Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Tara Quan’s Operation Owl Tour of the Capital – Eastern Market

Five years ago, Maya Jain kissed her best friend only to have him run out of her dorm room and leave the state. When he shows up in Washington, D.C., a wanted fugitive sought after by every branch of the US government, she can’t bring herself to ignore his plight. As their physical relationship picks up where it left off, she decides it’s time to make him see her as more than the bespectacled, bookish girl he once called “Owl.”
After being accused of espionage and treason, Zack Strong needs a forensic accountant to help clear his name. Not knowing who he can trust, this white-hat hacker has no choice but to ask his former best friend and math tutor for help. Together they unravel a cyber conspiracy at the Barn, an NSA facility tasked to intercept electronic communications. But as they traverse the nation’s capital to avoid capture, Maya insists on letting their simmering sexual tension take its natural course. Even though he’s never been able to shake the memory of their one kiss, he refuses to let her give up her life for a man with no future.

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy, Multicultural


Hesitating at the threshold of stalker-like activity, the logical part of his brain made one last-ditch attempt to stall his fingers. This wasn’t acceptable behavior, not by any stretch of the imagination. He should wait and see what happened. If push came to shove, he could always abandon his post and knock on her door.
But he’d been sitting there for ages, an abnormal amount of time for anyone to spend in the bathroom. She could have passed out in there, and then where would they be? His brain’s paranoid frontal lobe ended up winning the battle. He needed a quick peek, a brief glance to confirm her location. If the trick gave him a glimpse of her in the shower, the curtain would obscure his view. If he saw even a hint of skin, he’d shut the damn feed off. No harm could come of this.
He accessed her webcam and turned it on. As luck would have it, the computer was angled at the open bathroom door, the only part of her apartment he couldn’t see into from the street. With the wall-to-wall mirror completely visible on screen, it wouldn’t be hard to ascertain her presence. A few keystrokes allowed him to enhance the high definition feed and zoom in. A light coating of condensation blurred the reflection by a fraction, but the open doors allowed most of it to dissipate. The reflected image was clear enough to make out shapes and colors.
The footage presented a profile view of Maya lying in a bathtub. Since he could only make out her face, neck, and left arm, he didn’t see an immediate need to cease and desist. Her head rested against the tub’s lip, cushioned by her long, dark hair. With her eyes closed and lips parted, he couldn’t tell if she was conscious. What if she had slipped in the shower and hit her head?
He cranked up the microphone’s sensitivity. The great thing about modern-day computers was their much-improved capability to process audio and video. As soon as she made a sound or moved, he’d stop watching.
A soft, throaty moan crackled over the speakers. Her left hand lifted in the air before clenching over the side of the tub. Her back and neck arched.
Slapping down his laptop screen, Zack leaned back against the leather headrest and massaged his temples. Struggling not to draw any conclusions, he muttered, “Don’t go there, man. Just don’t go there.”

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About Tara Quan
Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, Tara enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Armed with magical powers or conventional weapons, her characters are guaranteed a suspenseful and sensual ride, as well as their own happily ever after. Learn more at

I owe Diane Saxon a huge thank you for hosting me today. Because of my impending move to Rome, I may soon experience a prolonged Internet blackout and have therefore prescheduled all my stops. My latest multicultural romance from Decadent Publishing comes out July 15, 2014 (so, depending on when you stumble upon this blog, it might be available now).
For up-to-date buy links as well as a chance to win a $25 gift card, drop by my website:

In honor of the place I consider home (what the government terms the National Capital Area), I’m dedicating the posts on this tour to Washington, D.C. and its surrounding suburbs. The romantic comedy I’m very blatantly promoting is set entirely in the US capital. A Beyond Fairytales adaptation of The Owl by Brothers Grimm, Operation Owl features a geeky hacker hero and his bookish best friend. They team up to expose a cyber conspiracy at the heart of the US government and end up indulging in some other equally exciting activities.
Waypoint: Eastern Market
Having grown up in Bangkok (with its preponderance of street hawkers), I tend to favor outdoor shopping. I also prefer to take snack breaks while I shop, which significantly improves a girl’s stamina. As such, I’ve become a huge fan of the Sunday Flea at Eastern Market.
Located a short walk from the Orange Line metro stop bearing its name, this weekly gathering tends to attract local artisans and D.C.’s millennial generation. Whether it be cartoon-embellished belts, hand-crafted decorative soaps, cufflinks made out of old coins, humorous T-shirts, or second-hand suits, you’ll always stumble upon something interesting.
If you didn’t have time to grab lunch, there’s usually coffee, popcorn, roasted nuts, empanadas, fruit, and even pickles within close proximity. To be honest, I tend to window-shop here more often than not (art tends to come with a high price tag), but the experience itself is worth a visit.
Just remember to wear a hat, slather on some sunscreen, and carry cash!
And thus concludes my Capital Area tip for the day. Follow along at as I continue my tour at the blogs of some awesome romance authors.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

That Time of Year ...

