My Exclusive Interview with Debut Author – Holly Michael

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Welcome to my interview and Introduction of author Holly Michael to the reading public. I’ve known Holly for over two years now and she holds a special place in my heart. We met on IWW (Internet Writers Workshop) where we critted each others work and offered suggestions on making them better. Despite our polar opposite views of subjects and themes ( her books hail from the good side of the universe, mine from its darkest depths) we both courageously helped each other improve as writers and grow as friends. Holly’s debut novel – Crooked Lines – had a very long birth process but it’s one I’ve been waiting a year to see published. Here’s her Author Bio from Amazon ~~~~~

Crooked Lines (2012 ABNA Quarter-finalist) is Holly Michael’s debut novel. She’s been published in various magazines, newspapers, and in Guideposts books. She and her husband, Bishop Leo Michael, regularly travel from their home in Missouri to India. She has a lovely daughter, Betsy, and two sons. Holly enjoys watching football when her sons are playing–Jake (NFL) and Nick (Rajin’ Cajuns).

She blogs @ http://www.writingstraight.com and http://www.indiascrown.com

Coming Soon: Goodness of America: Ten Years After Tsunami. A sample of America’s goodness when tragedy struck in other parts of the world. Reminiscing on the impact of help on the lives of the orphans, then and now, Holly Michael revisits South India.
I’ll Be Seeing You: (ACFW GENESIS 2014 Semi-finalist) In Wyoming’s Wind River Valley, Charlie Willow faces a future more unsettling than the one he imagined upon realizing he was dead. The plan, written into his will, ought to fix his children, but an angel asks for a little more help.

Devotional: Holly Michael and her son, Jake Byrne, an NFL player with type one diabetes, are writing a devotional contracted with Harvest House Publishers.

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Now, lets get to the interview and, after that, please check out her novel and her personal links. If you don’t know her, friend her. She’s a wonderful person to know.

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Hi Holly! Pull up a chair, relax, and tell us about your first novel and what gave you the idea to write it?

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Hello, John. It’s great to be here. Well, Crooked Lines was inspired by accounts of my husband and his priest friends who came of age in a religious order in India in the mid-1980s. As young seminarians, they went through some amazing experiences—serving in the slums of India, meeting Mother Theresa, rescuing youth out of radical communist situations, encountering lepers, and working in orphanages. Some of their stories were also hilarious and had me ROFL-ing! Like when they organized a Community Day in the religious order, setting up a bar and serving drinks dressed as nuns. The story gets even more scandalous, but you have to read the book to find out more. Of course, I fictionalized the stories (some less than others), but I wanted to give a glimpse of how life was in this time and place in India. Sagai is the main character from India. And knowing that while not all people have the same cultural or similar experiences, we are all people with similar hearts, emotions, and feelings. So, I used a character—Rebecca—from the United States who is dealing guilt and grief over the tragic death of her sister. Rebecca is running from God. Sagai is running to God, yet somehow they come of age and grow into adults traveling along similar pathways, while being united through a mutual mentor, Father Michael.

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What’s the best and worst thing about being a Christian author?

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The best is probably being in close contact with The Almighty Boss while writing and feeling comforted knowing that He loves us and His guiding help is there. The worst: God isn’t very popular in the world today, so while there is a Christian market, there is also a big population of readers who won’t read your stuff. I prefer to cross the lines between the secular market and the Christian market so you’re not just “preaching to the choir,” with the messages in my books.

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Your husband is now an Anglican Bishop. How does he help you during the writing process?

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He’s just an overall helpful, kind, and supportive husband who would do anything for me. He’s read every chapter of Crooked Lines and made sure it accurately reflects the life of a young seminarian, priest, living in a religious order in India. While I’ve visited India, I’ve not lived there during that era and experienced what he has, so there would be no Crooked Lines without him.

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What’s been the toughest thing you’ve faced in dealing with writing and/or publishing a novel?

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Learning all the ropes of publishing and marketing. The writing process is time-consuming, but then you have to write the synopsis, blurb, then consider where you’re going next. Traditionally published or Indie? I tried the traditional route for years after Crooked Lines was an ABNA Quarterfinalist. Got an agent, got some exciting rejection letters from big publishing houses, got close, but never could get a sale. Did rewrites, got a new agent, (this time a Christian agent), then did that round of Christian publishers only to find out that the novel doesn’t really fit into any particular publishing market. Finally got tired of waiting for a publisher and decided to self-publish.

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If given the money to do so, what country/city would you love to visit and spend to your heart’s content…and why?

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I’m really blessed that my husband loves to travel and ends up traveling a lot as a bishop. Those seminary friends of his live all over the world, so we have friends everywhere who invite us to visit. We’ve gone to India (of course), to England, Scotland, and all around the United States. Most of the time the domestic travel is church related, but we still enjoy going places and meeting people. If I could go anywhere, just for fun, I’d love to go back to the Isle of Iona, in Scotland. Such a peaceful, lovely place.

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Unfortunately, there’s an adult entertainer out there using your name. What was your reaction when you first learned this fact?

Well…hmmm….yeah…there’s that. I do share my name with a porn star. But I hold onto hope that maybe a porn addict surfing the web will find Holly Michael, the Christian Author, and turn from their wicked ways.

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Why don’t you tell us about a certain member of the San Diego Chargers you really, really love?

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Well, I have a favorite one who is a real cutie! He’s my son! Jake Byrne #81. He’s also a type one diabetic, so I’m quite proud of how far he’s come. And the cool thing is that we have a nonfiction book contract with a major publisher—a devotional. So, that’s also been fun working on that with him. We don’t have a publication date yet, but should get that soon. We are just finishing it.

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Lastly, what’s in the works for your next release and how far away is it from publication?

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I have another book, I’ll Be Seeing You, Christian Fiction, a family drama about a pastor who’s walking an unholy tightrope over spiritual places, his sister who’s not on good terms with God and confused younger brother. They come home after their father’s car accident and must make difficult choices about their dad’s life. I’m going to Indie publish I’ll Be Seeing You, probably in November. I like to show that Christian Fiction isn’t always about bonnet-wearing Amish. And it’s not at all preachy. There are so many genres in Christian Fiction, and some is really thrilling—good and evil, angels and demons.

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Thank you Holly for a lively and enlightening conversation.

Now, check out her novel, support an Indie author, and get a solid, emotional, and ultimately uplifting book for your collection.

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crooked Lines CROOKED LINES

SYNOPSIS — On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over her little sister’s death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace.
Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling. Pushing through diverse cultural and religious milieus, he labors toward his goals, while wrong turns and bad choices block Rebecca from hers.
Traveling similar paths and bridged across oceans through a priest, the two desire peace and their divine destiny. But vows and blind obedience at all costs must be weighed…And buried memories, unearthed.
Crooked Lines, a beautifully crafted debut novel, threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. Compelling characters struggle with spirituality through despair and deceptions in search of truth.

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BUY LINK —- http://www.amazon.com/Crooked-Lines-Holly-Michael-ebook/dp/B00LZXDTLS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406660844&sr=1-1&keywords=holly+michaels

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MY REVIEW

By J.D.Tucker  Format:Kindle Edition
Holly Michael’s Crooked Lines is a novel that defies a set genre. At it’s soul, it’s a religious drama that’s not preachy. At it’s heart, it’s a romance that doesn’t involve two people on earth, but rather their relationship with God.

The two main characters – Sagai and Rebecca – are from different countries, cultures, and mindsets. Sagai is studying to become a priest in a country where violence and hatred surrounds and discourages his faith in a deity that seems to ignore him when he most needs the help. Rebecca is a confused, abused woman dealing with family issues, an abusive husband, and a lack of faith in God.

The chapters alternate between the two, illustrates their ordeals, celebrates their small victories, until their crooked lines finally meet. In the synopsis it tells how Sagai is running to God and Rebecca is running away from religion. Ms. Michael’s words will occasionally bring tears to your eyes, make you clench your hand in frustration, and ultimately lift your spirit by the time you turn the final page.

This isn’t a cookie-cutter novel. It will test your views on religion, lust, faith, and love. Isn’t that what a book should do? 5-Stars.

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LINKS ~~~~
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Blog Tour Stop with The Well House Author – M.S. Matassa

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The Well House is the first novel by Michael S. Matassa, an attorney and Municipal Court Judge in Arvada, Colorado. He discovered the well house in the late summer of 1994, standing by a field of corn on a small farm just south of Brighton Colorado, where it still stands today. Mr. Matassa studied at Regis College in Denver and the University of Colorado School of law. He has also written several short stories, a screenplay and is presently working on a sequel to The Well House and a ghost story called, The Baby Carriage. He writes under the pen name of M. S. Matassa.

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Check out the Synopsis, Book Trailer, Rafflecopter, and Reviews for this fascinating book below.

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book THE WELL HOUSE

SYNOPSIS —  The Well House: A Man’s Incredible Journey To Save His Pregnant Wife From the Ultimate Evil

The dream is back and Ben Carson is terrified. His pregnant wife, Anne, is locked in a coma and Ben is the only person who can save her but he has no idea how to accomplish this. His dreams contain clues but they make no sense. Ben can’t figure what a small white well house and black flying creatures have to do with Anne. Then he meets a mysterious woman named Thelma Grippe. What he learns from Thelma shakes him to the core, but gives him the knowledge to free Anne from the force keeping her in the coma. Once he locates the well house, Ben finds a passage to another dimension, where he searches for Anne. After a long, arduous journey, Ben faces the ultimate evil that holds Anne captive. The Well House is an exciting, unique and thoughtful story of a man’s fight against unbelievable odds to save his wife. Part drama, part fantasy and part parable, The Well House is a multi-layered tale that takes you on an amazing journey, from the mountains above Boulder Colorado to the depths of the dark zone.

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BUY LINK —   http://www.amazon.com/Well-House-M-S-Matassa-ebook/dp/B00IWXQ498/ref=la_B00IVRLO9U_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406578368&sr=1-1

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BOOK TRAILER — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aq1__Rv6O1

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RAFFLECOPTER — http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NjMxN2FkOWE2Yzc4MmMzMzM5ZGU3YzlmODgyYjEyOjY=/

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RANDOM REVIEWS

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Intriguing book! April 26, 2014
By Ann Randall   Format:Paperback
The well house is a superbly written book. It covers many areas. Some fantasy, subtle religion, good versus evil, romance and the love of family. I feel this author wrote this book from the heart from a lot of life experiences. If you pay attention to what you are reading and think a little about it you will understand what I am feeling. I love a book that make me feel like I am actually there and I can visualize all of the events and scenery. In any event this is a good read and I highly recommend it.
FIVE STARS
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This book will chill you to the bone!, May 19, 2014
This review is from: The Well House (Kindle Edition)
This is the first book by this author and it is some ride into fantasy! It definitely deals with good and evil in a way that will chill you to the bone! I finished this in one day-not even my cat Baby could get me to put it down and believe me she tried!
This book is definitely the stuff nightmares are made of. 5 STARS from me with the hopes I never find the Well House! I am looking forward to his next book–a ghost story.
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A Conversation with Autistic Author – Jonathan Mitchell

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I’ve known Jonathan for over two years now after first meeting him the the Internet Writers Workshop. Along the way, I’ve learned so many things about autism and the great divide between the doctors and scientists who want to control and possibly eliminate the condition in future generations. Jonathan has written a very good novel that outshines more than a few authors without his assorted dilemmas. I encourage everyone who has an autistic friend or relative to join his blog, like him on Facebook, and buy his book – The Mu Rhythm Bluff.

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Now, on with the interview~~~~

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Hi Jonathan. Thanks for dropping by. Have a seat and get ready for my first question. You’re an autistic man who’s written a novel about a poker-playing autistic man given a new lease on life with an experimental procedure. How close does your main protagonist, Drake Dumas resemble you?

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Thanks for interviewing me, John. As far as Drake Dumas goes, he’s quite a bit like me. Except I’ve always attempted to control my gambling and I’ve never gambled money I couldn’t afford to lose. I went to one GA meeting to check it out, but not as a regular attendee.

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I know you’re a big movie fan. What’s the last three movies you’ve seen that you would recommend to a friend or acquaintance?

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a good one I just saw. A Clockwork Orange and The French Connection were very good, but those were from my younger days.

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You’re a huge proponent of the anti-neurodiversity opinion toward Autism. Can you tell us why you believe this way over the many physicians and psychologists who endorse it?

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I believe autism is a brain disease that is in need of a cure for people, and their parents who want it. It’s not an alternative way of brain wiring. Most members of the neurodiversity movement have autism that’s very mild and I don’t think they understand the problems that most people on the lower end of the spectrum face.

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Do you prefer gambling in a real live casino, or an online one?

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I like live action and being able to interact in person with the other players. Besides, since I wrote “The Mu Rhythm Bluff” the federal government has enacted legislation, outlawing online poker. I think there was something where the states could legalize it, like in Nevada and Delaware and maybe one other state, but it is now illegal in California and most other parts of the U.S., but the online poker sites still operate in other countries. There is a push to re-legalize it, and I suspect sometime in the next few years online poker will be legal again.

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Can you tell my audience the two biggest misconceptions when it comes to autistic people?

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That we have all these gifts and superior abilities that compensate for the handicaps. Another one is that most of us are unemotional and have no sense of humor. I pride myself on my sense of humor and I think I’ve attempted to show it in “The Mu Rhythm Bluff” or did the best I could.

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You’ve lived in California, mostly in L.A., all your life. If you could move to any location on earth, where would it be?

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Wherever there’s a 10:1 ratio of females to males who like my type of guy.

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Besides you, I’ve known several autistic people over my lifetime. Are there different groupings and what percentage could be called functioning members of society?

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Yes, many different groups and probably 40% are able to interact successfully with friends or co-workers. You might not have heard the cliché “If you’ve met one autistic you’ve met one autistic”, but it seems to ring true from my experience.

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Can you describe yourself in three separate one word answers?

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Kind, Humorous, and Creative.

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Thanks for dropping by, Jonathan. 

Now, go ahead and check out his debut novel and be sure to follow his blog. His posts are quite interesting.

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mu ryhthm THE MU-RHYTHM BLUFF

SYNOPSIS — Some people are lucky at cards. Others are lucky at love. Drake Dumas is autistic and neither. He’s a 49-year-old virgin who loves to play poker and usually loses. He finds out about an experiment involving brain wave training and a revolutionary technique called Transcranial magnetic stimulation in order to help mitigate his autism. Though it does not seem to help his autism, right after the treatment he finds himself a genius at poker, consistently winning and able to read other players due to charged up “mirror neurons”, brain cells that intuit the actions and intentions of others, found to be deficient in autistic people. His luck also changes with women. However, whenever he seems to connect sexually with a woman, he loses his poker abilities. There does seem some truth in the old saying lucky at cards, unlucky at love for Drake. However, can having good poker skills entail danger for Drake. He encounters a beguiling journalist, interested in his talents, but can her knowledge and interest in Drake be threatening?

Drake must find a way to keep his poker abilities intact. He faces all of these challenges. In the process he will learn something about his autism, his attitudes toward it and love.

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BUY LINK —  http://www.amazon.com/Mu-Rhythm-Bluff-Jonathan-Mitchell-ebook/dp/B00BQN84GM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406323062&sr=1-1&keywords=mu-rhythm+bluff

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My Review ~~~

Texas Hold ‘Em – Autistic Style This review is from: The Mu Rhythm Bluff (Kindle Edition)

I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Drake Dumas is a functioning autistic man with two dreams in his life – to have sex and to win the World Series of Poker. Like his love life, Drake failed at poker until he finds a scientist who manages to reshape his mu rhythms in a way that makes him excel at poker. The reader follows Drake through the high and lows of his life as a professional and a lover, good and bad. After his success catches the curiosity of a seedy gangster, Drake finds himself in circumstances that force him to rethink his non-violent tendencies in order to stay alive.

On a personal note, the author of the novel is similar to Drake Dumas. Mr. Mitchell is a highly functioning autistic who has shaped a novel that has its faults, but is still better than many books being self-published by mentally unchallenged individuals. Saying that, this is a novel that will hold your interest, is cohesive, and takes you into the life of an autistic man with his prose and characters. Four Stars.

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LINKS ~~~~~~

 

 

An Authors Best Friend – Reviewer Tracy Graczykowski

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Tracy is one half of the Facebook team – TNT Reviews. They do reviews, author spotlights, and other neat things for writers. If you’re looking for some help in those departments,  look ’em up.

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Now, let’s get to Tracy’s Interview~~~~~

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Hi Tracy. Have a seat, relax and tell us about your review business. What you do for the authors who look you up?

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We love to review all genres. I see so many blogs out there that focus on romance of all kinds, so I’m really trying to include all genres on our blog. It’s not always easy to do. I love to get the word out and talk about the wonderful books available and to help new authors get some exposure. I also love to ask our followers for their opinions on books I’ve heard about and what they’re currently reading. We were doing a ton of tours and cover reveals and are starting to go back to the basics of reviewing and spotlighting authors. I think a lot of blogs have started posting constantly throughout the day about different books. I’m trying to focus on no more than 2 books/authors a day. It’s also hard to take on more than 2 a day because I do work full-time outside the house.

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What was the last book you read for pleasure, instead of knowing you’d be writing a review on it afterward?

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Viper Moon by Lee Roland. I’d heard about it on Facebook and got it from the library. Had to read it before its due date.

Not counting library books, Destroyed by Onyx (A Dance with Destiny) (Volume 4) by Jennifer Ensley. I actually read it for a second time to get some names for a review I had to write, but it’s a series that I love and would read without reviewing.

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What’s the lowest star value you’ve given to an anonymous book (published or not) and why?

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The lowest rating I’ve given a book is 2-stars. Usually I only give a low rating if I don’t like the writing style or if it’s hard for me to follow the story. I’ve only had one or two books that I had to put down and never finished due to the writing style.

Our policy: We don’t post reviews below a 3 Bomb on our website.  If we read anything that we are unable to give a 3 Bomb or higher, we discuss it with the author in private. We will still post those reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, etc.

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You would rather —- attend a book signing / interview your favorite author on a local TV show / or get a day of beauty at a massage spa and forget about your troubles for a few hours?

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Definitely the day of beauty. I’d love to escape for a little bit.

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Have you ever thought about writing a novel yourself and, if so, what’s stopping you?

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I have thought about writing. The only thing holding me back is that I’ve read so many books that I have no original ideas. I’d probably end up writing something and find out it’s from a book I’ve already read. Okay, I know I’d end up writing something that’s already been written.

Describe yourself in three separate words?

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Smart, Bitchy, Reader.

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In your opinion, the hardest thing about being a book reviewer is_____?

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Finding something original to say about a book. I’ve found that lately all the books tend to be the same. Especially in the romance genre. Boy meets girl. Boy denies feelings for girl and sleeps around (that’s one thing I really hate). Boy finally gives in to feelings and they live happily ever after. I always say I’d love to read a book where the “man whore” changes his ways after finding his soul mate but not before giving her something (You know. They can’t all be STD free.)

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Your married name is Graczykowski. When you first met your husband and found out that was his last name, what was your reaction?

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We met in high school originally. I didn’t really think anything about it. When we first actually started dating, hmm, I still don’t think I really thought too much about it other than learning how to spell it. I went from a 4 letter last name to 12 letters.

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Thanks for your time, Tracy. She’s the only person who’s reviewed all of my novels and I’m proud to say they’ve all been five star reviews. Be sure to check out the links below and click on over to TNT Reviews – an author’s best friend.

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LINKS~~~~~~

http://tntreviews.weebly.com/

https://www.facebook.com/tntreviews1

https://twitter.com/TnTReviews1

http://www.pinterest.com/tracyg0207/tnt-reviews/

https://plus.google.com/106047892506596828543/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/27025470-tnt-reviews

 

Blog Takeover by Brandon Lee Godbee

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Brandon is the writer of Angel Omega: Imprisonment. He’s currently in a Blog Tour sponsored by Ashley’s Addictive Promotions and is definitely an Up-N-Coming Author. Here’s his Bio ~~~~

Brandon Godbee resides in Houston, Texas with his family. After graduating from high school, Brandon’s creative spirit and love of singing drove him to major in music. Angel Omega: Imprisonment is Brandon’s first work in writing and he is currently working on Angel Omega: Shattered Soul the next installment in the series.

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angel omega ANGEL OMEGA: IMPRISONMENT

SYNOPSIS — After struggling for several long months, Jason and Sarah Wyatt are expecting a healthy baby boy. How could they have known that the young child growing in Sarah’s womb is the banished soul of the youngest archangel of heaven? His crime is so unspeakable that it seems unreal. The archangel Gabriel has sworn to watch over him, for he alone knows the truth about why the archangel Omega would defy his eldest brother, Michael, and bring the Antichrist before God. Could one act of kindness save the darkest of souls?

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BUY LINK —- http://www.amazon.com/Angel-Omega-Imprisonment-Brandon-Godbee-ebook/dp/B00D99MEG2/ref=la_B00J6ZM3R8_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405627512&sr=1-1

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REVIEWS —–

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Platypire Review  5 -STARS March 19, 2014 By J. Hooligan

Format:Kindle Edition — I was given this book in exchange for an honest review by the author.

I would like to start out by saying this isn’t your typical “good versus evil” story. There is not black and white here, it is all sorts of gray – and I loved that. It made the characters more real and easier to relate.

Brandon’s writing style is not typical of what is commonly seen, and so it was a little odd trying to get into the book. Not because it was bad, or hard to read, it was just different and I needed to get used to it before I could really enjoy it.

There was one point where I kinda forgot to sleep and my husband woke up and had to steal my kindle, so I couldn’t finish it that night. It was horrible! How could he let me go to bed not knowing what happened next?!

There are parts of the book that could do with some tweaks in editing. It wasn’t anything that pulled me out of reading, but there were a few occasions where I noticed things were a little awkward.

All and all, I know Angel Omega will be a story that sticks with me. It was original, which is something I highly value. I cannot wait for the next book, and he needs go hurry up and finish it.

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An amazing, vivid, complex story December 19, 2013

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wow. Where to start with this book?? I was asked to read this book in exchange for an honest review. The story in this book is pretty complicated. It is easy to get lost and overwhelmed by the characters and how much is going on. However, it isn’t a book that you feel like you can’t finish because it’s so complex. It makes you want to read more. You can’t help but be drawn in by the characters and the situations that arise. The Angels are so awesome in this book and I love all of the history and intertwining that Brandon does with them. I think my favorite angel is Gabriel. He is the older brother you want that takes care of you and mentors you. Or the doting uncle that you can talk to about any subject.

I feel sorry for Damien as he is a misunderstood creature. His father, Lucifer, hates him because he has a soul. How is that Damien’s fault? But, he doesn’t care. He beats him anyway. But Gabriel wants to bring Damien home to heaven where he belongs. The other angels aren’t so sure if he belongs there. Or if Lucifer is just using him to get into heaven so he can take over. Omega becomes friends with Damien but Michael banished Omega into a human child to live as a mortal.

Like I said, this story is complex. There are epic battles, love stories, tragedy, triumph and a very large cliffhanger. If you don’t like vivid imagery, relatable characters, stories about angels/demons/God/heaven/hell, then DO NOT get this book. I have not read the bible. I do not know many stories about heaven and hell, but I love Brandon’s version of both. I can not wait to get the next installment. And I am looking forward to it’s complexity because I for one enjoyed it in this book.

