Timing’s Everything - A #WriteTip from Tara Andrews ( @tara_andrews1 )

As a fellow perpetual procrastinator (I tried to say it three times fast and failed), I'm delighted to welcome my pub-buddy Tara Andrews over today. At some point in the future, I must regale you with the "Tale of Two Taras." You see, Decadent Publishing has two authors named Tara, who both wrote and received contracts for stories in their 1-Night Stand line this year, and whose books went through content edits at around the same time. Suffice it to say, much hilarity ensued.

But this post isn't about that. Ms. Andrews just nosed me out on release dates, and her 1-Night Stand contemporary romance came out yesterday! Being the somewhat inconsiderate blogger that I am, I decided this super busy weekend would be the perfect time to wheedle a writing tip from her. Here it is! 

Timing’s Everything

by Tara Andrews

Photo Credit:  I Bought an Egg Timer | I   an Barbour  | Flickr Creative Commons (Cropped, Color Adjusted, Text Added) |  Attribution License  (Share Alike 2.0)

Photo Credit: I Bought an Egg Timer | Ian Barbour | Flickr Creative Commons (Cropped, Color Adjusted, Text Added) | Attribution License (Share Alike 2.0)

I’m a perpetual procrastinator (say that three times fast), advanced-level, if you will.  This, of course, is in direct opposition to my desire to write.  I can think of a great scene in my head, but before tapping it out I should first do the dishes, and go through the mail.  Oh, and then let me check Facebook and Twitter “really fast”, then everything will be done and perfect and… who am I kidding?  I’m procrastinating.

One of the tips I picked up on, while reading about the Pomodoro Technique, is to use an egg timer.  The logic behind this is that anyone can do anything for at least twenty minutes, whether it’s cleaning a closet, studying, or—you guessed it—writing.  Set the timer for twenty minutes and work on the task at hand.  When the time runs out, take a five minute break and then put in another twenty minutes.

The original technique has a more detail to it beyond this, but I find I only need to set the timer twice, at most, before I’m on a roll.  I’ve also instructed my kids when they hear the egg timer ticking away, it means (barring any emergency) “Do not disturb, Mom is writing.”  LOL.

You can bet many minutes ticked by on my timer while writing my newest release Her Everything!

Her Everything
by Tara Andrews

Rachel Turner made a mistake—a couple, in fact.  Ruining a surprise meeting with the front man to her favorite band is just the beginning.  But agreeing to switch places with her famous sister may spell the end of both of their careers. With rumors flying and an unexpected invitation from Madame Eve, Rachel hopes she can put the mistakes behind her.

Attending an event to support a charity close to his heart, Mark Travis wasn’t looking for love, or even company—and definitely not with a fan.  But when he puts in a hasty bid at a silent auction and wins the services of 1Night Stand, Madame Eve has something different in mind.  A single evening with a woman she claims can fulfill his needs.  But one night might not be enough.

Come morning, will Mark and Rachel’s unexpected one-night stand give them more than they bargained for?

Excerpt

On the dance floor, Mark tugged her waist to pull her close. With one hand clasped in his and the other resting on his shoulder, she followed his lead. He danced with the same confidence and style as he walked—sure, commanding, and…so incredibly hot.

Thanks to the four-inch Louboutins Rachel had borrowed from her sister, the top of her head barely reached his chin, but high enough, if she dared, to rest her temple against his cheek. Though tempted to find out if the stubble along his jaw was as soft as it looked, she didn’t dare. But, oh, how she wanted to. At least they were close enough that the spicy scent of his cologne surrounded her.

A love song played, its lyrics about longing the perfect fit for her one-and-only dance with the man she’d admired so long from afar.

“You didn’t come back.” His voice, rough and low, vibrated against her cheek.

She tilted her head to meet his gaze. The intimate proximity allowed her an up-close-and-personal view of his brown eyes, their color reminding her of the amaretto she favored.

His hold on her shifted, bringing them closer, the difference slight, but welcome. The nerves at her waist sizzled under the weight of his palm, while his thumb rubbed the exposed skin of her back. She shivered again from the simple touch, and an answering heat flared in his eyes.

“I…I got called away to help my sister.” She stumbled on the near lie. But, truth be told, she never dreamed Mark would give her a second thought after she’d left, his disinterest so plain to see.

“Sasha?”

So he knew who she was then? “Yes, she’s my sister.”

“Your twin.”

Rachel allowed him to spin her before replying. “That’s correct.”

“I didn’t realize at first. The glasses threw me off, as did your hair.” He smiled then. “Even so, you two are not identical.”

Aside from her and Sasha’s obvious style differences and voices, very few people were able to tell them apart. A knot formed in Rachel’s throat. She didn’t like where his comment appeared to be leading or the way his movements slowed and his brow furrowed.

He met her eyes. “Was that you on stage tonight?” 

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About Tara Andrews

Tara Andrews divides her time between a full-time job as an office manager, an even more full-time job as a wife and mother, and her dream job as a romance author.  An avid reader and writer, Tara continuously seeks to hone her craft in order to provide readers with stories that are provocative yet romantic.

As she has learned from her own experiences, dreams do come true and women can live happily ever after. Tara strives to infuse a blend of fantasy and realism in her stories in order to connect with readers’ own experiences, hopes and emotions.

Tara lives in upstate New York with her wonderful husband and two fabulous children.

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Author Interview - Tara Andrews

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So I’m interviewing another Tara today (Tara A as opposed to Tara Q, as my high school teachers would say). She’s a fellow newbie author over at Decadent Publishing, and she has a brand new 1 Night Stand to promote.

Long Overdue is a contemporary romance featuring the inimitable Madame Eve, and it is available for purchase at our publisher’s website, as well as other major Ebook retailers such as Amazon and B&N

1. For readers who are not yet acquainted with the series, can you tell me a bit about Decadent Publishing’s 1-Night-Stand series? What ties these stories together, besides the obvious?

Decadent’s 1Night Stand series is a collection of short stories by various authors and written for a variety of genre’s.  There’s something for everyone.  1Night Stand is the name of the agency run by Madame Eve, who is a central figure in all the books.  The characters engage the agency for various reasons with the expectation of a one night stand.  However, Madame Eve’s goal is to provide her clients with a happy ending beyond a single night.  

There are other things, aside from Madame Eve, that tie the stories together.  There is also Jackson Castillo and his family.  They run a chain of hotels and resorts that may be used in the series to some degree or another, though the night can take place anywhere.  And, then there is the obvious as you mentioned—it is the main point of the series, one special night.

2. Tell me a bit more about Blake and Jill’s situation. Are they complete strangers or have they met before?

Jill and Blake knew each other in college.  Or, rather, they knew of each other.  Though aware of one another nothing ever developed—wrong timing, he was dating her roommate… they just never connected.  So it is quite a shock to them both to find they’ve been matched.  More so for Jill who senses from the start that Blake had the ability sneak into her heart, when all she wants is to walk away in the morning with no regrets.

3.  I usually am pretty hero-obsessed when it comes to these interviews. What does Blake look like (please don’t spare the details)?

I love heroes, too!  Truly my list of book crushes grows with each book I read.  So I like all types.  But Blake, well, he’s the classic tall, dark, and handsome.  I guess it’s classic for a reason because it’s still hot.  Dark brown hair and striking blue eyes that are difficult to look away from.  As a businessman, I pictured him from the start standing with his hands in the pockets of his slacks, the top few buttons of his white shirt undone, and a knowing curve to his lips.  All the while, a king size bed serves as a backdrop.  In fact, it’s pretty much how it is in the book.  LOL.

4. Oh my, he sounds just like a modern-day Mr. Darcy (which happens to be my type). I totally need to check Blake out. Okay, and here comes my attempt to make this a more substantive interview. Since this is your debut novel, can you tell us a bit more about how it came into existence? What inspired you to write Long Overdue, and what was your path publication like?

Well, I suppose it’s a bit unoriginal to say I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember.  But I have.  From handwriting really bad fan-fic (before I even knew there was such a thing) in a marble notebook as a teen, to trading in the notebooks for a laptop later on, the desire to write has always been there.  But I had no idea how to go about pursuing it further so I headed off in a different direction.  It wasn’t until much later, after receiving some advice from an established author, that I joined RWA and my local chapter.  Then I really started to learn what I needed.

The idea for Long Overdue came about after searching for submission calls.  At first I didn’t think I had a story to contribute, but one day the idea came to me.  I love second chance stories and originally I thought that’s what this would be, but I realized these characters weren’t in the right place at the right time before. The story started to take shape, but it was slow going.

At the same time, I was taking online classes, pursuing an Associates degree.  Finding time to write was a struggle and when I did finally finish I sent it off to be read by an author kind enough to offer.  She provided me with some excellent feedback but it took a while to incorporate it before submitting it to Decadent.
It’s been a constant learning experience for me ever since.

5. *Cough* I may or may not have once written really bad Harry Potter fan fiction back in the day (I believe I'm considered a Dramione-girl).  Enough about me though–as we all know, the first book is just the start. What projects do you have in the pipeline (that you are at liberty to hint about)?

I don’t think I’ve reached the stage where I’d have to keep quiet about super-secret projects, LOL.  But I am working on another 1Night Stand at the moment, and I am having tons of fun writing it because my characters are incredible.  The hero is particularly yummy, you may be happy to know.

Having a new release is a rather tumultuous time for any author, so I won’t keep Tara A. any longer. For more information about the book and author, just scroll down. Comments are always much appreciated. 

Long Overdue

Jill Malone has been looking for love for all the wrong reasons. A reality check has her signing up for a no-strings attached night to simply forget about forever after. The last thing she expected was to know her blind date.

Blake Anders doesn’t need help finding a date, but he’s tempted by 1Night Stand’s reputation of arranging exactly what a person needs. And he needs more. Though doubtful, he agrees to one night and hopes to discover his perfect match. He didn’t count on Madame Eve reaching deep into his past to give him a night with the woman he never forgot.

Fearing another broken heart, Jill works to keep herself from becoming attached, but Blake goes all in to convince her that he wants their long-overdue love to be more than a one-night stand…

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About Tara Andrews

In addition to her obsessive need to write, Tara Andrews spends her day managing half the business office for a community hospital. She lives in upstate New York with her wonderful, supportive husband and two children – who make everything worthwhile. If all that doesn’t keep her busy enough, she’s also a part time student. Tara’s a procrastinator (advanced-level) who likes to spend every spare moment reading – even those moments that shouldn’t be spared.

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