Monday, June 27, 2016

How to manage your time - 5 easy steps! #MotivationMonday

Typical summer - There's so much I need/want to do, when I find spurts of free time, I get overwhelmed and end up squandering it, frittering it away with meaningless nonsense. I really need to have a go-to list for that precious time that slips away faster and faster these days. So here's what I'm gonna do...
  1. Prioritize - I know what I need to do, but what needs done soonest? I also need a long list and a short list => How much time is each item going to take? I hate to get going on something only to leave it half done!
  2. Get off the internet - we are addicted, admit it!! Admitting we have a problem is the beginning of the solution. Set a time limit, use the timer on your phone! SELF-DISCIPLINE! DO IT!
  3. Just say NO - can you add another scrumptuous helping to your already overflowing plate of food you know you aren't going to finish? Stop it! It's okay to say no. But if you really need to say yes, SEE STEP ONE! Add it to the queue (love that word!)
  4. Just do it - yes, I'm stealing some catch phrases, but they work and will help us remember. So stop hassling me about it and get back to your list!
  5. Make sure relaxation is part of the plan - being productive can only happen if the mind is healthy and rested - a burned out brain is not a functional brain, hence the term brain dead. Don't let your brain die (and playing on your phone is not relaxation, it actually ADDS stress to your life - it's a fact, go look it up, UNPLUG!)
So that's my bit of advice for today. Now for the news...

comes out THIS Thursday, June 30! Yay!!
Prompted by the lovely producers of this conquest, Randi Lee and Imani Antoinette, I put together a youtube promo (btw, if any co-authors would like me to edit theirs similarly, let me know taratylertalks at the gmail email)

I'm also considering participation in these upcoming events:

The Write. Edit. Publish. challenge...

with your hostesses:
Denise Covey & Yolanda Renée

The Storytime Blog Hop - for stretching your writerly wings in speculative fiction!

NEXT HOP JULY 27, 2016.
This is the 3rd StoryTime Blog Hop of 2016

Juneta Key has more info on her website side-bar, feel free to contact her if you're interested

What are you trying to accomplish this summer?
Happy Monday, y'all!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Magic Ice Cream!

It's a hot summer day. Sweat is rolling down your back. You love the sun, but the heat is so intense. Where can you find some relief???

You need some MAGIC ICE CREAM!! I'm so glad to have Sharon Bayliss here to share some secret Magic Ice Cream recipes to help us savor the release of her latest December People book. Check it out!

To celebrate the recent release of A Taste of Death and Honey, I've asked some of my spring wizard friends to share some magical summer concoctions. Through the years, Mundanes have attempted to make sweet treats without sugar. They've devised all sorts of chemicals to replace sugar, but there is really only one way to enjoy sweetness without sugar--magic. With the use of magic, you can even make ice cream without sugar OR fat. Don't believe me? Give some of these recipes a try.

Our spring wizards have released some of their secret recipes for magic ice cream just for Tara Tyler's blog:

Strawberry Ice Cream

  • 4 cups fresh strawberries
  • 3 tsp. real vanilla extract
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups local honey
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Pinch of sea salt

Put 2 cups of strawberries in a saucepan. Cover and heat over medium for about three minutes to soften. Chop the rest of the strawberries finely. Put heated and chopped strawberries in blender. Blend for only about 30 seconds to chop.

In a large bowl, whisk together cream, honey, milk, salt, and vanilla.

Add in the strawberries and beat until thoroughly combined. While you beat, recall a happy memory from your childhood. Preferably one experienced outdoors during the springtime.

Process in your ice cream maker according to manufactures’ directions.

Adapted from Live Simply.

Roasted Banana and Cinnamon Sorbet

  • 6 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Arrange unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet. Roast until the banana skins have become deep brown, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Peel the bananas and place in a blender with the cinnamon. Blend until smooth. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze for at least eight hours.

Place frozen banana cubes in the blender and let melt slightly (about five minutes). Blend! While you blend, think about the beach. Listen to the waves crashing against the sand and smell the salty air.

Watermelon Mint Sorbet

  • 1/4 of a seedless watermelon
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint (preferably from your own garden)
  • 2 limes

Cut the watermelon and scrape it into a blender. Blend until juice-like. Reserve 1/2 cup watermelon juice and pour the rest into an ice cube tray and freeze for at least eight hours.

Place frozen watermelon cubes, reserved juice, juice from limes, and mint in the blender. Blend! While you blend, recall your best memory from summertime. Preferably one from a day spent outdoors when you got a suntan.

Tropical Colada Sorbet

  • 2 cups frozen pineapple
  • 2 cups frozen mango
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • Juice from one orange

Just place everything in a blender and go to town! Adjust ingredient amounts to create the desired consistency. While you blend, think sexy thoughts. Preferably about spending a hot night on the beach with the one you love. Serve with a tiny umbrella.


Now that you've enjoyed some tasty spring magic, try A Taste of Death and Honey!

This book will grab you by the throat, challenge your mind, and turn your heart inside out. Sharon Bayliss delivers a powerful, emotional punch with her third book in the December People series. - Amy Bearce, author of  The World of Aluvia Series
When Samantha’s parents died, she lost everything. Her home. Her friends. Her hope. Then a life-loving spring witch at the children’s shelter fills her life with light and joy once again.

But like the springtime, Samantha’s happiness doesn’t last forever. Her friend dies violently in front of her, the victim of a mysterious killing spell. Furious and grief-stricken, Samantha resents her own weak spring magic. She doesn’t need life and renewal. She wants revenge…and death.

Homeless and alone, Samantha seeks shelter with her old friends, the Vandergraff family, and finds an unexpected ally in the powerful winter solstice witch, Evangeline. The girls’ anger and eagerness lead them to cast a killing spell before knowing the truth behind Samantha’s friend’s death or the identity of her killer. 

Once the spell is cast, they can’t take it back, and they must fight to stop their own curse before it takes away everyone they love.

A proud Austinite, Sharon never saw much sense in moving anywhere else and got her degree in social work from the University of Texas at Austin. As an author and social worker, she has devoted her life to making the lives of real people better and the lives of fictional people much, much worse.

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 still playing in the mud (which she now calls gardening).

So happy for Sharon! Her December People series is a delight!

On the home front, I wanted to mention that BROKEN BRANCH FALLS is on SALE this coming weekend JUNE 24, 25, 26 for 99 CENTS in honor of its Book Bday!! 

And if anyone would like to volunteer to do an ARC Review of the sequel, CRADLE ROCK, please let me know in the comments or email me, taratylertalks - at - gmail - dot - com. The cover is so awesome!! Reveal details COMING SOON!

Have a scrumdiddlyumptious week!!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Author Branding Rebel!

I'm very excited to have Tyrean Martinson here today! She's turned the tables and written a "5 Reasons" post of her own...

Author Branding: When an author writes only one brand/style of fiction or non-fiction so that fans will “know” exactly what they are getting when they pick up that author’s books. A brand is meant to communicate the purpose of the author and to gain a steady, constant readership. None of this sounds bad, exactly, but I find myself squirming when I hear that I “must” have an author brand.

5 Reasons Why I Rebel Against Branding
  1. I’m a natural, left-handed rebel. In kindergarten, my teacher told me that I must choose which hand to write with. I chose to write with my left-hand because I knew that would irritate her. I struggle with the urge to rebel every time someone says I “must” do something.
  2. I fear that author branding means that I have to write the same kind of story over and over again.
  3. I don’t want to create several pseudonyms to cover all the genres I want to write. Can you imagine keeping up a social media presence for several names?
  4. I read a variety of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. All of those books influence my writing. My earliest influences included: the Bible, a book of fairy tales and nursery rhymes that I read until the cover fell off, Where the Wild Things Are, The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Star Wars, Star Trek, Scooby Doo, my mom’s nursing books, my dad’s airplane magazines, National Geographic, Zane Gray, my grandmother’s real-life bed-times stories, and Shakespeare. (And guess what? With my favorite authors, I love to read outside my “normal” genres.)
  5. I want to take a walk in a variety of character’s shoes. I love that sensation of stepping into a new world with a new character and not knowing what kinds of twists and turns stand between the character and the top of the story mountain ahead. When my mom used to say, “Take a walk in someone else’s shoes,” to remind me to have empathy for others, I daydreamed about what that would be like.
Photo Credit: Tyrean Martinson, Shoes from Martinson family members.
Can you guess which ones are mine? (Hint: I have teen daughters.)
What shoes would you choose? And, would you want to take the same walk every day in the same shoes?

Tyrean Martinson is an everyday writer, believer, and daydreamer who lives within a mile of the Puget Sound but who can’t see the water from her house (unless she climbs a tall cedar tree in her backyard). 

Her latest book reflects her love of taking a walk in a variety of character shoes.

Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry includes most of the short works Tyrean Martinson wrote between the fall of 2013 and December 2015. These short works range from extremely short in length, from haiku and hint fiction to flash fiction and short fiction. Forty-eight of these works found publication in magazines before becoming a part of this collection, and forty-two new works reside in these pages, as well. Flicker contains an eclectic mix of types of writing, as well as subject matter, from light to dark, from real world to speculative worlds.

Currently, Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry is on sale for 99 cents June 11th thru June 21st for Kindle and Smashwords readers. 

I enjoyed Tyrean's post and feel like a genre rebel myself! I'm so happy for her latest release!

Finally as promised, here's a picture from the Sci Fi Valley Con I went to this weekend - I had a fun and successful time!
My costume was pretty tame compared to some of the wild and elaborate outfits that paraded through the aisles - fun people-watching! and it was great to meet new readers!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Getting ready for a #sci fi #Conference @SciFiValleyCon !

Since I'm getting ready for this fun event, I thought I'd share my checklist with you. This is what I bring to an event:

  • Display - I get lots of compliments on my table, but sometimes I wonder if it's too much - the point is to sell books, not just look pretty... but it does catch their attention. For purely book events I bring less, but for this sci fi con, I'm going all out!
    • Banner(s) - and for this event I'm bringing my photo props!
    • Black Tablecloth
    • Book stands or rack, depends on how much room I have.
    • Candy dish, Card holder, Jewelry stands
    • Figures - dragon, mermaid, etc, depending on room
    • Newsletter signup clipboard
    • Raffle bag - depends on the crowd
  • Swag - Free stuff with my name & books on it. Hopefully they'll look at it one more time before they toss it... (so don't spend much money on this stuff unless it's useful!)
    • Bookmarks - a staple, and I put one series on each side to save on cost
    • Postcards - I use postcards to advertise future books or anthologies, and I don't print a ton, it doesn't hurt!
    • Author cards - a must, connections are imperative!
    • Candy - I attach stickers with my name/books when possible. Candy brings traffic to the table
    • Pens - useful, have my name on them, not too expensive
    • Magnets - new for this event, they were reasonable and they're useful!
    • Bracelets, notepads - these are not free! But I display them to get attention and give them away with the books, helps seal the deal sometimes!
    • Gift Bags - I put labels on gift bags for people to carry their purchases from me and I also offer bags if someone is heavy laden - free advertising!
  • Me and My Books!
    • What to wear - I'm always comfortable, but I do like to add a little flair...
      • For bookfairs, I dress business casual, plus add a little glitter in the hair or extra eye makeup
      • For Cons like this one, I'll be going dragon - with bigger eye makeup, wings, and possibly a tail if I get around to finishing it!
    • the BOOKS!
      • I inventory my supply early in case I have to order more
      • I bring a box and a half of books, not too many but enough. I've never sold out, but I do sell more every time I go somewhere, so that's positive. This is a bigger event, but most folks are coming for the art, comics, and celebrities. I keep it reasonable and light.
Well, that gives you an idea of how I get ready for a book event. If you have any suggestions or questions - I'm all ears! I'd love to hear about an event you've done or are planning for.

I'm only bringing one extra box of books, not all of them!
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Time keeps on slipping...

A faceless woman
made of sand
walks along
an endless beach

Always ahead of me
leaving me behind
ever in my sight

I jog to catch up
I reach for her
I want to slow her down

Her hand disintegrates
in mine
and she keeps walking
at that same
not too slow
not too fast

May was the season for graduations. Seeing so many around me grow up and move on, I've been reminiscing about when they were little, running around on firefly-filled summer nights with flashlights playing Ghost in the Graveyard while we parents had a grand old time not having to pay attention to them... Good times.

I just took my big boys on a college visit. I only have them for one and two more years. It's hard to fathom. I don't feel any older, mentally. But I sure feel it when I wake up in the morning with my shoulder out of whack or my hand goes numb from blow-drying my hair. Does anyone else groan every time they get up out of a comfy chair?

Soon I'll be fifty years old... ah!

Meets 1st Wed of MonthWhich brings me to my Insecure Writer's Support Group post - If I ever lose my mind, I'd want to be put out of my ignorant misery. (You know what I mean, I'm already crazy!)

Today I'm not complaining. With summer here, I have many more opportunities to write and have written more this past week than the past two months, though I have been busy like a bee in a botanical garden. And I have so much waiting to be written, so many ideas and new ones all the time. I know there are many of you out there like me with lots of stories to write and little time to write them. I also know the slow pace can be a discourager in itself. So this month, this summer, I implore you to keep at it! Let's reach some writing goals - and be proud for any word counts or editing we can get done!

Make it a summer of accomplishments. I'll be checking in!

At the end of the school year, I was so excited that one of my young fans got a group of friends to do their book club project on BROKEN BRANCH FALLS! And for part of their project they made a cute little commercial for it! (I hope it plays!) I was also invited to answer questions with their group - it was awesome! Times like that are what makes it all worth every painstaking moment!

That's what it's all about for me - getting kids excited about reading.

So what will you accomplish this summer? Because you can do it! I know you can!

Popular Posts