Where are you from? Born, bred and live in Manhattan, NY
Tell us a bit about 3 Wishes. I’m rapidly approaching my 30th birthday and it should be a happy time in my life. I’ve got my own business – Caramelle de Chloe, or Chloe’s Candyshop, but my parents have recently separated because of an affair Daddy is having with his 35 year-old bookkeeper. My mama is culling him from her life, getting rid of most of his belongings when she finds a box of my old diaries and childhood momentos. In my diary I find a wish list I’ve made for the perfect man: he’d be a healer, fall in love with me in an instant, and have one blue eye and one green one, just like me. So far he hasn’t materialized in my life. My big, loud Italian family is thrown into upheaval when Daddy has a heart attack on my birthday. At the hospital, I meet a guy who just may fulfill all my requirements for the perfect man – but he belongs to someone else. Or so I think.
What did you think the first time you saw Matt D’Amore? I think the best way to describe how I felt seeing Matt for the first time is to show you how I reacted to him:
His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth and deep. And his mouth, mother-of-God, his mouth. Full, thick beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.
“Sorry,” he said. Those fabulous lips pulled up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.
Oh my. And what came next—after your heart rate converted to a normal sinus rhythm? How could I make him mine?
Did you feel it was love at first sight? If not love, then severe lust. Looking back now, I realize my reaction to him was like none I’d ever had before with a guy. And every time I saw him again, it just got stronger, so Yeah..I’m gonna say it was love at first sight. And Dio Mio, what a first sight he was!
What do you like most about Matt? First, he fulfills all my wishes: he’s a doctor, so a healer; he says he fell in love me with the moment he turned around in my store and saw me ( Yeah, I know. Sigh.) Plus he has Heterochromia Irides just like me – one green eye, one blue. But I think the thing I like about him the most is that he’s so kind. As a doctor he could be arrogant or even snobbish, but he’s not. He’s simply the kindest man I’ve ever known. And he has the patience of a saint – truly. You need patience to be a member of my ridiculous family.
Very nice, Chloe. How would you describe him? Like I’ve said, he could have modeled for the old masters. Strong, powerful features, combined with a toned body, and a smile that makes my girlie parts go “zing.”
How would Matt describe you? I think his opinion is a little clouded because he loves me, but he’d tell you the physical stuff truthfully: five six, jet back curly hair that looks like it’s been whipped with a mixer on humid days. I tend toward chubbiness if I don’t watch my weight, but Matt would say he loves my curves because I’m all girl in his arms.
What made you choose becoming a chocolatier for a career? When I was five my Nonna Constanza was making Christmas cookies and I asked if I could help. I’d just been watching tv and a commercial for Hershey’s chocolate kisses came on, so I asked Nonna if we could put some on the cookies. She said “Si, bambina” and from that moment chocolate has been my passion. By the time I was 10, I was making candy from molds in Mama’s kitchen. I have a business degree, which taught me how to successfully run and manage my own company and when I was 23 my Uncle Sonny floated me a no interest $25,000 loan to open my shop. I paid that loan back in full the very first year.
Not bad. Not bad at all. What is your biggest fear? It used to be that I’d never find my soul mate. Now, my biggest fear is that my parents will get sick. My daddy has already had one heart attack. I don’t know what I will do when they go to Heaven. I don’t like to even think about it.
How do you relax? Believe it or not, making chocolate is my ultimate relaxation method. Melting, curing, rolling, tempering, all that it is involved with getting the taste just right is my way to release any and all stress.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Dorothy Gayle in The Wizard of Oz. She found out what I knew all along: there really is no place like home.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? From my Nonna Constanza. When I told the family I wanted to open and manage my own candy store she said, “You will be a success if you let your brain listen to your heart and your heart listen to your brain.” Those are very, very true words.
Thanks for spending time with us, Chloe. It's Peg's turn now. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? The Wizard of Oz is my all time favorite movie and in every story I write I put a little piece or a reference to it in with the story line. My favorite book still to this day is the Little Engine That Could because it still stands as the best self-motivating message any one can hear.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I was a child of divorce and my stepfather is Sicilian, so I really did grow up in a big, loud, and raucous Italian family, extended and step though they were. Many of the character attributes I give the San Valentino family I took directly from my step-family. Directly. If any of them read the novella, I wonder of they’ll recognize themselves. Since I was a nurse for 30 years, the event of Chloe’s father’s heart attack was one I saw almost daily when I was in a hospital setting. Back then, a lot of people died from that initial attack. Medical advances have made heart attack deaths much fewer these days.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I write for the Wild Rose Press. I happened to enter a contest where Rhonda Penders, the publisher of WRP was the final judge. She contacted me after the contest and asked me to send her the completed manuscript to the story she’d judged. She passed it to an editor, the editor liked it and I had a contract within 3 months. Cinderella moment, much?
What project[s] are you working on now? I am waiting for galleys to the next book in the MacQuire Women series, book 4 The Voices of Angels, and I am hoping for a spring 2016 release. I also just submitted a full length Christmas story to WRP for consideration that is the next SanValentino family book - this is Gia’s story. I am really hoping they like it. Believe it or not it only took me three weeks to write. I felt as if was writing in my diary, the words came so quickly and the ideas fully formed! Say a prayer for me that it’s a go!
What's up next for you? A blog tour for 3 Wishes, then back to the laptop to start penning book 6 in the MacQuire’s Passion's Palette, Serena MacQuire’s story.
To learn more about Peggy Jaeger and the stories she writes, go to:
Google+ : https://plus.google.com/+PeggyJaeger/about
To purchase 3 Wishes and other Wild Rose Press books by Peg, go to:
www.wildrosepress.com. Click on author search and type in Peggy Jaeger; that will bring up all of her books available at the bookstore.