Good day, friends, fellow writers, and readers! It’s time to peek in on another author. This week we are talking with author Tamar Sloan about her new release, Make It Count. So, let’s not have me ramble anymore and get right to it!
Welcome to my blog, Tamar! First, and you tell us a little about your novel.
Make it Count is a young adult contemporary romance, admittedly fueled by a touch of the impossible. It tells the story of impulsive, fun-loving Casey and the ability she was born with – if she touches another person she sees the number of days they have left to live. Casey fakes a phobia to avoid touch, and she convinces herself she’s happy in her isolated, safe little bubble. Until irresistible, motorcycle riding PJ comes along. The chemistry is hot, the sparks fly. And Casey is about to learn how to live a life that counts.
Interesting. I love a good twist in a novel like this character’s unique ability. I am always intrigued by other writers and where their ideas come from. What was the inspiration for Make it Count?
Make it Count, a young adult contemporary romance, is one of those books that comes to you at 4am and you just know it’s going to be a special story. It started with the seed – what if with one touch, a girl could see how many days a person has to live? Apart from all the heart-wrenching considerations like touching your loved ones, I knew she’s avoid touch at whatever cost. But then PJ arrived, and he was hot, and irresistible. I had to capture their chemistry, and their story.
I’m convinced that the best ideas come in the wee hours of the morning. Unfortunately, so do some of the worst ideas (when you’re sleep deprived) 🙂
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Interestingly, I never considered I’d be a writer. As a child I loved to read (I devoured romance novels from the moment I discovered them), but it NEVER occurred to me that I could write one myself. My first book came to me in a dream (so cliché, right?). But it was an idea that wouldn’t go away, which meant I had to go learn how to write… Several months later, with a healthy dose of muttered curse words, my first book of the Prime Prophecy series, was born.
What a cool story! I think for most people the love of writing is birthed from the love of reading. Books, books, and more books, right? I wish I could hold on to the images in my dreams long enough to capture them on paper. I always ask: do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?
Never stop growing.
Speaking of reading inspiring our writing…what are you currently reading?
About 20 books at once! I’m one of those nerdy people that love non-fiction just as much as fiction, so right now I’ve got a book going on human curiosity along with another one on chaos theory (I’m so fascinated by it and its intersection with fate – can you predict the future or not?, and its going to be the basis of a romance once day…). Fictionwise, I’ve got The Time Traveller’s Wife setting next to my bedside table (please don’t ask me to spell that authors name…), it’s really (and I mean, really) good!
I have actually read The Time Traveller’s Wife. You’re right, it is good! I try to alternate between fiction and non-fiction, but I can’t boast the same love of non-fiction. I…appreciate it.
I’m always pushing for that one more secret for my readers. Can you tell us something about your new release that is NOT in the blurb.
There are a host of fascinating characters that readers are going to fall in love with. Casey has a best-friend who’s kooky and loves to make up new words and into palmistry and iridology. Casey also one has three brothers. I have a soft spot for her youngest, Harry, he’s mango haired and freckled, and a vital key in Casey understanding how her fear controls her. Then again, her two older brother, Zach and Ethan, will have entire books dedicated to their stories in the Touched by Love series…
Wow. It sounds like you’ve paved the way for a great series. Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
Book 2 of the Touched by Love series is Zach’s story. He has a gift that even his family don’t know about, that’s a little more subtle than Casey’s, but is going to pose a challenge for the girl he has his heart set on. The very same girl who’s been in love with him for a very long time…
Thank you so much, Tamar, for being on my blog today and sharing about your book! And so, readers, without further ado, let’s charge on and get a better look at the book. And, hint, hint, there may be an excerpt below!!!
Make It Count
He’s irresistible…but she’s the one person who knows his days are numbered.
Casey’s touch can reveal the one thing a person would never want to know — the number of days they have left to live.
By the time Casey turns seventeen she’s learnt to withdraw. But the phobia she fakes in order to avoid human contact is sorely tested by hot, persistent, motorcycle riding PJ. For a girl who craves contact, maple eyed PJ is impossible to resist. When the inevitable happens, when hands, bodies and lips collide, Casey sees PJ’s number, one that can only be seen as a cruel twist of fate.
Now she must decide. Will she continue counting the days of her life, or start living a life that counts?
With the memorable writing and humor of writers such as Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun blended with the attitude, chemistry and unexpected plot twists of Katie McGarry’s best sellers, Make it Count is a romance that will leave you swooning and smiling.
Enjoy an Excerpt
A few steps down the path I slip the brownie from my sleeve. There’s no way I can wait to get out of the front yard before I taste this square of temptation. I should be sainted right alongside Ari’s grandson for not wolfing down the whole platter.
There’s a mega-sized tree in the front yard, so I head around it, lean back against its bark watching the brownie’s slow approach to my mouth, savouring the moment. I smell the chocolate, the sugar, the awesomeness. I bite down and my eyes flutter closed. Oh. My. Heaven-loving-tastebuds. Galaxies of spun sugar dissolve in my mouth, symphonies drowned out by the roaring in my ears. My body mirrors what’s happening in my mouth; I’m slowly, deliciously melting into a gooey, thick puddle.
The roaring stops.
“If you like my cooking, you’d love how I make breakfast.”
Everything stops. Every cell goes from puddly and quivery to upright and alert. I know that chocolately voice. I’ll never forget that warm, rich timbre.
I open one eye, then two.
PJ is sitting on his motorbike, helmet on his lap, that grin glinting in the sun. He hangs the helmet on a handlebar, swings a long denim leg over and swaggers towards me. And I mean a hip swaying, shoulder swinging swagger that evokes images of yellow-striped, denim-clad butts.
The moment he’s close enough for me to focus on his eyes the brownie turns to bread in my mouth. It could never compete with the symphonies and stars in those molten maple pools.
“They’re a family recipe.”
My brain clicks out of brownie-PJ heaven and into gear. Hang on a sec. I look over my shoulder at the door, the door that was just closed by a woman the colour of brown sugar. I look back to the very white, hot guy in front of me.
The moment PJ stops I take a step back, out of arm’s length, and out of smell’s reach. His eyes narrow ever so slightly as he notes my movement. He crosses his arm. “Yeah, family.”
I wait, but it seems someone else in this town took the course on stubborn silence. Instead he grins again. Man, I wish he’d stop doing that. Here, in the sun, it’s blinding. “I’m flattered.”
I raise a brow.
PJ shrugs, and somehow the movement seems to bring him a millimetre closer. Moving again would be rude and weirdo-whacky so I stay put, choosing to breathe through my mouth.
“It takes some effort to find out where a guy lives.”
My jaw slackens. Ego much?
“Hmmm.” I step to the side and head to his motorbike. “I’m glad you brought a second helmet.”
PJ turns and follows me, I step around the bike, using it as a barrier.
He places a hand on the leather seat. “You wanted to come for a ride?”
Eyes wide with mock shock connect with molten maple. “Don’t you need it for your ego?”
Instead of looking insulted, PJ grins. A wide, teeth-glinting, eye-wrinkling grin. “I think I might; it just got one heck of a hit.”
I cross my arms, glad I can do it safely this time thanks to my Personal Protective Equipment.
PJ brings one hand up to stroke his chin. “So you’re not here to see me.”
“Difficult to imagine, isn’t it?”
“What else would bring you here?”
Those delicious lips twitch. He knows exactly why I’m here. I’m not much of a blusher, but being here, for a therapy group for a phobia I don’t have, wearing the freaky lengths I have to go to avoid touch seems like a pretty good time to blush.
But I didn’t wear a balaclava, so instead, I own it. “I have ablutophobia.”
PJ’s eyes stray to my lips. “Well, it’s not a fear of brownies.”
I resist the urge to lick their suddenly dry surface. “Or the repeated use of pick-up lines.”
PJ chuckles, and it’s a sound that reminds me of crème brûlée, smooth and moreish. “Maybe it’s a phobia of stepping up to a challenge.”
That has me straightening. Everything in my impulsive but necessarily inhibited personality loves a challenge. PJ quirks a brow, and leans forward, placing both hands on the seat. The position pushes his shoulders forward, focuses my attention on those biceps. Mr. Sexy-Comes-Naturally is waiting for me to pick up the gauntlet.
Sensations and sights sharpen. Those molten maple pools watching me. The heat pressing against my body. Those Adonis lips parting on an inhale. The bead of sweat raking down my spine.
I lean forward, and my eyes widen the moment my next sense registers something. A scent, the kind of scent that has your head tilting reflexively, your mouth opening just a touch to see if it will land on your tongue.
I don’t know what amber smells like, but I think this could be it. Woodsy, spicy…tempting…moreish. It’s the kind of smell that makes you wish you could spend more time breathing in than out. One hand reaches out to the red plastic fender rising from the back of the bike. The moment woven cotton presses into my fingertips, rather than smooth plastic warmed by the sun, I stop. It’s all I need to return me to reality.
I take a step back, having to mentally force my nose to follow. PJ was never meant to get close enough to smell, because exactly what I thought would happen just happened.
He smells as good as he looks, and I don’t need any more temptation to fight.
I take another step back. “You’ve got the wrong girl, PJ.”
PJ exhales, possibly because of the pent-up tension, but probably out of frustration. “It seems we have one thing in common, Casey.”
With another step back I decide it’s safe to ask. “What’s that?”
PJ straightens, his eyes twinkling. “We both love a challenge.”
I start to walk backwards, shaking my head. “The difference is I can pick a lost cause.”
I turn and start creating even more distance between us. I walk away from hot, sexy, available maple, knowing this is what I need to do. Telling PJ, with everything I can, he’s wasting his time.
“See you at mini motos.”
I keep walking. The tenacity is admirable and flattering, but wasted. “I’m not going.” I call over my shoulder.
“Don’t forget to bring your little brother.”
I shake my head, glad PJ can see that and not my smile. Sure, I love to look, I like the flirting, and I’d love to be someone that could go there.
But PJ is the last person I plan on touching.
Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/MakeitCount
Bares & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/make-it-count-tamar-sloan/1127174208?ean=2940158563928
About the Author
A school psychologist by day, Tamar channels her passion for books into creating young adult stories about discovering life and love beyond our comfort zones. She is the award-winning author of the Prime Prophecy and Touched by Love Series. Tamar is also the author of PsychWriter: where psychology meets writing, a blog that supports and extends writers.
When not reading, writing or working with teens, Tamar can be found with her ever-patient husband and two beautiful sons enjoying country life on their small acreage in the Australian bush.
Tamar finds it deeply rewarding to share her stories and she loves to hear from her readers and fellow lovers of all things book related.
Connect with Tamar Sloan and Her Books