Tag Archives: #indieromanceauthors

Return to LAST CHANCE BEACH with Kathryn Hills…

One of my favorite authors ( and people!) has a new book out I’d like to share today. Kathryn Hills is part of the LAST CHANCE BEACH group and the newest addition, her SAND, SALT, and SPIRITS hit the charts recently. Here’s a little about the book.

Can a weekend visit to Last Chance Beach undo decades of brokenhearted memories? Conjuring up some island magic might just be their trick. Or treat!

Kyle Worthington hasn’t returned to Last Chance Beach in years. He’s worked hard to prove himself to his overbearing father and the rest of the world. Now it’s October, and the vacation island paradise is celebrating the season with an island-wide Fall Festival. Family obligation demands he participate. Everyone will be there, including the ghost that haunts his grandparents’ B&B.

The running joke that Kyle never sticks with anything—not a career or a woman—will continue to plague him. Unless he brings a knockout of a date to the weekend-long event. Cassandra Corwin fits the bill perfectly. Kyle’s had his eye on his brilliant, beautiful coworker since day one. But Cassie is an enigma, a loner. There’s no room in her life for anyone except Odin, her goofball of a Great Dane.

Will this woman of mystery agree to Kyle’s scheme to impress his family? Can two near strangers from opposite worlds survive family gatherings and back-to-back Halloween events while pretending to be a couple? Kyle’s father seems hell-bent on derailing everything before they even shout “Boo!”

Or will the island’s magic prove too powerful for them to resist?

“I just want a chance,” he urged, meeting her intense stare.

“You move around a lot. From place to place, woman to woman. Heck, you even trade in cars faster than anyone I’ve ever met. I’m just me. Same old Cassie. I don’t want to live life on the edge like you do. I did that growing up, and it doesn’t work for me anymore. Granted, I wouldn’t mind moving back to New England. I even asked to be put on a list for transfer if any opportunities opened in the Boston area.”

A lead weight dropped into his gut. “Wait, you want to leave?”

“Yes. Maybe. I don’t know. Last week, I was sure. This week…today…I… Maybe things have changed,” she revealed. “Honestly, I’m torn, because I know you’re a dedicated company man. You’ll go wherever they send you and be fine with it. I’m looking for a place to call home. So…despite our wicked chemistry, I think it’s best we remain just friends.”

“I’m not going anywhere, Cass,” he promised. “Same job, same location. Right here with you. And you’re hardly the ‘same old Cassie.’ Seriously, woman, I’ve never been so surprised by someone. Can we just give it a try? See where this thing takes us?”

She stared out to sea for a long time before saying, “Maybe?”

“I can work with maybe.” He gave her a dazzling smile. “I have the rest of today and all of tonight to convince you. Let’s see if we can conjure up some of Gran’s island magic.” He twined his fingers with hers and tugged her to her feet. Walking backwards, he drew her out onto the hot sand. “Gran believes Last Chance Beach has a certain love magic. She told you…it brings people together.

“Love magic? Are you sure you’re okay? Maybe your lobster roll was bad, or you’re getting sunstroke? Did you drink enough water today?” Cassie tugged off her sandals to walk barefoot in the water when they reached the shoreline.

“I’m fine. Better than fine, actually.” Kyle followed her lead, leaving his sneakers and socks in a hastily made pile.

“And you’re saying you believe in this ‘island love magic?’” she asked in a sexy little voice, speaking over her shoulder as she strolled away from him.

“Hell, yeah. I believe it now. Certainly after you said, ‘maybe.’”

Cassie began walking faster. Soon, she was running and laughing.

Kyle gave chase. “Just so you know, I played quarterback in high school.”

“Of course you did, hot shot.” She squealed and giggled when he swept her off her feet and up onto his shoulder. “No, no, no,” she cried when he headed for the water as if to throw her in. “This dress will turn completely transparent if it gets wet.”

“You do not understand even the basic rules when dealing with men, do you, Cassie Corwin?” Kyle stopped just short of the water. He let her body slide down his slowly until her toes touched the wet sand. Waves lapped at their legs. Hers were bare, so she didn’t care. He wore pants, yet he cared even less.

“You’re right,” she murmured when he continued to hold her. “I don’t understand men. You’re an enigma to me, Kyle Worthington.”

He gently cupped her face in his hands, holding her to him, as he nuzzled her silky hair. “I don’t want to be a mystery. I want only you.”

She released a long, shaky sigh a split second before his lips brushed hers.

Buy Link

https://books2read.com/u/bQJo5Z

The rich history and many mysteries of New England are the perfect backdrop for many of KATHRYN’s books. Winding roads lined by old stone walls, forgotten cemeteries, grand homes with shadowy pasts…all sparks for her imagination. Whether it’s a quaint seaside town or the vibrant city of Boston, it’s easy for this “hauntingly romantic” author to envision the past mingling with the present. No surprise, some of Kathryn’s favorite stories include ghosts! Sprinkle in some magic, and you’re off on a great adventure.

When not writing, this best-selling author is reading, researching, gardening, or cooking up something special in her chaotic kitchen. She shares her colonial home in the north woods with those she loves most – her wonderful husband, daughter, and three crazy dogs.

