Tag Archives: #HEA #readromance

Contest finalist x 2!!!

Some days it really pays to get out of bed in the morning! I was notified today that 2 of my recent books are both finalists in the OCCRWA BOOK  BUYERS BEST contest!!!

DEARLY BELOVED ( which is currently on sale!) is in the Contemporary category

 

CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS is in the mainstream category.

The Winners will be announced on October 12th at the Orange County RWA Birthday Bash in California!!

So excited!!!.

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Author, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Foodie, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#June is #audiobook Month

June if Audiobook spotlight month over on N.N. Lights Bookheaven and  HOPE’S DREAM is featured.

Here’s the link for today and you can follow all the books that will be featured this month on the site. NNLightAudiobookSpotlight

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A new #DeerbourneInn novella & visit from #author Charlotte O’Shay

I am so pleased to have another Wild Rose Press sistah with me today and her newest release, an addition to the  Deerbourne Inn series. Please welcome , an uber-talented author and my friend, Charlotte O’Shay and her new book FOREVER IN A MOMENT ( Deerbourne Inn).

Hi Peggy,

Thanks for inviting me to visit your busy blog. Today is release day and I’m so excited to share my new release Forever in a Moment.

Why did you write this story?

Perfect question. There are a million stories out there aren’t there? and so many romance tropes.

Forever in a Moment is my take on some age-old questions: Is there such a thing as love at first sight? What role does fate play in our lives?

I do believe in love at first sight, that instant connection that tells you this person, this guy or woman, is the one. And yet what we know as people and as authors is: nothing is ever that easy. If you asked Sam, my heroine, she’d tell you she didn’t believe anything, especially love happens that fast. Then she meets Jed…and wow. Now I think she’d say, “when you know, you know.”

What was your favorite part about writing this story?

My favorite part of this story was writing it in first person POV, which was the only way to write Sam. She’s a fish out of water in rural Vermont whose natural optimism is squashed when she’s jilted. Sam was like a friend who called me up to say: you’ll never believe the week I just had. She told me her story and I wrote it down. Fastest I’ve ever written a book.

I also Ioved the way our publisher’s series bible gave me an array of people like Jared Crawford who works at the inn and Karla Payne to work with. I met those characters and my imagination took off.

Favorite moments in the story?

I love the way Sam got to know the people in Willow Springs as individuals. She came up to the inn to lick her wounds but she’s a natural optimist and people person. I loved seeing the town and the people of Willow Springs through her eyes. She’s the quintessential empathetic person who’d give you the shirt off her back. I loved watching everyone warm to her…especially Jed *wink*

Now about you. What drove you to become a romance author?

Reading and writing were my companions at all levels of school and beyond, in spite of the fact that I have a large family. I fight my introverted personality and I’m always happiest deep into book whether someone else’s or my own.

I love the escape reading provides and the feeling I get in the hands of an author who can tell a good story well. It’s transportive. I strive to be that author.

Do you write in other genres?

Not yet. I do sometimes feel otherworldly or spiritual elements creeping into my stories. I talk about fate in the dedication to this book.

Here’s the Dedication:

I believe in destiny. I believe we drive the car but fate takes us on uncharted roads. I believe in the hope and fresh start of every New Year.

I love history too. But so far the stories that come fastest are the contemporaries and I’ve focused on them.

What’s next?

Book 3 in my steamy City of Dreams series, Their No Strings Affair will release on May 29th. You can find that blurb on my website.

Thanks Peggy!

Totally my pleasure, Charlotte. ~peg

 

A stormy encounter… 
Samantha DeMartino’s Christmas wedding is two weeks away when her fiancé calls the whole thing off. Word on the street: his cold feet are being heated by an old flame. With her well-ordered world in complete disarray, Sam’s friends convince her to go on her honeymoon—alone. A week at a charming Vermont inn away from the city and her demanding corporate career could be just what she needs to figure out her next steps. 
Between his twenty-four seven work schedule on his family’s dairy farm and teaching tourists to ski, Jed Armstrong’s too busy to think about how lonely he is…until Sam sings her way into his life during a Christmas blizzard. Now he has to figure out a way to convince her to stay. 
Can a vivacious city girl find forever with a reclusive farmer? 
Will her secret keep her from trying?

Forever in a Moment Buy links

Amazon // Kobo // Google Play //

A little more about this wonderful author…

Author Charlotte O’Shay was born in New York City into big family and then married into another big family. Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law. But after four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams. Charlotte loves to challenge her heroines and heroes with a crisis and watch them figure out who they are while they fall in love.

You can connect with Charlotte here: 

WEBSITE//INSTAGRAM//TWITTER// PINTEREST //  FACEBOOK PAGE

// BOOKBUB

My review of FOREVER IN A MOMENT is here ( Hint: I loveloveloved it!)

By Reservation Only      Hope’s Dream     Freedom’s Path   

      

Lyrical Embrace     Spirited Quest       Soul of the Storm

              

Lion Dancing for Love

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Filed under Deerbourne Inn, Romance, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#1stKissFriday 3.22.19

Today’s first kiss is between Moira Cleary and her lifetime best friend Quentin Stapleton from THERE’S NO PLACE LIFE HOME, the second book in my MacQuire Women series. Q has been in love with Moira since they were kids, but she’s been clueless. When he finally tells her how he feels, and kisses her UNLIKE a best friend, well, their love story really takes off.

Moira felt an intense overwhelming emptiness engulf her when he left. She started to open the front door but stopped when Quentin abruptly turned back and started up the porch steps again.

“I forgot something,” he told her.

“What?”

When he came up the last step and crossed to her, he said, “this,” and without another word pulled her into his arms.

Her first and last coherent thought was her best friend was going to kiss her goodnight. After a heartbeat, she forgot the best friend part and knew down to her toes friendship had nothing to do with this.

His lips slid across her mouth, soft and gentle, testing, tasting. Moira’s mind went blank as she succumbed to the sensation of them, hot and hard, pressing against hers in a kiss like none he’d ever given her before. Slowly, he traced her bottom lip with the tip of his tongue, silently asking her to open for him. When she did, he entered her mouth and began to explore, each movement becoming more demanding, more insistent. Moira fell against him, fisting his jacket lapels to steady herself. When she felt his heartbeat pounding under her hands, she grew lightheaded with need. Quentin framed her face with his fingertips, softly tugging down on her chin, changing the angle of the kiss.

She’d been kissed before, but never, never with such all consuming need and longing. She heard a deep moan and was shocked to realize the sound had escaped from her. One of Quentin’s hands left her face to slide down her back. When he pushed against her backside and molded her body to his, Moira’s stomach jumped. This time, though, it wasn’t with the painful contractions she’d come to expect, but with a heart- stopping craving.

A craving for him.

She unfurled her hands from his jacket and, without thought, wound them upwards, weaving them over his shirt collar and up through his hair. She grabbed onto the ends, pulled his head down closer, and held on fast.

All aspect of time was lost. Nothing mattered but the delicious feel of his strong hands caressing her back and the taste of him as his tongue mated with hers.

This couldn’t be happening. It had to be a dream.

But no dream had ever made her want like this, feel like this. When he skimmed his lips across her jaw and down her throat, stopping to take her lobe into his mouth, Moira knew this wasn’t a dream. That same feeling she’d had when she looked at him in the movie steeped through her again, tickling her stomach muscles. With a jolt, she realized the sensation was desire. Pure and simple.

Quentin pulled back and stared down into her face. With a heavy sigh, he laid his forehead against hers, a small grin tugging at the corners of his lips.

“I’ve wanted to kiss you for so long. So damn long.”

“Q—?”

He traced one finger lazily down her jaw and across the lips he’d just caressed, silencing her. “Remember when your cousin Tiffany got married in the backyard here?”

Confused, Moira nodded. She licked her lips, running her tongue across his caressing finger. The hiss that blew from him made her thighs shake.

Quentin rubbed her bottom lip with the pad of his thumb. “When the Reverend told Cole ‘you may now kiss your bride,’ and he swooped her off the ground, spun her around, and kissed her silly? Remember what you said?”

Moira tried to conjure the scene. “I think I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen.”

He nodded. “The exact quote was ‘I hope someone kisses me like that some day.’”

Her grin was quick at the memory. “Pat snorted and said I’d better be satisfied with licks from the horses and Rob Roy because no guy was ever going to kiss me like that.”

“He wasn’t known for tact back then,” he said, rubbing a hand down her back as he held her next to him in the soft lamplight from the porch. The soothing, rhythmic smoothing of his hand made every nerve on Moira’s body stand at attention.

