Tag Archives: #teaserthursday

#TeaserThursday from Mistletoe, Mobsters, & Mozzarella

With just 1 week to go before Mistletoe, Mobsters, & Mozzarella releases into the book reading world, I figured I’d give you one last look between the pages to whet your Holiday reading appetites! hee hee. In this scene, Uncle Sonny proves why he’s such an intimidating – yet lovable – character.

 

Angelo pulled back his shoulders and gave my uncles what I figured was his I mean business cop glare as he walked back out.

“Ange is actin’ too big for his britches these days,” Uncle Joey said once we were alone.

“What’s going on here?” Uncle Sonny asked, adopting his typical intimidating stance: his knee length wool coat drawn to his sides as his hands shot into the back pockets of his trousers, shoulders tight, chin dropped, and rocking back and forth on his feet. I’d witnessed this power posture often while growing up, usually when one of my brothers or cousins needed to be taken in hand and Sonny was the adult in the room in charge of dishing out discipline.

Tony ignored the question, his attention, instead, focusing back on my father.

“I assume you called them?” he asked.

“I did,” I said, wanting my father to be absolved of all blame and therefore not subjected to scrutiny. Tony said he knew I hadn’t killed Chico, but he never said anything about my father not being a suspect, though, only that he was honest. Honest people commit murder the same as crooks do. Given enough incentive, anyone could.

“After I told her to,” my father said, shunting a steely eye my way.

“Daddy—”

“I don’t hear nobody answerin’ my question,” Sonny said. I had to stifle a giggle at the sixty-something bear of a man sporting a petulant pout like my toddler nephews did when they didn’t get their way.

It was apparent in the way he continued to ignore my uncle Tony wasn’t a man easily intimidated. With his attention still on my father, he asked, “You’re sure Chico never got any visitors here at the store, anyone he had to, say, go take a break with? Something out of the ordinary like that?”

My father shook his head.

“Donna?”

“Nothing. Like I said, he was a good worker, never gave us any trouble, and I didn’t know anything personal about him.” Which, considering the current situation, now felt so sad to me.

“Okay. I’m gonna have to ask you to leave the store after you show me that parking lot footage. The crime techs need to sweep the place and we don’t want anyone trampling on any evidence more than already has.”

Uncle Sonny looked as if he was going to say something, but I cut him off before he could. There was something I wanted to give a voice to.

“When can we open the store? I know it sounds a heartless, but we are running a business here and people are depending on us.”

“That’s not gonna happen today. For now, you two need to know the deli has to stay closed at a minimum three days—”

“We can’t afford to stay closed for three days during the holiday rush,” I cried.

“You’re gonna have to. Your store is an active crime scene and can’t be released until I know what’s what. I’m sorry, but that’s it.”

“You don’t sound sorry at all,” I said, then mimicked my uncle’s pout.

“It is what it is, Donna. Now, do you two want me to have an officer escort you home?”

“We’ll take them,” Uncle Joey said. “They should be with family.”

“Come on, little girl,” Daddy took my arm. “Get that footage for Tony, then we got calls to make and we’d better get started.” To Tony he asked, “You’ll keep us in the loop? Let us know when we can reopen?”

“That’s a promise.”

And I knew that statement for the lie it was.

He’d made me a promise he’d call me after those seven minutes of heaven in his back seat.

My phone had never rung.

Intrigued? you’ve got a few days left to preorder it!!!! Let me make it easy…here ya go: MMM

And did you know I’ve also got A Goodreads Giveaway for 1 of 3 print and autographed copies going on right now? You can enter here: MMMGoodreadsGiveaway

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

 

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#TeaserThursday

I’m waiting on copy edits for my third book in the MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series, BAKED WITH LOVE, but while I wait, here’s a little something from Maureen O’Dowd’s perspective….

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

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

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

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

“—if it was with you.”

My hand stopped rubbing the porcelain.

Okay, what?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You’re gonna have a goose egg.”

“And whose fault is that?” I mumbled.

“Better get some ice on it, fast.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I may have moaned.

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

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

“Dad?”

We both blinked at the sound.

“What’s going on?”

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

“There’s a cold pack in there,” I said, stepping back when Lucas finally freed his hold on me.

He stood, immobile and silent, in front of me while his son set about his task.

I’d give anything to know what he was thinking, but his expression had gone back to its usual relaxed one. His body, though, remained stiff and tense.

Robert handed me the cold pack and said, “Here.” When he glanced at my forehead, he added, “Ouch. Dad, you hurt her.”

“It’s nothing,” I said, wrapping the pack in the dishtowel I still held in one hand. I placed it against the throbbing ache I now felt on my head and winced. “Okay, ouch is right. But it was an accident, Bobby-Boy.”

I wanted to alleviate the troubled expression on his face, so I added, lifting my lips in what I hope was a comical smirk, “Your father’s got a head like a rock. No surprise, there.”

My quip hit its intended mark as both of the men in my kitchen grinned. Lucas’s shoulders finally relaxed, and the ghost of a sigh slid from him.

They left shortly thereafter with Lucas promising to have his son to work on time in the morning.

Intrigued? I’ll put up release dates and a cover when I have them. Until then, be well, peeps.

and look for me here: Follow me

 

 

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#TeaserThursday

Summer isn’t quite over YET, so here’s a little something from my Summer Romance VANILLA WITH A TWIST, one of the One Scoop or Two novellas that dropped this summer from the Wild Rose Press.

Today, an intro to Tandy’s favorite ice cream flavor….

Watching him work was both hypnotic and stimulating. He was the most methodical man she’d ever been around, which was saying something since her father invented the word.

While he’d removed the back and front panels of the machine, Deacon had asked, “So why an ice cream shop?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why do you own this place? I meant to ask yesterday but you got called away before I could. Hand me the Phillips head, please.”

She did. “My family runs a dairy farm. Have for three generations. My grandmother used to make her own ice cream from the fresh milk when we were kids and I loved watching and helping her when I was old enough. She only shared what she made with the family, though. When I decided to branch out on my own and leave the farm, making ice cream was the first thing that popped into my head.”

With the panels off, he crouched behind the machine, a different tool in his hand.

“Did you work on the farm, too, when you were a kid?”

“Not as much as my brothers. The physical work of running it, according to my father, was a man’s domain. The females were relegated to the house and allowed to tend the smaller animals like the chickens.”

Tandy rolled her eyes at the antiquated notions she’d been reared with.

“Sounds a little, I don’t know? Chauvinistic maybe, in this day and age?”

“Did and still does. My brothers manage the farm now and they would never think of letting a woman help out, no matter that I’m strong and can hold my own, physically. It’s all men’s work according to them. Their attitude was one of the reasons I left home. The idea of cooking, cleaning, and waiting on my father and brothers and not do anything productive with my life was a motivating force in propelling me into business.”

She held back the secondary reason. He didn’t need to know anything about that.

Deacon reached out a hand and said, “Can you hand me the wrench?”

Once he had it, he said, “Good for you. You’re able to run a successful business doing something you love, which is rare. Not everyone can.”

His words and affirmation warmed her. She did love it and told him so.

“It’s cool coming up with new flavors, trying them out, seeing if they’ll be a hit or a miss. Ice cream is much more versatile than most people think.”

Gah. She sounded like she was giving a sales pitch.

If Deacon though her comments dry and boring, he gave no indication.

“What’s your favorite?” he asked as he continued to work on the underside of the machine.

“I’ll give you one guess.”

His quiet laugh flowed upward, tickled her ears – and a few other places as well.

“Vanilla?”

“Got it in one. It’s the all-around easiest taste to combine with.”

“So tell me the flavor combo you love most.”

She didn’t even need a moment to consider. Tandy had devised hundreds of combinations over the eight years she’d owned the shop and she’d forgotten more than she remembered. But her all time favorite was one she’d devised on a whim one rainy Saturday night when she was feeling blue.

“Nutty ‘Nilla,” she told him.

There was a smile in his voice when he said, “I love alliteration.”

“Me too, because it’s easy to remember.”

“So what does Nutty ‘Nilla consist of? Vanilla for sure, right?”

“Yeah. I combine crunchy peanut butter with vanilla ice cream, then add in crushed shelled peanuts, a flavor shot of peanut oil, and top it off with salted popcorn kernels. One spoonful and I feel like I’m sitting at a big top circus.”

She closed her eyes and sighed. “One taste and you can hear the excited rumble of the crowd as they watch a trapeze act, or the roar of the lions as they’re put through their paces by a trainer. I haven’t made it yet this summer because I’ve been so busy. Plus, when I do make it, I tend to eat more of it than I sell, so there’s that.”

Deacon sat up and tossed the wrench into the box. A streak of oil slashed across his cheek and his shirt was a mess of dust and grime. He was dressed in preppy vacation clothes, but right now he looked more like a hot car mechanic than a Wall Street businessman. Tandy found that although she liked the successful corporate guy, she preferred the laborer.

Intrigued? You can get your own copy here: Universallink

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

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#TeaserThursday 8.27.2020 A recipe from BAKED WITH LOVE, Book 3 in A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

So all this week I’ve been doing edits on book 3 in the MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series, BAKED WITH LOVE. In the book there are several references to Maureen O’Dowd’s Insomnia cookies – the ones she bakes at 2 am when she can’t sleep. I figured it would be a good idea to share that recipe with cookie lovers to whet your romance reading appetite for the book which I’m hoping will be released this year.

Here’s a quick tease/reference to the cookies from the book, followed by the cookies themselves. And just incase you don’t think I really bake in real life, I’ve included a few photos from a batch of insomnia cookies I made on Tuesday when I was home cooking for my parents.

Enjoy!

When I pulled into the inn, I spotted a familiar car in one of the private spaces I kept for family. The sound of laughter rang out from my kitchen.

“How come I didn’t know we were having a party?” I said when I came into the room.

My sisters were sitting at my table, each with a cup in front of them, the tin of insomnia cookies opened and on the table between them. Robert was at the sink, washing dishes, as Sarah pulled something from the oven.

“Where have you been?” Cathy had one of Colleen’s swollen feet in her lap and was massaging it.

“I had an errand to run,” I said, sneaking a side-glance at Robert’s back. “Why are you two here?”

“I wanted to check to see if everything was set for Friday’s event,” Colleen said.

“You couldn’t just call? Or send Charity? Slade specifically said he doesn’t want you driving alone at this phase.”

“He’s not the boss of me.” She pouted then reached in to the jar and brought out two more cookies. “He’s treating me like I’m the first woman ever to have a baby. I’m pregnant, not infirm or useless. And I’ve got a business to run.”

“He’s worried about you, sis. This is your first baby. His too. He gets to be overprotective if he wants.”

“Says who? I’m the one carrying around a basketball the size of Montana in my body, not him.”

“It says so in the marriage rules,” I told her. “First-time fathers are allowed to be a little overbearing and overprotective of their pregnant spouses.”

The pout morphed to a tiny grin. “I must have missed that chapter.”

“Most likely wasn’t listed in your Cliff Notes edition.”

“Must be. Besides, Cathy drove. I merely thumbed a ride and rode shotgun when she said she was headed here.”

I drew my attention to my oldest sister, lifted my eyebrows, and tilted my head.

“Any reason in particular? Or where you just craving cookies?” I asked when she pulled a handful from the jar as Colleen had and put them on her plate.

“Don’t chide me. I’m stress-eating,” she mumbled around the cookie. “There are a million details running through my brain, and I’m petrified I’m gonna forget something. Between work, this wedding, and getting everything settled for the two weeks we’ll be gone, I’m going crazy. I don’t remember being so stressed and nervous the first time I got married,” she added after swallowing.

Maureen’s Insomnia Sugar Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose white flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into squares

1 cup + 2 tbsp white granulated sugar

2 tbsp light brown sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup white granulated sugar (for rolling)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, into a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and both sugars together in a large mixing bowl on medium speed until light in color and fluffy.

Add the egg and mix until well combined.
Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time and mix until the dough is well formed. Do not overmix.

Using a tablespoon-sized scoop, scoop cookie dough into individual pieces. Gently roll each into a ball with your hands, then roll each ball in white sugar to coat.

Put the balls on the baking sheet 2 inches apart. Cookies will spread once they heat, and you want them to have room to do so without touching one another.
Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes, but do not overbake. Remove just before the edges begin to turn golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a baking rack for at least 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

When I’m not baking you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// BookMe  //Watch me

For a complete listing of my books, you can search here: Peggy Jaeger, Author

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#TeaserThursday A little something from BAKED WITH LOVE

While BAKED WITH LOVE, my book 3 installment to the MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series is with my editor for a final round, here’s a little something about Maureen O’Dowd and her motivation for keeping silent on her love for Lucas I want to share. Secrets run deep in this family, and Maureen holds the biggest one close to the vest.

“Robert wants to come with us tomorrow. I mean, if you’re still willing to go shopping.” Lucas said when I came back. “When I told him about you helping me pick out a tux I realized he didn’t have any dress clothes with him. I want to get him something appropriate to wear to Cathy’s wedding. Okay with you? Can you spare him? I don’t want to leave you shorthanded.”

I grinned over at the boy in question. “I think the inn will survive without the both of us for a few hours, don’t you.”

One corner of his lips lifted. A tiny milk mustache lined his upper lip and he was so adorable I wanted to hug him. I loved this boy as much as if he were my own.

My heart pinged as I thought for the first time what it would be like if he were. Or if I had one of my own children to love and cherish. It was a dream I hadn’t allowed myself in several years.

Since Eileen’s diagnosis and subsequent death, I’d tossed out all thoughts of having my own family. The reason, to my mind, was a valid one. As twins we shared everything, the most important of which was our DNA. Eileen’s cancer had been rare, but as her genetic clone, such as it were, the fear the same cancer was somewhere looming about in me waiting to break free was always on my mind.

After Eileen’s diagnosis Cathy and Colleen had been tested to see if they carried the same rare genetic trait for the breast cancer she’d been afflicted with. Thankfully, they were both clear of it. I’d told them, when asked, I’d been tested too, which was a bold-faced lie, because I hadn’t.

The reason why not was easy: I was terrified of the results.

I knew in my head I should get tested to alleviate the worry not knowing caused. I even suspected that dread was the basis for all my sleepless nights. But the fear the test would confirm I was actually a carrier of the gene was so overpowering, every time I made an appointment to get tested, I canceled it.

By not knowing for certain whether or not I was afflicted I was able to convince myself all was well. By getting tested and possibly confirming the diagnosis, I was committing myself to a death sentence.

I’d argued with myself time after time if the disease were going to rear its head, it would have done so already, since everything else in our lives had coincided. We’d gotten our first tooth within days of one another; taken our first steps the same morning. We liked and disliked most of the same foods and each of us had an allergy to pineapple. My period had started three hours after Eileen’s. I’d been born four minutes after her, but my life had run along the same course as hers. Why wouldn’t the cancer do the same if it were, in fact, part of me? Eileen had been dead three years, and if the cancer were going to develop, conventional wisdom stated it would have by now.

And even knowing that, I still didn’t have the courage to be tested.

So many nights I’d stood in my kitchen, trying to bake away the anxiety. It was one of the main reasons I’d never told Lucas how I felt about him. It wasn’t fair to either of us for me to confess my love. I couldn’t start a romantic relationship with him, no matter how much I wanted to, for fear it would be ruined with a cancer potentiality.

The logical portion of my brain called me an idiot more times than I could remember, but I was leading with my heart here, and making most of my decisions based on emotions and not logic. I didn’t feel it was fair to Lucas or any man to face a lover’s illness and death. It was the same reason I’d opted out of ever having children. It wasn’t right to leave them without a mother.

So I’d kept my feelings to myself, content with having him in my life as a friend. Well, maybe content wasn’t the correct word. Satisfied didn’t seem appropriate, either, when I thought about it.

No cover or release date yet, but you know I’ll put them up as soon as I have them!

Here’s the mock-up cover I use when I’m writing to keep me in the mood:

 

As I’ve said before – my skillset is more words than graphics ( hee hee)

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

And don’t forget to visit me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// BookMe  //Watch me

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