Friday, May 30, 2014

The Writing Process

Guess I'm coming back a little early!
Today, I have some lovely Celebrations - join in the accolades with Vikki's weekly blog hop!
  • My new friend, Randi Lee, who I met through the A to Z blog hop, did me the honor of highlighting me in her Sunday special, Meet a Blogger !
  • I submitted a super fun ZOMBIE short story called THE COMEBACK to my publisher (Curiosity Quills) annual anthology, which will include a piece by Piers Anthony - will be a dream come true if I get published with one of my all time fave authors!!
  • Also super excited about writing my anti-princess story - I've even used Ashley Chappell-Peeples (just got married) advice and written three songs for it with Noteflight! It's my fluffy unicorn!!
  • Plans are coming along nicely for my BROKEN BRANCH FALLS blog tour. I've written most of the posts, I just need to type them up. Starts JUNE 1!!
  • And my IRL Release Party!! Having it at an ice cream shop and so much green gobliny goodness I can't stand it! (June 26 in Cincinnati)
  • Lastly - I get to participate in the Writing Process tour...
My long-time blogging friend, Elizabeth Arroyo, invited me to join in the Writing Process tour. We get to talk about our writing process and then pass it on to another... Thanks Elizabeth!

Here are the questions posed and my answers:
a) What are you working on? A short story called JOLINDA about a snarky teenage maiden in medieval times who finds she is stronger than she thought; and editing SIMULATION, the next book in the Cooper Chronicles after POP TRAVEL.
b) How does your work differ from others of its genre? I combine elements from several genres... sci fi, fantasy, thriller, humor, and a bit of romance - doesn't real life have all the elements? But, that also made it hard to find an agent who wanted to pinpoint me.
c) Why do you write what you do? I write adventure and action because that's what I like to read, no matter the genre, and I want to offer people who don't think they have time to read, something they can't put down - I want to capture more readers!
d) How does your writing process work? I start with an idea, writers are great at "What if...?" Then I flesh it out. If I can get an outline with enough beats and twists and sub plots, I know I can make a novel out of it. I write a rough draft in a notebook, then, I start typing, and get it to my CP, and edit, edit, edit. I have many notebooks waiting and new ideas hit me all the time - some more persistent than others! (Jolinda wants to be an animated feature so bad!)

What are you working on? What's your writing process?
Feel free to join in the tour - just link back and pass it on!

And now, I pass the torch on to another Elizabeth - Elizabeth Seckman! I'm so happy I got to meet her in person - a true treasure! She'll be posting next week. Here's a little preview...

Elizabeth is a wife, a mom, and a writer. She has four wonderful boys, one dusty house, and three published books to her credit. Feel free to check them out and buy them HERE! Erm, the books, not the kids or the house...though all things in life are negotiable ;)

Here are her links: Blog // Facebook // Twitter

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

And the blogging break begins... now!

Here is some elevator music (the theme song for BBF) and my blog tour schedule. I'll be writing posts and hopefully editing my next MS. And bugging my busy publisher for ARCs for my volunteer reviewers! Give me an update if you stop by - I'd love to know what you're up to! (Topics subject to change - any requests?)
Date Blog Host Topic
6/1 Melinda Pontruff character/case study - clicks
6/3 Katie Teller story inspirations
6/7 Lexi (Book Bliss) what makes a solid review
6/13 Medeia Sharif YA vs MG - what's the dif?
6/18 Livia Peterson writing & publishing
6/27 Heather M. Gardner books into movies
6/30 Tammy Theriault interview
7/2 Elizabeth Seckman creating covers
7/2 Bruce Gargoyle interview
7/4 Sheena K Graham interview
7/9 M. J. Fifield hardships of being a writer
7/10 A. K. Morgen You know you live in Arkansas when…
7/14 Elsie Elmore interview
7/16 Rae Quigley apocalyptic fantasy
7/18 Tyrean interview
7/21 Julie Flanders reverse interview
7/23 Kim Van Sickler MG Fantasy today
7/25 C Lee McKenzie interview
7/28 Rena interview
7/30 M Pax fantasy & cool research
8/4 Dana fitting writing into a busy schedule
8/6 Alex J. Cavanaugh scifi/fantasy - why smashed together?
8/11 Robin songs/soundtracks for books
8/13 Crystal Collier interview
8/18 Christine Rains sequels - pros and cons
8/25 Beverly Fox world-building

Monday, May 12, 2014

What to Expect from a Book Event

Happy Monday!
I had an incredible time at the Ohioana Book Festival! I got to meet Julie Flanders in person - so cool! She's a sweetheart! I also got to meet some other fantastic authors and industry professionals from Ohio...

