Spotlight & Giveaway: Manaconda by Taryn Elliott & Cari Quinn

Posted January 19th, 2016 by in Blog, Spotlight / 55 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome romance authors Taryn Elliott & Cari Quinn to HJ!

Hi Taryn & Cari and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Manaconda!

Hi everyone!! Thanks so much for having me, Sara!

Tell us about the book with this fun little challenge using the title of the book:

ManacondaM – is for Manaconda. C’mon. That title is just hilarious. Poor Hunter has to live with that moniker through the book.
A – is for Animals. Love & Paws is a charity used a lot in the book.
N – is for Nearly Caught a thousand times – they had a hard time finding their way to the hotel room their first night together. 😉
A – is for Ace Hotel where Kennedy and Hunter play hide and seek in the crazy labyrinth of corridors and secret passageways.
C – is for Chocolate. At a benefit party you’ll find that little scene. LOL
O – is for OMG, they did what in the hallway? Yep. Caught in the act. Kennedy and Hunter are caught in a compromising situation in their first scene together
N – is for No self control. Hallways are dangerous for this pair.
D – is for Disaster. Hunter gets into trouble quite a few times in this book. lol
A – is for Angel Hair Pasta – Hunter loves to cook and lures Kennedy in with pasta their first hour in each other’s company.


What’s your favorite line(s) from the book?:

“Would you stop with the Kenny stuff? My name is Kennedy.”
I crowded in on her. “You liked it well enough in the truck.”
“Yeah well, that was just the orgasm talking.”
“Yes, two,” she growled. “I know how you want to keep track of this illustrious seven. But you know what? I’m suddenly feeling not in the mood. So, guess we’ll just be stopping at two. And you gave up your chance for one, pal.” She broke my hold and started walking again.
“Willful woman,” I muttered.
She swung back around, hands on her hips. “Excuse me?”
“You just can’t admit we had fun in there. That this,” I waved between us, “is hot. And we don’t need to pick it apart.”
“I tried to just have fun with it. It’s you saying you want more than just…this.” She heaved out a breath. “Why can’t I just have a one-night-stand like the rest of this godforsaken town? Do you know how many actors I’ve had to rescue from just this kind of crap? Now I’m in the middle of it. I can’t even enjoy it first. I’m just mired in the aftermath without the naked sweaty time,” she shouted.
I hauled her against me, fusing my mouth to hers. I wanted the naked sweaty time. I craved the naked sweaty time, for fuck’s sake. But I knew it was more. I’d already had plenty of hookups—she obviously hadn’t.
Just keep your fucking mouth shut, Jordan.
Just fuck her brainless.
That was the voice I was going to listen to the rest of the night. Not the niggling voice that demanded to keep her for more than a night. I had to be a bit more underhanded. To make her see how good we were first.
She punched my chest and kicked my shin.
Freaking hellcat.
Just as I was about to step back, she hooked her arm around my neck and kissed me back. Hot and full of fire, she blew my mind with her taste. Resisting her wasn’t an option. Even if I was left with only one night.
“Upstairs,” she mumbled against my mouth. “Upstairs where no one can find us.”


Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

Food. LOL At least for Kennedy. She’s wholly unimpressed in his rockstar image. She’s seen it all in her career. But when he brings something as personal as food into the conversation, she’s thrown off balance. Add in close quarters and voila – instant sizzle for more than just his garlic pasta.

For Hunter, the attraction was easy. It was the way she didn’t take his crap that made him really get interested. That and she tossed him literally on his backside into a crowd of people. She’s feisty like that.


When you sat down to start this book, what was the biggest challenge you faced? What were you most excited about?

My challenge and my excitement were equal on the START of another series. The hardest part about a new series is learning a new set of characters. When I write Lost in Oblivion, I can just fall into the characters. I know them frontwards and backwards. Heck, I don’t even have to think about their dialogue. It just rolls off my fingertips like I’m a conduit.

With these guys, I’m still finding my way around all their personalities. I just hope that the readers come along for the ride.


What, in your mind, makes this book stand out?

Well, we’re hoping the titles will do some of the heavy lifting for us. Manaconda is pure gold. Talk about ridiculous and over the top. And we hope people will see the funny. The others in the series have a similar theme. The next one in the series is MANHANDLED and will be out in the spring.

The series is a little lighter than our usual. We think our particular brand of humor makes for a fun read, then add in our signature sexy tone…and hopefully, readers will enjoy it.


The First Kiss…

HUNTER to start…

I laughed—at least I hoped it sounded like a laugh and not a moan. She leaned against the wall between my feet and took a larger bite. The buttery noodles made her lips glossy. She picked out a mushroom and popped it in her mouth before licking the tip of her thumb. “I don’t know if this is awesome, or I’m just that hungry.”


She laughed and the smoky sound pummeled my dick behind my zipper. I wanted to hear it again. She picked out another mushroom and held it out to me.

I sure as fuck didn’t hesitate to bend down to take it from her. Her eyes widened when I nipped the tip of her finger. Instead of withdrawing like I thought she would, she dug out another mushroom and stood up straighter. She moved between my legs until her calves brushed my knee.

Again, I accepted the food, this time with a tiny flick of my tongue along the pad of her thumb.
She pressed her lips together and swallowed. “Such a bad idea.”

My mouth tipped up at one corner as I watched her lips plump. Still glossy with butter and a tiny speck of oregano. “Or a good one.” I swiped my thumb over her bottom lip and showed her the fleck of green before I licked my finger.

She pushed the bowl into my gut. I grabbed it just before she twisted her fingers into my shirt. “Bad ideas should be an all in situation.”

What are you doing?

I heard the subconscious shriek in my head, but then there were butter-flavored lips against mine. Not just lips, but lips I’d initiated into a kiss.

Not a good idea—at all.

And yet, so delicious.

It took a minute to align our mouths since he was so freaking tall, but he was very accommodating. Shocker. He probably did this all the time.

He rested his forehead against mine and cupped my chin. I dragged my eyes open, afraid that any hint of reality would ruin this little slice of heaven. He traced my lower lip with his fingertip, his gaze locked on my mouth. “So loud.” He dragged the pad of his forefinger across my bottom teeth. “I can hear your brain from out here.” His nail scraped the soft inside of my mouth. Just enough to push all of the words out of my lust-hazed brain. “All in, remember?” he said against my lips.

Then there was nothing but a freefall. He caught my upper lip, sucking gently before moving on to the lower. His kiss was slow, and so thorough I was pretty sure I was the one melting like butter. My fingers inched up to his neck of their own volition.




I tried to take a step back. All in was beyond stupid. All in was more of a euphemism for death by Hunter Jordan.

He locked his other arm around my hip. I was more than a little out of my depth, but I’d never been one to step back from a challenge.

I kissed him back. I flicked the tip of my tongue along his once, letting him know that I wanted more.


Holy crap.

It was like letting the devil into my bedroom.


If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?

I think this scene shows a lot of their tension and chemistry – I think that would be important in a movie version of them….

“That’s Hunter, generous to a fault,” I said.

His gray eyes flashed. “What can I say, I’m a giver.” His gaze tripped over the black miniskirt and corset I wore under the lace. But it was just a half a second, then it was gone. The after-burn left my skin flayed open.

Everywhere he’d touched, everywhere he’d tasted, was too sensitive, too exposed.

I muttered an excuse about someone I’d just spotted that I needed to talk to. All in all, I thought I did well. I held my head up, blindly stumbling through the crowd until I reached the bathroom.

I hoped my smile looked normal and not like I was a Botox patient gone wrong. When I reached the powder room, I collapsed onto the bench seat and wished for a baby flask for my purse.

It shouldn’t have been that hard to see him. We’d had one night together and a disaster of a day after. I knew I wasn’t exactly one-night-stand material but this was ridiculous.

The worst part was the look on his face at the police station. I couldn’t get it out of my head. And tonight he was just blank. Except for that one second.

I smoothed my hair as best I could and splashed cool water on my wrists then sent a request for a pickup. I just needed to hold on long enough to get through my goodbyes and wait for another car.

I headed into the ballroom and waited my turn with the president of Love & Paws by the chocolate display. A trio of pit bulls were brought out to show what good therapy dogs they could be.

Hunter crouched down with one, then his face split wide into a grin as the brindle pit pushed him back onto his butt. “Man down!” He laughed and my abused ovaries went through another cycle of destruction.

The other two dogs saw their chance to attack. The fawn-colored one rolled into the other like a bowling ball and they clipped the dessert table.

Which I, of course, was standing next to.

Because this was my life.

Hunter tried to grab the brindle but she shot under the table, her nails scrabbling over the marble floor, mule-kicking the back support. Glasses tinkled across the floor, the plastic bottoms scattering like monster truck tires at a derby. The table slid forward and I became the centerpiece for a chocolate fountain.

There was bedlam, laughter, and a few screams as the dogs careened through the crowd.
A pair of strong arms lifted me off the floor. Chocolate dripped from my ears, down my neck, and over the front of my dress. It slithered through the holes in the lace until I felt as slick as a pig at a fair.

“I got ya.” Hunter jostled me tighter to his chest.

“Oh my God, are you all right?” Corey asked.

Of course, she was perfect. Her ivory column of a dress was spotless. I was going to be finding chocolate with Q-tips for a week. I pushed at Hunter’s chest. “I—your suit. Oh, God.”

“Don’t worry about that.” He pushed a lock of dripping hair out of my face. “Anything broken?”

“Just my love of chocolate and my pride.”

Corey laughed. “I’m sorry. I’m not laughing at you.”

“Oh, I would be.” My voice was way too high.

Hunter carried me over to the head table and set me gently into a chair.

“Miss. Oh, my goodness. I don’t even know what to say.” A waitress came over with a roll of paper towels and an apron.

“Little late for that,” I said with a laugh. I felt the hysteria building. I tried to tamp it down, but it effervesced like the champagne display scattered over the floor.

She tried to dab me with the paper towels but there was no way to blot this level of chocolate.
“Just put me out back and hose me down. It’d be easier.” I hiccupped out a laugh.

Hunter’s lips twitched. “Let me get you home.”

“I called for a car.” I brushed my nose with the back of my hand. Even that was streaked with chocolate.

“I’m not sure the service would let you in.”

“I tip well, dammit.” There were so many people surrounding me. I felt the hiccups coming faster.

Hunter tucked my hair out of my face. “Okay, everyone. Let’s just give her a second, all right? Back up. Just look at me, sweetheart.”

I hated to ask, but embarrassment at this level negated pride. My eyes burned. “Can you just get me out of here?”


If your hero had a sexy-times play list, what song(s) would have to be on it?

We use SPOTIFY for our playlists. If you’d like to see the complete list you can use this link:

But my faves are Selena Gomez’s “Hands to Myself” and “Good For You”, Shinedown’s version of “Simple Man”, and Ed Sheeran’s “Bloodstream”.


What do you want people to take away from reading this book?

Love and laughter make everything better is the key to the series.
Fighting for what you want is the theme for Manaconda.


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2016?

We’re finishing up Lost in Oblivion in February, with FUSED. Which will lead into the spinoff series, Found in Oblivion that will start up in late summer.

We’re also teaming up for 2 new series this spring. These will be full length books.

Our RomCom series, Hammered with Manaconda leading the charge. Book 2 in that series will be out in April.

Also, the First Hit series which will be more in the Romantic Suspense vein. Johnny Cage from Rebel Rage–who was a supporting cast member from ROCKED from of our Lost in Oblivion series–and his love interest, Evie Pierce from Cari’s MMA series, Tapped Out.

So, lots of crossover happening there.

We’ll be finishing our The Boss serial in early March. Blake’s best friend is up for the next romantic suspense serial. Jack & Marina will be the leads in The CEO.

*sits down* I’m tired just listing that out.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: $10 Amazon GC & e-copy of The Opening Act (box set of the first 3 books in Lost in Oblivion series)


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: What’s your favorite RomCom movie? Why? Me? I love them all. But The Wedding Planner is one of my faves.

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Excerpt from Manaconda:

I’ll go sweet with this one…

“I haven’t been here in years. I usually just do stuff with the LA unit.”

Hunter slid his hand in mine. “This is one thing I do every year. I got Wyatt to do it with me once, but he got chased around by fans all day.”

“He’s hard to miss.”

“A six-foot-five ginger tends to stand out.”

“You’re not such a tiny guy yourself.”

He shrugged. “No, but still normal enough to blend if I want to. And if they stare too long, I just say I play football.”


“What? It’s easier.”

The next few hours were a lesson in fandom for me. I’d seen what happened at a meet and greet, but the public was the wild west. It was a different world without Indie and Patrick to control the chaos.

The calendars were gone within the first two hours, and Keys and Sammy were officially the stars of the day, even if he was my dog. She took him around to kids, to the puppy pen, and down to the water to run off some energy. Sammy might be closer to seven, but he acted like a two-year-old most of the time.

When it came time for photo ops, I got dragged into shots for Love & Paws, but managed to beg off for the Hammered stuff. Hunter and I even managed to walk over to the farmer’s market to get some superior seafood chowder.

Around four o’clock, I cried uncle and collapsed under a tree to take a nap with a very happy, very tired Sammy. I watched Hunter interact with puppies and ten little girls who were convinced he was Flynn Ryder from Tangled.

When he got down on his knees in the grass and played the horse, and Keys played Rapunzel, they officially claimed hero status for the day.

I must have dozed off somewhere in between the puppy bowl and ice cream because when I woke up, Sammy was happily munching on a puppy popsicle and Hunter was standing over me.
I used my hand as a visor and peered up at him. “I don’t like that look.”

“You got a nap, and I did not.”

I laughed. “You were too busy playing with the kids.”

“I like kids.”

“Now that’s something I don’t hear from any of the rock stars I know.”

“I guess it’s something you should know.”

My belly flipped. “I’m not sure what to say to that one.”

“Just some information for that super brain of yours.” He held out a hand. “Up we go,” he said when I took it.

“Where are we going?”

“Time for the doggie promenade.”

“Do I want to know what that is?”

He held my hand tighter. “That’s when we take all the dogs that haven’t been played with for a walk.”

“Good thing I’m wearing sneakers.”

“Good thing you took a nap.” He jogged ahead, dragging me after him. Sammy barked and charged after him, trying to take him out at the ankles.

Somehow we ended up with nine dogs between us and three of them were pit bulls. Seriously, I prayed for a little divine helping hand as we set out a few yards after the first dog walker.
We managed to walk the first quarter mile with all the dogs trotting alongside pretty well.
Then there was the squirrel.

A baby Dalmatian with bicolored eyes laced herself between every one of the leashes to get a hold of the unlucky little creature. Then the Dalmatian crashed into Sammy, who yipped and trampled a Yorkie.

I scooped up the miniature pincher who somehow ended up in our pack—one that we had not started with, mind you—and stuffed her in my jacket pocket.

Hunter and I crashed into each other on the grass at the end of the path and fell into a pile of panting dogs. Hunter landed face down with the Dalmatian puppy sitting on his butt, a three-legged German Shepherd gnawing on his laces, and a senior chocolate lab using him as a pillow.

Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Book Info:

My name is Hunter Jordan, lead singer of Hammered and no, I didn’t name my c*ck Manaconda.
Rolling Stone did.
On the front cover of their damn magazine.
I still haven’t lived it down. And now our record label wants to maximize the frenzy.
So, I have a brand new PR person–Kennedy McManus.
And she’s making me insane.
I don’t know whether to ignore her, yell at her, or push her up against the wall and kiss her smart mouth shut.
I ended up kissing her.
Come on, I mentioned how exasperating she was, right?
That’s when it blew up in both our faces.
Now, the tabloids think she’s my girlfriend. My record label would rather have me remain the single manwhore of the ages.
Kennedy thinks I’m the manwhore anyway. She wants me for a quick fling and nothing more.
I just want Kennedy.
Man, I’m so screwed.
Book Links:  

Meet the Author:

USA Today Bestselling duo, Cari Quinn & Taryn Elliott, have been having a ton of fun with rock stars, but they also love a good MMA fighter story, oh and they started testing the waters with a suited guy. Can’t forget the suited guys. Getting these two authors together always includes some sweet & snarky moments, a lot of angst, and unlimited heat.

Oh, and let’s not forget the jaw dropping moments. They really love those.
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55 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Manaconda by Taryn Elliott & Cari Quinn”

  1. Trudy

    You’ve Got Mail or Sleepless in Seattle are favs because they have a love saves concept. Don’t give up, love will find you.

  2. kermitsgirl

    Love love love all romcoms. I think The Wedding Date is pretty high up there for me. Also, The Princess Bride! (I think that’s a romcom.)

    The Wedding Date had some killer lines in it: “I think I’d miss you even if we never met.” (Pardon me while I melt.) The Princess Bride is just a classic. I grew up with that movie, from the time when I felt the same way about kissing as Fred Savage, to when I understood just what kind of love they shared. Plus, that movie is freakin’ hilarious.

  3. Jenny Dauksa Schaber

    How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days – a lot of laughter, great cast and what I wouldn’t give to be on his arm.

  4. AmandaS

    I love How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days! I became a Kate Hudson fan after watching that movie.

  5. ladydee82955

    I’m not certain it’s considered a romantic comedy, but to me it fits the bill….. “Mama Mia”…..has to be the funniest romantic comedy I’ve ever seen, and the music just makes it more entertaining and, at times, funny!! <3 😀

  6. JenM

    This sounds like a really fun read! My favorite romcon is When Harry Met Sally. I never get tired of watching it.

  7. Meredith Miller

    I don’t watch too many RomComs, and if you asked for my favorite movie, I’m not sure I’d even think of them. The Wedding Planner was good. 50 First Dates, Sleepless in Seattle.

  8. Taryn Elliott

    Love, love, love all the movies mentioned. I can’t believe I forgot The Proposal. I can watch it every singe time it’s on!!

    Love Actually is my #2 Christmas movie. #1 is Die Hard. LOL!!

    Fools Rush In was super cute. I love me some goofy Matthew Perry.
    Tom Hanks wins alllll of the awards imho. So he’s always a good one.

  9. taswmom

    I love rom com movies! The Wedding Planner, The Wedding Singer, My Best Friends Wedding, and most all the others mentioned. Then go back some to the Doris Day/Carey Grant/James Garner…… There are some wonderful ones there, too!

  10. joab4424

    Any movie staring Sandra Bullock is a winner for me with Miss Congeniality being my favorite.

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