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#Tuesdayteaser 5.7.19 A Match Made in Heaven…book 2

So I’m taking a leap of faith here because this book is currently with my editor and has not been contracted yet. If all goes well ( and pray to Jesus it does) I’ll know by the end of this month. I’m hoping for a contact. I mean, it’s book 2!! I have to let you know how the people in book 1 are doing! Hee hee

So, Book 2 gives us oldest O’Dowd sister Cathleen and historical biographer, McLachlyn Frayne. This is another of those opposites attracting romances I love so well. The heat from these two jumps off the page so I figured I’d give you a little example of it. We start the scene with Nanny Fee and end it with our two would be lovers entering a pizza parlor.

“That lovely man took Fiona to the solarium,” one of the residents told me.

I found them huddled together on a day 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 small 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. “Her life touring 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. “Well, now I expect the two of ya will be off to dinner. 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.

“You’re grandmother is a remarkable woman,” Frayne said once we were back in my car.

“That’s one word for her,” I said, slanting him a side eye. The grin on his face was equal parts heart stopping, sexy, and adorable.

“Pathetic.” I said, my own grin tugging at my lips.

“What is?”

“You and your whole gender.”

He turned in his seat to look at me. “What have I, and my entire gender, done to be labeled pathetic?”

I cocked my head his way then turned my attention back to the road.

“A little wink, a few arm taps, and a girlish giggle and you fall like a ton of bricks.”

“What?”

The sigh I exhaled was almost Nanny-worthy in its theatricality. “You have a crush on my ninety-three year old grandmother.”

Complete bafflement filled his face. A half second later his eyes widened and he tossed out another of those deep, throaty laughs. The lower half of my body turned molten-lava hot.

“Tell me I’m wrong.” I turned the car onto Glory Road and spotted a parking spot on the street right outside the place where I wanted to eat. This is another one of those reasons I love living in a small town: you never have to search for parking.

“You’re not. God. You’re not.” His head shook back and forth while his smile turned into a wicked grin.

I put the car in park and got out. Over the hood I said, “See? Pathetic. Every man I’ve ever known falls for her the moment she shines those twinkling blue eyes at him. I swear she casts a spell with a glance.” I shook my head. “I hope you like pizza because I’ve been craving it for days.”

I walked toward the front door of Paradise Pizza but Frayne stopped me in my tracks. With his hand circling my arm he turned me around to face him. Gone was the playful expression, the laugh a mere memory.

“Cathy.”

Talk about casting a spell. I’d never really liked my name, thinking my parents had chosen one plain and common and not exotic or fancy because they wanted it to be easy to remember. Although, it was way better than being called Number One any day of the week.

But still.

“Y-yes?”

He shifted and moved in closer, his hand still gripping my arm. Through my coat, and the even the suit jacket underneath it, the heat from his hand singed my flesh. Standing on Glory Road during a frigid January evening with a brisk wind kicking around in the air, a tiny trickle of sweat beaded down my spine.

Frayne took another step closer.

The back of my throat suddenly clogged, my tongue turning the consistency of sand paper when I rubbed it against the roof of my mouth.

“What…what were you going to say?”

His pale eyes did that little tilting thing down to my lips again before coming back up to settle on my own. The hint of a grin kicked up one side of his gorgeous mouth.

“I love…pizza.”

“Oh. Okay. Well, good.” I reached to push the door open, but he beat me to it. “Then you’re gonna love this place. Best pizza in the state.”

And if you want to see how I envision Cathy and Mac, have a gander at my Pinterest board: Cathleen and Mac ( what else?? Hee hee) This is an actual scene in the book.

Say a prayer for me, peeps, that this book gets contracted. I’m working on book 3 even as we speak ( or, I’m speaking…you’re reading, but you get what I mean. I need some caffeine….)

As always, look for me here when I’m not writing:

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

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Foodie, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Chapters R’ Us! New Chapter Samplers from #TheWildRosePress

SO, are you looking for some new-to-you authors and books? Like Contemporary or Steamy Romance? I’ve got sumthin’ sumthin’ for you. The Wild Rose Press has two chapter samplers out now, each just 99 Cents and each with a collection of first chapters from over 20 authors.

The first, a Contemporary Romance Collection, titled FALLING FOR YOU, features the following authors, and serves all genres of contempRomance from RomComs ( me!) to Romantic suspense and more.

Sunset in Laguna by Claire Marti
Dearly Beloved by Peggy Jaeger
The Millionaire Mountain Climber by Laura Boon
Morgan’s Walk by Suzelle Johnston
Only the Beginning by Daphne Dubois
Saying Yes to the Mess by M. Kate Quinn
The Saffron Conspiracy: A Novel by Marilyn Baron
Operation Sizzle by Darcy Lundeen
Without Love by Theresa Stillwagon
Don’t Let Him Go by Kay Harris

And for those readers who like a little more spice, heat, and passion in their reads, PASSIONATE CRAVINGS is for you.

Finding Redemption by Desiree Holt
Ella’s Triple Pleasure by Anna Lores
Angel’s Collar by Anna Hague
When You Close Your Eyes by Roxanne D. Howard
Sin City Alibi by Sophia Ryan
Heaven’s Watcher by Kayden Claremont
Highland Dom by Marie Tuhart
Play A Game With Me by Cadence Vonn
Kilty Pleasures by Nancy Fraser
Through the Red Door by Sadira Stone
Better To Marry Than To Burn by Michal Scott
In Deep by Stacy Gold

More Samplers from different romance genres will be coming in upcoming months, so stay tuned!

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Introducing #Audiobook #Narrator, Anna Marie Peloso

In addition to this blog, I do a monthly post on the ROMANCE GEMS blog site and for the past two months I’ve written about the explosion of  audiobooks in publishing. You can read those posts here if you’d like: March and April. Especially popular with Millenials, who are never far away from their ear buds and devices, offering a book in audio is oftentimes a tedious process. If an author is lucky enough to find the perfect narrator to bring his/her book to life, that’s the equivalent – in my mind – of finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or a unicorn!

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my pot of gold, er… favorite narrator, Anna Marie Peloso. Anna Marie is, simply put, the perfect narrator for my San Valentino books.

If you’ve read any of the books you know the family hails from NYC, is of strong Italian heritage, and doesn’t mince words – either in English or Italian! You can listen to a sample of her reading from A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights here. Just click on the Audible Sample on the left side of the page.

Because I adore the way Anna Marie narrates, I wanted to introduce her to the blog reading world, so she agreed to write up a little sumthin’ sumthin’ about her journey to the fun career.

Here’s Anna Marie Peloso in her own words….

My journey into narration began after my husband took a trip to Sweetwater Studios in Indiana. Now for those who don’t know, Sweetwater is a music emporium; everything music. My husband was there to have a private recording session with Eric Johnson, an all time favorite of his. Sweetwater arranges these sessions and it’s really awesome. While there my husband had many conversations with those also in attendance about voice-over work. Intrigued, my husband asked a lot of questions because he thought that might be something I would really enjoy.

Upon my husband’s return home he told me all about his experience and then shared all that he learned about voice-over work. I was immediately interested and we began looking into how I could start.

My husband is the one who actually set up my room/closet to record in and all the bells and whistles. There is a lot to consider when beginning this kind of work and I’m very fortunate my husband knows a lot about the gadgets and would be able to do the work to master my finished recordings. ACX is very popular and so we read up on them and decided to start with them to see how this all would go. Being new can be very intimidating, but I set up my profile and started to read about available manuscripts looking for a narrator. I selected three and followed the proper protocol for submitting an audition. It’s all very exciting and nerve wracking at the same time, cause now you wait…until you get a notification stating that you have been hired!

And that is how my lifelong love of reading became what I do today and I get to call myself a Narrator.

You can visit Anna Marie’s website and listen to some of the books she’s already narrated here. Currently, she’s working on my next San Valentino audible selection, CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS and I hope to be able to offer it on Audible soon!!!! Stay tuned for more info coming your way about this!

My thanks to Anna Marie for allowing me to introduce her here, and for being the perfect person to bring the San Valentino family to life!

And if you’re looking for me, here I am most days:

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Foodie, Romance Books, ROmance Gems, The Wild Rose Press

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

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

Hi Peggy,

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

Why did you write this story?

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

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

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

What was your favorite part about writing this story?

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

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

Favorite moments in the story?

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

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

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

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

Do you write in other genres?

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

Here’s the Dedication:

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

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

What’s next?

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

Thanks Peggy!

Totally my pleasure, Charlotte. ~peg

 

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

Forever in a Moment Buy links

Amazon // Kobo // Google Play //

A little more about this wonderful author…

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

You can connect with Charlotte here: 

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

// BOOKBUB

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

By Reservation Only      Hope’s Dream     Freedom’s Path   

      

Lyrical Embrace     Spirited Quest       Soul of the Storm

              

Lion Dancing for Love

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#AuthorInterview with Karilyn Bentley

 

I’ve got a favorite Wild Rose sistah with me today, talking about her newest book release and giving us a little insight into her writing life. Please welcome Paranormal and Urban Fantasy writer  KARILYN BENTLEY.

Karilyn has been my guest before but today I asked her some indepth questions about her writing, her writing process, and her life in general. Stick around, because after the interview, she’s giving us a peek at her newest book release DEVIL FORGET ME and you won’t want to miss it!

Karilyn, the Writer:

  1. What drives you to write?

I like to create stories that make people smile.

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

I write paranormal and urban fantasy because I love to explore the possibilities of extra-normal abilities. In other words, I’ve watched too many superhero movies and shows.

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

I read paranormal, urban fantasy, and historical. I read paranormal for the same reason I write it and historical because it transports me to a different time and place.

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

Right now I write every day in the evenings after I finish the day job.

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

At the moment I’m writing in the kitchen. I have a desk, but it is in my husband’s office in the basement and the view from the kitchen is more inspiring.

  1. 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 tunnel-vision?

I prefer quiet but can write with noise or the TV as long as I’m not in front of it.

  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?

If I do listen, it has to be instrumental because I’ll start singing to the songs and that interrupts my writing flow.

 

  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

I knew the theme was greed but one of my writing friends helped me with the plot.

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

Usually the plot and then I “what if” the characters to go with the plot. The process is very interwoven together for me.

What 3 words describe you, the writer?

Slow and steady, a little funny, snarky (Peggy here: Lovelovelove those three descriptions!!!)

Karilyn, the Gal:

  • Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I taught a puppy training class for a couple of months when I was in grad school.
  • Who was your first love and what age were you? My first love was a little boy who was my friend. I was three. Mom set up a playdate and I hid under the couch because I was embarrassed he would learn I liked him. Silly, eh? My first real love was my husband.
  • 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…. I have no idea! Maybe a vacation day?
  • Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Briefs
  • If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Eyeliner
  • What three words describe you, the person? Funny, loyal and loving
  • If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? I can’t sing so I have no idea!
  • If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. Why? The man has unexplored depths. I’d love to just talk with him, maybe take a stroll across the ground of Hogwarts. I’m assuming he’d talk with a Muggle.

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

Favorite sound: Birds chirping

Least favorite sound: cars backfiring

Best song every written: Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey and Hotel California by The Eagles (yes, I know, that’s two, not one)

Worst song ever written: No idea

Favorite actor and actress: Harrison Ford and Sophie Turner

Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead): The Queen of England. I’d like to see how the rich and famous really live.

What turns you on? Kindness and people who really listen to you

What turns you off? Rudeness and an inability to listen to other people’s ideas

Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”): I can’t remember so I guess nothing said was that bad!

What’s your version of a perfect day? Sleeping in then drinking coffee on the deck while reading a book

(Peggy here – Karilyn, you’re such a fascinating person! Thanks for taking time to talk with me today. Now, as promised, here’s a view of DEVIL FORGET ME)

DEVIL FORGET ME

What appears to be a simple crime, unmasks a chilling deception…

Gin Crawford, the world’s newest demon huntress, kills two minions who are breaking into a financial adviser’s office. But what she thinks of as another night in the life of a demon huntress leads to a cover-up of epic proportions. A demon haunts her employer, the Agency, and only she can stop it.

Aidan Smythe, her guardian mage and lover, along with her brother T, and the healer Eloise, join her search in discovering the demon’s identity. A search thwarted by a powerful spell.

Breaking the spell requires her to join forces with Zagan, the demon of deceit, the demon who marked her as his. But working together comes with a price. One Gin is not sure she can pay.

EXCERPT:

She chuckles as I sip my beer. “Not nothing. I am trying to discover the identity of the demon at theAgency.” She frowns. “It’s not going well. I know I know who the demon is, but every time I think of its identity”—her hands move in a poof motion—“it

vanishes.”

“Yeah, I have the same problem.”

A memory pops into my mind. Two memories, actually. The first was of last night’s fight with Rahab. How the demon said he only had one demon left to kill in order to rule Hell. Mammon, the demon of greed. The second memory was from last week when Smythe and I went to the Agency. We ran into Chuck Tweedy, the Big Boss of the Agency, and my justitia couldn’t stop chanting “greedy.” I assumed the bracelet got its

words mixed up, exchanging Tweedy for greedy. But what if there was a connection?

A dull pain hammers my head. I rub my brow. What was I thinking? We were talking about the Agency demon. Who could it be?

“You do have the same problem.” Eloise touches my leg, and the headache disappears. “That’s what happened to me.”

“How did you know?” Eloise was blind, although I swear at times she sees fine. “I could feel your pain.” Her brow furrows. “Like a spell had been thrown at you that caused the headache. I wonder if the same thing happens when I get a headache from thinking on the demon’s identity.”

“Wait. You mean whenever I think about who the demon is, my thoughts trigger a spell? What does the spell do?”

You can get y our copy of DEVIL FORGET ME here: Amazon // B&N // ibooks //

A little more about Karilyn…

Karilyn Bentley’s love of reading stories and preference of sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works, blending fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.

Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest and started her writing career as an author of sexy heroes and lush fantasy worlds.

Karilyn lives in Colorado with her own hunky hero, two crazy dogs, aka The Kraken and Sir Barks-A-Lot, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish.

You can find Karilyn here:

Website // Newsletter // Facebook  // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest  // Book bub

 

 

.

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A little sample to whet your #bookreading appetites

I love when one of my publishers comes up with something new and exciting. The Wild Rose Press has put together a collection of 1st chapter samplers from many of its authors to whet the book reading appetites of readers.

Don’t know if you really want to read that new book you saw marketed all over Twitter? Not sure you want to take on a new-to-you author without first reading something by them? This is the perfect opportunity for you, then.

The first sampler is a collection of 10 Contemporary Romance first chapters, titled FALLING FOR YOU: Contemporary Romance Sampler,

and my own book DEARLY BELOVED is included.

 

The other fabulous authors  and their books included are:
Sunset in Laguna by Claire Marti
Dearly Beloved by Peggy Jaeger 
The Millionaire Mountain Climber by Laura Boon 
Morgan’s Walk by Suzelle Johnston 
Only the Beginning by Daphne Dubois 
Saying Yes to the Mess by M. Kate Quinn 
The Saffron Conspiracy: A Novel by Marilyn Baron 
Operation Sizzle by Darcy Lundeen 
Without Love by Theresa Stillwagon 
Don’t Let Him Go by Kay Harris

At just $.99cents, this is a great way to find some really good books to read and fabulous authors to get to know. In the coming months there will be more samplers in different genres released and I’ll be spotlighting them here.

Until then, I hope you find your new favorite author among this list ( and I hope it’s me! Shameless, thy name is Peggy!)

Find me here:

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

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

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

And I can’t forget the OKRWA 2018 Award video

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A new #DeerbourneInn release by #Author Laura Boon

 

Today, another wonderful Deerbourne Inn book releases. This one is titled LION DANCING FOR LOVE and it’s by WRP sistah, Laura Boon.

When I knew the book was going to be released into the romance reading world, I asked Laura to write up a little sumthin’ sumthin. on research she did for the book because she’s not a native Vermonter ( the book’s locale). In fact, she lives outside the U.S. so I knew her research story was going to be a goodie! Allow me to let her tell it in her own words. Here’s Laura…

When The Wild Rose Press put out a call for submissions for their Deerbourne Inn series, I was intrigued. I liked the collaborative nature of the series which meant I would be working with other writers (such as the wonderful Peggy Jaeger who is hosting me today) as well as the team at WRP. In the story bible, I read about Corey Duncan, third generation business owner and a man widowed too early in life. I had found my hero. I just needed a heroine to pull him out of the bubble he had withdrawn into. Up popped Caitlin and Lion Dancing for Love was born. Time to get to work! There was just one problem. I live in Australia and have never been to Vermont. (Peggy here: yes, that would be a problem, hee hee!)

Fortunately, I was lucky enough to study in Kansas many years ago, courtesy of a tennis scholarship. The team travelled around a good bit, but mostly in the Midwest and South. I never got to New England. So, I knew something about America and Americans but nothing specific about Vermont.

Thank goodness for Google!

I started by researching the geography of Vermont. What was the weather like in February and March (the time period covering my story)? What drives the economy? What is its history? Is a particular architectural style favored? What transport is favored? Who are its people? What sports do they play? What do they do for fun? What are their values? One of my characters is half Chinese, so I wanted to know how people in Vermont would treat her.

I approached the Vermont travel board, who were extremely helpful and mailed me a package, which reminded me that Vermont is a foodie state, committed to local produce and so I disappeared down another, mouthwatering, rabbit hole, exploring the menus of Vermont restaurants. I downloaded images to create an electronic pin board so I could look at visuals and maps for when I need to imagine the Inn, Main Street and Town Square in Willow Springs. And I read books like Peggy’s Hope’s Dream to see how she portrayed Willow Springs.

Fingers crossed, readers will enjoy my interpretation of Willow Springs. My editor, who doubles as my first American reader, seemed to (more finger crossing). However, for me, the most important thing to remember is that people are people. We may differ on the surface in terms of accent, cultural backgrounds, education and ethnicity – all of which provide wonderful color and diversity to our world – but on the inside, we have the same hopes, fears and passions, the same conflicted relationships with our mothers, and the same appreciation for loyalty, kindness, strength – and a good-looking man in a pair of blue jeans. 😉

Peggy here, again: OMG! I love how you did your research. I live next door to Vermont in New Hampshire and I didn’t know they were considered a foodie state. I’m gonna have to spend more time in Vermont, for sure! Thanks so much for joining me today, Laura. Now, let’s hear about LION DANCING FOR LOVE and your wonderful characters!

 

 

Licking her wounds after a bad relationship, San Diego accountant Caitlyn Summers travels to Willow Springs to help her friend gear up for the annual Maple Sugar Ball. She isn’t planning on staying long, but one encounter with the delicious Corey Duncan has her re-evaluating her plans. 

Corey swore off love when his wife Annie died from breast cancer. Caitlyn is too young, too citified, and vibrates with a passion and energy that will upend the safe, comfortable rhythm of his life. Corey has to choose between playing it safe and taking a risk on love. Caitlyn needs to find the patience to let Corey lead. If not, the Maple Sugar Ball might end in a sticky mess, instead of a slow dance with the man who has captured her heart.

Will their fire burn hot enough to erase doubts and past hurts?

Excerpt:

“You don’t have to be good at it. You have to be able to follow and count to three.”

She put her hands on her hips. It was his turn to raise a brow. “I can follow—if I choose to.”

He chuckled. “Such sass. Prove it.”

He held out his left hand, and she moved forward and placed her right inside it. He twined their fingers and pulled her into position. A heady combination of scents rose from her, vanilla and pheromones and something uniquely Caitlin. Her skin was slick against his. “Rest your head against my chest,” he murmured.

“I don’t recall that as an official position.”

“It’s the one I favor. Stand on my feet. That’s it.” He adjusted her arm, so she had a good hold around his neck and drew her even closer. “Step with your right foot first…back across, together. Forward, across, together. Back, across, together. Forward, across, together.”

Halfway through the song, he let her feet slip to the ground. At the end he kept a firm grip on her waist while he hit replay, then led her through a series of fast twirls, their bodies so close they were almost one. When the song ended, they collapsed in a heap against the wall. She was giggling.

“What?”

“I get why it was considered scandalous when it was first introduced.”

He smiled and tipped her chin toward him with a finger. “It’s only scandalous if you do it properly.” He brushed his lips softly across hers, then claimed her mouth as she breathed into him.

You can purchase LION DANCING FOR LOVE here:

Amazon // i tunes // Kobo // GooglePlay // Deerbourne Series ( WRP)

A little about Laura Boon….

Laura Boon stole her first romance from her father’s bookshelves as a teenager, The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and was immediately captivated. After holding a variety of positions in publishing, from bookseller to sales rep and publicist, she eventually found the courage to write her own stories. She was born in Zambia, grew up in South Africa, and went to university in America. She now lives in Australia with her husband and their fur babies Beau and Arro. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys sleuthing for artisan chocolate and beautiful stationery, watching tennis, and walking alongside Sydney’s beautiful harbor. You can find Laura online via her blog or Facebook page and on Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads, Bookbub and Amazon.

Peggy here: click here to read my review of LION DANCING FOR LOVE.

Be sure to discover the other, already released books of the Deerbourne Inn series – and watch for more releases in 2019 and 2010!

By Reservation Only      Hope’s Dream     Freedom’s Path   

      

Lyrical Embrace     Spirited Quest       Soul of the Storm

              

 

 

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#1stKissFriday 3.22.19

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

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

“I forgot something,” he told her.

“What?”

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

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

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

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

A craving for him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Q—?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Q—”

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

“And conceited.”

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

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

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

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

Now, she knew.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Walmart

Read a preview of THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Goodreads Reviews

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#DeerbourneInn Presenting #author Jean Grant and Soul of the Storm

The next installment in the DEERBOURNE INN series, SOUL OF THE STORM   releases today!!! And I’ve got its author, Wild Rose Press sistah JEAN GRANT with me, discussing the book, why novellas are the hot thing to read and she’s even sharing some of the research she did while writing the book. Sit back and join me in sharing how this great new addition to the series came to be.

Why read a novella in a series?

  1. You can read it in a sitting or two.
  2. You can read more than one in the series.
  3. Sometimes it’s “just enough” when our TBR pile is gigantic.
  4. Fewer characters to remember.
  5. Without committing to a larger novel, you can get a taste for that author’s voice.
  6. There is still a compelling plot and characters with goals, motivations, and conflict. Like Goldilocks, it can be “just enough.” Not too much, not too little.
  7. Less subplots and timelines to juggle. The story gets straight to the chase.
  8. You can get to the HEA (Happy Every After) faster.
  9. They tend to be less verbose.
  10. They are just fun.

Fun.

Really. I have soft spot for reading novellas. I adore Diana Gabaldon’s big tomes, but I must admit that some of my favorites are her “bulges” as she calls them. Sweet, shorter side stories that flesh out the Outlander world.

Stories are meant to pull us in, make us think, provide entertainment, nurture whatever needs to be nurtured. So why not give the Deerbourne Inn books a whirl? I know I’ve already read a few beside my own and plan to read a few more…

What did I learn while writing Soul of the Storm?

  1. Vermont is a LONG (tall?) state (I took a trip to the Mad River Valley for “research” and fun; it was my second visit there).
  2. It really is a green state.
  3. Mud season exists. And you better be careful on those hiking trails in the spring!
  4. The river water is still icy cold at the end of May.

5. A gleaned a lot of fascinating information about civil air patrol, search and rescue procedures, search and rescue dogs/canine units, and Vermont State Police jurisdiction and procedures. I spoke to authorities in all these areas to get my facts straight. Imagine those emails to VSP: Hey, I’m an author and I have some questions…

6. Ohh… I learned lots of cool New Zealand slang words. And a few corrected Maori phrases. (A big thank you to the New Zealanders and sensitivity readers for helping me with this!)

(Jean in Queenstown, New Zealand)

7. Patagonia, Chile has moved up higher on my must hike/see list.

8. Novellas are amazingly fun to write AND read. I’m enjoying all the books in the Deerbourne Inn series.

9. Cabot Creamery is THE place to go if you adore cheese the way I do. Ben and Jerry’s has delish ice cream.

10. I learned about a new hike: the Long Trail, that spans 273 miles and runs north-south through the State. The part we hiked was muddy and fun with a fantastic view of the valley.

SOUL OF THE STORM (Deerbourne Inn)

Will love help her summit one more peak?

Charlotte MacGregor lost the thrill of conquering mountains five years ago when her sister disappeared on a hiking adventure without her. Still guilt-ridden, Charlotte heads for a vacation to rustic Vermont with a friend—where she’s surrounded by reminders of her devastating loss and plagued with unanswered questions.

Matiu Christiansen is an outdoors buff. He works multiple jobs to save for his dream of owning an outfitter in New Zealand. He’s never quite felt at home in the United States and he yearns for his Maori roots, but his attraction to Charlotte puts a kink in his plans to move home later this year.

Thrown together by coincidence, Charlotte and Matiu form a kindred bond through their shared love of the outdoors. Can Charlotte surmount her demons to assist Matiu on a rescue when a late-season snowstorm hits? And can Matiu help Charlotte heal from the pain of the past?

Excerpt

Charlotte sat on the top porch step instead of in a rocker. Her breath puffed in a misty cloud before her as she waited. Again, the scent of a fire from the back pit infused the air. She traced the knots in the planks of the porch with the toe of her shoe, ignoring her thudding pulse. Matiu shuffled through the side door. She rose to help him with the cups.

“Hi.”

“Kia ora,” he said, smile deep and teeth bright beneath the lamps. “It’s colder tonight.”

“You need a jacket,” she said with a nod to his thinner long-sleeved top that clung nicely to his muscles.

“I’ll sit closer to you. Nice quilt.”

“I’m always cold. I won’t have much heat to share.”

“Logging in my assessment file.” He tapped his temple.

She shivered from nerves as he settled beside her on the top step.

“Ya know, we could have tea inside,” he suggested.

“What about consorting? Besides, I like the clear sky and fresh air. Night is my time.”

He nodded. “Ah, clear skies are amazing. I prefer morning. Not sure about tomorrow. Neil’s sick with the flu, and so is Kelly. They work on the search and rescue team, and Kelly also does mucking with us for the US Forest Service. Seems like the germs haven’t left for the season.”

“Nor the cold temps. Both tend to bite us in the ass in April.”

“I was serious. You going to share that quilt with me?” He inched closer.

“Nope. Get your own.”

He pressed a hand to his heart. “Shot down!” Tea splashed as his laugh vibrated.

Her pulse quickened with the idea of sharing warmth with him.

He said, “I’m knackered. That paddle got me sore. Bit more wind today than I’d expected.”

“You’re not the only one.”

He was so close. She subtly inhaled his natural scent. She couldn’t place it. Probably his shampoo… combined with sweat and cooking oils. They sat quietly, unsure what to say next. His nearness upset her equilibrium. She drank the tea.

You can get your copy of SOUL OF THE STORM here:

Amazon // B&N // Apple // Kobo // Googleplay

A little about JEAN GRANT

Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she’s not writing or chasing children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.

You can follow Jean here”

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Bookbub ~ Amazon Author Page ~ The Wild Rose Press

 

And please enjoy the other books in the DEERBOURNE INN series that have already been released ( with more to come in 2019 and 2020!)

By Reservation Only   Hope’s Dream  Freedom’s Path     Lyrical Embrace    Spirited Quest

      

     

YOu can read my review of SOUL OF THE STORM here.

 

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Filed under Deerbourne Inn, Hope's Dream, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press

#1stKissFriday 3.16.19

Last Friday I exhausted all my books’ first lines, so I thought I’d try something new: #1stkissfriday.

I’m going to take an excerpt of the first kiss from all my characters and each week spotlight one.

Today, of course it has to be the kiss from my first book SKATER’S WALTZ which recently had its 4th book birthday.

When he removed one hand from her arm, she reached up to trace the outline of one of his eyes. Her finger moved from the outer canthus to his cheek, smoothing the skin she touched. “You didn’t have these little lines when you left.”

Cole stared down at her face.

Her finger roamed down to the corners of his mouth, outlining them, then on to the small dent in the middle of his chin. An impish grin fanned across her face. “I remember being little and wondering if I smoothed this line away would I be able to see inside you, like it was a door or some kind of opening to your insides. Dumb, huh?”

“Sweet,” he said, softly. “Little girl sweet. Never dumb.”

Her eyes traveled up to his and locked there.

“When I got older I wondered what it would be like to kiss it.”

His breath hitched.

“Would it taste like soap, left over from shaving, or would it be all spiky and nubby because you missed a few hairs. Or would it taste uniquely like you do. I still wonder about that.”

“Tiffany.”

Knowing what he was about to do, and to whom, should have sent him jumping off the couch, running in the other direction. Instead, when his head came down to hers all Cole could think about was how much he wanted to taste her again, how he wanted to lose himself in her, and how both those feelings somehow seemed right, even though he knew they shouldn’t.

Her body tensed as he inched closer. When his lips finally captured hers, she turned fluid under his hands.

Her smooth, small body slackened beneath him as his lips gently moved across hers, tasting them, savoring them. Releasing his grip on her arms, he leaned on his elbows and ran his fingers into her hair, cupping her face while holding fistfuls of the glorious mane.

New, strange emotions jumped about in his body, heightening the sensation of every touch, every caress. She had a mouth made for kissing, for being pleasured and for giving pleasure in return. When he parted her lips with his tongue and edged into the inner treasures of her mouth, taking every inch of it captive, Cole felt as if he was falling to an abyss of pure and total joy.

A moan escaped from somewhere within her, so raw, so seductively feminine, it made Cole’s heart jump, thrilling him with the knowledge that he was the cause.

Tiffany’s hands fisted in his hair, moved down to his neck, his shoulders, massaging, kneading the tight muscles.

His lips traced down over her perfect jaw to the small hollow just behind her ear, and she shivered against his mouth.

A hot burst of sanity blew through his mind.

With a suddenness that left him breathless, Cole pulled back and gazed down into green eyes that were cloudy and drowsy and utterly sexual.

“Tiffany—”

“If you say you’re sorry, I’ll kill you.”

Taken aback, he flinched.

“I mean it,” she said, eyes now wide open and glaring straight at him.

“Tiff, I, I don’t know what to say.”

“The truth would be a good place to start,” she told him.
Cole pulled back to a sitting position and avoided her eyes.
When he hung his head into his hands, and swiped his hair behind his ears, Tiffany sat up.
“I don’t know what’s going on here, with the two of us,” Cole said. “I can’t seem to keep my hands off you. All I think about is—God, I’m sorry.”

“You’re a dead man,” she said flatly.

Intrigued? If you want to read Tiffany and Cole’s story, SKATER’S WALTZ is available in print and ebook, here:

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

Read a preview of SKATER’S WALTZ

Goodreads Reviews

Looking for me? I’m usually here:

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

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

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

 

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Filed under MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women