This week, Wild Women Authors is pleased to have Peggy Jaeger, author of There's No Place Like Home, a recent release out of Wild Rose Press and her female lead, Moira Cleary, visiting us. Welcome, ladies. As usual, we'll begin with Moira.
Where are you from? I was born and raised in the tiny town of Carvan, Connecticut.
Tell us a bit about There’s No Place Like Home. I’m a concert pianist and I’ve been away traveling with a symphony orchestra for the past 4 years. I’ve recently come home, wracked with an unknown illness that’s left me shaken, thin, malnourished, and truthfully, lacking confidence in myself as a pianist. I needed to come home to heal my mind, body and spirit and make a decision about what to do with the rest of my life. I know that being home with my family and my dearest of friends, Quentin Stapleton, will help me heal.
What did you think the first time you saw Quentin Stapleton? Q and I have known each other since the day we were born - truthfully! Our mothers are best friends and our fathers are partners in a veterinary practice. I don’t have a childhood memory that doesn’t include this guy. As far back as I can remember he’s always loved horses, and since I do as well, we’ve always just clicked as friends. My very first memory of Q ( which is what we all call him ) is when he gave me a frog for my fifth birthday. I knew we would always be friends from that moment on.
A frog. Very cool. What was your second thought? Well, he’s awfully easy on the eyes- and even was as a kid.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? No, not romantic love, anyway. I’ve always loved him for the person he is and as my friend. We’ve always been friends. Best friends. I considered him more like another brother since my twin, Padric, is his best friend and we three grew up constantly in one another’s company and getting into mischief, having fun, and just plain living through a great childhood.
What do you like most about Q? He is one of the kindest, calmest people I’ve ever known. He has a natural way with animals – horses the most – and they respond to his gentle, quiet strength and care. I think he’s the original horse whisperer you always hear about. His voice can soothe the wildest of animals and his hands are perpetually warm and comforting – to horses as well as people! When he holds my hand or hugs me I fell like I’m being covered with a warm and soft blanket.
Awww. Let's get to the good stuff. How would you describe him? Physically, he’s really easy on the eyes. Six four with blond-going-ash colored hair that he always wears short, shoulders that go on for days and arms I’ve seen lift a cow, with hands that can gentle a shying mare. He has this amazing, lazy smile. It takes its time spreading from one side of his mouth to the other, but when he shines it at you full force, there isn’t anything you wouldn’t do for him. And when he does smile, the green in his moss colored eyes turns all sparkly and shimmery.
Okay, but how would Q describe you? As his best friend.
You're killing us here, Moira. Kill-ing us. What made you choose being a concert pianist as a career? I’ll be totally honest and tell you it chose me. The very first time I heard a Bach piece I was five and wanted to know how play it on our family piano, so my parents signed me up for lessons with a local music teacher. The very first time I sat down to learn a classical piece I knew there wasn’t anything else I ever wanted to do with my life. Music is everything to me and a day that I don’t get to play I consider a wasted day.
Wow. What is your biggest fear? Right now it’s that my relationship with Q will change if we pursue this new “adult” one he’s told me he wants. I’m scared if we become lovers and something happens in the future, we won’t be able to be friends anymore, and I couldn’t live without his friendship. He’s the person who anchors me more than anyone else.
How do you relax? Well, I haven’t relaxed in a long, long time, which is why I needed to come home. But being with the horses who are at my father’s equine center getting medical treatment, and riding out with them every day for their exercise routines just makes me as happy and calm as can be. Growing up, we rode everyday. There’s just something, some intangible something that being atop such a magnificent animal brings to your life.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I would have to say I love Zena the best. She is so kickass- something I dream about being, but as the only girl surrounded by three brothers, Q and his two brothers, all I was ever allowed to be growing up was the pampered princess who needed rescuing. With 6 boys around me everyday, dating was a little tricky during my teens, and to this day they are all as protective of me as if I were a kitten needing care and guidance instead of a grown-ass woman.
Hah! What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Before leaving on my world tour, my mother – who by the way didn’t want me to leave the nest, but realized I needed to fly on my own
( love that about her!) told me, “The ones who know you the best love you the most.” So true. I’ve never forgotten it.
Perfect. Let's hear from your creator. Peg, What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? The two books – which were subsequently movies – that influenced me the most were Gone With The Wind and Pride and Prejudice. Both tell the stories of strong females, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live with out them, which is, FYI, my BRAND and author tagline.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? For a long time I suffered emotional and psychological abuse from someone I trusted. Moira suffers both from her conductor and his systematic stripping of her confidence and her health leads her to make the fateful decision to give up on her current career and come back home. In my heart, I truly feel there is no place like home because the people who care about and love you the most will always be there for you, emotionally, spiritually, physically and psychologically. I wanted to express that through Moira’s story.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I’d never heard of the Wild Rose Press until I entered a contest in 2013, won my division and Rhonda Penders, the publisher and the final judge, emailed me, told me she liked the chapters I’d sent to the contest and could she see the entire manuscript. From that moment on my life changed forever. I felt if she trusted my work enough to take a chance on publishing an unknown, menopausal, bottle blonde writer, who was truly a hot mess with too much time on her hands, than I would take a chance on her publishing house. It’s been aces ever since, and I couldn’t be happier.
What project[s] are you working on now? There’s No Place Like Home was book 2 in my MacQuire Women series, with book 1, Skater's Waltz [which came ] out in March of this year and book 3, First Impressions—Pat Cleary’s story—due out this fall. Right at this moment I am working on book 4, The Voices of Angels, a prequel to Skater’s Waltz. Then book 5 after that. I also have a novella coming out at Valentines Days 2016 for WRP titled 3 Wishes.
Peg was kind enough to bring along an excerpt from TNPLH:
“Remember when your cousin Tiffany got married in the backyard here?”
Confused, Moira nodded.
Quentin rubbed her bottom lip with the pad of his thumb. “When the Reverend told Cole ‘you can kiss your bride,’ and he swooped her off the ground, spun her around and kissed her silly? Remember what you said?”
“I think I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen.”
He nodded. “The exact quote was, ‘I hope someone kisses me like that some day.’”
Her grin was quick at the memory. “Pat snorted and said I’d better be satisfied with licks from the horses and Rob Roy because no guy was ever gonna kiss me.”
“He wasn’t known for tact back then.” He rubbed a hand down her back as he held her. “Remember what happened later on behind the barn?”
Because she did, she couldn’t stop the heat from spreading up her face like wildfire. When she nodded again, he said, “You wanted to know what it felt like to be kissed like that and since I was your best friend, you thought I should be the one to do it, because you – quote - felt safe with me – unquote.”
“What was I? Eleven?”
“Thirteen. And I was more than willing. Almost broke my heart in two when you said afterward, ‘I don’t see what all the fuss is about.’”
“Hush.” He kissed her forehead. “Ever since that day, all I’ve wanted is a second chance. Now,” he pulled her body closer, wrapped both arms around her small waist, his hands resting just above the dent in her spine. “We’re both a little older, a little more mature. Some of us are much more experienced—”
“Experienced,” he said, the laugh in his voice quiet and seductive, “and things can be so much better.”
This has been a real treat for us and promise Peggy—if she's willing—to come back and visit us again when Book 3 in her series is due for release.
To learn more about Peggy Jaeger and the stories she creates, go to:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
To purchase Peg's books, go to:
There’s No Place Like Home: http://www.amazon.com/Theres-Place-Like-MacQuire-Women-ebook/dp/B00VU85CBI/ref=pd_sim_351_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1YBGTS7C959FA9ZMCVGE