Recently, I was interviewed for the premier week of the Love Romance Reads Website. There’s a giveaway attached to the post. Here it is and happy reading! LovesRomanceReads Interview with Peggy Jaeger
Tag Archives: Romance Writers
We’re winding down on the 52-week blog. Just a few entries left and today is such a hard one for me. I have to share a favorite recipe with you all. Just one. One recipe. I think I mentioned before I am a cookbook hoarder. Truly. I own upward of 130 cookbooks from all over the world and from all eras – case in point, I have a church-sponsored spiral bound cookbook from a Methodist church dated 1913. EVERYTHING, EVERY SINGLE RECIPE calls for whole milk, real butter, pork fat, or fresh cheese. Proof that nutritional times have changed greatly in the past 100+ years!
Any hoo…I digress.
I delved deep into my recipe card files, trolled through my holiday food prep books and came up with a family and friend favorite that’s easy, delicious, and depending on how you make it not too too too calorie-laden!
My Chocolate Trifle
I made this just last week for a holiday party and was smart enough- for once – to snap a pix.
Here’s the EASY recipe ( the harder one follows!)
1 box of any commercial brand chocolate cake
2 16 oz tubs of Cool Whip Lite
1 5 oz box of instant MyTFine Chocolate, sugar-free pudding
Crumbled chocolate bar of your choice ( I use the Cadbury Chocolate Orange that comes out at the holidays)
- Prepare and bake the cake as directed on the cake box using 2 9″ round baking tins
- Prepare the pudding and chill
- Once the cake is baked and cooled in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, place one complete cake round into the bottom of a trifle bowl. You can either place it in one whole piece, or crumble the cake up.
- next, layer one tub of cool whip lite over it. Smooth it out so you get two distinct lines of color
- next, layer 1/2 the pudding over the cool whip. Smooth it out so you get 3 distinct lines of color.
- Repeat steps 3-5 with the other cake round, the other tube of cool whip and the rest of the pudding.
- top with crumbled chocolate bar pieces or you can shave the chocolate on top if you prefer small chunks.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2-4 hours.
Now the harder recipe ( and the one I make!!!) And the reason the above picture has 3 cake rounds instead of two!
a. for the Chocolate Cake:
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temp
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all purpose white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup refined sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1.oven goes to 350 degrees to preheat. Take 3 9 inch cake pans and grease them
2.In a bowl, mix the cocoa, flour, and baking soda together and set the bowl to the side. With a mixer, cream the sugar and the butter until soft and light. Beat in one egg at a time on low speed. Add the vanilla and mix. Then add in half the flour and cocoa mixture, then the sour cream. Finish with the remaining dry ingredients.
3. Pour into baking pans evenly, about a 1/2 -1 inch each to make even layers.
4. bakes for 20-25 mins, or until a toothpick comes back clean when placed in the center. Oven temps vary. Check at 20 minutes and every 5 minutes until this happens.
5. cool completely.
b. For the pudding:
Use either Packaged instant or the packaged kind you have to cook. If you use the old-fashioned kind, make sure the pudding is completely cooled and set before the layering starts.
To assemble, see the instructions as above. Cake/cool whip/pudding. Finish with a cake layer ( like my pciture_ and top with candy.
Both the easy recipe and the from scratch one are delish!!!! To save calories, substitute skim milk for any whole asked for, use cool whip LITE and SUGAR-free pudding made with skim milk ( not whole)
Every single time I make this whether it is for a dinner party 0f 6 or a group gathering of 10+, it is GONE. I never have left overs of this dessert. Ever.
My, my, my….there are so many ways to interpret what the title of this week’s blog challenge is. I’m going to go with the first thing that came to MY mind when I read it, namely, as a romance writer, do you write sex scenes openly, or do you leave them for behind closed doors?
The sexiest thing about that book was its lack of sex. No hand holding, no touching except with gloves on and while dancing, no stolen kisses behind chaperone eyes. Lingering looks and side glances were the extent of the sexual tension shown. And I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it tension. More…expectation.
For hundreds of years after that book was published, the majority of romantic fiction remained the same. The hero and heroine fell in love, had their troubles, then got married. The End. The wedding night was never detailed; their children seemed to be sent from God as immaculate conceptions. You literally didn’t know how they got it on in the bedroom.
Even in the movies things weren’t shown. Remember the great staircase scene in Gone With The Wind?
A drunken Rhett scoops his wife, Scarlett, up in his arms and carries her up that grand staircase, the light fading behind them the higher he goes, his intent obvious. End of scene. Cut to the next morning with Scarlett lounging in bed, a girlish blush on her cheeks, and our imaginations left to run rampant on what occurred after the fade out and the bedroom door was shut in our faces. (Click here to see the actual filmed scene)
Fast forward a half century.
A little independent movie called The Devil in Miss Jones opened and sex – raw, in your face ( and every other body part) sex between two people…and even more than 2 people at once – was now on view for all to see and be…entertained by. It wasn’t shown in back street, urine smelling alleyway hole-in-the-wall porno theaters, but right on Main Street, USA movie houses. The people who stood in line for hours weren’t pedophiles or sex perverts ( although, I’m sure there were a few of those!) but everyday men and women, NORMAL people who were intrigued -and let’s be honest, titillated – about this movie and its usually forbidden subject manner. It became an overnight cult classic that was accepted and viewed by the mainstream majority.
If you could watch sexual acts among consenting adults openly in the movie theater, sitting next to your neighbor, your boss, your politicians, even your doctor or dentist, why the heck couldn’t you buy a book and read about it openly as well?
And while this wasn’t classified as a romance story but as literary fiction – nowadays it would be referred to as Women’s Fiction – it was a runaway bestseller and the major reason it was is because it talked about people having sex — and showing it!! All kinds of sex in all kinds of places – and I’m not just referring to locales, but to different orifices! (Orifi?)
This new openness about sexual acts opened that bedroom door and they invited us in. All in! Before those two burst on the romance writing scene, if you wanted to read about what consenting adults did in the privacy of their bedrooms, you had to go to a certain brand of book shop and wander in the erotica section because that’s where the books with sex were kept. Or behind the counter and you had to – blushingly – ask for them by name and author.
Once that bedroom door was opened, it hardly ever closed again. Sweet romances still sell – a lot – but the majority of romance books written and sold now all have open bedroom ( and every other conceivable place and room) doors.
I’m with the majority on this one. I like reading about open bedroom doors and I write about open bedroom doors. In its baldest sense, I have an open door policy for my writing. Pun intended. I read all genres of romance except pure erotica. I do, though, read and enjoy erotic ROMANCES because –HELLO!!!– romance is the major part of the equation. A really good writer can devise a “love scene” where you never even realize the physicality of what you’re reading as much as you do the emotions involved in the physical aspects of what’s on the page. And let’s face it, if you’re getting a little…turned on…both emotionally and physically by what you’re reading, that author has done her job. I long to be that type of writer!
To quote the late and amazeballs George Michael,
“Sex is natural, sex is good
Not everybody does it
But everybody should
Sex is natural, sex is fun
Sex is best when it’s, one on one”
from I WANT YOUR SEX
Now, there are a bunch more authors in this blog challenge who may have interpreted this blog title just a little bit differently than I have. Let’s hop over and see what they’ve come up with, shall we?
Which do you like best? I’m going to answer that question backward. Why? Just listen…
I’ve never been able to listen to an audio book without my attention wandering.
When we first moved to New England ( and even still to this day) we would travel to NYC to visit relatives frequently via car. My husband is the main driver in the family, so I have always been relegated to the front seat passenger side. You can only talk so much in a car before it gets: distracting, boring, tiring, so that means I usually need something to pass the 4+ hours ( without traffic) it takes to get to our destination. I tried listening to audio books when we first started these treks. Five minutes in my mind would start to wander or drift, or I’d slip into sleep. Just listening to someone’s voice – no matter how riveting the book was reported to be – was mind numbing to me. So, not a fan of audiobooks.
I had an original Kindle. You know, like ten years ago when it costs $300+ dollars!!
Again, I purchased it mainly because we travel so much and carting heavy books around, because I like to read hardbacks, was getting to be too much in luggage weight. I took the Patricia Cornwall book Scarpetta to England and the flight attendant said I had to stow it because it was so heavy! SO the Kindle seemed perfect. And I do love my Kindle. I have my account and the app uploaded on all my devices from phone to computer to iPad so I am always able to read wherever I am.
There is just something about a book.
I love the way a library and an old book store smells. No, not musty and damp!!! But like you just sense down to your bones the millions of words and pages living in those places. I like holding a book, especially if I’m sitting down in a cozy, favorite chair, by a warm fire on a cold day. I fully realize it’s wicked easier holding a Kindle when you are standing in line waiting to get on an airplane, or on the subway, and that’s another reason I love my Kindle: ease of holding. If I read my Kindle before bed, though, my brain tends to not shut down easily. A battery of psychologists did testing that postulated this is because the pixels and the other cyber stuff of devices forces your brain to stay awake by stimulating it. Reading a regular book, on the other hand, is calming to your brain.
Ahhh, a book….turnable pages filled with inky thoughts and ideas…something solid, that has weight – both in ounces and substance(!)
SO for me, it’s never really a contest – a real book all the time. ( With Kindle a close second!)
Stop by the other authors in the Blog Challenge and see how they like to read….
Join me and many other Romance Authors next Saturday, July 29 at the Dolphin Resort in Walt Dinsey World for a mega book signing.I’ll be there from 3-5pm EST with copies of COOKING WITH KANDY and A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS to sign. The money that’s paid for the books goes to the Nora Roberts Foundation for Literacy – so you not only get to meet your favorite authors, you get to support Literacy too! How cool is that?!!
Can’t wait to meet you all!
Welcome to the Some Girls Like It Hot Mega Gift Card FB Hop, where you can enter to win a gift card at every stop. With over 100 authors participating, that’s 100+ chances for you to win.
In the event of a broken link in the hop, you can always find the complete list of authors and links to their FB pages here: http://somegirlslikeithot.blogspot.com/p/the-hop_29.html
For this hop, I’m giving away AN E-COPY OF COOKING WITH KANDY. Please read and follow the instructions below very carefully. I don’t want to have to disqualify anyone!
- Like my FB page and this post.
- Follow me on TWITTER
- Comment below this post: I Love Hot Guys!
Winners will be chosen at random when the giveaway closes at 12 pm EDT (9 am PST) on June 12.
Kristina Knight is the next stop on the hop. Visit her/his Facebook page for a chance to win another gift card here: Kristina Knight FB page
BONUS GIVEAWAY! If you visit every page on the hop and enter all 100+ giveaways, you are eligible to enter to win an Amazon Echo Dot or Kindle Fire. Here’s the Rafflecopter:
*******Have you entered our two grand prize giveaways? That’s right, we’re running two big giveaways at the same time. Enter for your chance to win a Kindle Fire HD 10” tablet ($299), plus additional kindles and Amazon gift cards.
Good luck and have fun on the hop!
Facebook giveaways are in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. By entering this giveaway, participants release and indemnify Facebook from all liability. Information collected is not collected by Facebook.
List of Participating Authors and Links to Their Facebook Pages
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,
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:
This past weekend I attended the NECRWA 2017 conference in Burlington, MA. Historically, this is a fabulous conference for romance writers to network with professionals, learn about craft, catch up with old friends, and make new ones. This year was no exception. Ii fact, this was a banner year for the conference and for me.
Let me ‘esplain….
For the conference itself, the committee tried several new “things” conference-wise that just worked. A bigger and expanded book fair; an exceptional cocktail hour and meal service; a large and varied collection of conference topics, and two break-out sessions after the conference was completed. I don’t think I ‘ve ever heard so many participant comments in the past that were so glowing of all aspects of the conference, so Kudos to the conference committee. You should all pat yourselves several times on the back!
As for me, well, this was the first time I’ve ever given a professional writing speech. Okay, speech isn’t the correct word. It was a workshop on writing romance stories for people over the age of 40. I’d given this presentation to my local NHRWA chapter last month and it was warmly received. I even wrote a blog about my nerves concerning it. But they’re all my friends. I didn’t think they’d be mean and they weren’t ( of course they weren’t!!!) This time, the presentation was for a room full of people I didn’t know. At all. Now, some of my chapter mates attended to support me ( gotta lovelovelove that, right!!) And I knew the moderator from previous conferences. But the majority of that room was alien to me and boy-oh-boy was I nervous.
Turns out, I didn’t have to be. They all laughed in the right places, asked en-pointe questions related to the topic and I never once saw people yawning, checking Apple watches, or fidgeting.
Nirvana for a speaker!!!!
The best part? A few hours later I met one of the attendees in another workshop and she stopped me and told me how much I had inspired her and that she’d had an immediate story plot jump into her head. When she told me about it I started to well-up because I could see – really SEE – how the talk had inspired her. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so emotionally invested in a stranger before! Sniff…sniff…
So, now I’m home, getting back to the editing and writing grind today. Although, it really isn’t a grind. It’s an absolute delight in every way, especially, now that I know my words and thoughts actually helped another writer.
Le sigh…..I’ve got a great life.
I’ll be chatting about My Candy Hearts Book, 3 WISHES
Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.
At about five minutes of ten I was almost ready to turn the Closed sign on the door when it opened. I heard Janie’s breath hitch and turned from where I was sweeping up. Staying open late is always a risk, with the thought thieves will invade at the end of the day.
If the guy standing at the door glancing around the shop was a thief, then Dio mio, I wanted to be robbed.
About six foot, his hair was the color of a deer’s pelt, with autumnal golds and browns shot together in a glorious patchwork that grazed the collar of his jacket and curled a little at the ends. He wore a faded brown bomber jacket over a shirt I couldn’t see, but he had shoulders almost as wide as my doorway. A pair of well-worn jeans covered his mile long legs, and the fabric on the stress points at his knees was practically white.
“We’re about to close,” I heard myself say. “Can I help you?”
It was at that moment he looked over at me.
His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth, forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth and deep. And his mouth, mother-of-God, his mouth. Full, thick beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.
“Sorry,” he said, those fabulous lips pulling up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”
So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.
The Candy Hearts books are all on sale until Feb. 14 at The Wild Rose Press
When I’m not chatting on line you can find me here:
This is going to be a good test to see if anyone ever reads my blogs!!
I told you recently that I’m all atwitter and discombobulated because I’m putting together a Power Point presentation for my local NHRWA chapter in March and then for the New England (NECRWA) Chapter in April and I’m learning (slowly) the ins and outs of the PP program.
That’s fine. No worries there.
I need a little help from my romance writer and reader friends. Who ( what author) do you read who writes romance with heroines and heroes OLDER than 45 years old? I’m not looking for writers who write about the fabulous 20 somethings or terrific thirty-year-olds. I want romance titles and books written about folks in their middle years. If you read romance books concerning this age group, please send me book titles or the authors who write them.
I have a few in mind, but I want to explore more. Please.
I’ll say thank you in advance.