I’m excited to have Shirley Jump visiting today. She’s agreed to answer a few questions about herself and her writing. Afterward check out her latest release And Then Forever. Don’t you LOVE the cover?
At the end of the post, click on the link to enter her wonderful giveaway!
Let’s get started…
Describe yourself using only 5 words.
Busy, athletic, smart, funny and hungry!
What’s the first thing we’d see when we walk in your front door?
Probably my little dog, Sophie, who thinks she’s a guard dog. She’s only 8 pounds, so not exactly a ferocious beast 😉 She’s the first to greet people at the door, because she lives in eternal optimism that everyone who walks through the door is there to give her cookies.
I would definitely give her cookies. She’s cute! What’s your favorite season of the year and why?
Christmas, for sure. It’s been weird since I moved to Florida, because Christmas is entirely different here, since it never really gets cold and we definitely don’t get any snow. But I love to create that winter wonderland inside my house and I absolutely LOVE buying presents for the people I love. The whole process of coming up with something unique to that person, and then hunting it down, and then seeing their joy when they unwrap the gift. That’s the best part!
I agree…it’s so much more fun to give than receive. I’m a total cliche. lol Describe your writing space?
I don’t have an office, so I usually work on either the sofa or in my bedroom. I just need a laptop, and a comfy chair. I’ve got a basket filled with all the stuff I should be doing and processing (bills, filing, etc.) that generally just keeps getting fuller and only dealt with between deadlines ;-).
lol…this sounds familiar. I love choosing my character names. How did you go about choosing your hero and heroine’s names?
I try to pick names that I think fit them. I’ll come up with a name, then close my eyes and picture what a Kincaid would look like or how a Darcy would act. I think they fit their names—Kincaid is from a privileged background and more reserved than wilder, brasher Darcy.
If you could only choose 7 words to describe And Then Forever, what would they be?
True love always finds a happy ending.
Tweet us your favorite line in your book. Yes, it needs to be 140 characters or less)
Darcy stood there, seeing the long line of Kincaid’s leg in her bed. She couldn’t imagine life getting any more perfect than this.
Oooh…love that tweet 🙂 Describe your hero in five words.
Considerate, intelligent, kind, sexy and optimistic.
Now your heroine.
Gutsy, smart, fun, beautiful and determined.
What was your inspiration for this story?
I love the islands off the coast of Massachusetts and thought it would be perfect to set a love story there. I had been in a restaurant in Florida where people tacked up dollar bills declaring their love for another, and thought that would be a cool introduction to a love story. So the dollar bill legend wall inside The Love Shack on Fortune’s Island was born!
I love using “real life” in my books. It always adds something extra special I think. Why should we read And Then Forever?
Because it’s a story about second chances, and growing up and into the love you were meant to have all along. Sometimes we meet the right person at the wrong time, but then get a second chance at what should have been.
Care to give us a sneak peek on what you’re working on?
I’m working on the sequel to And Then Forever, featuring Darcy’s friend Jillian and her ex-fiancé, Zach. This is a snippet from the second half of Chapter One:
Zach watched Jillian run down the road, in between swipes of his wipers. Her body would blur, then be clear, blur, clear. Sort of a metaphor for their relationship, he thought. Just when he’d thought he had everything figured out, she’d dropped that bombshell and broken off their engagement. Ever since, she’d wanted nothing to do with him, no matter how hard he tried to get her to talk to him.
To be honest, he had no idea how to fix what had gone wrong. Sure, things had been a little…stale with Jillian for the last few months, but he’d thought things were going along fine. They’d been dating so long, he figured maybe that was what happened.
Truth be told, that staleness was part of what had paralyzed him when it came to setting a date. It was as if putting an engagement ring on her finger had changed everything and turned them into something dull, predictable. The newspaper on Sunday mornings and watching CSI on Tuesday nights. All of the fun they’d had when they’d first met eight years ago had slowly evaporated, like a slow leak in a tire.
He’d told himself their breakup was for the best, but then every time he saw her, something ached deep inside him. Like he’d lost an arm or a leg. He’d roll over at night and find a cold, empty space in his bed. Pick up his phone and see no messages, no texts. Walk into The Love Shack to play his set, and she’d be turned away, talking to someone else, barely noticing him the entire night.
And now, this stubborn running in the rain thing. He kept the car at a crawl, staying right behind her, but she never slowed, never even looked back, even though the rain was almost a straight sheet down on her.
Ah, Jillian. So stubborn and beautiful. The only woman he had ever met who could call him on his bullshit.
She’d known everything about him—well, almost everything. Maybe if he’d been more honest with her from day one, things would have been different. But it was as if he had dug a hole the first time he’d met her, and instead of climbing out of it, he’d just dug deeper. Some psychiatrist would probably say the lies he had told had built a wall between them, one that slowly eroded whatever foundation they’d had. Zach was pretty sure that was all bullshit, but still…he wondered. And regretted.
Jillian kept up her steady pace, ignoring his car beside her. God, she was beautiful, even when she was pissed. Lean and fit, with caramel colored hair and dark green eyes. Jillian had a smile that could turn him inside out. It had been a long damned time, though, since she’d smiled at him.
He thought of her hands, of the gentle touch she had, the way she could calm him and thrill him, all at once. That was what he’d noticed first about her, when he’d met her all those years ago. Her hands, delicate yet strong, holding an ice cream cone.
He’d been here on spring break with his parents, the one and only family vacation the Giffords had ever taken. The vacation itself had been a mistake almost from the start. Fights and recriminations—all Zach had wanted to do was escape.
He’d gone to the ice cream shop downtown and seen Jillian sitting at the counter, holding a double scoop chocolate cone. Seventeen-year-old Zach thought she was the prettiest girl he’d ever seen. She’d been laughing with a girl friend, her laughter bold and brash and intoxicating.
It had taken him a week to work up the courage to talk to her. He’d seen her again at the beach, playing volleyball. Like a dork, he’d used the ball as a reason to go up to her. She’d smiled, and laughed when he said something about the way she spiked it, and then he’d finally blurted out, “will you go out with me?”
Eight years together, and wham, she was done with him.
Zach slowed the car and rolled down the window. “Jillian, please let me give you a ride. We can talk, like we used to.”
She shook her head. “We didn’t used to talk. That was half the problem.”
“Then let’s talk now. We can—“
“Stop, Zach. Just stop.” The entrance for The Love Shack appeared before them. Jillian shook her head, then turned down the drive for the restaurant and sprinted inside.
Zach parked in the lot, but didn’t turn off the Mustang right away. The rain pounded on the roof of his car, keeping the beat with the classic rock playing on the stereo. He had no reason to be at The Love Shack tonight. It was a Tuesday, a slow night, which meant the band wasn’t needed. He should get out of here, run over to practice at Duff’s house. The Outsiders had been together for three years now, and they were just starting to hit their stride. A lot of good things were coming on the horizon, things Zach had put together, and things he wanted to share with Jillian.
But she wasn’t his anymore. Wasn’t there to listen to his stories or cheer him up when a gig fell through or the band squabbled. He missed her, damn it.
Another car pulled in the lot and an older couple who came in almost every night for the early bird specials got out. The husband unfurled an umbrella, then wrapped an arm around his wife and the two of them headed inside, arm in arm. For a second, Zach wondered if that was how Jillian and he would have been, forty years down the road. If she hadn’t broken up with him, that was. Zach lingered a little longer, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel, debating.
The rain didn’t stop, and Jillian didn’t come back out, and nothing changed. Zach told himself it was about time he stopped thinking about the impossible and started concentrating on the future. A future that didn’t contain Jillian Matheson. Not anymore.
He put the car in gear and headed out of the lot. Once, he checked the rearview mirror to see if she’d come outside after all, but the rain had obscured his view. Again.
And Then Forever
Fortune’s Island # 1
By: Shirley Jump
Releasing July 28, 2015
Welcome to Fortune’s Island, where the only rule is to follow your heart.
Love is an extravagance Darcy Williams can’t afford. She prefers the simple life, which includes waitressing at The Love Shack and avoiding temptation. But when a forbidden part of her past steps off the ferry, her safe, guarded existence is turned upside down.
Kincaid Foster has never gotten over his first love. When he sees the wild, beautiful blonde again, dancing her way around The Love Shack, the memories of Darcy’s soft skin, gentle touch, and heated kisses come rushing back. As the privileged son of a wealthy family, Kincaid was too young to stand up to his overbearing father when he and Darcy were together. Now, he’s back on the island—free of the family shackles—and the chiseled, big-time lawyer wants a second chance.
But, Darcy made a promise to keep a secret from Kincaid—a secret that is now a six-year-old girl who looks just like her daddy. If Kincaid finds out about their daughter, Darcy could lose everything. But, she can’t resist the man who stole her heart all those years ago. And it doesn’t take long before both of them realize that anything can happen on a hot summer night.
She knew she should stay away from him. Knew she should protect her heart. Knew that falling for him could have far-reaching consequences. But knowing all that and sticking to it when he was touching her were two entirely different things. “Why don’t you come by after I get home tonight?” she said, before she could think twice. “I’ll bring home some dessert, and we can share.”
Abby arched a brow and smiled at her brother. Kincaid’s gaze stayed on Darcy’s, those eyes a girl could lose herself in, as Darcy had, a hundred times before. “It’s a date.”
She nodded, as if this was no big deal, but as she turned away, a smile curved across her face and her heart stuttered, and her steps became lighter. She went through the rest of her shift with this giddy undertone to her every thought, like a song that carried on her breath.
Kincaid and Abby ate their desserts, then paid their bill and headed for the door. At the last second, Kincaid turned back, flashed Darcy one of his amazing smiles, and then mouthed see you soon. She blushed like a schoolgirl, and nearly dropped the drink order on her tray.
By the time the last song was sung at The Love Shack and the lights were turned off, Darcy was moving at a record pace. It was as if she couldn’t clean the tables or set the chairs up fast enough. Jillian and Grace just gave her a knowing smile, and shoved her out the door a little early.
Darcy walked home in the dark, quiet night, but this time her steps were quick, and her mind on her destination. She carried a bag with two pieces of cake, and wondered vaguely if she had enough time to shower before Kincaid arrived.
She rounded the corner to her house, saw the waiting light and Nona sitting in a chair inside. Darcy hurried up the stairs, rushed Nona out of there in a blip, then hopped in the shower and scrubbed off the worst of the work day. Five minutes later, she had changed into a sundress, brushed her stubborn curls into loose waves, and pulled a bottle of white wine out of the fridge.
There was a soft knock at her door, and her pulse skittered. Kincaid, her mind sang. Kincaid is here.
It was how she had felt every single day that summer, as if the world had suddenly turned right side up, just because he was near. She crossed the room, gave one last nervous pat to her hair, then pulled open the door. “Hi.”
His gaze roved over her. “Wow. You look…incredible.”
“Thanks.” She felt her cheeks heat again, and wondered who this new Darcy was. Before this, she never blushed, never got embarrassed. She had her shit together—until Kincaid came back in her life. Then she was eighteen again, and hopelessly in love. “Want to sit on the porch? It’s a small house and I don’t want to wake Emma.”
Truth be told, she was afraid that if she invited him in, she’d be all too aware of how few steps it was to her bedroom. How she could just take his hand and lead him in there, let the whole night stretch before them. So instead she grabbed the dessert, the bottle of wine and two glasses, and headed out to the two Adirondack chairs on her porch. She set a small table between them, then handed Kincaid a slice of cake and a fork. “It’s peanut butter chocolate. One of my favorites from that bakery.”
He took a bite and rolled his eyes. “Oh my God. That is good. Have you had this before?”
She nodded. “It’s one of my favorites.”
“Here, have a bite.” He forked off a morsel, then held it out to her.
Darcy leaned forward, her eyes on Kincaid’s, his on hers, thinking that sharing food was one of the sexiest things a couple could do. Her lips closed over the fork, and hunger flickered in Kincaid’s features. She chewed, swallowed, and moaned. “I think they put pheromones in those cakes. It’s almost…orgasmic.”
“Orgasmic, huh?” His gaze met hers, those hazel eyes dark and mysterious in the dim light on the porch. Heat unfurled in the small space between them. “Maybe we should compare the two. Purely for research.”
“It could lead to the next scientific discovery.”
She swallowed hard, the dessert, the wine, forgotten. “So, it would be a contribution to science?”
“Might even win us a Nobel Prize.”
“Hmmm…that would be good on my resume.” She smiled at him, then decided there was no point in pretending she gave a damn about the cake or the wine, and got to her feet. “Suddenly I’m in a very scientific mood.”
“Me, too.” He took her hand, and they abandoned everything on the porch, and headed inside, across the front room and into her bedroom. She flicked on the bedside lamp, then stood beside her queen-sized bed and thought it looked both way too big and way too small.
Then Kincaid laid his hands on her waist and leaned down to kiss her, and she stopped caring about anything other than the taste of him in her mouth, and the way he touched her, and how very, very much she wanted him.
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/06/and-then-forever-fortunes-island-1-by.html
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shirley Jump spends her days writing romance so she can avoid the towering stack of dirty dishes, eat copious amounts of chocolate and reward herself with trips to the mall. Look for her all-new novella in the anthology ASK ME WHY (with Marie Force, Virginia Kantra and Jodi Thomas), as well as the Sweet and Savory Romance series, including the USA Today bestselling book, THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE, on Amazon, and her Sweetheart Sisters series, starting with THE SWEETHEART BARGAIN.
Visit her website at www.ShirleyJump.com for author news and a booklist, and follow her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/shirleyjump.author for giveaways and deep discussions about important things like chocolate and shoes.
*Shirley is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $75.00 Amazon eGift Card*