“Later on that day, behind the barn, remember what happened then?”

Because she did, she couldn’t stop the heat from spreading up her face like wildfire.

When she merely nodded, he traced a kiss across the area he’d just caressed, and said, “You wanted to know what it felt like to be kissed like that and since I was your best friend, you thought I should be the one to do it, because you—quote—felt safe with me—unquote.”

“What was I? Eleven?” she said, finally finding her voice, and unnerved to hear it whining.

“Thirteen. We both were, and I was more than willing to do it. Almost broke my heart in two when you said afterward, ‘I don’t see what all the fuss is about.’”

His lips twitched at the corners when he said it, and Moira felt the warmth of her blush intensify.

“Q—”

“Hush.” He kissed her forehead. “Ever since that day, all I’ve wanted is a second chance. Now,” he pulled her body closer, wrapped both arms around her small waist, his hand resting just above the dent in her spine. “We’re both a little older, a little more mature. Some of us are much more experienced—”

“And conceited.”

“Experienced,” he said, the laugh in his voice quiet and seductive, “and things can be so much better.”

Moira stared up into his eyes, warm and moist, shimmering under the subtle porch light. “Where is this coming from? You’ve never said anything like this, never acted like this, before. Ever.”

He took a breath and tucked her head against his shoulder, rubbing her back with both of his hands. His chest was made of granite, hard and solid and Moira felt so secure in his embrace. So comforted and so safe. If he never let go of her, she knew she wouldn’t mind in the least.

He didn’t speak for a few moments. Then, he pulled back, gazed down into her face and Moira didn’t need verbal answers to her questions. The look of blatant need and craving was so strongly etched in his eyes as he peered right through her, and for a moment, all she could do was stare, motionless. It was the same expression she’d seen on his face the night of her welcome home dinner. Then, she hadn’t known what to make of it. She couldn’t put a name to what she was seeing etched in his chiseled features.

Now, she knew.

He brought his lips to hers again in the gentlest of touches.

“I want you, Moira. More than I’ve ever wanted anyone or anything, in my entire life. I’ve always wanted you, from the time I knew what it meant.” He chuckled and added, “probably even before then. I haven’t gone a day in too long to count when I didn’t think of you and want you with me. There have been so many times the past few years when I’ve wanted to take an extended leave from the practice and go fly to wherever you were performing, just to see you. Obligations, though necessary, can be a bitch, and the time never allowed it. When Pat told me you were coming home, I thought, good. Finally. Home court advantage.” His lazy grin spread with the words.

“I never knew,” she said, tears springing up. “You never gave me any indication. All these years, you’ve never hinted at this. In any way. Why not?”

He shook his head. “I know. I didn’t know how you’d feel about it. We’ve been friends forever. I don’t have a childhood memory that doesn’t include you. We’re everything friends should be. But this is a different feeling, Moira, from friendship. So different.”

His voice broke on the last word as he claimed her mouth again, deepening the kiss instantly, and knocking her back emotionally.

“I won’t push you,” he said into her hair, kissing her temple. “You need to get used to the idea, I know. I don’t want anything to change between us.”

“How can it not?” she asked, the tears spilling over. “It changes everything, Quentin. You know it does.”

His thumb swiped softly at the drop of moisture cascading down her cheek.

“It doesn’t have to. We’re still us. We’re still the same. I won’t ever lose you as a friend, Moira. I can’t. You’re as much a part of my life as I am of yours. Our friendship will never change. It hasn’t in all these years you’ve been gone.”

Want to read more? Here’s where you can get your own copy of THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

 

Buy Links: Amazon // Apple // Google // Kobo // Nook// 

Walmart

Read a preview of THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

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Some of my favorite books from 2018

MY Goodreads Reader Challenge this year had me trying to read 175 books by December 31, 2018. I know…

As of today I’ve reached 165, which is pretty terrific considering I also wrote and had published 4 books this year – 1 novella and 3 books of 100,000 words +

Of all those books I read, I tried to whittle it down to my top 5, but I really had to do 6 because a couple were tied!! These were all 5 star reads for me and I wish I could have graded them higher, because they were such fab stories!!

AT FIRST BLUSH ( A Well Paired Novel) by Marianne Rice

Alexis Le Blanc enjoys her simple life in Crystal Cove, Maine. After taking a chance on romance and getting rejected, she has given up on love. Now she devotes all her time to running her family’s winery, Coastal Vines. She wants to keep it small and traditional, but her parents have other ideas—hence why they hire some big-shot marketing executive from Napa Valley to rev up business.

