Friday, July 21, 2017

#bookreview on Two Heartbeats

As part of my Goddess Fish Promotions virtual book tour, Two Heartbeats read and provided an honest review of A Vampire's Tale.


"What a great story... it’s one that will keep you turning the page .. A wonderful read that’s original and new."


The best laid plans…

Marisa Clements was never satisfied writing the ‘gossip column’ in the local paper and she quit her job to follow her dream of writing fiction. Floundering in an unforgiving industry, she wrote about vampires, a popular subject she considered fascinating but as real as unicorns, to pay the rent.

Corgan was tired of human misconceptions about vampires and ‘living’ as a vampire. He planned to tell Marisa his story and end his existence. It was no coincidence Corgan selected Marisa to write his story. With the ability to see the future, he knew she would be a major part of it. He knew if they met, she would help him die, but in doing so, she’d be doomed to the same fate. Once they met, their futures would be irrevocably intertwined.

Corgan began to care for Marisa and finally revealed the truth to her. He admitted his quest to atone for his past sins had put her in grave danger from a nest of revenge seeking vampires. Corgan must claim her for her own protection. But claiming her is not enough, he must ask for help from his wizard friends and his maker in order to destroy his enemy or Marisa will never be safe.


For the full review see Two Heartbeats.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Ten Things That Make Me Happy by @mayatylerauthor

Originally posted on Book Lover Promo as part of my Goddess Fish Promotions virtual book tour.

I love a "top ten" list and have often asked my own guests for their own "top ten"... so... when it came to writing my own, I jumped at the chance and here's what I came up with.


Things That Make Me Happy

1.   My family

My family makes me happy for so many reasons… They are a constant pillar of support, we consider ourselves a team, and we have fun together. When everyone is well-rested and fed and the boys aren’t fighting – ah, sibling love. My oldest loves Lego and he goes to sleep talking about it and he wakes up talking about it, he probably dreams about it. We just saw The Lego Batman movie, which was awesome btw. He is also an expert on all things dinosaurs and wants to be a paleontologist. My youngest still likes to snuggle. We read together and play a lot of board games. At six, he’s already a great strategist. My husband is my high school sweetheart and I’ve known him for over twenty years. I truly believe I was fated to meet him, a series of events – a school closure and a relocation – brought us together, and he’s my soul mate. We’ve been through a lot together, devoted to each other in sickness and in health. He’s an amazing father who puts his family first.

2.   Coffee

Anytime is the right time for a coffee – a steaming dark roast, with a dash of cream and sugar. I enjoy my morning coffee in my light blue Disney’s Cinderella mug which states “It’s hard to wake up when you’ve been out past midnight.” The act of drinking coffee is soothing. Each pleasurable sip gives me a semblance of peace. And it’s the perfect beverage to share with a friend.

3.   Writing

I keep my cards close to my chest. My husband is the first to comment that I don’t share my feelings. He’s always available to listen – and dispense advice – but I don’t always have the words. Writing gives me the words. I “think” better on paper (or on a computer screen now). Writing is a way for me to process information and make decisions.

I have always enjoyed writing creatively. I have a box full of scribblings, that I keep meaning to sort through, from my younger years. My lifelong dream – ever since I was a little kid – is to be a writer and I published my first book in 2014. The cliché “dream come true” completely applies. Being a writer is more than just the act of writing. Since publication of my first book, I have been actively involved in constant promotion of my work and myself. I have a blog, an author website, and a social media presence to maintain.

4.   Reading

I wouldn’t be a writer today if I hadn’t been an avid reader all my life. Book were, and still are, my friends. I experience books with all senses, literally absorbing the words. I have always loved libraries and bookstores. My boys are budding readers. We encourage them to read. A lot. We read to them, and with them, in the hopes of fostering a lifelong love of reading.

