Tag Archives: #SundaySnippet

#sundaysnippet from THE NEW YORK SOCIALITES series #NYCromance #romcom

Today’s little something extra comes from IT’S A TRUST THING, book 1 in the NEW YORK SOCIALITES SERIES.

Nell Newbery has trust issues. It’s hard to trust when you’re the daughter of a fallen financial scion who bilked people out of billions. Nell’s done everything in her power to keep away from men who see her as their ticket to fortune and fame. All she wants to do is run her ultra-successful business, HELPFUL HUNKS, in peace.

But it wouldn’t hurt to find a guy who doesn’t know a thing about her father’s felonious past; one she can give her heart to and trust it won’t come back to her battered, bruised, and broken.

Is Charlie Churchill that guy? On the surface he seems perfect, all polished manners and quiet mirth. Nell’s convinced he knows nothing about her, other than she likes superhero movies and views junk food as a food group.

Can she trust him to be what he appears to be? Or is he just pretending?

For Nell, trust is everything in life…and in love.

ANd since it’s pumpkin spice time here in the US….enjoy….

“Let’s take dessert outside and sit. It’s not full-on dark yet,” he suggested while filling a tray with dessert plates, cups, and utensils.

A girl could get used to being waited on like this. Charlie was a much better host than I’d ever been, and that was the simple truth.

A few minutes later we were each in one of the lounge chaises I’d spotted earlier. Twilight was darkening the sky and the horizon danced with stripes of bright orange and red. The avenues outlining Central Park were lit and bright, the streetlights sparkling around the trees. 

“If you’re cold I’ve got throw blankets in the storage cabinet,” Charlie said as he handed me a teacup.

“This’ll keep me warm.” I took a sip and sighed. “I love a cup of tea in the evening.”

“Even though you drink coffee? Most people choose one or the other.”

“I seem to remember you with a coffee mug in your hand in the diner, Professor, so…” I waved my free hand.

He laughed and settled back, his long legs spread out before him on the chaise, crossed at the ankles.

I’d slipped off my flats and tucked my feet under my legs.

“It’s nice out here,” I said, glancing at the city beyond the railing. “We’re high enough up the traffic sounds aren’t annoying; it’s private, without nosy neighbors right on top of you; and you’re buffered from the wind. If I open a window at my place, the wind shear off the Hudson River can be like a cyclone on some days.”

Charlie sipped his tea as his gaze followed mine, and nodded. “The difference between a park view and a water one. I love looking out over the tree line, especially in spring and fall.”

“Two opposite seasons. Kinda like foliage birth and death.”

He turned his attention to me. “I never thought of it that way, but you’re right. I enjoy watching the trees come into bloom, and I like watching them turn color.”

“I like that, too. Fall is my favorite time of year. The air is crisp, with a tiny bite to it; you can start wearing sweaters and boots. Plus,” I grinned at him, “pumpkin spice.”

A theatrical grown blew from him. “Oh, good Lord, are you one of those who loves pumpkin spice flavored everything? Coffee? Donuts? Tea? I even saw a pumpkin spice-flavored marshmallow cereal in the market last fall. People were buying it by the case. That was a bit much.” He shook his head, a ghost of a grin on his lips.

“Never underestimate the influential power familiar branding has on advertising to the consumer,” I said.

Charlie’s chuckle floated in the air next to me.

“That should be the topic of your next lecture.”

“What? Pumpkin spice?” I asked, cocking my head at him with what I hoped was a serious expression on my face.

Laughter danced in his eyes. “The class would most likely all be able to relate to that topic, but, no. Has Dean Dietrichson asked you to speak again?”

“I got an email yesterday asking me if I could sub again this Wednesday. Seems Dr. Chang’s mom still isn’t doing well. I haven’t replied to him yet.”

As I sipped my tea he silently regarded me. “What?”

“Would you like a little unsolicited advice?”

“If I said no would you give it anyway?”

“No. I’d respect your request,” he answered.

And right there was the reason he was different from every other man I’d ever known.

“You think I should do it, don’t you?”

“Yes,” he said without hesitation. “I’ve told you how much chatter there was about your lecture from those who sat in on it. How enlightening the class viewed your insights. Several times I heard what a wonderfully natural speaker you are. That’s a gift, Nell, that ability to connect to a group of strangers and have them not only be comfortable with, and open to, what you’re teaching, but engaged as well. A true gift.”

I can’t explain why his words meant so much to me, but they did. Validation as a savvy business owner is something I’ve strived for. I’ve struggled to be respected and successful on my own, through my own deeds and actions, and not simply because someone’s DNA coursed through my system. I’d had two bank managers deny my start-up business loan because they worried my father’s behavior had been passed down to me.

How ridiculous is that? The sins of the father aside, how truly ridiculous?

I took another sip of my tea and considered Charlie’s words.

“I have to admit, it was…fun, speaking to them. Not nearly as stressful as I’d imagined it would be.”

He nodded.

“And it was kinda cool that they all”—I flipped my free hand in the air again—“valued the points I was trying to make.”

“I’d say you made those points, not tried.”

I bit down on the corner of my mouth and stared back out at the quickly darkening horizon. “I’ll email him back when I get home,” I said. “But I need to come up with a better topic than the benefits of pumpkin spice branding.”

His rich, deep laughter sent a rivulet of pleasure down my spine.

And catch up on all the NY Socialites before Book 4 – INFLUENCE – drops in 2023

3 Comments

Filed under sunday snippet

#sundaySnippet #kindlevella #crimedrama

For this week’s selection, I decided to show you something new – my Kindle Vella work. This little ditty is from THE JANE AUSTEN MURDERS, rated a fan favorite for over 32 weeks! Check it out and if you like it, subscribe to Kindle Vella on your phone. It’s free and the first 3 chapters of any story are always free to read.

Enjoy….

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.

You can see all my Kindle Vella Stories, here: and a word of warning – these stories are not my typical romance, HEA books. They are all murder mysteries/crime drama/suspense stories.

The Jane Austen Murders

Death Between the Pages

VIndication

5 Comments

Filed under sunday snippet

#SundaySnippet – When #fakedating is acceptable…

So tomorrow my book CHANCE ( LAST MAN STANDING #12) releases into the book reading world and I figured I’d give you one more chance ( see what I did there! LOL) to determine if you’d like to read the entire book.

Today’s snippet goes to the heart of the #fakedating premise of the book between Freddie and Chance.

Enjoy…

When he laid it all out she had to admit, the idea was pretty out there.

“I know it’s a last-minute request and I totally understand if you don’t want to say yes. But I really want you to say yes.”

“I don’t know,” she said, biting down on a corner of her lip. “It’s kind of…deceitful, isn’t it?”

“In a way. But for the best of reasons. If they think I’m dating someone they’ll be happy for me and I’ll have the added benefit of them getting off their hook-me-up endeavors for a while. And believe me, I could use a break from that. There’s nothing worse than a grown man being set up by a bunch of elderly women with good intentions.”

“No, I don’t imagine there is.” She laughed.

“It’s only for one night,” he added. “Just to get through this party. There’s nothing else planned until my Aunt Theresa’s birthday in July and by then I’ll have figured something out to get them off my backs permanently.”

“That’s only three months away, you know.”

“Yeah, but I’m looking at it as three months reprieve where I won’t be harassed with dating matchups.”

“Have you ever simply thought to tell them your views on marriage? Marriage for you, in particular?”

“The cousins—their kids—yes. But they’re all married, too. I’ve never said outright to the aunts that I don’t want to get married. I’m afraid a few of them would have heart attacks or start invoking my mother’s name as a way to ward off whatever bedevilment they think has possessed me. Their definition of a happy life is a happy wife and kids for every man they know. It’s their…generation’s, I guess, way of thinking.”

Freddie nodded. “My mother’s a little younger than your aunts, I think, but she feels the same way.”

She sat back and stared at him for a moment.

“Say I say yes—”

“Please do.”

She rolled her eyes. “Say I agree to go with you as your, what? Fake girlfriend?”

He nodded.

“What are you gonna tell them about me? About how we met?”

“The truth is always the best way to avoid issues,” he said. “You own and manage the coffee bar in my office building. We met and hit if off, decided to date.”

“What happens if they ask if I’ve ever been married? If I have any kids?”

“Tell them whatever you’re comfortable with. You don’t need to lie—”

“Good, since we’ll already be lying about our relationship.”

He frowned. “I guess I don’t consider it lying as much as I think of it as a way to keep the aunts out of my hair for a bit.”

She nodded. “What would you expect me to do?”

He shrugged. “Whatever girlfriends do when they meet their boyfriend’s relatives.” He raked his hands down his face, then readjusted his glasses. “And I can’t believe I’m describing myself that way at my age.”

“You’ve got a few years left in you,” she said with a grin.

Intrigued? I hope so!!! Peg

2 Comments

Filed under sunday snippet

#SundaySnippet – CHANCE a #LMS coming soon

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but since CHANCE is releasing on 9.12, I thought I should… lol

CHANCE ( LAST MAN STANDING)

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?

Enjoy….

