Thursday, October 1, 2015

First Impressions. Are they always correct?

     Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.
     Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for "The One." When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way. 
     Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?

Today, Wild Women Authors welcomes author Peggy Jaeger as she celebrates the release of First Impressions, book three in her MacGuire Women series. She's brought a hunky vet with her, Padric Cleary. Makes one rethink the idea of having a pet in their life. First up is Pat.
Where are you from? Born and raised in Carven, Connecticut. Still live there.
Tell us a bit about First Impressions. Well, the premise is that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, or listen to what other people say about someone without forming your own opinion. I’ve got a pretty crummy reputation in my hometown when it comes to dating. I’ve gone out with a lot of girls. A lot. But now I’ve met this one girl who is just head and shoulders above, and different from, every other girl I’ve ever known. And she won’t give me the time of day because she’s heard about my so-called player past.
What did you think the first time you saw Clarissa Rogers? We met at a Rotary meeting when she first came to town. There she was, this little bit of a thing. I could tell she was nervous about meeting so many people at one time, but she hid it well and you could see she was determined to put herself out there and join right in and be a part of the community. Her hair was down around her shoulders and she had her glasses on – which are adorable on her– but I could tell the color of her eyes were like warm cinnamon, so moist you wanted to fall into them. I’ll admit, I got a little hot when she shook my hand. Almost like it was burned with a live spark. I knew right then this was a girl I wanted to get to know better. A lot better.
You are a man of very persuasive words, Pat darling. Did you feel it was love at first sight? At the time, no. The attraction was there, but that’s all I thought it was. But I realize now it must have been, because from the first moment I laid eyes on her I never thought about or looked at another woman. And I never will.
What do you like most about her? Not only is Clarissa the smartest person in any room –she’s a prodigy, you know – she is totally and completely unaware of the amazing woman she is. She sees the good in everyone around her and when she gives her heart, nothing can sway her. There aren’t too many people who can say they love completely, totally, and unconditionally.
How would you describe her? Aside from the obvious, I mean, she is gorgeous with that hair and those wide chocolate drop eyes, she’s brilliant, compassionate, and caring. She’s just a bit of a thing at about 5 foot 3, but she fits in my arms as if born to be there. Clarissa’s had a tough life but you’d never know it. Her mom committed suicide and she was raised by her elderly grandmother. Because of her genius status, she never did the normal things kids do. Never learned to ride a bike because she was in college at 10; never had a sleep-over because she was in Medical School at 12. Heck, the first time she ever went to a baseball game or to pick apples was with me. But in spite of being labeled a “freak” because of her amazing brain, she’s the most normal, thoughtful woman I’ve ever known. And I’m so glad she’s mine. My parents adore her, too, so that’s the icing on the cake. Sometimes I think my parents would have adopted her if she hadn’t been with me!
That is something. You clearly know Clarissa well. How would she describe you? Without sounding conceited, and it’s hard to when asked that question, but I know I’m considered good looking. Clarissa would tell you that and then tell you she doesn’t care a whit about what I look like, which is the truth. She heard a bunch of crappy things about my so-called player rep when she first got to town, and I told her truthfully I like women and I’ve dated a lot. I’ve never been in love, though, until now. I’ve been in serious lust a few times, but there has never been a woman who’s made me actually pant with longing and that I want to spend forever with until Clarissa showed up. For the physical stuff, I’ve got my mom’s coloring – black hair that needs to be cut as often as grass is mown, eyes everyone says are the color of ripe blueberries, and I’m six two.
