math, but even a five year old knew that left a smaller number of men.

With a gentle prod, Olivia shoved me towards the gaggle of women. For the first time in my life I understood any sympathized with how Daniel must felt walking into the lion’s den.

“Ladies,” I said, with head bob and a tremulous smile.

Silence came back at me. I could stare down the most antagonistic of witnesses in a courtroom without even a thought, but for some reason all my courage flew south as these women glared at me through overly made-up, amateurly applied smoky eyes.

I swallowed the golf ball of fear in my throat.

“How’s everyone doing tonight?” I asked.

Lame, I know, but I was truly out of my element.

“You’re new,” a voice said. “Haven’t seen you before.”

“Y-yes. I’m a…friend…of Olivia’s.” If they thought I posed no dating threat, I figured they wouldn’t disembowel me.

“You joining in tonight, then?”

“Just an observer,” I assured her.

“Hey, aren’t you Fintan O’Dowd’s oldest?” One of them asked. Well, accused would be more the appropriate word choice.

Another quirk of living in a small community, especially with a well-known parent: everyone knows who you are and who you’re related to whether you know them or not. Since I didn’t recognize the woman asking, I nodded.

“Thought you was married.” Yup, accused was the correct word.

“I was. I’m a widow. My husband died…was killed. In Afghanistan.”

Immediately, their collective animosity flew right out the restaurant’s front door. They approached me in a cluster, cooing, and clicking their tongues in sad support of my plight.

If I’d known that was all it took to get them to put their invisible pitchforks and blunderbusses away I’d have led with it.

And yes, I know that’s dramatic, but their facial expressions up until then were fifty shades of scary.

A few moments later Olivia clapped her hands and called us to order.

I stood with her off at the side while she read the rules and held a stopwatch. A small bell sat on the table in front of her. At the first ding, the room went into motion.

The seven women all took their seats while the five men inspected them like hunters evaluating prey, and then made their way to the tables of their choice. I felt bad for the two women who sat solo.

“Don’t worry about them,” Olivia said, when I voiced my concern. “Everyone will have a chance to meet. You want to sit down at one of the tables and give this a go?”

Having a root canal without anesthesia while simultaneously getting my fingernails removed had more appeal. I declined, nicely, and said I just wanted to watch.

Intrigued? I’ll be posting soon on the cover and the release date, so stay tuned.

And don’t forget, book 1 DEARLY BELOVED is available now: Amazon // Kobo  // Barnes and Nobel  //Apple // Google Play//

 

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A new #DeerbourneInn book from Wild Rose Press #author #LuannaStewart

 


 

I’m so excited! Another wonderful DEERBOURNE INN novella has been released. This one’s called LOVE PROOF and it’s by ubertalented and multipublished WRP sistah LUANNA STEWART.

Luanna dropped by recently to give me a little peek at what she does during her favorite season, Summer. She’s an active gal, for sure.

Luanna, take it away…

Summer at last!

Summer has finally arrived in my neck of the woods, both officially and according to the outdoor temperature. A long, cold, wet spring gave us all cabin fever. But now we can open the windows, slip on the flip flops, and soak up a bit of Vitamin D – after the proper application of sunscreen, of course.

In no particular order, here are my favourite summer activities:

 

Camping – every summer we camp at least once in our favourite campground, Kejimkujik National Park. From before we were married, through our boy’s childhoods and teen years, and including last summer, we’ve enjoyed hiking, paddling, and listening to the call of the loon.

 

Long walks in the neighbourhood. We live toward the end of a dead end country road and there is little traffic – the perfect route for walking. The only neighbours I see on a regular basis are a small herd of cows.

 

 

Sitting on our beach watching the osprey and bald eagles fish for their supper. We are blessed with our own little piece of heaven and enjoy the quiet and solitude every evening at beer o’clock, provided the weather cooperates.

Exploring other beaches – we can be at any number of lovely, sparsely inhabited beaches within an hour’s drive of our house. Long stretches of sand or pebbles are the perfect spot to hunt foe beach glass.

Hanging the wash on the clothesline. You may think I’m silly, but I love, love, love making use of sunshine and wind (free to everyone) to dry the clothes. Nothing beats the scent and feel of line-dried sheets on the bed.

Kayaking – since we have water frontage, it’s a simple matter to carry our boats to the water’s edge, climb in, and paddle away. We can circumnavigate a large island off the coast, or explore nearby coves and inlets. We enjoy watching he shearwaters dive for fish, and have even been kept company by a couple of seals.

What is your favourite summer activity? Or, if you live in the southern hemisphere, how are you spending your winter days?

 

 

 

 

Blurb:

Unemployed photojournalist Raynor Elliot stops at a bakery near the famous Deerbourne Inn. Not only does he get a lead on a job but the bakery’s owner is that awkward kid he knew in high school, only now she has fabulous curves and an irreverent sense of humor. The cozy bakery, with its aroma of sugar, vanilla and spice, has more to offer than tasty cookies.

Fiona MacLeod has been plagued for years by the need to make amends for telling The Big Lie. When the lie’s victim strolls into her bakery with his icy blue stare and killer charm, she feels like she’s standing too close to a hot oven.

Between running her bakery and frosting cupcakes for the Mad River Garden Party, she’s pretty sure she’s falling in love with this infuriating, sexy man. Can Fiona dredge up the courage to confess, face the consequences, and hope for forgiveness?

Excerpt:

“I remember those days.” She pushed the calculator to the side, too tired to worry about planning the week’s baking schedule. “Why’d you study journalism?

“Truth is important to me. I was tired of all the lies in government, at every level. I wanted to change that. Ultimately make the world a better place. Easy peasy, right?” His lips quirked and he shook his head.

“That’s why I decided to be a baker. Brighten someone’s day with a special treat.”

He scooted his chair closer and pointed at the column of numbers on the page. “You want me to do the rest?” His arm, bare to the bicep, lightly tanned, dusted with blond hair, a little lighter than on his head, rested less than an inch from her own spindly pale arm. Not spindly compared to other women, hefting bags of flour and moving trays of baked goods did take some muscle power. But spindly compared to his manly toned muscles flexing under skin that she’d bet her last jar of sprinkles was smooth and warm. She clenched her hand.

No touching allowed.

“We have cupcakes to frost.” She bounded from the chair and rushed into the kitchen.

Holy moly, the guy oozed sex. In a good way. A very good way. She pulled a clean apron off the shelf and cinched it around her waist. An extra layer of armor between her and temptation in the form of Raynor. The seeker of truth. The man whose mission in life was to expose lies. The reporter who thought liars were not decent human beings.

Get your copy here:

Amazon US // Amazon CA // AMazon UK // Amazon Au // Nook // Kobo

A little more about Luanna…

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. At the tender age of twelve she discovered her grandmother’s stash of romance novels, after which all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Luanna spends her days writing sexy romantic suspense, steamy paranormal romance, and spicy historical romance. When she’s not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s either in her kitchen baking something delicious, or protecting her garden from the chickens. She lives in Nova Scotia with her incredibly patient husband and two spoiled cats.

You can connect with Luanna here:

Website // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Goodreads // Amazon  

And don’t forget to read all the other DEERBOURNE INN books already out in the book reading world! There are more to come in the next year, and I’ll be promoting them all.

 

THE DEERBOURNE INN SERIES ( to date)

By Reservation Only   by Barbara Edwards

Hope’s Dream   by Peggy Jaeger

Freedom’s Path   By Linda Carroll Bradd

Lyrical Embrace  by Amber Daulton

Spirited Quest     by Julie Howard

Soul of the Storm By Jean M. Grant

Lion Dancing for Love   by Laura Boon

Forever In A Moment  by Charlotte O’Shay

Witches’ Cliff   by Peggy Chambers

Mystic Maples by Tena Stetler

Love Calls You Home by Donna Simonetta

By Reservation Only (Deerbourne Inn) Hope’s Dream (Deerbourne Inn)Freedom’s Path (Deerbourne Inn)Lyrical Embrace (Deerbourne Inn)
Spirited Quest (Deerbourne Inn)Soul of the Storm (Deerbourne Inn)Lion Dancing for Love (Deerbourne Inn Series)Forever in a Moment (Deerbourne Inn)
  Witches’ Cliff (Deerbourne Inn Series) Mystic Maples (Deerbourne Inn Series)Love Calls You Home (Deerbourne Inn)Love Proof

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Just in time for the summer: A take-a-book-to-the-Beach Sale!

I’m so excited for my first Summer Book Sale of 2019!

Eons ago, when I was ( cough, cough,) younger, I loved going to the beach on any day I had off from work during the summer. Back them we didn’t have kindles and nooks and what-evers. We had real, paperprinted books. I’d take my current read and my lounge chair, find  a sunny spot and spend the day reading and getting a tan.

Nowadays, my dermatologist has forbidden me from lying in the sun, so I grab  a book and sit  under a beach umbrella in the shade. Either way, the common denominator is A BOOK FOR THE BEACH! Hee hee.

Book 1 in my Match Made in Heaven series, DEARLY BELOVED, is currently on sale for just 99 cents for the e-version. The sale covers Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook and i-Tunes…whatever ( phone, Ipad, you know!) Here are the links:

Amazon // Nook // i-tunes

Colleen O’Dowd manages a thriving bridal business with her sisters in Heaven, New Hampshire. After fleeing Manhattan and her cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in happily ever afters. But with a demanding business to run, her sisters to look after, and their 93-year-old grandmother to keep out of trouble, she’s worried she’ll never find Mr. Right.

Playboy Slade Harrington doesn’t believe in marriage. His father’s six weddings have taught him life is better as an unencumbered single guy. But Slade loves his little sister. He’ll do anything for her, including footing the bill for her dream wedding. He doesn’t plan on losing his heart to a smart-mouthed, gorgeous wedding planner, though.

When her ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, Colleen must choose between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.

grab your e-copy and head to the beach today! And do’t forget the SPF!!!!!

Happy Reading ~Peg

Oh, and if you’re looking for me, I’m usually here:

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

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#TeaserTuesday 5.13.19

I have another new series starting – hopefully- by the end of this year, titled A PRIDE OF BROTHERS. For those of you who remember my Will Cook For Love series, Joshua Keane ran a Private Investigative/Security firm with his 2 brothers and his best friend, Rick Bannerman. Rock made an appearance in A Shot At Love and I lovedlovedloved him so much I wanted to give him his own story. Book 1 of POB, Rick’s story, is it. Abigail Laine, one of the  7 Laine girls from the WCFL series, gets her story here, too. This is a long passage from the beginning of the book, but sets up their conflict and storyline.  Enjoy! ( or at least, I hope you do!!! HEEHEE)

A few hours and several glasses of wedding celebration bubbly later, Abby spotted the object of her lust-filled fantasies slip through the ballroom doors and out onto the terrace.

It never occurred to her not to follow him.

Spring had surfaced two weeks prior and the fading light between dusk and nightfall was grasping for a few more minutes to shine. Abby spotted him at the far corner of the balcony, overlooking Central Park. Elbows leaning on the railing, he was staring off into the distance. For a brief moment she was afforded the opportunity to study him unawares.

The person who invented tuxedos should be sainted. Or at least knighted. There was nothing else that made a gorgeous man even more attractive. If Rick weren’t a private investigator he could easily pose for a men’s eveningwear line. His physique was perfectly model proportioned according to Gemma, the professional photographer in the group, and his classic, carved-from-marble good features were captivating.

All in all a hunky, sexy guy. And one she wanted to get closer to—in the purely biblical sense. There was no doubt in her mind Rick Bannerman was a man who knew what to do with a woman, and please God she wanted to be that woman. Even for one night.

“Didn’t your parents ever teach you it was rude to stare?”

The quiet pitch in his voice bounced off the tree canopy in front of them and vibrated through her body from head to heels. She’d been hidden in the shadows and he hadn’t moved a muscle, and yet he’d known she was standing there, gawking.

Abby walked toward him, her hands clasped in front of her.

“Mom was too busy working three jobs and finding herself,” she said as she came closer, “and Dad bolted before he could teach us anything.”

Rick turned his head a fraction, his body staying in the same leaning forward, relaxed position, but the second his gaze landed on her she felt like a deer paralyzed in an on-coming truck’s blaring headlights on a lonely road at two a.m.

Her breath caught and she swore the cool temperature in the surrounding air went up a good ten degrees around him.

Maybe she should have had another glass of fortification before deciding to come outside.

“And I’m pretty confident you’re used to people, especially women, staring at you.”

He didn’t answer.

She’d give anything to know what he was thinking as his gaze trailed from her eyes, down to her mouth where they—gulp—lingered for a moment and then back up again. She couldn’t stop the shiver that jumped through her.

Rick finally moved when she ran her hands up her chilled, naked arms. He shrugged out of his tuxedo jacket in one fluid motion that had her mouth watering. When he took a step toward her and flung it around her shoulders he was close enough for her to stretch up and run her lips along his jaw and finally taste him.

In the time it took her to gather her courage to do it, he moved back and shot his hands into his pant pockets.

“You shouldn’t be out here in that slip of a dress,” he said, chinning her bridesmaid gown. “It’s still cool at night and you’re not dressed for the weather.”

Abby pulled the jacket tighter around her shoulders, sighing when she caught a whiff of Rick’s cologne clinging to it. Whether from the heady, musky scent she’d now and forever equate with him, or the dipping temperature, her nipples shot to bruising points under her soft strapless push-up bra. The dress was a shear, pale blue satin spaghetti-strapped tea length design and, as Rick pointed out, did nothing to protect her from the elements.

“Thanks,” she said.

“You should go back inside where it’s warmer, Abigail. I’m sure you’ve got minion duties to perform.”

Her back went ramrod straight. “I hate being called Abigail. Something I’ve told you many times before.”

He cocked his head a bit, the sexy, small smirk dancing across his lips again. “And still…” He lifted his hands from his packets in a “what can I say” gesture.

“That’s just mean. Calling a person something you know they don’t like.”

“It is your name, kiddo. Abigail June.” His careless shrug pulled his shirt tight across his massive shoulders. Abby’s fingers twitched to touch them. Instead, she tightened her grip on the jacket lapels.

How did he know her full name? She didn’t remember ever telling him because she did everything in her power to forget it. It was so…old lady-ish. Like she lived with seventeen cats and read sweet romances all day and night long. Alone.

“You’re such a pain.” She shook her head and pouted.

“Am I?”

“You know you are. And you’re making me forget the reason I followed you out here in the first place.” She almost stomped her foot, thought better of it at the last second.

Something shifted in his eyes. Even in the rapidly fading light, she saw it.

“You…followed me…out here, Abigail?”

Good Lord, she didn’t need the jacket at all. One glance at the hotter-than-a-poker glaze in his eyes heated her entire body.

“Ye-yes,” she answered, hating he could reduce her to a stuttering chit.

“Why?” He leaned a hip against the metal railing, his hands still secured inside his pockets. Comfortable, relaxed, and so damn hot she wanted to scream at him to take her in his arms and make her his for the night.

She wasn’t going to let him sabotage her seduction plan. No. She’d worked out everything she wanted to say, the perfect way to goad him into noticing her. If she could get him to dance with her, even once, get his arms around her, she’d be able to make him see how good it could be between them.

But first she had to get him on the dance floor and from everything she’d observed tonight, he was happy to let his dance card stay empty.

“You’re shirking your wedding guest duties,” she said with a slight head bob.

“There’s no such thing.”

“Yes, there is. As a guest, a male guest,” she lowered her chin, pinning him with her own intense glare now, “it’s your responsibility to dance with the female guests. There are quite a few unattached women at this wedding and it hasn’t gone unnoticed you’ve danced with no one except the bride. That’s bad form. And etiquette. And…rude.”

Her eyes narrowed when his laugh, loud and filled with humor, bounced through the trees. “Unnoticed by who? The wedding police? Kandy?”

Her gaze darted down to her shoes and then back up at him. “Among…others.”

With his head still cocked, he unfurled his hands from his pockets, stood upright and moved into her space. Even in her heels, she had to dip her head back to maintain eye contact.

“Others?” he asked, his voice low, so low she had to pitch forward a little to hear him. “Or…just you, Abigail?”

When he was close enough for her to know her breasts would bounce off his chest if she inhaled, he leaned down, fingered the lapel on his jacket, his knuckle grazing the column of her throat.

