This is not your typical royal love story.

It’s been such a wonderful week of release fun since The Anti-Cinderella debuted on May 15th. What better way to celebrate than with a real royal wedding! How nice of Harry and Meghan to schedule their big day when they did. I really appreciated the boost and the nod.

Did you get your copy yet of the book yet?

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You can read teasers right here and here.

And you can check out the play list here!

What reviewers are saying . . .

“I enjoyed (it) that much that I read it in one sitting. Through the book I felt everything they were feeling, laughed with them and felt sad with them as well.”

“This story made me have all the “feels”.”

“The characters are strong and the story flows smoothly. This is the first book of the series and I will be watching for the next one.”

“The book has real emotion, characters with depth, humour, sadness, romance, love, supportive friends and family. I couldn’t put it down.”

“With powerful, realistic emotions, sweet love, drama, humor and passion this is a pleasurable and entertaining read.”

“The book has real emotion, characters with depth, humor, sadness, supportive friends and family, romance, humor and love. I was thoroughly invested in the characters and could not put the book down once I started it.”

***

More news!

I’m thrilled to share that this book is only the beginning of the fun! There will be two more installments in the main Anti-Cinderella story: The Anti-Cinderella Takes London and The Anti-Cinderella Conquers the World. 

You can preorder the London book exclusively on iBooks . The preorder will go live on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Google in the fall. And if you want to see the amazing cover, it’ll be revealed later this summer on my Temptress group. 

The Anti-Cinderella Takes London

Falling in love with a prince wasn’t something I planned . . .

When I reconnected with the first guy I ever kissed, I never dreamed I’d end up moving to England to be closer to him. But Nicky and I are in love, and living together was the next logical step. 

If I thought dating royalty was a tough gig when I was living in the USA, I’m learning that it’s even more challenging now that I’m in London. Every move I make, every word I say, is under the microscope. Becoming part of Nicky’s family while staying true to who I am isn’t easy. 

Nicky makes everything worthwhile. The hours when we’re alone together are paradise. And if the press and the pressure are the price I have to pay for him . . . I’ll choose Nicky, every single time.

After all, London’s just another town. Right? 

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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Songs Fit for a Princess: THE ANTI-CINDERELLA Play List

 

 

When I began writing THE ANTI-CINDERELLA, I began looking for the right songs. It wasn’t easy. For the Love in a Small Town books, I go country without fail. For the football books, it’s usually contemporary alt-rock. For the Perfect Dish romances, Jersey rockers and crooners have been the go-to.

But what kind of music best epitomizes a non-traditional royal romance?

The very first one that jumped to mind was something by Ed Sheeran. He’s not only one of my favorite musicians, but he’s British. I’ve been listening to his latest album for a solid year, and one of my favorite songs is Perfect. When I heard him sing it in concert last August, I knew that I wanted it for this book. It captured the romance and simple beauty of an important scene in the book.

The second song was a gimme. With the battle Kyra wages with the media, Bonnie Raitt’s Something to Talk About was exactly the wry poke at rumors and gossip that I needed.

The ABBA songs were a nod back to the days when I was young and dreaming of what it would be like to be part of a royal romance. I was a huge ABBA fan, and these few songs brought back sweet memories.

While writing this book, I was also binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy, one of my favorite series of all time. The music Shonda Rimes uses on that show lent me a few ideas, including Brandi Carlile’s The Story. 

Enjoy all of THE ANTI-CINDERELLA tunes . . . and be sure to follow me on Spotify to keep up with all my bookish music.

Preorder today!

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Confessions of a Royal Lover

 

Frankly, it’s not a surprise that I’ve written a book about royalty. It’s actually more surprising that it’s taken me this long in my authorhood to do so.

When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to tell me stories. Later I realized that many of those stories were actually books she’d read. One of those was about the little princesses of England, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose. I was astonished to realize that those ‘little princesses’ were actually adults, as the stories from Nana had taken place over thirty years before my birth.

But I was intrigued, and I began reading. I devoured Robert Lacey’s biography Majesty about the Queen, and then I branched off into the books in his bibliography. I loved all the detail about the Royal Family. I was well and truly hooked.

I was thirteen years old and babysitting one evening when I was flipping through a Newsweek magazine. There was a picture of a young woman who had been photographed with the light shining through her skirt and an accompanying brief article about the Prince of Wales’ current love interest, the daughter of an earl. Lady Diana Spencer was only nineteen, and although she was pursued by the British media, the Americans weren’t paying much attention right away. In the age before the internet and social media, that meant I didn’t see a lot of coverage of their courtship.

The day their engagement was announced, though, everything changed. Suddenly, the news was filled with pictures of the two, and from the date of the announcement through the actual wedding, the frenzy built.

I was the perfect impressionable age to fall in love with what appeared to be a classic romance. I clipped newspaper and magazine articles, I saved my money and bought the books and the paper dolls (still have them!), and I watched every show that might have a little blip about the couple.