Find Kathryn Hills Online

* Website * Facebook * Twitter * Amazon Author Page * BookBub

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MY ONLY ONE, a new first-in-a-series book by author Charlotte O’Shay…

One of my favorite things as a blogger is introducing you, lovely reader, to a new-author-to-you. If you’ve followed this blog you know one of my favorite authors is Wild Rose Press sistah, Charlotte O’Shay. She writes great female leads, swoony heroes, and fabulous stories. She’s got her first indie book, MY ONLY ONE, out today and I am honored she’s visiting me on release day.

Hi Peggy,

Thanks you for hosting me! I’m over the moon today because it’s release day for My Only One. To be 100% truthful there’s a queasy edge to my excitement because this romance is my first indie as well as the start of a new series. So…anyway… here goes.

Five fun facts about the story & world of the Fortunato family. And a Newsletter Sign-up Giveaway.

1-My Only One, a short-ish friends to lovers, romantic suspense introduces the seven Fortunato siblings: Shane, Leo, Finn, Holly, Christopher, Ivy and Delaney and the Fortunato Family series. All of the stories are set in and around New York City.

2-I also come from a family of seven siblings. Are there any autobiographical elements in this series? Hmm…

3- The first book, My Only One features the eldest Fortunato brother, Shane, an NYPD detective and the girl next door, Esme, a cancer cure researcher. An early reviewer said, I couldn’t put this book down as it was so addictive and a real page turner that kept you on the edge of your seat wondering what the outcome would be for Esme and Shane and would they have a future together.”

4-The upcoming romances in this series are packed with family antics, steam and some my favorite romance tropes; like enemies to lovers, slow burn, opposites attract, best friend’s younger sister, fake relationship.

5-If this intrigues you and you want some more of the Fortunato saga, sign up to my newsletter here because I will be sharing the prologue to My Only One only with subscribers .

My Only One, Book One of the Fortunato Family series, is a friends to lovers, romantic suspense that’s chock full of feels.

Esme:
We grew up in side-by-side New York City tenements. Shane was my first friend, my first crush, and when he enlisted, my unforgettable heartbreak. When fate brings us back together after ten years, I’m in a world of danger. But I’m not a kid anymore and I know what I want. Shane and I have a second chance at forever and there’s no way I’ll lose him again.

Shane:
Brilliant, beautiful, bound for success, Esme was the girl next door and a temptation I had to resist. I was too old for her, but I couldn’t forget her. When we meet again after ten long years, she’s caught in the crosshairs of a deadly drug kingpin. But I wear a badge now. Nothing will stop me from protecting the woman who claimed me—heart and soul—so long ago. I’ll keep Esme safe or die trying.

Time’s running out for Esme to pay her father’s debt to the cartel.

Purchase from your favorite bookseller via Books2Read HERE

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.

Social Media Links:

WEBSITE

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

PINTEREST

FACEBOOK PAGE

BOOKBUB

Peggy here; to say I love Charlotte’s writing wouldn’t be a strong enough descriptive phrase. She is one of my one-click authors – the ones I preorder without even knowing what the book is about because she never NEVER disappoints. MY ONLY ONE is no exception to that. I was honored to read an ARC of this book and I’m sharing my review with you, here: My Only One Here’s a hint: LOVED IT!

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IT’S A TRUST THING goes WIDE!

When I first started on the crooked road to self/indie publishing, I had to learn a lot of things.

A LOT of things.

So many things that my head hurt. I watched more youtube and amazon instructional videos about how to format, market, price, and edit your own books that I dreamed about coding for weeks.

Well, I tackled the amazon part of publishing, so the natural next step would be to learn how to publish over different digital platforms. I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered the art yet, but I’m getting my feet wet and trying.

On March 1, 2021, IT’S A TRUST THING, my very first self/indie published romance, goes into wide distribution digitally.  The book will be available from all these digital suppliers:

So, if you’ve got a nook, or read through Kobo, now is your chance to order the book in that format.

I have to admit doing this terrifies me. I’m so afraid I did something wrong and when people order the book they’ll wind up with digital gibberish instead of text.

So if you don’t hear from me on March 1, it’s because I’m having an anxiety attack! Not kidding. Not even a little.

Who knew at this advanced age I’d need to be my own publisher??? Not me, that’s for sure.

But… if this works out without any mishaps, I’ll be putting WOKE up next on April 1.

If it doesn’t, well, I’m going to crawl back into my writing hole and just….write. Leave the publishing to others with more experience, knowledge, and patience.

Pray for me, peeps. Pray for me…..

Until next time ~ Peg

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#Author Jennifer Wilck presents WHISPERS IN WASHINGTON….

I love when my author/writer friends come to visit me here on this blog, and today is no exception!!! One of my talented sistahs, Jennifer Wilck,  has a new  book out – her very first indie release!!! – and she graciously agreed to come talk about it here with us all today!!!

So, without any more of me talking, I’m gonna give the virtual mic to Jenn….

Thanks so much, Peggy, for allowing me to visit with your readers today. I’m so happy to be here and to talk about why I decided to go the indie route.

In this particular case, I was actually asked to join a group of writers who were putting together a multi-author series, called Ticket to True Love. JB Schroeder, a fellow New Jersey Romance Writers author, was looking to make her group of authors a little more diverse, and knew I write Jewish romance. So she contacted me to see if I’d be interested.

I was flattered for many reasons. First of all, I’ve written four contemporary romances with Jewish characters, and it’s always nice for an author to be “known” by her peers—and readers—for something. Writing Jewish characters is something that’s near and dear to my heart—I truly believe diversity, in whatever way it is expressed, adds flavor and texture to romance.

