Tag Archives: #SundaySnippet

#SnippetSunday CHANCE( Last Man Standing) #preorder #comingsoon

So here’s little sumthin’ sumthin’ from my upcoming Sweet romance, CHANCE, part of the Last Man Standing series.

You all know that guy: the confirmed bachelor who vows he’s never gonna be tied down to one woman.

And you all know, as writers, we just love to see guys like this fall! LOL.

Chance Miller, divorce lawyer extraordinaire, knows the whole happily ever after dream is an urban myth. He deals with miserable and wedded warring couples every day and swears staying single keeps him sane and happy. His friends and family consider him the last single man standing and fear he’ll never find someone and settle down. But Chance relishes his carefree status and unencumbered lifestyle and has no plans to change anything.

If only his relatives would stop trying to set him up with their version of the perfect woman.

Fredrika Poole already experienced her one great love, and the widow can’t read any future romance in her tea leaves. She’s content to bake, run her business, and care for her daughter.

When Chance meets Freddie and discovers her marriage thoughts run on the same road his do, he realizes she’s the answer to his prayer for keeping the relatives at bay. But the pixie barista has a way of making Chance question everything he’s always thought about love, marriage, and wedded bliss.

Will his last man standing status go unchallenged? Or will Freddie be the one woman he wants…but can never have?

Intrigued? Read on….

Before he could stop himself, he said,  “Let me take you to dinner.” The request surprised him and, apparently, Freddie. Even in the subdued lighting surrounding them he could see her eyes go wide, her mouth drop open.

“Wh-what? Why?”

A good question and one he’d try to answer for himself later on. For now, though, he had the uncontrollable urge to feed her. “I’m sure you didn’t get a break all day and you must be starved. I know I am.”

The quizzical quirk to her brow was followed by, “I’m not dressed to go out to dinner.”

He shrugged. “Doesn’t have to be fancy. I love diner food as much as the next guy. In fact, there’s a great place one block up. Best breakfast in town and their burgers are insane.”

She didn’t look convinced.

“You don’t have to run home and fix supper for…anyone, do you?”

Why to go, Chance. You never even considered if she was married before blurting out your invitation.

She didn’t wear a wedding ring and in his experience women always did. It was the men who removed them or elected to keep their fingers naked.

“No,” she said.

“So, no husband waiting for you to get dinner on the table?” he asked because he had to be clear on the subject.

For a fleeting moment, something he couldn’t get a bead on crossed her eyes. Then it was gone. “That’s a little sexist, you know, assuming it’s the wife who has to always make dinner.”

She was right. “Sorry. That was stupid of me.”

Her left eyebrow rose as she considered his remark. He felt like a jerk asking again but he really wanted to know.

“I wouldn’t use the word stupid,” she said. “Maybe unenlightened.”

That pulled a grin from him.

“But no. No husband at home.”

He held back his sigh of relief, then wondered why she didn’t have a guy waiting at home for her. He knew asking would truly make him sound insensitive so he kept the question to himself.

“Then how do the best burgers in the city sound?”

Chance had always been good at reading body language. It was a talent that had suited him well when the words a client spoke often didn’t jive with the truth of the situation. Their bodies outted them every time.

When Freddie’s shoulders dropped from their hunched position under her ears he knew he was making headway.

“Look,” he said, pulling out a grin he usually reserved for friends and family, “I know you don’t know anything about me other than I’m a divorce lawyer and I like coffee.”

A half-smile slid up her face. “And corn muffins.”

He nodded. “But I’m not a serial murder, I don’t cheat on my taxes, and if you ask my sister she’d tell you other than the fact I tend to argue a point to death, I’m a good guy.”

A full smile graced her face from that declaration.

Progress.

“So what’d’ya say? Wanna grab something to eat before you head home?”

He held his breath waiting for her answer.

After a few moments when he wondered if he’d ever be able to breathe again, she said, “Well,” as she shifted her bag to the other shoulder. “I am hungry, that’s the truth. It was a long day and I didn’t get a break.”

“Is that a yes?”

Please let it be a yes.

With her lips pressed together and her eyes narrowed slightly she finally –finally – nodded. “I guess it is.”

He couldn’t stop the full-wattage smile that jumped from him.

You can preorder your Kindle copy here or buy it in print now, here.

And it will be enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, so if you’re a subscriber, you can read it as part of your subscription fee after 9.12.2022!

Happy Sunday, peeps ~ Peg

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#SundaySnippet THE SHERIFF & THE PSYCHIC #PNR #westernromance #secondchances

This little gem released this month to some wonderful reviews. My heart is so full!!!! Here’s a little snippet for your Sunday reading delight:

Cal led her around the outer perimeter of the barn, towards the back parking lot. Once he was certain they were away from prying eyes and ears, he stopped.

Turning to Silvestra, he saw the golden glow of the moon reflected over her head and wondered, for just second, if she could possibly be real.

“You’re beautiful in moonlight, Silvestra. But then, I’ve found you’re beautiful at any time.”

His hands found their way to her upper arms, gently pulling her towards him. “I’ve been dreaming about doing this since the last time we were together.”

Amber eyes widened just a fraction when he brought his head down. Her face lifted to his, a look of open anticipation dancing across it.

With a swiftness born of desperation and cutting need, Cal’s mouth claimed hers.

When her lips parted on a sigh, Cal needed no further invitation. A swift snap of his tongue and he was inside her mouth, probing, exploring. She tasted sweet and full of spice, and so very alive. His heart pounded against his chest, nearly exploding with excitement. The two brief kisses they’d shared were mild temptations, when, once taken, could no longer be ignored.

Silvestra’s mouth moved under his and Cal groaned with need. One hand cupped the nape of her neck as he bent her back across his arm, deepening the kiss. The gasp he heard escape from her thrilled him, spurred him on.

His other hand slinked down her neck, past her shoulders, to rest in the hollow below her breast. Resting his palm against the gentle swell, his thumb flicked across the center. He was rewarded with the nipple instantly beneath the fabric of her dress.

Silvestra arched against him, molding to his form as small mews of pleasure rose from her throat.

Cal’s mouth began a slow descent from her lips, down her neck. When he nipped at the fleshy part of her earlobe, he smiled in delight as she fisted her fingers into his hair, yanking his head further in its exploration.

Silvestra wanted him, of that he was certain. Her body wouldn’t respond this way if she didn’t. But would she respond to that wanting? Or would she be shattered with guilt, tormented by her need? A husband, waiting at home. A son, too.

Cal tried to banish the thoughts. For the moment, for this one special moment, she was his, not another’s.

A wonderful warmth stretched within him; a sensation of rightness followed it.

Intrigued? LOL You can read it on Kindle, in KU, and paperback, here: THE SHERIFF & THE PSYCHIC

Happy Sunday and happy reading, peeps ~ Peg

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#SundaySnippet 2.6.2022

From MIX AND MATCH –

Will their friendship always be relegated to the friend zone?

They arrived at the diner in tandem. Always hearing his mother’s voice in his head, he held the door for her, then guided her to a booth along the back wall.

“Well, now, there’s two people I haven’t seen in a month of Sundays,” Ruthie Tewksberry, the owner, said when she spotted them. “I’ll be right over, kids.”

Jasmine slid into the booth, Donovan opposite her. Before they could settle, Ruthie made a beeline for them, two coffee mugs clasped in one had, a pot of coffee in the other.

Before he could even protest, she glanced down at him and said, “Don’t worry, I brought you a teabag and the water’s coming up.” She plopped the bag down next to him.

“Ah, Ruthie, darlin’, when are you gonna say yes and marry me?”

“When I get in a time machine and go back thirty years,” she quipped, making him laugh. “Don’t mind being called a cougar but I sure ain’t robbing any cradles. Jazz, how’s your mother doing?”

“Good. Working. What else?” She shrugged.

“Woman has more ambition than anyone I’ve ever seen.” She shook her head as she filled one of the mugs and placed it in front of Jasmine. “So, you two want to hear the specials, or do you know what you want already?”

Jasmine ordered her craving grilled cheese, while he went with a simple chicken burger.”

“Give me ten and I’ll have everything on the table. Here’s your water, Van.”

He grabbed her hand and squeezed it. “You’re a living saint among us mortals, Ruthie darlin’.”

“Oh, you.” A flush ran up her cheeks as she swiped a hand in the air at him, a huge grin on her face.

“I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen her blush before,” Jasmine told him once the woman had gone to place their order. “Do you do that intentionally or does it just come naturally to you?”

“Do what?”

“You know.” She waved a hand at him. “All that charming, flirting, full-on-accent stuff. Darlin’ this and love that.“

His grin started slowly at her attempt to mimic his accent. It was actually pretty good, he thought. Then it spread when the import of her words filtered through. “Ya think I’m charmin’, do ya?”

She tossed him an eye roll that should have looked comical but on her was as sexy as hell. “I said what you did was charming, not that you are.”

“Ah, Jasmine my love, you wound me to the quick, you do.” He made a show of placing both hands over his heart and attempting a pout. His reward for the ridiculous theatrics was her laugh, which came quick, free, and naturally.

“Now there’s a lovely sound,” he said gazing at her face.

She shook her head. Still smiling, she told him, “I truly don’t think you can help yourself.”

He shrugged. “It’s not a question of helping m’self or not. It’s just as easy to pay a compliment or give a kind word as it is an unkind one. And it makes me feel good to know I’ve been able to put a smile on someone’s face from something I’ve said.”

He couldn’t decipher the expression on hers as she regarded him across the table. Before he could ask about it she said, “Did Olivia call you after”—she lowered her voice—“our date?”

“Aye, she did. First thing the next morning. Did she call you?”

“No, which is weird. She usually checks in right away.” Her brows knit together. “What did you tell her?”

He was prevented from answering right away as Ruthie delivered their food.

“You need anything else, give a holler,” she told them.

Once they were alone again he said, “The truth. The evening was pleasant, you were a lovely woman and I enjoyed getting to know you a bit, but you didn’t think we were well matched.”

“You agreed,” she said, a tad defensively.

He took a bite of his sandwich. He hadn’t. Not really. And he hadn’t related everything Olivia and he discussed. He didn’t share, for instance, the matchmaker had said to go slowly with Jasmine. The fact she wanted to be friends was encouraging because it was the first time she’d ever said that about one of the men she’d been introduced to.

“Because you were so adamant about it,” he said.

Now Jasmine pulled a pout and hers wasn’t meant to make him laugh.