It's that time of year when you need to start deciding on your summer reading list. Personally, between myself and my daughters, we tend to stuff our suitcases to the limit with paperbacks we know we will share. These days I also take the trusty kindle and slip it into my handbag, it's amazing how many books I can download and we share that too. Guaranteed to never run out of books again - provided of course you remember to take the charger.

Don't forget, you can always download my books to kindle (or any reader) before you go. Perhaps a nice short read for the flight :

Publisher’s Page                                                              
All Romance                        

For more options go to        

Then, there's always my Atlantic Divide Series,

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Guest Spot - Haley Whitehall - New Release Wild and Tender Care

Welcome to Haley, fellow author and friend whose new historical romance, Wild and Tender Care is released this week. 

The Gentle Alpha

The alpha male is a standard in many romance novels and perhaps even more so in historical romance. One reason for this is that throughout history women have held a subjugated place in society and second because of the popularity of the historical bodice rippers in the 80’s.

I’m not a big fan of alpha males myself. Too many alphas come across as controlling and even abusive. I am a proud feminist and do not believe women should be submissive to men. When reading books with a too-tough alpha male I often wonder why on earth did she fall in love with him?  The leading men in my romances tend to be a beta or are able to tame their alpha side when the time comes if it will help their situation. Compromise is an art and a good one in any stable relationship.

William Steere in Wild and Tender Care is the most alpha male I’ve written to date. Ida Page is more of an alpha female, too. So they butt heads a lot. I like it when an alpha male gets a fiery woman, someone not afraid to stand up to him. Men like that need a challenge, a woman to match them step for step. In my opinion, a shy, mousey woman just won’t be a suitable match for an alpha male. Both the hero and heroine need to learn something and grow as they fall in love. I find it very believable when alphas learn to be humble or patient. Male or female, love can gentle an alpha.

I like my alpha tough but with a gentle side.

How do you like your alpha characters?

Here is a fun excerpt from my new release Wild and Tender Care:

He sucked in his lips. She hadn’t said she didn’t have feelings for him. That was a good sign. By the way she looked at him he could tell she was interested. He just had to persuade her somehow that they could be together in Big Rock.

“I see, Miss Page. Well, I will be by tomorrow to check on you.”

“Check on me? Now listen here, Dr. Steere, I didn’t get shot. I didn’t even break a bone. There is no reason for you to check on my sprained ankle.”

Fire burned in her eyes. He didn’t respond, merely headed for the door.

She liked him, wanted him. Usually it was the boy who showed he loved the girl by antagonizing her. Miss Page was flustered because she loved him. He’d bet all his money on it. Of course, he longed for her to say those words. Hopefully in time she could.

Stuck in the chair with her foot emerged in the bucket of water Miss Page couldn’t run after and chastise him. However, her glare scorched his back. “Did you hear me, Dr. Steere?”

He turned around and grinned. “Yes, I heard you, Miss Page. I’m just doing my job. All my life I’ve had to work extra hard for the things I’ve wanted.” And I want you.

His piercing lust elicited a tiny shiver from Miss Page. His gaze having the effect he wanted gave him silent encouragement. Oh yes, she wanted him. “It was hard getting into medical school as a half-breed. I wouldn’t take no for an answer.”


Ida Page has seen the worst the west has to offer. Snubbed by the citizens of Big Rock, Colorado, ever since the town cleaned up its act and became civilized, she has tried to change with the times. No other line of work available, she became a laundress after the mayor shut down the whorehouse, but the good people will not allow her to forget her past as a shady lady. She has given up on ever being accepted, let alone falling in love, until a handsome half-breed stranger arrives in town.

After the War Between the States, William Steere has been looking for a town to build a medical practice. He answered a newspaper ad placed by the mayor of Big Rock and hopes their desperate need for a doctor will overrule their race prejudice against his half-breed status. At the Independence Day picnic, he is introduced to all the town citizens except for one woman sitting off by herself. This redhead draws him to her with merely a gaze.

Can the two outcasts find love and acceptance in each other's arms or will the town’s cruelty and a smallpox epidemic tear them apart?

Buy Links:

Author Bio:

Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical fiction and historical romance set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy. Visit Haley’s website at

Where to find Haley Whitehall: