Spotlight & Giveaway: Ashes and Wine by Taryn Elliott

Posted October 3rd, 2012 by in Blog, Spotlight, _Entangled Pub. / 40 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome back  author and friend Taryn Elliott to HarlequinJunkie!

I asked Taryn about the inspiration behind her Entangled release Ashes and Wine, here’s what she had to say…

Inspiration and music.

One song can become an earworm for me. Even if the song doesn’t completely match the end product of the story, the power of it is what makes music the most amazing tool in my arsenal.

I have no musical ability. And I do mean none. I sing flat, wouldn’t know the difference between a chord in A minor from a C sharp. But I’m drawn to music like nothing else in this world. Even books.

I can’t believe I actually typed that, but it’s true.

A single song can whip me into a frenzy. Whether it’s an obsessive listen-nineteen-times-in-a-row song or so bad that I want to toss my radio out the window…music has power.

The most amazing songs to me are the story songs. There are so many talented artists out there. The first time I paid attention to a song for more than just a good melody was Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi. I was fourteen and in lust with the outrageously gorgeous Jon Bon Jovi. When I actually turned off the video, and stopped myself from being distracted by his fantabulous blue eyes, I realized that there was a really great story inside those lyrics. Then I found Wanted Dead or Alive and my obsession with story songs was born.

I still love Bon Jovi. Their songs about brotherhood, love and friendship are a staple in my musical library. But my sphere of music has grown. Bruce Springsteen’s gritty and heartbreaking stories about the working class, Matt Nathanson’s tongue in cheek tales of falling in love, Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley’s coming of age songs, and most recently an actor that I had no idea was a singer on the side.

Some people know him from his various television shows like, Angel and Leverage—and I admit that’s why I first tried his music. I’m shameless when it comes to research when I’m interested in any topic. (Ahhh, the craziness of being an author) Hot actors are no different.So, when I heard that he was also a singer I had to check out his music. And man. THIS song got to me.

It’s one of the main reasons ASHES AND WINE was born.

Let Me Go talks about a man who thinks he has nothing to give a woman.

Girl, you got it good here—you don’t need to mess with a guy going nowhere…

He thinks that by being selfless and letting her go, he’s going to give her a better life. And the woman is strong enough to make him see that he’s worth the sacrifice. I love how she turns things around at the end of the song.

We both know you’re that not as strong as you think you are. Let me go, take me with you baby—I belong where you are. Don’t you know that I’m so good for you that it’ll only break your heart down the road if you let me go…

That is exactly the lesson that Royal Andreas learns in ASHES AND WINE.

I twisted the story a bit, but the gist of it is there. Royal Andreas is dealing with heavy family problems. His father is dying from cancer and being the eldest son, he’s now responsible for his family’s winery. When you’re a thirty-two year old man you’re just starting to come into your own—you still have time to make mistakes. At least you’re supposed to.
But when you’re shoved into the role of leader, father-figure, and caretaker years ahead of schedule there’s going to be some times when you falter.

Throw falling in love with a head strong, Tessa Winter into the mix and what man wouldn’t want to cut one of those things out of the equation?

Tessa, being the force of nature that she is, has no problem telling him that he’s being an idiot. She’s strong enough to fight for him and for them. If he wasn’t already in love with her to start with—well, he’s toast now.
The story poured out of me during a writing challenge that comes around every November—NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writer’s Month. You write an entire novel at breakneck speed. 30 days to be exact.
Christian Kane’s “Let Me Go” got A LOT of play during those crazy days. And two of my favorite characters were born.


Thanks so much for having me, Sara!

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Book Info:

Before Tessa met Royal Andreas, her bookstore was on the verge of sinking. And before Tessa met Royal Andreas, she didn’t mind being single. But Royal brings in business with monthly wine tastings featuring his family’s signature vintages–and brings Tessa’s heart to a standstill with intense gray eyes that look on her with nothing but cool indifference.

Yet one searing kiss between the stacks gives Tessa a glimpse of the passion smoldering beneath–and a secret pain further revealed when Royal fills in as the musician at a tasting event. Every note of Spanish guitar tells a story of family tragedy, loss, and ongoing suffering that’s made Royal afraid to lean on anyone…even if he needs Tessa’s sweet flavor more than the richest wine. Only her strength can save him when his world crumbles to ashes. But has Royal learned trust too late to claim Tessa as his own?


Title: Ashes and Wine
Author: Taryn Elliott
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 190 pages
Release Date: June 2012
Imprint: Ever Afters

Read an Excerpt

About the Author:

Taryn Elliott is from the great state of New York—upstate NY, thank you very much. Her family consists of a brother who takes care of keeping the snarky side of her alive and a dog that is more spoiled child than mutt. She counts her writer-friends as the glue that keeps her crazy ideas more in the sane category, and her non-writerly friends as the reason she’s not a complete hermit.

She can’t go a day without laughing, and falls in love with each and every one of her leading men as she’s writing their book. Music is life and every story has its own soundtrack.

Taryn is shamelessly addicted to the internet and adores hearing from readers. You can email her at or find her on most social media outlets via her website,

Author Website:






Giveaway: In addition to the Mega Design giveaway, Tara will also be giving away a copy of “Ashes and Wine” to one Lucky Winner on HJ – HJ Contest ends 10/06/12

To Win answer this:

So, HJ readers…are you a fan of music? I love music and ADORE finding new artists. Tell me your favorite band (or bands if you can’t choose just one).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

40 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Ashes and Wine by Taryn Elliott”

  1. Michele H

    I absolutely love music and always say it was my first love! I listen to all genre of music but I have been listening to a lot of Train lately as well as Shinedown. I didn’t realize Christian Kane was a musician…love him on Leverage. I’ll be looking for more of his songs! Thanks for the great giveaway!!

    • Taryn Elliott

      Hi Michele! Shinedown definitely makes my playlist more often than not. That guy’s got a helluva voice! And I looooove Train. They are so tongue in cheek. And the lead singer is good friends with my musical boyfriend, Matt Nathanson! Thanks so much for stopping by. =)

  2. amel armeliana

    Hi Taryn, when I was reading the title of your book, Ashes and Wine, I instantly remembered my favorite song Ashes and Wine by A Fine Frenzy. Loved that song. And the song actually appears in Vampire Diaries, but I forgot in what season.
    Well, I have no musical ability also, but I appreciate music, I love it. Music is one a must “thing” to do everyday, beside reading. I have so many favorite bands, and yes, I love Bon Jovi also^^. But I also a fan of Muse, Linkin Park, One Republic and Creed.
    Btw, your book sounds really interesting. I’d love to read it, and love the cover also. Thank u for this giveaway 🙂

    • Taryn Elliott

      Hi, Amel. =)

      That song is definitely on my playlist. When my editor and I were trying to figure out titles for the book we were definitely going by song titles. So good call!

      I really like a few of Muse’s songs and I LOVE me some powerballad yumminess a la Creed. One Republic is on my rotation as well. Great choices!”

      If you like One Republic, you’d probably like The Fray as well. That guy’s got a helluva set of pipes!!

      • amel armeliana

        I like The Fray, they made good songs. Have you heard Almost Lover by a Fine Frenzy btw? the song is great also 🙂

        • Taryn Elliott

          Oh yeah. I’ve listened to that whole album. My brother’s a big fan, heard it in the car with him. I get half my songs from him. LOL He knows such obscure artists.

  3. Kim

    I’m stuck in the 80’s/90’s. My favorite band is Bon Jovi. My two year old knows the songs.

  4. Ren

    Whoaa, can I win a web design package? I have blog and would love someone to design it for me, since I’m not creative enough, lol! ^_^

    My favorite bands, well right now I listen to Korean music Pop, but I also listening some of my US and British favorite singers such as Adele, Nickelback, Bruno Mars and many more. My favorite music genre are rock and electric. Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

    • Taryn Elliott

      Well, I can certainly design your topper on the website, and icon and match your FB and Twitter to your blog. =) Here’s to a win! GOOD LUCK!

      I do love durrrtay Chad from Nickelback. He’s a lot of dirty fun at a show. LOL Great list of artists.

  5. Chris Mead

    My favorite singer right now is Adele, her songs pull on my heartstrings like no other!

    • Taryn Elliott

      Oh yeah…totally agree. Set Fire To the Rain is one of my all time faves. And Rumor. She’s got a freaking powerhouse voice. I can’t wait to hear the new BOND song she’s doing for Skyfall.

  6. Cris

    I also have absolutely no musical aptitude, but I listen to it all the time– when I run, when I’m in lab, when I’m driving somewhere… I can listen to pretty much anything, and my iPod is a smorgasbord of genres: Top40 & European pop, trance, R&B, Latin music, and alternative & hard rock. I’ve been listening to a lot of Halestorm, Shinedown, and Adelitas Way lately.

    • Taryn Elliott

      A girl after my own heart! I love Halestorm. She can sing it baby! Shinedown definitely makes the cut on my playlist and I’ve found quite a few Adelitas Way songs that I like. Thanks so much for stopping in! Sounds like our iPods would date very happily. 😉

  7. Tawnya

    I love Country music! I don’t think I can pick just one band or one singer. They all have something that touches me differently at different times.

    • Taryn Elliott

      Thanks for stopping in, Tawnya. I have quite a few country artists I love lately. Gary Allan has got to be in my top 5. Along with Keith Urban, Jake Owen and Carrie Underwood. But the prize definitely goes to Garth for songwriting. That man can rip your guts out with his songs!

    • Taryn Elliott

      Oh it’s all about the music or band for this one. I looove James Morrison. Broken Strings with Nelly Furtado was one of those I-MUST-LISTEN-TO-THIS-SONG-19-TIMES-IN-A-ROW songs.

      The Pretty Reckless…now that one’s a new one. I shall look into them.


  8. Olga

    Ohhh….I really am Music Lover. I don’t have one favorite band or singer, I like many styles, many artists. One of them can be…hmmmmm….Muse.

    • Taryn Elliott

      Thanks for stopping in, Olga. It’s really hard for me to pick just one too. I change with the wind half the time. LOL I was listening to the new Muse album this morning. There’s some good stuff there.

  9. Kai W.

    I prefer listening to music than watching TV. Music has a way of calming and relaxing me.

  10. Yadira A.

    Hi Taryn!

    Congrats on your latest! I read and really enjoyed Uncross Your Heart, so I know I’m really going to like this one too!

    SBTRKT has a couple of songs that I listen to on repeat constantly. When I need to focus on something that band really helps.

    • Taryn Elliott


      Oh wow…thanks so much. I’m glad you liked Nate and Miranda. Man, those two were a handful to write. LOL

      Hmm. I don’t think I’m familiar with SBTRKT. Thank god for Spotify! I can go look all this stuff up. Thanks so much for dropping a note! Good luck.

  11. Shadow

    I love music. I like a bit of everything. I grew up listening to oldies. I love Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf, Aero Smith, Abba, Indica, etc.

    • Taryn Elliott

      Hi Shadow. Eclectic is me too! Man, Meatloaf–I haven’t listened to him in ages. My dad was obsessed with “I Would Do Anything For Love” at top volume from his convertible. Between that song and 500 Miles–those are good memories of my dad.

      Not shocking that music is so important to me. It was important to my parents as well.

      Thanks for stopping by. =)

  12. sophERodger

    I <3 Queen- they have a song for every mood and situation. Feeling lonesome -'Somebody to love'; Feel like giving up- 'Show must go on'. Probably could go on but trust me , a song for every occasion. Just sad I never got to see them play in concert 🙂

    • Taryn Elliott

      I love Queen. I wish I’d seen them live as well. Now that’s a helluva front man! Whew! I fell in love with the music from The Highlander movie and tv shows. Great choice! Thanks for dropping a note.

  13. sweety white

    My favorite band is Bon Jovi, i really like to sing ‘It’s my life’, and i also like A1, backstreet boy, westlife. i think i stuck in the 90’s

    • Taryn Elliott

      Sweety, you’re my kind of girl. 80’s and 90’s are my happy place as well. Did you see BSB’s on the Old Navy commercial? I almost fell off my couch! lol

  14. Abbey

    I LOVE Christian Kane. I’ve been a fan of his for years, then I found out he also sang country music and that sealed the deal for me. ‘Let Me Go’ is one of the most played songs on my iPod, right behind another one of his called ‘Thinking of Me’.

  15. Taryn Elliott

    Thanks everyone for such great answers! I even found a few new bands in the mix. As well as revisiting ones that I haven’t listened to in a while. I’ll be selecting the winner of ASHES AND WINE tonight from the comments.

  16. Taryn Elliott

    Okay…the winner is…Yadira A!
    Thanks so much for the tweets and the comment here.
    I’ve sent you an email as well.

    And Thanks to SARA for hosting my giveaway on her blog. You’ve been such a wonderful support for this book.

  17. aretha zhen

    totally love music, always listening to music wherever I go and whatever I do, as a matter of fact now am listening to il divo while filing this form;)

  18. Esvandiari

    Hello, Taryn. I’m new here. I mean both for the international GA and also… I haven’t read any of your book. I really want to read yours. Hopefully I can win :3

    Anyway, I can’t imagine my life without music…

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