“What did she say after you told her I didn’t think we were,” she lifted her hand, “suited?”

“That she had a few more women who looked promising—her word—that she’d introduce me to.”

“Oh. Okay, then.” She sat back in the booth. “Well…okay.”

He wasn’t sure but she seemed…put off by that.

Promising.

“No more talk of that now,” he said. She visibly relaxed at his words. “Tell me what you’re thinking I should be bidding on the house.”

Preorder here: Mix & Match

Watch the book trailer here: Mix & Match

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#SundaySnippet 1.30.2022

This week, something different for my Sunday Snippet. I’m giving you a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from my current Kindle Vella story, THE JANE AUSTEN MURDERS. First, the blurb so you know what’s going on:

Homicide Detective Elizabeth Bennett and senior partner Frank Churchill are called to Longbourne College when the body of student Charlotte Lucas is found bludgeoned to death. Charlotte, a scholarship student had a healthy supply of designer clothes, jewelry, and a safe deposit box loaded with cash. Where did she get them? Charlotte had a very antagonistic relationship with her English professor, Dr. Darcy, and he soon becomes the primary suspect. But did he do it?

Snippet:

Lizzy followed her partner into a vacant row and took a seat on the aisle.

            From her vantage point, Darcy’s voice was quite clear as he spoke at the front of the room from behind a podium. Her vision of the professor was restricted, though, due to the height and distance she and Frank were. She could see his hair was dark, his skin light. He wore a nondescript pullover, a sports jacket over that. Trousers, not jeans, covered his legs. He could be tall, she thought. He certainly wasn’t short, with most of his upper body showing above the pulpit.

            “Guy’s got good pipes,” Frank said, “for a teacher. Makes it hard to fall asleep listening to someone like that.”

            Lizzy understood what he meant. The voice was steeped in a calm, controlled timbre that commanded authority. Darcy wasn’t American, and Lizzy was surprised at that. English, born and bred, if she wasn’t mistaking the accent. A small flicker sparked in her stomach as she listened to him deliver his lecture, never once referring to any notes or cards.

            He spoke of love. Tortured, unrequited love, and how it could kill a young woman’s very being through its harsh, unrewarded and unknown existence. To never know what it feels like to have another’s love returned to you in the same vein, at the same measure. A love so strong-willed it could overtake and outstrip a heart and mind of its very desire to live.

            A love, so pure, so complete, and so wanting, that it caused nothing but heartache for the one who felt it.

            Lizzy blinked a few times. Darcy’s lyrical voice conjured up a daydream where she’d actually seen the picture he was describing.

            A young woman, innocent and heartbroken, felled by unrequited love.

            She spied her own face atop that imagined female form.

            “Jesus!”

            “What?” Frank whispered, turning to her. “What’s wrong?”

            A brisk, full shaking of her head almost cleared the fog. “Sorry. I didn’t realize I spoke out loud.”

            “You okay? You look a little pasty.”

            “Yeah. I think I just need to eat something. I’ll be fine.”

            When his eyes narrowed and he continued to stare at her, Lizzy knew he could see more than she liked. She sat forward and heard the bell ring at the same time.

            “Good,” she said, rising, hoping he didn’t hear the relief in her sigh. “Let’s go.” She was two rows in front of him by the time he moved to join her.           

            The students, all female, were gathering up their things and exiting via the bottom amphitheater door. Lizzy watched several make their way to the front of the room to surround their instructor.  She slowed, knowing it would be a few moments before the throng thinned. The further she got down the steps, the clearer Darcy’s face became.

            She was correct when she took him for tall rather than short. At least six-one, he was a full head above most of the girls swarming around him. On closer inspection, the dark curly hair was flecked with silver at the temples. Unlike Bingley’s, Darcy’s hair was not in need of a trim. Full, perfectly arched brows sat over eyes whose color she had yet to ascertain. His cheeks were etched into two hollows that ended in a square, brick-hard, jaw.

            Lizzy stood on the bottom step, hands in her pockets as she and Frank waited for the professor to be free.

            “Guy’s got a fan club,” Frank whispered.

            “I see that,” she answered, her gaze staying on Darcy, one delicate eyebrow bending upwards in conjunction with the opposite corner of her mouth.

            It was at that moment Darcy looked up and their eyes met over the head of one of his students.

            Blue.

            His eyes were blue. Solid, deep, and intermingled with shards of silvery gray. 

            Darcy’s perusal never left her face as the student before him asked a question.

            Lizzy realized that neither she nor the professor had blinked once since his gaze found hers. The sting of moisture drying within them, blurry the vision, finally made her lids do their job.

            She watched Darcy when her sight cleared and focused again. He shook his head once, blinked a few times and then turned back towards his student, intent on what was being said to him.

            “Crowd’s thinning,” Frank said, moving by her towards the podium. “Let’s go.”

            Lizzy found her feet a moment later, after first taking a deep breath and rolling her shoulders.

            As they moved closer, she heard the poetic lilt of his voice. “Just write what you feel,” he said.  “I’m sure it will be fine.”

            “Really?” the student asked. The small hairs on the back of Lizzy’s collar screamed to attention at the nasal whine in the young woman’s voice.

            “Yes,” he smiled down at her. “Really. Now, you need to get to your next class. Run along.” With that the girl beamed at him, hugged her laptop to her chest and, Lizzy thought, all but floated from the room on a post-adolescent lovesick breeze.

            “May I help you?” Darcy asked when the room cleared, his question aimed at Frank.

            The senior detective introduced himself and his partner. Darcy acknowledged the presentation with a nod of his head to Frank. Lizzy thought it took him a beat or two longer than it should have before he turned his attention to her.

            That same, heated inspection bulldozed through her again.

            “What can I do for you?” Darcy asked Frank.

            It was Lizzy who answered. “We have some questions about one of your students. Charlotte Lucas.”

            She watched his reaction to the name. He slanted his head to one side, his eyes opening a fraction wider. “What about her?”

            “She was murdered last night,” Lizzy said.

            He gave no outward indication of his feeling for the news, something Lizzy found disturbing.

            “You don’t seem surprised or upset,” she said.

            “Actually, I’m both,” he said. “It’s not every day one hears that a student has been killed.”

            “Murdered,” she countered.

            That piercing gaze zeroed in on her face as he nodded, once. “Murdered. What happened?”

            “We ask the questions, Professor,” Lizzy said, rocking back on her heels.

            It took him a moment to reply. In the interim, Lizzy watched the muscle under his left ear snap, making his jaw clench and tighten.

            With a small nod, that Lizzy thought might be mocking, Darcy said, “Of course, Detective Bennet. I apologize. How can I help?”

            “Miss Lucas was a student in your Jane Austen class, yes?”

            He nodded.

            “And she was in class last evening?”

            “Yes.”

            “We understand that the two of you had an argument during class and that Miss Lucas left before dismissal. Is that correct?”

            Darcy leaned against the podium, laying his elbows on it, hands folded. “I wouldn’t classify our discussion as an argument. It was more a spirited difference of opinion.”

            “What was this spirited difference of opinion about?” Frank asked.

            Darcy exhaled and waited a few heartbeats before replying. “It was really a continuation of a theme that ran through Charlotte’s work the entire semester.”

To Lizzy’s ears, his voice took on a strained quality, as if it were an effort for him to continue. 

Intrigued?

If you subscribe to Kindle Vella, you can read the story here – three new episodes are released every week. THE JANE AUSTEN MURDERS

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#SundaySnippet 1.23.2022

From the upcoming 3.1.2022 release of MIX & MATCH ( Heaven’s Matchmaker book1)

Van has just been on a pre-arranged date and he’s called Jasmine to tell her about it.

Unable to hold it back, she asked the question she really didn’t want an answer to. “Are you going to see her again?”

“Aye. Friday night. We’re going bowling.”

“Really?”

“Why do you say it like that?”

“Like what?”

“As if you can’t see me with a bowling ball in me hand. I’m a darn good bowler, I’ll have you know.”

“Just when you think you know a person,” she said, a twisted smirk blooming across her mouth.

He ignored the sarcasm, saying, “Kaitlyn plays in a league. A church one—”

“Surprise, surprise,” she muttered.

“And their next meet is this Friday.”

“What’s the name of her league, the Holy Rollers?”

She’d said it to make him laugh. But he just squinted at her.

“I’m kidding, Van. No shade, really.”

“I don’t know what that means, but you hit the nail on it with the name.”

“Wait. They really are called the Holy Rollers?”

His sigh was deep and long. “Aye.”

“Oh, my GOD!” The laughter peeling from her was uncontrollable. “I’m so sorry. I don’t mean to laugh, but…” She couldn’t finish because another ripple bubbled up from deep inside her belly.

Donovan peered at her through the phone and shook his head. The tiniest of grins tugged at the corner of his mouth then spread into a full, cheek-wide smile that had her happy she was on the bed and not standing because her legs had turned to mush.

“ ’Tis a bit much, isn’t it?”

“No. No, actually it’s perfect.” She swiped at her dripping eyes with the backs of her knuckles. “You’re going?”

“Aye.” He let out a breath and swiped a hand though the side of his head. “When I told her I’d played in university she was all agog and couldn’t wait to invite me. Seems no one she’s gone out with has shared her love of it. Apparently, her whole family are—”

“Holy Rollers?” She started giggling again.

If her father had been in the picture during her life, she imagined the look he’d have given her when she’d misbehaved would be identical to the one Donovan gave her right now. Brows knitted together, lips bent into an upside-down U, head tilted to one side and regarding her with a side-eye.

“Sorry. That one was too easy and I couldn’t resist.”

 “You’ve the humor of a ten-year-old.” He stopped, yawned, then covered his mouth. “Sorry, love. It’s been a long week and it’s tired I am.”

“Mr. Pot, meet Ms. Kettle, ‘cuz I hear ya. I’m all set to grab a shower and then crash. I’m on duty at six tomorrow and it’s another scheduled double for me.”

Intrigued? 3.1.2022

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#SundaySnippet 1/16/2022

#SundaySnippet

From my WIP for Magnolia Blossom THE HAUNTING OF WILTON JUNE (No release date yet but soon, I hope!)

My heroine, Jerica, is a botanist

Here ya go:

For three days they avoided one another, each telling themselves it wasn’t really avoidance as much as work that occupied their every waking moment.

Jerica knew it for the lie it was on the first day as she set out with her deliveries. From the moment Will walked out of the cottage she’d thought of little else but him.

And that kiss.

