Tag Archives: Grief and Loss

1 Week Countdown to HOPE’S DREAM (Deerbourne Inn) #WRPbks

 


In just one week my addition to the new series from Wild Rose Press, HOPE’S DREAM ( Deerbourne Inn Novella) goes livelivelive!

I can’t wait to share this story with you all. It’s the second book released in the series and continues the storyline of the Vermont inn and the people of the tiny town of Willow Springs.

Hope Kildaire gave up her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner when a car accident killed her father and left her mother an invalid. Working two jobs and caring for her mother leaves the twenty-seven-year-old with no time for fun or relationships. When a law firm representing her paternal grandparents sends her several letters, Hope ignores them. She despises the family who disowned her father and wants nothing to do with them.

Lawyer Tyler Coleman’s job is simply to obtain Hope’s signature on a legal document. Getting it is harder than planned, though, when an unexpected attraction blossoms between them. If Ty is honest with Hope about why he’s in Willow Springs, he’ll fulfill his assignment but may risk hurting her.

The opportunity to have everything she’s ever desired is at Hope’s fingertips. Will her dream come true at the expense of Tyler’s love?

Buy links for HOPE’S DREAM:

Amazon //  The Wild Rose Press // Nook // iTunes

An you can start the series from the beginning with the origination novella,  By Reservation Only, by Barbara Edwards

 

 

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Presenting, my friend and talented #author, Mona Sedrak


Today is a real treat for me. Three years ago I attended my first NJRWA conference and met this lovely lady I’m about to introduce you to. We sat together in a Margie Lawson masterclass and just clicked! I’ve watched her writing career grow and flourish since then, and now I am proud to call her one of my dear Wild Rose Press sistahs! Mona Sedrak is a fabulous, lyrical, and emotional writer and her new book SIX MONTHS will have you crying and simultaneously cheering. I could wax on for hours about her writing style and how she treats a very emotional subject, but I think I’ll let her tell you all a little about herself and her book, instead.

Here’s my friend, Mona Sedrak, in her own words.

Mona, The Writer 

  1. What drives you to write?

Writing has always been an outlet for me­­––it allows me to express myself and make sense of my world. In many ways, writing is freeing. When I write, I leave the world I live in and enter a new world of my creation. I enjoy writing stories that emulate the real world and the challenges women and men encounter and overcome. I am a huge romantic and really believe love can conquer all.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?

I mainly write contemporary/ sweet romance. Writing about strong women, their families, and the men in their lives comes naturally. While romance is at the center of every story I write, my books are a highly emotional ride that portray the importance of family bonds and treasured friendships.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?

I am an avid reader and I read just about everything in the romance genre–– from historical to MC novels, to the occasional erotic romance. I love getting lost in a well-build story with fully developed characters and storylines that keep me turning the page. My favorite books are those that give readers a good laugh and a good cry.

  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday?

I try to write every day, but I don’t always succeed. Some days, after I get home from my day job, my energy level only goes as far as social media and email. Other days, the words flow. Weekends are my big writing days and I usually write 5000-6000 a week.

  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

In February I moved to a new house where I set up a writing room. The room is on the second floor, tucked in the corner of the house. I like to write in silence and this room is perfect. I have a small, antique writing desks and a rather large leather chair. The room has a large window that invites the sun in and warms the room. I bought a fabulous floor to ceiling, multi-sectional bookcase from Ikea a month ago and it stretches from wall to wall holding all my treasures. I love the room and most days I write in there. Some days, however, I write best in the family room in an oversized chair with my dog at my feet or even at Starbucks with noise-cancelling headphones.

  1. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision?

I need silence so I can hear my characters in my head, uninterrupted by the surrounding world. If the house is noisy, I wear Bose noise-cancelling headphones and listen to white-noise.

  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? I don’t listen to music while I write, but I often find inspiration by lyrics while I drive, cook, etc…

8. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

My current WIP is titled – Gravity. It is actually one of the most difficult stories I have ever written. The story is based on my middle eastern culture. It is a contemporary romance of a woman who makes a mistake and breaks cultural norms. She is shunned by her family and has to start her life anew.

  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?

Plot always comes first. I can’t imagine with just starting with a character without the guts of the story at least imagined. I don’t always know the road the characters will travel, but I know the struggles they will face.

