Tuesday, July 31, 2012

#TuesdayswithTaryn S.J. McMillan, author of City of the Gods: The Descendant @McMillanSJ

Tuesdays with Taryn
S.J. McMillan

Please answer the following questions:
What book(s) most influenced you as a writer?
My love of reading started in high school. I read a lot of YA horror like R.L Stine, L.J. Smith, Christopher Pike, etc. After high school, I started reading a lot of romance, any kind of romance. It is probably the combination of the genres that influenced me to write urban fantasy. I like the suspense of the horror genre and the emotional drama of romances.

What book do you read over and over again?
I have several that I have read many times. I’ve read the original Vampire Diaries series 3 or 4 times. I’ve read a book titled Waters Dark & Deep (by Jean Favors) many times as well. There are also a couple of romance writer, Lynsay Sands, book I’ve read a few times. I’m a book hoarder. If I loved the book, I never get rid of it in case I decide to pick it up and enjoy it again.

Tuesday Trio-
1)      Movie- Victor/Victoria
2)      Music- It’s a 3 way tie between Paramore, Flyleaf, & Evanescence
3)      Decadent Dessert- Anything chocolate

What’s the most interesting or bizarre bit of trivia you’ve learned from researching for a novel?
Because the ancient civilization is from an actual city in Mexico, I had to research the city and the time period of 700 A.D. The mystery surrounding the construction of and demise of the city of Teotihuacán is interesting to me. There is still some much to learn. My hope is to one day travel to see the city first hand.

Novel on your Nightstand:
Who/what are you currently reading?
I’m so far behind on my reading these days. The book anxiously awaiting my attention is Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (yep, the 2nd book in the Hunger Games trilogy, that’s how far behind I am).

Whom would you cast as your Hero & Heroine if your book became a movie?
I would cast Christian Serratos for Katalina. Most will probably know her from the Twilight Saga movies. She played the human Angela.

I would cast Alex Meraz for Tristan’s part. He was also in the Twilight Saga movies as one of the wolf pack.

700A.D. Teotihuacán, Mexico – The High Priest believed himself to be as powerful as the gods. He set a plague on the city as a demonstration of his power. The Gods took pity on the remaining loyal congregation. They granted each survivor immortality and an extraordinary ability. Three loyal survivors were given a mission of great importance: train the lone human descendant of their civilization to stop the evil priest from damning the rest of humanity.
2012 A.D. San Diego, California – The time has come to finally make Katalina Deckard aware of her destiny. Her life has been a constant struggle since the loss of her parents when she was young. But has it prepared her to save the world? Can her friends, who have survived so long, convince her she has what it takes to accept the mantle of Redeemer?

Author Bio
I play many roles in life, as we all do. I’m a wife to a supportive husband, a mother to three young rascals, and an administrative assistant during the work week to name a few. Now I am finally getting to add published author to my list.

I started writing poetry in high school. I enjoy poetry and still write a poem whenever inspiration hits me. I love to read, especially paranormal romances and urban fantasies. The love of reading spawned the urge to try writing a novel of my own.

One of my favorite parts of writing a book is creating the characters. I immerse myself into their lives. I laugh when they laugh, cry when they cry. I cheer them on in their triumphs and encourage them in their struggles.

I have also come to enjoy writing fight scenes. Don’t laugh, but my husband (the wonderful man that he is) will act them out with me so I know exactly how I need to show it to the reader. Call us crazy, but it is really fun to act out a scene using a broom handle as a spear and a foam baseball bat as an axe.

I am currently finishing up the follow up book to City of the Gods: The Descendant. I love to hear from readers and other authors. You can find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/McMillanSJ, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/McMillanSJ, or check out my website at www.mcmillansj.com.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

#sixSunday Six Sentence Sunday- The Wonderful Wizard of...

Good morning Sixers! Here's a touch of humor from Jasmine while dealing with her friend, Simone, who is also her partner in her interior design business Decor Dreamz.

“See you tomorrow.” Simone’s muffled voice rose from behind some wall hangings like the Great Wizard of Oz. “Don’t forget, nine a.m. His address is on the new folder I made for the appointment binder. It’s laying on the table over there.”
When a disembodied arm appeared and pointed in the proper direction, Jasmine half expected to hear a booming voice warn her to—Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

#SCENTsational Saturdays- Fave Number 7- Degree Sexy Intrigue

Rich jasmine and exotic red rose blend sensuously with strawberries, blackberries, and peaches. While sultry back notes of creamy sandalwood and amber mingle with Tahitian vanilla for an addictive scent that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.

This is one of my new favorites and it's not even a brand name perfume, but an accompanying fragrance to be used with the Degree Sexy Intrigue Deodorant. It's soft, sweet and makes me think of warm summer nights, sweet goodnight kisses, and a lover's embrace. It's youthful, but mature and smells absolutely fantastic.

In fact, it kind of makes me feel like this new Maroon 5 song- Love Somebody. No video yet, but would love to see one.

Have a SCENTsational Saturday!

Friday, July 27, 2012

In the Friday Spotlight- Grin & Barrett by @RuthjHartman #TMPress @FictionWitches @turquoisemorn

$2.99 on Kindle

 Remmie Grin is a self-sufficient dentist who has her life right where she wants it.

That is, until handsome, flirty Dr. Victor Barrett moves in next door. He constantly bugs her about selling her practice to him—but she’s not budging.

How can she convince him to leave her alone when all she really wants him to do is kiss her again?

Author Bio: Ruth J. Hartman is a romance author as well as a licensed dental hygienist. She writes sweet, humorous romance novels. Often times they revolve around dentistry, cats, or both. She lives in rural Indiana with her husband of 29 years, and two extremely spoiled, fat cats. More about her books can be found at her website: www.ruthjhartman.blogspot.com

A delightful book, even better than the others I've reviewed. In fact, I'd say this is Ruth's best so far! There...is that committing myself enough? The dialogue between Victor and Remmie, from the first quip about her name to the last line is sharp and fast and full of wit. The scenes with Remmie's cats and felinophobe Victor are amusing, and the whole story moves at a pace which makes you want to keep reading without taking a breath between words
My favourite scene was the impromptu date at the movies -- the hero's erstwhile attempts to gain the heroine's favour, and her feisty resistance, are nothing less than perfect. The back-and-forth banter reminds me of the courtship of Gilbert Blythe and Anne of Green Gables. Hartman has a direct line into my youthful daydreams about being an independent woman and falling in love

In Grin and Barrett, when two dentists are after the same location sparks fly.This was a fun read filled with good old fashioned romance.

Great Book, I loved it! If you like your loves stories with a lot of sass and humor. GET THIS BOOK!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

#Writerly Wednesday- Looking at Handsome Men Gives Me a Headache

My Hero is No Grisly Adams

As I endeavor to find stock images and figure up what I'd need for cover art images that I like or think might suit my purposes, I find that staring at handsome men can give one a headache. There, I said it. It's not so much the men, as the hours of eyestrain spent staring at the computer screen, but still....It's a time intensive search that reminds me why I normally write instead of work with computer graphics and it gives me a deep respect for all those cover artists who do spend many more hours than I have, scouring images across the net to make the perfect book cover for us writers.

I'm also reminded that terms like "sexy" and "handsome" are very subjective. I looked up "sexy cowboy" on one site and it came back with more pictures of women than men. What images of male cowboys I did find were sparse, older than I needed, or much too young, and one guy looked too much like Ricky Martin. Love you Ricky, but totally NOT the image I have in mind for a heterosexual hero who's supposed to favor Tim McGraw with a mustache and cowboy hat.

I have also seen, guys who look no more mature than 15, some "handsome" men are images of little boys in suits, like the ring bearer at a wedding. Some are much much older men- not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's not what I'm looking for. One guy looks like Michael T. Weiss who once played Mike on Days of Our Lives when I was a kid and was later the lead on The Pretender. Unfortunately none of my heroes favor him. I saw one guy who looked a LOT like Liam Helmsworth- Chris (a.k.a. Thor) Helmsworth's brother. Another sort of reminded me of Chris Evans, a.k.a. Captain America. Some reminded me of ex-boyfriends, so I have no inclination to use them AT ALL.

Mind you, there are some good looking guys on these stock photo sites, but not all fit the "image" I want and some just don't plain work for me at all. Maybe it's because I originally modeled my characters after actors and actresses, I'm making it harder on myself to pin down "new" images of them, but I have found a few female model images that do fit my leading ladies. The guys are a little harder to fit the mold I'm looking for.

I told my husband that I need one who favors Matthew McConaughey, but you can't search Mr. McConaughey-hey-hey because photos of him actually come up, so I can't even do a "look-alike" search. Later I pointed out a picture of this guy to my husband and said, "See what I mean? Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder."

He laughed and said, "Well, that guy looks a little bit like McConaughey." I scoffed, staring at this pale scrawny guy with a bright orange curly 'fro and said, "No, this guy looks like Carrot Top, before he buffed up." (and I'm still not sure which is scarier.)

It also became increasingly, painfully apparent that husbands don't understand romance novels or their covers, when I grumbled that the guys who could fit my characters had too much facial hair and vice versa. The majority of my heroes don't sport facial hair at all and it's really rare in the business to see heroes on romance novel covers who have facial hair, which led to this discussion between myself and my husband—

"I don't want guys with a lot of facial hair."

Hubby, who has a mustache and goatee asks me, as though he's been offended, "What's wrong with facial hair?"

I said, "Nothing necessarily, it wasn't anything against you or to make you feel inferior, but most book covers don't have men with facial hair."

He asked why, so I told him, "I don't know. Guess most women just don't want a lot of facial hair on their heroes, at least on the cover of romance novels. Maybe a mustache or a 5 o'clock shadow or a pencil line beard, but nothing like those guys on Duck Dynasty."

That elicited a good laugh.

Yeah, hubby's my hero, but in my fictional world- my hero is no Grisly Adams.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

#TuesdayswithTarynLarry Kollar @FARfetched58 #Author of White Pickups, Book 1 of the Truckalypse

 Tuesdays with Taryn
Larry Kollar
Please help me in welcoming Larry Kollar to Tuesdays with Taryn today!

What book(s) most influenced you as a writer?
It's easy to say Lord of the Rings, but it's true. Tolkien's Middle-Earth was a masterwork. He built on familiar tales and myths, and created something entirely new that readers could still understand. The characters were much the same—different but familiar. I've always been a sucker for excellent world-building.

What book do you read over and over again?
The Red Mars/Green Mars/Blue Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, usually in the winter. Another great example of world-building, except that it's the characters doing the building (or terraforming). They go beyond the relatively easy task of creating an ecosystem, and tackle tougher questions like “how do we want to relate to each other”? It can be seen as a metaphor for the writing process.

Tuesday Trio-
1)      Movie- Galaxy Quest
2)      Music- Progressive Trance
3)      Decadent Dessert- hot fudge brownie with Extreme Moose Tracks ice cream

What’s the most interesting or bizarre bit of trivia you’ve learned from researching for a novel?
The Georgia Guidestones — is a 2-hour drive from my house, and some call it the “American Stonehenge.” Only one person knows who had it built (besides those who commissioned the work, of course), and he agreed to carry the information to his grave.

Novel on your Nightstand:
Who/what are you currently reading?
I'm in between at this moment. I just finished Jumping at Shadows, my friend Helen A. Howell's first novel. It's a fantasy for middle-grade readers, about a girl who grows up seeing shadows watching her all the time. She soon learns that her ancestry isn't completely of Earth.

Whom would you cast as your Main Characters/Hero/Heroine if your book became a movie?
Wow, I'm not up on the teen stars at the moment. I'd like to see some unknowns step in and see them interpret Cody, Sondra, and Kelly.

Though the book is not out yet (should be less than 2 weeks from now) in the meantime, you can learn more about it on the White Pickups Goodreads Page.

“Legends are about ordinary people who stepped up and did what had to be done.”

At summer’s end, mysterious white pickup trucks take to the roads and compel nearly everyone to “drive off.” Some of those who remain gather in a suburban Atlanta subdivision, and struggle to cope with a world whose infrastructure is rapidly crumbling. One of the few who are mentally and emotionally prepared for the end of the world is Cody Sifko, a youth who quickly becomes the inspiration for the others. When a strange homeless woman names him “Father of Nations,” is she seeing his future or her own delusions? As winter and a hate group try to destroy Laurel Hills, can Cody overcome personal tragedy and seize his destiny?

You can learn more about Larry and his work at his blog-
Tales from FAR Manor