Tag Archives: #SundaySnippet

#SundaySnippet 12.16.18

Since I’m currently on a blog tour for this book through Goddess Fish, it makes sense today’s little sumthin’ sumthin’ should come from Christmas and Cannolis, no?

Not everyone in the book is Italian/American. Connor’s uncle, Aiden Gilhooly, a son of Ireland, fills this scene with charm and an impish banter that is so delightful to the ears ( at least I think its! Hee Hee) that I can hear him speak every time I read his dialogue. Hope you can, too.

Our server returned with our food, cutting off what Connor was about to say. At the same time a tall, broad-shouldered and barrel-chested, well- dressed man of an age similar to my father’s sauntered over to our table. Connor slid out of the booth and was enveloped in behemoth arms and smacked on the back like a prodigal.

“It’s been too long, boyo,” the giant said. “Too long. You’re looking well. Busy?”

“Ridiculously.”

“Aye, that’s good then. Keep ya off the streets and outta trouble. And who’s this vision, now?” He stared down at our table, and I did a quick side glance to figure out who he was referring to. Vision is a word no one would apply to me. Ever.

“Regina San Valentino. She owns her own bakery and makes the most amazing things you will ever taste in your life.”

“Is that so? Well, it’s nice to meet you, young lady.” He reached a hand across the table, and mine completely disappeared in it. “Aiden Gilhooly, this young hooligan’s favorite uncle, is me name.”

“You’re my only uncle,” Connor said, shaking his head.

“And happy you should be about it, boyo.”

“Like I have a choice?”
It was impossible not to smile at the loving, playful banter between them. Aiden Gilhooly looked and sounded nothing like Connor. If he hadn’t told me they were related, I would never have guessed it. Both were tall, yes, but that’s where the similarity began and ended. Connor’s complexion was olive and swarthy, while his uncle’s was vampire pasty, as if he shunned sunlight at all costs. A mop of mostly white hair tinged with faded patches of pale red sat on a head as round as a pumpkin. Eyes so blue they were almost transparent peeked out from under wooly white eyebrows while fat freckles danced across his nose and chubby cheeks.

If I’d thought Connor’s heritage was anything other than full-blown Irish before now, meeting this uncle who had Ireland stamped across his features surely would have put an end to that thought.

“This is my place,” Aiden said, a cheek-wide smile beaming at me. “And welcome you are, Miss San Valentino.”

“Reggie,” I said, smiling back at him. “All my friends call me Reggie.”

“And it’s delighted I am to be thought one.” He brought my hand to his lips and kissed my knuckles. Charm was stacked into this family’s genes by the fistful.
“Now, boyo, sit yourself back down and eat before it gets cold.” He motioned for a waiter and held up an index finger. When Connor was seated back next to me, Aiden pulled a chair from a nearby table and sat with us.

“I’ve been meaning to call,” Aiden said, “about that reservation app you set up for the place.”

“Trouble?”

“Not at all. In fact, quite the opposite. Revenue’s been up twelve percent since it went live. I’ve been meaning to call to thank ya for forcing me old keister into the twenty-first century.”

Connor’s gorgeous face split into the most devilish grin, and a shock of pure lust whipped through me making the space at the top of my thighs tingle. How was it possible that just moments before I’d been feeling depressed and miserable, but one look at this man’s mirthful face and those feelings dissipated, to be replaced by sensations I hadn’t felt in forever?

Madonna.

I was glad I was sitting, my nether regions under the table. I was sure they were visibly quivering and shaking.

“It only took me, what?” Connor cocked his head as he laughed at his uncle. “Ten years of asking?”

“Pesterin’ and harassing me nonstop, is more the truth.”

“Well, I’m glad it worked.”

“Aye. Me, too, boyo.”

I simply adore Aiden. And Connor, Hell, everyone in the book is near and dear to my heart! Now for a little extra. Have you ever wondered what the author of a story intended you to hear when she wrote a scene? I have, so I’m giving you an example of how the voices in my head ( why does that sound so wrong to say?? Hee hee) sound when they speak to me.  Click on the following link and you’ll get to my You Tube page where I narrated a bit from the book. Regina’s Independence Scene.

and if you’re ever looking for me, I’m here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

And one more little extra for you: Christmas and Cannolis trailer: 

 

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

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

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

Photographer Gemma Laine is looking for arresting faces on the streets of Manhattan when her camera captures something shocking—a triple murder. In that moment, she becomes a target for the mob—and a top priority for a very determined, breathtakingly handsome, FBI special agent. With deadlines to meet and photo shoots on her calendar, Gemma chafes at the idea of protection, but every moment she spends under his watchful eye is a temptation to lose herself in his muscular arms . . .
With two of his men and one crucial witness dead, Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos can’t afford to be distracted. But Gemma is dazzling—and her connection to Kandy Laine’s high-profile cooking empire makes her an especially easy mark for some very bad people. Keeping her safe is much more pleasure than business, but as the heat between them starts to sizzle, Ky is set to investigate whether they have a shot at love . . .

