What is speculative fiction? Tara Tyler explains. And see the fabulous cover for Pop Travel!

Thanks for letting me spend some time at your blog today, Elsie!

speculative fiction!

Elsie and I are both published through the wonderful Curiosity Quills Press. When folks ask me about my publisher, I tell them we are a small but growing force and we specialize in Speculative Fiction. Most people just nod and smile when they hear that and don’t have a clue what Speculative Fiction is. Well, that’s what I’m going to talk to you all about today!

Speculative Fiction is a broad literary genre encompassing any fiction with supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements. The popularity of the term is sometimes attributed to Robert Heinlein, who referenced it in 1947 in an editorial essay, although there are prior mentions of speculative fiction, or its variant “speculative literature” -.Wikipedia

Movies and Books that popped up for Speculative Fiction were: A Handmaid’s Tale, Lord of the Rings, Brave New World, Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, and Farenheit 451

TV Tropes said Speculative Fiction was also a “backronym” for SF. They define it as science fiction and fantasy and everything in between. I like that one best and I hope I made it clearer what it speculative fiction means!

Elsie and I fit right into CQ Press. She writes about a teenage grim reaper and my two series are a futuristic sci fi thriller and an MG fantasy.

Thanks again, Elsie for helping me show off POP TRAVEL’s new cover – it’s hot! And the re-release has a sneak peek at the first chapter of SIMULATION which comes out Sept 14th!


by Tara Tyler

Re-released July 1, 2015

In 2080, technology has gone too far for private detective J. L. Cooper. He thinks he can avoid pop travel teleportation, until he stumbles onto a video of a pop traveler who turns to dust.

Sparking a series of murders, attempts on his life, and threats to his brother, Cooper wants to pass off the evidence but knows he’s being watched and can’t trust anyone. And who would believe him?

With help from the neurotic genius “Creator” of pop travel and a beautiful Southern charmer, Cooper must expose the deadly glitch and shut it down or die trying. No problem.

Tara Tyler has had a hand at everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy) She’s an adventure writer who believes every good story should have a moral, and a few laughs!
Also by Tara Tyler, MG/YA Fantasy series, Beast World,

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Cover Reveal for Kiya: Rise of a New Dynasty

Katie Hamstead’s final installment of the thrilling Kiya trilogy will be released on February 25th.

Prepare yourself for Kiya: Rise of a New Dynasty

Read KIYA: Hope of the Pharaoh (Kiya Trilogy #1) and KIYA: Mother of a King (Kiya Trilogy #2)

Cover Reveal for Kiya: Rise of a New Dynasty

Gorgeous cover, isn’t it?

Title: Kiya: Rise of a New Dynasty (Kiya Trilogy Book #3)

Author: Katie Hamstead

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Genre: New Adult Historical Romance

Release Date: February 25th 2014

Find more about Katie by visiting her at:

Her website: http://kjhstories.blogspot.com

Twitter:  @KatieTeller1

Goodreads: Katie Hamstead


Cover me!

Before a reader cares about your protagonist, gets lost in your plot, or races to the last page, first they must open your book.

Articles flood the web with essays on what makes good book covers, which elements must be on the front, and how to break covers into categories. And the same three components are listed as critical selling points: title, author’s name, and image.

But the image, whether it’s a symbol, text, an artistic graphic, a scene or a face, needs to draw the reader not only to the book, but inside.  Bottom line – it’s pass, pause, or purchase.

I’ve spent the last few weeks looking at covers as I search for the perfect formula for my own. There are many different categories and ways to categorize the covers, but I have been focusing on two major elements: symbols/settings versus characters/people. (Within those two categories there are more potential breakdowns, but people, this could go on forever.)


Some authors use an icon or a single element that represents an organization, an uprising, a prop, a defining moment or a clue to the story contained within. They may use a snapshot of a setting that will become relevant as the story unfolds. For the reader to understand the meaning and the significance of the cover art, they must read the book. It’s a secret the author shares only once you’ve ventured far enough within the pages.

My opinion? It’s simple elegance. And quite often, brilliant. I love the thought of gaining passage and being included. And when I visualize my future cover,  several icons and props come to mind.

Below are examples of enticing symbols/settings on the covers of: Without Bloodshed by Matthew Graybosch, Scrapbook of My Revolution by Amy Lynn Spitzley, Angel’s Edge by Vicki Keire, The Charge by Sharon Bayliss, and Theocracide by James Wymore.

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And on the flip side, People/Characters:

The face is a portal and, as humans, we are drawn to them. Putting characters on the cover forces immediate introductions, sends messages wrapped with emotion, and suggests potential relationship tension before the spine is even cracked. Partial views hint there may be more to the character than we anticipate,  downward glances can suggest modesty or subjugation, and crossed arms can signal solidarity or defiance.

My opinion? Part of the allure of a character based cover for me is the immediate connection. Do I like this person? Why are they sad or happy? What is going on in their world? I can see one of my main characters on the covers, daring you to come along.

Below are examples of covers with characters that elicit responses based on expressions and poses. Quite Contrary by Richard Roberts, Broken Forest by Eliza Tilton, Fall by A.K. Morgen, Kiya, Hope of the Pharaoh by Katie Hamstead and Five by Holli Anderson.

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So, is there a right or wrong choice? No, not at all, which why this journey is so difficult. We respond to different cues based on our individual personalities and experiences. I love the mystery and secret wrapped in a symbol and the intimacy offered in a face. I’m torn as to what will go on my cover, but whatever I choose, I must draw the reader inside.

What do you look for on a cover?

All the books listed above are published by Curiosity Quills and are available in digital versions at a special price of $0.99 through December 3rd. Find them here http://curiosityquills.com/cyber-monday-blowout/  and enjoy!

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao-tzu

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  – Plato

Below are a few blogs I found helpful and interesting as I researched the perfect cover!