A big welcome to local NH author Cheri Allan. Her Betting on Romance series is a hoot and you’ll love the latest – All or Nothing. Check out the excerpt below. For news on her next release, visit her web page and subscribe to her newsletter. –Jodi
Cheri Allan is the Amazon Romantic Comedy bestselling author of hopeful, humorous contemporary romances. She lives in a charming fixer-upper in rural New Hampshire with her husband, two children, two dogs, four cats and an excessive amount of optimism. She’s a firm believer in do-it-yourself, new beginnings and happily-ever-afters, so after years of wearing suits, she’s grateful to finally put her English degree to good use writing romance. When not writing, you might find her whizzing down the slopes of a nearby mountain or inadvertently killing perennials in her garden. The newest book in her ‘Betting on Romance’ series released in April 2015. www.cheriallan.com.
ALL OR NOTHING
When finding Mrs. Right goes, oh, so wrong…
Self-made tech millionaire Ian McIntyre has suffered through a reality dating show only to return home to idyllic Sugar Falls, New Hampshire, empty-handed, swarmed by paparazzi, and hounded by a Hollywood producer determined to deliver a Happily Ever After. But then his home is invaded by a sexy, snarky local staging it for the season finale, and Ian finds himself more interested in the cute and scrappy hometown girl dusting off his action figures than the audience’s favorite southern belle.
Auto mechanic Bailey Adams grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and is struggling to patch together enough odd jobs to buy a garage of her own. When the Golden Boy of Sugar Falls entangles her in his disastrous season of Happily Ever After, they both discover that some long-held dreams are only as ‘real’ as ‘reality’ TV. Now, with the deal on her dream garage in jeopardy and her unlikely love affair with America’s favorite geeky hunk playing out on national TV, Bailey must decide if she’s willing to risk it all for love… or be left with nothing.
**Mild sexual content; Mild language; No violence**
ALL OR NOTHING EXCERPT
“Then take off your coat and avoid hypothermia.”
Her bottom lip jutted out. “You first.”
He shrugged out of his parka and hung it on a hook by the door, raising one eyebrow as he did so.
She took another long drink then tugged her coat off and hung it next to his. Melting snow dripped onto the floorboards beneath it. Stubborn woman.
“Your lovely flannel shirt is also soaked,” he said.
“Yeah, like I’m falling for that.”
“Don’t flatter yourself. I’ve seen lumberjacks make flannel sexier than you do.”
He didn’t know why he was goading her, but he felt on edge… wet, chilled and restless.
“Like you could resist me if I were standing naked in front of you,” she said.
She paused, as if she weren’t sure how those words came to be floating in the air between them. But there they were, raining down over him like hot sparks. Heat flooded through him, and he could feel his blood pumping. He watched her, the air crackling with awareness. The fire in the stove popped and something tumbled inside. His heart thudded in his chest at the word ‘naked.’
“Try me,” he finally said.
Find buy links for all the Betting on Romance series books (both print or ebook) at www.cheriallan.com.
I’m so excited to have author Susan Ann Wall come by and visit. Another local NH author, Susan is a whirlwind of energy with and enthusiasm for writing, the color purple, and Bon Jovi. I hope you enjoy her post and and her books. –Jodi
Can you feel the heat? You may need a cold shower after reading Summer Lovin’!!
Summer Lovin’ is a collection of 14 novels and novellas all with a summer theme, many from USA Today and National Bestselling authors. The best part, it’s only $.99. Get it while it’s hot because it’s available only for a limited time!
One of my favorite summertime activities is reading outside. I have a lovely patio where I can sit in the shade (I’m practically vampire, avoiding direct sunlight for all I’m worth) or I sit in my wooden rocking chair on the deck (also in the shade). Sometimes I’m forced to sit by the pool. No worries. I just slather on the sunscreen and dip my feet in the water.
Another of my favorite summer activities is Relay For Life. Do you Relay? I have been Relaying since 2008, a year after losing my Dad to cancer. I was reluctant to join Relay. I thought it would be too emotional. All it took was that one event, though, to get me hooked. It was emotional, no doubt about that, but it was also incredible.
I was so passionate about Relay that I joined the planning committee. I’ve done everything from team captain, to event chairperson, to mission education, to event photographer. Too many people are touched by cancer in some way, whether fighting the battle, being caregiver, or supporting friends and family.
Raising money for Relay For Life is always a challenge. My team did lots of different things, but I wanted to contribute more, in my own way. I’m not really into baking, I don’t have the patience to do a yard sale, so I said, “hey, I’m a writer, I’ll write a book as a fundraiser.” That’s how my debut novel from 2011, Relay For Love, came about and with summer upon us and Relay season here, I thought it was the perfect time to re-release it as part of the Summer Lovin’ box set.
In Relay For Love, widow Hannah Locke has a life plan, which does NOT include falling in love again. She lost her husband five years ago and still aches from that loss. That ache seems to dull as it is replaced with a new longing for a man she hardly knows but can’t seem to get out of her head. Reporter Aaron Hawkins was only supposed to write a story about Hannah’s Relay For Life fundraising event, but their immediate attraction has him looking for more than just a headline and has Hannah forgetting all about her perfect life plan.
Writing this story was an emotional journey for me. It’s an emotional journey for readers, too, who claim they are laughing on one page and crying on the next. Even my editor, who NEVER cries, shed a few tears (and cussed me out) while editing this story.
Oh, and guess what? The story takes place right here in northern New Hampshire!!
I hope someday very soon, this disease is a thing of the past!! That’s why a percentage of my royalties from this book and A Flame Burns Inside is donated to the American Cancer Society to help raise awareness about prevention and treatment and help find a cure!
Pick up Summer Lovin’ today!
Summer Lovin’ buy links:
By the way, all of my books are on sale right now, so don’t miss out on some great deals.
*The Sound of Circumstance will be released late summer 2015.
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 multi-genre author of racy, rule-breaking romance, women’s fiction, and erotic fiction (her erotic titles are published as Ann Victor). Her bragging rights include nine books in three different series, three perfect children, two amazing rescue dogs, 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).
My work in process, Jinn You Sin, is a fun, humorous story of a “poor imitation of a Jinn” (Michael’s words, not mine) who would do anything to be free. Then he meets Felicity, who knocks his world sideways. Suddenly freedom isn’t as important as protecting her from those who want control of the genie. But it isn’t Michael they are after–Felicity has the power to summon him and the power to command him. Michael quickly realizes Felicity not only owns his magic, but also his heart.
I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment and let me know if you enjoyed the excerpt. Don’t forget to use the buttons below to connect with me for cover reveal and release date of Jinn You Sin — Jodi
Without warning, Michael Donovan’s body dissolved. Seconds later, he rematerialized and did an inventory—head, arms, legs, dick. He breathed a sigh of relief. A thousand successful transports and he still didn’t trust all his parts would make it. At least he had clothes on this time.
Even though he was a poor imitation of a Jinn, Michael had a job to do—please the client, put on a show, grant their wish. Fulfillment failure brought on The Master’s wrath. When that happened, The Master had a tendency to lop off body parts, hands being his favorite. He rubbed his right wrist. He had totally freaked out the first time The Master punished him. He hadn’t known the effects of the waiting room would allow his hand to grow back. The regeneration process hurt like a sonovabitch, but he’d take the risk again if freedom from The Master were the result.
Show time. “I am the great and magnificent Jinn,” Michael boomed, “of the, ah…” A trail of blue smoke led to a pristine vacuum cleaner tucked into a corner. You have got to be kidding me. Why couldn’t it be a lamp or a bottle? How would he impress his summoner when he came out of a thing best known for its suction? He readied his best Oz voice. “Of the Hoover Upright.” He struck a pose, fists on his hips and feet spread wide. Suck it, Aladdin. “Your wish is my command.” He held his pose, stared at nothing in particular, and waited.
“Oh, come on, you must know what you want.” He relaxed his stance. “Just spit it out and…”
And no one was there. He lifted a brow. That’s a first.
I’m excited to include C. Marie Bowen in my Meet the Authors series. Connie lives a little outside of my local New England author area (okay, a lot outside) Her book Passage – Book 1 of the Soul of the Witch series is a must read for all you historical western, time travel, paranormal fans. Set mainly in 1870s Western U.S., it has suspense, six-guns and yes, sexy heroes. Passage is one of my favorite new books out there. The story doesn’t stop there. Check out her Amazon Author page for additional short stories from the characters in the Soul of the Witch series. —Jodi
Thank you, Jodi, for inviting me to guest present on your blog.
The Near-Death Experience.
By C. Marie Bowen
The near-death experience—an occurrence that takes place after an individual’s heart stops beating, and before resuscitation—happens all the time. Not only is this a frequent phenomena, they have been experienced by humans for, well…practically forever. NDEs have been documented in all parts of the world, and have been experienced by people of all religions.
There is even a research foundation, NDERF, that allows on-line readers to document their own experience. NDERF weblink. There is no shortage of information and opinions about this phenomenon.
I once spoke with a man who had been electrocuted and was without a heartbeat for several minutes before resuscitation. He told me he did not experience anything during the time his heart stopped beating. That non-experience is also not unusual.
Since my research for Passage began well before the advent of the internet, I have a number of book references in my notes cited by Dewey Decimal numbers. I have to laugh, because now, I have more information than ever regarding NDE’s. Despite easy access to a wealth of information, the experiences and opinions haven’t changed much in 30+ years.
1) A non-experience or Initial experience. This type of experience is either cut short by resuscitation, or precedes one of the other types. Atwater suggests that this type of experience is common with individuals who require the least amount of evidence, or proof of survival after death.
2) Unpleasant or Hell-type experience. This has been described as an encounter with a threatening void or a hellish purgatory. Atwater suggests that individuals with repressed guilt, fears or anger may experience this type of NDE – expecting punishment after death.
3) Pleasant or Heaven-type experience. These include loving scenarios with family and/or religious figures, and sometimes even “beings of light.” Atwater believes these are experienced by those who require reassurance and self-validation—individuals who need to know they were loved.
4) Transcendent Experience. This type of experience is often difficult to explain. Individuals are exposed to otherworldly dimensions and visions beyond their own frame of reference. Usually, there is no personal content relating to the individual. Atwater suggests this experience is for those ready to embrace the next challenge.
The near-death experience changes people, in both positive and negative ways, regardless of which type of experience they have. You might expect the Hell-type experience to lead to guilt, anger and depression, but that isn’t always the case. This type of experience is sometimes viewed as a “wake up call” to change the type of life you lead. Likewise, the after affects of a pleasant experience can lead to broken relationships and difficulty relating to the world “as it is”, just as often as it brings ecstatic joy and fills the individual with the wonder of life.
People who disbelieve in the NDE phenomenon have sited drug use, psychological trauma, and physiological injury such as high endorphins or hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) as the root cause of this experience.
Information on this phenomenon hasn’t changed much in 30 years. What has changed is the ability to connect with others who have had an NDE, and for people to share their experience on-line.
In Passage, Courtney Veau experiences an NDE after a car accident. When her heart stops beating, she encounters an other-worldly hallway with darkened doorways, and a compelling light at the end of the hall. As she moves toward the light and familiar voices, one of the doorways brightens and begins to pulse with the beat of a human heart. She is drawn through that doorway and falls into her previous life. When she reawakens in a present-day hospital, she is heartbroken. Courtney Veau would give anything to return to her soul-mate, Merril Shilo, and the life she lived as Nichole Harris, if she could only find the passage back to her previous life
Passage – blurb:
After a car accident, Courtney Veau has a “near death” experience, and returns to her past-life in the post-Civil War west. When she wakes in a present-day hospital, Courtney realizes she’s returned to her own hollow existence. Heartbroken, she knows she left behind not only a family she loves, but life with the man who shares her soul, a man she’ll love forever, Merril Shilo.
A carriage accident nearly takes beautiful Nichole Harris’s life, stealing her memories completely. Plagued by amnesia, she is confused by flashes of memory that are out of time with the world around her, and seem to belong to someone else. Only Nichole’s own strong emotions remain to guide her—and as others try to take control of her life, she fights a desperate battle to survive. Merril Shilo is someone she should know, and though her memories fail her, she is stunned by her passion for him—and the remembered agony of a broken heart.
Merril Shilo is the love of Courtney’s life—no matter when that life might be. The memories and emotions of her life as ranch heiress Nichole Harris consume Courtney’s mind—and her heart. Courtney soon finds her desire for Merril threatens her sanity, as he beckons from a past she can no longer reach. She would give her life to return to her soul-mate, if she could only find the passage back to him.
Excerpt from Passage:
The long shadows faded into twilight. She’d found what she came for—proof this house existed. There was no longer a reason to stay; and yet, just the possibility she might hear his voice again kept her waiting one more day.
Outside the window, night took final possession of the day. A few porch lights came on down the block. Headlights swung around the corner as a car turned onto the street and illuminated the pavement. The headlights winked off and a car door slammed.
Behind her, the room took on a familiar chill. She turned from the window and pressed her back against the heavy drapes as the echo of boots pounded up the back stairs. She gasped when he raced into the room, vaguely luminescent in the darkness. He was dressed in denim trousers and cotton shirt, with a silk scarf tied loosely around his neck. Where’s his hat? Had he lost it in the dash up the stairs? That wide-brimmed cowboy hat was such a part of him he seemed naked without it. His hair had come loose from its binding, and he shoved it out of his face with a familiar motion. She stood close enough to read the emotion play across his face, a mixture of fear and bewilderment. His breath was labored, and his anxiety tangible as he stopped and looked right at her. Her mouth fell open in surprise and her heart tightened in her chest. Does he see me?
He took a hesitant step toward her. “Nichole?” His voice filled with horror, he whispered her name from another life.
“Yes! Merril, it’s me.” Courtney stepped toward the specter.
His head turned. His attention called away from her open arms. “Oh, sweet Jesus.” Merril fell to his knees and reached for something no longer there. “Nicki, please don’t go. Stay with me.”
“Merril, I’m here.” Her heart ached for him and for herself, but her plea went unheard.
Sobs shook his wide shoulders.
Her heart clenched to witness his despair. She longed to comfort him, to assure him she was there, but could not. In defeat, she sank to her knees beside the grieving apparition.
“Nicki, don’t leave me. Look at me—” His hushed voice, choked and broken.
“I’m right here, my love,” she whispered, but the room grew warm and Merril Shilo faded back into the past. Courtney hung her head in the darkness and fought back tears. One question was answered, at least for now.
Connie (C. Marie) Bowen is an award winning writer of paranormal adventures laced with suspense and romance. She grew up in Denver, Colorado and has a love of western history, science fiction, and fantasy. Her life travels have taken her from Denver to Wichita, Kansas, before she eventually settled in North Texas to raise her family.
A LEED accredited professional, Connie worked as an Architectural Project Manager in North Texas for fifteen years. An empty nest gave her to follow her writing muse and pen the stories that have lived in her heart for years.
She plans to release Prophecy, Soul of the Witch, Book 2 this fall, and the final chapter, Paradox, Soul of the Witch, Book 3 next year.
Connie is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Sub-chapter of RWA, North Texas RWA, and Savvy Authors.
Welcome author Emma Leigh Reed. Check out her post below and follow the links to find more about this wonderful NH author. —Jodi
As I sit and think about writing this blog, my mind wanders to the beginning of my serious writing journey. Eight years ago I decided I wanted to tell my son’s story. My son has PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder, nonspecific – in layman’s terms high functioning autism). At that time (the start of my writing journey) he was eleven years old and the journey he had taken me on had been frustrating, rewarding, all consuming at times, but on the whole, it was a journey of looking at the world in a totally different light.
As I sat down to start writing his story, the emotions were so raw still I just couldn’t do it. So instead, I decided to write a fiction story, but weave my son’s journey in autism into the story line. I did not plot out this story. As it developed, the characters took over and the story just became what it is.
SECOND CHANCES, although fiction, in a lot of ways has my own personal, and my son’s, experiences weaved throughout. A lot of the accomplishments you will see Jared making in SECOND CHANCES are accomplishments that my son made. It was a therapeutic story for me to write, allowing me to tell some about my journey through autism and my son’s accomplishments and also allowing me to write a story in which I always wanted to do, but never had the courage.
My son’s autism has taught me a lot about my own life. His hard work to get where he is now in life has given me bravery to do what I truly love to do – write. People who have never had the experience of knowing an autistic child do not understand the small milestones that are huge. The simple act of finally getting a hug from your child, a real hug with arms wrapped around you, will bring tears to your eyes. The first words out of a four-year-old after being nonverbal and only using sign language to communicate tears can melt your heart. I would never be able to convey through a book how powerful a journey it is to be taught by your child how to never take the little things for granted.
At this time, my son has just graduated high school and is moving on to a trade school and then working in his dad’s family business. Over the years I have said over and over again that my son is autistic. I do NOT say he has autism because for me autism is not a disability. It is a way of life and it is just what makes my son who he is, but it does not define him. Yes, he is quirky and downright odd at times, but he takes life in stride and I have seen him overcome being nonverbal, overcome sensory overloading times and deal appropriately with them. My son is an incredible young man who has taught me and his sisters so much just by knowing him.
Blurb for Second Chances:
Consumed by guilt surrounding her husband’s death as she raises her autistic son alone, KIRA NICHOLS shuts herself off from everyone and everything. That is until GRANT RUTLEDGE returns to town to help run his family’s business. The spark between them is unlike anything either has ever experienced, but when Kira discovers a secret from Grant’s past, her suspicious nature puts up a roadblock to a happy future. She’ll have to overcome her suspicions and leave behind the haunting ghosts from the past in order to let love heal the broken trust she’s lived with for too long.
Emma Leigh Reed has lived in New Hampshire all her life. She has fond memories of the Maine coastline and incorporates the ocean into all her books. Her life has been touched and changed by her son’s autism – she views life through a very different lens than before he was born. Growing up as an avid reader, it was only natural for Emma Leigh to turn to creating the stories for others to enjoy and has found herself an author of contemporary and romantic suspense. With a BA in Creative Writing/English, Emma Leigh enjoys sharing her knowledge with others and helping aspiring authors.
Linda Tiernan Kepner pays my blog a visit with her answer to the question What Literary character(s) would you like to have dinner with, and why?
Another fab author from New England, Linda is part of my Meet the Authors series. Her book Vale of Vampires is available now. Check out the excerpt below.
Her short story “Quicksilver” will be in “Decopunk,” an anthology to be released in July.
Take it away, Linda…
Peggy Jaeger asked me: What Literary character(s) would you like to have dinner with, and why?
I’m influenced by intelligent heroes and heroines. And I think the food would be as interesting as the conversation!
Archie Goodwin. Somewhere that we wouldn’t have to dress up, although he likes his dancing and a good night on the town. I would like to know if it was his love of food or adventure that made him agree to become Nero Wolfe’s leg-man. After all, he showed he really didn’t need Wolfe to survive in 20th-century New York City, and yet he says, “Yes sir,” and goes out on the next errand. Robert Goldsborough is doing a wonderful job of answering some of these questions about the pre-Rex Stout era of their partnership in the prequels he’s writing. Maybe he has talked to Archie Goodwin.
Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane (aka Lady Peter), together or separately. The characters in Dorothy Sayers’s Lord Peter Wimsey novels (continued by Jill Paton Walsh) are probably much smarter than me, but I think we could find something to talk about. It would be interesting to get Harriet’s slant on being a woman writer in a time that discouraged women writing. That’s an interesting time period, between World Wars 1 and 2. I never knew much about England’s role because my Irish-American family was so rabidly anti-English they wouldn’t even cross the border to Ontario for Sunday afternoon ice cream. And it was only ten miles away.
John Watson, M.D. I had a crush on him when I was in high school. I thought he was much cooler than Sherlock Holmes. He was ex-military, a man of action, and intelligent enough to have an advanced degree. Good-looking, too, at least in the early years, a tanned ex-soldier. I borrowed The Complete Sherlock Holmes from my high school library and renewed it continually for almost a year. I never saw the old movies, with Nigel Bruce whuffling around for comedic action, and I’m glad. The modern movie/TV Watsons are much better.
Dr. Leonard J. McCoy from the classic Star Trek series. I read the books based on the TV scripts, but they were done by an English sci-fic author who had never seen the show (James Blish). As I got older, I appreciated Blish’s writing more. He made those characters into thinking men. But McCoy’s twinkling blue eyes, his Southern background, and his skill made him very foxy, didn’t matter if he was the oldest guy on the ship. He started as an “extra” in that program, and ended up as a star. The books showed his compassion and his common sense.
