Tag Archives: #family #foodies

#GoddessFishTour for MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA starts today!

Please join me as I travel around to a host of blog sites, promoting my Holiday RomCom for 2020, MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA

Here’s the schedule.

September 28: Christine Young
September 29: Literary Gold
September 30: Andi’s Book Reviews
October 1: The Obsessed Reader
October 2: Read Your Writes Book Reviews
October 5: Locks, Hooks and Books
October 6: Fabulous and Brunette
October 7: Why I Cant Stop Reading
October 8: It’s Raining Books
October 9: All the Ups and Downs
October 12: Iron Canuck Reviews and More
October 13: The Pen and Muse Book Reviews
October 13: Lisa Everyday Reads
October 14: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
October 15: Our Town Book Reviews
October 16: A Writer’s Life
October 19: Two Ends of the Pen
October 20: Danita Minnis
October 21: Long and Short Reviews
October 22: Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
October 23: Unabridged Andra’s

Be sure to visit these wonder sites because there’s a rafflecopter at each one! I’ll be awarding a $10.00 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn winner – but you must visit and comment!!!

See you on tour!

Leave a comment

Filed under Goddess Fish Tours and Promotion

#SundaySnippet 9.20.2020

I never got around to doing  teaser Thursday this week, so today’s alliteration will do. Hee hee.

From my upcoming release of MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA. Meeting the guy 18 years later that you gave more than your heart to when you were 17 is awkward anywhere it happens. When it occurs right after you’ve found a murdered body? Well, it’s traumatic to say the very least.

I knew those eyes.

Intimately.

When they weren’t filled with anger and pain, like they were right now, I knew how captivating they could be. The palest of blue and heavily lashed, they tilted up a tiny bit at the corners. Jealousy ramped through me. How unfair was it a man was gifted eyes like this when I’d been cursed with the most dull and boring brown color ever blended?

Light hair, a mix of natural honey and wheat husks, straight and clipped short covered his head. Shoulders spanning almost as wide as the doorframe were covered by a dark tan sports jacket, the pants a deeper hue of the same color palette.

“Donna,” Angelo said, his voice thick with fear, “why’d you attack Detective Roma?”

“I didn’t attack…wait? Detective?”

I tried to lick some moisture back into my lips but my salivary glands had gone dormant during the flight or fight response. I glanced at each of the men standing in front me, stopping last on the one Ange had referred to as a detective.

With one hand still cupping his jaw where my knee connected, the man pierced me with his gorgeous gaze and just like I had when I’d been seventeen and climbed into the back seat of his brand new Z8, I lost what little sanity I still had.

“Hey Donna,” Tony Roma said, shaking his head. “Long time and all. I see you’re still as sweet and mild mannered as ever.”

Intrigued? You can preorder it now or wait until 10.14.2020 to get it. Personally, I love me a pre-order.

hee hee.

Pre order here: MMM

Add it to your Goodreads WANT TO READ list here: MMM

Looking for me? Follow me, here – after you click on the link, just click on one of the icons.: FOLLOW  ME

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Romance, RomCom

#TeaserThursday 9.3.2020

So since I had my cover reveal for MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA the other day, I figured today’s tease should be from that book so I can whet your Holiday book-reading appetite. 

Hee hee

Madonna San Valentino, as the oldest child and the only girl of the six kids, is the most responsible and least annoying one of the bunch. Her brothers are, for lack of a better phrase, all pains in the ass, each and every one, and are so wrapped up in their own worlds, they don’t have time for things going on right under their noses, as evidence by this little snippet.

To set the scene, Madonna has just arrived at her parent’s house for the weekly family dinner. All her sisters-in-law are in the kitchen helping Mama get ready for dinner, while her brothers are all lounging around in the den.

Most Italian’s have big family dinners on Sundays after attending morning mass. Since our store was open from nine until three on Sundays, my mother had designated Friday evenings for family gathering time.

In the beginning when she’d first issued the edict, my brothers, in their typical pain-in-the-ass way, had voiced their objections loudly and obnoxiously. Thankfully, their wives had all adopted the most effective communication techniques to get through to them, learned from my grandmother. Guilt, and a well placed head slap.

The guilt was easy. A few ‘we don’t know how long we’re gonna be blessed at having your parents around. They’re not young anymore-s,’ from my sisters-in-law, aimed with a head tick and pretty soon my brothers stopped grumbling and found their way to Mama’s table once a week.

When the grandkids started coming along, the table grew tighter to sit around and my brothers thought this was their get outta dinner free card.

Nope.

Daddy bought a bigger dining room table at his wife’s request and then used the old one for the growing horde of kids.

You don’t get between an Italian mama and her family.

The house I’d grown up in was warm and inviting when I came through the front door, three boxes filled with a half dozen éclairs each, in my arms. The mouthwatering aroma of mama’s pork loin wafted around me and drew me straight to the kitchen, my nose leading the way.

As usual on family dinner night, the kitchen was a cloud of estrogen. My four sisters-in-law, two heavily pregnant, were all at various spots doing whatever task Mama had given them to get dinner ready and on the table by the time my father walked through the door.

Maria Louisa, my brother Costa’s wife, sat at the kitchen table nursing her ten-month-old son, Donatello. While one hand cradled the baby at her breast, the other sliced fresh, homemade bread.

Lisa and Haley, the twin’s wives – and my ready-to-pop pregnant sisters-in-law– were each chored with salad making. Lisa cut vegetables while Haley mixed the from-scratch salad dressing my mother insisted on serving from her own grandmother’s handed-down recipe. None’a dat bottled crap on my table was Mama’s motto.

Margaret Rose, my brother Giacomo’s wife stood at the stove, stirring the tomato gravy for the pasta. Her twins, year old Rocco and Carlo were nowhere to be seen. I assumed they were in the living room with their father and the rest of my brothers and nephews.

“Why are there never any men in here doing dinner prep?” I asked, giving Mama’s cheek a kiss.

“Idioti.” She clucked her tongue as I went around the room bussing the girls. “I don’t want them in my kitchen. They make more work for me because they can’t follow simple directions. The girls know what to do without being told fifty times.”

I put the boxes of éclairs on top of the refrigerator next to the cookies and cheesecake. Dessert was a course never missed in this household.

“What can I do?”

“Go open the vino that’s on the table. Let it breathe for a bit.”

As far as chores went this one was easy. I think she gave it to me because she knew I’d been on my feet since five. Her views on working women vs. stay at home moms, which my sisters-in-law all were, was pretty funny. While managing and running a deli wasn’t easy, it was way less exhausting than chasing after toddlers all day long, or being at the beck and call of nursing babies every hour or two. Plus, keeping the house clean, the meals made, and everyone safe. And let’s not forget having to deal with my brothers. The girls should be getting combat pay for that alone.

From the dining room already set for dinner with nonna’s wedding china, the noise level coming from the adjoining room clued me in to where my brothers were. I snuck a peek into the den and sure enough, all five of them were sprawled around the room on various chairs and couches, bottles of beer in their hands and the television playing some dvr’d basketball game.

My brothers were all blessed with mama’s fair genetic makeup. Varying shades of brilliant blue eyes, light brown-to-blond hair, and olive complexions encompassed them all. When I’d been a kid I always wondered if I was adopted because I didn’t look anything like them. As I got older and studied science in school it made more sense to me why I took after my father.

My brothers varied in age from twenty-nine year old Costa, the closest in age to me, down to the twenty-eight year old twins Vincenzo and Vito, Giacomo at twenty-six, and then the baby of the family and the only boy not married, twenty-one-year-old Rafael.

I was twelve years old when Raffie came into the world and it’s safe to say I was more his mother than his sister at times. A deep depression gripped my mother after she delivered him and she spent most of the first year of his life in bed. Thankfully, nonna came to stay with us and ran the house so daddy could work, while I helped in whatever way I could. Most of the time it meant taking care of the baby when I got home from the deli and making sure the other boys didn’t kill themselves, or him, with their horseplay and rambunctiousness.

One look in the den and I felt like history was repeating itself because Giacomo’s twins were face down on the carpet, lying on top of one another, their limbs all twined together, grunting baby noises coming from deep down in their little bodies. Rocco, or maybe Carlo, was on top, unintentionally smothering his brother whose face he was sitting on, smashed flat into the carpet and making breathing impossible.

My brothers, engrossed in the game playing on television, were clueless to the potential disaster right in front of them.

I’d learned long ago yelling at them served no purpose. They were all masters at the art of ignoring me.

I made my way to the babies and, silently, lifted Rocco – or maybe Carlo – off his brother with one hand, the other flipping Carlo – or maybe Rocco – so he was supine. His little face was pale, his lips ringed with blue, but he took a huge breath, startled once, and then let out a bloodcurdling screech sounding remarkably like the wail his father had made back in his own baby days.

All five pair of male eyes turned to me at the sound. Not one of them moved from their comfy positions.

“Hey, Donna,” Giacomo said. “Everything okay?”

“Marvy,” I mumbled, hoisting a boy onto each hip, one of them silent, the other screaming like he was spewing out a lung or being dismembered. “I’m bringing the boys to their mother,” I said, wincing from the earsplitting shrieking. I wouldn’t be surprised if my left ear went deaf before the night ended.

Giacomo toasted me with his beer and said, “Thanks, sis,” his attention already focused back on the game.

In the kitchen I handed the screaming baby over to his mother and told her how I’d found her sons. It wasn’t my job any longer to discipline or try to guide my brothers. They had wives for that now. And from the look of abject fury on Margaret Rose’s face I knew Giacomo would be getting his comeuppance later on when they were home.

I didn’t feel an iota of pity for him.

With the fratricidal wannabe glued to my hip, I went back to the dining room and finally opened the wine bottle single handedly.

Intrigued? If so, you can preorder your ecopy here : mmm

The print copy will available in October.

Don’t forget to add it to your GOODREADS Want to read List

Until next time, peeps. Happy reading! ~ peg

Leave a comment

Filed under Family Saga

#Coverreveal for Mistletoe, Mobsters, & Mozzarella A Holiday 2020 #RomCom

I’m so excited to show you the cover of my 10.14.2020 release of my newest Holiday RomCom, MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA.

It’s the prefect depiction of my heroine and hero, Madonna and Tony.

The ebook is up for preorder now, here: MMM and the print copy will be available soon.

I’m doing an exclusive Kindle offer for the book.

Finding a body in the freezer of the family deli isn’t the way Madonna San Valentino planned to start her day.

Adding insult to injury, the investigating detective is the one guy she’s never been able to forget. After seven minutes of heaven in the back seat of his car when they were teenagers, Tony Roma skipped town without so much as a thanks for the memory.

Just when Madonna thinks the present situation can’t get any worse, Tony is ordered to go undercover at the deli to ferret out a killer. Forced to work together, she vows to keep their relationship cool and professional. But with the sexy, longing looks he tosses her at every turn, Madonna’s resolve is weakening.

With Christmas drawing closer and Tony’s investigation taking an unexpected turn, Madonna is at her wit’s end. Can she really be falling for him again? And will he wind up leaving her broken hearted and alone like the last time?

 

Looking for me? I’m here: FOLLOW ME

Cover design for Mistletoe, Mobsters, & Mozzarella is by: Just. Write. Creations  J.M. Walker

3 Comments

Filed under Romance, RomCom

#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

Leave a comment

Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing

#SundaySnippet 6.14.2020

In honor of my stint on LA Talk Radio the other night, today I’m offering up a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from my book A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, my first foray into Romantic suspense lite. In this scene, Abby finally realizes that Rick means business when it comes to sticking to her like glue until her stalker is caught.

“You’re really going to spend the night? Here?” she finally asked.

“And every other night until Genocardi is caught.”

She went stone still. “He doesn’t know where I live.”

“You can’t be sure of that. Neither can I, so…” He lifted his hands, palms up.

It was a wonder blood wasn’t seeping through her lips from the intense way she was biting down on her cheek.

