Hello readers. I was organizing my office and came across several articles about my novella, Christmas Once Again. I had a blast rereading the material. The story was published in 2018, and since then, I’ve had many questions from readers and interviewers. I thought I’d share a few popular questions and my answers. As always, thank you for your questions. I thoroughly enjoy hearing from you.
What drives you to write?
It started as an escape from my squabbling children and a tired husband—just kidding. I love writing, and it gives me tremendous pleasure when a stranger tells me they are a fan.
What inspired this story?
A magical painting and time travel are the perfect elements for a holiday romance. But you might be surprised to know that Christmas Once Again was inspired by a news broadcast about ordinary people pitching together to save a stranger’s life after a snowstorm.
What genre(s) of romance do you write, and why?
Christmas Once Again, a time travel fantasy, was a little out of my comfort zone, but the story fell into place. I’m more at home writing about western romance and hunky cowboys. My family always watched westerns on TV, and it seems natural to write about the Old West. But if I thought of another time travel plot, I’d go for it.
What genre(s) of romance do you read, and why?
I’m open to most genres. However, a long time ago, my daughter made me take her to the movies to watch Lord of the Rings because she had just read the series. Total respect for Tolkien, but it’s safe to say that after the umpteenth orc ran across the screen, this storyline wasn’t for me. (For Tolkien fans—I know—I know. My daughter has pointed out the error of my ways!)
Why is your featured book a must-read to get you in the holiday mood?
Christmas Once Again is a magical story for the season. Hold your breath as the heroine puts her life in peril to search for a missing painting. And root for granny as she tries to convince her grandson that she's a time traveler. This romantic fantasy delivers an emotional holiday ending. It's a quick read, but you won't find it predictable.
Did you know I’m on Pinterest? Drop by and check out my favorite pins! There’s a little something for every writer and great recipes for special gatherings.
Featured Boards include:
TIPS FOR WRITERS – (If you enjoy writing, this board is for you.)
TIME TRAVEL AND FANTASY
WRITING A FIGHT SCENE
HOLIDAY FOOD - (Goodies for Father’s Day and July 4th.)
When I was a kid, my sister and I used to make May Day baskets and fill them with spring flowers. We’d run all over the neighborhood and leave a basket at a house to brighten some lucky person’s day. Since many of us are still under the Covid-19 lockdown, I wanted to share some pictures from our vacation a few years back. (Hope they will brighten your day.) These were taken at The International Rose Test Garden in Portland. If I could splurge on a rose garden, it would look like this one!
Start your week with some great laughs! 5 Stars
I thoroughly enjoyed this cute novella. It’s a snappy Christmas tale perfect for the holidays! From page one, Ms. McClellan had me chuckling.
The main character, Lexi, is dumped by her boyfriend a few weeks before Christmas. She’s over him but not her bills. Lexi decides to make extra cash by dressing up as Ms. Santa and marketing herself as a holiday party coordinator. Easy peasy.
But when her ex-boyfriend has second thoughts, and an old middle school crush suddenly enters her life, it’s a lively holiday you won’t want to miss! 5 smiling stars
Note: Ms. McClellan was also my guest on 4/11/19. She shared some great tips:
Writing Romantic Love Scenes from Sweet to Steamy Hot
A fun read any time of the year! 5 Stars
I’m a sucker for a holiday romance, and Ms. O’Sullivan quickly tapped into my emotions with this Holiday Hunks story.
Brendan is an injured hockey player with a bad boy reputation. Paige makes ends meet by living with her parents and working a lackluster job. One of them is guarding a secret that involves the other. Good or bad, secrets have a way of complicating life.
I’ve been an O’Sullivan fan for a couple of years. True to her style, this second chance romance is a pleasure to read. Her flair for witty dialogue and entertaining descriptions will keep you turning the page. The characters are believable, and the story is fast-moving. From the Hot Hunks Steamy Romance Collection, BRENDAN’S CHRISTMAS SURPRISE gets 5 glistening stars.
Katie O'Sullivan's Author Links:
Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page
It's my pleasure to introduce author Julie Howard. Check out her suggestions for STAYING ORGANIZED DURING THE HOLIDAYS, and don't miss her new release WILD CRIME.
Staying Organized During the Holidays by Julie Howard
The holidays can be overwhelming. There’s so much to do. Shopping, cleaning, cooking, parties, visiting, families. Oh boy. And I need to get my tree up and decorations out of storage and… okay, now I’m getting stressed.
I thought the holidays were supposed to be warm and merry.
Well, they will be. But in the meantime, there’s a lot to do. How can we all stay organized, get our chores done, and enjoy the holidays without getting too frazzled?
I don’t have all the answers but I do have a tip or two. Here are my top five tips for staying organized for the holidays.
