Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over Jewel Quinlan, author of Man Candy, The Cougar Journals, Book 1.
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Date of Publication: January 9, 2015
Word Count: 13692
Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of the following: 5 copies of Stealing Cupid’s Bow (print version open to US Shipping), 5 e-copies of Man Candy, 2 audio copies of Rock Star Ex, 2 audio copies Surrender Sweet Succubus, 2 audio copies of Extreme Heat
Commercial real estate agent, Ava Baldassari, is done with being a good girl. Recently having revamped her self-image, home and wardrobe she finds there is one thing left that needs updating; her sex life.
She runs into her friend and running partner, Cole, one night when she is out with a friend. A bit drunk she flirts with him and is surprised by the enthusiastic response he gives back.
Things reach a point where she has to make a decision whether or not to cross a line she never has before.
Ava is forty and Cole is twenty-five, is she really ready to become a cougar?
Where you can buy Man Candy:
Evernight Publishing | Amazon | All Romance e-Books | Barnes and Noble | BookStrand | iTunes or add it to your shelf on Goodreads
What inspired you to write this book?
Definitely my own experience in the dating world. As soon as I hit forty there was a noticeable shrinking and ickifying (not a real word) of my dating pool. When you get to this age it gets a lot tougher to find a good catch. And I started to think about the phenomenon of cougars and the feelings and reasons behind making the decision to hook up with a younger man. Of course that also led to the question of what it would be like the first time. For women, there are so many boundaries, emotions and thoughts entangled in intimacy…it just was really interesting to me to explore that scenario. And that’s what this book is all about. It is Ava’s first time with a man fifteen years younger than she is.
If you could spend an hour in real life with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
I would love to spend time with Ava! I think she and I would be best friends and go shopping together. I love women who have come into their own and aren’t afraid to explore life and take risks. Heck, if we got drunk together there’s no doubt we’d somehow end up in Switzerland the next morning and not remember how we got there.
Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.
The conflict in this story is really between Ava and all the boundaries, limitations and rules of society that woman are raised with. While these things have changed a lot during my lifetime I am of the opinion that they haven’t changed fast enough. It was really fun to outline Ava’s internal thought process as each of them came up.
What sources do you use for research?
Aw man, you caught me. My name is Jewel Quinlan and I use Wikipedia. Yes, I really do, lol. But I also love Google Maps so I can get right down on the street and walk around in a city I’ve never been to. And YouTube is great for the most random sh**. Oops, sorry. Didn’t mean to swear on the blog. But it really is great! I’ve looked up kiteboarding videos on there (Extreme Heat), videos on celebrity motorhomes (Rock Star Ex) and clips of what it looks like when you are standing on Syndey Harbour Bridge (Surrender Sweet Succubus). I also once looked at Madonna and Lenny Kravitz’s websites for when I was trying to figure out what a tour route looks like for big name musicians (Rock Star Ex). The internet is so completely awesome for us authors! We don’t have to leave home or flip through the card catalogue in the library — yes, I am that old — to get the details we need anymore.
How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?
I get those questions a lot. I dabbled in writing since I was a kid. After having the life sucked out of me in college I finally came back to myself when I was hitting the verge of forty (yes, years old) and took myself seriously. My first book, Rock Star Ex, came out in October of 2013. It wasn’t the first one I finished, that was Stealing Cupid’s Bow. They kind of got published in the reverse order from which I wrote them….
Anyway, since then I’ve written six more, two of which I am waiting to hear back from publishers on. The other four are published already. All of my work is also in audiobook version, available on Amazon, ACX and iTunes. I drive a lot for my day job and audiobooks really help me keep my sanity while on the road. Who’s with me on that?
What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?
My preference is paranormal and fantasy but I somehow keep getting caught up in contemporary, which has been fun actually. And I got myself entangled with a suspense recently. That all started when I set out to write a story based on a fairytale for one of my publishers but the fairytale I was given was clearly a suspense. But I am not one to walk away from a challenge, it was really fun to write the action scenes in that one. In the future I will be writing a post-apocalyptic series. Still plotting how I will destroy the world and then what comes after. There are so many options!
Do you prefer to write short stories, novellas or novels? Why?
I’m one of those wacky authors who writes whatever I want and for however long it takes me. I have stories in all of the lengths you mentioned (short story, novella and novel). However I do find short stories the most challenging. I mean, there’s just so much to say when people are falling in love, so many thoughts and feelings that need to be described, that I tend to find myself drifting toward novel length. I just finished up a story that was supposed to be a short (a side project, if you will) but it ended up being over 40,000 words. Oh well, it’s been a while since I heard someone complain that a story was too long. Not since the TV series Lost wrapped up, as a matter of fact. Lol.
Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.
Man Candy is book one of a series titled The Cougar Journals. It is the first series I am writing and I am looking forward to seeing what Ava will put me through as I try to detail her experiences as a cougar. I have high hopes that she will find love in the end. Book two is tentatively titled Boy Toy. I’ve also been wanting to write a post-apocalyptic series so I am writing down the bones of the ideas for that as I work on The Cougar Journals.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for a while,” he whispered in my ear, still pressed against me as he unzipped my dress.
Me too, I wanted to say. But I didn’t. I was adrift in the onslaught of sensation as he slid the fabric from me, trailing kisses down my back as it went. Making me aware as I never had been of how sensitive the skin there could be. When he reached the small of my back, he lingered, kneading my skin with his tongue and teeth. His hands ran down my legs and then back up to my breasts, and I savored the feel of his fingers. My breaths came heavier. I had been needing this for too long.
He rose and turned me toward him, towering over me. His cap was gone and his dark hair was askew, as though he had run his fingers through it, giving him that sexy just-woke-up look. I slid my fingers from the waist of his jeans, underneath his shirt, to his muscled back. The ridges of strength there were too tempting beneath my fingertips. How did he find the time to work out that much? I had to see with my own eyes. Fisting the hem of his shirt in my hands, I pulled his t-shirt up to remove it. Why should I be the only one standing here naked? With a chuckle, he complied, lifting the shirt over his head and flinging it away in the casual manner of an underwear model on TV.
Sure, I had imagined what he looked like with his shirt off, but the reality was ten times better. He had a runner build, but that was filled out with muscle. The planes of his chest were topped by strong shoulders and arms, which seemed to blossom over the lean ridges of his abdominals, creating a definite contrast. I couldn’t help reaching out and touching him. I ran my hands over his skin, tracing my way upward to the light coating of black hair on his pectorals. He leaned his pelvis into me, forehead on mine, his erection pressing into me, making me shiver with anticipation.
We were on the brink of something oh-so-good, and I was dying to plunge ahead. Yet, I hesitated.
Questions burned in my mind. I tried to hold them back, knowing serious talk would ruin the moment. That lasted about two seconds before I gave in.
“Um…” I said.
He lifted his head from mine and looked at me.
I cocked my head at him. “Did you just say you’ve been wanting to do this for a while?” Had he been scoping me out all this time, as I had him?
He nodded. “Who wouldn’t? Look at you. You’re gorgeous.”
I glanced down at myself. My ample buxom looked perfect in the black, lace push-up bra I wore, and the matching thong sat just right, low on my hips. I still had on my red heels, which added a lady-killer effect.
Then I glanced at him. The smoldering look he gave me trumped anything I observed on the physical plane. The messages coming from him on a subliminal level promised pleasure that made me squirm with heat.
“You know it’s going to be good between us, Ava,” Cole said.
Jewel will be attending RomCon in Denver CO September 25-27.
Readers can get tickets to sit with her at the luncheon event, she would love to meet you!
About the Author
Jewel Quinlan had an abundant imagination and a strong desire to write novels from a young age. She particularly enjoys writing paranormal and fantasy romance but also writes contemporary as well.
An avid traveler, she has visited fifteen countries so far (which she enjoys using as settings in her novels) and has plans to see more of the world. She has a particular fondness for Bavaria and studies the German language as one of her hobbies.
During the day, she works as a pharmaceutical sales representative and, at night, she writes romance. She currently lives in Orange County, California with her dog Penny.
For more information about Jewel Quinlan