Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Welcome Peggy Jaeger!

I interviewed fellow Rose, Peggy Jaeger, for my blog today. Hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have!

What is your writing style or schedule?
I’d like to think it’s disciplined and concise but that would be a lie! Hee Hee. I try – I do try – to be disciplined and get a set word count each day. Sometimes I make it, others…well. Life, you know? I do write every single day, tho, no matter what. It may not be in my WIP or current edits, but I blog, write pieces for other blogs, etc. So every day writing schedule, just not as prolific as I’d like to be. As far as writing style, I tend to think I write like I speak, only more structured and not so dithery. A reader I didn’t know from Adam once said to me at a book signing, I feel as if you’re speaking to me when I read your books. Love that!!!

I love when readers "get" our writing. Where do you actually write?
I’m blessed, so don’t hate me: I have a 4 story house that I live in the woods with my hubby. The fourth floor is a completed attic where my office sits. My window overlooks the back of our wooded property and I get to watch the seasons change and watch the woodland animals daily. If you’ve ever watched one of my crazy-ass videos on my You-Tube site (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDR8RRIlssIyS0FYZWeGqsg/videos ), you know I video the wild turkeys and deer on my property all the time because I get such a kick watching them.

Sounds beautiful. Do you write linearly or not?
Okay, I’m guessing you mean do I write the story from beginning to end, page one to whatever, and not jump around, so YES, that’s how I do it. The reason I write that way is because I was a nurse in a former life and I approach most of the things I do in my life from a scientific method background, meaning, I identify a problem and then make hypothesis to solve it, conduct experiments to do so and then have an ending. That’s how I write: I come up with an idea, hypothesize about what could happen, plot it all out in detail, and then write it without deviating. And I guess that’s a very long-winded way to say, yes, I do write linearly!

Me, too. Except when I don't. :) What sort of other activities keep you from actually writing?
I love to paint and cook and most days you can find me baking something around noon-ish or when I’ve hit a decent stopping point in my writing for the morning. Even though it is just my hubby and I at home these days, I still cook a hot meal 6-7 nights a week because it’s the one time in the day we can actually sit down and reconnect.

I know! Family dinners are great. Do you have support, either from family and friends or a writing group?
I’d love to say I’ve got a team behind me pushing me and encouraging me, but again, I’d be fibbing! I don’t have critique partners – personal choice –but I do belong to my local New Hampshire chapter of RWA and I adore those writers sosososos much. They have literally made me a better writer and a calmer person.

Awesome. How long does it normally take you to write a novel?
Plotting: 1-2 weeks. First draft 8 -10 weeks. First edits on that draft 1 month. I can write fast because I plot everything out before hand, so I always know where the story is going.

Who or what are your inspirations?
Writing inspirations: Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Lauren Layne, Jill Shalvis, Catherine ByBee
Personal Inspirations: Jack Canfield, Eleanor Roosevelt, Laura Bush

If there’s a single aspect to writing that really frustrates you, what is it?
Oh, baby, is there! Marketing. First, last and always. I simply abhor having to do all the promo you need to do to sell a book these days. I really wish I could have been born and published in the days when publishing houses did everything for their authors except write the book! I would give anything to have a publicist, personal assistant, and marketing guru in my house everyday, doing what I do every day and much better than I do! This would free me up to just write, which is all I really want to do. There’s a reason I never went into sales and marketing as a career.

I think there are a lot of us who agree with you. Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal writing environment?
You know what? I can’t think of a better gig that I have right now. I love my house, my attic and my office. I love that I live in the woods. I love that I get to write all day without interruptions, full time. It truly can’t get any better than that for me.

Tell me about your latest book.
A few years ago the Wild Rose Press had an author series titled THE CANDY HEARTS ROMANCES. All books were novellas and all centered around Valentine’s day. MY addition was 3 Wishes, a book that introduced the San Valentino family, a group of loud, loving, and cooking Italian/Americans. MY newest book CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS continues the story of the San Valentinos, this time it’s Sonny’s family, though. With my last San Van book A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, I had several readers tell me they wanted an Uncle Sonny story, so I wrote it. This is the story of Sonny’s youngest child and only daughter, Regina.

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?

Sounds great! Where did you get your inspiration for your book?
I love to bake, so having a baker as a major character was a no brainer for me. My thought when I write a RomCom is that there is always something that can happen in your life, even when tragedy hits, that can be fixed with love and laughter. Regina has had a horrible personal tragedy and has been able to get past it with the love of her family. But she’s turned herself off from ever finding love again. I knew I needed to make her journey true to form, namely, sad, but that her crazy family needed to be the ones to lift her up, so, as obnoxious as they all are, they are supportive, interfering, loving and just plain crazy at times!
My goal as a writer is always to make you cry on one page then bring you out of with laughter on the next. That’s what I set out to do with CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS.

Do you have a favorite character and if so, who and why?
Regina’s mother and Sonny’s wife Ursula. She’s the kind of Italian mama where no girl will ever be good enough for her bambinos, and no man will ever be good enough for her bambina. She’s a typical old world mama who loves to cook for her family, dole out advice whether it’s needed or not, and suffers from pun-it is. This means, she continually worries about things like “Why do they call it a driveway when you park your car on it?” and “Why can’t they put the fabric softener in the detergent to save time?”


Ha! What are you working on now? 
I just had a new romance series start titled A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and book 1 DEARLY BELOVED came out in November, so I’m working on book 2 right now and plotting book 3

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?

Excerpt:

It had been a long, long time since a guy’s hands had been on me in anything resembling a carnal way. My ex had decamped to parts unknown five years ago after signing the divorce papers and I’d been so busy rebuilding my life that adding any kind of relationship to it wasn’t even a notion. Besides, with my hovering parents, one of whom worked for me while the other popped in daily to check up on their only daughter, I had enough on my plate fending off the men they wanted to introduce me to. Guys who, for the most part, had shady lifestyles, carried concealed, and owed my father innumerable favors. And by favors I mean the kind that usually get signed for in blood and paid back the same way.
            Welcome to mia familia.

Buy Links:





Author bio:

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 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/


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






You-Tube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDR8RRIlssIyS0FYZWeGqsg/videos


BookGorilla:https://www.bookgorilla.com/author/B00T8E5LN0/peggy-jaeger/kcc



Monday, December 10, 2018

I Found It!

Yesterday was a great day. Not because we celebrated the last night of Chanukah with family, which we did, and it was also great, but because I found two things that have been missing forever.

The first was a sock.

Yeah, I know, if I’m getting jazzed over a missing sock, then my life is pretty sad. While I personally don’t agree with that statement, I can understand why you might think that. But missing socks drive me crazy, especially when they’re mine. My husband jokes that I shouldn’t mind, since I wear mismatched socks like the kids do, except I only wear them when walking the dog. And for any of you who have seen me when I walk the dog—or have accompanied me on those dog walks—mismatched socks are the least of my worries (hey, it’s early morning, I’m not a morning person and at least I’m upright).

But for the rest of the time? I like my socks to match. And to be the same size and fabric. So when we do the laundry and I end up with an odd number of socks, and still an even number of feet, I get frustrated. Adding to that is the borrowing of said socks by Banana Girl, who needed them for marching band. Yeah, “borrowing.” That’s funny. Because anything “lent” to one of my girls is likely never to be seen again. But when she needed black socks for marching band, and I had a drawer full of them, it was easier than going out to the store to buy them. So I gave her a few pairs, with the understanding that I’d get them back. That was freshman year. She’s a senior. I finally got a pile of socks back and wouldn’t you know it, some of the missing pairs were there!

The second was my iPad cloth. 

My iPad is the original version, when Apple first came out with them. The only thing I do with it is read on my kindle app. It came with a black cloth that was the size of the screen and that cloth was great. It made cleaning the screen really easy and was the perfect size. And then I lent it to the Princess. I know. I should know better. But she needed it to borrow and I said, “Sure, just give it back to me.” Ha. It was lost somewhere in her room, which meant I was never going to see it again. 

I searched the laundry. I searched piles of clothes we were giving away. I searched under her bed (and survived). She went off to college, after cleaning her room, and it was still missing. My author friend was nice enough to give me a new one, one that was imprinted with her book and was a lovely piece of author swag. I’ve been using it since then and it works great. I have no complaints.

But then we put together a massive donation of clothes from Banana Girl. I was getting them ready—and getting annoyed by all the unworn clothes that were no longer the right size—when I spotted the iPad cloth! Don’t ask me how it got in her pile of clothes (although this does provide evidence that she steals from her sister), but it was there. And now it’s mine again.

Moral of the story: never lend anything to your kids that you ever want to see again.

And sometimes it’s nice to be thrilled by the little things.




Monday, December 3, 2018

Rolling With The Punches

I woke up this morning to my power being out. It was unexpected—there was no storm or wind, no construction, no reason for the power to be out. It simply was. 

We’ve prepared for this by purchasing a generator. Although my house is usually in the neighborhood “sweet spot” where everyone but us loses power, after a couple of times where that sweet spot failed us, we decided the time had come to purchase a generator. We bought it at the beginning of hurricane season and have been testing it every month to make sure it’s working. In fact, our last test was on Saturday.

So I’m using the generator and I can do what needs to get done, and I have access to coffee. I can’t do laundry and I can’t leave the house with the generator on, so I have to adapt a little. Despite the best-laid plans, stuff happens.

It’s the same thing with launching a book. I’ve written and edited and sent it out into the world. I arranged for people to review it. I’ve nagged the world to buy it. And as prepared as I am, I can’t control ultimately what happens. Sure, I’ve gotten some great reviews, but inevitably, someone’s going to dislike it. There’s no pleasing everyone. 

I happened to wake up to a great review, so that put a smile on my face. But I went to bed after reading about how someone else didn’t finish my book because they didn’t like it enough. Again, despite the best-laid plans, stuff happens.

At some point today, my power will be back on. My neighbor’s yard will be patched—apparently, in order to fix MY power, they have to dig up THEIR yard—and life will go back to normal. My book sales will hopefully reflect the effort I’ve put into launching this book. And I’ll get back to writing the next one. 

I’m rolling with the punches.

And maybe I should offer my neighbor some homemade cookies and a copy of my new book. J