Wednesday, December 6, 2023

CONDUCTION Release Party!

After a long road of trials, tribulations, and personal re-evaluation, I finally published it...


CONDUCTION by Tara Tyler
Sci Fi Detective Thriller/Techno Thriller
Book 4 in Pop Travel series
Preview of MAGNETRON, Book 5 included

In 2085, cutting edge technology is the most valuable currency, and the black tech market offers high pay-offs for diamond-level code. Jared Nertz is an easy-going ex-juicer gone legit working for Pop Travel Technologies, and just when he finishes his long-awaited Conduction project--the process of storing data in the brain--someone immediately steals it and kills his mentor, framing him for the murder. Now it's up to his lawyer/wife Miki and their resourceful friends, Geri and Cooper to prove Jared's innocence by recovering the stolen tech before the criminal killer sells it. But that's only the beginning, as they discover a darker threat when they dig deeper into the case.

Cover Art by my long time writer/artist friend, Carrie Butler
And I've mentioned this before, but I love that I talked my son into posing for it.
I have a couple of reviews lined up, but there's always room for more -- let me know!

Here are a few fun quotes from the book...

Chaos, sweet chaos. -- Cooper

Watching Hasan argue with his droid, Geri wanted to shoot them both. Or herself. -- Geri

“What’s ASAHP?” -- Cooper
“As soon as humanly possible, of course!” -- Hasan

He was secretly very proud of himself. Weren’t all inventions potentially dangerous in the wrong hands? -- Jared

I am also excited to have some special guest hosts helping with my Release Party
 -- Everyone is invited!

And the party continues in January when I plan to release the ebook...

I'm so thankful for this writing community where we can share our ups and downs of the business. The IWSG keeps us connected as a Writerly Family. I don't know what I'd do without you all!

Stay warm, Have a great Christmas, and See you next year!
Keep writing!


Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Fall inspires me

Happy IWSG Day. Hope you are writing or thinking about writing or about to be writing. However you are doing, maybe this little Fall poem will help inspire you, or gives you a chuckle. Plus a couple of surprises at the end...

Fickle Fall

Tis the season of dry hands
For turning off and on the fans
When we make then cancel plans
            if it rains.

Cozy colors everywhere
Xmas music in the air
And arthritis starts to flair
            oh, what pains.

Tis the season for achoos
And a few souls sing the blues
Don't forget the "I love you's"
            let them know.

Favorite flavor: pumpkin spice
Inside fire, outside ice
Fuzzy sweaters warm up nice
            on the go.

Tis the season for dry lips
Watching vids for all the tips
'Specially when cold weather nips
            like a pup.

Shorter days and longer eves
Crunchy, crinkly, colored leaves
Perfect time for story weaves
            looking up!

Surprise #1
I wanted to share my new cover with you all! I'm working very hard to get this one out there. Goal is December. And the awesome cover by Carrie Butler is motivating me to push myself even harder!

CONDUCTION by Tara Tyler
Pop Travel #4

In 2085, cutting edge technology is the most valuable currency, and the black tech market offers high pay-offs for diamond-level code. 

Jared Nertz is an easy-going ex-juicer gone legit working for Pop Travel Technologies, and just when he finishes his long-awaited Conduction project--the process of storing data in the brain--someone immediately steals it and kills his mentor, framing him for the murder. Now it's up to his lawyer/wife Miki and their resourceful friends, Geri and Cooper to prove Jared's innocence by recovering the stolen tech before the criminal killer sells it. But that's only the beginning, as they discover a darker threat when they dig deeper into the case.

I'm extra excited about the cover because I talked my oldest son into modeling for it. I love it!

Surprise #2
And lastly, a shout out to my writer friend, Christine Rains whose latest installment in her dark fantasy LitRPG trilogy, Khthonia was just released... BLIGHT OF THE NECROMANCER

When offered a choice between tedious research or fighting a dragon, the players always choose the dragon.

Even when they’re dangerously outmatched.

No one rational ever wants to play a bard, but Nora Quinn believed she could use her class’ skills of perception to her advantage as an investigator. As Essaerae the elven bard, she regrets picking the role now that the players are trapped in the dark realm of Khthonia. She desperately desires to go home, but her friends want to stay in the fantasy world, causing a rift in the party. To lift the Specter Plague curse from the land and win the game, the heroes must defeat the conniving necromancer. Yet he’s shadowing them with death the entire way.

