Monday, April 13, 2015

RONE Nomination for DIAMOND IN THE DUST

I am beyond excited that the third book in the Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series, Diamond in the Dust, is nominated for a RONE award this year. 


RONE stands for Reward of Novel Excellence, and is a leading award given to Independently published books by IND'TALE Magazine. In order to be eligible for nomination, a book must have received a 4 star or higher rating by the professional reviewers of the magazine. A 4.5 review or higher is called a Crowned Heart Review. Diamond in the Dust received a 4.5 star review in March of 2015. 

IND'TALE is one of the leading publications in the Indie Publishing Industry, and getting a 4 star review from them is in itself a great achievement. Being nominated for a RONE is like being nominated for an Oscar, at least that's how I see it. 

I sort of chuckled when I saw that my book was one of the nominees in Time Travel Romance. It's the book I balked at writing, because I didn't want to write something in a mostly contemporary setting, and I had no idea how readers were going to react to the hero. Gabe McFarlain was the "bad guy" in the previous Second Chances book, and I had to turn him into a likable, hero-worthy character in his own book. I'm glad my readers kept pestering me to write his story. I loved the story when it was all finished. 

I then submitted the book for review with IND'TALE on a spurt-of-the-moment whim. I hadn't submitted the second book, Ain't No Angel, for review, but Book 1, Come Home to Me, also received a 4.5 review from them in 2013 (for some weird rule about the date when I submitted the book, it wasn't eligible for the RONE that year)

Now that Diamond in the Dust has been nominated, the second phase is readers vote on the books to see who makes it to the finals. The finalists in each category are then judged by industry professionals.

Personally, I don't enter contests, because they usually always boil down to who is the most social media savvy at getting votes. I like the fact that this isn't a contest that one can "buy their way" into, but a book had to be reviewed highly to qualify. The second phase, qualifying for the finalists,  is up to readers.  I'm not savvy on social media, and I'm not comfortable chanting "vote for me," but I'll give it my best shot, because I truly believe in my book, and it would be a great honor to make it to the finals.

I want to extend a huge congratulations to the other nominees in my category, Time Travel Romance, and the best of luck to all of us!

Voting for Time Travel Romance begins April 13 - 19, and the link to vote is right HERE. So now I'm asking you all to go out and vote for your favorite. If you've read Diamond in the Dust, I hope you'll support me and vote for the book. 

~Peggy

Monday, March 23, 2015

Release Day!

I'm so excited to announce that the second book in the Blemished Brides Series, IN HIS TOUCH is now available!

The concept for a series of western historical romances, where the heroine's aren't always physically perfect and beautiful, but still manage to spark the hero's interest, has been in my "to write" pile for almost two years. I finally got to work on the first book, IN HIS EYES, and it was published in January. I immediately set to work on the second book, and I'm happy to announce that it is now available at all e-book retailers!



A year has passed since a tragic event stole everything from Laura – her husband, her dreams for the future, and her sense of self-worth. Determined to run her farm alone, she resolves to never give in to the man who wants her land, or allow vicious rumors to break her spirit. When a compelling drifter offers his help, Laura must face the insecurities that have prevented her from leading a normal life.

Four long years in prison have given Cade plenty of time to plan his revenge against the man who framed him for murder. When a young widow saves his life, his unexpected attraction to her is a complication he hasn’t foreseen. In order to protect her from a common enemy, Cade is forced to hide things from the one person who deserves his honesty the most.


Cade and Laura’s mutual attraction opens old wounds and demands they confront their deepest fears. Even as their love grows, Cade’s reluctance to be completely truthful might destroy their one chance at finding happiness with each other. Will Laura’s trust in Cade be strong enough to overcome the secret he’s been keeping, or will the man who is out to destroy them both be victorious in the end?

