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Guest blogger: Tara Janzen

25 November 2012

G’day to all the ARRA members! I’m thrilled to be in Australia for a day, even if it’s only by blog. 🙂 My good buddy, Cindy Gerard, had such a wonderful time visiting with all of you at ARRC2011. I’m hoping to get over to your side of the world someday to see the sights and attend your great conference.

It’s been a busy year out here on the prairie, with SEAL of My Dreams, an anthology with 18 romantic suspense authors, including me and Cindy, contributing stories. The book earned $130,000 for veteran’s medical research this year—which has amazed and thrilled us all. Everyone involved donated their stories, so all the money goes to help veterans. My contribution is titled ‘Panama Jack’ and was a blast to write. The whole project was a delight. And I have to tell you, the book has the hottest cover ever! That’s a real Navy SEAL on the front of the book, tattoos and all, looking good.

With the onslaught of ebooks taking over the publishing world, a lot of authors, myself included, are publishing their backlist online. Over the last year, I’ve gotten 16 books online, some of which haven’t been available for a while, like Shameless and River of Eden, which are both on the Romantic Times All-Time Favorite list. Ebook publishing has been great fun, with one of the highlights being the chance to add two new chapters, plus other material, to Crazy Love, Skeeter and Dylan’s story from the Steele Street books. I’m calling this version ‘the director’s cut’, and it’s only available as an ebook. The paperback is still the original version. The expanded ebook version of Crazy Love has been out for a month, and the reader feedback has been wonderful.

Next month, I’ll be releasing the last books in my backlist, The Chalice Trilogy, a medieval/fantasy romance trilogy. For those of you who love sensual romance, epic fantasy, and death-defying adventure all packed into one story with sword fights and hot, stolen kisses in forest glades, I hope you’ll give the books a try. The first book, The Chalice and the Blade, will be FREE the first few days it’s available. So keep checking my Facebook page for the dates. The trilogy books were a true labour of love for me, taking six years to write—and I did the whole six years in my garage with a space heater! My children’s elementary school years were spent with their mother immersed in the Middle Ages in the garage. It’s no wonder neither of them want to be a writer. 🙂

And what’s up next? A new series of books I’m really excited to be writing. Imagine the chop shop boys and girls of Steele Street ending up in the middle of an Indiana Jones movie—lots of adventure, romance, and action, with mystery and a desperate quest that leads them from the arid reaches of the world’s greatest deserts to the frozen wastes of the far north. I’m hoping to have the first book published by the end of the year and will post more information, like titles, character sketches, and teasers on my Facebook page and my website as I get further along.

A few weeks ago, another blog I participate in, asked us to pick a book off our keeper shelf and tell why we loved it. I hadn’t looked at my keeper shelves in a while, and I’d forgotten some of the books I’d put there, like the whole Lady of Fire series by Anita Mills, and my first Suzanne Brockmann book, and then lo and behold, there was the book that started it all, the first romance novel I ever read, the book that got me hooked on my lifelong love of romance novels—Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers, and the book that stole my heart—The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I have so much to thank those early romance writers for, fabulous books with great stories and great women characters, and I’m curious—what was the first romance novel you read, and was it the same one that got you hooked on romances?

Thanks for having me over for a visit, and I hope you all have a great day!

You can find Tara at:


Tara is offering one lucky reader a choice of books from her backlist—ebook or paperback. Leave a comment and you will go in the draw. UPDATE: this giveaway is now closed. The winner was Susie R.

  1. aimskye permalink
    8 December 2012 11:55 am

    Seal of my dreams was such a fantastic anthology that brought so many previously unknow authors to my attention including Tara Janzen!!

    I think the one book that brought me back to reading romance was Sherrilyn Kenyon – once I started her dark hunter series I couldn’t stop (still haven’t)!

    Thank you for blogging!


    • 8 December 2012 1:03 pm

      Thanks, Aimee, for dropping on by! SEAL was a fantastic experience for all of us authors – so glad you loved it 🙂 And a reminder – all of my Classic Romances (Loveswepts) are on sale all month for 99 cents — I checked, and unlike some of the Steele Street books, the Classic Romances are available in Australia — Enjoy! — TJ

  2. Deb Klanfar permalink
    27 November 2012 11:24 pm

    Hi Tara
    The first romance I remember reading was C.J.’s Fate by Kay Hooper. I wasn’t hooked at the time, but it obviously made an impression as I went looking for it several years later.
    P.S. Love your Steele Street series!

    • 28 November 2012 9:48 am

      Hi Deb – This is great 🙂 I was writing for Loveswept when Kay wrote that book and I remember reading it, too. My first Loveswept was Hunter’s Payne (author’s name on the tip of my tongue!) and I knew, then, that I wanted to write for them. I sold my first book to Loveswept and wrote 13. So thrilled that you love the Steele Street books — I fell in love with every single one of those guys 🙂 — TJ

  3. 25 November 2012 5:35 pm

    I love the Steele Street books – especially the earlier ones – I’d never been a big car freak but these guys made me interested! 🙂

    • 25 November 2012 6:06 pm

      Hi Kaetrin — I’ve always loved the old muscle cars, but didn’t know much about them, until I started writing the Steele Street books. Now, every time I hear a pair tuned headers, my heart flips over and melts 🙂 — thanks for stopping by! — TJ

  4. Jacquie Biggar permalink
    25 November 2012 2:41 pm

    Huge fan of yours Tara, so glad you have a new, exciting series in the works. I’ve been collecting your older books as they come out and of course the Steel Street guys are all in my re-read pile. I can’t really pick a specific book that started my love if romance, been reading them for 30 some years now. Can say though that they were Harlequins, love their books

    • 25 November 2012 2:59 pm

      Hi Jacquie! Thanks for dropping by. I see you a lot over on facebook, nice to have you here. The first Harlequin I ever read was by Anne Mathers, and that’s what got me writing. I thought that if people wanted to read stories like hers, then I could be a writer, because I wanted to write stories like hers 🙂 Amazingly, years later, when River of Eden came out, I got a fan letter from someone named Anne Mather. When I wrote back, I said I knew of a well-known, much-loved Harlequin writer by that name, and could that be you? It was!! And I told her how one of her books started my career. It was a real “coming full circle.” — TJ

  5. Sireta Neighbors permalink
    25 November 2012 10:42 am

    I have all your books (including the Chalice series). Am buying myself a Kindle for Christmas so I can download the new books. Can hardly wait to read Seal of My Dreams.

    • 25 November 2012 10:53 am

      Hi Sireta — I can’t tell you how much I love that you’ve read the Chalice Trilogy — such a labor of love for me, just like the Steele Street books. The more I wrote about the chop shop boys, the more I fell in love with all of them. On December 1, I’m putting ALL of my Classic Romances (my Loveswepts) on sale at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords for 99 cents for the whole month of December. That would be a great time to download them on your Kindle!! — TJ

  6. Susie R permalink
    25 November 2012 10:24 am

    I loved the Steele Street series and am looking forward to reading Seal of My Dreams!

    • 25 November 2012 10:48 am

      Gosh, Susie, you are in for such a treat. SEAL of My Dreams has turned out to be an even bigger phenomenon than we anticipated. At one point, Gennita Low got a photograph of two Navy SEALS holding the book 🙂 So cool! — TJ

  7. Rachel permalink
    25 November 2012 10:23 am

    Omg, do you know how excited it was to see this interview ? I love Tara Janzen’d books and she is just the sweetest author out there.

    No Tara Janzen book is a bad book. I can’t wait for the new series, bring it on.

    • 25 November 2012 10:47 am

      Rachel, love, me? Sweet? I’m the one trying to be the big bad girl 😉 And I, too, am so excited about the new series. I will post info on fb or when I get enough stuff, do a blog on my website. I already have the covers in mind and might get them started early 🙂 hugs, TJ

  8. TiDubb permalink
    25 November 2012 10:14 am

    I’ve read so many books I can’t remember which one was the first that got me hooked on romance. I do know that I loved Tara Janzen’s Steele Street series!

    • 25 November 2012 10:44 am

      Hi TiDubb — Thanks for dropping by, and I’m thrilled that you loved the chop shop boys and girls. I had soooooo much fun writing those books! — TJ

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