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Tianna Holley | Writer of passionate, fantasy romance without the guilt.

Generational IQ Book Review

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in Book Reviews | 0 comments

 I wasn’t feeling very well Sunday, so I spent most of the day reading in bed. It’s been a while since I read an entire nonfiction book in one sitting, as I have many of them scattered around the house, and I often pick one up and read a chapter or two before setting it back down. However, Generational IQ, written by Haydn Shaw, kept my attention, and I enjoyed the information. I learned quite a bit.

This book is about the four living generations: the Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. For the first time in recorded history, we have five generations living together (fifth is too young to name and have much information on). Each generation was raised with different influences, and they’re completely different in their own way.

It’s clear Haydn has done a lot of research and knows his stuff, and his writing held my attention. Void of opinions and repetition, this book contained a lot of statistical data and historical information. It’s not a self-help book (which I often lose interest in quickly due to basic information I already know).

If you enjoy learning new things or reading books about personalities and temperaments (why people act the way they do), you’ll love this one. I highly enjoyed learning about the Baby Boomers and Millennials, and I often found myself nodding and whispering, “Oh, that is so true.” Last night, while listening to my niece (a Millennial) talk about her plans for the future, I couldn’t help but laugh at how accurately the book described her generation. She hates being put in a box and labeled, yet Haydn completely described her and her peers. However, he also went into detail as to why they, and the other generations, act the way they do.

The author does a lot of consulting for businesses about this topic, to help them understand the vast differences that often causes problems in the workplace. (There are major differences in Traditionalists and Millennials, along with a lack of understanding of each other.) His other book, Sticking Points, was written for companies, and after reading the first chapter, I highly recommend it if you’re in the workplace.

He decided to write Generational IQ to help churches in the same way he has helped the corporate world, so this book doesn’t go into detail about the different generations in an office setting. Instead, it holds a lot of statistical and historical data on Christianity in America and the changing beliefs. He not only does consulting for corporations, he also does consulting for churches, and this book has a lot of great information for church staff, as well as curious people like me. I found it helpful and extremely valuable in helping me understand my daughter’s generation, along with my niece. They are very different from the other generations, and this book would greatly benefit parents of Millennials. I give it five stars and highly recommend!

          

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Thirty-Four Going on Bride Spotlight & $100 Giveaway

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Current Giveaways | 0 comments

Thirty four Going on Bride
Thirty-Four Going on Bride by Becky Monson

Julia Dorning is about to lose it. Between her over-the-top wedding that her sister, Anna, took upon herself to create, and the under-staffed popular bakery that she runs, she can barely find time to breathe.

All Julia ever wanted was a quaint wedding on the beach with family and friends. But now Julia has to contend with not only her sister’s plans, but those of her future mother-in-law, as well. Not wanting to step on anyone’s toes, especially her mother-in-law’s, Julia just goes along with it.

She can only take so much, though, and when her newest employee, Kate, makes things harder at the bakery, Julia has to find a way to simplify her life.

Can she do it or will she end up a basket case? Find out how she does it in this hilarious conclusion to the Spinster series!

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Becky MonsonAuthor Becky Monson
By day, Becky Monson is a mother to three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. In her debut novel, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc.), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful this time will last… but it probably won’t.


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Praise for the Book
“My favorite of the series!” – Author Jennifer Peel
“Becky Monson did it again!” – Amazon Reviewer
“It’s rare that I want to give a book six stars, but this is certainly one of them.” -Blogger Connie Fischer, Bookworm2bookworm
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Excerpt
“Pick it up, Julia! You can do this!”
I’m in the seventh circle of hell.
“Come on! Let’s move faster!” My sister Anna yells over the construction that we’re currently passing. As expected, we get a few whoops and whistles tossed at us from the workers. Pity flattery, I’m sure. Well, maybe not for Anna, but certainly for me. There’s absolutely nothing attractive about me right now.
To start, I don’t know if I’ve ever sweated this hard in my life. I look like I’ve taken a shower fully clothed. I’m sticky and perspiring, and it’s not even that hot outside. It’s a typical day near the end of May in Denver, Colorado. How did I let Anna convince me to do this? Oh that’s right, there was no convincing. She forced me. “It’ll be good for you,” she had said, lying through her devil teeth.
At this point I don’t know if my lungs will ever be the same. They actually ache with pain. And then there’s the ache in my calves, and really every other part of my body. Whoever thought of running as an extracurricular activity should be shot. A form of torture, yes. Exercise? I’d rather get a tooth pulled without Novocain.

$100 Blast Giveaway

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$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 9/1/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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How to Get Money Back When Shopping Online – My July Check $152.36

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I’ve been a member of Ebates since 2013, and although I didn’t do much online shopping in the beginning, that’s changed over the past year. Shopping online gives me the opportunity to read reviews and find the best deals. It also saves me a lot of time, as I don’t have to drive to a store, get overwhelmed with choices, throw other things in the buggy (cart if you’re from the North) that catch my eye, and I don’t have to wait in lines. Instead, I just do a quick online search and read reviews before looking for the best deal. I often get the purchases within a few days and usually don’t even pay shipping fees. Returns are easy–especially if the store is nearby.

Here’s a screenshot of a recent email I received from Ebates:

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 10.03.11 AM

 

And the check is on its way! I bought things I specifically wanted, mostly on sale and with coupons, and I got a rebate back for my purchases.

Ebates is awesome when it comes to pricey items. I decided to get another paddle board on Memorial Day while the stores were having sales, so I went to Ebates and found Backcountry (which usually has great prices). I found a board with a big discount, and then I typed the name of the board into Google and read the reviews and watched a few videos to make sure it was a good one. After adding it to the cart, I searched RetailMeNot and a few other sites to see if I could find a promotional code (for a greater discount). In the end, I got a couple hundred dollars off, and because I went to Ebates first, I got an additional $60 in rebates via a check in the mail. I also got a $100 credit for my next purchase at Backcountry. The board arrived in the mail, and I love it.

Since I do a lot of clothes shopping online at Macys (I can barely find a size 5 shoe in an actual store), I subscribed to their email list to know about their sales. Again, I use Ebates and add a promotional code (always search for promotional codes when shopping–online and in stores). I get the packages within a few days, and if something doesn’t fit, I’ll toss it in the back of my SUV and return it the next time I’m near the mall. Oh, and I’ve linked my Plenti account to Macys, so I get some money back with them, as well.

Do you use Groupon? I get rebates and special discounts through them, just for using Ebates. You’ll see that many stores are listed on Ebates. However, their rebate percentages vary, and the percentages sometimes go up during promotions. Although I get a lot of money back with Macys and Groupon purchases, I don’t receive as much back when I order from Old Navy or Amazon. Each store has their own set percentage.

I highly recommend signing up for Ebates. They even have an app for your phone or iPad to make things even easier. Know of other ways to save online? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

 

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Back to Full-Time Writing!

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

School started yesterday, and that means I’m back at my desk. I love this time of the year, as it’s when I get most of my writing done. I usually began a new novel around this time and have the first draft completed by winter. Then I can slack a little from Thanksgiving to Christmas before I began proofing and editing in January. Reading, rereading, having an editor look at it, rereading and making the suggested changes, and then having beta readers go through the final version takes a few months before its release in the spring. Then I can slack off again over the summer. (Well, it looks like I’m slacking and sleeping by the pool. However, I’m actually plotting and visualizing scenes during those moments.)

You’re probably wondering what happened to that timeline this year, as Unexpected Beginning hasn’t been released yet. That’s because I decided to reread my debut novel, Unexpected Metamorphosis, around this time last year to update it to my current writing style. Although I didn’t expect it to take too long, I ended up making major changes (not to the story, just to the writing), and it turned into a complete rewrite. I quickly learned that my writing style drastically changed throughout the past few years, and I wasn’t happy with it.

That set me back quite a bit, but I still thought I could make the spring deadline if I worked longer hours. However, we all know life can sometimes get in the way of our plans, and that’s exactly what happened. Some family emergencies had me on the phone and traveling quite a bit. I got slammed in more than one direction, with more than one problem. The chaos not only pulled me away from my laptop, but it left me exhausted–physically and emotionally.

The good news is I’m out of the chaos and have recovered from the negativity thrown my way. Unless someone is hospitalized, I don’t plan on packing my bags for the rest of the year. I foresee lots of hot tea, dark chocolate, and writing in complete solitude–the best therapy.

Dark times are golden to writers, as that’s where we get most of our ideas. Alissia’s story came to me during a very dark season in my life, and although I had never written a book, I could not focus on anything else. Unexpected Metamorphosis was never planned. It was forced on me! Within a week of Alissia coming to mind, her story consumed my thoughts, and for my own sanity, I had to start typing it.

With all the chaos this past year, a new story came to mind, and it’s dying to come out. I’m eager to finish Alissia’s adventure so that I can get the new book out of my head. Inspiration is both a curse and a gift. Artists will usually tell you we are slaves to our creativity. I don’t struggle with story ideas. I struggle with the amount of ideas and scenes constantly consuming my thoughts, and I wish I could write faster.

As for Unexpected Beginning, I only have about 15,000 more words before it’s finished. Then I’ll start the dreaded proofing and editing. With this being my most productive time of the year, it shouldn’t take but a few months for a release. I’ll need more beta readers, and if you’re interested in joining the list, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. I haven’t sent anything out in a while, but I always deliver important information through the newsletter.

 

 

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Theme Song for Unexpected Beginning

Posted by on Aug 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Alissia and her love both have guarded hearts, and I’ve been listening to this song for the past few years with the two of them in mind. Finally, in Unexpected Beginning, I get to share the scenes I’ve carried in my head for so long. Close your eyes and listen to the words carefully while imagining the walls crashing down from their hearts. This song says it all.

I’m almost finished writing Unexpected Beginning and will soon be in the proofing and editing phases. Hope you’re ready for it!

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Check out my Latest Adventure. No Wi-fi Where I’m going!

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I love to take my readers to a variety of environs in the worlds I create. Images of mountains, a castle, underground caverns, a ship, a tropical island, and even a horrifying bog go through their minds–just in the first three books of my Alissia Roswell Series! The fourth one, Unexpected Beginning, will add a wild forest, underground world, and a valley to the list.

I put a lot of effort in describing each setting, hoping to immerse my readers in Alissia’s reality, and I’ve received a lot of praise on that aspect. Nature plays an important role in my writing, and people often tell me they would love to live in a world with glowing flowers and stones instead of electricity.

With that said, I won’t be around wi-fi next week, as I’ll be taking my yearly break from reality and immersing myself in nature. This year’s outdoor adventure takes place on a boat, as we plan to spend a week sailing along the coast. I’ll post some pictures on Facebook and Instagram during the trip and will add a blog post when I return.

If interested, you can check out last year’s backpacking adventure on Cumberland Island, where I planned most of Unexpected Beginning during the many hours of hiking. I asked my children to help come up with some new creatures, and my oldest daughter gave me some great ideas.

I use all my senses to take in everything around me when I’m outdoors, and you can see that in my writing. For instance, there’s a certain clean smell that comes with waterfalls, along with the ferns and rocky terrain, where small vipers love to hide. Birds (or howler monkeys in the jungle) add to the waterfall sounds.

In my youth, I often camped along the banks of rivers and in swamps, where I would fall asleep staring up at the stars. A cool breeze, the sound of alligators croaking and their yellow, glowing eyes still come to mind (along with killer mosquitoes). I also spent many nights beneath a full moon on the beach, waiting for seine nets to be pulled in with their loads.

Sailing, backpacking, paddle boarding, biking, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, dune buggying (where my hubby screamed in terror the whole time I drove) or just sleeping in a hammock–they all get used in my writing. And now that I’m older and live in the suburbs of Atlanta, it’s even  more important to my sanity that I occasionally get away from modern comforts.

Perfection equals a starry sky, cup of hot tea, cool breeze, and the sound of waves against the boat. That’s where you’ll find me, typing away on my laptop–giving life to Alissia’s story.

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you know I have two new dogs (one from abuse). Don’t worry, though. I have family staying with them, so they’ll still be in their new home environment and on the same schedule. I plan to write a post in the future about them, highlighting the effects of trauma on dogs.

Be back soon! Live life to the fullest–get outdoors!

 

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Beyond the Rising Tide Spotlight & $25 Giveaway

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Beyond the Rising Tide
Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard

Kai met Avery only once–in the moment he died saving her life. Now when he’s not using his new healing powers to help people, he watches helplessly as Avery’s life is unraveled by his death. To help her, he risks everything by breaking the rules, dangerously blurring the barriers between life and death.

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Praise for the Book

“Vividly imagined, this novel is the perfect mix of modern love story and literary fiction. One brimming with genuine emotion that had me re-reading passages simply because they were too beautifully written to experience just once.” –Julie N. Ford, author of With No Regrets

“This book is not only an engaging and satisfying supernatural romance, but also a beautiful story about life, death, and the gray places in between.” –E.B. Wheeler, author of The Haunting of Springett Hall
“This is one of those stories that stays with you long after the closing scene. It was beautifully imagined and vividly written and I absolutely loved it!” –Teresa Richards, author of Emerald Bound

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Excerpts

EXCERPT 1 (Kai’s point-of-view):
I’m not sure if I have a heart, but something in my ribcage swells at the sight of Avery. Her hair shimmers like spun gold in the sunlight, falling over her shoulder and hiding her face. She’s sitting on a sheet of black rock, head bent, and the flowery skirt of her sundress ripples in the breeze.
If she turns around, she’ll see me. If I speak, she’ll hear my voice. I open my mouth to do that, but it’s parched, hit with an unexpected drought of words.
I’ve been walking for hours, and I still don’t have a solid plan. I have an end goal, but it’s like looking up at the peak of a mountain when I’m still in the valley. I want Avery to find happiness again, but I have no idea how to get her there.

EXCERPT 2 (Avery’s point-of-view):
My mind retraces the past few months, all the conversations Tyler and I have had, the words we’ve said and haven’t said, all stemming from one incident, one day. And then I’m thrown back to that afternoon, back into the ocean and the cold, roiling waves. I feel them around me, tossing me this way and that, pounding over my head like a stampede of wild horses. I feel the salt stinging my eyes and see the abyss below me in the moment I dove under to find the boy. I saw him there, motionless and suspended in the deep, just out of reach.
Just out of reach.
My face feels hot, and I can’t breathe. But I keep my panic cloaked beneath my skin. A violent earthquake rattles my insides, but I tense my muscles, holding it in, restraining it, refusing to let it show. I dig my nails into my arm, anchoring them there, anchoring me into stillness, and I focus all my attention on the present physical pain in my arm.
Kai’s hand reaches for mine. His touch stills my insides, draws out the tremors as though they’re water and he’s a sponge.

EXCERPT 3 (Kai’s point-of-view):
My chest feels heavy when I come out of the cottage in the morning, though I can’t pinpoint exactly why. Maybe it’s the mounting guilt of breaking rules and of taking something that doesn’t belong to me. Maybe it’s my looming departure from the living world, the knowledge that the sounds of the tide and the scents of the earth will soon be barred to me again. But I think it has more to do with Avery, because it’s her that I can’t get out of my mind. It’s her face I saw before I fell asleep last night. It was she who inhabited my dreams. And it was the desire to see her again that woke me up with the sun. My time with her will be over soon, and the weight of her coming absence is already threatening to crush me.
I’m dead, so I should be the one haunting. Instead, Avery haunts me. I smell her scent even when she’s not beside me. I hear her voice echoing inside my head long after she’s gone. And when I’m not looking, she moves things around inside the chambers of my still heart.

 

Sarah BeardAuthor Sarah Beard
Sarah Beard is the author of YA novels Porcelain Keys and Beyond the Rising Tide. She earned a degree in communications from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MFA in writing from VCFA. When she’s not writing, she referees wrestling matches between her three boys and listens to audiobooks while folding self-replicating piles of laundry. She is a breast cancer survivor, a baker of sweets, a seeker of good love stories, a composer of melancholy music, and a traveler who wishes her travel budget was much bigger. She lives with her husband and children in the shadow of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains.

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Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 8/1/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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