Monday, April 17, 2017

Visit me at the Texas Library Annual Conference! #txla17



I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference in San Antonio this Thursday, April 20th!

Where to find me:

I'm participating in the Independent Authors Strut Your Stuff panel on April 20th from 10-11am in Room 301A, Ballroom Level.

I'll be signing books in the Authors Area at Table 13 on April 20th from 1-2pm.

In honor of this occasion, I have three special offers!

1) From now until midnight on 4/23, librarians (from anywhere!) can get a free Kindle or Audible copy of any of my books. All you have to do is request one on the form below.

2) Librarians attending the conference can request a free signed paperback! All you have to do is request one on the form below before midnight on 4/19, and THEN pick it up from me at the Conference in the Authors Area on Thursday between 1-2pm.

3) At my table, you'll have the opportunity to draw to win a free signed paperback then and there.

If you forget to sign up in advance and the luck of the draw isn't in your favor, I'll be selling signed paperbacks for $10 in the Authors Area.

I hope to see you there!


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Celebrate the #springequinox with a FREE copy of A Taste of Death and Honey! #GIVEAWAY


Happy first day of spring! To celebrate, I'm giving away free digital and audiobook copies of A Taste of Death and Honey, the spring-themed, third book in the December People Series.

All you have to do is sign up below between now and midnight CST on 3/20/17. I'm not asking for anything in return, but reviews are very much appreciated.

Happy free reading/listening!







This book will grab you by the throat, challenge your mind, and turn your heart inside out. Sharon Bayliss delivers a powerful, emotional punch with her third book in the December People series. - Amy Bearce, author of  The World of Aluvia Series
When Samantha’s parents died, she lost everything. Her home. Her friends. Her hope. Then a life-loving spring witch at the children’s shelter fills her life with light and joy once again.

But like the springtime, Samantha’s happiness doesn’t last forever. Her friend dies violently in front of her, the victim of a mysterious killing spell. Furious and grief-stricken, Samantha resents her own weak spring magic. She doesn’t need life and renewal. She wants revenge…and death.

Homeless and alone, Samantha seeks shelter with her old friends, the Vandergraff family, and finds an unexpected ally in the powerful winter solstice witch, Evangeline. The girls’ anger and eagerness lead them to cast a killing spell before knowing the truth behind Samantha’s friend’s death or the identity of her killer. 

Once the spell is cast, they can’t take it back, and they must fight to stop their own curse before it takes away everyone they love.

A Taste of Death and Honey - New Character Spotlight

The spring book in The December People series released on 6/9/16, and with it came some new characters. If you haven't read it yet, this will give you a little preview of who you'll meet in book three. If you have read it, this will tell you a little bit more about your new friends.

In a lot of ways, spring wizards are the "Hufflepuffs," of the December People world. They are generally kind and harmless flower children. But other types of wizards would be well advised not to underestimate the spring, as they are far more powerful and dangerous than they might appear. I've loved getting to know the new spring wizards in book three. They are brave, kind, and and difficult to corrupt (and I really tried).

IMOGENE GREY

Seventeen year-old Imogene Grey spent most of her life hopping from foster home to foster home. When she was very young, both of her parents and her two brothers were murdered in front of her. The gruesome murder remains a mystery to the Mundane police. The killers were never caught, and the police never understood the motive for the killing or why Imogene alone was left unharmed, especially since the killers didn't spare Imogene's newborn brother. This mystery may be solved in book 4...

The extreme trauma caused selective mutism in young Imogene and she didn't speak for many years. However, at seventeen she has begun to open up to the world. Despite her dark life, she smiled and laughed with abandon, as described here:
"Even when she grew up, she never lost the smile she had as a little girl―a smile of complete abandon. She had never once tried to hide a smile or stifle a laugh." - Zander

ZANDER COLTER

Twenty year-old Zander Colter suffers from an unfortunate father--Whitman Colter, a very evil man from book one. You wouldn't usually call a child lucky to end up in foster care, but Zander might have been. He had the pleasure of never meeting his biological father. Zander doesn't like to talk about his mother either. His friends assume that his mother is dead, but that's not the case. Zander was placed in foster care when his mother went to jail. She promised she would come for him when she was released, but she never did.

Through all this, he managed to grow into a good man. Perhaps, one of the nicest people in the entire series. On occasion, he might make impulsive, and questionable choices, but it's always a product of following his heart. And yes, he really is that handsome.
"Despite the fact he advanced on her, he didn’t seem frightening. He might look frightening if she didn’t know better, but he had an overpowering goodness radiating from him." - Samantha

LEONA PRESCOTT

Fourteen year-old Leona has been strangely absent from her family for the last two years. The youngest member of the prominent summer wizard family, The Prescotts, Leona appears to have had an idyllic family life. However, Leona didn't quite fit in with the rest of her family. She is a siren, and at twelve years-old she accidentally caused the death of a friend. After that, she was sent away to live at a secluded "school" for troubled young wizards (which we get to visit in book 4).

As a siren, she can alter the moods and perceptions of the people around her, even if she doesn't intend to. Traditionally sirens attract, and Leona can do this well. But she can also repel, sometimes violently. Although she has some strong contenders, she might actually be the most dangerous wizard in the entire series. However, Leona would give anything to just be normal.
"He felt a sting on the back of his neck and grabbed the spot. The back of his skull and his shoulders filled with poison, contracting and throbbing. Clutching his neck he turned to see a ghostly girl standing on the red-brick path. She made his hair stand on end. Something felt so wrong about her." - David

Discover more about these characters in A Taste of Death and Honey!




This book will grab you by the throat, challenge your mind, and turn your heart inside out. Sharon Bayliss delivers a powerful, emotional punch with her third book in the December People series. - Amy Bearce, author of  The World of Aluvia Series
When Samantha’s parents died, she lost everything. Her home. Her friends. Her hope. Then a life-loving spring witch at the children’s shelter fills her life with light and joy once again.

But like the springtime, Samantha’s happiness doesn’t last forever. Her friend dies violently in front of her, the victim of a mysterious killing spell. Furious and grief-stricken, Samantha resents her own weak spring magic. She doesn’t need life and renewal. She wants revenge…and death.

Homeless and alone, Samantha seeks shelter with her old friends, the Vandergraff family, and finds an unexpected ally in the powerful winter solstice witch, Evangeline. The girls’ anger and eagerness lead them to cast a killing spell before knowing the truth behind Samantha’s friend’s death or the identity of her killer. 

Once the spell is cast, they can’t take it back, and they must fight to stop their own curse before it takes away everyone they love.

A Taste of Death and Honey Play List

Music is one of my greatest sources of inspiration. My characters always seem to spring to life when music is playing. Perhaps it's magic!

So when I create a story, I also create a playlist of the songs that inspired me most and I love getting the opportunity to share it with my readers. Often the lyrics fit with the story or the songs simply evoke the right feelings or images. For A Taste of Death and Honey, I have a folksy, mournful playlist with strong themes of life and death. Those of you who have read the book might understand my choices. And if not, I hope you just enjoy the music!

Here are some lyrics that really stood out to me:

We came for salvation
We came for family
We came for all that's good that's how we'll walk away

Salvation Song, The Avett Brothers


It don't matter where you bury me
I'll be home and I'll be free
It don't matter where I lay
All my tears be washed away

All My Tears, Emmylou Harris


When, my, time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I'll crawl home to her

Work Song, Hozier


Well I walked into black
Said I weren't coming back
Saw my angel in blue
She tell me "This life ain't for you"
Oh, this life
Tell it to me this life, ain't for me now

I woke up feeling new
'Cause now I know this life is for you
Yes, this life
Oh, this life ain't for me now
It's for you!

This Life, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

CLICK HERE to hear the Taste of Death and Honey playlist on Spotify.

You can also enjoy playlists curated for Destruction and Watch Me Burn.

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Now that you've listened, try a taste (of death and honey)!




This book will grab you by the throat, challenge your mind, and turn your heart inside out. Sharon Bayliss delivers a powerful, emotional punch with her third book in the December People series. - Amy Bearce, author of  The World of Aluvia Series
When Samantha’s parents died, she lost everything. Her home. Her friends. Her hope. Then a life-loving spring witch at the children’s shelter fills her life with light and joy once again.

But like the springtime, Samantha’s happiness doesn’t last forever. Her friend dies violently in front of her, the victim of a mysterious killing spell. Furious and grief-stricken, Samantha resents her own weak spring magic. She doesn’t need life and renewal. She wants revenge…and death.

Homeless and alone, Samantha seeks shelter with her old friends, the Vandergraff family, and finds an unexpected ally in the powerful winter solstice witch, Evangeline. The girls’ anger and eagerness lead them to cast a killing spell before knowing the truth behind Samantha’s friend’s death or the identity of her killer. 

Once the spell is cast, they can’t take it back, and they must fight to stop their own curse before it takes away everyone they love.

Tips from Spring Wizards #firstdayofspring #springequinox

They may seem a little flighty and "out there," but spring wizards are very wise. I might even argue that spring wizards are the most wise of all the wizard seasons. I can just feel the fall wizard eye rolls as I say that. If anything else, they know how to love life and live well. Here are some words of wisdom from the spring wizards of The December People Series:
"Most of the time, nature is beautiful, nurturing, and incredibly patient, but she can also muster a power and fury than could tear down Hell itself." - Imogene Gray

"Nature only allows humanity because of her kindness, she has the power to obliterate all that mankind creates." - Imogene Gray 
"Dance then, where ever you may be." - Penelope Carthage (quoting Lord of the Dance by Donovan Leitch)
"Follow whatever calls you. Butterflies. Rainbows. Sunsets. Thunderstorms." - Imogene Gray
"I named you for an evergreen because they survive even the coldest, darkest winters. They thrive in eternal greenness, unbothered by snow and ice." - Penelope Carthage 
"When you leave your body, and it doesn't matter where your rotting flesh resides. The dead reside everywhere and nowhere at once. She didn’t need ashes to call a spirit." - Samantha Carthage
"Evangeline was talking about how flowers die easily, but that’s not really true. The petals themselves are fragile…but the bulbs are not. That’s one of the reasons why the lily is a symbol for Easter in the first place. Resurrection." - Samantha Carthage
"The world is filled with beautiful chaos." - Samantha Carthage
Here are some spring wizard memes from the web that you might also enjoy. At least, I assume they are spring wizards. I can't prove differently. ;)




To hear more spring wizard-isms, check out A Taste of Death and Honey!




This book will grab you by the throat, challenge your mind, and turn your heart inside out. Sharon Bayliss delivers a powerful, emotional punch with her third book in the December People series. - Amy Bearce, author of  The World of Aluvia Series
When Samantha’s parents died, she lost everything. Her home. Her friends. Her hope. Then a life-loving spring witch at the children’s shelter fills her life with light and joy once again.

But like the springtime, Samantha’s happiness doesn’t last forever. Her friend dies violently in front of her, the victim of a mysterious killing spell. Furious and grief-stricken, Samantha resents her own weak spring magic. She doesn’t need life and renewal. She wants revenge…and death.

Homeless and alone, Samantha seeks shelter with her old friends, the Vandergraff family, and finds an unexpected ally in the powerful winter solstice witch, Evangeline. The girls’ anger and eagerness lead them to cast a killing spell before knowing the truth behind Samantha’s friend’s death or the identity of her killer. 

Once the spell is cast, they can’t take it back, and they must fight to stop their own curse before it takes away everyone they love.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

OGRES from @taratylertalks Cradle Rock #MG #Fantasy

Tara Tyler asked me which beast I wanted to highlight for her blog tour, and I knew I wanted ogres! Ona is a little different from most MG/YA heroines, and that's why I like her. Now I give it over to Tara, for her take on ogres.

---

I like ogres. I even married one! But seriously, they're great. They're strong, fun to mess with, and if you don't mind the smell, they can be very sweet to be around...

Here’s how a knock, knock joke would go with an ogre.

Knock, knock
                            Who’s there?
Interrupting Cow
                            *scratches head* Int-
Moo.
                             Inter-
Moo.
                             Who?
Never mind.

See what I mean? Fun!
And here are some famous ogres…
Well, Shrek of course... And from Ella Enchanted…
Image result for shrek Image result for ella enchanted ogre

Image result for xanth #5
I’ve enjoyed ogres ever since I read Piers Anthony’s Xanth series. In book #5, OGRE, OGRE, Smash is part man and part ogre, and he goes on a journey with some young maidens. He protects them and falls in love with one of them, which is against all his ogrish instincts. It’s probably my favorite book in the whole series. The Xanth books had a big influence on my own beastly concept of ogres in Beast World.

My Beast World, ogres are the classic, stereotypical dumb jocks and bullies, tall and strong, and have horrible hygiene and no sense of smell. They are the soldiers who survived the harshest chemical enhancement testing, at great cost to their intellect. But some are smarter than others. Like Ona. She doesn’t fit in with the other ogres because she’s more intelligent and prettier and on the smaller side. That’s why Gabe likes her, she’s different than all the other beasts. But that’s when the trouble starts in Broken Branch Falls. One of the fun parts is how Gabe tricks the ogres on the football team to do his bidding.

In Cradle Rock, Ona is back with her curiosity causing major problems for the gang and another crisis for the adults. I hope you’ll join them on this hilarious, nefarious, precarious adventure!

Thanks Sharon, for spreading the word and having me here!

WELCOME BACK TO THE FOREST!


CRADLE ROCK, Beast World Book Two
by Tara Tyler

Gabe the goblin just saved his town Broken Branch Falls from splitting apart. He also revealed that humans--horrible creatures of myth and legend--may actually be part of their history! But seriously? Nah!

Now Ona, Gabe’s girlfriend, is headed thousands of miles away to Camp Cradle Rock for Spring Break seeking evidence of humans. Gabe knows better than to tell a stubborn ogress she’s crazy, so he’s letting her go and spending the break at the beach like a normal teenage beast. And he’s determined to have a good time without her, whether he likes it or not.

But when Gabe hears Ona went missing, he and his friends set out for the wilds of the west to find her, no matter what dangerous creatures get in his way. Not even humans.

Check out the Book Trailer!

Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently she has two series, Pop Travel (techno-thriller detective capers) and Broken Branch Falls (fantasy adventures). To squeeze in writing, she economizes her time aka the Lazy Housewife. Make every day an adventure!

Talk to me!
Author Blog ~~ @taratylertalks ~~ Facebook ~~ Housewives Blog


I'm also giving away signed copies of Broken Branch Falls and Cradle Rock, some Beast World swag, and a $20 GC!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How To Celebrate the Autumn Equinox


Although it's still pretty hot outside in my neck of the woods, autumn is officially here! At 9:21am CT, the sun will be directly over the equator, marking the official transition from light to dark. If you're a fan of The December People Series, you also know that this is an important day to fall wizards. Families of fall wizards often share a meal on this day to give thanks for the harvest. And unless they are farmers, it's a symbolic harvest. It's a time to give thanks for the fruits of our labor and the relationships we've built. Yes, it is wizard Thanksgiving!

Whether you're a fall wizard or not, consider taking some time today to celebrate the autumnal equinox. Here are some ideas.
  • Focus on balance in your life - The autumnal equinox is when light and dark are in perfect balance. Channel this balance in your own life. Are you spending enough time doing things that make you happy? Are certain parts of your life sucking up more energy than they deserve?
  • Focus on balance in your body - Notable fall witch, Jess Oppenheimer, is a yoga instructor. In yoga, balance is key, and it's a great way to harness the balancing powers of the equinox. Consider some of these balance poses.
  • Celebrate the harvest - Many of us live in a perpetual time of plenty. We don't need to celebrate the harvest anymore because we can go to the supermarket any day of the year and pick from an overflowing feast. You may not feel rich, but if you have regular access to food and clean water, you should take time to reflect on your blessings.
  • Celebrate the season - Fall wizard, Patrick Vandergraff, has never ordered a pumpkin spice latte. He feels like it's a little too expected. But that doesn't mean that you can't take the time to relish fall treats today. Don't be ashamed, get something pumpkin spice flavored. Have an Oktoberfest beer. Enjoy all those things you've been looking forward to about fall.
  • Spend time in nature - Magic is always best channeled outdoors, especially in quiet reflection when you're quiet and peaceful enough to actually notice it. Go for a walk. Look at the green leaves one last time before they fall. And if you're in a warm climate, it's not to late to plant a fall garden!
  • Think about the future - Fall wizards are all about the future. Like squirrels who hoard nuts for winter, fall wizards are always looking ahead to what is next and getting prepared. Powerful fall wizards can even see the future, or at least glimpses of it. Even if you don't have that ability, the fall equinox is a good time to reflect on what's next.
  • Make a change - I love all the season changes, but in Texas, summer to fall is especially glorious because we're finally getting a change from the brutal temperatures. Seasons changing reminds us of the beauty and power in change. This is a great time to make that change you've been thinking about.
  • Let go of something toxic in your life - Look at a nice big deciduous tree outside. All those leaves are about to shed. Think about all the leaves you've collected on your own branches, and think about how much lighter you would feel if those leaves all cascaded to the ground. There is nothing wrong with acting like a tree and letting some things go.
  • Let go of your fear of aging and death - I know that's a tall order, but consider this famous quote from John Burroughs, “How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days. When leaves die and fall, they do so in beauty and grace." Every season in life is beautiful in its own way. The seasons also remind us that life is an ongoing cycle. Fall and winter allow the earth to shed its old leaves to prepare for a re-birth. There is no reason not to believe that our bodies work the same way.
Have a happy fall equinox and lovely fall season!