Smoochy talk! Giveaways! This is what happens when Taryn Raye is on my blog!

You write WHAT?!?!

Since starting my writing journey, I’ve had a good majority of family and friends who encourage me to write the stories of my heart. That just so happens to be romance, but I have encountered the fair few who think that what I write falls into their “less than” category of what constitutes a good book or a great read. They don’t come right out and say that they think what I write is “smut” but I believe they are under the notion, and quite possibly the misconception, that any books that are classified under the heading of “romance” are “those kinds of books.”

I have no problem with most genres of books—I’m a book hog of the best kind and tend to follow my nose into a variety of genres looking for the best “truffles.” Oh the spoils I enjoy because you just never know what you might miss if you snub a book based on its genre. When I run across family and friends who do view the world from a book-snobbish view such as this, I find it rather silly and cynical.

I’ve had some people tell me I might want to reconsider how I categorize my novels lest I be pigeonholed and snubbed, because romance is not “worthy” reading material, that it’s not the kind of books libraries tend to shelf and that they’re basically the “trash” of the book world. I should aspire to mainstream or I might as well give up having my books noticed at all, so said a former librarian friend of mine. I’ve been encouraged to write and illustrate children’s books instead of what I LOVE to write because I’m such a “wonderful artist” and it seems a shame to squander my talents. I haven’t been interested in drawing in years, unless it’s to scribble doodles for my kids. Bless my grandmother’s heart, but children’s books and illustration are not where my stories tend to lead me.

I grew up on fairy tales and in a family where I knew very little of divorce, though I had plenty of friends who grew up between two households. I believed when you said I do, that stuff is suppose to stick. I believed in LOVE. I believed in the everlasting kind of love, that conquers all, that is in fact strength rather than weakness. It’s glue that holds families together. It’s magic that has held my parents’ marriage together for nearly forty years and the bond that kept my grandparents bound to each other until death did them part. I believe in that power, that strength, because it’s something miraculous and special and it inspires me.

Sure, I grew up to see that sometimes not all relationships work out, that sometimes people need to go their separate ways or their time together was cut short, but that doesn’t mean they won’t find love again. It’s the reason why I write happily-ever-after romance, because I believe everyone deserves that chance whether it’s the first time or a second or third chance at love. Especially for those who’ve been through a lot, who’ve had their hearts broken and who have nearly lost all hope that they will ever be loved for who they were or who they are and who they will become. I believe they deserve that HEA ending, fictional or otherwise.

So, what is it about “romance” that gets certain people’s panties in a wad to the point they refuse to give a book the benefit of the doubt just because wears it’s heart on its sleeve? (In this case, when it is categorized that way on its spine…)

Maybe it’s what romance represents, that the mere mention of the word implies intimacy and sensuality. Perhaps that represents insecurities for some, as well. It’s okay to be loved, but heaven forbid if we are romantically inclined. That might mean we love on a physical level as well, that the laws of attraction and sexuality also bind us to another.

I’ve often wondered how “romance” became such a dirty word. Is there something wrong with having a connection to someone, on all levels, mental, emotional, and yes, even physical? I say, no, there’s nothing wrong with it at all. That’s why I will still write the stories of my heart and I will keep the flame of romance alive between the pages of my stories, where love and romance go hand in hand, just as I believe they should.

To  those fair few I know who poo-poo romance, I say Bah Humbug to you!

Christmas with Catherine & Dawson, the heroine and hero from my debut historical romance, CASTAWAY HEARTS, published by Turquoise Morning Press is going on now over on my blog. Though the 1st giveaway I had last week is over, I do have the 2nd giveaway going on over on my blog now and a 3rd one coming up next week.

 

I know Catherine & Dawson would love the company, comments are welcome and entries in the giveaways are a must if you’re interested in winning a little something special this holiday season- please feel freel to swing by.

 

I will also be giving away 2 KINDLE EBOOKS of CASTAWAY HEARTS here at Margaret’s to 2 lucky readers who leave comments~ winners will be chosen on Sunday and posted her Monday, December 10th. Oh! And all commenters are automatically entered for Margaret’s reader appreciation gift card drawing too!

Do you read just certain genres or are you like me, and believe variety is the spice of life?

Castaway Hearts Blurb

Twice orphaned, Catherine Barrett arrives in Virginia a stranger to her closest kin and secretly engaged to the one man her family would disapprove of- her seafaring grandfather’s apprentice. Add to her troubles, the rich and intriguing older brother of her secret betrothed, Dawson Randolph, a plantation owner who is as heartless as he is handsome. Heartbroken when her intended sets sail for his maiden voyage, Catherine finds it difficult to adjust to her new life, hoping to befriend the one man who is, undoubtedly, the match her grandparents wish for her. Dawson’s distaste for her secret engagement to his brother makes it clear he has no designs for marriage to anyone. Especially her.

Ten years since the tragic loss of his young wife and infant son, Dawson Randolph is convinced love and marriage is a fool’s game and resents being pardon to his brother’s hidden engagement. Damned by his instant attraction and his own growing desire, Dawson vows to befriend her against his better judgment. Determined to bring her happiness in a time of fear and uncertainty, Dawson puts aside his animosity to become her confidant, only to realize Catherine holds the key to his heart. When tragedy strikes at sea, Catherine’s guilt pushes Dawson to the fringes of her life as madness consumes her.

Can his love save her before she drowns in her own grief? Or is he doomed to love her from a distance, always in the shadow of her love for his dead brother?

 

Castaway Hearts is available in eBook & print from my publisher-

Turquoise Morning Press

Also available on Amazon for-

Kindle

Print

 

On Nook from B&N

In Print from B&N

Various formats on

Smashwords

All Romance Ebooks

OmniLit

Bookstrand


Here are just a few places you can find Taryn Raye-

Website

Blog

@ScribblingTaryn on Twitter

FB Page

Goodreads

Google +

 

Share

Monday Mayhem – Reader & Cookie Appreciation Month

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for me. I had three novels release, changed positions at the day job, flirted with empty nest syndrome, discovered I’m going to be a grandma next year, and by the end of December, will have tracked over 400k words written.

In other words…I’m tired.

So I know we’re all busy in December, so I thought I’d dedicate this month to two things very close to my heart. You, my dear friends, and cookies.

Notice how I put you first? I’m feeling schmoopy today.

I will have a couple of guest bloggers this month, and I’m really excited to have them here. Big things are happening for these ladies, and I think you’ll enjoy getting to know them.

Wanted to share a new holiday cookie recipe, too. These are not just yummy things I snagged off Pintrest, either. These are tried and true family favorites that I’ve been baking for years. If you missed last year’s Lime Cooler recipe, you can get it HERE.

Everyone who comments and shares a favorite holiday recipe/craft/tradition on my post will be entered into a drawing. Each Sunday, I will draw the name of one winner for a $5 Amazon gift card and their choice of one of the books from my digital backlist (a great gift for a friend!). I’ll also be picking names in the weeks when my guest bloggers post, so be sure to comments on their posts as well.

I know it’s not much, but I want to do something to show how much I appreciate you and the support you have given me and my authory friends throughout the year.

Sooooo. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Today’s cookie of choice are these delicious Almond Butter Cookies. I discovered this recipe in one of those checkout stand books Land ‘O Lakes butter put out about fifteen years ago. I still have the book, and I still make these melt-in-your-mouth cookies every year.

 

Almond butter cookies

Mmmm. Enjoy!

Oh! And happy book birthday to my pal, Renee Vincent! The Temperate Warrior releases today from Turquoise Morning Press!

Share

Monday Mayhem – I’m baaaaack!

I’m back! Were you good to Voirey and Sandi while I was gone? I hope so. I love introducing friends to friends.

Sooo…Did you miss me?

I missed you too. It’s been a while since we caught up, so I thought I’d give you a few bullet points.

You ready? Let’s do it!

  1. Just got back from back to back training weeks for the day job. Each day was jammed packed with information, but the training was very informative. I’ll be helping to train my fellow employees in Texas over the next few months. If they’re all as great at the group of trainers I’ve worked with these last few weeks, it’ll be great!
  2. I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. That means I am coming home and cranking out the words each night this month. I love NaNo. I love the challenge. I love being able to draw a deep breath in December and say, “Look. I did that.” But I’m not there yet! Everything is on track. I’m over the 30k mark so far and plan to go at it hard over the holiday weekend.
  3. The Diamond State Romance Authors hosted a public seminar on self-publishing this past Saturday. Tanya Smith from the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge came to speak to the group about the great work they’re doing in big cat rescue. After the seminars, we adjourned to Oceans at Arthur’s for a multi-author book signing. All proceeds from the sales of these collections go directly to TCWR. My story, Teens Gone Wild, is in Volume II– the Young Adult collection. Here are a few pics:
    Megan Mitcham, Lori Freeland, Brinda Berry and me!
    Lynda Frazier, Cynthia d’Alba and Elle James
    Wild At Heart Volumes I & II available in ebook and print at Amazon

    4. I got to meet one of my readers! Meet Joanna – she’s reading Spring Chickens. I’m the one grinning like a loon and trying not to tackle hug the poor woman.

    Joanna

    5. Tim bunny missed me. So did the man. Scored a free double Steakburger on my birthday. Got a stack of Amazon gift cards, so the Kindle is locked and loaded. Life is good.

How have you been? What have you been up to lately? Tell me every little thing in a comment below and I’ll give you a prize… How about your choice of either a digital copy of anything on my backlist or an advanced read copy of Maggie Wells’ smoking hot January release – Jumping Mr. January?

I’ll draw one winner on Sunday, November 25th.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

Share

Monday Mayhem – Angels Edition

No, not Charlie’s Angels, they’re Voirey’s angels!

I’m on the road this week, but my good friend Voirey Linger agreed to stop by and introduce you to her Heavenly Lovers series. Be sure you check out all the cover art too. Whew! *fans self*

Now, be good while I’m gone and show her a little love by leaving a comment and entering her contest!

xoxo

Mags

****

Being a pastor’s kid can put a big kink in the career goal of writing erotic romance. I grew up being reminded that people were watching me and every move I made reflected on my father. For my childhood, the Great Commission was, “Go ye therefore and shame not the family.”

Back then, I always figured I’d grow up, the pastor’s kid thing would be over, and I could write whatever I wanted. Isn’t that the thrill of being an adult, after all? No rules! We can run naked and cause mayhem if we want. Well, until the police catch us, anyway. But life didn’t quite work out that way. My parents’ reminders that the world was watching me left a little something behind, something that I can’t seem to erase.

Guilt.

Not about what I write. I love my stories and wouldn’t change a thing about them. No, my guilt is focused completely on the idea that if anyone knows what I write, my family will fall into some vast chasm of chaos and all will suffer.

Funny thing is, I don’t mind keeping it all to myself. It’s like a secret identity, minus the tricked-out cave. For once, I have an aspect of my life that’s mine alone. I don’t feel like I’m being watched, that my family is being scrutinized. I’m able to step away from that ‘pastor’s kid’ mentality and just be me.

I love my family and friends, but writing is all mine, and I’m not sharing.

The third book in my Heavenly Lovers series, Embracing Eternity, is now available from Ellora’s Cave publishing, and the first two books in the series have been bundled into one print volume, Heavenly Eternity.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Voirey-Linger/144027495637909?ref=ts&fref=ts

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZSjiwnCFds]
Embracing Eternity by Voirey Linger

Evangelos has loved Philomela since before time began. He’s dreamed of having her in his arms and his bed. But she never once looked his way. Instead, she chose a Fall that transformed her into a monstrous creature. He never forgot the one he loved, and he’s determined to bring her back home.

Cut off from the power that fed them, Meela and the other Fallen angels became demons, thriving on vice and preying on Creation. Hell holds too much pain and Meela wants nothing more than to give in to the temptation Evan offers. But a demon has no place in the arms of an angel.

Meela knows Evan’s determination to save her will be his downfall, because Lucifer wants to feast on the power of angels, and she’s the perfect bait.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Heavenly Eternity by Voirey Linger

Heavenly Eternity

by Voirey Linger

Giveaway ends November 15, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Share

Monday Mayhem – Influenza Edition

I’m ill. The dog ate my homework. There was flood. Fire. Famine.

Only one of the above is true. I’ll leave you to your conjecture.

I’ll also share this fabulous promo shot for Inamorata.

Come on. Tell me you don’t want to spend a little quality closet time with Frank DeLuca….

Share

Monday Mayhem – A room of one’s own

After eleven years of marriage, I finally I have a room of my own! Okay, so I’m not allowed to sleep up here, but I can concoct naughty stories to my heart’s content. It’s still a work in progress, but here’s where I’m at today. I’ll post updated pics as I get things arranged more to my liking.

In the meantime, I’m on the road for the day job this week. Do me a favor? Tell a friend (or seventeen) about one (or five) of my books?

Thanks. I knew I could count on you! See you next week!

Share

Monday Mayhem – Wild at Heart

The Diamond State Romance Authors and friends have contributed their time and talents to compiling two collections of short stories geared to benefit the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Northwest Arkansas. Turpentine Creek was one of the first big cat refuges in the country.

Many of their residents come to the refuge through owners and black market dealers who find they can no longer handle their exotic pets. The Jackson family has dedicated their lives to caring for these magnificent creatures, and in turn, we are dedicated to supporting their efforts.

Wild at Heart Volumes I and II are available now. (Pssst! My story is Young Adult and found in Volume II) All proceeds from the sale of these collections go directly to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. The next time you are prowling for something to read, please consider downloading them. Thank you!

