Tag Archives: Kensington Publishers

Cooking and Baking…the secret to happiness, one loaf at a time!

So, in my non-writing life, I love to cook and bake.  And I love to eat what I cook and bake. So much so, that I should be on that show My 600 pound life. Luckily, I’m not because, you know…exercise!

When I was dreaming about my current series WILL COOK FOR LOVE, I knew I wanted to incorporate some of the cooking and baking knowledge I’ve gleaned over the years into the books, so each book has specific recipes targeted for that story. In COOKING WITH KANDY, I added some baked goods and even made a recipe card for reader swag for Grandma Sophie’s Banana Walnut muffins. For my October 3 release, A SHOT AT LOVE, there’s a scene in the book concerning french toast, so I made another recipe card for swag for that.  To make sure the recipes hold up for the reader, I made a batch of Challah french toast this past weekend to ensure it did.

On Thursday, I made the bread. These are pictures I took to document the bread baking cycle. Start with the dough, cover it and let it rise for three hours until it doubles:

           

Then, divide the dough in half, slice into 6 ropes and braid it to make 2 loaves. Let it sit for another hour.

    

Cover with an egg wash, and bake:

    

Now I had my bread for the french toast, but I had to let it get a little stale. 2-3 day old fresh bread gone stale  is best for french toast. Sunday morning I made the actual breakfast.

     

I took pictures and made a new swag recipe card that I’ll be giving out at RWA this year when I do the Kensington Book Signing.

For those of you not going to RWA, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients to make the Challah

  • 1 1/8 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbs dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten, plus 1 whole egg for glazing
  • 1/2 Tbs salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water with 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Beat well and let set for 10 min., until it’s frothy and bubbly.
  2. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then add the salt, sugar, and oil and beat again. Add the frothy yeast mixture and beat well. Now add the flour gradually, cup at a time, and just enough to make a soft dough that holds together, mixing well. Turn out onto a bread board and knead for about 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic, adding flour if the dough is too sticky.
  3. Pour a little oil in the bowl and turn the dough around the bowl, so that it is greased all over.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to rise for 3 hours, or until it has doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down and knead again, then divide into 2 pieces to make 2 loaves. Divide each into 3 long strips to make 2 bread braids.
  5. Braid challah into desired shape and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow them to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  6. Brush the tops with the beaten egg.
  7. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 25-30 minutes or until the loaves are golden-brown. They are done if they sound like a hollow drum when you tap the bottoms.

To make the French toast:

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie spice

3 tablespoon brown sugar

butter, syrup, confectioner’s sugar to taste

Directions: You need a griddle for this or a cast iron frying pan

Heat griddle to medium heat, grease top.

Beat the eggs, add the milk and vanilla. Mix well. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie spice and brown sugar.

Mix very well. Cut the Challah into 2-inch widths. Dip each piece in the above mix to completely coat- do not saturate!

Place each piece on the griddle and cook on each side 1-2 minutes, until each side is golden brown. Serve hot and add your own butter, maple syrup , and confectioner’s sugar to taste.

Book One in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE SERIES is out now. COOKING WITH KANDY:

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

 

My 3 favorite things: cooking, baking, writing. Oh, and eating. I need to include that, too, so 4!

When I’m not doing any of the above 4, you can find me here:

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Filed under Author, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Friends, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

Homeward Bound; #RT17

It’s a full seven days since I first posted about waiting in an airline terminal, bound for Atlanta, Georgia. This time, I’m homeward bound. And tired. Soooooo tired.

My first RT convention is over and I must tell you I am happy to be on my way back home. Back to my own bed. Back to home cooked meals and not restaurant and/or fast food. Back to not living out of a suitcase. Back to watching my favorite television shows and finally, back to my writing schedule again, which was sorely neglected this week, despite all my blogging efforts.

A week is a long, long time to be away from home. I miss my husband; I miss my bed; I miss my naps. I miss wearing sweat pants and pajama tops. I even–and I can’t believe I’m saying this–miss my Planet Fitness. The hotel has a fairly nice gym, but it’s not my gym.

RT2017 was my first RT experience, and I can truthfully say I’m glad I did it, if for no other reason than to just check it off on my  something-I-need-to-do-for-my-writing-career list. Some parts of the experience were great, some, not so much, so I will really need to explore whether or not I want to invest the time and money to attend next year in Reno.

