Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY WITH WINNER

Congratulations to the last WORDLESS WEDNESDAY 
winner: Laura!

I liked her caption entitled:

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

WILD AT HEART

To view, go here.

Wordless Wednesday is actually filled with words--the words, thoughts, and feelings that pictures or images evoke within each of us without uttering a single word!



Image courtesy of [Tuomas_Lehtinen] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


What WORD/WORDS does this picture evoke within you?

Or, in other words, "CAPTION THIS IMAGE."

I'll start: "Love is the victor"
  
Don't forget to leave your email or I will be unable to name you as winner!
You may leave multiple answers to increase your chances of winning.

Contest is closed by Thursday at midnight and the winner will be contacted. Winner will be announced the following Wordless Wednesday.

Open only to those who can legally enter. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be emailed. If email is incorrect, a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is sponsored by Taylor Dean Books. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, February 20, 2017

MONDAY MUSINGS

Sometimes an idea for a book hits me and if I don't write it down immediately,  I lose it.

A few weeks ago, an idea for a Christmas novella came to my mind and I was so inspired by the story, I sat down at my computer and started writing it that very day. I loved it and I didn't stop working on it for the next week. By then I had 24,000 words done. (Not that that's impressive or anything, I'm a slow writer.)

It still needs a lot of work but the basic story is on paper and now I won't forget the story I had in mind. I can't wait to get back to it and give it a good polish.

It is entitled VIOLIN WORDS and I will release it in December of 2017.


(The image above is not the cover--or maybe it will be if I don't find something better! I don't know yet!)

Now that my Christmas novella is on paper, I have returned to my new series, which I should have been working on all along! I lost a week of work on my new series, but I gained a novella.
It was worth it.

Stone Silence is complete and Jailbird is halfway done. I'm on a roll with Jailbird and I'm anxious to finish it as well.





So, that will be FOUR new books coming your way in 2017!!
I have my work cut out for me. But, I'm loving every minute of it.

Have a great Monday, everyone!




Wednesday, February 15, 2017

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY WITH WINNER

Congratulations to the last WORDLESS WEDNESDAY 
winner: Natalie!

I liked her caption entitled:


Image courtesy of [winnond] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

To view, go here.

Wordless Wednesday is actually filled with words--the words, thoughts, and feelings that pictures or images evoke within each of us without uttering a single word!


Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


What WORD/WORDS does this picture evoke within you?

Or, in other words, "CAPTION THIS IMAGE."

I'll start: "Love is in the air"
  
Don't forget to leave your email or I will be unable to name you as winner!
You may leave multiple answers to increase your chances of winning.

Contest is closed by Thursday at midnight and the winner will be contacted. Winner will be announced the following Wordless Wednesday.

Open only to those who can legally enter. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be emailed. If email is incorrect, a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is sponsored by Taylor Dean Books. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, February 13, 2017

MONDAY MUSINGS

Every once in a while, being an author can be an extremely rewarding experience.
And I'm not talking monetary rewards.


Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Yes, this is my job. And of course, I want to earn an income.
But how wonderful is it when you receive more than a paycheck? How wonderful is it when you feel as though you have done something that touched someone else's life? Or helped someone?

That feeling came to me this week in the form of an email regarding my book, I'M WITH YOU.
(I have omitted the dates and names to protect the personal information of this lady.)

Dear Taylor,

I'm so happy you wrote a book about a baby with Trisomy 18. I understand your feelings completely. In 2015 my daughter gave birth to my first granddaughter. She lived 12 1/2 BEAUTIFUL hours and then went to Heaven. The baby had Trisomy 13. Nine months and two days later in 2016 my daughter gave birth to my second granddaughter.

My daughter was six months pregnant. The baby was stillborn.

She was my granddaughter with Trisomy 18. The odds of this happening two times back to back is like winning the largest lottery with only one purchased new ticket. These baby girls mean so much to me. I think about them often and it's nice to know there's someone out there who knows what I feel. That I love these baby girls. My story does continue and it's beautiful.

In 2017 my daughter gave birth to my grandson. He is fine. He's a beautiful healthy 7 lbs. 13 oz. little boy. I thank you for making people more aware of children with trisomy 13 or 18 or 21. You let the world know that these babies are real and they are LOVED... Thank You

It is messages like this that really keep me going and inspire me.

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Another thing that happened fairly recently came in the form of a package from a reader who I've become friends with. She lives in Belgium. How cool is that? I have a friend in BELGIUM! If not for being an author, we never would have connected. Through our emails we have found we have much in common. Some day I really hope to meet her in person. At Christmas, she asked if I wanted to exchange Christmas cards and I said yes. But she sent me much more than a card.
This yummy package of Belgium chocolate arrived!


WOW! This was so unexpected and YES, it was AMAZING.

By the way, she blogs about the books she reads here. She likes clean romance and has some great recommendations.

On this day before Valentine's Day, I'm thankful for people who SPREAD THE LOVE! And that means ALL OF YOU who follow this blog and leave me lots of comment LOVE and ENCOURAGEMENT!

THANK YOU!

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net







Wednesday, February 8, 2017

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY WITH WINNER

Congratulations to the last WORDLESS WEDNESDAY 
winner: Linda Moore!

I liked her caption entitled:


Image courtesy of [graur razvan ionut] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

PUT YOUR HAND IN THE HAND OF THE ONE YOU LOVE

To view, go here.

Wordless Wednesday is actually filled with words--the words, thoughts, and feelings that pictures or images evoke within each of us without uttering a single word!



Image courtesy of [winnond] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


What WORD/WORDS does this picture evoke within you?

Or, in other words, "CAPTION THIS IMAGE."

I'll start: "Love at home"
  
Don't forget to leave your email or I will be unable to name you as winner!
You may leave multiple answers to increase your chances of winning.

Contest is closed by Thursday at midnight and the winner will be contacted. Winner will be announced the following Wordless Wednesday.

Open only to those who can legally enter. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be emailed. If email is incorrect, a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is sponsored by Taylor Dean Books. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY WITH WINNER

Congratulations to the last WORDLESS WEDNESDAY 
winner: Mary!

I liked her caption entitled:


Image courtesy of [andongob] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ten Little Hearts hanging on the line,
One walked down the aisle and then there were nine,

Nine Little Hearts dressed up for a date,
One eloped to Vegas and then there were eight,

Eight Little Hearts ....

To view, go here.

Wordless Wednesday is actually filled with words--the words, thoughts, and feelings that pictures or images evoke within each of us without uttering a single word!


Image courtesy of [graur razvan ionut] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


What WORD/WORDS does this picture evoke within you?

Or, in other words, "CAPTION THIS IMAGE."

I'll start: "When a man loves a woman."
  
Don't forget to leave your email or I will be unable to name you as winner!
You may leave multiple answers to increase your chances of winning.

Contest is closed by Thursday at midnight and the winner will be contacted. Winner will be announced the following Wordless Wednesday.

Open only to those who can legally enter. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be emailed. If email is incorrect, a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is sponsored by Taylor Dean Books. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, January 30, 2017

MONDAY MUSINGS

Image courtesy of [aechan] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thank you to all who commented on last week's Monday post. I appreciated your feedback.

Today, I have another issue to share with you and, again, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Here's what happened to me a few weeks ago and I'm still bothered by it.

My novel, I'm With You, has been numerically rated high enough to receive the five full yellow stars on Amazon.

Do you know what stars I'm talking about? The five yellow stars at the top of each book page that show you the overall ranking of a book at a glance.

I'm With You Kindle Edition


 You know what? A full five yellow stars are rare and it was a big deal to me. Huge. 

But suddenly, my five beautiful yellow stars changed to four and a half stars.

Four and a half stars is still a really good rating and one to be proud of.

The thing is, my numerical rating didn't change. I had NOT received a new unfavorable review. As a matter of fact, nothing had changed.

Nothing.

Except my five full yellow stars were gone.

Now, I know this is not the end of the world, but I LOVED having a book with five full yellow stars!! Like I said, it was a big deal to me!!

So, why did my yellow stars change from five to four and a half when there were no new reviews or ratings?

Good question. It didn't make any sense.

So I wrote to Amazon, sure it was some kind of mistake.

