Thursday, October 2, 2014

In the Spotlight: Taylin Clavelli

Title: Dakota Skies

Author: Taylin Clavelli

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Dakota Skies Blog Tour


Born in the wrong time…

In 1875 Dakota, Sheriff Jamie Carter has to hide his interest in men, even from his gutsy twin sister, Anna. On a good day, the truth can mean a bullet between the eyes, and on a bad, one in the back.

A man on a mission…

Jamie leaves Anna in charge of Blackrock and he hits the bounty hunting trail, along with his faithful equine companion, Houston. Five territories, scores of ‘Wanted’ posters, and many bullets later, his path unexpectedly converges with that of enigmatic loner, Kit Brooks.

Two men with one soul…


Will the smoldering fire between them rage into an inferno and break down protective barriers, allowing them to find love? Or will it separate and kill them?

Beneath Dakota skies…

Jamie and Kit’s story is a sweeping saga of cowboys, Indians, persistent broads, and vengeful villains, where the cowboys aren’t always the good guys, and love can’t be taken for granted.


Finally, Hayley’s big day arrived. Jay was banned from the upper floor of the house. Even so, it didn’t stop him from hearing the curses. The nature of the swearing meant one thing—corset. The girls were helping each other dress in the basics, before going to Hayley’s to add the final touches.

“How the hellfire is anyone supposed to breathe in this?” was the politest of the expletives.

There was only one course of action to be taken. Jay disappeared to the jailhouse. He changed and waited there until the allotted nuptials time arrived.

Blackrock didn’t have a place of worship as such. What substituted for a church was a large hut where people could listen to the Sunday service delivered by the preacher. Wearing his Sunday best, Jay took a seat in the back row, claiming the role of protector. Farther up, he saw Morgan. He looked handsome in a black suit, white shirt, and thin bow tie. The two nodded a greeting.

It wasn’t long before the church was full, and the people of the hour arrived. Hayley looked beautiful in a white, fitted, long-sleeved dress. It had a lace high-necked top and full-length skirts, with bows down the back. Strips of lace fell from the bun in her hair.

Anna’s dress was a much simpler version of the bride’s. It was one thing to get Anna into a corset—another to get her wearing bows. It was light blue and blue lace covered the top. She looked stunning. The huge smile on Morgan’s face suggested he thought so too. The corsets they wore pulled in their waists so much Jay understood why Anna was complaining.

The service didn’t take long. Soon everyone was back at the saloon, which had been transformed into something befitting a wedding, with linen on the tables, cake, and a bunch of extras. Mrs. Cook supplied the food, and the whores were restricted to their rooms, forbidden to show their faces until celebrations were over.

Once the festivities were in full swing, Morgan asked Jay to accompany him to his office—well out of the way of eager ears.

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Writing fight scenes – from challenges to having fun with it

I have been a practicing martial artist since 2001, so, I enjoy writing fight scenes. In many ways they are easier than a love scene. For the majority I don’t use actual martial arts in my writing, but the knowledge I’ve gained teaching self defense and attacks, I do use.

There are variations in how I tackle a fight scene, but on the whole I always start with the location itself. I have an image in my head and sometimes I’ll plot it out on paper. I will also run the fight or battle in my head like a movie before I put any actual action down in hard copy. Much like writing the story as a whole, I have certain scenes in the fight which I connect as the complete act develops. In the end it must flow as well as a dance.

If I am writing hand to hand combat, factors like the number of participants is a major aspect. So, I’ll do a practice walk through, often alone so that I have in my mind’s eye exactly who is where, doing what. Occasionally, I rope my daughter into it as she is a black belt the same as me, and she may add an element I hadn’t thought of. Knowing a person’s reaction to a punch or kick is just as important as the blow itself, as that opens up other targets to hit.

When dealing with a battles or gunfights, I work out heights and trajectories, cover positions and what parts of the body can be seen by who at any given time.

The challenges are accounting for all the people in the fight, their associated weapons and keeping track of injuries, even blood splatter. For example how many knives or arrows a person has. It always amazed me in Lord Of The Rings how many arrows were shot considering everyone only seemed to carry half a dozen. You’ll have to excuse my phrasing, but in Return of the King, at the rate he was going, Legolas would have shot his load long before he reached the olyphant, unless they were replaced by elfish magic.

As far as fun parts go, I enjoy the whole process. But I specifically enjoy adding into a fight a nugget of knowledge which the reader can take away with them and use in everyday life - it’s the instructor in me. I also enjoy people’s reactions if I kill of a beloved character. I am not one of those writers who do the Star Trek scenario, where it’s only the unknown ensign in red who gets killed off.


About the author:

Taylin Clavelli lives in the United Kingdom, about 15 miles south of Birmingham, and a short journey from the world famous Cadbury’s Chocolate factory. She’s married with children and loves her family with all her heart.

Her love of books has been a long standing affair, with Taylin liking nothing better than to lose herself in an imaginary world.

Until she met Lily Velden, she never considered trying her hand at writing. However, after talking ideas, Lily encouraged her to put pen to paper—or rather, fingers to keyboard. Since, with a few virtual kicks in the right place, she hasn’t stopped. Her confidence eventually led to her writing an original work for submission.

Her first published work was Boys, Toys, and Carpet Fitters, developed for the Dreamspinner Press Anthology – Don’t Try This At Home.

Now she absolutely adores immersing herself into the characters she creates, and transferring the pictures in her brain to paper, finding it liberating, therapeutic, and wonderful.

Outside of writing, her interests include; martial arts (she’s a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwon-do), horse-riding, all of which facilitates her love of a wide variety of movies. Her action heroes include Jet Li and Tony Jaa—finding the dedication these men have for their art combined with their skill both amazing and a privilege to watch. If pressed, she’ll admit to thinking that the screen entrance of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl, and Shadowfax in LOTR, to be the greatest screen entrances ever. Her all-time favorite movies are Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

The simple things in life that make her day, putting a smile on her face are:

Laughter – especially that of her children.

The smell of lasagna cooking – it makes her mouth salivate.

The dawn chorus – no symphony ever written can beat the waking greetings of the birds.

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