Thursday, January 3, 2019

Christmas & Cannolis VBT

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 father stood at the head of the table, my mother seated next to him. As was also tradition, my father never sat down to eat in his shirt. A bright white wife-beater I knew he got by the gross at a discount dollar store a friend of his owned was his usual table garb. And by got by the gross, I mean it in the literal way. Pop had crates of the shirts stacked in the garage. It didn’t matter that the rest of us were dressed appropriately. Ever since my memory could be counted on, my father sat at a family table sans his outer shirt. Of course if we were at a restaurant or a fancy function like a wedding, he submitted and left it on for decency’s sake. But with family, all thoughts of decency flew out the storm windows. Since packing on a few extra belly pounds over the past couple years, he’d started wearing suspenders to keep his pants up because he hated the confining feeling of a belt.

“Hold hands and bow ya heads,” Pop instructed. We all complied. Pop looked up at the dining room ceiling. As a kid I’d always wondered if he could see God somewhere floating around the crystal chandelier. “Lord,” he said, focusing on the ceiling stucco, “we want to thank you for this food, made by the wife and paid for by my hard work. We want to thank you for our health, the roofs over our heads, the fact we got no bills, ain’t no one doing time right now, and most of all for the love we share as a family. Bless this food, Lord. Amen.”

Why I write about big families.

I’ve written extensively on my blog about being an only child. My parents were divorced early in the 1960’s when it wasn’t the statistic of 1 in 2 marriages ending that way. Both my parents remarried but neither couple had any further children, so I’ve been an only child my entire life. In essence I have 4 parents. You would think that I’d hit the gifts and attention lottery for kids, since I am the only one and get it all.

You would be wrong.

Being an only child – for lack of a better word – sucked. Big time.  It still does and I’m 58 years old now.

As a kid, I desperately wanted older brothers and sisters to learn from, depend on, and love. I wanted that sense of belonging to a group of people who looked like me and shared a history with me.

It never happened.

As an adult with now aging parents – 4 of them! – I long for someone to bounce ideas about elder care, after care, even what do to in a health crisis concerning my parents, off of. I have to make all their decisions and I’m fearful I’m going to make the wrong ones. It would be so wonderful to have another person – or several – whose ideas would help make important decisions easier. It would be so wonderful to have someone else I could trust with my concerns and thoughts and fears.

So, since I never got the one thing I always dreamed of having in my life – siblings – I decided to create my own big families, filled with sisters, brothers, and cousins. In the 4 book series I’ve written so far, all have centered around big families – and by big, I mean siblings in every generation, cousins, extended family – all branches of the family trees.

By writing these families, I have gifted myself with the siblings I always dreamed of having. I’ve created relationships I always wanted and have been able to put into words the things I’ve envisioned saying to a sister, and having a brother say to me. I’ve invented mentors, tutors, tormentors ( as all siblings are to one another at times!), shoulders to cry on, voices to give reassurance, soft places to land when you are in need of falling.

Big families have a different dynamic than smaller ones. There are more people to align with – and against – when topics get heated and situations become problematic. There are more arms to wrap you in hugs, and more smiles to grace you with. There are more protectors, counselors, and wisdom-givers.
And most of all, big families come with unbreakable, unshakeable bonds.

So, because I never had the chance to have a big family growing up, I created them in my writing. Those families, The MacQuires, The San Valentino’s, The Laines, and now the O’Dowds, share love, laughter, longing, sadness and grief. They lift one another up and support each other when they are weak. They fight for each other, fight with each other, and love one another no matter what comes their way. And they do it simply because they are family.

Is it any wonder I love writing about big families?

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

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.

Website    |    Twitter    |    Amazon Author page    |    Facebook 
Pinterest    |    Goodreads    |    Instagram    |    Bookbub

Buy Links:
Amazon     |     The Wild Rose Press


  1. Congrats on this tour and thank for the opportunity to read about another great book out there to read. It helps out so I can find books I know my family will enjoy reading. Thanks as well for the giveaway.

  2. Thank you so much for hosting me today and for introducing CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS to your readers and followers

  3. Are any of the events in the book based off of true life events? Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  4. Joseph - not per se, but I have had many members of my family and friends die from cancer, so I was able to write realistically about the emotions having that diagnosis brings. Thanks for the question and for stopping by today!

  5. I have 3 siblings, both my parents have big families. its interesting reading about big families and learning more about each character

    1. o Zuniga - I am an only child - I wish I had siblings. You are blessed!

  6. Replies
    1. Bridgett - if you do I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by