True love is contagious . . .

This is a bonus love story, in honor of their 41st anniversary. 
 
14212121_1422372777795170_2938044446641630502_nI don’t know all the details of how Aunt Terry and Uncle John met, except that it was in high school, and probably, if I know them, through friends. They’ve been together ever since.
 
I met them in 1985, when I began dating their nephew. He was at West Point, and I was still in high school. When he was home for a weekend, he invited me to a family dinner, which was completely overwhelming. I came from a large extended family, but they were not like this: there is nothing like an Italian family gathering to completely overwhelm a girl! I was sure I’d never remember the names. My only safe spot was with a sweet four-year-old little boy, who invited me to sit on the floor and play cards with him.
That was little Johnny, and before too long, I got to know his parents, Terry and John. Although all of Clint’s family was kind to me, there was just something extra about these two. They were open, welcoming and charming. Pretty soon, their house was my favorite place to visit with my boyfriend!
Over the thirty-one plus years that have passed since our first meeting, I’ve been blessed by this couple in ways too numerous to list. But all the details boil down to this: in their world, there are no ‘in-laws’ or degrees of relation. You are family. Pure and simple. I never call them my aunt and uncle-in-law; long ago, I decided that they are my family, and sometimes I think I forget that we’re not technically related by blood.
Their house is my home in New Jersey. It’s where I feel welcomed and loved and accepted, no matter 13173351_10153842439344145_2850996556114927587_owhat. Their love created this home. They are my children’s safe place, the surrogates for the grandparents my kids lost too early. All of my kids feel this way; I think it was Cate who said recently, “Aunt Terry just wraps me up in love.”
I’ve written them into books. Uncle John is in The Posse as the supplier of the infamous limoncello (he really does make it, and it really IS delicious!). They were the basis for a couple in The King Quartet. From day one, they have both been supportive and encouraging of my writing–they even hosted a signing for me at their dance supply store in New Jersey.
But the point is this: forty-one years ago, these two people committed to love only each other. But in doing so, they started a ripple effect that has changed countless lives, including their family, oodles of friends and their community. The love they share–which is beautiful and still romantic and an example 309843_10150295466734145_6500775_nfor all of us–has reached out to encompass others. They gather in, rather than closing off; they embrace rather than divide. They choose to love, even when that choice is difficult.
And they love in truth. Uncle John will tell you, to your face, when he thinks you’ve done something stupid. But then he’ll pull you in for a hug and do whatever he can to help you fix it. Aunt Terry will defend you to the death, no matter what, even when she’s helping you to solve your problems.
Romance is wonderful. You know that I’m a big advocate! But it’s even more wonderful when it spreads over the world in the form of a love that never ends.
Happy anniversary, Aunt Terry and Uncle John.

Living a Double Life: How faith and romance coexist

My unusual situation has almost become part of my branding and schtick at author events. I’ll be in the middle of a panel about writing romance, and the question inevitably arises: “Are any of your plot lines based on your own love life?” and the ever-popular “How does your significant other feel about your 46975_452627834144_5854393_nbooks?”

When it’s my turn to answer, I usually play it up, with a deep sigh and an air of sharing a secret. “Well . . . my husband is a priest. So you can probably guess which plot lines are not based on my own life!” As for how he feels about my books . . . that’s a little more complicated.

To be fair, I was a writer long before my husband became a priest. I wasn’t a clergy wife who woke up one day and decided to write romance. I’d been writing for years, and while it’s true that I published my first book (a young adult paranormal romance) the December after my husband graduated from seminary, it had never crossed my mind that our careers could ever be considered incompatible. And for a while, they weren’t. He started out his career as a hospice chaplain, working for corporations who didn’t care what his wife did for a living.

Meanwhile, my first books were quite clean, with almost no language or sexual content. Of course, there were still some Christians who took umbrage with them because The King Quartet was paranormal, featuring witches and psychic phenomenon. From my point of view, though, this story of good versus evil was completely consistent with my beliefs. Christianity has a long tradition of literature that is written in metaphor. Some of the most famous of those books never even mention God by name. While I never intended Tasmyn’s story to be overtly religious, I didn’t see anything in it that should offend Christians.

My next books after The King Quartet were quite different. I’d moved away from young adult lit and into contemporary romance for adults. I was very excited about the story in The Posse, but because it was adult, and because I felt the plot called for it, I included a few love scenes. Oh, let’s not be coy; they were sex scenes, although they were fairly mild. But I found I really enjoyed writing books for adults and then eventually, for new adults, and I didn’t like to close the bedroom door, as they say.

Still, my husband continued to work for hospice at this point, and no one seemed to care about my smutty books, as my kids teased me.

In the summer of 2014, I wrote a new adult romance called The Last One. It would be one of my best-selling books, and it also contained some of my hottest sex scenes to date. That book released in 16423_10151353464799145_1026237428_nSeptember, about two weeks before my husband took his first position in parish ministry. I was a little nervous, but fortunately, I was able to fly under the radar when it came to church. Since we’d been attending the church where my husband was now serving, I wasn’t a new commodity. I was the same lady with purple hair I’d always been.

But then my not-so-secret identity began to crack a little. A few ladies in the church mentioned that they had read some of my books, and after some initial panic (mine!), I realized that the world wasn’t ending. No one stood up in the middle of church and pointed at me in condemnation.

Of course, I don’t necessarily flout my books in certain settings. I’ve had conversations with people who have roundly criticized any books with mystical elements–and sex? No. Just no. When they finish up by asking for a copy of one of my titles, I’m understandably a little reluctant to share. I’ve learned that redirection and stall tactics work every time.

I’m very blessed that my husband supports my work, no matter what. My kids, who are mostly grown, 10678164_10152498592689145_1076123883_odon’t read what I write (because ICK–who wants to read their mom’s sex scenes?), but they’re tolerant. I’ve had a few dear ladies at church whisper to me how much they enjoy my stories. One told me recently, “Father is a lucky man!”

I’m not naive, however, and I realize that there may come a point when we have to explain to someone in the church why I write the books I do. The truth is that although I understand my work will never be classified inspirational fiction, I don’t find it inconsistent with my faith. My love stories are between two consenting adults, who always end up in a committed, loving relationship by the end of the book. The choices they make might be different than those I made for myself and those I’d want for my kids, but they are within our cultural norms. I don’t write violence nor do I glorify irresponsible sex.

All of my books celebrate love, family and the triumph of good over evil. Some of my characters attend church, and it always portrayed in a positive light.

Sometimes I wonder if those who might judge my books harshly have read the Song of Songs in the Old Testament. It’s a love story, a beautiful recounting of a couple coming together, and although it is often described as a metaphor for God’s love for His people, there is no doubt that this is the most sensuous book in the Bible.

So how does it work, being a priest-and-romance-writer couple? Actually, it’s easy. We support each other, and we do whatever we can to help each other. When I’m traveling for work, I often miss Sunday services, but I try to make Wednesday mass. My husband usually can’t make my signings or events, but I know he’s got my back, and when I come home, he makes me dinner and spoils me while I recover.

When it comes down to it, our careers really aren’t that different. They’re both all about celebrating love . . . and could there be anything more beautiful than that?

HANGING BY A MOMENT Release Day!

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If you read

WHEN WE WERE US

then you’ve been waiting to read the next chapter

in Leo, Quinn and Nate’s story . . . and today, you can.

When life shatters, it helps to have friends. I don’t know what I’d have done without Leo and Nate to comfort me, to hold me up and to keep me sane in face of sudden and terrible loss.

And if one of those friends happens to be the love of my life, the one guy I thought I’d never be close to again . . . I’m not going to complain. After all, in a vast sea of things that aren’t fair, being with Leo again feels like the only shining beam of hope.

I know there aren’t any guarantees for us. Leo’s heading south to play football, rocking a full-ride at one of the top colleges in the nation. Meanwhile, all of my plans have fallen apart, and I have to figure out what comes next. Having Nate by my side is more important than I could have imagined.

The next four years were supposed to be the most exciting time of my life. Instead, they turn into a rollercoaster of uncertainty, complete with breathtaking highs and lows that threaten to break my heart.

