Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Guest Blogger Shelley Munro - First Impressions

Thanks so much for having me to visit today. My name is Shelley Munro, and I write both contemporary and paranormal romance for Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing.

Every time we meet someone new, we judge them. We look at their clothes, their hair, their body language, and we decide if this is a person we want to know better. We do this in both social and work situations, and it’s not often that we change our minds after making that first snap judgment.

So, how do you create a good first impression?

1. Smile.

2. Make eye contact.

3. Learn how to shake hands – this is a case where too hard or too soft is not good.

4. Dress for the occasion.

5. Make sure your shoes match the occasion as well.

6. Don’t slouch.

7. Don’t invade personal space.

8. Mind your manners – no burping, farting etc

9. Engage in conversation, but don’t make it all about you.

10. Ask questions and listen.

In my recent release Soldier of Fortune, the hero and heroine (who are both soldiers) met during a holiday in Fiji. First impressions worked well for them because they hit it off and spent the rest of their holiday together. Here’s a short excerpt from Soldier of Fortune as Louie our hero recalls first seeing Mac:

Simon studied her intently. “Nothing out of the ordinary.”

“Your wife will be pleased to hear it.” Louie took care to keep his voice neutral. No way was he giving his mate an opportunity to rib him. Besides, Simon hadn’t seen her as he had with her hair spilling down her naked back, her lips wrapped around a cock. His cock…

Bloody hell. He had to stop his thoughts tripping into sexual territory. He studied Mac, trying to see what Simon saw. A tall woman dressed in khaki trousers, a sand-colored shirt, which didn’t exactly flatter or showcase her curves, and sturdy boots. He couldn’t fault her for that. This was work and her attire was suitable for the job and climate. She didn’t look much different from any of the others, which meant she wouldn’t present a special target for the militia forces. From a distance they wouldn’t realize she was a woman. Also a good idea in this Muslim country. She wore her brown hair tied back, confined in a low knot of some sort. Because it was bound so tightly, none of the rich array of colors reflected in the light, the strands of red and gold. In the sun her unbound hair had reminded him of autumn leaves. Her skin carried a light tan and up close there was a smattering of freckles across the bridge of her pert nose, just as he remembered. Thick, lush lashes surrounded golden-brown eyes—whiskey eyes he’d called them in Fiji—while her mouth was curved and luscious, the bottom lip plumper than the top.

Mac might look the soldier at the moment, but Louie would bet if any of them saw her the way he’d first seen her, dressed in a golden bit of nothing, swaying on the dance floor, they might reevaluate their opinions. He certainly wasn’t fool enough to let them into the secret.

And here’s the blurb:

Joanna “Mac” McGregor loves her father, and she’ll do anything to keep him safe after Alzheimer’s starts to steal his mind. That takes money, and Mac uses her only skills—those of soldiering—when she takes up a security contract in Iraq. She doesn’t have time for men, her last vacation fling in Fiji relegated as one perfect moment to hold close during the grim reality of war.

Soldier Louie Lithgow is tired of fighting, the constant danger, and has decided this is his last contract. He wants to retire, sink his savings into a place on the beach, and find the sexy Joanna, his holiday lover.

Mac’s arrival in Iraq causes consternation. They’ve both been economical with the truth, but the attraction sizzling between them flares hot and bright. They embark on a clandestine affair—professional and confident during their high-danger day, passionate with the release of emotional stress during their torrid nights. One thing is clear—they have different goals and the future is both murky and dangerous. If they survive their contracts.

Buy link: http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-7810-127-soldier-of-fortune.aspx

Website: http://www.shelleymunro.com

Blog: http://www.shelleymunro.com/blog

What things do you notice when you meet a person for the first time?


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Oh, Shelley, I love it!

Just being a fan girl, here... I've posted this at Win a Book, so let's hope we make you some new fans today.

Cathy M said...

I notice their handshake, I like it firm, but not too tight, then it's their eyes.

PG Forte said...

Hi, Shelley! Thanks so much for joining us today. Fabulous excerpt.

That's a great question you're asking, and I'd say, if the person I was meeting had arms like the hero on your book cover--oh, yeah, I'd definitely notice that first! ;)

Seriously though, I think it would depend on the person and the circumstances. It could be the eyes, the smile, the voice...the arms. lol!

Shelley Munro said...

Thanks, Susan!

Cathy - I notice the handshake too. I really hate any handshake that reminds me of a limp fish. I always want to wipe my hands after receiving one of those!

Shelley Munro said...

PG - Thanks for having me here today. Yes, those arms are pretty memorable, aren't they?

sherry said...

The first thing I notice is someone's smile actually if they smile back at me I can't stand to smile at someone and for them to act like they didn't see it. By the way I thought that I posted on this early this morning when I got home from work. So if this sounds like a repeat it is.

Kelly Jamieson said...

Welcome to NNN Shelley! Loved that excerpt, and yes those arms would get my attention too! I agree with Sherry, a smile is often the first thing I notice - or in some cases a lack of a smile...:-( A nice smile can be sooo attractive.

Shelley Munro said...

Sherry - the thing about a smile is that it's addictive, and it gives us a hint as to a person's personality.

Kelly - thanks. A smile definitely lights up a persons face and eyes.

stacey said...

I Notice the eyes the smile first.then the rest.your book sounds great.

Nizar said...

Welcome to NNN Shelley! Loved that excerpt, and yes those arms would get my attention too! I agree with Sherry, a smile is often the first thing I notice - or in some cases a lack of a smile...:-( A nice smile can be sooo attractive.