5.   Music

A happy list would be incomplete without music. So many things I enjoy – rock concerts, live musical theatre, karaoke – involve music. The radio is always on in the background at my house, set to a “new” rock station, but they play a lot of ‘90’s music which I love. Music from the ‘90’s has a special place in my heart… it was my “coming-of-age” and the songs I listened to then are still favorites. Bands like Live, Pearl Jam, Offspring, Green Day, The Tragically Hip, and Our Lady Peace were on my mixed tapes. Live’s album “Throwing Copper” (from 1994) is still my go-to CD to sing-along with. I’ve added a few new favorites – like Rise Against and Toronto’s Billy Talent – to my list too. And I recently completed my concert bucket list!

6.   Disney

I am a HUGE Disney fan. I love the stories, the movies, the songs, the games, the store, the World (Walt Disney World, that is), and pretty much everything about Disney… Winnie-the-Pooh and Mickey Mouse decorate my house. I have two boys or there would be Princesses everywhere too! Disney has the golden touch when it comes to commercial success – they sell happiness and fantasy to children (and big kids too). I went to Disney World twice as a child and loved it. When I got married, I told my husband we had to go to Disney World before we had kids. We had an awesome time… It’s a magical place. Three years ago, shortly after Frozen came out, we took the boys. It’s different going with children. They don’t have the stamina to traipse around the park all day and stay for fireworks each night. We did park stuff in the mornings, hotel stuff in the afternoons and evenings. We saw the fireworks one night from our hotel and my youngest fell asleep during the show. We still had so much fun. With the acquisition of Marvel superheroes and Star Wars… We can’t wait to go back!

My favorite princess is Cinderella. My favorite Disney movie? That’s a more difficult question, but I really loved Enchanted.

7.   The Internet

I remember a time without the Internet. I grew up with computers, although nothing like we have today, but the Internet wasn’t a “thing” until I was in high school. Now, I can’t imagine life without it. Have a question? Google it. Who was that actor/actress in that movie? IMDB. Need to talk to a friend? Facebook, email, iMessage… Then, there’s online shopping, Netflix (more on that later), and social media. It’s incredible. We even have “portable computers” like laptops, tablets, and smart phones. Wi-Fi everywhere. You can always be connected. This is something my kids just accept, they have grown up with it.

The Internet created a hospitable environment for the publishing industry – increased access for authors and publishers (both traditional and indie); editors; book promoters; beta readers; book reviewers. It essentially made it easier than ever to publish a book. Research potential publishing companies. Send query letters. Sign book contracts. Review edits. Promote published works. Monitor book sales and sales rankings. Before the Internet, I may not have had the opportunity to publish my books. With the advent of eBooks – the ability to read on virtually every device out there and online vendors like Amazon… books have become more accessible – for authors and readers.

8.   Netflix

I was initially resistant to getting Netflix. We had cable. We had a PVR. But we also had two kids and an incredibly busy life. After a few months of a 97% full PVR and watching just the right amount of shows so that there was enough room to record the next lineup of scheduled shows – which was extremely stressful – I agreed to try Netflix out. It’s an amazing system, we’ve been able to catch up on our favorites shows (on our schedule) and we’ve discovered some Netflix originals that have become new favorites. Binge watching – no more waiting a week for the next installment – and the ability to continue on where you left off on any device? Yes, please. I’ve even watched a couple of documentaries… something I never would’ve done before. And it’s a great source of entertainment for the big kids when the little kids have gone to bed.

9.   My family room

Summer 2015, our goal was reducing stress, getting away without getting away, so we put in motion a plan for converting our backyard into an oasis. We purchased a covered gazebo, wicker furniture with big, comfy red cushions, a fire table, and a cedar table and chairs set. We called it our family room. An outside living space to relax, read, watch movies, and play board games. I do a lot of writing out there so the room is a happy space for me for that reason as well.

10.  Summer

Definitely my favorite season, I love spending time outside in the sun – going to the beach and water parks – storing up my vitamin D. When the sun shines, I’m just feel better. Winter sun is good too and pretty when it makes the snow sparkle, but it can’t beat the warm summer sun soaking into my skin (I enjoy in moderation and I wear sun block every day).


These things make me happy… what makes you happy?

Friday, July 7, 2017

#authorinterview with Aly's Miscellany

As part of my Goddess Fish virtual book tour, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Aly's Miscellany.


Now, to start, what inspired you to write the "A Vampire’s Tale"?

Parts of this story were inspired from a number of different personal experiences and perspectives. Overall, when I started writing A Vampire’s Tale, I was in a dark place. Literally. For an unknown reason, my blood pressure had dropped significantly causing me to faint several times. I was confined to my bed for almost a week with these symptoms, unable to stand without my world fading to black. From that darkness, my characters emerged.

How would you describe the story to someone who hasn't read it yet?

In a word. Atypical. The story is a paranormal romance novel about a vampire, but it isn’t your mainstream vampire story. Corgan Halton is ancient and ready to end his unnatural existence. He seeks out Marisa Clements, a paranormal romance author, to write his life story. His presence in her life propels her into a world filled with danger in a high intensity adventure toward their shared destiny.

Describe Corgan Halton and Marisa Clements in 3 words each.

Corgan. Dark. Sexy. Protective. Marisa. Strong. Stubborn. Focused.

What do you think makes Corgan Halton appealing? How about Marisa Clements?

Corgan is an enigma. Undead yet yearns for death. Uses humans for food yet saves their lives as atonement. Endangers Marisa’s life by his presence yet vows to protect her. Corgan has a brooding presence, deep inset feelings buried far beneath the surface. He is handsome and mysterious. He is drawn to Marisa by some invisible force – destiny? – and, against his dark nature, is very chivalrous.

Marisa is a relatable character. She has sacrificed much to follow her dreams, but still perseveres. Her dedication to her craft, despite the huge personal cost, is admirable. Her appeal is in her independence and her human vulnerability.

How did you create your characters? Were they inspired by real people?

Bits and pieces of every character I create is definitely inspired by real people. Real people and real experiences. I see significant parts of myself in Marisa – from her chosen career to her determination and stubbornness. Corgan’s protective streak is inspired by my husband who has the tendency to coddle me. The villains, actions and traits, come from personal experience as well, vile co-workers and the conformity of the establishment.

What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why?

My heroine Marisa has found herself cornered by two men with malicious intents when my hero Corgan literally swoops in to save her. Then he scoops her into his arms and flies her to his lair.

Corgan’s dramatic rescue made this scene fun to write. The threat of danger, the suspense triggered by the unknown outcome was a switch from the scenes primarily with Marisa alone.

Excerpt:

Lost in thought, the last half of her coffee had grown cold, and she didn’t want more, anyway. The coffee shop was deserted except for the lone attendant. It must be later than she realized. Her stomach churned, and something akin to fear gripped her. She had the strangest notion she had to go home. Now.

Leaving the mug on the table, she walked out of the restaurant without a second glance. Her step quickened as she heard frightening sounds in the darkness. Almost home. She sighed.

Two strange men, with dark hoodies concealing their faces, stepped out of the shadows.

“Where are you off to in such a hurry, pretty lady?”

She ignored the speaker and continued walking.

“Hey, we're talking to you.”

The largest man of the duo blocked her path while the other grabbed her by the back of her neck and yanked her into the alley.

Every fiber of her being wanted to flee. “Let go of me,” Marisa demanded.

“Not until we've had some fun.”

She tensed and clenched her fists. “Maybe you didn't hear me clearly before, asshole. I said let go!”

The man in front of her pulled out a knife, the metal reflecting in the dim light of the moon.

Heart racing, she struggled against her attacker, trying to kick her way free.

“The lady doesn't want to play tonight, fellas. I suggest you find a new friend.”

The man behind her released his grip, and the two thugs inched away from her. “Hey, man. We didn't mean any harm.”

Corgan stepped in front of her and waved his hand in the air. “You were never here. You never saw me. If you ever see this lady again, you will run away from her and won't know why. Am I clear?”

They nodded blankly.

“Then go, before I change my mind.”

Marisa fell into Corgan’s arms as her would-be assailants dashed down the street. Sobs racked her as she shivered uncontrollably. “You saved me.”

“I should've been here sooner.” Holding her tightly, he stroked her hair. “Nothing will ever harm you again.”

Surrounded by the safety of his strong arms, she had complete faith in him. She leaned into his embrace and sighed.

“Do you trust me?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“Hold on.”

He scooped her up in his arms and floated into the air. His black cape swirled around him as they rose higher. Then they soared over the city, high above the buildings.

“Wow. I had no idea.” As he flew through a wet cloud, she snuggled closer. “Don't drop me, okay?”

He chuckled, a deep and throaty sound, as if she amused him. “I'll try not to, little one.”

“Well, try hard, mister. I'm too pretty to fall from the sky and smash on the sidewalk.”

“Yes, it would be a shame to mar your pretty face.”

Returning below the clouds, he lowered them onto a curved, marble balcony. With a wave of his hand, the double French doors swung open. Light from many flickering candles illuminated the room.

“Where are we?”

“My place.”

Why do you write paranormal romance?

I love romance novels so writing romance was an easy choice… I didn’t set out to write paranormal, but I’ve always enjoyed science fiction and fantasy so it ended up being a good fit. Writing paranormal allows me to stretch my imagination and gives me freedom, leeway from the constraints of reality.

How did you start writing?

I was always scribbling something down on scraps of paper, notepads, paper towels when I was a kid. I wrote everything from short stories to poetry. It makes sense that an avid reader with a very active imagination writes. I traded writing fiction for term papers when I went to university. Post-graduation I took a couple of creative writing classes for leisure, but it wasn’t until I connected with an online writing group in 2010 that I began to seriously write again.

Do you listen to music while you write?

I don’t intentionally listen to music while I write, but the radio is usually on in the background to an alternative rock station.

Did you always want to be an author?

Yes. Unequivocally yes! One of the most consistent “what I wanted to be when I grew up” careers, abandoned for a practical education and regular pay cheque. You can quiet the voices for a while, but they keep returning.

Does your family read your books?

No, paranormal romance isn’t their genre of choice, which is fine with me. My husband read A Vampire’s Tale and it was the most terrifying week of my life. It was the first book he ever read of mine (I’ve known him for over twenty years) and he’s not exactly a romance fan. He loved it… better praise could not be garnered as my husband believes in “shoot from the hips” honesty.

What did you read as a kid?

I absorbed books when I was a kid. I read everything from the classics – Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charles Dickens – to Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High, and The Babysitters Club.

Can you tell me some of your favorite authors? How about books?

I read a lot, mainly romance novels – historical and paranormal. I like my fictional happily-ever-afters. Favorite authors? In no particular order… Sally Mackenzie, Karen Marie Moning, Tara Taylor Quinn… and countless others. I have many favorites and I love to read new-to-me authors too. I confess my TBR pile is pretty deep right now, both print and ebooks…

My favorite book is William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. It’s written as a story within a story about the story. Sounds more complicated than it actually is. Anyway, it’s a fabulous read. It even inspired me to start my first novel… a sequel to The Princess Bride… at age 12.

What are you currently working on?


Promotion for A Vampire’s Tale is occupying the lion’s share of my time right now. I do, however, have two projects in progress. A prequel to my first paranormal romance Dream Hunter and a sequel to A Vampire’s Tale.

A few short answer questions:
Tea or coffee?
Coffee
Do you prefer the sea side or the mountains? Sea side
Sweet or salty? Sweet
Print or ebook? Both lol
Movies or TV shows? TV shows (especially Netflix binge watching)
Favorite book? The Princess Bride
Favorite author? Too many to list lol