Friday, August 30, 2013

The Writer's View: Kathleen Varn


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kathleen will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. You can click on the tour banners to see the other stops on the tour--remember, the more you comment, the better your chances of winning!

The World inside and outside my writing Window
Before I conceived the idea of writing a real grown-up novel that was dubbed “Ameera Unveiled,” I worked in the back of a very small Charlestonian building off Meeting Street for eleven years. I had no windows and the bathrooms were less than four feet from my desk. Whether I liked it or not, I was the Sentinel of the Porcelain Throne! I dreamed of the day I could devote myself to doing what I wanted and not what I had to.

Between law office duties, I wrote metaphorical short stories of my late life emancipation from being part of an oppressive first marriage. There were old pen pals and elderly family members that lived vicariously through missives of small but colorful stories of my parenting experiences or travel adventures. Kat had gotten her groove back!

When I remarried to a wonderful soul mate, Steve Varn, I retired and moved my writing world to a denim grandmother’s chair on the third floor of our new home. I enjoy looking out the double doors at the beautiful Charleston marsh. I appreciate the movements of the sun, pop up thunderstorms and lack of knowledge of the toilet habits of my co-workers.

Gazing through the doors is an amazing distraction from pounding on the keyboard. It rewards me for committing and isolating myself to try and fulfill my dream to write. I’m visited by clouds, sun or seasonal sunsets. I had the joy of my pets shoving or hanging on my leg for reassurance (with a little bathroom need). My little world helped me find the cadence of my character’s story. My editor, Shari Stauch (WhereWritersWin), patiently read and shot back with her thumbs up… or thumbs down. BQB Publishing took the baton and ran Ameera Unveiled to the finish line.

If I don’t have the benefit of my comfort zone in my third story writing room… I am more than willing to put on my ear buds and listen to mind numbing Classic Rock. The Beatles, Monkees, Chicago, Boston, Foreigner or Rod Stewart will pull me back into my memories. It sends me young visuals of times that I was innocent and finding my voice as I crossed from childhood towards young adulthood.

Another balance to my world of writing? My sisters pull me away from my self-imposed writing isolation to quirky and zany adventures. I think as I travel I find remarkable to write about. If fonts are your friend… (or sometimes, an enemy)… you’ll find the spot, paper, computer, writing process to show someone very cool visual. I jokingly tell my friends: “Be careful what you tell me, it may appear in a book.”

Embrace the dance…. Walk the high wire, without a net!

About the Author:
Kat Varn’s love affair with words manifested when she turned four and taught herself to read. As she grew older, books and reading were an escape from responsibility. As the oldest daughter in a transient Navy family, words fed her imagination to embrace adventure and magical worlds. Kat was drawn to the strength of little girls in The Little Princess and The Secret Garden. Eventually, Kat dove into journaling between the pages of beautiful leather notebooks, recording her children’s infant landmarks. Journaling also helped her find solace in the grief of a toxic relationship. Throughout her journey to extract her family from an unhealthy relationship, she explored the idea of freedom through allegorical short stories. In the midst of angst and soul searching, she retained a sense of humor that gave her the resilience to pursue the search for her true self.

Kat is now very happily married to her soul mate. She resides in Charleston, South Carolina, where she worked for an adoption attorney for twenty-three years. With her two children settled in adulthood, she is exploring a beautiful world, from scuba diving in Fiji or photographing from Alaska’s frozen tundra.

I was just released by Boutique of Quality Books (BQB) Publishing on July 25, 2013. My book has been described as a creative path to genuine inner growth. Ameera Unveiled explores the restricted existence of an empty nester woman who wants to face a forbidden zone—dance. My character, Kat, discovers a newfound freedom through belly dancing. Eventually, while traveling a week with a glittery ensemble of zealous belly dancing women, Kat/Ameera weaves strong friendships as she faces her fears of stage freight and vulnerability. The bottom line was becoming part of a larger and lifelong evasive experience, the bonding of women.
Links: Katvarn.com @katvarn Facebook

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Writer's View: Joyce Proell


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be giving one randomly drawn commenter a $10 Amazon gift card. The other stops on the tour can be found by clicking the tour banner.

The Writer's View


Hello! Thanks for inviting me. I’m very happy to be here. Today’s blog topic is The Author’s View: Inside and Out. I’ve been asked to describe my writing space, including the view out my window. So here goes.

Most days, I can be found at my desk, in front of my computer, writing. I can scarcely think of a better place to be. As much as I love to travel, I find the voyage of my own imagination takes me to places which are endlessly fascinating and forever changing. To arrive at some destination in my stories, I spend hours in my office, daydreaming, researching and plotting. My office is the place where I craft the story and connect with friends and readers via social media.

I’ve included a few pictures. As you can see, the walls are painted the warm color of a clay pot and white trim and crown moldings offer a nice contrast. I don’t have a desk. Instead, I have a six foot long table. I prefer simplicity and order but the oak table top is often lost to stacks of notes, folders and papers.

From my vantage point at my makeshift desk, I look onto the foyer and beyond that, to a yellow dining room. To my right are two windows which overlook the prairie. On my left hangs a favorite painting of an Italian village done by the artist, Bela Petheo. Next to it is a door which leads into a bathroom. After innumerable cups of tea and coffee, I’m happy to be close to a bathroom.

At my back are three book cases filled with books, baskets and bunnies. When my daughter was much smaller, she collected cuddly bunnies. Alas, she grew up, moved to her own home and left them all behind. I didn’t have the heart to give them away. So by default, they are now my collection. To this day, I’m always on the lookout for a lovely porcelain bunny or one that is quite old and unique. If you know of any websites to check for interesting bunnies, please let me know.

I live in rural Minnesota, on a golf course which lies next to a lake. In the summer I watch the golf carts roll by much of the day. I see robins, barn swallows, goldfinch and the occasional hawk sit on the Adirondack chairs on my front porch. In the winder, the snow stretches into the pale gray horizon.

As much as I enjoy the view out my windows, I keep my eyes on the words rolling across my computer screen, feeling blessed I have the time to write.

Thanks for letting me share my office space with you.

About the Author:
Joyce Proell grew up in Minnesota and attended college and grad school in Chicago. After working in mental health, she retired at a young age to write full-time. Her first book, Eliza, was published in 2012. When she isn’t writing mysteries or historical romances, she loves to travel, walk, read, and do crossword puzzles. She and her husband make their home in rural Minnesota in her very own little house on the prairie.

Visit with her on her website or Facebook.

Tainted in the eyes of Victorian society by his wife’s suicide, Doyle Flanagan turns a deaf ear to the baseless gossip and harsh rebukes. Ignoring his shattered reputation, he goes about his business, making money and enemies, and doing good works whenever his conscience gets the best of him. Arrested for murder, he is forced to rely on a feisty school administrator to solve the puzzle. As he struggles to prove his innocence, he realizes gaining the trust and loyalty of Cady Delafield may be more important than his freedom.

On a quest to locate a missing student, school matron Cady Delafield enters a stranger’s house and discovers the woman murdered. Driven to see the murderer brought to justice, she is determined to prevent any further tragedy even if it means joining forces with the very man accused of the atrocity. Against the wishes of her powerful family, she risks her job and reputation to learn the truth. But will the truth, once revealed, drive her away from the man she has come to love?

Passion and murder collide in 1880’s Chicago as they race to keep one step ahead of the police who want Doyle to pay for his crime. As the attraction between Cady and Doyle sizzles, they battle suspicions, lies and lethal actions to uncover the murderer before he destroys them both.

Buy the book at Champagne Books.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

SUPER BOOK BLAST: The Eyes of Love by Angelina Rain


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One commenter will receive a $50 Amazon or BN.com gift card. The Rafflecopter to enter is at the bottom of this post and you can see the other stops on today's tour by clicking the tour banner.

After a tragic loss five years ago, Sally Overby becomes an Attorney in Atlanta. She convinces herself that all she'll ever need again is her young son, David, and her life as an attorney. Until one day, Colin Dean barges back into her life and promptly blows her safe world apart, driving her crazy as only a guy she'd had a "school girl crush" on can.

Sally is wary to love deeply. Only, with every loving look Colin gives her plus every sweet kiss, as the attraction between them sparks, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the one she should be with. And although Colin didn’t realize his life was going to change so quickly, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether. The one for Sally’s heart.

Will Colin be able to convince her that's it safe to love him... and that forever isn't really out of reach?

The Eyes of Love is a novella… so you can enjoy it in just one day!

Excerpt:

"Hi there. I'm Gracie..." the waitress said as she put down a napkin and some silverware.

"Gracie. It's me. Sally Overby," she said grinning.

Gracie stopped in her tracks and squinted her eyes. "Sally? I can't believe it! You're stunning, honey!" she said reaching down and hugging her. "What are you doing in town?"

"Reunion. And to see Momma, of course."

"I can't get over how beautiful you are!"

"Thanks."

"You were always a sweetheart of a person, but now your outside matches your inside."

"That's a nice way to look at it."

"So, what have you been up to?"

"Let's see... Became an attorney, got married, had a son, became a widow..."

"Oh, Sally, I'm so sorry! I remember that now. Your Momma told me a few years back. You're still single?"

"Yep. But I have a date to the reunion tomorrow night, so I guess I'm officially back on the dating circuit now," Sally said giggling.

"Date? Who with?"

"Colin Dean."

Gracie started fanning herself. "Oh, girl, you scored on that one, huh?"

"I did. He's a wonderful guy."

About the Author:
Angelina Rose has wanted to write ever since she could hold a pencil. The first daughter of immigrant parents, Angelina had her head buried in books, lost in a world of heroes, heroines and exotic places.

It was a shocking experience that jump-started Angelina's author career.

"I awoke in the ICU... I had been unconscious for several days," Angelina says.

In 2010, Angelina had a long stint in hospital following her involvement in a motor vehicle accident: the longest time off work (as a Registered Nurse), she'd ever had in her life!

It was then she took up pen and paper and started to write again, just as she had done when she was a child. She wrote four short fiction stories for young adults, entered them in several competitions, and managed to win three first prizes!

After happily dipping her toes into writing those short fiction stories for young adults, Angelina has now authored four books in a new "Mill Creek Crossing Romance" series... contemporary romance intended for adults.

The "Starting Over Series" is another contemporary romance series she wrote about a subject she knows well... nurses and their love life. At a recent reunion of her graduating class, she could not help but notice how the same girls would group together and laugh, chat, and even shed some tears over their lives since graduating. Many of the girls had divorced... so Angelina thought "what if a group of the nurses came up with a plan to meet in two years and have a new love story to share?" Then the first story in the series was born.

There is always a story running around in her head. A man with thick dark hair, gray-blue eyes, with an engaging smile and a quick wit... or a girl crying over a broken relationship. She finds herself talking to these characters during her day: when she's doing dishes, or bathing babies at the hospital. These characters crop up on days at the beach or on walks through the neighborhood. This is how the stories start to grow.

Angelina's mother was an author, so Angelina grew up with a love of words and stories. If she wasn't writing a short story about something that took her fancy, her head was buried in books... reading, reading, reading, as her brother constantly told her...

When she's not spending time with her goodlooking man, or quality time with her laptop, she's working at the hospital, hanging out with her family and friends, or walking her two dogs around the neighborhood. Angelina spends as much time as she can traveling, then coming home and including some of those adventures in her stories.

Angelina really loves to hear from her readers and she invites you to connect with her on Facebook as she interacts daily with her readers there!

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blurb Blitz: She's the One by Erin Nicholas



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Erin will be awarding an e-book copy of any backlist book to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop, and a Grand Prize of a $50 gift card to Amazon or B&N (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The Rafflecopter to enter is at the bottom of the post. Click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour--remember, the more you comment, the better your chances!

Counting on Love, Book 1

Sometimes you see love clearly. And sometimes it has to smack you in the face.

When a stranger walks up and punches him, Ryan Kaye assumes there’s a good reason. But he’s stunned to learn it’s over a one-night stand that never happened —with his friend’s sister, straight-laced Amanda Dixon. When Ryan confronts her about the lie, Amanda apologizes, but Ryan realizes he doesn’t want her to be sorry…he wants the night they supposedly spent together.

Amanda’s not looking to add anyone to her long list of commitments, so she was only trying to let a nice guy down easy by telling him a fling with Ryan broke her heart. So what if the fling only happened in her dreams? But when Ryan Kaye tempts her with the chance to go crazy and fulfill a few fantasies, she can’t resist. Thank goodness one night isn’t enough time to fall in love…

Warning: Contains a hot paramedic who knows how to get a girl to let her hair down, a girl who thinks she prefers her hair up, some naughty laser tag, some naughty role-playing and a lot of falling in love.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Okay, I’ll grant you all of that. So, you thought you’d flirt and dance a little, but Tim took it the wrong way.”

“Right.”

“And when you had to let him down you thought ‘what would Emma do?’”

“Something like that.”

“And you picked me because?”

“Because you’re…” She trailed off and her cheeks got even redder.

Ryan couldn’t help his grin. This he had to hear. “Because I’m…?”

“Something Emma would do.”

He couldn’t stop the laugh that escaped. No one could really argue with that, he supposed.

Amanda wet her bottom lip and looked up at him and said softly, “Sorry.”

He didn’t want an apology. He didn’t want her to be sorry for having the idea of the two of them burning up the sheets one night. He wanted her to keep that idea firmly in mind, in fact.

But Winters had mentioned something that Emma wouldn’t do—he’d said Amanda had fallen in love with Ryan.

“Did you tell him it was a one-night stand?”

He liked the idea that she would think he was so amazing that one night would cause her to be head over heels. Even if it was only in her imagination.

Amanda took a deep breath. “Yes, just one night.”

Ryan moved in closer, wanting her full attention on him. “Okay. Make it up to me.”

“How?”

“Give me that night.”

About the Author:
Erin Nicholas is the author of sexy contemporary romances. Her stories have been described as toe-curling, enchanting, steamy and fun. She loves to write about reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines and happily ever afters. She lives in the Midwest with her husband who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books, her kids who will never read the sex scenes in her books, and family and friends who say they’re shocked by the sex scenes in her books (yeah, right!).

You can find Erin on the web at:

www.ErinNicholas.com
www.ninenaughtynovelists.blogspot.com
Twitter (@ErinNicholas)

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Book Blast and Giveaway: A Kiss to Die For by Gail Barrett


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Gail will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift certificate and either a signed print copy (US ONLY) or an electronic copy of Fatal Exposure (Buried Secrets book one) to one randomly drawn commenter during this tour and her other Super Book Blast on August 21st. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Homeless Army veteran Sullivan Turner is nobody’s hero. His failure to save his fallen comrades proved that. So when a gutsy social worker gets caught in a drug gang’s crosshairs, he knows he’s the last man who can safeguard her and the pregnant teenagers she’s trying to protect.

Former debutant Haley Barnes learned the hard way how to survive. After witnessing a cold-blooded murder, the terrified teenaged runaway changed her identity and hid to save her life. But when the killer tracks her down and attacks the girls in the homeless shelter she now runs, Haley knows the time has come to stand and fight. But to bring down the powerful killer she must confront her high-society family’s darkest secrets -- and convince wounded warrior Sully Turner he’s the hero she believes.

Excerpt:

“I can get a cop to go with you. I know a few who moonlight as bodyguards.”

Sully shot him a look of disbelief. “You can’t be serious. She needs to hide, not appear in public, risking her life.”

But Haley broke in. “It doesn’t matter. I can’t use the police. The killer could recognize a cop. I need someone less obvious. Someone I can pass off as my date.” Her gaze returned to his.

Realization sank in. He took a quick step back. “Forget it.”

“Why not? You obviously know how to shoot. And you’re in this as much as I am. That gang’s after you now, too.”

He didn’t care about himself. He should have died months ago. But Haley needed protection -- protection he couldn’t provide.

“I can’t.” He had a bum leg. He suffered from chronic flashbacks. Hell, he was so messed up he could barely function without a drink, let alone safeguard her. And his intuition was off. The last time he’d relied on his instincts, he’d screwed up -- and his men had paid the price.

“He’s right,” the cop told her. “No offense to Sully, but you need a pro, someone who can keep his eye out for trouble in a place like that.”

Someone who could stay sober, he meant.

Sully worked his jaw, suspecting his bloodshot eyes had given him away -- or the way he’d guzzled the beer Parker had offered him when they’d first arrived. But even if it humiliated him to admit it, Parker was right. Haley didn’t need a broken man like him.

About the Author:
Gail Barrett is the award-winning author of thirteen romantic suspense novels. A former RITA® and Daphne finalist, Gail has received the Book Buyer’s Best Award, the Holt Medallion, the Booksellers Best, The National Readers’ Choice Award, and numerous other awards. She lives with her husband in Western Maryland. For more information, visit her website: www.GailBarrett.com. Buy the book at Amazon or BN.

