The Hardest Part of Writing by Peggy Jaeger – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Peggy Jaeger will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The hardest part about writing is, for me, the angst involved with hoping you got the story right so that people enjoy it and want more from you in the future.

Let me explain.

Has someone ever recommended a new movie to you, raved about it, and posited you absolutely will love it? And then you went to see it, all excited and filled with expectation, and the movie was only…meh?

That’s what I feel like before every one of my books is released.

I love my story, my characters, the way they find their HEA, and I know my editor thought it had some kind of value – otherwise she wouldn’t have contracted it! But, deep down in my soul, where a nervous, flapping battalion of butterflies hibernates, I start to feel as if I’m the only one who will like what I’ve written. That people will pay their hard earned money for a book and will be disappointed in the ending, or the story arc, or the hero’s journey. That the reviewers will be brutal, informing the reading public that I am a hack writer, an inept storyteller, a fraud.

Those butterflies turn into a tornado force of nerves and anxiety cycloning up through my body the closer release day comes. By the time the book goes live for purchase I am a sniveling, cowering, shaking mass of uncongealed jello as I wait for the first review to upload to Goodreads or Amazon. As a writer – and a fairly still unknown one – reviews can make or break your career. Good ones travel by word of mouth to new readers and, over time, increase sales. Bad ones travel the speed of light and metastasize worldwide in a matter of hours informing the book reading world to give your book a pass.

Until that first good review comes in, I am a wreck, both emotionally and physically. Oh, let’s be honest: I’m a wreck with every review that comes in. My writing-skin is like rice-paper: thin, fragile, brittle. I know I need to toughen up and develop a thicker skin – I know this.

But…I am who I am: a people pleaser at heart. I want to make readers happy and satisfied when they pick up one of my books. My deepest desire is to have a Sally Field moment with every book and be able to scream, “you like me! You really like me!”

During November and December 2019 I have 4 new book releases going live. One is a reprint in a holiday boxed set, but the other three are all new romances. Three new days on my calendar that will be filled with nail biting, wringing hands, and worried lip biting as I await reviews.

Too bad all those swirling nerves don’t burn up any calories for me. I’d be a negative size if they did!

With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him.

Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company’s reputation—in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.

Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?

Enjoy an Excerpt

I spotted my customer in the seat my mother indicated. His back was toward me, but I could tell he was tall from how much of him shot up from the chair. Since I didn’t know how to address him, I simply said, “Excuse me?” when I finally arrived at the table. I was all set to introduce myself and ask how I could help him, but before the words could form in my throat I was struck mute. Truly. I stopped short, my mouth falling open like unfilled cannoli shells, and no sound came out.

He turned to me at the exact moment a slice of midday November sunlight streamed through the window, landing right on him and surrounding his head in a halo of bright, brilliant light. I wouldn’t have been surprised if a choir of angels started belting out celestial high notes because the guy could have been a charter member of the Messenger of God club.

Facially, he looked a little older than my thirty-two, but not over the forty-year mark yet. Where my hair is the color of wet ink, his was a shock of silver threaded with faint stripes of peppery black above his ears. It looked so thick and touch-worthy, the tips of my fingers were actually tingling to clutch the ends and grab on. Eyes the color of threatening storm clouds—gray and tinged with pale shards of blue—peered up at me, a question pulling at their corners. Eyelashes most women had to pay for framed his lids naturally. His jaw was square, his cheekbones carved from marble by a master sculptor.

But his mouth—Madre di Dio, his mouth. It was about as perfect as two lips meeting in the center of a face could be. Full and thick with that natural rimmed outline women were forced to create with a liner pencil, it was the most kissable mouth I’d ever seen. Tinted the color of aged Barolo—my father’s favorite wine—ripe and smooth, full-bodied and intense, it simply stopped me in my tracks.

About the Author:Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

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.

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader’s Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and was a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

In 2018, Peggy was a finalist in the HOLT MEDALLION Award and once again in the 2018 Stiletto Contest.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Website | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Instagram | BookBub Author Page

Buy the book at Amazon or The Wild Rose Press

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Thanks so much for introducing CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS to your readers and followers. Happy New year!

  3. Do you write every day? Do you have a word goal for each day you write?

    • Peggy H. Great question and yes I do. I never leave the house until I’ve got 1000 words minimum written. Once I do, I get to do the adulting stuff that needs doing like grocery shopping, exercise, laundry! After that, I get to write more if I’m so moved. PS – I Always am!

  4. I know how you feel, Peggy. It’s really nerve-wracking!

  5. Well, it’s the last day of your tour and I must say I’ve enjoyed meeting you and getting to know you and your book. Hope to see you on tour again soon.

  6. James Robert says

    Good Morning! Thank you for the book description.These tours are great and we have found some terrific books so thanks so much.

  7. I have enjoyed the tour. The book sounds great.

  8. Rita – thank you for your kind words and for being such a great tour supporter

  9. Enjoyed the excerpt.

  10. Audrey Stewart says

    I am such a big fan of Patty Jaeger. I love everything she writes.

  11. I enjoyed reading this post, Peggy! I have the same nerves, too! Here’s to letting those butterflies free and toughening our skin! At least a little… 🙂

  12. Sounds like my kind of book 🙂

  13. Great post, Peggy. I know the feeling you speak of. Reviews, good or bad, have a lot of power.
    Congratulations on the books you have coming out, and this one – I loved the excerpt!


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