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#SundaySnippet 12.9.18 An oldie, goodie, and 0n-sale!

So today’s snippet is another oldie ( like, 2017!) but a goodie that’s currently on sale.

A SHOT AT LOVE was the second book in the Will Cook For Love trilogy from Lyrical/Shine and features photographer Gemma Laine and FBI agent Kyros Papandreos. Both are alphas, have fiery tempers – altho Kyros can keep his in check better – and both can’t deny the attraction they feel for one another. I loved this book because Gemma was my first kick-ass heroine!!

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 . . .

“Miss Laine?”

She tucked the phone into her back pocket.

“I’m Special Agent Pappandreos. I need to speak with you about what you saw.”

“Special Agent?” Those delicate brows furrowed under her bangs. “Like, FBI?”

Jesus, where does a woman get a voice like that? Whiskey laced with honey and rolled into one smooth pitch.

“Yes. I understand you witnessed the shooting? You photographed it?”

She nodded. “I was working when it all started. I took a series of shots while it was happening.”

His gaze flicked to the camera she held in one hand.
“I need to see those pictures.”

His first impression of her height had been correct. She was maybe three or four inches shorter than his six-foot-one frame. As she moved closer, the hairs on the back of his neck stood straight at attention. She smelled as good as she looked and his nostrils flared from the scent of sweet cherries blended with some hot exotic spice.

“It all went down so fast,” she said. “But I got some good shots.” Handing him the camera, she added, “Press this button to advance.”

The first few pictures showed his witness ambling along the sidewalk, hands in his pockets. There was a smug, satisfied smile on his face as he was flanked by the two agents assigned to protect him. Ky pressed the button a few times. Another series of pictures showed the impact of the bullets as they pierced one of his agents, the next detailing the second man as a single shot impaled the center of his forehead. Shock, horror and stark fear replaced the smile on his witness’s face as he bent forward and appeared to run from the bullets. The next few photos showed him struck and then felled by several shots, all clustered in his chest. Ky depressed the advance button again. The photographer had moved to view a black van with no windows on the sides nor any identifiable markings on the body. He wanted to curse when he saw it, thinking the van would be a dead end, when he flipped the advance button again to see she’d zoomed in on the license plate.

Elated, he glanced up and found her eyes trained on him.
“I need you to come with me.” He grabbed her arm.

“Where?” She stretched across him and tried to take back her camera.

Ky held it up and away from her reach.
“My office. I need a written statement from you about what you saw. It’s better to do it now, right away, so you don’t forget any details, anything of importance.”

“I never forget details,” she said, reaching across him again. “Can I please have my camera? I don’t like anyone carrying it but me.”

“This piece of equipment is the only link to finding out who killed my men. It’s not leaving my hands.”

She stopped and tried to pull her arm out of his grip. Ky tightened his grasp.

“Look, Agent PappaJohn—”

“Pappandreos,” he corrected. It was a common mistake, one he’d heard a number of times in his career, but hearing her say it, wrapping the syllables around those pouty lips with that husky voice, for some reason charmed him.

“Whatever.” She swiped her free hand in the air. “I want my camera.”

“You’ll get it back, I assure you.” He started walking, giving her no choice but to follow.

Before she could protest again, he stopped.

“Jon?” His partner turned from the interview he was conducting with a restaurant waiter. “Can you have someone escort Miss Laine back to the office? She needs to have her statement written up.”

“Sure, Papps.”

“Wait a second,” Gemma said, wrenching her arm from his grip. The smooth, natural warmth in her voice had turned to frosted ice. “I’ll be happy to give you a statement, but I want my camera. Now.”

“I won’t break it, Miss Laine, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“Then stop holding it like it’s a cheap piece of tin! Give it back to me. I’ll hold it.”

“This is digital, right?” Jon Winters stepped between them and asked.

“Yes, and it’s very expensive,” Gemma said, still trying to take it from Ky’s hand.

“We really only need the SD card then, Papps, not the camera.”

“True.” Ky examined the device, found the button to expel the memory card and depressed it. He took the card and slipped it into his pocket. “Here.” He handed the camera back to her.

“Wait a minute.” She clutched it to her chest as if she were protecting a child from a threat. “You can’t keep the card. All my work is on it.”

“We won’t erase anything you need,” Ky told her. “Or let anything happen to it.”

“This is ridiculous.” Gemma blew at her bangs. “How do I know you won’t keep it as some kind of evidence? I haven’t uploaded the pictures I took today. I need those shots.”

“I told you you’d get the card back,” Ky said, his patience wavering. “Now we’re wasting time. Jon?” Dismissing them, he walked away and over to the scene of the shooting.

And look for all the books this holiday season – they are currently all on sale!

    

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#SundaySnippet 12.2.18 An Oldie but a goodie ( and an award winner, too!)

 

I’ve got an oldie but a goodie here today, peeps. My first book for Kensignton/Lyrical Shine and my first book in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE series, COOKING WITH KANDY. I chose this book for today because it’s currently on sale – the ecopy – for 99 cents and I thought to myself, “self, what a great way to promo the book so people can learn about it and buy it for the romance readers on their holiday lists.” 

Shameless self promotion, thy name is Peggy.

Also, after this post was already in production, I found out that COOKING WITH KANDY won first place in the Contemporary Novel category in the OKRWA  IDA contest! So YAY for me! Here’s the link to the winners; OKRWA IDA My name and the book are listed first – and yes, that makes me very conceited to mention it, but happy too!

Here are Josh and Kandy…..

Josh returned to the filled room and scanned it for Kandy.

“She’s in the ladies’ room with Gemma,” Cort said, coming up and handing him a drink. “Here. Give her this. She’ll need it. And by the way, good move with Chandler. I never liked him.”

“Seems to be the general consensus.” He took the proffered glass.

He made his way to the other side of the room, ignoring the stares and whispers of the crowd, found the lounge, and knocked. “Kandy? It’s Josh. Can I come in?”

It was Gemma who answered. “Yes.”

The sisters were seated in twin floral Queen Anne chairs, Gemma reclining back into hers, arms crossed over her chest. Kandy was opposite, head wrung in her hands.

“Cort thought you could use this,” he said, handing her the champagne flute.

He’d expected tears, but was surprised to see Kandy’s beautiful face pinch in a scowl, her eyes flaring with sweltering anger and venom when she looked up at him.

“Thanks.” Kandy took the drink and downed half of it in one gulp.

When she wiped her lips with the back of her hand, the corners of Gemma’s mouth lifted and she asked Josh, “What did you do to the turd?”

“Explained he needed to leave, put him in the elevator, and made sure he went down in it.”

“Made him how?” Kandy asked.

“Little persuasion trick I know. His wrist’s gonna be sore tomorrow. Maybe for the next few days.”

“You physically removed him?” Gemma asked.
 Josh almost laughed at the excitement in her voice. He shrugged.

“Yeah. He was going to follow Kandy if I didn’t.”

“Please tell me you have unmarried, available brothers at home,” Gemma said.

It hurt to keep the smile from his face, but he did. “Three, in fact.”

“Are they all like you? No, scratch that.” She sighed, the sound wistful. “I doubt there’s anyone like you.”

“If you mean are they all workaholics and career-driven, then no. They’re not like me. But they are available.”

“I’ll keep it in mind.” She glanced at her sister and said, “Well, looks like my work here is done. She’s all yours now.”

She stood and kissed the top of Kandy’s head. “Evan Chandler is an egotistical, phony prick. Remember that.”

“How could I forget it?” Kandy grabbed her sister’s hand and kissed the back of it. “Thanks.”

When Gemma left, Josh took her empty chair. “You okay?”

She took a deep breath before saying, “Mad, but okay. I underestimated him.”

“How so?”

“I didn’t think he’d have the guts to crash my party. I thought he was too much of a wimp to risk it after our last encounter. Guess I was wrong.” She stood and crossed to the vanity. Peering at her reflection, she ran a lazy hand through her hair, fluffing the curls. She caught his gaze, watching her, in the mirror. “Aren’t you going to ask me about it?”

He’d considered it. But the weary look in her eyes told him he was better off asking Stacy or Gemma.

“No. If you want to talk, I’ll listen. Otherwise, you’ve got a pretty fancy shindig going on out there.” He cocked his thumb in the direction of the ballroom. “Maybe you want to get back and enjoy it. Bask in the adulation,” he said with a good-natured grin.

She turned to him and her eyes softened. When her lips moved upward into a small, lazy smile, the dimples dancing, his legs went a little soft and he was thankful he was seated.

“Yeah,” she said, moving to him. When he stood, she linked her arm in his. “Thanks. You’re right. Let’s go have a party.”

He returned her smile, glad he could help.

“You’re not so bad, Keane. This bodyguard thing might be fun after all.”

It was a moment before he trusted himself to speak.

“I aim to please.”

Buy Links: Kobo// Apple // Amazon // B&N // Google play  // Books a Million // Walmart

And remember – all the Will Cook For Love books are on sale right now – just in time for the holidays! Put a little romance under your tree this year….

 

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#SundaySnippet 11.25.18

I’m blessed. Truly. In just 2 weeks I’ve got another book release ( and my final for 2018!). CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS  basically wrote itself. I typically have a detailed plot outline before I ever write a word in a story. With this book, the characters propelled me forward with just the bare bones of a plan. Regina and Connor’s story spilled out of me in under 2 weeks because they wanted their love story told.

Here’s a little of Regina’s backstory…

When I was a teenager, I used to think the reason I sat dateless on most Friday and Saturday nights when all my friends were out with hot guys was because I was physically repugnant. When I looked in the mirror I couldn’t figure out back then what was so off putting about me. I was curvy, sure, but my brothers assured me guys liked curves on a woman. I wore my waist- length hair parted in the middle and straight down my back after spending hours working on it with a flattening iron. My face was a solid testament to my ancestry with jet-black eyebrows arched above coal-colored eyes. My cheekbones, though, were high, and my mouth, my cousin Gia assured me, was sultry and sexy.

It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I came to realize the reason boys weren’t knocking each other over on their way to dating me was due to my father’s ridiculous reputation. No one wanted to be the guy who dated Sonny San Valentino’s only daughter. The odds of something happening to the guy should he cause me any emotional harm were thought to be great, and most boys my age valued their lives and potential futures.

And I know how dramatic that sounds. My father, despite what people believe, is not a violent man or a criminal in any sense of the word. Sure, he knows some wiseguys with reputations, most of whom he’d grown up with, and does business with a few who have been up the river once or twice…or more, for various and sundry charges, but he’s not the gangster he’s believed to be.

Reputations, though, are like rumors. They spread fast and furious despite any semblance of fact.

One nugget of truth to the entire situation that I did discover though, was that my father had been known to talk at the Marconi club where he was a frequent mahjong player, that no boy was good enough to date his little bellissima figlia, the name he always called me by. He didn’t want me dating and when the time came for me to marry, he would pick out the husband for me. My brother GianCarlo heard this from a friend of his and he repeated it to his wife Trixie, who then told it to me like any good Italian cognata would.

Needless to say when I found out, Pop’s little bellissima figlia erupted like Mount Vesuvius. I went out and grabbed the first guy I saw, got pregnant within a month, and married a few weeks later by the priest who’d baptized, communed, and confirmed me.

And, obeying my mother’s wishes, wore a virginal white gown that had belonged to her mother.

The one and only timed I’ve ever rebelled in my life, and the ramifications of that single action still haunt me to this day.

Intrigued? Here’s where you can preorder the book, which releases on 12.12.18 just in time for Christmas. ***These are the links for e-copy. Print copies will be released soon.

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Nook

And don’t forget the other titles I have out this Holiday Season for the romance-reader on your list – or just for yourself!

Hope’s Dream ( Deerbourne Inn Novella)

DEARLY BELOVED ( A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN, BOOK 1)

All my titles are available here: Book Links and here

 

 

 

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#SundaySnippet 11.18.18

So since this book released on 11.12.18 I figured I’d put up another little sumthin’ sumthin’ from it to whet your book reading appetite and get you to buy the book if you haven’t yet. Yeah, I know: I’m not above a little subtle (or in your face!) bribery at this point in my life! Hee hee.

This is a long passage because I wanted  you to get a feel for the dynamics of the O’Dowd sisters, Maureen and Colleen, here.

The drive to my sister’s inn took a few minutes longer than usual due to a high volume of tourist traffic along the main road, the extra early leaf peepers already present and…peeping.

Maureen’s wide driveway was filled with out-of- state licenses.

I loved walking through the front door of the inn. A large, fall-themed floral wreath sat on each of the side- by-side doors, their vibrant autumnal colors standing out against the pale cream-colored wood. The moment I went through the doors, the warm, spicy aroma of apples and cinnamon welcomed me like an old friend.

My sister was truly a genius at innkeeping. Her guests never felt like guests, but like treasured family members. She allowed anyone who had a mind to, to sit and chat with her in the kitchen while she cooked, offered up a cup of coffee or tea, or at times, a glass of wine. She’d made the bedrooms a personal project when she and Eileen had first purchased the place, turning each separate room and bath into a little bit of a homey paradise. The soaps were all organic, purchased from a local manufacturer who used only local ingredients. The sheets and towels were washed daily, the detergent aromas changing with the seasons. Apple scented for the fall, evergreen for winter, lemon for spring, and rose for summer. The carpets were plush, the rooms airy and light.

When I’d come home to roost from New York, Maureen offered me the use of one of the extra bedrooms in her little manager’s apartment. At the time, I’d refused, thinking we both needed the personal space, me in our childhood home, Maureen at the inn. Cathleen had tried to convince me to stay with Mo, stating that with her twin’s death, this was the first time in her life Maureen had ever been truly alone. For this very reason, I decided to stay at my parents’ house. After thirty years of being the “other, quieter twin,” Mo deserved the freedom to find out who she was on her own.

I was glad I’d stuck to my guns on that decision, too, because my little sister had, as I’d always known she could, broken out of her shell. She’d blossomed and grown in her adult role. Every time I walked into the inn, I was proud of her. Her individual stamp was everywhere, in every room, in every personal touch she’d given the place. Instead of falling apart after our sister’s death, as most in my family thought she would, she’d actually done the exact opposite. She was still quiet, often to the point I worried something was weighing on her, but she led a productive, busy life and seemed fulfilled.

I made my way through the downstairs, past the ballroom—set for the prewedding dinner being held there that night—and toward the kitchen. Just as I knew she’d be, Maureen was standing at a counter, a piping bag in her hand, adding the finishing touches on a bridal cake. The apron covering her trim body from shoulders to knees was red in color and had black lettering that read I bake. What’s your superpower?

Green flip-flops covered her feet. I knew if there were no such thing as health code violations and spot state inspections from the food police, she would have been barefoot. My littlest sister was born in the wrong era for sure. She would have thrived in the earth-mother centuries, or as a hippie.

An educated, high-functioning, business-savvy, and non-pot-smoking hippie, but one regardless.

“You just missed the tasting,” she said without looking up from piping white buttercream around the perimeter of the five-tiered confection. “I saved you a piece of each.” She lifted her head to look directly at me, then settled her attention back on her handiwork. “You’re welcome.”

I planted my butt in one of the raised metal chairs circling the kitchen table and lifted the plate filled with samples of her newest cake offerings.

At her kitchen door alone I could lay the reason I’d gained these dreaded eight pounds. If she kept tempting me with these delicious sweets and flavor profiles, I was going to need a new wardrobe sooner than later. Of course, I could always skip the tastings and save myself a few thousand extra calories.

Yeah, like that was ever gonna happen.

“What are these?” I reached over and grabbed a fork from the utensil drawer and stabbed at each small piece of cake.

“The white one is french vanilla buttercream on the outside, orange vanilla sponge on the inside, and orange coulis in between.”

I tried a taste. “Oh, this is yummy. Tart and sweet at the same time.”

A corner of my sister’s mouth lifted. “Exactly.” She switched piping tips and began twining a scallop shell around the outer perimeter of the bottom tier. “The dark one is chocolate ganache on top, covering a milk chocolate sponge with coffee liqueur, and hazelnut cream in the middle.”

Since I’d already finished the first, I dove into the second. “Good God, woman. This is a sin.”

The other side of her mouth quirked up to follow suit. “Only a venial one. No need to go to Confession.”

I licked the plate with my fingers so I wouldn’t miss a smidge. “And this last one? It looks a little like coconut.”

Maureen nodded. While she ran a critical eye over the creation she’d decorated from every angle, she swiped her hands on her apron. “That’s Isabella Harrington’s inspiration. I’m thinking of naming it after her.”

“Why?”

“Because she was the inspiration for the flavors,” she said, coming to take a chair next to mine. “Deep dark chocolate ganache on the outside, covering a coconut pound cake base, and then coconut, rum, and cream as the filling. I had to experiment with a few different cakes before I settled on the pound. A sponge was too soft for the heavy coconut. So was a standard genoise. The pound held up the best. Tell me what you think.”

I took a forkful and rolled my eyes around a little, tipping my head back and forth a few times. Then I took another bite.

“Well?”

“I’m thinking.”

“Since when can’t you think and eat at the same time?”

“Since I’ve never tasted anything quite as amazing as this before.”

“You think she’ll like it?”

“If she’s as big a coconut and chocolate bar fan as I’ve been led to believe, she’s going to love it.”

“She is,” a voice said from behind me.

The fork stopped on its ascent to my mouth.

No. It couldn’t be. He’d left the night before. I saw him get in his car and drive away, heading for the highway entrance. Maybe I’d hallucinated his voice because I was so exhausted. Yeah. That was probably it.

“Need another cup?” Maureen asked, rising and crossing to the coffeemaker.

Before turning around, I took a mental breath.

Nope. Hadn’t hallucinated it. Right there in the doorway looking way too sexy and hot, stood Slade Harrington.

Intrigued? Here’s where you can get your copy, which is now available in print and ecopy:

Amazon E-copy // Amazon Print copy // Wild Rose Press // B&N // Kobo // Google Play// Books a Million 

 

 

 

 

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#SundaySnippet 11.11.18

You had to know today’s little snippet was going to be from DEARLY BELOVED. After all, it drops tomorrow!!! Yippie.

This is the explanation of the strange nick-names Nanny Fee has for her granddaughters. It’s a scene that gives the reader some insight into Colleen’s feelings of inadequacy.

Can I ask you something? Something personal?” Slade said.

“Sure.”

“Why does your grandmother call you Number Two?”

Heat flew up my cheeks, and I bit down on the inside of my lip.

“I heard her say it to you on the phone when we were out at the lake, and I even remember the first time we met, she called while we were in the parking lot of your office.”

When I didn’t say anything, he turned in his seat so he was facing me. “Colleen?”

“It’s embarrassing,” I said. “And stupid.”

“Most nicknames are.” He had a smile in his voice and when I glanced over at him the kindness in his expression had me wanting to tell him. Harry had only asked me once, and when I didn’t tell him the reason, he’d never asked again.

I dragged in a deep breath and checked both ways before moving through the roundabout.

“My mother and grandmother never got along well. Still don’t. I don’t know exactly why, but I’ve always thought it was because they’re like two alpha dogs and neither ever wanted to give up control of the pack to the other. Anyway. You might have noticed my sisters and I all have pretty similar sounding names.”

“Yes, I have. Cathleen, Colleen, and Maureen. And your sister who died was Eileen, right?”

I nodded.

“Cute.”

“That’s one word for it. Nanny Fee would give you a different one.”

“She’s not a fan of your names?”

“I don’t think she would have been a fan of any names my mom picked out, but the alliterative ones she definitely hated. She called Cathleen Number One because she’s the oldest. Eileen and Maureen she always referred to as Three and Four.” I glanced over at him again in time to see the grin he was trying to hide. “I came along second in line, so…”

“Did you get teased a lot in school?”

“Mercilessly. Nanny forgot how cruel kids could be, which is hysterical since she taught communion prep class for years. And she taught in our church school, so whenever she would see one of us in the hallways, she called us by the number name. When kids, especially the boys in my class, heard her say it, well, let’s say things would have been easier for me if I’d been homeschooled.”

“Kids are brutal. At any age.”

“Truth.” I pulled into the inn driveway. “Even though we’re adults, she still refers to us as numbers. When my parents moved away after my sister died I’d hoped she’d stop, since I figured she’d only done it all those years to annoy my mother. But she didn’t, so that tells me it’s ingrained and not going to change. To keep the peace, the three of us ignore it for the most part. Calling Cathy and Mo One and Four isn’t so bad. I still get a little resentful every time she Number Twos me, though.”

I stopped, abruptly. I had just divulged more to this man about this subject than I had to Harry in our ten years together.

“Why did you parents move after your sister died?” Slade asked, oblivious to my thoughts.

I parked the car but left it running. “They couldn’t emotionally handle living in the place one of their daughters had died. They kind of, well, ran away, leaving the house and Nanny to us to look after and care for.”

His gaze studied me for a moment.

“What?”

“I can’t decide if you’re mad at them for leaving or not.”

“I’m not mad. I was a little pissed off in the beginning, especially since they had three living daughters who needed them for emotional support and balance. But with distance, I’ve learned to understand their reasons. There are times, though, like today, I wished they’d taken Nanny with them. Life would have been a little less harried if they had.”

Slade smiled. “But not as exciting, I’ll bet.”

“Excitement is overrated. Look, I don’t want to seem rude, but I really need to get back.”

BUY LINKS: Amazon // Wild Rose Press // B&N // Kobo 

The books drops tomorrow, peeps and can I just say – again!- how excited I am to introduce you the the O’Dowd family! I love them all and hope you do, too.

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#SundaySnippet 11.4.18

For today’s entry we’re going old school. I currently have a pre-holiday sale running from Kensington/Lyrical at Amazon and Kobo for my entire WILL COOK FOR LOVE SERIES.

So why not give you a little snippet from the book that started it all, COOKING WITH KANDY?

Blurb: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. . .

Snippet:

Kandy’s feet pummeled the treadmill as she increased the pace through the mountain-climbing program.

She needed this run to clear her head. Last night’s events had left her shaken and confused.

Shaken? Ha! Scared witless was more like it.

The phone message had been disturbing and frightening, sure, but the feel of Josh Keane’s arms around her, warming her and giving comfort, had been overwhelming. The titanium-steel hardness of his chest when she’d buried her face into it had not only reassured, but aroused her.

Completely.

She couldn’t remember ever being so turned on just by being held. The feel of him, the actual sensation of his rock-hard body against hers as he held her, gently, was more powerful than any seductive touch could have been.

Josh kept pace with her on the adjoining treadmill. She had her iPod plugged in and ran to the beat of the music. Josh ran music-free, his rhythm steady as he tore through his own preprogrammed routine. Kandy glanced over to check his status to see he’d also selected a mountain run. His stride was much wider than hers, though, his pace almost double.

The ceiling-mounted television in front of them was on and cued to the early morning news. She tried to keep her gaze fixed on the screen, or in front of her, or anywhere that wasn’t on him. Watching those powerful, muscle-laden calves and thighs go through their pace was almost too much to handle. Not to mention the way his T-shirt fit snugly across his ripped-to-godlike-perfection chest and those broad, corded arms, showing and defining all the toned muscle groups beneath it.

No, it was too much to watch.

He wouldn’t be around forever to distract her like this. He’d find out what was going on and then be off to his next job, which was for the best. She had too much to do, too much that needed her undivided attention, to be sidetracked by this gorgeous man following her and watching her every move.

Kandy had no time to worry about things she couldn’t control, like this supposed harasser. She’d tried ignoring the incidents away, tried to convince Stacy it was nothing. Now she had to contend with an outsider going through her friends’ and family’s personal business.

Josh claimed he wouldn’t disturb her life in any way, but he already had just with his presence. In one day he’d insinuated himself into her home, her life. Even her head.

And she just wasn’t sure how she felt about it.

You can purchase the entire series, on sale now, here:

Amazon // Kobo // Nook  // Apple // Google

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#SundaySnippet 10.14.18

Here’s a little more insight to the developing relationship between Hope and Tyler.

“Enough about me,” she said, shaking her head. She speared an asparagus stalk and pointed it at him. “Tell me about you. Aside from the fact where you’re from, I know nothing about you. Out with the details, New York.”

“What would you like to know?” Tyler immediately wished he’d phrased the question differently. He couldn’t take the chance of her recognizing the name of his firm if she asked where he worked. Not yet.

Despite his plan to tell her tonight who he was and why he was in Willow Springs, he continued to keep his identity a secret, craving a few more precious hours of her company instead. Sitting across from Hope, enchanted with the way the tea light on the table bounced little flickers of light off her face and beautiful hair, listening to the sad story of her parents’ accident, and watching an entire series of emotions play across her guileless face and eyes, Tyler wanted to pretend they were simply a couple, out enjoying one another’s company.

The more Hope opened up to him, the happier he felt. From her mother’s behavior, he got the impression Hope didn’t date much and he liked knowing that, liked the thought she was doing something special with him, giving up some of her precious free time to spend it with him.

As she’d related the details of her father’s dismissal from his family, Tyler could feel the anguish and frustration oozing from her on behalf of the man she loved and adored. He hadn’t been told of the attempted payoff to Casey Kildaire. Sloan had to have known since he’d been the family solicitor for decades, yet he hadn’t mentioned it when he’d given Tyler a brief history of the family before he sent him to Vermont. Nor had he related the extent of Casey’s injuries following the crash and the severe financial problems they were still undergoing. He’d simply ordered Tyler to obtain Hope’s signature, nothing more.

He’d pushed her at dinner to answer his question and from the baffled look on her face knew she thought it an odd one. In her mind there was no way she could go back to school and take care of her mother at the same time. He should have told her right then the reason he was in Willow Springs, the subterfuge he’d used to meet her, and handed her the documents he’d brought with him. Tyler fully believed if she knew how easy her life could be with a simple swipe of her name across a legal document, she’d jump at the chance to make their lives better, pay off all their medical bills once and for all, and allow her to get back to fulfilling her dream instead of sublimating it.

“Well, for starters, what do you do?” she asked.

Best to go with the truth at this point. “I’m a lawyer.”

“Surprise, surprise.” She rolled her eyes and gave him the most delightful smirk. “I’d have bet on that without even a thought.”

“What gave me away?”

“The fact you don’t let a question go is one thing.” Her grin turned lopsided, and he got the distinct impression she was flirting with him. “Your penetrating death stare, like you’re grilling a witness on the stand, is another.”

Okay, maybe she wasn’t flirting because that was in no way a compliment.

“Anything else?”

She bent her elbow on the table and cupped her chin into it as she regarded him. “You already told me you’re not a writer, but your word skills are exceptional, so it makes me think you do write stuff. Like briefs, and whatever else they’re called.” She waved her free hand carelessly. “Plus…”

“Plus?” His breath caught when her cheeks colored.

“Well…” She squinched up her nose, her lips pursed at an angle. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I was imagining what you looked like in a suit and the first thing that popped into my head was like a lawyer.”

This definitely sounded like flirting, but…

“What do you mean, don’t take it the wrong way?”

“I meant about the imagining part.” The red color in her cheeks blossomed and grew to cover her neck. She shook her head and dropped her gaze. “I shouldn’t have told you that.”

What would she have done if he’d told her he’d had a fantasy-filled night thinking about her in nothing at all?

Buy Links for Hope’s Dream

 

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Sunday Snippet 9.30.18


HOPE’S DREAM Coming from the Wild Rose Press in November 2018 and part of the new multi-author series DEERBOURNE INN

He cleared his throat, breaking into her thoughts, the sound barreling around them on the empty street.

“Well.” He buried his hands deeper into his jacket pockets. “I can see for myself you’re fine. You’ve had a full day, so I’ll let you get on home. Thanks again for the great lesson this morning. And for keeping me company while you worked.”

“It was nice to have someone to talk with, so in reality, I should be thanking you. And for seeing that I was safe.”

She wasn’t sure why, but when his cheeks darkened and his chin and gaze dropped down again at her words, she was utterly enchanted.

Without thinking why she shouldn’t, Hope stretched up, intending to kiss his cheek. At the moment right before her lips touched his skin, Tyler lifted his head and turned toward her. The kiss meant for his face landed squarely across his lips instead.

They both went stone still at the contact.

She’d put no heat behind the kiss. After all, it wasn’t as if she were kissing a man she was involved with. No, she’d simply planned it as a sweet way to thank him for being so kind and solicitous toward her, as she would to anyone she considered a friend.

Why, then, didn’t this feel like a chaste kiss between friends?

Why, then, did she feel as if she’d been dropped into a spewing volcano?

And why, then, did the thought of breaking the kiss leave her cold and lonely?

Tyler kept his hands in his pockets, never moving closer, and yet she felt enveloped by him as if he’d wound her into his arms and pulled her against his body. He let out a deep, long breath, the warm air drifting over her face and sending little tingles of…something…straight down her spine. Anticipation? Expectation? Desire? She had no clue, but Hope felt more alive and more aware than she had in years.

A tiny gasp pushed from deep within her when Tyler shifted his head, changing the angle of the kiss.

His lips parted, the taste of hops and barley riding on his breath as she breathed him in. He kept the kiss light, never pushing her into more, giving her all the control of where it went.

Hope had no idea how long they stood there under the bright streetlamp on the empty corner. It could have been a minute. It could have been an hour. The notion briefly blew through her mind that they were out in the open in a town where everyone knew her and liked nothing more to do on long winter nights than gossip. As quick as it came, the knowledge that she didn’t care a whit countered it.

The jarring blare of her cell phone blasted through the silence around them. They both jerked back at the same time.

Read all the books in the series as they become available!

 

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Sunday Snippet 9.23.18

From the upcoming CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS

After grace, my father turned his attention away from the conversation my brothers were having about the Jets, and toward me.

“What’s going on with you and that Irish guy?” he asked without any preamble.

Luckily, I hadn’t taken a sip from the water glass I’d lifted to my mouth, otherwise I knew I would have choked on the liquid.

“Nothing.”

Regina Maria.”

“Really, Pop. Nothing. I made a cake for him. That’s it.”
 I could hear the angels in Heaven tsk-tsking me.

I’d been in church less than two hours ago, and now I was committing a sin by lying to my father. I could see a visit to the confessional before the end of the day was in order.

“Guys you make cakes for don’t usually spend the night in your apartment, little girl.”

My brother knows a guy named Tony Cartieri. Everyone who knows him agrees that if Tony didn’t have bad luck, he’d have no luck.

Right at the moment Pop made that statement, I knew exactly how old Tony felt, because the conversation had slowed and ebbed, Pop’s words spreading around the table loud and clear. The kids were set up in the living room, so I don’t think they got wind of it. But everyone else did.

Ten pair of eyes glared at me from all corners of the table. Some were wide-eyed; some were narrowed. All of them were filled with varying levels of emotions ranging from shocked (Ma) to suspicious (my brothers) to pleased (my sisters-in-law).

“Regina.” Ma threw her napkin on her plate and slammed her cutlery next to her plate. “What is your father talking about? What man spent the night at your apartment?”

“It’s not like it sounds, Ma. It was late and we were talking, and then we both just fell asleep—”

Holy Madonna.” She made the sign of the cross and closed her eyes, hands clasped together as her lips moved silently in prayer.

“Where?” ’Carlo asked.

“Where what?”

“Where did the two of you fall asleep? In your bed?”

Another finger cross from Ma. This time she kissed her fingertips afterward and threw a prayer up to the Lord.

“I don’t think you get to ask me that question, ’Carlo. I’m thirty-two years old, and you’re my brother, not my father.”

“What I am is suspicious,” he spat back. “How come we didn’t know you were seeing a guy? Why you keeping him a secret?”

“First of all, what I do in the privacy of my own home”—now Ma was rocking back and forth as she prayed—“or don’t do, is none of your business. Second, I’m not seeing anyone, so the fact that it’s a secret is null and void. Stop with the third degree, GianCarlo. Use it on your own kids, ’cause like I said, you’re not my father.”

“But I am,” Pop said, his tone hard and filled with anger, “so answer it. Where did Irish sleep last night?”

“Irish?” Petey exclaimed. “What the Hell kinda name is that?”

“Language, Pietro,” Ma said, awaking from her spiritual coma to chastise her son.

There are so many things I simply adore about my family. The unshakeable connection and love we all have; the fact that we live close to one another; our shared faith and sense of tradition. But the one thing I do hate is the antiquated morality system they adhere to. Girls don’t have sex with men before marriage, plain and simple. Of course since the one and only time I’d done just that, I’d wound up pregnant and forced to get married, my parents’ concerns made sense.

To them.

I was almost fifteen years older, much wiser, and a full-fledged adult now, but I was still treated like an ignorant bambina who had to be protected from wolves and scoundrels. If my father had his way, I’d be married right now to one of his goombahs, eight months pregnant with probably our seventh child, and in the kitchen making gravy.

So many times over the years, I’d wanted to smack him on the back of the head much the way he smacks us, and say, “Wake up! It’s twenty-first-century America, not eighteenth-century Sicily.” Wanting to do something and actually doing it, though, are very different beasts.

So.

I don’t get mad often, especially with my family, but I was tired, overworked, emotionally drained, and royally pissed off right now, so the anger bled through my usual calm.

I rose from my chair and threw my napkin down on the table like my mother had.

“You know what? I’m done. I’m done with you all treating me like a child. I’m not one of your underlings, Pop, who needs to be kept on a short lease and told what to do every minute of the day because you don’t have enough trust to let them act on their own. And”—I glared at my brothers— “I’m not five years old and unable to defend myself against bullies and bad guys. You don’t have to hold my hand so I can cross the street and not get hit by a car.” I grabbed my plate and walked to the kitchen. “I’m done with you all thinking I can’t make a wise and appropriate decision with my life,” I added over my shoulder. I placed the dish in the sink and called out, “I’m done with the checking up on me, the second- guessing me, and the way you all think you have a right to manage my life.”

I yanked my coat off the hall tree and yelled, “I’m a thirty-two-year-old grown-ass woman who owns and manages her own business and her own life. I don’t need protectors, handlers, or any of you telling me what to do, who to see, or how to conduct myself. I’ve been on my own a long time, and I think I’ve done a great job with myself, even if you all don’t.” I shrugged into my coat and wound my scarf around my neck. “If I want a man to spend the night or not, it’s none of your damn business. Deal with it.”

I may have screeched that last part.

I slammed the door behind me and sprinted down the stairs of the brownstone, my ungloved hand waving in the air for a passing cab.

As an exit line, I think it was a pretty good one.

Available December 2018 from THE WILD ROSE PRESS

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#SundaySnippet 9.9.18

At this rate, half the book will be on my blog before it’s released into the world! Hahahahah.

Today, a little tidbit concerning family members. Fiona Scallopini is Colleen’s 93 year old, 4 times married and widowed Irish born and bred grandmother. She’s feisty, unfailingly loyal, and loves nothing more than to buck the system. In this scene, she’s being held in the town jail by Chief of Police Lucas Alexander for a traffic violation. Colleen is tasked with bailing her out, something she and her sisters have done before….lots of times before. 

The hallway opened into a kitchen. The decor was circa nineteen sixties, the table an oval of solid oak surrounded by four chairs, one of which was occupied by a leprechaun. A flaming red-headed leprechaun with the bluest eyes ever produced. While the eyes were their birth color, the hair was not. The shade was simply one not found anywhere in nature. I knew it came out of a box—two different boxes, in fact—because Nanny had never been able to find the exact color she desired, so she created her own. All the O’Dowd women resembled our grandmother in coloring and facial structure. My sisters and I could still claim, truthfully, our red hair was from God.

“Nanny, I’m here.”

“Praise the Lord.” She jumped up from the chair and bolted across the room with more speed and vigor than a woman in her nineties should have. “Get me outta here, Number Two. Tilly’s probably having a coronary wondering where I am. I need to get to the home.”

As she spoke, her eyes grazed over Slade and narrowed thoughtfully. “And who might this be?” she asked, pointing her chin in his direction, but addressing me. “Got the look of a legal man about ’im.”

Before Slade could introduce himself, I moved to the other man in the room, one I’d known since birth.

“Lucas, what’s all this about? What’s Nanny done?”

“I’ve done nothin’, child. I’m falsely accused. Police brutality, ’tis. Pure and simple.” Nanny did her best to pull herself up some in height, but even standing on the tops of her toes, she couldn’t achieve more than four foot ten.

“Nanny, please.” I turned back to the chief. “Lucas?”

“It’s what she didn’t do, Coll, that has her sitting here. Her driver’s license expired.”

“Oh, my God, is that all?” I relaxed for the first time since the phone call. “She can just retake the test, then. Her license isn’t too far out of date, is it?”

Lucas looked at Nanny and said, “Do you want to tell her when it expired?”

Nanny’s mouth clamped shut.

“Well?” My gaze bounced between them. “How long ago?”

“Ten years,” Lucas said.

What? “Te-ten? Years?”

Lucas nodded, flicked his gaze to my grandmother and then back to me.

“Obviously, you didn’t know. I wouldn’t have either, but she ran through the stop sign—”

“I did no such t’ing!” Nanny shouted.

Lucas ignored her. “—on Purgatory Place. Pete Bergeron was sitting in the squad and saw her blast through it.”

“Lies! All lies.”

“Nanny, please.” My hand flew to my left eye, bracing it when it started twitching like a meth addict in need of a fix. I turned back to Lucas. “Go on.”

I had to give the man credit. He never lost his composure when Nanny yelled her accusations. He simply waited until she wound down. “Like I said, Pete saw her run the stop and then gave chase.”

“Lights a-blaring, sirens a-blasting like he was chasing a notorious criminal.” Nanny shook her bottle-dyed head, the corners of her lips pulling down to her chin, a click of her tongue echoing with disgust. “The whole of Glory Road saw him barreling down on me like I was Whitey Bulger himself, come back from the grave!”

I ignored her outburst, never correcting her that the famous mobster was still alive and well and living out his days incarcerated.

“When he finally got her to stop,” Lucas continued, “he asked for her license and registration, and where she was speeding off to so fast she blew the stop sign.”

Nanny made a rude noise, crossed her arms in front of her chest, and said, “The man’s a complete askhole.”

“Excuse me?” Lucas’s voice dropped several notches. I imagined criminals wet their pants when he used it on them.

“It’s what she calls people who ask—in her opinion—stupid and pointless questions,” I explained quickly. “Askholes.”

My pulse slowed a little when I saw the ghost of a grin tug at his mouth. “The car’s registered to your dad,” he said after a moment.

I rubbed my eye, then batted it a few times to focus. “Daddy left it for her to use when he and Mom moved. Is the registration expired, too?”

“No. Just her license to operate a vehicle.” He finally turned his full attention back to my grandmother. “What I can’t understand is why you let it go so long, Fiona.”

“Don’t’cha be addressing me as anyt’ing other than Mrs. Scaloppini. You’ve lost the right to use me Christian name, treating me like a criminal as ya are. I used to wipe your snotty nose when your ma brought ya to catechism class. You’ve no cause to be calling me Fiona as if we were friends. We’re not from this moment on and never shall be.”

Nanny Fee provides a great deal of the humor – and angst – for the O’Dowd sisters in my MAtch Made in Heaven series. I just love me a feisty grannie!

DEARLY BELOVED, Book 1 in a Match Made in Heaven,  Coming in November 2018 – I’ll post the pre-order links as soon as I have them!

You can also look for them – and me – here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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