Rae: Thank you for hanging out with me. First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking an spiced Latte with Coconut Milk with caramel drizzle, what would you order?
Taryn Leigh: Chai tea latte with extra chai and no water. Starbucks baristas now just ask me, “The usual?”
Rae: First, are you watching the Olympics? Did you catch the Opening Ceremony? I love watching to see what each country is wearing and the excitement on the players as they walk into the stadium. I’m planning to watch the hockey games as the rules have been changed for the US Team.
Taryn Leigh: I do love the spectacle of the Olympics, though I will admit, they opening and closing ceremonies can get a little esoteric for my tastes. My favourite part is the same as yours–the parade of athletes. And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who loves checking out the Olympic fashion. 😉
Rae: What are your favorite sports to watch? I feel like it’s so hard to choose between the extreme snowboarders, the bobsled, the skating. OMG I swear I’m not going to get much sleep for the next few weeks! It’s so wonderful to watch athletes come together and go for gold.
Taryn Leigh: It’s funny, because the Olympics are the one sporting event where I end up watching stuff–and caring about stuff!–that I never thought I would! I become that girl who’s enthralled by the biathlon! LOL. But my go-to winter sports are definitely hockey, ski jump and half-pipe, and I’m with you on the bobsled! Why is that so compelling?
Rae: Have you always aspired to be a writer?
Taryn Leigh: Having my name on a book has been a dream since I joined the Young Authors’ Club in the second grade, so I’ve always dabbled in writing.
Rae: How did you fill your days before your debut book Kiss & Makeup released back in 2015?
Taryn Leigh: I still have the same day job I had before I got the call. My life before getting published wasn’t so different than it is now, except for the deadlines! The biggest between being published and unpublished is that now I have to write even when the words aren’t coming easily.
Rae: So far your releases have been contemporary romance with what I like to call a bit of spice and a dollop of sweet. Do you have any plans to write in another genre?
Taryn Leigh: “A bit of spice and a dollop of sweet.” I love that! That’s kind of my wheelhouse, to be honest, although it is my dream to write a YA book one day. Right now, though, I’m happy to be in Romancelandia.
Rae: Can you tell readers about your backlist?
Taryn Leigh: Currently, my backlist consists of a trifecta of Blazes:
My first, KISS AND MAKEUP, is the story of a make-up artist and an ad exec who get stuck in a blizzard and a fake relationship.
PLAYING TO WIN is my first foray into hockey, and tells the tale of a serious sports journalist who gets the biggest break of her career…so long as she acts like a ditzy hockey-dunce, and the handsome team captain who isn’t buying her puck-bunny disguise for a second.
And finally PLAYING DIRTY, is about a prickly bar owner who wants nothing to do with hockey and a cocky defenseman trying his best to convince her otherwise.
Rae: Can we expect more from your hockey heroes?
Taryn Leigh: As for hockey heroes, you know the Canadian in me isn’t ready to give up on them yet! That’s why I’m thrilled to give Books I Love a Latte this exclusive scoop:
This April, I’ll finally be releasing Eric Jacobs’ book, PLAYING FOR KEEPS! I’m so excited to get this book out in the world. Eric was written as part of my Portland Storm hockey trilogy with Harlequin Blaze, but because of the line closure, only two of the three books fit into the publishing schedule. Chronologically, Eric’s book belongs between Luke’s book (Playing to Win) and Cooper’s book (Playing Dirty), and I couldn’t be happier that the sexy centerman is finally going to get his HEA.
I’m also working on a whole new team of sexy hockey players, which will be released through Entangled’s Brazen line, and I think readers are going to love the men of the Montana Wolfpack. No release dates yet, but watch for them during the course of next year’s hockey season! (And if you enjoyed the Portland Storm books, you might see a familiar face or two pop up in the first book of the series…)
Rae: I am honored that you chose my blog to share with your readers the details on your next release! Readers check out this cover and rumor has it we’ll have an EXCLUSIVE Excerpt that you’ll only find in The Extra Shot so be sure to subscribe (Top right sidebar. Don’t worry we don’t spam or share your e-mail and we promise to send mail more than once a week.) You won’t want to miss that! OMG, Taryn Leigh…I can’t wait.
Can we just reflect on that for a moment and look at the beautiful cover. I have a feeling this is going to be one hot hero and one sexy book ;)! Hopefully we can all wait patiently. Ok, who am I kidding? When is the release date Taryn Leigh?
Taryn Leigh: Awww! I’m excited too! The release date is April 24, 2018.
Rae: Last year you posted pictures on Facebook of your trip to Rogers Place. How did you get onto the ice? What was that experience like?
Taryn Leigh: I have a one-seventh share in Oilers season tickets with some co-workers, and the team runs some really cool events throughout the season for their ticket holders. When the opportunity to do a couple of laps in the new building came up, I couldn’t resist. I’ve been on skates since I was 4 years old, so I was dying to check out a professional rink. It was an awesome experience to be down there and see things from the players’ perspective, sit on the bench, check out the penalty box. It was a blast.
Rae: In our last conversation you mentioned you were busy with a book deadline. What are you working on and when will it be ready for readers to consume?
Taryn Leigh: The project I was working on when last we spoke is one I’m really excited about. I’m honoured to have a four-book series coming out with the sexy new Harlequin DARE line. The first book, FORBIDDEN PLEASURE, drops in August, and I can’t wait for people to meet Max and Emma. DARE books have a darker, sexier tone, and it was so fun to push myself out of my comfort zone and tell the story of a woman who decides to throw caution to the wind and really start living life to the fullest. In her quest to do so, Emma quits her job and seduces her boss. After all, she’s headedto Europe, so what harm is there? It’s the perfect plan…until Max discovers that his tech company has been hacked…and all signs point to Emma as The two of them are stuck working together to uncover the hacker, but all that sexual tension isn’t so easy to ignore now that they know how good giving into the heat between them can be!
Rae: There has been a lot of chatter on social media about planning and organizing to stay focused and succeed in personal goals for 2018. How do you keep it all from spiraling out of orbit between the family life and writer life? Are you a planner girl or digital calendar queen?
Taryn Leigh: I’m old-school all the way, and I have a thing for stationery products, so planner’s make me feel much more connected to the task at hand. I love crossing things off a to-do list. Though I definitely appreciate my Google calendar and the pop-ups that keep me on track. But don’t let my answer deceive you. Staying organized and on top of things is a daily struggle for me, planner or no planner. It’s something I’m constantly trying to get better at. As a result, my writing and family life spiral into each other on a semi-regular basis. 😉
Rae: When you sit down to write, do you write the old fashioned way or type away at the keyboard? Writing all the words is a challenge, do you have a writing ritual or secret location to get the work done?
Taryn Leigh: Typically, I do a lot of keyboard writing, because honestly, it needs to end up typed into the computer anyway, so why not cut out the middle man? But that being said, when I’m stuck, or if I just need a break, I find taking my pen and notepad to Starbucks and writing long-hand is a great way to jump-start my brain. No secret ritual or location, but ambient-mixer.com is the best way I’ve found to keep myself from being distracted by outside noise. I spend a lot of time writing in the Gryffindor Common Room. 😉
Rae: Are you the writer who has a notebook for all the words that flow while driving or do you dictate into your phone?
Taryn Leigh: I keep a notebook in the car, and beside my bed, and pretty much wherever I am, to catch those rogue thoughts. I’m definitely the type of author who thinks in snippets–a joke or a piece of dialogue will hit out of nowhere, and if I don’t capture it right away, I know it will be lost forever. That being said, I’d love to get more into dictation. I have grand dreams of using my daily commute to plot more books!
Rae: How do you tackle plotting your series? Is it on a massive board, sheets of paper or just write as you go with a simple outline?
Taryn Leigh: I’m a bit of a minimalist when it comes to plotting, which has a lot of challenges. Sheets of paper are my go-to, and it’s a pretty fluid process. I try to keep notes and build a series bible as I go. This works pretty well for loose series like my hockey teams. I can already tell that my Business of Pleasure series with Harlequin DARE is going to take a bit more effort, so I’m doing a little experimenting with note cards and colour coding. So far, so good!
Rae: A lot of authors use Pinterest and make awesome boards to tease readers, are you one of them?
Taryn Leigh: I do love me some Pinterest, although I tend not to post things specific to each book. I’m always disappointed when an author tells me that a hero or heroine is based on someone I’m not that fond of, so I like to let readers cast my characters on their own. Of course, I have a running tally of hot guy pins, and savvy followers will probably be able to figure out who I’m thinking of in the role of my heroes if they pay attention.
Rae: When you are not busy writing, you keep readers updated on social media, what are your favorite types of posts, pics, or tweets?
Taryn Leigh: Instagram is probably my favourite platform, because it’s fun to tell a story with a picture as opposed to words. Especially since writing words is how I spend so much of my time. That being said, you can definitely find me on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Rae: Where can readers find you in 2018?
Taryn Leigh: If you’re looking for me, here are some good places to check:
Rae: What can we expect in 2018? Do you have other projects in the works?
Taryn Leigh: This is stacking up to be my busiest year yet! I’ve got seven books due in 2018, so be ready for some fun, steamy reads coming at you from Harlequin DARE and Entangled BRAZEN.
And everything kicks off with PLAYING FOR KEEPS, which as previously mentioned, will be hitting your favourite etailers this April.
1. What is your must read book and why?
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. It’s got a killer concept, and whether you love it or hate it, it’s the kind of book that makes for a great discussion afterwards.
2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown?
Oh. That’s easy. West Edmonton Mall!
3. Do you take-in or cook? If so, what is your “go-to” dish?
Cooking is not my favourite activity, I won’t lie, but if I’m going to do it, it’s lasagna all the way. (Lots of leftovers, and it’s great hot or cold. Which means I don’t have to cook again for a while.)
4. What is one thing readers would be surprised to know about you?
Hmmm. I have double cousins, so that’s kind of cool. My mom’s sister married my dad’s brother. (I’ll give you a second to map that out. *wink*)
5. Hard Rock or Classical? Favorite Band or Artist?
That completely depends on the day, but I’d probably say I skew more classical than hard rock more often, just because it’s earlier to write to, honestly. An artist I admire lyrically is John Mayer. Love him or hate him, he says things in the most interesting, thought-provoking way. (My fave example, from “Tracing”: And if you want to know the moment/I knew that I was still alone/I found I never learned your number/I only stored it in my phone/You’d think by now I’d know the shape of calling home)
6. If you had an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world for research, where would you go?
I love to travel, and there are a million places that I’d love to go…Australia is right up there on the list. If someone wants to fund my trip to Australia, I wouldn’t say no.
7. What is your guilty pleasure?
I don’t know if I feel guilty about it, but I do love the movie Newsies, and it’s soundtrack, with more fervor than I probably should. 😉
8. What are you afraid of?
9. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one?
I am currently tat-less. Probably a direct result of my fear of commitment. 😉
10. Organized or Free Floating?
Free-floating, though I wish I were more organized.
11. Binge watcher or weekly viewer? Which show(s)?
Mostly binge watching right now, because of tight deadlines. (Writing is really cutting into my TV time!) One of my favorite binge shows is Black Mirror. Just devoured the latest season on Netflix.
12. What’s on your playlist?
Whatever music makes me think of the novel I’m working on. I find music very helpful to set the vibe of a book, so it changes a lot. But for something specific, while writing my first Dare, I was introduced to the music of Bryce Fox, and both “Horns” and “Voodoo” are playlist staples now.
13. What play or musical do you want to see next?
Hamilton is definitely on the list! Though I get to see Les Mis again soon, and I can’t wait.
14. Are you a crafter?
Not with any regularity. Because I have a day job, I tend to put my free time into book writing. But one day I will learn to knit!
15. What’s your favorite TV show and why?
It’s a toss-up between Serenity and Veronica Mars. Both of them inspire me so much…great dialogue, great characters, great actors, great storytelling.
16. If you could pick a book you’ve read and make it into a movie, which book would it be (besides yours 🙂 )?
This one is tough, because so many movies fall flat, and I would hate to see it happen in this case, but I love JD Robb novels so much, that if I could see Eve and Roarke done well on the big screen…take my money.
17. What’s your favorite movie of all time and why?
Oh man. Too hard! One of my favourites, though, is the CBC version of Anne of Green Gables. I rewatch it on a regular basis, usually over the Christmas holidays. The source material is one of my favourite books of all time, and it’s so impeccably acted. I’ll go with that. That’s a movie I never tire of. It hits all the emotions, and gives me the hit of romance I crave. What more could I ask for? (It really hurt me not to say The Cutting Edge. LOL. I’m so bad at picking just one thing!)
18. Would you rather see a movie in the theater or at home on DVD? Why?
Lately, I’m more of a homebody, to be honest. I’ll still drag myself out for the full immersion of a big spectacle like Star Wars, or a good superhero movie, but for most movies, I’d rather be curled up on my couch at home with a soft blanket and a warm drink.
19. What is the one thing you can’t live without?
My phone. I’m addicted. It’s true. I didn’t want to be this person, but I totally am.
20. If you could invite 5 people to dinner (not friends and family – that’s too easy) who would be at your table? Where would you eat?
JK Rowling, Nora Roberts, Edgar Wright, Joss Whedon, and Rob Thomas. Just a bunch of people I admire, sitting around a big table in Tuscany, eating family style and talking storytelling. Heaven
21. If you could try any career for a day, what would it be?
Paleontologist. No question about it. Dinosaurs are the BEST!
22. Person you admire and why?
I admire people who put themselves out there and do the hard work that is needed to make their dreams come true. It’s something I struggle with on a daily basis, and there’s nothing I find more inspirational that people who get up after they get knocked down. In a world full of pretty social media posts, it’s too easy to think people just “make it,” that their lives are magical as their filtered Instagram pictures, but the truth is, being good at anything takes a lot of patience and reevaluation and hard work. So I admire anyone who is passionate enough about something to just keep working toward the finish line. That’s the kind of person I am striving to be.
Rae: Thank you for hanging out in the cafe today.
Taryn Leigh: Thank you so much for having me! It’s been my pleasure.