Thank you, Tammy, for taking the time to stop by Kisses, Caresses and Whispers in the Night today. I really appreciate your time.
Thank you for having me today. You know I love it here!
Can you tell us a little bit about your newest release?
This book started out as a short story called “A Christmas Miracle for Jake.” I wrote it to fill in some of the back story from For the Love of Quinn. I posted it in three parts during a Christmas blog hop last year and the response was overwhelming. People wanted to know more about the Island and how it was Jacob and Quinn were able to meet each other and fall in love there when they didn’t meet in the Earth realm for another 10 years. I ran with the idea and my personal belief that everyone has a soul mate and through each and every lifetime you search for each other again and again until you are reunited. This was what happened to my characters and to me.
I know "The Island" is part of a series, what motivates you to write a series with the same characters?
Their stories never truly end. Sure they get the happily ever after at some point, but there is a lot of things happening until and after that point. So many other secondary characters play roles too, many of which beg to have their own stories told. Because of that, the world I started writing about continued to evolve and I wanted to see what was happening with all the people involved with my first main characters. Sometimes I’m surprised by what develops, but I just have to go with it.
Are there any particular challenges to writing a prequel as opposed to a sequel? (Tammy's "For the Love of Quinn" came out first and "The Island" is its prequel, for those of you playing catch-up here.)
The biggest challenge for me was to know where to cut the story off. The villainess in this one had a lot to say too. Julia Santos is such an extraordinary character to write. She’s so full of mystery and of course involved in many hot sex scenes. Romances are supposed to focus on ONE hero/heroine with less side story going on with the secondary characters. The more I wrote, the more twists and turns developed.
The first submission of The Island had two stories going on and ended up not having a clear cut HEA for either one. Sure it’s a prequel, but I had to put that out of my mind and write the story as if it was the first time a reader would be introduced to Jacob and Quinn’s story. That was a little hard for me at first. Once my publisher suggested the revision and to make it into two books, I was set to run with it! Now I could finish Quinn and Jacob’s story as well as tell everyone about Julia and her love.
How many books do you anticipate having in this series?
Right now, it looks like there will be nine books, but don’t quote me on that! Already I’ve had to split The Island into two and it’s looking like My Love, My Friend will be two books as well.
Is there one particular character in this series that drives each book?
It’s most definitely Quinn. It’s her journey to find her soul mate that gets the ball rolling in all the stories. She’s either related to or friends with every other main character in the next books. The person who has the most influence on ALL of the characters is actually the billionaire, Steve Eischer. He ends up being involved in all of their lives in one way or another helping them to find their happily ever afters and realizing their dreams. Through all of that, he ends up getting his HEA too. I’m thinking it’s his story that will be the last one in the series. Sort of fitting to have the one who started the whole journey be the one to close it out, don’t you think?
What comes first--characters or plot ideas?
That’s a tough one to answer. It’s not that cut and dry for me. Usually it’s the character that pops up first with a basic tale to tell, but then once we delve into it, more characters pop up. I think of it like the chicken or the egg riddle. I can’t say for sure which came first.
Real life. I’ve been through a hell of a lot to get where I am today and so have many of my friends and family. It’s my life as well as theirs that inspire me to write. Writing for me is also an escape and it used to be where I could find my Prince Charming. Now that I have him, I don’t need to escape to find him, but together we can explore more of our fantasies. He’s my Muse and my biggest fan. ;)
What draws you to this particular genre?
The steamy sex scenes! LOL Seriously, I enjoy erotica and erotic romances. They can be sweet and spicy or melt your kindle types of books and I love them all. To be honest, my favorites are the ones without the flowery language. Give me details and explicit language and I’m hooked.
As a romance author, do you truly believe in real life happy endings or do you think people are drawn to this genre because of the fantasy?
For the longest time I didn’t believe there was going to be a HEA for me, but now I’m living it. I think we are all drawn to this genre for the fantasy of either finding the HEA or just the smokin’ hot sex. All of it is someone’s fantasy in some shape or form. There is something for everyone in romance/erotic romance genres and subgenres.
Are there any other genres you can see yourself writing and why/why not?
I will never write anything that’s considered a “snuff” novel. You know the ones where it’s basically a play by play on murdering someone. Not. For. Me. At. All! I don’t see myself writing horror either, but I could put horror elements into any story I put out there whether it’s Young Adult, mainstream fiction, romance or poetry. I didn’t think I could enjoy reading a M/M erotic romance, but then I read a few and WOW! I’m working on a few in that subgenre now and with Julia’s story, I’ve jumped into writing F/F and ménage.
To you, what's the most challenging aspect of being a published novelist and why?
Promotion and finding the balance between the evil day job, family, writing and promoting my work. Many people think once you get published, your publisher takes care of all that for you. HA! You have to do everything and being with a big name publisher or agent really doesn’t get you off the hook either. I figure with all the experience we get promoting our work now, it will be a piece of cake if at some point we get offered a contract with the Big Six….ahhhh…the dream! LOL
How important is reader feedback to you? Do you let it deter you from writing what's in your heart?
I’ll still write what’s in my heart, but I may not put it out there for folks to see until I feel they are more receptive. With my first book, the biggest complaint was that it was too long. Okay, I get that. I thought I had to tell it that way. It was a bit longer, but I cut out many scenes that rounded out the story. Unfortunately for a romance, the readers want them to find each other, have some conflict, resolve that and get on with the HEA. I wanted to tell the story giving the happily ever after but with real life elements thrown in. I took that feedback to heart and made sure the rest of the books are shorter and easier to get through in a sitting or two. By doing this I hope to leave the reader begging for more.
This series started out with M/F pairings, but readers have made it loud and clear they are into the ménage, M/M and F/F pairings. Since there are characters in this series who fit those categories, I’m going to go for it. My original M/F romances will still be there, but they aren’t selling as well. I have to spice them up a bit. As writer’s we have to be honest. Of course we write for ourselves, but the most important audience we have is our readers and fans. If you don’t give them what they want, they will go to someone who will.
If you could go anywhere in the world right now with one person, all expenses paid, where would you go, who would you take and why? (this is hypothetical by the way--I'm not a lotto winner! LOL)
Ireland. I want to give my husband Liam his dream vacation. He’s Irish and so was my step-dad who passed away in 2005. To be able to see the land of their ancestors would be amazing. Plus I could listen to those accents all day! LOL
Are you more of a chef or a take-out person?
I would much rather be the chef than do take-out, but if there just not enough time in the day or I’ve been running myself ragged trying to get through my projects and errands take-out will have to do! Even on vacation, if I have a kitchen, I’d rather be fixing our meals right there the way we like them. Sure going out to dinner a night or two would be great, but there’s nothing like making a meal and having folks appreciate the effort.
Tell us 5 little known facts about yourself.
This one is a toughy. I’m pretty outspoken when it comes to most of my life so I don’t have a lot of little known facts, but here it goes.
1. I regret putting off having a family when I was younger. Now I’m 46 years old and that window of opportunity is closed. We are looking into adoption though!
2. I want to own my own restaurant/pub with my husband. He brews beer so we could have that too!
3. I could eat Smarties until I pass out! Those candies are my kryptonite!
4. I love any and all 80’s music, especially the hair bands.
5. I recently figured out I’m bi-curious. Maybe that’s why writing Julia’s story has become so important to me. Of course having the crush on the adult film star Jenna Jameson should have been my first clue! LOL
Blurb of The Island
After losing her brother in a fatal motorcycle accident, Quinn’s life spins out of control. Shutting herself off from friends and family in Michigan, she buries herself in her work, wishing for the pain to end. In her dreams she’s finally able to find the peace her heart craves on The Island.
Driven to recklessness over a heartbreaking betrayal, Jacob races his motorcycle on a rain slick California freeway. Near death in the hospital, he’s given a choice. Stay on The Island or go back for a second chance at love.
Destined to be together, but repeatedly torn apart, these two lost and melancholy people draw the attention of the Goddess Fate. As Quinn and Jacob’s lives hang in limbo, the soul mates are given a very special gift from the Gods, and the chance to finally have their love of a lifetime.
His eyes found hers once again and she began to fall. She didn’t care. Thoughts of going back or staying there on The Island disappeared. All she wanted to think about, to feel, and taste was Jacob. Quinn pulled his mouth back to hers. The sweet taste of the berries, mango, and papaya dazzled her taste buds as their tongues teased and danced with each other, fighting for control one moment and surrendering to each other the next.
Jacob finally freed her tits from the laces of her bodice. Watching him tug at the strings with his teeth made her heart beat faster and she giggled before she could stop. He winked and kept up the slow pace. Quinn giggled even more. “I stand by my first assessment. You’re a tease, Jake.”
“Baby doll, you haven’t seen anything yet.” He pushed her dress down to her waist and simply stared. “I’m not the only tease here.”
“What are you talking about?” Quinn slid her fingertips up and down his arms. His muscles twitched and pulsed at her touch. She wanted those arms wrapped around her and to never let go.
“You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. You don’t flaunt it, but every move and noise you make turns me on. I wanted to take this slow, but I can’t.”
“Stop thinking so much and kiss me.” She pushed herself up to meet his mouth once again as they moved on the bed so she was now on top of him. Jacob’s hands slid up her thighs, leaving hot trails with his fingertips. Her body quaked and her pussy clenched as a rush of fluid soaked her panties completely.
Jacob hooked his thumbs in the band of her underwear, snapped them off, and tossed them onto the floor. His hands slid up her body, pulling the dress up and over her head in a flash. He sat up, holding her in his lap, nuzzling first one breast and then the other with his stubbly chin and cheeks. The roughness of his skin against her rock-hard nipples sent her rolling toward another orgasm. She clung to him as he suckled harder on her right nipple while kneading her left breast with his hand. Quinn arched her back and bit her lip before crying out. “Jake, please don’t—”
He pulled back quickly, moving his hands to cradle her face. Concern filled his eyes. “Did I hurt you?”
Her eyes glistened with tears. “No. Please don’t stop.”
* * * *
The catch in her voice nearly broke his heart. The raw passion was there. Her body given freely to him, and yet she still questioned his desire for her. He knew that pain all too well. Here with Quinn though, it all faded away. She did that for him and he wanted so badly to do the same for her. He wiped away the tears that spilled onto her flushed face. He kissed her softly and held her close. “I want you, now and for however long we can be together. I need to be with you. I won’t stop as long as you want the same.”
Quinn slid off his lap and knelt up on the bed, pulling him up with her. She held his gaze as her fingers unfastened his shorts and then slid them down over his hips. Jacob quickly took off his tank top before crushing Quinn’s chest against his. She smiled and his heart beat quickened. “I need you, too. Make love with me, Jake.”
He slid out of his shorts as Quinn eased back onto the pillows. Jacob took in her entire sun-kissed body, naked before him. God, she’s so beautiful. Quinn welcomed him into her arms as he joined her on the pillows, his mouth finding her left nipple this time as his right hand trailed down her stomach.
She arched her back and moaned as soon as his fingers found her throbbing clit. Another wave of fluid gushed out of her and over his fingers. Jacob brought them up to his mouth to taste her. “Mmmm. You taste fucking fantastic. Your sister was right. Wanna try?”
Quinn giggled and licked his fingers clean. That move sent his body over the edge. His cock was bouncing with his need for her, a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by his lover. She reached inside the nightstand for the box of condoms, spilling several over the bed. Jacob smiled as he placed one in her open palm. Quinn slid her hands down his abs to his pulsing member. She wrapped her fingers around his shaft and squeezed a little, eliciting a gasp from him. Carefully she tore open the wrapper with her teeth and quickly covered his cock with the ribbed latex sheath. He thrust his hips forward, causing her hand to slide up and down his shaft. “Oh, now who’s teasing?” Jacob moaned.
He eased Quinn all the way back onto the pillows, and slid down her body toward his prize. He wanted more than just a taste. He wanted to feast on her cunt until she begged for him to take her. He positioned himself between her thighs and looked up to see her watching him, her chest rising and falling rapidly. He winked before popping her clit into his mouth and sucking hard. Quinn nearly bucked him off but he held her hips in place, enjoying her squirming and sighs. It wasn’t long at all before he was rewarded once again with her sweet nectar.
He teased her a bit more with his tongue and then slipped one, two and then three fingers inside of her hot folds. Her pussy clenched repeatedly over his fingers and her body convulsed over and over again. Quinn’s skin flushed from her tits to her toes, because of him, because of what he was doing to her. He wanted more, so much more. He couldn’t wait any longer. He wanted to bury his cock deep inside her, go over the edge, and never come back.
As far back as I can remember I have had two dreams: become a veterinarian and a world-famous author. So far I achieved the first one and have enjoyed a wonderful career as a small-animal veterinarian. But something has always been missing. I’ve never stopped writing; that has never been an issue. The problem was getting up the nerve to actually finish one of my novels and submit it to a publisher. What a scary thought to send a stranger something I had poured my heart into. Would they like it? Would they see the characters the way I saw them in my head? Writing For the Love of Quinn was like giving birth to my first child. I had to let my characters go to see if they would take off, and boy have they ever!
Jacob and Quinn’s story is far from over. They’ll pop in from time to time to check in with their friends and family in the next books in the Now and Forever series. They got their happily ever after, and now it’s time for the others to find theirs, too!
Having grown up in Michigan and now living in Northern California, I have had the privilege to experience life in a small town and a big city. Everyone who I’ve met along the way has influenced my writing in one way or another. Their experiences as well as my own help make up the characters that I hold near and dear to my heart. Helping them find the loves of their lives as well as fulfilling a few fantasies along the way is just frosting on the cake!
Where to Find Tammy