A Life-Changing Journey through Adoption,
Adversity, and a Reading Disability
Genre: Inspirational Memoir
Publisher: Gathering Courage Media
Date of Publication: January 19, 2016
Number of Pages: 222
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Why do some people find success despite hardships and others sink into a pit of despair?
Gathering Courage: A Life-Changing Journey through Adoption, Adversity, and a Reading Disability by T.A. “Terry” McMullin is the author’s incredible, award-winning memoir meant to inspire hope and encouragement to those who are going through tough times.
Terry dusted off the hurt from abandonment, rejection by her adoptive parents, dyslexia, shock of placement in a foster home, and a life-altering accident. Her faith and tenacity along with the internal desire to overcome is thought provoking as Terry worked her way through Texas A&M University. Terry’s life transformed from a broken-hearted child who could barely make out words in elementary school to a distinguished educator and writer who encourages young people to work hard and achieve their greatest aspirations.
Any reader who loves a true story with a Christian focus should definitely read this book. Learn about the special love for rescued animals and how they played a part in healing hurts and encouraging success.
PRAISE FOR GATHERING COURAGE
*North American Book Awards, 2015 Winner
“Gathering Courage is an American story filled with adversity, triumphs, heartbreaks, and great personal victory. . . I give this epic book five stars. I held my breath after every chapter and you will too! — Charmaine Carraway, writer for the HUFFINGTON POST
“Overall, this memoir is a testament to the endurance of the human spirit in the face of emotional and physical pain. The author consistently notes the need for love and encouragement when dealing with both people and animals as well as the necessity of prayer and thankfulness; it’s almost a rhythmic incantation in the text. Readers will feel as if they’re walking alongside McMullin as she tells her story and advises readers how they, too, can survive setbacks. — KIRKUS REVIEW
“Gathering Courage is a truly moving read that will touch many hearts and positively inspire them to touch the lives of others.” — Faridah Nassozi, READERS’ FAVORITE
Welcome and Thank You to T. A. McMullin for stopping by and answering a few questions for our readers!
How has a reading disability influenced your life?
It created struggles and challenges but it taught me that failure is just a word. Failure sinks a lot of people and dissipates dreams and accomplishments. Failure propelled me forward out of the sinking sand of dyslexia and adversity.
How has being from Texas influenced your writing?
I was born and raised in Texas, graduated from Texas A&M University, and belong to
The American Quarter Horse Association, The Mustang Heritage Foundation, and the All Border Collie Rescue which are all located in Texas.
Texas is just part of who I am, how I talk, how I dress, and where I’ll be.
In your book, you talk about your donkeys. Can you tell us about their personalities?
Jubilee and Hope Rose belonged to a friend of mine who, sad to say, developed cancer. My friend loved her two donkeys and wanted them to stay together after she could no longer care for them. So I promised my friend that I would care for them and that they would have a forever home with me.
Jubilee has an inquisitive personality and wants to know everything about everything. If I am in the barn feeding, he wants to be in the barn with me. Jubilee often will snatch an empty feed sack in his mouth, run out of the barn, and through the pasture with this bag flapping up and down. He definitely has a way of gathering the attention of Hope Rose and the horses. This attention sets Hope Rose off brazing and the horses standing at attention as they watch this miniature Sicilian donkey with huge, dark ears, on parade all by himself.
I read that you spent three and a half years writing your book before it was self-published. What kept you going?
“I proudly put my boots on everyday,” and I am a self-starter determined to accomplish the task at hand, and rejection is simply dust under my feet.
The years of writing were long and drawn out but the focus was steady. Early morning hours from four to six, lunch breaks at work, late evening hours after the chores were done, weekends, and days off centered around thoughts and writing.
Brewing inside was a life-changing journey to tell the world and now it is available for the world to read.
What was it like when you finally got your book in print?
Reality hit when I was a North American Book Awards winner in 2015 with a proof copy with lots of corrections to be made. The mistakes were corrected, and five star reviews began to come in. At that point, I knew deep within that Gathering Courage was a good book and the mission of making life better was on the launching pad.
Tell us about your hobbies.
As the reader will discover, I am connected to the land as a farmer and rancher. I provide a forever home for horses, donkeys, and a crew of rescued border collie dogs. This is more than a hobby to me; it is a calling and a passion.
I have a small leather workshop at home and I enjoy tooling and making items out of leather. I have had the opportunity to learn under the best of the master leather crafters and saddle makers. When time permits, I hone my skills and give away most of what I make.
How did your dog, Rocky, help students to read?
Rocky encouraged a group of first grade students who were struggling to read. In their classroom, these students would sit on the floor with a big pillow and read to Rocky. He would either lie in a student’s lap or on the pillow itself. He helped to build confidence in each one of them, as they would read to him without hesitation. Their skills may not have been perfect, but Rocky never corrected them or read for them. He simply listened and encouraged the slightest try. The classroom teachers and I enjoyed seeing the progress that was made every time Rocky met with his young friends.
Rocky was once abandoned and left in an animal shelter with no pedigree. He won the Best Practice Award at our local Regional Educational Service Center for his efforts in helping dyslexia students learn to read. The school administration recognized Rocky as a valuable tool in motivating students with dyslexia to overcome their fear of reading. Hanging on the wall in the administration office of my school district is an eleven by seventeen picture of a first grade student reading to Rocky.
Rocky proved that even a dog can make a difference.
Award winning Gathering Courage author, T. A. “Terry” McMullin, knows as well as anyone that hard times are a part of the journey of life.
Terry was born in an orphanage, then adopted, and made a foster child by her parents. Because Terry struggled with reading, comprehension, and spelling, she was placed in a foster home at the age of nine. As a child in the 1960s, hardly anyone recognized the learning issues related to dyslexia. The struggle to learn continued through high school.
From her deep faith in the Lord, Terry developed an internal desire to excel, no matter the obstacle, no matter the situation. Pushing adversity and a reading disability aside, Terry enrolled in college. While attending college and working full-time, Terry taught herself how to read and study. With pure grit and determination, Terry succeeded and earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Texas A&M University.
At crucial points in her life, Terry found people who showed her unconditional love and encouragement. Terry gained gratification, emotional, and spiritual support from working with horses and dogs. The encouragement from others made Terry’s life better so she vowed to be a champion for others who needed help.
Terry lives on a small ranch in Texas, a forever home, with her horses, donkeys, and rescued border collie dogs.
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SEVEN SIGNED COPIES!
October 3 – October 17, 2016
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