Sit-Down Saturday with Tara Randel

Today we’re celebrating the release of Magnolia Bride.

So, Tara, where did you get the idea for this novel?
The characters first came on the scene in Orange Blossom Brides. Once I met Dane and revealed a small bit of his back story with Nealy, I had to create their entire story. I knew it would be a reunion story and I have to admit, this was the fastest book I ever wrote because I enjoyed the characters and story so much. Reunion books always touch a place in our heart when we think about  the past and this idea was no exception.

In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?

                                                                         I love life!

How long did it take you to write?
Approximately four months.  I find that is a good timetable for me.

What is your favorite scene?
It has to be when Nealy first runs into Dane after many years apart. She is caught off-guard by seeing the man he’s grown to be and has to struggle with her emotions of being reunited, even just for a short time, with the man who broke her heart. She is only in town at the request of her sister, otherwise she’d never put herself in a situation where she could run into Dane. She’s surprised, first to see him and secondly, because the attraction for this man is still so very strong. She realizes he still has a place in her heart. Now she will deal with her emotions, which makes the story a fun ride.

Who was your favorite character and why?
Nealy. I love her spunk, her willingness to help her family, even at a personal cost and her vision for the future. She is a strong character and I think most readers will find her appealing.

If you could pick fictional characters to play the hero and heroine, who would they be?
After looking at actors to portray my characters, Michael Weatherly would make a perfect Dane. 
Image result for michael weatherly              Image result for minka kelly bio         Minka Kelly resembles Nealy.

Tell us one thing you learned during research.
I could probably open a coffee shop with all the information I gathered! In the book, Nealy updates her grandmother’s coffee shop, so I spent time looking over coffee equipment, supplies, business plans, you name it.

What music would match the mood of this novel?
Anything by Brad Paisley. His love songs are heartfelt and romantic, but he also has a keen sense of humor my characters would appreciate.

This is your 9th book.  Exactly what does that mean to you?
 When you first get into writing to reach publication, you dream of your first sale, then the next and the next. It has been a long road, but I’m excited to still be on the road! You’re never quite sure if your next book will be accepted, so to have this many books published is still exciting. Writing for Harlequin is a dream come true and I’m so honored and happy to be part of the Heartwarming line.

What do you plan to work on next?
I have a December release, Honeysuckle Bride, part of the Business of Wedding series. Right now my editor has proposals for future books, so we’ll wait and see.

What are you reading for pleasure right now?
I am such a voracious reader, I can read two to three books a week when not writing. On my night stand is Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich. I also have Heartwarming books I want read, as well as some big summer thrillers.


  1. Congratulations, Tara! Another beautiful bride cover and story. I love reunion plots and Michael Weatherly, so am sure to enjoy this. (Nealy doesn't head-slap him, does she?) Continued success, and a nice long rest of the summer.

  2. Yay, Tara! Love this series. It sounds like your TBR pile is as big as mine

  3. Tara, I just got your book in my subscription. What a beautiful cover. Can't wait to continue reading about the Orange Blossom Brides. I like reunion books that lead to love and weddings. What can I say, I'm an incurable romantic.

    1. Aren't we all incurable romantics? Thanks Roz.


  4. Heartwarming has the best covers! I love reunion books too. And your interview was so informative

  5. Tara, Congratulations on your ninth book! Love Brad Paisley--so I already have an impression about the tone of your book. Looking forward to reading it. The cover is really beautiful, too.

  6. Congratulations on your release, Tara, and thank you for the insight into MAGNOLIA BRIDE through your interview!

  7. I love reunion books too! I read the free sample of Magnolia Bride and was hooked! Nealy sounds like my kind of girl. She's got a little of that rebelliousness in her. I can't wait to read the whole thing :)

  8. Congratulations. I'm a sucker for reunion stories, and I do love Heartwarming covers!

  9. Hi, Tara! I wanted to stop by and say what an amazing author you are. Getting to be your CP is a dream because I get a sneak peak at your amazing stories. And I love the title- Honeysuckle Bride. So awesome. Can't wait to read the next books on your contract and- so exciting- to spend time together at RWA... we're roomies!

  10. Hi, Tara!
    Congratulations on your 9th book. WOW. And I agree. It is such an honor to be writing for Harlequin Heartwarming. I'm with you. Reunion stories are my favorite to read and write. I love your cover and it is on my nightstand! So, after I finish moving my furniture and ripping up my carpet and writing my required pages for the weekend, I'll be digging in to your story. AND I love HONEYSUCKLE BRIDE. Great title. Yes! Our covers are the best. I don't know about the rest of you, but I went to the bookstore last week and looked over some other publishers, no names here...and just boring. Can't you come up with anything new????????????? I mean, we did this twenty five years ago. Ladies, have a wonderful time in San Antonio!!!

  11. Love the cover! Isn't it funny how fast the books pile up! Congratulations on your writing and wishing you the best on the proposal!

  12. Congrats, Tara! Another gorgeous bride cover. I remember when Orange Blossom Bride was on the elevators at Nationals. It was so pretty too :). They all are! Best to you always.


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