1. Make a list with five bullet points. Sure, we all have more than five things to do, but trust me, only five spaces. I’ll explain later.
2. Write down the most important thing (one thing) that needs to get done today. Sure, we all have more to do, but if nothing else, you will get that one important task checked off your long list. Celebrate each achievement.
3. Break up intimidating chores. Is your shopping list a mile long? Focus on the kids first, or one side of the family, or those gifts that require shipping. Need to tidy? Just do the kitchen today, and another room tomorrow. Need to do your Christmas cards? Do three, or five, but make your goal small and achievable. Sometimes it’s easier to break up a large task into pieces – instead of waiting until you have time to do the entire task.
4. Be kind to yourself. People aren’t visiting to admire a clean house or enjoy a gourmet meal. They want to see YOU. Be present. If you need to order take-out pizza for a party, do it. The world won’t end and people will likely think you are pretty smart for not spending the entire day in the kitchen. Last Christmas, we ordered Chinese take-out for a small family get-together and thoroughly enjoyed how easy the dinner was. Take on what you can, and let go of the rest. People care less than you think about the details.
5. Do not try to think beyond five items at a time. Now that you’ve completed the first four items on this list, make another list of the next five things to do. The fifth item will always be to make your next list. By keeping your lists short, you will achieve a much-needed feeling of accomplishment instead of constantly feeling behind and overwhelmed.
Hope this helps! And happy holidays to you.
Wild Crime released Dec. 4!
Tagline: How far will she go to discover the truth?
Blurb from Wild Crime:
"I'm a murderer. I'm a murderer. I'm a murderer."
Those three repeated words discovered in an old letter propel Meredith Lowe in a cross-country pursuit to unveil her mother's murky past. Danger stalks Meredith back to Hay City, Idaho as she peels apart the mystery: who is her father, and did her mother kill him? In finding the answer, will a growing love slip through her fingers?
Past merges with the present as the story races to its stunning conclusion.
Excerpt from Wild Crime:
Her hair fell below her waist, ripped free of its ties and weighed down by the warm, lashing rain. The sky-blue dress, so carefully chosen for this night and tried on so many times in her bedroom, was ruined. One strap had torn from her shoulder and dangled down her back. Mud splattered the hem. Sweet Cantaloupe lipstick, a lovely coral that heightened the green in her eyes, was smeared like a bruise on one cheek. She ran.
The high school gym behind her, decorated in crepe paper and curtains, vibrated with electric guitars and teen-aged hormones. Couples gyrated on the dance floor and then disappeared into dark corners. It was late and the Spring Dance was in full throttle. No one would miss her for hours.
Before her, trees dripped moss, barely visible in the darkness. She envisioned the moss brushing her shoulders, low branches snagging in her hair, the possibility of snakes both at her feet and above; this made her hesitate. It would take one scream, one gasp, and he would find her.
About the author:
Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime series, and Spirited Quest. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild, editor of the Potato Soup Journal, and founder of the Boise chapter of Shut Up & Write. Learn more at juliemhoward.com.
Buy links for Wild Crime:
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wild-crime-julie-howard/1134112545?ean=9781509228638
Hello readers! The 2019 Holiday Garden Gourmet is free from the authors of The Wild Rose Press (my publisher.) It's 178 pages of delicious recipes!
I'd be glad to send you a pdf!
Contact me at:
use my website contact form
Christmas Once Again
She’s dead broke. And eviction looms. On Christmas Eve antique consultant Madison Knight takes a phone call from local rancher Zach Murdock. Through a mix-up at an estate sale, Madison’s company purchased his grandmother’s beloved painting. He offers double the money for its return.
Madison risks her job to track down the artwork, but success falls short when she’s stuck in a blizzard. Stranded, she seeks help from a frontier family. Are they living off the grid, or did she somehow travel through time?
Zach’s the only person who knows her plan. He also knows a secret about his gran’s painting. It’s up to him to rescue Madison, but maybe he’s not cut out to be a hero.
Christmas Once Again has several reviews on Goodreads, NetGalley and Amazon. Here are the links if you'd like to read them:
It's my pleasure to introduce Author Peggy Jaeger. Join me as she shares exciting details about her new release, DIRTY DAMSELS.
DIRTY DAMSELS ( DotComGirls Series Book 1)
This isn’t your childhood version of Cinderella, folks, but a 2019 retelling of the fairy tale with a few modern twists.
Ella Jones is the CEO of an exclusive cleaning company titled DIRTY DAMSELS. With a $150,000 business loan and a sound business plan, Ella’s company has grown in leaps and bounds since she first started it in college. You know you’ve made it in the business world when someone wants to acquire what you’ve built, and now Ella’s fighting a corporate takeover. As she fights for her company, she also fighting not to lose her heart to the one person who could take everything she’s worked for away.
When I first saw Cynderella all covered in soot in that sexy maid uniform, I knew I wanted to be her Prince.
She’s a small and savvy businesswoman who’s built her cleaning company from the ground up. But now that Dirty Damsels is booming, I’ve been hired to arrange a hostile takeover.
But the temptation of having her was too much to ignore… We ended up spending one night together—a night neither of will forget. Now, I want more. I need more. I want to spend every night, skin-on-skin, with my beautiful Ella.
Problem is, when she finds out who I really am, she’ll never forgive me.
The bathroom door opened.
In his tailored suit he’d been impressive and striking. With a white bulky towel wrapped around his waist, and the humidity in the bathroom sluicing off his damp torso, he was downright magnificent. Those wide and solid shoulders tapered down into biceps I could tell regularly attended a gym with him, and then into forearms corded with strong sinew and veins.
“I-I’m sorry,” I stammered. “I’m almost done. I’m sorry.” I blushed again and I cursed my fair skin. But really, how could I not blush and stutter when faced with this unbelievable specimen of hotness standing five feet away from me, all wet and hard muscled and gorgeous?
He moved like a panther across the rug, soundlessly stalking, as if playing with his prey, until he came to the opposite side of the bed.
He took one corner of the sheet in his hand and yanked it. “Do you have enough on your side?”
Speech was impossible because I knew I’d start blabbering again, so I nodded and tucked the sheet under the mattress.
“Hospital corners.” He nodded and then mimicked my motions. “I love a tight sheet.”
I couldn’t help but stare at the way his biceps swelled when he lifted the mattress as if it weighed nothing, and shot the sheet under it. Nor could I forgo glancing at the thick mat of black hair crisscrossing from one side of his pecs to the other and then down, disappearing below the towel. And I’d have to have been struck blind and stupid – which I’m neither – not to notice and admire the trim, tight waist and abdomen the towel was securely wrapped around.
At least I prayed it was securely wrapped.
I grabbed the comforter, shook it out and he helped me place it over the bed.
“Toss me one of those,” he commanded when I grabbed a pillow and began tugging the case on.
He caught both in midair.
The bed made, I turned to tell him about the platter of food, but stopped before the words could leave my throat. He’d moved without a sound again, coming to stand so close to me I could smell the citrus scent of the soap he’d used wafting off his body.
He placed a hand on my shoulder and gave it a little squeeze. I swear my body temperature went up ten degrees. I figured by now I resembled one of those cartoons where the character’s head turns beet red and then explodes upward.
“Thanks, Cinderella.” A devilish grin tripped across his tired face. “But I need to crash now, so…”
I truly could have stood there for the rest of the afternoon basking in his hotness, but I got the hint.
I nodded and made one last visual sweep of the room.
“Do you want me to close the blinds?” I asked, turning back just in time to see him drop the towel and slide – gloriously naked – into the freshly made bed.
Holy Mother of God. The man had a butt made for grabbing. Two perfect, round, and tight cheeks dipped from that narrow waist, leading downward to two thick and powerful thighs. Since his back was to me he didn’t notice my jaw hanging open to my knees while he burrowed under the comforter.
“Mmm…sure. Thanks, Cinderella.”
Even half asleep his voice made my heart skip a few beats and my girlie parts go zing.
Amazon: Exclusive to KU readers for free
Kindle version: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TBBPHM8
Print Version: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1640348409
Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer!
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, she 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’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.
When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.
A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, Peggy is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"
Social Media links:
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
Happy July 4th!
A Christmas in July Sale seemed perfect for CHRISTMAS ONE AGAIN. Read it now for only 99¢.
Please leave a review if you have time (Goodreads or Amazon) or let me know what you thought about the story by sending me a message on the Contact Page.
Thanks so much for checking out my website!
SOUTHERN HARM won me over in the first chapter. Author Travis Casey spins a smart story with full-on action, and in Kentucky, there’s no better place to see action than at a horse track.
Oscar Novak-Chambers, a bad boy I couldn’t help but like, borrows a hundred grand from loan shark Louie Gomez and promptly loses it all at the track. The pressure is on for Oscar to pay the loan shark back.
Casey paints a gangster-type Louie right from the start. Tension builds whenever his character is in a scene, and the suspense will keep you reading.
Another character I like is Stacey Davenport. She’s the Kentucky governor’s daughter and a consultant to the DA’s office. Stacey can’t wait to put Louie behind bars. Oscar must think fast before he becomes collateral damage. Would a hot romance persuade Stacey to reconsider?
I’m a big fan of novels with unexpected twists. I logically imagined the story to go one way and was I ever wrong. Don’t miss SOUTHERN HARM. 5 Stars