After losing her brother in a fatal motorcycle accident, Quinn’s life spins out of control. Shutting herself off from friends and family in Michigan, she buries herself in her work, wishing for the pain to end. In her dreams she’s finally able to find the peace her heart craves on The Island. Driven to recklessness over a heartbreaking betrayal, Jacob races his motorcycle on a rain slick California freeway. Near death in the hospital, he’s given a choice. Stay on The Island or go back for a second chance at love. Destined to be together, but repeatedly torn apart, these two lost and melancholy people draw the attention of the Goddess Fate. As Quinn and Jacob’s lives hang in limbo, the soul mates are given a very special gift from the Gods, and the chance to finally have their love of a lifetime. ____________________________________________________________________
He said a silent prayer as he entered the room. Please, let this be a huge mistake. Jake can’t be the one here. It has to be someone else. Eric’s stomach churned and he struggled to keep down what little food he had eaten before he boarded the plane in Las Vegas. He had never seen his big brother look so small or helpless. The tears stung his eyes and blurred his vision a bit, but by sheer will alone, Eric held them back. It took several moments to comprehend the scene playing out in front of his eyes. The patient lying in the bed before him could’ve just as easily been a complete stranger, except for the long, light-brown hair. Eric would know that unruly mop anywhere. He stood frozen near the door, staring at the battered and broken body of his brother.
Jacob Hartley was wrapped head to toe in bandages, tubes, and wires. Machines surrounded the head of the hospital bed, whirling and beeping, keeping time with Jacob’s breathing and heartbeat. His face was barely recognizable, colored in various shades of black, blue, and purple. His eyes were hidden beneath severely swollen lids. Every now and then the respirator took over his breathing, just to give his body a little bit of rest. Oh my God! This can’t be happening. Eric approached the bed as his sister reached out for him. They clung to each other. Her body trembled against his, her fear coming off her in waves. He tried to continue to be strong for them both, but he was quickly losing the battle now that he was actually there.
Eric glanced around the room and found his mother, Katrina. She smiled as she stood up from the chair that was placed close to the bed. She was small in stature, but she looked ten feet tall to Eric as she walked toward Jacob. Katrina leaned over, kissed the one part of his stubbly chin not bandaged, and spoke softly near his ear. “Your whole family is here now, Jacob. I’m here, my son. Momma’s here. If you can’t come back to me, it’s okay. Your poppa’s there with you and he will show you the way.”
“Mom—Jake’s not going to die!” Maredyth’s red-rimmed eyes flashed with determination. “It’s not his time to go yet.” She reached for one of Jacob’s bandaged hands and clutched it tightly.
Eric knew he should try to hide his feelings from his sister, but he was struggling, really struggling to find even a spark of hope their brother would ever pull out of this. “Mare—”
“No! We can’t lose him, too. Pop’s been gone a year now. Are you telling me God would be so cruel to decide on a whim to take Jake away almost to the very day we lost our father?”
* * * *
“I’m right here my little girl. I won’t ever leave you. Jacob’s going to need all of us now. We have to convince your brother he has to fight his way back.” Michael Hartley approached the bed and looked down at his son, his middle child. “What were you thinking driving your bike at night during a storm, Jakey?”
“He wasn’t thinking clearly, Sarge. That’s the problem.”
Michael looked up at the blonde, heavily tattooed, and pierced young man leaning against the wall near the foot of the hospital bed. “You remind me a lot of him you know, full of piss and vinegar.” Michael chuckled softly to himself. “It looks like we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us here, Danny. Thank you for staying with him after the accident and dulling his pain.”
Daniel Quartermarsh moved to Jacob’s bedside. He nodded slowly and looked up at his partner. “I did what I could as soon as Fate let me go to him.”
“I know you did. I expected nothing less than if I was allowed to be there with you. It’s just hard to see one of my children in this state and not be able to fix it like I could when he was little.”
The younger angel smiled. “Don’t worry. We have a lot of ground to cover with him, and I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunity for you to work your magic, Sarge. If Fate didn’t think we could handle it, she wouldn’t have entrusted Jake and the rest of them to us. Speaking of the others, I just checked in on Quinn. She’s throwing herself into her work again, but handling things okay for now. I left this world not even a month ago, and she’s not allowed herself to grieve for me.” He glanced down at the very battered and broken man in the bed. “Your Jake’s our priority this visit. Once we get him to The Island, we can work on getting Quinn there, too.”
Michael reached out and folded his arms around his wife. Katrina looked as beautiful to him at that moment as she did on the day they first met. He wished he could really hold her now, so she could physically lean on him during this horrible time with their son. Katrina took a deep breath and smiled. Michael knew she felt his presence with them, as always. “Your poppa’s here with us, Maredyth.”
Eric and Maredyth looked at each other and then back to Katrina with their eyes wide. Eric put his arm around his sister before addressing his mother. “I sure hope so, Ma. All of us could use him right about now.” Maredyth buried her face into Eric’s shoulder as he held her tight.
Daniel added his own angelic light and love to that already surrounding the Hartley family and smiled. “I bet the two of you visited each other’s dreams while you were alive, too.”Michael kept his arms around his wife of over forty years and nodded. “Now and forever. I promised her I would never leave her, no matter what. Not even death can keep me from her and our children.” The elder angel sighed and his eyes filled with tears. “Jake has always been the free spirit of the family. I never worried he wouldn’t discover his path eventually. But now?” Michael shrugged and shook his head. “How did my son’s life get so out of control so fast?”
As far back as I can remember I have had two dreams: become a veterinarian and a world-famous author. So far I achieved the first one and have enjoyed a wonderful career as a small-animal veterinarian. But something has always been missing. I’ve never stopped writing; that has never been an issue. The problem was getting up the nerve to actually finish one of my novels and submit it to a publisher. What a scary thought to send a stranger something I had poured my heart into. Would they like it? Would they see the characters the way I saw them in my head? Writing For the Love of Quinn was like giving birth to my first child. I had to let my characters go to see if they would take off, and boy have they ever!
Jacob and Quinn’s story is far from over. They’ll pop in from time to time to check in with their friends and family in the next books in the Now and Forever series. They got their happily ever after, and now it’s time for the others to find theirs, too!
Having grown up in Michigan and now living in Northern California, I have had the privilege to experience life in a small town and a big city. Everyone who I’ve met along the way has influenced my writing in one way or another. Their experiences as well as my own help make up the characters that I hold near and dear to my heart. Helping them find the loves of their lives as well as fulfilling a few fantasies along the way is just frosting on the cake!
Where to Find Tammy