Second of all, the other authors who are part of this series are very talented, and for them to consider me made my day. Authors like Savannah Kade, Shirley Hailstock, Terry Osburn, and Julie Strauss, just to name a few. I mean, I’ve READ their books and admired the way they told their stories. And now I’m writing with them!

The premise for the series also interested me. The series has a legend that every book must refer to somewhere in the story—that of a magical water spring that caused a couple to fall in love. Each author must incorporate that magical water somewhere in their book. For my book, Whispers in Washington, I have the heroine and her mother visit the town where the spring is located. In fact, the heroine’s mom wants her to drink the water and my heroine refuses—she’s been burned by love once and is in no hurry to repeat the experience.

Additionally, each story in the series must reference a “ticket” in some way. Mine uses parking tickets. My heroine gets a parking ticket at her new apartment complex, and my hero gives her his spot until she can fix the issue. Later on, there are more parking tickets that come into play as well.

I loved the idea of a few common threads tying all the books together, yet allowing enough creativity that no book is the same.

And JB is the designer of all our covers, as well, so they all look like they’re part of the set.

Finally, we all market for each other, so I get the benefit of other authors’ experience, as well as providing them with my own.

Now do you see why I jumped at the chance to participate?

WHISPERS IN WASHINGTON 

Naomi’s life has been destroyed

When Naomi Adelman’s crooked politician husband was arrested, her life, and that of her daughters, was destroyed. Divorced and rebuilding her life, Naomi is wiser, stronger, and determined not to let anyone hurt her or her family again. Her new life doesn’t include falling for her charming and good-looking neighbor.Max bet everything and lost…

 Max Bruder bet his entire career on the Adelman story and lost everything. So, he figures that karma has smiled down on him when Naomi moves in next door. This is his chance to revitalize his career. Except the closer he gets to her, the deeper he falls for her. And soon, the line between interview subject and lover blurs.

If they fall for each other, they may jeopardize their chance at a future. 

Excerpt:

Naomi wanted to finish, but she was full, and with reluctance, she pushed her plate away. “That was amazing. You can order for me anytime.”

A shard of interest sparked in Max’s eyes and he leaned forward. “Does this mean you’ll go to dinner with me again?” His voice beguiled her, his interest in her clear.

Her stomach fluttered. Warning lights flickered in her brain, but something else whispered, “’go for it.” She paused. “I will.”

He smiled, his look of satisfaction somehow attractive, instead of arrogant. She liked confident men, and Max oozed confidence. Except he carried confidence with ease. His broad shoulders emphasized good posture, rather than a puffed-out chest. Whoa, I might have had too much to drink. She looked at the wine bottle. Had she drunk three or four glasses? She couldn’t remember. Her neck heated with the same glow she felt after drinking. Maybe she should slow down.

What she did know was Max was sexy, and she liked the attraction sparking between them. After such a long time of feeling like a prop, and a duped one at that, it was nice to have a man look at her like she was worth something.

He rose, and she realized he’d paid the bill while she sat lost in her thoughts. He held out a hand to her and she took it. His grasp was firm, and her skin prickled beneath his touch. Was this what her daughters felt when they met a new guy? God, it had been ages since she’d done this. Rising, she met his gaze. His brown eyes were full of life—there was depth there, kindness, and inter‐ est. Depending on the light, the color changed from gold to walnut and shades in between. He smelled spicy and clean.

She squeezed his hand, and he kept her palm in his as he led her out of the restaurant. They stood in the doorway, her body only inches away from his, heat zinging between them, as they walked the few blocks to their apartment building. He still didn’t let go of her. She concentrated on the tensile strength of his fingers wrapped around hers, liking his strength and comfort.

He didn’t lead her around or pull her in a particular direction. Their hands together joined them. It felt natural. Holding hands with Malcolm always made her feel like a prop, as if he didn’t want a real connection.

Naomi didn’t want to think about Malcolm now, and she shook her head.

“Problem?” Max asked. They’d stopped in front of their building.

She turned so fast, her hair caught on the stubble at his jaw. “No.” She brushed the hair away from his cheek, the slight textured stubble rubbing against her palm and sending heat straight to her belly. His lips parted, and he leaned forward.

Would he kiss her? Did she want him to? She shouldn’t, she barely knew him, but her skin tingled, her breasts tightened and her breath came in short gasps.

He didn’t kiss her. Instead, he reached his free hand out and stroked the side of her head, smoothing her hair in place. “Yes,” he whispered.

She frowned, and tried to hide her disappointment. “Yes, what?”

“Your hair is as silky as I wondered.” He let his hand glide down her neck to her shoulder, and the contact brought out goose bumps. “Are you cold?” he asked.

She didn’t know how to answer. Was it okay for her to say, “no, I’m attracted to you?” Or should she say “yes”?

As if he understood her dilemma, he let go of her hand, slid his arm behind her shoulders, and drew her into the warmth of his body.

The man was a furnace and she wanted to groan in pleasure. They stood toe to toe, his hand running up and down her spine, her breasts pressed against his hard chest. Would he kiss her? Should she kiss him? Her brain short circuited and desire flooded through her. All she could do was focus on the warmth flooding her, the soothing sound of his humming something she couldn’t quite catch, and the zings of desire running throughout her body.

