Tag Archives: #family #foodies

#backlistThursday 3.25.2021

 

This is the newest of all my backlist books and it just happens to be one of my absolute favs!
MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA came out in 2020 just in time for the Holiday RomCom reading public!!! This bit of a twisted tale of a frenemies to lovers stories is rich with family history and drama, and like all my San Valentino books, comedy as well.

 

 

 

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?

 

Advice for surviving in a big Italian family: Never let them see you sweat.

The moment I arrived at the deli I knew something was wrong.

The back door stood opened and unlocked, two things my obsessive/compulsive father made sure never happened. Since I was the first one to arrive every morning at the crack-ass of creation, and had to plug in the security code on the wall box in order to gain entry to the store, the door should have been locked and alarmed.

My daily bread delivery, courtesy of my cousin Regina and her bakery, sat outside the door in a large wooden crate. After grabbing it I hip checked the door wide open.

The second sign something was amiss were the lit lights in the entrance hallway. I arrived at work when it was still dark no matter if it were Daylight Savings time, or Standard, and I routinely had to fumble to find the wall switch and illuminate the back end of the deli.

Not today.

And then there was…the smell.

I’ve been around raw meat my entire life. I grew up in my mother’s kitchen and I’ve worked in the delicatessen my father owns and operates since I was ten years old. The aroma of animal blood is as recognizable to me as my mother’s knock-off L’air du temps. Although, admittedly, mama’s perfume smells way better.

The scent filling the air this morning was…wrong.

“Hello? Is someone here?”

An eerie sense of quiet surrounded me. I put the bread crate down on the linoleum floor and crept along the corridor leading to the front of the store. I slid my hand across the wall, my huge purse positioned in front of me like Wonder Woman’s golden shield of protection.

Being the oldest of six kids and the only girl in the mix, it takes a lot to scare me.

My brothers are, each and every one of them, a pain in the ass to their cores and I’d grown up the victim of their arguably stupid shenanigans too many times to count. Cooked linguini placed in my bed to look like worms; a farting cushion placed on my chair at the dinner table; toothpaste spread on my school lunch sandwich instead of peanut butter. More times than I could remember one of them would hide in my closet then jump out at me when I least expected it. Anything and everything dumb and dumber they could think up to annoy me, they’d done. And still did to this day if they thought they could get away with it. Chronological maturity hadn’t made its way to their brains yet and they all still acted liked little boys when it came to infuriating me.

This spine-tingling sense of unease rippling through me didn’t feel like one of their usual pranks.

But with my brothers, you never know.

 

 

Intrigued? here ya go : MMM

Reviews:

NNLight

Katie O’Sullivan

BookBub 

Until next week, Peeps. ~ Peg

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#BacklistThursday 3.18.2021

So, sticking with the San Valentino theme, this week’s #backlistthursday selection is from the Uncle Sonny side of the family and featured his only daughter, Regina, in CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS.

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?

 

from Regina San Valentino ~

“It had been a long, long time since a guy’s hands had been on me in anything resembling a carnal way. My ex had decamped to parts unknown five years ago after signing the divorce papers, and I’d been so busy rebuilding my life that adding any kind of relationship to it wasn’t even a notion.

Besides, with my hovering parents, one of whom worked for me while the other popped in daily to check up on their only daughter, I had enough on my plate fending off the men they wanted to introduce me to. Guys who, for the most part, had shady lifestyles, carried concealed, and owed my father innumerable favors. And by favors, I mean the kind that usually get signed for in blood and paid back the same way.

Welcome to mia famiglia.”

Also available in audio, here: Audible // and on Itunes under the title.

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#backlistThursday 3.11.2021

So while the San Valentino family isn’t exactly a series per se, I do seem to write a  family installation every Christmas or so. The first holiday book was A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and stars the Francesca and Joey side of the family.

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?

A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS is available in ebook, print and audiobook

Reviews:

Goodreads

Amazon

Bookbub

Until next time, peeps! Happy Reading ~ Peg

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#backlistThursday 2.11.2021 Just in time for #ValentinesDay – 3 WISHES ( A Candy Hearts Romance)

Valentine’s Day is just 3 days away and my backlist book today is my very first San Valentino RomCom 3 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!

Read a litte something from the book….

Staying open late can be a risk, with the thought of being robbed always a threat at the end of the day.

If the guy standing at the door, glancing around the shop, was a thief, then Dio mio, I wanted to be held up.

About six foot, he had hair the color of a deer’s pelt, with autumnal golds and browns shot together in a glorious patchwork that grazed the collar of his jacket and curled a little at the ends. He wore a faded brown bomber jacket over a shirt, and he had shoulders almost as wide as my doorway. A pair of well-worn jeans covered his mile-long legs, and the fabric on the stress points at his knees was practically white.

“We’re about to close,” I heard myself say. “Can I help you?”

It was at that moment he looked over at me.

His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth, and deep. And his mouth—mother of God—his mouth. Full, thick, beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.

“Sorry,” he said. Those fabulous lips pulled up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”

So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.

Intrigued? Here ya go: 3 Wishes

It’s also available in Audio:

 

 

Happy Valentines Day, peeps ~ Peg

Looking for me? Here I am:Blog me // Tweet me // Buy my books // Friend me // Pin me // read me // picture me // watch me // review me

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A win and a much needed ego boost!

So, last week I reported that I had 3 book in the finals of the N.N. Light’s Book Heaven Book of the Year awards and today I am beyond pleased to announce MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA WON it’s category – Holiday Romance!!! Since this is a holiday themed RomCom and Christmas is 2 days way, this just felt extra special!

In a time when all around us looks dark and scary, reading something lighthearted is one way to cope with the depression and fear that is inherent in this pandemic. If you need a little comedic uptick, or are just looking for light reading to take you away for a few hours, I hope you will consider purchasing this book for yourself – or even as a holiday gift for someone else who might need a good laugh to get through a bad day.

And now I’m off to bask in this ego boost!!!

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

Looking for me? Here I am:

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~ Instagram~ Pinterest:~ LinkedIn ~ Amazon Author Page:~ Authors database~ Triberr

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Finally! BAKED WITH LOVE releases into the bookreading world!

It’s been a little over a year since book 2 in the MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series released, so I am sososososo happy BAKED WITH LOVE, book 3 is finally — FINALLY – here!

Of the 3 O’Dowd sisters, I must confess, Maureen is my favorite. Quiet and shy, but possessing a backbone of steel, this youngest sister has waited a lifetime for her own HEA and it was a rocky road the whole way. A secret that she needs to keep hidden from those she loves best is about to be revealed and Maureen is terrified the people who love her best- including Police Chief Lucas Alexander – will want nothing more to do with her.

I’m so happy to introduce Maureen to you all and I hope you love her as much as I do!!

BAKED WITH LOVE ( A Match Made in Heaven, Book 3)

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

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

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

Book trailer:

Here’s a little release day game for you. Nancy Fraser made me a puzzle of the cover. It took me a long time to get all the pieces, so if you click here, PUZZLE and put the book cover together, and time yourself ( there’s a time in the the game) and then send me your time in the comments section, I promise if you beat my time ( which I’m not gonna tell until tomorrow!) I’ll send you a special gift!!!

Reviews:

Goodreads

Long and Short Reviews

Bookbub

And if you haven’t read books 1 and 2 in the series, don’t worry – you can read them out of order. But…

Dearly Beloved ( book 1)

Today, Tomorrow, Always ( Book 2)

 

Happy reading peeps~ I’m going out to celebrate and have…cake! ~ peg

 

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#sundaySnippet 12.6.2020

Since BAKED WITH LOVE releases in 3 more days ( YAY!!!!) I thought today’s snippet should be from the book to whet your bookreading appetites.

In this little snippet, Maureen and Lucas are discussing Lucas’s teenaged son’s first day of working at Inn Heaven – Maureen’s B&B. We get a little glimpse of Lucas’s feelings for Maureen – as does she – and for the first time see that he thinks more of her than just as a friend.

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

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

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

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

“—if it was with you.”

My hand stopped rubbing the porcelain. Okay, what?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m pretty sure I shuddered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You’re gonna have a goose egg.”

“And whose fault is that?” I mumbled.

“Better get some ice on it, fast.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I may have moaned.

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

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

“Dad?” We both blinked at the sound.
 “What’s going on?”

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

Intrigued? You can preorder your copy here and have it when it releases on 12.9.2020 :BWL

And, if you’d like a PRINT version of the book, My website store is selling them for only $10.00 Waaaay below every retailer – including Amazon. You can order a copy here: BWL 

And…….if you’d like to get an autographed print copy for free, you can enter to win 1 0f 3 copies in my Goodreads Giveaway, here: GRG

So many ways to read!!!

Happy Sunday, peeps ~ Peg

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Book of the Month from #LASR… Vote for BAKED WITH LOVE

BAKED WITH LOVE (A match Made in Heaven, bk 3) doesn’t even release until next Wednesday, 12.9, but it’s already up for BOOK OF THE MONTH over on Long and Short reviews. The reason it is is because of the BEST BOOK RATING the book received earlier in the month. In case you missed it, here’s the review: LASR

You can vote for the book until tonight, here: BOM

Thanks if you do decide to vote for it!
You can also enter to win 1 of 3 signed print copies of the book over on my Goodreads Giveaway. Here’s the link to enter: GOODREADS

(Don’t click the ENTER GIVEAWAY link in the picture. It’s not activated for this blog.)

And…..one more, then I promise I’m done!
If you like PRINT editions of your book, BAKED WITH LOVE is available in my Website store for only $10.00 per copy – waaaaaay below any retailer. Order you cope today and you’ll have it before the book even releases next week! Here’s the link to order any of the books in the store: PEGGYS BOOK STORE

Good luck to all who enter the Goodreads Giveaway, and thanks to all who vote for me for Book Of The Month.

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

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#ShopSmall All writers are small business owners…

There’s no better time to Shop Local and support Small businesses than during this pandemic. The times of going to big malls should be over until this scourge is eradicated. It’s so much easier to shop on line or in your own home town ( if you can). And I fully believe that every single writer is their own small business, because sales are important to a writer garnering new readers.

So, having said that, I invite you to visit my website store for print book gift items for the romance book lovers on your list- or for yourself. Every print book is priced way below even what Amazon can offer. WEBSITE STORE

And please, if you can, shop local stores – not only today – but all year round. This economy needs small business owners and people to support them.

Happy shopping, peeps. ~ Peg

Looking for me? Here I am:

Website: ~ Facebook~ Twitter~ Goodreads~ BookBub~ YouTube

~ Instagram~ Pinterest:~ LinkedIn ~ Amazon Author Page:~ Authors database~ Triberr

 

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

From my house to yours…the Happiest of Thanksgiving days.

It may not seem like we have much to be thankful for this year, but if you’ve got your health, your family, and your freedom, that’s a good start. There is always something to be grateful and thankful for in life….

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