One of my favorite things as a blogger is introducing you, lovely reader, to a new-author-to-you. If you’ve followed this blog you know one of my favorite authors is Wild Rose Press sistah, Charlotte O’Shay. She writes great female leads, swoony heroes, and fabulous stories. She’s got her first indie book, MY ONLY ONE, out today and I am honored she’s visiting me on release day.
Thanks you for hosting me! I’m over the moon today because it’s release day for My Only One. To be 100% truthful there’s a queasy edge to my excitement because this romance is my first indie as well as the start of a new series. So…anyway… here goes.
Five fun facts about the story & world of the Fortunato family. And a Newsletter Sign-up Giveaway.
1-My Only One, a short-ish friends to lovers, romantic suspense introduces the seven Fortunato siblings: Shane, Leo, Finn, Holly, Christopher, Ivy and Delaney and the Fortunato Family series. All of the stories are set in and around New York City.
2-I also come from a family of seven siblings. Are there any autobiographical elements in this series? Hmm…
3- The first book, My Only One features the eldest Fortunato brother, Shane, an NYPD detective and the girl next door, Esme, a cancer cure researcher. An early reviewer said, “I couldn’t put this book down as it was so addictive and a real page turner that kept you on the edge of your seat wondering what the outcome would be for Esme and Shane and would they have a future together.”
4-The upcoming romances in this series are packed with family antics, steam and some my favorite romance tropes; like enemies to lovers, slow burn, opposites attract, best friend’s younger sister, fake relationship.
5-If this intrigues you and you want some more of the Fortunato saga, sign up to my newsletter here because I will be sharing the prologue to My Only Oneonly with subscribers .
My Only One, Book One of the Fortunato Family series, is a friends to lovers, romantic suspense that’s chock full of feels.
Esme: We grew up in side-by-side New York City tenements. Shane was my first friend, my first crush, and when he enlisted, my unforgettable heartbreak. When fate brings us back together after ten years, I’m in a world of danger. But I’m not a kid anymore and I know what I want. Shane and I have a second chance at forever and there’s no way I’ll lose him again.
Shane: Brilliant, beautiful, bound for success, Esme was the girl next door and a temptation I had to resist. I was too old for her, but I couldn’t forget her. When we meet again after ten long years, she’s caught in the crosshairs of a deadly drug kingpin. But I wear a badge now. Nothing will stop me from protecting the woman who claimed me—heart and soul—so long ago. I’ll keep Esme safe or die trying.
Time’s running out for Esme to pay her father’s debt to the cartel.
Purchase from your favorite bookseller via Books2ReadHERE
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.
Peggy here; to say I love Charlotte’s writing wouldn’t be a strong enough descriptive phrase. She is one of my one-click authors – the ones I preorder without even knowing what the book is about because she never NEVER disappoints. MY ONLY ONE is no exception to that. I was honored to read an ARC of this book and I’m sharing my review with you, here: My Only One Here’s a hint: LOVED IT!
I’ve been sitting on the edge of my chair for the past few weeks just waiting for this day to arrive so I could finally – FINALLY – show you the amazeballs cover graphic designer Kristian Norris made for A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: AIDEN. Ready??
I know you all haven’t read the book yet, but when I tell you this cover is a perfect depiction of the book, believe it!!! And did you notice the Easter Egg the heroine is holding??? Hee hee. It’s a copy of book 1 in the series, A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK. So cool. So ridiculously cool.
I’m doing a professional cover reveal tour with N.N. Lights Bookheaven for this cover, too. Plus, I’m doing a $10.00 Amazon gc giveaway
Open to US residents only.
Runs June 1 – June 10, 2021.
Winner will be drawn on June 11, 2021.
Here’s one of the fabulous graphics she made me: When you read the book, you’ll know why this Chocolate lab is so important – she’s actually one of the main characters!
Here’s the blurb:
Lexi Buckley wants answers about her younger sister’s death. The police have labeled it a suicide, but Lexi doesn’t believe it. Stymied in her investigation, she doesn’t know where to turn next. After a chance encounter with a private investigator, she thinks her prayers have been answered.
Aiden Keane has never been an answer to a prayer before, but he agrees to help Lexi. A quirky combo of brains and beauty, the pixie blonde makes him feel things no professional ever should for a client.
When their investigation puts Lexi’s life in jeopardy, her safety becomes his number one priority. The hard part is not falling for her.
Here’s a little snippet between Lexi and Aiden…
After the best sleep he’d had in weeks, Aiden woke refreshed, recharged, and starving. A quick protein shake and he was out the door, his dog on his heels.
Brontë was in rare form as he ran her in the park on the beautiful June morning. He knew Dylan ran between five and seven miles every day, and it seemed he’d gotten Brontë up to his level. The dog, who typically started to slow down at about mile three of Aiden’s runs, was still going strong at the five-mile marker.
“I should leave you with Dylan more often,” he told the dog when he stopped and found a bench to sit and rest for a bit. “He pushes you a lot more than I do.”
The dog gave him one of her serene smiles, stretched out on the ground next to the bench and yawned before dropping her head over her paws.
When he pulled his beeping phone from his running shorts, an unfamiliar number crossed the screen.
“This is Aiden.”
“Oh, hi…I wasn’t sure if I’d get you or an answering machine. This is Alexis. Um, Lexi. We met. Yesterday. On the plane?”
Aiden smiled at how nervous—and cute—she sounded. How could she possibly think he’d forgotten her?
He stretched his legs out and dropped his free hand to scratch Brontë behind her ear. “You get home okay after we landed?”
“Um, yes. No problems.”
“Well, what can I do for you on this beautiful day, Lexi?”
“Oh, is it? I haven’t been out yet. I, um, had a lot to do when I got home.”
He chuckled to himself, thinking he wouldn’t be surprised if she hit him up with some statistic about how much of a vacation a person who just got home from a vacation needed.
A deep breath came through the phone, and the idea she was trying to gear herself up to ask for help drifted through him. Should he take pity on her and offer his services again, or wait for her to ask?
He had nowhere to be, nothing to do, so he slouched down even more on the bench and waited her out.
“Well,” she said after clearing her throat, “I’m calling because, after everything we talked about yesterday, and because you’re a, you know, private investigator, I, well, I want to ask for your help. Hire you. I want to hire you to help me find out what happened to my sister.”
His grin grew.
“I don’t know how much you charge,” she continued. “But I need help—your kind of help and expertise. I can’t do more than I’ve already done, and I’m at a standstill. So, like I said, I’d like to hire you to look into it. I don’t have much available cash now, but I can give you a retainer to start.”
“Don’t worry about the money. I’ve got a few days free, so how about I take a look at what you’ve got first, no charge.”
“Oh, I can’t not pay you. It seems…wrong, somehow.”
“Like I said, let’s not worry about it right now. Wait to see if I even have anything to offer. You may have already exhausted every avenue.”
“I seriously doubt that.”
He could hear the gears in her mind turning. “When would you like to start?”
“The Reverend John Trusler is credited with saying, ‘There’s no time like the present,’ so how about now?”
The tiny breath he heard her pull in charmed him into another smile. In truth, he’d been hoping she’d say now.
“I’m sorry. That was rude. You’re probably busy after just returning home. Got a thousand things to do. We can make it another time at your convenience.”
“Give me an hour and text me your address,” he said, pushing to a stand. Brontë lifted her head, and when Aiden gave her the signal to rise, she did and positioned herself by his side.
“Really? Oh, thank you. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this. I’ll text you my address right now. And I’ll see you shortly. Thanks, again.”
“Lexi? One thing before we hang up.”
Aiden rubbed his dog’s head, rewarded with a lolling tongue and a doggie-grin.
“How do you feel about dogs?”
I don’t have any purchase links or a release date yet, but when I do you can be sure I’ll be posting them EVERYWHERE!! hee hee.
When I wrote my WILL COOK FOR LOVE series, there was one character who popped into two of the books that I absolutely loved, Private Eye Rick Bannerman. Cocky, self-deprecating, of course handsome, and with a very dark past, I wanted to give him an HEA of his own and a woman who could stand toe to toe with him in every circumstance. A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, was born from that premise. It was my first ROMANTIC SUSPENSE and the next book in the series, AIDEN, is coming out soon, so I figured today would be a good day to give Rick and Abby Laine some blog time.
Elite bodyguard and P.I. Rick Bannerman’s job is to protect. He doesn’t get emotional with his clients, but when a woman from his past is threatened, his next job becomes personal.
Family lawyer Abigail Laine is the target of a client’s vengeful husband, but refuses Rick’s offer of protection. He walked away from her four years ago, and she swore to forget him.
Now her reluctance to accept his help could cost Abby her life.
When had her life turned into this stressful jumble?
Abby grabbed the bottle of extra-strength pain reliever she kept in her kitchen junk drawer, shook out three tablets, and swallowed them with a small glass of tap water.
“Head that bad?” Rick asked from behind her.
“I let it go too long.” She rolled her neck, massaged a muscle where it connected with her shoulder. “I should have gotten in front of it right when it started in court. But I don’t like to take anything when I’m working. The pills make me fuzzyheaded.“
Rick reached around her and grabbed the bottle from the counter. “These are plain over-the-counter tablets. I’d think you’d have something stronger, something prescribed, for when the pain gets this bad. I can see the headache all over your face and shoulders. You’re wearing the pain like you’d wear makeup.”
“You can’t know what a boost to my fragile ego having you here is, Bannerman.”
“Your ego is fine,” he said, moving a step closer.
Her kitchen was huge by Manhattan standards. She could have four people stand in it and still have room to cook around them. Not so when Rick was with her. Sure, he was tall, but so were her brothers-in-law. They never made her feel like her personal space was so congested when they were visiting, though.
“Turn around,” he said.
“You heard me. Turn around, Abigail.”
The low, deep rumble of his chuckle sent the tiny hairs on her neck up to attention.
“When I have to be,” he said. “Believe me, for once you’ll be glad you listened.”
“Doubtful,” she murmured. Reluctantly, she presented him with her back.
“Take a breath,” he told her. “A deep one. And hold it for a few seconds.”
“Now let it out, slowly. Count to five in your head while you do.”
“What is this, Bannerman? Some Vulcan mind- trick cure for a headache? Because if it is, it’s not—oh! Oh…my.” The last word scattered out in one long exhale.
“Told you you’d be glad you listened.”
The pressure of his thumbs on either side of her shoulders, a hair below the collar of her blouse as they kneaded, pressed, and drew little circles around her constricted muscles, shot a wave of intense pleasure straight down the length of her spine.
Abby closed her eyes and sighed. “Oh, good Lord. Whatever you’re doing, don’t stop.”
“Your neck is so tight, I’m surprised your spine doesn’t snap when you walk in those stilts you love so much. It’s a wonder you can move at all with any kind of flexibility.”
“Practice.” She all but purred like her cat when his thumbs sank into her flesh. “And motivation. That feels…amazeballs.”
She swore she could hear his grin. He replaced his thumbs with the pads of his first and second fingers, pressed in deep, released, and then did it again.
“Amazeballs, Abigail? How old are you?”
“Oh! I’ll be any age you want me to be, but don’t stop…please.”
His chuckle turned to a laugh. “I can’t tell you how much I like hearing you beg. Take another deep breath.”
Obediently, since she now knew the benefits of being so, she did. “Oh. My. God.”
He’d wound his long, strong fingers up under her hairline. While he flexed them, massaging every bit of her skull, a thousand jolts of electricity bounded down her back. Her legs turned liquid. She needed to sit down before she fell flat to the floor.
“Stop wiggling. Try to hold still,” he said, dangerously close to her ear. The warmth of his breath as it whispered over her neck delightfully singed her skin. “There’s one pressure point I haven’t gotten to yet.”
“I can’t feel my feet.” Good Lord. Did that moan come from her?
“Good. Then this is working. Give me another minute.”
“You can have all night, Bannerman. As long as you want. Just don’t stop.”
For the briefest of moments, so brief she might have imagined it, he stopped kneading, a swift inhale ringing around her. Then, in a heartbeat, he started his ministrations again. For the first time Abby noticed their bodies were touching, the middle of her back pressed along his torso.
While his fingers skimmed up to her temples, she tilted backward, bumping her head against his chest. He was as solid as a block of concrete.
Rick inhaled a jagged breath when the rest of her body pressed into him.
He had the pads of three fingers against her temples now, the concentric circles he pressed and released over them drawing out little mewing noises from the back of her throat. When his pinkies joined their brothers, all four fingers of each hand now splayed along her skin, feathered into her hairline, Abby rolled her neck back and opened her eyes a fraction. Upside down, she saw the edge of Rick’s jaw, watched— fascinated—as his throat bobbed up and down while he continued attending to her.
“I’m almost done. Hold on for another sec.”
She let her eyes drift closed again. Rick moved his hands so they cupped the back of her neck, then, slowly, he brought her head away from his chest to an upright position, leaving his palms flattened across her shoulder blades.
“Take a breath and lift your shoulders,” he commanded.
Abby did, then rolled her head front to back.
“How’s the headache now?”
She opened her eyes and blinked. “Gone.” She whirled around to face him. “Completely gone.”
He nodded and flexed his fingers as if working out his own kinks. “Good. I’m glad it worked.”
“Where did you learn how to do that?” She slid a hand along one side of her neck, tilted her head, then moved it in the opposite direction. “I don’t think my shoulders have been this loose since, well, fourth grade.”
“You spend a lot of time hunched over.” He opened her fridge and pulled out two bottled waters. “Computer. Legal briefs. It’s no wonder your shoulders are tight and you’re susceptible to migraines.”
“How did you know I had migraines?” She took a swig of the water. “I mean, as opposed to regular bad headaches?”
“You wear the pain on your face. It’s obvious to anyone who knows what to look for.”
“And you do?”
He nodded. “Drink the whole bottle and then you need to eat. You haven’t had anything all day. It’s a wonder you aren’t dropping.”
He bent and peeked into the refrigerator. Sipping her water, she took the opportunity to stare at his butt.
So, since my WILL COOK FOR LOVE series is on sale over at KOBO, I figured today’s snippet should be from one of those books. I love all three of them but my favorite Laine sister is Gemma, so I’ve chosen a little something from A SHOT AT LOVE for today.
It’s the second book in the series and tells the story of Gemma, a fiercely independent, commitment-phone photographer and Ky Pappandreos, a family-centered FBI agent ordered to protect her when she witnesses a mob assassination.
This is a little scene about awareness, when Gemma sees Ky as something more than a bothersome addition to her usually ordered life.
Dressed in similar sweats to what he’d worn the morning before, his body bathed in gleaming sweat, Ky pummeled one of the suspended bags. His hands were wrapped with white gauze, his arms toned and taunt as he executed each strike with perfect precision and technique.
Gemma stopped on the final riser and watched him batter the bag, fists moving with swift, defined actions, the jabs fast and hard, the recoils even faster.
Shoulders raised, elbows tight, hands balled and up blocking his cheeks and jaw line, he threw a right jab, left, then two rights, all aimed high, and a final forward thrust left, lower on the bag, his knees bending to give him balance.
Gemma wanted to race back to her room, grab her camera and capture the scene before her.
Kyros Pappandreos was the epitome, the very definition of a natural born fighter. Distinctly male, uniquely the warrior, his body moved with the grace of a panther, the stealth of a tiger stalking its prey, and the accuracy of a cobra striking. There was something so sensual, so primal, so animalistic about him, she knew she had to photograph him just this way.
She’d capture him in slow motion first, his tight fist connecting with his target, the sweat of exertion flying from his forehead. Then, she’d move to rapid fire, the image blurring with the speed of his hits. A pugilist, enigmatic, tough, and hard bodied, the bulging muscles and corded sinew in his arms distended with his action, outlined and bathed in the shiny moisture pouring from him.
Ky repeated the moves in the same series of strikes three more times before dropping his hands to his thighs.
He swiped at his forehead with the back of his hand, his breathing hard, but not labored, and turned.
Intrigued? I hope so. If you are the entire series is on sale at Kobo for just $2.99 each. Happy reading, peeps.
What a better was to start a rainy weekend than with a Back-list sale so you can order some books you haven’t read yet??? Hee hee
My entire WILL COOK FOR LOVE series is on sale now until 11/11/2020, each ebook for only $2.99, through KOBO. That’s an entire collection for less than 10 dollars. These are full length (85,000+ words) each and tell the stories of Kandy Laine and 2 of her sisters.
Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!
Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .
Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .
Nothing’s impossible when love is on the menu. In Peggy Jaeger’s luscious series, the only thing more tempting than a delicious meal is a truly delectable romance . . . Look for exclusive recipes in each book!
Photographer Gemma Laine is looking for arresting faces on the streets of Manhattan when her camera captures something shocking—a triple murder. In that moment, she becomes a target for the mob—and a top priority for a very determined, breathtakingly handsome, FBI special agent. With deadlines to meet and photo shoots on her calendar, Gemma chafes at the idea of protection, but every moment she spends under his watchful eye is a temptation to lose herself in his muscular arms . . .
With two of his men and one crucial witness dead, Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos can’t afford to be distracted. But Gemma is dazzling—and her connection to Kandy Laine’s high-profile cooking empire makes her an especially easy mark for some very bad people. Keeping her safe is much more pleasure than business, but as the heat between them starts to sizzle, Ky is set to investigate whether they have a shot at love . . .
In Peggy Jaeger’s delectable series, delicious food is just an appetizer for life’s main course: the kind of love that feeds your soul.
With three successful TV series under her belt, including her cousin Kandy’s, executive producer Stacy Peters is ready to helm her own show. But to make that happen, she has to do her network boss one favor first—spend two months on a ranch in Montana wrangling the notoriously difficult director of Beef Battles. Apparently, he eats producers for breakfast. Yet all Stacy can think when she meets the lean, rugged man is how hungry he makes her . . .
Dominic Stamp—Nikko to his very few friends—has had enough interference from TV newbies. And when Stacy climbs out of the car in Montana, he’s not convinced she’s even old enough to drive, much less produce his show. But he can’t deny that the long-legged blonde with the stubborn will and the dazzling smile whets his appetite. And as Stacy proves her talent with the crew and the budget alike, Nikko vows to prove to her that love is on the menu for both of them . . .
Get your copies now because after 11/11/2020 they go back to full price – and you all know how much I love a sale!
Here’s what people have said about this series:
5 stars “Cooking with Kandy is a tasty read, you’re sure to devour.”
A Shot at Love : 5 stars “Strong women and sexy alpha men always make for explosive combinations, and the sexual tension between the main characters is through the roof from the very first page.”
Can’t Stand the Heat” 5 stars “Peggy hits it right out of the park with this book! As much as I adore Kandy and Gemma’s tales of love, I think Stacy’s story might just be my favorite!”
In honor of my stint on LA Talk Radio the other night, today I’m offering up a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from my book A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, my first foray into Romantic suspense lite. In this scene, Abby finally realizes that Rick means business when it comes to sticking to her like glue until her stalker is caught.
“You’re really going to spend the night? Here?” she finally asked.
“And every other night until Genocardi is caught.”
She went stone still. “He doesn’t know where I live.”
“You can’t be sure of that. Neither can I, so…” He lifted his hands, palms up.
It was a wonder blood wasn’t seeping through her lips from the intense way she was biting down on her cheek.
“Look.” He leaned a hip against the sink, folded his arms across his chest. “I know you think there’s no worry or danger to you from this guy. But in my professional opinion—and please remember what I do for a living—you can never underestimate someone who’s gone off the deep end like this guy has. He may not be targeting you, may have forgotten all about you, but I seriously doubt it.”
She sighed, snuggled the cat closer, and buried her face in its fur.
“Josh can assign someone who’ll keep you as safe as I can. But do you really want someone you don’t know following you around all day? Possibly for several days?”
“God, no. I’d hate that.”
“Then isn’t it better I’m the one? You know me. You can trust me. You do trust me, right?”
Without hesitating, she replied, “Of course I do.”
He nodded again, relieved by her answer. He pushed off the counter, took a few steps toward her, and then reached out a hand to rub the cat’s neck as she was doing.
“I know this is hard for you,” he said, hiking his voice to be heard over Moonlight’s thunderous vocal vibrations. “Being invaded, having your privacy and your quiet life infringed upon. I’d be mad, too.”
“I’m not mad,” she said. “Just…inconvenienced.”
“Yeah, I get that. It won’t be for long, though, I’m sure. Your cop buddy will find Genocardi. As soon as the threat is gone, I’ll be out of your hair.”
She stared at him for a moment over the cat’s head. “You might want to grab my law book again, Bannerman.”
“Your argument’s pretty solid on all levels. Almost lawyer-worthy.”
“Now, there’s no need to be insulting, Abigail.” He pulled himself up to his full height and glared down his nose at her.
He was pleased when she laughed, since it had been his intent. “Go on and do whatever you need to do. I’ve got stuff to do as well,” he told her.
With one final glance at him, she moved from the kitchen, the cat still in her arms.