Seeking the tools they need, Nora and her friends must survive perilous side quests and hordes of undead. The answer to how to slay the villain lies in the western ruins, but Nora is certain he is the only one who can get her home. And for that, he needs to stay alive.

Nora must choose between killing the necromancer and lifting the curse or siding with him and going home. Neither choice feels like a victory.

A fantasy LitRPG/GameLit for fans of tabletop role-playing games.

Happy November!
Cuddle up, buttercup!

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

New and Improved?

Welcome to the Insecure Writers Support Group - Oct 2023

I appreciate all the feedback from my "AI" post in Sept. Insightful and inspiring!
In a similar vein, I've had to do some upgrades and updates (I hate passwords!) It's made me wonder about "improvements" to writing and to the world in general. Every generation is encouraged to change the world, and many people take that and run with it. But what about the generations that came before? Aren't there some things that work great and should be left alone? Does old = bad?

In addition to the infinite updates in technology, they infiltrate education as well. New people come along (usually not teachers) and think they can revamp education. Unfortunately, they implement new changes before anyone can tell if the previous "improvements" made an impact. Don't get me wrong, I'm always trying to up my game, and I love hearing about and sharing new ideas with other teachers. But after decades of teaching, kids haven't changed. They all have they're own ways of learning--they just need more motivation. They ingest whatever knowledge we can get into them, then figure out life in their own ways.

I guess I've always been skeptical of change. I'm in the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" camp. But I also appreciate innovation and the comforts of life. I couldn't imagine living out west when the US was young. I love electricity and running water. And A/C is a must! I just wish the up-and-comers did more research into the current, tried and true ways before scrapping them.

Which brings me back to books. Way back when, books were revered, authors were celebrated, and reading was the thing to do. As technology evolved giving us radio, then television, then the internet with all-access streaming, books have taken a dive in the hierarchy of entertainment and information choices.

As if writing and getting published then hopefully noticed wasn't hard enough. Recently, Hollywood was on strike for fear that AI will one day take their jobs in writing and acting... The irony is that writers and movies foretold this! The good thing is writing programs can never be original, since the algorithms, though very creative, can only work based on what has already been written. 

Here's my big question: Are they really improving anything? What is the purpose of such programs? Just because we can do something, does that mean we should?

I resist change, but change can also be good. So before accepting it, I analyze it and look for the benefits not just the drawbacks. I accept the challenge of change to keep creating new and unique stories. And I hope you will too!

Sorry if that was a bit much, just been pondering a lot lately. Would love to hear your take!
Happy October!

PS - I just sent out a newsletter with my new CONDUCTION cover! I'll be posting it here in November...

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Beware of AI

Science Fiction becomes reality yet again!
Artificial Intelligence. It's only as smart as we make it. The programmers feed it judgmental info and selective facts, anything they want really. And even though it "learns" from mistakes, it's still humans at the helm, until they outgrow us... Think of the movies foretelling what can go wrong with AI -- the Matrix, I Robot, even Wall-E. AI gets so smart it doesn't need humans or thinks it knows what's best for humans and is willing to make some human sacrifices in seeking perfection.


As with all things created initially with good intentions (like the internet, social media, and the government -- all connected with humans seeking power) I don't trust it. And I hope the masses won't willingly accept it without questioning motives behind it. Most humans are like water, seeking the path of least resistance and easiest flow without checking to see if a cliff is up ahead... Watch out! Take it with a grain of salt!

What are your thoughts on AI?
And happy 12th Anniversary to the IWSG!
This blog hop has stood the test of time. I miss the old blog hops, especially A to Z. It was such a great way to meet other writers. And I'm so happy the IWSG is still around so we can keep in touch.

Hope you have a cooler September.
I just bought my first pumpkin treats - cream cheese and Pepperidge Farm Milanos - yum!
Trying to pace myself!
Happy Fall!

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Vacation is over

Where does the time go? School starts earlier and earlier. I have only 2 weeks left of summer break, but some states have already begun! I have a lot to prepare and plan--especially with 2 newish classes, but this year, I'm putting it off a little longer. Probably because of all the school related activities I did that took up most of June.

August IWSG
But I was very productive in July, and I am happy to report for this month's Insecure Writers Support Group that I finally uploaded DISPOSAL as an ebook (totally forgot I didn't do that!) 
AND... CONDUCTION is now in the polish/publish phase. This part of the writing journey is tough and time-consuming, so I might not get it done by the end of this year as I would like, but I'm going to give it my best shot! Anyone interested in a critique partner exchange, let me know!

Puppy Update
We are also picking up our 3rd puppy (yes, I said 3rd) in mid-September. The two we have now are growing up so fast and much better behaved and more manageable, so what's one more? haha. It's funny how having them in this way reminds me of my boys: the two oldest  are very close in age and my youngest a few years behind them. And if the personalities hold, the last one will be the most easy-going. They sure make life fun and keep us young!

Help Wanted
Back to my CONDUCTION publishing goal. I am seeking help with: a cover, editing, and Goodreads--and I'm willing to pay $$. I'm putting this out there to my writing friends first, and if you have any recommendations, I'll take those too! This writing gig is too vast to get it all done by myself when I also have a very busy full-time job. If you have any advice, feel free to share that as well.

Lastly, we have three great posts coming up at the IWSG Anthology website:
8/2 - Getting Middle Schoolers Excited About Reading by Sherry Ellis
8/9 - Wait For It... Patience Through Metaphors by Bish Denham
8/16 - TBD by Ellen Jacobson

We have a few opening left in 2023, but we'll need more in 2024. Let me know if you're up for it.

Hope you are finding time and motivation to write this sultry summer 
And as the sun sets on this hot and humid season,
We will welcome my favorite time of year... 


Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Scary Things...

Welcome to my lair...

What scares you?
I get more worried than scared and avoid scary stuff. So surprises scare me most, especially when my boys jump out and startle me... they think it's hilarious. 

Puppies get scared pretty easily which can be funny too as they figure things out. My little guys are now five months old. They're getting so big, but still have that puppy rambunctiousness and love sniffing out (and chewing up) whatever they can chomp their teeth into. 

As expected, big, loud things make them run away--like my Roomba and the ironing board, haha. But they each have their own idiosyncrasies as well. Like puppies don't understand physics. Wagner is afraid of his food bowl moving when he eats! And he freaks if the toys shift in his bin, so he barks for me to get the one he wants. And even though he's big enough to jump up on the couch, he still plops his front half onto it and waits for someone to lift his rear up there. His brother, Jackson is a little smaller and has no problem jumping right up. But Jackson is more skittish. He's one of those dogs who barks at everything unfamiliar--even when he hears a dog barking on TV!

Bringing this all back to our writing: We all have our quirks. So don't forget to give your characters plenty of fears, reactions, and odd behaviors to make them unique and fun to read about!

I'm also happy to report, I have been working on CONDUCTION, Pop Travel #4. It's about time! And I'm actually making progress. If you'd like to know more about that, hop on over to the IWSG Anthology blog for my guest post this week.

Keep writing!

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

A New Era

Sorry I'm late -- I'm taking a summer course and it's kicking my butt!

On to our IWSG for June 2023!
It's summer. For me, that usually means I get a lot of extra time, even with travel plans and this course I'm taking. Time I'd like to dedicate to writing. We'll see if I get half the things done I'd like to do this summer. At least as I get older, I'm more realistic and less anxious about it all. Whatever I can do is good enough.

So make sure you enjoy your summer! Take care of what you can, spend time with friends and family, and write to your heart's content!

I should have a better post next month -- and hopefully more writing news to report!

PS - Stop by the IWSG Anthologies website for a great article by Alex J Cavanaugh about the origins of the IWSG

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Meet the Puppies!!

For this month's IWSG post, I'm just going to share some puppy pics. Meet Wagner & Jackson.

They are wearing me out! But they're getting better, and they'll surely boost your mood!

Enjoy a brighter May!
Hope things are bright and sunny for you!

And please try to stop by the IWSG Anthology Blog for a great post with advice on Rapid Releasing a Series by Diane Wolfe!

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Rainbows and Fresh Cut Grass

The sights and scents of Spring -- so refreshing!

Happy April IWSG day, my writer friends. It's time for new life, blooming fields, baby animals, and thunderstorms! Spring can be violent as the cold, stubborn winds of winter spar with the waves of warm breezes headed for summer. It's never a smooth transition. I hope you are safe as the changes blow through.

As for me and mine, we are enjoying our new puppies! The house was so empty when our sweet, old dog passed, especially for my hub. Now there's new life and chaos again--just like we like it. The fond memories linger as new ones are created.

Two last notes:
  1. The IWSG Anthology Blog also has new life. We've had a good response from our writers to keep it going. Today we have a post about Character Creation from Sylvia Ney who has appeared in both PARALLELS and FIRST LOVE anthologies. Check it out!
  2. You know it's been a while since you've written when your newsletter website informs you they are shutting you down for abandonment! I can't believe I haven't sent out a newsletter in two years. Shame on me. So I got off my duff and sent one out.
So tell me: What are your favorite parts of Spring? Drop me a descriptive Spring scene in the comments. Or let me know what writing endeavors you're up to. You inspire me!

Thanks for stopping by!
Now enjoy these puppies and spring animals...


Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Time Marches On

Yes, I said it. I can't believe it's already March!
The weather sure has been psyching me out, though. Hope the changes haven't been as violent in your area. I'm ready for it to blow over. (Forgive me, sometimes you just have to say Pun it!)

For this March 2023 IWSG post, lend me your ear for some March Madness - Writer's Style...

    > March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb

    > as mad as a March hare

    > march to the beat of a different drum

    > steal a march on someone

    > march against or for something

    > a slow march

    > beware the ides of March

    > a forced march

    > death march

    > march out of step

    > frog march

    > march in lockstep with someone

Was that too march? I hadn't heard of some of those before, have you? Do you have any more? Share your Marches!

But wait! Before you go, I have a post at the IWSG Anthology Blog... check it out, if you dare!
Happy Soon-to-be-Spring!


Wednesday, February 1, 2023

I love you guys!

No, I'm not drunk!
Thank you so much for your kinds words about my puppy. I haven't had that many comments in quite a while, and I was feeling the love... I guess love is in the air -- Happy February!

And happy Feb IWSG

Not much to report this month - just a couple of announcements:

1st - Though the IWSG Anthology contests are discontinued for now, we are still hoping to keep the IWSG Anthology blog going. We will be contacting the authors of all the anthologies to beg ask them to write posts once in a while -- offering advice, checking in, and snippets of writing.

If you are one such author and you're interested in contributing, let me know!

2nd - As in Feb 2nd! Happy Groundhog Day! 
Do you have any predictions on how much longer we will be smothered in cold weather?? Will that silly critter see it's shadow? Guess we will find out tomorrow

Thanks for stopping by - I will try to make my rounds this weekend


Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Here we go again

Happy New Year, take 2023!

Welcome to IWSG Jan 2023

How many times have we gone through the motions of vowing to change in the new year? Too many to count, for me! But the change in year does remind me to try harder or resolve anew, as it were... I always have big plans, lofty goals, and personal growth promises that inevitably fizzle out. I realize now, that when I plan these things, I'm at the end of my holiday break from work. It's easy to reach for high hopes and dreams when you have a ton of time on your hands!

So this year, I'll be more reasonable. I'll go easier on myself. I'm going to keep up with the Blogging at least once a month for IWSG -- your voices are what keep me chugging along on this writing journey and expressing my thoughts is wonderful therapy! Eating better and exercising more gets a jump start when I go back to work and get away from sedentary-dom, eating out, and extra sweets with company and the holidays! Not that I didn't love every minute of it! 

And Writing more. I really want to work on this. It was so much easier to begin the process. We start out bright-eyed and hopeful. Sure there are many obstacles along the way: will anyone like our writing? will we ever get published? will anyone buy it? -- some of you are in these stages now! But once you've been through those, the harder challenges arise: critics, marketing, failed publishers, and pandemics! Well, I'm over it. I have to make a plan, plotter that I am, and stick to it. If I want to call myself a writer, I need to keep writing, right? (haha) And that means I need to keep working through all the hard stuff that goes with it. So that's what I would like to do. We'll see how it goes...

Thank goodness I have support from you all! And I want to jump back into our weekly WRITERS CHAT! TUESDAYS @ 7:30 PM (EST) It is time.

We use Discord - a private chat group website. Please join us if you can!

And lastly, a piece of my heart is missing as we said farewell to the sweetest dog in the world just before Christmas. Comet held on long enough for our middle son to come home and say goodbye. Having my family fill my house, I was able to make it through the difficult time. And now that they're gone and I'm taking down the Christmas decorations, the house is even emptier, deafeningly quiet. I need some time to heal before I make him a scrapbook - so many tears. Dogs are the best, we don't deserve them.

I hope you enjoyed your holidays and are looking forward to a jamboree for 2023!


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