Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Writer's Wednesday - Breathing Writing

Pink Heart Society columnist Tara Taylor Quinn is talking about how writing is an essential part of her...

I’m a writer. Okay, so that means I write. Whether by hand or at the computer, I put words to page. But making sentences and paragraphs – even lots and lots of them – does not make me a writer.

Being a writer isn’t something you do. It’s not a profession. It’s not a hobby or an occupation. Or even a dream. Being a writer is who you are. It’s a life. All day. Everyday. No matter where you are, who you are with, what you are doing. On vacation. At your desk. In the shower. Driving your child to school. Every breath you take is part of being a writer. Because every second you experience in life is inside of you. And a writer pulls from what is inside to put those words to the page.

My accountant once told me that my whole life is deductible. She was teasing. I know that. I don’t deduct anything that’s not absolutely documented and legitimate. But her point was absolutely true. There is no point in my life where I am not a writer. As a mother, I experience situations and emotions, and they come out in my writing. As a daughter, a wife, a friend – all the same. But also as a shopper, a movie goer, a vacationer. My life is a constant intake and outgo of experience, sensation, perception, emotion. I see both sides of the story. I see a third side, too – the non-involved objective side.

And when I go to sleep – I continue to be a writer. My mind germinates, sometimes it attacks, sometimes it resolves, but it is always busy. Always processing. Always working.

I have been told many times that people don’t know how I do what I do. How I type so many words in a day. So many pages in a year. To me, that part is the no-brainer. I sit. I put my fingers on the keyboard. I type. The hard part – sometimes the overwhelming and exhausting part – is living with me the rest of the time. Because in any moment, in any situation – at dinner, or in the swimming pool, watching television or standing in line – I will be ‘hit’ with something. An emotion. A memory. Something I see. Smell. Or overhear. Something I witness or am told about. Or something else I might not even recognize at the time. My mind might process. A story might begin. Or I might just feel the emotion and move on to the next breath. That emotion or memory or experience will be there though, lingering inside, biding its time, waiting until a story needs it.

Being a writer means being this big ‘life’ receptacle. I store everything. All the time. I carry it around with me. Draw from it. Push it away. Sometimes I even try to hide. But always, whether I want to or not, I take in.

I live with an insatiable curiosity. A driving need to ‘know.’ I ask a million questions. I do unending research. I never have enough answers. I lie awake in the dark of the night. I sit and stare at nothing. I leave rooms when emotions are coming too fast for me to take in. I have two conversations going on in my head at the same time. I experience personal tragedy. And joy. I spend much of my life alone. And yet, I am never alone. Because I am a writer. With every breath I take.

Tara Taylor Quinn's latest story can be found in the A Heartwarming Holiday collection, out now:

This holiday season, warm your heart with 15 connected sweet, clean & wholesome holiday romances set in Christmas Town from 15 Harlequin Heartwarming authors who are USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors. 

There are five connected books in A Heartwarming Holiday. That means each set of three novellas shares characters and storylines! 

Book 1: Once Upon a Holiday by Anna Adams, Anna J Stewart & Melinda Curtis: Three former college roommates start a business to bring the magic of the holidays to everyone in Christmas Town. 

Book 2: Holiday Heroes by Leigh Riker, Tara Randel & Cari Lynn Webb: 
Three former Navy SEALs come together to restore an outdated resort. 

Book 3: 24 North Pole Lane by Carol Ross, Amy Vastine & Cheryl Harper: 
Romance is being delivered to 24 North Pole Lane this holiday season. 

Book 4: Magic Moments by Tara Taylor Quinn, Shirley Hailstock & Liz Flaherty: 
Three different times, three different stories. They all bring magic to Christmas Town. 

Book 5: Nutcracker Sweethearts by Dana Mentink, Roz Denny Fox, & Amie Denman: 
As the stage production of the Nutcracker unfolds in Christmas Town, three couples find love with the help of a little holiday magic! 

To find out more about Tara and her books, you can visit her website and follow her on InstagramPinterestTwitter and Facebook.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Male on Monday - Native American Actors: How Hollywood got it Wrong!

Pink Heart Society columnist Jenna Kernan is getting ready to celebrate Native American Heritage Month...

Hollywood has a history of using white actors to play ethnic parts.  The 1950s seems the decade of most egregious bad casting.  But wouldn’t it be nice if we could go back and change out those blue-eyes men wearing parted black wigs and headbands with some Native American actors?  Here are my picks for some of the most tragic casting in 1950s Westerns:

Blue-eyed Burt Lancaster in APACHE released in 1950.

Here’s Rick Mora, both Yaqui Nation and Apache.  Now there’s a man who can play the part.

Henry Brandon is surrounded by a confusing mix of plains headdress and beading.  He also seems to be paint or have a really unfortunate strawberry birthmark across his face in THE SEARCHERS, 1953 

David Midthunder combines masculine beauty with a toughness perfect for a leader, hero or villain.

Charlton Heston also shows his blue peepers and seems to be standing under a red light or has sustained a second-degree sunburn in 1952, THE SEARCHERS

Here is the actor Jay Tavare the man I wish they could have chosen for basically any part in anything!  He’s haunting and intense with beautiful expressive eyes.  Plus he doesn’t look like a burn patient.

As a society, we are making progress and some directors have gotten it right in casting.  Kudos to the following films for making wise casting choices.


Will Sampson as Ten Bears

Chief Dan George as Lone Watie.

I fell in love with Chief Dan in that part, age differences aside.  He is charming and endearing, funny and wise.  If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it.


This cast shows what is possible and the results were spectacular.

Michael Spears as Otter and beside this, Michael Spears all grown up!

Actor Rodney A Grant.  Who could forget him as Wind In His Hair.  That beats my fingers in his hair, I suppose.

Duane Howard as Elk Dog in DeCaprio’s recent smash, The Revenant

Now as for the newest reincarnation of THE LONE RANGER, I will let the reader decide.  One thing we can agree on is that Johnny Depp is a handsome man who is always easy on the eyes.

Next month is Native American Heritage Month.  Let’s try to learn something learn from past mistakes. 

I hope Hollywood is listening and continues to cast Native American actors to play Native American parts, but more than that, I hope they casts Native American actors to play a variety of parts.

Here’s two series that are on Netflix that feature Native American actors that I have really enjoyed.

Want more handsome men? 

Try these two options airing on Netflix.

The Red Road Only two seasons, but well worth watching.  This cast includes Jason Momoa (mic drop).

Skinwalkers: The Navajo Mystery series based on Tony Hillerman’s characters staring Adam Beach and Wes Studi playing Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn.

Who are your favourite Native American actors?  Join the discussion in the comments!

The next book in Jenna's Apache Protector series, Turquoise Guardian is out soon:

Her Warrior Protector

Carter Bear Den is a proud Apache of the Turquoise Canyon Reservation. The former US Marine is a member of the Turquoise Guardians working to protect his people and their land. When he discovers a grisly mass shooting at the Lilac Copper Mine, Carter's one thought is to find Amber Kitcheyan.

After breaking her engagement to Carter and relinquishing her membership with the reservation, Amber found work at the mine. Now she is the sole survivor of the shootingat best a witness, at worst a suspect. But Carter swears to protect the only woman he has ever loved, even if it means losing everything else.

Bestselling author, Jenna Kernan, writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue, Western Historical fiction and paranormal romance. A Publishers' Weekly Bestselling Author, winner of the Book Buyers' Best award and two-time RITA nominee, Jenna’s popular APACHE PROTECTOR series for Harlequin Intrigue continues in January 2017 with TURQUOISE GUARDIAN and February with EAGLE WARRIOR.

Don’t miss Jenna’s FREE advance read, available only when you join her newsletter

Jenna is forming a new review team.  If you are interested in getting free pre-release copies of Jenna's latest visit her website to apply to Jenna's Review Team.

For more details about Jenna Kernan's stories, visit her EXTRAS page on her website, visit her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter.