It was January 15, 2015. A date that is indellibly carved into my brain. It's the day that my long-held dream of becoming a published author became a reality. And I totally missed it.
See, here's the thing about me: I'm a dedicated call screener. When my cell phone rang while I was at work that day and I didn't recognize the number--Ontario? Who would be calling me from Ontario?--I just put the phone back on my desk. Stupid telemarketers.
But as I turned back to my computer, some optimistic, hey-wait-a-minute-I-have-a-manuscript-on-submission-with-Harlequin-and-haven’t-heard-anything-back-yet-and-where-are-the-Blaze-headquarters-located-again? part of my brain kicked in. Blood rushed out of my head, an eerie numbness settled over my body, and then a weird tingling started to bloom in my heart. My hands were shaking as I opened up a fresh Google search window and began typing in the number that had appeared on my phone.
And with a deep breath for courage and a click of the search button, Google showed me a listing for Harlequin Enterprises Limited in Ontario, Canada.
Oh. My. Gawd.
Obviously my phone had stopped ringing by this point, but I was staring at it anyway. My stomach was full of combat-boot-wearing butterflies. Then the new message icon appeared at the top of the screen. It took me two attempts to type in my voice mail password.
“Hi Taryn. This is Adrienne Macintosh calling from Harlequin Blaze. You’re probably at lunch right now, but I’d like to talk to you about your submission. I’ll give you a call back in an hour or so.”
Ohmygawd, ohmygawd, ohmygawd!
For a moment, I convinced myself I could play it cool. It WAS lunch time after all. Adrienne would never need to know that I screened the call I’d been dreaming about since I decided I wanted to have my name on a book back in the second grade. I held out for seven full seconds before I called her back. Okay, fine. It was six seconds.
Truthfully, it’s a bit of a blur after that, although I do remember Adrienne was lovely despite my stammering. What can I say? Eloquence is no match for a literal dream come true. Needless to say, I won "worst employee ever" that day, as I spent the rest of my afternoon calling everyone I knew and meandering about the office with a dazed look on my face.
And now almost an exact year after I entered So You Think You Can Write 2014, my debut Harlequin Blaze, Kiss and Makeup, is on shelves and available digitally. It's been a crazy year of highs (my name is a dot-com!) and lows (tight deadlines forced me to try my first energy drink...NEVER again!)
Kiss and Makeup is a sexy farce about travel delays and mistaken identities. It's funny, sexy, romancy, and it contains inappropriate language. I hope you'll check it out!
Huge thanks to the Pink Heart Society for inviting me to tell you my call story! Thanks for reading.
A hot shade of lipstick calls for a hot, sexy guy…
Makeup artist Chloe Masterson has a look for every occasion. Flying home for your sister's wedding and family torture? Easy. Bring out the sarcastic wit and black eyeliner. Bonus—the look catches the eye of the corporate hottie sitting beside her on the plane. Turns out Ben has the exact same last name, and everyone assumes they're married.
When they get stuck in a hotel room together, Chloe decides to accept the gift the Fates have bestowed upon her. (Tip: a bold lip color does wonders for seduction.) But as their lies begin to snowball, Chloe and Ben find it harder and harder to distinguish between what's real and what's all just smoky eyes and mirrors.
Taryn Leigh Taylor likes dinosaurs, bridges and space, both personal and of the final-frontier variety. She shamelessly indulges in cliches, most notably her Starbucks addiction, her shoe hoard and her penchant for falling in lust with fictional men with great abs. She also really loves books, which is what sent her down the crazy path of writing one in the first place. For more on Taryn, check out www.tarynleightaylor.com, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.