Volume I

Stories Included in this volume are:

Spirit of the Tiger by Elle James
Archer Falls by Lauren Smith
A Boy, A Girl, A Tiger by Cynthia D’Alba
The Wedding Crasher by Lindy Dierks
Beached by Dustin Stevens
Sunlight and Solace by Gina Wilkins
Saving Angel by Lynda Frazier
Buck by M. Marie
True Instinct by Vanessa North
Storm Haven by Charlene Roberts
Saving Akira by Candace Sams

Volume II

Stories in this collection include:

Freedom by Connie Wilkins
Teens Gone Wild by Margaret Ethridge
Home by Midnight by Brinda Berry
Cats Rule by Aileen Fish
Refugee by Lori Freeland
The Girl and the Puma by Jayne Grey
Heart’s Solace by Tara Fox Hall
Vision Quest by Karis Walsh
The Bully in the Piney Woods by Delilah Devlin
Fierce Wild by Megan Mitcham
Salvaje by Anna Meadows

Share

Monday Mayhem – Meant to Be

I’m happy to have my very good friend Karen Stivali here to talk about her latest release, Meant To Be! Welcome Karen!

****

I’ve only recently started telling people in my real life that I’m an author and as soon as they find out that I write erotic romance, contemporary romance and sexy women’s fiction they all ask the same question: why those genres?

The answer is simple. I’m a first kiss junkie and I get to recreate a perfect, wonderful, hot, steamy, sexy, buckle your knees, OMG-kiss-me-now moment in every single story. How cool is that?

My latest release, Meant To Be, is women’s fiction with strong romantic elements (and yes, a smoking hot delightfully decadent first kiss scene). In fact, given the nature of the story, the whole book is sort of one long delicious prelude to a kiss (though I’ll tell you up front, once that magical moment happens they do  a lot more than kissing).

In honor of the celebration of the release of this novel and my love of first kisses I’m going to give a free e-copy of either Meant To Be or any of my backlist books (winner’s choice). All you have to do is tell me your most memorable first kiss in the comments below. I’ll choose one lucky winner at random.

In the meantime I’ll give you a peek at the blurb for Meant To Be and a quick glimpse at an excerpt of a moment between the two main characters, Daniel and Marienne.

Blurb:

Sometimes you’re already committed to the wrong person when fate finally brings you the right one.

When NYU professor Daniel Gardner’s career-obsessed wife convinces him to move to the suburbs, he hopes it’s a first step toward starting the family he longs to have. Instead of domestic bliss he finds his neighbor, Marienne Valeti. She loves her freelance design job, but must contend with a growing sense of isolation created by her husband’s indifference. A penchant for good books, bad movies, and Marienne’s to-die-for brownies sparks a powerful bond between them. Passion simmers, but they resist its lure, surrendering only in the seclusion of their minds. Their friendship helps them weather every hardship, from divorce to widowhood, leaving them both secretly wondering if it can survive a first kiss.

Teaser excerpt:

Marienne watched as Daniel grabbed a bottle of Coke out of her fridge.

He unscrewed the cap and took a drink. “It’s quite difficult to understand American slang when English isn’t your native tongue.”

He continued speaking but Marienne’s mind was caught on the words native tongue. Or, more specifically, tongue. More precisely still, Daniel’s tongue. She’d always loved the sound of his voice, the expressiveness of his choice of words, but sometimes she just enjoyed watching his mouth. This was one of those times. She studied his tongue as it moved to form his words, as it licked his lips when he paused to think, as it pressed against the Coke bottle when he drank. Heat prickled through her.

Is it hot in here or is it him? She was unable to focus on the thought as once again she was mesmerized. Now it was curved upward, pressing against the back of his top teeth as he looked at her, eyes narrowed.

“Are you all right?” he asked. The concern in his voice caught her attention as did the puzzled look on his face.

“What?” She no longer remembered what they’d been discussing.

“You’re not listening to a word I say, and that’s not like you. I’ve been speaking total gibberish and you didn’t even react. Are you okay? You’re all flushed.”

She tried to think of a way to explain to her best friend that she’d been too busy obsessing to concentrate. He’s divorced. Frank’s gone. Maybe I should. Her heart galloped.

He leaned over and felt her forehead. She held her breath, dizzy from his touch. She wanted to scoot forward and kiss him, hard, on the lips, but didn’t dare to move. Thoughts of the kiss, and his tongue, flashed through her mind.

“You’re really warm.” His hand trailed to her cheek, flipping over so he could assess her with the back of his fingers. They felt cool and silky along the contours of her face and she pressed against them.

His brow furrowed. “You’ve got a fever.”

What? Her hand flew to her forehead. “Shit,” she said, as even she could feel the burning warmth.

