It’s my turn over on the ROMANCE GEMS today and I’m talking about the stress COVID 19 is causing you. Stop by and give it a gander: ROMANCEGEMS
And while you’re there, don’t forget to enter our monthly contest.
It’s almost a new year and I’ve a great way to kick off your 2020 Reading Challenge!
I’ve teamed up with 30+ fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Steamy Contemporary Romances to 2 lucky winners!
Oh, and did I mention the Grand Prize winner gets a BRAND NEW eReader? 😁
Enter the giveaway by clicking here bit.ly/SteamyRom-Dec2019
Good luck and enjoy!
Nell Newbery has trust issues. It’s hard to trust when you’re the daughter of a fallen financial scion who bilked people out of billions. Nell’s done everything in her power to keep away from men who see her as their ticket to fortune and fame. All she wants to do is run her ultra-successful business, HELPFUL HUNKS, in peace.
But it wouldn’t hurt to find a guy who doesn’t know a thing about her father’s felonious past; one she can give her heart to and trust it won’t come back to her battered, bruised, and broken.
Is Charlie Churchill that guy? On the surface he seems perfect, all polished manners and quiet mirth. Nell’s convinced he knows nothing about her, other than she likes superhero movies and views junk food as a food group.
Can she trust him to be what he appears to be? Or is he just pretending?
For Nell, trust is everything in life…and in love.
I’ve entered a lot of romance/writing contests in the past 4 years. The main objective has never been to win an award ( although that’s nice!) but to get my work in front of industry people and romance readers who may like it enough to either review it, recommend it, or – hopefully – want to read more of what I’ve written. Like I’ve said, the goal hasn’t been winning.
Imagine my absolute joy when I found out the other day – just through happenstance – that I’d WON ( yes, won!) The 2019 Book Buyers Best Award for published authors!
That’s MY name listed there, first. Gobsmacked is a word that has never felt more appropriate than when I heard about this.
The reason I say I heard through happenstance was because I had no idea I’d won and the winners were announced last week. I knew I was a finalist in 2 categories but since I didn’t receive any notification of a win, I never bothered checking the website to see what the results of the contest were, assuming that I’d be notified of something major.
And what’s that old saw about assuming anything, hmmm?
I was just checking my email on Tuesday evening and saw a note from one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs Maria Imbalzano.
She put up a notice that said “congratulations to Peggy Jaeger for winning the BBB Award.”
I immediately went to the website and sure enough, the above graphic was listed.
Yup, gobsmacked describes it nicely!
A while back I did a 2-post series about Imposter Syndrome. Those feelings most – if not all – authors feel about their work are valid in the times we live in. But….winning such a prestigious award as the BOOK BUYERS BEST (BBB) is something that definitely helps in removing those feelings of inadequacy and fear.
Thank you so much to the readers and judges of the Orange Country Chapter of RWA and congratulations to all the writers who entered, finaled, and put themselves “out there” to be judged. It’s not an easy thing to do, that’s for sure.
And now, because it’s true that you’re only as good as your last book…off I go to finish my current WIP!
Until next time ~ Peg
I hate doing this….braggin’ on myself. I wanted to write about my daughter and her first marathon but I already did that. So, I decided to brag on the one piece of good professional news I’ve gotten lately.
I came in 3rd place in the long contemporary category in the 2017 Pages from the Heart Contest.
The last 2 times I entered an unpublished piece in this contest I finaled as well and both those books went on to be published by Kensington/Lyrical Shine: Cooking with Kandy and A Shot at love ( which was originally titled Gemma’s Greek.)
The book that came in third this year is book 1 in my new Bridal series, so if history runs true to form…….you can finish that thought because I’m afraid if I say it’s gonna get published I’ll jinx it…
Duh! I just jinxed it!
Let’s see what the other authors in this #MFRWauthor blog hop have to brag on….
So, for the past several weeks, the Predators and Editors 2016 readers poll has been in effect. I will tell you truthfully, I was lobbying hard for a place in the ROMANCE SECTION and after all my arduous begging – I mean– hard work(!) I tied for 5th place. Not too shabby, considering the hundreds of entries.
I had a few people who are not involved with writing, publishing or anything related to either, ask me why I pushed so hard for a place in the contest results. I don’t get any prize money, or anything lucrative for coming in the top ten; I don’t automatically have an influx in my books sales. The answer, though, really is a simple one.
I wanted to come in as high as I could because of the exposure an event like this has. I am still a relatively unknown author. Yes, I’ve had 7 books published in 18 months and I have three more due out this year. I have begun to build my — for lack of a better word — following. But I still need to grow more readers and a good way to do that is with global exposure such as the P&E poll. Hopefully, since I did finish so high up, people who don’t know my work will take a chance and order the book that came in 5th place – A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. And if they like that one, they might try the others, as well.
The snowball effect of finding a new author is a proven thing. When I discovered Jill Shalvis 3 years ago I went out and bought as many of her backlist as I could find and now I have all her new stuff on pre-order. I don’t think I’m the only reader who does this. In fact, I know I’m not, after talking with other readers.
So, thanks to all who voted for me. I promise I won’t hound you anymore. Well, at least not until next year when P&E rolls around again!
For those of you who haven’t read A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin; to whet your appetite and — hopefully — you’ll want to read the rest!
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?
His back was to me and he was carrying a table, but after he put it down and turned around I got a good look at the front of him.
And Holy Mary, Mother of God, what a front he had.
Close cropped military style hair the color of wind blown wheat topped a head which stood – truly – head and shoulders above everyone else around. The guy had to be six-three at least. Sharp, etched cheekbones God cut with a knife, sat under oval eyes which looked deep and dark from where I stood. His face was a composite of planes and angles, the carved cheeks meeting up with a chiseled-from-stone chin. Hardened concrete looked softer than this guy’s jawline. His nose was perfectly fixed in the center of his face, the slight aquiline bend at the tip bringing to mind Michelangelo’s David, the cupid’s bow under it deep and pronounced. Clean shaven, his mouth was full and thick and – God help me – looked utterly kissable.
I could tell even with the chunky vest covering his torso, he was closer to thin than stocky, but if I could guess from the way his biceps pulled against his sleeves, he had some muscle to him.
And some pair of legs. They went on forever, from heaven to earth in a full, hard line.
I don’t know how long I stood there, just gawking with my mouth open looking like a cannoli waiting to be filled, but I’m being truthful when I say I couldn’t move. My feet were frozen to the ground, my knees had locked, and my hips weren’t taking me anywhere soon.
This was one beautiful man.
Okay, I’ll admit it. Until last year I didn’t even know what “growing your brand” meant. And if I’m really being honest, I didn’t know a person could be a brand.
Kim Kardashian changed that concept forever.
The reason I’m waxing prolific today about this branding topic is because I just finished a Goodreads giveaway for my newest release, A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. I’ve done a Goodreads giveaway for all of my books after they’ve been published, but this time I had more hits and requests than ever before, so that got me asking questions, evaluating, and thinking (always a dangerous occurrence!)
Two avenues of thought rushed through me when I saw the final number of requests for the book (613):
Do you see the difference in those 2 lines of thought? One is based on the genre of the giveaway, the other on name – or in this case – brand recognition.
When I was told I needed to come up with a brand by which readers would instantly be able to recognize a Peggy Jaeger book ( and I still get goosebumps when I say those 3 words together – Peggy, Jaeger, and book!) by the publishing powers that be, I thought and thought for days about what my books try to give the reader. A solid romance, for sure, with a happily ever after ending, but then aren’t all romances supposed to give the reader that? No, it needed to be different. Recognizable. Something that, when my name was read or said, would evoke the brand, like Timex – takes a licking and keeps on ticking – does. Do they even make Timex watches anymore, or am I really dating myself??”
After weeks of sleepless nights trying to figure this out, my daughter finally helped me narrow it down. What I write about are strong women, families, and men (hence, the romance). So, the Peggy Jaeger brand, when you hear the name associated with a book, tells you I write about Strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.
Simple. Genius, but simple. And remember-able ( is that a word? it should be.) And see how smart I am? I put the brand tagline in bold so when you read it, you’ll remember it. Who says you can’t teach an old dog a new trick? Or in my case, a middle-aged storyteller a new concept?
But back to the Goodreads giveaway.
My winners were chosen by Goodreads and I dutifully mailed off the paperback copies of the books, along with the special boxes I made for them ( see pix) and a nice thank you card for entering the contest. I’ve done that for each of the books I’ve given away and my hope is that the winners see how much I truly appreciate their entering. If they like the book they won, the hope is always they’ll want to read the other books listed.
So, a win/win all around. 3 readers won a book for the holidays and I (hopefully!) got 3 new reader-fans for the effort. Giveaways…to echo Martha Stewart (the Grand Dame of branding)…they’re a good thing!
Friday night I participated in Tena Stetler’s facebook party promoting her new Christmas release, A Witches’s Holiday Wedding A fun time was had by all, but that’s not the purpose of this little piece today.
I’ve participated in a few Facebook parties of late as a participating author. They are fast, frantic, just a tad manic and can be an excellent tool for finding new readers of your work, especially of you GIVE SOMETHING AWAY. Now, you might ask, why did she put those three words in such big letters?
Let me ‘splain.
When I first started getting published, several writers told me to never give my work away. Make your family and friends pay for your stuff, and don’t participate in any kind of blog or networking giveaway, they said. Why should you take something that you’ve slaved over for months on end, pouring all your heart and soul into it only, to give it away like yesterday’s stale bread? Well, their points seemed valid.
But…. ( and there’s always a but)
I’ve participated in about a half dozen blog hops and FB parties over the past year and, yes, I’ve given away ecopies of my books as prizes. And yes, I’ve done a Goodreads giveaway contests, and Netgalley, as well. And here’s what I’ve learned by going against that conventional wisdom.
As a new author, I am known to a finite number of people ( family and friends). All those people live with an hour of me. I am not recognizable on the street where I live since more than half my neighbors don’t know me, or me them. Since I didn’t have “A NAME” when I was first published – and by that I mean no one in End-of-the-Line Kansas, or Where-the-heck-are-we Arkansas knew who the h, e, double hockey sticks I was. They weren’t going to shell out 15 bucks for a paperback or $5.99 for an ecopy of a book by a writer they had never heard of. Money is money and people can’t be wasting their hard earned dollars on what may prove – to them – to be a disappointment. I understood that as a writer and understand it as a reader, myself.
All the giveaways, contests, and hops I participated in where I gave away copies of my books, brought me to brand new readers all over the country – the world, really – and once they were introduced to my work, they became fans, actually plunking down hard earned cash for the other books I’ve got on my list. So I may have given away about $100.00 worth of product over the past year, but I made it back in so many more ways that just monetarily, and for that, I’m glad I didn’t listen to the “advice” of others who cautioned me against doing so.
This is me, sticking out my tongue and saying Na-Na-Na- Na-Na! ( real mature, I know. Don’t judge me. ((HEEHEE)
When I’m acting my age you can find me here:
And if you didn’t get a free copy of my latest book A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS In any of the giveaways ( sorry!)<you can order your copy here in digital or paperback.