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Meet Lucky 13 Golden Heart Finalist Chris Taylor

Today we’re delighted to welcome Chris Taylor, another of the fabulous Lucky 13s, and a finalist in the Romantic Suspense category of the 2103 Golden Heart.

Chris lives in rural Australia on 25 acres with her husband, five kids and two dogs. During the course of her career, she’s been a nurse, a lawyer, an English and mathematics tutor and is currently work part-time at her local high school as a learning support officer. She’s been writing seriously for nearly 4 years and has completed 7 books in a loosely-linked romantic suspense series set against the beautiful Australian landscape. Several of the books have already finaled in contests like the Emily and Australia’s prestigious RWA Emerald. Her Golden Heart finalist THE PREDATOR is one of these stories. It delves into the dark and horrifying world of online child predators.

Here’s a blurb:

Four years ago, Brandon Munro did the unforgivable: he betrayed the woman he loved in order to protect an undercover operation tasked with infiltrating a terrorist cell.

Alexandra Cavanaugh’s world fell apart with Brandon’s betrayal. Refusing to listen to his explanation, she fled their home, taking her secret with her. Now, four years on, she has built a successful life and career as an Australian Federal Police officer working in a High Tech Operations team hunting online predators. In conjunction with Interpol and the FBI, her team is in pursuit of a pedophile ring that has its origins in Belgium.

Fate intervenes when Brandon comes striding into Alex’s office and back into her life. Thrown together in a race to uncover a global ring of pedophiles stalking vulnerable school girls online, Alex and Brandon are forced to confront their past.

While both struggle with guilt and forgiveness and the resurgence of love, they are unaware of the predator who stalks close to home.

You can learn more about Chris’s books online at http://christaylorauthor.com.au/WP/

Take it away, Chris!

***********************************

Chris Edited for profileI’m so thrilled and honoured to be invited as a guest blogger with the Rubies and to join the haloed ranks of RWA’s Golden Heart Finalists. It was such an exciting moment to receive the call. Me, an ordinary, everyday, nobody-special writer from Australia. It made me realise dreams do come true and anyone can make it if they dream big enough.

There are so many ordinary heroes in our everyday life. They’re not necessarily blessed with movie star looks, they’re not necessarily built like supermodels, but they are just as brave, just as deserving and more humble than many of the heroes we tune into on our TV screens and social media platforms on a daily basis.

These unsung, ordinary, everyday heroes have always called to me and it’s for this reason, I give them centre stage in my books. Given my legal background, it’s not surprising that I’m attracted to law enforcement and all of my stories contain at least one main character who is a police officer.

They are good looking (of course they are, these are a romance books, after all), but they are ordinary, everyday people, with ordinary, everyday flaws and imperfections, dealing with the myriad of stresses (big and small) that we all face during the course of our lives.

To keep it interesting, I like to write about topics that are confrontational and not necessarily popular. As mentioned above, in my Golden Heart story, The Predator, my hero and heroine are investigating online pedophiles. The story’s shocking and quite confronting, but I think it’s an issue that needs to be exposed and somehow dealt with.

Another story in this series is titled, The Wall and I deal with the issue of incest. In other stories, I have written about betrayal by a trusted friend, child kidnappings, suicide and serial killers.

Heavy stuff and not exactly the kind of thing you might expect in a romance novel, but as much as we might not want to believe it, scary stuff like this happens. I like to think my stories might help raise awareness in a small way to some of the darker sides of our society.  With awareness, comes knowledge, education and change and that can only be a good thing.

But I also believe in love and I truly believe love can conquer all. My stories are, above all, love stories. Despite the horror and the fear and the despair all around them, my unsung hero and heroine still find time for love. And of course, despite the seemingly unsurmountable odds, love wins out every time. (I am an optimist, after all).

Do you believe in the power of love? Do you believe each of us, either singularly or collectively, have the power to change what is not right in our society? I would love to know your thoughts.

43 responses to “Meet Lucky 13 Golden Heart Finalist Chris Taylor”

  1. catherine coster says:

    Hi Chris, great to hear some of your thoughts and read a little more about some of your books. They sound full on and good on you for tackling some very hard issues. I believe love starts in the family home and is demonstrated and imbibed(or not) by everyone who lives there. This then leads to a love of self and that is where it all begins.Without self love it is hard to love and value others. Yes I believe in the power of love and the power of the individual.Afterall there is only one Nelson Mandella etc and look at his impact on the world, it starts with the individual and flows on to the collective where real power/impact can be seen. You go girl we are very proud of you. love the costers xxoo

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    • Chris Taylor says:

      Hi Catherine,
      Great to see you here! Thanks for dropping by. You’re absolutely right about love starting in the home. Thanks for your kind words. xx

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  2. Elisa Beatty says:

    Welcome, Chris!

    It’s great to have you with us today!

    I didn’t know this when I was uploading your post, but yesterday’s guest blogger, Bria Quinlan, spoke on a somewhat similar topic about her new YA release, Wreckless: she talked about what it means to her to have a “not strong” heroine (i.e., someone normal and flawed and not already super-capable) at the center of her book.

    Real people and real issues are what make readers connect with books on a truly deep emotional level.

    Yours sound very intriguing and intense!

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    • Chris Taylor says:

      Hi Elisa,

      It’s lovely to be here and thank you for the warm welcome. I love to write about “normal” heroes and heroines. For me, it’s so much easier to relate to a protagonist that knows something about life and all that it can throw at you.

      Thanks for stopping by to say hello.

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  3. Hi Chris
    Congrats on becoming a Golden Heart Finalist!
    All the best xx

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  4. Welcome, Chris! (Waving from an urban part of Australia!)

    Congratulations on your GH final! The premise of THE PREDATOR sounds amazing.

    I truly believe we can change what’s not right in society — it takes passion, courage and conviction. Oh, and definitely patience because it won’t happen overnight.

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    • Chris Taylor says:

      Hi Vanessa,

      You’re right. If enough of us believe we can make a difference, I truly think it’s possible.

      I’m glad that you like the sound of my story. It’s a story I just had to write.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. xx

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  5. Welcome, Chris! And congratulations!

    I believe in the power of belief. 😉 If someone believes he/she will make a difference, he/she can do it….and usually that’s done out of love. As Vanessa said, passion, courage, and conviction are key! (And patience…boy, the world could use a lot more of that!)

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  6. Chris Taylor says:

    Hi Anne Marie,

    Lovely of you to drop by.

    The power of love and the power of self belief – put them together and anything should be possible.

    And I’m definitely with you on the patience thing . . . and tolerance. The world could definitely do with more of that.

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  7. Hope Ramsay says:

    Hi Chris,

    Congratulations on your Golden Heart finalist. Real people are the most interesting to write about, I think. And tackling hard issues just makes for better stories. Good luck in Atlanta.

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    • Chris Taylor says:

      Hi Hope,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I agree with you about the real people thing. I love to be able to think “I know just how you feel” when I’m reading a book. It makes it so much more personal.

      It would be great to meet you in Atlanta!

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  8. Chris, I enjoy reading stories that are different and if I learn something along the way that’s even better 🙂

    I’m intrigued to learn what happens to Alex and Brandon. You’ve got me hooked! Congrats on your Golden Heart nomination and all your other successes. Looking forward to seeing you in Atlanta!

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    • Chris Taylor says:

      Hi Jacqui,

      Thanks for dropping by and for the kind things you said about me and my story. You’re so sweet. Looking forward to meeting you in Atlanta. xx

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  9. Jenn! says:

    Love that you venture into the unpopular topics, Chris. You speak of ordinary and everyday people. It really are those people who make the difference. And unfortunately the tough topics you tackle are far too common, just not touched upon often. Like Hope, I believe tough topics can make for better stories by moving people.

    Congrats and good luck on your GH nomination!

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    • Chris Taylor says:

      Hi Jenn,

      Lovely of you to stop by and say hello! We need to celebrate our everyday heroes more often, I think and stop using all our energies on empty fluff.

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  10. Jean Willett says:

    Congratulations, Chris! Enjoy the moment and savor all the energy generated by the Lucky 13s. Good luck in Atlanta! 🙂

    You’ve touched on universal themes that everyone can relate to. That’s a major hurdle in any story. Good luck and I look forward to reading your work.

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    • Chris Taylor says:

      Hi Jean,

      Thank you so much for stopping by. I’m humbled that you took the time . . .again. And thank you too for your warm well wishes. Hopefully one day soon, I’ll be able to share my stories with everyone.

      I hope to meet you in Atlanta.

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  11. June Love says:

    Chris, welcome and congratulations on your GH final. I do believe in the power of love. It is that love that urges us to try to make a difference. I parrot what Vanessa said, passion, courage, conviction, and patience. I think courage is what can trip us up, especially if the change isn’t a popular one. The passion and conviction must be strong enough to overcome that bit of timidness inside of us to go against our critics…whether they be outward or inward.

    Good luck in Atlanta!

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    • Chris Taylor says:

      Hi June,

      You’re absolutely right! It’s the fear inside us that holds most of us back. I think it’s the single most hardest thing to overcome. So many great ideas never see the light of day because they get drowned out by our fears. Let’s hope we find what we need to overcome them.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  12. Terri Osburn says:

    This is a great blog. Very thought provoking. I’m actually struggling with this right now, with all the insanity in the news. I feel helpless and angry, as if the idiots always seem to be winning these days. I want to be part of the solution, but have no idea where to even start.

    Congrats on the GH final and good luck in Atlanta. I’ll be part of the peanut gallery cheering you on.

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    • Elisa Beatty says:

      And on the bright side: the U.S. Supreme Court decisions this morning! I’m re-reading Chris’s final questions in light of those, with a big grin on my face.

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    • Chris Taylor says:

      Hi Terri,

      Thank you for taking the time to drop by. Sometimes it definitely feels like the bad guys are winning. We need to restore some common sense and logic to the decisions that are being made in our society and bring back a bit of balance. It won’t be easy and there will be enemies made along the way, but we have to start somewhere, surely?

      Hoping to meet you in Atlanta!

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  13. Sandra Owens says:

    Chris,

    I do believe one person can make a difference, and I believe in the power of love. Sadly there is evil in the world and the worst is those who prey on children. Your book sounds fascinating, and like Jacqui, I’m wanting to know more about Alex and Brandon.

    See you in Atlanta!

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    • Chris Taylor says:

      Hi Sandra,

      Thank you for stopping by and for your interest in my story. With young children of my own, it was a topic I had to put out there. Information and education can often make a difference.

      Looking forward to seeing you in Atlanta!

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  14. Nan Dixon says:

    Wow Chris!
    Your topics are wonderful and sad.
    Yes I believe small individuals with big hearts can change the world.
    Unfortunately, I am commenting on this blog as I hear my son and husband talk about the terrible investigating job the police have done. My son was sexually assaulted by the priest when he was an alter boy. (He is in his early 30s) Minnesota has just reopened the ability to file civil lawsuits against sexual predators.
    My son had repressed the memories and didn’t recognize he’d been assaulted until he was in his 20s. When he reported the information to the archdiocese, they sat on it until the statute of limitations expired.
    Now one of the boys he went to school with is trying to gather information on this priest. (Who retired at 48 and was sent to AZ. While there are not enough priests to fill the open positions. right. And the priest is still allowed access to children.) This young man is my hero — because he is very ill and wants to do something for all the young men that were damaged by this monster. (He was not an alter boy.)
    So keep rooting for the heros! They see the wrongs that need to be righted!

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    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Oh, Nan–what a horrible thing for your son to go through! It’s so awful that the Catholic church protected these predators, who hurt so many young people who trusted them.

      Much strength to your son and his friend in working for justice. If nothing else, bringing all this out into the open (instead of hiding it as if the victims have anything to be ashamed of) is changing the way many institutions monitor adult/child interactions so children in the future are far less likely to be abused.

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      • Nan Dixon says:

        Thanks Eliza,
        Now that we know what happened — we could see when this sweet boy’s total personality changed.
        Thank goodness he found yoga. He was/is a gentle soul – which was unfortunately damaged by a predator. He has scars that will never heal.

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    • Chris Taylor says:

      Oh Nan, my heart goes out to you and your very brave son. It happened way too often. Over here in Australia, too. In fact, there is a government-funded investigation going on right now in Australia into all the churches and other bodies that dealt with children in the past. Hopefully it will give the victims a chance to be heard and a feeling that it mattered, that it was wrong, that it wasn’t their fault.

      Thank you for stopping by and for sharing such personal memories. Looking forward to meeting you in Atlanta. xx

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  15. Piper says:

    Chris,

    Thank you for writing your post. I too have been critized for taking on “heavy” topics in my romance novels. The first two novels in the Bledsoe sisters series series deal with lynching and there is the always pervasive problem of racism. My GH book, A Champion’s Heart, was rejected by an editor because the main characters had too many economic problems. Ummm. It does occur during The Great Depression. Duh.

    I agree with what you say, people still managed to fall in love despite these horrific events.

    And Nan’s story points out why it is important to bring these truths to light. Thank you for sharing Nan. Thank you Chris for writing this post. I look forward to reading your published work.

    Piper

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    • Chris Taylor says:

      Hi Piper,

      Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words about my story. I’m sitting here shaking my head in disbelief as I read about what that editor said about your story. What world do these people live in? Yes, we all love to escape our everyday drudgery, but how empowering is it to read a story that somehow reflects a sad part of your life and realising you can conquer it and move forward?

      Good on you for being brave enough to tackle less popular issues. I can’t wait to read your books.

      Looking forward to meeting you in Atlanta!

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  16. AE Jones says:

    Chris –
    Yes your stories touch on scary things, but it is our reality. And in your stories good wins out over evil and there is romance to boot! That is something I can buy into.

    Can’t wait to meet you in Atlanta!
    AE

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    • Chris Taylor says:

      Hi AE,

      so lovely of you to stop by and say hello. As much as I feel the need to raise awareness about scary topics, I’m also a romantic. I just have to have a happy ending!

      Hoping to meet you in Atlanta. Xx

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  17. Great post, Chris! And yes, love can make the world a better place. Cupcakes too! I envy your ability to have your stories stand toe-to-toe with such emotional, terrifying issues. I’m so glad you’re coming to Atlanta so we can congratulate each other in person!

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    • Chris Taylor says:

      Hi Bonnie,

      Great to see you here! Thanks for dropping by. I’m glad you enjoyed my post and I look forward to meeting you in Atlanta.

      Cupcakes are good. Chocolate, too! Xx

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  18. Elisa Beatty says:

    Thanks for being with us today, Chris!

    Good luck and Atlanta! I hope to see your books available for sale soon!

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  19. Joanna Shupe says:

    Hi Chris,

    I know I’m chiming in late, but I just wanted to say how much I love that you don’t shy away from controversial topics. Those types of plot lines make stories more interesting. I can’t wait to read them!

    Looking forward to meeting you in ATL!

    Best,
    Joanna

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  20. Darcy Woods says:

    Hi Chris!

    Another late chimer here! I think some of the most extraordinary people are most ordinary by conventional standards, so, I am a big fan of these characters 🙂 Your books sound so hard-hitting and brave!

    So very excited to cheers all your successes in Atlanta, Chris!!!

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