“Look.” He leaned a hip against the sink, folded his arms across his chest. “I know you think there’s no worry or danger to you from this guy. But in my professional opinion—and please remember what I do for a living—you can never underestimate someone who’s gone off the deep end like this guy has. He may not be targeting you, may have forgotten all about you, but I seriously doubt it.”

She sighed, snuggled the cat closer, and buried her face in its fur.

“Josh can assign someone who’ll keep you as safe as I can. But do you really want someone you don’t know following you around all day? Possibly for several days?”

“God, no. I’d hate that.”

“Then isn’t it better I’m the one? You know me. You can trust me. You do trust me, right?”

Without hesitating, she replied, “Of course I do.”

He nodded again, relieved by her answer. He pushed off the counter, took a few steps toward her, and then reached out a hand to rub the cat’s neck as she was doing.

“I know this is hard for you,” he said, hiking his voice to be heard over Moonlight’s thunderous vocal vibrations. “Being invaded, having your privacy and your quiet life infringed upon. I’d be mad, too.”

“I’m not mad,” she said. “Just…inconvenienced.”

“Yeah, I get that. It won’t be for long, though, I’m sure. Your cop buddy will find Genocardi. As soon as the threat is gone, I’ll be out of your hair.”

She stared at him for a moment over the cat’s head. “You might want to grab my law book again, Bannerman.”

“Why?”

“Your argument’s pretty solid on all levels. Almost lawyer-worthy.”

“Now, there’s no need to be insulting, Abigail.” He pulled himself up to his full height and glared down his nose at her.

He was pleased when she laughed, since it had been his intent. “Go on and do whatever you need to do. I’ve got stuff to do as well,” he told her.

With one final glance at him, she moved from the kitchen, the cat still in her arms.

Intrigued? You can purchase your own copy here:

Amazon // B&N // Ibooks

A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK

Elite bodyguard and P.I. Rick Bannerman’s job is to protect. He doesn’t get emotional with his clients, but when a woman from his past is threatened, his next job becomes personal.

Family lawyer Abigail Laine is the target of a client’s vengeful husband, but refuses Rick’s offer of protection. He walked away from her four years ago, and she swore to forget him.

Now her reluctance to accept his help could cost Abby her life.

2 Comments

Filed under A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK

a #Booksweeps follow for #sweetromance readers

 

Today, I have a fun surprise to share with you…another way to spend you self isolation and quarantine life!!

I’ve teamed up with 30 fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Sweet Contemporary Romance to 2 lucky winners!

Oh, and did I mention the Grand Prize winner gets a BRAND NEW eReader? 😁

 

You can win my sweet novella 3 WISHES  plus books from other bestselling sweet romance writers.

Do wishes have expiration dates?  Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her wish!

 

Enter the giveaway by clicking here 👉 bit.ly/SweetRom-Apr2020

Good luck and enjoy!

1 Comment

Filed under 3 Wishes

#SundaySnippet 2.16.2020

So, the other day I sent off the manuscript for the final book in my Match Made in Heaven series, BAKED WITH LOVE, to my editor at Wild Rose Press. Fingers crossed she likes it.

I get a great deal of inspiration for writing my characters from my PInterest Boards. I have a few for Baked with Love you can troll thru:

Maureen’s Aprons //  Nanny Fee // Maureen and Lucas

Below is the opening scene I’ve written for the book. Here’s hoping it stays as is when it gets edited, because I lovelovelove this scene so much! Hope you do, too.

Chapter 1

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.”

“Yeah, well, your sister is one of the smartest people I know. Anyway. Nora doesn’t want to leave Robert home alone. He’s too old for a babysitter, but at fifteen, still too young to be left to his own defenses. He just started driver’s ed and doesn’t have a valid license yet, so it was easier to take him while she’s gone.”

“So he’s gonna stay with you and your dad until they get back?”

“Yeah.”

“Why don’t you sound happy? Whenever Robert’s visited for school breaks before you’ve always been thrilled since you don’t get to see him as much since they moved.”

He huffed out another breath and leaned a shoulder against the wall. My pregnant sister wasn’t the only one who was tired.

“I’m not not happy he’s coming to stay. It’s more, things with dad now aren’t good and I’m afraid he’s gonna make the kid’s life miserable with all his complaining and griping. Last time Robert came for a weekend all dad did was harp on him. Get a haircut, stand up straight, stop mumbling. Poor kid couldn’t wait to get back to his mother, and that’s saying something, because she’s almost as bad. I don’t want him to spend all his time with his grandfather while he’s here, getting criticized for merely breathing.”

“I’m assuming this is where the favor you need from me comes in?”

He nodded. “The kid needs something to occupy him while he’s here. I’ve gotta work and I can’t take any time. I don’t want him sitting home all day fighting with dad or locked in his room playing video games. I want him to get out of the house. Get a job. You hire high school kids to bus tables and help serve. I’m hoping you’ll take Robert on as summer crew. Then, I’ll know where he is during the day, he’ll earn a little money of his own, and I won’t have to worry about coming home to World War III every night. Plus…”

“Plus?”

“Well, if he’s with you I won’t…worry about him. I know he’ll be in good hands. You’ll feed him and watch out for him like he was one of your own. Like you do everyone else.”

To say I was thrilled by the offhanded compliment was an understatement. Even if I wasn’t on the lookout for extra help, I would have hired Lucas’s son.

“Sure. I can always use another body, especially in the summer when I’ve got a full house every weekend from Colleen’s wedding parties.”

Lucas’s shoulders dropped a couple of degrees from where they’d stationed themselves at his ears and he let out a breath filled with relief. “Thanks, Maureen. Really.”

I waved my hand at him. “Don’t worry about it. When does he get here?”

“Sunday morning. Nora’s dropping him off before she leaves for the airport.”

I nodded. “Get him all unpacked and settled and then you can bring him by Monday. I’ll go over everything with him then, okay?”

“More than okay. Again, I can’t thank you enough. You’re truly a lifesaver.” He took my hand and squeezed it. Lucas had done this hundreds of times over the years and like every other time he had, the wiring in my heart went a little haywire.

And like every other time, I swallowed the temptation to tug on his hand and pull him close enough so I could kiss him.

“Any time okay?” He let my hand go and I had to physically refrain myself from pulling it back.

“After breakfast service would be good, so around ten-ish?”

He nodded. Whatever he was going to say was cut off by the beeper at his waistband blaring.

“Sorry.” A quick glance at it and he shoved his hat back on his head. “Duty calls.” He grinned. “See you Monday.”

I waited until he walked out the Inn’s front doors before going back to the kitchen. In all honesty I needed a moment alone to center myself. Seeing Lucas, no matter when or where, always made my insides flutter, my toes tingle, and my heart beat faster.

From the time I’d turned nine Lucas Alexander had been the only man I’d ever loved. At eighteen, nine years older than me, he’d been my brother-in-law’s best friend from the cradle and a part of our family since I was a baby. But the first time I’d ever spied him in his army uniform I’d lost my heart forever. Cliché though it is, Lucas in a uniform had slayed me, even as a little girl. Twenty-plus years later I still felt the same way whenever I saw him in his police attire.

And in his regular clothes, too.

Colleen was still in her chair, feet up, the plates in front of her now empty, and her chin kissing her chest again. I had to smile. This was the sister who defined the term perpetual motion. To see her actually napping during daylight hours was akin to seeing a leprechaun’s pot’o gold. This pregnancy, her first at the age of thirty-seven, was weighing heavily on her and zapping the energy she was blessed with. I didn’t have the heart to rouse her.

With as little noise as I could, I went about tidying the kitchen. The sharp ping of her cell phone signaling an incoming text ten minutes later called her slumber to an end.

She startled, blinked a few times, then tugged her phone from her pocket. No one I knew could type faster than my sister. A series of rapid-fire finger taps and then the whoosh of her text being sent filled the room.

“Did I fall asleep?” she asked, while she stretched her arms high above her head.

“Just for a few minutes. I’m betting this was the first time you’ve sat all day.”

With another of those soul-weary sighs, she hefted her feet from the chair and stood. Another full body stretch, then she said, “No rest for the wicked. Or wedding planners the day before a big wedding.”

“Where are you off to now?”
“The church, the spa to check tomorrow’s appointments, the printers to pick up the programs for the ceremony. Then back to the office for a conference call.” She ticked each stop off on her fingers. “I can check off the rehearsal and reception right now. Everything set?”

“All taken care of. When you all get back from the rehearsal, I’ll start service. Some of the non-bridal party guests have already begun arriving. I had Janie put all the goodiebags in their rooms this morning. The bridal suite is all set for tomorrow. I have the champagne in the cooler and I’ll put it in the room during the reception.” I swiped a hand toward the cupcakes I’d been decorating when she arrived. “In lieu of the cake your bride didn’t want, I’ve got the cupcakes she did all ready to go.”

Colleen sighed and kissed my cheek. “I honestly don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“You’d survive but you wouldn’t get the family discount or the personal service-with-a-smile you’re used to.”

Her laugh warmed my heart.

“Before you go,” I moved to my industrial refrigerator, pulled out a bundle of aluminum foils and put them in a shopping bag. “Here. Leftovers from yesterday for you and Slade. Now you don’t have to cook tonight.”

Colleen took the bag and then tugged me into her arms for a full body hug, not an easy accomplishment with her belly bump in the way.

“I simply adore you,” she said, with another cheek kiss. “My husband does, as well. You take care of us better than anyone.”

“I aim to please.”

“Speaking of, what did Lucas want?”

I glared at her. “How did you take ‘I am to please’ and equate it with Lucas?”

“He’s just another person in your realm who adores you and who you take care of.”

I shook my head. “Okay, first? He adores my cooking, not me. And second? My realm? Really, Coll? You make me sound like some imperial and benevolent ruler.”

“Benevolent for sure. I won’t go so far as to call you a ruler because then I’d be your subject and I’m older than you, so, no way.”

Her laugh drew one from me.

“And as far as Lucas adoring your cooking and not you, they’re one and the same, sis. Now, why was he here?” She held up the shopping bag. “To mooch one of these go-bags for him and his dad?”

She wasn’t wrong in asking if I’d given him his own to take. More times than not, Lucas would stop by on his way home after a long day for a quick cup of coffee and a chat. He never left empty handed if Sarah—my assistant—or me had anything to say about it.

I explained about Robert Alexander and the favor Lucas had asked me.

“Win win for you,” she said. “You get extra help, which I know you can always use, plus you get another person to take under your smother-love maternal wing and care for.”

“What do you mean?”

“You know exactly what I mean, Maureen Angela Bernadette.” She flapped her free hand in the air like she was waving a wand. “You may be the baby in our family, but you act more like a mother hen any day of the week. You cook for us, look out for us, heck, you even research solutions to problems like you did when Cathy’s dog got sick, or when I was suffering through that awful early stage morning sickness. Adding Lucas’s son, a teenaged boy who’s probably got all the angst and raging emotions inherent in the breed under your wing, and I bet my secret stash of Peppermint Patties the kid’s never gonna look at his own mother the same way again.” She kissed my cheek one more time and said, “I’ve gotta go, so toodles. I’ll see you later when I come back to escort the bridal party to the church. Thanks for lunch.” She lifted the bag. “And dinner.”

To her retreating back I said, “Just FYI, it’s not such a secret stash. We all know where you keep your candy.”

Her response was to toss me a backhanded wave as she went through the doors of the Inn.

With my hands fisted on my hips I shook my head.

So what if I tend to spoil the people I love? Make sure they got enough to eat? Always have a bed ready they can crash in, or a willing ear they can confide in? They deserve it. It’s my humble opinion if more people showed how much they cared about one another, instead of simply tossing out an offhanded I love you every now and again, people, in general, would be much happier.

If that’s smothering, so be it.

Back in my kitchen I washed Colleen’s dishes, then reheated my cup of untouched tea. While I drank it, I planned the next few days in my head and went over the staffing I’d need for the busy weeks ahead of me. When I added Robert Alexander’s name to my mentally tally, it was his father’s ruggedly handsome face that popped into my mind’s eye.

The exhaustion I saw floating in his eyes was worrying. Having his aged and ailing father living with him was taking a toll on Lucas’s mental wellbeing. Hogan Alexander cornered the market on the term curmudgeon. He’d been crabby and ill-tempered ever since I could remember. My grandmother claimed it was because his wife up and left him after sixteen years of marriage, saddling him with a teenaged son Hogan didn’t know how to relate to. The fact Lucas grew to such a wonderful man and upstanding citizen was one of the wonders of the modern world. Cursed with a father who doled out complaints instead of compliments and a mother who left to find her self at the age of forty, Lucas could so easily have gone to the dark side. Instead, he’d enlisted in the army with his best friend, served three tours, then come home to roost.

When his own marriage had gone south, Lucas didn’t turn bitter as his father had, but made every effort he could to be a good father to his son.

A quick glance at the wall clock and I stopped my wool-gathering. I had to get the private dining room ready for Colleen’s bride’s rehearsal dinner. Before though, I needed to wrap the chocolate pops and get them to the Maid of Honor. Remembering the look of confused horror on Lucas’s face when he spied them brought a smile to my own.

But then, just thinking of him always did.

Yeah, I know it’s a long one, but every word I truly loved writing!!!

I’ll let you know about publishing details if and when I have them!

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

4 Comments

Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

February 14th is almost here. Treat yourself to a little love!

When I was a kid the only Valentine’s Day cards I ever received were the ones kids were forced to bring to school and distribute to everyone in the class so no one would be left out.

Pathetic, I know.

When I got older and my school mates weren’t required to pass around cards to everyone in the class…I went home empty handed every Feb. 14th.

Still pathetic, I know!

I’m old now, married for 100+ years (!) and I still don’t get Valentine’s Day cards cuz. hubby believes the day – like so many other “HOLIDAYS” was invented by Hallmark to push cards. He’s probably not wrong, hee hee.

But I don’t care about those cards anymore because I’ve got the one thing Valentine’s day typifies: everlasting love with my soulmate, so I consider that a win!

This Valentine’s day, I’m  partnering with a bunch of other romance writers in a fabulous  MEGA VALENTINE’S DAY ROMANCE GIVEAWAY

ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN! Click on this link for a chance: rafflecopter

Grand prize of High Def Kindle Fire and more than fifty romance novels, including award winners and New York Times and USA Today Best Sellers! All you have to do is follow me and other romance authors on BookBub. The more profiles you like, the more times you’re entered.

Amazon Gift Cards for two lucky runner ups!

Also, a few years ago I wrote a little story for the CANDY HEARTS ROMANCE series from Wild Rose Press titled 3 WISHES in which a girl approaching her 30th birthday longs for an everlasting kind of love in her life. That little story has been one of my best sellers over the years and since Feb.14 is this week, I thought I’d give it a little promo here for those who haven’t yet read it.

WISHES – A CANDY HEARTS ROMANCE

Do wishes have expiration dates?  Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her wish!

Available here:

Amazon //  Nook //i-books // Kobo // Books-a-Million // Google  play

And if the person you’re looking for a gift for is an audiobook lover, well, I’ve got you covered because 3 WISHES is also available in audio here: Audible // i-tunes

Happy Valentine’ Day, peeps ~ Peg ( who is no longer pathetic!)

And if you’re looking for me, I’m usually here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me // Watch me

Leave a comment

Filed under 3 Wishes, Romance, Romance Books, RomCom, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

25 Days of Holiday Romance day # 25 – Christmas & Cannolis

is it a bad thing that I put my own Holiday books up on this list?

Naaaaah.

Today, I’ve got my second San Valentino Christmas book, CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS for you.

 

WINNER OF THE 2019 OKRWA INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL AWARDS for BEST CONTEMPORARY NOVEL!WINNER OF THE 2019 NERFA AWARD FOR CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Can a second chance at love heal a broken heart? 

With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him.
Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself–and his company’s reputation–in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.

Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart? Readers who enjoy the following kinds of stories will love CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS: big families, Holiday romance, RomCom, surviving loss, moving on, foodies, bakers, Christmas

Amazon Purchase link

About the author: me!!

Reviews for C&C

1 Comment

Filed under RomCom, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor