Tag Archives: #smalltowwromanceseries

A new #DeerbourneInn novella from #Author Maria Imbalzano; A SONG FOR ANOTHER DAY

 

 

I’ve been so excited to feature my Wild Rose Press sistahs who’ve written for the Deerbourne Inn series. Today is no exception. I met Maria Imbalzano at the New Jersey RWA conference a few years ago and I knew the moment I met her she was gonna be a fab writing friend to have!! I’m so pleased to spotlight Maria today  here, along with her new addition to the series, A SONG FOR ANOTHER DAY ( and isn’t this cover, divine!!!!)

Gigi Jenson, an up-and-coming Broadway star, finds herself in Willow Springs, Vermont, for the summer as director of their first annual community revue. This sleepy town is worlds away from her vibrant and beloved New York City, but the experience she’ll gain will be invaluable to her career.

Jason Simmons has lived in Willow Springs his entire life. Working several jobs while writing music, he yearns for a contract to record his songs. The one chance he had to make it in Nashville he blew due to stage fright.

When Jason volunteers to help Gigi with the revue, sparks ignite but their dreams are taking them in different directions. Will their love for each other ever guide them to the same path?

Excerpt

“Are you ready to run screaming back to the city?”

Jason’s voice curled around her from the left, and she turned to see him planted on a bench beneath an old oak tree, his long jeans-clad legs stretched before him, arms snaked over the wooden back, as if to hold him up. He was too attractive for her own good.

She strode over to him. “So you think I’m a lightweight? That I can’t handle a hundred forty-nine participants in a community revue?”

The lazy grin on his mouth did funny things to her insides, and she couldn’t contain her growing smile.

“Once you shed your glossy outer layer, you’ll fit in better. People will warm up to you.”

She lost the smile. “People here don’t like me?”

“I didn’t say that. I just heard some comments around town today that they were looking for this revue to be fun. But the city woman in charge was all business, focusing on commitments and rules.”

She straightened her spine and clenched her jaw. “How can we have a successful revue if the townspeople don’t hear from me that their commitment to rehearsals is key, especially since we’re throwing them together to do something they’ve never done before?”

His eyes sparkled with amusement. “I’m just suggesting that you tone it down a notch. Make it fun. Exciting. The participants are already committed.” He unfolded his long, lean body from the bench and stood. “And get rid of the suit and heels.”

He ambled away, heading toward Main Street.

And here she’d been thinking Jason might be as attracted to her as she was to him.

Clearly, she needed to stop thinking.

You can get your copy here:

Universal Link   Amazon   Barnes and Noble   Kobo     Apple    Google Play

A little about Maria Imbalzano…

Maria Imbalzano is a retired matrimonial lawyer who now writes full time. Instead of drafting motions, legal memoranda, and briefs, although fascinating, she now spends her days creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys through her contemporary romance novels.

In addition to writing fiction, Maria is on the Friends of Thomas Edison State University Foundation Committee and is still involved with Dress for Success Central Jersey, having been a founding Board member. She also serves on the finance committee for The Present Day Club. She has received the distinguished Family of Edison Award for her work with The Thomas Edison State University Foundation, the Iron Mike Professional Achievement Award from Trenton Catholic Academy and was inducted into the Italian American National Hall of Fame.

Her novel, “Unchained Memories,” won the Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers’ Award and the ACRA Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence Award. “Sworn to Forget,” the first of the four-book Sworn Sisters Series was a finalist for the illustrious RONE award as well as the Book Buyers Best Award.

Visit Maria at www.mariaimbalzano.com

And to check out all the Deerbourne Inn Novellas, visit the Wild Rose Press page for the series, here: DEERBOURNE INN

As an added bonus – here’s my review of A SONG FOR ANOTHER DAY. (Hint: I loved it!)

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HOME IN YOUR ARMS by Charlotte O’Shay – A Deerbourne Inn Novella

I’ve got one of my favorite authors – and people – visiting here today. CHARLOTTE O’SHAY is a one-click author for me for so many reasons, not the least of which is her amazeballs story telling talent. We are Wild Rose Press sistahs and I have been honored to meet and get to know her at several RWA conferences. Today, she’s visiting because she has a brand new release out, her second addition to the Deerbourne Inn series titled HOME IN YOUR ARMS.

I was lucky enough to read this book before it went into release and I can’t say enough about how much I loved the characters, the storyline, and the way Charlotte just draws me in every single time to one of her stories. I’m gonna turn the mic over to her now…

Charlotte, take it away.

When I asked Peggy Jaeger about visiting her blog to talk about my new release HOME IN YOUR ARMS, and after she delivered her enthusiastic, typically Peggy yes! we had an inevitable moment catching up with our lives and our families, virtually, of course because that’s the way we do everything these days… sigh.

We talked about our families—weddings and funerals, parents and grandchildren, the seasons, the weather, how we’re always looking for time, striving for more and trying to be better.

And when we got to the end of our exchange, and I thought about what I would say about my latest release, I realized our chat was exactly what HOME IN YOUR ARMS is all about.

HOME IN YOUR ARMS is a romance but it’s also about finding one’s life and one’s self again. It’s about recognizing grief must have its time but if you let it, love will find a way back into your life. It’s about forgiving people—family and friends who mean well and accepting they are only being themselves with their own burdens to shoulder. It’s about mourning but recognizing it’s okay to dance again, it’s okay to hope, to look forward, make plans, create a future.

Karla & Zane are two people who meet when the time is finally right for them. They fight their attraction, they’re united in their loyalty, believing all sorts of things, but mainly that they’re undeserving of another chance at happiness. HOME IN YOUR ARMS is about how they understand, eventually, it’s okay to open themselves to love and romance, that it’s okay to be happy again.

It’s no wonder I felt compelled to quote from Ecclesiastes in one of the last chapters of the book. “To everything there is a season…”

Check me out on social media and let me know what you think of Karla and Zane’s story.

BLURB

After her sweetheart Joe dies in a road accident, twenty-four hours after he returns from Army service, grieving Karla Payne slams the door on love.
Five years later, Karla’s tavern business is booming, and she owns her home, but she knows forever love has no part in her future.

Headed to interview for his first civilian job, retired career Army 1st Sgt. Zane Blackthorne can’t resist visiting his late buddy’s beloved Vermont hometown. He also can’t resist looking up Joe’s sweetheart, Karla, who is an alluring mix of brains, beauty, and bravery.
Loyalty to his brother-in-arms demands Zane fight his attraction to Karla. Besides, even if Karla wants him, she’ll never love him.

Can Zane say goodbye to the woman he has no right to call his own?
Even if his only true home is in her arms?

Excerpt: 

He’d neglected to make a reservation for dinner at the inn which would have been handy given his hunger, but he was inclined to want something faster than a three-course meal anyway.

He took a quick look at the town map the desk clerk proffered, but he didn’t need it. It was all as Joe described. Setting the map back on the desk, he proceeded into town.

The Stone Hearth Tavern was filled to bursting with people, the jukebox blaring Roy Orbison. Not in the mood to converse with the throng at the bar, Zane made his way to an empty back table. After he gave the teenage server his order, he did his best to melt into the background—no easy feat given his size, but it felt good to stretch his legs and cross booted feet under one of the tables backed against the rear wall.

There she was—Karla. Exactly as Joe described her and yet more so. A strawberry blonde who commanded the area behind the bar, her staff, and the entire tavern with a simple flick of her capable hand and an impatient lift of one dark auburn eyebrow.

It was a busy night for a Tuesday in early March. Winter had barely loosed its grip on this part of the country, but nevertheless it seemed in the small town of Willow Springs, people socialized. Socializing was as foreign a concept to him as smiling. Two months after his retirement from the service, two months back on American soil, and he was as wary of people as a monk emerging from a twenty-year vow of silence.

This felt weird. No, it was weird because he didn’t belong here. Did he belong anywhere? Zane squashed the intrusive thought because he reckoned he belonged here as much as anywhere else. Even if his mind knew the truth of it, it would take some convincing before his body unwound from its tense coil in the hard seat at the back of the tavern. Wary and on watch, he was the furthest thing from relaxed or social. Cheeseburger and fries consumed, he stood, casting one last look behind the bar. Karla stood at the old-school register, hair gleaming bright under the pendant light, pencil tight between her white teeth as she rang up a customer. He dropped some cash on his table and found the exit.

What a mistake. Zane shook his head at the absurdity of the ridiculous plan prompting him to stop at the tavern Karla owned, and to visit Willow Springs at all.

You can get your copy here: Barnes & Noble Nook// Amazon Kindle // Apple – I Books //

Add it to your  Goodreads/ and Bookbub Pages

A little about Charlotte O’Shay

Award winning, NYC author Charlotte O’Shay is the middle child of a big family who married into another equally boisterous large family. Arguing, er…negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in law. 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 challenges her heroines and heroes with a crisis then watches them figure out who they are while they fall in love.

You can connect with, and follow Charlotte here: WEBSITE & NEWSLETTER  // INSTAGRAM // TWITTER // PINTEREST // FACEBOOK PAGE  // BOOKBUB

 

 

 

 

 

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HOPE’S DREAM now available in print from the Wild Rose Press

I love my publisher. I really do.

They’ve just released my Deerboune Inn novella in print form, sold exclusively through the Wild Rose Press.

HOPE’S DREAM was such a joy to write. It’s a rags to riches, sweet romance about a small town girl who survives loss and life changes, and a disillusioned lawyer trying to get his life together.

Here’s the blurb:

Hope Kildaire gave up her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner when a car accident killed her father and left her mother an invalid. Working two jobs and caring for her mother leaves the twenty-seven-year-old with no time for fun or relationships. When a law firm representing her paternal grandparents sends her several letters, Hope ignores them. She despises the family who disowned her father and wants nothing to do with them.

Lawyer Tyler Coleman’s job is simply to obtain Hope’s signature on a legal document. Getting it is harder than planned, though, when an unexpected attraction blossoms between them. If Ty is honest with Hope about why he’s in Willow Springs, he’ll fulfill his assignment but may risk hurting her.

The opportunity to have everything she’s ever desired is at Hope’s fingertips. Will her dream come true at the expense of Tyler’s love?

You can get your print copy only from the Wild Rose Press, here: HOPE’S DREAM

Or, if you like digital reads, here: Amazon 

And, lastly, if you like Audible, you can listen to the book here: Audible

So many ways to enjoy a lovely romance! Get your copy today.

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On Book reviews – good ones, bad ones, and ones that make you go “WHAT??!”

I’m not gonna lie….I read my book reviews.

Many authors will tell you they never do because they don’t want to hear anything negative about the book, or that it makes them uncomfortable, or anxious or ( insert your own descriptor).

Not me.

I read every single, friggin, review I find, especially those from people I don’t know. You kind of expect the people you know to say something nice about your book. But it’s the ones I’ve never met, who don’t know me from Eve, who when they take time to write something about one of my books, I sit up and take notice. I’m not arrogant enough to think my words will inspire, entertain, and bring happiness into every single reader’s lives. It’s my hope, but not my reality, peeps, heehee.

What I always find intriguing though, is when one book has polarizing reviews – both ends of the spectrum from 5 stars to 1.

Let me e’splain….

This was a recent review from a very famous author I know through a publisher connection. We have never met, but I thoroughly enjoy reading her books and she is a one-click author for me. For TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS this is her review, up on Amazon:

Katie O’Sullivan

Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2020

Format: Paperback

Peggy Jaeger has done it once more, proving why I keep returning to her stories again and again. The vivid portrait of small town life, the depth of the characters and the breadth of emotions… I love escaping to the worlds this author creates on the pages.

Ms. Jaeger writes in a first person point of view that drags the reader along on a sometimes chaotic ride with Cathy O’Dowd, a small-town lawyer and the eldest O’Dowd sister in the small town of Heaven, New Hampshire. She took over her father’s practice and responsibilities when her parents retired, one of which was sitting on the board of the local Historical Society. When a well-known author comes to town to research his new book, the pair are thrown together and sparks begin to fly.

Okay, none of that sounds terribly exciting, does it?

Small town lawyer. Author doing research. Historical Society.

It all reeks of dusty pages and yawns hidden behind polite hands. And yet…

This story crackles with emotion and tension, as the main characters are instantly drawn to each other but trying desperately to ignore the electric connection. The stubbornly broken characters kept me glued to my Kindle rooting for them to give into their feelings, to get over their sad pasts and find a happily ever after with each other. The scenes with Cathy’s grandmother, Nanny Fee, add comical humor and lightness to the overall story. Ms. Jaeger does a wonderful job of creating real characters we can relate to and root for, with the strong background themes of family and forgiveness running throughout.

I finished this book in a day, and loved escaping into the world Ms. Jaeger created. The first book in this series, Dearly Beloved introduced the town of Heaven and the sisters… And I know there’s one more O’Dowd sister whose story has yet to be published (I can’t wait!)

Amazing, right? And such an ego stroke I can’t tell you!
Now, here’s the same book and a review from Netgalley from someone I don’t know from Adam:
Maggie – 1 star
I have thoroughly enjoyed what I have read so far in Today, Tomorrow, Always. I love the small town atmosphere, the family surrounding Cathy, and the love and patience she has for her family, her sweet dog and her community. The buildup of Mac’s background and loss of his family add to an intriguing mystery. Why did you throw in a gay marriage? My decision is to not finish this book and not request any more of Peggy Jaegar’s books. I read Christmas and Cannolis last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thus, I requested this book. Please leave LBGTQ topics no matter how small under LBGTQ headings. It may be only a minor one-page item, but I am not interested in finding out. I will not be leaving a review on Twitter or Amazon as I do not believe in writing negative reviews.
The last sentence made me laugh. THAT’S exactly what she’s done, isn’t it??
Like it’s been said many times in the past : You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Now, if this reviewer had said the story was boring, or the writing was sophomoric, or even that the characters were unrealistic, I would have taken her words to heart and chalked up the bad review to someone who just didn’t like the book. This is still America, people, and we are allowed to have opinions that differ.
But…. this isn’t really a review of the book, is it?
Think about it.
Reread her words.
This is about 1 scene, 250 words, 1 page of a book that she even claims she was enjoying up until these 250 words came into play. For whatever reason this was a trigger for her and she decided to condemn me for the rest of my book writing life.
This is just one of those aspects of being an author that makes me go… WHAT??!
If you’re looking for me I’m usually here ( or out reading my reviews!)Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me // Watch me
…And liked Katie mentioned above, Book 3 BAKED IN LOVE is with my editor, but you can read the opening scene here: PJBlog
Until next time, kids ~Peg

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing

#Author Donna Simonetta on #writing series Romance…


 

Recently, I wrote a blog about my favorite one-click authors.   I’ve actually done several, and one name is consistently on that author list: DONNA SIMONETTA, who’s visiting me today.  I “met” Donna through our mutual publisher, the Wild Rose Press , and from the first book of her’s that I read, I was hooked as a reader. I’m so proud to know her and call her a friend, but I’m really blown away by the fact that she calls me one!

Donna’s got a new entry in her RIVERS BEND series that she’s talking about today. I have the book uploaded on my Kindle and I’m starting it tonight!!!! Who wants to bet I’ll be getting even less sleep than I usually do tonight? heehee.

Here’s Donna…

My new release, What Was I Thinking, is the final installment of my Rivers Bend Trilogy. To celebrate, Peggy Jaeger invited me to visit her blog and talk a little about writing a series. Since Peggy has written so many series I loveloveLOVE, Will Cook for Love, San Valentino Family, The MacQuire Women, DotComGirls, and A Match Made in Heaven sound familiar? I think I got all of your series, didn’t I, Peg? ; ) My point is––Peggy is a queen of series romance, so having little ole me write about it on her blog feels a little bit like bringing coals to Newcastle. But here goes…

My Rivers Bend books are set in a fictional small town on the Virginia-Maryland border. The river in question is the Potomac, which flows through the town. And the series follows the romantic adventures of the Braden family. Oldest brother Jeff is a former NFL player, and favorite son of the tiny town. He runs the Retreat at Rivers Bend, a corporate retreat facility, and is raising his tween daughter on his own, since her mom passed away when she was just a baby. He’s happily single…or so he thinks! He may just have met his match in newcomer to town, librarian Magda Horvath, a Yankee transplant, who blows into town with her one-eyed shih-tzu rescue dog and turns Jeff’s world upside down. Their story is told in book one of the series, A Sweeter Spot. Which is coming out as an audiobook very soon!

 

Jeff’s sister Heather is featured in book two in the trilogy––Love is Lovelier. She works for Jeff at the Retreat, and is seriously unhappy with her brother when he hires her first love to work at the Retreat, in a job that should be hers. To be fair, Jeff didn’t know about Heather and Mick’s history. But now that Mick is living in town, old passions flare, and maybe they’ll get a second chance at their first love in Rivers Bend.

What Was I Thinking wraps up the trilogy with youngest brother, Jason Braden. He’s the romantic wild child of the family…never settling down with one woman. But when Lily Davis moves to town to take care of her niece Hadley (Jeff’s daughters’ BFF, and featured in the previous books), sparks fly between Jason and Lily. At first, they are sparks of mutual antagonism, but a wild Vegas fling changed them to sparks of attraction, and maybe by the end of the series, these two opposites will find their happy-ever-after in Rivers Bend.

This little town has begun to feel real to me. I’ve been so immersed in it for the last few years, while I’ve been writing these stories. I can picture the town green, with its’ gazebo on the river, the old brick library where Magda works, and would love to get a cup of coffee at the Nosh Pit, or a slice of pizza at Mancini’s. I’ve been walking its’ streets in my own mind for so long, I’m going to miss it now that the Rivers Bend trilogy is complete. The Braden family, and all the quirky secondary characters who reside in the Bend have become old friends to me. And while I’m proud to have finished the series, and excited for all of you to read the third book in the trilogy, it’s a bittersweet moment for me. I don’t know if I’m ready to leave Rivers Bend yet. Mick’s little brother moved to town, and he’s just crying out for his own HEA, and maybe the next generation of Bradens, oldest sister’s Deidre’s college age twins, will need their stories told too. Never say never.

In the meantime, I’m polishing up an unrelated novel, about ghost hunting brothers in Richmond, VA, which has the potential to become a series too, and I’ve had the idea for a spin-off of the Rivers Bend series nagging at me for a while. It’s set in my current hometown of Baltimore, and features Lily’s best friend Roni, and Heather’s musician friend, Chase. But right now, their story is just a twinkle in my eye.

I hope all of you enjoy visiting Rivers Bend, as much as I enjoyed creating it, and all my old friends in the small town become new friends of yours, as you read the series.

 

 

A Vegas fling never leads to love…does it?

Blurb:

A wild Vegas fling isn’t the traditional Thanksgiving celebration, and Lily and Jason have been like oil and water since they met. Blaming their steamy hook-up on too many shots at the bar, they head home.

Back in the real world, Jason wonders if he’s ready to give up his crown as the Playboy King of Rivers Bend to be with just one woman. And Lily has enough on her plate right now without adding Jason Braden to the mix, even if their attraction is crazy-strong.

But life is good at throwing curveballs, and a lot can happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Maybe even enough to lead these two polar opposites home to each other in Rivers Bend.

Excerpt:

“I think about a lot of things.”

She felt him stiffen up behind her, and Jason’s tone of voice was defensive. She hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings. “I know you do; I didn’t mean anything by it. We poke at each other”—she shrugged—“it’s kind of our thing.”

His grip on her hand loosened, and then he took control of the dance, by twirling her until her back was pressed to his front, and he began to move sinuously in time to the rhythm. His breath tickled her ear, as he spoke right in it to be heard over the music. “We’ve got a thing, Moonbeam?”

Jason had ditched the tie and suit jacket after the wedding, and his body heat scorched her through his crisp white dress shirt. And man-oh-Maneschewitz, his lean, hard body felt good. Really good. The Marine might be bulked up, but Jason’s body felt like it had been made for hers, which given their mutual antagonism, seemed like proof Fate was enjoying a good laugh at her expense. Against Lily’s better judgment, her body melted into his warmth and began to move with his.

“Sure, we’ve got a thing,” she said over her shoulder, and was irritated to hear a trace of breathlessness in her voice. She cleared her throat and continued, “Like that—you calling me Moonbeam, because you know it bugs me.”

Buy Links:

Amazon: // Barnes & Noble:// Kobo //  Google play //Books-a-million

A little about Donna:

Donna Simonetta writes the kind of books she loves to read–contemporary romances with heart, humor, and heat. The kind of books that help you escape the real world for a little while. Writing is Donna’s third career. She toiled in the business world, and when she decided being an Account Executive wasn’t for her went back to school to get her MLS degree. Next, she worked in a school library for many years. But, Donna dreamed of being an author since she was a little girl, and began to squeeze writing into her day. After the publication of her second book, Donna decided to leave the library and become a full-time author. It can be a solitary job, so she loves to connect with her readers–you can find her online Here:

FaceBook // Twitter // Goodreads // Amazon // BookBub // Instagram// Wild Rose Press//

Donna lives in Maryland with her husband, who is her real-life romance hero. They enjoy traveling to visit far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

Peggy here: for the record – Donna is amazing at series romance, herself, so don’t let her fool ya!!! I’ve reviewed the previous books in her Rivers Bend series and am so looking forward to reading WHAT WHAT I THINKING?? 

My reviews:
Love is Lovelier

Love Calls You Home

A Sweeter Spot

Happy reading, peeps.

Until next time ~ Peg

 

 

 

 

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