Monday, December 1, 2014

FREE Sample Chapter - Misunderstood

I have released my first contemporary romance which also happens to be a Christmas Romance in Book 1 of The Miss Series.  It is now available for purchase at Amazon, iBooks, B&N, and Kobo.  It is also available for free if you sign up to my newsletter now until the end of the month.  Meanwhile, Misunderstood (In Love with the Nerd) Book 2, will be, I'm hoping, released within the next week or two.  Here is a free preview of Chapter 1.  I love this book.

Chapter 1

Sonya Elliott thanked heaven for the umpteenth time for placing Daniel Keller across the hall.
Taking a quick look down either side of the apartment corridor, she slipped across the carpeted hallway and tapped sharply on his door. 
The I-really-really-need-this-job interview was in less than forty-five minutes and, wouldn’t you know it, the zipper on her dress got snared in the lace of her panties.  Her many attempts to release it were fruitless and, as she didn’t have eyes on the back of her head, she couldn’t see just how bad the damage was.
Becoming impatient when she received no immediate response, she banged harder for a second time.  She refused to be late for this appointment, and though she hated asking for help, she needed another set of hands.
Daniel’s door finally opened and he peered around the corner from over the rim of his thick glasses.  With one finger he pushed them back up the bridge of his nose and gave her a quick once-over. 
"Ah, I see you have manifested your ability to connect with the universal system of propulsion."
Rolling her eyes, she said, “English, Daniel.”
He gestured toward her outfit.  “The ability to change direction.  Or in this case, your mind.  As I see you have chosen to go against my advice to wear the blue dress.”
“Yeah, yeah.”  She brushed his comment aside with a twitch of her wrist.  “As if you have any taste.” 
Which was no joke.  Daniel Keller possessed as much color in his wardrobe as he did in his life.  As long as she had known him, he was a rather reserved man for someone so young.  And dull.  Dreadfully dull.
When initially they met nearly a year ago, she thought him older than his actual thirty-one years of age.  But soon discovered his aloofness was more a result of him being, what she perceived, a bit on the bashful side.  Something which, thankfully, had changed upon getting to know him better.  She was sure she wouldn’t have bothered with him if he had remained in his little cocoon, for they had absolutely nothing in common.
“By not being able to choose between the red or blue dress, you created an internal conflict.”
“Well, of course.  Do you have any idea how much a Versace dress cost?  Even second-hand?”
“No, I can’t say that I do.”
Which didn’t surprise Sonya.  The only thing that interested Daniel was the technical world.  All his time was spent on any one of his computers, or down at the institute at which he worked.  She sincerely couldn't figure him out.  Not that she tried.
Daniel was a great neighbor and a real sweet guy, but he hardly fit into the circle she associated with.  She was certain the group she hobnobbed with would find him a dreadful bore.  As she, herself, admittedly found him to be at times.  Whenever the discussion strayed in the direction of science or technology, she would have to change the topic in a fast hurry.  Really, it didn’t surprise her in the least the guy was still single.
Not that he was unattractive, she had to concede as she watched him rake his fingers through his short but stiff brown locks.  He had one of those dark polished looks about him.  A look more popular on the legislative assembly channel rather than the ESPN channel. 
Her eyes followed the movement of his hand and admitted he did possess a rather gorgeous head of hair.  But, unfortunately, lacked any sense of style.  What Sonya wouldn’t give to see him bear a Johnny Depp just-out-of-bed-after-hours-of-wild-sex look.
She smirked at the thought and automatically shot him a grin, which, typically, received no response. 
“Got a girl in there, have ya?”  She smirked and enjoyed the look of discomfort that came over him.
“No, of course not, why would you ask?”
“Relax Daniel.  I was only teasing.”
Shaking her head, she thought he really ought to laugh more, and peered through his thick eyeglass lenses for any sign of mirth.  As predicted, nothing.  Zilch.  Not even a spark.
Sonya sighed inwardly.  Perhaps if there were, his eyes would stand out a bit more.  As it was, there wasn’t much to be said about them.  On a good day they were close enough to be considered being blue, but were mostly on the greyish side.  Which, with the help of the thick lenses, only magnified the dullness in their depths.
“You really are a lost cause,” she told him, shaking her head.  “Having a girl in your apartment shouldn’t have you thinking about running for the safety of your closet.”
“I wasn’t thinking that,” he said, though she detected a trace of insult as he pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose.
She sighed.  Though he was a real nice guy, she didn’t doubt he was very lonely.  What he needed was to find himself an equally nice girl and settle down.  Not that Sonya advocated marriage.  It was her opinion that the majority of people just shouldn’t get married.  She most definitely being one of them.  But for some, there was this curious need for it.  And Sonya was certain that Daniel fell into this group.
However, with his nose grounded to the inside of a computer lab twenty-four-seven, she didn’t see any chance of that happening.  If Sonya’s life weren’t so full as it were, she would take on the task of transforming the computer nerd into a heartthrob and snatching him a wife.
Or, for that matter, any girl.
It wasn’t healthy for a man to go for so long without some form of interaction with members of the opposite sex.  However, one look at Daniel and Sonya simply didn’t have that kind of time.
“Help me out here, will ya?” she said, showing him her backside and changing the topic.  One thing she hated, was her ability to unintentionally hurt his feelings.
Behind her, Daniel watched as Sonya lifted a heavy curtain of long dark curls and in the process gave him a full and uninhibited view of her backside.  The smoothness of her exposed back and the lack of a bra had him sighing inwardly.
