Monday, 21 January 2013

Interview with Tara Mills

I was lucky enough to read Friends & Lovers this month and absolutely adored it. Today I have the author, Tara Mills here to chat about her newest release.  

You can find the review on Goodreads here.

Plus Tara's given us a sneak peak.

Dealing with issues such as domestic abuse in a romance is tricky, but you pull it off effortlessly and entwine it in the story so well. What gave you the idea to do this? 

There was a point a few years ago, where I was reading about domestic violence in the newspaper every day, one distressing, heart-wrenching story after another and I simply had to examine it closer. Too many women, too many children, were falling victim to the men who were supposed to love and protect them. 

As a romance writer, I could only imagine how awful and terrifying it would be to watch a Mr. Hyde emerge out of the Dr. Jekyll you fell in love with. How long do you hold out hope? At what point do you start focusing on survival?    

Can you could sum up Lauren and Wes in fifteen words each? 

Lauren: She's cautious, driven, passionate, caring, smart enough to know when to be scared. In love.

Wes: He's honorable, noble, protective, true once committed, persistent, a giving lover, playful, determined, and sexy.  

Wes came across to me as seriously hot, cheeky, caring and protective. Is there anything about his personality that annoyed you? Any problems you encountered while writing his scenes?  

No. I only write heroes I could fall for so I'm very fond of Wes. I wanted him to get his girl. He'd waited so long for her.

I loved Lauren from the get go. Life’s been hard on her, but she doesn’t give up, even though she pushed the people she cared about away. What do you admire the most about her?

Lauren is so caring. She reacts, often dramatically because she does experience things deeply. She truly wants to make a difference in the lives of others and she's willing to put herself out on a limb to fight the injustice in the world. I admire her spirit. She doesn't take on the system to make money. She does it because it's the right thing to do. Wes and Lauren are two sides of the same coin, both doing what they can to protect people. Together, they're the beautiful balance to the relationship that went wrong.

As well as being contemporary, the story has a huge suspense element. Is that a genre you enjoy reading/writing? If so, do you see yourself writing another in the future? Personally I’d like to see more of these characters.

Thank you! I love suspense. My second book, Forest Fires was published as a suspense because of a gripping section in it. I'm currently wrapping up edits on another suspense for Crimson Romance titled, In Love and War.

As far as seeing characters again, Ken's sister, Kelli Murphy is in my romantic comedy coming out with The Wild Rose Press titled, Accidents Make the Heart Grow Fonder 

Glad to hear that. I’ll keep an eye out for it.  

Now for the fun bit… 

Cooking or take out  - Cooking. I'd love to say take-out but it's an hour drive just to pick up the mail, groceries, and gasoline. We plan our trips. Just stopping at McDonald's is a treat since the nearest Mac's is three hours away.

Pepsi or Coke - Caffeine-Free Diet Coke with a splash of Black Velvet. That's my poison.

Great answer! Mine is vodka with Diet Coke :D

Dark or milk chocolate - Either. Together is good too.

Wine or beer - I love a good wine. Reds and whites, on the dry side.

Chic flic or action - depends on my mood and the eye candy.

Reading or writing - I can't choose. Both are in my blood. I was probably eleven or twelve when I converted my vanity into a desk and started typing away. I've been a book worm even longer. 


Meal? A good hamburger with sauteed onion. Yum.

Band/Singer? Probably Sting

Book? Pride and Prejudice. I have a beautiful hardcover that my husband gave me for Valentine's Day many years ago and I read that every year.

Author? Bet you expect me to say Jane Austen, don't you? I would except when I'm in the mood for a smile, I always reach for something by P.G. Wodehouse. I actually doff my literary cap to him in my contemporary romance, Caution: Filling is Hot. Fans of Wodehouse will catch the reference.

Pastime? My husband and I play a lot of games. We're also big movie buffs.

Thanks for letting me pick your brains Tara. I love Pride & Prejudice too. Now for a little more about Friends & Lovers…
Can the man of Lauren’s dreams save her from the man in her nightmares?

Wes Dunlop was a hot commodity in high school and the ruin of good reputations, so it was easy to criticize the guy when his sister did it too. Then Lauren McKay actually met her best friend’s brother, and she was intrigued. When he came to her rescue, she was doomed. Afraid to admit her change of heart, Lauren hid her secret from both of them.

Fifteen years later Wes is back. Now a dedicated cop, he’s determined to win Lauren—the girl he can’t forget and the only one his sister demanded he leave alone. But he finds that Lauren’s life is a lot more complicated than he imagined.

Personal tragedy made Lauren a fierce defender of battered women. However, when a dangerous gunman tracks his wife to Lauren’s shelter, the protector becomes the target.  Her life suddenly in the balance, nothing will stop Wes from doing everything in his power to rescue her.


Turning from the window, Lauren went to greet their guests. She circled her assistant's desk, fluffing her hair before she stepped into the foyer. Seven warm bodies in that small space made it feel crowded but they'd had more. Counting on Jackie to distract the young girl, Lauren approached the mother with an extended hand.

"Hello, Patricia. I'm Lauren McKay. I'm so glad you found us."

The cop jerked slightly at her name, but just as his head tipped to the side to see around the boy in his arms, Lauren shifted her attention to the girl.

"And I'll bet you're Morgan, am I right?"

The girl nodded bashfully.

Lauren smiled. "What's your brother's name?"

Morgan pointed with her thumb. "He's Josh."

Lauren's expression softened on the small boy. She reached out to touch his back, and froze, stunned to see a familiar face looking back at her over the boy's shoulder.

Those warm eyes belonged to a man she never expected to see again. He'd haunted her for years, and now she felt desperate and weak, and yes, more than a little afraid. He'd always thrown her without even trying. His slow, intimate smile sent her heart rate galloping like a thoroughbred's.

Flustered and shaken, Lauren turned back to the mother. "Why don't you go with Jackie? She'll show you to your room, and while the kids make themselves at home in the playroom, you can come back and we'll go over a few things in my office, okay?"

The woman nodded and reached out to take her son from the officer. Relieved of his burden, the man lightly brushed the back of the boy's head. He watched them walk downstairs before turning back with a more personal smile for the woman in front of him.

"Lauren." His voice caressed her name, and she trembled.

"How are you, Wes?" Her warm response didn't betray the inferno inside her.

"I'm good. Oh, this is my partner Chuck Townsend."

Lauren blushed with embarrassment. She'd barely noticed the other man.

"Hi, Chuck," she said with an apologetic smile.

"Nice to meet you, Lauren." He chuckled and winked at Wes. "I'll just wait outside. Take your time." Chuck bolted for the door.

Wes turned with a laugh. "Well, that was smooth."
About Tara Mills
I write stories I like to read—contemporary romances with identifiable characters and themes. Life is hard, love makes it bearable. If you like stories with heat and humor, I have a title for you.
I'm a pampered wife, lucky mom to three amazing sons and one wonderful daughter-in-law, and I just became a very young grandma. I should probably underline the word very. Oh heck, why not the word young too? Nah, you get the point. I’m also the daily monitor of one naughty dog with an attitude. 
Oh, I suppose I could provide you with some links. Duh.  My website is Tara Mills Romance I'm on Facebook, obviously. Tara Mills Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter - Tara Mills16


  1. Great interview ladies and excerpt. I just added this to my wishlist on amazon.

  2. Hi ladies - I agree with Chris - great interview and I really enjoyed the excerpt. I've added this to my Goodreads list. :)

  3. Lovely interview. I tweeted.