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January 2014 - Tianna Holley | Tianna Holley

Northern vs. Southern Snow Blizzards

Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I  have had the pleasure of living in eight various states in my lifetime, and each of them holds different memories when it comes to snow.  As a child living in Tennessee, my friends and I would build snow igloos and forts, and the snow would last for many days.

Although I have not live in Colorado, I visited family there one winter.  There are pictures of me as a small child enjoying the snow, but one of the few memories of that vacation was not so good.  The family we were visiting had taken us for a ride to see the area.  When we returned to their home, I was so excited to play in the snow that I immediately jumped out of the truck and into a patch of snow taller than me.  It did not take long before my screaming began, and I was soon sitting in my father’s lap in front of the fireplace in trying to warm my hands.  I had forgotten to put my gloves on, which had damaging results for a small child.

The one year we got a few sprinkles in my childhood home of South Georgia, everyone went outside to taste the snow and take pictures.  It was a big deal, and almost everyone was excited.  It did not matter that the snow only dusted the ground.

I believe it was in 1989 that it snowed in Florida.  I was a teenager living in North Florida, and I have memories of the streets being filled with wrecks.  Teenage boys (or at least the ones I knew) quickly learned that if they pulled their parking brake up while driving, their cars would lose control and turn in circles.

Fast forward to my twenties, and I was living in South Georgia and engaged to my husband, living in North Mississippi.  The night I was to fly out to meet him for Christmas, a blizzard hit the South.  I was stuck in the Atlanta airport into the morning hours.  Once I did get to Memphis, Tennessee, they had lost my bags, and the man behind the counter told me they would not be paying for a hotel.  In the end, they paid for a hotel, and my husband got to see my temper for the very first time.  (He still married me.  And in my defense, I was extremely tired and hormonal.  It was just not a good situation, overall.)

That blizzard had turned the scenery into a beautiful land of ice, and all the trees looked as if they were made of crystal.  However, it did not take me long to learn that ice meant danger.  As the ice melted from the rooftops, it would come down in large chunks, hurting people.  The same went for large tree branches breaking from the weight.

I only experienced the land of ice that one year.  The following years of living in Mississippi, I learned that people looked forward to the snow days.  The snow only lasted for a day or two, and everyone stayed home from school and work.  Sometimes they got up to three different snows in one year.

Years later, while living outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, everyone looked forward to the snow days also.  However, there was much more accumulation, which made for better snowmen.  No matter how much snow was on the ground, it usually melted within a day or two.  There was that time it stayed on the ground for about a week, longer in shady areas.

The greatest thing about southern snow is that is doesn’t stay on the ground long, and everything closes.  It’s like a holiday.  Also, we can have snow during the week, and then we’re wearing shorts on the weekend, with it being in the low 70s.  Our winter weather is mixed with cold and warm days, so we get some breaks from the cold and get to comfortably play outdoors.  Although, this year it’s just been cold and dreary.  It reminds me of living in the North, where I never experienced warmth in the winter.  It was just cold – very, very cold.  (I really can’t stress the amount of cold!)

And since this is getting long, I have decided to write four separate posts.  Two posts will have northern snow, and the other two will be from the South.  From the following pictures, I’d love for you to guess which one you believe caused the most difficulties.

Was it the heavy snows in New Jersey of 2010 and 2011?

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Or the blizzard in 2010 that shut down New York City?

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How about the snow that took Atlanta by surprise this week?

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And lastly, there is a family ski vacation I will tell you about.  I’ll have to find some pictures, but it falls in there with the bad moments I’ve had with snow.  The only hint I’ll give you for now is that women that were raised near a beach and used to wearing flip flops might not do well with a pair of skis and a mountain.  Things could easily go wrong and get out of control.

Stay tuned over the next week for the four posts I’ll be typing about each of these moments of snow in my life.  They are highly memorable and not something I’ll be forgetting!

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What to Expect Over the Coming Months.

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hello friends! Sorry it has been a while. I have been sick for over a week and have been dragging. I thought I’d give everyone an update on what to expect over the coming months. The cover reveal for Unexpected Entrapment was January 8, and the release date is scheduled for May 29. Right now I am in the final chapters and plan to be in the dreaded proofreading stage soon. After I’ve read through it more times than I would like, I will pass it on to some others to read through. Then it will finally be sent off to the editor. Once the editor finishes, it will come back to me for finalization. The last stage is formatting.

For those of you that have already read Unexpected Metamorphosis, you might have noticed the beautiful font and pictures of a butterfly at the beginning of each chapter. Jera Publishing did an amazing job with the formatting, as well as cover design, on this series.

Today I am finalizing the synopsis so the designer can finish the back cover. I also have to get things together for some blogs that will be spotlighting Unexpected Entrapment.

The goal is to have everything completed two months prior to the release date. In an attempt to get some early reviews in, there will be many ways to win an advanced reader’s copy of Unexpected Entrapment. You might want to sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss any of the chances to win, and if you haven’t already, be sure to leave a review at Amazon and/or Goodreads, or Barnes and Nobles if you have a Nook.

I will also be posting the first two chapters for you to read once it has been edited. Be ready for some excerpts also. This novel will include the first chapter of the next novel in the series, so I will immediately begin writing the third novel. The goal is to have it released by the end of this year, so I’ve got to stay busy 🙂

I am eager to begin the next novel, as it will focus more on the fantasy realm of the series. We will be meeting some new creatures, and I get to dive into my imagination to create them.

Thank you all for your support, and I hope you stay warm on this cold day.  As I type this, it is pouring snow outside, and I live outside Atlanta, Georgia.  Usually we get a mix of cold and warm weather in the winter, but not this year.  Although I’ve had years where I’ve built a snowman during the week while living in North Carolina, and then went bike riding while wearing shorts over the weekend.  This year it’s just been dreadfully cold, and there have been no warm days.  I am a firm believer in hibernating during the cold, and I have not ventured out of my home very much.  Snow is not my friend!

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Being the Best You Can Be – Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, & Spiritually

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Balance. Everyone seems to be seeking it. How do we balance our time and money, the two biggest struggles? My husband taught a Dave Ramsey financial course years ago, and we learned the tricks to keeping our finances straight. It’s all about budgeting and making a point of telling our money where to go. We can’t afford everything, so we have to choose where our priorities are.

The same pretty much goes for our time. I’m not saying you should write out a schedule of what you plan to do each day. A detailed budget works fine when it comes to money, but I’m not about to have a piece of paper dictate how I spend my day. As my husband loves to remind me, he’s a creature of habit and could easily live off of a planned time schedule. However, I have an extremely random personality. There is no orderly fashion in just about everything I do in life, and my poor husband comes home to the unknown every day. Some days I get up in a cleaning mood. Then there’s the baking days where I destroy my kitchen to fill my freezer, errand days, marketing days at my computer, and then there’s the writing binges where I barely take time to eat, much less cook a meal or clean something.

When I was in my early twenties (and I’m not going to say how long ago that was), I used to have a saying. Every day I made it a point to be the best I could be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Those were my four priorities, and although some days I did not work out or do anything to recharge in the other areas, I tried to keep a balance among them throughout the week.

What I’ve learned along this roller coaster ride called life, is that when I pay attention to those four priorities, I’m much more balanced and at peace. Any time I neglect any of those areas, my life slowly topples.

I’m only truly happy when I’ve balanced my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state of being. So how do I do that when it always doesn’t come natural for me? That’s when I surround myself with the proper reading materials. I have books and magazines in just about every room of the house, and although I’ve not read half of them (I plan to), just seeing their covers or spines reminds me of what I need to do. I’ll read a quick article on exercise or healthy eating. If I’m really tired, I’ll pick up the book titled The World’s Healthiest Foods, and I’ll start highlighting like crazy. I know I’ll never memorize all the information in the book or any of the other health books I read, but it reminds me how I need to be living.

The same goes with my spiritual state. My house if filled with books and studies to support my faith. I have to feed my mind if I want to live the lifestyle I choose to believe in.

There are no books to help with your emotional state (except relaxing with a great fictional read). That only comes from taking care of yourself. Slow down and spend time with the ones you love. If you’re single, find a friend to laugh with, turn on your favorite music, sip a glass of wine or hot tea, light some candles, get a massage, or take a hot bath.  (Yes, I realize some of these are girly.  These are my loves.) Do something that makes you happy, even if you don’t feel like it at first. Just do it.

Then there’s the mental part of life. My husband and I are both avid learners. Almost every year we get into something new and start researching and studying it. Just last year, my husband took some Spanish classes and absorbed himself into the language. He learned it and moved on to learn something new. (Not to be a downer, but if he doesn’t use it, he’ll lose it. I majored in foreign language in college and lost everything I knew from lack of use.)

As for me, I spent my time last year taking classes and researching how to build a website and maintain it (not the funnest thing to learn). I continuously research marketing and things related to being an author. Honestly, there’s just not enough time in my life to study all I wish I could learn. To this day, I have a desire to learn kickboxing, yoga, belly dancing, photography, organic gardening, foreign language, and how to do advanced novel formatting and graphic arts. As you can see, I just don’t have the time for all that if I want to continue to write books for a living. I’ll just have to teach myself the basics when I can, and that’s how I balance the mental part of my life. I learn a little here and there. I never stop learning. (Oh, and my organic gardening is a total fail every year, but I never stop trying.)

I’m not saying to run to a bookstore and spend a lot of money, which is an extremely easy thing to do. However, I do advise you to spend some money on some reading materials. If you’re having trouble working out or eating healthy, grab a book or magazine and read some articles to jumpstart your mood. (It works!) Choose something you would like to learn and either take a class or start researching it online or in a book. (Just try to learn something.)  Read about what you have faith in so that you’ll know why you believe in it.  If you need an emotional break and some alone time, then take the time to rest–light those candles, and read a fictional book for fun. In fact, I know of a great one called Unexpected Metamorphosis. 🙂

Until next time, read a book and take a moment for yourself.  You’d be amazed at how everything will just fall into place!

Here are a few of my all-time favorites:

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

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Here it is!  What do  you think about the cover of the second book in the Alissia Roswell Series?  Jason over at Jera Publishing did an amazing job, as always!  I’m not giving you the synopsis just yet.  That will be revealed soon enough.  The release date is set for May 29, 2014.  If that seems too far away, then be sure to sign up for my newsletter.  (I promise I’m not a spammer.  In fact, I’ve only sent out one newsletter in total.  I truly need to work on that.)  There will be many chances to win advanced reader copies before the official release, and I don’t want you to miss any of the fun.

If you haven’t read the first book in the series, it is available in paperback and e-book at almost all bookstores online.  There are many chances to win an e-book this week through some blogs that are helping with the cover reveal.  Be sure to check them out, and sign up for your chance to win.  Those sites are:

Behind a Million and One Pages

Behind a Million and One Pages – Book Likes

Addicted to Novels

Becky’s Barmy Book Blog

It’s been a while since I’ve done a raffle, so I’ll add one to this page.  Now you have even more chances to win a copy of Unexpected Metamorphosis, so you’ll be ready for Unexpected Entrapment when it comes out.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Getting Ready for Tomorrow’s Cover Reveal

Posted by on Jan 7, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I’m excited!  I just got the final version of the cover for the second book in the Alissia Roswell Series, and I love it.  I can’t wait to share it with you all tomorrow.  With the cover reveal, you’ll also learn the title and the release date.  But, don’t worry if you want your copy before the release date.  There will be many chances for you to win an advanced reader’s copy, so you may want to sign up for my newsletter to be sure that you don’t miss any of them.  I’ve got some fun ideas for y’all, and I’ll share them once we get closer to the date.

If you haven’t yet read Unexpected Metamorphosis, don’t worry about that either.  Tomorrow there will be multiple blogs giving away ebooks, and you can also buy a paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.

I am very excited to get this second book out to y’all.  Unlike the first novel, where no one knew what to expect, most of y’all are into the story and love Alissia almost as much as I do.  The second book is much different from the first, and the third will be filled with a lot of fantasy as Alissia continues her adventure in search of the Lamians.

Her adventure is a big one, and I hope you enjoy all the people and creatures she meets along the way.  As always, I thank you all for your support with my début novel.  Like Alissia, my life is also changing as I transition into being an author.  I’m learning a lot, meeting new people, and my mind is filling up with untold stories I can’t wait to share.

I could never have done any of this without the support I have received from many people, a lot of them I have never met.  I hope that my writing never lets you down, and I thank you for giving me the gift of your kind words.  Hope you all have a blessed day!

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