Sunday, September 4, 2016

Cover Reveal: Cradle Rock by Tara Tyler #fantasy

Thanks so much for having me, Cathrina! And thanks for stopping by, you guys!

According to a poll by Best Fantasy Books HQ, Fantasy Readers like: a longer series, about a coming of age story, set in a more realistic world, with dragons! CRADLE ROCK fits all those categories! Woohoo!

But before you start your trendy new fantasy series, let me give you some more interesting thoughts on


Though the popularity of fantasy and its plethora of sub genres has taken off in recent years, keep in mind it is a slow and rocky start. Consider how many rejections JK Rowling received for her incredible, world-breaking manuscript. And GAME OF THRONES was published in 1996, but didn't become a bestseller until fifteen years later! And mostly due to the HBO series bringing it to life - which has sparked a fantasy revolution! Consider the many shows out right now in a fantastical setting, like the very popular Stranger Things - I haven't seen it yet, but I hear I'm missing something big!

So how do trends start?

They start with fantastic writing! It's a well-told story and amazing characters. I think novelty has something to do with it as well. And once a new trend is discovered, many others are inspired to write similar stories with their own slant (from Vampires to Dystopian to Zombies...) It's been going on forever!

Here are my thoughts on the latest trends in fantasy... or how to create your own!

  • Mashups - Chuck Wendig is a celebrated, demented, brilliant writer and he comes up with some insanely fantastic mashups in his Friday flash fiction challenges, inspiring other writers to create out of the box short stories. He sometimes gives a list of subgenres and tells you to put 2 or 3 of them together - like a grimdark fantasy/whodunit or a comic fantasy/southern gothic or even a zombie/heist caper. I love mashing up genres, the what-ifs are endless! Blowing readers' minds is a trend!
  • Historic Realistic Fantasy - choose a time period and give it some magic. Choose a historical leader and divulge the real reason behind his rise to power - magic! Move beyond the castle and into the villages, farms, slums, jungles, prairies, and marshes.
  • Low Fantasy on the rise - Similar to the above, readers seem to want more realistic settings, as in urban fantasy. It's exciting to imagine the stranger sitting next to you at a light could really be a fantasy creature in disguise!
  • High Fantasy with a new twist - Creating a world is always invigorating. But keeping it fresh means staying away from tropes - no evil advisors, no ugly, obvious villains, and definitely no dulcet maidens needing to be rescued. Good vs Evil and a Dying World can be tossed out too. Come up with something new! And make it gritty, give us conflict, too easy to predict is boring.
  • I vote to evict... - An inventive political system with lots of backstabbing is always fun! Who will come out on top? How is a ruler determined? Is the system tainted? Aren't they all!
  • Sci Fantasy - Yay for the return of STAR WARS! This is sci fantasy at its most brilliant! The cool technology mixed with the magic of the Force! And all the creative, fantastical aliens! It's a delicate balance, but done right it's amazing!
  • Bad to Good/Good to Bad - In DESPICABLE ME and MEGAMIND, the bad guys become the heroes and I love these two stories for their excellent twist. I think new fantasy stories could take a lesson from this. A deeper rooted conflict, a life-changing event, or a secret discovered - explore the possibilities. Not to mention, not all endings are happy - which makes for a good cliffhanger.
All things considered, I think the trend in fantasy is to become more real, more believable, more depressingly dark and disparaging - more like the world around us! And magic, in whatever form, is that spark of hope, that color in a black and white scene. But deep in the story, we discover it's not really the magic, but the goodness inside a person that gives us hope and a happy ending, even if it's a tragic one. I think that fantastical theme will never die.

Do you like Fantasy novels? Do you prefer a low or high setting?

What mashup would you like to hear a story about?

Which trend are you digging?


    by Tara Tyler

    Publication Date: December 1, 2016

    Welcome to the forest.

    Gabe and his girlfriend Ona are headed in opposite directions for Spring Break. After finding out humans might be a real part of their history, Ona is determined to dig up evidence of them in the mysterious mountains at Camp Cradle Rock. Being a logical goblin, Gabe tries to talk her out of it, but there's just no reasoning with a stubborn ogress.

    When Ona goes missing, Gabe and his friends fly to Cradle Rock to search for her and discover a village of trouble, igniting an age old war. His physical skills may be lacking, but Gabe won't give up. With the help of his diverse group of friends, he will find a way to save his girl and maybe all beastkind. Humans, bah!

    Add to your Reading List on Goodreads!


    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


    1. Any trend that includes science fiction elements (like Stranger Things) is cool with me.

      1. I just finished watching all 8 episodes of Stranger Things. Loving it!!!

      2. I think they need to come up with another Firefly type series!

    2. Couldn't agree more about magic being the spark of hope. :)

    3. Fun guest post, Tara! As a reader, I enjoy all kinds of fantasy, but I tend to gravitate toward low fantasy for my own projects. I'm such a sucker for the fantastical hiding amongst the mundane!

      1. yes, that's very popular these days - good for you, right?

    4. I like fantasy for younger readers. I'm not a huge fan of adult fantasy, but if a story's well-written I don't care what genre it is. I'll read and enjoy it.
      Great post, Tara.

      1. Adult fantasy seems to be gritty, I agree - I like fun in my fantasy!

    5. I love this cover! I find it interesting Game of Thrones was made into a series 15 years later and only then did it become a bestseller. It makes me wonder what made the producers choose that book.

      1. I thought that was wild too, but he's also a very slow writer! I keep saying Hollywood needs to read more!

    6. Thanks for having me, Cathrina! It was fun exploring trends - and I appreciate your help with Cradle Rock!