I've put "new" in quotes because Taryn isn't new. Nope, she's an author we already KNOW!!
She's TaraLeigh the one behind Tessa and Jon's story, Home. Now she's writing for Ellora's Cave as Taryn Elliott and her first book, UNCROSS YOUR HEART hits the e-shelves TOMORROW, March 23, 2012.
I asked Taryn some questions about her new book, and what's coming down the pipe for her (*snicker* she said 'pipe'). Here's what she had to say:
Ha! Diva? I don't know about that. But I do appreciate all the people that supported me when I was writing my Home SAGA. Seriously, kids...320,000 words. That's crazy. Do you know how many BOOKS that is? lol I'll tell you. UNCROSS YOUR HEART is 78,000 words.
Yep, that was my face when I actually put it all together in one document. I spent so much time learning how to write a story, how to build characters, and to hone my craft I couldn't believe that it ended up being so freaking long. Of course an editor would have fainted seeing something that long. LOL You pretty much max out at 120,000 for a story unless you're JK Rowling, Stephen King, Robert Jordan, or Diana Gabaldon. I'm sure there are more out there, but it's a damn short list.
So...I figured if I could do that, then I could definitely figure out a damn book. As scary as the publishing world is, I already put my bottom-drawer book out in the world and survived. I even gained an awesome following. (btw, bottom-drawer book just means all the mistakes you look back on and wince about in your first story.)
Does your alter ego Taryn have the same kind of style as TaraLeigh? Can we expect steamy sex, and characters that will make alternately love and hate them?
I can honestly say you will find all of those in my book. LOL You thought Tessa had issues? Oh, baby...Miranda has a ton of them!! But I am a romance writer till the end and Miranda gets her happily ever after, with a few orgasms and dash of awesome supporting characters. The Ellora's Cave line is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Tell us about "Uncross Your Heart". Give us the blurb :) How long did it take you to write it? It's the start of a series, right?
Sometimes starting over means facing your greatest fears...Sounds great, right? Man, I've got a good editor and crit partner that makes me sound like I know what I'm talking about! LOL
Miranda Woods is adept at pretending to be someone else, someone without a past. She’s able to forget for chunks of time that she comes from a very wealthy, notorious family. She’s given up most of the party-girl vices from her old life, including sex. But that’s before Nathan Cross barges into her life.
To all appearances, Nathan Cross is a simple man—devoted to family and friends, committed to his work. But nothing is simple about Nate’s feelings for Miranda. Fascination quickly blooms to outright lust, and not just for her body. He wants all of her, even the parts she hides from the world. But Miranda’s secrets threaten to drive away the one man capable of helping her come to terms with her past, and allow a future with a love that’s all about truth.
I actually wrote the first version of this book while I was still writing Home. I wrote the first draft in Nov '08. (I got yelled at a lot that month because there were practically no updates on Home. LOL) I wasn't completely happy with it so I closed it up and worked on something else. A lot of something elses as it turned out. Life happened and I got a kick in the ass that I needed to get moving on this writer dream I had. It took about 4 months to edit and rewrite and I sent it out June of 2011. Amazingly, I got an acceptance letter about 10 days later.
Nate is one of four brothers that I'm working on (salacious grin) and then there are 2 spin off books in the works as well. So...yep, that's at least 6 in this 'world'. Next up is Matt's story...he's a guitarist in a rock band. NO idea where I'll get inspiration for him. Heh. But there will be nothing easy about Matt's story. His band breaks up, I screw him up royally and then when he's just about rock bottom, I'll throw love into his life. Happiness? Please? Then he'll have to choose career over love. Natch.
What (or who) was your inspiration for the characters in this story?
Nathan Cross...you sexy beast. I found this random picture of a model when I was looking for inspiration and DANG. All I could do was drool for a few minutes. It's okay. Go ahead...
Okay...close up kill shot.
Maybe now. Please don't short out your keyboards, ladies.
Amazingly he doesn't look anything like my other boyfriend, Jon Bon Jovi, but he's got the shoulders and the eyes...and dang those lips. Oh yeah and the neck. Okay, so he's not so far off from Jon in the hotness areas of delicious.
As for Nate, the character...He's a FedEx guy and inventor. When I was...oh, 16 or so, I used to work in this little corner store and we had the hottest freaking UPS guy that would come in. Seriously...so sweet and always in a good mood. And me, being...well, me. (Seriously, if you know me, you know I'm pretty damn shameless when it comes to hot guys.) I notice and smile and flirt. Because, well...hello. If that (looks up) came to your door wouldn't you notice him and get a little...salacious?
Not my Miranda. *sigh* Dude, she totally doesn't see him at all when he comes to the door. Totally a grab and slam with barely a thank you.
Are you picturing a dejected puppy?
Yep. That's Nate. He's got it bad for the woman he delivers to, but she totally doesn't see him at all. Stupid Miranda.
Now Miranda was created out of a strange fascination with the tabloids. I hate them, yet I have to click on the damn link when I get my US Magazine daily email about whatever crap is going on in Hollyweird. I can't help it. But what if you were one of those people? What if the paparazzi chased you around all the time and showed the bad side of you more often than not. You know...like Paris Hilton. I know I think she's pretty much a ball of fluff on skinny legs without a brain in her head. And that's what a lot of people think because we only get to see the bad side of her. (Now as for Paris...meh. She's annoying imho, but I'm just using her lifestyle as the basis for Miranda) But what if you wanted to walk away from all of that and start over? What if you were so afraid to let anyone in and know who you were that you totally invent someone else. Now...to be extra mean--hey, I'm still TaraLeigh, you know I'm going to be mean--You make her entire world unravel and have her find the one person she can fall in love with at the same time!
Yay for mean!
It makes for a fun story. At least I hope so.
Holy Hanna...I'm still long winded as you can see. LOL
I know you've got more in the works, tell us a little about that.
Yes, I do! I have another book coming out at the end of April. ASHES AND WINE. I'm in the middle of edits on that badboy as we speak.
And that one I totally took Tessa out and plunked her in a book. Yep, Tessa from Home. She's got a new store, As You Wish, and falls in love with a Vintner who also happens to play guitar.
This one is definitely my ode to Home fans.
And yes, I will rip your heart out in this one. I'm sorry. Did you expect anything less with Tessa involved?
Her bestie, Mercy, is going to have her own book sometime this year as well, and the Matt book from the Cross series in the fall.
Are you nervous about your debut?
I've got snakes in my belly right now writing up this interview. Probably why I'm babbling like a lunatic.
I have to ask -- do you picture JonBon when you're writing the sex scenes? Or do you have other delicious men in mind?
LOL No, I don't. When I'm writing my FF I do. Dang, Tessa, Bella and Jamie were freaking fun to write. All the Jon lust I could handle.
Each story has a different guy that I fall in love with. (God, I'm such a hussy.) But it's true. I need the visual aid and once I've got my guy in mind then the story takes over.
Thanks, Taryn, for answering all my questions (even if some of them WERE silly) :)
Simply leave a comment on this post, with your email address, by 12 midnight EST tonight, to be entered into a chance to win UNCROSS YOUR HEART in your choice of electronic format (EPUB, MOBI, PDF).
The winner will be announced tomorrow, March 23, otherwise known as UNCROSS YOUR HEART's RELEASE DAY.
Taryn will contact you directly and deliver her delicious book into your hot little inbox.
Excited? But wait, there's more!!
If you want a taste of Nate and Miranda's story, head on over to Ellora's Cave, where Taryn has posted an excerpt. Yummy.
When we post the winner's name tomorrow, we'll also have an EXCLUSIVE bonus excerpt from the book (in case you need a little extra squirm in your Friday) and purchase links from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
You can follow Taryn on Twitter, friend her on Facebook, subscribe to her Blog, fave her on Goodreads and cruise her Tumblr, Sunlight Kisses.
While you're at it, add UNCROSS YOUR HEART to your to-be-read shelf on Goodreads -- show her some love :)
Don't forget to enter the giveaway, and good luck!