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Looking for Beta Readers for Unexpected Beginning

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

Unexpected Beginning_FrontCover_FINAL_72dpi

Want to be one of the first to read Unexpected Beginning? If you have an e-reader or app on  your device and would like to get a copy of the fourth book in the Alissia Roswell Series–before its official release–please fill out this form, and you’ll be contacted as soon as the editing is finished.

As a beta reader, you agree to notify me of any errors you may find that was overlooked during the proofing and editing stages. (Yes, those frustrating typos still exist, even after multiple people read through it many times–including an editor. I agree. It’s truly amazing how those little things slip through unnoticed.)

It should be ready for beta reading around the end of January, and I’ll need your input within two weeks of receiving your copy, as I’m striving for a February release.

Beta Readers

 

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Shopping Online? Read this First!

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It’s that time of year again! You know, sitting by the fireplace in your comfy clothes. A cup of hot tea in hand. Warm and cozy. Maybe even a couple of dogs resting nearby. You’re staring at the computer screen, hoping to find a sale. Sound familiar? Maybe you’re more of a coffee and cats person, but you’re definitely hoping for a sale.

That’s where Ebates and RetailMeNot come in handy. If you haven’t read the post I published earlier this year on how I got $152.36 back in the form of a check from Ebates, I highly recommend you read it. This past Monday was called “Green Monday,” and I made a large purchase from a certain store. Because I went to Ebates first, I got a discount code for $100 off and will also receive 20% back from the purchase. That’s a total savings of $160! I had expected to pay a lot more for that purchase, and the combined discounts made me a happy woman. I do love a good deal!

I don’t want to be redundant, so check out my recent post to learn how I get my deals. Good luck with your shopping, and Merry Christmas!

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Walmart’s Free Curbside Pickup and a $10 Coupon Code

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Have you tried Walmart’s free curbside pickup yet? Not all their locations offer this service, but if you go to their website and type in your address, it will let you know if it’s available near you.

Although I’ve only used it once, I’m excited about this new service, as I hate going into stores lately and do most of my shopping online. I’m surrounded by a variety of health food stores and buy a lot of organic and specialty items I can’t find at Walmart. However, I do have certain items I buy there, and I usually stock up every other month with large purchases. This curbside pickup makes things super easy for me. I just go to their website and fill my cart with what I need, and when I go to pay, I choose a pickup time. Totally easy peasy!

The only problem I had with my first order was miscalculating the size of things. Instead of large containers of old-fashioned oats, I winded up with small containers, and since we go through a lot of oats, this was a bit of a pain. The same went for my mayonnaise. I didn’t even think about checking sizes when I added things to my online cart. Lesson learned! I’ll be more careful in the future.

Other than that minor complication, my experience was perfect. I didn’t have to pay extra for someone else to lug a buggy (cart if you’re from the North) through the store and pull items from the shelves, and I didn’t have to wait in a long line to check out. All I had to do was sit down with my laptop (with a cup of hot tea most likely in hand) and do some clicking.

Oh, there is another unavoidable complication as well. I prefer using my own bags to cut plastic waste, and that’s not possible with this service. My conscious will have to deal 🙂

They now offer an app so they can know the exact moment you arrive, and you don’t have to call them ten minutes beforehand. Be sure to go here for $10 off! I highly recommend!

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The Charming Life of Izzy Malone Spotlight & $100 Giveaway

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

the-charming-life-of-izzy-maloneThe Charming Life of Izzy Malone by Jenny Lundquist

Izzy Malone isn’t your typical sixth grader. She wears camouflage combat boots and tie dye skirts; the Big Dipper and Orion are her two best friends; and she’d rather climb trees or shoot hoops than talk about boys and makeup. And after only a month of middle school she’s already set the record for the most trips to the Principal’s office.

The only time Izzy feels at peace is when she’s on the open water, and more than anything else, she wants to become a member of the Dandelion Paddlers, her school’s competitive rowing club. But thanks to those multiple trips to the Principal’s office, Izzy’s parents force her to enroll in Mrs. Whippie’s Charm School, a home-study course in manners and etiquette, or they won’t let her race in Dandelion Hollow’s annual pumpkin regatta—where Izzy hopes to prove to the Dandelion Paddlers she is more than qualified to be on their team.

When Mrs. Whippie’s first letter arrives it’s way different from what Izzy was expecting. Tucked inside the letter is a shiny gold bracelet and an envelope charm. Izzy must earn her first charm by writing someone a nice note, and once she does more tasks will be assigned.

Izzy manages to complete some of the tasks—and to her surprise, she actually finds herself enjoying the course. But when one of her attempts at doing something good is misinterpreted, she fears her chances at passing the course—and becoming a Paddler—are slipping away. With some unexpected friends there to support her, can Izzy manage to earn her charms and stay true to herself?

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Praise for the Book:

“Izzy’s frank, vulnerable, sassy first-person narration reveals her surprising journey from a solitary girl talking to the stars to a girl with friends to light her way…This story of an atypical girl, her family, and friends, laced with middle school drama, is indeed a charming one.” –Kirkus Reviews

“A heartwarming coming-of-age journey…Lundquist deftly portrays the pain of being odd girl out, both at school and at home.” –Publisher’s Weekly

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Excerpt

 

Coco grunted and stuck a pumpkin on her bookcase. “Consider yourself lucky. The only reason you’re not in Principal Chilton’s office right now is because Ms. Harmer decided stealing keys is a bigger offense than climbing trees…And how many more times am I going to have to tell you not to put your feet up on my desk?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “How many more times do you think I’ll get sent to your office?”
“That’s a mystery to me. You’ve only been here a month and I think you already hold the school record. It’s been—What?—two days since I last saw you? When you kicked Tyler Jones in the shin.”
“That was totally not my fault. Tyler called me a weirdo and a waste of space.”
“‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me.’ It’s a saying,” Coco said. “Ever heard of it?”
“You know what? Now that you mention it, I think I have!” I nearly sprained my eyeballs; I was trying so hard not to roll them. Words are a weapon, and rotten kids like Tyler Jones get a free pass when it comes to using them, because the marks they leave are invisible. Why don’t more adults realize that?

jenny-lundquistAuthor Jenny Lundquist
Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA, where she spent her time unsuccessfully learning how to surf. When she was younger, she wanted to be either a rock star or a published author. After she taped herself singing and listened to it on playback she decided she’d better opt for the writing route. Jenny is the author of Seeing Cinderella and Plastic Polly as well as the young adult titles The Princess in the Opal Mask and The Opal Crown.

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

Ends 12/12/16

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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OMG… I Did it Again?! Spotlight & $25 Giveaway

Posted by on Oct 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

OMG... I did it again
OMG… I Did It Again? by Talia Aikens-Nuñez

April Appleton wakes up to quite the sight: a herd of elephants marching down her street! She realizes that her powers of witchcraft have done it again. With her friends, Grace and Eve, April must figure out how the elephants got to her town in the first place and then how to get them back home. But with elephants playing in the neighbor’s pool, sitting on cars and eating everyone’s trees, how will they do it? Early readers will delight in the misadventures of this reluctant witch and her plucky friends as they try to figure out how to use April’s powers to do good in the world.

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taliaAuthor Talia Aikens-Nuñez
Talia Aikens-Nuñez wanted to be a meteorologist, a politician and a lawyer. She never thought she would be a writer. It was the birth of her daughter that caused her to start writing. Raising a bilingual child inspired Talia to write lyrical children’s books. Talia’s family loves nature so much that she and her husband vowed that they will always try to live close to water. They live on a river in Connecticut with their kids.

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$25 Blog Tour giveawayBlog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/31/16

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 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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