tyler colins

Author Alert: Tyler Colins

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Welcome to next edition of AUTHOR ALERT & SPOTLIGHT. Today’s guest is…

I ‘met’ Tyler online about two years ago through our blogs. I found her style humorous and her comments friendly… you could say we hit it off! Tyler read one of my books, and I read one of her books. After a few months, we found ourselves chatting away from time to time… and then… Tyler connected with my publisher and joined the team at Creativia, which is changing its name to Next Chapter Pub this summer, as well as adding several new imprints, audio books, foreign language translations, and tone of other great features and options. Tyler and I are both thrilled about what’s coming down the pike… but today, this post is all about her! Not only has Tyler read several of my books, she took the time to participate as a beta reader on the last one to help me fine-tune character development, dialog, and tone. Today… we’re gonna learn what makes this amazing woman so special!

About the Author

(in her own words)

I’m primarily a writer of fiction and blog posts, and a sometimes editor and proofreader of books, manuals, and film/television scripts.  Fact-checking and researching, organizing and coordinating are skills and joys (I love playing detective and creating structure).  My fiction audience: lovers of female-sleuth mysteries.  My genres of preference: mysteries (needless to say), women’s fiction, informative and helpful “affirmative” non-fiction.

So-o, here I am, staring up a new blog for aspiring and established e-Book writers.  The plan: to share the (long) journey of getting to this stage, and impart “learnings” and “teachings”.  There’s a lot I hope to accomplish with this blog, but it may be a while before that happens.  There’s a lot on the ol’ plate currently – taking care of Mom, working full-time, and attempting to get another book in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series written (never mind blog postings and other writing projects).

It’s very challenging and it’s all good.  As I like to say: teeny focused baby steps are just as effective as long forceful strides.  It may take a little longer, but we will get there.

Key Links:

Book Overview

The four books in the series we’re spotlighting today are part of “The Triple Threat Investigation Agency” series—revolving around three feisty female P.I.s, living on Oahu. Click the link to get to each one on Goodreads to read reviews, mark them as To Be Read or learn more. Hurry up and read them before the 4th book gets so popular that you’re behind: Forever Poi.

The Connecticut Corpse Caper

(Click here for my review)

Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie?

(Click here for my review)

Coco’s Nuts

(Click here for my review)

Forever Poi

Interview: Questions & Answers

  • What are your real, author, and/or pen names?
    • Tyler-Addison Colins is it.  🙂
  • What is your location? (City, State, Country, or whatever you are comfortable sharing)
    • Toronto, but my heart and soul belong to the U.S. (God willing, one day, I’ll live there).
  • How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.
    • I was first published on Smashwords in 2015—starting with The Connecticut Corpse Caper, and later followed with Can you Hula like Hilo Hattie?, and Coco’s Nuts.  All are now with Creativia.
  • Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
    • Honestly, I’d love for my books to reach a wide audience, to entertain, to be “recognizable”.  If I make good sales (and maybe acquire a television series or film deal), hey, that’d be awesome. 🙂

JJC COMMENT: We should have our own TV channel at Creativia with all our books turned into movies or shows… hmm… I’m getting some ideas about bigger and bolder marketing.

  • What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
    • People who like cozy mysteries with a touch of grit . . . who enjoy a little humor . . . who want to totally escape.
  • What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
    • Never give up.  Learn all you can about the art of writing.  Have a blog. Join communities.  Reach out—constantly.
  • What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
    • Given I went with Smashwords, I didn’t have many; finding a formatter and cover designer were the two biggies. 
  • Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?
    • I belong to various Facebook writing communities, such as Creativia Street Team and Journeys.
  • What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
    • Given Mom-care and a full-time job—up and above writing/blogging/editing—it’s very difficult presently to embrace hobbies or interests.  But it’s all good.  J
  • Some authors like to make an argument or address an issue when they write. Is there an issue that you’re addressing with your book? If so, what is it?
    • Sometimes I like to slip in an issue without putting it in anyone’s face—for example, the drug epidemic a few years ago (Hula) and the homelessness (Hula).  I’d actually like to spotlight the latter in the next book, but given the characters write the books, we’ll have to see how that transpires.
  • What gave you the idea for your book?
    • The ideas simply pop into my head; I can’t say I’ve been influenced by anything or anyone.
  • What are the most important things about you that you would want prospective readers to know? (Personal challenges you’ve faced that influenced you while writing this book, funny stories about the writing or research, etc.)
    • No matter what the odds, follow your dream/love.  If it’s writing, do what you can when you can.  Time and life’s circumstances may not always be your friends, but stand strong and persevere.  It will come; somehow, in its own sweet time, it always does.
  • What’s the craziest/funniest/most enjoyable thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
    • The most enjoyable—visiting Hawaii and getting to learn it intimately (so descriptions are more “real”).
  • What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
    • I love writing; my toughest challenge is finding time.  I’m now getting up for 2:00 a.m. to make it happen, before seeing to Mom’s needs and heading to work.

JJC COMMENT: I don’t think I could ever do that! I tend to wake up for two hours in the middle of the night, but I like to stay in bed until about 7am…

  • What do you like about writing in your genre?
    • Everything!
  • When did you know that you wanted to be an author?  What things, if any, influenced that decision?
    • I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was quite young.  As an only child of older parents (they didn’t have much time or interest for yours truly), I had to create my own fun.  That was done through—what else?—writing and drawing.
  • With so many books being written today, what makes your books stand out from the crowd?
    • I’d like to believe the quality makes them stand out—solid writing, interesting plots, and fun/funny characters.
  • Do you work from an outline or plot or do you just see where the characters take you?
    • My characters lead the way.
  • Do you read your reviews?  Do you respond to them, good or bad?  Do you do anything special to get those reviews?
    • Yes, I read reviews—and I’ll respond, sure.  Yes, I do learn from reviews; reviewers provide some very solid/useful feedback.
  • What advice would you give to your younger and/or older self?
    • To my younger self I’d have given a good swift kick in the as—uh—butt and gotten out in the writing world sooner.  Being introverted and shy, and super UN-confident, held me back.  A lot.  Still does. 
  • Do you think that the cover plays an important part in someone buying your book(s)?   Who designs your book covers?
    • Covers do make a difference.  Most people seemed to (really) hate my old TT Agency covers.  Creativia designed some simple, but effective ones that I find quite eye-catching.

JJC COMMENT: I thought the old ones weren’t as complimentary as the new one… they weren’t bad, but I didn’t think they properly represented the books. I do like the new ones a lot more!

  • Please give us an insight into your main characters.  What do you think makes them special?
    • They’re all unique with distinct personalities.  JJ, the narrator, is calm, mature, and thinks things through.  Her cousin Rey is brash, impetuous, and melodramatic, and won’t take “no” for an answer.  Rey’s BFF, Linda, is smart and little “nerdy”.  Together, they meld well.
  • What have you learned about yourselves since becoming an author?
    • That I know exactly what I want as an author . . . that I have a ton to learn about making it happen (I truly suck at promotion/marketing) . . . and that I have a little confidence now to see it through to wherever it takes me.
  • Do you write full-time or part-time?
    • How about here-and-there time?  🙂
  • What do your plans for future projects include?
    • Right now, getting the fifth book in the series written.  Down the road, having a website, writing a “self-searching” book (still have to give that one some thought).
  • What do you think the hardest part of writing is?  What is the easiest?
    • The hardest part for most is the commitment—sitting down regularly and actually writing.  The easiest, for others, seems to be the promotion and marketing components once the writing is completed.
  • What type of books do you like to read?
    • Who are some of your favorite authors?  Primarily mysteries—Reichs, Kellerman, Evanovich . . . Cudney.  🙂

JJC COMMENT: Oh, wait… that’s me! What do you think, should I believe her or is this just our humor?

  • What is the one thing you would like your readers to know about you? Do you have anything specific you would like to say to your readers?
    • <LOL> Read my books—please.
  • Name 3 influential authors on you and tell us why.
    • The three aforementioned, particularly Evanovich.  She makes me laugh (which is not an easy feat).
  • Which other authors and/or books do you think are similar to your own books?
    • I’m not sure, to be honest. 
  • Do you blog and share book reviews of other authors? Tell us all about it.
    • I post twice a week on my blog—about editing, a book, my books, whatever strikes my fancy at the time.  I will review books whenever possible, given time constraints.
  • Who are your own least and favorite characters?
    • My favorite character: Rey.  She’s a hoot (maybe a little bit of what I’d really like to be).  My least character: Cash, JJ’s sometimes boyfriend.  He’s hunky and arrogant, and everything a romance hero should be (I believe) . . . and he’s a pain in the butt. 
  • What are you afraid to write about?
    • My feelings about me / my life and situation.  Let’s leave it at that.  J
  • If you could co-write a book with a famous author who would it be? If it was another writer you admire but isn’t well known, who would it be?
    • Great question.  A famous author?  Hemingway.  Bradbury.  Joyce.  Brontë.  (You didn’t say they had to be alive.)  🙂

JJC COMMENT: Oh, she thinks she’s so funny, huh? Rule breakers… what can you do about them?

Wrap Up

That concludes today’s author alert and spotlight. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Tyler… I’ve read three books in this series, so you need to hurry up and finish the first three… maybe we could buddy read the fourth one together later this summer?

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Coco’s Nuts by Tyler Colins

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Coco's Nuts (Triple Threat Mysteries Book 3)Coco’s Nuts by Tyler Colins
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Coco’s Nuts is the third book in the ‘Triple Threat Mysteries’ series written by Tyler Colins. I previously read the first two books in the series and noticed the author has signed on with a new publisher, updated the covers, and launched two more books in the series. It’s time to catch up before I fall behind, as these are full of witty characters, memorable stories, and tons of wonderful descriptions. Let’s chat about Coco’s Nuts and the random body parts we find with tattoos on them…

First off, the title and the cover. Can you get any more eye-catching? Are they bombs? Is the author playing with the word coconut? Is it about eating fruits and nuts, being crazy nuts, or leaning toward that all-too-familiar and funny euphemism? Before reading the book, I didn’t know… after reading it, I can say with hilarity, it’s all three! I love when an author can be both serious and amusing in his/her books. Tyler Colins has a great balance of delivering snappy dialog and natural conversation. At times, there are breaks in conversation and questions being ignored (to be later responded to), matching how people really engage with one another. I like the reality of this world.

It takes place in Hawaii, and let me tell you… Colins knows how to visually create a scene. Between the descriptions in the narrative and the add-ons when someone is speaking or physically doing something in a scene, you kinda feel transported to this fictional place. I like that immersive feeling, and it’s not always included in these genres of books. Often a mystery is entirely about the mystery, but Colins ensures there is just as much ambiance and background to make you feel part of the story.

Of the three private eyes, we tend to follow JJ the most. In this caper, she’s much stronger and more pushy than the last two. The girl knows how to solve a crime, even if the client only hired the agency to prove she wasn’t guilty of murder. The ladies know that in order to do that, they need to find the guilty party. And it isn’t easy! There are a few victims and a couple of different killers / lawbreakers in this edition. Buddy, the beautiful female truck driver who’s accused of murder, isn’t all we think she is, which makes the plot even murkier and layered. I like those types of stories, as you never know what you’re getting yourself into. In this one, each chapter unfolds like a clue… we think we have a lead only to find out it opens up another murder or subplot. Then, they all come back together. You have to really keep yourself focused to know who stole Coco’s Nuts!

Kudos to Colins for another splendid entry in the Triple Threat investigations. I look forward to getting to know our main characters even more, as Colins continues to drop details left and right, but we always wonder what they’re doing when they’re not present in the chapter. I suspect there is something big coming in the next book, which I’ll be reading next month. Thanks for the opportunity to get lost in another good book, Ms. Colins… 4.5 stars for this caper.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie by Tyler Colins

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Can you Hula Like Hilo Hattie?Can you Hula Like Hilo Hattie? by Tyler Colins

Last year, I read the first book, The Connecticut Corpse Caper, in the Triple Threat Mystery series by Tyler Colins. Her second book, Can You Hula Luke Hilo Hattie?, is even better. Colins is one talented author who can weave a complex plot and help readers fully visualize a setting.

