Tag Archives: Writing about strong women

#SundaySnippet 2.17.19

Cooking with Kandy was my first book for Kensington/Lyrical Shine. Introducing the world to the life and family of cheflebrity Kandy Laine was fun. The fact this book spawned a few more in the series was an added bonus! Kandy is reluctant to have a bodyguard, and doesn’t feel any of the weird things occurring lately warrant one. Her family disagrees. 

The heat between Kandy and Josh is palpable from the first time they meet. In this little snippet, Kandy is finally beginning to see what an asset Josh could be to have around – and in more ways than one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Made him how?” Kandy asked.

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

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

He shrugged.

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

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

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

“Are they all like you? No, scratch that.” She sighed, the sound wistful.

“I doubt there’s anyone like you.”

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

“I’ll keep it in mind.” She glanced at her sister and said, “Well, looks like my work here is done. She’s all yours now.” She stood and kissed the top of Kandy’s head. “Evan Chandler is an egotistical, phony prick. Remember that.”

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

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

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

“How so?”

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

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

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

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

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

He returned her smile, glad he could help.
“You’re not so bad, Keane. This bodyguard thing might be fun after all.” It was a moment before he trusted himself to speak. “I aim to please.”

Intrigued? You can find COOKING WITH KANDY at these on-line retailers:

Buy links: Amazon //Apple // Google // Kobo // Nook//

Walmart // Books-a-Million

Reviews for COOKING WITH KANDY

Read a preview of Cooking With Kandy

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way-starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen-and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe-but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious…

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe-and show her that a future together is on the menu…

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

Why I write about strong women….

Most people who either know me professionally or who have seen my tagline anywhere, know that I write about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. That’s my writing style in a nutshell.

But…why strong women? I mean, as opposed to just regular, hardworking women? Or weak women? Or down-on-their luck women? I could go on, but really…you get the idea.

The reason is easy: strong women speak to me.

I’ve read too many books – romance and general fiction – where the woman was a doormat who let everyone in her realm wipe their feet all over her, said “thank you” when they did, and then went on to live a hum-drum life. Not me.

I’ve read too many books about weak women who cry if you look at them crooked, can’t get a bead on their emotional immaturity, and play the victim for attention. Never me.

I’ve read too many books about women who go through life complaining, bitching, and moaning in a whoa-is-me voice who never take responsibility for themselves, their problems, or their lives. Nope. Not me.

I’ve read too many books where the women were entitled, self centered, narcissistic biatches who felt the world should drop at their feet simply because they are: beautiful, rich, talented, etc. So not me!!

You get the idea. I’ve read a lot of books about women who simply didn’t speak to me.

Strong women do.

A strong women will fight for what she wants. She won’t let people or the world in general beat her down. She knows what she wants and she goes after it.

A strong woman can’t be stopped when she’s on a trek – be it of discovery or for a purpose – try though people might. She moves forward, through the muck, through the dark, to find the light of desires and wishes.

A strong woman doesn’t rely on a man to take care of her, pay her bills, or fix her problems. She does that all on her own. That’s not to say she doesn’t want a man in her life. It’s simply that she doesn’t NEED one. Get the difference? Yeah, I figured you would! heehee.

So. Strong women. Love them. Be them. Raise them.

And in the words of Destiny’s Child, (who were speaking of Independent women, but you can simply substitute STRONG for Independent):

I buy my own diamonds and I buy my own rings
Try to control me, boy, you get dismissed
Pay my own fun, oh, and I pay my own bills
Always fifty fifty in relationships
The shoes on my feet, I’ve bought it
The clothes I’m wearing, I’ve bought it
The rock I’m rockin’, I’ve bought it
‘Cause I depend on me if I want it
The watch I’m wearin’, I’ve bought it
The house I live in, I’ve bought it
The car I’m driving, I’ve bought it
I depend on me
‘Nuff said.
#BeAStrongWoman.

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#LASR #SaturdaySeven

For today’s Saturday Seven list, I’m talking about 7 bad-ass chicks in fiction that really speak to me as warrior women and game changers. I really could do this in at least 3 parts because there are so many, but these are my top 7.

Eve Dallas, the In Death Series by JD Robb.

A futuristic cop with the NYSPD, Eve Dallas is the survivor of a dark, tortured, and abused childhood. Raped, starved, and beaten until she finally kills her tormenter- her father – she grows into a woman who, although she doesn’t have superhero powers, is none the less the most powerful woman you will ever meet. Her sense of right and wrong is defined, clearcut, and as sharp as a razor. As her backstory unfolds in the first half dozen books of the series, Robb allows you to see that despite coming from the depths of humanity, you yourself don’t need to turn to the dark side. You have a choice: light or dark. Eve chose the light and for that she is an amazeballs woman and warrior.

Elinor Dashwood, from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

 The oldest of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor is the “sense” part of the title. Composed, articulate, quick-witted and minded, although she tends to hide those characteristics behind the female conventionalism of the day, Elinor is the moral center of her family.  Even her mother looks to her to make decisions for the betterment of them all. She keeps her emotions hidden behind a cool and calm facade, but never for a moment think she doesn’t feel deeply. Elinor, to me, embodies the quiet warrior.

Stephanie Plum from the series of the same name by Janet Evanovich.

Who better exemplifies the woman of today in all her glorious angst, doubts, and confusion about life, sex, a woman’s role in society  than the gloriously klutzy and at times clueless bail bondsman Stephanie Hunter? From the moment you meet her – divorced, unemployed, and crushing on 2 men at once, you are drawn into her likeability, her openness, and her humor. Complete with a gun-toting grannie, a best friend who used to be a “ho”, and a cousin who is rumored to have performed illegal sexual acts with a duck, and you understand completely why Steph is the way she is. And to me, that’s perfect.

Bella Swan from the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer.

You may think this is an unusual choice for a grown-ass, approaching Medicare age woman to admire, but you would be wrong. Bella embodies what every girl possessed with a romantic heart embodies ( including me): the desire to be loved like no one else has ever loved you before, and to know you would rather die than be without the one you love. She will do anything to protect the ones she loves and has no regrets about her choices. To love and be loved is what motivates all she does.

Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. The penultimate spoiled southern brat, Scarlett is either loved and revered by readers or hated and despised. There is no gray with Scarlett. She is single-minded, determined, and forceful. She can pout and simper to get her way or fight back and rail. Plus she has the best resting bitch face of anyone in literature. Bar none.

Janie Crawford from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

Janie is an independent woman in a time in this country when black women weren’t seen as equal to their white counterparts. Janie keeps on going, no matter what her life throws her way her, and is able to hang on to her dignity and sense of self no matter what. She challenges the conventions and forces those around her to do the same.

 

 

 

Gemma Laine from A Shot At Love by …me.

I feel a little wrong including one of my own heroines here, but Gemma Laine embodies every trait I feel is necessary in a kick-ass woman in fiction. Coming from humble beginnings and deeply hurt by her parent’s divorce, Gemma knew from a young age she needed to fight for herself and her sisters against a society that looked down on them. She is proficient in martial arts and not afraid to defend herself or anyone else with her physical prowess if necessary. She doesn’t suffer fools, and she is loyal to a fault. When she loves there is no middle area about it: it’s all or nothing. She would die to protect someone she loved and she always, always has the back of those loved ones. She may not be the most pleasant woman you ever meet, but you will always know where you stand with her and if she considers you a friend, you are one for life no matter what.

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