Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Great Christmas Tree Tour: Taryn Raye & Drawing

This year marked a sad time for my mom, who lost her sister to brain cancer earlier this year. My aunt fought the good fight though and lived 8 years when the doctors gave her no time at all in 2004. This year though, my mom also had to replace her 30+ year old Christmas tree as well and she hated it, as she felt that this was just one more change she didn't want to deal with. I stayed an extra day after Thanksgiving to help her put up the new tree. It's more slender than the old one and it pieces together differently, and she's still not sure how she feels about it, but we decided "it's not such a bad little tree after all." It just needed some love.

Our tree looks pretty much the same, but this year our daughter, 9, added a new Tinkerbell ornament and our 13 year old added Darth Maul from Star Wars. Hubby decided this year we needed a new tradition- the North Pole Countdown to Christmas ornament from Hallmark. He's truly a big kid at heart, and loves the idea of coming home each day after work and turning that knob to hear what's on the "radio" to count us one day closer to Christmas.

Of course, the rest of my house is decked out in lots of lights, snowmen, Santas, penguins and festive poinsettia decorations. I still have the outside to do, too and it's pretty chilly here in southern Kentucky, so I'm not looking forward to that!
There's lots of festive happenings over on my blog ( going on as well, as we're celebrating Christmas with Catherine and Dawson, the heroine and hero from my debut historical romance, Castaway Hearts, which came out in April of this year. 

There are giveaways involved, which started November 26th but which continue through mid-December. Would love it if anyone wanted to stop by.
Here's wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas filled with lots of love and warmth this holiday season! ~Taryn

Castaway Hearts ***********************************************

Twice orphaned, Catherine Barrett arrives in Virginia a stranger to her closest kin and secretly engaged to the one man her family would disapprove of—her seafaring grandfather’s apprentice. Add to her troubles, the rich and intriguing older brother of her secret betrothed, Dawson Randolph, a plantation owner who is as heartless as he is handsome. Heartbroken when her intended sets sail for his maiden voyage, Catherine finds it difficult to adjust to her new life, hoping to befriend the one man who is, undoubtedly, the match her grandparents wish for her. Dawson’s distaste for her secret engagement to his brother makes it clear he has no designs for marriage to anyone. Especially her.

Ten years since the tragic loss of his young wife and infant son, Dawson Randolph is convinced love and marriage is a fool’s game and resents being pardon to his brother’s hidden engagement. Damned by his instant attraction and his own growing desire, Dawson vows to befriend her against his better judgment. Determined to bring her happiness in a time of fear and uncertainty, Dawson puts aside his animosity to become her confidant, only to realize Catherine holds the key to his heart. When tragedy strikes at sea, Catherine’s guilt pushes Dawson to the fringes of her life as madness consumes her.

Can his love save her before she drowns in her own grief? Or is he doomed to love her from a distance, always in the shadow of her love for his dead brother?

Taryn is giving away three ebook versions of Castaway Hearts to three people who leave comments today.  Leave your email address in your comment to be entered.


  1. My heart goes out to your Mom on the loss of her sister. It takes a very long time for our hearts to heal especially when we lose a loved one at Christmas. Her tree and yours are beautiful. Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. Always keep smiling and the hurt will heal.

  2. Thank you Connie. It is tough. We did have a lovely Christmas. My parents came down to our house for dinner yesterday and we enjoyed far too much food, but it was eaten in good company. ;)

    1. You are so lucky to have your parents. I lost mine when they were both very young. Treasure your parents. Hopefully, they are your best friends. I'm delighted you had a nice Christmas. It reaffirms our love for our family.

  3. Beautiful trees. I know how you mom feels, we lost my father in law last year in Dec. It was really sad a Christmas time then and I missed him this year also. My parents have been gone form many years so enjoy your time with your mom and spend as much time with her that you can. Family is important and I only have two sister's left in mine and I love the dearly. Have a wonderful holiday season.

  4. Sorry forgot my email again.

    quiltlady110 AT gmail DOT com

  5. I am sorry about your loss, I know it is hard for you and your mother. Holidays are always tough for my Mom and I. We lost her mother on Thanksgiving day 32 years ago, and the winter holidays just haven't ever been the same for me. I was 18 and newly engaged so didn't make the trip up north in September to see her...... turns out it was my last opportunity.

    My kids (14 & 11) don't believe in Santa anymore :( so Santa didn't come to the house and there was a definite lack of electronics that they wanted.....
    All I got for Noche Buena and Christmas was a bad case of Bronchitis and antibiotics!! I'd love a great ebook to snuggle up under the covers with while I'm battling this cough.


  6. I remember how hard Christmas was when we lost my dad on Dec. 2nd and my mom was also terminally ill. We didn't bother with a tree and had pizza for dinner. The main thing was that the family was all together. That was over 20 years ago but I still remember it

    I had to laugh at your hubby's ornament, Taryn. I love the commercial where the little boy announces to his family, "Elves tried to wrap a pony!" :D

    Your book sounds so good and I'd love to win a copy.


  7. Sounds like your family has been through a lot and I am sure it was very hard for your Mother. I hope she has a wonderful Holiday and can make some new memories. Sending good thoughts to her.
    Your tree is full of all the wonderful things you all love and that is what it makes it a wonderful tree. Your hubby can be a little kids forever I think some of us lose that so I am glad some still have that little thrill of Christmas.
    Happy Holiday!!!!!!!!!

  8. I'm sorry for your mom's loss, but glad you had that extra time to give her at Thanksgiving. Both your trees are beautiful!


  9. Having lost my sister a few days before Christmas, I definitely know how losing a loved one can dim the glow of the holiday season. It's been several years now since my sister died of cancer and Christmas has never been the same for me. I still miss her terribly. Your book sounds very intriguing though.

  10. Christmastime is a difficult time for changes but sometimes they are neccesary. I always miss my brothers more at this time of the year and it has been many years since they were killed.

    Love the trees and your book cover!