Tara West

YA paranormal/fantasy and New Adult author


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The Time Collection is out!!!

So, HEY! I just had a book come out tonight! It’s actually a short story as part of an anthology with my friends. It’s only .99 on Amazon right now. I will let everyone know when it goes live at other ebook stores. The stories in here are awesome, too, because I hang out with the cool writers. 😉

Click HERE to download! 1170877_1409226852634218_1841158775_n

Whether you’re traveling forward in time, back in time, or even if you’ve forgotten the time, you’ll enjoy reading these time-themed stories from the Eclective.

An Arbor Day Carol by M Edward McNally: On the night before the holiday, Kevin Weeser is visited by three spirits…wow, that sounds really familiar for some reason.

The Paradox by Alan Nayes: Michael Jenks travels to his future and becomes rich.

Rachel by CD Reiss: Rachel is number 5.5 in the Songs of Submission romance series, spanning two time periods in the life of Jonathan Drazen.

A Stitch In Time by Shéa MacLeod: After pissing off Thor (god of thunder/major jerk), Branwen (goddess of love and beauty/cupcake addict) finds herself thrust back in time to Regency era England. History will never be the same.
The Walking Tree by Tara West: Trees were not meant to have dreams, and if they did, they were not supposed to voice them. When Manuel hears of the land of limitless light, his dreams may be his undoing.

The Bus Stop by G.R. Yeates: Through a dark city, a man travels seeking to understand the meaning of the life that he endures in a place where even hope itself seems to have been utterly extinguished.

Timestone by Greg James: In a time after the time that we know, a wanderer crosses the wasteland that remains of human civilisation. One thing can set him free from this nightmare of the future – the Timestone.

Last Leap by Heather Marie Adkins: With access to her past, can Mila change her future?


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A Hunk A Hunk of Burnin’ Love!

elvises

Three Elvises are better than one!

thor!

Thor’s mighty hammer (plastic) and his long flowing tresses (synthetic fiber). He’s a stud ladies, and he’s all mine!

I’m BAAAACKKK from my trip to the Vegas Romance Novel Convention where I hung out with my most favorite author friends! I had a blast meeting the Elvises and Thor and touring the casinos. Of course, I had to make a special stop at M & M World for my kiddo.

A few observations I’ve made about Vegas. If you have special dietary needs, such as gluten free, many of the restaurants are very accommodating. The Mon Ami Gabi in the Paris Hotel was one of them as well as most of the Golden Nugget restaurants. So, kudos to the Las Vegas restaurant industry. You’ve made a fan for life. If I would have stayed longer than two days, I would have loved to try a few more places, but I’ll save them for next time. And kudos to my buddies, for following me to the safe restaurants. Y’all are amazing friends! Shea MacLeod, my bestest bud, thanks for sharing your Creme Brulee with me. OMG. I had a total foodgasm!

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My bestest bud and paranormal author of the bestselling Sunwalker Saga, Shea MacLeod.

Another observation is that the casinos don’t just want to take your money, so do many hustlers out on the streets, trying to entice you with free show tickets (there’s always a catch) or high stakes games of chance, but I skirted around those folks and continued to have a great time. I haven’t seen so many characters hanging out to take pictures since Disneyworld.  A few of my favorite were the Elvises and Thor (or maybe Thor’s not quite as muscular cousin). But Mr. Thor was just so adorable, I had to get my picture with him. There were a few OMG and ewwww folks, such as topless Strawberry Shortcake. No, I didn’t take her picture, so please don’t ask me to post it.

Of course, there was the awesome author book signing, where I picked up tons of swag for my fan club.  I did get the chance to see a few cover models, but most of my time was spent catching up with my writer buddies. I had so much fun. My only regret was that I didn’t get to stay longer, but I’m definitely hoping to do the Romance Novel Convention in Vegas next year!

Heather Marie Adkins, my co-author for Visions of the Witch. We worked on plot ideas for book six while we were together!

