As I reflect upon my first year as a published author (or rather the first three months, but who's counting?), I must give thanks to my family, friends and community for their unwavering support. It has been a whirlwind of emotions, ranging from downright panic to euphoria, and there is no way I could have survived without my loved ones. THANK YOU! I also thank my lucky stars for the positive reception of First Sun. I can honestly say I have received nothing but unsolicited enthusiasm from all who have entered my imaginary world, including third party reviewers. Below I have copied and pasted some of my favorite review comments from third party reviewers who participated in First Sun's recent blog tour. All blurbs below are just portions of full reviews, but all are from separate reviewers. If you would like to see the reviews in their entireties, visit my book on Amazon.

Disclaimer: I TOTALLY appreciate all of my friends and family for taking the time to post reviews to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads. EVERY review counts in the internet world, so keep 'em coming! I'm just highlighting these reviews because they are the fruit of my recent blog tour. :)

"What could possibly have better to do than to start reading this book right here?!! It's a great read! Mystery, thriller, romance all in one! It was hard to put it down and had me turning the pages like crazy trying to figure out what was going to happen next!"

"This book is amazing. I cried so much but there at points that were funny and lots of romance. I recommend this book and seriously hope there is another one after this to find out what happens next."

"First Sun is an action-packed thrill ride bursting with blossoming romance, horrifying government secrets, and impending doom that will sweep you off your feet in dizzying anticipation. THAT ENDING. It will probably kill me waiting for the next book. Prepare to go through serious withdrawals and the urge to throw things."

"I cannot wait to find out what happens next for them and the world. This book was very well written with great characters. Eden’s mom was funny and they had a great relationship. Eden goes through a lot emotionally throughout the book and learns just how strong she truly is and what she is willing to do for the people she loves. Andrew also learns a lot about himself as well as some of the things his father has to do and go through as the president of the United States. I look forward to learning more about the characters and what they go through next."

"The twist and turns in this book were fun! I can't wait to read the next book to see how this story ends."

"I was hooked on this book from page 1. There were enough story lines to keep me engaged, and the plot flowed really well. The book is very well written, and I sure HOPE there is a second book in the works."

"Tara Tolly has managed to create a novel that will make you run through a whole range of emotions from "aw, that's sweet" to "damn you, you bastard!", not the least of which is, "What in the heck would I do? OMG I don't know." I was really not sure how to write this review without giving anything away, the story was just that fantastic, and I wanted to tell you all about it. I do hope that you will pick up this well-written, well-researched novel for yourself and enjoy it as much as I did."

"I fell in love right along with Andrew and Eden. This is a fantastic story. I felt like I was right there with them. Eden was scared of Andrew at first, because of the tabloid stories, but once she met the real Andrew things changed. Then how to you feel about the end of the world? How would you prepare? This is a must read book."
As First Sun hits the proverbial shelves, I am overcome with a completely irrational urge to rewind time just a few weeks to when I had complete control over who could read it. Only those I trusted most were granted access into the precious world I had created in the depths of my imagination. Now it is out there. It no longer belongs just to me. It belongs to whoever wants it. And that, my friends, is the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced.
Sure, I signed up for this. Ever since I wrote the first line (which in reality now lives somewhere in the middle) I dreamed of the day I could hold it in my hands and place it on my shelf amongst all of my favorite books. But as I picture family, friends, acquaintances and perfect strangers hunkering down within the pages of my beloved book with the freedom to scrutinize at their discretion, that dream shatters into a crippling fear. What if they don't like it? What if they tell me they liked it, but they really didn't? How do I even know who's read it? What if I'm talking to someone and they've read it but I don't know they've read it? What if hardly anyone actually reads it? What if…what if…WHAT IF? 
Unfortunately, there are no answers to these questions and there probably never will be. So perhaps I will leave them here to fester instead of in my mind and go forth and write. Because that's where all of this started in the first place - with a love of the written word.
Recently I have come across several articles more than a few times on Pinterest touting rules writers should follow when authoring fiction text. And I must say that it disturbs me each and every time. Some pinners are teachers and some are writers, but both are seeking out advice from professionals on how one can be considered a respectable writer. I would never scoff at advice from professional writers. I am an amateur at best and look upon successful writers in awe of both their writing and business expertise. I do, however, question anyone who would suggest a set of rules to reign in creativity. I disagree whole-heartedly that there should ever be any "rules" in regard to an art. And writing is just that - an art. Let's face it, if Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque would've followed all of the "rules" of art in their day, would we have ever seen the invention of cubism? I think not, my friends. Writers should break the mold. They should test the limits and color outside of the lines. And they should never, ever follow any "rules" such as the ones floating around social media these days. These rules upset me so much that I went on a passionate scavenger hunt in the recesses of my bookshelf and Nook library for examples of literary works that break the "rules" successfully. I am pleased to report that most of the books I scoured through (many of my favorites, by the way) break these rules with a vengeance. So you go ahead and use cliches; heck, they're a dime a dozen. And you begin a sentence with "And." By golly, you could even use a "said" synonym and (gasp!) pair it with an adverb. 

"Because you only live once," she exclaimed vehemently.

It's happened to all of us. You're lost in a literary world created just for you by the author of your latest read, when you encounter a mistake so glaring it knocks you right out of your fantasy world and into a state of disbelief. Really? A professionally published manuscript has a typo? Where was the editor? Did the author even proofread this thing?

As a reader, I am quite annoyed by this taboo. But as an author, I am at a loss for how this happens. I have spent tireless hours combing through my manuscript with a fine-toothed comb. Yet, I am scared to death that while I rest assured that my manuscript has been thoroughly combed by myself, eighty-seven readers, an agent, multiple times by my editor, and then again and again by me, somehow a little typo gremlin is going to come creeping out of the woodwork stroking his dastardly little mustache going, "Wah ha ha! How about an extra 'and' here…perhaps a missing 'the' there, and maybe the typo of all typos - a missing line! Wah ha ha!"

It could happen. They're scrappy, those little typo gremlins. But I can take 'em. They're not coming anywhere near my book. 

So as I sit down to do a final proof of the ebook version of my debut novel, I am poised to locate and destroy those typos like a literary sniper. Stay tuned for the total number of casualties...