Open Mic Monday is featuring Author Tammy Dennings Maggy who is talking about her inspiration behind her "Now and Forever Series." Sometimes the path to true love is rocky and winding.
When Amber first asked me to talk a bit about my Now and Forever series, I wasn’t sure what to say. Once I sat down and thought about it, I realized of all the projects I have going on, this one means the most to me. Besides starting out with the first book I ever had published, it’s actually a tale of my own journey to find my happily ever after.
Now for those of you who’ve read the first book, For the Love of Quinn, you’ll recall one of the heroes is a billionaire. Did I have a fling with a well to do gentleman in Sin City? While I don’t kiss and tell, my characters do! All the pain and emotional upheavals detailed in those pages are what I went through when my first marriage fell apart. The sexual encounters…I’ll just leave the up to your imagination! J
I used my writing as an escape from the pain. I poured my heart out onto those pages and wished with all my heart to find that special someone to complete me heart and soul. Through Quinn’s story, I found my courage to get out of a loveless marriage and on with my life even if I had to be alone.
All of the books in this series bring fated mates together. Their journey to find each other isn’t easy, even after they get together. Once again, this is my way to share the bumpy road I had to travel on to be with my current husband. He is my soul mate and the one I’ve been searching for my whole life…in this lifetime and all others. I know many will read that and think that’s just a fairy tale.
I’m here to tell you fairy tales do come true and will happen to you. You just have to open your heart and let them in. You have to believe you deserve to have the happily ever after. This is the overall message I wish for readers to take away from this series. That’s why I called it Now and Forever. It’s actually part of a phrase I have tattooed on my back: “Now and Forever, Forever Mine.”
The first two books detailed Quinn and Jacob’s story back to each other after meeting for the first time in the realm between life and death called The Island. Funny thing is I didn’t have that part of the story arc planned at all. It came to me after the first book was published. Readers wanted to know more about Jacob’s past. While writing that, the story took on a life of its own and Julia stood up, demanding to be heard.
She’s what I call an “anti-heroine” because she isn’t likeable to the reader right away. In fact, she’s a grade A bitch. She’s selfish and only out for herself and satisfying her own lust and desires. Underneath all of that is a lost little girl in need of someone to love her unconditionally. Like me, she didn’t think she deserved to be with the one she loved and pushed the person away. Both of us also went through incredibly dark times in our lives where death seemed like a viable option to stop the pain.
Lucky for both of us, our soul mates stuck around until we saw the light.
The next book will be out this summer. My Love, My Friend follows the journey of two people in Quinn’s life—her cousin Samantha and another friend, Nathan. Samantha’s been in love with a man since high school, but through the years he’s given her nothing but heartache. Nathan’s been through hell and back as a Marine during the first Gulf War and the years after. Both need to let go of their pasts in order to have a future together. That past is involves the same man: Michael.
I wrote this tale right after I filed for divorce and before I met my current husband, Liam. I had recently reconnected with a love from my past. He said all the right things, made me feel good about myself for the first time in ages. He told me he loved me too and wanted to start a life together…and then he didn’t. He used me to make his ex-girlfriend jealous enough to want him back. Just when he was supposed to spend a vacation with me, he tossed me aside like a used Kleenex. That was the strike against my already damaged heart that shattered it beyond repair. I put all of my pain into Samantha’s story. Nathan is her Liam. In those pages you’ll see our story played out. We are each other’s best friends and what was needed to mend our broken hearts.
As with the first three books, My Love, My Friend and the others that follow, show couples who’ve been fated to be together from the beginning of time. For some it takes many lifecycles and a bit of celestial intervention for them to finally reunite. For others, it takes nearly losing the one they love before they see what’s been right there in front of them the entire time.
Everyone has a ying to their yang, the one who completes them heart and soul. They’re there waiting for you to open your eyes and your heart so your journey together can begin.
I did it. How about you?
Story excerpt of "The Surrender of Julia"…
The only way to the beach seemed to be through the sliding doors on the other side of the bedroom. The sound of sea gulls reached her ears as she stepped out onto the deck. A bubbling hot tub sat to her left and to her right was an outdoor kitchen, complete with a grill pit and cushioned deck chairs. Directly in front of her stretched the pale sandy beach. The waves called to her and she practically ran through the sand to get to the point where the water gently lapped against her calves. Julia wiggled her toes into the sand, loving the feel of it slipping and sliding between them. “This is sheer Heaven.”
Then it hit her. The whole confrontation with Jacob and Mario in the condo replayed on fast forward in her mind. She remembered drinking way too much whiskey and then swallowing some pain killers. “Oh, my God! I just wanted to sleep. I didn’t want to die. This is why I’m here. I’m dead.” She sank to her knees in the surf and sobbed.
“Julia, you’re not dead.” A tall blond man stood before her on the beach. He looked to be in his late twenties, covered in tattoos and sporting multiple piercings. His eyes were what drew her right in. They were the blue green color of the ocean she sat in. His eyes made her feel immediately at ease.
He held out his hand to her. “Come on. We’ve a lot to talk about and I’m sure you’re full of questions for me too.”
“Where did you come from? I thought I was the only one here.” Julia took his hand and allowed him to help her get to her feet and out of the water. Goosebumps covered her body, but she wasn’t cold. “If I’m not dead, then how did I get here?”
He laughed. “I’ll answer all your questions, but first you have to give me a chance to do it before you fire off more.” He wrapped a large beach towel around her shoulders as they made their way back up toward her bungalow. “I’ve been waiting for you to wake up. I’m the Guardian assigned to watch over you and help you find your way back to the destiny chosen for you by The Three.”
She sat down on one of the deck chairs and beckoned to him to sit next to her. “Guardian? As in guardian angel?”
He nodded. “My name is Daniel. The Goddess Fate chose me to watch over you and several other people. One of them you know already, Jake Hartley.”
Julia’s eyes filled with tears. “I hurt him so badly. Is he okay? I mean he stormed out of our condo last night. I don’t know where he went.”
Daniel shook his head. “He was in a horrific accident on his bike. He slammed into the back of a semi—”
“No! He’s not dead. He can’t be.” Julia bolted out of her chair and barely reached the end of the deck before she threw up.
Daniel went immediately to her side, holding her hair out of the way until she stopped retching. “I’m not going to sugar coat it for you, Julia. Jake’s fighting for his life right now. But you need to believe me when I tell you he’s in good hands. His father is my partner and right now he’s there with him and the rest of the family.”
“He wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for me. I did this to him.” Sobs tore through her body again. She’d never cried over anyone or anything before Jacob. All of it became more than she could take. “Please. Leave me here to die. Take care of him.”
The Guardian wrapped his muscled arms around her and held her against his chest. “That’s not why you’re here. In fact, you’ve been allowed to come here in order for your heart and soul to mend. Then, you have to make a choice.”
Julia wiped the tears from her face and gazed into Daniel’s eyes. “I don’t understand. What is this place?”
“We call it The Island. Basically, it’s what humans would call limbo. It’s the realm between life and death. The ability to come here is a gift given to you by Yeshua, Fate, and Lucius. You have to choose to either stay here and wait until your next life cycle, or go back to face your demons and fight for your chance to be with your soul mate and your chosen destiny.”
“The only person that’s ever loved me like that, the only one who told me he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, is fighting for his life in a hospital bed.” Julia managed to get back into the deck chair without having another wave of nausea hit. She curled up in the towel again and wondered if it would be the best thing to stay here and not go back to all the pain she’d caused.
Daniel smiled. “The only one? Think hard. Who’s been by your side through everything? Who has let you pursue all your desires and still loves you unconditionally?”
She smiled through her tears. “But Carmen can’t be my soul mate. It’s one thing to have an affair, but the love we have for each other will never be accepted, especially not in her world as a doctor and hospital administrator. The religious groups in L.A. would crucify her if our relationship was made public. The hospital Board wouldn’t want to have that kind of publicity. Carmen’s worked too hard to get where she’s at in her career. I won’t be responsible for ruining another person’s life.”
“I understand your fears about that, but you and all those groups have it completely wrong. The Three didn’t create us as just male or female. We are both. Soul mates are just that, mates of the soul. Being a male or female isn’t part of it. Souls have no gender. They’re just pure life force.”
Julia shook her head. “That may very well be true, but after all I’ve done in my life I don’t deserve to have that kind of happiness. Jacob does. Carmen does. But not me.”
Daniel took her hands into his calloused ones. “Why not? If The Three feel you’re worthy, who are you or anyone to judge differently?”
Buy now! If you haven't read the series yet, now is the time to start!
A bit more about Tammy Dennings Maggy…
As the founder of Sassy Vixen Publishing, Tammy has a lot on her plate. Not only has she established herself as an erotic romance author with Siren Bookstrand, but she's also published two books of poetry and has many more projects underway. Finding time to write and keep up a full schedule as a veterinarian in a very busy practice in the Pacific Northwest has been a difficult task, but one she takes on happily with the help of her husband, “Mr. Vixen.”
Through her website/blog Behind Closed Doors and her blog Not Enough Time in the Day you can get a glimpse into her hectic schedule. Now she can add Best Selling Author to her resume as her vampire inspired poetry book The Courtship of the Vampyre is one of the top sellers on Omnilit (ARe affiliate).
The love of books of all genres helped her decide to write under four pen names. This way she's able to tell the stories all of her characters wish to tell whether it's the sweet and sensual or hot and spicy. Speaking of spicy, Tammy is also part of the Four Seduced Muses along with three of her Siren author friends. No topic is off limits with the Muses and that's the way “The Vixen” likes it!
Readers can also connect with her and her alter egos through Facebook and Twitter.