He grabbed a glass from her cupboard and held it beneath the ice dispenser. The crystal chunks tumbled into it. “You must have finally caught whatever Ella had last weekend.” He filled it with water and handed it to her.

“Oh, God. You’re right.” Ella had come home sick from preschool three days ago and that was the standard grace period Marienne usually got before catching things from her daughter. She rested her head on the kitchen table.

****

Daniel smiled at Marienne’s whining; she was acting like Ella.

“Drink your water.” He opened another cabinet and reached for the Tylenol. He shook out two and returned the bottle to the top shelf.

“Here.” He rubbed his knuckles against the top of her hand. “Take these.”

She groaned.

“Take them.” He nudged a second time. Heat radiated from her skin. Enticing. Alluring. He shuddered, trying to shake the thoughts from his mind. “Come on now, be a good girl.”

She sat up and scowled. He smiled and dropped the tablets into her upturned hand. The backs of his fingers grazed her palm and a tingling flush rippled through him.

She stared at him, eyes defiant, then popped the pills into her mouth and took a sip of water. She flipped her head back and swallowed hard, an action that caused Daniel to gulp as well. He wanted nothing more than to swoop down and kiss her with total abandon, to feel her overheated body, to be immersed inside her.

He said the only words he could think: “Let’s get you up to bed.”

See? What did I tell you? One long prelude to a kiss. Now, I’ve shown you mine (or Daniel and Marienne’s)—you tell me yours. Best. First. Kiss. Share it below. Good luck all! Xo

For more information on this book and my other novels, please visit my website: http://karenstivali.com (You’ll also find some yummy recipes there for foods that are mentioned in the book!)

I can also be found at the following places:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenstivali

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/karenstivali

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5170527.Karen_Stivali

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Stivali/e/B005KWSFGO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Author Bio:

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. When she’s not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends. Prior to deciding to write full time Karen worked as a hand drawn animator, a clinical therapist, and held various food-related jobs ranging from waitress to specialty cake maker. Planning elaborate parties and fundraisers takes up what’s left of her time and sanity.

Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic love stories filled with sarcasm and sexy details.

Buy links for Meant To Be:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Meant-To-Be-ebook/dp/B0092GWS0S/ref=la_B005KWSFGO_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1346196986&sr=1-5
AllRomanceEbooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-meanttobe-923889-148.html
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/meant-to-be-karen-stivali/1112675856?ean=2940015227789

Publisher’s site:
Turquoise Morning Press: http://www.turquoisemorningpressbookstore.com/products/meant-to-be-by-karen-stivali

Share

Monday Mayhem – It’s a keeper!

I kind of did. I took a little vacay over Labor Day week, and boy was I good at it! Between bouts of napping, eating, and reading smutty books, I managed to write a new novella. It’s to meet a call for submissions that closes this week, so I am scrambling to edit and polish so I can slip it into the queue at the eleventh hour. But it was fun to write something not-quite-so-spicy. Maggie has been monopolizing all the brain time lately.

My plan is to start working on Containment during NaNoWriMo this November. The plot bunnies are hopping.

Enough about business, let’s talk pleasure…

At the moment, I’m rereading an old favorite I came across in a bargain bin. Carnal Innocence was the first Nora Roberts single title romance I’d ever read. Guess what? I still love it just as much as I did in 1991. I also scored a couple Judith Krantz classics – Mistral’s Daughter and Princess Daisy.

I often reread. There are newer books on my keeper shelf, but I love reacquainting myself with some of the characters that helped turn me into a romance fan for life. Just a few of the more well-worn books on my keeper shelf: Scruples by Judith Krantz, Crossings and Family Album by Danielle Steel, Perfect by Judith McNaught, and Bygones by LaVyrle Spencer.

What about you? What are you reading these days? Do you ever reread books? What’s on your keeper shelf?

Share

Monday Mayhem – Drive-by posting

I have nothing prepared. Nothing at all.

Therefore I was share a few tidbits with you.

First, this GIF post from Nathan Bransford about killed me. There’s no go way to explain the highs and lows in this business, but this comes pretty darn close.

Second, I’ve been invited to join a group blog! My first post at Everybody Needs A Little Romance will go live on Thursday. 😀

Third, my evil twin has been hogging most of the writing time this year, but I have an idea and a little vacation time over the holiday weekend. I’m going to lock Maggie in a closet and let Margaret run wild!

Last…my friend, Evelyn Jules, has a smutty short story called Blind Faith you should read, and my friend, Karen Stivali’s first full-length novel, Meant To Be released this week. What are you waiting for? Run! Run! Read!

 

 

Share