She was undeniably the sexiest creature he had ever observed, and his fingers ached to reach out and stroke her velvet skin.  But a portion of his brain also wanted to demand she turn around and put on the missing garment.
When asked an hour earlier if she should wear the provocative little red dress or the equally sexy but with a higher degree of material blue dress, he instantly chose the latter.  Not that he was a prude.
As a matter-of-fact, he definitely preferred the red dress and the way it clung to her female curves and arched to her delightful bottom.  The lack of a bra very evident through the thin material of her dress, only made his groin ache.  And it was for this reason that had him vexed.
He knew damn well it was for the benefit of Tristan Manning, the owner of the bar where she was headed for a job interview.  She started crooning for the guy ever since she began frequenting his establishment.  Why this Tristan person never asked her out, was a complete mystery to Daniel.
Sonya Elliott was the perfect male fantasy.  Not only was she tall with a sinfully perfect body, but also had the face of a goddess.  The word conservative did not describe Sonya.
Nor did shy.  As evidenced now as he hooked a finger and pulled on the zipper to exam the damage, and in the process exposed a wonderfully curved backside where it dipped below her panty line.  His eyes filled with the sight of her before letting the zipper go and having the panties snap back into place.
“Come on in.”  He turned around and walked back into his apartment, controlling his male urge at the snatched look.
“So what has changing my mind about the dress got to do with my—what did you call it—connection to the universal system of proportion?”
“Propulsion,” he corrected.  “The act of moving forward.”
“Well, without propulsion our universe would cease to exist.  As humans, we have an inherent ability to be able to zap into this system when confronted with conflict.  The greater that ability, the greater the connection with the universe.”
When he received no response, he looked over his shoulder and caught her eyes looking distant.  His shoulders drooped as he quickly turned away.  Retrieving his line of thought, he decided to try a different approach.  “As humans, we are naturally motivated by conflict.  It is a vital element of evolution.  Without it, we are unable to move forward.  Progress.”
“Therefore, no matter how much one may want to resist change, it is fundamentally conducive to growth.”
“Yes, well, I am certainly getting a lot of resistance here.”  She yanked on her zipper, reminding him of her reason for being there.
“Ah, yes, resistance.  The opposition or defiance of propulsion.  Or in this case obstruction.”
“Daniel, please,” she groaned and motioned to her backside once again.  “Could you help me out here?”
“Right.”  He grimaced and turned his attention back to rummaging through some cupboards.  It was a bad habit of his to dribble useless information whenever he got nervous.  And women made him nervous.  Especially beautiful women.  And Sonya Elliott was as beautiful as they came.
“Do you think you can free it?”
“Don’t worry,” he said, then muttered under his breath, “You won’t keep your precious Tristan waiting.”
Though she must have heard for she smirked and gestured to her attire.  “Do you think he’ll like it?”
“I’m sure.”
Sonya noticed he didn’t even bother glancing her way as he began pulling kitchen drawers out and searching for something.
She sighed with the smallest trace of disappointment.  He wasn’t being very reassuring.  She didn’t know why, but Tristan Manning got under her skin.  Maybe it was because he was the only man she wanted and wasn’t able to snare.  Two months now and all she could manage to gain from him was a wink now and then. 
It frustrated her and, no doubt, made her infatuation with him stronger.  If it were the last thing she did she would have that man groveling at her feet and, smiling smugly, possibly with his head between her—
Sonya blinked.  “What?”
Daniel held up a pair of scissors and asked, “I asked if you were keen on keeping those panties?”
“Oh.  Well, actually, if at all possible,” she admitted with a wry grin.  “I found them in a specialty shop in North York which, unfortunately, has since gone out of business.”
“Ah,” he said, adding sarcastically, “Don’t want to go to the interview without your lucky underwear.”
She gave a humorous snort.  “Hardly.  But you never know.  Maybe after today—”
“No job is that important.”
“Oh, but this one is.”  Her brows puckered as she pleaded for understanding.  “His bar is about the only one in town that uses a live band instead of a DJ.  This could finally be the break I need.”
“Did he promise you a chance to perform?”  His words and tone of voice reminded her of a reprimanding father.  She didn’t like it one bit.  It had been a long time since she bothered to listen to anything her father had to say.  Or ever would.  Particularly on the subject of commitment.
Turning her back on him, she held out the zipper.  “Can we get this over with?  I’m going to be late.”
Daniel sighed again before moving to stand behind her.  He allowed his eyes to slide beneath her lace panties where his hands were not allowed to go, and groaned inwardly before snatching the zipper between his fingers and snipping the lacy material free from its teeth.
She yelped and spun around, her eyes huge with anger.  “Why did you do that?”
“Believe it or not, conflict is actually a positive addition to our lives.  It acts as a reaction mass and induces our survival hormones to be released which in turn creates adrenaline to pump—”
He offered her a careless shrug.  “Didn’t want to be blamed for dousing your adrenaline.”
“Ass,” she muttered, clutching the torn garment behind her lovely backside and marched out of his apartment.
Grinning, he turned back into his apartment to the unfinished computer program he abandoned earlier to answer the door.  He dropped onto the stool in front of the computer and stared at the monitor blankly.  He had to surf his memory to try and recall where he had left off, which was no easy task considering his mind was completely absorbed with the image of a smooth and rounded, and very female bottom.

* * *

Sonya tossed her damaged underpants into the wastebasket and cursed Daniel for being so inconsiderate.  Snatching another pair from her top drawer she quickly slid them on. 
Her lucky underwear.  She grinned at that.  Maybe Daniel was right.  Maybe she needed some luck today.  All other attempts thus far failed.
Oh, she just wasn’t referring to Tristan Manning, even though she tried every seduction trick she could conceive.  But her career move as well.  It was one of the hardest professions to break into. 
All the music industries she approached refused to listen to her demo.  Even landing a job that constituted any form of singing was not headed her way.  She had done her sweep of jobs.  The latest being a waitress at a five-star restaurant.  Pay wasn’t bad, but the tips were fantastic.  Enough, anyway, to help pay the rent in her Toronto west-end apartment.
When she heard about the job posting at Tristan’s bar, she approached him emphatically.  He seemed generally pleased by her interest and filled her in on the job requirements, telling her take-home pay would probably surpass her present income.  His clientele were a very generous and lucrative group.
Admittedly, it was a deciding factor in wanting the job.  Having a chance to perform live on his stage, a definite key factor.  But, in all honesty, a chance to get close to Tristan Manning.  Now, if she could only trigger his interest, she was certain she would have that man in her bed by the end of the week.
Satisfied with her appearance she snatched her clutch bag and slid her feet into her thee inch sling-back sandals.  Locking her apartment door, she turned with the intent on sauntering down to the elevators, but stopped to look at Daniel’s door.
Reaching up, she knocked quickly three times.  It was her nerves.  That explained it.  She didn’t need anyone’s reassurance.  And certainly not a man’s.  She was simply more nervous than normal.
Daniel rolled his eyes heavenward at the sound of the knock.  No doubt it was Sonya.  He wanted very much to be a part of her life, but not this way.  He didn’t want to play second fiddle to Tristan Manning.  Or anyone.
“What now?”  He knew he probably looked slightly annoyed but didn’t bother to cover it up.
“Lord, you sound like I interrupted something important—or something like that.”  She waved off his irritation, not able to fathom his fascination with a computer screen.
Releasing a weary breath, he shoved his glasses up his nose.  “Or something like that.  My intern starts tomorrow, I want to be caught up.”
From the glee in her eyes, he knew she hadn’t heard a word he said as she asked instead, “How do I look?”
“That’s it?  Fine?”
She was giving him one of her famous heart-stopping glances from beneath unnaturally long lashes, and by doing so, caught Daniel’s breath.  But for Sonya, he knew, it was simply a game.  He held her gaze without smiling.  Then at last he blinked and offered her his best attempt at a friendly grin, hating himself for not being able to be annoyed for long. 
“You look good.”
She grinned in response.  “Wish me luck?”
He paused, staring down at her face.  She looked so eager, so hopeful.  He felt a pull in his chest and knew he didn’t have the heart to tell her he thought she could do better.  Deserved better.  Both in career choices and in men.
Instead, “Good luck.”
“Thanks.”  She beamed, then scurried down the corridor.  “I’ll stop in after the interview.”
“If it’s not too late, that is.”  She accompanied this seductive implication with a giggle, which trailed behind her echoing down the hallway.

Daniel’s smile made a disappearing act right before he did.  The slamming of his apartment door followed the echo of her giggle along the apartment corridor.  This was what he deserved for falling for a woman who thought his worth lay only in his ability to choose what color of dress to wear.  Why couldn’t he meet someone sweet and passionate and totally devoted to him?  Why the hell had fate placed Sonya Elliott across the hall from him? 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Portable Drive

Today, I made an hour's drive south to pick up this gadget without knowing exactly how it worked or whether it would work.  But I was willing to give it a try.

I had mentioned in an older post about the box of old 3.5 floppy disks I had stored many of my past manuscripts on.  Unfortunately, I failed to make a backup copy or even a paper copy.  I hit old used and second hand shops looking for old computers that still had a 3.5 disk drive but was told those computers were far too old now and were thrown out immediately without ever hitting the store shelves.  So, dejected, I realized I would never be able to open those old disks again.  I continued looking on Kijiji for old computers but wasn't having any luck.  Then I saw this little guy advertised claiming to be able to read those old 3.5 floppy disks with this little machine that hooked up to your PC with the use of a USB port.  And he only wanted $10 for the thing.  I figured if it didn't work out, at least I'd only be out ten bucks (plus the cost of gas).

Long story short, I went and bought it and brought it home.  And guess what?  It works!  Yes.  I was so bloody excited when the information on the disk flickered and then appeared on my computer!  All my years of back work have been saved!  Yay!!!  I have no idea where one of these things can be purchased, as the fellow who sold it me informed me that he bought it at a giant warehouse sale but never used it himself so didn't even know if it worked.

I can't tell you how much this means to me.  True, many of the manuscripts on those disks are very, very old, and if I'm going to be publishing any of them, they need a huge edit job or even rewrite.  But at least they are there, not gone forever as I feared. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Going Contemporary

So, I have two contemporary romances I have been humming and hawing about for a while now.  I love them both and have already started editing them.  The issue is, should I change genre's.  Or do I stick to one genre for now?  Do I use a different pen name to launch the contemporary books or use my own name?

I had thought about doing a complete makeover and edit to a historical setting, but both books center around very modern things.  One of the books, my hero's love of rebuilding classic sports cars is a part of who he is.

As is the complex world of computers is a huge part of who the other hero is.

Remove either of these elements, and it not only changes who the hero is but the storyline as well.

Besides, I have played with the idea of writing contemporaries.  There is considerable less research involved, obviously, so I could write more stories and faster.  Even the wording is easier in contemporaries.  At least the type of contemporaries I write.  Light, fast and easy reads.  So I'm pretty certain I already know I want to crossover into this genre, the question that remains is, do I change pen names or keep it the same.  I've played with shortening my name to either Peg or Meg and in honour of my late father, use his name as a surname.  So it could either be Peg Roberts or Meg Roberts.  Or combine the names of my daughters.  Courtney Paige.  Or use my mother's maiden name Peggy Payne.  I haven't made up my mind whether I will use a pseudonym or not, but it sure is fun coming up with names.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pioneer Hearts Event

Ok, finally, I am able to reveal the secret event being held by the authors over at Pioneer Hearts Facebook page. You are going to love this! They are hosting their first ever Pioneer Hearts 99c Western Romance Event!  Yes, that's right, all books listed below are only $.99 each for a limited time! I, along with about 30 other Historical Western Romance writers, have come together to offer this 4-day sale to help promote the genre!


This sale includes dozens of books for your Kindle, and a selection for your Nook or iBooks libraries, as well. And you know what else is fun? You can win some pretty snazzy prizes! More details about these prizes can be found at the bottom of the page.  Sale starts today!

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Want to win one of two $10 Amazon gift cards? Share our sale and follow our authors! You could also win signed books, a beautiful turquoise pendant necklace (voted a favorite by the Pioneer Hearts Readers Group!), and more! See Rafflecopter here and win!

See iBooks links here