#CharacterInterview – “Mistletoe, Mobsters, and Mozzarella” by Peggy Jaeger

Let’s welcome, Madonna, the heroine from Peggy Jaeger’s latest novella. I’m glad you stopped by today.

First of all, for the readers, what’s your full name?

Madonna Violetta San Valentino

What do you look like?

I’ve got my father’s Sicilian coloring: dark brown eyes, jet black hair, olive skin and a tiny dip/dimple in my chin. I’m five foot five, tend to the curvy side ( all those good old world Italian recipes) and my hair is naturally curly. It’s kind of a bummer when all 5 of my brothers got my mama’s Northern Italian genes of light hair, blue eyes, and fair complexions, when I got the lion’s share of daddy’s dark, dark, and darker DNA.

What time period does your story take place?

The Christmas holiday season in the here and now.

What is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?

I manage our family deli along with my father. I never went to college, but I did take adult business classes at a local community college at night after working all day in the store. I hate to toot my own horn, but since everyone says I do my job well, I guess I do. Daddy has told me more times than I can remember that he couldn’t function without me. The store is his, but he says without me it wouldn’t be the successful establishment it is. As far as liking it, I relly don’t have much of a choice. I wanted to go to design school when I graduated from High School, but Daddy told me he needed me and depended on me to work in the store.  He couldn’t manage without me. Since I love my father to no end, I put my dreams of being an interior designer on the back burner and agreed to be his manager.

I’d really rather be helping people decorate their homes, though, if I’m being honest. It was never my plan to slice bologne and sell mozzarella to the neighborhood gossips for the rest of my days.

But…family. You know?

What did you think the first time you saw Tony Roma?

Tony was a year ahead of me all through school, but the first vivid memory I have of him is when I was in the second grade. I dropped my backback after someone banged into me in the hallway and Tony bent, picked it up and handed it back to me with a smile. I was literally paralyzed to the linoleum from that smile. He had the most perfect face as a 10 year old and I remember thinking he was the most beautiful human I’d ever seen – which was monumental since my mother resembles a screen siren of the 1930s and 40s. I lost my heart to Tony that day and I don’t think I got ever got it back again. 

What is your family like?

I have the quintessential big, loud, and loving Italian family. My father is the calm in any storm while my mother is guided by her emotions. My uncle Sonny has said my mother isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but she’s loyal, and to coin a military term, she’s always got my six. My  5 brothers are the epitome of obnoxious. All they really care about is one-upping one another in the gym, their table conversation is only about sports, and they don’t know a thing about politics. Despite all that, I love them and would donate a kidney if any of them needed one.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

My Nonna Constanza told me to “Always trust your heart when it comes to making big decisions. Your heart knows the right thing to do, even when your head doesn’t. Trust it. It will never do you wrong.”

Wise woman, my Nonna.

What other character from your book do you think your author should write a book about? Care to tell us why?

My baby brother Raffale. He’s an up and coming businessman and has a heart of gold. He’s unlike my other brothers in that the world doesn’t begin and end for him with sports, the Jets, and going to the gym 7 days a week. He’s got a soul for loving and he needs a little HEA in his life and a woman he can partner for eternity with.


Finding a body in the freezer of the family deli isn’t the way Madonna San Valentino planned to start her day.

 Adding insult to injury, the investigating detective is the one guy she’s never been able to forget. After seven minutes of heaven in the back seat of his car when they were teenagers, Tony Roma skipped town without so much as a thanks for the memory.

Just when Madonna thinks the present situation can’t get any worse, Tony is ordered to go undercover at the deli to ferret out a killer. Forced to work together, she vows to keep their relationship cool and professional. But with the sexy, longing looks he tosses her at every turn, Madonna’s resolve is weakening.

With Christmas drawing closer and Tony’s investigation taking an unexpected turn, Madonna is at her wit’s end. Can she really be falling for him again? And will he wind up leaving her broken hearted and alone like the last time?

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08FZX4B1V


I knew those eyes. 


When they weren’t filled with anger and pain, like they were right now, I knew how captivating they could be. The palest of blue and heavily lashed, they tilted up a tiny bit at the corners. Jealousy ramped through me. How unfair was it a man was gifted eyes like this when I’d been cursed with the most dull and boring brown color ever blended? 

Light hair, a mix of natural honey and wheat husks, straight and clipped short covered his head. Shoulders spanning almost as wide as the doorframe were covered by a dark tan sports jacket, the pants a deeper hue of the same color palette.

“Donna,” Angelo said, his voice thick with fear, “why’d you attack Detective Roma?”

 “I didn’t attack…wait? Detective?” 

I tried to lick some moisture back into my lips but my salivary glands had gone dormant during the flight or fight response. I glanced at each of the men standing in front me, stopping last on the one Ange had referred to as a detective.

With one hand still cupping his jaw where my knee connected, the man pierced me with his gorgeous gaze and just like I had when I’d been seventeen and climbed into the back seat of his brand new Z8, I lost what little sanity I still had.

“Hey Donna,” Tony Roma said, shaking his head. “Long time and all. I see you’re still as sweet and mild mannered as ever.”

Author Bio:

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer!

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, she 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’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go “What??!”

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3 thoughts on “#CharacterInterview – “Mistletoe, Mobsters, and Mozzarella” by Peggy Jaeger”

  1. Pingback: Madonna San Valentino visits with Amber Daulton | Peggy Jaeger

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