Tag Archives: WOmen’s fiction

A little sample to whet your #bookreading appetites

I love when one of my publishers comes up with something new and exciting. The Wild Rose Press has put together a collection of 1st chapter samplers from many of its authors to whet the book reading appetites of readers.

Don’t know if you really want to read that new book you saw marketed all over Twitter? Not sure you want to take on a new-to-you author without first reading something by them? This is the perfect opportunity for you, then.

The first sampler is a collection of 10 Contemporary Romance first chapters, titled FALLING FOR YOU: Contemporary Romance Sampler,

and my own book DEARLY BELOVED is included.

 

The other fabulous authors  and their books included are:
Sunset in Laguna by Claire Marti
Dearly Beloved by Peggy Jaeger 
The Millionaire Mountain Climber by Laura Boon 
Morgan’s Walk by Suzelle Johnston 
Only the Beginning by Daphne Dubois 
Saying Yes to the Mess by M. Kate Quinn 
The Saffron Conspiracy: A Novel by Marilyn Baron 
Operation Sizzle by Darcy Lundeen 
Without Love by Theresa Stillwagon 
Don’t Let Him Go by Kay Harris

At just $.99cents, this is a great way to find some really good books to read and fabulous authors to get to know. In the coming months there will be more samplers in different genres released and I’ll be spotlighting them here.

Until then, I hope you find your new favorite author among this list ( and I hope it’s me! Shameless, thy name is Peggy!)

Find me here:

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

Here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

And I can’t forget the OKRWA 2018 Award video

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Presenting, my friend and talented #author, Mona Sedrak


Today is a real treat for me. Three years ago I attended my first NJRWA conference and met this lovely lady I’m about to introduce you to. We sat together in a Margie Lawson masterclass and just clicked! I’ve watched her writing career grow and flourish since then, and now I am proud to call her one of my dear Wild Rose Press sistahs! Mona Sedrak is a fabulous, lyrical, and emotional writer and her new book SIX MONTHS will have you crying and simultaneously cheering. I could wax on for hours about her writing style and how she treats a very emotional subject, but I think I’ll let her tell you all a little about herself and her book, instead.

Here’s my friend, Mona Sedrak, in her own words.

Mona, The Writer 

  1. What drives you to write?

Writing has always been an outlet for me­­––it allows me to express myself and make sense of my world. In many ways, writing is freeing. When I write, I leave the world I live in and enter a new world of my creation. I enjoy writing stories that emulate the real world and the challenges women and men encounter and overcome. I am a huge romantic and really believe love can conquer all.

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

I mainly write contemporary/ sweet romance. Writing about strong women, their families, and the men in their lives comes naturally. While romance is at the center of every story I write, my books are a highly emotional ride that portray the importance of family bonds and treasured friendships.

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

I am an avid reader and I read just about everything in the romance genre–– from historical to MC novels, to the occasional erotic romance. I love getting lost in a well-build story with fully developed characters and storylines that keep me turning the page. My favorite books are those that give readers a good laugh and a good cry.

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

I try to write every day, but I don’t always succeed. Some days, after I get home from my day job, my energy level only goes as far as social media and email. Other days, the words flow. Weekends are my big writing days and I usually write 5000-6000 a week.

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

In February I moved to a new house where I set up a writing room. The room is on the second floor, tucked in the corner of the house. I like to write in silence and this room is perfect. I have a small, antique writing desks and a rather large leather chair. The room has a large window that invites the sun in and warms the room. I bought a fabulous floor to ceiling, multi-sectional bookcase from Ikea a month ago and it stretches from wall to wall holding all my treasures. I love the room and most days I write in there. Some days, however, I write best in the family room in an oversized chair with my dog at my feet or even at Starbucks with noise-cancelling headphones.

  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 need silence so I can hear my characters in my head, uninterrupted by the surrounding world. If the house is noisy, I wear Bose noise-cancelling headphones and listen to white-noise.

  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? I don’t listen to music while I write, but I often find inspiration by lyrics while I drive, cook, etc…

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

My current WIP is titled – Gravity. It is actually one of the most difficult stories I have ever written. The story is based on my middle eastern culture. It is a contemporary romance of a woman who makes a mistake and breaks cultural norms. She is shunned by her family and has to start her life anew.

