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Monday, February 8, 2016

I Never Had a Valentine by Peggy Jaeger



MUSE MONDAY



Please welcome my guest, Peggy Jaeger to Muse Monday!
Growing up, Valentine’s Day was never any fun for me because…I never had a Valentine. In grade school the teachers would basically force us to buy those little packets of generic Valentines cards to send to every kid in the class.  Somehow I always ended up with less cards than I gave out.
In middle school we weren’t forced but encouraged to include each kid in homeroom in the card-giving department. I gave a card to every kid. Sometimes I was lucky if I received half as many in return.
High school, you were on your own. This was the age of budding teen romances and starter-dating (unlike today, where I swear the kids start hooking up at 8!). I was that girl in class…you know. The smartest, shy-est, fattest girl, with thick eye glasses and a different last name from her mother (divorce and remarriage weren’t the norm back then.) In 4 years of high school the only Valentine cards I ever received were from my cat, signed in my mother’s handwriting.
Suffice it to say Valentine’s Day was not on my top 10 list of holidays. So when my publisher, the Wild Rose Press, put out a call for Valentine’s Day novellas, I wondered what I could possibly write about with any flare.  And then it hit me. I’d write about a girl a little like I used to be (only I made her slightly chubby, not fat!) looking for the perfect guy; a guy she’s wished for since she was 15. A girl who was smart, career-driven, and one who came from a big, supportive, loving and LOUD family.
Once I pictured Chloe San Valentino and her family in my head, I wrote the first draft of 3 WISHES in 2 weeks! Chloe is one of my favorite heroines. Smart, sassy, sexy and successful, she is what I wish I could have been all those years ago in school when I felt like an overweight, overachieving, geekazoid. In my writer’s mind she ALWAYS got Valentine cards in school.
3 Wishes tells the tale of Chloe’s journey to her own happily ever after on the day we celebrate devoted to love.
This year’s Valentine’s day is going to be one of the happiest ones in my memory.
And I don’t even care if I get a card!

3 Wishes
Blurb:
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:
     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.
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16 comments:

  1. Brenda- thanks so much for hosting me today. I loveloveove Chloe and the San Valentino's and I hope who ever reads 3 WISHES will as well. Be well and Happy Valentine's Day.

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  2. Brenda- thanks so much for hosting me today. I loveloveove Chloe and the San Valentino's and I hope who ever reads 3 WISHES will as well. Be well and Happy Valentine's Day.

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    1. Great to have you. Book sounds like a winner and you are too!

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  3. Peggy, I was just like you as a little girl! Shy, smart, plump -- but I was also embarrassed by budding breasts, which were bigger than anybody else's in fifth grade. I hated Valentine's day and those wretched little cards! :-) Still, I always loved romance in movies and TV shows, like Hart to Hart and Romancing the Stone. Now I love writing romances, and like you, I make use of those childhood traumas in my writing. Your book sounds lovely and I look forward to reading it.

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    1. Anna - we could be sistahs! I had double d's in the 3rd grade!!!! I always wanted to be the heroine in books who was described as having breasts a man could cup - and not need to lift up with a fork lift!!! Happy Valentines day and thank for stopping by!

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    2. OMG you guys are killing me! I was only in training bras then.

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    3. Sandra - Jealous!!! I never was in training - i went right into the big leagues!

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    4. I've been gone all day and just checking in. You're cracking me up. My cousin called me pancake until I was seventh grade!

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  4. This excerpt is adorable as is the cover. In my grade school, I got Valentine's from all my homeroom friends. One year, the boy who made girls swoon gave me one and I still have it. LOL

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    1. Vicki - I'm jealous!!!! LOL. I still have the ones "the cat" sent me, too. Happy Valentines day and I hope you get a swoon-worthy card this year as well.

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  5. Oh, Peggy, I remember those grade school Valentine's Day card exchanges. We had to make our 'box' in art class--at which I had No ability. How hard can it be to cut out a heart and glue it neatly to a construction paper-wrapped shoe box? Ha!

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    1. Believe me, Barbara, I feel your pain! All we had to do was make a Vday "envelope." Staple one end of a piece of paper to another and seal the sides with tape. Mine never came out correctly and - sigh - didn't have many cards at all!

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  6. Still haven't decided what to do for hubby this year. Any unique ideas you can share here?
    3 Wishes sounds great. Good luck.

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    1. I heard from a "friend" the best V-day present she ever gave her man was her, with a red bow around her neck and nothing else. Alas, I am not that brave...

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  7. I had to make a Valentine box too, and it was always too big for the number of cards I received. In grade school, my class had just four boys, so you'd think I'd learn early not to expect too much from males. The opposite happened, because all four boys gave every girl a card! Imagine! I wonder now how many were actually forged by their moms...either that, or they'd figured how to play the odds.

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    1. Let's hope they figured the odds and weren't coerced! it makes for a better story that way.

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