#NewYearsEve #Romance #Giveaway Hop - My #Writing First(s): 2014 in Review

Thanks for pausing at my stop on the New Year's Eve Blog Hop. Visit all the blogs to win goodies. Each stop has a prize. Since it's the end of the year, I'm going to make mine super simple.

Ready? 

DOOR PRIZEs (my 2013 backlist)

I'm conducting a poll. Leave a comment here (with your email address) telling me what type of eBook reader you have, and I'll send you the following 3 eBooks.
 NO RAFFLES. NO WAITING. As soon as I see your comment, I'll email you the files. It's my end of the year treat.
Click  here to enter a $15 Giveaway

Click  here to enter a $15 Giveaway

For those in search of a cash prize, check out this nifty banner. It leads to a completely unrelated $15 Giveaway to celebrate the release of my New Year's Eve paranormal romance (hint, hint...)

My Writing "First"s: 2014 in Review

Since this post goes live on December 31, it seemed the perfect opportunity to go over this year's publishing experiences. While 2013 marked the beginning of my journey as a romance author, 2014 came with a whole bunch of new benchmarks. Over the past 12 months, I've figured out the kind of stories I want to write, the heat level I'm most comfortable with, and I now have a better grasp of the publishing industry in general. In a way, this year contained far more self-discovery than the one prior. Here are 2014's writing "First"s, in chronological order. 

My first series 

I started my writing journey with the best of intentions to stick with a single series (connected standalone romances set in the same world). But once I published my first book, I realized I didn't have a very good idea of what (and, more importantly, how hot) I wanted to write. This led to my decision in 2013 to follow-up Tower in the Woods (a sci-fi romance, set in a post-apocalyptic zombie world, containing explicit sex with light BDSM) with More Than Strangers (a contemporary romance containing explicit sex with no kink). While writing the latter gave me a good idea of where I stood on the heat spectrum, I nonetheless challenged myself with Warlock's Pawn (a fantasy romance containing explicit sex, light BDSM, menage elements, anal play--the hottest I'll ever write, basically). As such, it was only in January 2014 that I released Catching Red, the second (and, most likely, the last) installment in my Undead Fairy Tales series. It was a labor of love, written with full knowledge of how few copies of the first book sold, and I'm glad it's out there. 

My first asian heroine

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a (naturalized) Asian American. I also spend the majority of my life overseas. As such, it seemed somewhat odd, even to me, that my first non-white heroine showed up in my sixth published book. I wrote all about the hows and whys of this decision for Ana's Advent Calendar, so I won't dig into the topic of diversity in romances here. Suffice it to say that Maya Jain, the heroine in Operation Owlis a second generation immigrant whose parents are from India. I had a lot of fun writing her, and I plan on writing many more interracial/multicultural romances in the future.

My First paranormal romance

There is some debate over this topic, but I consider zombies science-fiction  (especially since mine are the product of a virus). My first warlock, Duncan, dwelled in a fantasy kingdom, not a slightly different version of the world we live in today. I think I tested my ability to write paranormal romances last because I love this subgenre the most. Since I dream of writing as well as Nalini Singh one day, it took a while before I worked up the confidence to pen the witchy world of Flirting with Fire

My First Short Story

Being an author is about making connections, and one of those connections was with my editor, Kate Richards. She was kind enough to name-drop me when Anastasia Vitsky was looking for contributions to her Spank or Treat anthology, and thus Snowbound was born. Writing it reminded me of my life before publication. I wrote it for fun, had a blast, and went back for more. (FYI: Love Spanks - February 2015...stay tuned)

My first new Adult romance

Okay, I admit to doing this by accident. Learning from previous experience, I wrote my entire A Witch's Night Out series at once, and all the characters are connected. Catalina Gato is the heroine in Flirting with Fire. Mina, the heroine in Frosty Relations, is best friends with Cat's sister, Sweets (who is, incidentally, the heroine in Fireworks at Midnight). Anyway, for story reasons, Mina happens to be 22-years-old, and a recent college graduate struggling with her life as an adult. Apparently, this is a whole separate subgenre in fiction, one which I learned about at around the time I had to fill out marketing forms. 

My First New Year's Eve Romance

Here comes the plug. This is a New Year's Eve hop. I just wrote a New Year's Eve paranormal romance. Here's a fireworks-filled snippet to tempt you. If you like it, check out the book page to enter a $15 Giveaway. 

Recent college graduate and part-time cat familiar Dulcina “Sweets” Gato is having the worst New Year’s Eve in living memory. End of year expenses trigger serious cash flow problems, and her microwave just went up in smoke. To make matters worse, her best friend’s overprotective big brother is back in town, and his return threatens to put a huge crimper on her nocturnal activities. The only thing she can look forward to is Madame Eve’s 1-Night Stand service. After all, she’s sick and tired of being a 21-year-old virgin.

 

(Adult-only) Excerpt

When had Mikal become the epitome of boring?

She missed the boy who’d annoyed all their neighbors with his motorcycle, the guy who got her and Shelley their first fake IDs. Ever since he’d morphed into a responsible peon, had a security clearance, and drew a steady paycheck, his mere existence turned her into an unsuccessful loser by comparison.

Playing with the seatbelt’s metal clasp, Sweets looked up through the sunroof. Light glinted into her eyes, and, in a hazy precognitive rush, the glass was gone.

The sky shifted from bright blue to an ebony expanse dotted with white twinkling stars. The car’s confines should have been cold, but a warm circling breeze licked her skin. She sat on the same seat, facing the opposite direction. Bare shoulders occupied her vision; strong hard legs rippled under her ass. Cinnamon, mint, and sweat filled her lungs, all laced with an undertone of pine. She kissed a beard-covered jaw, trailed her lips down a corded neck, and explored a muscled chest the color of chocolate.

Calloused palms slid up her back. Strong sure fingers unhooked her bra and smoothed the straps off her shoulders. Coarse facial hair rasped over her nipple before a hot, wet mouth closed over it and sucked. Her shoulder blades hit the dashboard. His swirling tongue feasted on her breast. His hand shoved her legs apart.

He circled her clit with his thumb, pulsing over it until her head rolled back.

She spotted fireworks through the glass, flashes of red, white, and blue reflecting off rippling water. Her own voice echoed in her ears—pleas she’d never dreamed of voicing.

Two thick fingers filled her, spreading as she spasmed. A scream ripped from her throat. “Mi—”

The door opened with the quiet click characteristic of new cars, shattering her erotic daydream.

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Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

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