Melville Dewey, aka Melvil Dui. I know, not a literary character as such – though I think someone may have written a novel featuring him. (There was a good long biographical article about him in AL – does that count?) I’d like to know how he transformed the Baconian theory of knowledge into the Dewey Decimal System (and the LC system), and how he decided to form the American Library Association. But I’d only want coffee with him, because a) he was an 1890’s university librarian, so he could be preachy; and b) he was a masher who diddled with the funds of the ALA and with more than a few of the female librarians, and got himself kicked out of the organization in disgrace. I’ll bet I’d probably end up paying for the coffee, too.
Vale of Vampires
(Book 2 of The Vampire of Manhattan series)
At Good Hope Hospital and Hanford & Bogie Publishing, life goes on. Dr. Benjamin Smith has become the official physician of The Vampire of Manhattan. Dr. Aden Drinan grudgingly acquires a mentor in Brooklyn. Bill Sniffen gallops off to Canada after a hot story. Rosa resists being packed off to Italy. Jenna McArdle wrangles authors, editors, publishers, and the health issues of her last remaining family member, Jimmy.
Then Sniffen vanishes in Canada, and Jenna goes looking for him. During her travels, she meets a wise vampire hunter, a kindly Quebecois trapper, and a sophisticated vampire lord. Then Jenna also disappears, and the doctors begin searching for her. The jaunt to Canada promises to be a walk in the park. Central Park. After midnight. On a very bad night.
“So that’s where you stand.” Fletcher set down the glass with a thud.
“That’s where I stand.” In one smooth motion Drinan refilled the glass, again without asking.
“You don’t screw up, Drinan, that’s the pisser.” Fletcher took another sip of the cognac in the spirit in which it was given. “They can gossip about your women and bitch about you skipping hospital meetings, but there’s not a doctor alive who’d say that Aden Drinan ever ditched a patient.”
“That’s the way I want to keep it.” Drinan also sipped cognac. Looking into the glass, he added, “That’s what’s important to me.”
“More important than your women?”
Drinan met his gaze. “Yes.”
Fletcher seemed greatly subdued, more than two shots of cognac should have done. He stood. “I’ll think about what you’ve said.”
“All right.” Drinan stood, too, and saw his guest back out into the darkened halls of the Doctors’ Annex. He shut the office door and sat down again in his chair. Thoughtfully, he put the cognac away. Fletcher was a good doc. All he needed was a little time.
The telephone rang. Drinan looked at the clock. Six o’clock on a Friday evening. A fine time for an emergency. Just when he wanted to get out of the office for a while, and play in the darkness. He could pretend he was not here; but he never did.
“Why, you still are at the office.”
Her voice made him smile. The weariness melted away. “Hello, Jenna. What can I do for you?”
“Do you have a date?”
“Well, then. The Rainbow Room. Eight o’clock.”
“That’s the best offer I’ve had all week.”
“It must have been a heck of a week.”
“It was. Are you getting too liberated, or may I still pay our way?”
“Oh, you may, if you insist. I admit I’m going to ask you for a favor.”
“Not the Secret Life of Aden Drinan, I hope.”
“Oh, no. Not at all. Something far more mundane. I will go out and buy you a boutonniere, though.”
“I can live with that,” said Drinan. “Thanks, Jenna. I don’t know how you knew I needed some time away from this.”
“I have psychic powers,” Jenna said. “Some experts in the field have told me so.”
Linda Tiernan Kepner has loved genre fiction – science fiction, mystery, fantasy, and romance – since she was a child, although not much was available in “serious northern” New York State. Except for Canadian television and books available in school libraries, there was none to read – so she wrote her own. She has been writing since third grade, but truly published since the 1990s.
Linda’s science fiction and fantasy short stories have appeared in Absolute Magnitude magazine and anthology; Reality’s Escape;Sorcerer’s Apprentice;Dreams of Decadence;FantasticStoriesoftheImagination.com; and the anthologies Little Shop of Poisons and Potions, The Apothecary on the Street of Dreams, The Life and Times of Griswald Grimm, and Decopunk.
So far, Linda has published seven novels: Play the Game and Planting Walnuts (science fiction); Second Chance and Second Chance Sister (romance); The Whisperwood Ordinaire (fantasy fiction); and the paranormal series featuring the Vampire of Manhattan, Lovingthe Vampire and Vale of Vampires.
I’m thrilled to have Peggy Jaeger, author of Skater’s Waltz and There’s No Place Like Home, visit my blog. Peggy is another one of the fabulous authors from the New England area.
WHY I WRITE ROMANTIC FICTION
Those who know me personally already know the answer to this one. Sometimes, though, it’s good to lay it all out so everyone knows the same thing.
For most of my life, I’ve loved reading mysteries. As a kid, I read Nancy Drew and the Trixie Beldon mysteries like they were sustenance for my starving body. As I got older, I discovered Agatha Christie and by the time she died, I had read every one of her novels and short stories at least twice. I never really read what were called “love stories” until after I had my daughter. I was browsing through the bookstore one day, looking for a new author – since most of the ones I liked had died! – and I spotted a Nora Roberts paperback. It was Irish Thoroughbred. I read the back jacket and it seemed like I’d like it, so I took it home and read it. In three hours. I was absolutely hooked by the way she wove a story. The same day I went back to the bookstore and bought the other three titles they had in her name. They were devoured within three days. For the past 25 years, I have read everything published by Roberts, including her JDRobb works. By opening my reading world to romantic fiction, Roberts introduced me to a wealth of other romance novelists who have made my life so much sweeter and more exciting with their writings.
When I decided I wanted to try and write romance, I sat down and made a list – really! a list – of why I loved reading it so much. These were the highlights:
there is usually a happy, relationship-resolved ending. And who doesn’t like a happy ending?
the female characters are always independent, smart, many times funny and witty, go-getters, nurture-ers, thoughtful and someone I would like to be friends with.
the male leads are usually – but not always – alpha males, successful in almost everything but love ( hence the heroine!), smart, charming, family oriented ( usually) and someone I would like to have in my life. The beta males are pretty hot, too.
the secondary characters seem real to me, not walk on’s who come in and then go, usually just to deliver a message, like so many other kinds of novels I’ve read. You never see them again and they serve no purpose in the character’s life except to tell them one piece of info. In romance writing, the secondary characters are real people, just like you’d have in your own life. And they serve real purposes in the main character’s lives.
the sex is written from an emotional viewpoint, and not a clinical one. I’ve read enough “popular fiction” where the obligatory sex scene describes a going into b and then c happening. Boring. In romance, we get to hear and witness the character’s emotions, responses, desires and dreams. And a really good author will make you feel like the character’s emotions could be yours as well.
the stories told around the romance are fun, sad, exciting, mysterious, thrilling, thought provoking and sometimes even just sweet.
who, after all, doesn’t love LOVE? Being in love, feeling loved, loving someone else. Even the Bible says “Love one another.”
Those are the main reasons I like reading – and now writing – romantic fiction. I’m sure if you ask ten different romance authors their reasons, you will get ten or more different answers than mine.
Figure skater Tiffany Lennox is busy with rehearsals for an upcoming ice show when the only man she’s ever loved comes home after a two-year overseas stint. She needs him to see her for the woman she’s become and not the child he knew to ensure he stays home, this time, for good. With her.
For all his wanderlust and hunger for professional success, Cole Greer comes home wanting nothing more than to rest, relax and recover. He is delighted in being Tiffany’s hero and has a special place in his heart reserved for her. But faced with the oh-so-desirable woman she’s become, he starts questioning his determination to keep their relationship platonic.
When forced by the television network to go back on assignment, Cole – for the first time in his life – is torn between his career and his heart.
Skater’s Waltz Excerpt:
One delicate auburn eyebrow rose almost to her hairline. “Cocky self assurance has always been one of your greatest assets,” she commented dryly.
Cole laughed again and pulled her down into a headlock.
“Snot nosed princess,” he said, knuckle-rubbing her head.
He’d been wrestling with her since she was a child. He’d taught her every subtle move to get the high ground, and in that moment she used the knowledge to her advantage. In one slick move, her arm came out across his neck, forcing his hold to loosen. When it did, she pulled her hand back and pushed forward, expertly flipping him in the seat.
To recover his balance, Cole leaned back into the couch, grabbed what he hoped were her upper arms, and shoved. In a heartbeat, she was lying backward along the length of the couch with him spread out on top of her.
Both were laughing and wriggling, each trying to get the upper hand.
Tiffany squealed, trying to twist her hips out from beneath him. “Let me go!”
“Not a chance. I know how your devious little mind works, and I taught you how to do this. The minute I loosen up, you’ll hip check me over the back of the couch. No, thanks.”
Tiffany burst out laughing. “You rat. That was exactly what I was going to do.”
“You know retreat and surrender are inevitable, Tiff. I outweigh you, and I’ve got the distinct advantage of your injury in my favor. Give?”
“Okay, you win.” She went limp beneath him.
The corners of his eyes narrowed as he smiled down at her. “You must be maturing,” he said. “You never used to give up so easily.”
When he removed one hand from her arm, she reached up to trace the outline of one of his eyes. Her finger moved from the outer canthus to his cheek, smoothing the skin she touched. “You didn’t have these little lines when you left.”
Cole stared down at her face.
Her finger roamed down to the corners of his mouth, outlining them, then on to the small dent in the middle of his chin. An impish grin fanned across her face. “I remember being little and wondering if I smoothed this line away would I be able to see inside you, like it was a door or some kind of opening to your insides. Dumb, huh?”
“Sweet,” he said, softly. “Little girl sweet. Never dumb.”
Her eyes traveled up to his and locked there.
“When I got older I wondered what it would be like to kiss it.”
His breath hitched.
“Would it taste like soap, left over from shaving, or would it be all spiky and nubby because you missed a few hairs. Or would it taste uniquely like you do. I still wonder about that.”
Knowing what he was about to do, and to whom, should have sent him jumping off the couch, running in the other direction. Instead, when his head came down to hers all Cole could think about was how much he wanted to taste her again, how he wanted to lose himself in her, and how both those feelings somehow seemed right, even though he knew they shouldn’t.
Her body tensed as he inched closer. When his lips finally captured hers, she turned fluid under his hands.
Her smooth, small body slackened beneath him as his lips gently moved across hers, tasting them, savoring them. Releasing his grip on her arms, he leaned on his elbows and ran his fingers into her hair, cupping her face while holding fistfuls of the glorious mane.
Peggy Jaeger’s love of writing began in the third grade when she won her first writing contest with a short story titled THE CLOWN. After that, there was no stopping her. Throughout college and after she became a Registered Nurse, she had several Nursing Journal articles published, in addition to many mystery short stories in Literary Magazines. When her daughter was born, Peggy had an article titled THE VOICES OF ANGELS published and reprinted in several parenting magazines, detailing the birth and the accident that almost turned this wonderful event into a tragedy. She had two children’s books published in 1995 titled THE KINDNESS TALES and EMILY AND THE EASTER EGGS, which were illustrated by her artist mother-in-law. While her daughter grew, Peggy would write age appropriate stories for her to read along with, and finally, to read on her own. Her YA stories are mysteries involving smart and funny 12-13 year old girls and an unusual collection of friends and relatives. They all take place in the 1980’s.
She has a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration and had several articles published on Alzheimer’s Disease when she ran an Alzheimer’s In Patient care unit during the 1990’s
In 2005, she was thrilled to have an article on motherhood placed in the CHICKEN SOUP FOR EVERY MOTHER’S SOUL edition. She has won several awards in various Writer’s Digest short story and personal article categories over the years. Recently, she has placed first in the Dixie Kane 2013 Memorial Contest in the Short/Long Contemporary romance Category, and in the Single Title Contemporary Category, and third place in the ICO Romance Contest for 2013, and in 2014, she was a finalist in the Put Your heart in a Book contest.
A life-long and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
Peggy has embraced the techno age and writes for three blogs, all detailing events in her life. One titled, 50 pounds for 50 years is a personal blog about weight loss, one about her life as an EMPTY NESTER and her most recent one MOMENTS FROM MENOPAUSE, a humorous and informative guide through this time in a woman’s life.
She also has her own website http://peggyjaeger.com where she writes about everyday life and how it relates to writing. Twitter is her current obsession, but she is never far from her Facebook pages.
In 2015, she will have her first two contemporary romance novels published by The Wild Rose Press: Skater’s Waltz, book 1 in the MacQuire Women Series, and There’s No Place Like Home, book 2. Four more are in the works for this series, in addition to her Cooking with Kandy series.