She’d analyzed it, conceptualized it, even going so far as to make a little mental chart enumerating all the ways Will’s kiss made her feel.

#1 like she was cherished.

#2 like she mattered.

#3 like she was a desirable woman.

#4 like if she’d given him the slightest prompting they would have wound up in her big brass bed spending the rest of the afternoon, evening, and night doing wild and wicked things to one another.

Her cheeks grew warm from the memory of his tongue mating with hers, sipping from it, drawing nourishment, as she printed instruction labels for the salves cooling in her workroom.

Her legs grew restless as she fantasized what his body looked like under his comfortable clothes. All that lean and lithe muscle under his shirt had felt staggering when she’d run her hands up his chest.

Her thighs shook at the remembrance of the way his erection had pressed, throbbed, and grown larger when it had been nestled against the apex of her jeans.

She berated herself when she had to start an emulsion of Slipper Elm tea twice because she’d miscalculated the right amount of elm powder and honey. She’d been picturing Will the way he looked as he’d sat across from her eating the soup and sandwiches she’d prepared. The light in his eyes had been bright, the blues in them meshing into a startling chaos of color. His lips had grown wet from sipping the soup, tiny traces of tomato-red sticking to the corners.

You need to get a grip, girl.

Once you start breaking out in an erotic sweat from the way a soup color looks on someone’s mouth, it’s time to take a break, reboot your brain, and call it a day on the naughty-thoughts-daydreaming.

Which is what she did.

Unfortunately, the moment she laid her head down on her pillow Will’s face popped into her brain again and thoughts of whether he slept in his underwear or nude raced through her mind.

She pictured both, individually, and had to throw the warm blankets off her growing-hot body.

The man simply occupied he thoughts to the point of ridiculousness.

Why, was the question plaguing her.

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#SundaySnippet 1.9.2022

from the upcoming MIX & MATCH 3.1.2022

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09P48WPZC

The Friday night social scene in Heaven N.H. wasn’t the eclectic, happening, busy one she’d grown used to while living in Manhattan. She and her ex had routinely made Friday a date night when his work schedule allowed and they’d attended many a packed jazz bar or bistro over the years. Mood lighting, expensive décor and a drink menu that boasted thousand dollar bottles of wine and champagne had been the norm, along with cocktails going for upwards of twenty-five dollars a glass.

The Love Shack, Heaven’s own answer to the bar scene, was a wooden, rustic, brightly lit establishment with butcher block tables covered in gingham tablecloths and where the most expensive bottle of wine topped out at sixteen dollars. The costliest cocktail served was a four dollar cranberry Cosmo that was heavy on the Ocean Spray and light on the vodka and Cointreau.

Jasmine scanned the bar where Olivia told her her date would be waiting. There were three men scattered down along the rail. Two she recognized from high school and one guy whose face she couldn’t see because his back was to her. When he turned she realized immediately this was not the man she was due to have drinks with.First there was no way this guy was 36 years old. Her mother would have called him Gramps.Clue number two was the wedding band on the hand holding his beer. It was so tight, the skin surrounding it swollen, his knuckle hair squeezed around it, indicating it had been there for decades.Nope. This wasn’t her guy. A cursory glance around the place showed most of the tables were taken with couples.Her date had yet to arrive.

“Hey, Jazz,” the bartender and owner, Kick Loomis said from his perch drying beer glasses behind the bar.

“Kick.”

“You squattin’ or sittin’, sweetheart?”She’d been in the place enough times in her life to know he meant was she going to sit at the bar or take a table.

Jasmine was self-conscious enough she didn’t want to be seated on a bar stool, sitting alone while waiting for her date, especially when one of the guys she’d gone to school with tossed her an inquiring eye and a raised eyebrow. She didn’t want to get into a how-you-doing-what-you-been-up-to-since-high school chat. If her memory served, and it always did, the guy had been one of the football heroes of Heaven High back in the day. Those glory days were long gone and she had no desire to listen to him dredge them up.

She spotted an empty table in the corner and nodded toward it.

“I’ll send Raylynn over with a menu.”

She nodded and as she was about to head for it felt a tap on her arm.

“Excuse me. Jasmine?”

She turned at the sound of her name, spoken in a deep, soft voice blessed with a charming accent and found herself face to face with the gorgeous guy she’d spotted in her mom’s office. The one Sharmaine had been sucked on to like a tick

.Good Lord, he was even better looking up close and personal than he’d been, seated, and ten feet away from her. Stunning blue eyes, the color of freshly laid Robin’s eggs topped a face with high cut cheeks and a jaw forged from granite. Midnight hair curled around his ears and caressed the nape of his neck. Layered waves fell across his head in a chaos of perfection.

She’d been right about his height. Most men she could stare straight in the eyes due to her own long legs. But she had to tilt her head back a bit to look into this man’s striking ones.“You are Jasmine, aye?” Even his voice was gorgeous, the song of Ireland singing through it.

She nodded, her own voice deciding now would be a good time to leave on vacation. And when his smile took a slow stroll from one corner of his full, thick lips to the other, showing perfect, straight white teeth, the tips of her fingertips began to tingle like she’d fallen asleep on them and spent the night with them cuddled beneath the weight of her body.

He-of-the-handsome-face stuck out his hand and declared, “Good. Olivia said to meet you here. Donovan Boyd, but everyone calls me Van. Lovely to meet you.”

Jasmine knew she should shake his hand. It was the polite thing to do, wasn’t it? For some reason, her brain wasn’t sending any signals down her arm to lift it up to his outstretched one.

Donovan, or Van, kept his hand out, his smile in place, and ticked his head to the left a hair. A clap of booming laughter rang out from somewhere behind her and finally propelled the gears in her brain to start turning again.

After a head shake where she actually heard her brains rattle, she extended her hand and slipped it into his.

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#sundaySnippet 12.20.2020

 

 

The following is a little scene from the book I’m currently penning, A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: AIDEN ( book 2 in the series.) Our hero is Private Investigator Aiden Keane, our heroine Lexi Buckley, Ph.D This scene is in chapter 1 when they are seated next to one another on a place bound for NYC. This is how I picture them in my mind when I am writing them…

 

“Have you been away long?”

“Too long.”

Before she could ask why, the overhead announcements started. Because she knew knowledge was the key to everything, Lexi gave all her attention to the flight attendants as they went through the safety precautions, even though she had them memorized.

Trying to be covert about it, she snaked her hand under the seat when told the cushion could be used as a floatation device during a water landing, just to make sure it was there and at the ready. She pulled the inflight instructions card from the pouch in front of her when it was referred to, and she made special notice of how close to the other exit doors she was when it was suggested.

“You’ve flown before, right?” Aiden asked when the crew finished.

“Many times.” She turned and found the ghost of a grin tripping across his mouth.

“Do you always listen so intently to the safety speech?”

“Of course. Don’t you?”

He shook his head. “The narrative never changes. I could repeat it in my sleep.”

She could too, but it still didn’t prevent her from listening.

One of the flight attendants who’d been walking down the aisle assuring the overhead compartments were closed, stopped at their row.

“Hi,” she said. It didn’t get passed Lexi the smile broadened when she lit on Aiden. “You two are seated next to the emergency exit door and I just want to make sure you know what to do in the event we need to access the door.”

She prattled on with the expectations, then asked, “Are you comfortable assuming that responsibility?”

Lexi said yes immediately.

“Thank you, and enjoy your flight.”

The last part was directed at her seatmate before she turned to the couple across the aisle and started her spiel again.

Aiden’s smile stayed in place when he turned back to her. With an eyebrow raised, he said, “I get the feeling you requested this seat.”

“I did.”

“Should I be worried?”

It took her a moment to see past the humor lacing his words to the steely caution in his eyes.

“No, no. God, no. It’s not that.”

The other eyebrow joined its mate. “Then…?”

Lexi swallowed and felt like she’d been pulled into the principal’s office to explain an adolescent prank.

“Research shows the safest place to be in the event of”—she lowered her voice and shifted closer to him so her words wouldn’t carry—“an emergency, is sitting by this door. I can stay calm in an emergency so I figured I’d rather leave my chances of surviving something up to me than to a total stranger who might crack under pressure.”

He stared at her a few beats and she’d give the last chocolate candy she had in her secret stash at the library to know what he was thinking.

Then, he leaned in closer as she had to him and her gaze dropped to his mouth when he asked, “Do you always like to be in control?”

For the first time in her adult life, Lexi couldn’t speak. All the statistics she had running rampant in her brain about the psychological impacts of OCD and control issues stayed locked inside her. Her mouth fell open but nothing came out. When Aiden’s gaze flicked down to her parted lips, lingered for a moment, then dragged back up in time for her to catch his pupils dilate, she slammed her mouth shut and took a deep breath.

The thought he was flirting with her drifted into her mind but was quickly shooed away. Men didn’t flirt with Alexis Buckley. She wasn’t the sister who garnered male attention, Zoe was. This man was asking because he assumed she had some nefarious reason for wanting the emergency seat. In this day and age, who could blame him? Crazies came in all shapes and forms. And genders.

Lexi took another breath and then called forth her most professional voice, the one she used with recalcitrant students, annoying adults, and anyone who needed a firm hand.

“I’ve found,” she said, happy her voice was controlled and modulated, just the way she liked it, “that’s is easier, and best, to rely on myself when situations arise that call for some kind of action. If that’s what you mean by being in control, then, yes.”

She met his appraising stare with calm and cool eyes and hoped that would be the end of it.

“Good to know,” he said, just as the captain came over the loud speaker.

*** It needs a little work, but the dynamics are coming together.

Enjoy your Holidays, peeps ~ peg

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#sundaySnippet 12.13.2020

Since this was release week for BAKED WITH LOVE, I decided to put one more snippet up about it. Here, we get a glimpse of just how close the sisters are to one another, and how much they know about each other. I love this scene because I can just SEE sisters talking like this. ( it’s told, BTW, from Maureen’s POV)

 

“Here’s your wedding album,” I said, holding it up.

“Let me see.”
I handed it to her, and she started flipping through the pages.
“We were so stinkin’ young, and I was so stupid,” she said after a few minutes.

“It still boggles my mind Mom and Daddy didn’t try to talk me out of getting married at barely eighteen.”

“You weren’t stupid.” Colleen reached out and rubbed Cathy’s arm. “Young, yes, but you’d known Danny practically since birth. Everyone who knew the two of you knew you were going to get married someday. And we all loved Danny. He was perfect for you.”

“Not everyone,” I said, flipping through another album. “Eileen didn’t like Dan and never had, even when we were little.”

“What! Why not?” Cathy asked.

I put the album down and took another out of the container. “You know Eileen. She was a natural bullshit detector. Inherited the trait from Nanny.”

“Truth,” Colleen said, then sipped her tea.

“She told me she didn’t think Danny was the wonderful guy he seemed and he wasn’t being totally truthful, maybe even lying to you about something. She never told me what it was, but she believed it right up until he died.”

“How come you never told me this?”

“Why would I? From the outside, you two appeared happy, and you never gave any indication you weren’t. Neither Coll nor I knew anything to the contrary until you confessed what had been going on in your marriage.”

“Eileen was always a little fey, as Nanny would call it,” Colleen said. “Sensitive to what was going on around her.” She flipped through the album in her hand.

I nodded.

“Hey, found your picture,” Colleen said a moment later. “Good gravy, I forgot all about Lucas’s hideous tuxedo.”

“Let’s see.” Cathy stretched out her hand for the book.

There were about a half dozen pictures of Cathy and Danny, then a few of Lucas, taken in the same living room we were all currently sprawled in.

Cathy laughed as she flipped a page and found a photo of Lucas and Eileen and me. He was dressed to attend prom, that dumb tuxedo shining back from the camera flash, while we were in our pajamas.

“I remember when this was taken. Eileen dragged you down the staircase screaming she wanted a picture of the three of you. What were you guys, ten?”

“Nine,” Colleen said.

Lucas had picked us up and settled us each on a hip. Eileen was smiling like she’d just won the lottery, while I was staring at Lucas.

“She loved him so much,” Cathy said, a mote of wistfulness in her voice. “Followed him around every time he was here, wanting to sit in his lap, show him some new gymnastics move she’d learned in class.”

“He was always so patient with her, too,” Colleen said. “With the two of you, really. He never got annoyed about all the oxygen Eileen sucked out of a room whenever she was in one.”

“Lucas never got annoyed at anything,” I said, staring at the picture. “Still doesn’t.”

Cathy peered over the album at me, her head at an angle and a question in her eyes.

“Eileen wasn’t the only twin who thought Lucas hung the moon,” she said, pointedly.

When I didn’t respond to her baited statement, she held the album up. “Look at this picture.”

I did. “Okay. So?”

“You’re the only one not staring at the camera. All your attention is focused on Lucas, like you can’t take your eyes off him.”

“In these pictures, too,” Colleen said, flipping through Cathy’s wedding and graduation album. “There isn’t one time you’re not staring at him.”

I’d never noticed it before, but they were right. We’d had hundreds of pictures taken over the years before camera phones became a thing, and in almost every one where Lucas was present while I was, I was looking at him.

“And now he looks at you whenever you’re in a room together,” Cathy said with a smug smirk gliding across her mouth.

I rolled my eyes and took a sip from my teacup.

“She’s not wrong,” Colleen added.

I shrugged and flipped through the album in my hands.

“I find it interesting she isn’t arguing with us on this,” Cathy said to Colleen.

“Hmm. Makes you wonder why not.”

“Oh, I know why she isn’t. You do, too. I just wonder if she realizes we know.”

I tossed the album down onto the cocktail table and stared at both of them. “You know, that crap didn’t work when I was a kid. It certainly isn’t going to now.”

Intrigued? I hope so. If so, here’s where you can get your copy: BWL

 

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#sundaySnippet 12.6.2020

Since BAKED WITH LOVE releases in 3 more days ( YAY!!!!) I thought today’s snippet should be from the book to whet your bookreading appetites.

In this little snippet, Maureen and Lucas are discussing Lucas’s teenaged son’s first day of working at Inn Heaven – Maureen’s B&B. We get a little glimpse of Lucas’s feelings for Maureen – as does she – and for the first time see that he thinks more of her than just as a friend.

Lucas nodded. “He seems pretty stoked about working, something I’m surprised about. Glad, for sure, but surprised. I figured…” He shrugged.

“I know. I thought a fifteen-year-old boy would rather be any place than in a kitchen every day, but he actually asked to work most days during the week and on weekends for the weddings. We’ll see how long this enthusiasm lasts.” I grinned up at him while I towel- dried a mug.

“I don’t know, Mo. If it was me, I wouldn’t mind being stuck in a kitchen every day—”

“That’s because you’re always hungry.”

“—if it was with you.”

My hand stopped rubbing the porcelain. Okay, what?

I’m usually fairly adept at not showing my feelings or have what’s running through my mind cross my face. Nanny has commented many times over the years I’m the person she least likes playing poker with because she can’t read me. The ability to hide my true feelings has gotten me through some testy times with my parents, a bad breakup with a verbally abusive boyfriend, and my twin’s illness then death. Plus, for as many times as we’d been together over the years, Lucas had never once guessed how I truly felt about him.

Right now, though, I was finding it next to impossible to school my features and body into its usual calm nonchalance. I can only imagine how I must have appeared to him, standing there with the towel thrust into the mug, my hand paralyzed—my body as well— as I stared up at him, silent.

“What’s wrong?” He uncrossed his arms and took a step toward me, his brows grooving toward the middle of his forehead. “Maureen?”

I blinked a few times when his hand snaked around my upper arm. A soothing, comforting warmth seeped through me from his touch. I wanted to move in closer, melt into his arms, and snuggle into all his heat. When I found myself shifting so I could, I took a step backward, mentally and physically. Lucas didn’t drop his hold but kept his hand on my arm, his other one following suit.

“Nothing. Sorry. I’m fine.” I shook my head a few times and planted what I hoped looked like a self- deprecating grin on my face.

“I lost you there for a second.” His gaze swept across my face, searching, silently questioning.

“Sorry. I’ve got a lot going on up here.” I pointed a finger at my head. “Thinking fifteen steps ahead about what needs to be done around this place.”

He waited a beat, those intelligent, intense eyes never wavering from my own. “Why don’t I believe that’s all it is?”

It was no wonder he was such a good lawman. With his gaze zeroed in on me, piercing and probing, and his voice low, deep, and commanding, almost seductively sly in its cadence, I imagined people who’d broken the law were no match for him when it came to his garnering confessions.

I pulled a Colleen-worthy eye roll. “Because you’re a cop and you’re naturally suspicious. It’s ground into your DNA. Like the green in your eyes.”

One eyebrow quirked high up on his forehead. “The green in my eyes?”

His mouth stayed perfectly straight, but I got the distinct impression he was laughing at me.

“It’s true. Your eyes are green, and you’re naturally nosy.”

His inspection grew more intense as he dipped his chin and glared at me. The heat in his stare shot straight down to my core and exploded.

I’m pretty sure I shuddered.

Lucas’s fingers kneaded my arms. Every nerve ending in my body stood straight up, like I’d walked across a rug in the dead of winter and then touched something metal, sparking an electric shock. I licked lips that had suddenly gone desert-dry.

His gaze took a slow stroll down to my mouth and lingered. Enough so those butterflies finally made a break for freedom. Without any will to prevent it, my mouth fell open and I dragged in about a quart of air, my shoulders lifting, then dropping with the effort. I lost the grip on the mug and when it slipped out of my hand, Lucas let go of my arms as we both reached for it at the same time.

My reflexes are quick. Lucas’s are like lightning.

Both our hands went around the cup at the same time, but in moving for it, Lucas had to bend from his substantial height. When he did, our heads connected and a resounding thwack echoed around us.

Ow.” I let the mug go free into his hand and palmed the spot of contact on my forehead. “Your skull’s made of cement.”

Lucas placed the mug on the counter, then tugged my hand off my head.

I swatted him away. It was like slicing air because it had no effect on halting him from touching me.

“Let me see. Stop squirming.” He cupped my chin to hold me in place.

In all honesty, I’d gone statue-still again the moment his hand curled around my jaw. I knew Lucas’s fingers were strong, an effect of being a life-long shooter. Thick-skinned, coarse, and powerful, his grip was surprising gentle though, as he held my face in one hand and pressed against the throbbing notch on my forehead with the other.

“You’re gonna have a goose egg.”

“And whose fault is that?” I mumbled.

“Better get some ice on it, fast.”

This time when I glanced up at him, he was attempting—and failing—to hide a grin.

Through narrowed eyes, I said, “Thanks for the advice. Mind letting go of me so I can?”

Lucas glanced at the hand wrapped around my chin, frowned, then drew his attention back up to meet my eyes.

Calling them green hadn’t done them a bit of justice. There are so many variations of the simple color, and none of them applied to Lucas.

They weren’t the bright green of a shamrock or the metallic sheen of jade. Neither were they pale like sage nor brilliant like winking emeralds. The purest and most accurate way to describe them was they mimicked the color of fresh moss at midnight: deep and dark with shards of yellow in the mix reflected in moonlight. Long lashed with a tiny tilt at the corners and subtle lines fanning out to his temples, Lucas’s eyes had always been captivating to me. Right now, with his hand holding my chin, and his body so close I could detect the brand of soap he’d used in the shower, they were mesmerizing.

The air between us changed in a finger snap. Energized. Ignited.

Something in Lucas changed, as well. His shoulders were drawn up almost to his ears, and his breathing went a little deeper, a little louder as we stood there. The groove between his eyebrows folded inward even more than it usually did. When his tongue flicked out and crossed over his bottom lip like mine had a few moments ago, I bit down on the need to press my own mouth to his.

I may have moaned.

The swift inhale Lucas took convinced me he’d heard the sound and recognized it for the naked desire it was. The hand at my chin tensed and drew me in closer. So close, I could count every hair of the afternoon stubble shading his etched cheeks and strong jaw.

An insane urge to run my tongue along the length of that shadow hopscotched through me. I might have succumbed to the impulse if Robert’s voice hadn’t spilt into the room.

“Dad?” We both blinked at the sound.
 “What’s going on?”

“Maureen dropped a cup,” Lucas told him after a moment, his attention never wavering from me. His voice was thick and low. “We bumped heads when we went to get it. Grab some ice from the freezer, would ya, son?”

Intrigued? You can preorder your copy here and have it when it releases on 12.9.2020 :BWL

And, if you’d like a PRINT version of the book, My website store is selling them for only $10.00 Waaaay below every retailer – including Amazon. You can order a copy here: BWL 

And…….if you’d like to get an autographed print copy for free, you can enter to win 1 0f 3 copies in my Goodreads Giveaway, here: GRG

So many ways to read!!!

Happy Sunday, peeps ~ Peg

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