Guest & Contest: Tara Lain

Kissing Under the WHAT?

I’m delighted to be at Romancing the Book to celebrate the release of my new holiday novella, Mistletowed today from Loose Id. The book is a happy, magical tale of how five close friends plus two new acquaintances come under the influence of a piece of mistletoe which may or may not be magic. It throws their worlds, their partnerships, and even their sexual orientations into confusion and a lot of romance results. With this story as an inspiration, it seems to me we ought to know more about the humble little plant that plays such a key role in our holiday tradition. Why the heck do we kiss under the mistletoe?

First let’s go waaay back to the myth of mistletoe’s creation. Frigga, the goddess of fertility in the Norse tradition, upon the birth of her son Baldur, made all the plants and animals on earth promise never to harm him. Oops. She forgot one. The lowly parasite mistletoe. And later, the villain Loki made an arrow of the mistletoe and convinced Baldur’s blind brother to shoot him. Baldur died and winter descended on the planet. The gods restored him to life and, in gratitude, Frigga made mistletoe sacred and a symbol of happiness.

From these fertility-ridden roots, mistletoe was used in marriages in Greece and Rome and couples would kiss under it. Much later, in Victorian times, the mistletoe kiss was often the only game in town. It might be considered an announcement of an engagement and the man kissed only as many times as there were berries on the mistletoe. Boy, big motivation to find some berry-laden bushes! Another tradition involved snitching some mistletoe from the Church decorations and putting it under your pillow at night. (Thieving Victorians!) You were supposed to dream of the guy you had a crush on and, in the morning, throw the twigs into the fire. If it burned smoothly, your future was smooth. If it crackled, look out for fireworks.

Now, would you like to know where mistletoe got its name? Oh, what a downfall! The seeds of European mistletoe can only be germinated after passing though the digestive system of birds. The ancient Celts observed this and named the plant “mistle” which is the old Anglo-Saxon word for … poop. And “toe” was derived from “tan” which means twig. The Celts did not understand how the propagation worked and regarded the mistletoe with awe. Please remember that this year when you are kissing under your poop twig.

Would you like to win a copy of Mistletowed? Or a copy of my other new release Deceptive Attraction? Just leave a comment HERE with your email. Remember the EMAIL so I can find you if you win. Then go over to, leave a comment with your EMAIL and follow the blog. You will get another entry in the drawing on Dec 16. And there are many other chances to win. It’s all explained on the blog. Comment here. Thank you again to Romancing the Book for being such great hosts and thank you for visiting! : )

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Tara Lain never met a beautiful boy she didn’t love – at least on paper. A writer of erotic romance, mostly ménage and male/male, Tara loves all her characters, but especially her handsome heroes. A lifelong writer of serious non-fiction, Tara only fell in love with EROM in 2009 and, through perseverance and lots of workshops, had the first novel she ever wrote published in January of 2011. After an exotic life of travel all over the world and work in television, education and advertising, Tara settled in Southern California with her soul-mate husband and opened her own small marketing business. She paints, collages, and started practicing yoga “way before it was fashionable”. Passionate about diversity, justice, inclusion and new ideas, she says on her tombstone it will read, “Yes”.

Tara can be found online at:
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Book blog:
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Contest details:

  • The prize is an ecopy of Mistletowed or Deceptive Attraction
  • The contest is open to anyone over the age of 18.
  • You must leave a meaningful comment for entry.  This means your comment needs to be more than “please enter me in the contest”.  For an additional entry, go to Tara’s blog, follow and comment.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Friday, December 16.

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