Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas & Cannolis by Peggy Jaeger - Book Tour and Giveaway

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?


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.


What should readers expect when they pick up your book?

That’s a loaded question, hee hee! Well, what I hope they expect is to find is a story about a strong woman, a family who supports her, and a man who won’t be able to live without her! If a reader decides to pick-up a copy of CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS, I can guarantee they’ll get all that, plus a lot of humor, a little sadness, and whole lot of quirky, crazy characters that you could find in any big family. I love writing about big families because there are so many diverse personality types, and yet they all seem to blend well together. Your family are the first people you ever love unconditionally, and that means a great deal to me when I’m creating new ones on the page. 

What was the hardest part to write in this book?

There is a backstory event that sets the tone for most of the book and is revealed to the hero about 2/3 of the way through. But that wasn’t the hardest part to write. There is a scene where my  heroine, Regina San Valentino, goes to Rockefeller Center in NYC for an afternoon to watch the skaters and see the huge Holiday tree. While she is there she sees a young mother and father teaching their little boy to ice skate. That scene churns up mournful memories for Regina that send her into a full fledged panic attack. The reason the scene was so difficult for me to write is because I needed to get Regina’s emotional responses just right. She goes from happiness at watching the family, to sadness, to anger, and then to a heart-stopping panic. If I didn’t show how that happened correctly, the reader wouldn’t be able to feel her emotions as they rollercoaster out of control. I wanted to be true to her responses and not make them too over the top, but not negate them as well.

Which character is your favourite and why?

Ursula San Valentino, Regina’s mother, is hands down, my favorite. She is a typical 60-ish Italian/American mama. Short and round, a product of 60+ years of good cooking, she resembles the root meaning of her name: Urso, which means bear. Her husband Sonny calls her Teddy as a nickname, as in Teddy Bear. No woman will ever be a good enough wife for her boys and no man will ever be a good enough husband for Regina. Ursula believes food heals all problems, worries, and sicknesses. She does tend to obsess about weird things, though. For instance, her head spins when she wonders why you drive on a parkway and park in a driveway. She tends to not get puns because she thinks in absolutes and blacks and whites. No gray at all. But she is loyal, fiercely protective of her family, and doesn’t suffer fools. 

What’s next for you?

Right before CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS released, I had another book release in a brand new series I’ve started titled, DEARLY BELOVED, A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN ROMANCE. I am currently writing book 2 and plotting out book 3. The series centers around 3 sister who live in the fictional town of HEAVEN, NH and who collectively run a wedding business while keeping their 93 year old Irish activist grandmother out of trouble, which isn’t easy on the best of days. One sister is the wedding planner, one is the Officiant, and one owns the Inn where many of the receptions take place. The family name is O’Dowd and they are the best parts of sisters in every way.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way?

From the very first time I read a Nora Roberts book I was hooked on telling romance stories about multileveled families. 

Three of your all time favourite books?

Gone with the Wind
Pride and Prejudice
Naked in Death

Any last words?

Just thank you so much for hosting me today and for asking such great questions! I had a blast answering them and I hope I didn’t bore your readers too much. I tired to not babble and go off-topic, but sometimes it’s a struggle for me. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s a struggle every day for me. Every. Single. Day.


About the Author

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.

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

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