Terry Ervin II   * * *   Brian Klems

Julie Flanders!

Julie & Me =)

my little spot

the Library Mouse

New Connection - Andrea from the SCBWI - Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators!

After going to a few book events, I have learned some things. Yes, always learning! So I thought I would share. And for those who have also been to events, please add your thoughts!
  1. Be prepared - bring swag to give to attendees so they will remember you, display info about your books, put out a stack of your author cards, have signing pens and a notepad. I also bring my own table cloth and some decorations, like my crime scene tape. And candy or a treat that goes with your book is always a big hit! I have mints with Pop Travel on them, and for the BBF release, I ordered some custom-wrapped lollipops!
  2. Be flexible - if you've never been before, you don't know what kind of space you're getting or who you'll be sitting next to. Don't have high hopes and you won't be disappointed. And the other writers are usually great people with info and insight to share.
  3. Be approachable - I found that not everyone wants to have the author tell them about the book. Some want to look at the cover and read about it in silence, give them that chance. Others have lots of questions, the main one being: What's it about? Have a quick answer for them to hook them into wanting to know more!
  4. Be available - if the host of the event asks you to do an author panel - DO IT! They are so awesome! And you get that much more exposure. You don't have to sell yourself so much as just talk about your book to an eager audience. Then you can answer questions as you see fit. I got to do two! It was the best experience I've had so far!
  5. Be Smart
    • hydrate! you'll be talking all day so make sure to take a break and get a drink once in a while. It's okay to leave your spot for a few minutes here and there, tho we all think that's when someone will come by to buy a book.
    • learn from those around you - go look at their displays and swag and tables, so many great ideas!
    • take a hint if someone isn't interested, let it go, thanks for stopping by
  6. Be gracious - even if you didn't sell a ton of books (and don't expect to) you should be thankful for the experience and the opportunity. It's more about exposure and connections. The bigger, more well-known authors sell the most books. And the more you write, the more you have to sell.
If you sign up for a book festival or conference near you, let me know! I just might join you!

And now a word from our sponsor
It's time to announce the BROKEN BRANCH FALLS Cover Reveal Giveaway Winners!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nicki won the ARC and graciously offered to do a review for BBF
(It's just about ready for me to send to all my ARC review volunteers - I know you're probably wondering when you'd get it... Hopefully this week!)
Lucky Christine won the $10 GC =)
And Nick came up as winner number 3, but I decided to give him another $10 gift card since sending the goodie bag would've cost me more!
And that means C Lee McKenzie got to be the lucky goblin goodie winner! Yay!

Thanks to everyone who participated - it was a smashing success - I got so many awesome responses and bonus tweets!

Lastly, I wanted to tell you a little more about my blog friend, Carrie-Anne. If you've visited her blog, you'll know she and I are very different - I'm sci fi/fantasy and she's historical - opposite ends of the genre spectrum! I'm sure I met her through the A to Z challenge a few years ago as one of my alphabetic stops and she commented back and we've been chatting ever since. I have always enjoyed reading about the stories behind her stories, her travels, her many languages, her vast knowledge of history. If you like historical novels, you should really check her out! I leave you with Carrie-Anne's alluring new cover and release.

Author:  Ursula Hartlein
Title:  And Jakob Flew the Fiend Away
Genre:  Historical fiction, Bildungsroman
Release date:  9 May 2014

Jakob DeJonghe can think of nothing but revenge when the Nazis coerce his father into suicide and his little sister mysteriously disappears the day before Yom Kippur.  As conditions in Amsterdam worsen, Jakob is determined to fight back and be the master of his own destiny, just as his heroes the Maccabees did in ancient times.

While en route from Westerbork, Jakob seizes an opportunity to jump from a death train, breaking his foot as he lands.  As he limps for his life toward a forest, he’s found by four young resistance fighters and taken to a safe house.  Even though Jakob has been left with a permanent limp, he’s still determined to defend his country and track down the men who killed his father. 

His dream comes true when he joins his new friends’ resistance group, but after a chance meeting with a spirited young woman on one of his missions, he’s jolted by emotions he thought he’d buried.  And when he’s recruited into the Princess Irene Brigade and made a real soldier, Jakob realizes his battle is only half-won.  If he ever wants to survive a world that will never be ordinary again, love and not hate will have to carry him through.  And if he finds his dream girl again, this painful readjustment just might be easier.

Friday, May 9, 2014


I've got some stuff to celebrate!
Join Vikki's weekly celebration hop if you do, too.

  • finished the a to z challenge and made some great new connections and learned and saw lots of new things!
  • had an awesome cover reveal! thanks for all the support!
  • my little guy did a great job in his play as Benjamin Franklin =)

Now for some DESTRUCTION!

