Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Reviews, TWRP

Author Interview of Peggy Jaeger and #Review of Christmas & Canollis w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

Christmas & Canollis

by Peggy Jaeger

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GENRE: Contemporary Romantic Comedy

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BLURB:

With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him.

Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company’s reputation—in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.

Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?

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Excerpt Three:

My free hand slid up his jacket, basking in the rich texture of the fabric, to skim across the column of his throat and settle against his cheek. His skin was smooth and clean-shaven, warm and velvety soft against my palm. Connor let go of my arm and slipped his hand down my back. With his fingers pressed against the dip in my spine, he pressed me in even closer. His tongue nipped and sipped at my own as his fingers fanned across my back and kneaded.

Mio Dio.

Who knew the small of your back was such an erogenous zone? He must have first-hand knowledge about a particularly sensitive nerve bundle in that region because my thighs started to tremble and a deep-seated liquid warmth, like warm butter melting over hot morning ciabatta rolls, spread throughout my system. A restlessness for more shunted through me from top to bottom, making me fidget and writhe for release. I think I moaned. Or maybe that was Connor. I wasn’t sure, but one thing I was sure of was that in all the time I’d been married, I’d never felt so turned on by a simple kiss before.

Okay, well, it really wasn’t a simple kiss. More a life-changing event.


Welcome PEGGY JAEGER! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.  

 

Thanks and Hi to all!  I write contemporary romance in a few subgenres, Romantic Comedies, and Small town, to be specific. My tagline will tell you that I write about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. I live in beautiful New England where I get to watch the trees change to glorious colors during my favorite time of year: autumn. I’m 21 years old (plus 37 !) Hee hee and I’ve been married to the love of my life for over 30 years.

Is Christmas and Cannolis a single title, or part of a series?

 

CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS, a San Valentino Holiday Romance, is a single title-stand alone book, although various branches of the loud and loving family have starred in 2 previous books, 3 WISHES and A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. You don’t need to have read the others to understand the plot and the people in this one, but I guarantee that after you meet this branch of the San Valentinos, you’ll want to meet the others.

What were your inspirations for the story?

 

Family is everything to me. As an only child, I always wanted siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles I could visit, spend time with, and grow up with. I wasn’t afforded that wonderful opportunity, so from a very young age when I started writing stories, I made them about a girl who had that kind of loving, supportive and large family. The desire for a big family etched its way into my grown-up writing as well. After A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS was published, I had a number of readers ask me to write Sonny SanValentino’s story. He was a pivotal secondary character in both the previous books and readers love his wise-guy wannabe persona. I knew I’d need to give him his own big family and a loving, independent and strong wife – because really, who else could put up with him?  Hee Hee. I gave Sonny 4 older sons and a daughter, Regina, who’s the youngest. Because I love to bake so much and have taken courses on how to be a better baker, I gave Regina her own bakery and the story evolved from the heartache she’s suffered during her life. I knew with her supportive and nosy family, she would be able to move beyond her heartache, albeit in comical ways, because we are talking about Sonny, after all. He always knows a guy who knows a guy who can get you whatever you want. His wheeling and dealing are intrinsic to the plot line and his actions cause the black moment in the story.

Please share your setting.

 

Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most? CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS takes place on the Upper West side of Manhattan ( New York City) a place I know well. I grew up in New York City and attended Hunter College as an undergraduate. Recently, my daughter lived on the Upper East Side, so the family neighborhoods are near and dear to me.

When did the writing bug first bite?

 

Well, when I was 8 years old I was given my first diary. It was the old-fashioned kind with a lock and key. Instead of filling it up with Dear Diary anecdotes about my days – which were mundane and boring – I filled the pages with stories of independent girls from loving families who went on adventures. I write every single day and have since I first got that diary. You could say I’ve been a lifelong diarist who turned her stories into her livelihood.

Who are your favorite authors, book/series?  

 

Nora Roberts and her doppelganger JD ROBB of the In Death Series. Jill Shalvis and her Lucky Harbor series.

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

 

The two ladies mentioned above, plus Sarah Morgan, Sandra Brown, Catherine Bybee and Lauren Layne.

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

 

I cook and bake from scratch most days. Even though it is just my husband and myself at home now, my hubby likes fresh food and home-baked goods and I am thrilled to provide him with both. I have over 130 cookbooks in my home that are dog-eared and well-loved, and I gather most of my recipes from them, then wiggle them a bit to Peggy-ize them.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

 

I was a nurse in my former life, so I’ve seen and heard plenty of strange things! The oddest mention I can give without breaking any kind of confidentiality is one day when I was floated to the Emergency room to cover sick calls, a man came in with a fishing spear sticking completely through his chest and exiting out his back. By the Grace of God, no organs were hit and his spinal column was unaffected, but he needed eight hours of surgery to remove the thing. I was in charge of getting him prepped for surgery and he was as calm as could be. At the time I thought he was in shock, but his wife assured me he was always that way – quiet, calm, not nervous. She told me he worked for the government oversees for a number of years in the State Dept. and had to learn how to counsel his emotions and reactions. Amazing. P.S. He survived just fine and had a scar that ran from the notch of his collar all the way to the top of his belly button.

What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

 

Never give up on your dreams. Don’t let anyone else squash them either. Hold them dear and while you are waiting to be published, polish your craft by always learning, writing, and networking with other authors.

 

Peeps, this story is what I needed to read this week.  Funny, light-hearted with a heartbreaking backstory for both Regina and Connor.  Plus, it has baked goods.  And a father that reminded me of anyone in the movie Married to the Mob.  Things falling off a truck.  Knowing a guy, that knew a guy, etc.  The funny moments are definitely there, plus some heartbreaking ones, too.  Regina has the typical Italian family and all the personalities to go with that.  I will admit that I loved her dad way more than her mom.  I felt like her mom was more of window dressing and didn’t much care for the way that Regina was leading her life.  Her dad, however, just wanted the best for his daughter and the hilarity ensues because of it.  Also, the black moment.

Connor is the man of mystery.  I NEVER saw his backstory at all.  It was interesting, heartbreaking and it made him who he is and the motivation to do the fundraiser.  Plus, I just loved how he treated Regina from the beginning.  He never once doubted her, babied her but did take care of her in the end.  Plus, he stood up to her dad without being a douche canoe about it.  He just treated everyone with respect and it showed in the end.

Regina. Man, she went through some awful, just awful stuff but she still believed in love, family and a great cake.  I just loved her from the beginning, too.  What I didn’t like was how she let her family intrude on how she should feel and act when it came to men again.  Yes, I realize that its typical behavior in an Italian family but still.  After everything, they just wouldn’t leave her alone and be her own person again.

This book moves pretty quickly.  Ms. Jaeger writes a very funny but heartfelt book about two people that should have never met but met at just the right time for each other.  Some of the themes are somewhat difficult to read but necessary for Regina to move forward in her relationship with Connor.  Plus, come on.  The book is set in NYC and I suddenly have a craving for NY style pizza and to ride the subway again.

If you are looking for a great Christmas themed book with humor, heart and some smexy times, this is for you.  Just don’t forget that someone knows someone, that knows someone and it “might” have fallen off a truck”.  Just don’t ask.  Because in the end, Sonny, Regina’s father, lets that get the best of him and Regina.   *wink*

 

 

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found a publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader’s Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and was a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

In 2018, Peggy was a finalist in the HOLT MEDALLION Award and once again in the 2018 Stiletto Contest.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Website/Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?  

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mmj122687/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/peggy-jaeger

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JF1WQKT/

The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/6235-christmas-and-cannolis.html

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Peggy Jaeger will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews

Interview of Khaled Talib featuring Gun Kiss w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #99 cents #thriller @KhaledTalib

Gun Kiss

by Khaled Talib

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GENRE:   Thriller

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BLURB:

The United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star, Goldie St. Helen. 

Ex-Delta Force Blake Deco receives a tip from a Mexican friend that a drug lord, obsessed with the beautiful actress, is holding her captive in Tijuana.

With the help of a reluctant army friend, Blake mounts a daring rescue.

What he doesn’t expect is to have feelings for Goldie—or that a killer is hunting them.

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Excerpt Two:

A man wearing a red bandana around his head leaned out on the skid with a sniper rifle.

“Get us out of here!” Blake yelled.

Jack swerved the vehicle to avoid the sniper’s fire and spun a U-turn. He floored the accelerator, zigzagging away from the consulate.

“Get down!” Blake forced Goldie to the floorboard. He then powered down his window, stuck his arm out, and unleashed a volley of shots at the tail rotor.  

The helicopter jerked and tilted, yet remained relentless in its pursuit.

“Drive faster!” Blake yelled, feeling the riddle of sniper bullets pinging the back of the SUV.

Blake looked at Goldie crouching on the floorboard. “You okay?”

“No! Please get me out of here! Oh God, I’m going to die!” Goldie cried.