When Benito Martelli shows up in her family’s tasting room, she’s more than stunned to discover he’s the man who wined and dined her the night before. Alexis is beyond peeved at his deception in trying to get into her good graces for the sake of making money on her winery. At first, she wants nothing to do with him or his big business ideas, but she’s pleasantly surprised when they come to a compromise, and even more surprised when she gives in to the sparks between them.

Unfortunately, things don’t go quite as planned and Alexis is faced with complications she never could have predicted. Promises and secrets unravel, and she must decide if love and wine are as well paired as she hoped.

FATAL EVIDENCE ( Love on the Line Series, bk 3)) by Kari Lemor ––Okay, technically this came out in Dec. 2017,  but I read it in 2018, so it counts!!

What you don’t know can get you killed . . .  
 
Construction company owner Scott Holland doesn’t go looking for trouble, but he’s just stumbled on plenty. The rundown mill he’s bought is plagued with mysterious incidents, and his investment partner, heiress Heather Silva, is as stubborn as she is intriguing. Dumped by his ex because of his blue-collar job, Scott is wary of Heather’s privileged background. Yet he’s drawn to her independence and strength, especially as the “accidents” grow more terrifying.

Determined to succeed without anyone’s help—especially her wealthy parents—Heather clashes with Scott again and again. But a grisly discovery in the basement makes them both targets. Someone wants Heather and Scott silenced for good. And as a killer closes in, the only option is to trust each other—or become the next victims…

CAPTIVE HEARTS ( A Well of Lies, Book 2) by Gina Leuci

 

Grace Adams has discovered the true reason she was brought to the gated town of Wellington. Now she wants to leave more than ever. With the security level of the town raised to fortress level she is forced to marry the town’s police chief. Hoping to gain the trust of the townsfolk, they pretend to make their marriage look real. It isn’t long before their game of deceit and reality blur together.

When Police Chief Caleb Wellington returned to his hometown, he had his own reasons for increasing the town’s security. Now, he sees the town for what it is: a prison. His relationship with Grace opens feelings he hasn’t had in a while. The last thing he wants to do is say goodbye. But he made a promise to get her home and he is a man of his word.

BENDING THE RULES by Katie O’Sullivan

 

 

Investment analyst Dylan MacDonald has been away from Cape Cod so long it no longer feels like home, despite deep roots and a large extended family. After a routine assignment in Africa becomes life or death, the former workaholic is back on the Cape and unemployed. Getting entangled with his high school crush is definitely not in his plans… Even if she was the one woman who made him think outside the spreadsheet.

Co-owner of a successful Chatham boutique, friendly and popular Bella Costa seems to have it all… except a real relationship. She has a rule against dating local boys, keeping her love life limited to summer flings. The only guy she truly cared about left the Cape and never looked back. Until this summer. Now he’s re-igniting all kinds of unresolved feelings.

Will the past stand in their way, or can they bend some rules to find a future together?

THE ONE YOU CAN’T FORGET  by Roni Loren


Most days Rebecca Lindt feels like an imposter…
The world admires her as a survivor. But that impression would crumble if people knew her secret. She didn’t deserve to be the one who got away. But nothing can change the past, so she’s thrown herself into her work. She can’t dwell if she never slows down.

Wes Garrett is trying to get back on his feet after losing his dream restaurant, his money, and half his damn mind in a vicious divorce. But when he intervenes in a mugging and saves Rebecca―the attorney who helped his ex ruin him―his simple life gets complicated.

Their attraction is inconvenient and neither wants more than a fling. But when Rebecca’s secret is put at risk, both discover they could lose everything, including what they never realized they needed: each other

She laughed and kissed him. This morning she’d melted down. But somehow this man had her laughing and turned on only a few hours later. Everything inside her felt buoyed. 

She felt…light.

She’d forgotten what that felt like.

HARD SELL ( 21 Wall Street, #2)  by Lauren Layne

He’s a Wall Street wolf. She’s been hired to tame him. From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes a wildly sexy novel of business and pleasure.