Her brain shut down the moment his fingers made contact with her skin. Despite the nippy bite in the air she was hit with a fireball radiating downward from his touch. It was a wonder she didn’t start sweating.

Abby swallowed.

And then did it again.

His eyes were focused on hers, those half closed lids doing nothing to shield the heat smoldering under them. “If you wanted to dance with me, all you had to do”—his gaze dipped down her lips again—“was ask.”

Dance? Lord, she wanted to do a whole helluva lot more than simply dance with this man.

“I—”

She licked her suddenly parched lips, her eyes never wavering from his sharp gaze.

In a move as natural as breathing, she stepped into the minute amount of space separating them, shot her hands around his neck and yanked his head down until their lips slammed together.

Holy Mother.
The heat from his fingers had been hot enough to singe, but it was an ice cube compared to the incendiary inferno of his mouth fused with hers. It briefly crossed her mind it was a miracle she didn’t burst into flames on the spot.

As stupefied as she was by what she’d done, she was able to glean a few pertinent details.

One, Rick’s jacket fell from her shoulders when she grabbed him, plunking down on the ground behind her.

Two, her shoulders and arms may have been bare once again, but the volcano of heat seeping from Rick’s body inoculated her against the cold air.

Three, the man’s body was as hard as it appeared to be. Pressed up against him without a whisper of space between their bodies, protected only by their clothes, every solid inch of muscle and sinew molded to her.

And four, but certainly not least, after a brief still moment, Rick was kissing her back.

Oh, mama, was he.

During all those late nights of studying when her eyes were starting to bleed with fatigue she’d close them and bring his face to mind, his lips were often the feature she dwelled on the most. Thick and smooth, she’d fantasized what they’d feel like against her own. Would they be soft and seductive? Hard and masterful? Taut and teasing?

Nothing she’d conjured in her lusty and frustrated imagination compared to the reality of Rick Bannerman’s mouth on hers. As smart as she was and as adept at language and words, she couldn’t think of one adequate way to describe how utterly delicious and amazing he tasted.

Her entire body relaxed when his hands slipped around her waist and pulled her flat up against him. The low slung back on the bridesmaid’s dress ended right above the dip in her spine. Rick’s hands rested on the space between her naked flesh and the silk material, one finger slipping below it to rest along the top of her hipbone. Lazily, he rubbed it back and forth across her skin.

Every nerve fiber south of his touch fired. The same wobbling sensation from earlier in the evening flowed through her again and her hands tightened around his neck for fear she’d fall.

He freed a hand from her back and dragged his knuckles across her cheek, then took her chin between his fingers and lifted her jaw, changing the angle of the kiss and giving him full access to every part of her mouth.

Every part.

Their tongues danced and twined, mated as if they’d done it every day of their lives. A strange sense of familiarity poured through her.

She’d been right during those imaginary make-out sessions she’d had with him. Rich Bannerman was a man who knew what to do with a woman.

No doubt about it.

The hand at her waist slid lower, down across her dress, to cup her butt and pull her in even closer. And she was proven right once again: he was hard.

All over.

A cavernous, low, primal growl pushed from deep within him as his hips swayed against hers. The butterflies flitting about within her moments before sprang free, pushed out by the firestorm running rampant through her insides. Abby knew—knew without a doubt—she wanted this man more than she had any other; that she would never want a man as much as she did Rick Bannerman.

There simply was no other man.

As the stunning realization of that thought hit home, Rick broke the kiss, tearing his lips from hers so forcefully, a sucking sound whooshed through the air when they separated. Rick pushed her away and held her at arms’ length. If the frown hugging his forehead was any indication, he was confused about what had just happened.

And unhappy.

Maybe even a little angry.

“Abigail.” His voice was rough and harsh in the still, quiet surrounding them and was tinged with…something. “You don’t want to do this.”

“Yes I do. “ She winced.

Jesus. Hard-up much, Abby?

Rick shook his head, his hands softening their grip on her arms.

“No, really,” she said. “I do. I’ve… I…I thought…”

“Whatever you thought, forget it.”

Hurt slammed up against mortification and anger.

The anger won.

“Why? If I’m not mistaken you were pretty into it a second ago. It was your tongue sliding down my throat, wasn’t it?”

The frown deepened into a scowl.

Rick dropped his hands and took a step back.

