Happiness for the Holidays!
Guess what!? Not only is the amazing Peggy Jaeger here to discuss Happiness — Today is also RELEASE day for:
A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights !
And she’s going to share! Romance lovers, get ready to swoon!
From Peggy on “Happiness” :
There aren’t that many things in life that make me truly happy. Toes tapping, fingers snapping, light hearted, full-smiling happy. In fact, I could probably name them all on the fingers of one hand—and have some fingers left over! The two things that do bring me absolute, total, mind-blowing happiness, though, are Christmas and family. And when you combine the two – being with family on Christmas – well, I’m just giddy even thinking about it.
Because I adore Christmas and family so much, I wanted to write a Christmas love story about a family I truly admire and respect, The San Valentino family. I first introduced them in my 2016 Valentines day Candy Hearts book, 3 WISHES, and now I get to tell the story of the youngest child, Gia. A little later I’ll give you a taste of the story, but for now, I want to explain why being with family is uber-important to me and gives my such joy during the Holiday season.
As an only child raised in a divorced family, I wasn’t exactly brought up in the white picket fence version of childhood. The Christmas holidays were spent being shuffled between two parents who didn’t know how to cope with a divorce, much less treat a child who had no fault in the breakup. Their animosity toward each other was difficult for them to keep to themselves and they made the mistake of putting me in the middle – literally and figuratively – for most of their contentious interactions. I had no siblings, and therefore no buffer. No one to help me or shield me. It was no wonder then, as a child and then a teen, I simply dreaded the holidays.
All that angst died when I met and then married a man who came from a large, loving, supportive family. Christmas was, to them, a joy to celebrate, made all the more jubilant because they loved to spend it all together. No matter how far they lived from one another, or who was away at college or lived far from home, this bunch descended on their childhood family home for the duration of the holiday season. They actually liked being with one another, and Jesus, they had fun! This was what I’d always dreamed of and had never been able to have for my own. Can I just tell you how ecstatic I was to be included into their fold? And I still am, to this day. (Included AND joyful!!)
My daughter –also an only child—was brought up very differently than I was. Both her parents still love one another and she is the light of our world, even as an adult. One of the best things my husband and I ever did for her was give her the gift of her extended family. Even when we lived thousands of miles from my in-laws we always made it a point to spend the holidays with them and all my husband’s siblings. Raised in a time before Skype and Face time, we would make sure my daughter spoke to her grandparents, aunts and uncles every week on the phone even when she was a toddler, so she would learn to recognize their voices. I’m an avid picture-taker, so we had dozens of photos of the family in our house and when my daughter was old enough to make the connection, she would point to the pictures and state the names of the people in them.
She knew that even though we didn’t live right next door to her cousins and their parents, these people were-quite literally—always there for her. And today, even as adult, she has an amazing, close relationship with them all.
So when I decided to write a Christmas romance, I knew without a doubt it had to take place within the confines of a large, loud, and loving family. Because without family to guide you, support you, and lift you up, there is nothing else. Especially during the holiday season. Maybe even more so because of it! The San Valentino clan is the family I wished I could have grown up in, the kind of family I wanted to call my own. Since I didn’t have the luxury of that type of family, I invented them.
And I love them sosososo much!
So, spending time with a family you adore during the most joyful days of the year is what brings me total, complete, and everlasting happiness.
A BLURB! :
Because I love the San Valentino family so much, I want to share their love. Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, featuring the “baby” of the family, Gia.
With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind.
Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not.
Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?
And we have an EXCERPT, TOO!!!!:
After an hour of helping people move supplies from cars, I passed by mama who was carrying a humongous plastic swaddled baby Jesus statue for the crèche when she called out, “The new guy is here.”
“Where?” I put down the ladder I’d been carting and looked in the general direction of where she’d pointed her chin since her arms were full of the Lord.
I found him in an instant. It wasn’t difficult because he was the only guy in the parking lot I didn’t recognize. Plus, he was dressed head to toe in basic clergy black. Black long sleeved shirt under a black vest over black trousers and standard issue shiny black boring priest shoes.
His back was to me and he was carrying a table, but after he put it down and turned around I got a good look at the front of him.
And Holy Mary, Mother of God, what a front he had.
Close cropped military style hair the color of wind blown wheat topped a head which stood – truly – head and shoulders above everyone else around. The guy had to be six-three at least. Sharp, etched cheekbones God cut with a knife, sat under deep and dark oval shaped eyes. His face was a composite of planes and angles, the carved cheeks meeting up with a chiseled-from-stone chin. Hardened concrete looked softer than this guy’s jawline. His nose was perfectly fixed in the center of his face, the slight aquiline bend at the tip bringing to mind Michelangelo’s David, the cupid’s bow under it well-defined and pronounced. His lean shaven cheeks fell into a mouth that was full and thick and – God help me – looked utterly kissable.
I could tell even with the chunky vest covering his torso, he was closer to thin than stocky, but from the way his biceps pulled against his sleeves, he had some muscle to him.
And some pair of legs. They went on forever, from heaven to earth in a full, hard line.
I don’t know how long I stood there just gawking with my mouth open like an empty cannoli shell waiting to be filled, but I’m being truthful when I say I couldn’t move. My feet were frozen to the ground, my knees had locked, and my hips weren’t taking me anywhere soon.
This was one beautiful man.
The old masters would have used him as a springboard for their work, and I could actually picture him in a Botticelli fresco, garbed in Roman robes, lounging while naked, buxom-breasted chubby women fed him grapes and sweetmeats.
In the time it took for a hummingbird to flap its wings once, I pictured myself as one of those women.
Okay, you’ve got to get this for your holiday gift to…yourself! I’m ordering mine right now! How to get your copy…?
Here’s a little something about the lovely Peggy…
Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.
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.
A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
When she’s not writing or cooking, Peggy can be found here:
Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!