Wednesday 2 March 2016

EyesOnBooks Tour: Guest Jo Tannah with The Way You Look Tonight

Making A Choice and Getting Off A Curse

First of all, just let me say ‘Thank You’ for joining my first ever blog tour. It’s a strange feeling being asked to talk about my own book, but it’s great. It’s quite overwhelming to be frank about it  but in a good way. Being here with you today is all at once flattering and scary. Now for The Way You Look Tonight.

TWLT is the second instalment to The Standards series. The first one, What A Difference A Day Makes found here on Amazon:, was published more than a year ago as part of an anthology. When I got the rights back, I re-edited then self-published it. Both these stories are based on lyrics to the same titles of Standard music. The lyrics inspire and set the pace of both stories.

One difference between WADADM and TWLT is with the song choice. For the first book, I was locked in on the song and had no doubts. For TWLT, I debated between this title and using My Way. The latter song came up several times in the story when I first drafted it and initially had a bigger influence on the story itself and on Jamie’s character. However, I didn’t want to get stuck with a curse.

I have said that the love of Karaoke in the Philippines has reached great heights it’s now considered a national pastime. In fact, it competes with boxing or playing and watching basketball. Take it this way: no Pacquiao fight is complete without karaoke.

So what has that got to do with the title? Well, the song, My Way, is in the story and I truly love it. In fact, it used to be my father’s favourite as sung by Frank Sinatra. However, Karaoke and My Way = Curse. You could get killed singing the song on karaoke and because of the deaths, My Way has been banned from any and all karaoke song lists here in the Philippines. I didn’t want that curse to extend to my story so had to make a decision and cut it to the minimum mention and that’s it. One reworded phrase only. By the way, My Way is the key to the tragedy in the story.

I had to make a choice. Stick with The Way You Look Tonight and write a sweet May-December romance or use the cursed song as title, allow it to set the pace of the story and turn it into a morbid tragedy?

The Way You Look Tonight by Jo Tannah
(Standards #2)
Published 12th February 2016 by Wayward Ink
Novella ǀ 122 pages
Contemporary ‘May/December’ Romance

As a member of a wealthy and influential family, Jaime “Jamie” Abello had his life mapped out. Being shipped off to LA with an insurance scam linked to his name was not part of his plan.
It had seemed so simple: pass the Philippines Medical Board Exam; practice in the family-owned and -controlled hospital; join the Board by age forty; and find a partner with whom he could settle down and be himself.
Instead, his father supplies him with a surfeit of money and dangerous secrets and sends him to a strange country.
The Pediatric Residency Program Jamie applies for brings him face to face with untouchable Program Director, Miles Kwon, whom Jamie soon finds to be a man of integrity and vision.
When tragedy strikes, Jamie finds himself falling deeper into depression. Unexpectedly, it’s Miles who helps him work through his pain.
Will Jamie ever experience a life with a loving partner, or will his father's secrets cause him to lose everything he’s gained?


Others in Series
What A Difference A Day Makes



“Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. For my next song, I am going to sing We Will Rock You.” I take a bow when they cheer at my song choice. What can I say? I may be a man, but deep inside, I could be a Queen.
The rhythmic beat of the song begins. I start stomping and clapping along with the track, and again, the crowd are right there with me. I don’t really hear my own voice sing out the lyrics, not with the way the crowd is so into the beat. It’s fun, though. I always feel free when singing in front of a crowd, and is a great stress-reliever. I look to where Miles is sitting with my friends and am surprised to see him clapping and singing with them. Huh. Maybe he needs karaoke night as much as I do. I make a mental note to take him out more often. Maybe that will erase some of the frown lines.
The crowd roar their approval when the short song ends and I take another bow. “All right folks, I chose this last song because shit’s been happening and I just don’t want to think about it. English Town.”
I hear the crowd groan. Yeah, it’s a slower song and notas upbeat as the first two I’d chosen. However, the lyrics hold a special meaning and relevance. As the song starts, I see Miles sit back down, arms crossed. Damn, his frown is back. I don’t want to see that. Does he think I can’t reach the notes? I’ll show him.
I begin to sing, and unlike the first two songs, this time the audience sits and listens. I love to sing, and the lyrics of this song hit just the right chord in my heart. It helps that, yes, I do have a good voice. Far from an Adam Lambert, but I can sing. And sing I do, especially the chorus, straight from my soul.
I sing the final ohs and stop, allowing the last notes to fade. I look up when I hear nothing but silence. Oh well. I shrug and prepare to leave the stage. I nearly fall off the stool I had been sitting on when the crowd roars its approval. Suddenly self-conscious, I stare down at the dirty wood floor, sweat dripping from my face. I wipe a hand across my eyes when I feel some of it get into them, making me blink rapidly at the sudden sting. It’s only then I realize it’s not sweat. It’s tears

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JO TANNAH is a wife, mother, and blogger by day, writer by night. It can be difficult to say the least but it is a challenge that keeps her on her toes.
She grew up listening to folktales her father and nannies spun to either entertain the children or send home a message. These narratives stayed with Jo until she finally decided to write them down in a journal way back when she kept one. Years later, going through junk led to finding a long forgotten box and nestled within it was the journal. Reading over the stories of romance, science fiction, and horror that she had taken time to put to paper all those years before brought to light the realization that they were tales she’d never come across in her readings.
The tales Jo write are fictional but all of them are based on what she grew up with and still dreams about. That they have an M/M twist is simply for her pleasure. And she hopes, yours as well.

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