Excerpt:

Swaying on his feet, he followed the faint flickering light to what appeared to be the main room in this home. A fire crackled in the hearth, its flames the only source of light. Cade’s eyes roamed the room, and fell to the figure of a woman sitting in a rocking chair in the far corner. Her head rested on her right shoulder, her eyes closed and her mouth slightly open. A thick, dark rope of hair tumbled over her left shoulder, the rest of it concealed under a knitted shawl. A rifle lay across her lap.
Cade’s eyes narrowed. The flames cast shadows on her face, the light dancing off her hair and cheek. The soft peacefulness of her features drew him in to where he couldn’t pull his gaze from her.
He shook his head to clear his mind. Perhaps it had been too long since he’d looked at a female, or maybe the gunshot wound had left him with an addled brain, but he’d never gazed upon a lovelier vision than this young woman sleeping in such an uncomfortable position.
He cast a hasty glance over his shoulder toward the bedroom, then back at her. Was she sleeping in that chair because he’d been in her bed?
One of the logs popped and crackled loudly in the fire. The woman stirred. Sudden awareness of his complete lack of clothing hit him the instant her eyes fluttered open. He clutched the towel firmly around his hips. A loud gasp escaped her lips, and she scrambled to her feet, her eyes wide as saucers. She didn’t hesitate to point the rifle at him.
“Raise your hands,” she commanded.
Cade stared, then his lips widened in a grin. “You sure you want me to do that, ma’am?”





Friday, March 13, 2015

Crowned Heart Review from InD'Tale!

On a whim, I submitted Diamond in the Dust for review to InD'Tale Magazine in December 2014. To my great surprise, it received a 4.5 star (Crowned Heart) review, which was published in the March issue! What a pleasant surprise! 

This was, by far, the most difficult book I've written, because I don't write well in a contemporary setting, and there was a lot of psychology involved in this book. My first roadblock (in my head, anyways) was, how to turn an unlikeable bad guy from a previous book into a hero in his own book. My other challenge was to silence the voices in my head that I couldn't write a book in a mainly contemporary setting. 


Diamond in the Dust is Book 3 in the Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series.


 WESTERN/TIME TRAVEL:  Gabe McFarlain is awaiting the inevitable with a hangman’s noose around his neck. Raised in a Montana whorehouse, his life has not been happy. When the noose tightens, darkness descends - but instead of the hereafter, Gabe wakes up in the future to a warmhearted woman in a foreign world, with a second chance at life. 

Searching for a better life, Morgan Bartlett, by chance, finds Gabe on the side of the road badly beaten and comes to his aid. With an instinctive feeling of Gabe’s goodness, she strives to convince him of his worth and help him find happiness in his strange new world. However, neither Gabe nor Morgan counted on the combustible attraction burning between them.

This third installment in the Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series can be read as a standalone, although, it would be much more enlightening if read in sequence to better understand the hero, the circumstances which brought him to the future, and the people from his past. The protagonists are well developed and likeable with a solid plot that is interesting and moves at a good pace. Infused with the elements of heartbreak, some witty dialogue, and tender romance, this captivating love story provides a fascinating glimpse into the emotional journey of two individuals who are trying to forge a new life as they travel the road to their happily ever after. This enthralling and delightful novel will appeal to readers of many genres. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

First book in a new Series of Western Historical Romance

The beginning of a new Series!  I am excited to announce the release of IN HIS EYES, the first book in a new series titled Blemished Brides. A departure from my time travel and/or wilderness romances set in Yellowstone and the Tetons, this series is strictly western historical romance. 
However, my writing style has not changed. I hope you will join me on this new journey. Rest assured, there are more Yellowstone and time travel books coming up. 

 RELEASE DATE: January 26, 2015 
 Available at: 

Amazon 

Barnes&Noble 

Should be available on iTunes within a few weeks. 

 Book blurb: 

Carefree and strong-willed, Katherine Montgomery is the daughter of a successful Montana horse rancher. When a tragic accident claims her father’s life, Katherine is left to deal with an overbearing mother whose agenda does not include a young daughter. Fate deals her another devastating blow, leaving her to face an uncertain future far away from everything and everyone she’s loved. 
 Trace Hawley used to push the limits of the law, and no one was going to plan his future for him. The death of the man who always had his back leaves him to finally face responsibility. The promises he made a decade ago have shaped him into the man he is today, and will bring him face to face with the one girl from his past he always tried to avoid. 
 After a ten year absence, Katherine returns to the ranch she once loved to discover the shocking reason her mother summoned her home. Surprised to find Trace still at the ranch, her childhood infatuation grows into something far stronger as he challenges her to lead the life she once wanted, but seems to have forgotten. When Katherine is forced to make a choice between saving her father’s dreams or following her own, Trace might be the only one who holds the key to both.

