Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fun reviews and book signings

I have still been getting some fun reviews. Last night my husband bumped into an unexpected review posted on an outdoor forum. He was surprised to see it there and called me in to read the post. The writer said he'd read my book, Tombs of Terror, then wrote, "Not since Louis Lamour's The Sackett series have I enjoyed a book more. I couldn't put it down!"

Wow! That made me smile in complete awe and delight.

I also went to my first book signing this weekend. Four other authors were there, too.

I would love to say my book emptied from the shelf and my table was swamped with adoring fans but that wasn't the case. I did sell several copies--as many as the other authors--but on a warm, spring day, traffic was light through the store.

What I enjoyed, though, was meeting with the other authors. There was a cookbook author, a fantasy author, and two authors who wrote a book on gardening. Mine, of course, was young adult fiction. We made a good blending of genres and it made for some fun conversations.

Before I went to the book signing a man I know (who has 15 books published) said that you don’t sell books at book signings. You sell yourself. At the start of his career he felt book signings were a waste of time and money because no one bought his books. Now, years later, he says it is still the same. He will often go to book signings and only sell one or two copies…even though he is now nationally known in his genre. People would rather stop and visit at his table than buy.

Then he realized that is because book purchases are a decision, not a splurge. When people walk into a bookstore they generally have a specific book or author in mind. At the very least, they have decided on a genre. The trick is to get people to think about deciding on your book, he said.

You do that by talking to people and telling them about your book. Later, when they are finally deciding on a new book to buy, they will remember you.

So, was the book signing a waste of time?

Not at all. I visited with the public, other authors and the bookstore owner. I received some great ideas for promoting my book, and even swapped a copy of my book with the cookbook author for a copy of her book. So now I have new recipes to try and new promotional ideas to pursue.

I told the bookstore owner I wanted to come back to her next book signing day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Featured in the paper.

Well, my book is in the paper. That’s fun. This is Sidney Herald, located in eastern Montana. I worked for the paper for 12 years before we moved from Sidney. You can read the article here at: A new author

Monday, March 22, 2010

FACT: The Shining Path terrorists are real!

The Shining Path Terrorist group, El Sendero Illuminado, is mentioned in my book, Tombs of Terror. The group was and is a very real threat in Peru.

I lived in Peru during their heyday. While there they often blew up electrical towers in Lima, plunging parts of the massive city into blackouts and forcing Toca de Quedas (our equivalent of Marshal Law). They also perfected the art of drive-by shootings by standing in the back of pick up trucks and using M-16s to fire randomly into the crowds lining both sides of the streets. Planting bombs in Lima restaurants and blowing up mountain bridges were other tactics they used to terrorize the people, slow military movement, and strain supplies in remote areas.

People ask if I ever encountered them personally while living in Peru and that answer is ‘yes.’

Because I lived and served there for my church, they were respectful of me--which I greatly appreciated--even if they were distrustful of my real purpose and intent. They often voiced their belief that we were there to spy on them and would grow angry if we spoke of the United States. So we respected their feelings without criticism. Instead, we would share time talking of the wonderful things about their country and speaking of our common love for Peru and her people. By this means of positive conversations we were able to form tenuous truces as we lived in tiny mountain villages together, even if we did not support each others beliefs or ideology.

Though not as strong today as they were then, the terrorists are slowly returning and growing in power once again. I still do not know their beliefs or ideology but I would hope, if our paths ever cross again, we would be able to find some common positive ground once more. That is the door to open all channels of communication.

Friday, March 19, 2010

If you like my book please tell the world!

As I shared with you recently, I have been getting a lot of positive feedback on my book. People have contacted me personally, e-mailed or sent messages via friends and family. Yet no one is posting any reviews or comments on the Web. That's the nice thing about our electronic age. If you like something you can tell the world!

Maybe you don’t know you can post your comments on the Web. Maybe you don’t know where to go to post a review or how, so I thought I would help. Here are three places where you can go to post a comment or review of my book, Tombs of Terror. Each honest, positive review will encourage others to read my book.

Deseret Book. Just click on this link: Tombs of Terror Review. To the right side of the photo of my book, click on the words “Write a Review” You may need to take a moment to create an account with them, if you don’t already have one, but then you can post any glowing praise for my book.

LDS Fiction. Simply click on this link: Tombs of Terror Comments. Scroll down below the photo of my book until you come to “Post a comment.” Click on that and away you go!

Goodreads. Click on this link: Tombs of Terror Review. Just below my book you should see “My review.” Look to the right and click on “Add.” This one you get to rate me with lots (hopefully 5) little stars!

Yes, it takes a few minutes to post a review but I would truly appreciate the effort. (The book took longer than that to write!) Also, please remember the more positive reviews that are out there, the more strangers will become interested in my book and word will spread. But I need your help to start the comments going.

Also, if you think my book is an example of good, uplifting fiction for teens, don’t forget to nominate it for The Whitney Awards. Each nomination is one vote. Just click here The Whitney Awards Nominations.

Thanks so much!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What readers are saying about Tombs of Terror!

I’ve been getting some great feedback on my book. I thought I would share some of the comments with you.

“It’s fantastic, better than Twilight.” --DN

“I loved all the plot twists. It kept me guessing right until the very last page!” --JC

“I didn’t want to put the book down. I stayed up until one in the morning and had to force myself to stop reading the first night because I had to go to work in the morning. I couldn’t wait to get home and finish it the next day.” –-SH

“It was scary and funny and there wasn’t a boring part in it.” --NB

“This book has adventure and suspense all the way through it. It also has a message that I really appreciated. Bravo!” --JK

"I kept wanting to find out what would happen next." --GC

“T. Lynn Adams knows how to pique the readers’ interest in Tombs of Terror. As a Spanish teacher, I have ordered more copies of it and will be using it in my classroom. This is a very well-written story that intertwines culture, history, drama, and values. I also highly recommend any teenager who has ever felt frustration with parents, as well as anybody (young or old) with a passion for adventure to get their hands on this book!” --KH

"The adventure doesn't stop. It keeps going right up until the very end." --JR

"I've read a lot and this book really got my heart going in places. Not many books can do that to me any more." --BC

Thank you for all your kind words. And of course, to those of you who continually ask ‘how much of this is based on fact?’

Let me just smile and say, almost all of it!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tea time in Peru

On page 103 of my book, Jonathon is given muña tea to drink. The tea is described as being sweet and having the ability to help the drinker feel better.

Peruvians drink a lot of herbal teas, for a variety of ailments. Though not common in Lima, muña tea is more often found in the mountains of Peru because it helps with altitude sickness. It also reduces headaches, settles upset stomachs and soothes or relaxes the drinker. And it is simply delicious. Best of all, I do not think it needs sugar to be flavorful.

The natives said the plant had always been called muña, even by their ancestors—which may explain why I could not find a Spanish-English translation for it. Muña may be a transliteration of a native word and not Spanish at all. So I studied the actual plant in hopes I would recognize it in the States.

Years later I discovered muña was a type of tarragon. How excited I was to retrieve some tarragon leaves from my cupboard and try steeping them into a cup of tea. The aroma and flavor were just as I remembered: naturally sweet and full. Move over chamomile tea!

I now grow tarragon in my garden and in the winter enjoy a sweet cup of this tea.

But there are other teas in Peru. My family loves hot lemon tea. Simply add fresh lemon juice or lemon juice concentrate to hot water and sweeten with honey. It is great for treating sore throats or just enjoying in cold weather.

Another favorite tea in Peru was anise tea. It tastes like black licorice.

Toasted carrot tea tastes just like black tea and is healthy for you. Grate some carrots, allow the gratings to dry completely for several days then toast them in a hot, dry pan until dark brown. Delicious!

Whole oats toasted in a similar way also create a natural tea that tastes similar to coffee or Postum.

So, in the final days of winter, try an herbal tea...add your selection into a tea ball and let steep in a cup of hot water for one to two minutes. If you don't have a tea ball you can still make the tea, simply skim off any leaves or seeds before you drink and enjoy!

Monday, March 8, 2010

My book is eligible for a Whitney Award!

I just found out that my book, Tombs of Terror, has been listed as one of the fiction books eligible for a 2010 Whitney Award. I think that is exciting. During the nomination period, which is open now, people can nominate my book for a 2010 Whitney Award in youth fiction.

The Whitney Awards honor members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint who have a brand new book published in a specific category, such as youth fiction. The book does not have to preach LDS values or doctrine--it can be a national release just as mine is--but the book should adhere to high moral standards. This is a great way to let the world know Latter-day Saint authors are producing books worth reading.

To learn more about the Whitney Awards--or to nominate/vote for my book for a 2010 Whitney Award in youth fiction, just go here:

The Whitney Awards-Nomination Form

Each nomination is actually one vote, so the more nominations a book receives this year the more votes it gets. At the end of the year the top five books in each category will be announced. The winners will then be selected from the top five in their category.

It only takes 30 seconds to fill in your nomination/vote but the effects last much longer than that! I hope you take a moment to nominate Tombs of Terror. I think it is youth fiction worth reading and its message of family, friendship and loyalty worth remembering. Thank you!

Friday, March 5, 2010

FACT: the secret tunnels of Peru exist!

The book, Tombs of Terror, is set in Peru inside secret tunnels carved through the Andes Mountains. People are amazed to learn those secret tunnels do exist.

While living in Peru I often heard stories about people falling into one of the tunnels and wandering through them for miles until finding their way out. Other stories of people vanishing into thin air, even in the midst of a group, were often attributed to them falling into one of the secret tunnels and never being found again. I thought the mystery of the tunnels would make an intriguing setting for a book.

Then, years later I heard the Peruvian government had discovered some tunnels and capped them to keep people out of them.

When I returned to Peru in 2008, I wanted to see the tunnels for myself.

We were able to go through a short, uncapped tunnel section located in The Sacred Valley near the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Peru. The tunnels, we were told, were minor tunnels and very small and confining. Inside the solid stone maze, the tunnels were as dark and void of light as I described in the book. You could not see your hand in front of your face and only knew your eyes were open by blinking hard or letting your lashes blink open and closed on your had. In the inky blackness each step needed to be felt with your hands so that you avoided smashing your head on the low ceiling.

We were told ancient Inca priests had used torch light to travel these tunnels between ceremonies. Since our trip was spur-of-the-moment, we did not have torches or even flashlights. Instead, we used the flashes from our cameras to light the way in front of us, then we would travel forward by memory a few feet...just as Jonathon has to in the book.

I took the photo above not to capture an image, though it did that, but to see my path! If you look carefully at the photo you can see a member of our group just disappearing around a turn in the tunnel system. The photo also reveals two black marks, one on the upper left wall of the tunnel and a second black mark on the right wall of the tunnel. I was also told the black marks are built up oil stains left by the passing hands of Inca priests over the years.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The books are selling!

I've been told by book lovers and store managers that they are having a difficult time getting my books. When I talked to the publisher that is because the first wave of ordered books sold out much faster than they expected and they are having to reorder books.

I think that is wonderful because I know I don't have that many personal friends! That means total strangers are buying my book! Hurray! Thank you.

So, if you've ordered a copy, through a store or online, and it hasn't arrived yet, feel confident that you ordered a book other people also want. And know, too, that your copy will be arriving shortly.