Heather Marie Adkins, my co-author for Visions of the Witch. We worked on plot ideas for book six while we were together!

YA/NA author friends, Lizzy Ford and Alexia Purdy!

YA/NA author friends, Lizzy Ford and Alexia Purdy!

Best-selling NA sweetie, Selene Chardou!

Best-selling NA sweetie, Selene Chardou!

Sensational writer and wonderful friend, CD Reiss.

Sensational writer and wonderful friend, CD Reiss.

Sweetheart and awesome horror writer, Alisa Tangredi.

Sweetheart and awesome horror writer, Alisa Tangredi.

 

Dinner with friends including Cheryl Bradshaw, Shea MacLeod, Me, Emma Jameson, M. Edward McNally, Heather Adkins, Lizzy Ford, CD Reiss, Alisa Tangredi, Mike Cooley and Arshad Ahsanuddin

Dinner with friends including Cheryl Bradshaw, Shea MacLeod, Me, Emma Jameson, M. Edward McNally, Heather Adkins, Lizzy Ford, CD Reiss, Alisa Tangredi, Mike Cooley and Arshad Ahsanuddin


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Win one of three signed copies of my books and new paranormal fantasy release!

APOCALYPSEweb

wattpadgiveawaycover copy

If you could have one magical power, what would it be? Would you levitate or maybe have the power to charm anyone?

In Sophie’s Secret, Sophie and her two BFFs are each gifted with different abilities. Sophie can read minds, AJ sees the future, and Krysta speaks to the dead. You can read Sophie’s Secret, Book One in the Whispers series, for FREE on Wattpad. Books two and three are available at all major ebook retailers.

I am giving away three signed print copies of my Whispers Omnibus collection (Sophie’s Secret, Don’t Tell Mother and Krysta’s Curse) or my new fantasy, Curse of the Ice Dragon. All you have to do is pick your magical power. Leave your answer on my Wattpad giveaway page and three winners will be chosen!

* * *

In other news, I have a new short story out as part of a larger collection including six other talented writers, my writer peeps, The Eclective. It’s just .99 on Amazon. Hurry and download before it’s no longer on sale, or else before The Apocalypse, whichever comes first. 😉

The Apocalypse Collection by The Eclective:

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and the Eclective feels fine.

The Shifting Sands by Tara West: When a jealous goddess threatens to destroy all of humanity, a young woman and her family must overcome impossible odds to survive.

Light by Emma Jameson: In the zombie apocalypse, the hope for humanity’s survival is pinned on Daniel. Unfortunately, Daniel is an android. And humanity may be past all hope…

Alien Butt Plugs by PJ Jones: The aliens are coming! And Jeb’s first line of defense may be worse than the anal probe he fears.

Seeds by M. Edward McNally: For Meats and his fellow Guns, life was simple. Keep your respirator clear, your weapon ready, and an eye on your neighbors. Until one day Meats found some seeds, and everything got complicated.

Cleavers by Heather Marie Adkins: Creatures such as the Cleavers should never exist. But in Tora’s world, they’re real, and death is more likely than survival.

The Last Christmas by Alan Nayes: On the verge of the Apocalypse, a young couple wish to spend one last Christmas together.

Combustion by RG Porter: Kate wakes to find her world scorched and survivors in short supply. She needs to unravel the cause before time runs out.


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FREE spooky download today and tomorrow!

Click to purchase on Kindle.

Click to purchase.

Get your spook on, peeps just in time for Halloween! The Haunted Collection will be free on Kindle today and tomorrow. Included is my spooky YA, The Smell of Death. And, yes, since I am also a cover designer, I made this cover!

Empty Vessel by M. Edward McNally: Captain Wil has command of his own ship, the respect of his crew, and his wife is expecting their first child. But at sea, the winds always become calm just before the storm breaks.

The Smell of Death by Tara West: Maggie’s unusual powers bring new threats to her already troubled childhood.

Safe by Emma Jameson: In Victorian London, a grave robber makes a nice living off the dead, until he opens the wrong crypt.

Soulfully Sweet by Shéa MacLeod: As if helping the living isn’t enough of a pain in her divine hindquarters, Branwen (former goddess of love and beauty) is stuck helping the dead on All Hallow’s Eve.

May I Go Play? by Heather Marie Adkins: Micah inherits a southern mansion where ancestors long dead relive their violent deaths. And now, they want company…

Blehdward, the Vampire who Couldn’t Sparkle by Pj Jones: Blehdward desperately wants to fit in with the cool vamps. If only he could learn how to sparkle.

Franscesca by Alan Nayes: Break a promise to a feiticeira and you will live to regret it.

Soul Eaters by R.G. Porter: Kaitlyn never believed in the existence of other worlds. Now she’s in the middle of one where humans aren’t the hunters but the hunted.

The Eclective is a group of authors dedicated to the premise that The Story is The Thing, and classifications of genre are mostly a matter for bookshelves. While the following stories share a “Haunting” theme, they might variously be filed as Horror, Paranormal, Fantasy, YA, etc., or anything else. Our idea is that the story itself is more important than whatever label somebody feels like giving it, and by bringing our work together in collections like this one, we hope readers may find a story they might like. Even if it is not in “their” genre.

Download on KINDLE!


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The Haunted Collection has arrived!!!

Eight spooky stories by eight talented writers is now here at the unbelievable price of just .99!

 

Click to purchase on Kindle.

Click to download on Kindle.

Empty Vessel by M. Edward McNally: Captain Wil has command of his own ship, the respect of his crew, and his wife is expecting their first child. But at sea, the winds always become calm just before the storm breaks.

The Smell of Death by Tara West: Maggie’s unusual powers bring new threats to her already troubled childhood.

Safe by Emma Jameson: In Victorian London, a grave robber makes a nice living off the dead, until he opens the wrong crypt.

Soulfully Sweet by Shéa MacLeod: As if helping the living isn’t enough of a pain in her divine hindquarters, Branwen (former goddess of love and beauty) is stuck helping the dead on All Hallow’s Eve.

May I Go Play? by Heather Marie Adkins: Micah inherits a southern mansion where ancestors long dead relive their violent deaths. And now, they want company…

Blehdward, the Vampire who Couldn’t Sparkle by Pj Jones: Blehdward desperately wants to fit in with the cool vamps. If only he could learn how to sparkle.

Franscesca by Alan Nayes: Break a promise to a feiticeira and you will live to regret it.

Soul Eaters by R.G. Porter: Kaitlyn never believed in the existence of other worlds. Now she’s in the middle of one where humans aren’t the hunters but the hunted.

The Eclective is a group of authors dedicated to the premise that The Story is The Thing, and classifications of genre are mostly a matter for bookshelves. While the following stories share a “Haunting” theme, they might variously be filed as Horror, Paranormal, Fantasy, YA, etc., or anything else. Our idea is that the story itself is more important than whatever label somebody feels like giving it, and by bringing our work together in collections like this one, we hope readers may find a story they might like. Even if it is not in “their” genre.


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Deadly 777, Curse of the Ice Dragon

PJ Jones tagged me in a game, Deadly 777, where I get to post seven lines from page seven of my current WIP. I’m actually working on two books at the moment, my YA paranormal Whispers Book Four, Visions of the Witch, and a YA fantasy, Curse of the Ice Dragon. Here’s seven lines from Curse of the Ice Dragon, which is nearly completed. Cover will be coming soon as well! And a BIG KUDOS to my editor, Vickie Johnstone, for making these lines sparkle!

Rowlen laughed, his booming voice shaking the stagnant air. “My son will be a great man, a fierce hunter.”

“A hunter need not be fierce to feed his people. His skills must be tempered with kindness and compassion.” Dafuar’s eyes softened, saddened, before he closed them altogether.