Even though she wasn’t nervous, the sensation of Chance’s fingers resting on her back offered a strange sense of calm and comfort.

The moment they entered the ballroom the sound level, which she’d felt knocking against her chest from the intensity, slipped to a decided hush as all eyes turned toward them.

A tiny knife strike of fear slipped in and pierced her quiet mien.

Chance’s fingers pressed against her back. “Breathe,” he murmured. “The way to handle them is to never let them see you sweat.”

She grinned at his word choice.  Jimmy had said the same thing to her the first time she’d met his friends at the firehouse. Her usual state of calm bolted back.

A striking woman in a blue floor length dress and who had six inches and about forty years on her, crossed the length of the room, a man in a tuxedo clutching her hand and tagging along with her.

“Well, as usual you’re late,” the woman said, a huge, pleased smile on her face as she offered her cheek to Chance for a kiss.

He did so, saying, “You look lovely, Aunt Betty. Uncle Louis.” He nodded at the man at her side.

His aunt’s gaze shot to Freddie. If she had to put a word to the expression dancing across the older woman’s face it would be expectant.

“Allow me to introduce Fredrika Poole,” Chance said. A millisecond later he added, “My girlfriend.”

Hearing him say it aloud shouldn’t have sent a delighted shiver up her spine, but it did. Before she could contemplate on why, the woman in front of them let out a screech of delight.

“Well, isn’t this the best surprise!” She let go of her husband’s hand and pulled both of Freddie’s into hers, cocooning them.

“Happy Anniversary,” Freddie said with a smile.

“Thank you. Over fifty years with this man and every one has been better than the last.” The man at her side grinned then kissed her cheek. “But enough about us,” she said turning her full attention back to her. “Tell me, how did you two meet? Was it at work? How long have you been dating? What do you do? Are you a lawyer, too?”

Freddie blinked a few times, unsure of which question to answer first and afraid more were going to be thrown her way before she could give a reply to even one.

“Down, girl,” Chance said as he slid her hands from his aunt’s grip. “You have all night to grill her. We just got here and I’d like to make the rounds, say hello to everyone and introduce her around. Okay?”

His aunt tossed him a peeved pout, then shook her head and grinned.  “Always have to be in control,” she said, clucking her tongue. To Freddie she said, “You probably already know that about him, though, don’t you dear? The original Mr. In Charge, that’s our Chancey-boy.”

Freddie hid the grin she wanted to let loose from the look on Chance’s face. Part embarrassed, part annoyed, and one hundred percent adorably miffed male grimaced next to her.

“Go on, then,” Betty said. “Go show your girl off. But don’t forget your favorite aunt. I want to hear all the deets, as my grandkids say, later on. I’m not letting you leave this party without knowing everything about you,” she said to Freddie.

“Yes ma’am,” Freddie replied.

“Terrified yet?” Chance whispered as he took her arm and propelled her toward a group of people close to their own age.

She tried not to think about how natural his hand felt against her skin as she said, “It takes a whole lot more than an aunt who shows her love by being nosy to scare me, Chancey-boy,” she said, trying to keep the grin from her face.

When he squeezed her arm and said, “I’ll pay you back for calling me that by introducing you to Aunt Theresa next. The FBI and CIA have her on speed dial because of her interrogation techniques.”

“Bring it.”

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Hey, everyone. This is Freddie.”

The impossibly boorish introduction made her gape at him and then laugh out loud. She needn’t have worried about it, though, because he was immediately chastised by every female in the group.

Names were thrown at her from every direction, accompanied by warm and enthusiastic handshakes and smiles. Freddie glanced over at her date to see him engrossed in serious conversation with one of the most beautiful women she’d ever set eyes on. Long, shiny, deep auburn colored hair flowed freely about a perfectly heart-shaped face framed by robins-egg blue eyes and an upturned, pixie nose and jaw.

Without being told, she knew this was Chance’s sister, Sable. The curve of their jaws and the cut of their cheeks hinted at it, but when Sable pursed her perfect lips in a pout of confusion, she saw Chance’s face stare back at her.

The younger woman glanced over at her, her delicate eyebrows lifting at something her brother was saying.

Questions flew at her left and right. Chance hadn’t been kidding when he’d told her she’d be the topic of interest tonight simply because she’d come with him.

“You’re certainly an improvement over the last girl he brought around,” Moira – she thought that was the name – said. “You actually make eye contact and smile,” she added.

“And you look like you have a brain,” said another. Kitty, maybe?

“Thanks,” she said, adding a crooked smile. “I think.”

“How long have the two of you been going out?” This one she couldn’t put a name to.

“Not long,” she replied, purposefully being vague.

“Where’d ya meet?” Moira again.

“I own the coffee station in the building Chance works in. We met by accident when he was on the receiving end of a thrown coffee cup.”

Eyebrows lifted and mouths pulled into delighted grins as she explained his client’s ex and her tirade.

“I would have paid cash money to see that,” the one whose name she couldn’t remember said.

“All of us would have. So,” Kitty said, “you came to his rescue and what? He asked you out?”

“Something like that.” She smiled when she saw him leave his sister and stride back toward their group.

“Okay, kids, that’s enough,” Chance said as he slipped a hand around her arm. “I want a drink and something to eat and I’m sure Freddie does, too.  You can continue the grilling later.”

“We weren’t grilling her, Chancy-boy.” This from Kitty.

As he turned, Moira sniggered. “Should I have the waiters serve coffee now, or wait until later?”

Chance stumbled a bit while moving her away from the group, but didn’t respond to his cousin.

Gently, he tugged her toward the buffet table. “You told them?”

“They asked how we met. I wasn’t going to lie.”

His theatrical sigh pulled a grin from her.

“You can bet by the end of the night everyone in this room will know the story. My family is like a bad game of telephone.”

8 Comments

Filed under sunday snippet

#SundaySnippet #PNR #Ghosts THE HAUNTING OF WILTON JUNE

I know reviews for this story are all over the spectrum, but I just love the chemistry between Will and Jerica in THE HAUNTING OF WILTON JUNE.

“Have you ever been in a house that’s supposed to be haunted?”

Her eyes widened to the size of soda bottle tops and her cheeks paled, highlighting the raven color of her hair and brows. The fine tremor he’d noted in her hands before intensified.

“Hau-haunted?”

Even her voice changed, the timbre elevating almost to a Betty-Boop-screech.

“Yeah. If you haven’t, let me tell you the energy you feel in a house with a spirit is like no other you’ve ever felt. It’s like a cold wind invading your bones. One minute your body temperature is normal, the next all the hair on your body is standing at attention and your skin feels as if a thousand ants are crawling all over it. It’s an eerie sensation for sure and one you don’t soon forget.”

“You believe in,” she swallowed, “ghosts?”

“One hundred percent. I’ve seen proof they exist.”

She stared at him a few beats and he’d give anything to know what was behind her piercing gaze.
“And you’re not… you weren’t… scared?”

“Down to my toes,” he admitted, grinning. “But it was amazing, too.”

“How?”

“How was it amazing?”

She nodded.

“Well, for one thing, it made me a believer. Most people aren’t and when you mention you know ghosts or spirits exist, they look at you like you need to be seen by the nearest shrink and then committed. My brother-in-law is a psychic phenomena junkie. In fact, he’s the reason I believe. Do you?”

“Do I what?”

He grinned across the table at her. “Believe in ghosts and goblins and things that go bump in the night?”
 

2 Comments

Filed under sunday snippet

#SundaySnippet Take a CHANCE on this confirmed bachelor; #preorder #LastManStanding #fakedating

From my soon-to-be-released LAST MAN STANDING addition to the series, CHANCE.

“The trash gets picked up at midnight,” she told him, apologetically, as she led him to an ancient Volkswagen Beetle, the two front fenders different colors.

“How old is your car?” he asked when she popped the front trunk open.

“A hundred and thirty-thousand miles old.” She started placing the containers inside the spacious trunk. “But still running, isn’t a gas guzzler, and has the added benefit of being paid for.”

Chance helped her stack the remaining boxes. When they were done she slammed the hood down, turned to him and said, “Thanks,” with a smile that took his breath away.

He nodded, looked up, then down the alley.  “What time do you get here in the morning?”

“Around six. It’s usually light by then. I can get everything up and running before Lindsey comes at seven and we open.”

He nodded again.

“Well, thanks for the help,” she said. “Can I drop you somewhere? I’m heading downtown, but I can reroute if you need a lift. Or do you drive to work every day?”

He glanced down at her car. He wasn’t even sure he’d be able to sit in the front seat without tilting his head to the side. “I don’t have a car in the city. It’s too stressful driving into work every day and my job’s got enough of that already attached to it.”

She cocked her head and a thought popped into the front of his head. 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?”

Way to go, Chance. You never even considered she might be 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 in 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 across his face.

Happy reading, peeps. ~ Peg

7 Comments

Filed under Last Man Standing

#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

7 Comments

Filed under Last Man Standing, sunday snippet

#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

2 Comments

Filed under Renewal

#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

6 Comments

Filed under sunday snippet

#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

3 Comments

Filed under sunday snippet