Twenty-eight and filthy rich, Matt Cannon is the youngest broker on Wall Street. He may be a “boy wonder,” but he’s every inch a man. Ask any woman—any night. But when Matt’s latest fling makes scandalous headlines, his clients get anxious, and his bosses at Wolfe Investments level an ultimatum: keep his assets zipped, get a “real” girlfriend, and clean up his act. Only one woman can help Matt with something this hard.

For PR genius Sabrina Cross, the best fixer in Manhattan, playing Matt’s steady is going to be a challenge, even if it’s just for show. They already have an explosive history, she can’t stand the cocky party boy, and worse—she can’t stop thinking about him. So who’ll dare to break her “no touching” rule first? Because when that happens, Matt and Sabrina’s game of let’s pretend will get so hot it could set both their reputations on fire.

Honestly, I don’t know what my goal is going to be for 2019, but if I keep seeing books like these fab ones listed on my goodreads browse pages, I think I may just have to up it to 200! We’ll see!

Happy reading in 2019, peeps. ~ Peg

Look for me here in 2019:

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

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

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Gift a Book, Part 2

Yesterday I told you why I love to give –and get — a book for a holiday gift. Today I want to talk about the kinds of books you give to others.

The type of reader is as diverse and sundry as the genres of books available. From autobiographies to YA, from biographies to Military history. From Cookbooks to Craft books; True Crime and Murder to Cozy mysteries. And of course, my favorite, Romance.  Within each of those genres are several subgenres and to find the perfect book for the book reader on your list, you need to wade through all the varieties, skip over some of the styles, and comb through all the different classifications of each genre and subgenre.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it, just to find a book. Well, it may be a little tedious, but it’s sosososo worth it when you find the perfect one.

This is a very abbreviated list of the types of books I would give to my book reading peeps and family. Very abbreviated!!!

Babies: ( for Mommy and Daddy to read aloud) Goodnight, Moon 

In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.” And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room—to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one—the little bunny says goodnight.

 

Toddlers: If Animals Kissed Goodnight

If animals kissed
like we kiss good night,
Giraffe and his calf
would stretch their necks high
and kiss just beneath
the top of the sky.

In a cozy bedtime chat with her mom, a young girl wonders how animal families might say good night. Would Wolf and his pup “kiss and then HOWL”? Would Bear and her cub “kiss and then GROWL”? But what about Sloth and her baby? They move soooo slooowwwww . . . they’re sure to be kissing from early evening until long after everyone else is fast asleep!

Beginning readers: Any of the Berenstain Bears books and of course, my all-time favorite, The Little Engine That Could

Young readers: Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys ( dated, I know, but they all teach good concepts such as critical thinking, sharing, and trust)

Tweens: The Fault in Our Stars


Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Teens/YA: The Beginning of Everything

Varsity tennis captain Ezra Faulkner was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before—before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.

Adults from 20-100: I like true crime/history/biographies. Two of my absolute favorites, and which I’ve read more than once each are Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981.  Was it murder or self-defense?  For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares.  John Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction.  Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.

and Under the Banner of Heaven   

This extraordinary work of investigative journalism takes readers inside America’s isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities, where some 40,000 people still practice polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God.

As I’ve said, this is a very abbreviated list. I could go on for pages about the best books to invest in, but time is short and money is fleeting, so….

Of course, you can always gift one on my books to the romance reader you’re buying for( shameless plug, I know!) if the Christmas Spirit moves you. Here’s a complete list to peruse. Peggy’s books

 

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, Literary characters, Lyrical Author, MFRWauthor, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#Sisters….the gift that continues to keep on giving, Part 2

Yesterday, I shared a sister scene from book 1 of the WILL COOK FOR LOVE series, Cooking with Kandy between, oldest sister Kandy Laine and her younger -by three years -sister, Gemma. In book 2, A SHOT AT LOVE, Gemma is now the heroine of the story. Kandy’s influence is never far from her mind and actions, though. This scene takes place in a cabin. Even though she is hundreds of miles away from her sister, Kandy is still taking care of her younger sister…and everyone else it seems.

From A SHOT AT LOVE

“Kandy sent some of the soup she’s featuring in the new restaurant, along with stuff to make her grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it,” Rick told her when she opened the refrigerator. “There’s a container of it on the second shelf.”

Gemma opened the tub and took a whiff. “Hmmm. Grandma’s tomato cream. Yummy.”

“Your sister is opening a restaurant?” Ky asked. He moved to the kitchen behind her, helping to take down dishes and utensils from the cabinets. Just being physically close to her again brightened the foul mood darkening his soul from everything he and Bannerman had discovered so far.

“Several, actually,” Gemma said. She filled a pot with the zesty smelling soup and placed it on the stove. “The first one opens in a month in Tribeca. Another in Orlando in the fall and then L.A. in January.”

“Impressive.”

“No. Kandy.” Gemma lifted her shoulders. “This has been her dream since she was a kid, although she never told it to anyone until recently. A restaurant featuring only comfort foods, the kind we all had and loved as kids.”

“An interesting premise.”

She nodded and began slathering bread slices with butter. “No lie. This soup,” she pointed to the pot, “is without a doubt the best tomato soup you will ever have. Hands down.”

“Truth,” Bannerman said.

“What makes it so special?”

Gemma’s quick grin had him hard as stone and wanting in a heartbeat. “The showman in Kandy will tell you it’s made with love added into every cup, but it’s really the mix grandma perfected of spices and herbs, plus the fact she uses almond milk as the cream, and not cow’s milk. Grandma was a pioneer when it came to using plant products for baking sauces instead of dairy ones.”

The soup started to warm, it’s enticing aroma filling the kitchen.

“I wasn’t hungry until just this moment,” Ky said, sniffing the air.

Gemma laughed and said, “Wait until you taste the grilled cheese.” She laid two sandwiches onto the griddle. “You’ll think you’ve died and gone to comfort food heaven.”

A few minutes later the three of them sat at the table.

The only sounds for a while were them sipping the soup and chewing.

“You didn’t exaggerate,” Ky said, wiping his lips with a napkin. “This truly is the best soup I’ve ever had. Think your sister will give me the recipe for my mother?”

“Not a chance in a gazillion, but she can come into the restaurant anytime and have some.” Her lips lifted at the corners.

Buy Links: Amazon // Kensington // B&N // Apple iBooks // Kobo //Google

Who couldn’t love a sister who sends food to wherever you are???

When I’m not writing about sisters and families, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Dialogue, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

Life is a lesson unto itself

 

I will admit this freely: I hate a preachy book. You know the kind. The book that just bleeds with not-so-hidden messages for the reader. The book that condescends to the reader, the author making sure you know he/she is so much more educated than you on the topic.

It even happens in romance books. I read a book years ago by an author who I won’t name ( and never read again!) whose secondary character was basically a doormat and let every person in the book walk all over her because she thought that’s how she deserved to be treated since she was a bastard. All through the story, her internal dialogue droned on and on about how she was unworthy of ever finding love because of this. In the end, she winds up alone and caring for the heroine’s two children. The life lesson I took away from all that drivel, and the one I really think the author intended: bastard children don’t deserve happiness.

Yeah…that’s why I’ve never read anything by this author again.

When I set out to write a book I don’t automatically think about the life lessons that should be incorporated into the story. For me, I think the story itself and how the characters move in and out of their lives, should decide this. Looking back on my books I can objectively say these have been the basic life lessons I’ve written about:

  1. Trust is earned. Every day. (First Impressions)
  2. Everyone deserves a second chance at love. (There’s No Place Like Home, The Voices of Angels)
  3. You can’t be all things to all people and you are stronger when you let people help you  (Cooking with Kandy)
  4. First Impressions aren’t always the correct ones (A Kiss Under the Christmas tree)
  5. Forgiveness is a gift (3 Wishes)
  6. Family is more than just the people you are related to (Skater’s Waltz)

I don’t preach in my books. That’s not my job. My job is to entertain the reader. If the reader gains any insight into her own life, or sees parallels within it from the storyline, then that’s a good thing. What isn’t a good thing is if I’ve insulted the reader by presenting a situation or a problem that may be comparable to something in their own life, and then telling them this is how the situation should be solved. No. Not gonna happen.

Life lessons are important. No one is denying that. I just don’t want to get slapped in the face with it when I read. And, I also don’t want to be the one slapping!

I’m sure the other authors in this blog hop are just chock full of life lessons, so why don’t you hop on over to their sites and see who they handle writing these lessons in to their own books.

 

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#Writinglife

Yesterday I worked on a few lines of dialogue for over two hours.

Really.

Did you think all this witty repartee just jumps into my head at will?

No. It doesn’t. Not even close.