Rowlen knew Dafuar was lost in distant memories; knew he would soon conjure up the old tale about the cursed hunter who was killed by the breath of the beast. The prophet had served him well this night, but he had no time for the old man’s foolish fairytales.

Okay, time to tag some friends. You also have to post seven lines from your current WIP. Well, you don’t HAVE to, but it would be fun if you played along. I know some of you have just finished a book. Maybe you can post seven lines from page seven of your new release: M. Edward McNally,  Sharon Bayliss, Julia Crane, Vickie Johnstone, Saranna DeWylde, Liz Grace Davis and Lizzy Ford.


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I’m a McNally fantasy FAN GIRL!

Download your FREE copy of M. Edward McNally’s first book in The Norothian Cycle, The Sable City, on Kindle.

Free on iTunes, too!

A few months ago I reluctantly started reading a fantasy saga by M. Edward McNally. Reluctantly, because though I’d heard from so many readers that his books were awesome, I also heard they were a bit lengthy, as is any well-written fantasy where extensive world-building is required. Since my day job of designing book covers was taking up so much of my time, I barely had time to write my own books, let alone read. But I finally forced myself to make the time, and I was not disappointed.

After finishing all three of The Norothian Cycle novels, I am anxiously awaiting the fourth installment. In fact, if I may be so bold, without a doubt, M. Edward McNally’s books are the best fantasies I’ve ever read. In my opinion, they far surpass Rowling and Tolkien.

((Dodging wizard and hobbit turds!!))

I do not say this lightly, and I do not say this because M. Edward McNally is also my friend. I say this because it’s true. And though words cannot do justice to how strongly I feel about these books, I think the best way I can express myself is through art. And, so I present my very first fangirl art. Creating fan art is not something I do for comission. I will not take fan art requests. It is my way of giving back to an author who has thoroughly entertained and moved me in a rare way.

As a special treat for my blog readers, M. Edward McNally has also answered some of my FANGIRL questions! Squeee!!!

Matilda is my favorite character. She’s brave, clever and kicks ass! Click to enlarge.

TW: Your world-building is unlike any I’ve ever read. I love the little details from religion to culture. What’s amazing is that you’ve covered several different countries within this world. How long did it take you to come up with your civilization?

McNally: Heh. Well, this may be where I sound sort of psychotic, so if you want to go ahead and dial 9,1, and keep a finger above the phone, I’ll understand. 😉

Here’s the deal. Way Back-In-The-Day of the flannel-clad ‘90s, I was a grad student pursuing an English degree with a Creative Writing emphasis, with the goal of being a “professional” author. Having some shorts published in Midwestern lit journals, starting to shop around a bloated and pretentious “literary novel,” that sort of thing. At some point however, given that all my profs were professional, award-winning, agented authors with traditional deals, and they were all still teaching college full-time to make ends meet, I had to give serious thought to whether I was really just on the road to being a college prof, who wrote on the side. And given that after TAing a lot of writing courses I had come to believe that writing really can’t be “taught,” I knew I didn’t want to try and teach it for the rest of my life. So I finished that degree, but then switched to the History department (figuring I could at least teach that with a clearer conscience), and I quit writing fiction for almost ten years.

Baaaddd boy, John. Love his enchanting green eyes? That’s all I’ll say about him without ruining the saga. Just read!!!

Now, the thing about creative juices is if you try to throw a dam across them, they go to weird places. While I wasn’t writing, but was instead working in the history field, my main hobby became a scholarly, uber-nerdy exercise that amounted to building a whole world in my head and in a giant stack of notebooks, from scratch. It was sort of like a version of the computer game Civilization I played in my brain, in that I didn’t just make a map and start filling it with peoples and places and things. I made a map, and started filling it out with primitive tribes, then imagined or played out centuries of history as the groups evolved, interacted, made war and peace, took to the oceans, created their own places, etc., etc. And because I had been quite the D&D/Tolkien nerd in my youth, I didn’t just “play” with humans, but used a lot of the archetypal fantasy elements like orcs and elves and dragons, and of course, magic. My historical work, when I was doing that, was focused on Religious and Cultural Identity (mostly in Russia and the Balkan states) so those sorts of issues influenced the inventing or “playing through” of my own history, which was in turn informed by “real world Central Asian, Slavic, Middle Eastern, and even Polynesian cultures, as much as it was by the European motifs out of which most classic “Fantasy” is built.

So, yeah. The short answer is “about ten years.” And I never thought it would be the setting for stories, until some characters living in my head started insisting that it was. 😉

TW: Tilda, Zeb, Rhianne, John and Phin. Where did you get the inspiration for their characters? Do you actually know people like them?

McNally: Sweet, I can continue with long, droning answers. 😉

Tilda, aka Matilda Lanai of Miilark, was really my inspiration in a lot of ways. After the above mentioned decade or so, I had this meticulously constructed fantasy world, at an early-gunpowder/Age of Sail historical period, but there wasn’t exactly anything I could do with it.

And then, totally inexplicably, I just got an image in my head of a young woman in a vast field of steppe grass stretching to every horizon, slowly approaching a wounded warhorse, holding an apple in her hand.

I started writing fiction again because I had to find out who she was and what she was doing. Now I’m four books in, and I’m still finding out more about her every day. J

As to the specifics of character for Tilda, Zeb, Rhianne, John, Phin…Uriako Shikashe the samurai or Miss Horn the Minotaur, like every character in fiction they are some mixture of me, everybody I know, who I wish I could be, and who I wish other people were. 😉

TW: If you could live the life of any one character in your books, who would it be and why? I’d love to be Tilda because she is brave, clever and kicks ass.

McNally: I’d love to be as adventurous as Tilda too, to be able to change the whole path of her life on a dime…hmm. Now that I think about it, that is sort of what I did. Otherwise I’d be giving a lecture on Bulgarian History somewhere. 😉

Here’s an odd thing I’ve discovered. The “casual friend” sort of people who’ve read the books insist that Zeb is a stand in for me, in that he’s sort of an affable, well-meaning wisenheimer. With a bad haircut. People who know me a little better say Claudja Perforce reminds them of me, in that while she acts friendly, warm, and caring, it’s usually because she’s thinking two or three steps ahead, with a goal in mind. I’m not sure I’m wholly comfortable with either analogy, but there you go. 😉

TW: How many more Norothian Cycle books can we expect from you?

McNally: I’ve always been hesitant to say, as I’m a total “pantser” while writing, and I feel like saying a certain number might either force me to drag things out, which is the last thing I’d want to do, or else make me stop with more story to tell, which would be almost as bad.

That being said, I think it is a nine book series. Though as the epilogue of Book I hints, it may be up to the children of the main characters in the early books to see things through at the end. Sometimes a daughter had to finish her parents’ work. 😉

TW: NINE BOOKS! Happy FANGIRL dance!!! I think these books are better than any fantasy I’ve ever read, even Tolkien. What say you to that?

 McNally: I say if word gets out, people dressed as hobbits will be burning me in effigy. 😉

Seriously though, love Tolkien or hate him, find some of his prose dated or whatever, everybody has to acknowledge he fundamentally built the Fantasy genre as it is today, and everything else is different than his stuff only by a matter of degree. To be mentioned in the same sentence with JRR is wholly ri-donkulous. 😉

TW: When these books are made into blockbuster movies, will you still be my friend?

McNally: Absolutely. Just call my social secretary, and he’ll pencil you in. We’ll do lunch, week from Tuesday at Spago. 😉

Download M. Edward McNally’s first book in The Norothian Cycle, The Sable City for FREE, on Kindle!

Free on iTunes, too!

** Stock art from istock.com and dreamstime.com.

***The Norothian Cycle logo was taken from Ed’s book covers, created by Jack Wallen.