Right in my own backyard

 

I’ve written a lot of books. They’ve been set in small Florida towns with mystical histories, in South Jersey college towns, in senior citizen communities in central Florida, in New Orleans, in a small farming community west of Savannah, Georgia, and even in San Francisco circa 1967.

But when Fifty Frogs came to me, it clearly took place much closer to home . . . in my own backyard, as a matter of fact. Quite literally.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This story happens in other areas of the small central Florida town of Summer Meadows as well, but some of the key scenes take place just outside my back door.

What’s odd is that usually, when I’m deep in a story, I live in that setting. I can tell you details about it, how it’s laid out, all the subtle nuances. But this time, I felt a bit like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz; I didn’t have to go any further than my own backyard.

I love living on a lake, and so does Vivian. I’m blessed to spend many evenings sitting by the water, enjoying a pre-dinner drink or post-dinner coffee with my husband. It’s peaceful and lovely and very romantic.

Of course, there are a few little drawbacks . . . and some of them come in the form of critters. Vivian runs into one in particular. Oddly, we hadn’t seen any of this particular creature around our yard in reality until after I wrote Vivian’s scene–but we have since. Perhaps fiction informed real life!

But I do know one thing for sure: I’ll always think of Vivian and Charlie when I glance over to the bench in the adjacent yard . . .

When Vivian met Charlie . . .

Boy meets girl. It’s the way romances usually begin . . . and while we all love a happy ending, it’s the #MeetCute that wins our hearts.
How did you two meet?
The #MeetCute Books each have a unique answer to that query. Some might make you swoon, others might make you giggle . . . and some may make you blush.
Twelve authors. Twelve stand-alone contemporary romance novels. Twelve stories that will make your heart beat a little faster.
Because it’s all about the #MeetCute.
For each #MeetCute Book, we’ll share a couples interview in the style of the “When Harry Met Sally” clips. (Check them out here!)
In FIFTY FROGS, Vivian kisses some frogs . . . but there’s only one guy who captures her heart. 
Vivian: The first time we met, it was in the middle of a street, and I was forced out of the car against my will.
Charlie: Let’s just be clear here: it wasn’t me doing the forcing.
Vivian (laughing): No, that’s true. It wasn’t. That was my mom and Aunt Gail.
Charlie: Remind me to thank them for that.
Vivian: Anyway . . . (mock glares at Charlie), when I saw you the first time, I thought you were cute.
Charlie: Tell the truth. You thought I was smoking hot, standing there, holding my rake. And when the turtle got involved, I was damn near irresistible.
Vivian: Right. Only, I did resist you.
Charlie: For a long time. While you were busy doing other things. <clears throat> It took a while and some help before you finally gave into my charms.
Vivian: Okay, so what did you think when you first saw me?
Charlie: I thought you were incredible, beautiful and full of passion. I also thought you had a nice ass.
Vivian: Are you talking about the day we met in the street? That wasn’t my best day. I can’t believe that’s what your first impression was. Also, did you even see my ass that day?
Charlie: I mean the first day I saw you. And yeah, checking out your ass is always a top priority for me. Always was . . . always will be.
Vivian: Awww, you say the sweetest things!
Charlie: I only ever speak the truth, babe. That’s a forever thing. Just like us.
***************************************
Fifty Frogs releases on June 27th. You can preorder it here today!

Vivian is sick of dating. Sick of the way guys treat her, sick of living and crying by when and if they call . . . she’s just done.

When her aunt reminds her that a girl has to kiss a lot of frogs before she finds her prince–Aunt Gail says that number is fifty–Vivian decides she’s taking control of her dating life: she’s going to go on a series of first dates only, and each one must end in a kiss. She begins chronicling each date–the good, the bad and the downright unbelievable–with a plan to turn the stories into an in-depth magazine series about the realities of dating in the twenty-first century.

Everything’s going along according to plan until Vivian hits a bump in her road with Frog Number Five, who doesn’t seem to understand his role in this deal. And despite Vivian’s determination to make it all the way to the big five-oh, when fate keeps throwing this same man across her path, she begins to wonder if maybe it’s time to ditch the plan . . . and kiss just one more frog.

Find out more about the #MeetCute Books!

Tawdra Kandle writes romance, in just about all its forms. She loves unlikely pairings, strong women, sexy guys, hot love scenes and just enough conflict to make it interesting. Her books include young adult and new adult paranormal romance, new adult and adult contemporary romance and adult paramystery romance. She lives in central Florida with a husband, kids, sweet pup and too many cats. And yeah, she rocks purple hair.

You can follow Tawdra on Amazon to receive updates on her releases. You can also visit her website for more information, and subscribe to her newsletter  for sales announcement, special exclusive content and promotions!

If you enjoy Tawdra’s books, join the Naughty Temptresses!

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Writing, Publishing and Why I’m Slowing Down

In December, 2011, I published my first book, Fearless.  The next year, I published two more books, and in 2013, I released three full books and one short. In 2014, I’d written and published two books and was writing a third when I attended Romantic Times convention, where authors were told to publish faster and more often.

Clearly, I took that to heart. I released three more full books in 2014 after RT, and then in 2015, I published 7 books, and then 8 in 2016. In between, I also released shorts, box sets and other smaller books.

Earlier this year, I set out my release plans for 2017 and 2018. When my husband’s position at the church was eliminated in January, I added 6 more novellas to the plan, which means that between January and June, I wrote and released 12 books.

In case you don’t know, that’s a whole lot of books.

And as I worked on this last one, Fifty Frogs, I realized something. I’m tired. I’m exhausted, in fact. I’m not burned out on writing or the business, but I’m seeing that could be possible if I don’t do something now.

So in the middle of that book, I made the decision that this will be my last planned book for 2017. I can’t tell you how much relief this decision brought me. I’ve been telling people that I began to feel like a kid on the brink of summer vacation after a school term that had lasted three years.

I’m not quitting the business–not by a long stretch. I’m planning to work on polishing and rebranding my backlist, so those 50+ books can work for me. I’m planning to write a few shorts here and there, and perhaps–just perhaps–write and publish the next Keeping Score book some time this fall. But I’m not committing to a date, and I’m keeping everything fluid.

All the books on my release list will come out, but they will come out more slowly.

Most of you know that I have four kids. My oldest is married; she works as a speech pathologist at an elementary school, and I volunteer there once a week. I want to keep doing that. My next daughter is 25 and in the midst of some life changes, and I want to be there for her. The next daughter is about to leave home to finish her college career at a school in Maine, and I want to spend time with her this summer, enjoy helping her get ready to move and not have to be anxious about driving her north in August. My son is 16 and about to begin his senior year of homeschooling. I need to be more present for him now.

And then there’s my husband, who is endlessly patient and tolerant of my wacky hours. I want to help him as he launches his new ministry.

I also need to continue to support my family, so as I said, I’ll still be working on my backlist. But I hope the easing of pressure will help me see things more clearly. This business is not easy, although I love it. The pressures are subtle but undeniable. I need to ease back and see how I can make my life work with the business.

My Temptresses heard this announcement last week, and their response was overwhelmingly positive. I love them for that!

I hope you’ll understand, too. I hope you’ll stick with me and support the rebrandings, the promotions and the shorts coming out, and I hope you’ll be around when the books begin releasing again.

Meanwhile, I covet your good wishes and your prayers for our family, as we transition and adjust and keep on keeping on. If you want more insight into what’s going on with us, check out my husband’s new ministry at The Community Chaplain and my spiritual musings at A Pen and A Prayer.

And stay tuned! Good stuff’s coming. <3

Music Monday: Tunes for Kissing Frogs

All romances have a play list, whether or not we recognize it. For me, every love story must have special music . . . and the following are some of the songs I enjoyed while writing Fifty Frogs. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

For your convenience, you can find and follow the play list on Spotify or click the links to each song to find them on iTunes.

Fifty Frogs Play List

Today I Met the Boy I’m Going to Marry Darlene Love

Can’t Help Falling in Love  Elvis Presley

Calling You Blue October

Clumsy Fergie

First Time Lifehouse

I’m Into Something Good Herman’s Hermits

Balance Beam Blue October