Books Reviews, Domestic Violence, Giveaways, Healthy Living

World Book Day Giveaway Hop: My Book + $15 Amazon Gift Card

World Book day

Welcome to the World Book Day Hop with Review Wire Media!

About my giveaway

In 2014 I published my book, Love Should Not Hurt: Letting Go of the Pain to Live in Freedom. Several months later I made a few changes to the original book. I have to admit I wrote it as a bit of self healing after being told it was good therapy for some PTSD I was dealing with years after escaping a dangerous relationship. So I told my story in brutal honesty, put it in a book and listed it in on Amazon. I never promoted it much yet it gained attention on its own.

I am taking this opportunity for World Book Day to bring my story back up from years of being at the bottom of my work pile. It is my story, not a self-help guide. It is a short read and just a story I hope can help other victims know they are not alone and perhaps find the hope they need to find a way out safely.

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To enter for your chance to read a copy of my book and a little extra Amazon credit for you, enter below. Open Worldwide, but gift card prize is in USD. Ends on April 24, 2017. Good Luck.

*Note: After giveaway ends, I will send ONLY one email exclusively by me to all entrants announcing the winner after the prize is claimed. Your entry information is not shared to anyone else.

Book day



Books Reviews, Domestic Violence, Giveaway

Love Should Not Hurt Book Giveaway-Ends 2/27

Love Should Not Hurt: Letting Go of the Pain to Live in Freedom
by: Erin Sluka
Thank you for visiting from Riding Emotions (my other website)
I am giving away a copy of my new release book. This is not a how-to guide, but more of a way to share my story of my survival as a domestic abuse victim and what it took to leave and stay away from my abuser. It discusses the effects that last a long while after living through such a relationship. I did not heal the right way and I discuss this in my book.
Love Should Not Hurt is not just for victims, but for anyone who is a fan on non-fiction and would like to learn about how one becomes a victim, why we stay, the dangers of leaving and the healing effects after the escape. It is a short read that I hope begins the discussion with someone you may know who is struggling. From my book, I hope it can be used as a starting point to encourage victims and families to seek proper help because without the proper guidance, the effects of abuse are long-lasting and a difficult internal struggle as you adjust to a life of freedom.
I hope you will enter to win and share this with your friends and families. The topic of domestic violence needs a voice and you can be a voice! Without discussions, it remains a topic many don’t wish to discuss and solve.
Find me at:
The Giveaway: Enter below. Ends 2/27. Good luck
Domestic Violence, Gift Guides, Promotions, Sponsored

Songs about life from Mary J Blige’s new album #TheLondonSessions

I participated in the Mary J Blige The London Sessions album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own #O2O

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The London Sessions
by: Mary J Blige
Release Date: 12/2/14
Preorders
Mary J Blige is known for her voice and songs about life. My personal life has involved domestic abuse, escaping a violent man, dating, marriage, friends who stayed, friends who burnt bridges and parenting. When I listen to music, I want it to tell a story I relate to. I don’t just listen to the melody, but the words. At this happy and joyous phase in my life, I love the positive messages and songs that speak about triumph and overcoming fears or obstacles. Even though I live a happy and healthy life right now, I will also hold onto those songs of struggle. When you find a song that relates to you, wether it was the past or present you, it grabs you. To hear your story, your struggles and your triumphs in a song allows you to reconnect with your soul and when you put a voice like Mary J Blige behind the words, you get to hear the emotions and mood that you feel as you sing the words. A song that speaks to you is food for the soul-it re-tells stories.
#LondonSessions
 
Iconic. London sounds. Popular Artists. Soul. Original. Honesty. A voice for our generation. Evolution. Refreshing.
London Sessions brings Mary’s voice and soul to London. This album includes her music shared with popular Artists such as Disclosure, Sam Smith (a favorite of mine as well), Jimmy Napes, Naughty Boy and more! This will be the album to talk about!
My Thoughts
 
Must I choose a favorite song? OK! Actually, it was easier than I though when I heard the words of Whole Damn Year. 10 years ago I met my husband after spending 6 years in a very violent relationship I had to escape from. This song reminded me of the black cloud that hung over my husbands and I relationship and eventually marriage. My husband is a 13 out of 10 in the way of best husband’s ever, but this black cloud was my wall! I built such an emotional wall to keep away the demons of my past without even realizing it until it broke me a few years ago. That was the wrong way to heal and although trust slowly came back, my husband had the strength of steel trying to pry his way to me emotionally in the very beginning and then again as the stress built too high and my wall came tumbling down leaving me in depression and withdrawn-PTSD. It was a long 6 years for me as a victim and a Whole Damn (years) to repair. That is what this song is about and it is a new favorite of mine!
Like Whole Damn Year-words heal and they connect people. The way I finally healed from my past was to write my book about being a survivor and life after Domestic Violence. It is songs like Mary J Blige and the soul that grabs you in the voice that makes the words so energetic. Words heal-they healed me by writing and they soothe me in music.
Mary J Blige will speak to you in a way that is unlike what she has produced before. Her voice, other artists voices and an iconic album!
Pre-order now! The album is live 12/2/14
* iTunes: http://bit.ly/MJBLondon  
* Amazon: 
 http://bit.ly/MJBLS
 
*Official Mary J Blige Websitewww.maryjblige.com
Twitter – @maryjblige
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/maryjblige  
* YouTube – http://bit.ly/MJBVIDEO   
Domestic Violence, Gift Guides, Sponsored

Give Extra, Get Extra with someone with a Hero quality #ExtraGumMoments

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.


As Thanksgiving approaches we are thinking of ways to gather with friends and family and reflect on all that we are grateful for. When you reflect on 2014, do you know someone who deserves your Hero award? Perhaps a teacher gave your child extra effort or a co-worker covered many shifts for you when you took time off. Whatever that special someone has done that required time and effort on their part for you, they deserve a special thank you! Give extra, get extra is what the thank you is all about.

A thank you can come as a homemade card or a small gift. You can hand deliver or mail it to their home. Mailing a gift is always fun because at some point any day soon, they will head to their mailbox as normal and they may have had only a normal or even bad day and they get an odd-looking box or envelope. It has you name! They are curious. They open it and inside is a little extra thank you for what they have done. It doesn’t get more special that that. Small gift packages mail best and I used some Extra Gum in my pack. The name on the pack says it all for me!

Who is my hero that deserves an extra thank you this year? She is a fellow Blogger, Karen Dawkins (of Family Travels on a Budget). Here is the story you will all enjoy! Last winter I put a call out to anyone with book editing experience. I had written my book about my struggles after escaping and surviving a domestically abusive relationship 10 years ago. I had a head full of thoughts and not-so-good memories as well as tips and thoughts that may help other stuck or recently out of a dangerous relationship. I had a story to tell, words to say and needed some volunteers to read it and get me feedback before finaliziing. I expected to pay for a good editor and wanted a recommendation. Karen messages me and says ” I’d be happy to read it for you. I have a College major in English” I tell her what my book is about and can you believe she has a background prosecuting domestic violence offenders? I was so lucky she responded and it was before she knew what I had written about. 

Karen took my words, Chapter by Chapter and literally walked through every sentence of my book with me to brainstorm ways to organize my thoughts, switch things around I even added an extra Chapter with all the new organizing I did. She spent hours-reading, editing, suggesting and re-reading my book for months! I know she did it because it was a subject close to her heart, but it took the struggle and emotions of me telling my story and put them to ease. In 2014, my hero is Karen. She lives on the other side of the country so I cannot go give her the biggest hug I’d like, but I can give this gift to say Thank you! A great big, humongous thank you!


What do you think? Does Extra gum make a fun thank you gift addition?
Who deserves your Hero thank you gift this year?

Domestic Violence, Education, Healthy Living, Promotions

Supporting Domestic Violence with the Purple Purse Charm from the Allstate Foundation

This post is part of a sponsored campaign with The Allstate Foundation and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


For my readers who know me best, you know how close to my heart the topic of domestic violence is. Just this year I finally, after a decade, became brave enough to share my story in my new book: Love Should Not Hurt: Letting Go of the Pain to Live in Freedom. My book focuses on the aftermath of living as a victim. Survivors leave and need to start over. It is emotionally draining and without proper support many women return to their abusers out of fear of getting back on track on their own. Victims are told they are not good enough, they are told their friends and family don’t care. An abuser manipulates and isolates their victim until they are completely dependent on them. The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Campaign understands this and throughout their agency’s, they are distributing these purple purse charms so you can show support.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and purple is the color of support. Not only does Allstate have these purple purse charms to graciously hand out and help spread the awareness, but they have an entire website dedicated to educating and bringing awareness to the topic of abuse. Financial abuse is very common especially hand-in-hand with other forms of abuse. Both men and women are victimized. When one decides to leave such a relationship, the path to get on track can be so difficult. Since 2005, the Allstate Foundation has invested over $40 million dollars nationwide to help domestic violence survivors regain control of their finances and completely break free from the abuse.

Facts & how to help
  • Domestic Violence affects 1 in 4 women
  • Domestic Violence is not always physical-financial abuse occurs in 98% of these relationships
  • 8 in 10 Americans have not heard of financial abuse and its facts
  • Only 1 in 3 people feel comfortable discussing domestic violence
The Allstate Foundation campaign is committing to over half a million dollars in the Purple Purse challenge. 
Head to PurplePurse.com between now and October 3, 2014 and join the challenge. Ambassador actress, Kerry Washington has designed a limited edition purple purse to bring awareness and support domestic violence. This purse and other support materials can be found at the Purple Purse website.

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with The Allstate Foundation and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Books Reviews, Domestic Violence, Education, Healthy Living, Sponsored

Power of the Heart program: The answers to 2 questions about me #poweroftheheart

This is a sponsored post on behalf of SheSpeaks

The Power of the Heart Movie & Book coming October 7, 2014
with the voices of:
Isabel Allende – Maya Angelou – Deepak Chopra – Paulo Coelho – Mark Nepo – Eckhart Tolle

I was sent the pre-release of the book: The Power of the Heart. This is more than a book, it is a program. Our heart is truly the most powerful organ in our body. It is capable of controlling our emotions and is the center of all life running through our bodies. It holds our spirit. When tested , it can break. I was so excited to have the opportunity to learn how important it is for our well-being of ourselves and those around us to nurture your heart. This program is not about nurturing your heart with low-sodium or low-cholesterol foods. Rather it is a program to nurture your heart spiritually. 

The Power of the Heart program will teach you how to overcome obstacles or limitations in your daily life. It teaches you how your heart, as mysterious as it is, can be your source of love and wisdom even over the power of your mind. The heart has many powers-intention, intuition, gratitude and many other qualities. 

Akasha is the ancient word given to describe the link between our inner and outer worlds, the field that extends through all things. It is space itself. Our hearts seem to be related to a connection between our outer and inner selves. To really think of our heart as a muscle that needs to be exercised, you can find the exercises and tips from the books co-creators. These exercises help you stop and re-balance your body, mind and spirit. Your heart is important for your physical, spiritual and emotional health. This book tells you that when the “rhythm of your heart is calm & coherent, your body is in better balance, which in turn improves your health and well-being”.
My favorite co-creator is a true hero for me. I have been a Maya Angelou fan for a long time. Her words have helped me through many paths in life. She is a saint of words and inspiration. Let me share 2 of my favorite quotes from her that are found in this book
“I believe that the heart is the most forceful, impactful element in our lives. I believe that the heart helps us to understand who we are, where we are and how we are.”

“That the heart is knocking on your door saying, “Open the door, here I am, you need me.” Because then you say, “Oh, look at where I am, I’m in hell. I didn’t know that.” But the heart tells you, “Trust me, I will bring you out of that.”
Deepka Chopra is another co-creator and offers many wise thoughts along with the other amazing co-creators in this book. What made Deepka stand out most to me was her exercise she gives to force you to get real and listen to your heart. By having you answer a list of questions without reservations, you begin to realize your heart soon takes over and you face some darkness and light as you answer these questions.  

My thoughts

Far too often, we step outside of ourselves at the wrong times causing a disconnect between our spirits and who we are trying to be. I feel that it is in these times we are vulnerable to acting in a way that is not natural to ourselves-jealousy, greed, hatred, depression. We are our own infinite source of energy and energy can be a positive or a negative. Once an organism or element separates from its natural source of energy it becomes mutated and can even die off. To not focus on the real you, the energy that stays inside you, you risk entering a dark place and can become a dark soul. We all experience sadness, stress and tough obstacles. We cannot control these. The only control we have is in our actions and thoughts. If we have a balance within ourselves because we practice staying connected, we cope and have a healthier view of those stressors We cope better and heal faster. It is nature. 
Our heart is as mysterious as the universe itself, but science says when the thinking mind is still, you see reality as it is. Just like as you wake from a dream, you realize everything in that dream is you. We are simply a part of one universe-one energy. 
I answer 2 of Deepka’s questions

Who am I: I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. I have a spiritual side but am not overly sensitive. I am a survivor of Domestic Violence, but do not let that past define me. I expect respect and fairness from others and anyone who offers the opposite is not to waste space in my life. I am not very open with my emotions and where most people speak out, I shut down. I am quiet on the outside, but on the inside my thoughts are loud. I am a giver and wear everyones issues on my own shoulders. I know I should not, but I care about others. I have been in a dark place in life and as I was living as a victim of abuse, I wanted out of this world. I know what it feels like to be bullied, humiliated and hurt. When I find others like that I feel like the words and experiences I have can help. It gives me peace to know that perhaps I and others experience difficulties because we were the strong ones who can cope and learn and be there for others.

What is my life’s purpose: This is the toughest question to answer so I am challenging myself to think this through right now. As I mentioned above about who I am, my purpose has got to be to end my life knowing I was the best of all those I could be. I love saying to our older boys “I am only saying (this) to you now so I can say I told you so and not have regrets for not telling you, somewhere down the road”. I want no regrets. I want to be as strong of a Mom and Wife as I can now because I know I will be rewarded with peace and contentment later on for it. When others want to stand in my way, Mother Bear comes out. I am a survivor of abuse-6 years of physical, emotional and verbal abuse that happened daily. I have 2 options as a survivor- pity or peace. I chose peace. I wrote my story and published it this year. It took 10 years to tell my story out loud, but I went through that trauma, I believe, to help others. To share my story and be a voice for those afraid to speak or are under a control of someone not allowing them to have their original thoughts right now. Love Should Not Hurt: Letting Go of the Pain to Live in Freedom is my purpose in a book. I am a better person from what I learned during the time in and after my abusive relationship. My purpose is to love, care, help and nurture-to have no regrets.

http://www.thepoweroftheheart.com/ 
https://twitter.com/powerotheart 
https://www.facebook.com/thepoweroftheheart

Will you open up and challenge yourself to the Power of the Heart? 

Disclosure: Tis sponsored post contains my 100% my own opinions. This is sponsored by SheSpeaks.