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?
“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.
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From a young age, Jewel Quinlan had an abundant imagination and strong desire to write novels. She particularly enjoys writing paranormal and fantasy romance. 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.
How long have you been an author?
Officially, it’s been a little over a year. I began to take myself seriously around then, lol. Prior to that I dabbled on and off with writing since I was a kid. When I was young my father said that I should never throw away anything I have written and I still have most of it. It’s fun to look back at it all, scribbled on scraps of paper or typewritten… Yes, this is in the days before everyone had PCs.
Have there been any surprises along the way?
I’m surprised by how much easier it has gotten to bring a manuscript to completion after I finished my first one, which was a full-length. I guess that first one really showed me what I was capable of. After that it was like, hey, you did it before, come on and finish this on up now slacker.
Why this story? What was your inspiration to write it?
This was one of those stories that I just had to tell and I’m really glad it found a home with Evernight Publishing. Women who are “cougars” seem to be such an everyday phenomenon now. But, I thought, there has to be more behind it than just a crazy need for sex. For women there are so many emotions tied in to intimacy. I wondered what it must have been like for these older women the first time they ventured into having sex with a younger man (which is the basic theme of this book).
What was your favorite part of the book to write?
I loved the parts where I was showing how difficult it was for Ava Baldassari (the heroine) to arrive at this point in her life, all the emotions and decisions behind the physical act. She was crossing several unspoken lines at the point when she decided to go ahead and have sex with Cole (the hero).
Is there a message you want your readers to take away from this book?
I have a very basic “mission statement” for myself as an author. My overall goal with all of the books I have written is to take the readers away from their everyday life and experience something new. If I have succeeded in doing that, then I am happy with the job I’ve done.
Do you have any other upcoming releases or projects you would like to talk about?
Man Candy is book one of The Cougar Journals so I am already hard at work on the book two and have notes for more after that. I find Ava to be a fascinating character, we will see where her journey as a cougar takes her.
Aside from that I just finished up a story for Decadent Publishing’s Beyond Fairytales line. It’s tentatively titled Eternal Oath and is based on the fairytale Fundevogel, which is a story I am sure would fall in the suspense category these days I am sure. I am waiting to see if Decadent accepts it.
I am also waiting to hear back from Hot Ink Press on a short story I wrote for an anthology they have coming out called Lurking in the Deep. That one I tentatively titled Beneath Chesapeake Bay and it is a story about a human woman meeting a merman.
Where can readers find you?
For more information about Jewel Quinlan
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Amazon| Instagram
I would also like the readers to know that I will be attending RomCon 2015. They can get a ticket to have lunch with me at the following link: http://www.romcon.com/about-reader-weekend
I would love to meet them!
Who is on your "to be read" shelf?
At the moment I have two books from Gary Vaynerchuk on social media. Oh, and I’m still waiting for The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead to come out. I love her books!
What are you reading now?
I am listening to the audio version of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. And, don’t laugh, I have some children’s books in German from the Kokosnuss series by Ingo Siegner. They help me learn the language and are very entertaining I have to say.
If you could only pick one book from your childhood to preserve for others to read, what would it be?
The Muffin Muncher by Stephen Cosgrove. I still have my copy! Cutest story ever about a muffin-munching dragon.
How do you find your muse?
She is always with me and shows up at the strangest times. I think she finds me best when I am living my life to the fullest and experiencing new things. Then she speaks to me at the most random times, like watching the previews in a movie theater or riding the car with my parents on the way back from dinner. Then she pokes her head out with random inspiration and I have learned to take notes on my iPhone right away so I won’t lose the thought. When my days are blurry copies of each other, she is not amused.
Where is your favorite spot to write?
I write at my kitchen table most of the time. But for me it’s not really a place but more of a time. Early morning or between 8 and 10 in the evening work best for me for some reason. I think it’s because those are times when my dog likes to sleep and I can write in peace. Lol.
What book do you think should be made into a movie?
I would love to see Stealing Cupid’s Bow as a movie. That was the first book I ever wrote and it came from my soul for sure. Every scene in it was made with a film in mind. I think it would be cool to see in a movie what happens when Cupid’s bow gets stolen. Who’s with me?