Cate: Yay, Taryn’s here for my special Halloween celebration. Taryn, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Taryn: Well, I live and work in spooooooooky Sleepy Hollow, which is Holiday Central this time of year. It’s the setting of my new sexy paranormal releases, LIGHTNING and THUNDER, for Decadent Publishing’s fun 1Night Stand series. I also set my first erotic paranormal, SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS there. SLEEPY HOLLOW sort of lends itself to spooktacular stories this time of year!
Cate: Whoa, so cool. What do you love most about Halloween?
Taryn: The leaves, the nip in the air, the smells of apples and cider and cinnamon, the eager faces on the kids who come to your door in their costumes.
Cate: Do you have a favorite memory of a Halloween past?
Taryn: Too many! When I was a kid my mom, whose birthday was a few days before Halloween, loved to dress us up in costumes she would whip up out of old clothes and things she had around the house. One year, she tricked my younger brother and I out as Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy. Before going out to trick or treat, we stopped off at a new store that had just opened. They took a picture of us and we won a TV!
Cate: Have you ever had an unusual experience you couldn’t explain?
Taryn: Yes, and this one is a little creepy. One night years ago, I had a very vivid dream that I was in an elevator with my grandparents, and the elevator car suddenly zoomed upward. I cracked my head on the ceiling of the car. My grandparents had vanished. When I woke up, the dream stayed with me, very unsettling. My dad was packing to go to Florida; his father had passed away during the night. (My grandmother lived to 90!)
Cate: That would be unsettling. What frightens you the most?
Taryn: Horror movies!
Cate: Me too! lol Ever gone on a ghost tour? Or ghost hunting on your own?
Taryn: My first career was as a newspaper reporter and columnist and a college professor in the area claimed he lived in an old haunted house. Around Halloween, he would trick it out even more eerily and invite his students and the neighborhood kids. He invited me in a few days before Halloween for a grand tour and yes, creaks, and unexplained noises and moans and eeriness galore. He was a Catholic priest, so it was even more spooky. (I don’t think his superiors at the college were too pleased about his tours or my story!)
Cate: I bet! Any favorite Halloween recipes you’d care to share?
Taryn: Yes! Caramel apples are the easiest: Open the bag of Kraft caramels (14 oz. package). Take each caramel out of its cellophane wrapper. Melt in a pot with 2 tbs milk (or 2 minutes in the microwave). Insert sticks in 6 apples. Butter a baking sheet or wax paper.Swirl the apples in the melted caramel. Rest them stick up on wax paper! (You can sprinkle them with crushed nuts or chocolate chips, if you like!)
And here’s another, that’s also fun and quick:
Fluffy Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin Dip
1 (16 oz) tub of Cool Whip, thawed
1 (5 oz) box of instant vanilla pudding mix
15 oz. can, solid pack pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 hollowed-out pumpkin shell (optional)
Ginger snaps, graham crackers, apple slices
Mix the pudding mix, solid pack pumpkin and pumpkin spice together in a large bowl. Fold in the Cool Whip. Chip in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Spoon the Fluffy Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin Dip into the hollowed up pumpkin or a serving bowl.
Dip cookies and fruit in the fluff.
Cate: Yum. Care to share a blurb or excerpt?
Taryn: Why, yes! So happy you asked. This is the blurb and excerpt from THUNDER which released from Decadent Publishing on Oct. 26. (LIGHTNING released on Oct. 19).
Lonely young witch, Veronica Hardwicke, has struggled to get on with her life after the death of the elderly husband who’d left her a fortune and a sprawling estate in mystical Sleepy Hollow. When frightening things go bump in the night on a stormy Fourth of July, who better to call than the sexy developer and contractor, Sean Jones, who's been renovating her mansion for months?
Sean may grace the tabloid pages with a different supermodel on his arm every night, but it's Veronica who drives him nuts. Ignoring his instinct to stay away, he answers her summons.
Will the thundering passion of their 1Night Stand tear down the barriers between them?
Veronica paced back and forth in the grand entry foyer of the Belmont mansion, the kitten heels of her Prada mules clacking on the marble floors.
The rest of the place might not be finished, but she’d insisted on having a few rooms completed, so at least she felt like she was living in a home, rather than a massive, never-ending construction project. Well, her contractor had insisted, even though working around the main entrance and central hallway created more work for him and his crew. But she was forced to admit he was right.
Her cell phone chimed on top of the antique credenza shoved flush against one wall. She leaped for it. Probably Geneviève, to regale her with all the fun she was having in Paris. Or Sean, to advise her he couldn’t make it after all. She sighed and read the text message on the small screen.
Congratulations, Veronica. 1Night Stand has found your date. Have a good time.
With both anxiety and mounting excitement, she stared at the screen and waited. No other info. Outside in the night, thunder boomed. She jumped then laughed at herself.
Ghosts are one thing, but freaking out at the weather now? Cripes, you really do need this date!
She let her imagination run wild, then texted back for more details:
When? Where? Who?
An insistent pounding at the front door jarred her out of her fantasy. She swung the door open on another explosive crack of thunder.
Sean stood on her doorstep, his soaked T-shirt molding sculpted pecs and abs, his drenched hair flattened over his brow. Rain poured down as he fiddled with his iPhone, a bemused expression on his face. Behind him, jagged arrows of lightning tore the dark sky. He glared at the screen, glanced at her in confusion, then back at the screen.
Veronica’s own phone pinged again. Thunder roared. She read the message in disbelief.
You’re looking at him.
Cate: I'm hooked. :) What inspired you to write about the theme?
Taryn: Love Sleepy Hollow. When LIGHTNING was accepted by Decadent, my editor hinted that, since the heroine had three sisters and since the hero had a brother…Yep, you guessed it. Sean Jones, the hunky studmuffin hero of THUNDER is the brother of Campbell Jones, the sexy hero of LIGHTNING.
Cate: Love interrelated stories like that! Anything else you’d like to share?
Taryn: Come visit me at my web site, on Twitter, Facebook, the Amazon author page, and pretty much all over the web. Except Pinterest.
Cate: You guys are in for a treat! Taryn has a giveaway!
Taryn: I’ll give away one copy of one of my books (reader’s choice). I’ll include some swag, if the winner wants to send me a snail mail address (by email).
Cate: Thanks for sharing the Halloween fun, Taryn! Only two more days left!
Meanwhile, here's a peek into the real Sleepy Hollow: