Shadows of Angels

Shadows of Angels Blog Tour Image

I am happy and honored to be a part of the Laura Rollins blog tour for her debut novel Shadows of Angels.

Here is her Bio:

Laura Rollins is an avid dessert creator, fiction writer, and probably Lucille Ball’s biggest fan ever.

She homeschools her four young children and finds the kitchen a perfect place to teach them math – 1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup equals a full cup – science – add the lemon juice to the sugar because the acid is necessary for the sugar to melt – and, of course, manners – please don’t grab the beater from your brother, I’ll get you a spoon of cookie dough instead. While Laura enjoys all forms of cooking, baking, and any other culinary expression known to man, her heart always leads her back to deserts, treats and the sweet things on the table.

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I met Laura through a local writers chapter. We became fast friends who were currently writing in the same genre. I’d just started dabbling in the young adult dark fantasy genre and so had she. I’d put my YA novel Vagabond on hold, while my other two books (women’s fiction) were published within three months of each other. We’d swapped first drafts of our fantasies. I felt bad to present her with such a mess of a work in progress as she had given me a polished, clean novel, which later became Shadows of Angels.

We would call each other and talk for hours about our novels. We’d exchanged edits back and forth, then back again. Every writer should—and needs—to have such a friend and critique partner. I love her descriptive, lyrical writing. I love her broad imagination. But mostly, I just love her as a person. In all honesty, by reading her bio, you’d never guess that such imagination and dark creatures could emerge from her brain. It’s surprising, if you know her, and that is another reason of what makes it so great.

Shadows of Angels is a dark fantasy with multiple points of view. Rollins tests her characters, both physically and mentally. Romance is not a main part of the story, although, there are traces and I am excited to see where she will be taking that element into her next novels in the series. Her many intriguing characters come alive on the page and dwell in a fabulous world.

So, please check out her new Young Adult novel Shadows of Angels. You won’t be disappointed.

Shadows of Angels Cover

Here is the blurb:
After the forest dwellers destroy her home and kill her father, Aerbrin sets off on a journey to find the truth about her people, her kingdom, and the mysterious Zaad stone that contains a power she never imagined. Magic and mystery join forces in this intriguing fantasy world. Full of shifting alliances and twists you won’t see coming, it’s a can’t-miss read.

Here is the excerpt:

Stay calm. Her father’s words echoed in her head. When you find yourself in danger, above all, stay calm. 

Aerbrin took a deep, steady breath and leaned down, reaching for her bow. One of the Forest Dwellers charged. It collided with her and knocked her to the floor. Raising a knotted fist, he bashed her head.

Sparks exploded across her vision. She tried to raise an arm, tried to call out. Her body wouldn’t respond. The Forest Dweller grunted again. The creature above her raised its fist again. She looked up. This was the end, she knew. When these monsters attacked, they killed everything. Animals, plants, and particularly humans. No one survived.

Closing her eyes, Aerbrin forced her body to relax. This time, there was no pain.

And Here are the purchase links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Happy reading!

  • Tara

 

 

Christmas Yard Waste

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This will be a quick how-to on changing your outside flower pots into Christmas decor. People bring me their pots at my work and I charge them at least $100.00 to do this, so here is a bit of information on how to do them for FREE, yes, free! Then I’ll go back to my usual writing tips. It’s just fun to mix things up for a bit.

If you follow me on Instagram, (which you are more than welcome to do) you will see a lot of my plant creations under #taracottapots.

I’ve been putting evergreens in my pots for years and finally learned how to do it properly, which turns out, was pretty close to what I was doing all along. It’s very similar to greening a floral vase, only more fragrant with pine and holiday cheer.

  • First – Clean out and cut down the potted plants. Leave in the dirt.
  • Second – Find what you have in your yard. I had some pine shrubs and juniper bushes that needed a haircut, also some mock orange and dogwood twigs that I stripped the leaves off.

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  • Third – I also went to Home Depot to the Christmas tree department and asked if I could have some of the scraps from the christmas trees. I started doing this when I lived in a desert climate and didn’t have access to evergreens. It made me happy to reuse what was going to be thrown out anyway. So, no excuses if you live in the desert or don’t have a yard 🙂
  • Fourth – take the two largest sprigs of evergreen and place them in the the center of the pot, or more toward the back, if it is one sided. Pine sprigs tend to bend, so you put them up against each other for support. Like the photo below.

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  • Last – Start filling in with the rest of the evergreens. Droop some over the pot. Fill it in with evergreens and twigs and whatever strikes your fancy. Add Christmas bows or pinecones or ornaments.

Also, I hated my turquoise pots so I surrounded them with logs. A funny story about the aspen logs… (and the turquoise pots too. The story is on my Instagram under TaraMayoros)

I was driving down the road and saw a tree cutting company chopping down a beautiful Aspen tree. I slammed on my breaks and swerved over then asked them if I could have a bunch of branches and logs. They laughed as they loaded up my car and told me that in all the years they’ve done this, no one has ever asked for their logs. Those remnants of the beautiful Aspen tree has served me well as I’ve slivered the branches, turned them into a Thanksgiving centerpiece, and then wood burned snowflakes onto them for Christmas tree ornaments. Like this one.

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Anyway, I try to recycle as much yard waste as I can, especially when it can be used for decor. So, there you have it. Easy and free 🙂 And so beautiful in the snow.

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Happy Holidays!

Tara

50,000 words of leftover casserole

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^^This is why I only wrote one blog post in November.^^

NaNoWriMo was hard this year. There were a few days, lumped together, that I didn’t write anything. Playing catch-up really killed the creative juices.

During the last two days of the month, I had to write 10,000 words to reach my goal. To me, that’s five chapters. Five! Those last words I wrote are comparable to mashing all of the Thanksgiving leftovers into one big glob of chunky casserole.

Early on, I’d prepared a nice, detailed grocery list, recipes, and outline for my Thanksgiving feast of words. See my outline HERE. I prepared for my meal all month and lovingly sprinkled words here and there like seasoned salt and pumpkin pie spice. They were glorious and touched on all of my senses. “Writing is the best thing ever!” I thought over and over, when I was naive and visions of delicious words consumed my thoughts.

The deadline drew closer and I still flitted around the kitchen with a smile, writing words that were beautiful to behold.

But soon it got sweaty in the kitchen. I couldn’t cook up the words as quickly as I had. The flavors began to muddle together. But I kept at it. I cinched my apron tight and pulled up my sleeves. I was determined to create something edible. The timer dinged just after I put on the last of the edible embellishments.

Edible is relative. Everyone has different tastes. I shrugged my aching shoulders and sampled my feast of words.

It stinks. The turkey is dry. The mashed potatoes are blobs of goo. My delicious novel is finished, yes, but it is dripping with plot holes, spelling mistakes, and red ink. Even the crust of the pumpkin pie is burnt!

It stinks BIG time.

But unlike a ruined feast, I can go back and fix things. I can take out and add and make it delicious. I can deconstruct the stinky casserole! The words are at least there. The concept, outline, and rough draft are there. I can clear the air and put gravy on the dry turkey. Pumpkin pie is better loaded up with whip cream and without the crust anyway, right?

After NaNoWriMo last year, I wrote a post on how to edit your novel. It is called “Whip it into shape.”  Here is the link.

I can fix this feast of a novel because I am determined to make it delicious!

Happy writing (and editing)

  • Tara