GENRE: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press
We Asked the Author
Q1: If you could become any one of your book’s characters, who would it be and why?
I love this question. I would definitely want to be the mama in CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS, Ursula San Valentino. Ursula is a tiny, fiercely loyal mama who suffers no fools and thinks all her children walk on water – except when they don’t! No women will ever be good enough for her boys and no man will ever be able to satisfy her baby girl. Ursula believes all problems can be handled through prayer and food. She is never happier than when all her chicks and their own fledglings are surrounding her table, eating the food she lovingly cooked. She will defend her family to the death and beyond if she is required to. Ursula may not be the brightest bulb in the box – she is plagued by questions such as “why do they call it a parkway if you’re driving on it? And why is it called a driveway, when you’re parked on it? – but even so, she is the one her daughter will turn to when she needs advice, a warm hug, and some well deserved Come to Jesus lectures. I would love to be that kind of mama!
Q2: What do you consider to be the central plot of your story?
Faith, forgiveness, and family. The San Valentino family is defined by its structure of family strength. They all look out for one another , sometimes to their own detriment, but always with them family comes first. Deeply religious but morally ambiguous (!) the family takes it cues from the parents in the story, Sonny and Ursula. Sonny has the reputation of being a wise-guy, a rep that seems never to have been actually proven, but the decisions he makes concerning his family are never in question. He will do anything for them. Forgiveness for past sins and trespasses is a big theme in many of my books, but in this one it quite literally moves the story along. Regina has to learn to forgive herself for the mistakes she’s made in her past. She must learn to forgive her father’s interference in her life when it looks as if his actions have cost her the love of her life. And she must forgive her brothers for their overbearing, overprotective ways towards her that cause her to want to defect from the family. Of course she doesn’t, but the notion that she could is strong.
Q3: When did you know you were destined to be a writer?
Another great question! I’ve been a lifelong diarist since I was first given one of those little bound and lined diaries with the lock and key when I was 8. I filled that book up within a month (it was meant to last a year!) and then proceeded to fill more and more of them as I grew. I never wrote about my own life, though, in those Dear Diary notations because I felt I was too boring. Instead, I made up a girl who was ( surprise surprise) my age who had a big loving family and who traveled the world on new adventure. In reality, I was an only child of divorced parents who longed for siblings and parents who loved one another enough to stay together and weather any emotional storms. Since that tender age, I have kept a diary and have written every single day of my life. When did I consciously know I was a writer? I’d have to say it was from the first time I ever opened that diary and wrote DEAR DIARY.
Speed Round (just to get to know you better):
a. Coffee, tea, or other? Diet Mountain Dew
b. Music preference? 80’s and 90’s rock ( soft and hard)
c. Favorite movie? Gone With The Wind
d. Dog, cat, or other? Both
e. Favorite author? NORA ROBERTS and her doppelganger JD ROBB
About the Book
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?
Read an Excerpt
My father stood at the head of the table, my mother seated next to him. As was also tradition, my father never sat down to eat in his shirt. A bright white wife-beater I knew he got by the gross at a discount dollar store a friend of his owned was his usual table garb. And by got by the gross, I mean it in the literal way. Pop had crates of the shirts stacked in the garage. It didn’t matter that the rest of us were dressed appropriately. Ever since my memory could be counted on, my father sat at a family table sans his outer shirt. Of course if we were at a restaurant or a fancy function like a wedding, he submitted and left it on for decency’s sake. But with family, all thoughts of decency flew out the storm windows. Since packing on a few extra belly pounds over the past couple years, he’d started wearing suspenders to keep his pants up because he hated the confining feeling of a belt.
“Hold hands and bow ya heads,” Pop instructed. We all complied. Pop looked up at the dining room ceiling. As a kid I’d always wondered if he could see God somewhere floating around the crystal chandelier. “Lord,” he said, focusing on the ceiling stucco, “we want to thank you for this food, made by the wife and paid for by my hard work. We want to thank you for our health, the roofs over our heads, the fact we got no bills, ain’t no one doing time right now, and most of all for the love we share as a family. Bless this food, Lord. Amen.”
As always, author Peggy Jaeger brings both the humor and the romance. This is a well-written, first-person love story that will keep you alternating between outright laughter and heart-felt oohs and ahhs!
Another great introduction to the always entertaining San Valentino family from two previous titles, A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights and 3 Wishes. The family’s obvious love for one another, as well as their family interactions, will keep you thoroughly engrossed in the story. Not to mention the hunky hero and feisty heroine. They’re pretty great too!
Despite being a part of the San Valentino family, Christmas and Cannolis is a wonderful standalone book and highly recommended for that perfect holiday read!
Would you like to try making your own holiday cannolis?
Get Food Network Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s wonderfully easy cannoli recipe HERE!
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.
Peggy’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Bookbub
Peggy Jaeger will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Follow the Tour
December 10: Christine Young
December 11: Read Your Writes Book Reviews
December 12: Fabulous and Brunette
December 13: Romance Novel Giveaways
December 14: Danita Minnis
December 17: Andi’s Book Reviews – review
December 18: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart – review
December 19: Lauries Thoughts and Reviews
December 20: Harlie’s Books – review
December 21: Edgar’s Books
December 31: Books,Dreams,Life
January 1: T’s Stuff
January 2: Bookaholic
January 3: Sharing Links and Wisdom
January 4: Book Magic – Under a spell with every page – review
January 7: Locks, Hooks and Books – review only
January 8: Buried Under Romance
January 9: Two Ends of the Pen
January 10: It’s Raining Books
January 11: wendi zwaduk – romance to make your heart race
January 11: Long and Short Reviews
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It’s been my pleasure hosting Peggy for this stop on her tour. Please come back again on Thursday for another author, book, and giveaway.
Notes From a Romantic’s Heart will be taking a holiday hiatus beginning Saturday, December 22nd. However, our holiday blog will be up and filled with recipes, humor, and even a Rafflecopter giveaway! Please bookmark us as a reminder. We will return on New Year’s Eve with one last guest for 2018 and then pick up where we left off with more tours in 2019.