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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
– 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?
giving a huge plot point away, Clarissa experiences a death very near
to her heart in First
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
Have a great time at NJRW; that's always a beauty of a conference.
Kat and Veronica
To purchase First
The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/1MKb3pZ
Barnes and Noble Nook:
To learn more about Peggy and the stories she writes,
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