Too soon, Max pulled back. The cool evening air did little to stop the yearning for the man. Once again, he took her hand, and in silence, he led her into the elevator, down their hallway to where their front doors met. Her legs wobbled, and she leaned against the wall. The last thing she wanted to do was fall at this man’s feet.

“I liked getting to know you better,” Max whispered, leaning his free hand against the wall next to her head.

She was boxed in between the wall and Max, in her own little cocoon. He’d said there were limits to how far a reporter should go. For some reason, she felt safe. She trusted him not to take advantage of her. Her body warmed at his proximity. His eyes were dark—more mahogany than walnut, his forehead touched hers, and his breath was warm and minty. Her mind drifted to when exactly he’d taken a breath mint, and why, and should she. She opened her mouth to tell him how much she’d enjoyed it too, and to ask for a mint, but he didn’t let her utter any words.

Instead, he brought his mouth to hers and kissed her. Warm, commanding, yet soft, lips claimed her own. Her knees buckled and she grabbed his biceps, loving the solid feel of him beneath her fingers. Max wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. He exuded strength and she felt more protected than she could remember. His body was hard, his arousal pressing against her, but he didn’t force her or move fast. Instead, he moved with delicious slowness, as if he memorized everything about her lips and mouth. She wanted more. More kissing, more touching, more Max. She whimpered as she pressed against him and his lips stretched into a smile, before he sucked on her tongue and the last of her coherent thoughts fizzled.

Just as she was about to rip his jacket off and begin to unbutton his shirt, he pulled away.

“Goodnight.” His breathing was harsh, his words rough, his pupils wide and dark. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

She covered her mouth with her hand. She could taste him. He pushed away from the wall and entered his apartment, the jingle of his keys echoing throughout the hall.

Get your copy of  here : 

Amazon: // Barnes & Noble: // iBooks: // Kobo:

A little about Jennifer Wilck….

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, many of which feature Jewish characters in non-religious settings (#ownvoices). She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

You can connect with Jennifer here:

Website: // Facebook: // Newsletter: // Twitter: // Instagram: // BookBub:

Peggy here: OMGosh – doesn’t this book sound delicious??!! Thank you, Jenn, for stopping by today and telling us all about the fabulous new project!!! Happy Sales.

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

 

 

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#tuesdayTeaser 8.4.2020 – WIP

In order to be a real tease(r) I figured I give you a taste of the Christmas book I’m releasing independently this year. It’s in final edits and I don’t have a cover yet, but I finally decided on a title after putting up a poll on my facebook page : MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS, & MOZZARELLA. Just from that you can surmise it’s a RomCom!

Here’s the burb, then the little tease from between the pages:

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: Family comes first, last, and always. No excuses.

I sent up a prayer to St. John the Silent in the hope it would keep my father from divulging what Tony had informed us about Chico. I should have saved myself the trouble because with no thought to the promise he’d given the good detective, my father vomited everything up to my uncles.

Christ on the cross, what a mess,” Joey said, rubbing his fingers over his eyebrows.

“I heard’a this piece’a work, Archetti,” Sonny said after sipping his espresso. “Low-level drug scum. Got shanked. Good riddance.”

I was cut short from adding something when my mother blasted into the room.

And that’s not an exaggeration.

Grace Liliana Chicollini San Valentino is a force of nature. There’s really no other way to describe her.

At five foot eight, she towers above all her siblings, leading some in the family to ponder if nonna had done the nasty with the milkman when nonno was off fighting the Fascists. She’d been born and blessed with the northern Italian DNA of fair hair, blue eyes, and light skin, unlike my father’s Sicilian genes, which were dark, dark, and darker. I’d always considered it a crime against nature my brothers all took after my mother while I got the lion’s share of Daddy’s genetic makeup.

At sixty, my mother appeared ten years younger in any light. Nary a line warped her skin, due to the religious rubbing of extra virgin olive oil she applied to her face and neck nightly. When I’d been a little girl and plagued with night terrors, the familiar smell of my mother’s skin while she hugged me, soothed away the fears. It’s probably the reason to this day pizza or pasta dripping in oil still calms my soul.

What it does to my ass is another story entirely.

My mother has miraculously kept the figure she’d been gifted with when she sailed through her teen years, even after birthing six kids. Breasts like a screen siren’s, a tiny waist, and hips built for pregnancy, my mother’s silhouette is a classic hourglass and she still dresses in ways that accentuate her assets. The movie star bombshells of Hollywood’s heyday have nothing on my mama for natural sexiness.

As a teen, being her daughter hadn’t been easy. My brother’s friends all fell in pubescent lust with mama. Standing next to her I paled in the female comparison department and looked more like another of her sons than her darling daughter.

But she had a heart of gold and when she loved you it was for life. That military expression I’ve got your six could have been devised for mama because no matter what stupid things my brothers had done, any trouble they’d gotten into, and even through my turbulent and emotional teen years, she’d always had our backs.

“Louie. Louie,” she shouted as she blew like a sirocco into the room. “I just heard from Frankie about a dead guy at the store. Mi amore! Your heart. Are you okay? You ain’t hurt are ya?”

She flung her fur coat off and it landed on the floor in a heap behind her. Wrapping her arms around my father, who’d stood the moment her worried voice boomed through the back door, she cried, “Are you okay?” She ran her hands over his head, down his shoulders, to his chest, her gaze raking along with her movements, making sure all his parts were intact and he wasn’t spouting arterial blood.

