Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Can't Stand the Heat by Peggy Jaeger - Book Tour and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

With three successful TV series under her belt, including her cousin Kandy’s, executive producer Stacy Peters is ready to helm her own show. But to make that happen, she has to do her network boss one favor first—spend two months on a ranch in Montana wrangling the notoriously difficult director of Beef Battles. Apparently, he eats producers for breakfast. Yet all Stacy can think when she meets the lean, rugged man is how hungry he makes her . . .

Dominic Stamp—Nikko to his very few friends—has had enough interference from TV newbies. And when Stacy climbs out of the car in Montana, he’s not convinced she’s even old enough to drive, much less produce his show. But he can’t deny that the long-legged blonde with the stubborn will and the dazzling smile whets his appetite. And as Stacy proves her talent with the crew and the budget alike, Nikko vows to prove to her that love is on the menu for both of them .


This couldn’t be the new executive producer. 

She looked like an intern, barely out of college, not the seasoned television producer Teddy Davis had emailed him about. 

The one he’d emailed back saying he neither wanted nor needed.

Hair the color of champagne fell just below her shoulders in a soft cascade of waves and ripples. Even in the heat and humidity engulfing them it looked fresh. Her face was a perfect heart, a tiny dip in the center of the hairline bifurcating her brow into two perfectly aligned sections, her flawless chin falling into a delicate point. She had one hand out to shake his, the other shading her eyes from the strong and harsh afternoon sun, but underneath her fingers he was able to make out a pair of sloe-shaped eyes in a deep, forest green.

Taller than average but small boned, her legs took up most of the lissome body. With her lips held together in a tight line, she reached him.

“I’m Stacy Peters, Mr. Stamp.” 

He stopped and planted his feet, his gaze shifting to her outstretched hand and then back up to her face without taking it. Her eyes narrowed into a determined glare and it looked as if she wasn’t going to back down until he shook it. With reluctance, he did.

Like the rest of her, her fingers were narrow and thin as they coiled around his.

A blast of heat instantly warmed and calmed his entire body like a few shots of his favorite Irish whiskey did after a rough and painful day. The subtle aroma of vanilla floated to him, filling his senses with the sweet fragrance. The persistent, throbbing ache in his left leg the liquor helped chase away was momentarily forgotten with his hand rooted in hers.


How to handle negative criticism

If you aspire to be a published writer, realize that not every person is going to like everything you write. Reviewers and critics are a necessary part of releasing your words into the book-reading world, whether you are a traditionally published author, or you self publish. There will always be those people who read your books who simply don’t like, or don’t agree with, what you’ve written.

And they will let their followers, friends, and any one else they can round up, know it, so if you don’t want to wind up prostrate on the floor of your bathroom sucking your thumb and clutching an anxiety blanket, you need to develop a thick skin.

My skin has been a foot thick since I was a kid. As the only child of divorced parents in my entire elementary school I was teased, tormented, verbally taunted, and physically bullied daily because my mother’s last name was different from mine.  This was in the 60’s where divorce wasn’t the accepted moral norm it is today. Add in that I was wicked smart and the teachers all liked me, and that daily cruelty increased exponentially from year to year.

I learned early on the benefit of ignoring the verbal and not lashing back with heightened emotions and tears–something those mean kids wanted—and when the attacks became physical, I defended myself in the best way I knew how: with my words. As a kid, cutting someone off at the knees with a snarky sentence was powerful. As an adult, with the wisdom that comes with age, not so much.

I still deal with negative criticism from reviewers and readers the same way I did back then, though, and basically just ignore the nastiness. I don’t feed it with verbal retributions or cruel counter-comments. There are just some people who feel the only way they can bring themselves up is to put someone else, or their work, down. And if you notice, the people who do criticize you or your work, are usually not writers themselves, but wish they were. 

The other day on my Instagram feed, I had a great quote posted: “Whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you.” Think about that. Negative criticism, the kind that is meant to belittle, wound, and humiliate someone, is most often always said from a viewpoint of jealousy. Jealousy for your success. Jealousy for the fact you have done something the critical person has not: had a book published. Jealousy for the fact you are living your dream.

Zig Zigler has a great quote about negative criticism that puts it all in perspective for me:  “Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” I’m pretty chubby, so I can take a nip and a bite or two and still keep standing tall.

So, I handle all the negative criticism I get by not fueling or stoking the fire of the negativity. I simply let the person have their say and go on with my life, secure in the knowledge that I’m getting paid to do what I love: write. And they are not.

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.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Blooming Into Life by Kristie Booker - Book Tour and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Growing up on a farm in Brockville, Illinois, did not prepare Colleen O’Brien Adler to be the wife of a wealthy entertainment lawyer living in Chicago. It certainly didn’t prepare her to be Dinah Adler’s daughter-in-law. The stay-at-home mother of two has more than she’s ever wanted—a personal stylist, a prestigious country club membership, a multimillion-dollar home—but she finds herself not only struggling with depression and body image but also failing as a parent and fearing for her marriage. Her life is about to change when an invitation to a wellness meeting arrives in her inbox. With some coaxing from personal coach Kory Stone, she commits to a new beginning. But will she be able to overcome the things that are holding her back?


“How many of you are here to lose weight?” Kory asked.

Colleen raised her hand along with every other woman in the room. Noticing how skinny over half the room was, Colleen wondered why they were raising their hand. 

“While your goal is weight loss, my goal is to help you find yourself, your true self,” Kory said.

“What if our true self just needs to lose weight?” Beth said.

The women around the table laughed. Kory smiled at her. “I want to help you see beyond your physical body and dig deep into what makes your heart happy.”

Beth’s smile faded as she considered Kory’s words. Colleen had no idea what made her heart happy. She loved the girls and Jay. They made her happy. They also made her exhausted. Besides her bed, a vanilla latte and a bottle of wine, she couldn’t put her finger on anything that truly made her happy.

“The hardest part about finding out what makes you happy is being truthful about what isn’t making you happy,” Kory said. “In order to lose weight and keep it off, you have to commit to working hard to overcome the things that are holding you back.”

Colleen wasn’t sure she could commit to doing whatever work Kory was talking about. Some things in her life were too difficult to overcome.


Tell us about your book, what inspired it?

Blooming Into Life is a story about Colleen Adler. She’s a farm girl that grows up to marry a wealthy lawyer living in Chicago. As a stay-at-home mother of two, she has more than she’s ever wanted—a personal stylist, a prestigious country club membership, a multimillion-dollar home—but finds herself not only struggling with depression and body image but also failing as a parent and fearing for her marriage. Her life is about to change when an invitation to a wellness meeting arrives in her inbox. With some coaxing from personal coach Kory Stone, she commits to a new beginning. Some of the things she must overcome seem impossible.

My work as a wellness coach inspired my story. I began noticing how many women (myself included) measure their self-worth by the number on the scales, the price tag of their clothing, and the status of the social group they belong to. I realized this was all in the name of acceptance. So, I decided to write a story about a woman searching for acceptance.

Tell us about the cover and the inspiration for it.

I love flowers and, therefore, so does Colleen. The book begins in the springtime in Chicago. After a long winter, Colleen looks forward to the blooming gardens. Just like the new plants, her seeds are planted and she begins to bloom. I’ve always loved vintage seed packets so I wanted a cover that was similar. 

What do you think of “trailers” for books?

I think book trailers are fun. I would love to create one for Blooming Into Life.

Favorite book to recommend?

I’m currently reading Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown. It’s a personal development book that Colleen would have benefitted from.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a fiction story about a former professional hockey player Matt Klein that dies suddenly, leaving behind his beautiful wife Sydney and ten-year-old son Jack. Sydney wants to be closer to her parents and her late husband’s best friend – who happens to be the director of Chicago’s elite hockey program, so she moves with Jack to Chicago. While trying to navigate the politics of the hockey club, the absurd amount of pressure the hockey organization puts on the kids, and deal with the jealous behavior of fellow parents over her son’s hockey talent, she finds herself in the middle of power couple Dr. Pete and Margo Deveraux’s divorce. 

Do you have a favorite quote?

“Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Any last words? 

Blooming Into Life is meant to be a fun and light read that warms your heart and leaves you feeling inspired.

About the Author

Kristie Booker is the author of Blooming Into Life, a blogger and a Wellness Coach. She enjoys coaching and inspiring women through her writing as well as in person. Kristie is a wife and mother of two sons. She grew up in rural Illinois, but now lives in Chicago.

Kristie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Shifter School by Gwendolyn Druyor - Book Tour and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

She’s gonna get them all killed.

So they locked her away.

Laylea has been hiding her entire life. She’s never been to school. She’s never had a friend her own age. She’s never known anyone else like her.

All that is about to change.

In a world hidden from wyrdos and humans alike, shifters are still recovering from a vicious plot to destroy them all. They have two laws they live by now:

1) Hide

2) Protect the children at all costs.

Laylea has just broken rule number one. But she’s only fourteen. So they’re sending her to school. Where she’s going to learn . . .

Anyplace can be a prison.

The Lincoln Park Shifter School is not your grandma’s uber-secret, underground academy.


A long, shrill scream drew Laylea back into the zoo. The guard who didn’t want to be called Beta was backing away from a tall black man in jeans, a button-down, and Fox sandals. 

“Kyle!” Laylea screamed his name even as she heard KC screaming hers. “Kyle! You’re a good man! Think of Jeannie and KJ!”

The vampire looked her way. His familiar, affable smile appeared and he waved at her. “We’re just gonna have a talk. Get back to school, you reprobate.”

Then the smile melted away as though it had never been and Kyle stalked out of sight. 

“Lee, come on.” KC yanked her out the entrance. 

“No,” She tried to pull away but KC was strong. “I have to help him.”

“No one can help that guy now.”

Tears poured down Laylea’s face. KC was right. If Kyle had already killed a pack of werewolves, Laylea wasn’t going to be able to stop him from killing one guard. But she had to try. She hadn’t spent the last seven months hiding him from Dee and Morioka and everyone else just to give up on Kyle now. “I can.”

She yanked her arm out of KC’s grip and they both fell on the uneven steps of the plinth.

Guest Post

What would you like to tell readers about yourself?

I believe in truth. Like, violently. So it’s hard when reality shifts beneath your feet. 

My partner, Jeff, and I were crafting a delicate email together yesterday. We’re passionate people and we were in high dudgeon over this loser who thinks the rules don’t apply to him. I saw Jeff adding a space between each of the sentences and, I’ll admit, laughed before I asked him about it. 
Jeff: It’s proper grammar. 
Gwendolyn: Uhh, it’s not proper grammar anymore.
Jeff: I was taught to put two spaces between sentences.
Gwendolyn: As was I. But the rule has changed.
The look on his face. I’m telling you, his world spun to a halt. He muttered something unrepeatable and stormed off. 
I remember feeling the same way when I heard about the loss of that one space. I swear to you, I went through the five stages of grief. 

Nope.  Not gonna do it.  I find two spaces between sentences easier to read.  I like the extra white space.  If I give in to single spaces, what’s next?  Am I going to start accepting “Because” as an answer from my mother?  Will Americans start using single quotes and putting punctuation at the beginning of sentences?  This must not be allowed.  Nooooooo. 

Why bother learning any grammar and punctuation at all?  Why pretend it’s codified?  Let’s awl just throw down whatev3r spelling we feel lyke.  The grammar police have been unseated!  Who needs Rules anyway?  It’s all anarchy!

Okay, what if, we keep the double space in, like, formal writing.  I mean, have you read any legal documents?  They need space between their sentences, just to give your mind a chance to catch up to the barrage of words.  How about if I write Faulkner-style, in unending sentences that go on and on repetitively so that I don’t have to follow punctuation with any double spaces as a result of not having any punctuation to follow?  I’ll be good.

What does any of it matter anyway? I’m just going to go curl up in my closet with my dog and my comforter and OLD books that use double spaces, those crazy monsters!  Everything is always changing.  Why is everything always changing?  I don’t have to read any new books. Ever. . . .  But, no new books?  That would be hell.  Whyyyyyyyyy? 

Got it. In order to effectively communicate in English, I need to single-space after sentences. Laylea’s adventures in Shifter School is far more important than a single extra spot of white space between thoughts. Ahhhh, life would have been so much easier if I had only gotten here faster. 

I have to go change all my past books now?!!!!!  Arrrrrrrgggggg. Stupid change. 

I have a tendency to pinball through the stages rather than taking in them in a smooth progression. Like I said, passionate. 

I found Jeff curled up in the dog’s bed, stroking Lyman’s fur and sucking down a Jeffspresso. We talked it through and he’s agreed to accept double spacing after punctuation as the new norm. 
But we are never giving up Pluto.

About the Author

Gwendolyn Druyor was born at the Quonset Point Naval Air Station Hospital, North Kingston, RI. The ID bracelet wrapped three times around her little wrist. She could swim before she could walk and read before she started school.

She has traveled the world telling stories. After a year in Amsterdam writing and performing sketch comedy at Boom Chicago, she toured North America with Shenandoah Shakespeare and with the incredible educational show Sex Signals. From Paris, FR to William’s Bay, WI, you’ll find her gypsy life reflected in her books. If you met her on the road, read her closely, you may find yourself in there.

For now, Gwendolyn lives in Hollywood with her Irish Jack Russell, Josh Lyman Zyrga, who is still pouting over the fact that she didn’t put him on the cover of WereHuman.

For more information on Gwendolyn and her projects sign up for her newsletter at


Gwendolyn Druyor will be awarding $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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