Monday, August 26, 2013

SPOTLIGHT ON: A Life Less Ordinary by Victoria Bernadine


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Victoria will be awarding a $25 (grand prize) gift card with two gift cards for $15 each; the cards would for either Amazon or Smashwords (winner’s choice). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

You can read my review of this book here:
For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. Now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house, cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.

After placing an ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-zine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time.

Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.


Now, enjoy an excerpt:

…Manny wondered if Craig truly understood what he’d gotten himself in for by promoting Steph rather than Manny.

Cleavage and legs.

She mentally rolled her eyes at Harvey’s dry, cynical tones.

Maybe–but that’s not really fair to him, is it? He’s not a bad guy.

But he is just a guy.

She does bring a new perspective–a new way of thinking about things. She’s not a bad choice–and I can’t argue with Craig’s idea that shaking things up could make things better.

And where does that leave you?

No worse off than I was before.

And no better.

If you’re not going to be helpful...

Harvey glanced down at his suddenly ruffled shirt opened to the middle of his muscled chest and skin-tight breeches. He glanced back at her with a ruefully amused smile.

Watched the Ice Pirates again, did you?

Oh, shut up–it’s a classic no matter what anybody else thinks!

I’m just sayin’–if I was real and regularly wore pants this tight, I’m not sure I’d be of any use to you. If you know what I mean.

Manny groaned and shook her head, and Harvey blinked out of existence. She wondered when she’d managed to lose control of a figment of her imagination–one she’d eventually felt compelled to name after an invisible rabbit.

She groaned again, rolled over and pulled the covers over her head. It was going to be another long day tomorrow.

Complete with dancing.


About the Author:Victoria Bernadine (a pseudonym) is, as the saying goes, a “woman of a certain age”. After twenty-something years of writer’s block, she began writing again in 2008. She began with fanfiction about a (now-cancelled) TV show called Jericho and particularly about the characters of Heather Lisinski and Edward Beck. From there, she expanded into writing original fic and she hasn’t stopped since.

Victoria enjoys reading all genres and particularly loves writing romantic comedy and post-apocalyptic science fiction. What those two have in common is anybody’s guess.

She lives in Edmonton with her two cats (The Grunt and The Runt). A Life Less Ordinary is the first novel she felt was good enough to be released into the wild.

Victoria can be contacted through Love of Words Publishing Inc. (loveofwords@shaw.ca) or through her brand new blog at http://victoriabernadine.wordpress.com/.

A Life Less Ordinary is available for sale on Amazon in both Kindle and hard copy formats at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AMJBOSQ.

The Writer's View: Tracy Sweeney


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tracy will be awarding a key chain of the cover design to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour (US ONLY). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

*****


Ernest Hemingway said there is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. And this is true. The words pour from our hearts, and we obsess and toil over every word and how it’s delivered. However, where you put that typewriter before you begin to hemorrhage is very important. Our writing space is our sanctuary…even when we’re bleeding onto the page.

Some writers can concentrate anywhere. When the words come, sometimes you just have to grab them. I’m a little fussy. I can’t deal with noise and chatter around me. I don’t listen to music or like the television on in the background. I prefer a writing bubble.

While I’ve written in pretty locations—my parents' place by a quiet lake in Maine, my best friend’s house on the beach in Southern California—my favorite spot is in my office at home, surrounded by the things that inspire me.

On the bulletin board facing me as I type (or bleed) is the race number and medal from my first triathlon last year. Finishing (and not drowning) was such a huge accomplishment for me. Just seeing the number inspires me to dream bigger. Of course, there’s a photo of the pretty LIVING BACKWARDS book cover that my friend, Liz Jaeger, designed. I have a card from my sister, who is the best little chick ever. I had to include a NE Patriots pin because when I do bleed, it’s red and blue. But most importantly, I have pictures of my two crazy boys when they were both very little and now when they’re much bigger. My youngest had to write down what he was thankful for last Thanksgiving and told his teacher that he was thankful for me. It doesn’t get better than that.

To my left is my bookshelf. I’m primarily a Kindle reader now, but I still have a few of my favorite books on the shelves. I’m not lying when I say I love pink. On top of the book case, I have my favorite sparkly flasks and pink wine glasses. Relax. They’re not full. I save the celebration for when I reach my word count. It IS my sanctuary after all.

About the Author:
Tracy Sweeney graduated with a degree in Management and Finance but prefers writing ridiculous things to crunching ridiculous numbers. She lives north of Boston, Massachusetts with her two young boys. Her short stories have appeared in Literary Juice, Solecisms and Slice of Life Magazines. Her debut novel, LIVING BACKWARDS, was published in January 2013. She is currently working on her second novel which will be equally as ridiculous.

Follow her just about everywhere:

Website
Facebook Page
Twitter
Goodreads
Tumblr

Buy Living Backwards at Amazon, Virtual Book Worm, or Barnes and Noble.

Friday, August 23, 2013

SPOTLIGHT and Giveaway: Holly Bush and Cross the Ocean

VBT Cross the Ocean Banner copy
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One random commenter will receive a $50 Amazon or BN.com gift card--see the details (and extra ways to enter) in the Rafflecopter below.
MEDIA KIT Cross the Ocean Large1871 . . . Worlds collide when American Suffragette, Gertrude Finch, and titled Brit Blake Sanders meet in an explosive encounter that may forever bind them together. Gertrude Finch escorts a young relative to London and encounters the stuffy Duke of Wexford at his worst. Cross the Ocean is the story of an undesired, yet undeniable attraction that takes Blake and Gertrude across an ocean and into each other’s arms.



Read an Excerpt

Blake went to the stables, had his horse saddled, and rode to Anthony’s estate. Maybe Elizabeth will ask me to stay for dinner, he thought. Then she’ll go to bed, and Anthony and I can drink a bottle of brandy and get stewed. He could stay there if he couldn’t ride home. A room was kept ready for him with a fresh change of clothes. Blake smiled and felt better than he had in days.

As the butler escorted Blake down the hall of Anthony’s home to the drawing room, he heard a loud but feminine . . . snort and Elizabeth’s trill laughter in reply. Damn. He remembered now. A cousin of Elizabeth’s from America, sent as an escort to another cousin, was staying with them. Anthony had described and dreaded the arrival of Cousin Gertrude with horror. A spinster remotely connected to Elizabeth’s father’s side, she was big, bold and here for a month. Her arrival had curtailed Anthony’s visits.

Blake stopped and hissed at the butler. “Think I’ve changed my mind, Jenkins. I don’t want to disturb their company.”

“Quite the coward are we, Your Grace? Leave your life-long friend alone with this Amazon from America.” Jenkins stared as he spoke. “In any case they saw you ride up the drive.”

Jenkins spoke his mind to all including Anthony and Elizabeth. There’d be no expecting servile behavior for him. “I’m sure you did not miss the opportunity to point out my arrival,” Blake said.

“Of course not, Your Grace.” The butler opened the drawing room doors with a flourish. “The Duke of Wexford.”

“Blake,” Anthony said and jumped to pump Blake’s hand. “I am so very happy you are here.”

Blake watched the woman sitting beside Elizabeth stand, and walk across the room to him. She was every inch as tall as he, and Anthony made the introductions. She held out her hand. Blake grasped it and bent to place a kiss there and was surprised when she began to shake it, hitting him squarely in the nose. Blake covered his face with his hand.

“Oh, dear,” Miss Gertrude Finch exclaimed. She threw a look at her cousin Elizabeth.

MEDIA KIT Author photoAbout the Author:Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour, bringing guests from twenty-two states, booked two years out. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.

Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.

Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, has been an active member of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.

Find the author at: Twitter: @hollybushbooks
www.HollyBushBooks.com
Facebook

 Buy the book at Amazon and Itunes.
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Monday, August 19, 2013

THE WRITER'S VIEW: KRISTINE MASON


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kristine will be awarding $5 Amazon gift cards to six randomly drawn commenters during the tour as well as print books to ten other randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Five will be of Pick Me, a contemporary romance; and a gnome will come with the five copies of Shadow of Danger, book one of the suspense series. [US ONLY on the books]. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

*****


I have four kids (11, 10, 7 and 2) so I tend to write wherever and whenever I can. Usually I work when the two-year-old is napping, and then later when all the kids are in bed. While I’d love some sort of quiet spot to work, with a houseful of kids (and most times their friends) it’s next to impossible. I like to write in either the dining room (pictured) or the kitchen. Writing in my bedroom would have me too tempted to catch up on well-needed sleep and my office needs to be bulldozed. It’s become one of those catchall rooms. If I sat in there all I’d want to do is clean, which would mean less writing. But I’m good with working in the main area of the house. Sure, there are some distractions, but at least I know what everyone is up to and I feel like I’m not completely shutting them out.

As for my view outside my window, I love all my flowers and garden creatures. On nice days I’ll take my laptop outside and work. Lately that’s been distracting. We have a couple of young hawks cruising the neighborhood. I never knew these birds could be so incredibly loud. They sound like a roomful of crying babies. But I digress. Whether I’m in the dining room or kitchen, my view outside is the same. When I’m writing and have one of those “moments” where I’m searching for the right emotion, word, way to transition a scene, etc. I’ll look out the window. What I see outside doesn’t necessarily help with the answers I might be looking for, but it beats staring at a computer screen waiting for them to miraculously appear!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book will never see the light of day, something good had come from writing it. I realized my passion, and had found a career that I love.

When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.

FACEBOOK TWITTER WEBSITE

What happens when negligent plastic surgeons receive a taste of their own medicine…?

Chicago investigative reporter, Eden Risk, receives an unmarked envelope containing a postcard ordering her to watch the enclosed DVD…or someone else dies. No Police. After Eden watches the DVD, a gruesome, horrifying surgery, she turns to the private criminal investigation agency, CORE, for help. Only she hadn’t expected that help to come with a catch. Her former lover, Hudson Patterson, has been assigned to the case.

Hudson would rather have another CORE agent handle the investigation. Two years ago, he’d screwed things up with Eden…bad. And as more DVDs arrive, Eden and Hudson find themselves not only knee-deep in a twisted investigation, but forced to deal with their past, and the love they’d tried to deny.
Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or iTunes.

Spotlight on The King of Threadneedle Street by Moriah Densley


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Moriah will be awarding a genuine Victorian-style pearl jewelry set inspired by the book, including necklace, bracelet, and earrings to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour-- check out the Rafflecopter to enter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

He owns three shipping companies, a diamond mine, and his own castle.
He knows Portuguese, Hindu, Mandarin and Morse code.
His assets net thirteen million.
Lord Preston wants the one thing money can’t buy…


Andrew Tilmore, Lord Preston, the financial prodigy dubbed “The King of Threadneedle Street” wants the one prize out of reach: his childhood sweetheart. The papers can waste a sea of ink scandalizing over his lavender-eyed Alysia; so what if she is the daughter of his father’s mistress?

Alysia Villier learned the craft of the courtesan from her infamous mother―by osmosis apparently. A gifted artist who almost won the Prix de Rome, Alysia is not interested in following in her mother’s footsteps, since Andrew ruined her for any other man. But with her legal guardian—Andrew’s father―in control of her inheritance, she has little choice in the matter.

Keeping Alysia out of trouble and away from eager suitors becomes a cross-continental quest for Andrew. Not his old-fashioned family, the disapproval of the ton, nor even Alysia’s dedication to duty and propriety will stop him. Playing newspapers and investors like pawns, tumbling world markets, inciting riots… has he gone too far?

Read an excerpt:

Alysia Villier always knew she could never have Andrew Tilmore, her childhood sweetheart. A courtesan’s daughter is no match for a financial genius and peer of the realm. Alysia sees Romeo and Juliet’s story as a cautionary tale. Besides, who is truly in love as an adolescent? She expects to oversee the wedding preparations for Andrew’s sister, perhaps wave at Andrew from across the room, then never see him again.

A long shadow blocked the sun, accompanied by broad footsteps trampling the grass.

“What have we here, a unicorn caught sunbathing? Prime hunting,” came an almost familiar voice. A sonorous chocolatey bass, somehow deeper and throatier than when she had last heard it, and his Lancashire accent replaced by a genteel inflection she found jarring.

“Not at all,” she replied without opening her eyes, rattled by the jolt in her pulse. “Such plodding footsteps could only belong to a troll. Easily outrun by a unicorn. But trolls are really quite harmless, if you keep them fed.”

“On unicorn meat?”

“No. Pomeranians.” An old joke stemming from their mutual love of mastiffs and disdain for yapping small dogs.

The sound of his laughter was perfectly familiar. She distrusted the easy, boyish, tone tempting her to believe all would be well now that he was here. She winked open one eye, unsurprised to find their years of separation had rendered him not at all like a troll. Over six feet of Gallic demi-god sharing the same body with the most bookish man she ever met. Andrew Tilmore, Lord Preston, heir to the illustrious Marquess of Courtenay. Drew, to her, or when he deserved it, Troll.

“Lisa,” he said in a tone he should reserve for a hot bath or rare cognac, and sat beside her on the grass. “As lazy as ever, I see.” Adolescent teasing which meant, So you managed to sneak away. Bravo.

“You were not expected until Friday next, Drew. Unfortunate timing you will no doubt regret.”

“Why? Is something amiss?”

“Only the apocalypse.”

Andrew snorted, waiting for her to explain. She would not. Lady Courtenay trying to run her household for the first time — while pretending to arrange a ducal wedding, which Alysia was truthfully in charge of — would not mix well with the problem Andrew’s presence would bring. Specifically, his being in the vicinity with Alysia.

She pushed herself up on her elbows, mindful of the buttons she had loosed on her bodice. He wasn’t looking, but fastening them would draw his attention. She sat up and wrapped her arms around her bent knees.

Andrew leaned in to catch her gaze, and she suppressed a shock. Of anxiety or lust-related, she couldn’t say, but in the seconds it took to trade glances, it became apparent that what his parents had tried to douse between them had not yet faded. He cradled her chin between his thumb and forefinger then stroked the edge of her jaw, which in times past heralded a kiss.

Two years ago, he would have mock-whispered, See, I am making eyes at you, Lisa. Wet your lips, I will lean closer, and as soon as you close your eyes, the violins will start. When you see firecrackers, say so. Then he would overly pucker his lips, smacking them together like a fish while she dodged, squealing. But sometimes his manner was quite serious, and those memories were best left buried in the back of her mind.

He was serious now. She knew that expression he wore, as plainly as though she heard his thoughts. Still it made her stomach drop and her lips tingle with longing. Alysia pulled away, not trusting herself to look him in the eye.

If she had any hope of surviving two weeks under the same roof with Andrew, she had best set the precedent now for their behavior, and this must be her last private conversation with him. Their last kiss had been more than two years before. After his sister’s wedding, she would never see him again.

About the Author:
Moriah Densley sees nothing odd at all about keeping both a violin case and a range bag stuffed with pistols in the back seat of her car. They hold up the stack of books in the middle, of course. She enjoys writing about Victorians, assassins, and geeks. Her muses are summoned by the smell of chocolate, usually at odd hours of the night. By day her alter ego is your friendly neighborhood music teacher. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and four children. Published in historical and paranormal romance, Moriah has a Master’s degree in music, is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist, 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award “Best First Book” finalist, and 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award finalist in historical romance. She loves hearing from readers!

Website + blog: http://moriahdensley.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MoriahDensley
Twitter: http://twitter.com/moriahdensley
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/moriahdensley/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17826397-the-king-of-threadneedle-street

Buy the book at Astraea Press, Amazon, BN.com, or Smashwords
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Friday, August 16, 2013

Spotlight and Giveaway: THE KING OF THREADNEEDLE STREET by Moriah Densley


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Moriah will be awarding a genuine Victorian-style pearl jewelry set inspired by the book, including necklace, bracelet, and earrings to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. You can see the other stops on the tour by clicking the tour banner--remember, the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

He owns three shipping companies, a diamond mine, and his own castle.
He knows Portuguese, Hindu, Mandarin and Morse code.
His assets net thirteen million.
Lord Preston wants the one thing money can’t buy…


Andrew Tilmore, Lord Preston, the financial prodigy dubbed “The King of Threadneedle Street” wants the one prize out of reach: his childhood sweetheart. The papers can waste a sea of ink scandalizing over his lavender-eyed Alysia; so what if she is the daughter of his father’s mistress?

Alysia Villier learned the craft of the courtesan from her infamous mother―by osmosis apparently. A gifted artist who almost won the Prix de Rome, Alysia is not interested in following in her mother’s footsteps, since Andrew ruined her for any other man. But with her legal guardian—Andrew’s father―in control of her inheritance, she has little choice in the matter.

Keeping Alysia out of trouble and away from eager suitors becomes a cross-continental quest for Andrew. Not his old-fashioned family, the disapproval of the ton, nor even Alysia’s dedication to duty and propriety will stop him. Playing newspapers and investors like pawns, tumbling world markets, inciting riots… has he gone too far?

Excerpt:

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Jewelry making is a hobby I’ve enjoyed for years. When writing the scene in The King of Threadneedle Street where Andrew gives Alysia a rare lavender pearl jewelry set, I went wild with my imagination. I created a Victorian-style pearl, onyx, and crystal jewelry set as a prize for my blog tour giveaway, here’s where the inspiration came from.

Before Alysia dressed for dinner, Marsden delivered a small white case and left without a word. She unfolded the note to see Andrew’s capricious scrawl. He wrote, Please wear these for me tonight. She unwrapped the chocolate truffles and nibbled on one as she opened the lid of the box.

She gasped — an elaborate jewelry set glowed in the lamplight. Breathtaking pearls, a smoky lavender color and set in designs she had never seen the like of. The necklace was not merely a strand, but an arrangement that resembled an elaborate tiara, or half of a snowflake. Woven into delicate patterns with graduated-sized pearls, it looked like some priceless artifact discovered in an ancient tomb.

Alysia dropped her dressing robe to hold the necklace against her collar. She fastened the clasp and tried on the matching earrings and bracelet. Exquisite. And that he had picked the color to complement her eyes? Romantic. She looked in the mirror to see the luster of the pearls reflecting the lavender facets of her eyes, making them paradoxically smoky and bright. He would like that, she thought.

She put away the red taffeta dress laid out on her bed and dug in the back of the wardrobe for the sheer lavender and silver gossamer gown with the dropped sleeves and low-cut back. She checked the ensemble in the mirror and beamed at her reflection; Andrew knew what he was doing.

About the Author:

Moriah Densley sees nothing odd at all about keeping both a violin case and a range bag stuffed with pistols in the back seat of her car. They hold up the stack of books in the middle, of course. She enjoys writing about Victorians, assassins, and geeks. Her muses are summoned by the smell of chocolate, usually at odd hours of the night. By day her alter ego is your friendly neighborhood music teacher. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and four children. Published in historical and paranormal romance, Moriah has a Master’s degree in music, is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist, 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award “Best First Book” finalist, and 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award finalist in historical romance. She loves hearing from readers!

Website + blog: http://moriahdensley.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MoriahDensley
Twitter: http://twitter.com/moriahdensley
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/moriahdensley/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17826397-the-king-of-threadneedle-street

Available now in e-book: 
Astraea Press                             Amazon                           BN                                        Smashwords

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

From the Ashes by Daisy Harris

8_13 VBT_FromTheAshes_Banner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Daisy will be awarding a $20 gift card to Starbucks to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the rest of the stops on the tour.

8_13 downloadWhen an accident burns down Jesse’s apartment, he’s left broke and homeless, with a giant dog and a college schedule he can’t afford to maintain. And no family who’s willing to take him in.

Lucky for him, a sexy fireman offers him a place to stay. The drawback? The fireman’s big Latino family lives next door, and they don’t know their son is gay.

Tomas’s parents made their way in America with hard work and by accepting help when it was offered, so he won’t let Jesse drop out of school just so he can afford a place to live. Besides, Jesse’s the perfect roommate—funny, sweet and breathtakingly cute. He climbs into Tomas’s bed and tugs at his heart. Until Jesse starts pushing for more.

Their passion enflames their bodies but threatens to crush Tomas’s family. Tomas is willing to fight for Jesse, but after losing everything, Jesse isn’t sure he can bear to risk his one remaining possession—his heart.

Warning: Contains an angry older brother, judgmental best friends, a slobbering bull mastiff, and enough red-hot gay loving to make a porn star blush.


Excerpt:

“You take the bed.” Tomas stroked the top of Jesse’s foot. The connection of skin made him shiver. “I got it last night.” He wanted to kiss Jesse’s cheek. So he did. Then he got up and did the dishes.

Jesse gave him a small but cheeky wink. “You’re only giving me the bed because the sheets are gross.”

Tomas laughed. He’d forgotten about that. “I’ll put some new ones on for you, fancy boy.”

“I can do it.” Jesse went to the closet for fresh sheets, but folded out the loveseat to make that bed first. The scene felt warm and homey, the way Tomas felt with Jesse every night.

“Jess—” Tomas started.

Jesse cut him off. “Y’know...” He looked up, holding a pillow half-stuffed into a pillowcase. His hazel eyes were honest and open. “You don’t have to be perfect.”

Tomas’s chest hurt, as if Jesse had shot him straight through. His heart was bleeding, but that was okay, because it bled for the skinny, pretty boy standing in the middle of his living room. “Jess—”

“You don’t have to be perfect.” Jesse shook his head. He swallowed hard, but then smiled. “I still like you.”

“Fuck, Jess.” Tomas blinked back tears. He couldn’t tell if he was happy or sad, only that Jesse had every part of him. “I like you so much.”

Jesse nodded. He smiled down at what he was doing and finished stuffing the pillowcase. “I know.”

8_13 AuthorpicAbout the Author:Birkenstock-wearing glamour girl and mother of two by immaculate conception, Daisy Harris still isn't sure if she writes erotica. Her romances start out innocently enough. However, her characters behave like complete sluts. Much to Miss Harris's dismay the sex tends to get completely out of hand.

She writes about fantastical creatures and about young men getting their freak on, and she's never missed an episode of The Walking Dead.

Want to learn more about new releases, general news and her latest inappropriate boy band crush? Sign up for her newsletter here.

Find the author on Twitter and Facebook. Buy the book at Amazon, Samhain, and BN.com.

Friday, August 09, 2013

EXCERPT and Giveaway: The Last Keeper's Daughter by Rebecca Trogner


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rebecca will be awarding a $50 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Born into old money, Lily Ayres lives at Waverly, her family’s estate situated at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Paris, Virginia. She is a strange, small, almost mute, young woman who has no idea that her father has given her to the Vampire King Krieger. Walter Ayres is the King’s Keeper and part of a secret society of historians who unearth, preserve, and attempt to understand relics of long forgotten civilizations.

Lily has never felt comfortable in the human world, but after she suspiciously falls down a flight of stone steps, and is healed and claimed by Krieger, she realizes there is another world. In this Other Realm she feels a sense of belonging, and begins to untwine the mysterious event which left her mentally and psychologically damaged. When Walter disappears in England, Lily works with human and supernatural beings to uncover his whereabouts. With each new discovery, she is pulled deeper into the vortex of magic, intrigue, and dark desires that permeates the supernatural world. The revelations revealed unfold a story of deception and betrayal that threaten to tear the thin veil between the supernatural and human world asunder.

Read an excerpt:

“You said, ‘my time’. You mean when you were human? How old are you?”

“I was born in the reign of Augustus Caesar.”

Her mind furiously worked through her history class timeline. “Before Christ?”

“Roughly two thousand years ago.”

There had to be a million questions she should ask, important things, and yet none of them came to mind.

“I thought people were smaller, less healthy back then, but you’re huge.”

He laughed, and she liked the sound of it. “I came from a tribe of warriors. We were considered giants in our time. The lands have changed hands many times since then but it was once called Germania under the Roman Empire.”

“Barbarians,” the word slipped out. She hadn’t meant to say it.

Krieger gave a wolf’s grin. “We were called that, and many other things. After my human death, I became a centurion.”

“But weren’t you fighting the Romans?”

He nodded. “I was to be sold for the gladiatorial games. A Roman took an interest in me, and the rest is history.”

“Did you want to become a vampire?”

She could see the question had caught him off guard.

“I wanted to live, and so I have.”

“And Liam, is he a werewolf?”

“He was born a werewolf. He became a Vantor.”

“I don’t understand.”

“When you feel more comfortable with Liam, you should ask him about the details. I will say that he and his pack are werewolves with vampire blood running through their veins. They are one of the most dangerous of the Others.”

About the Author:
Rebecca Trogner lives in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia, and frequently crosses the Blue Ridge Mountains that were the inspiration for Krieger’s home. She always dreamed of being a writer, but got sidetracked by the day-to-day adventures of life. With the encouragement of her family, she has finished her first novel and is currently writing the next book in The Last Keeper’s Daughter series. Rebecca lives with her husband and stepson, and a rescue dog named Giblet. To find out more about the author visit www.rebeccatrogner.com.

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Books A Million. Connect with the author on Goodreads, Twitter: @RTrogner, www.Rebeccatrogner.com, and http://blog.rebeccatrogner.com.

SUPER BOOK BLAST: HOW TO GET GOOD REVIEWS ON AMAZON by


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One lucky commenter will win a $100 Amazon gift card--see the Rafflecopter at the end of this post). Click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

How To Get Good Reviews On Amazon is a simple, no-nonsense guide that teaches exactly what it says it does. Based on both psychological science and thousands of hours of conversation with some of Amazon’s top reviewers, it takes you behind the scenes into the reviewing subculture that has grown up on Amazon’s website. It gives you a deep, insider’s knowledge of how the top reviewers think and operate. It not only shows you what to do: it takes you inside the reviewers’ heads so that you can see for yourself both how these techniques work and why they’re so effective.

Lessons include:

• A simple, four-part formula for writing emails that get your work reviewed.
• Three things never to say when communicating with reviewers!
• How to pick reviewers who are more likely to give you a good review.
• How to reduce the chance that a reviewer you contact will post a bad review – even if it turns out they don’t like your work!
• How people get caught out when receiving reviews from friends and family.

This book teaches an honest, straightforward approach that works. It works because it’s not based gimmicks or tricks but on a real understanding of how Amazon reviewers operate: most of all on what they expect from authors and other sellers. If you want to know how to talk to Amazon reviewers in a way that will make them respect you as a professional and see you as the kind of seller they actually want to help, this is the book for you.

Read an Excerpt:

Sellers do quite often turn up on forums on Amazon, specifically asking for reviews. Unfortunately, a while ago Amazon changed its policies to expressly forbid this sort of behavior in all forums but one: the Meet Our Authors forum. The trouble with this is that the Meet Our Authors forum is very largely just a bunch of authors spamming each other. Very few seem to have any real interest in what the others are saying.

Despite Amazon’s rule against using its forums for self promotion, people still do it. And in practice the reception that authors and other sellers get when they post on any of the multitude of forums does vary. To some degree it depends on how the author or seller handles themselves.

The other thing you should always be extremely careful about is paying close attention to the codes of behavior considered appropriate among the forum regulars. Different forums have different levels of tolerance for authors or other sellers seeking reviews, or otherwise promoting themselves. For example, the Romance forum has a reputation as a place you should absolutely never leave this kind of post – unless you actually want to be ripped to shreds. Indeed, the Romance forum has developed a reputation as an extremely hostile place for authors in general. So it is important to do your homework on the specific forum you’re considering using.

About the Author:
Theo Rogers combines years of coalface experience on Amazon's website with formal training and qualifications in a range of business and social science disciplines. He's spent literally thousands of hours talking with Amazon reviewers, getting inside their heads, and learning what makes them tick. He's spent almost as many hours observing the carnage that so often takes place on Amazon's forums. In the process he's developed a deep insider's knowledge of the reviewing subculture that's grown up on Amazon's website.

He's also seen a lot of authors and other would-be sellers make the same mistakes in their dealings with that subculture - over and over again.

As a result of his experiences, Theo has come to believe that yes, there is a simple formula that works: a way of dealing with reviewers that's honest, powerful, and extremely effective at winning reviewers over, getting them on your side, and making them actually want to help you.

https://www.facebook.com/TheTheoRogers
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