Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Virtual Book Tour + Review + #Giveaway: Tar by Taylor Hohulin @TayHoho @GoddessFish

by Taylor Hohulin
GENRE:  Post-apocalypse/Science Fiction/Horror


Brendan Cobb calls it tar, but there might be as many names for it as cities left standing.

To some, it’s known as filth, or blight. Others call it the Black God in reverential whispers. Whatever name it takes, the effects are the same. Cities left in ruins. People turned into monsters. Living infections with no known cure. The best anyone can do is avoid it, but even that gets harder the more it spreads.

Brendan survives this waking nightmare by trading salvage for shelter and for repairs to his cybernetic arm, until a newcomer arrives, convinced Brendan is the key to ridding the world of tar once and for all. Reluctantly, Brendan and his mechanic join the newcomer on a journey across the desolate highways of a ruined world, where he learns the true history of the tar…and of the dark power inside him, which grows stronger every day.


The driver of the black car twisted his wheel hard, and the weaponized tires rolled toward Brendan’s head at ninety-five miles per hour. Samson slammed on the brakes, and the seatbelt bit Brendan’s collarbone. Tires squealed, and Samson’s car fell back a split second before the black ones collided. The spiked tires sparked and shredded each other. The vehicles tangled, swerving about the highway in tandem. Samson hung back to avoid danger, but he couldn’t do it for long. Another car loomed behind them.

And so Samson lifted one hand off the wheel.

As he did, the road lifted off the ground.

Samson punched the gas, and Brendan’s body pressed into the seat. They raced up the rising pavement, came to the place where the road ran out, and then they were airborne.

Brendan held his breath. He braced his arm against the window. The hum of the road faded away. The small vibrations of the highway’s uneven surface ceased. They were flying, the car carrying them over the carnage of the entangled black vehicles.

As suddenly as they’d left it, they hit the ground again. Brendan’s spine compressed with the impact. The car fishtailed a moment, the wheels bit the asphalt, and they took off like an arrow.

When he’d regained his bearings, Brendan looked out the rear window. The black cars had flipped, now lying on either end of the road with shredded tires spinning uselessly. No evidence remained of the ramp Samson had created except crumbled pavement.

Interview with Taylor Hohulin

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Tar?

Sure! The main character is Brendan. He’s a salvager in a post-apocalyptic city called Newhaven. He’s had a tough life, and it shows in how he views the world. He believes that to trust anyone is to open himself to betrayal, so he keeps everyone at arm’s length.

Brendan has one friend who he still trusts—much to his chagrin. Her name is Krystal, and she’s the best mechanic in Newhaven. She created a cybernetic arm for Brendan with a special alloy she developed herself. She is the moral compass Brendan wishes he didn’t have, and works to see the best in everyone.

While salvaging, Brendan meets Tiger Stripe. He’s young, reckless, and in spite of his tough exterior, he still believes the world can change for the better. He leads a group of similarly young and reckless salvagers whose carelessness gets them into serious trouble with the living infection simply known to the residents of Newhaven as “tar.”

And then there’s the group of men who could be described as wizards—they possess strange powers that Brendan never thought possible…until he discovers that he himself possesses a similar power.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

I’m working on another book about the end of the world, only this one will trend much closer to humor than horror. Everything I’ve written over the last few years has gotten progressively darker, so this will be a fun challenge and a nice change of pace. I’m hoping readers will feel the same way!

How long would you say it takes you to write a book?

I’ve managed to publish something every year since 2013, though I will be coming just under the wire for 2018. Usually, from that first outline to the final round of edits, it takes me a little over a year.

What is your favorite childhood book?

Childhood? Gotta be Where The Wild Things Are. I wanted Max’s pajamas so bad.

If you could spend the day with one of the characters from Tar who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do.

Man, there aren’t a lot of people in Tar I’d like to spend an extended period of time with, but fortunately, Krystal is in this one. She’s kind and selfless and lights up whenever she’s given the opportunity to make someone else feel valuable. I’d probably just go get a cup of coffee with her, because that’s how I prefer to socialize.

What was the hardest scene from Tar to write?

There’s a stretch toward the end where things get really trippy and disorienting. It was hard enough to write, simply because I was trying to get my head around what was happening and how best to communicate it so the reader feels just the right amount and kind of confusion. But on top of that, I’d just had shoulder surgery and was on pretty strong pain killers through a good portion of that sequence. The easy joke there is that the pain killers helped me write something even trippier, but I found the medication did more to cloud my thinking than to enable me to tap into some sort of previously-inaccessible knowledge and expertise.

What made you want to become a writer?

I don’t know if there was any one thing. I just love stories. I was the kid who dug through the instruction book for all my video games because I wanted to know what story they were trying to tell. Mario? Contra? Bubble Bobble? It didn’t matter how simplistic the game was, I just wanted to know who the characters were and why they were doing what they were doing. From there, it’s the motivation that feeds a lot of artists—I wanted to make other people feel the same way I do when reading a good book.

Just for fun

(a Favorite song: Geez, lead with the hard one! Current fave…In Absentia by My Epic

(b Favorite book: It by Stephen King

(c Favorite movie: Depending on my mood, Scott Pilgrim vs The World or Cloud Atlas

(d Favorite tv show: Does The Haunting of Hill House count? If not, 30 Rock

(e Favorite Food: Give me a good burger any day.

(f Favorite drink: Good, single-origin, properly brewed coffee

(g Favorite website: Wow. Don’t know if I have one of those. How about a shout out to NaNoWriMo.Org, since it is National Novel Writing Month. Can’t say enough about the NaNo community here in Des Moines and what the month does to encourage people—especially young people—to get into such a rewarding hobby.

Thanks so much for visiting with us today!

My Review:

Something other worldly has taken over the world and infecting anyone it comes in contact with. If you want to live then don’t go out at night. Why? Well that is when the Tar comes out to play and destroys anything and everything it touches.  During the day humans go out in search of food or whatever they can find so that they can trade it for a place to sleep at night.

Brendon Cobb just may be the key to the whole thing. Brendon just may be the one to stop the Tar or so that is what this new guy who just showed up out of nowhere has informed him.

Samuel tells Brendon that he has these special powers and that he can save the world from the Tar. Samuel wants Brendan to go with him so he can help him to learn to use his powers and stop the Tar but Brendon is not sure he can trust him or not. When his friend Krystal hears what Samuel has to say she decides that she wants to go along as well. Brendon figures he doesn’t have much choice but to tag along now.

Tar was unlike any book I have read before. The world building was phenomenal. Tar was a very intense read that kept me turning the pages. It has action from beginning to end. I kept waiting to see how the Tar would appear next and what damage it would create. Brendon kept me on my toes as well wanting to know what he was going to do next.

If you are looking for something a little different in the horror or post-apocalyptic world then Tar is the book for you. Give it a try. I recommend it.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Taylor Hohulin is a radio personality by morning, a science fiction author by afternoon, and asleep by 9:30. He is the author of The Marian Trilogy, Tar, and other genre-blending works. He lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife, where they are owned by a dog and a cat.

The book will be on sale for $0.99.


$20 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Unknown said...

Thanks for hosting me! I'm so glad you enjoyed Tar!

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing!

Calvin F. said...

Grats on tour,cheers