***Additional information from Peggy Jaeger in light of yesterday’s tragedy in Las Vegas***
10/3/17 – Thanks for the shout out. Even though this is a work of fiction and Ky and Gemma are the good guys, I can’t help but be thoughtful and mindful about yesterday’s tragedy. This scene was written so that Ky would know Gemma could defend herself if she needed to. It was a venue for further impressing him about how adept and resourceful she is. Having said that, I am sensitive to what happened yesterday in Las Vegas and my thoughts, prayers, and wishes for the families and victims is uppermost in my mind. It’s been said too many times that guns kill people. I always respond: “Wrong. People with guns kill people.” I don’t want this excerpt to be an edict on gun control. I simply want readers to understand why I used it in the story.
When I came up with the idea for Gemma Laine in A SHOT AT LOVE, I knew she was the sister everyone could categorize as The Warrior. Gemma is the one who would fight to the death for one of her sisters, defend them against bullies, and look the bad guys in the face without fear. Because I imagined her that way, I wanted her to be able to defend herself, if need be, since she is on the run from a mobster who wants her dead
When FBI Agent Kyros Pappandreos asks if she knows how to use a gun, Gemma nonchalantly tells him of course she does. She has a license to carry, and has been taught by the best – her brother-in-law Josh and his business partner Rick Bannerman. Ky wants to ensure she can defend herself if he is unable to, so he sets up a way for her to demonstrate her skills. This scene shows Gemma’s shooting proficiency.
And here’s the 411 on how I knew how to write this scene accurately.
Two years ago my husband had the idea that it might be a fun thing for us to do as a couple to learn to shoot. City slickers though we were raised, we now live in a rural area where guns are not uncommon. He felt it would be wise – plus fun – for us to learn about gun safety and to take shooting lessons. When I envisioned Gemma, as I’ve said, I truly saw her as a warrior, so since she could defend herself with her martial arts skills, it made sense she could shoot a gun as well. I would never have known the terminology to use, or what it actually felt like to hold a gun had my hubby not pushed for us to learn those skills. Taking those lessons helped me walk the walk and talk the talk of shooting. And it added believability to Gemma’s character, so here’s a big shout-out to my hubby for the suggestion.
Nothing’s impossible when love is on the menu. In Peggy Jaeger’s luscious series, the only thing more tempting than a delicious meal is a truly delectable romance . . .
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Photographer Gemma Laine is looking for arresting faces on the streets of Manhattan when her camera captures something shocking—a triple murder. In that moment, she becomes a target for the mob—and a top priority for a very determined, breathtakingly handsome, FBI special agent. With deadlines to meet and photo shoots on her calendar, Gemma chafes at the idea of protection, but every moment she spends under his watchful eye is a temptation to lose herself in his muscular arms . . .
With two of his men and one crucial witness dead, Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos can’t afford to be distracted. But Gemma is dazzling—and her connection to Kandy Laine’s high-profile cooking empire makes her an especially easy mark for some very bad people. Keeping her safe is much more pleasure than business, but as the heat between them starts to sizzle, Ky is set to investigate whether they have a shot at love…..
“How many do I have to hit for you to be satisfied?”
Ky looked over to where she stood at the side of the garage, the Glock in her hand, its barrel aimed at the ground. Her eyes had gone wide at the hidden supply of weapons Bannerman had in the pantry access room, but her only comment had been a muttered, “Why am I not surprised?” before she’d made her choice.
He’d watched her load the clip, then weigh and balance the gun in her hand like she did it every day of her life.
“This’ll do,” she told him.
He found a box of empty beer and wine bottles in the garage and set them up at varying distances from where he’d told her to stand. He wanted to ensure she was comfortable shooting up close and far.
“All of them.” He came and stood next to her.
“Are you kidding? All of them?”
“You might never get a second chance if a first bullet misses an attacker, so yes. All of them.”
She moved to the line in the grass he’d drawn for her to shoot from, mumbling something he couldn’t hear, but guessing it wasn’t something complimentary.
“Ready?” he asked.
“Yup. Any particular order you want me to hit them in?”
He had to bite back the grin threatening to fly free at her snooty, disgruntled tone.
Gemma nodded and took a stance. He wasn’t surprised when she angled her body with one foot slightly behind the other in a weaver stance and not a triangular one. The weaver was a more aggressive, weight-forward stance. Gemma held her gun up to her face, lining up her shot, both elbows bent and close to her torso. Her brother-in-law, Josh, had been a New York City cop, and if he’d taught her to shoot, it made sense he’d taught her this way. Although the triangular, or isosceles stance, was the more popular, Ky knew the weaver was a power stance, and Gemma was a woman for whom power could have been a middle name.
She flexed her shoulders and neck, the motion so subtly erotic, it made his pulse quicken, and shifted her weight. From his viewing position behind her, he appreciated just how tall and lean she was. Narrow shoulders were relaxed and tapered down into a waist no bigger than a hand span. How many times in the past few days had he thought what it would be like to slip his own hands around that tiny area and pull her in close? Too many for prudence, that was for sure.
The first bottle, the one he’d put the farthest from them, shattered into a thousand fragments. Before he could take a full breath, she’d hit the next two.
The final three closer ones she dispatched with equal ease.
When she turned to him and asked, “Satisfied?” in a tone filled with condescension, Ky had to physically restrain himself from running to her, lifting her up in his arms, and kissing the gorgeous smirk off her mouth.
Because he’d discovered how much he liked sparring with her—go figure that out—he pursed his lips and nodded. “Not bad.”
Gemma’s smirk grew into a self-satisfied grin.
“But they were all stationary targets. Really adept shooters practice with moving targets, so I really can’t gauge how well you’ll do with that. But for now, you’ll do.”
The squinty-eyed glare she aimed at him would have made a lesser man run for the hills.
“Trust me.” She dropped the empty cartridge case from the weapon into her free hand. “I can shoot those as well.”
He handed her another clip and watched as she loaded it.
“Let’s hope you never have to prove it to me.”
Gemma slapped the cartridge in place. Ky handed her a holster and waited until she fastened it around her waist.
After tightening it, she secured the gun, dropped her hands on her hips and asked, “Can we go now?”
She looked like a warrior armed for battle. Strong, self-possessed, and so bad-assed sexy standing in front of him, her bangs blowing back from the slight breeze surrounding them, her perfect chin tilted up defiantly. He could imagine her leading an army into a crusade against evil, each soldier following her blindly, minions pledged to fight for her, perhaps die for her, without hesitation.
And he’d be one of them.
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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.
A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
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