Monday, September 3, 2018

Cloaked by Taylor Hobbs (VBT, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

It is my pleasure to share a guest post by author (and WRP Rose) Taylor Hobbs, who shares...
(and thank you and your family for your sacrifice and service)

Why minimalism makes me a better writer

Taylor Hobbs

Even before deciding to live on a 38-foot sailboat, I'd been obsessed with the idea of minimalism. I came across tiny houses first, and was enchanted with not only their obvious adorableness, but the lifestyle that inevitably accompanied them. Subscribers to the idea of a ‘less is more’ philosophy accumulate time and freedom instead of material goods. Deciding to pare down and declutter to achieve our liveaboard dream has led to a more family-focused and creativity-driven life. 

We have only what we need. I don't like decorations or knick knacks, and I avoid Etsy. Stuff is just stuff, and letting go of it all helped me achieve an inner peace. The lightening of baggage was both physical and mental, and encouraged a clean slate. A blank page. Once most of our belongings were gone, I felt like I could take my life story any direction I chose. As a writer, this attitude also transferred over to my novels. 

My new day-to-day routine changed my creative headspace. It was freeing to have a limited wardrobe and not wonder what I should wear. I could walk through department stores without stopping for an impulse buy. Grocery store trips were pre-planned to make sure everything fit in our little fridge. When we had our baby (yes, we have a baby on our boat!), we kept it simple with a few basic necessities on the registry. When the possibility of ‘extras’ went away, I didn’t even see them anymore. Instead of concentrating on the thousands of distractions that bombarded me every day, I had so much more time and brain energy to focus on my writing.

One of the bonus aspects of minimalism is an increased appreciation for experiences and relationships. By being unencumbered with excuses and able to say yes to adventure, real-life inspiration for my writing hits me from every direction. When I focus on enriching my relationships with family and friends, my characters also benefit. Motive, dialog, and backstory surround me and help to fully develop my heroes. With so much to draw from, writer’s block is no longer an issue. 

Not every writer has to take it to my extreme, but if you find you’ve hit a wall in your life, creative or otherwise, I’d like you to try a few things. Clean up your writing desk. Organize your closet. Hold a garage sale. Donate. Let go of just a few of the many items you’ve been holding onto for years, they will find new purpose with other families that need it. Baby steps toward improving your physical environment might shake some of the cobwebs free and allow you to look at your life, or your novel, with fresh eyes.

But no matter what philosophy you adhere to, minimalism or otherwise, I hope it helps you find joy and appreciation for living in the now.


 Taylor Hobbs


GENRE:   Historical Fantasy Romance



As the Cloaked Shadow, Fawkes has made his career breaking into prisons for any contract with a large enough purse. He takes advantage of the kingdom's impending revolution by playing both sides of the conflict. Each rescue contract he fulfills turns a tidy profit until he angers the wrong duke.

Charlotte is a criminal-in-training who yearns to crack her mentor’s guarded fa├žade, but is unprepared to confront the depths of his dark past. As her sense of right and wrong blurs, Charlotte discovers just how far she will go for the Cloaked Shadow and the sacrifices he requires.

Now hunted throughout the land, Fawkes must face long-buried secrets in order to survive, but they could destroy him. Charlotte risks everything, including her heart, to set Fawkes on the path to redemption.

Will Charlotte have the strength to pull Fawkes into the light, or will she follow him into the shadows?



“Please, whatever you are,” Henry begged, “don't hurt us. Please.”

There was no answer, but Charlotte heard the rustle of fabric and a felt a light breeze on her skin as the shadow whisked by her. She whirled around to face the cell across from Henry's. Through the haze of her torchlight circle, Charlotte watched as the shadow knelt down, freeing a hand holding a key from the depths of a long, black cloak. With the telltale rasp of iron on iron, the door to the other cell creaked open.

The stranger crept soundlessly inside, returning seconds later with a body slung over its shoulders. The body emitted a low groan, and the shadow lowered its burden to lean against the wall. With unexpected care, the shadow crouched over the emaciated prisoner and murmured softly to him.

Seeing this spark of humanity gave Charlotte the courage she needed. “Help us.” It was a statement, not a question.

The cloaked figure remained kneeling next to its charge, and a man's voice finally spoke in a low rumble. “But you have nothing to offer me.”

Charlotte hesitated at his unexpected statement, trying to decipher its meaning. “Free my brother, and you can have anything you want.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Taylor Hobbs lives aboard a 38 ft sailboat named Story Time with her husband, baby girl, and dog. They are a military family and love to travel, whether it is by sea or air. When she's not writing, Taylor enjoys doing yoga and planning her next adventure. You can keep up with their crazy life at or follow on Twitter at @tayhobbit.

Cloaked is her debut novel



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The tour dates can be found here


  1. Congrats on the tour and thank you for the opportunity to read about another great book. With so many readers in my family, always great to hear about more choices I think they'd enjoy reading.Having a family who loves to read, I always

  2. Thanks for having me today! I'm around to answer any questions. Hope everyone is enjoying a great Labor Day weekend!