Featured Book Friday!

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Today is my first installment of Featured Book Friday!

Every Friday, authors can post in the comments below with a blurb or a scene of less than 500 words, along with one purchase link. I love all genres: Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Mystery, Memoir… you name it. I only ask that your book doesn’t contain extreme violence, erotica, and massive swearing. I would say family friendly, but I don’t always read family friendly, but I would like the audience to know what they are getting into.

Oh yes, and I will be purchasing all the books in my comments during the launch of this new program. I love the writing community and want to share your book with others!

Here is my example: (Book Name, Genre, Author, Link, 500 word or less blurb)

Broken Smiles (Women’s contemporary romance) by Tara Mayoros

http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Smiles-Tara-Mayoros-ebook/dp/B00NU69UMU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429284791&sr=8-1&keywords=Broken+Smiles

“Could you point us in the direction of the doctor?” Kort asked the group. “No one else seems to speak English around here.”
Pointing to himself, he said, “Well, I guess that would be me.” The doctor extended his hand and then retrieved it, as it was covered in grease. “My name is Rafe Watkins.”
“My name is Kort. This is Andi, and this,” nudging her forward but still in a protective stance, “is Laidan.”
While Kort proceeded to make arrangements with the doctor, Andi and Laidan exchanged glances. Andi nodded toward the doctor and wagged her eyebrows up and down. Laidan let out a small giggle.
With the smile still frozen on her face, she looked up at the doctor. His returning smile teased at his lips and stopped her heart for a moment. Her cheeks blushed fiery hot. Instantly, she thought back to the hospital in Denver and realized his effect on her had not changed one bit.
I wonder if he remembers me at all.
Panic turned her internal butterflies into a swarm of bees stinging as she realized he might recognize her, only this time, as Lady Laidan. Her eyes darted to the ground, and she lowered her sunglasses to conceal her eyes — and her identity. She ached to be in a place where people didn’t harass her and where she could be completely free.
Not that he could have noticed who Laidan was after she had cut her long, gorgeous hair and refused to wear the colored glasses. Even Andi had said she a hard time matching Laidan’s new image to her music. Now her hair fell to her chin with choppy layers that framed her face.
She heard Rafe clear his throat.
“I’ll show you guys where you’ll be staying.” He reached down and helped Laidan with her bags. Their hands touched on the handle of her suitcase, which sent an electrifying jolt up her arm. Quickly she looked up at him and was met with warm brown eyes that melted her worry. She hoped the sunglasses hid the softness mirrored beneath her eyes.
Andi broke their gaze as she said, while pinching her nose, “I hope you have better bathrooms than some of the places I’ve seen around here.”
Rafe laughed as he stood holding Laidan’s suitcase and backpack. “Sorry, Andi, was it? There’s one bathroom for everyone in the dorms to share.” He paused at the look of horror on Andi’s features and then pulled a sarcastic face toward Laidan. “I guess I shouldn’t say that the toilets are actually just holes in the ground.” He chuckled.
Andi threw her hands in the air. “For real! Laidan… seriously? This is where you wanted to go?”
Kort grabbed Andi’s bag and said as he nudged her, “Oh come on, Andi, it’s not so bad.”
“Yeah for you, cause you’re a dude!” Andi snorted.
“Just look at it as an adventure,” Laidan said, raising her eyebrows at Rafe. “She’s dramatic. You’ll get used to it.”
Andi huffed toward the dorms, and Laidan thought she heard, “All that money and this is…” She was too far away to hear any more, nor did she want to be reminded of all that.
Rafe strolled beside her. “If you ever need to use a real bathroom, I built one in my home over there.” He nodded toward the tree line.
Laidan gasped at the sight of his quaint little bungalow safely tucked in the trees. The wooden architecture looked simple, while the grass thatch roof flared at the ends with an Asian design. Beside the open shutters, the windows were breezy and welcoming. Laidan relaxed while looking at it. The bamboo porch wrapped around the front, and an ancient-looking swing anchored the space. It reminded her of the lake house.
“It’s wonderful,” she said, impressed.
He leaned down and whispered in her ear. “It’s not much to look at, but I call it home.” He stood tall, walked ahead, and then said, as if thinking out loud. “It could probably use a woman’s touch.”
His words sank deep, and Laidan stopped. While staring at the bungalow, the aching of belonging somewhere pounded with her beating heart. At that same moment, a bird sang out amidst the trees as if it had called her home.

***

A huge thank you to all who stop by and for those of you who share your book in the comments!

Tara

Find Your Tribe

Sorry I haven’t posted about anything other then my book launch over the past week or so. It has been a tornado. I fast paced, all-encompasing tornado.

Synchronicities have come into my life regarding the meeting of amazing people. I have thought a lot about if this tornado of self-promotion and marketing my book is worth it. I can always write for myself, never share anything, and hoard it like a treasure chest full of jewels. But like jewels, what good do they do sitting in a box that will age over time and eventually turn to dust?

But what if someone doesn’t like my jewels? What if what I write is crap?

The answer is Find Your Tribe.

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It’s interesting, because when I began to push my toe into the world of writing and making author connections, I thought I had found my tribe. These, these are my people. This broad group of individuals, get me.

And yet…

There are families within tribes. They may be writing in a similar genre. They may have similar backgrounds. They may be in the exact stage of writing as you. Whichever the case, they should lift you. Families should lift one another, cheer each other on, and offer critical feedback when needed. Writing is a lonely business, so make deep, satisfying connections that can withstand the tornado.

When I had a couple projects under my belt (some that will never see the light of day), I began searching for a critique group, then more groups, then conferences, then a publisher. This was kind of like extended family for me. It was still my family tribe, but bigger.

Now the circle is extended to readers… Whoa, scary.

Now it becomes they find you. They are looking for a tribe that fits their needs. Some will not get you, some will even be mean. Accept it. If you don’t fit into their tribe, don’t worry. You have a family unit, remember?

My publisher has a closed group where us authors can go and receive support for bad reviews, where questions are answered quickly, and where a huge cheering section celebrates along with you.

If you don’t have a tribe, start small. Try to find a critique group that likes your work. There are many online groups. I’m sure there are some even in the city where you live.

Thank you for following me on this blog. See, we are part of the same tribe, you and I. 🙂

– Tara

Award time!

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My unpublished Young Adult fantasy novel, Vagabond, won an award!

Click here to read a short synopsis.

The thing that I anticipated most was the feedback from the judges. First, I want to start by offering encouragement to those of you who fear to submit your work. (Or fear critique and criticism in general.) Sometimes I have won, but more often than not, I have lost. It has been worth every emotion because of the feedback I have received from professionals in this crazy business of writing.

Here are a few judges comments that I received.

*I believe this is a page turner that young adults will very likely read in one sitting.

*This story appeals to me tremendously, and not just as a YA book. I think it is a very marketable concept. I would absolutely buy this book and then buy one for my niece.

The comment that left me grinning from ear to ear was

*Your love interest is captivating and oozes with sexuality. 

That one made me giggle! Because, for an author who writes clean romance, that is exactly what I love to hear. I do not write erotica, nor will I. I believe characters can have the same attraction, if not more so, by focusing on the dynamics of the relationship, not the dynamics in the bedroom. I have met a kaleidoscope of women and men in all their varying degrees and comfort levels of romance. Because of this, I have only respect for anyone who conveys their truth.

Speaking of clean romance authors, the lovely Sarah M. Eden (pictured above with me) was in attendance at the awards banquet. As she spoke to the gathered crowd, she reminded me about the “why’s” of writing, not the “what if’s.” If you have not read her books, you need to. Like, right now.

Authors are dreamers, inquisitive wielders of words and thoughts. It is easy for us to get lost in the “what if’s”, daydreaming about book sales and five star ratings, but that is not why we write. It isn’t for me anyway. I write because I must. I write because it is an outlet for my heart to bleed or vent or dream. I write for myself.

I want to thank you judges (whoever you are) and all of my fabulous critique partners. You guys make it fun!

Tara