My parents divorced before I can claim any memories and both remarried quickly thereafter. In both remarriages, I remained an only child, hated it every single day, and wished for siblings my entire childhood. And even for some of my adulthood!
I used to day dream what having older brothers who would protect me from school bullies, and older sisters who would share the secrets of the sisterhood with me, would be like. My imagination ran rampant with how we would play, and learn from one another. How we would take care of each other, no matter what. How we would never allow anyone to hurt us, and would always be protective of one another, no matter what, or who, tried to come between us. I envisioned us all as adults, still emotionally and geographically close to one another, and with our own spouses and children as close as close could be.
As a child I wrote stories about families where the siblings were supportive, loving and protective – just what I wanted. When I grew to a writing adult, I wrote families exactly the same way, but began to add layers to the dynamics of the family structure. Now, as a writer of romantic fiction, the families I construct are part of the framework I feel make for the best storylines: loud, loyal, and hilarious. Their individual personalities feed off of, and nourish, one another.
The San Valentino family in my new release 3 WISHES ( A Candy Hearts Romance) has all of those characteristics, plus several more. This is a large, raucous, fighting and loving Italian family whom, my main character Chloe, describes this way: “Drama sticks to my family like fleas to feral cats.”
Three generations live under the same roof, from 93-year-old matriarch Nonna Constanza, to her daughter Francesa and husband Joey, and their youngest child, who is one of 6. Weekly family dinners with all six children, their spouses and their own children are the norm in the San Valentino household. The dinner conversation is boisterous and opinionated, the food home cooked and delicious. Even though they all argue with one another, each member of this family would gladly and willingly lay down their life for another member. And they all know it.
If I could have wished a family for myself growing up, it would be this one. The San Valentino’s fight hard, work even harder, and love unconditionally. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a family such as this?
Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.
Excerpt from 3 Wishes…
At about five minutes of ten I was almost ready to turn the Closed sign on the door when it opened. I heard Janie’s breath hitch and turned from where I was sweeping up. Staying open late is always a risk, with the thought thieves will invade at the end of the day.
If the guy standing at the door glancing around the shop was a thief, then Dio mio, I wanted to be robbed.
About six foot, his hair was the color of a deer’s pelt, with autumnal golds and browns shot together in a glorious patchwork that grazed the collar of his jacket and curled a little at the ends. He wore a faded brown bomber jacket over a shirt I couldn’t see, but he had shoulders almost as wide as my doorway. A pair of well-worn jeans covered his mile long legs, and the fabric on the stress points at his knees was practically white.
“We’re about to close,” I heard myself say. “Can I help you?”
It was at that moment he looked over at me.
His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth, forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth and deep. And his mouth, mother-of-God, his mouth. Full, thick beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.
“Sorry,” he said, those fabulous lips pulling up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”
So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.
About the Author
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.
Her current titles, available now, include SKATER’S WALTZ, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, FIRST IMPRESSIONS, and THE VOICES OF ANGELS books 1 through 4 in her 6-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press.
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.
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0