Christmas & Canollis
by Peggy Jaeger
GENRE: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book? You know how they say when you go to pick out a puppy, the puppy really choses you? Yeah, it was the same for me when it came time to write romance books. The Contemporary romance genre is the only one I could see for myself to write. I lovelovelove Regencies, but all the knowledge you have to have on everything from table settings to clothing to the rank of the royal lineage is waaaaaay to much for me to remember. I knew if I got it wrong, readers would hate me. Since I’m a here and now kinda girl, contemporary seemed appropriate. And since I write ContempRomance, when I decided to do another Holiday story involving the San Valentino family, it was the perfect fit. Uncle Sonny is featured in my two previous San Valentino books, 3 Wishes and A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights as a secondary character. I had so many readers tell me they loved him and wanted a story about his family, I just knew I had to write it. It’s become a simple tradition for me to pen a holiday San Valentino book every year, and I’m so pleased the way CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS came out.
2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a first born, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world? I adore this question because I’ve written extensively on the topic of birth order on my blog, PeggyJaeger.com. I’m an only child of divorced parents who both remarried and neither couple had any more children, so in the big scheme of things, I’ve got 4 parental figures – 2 biological and 2 steps. Now, you might assume I’d won the presents and attention lottery with all those adults focused on me and me alone as a child. You would be incorrect in that assumption. I barely saw my father and stepmother while I was growing up and my mother and stepfather where two lower middle class people who had menial, low paying jobs and who needed to work 10-12 hours per day just to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. Now, because I was alone for great stretches of time after school, on holiday breaks and during the summer vacations, I learned to be very independent. I taught myself how to cook, sew, balance a budget/checkbook, and had my first paying job at the age of 11. And because of all that independence, I tend to write very strong, capable women and I’ve raised a strong, capable, independent daughter. Do I still lament the fact that I have no siblings? Yes, every day. SO much so that I married a man who comes from a huge family! 6 kids total.
3. Where is your favorite place to write? I’m going to be honest and tell you the ONLY place I can write is in my attic office in my house. I’ve tried writing in cafes, or when I’m on vacation, or even in the car when I’m the passenger. I can’t. I need the house to be empty, total quiet surrounding me, and then I can pound out the words. So my office is my defacto favorite place to write since it’s the only place I can write.
4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains? Luckily, my murder rate is low – I typically only have to kill redundant words, a few at a time. I’ve never had to annihilate full chapters or sections. I think the reason is because I am such a detailed plotter. Before I ever sit down to write I’ve got what I want to say plotted out. The major changes and murders I commit are to dialogue tags and repetitious words.
5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? Fab question and it happened to me in 2015. I was attending RWA San Antonio and met NORA ROBERTS at the Literacy book signing. I had everything planned out that I wanted to say to her. The moment it was my turn and I handed her my book to sign I burst into tears because I was so overcome just be being in her presence. She really is like a unicorn to me! She asked my why I was crying and I said, “Because it’s you!” through tears. She laughed, waved a hand at me and told me to sit down. Then she proceeded to make me feel like I was an old friend who’d arrived for tea and catch-up. By the time my turn was over I was able to ask her what the best advice to a wanna be romance writer ( me!) was. She said, simply, to put my ass in my chair and write the book of my heart. And I did!
6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows. I don’t think anyone knows this, but, I imagine like all authors do, I talk to myself in my character voices when I’m reading over dialogue to hear if the words ring true and sound like something the character would really say.
7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a back pack for company. What three items are in your survival pack? An unending ream of toilet paper, a water purification filter, and a solar powered laptop.
8. If you could have one super power in your existence, what would it be? Another question I just love! Like Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth, I would want the power to know when someone is lying. I’d force politicians to be honest, make criminals confess their crimes, and hold people in power accountable to the people they serve and work for. Plus, it would be a great power to lord over teenagers, wouldn’t it? Hee Hee
9. Favorite snack? Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies
10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit? Your questions are so perfectly written! I am a plotter – my course is set before my fingers ever hit a keystoke in a new book I’m working on. Because I’m a Nurse, I approach everything with the scientific method for asking questions and trying to elicit information. This falls into my writing as well, where I plan out every scene and every book in detail first. Do I ever change course or hit a speed bump ( Using your metaphors here!)” Yes. And yes, sometimes a character will veer of the plotted path. When that happens – rare though it does – I usually allow it to run it’s course and then see if it is worth keeping or discarding. If it doesn’t advance the plot, answer a question, or make you want to turn the page, it gets nixed. If it makes the story better, then I keep it and build from there. But nine times out of ten, I stay the course I’ve planned.
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?
I spotted my customer in the seat my mother indicated. His back was toward me, but I could tell he was tall from how much of him shot up from the chair. Since I didn’t know how to address him, I simply said, “Excuse me?” when I finally arrived at the table. I was all set to introduce myself and ask how I could help him, but before the words could form in my throat I was struck mute. Truly. I stopped short, my mouth falling open like unfilled cannoli shells, and no sound came out.
He turned to me at the exact moment a slice of midday November sunlight streamed through the window, landing right on him and surrounding his head in a halo of bright, brilliant light. I wouldn’t have been surprised if a choir of angels started belting out celestial high notes because the guy could have been a charter member of the Messenger of God club.
Facially, he looked a little older than my thirty-two, but not over the forty-year mark yet. Where my hair is the color of wet ink, his was a shock of silver threaded with faint stripes of peppery black above his ears. It looked so thick and touch-worthy, the tips of my fingers were actually tingling to clutch the ends and grab on. Eyes the color of threatening storm clouds—gray and tinged with pale shards of blue—peered up at me, a question pulling at their corners. Eyelashes most women had to pay for framed his lids naturally. His jaw was square, his cheekbones carved from marble by a master sculptor.
But his mouth—Madre di Dio, his mouth. It was about as perfect as two lips meeting in the center of a face could be. Full and thick with that natural rimmed outline women were forced to create with a liner pencil, it was the most kissable mouth I’d ever seen. Tinted the color of aged Barolo—my father’s favorite wine—ripe and smooth, full-bodied and intense, it simply stopped me in my tracks.
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 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.
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/6235-christmas-and-cannolis.html
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.
lt;a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2811/” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”28e4345f2811″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_ko4bxgm2″>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><script src=”https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js”></script>