Cate: Thanks for joining the holiday party, Tara! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Tara: I’m a mom of two beautiful kids, ages 6 and 9, who are the light of my life, but challenge me daily! LOL. Together with my husband, we live in New York about an hour north of Manhattan. On an average day, we’re doing those normal things – get up, work, school, dinner… but after bedtime I sit down to write. This year, my longtime dream came true and I was published – not once, but twice, by Decadent Publishing.
Cate: Very cool! What do you love most about Christmas?
Tara: Watching my children on Christmas morning. Their excitement, wonder, and joy become mine for a short time – reminding my grown up self to slow down and enjoy.
Cate: So true. Do you have a favorite memory of a Christmas past?
Tara: Well, if I go waaaay back in my memory bank, one that sticks out is how my sister and I would wake each other up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning ready to see what Santa left. My poor parents always looked exhausted dragging themselves out of bed to watch us open gifts. Most years they only got about three hours of sleep – or so they say. LOL. Then my mom would go make us a big special breakfast while we played with the new toys.
Cate: Love it. If Santa could grant one wish, what would you ask for?
Tara: My only wish is for my kids to be happy.
Cate: Aw, so sweet. What was the best gift you’ve ever received? What made it so special?
Tara: Okay, I’m not making this up (because I’m an author and all), but honestly it was my first Nook. I’m not kidding. It’s not like me to ask for anything specific, but when the Nook first came out, I wanted one so bad. Not only because of the convenience it promised, and how eReaders were oh-so-cool, but I had about 12 Pampers boxes (the BIG ones) in the basement filled with paperbacks. My husband desperately wanted to get rid of them, and of course, the thought just filled me with separation anxiety – LOL. I saw this as a solution to all my storage problems! Except, I still manage to collect books someway, somehow. :)
Cate: lol Any favorite Christmas recipes you’d care to share?
Tara: I do, though its super simple and really just a slight variation from the standard chocolate fudge recipe. I only consider it a “Christmas” recipe because I make around this time of year to bring to work and to my mom’s on Christmas Eve (otherwise, it’d be great whenever!):
Andes Chocolate Fudge
2 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup Andes Crème de Menthe candies broken up or chopped
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk Or Eagle Brand® Fat Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Line 8- or 9-inch pan with wax paper.
Melt chocolate chips, Andes candy pieces with the sweetened condensed milk and salt in heavy saucepan. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Spread evenly in prepared pan.
Chill 2 hours or until firm. Remove from pan and cut into squares.
I came up with this because I find peppermint a little too strong, but the mint is perfect. Also, I always associated Andes Candies (as we called them) with Christmas because my dad would find a package in his stocking every year. It’s was one of his favorites.
Cate: Yum! The grandboys would love this, thank you. Tell us about your latest release, and where readers can find it online.
Tara: Her Everything came out September 26th. It’s my second contribution to Decadent Publishing’s popular 1Night Stand series and one that was a pleasure to write, and not just because there’s a hot rock star… well, maybe a little.
Cate: Care to share a blurb or excerpt?
Tara: Yes, I’d be happy to!
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?
Where to find:
Cate: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Tara: Actually, the whole premise of the story stemmed from watching a VH1 Documentary Nicole Scherzinger. Though aside from the fact my character, Rachel, is the sister to the lead of a girl group (inspired by the Pussy Cat Dolls) it’s where the similarities end. However, writing a story where music plays a big role in the characters’ lives was more than fun because it also plays a part in my creative process. A song’s lyrics or tempo can set up a scene in my mind and helps me “see” my story more clearly. So there can’t be anything more inspiring to me than music. (Not that I can play a single note!)
Cate: Thanks so much for being part of the 12 Days of Christmas! Hope you have a jolly holly holiday!
Tara: Wishing you a wonderful holiday, too! Thank you for having me here today.