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September 2016 - Tianna Holley | Tianna Holley

The Value of Words–Life Changing at Times

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It’s easy to get discouraged in life, especially during those chaotic times when the people you greatly love hurt you, and last spring was one of those moments for me. Multiple problems arose, and I found myself pulled in too many directions. I actually put my life on hold for other people, and after enduring high levels of stress over a few months, everything blew up in my face last June–in more than one area and more than one situation. Things just seemed to fall in on me all at once.

Within a period of three days, I received emails, phone calls, and letters in the mail with bad news. Then a close relative went into the hospital, while another close relative I had distanced myself from wanted back into my life. During this time, another close relative pretty much threw a machete in my back–again. (It’s what she’s always done, and I blame myself for thinking she would do otherwise.)

A ripple of bombs exploded in almost every area of my life, and I found myself on the couch with a stress fever. (Those are real things.) Mentally exhausted and physically down, I made the decision to walk away from all the negativity. My exact words were, “I’m out! I’m done! Not my circus and not my barrel of monkeys.”

Although things slowed down and I went back to writing and focusing on my own life, I still got occasional negativity months later in the form of lies on my behalf and attacks on my character. I continuously shrugged it off, shaking my head in disbelief at humanity.

I needed a break from people, and although I’m half extroverted, my introverted side desperately wanted a year on a deserted island (make that a lifetime). Discouraged in myself and all of humanity, I told the ESL people I work with that they needed to find a replacement teacher, as I believed it was time for me to step away. With all the travel last spring and my mind elsewhere, I felt my students and teacher I tag team with deserved better.

As I walked to the first day of class after summer break, telling myself I’d soon have to say goodbye to the students, an older man stopped me in the hall and pulled me aside. I had not seen this student in nearly a year and grinned as I asked where he had been. After he told me he had been visiting his home country, he suddenly became serious and said, “I want to tell you something.” I leaned closer, not knowing what to expect, and then he completely blew me away.

This much older student proceeded to tell me that I had given him great words of wisdom nearly two years ago, and my words changed his life. He continued on with how profound my words were. Life changing. Wise. Profound. Amazing. He said all these things while I tried to remember what I had told him. In the end, I believe it was a conversation where he had come to class after his girlfriend had left him. He was discouraged and sad (a very sweet man), and I told him my take on dating and relationships.

I told him (and if you read my books, you’ll see this with my main characters), that he should take the time he has without a girlfriend to get to know himself. Do things that make him happy and learn to be happy with himself. Another person does not define who you are. You need to know that and love spending time with yourself before looking for someone else to make you happy. I also advised him that as a Christian, he should do the same with God–spend time and grow closer to Him. Those two relationships need to be healthy before focusing on dating. (Pretty much a paraphrase of some profound words from two years ago.) Anyways, he walked away saying he had to be somewhere and would miss that day’s class but would soon be back. I haven’t seen him since.

Then I walked into the first day of class, and my students grinned and were so very happy to see me. Although they’ve told me many times before, they expressed how much they learn in class and were greatly appreciative. Some of them had started the class not knowing any English, yet they now speak it with ease.

I left class that day feeling encouraged, and the harsh, hateful words from my blood family weakened their hold on me. I decided not to leave the class, and for the first time in months, I was reminded that I’m getting some things right in life. (Negativity and hateful words have a way of making a person forget that.)

I guess this post has a lesson with it. When life knocks you down, it’s easy to forget the good in yourself–especially if you’ve continuously been told otherwise by the people you grew up with. The advice I often give is something I easily forgot last summer. Don’t let others define who you are, and never let anyone’s bitterness tear you down. And as a Christian, I’ll also add that God can easily change your plans. I thought I wasn’t needed or of much use to my students, and my mind was completely blown away at hearing I actually said “profound and life-changing words.”