Here's the answer I received: 

The overall star rating for a product is determined by a machine-learned model that considers factors such as the age of the review, helpful votes by customers, and whether the reviews are from verified purchasers. Similar machine-learned factors help determine a review’s ranking in the list of reviews.


The system continues to learn which reviews are most helpful to customers and improves the experience over time.

What?

I still don't see why my rating should change when I haven't received a new rating or review???

Should the age of reviews and the amount of likes a review has been given matter to a book's rating? That means anyone can go on Amazon and mark a review helpful or not helpful and mess with the book's star rating.

 And why can't my free-book-in-exchange-for-honest-reviews count?

I know Amazon is doing their best to prevent fake reviews. I appreciate their efforts. But this policy is working against authors.

Then a few days later, I checked my books on Amazon again. This time Sierra suddenly went from four and a half stars to four stars. No new reviews or ratings occurred to change this rating either.

I don't like this policy. It demeans an author's hard work. It says to me, "No matter how good your reviews are, we have other factors we figure in to determine your rating."

I also noticed reviews that stated they'd read my books through Kindle Unlimited--and yet those reviews were NOT counted as verified purchases. I'm going to write to Amazon about that one next.

I'm not sure why this needs to be so complicated. False reviews on a book will not stand the test of time. Eventually there will be a rash of bad reviews on a bad book. It seems as though the system will fix itself in some ways.

Sadly, there's nothing I can do about it. My hands are tied.

So, that's my rant today. Thanks for listening. Now it's off my chest and I'm just not going to worry about it anymore. It is what it is. Moving on.

 I would love to know what you think!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY WITH WINNER

Congratulations to the last WORDLESS WEDNESDAY 
winner: Christy!

I liked her caption entitled:


Image courtesy of [Graphics Mouse] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

LOVE CASTS OUT DARKNESS

To view, go here.

Wordless Wednesday is actually filled with words--the words, thoughts, and feelings that pictures or images evoke within each of us without uttering a single word!



Image courtesy of [andongob] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


What WORD/WORDS does this picture evoke within you?

Or, in other words, "CAPTION THIS IMAGE."

I'll start: "Don't leave me hanging."
  
Don't forget to leave your email or I will be unable to name you as winner!
You may leave multiple answers to increase your chances of winning.

Contest is closed by Thursday at midnight and the winner will be contacted. Winner will be announced the following Wordless Wednesday.

Open only to those who can legally enter. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be emailed. If email is incorrect, a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is sponsored by Taylor Dean Books. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, January 23, 2017

MONDAY MUSINGS

Hello everyone! Happy Monday!

Image result for monday
(Image courtesy of Google Images)

I would like to start a discussion about an issue today. I'm really interested in your thoughts on this matter.
I received a wonderful three star review of Chasing Fireflies a while back. I know, only three stars? How could it possibly be wonderful? The review was a very positive and complimentary review. The reader had two complaints however. The second of which I would like to discuss today.

Please read the below thoughts of the reviewer:

The second problem is one a lot of chaste romances are guilty of and that's the missing faith problem. We have two contemporary American adults who have an intense and intimate relationship and yet neither even thinks about having sex (and this one has the further problem with missing alcohol, probably as a result of Dean's Mormon background). I'm sorry, but contemporary American culture assumes that couples have had sex by the time they are engaged. That's the very longest you can leave it without it coming off as strange and even unnatural to the core audience of your romance. If your characters are talking marriage, they're thinking sex. And not having it has to have a reason or it feels strange. And the thing is, I know a lot of readers who don't care how authors meet the cultural expectation so long as it makes sense. Many read romances for the emotional catharsis rather than the explicit sex, so chaste romances that have religious characters putting off the sexy times for marriage isn't an issue. But it breaks the sense of reality when contemporary characters don't have a reason and still don't have the sex. Many of these authors are religious and may not be aware of how unnatural their stories come across. I hate that otherwise talented authors like Taylor Dean are limiting their audience so unnecessarily by cutting out the religion of their characters when the scars of its removal are so obvious. Please, include the religion, or figure a way around the issue of sex. Leaving it completely unaddressed is strange and off-putting and it doesn't need to be.

So, I would love to know your opinion on this matter. When you read a clean romance, do you like this subject to be addressed? Does it need to be a religious reason? Do you prefer it to not be mentioned at all? Do readers assume the characters are moral when they know they are reading a clean romance, and therefore it doesn't need to be addressed?

I have addressed this issue in a few of my books. I didn't include religious reasons necessarily. Most of my characters decide to wait for marriage because they feel intimacy is sacred and I leave it at that. While my books have inspirational elements, they are not strictly inspirational and I don't want preachy elements. I've handled it differently in each one of my books. In some, I like the way it was handled and in others, I worried it came across as awkward.

In Chasing Fireflies, I really didn't address the issue, but I also felt their relationship escalated quickly and it didn't need to be addressed in that particular book.

At any rate, I would appreciate your thoughts on the matter. As I'm writing my new series, I have been thinking about this matter quite a bit.

Thanks in advance!




Wednesday, January 18, 2017

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY WITH WINNER

Congratulations to the last WORDLESS WEDNESDAY 
winner: Sherry!

I liked her caption entitled:


Image courtesy of [metrue] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I FALL TO PIECES . . .

To view, go here.

Wordless Wednesday is actually filled with words--the words, thoughts, and feelings that pictures or images evoke within each of us without uttering a single word!



Image courtesy of [Graphics Mouse] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


What WORD/WORDS does this picture evoke within you?

Or, in other words, "CAPTION THIS IMAGE."

I'll start: "Our love is a great idea."
  
Don't forget to leave your email or I will be unable to name you as winner!
You may leave multiple answers to increase your chances of winning.

Contest is closed by Thursday at midnight and the winner will be contacted. Winner will be announced the following Wordless Wednesday.

Open only to those who can legally enter. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be emailed. If email is incorrect, a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is sponsored by Taylor Dean Books. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, January 16, 2017

MONDAY MUSINGS--COVER REVEAL

Here it is, the reveal of the third cover in my all new Sound of Silence series!

This is the third and final book in the series and it is entitled,
HOTHOUSE FLOWER.


This cover features my niece and her husband.
Again, I love that family members were willing to appear on my covers. It makes this series EXTRA special.

Here's all three covers!

Spencer's story

 

Mia's story



Shay's story




When I first revealed the cover of STONE SILENCE a few weeks ago, I also revealed it on Facebook and tagged my niece. I DID NOT expect the reaction I received!

Of course, building up hype for a new release is a really good thing, but I'm not even ready to name my release date as of yet. Therefore, I have not advertised books two and three on Facebook. Only here on my blog. I'm not quite ready to build up that much hype!!

As I spent this past week polishing STONE SILENCE, I began to doubt myself. I wondered if the book was any good. I wondered if the plot line is a little "out there" and if the book would totally flop.

These are dangerous thoughts while an author is in the middle of the creative process.

I expressed my worries to my daughter and she sent me a favorite quote by David Bowie:

ALL MY BIG MISTAKES ARE WHEN I TRY TO SECOND-GUESS OR PLEASE AN AUDIENCE. MY WORK IS ALWAYS STRONGER WHEN I GET VERY SELFISH ABOUT IT.

Image result for david bowie

I read that quote and realized that he is so very right! When I worry about whether or not anyone will like a book or not, I lose my muse. I need to trust myself and write the story that I LOVE--the one that my mind conjured up from the very beginning--and GO WITH IT.

So, that's what I'm doing. I'm letting my imagination rule the story and writing the kind of story that I love to write.

It's the only way I know how to write.

If I try to write someone else's idea for my story, it just doesn't work.

Now all that indecision and insecurity are out of the way. I'm going to write these books for the sheer joy of penning the story that's wandering around in my head. That's when I do my best work.

 NO MORE DOUBTS.

Image result for doubt quotes

Image result for doubt quotes

A fan of Lancaster House loved Chasing Fireflies. In her review of Chasing Fireflies, she wrote:

Loved this book. Couldn't put it down, True Taylor Dean style.

And you know what? I knew exactly what she meant.
I knew what I had added to the book to keep the reader turning the pages.

It's time to stick with the Taylor Dean style of writing and trust myself.

So, those are my thoughts on a Monday morning.

Tell me about YOU! What's on your mind today?