I am happy to host Sharon Bayliss for a fun interview during her blog tour for her new release, DESTRUCTION - A dark wizard family drama. Join us for a spell.

So, Sharon, if you could choose, what would be your magical method of flight?
-wings -telekinesis or powers -a spell -a magical creature -a magical vehicle -other

Telekinesis or powers. I would want to be able to fly anytime I wanted without having to depend on something else. And, wings sound like a lot of trouble when you're not flying. :)

I think that would be my choice, too. Now where would you go, (what sites would you see from the air)

It might be fun to fly through Manhattan like a true superhero. Or, I might want to fly over the Grand Canyon, and visit a few other national parks. And, of course I'd fly to Hogwarts!

Of course! I need to visit Universal and see what they have done with it... Speaking of wizards, Who is your fave wizard from Destruction? and why? (and no saying, its like picking a fave child!)

Emmy is my favorite. She's absolutely infuriating as a person, but for a writer, she's perfection. She is a highly active character. She's brave and heroic. And she is a little conflict machine. She gets a lot more page time in book 2 for this reason.

Those demanding characters require more scenes!
Why don,t you tell everyone about the meaning behind your cover (i like the symbolism).

Why, yes, I'd be happy to. The butterfly symbolizes beauty, hope, re-birth, and change. I place the butterfly among broken glass to show beauty in destruction and darkness. I also asked for the word "Destruction" to be "pretty". I liked the contrast of making a dark and violent concept look beautiful, just as I want to show the beauty in my dark characters.

And last question, random silliness, what was your first pet's name and what is your fave celebrity's last name, this will be your future great grandchild! (or just a great character name!)

He-Ra Timberlake (I named my first cat She-Ra, but found out it was a boy, so I changed it. ;) )

That's great! We need more Timberlakes =)
I hope you enjoyed our interview. Sharon is an awesome, supportive author and a talented writer, too! Here's her info and more about DESTRUCTION.

Introducing a new dark wizard family drama, Destruction by Sharon Bayliss, Book One in The December People Series.

David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice.

Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. 

Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.  

Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.

Destruction (Book One of The December People Series)

An independent family-owned bookstore. The ONLY place to buy signed copies!

A locally owned book store in Austin, Texas.

The Author

Sharon Bayliss is the author of The December People Series and The Charge. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living happily-ever-after with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). She only practices magic in emergencies.

Sharon's Blog@SharonBaylissFacebook

And I wanted to give Tyrean's cover for CHAMPION IN FLIGHT a spotlight, too! Feast your eyes!

A year after she won the battle for Septily, Clara feels trapped in Skycliff by the Allied Council. As the last pieces of information about the Healing Caves fall into place, Clara is attacked by an assassin. Covert Drinaii mercenaries and the Council aren’t going to stop Clara from her quest to heal her broken blade. As Champion of Aramatir, she must act.

Meanwhile, in the joint kingdoms of Rrysorria and Wylandria, the youngest and still cursed swan prince despairs of ever being whole again. In a moment of anger and desperation, Liam discovers a blood link between him and a dark sorceress. 

Clara won the battle for Septily, but her battle isn’t over.

CHAMPION IN FLIGHT is the second book in The Champion Trilogy.

Tyrean Martinson's links:

Beautiful work, my friends. Hope things are going well for you all! Have a fantastic weekend! I'll tell you all about my book festival when I get back!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Making Connections and Gaining Exposure

As per the title, this month's IWSG post deals with making connections and gaining exposure...

One positively great way is to do the A to Z challenge!! Every April I connect with tons of new bloggers. So I'm combining my IWSG post with my A to Z Reflections post! My stats for this year are below...

But, before I get to the results, here are some other things I learned during the challenge. The biggest thing some newer bloggers don't realize is: You can't just put your link on the list and post every day and expect your numbers to rise - you must go visit others and comment. You get out of it what you put into it, just like every other aspect in life. Here are a few other suggestions, and these carry through to helping your blog and audience grow, make it easier for others to follow you and get to know you better (and eventually buy your book!)
  • Put your face on it - we are not beauty queens, (well, some of you are) authors are personas. Someday you will have fans and they will want to see you, not just a cute cartoon. This will also help them find you at events! (This rule apparently doesn't apply to Alex, Rulebreaker. Well, we do want to see him, but we let him be mysterious, like Charlie)
  • We need contact info - say an agent comes across your blog and is blown away by a post and want to tell you. She doesn't see your email address anywhere, even in the "about" section or your profile, so she shrugs and moves on... Don't let this happen to you! If you're worried about spam infecting your home email, have a separate email just for your author stuff.
  • Easy access to social media links - blogger and wordpress are not compatible. so if I liked a blog, I would search for a Twitter or G+ link. If you are tweeting or schmoogling or facebooking and you want more followers, put those links up!
  • again, Make sure you get out there and visit others - real connections last for more than the challenge, just like IRL friends. I'm going to do my best to nurture my new found friends, and keep the current ones in the loop too!
Which brings us to...