What made you choose Veterinary medicine as a career? Since it’s the family business it wasn’t a hard career choice. My dad’s a vet, my best friend, Quentin, is a vet and so is his father. We’re all partners in our own clinic and we’re the only one within 40 miles, so we’re busy. A lot. I’ve loved animals since I was a kid and my twin sister Moira and I used to accompany my dad on his farm visits. We helped out in the clinic growing up and we each have our own horse so we rode almost every day of our lives. Animals are so trusting, so caring. They’re your biggest fans and all you have to do is pay them a little attention and they bond to you for life. They don’t judge and they never harm unless harmed first.
What is your biggest fear, Pat? Truthfully, that I won’t live up to my parents expectations of me.
How do you relax? Horse back riding is my favorite thing to do. Being atop such a magnificent animal, just roaming around nature, taking it all in, is the most calming thing I know.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Hunk Finn. I think Quentin and I got into as much mischief as Huck and Tom Sawyer did as kids. Huck’s a misunderstood bundle of energy and ideas, a lot like I was and – hey! – still am!
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? My dad was very honest with me when I asked him about why his first marriage fell apart. He told me to hold onto my heart until I was sure that when I let it go it would be cared for and cherished. I did that until I found Clarissa. Then I gave it to her…forever.
Nice visit, Pat darling. Thanks for spending time with us. Now it's Peg's turn. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? The original title of Pride and Prejudice – my all time favorite book – was First Impressions. When I began thinking about Pat and Clarissa’s story, I knew I needed to incorporate some of that wonderful plot line into my own story. Clarissa, much like Elizabeth Bennett, is tainted by what she’s heard about Pat’s reputation from others, much the way Elizabeth’s first impressions and inklings about Darcy were. When Pat shows her the man he truly is, though, she starts to see how listening to others can harm one’s own impressions.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Without giving a huge plot point away, Clarissa experiences a death very near to her heart in First Impressions and Pat helps her through it. When I was coming up with the plot line for this book, the same thing that Clarissa goes through happened to me. I took all the raw emotions I felt at the time and wrote them into her character. Her actions and the aftermath of the death are very similar to what happened to me. Writing it all in a character’s viewpoint was very cathartic. Exhausting and emotionally torture producing, but cathartic, too.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? In 2013 I entered a contest that was judged by Rhonda Penders, the publisher of Wild Rose Press. I won my division, she emailed me she liked what I’d submitted, asked for the full manuscript and I sent it along. Within four months – after a tiny bit of rewriting – she contracted the first MacQuire Women book, Skater's Waltz. First Impressions is book 3 in the series and I’ve just contracted for 4 and 5 with an option on 6.
What project[s] are you working on now? As I mentioned, I just contracted for the 4th MacQuire Women book, The Voices Of Angels. It’s a prequel to the first book and tells the story of how Tiffany and Cole met as children when their parents, Carly Lennox and Mike Woodard, meet.
What's up next for you? Lots and lots of edits! I’m also doing NANOWRIMO in November for the fourth year, plus I’m attending the New Jersey RWA conference in October.
Thanks, Peggy. Have a great time at NJRW; that's always a beauty of a conference.
Kat and Veronica

To purchase First Impressions, go to:
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  1. You ladies are great! Thanks so much for having me and being so supportive of a wide array of authors. PJ

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  3. Awesome interview! Love the way this hero talks about the heroine's impact on him, both the first impression and the ever-after effects! --katie o'boyle

    1. I'll tell him you said that! Thanks Katie

  4. Great interview and interesting info on the book and characters. Good Luck with your book!

  5. Excellent interview! It's on my TBR list.

  6. First Impressions sounds yummy. Since Pride and Prejudice is also one of my all-time faves--I know I will love reading this novel. Best wishes from another happy TWRP author!

  7. CONGRAUTULATIONS to Joanne! She get a pdf copy and I hope she likes reading it as much as I did writing it. Thanks WIld Women Authors - you rock!

    1. thanks, Peg.
      It's always fun when you're with us. Hope you'll come back real soon.
      Kat and Veronica

  8. Ladies - always a super pleasure, and you guys are such fun reads. I read this blog every week!!

  9. I love a misunderstood man! And Pride and Prejudice was one of my favorites, too. Best wishes for FIRST IMPRESSIONS! Thanks for sharing it with us!