Sunday, December 7, 2014

Win a $500 Amazon Shopping Spree!

I've Joined the Kindle Book Review

 for a BIG Holiday Giveaway!

December 8 - 22

Give the Gift of Time Travel

my historical romantic suspense novels:


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Recap: Bouchercon 2014

Murder on the Beach, Bouchercon 2014

Bouchercon, the huge Mystery Writers' Conference took place in Long Beach, CA this year, and I had a blast catching up with people I hadn't seen in a while, like publisher/writer Tory Hartmann of Sand Hill Review Press, bestselling author, Barry Eisler (soooo handsome and a really nice guy), and my writing bud, Blake Crouch (who has just signed huge deals with Random House and Sony). I volunteered to be the timekeeper for a panel that included Blake and author/producer Lee Goldberg (currently writing with Janet Evanovich). Here's a pic:

Panel with Blake and Lee

I also got to meet up with fellow authors that I only knew from online, including authors, Helen Smith , M Louisa Locke, and M Ruth Myers (who received the Shamus award this year for best Indie Sleuth--she stood onstage with Sue Grafton). Really great meeting those ladies!

M Louisa Locke, M Ruth Myers, Suzanne Tyrpak
Bouchercon is a terrific event for writers, fans, and others in the industry. Next year it will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina ... I'd love to see you there!

By the way, one of next year's event coordinators is author/radio host, Stacey Cochran ... another great online friend I got to meet in person!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Ancient History News--Nero's coin

Roman Coin from 64-65 AD Found ...

stumbling on this

A golden aureus, the equivalent of what a Roman soldier would be paid for a year of service, lying in the dirt as if it had been dropped yesterday. The coin was found by a volunteer archaeologist at a site in northern England called Vindolanda, once the location of a Roman fort. The face on the coin is the emperor Nero--known to have terrorized Rome, and in particular, early Christians. 


Read more about the story at Discovery News.

Nero is plays a major role in my historical suspense novel, Vestal Virgin.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The winner of Aphrodite is ...

Sarah Miles! My winner from the 
Summer Splash Blog Hop

Sarah has won a beautiful statue of the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, also known as Venus. The drawing was random, but there were some wonderful comments ... unfortunately, the comment area was having problems, so most people wrote to me. Thank you, lovely ladies, for sharing your thoughts with me. I'm sure Aphrodite is sending love to all of you.

Here are some of the comments. I won't include names, because some are quite personal:

So, I wouldn't say that I *deserve* it, but maybe it would send some love my way.  I have health issues, which started up while I was dating my ex.  I loved him, figured we'd be together for a long time.  A few months after I started getting significantly worse, he ended the relationship.  Never gave me a reason, and from what I hear he's told others, he's made up one for them (as I know it's not true).  My assumption is that it's just difficult dating someone who is ill, but he doesn't want to say that and sound like a bad person.  I'm hesitant to look into dating now that I'm free, as I don't want to get attached to someone that's just going to get fed up with me.  Could use a little help from the lovely Venus/Aphrodite in finding someone that can look past how these chronic issues have handicapped me.  I'm not just a sick person, and I hate being boiled down into that one little bucket.  Plus, who doesn't love being in love?  It's missed.

I'm sorry I had to email you my comment, but I couldn't get it to post. I believe I should win the statue of the goddess because each of us should have a piece of beauty in the room to brighten their lives and remind them of their youth. Aphrodite/Venus is the perfect goddess to remind me of happier/healthier times in my life as I struggle toward regaining some modicum of health. She could stand watch and encourage me to regain control, while reminding me to laugh and enjoy the sun. Her beauty can stand sentinel over my struggles and remind me of the beauty I will miss if I don't go outside and enjoy the pool in the the summer, the breeze in my face, the ground beneath my feet. All the beauty of the earth is there, if only I remember to see it. Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, can reignite the flame within my heart. 

Thank you for the chance to win Aphrodite  "The Goddess of Erotic Love":  In my wiccan class we are studying different Goddesses and this would be great to have for my Altar that I have created towards her for more Erotic love in my life.
 I bet you didn't expect that one. lol

Once again, I so appreciate all of you who entered the contest. It was a lot of fun, and I plan to participate again next year. 


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Splash Blog Hop
June 13-16, 2014

hop around and win terrific prizes
from participating authors

in celebration of Venus and Aphrodite, the ancient 
Roman and Greek
goddess of love who causes so much heartache in my suspense novels 

I'm giving away statue of the 

Aphrodite (ancient Greece) aka Venus (ancient Rome)

to win the goddess of erotic love
(and secure eternal bliss)

please post a comment, or send an email, telling me why you deserve her (if you have a problem with posting a comment please send me an email--I need your email address anyway)
 Suzanne dot Tyrpak 

Get Extra Chances:
Become a Blog Buddy = 1 entry
Like My FaceBook Page = 1 entry
Follow Me On Twitter @SuzanneTyrpak = 1 entry

Grand Prizes:
Kindle Paperwhite
$50 Amazon Gift Certificate

   1) Register
          2) Hop Around
3) Share

Just .99 cents during the Blog Hop:

Vestal Virgin (suspense in ancient Rome): US Amazon

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

World Building--A.R. Silverberry, guest post

What do historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction have in common? Whether it's ancient Rome, a land filled with gnomes and fairies, or a distant planet, the writer must create a believable world for readers.

A.R. Silverberry writes fantasy and has recently created and released a new world into the universe in his novel, The Stream. I asked A.R. to write a post about world building, and I hope you find the process as interesting as I do.

A.R. Silverberry

World Building

Every novel needs a world, a ground on which the action unfolds. When I started working on The Stream, I thought creating that ground, what authors call world building, would be a fairly simple process. I had a five-year-old boy, Wend. I had boats. I had a waterway. I knew he would face the hardships of nature, but it all seemed like it would flow like a fairy tale, so how much detail did I need? I found out quickly just how much!

First, I knew almost nothing about boats and sailing. My knowledge of surviving in nature was just as scant. And the trick to writing is that the world, whether it’s a mythic world, such as that of The Stream, or the real world, such as found in thrillers, romances, or historical novels, in fact, any novel, must feel real. You must feel certain it exists, somewhere. You want to live there. Or not. (Who would want to live in the world of Katniss Everdeen?) If it doesn’t feel real, the reader is thrown out of the story. Worse, the characters won’t feel real. No matter how convincingly they’re portrayed, if they’re prancing around on a set with painted sheets, the book will feel shallow, unsatisfying, and unbelievable. There’s a good chance the book might get thrown across the room or deleted from the e-reader faster than you can say Kindle.

Here’s a short list of some of the things I needed to learn and integrate into the novel: the flora and fauna of the riparian wilderness; the technology available to the primitive people occupying the stream; knife making, basketry; boatbuilding; the myths, legends, rituals, and beliefs of the culture; and the mainstays of their diet and how it was prepared. Plus, if I haven’t visited an actual location for a scene I’m writing, I try to find a photo reference. Fortunately, I was within walking distance of a beautiful stream, which I was able to study during every conceivable weather condition.

Having established the details of the world, the next order of business was to establish its laws; how it worked. Defenseless and alone, Wend needed a world that would test him and the others he encountered, a world that was both harsh and beautiful, that distilled and concentrated the existential dilemmas of life. I needed the reader to quickly learn and accept the laws of this world. There’s a rule I learned from novelist Elizabeth George: if you want the reader to get something, you have to repeat it at least nine times through out the novel. Once you’ve established how things work, you must be consistent. If you violate how the world works, you’ve killed the magic, that fragile glue that binds the story.

Here’s a brief bit of prose I wrote to establish the world of the stream. I love the prose, but I ended up not using it because I found others ways to convey what I wanted.

If Wend had stopped to think about it, he would have realized that his family, searching for fruit, nuts, and roots, never ventured far from either shore, that travelers never sailed upstream to tell tales of what lay ahead. Except for tacking and voyages of a few miles, his family never ventured upstream either. When he’d asked his father why, he was told, “It’s a law.” Wend must have looked blank because his father told him to jump as high as he could. Wend jumped, and after his feet landed on the ground his father said, “Now jump as high as the top of the mast.” Wend had laughed, but declared that no one could do that.

“Why not?” his father asked.

“We come down first,” Wend replied.

“It’s a law,” said his father. “And it’s a law that we go that way.”

His father pointed downstream.

If Wend had thought of these things, he would have understood that everyone was tethered to the stream and could only go in one direction. People stopped from time to time, working at abandoned foundries to smelt metal for anchors, chains, and knives, cutting trees to build or repair boats, living in villages, taking over deserted houses like creatures that move into another animal’s shell. They never stayed long, always returning to their boats, always going with the current, always traveling downstream.

 A final note. From the above sample, you can see that the world I created isn’t just a fantasy world formed from random elements. The world is integrally bound up with the story’s theme, plot, and characters. Sauron and Gandalf can only exist in Middle Earth. The Red Queen and Madhatter can only exist in Wonderland. Wend could only exist in the world of the Stream.

Synopsis of The Stream:

What if your world was six miles wide and endlessly long?

After a devastating storm kills his parents, five-year-old Wend awakens to the strange world of the Stream. He discovers he can only travel downstream, and dangers lurk at every turn: deadly rapids, ruthless pirates, a mysterious pavilion that lures him into intoxicating fantasies, and rumor of a giant waterfall at the edge of the world. Defenseless, alone, with only courage and his will to survive, Wend begins his quest to become a man. Will tragic loss trap him in a shadow world, or will he enter the Stream, with all its passion and peril?

Part coming-of-age tale, part adventure, part spiritual journey, The Stream is a fable about life, impermanence, and the gifts found in each moment.

Purchase The Stream:


iTunes: Coming Soon!


Follow A. R. Silverberry:

About A. R. Silverberry:

A. R. Silverberry writes fiction for adults and children. His novel, WYNDANO’S CLOAK, won multiple awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Award gold medal for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction. He lives in California, where the majestic coastline, trees, and mountains inspire his writing. THE STREAM is his second novel.

Friday, May 30, 2014

5 Questions for Laura Jennings--Narrator of Hetaera on Audible

I'm delighted to announce that Hetaera (suspense in ancient Athens) is now available on Audible (as well as on Kindle and in trade paperback). Hetaera, is book one of the Agathon's Daughter Trilogy. (I'm working on book two, Priestess, but life and other writing projects have sidetracked me.)

Narrator, Laura Jennings, has done a wonderful job narrating the book--not an easy project with all the ancient Greek references. Laura just got back from Europe (the lucky so-and-so) and she had a wonderful time exploring ancient sites in the UK. No wonder she relates so well to Hetaera! She stopped by my blog and agreed to answer 5 Questions.

Laura Jennings

Laura mentions that she has a degree in creative writing, but I just found out (when I googled her) that Laura is not only a wonderful narrator, but also a writer! Her short stories appear in literary magazines including The Literary Lantern, Gulf Coast Magazine, and SCIFI-LITFI ezine.

Okay, let's get on with my questions.

Suzanne: Laura, you did a wonderful job narrating Hetaera--not easy, since there are lots of strange names and words. What did you find most challenging?

Laura: Regarding strange names and words, Hetaera was not that bad actually. All the specific names of things were easy to find and I found several sites that gave phonetic pronunciations to Greek words and surnames. You provided me with two excellent internet sites. There are a lot of sources on the internet citing classical Greek literature so there was plenty of information. That made the book even more interesting for me than it already was. Through researching pronunciations I learned quite a bit about Greek history that really put your novel into context. The biggest problem in terms of pronunciation is the one I have with every book. That one word you think you have been pronouncing right all your life - you really aren't. 

Suzanne: Yes! I noticed some of your pronunciations are different than I expected, but when I checked them out they're accurate.

I see, from your list of book on Audible, that you've narrated at least forty books. How did you become involved in narrating books on Audible?

Laura: All roads lead to Audible if you want to narrate audiobooks. I believe most big publishing houses with audiobook divisions work with Audible as well as companies that work specifically with audio narration like Tantor or Blackstone or ACX. As for my personal journey, I did a few commercials in the beginning but did not find it very satisfying. I have always loved to read and loved literature in general so moving to narrating audiobooks seemed like a natural transition. My voice coach said he had had good luck with ACX and so that is where most of my work has been. I have been very fortunate to get contracts for good books, like Hetaera.

Suzanne: Thanks, Laura. What's the most fun aspect of narrating a book? And the biggest frustration?

Laura: The most fun aspect of narrating an audiobook is absolutely falling into another world
and making it come alive. To be immersed in a story is one of the best things in life.
I think it's great fun to take a story and make it as three dimensional as is possible without 
cinematography. The biggest frustration is when you want your mouth to work and it doesn’t.
Sometimes it just isn’t going to be a good recording day. On those days all the green apple 
slices and hydration in the world doesn’t help. As Murphy’s law would have it, this usually
happens during a big push to get something out the door on time. 

Suzanne: Green apples for hydration ... that's interesting. Talking for such long periods of
time must be rough on your voice. You mentioned a voice coach; do you consider yourself
an actor?

Laura: That is a very good question. I am not sure I do. My family is originally from the south
where there is a grand tradition of story telling. It is really and art form in and of itself. So I
suppose I consider myself a storyteller. I have done a bit of stage acting but I have an MBA
in Creative Writing and so the written word in the form of novels and short stories is where 
most of my experience lies. I find the differences in reading a story and listening to a story
fascinating. If you wrote a story out the way you would tell it orally you would hardly 
recognize it compared to its written form.

Suzanne: Southern writers sure can tell a great yarn! (My mama came from Tennessee, so even though I grew up in New York, maybe I inherited some of that southern tale-spinning. But I digress. See Laura, give me a moment and I'm talking about myself! One more question. If you could time-travel to the past or future where would you land?

Laura: That is a tough question for a woman. History, as you know, has not been kind to our sex. So if I travelled back in time would I really be privy to the things I would want to see? I probably would want to go to the future. And since I only have Star Trek as a point of reference I would want to visit a future time where warp speed is possible. Being in Brussels in the blink of an eye? Bliss! Fresh croissants or signing of the constitution ..... definitely toss up.

Suzanne: Yum! Fresh croissants and cafe au lait for me! I know what you mean about time travel for women ... a lot of times were not so great. No wonder you write science fiction. 

Thanks so much for stopping by, Laura.

If you enjoy historical suspense, check out Hetaera--suspense in ancient Athens on Audible. Your first month is FREE

List of books Laura has narrated

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rosy: A Novel is now on Audible--and I asked narrator Christy Lynn 5 Questions

It's difficult to express how exciting it is to listen to my story, Rosy: a novel, brought to life by narrator Christy Lynn. She did a wonderful job with all the characters--male and female. I hope you give it a listen. Listen to a sample at Audible. If you're new to Audible, you can get the book for FREE.

Christy was recently one of thirty narrators chosen by Audible/ACX to attend a talent event! She is really terrific. Contact Christy Lynn at Christy Lynn Voice Overs 

Meanwhile, Christy has been kind enough to answer 5 Questions:

1) Christy, you’re not only a wonderful narrator, you’re great at creating different voices. How do you come up with a voice?  
Thanks so much!  Well, to come up with a voice for a character I usually think about how they might look, walk, carry themselves.  If they maybe have a tick or some habit to them.  I watch a ton of tv shows so a lot of times I'll be watching a show and I'll notice something about how a character sounds, then I'll use that for maybe a character in a book that I"m having trouble coming up with a voice for.
2) That's so interesting. I wonder what it's like to watch a movie with you! How did you get involved with Audible? 
A friend of mine also a VO talent, told me about ACX.  I had no idea it existed!  When I heard it was Audible and Amazon together I thought - well this is gonna be awesome!
3) Yes. Amazon is definitely ahead of the pack. I imagine, as we continue getting busier, more people will be listening to stories. How do you view the experience of listening to a story versus reading?  
For me there are good aspects of reading a book and listening to one.  Listening to one is definitely better if you need to be mobile.
4) Listening is great for older people too. My mom and dad listen to a lot of books--but I haven't told them about Rosy ... too personal! Does your acting career include other mediums like stage or screen? 
I was a total theatre geek in high school, lol.  I was in so many community shows outside of school that my high school voted me Thesbian of the Year!  I also studied at SUNY Purchase in NY for two years, it's kinda like the college version of the high school from the show Fame.
5) SUNY Purchase is a great school for theater! No wonder you really got Rosy! In your experience, what makes a great character? 
Good question!  Well hard to say exactly, but for me I think a great character is one who does something out of character.  A mob boss adopting a cat from a shelter or something like that.  Something that makes the reader/listener go "Wow, didn't see That coming!"
Christy Lynn ...or her cat?
                This is the only photo Christy Lynn would allow me to post ... 
no surprise that she likes mobsters who save cats!



Monday, March 17, 2014

News for Ancient Egypt

News for the Ancient World

March 17,2014

Two stories related to ancient  Egypt:

Stolen Egyptian artifacts were seized by Homeland Security in New York on March 16, according to Ahramonline. The artifacts are now on their way back to Egypt. The artifacts are from different periods and include: a mummy mask, part of a painted wooden sarcophagus, and Middle Kingdom wooden boats.

Egyptian Wooden Boat

The discovery of the skeletons of six cats (four of them kittens) in an Egyptian cemetery makes scientists believe that cats may have been domesticated 2,000 years earlier than first thought--according an article from Live Science.

Cat Skeleton

Friday, March 7, 2014

Author Zané Sachs--5 Question Interview

Zané Sachs stopped by today. She's created a new blog: Zané Sachs-Going Down, in anticipation of the release of her new book, Sadie the Sadist. The blog features forensic informationabnormal psychology, and Sadie's (questionable) recipes.

The interview didn't go as planned. Frankly, Zané Sachs is the strangest author I've ever met.

5 Questions:

Suzanne: Hi Zané. Why are you wearing that apron?

Zané: Hi. I've been in the kitchen--testing Sadie's recipes. Is that your first question?

Suzanne: Not really...what's that red stuff on your apron?


Suzanne: Really? It looks like blood.

Zané: Is that your second question or your third?

Suzanne: What inspired you to write Sadie the Sadist? 

Zané: Working in the corporate world. Specifically, a supermarket. Any day now, we're going to be replaced by robots. Seriously. While I was working, Sadie appeared--a full-blown character. She started whispering stuff to me, and I transcribed what she said.

Suzanne: Will you give us an example?

Zané: "Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill."

Suzanne: Kill who?

Zané: Just about everyone. That's your sixth question! You can read a chapter called SEX IN THE BATHROOM on my blog. Here's a snippet:

Sex in the Bathroom

Over the past few days a lot has changed at the supermarket.

The check stands have been moved so the contractors they hired for the remodel can redo the floor, plus they’ve rearranged the aisles again. Bandages are no longer next to macaroni; you’ll find them on Aisle 6 across from Oatmeal.

There’s this new guy in Deli. He’s about my age, not a kid, but not an old man either. His glasses make him look intelligent and I like his legs. They’re muscular and tan. I know, because he wears shorts to work. (We’re allowed to wear black, knee-length shorts from Memorial to Labor Day.) I met him on the freight elevator. I was bringing down the trash cart, after emptying all the garbage cans, when Ranger rolled in a U-boat of roasted chickens destined for the dumpster. His name is Richard, but everybody calls him Ranger. He helped me load my garbage into the compactor—the bags from the trash cans outside the store are especially heavy—and, in return, I gave him a BJ in the employee bathroom. It’s unisex, down in the basement, and the door locks.

Now the poor schmoe is in love with me. Women sense these things, and we lefties are intuitive. He’s obsessed. I feel his eyeballs on my butt whenever I walk past.

But blowing Ranger is not the big thing (no pun intended).

The big thing is: Justus is dead, and I’m not sure if I killed him.

Release date: April or May 2014

Visit Zané's blog, Zané Sachs-Going Down

Follow Zané on Twitter 

Like Zané's Facebook Page

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

News for the Ancient World

Today I added a new page to my blog: Ancient News. Here you'll find postings regarding the latest archaeological findings, events, films, and exhibits--about the ancient world. Thanks for time traveling with me.

March 4, 2014

Last week I rushed out to see the new film, Pompeii, in 3D. They did great research, and I felt like I'd been thrust back through time to the fateful last day when the volcano exploded. 

Watch the trailer:

Yesterday, Pompeii made the news in real time. The walls of the ancient city are crumbling due to rain. Read this article and learn some interesting facts. For example: Pompeii restaurants served giraffe. 


Other ancient news of interest:

An ancient gladiator school has been discovered in Austria. 

The unearthed complex includes cell blocks, a training area, and bath complex. Read more about it here.

The archaeologists constructed a 3D model of the school, and created this video.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Continuing Ed at Oxford University--A Writer's Journal

For a long time I've dreamed of attending Oxford University and studying Classics. Geeky, but true. In college I majored in Classic Theater and Ancient Religion, and I studied ancient Greek theater with an Oxford scholar. Plus I love the Inspector Morse mystery series on PBS, including all the spin-offs like Endeavour.

Oxford University, England

The trouble is I live in Colorado.

But the other morning, I woke up thinking: if I could do anything I'd study at Oxford University in England. For fun, I Googled Oxford, and was delighted to discover a list of online courses. I found one on Greek Mythology--perfect, because I'm doing research for Priestess, Book Two of my Agathon's Daughter trilogy, and I like to reference Greek mythology. Stephen Kershaw will be teaching the course, and he's written (and coauthored) a number of books on Classical topics. 

I'm sooooo excited!

Geeky, huh?

The point is, lots of colleges and universities are offering amazing courses online. Some of them are even free. So, if you're curious about some area of study, check it out. I'd love to connect with you in my Oxford chat room and talk about Persephone, Oedipus, Medea...all those crazy ancient Greeks.