Monday, February 8, 2016

Candy Genius Meets Dr. Dreamboat

For the next few days, Peggy Jaeger, author of 3 Wishes, part of the Candy Hearts series at Wild Rose Press, is visiting with Chloe SanValentino, confectioner extraordinaire. First up is Chloe.
Where are you from? Born, bred and live in Manhattan, NY
Tell us a bit about 3 Wishes. I’m rapidly approaching my 30th birthday and it should be a happy time in my life. I’ve got my own business – Caramelle de Chloe, or Chloe’s Candyshop, but my parents have recently separated because of an affair Daddy is having with his 35 year-old bookkeeper. My mama is culling him from her life, getting rid of most of his belongings when she finds a box of my old diaries and childhood momentos. In my diary I find a wish list I’ve made for the perfect man: he’d be a healer, fall in love with me in an instant, and have one blue eye and one green one, just like me. So far he hasn’t materialized in my life. My big, loud Italian family is thrown into upheaval when Daddy has a heart attack on my birthday. At the hospital, I meet a guy who just may fulfill all my requirements for the perfect man – but he belongs to someone else. Or so I think.
What did you think the first time you saw Matt D’Amore? I think the best way to describe how I felt seeing Matt for the first time is to show you how I reacted to him:
His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth and deep. And his mouth, mother-of-God, his mouth. Full, thick beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.
“Sorry,” he said. Those fabulous lips pulled up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”
So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.
Oh my. And what came next—after your heart rate converted to a normal sinus rhythm? How could I make him mine?
Did you feel it was love at first sight? If not love, then severe lust. Looking back now, I realize my reaction to him was like none I’d ever had before with a guy. And every time I saw him again, it just got stronger, so Yeah..I’m gonna say it was love at first sight. And Dio Mio, what a first sight he was!
What do you like most about Matt? First, he fulfills all my wishes: he’s a doctor, so a healer; he says he fell in love me with the moment he turned around in my store and saw me ( Yeah, I know. Sigh.) Plus he has Heterochromia Irides just like me – one green eye, one blue. But I think the thing I like about him the most is that he’s so kind. As a doctor he could be arrogant or even snobbish, but he’s not. He’s simply the kindest man I’ve ever known. And he has the patience of a saint – truly. You need patience to be a member of my ridiculous family.
Very nice, Chloe. How would you describe him? Like I’ve said, he could have modeled for the old masters. Strong, powerful features, combined with a toned body, and a smile that makes my girlie parts go “zing.”
How would Matt describe you? I think his opinion is a little clouded because he loves me, but he’d tell you the physical stuff truthfully: five six, jet back curly hair that looks like it’s been whipped with a mixer on humid days. I tend toward chubbiness if I don’t watch my weight, but Matt would say he loves my curves because I’m all girl in his arms.
What made you choose becoming a chocolatier for a career? When I was five my Nonna Constanza was making Christmas cookies and I asked if I could help. I’d just been watching tv and a commercial for Hershey’s chocolate kisses came on, so I asked Nonna if we could put some on the cookies. She said “Si, bambina” and from that moment chocolate has been my passion. By the time I was 10, I was making candy from molds in Mama’s kitchen. I have a business degree, which taught me how to successfully run and manage my own company and when I was 23 my Uncle Sonny floated me a no interest $25,000 loan to open my shop. I paid that loan back in full the very first year.
Not bad. Not bad at all. What is your biggest fear? It used to be that I’d never find my soul mate. Now, my biggest fear is that my parents will get sick. My daddy has already had one heart attack. I don’t know what I will do when they go to Heaven. I don’t like to even think about it.
How do you relax? Believe it or not, making chocolate is my ultimate relaxation method. Melting, curing, rolling, tempering, all that it is involved with getting the taste just right is my way to release any and all stress.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Dorothy Gayle in The Wizard of Oz. She found out what I knew all along: there really is no place like home.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? From my Nonna Constanza. When I told the family I wanted to open and manage my own candy store she said, “You will be a success if you let your brain listen to your heart and your heart listen to your brain.” Those are very, very true words.
Thanks for spending time with us, Chloe. It's Peg's turn now. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? The Wizard of Oz is my all time favorite movie and in every story I write I put a little piece or a reference to it in with the story line. My favorite book still to this day is the Little Engine That Could because it still stands as the best self-motivating message any one can hear.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I was a child of divorce and my stepfather is Sicilian, so I really did grow up in a big, loud, and raucous Italian family, extended and step though they were. Many of the character attributes I give the San Valentino family I took directly from my step-family. Directly. If any of them read the novella, I wonder of they’ll recognize themselves. Since I was a nurse for 30 years, the event of Chloe’s father’s heart attack was one I saw almost daily when I was in a hospital setting. Back then, a lot of people died from that initial attack. Medical advances have made heart attack deaths much fewer these days.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I write for the Wild Rose Press. I happened to enter a contest where Rhonda Penders, the publisher of WRP was the final judge. She contacted me after the contest and asked me to send her the completed manuscript to the story she’d judged. She passed it to an editor, the editor liked it and I had a contract within 3 months. Cinderella moment, much?
What project[s] are you working on now? I am waiting for galleys to the next book in the MacQuire Women series, book 4 The Voices of Angels, and I am hoping for a spring 2016 release. I also just submitted a full length Christmas story to WRP for consideration that is the next SanValentino family book - this is Gia’s story. I am really hoping they like it. Believe it or not it only took me three weeks to write. I felt as if was writing in my diary, the words came so quickly and the ideas fully formed! Say a prayer for me that it’s a go!
What's up next for you? A blog tour for 3 Wishes, then back to the laptop to start penning book 6 in the MacQuire’s Passion's Palette, Serena MacQuire’s story.
To learn more about Peggy Jaeger and the stories she writes, go to:
Website/Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?ref=bookmarks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger
Google+ : https://plus.google.com/+PeggyJaeger/about
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mmj122687/


To purchase 3 Wishes and other Wild Rose Press books by Peg, go to:
www.wildrosepress.com. Click on author search and type in Peggy Jaeger; that will bring up all of her books available at the bookstore.



Sunday, February 7, 2016

Which Wish Will She Make?

  Presenting . . . Peggy Jaeger's 3 Wishes. . . 

    This one is impossible to put down. Chock full of uber romantic candy genius Chloe SanValentino versus Dr. Dreamy, ER physician Matt D'Amore. With a supporting cast of of Italian mothers and sisters, 3 Wishes is a keeper.
     Mega-talented Peggy Jaeger uses her enormous gift for inventing snappy dialogue, laugh-out-loud scenes and instant sexual attraction between two deserving characters like the champ she is.
Do not miss 3 Wishes. You'll fall in love as I did.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Meet J.C. McKenzie

For the rest of the week, Wild Women Authors is pleased to have fellow Candy Hearts author J.C. McKenzie visiting. With her is Brenna Jones, one of the leads from Be My Love. As usual, Brenna is up first.
Where are you from? British Columbia, Canada
Tell us a bit about Be My Love: Single and bitter, I planned to spend Valentine’s Day at my parents’ log cabin, munching candy while readings books in front of a real fire place. Old Blue, my dad’s decrepit pick-up truck, had other ideas, though, and hit a patch of ice. I survived the crash, barely. My fate didn’t look good—stranded in the middle of nowhere as a blizzard set in. Eric Buchanan, this guy I knew from high school, came to my aid on his snowmobile. That might sound great, but I hated Eric. He broke my heart.
Don't stop there, Bren. What did you think the first time you saw Eric again? Hatred. And maybe death by frost-bit might not be so bad.
Works for us. What was your second thought? If I’m going to be honest, those piercing green eyes sent some tingles straight down to my lady parts. So yes, I had some dirty thoughts, and quickly hated myself for having them. Trapped in a blizzard has a way of making you really look at things though—not just Eric, but myself as well. I soon realized my judgement on him was too harsh, and that maybe, just maybe, he was exactly what I needed.
Aww. Did you feel it was love at first sight? Definitely not.
What do you like most about him? His compassion and ability to put me at ease.
Nice one. How would you describe him? Sandy brown hair, a narrow straight now, piercing green eyes, a square jaw with a couple days’ worth of stubble, and full kissable lips… The last decade had been very kind to Eric. Instead of the youthful pretty-boy looks he’d flaunted in high school, his face had transformed with harder edges, turning him into a devastatingly, handsome man.
Another jewel of a response. How would he describe you? I thought he’d say mousy and geeky, but apparently not! He loves my curves and apparently adores my dark eyes.
What made you choose cardiology technologist for a career? It pays the bills and because I’m helping people, I feel good about my job at the end of the day.
What is your biggest fear? Getting stranded in the middle of nowhere in a blizzard.
Hah! Good one. How do you relax? Eating candy or chocolate while reading a book. Eric’s helped me discover some new ways to relax as well…
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Too many to choose from!
This has been great, Brenna. We're glad you could be with us. Now it's time to chat with J.C.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? Answering this question is the emotional equivalent of stabbing myself with a fork! How could I possibly choose? There’s so many great authors and books, and they’ve all impacted me in some ways. I could pick one that cemented my love for reading in grade seven (Nancy Drew!) Or the authors and books that opened my mind to the unknown (O.R. Melling – The Chronicles of Faerie), new worlds (Robert Jordan) or dark elements (Anne Rice – the Witching Hour). Or I could regale you with my all-time Urban Fantasy loves like Patrica Briggs (Mercy Thompson Series) and Kim Harrison (The Hollows Series). Everything I read, or see, or do impacts my creative process in some way.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? We recently moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, for my husband’s work. I’m originally from the West Coast, where “harsh winters” isn’t in anyone’s vocabulary. After experiencing the cheek-cutting winds and bone-numbing cold of Saskatchewan’s winter, I was able to bring some of those experiences to this story. It takes place during a blizzard in the Rockies, after all.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I submitted to the few big publishing houses that allow unsolicited, un-agented work and received form rejection letters (boo) from each one. I started submitting to small publishers and had a lot of interest. In the end, I decided to go with The Wild Rose Press, because they offer very competitive royalty rates and I just love them. No joke. They’re super nice and supportive. My editor actually rejected Shift Happens when I first submitted the manuscript to her, but she told me specifically what I needed to fix and asked me to resubmit. It all worked out in the end, and I believe, for the better.
I am personally hesitant to self-publish, just because I still feel so new to the publishing experience. There’s a lot of up-front costs with self-publishing that I wasn’t willing to make. 1) I couldn’t afford it (teacher-by-day, here); and 2) there’s a possibility of making huge, costly mistakes. I tip my hat to indie-authors because they are a lot braver than I am!
What project[s] are you working on now? Currently, I’m working very hard to finish the 5th and last installment of my Urban Fantasy Series (The Carus Series).
What's up next for you? Shift Work, book 4 of the Carus Series, releases on February 22, 2016. I’m very excited about this release and can’t wait to get it into the hands of readers.

This has been super. We enjoy supporting other Candy Hearts authors and their work and are pleased J.C. could join us today
To learn more about our guest, go to:
The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/GX2Yj

OR you can copy and paste the embedded information below:







Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review of Be My Love



     Old flames come together in an isolated cabin in the Canadian Rockies during a blistering snow storm. While ironing out old hurts, something new and exciting happens.
Snappy, laugh out loud dialogue, loveable characters and a realistic conflict make Be My Love a winner. You won't be able to put this one down.
     Spectacular job, Ms. McKenzie

Monday, February 1, 2016

Just Say Yes

Wild Women Authors is pleased to have Katie O'Sullivan and Darby Malone from Katie's Say Yes out of the Candy Hearts series. First up is Darby.
Where are you from, Darby? I grew up on Cape Cod, but moved to New York City right after high school. I wanted to be part of the art scene and figured NYC was the place to be. That and my high school boyfriend had a scholarship to art school. He said let’s go and I said yes. After a few years, and a few failed relationships, I decided to come home and try opening my own gallery here on the Cape. At the moment, I’m renting the apartment over my parents’ garage in Orleans. Lame, I know, but my gallery is open for business and I love my job.
Tell us a bit about Say Yes. Winter on Cape Cod is our slow season, not too many tourists or events going on. Somehow I let my sister talk me into holding the annual Girl Scout Valentine party at my new gallery. Just another in a long series of getting talked into things I really don’t want to do. I had just decided I was never going to say yes to anyone again, about anything… when in walks Ben Phillips – you know, the artist who paints those beach scenes and dune paintings that tourists can’t get enough of? Here I am, with my little brand new gallery, on the floor scrubbing gummy bears out of the woodwork, and there he is, a Cape Cod icon and looking like sex on a stick… and he’s asking me for a favor. All kinds of warning bells went off in my head, and my new “just say no” mantra played over and over again on repeat, but in the end I said maybe. It wasn’t yes, not at first. But I just couldn’t bring myself to say no…
What did you think the first time you saw Ben? I just told you – “sex on a stick.” Those ocean blue eyes, the sexy stubble along his jawline… Actually, I don’t even know what that phrase is supposed to mean, but everything’s better on a stick, right?
Good one. And your second thought? He was asking me for a big favor, a one-day gallery show of artwork that he didn’t think would sell. I’d been doing favors for everyone since moving back to the Cape, trying to play nice and make friends, and it wasn’t working. I was starting to feel like there was a big “S” stamped on my forehead for “Sucker.”
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Love? No. Lust? Definitely.
What do you like most about him? I’ve always had a thing for artists, and love the way they look at the world differently. When I was younger, that whole tortured soul thing was such a turn-on for me. But with Ben… he’s been through real emotional trauma and can still be so sweet. Some of his art is tortured, but there’s also such light and such hope.
How would you describe him? A six-foot sea god stepping right out of the L.L.Bean catalog. Dark blond hair, cobalt blue eyes, chiseled jaw, and an intoxicating smile. I could probably get drunk off a few of his smiles.
Oh. . . yum. How would he describe you? Heaven help me if I know! I know I’m cute in a short and curvy kind of way, but I have this unruly mop of dark curls and tend to like more colorful clothes than the average Cape Codder. Not skimpy, at least not in February, but bright and cheerful.
What made you choose owning a gallery for a career? I love art, but realized at an early age that I’m not an artist. I figured a gallery was a way to stay connected. What is your biggest fear? That I won’t be able to make a go of my own gallery. I did well in NYC, but being out on your own is a little scary. And I want to be able to move out of the apartment over my mom’s garage ASAP!
Don't we all. How do you relax? Who has time for that?
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I don’t read a lot of fiction, actually. Mostly art histories and biographies.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? It just might be that little candy heart, telling me to Say Yes.
Thanks for this, Darby. Now it's time to talk with Katie. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? I’ve always been a voracious reader and firmly believe you can’t be a writer without also being a reader. That said, reading Stephen King’s On Writing showed me that tenacity and persistence are important qualities in the publishing business.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I live on Cape Cod and love the beauty of these coastal communities, in every season. I try to infuse my books with local flavor and with Say Yes, I’ve focused on the prolific and diverse art scene on the Cape.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I knew a few authors who were published with The Wild Rose Press when I submitted my first story. I’d heard good things about the quality of the editors, and love the cover art they produce. In addition to this novella in their Candy Hearts series, I’m happy to have 3 full-length novels available with them: My Kind of Crazy, Crazy About You, and Ghosts Don’t Lie.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m working on another Cape Cod romance, as well as a sequel to Ghosts Don’t Lie. In addition to romance, I also write YA fantasy, and have 2 novels in my Son of a Mermaid series, and a third scheduled for summer 2016 (if I finish writing it before then.)
What's up next for you? More writing! And sending my middle child off to college in the fall. How time flies!

Katie O’Sullivan lives on Cape Cod, drinking way too much coffee and inventing new excuses not to dust. Living next to the Atlantic influences everything she writes, from her YA series about mermaids to her contemporary romances for The Wild Rose Press. A recovering English major, she earned her degree at Colgate University and now writes romance and adventure for young adults, and something steamier for the young at heart.
To find her online, go to:

To purchase Say Yes and other books by Katie O'Sullivan, go to www.wildrosepress.com and click on Author Search. That will lead you to Kate's books.

This has been great, Katie. Thanks for giving us a different perspective on Cape Cod and the possibilities found there. Kat and Veronica.



Sunday, January 31, 2016

Say Yes: You Won't Be Sorry

     If you're looking for a sweet and fluffy Valentine romance, Say Yes is not for you.
     If, on the other hand, you want a profound range of emotions and two lead characters who are giving their all to start over and survive, this is the one for you.
     After relocating from New York City to her hometown on Cape Cod, gallery owner Darby Malone is searching for balance both personal and professional. Then reclusive artist Ben Phillips comes into her gallery and changes all that. Been there and done that, she's more than a bit reluctant to mix it up with another temperamental, brooding artist.
     Ben removed himself from the art world after his wife's tragic death. As he recovered, his art took on a new focus: evincing soul-deep pain, devastation and loss. But no one wants to show his new style. Until Darby, who "gets" him and what he's trying to show.
     Ben captured my heart from his first words. Readers will root for him and Darby from the start of this compelling story.
Well done, Ms. O'Sullivan

    

Friday, January 29, 2016

It's The First One That'll Get You

        The last place Lorena Weber wants to be on Valentine's Day is a singles party thrown by her newlywed best friend. But how can she say no? She'll give it an hour—two, tops—and then she's heading back to her normal life. But she didn't plan on seeing the one man who had turned her world on its side New Year's Eve with one kiss that opened doors she had firmly locked.
        Caleb Manning got coerced into attending this ridiculous party by a co-worker. He'll stay for an hour at most and then he'll head home. That was the plan until he recognized Lorena across the room and had to see if that kiss was only New Year's Eve magic or something more.

Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome Candy Hearts Misty Simon, author of One Kiss, and lead female character, Lorena. First up is Lorena.
Where are you from? Central Pennsylvania.
Tell us a bit about One Kiss. It’s the story of getting over things in your past to get on with the future.
What did you think the first time you saw Caleb? That he was super tall! 
What was your second thought? That he looked alone.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? If I could have seen his face, maybe, but since we were both bundled up in scarves, I can’t say for certain.
What do you like most about him? He’s gentle and kind and makes me feel like I’m beautiful.
How would you describe Caleb? Really tall, really nice, and extremely dependable.
How would he describe you? A little bit flighty, a little bit silly and hopefully the love of his life.
What made you choose waitressing as a career? Honestly, it pays well to work at the most exclusive restaurant in town and I’m good at what I do. Plus it allows me to work with at-risk teens as a volunteer teaching art.
What is your biggest fear? Being left again.
How do you relax? Painting
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I love Wesley in the Princess Bride because he was dashing but hardy.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Go for it!
This has been great, Lorena, thanks. Now it's Misty's turn at bat.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? I love romantic comedies. I have always enjoyed watching people stumble through to the love they deserve.
Stumbling through to love—terrific description. What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? In my real life I married the one that almost got away and I feel it impacted the novel in that these two were not going to make the mistake of waiting.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I love The Wild Rose Press and have been publishing with them for almost ten years now. They have a solid plan, great covers and amazing editors. They also are friendly, open and communication has never been an issue.
What project[s] are you working on now? I have three novellas I’m working on to round out my Kissinger Kisses Contemporary Romance Series.
What's up next for you? The next book in my Ivy Morris Mystery Series, For Love and Cheesecake.

To learn more about our guest and the stories she creates, go to:


Our review of One Kiss:
        Thoroughly relatable lead characters who find themselves in a thoroughly relatable quandary: being unable to say 'thanks but no thanks' to the town matchmaker. Caleb is a man who should give lessons in how to really kiss a woman, then finding them lined up at the door, cash in hand. Lorena is intriguing and winsome at the same time, these two hooked me by page 3. Cleverly written, One Kiss had me laughing out loud by page 7. Do not miss this one. It's a winner!