Book #Giveaway - Hunger Of The Pine by Teal Swan - ENDS 10/12


Hunger of The Pine by Teal Swan

Aria Abbott has never had a home. Drifting through the foster system for most of her life, she finally finds herself in a situation so unbearable that she has no choice but to run away. Sleeping on the streets pushes Aria beyond any suffering she has felt before; the only thing worse than seeing no escape is the knowledge that no one in the world cares enough to try and find her.

Enter Taylor, a homeless young man with a charismatic smile and a dream of fame, fortune, and the sunshine of LA. Swept up in his energy, Aria and Taylor board a greyhound bus and never look back.

In this bright new world, Aria will discover a whole community of people living in the shadows, in the margins of society. As Taylor follows his dreams, Aria follows her heart. But she will discover that it isn’t always clear who you can trust, that strangers can be kind, or treacherous, or sometimes as familiar as your own reflection, if you’re willing to look hard enough.

Q&A WITH TEAL SWAN BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF 

THE NEW NOVEL HUNGER OF THE PINE

Question: Tell us what your new book, Hunger of the Pine, is all about?


Teal Swan: Hunger of the Pine is my first fiction novel, and is a poetic novel about life on the 
streets in America. The book centers on Aria Abbott, a teen in the foster care system. She has 
been placed in a Christian foster home where the father is molesting her and her delinquency 
problems have turned her into the 'scapegoat' of the family. When the tension between her and 
her foster parents rises, she runs away and begins her life on the streets of Chicago. She soon 
meets Taylor, another homeless youth who is dreaming of fame, fortune and the sunshine of L.A.
Together they board a Greyhound bus and never look back. In this bright new world, Aria will 
discover a whole community of people living in the shadows, in the margins of society. As 
Taylor follows his dreams, Aria follows her heart. But she will discover that it isn’t always clear 
who you can trust, that strangers can be kind, or treacherous, or sometimes as familiar as your 
own reflection, if you’re willing to look hard enough.

Q: What was your inspiration behind the writing the book?

Swan:  As far as I know, no one has ever written a poetic novel about life on the streets of 
America. I wanted to highlight homelessness through descriptive writing and used a main 
character as a lens through which to see a snapshot. I also wrote it because I feel that we as a 
society -- especially in America -- need to look in the mirror at homelessness and see that it is a 
problem caused by many systemic failures within society. For this reason, there are many 
'reasons' someone ends up on the street. And we aren't really solving those reasons. People are 
complex, and it we need to see them with more compassion and understanding. And, it is with 
this 'understanding,' rather than labeling people good or bad, that we may see the root cause of 
behaviors and accurately resolve that root cause.

Q:  You have written a lot of wonderful non-fiction books. Why did you decide to take the 
leap into fiction?

Swan:  I want people to feel the raw reality of a side of life that they might never have 
experienced themselves by using descriptive writing to emotionally put them there. I am a 
descriptive writer first and foremost. My other books are informational, which I love, but they 
were not an opportunity to exercise my skills as a writer . Descriptive writing is a whole other 
beast than writing non-fiction that is engaging yet informative. It is to convey an emotion  or 
sensory experience with words instead of to convey a concept for the purpose of comprehension. ​
I want people to love the writing in and of itself, and remember it for the writing, and for their 
experience learning about homelessness as well as.

Q: Why did you decide to tackle the topic of youth homelessness?

Swan:   A Great many people don't relate to homelessness or the issues surrounding it. But a great many do and those people are drowning in the feeling that they were just born to suffer. I wanted to show the reality of homelessness and make it relatable to those who don't understand it. But I also wanted to insert some answers and hope into this novel for those who do. To be 'real' it had to be a mixture of "this is too much to surmount" and "you can surmount it". It needed to be tragic but also inspirational. And people who relate to these characters, especially the main character will not have thought of themselves as a protagonist.. as significant...As someone capable of love and triumph and of finding belonging and love... until now!

Q: What do you think society can do to help the homeless population? 

Swan:  The issue of homelessness is not an easy one because so many systemic factors within society contribute to it. This means there is not a one size fits all solution. For example, the failures within parenting and beyond that the foster care system cause youth homelessness. Society's complete lack of care for the mentally ill and the fact that there is literally nowhere for them to get help if they don't have money, contributes to homelessness in the mentally ill and veterans. The fact that a person on social security is not getting enough money to afford both food and housing and often medications causes senior citizen homelessness. The lack of prioritization within society when it comes to understanding and finding solutions for the needs of those who are in need, create this multivariable factor scenario where suddenly a great many people are on the street. It's time to see the broken-ness of our system and stop thinking things are being taken care of by 'someone else' when they are not.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from A Hunger of Pine and Aria’s story?

Swan:  I want people to feel the raw reality of a side of life that they might never have experienced themselves by using descriptive writing to emotionally put them there. Also, a better and more empathetic view of the homeless population. We tend to be so uncomfortable with homelessness that we compartmentalize it and tell ourselves that we could never be in the same position... That homeless are like a 'breed' of people or another species unto themselves. Understanding this why  behind homelessness actually makes it impossible for us to keep this 'separation' alive. To keep them marginalized. When we stop seeing people as "other", when we relate to them, we suddenly have the motive to do something because we identify with them instead. I wrote this book to create this identification, understanding and relatability so as to close this perceptual gap.

TEAL SWAN is an international speaker, best-selling author, and a survivor of severe childhood abuse. Today, having integrated her own harrowing life experience, she inspires millions of people around the world towards truth, authenticity, freedom, and joy. Swan  is also the author of six internationally published books, the creator of hundreds of frequency paintings, as well as the popular "Ask Teal" YouTube series, which currently has more than 80 million views and almost one million subscribers. She is also the owner and founder of Teal Eye LLC, a company focused on bringing self-empowerment and healing back to the individual. In conjunction with her vision of creating positive world change, Swan founded HEADWAY FOUNDATION, a nonprofit company that enables ideas, goals and ventures that are aimed at positive world change by ending suffering. In the years to come, Headway Foundation will encompass programs, centers, scholarships and products that better our world; such as in the areas of justice reform, education, environmental endeavors, end of life care, health, parenting, integrative medicine and food industry reform. Headway Foundation seeks to create the changes within our society that will create a better life for all beings who call this earth their home.

Swan was born with a range of extrasensory abilities, including clairvoyance, clairsentience, and clairaudience. It was  because of these abilities that she ended up being targeted to become a victim of abuse. In her own words: “Without the abuse and suffering I experienced, I would be someone who could give you a lot of esoteric information about the universe at large, but who would have no real grasp on the reality of human suffering or how to heal it. I would have only had ½ of the picture of human existence. The gift of my own suffering is that I now have the full picture and that has drastically changed both what I teach and the way that I teach.”

For more information, visit www.hungerofthepine.com and connect with Teal on Facebook, Instagram,  YouTube and Twitter .

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Tips and Tricks for Celebrating with Kids or Teenagers



Although you might know exactly what to do to make your partner or friend feel special on their big day, it can be even harder to celebrate with kids and teenagers. Whether you want to help them to enjoy their own milestone or simply want to get them involved in your own celebration, here are some top tips to make sure that everyone has a great time.


● Give them a personalized gift

One of the most effective ways that you can celebrate with both kids and teens is to get them a thoughtful gift to commemorate the occasion. Gifts always go down a treat, and will allow your children to have a physical reminder of their achievements in the future. In order to find a gift that kids of any age will love, you consider looking for unique birthday gifts from The Gift Experience. Their personalized selection of items is perfect for those approaching milestone birthdays, such as their 18th or 21st, with tumblers and photo albums that you can engrave with their name and age.


● Allow them to invite friends

Although you might want your celebration to be a family occasion, your kids, and particularly teens, will be much happier if they are given the option to invite their own friends. In order to keep them out of your hair, you could host a teen party or create a teen-friendly zone where your kids can hang out with their mates and enjoy themselves away from the adults. However, you should never force them to celebrate with you, and if they want to party all night with their friends and other loved ones, then you should give them the choice to do so and plan your own celebration for another time.


● Enjoy their firsts with them 

There is nothing better, though, than celebrating their big day with them. Whether you decide to attend your child’s graduation, or go with them to the pub for their first legal drink, being there with them will help you to create memories that will last a lifetime. 


● Give them your attention

Most importantly, as a parent, you should give them all of your attention on their big day. For instance, you may choose to take them out on a one-on-one trip without their siblings or other relatives, or decide to take them on a vacation or day trip that they have been dreaming about. This will help them to feel noticed by you for what they have achieved.


● It’s all about the little things

However, although you might want to go all out and plan something huge for your beloved children, it is all about the little things that you do to make your kids feel special. For instance, you might consider taking a commemorative photo with them which you can hang on the wall or gift to them. You might also think about decorating the house and gardenin bunting, balloons and other celebratory items to make ensure that their big day stands out from all the others.

Why Allow Customization?


Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

You may not realize it, but everyone wants to have something customized specifically for them. People like having something that no one else has. They also like to be able to put a personal touch on something that they are buying or being given. In addition, people love receiving free items - why wouldn't they? Customers will surely be more open to promoting your brand if you give them a personalized item with your name on it for free. Before you run on over to Lotech Sales, check out some other reasons why you might want to offer some customized products. 

Customers enjoy customizing things. That is really all there is to it. Have you ever gone to a car website and created your own car, even if there was no way you were going to buy it? We all like to customize items for ourselves. If you allow a customer to customize something, they will be back to purchase more items from you. You are allowing them to get exactly what they want and in exactly the way they want it. This is a strong market for online retailers. It is easier for them to offer customizable items because they do not carry an inventory in a store. They can make, or order, items on the fly as they are ordered. This allows for greater customization ability. 

If you want your business to survive, then you need customers to purchase your goods or services. You need repeat customers. New customers are great, but you have to make them want to come back and continue to buy from you. This is how you will make more money. When you allow customers the ability to design their item the way they want it, they will be satisfied. Satisfied customers come back. Not only will they come back, but they will bring friends with them. 

Customization provides you the ability to get more sales. Not only will you get more sales, but you can charge more for the items. When customization is involved, you are less able to buy in bulk. Therefore the prices go up. If you allow customization, your customers will pay more for the items. People are willing to pay more for items that they feel connected to. When they are able to add their own design or colors, they have become connected to the item because they created it. Customers are also willing to wait a little longer if their item is customized. When other people see a custom item, they ask the owner about it. This becomes an easy word of mouth marketing for you. The best marketing is when potential customers see other customers with the item. 

Just Released as a Perfect Halloween Haunt

 Genesis: Fourth Thriller/Romance in a Book Series



Atlanta Author Releases Her 4th  Book in Time for A Full Moon on Halloween

 

ATLANTA  (Sept. 24, 2020) – Atlanta-based Author Anne Schlea just released her fourth book in a series designed to deliver that prickly spine, cold wintery chill that comes with this time of year, particularly for Halloween.   Released on Sept. 16,  Genesis, available at Amazon.com is a fiction, paranormal fantasy that is part thriller, part romance in the Retribution Universe series.

 

“I’ve always held a fascination for ancient places and artifacts imagining what kind of stories they could tell, and the secret mysteries of the unknown. I invite readers to come live in this fantasy world full of other world beings for a while,” said Anne Schlea, author of Genesis, The World of the Fallen and The Retribution Universe Series.

 

Here is an excerpt from the new book:

 

Genesis – New Release: Sept. 16, 2020 - The Old One is the first of the vampires.  She takes the human Daniel under her wing, bringing him along on a journey that leads to the origin of the vampires. 

Daniel landed in Berlin, Germany, over a year ago because he kept the wrong friends.  Little did he know that he’d come to love the old city, his job, and his life in Europe.  Now that Aiden has arrived, a quiet, red-headed, refuge from a war back in the states, Daniel is settling into a domestic life he never dreamed he’d have.

The arrival of The Old One, the mother of all vampires, turns Daniel’s domestic happiness on its head as she drags him away on an adventure through archeological sites of Europe, America, and Egypt on a hunt for origin of vampires.  

Can Daniel, an ardent agnostic, walk through the birthplace of religion without questioning himself?  And can he win the heart of a woman so destroyed by her past that she barely has hope for the future? 

About the Author

Anne Schlea was born and raised in Northwest Ohio where she spent much of her childhood on her Grandparent’s farm.  She graduated from Woodmore High School and then went on to Berry College in Rome, Georgia, where the first chapters of the Retribution Universe began to take shape.

 

Anne is an avid reader with over three thousand books in her personal collection.  As a teen, she read the entire paranormal fiction and romance sections of her local library.  Today, Anne lives in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, a short drive from the Appalachian Mountains, with her husband and her cat.  She loves visiting wineries, making music, running her business, and hanging out with her Siamese cat, Rosanna.

 

 

 

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How to Look After Yourself as an Emergency Responder


Photo by Aidan Bartos on Unsplash

Whatever type of emergency responder you are, you will be only too aware that this is a highly demanding and challenging job. You are facing a great deal of stress on a regular basis, so it is vitally important that you look after yourself as thoroughly as possible. Proper stress prevention and management techniques should become a key part of your schedule. If you don’t look after yourself, you are less likely to be able to look after those who need your support. 


Prepare for a Response 


Preparing for a response can be done in numerous different ways, but you need to ensure that you are properly trained and confident in what you are doing. You should also make sure that you have all the correct equipment – a lot of which can be foundat rapid-rescue.com.au. Explain to your loved ones about your job and how you need as much support from them as possible and establish a means of communication if you can. You don’t want to worry about what is going on at home during a response.


Identify Signs of Burnout 


Unfortunately, burnout is a common situation amongst emergency responders. It can be categorized as a feeling of extreme exhaustion, anxiety, and the sense that you are overwhelmed. There are plenty of coping techniques that can prove to be effective including managing your diet, getting enough exercise, and talking to people about your situation – whether this is with a trained professional or just a friend or family member close to you. There are also negative coping techniques such as binge eating or drinking, which are going to have a bad effect in the long run.


Develop a Buddy System


A buddy system refers to two responders providing support for one another. Just the simple act of talking to each other about your lives can go a long way. Assess each other’s strengths and weaknesses so you are in a better position to offer support. Acknowledge when you are facing a tough situation, but also celebrate your achievements – however small they may be. You could also offer support in each other’s personal lives wherever this is appropriate. Look out for the signs of burnout that we discussed above and encourage each other to engage in positive coping techniques.


Practice Self-Care Techniques 


There are plenty of self-care techniques that can prove to be effective for an emergency responder, starting by limiting your working shifts, though this can often be tricky in this line of work. Writing in a journal, practicing meditation and yoga, reducing your use of stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine, and getting enough sleep are all effective techniques that you should build into your everyday life.


When you work as an emergency responder, it is vitally important that you look after yourself properly – both for you and the people you are caring for. Hopefully, you have found something useful in the techniques above that will help you take care of yourself that little bit better.

 

Top Beauty Hacks for Any Woman


Thanks to GREG KANTRA @gregkantra for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/Xl1s-AkSLj4


Beauty hacks aren’t to enable you to conform to society’s standards or let you do what all women are doing. Beauty hacks are there for you to make your own style and routine as simple as possible, and find the most confidence you can with your own personal style. With beauty hacks, you can choose to take them or leave them, but what’s certain is that any woman can easily embrace any hack they like into their routine in order to promote their best self. 

Here are some great beauty hacks if youre looking for inspiration!

• Multi-Task With Your Lipstick On The Go 

Having a staple lipstick in your bag throughout the day is a must for any touch-ups of color, but you can also go the extra mile with your lipstick and have it help you in other beauty ways. You can use a spot of lipstick on your cheeks to add color as a blush, or you can even use around your eyes for a spot of uplift and color. 

Choose a colothat is easily suitable for all means, such as a soft pink or blush red.

It also means you can eliminate carrying too many cumbersome beauty products around with you, knowing you can depend on your trusty tube of lipstick when needed!

• Use Deodorant for More Comfortable Feet

If you suffer from over-exerted feet, which easily build up a sweat, then consider spraying your feet with deodorant before putting on your shoesespecially when wearing shoes that require bare feet like heels. Deodorant will help your feet to remain fresh and dry throughout the day, and you can always take your deodorant spray with you to do touch-ups when your feet most need it. 

• Consider Whitening Treatments for Your Teeth 

While good teeth health is important and you should be doing everything you can to make your mouth and teeth the best they can be, it’s often difficult for the busy working woman. Avoiding staining foods and drinks isn’t always easy when you’re working on the go and need your cups of coffee, or maybe youre just unsure of what best steps you need to take to have your teeth shiny and white. 

Consulting with experts like www.enhanceddentalstudios.com.au means you can grab whitening treatments to reinvent your smile, and also gain any advice regarding the best treatment for your teeth. 

• Have Glasses as an Alternative for Contacts 

If youre wearing contacts, then youre going to be more concerned with your eye makeup or the appearance of your eye area. If youre busy or perhaps if you didnt get as much sleep as youd hoped, slipping on a pair of glasses can be great for covering any tired eyes, dark circles, or even just so you dont have to think about your makeup as much. 

• Take a Time Out on Nail Color

Experimenting with nail color is great fun, as well as allowing you to show off more of your personality. However, if youre looking for a more easy-going beauty routine at the moment, then going au naturale with your nails can be a boon. You donhave to worry about staying on top of your color or your nail appointments, and neither do you have to worry about your nails chipping. It also means you don’t have to worry about the color of your outfits in case they clash with bright nail polish!

No matter your preference or routine, always make sure you check for easier and better ways to embrace your own sense of beauty.


Duolingo Launches Children’s Literacy App, Duolingo ABC

Available on iOS, the Free App Helps Children Ages 3-6 Learn to Read


Duolingo, the company behind the world’s most popular language-learning platform, has announced the launch of Duolingo ABC. Available on iOS, the free English literacy app teaches children ages 3-6 how to read. The app is designed specifically for younger users to enjoy independently, as the company’s goal is to help children have fun while they practice reading and writing.

The app can be downloaded for iOS at: Apps.apple.com/app/duolingo-abc-learn-to-read/id1440502568

"We created Duolingo ABC to tackle the global problem of illiteracy,” said Luis von Ahn, CEO and Co-Founder of Duolingo. “Teaching people how to read and write can change lives. By taking everything we know about how people learn languages, and how to keep learners motivated with gamification, we believe we can make a dent in global literacy rates.”

Developed by learning scientists, the new app includes over 300 fun, bite-sized lessons teaching the alphabet, phonics, and sight words. Duolingo ABC is aligned with Common Core standards and based on recommendations by the National Reading Panel.

Duolingo ABC does not feature ads or in-app purchases and is available on iOS. It can be found in the App Store in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

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Ladies Of The 80s Concert Featuring Some Of Your Faves

 

Stephen Brush, PAA Founder, Brings Back Exclusive Concert Experience While Following Social Distancing Guidelines
BRENTWOOD, Tennessee – Redefining the ideals of a world affected by COVID-19, Patriot Artists Agency took a leap of faith in the right direction to bring fans in Middle Tennessee to Ladies of the ’80s,’ a live socially-distanced concert event held on the beautiful estate of the Governor's Club in Brentwood, Tennessee, Friday, September 18th. 
 
The show featured '80s powerhouse headliner Taylor Dayne, delivering her smash hits "Tell It To My Heart," "Love Will Lead You Back", and "Prove Your Love." Tiffany and Lisa Lisa transported fans back to tubular times in true social distancing style with "I Think We're Alone Now," "Head To Toe," "Lost In Emotion," and "Let The Beat Hit 'Em." The night was emceed by a DJ who weaved other throwback favorites into the mix between sets and on into the night.
 
Under the light of the stars and tucked in between rolling hills, the stage was set with temperature check stations and food trucks lining the venue. VIP pods lined the hills with safe distance and passageways between each row. Each entertainer performed their hit singles as fans sang along under face masks and grooved to the beat of the night in their designated areas, separated 8 feet apart.

"I decided it was time to create and adapt and get on with living! I want artists, crew, and of course, my colleagues working again,” shares Patriot Artists Agency Owner, Stephen Brush. Ladies of the '80s has offered that feel-good social distanced experience that brings people to a happy place safely. Based on this proof of concept being so successful, we are looking to produce 15-20 of these driving range concerts throughout the US for the remainder of the year and then look to produce 50-75 of them next year.”

"When Stephen approached me about the event, I saw an opportunity to demonstrate that live events can return in a safe manner," said production manager Mark Kocourek. "We were able to implement the CDC guidelines and Event Safety Alliance best practices. We brought in a COVID Compliance Officer to oversee the implementation of temp checks, mandatory masks, and social distancing.  Our detailed plan allowed the audience to safely enjoy a high-quality performance for the first time since March. It was a pleasure to have a great event and prove that our industry can evolve during these trying times."

This blast from the past experience, masterfully presented by Patriot Artists Agency, stands as a light at the end of the tunnel for the music and entertainment industry. ‘Ladies of the 80s,’ allowed fans to relive simpler times and was designed with strict but easily adhered safety precautions, making future events possible in a similar fashion. As a key industry provider, Patriot Artists Agency continues to present live entertainment as it used to be, bringing fans one stellar show at a time.

The next 'Ladies Of The '80s' event is set for Houston, Texas on November 14, 2020.

About Patriot Artists Agency:
Patriot Artists Agency is a full-service talent agency priding itself on big agency representation with a boutique approach, offering artists a full scope of representation with a concentration on live touring and events. Our talent buying services for brands, corporates, and events have secured top name talent for top name companies. Keeping our clients, partners and team is paramount at PAA. We take a very personal approach to all of the clients we represent as booking agents. You will get personalized and on-demand service regularly. Whether routing or creating grand world tours, we handpick events and venues which suit the artist's needs and schedule with maximum return. PAA can help make your corporate entertainment the talk of the meetings. We will source the perfect client to entertain for your meetings, cocktail hour, or signature event. PAA will liaise with your internal team or produce the event for you to make sure all goes fabulously. Because of the boutique nature of PAA, we are in a unique position for talent management. It is a very hands-on environment in the office and the artist and their team would be well taken care of. We are very selective in the artists we represent so they are top of mind all the time, not just a small percentage vying for attention. For more information and to keep up with future events, please visit patriotartistsagency.com.

About Stephen Brush:
Stephen Brush has over 20 years of experience in the music industry initially working at record companies such as Polygram and Elektra. Later he moved into a role at ICM (International Creative Management) and started as an agent in the contemporary music department representing such notable acts as Nas, India.arie, Laura Branigan, Rick James, Tracy Morgan, and countless others. After a 6 year run at ICM, Stephen moved on to start his own agency (International Artists Agency) and ran that for 10 years until a former ICM colleague and he developed Patriot Artists Agency.
 
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Dear Readers: At this time all giveaways on Maria's Space are for the United States unless otherwise noted.