The good parts were the wonderful new fellow writers and readers I met. It was an absolute delight meeting my fellow Kensington/Lyrical authors, Susan Mann,

Mary Ann Marlow,

 

Sarah Hegger

 

and Tiffany Warren.

These are amazeballs women and fabulous writers you will want to read.

Some other old freinds I was able to visit with included Stephanie Kay 

and the fabulous Jessica James

Two of the highlights of my week were the Kensington book singing

and then the personal meeting I  had with my beloved Editor. I sold out of all my books at the signing event- and I hope I garner some new fans because of it! Afterward, I got a one-on-one few hours with my editor, talking about everything from family and friends to where I’d like to take my writing career next with Kensington. I could have talked to this delightful woman for the entire night!

While waiting in line for an event one evening, a young lady came up to me. She looked familiar, but then, I tend to think that about a lot of people!. She asked me if I remembered her, I admitted she looked familiar but menopause was messing with my memory, and she reminded me we had met at the Fall In Love With New England reader event in 2016. She purchased every one of my books there and loved the handpainted boxes I put them. The dawn burst through and I did remember her and her aunt stopping by my table and talking for a while. This chickita is from Connecticut and is a true lover or romance novels. I was so impressed by the fact she was attending this convention, as well as the 2017 FILWN conference I am going to, and I was reminded of something I’ve always told me daughter: the world truly is a small place, and you should be kind, pleasant, and nice to everyone you meet because you don’t know when they will come into your life again. If this encounter wasn’t proof of that than I don’t know what is.

And while most things at the conference were great, there were some decidedly down points as well. First and foremost the crowds. What goes hand in hand with the crowds on the negative scale were the long, time-consuming lines to get into any and every event and the wait at the elevators for getting back to hotel rooms. There were only five elevators in the main tower of the Hyatt, and most times one was down for service or being used exclusively to bring people up to the penthouse restaurant. For a conference of this size, a hotel with more elevators should be the number one concern of the event planners.

I didn’t attend any of the after conference major parties for a few reasons. One, most started at 830 or 9 pm and I was already exhausted after a full day of walking, waiting in line, and networking. Two, they were all themed parties, and not realizing that this conference was like a ComicCon for romance readers, I didn’t have anything costume-wise planned. Three- the lines to get in….

Having to wait in line for over an hour for each event was a pain the a**. I don’t go to Disney or any themed parks because of this and to have to do it at a conference was simply annoying. Many of the conference rooms where workshops were being conducted were too small to fit the capacity crowds as well.

The hotel had one main restaurant ( wickedly overpriced) and one bar ( ditto). Luckily, the hotel was attached to a food mall, but for those of use who can’t eat fast food due to allergies and stomach issues, the hotel options were lousy.

I realize these are piddly, petty things to complain about. Believe me, I realize it. But I think to be fair and balanced, the good and the bad of an event needs to be explored because it weighs heavily on how much I will decide to attend future conferences of this type.

When all is said and written, though, I did enjoy myself for the large part. Meeting new readers, finding new authors, getting my name “out there” in the romance reading world, were all– as Martha Stewart says — good things.

While I’m traveling home, you can see what I’ve been up, here:

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Editors, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Lyrical Author, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

RT 2017 Bound

As I sit in the airport and wait – patiently, which is not my strong point! – for my plane to whisk me away to Atlanta, GA and my very first RT Convention, I am struck by several thoughts.

  1. It took forever to get to the airport from my house!!! I don’t remember it taking so long before, but it was probably because the main road I have to travel on is one lane and it was “rush hour” traffic this morning. Which, in all honesty, is a ridiculous moniker for New Hampshire, but…. By the time I got to the airport, during a ride my GPS told me would take 75 minutes, it actually took over 2 hours and I had to pee sosososososososo bad!!! Plus I had to walk from long term parking because the bus had just left when I arrived and the schedule said it wouldn’t be back for 20 minutes. WE all know how much I hate to wait, so…
  2. It is so much HARDER to travel via plane now than it used to be in the pre-911 world. I know we are almost 16 years past that horrible time, but I’m one of the lucky ones who can remember when you didn’t have to get undressed to get thru security, when you could carry a filled water bottle through the viewing machine and not have to spend $5.00 to get a new one on the other side of the security line. I remember what it was like before the lines to go through the security check took about 5 minutes instead of 50. I also remember what it was like before I needed to have an invasive xray prior to getting through the line. And since I’m ranting,  I remember what it was like to not have to throw away $60.00 face cream at the beginning of the line because I forgot to pack it in my stowed luggage and it was now over the ounces limit to bring on board the plane. Seriously, was anyone every subdued in the air by Estee Lauder Renewal cream???
  3. I remember what it was like to be able to stretch my legs out in the plane and not feel as if I wasn’t going to be able to stand due to lower leg blood loss when I finally stood at my destination. Or get a blood clot from immobility.
  4. I remember when we got food- edible food – on flights. Now I consider myself lucky if I get a pack of five peanuts.
  5. I remember what it was like for me to go to my very first romance writing conference, RWA in San Antonio, 2014. I was sososososo excited, even with all the above bulls**t at the airport. I was going to a conference of my tribe, my peeps. Women ( and a few men) who loved reading and writing the same kinds of books as me. I can’t tell you how accepted I felt. Probably for the first time in my life.
  6. Now, as I embark on my very first RT, I’m remembering how excited I was at the 2014 time and I can truly say I feel the same way now as I did then! New experience, new writers to meet, new fans to develop, new bloggers to – hopefully – make a  favorable impression on.
  7. So, despite all the complaining in numbers 1-4, I am really happy I’m going on this trip. It’s a long ass haul from where I live to Atlanta, and I’m doing it solo, no hubby-wingman with me, no members of my RWA chapter to sit on the plane and commiserate with. Just me and my laptop…my ipad….my cell phone… and the dozens of books I uploaded to my kindle.

Follow me as I blog and tweet about my RT experience here:  Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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I’m so Excited! #newrelease, #coming soon to @KensingtonBooks

I’m so excited. In just a few more days ( April 4th) COOKING WITH KANDY releases.

This is the first of my new Kensington/Lyrical book series WILL COOK FOR LOVE about the lives, loves, and recipes of the Laine Family. Kandy Laine is the first, with her sister Gemma coming later in A SHOT AT LOVE

and then cousin Stacy makes an appearance in 2018 in CAN’T STAND THE HEAT? I’ve got two more books lined up after that, as well. More on them in the future.

But back to being SO EXCITED!! And yes, I feel like an honorary Pointer Sister. And if you don’t get that reference it means you were born after the 1980’s!

This will be my first book for Kensington/Lyrical and I am over the moon. I join a very well established stable of writers of all genres in the country’s oldest family owned book empire – and I don’t use that term loosely!

I am truly blessed at this point in my career to be writing for such a well-respected house.

Yippie!
So, if you see me in the next few days and I look a little dazed and unfocused, you’ll know why: the excitement is getting to me and I am just silly with it.

I’ll be hanging out at all my Social media sites, esp. on 4.4.17, so if you want to find me, look 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, Cooking, Family Saga, female friends, Friends, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Laine Women

Why I need to see my characters before I write them

I love a good vision board – especially for one of my own books. Since my writing tends to fall out of a visual tendency, I make vision -or story- boards for each of my books. Knowing what the characters actually look like while I am writing about them helps me “see” the story as it unfolds from their eyes and viewpoints. For instance, here’s the board I worked with for my October 2017 release, A SHOT AT LOVE:

You can see how I envisioned Gemma Laine and Ky Pappandreos, plus how I categorized aspects of their lives, such as photography info for Gemma and law enforcement stuff for Ky.  I sent their pictures to Lyrical when I was asked how I “SAW” my hero and heroine looking. I think they did a great job with portraying my vision on the cover:

This is my working vision board for the third book in the series, tentatively titled CAN’T STAND THE HEAT”

This book has  few more integral characters, but the H/H look like Grace Kelly ( Stacy Peters) and Pierce Brosnan ( Nikko Stamp)

I’m currently working on 2 more books in this series. and the first one, (working title: IT STARTED WITH HIS KISS) looks like this:

You can see I don’t have too much filled in yet, but I will….no worries.

More about vision boards and how they help writers in tomorrow’s edition of PEGGYJAEGER.COM

In the meantime, did you know that COOKING WITH KANDY, book 1 in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE SERIES releases next week on April 4?? Here’s a little sumthin’ to whet your romance-reading appetites.

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

Excerpt:

“Clock stops at five-thirty,” she told him, spying the way he glanced at the empty desks. “That’s a rule I never break. No matter how busy we are, or what our deadline is, I make sure everyone up here is out by then.”

“Why? I would think in this business long hours are the norm.”

“Everyone deserves free time, time with family, time to wind down. I won’t have people working for me when they’re exhausted, or thinking about the soccer game they’re missing for their kid. No one’s productive then. I like everyone to be rested, fresh and on the ball. I realized early on it was the way to bring out the creative, productive best in people.”

“But you don’t adhere to your own rules.”

She leveled a gaze at him. “That’s because I’m the boss. I thrive on deadlines and do some of my finest work when I’m exhausted.”

The slow grin that spread across his face made her stomach muscles giddy-up again.

“I bet you give great holiday bonuses,” he said, rocking back on his heels.

Because it was true, she smiled.

“My office is in here.”

She pushed through another set of doors and preceded him in.

While he took in the surroundings Kandy wondered if he saw the room the same way she did. She’d chosen this space simply because of the windows. A corner office, it had full-length, floor to ceiling matted glass surrounding the outer perimeter of the office on three sides. Her view was of downtown Manhattan, an unobstructed visage of Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty.

The interior design was her own and she’d gone for comfort and ease in the furnishings. Three couches circled one another in the center of the room, and in the middle sat an impressive glass table, currently covered with files, paper, magazines, and a few fabric swatches. A grandfather clock sat, unwound, on the far wall, the hour hand stuck at nine, the minute hand at twelve.

A large, cherry wood desk faced the windows, not the inner room, complete with two computers, a laptop, and two printers on a pull-out stand next to the desk.

“Interesting.” Josh gazed around the room. “I assume the reason your desk faces this way is for the great view?”

She lifted her shoulders to her ears and then brought them down again. “Why waste it by having my back to it?”

“Good thought. What’s up with the clock?”

She glanced over at it. “That’s the exact time my first book went on sale.”

“So, what? Time stopped for you then?”

“No. The way I see it my life started precisely at that moment.”

His eyebrows rose. “Says a lot about what you expect and want out of life.”

“Don’t read too much into it,” she said, unaccustomed embarrassment washing through her. Without even knowing her he’d hit her personality right on the head. “The clock also has sentimental value. It was Grandma’s.”

Kandy moved to the couches. “Come on, have a seat. Let’s talk specifics.”

Josh sat opposite her, leaned back into the couch, crossing one long leg over the other.

“I’m going to say this once because I feel we should get it out of the way,” she started. “I don’t think I need a body guard, and I don’t think anything that’s happened recently can’t be explained away. I find this whole situation of having someone follow every move I make unnerving. I’m not used to it. Not used to working this way. I don’t want to have to stop every five minutes to explain where I’m going, who I’m going to be meeting with. I just go. I have too much to do in a day to worry about someone keeping up with me.”

When he nodded, she continued. “I’m willing to go along with the entire scheme until you prove there’s really no reason for it, which I think you’ll discover pretty quickly. But I won’t be hampered in going about my day in any way. Understand?”

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

available in e-copy and Print on Demand ( POD) fro Amazon and Kensington.

 

 

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#CoverReveal A SHOT AT LOVE; #KensingtonPublishers #ContemporaryRomance

I’m sosososososo excited ( again I sound like the Pointer Sisters!) because the second book cover for my WILL COOK FOR LOVE series is being revealed today and here it is:

Book 2 features Kandy Laine’s sexy, sassy, and smart, photographer sister, Gemma. Kandy makes a few appearances in the book as well, but the heat that screams from the pages is all about Gemma and uber-hot FBI SPecial Agent Ky Pappandreos. Here’s the blurb:

A SHOT AT LOVE 
by Peggy Jaeger
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pub Date: 10/3/2017
Nothing’s impossible when love is on the menu. In Peggy Jaeger’s luscious series, the only thing more tempting than a delicious meal is a truly delectable romance . . .
Look for exclusive recipes in each book! 
Photographer Gemma Laine is looking for arresting faces on the streets of Manhattan when her camera captures something shocking—a triple murder. In that moment, she becomes a target for the mob—and a top priority for a very determined, breathtakingly handsome, FBI special agent. With deadlines to meet and photo shoots on her calendar, Gemma chafes at the idea of protection, but every moment she spends under his watchful eye is a temptation to lose herself in his muscular arms . . .
With two of his men and one crucial witness dead, Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos can’t afford to be distracted. But Gemma is dazzling—and her connection to Kandy Laine’s high-profile cooking empire makes her an especially easy mark for some very bad people. Keeping her safe is much more pleasure than business, but as the heat between them starts to sizzle, Ky is set to investigate whether they have a shot at love . . .
Amazon // B&N // GooglePlay // Kobo // Apple
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Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#Memes for COOKING WITH KANDY; #LyricalShine

One of the parts of the publishing business I have absolutely no knowledge of is marketing. Until my first book was published in 2015, I didn’t even have any idea how powerful social media was with trying to get your book noticed.

Two years have made a world of difference, let me tell you.

One of the facets of marketing I have come to treasure are things called memes. A meme is defined as:

  • an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
  • • a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.

Kensington/Lyrical has put together a series of memes for my upcoming release COOKING WITH KANDY. I’ll be using them in my Twitter feed a great deal for the next few weeks, in addition to Facebook, but I thought I’d give you a little sumthin’ extra today and show them all to you. I’ve got permission from my publicity team ( and don’t I just lovelovelove saying that I have a publicity team!) to use them at any time in promotion, so here you go:

 

And just to refresh your memory:

Blurb:

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

Excerpt:

He made his way to the other side of the room, ignoring the stares and whispers of the crowd, found the lounge, and knocked. “Kandy? It’s Josh. Can I come in?”

It was Gemma who answered. “Yes.”

The sisters were seated in twin floral Queen Anne chairs, Gemma reclining back in hers, arms crossed over her chest. Kandy was opposite, head wrung in her hands.

“Cort thought you could use this.” he said, handing her the champagne flute.

He’d expected tears, but was surprised to see Kandy’s beautiful face pinched in a scowl, her eyes flaring with sweltering anger and venom when she looked up at him.

“Thanks.” Kandy took the drink and downed half of it in one gulp.

When she wiped her lips with the back of her hand, the corners of Gemma’s mouth lifted and she asked Josh, “What did you do to the turd?”

“Explained he needed to leave, put him in the elevator, and made sure he went down in it.”

“Made him how?” Kandy asked.

“Little persuasion trick I know. His wrist’s gonna be sore tomorrow. Maybe for the next few days.”

“You physically removed him?” Gemma asked.

Josh almost laughed at the excitement in her voice. He shrugged. “Yeah. He was going to follow Kandy if I didn’t.”

“Please tell me you have unmarried, available brothers at home,” Gemma said.

It hurt to keep the smile from his face, but he did. “Three, in fact.”

“Are they all like you? No, scratch that.” She sighed, the sound wistful. “I doubt there’s anyone like you.”

“If you mean are they all workaholics and career-driven, then no. They’re not like me. But they are available.”

“I’ll keep it in mind.” She glanced at her sister and said, “Well, looks like my work here is done. She’s all yours now.” She stood and kissed the top of Kandy’s head. “Evan Chandler is an egotistical, phony prick. Remember that.”

“How could I forget it?” Kandy grabbed her sister’s hand and kissed the back of it. “Thanks.”

When Gemma left, Josh took her empty chair. “You okay?”

She took a deep breath before saying, “Mad, but okay. I underestimated him.”

“How so?”

“I didn’t think he’d have the guts to crash my party. I thought he was too much of a wimp to risk it after our last encounter. Guess I was wrong.”

She stood and crossed to the vanity. Peering at her reflection, she ran a lazy hand through her hair, fluffing the curls. She caught his gaze, watching her, in the mirror. “Aren’t you going to ask me about it?”

He’d considered it. But the weary look in her eyes told him he was better off asking Stacy or Gemma. “No. If you want to talk, I’ll listen. Otherwise, you’ve got a pretty fancy shindig going on out there.” He cocked his thumb in the direction of the ballroom. “Maybe you want to get back and enjoy it. Bask in the adulation,” he said with a good-natured grin.

She turned to him and her eyes softened, losing the skepticism he’d just witnessed. When her lips moved upward into a small, lazy smile, the dimples dancing, his legs went a little soft and he was thankful he was seated.

“Yeah,” she said, moving to him. When he stood, she linked her arm in his. “Thanks. You’re right. Let’s go have a party.”

He mimicked her smile, glad he could help.

“You’re not so bad, Keane. This bodyguard thing might be fun after all.”

It was a moment before he trusted himself to speak. “I aim to please.”

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2cavJvc

If you’re looking for me, I’m usually 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, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#Release day for #author Kari Lemor’s WildCard Undercover; #LyricalPress

interview2

In a week of firsts, I’ve got another one today. Author KARI LEMOR  is visiting me and she’s a fellow Kensington/Lyrical Press author, my new publisher. Kari’s new book WILDCARD UNDERCOVER releases today and she is super stoked. She’s having a huge facebook party today to promote the book as well and I’m pleased to be joining her. Click the link so you can stop by. There’ll be prizes, interviews, and lots of fun stuff going on all day.

Sit back and learn a little about my new writing sistah.

 

Kari Lemor,  The Writer 

  1. What drives you to write?

The voices in my head. And my muse who never leaves me alone and constantly pings me with new ideas that won’t go away until I do something about them. The characters themselves will sometimes haunt me in my sleep until I agree to write them. It can be very annoying trying to make them shut up.

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

I write suspense and contemporary. Suspense because I love adding a little (okay, maybe a lot) of danger to my stories. It gives us the hurt/comfort that my romantic soul craves. I write contemporary because I’m too lazy to do any kind of historic research.

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

It might be better to ask what I don’t read. I was never much for Historical until Julia Quinn spoke at a conference I was at and we got a free book. I was hooked. But it’s not a genre I read as much. Same with paranormal. Not my thing unless it’s my Critique Partner, MA Grant, because she can WRITE!! And make me like it. She’s got a new M/M fantasy series that she’s working on that I am in love with. Who’d have thought? But mostly I love contemporary with every day people. Keep those sheiks and billionaires away from me. Totally can’t relate to that. I want the boy next door or a law man or firefighter. Someone who’s good with their hands…in many ways!!

     4. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?

I have a full time day job (groan) so can’t always put coherent words on a page after that. But I always do something related to writing each day. Reading, networking with other authors, promo, editing. I try and do all my new words on weekends and vacations. I’m a teacher so I get lots of time in the summer.

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

Now that my kids are all grown and moved out, I actually have a nice office. My son painted it a lovely shade of peach for me (my favorite color). I always have some pretty smelling candle lit and my little water fountain going and my salt lamp turned on. I have tons of books in a series of book shelves that I made myself with wooden crates. And my desk is even made of wooden crates as well. Everything in there is just snuggy and cozy and makes me feel so good.

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

I can’t have it too noisy. When my kids were younger I would put a classical channel on the computer while attempting to write. Now I just like the sound of my water fountain gurgling. I definitely can’t write in a coffee shop or somewhere public though I love being outside in the summer and hearing the sounds of nature.

  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?  No, although I could if it didn’t have words but I really love the silence especially after being in a noisy classroom most of the day.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

This book actually started as a dream. Not the whole thing, but the first scene. My heroine grabs the hero and kisses him and then accidentally pushes him in the pool. I was intrigued at what was happening and wouldn’t get out of bed until I figured out why they heck she had done that. Then I had to get out of bed and scribble about ten pages of notes. I didn’t actually start writing the story though for about another 5 years.

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

I’m not sure which comes first. Usually, I get an idea of a character and something they are doing. I probably don’t have a full deep knowledge of who they are or exactly what they are doing but I have a basic premise. Then I start fleshing them out and as the story unfolds so do they. Sometimes they’ve surprised me with a few facts.

  1. What 3 words describes you, the writer? Goal-oriented, determined, verbose

Kari, The Person

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

My great (x 5 or 6 ) uncle (Joachim Murat ) was married to Napolean’s sister Caroline

        2. Who was your first love and what age were you?

This boy named Jim who sat in front of me in History class in college. I was around 20. That was a long time ago and he’s still my only love (and husband for 30 years.

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

The day after my first child was born. I was still in the hospital being waited on. They brought her to me and said she was hungry. I held her and drifted off again (tired from labor and delivery) and she stopped crying. When the nurse came back in I said I hadn’t fed her. She said, “I guess she just needed her mom.” Thinking of that moment still makes me cry.

      4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? I’m liking these new boxer briefs.

       5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? If I had to give something up… I guess it would be concealer. I’d use the face powder instead to hide my bags and dark eye circles.

       6. What three words describes you, the person? Loyal, maternal, gregarious

       7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? No one would ever ask me to sing.       Take my word on this one. My children beg me not to. But if I could sing with Jimmy Fallon, then Paradise By the Dash Board Light. Fun song!

        8.  If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it be, why, and what would you do together? Hmmm, maybe Pollyanna because she’s always so perky and glad. We’d go fishing and picking berries and just hanging out in a sunny field relaxing.

 

Bonus round

  1. Favorite sound – water, any kind, ocean, lake, waterfalls, stream.
  2. Least favorite sound – the ice cream truck. Talk about an ear worm
  3. Best song every written – Desperado by The Eagles
  4. Worst song ever written – anything rap that talks trash about women
  5. Favorite actor and actress – Joe Flanigan and Kate Hudson
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) Peirce Brosnan’s wife. Because …duh!
  7. What turns you on? Dads with their kids
  8. What turns you off? Intolerance
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “Oh, I figured it out” (the plot twist of the movie we are watching – and then proceeds to tell me) And yes, this happened on a date.
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Bar Harbor, Maine, sitting listening to the ocean or Jordan Pond with the sun beating down and a cool breeze keeping it from being too hot. Top it with a good book and I can’t think of anything better.

Kari’s newest book  WILD CARD UNDERCOVER releases today!! Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your reading appetite:

All that glitters in Miami is not gold . . .

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Lured in by a bad ex-boyfriend and the moonlight of Miami, Meg O’Hara is trapped in a nightmare situation, waiting tables for a crime boss and fearing for her life. When undercover FBI agent Christopher Shaunessy offers her a way out, she seizes it. Getting the goods on Salazar Moreno might not be easy, but she’ll do anything to be freed from her servitude and Moreno’s sexual advances, even if it means moving in with the charismatic agent.

Chris Shaunessy pretends to be Meg’s lover in order to keep her safe, but he steels his heart against further involvement. Passion has no place in the sordid world of organized crime. And yet, the closer they get to cracking the case, the stronger his feelings for the spirited waitress shine. It’s a dangerous game he’s playing, and taking Meg in his arms for real could prove a fatal misstep . . .

Excerpt:

“Does that man never have a day off?” Margaret Kathleen O’Hara grumbled, grabbing her tote bag and sarong to move surreptitiously along the chairs by the pool. If the hotel manager saw her here again she’d be toast. He’d more than toss her out. Threats to call the police had been thrown at her for months now. Although in her case, that might be a better deal.

With her eyes trained on his location and the Miami sun beating down on her exposed skin, Meg backed along the water’s edge attempting to leave the area before he spotted her. She needed to shower the chlorine out of her tangled hair and change for work soon. He looked in her direction and she rushed behind the closest object. It was six-foot-plus of blond-haired gorgeousness. The man’s eyes were glued to something on the upper deck. Her boss was sitting there with one of his expensive bimbos. Did Blondie like that type? Maybe he wouldn’t notice her little game of .

She leaned around him, ducking back when she saw the Pool Nazi still present. Getting caught was not an option. She already owed more than she could ever repay.

“Are you okay?” Forest green eyes stared down at her, puzzled. Would he buy that she was simply looking for shade? He was big enough to provide it.

With strong hands, he reached for her shoulders and Meg reflexively batted them away. She got enough of people groping her at work. Scorching curses froze before erupting from her mouth as the hotel manager moved, staring in their direction. Her mind kicked into overdrive, scrambling for a way to hide in plain sight.

“Sorry,” she squeaked. Grabbing the man’s head, she planted her mouth solidly on his. Short, thick strands of hair tickled her fingers. Firm lips yielded no resistance to the increased pressure of her mouth. Better make this look good.

An electric current skittered over her skin causing her heart to race. Maybe too good? Slowly he pulled her closer with his muscular arms. Her eyes flew open and she broke the connection. His hair-covered chest was too close for comfort. And much too tempting. Distance, she needed distance.

Her eyes darted around, seeing no signs of the manager. A sigh escaped. Time to make her exit as well.

“Sorry,” she mumbled again, looking up. Big mistake. The stranger’s curious eyes captivated her. They were soft and tender and filled with something she could…trust? If she still had any of that left in her. His hands were gentle as they held her. A tiny smile played about the full lips she’d brazenly kissed. She couldn’t believe she’d done it. Her mother would be appalled. But it had worked.

The chlorine scent from the pool faded into the background as sweat and suntan lotion wafted off the man’s damp skin. Her stomach did cartwheels followed by a few back flips. Dangerous.

“Let me go,” she hissed as reality returned. She gave a swift shove at his well-defined pectorals, rushing to get past, to escape from this distraction and the possibility of being caught. Her head whipped around at the sound of a splash and water droplets from behind. Gorgeous was just breaking the surface of the pool. Had she pushed him that hard?

“Oops.” No time for apologies. He looked like the forgiving type. She had to blow this joint before the Pool Nazi came back. Grabbing her fallen sarong, she ran across the deck to hustle inside the luxury hotel.

“Damn.”

The manager stood sentry near the front door. A crowd appeared at her back making that way impossible. The stairwell to the left would have to do. She’d go up a few floors then down to the side entrance. She wrapped her sarong around her as she carried out her plan to avoid being seen…and caught.

Meg should stop coming here to use the pool: this proved it. Sneaking in was adding to her already hellish life but swimming always helped work out the stress and the pool here was more accessible than any other on the strip. Pretending she had money to stay in a place like this, rubbing elbows with all the beautiful people, yeah, that got her through too. She’d learned the best times to come and not be seen. Well, for the most part. It was well worth the risk to get away from her dump of a room and its enchanting neighborhood. She’d leave this all behind her soon. She kept telling herself that. Had to believe it for her own sanity.

Footsteps behind her pushed those thoughts away. Her bare feet padded silently along the lushly carpeted hallway. Heart racing, she ducked into the ice machine alcove, her sigh echoing in the silence. She glanced down. Her bag? She must have dropped it as she rushed off. How had she not realized? It couldn’t have been the threat of being arrested. Or the crooked smile of the handsome stranger she’d kissed. The one with the kind eyes and gentle hands. No, she couldn’t allow herself to be led astray by a pretty face. Not again.

She continued down the hall, her trip cut short when someone grabbed her by the arm and spun her around.

* * * *

Buy Links: Amazon // Kensington // B&N

Bio

Kari Lemor grew up as one of those kids who read all night under the covers.  Once she had her first glimpse of a romance novel at age 12, it was all over. Romance was in her blood.
It would be many years before the stories that ran rampant in her head finally drove her to put words to paper, though. She wrote self-indulgently for the first few years and only recently began penning stories to share with others.
She still writes stories that are self-indulgent but hopes others might get some enjoyment from them too.   Now that her children are all grown and have moved out, she uses her spare time to create stories of love and happily ever after romances where heroes ride to the rescue of damsels who have already saved themselves.
She lives with her husband in a small town in New England dreaming of warmer weather.  But only if it’s near the ocean.

You can follow Kari here:  website // facebook // twitter // Pinterest // Goodreads

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books

A little #gift from #Lyrical/Shine to you…

As a promotional gift, my new publisher Kensington/Lyrical Shine is giving you a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your appetite for my 4.4.17 release of COOKING WITH KANDY: the first chapter FREE! Click on the following link and read how Josh and Kandy meet. Then, I’ve given you the link to preorder the entire book!

And if you’re a NETGALLEY reader and honest reviewer, I’ve included the link for you to request, read, and review it as well.

Blurb:

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Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

Free chapter COOKING WITH KANDY

Buy Links: Amazon ///Kensington // Nook // i-Tunes //Kobo //Google

Read and Review on Netgalley

And when I’m not out promoting my books, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, female friends, Friends, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

#RWA16 Day 3…Can I get an “Amen?”

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I will admit this freely ….I’m starting to fade!! There is sosososososos much going on at this conference that I have truly had to choose wisely and miss out on some things just so I could attend others.

The first year I attended RWA I was OVERWHELMED.  I wish someone had told me to just take it all in, don’t try to do everything and be everywhere at the same time. Just breath and enjoy the moment. I did try to do everything and because of that I forgot half the stuff  I learned about industry and the craft of writing. I left the hotel 1 time and that was to have a meal with my chapter mates. I spent 5 days in a hotel and it nearly broke me!

Last year I knew better and when you  know better you do better. I went to a lot of worshops, but took time to enjoy other things likes  the publishing spotlights. Since were in NYC I also got out 2-3 times per day, saw my lovely New Yorker daughter several times, and basically had some fun.

This year, there is so much to do, I haven’t even done a 10th of what I wanted to do. But that’s okay. I’ve taken a daily walk outside the hotel ( you can see my video updates on my fb page of my little jaunts around the San Diego marina,) and I’ve spent more time meeting people and chatting them up than I ever have before. Maybe this is because no one from my chapter is here and I miss my lovely chapter mates. Maybe it’s because I realize I need to learn to network and get my name out there. Maybe it’s just because I’m lonely. Whatever the reason, I’m doing okay. I’m bone weary tired, but doing okay.

Yesterday I attended the Kensington book signing ( my new publishing home!!)  and this was the haul from just that 30 minutes:rwa12

This is my book haul so far, overall at the conference:

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I’m so glad I brought a spare suitcase!!

And I do want to add a correction. Yesterday I said I skipped the luncheon and that Beverly Johnson was the speaker. it was BEVERLY JENKINS!!!!! This is what you get for relying on stupid spell check!

While I’m in San Diego, here’s where you can reach me:  Tweet Me// Read Me//Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under #RWA16, Author, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor