Monday, July 29, 2013

MEANT TO BE by Terri Osburn (Guest Post/Giveaway)

Happy Monday, I hope that everyone had a lovely weekend! Today I would like to welcome author Terri Osburn, enjoy!

Four Letter Words with Terri Osburn

Since this is my first time visiting Reading Between The Wines, I thought I should share a little about myself. In short, I'm a middle-aged single mom embarking on a writing career, while keeping up with the day job, a teenager, two tabbies, and a hyper Yorkiepoo with attachment issues. As you can imagine, my life includes plenty of follies and foibles that result in an expletive or two.

And thus we reach today's topic—four letter words.

I grew up in the paradox of a staunchly Catholic home that was incredibly liberal and filled with colorful language. Cursing is practically a birthright in my family. My mom still prefers to say fudge, but the rest of us let fly regularly. 

As you might guess, this same language peppers my books. There aren't F-bombs on every page, but the characters talk like the people I know. Like the people in my office (about 98% former military), and much the same way I do. My heroines might pop off with a holy cheese and crackers, but for the most part, I use the real thing.

When I wrote the book, I didn't give the profanity much thought. I didn't consciously put it in, or gnash my teeth over whether to take it out. However, some readers have noticed and not all have been happy with my word choices. Does this mean I'll eliminate profanity in future books? Nope. But I still value those readers' opinions, and feel bad that they purchased a book and weren't happy about the full experience.

Do you mind a curse word or two in your reads? Do they jolt you out of the story, or do you glide right over them? I'm curious to *hear* what you all think.


Sometimes the next best thing is what you’ve been looking for all along…
Beth Chandler has spent her whole life pleasing others. She went to law school to make her grandparents happy. She agreed to marry her workaholic boyfriend, Lucas, to make him happy. And, despite her fear of boats, she took a ferry to see Lucas’s parents just to make them happy.
While suffering through a panic attack on the ferry, Beth meets a tall, sexy stranger who talks her down from her fear—and makes her heart flutter in the process. Soon, she has a new reason to panic: her gorgeous, blue-eyed rescuer is Lucas’s brother, Joe.
But could she ever leave her fiancé for his own brother…even if Lucas is more focused on making partner than on making their relationship work…and even if Joe turns out to be everything she never knew she wanted?
Buy Links: Kindle Print


Breathing in through her nose, she blew the air out through her mouth. Just then, hot breath fluttered over her left arm and an unpleasant smell filled her nostrils.

That could not be her breath.

Heavy panting invaded the silence of the car and Beth opened one eye to find the source. Big brown eyes sur¬rounded by rust-colored fur stared back. One ear flopped forward while a black tongue lolled to the side. The animal tilted his head and lifted a large paw, propping it on her thigh.

She might have flinched had she not been frozen in fear.

“What’d you find, Dozer?” asked a voice from some¬where behind the intruder.

Looking past the mutt, she saw a man draw up behind him. Bright blue eyes and a stubble-covered chin were all she registered before shifting her focus back to her hands. Defending herself against a madman on a barge was prob¬ably going to be difficult without the use of her hands.

“Hi there,” he said, giving the dog a pat on the head. Then he mumbled, “Good boy.” Presumably to the dog.

The stranger’s voice, low and sensual, vibrated down her spine. Her hands relaxed enough to allow blood flow back into her knuckles. The book hadn’t suggested finding a sexyguy to talk her down. She should have looked harder until she found one written by a woman.

“Hi,” she said, her brain now as uncooperative as her hands. She ventured another glance in the dog owner’s direction and her entire body sighed.

The man was, as her granny would say, built for sin. Full lips, strong jaw, and one deep dimple finished off a face gifted with the bluest eyes she’d ever seen. Wide shoulders filled out a navy-blue T-shirt that tapered down to a narrow waist and low-slung jeans. She couldn’t see his feet behind the dog, but would bet her best business suit he sported work boots.

Talk about answered prayers. This was a flotation device she wouldn’t mind going down with.


Born in the Ohio Valley, Terri relocated below the Mason Dixon line in the early 1990s after experiencing three blizzards in eighteen months. Seeking warmer climes, she landed in Nashville, did a stint in Arkansas,and eventually moved to the East Coast, where she settled near the ocean. Reading has always been a passion in her life, with Romance her chosen genre, butit wasn’t until 2007 she endeavored to write her own. Five years and many pages later, in 2012, she was named a finalist in the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest. An agent and contract soon followed.Terri resides in Virginia with a teenager, a Yorkipoo, and two fat and happy tabbies. To learn more about this author and her work, visit her website at
Facebook Page - Twitter: @TerriOsburn - Pinterest - Goodreads

Terri is giving away a copy of the book, in print or digital, winner's choice, to one reader. US and Canada only, please. To enter, just leave a comment on this post answering the authors question and then fill out the rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I think a character should use the language that is appropriate to "that character". For example...Would a character who is an alpha male in the military to use "darn" when he was angry or frustrated? Not likely (maybe sure, but not likely). I would expect some four letter words to come out of his mouth. If a darn or a dang came out instead...that would jar me out of the story.

    Just keep doing what your doing and staying true to your characters, Terri. Your books are great!

  2. I read MTB and loved it, 4 letter words and all. Not all the characters are sailors--so to speak--so it fits the individuals who use them. I too am sorry for those who didn't enjoy the book because they didn't care for the language, but they're missing out. I also hope they never pick up a JR WARD book either. Yeesh.

  3. That's what my approach has been, Stephanie. Not every character curses, but a cranky boat captain just isn't going to say golly, ya know?

    I do have a secondary character (who becomes a primary character in book 2) that curses a lot. It's just who she is. However, the leads in book 3 almost never curse. It always depends on the characters.

  4. Thank you, MsHellion. I do hope the story shines through the occasional expletive. :)

  5. I don't know, I find it hysterical that people fixate on such things. I've had readers adore my characters cursing, and readers horrified... If something offends, don't read it.

    Reality is, people curse.

  6. Maureen, I wonder if my cover gives the wrong impression. I mean, I LOVE my covers, and they fit the book beautifully, but you never can tell what readers will perceive when they see it. Perhaps pink says no profanity?

  7. For the most part I don't mind swearing in books. Usually it just fits if you know what I mean, and it is how a lot of people talk. Sometimes I actually find the 'pretend' swear words more out of place.

  8. I'm with you, Peaces of Me. There are times in real life when I say Jeemany Christmas and Crime in Italy (pronounced Itly) but that's how I talk, not necessarily how my characters talk.

    I do promise I'd never put them in if they didn't feel right.

  9. Only if it fits in the character and not for shock value. People do swear in real life so it makes sense that the characters do it!

  10. I have no use for F-bombs that are liberally sprinkled throughout a book purely for shock value. If, however, the spicy language is true to the character using it? I'm okay with that.

    I curse, but not a lot and rarely in public and I'm not surrounded by people who curse on a regular basis. I say that so you know that I haven't been desensitized to the language. Having said that, I find the fact that people have been offended by language in MEANT TO BE mind boggling. It was so mild, in my view, that it didn't even raise a blip on my internal radar. In fact, I had to go back to the book to try to figure out what could be causing the fuss!

    As Stephanie commented above, continue to stay true to your characters, Terri. That's the only way to bring them alive for the readers who love your me!

  11. May, the language definitely fits my characters. For one in particular, her language almost defines her. She's a rough around the edges tom-boy with a mouth that could make a sailor blush. But she's also endearing and hysterical, so I would hope the language wouldn't be a big deal.

    PJ, thank you! I don't mean to dismiss those who were put off by the language, but I'm happy to hear that some didn't even notice. Or simply don't find it to be a problem.

  12. I loved your book! One of the reasons is that your hero, Joe, was so genuine. He became REAL to me, mostly because she speaks the way guys I know speak. Using cuss words ESPECIALLY IN THIS THOUGHT PROCESSES made his voice speak from the pages.

  13. I don't mind profanity much, as long as it's not on every page, also I don't think the genre or book I'd select will have a lot of it. But when it does have it I find it makes the story real. Some men or women wouldn't say-fudge or sugar. I like reading characters that seem real. Actually I'd be disappointed if he or she's suppose to be colorful and it's not reflected in the story.

  14. Heather - I'm so happy to hear Joe came alive for you. And you know I love your book as well. You put me right in the Navy! (And I'm already pretty close to it now. LOL!)

    Lorelei, that's how I see it. When the alternative fits, then that's what the character would say. A large, cranky boat captain just goes with the real thing.

  15. My own language tends toward the sanitized most of the time, so much so that a friend whose own language is quite salty one scolded me for saying d#@%, insisting cursing was not my style. I include this to lend weight to the fact that the four-letter words in Meant to Be were not raw enough or frequent enough to offend me.

    I am bothered when expletives seem out of character, when they are a symptom of lazy writing, or when they seem intended only to shock. Even then, there are exceptions. I once watched an entire classroom of undergraduates literally recoil in shock when a professor used the f-word in class to make them see the difference in the lovemaking of Milton's Adam and Eve after the Fall. I'm willing to bet few of those students ever forgot that moment or the professor's point. Expletives sometimes are the best words to serve the author's purpose.

  16. That is an excellent example, Janga. There are times when I've heard someone who rarely curses really let fly, and that's a good indication of how passionately they feel about whatever they're doing.

    For me, they're just words. They have whatever weight we give them, but I've never quite understood the difference between saying shit and crap. I mean, they're nouns that mean the exact same thing. :)

  17. I don't mind curse words in the stories that I read. Sometimes the scene needs one or two.

  18. I guess my first post didn't work. Hmm. Anyway, profanity doesn't bother me unless it's every other word, which I think would detract from the story and distract me, the reader. Otherwise, profanity seems normal to me these days. BTW, hello Terri! :-)

  19. I don't mind curse words at all. In fact, my husband works in the oil field and so does my dad and brothers, so it's pretty common to hear them, so they make the story seem more real to me.

    Meant to Be sounds like a lot of fun. I don't know how the hell the heroine is going to work it out, the man she falls in love with is her fiance's brother. Talk about bad luck! I will definitely be reading to see how she worked it all out.
    Rhonda D

  20. Usually cursing does not bother me if it fits. Sometimes it seems gratuitous and unnecessary.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  21. Exactly, Jesse. Sometimes it just needs one or two.

    Hey there, Janice! I've shared lots of snipped from this book, and most all of them had no cursing. It's really not that prevalent, but everyone has a different threshold.

  22. Rhonda D, you'll feel right at home. They're just on a fishing boat instead of an oil rig. :) And Beth does walk a fine line. It's not the easiest resolution ever, and I will say it carries over a little into book 2. But there's a happy ending!

    Debby, I'd call it more a spattering. Hope you'll try the book (maybe win!) and judge for yourself.

  23. Eh... they usually don't bother me as long as they are used in context and not too exessively. Congrats on the new release!

  24. I honestly dont even really notice them. Unless its constant, then that sometimes bugs me. If they swear just to swear all the time it gets annoying but if its in context I dont mind. Congrats on the release! :)

  25. Thank you, Erin and VampedChik! I don't notice them either. It's all in what you're used to *hearing*.

  26. I glide right over them.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  27. Moderate cursing doesn't bother me. What I do object to is when certain words are used excessively to the point where they are verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs in every conversation.

  28. Good luck, Natasha!

    Cheryl, the only word I use in all those ways is the word dude. (Though not in the books!) I know I'm way too old to be throwing it around, but it works in so many scenarios.

  29. I don't mind cursing in a story as long as it seems like it is realistic for the characters who are cursing.

  30. MaryS and Maureen, thanks for stopping by. Good to hear this sort of thing doesn't bother you ladies.

  31. Meant to Be is sooooo good! Hard to believe this is Terri's first book. I mean if I'm to recommend ONE contemporary romance book this year, Meant to Be is it.

    And no, I don't mind a bit of curse word, like what Syd did. But not too much, like 'F-word' in every other sentence to the point of vulgarity like in some YA/teen books, maybe they think that's cool n hip or whatever, but it'll definitely jolt and grind me out of reading it.

  32. This in a new genre for me to read, and I am trying to find a few authors to follow. I would truly love winning a book to get me introduced to your work. For years and years, I have read mysteries and lots of cozy ones included, along with memoirs and technical books, but now it is time to get in to something new. Thank you for the giveaway; holding my breath. Whew, nope, not holding my breath, I am crossing my fingers instead. :)

  33. Hello Ms. Osburn

    I think some obscene words are fine as long as it defines some parts of situations where of course , we slip off some 4 letter words, but some authors over use them and at some point it's like they're not expressing as much feelings, maybe because they use them a lot , because there is a difference between a dirty mouth and a feeling release , overall i like Meant to be because of that, whenever i was about to read any bad word i already have thought of an obscene word myself, the event are so thrilling !!!

  34. dotland101, thank you!! It's been a busy weekend so I'm just getting a chance to check the comments, and I'm glad I did. Your recommendation means so much to me. Virtual hugs coming your way!

    Yadith, I'll cross my fingers for you, too. Also, I'm always giving away books to newsletter subscribers and occasionally on my Facebook page. Check me out at and make sure you're subscribed to the newsletter to be in the running every month!

  35. Well, dang. I got Yadith and ceblain mixed up. Ceblain, that last comment was for you. :) Make sure you sign up and if you're on Facebook, follow my page. You never know when I might gibe a book away.

    Yadith, thank you for reading Meant To Be. I'm humbled that so many have given my debut a chance.

  36. Replying to your comment Terri: I do think that I am signed up on every page of yours but I will go and check to make sure. As I mentioned, I am rather new to this genre, and really want to find the right author fit for me. Your books sound really great, so I am sure they will be one of the series that I will be following.
    Thanks again for writing. Cynthia

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