Tag Archives: #HolidayLoveStory

This never gets old and is always exciting!

So, just when my newest book released yesterday, DIRTY DAMSELS,

I received notification form the First Coast Romance writers chapter of RWA that I won the Contemporary Romance category for 40K-56K word books for CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS! Woot Woot!

I’m starting to think maybe this writing career will pan out in the end! hee hee

Blurb:

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?

Excerpt:

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 familia.

Buy Links:

Amazon//  B*N // Google Play // Kobo // itunes

Until next time ~ Peg

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#SundaySnippet 12.23.18 The last of 2018!

I couldn’t let this year end without a final bit of CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS life, now could I?  This scene epitomizes the family love Regina has for her parents, and they her.

Ten days before Christmas and my regular customers were starting to purchase all their treats for holiday visiting and house parties.

I glanced around the crowded storefront when I came up the stairs. The display cabinets were being restocked, the line was snaked around the bakery’s interior and out the door, and the cash registers were making beautiful Christmas music with all the chiming as each sale was rung up. I didn’t see my mother in her usual spot behind the counter, so I did a quick eye roll through the place and found her. She was seated at one of the customer tables with my father, a cup of coffee in front of each of them. Pop was holding one of her hands as he was speaking.

After fifty-plus years of marriage, my mother stared at my father as if he hung the moon for her. I simply adore this. Who, in this day and age, can boast that their parents still love and honor each other after decades of family strife, deaths, crises, and war, and can gaze at one another as if they were teenagers finding first love?

This is what fantasies are made of.

“Hey, Pop.” I kissed the top of his head and pulled out the empty chair at their table. “What are you doing here?”

“I was out making the rounds and I missed your mama, so I figured I’d come in and steal her away for a few minutes.”

See? I love this.

“You need me for somethin’, Regina Maria?” Ma asked.

“Nope. Just checking on how everything’s going on up here before I have to leave for a delivery.”

Her lips pressed together into a line, and she lowered her head to stare at me from under her eyelashes. Why I tend to forget she knows everything that goes on inside my shop, despite only working at the counter, never ceases to surprise me. Of course she knew what cake I was delivering today. She’d probably circled the date on her internal calendar as a reminder.

Pop frowned when he noticed the look Ma was throwing my way. Fifty-plus years of staring across the breakfast table at your spouse every day can make you pretty attuned to the other’s expressions, and Pop had a black belt in reading Ma’s face.

“This the big-ass Pearl’s Place order?” he asked me.

And of course Ma had told him about it. Why would I ever think she wouldn’t share that?

“Not specifically there. It’s for a fundraiser that will benefit it.”

“So you don’t gotta actually deliver it to the hospice?”

“No.”

“Good. You should never even have to think about that place, much less go there, again. Gave you enough sad memories for a lifetime, bellissima figlia.”

He reached over and grabbed my hand, squeezed it twice, and then glanced over at my mother.

“I know, Pop. But it’s been six years. I’m—well, not over it. But I can handle the sadness now. Much better than I could when Angie…died.”

At the word, my mother made the sign of the cross, kissed her palm, and then leaned over to kiss my cheek. Unexpected tears stung. I tried to blink them away before my parents could notice them, but that’s the thing about my parents: they’re both acutely tuned in to their children, despite the fact all five of us are adults.

“You don’t have to deliver it, you know, Regina,” Ma said. “Nunzie and Alby are responsible. They can be counted on to do a good job.”

“I know, Ma. But I’m okay to do this, I really am. Besides—” I stood and took a quick swipe at my eyes. “—it’s my bakery, and I’m the one who worked on the cake for the past five days. I want to see the expression on Con—uh, everyone’s faces, when I bring the cake in. The girls think it’s my best one yet, and I kinda agree.”

“Every cake you do is a masterpiece,” Pop said, no small amount of pride in his voice. “If youse was around in the olden days, you woulda been one of them old-world masters, only not a master ’cause you’re a girl. But you know what I’m saying.”

“I do, Pop, and thanks.” I kissed his cheek this time, then bent to do the same to my mother. “You two finish your visit. Drink your coffee. I’ve gotta get ready.”

“You’re coming for supper after Mass tomorrow, si?”

“Yeah, Ma. I’ll be there. I’ll bring some cookies for dessert.”

“Bring a couple-a boxes,” Ma ordered. “And nothing special for your brothers this time. Let their wives bake for them if they want pies and stuff. They don’t do much of anything else aside from get their nails painted and shop. It’ll do them good to do something other than spend money.”

Remember I told you that no one was ever going to be good enough for my mother? Proof of that, right here.

I want to wish you all the Merriest of Christmas’s, the Happiest of Holidays, and all the joy, love, and laughter you can garner in the New Year. Spend time with the people who mean the most to you – it’s time well spent!

Love you all ~ Peg

 

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on #BookThemes, new releases, and a little introspection

It’s no secret I’ve had a couple’a new books released lately. If you subscribe to this blog you know that I’ve been talking about them ad nauseum! Sorry, but gotta get the word out there, hee hee!

But today I wanted to give you all a little insight into the reasons why there’s such a running theme in my current books.

Forgiveness has been front and center in the last three of my book releases, HOPE’S DREAM, DEARLY BELOVED, and the 12.12.18 book CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS.

In Hope’s Dream, Hope must forgive the grandparents who disowned her father in order for her to be able to move on with her life.

In Dearly Beloved, Colleen must forgive her ex-fiance for cheating, her parents for abandoning her and her sisters during a crisis, and Slade must forgive his father for a myriad of sins.

In Christmas and Cannolis, Regina must forgive her father for his actions in sabotaging her newfound love.

As you can see, forgiveness takes many forms and comes about for many reasons. The reason this has been a prevalent theme for me this year is because…I had to forgive someone in my life.

It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was the most difficult thing I ever had to do. I was stuck in a mad, sad, horrible place in my head for the past ten years +, being angry at this person for something that was done to me. Numerous somethings, in fact.

But, one day my husband suggested I forgive this person so I could start to move on with my life. There was no way, I felt, I could do that. But then it dawned on me: if I forgave the person, I could let the anger I harbored go from my life. Forgiving didn’t mean the person and I were going to be hanging out, or chatting one another up on the phone all day. It didn’t mean this person had to be a part of my life. No. Forgiving them was more about me than the person. More about my feelings, my resentments, my inability to move on.

So. I sat down, wrote a list of everything this person had done and then one by one, ticked off each entry and spoke the words “I forgive you” into the universe. The person who needed to hear them, didn’t. But I did.

And you know what? Once I said them, meant them, and then threw the piece of paper away, I stopped being angry. I stopped being resentful.

I haven’t thought about that person since and before the forgiveness I thought about them all the time.

So, is it any wonder I needed to thread forgiveness into the books I was working on at the time I was doling out that forgiveness?
The lesson learned through this all? Forgiveness isn’t for the person who is receiving it, but for the betterment of the person giving it.

Is there someone in your life you should forgive? Think about it. Then think about how your life would change if you did dole out some forgiveness. Think about how it won’t if you don’t.

I’m pretty sure which track you’re going to take on the forgiveness train.

 

if you’re looking for me, I’m usually here:

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

 

 

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#SundaySnippet 11.25.18

I’m blessed. Truly. In just 2 weeks I’ve got another book release ( and my final for 2018!). CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS  basically wrote itself. I typically have a detailed plot outline before I ever write a word in a story. With this book, the characters propelled me forward with just the bare bones of a plan. Regina and Connor’s story spilled out of me in under 2 weeks because they wanted their love story told.

Here’s a little of Regina’s backstory…

When I was a teenager, I used to think the reason I sat dateless on most Friday and Saturday nights when all my friends were out with hot guys was because I was physically repugnant. When I looked in the mirror I couldn’t figure out back then what was so off putting about me. I was curvy, sure, but my brothers assured me guys liked curves on a woman. I wore my waist- length hair parted in the middle and straight down my back after spending hours working on it with a flattening iron. My face was a solid testament to my ancestry with jet-black eyebrows arched above coal-colored eyes. My cheekbones, though, were high, and my mouth, my cousin Gia assured me, was sultry and sexy.

It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I came to realize the reason boys weren’t knocking each other over on their way to dating me was due to my father’s ridiculous reputation. No one wanted to be the guy who dated Sonny San Valentino’s only daughter. The odds of something happening to the guy should he cause me any emotional harm were thought to be great, and most boys my age valued their lives and potential futures.

And I know how dramatic that sounds. My father, despite what people believe, is not a violent man or a criminal in any sense of the word. Sure, he knows some wiseguys with reputations, most of whom he’d grown up with, and does business with a few who have been up the river once or twice…or more, for various and sundry charges, but he’s not the gangster he’s believed to be.

Reputations, though, are like rumors. They spread fast and furious despite any semblance of fact.

One nugget of truth to the entire situation that I did discover though, was that my father had been known to talk at the Marconi club where he was a frequent mahjong player, that no boy was good enough to date his little bellissima figlia, the name he always called me by. He didn’t want me dating and when the time came for me to marry, he would pick out the husband for me. My brother GianCarlo heard this from a friend of his and he repeated it to his wife Trixie, who then told it to me like any good Italian cognata would.

Needless to say when I found out, Pop’s little bellissima figlia erupted like Mount Vesuvius. I went out and grabbed the first guy I saw, got pregnant within a month, and married a few weeks later by the priest who’d baptized, communed, and confirmed me.

And, obeying my mother’s wishes, wore a virginal white gown that had belonged to her mother.

The one and only timed I’ve ever rebelled in my life, and the ramifications of that single action still haunt me to this day.

Intrigued? Here’s where you can preorder the book, which releases on 12.12.18 just in time for Christmas. ***These are the links for e-copy. Print copies will be released soon.

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Nook

And don’t forget the other titles I have out this Holiday Season for the romance-reader on your list – or just for yourself!

Hope’s Dream ( Deerbourne Inn Novella)

DEARLY BELOVED ( A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN, BOOK 1)

All my titles are available here: Book Links and here

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet 9.23.18

From the upcoming CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS

After grace, my father turned his attention away from the conversation my brothers were having about the Jets, and toward me.

“What’s going on with you and that Irish guy?” he asked without any preamble.

Luckily, I hadn’t taken a sip from the water glass I’d lifted to my mouth, otherwise I knew I would have choked on the liquid.

“Nothing.”

Regina Maria.”

“Really, Pop. Nothing. I made a cake for him. That’s it.”
 I could hear the angels in Heaven tsk-tsking me.

I’d been in church less than two hours ago, and now I was committing a sin by lying to my father. I could see a visit to the confessional before the end of the day was in order.

“Guys you make cakes for don’t usually spend the night in your apartment, little girl.”

My brother knows a guy named Tony Cartieri. Everyone who knows him agrees that if Tony didn’t have bad luck, he’d have no luck.

Right at the moment Pop made that statement, I knew exactly how old Tony felt, because the conversation had slowed and ebbed, Pop’s words spreading around the table loud and clear. The kids were set up in the living room, so I don’t think they got wind of it. But everyone else did.

Ten pair of eyes glared at me from all corners of the table. Some were wide-eyed; some were narrowed. All of them were filled with varying levels of emotions ranging from shocked (Ma) to suspicious (my brothers) to pleased (my sisters-in-law).

“Regina.” Ma threw her napkin on her plate and slammed her cutlery next to her plate. “What is your father talking about? What man spent the night at your apartment?”

“It’s not like it sounds, Ma. It was late and we were talking, and then we both just fell asleep—”

Holy Madonna.” She made the sign of the cross and closed her eyes, hands clasped together as her lips moved silently in prayer.

“Where?” ’Carlo asked.

“Where what?”

“Where did the two of you fall asleep? In your bed?”

Another finger cross from Ma. This time she kissed her fingertips afterward and threw a prayer up to the Lord.

“I don’t think you get to ask me that question, ’Carlo. I’m thirty-two years old, and you’re my brother, not my father.”

“What I am is suspicious,” he spat back. “How come we didn’t know you were seeing a guy? Why you keeping him a secret?”

“First of all, what I do in the privacy of my own home”—now Ma was rocking back and forth as she prayed—“or don’t do, is none of your business. Second, I’m not seeing anyone, so the fact that it’s a secret is null and void. Stop with the third degree, GianCarlo. Use it on your own kids, ’cause like I said, you’re not my father.”

“But I am,” Pop said, his tone hard and filled with anger, “so answer it. Where did Irish sleep last night?”

“Irish?” Petey exclaimed. “What the Hell kinda name is that?”

“Language, Pietro,” Ma said, awaking from her spiritual coma to chastise her son.

There are so many things I simply adore about my family. The unshakeable connection and love we all have; the fact that we live close to one another; our shared faith and sense of tradition. But the one thing I do hate is the antiquated morality system they adhere to. Girls don’t have sex with men before marriage, plain and simple. Of course since the one and only time I’d done just that, I’d wound up pregnant and forced to get married, my parents’ concerns made sense.

To them.

I was almost fifteen years older, much wiser, and a full-fledged adult now, but I was still treated like an ignorant bambina who had to be protected from wolves and scoundrels. If my father had his way, I’d be married right now to one of his goombahs, eight months pregnant with probably our seventh child, and in the kitchen making gravy.

So many times over the years, I’d wanted to smack him on the back of the head much the way he smacks us, and say, “Wake up! It’s twenty-first-century America, not eighteenth-century Sicily.” Wanting to do something and actually doing it, though, are very different beasts.

So.

I don’t get mad often, especially with my family, but I was tired, overworked, emotionally drained, and royally pissed off right now, so the anger bled through my usual calm.

I rose from my chair and threw my napkin down on the table like my mother had.

“You know what? I’m done. I’m done with you all treating me like a child. I’m not one of your underlings, Pop, who needs to be kept on a short lease and told what to do every minute of the day because you don’t have enough trust to let them act on their own. And”—I glared at my brothers— “I’m not five years old and unable to defend myself against bullies and bad guys. You don’t have to hold my hand so I can cross the street and not get hit by a car.” I grabbed my plate and walked to the kitchen. “I’m done with you all thinking I can’t make a wise and appropriate decision with my life,” I added over my shoulder. I placed the dish in the sink and called out, “I’m done with the checking up on me, the second- guessing me, and the way you all think you have a right to manage my life.”

I yanked my coat off the hall tree and yelled, “I’m a thirty-two-year-old grown-ass woman who owns and manages her own business and her own life. I don’t need protectors, handlers, or any of you telling me what to do, who to see, or how to conduct myself. I’ve been on my own a long time, and I think I’ve done a great job with myself, even if you all don’t.” I shrugged into my coat and wound my scarf around my neck. “If I want a man to spend the night or not, it’s none of your damn business. Deal with it.”

I may have screeched that last part.

I slammed the door behind me and sprinted down the stairs of the brownstone, my ungloved hand waving in the air for a passing cab.

As an exit line, I think it was a pretty good one.

Available December 2018 from THE WILD ROSE PRESS

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