“Yeah. About that.” He shoved his hands into his pockets again. “It shouldn’t have happened.”

“Why the hell not?”

His eyes darkened, those sexy lids pulling tight at the corners. “It shouldn’t have. That’s all.”

“You say one thing, Bannerman but your body says another.” Abby shook her head and took a step closer to him, the champagne definitely giving her the courage she needed.

Rick took two back.

Now the hurt rammed to the front of the line.

“Yeah, well, when a beautiful woman throws herself into a guy’s arms and presses every inch of herself against him, his body will react. Pure and simple. “

And now the mortification blew forward.

Apparently, her good sense had taken a vacation day, because instead of listening to it as it screamed for her to retreat with the little dignity she still possessed, Abby continued on.

“I thought you liked me.”

“I do.” His head bobbled up and down. “I do. You’re a great…kid.”

“Kid?” She sucked in a breath and threw her shoulders back. “Okay, I’m gonna let that comment slide.” Hands on her hips, she nailed him with a piercing glare. “Why the brush off, Bannerman? I’ve been dropping hints left and right since we met about getting to know you better. You’ve ignored every one of them until a moment ago.”

Another step closer made him retreat again. This time his hip bumped up against the railing.

“I’m not repulsive,” she said, cocking her head at him. “Am I?’

“No. You’re not. You know exactly what you look like, Abigail.”

She nodded, her eyes trained on him. “I don’t have bad breath, or body odor, or some fatal flesh eating disease.”

A small, nervous laugh barked through his lips. “No. You don’t.”

“So why the brick wall? I like you. You like me. We’re both more than adults. Both uninvolved—you aren’t involved with anyone, right?”

He hesitated a bit before shaking his head and saying, “No.”

Relief flowed through her. “I know you’re attracted to me,” she said with a smidgeon more certainty than she actually felt. “You did kiss me back, after all. I don’t see a problem here.” The moment she said it another idea formed, took hold, and rooted.

“Wait. You’re straight, right? You flirt with everything with a vagina, so I figured…you don’t give off a gay vibe and I’m usually really attuned to guys who are. You’re not, are you?”

Again, he waited a bit before saying, “No, Abigail. I’m not gay.”

Before she could utter another word, Rick beat her to it. “Look, everything you’ve said it true. I do like you, and yes, I’m attracted to you. What red-blooded guy with a pulse wouldn’t be? You’re gorgeous and smart and—Christ.” He shook his head a few times.

She couldn’t help it: a huge smile pulled at her lips.

“But we’re not gonna do this.”

“Why not?” Good Lord, did that whine come from her?

“We’re just not,” he said, voice firm and resolute. “We’ll chalk this whole scene up to getting a little carried away with flirting and fueled by too much to drink. You probably won’t even remember much of it in the morning—”

“Yes I will.”

The heat rising up her neck and face now competed with the chill sluicing down her body. She folded her arms across her chest, hugging her upper body against the night air.

Rick shook his head again and dropped his chin. Night had decided to descend so she couldn’t see his face clearly. Was he trying to stifle a smile?

When he lifted his head a moment later, though, his features were blank.

“Go inside, Abigal. Have a slice of wedding cake, a cup of coffee. Get warm. Forget this happened.”

She should listen to him, she really should. But for whatever reason, her brain wasn’t receiving the memo.

“I could warm up right here,” she said, dropping her voice a level and hoping she sounded seductive and not like she was choking on something. “If you’d put your arms around me again.”

This time when she stepped closer, Rick purposefully shot out of her way. He sidestepped around her, stooped, grabbed his tuxedo jacket from where it’d fallen from her shoulders and slid it back on.

“You know what?” He stepped backward. “I’ll go in. I could use a cup of coffee, myself. You stay out here all you want.”

In the time it took her to register he was running away from her, he was gone, back through the ballroom doors and lost in the wedding guest throng.

Abby fisted her hands on her hips again and blew out a breath heated with frustration.

That had so not gone as planned.

I hope you’re intrigued.  POB has been contracted and when I have new details I’ll release them. In the mean time, you can see my vision for Abby and Rick on my Pinterest page: RICK AND ABBY   

~Peg

And if you’re ever looking for me, I’m here:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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