Just as I encouraged that man years ago when he was down, he did the same for me. It’s a bit ironic that we both didn’t know how life-changing our words were in the moments they were spoken. He probably walked away from me completely clueless that I had needed to hear them, just as I never knew my words meant anything special. In the end, just be the best person you can be. You don’t always know what value you bring to others. Sometimes our words just plant seeds that bloom over time. Never doubt what you can do for others, even if it’s just encouraging words.

Oh, and as for quitting ESL, it’s been a few years since I hosted an  ESL Thanksgiving. With my best friend and our daughters preparing large quantities of food, I believe it’s going to be a wonderful day. I love learning about other cultures, and my class is such a blessing. Why would I ever want to give it up?

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Always You Spotlight & $25 Giveaway

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Current Giveaways | 0 comments

Alway YouAlways You by Ruth Roberts

After tragedy strikes, Diana Mathison finds herself back in her home town of Magnolia Falls, sharing custody of her baby sister with her step sister. Reeling from the death of their parents, the three sisters have to learn how to lean on each other and live life without their two pillars of strength. Diana is full of doubts in her ability to raise a little girl and run her father’s law firm. The last thing she needs is to have Zack Connelly back in her life. The last time she let him in she ended up hurt and broken hearted.

Zack has given up on true love. It’s not for him and it’s certainly not with Diana Mathison. He came back to Magnolia Falls to heal after losing his sweet wife and their unborn child at the hands of a drunk driver. Hannah never had a chance at the love and happiness she deserved, therefore neither should he. His life plan is to take care of his sister and niece for as long as they need him, and to be the best veterinarian the town has ever had. That’s enough for him…or is it?amazon

 

Excerpt:

The girls ran off. Zack and Diana were left looking at each other. Neither spoke.

“I think I’ll move to a safer area before I get singed by the fireworks,” Jen said.

They turned to look at her. Both had forgotten she was there. “There aren’t any fireworks, Jen,” Diana said, confused.

“Sure there are, hon. You just haven’t seen them yet.” She patted Diana’s arm and walked away.

***

Diana felt her face get hot as understanding dawned. “She didn’t mean us, did she?”

“Afraid so.” Zack’s lips twitched with barely contained amusement. “If you wanted to ask me out you didn’t have to set the girls up to do it,” he teased.

“I seem to remember you asking me to dinner,” Diana said. Did the man eat testosterone for breakfast? He looked delicious. His khaki shorts made his tan legs look lean and muscular, and with a red, button-down shirt and brown leather sandals, he looked like he was ready for a walk on the beach.

“So how did I end up at your house with you making me dinner?” He winked at her.

Touché,” Diana said.

“However, you do have the set up part right. But it wasn’t me. It was Jillian who got the girls to set us up on a date.”

“Oh.” She suddenly felt deflated. “You don’t have to go. I can take them. I’m sure you have better things to do with your Saturday night.”

“Better than taking the three prettiest girls in town to a movie? Not a chance. Cassidy and I will pick you both up at six.”

“You do realize it will be me going, not Liz?”

“Of course,” he said, confusion marring his brow.

“You said prettiest, I thought you meant Liz,” Diana said. He stopped walking and looked over at her. She found it hard to hold his gaze. She hated feeling vulnerable, being compared to Liz had always made her feel that way. Slowly he cupped her cheek. “I was talking about you. It’s always been you, never Liz. Got it?”

Had she ever seen that intense look in his eyes? She nodded. Message received all the way down to her toes. Jen had been right. There were fireworks, and she’d just gotten singed.

 

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Always You

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Ruth RobertsAuthor Ruth Roberts

Romance novelist Ruth Roberts lives in the Big D, where city life abounds but the wide open spaces Texas is famous for are within easy reach. Her books transport readers to the glittering life of high-society, while making the characters normal, fun people we would all like to have as friends. She loves reading, writing and Gilmore Girls. She and her teenage daughter call themselves the real life Gilmore Girls. Her very own romantic hero of twenty years is her greatest inspiration and support.

Website

 

$25 Blog Tour giveaway

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 9/30/16

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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Three Spotlight & $25 Giveaway

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in Current Giveaways | 0 comments

ThreeThree by Tia Perkins
“Three!” is a funny little rhyming book about what it’s like to spend a day with a preschooler – from getting themselves dressed to making a big mess! With beautiful illustrations (complete with dinosaurs, trains and superheroes) and a catchy story that both parents and kids can enjoy again and again, this is a must-have for your children’s book collection.

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Three Excerpt

Praise for the Book

“Tia has done it again. Great fun reading this and talking it through with little ones. The art is fun just to look at, the words are fun to read and even more fun to read aloud. If you like reading to or teaching reading to little ones, this is a great addition to any collection.”

“If you have raised a three-year-old or spent any amount of time with one, you’ll be nodding your head in recognition as you turn the pages of this on-the-spot book by Tia Perkin. The youngster in this book is a dynamo with no let up from sun up to sun down. Up at 6:30 wanting breakfast, getting dressed by himself, making a commotion in the grocery, fighting nap time, potty then no potty, need a drink of water, want cheese, want grapes, playing pirate – and on and on and on until to mom’s relief he’s asleep.

This is a fun little book for parent and child alike with its zany, expressive graphics and three-year-old antics.”

“This is the perfect follow up to Two! It’s is more in depth than Two! while having the same fun rhyming story as the first one. As always, the art is top notch! Must buy for anyone who wants a fun entertaining read for their toddler.”

 

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TiaAuthor Tia Perkins
Tia Perkin is a three-time Emmy-Nominated Graphic Artist turned stay-at-home mom and freelancer. Her first children’s book, “Two!”, was written for her now four-year-old twin sons – partially as a gift and partially as a coping mechanism for a double-helping of toddler hijinx! She is continuing on the series and has just released “Three!”.

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$25 Blog Tour giveaway

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 9/30/16

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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Slave Queen Spotlight & $100 Giveaway

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in Current Giveaways | 0 comments

Slave Queen

Slave Queen by H. B. Moore

Special Agent Omar Zagouri’s latest case is his most dangerous—and his most personal yet. The discovery of secret sixteenth-century letters unveils a plot between the sultan Suleyman and his chief wife, Roxelane, to change the course of the Ottoman Empire. A descendent of Roxelane, Zagouri learns he has an enemy whose revenge has been centuries in the making.

Targeted by an antiquities collector who’s also descended from a chief rival for the ancient throne, Zagouri soon uncovers a modern-day conspiracy that threatens the lives of his family and the security of a nation.

To expose the plot, Zagouri must team up with Naim, the son of his nemesis, who heads an international black-market operation that may have ties to the killings. From ancient Constantinople to the present-day Middle East, Zagouri is on a collision course with history. Time is running out to solve a royal mystery and stop a ruthless killer—one who has Zagouri’s name on his hit list.

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Excerpt
Chapter One
Al Karak, Jordan

Rashed Sayid picked up his cell phone and selected his most trustworthy contact. The phone call would take only moments, but the result would teach the entire Sayid tribe what honor meant. He shut his third-floor office window, blocking out the rising heat of the Jordanian desert’s summer morning. He and his only brother owned the bank in the city of Al Karak, having started the bank three decades before, and now they were among the wealthiest in town.
“Yes?” Yamil answered.
“We have proof,” Rashed said into the phone.
“Four male witnesses?” Yamil asked.
Rashed blew out a breath. Yamil was a stickler for rules. An execution couldn’t be ordered unless there were four respected male witnesses to the crime. There were actually no witnesses, but Rashed knew his daughter was guilty. He had plenty of video footage of her leaving her university apartment more than once after midnight, and he also had other, less legal evidence. There was only one reason for his daughter’s midnight forays. Worst case scenario, Aamira was no longer a virgin. Next case scenario, she’d been tainted in some way by having a relationship with a man other than her fiancé. Rashed was still working on trying to find out whom she was meeting. But it was time to put the execution order into motion.

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Praise for Slave Queen

“Moore does an excellent job of setting the scene of international intrigue, and although this novel is part of a series, it also works well as a stand-alone. The story jumps back and forth between the present and the past as Moore tells the story of Roxelane’s capture by the Turkish army and her subsequent love affair with Suleiman. Roxelane is an excellent, strong female character, and Moore brings some obscure players from the Ottoman Empire vividly to life. She even quotes from Suleiman’s actual poetry . . . to conjure a complex portrait of this larger-than-life figure. A satisfying historical thriller.” –Kirkus Reviews

“From sultans and hierarchies that separate men and women from Poland to Constantinople and beyond to new lives in great cities where mosques and sultans rule, these vivid past and present scenarios contribute to a story fueled by cultural revelations and the long-standing threat a series of letters reveals. The result is a fast-paced, complex, and absorbing adventure saga that crosses time and place to give Omar, Mia (and readers) a run for their money. Warning: once begun, it’s nearly impossible to put down the full-flavored, multi-faceted Slave Queen, which reveals many insights about the Ottoman Empire, Süleyman the Magnificent, and the slave girl foreigner who turned out to be his favorite wife.” –D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

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HB MooreAuthor H. B. Moore
H. B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen historical novels and thrillers, written under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes women’s fiction, romance and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore. This can all be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom. Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt, the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in Utah.

Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

 

amazon or paypal$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 9/25/16

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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Aspen Everlasting Spotlight & $50 Giveaway

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 in Current Giveaways | 0 comments

Aspen Everlasting

Aspen Everlasting by Kathryn Cooper

Water splashed on all sides then took control of the tires. The car swerved right toward the river.
“No. NO. NO!” I turned the wheel toward the road. It didn’t work. Fast running water pulled the car into the flooded river.

Aspen Foster thinks she’s just a normal sixteen-year-old, but when her car’s caught in a flash flood, Aspen and her sister discover the superhuman strength they never knew they had.

Soon Aspen learns she’s not normal at all. She’s an Evermortal fairy, with powers beyond her wildest dreams. But the more Aspen finds out about her family’s past, the more dangerous her future becomes.

This riveting fantasy is full of action, adventure, and romance. Suspenseful and exhilarating!


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Praise for the Book
“Aspen Everlasting is a fun paranormal romance. This is the perfect fit for young teens as well as adults who want a clean romance that is entertaining to read.” -Jessica from Books A True Story

“Aspen Everlasting is a quick read, and packed full of action and suspense. . . I can’t wait to read more from Kathryn!” – Tammy from Bluerose’s Heart

“I love this book so much! It was fantastic! It was so imaginative and different. I’ve never read anything like it before and it drew me in right away!” – author Shannen Crane Camp

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Excerpts

“Want me to come with you?”
I looked up at his grin. Of course I did. I’d been crushing on him since we were ten. Six years was a long time to have a crush. But…
“You’d better not. I’m picking up three sophomore cheerleaders. There might be too much girl drama for you to handle.”
He threw his head back and laughed, then stepped closer. “I think you’re right. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Aspen talking with Nate

A large puddle spread out in front of us on the road. It looked like we could make it through, so I pushed harder on the gas pedal. Water splashed on all sides but then took control of the tires. The car swerved right toward the river.
“No. NO. NO!” I turned the wheel toward the road. It didn’t work. Fast running water pulled the car into the flooded river. The girls screamed as we rode the car like a water ride at an amusement park. My brain froze. I couldn’t think of what to do. The river took control of the car, spinning us around.
Aspen with friends driving in a Texas flash flood

99 cents

September 1st to 7th

Aspen Everlasting will be reduced to just 99 cents on Amazon!

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kathryn cooperAuthor Kathryn Cooper
Kathryn Cooper lives in the heart of Texas with her husband and four young boys. She has read and blogged about other authors’ books for years. She is excited to finally have her own book out for readers. Aspen Everlasting is her first novel.

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Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 9/19/16

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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