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

Plot always comes first. I can’t imagine with just starting with a character without the guts of the story at least imagined. I don’t always know the road the characters will travel, but I know the struggles they will face.

  1. What 3 words describe you, the writer? Emotional, descriptive, multi-layered (Peggy Here: I think those are perfect descriptions for her as a writer!)

Mona, the Gal

Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!

I was born in Cairo, Egypt and learned how to speak English by watching General Hospital and One Life to Live.

Who was your first love and what age were you?

My husband was my first and only love. I met him when I was nineteen and married when I was twenty. We have been married for 32 years. ( Peggy here: awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww)

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….

That’s an easy one…the day I first saw my husband’s face. It was also the day I publicly broke with a man I was seeing at a family function with about 50 people. The break up was completely unplanned, and I actually had no idea my future husband was in the room. We never said a single word to each other and our eyes never even met. But looking back at it now, there are a few things I may have done differently.

Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?

Really? I’ll never tell and why must I choose? (Good point, my friend!)

If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?

Eye-brow pencil…I’m aging, and you know what happens when you age? You learn to draw them babies in!

What three words describe you, the person? Introvert, realist, romantic

If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?

Who’s Jimmy Fallon? IDK – Shakira’s – Hips Don’t Lie. Cause – why not and it’s ridiculous.

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?

Scarlet O’Hara – I’ve always loved her character and the transition from child to adult. She was selfish and selfless, and she could definitely be a prima donna, but could also role up her sleeves and work. The girl had grit. I think we would dress in beautiful gowns, sip sweet tea, stroll around Tara, and say, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

Bonus round

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

Favorite sound: waves crashing on the shore

Least favorite sound: nails on a chalkboard

Best song every written: “You Raise Me Up”

Worst song ever written: “I like big butts and I cannot lie.”

Favorite actor and actress: Robert Redford, Barbara Streisand

Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead): Okay – this may be weird, but I thought a lot about this, and there isn’t anyone I would want to be for a day. I am blessed in so many ways. I have an amazing husband of 32 years, two beautiful children and a sweet grandchild and tons of great friends. I wouldn’t want to miss even one day with the people I love. that would be one day I could never get back.

What turns you on? I’m a simple girl, quiet nights, good wine, warm cuddle with a man who loves me.

What turns you off? Pretentious, disingenuous behavior.

Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”): “I live with my mother.”

What’s your version of a perfect day?

I would love to have all my family in a tropical location…an easy beach day with everyone doing whatever they like. Enjoying good food, family, friends…loving each other, counting our blessings.

SIX MONTHS

For twenty years, Mikala Jacobson had it all: loyal friends, a precious little girl, and a man who adores her. Then double tragedy strikes and her perfect world shatters. Good friends, Rena and Jake are instantly by her side, protecting her from her husband David’s sordid secret life and his final drunken confession.

With their help, Mikala finds strength to rebuild and redefine her life. As her spirit and heart heal, she not only finds closure, but the beauty of a new love built upon an old friendship.

Excerpt
Wandering from room to room, she memorized every detail of the life she and David built––the family photos lining the mantel, the hand-carved jewelry box David bought her on their honeymoon in Salzburg, and Molly’s tea set arranged on the coffee table for evening tea. A cold, hollow ache took residence in her belly where the knot of dread made its appearance that morning. The sensation expanded with alarming speed, dug in deep, and planted roots. Like an unwanted guest appearing without warning and bringing too many bags for just a brief visit, sorrow moved in, shifted, and stretched then got comfortable for the long haul.

When the house line rang, Mikala froze, and her gaze darted to the cordless on the couch. Her breath stuttered. Her heart seized. Clarity forced its way past the tentacles of sheer terror strangling, dominating, and paralyzing her. She shook her head and took a step forward, only to be hit by a wave of dizziness and nausea so tremendous, she doubled over wrapping her arms around her womb. Mikala’s entire being, inside and out, shook as her heart tumbled about in her chest without a set time, tempo, or rhythm. Her breaths grew shallow and choppy, and her legs turned to rubber. The cord tethering Molly to her and this world had been severed.

The telephone rang four times before Mikala forced her body to cooperate. God, she hadn’t wanted to answer. She hadn’t wanted to know. She’d even considered not answering, protecting herself and her beautiful family from the annihilation of their world.

People said she was strong––the strongest woman they knew. They said in time she would heal. She would build another life. And God didn’t give you more than you could handle. People were idiots. They had no idea how in her head she raged. She howled, and shrieked, and wailed…and begged, and pleaded for mercy. All day. All night. Every day. Every night.

Buy Links:

Amazon //The Wild Rose Press // B&N // iBooks //

A little more about Mona

Mona Sedrak lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and works as a university administrator and professor. Although she has co-published two academic books, she is now writing contemporary romance, mainstream fiction and women’s fiction. She is an avid reader, enjoying many different genres.
Mona lives with her husband of 32 years, a geriatric maltipoo, and an Amazon Parrot named Pretzel. She binge watches too many shows to count and she loves fine brandy.

You can connect with Mona here:

website// facebook // twitter // Instagram

Reader’s Favorite has given the book a five-star rating.

Six Months made the shortlist for the Chatelaine Book Awards

The CHATELAINE Book Awards recognize emerging new talent and outstanding works in the genre of  Romantic Fiction and Women’s Fiction.

These titles have moved forward in the judging slush rounds to the 2018 Chatelaine Book Awards SHORT LIST. These entries are now in competition for the limited 2018 Chatelaine Semi-Finalists from which the First Place Category Positions will be chosen. The Chatelaine Book Awards Semi-Finalists and First Place Positions along with Chatelaine Grand Prize Award Winner will be announced at the Awards Gala on Saturday, April 27th, 2019. 

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Character Interview: At Last in Laguna by Claire Marti #WildRosePressAuthor

Today I’ve got a real treat for you all. Another one of my favorite Wild Rose Press sistahs, Claire Marti, has a brand new book out, AT LAST IN LAGUNA, and today, she’s brought along her uber-hot hero, Brandt Dempsey, for a sit down chat. Grab a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy hearing about At Last In Laguna and a special someone there….

Brandt Dempsey where are you from? Laguna Beach, California

Tell us a bit about AT LAST IN LAGUNA:

It’s the story of how my best friend Nick’s little sister Alyssa jolted me out of my resolve to treat her like a surrogate baby sister. Little did she know that I avoided her not just because Nick’s the closest thing I’ve got to a family, but I come from a rough past and simply didn’t deserve a beautiful, intelligent, perfect woman like her.

What did you think the first time you saw Alyssa Morgan?

It was more than a decade ago and she was only seventeen years old. She wasn’t drop-dead gorgeous like she is today. She was tall and painfully skinny, with these thick coke-bottle glasses that obscured her striking gray-blue eyes. Almost. I remember making an extra effort to be kind to her because of her shyness and nervousness around me.

What was your second thought?

Once she felt more comfortable around me, I was surprised at her sarcastic sense of humor.

Did you feel it was love at first sight?

I don’t know if I believe in love at first sight. When I saw her again when she returned to Laguna after college, my jaw dropped. The awkward teenager blossomed into an elegant woman. A red alarm sounded in my head: stay away! Her brother Nick is my closest friend and I couldn’t jeopardize our relationship. He’s like an over-protective father from the 1950’s, probably because they lost their parents when Alyssa was only fourteen and he’s her only family. So, I did my best to ignore her.

What do you like most about Alyssa?

That’s a tough one. Her compassion and warmth draw me to her. Her kisses. Well, let’s just say I wish I was kissing her right now.

How would you describe her?

She’s incredible. Her independence and wit impress me and her natural beauty and warmth blow me away. She’s a creative, talented interior designer with an intuitive sense in all she does. I feel like she “gets” me, if that makes sense.

How would she describe you?

The best-looking guy in Laguna. Kidding. More likely she’d say I was a stubborn pain in the butt.

Why are you building Tearmann House?

There’s a whole demographic of people who the system fails. I want to help the women and children who have nowhere to go and/or need a short refuge to get back on their feet again after tough times.

What is your biggest fear?

You’ll have to read AT LAST IN LAGUNA to find out.

Blurb:

Alyssa Morgan has secretly been in love with her older brother Nick’s best friend, Brandt Dempsey, since she was an awkward, lonely teenager. When she catches the bouquet at Nick’s wedding, she throws caution to the wind and propositions Brandt to a two-week fling. He’s tried to ignore how Alyssa has blossomed into a strong, talented, gorgeous woman because as his best friend’s baby sister, she’s off limits.

 

After they share a mind-blowing kiss, Brandt struggles to fight their undeniable chemistry. His tragic childhood scarred him, but he pushes it deep inside, only allowing the world to see a wealthy, carefree entrepreneur. Forced to work together on Brandt’s latest charitable venture, Brandt and Alyssa’s passion cannot be denied. Alyssa knows he’s the one. Can she convince him they belong together?

Excerpt:

What was his deal this morning?

She’d give him the cold shoulder if it killed her.

And it just might.

He’d rejected her, so why was he opening doors, hovering, and acting like a pest? Practically breathing down her neck. She could swear he’d sniffed her. Sniffed her. He couldn’t conceal his awareness. If he were so attracted to her, he would’ve agreed to her proposition, right? Since he’d shot her down in flames, he could at least have the decency to ignore her today. Rude, infuriating man.

Inhaling a deep cleansing breath, she forced herself to concentrate on the center. Sunlight streamed through the abundance of windows and along with the high ceilings imparted a feeling of freedom and space, perfect for the planned occupants. Because they’d decided to wait to obtain her input for the more specific room layout, the building’s interior remained a shell. She’d add to her brother’s amazing design and ensure Tearmann House’s beauty and serenity.

Serenity. What a concept. Ha.

Buy Links:

amazon //  Wild Rose Press // Barnes & Nobel // Kobo // ibooks

A little about Claire…

Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. At Last in Laguna is the second book in her Finding Forever in Laguna series from The Wild Rose Press.

You can find out more, and connect with, Claire here:

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads //

 

 

 

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A sweet summer treat with #author Margaret Ann Spence…

Talk about a summer treat! Strawberries, a fab new writer-friend, and new release all rolled into one!  Today I’ve got one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs, Margaret Ann Spence, visiting with me and she has a brand new book that released TODAY, titled LIPSTICK ON THE STRAWBERRY. What a fabulous, fun title!! Read on and find out about this lovely writer, then stick around for a little sweet, strawberry goodness as she gives you an excerpt from the book.

Margaret, The Writer 

  1. What drives you to write?  Can’t help myself, I’m afraid. If I don’t put words on paper every day I feel weird.
  2. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? Everyone wants to love and be loved. I like my romance a little more textured, so I write stories about women with “romantic elements.” That’s what RWA calls women’s fiction.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?  I love contemporary and historical. The characters have to develop and change in relation to what’s happening to them and to the world around them.
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?   I’m a morning person. Caffeine is needed to jump-start the brain cells. After I read Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way, I realized “morning pages” do really work. That is, grab a cuppa and write longhand in an exercise book for half an hour. Seems to free up something.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? Well, given my response above, you may not be surprised to learn I am writing this on my laptop propped up on pillows in bed. You will not ever receive a photograph of this. However, later in the day I will sit on the couch or a comfy armchair. With a laptop you can write anywhere. I do make an exception of airplanes. Travel is so uncomfortable today I can’t write on a plane. But the most productive authors do take advantage of that otherwise wasted time.
  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 get fairly focused but don’t like distractions. Then again, my kids are grown and it is blessedly quiet around here most of the time.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?  No. I don’t listen to music because I do find it distracting. What calms me is a peaceful view out the window of my garden.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?   My WIP – at an early stage- involves a botanist, an animal rights activist, and a medical researcher. It’s amazing what scientists are learning about genes – that plants and animals share so many and yet there’s so much diversity. As a gardener, I’m fascinated by new research that seems to indicate that plants communicate with one another. So I started to think, if animal rights activists believe eating meat is wrong, why is eating plants better? Of course everything eats everything else. The questions started to spin around in my head, and I thought of a conflict between the characters and started to plot it out.
  2. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?  In the case of the WIP, I had the core of the plot based on an idea. But in my debut novel, Lipstick on the Strawberry, published by The Wild Rose Press July 5th, the character came first. This character was in conflict with her family, particularly her father. Family life is full of conflict. I think in order to achieve independence a young person must strike out positions that are different from her parents’. But in a strict, respectable, and religious family, how can a daughter break convention without causing a rift? Shaming shadows a person, thwarting relationships until it is really confronted. That’s partly what I wanted to explore. Then I added food, for fun. My heroine is a caterer. Food is sensuous and messy and delicious, and a contrast to the cerebral. Plus, I made my heroine English because I wanted to play with the perception that British food is terrible and to show it can be good.  So, to the title: Photographers do weird things to make food more visually appetizing. They spritz a cake with hairspray, decorate a pie with shaving cream, and swipe a pale strawberry with lipstick to make it glisten. When I learned that, I knew I had my book title. My caterer, Camilla, always felt unable to live up to her family’s expectations. She finds that beneath the veneer of respectability lie imperfection and secrets.

  1. What 3 words describe you, the writer?  Writing: Helps me think. In more than three words, this means, I often don’t know what I think till I write it down.

Margaret,  The Person 

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing.  I love to travel, and when I was young did a lot of crazy things that were more foolish than brave. One time, in a youth hostel, a girl asked for volunteers to help smuggle her cousin out of East Germany. I put my hand up, only to have it smartly smacked down by my friend Gail who had more sense than I did.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you?  I was eighteen and rebellious. My boyfriend and I would not have worked long term.
  3. 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….    That’s a really great question. When I was in my twenties and living in London I signed up for a Peace Corps type of organization, thinking I must improve on my partying lifestyle. I didn’t hear for months and then got a notice informing me to bring lots of mosquito repellant because I’d be sent to help build a road for the people of Lapland. To be honest, I had to look up where Lapland was. It is in the Arctic Circle. I imagined myself up there, battling mosquitos while doing hard labor for a pittance and unable to return. I turned down this “job” offer. I sometimes think, what if I had gone up there? Could I have done some good? Or would I have been a victim of my own naivite?
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?  For what? Why do they have them on at all? On the other hand, I love little guys in diapers, too.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?   My lipstick! I have dark hair and pale lips make me look ghostly.
  6. What three words describes you, the person?   Love babies, books and bright colors. (not exactly three words, I know.)
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? I’ll have to stay up late enough to watch Jimmy Fallon. But I understand he talks about his kids a lot so we should sing Father and Daughter by Paul Simon.
  8. 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?As a kid I loved Little Women. Because she had the same name and was also the oldest of four siblings, I totally identified with Meg. Of course the conventional thing was to love Jo because she was the brave one who dared to be different. But there it is, I was Meg. As it happens, one of my own children lives in Concord, Massachusetts, and I’ve visited the Orchard House, the home of Louisa May Alcott. So I’ve often imagined living there, picking apples, playing the spinet, even sitting up there in that tiny upstairs space where Louisa did her writing. We’d sit up there and chat about writing. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy all represent bits of Louisa May Alcott. Her characters are really alive to me.

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

 

  1. Favorite sound Children’s laughter. 
  2. Least favorite sound Ring tone on a cell phone in a theater.  
  3. Best song every written Lady in Red by Eric Clapton. Sexiest song ever! 
  4. Worst song ever written By December 23, Jingle Bells is the last song I want to hear.                                                                       
  5. Favorite actor and actress Actor: Ethan Hawke. Actress: Meryl Streep without question, followed by Cate Blanchette. Ever notice how male actors often just play themselves, over and over, while these two actresses blend themselves into the characters they’re playing, like chameleons. Maybe because women are trained to hide their true feelings?
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead)   At the moment I am enthralled with Emma Stone’s performance in La La Land. So I guess I’d like to be her the day she realized she’d nailed the tap dancing.   
  7. What turns you on? Someone with a sense of humor.         
  8. What turns you off? Someone who takes him or herself too seriously.
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”)  “I hate when people are late.” Not only does it put the recipient of those words on the defensive – did I keep you waiting? – but it indicates a mean and judgmental person. Should have feigned a headache immediately.
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Planning, cooking and eating a wonderful dinner with friends, preferably on a patio with a water view. With or without the view however, there’s sheer sensual pleasure in setting a beautiful table, gathering and arranging colorful flowers from the garden, the sound of music selected by the music maestro of the house, my husband, the delicious waft of dinner from the kitchen, the hugs when the friends are greeted, the evening getting off to a great start.

 

Blurb: Lipstick on the Strawberry

Estranged from her English family, Camilla Fetherwell now lives in the United States and owns a successful catering business. Returning home for her father’s funeral, she reunites with her first love, Billy, whom she hasn’t seen since her father broke up their teenage romance.

Billy seems eager to resume their love affair. But after one blissful night together, things take a turn. Camilla suspects her father may have led a secret life, and when Billy reveals something he, too, has discovered, her apprehension grows. Billy holds her heart, but their relationship might be tainted by what her father hid. A reunion seems impossible.

Her life feels as splattered as her catering apron. As she watches her food stylist make a strawberry look luscious with a swipe of lipstick, Camilla wonders if a gloss has been put over a family secret? Can she and Billy survive what’s underneath?

Excerpt:

My fingers searched the back of the drawer and felt something glossy. I pulled, and saw in my hand a colored photograph of a woman who looked to be about the age I was now. She had hair the color of fallen leaves. Only the woman’s shoulders were visible below the head. Her blue and green scarf reflected the color of her laughing eyes. In the background was the blurred green of a field. I flicked the photo over. The penciled initials N.B. were the only notation.

A cold prickle ran down my back as I stared at it.

I tucked the photo into my pocket. How peculiar was it to find this woman’s image stuffed in the back of a drawer? Daddy had gone to pains to hide the picture.

In one hand, I lifted the plastic bags of trash, picked up the passport in the other, and went to find Tilda.

“Would you mind if I went home and rested?” I asked. “I feel a headache coming on.”

“Yes, of course. What did you find in there? Oh, good, Daddy’s passport. I’d like to keep that. How thoughtful of you. Anything else of interest?”

I turned so Tilda couldn’t see and fingered the pocketed photo. The letters N.B. intrigued me. Was this just the acronym to remind our father of something important? Or did it mean something else?

“No,” I said and hurried toward the door.

Buy Links:

Amazon /// Wild Rose Press // B&N // Kobo

A little more about Margaret:  

Margaret Ann Spence was born in Australia and has made the United States home for many years. In Lipstick on the Strawberry, she takes as backdrops Boston, Massachusetts and Cambridge, England, cities she’s lived in and loved. Lipstick won First Place, Romantic Elements Category, in the 2015 Beacon Contest, sponsored by the First Coast Romance Writers.

You can find Margaret here:

Facebook // Twitter // Blog& website // Goodreads //

Peggy here: Margaret, thanks so much for joining me today. Your book – and you! – sound fabulous! Much luck and keep writing.

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

An interview with author Charlotte O’Shay

I love when I can introduce you to new authors to me who are making their mark. CHARLOTTE O’SHAY is such an author. Her new book, THE MARRIAGE ULTIMATUM is garnering rave reviews. Recently I “sat” down with her (virtually, of course) and found out what makes her tick.  Stick around after the interview, because she’s got a treat for you in the form of an except from her new book. Here’s Charlotte:

TheMarriageUltimatum_w9979_100-3

Part 1: The Writer Questions

  1. What drives you to write? The people in my head. It feels good to let them out. Romances of all genres got me through tough times when I needed a happily ever after. I want to give that escape to someone else through what I write.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write Contemporary because I live in NYC. I’m inspired by the energy of the moment, the fast pace, the right nowness of the city and I try to capture that in my stories. But someday I’d like to write an historical set in Colonial/Revolutionary era America.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I read everything. Fiction, non-fiction, biography. I’ve read some great authors through my association with The Wild Rose Press. I now have more favorite authors in historic, paranormal and YA genres. I love suspense but not horror.
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everydayI try to even if it’s only a page at night. I seem to get a lot done during the cold weather months when there’s less to do outdoors.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I write best at a desk in our family room on a desktop. The desk faces the wall with an old New Yorker poster and I have a bulletin board off to the side with motivational quotes and favorite photos.
  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 tunnelvisionI’m very good at filtering out sounds or else I wouldn’t survive the noise of Manhattan. I like total quiet but that’s not reality.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? When I’m not writing I love music of all kinds and going to concerts. I always have the radio or Pandora on. I love to learn lyrics. I really admire lyricists who can express a wealth of emotion in a phrase or two. It’s a skill I’m trying to develop. But I never listen to music while I’m writing.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? As a lawyer I worked with families in crisis. I met lots of women who struggled to keep their families together against all odds. So my debut novel has those elements. My current WIP A Model Engagement came from a still ongoing news story I follow. I started playing the what if game and my heroine came from that process.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? That’s hard to say. My debut was definitely character driven. I saw both H/h very clearly from the start. But my WIP started from an idea I got watching the news so I had the problem or conflict first.
  1. What 3 words describe you, the writer? Introspective, curious, caffeinated

The Person Questions:

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! This city girl didn’t get a driver’s license till age 29. Is that unusual enough?
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? A third grade classmate. I wrote him a love letter.
  3. 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…. Any of the days I spent on the Amalfi coast with my family a couple of years ago. It’s my emotional and geographical happy place.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxers!
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? I could never give up my lipstick.
  6. What three words describe you, the person? Analytical, shy, stubborn
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? My Shot from the musical Hamilton
  8. 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? Jo March from Little Women. Jo is my book twin.

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound ~ my dog snoring softly at my feet while I write.
  2. Least favorite sound ~ fire engine siren
  3. Best song every written ~Too difficult to choose one. Desperado (Eagles) Every song in the musical Hamilton
  4. Worst song ever written ~ Havin my Baby by Paul Anka
  5. Favorite actor and actress Liam Neeson, Emma Stone
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead)or Fictional? Pippi Longstocking to be an adventurous little girl again
  7. What turns you on? Good smells: a sexy cologne, fresh mown grass, ocean air, chicken in the oven, jasmine, gardenia, hibiscus
  8. What turns you off? Lack of a sense of humor
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date (here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “I had onions for lunch.”
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Awaken when the sun comes through the window, coffee and newspapers, a long walk on the beach, cook dinner for family or friends, write until bed.

Charlotte O’Shay

Bio

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Charlotte O’Shay was born in New York City into big family and then married into another big family all of which provided her with enough drama, noise and inspiration for a lifetime of stories.

Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law. After four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte gladly traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams.

THE MARRIAGE ULTIMATUM

Blurb:

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Dead-end job? Dreary apartment? Disastrous love life? Check, check, and check. Toddler who makes it all worthwhile? Absolutely. Juggling work, college, and the care of young Alex was never Sabrina’s plan.

But Sabrina’s dreams are bigger than any curve ball life can throw at her. Her top priority is keeping her small family together, no matter what the cost.

Vladimir Grigory doesn’t believe in dreams. He earned his position at the top of New York’s corporate ladder with his own sweat. His empire is his baby, and he’ll destroy anyone who threatens it. Even the sexy employee who challenges him on every level.

When the New York tabloids and the world call him the baby daddy of Sabrina’s son, Vlad believes Sabrina is part of a plot to expose the secrets of his past. He threatens to destroy her future. But since Sabrina has secrets of her own, she has no choice but to agree to Vlad’s marriage ultimatum.

 

Excerpt

“What’re you doing creeping up on me like that? Who are you?” Her gaze narrowed in on him even as she took a step back.

He stared right back, sinking into eyes so mercurially gray then green, then gray again, it was like he’d fallen into the turbulent depths of the Atlantic. With her wild eyes, untamed hair, and skintight clothes, she was a mermaid and absolutely the answer to this sailor’s prayers.

She shoved an unruly swath of hair back over her shoulder, all attitude. One hand was on her hip and the other fiddled with the hem of her sweater. His gaze tracked her every move.

Her chin angled up. “Seen enough? You know what they say: Take a picture, it’ll last longer.”

Buy Links

The Wild Rose Press: //   Amazon: //    Kobo:  // Barnes & Noble:

 

Find Charlotte here:

Website: //  Facebook: //  Twitter://  Author Page:

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Persevering thru Panic…with Susan A. Wall

One of my favorite things about being a writer is the other writers I meet who come to mean something more to me than simply the fact that they are writers, too. When I joined my local chapter of NHRWA, I was introduced to many talented, exceptional women who write various genres of romance. One of those writers was Susan A. Wall. This is her third visit on the blog with me and each time she’s here there’s a fun story to read, today no exception. She’s got a new release out soon and you’re lucky enough to hear about it early. So sit back as Susan discusses part of her writing process – a very necessary part!

                                           A Lesson in Perseverance over Panic

It started early on a Sunday morning. I was the only one up, the laptop humming with anticipation as Maddie and Darren beckoned. Candles burned with a sweet fragrance to cover the offending skunk odor from an unexpected Saturday night, and the water in the kettle boiled.

I didn’t care that the kitchen was in need of a good cleaning. I didn’t even care that the laundry situation was even more desperate. I needed to write and to get the words flowing early on a Sunday morning, I needed a cup of tea.

And I needed it in my Tell Me a Story mug – my current designated writing day mug.

That’s when my plans came to a grinding halt.

The mug wasn’t in the cupboard. It wasn’t in the dishwasher. It wasn’t in the sink. It wasn’t on the counter. It wasn’t on the table. It wasn’t in my office in the basement.

IT WASN’T ANYWHERE!

I thought long and hard about the last time I used the mug. The only memory I could conjure was drinking out of it in the mini-van. So I traipsed outside in the damp morning air only to come back in empty-handed.

Now this mug is not my only mug. It’s one of many favorites (each with its own story), but it is my go to on a Sunday morning when I’m determined to spend the day writing.

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I could have spent the entire day searching for and obsessing over the whereabouts of my mug, I instead engaged in some inner self-talk, encouraging myself to go for Plan B. Because I almost always have a Plan B.

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So on this Sunday morning, with my hero and heroine desperate to enjoy their first kiss, I grabbed my “think happy. be happy” mug because with my “Story” mug MIA, I needed the happy message.

Fiction often imitates truth, so you can bet a missing mug and the ensuing anxiety is going to pop up in a future story. As it is, the heroine of my next release, THE SOUND OF CIRCUMSTANCE, is a bit of a tea drinker just as I am. Stacie likes different teas for different occasions, but she doesn’t obsess over what to drink it out of the way I do. What Stacie does obsess about in this new story are the results of the six pregnancy tests she takes in a single day. You’ll have to read the book, available for pre-order now, to know the results of those tests!!

So tell me, do you have a favorite mug?

By the way, the “happy” mug did get me to my word count goal and that first kiss. The “story” was found when Hero Husband cleaned the kitchen while I made dinner.

Pre-order links:susan3

 

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1jA1sXU

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1j5yGPa

iTunes: http://apple.co/1jA1pvo

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1O4RZ6k

Social media:

www.susanannwall.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/susanannwall.author – Contest going on until October 31

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@susanannwall

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/susanannwall

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Ann-Wall/e/B007NZU7X0

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/susanannwall

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/nQ7wH

Bio:

susan

Big dreamer and certifiable overachiever Susan Ann Wall embraces life at full speed and volume. She’s a beer and tea snob, can be bribed with dark chocolate, and the #1 thing on her bucket list is to be the center of a Bon Jovi flash mob.

Susan is a nationally bestselling, multi-genre author of racy, rule-breaking romance and women’s fiction. Her bragging rights include nine books in three different series, three perfect children, adopting an amazing rescue dog, and a happily ever after that started while serving in the U.S. Army and has spanned nearly two decades (which is crazy since she’s not a day over 29).

In her next life, Susan plans to be a 5 foot 10, size 8 rock star married to a chiropractor and will not be terrified of large bridges, spiders, or quiet people (shiver).

 

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, NHRWA, Romance, RWA