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!
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.
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.
Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=6627