Everyone knows writing is a solitary, ofttimes monotonous life and this is why. Creativity, while at times coming in bursts and flames of speed, usually…doesn’t. It’s hours, days, months, sitting at a laptop, playing with phrases, rearranging words, charging emotions with verbs and descriptors, bleeding, spewing, dying and then being reborn until finally FINALLY the perfect sentence or snippet of dialogue that reveals sososososo  much more than is said, is created.

Yeah…it’s just like that.

Every day.

Every. Friggin’. Day.

Can I get an “AMEN” from all my writer friends out in the blogosphere because you know this is true?!

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Life challenges, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

On #bingewatching, #beingcool, and #Millennials

I used to consider myself one of the “cool” people. Really. I did. I was always up on pop culture so I could talk to any age group; my daughter’s friends always asked me questions, opinions, and actually liked sleepovers in our house. They valued my opinion.  I was relatively thin ( for a few years!) and dressed in all the new season’s styles every year.

But something changed and I don’t know when it happened…

Let me esplain it, Lucy.

I was binge watching the E! show So Cosmo about the lives, loves, and careers of twenty-something millennials who all work at COSMOPOLITAN magazine.

I wanted to watch because I wanted to get a “feel” for what millennials are up to these days, to – maybe- use in my writing. I know about women in their 40’s and 50’s but I write about younger gals, so I thought I’d use this show as a sort of reference for putting my finger on the pulse of today’s woman.

What’s that saying about the best laid plans?? Yeah, not so much.

The basic plot line of the show involves the magazine’ surprising turnover of its Editor in Chief Joanna Coles to a new editor. Joanna is 2 years younger than myself ( me, 56; her, 54) and is a powerful, assertive, smart smart smart woman in an industry that has been typically defined and run by men: publishing. She brought COSMO  to the number one magazine women buy – both in trade ink copy and e-zine – during her tenure. To say she is a woman who gets things done and has her finger on the pulse of the Cosmo “girl,” is true. For the purpose of disclosure, Joanna was offered a new position with the Hearst organization ( the parent company of Cosmo) – a much more powerful position, which is why she was leaving Cosmo. You go, girl!

As I started watching the show I was quickly invested in the lives of the cast – all 20 and early 30 somethings. Most of them were single ( one was married with a kid), lived in Manhattan and took full advantage of city living by going out most nights to “party” and de-stress. Now, when I was their age (a millennia ago!) “party” meant literally that. Have a party to celebrate something. Apparently, it doesn’t mean the same thing anymore and this is where I realized my cool moniker was starting to shift.

By the third show I realized I was not only NOT cool anymore, I wasn’t going to be again in this lifetime if this was the yardstick to measure cool-dom by! I didn’t even understand most of the references the cast was using about fashion, life, and relationships. COSMO prides itself on being the voice of female empowerment and I totally buy that.  The Cosmo girl is billed as successful, smart, and sexy; able to live life to the fullest with no regrets, and the women in this cast are. Their purpose is to advise, counsel, and acquaint women on a myriad of topics relating to life, love, career, and finances.

But as I watched this show and the lives of its cast unfold, I began to realize that female empowerment does not mean the same thing to all women. For instance, the word “party” again. To some of the cast women it meant – basically – going out and getting as drunk as they could in an effort to unwind from the stress of their work lives. In the next breath, during the cast interviews, they would say they were living the dream life. So why then, is their work life so stressed they need to get drunk to unwind from it?
See what I’m saying?

They also look at relationships in a much different way than I thought. It’s cool now ( apparently) to hook up ( another word that doesn’t mean what it used to!)  with a series of people randomly, casually, and with no strings attached until you find one you may want to stay with…for a while. Maybe. Cosmo millennials don’t appear to view that whole Happily Ever After with a single mate concept as a  valid thing.

Okay, so now I am not only NOT cool, my whole existence for being -writing the HEA – isn’t ( apparently) relevant!

Before you write me scathing letters, hating me for trashing an entire generation of millennials,  know this: I realize this is just one little “reality” show on a network known for scripted reality shows. My daughter is a millennial who happens to live in Manhattan and I know she and her friends – who are all successful, smart women – don’t think and act in the typical Cosmo Girl fashion portrayed in this show.

Believe me – I get it!

It doesn’t erase the fact that I am no longer cool,  though!

When I’m not bemoaning my lack of cool, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, female friends, Life challenges, love, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women