The Numbers of A TO Z 2014!
The A to Z Challenge was again, a great success!
First, I want to say a special thank you to my Faithful Commenters with this award!

Alex (of course)       Fida       Madeline       Susan G K       Robin       Carrie-Anne
Sheena       Elizabeth       Christine       Sydney       C Lee

These awesome bloggers visited and commented here at least ten times - that's ten or more of the twenty-six letters! Some are long-time friends and some are new blog buddies I can't wait to get to know now that this is over. Such sweet support! THANK YOU! And if you have some bloggers you'd like to award it to, by all means, go ahead and pass it on!

Also, a huge thank you to everyone who came by and participated in the challenge. It's quite an undertaking. Way to go!

One last word of appreciation goes to our hosts - they're the ones bringing us together! THANKS!

Now, here are the numbers!
Each year, faced with such a vast amount of blogs to visit, my analytical side takes over. I want to maximize my time and visit the most blogs and remember who I met. I go thru the blogs alphabetically, starting with the A's on A day, add the B's, etc (but I don't count A, The, or My). I have a system and it's worked for four years now. So here are my results:

Total number of blogs visited: 472 (about 24% of the list, less than last year, but there's just so many!)
Number of new bloggers I'm following (thru various social media methods): 94 (20%)
Number of comments from newer bloggers that I visited: 65 (14%)
I did not comment on all the blogs I visited. Some didn't continue with the challenge, some were not my taste, and some wouldn't open... So out of those I visited, I did not comment on: 157 (33%)

And here's the alpha-chart:

*Outliers because there were so few of those letters. I love numbers!

Lastly, a note about May:
Another thank you to those who helped reveal my Broken Branch Falls cover (the giveaway is going on thru Friday, check it out here!)

Now, I need your opinion. Does that title sound like a mature post you'd want to read or what? My plan is to upgrade my blog and be a little more professional, well, with my titles anyway, because I'm usually funny or sarcastic with my post titles (no, not me!) I see some great, thought provoking titles on Twitter and I thought, I need to do that so more people will want to visit my blog!

And that leads to this. To revamp the blog and rally my strength for upcoming events (see sidebar), I'm taking a blogging break in May. I have one more release announcement on Friday, along with winners of the contest, then static fuzz until June 1 as I start my BROKEN BRANCH FALLS Blog Tour. Last chance to sign up! Here's the link for the form.

made from the a to z tidbits =)

Monday, May 5, 2014


It's a slug storm! Take cover!
In BEAST WORLD, teenage fantasy creatures have smart phones, centaurs teach class, and everyone gets along, as long as the species keep their distance from each other... What harm can one nerdy goblin do?

It's time for the highly anticipated, most spectacular cover reveal of the day!

by Tara Tyler
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. Gabe’s closest friends are goblins like him, but Gabe is tired of being a goblin – he’d like to try other things. And he has his eye on the new ogress at school. It’s against all beastly rules, but there’s just something about her.

When a prank goes wrong, Gabe is forced to join the football team as punishment – but finds a way to make it work. Soon the whole school is getting in on the rule-breaking fad of mingling with other species. Too bad the adults have to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. And Gabe is their scapegoat. With help from friends, old and new, Gabe sets out on a quest for a relic of their mysterious past, which hopefully holds the key to saving Broken Branch Falls. After all that trouble, it better work.

Add it to your GOODREADS list!

Twitter ~~~ Facebook ~~~ Blog

Thanks for all your support, you guys!

Tara Tyler started out as a math teacher. After having a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering and living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy) She's an adventure writer who believes every good story should have action, a moral, and a few laughs!

A BIG SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL THOSE HELPING ME WITH THE REVEAL TODAY!! And you can get up to five entries in this fun raffle just for commenting on five of the many cover reveal posts (see list below) This week only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My beastly cover revealers...
A K Morgan Book Bliss
Alex J Cavanaugh Livia Peterson
Amanda Northrup M J Fifield
Angela Brown Meli Landry
Elizabeth Seckman Michael Di Gesu
Elsie Elmore Michelle Wallace
Fida Islaih Peggy Eddleman
Heather M Gardner Rae Quigley
Jen Estes Sharon Bayliss
Julie Flanders Sheena-kay Graham
Katie Teller Trisha F
Christine Rains

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