“Miss Laine?”

She tucked the phone into her back pocket.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Look, Agent PappaJohn—”

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

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

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

Before she could protest again, he stopped.

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

“Sure, Papps.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    

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

 

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

Shameless self promotion, thy name is Peggy.

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

Here are Josh and Kandy…..

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

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

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

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

It was Gemma who answered. “Yes.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Made him how?” Kandy asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How so?”

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

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

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

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

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

He returned her smile, glad he could help.

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

It was a moment before he trusted himself to speak.

“I aim to please.”

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

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

 

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#SundaySnippet 11.25.18

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

Here’s a little of Regina’s backstory…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Nook

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

Hope’s Dream ( Deerbourne Inn Novella)

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

All my titles are available here: Book Links and here

 

 

 

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#SundaySnippet 11.18.18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, like that was ever gonna happen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Why?”

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

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

“Well?”

“I’m thinking.”

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

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

“You think she’ll like it?”

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

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

The fork stopped on its ascent to my mouth.

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

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

Before turning around, I took a mental breath.

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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#SundaySnippet 11.11.18

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

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

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

“Sure.”

“Why does your grandmother call you Number Two?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I nodded.

“Cute.”

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

“She’s not a fan of your names?”

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

“Did you get teased a lot in school?”

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

“Kids are brutal. At any age.”

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

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

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

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

His gaze studied me for a moment.

“What?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#SundaySnippet 10.21.18

So this weeks selection is from my last holiday release A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. The reason I’m going back in time here is to get you (hopefully!) ramped up for the next San Valentino Holiday release, CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS, which comes out on 12.12.18. Both stories are stand-alones – you don’t need to read the first to enjoy the second – but really, this family is so crazy and so much fun, you should read them all anyway! But that’s just my opinion…hee hee.

“Gia, I know a guy who’s looking for a numbers person,” Uncle Sonny said. “A new business venture he’s putting together on the Lower West Side. One of those trendy cybercafes. Frou-frou coffees with names no one can pronounce, big-ass muffins and breads and stuff. He could use someone with a math brain like yours to help him with the books and the spreadsheets. I could put a good word in his ear for ya.”

He was seated across the table from me, his bright blue suspenders sitting over his old-as-sin, used-to-be- white, wife-beater tee. The only time Uncle Sonny ever wore an actual shirt was when he left the house. Any time he was inside, no matter whose house it was—his own or someone else’s—he removed his dress shirt, electing to be comfortable in his undershirt and pants. The suspenders were a necessary item, not a sartorial statement, because he’d gained some substantial weight in the past few years and hated the wincing feeling of a belt around his ever-expanding waistline. His pants hung underneath his bulging abdomen and would have fallen to the floor if not anchored by the suspenders.

Before I could respond, Mama beat me to it.

“Salvatore San Valentino.” Her voice rose to a pitch that could summon dogs. “You will not give my bambina’s name to any of your wise-guy friends, do I make myself clear?”

“Frankie, honey,” Sonny said, all sweetness and light oozing from his voice, a smile Nonna always termed oily across his mouth. “No worries. This guy’s legit.”

“No one you know is legit,” she shot back, rising and moving around the table with the filled pasta bowl to give refills.
She slapped a wooden spoon the size of a cup measure onto my brother Gianni’s plate with a thwack. “It’s bad enough everything you own fell off a truck.” She moved onto my youngest brother, Edoardo’s plate. Thwack. “And that you associate with people on police wanted lists.” On to Antonio. Another thwack. “But you’re Joey’s brother, so I overlook all that.” Thwack onto Nonna’s plate—although she hadn’t eaten any of her first pasta round yet. “But I draw the line when you want to involve my baby girl in the businesses of your low-life, crooked friends.”

With a final thwack to Daddy’s plate, she slammed the bowl, which was almost as wide as she was, back onto the table and picked up the gravy boat.

“Who wants sauce?” she snapped, her crystal-blue gaze flitting with anger around the table.

“Here, Mama.” Chloe’s husband, Matt, stood and took the antique piece of imported Italian china from her. “I’ll do it. You sit. Eat. You must be tired from working at the church all day and then making this wonderful meal for us all.”

Gently, he nudged the gravy bowl from her hands, charming her with his dashing smile and melted- chocolate-colored eyes.

Unable to resist smiling back at him—he was after all the golden son-in-law since he was a doctor and had given her two more grandchildren to fawn over—Mama patted his cheeks. “You’re such a good boy, Matteo. I’m so happy my Chloe married you.”

From next to me, I heard my brother Paolo mutter, “Suck up,” and I choked a laugh into my napkin.

Peggy here: God, I love this family!!!!

Buy links:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Barnes and Nobel // Google books // Kobo 

also available in audio!


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#SundaySnippet 10.14.18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What gave me away?”

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

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

“Anything else?”

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

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

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

This definitely sounded like flirting, but…

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

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

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

Buy Links for Hope’s Dream

 

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#SundaySnippet 10.7.18 HOPE’S DREAM ( A Deerbourne Inn Novella)

Here’s another little sumthin’ sumthin’ from the upcoming 11.5.18 release of HOPE’S DREAM (A Deerbourne Inn Novella) This little snippet is a very telling one about the relationship between Hope and her mother, Casey.

Hope had had every intention of telling Tyler she was busy again tonight when he’d asked her to dinner, and if weren’t for her mother’s quick butt-in response, she would have. Instead she’d been forced to agree because she couldn’t come up with a legitimate excuse not to fast enough.

Okay, that wasn’t true either, because she’d been torn between wanting to have dinner with him and afraid of what might happen if she did. It had been so long since Hope went on anything resembling a date she wasn’t prepared for the anxiety pouring through her.

That unease had grown when she considered what she should wear. Her choices were limited since most of her clothes were ski related or T-shirts and jeans for working at the tavern. It had been Casey’s idea to tug the long forgotten sweater set from the back of the closet, bought when Hope was in college, and wear it with a pair of dress trousers she’d purchased ages ago.

Since she hardly ever wore makeup, she’d thought to leave her face clean and clear, her hair pulled back in a casual ponytail. Casey nixed both those ideas, insisting her daughter style her beautiful tresses and at least wave some mascara across her pale eyelashes.

“Are you sure you wouldn’t like to reconsider and go instead of me?” Hope asked, hands fisted on her hips. “You’re more excited about this dinner than I am.”

Casey’s smile was animated and bright—two things Hope hadn’t seen for quite some time. If for no other reason than the look on her mother’s face, she was glad she’d acquiesced to dinner.

“I’m excited for you.” Casey rummaged through Hope’s bag of slim makeup choices. “He’s handsome, pleasant, and it’s no secret he’s into you.”

“Mom.” Hope shook her head and tossed a puzzled glare at her mother. “How do you even know what that means?”

From her seat in the wheelchair, Casey straightened her spine and regarded her daughter with a haughty glare. “What do you think I do all day while you’re at work? I watch enough celebrity news shows and daytime talk shows to be up on millennial-speak. I know who’s hooking up with whom in Hollywood, and what housewife is currently under investigation. I’m a treasure trove of up-to-the minute gossip and hot topics of the day.”

Hope pulled the mascara wand away from her face, stared down at her mother with her mouth open, and then blinked. “Millennial-speak?”

Casey’s superior look turned regal. “You know what I mean. And it’s been way too long, Hope, since you did something other than work and take care of me.”

“I like doing those things.”

“Well, you deserve to have some fun, too. Be spoiled. Be treated like you’re special. This man obviously likes you.”

“He liked the way I skied. And I can’t believe you’re okay with me going out with him when I don’t know anything about him.”

Not necessarily true, her head countered. You know he kisses like a dream, makes your insides feel like they’re free-falling off a mountain ledge, and when he looks at you with such focus and concentration, a sensation of being the only girl on the planet washes through you.

“The definition of what dating is,” Casey said. “To find out about the other person you’re attracted to.”

“I’m not attracted to Tyler.”

Liar .

“I’m not going to even dignify that with a response.” Casey rolled her wheelchair to Hope’s closet. “Now. What are you going to wear on your feet?”

With her outfit decided, Hope kissed her mother’s cheek and promised she’d be back early.

“Don’t cut the date short on my account,” Casey had told her, practically shoving her out the door.

Preorder links:

Amazon  // The Wild Rose Press // Barnes and Noble // Apple

And look for the Origination story to the Deerbourne Inn, BY RESERVATION ONLY  by Barbara Edwards, releasing 10.8.18

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Sunday Snippet 9.30.18


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

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

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

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

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

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

They both went stone still at the contact.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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