Excerpt:

“He won’t bother you again,” Trace drawled. He even chuckled. “Looks like you were about to give him a shiner, but it may not be wise to go for a stroll in the dark with a man you barely know.” The humor in his tone was undeniable.
He reached for her hand as he spoke. Katherine didn’t hesitate when he led her further away from the house. Crickets chirped loudly around them, the only sound as he led her toward the stables. Trace didn’t stop until they’d reached the barn where the mare and her foal were stabled.
“I guess I haven’t learned my lesson,” she broke the silence between them, in an effort to disguise her racing heart. Warmth rushed through her hand and up her arm from Trace’s touch. “Seems to me that’s what I’m doing again right now, going for a stroll with a stranger.”
Trace laughed. “I’d like to think that you know me a little better than you know that dandy.”
Katherine swallowed. She hadn’t been in Trace’s company in over a week, but her reaction to him now, and the butterflies he stirred in her, had intensified since then.
“You seem to show up at the right time,” she managed to say. “Even if you aren’t around much otherwise.”
Trace stopped, and turned toward her. “I had some business to take care of this week, but I wanted to wish you a happy birthday.”
His words came slow, as if he was searching for the right thing to say. Katherine waited. She raised her head. His warm palm cradled her hand, and her skirt rustled when he took a step closer.
 “I . . . ah, have a present for you, but . . .” His words trailed off. His palm completely cupped the side of her face, his thumb caressing her cheek. He drew in a sharp breath, and mumbled a curse word. “Giving it to you might have to wait. I think I’d like permission to kiss you first,” he whispered, his tone so low, it was barely audible.




Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!




With Christmas starting earlier every year at the retail stores (Christmas trees at Costco before Halloween, anyone?), Thanksgiving seems to have become the overlooked holiday.

Not at my house. I refuse to even begin to think about Christmas until the Monday after Thanksgiving. Black Friday? No. I stay home.  My teenage son looks forward to Thanksgiving more that he does Christmas. Why? The food, of course! He has been asking me for weeks if I was going to be cooking his favorites again this year. When I made an experimental apple pie a few weeks ago, he came home from school, inhaled a deep breath, and smiled. “Smells like Thanksgiving,” he said. “I can’t wait for Thanksgiving.”



Thanksgiving at our house isn’t a huge family gathering. We’re all pretty much spread out around the world, so it’s often just our immediate family. The last few years, it’s just been my husband, kids, and me. But I still put out the big spread and all the fixings – Turkey, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows (ok, too sweet for me, but my husband wouldn’t be happy without it), green beans, mashed potatoes, and home-made cranberry sauce. And of course, pumpkin and apple pie for desert.


What could me more American, right? And I’m not even an American citizen. Growing up in Germany, we didn’t have Thanksgiving. I don’t have the memories of cinnamon and pumpkin spice, and sitting at a large family table. Apple pie, any kind of pie, was foreign to me. (I’m still more of a fan of cake than pie, but on Thanksgiving I make an exception)

One of the foods that absolutely can’t be absent from our Thanksgiving table is home-made cranberry sauce. The boys eat it like candy. I make a double batch than what the recipe calls for, because otherwise there wouldn’t be any left at dinner time. Here’s the recipe that I’ve been making for years:

1/2 pound fresh cranberries
fresh zest from two oranges
fresh zest from a lemon
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from the orange you just zested)
3 tbsp lemon juice (from the zested lemon)
1/2 cup sugar (I use a little less)
1 tspn vanilla extract (I like a bit more)
2 cups water
3 tbsp cornstarch

Put cranberries, orange/lemon zest, orange/lemon juice, sugar, vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups water in a saucepan and cook over medium heat.Bring to a boil and cook until cranberries pop (about 10 minutes). Dissolve the cornstarch in the other 1/2 cup water and add to the saucepan. Reduce heat, and stir constantly until mixture thickens. Cool completely, and serve. The smells in the kitchen from this is wonderful!

When a reader asked me a few months ago if I would write another holiday story in my Yellowstone Romance Series, I immediately thought of Thanksgiving. I had already done a Christmas story, so this Thanksgiving was my logical choice this time around. I wanted to write a heartwarming story of family, while showcasing Thanksgiving in a setting when and where the national holiday of Thanksgiving wasn’t even known yet.

I hope my story will remind readers of feelings of home and family that Thanksgiving evokes, even as I have some fun with one of their favorite characters from the Yellowstone books. I had to re-read a lot about the customs and daily lives of the Sheepeater Indians for this story, and I found a couple of gems in my research that I simply couldn't pass up to include in the book. 


Here’s the blurb and a quick excerpt from my Thanksgiving short story, A Yellowstone Season of Giving

Yellowstone … Winter of 1850

As the days get short and the nights turn cold, and the season changes from fall to winter, Daniel and Aimee Osborne gather the family for their traditional Thanksgiving meal. It’s a time to reflect on the year’s good fortunes, and to reminisce about days gone by.
Join them around the hearth for the holiday, as memories are shared, and a story is retold of how one young hunter won favor with the woman of his heart during a past season of giving.


The moment Daniel opened the door to Sarah’s cabin, he and Aimee were greeted by loud voices. The warm home was filled with the rich aroma of roasted meat mixed with the succulent smells of various dishes Sarah was known to prepare – greens she’d gathered in the mountains, potatoes they brought from St. Louis during the summer, and wild grains. Daniel stepped aside to allow Aimee to enter ahead of him, and he removed her heavy coat, hanging it on a peg near the door.
Kara and Emily rushed up to them, wide smiles on their rosy cheeks.
“We’re just waiting for you, Grandma and Grandpa,” Kara said, her blonde hair braided down her back. Unlike her sisters, twelve-year-old Kara liked to dress in britches, which did nothing to disguise that she was blossoming into a beautiful young woman.
Daniel smiled. Chase would soon have his hands full, fending off suitors for his four daughters. Although he loved and doted on his girls, relief had been evident on Chase’s face when his only son, Kyle, had been born two years ago. He was no longer the only male in his house.
 Kara reached for Daniel’s hand, and ushered him to the head of one of several tables that had been set up in the center of the main room. Elk Runner and Little Bird were already seated, along with Summer Rain. There was an empty seat next to her, obviously intended for Samuel.
Daniel glanced around the room, a satisfied smile on his face. His three oldest granddaughters mingled with Elk Runner’s grandchildren who were close in age. The younger ones, including Sarah’s youngest daughter, Hannah, sat at a smaller table.
Chase and Samuel brought in large trays piled high with meat, and took their seats. Chase held Kyle on his lap, and the toddler stuck his hand into the gravy dish. Chase managed to pull it away just before Kyle would have tipped it over. He stood, and handed his son to Sarah, who wiped his dripping hand with a cloth.
Chase grinned, and raised a cup. “Now that everyone’s here, we can eat,” he said loudly. Everyone cheered, and steaming bowls of meat and vegetables were passed from person to person, and from table to table.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just in time for Thanksgiving

Some of my readers asked me a few months ago if I would write another holiday story in the Yellowstone Romance Series. Since I already wrote a Christmas story, I thought, why not write something aroundThanksgiving?

The result of that reader request is now available. It's a short story, and my hope is that it reminds you of feelings of home and family, even as I have some fun with one of our favorite characters from the Yellowstone books. I had to re-read a lot about the customs and daily lives of the Sheepeater Indians for this story, and I found a couple of gems in my research that I simply couldn't pass up to include in the book. 

I hope you all enjoy!


A Yellowstone Season of Giving ( Yellowstone Romance Series Short Story)

Yellowstone … Winter of 1850

As the days get short and the nights turn cold, and the season changes from fall to winter, Daniel and Aimee Osborne gather the family for their traditional Thanksgiving meal. It’s a time to reflect on the year’s good fortunes, and to reminisce about days gone by.

Join them around the hearth for the holiday, as memories are shared, and a story is retold of how one young hunter won favor with the woman of his heart during a past season of giving. 

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble 

Will become available on iBooks soon.