Tag Archives: #TWRP #WRPBks

SWEET SENTIMENTS – a One Scoop or Two delicious pairing!

It’s so exciting when a publisher does something – just because! – that makes your day. Recently, THE WILD ROSE PRESS paired several of the One Scoop or Two books up into print anthologies, and I was blessed enough to be one of the authors who had their book put into this format!!

Vanilla with a Twist was my addition to the One Scoop or Two series and now it’s paired with WRP sistah AMEY ZEIGLER’s book, SUMMER OF SUNDAES. Both are in this lovely print version, titled SWEET SENTIMENTS. You can only purchase the book from the WILD ROSE PRESS – or from me ( I am offering a discounted price!!!!) I have copies that I am selling direct to readers who want them. Just reach out to me via Facebook Messanger at Peggy Jaeger, Author

Here are the blurbs for both books:
VANILLA WITH A TWIST

Tandy Blakemore spends her days running her New England ice cream parlor, single-parenting her teenage son, and trying to keep her head above financial water. No easy feat when the shop’s machinery is aging and her son is thinking about college. Tandy hasn’t had a day off in a decade and wonders if she’ll ever be able to live a worry-free life.
Engineer Deacon Withers is on an enforced vacation in the tiny seaside town of Beacher’s Cove. Overworked, stressed, and lonely, he walks into Tandy’s shop for a midday ice cream cone and gets embroiled in helping her fix a broken piece of equipment.
Can the budding friendship that follows lead to something everlasting?

SUMMER OF SUNDAES

After dropping out a semester short of college graduation, Bailey Madison inherits the management of her family’s struggling ice cream shop in Seward, Alaska. When Kingsley Tours needs her prime location to expand their business into the Last Frontier, Bailey must use her wits and creative ice cream recipes to save her shop.

Usually carefree and self-centered Brahms Kingsley must prove to his father he can buckle down and lead Kingsley Tours as the company grows. But how can he close Bailey’s shop when she still holds a place in his heart?

Brahms must choose between pleasing his father and earning the love of a woman he never forgot.

Get both books for the price of 1!!

And just as an FYI – books make GREAT HOLIDAY GIFTS to the romance reader on your list!!! Heehee

 

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A new #DeerbourneInn novella from #Author Maria Imbalzano; A SONG FOR ANOTHER DAY

 

 

I’ve been so excited to feature my Wild Rose Press sistahs who’ve written for the Deerbourne Inn series. Today is no exception. I met Maria Imbalzano at the New Jersey RWA conference a few years ago and I knew the moment I met her she was gonna be a fab writing friend to have!! I’m so pleased to spotlight Maria today  here, along with her new addition to the series, A SONG FOR ANOTHER DAY ( and isn’t this cover, divine!!!!)

Gigi Jenson, an up-and-coming Broadway star, finds herself in Willow Springs, Vermont, for the summer as director of their first annual community revue. This sleepy town is worlds away from her vibrant and beloved New York City, but the experience she’ll gain will be invaluable to her career.

Jason Simmons has lived in Willow Springs his entire life. Working several jobs while writing music, he yearns for a contract to record his songs. The one chance he had to make it in Nashville he blew due to stage fright.

When Jason volunteers to help Gigi with the revue, sparks ignite but their dreams are taking them in different directions. Will their love for each other ever guide them to the same path?

Excerpt

“Are you ready to run screaming back to the city?”

Jason’s voice curled around her from the left, and she turned to see him planted on a bench beneath an old oak tree, his long jeans-clad legs stretched before him, arms snaked over the wooden back, as if to hold him up. He was too attractive for her own good.

She strode over to him. “So you think I’m a lightweight? That I can’t handle a hundred forty-nine participants in a community revue?”

The lazy grin on his mouth did funny things to her insides, and she couldn’t contain her growing smile.

“Once you shed your glossy outer layer, you’ll fit in better. People will warm up to you.”

She lost the smile. “People here don’t like me?”

“I didn’t say that. I just heard some comments around town today that they were looking for this revue to be fun. But the city woman in charge was all business, focusing on commitments and rules.”

She straightened her spine and clenched her jaw. “How can we have a successful revue if the townspeople don’t hear from me that their commitment to rehearsals is key, especially since we’re throwing them together to do something they’ve never done before?”

His eyes sparkled with amusement. “I’m just suggesting that you tone it down a notch. Make it fun. Exciting. The participants are already committed.” He unfolded his long, lean body from the bench and stood. “And get rid of the suit and heels.”

He ambled away, heading toward Main Street.

And here she’d been thinking Jason might be as attracted to her as she was to him.

Clearly, she needed to stop thinking.

You can get your copy here:

Universal Link   Amazon   Barnes and Noble   Kobo     Apple    Google Play

A little about Maria Imbalzano…

Maria Imbalzano is a retired matrimonial lawyer who now writes full time. Instead of drafting motions, legal memoranda, and briefs, although fascinating, she now spends her days creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys through her contemporary romance novels.

In addition to writing fiction, Maria is on the Friends of Thomas Edison State University Foundation Committee and is still involved with Dress for Success Central Jersey, having been a founding Board member. She also serves on the finance committee for The Present Day Club. She has received the distinguished Family of Edison Award for her work with The Thomas Edison State University Foundation, the Iron Mike Professional Achievement Award from Trenton Catholic Academy and was inducted into the Italian American National Hall of Fame.

Her novel, “Unchained Memories,” won the Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers’ Award and the ACRA Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence Award. “Sworn to Forget,” the first of the four-book Sworn Sisters Series was a finalist for the illustrious RONE award as well as the Book Buyers Best Award.

Visit Maria at www.mariaimbalzano.com

And to check out all the Deerbourne Inn Novellas, visit the Wild Rose Press page for the series, here: DEERBOURNE INN

As an added bonus – here’s my review of A SONG FOR ANOTHER DAY. (Hint: I loved it!)

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HOME IN YOUR ARMS by Charlotte O’Shay – A Deerbourne Inn Novella

I’ve got one of my favorite authors – and people – visiting here today. CHARLOTTE O’SHAY is a one-click author for me for so many reasons, not the least of which is her amazeballs story telling talent. We are Wild Rose Press sistahs and I have been honored to meet and get to know her at several RWA conferences. Today, she’s visiting because she has a brand new release out, her second addition to the Deerbourne Inn series titled HOME IN YOUR ARMS.

I was lucky enough to read this book before it went into release and I can’t say enough about how much I loved the characters, the storyline, and the way Charlotte just draws me in every single time to one of her stories. I’m gonna turn the mic over to her now…

Charlotte, take it away.

When I asked Peggy Jaeger about visiting her blog to talk about my new release HOME IN YOUR ARMS, and after she delivered her enthusiastic, typically Peggy yes! we had an inevitable moment catching up with our lives and our families, virtually, of course because that’s the way we do everything these days… sigh.

We talked about our families—weddings and funerals, parents and grandchildren, the seasons, the weather, how we’re always looking for time, striving for more and trying to be better.

And when we got to the end of our exchange, and I thought about what I would say about my latest release, I realized our chat was exactly what HOME IN YOUR ARMS is all about.

HOME IN YOUR ARMS is a romance but it’s also about finding one’s life and one’s self again. It’s about recognizing grief must have its time but if you let it, love will find a way back into your life. It’s about forgiving people—family and friends who mean well and accepting they are only being themselves with their own burdens to shoulder. It’s about mourning but recognizing it’s okay to dance again, it’s okay to hope, to look forward, make plans, create a future.

Karla & Zane are two people who meet when the time is finally right for them. They fight their attraction, they’re united in their loyalty, believing all sorts of things, but mainly that they’re undeserving of another chance at happiness. HOME IN YOUR ARMS is about how they understand, eventually, it’s okay to open themselves to love and romance, that it’s okay to be happy again.

It’s no wonder I felt compelled to quote from Ecclesiastes in one of the last chapters of the book. “To everything there is a season…”

Check me out on social media and let me know what you think of Karla and Zane’s story.

BLURB

After her sweetheart Joe dies in a road accident, twenty-four hours after he returns from Army service, grieving Karla Payne slams the door on love.
Five years later, Karla’s tavern business is booming, and she owns her home, but she knows forever love has no part in her future.

Headed to interview for his first civilian job, retired career Army 1st Sgt. Zane Blackthorne can’t resist visiting his late buddy’s beloved Vermont hometown. He also can’t resist looking up Joe’s sweetheart, Karla, who is an alluring mix of brains, beauty, and bravery.
Loyalty to his brother-in-arms demands Zane fight his attraction to Karla. Besides, even if Karla wants him, she’ll never love him.

Can Zane say goodbye to the woman he has no right to call his own?
Even if his only true home is in her arms?

Excerpt: 

He’d neglected to make a reservation for dinner at the inn which would have been handy given his hunger, but he was inclined to want something faster than a three-course meal anyway.

He took a quick look at the town map the desk clerk proffered, but he didn’t need it. It was all as Joe described. Setting the map back on the desk, he proceeded into town.

The Stone Hearth Tavern was filled to bursting with people, the jukebox blaring Roy Orbison. Not in the mood to converse with the throng at the bar, Zane made his way to an empty back table. After he gave the teenage server his order, he did his best to melt into the background—no easy feat given his size, but it felt good to stretch his legs and cross booted feet under one of the tables backed against the rear wall.

There she was—Karla. Exactly as Joe described her and yet more so. A strawberry blonde who commanded the area behind the bar, her staff, and the entire tavern with a simple flick of her capable hand and an impatient lift of one dark auburn eyebrow.

It was a busy night for a Tuesday in early March. Winter had barely loosed its grip on this part of the country, but nevertheless it seemed in the small town of Willow Springs, people socialized. Socializing was as foreign a concept to him as smiling. Two months after his retirement from the service, two months back on American soil, and he was as wary of people as a monk emerging from a twenty-year vow of silence.

This felt weird. No, it was weird because he didn’t belong here. Did he belong anywhere? Zane squashed the intrusive thought because he reckoned he belonged here as much as anywhere else. Even if his mind knew the truth of it, it would take some convincing before his body unwound from its tense coil in the hard seat at the back of the tavern. Wary and on watch, he was the furthest thing from relaxed or social. Cheeseburger and fries consumed, he stood, casting one last look behind the bar. Karla stood at the old-school register, hair gleaming bright under the pendant light, pencil tight between her white teeth as she rang up a customer. He dropped some cash on his table and found the exit.

What a mistake. Zane shook his head at the absurdity of the ridiculous plan prompting him to stop at the tavern Karla owned, and to visit Willow Springs at all.

You can get your copy here: Barnes & Noble Nook// Amazon Kindle // Apple – I Books //

Add it to your  Goodreads/ and Bookbub Pages

A little about Charlotte O’Shay

Award winning, NYC author Charlotte O’Shay is the middle child of a big family who married into another equally boisterous large family. Arguing, er…negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in law. After four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams.Charlotte challenges her heroines and heroes with a crisis then watches them figure out who they are while they fall in love.

You can connect with, and follow Charlotte here: WEBSITE & NEWSLETTER  // INSTAGRAM // TWITTER // PINTEREST // FACEBOOK PAGE  // BOOKBUB

 

 

 

 

 

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A busy week of #bookpromo … #ICYMI

I was all over the pace this week talking about my upcoming book VANILLA WITH A TWIST.

Just in case you missed any of the stops I made on my book tour, here’s a recap of all the places I cyber-traveled this week:

Monday, 5.4. I was over on Wild Rose Press sistah Sadira Stone‘s blog

Wednesday, 5.6 I visited author/friend Jennifer Wilck on her blog.

Friday, 5.8 I traveled to  visit with author Julie Howard.

In addition to all that book promo, I also helped ROMANCING THE GENRES celebrate their 10th anniversary on May 2 with a piece on the benefits of Independent bookstores.

It’s been a busy week and next week is even busier!

VANILLA WITH A TWIST is available for pre-order right now at the sale price of just #99cents. On 5.20.2020 when it releases, the price goes up so lock in this great price today, here: VWAT

Until next time ~ Peg

Looking for me? Here I am: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me

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#CoverReveal from #author Jana Richards

When a Wild Rose sistah asks for a blogging favor – I’m on it!!! Jana Richards has a new book dropping soon and today she’s revealing the cover and giving us a little taste of what’s to come!

To Heal a Heart 

Garrett Saunders’ world changed two years ago on a road in Afghanistan. Back home, he feels like a stranger. As he struggles to find his place in the world, he meets a horse destined for the slaughterhouse and a woman bent on rescuing the strays of the world, including him.

Blair Greyson moves to Masonville to look after her ailing grandfather and give her rescue horses a home. Right away she butts heads with a surly former Marine. Despite a rocky start, they come to an agreement: Blair will board Garrett’s rescue horse and he’ll help with repairs around her farm.

Garrett finds purpose working with Blair—and falls in love with her. But she’s hiding a secret. Can she forgive herself and accept Garrett’s love, or will she let guilt and regret continue to rule her life?

A little about Jana:

Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.

When not writing up a storm, working at her day job as an Office Administrator, or dealing with ever present mountains of laundry, Jana can be found on the local golf course pursuing her newest hobby.

Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren. You can reach her through her website at http://www.janarichards.com

or find her here:

 Blog // facebook // twitter // Amazon //Newsletter // Goodreads // Bookbub

 

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An #interview with #WildRosePress #author D.V.Stone

It’s no secret I love to interview my fellow writers. And for some reason, my Wild Rose Press Authors have been some of the BEST interviews I’ve done. Today is no exception. Today I introduce to you ( if you don’t already know her!) D.V.Stone. She was a real trouper and answered all my weird questions!! She’s got a new book coming out on April 6 – check out this great cover:

And now, meet My friend, D.V. Stone:

D.V., the author….

  1. What drives you to write?

There’s always been this creative muse inside me. I’ve tried my hand at painting, sketching, jewelry making, music etc. But for some reason it wasn’t until I was older that duh writing was the thing, I’d spent my life looking for.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?

My first manuscripts were fantasy. I now consider myself a multi-genre author. I read all types of books. Why should I limit what I write?

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?

See above. I started out in the long-ago past with the bodice busters. I love so many different types. My kindle is like my music quiet eclectic. I will admit though, at this time I tend to lean toward paranormal romance. Ask me tomorrow and you might get a different answer.

  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday?

I try to write every day. I do have a full-time job so sometimes I can’t. But, that said, I don’t go a day without being in a manuscript to pull out something for a writing prompt on Twitter or Instagram. I work in the afternoons, so after the first cup of coffee I start and go until I have to leave.

  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

Depending on my mood and the weather, I can be found in my library, on my deck, in the kitchen or if I’m feeling the need for a change of pace my camper. I travel with my laptop which we call The Football, so when I have appointments like getting my car serviced I pull it out and tinker with something. Sometimes the change of location helps, and I love the outdoors.

  1. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision?

I’m hearing impaired. The loss of hearing makes me the best at tuning noise out. Silver lining.

  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?

I often listen to music and it depends on my book. Rock House Grill is based on mostly classic rock. Jazz House the next book will encompass many different types of Jazz. I’m a big fan of jazz, swing, blues. If fantasy is on the monitor my go to is Celtic.

  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

I’m super competitive even with myself. I heard there was a challenge called NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. How do you accomplish that? I wrote what I knew. As a former EMT and restaurant owner, I have a lot of stories.

  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?

They sort of develop together. Something will strike me. Often a picture or a lyric. Then I ask, “what if.” It kind of runs from there. Throughout the writing things often change, straying from the original idea. Even though, something sparks. I recently signed another contract with Wild Rose Press for a short story for their summer anthology One Scoop or Two. I had a name rolling around my head, Gloriana. I started the story based on her name.

10. What 3 words describe you, the writer? Stubborn, committed, enthusiastic.

D.V., the gal….

~ Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I got engaged in prison.

~ Who was your first love and what age were you? Shaun Cassidy. And a lady never reveals her age. (Peggy here: Girl. I knew I liked you. His pretty face was plastered all over my wall ***** years ago. Hee hee)

~ If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. I don’t think I’d want to. Each day is a revelation of itself. I think life would lose much if we got a do over

~ What’s one thing you love about your significant other? LOL! My husband is sitting in my library on the loveseat with my dog as I’m writing this. I turned to look at him and read him the question. Then I looked at the dog and said, “she’s really cute.” He laughed. He gets me.

~ If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it item, what would it be? My house. I would live in my RV. No, regrets.

~ What three words describe you, the person? Competitive, Impulsive, Empathetic.

~ If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? It’s a Beautiful World. (Sometimes it’s hard to see and remember that.)

~ If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? Hermione Granger. I think JK Rowling should bring her back as headmistress of Hogwarts. We would pull all kinds of things out of her bottomless bag and make magical spells.

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

Favorite sound:  A baby’s hysterical laugh

Least favorite sound :Alarm clock

Best song every written : Simple Man

Worst song ever written : Baby Shark song. I have grands who torture me with it

Favorite actor and actress :Hard one. Today it’s Sean Connery/ Lucille Ball

Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead) ;JRR Tolkien. I want to see how his mind worked

What turns you on? ;Kindness

What turns you off? :Rudeness

Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date (here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”): This is absolutely true. I was on a double date—first and last. The couple in the back seat were making out, I’ll stop right there, there was a lot going on. This guy reaches over for me and said, “Man does not live by bread alone.” Okay, its 7 words, but really? (Peggy here: you can have those 2 extra words because this, right here? It’s perfect!)

What’s your version of a perfect day? : Camping with my family. The Firepit is lit. There’s something good bubbling away in the Dutch oven. A glass of wine and some great music playing

 And now, here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from ROCK HOUSE GRILL

 

 

One man’s choices—One woman’s impact

Aden House, successful but driven chef and TV personality, refuses to slow down. His life implodes one night, damaging him both physically and emotionally. He’s rescued by a woman he thinks of as his angel.

Shay McDowell has rebuilt her life after her divorce. She juggles volunteer EMT duties and her job, while dreaming of becoming a chef. She finds her way to Rock House Grill and back into the life of the man she helped save.

Can love be the ingredient needed to survive the many obstacles they face?

Excerpt

“Easy, you’re going to be okay.” A soft voice eased through the chaos around him. The owner of the voice grabbed his arms and held them in a firm but gentle grip. “I’m right here with you. You are not alone.” “Can hardly m-move.” His voice slurred. “C-can’t see anything.” “You’ve been in an accident. I’m an EMT with the ambulance squad,” the velvety voice calmly explained. “You can’t see well because we’re under a tarp. Hold still, okay?” “‘K.” A small light flickered at the edge of his vision. It shone into a bag next to him. Penlight. “You’re restrained to a board. It’s to keep your head from moving and causing more injury.” She continued to talk to him. The voice reached down somewhere inside him, calming and peaceful, so he focused on it. A glow from spotlights on the outside lit whatever covered them. The shadow gave the woman the appearance of a halo—like an angel.

Get your copy here:

Amazon          Barnes & Noble

 

A little more about D.V….

“Hi, my name is D. V. Stone. Rock House Grill, a contemporary romance, is scheduled for release by Wild Rose Press. I host Welcome to the Campfire, a weekly blog. I am also a multi-genre author of two independently published books. Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar is a fantasy romance. Agent Sam Carter and the Mystery at Branch Lake is a mid-grade paranormal. Here’s a little more about me.

Born in Brooklyn, D.V. Stone has moved around a bit and even lived for a time on a dairy farm in Minnesota before moving back east. Throughout her wandering, she always considered herself a Jersey Girl. She met and married the love of her life, Pete—a lifelong Jersey Man, and moved this time to Sussex County.  They adopted Hali, a mixed breed from the local shelter, who is still working things out with their cat Baby.

D.V.’s career path varied from working with the disabled to become a volunteer EMT, which in turn led to working in hospital emergency rooms and then in a women’s state prison. After a few years, she took a break from medicine and became the owner of Heavenly Brew, a specialty coffee shop in Sparta NJ, and a small restaurant in Lafayette. Life handed some setbacks, and she ended up back in the medical field, but this time in a veterinary emergency hospital.

During the poor economy, she was laid–off from a long-time position she cared about. Devastated, D.V. wondered what to do with her life. Finding comfort in her love of reading, she realized it was now time to follow her dream of writing. It’s been a long road but worth every minute of it. Now a published author, she also works in a people medical office again.

“Thank you for taking the time to read about me. Each time you open the pages to one of my books, I hope you’ll be swept away by the story and find encouragement in your own life, never to give up on hope.”

D.V. Stone

Find out more about D. V.

Website         Facebook       Twitter       Instagram

Pinterest        Bookbub       Goodreads    Newsletter

Welcome to the Campfire Blog     Amazon Author Page

 

 

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#SundaySnippet 3.7.2020

I love when characters get into each other’s heads, don’t you? In this scene from A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, Abby Laine is digging deep into Rick’s motives. Her questions prove a little too spot on for his comfort. Enjoy~

 

“She definitely had some angels on her shoulders today,” she said after taking a sip. “I wish her son could be at the hospital with her. I’m so worried about him. About what his father could be doing to him.”

Rick’s stomach clenched. “Do you think he’d hurt the kid?”

“He has in the past. That’s what finally prompted Lila to leave. For a reason I will never understand, she tolerated being hit by her husband, but the moment he laid a hand on their child, she knew she had to leave. Why she bore being abused is beyond me.”

“Maybe as an adult, she figured she could take it. Not so her kid.”

Abby shook her head as she stirred the contents of the wok. “You can hit me but not my child? That’s convoluted thinking and shows how little we’ve really evolved as a society. Unfortunately, I see too many instances like this in my practice. Women, who for whatever reason, are convinced they deserve to be treated abominably, that a marriage license gives their husbands the right to hit them. The legal right.” She shook her head again. As she stirred the chicken around the wok, it popped and sizzled over the heated oil.

A flash of himself at eight, his parents’ screaming voices above him, pushed to the front of his mind. The resounding thwack of the back of his father’s hand striking his mother’s cheek was as loud and terrifying to hear in his head now as it had been then. Rick took a deep breath and shoved the memory back down.

He took a large swig of the water. “Any calls from your cop buddy? Updates?”

“I checked when I was getting changed. Nothing.” She sighed and then tossed two wrappers into the now- boiling pot of water. “In a minute, everything will be ready,” she said. “The rice needs to set.”

“That’s rice? It’s the wrong color.”

“You’ve never seen brown rice before?”

“Seen it. Had it. Just didn’t know it came in wrappers.”

This time she didn’t try to hide her grin. “If you tell Kandy, I’ll deny it until my dying breath.”

“Tell her what?”

With another subtle eye roll, Abby said, “That I take shortcuts. If Kandy was making this meal, the rice would have soaked in warm water for an hour, then would have been cooked in a rice steamer for another. I don’t have two spare hours. This”—she pointed to the pot—“is quick rice. Something I don’t think my darling chef sister has ever prepared. You know Kandy. She never uses commercial products. Everything is fresh, raw, and unprocessed.”

“Truth. And don’t forget delicious.”

“To use your word, truth. But cooking is what she lives for. I cook so I won’t starve, and most of the time I’m in a time crunch. So”—she waved a hand— “shortcuts.”

“As long as it tastes good and I didn’t have to make it, I don’t care how long it took to prepare.”

“Which is why takeout was invented for people like you. Here we go. All set.”

She spooned the chicken mixture onto a serving plate and, using tongs, pulled the rice from the pot, sliced the sides open, and poured the grains into a bowl.

“Take these to the table.” She handed him the food. “I’ll get plates and utensils.”

Once they were settled, Rick dug in.

After eating in silence for a few moments, he said, “This is good. Really good.”

Abby laughed. “Surprised, are you?”

“Impressed. This tastes like our favorite chef- lebrity made it.”

“She hates being called that, you know.”

“And still…” He lifted a hand.

God. You’re such a pain.”
He could see the humor skirting in her eyes.

“You’ve called me that before. Several times over the years, including on Kandy’s wedding day.”

The moment he said it he knew her mind traveled back to the same memory of the day as his did: their kiss. Her beautiful blue eyes widened, then narrowed, a thin worry line creasing the spot between her sculpted brows. The little flush of heat pinking her cheeks was the same color as her fuzzy socks.

Who knew she was so easy to tease? And why did it give him such a kick to see the nervous little shake of her head when he did?

“You were being an exceptional pain in the butt that day. If I remember correctly you called us minions. Not exactly a flattering phrase, Bannerman.”

He leaned back in the chair and took a chug from the water bottle. “Just calling it like I saw it. What description would you have preferred?”

“Attendants is the appropriate term. Bridal attendants. Calling us minions made us seem like mindless…lemmings.”

He laughed out loud. “From where I was standing, that’s exactly what you all were, although I wouldn’t call you mindless. You were all dressed identically, did everything together as a unit, and were at Kandy’s beck and call. She said jump, you all asked how high.”

“That’s what we were supposed to do. Our job was to make sure Kandy’s day ran smoothly, with no worries. Haven’t you ever been in a wedding party?”

“Nope. I’ve been lucky to miss that experience so far.”

Her mouth pursed around her fork. “Do you even have friends?” she asked after swallowing.

“ ’Course I have friends. What kind of a question is that?”

“Aside from Josh.”

Well…

“You don’t give off a ‘let’s get together and have a beer’ vibe, you know.”

Intrigued, he asked, “Really? What kind of vibe do I give off?”
When she didn’t respond, he pressed. “Come on, Abigail. You can’t leave me hanging.”

“Right there.” She aimed her fork at him as if it were a spear. “Perfect example. You know I hate being called Abigail. I’ve lost count of the hundreds of times I’ve told you and you still do it, knowing it pisses me off. And”—she cut him off before he could speak— “your usual response is to lift your hands and say ‘and still’ when you’re called on it. Who does that? What kind of person persistently and purposefully annoys people?”

“So you’re saying I’m intentionally annoying?”

“Persistently, so. Yes. Makes the lawyer in me wonder why.”

Just the lawyer?

“Any answers come to mind?”

“Plenty.”

“Care to share?”
She placed her fork down next to her plate and regarded him across the table. “You really want to hear this? Because if you know anything about me, you know I’m truthful. I don’t hold back.”

Oh, he was sure she didn’t. And wouldn’t. Her tenacity was one of the things he’d first been drawn to. That and her fabulous ass.

“I’m a big boy,” he said with a grin. “I can take it.

She took a sip of water first, her eyes trained on him the entire time. “Okay. If you really want to hear this.”

He waved his hand for her to continue.

“I think you use your cocky, aren’t-I-simply-too- witty attitude to keep people at a distance. You’re guarded. Emotionally. Like you don’t want to get close to anyone. You don’t want people diving in too deep, digging under the surface to see the real you. You don’t allow people to get to know you. Really know you.”

Because she came a little too close for comfort, Rick reached for his water.

“You never talk about yourself. Ever. Every time I’ve been in your presence at any function, barbecue, whatever”—she swiped a hand in the air—“you’re always the one asking questions. Probing. Being nosy. But when you’re asked a question, a personal one, you deflect and redirect.”

It was true. He never talked about himself. The army shrink he’d been forced to see had told him point blank he was fearful of rejection, afraid if people knew the real him, they’d run for the hills or in the opposite direction and want nothing to do with him. She hadn’t been too far off the mark.

“Did you ever think it’s because I feel people are more interesting than I am?”

“I’m calling bullshit, Bannerman.”

Again, because it was true, he had no real response. She cocked her head and pierced him with what he was now and forever going to call her lawyer death stare. “I don’t know anything personal about you,” she said. “We met four years ago, have been together dozens of times over the years, yet until today I didn’t even know where you lived. If it weren’t for Gemma, I wouldn’t know you’d been in the army.”

“You’ve discussed me with your sister?” Why did knowing that give him such a rush of delicious pleasure?

Abby waved a hand in the air again. “She mentioned it one night after she’d done some photography work for you on a surveillance job. About how you were much better suited to the boring wait- around-for-something-to-happen of surveillance work than she’d ever be because you were—her word— stealthy. It was probably because you’d been a sniper in the army, she said.”

Rick shook his head. He’d forgotten he’d told Abby’s younger sister about his army stint. It came out one day, unbidden, when he’d taken her target shooting at the practice range.

“I would never have known if she hadn’t told me. I didn’t even think to ask if you’ve got a gun with you.”

After a few moments, he nodded. “It’s in my duffle. But don’t worry. I don’t need the gun to protect you.”

Duh. The gun business aside, you’re partners with my brothers-in-law, but I don’t know if you’ve ever been married or divorced. If you have any kids. Living parents. It’s as if you don’t want people to know anything about you. To know you. Or to like you. Almost as if you go out of your way to make sure they don’t.”

This conversation was getting entirely too close for comfort. He wished he’d never pressed her into explaining.

From the corner of his gaze, he saw the cat hobbling into the room, beelining for her mother. He reached a hand down as she skittered by and grazed her fluffy back. Moonlight stopped, turned, and moved as his fingers trailed across her back again. When she did it a third time, Rick smirked across the table.

“Well, your cat likes me, so I can’t be all bad.” He reached over and single-handedly pulled the animal up to his lap, surprised she was so light. From the girth of hair on her, he figured she’d be heavy. “You really are a furball, aren’t you?” The rub of his finger across her neck had the cat running like a motorized propeller again.

He glanced across the table. “What’s the look for?”

She immediately blanked her face, grabbed up the last bits of her chicken with her fork, and shoved it through her lips.

Intrigued? You can get your copy here: Amazon //B&N //Ibooks//  Booksamillion

Until next time ~ Peg

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A little ego boost from a Book of the Year Nomination~

SO every now and again I ask for what I want. It’s a strange concept for me since I’m usually the one who screams I’M INDEPENDENT AND CAN DO IT MYSELF!!!

Did you hear me screaming that??  Hee hee

But…I need help and I’m asking. My first Match Made in Heaven book DEARLY BELOVED is up for BOOK OF THE YEAR over at Long and Short reviews e-zine. While I know in my heart of hearts it really isn’t the best book of 2018-19, because it was voted a book of the month, it’s in the running with the other 12 books who were voted that as well, and this final vote decides the readers fav book of the year.

So…will ya vote for my book? Here’s the link to do so: L&SRBOY

Voting ends on 2.29.2020 so if you do vote, do so before you forget!!

I know: I’m shameless.

Thanks, peeps

Until next time ~ Peg

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#LoveRomanceReads and an #Interview with Rick Bannerman

….don’t know who that is?? Well, honey sit down and get yourself set up for a treat!

Here’s the link to my interview with hunky, handsome, heartthrob, RICK BANNERMAN from A  PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK.

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#Releaseday for A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK and Day 1 of #SDSXXTOURS


I’ve been waiting for this day for sosososoos long, peeps!
A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK released into the book reading world at midnight and I’m starting a one month tour with SILVER DAGGER BOOK TOURS!

I think I’m gonna be busy for the next 30 days, hee hee. Below is the schedule of the daily tour stops. There’s a rafflecopter for prizes if you comment and fun posts about the book, me, and life in general. Hope to see you all on the tour. And just to make things easy, if you haven’t ordered your copy yet – here ya go:

Jan 13

kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours

The Book Diva’s Reads

Twisted Book Ramblings

Jan 14

Diane Reviews Books

Lisa Everyday Reads

Jan 15

I’m Into Books

On My Bookshelf

Jan 16

C Exley Books

CelticLady’s Reviews

Jan 17

Ilovebooksandstuffblog

Romance Novel Giveaways   

Jan 18

The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’

Pen Possessed

Jan 19

Sylv.net

Craving Lovely Books

Jan 20

Mythical Books

Word Processor, Romance, Cats, Kids and Creed

Jan 21

Anna del C. Dye official page

Maiden of the Pages

Jan 22

Breaking Genre

Luv Saving Money

Jan 23

The Pulp and Mystery Shelf  

Book Corner News and Reviews

Jan 24

Tammy L. Bailey Author Blog

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!

Jan 25

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

Insane Books

Jan 26

Book-Lover

Midnight Book Reader

Jan 27

Authors From Everywhere

Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Jan 28

Lilly’s Book World

Book Review Virginia Lee (BRVL)

Jan 29

Always Love Me Some Books Blog

Reviews and Promos by Nyx

Jan 30

Book Club Gone Wrong

Book Fanatics

Jan 31

nanasbookreviews

T’s Stuff

Feb 1

Taryn Jameson

Scrupulous Dreams

Feb 2

A Pinch of Bookdust

Teatime and Books    

Feb 3

JeanzBookReadNReview   

SnoopyDoo’s Book Reviews

Feb 4

Plain Talk Book Marketing 

eBook Addicts

Feb 5

Book Lovers 4Ever

Books all things paranormal and romance

Feb 6

TNT Book Promotions

A Blend of Sass and Class Blog

T.L. Gray Blog

Feb 7

Chapters through life

Books, Authors, Blogs

Feb 8

Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read

The Book Dragon

Feb 9

Bedazzled By Books

The Bookshelf Fairy

Feb 10

Authors  &  Readers  Book  Corner 

Dragon’s Den

Feb 11

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

Girl with Pen

Feb 12

Readeropolis

Inside the Insanity

Feb 13

Breanna Hayse Romance

Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

See you on tour! Peg

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