Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review of Sierra

Thanks for the great review of Sierra, Shelly, of Dive Under the Cover!
To see the review click here.

Or read below:

This is another one of those books that I started and finished in one sitting. I am finding a lot of those lately. Before you have this picture in your head of my kids running around like wild people and laundry and dishes piling up around me while I read, let me tell you that I read at night when my kids are in bed. Now, I may still have laundry and dishes piled up, but it's not because I read too much!!

This was a fantastic story and I will say again that Taylor Dean is a wonderful story teller. There were times during this story that I was in tears, times that I was yelling at Alyssa to run, times that I was on the edge of my seat and times that I was praying for her safety. This story literally goes from one extreme to the other. I don't want to give anything away so I will keep my comments brief.

Alyssa goes from the high of coming home from a great mini vacation with her family to the lowest low in literally a couple hours time. She is taken hostage by two "mountain" men, think Deliverance and you have the right idea. They have bizarre reasons for taking her and forcing her to walk for days in the mountains to where they are building a new life. Just when she thinks that she would rather die than endure another day like this, she is given a chance to start again in the only way that she really can given her circumstances.

I adored Alex from the minute he is introduced into the story. In an attempt to run away from things that have happened in his life he finds himself seeking the solitude that he finds in the mountains. He has created a very simple life for himself and he is completely content with it. That is, until Alyssa walks through his door. In an instant his life is changed.

This story spans the space of a year and there are so many things that happen to each of them. This is a story about love and loss and second chances, but more than that it's about how you can survive even when it seems like all hope is lost. It's a beautiful love story, but it's so much deeper than that. I think this is a story that every woman should read.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good love story. It a story that I would definitely read again! I can't say enough nice things about Taylor Dean and I am looking forward to reading and recommending more of her work.

There are no content concerns in this book really. I don't really remember any profanity and all the love scenes are tastefully done in a fade to next scene kind of way.

It's entirely surreal to read a review from someone who LOVED your book. There's nothing like it in the world!

I read this review and think, "Is she talking about my book?"

And she is!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lazy Days of Summer Blog Hop July 27th-Aug. 1st

Up for grabs: Reader’s Choice : A paperback of Lancaster House or a Smashwords ebook of Lancaster House.

Just follow me through Google Friend Connect and enter to win! Entrance form is at the bottom of the post, after the linky list.

Thanks for stopping by! Keep on hopping with the Linky below!

Blog Hop! Hosted by Colorimetry and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Unhappily Ever After??

I love HAPPY endings. All of my books will always have happy endings. (Lancaster House IS a happy ending--if you use your imagination! Don't worry, the sequel, The Middle Aisle, will satisfy the need for a happy ending. Warning: there will be lots of drama along the way.)

Just once I'd love to watch/read one of the famous love stories--on the big screen or in print--and see it end differently. I'm one of those crazy people who re-watch movies and think . . . maybe this time it will end the way I want it to . . .

*spoiler alert*

Marius will choose Eponine. (she's my favorite Le Mis character)
Christine will choose the phantom. (the Gerard Butler phantom, that is)
Romeo and Juliet will not die. (neither one)
Rose will NOT let go of Jack. (in other words, Jack doesn't die!)
Richard will not find ANY modern day coins. (From Somewhere in Time--my favorite movie. The book is great too. It's called Bid Time Return. Technically, this movie/book does have a happy ending)
Meg Ryan's character on City of Angels does not DIE! (although I love this movie)
And the main character will not die in any and all (well, almost!) Nicholas Sparks books! (one of my favorite authors)

I love books and movies that make me cry. Truly, it leaves my husband baffled. I love anything that will evoke that kind of emotion out of me.

But, please, let it end happily. Just once.

I can't write sad endings . . I just can't. But, the middle of the book . . . well, that's a different story!

What movie/book would you like to see end differently?

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blog Tour for Lancaster House


Here's where I'll be appearing for my upcoming Virtual Book Tour August 13 - August 27!

