July 2015 - Tianna Holley | Tianna Holley

Haven Sy Fy Television Review

Posted by on Jul 29, 2015 in Television Reviews | 0 comments

It’s been a while since I’ve done a television show review, with the other being Fringe. Today I’d like to share a great Sy Fy show called Haven. It has a strong female lead, and it’s rated TV-PG. My husband and I have watched this show together since it first aired in 2010.

I really like the setting in Maine, and the characters are lovable. I’ve really never had a problem with this show, as it’s not dark or filled with cursing or sex scenes. The first couple of seasons are light and fun, but the story is beginning to get more intense. The plot is definitely heating up.

The show is about how a bunch of “troubles” has plagued the town on and off for many years. The main character is Audrey, and she is not affected by the troubles. Each episode deals with Audrey and her partner, Nathan, trying to figure out a case dealing with a certain trouble. When I say trouble, it could be anything from people dying when they hear an infected baby cry, a woman who can cause severe pain with her touch, another woman turning everything she eats into cake, and other sorts of crazy and random “troubles.”

Each episode usually gets a different trouble, and we watch as they try to deal with it. As time goes on, we learn about Audrey’s true past (which is a complete mystery to her). We learn where the troubles originated, and many other things.

Right now, we’re at season five, which is split into two years. The first half of the season aired last year, and I expect the second half to begin in September. (I don’t have the official date yet.) I’m eager for it to begin, because the plot has gotten very intriguing.

I recommend this show if you like sy fy and want something different. (It’s definitely different!) You can watch the first four seasons on Netflix. Here’s a trailer for the first season. After watching the trailer, I now remember how the show portrayed a priest filled with hatred wanting to end the troubles in the wrong way. I had forgotten about that, because that part of the show only lasted for one or two seasons. So there is a bit of stereotypical (hateful) religion in the beginning of the series.

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Thank You, Coastal Manor, for Your Support

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

I’d like to thank Coastal Manor in Ludowici, Georgia, for hosting another book signing earlier this month. It’s always a pleasure to visit Southeast Georgia, and meet with some of my readers. Not only is that area Alissia’s hometown, but it’s also where my mother resides.

I love having her by my side at a book signing, and my youngest son asked if he could tag along for this one. In fact, he set up my signing table–all by himself. It melted my heart to see him pull the books from their boxes, count them to make sure there was an even amount on the table, and arrange them so they looked nice. He’s never been to any of my signings, but he was a complete natural.

I want to thank Debbie Lorenz for a great visit at the signing. It’s always a joy to see her, as she’s such an encouraging person to be around. That’s why I named a character after her (Debina) in my latest novel. Her buddy Tabitha (another great fan I named a character after) could not be there, and she was missed.

Here’s my lovely mother:
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It’s always a pleasure to see my readers at a signing. This is the lovely lady I named Debina after in Unexpected Peril. See my son hiding behind the banner?

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Strange Conversations Authors Have with Their Children

Posted by on Jul 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

While the friends of my children think it’s “cool” that I’m an author, my children often shake their head in disagreement. In fact, they sometimes wish I were a “normal” mom. (At least, that’s what they say. I don’t believe they mean it. Nah, they really don’t mean it. I’m pretty sure of that.) This statement usually comes when they tell me they’re bored. I respond with, “Write a book in your head. That’s always fun.” I then get an eye roll and frown, but I continue to try to pull a story  from them.

Since I’m a lover of fantasy, our conversation usually shifts to me probing for what kind of creature could be hidden around us. Then I go into why they’re hiding. Unless we’re stuck in the car together or in a place where my children can’t walk away, they’re pretty much forced to listen to my fantasy ramblings. Otherwise, they walk away shaking their heads. Oh, and saying, “Mom, you’re not normal.” I smile and remind them to strive to be different.

They sometimes entertain me, though. It’s rare, but it’s beautiful when they do. I get to witness their imaginations go wild when they start describing creatures or going into a short story.

In fact, my thirteen-year-old daughter helped design the creatures I’ll be introducing in my fourth novel, Unexpected Beginning. We were on a family backpacking trip on Cumberland Island. The first day our little ones walked nine miles carrying their own bedding and supplies. The complaints of boredom started right after we got off the ferry, and I told them I needed help creating the creatures for my next book. They dismissed me at first, but hours later, my oldest daughter decided to walk beside me. We started talking about the book, and she surprised me with her creativity. I’m making a few changes, but her ideas are where I got the basic design for my latest creatures.

Then there’s my seven-year-old son. He was in bed with me one morning when he was about five years old. He told me he wanted to be a cover designer when he grew up, and then he began to tell me what his covers would look like.

He was with me the other night while I was doing some editing, and he picked up my warm tea and took a sip, looking over my shoulder. Then he said, “I think that word should be grin instead of smile, because it shows more extreme in the situation.” I made the change (it did flow better), and my son beamed with happiness.

He then challenged me to write a children’s book. I informed him that I kill people in my writing. He shook his head and told me I couldn’t do that. I told him to think of a story and then come back to me with a plot. I started giving him ideas, but he didn’t agree with any of them. It seems losing an arm, a dog dying, having all of one’s Legos stollen, etc. aren’t good stories in his opinion.

I told him that it’s my job to give my characters extreme happiness and extreme pain to even out the story. If I give a character Legos, then I need to kill his dog. That’s how I write. At this time, my son’s plots are a bit different. I’ll continue to work on that.

As for my middle daughter, she’s informed me that she hates writing (although I’ve found stories from both her and her sister that they’ve started). However, she’s an extreme fantasy reader, with dragons being her favorite. (Just like her mother!) I have faith that she’s filled with stories of her own. She’s just not interested in sharing them.

Let me know in the comments section below some of the creative conversations you’ve had with your children. Surely, we’re not the only family pulling creatures out of our heads 🙂

Here’s my girls on the trails. There’s always time for reading!
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Being a Writer with ADD

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in My Writing Style | 2 comments

Believe it or not, I’m over forty years old and just recently realized I have ADD/attention deficit disorder. Although my first child was diagnosed with it, I did not see that it came from me, as his personality and type of ADD is much different than mine.

It was only after one of my other children (the one that is a complete mini me) took a complete and highly comprehensive test that I realized I have it. And WOW! I had no clue. It’s not something we talked about when I was a child.

After reading through the doctor’s report, I turned to my husband and told him I have ADD. His response was to laugh, and his eyes widened in disbelief as he asked, “You didn’t know?”

What do I love about my ADD or myself and could never see changing? It’s just who I am, and I could never see myself another way. Most days when I’m awake, I’m always ON–unless sick. The moment I crawl out of bed in the morning, I go to the kitchen and start my daily chores. I’m very task oriented and always feel the need to be doing something. Unfortunately, I get distracted easily, and that means I have many things going at once, and many of them go unfinished at the end of the day.

I’ll compare myself to my husband on some of these things, so you can get an idea. When we painted the porch and railings, he had an orderly way of completing one rail at a time–completely the opposite of me. I randomly threw on the paint wherever I wanted. When I left him to finish my railings so that I could cook, I came back to find that he had missed many of the spots, because he was unaware that I had not finished the back of some of them. Apparently, it’s not efficient to slosh paint in random places and then go back through to find the missing spots. However, the idea of doing it my husband’s way totally creeps me out and is too stuffy. I could never do it.

The same goes for cleaning my house. I go from room to room doing various things. Unfortunately, I leave the dreadful jobs for procrastination. If my husband is helping (which is rare), he gets frustrated because I keep leaving the room. “Finish one room at a time.” (I still shiver just thinking about those words. They make me think of stuffy, rule oriented military school. Did I mention I’ve always had a problem with directions and rules?)

Remember how I’ve stated I’m a panster writer? The thought of sitting down and doing an outline makes me cringe, and I don’t think I’d ever get a single page written if I had to do an outline first. I’ve never liked those things. Too much order. I like the chaos in my head, and I’m fine with it. To actually sit down and try to put my thoughts into a list is just too much. That’s what writing is for!

As a child, I always took an interest in reading and writing and breezed through the related subjects all through my school years. When I later became a paralegal, I took extra classes on proof reading to help me with the large contracts and documents I was continuously typing. I don’t really struggle when it comes to learning the grammatical rules. (Wish it were the same with the math subjects.) My early love for language arts helps me with my writing today, and I consider it a great blessing that I’ve always been fond of words and how to use them.

The biggest blessing of ADD for me is that my brain is continuously going. Before I started writing, it was too much for me, and it was a curse–a big one. How does writing help with that? I now have something to keep my thoughts preoccupied. I don’t have to have a radio on every time I’m in the car. When I try to sleep at night, my brain isn’t flipping channels. All I have to do is lock onto one of my stories, and it’s as if a television screen is inside my head. The plots fall into place. I love to compare what I do to a spider weaving a web. My brain goes into overdrive, and each plot gets thicker and thicker–all while I’m in the shower or cleaning the kitchen!

Being an author is like valium for my brain 🙂

The thing I hate most about my ADD is that I must have complete silence when I’m trying to concentrate on something. Many authors have a radio playing in the background or go to a coffee shop to write, but those are not  options for me. I can’t even read–much less write–with distractions around me. I need silence.

Obviously, that can be a problem when I have a house full of children during the summer. I can’t work at my desk, which is located in the upstairs loft (next to my children’s bedrooms and game room). I have to go outside or shut the door to my bedroom and turn on my background noise maker–love that thing!

If I’m trying to write or edit while traveling with the kids in the same car, I sometimes wear my shooting range earmuffs, but that doesn’t always work. Honestly, it’s just a curse trying to read, write, or edit with distractions around. I can’t do it.

I’ve read a few other posts by authors with ADD, and although we share a lot of things, each person is different. What works for some, doesn’t always work for others. If this is something you struggle with, I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

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The Stories are Competing for My Attention

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It’s happening again! Another main character is competing with Alissia for my attention. This happened last summer, and I even took the time to write the first chapter of her story. Like Alissia, her adventure plays through my mind continuously and demands to be written.

I try to push her aside so that I can focus on Alissia’s adventure, but she’s not one to allow herself to be forgotten. I’ve had certain scenes in my head for over two years now, and I can’t wait to get them out.

She is much different from Alissia–younger, less feisty, and not jaded from life. The fantasy element is strong, and the plot is a thick web of intrigue and mystery. I’m dying for y’all to meet her!

However, my readers want more of Alissia, so my focus continues to stay with her. The fourth book in the Alissia Roswell Series will definitely be exciting! I have many surprises planned as her adventure nears the end. Stay tuned on Facebook and my newsletter to get glimpses of my writing, as I often share bits and pieces without giving anything away.

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