Tag Archives: authors

The Miracle Girl is Out

8 Jul

It’s amazing what someone can accomplish in a couple of years. Some people binge watch on Netflix, some people lose 100 pounds, some people get married, some people get divorced, some people have families. Some people write books.

Everybody has the same amount of time, just got to figure out what you want to do with it.

Every one has got a year.

What’s your passion? What are you going to do with your year?

I’ve got all kinds of things planned, but today I’m here to talk about my buddy, TB Markinson’s passion and her awesome year. Other than traveling the world bit by bit, finding the best pubs Europe has to offer, TB is also a writer. She’s hooked on it, and she’s pretty good at it. This week she released her sixth, yeah I said it … sixth novel! She’s definitely found her passion and she definitely knows how to make the best of her time. I’m definitely inspired by her as a writer and hope to get my first one out there.

So in honor of this accomplishment I’m out here trying to spread the word and give you a sneak peek of her novel, as well as some insight into her creative mind.

This is T.B. Markinson

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When did you know you wanted to be a writer? When did it click for you?

Way back in the dinosaur age, when I was in the sixth grade, our teacher asked each of us to write a story about Christmas. Usually I hated homework, but this assignment inspired me. To get in the mood, I sat by our Christmas tree in the dark except for the bubble lights and I penned my story. My teacher loved it and wrote a note at the top that read: You should be a writer when you grow up.

That was it. Ever since then I’ve wanted to write stories. Not just about Christmas, though.

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Your books are filled with strong female leads, what characteristics do you like about them, which ones are you drawn to, compelled to write about? What makes you want to write their story?

I find it easier to have female leads since it’s easier for me to relate to them, for the obvious reason that I am a female. At some point, I think it would be interesting to have a strong male lead, but I worry about creating a realistic portrayal of the opposite sex.

All of my female leads are flawed. That’s why I find them fascinating. I’m not a fan of “perfect” characters. They aren’t realistic, really. I like to get to know my characters to uncover what makes them the way they are.

You’re big on GoodReads, what kind of books/stories do you enjoy reading? What are you reading now?

I know some people stick to one genre, but I’ll read just about anything, including loads of nonfiction, fiction, journal articles, and newspapers. I studied history in college and I still buy and read books many wouldn’t even notice when walking through a store. I do read lots of fiction, though. My faves are classics, but I’ll read anything from steampunk to romance. I only require one thing from novels: a good story. It can take place on the moon, in a prison, in the past, in the future, or in Timbuktu for all I care. Just as long as it entertains me.

I tend to have several books going at once. Currently, I’m reading The Bully Pulpit, which is about Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, The Renaissance of Hetty Lockler, a young adult paranormal book, and White Teeth by Zadie Smith.

Which one of your characters would you hang out with for a drink? Why?

I would like to hang out with JJ Cavendish, but probably wouldn’t take her out for a drink since she’s a recovering addict. In her younger days, JJ was a travel writer and I’d love to hear about her travel stories. And she has way of embellishing her stories.

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Now with all these books under your belt how has your writing process changed, or has it stayed the same? What has been the difference between your first book (journey from writing to getting published) and your most recent release? What was easier? What was more challenging?

My writing process keeps changing, and that’s due to life. When I was working on my first novel, I was still working full time, so I worked when I could find the time and energy. After my partner’s company moved us from the US to London, I starting writing full time. It’s nice to have more time to write, but it also makes it more stressful. Now I don’t have excuses for not getting the next project done.

What’s easier and what’s more challenging? That’s hard to answer, because it depends on the day. Some days I feel like I’ve learned a thing or two from my editors, other authors, and from reviews. Other days I want to run screaming for the hills. I can experience a range of emotions within seconds. When creating something from scratch and knowing strangers will have a chance to weigh in, well it’s an intimidating experience.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give the TB who was writing her first novel, A Woman Lost?

