Today I’d like to welcome Jaycee Jarvis and her debut novel TAXING COURTSHIP to Daring Debuts. TAXING COURTSHIP is book 1 in The Hands of Destin Series.

“In a sultry magical realm, an enchanting Lady ensnares a virtuous tax-collector into her dangerous double life. Can he make an honest woman of a thief?”

Lady by day, lock-pick by night, Em has some serious misgivings about her latest sneak job. It stinks of espionage, and she’d be much more comfortable with straight forward theft. Her intuition proves right when she is confronted by her client, a sweet and sexy mind-reading tax-collector named Quintin and the job turns sour when they are discovered by his blackmailing boss. Posing as lovers to throw off the scent, the passionate embrace haunts Em even as she returns to her brittle facade as a pampered Lady of the Realm.

Her double life is further threatened when her criminal contact is thrown in the stocks, leaving her in danger of exposure, and even worse, with no way to support the temple that has been her responsibility since her mother’s death when she was twelve. In desperation, she seeks Quintin out and is horrified to discover he is a Hand of Destin, marked for service to the Troika by a feline familiar. Hands are loyal and true, defenders of the weak, upholders of the law, notoriously honor-bound—in short everything that she, a willing outlaw, is not.

Despite their differences, the attraction between Em and Quintin only grows stronger, even as she tries new ways to earn the beans she needs for her temple. When Em’s father starts talking marriage settlements with a wealthy, but odious, suitor, Em realizes just how much Quintin means to her. But can she find a way to save her temple and still marry her poor but perfect tax collector?

——————–HERE’S AN EXCERPT——————-

“My name is Han-Auditor Quintin of Jardin. I am a Hand and Elkart is my waccat.”

Em shook her head. He had to be lying. He was her client, not a Hand. “You can’t be a Hand. Hands are above suspicion, honorable to a fault.”

He turned to face her fully, the waccat a silent shadow at his side. “You think I’m dishonorable?”

“You worked with me. We broke into the Tribute Office together. You can’t be a Hand.”

Hands did not kiss outlaws with tenderness or passion, let alone both.

——————-
SHARON: What a fabulous concept and premise. Can you tell us a bit more about the book?

JAYCEE: TAXING COURTSHIP is a forbidden romance between Quintin, an honorable but lowly tax-collector, and the outlaw Lady Em.

SHARON:  I adore forbidden romances. Where did you get the idea?

JAYCEE: I’m a character first writer, so I come up with my romantic leads before anything else in the story. I’m drawn to characters who are almost too noble for their own good and I liked the idea of pairing a painfully honest man with a thief, since opposites attract is always fun.

[bctt tweet=”I’m drawn to characters who are almost too noble for their own good and I liked the idea of pairing a painfully honest man with a thief, since opposites attract is always fun. ~ Jaycee Jarvis @jayceejarvis” username=”sharonbwray”]

SHARON: Is there a story behind the title?

JAYCEE: I’m usually terrible at titles, but when I decided to write about a tax-collector, TAXING COURTSHIP came naturally. I’m very glad my publisher kept it.

SHARON: It’s a fabulous title and I’m so glad they kept it. Can you share something we won’t find out just by reading the book jacket?

JAYCEE: My setting is pretty unique. Destin is a bronze age civilization inspired by the Inca empire. My tax-collector hero uses quipus for accounting, which is based on an actual string and knot record keeping system used by the Incas.

[bctt tweet=”My setting is pretty unique. Destin is a bronze age civilization inspired by the Inca empire. My tax-collector hero uses quipus for accounting, which is based on an actual string and knot record keeping system used by the Incas. ~ Jaycee Jarvis @jayceejarvis” username=”sharonbwray”]

SHARON: It’s very unique and I can’t wait to read it. Do you have a favorite character?

JAYCEE: While I love Quintin and Lady Em, I have to say my favorite character is Ulric, Quintin’s curmudgeonly year-mate. Ulric is rough around the edges, while also being a loyal and steadfast friend. He is often outrageous which is so fun to write!

SHARON: If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?

JAYCEE: I would go shopping with Lady Em’s sister-in-law. Em doesn’t much enjoy being dragged through the market by her, but I think she’d make an excellent guide.

SHARON: I’d love to tag along. 🙂 Are your character based on real people, or do they come from your imaginations?

JAYCEE: None of my characters are based on specific people, but I write emotionally-driven novels, and in order to do that, I pull from my own life and experiences a lot. My characters tend to be an amalgamation of real people and my imagination. I love the saying “Watch out, I’m a writer. Anything you say or do may end up in a book.”

SHARON: LOL. I say that tooHow long did you take to write this book?

JAYCEE: I wrote my first pieces of this story over 10 years ago. Then my kids were born and life got in the way. I finally completed a full rough draft in 2014, and actually won a contest with it that year. Based on feedback from that contest and beta readers, I polished it up and finaled with it in the Golden Heart in 2016, which directly led to my publisher picking it up.

SHARON: I didn’t realize you were a GH finalist and a Mermaid! What kind of research did you do for this book?

JAYCEE: I researched the Incas, other bronze age civilizations and rain-forest ecosystems. While I have traveled to Costa Rica, most of my research has been from books or online. I fell down the Pintrest rabbit hole more than once trying to get some detail just right!

SHARON: I can only imagine the hours spent researching. Are you a plotter or a pantser?

JAYCEE: I’m a pantser with aspirations of being a plotter. I find pre-planning interesting and helpful, but my stories tend to take unexpected turns during the actual writing. I’ve learned to live with a messy revision process to take those new twists into account.

[bctt tweet=”I’m a pantser with aspirations of being a plotter. I’ve learned to live with a messy revision process to take those new twists into account. ~ Jaycee Jarvis @jayceejarvis” username=”sharonbwray”]

SHARON: What is your favorite part of your writing process, and why?

JAYCEE: I really enjoy drafting a completely new story. There is something very exciting about a blank page where anything is possible. NaNoWriMo is my catnip, though I’m only sometimes at that drafting stage in November.

SHARON: Ugh. I HATE drafting! LOL. What is the most challenging part of your writing process, and why?

JAYCEE: Final edits are challenging for me. There is always more polishing that can be done so sometimes I have a hard time letting go and calling a project ready for submission.

SHARON: Can you share your writing routine?

JAYCEE: I have three kids, so during the school day is my solid writing time. If I’m drafting or in early revisions, then I like meeting a writer friend at a coffee shop or the library. I tend to do different tasks at different times of day. Fresh writing in the morning, and detailed edits at night.

SHARON: You are a busy woman! Have you ever gotten writer’s block? If yes, how do you overcome it?

JAYCEE: Writing is a very solitary business, and until you have a contract, all your goals and deadlines are self-imposed. I don’t think I’ve ever had writer’s block, but I have struggled with self motivation at times. Having a writer community and friends to hold me accountable have been invaluable to me.

[bctt tweet=” Have you ever gotten writer’s block? I don’t think I’ve ever had writer’s block, but I have struggled with self motivation at times. Having a writer community and friends to hold me accountable have been invaluable to me. ~ Jaycee Jarvis @jayceejarvis” username=”sharonbwray”]

SHARON: I think writing communities are invaluable to keep you accountable. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

JAYCEE: I think I would just give myself a pep talk. When my children were young, writing was especially hard, and I think I would just tell myself to keep at it! I might also have encouraged myself to push through the hard revision stage with more of my manuscripts.

SHARON: Do you have any writing quirks?

JAYCEE: I’ll give myself chocolate chips as incentives for getting through revisions. Sometimes I think my stories are fueled entirely by chocolate.

SHARON: LOL. I LOVE the idea of chocolate-fueled writing. Can you tell ups about yourself?

JAYCEE: I live in the Pacific Northwest with my own soul mate, our three children and a rotating menagerie of pets. Currently we have an elderly cat and a pair of birds.

[bctt tweet=”Do you have any writing quirks?: I’ll give myself chocolate chips as incentives for getting through revisions. Sometimes I think my stories are fueled entirely by chocolate. ~ Jaycee Jarvis @Jayceejarvis ” username=”sharonbwray”]

SHARON: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

JAYCEE: I love to travel. I find new places and experiences very energizing. I think that’s why I enjoy reading so much. You can always be transported to a new place between the covers of a book—and it’s cheaper than airfare!

SHARON: I agree!  Apart from novel writing, do you do any other kind(s) of writing?

JAYCEE: Does twitter count?

SHARON: Yes it does. Can you share something about yourself most people probably don’t know?

JAYCEE: I used to drive a school bus, and still have my commercial license.

SHARON: That is awesome. I bet you have fabulous stories to tell. What are you working on right now?

JAYCEE: Book 2 of The Hands of Destin, of course. DEADLY COURTSHIP is a second chance at love story between Quintin’s friend in the city guard and her on again, off again lover.

SHARON: Sounds fabulous! Can you explain the magic in your world?

JAYCEE: It’s an elemental magic system based on the idea of balance. There are three elements in Destin: earth, air and water. When those elements are in balance, it creates the spark of life, and the closest thing to fire magic. In TAXING COURTSHIP, Quintin has an air imbalance which gives him the ability to manipulate air and speak mind to mind.

SHARON: What is your favorite romance trope?

JAYCEE: I’m a big fan of opposites attract. An important part of what makes a relationship work for me, is when a couple plays off each others strengths, and becomes more than they ever were alone. And with opposites, there is always the opportunity for sparks to fly before they figure out how to work together!

SHARON: I love those stories too. What’s your favorite writing advice?

JAYCEE: Being a writer is a marathon, not a sprint. Be prepared for the long haul, and keep in mind that every goal, every book is just a marker on the journey.

[bctt tweet=”Favorite writing advice? Being a writer is a marathon, not a sprint. Be prepared for the long haul, and keep in mind that every goal, every book is just a marker on the journey. ~ Jaycee Jarvis @jayceejarvis” username=”sharonbwray”]

SHARON: Thanks for spending time with us today, Jaycee. And good luck on your new release!
——————

Jaycee Jarvis has been an avid romance reader since devouring all the Sweet Dreams books her middle school library had to offer. Also a fantasy fan from an early age, she often wished those wondrous stories had just a bit more kissing. Now she writes stories with a romantic heart set against a magical backdrop, creating the kind of book she most likes to read.

When not lost in worlds of her own creation, she resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children and a menagerie of pets.

Jaycee is a Golden Heart® finalist and author of the Hands of Destin series. The first book in that series, TAXING COURTSHIP, is set for a June 2018 release.

You can find TAXING COURTSHIP here: Amazon

You can find Jaycee here: Website | FacebookTwitterPinterestGoodreads


Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets and their smart, sexy heroines retell Shakespeare’s greatest love stories.

Her debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife.

It’s available on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBound | Kobo.

And adding it to your Goodreads TBR list is also always appreciated!

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2 Comments

  1. Great interview, Jaycee and Sharon! The book sounds so interesting. And yes, I agree, writing is a marathon not a sprint!!

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