Author Spotlight + Interview 💗 TJ West/Tiffany Janine

Since getting into this crazy book world of blogging and reviewing in 2014, I have come to find out it’s not an easy job for an author. We all read their books, with their glossy covers of a gorgeous model and tales of seduction, love, and hopefully a Happily Ever After. It seems like such an easy thing. Come up with a story and write it out. But I have learned that the process of a being an author is not that easy. It’s long days and nights of writing and rewriting, editing, losing days with your family all for the pleasure of the reader. What we don’t see is the pressure put on them to come up with a story that people will want to get lost in, to make us, go One-Click on Amazon for the pre-order, and then wait anxiously for the next book to come out in a series. Will people like it? Will they go on to read the next book? Is my writing good enough to give up some personal time to satisfy the wants of the reader? That’s a lot of pressure and it takes a strong author to stick with it. I give to you, TJ West, or Tiffany Janine, or as I am honored to say, my friend.

 

I’ve met TJ West numerous times at events. I’ve made myself known to her first as a blogger/reviewer, next as I fangirled over her, and now as a friend. Tiffany is one of those authors that you love from the beginning. Her writing style is easy going and seems effortless. Reading her books is never about reviewing for me. It’s finding out what she is going to do with her characters that you secretly crush on. It’s finding out what crazy thing her characters are going to do or say, all thanks to their creator. Her Downtown Series is my favorite rocker series. Forbidden Faith had me hating one of the characters. I wanted to hurt him and his arrogance. Then, what does she do but give him his own book! Now, I am in love with the guy thanks to the way his story was told. Notice I didn’t give away who this character was? Read Forbidden Faith and you will know and then read his story. Now I am waiting patiently (sort of) for the next crazy rocker and his story (btw, my favorite cover). But I am also excited because through all the craziness in this author world, she is keeping it real and doing what she loves to do and does so well. The fact she makes time for her family and friends to get out of her writing cave may be what makes her the amazing author she is. Finding that balance to keep readers coming back for more and keeping herself sane. How can you not fall in love with her?!

By Jacqui 

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

I’m a stay at home mom at the age 42. I grew up in Long Beach, California with one older sister, Shannon. My parents are divorced but have been married to another spouse for over 30 years. I moved to San Diego, Ca with my husband Ricardo (boyfriend at the time) in 1998. We’ve been married almost 18 years in April 2017. We have 2 teenagers, son  Joey (17 graduating HS this year) and daughter Raquel (15 yrs) We have 2 crazy cats, Rusty and Luna.

What inspired you to write your first book?

Back in high school (which was a million years ago) I had a love for English class. Even before that, I loved developing stories from within and even did some acting back in the day. I loved everything about making up stories and wrote a book in HS. It was a cheesy book, but I loved creating it all the same. I tried writing another book after that, but like how life is, things end and life gets in the way. It wasn’t until years after I had my children that I decided to give writing a go once again. Self publishing was on the rise, so one day my friend and I talked about writing and it got me thinking that maybe I can self publish too? I knew back in the day I could never sell my books to a publisher. I didn’t have experience. But in the age of technology, anything is possible. November Rain became my first self published book.

What book has had the most influence in your life?

Are you asking about my books or another author’s book? LOL. Well if I have to choose one, I’ll go with Forbidden Faith (downtown series book 1) It influenced me to keep going, to work harder at each book. Since that book went live in 2015 I met some wonderful lifelong friends who told me they couldn’t wait for the next one in the series. I was inspired to write about each guy in the band, to tell their story. They’ve become my “family”.

How much truth is in your fiction?

Well, if I tell you that in Lasting Lyric, when Slim talks about how his brother fell down in a pile cow shit from rolling down a hill in North Carolina? I’d say that’s a very close story to something that happened to my sister when we were kids.  So yes, a lot of little stories here and there in my books have happened in my life. They’re little subtle things, just like Slim’s stories, or how Joey in Purple Rain is actually my son in real life. I love bringing a little bit of me into each story I write.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor and why?

Susan Fisher Davis has been my biggest mentor in the last two years. She’s taught me so much about writing and has even helped me edit my last book, and the one I’m working on. Without her help or knowledge, I might still be stuck in my rut of thinking that everything that I write is great, which in truth needs another set of eyes and honesty. She’s by far the most honest bitch ever, whether you love her honesty or not. She’s a true friend who has my back and I hers. I treasure her wisdom in this heavily competitive book world.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Yes. I find I have a challenge with describing direction and someone’s looks. I’m great with dialogue, but when it becomes about how to describe someone’s actions, that’s where I am flawed. Or beginning a new chapter; I have to really dig deep to figure out how to start it out. Where is my character going? What is he/she thinking? The beginning is always the hardest, but once I get to the dialogue (because I write all of my dialogue first) then I’m able to write faster and it flows.

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I am working on my next downtown series book, Releasing Rhythm; my last guy in the band, Jason Chamber. He’s my dark and lonely horse who has a lot going on mentally. I really hope my readers love him as much as I love him, even though he’s driving me crazy right now. He’s become somewhat of a hot head and doesn’t know what he wants. Pushing away his one true love is agonizing LOL. After RR I’ll be starting another 2 story series called RICO (Bounty Brothers) It’s going to be a little different than my other stories from my previous series. Rico is related to June Tyndall from my downtown series, and was in Purple Rain. He’s a good guy, but is working with the wrong person. He is ordered to hunt down a woman who is believed to have killed someone’s brother (the accused woman’s husband). The brother is bad news. So this is where Rico comes in. There’s like a cat and mouse, suspense thing happening here. I hope I do it justice. Doing something new like this is a scary transition. Matthew Hosea, a good friend of mine, will be the cover model on this book. I hope I make him proud.

If you could spend time with one of your characters, who would it be?

I can’t choose just one so I’m going to pick JINKS… Who wouldn’t want to hang out with the hottest band and sexiest guys around??? OMG they would be a dream to spend the day with, especially after their concert. I love how they lay back and hang out with the groupies – well the ones that aren’t always trying to get into their pants that is. LOL!

Does your husband read your books?

Hell to the no. In the past I wanted him to read them, but honestly, he’ll tear them apart and find all my flaws. He’s very anal, so that is a big fat no. He has no interest anyways. haha!

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

LOL! I don’t really think I have any strange habits. The one thing that I do ( and I wrote earlier) is when I write my chapters, I always write down the dialogue first. This way I kinda get the feel of what the meat should be. All the feels from the dialogue melt with the meat. Make sense? Probably not haha. I get a lot of brainstorming through driving or when I’m going to sleep (which can be a problem. I can never fall asleep!) I’m pretty much a distracted person when writing. Facebook gets in the way of things and I can only do one book at a time. I haven’t been able to do multiple books at the same time just yet. It would overwhelm me.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

I am one weird person. Probably unlike most authors, I love digging around trying to come up with my characters names and titles. Each name for my books almost has a meaning. For my downtown series, each book has my lead woman’s character’s name on the front. I wanted my girls to have something to do with music. I thought it was a cool thing to do. Faith, I know, has nothing to do with music, but don’t we put our faith in music and it’s lyrics when we’re a hot, famous rock star? I think so. haha. With Releasing Rhythm, I didn’t use a name, because Peta was already established from Purple Rain. It was different and I hadn’t heard of it before. I actually love it.

From Chasing Paige…well Paige just went with the whole book feel of things. Her store is Chasing Pages, so I had to make her name the same. I know…weird. So yes, my names mean something to me and to each book. It’s what makes creating so amazing. Those names become “personalities”.  

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

Well, that’s where sleeping comes in or driving. I plot. But most of the time, ideas come while writing. I don’t sit down and plot a whole story. It has to happen as I write, or it won’t flow for  me. No one knows what’s going to happen until they begin writing. It should be a mystery and surprise to us just as much as it is to the readers. That’s my intake on it.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

My kids. Plain and simple. The End. Being a mother is my #1 focus. They may be older and almost out of school, but I’d still do anything, like drop a book or stop writing to be able to volunteer or drive them to the dentist. I’m a mom first and foremost.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? If so, what is it?

Probably rape. That’s a very sensitive subject with so many readers. I could never write a scene about it. I can certainly write after the fact, but not during. Make sense?

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

Ugh, it would definitely be Action. In Rico, there will be a lot of action, and I just don’t exactly know how to do it yet. How is he going to hold a gun. How will he fight and shoot?      OMG the list is endless. It’s going to be very challenging.

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

Making sure that my book is error free (which is impossible sometimes, even with five people looking at it to make sure it’s perfect) . Many times I’ve had to go through my book, after I have already uploaded it, to make changes. So many changes during Chasing Paige, it was horrible. The stress is terrible. And my least favorite part about the writing process is making sure my characters and stories don’t get boring.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

The indie author world is a very big, big ocean. While you may think that this first book is going to make you an instant best seller? Think again. I’m on my 10th book and I’m still a small fish. We all want to become “Big” but don’t stop writing or publishing until you are out of ideas or if you begin to hate it, or not having fun with it anymore. I almost quit a few months back due to feeling like a failure. But having such loyal readers/friends they helped me get back on track.

I’ve learned that sales or where your ranks are, are not important. It took me a week off from writing and being on FB or any book site for that matter to get my ass back on track of things. I stopped making low sales a big deal. As long as I still have my loyal readers, I can still create amazing stories for them to read.

Just stay focused. Don’t let sales and ranks sway you from doing something you love. Stay true to who you are and don’t forget the small fish if you do become “big.” don’t forget you were once them.

Oh and get an Editor! Ha! Susan Fisher Davis has drilled that in me over and over again. My last book and RR are the best edited books I’ve had to date. I am very proud of them.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

OLD! Is that enough for ya? LMFAO! To be honest, I have no clue. I’m not sure if I’ll be writing or if I’ll be working alongside my husband when we open up a brewery. I’d like to say I’ll still be publishing, but I may suddenly get very tired of it and be done within 5  years. Who knows? Oh and I hope to be a grandmother in 10 years. HA! We’ll see about that!

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

Oh wow, it was when I wasn’t watching my budget ( actually I didn’t have a budget) . I was pretty much spending my $$ left and right and almost couldn’t get back up. It was horrible! Thank God I got my shit together and have able to settle down and slowly started saving again. Last year fucked me up LOL.

Does your significant other recognize his moves in your writing?

Well, since he doesn’t read my books, no. Hahah But guess what? The name RICO is my husbands nickname that our longtime friends call him. So that means he’s getting his own book 🙂 but it has nothing to do with his own personality.

What literary character is most like you?

Hmmm that’s tough. I guess Sandy in Purple Rain is. All the ladies I have created have a little bit of me in them, but Sandy says things that I would say and since she’s Joey’s mom we have that in common.

What secret talents do you have?

I used to love singing. I was in Glee growing up and used to sing endless hours in my bedroom or on the front porch, along with doing plays on my tape recorder. I love pool, I used to be pretty good at it – and darts. I’m not sure if that pertains to a secret talent haha.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

So many places. I went to Maui with my family in the summer, but if I could go somewhere else – Australia. That is my dream place to go to. Or Ireland, Italy.

Connect with the Author

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Releasing April 11th

Releasing Rhythm (Downtown Book #5)

Jacqui’s Review  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Preorder NOW – On SALE for $1.99 for a limited time

Jason –

“You’ll never be good enough…”

Five words that forever remain in my heart stopping me from moving forward… I don’t put a lot of faith in people especially since my upbringing wasn’t the most pleasant. There is a dark side to me that I don’t share with anyone, not even my bandmates. I prefer to focus on music never letting my secrets out.

Peta –

I have been let down by every man that has passed through my life. My trust has diminished a little more each time I am left behind. I swear I am cursed when it comes to men, until I cross paths with Jason.

Both drawn to one another in the most vulnerable of ways, Peta and Jason fall into each other, shedding light on the darkest part of their souls. Will Peta be able to help Jason release the rhythm of his heart or will he be forever living in the torment of his past?

 

 

 

 

The Downtown Series

Forbidden Faith (Book #1)

 

Jacqui’s Review  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lucas “Lucky” Jones:
Sometimes moments seem too good to be true, but if I want it bad enough, I get it.
Life with her was perfect, we fell in love and I didn’t think it could get any better. She was like a dream in every single way.
But in one instant, my world shattered and all it took was one solitary pay-off covered by one big lie.
Now I’m on the fast track trying to forget her, as the lead singer of my band, JINKS, but she never leaves my thoughts, her face is forever emblazed in my mind and the love I still have for her is forever a part of my heart. Every song I write and every song I sing is for her.

Faith Montgomery:
I’d never met anyone like him before. He was so much different than any other man. He was calm and confident and pure of heart.
Our love was perfect until he betrayed me, now the love I have for him won’t fade and I am unable to love a man who is not him. When he left, he took my heart with him.

Gone their separate ways after they were both ripped apart, they both wonder if their love is worth saving. They wonder if it is possible to rekindle what they once had or will Lucky always be chasing….Forbidden Faith?

 

 

 

 

Judging June (Book 1.5 NOVELLA)

Jacqui’s Review  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
June Tyndall and Phillip Caffrey are polar opposites.
June is a free spirit that owns and operates her own music label. She has tattoos, piercings and dresses like the rocker she is and the brand she represents.
Phillip is an architect. He is clean cut, prim and proper guy that works out at the gym and dresses in fine tailored suits.
There is nothing about June that Phillip finds attractive, especially her graphic body art. She isn’t the typical woman he goes after.
One drunken night leads June and Phillip into each others’ arms and bed. But for every action there is a reaction, and sometimes life changing consequences.
Will Phillip finally look past the image and see June for who she is? Or will he continue judging June and accept the consequences?
Can opposites truly attract?

 

 

 

 

Harmony’s Healing (Book #2)

Jacqui’s Review  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Danny Jay, lead guitarist of the hottest new band, JINKS has found himself fighting for control in his own life. He can’t control his father’s choices, the sister he blames for his abandonment or his best friend dating his sister. It’s the ultimate betrayal leaving him bitter, angry and unforgiving.

Harmony’s older sister raised her after their parent’s fatal car accident instead of going into the foster care system. When tragedy struck again Harmony made the hardest choices to pay the bills and survive. She gets a second chance to build a better life when offered a job at Montgomery Suites, where she crosses paths with Danny.

After one horrible drunken evening at Montgomery Suites, Harmony takes care of Danny and feels a connection but he is damaged and reserved. Will these two abandoned souls be able to heal each other?

My Melody (Book #3)

Jacqui’s Review  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

People think I’m a ladies man. On the outside I look like your typical stud who is only out for sex, but there is more to me than just my rocker persona. Don’t get me wrong, I love to entertain the ladies with a grin to melt their panties, a body made for sin and fingers that can play a woman’s body like they play my bass guitar, but there’s more to me than what meets the eye. I come from a good, tight knit family who instilled in me to always go after what I wanted….

And I wanted her…

I had a heart full of love to give to one woman, there was just one problem, finding the woman who wanted it…

Until her…she was older, wiser, showed me things I had no clue about. Our relationship was supposed to be fun, until she took it one step too far and I realized I was way in over my head.

I wanted more….

Lasting Lyric (Book #4)

Jacqui’s Review  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It was a spark neither one of us saw coming….
It was a love neither one of us expected…

It’s a competition of wit and intelligence. Our attraction undeniable and our chemistry magnetic. Very much different in our upbringings, so naturally the odds would be stacked against any kind of romance..

I’m the rock star and she’s every bit the good girl. We respect each other, but push each other’s buttons. Our friendship is unconventional, but something inside of me tells me that Lyric is my perfect fit.

It only takes one moment to change everything, one moment to turn my whole world upside down. What happens when you fall in love with your best friend? Are you prepared to handle the emotions?

She’ll be the one lyric I can’t shake…

Falling for Words Series

Chasing Paige (Book #1)

Jacqui’s Review  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*For those readers who are not into explicit language and explicit sex scenes, this book is highly recommended*

Paige Turner – A 28 year old widow who owns a bookstore called Chasing Pages meets someone unexpectedly after two years of her husband’s death. Little does she know he’s the one who writes her favorite novels and has a secret he is keeping from her.
James Diamond Parker AKA J.D. Parker – is a horror novelist who is having a signing at Paige’s book store. The first glimpse of Paige and he instantly feels a connection with her. Love begins to brew between the two of them, yet there is something James is keeping from Paige, something that will change everything between them.
Will the secret destroy their newly founded love, or tie them closer together?

The Rain Series 

November Rain (Book #1)

Marty Mayfield fell in love at the tender age of 16 to Matt Cooper. He was her world until the day he left to go into the Air Force. From many letters she had written and mailed, responses from Matt never came. Her world felt destroyed and lonely. After graduating high school she moved to Paris and lived there for 12 years. During her years of living there she met the man she thought could replace Matt. Turned out her years in Paris brought nothing but pain, loss and suffering.
Making a fresh start from her wounded past she makes her way to San Diego, California where she ends up finding the one person who had always made her feel whole. Will she be able to get past her scars and give Matt her whole heart again? Will she be able to forgive him for leaving her hopeless? Denying her love for him will be a struggle, sexually and emotionally.

Matt Cooper was the black sheep of his family. He wanted nothing more than to play music and live outside his father’s influence within the Air Force. Having no other choice, he took that road and left the one girl who loved him unconditionally. Regretting his decision for not writing Marty back, he continued to serve his country. Years later, after retiring, he started living his dream in San Diego, but the loneliness was always there. His heart had always been with Marty. He couldn’t get past the thought of ever living without her. Feeling like he came out of years of a coma she enters his life again. He felt his love for her immediately and more stronger than ever. Getting her to trust him again will be a battle, but he was never going to give up. He was determined to keep her in his life forever.

Purple Rain ( Book 2)

Sandy Brooks was a single mom who was raising a young boy with High Functioning Autism. She left her home state, Seattle, Washington and moved to sunny San Diego, California to start a new life for her and her son, Joey. She was determined to make it on her own with the goal of keeping her son happy and well cared for. She may have dated a few men in her days, but wasn’t out to have a man take over her life. She couldn’t trust her relationships to last, because Joey’s feelings were at stake. No one would hurt him. He was her life and was the most important person in it – Until the day she met Quinn Baker – the man who would rock her world.

Quinn Baker was a quiet, maddening loner. Having a past that has haunted him for 17 years he was in no shape to take over his Father’s restaurant, Reds. So much pain and anger was still implanted inside his heart, he wasn’t sure coming back to San Diego would make things better. Not feeling love or compassion for many years he never would have thought Sandy would be the one who would take over his mind, body and soul. Along with Sandy would be her son, Joey – a boy who would give him a reason to love again.

 

Rain Street (Book #3)

Words can hurt. Words can do all sorts of things to a persons mind: self doubt, low self esteem, self conscious, self hate, depression.
It can change who you are and what you used to be.
On the outside, Beth Winters is proper, stoic, chic, and beautiful, yet on the inside she is shy, hesitant, self conscious and deeply torn – torn from her abusive marriage – therefore, believing in herself again will take a very special man to help her find her way back.

Blaine Sullivan was physically abused as a kid; stepping out of line with his father always had him end up with a busted rib or a blow to the face. He wasn’t about to let the history of his abuse change who he was – he would better himself for his son, Joey, and be the father he deserved. Furthermore, finding a woman who would love him is something Blaine thought he could never achieve – until Beth ran into him.

Two abused souls, who discover each other on one unexpected night should bring them a happily ever after – yet will they be strong enough to get past their haunted memories and move forward with one another?

 

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