My father, ever calm and controlled, took her hands with his and brought them both to his lips. After he kissed each one he continued to hold them as he told her, “I’m fine, Gracie. I’m okay. It was Donna who found Chico, not me. And he was already dead.”

My mother whipped her head in my direction. With her forehead a mass of furrows and her eyes pinched at the corners, she pulled a hand from my father’s grip and grabbed my arm. “You okay, bambina?”

I squeezed her hand and nodded. Then, without any warning, an unusual need to fall into her arms and cry overcame me. When a sob escaped me full-force, she pulled out of my father’s hold, clicking her tongue on the roof of her mouth, grabbed me, and hauled me against her chest, my nose crushing into her well-supported cleavage.

Her arms were like steel traps and she kept me glued to her body while she rubbed my back and cooed in Italian. A quick whiff of her knock-off L’air du temps combined with a hint of garlic and I closed my eyes as the tears fell.

I’m not gonna lie: as a thirty-four year old, grown-ass woman, nothing made me feel better when I was off-kilter than when my mama held me in her arms. I’m not one iota ashamed or embarrassed to admit it.

As I cleaved to her she asked my father, “You’re sure you’re okay?” He told her he was, then, “Why don’t you take Donna into the kitchen, mi amore? Get her something hot to drink. It’s been a long morning for her.”

My mother nodded then slipped an arm up and around my shoulders. “Come on, bambina. Let the boys talk.”

I allowed her to propel me into the kitchen she’d had remodeled the year before.

“Sit.” She pointed to one of the breakfast bar chairs.

I grabbed a paper napkin from the holder on the marble topped counter, did as she commanded and sat, then swiped at my wet eyes.

This is mama’s domain. Daddy may run a successful deli and is an amazing cook in his own right, but Mama rules the kitchen in our house. When nonna was alive she could be very stingy with any kind of praise, but she always complimented my mother on her cooking skills, honed—of course—at nonna’s knee.

Moving with the finesse of one who knows where every single item is to be found in her world, Mama filled the teakettle then put it on the ceramic-topped stove to boil. She didn’t even look when she reached into one of the cupboards and pulled down two porcelain cups with one hand, the other disappearing into one of the pottery containers on the counter that held the teabags.

I sat, silent, watching her move with efficiency from one task to the other, and marveled as I’d done my entire life at what a dichotomy she was. While she had the body of a pampered goddess and could cook like one of the world’s finest Italian chefs, she wasn’t – what my Uncle Sonny often remarked – the sharpest tool in the drawer. I’d always thought this was mean, but in reality, it was God’s truth. My mother wasn’t a member of Mensa – not even close—and on any given day she was known to pop out with things that made most of us cringe or she’d ask a question a bit too intrusive for the person being asked. She had a habit of saying exactly what came to the front of her mind at any given moment with no regard to filtering it. This was one of the reasons my father never let her work in the deli. She couldn’t be trusted around the customers to self-censor. But, despite this one flaw, he adored her, as did I.

She reached into the cabinet under the sink and grabbed the bottle of brandy she kept there for emergencies. When my nonna had been alive, the bottle had gotten a great deal of use, especially after one of her visits. Mama poured way more than a shot-glass full into my teacup after adding the boiling water. She let it steep for less than a minute then handed it to me.

“Drink this. And then tell me everything ‘cause I know your daddy won’t. He’ll gloss over details thinking he’s protecting me.” She waved a hand in the air with a dismissive flick.

Intrigued? More to come when I have a cover, but I’m thinking an October release. I’ll let ya know.

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

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#TeaserThursday 6.18.2020

Since this book comes out in 13 days, I figured a few lines from its pages would be a good teaser for today.

Here’s the blurb so you know what’s what:

Waking up each day is a gift….

On her 21st birthday, someone slipped a potent drug combination into socialite Aurora Brightwell’s champagne putting her in a coma for the next ten years. It’s been a long road back, and it’s time to reclaim the life she lost and find out exactly what happened on that fateful night.

Financier Kincade Enright has his own reason for helping Aurora discover who poisoned her, but for the time being he’s keeping that – and his true identity – to himself. What he can’t keep hidden though, are his growing feelings for the one-time paparazzi darling and party-girl.

When this prince of finance joins forces with the former sleeping beauty, nothing can stop them from finding the answers they seek…or prevent the powerful emotions developing between them as they search for the truth.

And here’s the teaser:

“Sorry I’m late,” I said when I met Cade at The Smith on Friday evening. “Traffic was ridiculous. I hope you haven’t been waiting long.”

“I offered to pick you up,” Cade said, rising from his seat. He took one of my hands in his and bussed my cheek. “But you insisted we meet here.”

“It just made sense from a travel standpoint.”

The waiter held my chair for me to sit; a server immediately filled a water glass.

“I took the liberty of ordering a bottle of wine,” Cade took his own seat across from me. “I hope you don’t mind.”

I flittered my hand at him. “Not at all. A glass of wine sounds great about now.”

While the sommelier appeared instantly at his side, I took stock of Cade.

Or more accurately, Cade in a tuxedo.

A well fitted, expensive-as-sin, double breasted, midnight black tuxedo, complete with a bow tie I knew without a doubt wasn’t a clip on.

The man had been a walking advertisement for yummy in the suit he wore to the auction. But a tuxedo increased his hot and sexy quotient to a level I don’t think I’d ever graded a man on before.

He wore it as if he’d been born to it.

He wore it as if he’d been born in it.

The deep, inky color set-off the green in his eyes, deepening them to an unrefined, natural jade.

While he lifted his glass and sampled the wine, diamond cufflinks on his wrists winked in the dim, mood lighting around us.

This man oozed class and wealth from every pore.

He gave a quick nod of acceptance then waited while our glasses were seen to.

“Alone at last,” Cade said, the corners of his lips lifting. We clinked glasses, sipped.

“Oh that’s nice,” I said, the dry, slight citrus flavor dancing over my palette and making my taste buds hum. “Good choice.”

“I’m glad you like it.” He lowered his glass then leaned in closer across the small table and took my free hand. “You look lovely tonight.”

Something warm settled in me and I don’t think it was the wine. Flirty Rory showed herself as I cocked an eyebrow and asked, “Only tonight?”

His smile was quick and devastating. “More so tonight than usual.”

Intrigued? Or should I asked, teased? Hee hee.

Here’s the buy link if you’re so inclined to read more:  Amazon

Until next time ~ Peg

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#TeaserTuesday 6.9.2020

It’s fun taking a fairy tale and reworking it. That’s what I tried to do in my Limitless book Dirty Damsels, and in my indie book WOKE, which releases into the book reading world on 7.1.2020.

In WOKE, I took the premise of Sleeping Beauty and modernized it. This sleeping beauty isn’t waiting for love’s first kiss to awaken her, though. She’s a modern woman who’s grabbing life by the proverbial reins and forging her future.

In today’s Teaser Tuesday, A.J. explains a little about her life, after waking up.

When I’d first woken from ten years of immobility, the muscles in my legs had given me the most difficulty. I was confined to a wheelchair for the first six months, unable to lift to a standing position without help. When I was upright, my legs were too weak to support me. Sam and his team had worked tirelessly day after day to build my upper body strength to some semblance of normal. Once my arms were stronger and I could lift myself I was able to use a walker on my own to help my legs get back their strength.

More nights that I could stand to remember I’d broken down, frustrated at my lack of progress and in serious pain. Maeve and my mother had brokered no whining, though, reminding me often that I was a fifth generation Brightwell and strength and intestinal fortitude were our bedrocks. Maeve had massaged my aching muscles while my mother had become an expert on nutrition and health management.

My coma had been caused by an allergic reaction to the drugs I’d been given, so I was unable to take any prescribed meds for the almost continual pain. I learned to grit my teeth and work through it with Maeve and mom’s help, and today I was relatively pain free.

There’s something to be said for generational fortitude and grit, I suppose.

Intrigued? The ecopy is on preorder here, now. If you like a print book, for some reason Amazon has made that available already, here.

And because I love PINTEREST so much, WOKE has it’s very own board, here

You might like these other modernized fairy tales as well…

Dirty Damsels

What if Cynderella had a one-night stand with a man named Prince? When I first saw Cynderella all covered in soot in that sexy maid uniform, I knew I wanted to be her Prince.She’s a smart and savvy businesswoman who’s built her cleaning company from the ground up. But now that Dirty Damsels was booming, I’ve been hired to arrange a hostile takeover. But the temptation of having her was too much to ignore… We ended up spending one night together–a night neither of us will forget. Now, I want more. I need more. I want to spend every night, skin-on-skin, with my beautiful Ella. Problem is, when she finds out who I really am, she’ll never forgive me.

It’a A Trust Thing

Nell Newbery has trust issues. It’s hard to trust when you’re the daughter of a fallen financial scion who bilked people out of billions. Nell’s done everything in her power to keep away from men who see her as their ticket to fortune and fame. All she wants to do is run her ultra-successful business, HELPFUL HUNKS, in peace.

But it wouldn’t hurt to find a guy who doesn’t know a thing about her father’s felonious past; one she can give her heart to and trust it won’t come back to her battered, bruised, and broken.

Is Charlie Churchill that guy? On the surface he seems perfect, all polished manners and quiet mirth. Nell’s convinced he knows nothing about her, other than she likes superhero movies and views junk food as a food group.

Can she trust him to be what he appears to be? Or is he just pretending?

For Nell, trust is everything in life…and in love.

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

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For The Love of You by Claire Marti. #newbookrelease #authorvisit

I’ve been so lucky to meet writers during my writing journey who astound me with their talent and inspire me with their bravery. When I decided to publish my very first indie romance, it was to writers like today’s guest, Claire Marti, to whom I looked and learned.

Claire has a new book out today, the third in her Pacific  Vista Ranch series, and she graciously allowed me to talk the book ( and it’s predecessors) up !!!

FOR THE LOVE OF YOU by Claire Marti

For a French soccer icon, and a gifted artist, a fake engagement is the perfect solution for their current dilemmas. But when last summer’s fling slips from lust to love, their pretend relationship becomes too hot to handle.

Gabriel DuVernay is heir to one of the oldest wineries in France, but his passion is playing soccer, not tending vines. When he signs a multi-million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy, he’s able to postpone his unwelcome duties and help his younger sister convince their old-fashioned father she should be their family’s first female winemaker. Another bonus of moving to California is reuniting with the striking redhead who snuck out of his apartment after the hottest night of his life.

Last summer, artist Dylan McNeill’s life on her family’s Southern California horse-breeding ranch was thrown into chaos and she escaped to Paris. One electrifying night with a gorgeous playboy athlete helped her forget her problems. She’s never forgotten Gabriel, but aspiring artists trying to break into the elite art world don’t have time for romance. She’s determined to get discovered without trading on her family’s famous name.

When Gabriel suffers a career-shattering injury, he needs to buy some time to figure out how to remain in America and choose his own future. His influential mother can open important doors in the art world and help Dylan fulfill her dreams ––for a price. A fictitious engagement seems like the simple answer until living at Pacific Vista Ranch and pretending to be in love starts to feel real.

Can last year’s one night stand and this year’s fake engagement turn into true love forever?

 

Get your copy here: Amazon // Kobo // Apple books ( ibooks) // B&N

EXCERPT:

Hands linked, they ascended a single flight of broad wrought iron stairs. When he opened the large door, her lips parted in wonder at his home’s simple classic beauty. Wide honey-colored plank flooring set off the soaring ceiling, stark white walls, and midnight navy couch and loveseat. Nothing distracted from the main attraction: enormous glass doors revealing the unobstructed view of the wide golden sand beach melting into the cobalt blue Pacific Ocean.

“Wow. So I guess you signed on the dotted line the minute you saw this view?” Dylan drank in the beauty of the late afternoon sky.

Gabriel’s laugh was a low purr in his throat. “Exactly. Come.” He slid the French doors open and led her out to an immense deck.

Immediately, the warm, salty breeze caressed her skin and the shriek of seagulls filled the early twilight sky. Streaks of mauve and raspberry and tangerine turned the horizon into a watercolor tableau worthy of its own canvas. She leaned against the white wooden railing and sighed with pleasure.

“This is amazing. When did you arrive and do you get to spend much time here?” The Major League Soccer season ran from March to December. Professional athletes didn’t get much downtime, even in the off-season.

He was close enough that the clean fresh scent of soap and shampoo tickled her senses. His hair held a hint of curl and glints of chestnut and caramel. He angled his head toward her. “The transfer came through a few months ago, but I finished up my contract with Barcelona. I was at practice the morning after I arrived. So, no, I haven’t spent enough time here yet.”

“Thanks for sharing it with me.”

He reached for her hand again, lacing their fingers together. “Let’s have some wine and choose something to order for dinner. What are you in the mood for?”

“Italian or maybe French?” Her cheeks flamed. No innuendos there at all. Nope, not a one.

He waggled his eyebrows. “That can be arranged.”

Before she could react, he pulled her into his arms and lowered his head. He paused a few inches from her lips and slid one hand up her back to clasp her head. His minty breath mingled with hers and her lips parted in anticipation. His pupils dilated, his eyes black. With a growl, he captured her mouth and stroked and swirled his tongue with hers.

She melted against him, her knees buckled, and only his powerful embrace saved her from sliding to the deck in a boneless heap. She wove her arms around him, gripping the thin material of his t-shirt.

“Get a room!” A shout from the boardwalk below doused them like a bucket of freezing water. Gabriel’s hold softened and Dylan stepped back.

She exhaled a shaky breath and smoothed back her hair. Worked to slow her thundering heartbeat and gather some composure. When she’d agreed to come over to his house, she’d been anticipating flirtation and conversation, but nothing could have prepared her for experiencing the intensity of their chemistry again. They’d only spent one night together, but he’d left an indelible impression on her. Apparently, it was mutual.

Gabriel flashed a cheeky grin. “I’ve got several rooms inside, care to join me?”

“Aren’t you the clever one? Maybe we should slow things down and have that drink. And I am hungry.” Everything about him was seductive and she was inexorably drawn to him. If she didn’t at least gently tap the brakes, they’d be in bed before dinner. Or instead of dinner.

 

A little about my friend, Claire Marti:

Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga.

Her award winning debut novel, Second Chance in Laguna, was a Finalist for Best Contemporary Romance in the prestigious Stiletto Contest, won best unpublished contemporary romance in the Heart of the Molly and third place in the Maggie. Book two in the Finding Forever in Laguna series, At Last in Lagunaand Book three, Sunset in Laguna, ​are available everywhere. Sunset in Laguna ​was a Golden Quill finalist.
 
Claire’s exciting new Pacific Vista Ranch series set on a horse-breeding ranch in exclusive Rancho Santa Fe, California, launched in September 2019. 

When Claire’s not writing, she’s teaching yoga. You can find her teaching at studios in sunny San Diego or enjoy fifty online classes on the international website www.yogadownload.com. A breast cancer survivor, Claire is a sought-after speaker on the power of yoga and meditation. She’s been published in numerous magazines with articles on wellness and is the author of a memoir, ​Come Ride with Me Along the Big C, on her experience beating breast cancer. 
 
Claire is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Contemporary Romance Writers, and the San Diego Romance Writers.

You can find Claire here:

Website // Facebook  //Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads // Bookbub // Amazon 

Read books 1 and 2 in the PACIFIC VISTA RANCH SERIES now

NOBODY ELSE BUT YOU

A smoking hot stuntman. A fiery horse breeder. And a 220-acre ranch too small for both of them.
She’s avoided Hollywood for years…
When an arrogant Hollywood stuntman struts into Samantha McNeill’s breeding barn, sparks fly. She doesn’t care how mouthwateringly gorgeous he is, not when he assumes Pacific Vista Ranch’s resident horse breeding manager must be a man. Not to mention his job threatens to pull her family back into the paparazzi filled world they escaped from over a decade ago.
Now it’s at her door––wearing faded jeans and a wicked grin.
Holt Ericsson can tell the beautiful redhead hates him on sight and the feeling is becoming mutual. But he will call in a favor and convince Sam’s legendary director father that Pacific Vista Ranch is the only suitable place left in California to film an epic Western. Holt’s invested all his savings in the movie and his entire career is riding on it. No way will he allow one irritating, sexy woman to stand in his way.
Sam intends to fight him at every turn…if only her heart didn’t race when they’re together. Holt does his best to steer clear of her…except all he wants to do is hold her close. The sizzling attraction between them is either going to burn up the sheets or burn down the ranch…

THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU

A perfectionistic equine vet. A gorgeous fireman. An unrequited high school crush blazes hot twelve years later.
Reliable Amanda McNeill’s world toppled last summer when Hollywood invaded her family’s horse breeding ranch. Everyone’s moving onward and upward, but she’s in a massive rut. Weary of her label as the dependable older sister, she yearns to throw predictability to the wind and embrace spontaneity. She can be impulsive, even wild, and a hot fling with Jake Cruz might be the sizzle she needs to jumpstart her life.
When firefighter Jake Cruz rescues a dog from a hit-and-run, the nearest vet is none other than his high school tutor, Amanda McNeill. Face to face with his former crush, he finds her to be even more beautiful than he remembers, and her charming blushes and heated glances tell him she notices him this time around. While Jake longs to discover if this Amanda matches the girl who starred in his adolescent fantasies, his desire to become fire captain, and earn his family’s pride, requires he focus on work, not passion.
Could his dream woman become his real love or will his professional ambitions extinguish their chances? Once the smoke clears, will Amanda realize Jake isn’t a fling but her hero after all?

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If a picture is worth 1,000 words, does that mean a book cover is too?

Since I decided to self-pub IT’S A TRUST THING and I knew I had no real money to invest in a professional graphic book designer, I decided to try my hand at making my own book cover. Since I already do so much graphic stuff for book ads and for this blog, I thought it might be fun.

And it was.

It was also harrowing, mind boggling, and at times, infuriating. What makes a good, eye catching book cover to me, may not necessarily mean it does to you. Plus, since it’s a romance there are things that have to be incorporated into the cover so people who are glancing through Amazon new releases see it for what it is and not say, a murder mystery.

Here are a few of the covers I made before I decided on the one I finally put up: Oh, and the original title of the book was HELPFUL HUNKS, the name of Nell’s business. Since I didn’t talk too much about her business in the book, I figured it would be misleading to call it that.

So I liked this one until a friend of mine pointed out the lousy job ( my word, not hers!) I did of cutting and pasting the couple on the Brooklyn Bridge. I wanted the bridge on the cover because an important plot point concerns it, but with the lousy job I did of C/P I realized it looked sloppy.

I wanted this cover because it matched DIRTY DAMSELS, and kept the branding of the series intact. See:

But again, the sloppy cut and paste was glaring in this one.

I loved this cover when the title was Helpful hunks, but it didn’t fit in with the branding again, so I opted to use it in ads for the book instead. But I still love this cover!

This is the one I finally decided on because the background was black and I didn’t have to do any sloppy cutting and pasting to get the couple front and center.

It goes along with the theme of Dirty Damsels in the fonts and with the couple embracing. It’s not as sexy as the DD cover, but that’s okay with me.

Now, I just need to know if the cover “SPEAKS” to romance book buyers!

Preorder is up here: It’s a Trust Thing

The book is also available in Kindle Unlimited for those subscribers as well.

Happy reading, folks!! Hope you like my cover and the story.

Until next time ~ Peg

Looking for me? I’m here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

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Filed under Dot Com Girls Romance, It's a trust thing, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Flying by the seat of my pants and saying a prayer ( or two or twenty!)

A little ominous for a blog title, no? Hee hee

The reference is to the upcoming release of my first Indie book on 11.1.19, It’s a Trust Thing.

Flying  by the seat of my pants refers to the fact that I learned everything about getting the book up on Amazon by myself. I asked a few Indie friends some questions ( hat’s off to Clair Brett!) for clarity, but for the most part I watched all the KDP tutorials and then just played around a bunch on the program to get the manuscript uploadable to Amazon.

From where I’m sitting, when I look at the “preview” screen of the book, it looks good. Release day will tell the true tale, though. I’ve ordered it to deliver to my kindle on release day – and yes, I really did. What better way to see how every other kindle reader will view the pages than to be a, well, kindle reader!? So I’ll be able to see if there any any issues with the download, how it looks, is formatted, etc. Because it’s self-published, I can go into the program again and fix any bugs. That’s one good thing about indie publishing – you have complete control over the manuscript.

Until that date comes, though, I am sitting here, a nervous Nelly to the max – which is kinda funny since my heroine’s name is Nell. Hee Hee.

In the interim, I’m writing the next two books I owe to WRP and trying not to stress too much. I gotta tell you, though, it’s wicked hard not to.

Tomorrow I’m going to show you all the sample covers I made for the book before I settled on this one:

Until next time ~ Peg

 

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, It's a trust thing, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women