Tag Archives: military widow

#SundaySnippet 4.5.2020 Today, Tomorrow, Always

I simply had to pull today’s snippet from one of my favorite books of 2019 – TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS – becauseI wanted to share with you an unbelievable 5 star review I received from Long and Short reviews on Friday. After I stopped crying I knew this week I should re-promo this  book again.

In this scene, Cathy starts to realize there’s more than just a sad spirit floating about in Mac Frayne. Much more…..

Before leaving, I pulled my cellphone from my purse and slipped it into my jacket pocket. Life with Nanny has taught me never to be more than an Instagran call away.

I led the way down the cast-iron circular staircase to the subbasement. I hadn’t been in the personal archives since taking over my keeper-of-the-keys duties—I was going to call it that forever, now—and I’d forgotten how deathly quiet it could be. And creepy. What amounted to two stories below ground level, the staircase was lit only by the electric sconces on the wall guiding us downward. The sound of our shoes bounced and echoed off the metal gratings under our feet.

“It’s wicked spooky down here,” I said when we came to the bottom. “No outside noise. No windows. No people. It’s like a perfect tomb. If I ever got stuck down here, the silence alone would scare me into an early grave.”

“If I was a suspense or a horror writer, this would be a great setting to kill someone and then stash the body,” Frayne said, looking around the space.

“With limited, keyed access and no foot traffic, it wouldn’t be discovered for a while. You could make as much noise or as much of a mess as you wanted and no one would know. The walls would absorb all the sounds of torture and screaming. We’re far enough underground the stench of decomp wouldn’t be noticeable. By the time the body was found, you’d be long gone. It’s kind of a perfect setup, actually.” He perused the area intensely, assessing the possibilities.

A shudder zipped up my spine. Who knew the mild-mannered and reserved writer had such a macabre side?

And why, for the love of God, did I find it so…arousing?

He turned to me, and then cupped the back of his neck with one palm, a half grin lining his mouth. “Sorry. I tend to think out loud without filtering. Side effect of being in a solitary profession. I don’t usually have an audience when thoughts are running around in here”—he tapped his temple—“so I tend to say them out loud.”

“I think you might have missed your calling in the horror-writing department. The scene you set was a little too realistic and probable for comfort. The next time we come down here, I’m hauling a baseball bat along in case you want to try out any of your ideas.”

A heart-stopping grin shot across his face like a bolt of lightning: rapid, blinding, and powerful.

“I’m harmless.” To underscore his point, he drew an X over his heart.

I didn’t know about that. Those dimples were about as harmless as a heart attack.

With a shake of my head and my own grin slipping across my lips, I slid the key into the locked door and opened it. A second door, this one passcode protected, stood a few feet in front of us.

“Double security. Impressive.”

“The museum’s insurance adjustor insisted on it. Some of the papers and items in here could be considered historically priceless.” I typed the seven- digit code I’d had to memorize when I was inducted into the historical society onto the keypad located on the wall abutting the door.

“You know, if I was writing my horror book, I’d make you the sole individual with access to the admittance code,” he said, his voice soft and hushed now around us. “I’d worm my way into your trust, then lure you down here to gain access to some treasure sealed behind the door.”

He was standing close behind me, so close I could feel his breath trail across the back of my neck. The shiver sliding down my spine this time wasn’t from the creep factor associated with the locale. No, this time it was pure excitement fraying my nerve endings. Excitement, want, and…need.

I turned back to face him. A day or two’s thatch of black and white stubble grazed his cheeks and jaw, and if I were to scratch my fingers across it, it would be prickly and incredibly alluring. His eyes had gone to half-mast as he regarded me from under thick lashes, and his lips were parted a fraction.

“Worm your way into my trust, how?”

His shrug appeared noncommittal. After a moment, he tugged his bottom lip under his top teeth and slanted me a gauging squint. “Well, since my purpose would be some shade of evil, malicious intent—”

“Good description for a horror story.”

