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Sunday, December 31, 2006

2007, Here We Come!

Wishing all my online friends a wonderful 2007! May your every wish, hope or dream come true!

And thank you for your support in 2006.


Tawny Taylor's Erotic Romance with Sassitude
Sydney Laine Allan's Sassy, Sexy Romance

posted by Tawny Taylor at 10:02 AM | 0 comments

Friday, December 29, 2006

Wishes for 2007

2007 is just around the corner! It's hard to believe. This past year went by sooooo fast.

What are your hopes and wishes for 2007?

I have many--some fairly unrealisitic and some more likely.

1. To get a "very nice" deal (Don't know what that means? Check out Publisher's Lunch)
2. To write and sell at least four books to my current epublishers.
3. To generate at least three new proposals for my agent to shop.
4. To potty train my two-year-old (my last child in diapers...sigh)
5. To see my eighteen year old daughter off on a new and exciting journey (joining the Navy, ships in August)
6. To go to RT and promote, dance, and learn (not necessarily in that order).
7. To read at least a book a week
8. To lose ten pounds by the end of April(starvation, here I come...)
9. To finish all these costumes for RT
10. And try to get in 20 minutes of exercise a day, even if it's just hopping around to the Wiggles with my toddler.

posted by Tawny Taylor at 9:33 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Helpful Sites for Romance Writers by Tawny Taylor

Thirteen practical things to do before New Year’s Eve.

1. Donate money to a charity
2. Put money in your IRA/401K
3. Write your New Year’s resolutions
4. Make a list of Must Have books for 2007
5. Create a budget for 2007
6. Put your goals on paper for first quarter, 2007
7. Organize your tax papers, receipts, etc. for 2006 (tax time’s just around the corner!)
8. Consider a website overhaul for 2007
9. Make any last-minute business purchases to get write-offs in the current tax year
10. Organize your office, prepare new files, etc. so that you’ll be starting out the new year fresh.
11. Buy a new calendar or planner and write in all the important dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc. ) for the whole year.
12. Make a promise to exercise 20 minutes every day and purchase whatever equipment, memberships, etc. you need.
13. Pig out so you can start a new diet “next year”

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

posted by Tawny Taylor at 11:55 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Book Trailer Resources

I just finished up a trailer for an erotic suspense novel I'm writing (Dirty Little Lies), and thought--since this topic comes up quite a bit--I'd share some of the resources I use to create book trailers.

1. Software:
Microsoft Movie Maker (cost: free, but compatible with Windows XP only)
Microsoft PhotoStory3 (also free. Not sure about compatibility with other Operating Systems) Both can be downloaded from Microsoft.

I use both of these programs to create my trailers. First, I create the movie file in Photo Story (I like the “motion” option in this program) and then transfer the completed file into Movie Maker where I add sound and titles.

2. Music (Cost $7/clip, however multiple lengths included in the price)

3. Photographs:
The above sites are the most reasonable I’ve found. But I’m always on the hunt for new sources. There are also websites that offer free stock photographs, however their licenses can be tricky and they don’t always include commercial use.

Have fun!

posted by Tawny Taylor at 10:12 AM | 3 comments

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Happy Holidays!

May your holidays be filled with joy, laughter, and lots of chocolate!

Tawny (and family)

posted by Tawny Taylor at 8:27 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Fave Holiday Books

I'll admit, I'm not a big fan of holiday books and films...except for the last few weeks before the holidays. Then I go nuts for them. A couple of weeks ago, we took the kiddies to see the new Santa Clause movie (The Escape Clause). It was adorable! Instantly put me in the mood to do some Fah-la-la-ing. The next day, our Christmas tree was up and decorated, and I was headed to the mall, credit card in hand.

Book publishers seem to release oodles of Christmas-themed stories or series in November and December as well. These treasures certainly make for a pleasurable month, regardless of the traffic snarls and crowded shopping malls. Let me tell you--A steamy read can do a lot to help relieve the stresses of preparing for the holidays.

What books are you reading this month? What's on your TBB (To Be Bought) list?

My list:

Stranger in My Stocking, Cheyenne McCray Ellora's Cave

Echoes from Heaven, Mackenzie McKade Ellora's Cave

Nutcracker Prince Katherine Cross


The Night Before Christmas by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Jill Shalvis, Kathy Love, Katherine Garbera, Kylie Adams

The Knight Before Christmas by Jackie Ivie

The Christmas Strike (Harlequin Next)by Nikki Rivers

Happy Holiday...Reading!
Tawny Taylor's Erotic Romance with Sassitude
Sydney Laine Allan's Sassy, Sexy Romance

posted by Tawny Taylor at 9:01 AM | 0 comments

Friday, December 15, 2006

TGIF and a Contest for Published Authors

First TGIF!!!! Whooo hoooo! Enjoy the weekend!

And second, following is a contest for published authors. Note: this one is particularly erotic romance/erotic friendly. Not all of them are.

Good luck to anyone entering!

Erotic Romance with Sassitude
Sassy, Sexy Romance

***Permission to Forward Granted***

The Phoenix Desert Rose RWA Chapter is sponsoring the annual GOLDEN QUILL CONTEST for published authors.

Fee: $25

Entry Deadline: January 15, 2007

Eligibility: RWA members in good standing

Enter: romance novels with 2006 copyright for first North American printing/release date. E-books eligible in hard copy.

Categories: Best First Book, Erotic Romance, Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Futuristic, Historical, Hot/Sexy/Sensous, Inspirational, Long Contemporary, Mainstream, Paranormal/Time Travel, Regency, Romantic Novella, Romantic Suspense, Short Contemporary, Traditional Romance.

Judges: Romance Readers

Top Prize: Representation in RWR ad, plagues, lapel pin, Web site graphic.

FMI: Entry form, rules and information can be found at

posted by Tawny Taylor at 11:54 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Christmas Gifts for the Romance Writer in Your Life by Tawny Taylor

1. A bright and shiny new laptop with wifi.
2. A gift card for Starbucks
3. A palm computer
4. A gift certificate for a fave bookstore
5. One of those cute little flash memory stick thingies
6. A printer that won't run out of ink every ten pages
7. A case of paper
8. Membership to
9. An uber-comfy chair
10. Entry fee to a contest
11. Gift certificate for a fave promotional/marketing site or print service
12. The registration fee for a workshop
13. A gift certificate for a year's worth of massages...a writer's work is EXTREMELY stressful :)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

posted by Tawny Taylor at 8:50 AM | 12 comments

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hey Lookie!

I have a story in Spanish :) Title: QUÍMICA CORPORAL

Los Cavernicolas de Ellora: Cuentos del Templo IV By Annie Windsor , Tawny Taylor , Jaid Black , Mlyn Hurn , Denise A Agnew , Shiloh Walker

Read an excerpt HERE

Tawny Taylor's Erotic Romance with Sassitude
Sydney Laine Allan's Sassy, Sexy Romance

posted by Tawny Taylor at 11:08 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Glowing First Review

It's always agony waiting for the first review of a new book. Thanks to a glut of releases the past couple of months, it was a particularly LOOOOnnnngggg and painful wait for the first review of Touch of the Beast. But finally, I have a review. And it's so great I just have to share it.

A BIG thank you to Kerin at TwoLips for the wonderful review!

"This sexy, action-packed story from Tawny Taylor will leave you screaming for more when it ends. I read this book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down."

That is the kind of review I dream of reading! Whoo hoo! Read more HERE.


posted by Tawny Taylor at 2:57 PM | 1 comments

Monday, December 11, 2006

Favorite Holiday Traditions

To me, holidays are the biggest time of the year for traditions. There's the Take-the-Kids-to-See-Santa tradition. The Putting-Up-the-Tree tradition. The Make-a-Gift-for-the-Teachers traditions. And the Make-Potato-Print-Christmas-Wrapping-Paper tradition. The list goes on.

This coming weekend, I'll be doing one of my all-time favorite holiday traditions with my kids--the annual holiday cookie baking-slash-decorating day. I start early in the morning, baking a bazillion of our favorite chocolate cutout cookie. That is the hard part (I bake cookies only once per year for a reason, LOL). The fun part comes next. We cover the dining room table with wax paper and then fill paper plates with every imaginable cookie decoration you can buy--marshmallows, chocolate chips, colored sugars, coconut, candies, etc. The kids spend hours "painting" cookies with chocolate cake frosting and piling decorations on their edible masterpieces. It's great fun! And the results are always scrumptious.

What are your favorite holiday tradition? I'm always looking for fun holiday traditions to adopt.

And for kicks, here's the chocolate cutout cookie recipe:

3/4 c butter, softened
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 egg
1 3/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 can prepared cake frosting
Various sprinkles/small candies, etc.

1. preheat oven to 350

2. Beat butter, sugar, dry pudding mix, and egg in large bowl with a mixer on medium speed. Blend well.

3. Combine remaining dry ingredients (not including decorations, candies, etc) Gradually add dry mixture to pudding/sugar mixture, beating until well blended after each addition. Form into ball. Refrigerate for up to an hour if dough is soft.

4. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out dough into shapes. Place on greased baking sheet.

5. Bake until slightly firm. Recipe calls for 12-14 mins. If cookies are smaller than 4 inches, adjust time. I bake 7-9 minutes. Remove and cool on wire racks.

6. Have fun decorating, using cake frosting as glue.


Erotic Romance by Tawny Taylor
Sassy, Sexy Romance by Sydney Laine Allan

posted by Tawny Taylor at 7:54 AM | 1 comments

Friday, December 08, 2006

Girl's Guide to Google Rankings

First, let me make one thing clear. I am NOT a professional website designer or SEO consultant (Search Engine Optimization). I know nothing about HTML and metatags and... a lot of stuff. But I do know what I did to help drag my website out of the pits of Google (like, not in the top 1000) and onto the first couple of pages of my keywords.

Let me tell you, if I can do it. ANYONE can. (within reason--pick a keyword like “romance” and you’ll get nowhere, no matter what you do.)

So, below, I’m going to share some of the advice that was so generously offered to me when I posted a desperate message asking for help.

Note: It’s my understanding that Google changes the rules periodically, to shake things up and keep folks honest. But from my reading, the suggestions below SHOULD help, regardless. Again, you’re taking advice from someone who does not claim to be a professional. Keep that in mind. Also, since I’m not a pro, you can expect this post to lack the computer-techy-ese you might read in articles written by people who actually know what they’re talking about. But I hope you get the basic concepts.

Finally, this article is intended to be an introduction, not a all-inclusive treatise on Google search engine optimization. There are tons of articles on specifics. I have included links to some absolutely fabulous reference sites below.


What’s a keyword and how do you pick them? Keywords are words that describe the content of your website. Keywords are important for search engines. They help those little “bots” determine what search terms to relate your site to.

How do you pick? Well, a simple way to choose is to think about what words you might type into Google to find your site--or sites with similar content. From what I’ve read, it’s vital to choose the right keywords. There are tools to analyze keywords, some free, some that cost money (see the links below. Googlerankings has some). The trick is picking keywords where you stand some chance of ranking high. If a keyword is EXTREMELY popular, you’ll be buried on page 1053 where no one will find you. If it’s too obscure, no one will search for it, so even if you are number one, no one will ever find you.

Tag, You’re It!

What are meta tags? My definition: Meta tags are specific codes placed in a very specific place on your pages, to communicate with search engine bots.

An official definition: an HTML code line that identifies the contents of the web page to search engine indexes.(from A piece of advice: learn how to post meta tags on your pages and do it. This will improve your page rankings considerably.

It’s All in the Name (not really, but the title was so catchy...)

This is a piece of advice I stumbled upon when searching a Google SEO site. Name your graphic files, your page files, everything using your key words.


It seems that this is a biggie, from what I’ve gathered in my research. If you want a top spot in a Google search for a specific keyword, you need multiple sites (the actual number you’ll need is determined by the popularity of your keyword--more popular keyword=more links needed) displaying live links to your page. And these sites must contain related, relevant content. If you’re a romance author, having your link displayed on a landscaping company’s website isn’t going to get you anywhere. At least not with Google.

You’re Da Bomb

This is a trick that’s been shown to work in blog-land, where certain individuals (including our president) have had their websites linked to specific keywords (bad keywords in some cases, LOL). I have NOT put it to the test, but if you type the words “miserable failure” into a google search, check out the results.

If you’d like to improve your ranking, and you have LOTS of friends with blogs or websites, ask them to display a live link to your site using your KEYWORD as the text link. In other words, you’d want your link to look like this: “Keyword” not “Click here” or “Tawny’s Site” or “”.

Last But Not Least

You must have content that relates to and references your keywords (Warnings below). Google’s bot/spider whatever it’s called, reads the text on a page and follows the links. So, being the logical sort, it would seem that those two elements are the ones a website owner/designer/whatever would pay the most attention to. Make sure links between pages work. Make sure links to external sites work. Make sure your content is up to date and relates to your keywords.


Do not paste “invisible” text on your page (white text on a white background, for instance), thinking it’ll improve your rating. That trick can get your site yanked from Google altogether. Also, overloading your content with your keywords is said to be a bad move. It might not get your site pulled, but from what I’ve read, it does seem to negatively impact your ranking (I couldn’t tell you how, though). Your keyword "density" on your page should be in the %5-8% range. No higher.

Some helpful sites for more info (read ALL the articles on this site that are related to Google how-to’s. They’re packed with helpful info) (Google’s webmaster help center. Again, there is TONS of info here. Take some time to go through it all)

A special thank you to Diva/Diva Dudes Christine, Aries, Dusk, Laura, Maria, Canice, and Racy

posted by Tawny Taylor at 10:29 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thursday Thirteen!

Thirteen Helpful Sites for Romance Writers by Tawny Taylor

9. (must be member of RWA to join)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

posted by Tawny Taylor at 1:55 PM | 9 comments

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wiki Challenge

I was doing some research on the net this morning and stumbled upon the following Wikipedia article on erotica: Erotic_literature

Under Internet Fiction, the author berated the quality of the books and stories, claiming authors with any talent hid behind aliases to keep their pennames from being smeared. The overall tone of the article is anti-erotica. I piddled with the first paragraph, giving it a MUCH MORE positive slant. But the rest of the article needs work.

For those who don't know, wiki articles can be edited by anyone. Thus, I challenge you to help me remake this article into something more accurate, something reflecting what is really happening in the trenches of erotic fiction.


posted by Tawny Taylor at 9:14 AM | 2 comments

Monday, December 04, 2006

Amber Heat Wave Contest

Scroll down to Dec. 1's post to read about Tawny's Vampire Lovers contest.

Amber Quill Press--Heat Wave Contest

Time's short on this one. Check the dates carefully.

Good luck to everyone who enters!

Tawny Taylor's Erotic Romance with Sassitude
Tawny Taylor's Twilight's Possession

In Just One Month...

Win A Publishing Contract From Amber Quill Press!


After the success of our three previous Amber Heat Wave™ Contests, Amber Heat (the erotica imprint of Amber Quill Press) has decided to repeat the process again, welcoming you to send us the hottest, steamiest, most sizzling fiction you can create! Think you have what it takes to win a publishing contract with us? Then submit your short Erotic Romance story (see below for content guidelines and word count) to AQP’s Amber Heat™ imprint during the first two weeks of January 2007! Apart from this annual contest, Amber Heat (and its parent company Amber Quill Press) remains closed to all "outside" manuscript submissions throughout each year, therefore, this will be your single opportunity in 2007 to show us your writing skills and possibly become a part of the Amber Quill Press family of authors. Winning entries will be published in electronic format in June 2007 to coincide with our 4th annual Amber Heat Wave™ celebration.


To enter this contest, please carefully read and adhere to the following criteria, and also note, the rules and guidelines have changed since last year...

Dates Of Entry: January 1st through January 15th 2007. (No exceptions.)

Entry Fee: None!

Author Eligibility: Both published and non-published authors may submit. (Authors already under contract with Amber Quill Press need not enter.)

Genre: Erotic Romance—all sub-genres are eligible...Contemporary, Paranormal, Fantasy or Dark Fantasy (ie. Vampire, Werewolf, etc.), Historical (including Western), Science Fiction/Futuristic, Suspense/Thriller, Ménage, BDSM, Gay or Lesbian, Interracial, etc. (Basically, any category, genre, or sub-genre you see listed on the left-hand menu of our website is eligible.)

Sexual Content: First, please visit our website and view our Heat Level Info. Stories that fall into any of our three Heat Levels are eligible. Please note: Certainly, we want stories that sizzle with sexual tension and contain explosive love scenes, yet we also want stories with strong and engaging plotlines and characters, stories that could stand on their own even without the sexual content. In other words, a story containing one-dimension characters or a flimsy plot wrapped around an endless string of meaningless sexual encounters will not impress us. Moreover, we are not looking to publish pure erotica, or stories containing hard-core BDSM, pedophilia, incest, bestiality (with the exception of Shapeshifter/Fantasy stories), bodily functions, etc. Each story must focus around a romance, whether Straight or Gay/Lesbian. Even if the manuscript includes ménage or group sex situations, the romance between the main M/F or Gay/Lesbian couple must be front and center throughout the story. We are also not opposed to stories that do not include a "Happily Ever After" ending, so long as it's warranted, although the majority of the work we publish does indeed have an HEA ending. For a clearer understanding of the types of stories we publish, we suggest you sample several of our erotica titles.

Word Count: Stories should be between 10,000 and 18,000 words.

Judging Criteria: Each story entered will be judged on the following...

— Plotline and Overall Story
— Story Pacing
— Characterization
— POV (Point Of View) Focus
— Genre Appropriateness
— Descriptives
— Dialogue
— Writing Mechanics (Grammar, Punctuation, Sentence Structure, Etc.)
— Originality of Writing Style

Final Note: Authors may enter as many stories as they wish, so long as they are not contracted and not under consideration with any other publisher, nor have they been previously published. Authors must have all rights to each story submitted. Sorry, there are no exceptions.

Submission Procedure: Manuscripts must be saved in either DOC (MS Word Document) or RTF (Rich Text Format) and emailed as an attachment to us at only between the dates specified above. All other formats will be rejected, as well as manuscripts sent outside of the two-week time period. Again, sorry, there are no exceptions. In the "Subject" line of your email, please type THE FULL TITLE of the attached manuscript and its appropriate SUB-GENRE (example: Historical Erotica, Fantasy Erotica, etc.). In the body of the email, please list your NAME, PEN NAME (if applicable), full SNAIL-MAIL ADDRESS, and your EMAIL ADDRESS. Additionally, if sending more than one entry for consideration, please send each in a separate email.

Prize: Winning manuscripts will receive our standard two-year contract for our popular Amber Kisses imprint (short erotica fiction) and be published in June 2007 to coincide with our 4th annual Amber Heat Wave celebration.

Winners will be announced on March 1st, 2007!

Should you have any questions or need clarification regarding any contest details, please email

Good luck to all!

posted by Tawny Taylor at 10:36 AM | 0 comments

Friday, December 01, 2006

Tawny's BIG News

Well, I guess my announcement stirred a little curiosity.

Shall I end the suffering?

Hope you think it was worth the wait.

Drum Roll...

Tawny Taylor is proud to announce the launch of a new vampire series titled TWILIGHT’S POSSESSION in 2007. With it comes a new website,, and a new myspace,

To celebrate the new series, and a second piece of good news--the official acceptance of Real Vampires Don’t Drink O-Neg by Kensington (Sept. 2007)--Tawny is holding a contest.

The prize: A Vampire Lover’s gift basket full of terrific paranormal romance novels, a tote to carry them, and (not shown) a few necessities to help the winner score a sexy alpha vampire of her own.

To enter: email tawny at with the name for the secret brotherhood of warriors AND their creed copied and pasted into the body of an email (no attachments will be opened). To assure your entry in the contest, please put the words Vampire Lover Contest in the subject line. And please, don’t forget to include your name and contact information.

No purchase necessary.

A BONUS: Extra chances will be awarded to anyone who posts this announcement (including the live links below for Tawny’s websites) on his/her blog and/or myspace. One extra chance per post, up to a maximum of five extra chances per person. So post away! Please! To receive the extra chances, please send a link of the live post in the body of your email, along with your contact information.

Entries accepted Dec. 1 through Dec. 31 (11:59pm, Eastern US Time) The drawing will be held on New Year’s Day and the winner will be announced on Twilights Possession by 5:00 PM Jan. 1, 2007.

Thank you for letting me share my good news, and thank you for your continuing support. You have no idea how much it means to me.

Finally, good luck in the contest!

Tawny Taylor’s Erotic Romance with Sassitude
Tawny Taylor’s Twilight’s Possession

posted by Tawny Taylor at 9:39 AM | 2 comments
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