“They’re not shooting at you. They want you alive, and us dead,” Blake said.

“How can you be sure?” Goldie asked.

“He’s using a sniper rifle instead of a machine gun,” Blake said. “Picking his shots carefully.”

“No prizes for guessing who gets it first,” Jack said.

The shots from the helicopter forced an oncoming van to careen off the road. Two other vehicles braked hard and swerved uncontrollably.

Through the windshield, Blake saw the man on the skid taking aim again.

“Incoming!”

Tightening his grip on the wheel, Jack spun the SUV around, back toward the consulate. He didn’t turn fast enough. The impact of a bullet hit the rear window, cracking it into a spidery web.


Welcome Khaled Talib! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

 

I was born in Singapore. I’ve written three novels and I’m presently working on my fourth. I was a magazine journalist before switching to the field of public relations. My career took me to various parts of the world, and I also spent some years in Cairo working for several media.


Is Gun Kiss a single title, or part of a series?

Gun Kiss is a single title novel, but I might write a sequel as readers are asking me to write another story based on the same characters. This novel was initially published by Imajin Books, but I’ve since taken back my rights.

What were your inspirations for the story?

The idea behind Gun Kiss was purely accidental. I went jogging one morning, and by late evening, my legs were cramping. I couldn’t sleep, so while rubbing some heat rub, I decided to watch an old movie. The actress in the movie inspired me to create my own Hollywood character. The next day, I started working on the draft. You just never know where inspiration will come from.

Please share your setting for Gun Kiss. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

 

The novel is primarily set in southern California. I’ve never lived there, but I’ve been there on holiday. There are a couple of real restaurants and cafes that I included in the novel. But one fictitious place,  which I called the Mama Tacos, was inspired by the Pink Taco in Sunset Boulevard. I like the atmosphere, but more importantly I like the richness in the places I visited because I could collect an abundance of story angles.

In the novel, you’ll also find famous places like The Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Feliz, and Wukoki Ruins in Arizona. I live in a small island, and although my first novel was primarily set in Singapore, I find it difficult to write another story set on the island. So, I’m always looking to explore the outside world.  



When did the writing bug first bite?

 

I was fifteen. I tried writing a detective novel inspired by The Hardy Boys. I didn’t get far because I wasn’t ready. I tried again when I was twenty-four, this time, working on a financial thriller. But I wasn’t going anywhere with the story. I suppose I wasn’t ready. I took a long break for a couple of years before trying it again. This time, I worked on a spy novel. I kept failing but the little voice inside me told me not to quit. And I didn’t.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

 

I have many favorite authors. I read all kinds of books. It doesn’t matter to me the gender of the author. If the story is interesting, I’ll read it. My only wish is that I had more time to read more books.

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

 

I guess I would invite the authors who gave me blurbs for my books: Jon Land, Gayle Lynds, K.J. Howe, Jon McGoran, and Ruth Harris. All of them are suspense and thriller authors

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

Apart from stealing other people’s chocolates, I like to smoke shisha, the Middle Eastern smoking contraption. Fermented apple is my favorite flavor. I don’t do it at home, but there’s a café across the Malaysian border that I frequent. Although the café has a local name, I call it The Titty Twister after Quentin Tarantino’s movie From Dusk till Dawn. The reason is because it’s located in an obscure and dark place, almost vampirish. It’s not a wild place although there’s a band playing, but it feels surreal. Hey, I’ve got a wild imagination.   

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

Oh, don’t get me started; I don’t know where to begin. Here’s one: When the staff at a café in Singapore were moving a refrigerator, they found a plate under it. On it was a lump of hair, some dried flowers and herbs. Someone was trying to hex the café business… someone who really hates the owner.   


What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

 

Get a good editor, be humble and listen to advice… don’t give up, even if it looks bleak. From bitterness comes sweetness.

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Khaled Talib is a former journalist with local and international exposure. He has authored three thrillers since 2014.

The author’s works have been praised by NY Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, NY Times bestselling author Ruth Harris, USA Today bestselling author Jon Land, NY Times bestselling author Keith Thomson, K.J. Howe, and Jon McGoran.

His debut thriller, Smokescreen, was listed as one of the six “boundary-breaking indies” in 2016 by the IndieReader. His second novel, Incognito, won the Silver Award for the AuthorsDB Book Cover Contest 2017. Gun Kiss is his third novel.

Khaled, who is also a member of the International Thriller Writers, resides in Singapore.

Authors website : http://www.khaledtalibthriller.com

Twitter account: https://twitter.com/KhaledTalib

Author Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/khaled.talib/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/khaledtalibbooks/

Author Amazon page:  https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00DYPSB72?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6940359.Khaled_Talib

Gun Kiss (YouTube) Book Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6uhYvbY7KQ

 

GUN KISS Buy links:

The book will be on sale for only $0.99.

Author website direct: http://khaledtalibthriller.com/books/

Amazon Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Gun-Kiss-Khaled-Talib-ebook/dp/B07CVGKQY6

Smashwords

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/823918

Kobo

https://www.amazon.com/Gun-Kiss-Khaled-Talib-ebook/dp/B07CVGKQY6

B&N

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gun-kiss-khaled-talib/1127553149?ean=2940155243199

Ibooks/Apple

https://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/gun-kiss/id1380716623?mt=11

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

 

Khaled Talib will be awarding an Amazon Fire 7 8GB tablet to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. The prize is limited to U.S. and Canada only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Spotlight

Interview of debut author Olivia Castillo featuring Song of the Boricua w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @oliviacauthor

Song of the Boricua

by Olivia Castillo

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GENRE:   Fiction

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BLURB:

Puerto Rico an island of contradiction, serves as an enchanting backdrop following three generations of women.

Elena:  Resilient and ambitious, but trapped by duty to her children.

Maria:  Passionate and headstrong, but married to a man she does not love.

Josephina: Optimistic and romantic, but in love with an alcoholic.

Isabella: Clairvoyant and spiritual, but denies her heritage and roots.

Like the land these women are held hostage, unfulfilled and unable to find their happiness. Each generation like the land is cursed. Can they defy the powerful bond of the curse and free themselves to find love everlasting?

New Author, Olivia Castillo, like the jibaros of the past weaves a tale of sorrow and joy. Castillos’ fiction is timely, offering a glimpse into the islands rich history and offering insight into the story that has plagued women for all of time, the search for true love and acceptance of self.

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Excerpt Two:

Maria

Bronx, NY, February 1957

As Maria glanced around she spotted the most gorgeous guy she had ever seen. He was tall and broad-shouldered, with thick brown hair pulled back in a shiny pompadour. He had olive skin and his eyes were a deep onyx. Under a letterman’s jacket he was wearing a tight-fitting sweater.

She watched him from across the room, unable to look away. When he looked up, their eyes met. She felt a shiver go down her spine; he smiled at her, flashing dimples. Maria, trying to be nonchalant, walked over to the table and poured herself a glass of fruity punch, aware of his eyes still on her. She kept her eyes down and swayed to Elvis singing

“Jailhouse Rock.” Only seconds later she felt someone step beside her.

“Hi, doll,” the dark-haired guy said to her. “Are you new? I’m Rick, by the way.” He held out his hand in a friendly gesture.

Wow, he is tall! Maria thought in awe. Giving him her most beguiling smile she said, “I’m Maria, and no, I’m not new, but this is the first school dance I’ve ever been to.”

“Boss,” Rick said enthusiastically, showing dimples again, and brilliant white teeth. “So, who are you here with? Or rather, where is he?” Rick asked, looking around.

“No boyfriend,” Maria admitted, laughing a little. “My mother would flip. Unfortunately, I am here with my little sister,” Maria said raising her voice so Corinna could hear. Corinna, who had not gone too far, looked up upon hearing her name and waved.

 

  1. Please share your setting for Song of the Boricua.

 The setting for the book is Puerto Rico.

 2.  Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

  I lived there as a child for two years. What I liked the most was the freedom I had. We got to play long hours and we had a treehouse.

 3.  When did the writing bug first bite?

 I first started writing in first grade. First for school, then I had diaries and journals. 

 4.  Who are your favorite authors, book/series?

 My favorite authors are F. Scott FitzGerald, Margaret Mitchell, Leo Tolstoy, and the Bronte sisters.

 5.  What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

 I would tell them don’t wait for it all to be perfect to take the plunge.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Olivia Castillo is a New York native. After going to the prestigious Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, she went on to study graphic design at Otis Parson’s College in Los Angeles. Along with being an entrepreneur, she is the mother of three children, and grandmother of two. When not writing or spending time with her family, she travels the world and paints. Song of the Boricua is her first novel.

 

Author website and blog:  www.oliviacastillo.org

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/songoftheboricua/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/oliviacauthor

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/oliviacauthor/

Buy on Amazon now:  https://amzn.to/2P63Wh9

 

The book will be on sale for $0.99.

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

 

Olivia Castillo will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway