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ANNOUNCING THE FIRST EVER TanelaWrites CONTEST:

ANNOUNCING THE FIRST EVER TanelaWrites CONTEST:

Win a Special Book Box Prize just in time for the holidays!

Here’s how it works. Receive one 1 entry for each of the following actions:

Share my FB page.   TanelaWrites on FB Click Here!
Review my novel Dreams of the Heart on Amazon.   Click Here!
Review my novel on Dreams of the Heart Barnes and Noble. Click Here!
Review my novel Dreams of the Heart on GoodReads.com. Click Here!
Subscribe to my website. Look to your Right!

The winner will be selected from a random drawing on November 15th, 2017 and notified via email.

It’s easy, it’s fun, and its free…come engage with me.

Thank you all for your support.

National Novel Writing Month 2017

It is National Novel Writing Month. November is the month to stretch your muscle, and your fingers to create the next great novel right. RIGHT!

National Novel Writing Month has a special place in my heart. This year as many may know, I published my first novel. I started Dreams of the Heart before my first participation year of NaNo, however the year I did participate, my first experience was the best. I was so encouraged, and simultaneously paranoid about my first novel project. Looking back, it was comical how scared I was to share my work, or even the amount of words I wrote; which is main element in the NaNo challenge I develop my own word count marco spreadsheet. Given my background in Information Technology, this is not an unrealistic resolution. Despite my misguided attempted at NaNo, through my writing journey I have learned that sharing helps you gain insight and perspective on everything from characters, to plot timing.

This year I will be focusing on the ending transition for series format and the overall rewrite. I plan to have these steps fully completed y NOVEMEBER 30th. This is important because I plan to publish my novel Twin Souls: A Blue Moon Series Novel is the winter of 2018. Getting the book to my editor is my primary goal for the end of 2017 and National Novel Writing Month is the best time to push myself to new goals.

I am looking forward to interacting more with the writing community and learning more about writing dialogue and time shifting within a single plot. Writing is my life.

Please keep in touch and follow me on this journey right here on my TanelaWrites.

Thank You For Your Support

Thank you to all. The Dreams of the Heart Book Launch was amazing. I felt so incredible loved and honored. My dream of completing my first novel came to completion. Every element of the party was exactly like I dreamed it would be. I ask the Lord to show me my story and He did. I ask him to help me show others, and He has. God has brought me and my creativity so far and I have full faith that he can do the same for others.

This party was a small private affair and I promise to have a bigger more public celebration in the next few months. Until then please show your support by purchasing Dreams of the Heart on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other major book retailers. If you have read my debut novel already please review and like the book online on Amazon or GoodReads. Look for more news and information coming soon about my writings and book right here! 

 

Dreams of the Heart is Available

I am pleased to announce my debut novel

Dreams of the Heart

is NOW AVAILABLE for sale!

My writing journey has been long and at times tough, but God has blessed me and my family so much through my creativity. I am beyond thankful to EVERYONE who has played a part in this publication. 

Please get your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and other major book retailers. If you do not see it, ASK! Enjoy

Dream~Create~Inspire

 

Author’s Open Letter

Author’s Open Letter

Speaking about my novel Dreams of the Heart has not been easy. Despite all my excitement and enthusiasm, I still seem to lack the words to fully encompasses what my story is about. Of course, I know, and I course I believe that anyone who reads my novel will be emotional inspired. Yet still describing my story has become my post completion challenge.

As a part of my marketing strategy I was ask what novel can Dreams of the Heart be closely compared to. As a reader, you have probably seen this often. Phrases like “Twilight meets Pride and Prejudice” or “Wuthering Heights meets Maximum Ride”. Or my favorite, “For Lovers of Nicholas Sparks’ “The Notebook”. It has been hard to find those comparisons. First let’s be honest, Nicholas Sparks ability to pull a heart into a story that cannot duplicated. And Twilight was epic, despite what naysayers think and I would never use its imagination and drawl as a marketing tool for my stories.

So where does that leave me. As a true book lover and story engager I have looked for proper novel comparisons and found none. So, I have turned to my next love, music. Dreams of the Heart was bred in music and love. I listened to music all the time, especially when writing. I can recall all the music I listened to while writing Jamice’s story. Every line written portraying Greyson’s hunky description was fueled by a song of sexy inspiration. Relating Dreams of the Heart to music is more accurate. The beginning of my story is a mix of “It’s Alright” by Ledisi and “It Never Rains” by Tony! Toni! Tone’, which are songs that long for happiness’. The middle story and crux of my novel; the core of who Jamice is, would be a mix of Usher’s sinful repentance of the 90’s and Jagged Edge’s bargaining for love in every song they made on their debut album. Chapter 21 of my novel was written to one song on repeat for 2 days. “Alone” by the RnB great Joe. Jamice’s best friend and their ride or die relationship is a mix between Luke’s “I Wanna Rock” and Destiny Child entire Survivor album. Sasha is fierce and strong, and all woman.

Dreams of the Heart has music woven all throughout its story. Please while you are reading my new novel, listen to some music. Try some Anthony Hamilton, Brandy, Luther or even Joe. If none of those artist work well or you, at minimum, please listen to Ledisi. All of her albums from “Lost and Found” to “The Truth” can in many ways tell you what Dreams of the Heart is about. The story of love and healing is one that will move the most stubborn spirit to follow their heart. That is my dream, to motive someone to love and then share that love with someone who has lost hope. New analogy “Dreams Meet Hope”, how’s that for marketing!

Tanela Hicks

Surrounded by Great Friends and Great Books

Great Friends

Writing is a skill that many have but few enjoy. When I discovered that my friend Diondra had a love for writing, I immediately became a supporter. Learning about someone through written words can give you great appreciation for the person they are.

An avid reader, Diondra is a devoted Christian, teacher, awesome singers, and a writer. Her new website shares some of the most amazing experiences and heartfelt emotions. I encourage you to take a look around. Check out diondrasplace. Here is the link to my favorite post thus far https://www.diondrasplace.com/9-movies-to-look-out-for/

 

Great Books 

 

So I have been reading a lot lately. After my first semester at Kent State, I had to purge some of the technical habits that were blocking my creativity. I went on a high level binge of paranormal fantasy books. I update my reviews on goodreads.com often, so to access my full list of reviewed book please visit Fun Stuff tab.

However today I must call out a series that has surprised me and wrapped me in paranormal fiction delight. After looking for a gargoyle story for more than 4 months, I had given up. It seemed that the creativity on paranormal creatures were limited to Vampires, Werewolves, Faeries, Casters, and of course Angels. Most that know me well understand I love a good vampire romance (thanks Twilight) and stories of Faerie Warriors disarm me every time (thanks Sarah Maas). Despite my continued love affair with the “out of this world” element, I yearned for a gargoyle story. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the early 80’s and have fond memories of short lived tv series “Gargoyles”.

Well I found what I was looking for in the Revelations series by Randi Coley Wilson. The series follows Eve Collins who has just become aware she is something special and has an important part to play in a war she did not even know existed. Her protector Asher St. Michael holds all he secrets and is tied to Eve and her destiny in more ways than one. Now she has a gargoyle clan of her own and must train and fight to be everything everyone else expects her to be. The story has love, hate, fights, faeries, and magic all in one and I am tickled that I came across it when I did. The world the author has built is somehow magical although it clearly has an urban real-world setting. The character’s descriptions and abilities stretch the imagination even for the fantasy genre, but they are very real in their emotions. The plot of each installment twists and turn just enough to hook you in and make you root for the good guy AND the bad guy. Eve and Asher’s intense bond throughout this saga is engaging and keeps you thinking of romantic and forbidden love.

Currently I am on book 3 of 5 on the series. And while I do tend to read series that follow the same characters, I rarely find myself reading them back to back within 1 weeks’ time (except Sarah Maas books). I read the first book Revelations in about 1 week, and immediately read book two finishing it in under two days. Now I am on book three and I had slow myself down to do some of my own writing. To read my full review of each book, but visit my Fun Stuff tab and click in the image of the book. 

At the End of the Line There is Creativity

At the End of the Line There is Creativity

Writing is a passionate tool I use to share stories and feelings with the hope that it will help someone, even if it is only myself. When I began this journey, it was just a release of my dreams and nightmares. Writing this novel was a method of decompression. Somewhere along the line it became a fulfilling piece of me.

In the end, I am glad I made the choice to completed the story and share this small piece of my creativity. I am very pleased with the final product and I hope you will be too.

I am thrilled to announce that Dreams of the Heart is officially set for publication October 10th, 2017.

My single hope is that this story will inspire someone; move them to heal and love again. We were all created in love so we all deserve a little.

Please click here learn more about my debut novel, Dreams of the Heart.

Your Environment Your Mind

Your Environment Your Mind

By Tanela Hicks

Sometimes putting your mind where it needs to be is just the thing that can put YOU where you need to be.

As the Midwest moves through a cool and rainy summer, I am reminded of the fresh beauty I saw while vacationing a couple years ago in Boston. Now I should preface everything that follows by admitting that I have an unfounded love for this city. I have no ties to the city and have never lived on the east coast, but for reasons unknown I have always loved Boston. It was April the weather was perfect for walking, thinking, and writing. The views from my hotel were not great but the moment you stepped into the heart of the city everything around me changed my perspective. Before my visit I was in a dead stop on my projects and my overall was at a low. The change of scenery had a strong effect on me as wife, mother, and writer.

Your environment can change your view and your view starts in your mind.

The weeping willow trees in the Boston Public Garden were transparent yet extremely bright and alive. A lighter green than expected and only semi bloomed, these trees did more for me than any advice column or spa day could have ever done. The swayed and swung as if they had direction but knew there job was to stand still. I would like to think they did it for me, but I know that it was really God’s design and plan. In life sometimes standing still is exactly what God wants us to do. He wants use to allow him to move and groom us for his will and purpose. The pond that quietly moved below the trees provided moisture in the air and calm to the sound of the wind. Despite the quiet scene, I remember that day it was quite busy. There were children playing in the park. Groups of tourist were rapidly walking through the park, missing the nature beauty. But then there was a couple sitting privately hug together in a sweet embrace that rejuvenated my romance and gave me the inspiration to hold my own husband’s hand (after I took the picture of course).

Don’t Lose the View

Taking the time to sit and see things through a different lens ultimately changed my life. In that moment I sat there a promised never to lose that soft heart and soul that God gave me. I promised to once again start using the gifts God gave me to help, move, and inspire others, just as that couple done for me.

We spent a total of 6 days in the city. The memory of the trip still stands strong with me, and now 2 years later I still go to this place when I feel the need to surround myself with beauty and inspiration. Especially when writing. I no longer have to physically be there, its impact was so strong that it has made a permanent mark in my mind. This place gives me happiness; it gives me peace, and reminds me of my promise and Gods vision.

Great Music New Natural

Great Music New Natural

"We Are KING"

~KING

 

“We Are KING” by KING is easy eclectic listening. The album opens smooth and defined with Right One. You have a good understanding as to want type of music you are about to listening to; which in my book is a huge plus. Throughout the album you hear a lot of airy soft sounds which makes it a through and through album. The song order and transitions are seamless. I review enjoyed all the instrumental work. It is full on technique yet somehow not cluttered. I was so engulfed listening to the music that I had to go back through and focus on the lyrics. While there is nothing revolutionary lyrically the words in most the songs are very dreamy and vivid. Red Eye and Love Song are forward and pull you into a vision that a full of color and beauty. My only wish in this debut is I wanted to hear more of the group’s vocals. Maybe an a capella song or two would have been nice. These ladies are going to go far if the keep their niche and sound intact, but expand their vocals and of course exposure. Great job Ladies!

"Awaken, My Love!"

~ Childish Gambino

So, the winner of the year for odd and efficient goes to Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover and his album “Awaken, My Love!”. Childish Gambino’s sound is intentionally alternative, almost not natural, but somehow still shines. The obvious Prince influence is all over this album which makes it intriguing. If you are looking for a standard hip hop rap album, this is not the album for you. If you are looking for deep lyrics mixed with trippy 70’s rock, then Awaken, My Love! is perfect. A mix between Lenny Kravitz and Andrae 3000, Childish Gambino’s lyrics are very socially conscious with songs like Riot, and Boogieman hitting all the relevant social tones of 2016. I could listen to it through and through, even opting to do it again, but mainly because I wasn’t sure what I heard. Stand Tall and Redbone were positive hits for me. The album seems to be weird for weird sake. I would have loved to hear some more jazz like instrumentals from him. Like his other albums, this was not produced for the masses, but for those who like creativity and accept the unexplainable. Good job Donald!

Non-Fiction Niche’

Non-Fiction Niche’

                   Anyone that knows me knows how much I love to read. I enjoy a wonderfully made story. The creative demonstration from an artist, writer, or musician is always something exciting and beautiful to see. Maybe it’s because I a writer and I enjoy the seeing the creative process unfold, or maybe creativity just inspires me. Either way I cannot get enough. Currently I am reading several books. The Barrier Between- Collector Series Book Two by Stacey Marie Brown, Always Watching- Elite Guardians by Lynette Eason, and Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley are on the top of my currently reading pile.

                   I am a die-hard Sci-Fi, paranormal fan. Imaginative stories with faraway lands and magical creatures take me away from the sterile corporate world I currently work in. If you add in some time travel it is like Christmas for a book lover girl like me. Because of this automatic pull I have created a strong motivation to stay diverse. I purposefully and regularly read “normal & mundane” stories. Most recently I read 2 of 3 books in the Hidden Identity series; which is a Christian fiction mystery series by the fast story teller Lynette Eason. I thoroughly enjoyed it and you can read my reviews for each book on my Review page.

So, that wasn’t too hard, right? Read a book with no werewolves or magic…. check. Now read some Non-Fiction Tanela.

                   I LOATH NON-FICTION! Again, my persistent thoughts on the cultural benefits of staying diverse with my entertainment choices force me to read at least one Nonfiction book a year. Thanks to my good friend, I had the chance to read a good one this year called Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson. The author has revealing and relatable concepts on raising Christian boys. I enjoyed it enough to chat with other mothers about it, but still not enough to write my standard review. See Non-Fiction is not evil, right, you just should easy into it. I still have a few others on my Non-Fiction list for the year, which includes Shonda’s Rhimes Year of Yes, but since I technically have made my quota for the year, I’m all set right?

                  Here comes the entire reason for writing this post. The accidental click on Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody changed tone on non-fiction. While I was clicking out of a different book on Amazon, I accidently selected Kendrick’s new memoir. Let me preference the rest of this mini fandom by acknowledging I am a little bit of a default fan. I have loosely followed Kendrick ever since the Twilight movie days because I thought she did an amazing job in those films. I have since, seen just about all her work and recently moved her to the actresses to watch category in my moviegoer pop culture mind. Okay, back to the book. So, I listened to the preview on Audible of Scrappy Little Nobody, narrated by the author Anna Kendrick (great idea) and I immediately felt her story as something I wanted to hear. She was so honest and transparent that I forgot I was reading about a celebrity. When she said in the first chapter that she wished she could call her book “A tweet, but longer.” I was sold. I downloaded the full book and started listening immediately finishing in just a few days. You can read my full review of Scrappy Little Nobody on my Review page. It’s an awesome book for all anyone.

My experience with this memoir has taught me a big lesson and I am kind of ashamed to admit it.I LIKE NON-FICTION I JUST DIDN’T REALIZE WHAT IT COULD BE TO ME
           This is shamefully because that is what I do. I Google everything about everyone; me and Wikipedia are virtual close friends, and I love learning about with world and people around me. I enjoy nosing around facts on topics from “last TV show to air on UPN” to “Aesop- real or fake storyteller” (FYI- that topic has a very interesting history, look it up). So, why have I never been moved to read a story about another person? True I still think that books like “How to Live a Better Life” would be of NO interest to me, but I am not considering reading Soledad Obrien’s book “The Next Big Story: My Journey Though the Land of Possibilities” and “Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation” by Aisha Tyler, which I have recommended and purchased for others, but never took the time to read myself. Crazy! Thanks to Anna Kendrick and her witty and revealing story telling about acceptance of one’s self, and perseverance I am excited to see what I can learn from the eyes and pens of other interesting people in the world. Non-Fiction has a Niche’ for me, and now I am right there in it.