In the end, the decisions we make now could change everything for the three of us, forever.

~~~***~~~

Buy your copy of HANGING BY A MOMENT right here!

 Amazon/iBooks/Google/Nook/Kobo

Read an exclusive sample right here.

And join me today at our Happy Hour Release Party!

The Keeping Score Trilogy is a New Adult contemporary romance. The first two books may notHanging by Moment give you complete closure, but hang in there for Book 3; I promise the pay-off is worth it.

The release dates, all in 2016, are:

When We Were Us April 7th

Hanging By A Moment May 24th

Days of You and Me September 27th

 

 

If you haven’t read WHEN WE WERE US yet, grab it now!

iBooks/Amazon/Nook/Kobo/Google Play/Goodreads

 

2015AuthorPhoto (1539x1800)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 YA paranormal romance,  NA paranormal and contemporary romance, and adult contemporary and paramystery romance. She lives in central Florida with a husband, kids, sweet pup and too many cats. And yeah, she rocks purple hair.

 

 

Follow Tawdra:

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WHEN WE WERE US Release Day!

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It’s finally here–RELEASE DAY for When We Were Us, Keeping Score Series Book 1. Join us at the Birthday and Release Bash right here.

The Trio. That’s who we’ve been since birth: Nate, Leo . . . and me, Quinn, the token girl. Our mothers met in a prenatal class and became best friends, which meant that the three of us hit every milestone together, from the first day of school to the very first kiss. And beyond.

I’ve always been caught in the middle between the two boys. I’ve been in love with Leo since I was eight, even though he doesn’t see me as anything but his pal. And I know that Nate’s hung up on me. I see the look in his eyes. I wish I could say I felt the same, but I don’t. It’s getting harder and harder to keep him in the friend zone, though.

Things between the three of us aren’t easy anymore. Leo’s popular, the football team’s star receiver, and the object of every girl’s fantasy. I know he doesn’t mean to leave us behind, but now Nate and I are just people he used to know.

What used to be so simple is suddenly messy and complicated. Leo is all I’ve ever wanted, but even if I had the chance to be with him, how would Nate would handle it?

When that chance does come along . . . in the most unexpected way . . . I’m helpless to resist Leo. What was always meant to be is finally happening . . . but will it come at the risk of losing both my friends?

~~~***~~~

The Keeping Score Trilogy is a New Adult contemporary romance. The first two books may not give youWhen We Were Us Sml complete closure, but hang in there for Book 3; I promise the pay-off is worth it.

The release dates, all in 2016, are:

When We Were Us April 7th

Hanging By A Moment May 24th

Days of You and Me September 27th

You can buy When We Were Us now at all major retailers.

iBooks/Amazon/Nook/Kobo/Google Play

Read an exclusive excerpt right here!

 

Want to enter to WIN a $50 Amazon or iBooks gift card? Visit all the blogs below, collect the letter clues in their posts and complete the puzzle below.

Visit all the participating blogs (linked below) in this release day blitz and collect the letters.

One Handed Book Reads T

Wicked Babes Blog Reviews I

Jo&Isalovebooks G

Readers Heaven H

Reviewing in Chaos  T

Paranormal Romance Trance E

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog N

Clarice’s Book Nook D

Need Epic Reads S

Book Plus Heart P

Here is what I read A

My Book Chatter N

2 Girls a Book & a Glass of Wine T

The Pen and Muse Book Reviews S

Gina’s Library of Reviews P

Second Book to the Right L

Susan Heim on Writing A

Sassy Southern Book Y

My Family’s Heart E

Redheads Reading R

Moments in West FL S

I Read Indie R

My Crafty Life O

In Patti’s Imagination M

The Twisted Book Curmudgeon A

CravesTheAngst N

Book Crushin C

Brains, Beauty, Books! E

Niki’s Book Corner BONUS site with a special hint!

 

The puzzle is:

I like _ _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _

In football _ _ _ _ _

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ on the field

And in ­_ _ _ _ _ _ _.

Find all the letters in the blogs and insert them in the puzzle. Once you’ve put together the message, complete the rafflecopter to enter.

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2015AuthorPhoto (1539x1800)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 YA paranormal romance,  NA paranormal and contemporary romance, and adult contemporary and paramystery romance. She lives in central Florida with a husband, kids, sweet pup and too many cats. And yeah, she rocks purple hair.

 

 

Follow Tawdra:

Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/Website/Newsletter/Amazon/BookBub

And if you love her books, join the Naughty Temptresses!