In this caper, our three heroines have formed a private eye agency in Hawaii. They’d solved the murders in the first book as regular citizens, so why not make it a full-time job? It was too much work in California or Connecticut to get their licenses, so Hawaii became the new home. Great idea! Fun backdrop. Hilarious characters. First, they need to bring home a runaway, hooked-on-ice teen. Second, they need to prove a man’s wife is cheating. Unfortunately, it isn’t your typical case, and when the wife turns up dead, the mystery is gonna be way more complex than our heroines thought.

Colins has created a bevy of intense and charming characters. I love ‘Cash’ who seems like a very cool dreamboat. Each time I got to know a new character, they end up getting killed off! Maybe it won’t happen this time…. but like in her first book, the body count keeps rising. It’s a fun way to keep readers on our toes. My favorite aspect of the author’s writing style is her descriptions, whether of people or settings. It’s way more than you’d normally see in a book, but it fits very well. I have a beautifully clear picture of who’s talking or moving about the book. I find myself drawn to the action, too, but it’s a very complex plot to keep focused on.

I also see strength in transitions between scenes. It’s rarely over-simplified or brash. It ends in the right place, and I roll into the next scene without worrying what happened in between. I also find the dialog to be rather strong… quick puns, not wordy, direct but full of imagery and thought. I can’t wait to see what third adventure the ladies find themselves embroiled in… no matter what the plot is, I’m sure it will create loads of fun and memories. Great job, Ms. Colins!

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: The Connecticut Corpse Caper by Tyler Colins

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I’m always excited when I get back to reading a cozy mystery, especially when it’s part of a series where I can truly invest in the characters and setting. I chose The Connecticut Corpse Caper, the first book in the Triple Threat mystery series published in 2016, written by Tyler Colins, after reading the description. I’m a fan of the macabre and horror movie genres and am always interested in stories where the main character is invited to a mysterious house in order to collect an inheritance. Though I knew this book wouldn’t be dark, and it wouldn’t contain anything gory, the plot and setting were enough to buy it from Amazon last month. I’d been following the author’s blog for several months and was very curious to see what a full length novel might be like. I was definitely glad I chose to read it and found a new series with some fun and quirky characters who like to push the envelope just a little bit!

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In this caper, Jill, has been offered an opportunity to collect $200K if she stays at her late aunt’s house for one week, along with several other guests who are each competing for the full inheritance. If someone leaves (for ANY reason), their share is entered back into the pool thus upping what the others have the opportunity to collect! Some of the guests are friends and neighbors of her dead aunt, others are family members and boyfriends. By the end of the tally, there are ~12 people subjected to the silly / dastardly plans of an older woman who liked to play tricks, even in her death. Between a ghost who haunts the place by singing and a slew of fake and real dead bodies popping up in the strangest of places, this caper has you guessing all the way thru. It felt a bit like Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, as one by one, visitors keep dying. But many secrets are also unraveling to a backdrop that felt something like the movie Clue.

I enjoyed the book a lot. I liked all the characters and the setting was very clear — almost too descriptive at times as it builds the entire picture for you without much room to invent your own backdrop. Jill re-builds a friendship with her cousin, and by the end of the book, they are in a very different place from whence they started. Perhaps one’s a killer. Perhaps they find out family secrets. Or maybe only one survives. I won’t spoil anything, but this book is a clear kick off for a new mystery series where a trio of ladies investigates crimes.

Colins has a strong grasp of building a world for her characters to play in. She delivers quirky, funny dialog that makes you want to slap them sometimes purely for the comical laughs that take take away from the villainous murders happening around everyone. Picture a head chopped off… a vampire-like death, and a sea of meals made only from mushrooms. Now that’d be the death of me! Perhaps the most vivid of the slew is the cute names Jill and her boyfriend have for one another given his career as a pastry chef. I’m glad to see how it all ends between those two! Ha… curious? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

I look forward to picking up more from this author and encourage anyone who’s a fan of humor, murder mystery, Clue or large casts to pick up this entry novel into the Triple Threat mystery series. It has lots of potential and I am excited to see what happens in the next one.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.