Monday, July 22, 2019

Things I love about #Atlanta

Just got back from my favorite place, Atlanta, GA! Every time I cross into Georgia, it welcomes me home. And it's especially dear to my heart because I got married there and my parents still live there. If you've never been, you must go!

Here's a little list of the things I love about Atlanta...
  • Finding shortcuts and driving opposite traffic - many folks complain about the traffic, and it is definitely horrendous if you have to go with the stop-and-go flow at rush hour. But there are so many shortcuts, if you know your way around.
  • The trees and nature - majestic, green, towering, shady trees -- especially nice around a hot ball field! Nowhere else are there trees like these. And I love zipping around on windy, hilly roads. Plus, there always seems to be a cool creek around the corner... and my parents have it all in their backyard!
  • The neighborhoods - there are some grand old homes and beautiful new estates. It's fun to just drive around and look.
  • The restaurants - from eclectic to down-home southern, there's always something new to try. Not only is the food delicious, but the atmosphere is always inviting, with outdoor seating available almost year-round. And many of the restaurants are unique to the area.
  • The low cost - everything is less expensive in Georgia. You can find pricey places to eat and shop, but you don't have to!
  • A fast-paced city with a slow, relaxed southern attitude - get there fast and enjoy your time while you're there.
  • Friendly southern hospitality - service with a smile most of the time, which seems to be harder and harder to find these days.
  • Tons to do - from sports: the Braves, Falcons, and Hawks; to the sites like the magnificent Georgia Aquarium, World of Coke, and Underground Atlanta; to entertainment and parks: The Fabulous Fox Theater and Six Flags over Georgia, plus outdoor theaters, festivals, and more!
  • The rich diversity - culture, harmony, history. I taught in Atlanta for a few years and I thoroughly enjoyed all my students. Kids are all the same with loads of potential no matter where they're from or what they look like.
Here are a few pics from my Atlanta travels... (over the past few years)
my dad added on a lower deck
--it was finished and screened-in this year =)
can you see the deer?
from the screened-in porch!
spotted some duckies while hiking

me by the Chattahoochee River

gorgeous trees in the spring
but watch out for allergies!

my friend Tina and I
at the Flying Biscuit Cafe
I brought home some cranberry apple butter - mmm
Do you have a favorite place to visit? Ever been to Atlanta?

BUT WAIT! I have a special announcement!
The winner of my writer meme challenge is Juneta Key! Here's her creative, funny meme!


And her avatar prize...
Juneta Key
speculative fiction author

Now, here's a funny thing: I'm at her place today for the last stop on my Windy Hollow Release Tour!
The topic was a surprise, but now it's here so I can tell you... 


I hope you have time to stop by. Have a great week!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

#WriterLift MEME Challenge with #Prizes

For the next week I'm challenging everyone to create a writerly MEME that's funny, inspiring, or encouraging, and the best will win a prize!

Here's watcha do:
  • Make a funny, inspirational, or snarky writerly meme from one of your own photos or something online. Here's a sample:
  • Send it to my email (taratylertalks at gmail) or post it online (just be sure to tag me @taratylertalks if posting it somewhere)
  • Dates to Post MEMEs: July 10-20
  • Winners announced: Monday July 22

3 Prizes of A Cartoon You Avatar for:

the Best, the Funniest, and the Most Creative!

Post as much as you like, whenever and wherever. I hosted this challenge with Christine Rains and C. Lee McKenzie as a blog hop a few years ago and will be sharing those great MEMEs as examples too.

How To Create a MEME:
  1. Use a Make a Meme website - I listed a few, never knew there were so many!
  2. OR Use your own program you're familiar with. Photoshop, etc. I use Powerpoint because it's user friendly and I've been using it for years...
    • Choose a photo
    • Add some words (IMPACT is the traditional meme font, but you can use whatever)
    • Keep your quip short!
    • Make sure you can read it!
    • Select your meme pic and words, then Right Click and Save as a picture
    • If needed you can crop it (in a photo program or insert the meme pic back into ppt, it crops images too!)
Also wanted to mention, Windy Hollow & Beast World blog tour going on for a little longer... Stop by these awesome blogs, if you have a chance!

7/15 - Tyrean Martinson - on Hiking - with some throwback pics!
7/17 - Julie Flanders - Gotta Have Friends - includes writer friend pics!

Happy Meme-ing! Can't wait to see yours!!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Get your research on! #IWSG Anthology Contest

It’s a summer of writing. Research is enlightening, in more ways than just looking up past facts.

I’ve been working on my IWSG Anthology Contest submission. I love MG and came up with a fun story. but with historical, I needed to bone up on my history!

Historical fiction requires a ton of knowledge if you want to get your story done right. You have to know exactly where and when things happened, who was there, and how you can insert your fictional characters into the scenes of the past.

The research has been taking up a lot more time than I thought it would. Every time I figure something out, it raises another question. Thank goodness for BING! (I don’t google, I root for the underdog) But I don’t mind all the research because I’m learning so much!

My research has shown me the conviction and tragedies our forefathers endured for freedom. Today’s youth would ne’er dain to glimpse an understanding of it and how it has affected their soft lifestyles. We are so spoiled and whiny.

I love history teachers who enlighten students and not just dispense boring facts and dates—we need more of them. It would also help if we had more parents who didn’t generalize history as “boring”. It’s really frustrating when people don’t research their history before spouting off on twitter—some of the ignorance on there is astounding and contagious! But I’m not about to get political, that’s not why I’m here. I just want knowledge to be spread!

ie - DO YOUR RESEARCH!


Writing fantasy doesn’t require much historical research, but it does involve creating a logical history for a backstory...Like Beast World! Please visit my lovely friends hosting me on my Windy Hollow blog tour this week!
7/8 - Christine Rains - Levels of Romance
7/10 - Heather M. Gardner - Binge Watching TV

I have a lot of travel this month, so I can't tell you how much I appreciate you guys being in my corner!

And don't forget the giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you do historical? Do you love to research?
Happy Writing!

Monday, July 1, 2019

How to generate #buzz for your books!

I'm no expert on this subject, but I know if you keep trying, squeaking, honking, waving your arms, and shouting--eventually you'll get noticed! I'm looking for more and better ways to do that, and for this month's IWSG post, I want to share with you what I found...

When you're ready to release your book, Bookbub.com has a great checklist to help you get started. I condensed it and added a few of my own tidbits. The full list is here.
  1. Recruit helpers! Other writers, book bloggers, family, friends, anyone willing. These folks can help with a COVER REVEAL and on RELEASE DAY and with a RELEASE TOUR - whether in person or online.
  2. Prepare yourself. Have a great SYNOPSIS/BLURB, compelling QUOTES from your book and from reviewers, up-to-date BIO and SOCIAL MEDIA HEADERS, and swell SWAG for GIVEAWAYS
  3. Seek Book Buzzers! We all know reviews are imperative, but they can be hard to get! I follow Reedsy, and recently they gave some great advice on CREATING BOOK BUZZ!
    • Build relationships with these important book buzzers. And start as soon as possible! Follow, like, watch, comment--which means you need to choose people you connect with, who would be a good fit for your book, and who are active online.
    • Here's a list of Review Book Bloggers
    • Here's a list of BOOKTUBERS!
    • For example, check out the 4 booktubers I subscribed to after watching a slew. They're spunky, insightful, active, and love to read!
  4. Create Extras: take SPECIAL BOOK PICS, tie in items readers can use like COLLECTIONS, KNICK KNACKS, HOBBIES, RECIPES--in WINDY HOLLOW I made up a GAME. Take vids or pics of yourself or make MEMEs for your characters or quotes, and if you can, make a BOOK TRAILER. These are great for PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, and GIVEAWAYS
  5. Plan GIVEAWAYS, POSTS, SIGNINGS, LIVE CHATS, and fun CHALLENGES
  6. Don't Forget - THANK all your helpers and buzzers & ENJOY EVERY MINUTE!
And I'm very excited to have ELLEN JACOBSON - she's releasing a tasty, cozy mystery... and she's a great example of how an author can generate BUZZ!

Poisoned by the Pier—A Cozy Mystery for Serious Chocolate Addicts 

One of the things the readers of the Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery series often say is, “Boy, Mollie sure does eat a lot of chocolate!” It’s true, she does. She always has a bag of chocolate in her purse and she’s constantly stopping by Penelope’s Sugar Shack bakery for brownies.

I try to live vicariously through Mollie’s chocolate consumption. These days, when you’re a woman of a {ahem} certain age like me, it’s a constant battle between chocolate cravings and trying to keep your tummy from resembling a muffin top. I’ve been trying not to eat as many sugary treats these days and when I get a craving for some M&M’S or a chocolate cupcake, I write it into a scene instead of succumbing to temptation. At least I try to. Sadly, I’m not always successful.

In my latest book, Poisoned by the Pier, Mollie’s husband, Scooter, tries to convince her that they should eat healthier. She’s not buying it. In fact, she thinks the media is trying to cover up the fact that eating multiple chocolate bars on a daily basis is good for you.

I had a lot of fun writing the passage below.


What about you? Do you love chocolate and sugary treats like Mollie and I do? If you want to find out more about how Mollie copes with going on a diet while solving a murder mystery, grab a copy of Poisoned by the Pier. Details below.

Poisoned by the Pier Now Available!

Poisoned by the Pier, the third book in the Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery series, is now available in ebook, paperback, and large print.

Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play

When Mollie's husband signs the two of them up for an extreme diet, she's not amused. When someone ends up poisoned by a cake, things get even worse.

While she tries to identify the killer, Coconut Cove’s annual boating festival is in full swing. In between getting ready for her first sailing race and cheating on her diet, Mollie and her cat, Mrs. Moto, uncover clues, interview suspects, and do their best to avoid rutabagas.

Can Mollie nab the killer before someone else is poisoned?

If you like quirky characters, adorable cats, and plenty of chocolate, you'll love this cozy mystery. Pick up a copy of Poisoned by the Pier and laugh out loud from the first page to the last. 


New to the Series?

If you're new to the series, you might want to start with Murder at the Marina. Now is the perfect opportunity as the ebook is on sale for 99c/99p for a limited time.

Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play

About the Author

Ellen Jacobson lives on a sailboat with her husband and an imaginary cat named Simon. When she isn't working on boat projects or seeking out deserted islands, she writes cozy mysteries and sci-fi/fantasy stories.

Connect with Ellen: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Blog
Sign up for: her newsletter

I just downloaded the first book, MURDER AT THE MARINA
Perfect read for my Florida vacay! Excited to read the whole series!

One more thing, the WINDY HOLLOW Release Blog Tour marches on...

7/3 - Alex J. Cavanaugh - IWSG Day - Fantasy Movies
7/4 - Tonja Drecker - Independence Day! - Kids in Books

Don't forget to enter the giveaway! (Upgraded)

Last bits & pieces...
My newsletter also came out today - there's a great picture of my visit with Christine Rains!
And thanks, S.A. Larsen! She featured Windy Hollow in her latest newsletter.

Thanks for making it to the end of this loooong post! Stay cool!