He grinned. “I’d have to make sure you trusted me. Maybe I’d write a plot point where you took pity on me for some reason.” He stopped, his gaze shooting down to my mouth and then back up again. “Maybe even attempt a simple seduction to ensure my hold over you.”

The subbasement was kept at a comfortable, controlled seventy degrees year round. But you would never have known it by me. With each word from Frayne’s lips, my inner temperature climbed higher, like a nuclear coil overreacting and heating to dangerous levels.

“A-a simple…seduction?”

Good Lord. I was relegated to repeating things now because I couldn’t form a coherent thought. Not with the heat blazing like a firestorm in his eyes.

“Maybe not so…simple.” His voice lowered even more. “The need to be careful with you, with your feelings, would war within me. I’d have to decide what

I wanted more: the hidden treasure…” His gaze flicked to my mouth. “Or you.”

I swallowed.

“And after you decide? Then what?” I asked, trying to keep my voice even and not give him a clue what he was doing to my nervous system. “You’d chop me into tiny bits and leave me for the docents to find in six months’ time while you escaped scot-free?”

I’d meant it to be a playful rejoinder, following his horror theme, and a ridiculous attempt to lighten the mood. The joke was on me, though.

Frayne took a step closer, stretched out an arm and placed his palm flat against the wall, imprisoning me on one side. I lifted my chin to keep my gaze connected with his.

“No.” His voice was as soft as a curl of smoke. “No, I wouldn’t hurt you. Never. I couldn’t.” He shook his head. “I think I’d write it so I stole the treasure…and you along with it. I’d take you both with me.” With a tiny crook to his elbow, he leaned in closer and bent his head.

“Where…where would we go?” I asked. While waiting for his reply, I swallowed again—hard—the sound of my throat working loud and rough between us.

With his free hand, Frayne reached up and idly coiled a strand of my hair around his finger. Lovingly, he rubbed it between his thumb and his first two fingers, then lifted it to his mouth. When he dragged it across his lips, I swear on my oath as an officer of the court, I was in danger of losing my ability to stand.

“Someplace no one would ever find us.” His voice had gone whisper-soft. “Someplace…far away from”— he sighed—“everything and everyone.”

How wonderful that sounded. To go someplace far away from court cases and demanding clients. Loneliness and heartache. Responsibilities and sad memories.

“We’d spend the rest of our lives on a beach somewhere, lying in the warm sun. Drinking champagne, eating lobsters. Sleeping.” He let loose my hair. “Making love. No outside concerns. No thoughts about anything except what time the sun set. Sounds pretty perfect, doesn’t it?”

That ability to keep standing upright? Yeah, well, I lost it right then and there.

I fell backward against the security door, shoving it open with my body. I stumbled across the threshold and would have fallen flat on my butt if Frayne’s reflexes weren’t laser swift. His strong hands went around my upper arms and held fast. Even through the layers of my blouse and the warm wool jacket, heat blasted from his fingers, branding my flesh as if he held it, bare, in his hands.

When the door opened, the automatic light shot to the on position and the glare from the overhead fluorescents was blinding.

Frayne held me close in front of him, even after I was sure-footed, his fingers slowly kneading my upper arms as he continued to stare down at me. “Are you okay?”

I swallowed the lump in my throat for the third time—and then tried to take a step back and out of his hold.

His grip tightened. “Cathy? Are you all right?”

“You can let me go,” I said, my voice shaking. “I won’t fall. Promise.”

Intrigued? I hope so. If you are, you can get your copy across any of these platforms.

Amazon // B&N // Applebooks   // Rakuten-Kobo // google play // Books-a-million //

Also available at the TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP in Keene, NH

Until next time, peeps ~Peg

Looking for me? Here I am: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me

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Filed under Today Tomorrow Always

#sundaySnippet 12.15.19

So with the release of TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS on 12.4.19, I’m still in present book mode to share! Here’s a little sexy sumthin’ sumthin’ from the book.

 

With that, I lifted my chin back up and reclaimed his lips. If I thought about it, I could probably trace this uncharacteristic boldness straight back to Nanny’s influence. The woman was nothing if not audacious and daring in her romantic life, two things I’ve never been nor even considered before meeting this man.

In the time it takes for a finger snap to echo, Frayne skillfully seduced my lips apart and then, with a slow, steady, and determined exploration that left me panting and aching, proceeded to make me forget I was anything other than a woman. Lawyer, daughter, widow, be damned.

I was a woman who wanted…craved….hungered for the man my legs were wound around. And from the feel of the material straining below his waist against me, he was ravenous as well. I squeezed my thighs tighter.

He dropped his hands to my thighs—my naked thighs—the roughened pads of his fingers pressing into them. Behind his back, my toes flexed.

I slid my hands up and around his shoulders, cupping his neck all the while nipping and sipping at his delicious lips. The thought sailed through me that I could get used to a daily diet of the taste of this man.

Frayne slid his mouth across my jaw, trailing tiny, wet kisses down the column of my throat. When he took my ear lobe between his teeth and bit down, my butt vaulted up from the counter.
“Your skin is like velvet,” he whispered as he cuddled my ass in his hands. “I’ve never felt anything as soft in my life.”

“Good genes,” I managed to say, while he nuzzled the hollow behind my ear. How I was even able to form a sentence was mind-boggling.

His shoulders shook, and when I pulled back to see his face, my heart stuttered. The dark and sad shadows in his eyes were a memory, replaced now with a glow that turned the pale blue to a brilliant crystal. His mouth was plump and wet—Holy Mother!—and the corners were lifted, two deep and adorable dimples crevassing his cheeks. The thatch of hair had fallen across his brow, delicately shading one eye. I reached up and feathered it back with my fingers. My hand settled across his cheek and temple as I did, and once again Frayne nuzzled against it, as if seeking warmth and solace. The gesture was so tender, so damn endearing, I sighed before I could stop myself.

This man, this damaged, mercurial, heartbroken man, stirred a myriad of emotions within me I was powerless to fight against. His abhorrence of my profession provoked anger and outrage. The tenderhearted manner he exhibited toward my grandmother filled me with a sense of intense joy. The single-minded and focused way he went about his research awed and impressed me. And the attention he gave to everything but himself made me want to pull him into my arms, hold on tight, and do everything I could to care for him and show him how special he was.

Frayne touched my heart in ways no man ever had. The realization was both profound and terrifying.

If I’d learned anything in life, though, fear could either paralyze you or propel you into actions you never knew you were capable of.

The kiss he gave me now was gentle and soft, his eyes open and focused on me. A question flashed in them, and I answered it the only way I could.

The only way I wanted to.

I gave him a gentle shove. When he moved, I slid out of his hold and stood, barefoot, on my kitchen floor.

“Come on.” I grabbed his hand and tugged him out of the kitchen.

Intrigued? God, I hope so!!!! If you want to, you can get  your copy here:

Available at these fine online retailers in Ecopy or Print: Amazon // B&N // Applebooks   // Rakuten-Kobo // google play // Books-a-million //

Also available at the TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP in Keene, NH

Please enjoy the lovely Book Trailer my friend Nancy Fraser made for the book: TTA

Add it to your Goodreads List: TTA

Add it to you BookBub List: TTA

Off to shop for gifts, now!!

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Today Tomorrow Always, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#SundaySnippet 12.8.19

So I had a new book release this week. TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS dropped on Wednesday and I’ve been so excited with the marvelous reviews I’ve gotten so far. This story truly wrung me out to dry so many times. The emotions of both Cathy, my heroine and Mac, my hero, were so intense that for a few days I had to walk away from the story when I was writing it. Luckily, I always had Nanny Fee to bring me back to center and provide some comic relief.

In this scene, Nanny is providing some interesting advice to Cathy that only a 93 year old uninhibited daughter of Eire could.

I found them huddled together on a sofa in the sunroom. They were both laughing, and Nanny had a hand flirtatiously placed over Frayne’s forearm. His laughter, rich, deep, and husky, was a sound I could have listened to all day long. Hell, all year long. A tingling sensation tripped up my spine when his eyes narrowed, practically disappearing from his face as he smiled. He threw back his head and howled at whatever my grandmother was saying.

It was delightful to see him relaxed and happy, and I have to admit, my heart stuttered a bit when he brought Nanny’s gnarled hand to his lips and pressed a sweet kiss against her knuckles.

“Number One, all done, are ya?” Nanny asked.
I came into the room, a grin tugging on my lips.

“Nanny, what tall tales have you been telling Mr. Frayne? I could hear the both of you laughing from the hallway.”

“Ah, lass, nothing bad, to be sure. Merely sharin’ a few simple stories about me time touring.”

“Oh, good Lord.” I knew exactly what she’d told him. Nanny’s days as a concert pianist were legendary in our family. Legendary and naughty. She’d had affairs with at least two dukes, one baron, and a smattering of lesser-titled men throughout the royal houses of Europe before coming back to Heaven and marrying her second husband. And then her third. And fourth, who was, thankfully, the last.

“Your grandmother has led an extraordinary life,” Frayne said, the light in his eyes bright and clear. “Tales of her touring life would make for a terrific book.”

“Salacious, more than anything,” I said.

“Don’t be gettin’ any notions to write about me escapades, young man.” She swatted his arm with a grandmotherly thwack. “If I ever decide to write about me life, I’ll be doing the tellin’, not someone else.”

“I’d be thrilled and honored to be your scribe,” Frayne said. “Anytime. Simply say the word.”

“Ah, go on with ya.” She swatted his arm again. “I expect the two of ya will be off to dinner now. Seldrine okay?” she asked me.

“She’s fine. Lucas is with her, taking her through everything she needs to be prepared for.”

“She’s a strong lass. Well…” She sighed deep and, because this was Nanny, theatrically. “Off with ya both now. Go enjoy a good meal and you”—she pointed at Frayne—“don’t be forgetting I want a full report on Robert when you’re all done with your research.”

“That’s a promise,” he told her.

“Good. Now, give us a kiss and run along.”
I wasn’t surprised when Frayne bent and bussed her cheek.
“And you,” she said when I bent to do the same. “I want to hear all about this event Olivia told me you’re signed up for. I want all the deets, as the kids say.”

I nodded, my cheeks scorching.

Intrigued enough to want to read more? Here’s where you can get your copy today:

Available at these fine online retailers in Ecopy or Print: Amazon // B&N // Applebooks   // Rakuten-Kobo // google play // Books-a-million //

Also available at the TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP in Keene, NH

Please enjoy the lovely Book Trailer my friend Nancy Fraser made for the book: TTA

Add it to your Goodreads List: TTA

Add it to you BookBub List: TTA

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Life challenges, New Hampshire, Romance, Today Tomorrow Always

#Bookrelease Day!!! TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS is here!

I can’t fully explain how excited I am to finally have this story in print! Cathy O’Dowd’s path to an HEA was tortuous for her – and me!!!! This book wrung me dry so many times! I’m thrilled to finally be able to share it with the romance reading world.

Blurb:

Lawyer Cathleen O’Dowd wants to break free from her boring image. Widowed young, she’s toed the good-girl line but now wants a little fun and laughter in her days…and nights. Living in a small town, though, she can’t do anything that would tarnish her professional reputation.

Mac Frayne’s tragic past has turned him into a sullen loner. In town to write a book on the city’s founder, his plan is to get it done, then head home to his solitary existence.

When circumstances force them to work together, their opposing personalities clash, but the sexual attraction between them is palpable.

Can a simple affair with an end date be just the thing to brighten up their lives?

Excerpt 

Frayne was alone at one of the computer workstations, sheets of paper and files scattered about the desk next to him.

I took a moment to observe him before announcing myself. Thick-lensed reading glasses perched on the very tip of his nose, a millimeter from falling from his face. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why that was so endearing, but it was. His hair fell over the collar of his shirt, today covered with a jet-black pullover. A tiny moth hole crossed over his bicep. The notion he needed someone looking out for him, caring for him, making him take care of himself, bounded through me.

The story Maureen related spilled back to me, and my heart sighed. I knew the emotional devastation losing loved ones could wreak, and since I was now aware of what had happened to Frayne’s family, I understood the perpetual grief in his eyes.

Another striking thing about Frayne was that for all his awkwardness, some might even say shy demeanor, he was an extremely attractive man, and the very fact I noticed it was astounding. I hadn’t looked at nor thought about another man in all the years of my marriage, even while Danny had been away for years on end on active duty.

The only man I’d ever loved, ever considered being with, ever looked at, was Danny Mulvaney. Picturing Mac Frayne as someone I could see myself getting to know on a purely personal and physical level was behavior so far out of my emotional wheelhouse it startled me.

“I’m sorry I kept you waiting.” I tossed my coat and bag on a chair “I came as soon as the ceremony ended.”

Frayne peered at me over the tops of his glasses through eyes a little unfocused, a little startled, and a whole lot of befuddled cute.

He blinked, and then his gaze swept from my face down to what Maureen calls my marriage duds. When I officiate, I pair a plain white silk blouse with a black double-breasted jacket and either a black A-line skirt or trousers, depending on the season. On one lapel of my jacket, I always wear a 14-karat-gold, single rose pin, gifted to me by Colleen, to symbolize the love and affection of the couples I marry.

With a quick flick of his hand, Frayne swiped the glasses from his face, and tucked one of the bows into the vee of his sweater. His gaze made its way up to my face again, and he cocked his head in a move I was coming to recognize signaled he was going to ask a question. “You didn’t stay for the reception?”

“Like I told you yesterday, sometimes I do, but most times I simply sign the paperwork, take a few photos with the happy couple, and then let them have their party. If I stayed at every wedding, I’d never get anything done on the weekends.”

“I’ve been to my share of weddings”—he stood and tilted his head to one side—“but I’ve never had to sign papers at one, other than my own. Are there that many people you know getting married that your weekends are typically so full?”

A grin split my face at his words. “They are when I’m performing the ceremonies.”

It took him a second, then the cloud of cute confusion cleared in his eyes. “You’re a wedding officiant?”

“Technically, I’m a justice of the peace. But yes, I officiate at weddings. I came here from Inn Heaven after performing a ceremony.”

“Well, that certainly explains it.” His lips twitched at the corners, and for a brief moment, an image of pressing my own against them burned quick and bright in my head. “I saw them setting up the ballroom for some kind of event before I left this morning. Your sister was everywhere.”

“I know that’s the truth because I’ve seen it for myself. Maureen is exceptionally organized, a trait that runs rampant in our family.”

His gaze swept down my attire again, the small grin tugging on his mouth, broadening. “I spotted another redhead in commando mode, too. She resembled you and Maureen.” His grin grew. “I’ve never actually seen someone bark orders before.”

“The barker was Colleen, my middle sister. She’s a wedding planner and was in charge of today’s event. I officiate at a lot of her non-religious ceremonies.”

Available at these fine online retailers in Ecopy or Print: Amazon // B&N // Applebooks   // Rakuten-Kobo // google play // Books-a-million //

Also available at the TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP in Keene, NH

Please enjoy the lovely Book Trailer my friend Nancy Fraser made for the book: TTA

Add it to your Goodreads List: TTA

Add it to you BookBub List: TTA

Now, I’m off to read TTA again!
Until next time ~Peg

 

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Life challenges, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, Today Tomorrow Always, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor