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December 2015 - Tianna Holley | Tianna Holley

Happy New Year!

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hope you all had an amazing Christmas filled with love and laughter. I can tell many people are still on vacation, as the roads are clear of traffic each morning I’ve driven into Atlanta. Although my husband and children are home this week, we chose not to travel, and I got caught up around the house. The carpets are getting cleaned, the dreaded stacks on my desk are getting smaller, and I’ve gone through things. With the warm weather we had earlier this week, I opened the windows and let some fresh air in.

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I hope you get to spend it doing something you love. We introduced our children to Star Wars this week, and tonight we plan to watch the last one before taking them to see the latest movie in the theaters. With an early morning appointment tomorrow, I’ll probably be asleep at midnight. If not, I hope to be at my laptop doing what I love–writing.

Be safe! Enjoy your evening, and may you have a blessed New Year. Bring it in with a smile on your face 🙂

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Roman’s Holiday Spotlight & $25 Giveaway!

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Roman's Holiday

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Roman's holiday cover

Roman’s Holiday by Susan Aylworth

Four years after Roman Kincaid was catapulted into stardom as a country-western singer and A-list movie star, he is burned out: exhausted by a grueling schedule, drained by the ceaseless demands of producers and managers, weary of meeting the needs of others at the expense of his own. Leaving a sold-out show in Phoenix, he rents a car and drives north and east, landing in the Painted Desert town of Rainbow Rock.
Nearly three years after leaving her old life behind, Lottie Beale is feeding people and baking pies, managing the Kachina Café and tending secrets of her own. When circumstances conspire to give two attractive people some time alone together amid the world-class vistas of the Four Corners, they discover more than either had bargained for.
Excerpt:
Lottie broke in. “So? What now? You know my secret identity and I know yours. Shall we just go our own ways—no harm, no foul?”
He considered that. “I’m not sure. I mean, what did Batman and Catwoman do when they discovered each other’s secret identities?”
Lottie wrinkled her nose. “Try to kill each other?”
“Um, you’re right. Bad example. So whaddya think we should do?” A few interesting ideas had already occurred to Roman, but, for the moment at least, he chose to keep those to himself. “Are you thinking of mutually assured destruction? You tell my secret, I tell yours?”
“I don’t know,” Lottie said, “I think we can do better than that.”
“What then?”
“Hmmm…” She was giving him a different look now—speculative, perhaps, even conspiratorial. “It depends.”

 

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Susan AAuthor Susan Aylworth

Susan Aylworth started her first book when she was nine. “It was called Buff, The Proud Stallion. I wrote eight whole pages.” For her fifth grade career day, she stated her ambition to become “a rich and famous author.” Decades later, she is pleased to have achieved the ‘author’ part of that goal. A former university professor, she enjoys researching backgrounds and careers for her novels. “It’s one way to live many lives at once.” She lives in northern California with her husband of 45 years and two spoiled cats.

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Blog Tour Giveaway – $25 Amazon Gift Card or $25 in Paypal Cash

Ends 1/21/16

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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The Secret Life of Daydreams Blast & $50 Giveaway

Posted by on Dec 15, 2015 in Book Features, For Adults | 0 comments

Secret Life of Daydreams

The Secret Life of Daydreams by Lucinda Whitney

Six years after a painful divorce, Josh Conrad is happy traveling the world as a photographer. When he arrives in Portugal, he plans to complete the assignment as quickly as possible. What he doesn’t plan for is Sofia, the girl he baptized eleven years earlier on an LDS mission, and soon he’s making excuses to prolong his trip.Sofia Monteiro leads a structured life in Braga, Portugal, teaching high school by day and caring for her mother by night. After she reconnects with Josh through mutual friends, the memory of a failed relationship and her new graduate program are enough reasons to stay away from him.

As they collaborate on a project, Josh is wary of repeating his old mistakes and Sofia hesitates to spend time with an American who’s only passing through.

Can two people with wounded hearts bring themselves to trust their dreams to each other?

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Excerpt
Sofia walked back to meet Josh and they strolled together past the deck at the reception center and the start of the trail. She unfolded the map and held it up between them.She pointed at the spots of interest. “This is the suggested route. The main road goes up the hill to the western fortification wall. At the acropolis, there’s another wide road that intersects in the opposite direction.”

She circled several areas. “These areas are the residential nucleus and along the way we can see the remains of the round dwellings and the more common rectangular ones.” There was more but she looked up to Josh. “Are you okay with following this route?”

“I’m here to follow you.” He swept his right arm in front of her. “Just lead the way.”

Sofia straightened and pocketed the map. Josh carried too much and she hesitated. “Wouldn’t it be easier for you to use the equipment if I carry the backpack?”

He paused for a moment and surveyed the area then chuckled. “Sneaky, aren’t you? I know what you’re trying to do here.”

Why did guys always think they had to do everything to prove their virility? Such a macho thing. She splayed her hands on her hips. “It’s the twenty first century. I can carry my share. Besides, this is more like a business outing, not a date. Which means you don’t have to carry stuff for me.” She extended her hand for the backpack.

“What if I believe in chivalry? You won’t give me a chance to practice it?”

“And what if I’m a feminist? You won’t respect my views?” She was pushing him now and enjoying the banter.

Josh eyed her and held quiet, the corner of his mouth twitching. Sofia wanted to laugh. He was probably trying to figure out how serious she was about feminism. After a few seconds, he set down the tripod and removed the backpack, but his eyes crinkled with a lack of seriousness belied by his actions.

Sofia took the backpack from him and put it on. It wasn’t even as heavy as she’d expected. “See? That wasn’t so hard, was it?” She started up the trail then turned back to Josh. “And you still have your man card intact,” she added with a smile.

Josh laughed. “Sassy, aren’t you?”

“Come on, we don’t have all day,” she pressed in a teasing tone.

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Praise for the Book
Lucinda Whitney’s The Secret Life of Daydreams whisks readers away to Braga, Portugal, a setting so vivid with color, texture, and life, they’ll want to book a flight and travel there themselves. Josh is the hero many of us dream of, and Sofia a heroine who holds out for all she deserves. Overall a delightful romance far from the ordinary in both distance and scope.” — Michele Paige Holmes

“The romance is fantastic and with enough tingle to make my heart flutter. The conflict between the characters is believable and I longed for them to work it out, even though it wouldn’t be easy.” — Laura D. Bastian

“The Secret Life of Daydreams is a story that explores the question “What if you got a second chance with the one that got away?” Readers will be rooting for Sofia and Josh to find a way to make their dreams come true despite the obstacles life puts in front of them.”– Sally Johnson

“This book was a delightful journey. I loved getting to know Josh and Sofia, cheering for them, growling at them, and sharing a happy sigh or two with them. The gorgeous setting of Portugal was an added bonus!”– Alison Woods

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Pre-order The Secret Life of Daydreams for just 99 cents!

Cindy WhitneyAuthor Lucinda Whitney
Lucinda Whitney was born and raised in Portugal, where she received a master’s degree from the University of Minho in Braga in Portuguese/English teaching. She’s a cancer survivor, and served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Salt Lake Temple Square Visitors Center mission in Utah.She lives in northern Utah with her husband and four children. When she’s not reading and writing, she can be found with a pair of knitting needles in winter, or tending her herb garden in the summer. She also works part-time as a substitute teacher.

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Book Blast Giveaway – $50 Amazon Gift Card or $50 in Paypal Cash

Ends 1/3/16

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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The Traitor’s Trap Spotlight & $25 Giveaway

Posted by on Dec 10, 2015 in Book Features, Current Giveaways, For Adults | 0 comments

Traitor's Trap

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traitors trapThe Traitor’s Trap by Brendan Murphy

It’s tough being a thirteen-year old schoolboy, especially when you’re a coward and the big brother who stuck up for you is dead. Oh, and you’ve been thrust into a magical realm you’re expected to save single-handedly. Sebastian Duffy has to learn an awful lot of skills in a hurry if he is to defeat Phobitor by stealing the Spear of Lugh from the peace-loving Tuath. He’s been given some help of course–a mercurial sorceress, an orphaned druidess, a taciturn warrior, a snuff-sniffing leprechaun and a lovelorn poet– an outfit known as the Hibernauts, but can he really overcome a psychopathic, warmongering god when half the realm is bent on his destruction? If he is to have the remotest chance he will have to do deal with aiia, cluricaun, brigands, woodwose, undead warriors, speckled bats, spies, hunkypunks, traitors, skeletons and battle-swine first. And are those Tuath really so peaceable? If only he could find his courage.

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Praise for The Traitor’s Trap

An imaginative epic…an intricate and fully realised fantasy world with a big cast of likeable characters that are charming, well drawn and endearing, with wonderfully apt names. The depth and breadth of the author’s high-voltage imagination, and the richness of the world created is very impressive.
~Sam Mills, author of Blackout, The Boys Who Saved the World, and The Quiddity of Will Self

I cannot say just how much I have enjoyed this book … a very accomplished writer with a wonderfully rich imagination and an incredibly inventive mind. Readers will come to love the many wonderful creations in this novel, it is jam-packed with the most wonderful and inventive characters; new, exciting and beautifully realized. ~Cherry Mosteshar, author of Unveiled: One Woman’s Nightmare in Iran

Excerpt

Static fizzed in his littlest fingers. It felt like the most natural thing in the world. He turned to Conall and pointed. Sparks flew from the tips, longer and longer ones that raced across the space separating them. Of a sudden, two streaks of light burst from his fingertips upending Conall who fell perilously close to the edge. Irritated at not finishing him off, Sebastian turned to Roisin and Blodwyn, raising his littlest fingers. Thinking better of it, he span back to Conall. Fearless of the slippery rocks, he sauntered over and delivered a fierce kick to Conall’s loins intending to roll him off the edge. The warrior barely moved. Raising his fingers, he pointed them downward, watching with satisfaction as the sparks crackled and kindled, building up to the killer crescendo. He playfully sent Conall’s prostate body this way and that, edging him ever closer to the precipice. It felt so good to be killing this insect.

A renewed roar arose as the host of knights poured onto the battlefield. Sebastian let his spyglass fall, transfixed. A dreamlike veil began billowing at the edge of his vision, yet it dissolved rapidly and the scene sharpened into crystal clarity. Countless souls were being murdered before his eyes. His defenses breached, harrowing screams flooded his ears; an awful sound he could not bear. He forced his gaze upwards.

Gobbleratches had arrived in droves and the sky was filled with twisting, plummeting forms. He sank to his knees.
“I could have prevented this,” he wailed, curling into a ball. “Why did they do this to me? How could they expect me to kill thousands to save more? I’m just a boy.”
He screwed his eyes shut and pressed his palms against his ears, trying to zone out. It did no good. The battle consumed his senses. He could taste it.
“Are you alright?” asked Blodwyn, her voice appearing to come at him down a tunnel.
“Why did you bring me here?” he cried angrily, his hands trembling uncontrollably.
“I’m so sorry,” sobbed Blodwyn, dropping beside him. “I’m so, so sorry.”
“I can’t get away,” he screamed. “I’m scared. I want to go away. I want to go home.”
Feeling her hands on him, he pushed her roughly away, but when she persisted he found he had no fight left and he let her fold herself around him, opening his eyes to her hypnotic gaze. He saw her raise her arm and bring it toward him, felt the branch touch his brow, and as her lips brushed his lobes and her tears kissed his face, heard the words she whispered in his ear, knew, even as he dissolved into sleep, that he had never heard anything so wonderful in all his life.
“Child of my heart,” she murmured. “Child of my heart.”
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BrendanAuthor Brendan Murphy

Brendan Murphy was raised in Sheffield, England, with dreams of becoming a writer, and has written every day since he was nine years old. After reading medicine in London and psychiatry in Manchester, he moved to Australia in 1999. He is an Associate Professor at Monash University and has written widely on youth mental health. His nonfiction work on the development of football in Victorian society, From Sheffield with Love, was published in 2007. He is contracted to Assent Publishing for his six-book fantasy series, Sebastian and the Hibernauts. The first adventure, Beyond the Gloaming was published in 2014 and the sequel, The Traitor’s Trap, in 2015. He is a columnist for Aontacht magazine. He lives with his wife, Katrina, and their children, Sebastian and Violette, in a sprawling property built for the composer, Dorian Le Gallienne. They share their garden with a mob of kangaroos, a wombat, two possums, any number of creepy crawlies, and some very feisty kookaburras.

Website * Twitter * Facebook

Blog Tour $25 Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/28/15

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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Serafina and the Black Cloak Book Review – MG

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Book Reviews | 0 comments

Today’s book review is for Serafina and the Black Cloak, written by Robert Beatty. I don’t usually read middle grade books, but with all the attention this has gotten on social media, I thought it might be up there with the Harry Potter Series. I was wrong, though.

PROS: I loved the setting. I’ve been to the Biltmore Estate, and it’s an amazing place. I love how the author used a historical setting in a fantasy novel. The main characters were enjoyable and true to themselves, and they spent most of their time focusing on the mystery of the man in the black cloak. The fantasy element–which I love–is strong in this read. It also centers on mystery.

CONS: Although the author made many attempts to lead his readers in different directions, I guessed who the man in the black cloak was early in the book. There was also a side story that I didn’t see coming, but it wasn’t a big wow moment for me.

In the end, I recommend this to middle grade readers, but I don’t think older teens or adults will like it as much. I do see there is a second book in the series, but I won’t be checking it out. Maybe my middle daughter will want it, though. I give this four stars, but I’ve read stronger middle grade books–Harry Potter and Fablehaven.

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