I think I’d give the same advice I give people now: Don’t give up. I think that’s the key to most things in life. Just to keep going even when things are tough. It’s totally a cliché, but it works.

Now talking about The Miracle Girl, how’d you get the idea for this book? When did it come to you? What part of this novel writing process was difficult/challenging and how did you get over it? 

 When I started writing The Miracle Girl, I only knew one thing: the main character had a secret. I didn’t know JJ’s secret, but I was intrigued by her right from the start. As I got to know her, I realized she was an alcoholic and an addict. This was challenging for me since I’m not. Heck, I’ve never even smoked pot. I had to do a ton of research, which included reading, movies, documentaries, and pestering people about their experiences. Thanks to all of those who put up with my questions. Even the lame ones.

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Now that you’ve published The Miracle Girl, what’s next for you? Blog Tour? Taking a break? Working on ideas for your next book? 

 Each time I publish something I think about taking a break, but my mind keeps churning out ideas and characters I want to explore. So right now, I’m working with one editor on a novel and another editor and I are fine-tuning a short story. In my free time, I’m drafting a sequel to my third novel. Gosh it sounds exhausting. Maybe I should take a break, but I love what I do. That’s the key: enjoying writing at least half of the time. The other half I’m slamming my head against the keyboard crying, “Why?”

TB’s new book The Miracle Girl is on sale on Amazon. I hope you go out and buy a copy.

Here’s a sneak peek…

Newspaper publisher and world traveler JJ Cavendish continually feels pressured to live up to her Miracle Girl nickname. Not many people know she’s living a carefully crafted lie. She may not hide ties to the LGBT community, but she does hide past struggles with addiction.

When the Colorado native is handpicked to take the helm at a dying Denver newspaper, she ends up reconnecting with her long lost love in this contemporary lesbian romance. Only there’s a catch. If JJ fires the most belligerent editor at the paper, she risks losing the love of her life.

Mid-afternoon office romps abound in this romantic comedy while also focusing on what it takes for a newspaper to remain relevant in this age of social media.

Must JJ lose everything in order to gain a life more fully her own?

Doesn’t that make you want to buy it?

If you’re interested in this novel, or any of her other works you can find them on her Amazon page as well.

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The Ones That Shook Me, Pushed Me, Slapped Me, Passionately Embrased Me, Scared the Crap Out of Me and Changed Me

12 Sep

A blogging buddy of mine, Jackie Cangro, recently posted a list of books that influenced her the most, and just as she did with her what-makes-me-happy list she manged to totally inspire me to create one of my own. In my 39 years of eating chocolate these are the books that made the most impact in my life.

It wasn’t just because of the story, it was the characters. They were both flawed and heroic. I wanted to meet them. They inspired me in some way, they changed my perspective. I think any book that changes you in some way is a great book. Some of these are complex, intense sagas, some are simple stories, a few are fiction, while others are based on people’s lives. Fact or fiction they share their truths, sufferings, A-ha moments, life lessons, and successful outcomes.

They’re written with such magic that they’ve left an imprint in my life. These stories left a profound impact and changed the course of my direction, whether I was a teenager in high school, a 20-something learning about myself, or a 30-something badass still learning about myself. There are a lot of books out there I haven’t read yet so many fall on my to-do list. But for now, this is my Shook Me-Pushed Me-Slapped Me-Thelma and Louise Awakened Me- Passionately Embraced Me-Scared The Crap Out of Me-and Changed Me List.

What are some of yours?

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The Alchemist–Paulo Coelho

 

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Daughter of Fortune–Isabel Allende

 

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The Catcher in The Rye–J.D. Salinger

 

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Pudd’nhead Wilson–Mark Twain

 

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Life of Pi–Yann Martel

 

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Invisible Man–Ralph Ellison

 

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Native Son–Richard Wright

 

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The Notebook–Nicholas Sparks

 

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The Count of Monte Cristo–Alexandre Dumas

 

One Hundred Years of Solitude–Gabriel Garcia Marrquez

 

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Eat, Pray, Love–Elizabeth Gilbert

 

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Tuesdays With Morrie–Mitch Albom

 

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The Last Lecture–Randy Pausch

 

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In Cuba I was a German Shephard (The Short Story)–Ana Menendez

 

Making Her Mark

6 Jun

It’s something I looked forward to doing as soon as I heard her plans.

I wanted to be part of it … I wanted to conspire with the universe to help her succeed, even if it was a small part I wanted to do it.

I met T.B. Markinson over two years ago and I’ve been a pretty loyal follower of her travel anecdotes, reviews, personal essays and photography. She hooked me with her 50 Year Project premise and I stayed because of the stories.

As a writer, stories are important to me. They have to connect and mean something in some way. Dramatic, touching or humorous, they have to mean something. They have to be original but relatable and this is what she does in her blog posts every week. And this storytelling ability is something that’s crossed over into her novel, which I’m currently reading by the way.

She’s a good storyteller.  And from the thousands of blogs being posted on a daily basis she definitely makes her mark, and now she’s found a way to make her mark as an author. She’s written a book … well correction … three books.

Three.

And one of them is on sale.

 

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🙂

 

Her novel, A Woman Lost, was originally priced at $2.99 but is available for $0.99 on Amazon.com and £0.99 on Amazon.co.uk from June 5th to June 11th.

Limited time only people!

So in order to assure you that you’re getting a good read, I thought I’d include a sneak peek.

Synopsis:

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Petrie has it all. She’s rich, beautiful, intelligent, and successful. None of this matters to her mom. Les-Bi-An. That’s all her mom sees.

Even though Lizzie insists her mom’s antagonism does not bother her, Lizzie distances herself from her entire family. When her brother, Peter, calls her out of the blue to announce he’s getting married, Lizzie’s entire life changes drastically. Peter’s fiancée wants to bring the lesbian outcast back into the family. Will this desire cause Lizzie to lose everything dear to her?

Sarah, Lizzie’s girlfriend, is ecstatic about this change in Lizzie’s personal life. Sarah, the hopeless romantic, wants it all, including settling down with the fiercely independent Lizzie.

Can Lizzie be tamed? And can she survive her family and all of their secrets?

Duuuuuuuuuuuuude.

Are you already heading over to Amazon.com?

Giddy up!

 

Author Bio:

T. B. Markinson is a 40-year old American writer, living in England, who pledged she would publish before she was 35. Better late than never. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in England, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that order. A Woman Lost is her debut novel

 

For more information on this awesome writer here are some of her sites.

Making My Mark Blog

The 50 Year Project

Goodreads Page

Twitter Page

 Amazon U.S.

Amazon UK

 

 

If You Believe You Can, Then Guess What Happens …

8 Dec

When someone can focus and harness that Tony Robbins energy and passion every week until their dream is fulfilled … dude … that is definitely chocolate worthy. But not just any kind of chocolate … Hawaiian-chocolate.

It’s a big thing.

It’s inspiring.

So what do you say to a friend who’s done it twice?

Bad Ass. You’re a Bad Ass. Totally.

And as a friend, and fellow blogger, I feel it’s my duty to help her out in any way I can. So today I’m here to introduce you to T.B. Markinson author of A Woman Lost and writer at Making My Mark and The 50 Year Project.  She’s such a superwoman that her second novel, Marionette, debuted in early November. So in honoring her writing awesomeness I’m giving her rule of The Wish Factor for a day to talk about Marionette and her journey to make it happen. I know that after reading it, you’ll be sure to visit one of her sites and Amazon.com to get your copy.

Everybody … this is T.B. Markinson.

 

Many of you know that The Guat (TG) is not afraid of opening up. She pours her heart out and tells it how it is. I often find myself laughing out loud when I read her posts. Sometimes she brings tears to my eyes. Her observations about life, love, family, kids, and weird dudes on trains help me keep things in perspective. And she may not know this, but I’ve always found her to be quite an inspiration. You see, she’s not afraid to push herself when it comes to exercise.

Last April I read her post about The Fight for Air Climb. At the time I was training for my own adventure: climbing Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia. I’m not in the best of shape, but not in the worst of shape either. I’ve climbed a volcano in Guatemala, I’ve hiked in the Grand Tetons and the Rocky Mountains. But with each year (I’m almost 40) it keeps getting tougher.

To be honest, I was terrified of Mount Kinabalu. I knew it would push me like no other adventure had. Then I read TG’s post. If you missed it, check it out here. You’ll be amazed …

Now that you’re back, she climbed 1,400 steps—that’s 63 stories. I used to climb nine stories at my old job and got winded by the fifth floor. 63! I found it inspirational. Each morning when I got up to do my training I said, “The Guat did it. So can I!”

Then I arrived at the base of Mount Kinabalu. We planned to reach the summit in two days. I had two days to reach Low’s Peak, which is 13,435ft (4,095 meters) above sea level. I won’t lie. This climb kicked my ass. If you would like to learn more about it, visit these posts: The facts, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

 

Photo courtesy of TB Markinson

Photo courtesy of TB Markinson

 

When the going got tough, which was about two hours in, I kept reminding myself that TG climbed 63 flights of stairs. If she could do it, I could do it. I don’t actually know the comparison of Mount Kinabalu and 1,400 steps. But the comparison isn’t important. You see, when embarking on a challenge like TG’s or mine, it’s not the actual challenge that’s important. I know that seems silly to say. But hear me out. It’s your state of mind. If you think you can do, more than likely you will.

My state of mind got me to the top of Mount Kinabalu. The title of The Guat’s post that I found so inspirational is: Keeping  a Badass Frame of Mind.

Now why am I writing this as a way of promoting my newest novel, Marionette? In order to finish any project, such as climbing 63 flights of stairs, a mountain, or writing a book it all comes down to one thing. Belief. If you believe you can do, nothing will stop you from reaching your dreams.

The Guat frequently writes about her challenges and conquering them. She’s truly an inspiration and I’m so glad that I met her. She probably doesn’t realize the impact she has on her readers. I would like to say, “Thank you, dude. We all need friends like you.”

 

Image via TB Markinson

Image via TB Markinson

 

Synopsis:

Paige Alexander is seventeen and has her whole life in front of her. One day her girlfriend comes home to discover that Paige has slit her wrists. Paige isn’t insane, but she acts like she is. Why?

After the incident, Paige agrees to go to therapy to appease her girlfriend, Jess. However, Paige doesn’t believe that therapy will help her. She believes she’s beyond help. Paige doesn’t want to find herself and she doesn’t want to relive her painful past in order to come to terms with it. What Paige wants is control over her life, which she hasn’t had since her birth.

During her childhood, Paige is blamed for a family tragedy, when in fact, her twin sister, Abbie was responsible. Abbie doesn’t come forward and Paige becomes the pariah of the family.

To add to Paige’s woes while attending a college in a small town in Colorado, the residents are in the midst of debating whether or not gays and lesbians should have equal rights. Tension is high and there’s a threat of violence. She isn’t out of the closet and pretends to be straight at school since she fears what will happen if her parents find out she’s a lesbian. Will she end up dead like her best friend, Alex?

T B Markinson

Image via TB Markinson

About The Author:

T. B. Markinson is a 39-year old American writer, living in England, who pledged she would publish before she was 35. Better late than never. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling around the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in England, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that order. Marionette is her second novel.  A Woman Lost was her debut novel.

Mailing List:

Sign up to TB’s New Release Mailing List here. Your email will never be shared and you will only be contacted when a new book is out.

Links:

Twitter        Facebook        Blog        Goodreads     Amazon Author Page

Purchase Links:

Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)