  1. What 3 words describe you, the writer? Emotional, descriptive, multi-layered (Peggy Here: I think those are perfect descriptions for her as a writer!)

Mona, the Gal

Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!

I was born in Cairo, Egypt and learned how to speak English by watching General Hospital and One Life to Live.

Who was your first love and what age were you?

My husband was my first and only love. I met him when I was nineteen and married when I was twenty. We have been married for 32 years. ( Peggy here: awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww)

If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….

That’s an easy one…the day I first saw my husband’s face. It was also the day I publicly broke with a man I was seeing at a family function with about 50 people. The break up was completely unplanned, and I actually had no idea my future husband was in the room. We never said a single word to each other and our eyes never even met. But looking back at it now, there are a few things I may have done differently.

Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?

Really? I’ll never tell and why must I choose? (Good point, my friend!)

If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?

Eye-brow pencil…I’m aging, and you know what happens when you age? You learn to draw them babies in!

What three words describe you, the person? Introvert, realist, romantic

If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?

Who’s Jimmy Fallon? IDK – Shakira’s – Hips Don’t Lie. Cause – why not and it’s ridiculous.

If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together?

Scarlet O’Hara – I’ve always loved her character and the transition from child to adult. She was selfish and selfless, and she could definitely be a prima donna, but could also role up her sleeves and work. The girl had grit. I think we would dress in beautiful gowns, sip sweet tea, stroll around Tara, and say, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

Bonus round

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

Favorite sound: waves crashing on the shore

Least favorite sound: nails on a chalkboard

Best song every written: “You Raise Me Up”

Worst song ever written: “I like big butts and I cannot lie.”

Favorite actor and actress: Robert Redford, Barbara Streisand

Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead): Okay – this may be weird, but I thought a lot about this, and there isn’t anyone I would want to be for a day. I am blessed in so many ways. I have an amazing husband of 32 years, two beautiful children and a sweet grandchild and tons of great friends. I wouldn’t want to miss even one day with the people I love. that would be one day I could never get back.

What turns you on? I’m a simple girl, quiet nights, good wine, warm cuddle with a man who loves me.

What turns you off? Pretentious, disingenuous behavior.

Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”): “I live with my mother.”

What’s your version of a perfect day?

I would love to have all my family in a tropical location…an easy beach day with everyone doing whatever they like. Enjoying good food, family, friends…loving each other, counting our blessings.

SIX MONTHS

For twenty years, Mikala Jacobson had it all: loyal friends, a precious little girl, and a man who adores her. Then double tragedy strikes and her perfect world shatters. Good friends, Rena and Jake are instantly by her side, protecting her from her husband David’s sordid secret life and his final drunken confession.

With their help, Mikala finds strength to rebuild and redefine her life. As her spirit and heart heal, she not only finds closure, but the beauty of a new love built upon an old friendship.

Excerpt
Wandering from room to room, she memorized every detail of the life she and David built––the family photos lining the mantel, the hand-carved jewelry box David bought her on their honeymoon in Salzburg, and Molly’s tea set arranged on the coffee table for evening tea. A cold, hollow ache took residence in her belly where the knot of dread made its appearance that morning. The sensation expanded with alarming speed, dug in deep, and planted roots. Like an unwanted guest appearing without warning and bringing too many bags for just a brief visit, sorrow moved in, shifted, and stretched then got comfortable for the long haul.

When the house line rang, Mikala froze, and her gaze darted to the cordless on the couch. Her breath stuttered. Her heart seized. Clarity forced its way past the tentacles of sheer terror strangling, dominating, and paralyzing her. She shook her head and took a step forward, only to be hit by a wave of dizziness and nausea so tremendous, she doubled over wrapping her arms around her womb. Mikala’s entire being, inside and out, shook as her heart tumbled about in her chest without a set time, tempo, or rhythm. Her breaths grew shallow and choppy, and her legs turned to rubber. The cord tethering Molly to her and this world had been severed.

The telephone rang four times before Mikala forced her body to cooperate. God, she hadn’t wanted to answer. She hadn’t wanted to know. She’d even considered not answering, protecting herself and her beautiful family from the annihilation of their world.

People said she was strong––the strongest woman they knew. They said in time she would heal. She would build another life. And God didn’t give you more than you could handle. People were idiots. They had no idea how in her head she raged. She howled, and shrieked, and wailed…and begged, and pleaded for mercy. All day. All night. Every day. Every night.

Buy Links:

Amazon //The Wild Rose Press // B&N // iBooks //

A little more about Mona

Mona Sedrak lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and works as a university administrator and professor. Although she has co-published two academic books, she is now writing contemporary romance, mainstream fiction and women’s fiction. She is an avid reader, enjoying many different genres.
Mona lives with her husband of 32 years, a geriatric maltipoo, and an Amazon Parrot named Pretzel. She binge watches too many shows to count and she loves fine brandy.

You can connect with Mona here:

website// facebook // twitter // Instagram

Reader’s Favorite has given the book a five-star rating.

Six Months made the shortlist for the Chatelaine Book Awards

The CHATELAINE Book Awards recognize emerging new talent and outstanding works in the genre of  Romantic Fiction and Women’s Fiction.

These titles have moved forward in the judging slush rounds to the 2018 Chatelaine Book Awards SHORT LIST. These entries are now in competition for the limited 2018 Chatelaine Semi-Finalists from which the First Place Category Positions will be chosen. The Chatelaine Book Awards Semi-Finalists and First Place Positions along with Chatelaine Grand Prize Award Winner will be announced at the Awards Gala on Saturday, April 27th, 2019. 

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#SundaySnippet 9.16.18

Here, for the first time, is the cover to my upcoming Holiday release CHRISTMAS AND CANOLLIS, a San Valentino Christmas Love Story. Don’tcha love the cover!!! Hee hee. Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin to whet your holiday reading appetite:

“You seeing anybody these days? Like, dating?”

Trixie was the oldest of all my brother’s wives and the one who routinely asked after my love life. Or lack of it.

“No free time,” I said. “The bakery takes up all my hours. When I’m not working, I’m planning, paying bills, ordering supplies. Throw in a few much-needed hours of sleep each night, and months can change before I realize it.”

Trixie shook her head, her over-Aqua-netted hair staying perfectly in place while she moved. “You’re too young, Reg, to be sitting alone at night in that apartment. You’re gonna shrivel and rot before your time. A girl’s gotta”—she lowered her voice and moved a little closer to me—“get some sometime, you know?” Her raised eyebrows underscored her meaning as her intent glare lit on me. “Don’t use it, you’re gonna lose it.”

“Lose what?” my mother asked in her usual thunderous voice at just the moment the entire table’s conversations screamed to a halt.

“Nothin’ Ma. Trixie and me were just talking about the bakery.” I hoped against hope she’d let it go, but it wasn’t my mother I needed to worry about. It was Trixie.

She leaned forward and cocked her head so she could see my mother across my chest, the few glasses of pre-dinner vino showing their effects. “I was just saying to Reggie that she should be going out, dating. Trying to find a guy worthy of her. Not one like her loser ex.”

Remember when I said there were times I’d wished I’d been a foundling? Yeah. This was a prime example of one of those times.

“She’s still young and beautiful,” Trixie continued. “She’s got needs like any young and healthy woman does.”

Forget about being a foundling. Maybe it would have been better if I’d never been born.

“Hush with that kinda talk, Beatrice Guilia,” my mother said, sharply. She made the sign of the cross over her chest. “We don’t talk about things like needs and such at the dinner table. There’s kids present. Madonna mia.”

Once Trixie starts on a subject, though, it’s hard to stop her. Not even ’Carlo pulling at her arm can sway her when she wants to make a point. “All I’m sayin’ is Reggie shouldn’t let the tragedy of her past prevent her from finding lasting happiness. She deserves to be happy. In every way,” she added, nodding. “Penny, you get me, right?”

I shot my gaze to my other sister-in-law across the table and sent her a silent, wide-eyed plea to keep her mouth shut.

Penny wasn’t tuned into my telepathic appeal, though. I assumed the vino had something to do with her inability to read my mind and eye signals.

“It’s true, Reg. You got no life outside-a work,” she said. “You need to get out. Meet people. Find a boyfriend. I know a couple-a single guys at work. I could set you up with one of them.”

“Nobody’s setting Regina up with nobody.” My father’s booming voice shot through the dining room. “She wants t’ meet a guy, I’ll introduce her to one. Last time, she went looking on her own, and we all know what happened.”

He looked pointedly at me, and I said a silent prayer for the dining room floor to open up and swallow me. The only guys my father was every going to introduce me to were the ones he associated with. None of whom had modern notions of a wife as a life partner, but more the old-fashioned and archaic ones of thinking of a bride as an unpaid domestic, a carrier of the next generation of sons, and a cook. In essence, a woman who was perpetually pregnant, barefoot in the kitchen, and subservient.

Yeah, I know. This is the twenty-first century, and we live in one of the most progressive cities on the planet. But we’re talking about a lifetime of shared social mores and cultural dictates that were infused into my family since birth. Maybe even before they were born.

Change was not gonna happen.

Coming 12.12.18 from The Wild Rose Press. Pre-order links coming soon!

Look for me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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Lift a glass to a wonderful woman…

To say this past week has been difficult is the proverbial understatement. Difficult doesn’t come close to describing these past seven days.

On Christmas Eve, after a period of failing health and with two of her six children at her bedside, my beloved mother-in-law, Peggy Jaeger, passed away.

I’ve been trying all week to try and come up with the words to describe how much I loved and adored this woman. Nothing seems enough.

My daughter wrote a loving tribute to her grandmother she posted on Facebook and that I reposted. You can read it here. The fact that she chooses to remember the funny, sometimes hilarious, instances that she shared with her grandmother have made what I want to say as tribute easier.

So….

I could tell you that this was a woman who always put herself second to her husband and family. Their needs, their happiness, their desires and wants came first. To explain this, my mother-in-law waited until her last child was in college to go and pursue her own dream of a college diploma. She graduated with a Fine Arts degree, majoring in art, a subject she always loved—and—which she was talented in.

I could tell you this woman didn’t have the easiest life growing up. Parental abandonment, then being raised by an aged uncle who had no knowledge of children, their needs, their emotions wasn’t easy. In her early 20’s she was stricken with Guillain Barre syndrome, a condition so severe she was given supreme Unction by the Church ( for those of you who aren’t Catholic, that’s Last Rites.) Through all this and many more travails, she remained a warm-hearted, loving, and genuinely happy woman.

I could tell you my mother-in-law was a selfless person. This is evidenced by her long-term commitment to hospice volunteerism. In fact, she was awarded Volunteer of the Year due to her numerous hours she gave of her time freely and selflessly.

I could tell you all that and more, but….

I want to tell you about what she meant to me, not just as a mother-in-law, but as a person, a woman, and a role model. She taught me to love unconditionally, live selflessly, and laugh daily.

The two words that I think best describe Peggy Jaeger (and YES! We are both Peggy Jaegers!) are Kindness and Faith.

My mother-in-law was, without doubt, the kindest woman I ever had the pleasure to meet. She had a perpetual smile on her face, a kind word for everyone she came in contact with and was truly liked by everyone who knew her.

When her oldest son and I got engaged, we went out to dinner with my soon-to-be in-laws and she asked me, “Now what are you going to call me after you get married?” She had no idea that the name I wanted more than any other to call her was “Mom.” I looked to her as the quintessential mother. Six children, all raised with love and discipline, faith and honor. Not a rotten apple among them. She ended that question with, “I really hope you want to call me Mom.” I fell a little more in love with her that day than I already was and I cried happy tears.

My mother-in-law’s faith in her Catholic religion is exemplary. She not only practiced her religion, she lived it day to day. She walked the walk and talked the talk of the Commandments and Jesus’s teachings. My sister in law shared a lovely remembrance at the wake. Once when we were all gathered around the dinner table, someone posed the question, “What would you do if you had a million dollars?” All around the table were responses of buy jewelry, buy a mansion, take a world trip. When it came time for my MIL to respond, she said, “I’d find 10 needy people and give them $100,000 each.” Of course, that was the perfect answer to the question and showed how this woman’s mind and heart work.

She had 6 children, 9 grandchildren when she died. Yes, the wake, Mass, and burial were emotional torture for all of us, but at the remembrance luncheon that followed there was nothing but laughter at all the fun and funny memories her lifetime left us with.

My MIL’s favorite drink when we’d have parties was a Mai Tai. In honor of that, her 9 adoring grandchildren all lifted a Virgin version of the drink in her honor at the end of the day.

Here’s to you, Margaret Patricia Wood Jaeger. Peggy, Mom, Grandma. Mrs Jaeger. Whatever you were called, you were loved, honored and cherished and will be missed.

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