Saturday, March 30, 2013

Why Domestic Violence Victims Don't Leave

The message behind I Have People is simply this: verbal, mental, and physical abuse is NOT OKAY. EVER.

That's what I wanted to announce to the world. That's why I wrote I Have People.

Image courtesy of [smarnad] /

Don't let anyone treat you with such behavior. Don't accept it. Don't allow it. Don't live with it.

Since writing I Have People, I have received positive feedback from individuals who have faced similar situations as Holly. I appreciate these individuals reaching out to me. It is, by far, one of the most rewarding things I've experienced since I began publishing my books. It is my hope that I Have People will help women facing domestic abuse--even if it is only in some small way.

I recently came across this video of a woman telling her story of domestic abuse and I found it fascinating. We all wonder why women stay in such a situation and Leslie Morgan Steiner gives us some great insight into this issue. She is providing a great service to women by sharing her story. I thought I'd share it with you here today: 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Orangeberry Spring Fling Listopia Vote

If you loved I Have People, and you feel so inclined, would you please vote for it on the Orangeberry Spring Fling Listopia Vote on Goodreads? Here's the link: 

Thank you! It's currently at #1!!

Here's the Orangeberry Spring Fling Book Tour schedule:

Check out this author’s book feature and interview

27th March – Orangeberry Book of the Day

28th March – Author Interview at Peace from Pieces

29th March – Guest Post at Bunny’s Review

30th March – Author’s Top 10 at Mommy Adventures

31th March – Book Feature at The Book Connoisseur

1stApril – Book Review at The Reading Cat

2nd April – Twitter View with OB Book Tours

3rd April – Twitter Blast with OB Book Tours

Monday, March 25, 2013


Last week I was able to travel with my hubby on a business trip to Sante Fe. 

We stayed at a great hotel called the Buffalo Thunder.

We ate at wonderful restaurants, including this one called Gabriel's. (If you've read I Have People, then you know I love the name Gabriel.) The best part was freshly-made-at-your-table guacamole!

Oddly enough, one of my favorite places to eat is a small little restaurant that's part of a mall. It's called the Santa Fe Bar and Grill and I LOVE the outdoor space. It's actually right next to the parking lot, but when you're sitting in the courtyard, you can't tell because of the foliage. 

I love sitting in the sun, listening to the soft music over the radio, visiting with my hubby, eating fabulous food, and enjoying a scenic spot. (Ignore the parking lot!)

While my hubby goes off to tend to his business during the day, I sit in the hotel room and work on my writing. The day goes by soooo fast! I never feel cooped up. I write to my heart's content with no distractions and I LOVE it!

Some of the rooms at the Buffalo Thunder have Kiva style fireplaces. The first time we stayed there, I sat by the fire all day and worked on my writing and I was in heaven! This pic is a couple of years old, but check out that fireplace! Love it! (the fireplace is on in the pic, but the camera didn't capture the flames.)

This time we didn't have a room with a fireplace, but we did have a balcony with an amazing view of the pool! Yes, it is surrounded by huge torches that are lit at night. So cool!

I love all of the adobe style houses in Santa Fe. They are architecturally amazing!

So, that was my week last week! Got to visit an amazing place, but still got lots of work done. 

How about you? Doing anything special this week?

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Image courtesy of [digitalart] /

I love ROMANCE. But, does it come off as cheesy sometimes?


I think anything that deals with deep emotion risks coming off as cheesy. 

So, what is the difference? Why is it that some books or movies that deal with deep emotion and romance are soooo incredibly good and others are just plain cheesy?

I'm not really sure. But, some 'have it' and some do not. It's an elusive something that 'works' in places where others fail.

I think it has to do with the emotion behind the love scene. For example, in my novel, Sierra, the heroine has been through heart-wrenching circumstances. The new love story is filled with deep emotion because of this. Taken out of context, the romance scenes in Sierra could be labeled 'cheesy.'

If a book/movie jumps into a romance scene too quickly, before the reader/viewer has had time to become emotionally invested in the couple, I think it comes off as cheesy.

My other thought on this issue is this: I write clean romance--not sweet. My books are passionate without being explicit. Many parts are light-hearted and heartwarming. I think sometimes 'heartwarming' is considered cheesy.

If a reviewer says your Romance novel is cheesy, it's the kiss of death!

Image courtesy of [Idea go] /

I've had a couple of reviewers say that 'I Have People' is cheesy. I hate that comment more than any other. In I Have People, Holly awakens from a coma, plagued with amnesia. She doesn't act like herself and she expresses her love with absolutely no filter, so it comes across as a bit cheesy. But then, we'd all sound cheesy if we walked around effusively declaring our love for people with no restraint whatsoever!!

I LOVE what this reviewer had to say about the issue:

What I can say is that I Have People is not just a "fluff" romance novel. It is a deep book that deals with very relevant and sensitive issues without glossing over the problem or making light of it. She described an abusive relationship in such an honest way. I think so many different people could relate to this book in so many ways. But the book isn't all heavy emotion. There are parts that are so light hearted and so incredibly sweet. I have read a few reviews that say the book is cheesy, but I must disagree. I think it was sweet, caring and romantic, and after what Holly went through, she deserved it. I loved Holly and her people. :) Heck, I want people like Holly's people. This book is definitely one of my favorites, and I recommend it to everyone! I could go on and on, but I would end up writing spoilers!

I appreciate the reviewer adding that statement to her review!

What it all comes down to is this: some people will think ROMANCE is cheesy no matter what. It's not their genre. It's not what they personally love to read about.

As for me . . .



Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I woke up to this great review of Lancaster House today: (Pay special attention to the last few lines)

Wow! Another really clean romance from Taylor Dean! If you're looking for a paranormal romance that isn't smutty and gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside, Lancaster House is the book for you. I was surprised at the direction that it took in the paranormal sense as I thought it was just going to be a ghost story. But there's much more to it than that! I found myself wondering if maybe the main character, Zoe, really was imagining things, but really hoping that Andre was real. I look forward to reading the sequel. However, my one complaint is that while the cover is pretty, I don't think it gives you much to go on about the story's plot. I don't normally judge a book by it's cover, but I think sales would improve if it sort of gave an idea about the book.

(You know, I love that many of the reviews of Lancaster House start with the word, WOW!)

This is not the first time a reviewer has spoken about the cover of Lancaster House! Here's what another review said:

The first thing about this book is that it needs a new cover. The cover as it stands now (with the hand) simply doesn’t do this book justice.

I read a comment the other day that said the cover made the book look freaky. I get it. It screams 'Carrie' and my books are not Stephen King-ish by any stretch of the imagination! Lancaster House is a heartfelt paranormal romance novel that questions the main character's sanity. But I liked the idea of a hand reaching out beyond the grave, which is what Andre does--if Zoe is to be believed!

At any rate, I digress.

I also have reviewers tell me how much they love the cover, however,  the comments that stick in my mind are the negative ones! Ah, human nature!

So, I'm CURIOUS! What do you think of the cover of Lancaster House? Does it turn you away from reading the book? Does it intrigue you? Do you love it or hate it? I LOVE to hear from readers. I'd especially love to hear from those who've never read the book. I'd like to know if the cover alone keeps you from wanting to read the book.

My reviews for Lancaster House have been, for the most part, AMAZING! Do you think the cover is holding this book back?

Did I 'miss the mark' with this book cover?

Image courtesy of [bplanet] /

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Joshua's Folly

Joshua's Folly
Coming your way by the end of March 2013!

So, what's the hold up?
Proof copies of Joshua's Folly are currently being read by some early readers. If they like it, I'm ready to publish. If they don't like it, it's back to the drawing board for me! 
Why put so much faith in my early readers?
I trust them. They tell me what they think of the book; no holds barred. They've never steered me wrong in the past. If they feel major changes are needed in the novel, I'll make them. 
I don't send a book out to my early readers unless I feel it is READY. I'm happy with the book as it stands.
That being said, I cannot publish a book without having others read it and tell me what they think of it! I NEED a second (and a third, and a fourth, and a fifth, etc.) opinion. I need fresh eyes to peruse the novel and tell me what I missed. Are there logic errors? Are there huge mistakes? Another set of eyes will see what I missed. I'm too close to the manuscript. If there are mistakes, I can no longer see them.

Sorry for the delay in releasing this book! Thanks for being patient. But I have to be sure I'm putting the best possible work out there for the reading public!

After proofing Joshua's Folly several times on my computer, I thought the book was complete. 
Then I received my proof copy. 
As usual, I found just a FEW edits!!

Reading a book you are holding in your hands is a different experience than reading it on your computer. You see things you wouldn't normally see. 
Like, the, fact, that, I, often, put, commas, where, I, don't, need, them!
I've become a 'comma nazi!' I pause at every single comma and ask myself, "Is this comma needed?"
My final edits are complete. We'll see what the consensus is from my early readers! 

In the meantime, I'm getting to work on edits for my next book, FOR NICK!
(coming your way in June 2013!)

I think this might be my favorite cover . . .

Monday, March 11, 2013

I Have People

I Have People is featured today on the front page of Addicted to Ebooks, a great site that promotes ebooks that are priced low. No budget breaking prices!

I Have People is only $2.99! As a matter of fact, I price all of my ebooks at $2.99. I wanted to make my books affordable to the reading public.

I LOVE having a kindle full of books, waiting to be read. So many books, so little time! Seriously, I could spend my life reading and be perfectly happy. But then I'd never get any writing done, so I have to pace myself!

A big thank you to Addicted to Ebooks for providing an awesome service to readers, as well as authors. They provide this service to authors for free! Kudos to them!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Today's topic: The Doctor: An excerpt from Lancaster House.
If you missed yesterday’s post which included an excerpt from The Middle Aisle using slang from the nineteen-twenties, click here.

Doctor Wade Channing is the psychiatrist in the Lancaster House series. In writing him, I found myself debating his personality traits. Should he by the stereotypical ‘evil psychiatrist?’ 

Nah, too overdone.

Should he fall I love with Zoe?

Nah, too unprofessional and the reader will lose all faith in him.

Should he be a main character or just someone Zoe rehearses her story to? 

In the end, Doctor Wade Channing becomes the kind, benevolent doctor who truly wants Zoe to see the error in her ways. He really wants to help her realize her delusions. He loves her, yes, but he loves her as his patient, not in a weird-creepy way. Doctor Channing very much becomes a main character in that he is the person Zoe fears, the person who has the power to take her life away from her and keep her from Andre. That reason alone makes him the enemy. I consulted my psychology-degreed daughter as I wrote Doctor Channing. How would he act in this situation? What would he say? She helped me immensely. Otherwise I wouldn’t have had a clue as to how to write him!

That being said, here’s one of my favorite exchanges between Doctor Channing and Zoe:

Doctor Channing rubbed his forehead in pain, his legs propped up on his desk. He let out his breath as it whistled through the cracks between his teeth. He studied her contemplatively. So far, he’d been completely unsuccessful in breaking down Zoe’s belief in her story. He couldn’t even break off a chink in her armor and he was frustrated. After sitting in silence for several minutes, Zoe finally asked, “Don’t you have anything to say?”

“Do you wish you could have saved your father, Zoe?”

“What kind of a question is that?”

“Is is true that he died in your arms?”

Zoe visibly paled. “Yes,” she said almost inaudibly. “He had a heart attack right before my very eyes. I held him while awaiting the ambulance. He was gone before they even arrived. I’ve never felt so powerless in my life. I suddenly knew nothing was in my control . . . nothing.”

“So you created an immortal being, one that feels no pain, can never die, and never leave you. He awaits you forever. All you have to do is go home and there he is, waiting for you. It’s all very opportune, isn’t it, Zoe?”

Zoe said nothing. Her eyes lowered and she stared at the ground.

Wade knew he was on to something. He stayed completely calm, sitting in his casual manner, yet he verbally attacked her, letting his words roll off his tongue as they hit her with striking force. “You’re right, he’s the perfect man. A man who scoffs at porn, a man who can only take intimacy so far, a man who sees the sheer goodness in you, a man who loves to help you redecorate the house . . .” With each statement, he didn’t hide the dripping sarcasm in his voice.

“Stop it.” Zoe paled and her hands shook in her lap.

“A man who would never dream of hurting you in any way, a man who loves to simply look upon you day after day, a man who needs nothing as he doesn’t need to eat or even sleep, a man who spontaneously gives you piggyback rides, a man who puts you to sleep when life gets rough . . .” His words were thick with disdain.

“Shut up.” She was becoming defensive, tense.

He was only just warming up. It was time for her to face reality. “A man who can never cheat on you, a man who can never leave the house, a man who kills for your honor, a man who can read your mind, a man filled with tender emotions, a man who loves to simply touch you and nothing more, a man who no other woman is after as you are the only one who can see him—it’s all very convenient, wouldn’t you say, Zoe? What woman wouldn’t fall in love with such a paragon of a man?”

The only way he was aware of her reaction was the pronounced rise and fall of her chest.

“You know nothing,” she said through gritted teeth.

“I’d say I hit the nail on the proverbial head. Andre is a combination of your perfect father and what you wished Connor was, all rolled into one faultless, handsome little package. Only everything is in your control. You say when, where, and how. You say sit, stay, and roll over. Did you pat Andre on the head and say, ‘good boy.’ Did you give him a treat for good behavior?”

Zoe shot to her feet and screamed at him, “Shut up!” The orderly was in the room immediately and held a writhing Zoe in his strong arms. She struggled frantically. “You know nothing about love, you cocky, little jerk!” And then to the orderly, “Let go of me!” She turned on Wade again, “Go ahead, sit behind your safe little desk like the coward you are. Who do you think you are? You have no right to judge me! None!”

The orderly took her away and as they walked down the hallway, her screams could be heard throughout the hospital.

Wade smiled, pleased with her reaction. He’d hit a nerve. She could rail at him all day, as long as it got her thinking about her delusions and facing the cold, hard truth.

He wouldn’t give her something to help her sleep tonight. She needed to dwell on it, sulk over it—brood in it.

Thanks for following along on the Behind the Story series about Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle.

I hope you enjoy Zoe and Andre’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it! 

This was originally posted as part of a book tour at FUONLYKNEW.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Today's topic: ‘Nineteen-twenties’ slang’ excerpt from The Middle Aisle 
If you missed yesterday’s post about the use of nineteen-twenties’ slang in Lancaster House, click here. 

I love nineteen-twenties’ slang. It’s so colorful. I couldn’t resist having a little fun with it in The Middle Aisle. Just promise me you won’t go off and google the meaning behind ‘iron your shoelaces!’ All shall be revealed in The Middle Aisle! Besides you’ll ruin all of Andre’s fun!

Excerpt from The Middle Aisle:

As they made their way back into town, Andre said, “How about you go into that restaurant and tell them you need to iron your shoelaces?”

“Iron my shoelaces? What does it mean?”

“Just do it. I’m curious. Let’s see if they know what you mean.”

Zoe placed her hands on her hips. “Andre Lancaster, are you trying to embarrass your loving wife?”

“Never,” he answered, acting wounded.

“Why don’t I believe you? Fine, I’ll do it. But if they laugh me out of the restaurant, you’re in big trouble, buddy.” Andre followed her into the restaurant and Zoe approached the reception desk. “Excuse me, I need to iron my shoelaces. Can you help me?”

The young girl looked at her blankly as Andre laughed energetically behind her. Zoe turned on her heels, her face beet red, and left.

“That wasn’t funny. She had no idea what I meant. What did I just say?”

“I’ll never tell. You’ll have to ask around till you find someone who knows what it means.”

“Or go back to the hotel and google it,” Zoe threatened.

“And ruin all this fun?”

“Are we having fun or are we having fun at my expense?”

“Aw, c’mon,” Andre said as he pulled her into his arms. “It’ll be fun. I’m interested to see if anyone knows what it means.”

“Meanwhile I’m known as the girl who wants to iron her shoelaces. Somehow I doubt it has anything to do with ironing or shoelaces. Am I right?”

“Yep. But, that’s all I’ll say. This is your quest, Zoe, to find out what it means.”

Zoe rolled her eyes. “You need to chill.”

Andre paused. “Chill?”

Zoe laughed, the sound bouncing through the air. Two could play at this game. The slang of the day could perplex him as well. “Let’s go back to the hotel, and maybe I’ll explain it to you.” 

Coming next: A post about The Doctor! Yes, I mean Doctor Channing! Just click here.

This was originally posted as part of a book tour at Icultgen.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I Have People Book Tour

Sign-up for this tour is now open at Colorimetry!

Ebook copies of I Have People are available for those wishing to do a review!

(BTW, my daughter made the tour banner and I LOVE it!)


Today's topic: The use of nineteen-twenties’ slang in Lancaster House!

If you missed yesterday’s post which included the prologue from Lancaster House, click here.

Slang from the nineteen-twenties is so much fun! It’s so colorful and crazy. It truly made the Lancaster House series fun to write. A few of my favorites are:

Breezer: a convertible

Goofy: in love

Cheaters: glasses

Bank’s closed: no kissing or making out

Giggle water: alcohol

Dewdropper: young man who sleeps all day and doesn’t have a job

And of course, my two all time favorites are: ‘ironing your shoelaces’ and ‘the middle aisle.’ But, you have to read The Middle Aisle to find out what they mean! (No fair, don’t google them! It’ll be worth the wait, I promise!)

The challenge I faced in writing Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle was in making my main character NOT sound like the Humphrey Bogart type: “Here’s looking at you, kid!” OR “Awww, what’s eating you?” I tried to avoid the well-known slang or famous lines associated with the 1920s. My other challenge was to not overuse the nineteen-twenties’ slang. I felt that if I used it too much, it would come across as cheesy and annoying.

But, ahhhh, only in the 1920s can you flip on your cheaters and go for a ride in a breezer with a handsome cake-eater. (a lady’s man) I have a new appreciation for slang!

Coming next: A ‘nineteen-twenties’ slang’ excerpt from The Middle Aisle. (Just click and follow!)

This was originally posted as part of a book tour at A Buckeye Girl Reads.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013



This review of Sierra posted today on an awesome book review blog called, FUNDINMENTAL.

A giveaway of Sierra is also being offered now through March 20th. So, GO ENTER TO WIN!

A special thank you to Sherry for taking the time to read and review Sierra. And thank you for a FABULOUS review. I gotta tell you, good reviews like this make me cry. Every. Time. I'm such a wimp. But, as I've said before, Sierra is my personal favorite of all of my books. It's my baby, my first book, and while writing it I fell in love with writing. Naturally, a good review makes me emotional! I feel as though I have lived this story right along with Alyssa. And I'm in love with Alex . . . even though he doesn't exist. (But don't tell my hubby, it'll be our little secret!)

Sierra sat in Sherry's 'currently reading' shelf on Goodreads for sooooo long that I was absolutely positive she hated it! I thought she couldn't get through it and it was going to be a DNF. (did not finish)

Boy, was I wrong. Thank goodness!

Check out Sherry's book review blog, FUNDINMENTAL, as well as Laura's (her sister) blog, FUONLYKNEW. They are both active bloggers, and write detailed book reviews. I've learned of many new books I'd like to read through them! Book review bloggers provide a HUGE service to authors and I greatly appreciate both of them.

Here's Sherry's review:

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos   5 STARS – Would Buy It For Them (lol)

I look at the cover and it conveys a feeling of peacefulness. I can picture myself in the warm, snug cabin, sitting in front of a cozy fire burning in the fireplace, with my feet up and a cup of hot chocolate (or a hot toddy) in one hand and a book in the other. A deep quiet settles over the cabin as the snow floats softly to the ground. Well, if you think that is what this book is going to be like, you better brace yourself.

This was a hard review to write. By the time I got to page 20, I wanted to stop giving any clues as to what was to come. It was a kidnapping, but the cruelty went way beyond that. It was very intense and I feel you need to read it for yourself to get the full effect of the events.

Riveting from beginning to end. Be prepared to read straight through. I couldn’t put it down. It was hard to keep from skimming ahead. I just had to know what was coming. It was killing me waiting for it.

I thought Alyssa was an idiot, when she took off from Alex on her own. I hate when women are depicted as being so stupid. But then, Alex said, “sometimes you have to see and know for yourself how impossible something really is.” It made sense to me. The scene helped to develop the personalities of the characters.

A man and a woman alone in the woods, of course sex is going to be an issue. A knight in shining armor? Well, the armor might be a little tarnished, but a knight nonetheless. A woman with a family to go back to. A man who had felt such loss, he had isolated himself in the mountains, with human contact only once a year, when supplies were brought in.

I watch a lot of the Alaskan reality shows on TV. Some of those people are pretty far off the grid. If it wasn’t for friends checking on them and helping them out, who knows how long they could be dead before anyone found out. Some of them live in places that are almost inaccessible. Because of this, who knows if a story like this could be real or not.

But, it is a fantasy, a book. Just like in the movies, some things are put in to make it work the way the writer wants, or to make the reader (or watcher) become more involved in the story and up the level of intensity. And why not? It is fiction, not a true story. I want the story to take me to a place I would not otherwise go. To me, books are an escape. I want to be so engrossed in them, that the world around me is nonexistent. taylor dean seems to do that exceptionally well for me.

I received this book from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

My Favorite Quotes

“Everything that happens to us in life becomes a part of us and makes us who we are.”

“Cold pizza is the best breakfast food ever” I can relate to that. My mother and I both think cold pizza is the breakfast of champions.

“It’s like I’ve tasted the bitter, and now the sweet’s so overwhelmingly good, I just want to bask in it.”

“…there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of this and that is, life is short, life is tender. It can be taken away in the blink of an eye. When you find love you grasp it, never let it go and enjoy each day you’ve been given to the fullest.”


Today's topic: The prologue to Lancaster House

If you missed yesterday's post about my old covers for Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle, click here.

I love when a book grabs my attention right off the bat and throws me something that whets my appetite and keeps me reading. I try to put this aspect in all of my books. I love when a book so fully engrosses me that I forget everything else. For example, in the movie Titanic, I was so totally absorbed in the romance, I completely forgot they were on the Titanic. The trick is to make the audience/reader forget about the danger—and then sock it to ‘em!

There are many things that keep you reading in Lancaster House! The prologue is only one of many! I thought I’d share it with you:

“9-1-1, what is your emergency, please?”


“Hello, is someone there? Can you hear me?”

Utter silence—not even breathing.

“Hello, can you answer me? Can you speak?”

Still, no response.

The dispatcher turned to her counterpart. “I have a silent call, send the police now.”

“Stay calm. I’m sending police out to you immediately. I’ll stay on the line until they arrive. You’re not alone, I’m right here with you, just hang on a little longer.”

No reply.

“Hello, hello? Are you hurt? Are you injured? Can you make a noise? Anything to let me know you can hear me.”

Evidently not.

“I’m going to ask you some questions. If any of the answers are positive, I’d like you to try your best to make some sort of noise, tap your fingers, click your tongue—anything. Has a crime been committed?”


“Are you in immediate danger?”


“Are you alone in the house?”

Five, and then ten tense minutes passed wherein she tried desperately to comfort the voiceless entity whose life may very well hang in the balance.

Distant sirens wailing. Heavy footsteps. Muffled phone noises.

A deep voice on the other end of the line said with concern, “We’re here. Send an ambulance immediately.”

Besides wanting to know what is going on in the above prologue, Lancaster House leaves you with an overwhelming desire to know: Is Zoe crazy or isn’t she? Is Zoe imagining everything or is it all real?

You’ll have to read Lancaster House to find out! Enjoy!

Coming next: The use of nineteen-twenties’ slang in Lancaster House! (Just click and follow!)

This was originally posted as part of a book tour at Christy's Cozy Corner. (Along with a five-star review!)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Today's topic: My old book covers for Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle!

If you’d like to read yesterday's post about one my favorite ‘scary’ excerpts from Lancaster House, click here.

First off, below are the current covers for Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle:

Book covers are an extremely hard decision. Everyone judges a book by its cover when it comes to books! In this day and age, most of your book sales will be from online sources. All the average reader will ever see of your cover is a small thumbnail image. It’d better be good . . . eye-catching and visually stimulating.

No pressure! 

I went back and forth when making the decision of which covers to use. In the beginning, I found the perfect images, created the covers, and figured that was that. But then my daughter called and said, “Mom, you need new covers!”

I liked my old covers, but, in my daughter’s words, they were boring.

I knew she was right. While my old covers represented the inside of the books quite well, I seriously doubt that they would’ve garnered a second glance from anyone else.


So here they are, my old covers:

Not horribly bad, but certainly not good either. Kinda dreary. (Note: Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle were never published with these covers.)

I also worried people would think I’d misspelled ‘aisle’ on The Middle Aisle cover. After all, it kinda has the appearance of an island, not just a cliff edge. Hence, people would think it should’ve been ‘isle.’ Right? And the proportions between the house and the cliff edge just aren’t right. The house is too big for the cliff! 

As I searched for new images, one of my daughters noticed the hand picture before I did. She said to me, “How about that one for Lancaster House, Mom?”

I said, “It looks so Carrie-like!”

“That’s why it’s perfect, like a hand reaching out of the grave,” she responded.

When I found a similar picture that boasted a tree that resembled a Cypress tree, I was sold. Part of The Middle Aisle takes place in Monterey, California—a place that is famous for its Cypress trees. Perfect!

At any rate, I sent out an email to friends and family asking which covers—for all of my books—they liked the best, the old or the new. To my surprise, the answers were varied. It was almost 50/50. Some liked the new, some liked the old.

Personally, I loved the new animated covers. So did my daughters. I loved the images, they just spoke to me. And I liked the idea of being different. I write clean romance—and I felt the covers conveyed the message: the inside of these books do not contain your average romance novel! I also liked the idea of having all Taylor Dean Books have animated covers for the sake of being consistent.

To be honest, I now look at the old covers and cringe! I'm so thankful for my wonderful daughter. She created my new covers for me.

I have found that readers either LOVE these covers or HATE these covers, no in-between. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you!

COMING NEXT: The prologue to Lancaster House! (Just click and follow!)

This was originally posted as part of a book tour at Christy's Cozy Corner. (Along with a fabulous five-star review!)

Monday, March 4, 2013


Today's topic: My favorite ‘scary’ excerpt from Lancaster House! 

If you missed yesterday’s post about why I scared myself while writing Lancaster House, click here.

The below excerpt is about as scary as Lancaster House gets, which isn’t really very scary in the scheme of things—as a matter of fact, it’s pretty tame. But the scenes do build upon each other, so it’s difficult to step right into one without knowing the background—and still feel the intensity of the scene.

Lancaster House is much more of a romance, than a scary read. In the end, maybe it’s best described as a paranormal psychological thriller, with ROMANCE. (heavy on the romance!)

Excerpt from Lancaster House:

It was morning when she awoke and peeled herself off the floor. Bed—I want my bed. Just let me die in peace.

Zoe stood, holding onto the wall to brace herself. All she had to do was get herself to her bed and she’d sleep this off. Her head felt heavy, as if it suddenly weighed fifty pounds and holding it up seemed an impossibility. The house felt hot and humid as if all the fresh air had been sucked out of it. The low hum of the air conditioner met her ears and she stood under the vent for a few seconds letting the chilly air cool her hot cheeks. She glanced at the doorway to the circular room and felt a ripple of shock filter through her body from head to toe.

The doorway was gone.

The room had been re-sealed and the wall, painted. There was no evidence it had ever been opened.

How can it be?

Her heart knocked in her chest wildly and her knees buckled as she fainted, hitting the floor with a loud thump.

Everything was a bit of a blur after that. The next time Zoe regained full consciousness, several things quickly registered. A cool washcloth covered her forehead. She was tucked into her bed, the blankets neatly placed around her. She was wearing her pajamas, which she had no recollection of changing into, and a tall, icy glass of water sat next to her bed with a straw sticking out of it. She vaguely remembered sipping out of that straw, but had no idea who it was that was helping her. Slowly, she sat up and looked around her room.

“Hello,” she called out. But no one came or answered her call. Reaching out for her glass, she gulped down the entire glass of water and then collapsed onto her bed, feeling as weak as a newborn kitten. Rolling onto her side, she pulled the blankets up to her chin and let sleep claim her, even while knowing there was some reason why she should be running like hell out of this house, but unable to remember just exactly why that was.

When she next awoke, she knew the worst was behind her. She even felt like getting up and walking. Her nightstand held a tray of crackers and her water glass had been refreshed. Before getting up, she decided to get some nourishment in her, knowing it would help her get her strength back. Her memory began to come back to her as she sat there munching on the crackers and drinking the water, thirstily.

Who was taking care of her?

After finishing off the last few bites and brushing the crumbs off her lap, she yelled out, “Connor, you can come out now. I know it’s you.”

There was no response, not even a hint of a whoosh of movement or a small thump-thump of retreating footsteps. Nothing. No muffled laughter, no whispers. Not even the sound of pant legs rubbing together—a sound that could easily give away the sneakiest of the sneaky.

Silence. Absolute bone-chilling silence.

Puzzled, she let her feet hit the floor and tested her steadiness. Although still weak, she felt perfectly well enough to walk. Making her way down the stairs, she called out again, “Hello . . . hello.”

The house answered with an eerie silence and she felt her palms moisten. This wasn’t funny anymore. A joke can be taken too far and this one definitely had been. Once downstairs, the first thing she noticed was all four walls of the living room she’d been working on were completed.

Her breathing quickened.

“Hello . . . hello,” she yelled unsteadily.

The kitchen was perfectly spotless with no sign anyone had been there, except herself. Ever so slowly, she walked back up the stairs, ignoring the urge to flee from the house screaming for help. She could just imagine it. Help, help, someone is taking care of me and redecorating my house! There’s a mad man in there!

Yeah right. The only mad person around here is me. Stark raving mad.

She had to know who was doing this for her. Walking away was out of the question. When she reached the sealed entrance to the circular room, she stood motionless for several minutes, simply staring. Her eyebrows knit as her thoughts raced. She was completely baffled.

Why seal the room?

Why didn’t he paint it?

Zoe slowly walked back to her room feeling sluggish. An eerie sort of calm overwhelmed her. Whoever was doing this didn’t want to hurt her. They’d had ample opportunity to take her life if that had been what they wanted to do. No, whoever was doing this wanted to mess with her mental stability.

The only candidate was Connor.

Unless . . .

Maybe it had nothing to do with her. Maybe it had everything to do with this house. Perhaps a former owner who wanted the house back or a disgruntled neighbor who wanted the house torn down or maybe a concerned citizen who felt it should be given to the city as a historical landmark. How about a college psychology experiment? Maybe there were hidden cameras placed throughout the house.

Unlikely, she thought, feeling deflated and lethargic. She sat on the edge of her bed and let out her breath. And then a thought occurred to her.

“Dad?” she whispered. “Dad, is it you?” She didn’t really believe in that sort of thing, but it was as good an explanation as any. But the only answer to her inquiries was a deafening silence. Her head hung dejectedly. “I miss you, Dad.”

If they were watching her, they’d know she was losing it. She’d better put up a brave front. But she knew the worry was evident on her face. A glance at her bedside clock sent waves of fear coursing through her and her eyes widened into huge saucers.

The tray was refilled with crackers and her water glass was full.

For several seconds Zoe sat completely still—frozen in time. And then she exploded. She knocked the tray and the glass off the nightstand in one fell swoop. They clattered to the floor, the glass shattering and the crackers breaking into pieces. “Leave me alone!” she screamed.

She grabbed her inhaler and breathed in two puffs of air, greedily. She huddled under the covers and curled up into a fetal position.

Leave me alone. Leave me alone.

She fell into a troubled sleep, knowing in her heart she should leave this house and yet, refusing to give up. This was her home and she wasn’t about to let anyone chase her out of it. None of this was real. Someone was playing a trick on her. They were in for a fight.

That is . . . when she felt better.

COMING NEXT: Learn why I chose the book covers for Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle! (Just click and follow!)

This was originally posted as part of a book tour at Passion and Life.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Today's topic: I Scared Myself! 

If you missed yesterday's post which included an excerpt with a description of Lancaster House, click here.

Lancaster House is not really a scary book. I’m a total wimp when it comes to scary movies, horror movies, or books of the same nature. In the end, Lancaster House is a romance.

However . . .

The beginning is a little scary. At least I (the wimp) thought it was. Seriously. While writing the beginning of Lancaster House I found myself looking over my shoulder more times than I care to admit! I was sure Andre was going to appear to me any minute. A good friend of mine read the book long before it was published. She teaches an early morning youth religious class at church. As the teacher, she was always the first to arrive at the dark church at oh-dark-thirty. After reading Lancaster House, she told me she had a hard time entering the church by herself, sure that a ghost was about to appear to her any minute!

I know exactly how she felt. I felt the same as I wrote it. If I put myself in Zoe’s place, I know I’d leave Lancaster House screaming with fright! It’s always fun to write about a character that is much braver than yourself. Since I wrote the book from beginning to end, without skipping ahead, I didn’t really know Andre myself as of yet. I mean, his essence was in my mind, and I knew he was good, but he wasn’t created on paper as of yet. That made the beginning scarier than it should have been, as if I was experiencing it right along with Zoe, as if the story was unfolding before my very eyes. Now I read it and I’m fine, of course! I’m in love with him as much as Zoe and he can haunt me anytime. I’m sure you’ll feel the same as you read it!

COMING NEXT: Read one of my favorite ‘scary’ excerpts from Lancaster House. (Just click and follow!)

This was originally posted as part of a book tour at Beck Valley Books.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Today's topic: An excerpt that describes Lancaster House! 

If you missed yesterday's post about the mansion that served as inspiration for writing Lancaster House, click here.

The below excerpt is when Zoe first enters Lancaster House. The amazing Winchester Mystery House inspired me to add secrets to Lancaster House!

Barbara seemed hesitant to enter, but Zoe walked in enthusiastically, followed by Mrs. Pearson. The entrance was grand with a large foyer and a magnificent staircase. The upstairs landing was open to the floor below, providing a feeling of space. Zoe zigzagged through the house, taking in every detail, commenting excitedly, deliberately seeking out the oddities and squealing with delight when she discovered them. The downstairs held three spacious living areas, each boasting small built-ins, some with shelving, some with window seats. As she wandered through the rooms, she opened every door she came across. Most revealed storage closets or coat closets. However, the next door she discovered opened simply to a wall. It was wallpapered like the wall surrounding it. The shock at seeing a wall where you would normally see a room of some sort was disconcerting. Zoe found herself wishing the door led to some kind of amazingly interesting alcove she could investigate. Still, she laughed aloud at the craziness of it all and continued her search for bizarre features. She wasn’t disappointed as she found three more doors that opened to blank walls. The downstairs was somewhat of a maze and it took her a few minutes to get her bearings. She loved the mysterious nature of the floor plan; it didn’t follow the usual norm. The hallways had alcoves that seemed to serve no purpose other than to provide interesting architecture. Every unexpected twist and turn led you to a new area of the house. In one corner, a circular staircase led straight up to a small landing with one window, and that was it. It served no purpose whatsoever.

It was fantastic.

Zoe spent several minutes scrutinizing the kitchen. It was brilliantly modern and updated which pleased her immensely. The previous owners had obviously spent much of their budget here. Off the kitchen, she noticed another staircase. Hoping this one really was another way to get to the second story, she approached it with mounting excitement. Two staircases? How cool is that? Instead, she found a staircase that simply led to the ceiling. Just for the heck of it, she walked up it till her head hit the ceiling and she had to hunch over to go any higher. Zoe sat on one of the stairs with a satisfied smile on her face. Never in her life had she discovered a house like this. It made her positively giddy.

Next, she tried the door just off the kitchen. It was a huge butler’s pantry, lined with useful deep shelves. At the back was a second door leading to another staircase. This one went down, she assumed to the basement. Upon opening the door at the bottom of the stairs, there was simply a brick wall. Her laughter echoed off the walls. She should have known. Nothing is what it seems in this house.

Once the excitement of finding the eccentric features was over, she began to study the intricacies of the home. She was fascinated with the woodwork. Once sanded and polished it would be beautiful again. The floors were amazing, done with hand-inlaid parquet. Elegant chandeliers still graced the ceilings, but they were missing crystals and hung dejectedly. Marble fireplaces with heavy gold mirrors above them graced each room. The mirrors seemed to have a fog over them. It would take some elbow grease to bring them to life once again. Frescoed ceilings with elaborate cornices kept her walking from room to room just staring at the amazing ceilings—a work of art in and of themselves. Some walls still held the original damask wallpaper, faded and peeling, but evident nonetheless. Rich, dominant wainscoting covered the bottom half of nearly every wall. The damage and neglect throughout the home was evident, but Zoe saw it through rose-colored glasses. She didn’t see the disrepair, she saw what it could be—she saw its potential.

She fell in love with the house almost immediately.

They made their way up the overly long staircase with Barbara sticking close to Zoe. Zoe didn’t comment, but knew instinctively that Barbara was uncomfortable in the close confines of the house. She had to suppress a giggle. Imagine that—a real estate agent who was scared of old houses. It would appear she was in the wrong business. Meanwhile, Mrs. Pearson spoke almost non-stop, fluttering about with useless chatter. Barbara and Zoe both ignored her.

The lengthy staircase was a striking feature that commanded attention. Unusual to Victorian homes—it wasn’t merely functional—it was the centerpiece of the house. Zoe was immediately taken with the banister. She ran her hands over it respectfully, letting out her breath in wonder. It had obviously been hand carved and the detail was incredible.

“The builder of the house hand carved that banister himself. It was his pet project. The history of the home states that it took him nearly a year to complete it.” Barbara went on, oblivious to Zoe’s reaction. “I realize it’s now marred, scraped, dented, and filled with dust in all the crevices of the carvings, but it could easily be re-created. After all, in this day and age, new railings can be made with machines, then delivered and installed in a matter of days.” Zoe was so fascinated with the handiwork, she hardly heard her. “You could use the old banister for firewood. Waste not, want not,” she added with a glittery laugh.

“Bite your tongue. This banister can easily be restored to its original majesty. It’s so beautiful. I just can’t get over the detail. What an amazing man he must have been.”

I think peculiar fits him to a T,” Barbara muttered under her breath, perhaps hoping Zoe wouldn’t hear her. But Zoe did hear and considered her revenge for such blasphemous words. Perhaps she should hide in a closet and jump out at her. The reaction would be priceless.

Once upstairs, Zoe again searched out the oddities first. She loved them and found they gave the house character. The upstairs held eight bedrooms of irregular sizes and proportions. Zoe found three secret passageways between bedrooms. They were obviously meant for children to crawl through for fun and were never meant for nefarious purposes, removing all the mystery surrounding them, but she loved them all the same. In some rooms, the only way to the next room was through a door in the closet. If you didn’t look in the closet and discover the door, you would never know the room existed. It was amazing and fun and she felt as though she’d just discovered the funhouse at a carnival. Barbara found no need to give the standard tour, nor did Zoe want one. Zoe was like a hummingbird, flitting from room to room. She could hardly contain herself, feeling akin to a child on Christmas morning. Some of the bedrooms were shaped as octagons, and some seemed as though a wall had been built right down the center, with the express purpose of cutting the room in half. Most of the rooms had vaulted ceilings and interesting windows, some in circular shapes and several with stained glass. Each work of stained glass was designed with open buds of red roses, beautifully crafted as though the sun had just graced the flower with its presence. Several rooms held dormer windows with window seats that begged you to come and relax, bask in the sun, or curl up and read a book. The design was remarkably creative. The upstairs architecture was just as ornate as the downstairs.

Kinda creepy, huh? To be honest, I scared myself while writing this book!

COMING NEXT: Learn why I scared myself while writing Lancaster House! (Just click and follow!)

This was originally posted during a book tour at The Reading Diaries. (Also see the five-star reviews of Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle!)

Friday, March 1, 2013



The Tour of Lancaster House & The Middle Aisle has come to an end. In celebration of this unique tour of the Lancaster Mansion, we are giving away 10 eCopies of both books!! & sharing highlights from the Tour. Yep!! Catch the entire tour right here...

On tour with Prism Book Tours...

2/11 – Unputdownable BooksGuest Post Paranormal 

What inspired me to write a paranormal romance?

2/12 – I am a Reader, Not a WriterGuest Post Inspiration
The American Idol performance that inspired Lancaster House
2/13 - Fundinmental Guest Post by Taylor Dean

Lancaster House contains many secret passageways and hidden rooms.
-          Letters to the CosmosReview of Lancaster House

 . . . thought-provoking romantic read that isn't afraid to confront darkness . . .

2/14 – Oh,The Books You’ll ReadReview of Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle

I didn't think that this book would be as good as the first one but I was wrong. Taylor Dean is a literary genius.

-          Proud Book NerdExcerpt

Luminous, bright green eyes were trained directly on her.

2/15 – LDS & Lovin’ It – Review of Lancaster House

I wanted to actually leap into the book and visit the place, old and damaged or not. I loved the idea of secret hiding places and staircases that go nowhere.

2/17 - PhantasmicReads - Guest Post Inspiration for Lancaster House

The Hayes Mansion . . . is it haunted?

-          Lavender & Camomile Press Highlight

-     Colorimetry - Guest Post the Mansion

The mansion that served as inspiration for writing Lancaster House

2/18 – TheReading DiariesExcerpt
Reviews: Lancaster House & The Middle Aisle
2/19 -  Living a Goddess LifeReview Lancaster House

. . . the imaginative Lancaster House within the novel really captured my attention . . .

-          Beck Valley BooksGuest Post by Taylor Dean

I Scared Myself!

2/20 – Living the Goddess Life Recipe from Lancaster House

2/21 – Passion and LifeGuest Post Excerpt

The doorway was gone.The room had been re-sealed and the wall, painted. There was no evidence it had ever been opened.

-          Books Mystify –  Review of Lancaster House & The Middle Aisle

2/22 –Christy’s Cozy Corner Review of Lancaster House

I give it 5 stars! 

2/24 – Christy’sCozy CornerReview of The Middle Aisle

Her story becomes even more alive in this follow-up to Lancaster House. It is a story woven with great detail and raw emotion.

  - A Buckeye Girl Reads - Guest Post 1920's Slang

Dewdropper: young man who sleeps all day and doesn’t have a job.

2/25 – Living a Goddess LifeReview of The Middle Aisle

The Middle Aisle... toyed with the question of Zoe's sanity, which I found to be the most compelling part of the books.

-          IcultgenGuest Post Excerpt

“Excuse me, I need to iron my shoelaces. Can you help me?”

2/26 - FUONLYKNEW - Guest Post the Doctor

"I consulted my psychology-degreed daughter as I wrote Doctor Channing."

2/26 – Who’sThanny?  – Review of Lancaster House in Portuguese

A sequência de Lancaster House, The Middle Aisle, já está disponível. Aguardem pra saber                  mais sobre essa história!

-          Letters to the Cosmos – Review of The Middle Aisle

Dean adds some great storytelling to the mix, turning the concept of an unreliable narrator so completely on its head that the reader is never quite sure what is real, what isn't, and how it will all end.

2/27 – Living a Goddess Life Recipe from The Middle Aisle

2/28 – A Buckeye Girl ReadsReview Lancaster House & The Middle Aisle

I adored Lancaster House.  For me, the most refreshing part of this book is that it was very original and there was not a cliche to be found. These are unlike any ghost romance that I've ever read.

  - Who's Thanny?  Review of The Middle Aisle

(...) But I'll never admit that he's here. Never again. I need him. I want him. I do not care if he's not real. I wish I'd never known the truth. The truth sucks. Delusions are fantastic. The world would be a happier place if everyone was allowed to live out their fantasies, live in a dream world where everything is butterflies and roses. (...)

Lancaster House & The Middle Aisle, available in print or eCopy from Smashwords or Amazon:

Taylor Dean:

Taylor Dean

Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding that she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it's paranormal, contemporary, or suspense-you'll find all sub-genres of romance in her line-up.

Find & Follow:

Bookblast Giveaway!!

10 eCopies of Lancaster House & The Middle Aisle for 10 Winners!!!
March 1 - March 7, 2013

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced on Rafflecopter and Grand Finale posts as well as emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry and Prism Book Tours and sponsored by Taylor Dean. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour-Wide Giveaway Winners on Rafflecopter:

5 WINNERS in USA will receive.... Signed copies of Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle, two Lancaster House bookmarks, two pencils that say, "Believe it, Know it, Accept it," and a cute little tote bag.

5 International Winners will receive... eCopy of Lancaster House & The Middle Aisle

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced on Rafflecopter and Grand Finale posts as well as emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry and Prism Book Tours and sponsored by Taylor Dean. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway