Tag Archive | Tara Kingston

Monday, Monday – Zombies and Heroes and a Mad Man, Oh My!

A blog about zombies isn’t typical romance writer fare. Not exactly a topic to conjure thoughts of love and sweet nothings and happily-ever-afters. But this is a special Monday – the Monday after the season finale of The Walking Dead. Yes, I must confess – I’m a Dead Head, 2013 style.

Since the first episode premiered on Halloween 2010, I have been riveted to every episode. The Walking Dead is one of the most gripping shows on television. The ensemble cast brings characters to life with many fascinating nuances, displaying strengths, weaknesses, and vividly portraying the good in humans – and the evil. This season has emphasized a richly-drawn villain, the Governor. Portrayed by the ruggedly attractive David Morrissey, the Governor’s a complex character, alternating between protector and diabolical mad man, an enemy whose machinations compound the perils the small band of survivors of a zombie apocalypse must face. The Governor’s an intriguing threat, intelligent and ruthless, and yet, there’s a hint of the man he’d been before the zombie onslaught tore away any mercy he ever possessed.

As with most season finales, this week’s episode presented an agonizing cliff hanger. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming – after all, that’s the genius in a serial. Just as a gripping book makes you want to turn the pages, a well-done serial makes you want to keep tuning in. But the appeal of this series goes beyond well-executed hooks. The heroes and heroines of The Walking Dead have undergone major changes since the series began. The character arcs in this series are, in my important, far more important than the zombie makeup (which is indeed impressive) or the death toll with each episode.

The heroes and heroines have evolved since the story’s inception, creating a fascinating portrait of humans growing through adversity and tragedy. One of my favorite characters is Daryl, the crossbow-wielding tough guy with a heart of gold. Daryl’s far from a conventional hero, but he’s the stuff of a romantic’s dreams. Hardened and intense, he’s loyal, courageous, and displays a subtle sensuality that’s immensely appealing. I’m not the only one who finds Daryl immensely appealing….not if Facebook postings about the character are any indication. Daryl’s got the right stuff to be a romantic hero.

Walking Dead fans out there, who’s your favorite character? Why? Which character can you picture as inspiration for a romance novel? Don’t watch The Walking Dead? Who’s a great, unconventional hero or heroine you’d like to share? Leave a comment, and you’ll be entered for a weekly drawing for $5 Amazon gift card. One lucky commenter on my blog postings this week will be selected for the prize. The winner will be announced on Sunday, April 7.

Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Reasons I’m Glad the World Didn’t End on December 21 & A Giveaway

Okay, admit it – last week this time, somewhere in the back of your mind, there was a nagging little thought scratching at the surface of your brain. December 20, 2012…only one more day on the Mayan calendar until time ran out. Now of course, the Mayans didn’t have leap years and daylight savings time and leap seconds and all that good stuff, so logically, we knew it couldn’t possibly be accurate…after all, if they’d been right, we would have run out of time a while back. But still, there was an intriguing sense of mystery…like the mystery of what’s actually in a Twinkie that keeps it springy and fresh for what seems like eternity. The very slim chance that that Mayans knew something we didn’t toyed with our imaginations just a bit. So, I have to confess I breathed a sigh of relief when December 22, 2012 came and went for my friends down-under. There had been a warped sense of comfort knowing that if the world was going to come to a screeching, fiery halt, I could sit back and watch it on CNN before Gozer the Gozerian (yes, I’ve seen Ghostbusters way too many times…I have a mad, impetuous crush on Bill Murray) or Godzilla or a giant asteroid or whatever was to bring our doom arrived in the mountains of Pennsylvania. After all, it’s great to get head-of-line privileges at theme parks…not so great where an apocalypse is concerned.

But December 21, 2012 came and went, and the world as we know it is still here. Now, of course, that means that I will indeed have to pay the bills incurred in purchasing presents to put under the tree, but that’s a small tradeoff for continuing to exist. Here are 13 reasons I’m glad the world didn’t end (not necessarily in order of importance):

1.  My Christmas Eve tradition of watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Clark Griswold is my husband’s inspiration for exterior illumination.

Jinxie hat22. The joy of seeing my cat in her jaunty little Santa cap. Of course, that joy is short-lived (about 30 seconds before she manages to tear it off), but it’s something.

3. I would have missed the joy of adding new books onto my shiny new e-reader.

4. I still haven’t seen Les Miz…definitely on my “must do” list.

5. The joy of watching my family gathered for Christmas Eve dinner. Actually makes the agony of cooking it almost worth it .

6. I have at least 3 stories percolating in my head that I want to write in 2013.

7. This is my first winter surrounded by snowy mountains. I plan to enjoy this beauty.

8. I’ve conquered my fear of flying…seriously, I’m not being metaphorical here…and I intend to rack up some travel miles in the next few years.

9. So many books I want to read…and more wonderful romances being published every week. I need all the time I can get.

10. I can’t wait to see the new adaptation of The Great Gatsby. It’s one of my all-time favorite books.

11. There’s a new Ryan Gosling movie coming out in January.

12. I’ve never learned to ski…this year, I might.

13. I have Twinkies stockpiled just in case…

Of course, I have many more reasons to be thankful the world is still here. I love my family and want to spend many more years with them, and I’m blessed with terrific friends near and far. Laughter is an abundant commodity in my life, and I’m so grateful for all my blessings. But no one wants to read something sappy right now. We’ve had enough to stomach with all the “my family is perfect, wish yours was too” holiday letters that come disguised as Seasons Greetings this time of year.

What are some of your favorite reasons to be glad the Earth continues to exist? Leave a comment for a chance to win an ecopy of Love Potion #7. One commenter will be chosen at random. I’ll post the winner on New Year’s Eve…be sure to leave your email addy so I can contact you.

Happy Holidays!

Tara