I’m delighted to welcome my fellow Wild Rose Press author, Tiffany N. York, to my blog today as she introduces her new contemporary romance, The Accidental Cougar.
Tell us about The Accidental Cougar.
Forty-one-year-old Nicole Woods was content raising her son alone, working as an ad exec, and indulging in the more than occasional cleaning frenzy…until the night she met Wil Blanco. Her friends have decided that while her son is away for six weeks, it’s the perfect opportunity for Nicole to have a summer fling. Heading the top of the list is Wil — sexy, successful, full of life…and twenty-five! Regretfully, Nicole declares him “hands-off,” but soon he’s complicating everything, from her job at the advertising agency to her self-imposed ban on relationships. When Wil becomes her top client, she has even more reason to adhere to her “hands-off” policy. So why is Nicole finding it so hard to keep her hands off him?
What inspired this story? As soon as I neared the big 40, all these man-boys in their 20s came crawling out of the woodwork to ask me out. I was a bit horrified, flattered, and confused at first. I mean, I had never heard the term “cougar” before, but let me tell you, I soon learned there are a lot of young men who actually prefer much older women. And vice versa. Who knew there were any perks after turning 40?
Can you share with us “the call” story? The Accidental Cougar was passed around to a few different lines within The Wild Rose Press before they accepted it. They didn’t know where to place it. I originally submitted it to their Erotica line, because they accept “cougar” stories. Problem was, my book isn’t erotica; so they passed me along to the contemporary line, only the editor deemed the heroine too old (she’s 41—ouch!). They passed me on to the Last Rose of Summer Line, but the heroine’s issues were considered too young. I went back to the contemporary line, Champagne Rose, where I stayed. Needless to say, when I finally got “the email,” I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
What do you enjoy most about writing? Having written. I know, I know—that’s a given, right? I get terribly cranky and restless when too much time has gone by and I haven’t written. So when I finally force myself to sit down and do it, I feel so much better about myself I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner.
What is the best thing about being an author? It is the only job I’ve had where I didn’t feel like it was sucking all the life force out of me.
How do you balance writing and everyday life? I don’t. I’m terrible at it. Since I’m a single mother to a ten-year-old boy, I’m not always able to get my writing done while he’s in school. I’m often forced to write to the sounds of boys yelling, video games, TV, music, the dog barking, the birds screeching…you get the idea.
Where is your favorite place in the world? The North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii. I have never seen such amazing beauty as the sun setting on the white-sand beach. If I could lie on that beach, reading romances and eating papaya all day, I’d be one happy camper.
What do you like to read? I love contemporary romances, especially romantic comedies, which I suppose is the reason I write them. Give me Jennifer Crusie or Janet Evanovich any day. Because I’m often overwhelmed with “real life,” I can’t handle reading anything too heavy. I need light, fun, and quirky, with fast-paced dialogue thrown in.
These are few of my favorite things:
1. Light roast coffee with heavy cream—light roast because it has more caffeine, and heavy cream because I figure one can never have enough saturated fat in their diet.
2. Uggs—I don’t care how ugly everyone says they are. If they made a full-body Ugg I’d wear it!
3. Massages—I’d have one twice a day, every day. Mmmm…
“Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes?” Annie chirped the second Nicole opened the door. She sailed inside, looking well caffeinated and crisp in a cream-colored linen suit. “I’ve already been to the gym and shown two houses.”
Nicole gaped at her. “Can you tone down the perkiness a bit, Superwoman? I haven’t had my coffee yet.”
“Are you alone?”
Nicole snorted. “What do you think?”
“I think you were looking mighty cozy at the bar with our drink benefactor on Friday night.”
“Just thanking him for the round he sent over. Coffee?”
Annie shook her head. “Already had my limit for the day. How about something cold?” She was already reaching into the fridge and pulling out a carton.
“Help yourself. Glasses are in the right cabinet.”
“So that’s it, then? Thanking and nothing more?” She opened the freezer door. “Ice?”
“Check behind the frozen mice. Do you know something I think you don’t know?”
Annie gave her a confused look. “Frozen mice?”
“Don’t ask.” Nicole inwardly shivered. “I thought you left the club early.”
“I did.” She plunked two ice cubes in a glass and poured herself half a glass of lemonade. “Paulina told me.”
Nicole’s left eyebrow cocked. “Told you what, exactly?” She waited while Annie sat down on one of the bar stools and took an excruciatingly long sip.
“Mmmm, this is good lemonade.” Annie licked her lips.
“Annie, what did Paulina say?”
She shrugged. “Just that she saw both of you leaving together.”
“We didn’t leave together. Wil brought me outside so I could get better cell reception.”
Annie seemed disappointed. “Oh.”
They passed a few moments in silence. Nicole poured herself some coffee while Annie drank her lemonade.
“Alright, he kissed me,” Nicole finally said.
“I knew it! Now we’re getting somewhere.” She leaned forward. “And?”
Nicole filled her coffee mug to the brim with half-and-half, took a loud slurp, and then turned to face Annie. “And nothing. That’s all that happened. Stop grinning at me like a demented Cheshire cat.”
Annie leaned back, obviously pleased. “I can’t be happy for you?”
“He’s a boy, Annie.” Wil’s dark eyes flashed before her. “Albeit a very sexy one”—the number twenty-eight popped up—“but a boy nonetheless.” She frowned and took another sip of her coffee. “Say something, please.”
Annie sighed in exasperation. “What do you want me to say?”
“You, of all people would tell me not to waste my time with someone who was completely inappropriate.”
“Nobody’s telling you to marry him, Nic. We’re all just happy to know there’s a man walking upright that you actually noticed.”
Nicole’s right eye began to twitch. “I’m glad to hear you’ve all discussed my non-existent love life without me.”
Annie’s expression softened. “I just want to live vicariously through you. Lately, my dates haven’t been anything to write home about. Remember Ron the banker? I found out he still lives with his mother. He’s forty-six, for God’s sake! What the hell’s the matter with him? And forget Paulina—she’s a closed book under lock and key, and Wanda’s having married sex. Who wants to hear about married sex?”
“Sorry to disappoint you,” Nicole said, “but Wil and I ended before we began. I won’t be seeing him again.” Except around the neighborhood.
“Too bad, because he is one hot tamale.” Annie stood and drained the last of her drink. “You’re right, though. Too young.”
Bio: Tiffany N. York lives in Southern California with her spirited son, diva Chihuahua, an ever-changing number of cats, and two screeching parakeets. She writes fiction to escape reality. The Accidental Cougar, a steamy romantic comedy is her first novel
You can find The Accidental Cougar at: