Awards by Tara Randel

Writing can often be a solitary endeavor. Getting lost in the story lines and adventures of our characters is a joy to create. I know I always want to give the readers a journey they’ll never forget. But how do I know when a reader enjoys my book?

Unless I receive reviews, I can’t be sure. Now reviews are tricky things. Of course authors like it when reviewers leave a nice comment. But I love to hear from readers, too. Getting an email from a reader who truly appreciates my book makes my day.

So when I found out this weekend that my Harlequin Heartwarming book, Honeysuckle Bride, received the 2015 ACRW Readers Choice Heart of Excellence Award in Long & Short Contemporary, I was thrilled. To me it’s more than an honor. It’s validation that the hours I spend plotting and planning and laboring over the keyboard means something. I don’t intentionally look for accolades, but when I get them, I rejoice. God has given me a talent that I will always use to my full potential. Getting this award is a reminder that as much as I love to write, people like to read my books.



If you have a dream, go for it. If God is leading you in a new direction, grasp His hand and run into your destiny. Not everyone wants to be a writer, but whatever is in your heart, give it a try. There will be plenty of trial and error, but once you reach your goal, there isn’t any better feeling.

And the most important thing I’ve learned along the way? Give God the glory!

I’m Back! by Tara Randel

It’s been a while since I posted. Life has a way of sneaking up on you.

I had two back-to-back deadlines for the end of August and the first of September, one for a mystery which will be out in 2016, the other for a Christmas Collection releasing in October. Made those deadlines, but I still have another looming in October. I’m afraid this ole brain of mine can only write so much at a time.

I’m glad to be back!


It’s September. Fall is right around the corner. I have to admit, autumn has always been my favorite season. Maybe it’s the cooler temperatures after a long summer or the lovely shades of yellow, red and orange when the leaves begin to change. The scent of a burning fire always makes me think of football games and Thanksgiving.

Surprisingly enough, the temperatures here in Florida haven’t been beastly! Warm, compared to some parts of the country, but I’ve been opening my doors and windows in the morning. This is certainly a welcome treat.

Since I love to decorate for the fall season, I’m looking for new ideas. Tell me, how do you decorate for the season? Do you decorate? And if so, what is your favorite?

Rain, Rain….Go Away! by Tara Randel

It has been a monsoon here in Florida. Okay, maybe because I’m a writer I exaggerate a little, but boy, have we been soggy! This morning the frogs, who have to be the only creatures enjoying this weather, were so loud, I feared they were uprising.

Seriously though, it’s been raining for two weeks. The river is rising to an all time high and people have had to evacuate. Plenty of people have joked about an arc coming in handy right about now. There is more rain forecast for today and high tide is this afternoon. We just flipped the calendar to August, the rainiest month for us down here. It’s crazy. But my grass is very green. And brown, depending on the mud.

My driveway near the house.

At the end of the driveway.

Soggy front yard.

I started writing this post on Monday and thankfully, as of today, the sun has come out and we’re starting to dry up. Finally!

What a contrast to California, with the high temperatures and fires. I’m sure those of you living in different parts of the country have plenty of weather stories to share.

If you would, please take a moment and pray for those living in these extreme weather conditions. No matter what we go through, it helps to know that God is in control!

Christmas In July? by Tara Randel

Yes, you read that right. Christmas in July. At least that’s what you’d think with the shopping channels offering specials for Christmas. Even daytime cooking shows are in on the action. C’mon, you’re thinking. I still have a couple of months before I get caught up in the holiday hubbub. Let me enjoy the beach!

I live in Florida, where it’s been hot and rainy. We didn’t even have spring this year, so the idea of fast forwarding to December holds a certain appeal. But for those of you enjoying the warm temperatures, I’ll cut you some slack.

So, back to Christmas. Not to fall too far off the bandwagon, I’m pleased to announce pre-orders for a new anthology, A Heartwarming Christmas. Twelve Heartwarming authors have put together twelve novellas to warm your heart and get you in the holiday spirit. Twelve connected novellas sharing characters and story lines! This collection of sweet holiday romances are all set in Christmas Town, a location introduced in the 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release Christmas, Actually. A Heartwarming Christmas will bring you laughter, tears, and happily-ever after.

Foreword by small town lover and New York Times bestseller Kristan Higgins.
Here’s the link to pre-order:

If you aren’t feeling the spirit right now, the official release date is Oct 13, 2015 for the unbeatable price of 99₵.

A Heartwarming Christmas

Summer Reading by Tara Randel

Summer is here! The kids are out of school. It’s vacation season! What better time to escape between the pages of a good book?

Whether you’re at the beach or poolside, slathered in SPF 50 and drinking a cool beverage, nothing beats relaxing with a book you can’t put down.

The question is, what kind of book? Fiction?

My fall back is always romance. Give me a fun, laugh-out loud story, or romantic suspense, and I’m a happy girl.


Check out a great deal on my book here:

But I also love to read blockbuster thrillers as well. For some reason, I always hold off and read these types of book in the summer. Talk about escaping! Saving the world is hard work! Someone has to sit back and read about it.

I’m currently reading The 6th Extinction by James Rollins. That man knows how to write a page turner! He combines suspense, science and history. Lots of fun.

A mystery is always a good read. Between amateur sleuths and police procedurals, if you enjoy figuring out who-done-it, you can easily spend hours finding your man, or woman. If you like to get your mind working, there are plenty of good mysteries waiting for you.

How about thumbing through a cookbook? I like to cook and have compiled dozens of recipes I’ve never tried, but that doesn’t stop me from looking for new ideas. There’s something about being daring in the summer. Get that grill warmed up and try that new dish you’ve been afraid to tackle.

I’m working on a new book right now, so my pleasure reading time is very limited. But that doesn’t stop me from looking up my favorite authors to find out the next release date on a book. After all, no self respecting reader can keep up with their To Be Read pile. So many books, too little time…..

What are you reading right now?

The Names of God by Tara Randel


I recently started reading a book about the names of God. It made me sit back and contemplate just how awesome our living God is.

We all have ups and downs in life, struggle through circumstances or long for the desires of our hearts. How comforting to know that God has a name for every single need we have in this life. I find security and trust knowing God is available to me. All I have to do is call His name.

He is Almighty, powerful, has authority and is filled with splendor. He is Sovereign. He is everything I need and, best of all, longs to have a personal relationship with me. He is my redeemer. He is everlasting and my king. He is faithful. True. My rock and my salvation. My comfort, my peace, my healer.

And in all things I give Him honor and praise.

I could very easily add to this list of names, but I wanted to focus on three that struck me.

First is Yahweh. To be or to exist. I AM. Completely set apart. This name was regarded so holy that the Jewish people would not spell it out in its entirety, nor would they speak it out loud. It is the name God gave us to remember him throughout all generations.

The next is Elohim. Lord God. More God than any other gods. Strong Mighty. Worshipped above all.

Adonai. Great Master. Total obedience is His rightful due. He watches over me, I am protected by God. He is the authority.

I believe the more we know God, discover how vast and myriad are His names, we come into a deeper relationship with Him. A deeper understanding of who He is. The more I learn about Him, the more I can’t help falling deeper in love.

My prayer is that you take some time out of your day and think about the wonderful names of God. You can’t help but coming away more amazed by Him.

Faith and Writing by Tara Randel

Lately I have been hunkered down at my computer, typing away as I create stories that are under contract. I love to spend my day writing, love the unexpected scenes that pop into my head when my characters take over. Writing is never dull, that’s for sure.

Each time I start a new book, I’m filled with expectation. Although I plot before I ever type the opening sentence, I wonder, where will this story go? What crazy side paths will I wander down? How long will it take me to complete this journey? Questions plague me as I write the entire book, yet I don’t shy away from the answers. In writing, answers are good.

Unlike, life, where we don’t always get answers. While I can control the circumstances surrounding my characters, I can’t do this in my everyday life. Maybe that’s why being an author appeals to me. Not that I’m a control freak, but in the uncertain world we live in, who wouldn’t mind knowing just where they’re headed?

Enter God.

I’ve served God a long time. I have faith, that no matter what life throws my way, He has His hand upon me. Through good times and bad, I know He is there.

Faith is a funny thing. You can’t see it, can’t touch it. Yet it exists.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

How do we believe in something we can’t see? Good question. Because God is faithful to us. He is the example.
God’s word is full of the many ways He allows us to have faith.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9

To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless
Psalm 18:25

Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Matthew 9:2

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Romans 1:17

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

I could go on, list many other passages of Scripture, but this next verse seems to boil down to our heart.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Romans 10:178

Are we willing to hear the message? And if you do, will you believe in faith?

Just as when I begin a new book, I start with a blank page and can’t see the entire story until I begin to write, I have to be active. I have to put words on the page. Let my imagination flow. The same happens with our walk with God. We take that first step and faith begins to grow. I type the words and my story progresses. I believe in God and my faith expands.

Some may take exception to me comparing faith with starting a book, but believe me, I have lots of faith that I will complete my story. Just as i have faith that one day I will stand in the presence of God.

I encourage you, no matter where you are in your walk with God, to pursue Him. Seek Him daily. Focus on faith, no matter what trials you my face. You will face them, so allow faith to keep you grounded.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2: 6-7

Mother’s Day Giveaway!

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. The Harlequin Heartwarming authors are celebrating with a special giveaway. Enter here to win the grand prize or Harlequin Heartwarming books.


Mother's Day Banner Final

Developing A Book by Tara Randel


One of the things I enjoy about writing is the developmental stage. I’ll get a hint of an idea and suddenly a world of possibilities opens up. A world I have to quickly narrow down to a reasonable story plot. Which I manage to do while still dreaming about where the story can go.

Every writer has their process. Does the plot or characters come first? Setting? Names? Most of the writers I know don’t sit down at their computer with a fully formed idea and characters without first spending time and thought into the overall picture of the story.

I’m one of those writers who has to plot before I start. Beginning, middle and end. I’m not bound by my decisions, because sometimes I divert when a character insists I’ve gone in the wrong direction. Yes, I listen to the voices in my head. But having the story plotted out, having an idea of where I’m going, frees up the logistics so the creative part of my brain has free reign.

My favorite part is developing characters. Who are they? Why are they at this point in their lives? What do they look like? How will they all react to one another? I fill out a character sketch because believe me, at some point in the story I’ll forget what color eyes my hero or heroine have. But the sketch also lets me delve into their personalities as well. What are their conflicts? How will they overcome? Reach their goals? I know I’ve done a good job when I begin writing and fall in love with these people on page one.

Since I just started a new Harlequin Heartwarming, I’ve been in the developmental stage. The original synopsis is pretty detailed, so I had the fun of adding events here and there to torture my characters. I set my stories in a fictitious town in Florida,. As I get into the new story, I revisit places and people I’ve come to love in previous books. I keep a detailed file of names and places so I don’t have any repeats. Again, all part of the process.

I’ve jumped into chapter one, and yep, I love these people! My fingers have flown over the keyboard with ease as I began the journey I’ll spend with them for the months to come.

Hopefully, the remainder of the 70,000 words comes so easily!

Easter Memories by Tara Randel

Hallelujah, the Lord is risen!

This Sunday we celebrate Easter. For some of the world, it’s a day of bunnies and candy treats found in a basket. But for those who serve the living God, it is a day reflecting on the ultimate gift of love.

When my children were little, I didn’t get caught up in all the bunny decorations. So unlike Christmas, the consumer stress is nowhere near as crazy. Sure, my girls got baskets with candy, but I made sure they understood what this day truly stood for.

For a few years, our church held a sunrise service where were we enacted the final days of Jesus leading up to the time of His resurrection. My daughters participated, excited to be rising before the sun rose. The area where we held the service was close to our home, so when we got out of bed, we put on our costumes and walked in the dark, ready to play our parts. Because we were outside, the story was narrated over the microphone, so we acted out the scenes as he told the story. Every time it got to the part where Jesus carried the cross, the song Via Dolorosa played over the speakers. My heart swelled in my chest, just to imagine the suffering Jesus went through. It still haunts me whenever I hear that song.

I was proud of my girls for wanting to take part of the service. They never complained about taking the time to practice or performing the actual day, even when they were teenagers and didn’t like rising if the sun hadn’t been up a few hours. It’s a family memory I will never forget.

Now, I have one daughter in heaven, who gets to see Jesus in a way we will never understand until we stand before Him. It will be an honor when my time comes, to see the Living God , hopefully with my daughter by my side. My other daughter still lives on this earth, so we celebrate together on this side of heaven.

I hope your Easter Sunday is a special day, spent with your loved ones. Take the time to think about the sacrifice Jesus made for us, as well as his joyful resurrection. He is alive!

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Mark 16:4-7

Jesus told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. Luke 24: 46-49



The Promise of Spring by Tara Randel

While the parts of the nation are digging themselves from an especially snowy winter, the temperature is rising in Florida. After watching the news and seeing piles of snow in the Boston area, I remember why we moved to the Sunshine State years ago. The sun is shining and the days are warm enough for short sleeves and shorts. Azalea’s are blooming, which means other plants are starting to bloom as well. Before you get envious, let me just say; blooming plants…cue in the allergies.


I’ve always loved the beginning of spring. I know we celebrate new beginnings around the first of the year, but as spring brightens up the world around me, I can see what the new year has to offer. I’m filled with expectation and ready to take on the new projects. There’s a spring in my step, if that doesn’t sound too cliché. (Blame the writer in me.)

But sometimes before we celebrate the spring, we have to get through the downtime of winter.


There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: Ecclesiastes 1:1

Over the last few months, I filled much of my time studying the Word of God. I’m probably like most people. When I’m not consumed with a project I have to make time for one-on-one with the Lord. I took this winter to get my priorities straight and enjoy the wisdom the Word shares with me. Sometimes I’d tackle subjects that are personal, other times I’d do a Bible study. No matter what I did, it always brings me to an new place in my relationship with God.

I love the image of the bride waiting for the bridegroom. I view my study time as preparation for the days to come. The beauty of the spring days remind me of the things God has in store for me. Anticipation for the wedding day.
I encourage you to take time out of your day to read the Word. Spend time in the presence of the Almighty. If you have done so, even the weather won’t bother you. It’s all about perspective and keeping your eyes on what is important.

After a dry spell, I’m excited to have been offered new writing opportunities. There is nothing better than knowing I can take the talent God has given me and share it with others. I’ve never considered writing a job. No, I consider it a precious gift.

….but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:2-3

Heartwarming Giveaway For Valentine’s Day

The authors at Harlequin Heartwarming want to thank our wonderful readers for their support, so we’ve put together a Valentine’s Giveaway perfect for those who love to read. My December release, Honeysuckle Bride, is included in the giveaway.

There is a grand prize and three additional prizes packages. Stop by to get registered!


New Beginnings by Tara Randel

For the past few months I have been attending bridal shows with a friend who is starting a new business. It’s so much fun to talk with the brides-to-be. Their excitement about the big day is contagious as they gush over their plans. The promise of a new beginning is appealing, no matter how old you are or how many years you’ve been married. Think back to those giddy days of young love and how you couldn’t wait to spend the future with the one you love. How you looked at life with hope for the best times yet to come.

When we start a reading a book, aren’t we filled with the same expectation? We are drawn to a book by a review, word of mouth or perhaps because it is our favorite author. When we open the cover, we’re hoping that the story takes us to a special place. As a romance author, it’s my job to do all the background work and bring you the special story. My characters demand their happily ever after despite the rocky road to get there, but I aim to deliver. This is why I love being an author.

Talking to the future brides is part enjoyment, part research. ( Sorry ladies!) My ongoing series for Harlequin Heartwarming is The Business of Weddings, so I constantly have my attention focused on the emotions of the women I meet, as well as keeping up with wedding trends. As I attended the shows, I kept an eye on the other vendors to see what is popular. At the shows, photographers, florists, bakers and wedding planners, the foundation of a successful wedding, are all represented. But I also have seen candy vendors, print material vendors, for invitations, and even financial institutions who offer help for the big day and beyond. One trend I noticed at all the shows were health specialists. Think about it, you certainly want to be healthy for the big day. Makes sense that you would want brides to get information on exercise and dietary advice.


During the show, there are fashion shows featuring bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses. The focus is not only on the gown, but hair and makeup as well. The brides-to-be love this part of the afternoon. As the show comes to an end, the women are full of ideas. They can now begin to plan their day.


Being at these bridal shows jump started creative ideas for my future books. I always bring a notebook and jot down ideas, impressions and trends. Some might find research tedious, I find it exhilarating. I get more ideas for stories than I have time to write, but I can hope too!

So my good friend knows I’m helping her at the bridal shows, but really, she’s opened a whole world of possibilities for me. Possibilities I plan to share with my readers.

Tara’s newest release, Honeysuckle Bride, received a 4.5 star rating from Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine.

Read an excerpt:

Christmas Is In the Air by Tara Randel

I can’t believe another year has come and gone. It’s almost Christmas!

2014 has been a productive year, with two Harlequin Heartwarming releases, Magnolia Bride and Honeysuckle Bride. Rival Hearts came out in June. I’m now waiting for the word on proposals I sent to my editor.

I hope 2014 has been an awesome year for you. I pray you have a beautiful Christmas, enjoying precious time with family and friends. Catch up on quality time with those you love, curl up with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa, or keep the season busy with shopping and visiting friends.


Here’s hoping for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year. 2015, here we come!

Reading In December by Tara Randel

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we move into the crazy, busy time of year. As I was thinking about my to-do list for the month, I realized that this year I have time to do the one thing I usually don’t do in December.


Yep. That’s right. Read.

I bought a couple Christmas themed books and I plan on reading all of them before year’s end. Anyone else up for that plan? There are so many wonderful books out this time of year and if we get too caught up in all the hustle and bustle, we might miss a treasure.


(picture taken at Hollywood Studios)

Whether you sit down with a good book, or you read a beautiful Christmas story to your children or grandchildren, please enjoy your holiday season. You never know how a book might inspire you this Christmas!


Just a reminder, my December release, Honeysuckle Bride, is now available. This is the last day to enter the giveaway at Goodreads. 

Read an excerpt:


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