August 13 - My Cozie Corner 
August 14 - The Solitary Bookworm 
August 18 - Hardcover Feedback 
August 18 - Woopeeyoo! 
August 19 - Bunny's Review
August 20 - Dive Under the Cover
August 23 - Midtown Underground 
August 24 - Black Hippie Chick 
August 26 - Two Fantasy Floozies 
August 28 - Auggie Talk

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Lately I look upon the work of an artist with a different eye. An artist being the work of a: painter, actor, musician, dancer, or, of course, writer.

I often find myself making rash judgments:

I hate that song.
He/she can't sing.
I hate the words to 'such and such' song.
I hate that actor.
He/she can't act!
That movie sucked!
That TV show is . . . stupid, boring, dumb, etc.
That book is so slow, dull, silly, etc.
He/she can't dance.

You get the idea.When it comes to our entertainment, we all have the right to pass immediate judgement. After all, it's a matter of opinion. The arts are so very subjective.

But now that I'm a published writer, I look upon this so very differently. I find myself looking at an artist and wondering what that person went through to get to where they are. How long did it take them? How many times were they told NO? How many times have they experienced rejection? I find myself thinking about their tireless efforts to get to where they are now. I think about their dreams, their hopes, their desires and wishes.

It doesn't  mean I'll love everyone and everything I see, watch, listen to, and read. It just means it makes me think: someone put their heart and soul into this endeavor.

And I look at them differently now.

An interesting tidbit:

After Fred Astaire’s first screen test, the memo from the testing director of MGM, dated 1933, read, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Astaire kept that memo over the fireplace in his Beverly Hills home.


Just something to think about.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I have now received three reviews for Lancaster House. These reviews are from book reviewers and not from friends or family. I have many more reviews to come and I look forward to hearing what people think about my novel.

Two of the reviews were amazing. One, however, was not bad, but it wasn't great either. As a newbie author, a not-so-great review is . . . well, devastating. But, it's part of the business and something I have to learn to live with!

The funny thing about this not-so-great review was this: the reviewer (who I did not ask for a review from, she did it all on her own--which is exciting, she actually bought my book!) didn't like a certain paranormal element in Lancaster House. It ruined the book for her. She felt it was unnecessary. Little did she know that this paranormal element was the topic of many discussions before I published my novel!! I repeatedly discussed with my husband and my daughters (and my son--but he didn't care either way) how to remove this certain paranormal element. We worried that it was an overused paranormal element right now, maybe even a FORBIDDEN ELEMENT because of all the hype. (Sorry, no spoilers allowed!)

After much debate, we all concluded that it couldn't be removed and still have the story make sense! And while I admit that this certain paranormal element does come out of left field and is very unexpected in the novel, it is NECESSARY to the story. It was also meant to be in the story from the very beginning. It wasn't an afterthought. I wanted it to be a surprise.

Okay, I feel better. I just had to get that off my chest. Thanks for listening!

What do you think? Do you like the unexpected paranormal twist in Lancaster House?

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lancaster House Pic!

Another picture of someone with their copy of Lancaster House!
Send me your copy and I'll post it here on my blog!

Many thanks to Lauren of Busy Bee Lauren for reading and blogging about my books!

Lauren has a really fun and interesting blog. You should check it out!

Blog Tour


What kind of romance do I write? Good question.

I was reading a blog post the other day that spoke about what the author was willing to write about when it comes to intimacy. This caught my attention because I don't write explicit scenes. Not only that, my characters need to be married before intimacy occurs.

Perhaps this is considered old-fashioned in this day and age. It's a personal choice and one that I'm comfortable with when it comes to writing romance.

I've struggled over what genre that makes me in the romance world. I thought it was sweet romance, but my books are too passionate for sweet romance. I like my books to be passionate without crossing certain lines.

At any rate, in the post I read, this particular author called her books, "fade to black" books. I like that. I think that is what I'll call my books from now on.


No more details. The bedroom door just closed.

I LOVE romance. I just don't want to read or write about the details of intimacy. Personally, I feel that many more women would enjoy romance novels if they knew they didn't need to worry about suddenly stumbling across a detailed bedroom scene. Too often romance is confused with sex. I want to read about romance, not sex. Too often, I read a so-called romance novel, and there is no romance whatsoever, only sex. NOT ROMANTIC. I know what you're thinking. Sex is a part of romance. So true. But, again, I don't want to read or write about the details.


Use your imagination and fill in the blanks!!!

Fade to black romance is what you'll find in my books.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I have a secret gem, and it is my newly published book, Sierra.

Why is it a secret gem?

Let me explain.

I have been advertising my book, Lancaster House, like crazy. I feel confident about Lancaster House. I know it's a good book, (in spite of one bad review, but we won't talk about that now). I had an agent who signed me as a client all because of Lancaster House. He sent it to several different publishing houses. Unfortunately, it didn't sell. But, it gave me confidence to know how much my agent loved it. The funny thing is, I never thought it was my best book. As a matter of fact, I sat on it for half a year before I even began to query agents about it. I even wrote another book and queried it first. Why? I'm not really sure. I think it was because of the paranormal craze. I figured I'd just be one among millions joining the bandwagon. In my mind, I wasn't really positive that it was all that good. When you become a writer, you become your own worst critic. And it can paralyze you if you let it. I was unsure, hesitant to make the jump. However, I was given validation through my agent.

I've never received that kind of validation with Sierra. It was the one book my agent and I never got around to reviewing. It's my personal favorite of my books. My sister, who HATES romance novels, says it is still the best book she's ever read, to this day. While I've received mixed reviews on some of my other books, every family member and friend who has read Sierra has loved it. I learned a long time ago that not every one is going to like every book. And that's okay. Not every review is going to be glowing. And that's okay too. (not really, but you know what I mean)

So, why haven't I tried to advertise Sierra the way I've advertised Lancaster House. I LOVE this book. It's my personal favorite. It's the first novel I ever wrote. It's been edited to within an inch of it's life.

It's ready to see the light of day.

The problem is that it's my baby. My first book. My first love. My secret gem.

What if people hate it? What if they laugh at it? Presenting a book to the public is much harder than I'd ever imagined. It feels as though you are letting people inside of your psyche, inside of your brain, inside of the very things that make you who you are. It's so personal.

But, it's time to let my baby go. It's time to see if anyone else will fall in love with Sierra. Whether it's loved or hated, accepted or mocked, it's time. Writing this book was an amazing experience. I learned so much. I love it. Maybe that's all that matters in the end.

But I want other people to love it too. So far, I have only one review of Sierra. I held my breath as I read it. Literally! It's from a Goodreads giveaway winner. Here's what she said about it:

This was a GOODREADS win, and I loved it, I just recieved the book and starting reading before I went to sleep. I didn't want to stop. Their was fear, sadness, my heart broke for Alyssa, it was horrible what happen to her, I loved Alex, doing whatever he could do to avoid the pain in his life. Great love story...Thank you Goodreads and thanks to the author...great story :)

Love that review. Time to quit being a wimp and advertise Sierra.

Take a chance.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I have another AMAZING review of Lancaster House at Dive Under the Cover.
Sending my book out to book reviewers has been a scary thing, to say the least. I was scared they were going to hate it. Instead, I've received very favorable reviews.

In the highs and lows of the publishing world, this is definitely a HIGH.

Thanks, Shelly, of Dive Under the Cover. I appreciate you taking the time to read and review my book!

Here it is:

This book sucked me in from the very first chapter. Once I got started I literally put it down one time to make dinner for my family. As soon as dinner was over I was back reading! I probably read it in 3 hours, maybe a little more.

I have never read a book quite like this one. I can't begin to describe to you how good it was. When Taylor contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing it here on my blog, the thing that intrigued me the most was the old house. I remember reading a Nora Roberts book a long time ago about a woman (I think) who bought an old house and was restoring it and I really loved that book. So, I was pretty sure that I was going to like this one. This one took me quite by surprise. I wasn't at all prepared for the depth of the paranormal aspect of this story. Just when I thought I had it figured out something else would happen to take the story that much deeper.

One thing is certain, Lancaster House is a main character in this story. There is a little bit in the book about The Winchester House, I remember reading about it or seeing about it on a TV show. I love how the builder of Lancaster House incorporated some of the things he learned on that construction site into the construction of his own home. It gives Lancaster House some very distinctive characteristics.

I don't want to give anything away since this story is so unique. This story is told from two points in time. Zoe is in the present, in a place she doesn't want to be, telling her story to someone else. The story flows really well from one to the other and when she was telling her story I felt like I was right there with her. I was having a hard time not being really angry about what was going on in the present. I was frustrated for her and I just wanted everything to work out.
Zoe is young and energetic and takes this huge house on without a single thought. She walks right in to a house that the Realtor doesn't even want to go into and she sees it in all it's former glory and just knows that it's meant to be hers. She moves in and gets to work without any hesitation. Then odd things start happening, but at first she just chalks it up to exhaustion and thinks maybe she is just imagining it. One night something happens that she just can't deny and her life changes. She meets a mysterious man who seems to have been watching over her since the moment she walked into Lancaster House.

Zoe spends all her time working on the house and getting to know her mystery man to the point that she isn't even leaving the house at all. She discovers things about him that leave her with more questions than answers and he isn't even telling her everything. She searches out answers by researching the house and it's history, but even this isn't enough.

As the story goes back and forth from past to present, as a reader I was left wondering if she really is crazy! I know one thing is certain, I loved Andre and their love story is so romantic and original. The whole thing is a little reminiscent of random episodes of some of my very favorite paranormal shows. It's a theme that has been played on a handful of them, but I have never read a story with this theme. It's really something else, I know that I keep saying it, but I just can't get it out of my head!

I was NOT happy when it ended, but there is a second book coming out this winter that will hopefully tie it all up nicely. I can't wait to see how Andre and Zoe's story ends. I wholeheartedly recommend this for anyone who likes paranormal books, you will not be disappointed at all. It's not just a good story, it's really well written and just overall a great read.

There are really no content concerns, I don't think there was any profanity. There are some kissing scenes and talk of being intimate, but no detailed love scenes in this one.

I am going to tell you one more time...click on one of those links up there and BUY this book. You will not be disappointed and if you are then I don't think we can be friends anymore! (Just kidding...kind of!!)

Lancaster House AMAZING Review!

Okay, I admit, I was feeling pretty down in the dumps last weekend.  My books have not exactly been flying off the shelves. I think I finally faced reality: I'm probably not going to make much money selling books.


My thoughts were all over the place: Guess I could go down to the local Wal-Mart and apply. Perhaps, Burger King? I imagined myself saying, 'would you like fries with that?' My husband and I even discussed joining some ridiculous pyramid scheme to earn a little extra cash. Ugh! No wonder I was depressed. (Not that our finances are bad, I'd just like to pay off our children's college debts sooner than later!)

I LOVE writing books. It's my passion. It's what I want to DO. And you know, making money is not the only thing involved in this process. I put so much of ME in my books. It's like pouring out your heart and soul for all to see. Books not selling is not just business to me, it's personal. Highly personal.

My husband reminded me that my books have only been out for not-even-a month. And I've only just barely begun to advertise.

Oh, yeah.

But then, an amazing thing happened. I received my first real book review. (I mean, not from a family member or friend) I was petrified it was going to be horrible. Surely, they'd see right through me and know I'm not really a writer. They'd know I'm just pretending to be a writer. Just a stay-at-home Mom with an overactive imagination--and she just happened to write it all down in her spare time.

Instead, I got an AMAZING review of Lancaster House. My hands were shaking, I cried, I screamed, and I jumped up and down like a kid.