On their wedding day–July 29, 1981–I was up early and glued to the television to drink in every detail. The carriage! The dress! St. Paul’s! The guests! I also recorded the wedding so that I could back and watch it at my leisure. I had my hair cut in a Diana do–and that was a big deal, since I’d had quite long hair.

In the years that followed, I didn’t lose my enthusiasm, even as I grew up and had my own romances. I was sad when details of Charles and Diana’s marriage were revealed, but by then, I too was married with little ones.

On Labor Day Sunday, I awoke to the horrifying news that Diana had died in a terrible car accident in Paris. I’ll never forget that day; the sense of loss over someone I’d never known in person but who had been part of my life, my growing up, was devastating. Once again I was glued to the TV, but this time, there was no happy ending.

For years, my own version of a royal romance and how it might play out had lurked in the back of my writer’s brain. And then last year, the image of a cover and a title flashed in my head, along with bits and pieces of the accompanying story. And that’s how The Anti-Cinderella was born.

Kyra isn’t Diana–she’s older, for one; she’s American, and whereas Diana struggled with demons from her childhood, Kyra grew up in a loving, nurturing family. But there is no doubt that Diana’s shadow is on this book, particularly in Kyra’s interactions with the press. And although Diana isn’t mentioned by name and probably will not be in subsequent books, she is very much on my mind as I write.

For all of her missteps and mistakes, Diana changed the face of the Royal Family as we know it–for the better. It makes me happy to see her sons continuing this trend. As a royal devotee, I hope that the Windsors stay strong for generations to come.

Preorder today!

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The Anti-Cinderella releases May 15th!

How many girls can say their first kiss was with a prince in the British royal family? 

I was fourteen and he was sixteen, and yes, it was magical. But that kiss didn’t exactly change my life. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even think about it-or Nicky Windsor-for the next ten years . . . until fate, in the guise of my grandparents, brought us back together again.

Now everything has spun out of control. I’m ducking reporters and photographers when I try to leave home. My friends act as if I’m someone they don’t know anymore. The whole world seems to be watching me, wanting to see some kind of modern Cinderella story. 

But trust me, I’m no man’s princess. I’m more comfortable in tennis shoes than in a tiara, more likely to rock a bucket than a ball gown, and more liable to fall on my face than to pull off a graceful wave.

The only thing that keeps me from running away and hiding is Nicky. He’s all I’ve ever wanted in a man: hot, hunky and head-over-heels in love with me. I think I feel the same way. I think I want to be with him forever. 

But the idea of life with the royal family terrifies me. Even if I have found my one and only, can I handle what comes after our happy ending? 

What is a Patreon, and Why Do I have One?

Last month, I had lunch with a good friend who is an author, too–she lives in New England, so we don’t get to see each other as much as I’d like. She was just returning from the San Francisco Uncon, and she had a lot to share with me.

One of the suggestions she had for me, personally, was to consider starting a Patreon page. Since I didn’t know much about it, I did some investigation. You might know that centuries ago, in Venice and Rome and other settings of classical art and literature, rich patrons would sponsor artists who otherwise might not have been able to survive on what they were earning through their art. This was a wonderful way for the patrons to be part of the creative process, even if they themselves weren’t gifted to create in a particular way.

Patreon operates under the same principle. For those of us who struggle to make ends meet on the money earned by our art, it’s a constant battle between creating and worry. Patreon allows us to offer incentives to supporters who will agree to pledge a certain monthly amount.

And so . . . I have a Patreon page. It’s brand new, having just launched on April 1st. I hope you’ll check it out; I’m pretty excited about the concept. My hope is that I can garner enough support to give me a little breathing room during those months when sales flounder or when I need to beef up my advertisement a bit (read: advertise at ALL).

I didn’t do this lightly. Newsflash: I HATE asking people for money. Hate it. Truth to tell, if I could live without food, a home and internet, I’d write my books and give them away. But I can’t live without those things, nor can my family. So I’m swallowing a shit-load of pride and asking people who CAN afford it to consider supporting the arts and the artist.

I am fully aware that artists are not the only people who struggle with a month that is longer than our paychecks or bank accounts allow. So I don’t expect everyone to jump onto this bandwagon. But I would love it if people who can’t support could SHARE so that perhaps others might consider joining.

I’ve modeled the levels of support on the basis of romance, so there’s First Love ($3), Going Steady ($5), Time for a Ring ($25), Wedding Bells ($50), Golden Anniversary ($100), Always and Forever ($500). Each level has its own set of rewards.

Please DO jump over there and look at the page . . . and consider supporting and/or sharing. Both are appreciated.

Support the Arts Here!

 

Author On The Edge: Why the publishing business can be tough on your mental health

As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer. It was my first ambition, and I wrote my first book in grade school, submitted it to Harper & Row and received my first rejection postcard. I wasn’t deterred, though. I knew, with the sort of certainty only an eleven-year-old can muster, that I was destined for authorhood.

Life got in the way of that dream, replacing it with other equally as dear and important dreams. I went through school, got married and became a mother. I used my passion for writing in other areas of life, like editing my kids’ school papers, my husband’s work and our churches’ newsletters. I wrote homeschooling curriculum during the years we homeschooled our kids.

When the universe finally worked things out that I had the time and attention to give to fiction again, I was forty-one years old. The same year I finished my first novel was a pivotal year in the publishing industry, because Amazon had released the Kindle in 2007, and KDP had joined Smashwords and other smaller outlets that made publishing a book on your own possible. However, indie publishing wasn’t mainstream yet. I didn’t even consider going my own way until I’d tried everything I could on the traditional side of publishing.

But in December of 2011, I took the plunge and became part of the indie publishing wave. I have no regrets about making that choice. It has allowed me freedom and control and the ability to shape my career in a way that works for me. I wouldn’t change that path to go the traditional route for anything in the world.

And yet . . .

The last six and a half years have contained some of my highest high points–the proudest moments of my life aside from marrying my husband and delivering my four children. I’ve seen my books climb charts. I’ve seen stories that started as a momentary bit of fantasy in my brain morph into words on a page, both paper and electric. I’ve interacted with readers who told me that my stories helped them or cheered them or helped bring them closure. I’ve met readers who have become friends. I’ve met authors who have become friends.

But these years have also contained some of my lowest lows, days of doubts and fears and so much anguish that I wasn’t sure I could go on. There have been so many weeks when I was sure I wasn’t good enough and never would be. There have been months when I’ve felt like the biggest failure as not only an author and businesswoman, but also as a mother and wife, because I’ve dedicated so much time to my work that I have missed out on things with my family.

One of the great things about indie publishing is the community, and I have been blessed to sit at the virtual feet of some of the authors I have admired for a long time. I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for all of it. At the same time, though, one thing I’ve learned is that everyone is on her own path, and so when I ask for advice, it might not be exactly what I need. It might not work for me. It might–but there’s just as good a chance that it won’t.

I’ve increased how often I release . . . only to be told that real success comes from making readers eager and anxious for the next story by releasing less frequently. So I’ve slowed releases.

I’ve increased prices to show that I value my work . . . only to be told that free or 99 cents is a better way to go.

I’ve tried different genres of romance when one didn’t work well, only to be told that I need to stick with one so as not to dilute my branding.

I’ve joined groups where authors with quantified success tell others how to translate what they did into similar success. I’ve read the books everyone says we should read. I’ve listened to the podcasts and gone to the conferences and taken advice.

I’ve tried Facebook ads, BookBub ads, AMS ads, only to be told that advertising is pointless. I’ve spent what is to me a lot of money, and I’ve seen almost no results, because, I’m told, I need to spend more to see more.

I’m not someone who has to be led, who needs someone to tell me what to do. I’m strong-minded. I’ve raised three strong daughters and one strong son, and I’ve run a household, I’ve handled my parents’ very complex estates, I’ve been an Army wife who can organize a move, a dinner party and emergency care for disasters.

But this is breaking me.

I’ve had down times in the past. But nothing has been as bad as the past few months. You see, until last January, while my book income was definitely helpful, it wasn’t crucial. Now it IS. Now, we live and eat and pay all our bills on that book income. And that income isn’t growing with each new release–in fact, despite the fact that I work an average of nearly 20 hours a day 6-7 days a week, that income is dropping steadily. It’s the way the business is trending. There are too many authors, too many books and too much noise. Some of us are still doing well, but some of us are not.

Talk about pressure . . .

Am I whining? Maybe. Am I complaining when I shouldn’t? Maybe. Do others have it much worse? Oh, without a doubt. No question. I know this.

But this is my reality and my struggle. My path. I also know I’m not alone. I’ve talked to authors who are feeling the same, authors who are wondering if they can make it.

Brutal honesty time: I have been questioning, over the last few weeks, if this is worth it. I wonder if it’s time to give up on the dream, stop subjecting myself to the constant rollercoaster ride that is releases and promotions and sales numbers. I’ve been closer to complete despair in the last month than I have been in over two decades.

I’ve been writing this post for a while. I’ve almost deleted it more than once. If I do share it, the only reason will be so that another author who is out there struggling as I am will know she is not alone.

Today, I’m not giving up. Today, I’ll write some more words, and I’ll do something for my next release (my 59th release, which is this coming Saturday, on my 51st birthday). Today, I’ll chat with my reader friends and I’ll hope something I say makes a difference. I’ll reach out to other authors and try to help.

For one more day, I’ll believe that something, somewhere, is finally going to work, not only for me, but for all the dreamers who keep on working and hoping.

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