. . . Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he's eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?
For the next few days Wild Women Authors is pleased to have author Jana Richards visiting with Cara McLeod from The Girl Most Likely, one of the shining stars of the Wild Rose Press' Class of '85 series. First up is Cara.
Where are you from? I grew up in Summerville, New York and now live in Rochester, which means that for my entire life I’ve lived in pretty much one spot. How boring is that?
We know a bit about the story, but what did you think the first time you saw Finn Cooper? That he was easily one of the best-looking men I’d ever met, not to mention fit. He is a personal trainer, after all.
Hmm. And your second thought? I’m 43 and he’s 35. My second thought was that he was way too young for me, even if he was interested. Which as it turned out he wasn’t. He just wanted to sell me a gym membership.
Was it love at first sight? Hardly. When a guy suggests that you really need to hit the gym, it lets you know pretty clearly he doesn’t find you attractive.
There is that. What do you like most about him? Once I got to know Finn a little better, the thing that drew me to him was his kindness. He is truly one of the kindest and most sincere people I know. Surprisingly for such a good-looking guy, he’s kind of shy and a little awkward with women, which is endearing somehow. And he can always make me laugh.
How would you describe him? Like I said before, good-looking. Tall, dark haired and blue-eyed. He has beautiful blue eyes. Sometimes when I look at him, I feel like I can see straight through his eyes and straight into his soul. And he has the most beautiful mouth. I love the shape of his lips. Perfect for kissing, though I’d never say that to him. Don’t tell him I said that, okay?
Sure. It's our secret. How would Finn describe you? He tells me I’m beautiful, and maybe that might have been true once, but now I’m not so sure. My ex-husband certainly didn’t think it was true anymore.
Ex-husbands are the epitome of buzz kills, which is how they earn the 'ex' moniker. What made you choose television as a career? It was the only job I could get. Seriously, there’s nothing glamorous about what I do. I’m just a gopher at the TV station. I bring guests of the noon-hour talk show coffee and make sure they’re taken care of. Definitely low man on the totem pole. After so many years out of the work force while I stayed home to look after my daughters, this entry level job was all that was available to me. But low man or not, I’m very grateful for it.
Cara, what is your biggest fear? As a mother, I’m afraid something bad will happen to one of my girls. Aren’t all mothers afraid of that? I also worry that they’ve been affected by my divorce and won’t let themselves fall in love in the future. Beth’s already talking about never trusting a man. As a woman, I’d say my biggest fear is letting myself fall in love again and then discovering the man I love doesn’t return those feelings, at least not for long.
How do you relax? I’m a single working mother. I guess the closest I get to relaxation is watching my daughters play soccer. For an hour or two I don’t have to do anything but cheer them on and talk to my friend Nancy.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I love Hermione from the Harry potter series. She doesn’t let anyone or anything stand in the way of what she wants. She’s smarter and tougher than a lot of the boys because she has to be. But she’s still very much a girl, with a girl’s heart and feelings that can be hurt. But if they are, she’ll just go cast a spell on her tormenter!
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? It was from my best friend Nancy. She told me that no one could make me feel like a failure except for me, and then she challenged me to figure out what I had to do so I didn’t feel like a failure anymore. It helped me get off my butt.
In a way, this feels like a reunion because we'd not chatted with Cara in a few years. It's nice to renew friendships from the Class of '85. Good luck, Cara. Now it's Jana's turn at bat.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? I think every book I’ve read has had some impact on me. If it’s a very good book, I want to emulate it in some way. I love Mary Balogh’s books. I especially love the emotion she’s able to evoke. It’s something I try to do with my books.
The thing I love about movies is being able to see the setting, and the looks on the hero/heroine’s face. Is she scared, sad, happy, in love? It’s all there on her face, unless she’s doing her best to hide her emotions. I want my readers to be able to “see” the action as clearly as if they are watching a movie. I don’t know if I succeed, but that’s my goal.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? The Girl Most Likely is a high school reunion story. Faced with going back to high school for a reunion, I think most of us would want to be the best version of ourselves; the most successful career-wise, the happiest relationship-wise, and certainly the best-looking. I’ve been to one high school reunion and I felt like Cara in that I wanted to look my best. At seven months pregnant, I couldn’t diet before the reunion. If I’d had a choice, I would have wished for the reunion to have been held the next summer when I’d slimmed down!
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I first submitted to The Wild Rose Press back in 2009, I think. I’d heard good things about them, and I was impressed that when they said they’d get back to me within a couple of weeks, they actually did. I just had my fifth release come out with them this past January and I’m happy to report that I still love writing for them.
Congratulations for sticking with them and for the five books under your belt. What projects are you working on now? I’m working on a series about three sisters who inherit their grandfather’s old fishing lodge in north-central Minnesota. As they bring the lodge back to life, each of them finds the love and acceptance they’ve searched for their whole lives. But resurrecting the lodge also brings back painful memories, and new questions about the deaths of their parents when they were children. Now they want to know what really happened the day their parents died; why did their father kill their mother?
What's up next for you? I’m having a sale on the e-version of The Girl Most Likely between May 13 and 27, 2016. Read Cara and Finn’s story for just .99 cents!
You can find The Girl Most Likely at the following e-retailers:
The Wild Rose Press: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/2809-the-girl-most-likely.html?search_query=Jana+Richards&results=9
All Romance E-books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thegirlmostlikely-646580-149.html
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-girl-most-likely-jana-richards/1107758920?ean=2940013547933
In other news, Cara will be giving away print copies of some of her books to newsletter subscribers over the next few months. To get in on the action, sign up to receive the newsletter at http://www.eepurl.com/m3UnT
To know Jana in greater detail, go to:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/janarichards
Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B002DEVWWG
Newsletter Signup: http://www.eepurl.com/m3UnT
Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/100820406211390323245