Thanks, Book Liaison, for being willing to take a chance on a self-published author!

To read my INCREDIBLE review, click HERE. Or read below:

  Wow! What an intense and refreshing book! It pulled me in form the very first page!It has everything from suspense to mystery and yes, of course, romance! This book kept me on edge by keeping me guessing to the very end! Lancaster House is not your same ole paranormal romance that we all have come to know and expect! Oh no! There was no way I could have guessed all the twists and turns that are held in this book! It left me surprised and very satisfied with the the whole story! I guarantee you have never read any other book that is remotely like this one (well at least I sure haven't and I have read a lot of books!)
I really didn't know what I expected before I read it but once I started it, I literally could not put it down until I was at the very last page! I would definitely recommend this book as a must read! And I cannot wait until I get to read the second one in the series!

Suddenly I realized, maybe I will sell a few books. Maybe my dreams are not so far out of reach as I had originally thought. Maybe . . .

Ah, dreams.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Behind the story of SIERRA

I received my inspiration for Sierra from the true story of the abduction of Olympic medalist, Kari Swenson. As I watched the 1987 TV movie of her ordeal entitled, Abduction, it sparked a "what if" story in me. What if the kidnapping had been successful? What if she was taken deep into the woods? What if she was rescued there? What if she had to stay with her rescuer through the winter?

During one adventurous day I sat down to write my "what if" story, longhand mind you, long before I ever dreamed of actually becoming an author.

Thoughts on Sierra rumbled around in my imagination for the next sixteen years until I finally took the plunge and started to write the novel. Although it is written very differently than those pages hastily written so long ago (I still have them, and they're awful), it is the same story that exists today.

Upon starting to read Sierra, many have said to me, "I'm not quite sure how this is a romance." Although the beginning is rather nightmarish, the story is, in the end, a heartfelt romance.

Sierra is my first novel, and I was the most surprised of anyone when I actually let my friends and family members read it and they loved it, and couldn't put it down. I haven't stopped writing since. Although I love every single one of my novels, Sierra is my personal favorite. Even though I've been through it hundreds of times during the editing process, I never tire of the story--and I get lost in it every time.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lancaster House Goodreads Giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Lancaster House by Taylor Dean

Lancaster House

by Taylor Dean

Giveaway ends July 17, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Sierra Goodreads Giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sierra by Taylor Dean


by Taylor Dean

Giveaway ends July 17, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Behind the story of LANCASTER HOUSE

Lancaster House is not a book I'd planned to write. I never intended to venture into the world of Paranormal Romance. However, it's the favorite genre of one of my daughters. She called me one day and issued me a challenge. She said, "Let's both write a short paranormal story and see what comes of them." I told her I didn't want to write anything paranormal, my mind just doesn't go there. But by the time we hung up I had promised to think about a plot.

About this time I was watching the talent competition American Idol. I watched a performance that involved the contestant singing on a fog shrouded stage while wearing a vampire-like costume. This image spurred my imagination and started me on my way to writing Lancaster House.

That's all it took.

To my surprise, I really got into it. I grew up going to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, and the place sparked countless stories in my mind. As a child I also spent a lot of time at the Hayes Mansion, (also in San Jose, California). In fact, my parents were at one time considering becoming the caretakers, long before it was restored. (Can you imagine? I never would've slept a wink!) Lancaster House contains many things I remember from exploring the nooks and crannies in these houses. I also couldn't resist adding a little family history into my story, i.e.: my grandfather drove across the country as a young boy of sixteen, saying it was the best thing he ever did.

Of course, in the end, Lancaster House far surpassed a short story and quickly became a novel. I have my daughter to thank for it.

While writing this novel, I found myself looking over my shoulder far too often. I scared myself. Ridiculously so. And I'm not into scary. However, while the beginning may leave you wondering if someone is going to suddenly appear before your eyes, Lancaster House is actually a romance through and through.

Can you guess which American Idol performance spurred my imagination?