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An Interview with Rising Star – Author Nat Russo

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I’ve known Nat for as long as I’ve been Twittering (Tweeting…whatever) and he’s quite an interesting character. As well as doling out great tips on Twitter, we share of the same interests in music and movies. I regret not getting around to read his first book, but it is in my rapidly dwindling TBR file.  Here’s his author bio from Amazon ~~~~~~

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Nat Russo was born in New York, raised in Arizona, and has lived just about everywhere in-between. He’s gone from pizza maker, to radio DJ, to Catholic seminarian (in a Benedictine monastery, of all places), to police officer, to software engineer. His career has taken him from central Texas to central Germany, where he worked as a defense contractor for Northrop Grumman. He’s spent most of his adult life developing software, playing video games, running a Cub Scout den, gaining/losing/gaining/losing weight, and listening to every kind of music under the sun.

Along the way he managed to earn a degree in Philosophy and a black belt in Tang Soo Do.

He currently makes his home in central Texas with his wife, teenage son, and mischievous beagle.

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Read on to learn more about this fascinating man and, from what I’ve read, an outstanding author.

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Hello, Nat. Take a seat in the Rokoko armchair and tell us about your current book and the approach you’ve taken to marketing it?

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My latest book, Necromancer Awakening, launched on April 8th of this year. I played around with direct marketing/advertising for some time and found it actually harmed sales more than helped. Since then, I’ve gone back to my roots, so to speak. I believe that writers should be content providers first and foremost. Instead of directly marketing my book, I market my content (blog articles) by sharing links on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Once people become engaged with my content, they often take the next step of seeking out my fiction, which they can find easily from my blog.

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I’ve noticed you do quite a bit to support your fellow authors. Do you have one (or two) that would be called your dream street team of sorts?

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I do. I’ve been very fortunate to meet some wonderful writers on Twitter, many of whom are bestselling authors in their own right. I’m currently doing some cross-promotional work with Nicholas Rossis, author of the #1 bestselling epic fantasy series “Pearseus”. I think this works for us because we’re each fans of each other’s work. It’s so much easier to support and promote a writer you believe in.

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Tell us what genre you’re published in and which one would never be an option for you to write in?

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I’m a speculative fiction author at heart, and right now I’m published under Fantasy (primarily “Dark Fantasy” and “Metaphysical & Visionary Fantasy” on the Amazon lists). My writing tends to be a commentary on various social realities and problems, and I’ve found speculative fiction to be a wonderful vehicle to address these issues. I doubt I’d ever write erotica. In fact, I tend to avoid explicitly sexual situations in my books, because those elements are rarely of any importance to the stories I write.

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Have you ever drastically changed a novel from it’s original outline or direction (if you’re a pantster) and what happened to cause it?

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I have. The original draft of Necromancer Awakening included a prologue that set the stage for the events to come. As brilliant (I thought) as the prologue was, it completely weakened the story. In subsequent revisions I killed the prologue, combined several characters into one, and also rewrote an entire plot line from a completely different character’s perspective. I must have completely rewritten chapter 1 three or more times before settling on the version that I published. The interesting thing is that each of those changes was the result of beta-reader feedback. I simply couldn’t see the problems myself until they were pointed out to me.

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Do you have a favorite charity and why is it important to you?

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I currently support the Beagle Freedom Project (http://www.beaglefreedomproject.org/). Many people are unaware of how much testing is done on dogs to perfect chemical formulas in products we use every day. People are even less aware of what percentage of those dogs are Beagles. Beagles are known to be very non-aggressive and trusting, and so they rarely put up a struggle for the testers. The Beagle Freedom Project uses its resources to make laboratories offer the dogs up for adoption when their testing is complete. Typically, these dogs are killed when the laboratory is finished with them, because the companies involved don’t want to go to the expense of finding homes for them. Beagle Freedom Projects steps in, takes the dogs, and goes through the process of finding homes for them.

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Mr. Russo, you were a DJ in a past life. Not reincarnation, just several years ago. 🙂 What 5 songs would be on your ultimate play-list?

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This one’s tricky. There aren’t enough spaces for all of the awesome Genesis tunes in my collection.

  1. Firth of Fifth – Genesis

  2. Supper’s Ready – Genesis

  3. Cinema Show – Genesis

  4. Burning Rope – Genesis

  5. Spirit of Radio – Rush

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Do you have a fellow author who’s been like a mentor to you and, if so, tell us about them?

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I speak a lot about Raymond E. Feist, a Fantasy author whose work I started reading when I was 12 years old. We became online friends back in the mid-‘90s, and he’s always very quick to answer any questions that I have. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Joan Reginaldo. My writing has improved dramatically over the last two years since we started working together. She started out as one of my beta readers for Necromancer Awakening, but it didn’t take long at all for her to become my mentor, editor, and friend. I owe her a huge debt of gratitude for taking the time to coach me over the last couple of years.

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If you wrote a book about your life, what would the genre be and would it be in the first person?

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My life has been a cross between Forrest Gump and a spaghetti western. I’ve never worked on a shrimp boat, but my career has definitely thrown me in with the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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Thanks for the wonderful interview, Nat.  Let’s take a look at his first book – Necromancer Awakening.

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necromancer NECROMANCER AWAKENING

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SYNOPSIS — “Knowledge in the absence of wisdom is a dangerous thing.”

Texas archaeology student Nicolas Murray has an ironic fear of the dead. A latent power connecting him to an ancient order of Necromancers floods his mind with impossible images of battle among hive-mind predators and philosopher fishmen. When a funeral service leaves him shaken and questioning his sanity, the insidious power strands him in a land where the sky kills and earthquakes level cities. A land where the undead serve the living, and Necromancers summon warriors from ancient graves to fight in a war that spans life and afterlife.

If Nicolas masters the Three Laws of Necromancy, he can use them to get home. But as he learns to raise and purify the dead—a process that makes him relive entire lifetimes in the span of a moment—the very power that could bring him home may also prevent his return. For the supreme religious leader, the Archmage Kagan, has outlawed Necromancy, and its practitioners risk torture and execution.

As warring nations hunt Necromancers to extinction, countless dead in limbo await a purification that may never come.

Nicolas’ power could be his way home…

Or it could save a world that wants him dead.

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BUY LINK — http://www.amazon.com/Necromancer-Awakening-Book-Mukhtaar-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00JLVOU0U/ref=la_B00JLWXXEI_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405541172&sr=1-1

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RANDOM REVIEW

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I liked it, chances are you will too April 9, 2014

By Nathan   Format:Paperback
If you like character driven fantasy, this book is for you. From the first chapter, I immediately felt a connection to Nicholas, the main character, and felt like I was with him throughout his journey into this strange, new land. Nat Russo has a vivid imagination, and his scenes come alive in this story. At times it felt like I was watching a movie, although something tells me any movie based on this book would have to have a pretty big budget! I also enjoyed the humorous dialog, which managed to keep the story lighthearted, especially for a fantasy novel who’s entire premise centers around the art of necromancy. I was almost disappointed when I finished it, because I felt like we only got a small glimpse into this world that he’s created.
Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy – I highly recommend this book!
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LINKS~~~~~
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An Interview with Childrens Author – Kim Page

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kim page

Today’s interview is with Kim Page of the Page Puppies Series. I’ve known Kim for over a year and she’s a wonderful woman, writer, and friend. Her two books, both aimed at pre-school and the younger YA market, are fancifully written and include a plethora of colorful pictures inside them.  Here’s her short but sweet biography~~~

Kimmy Page was born and raised in Maine. Now living in Florida with her wonderful husband and four beautiful fur babies, she loves to recite funny stories about the many antics and adventures of her family. She is proud of her family and enjoys spending time with them and doing everything in her power to make sure they are happy and healthy.

Okay, let’s go to the interview, shall we?

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HI Kim! Thanks for coming by today. First, why don’t you tell us how the Page Puppy Series started and what gave you the impetus to start writing children’s books?

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Hey, John what a surprise this was!! I’m beyond honored that you want to interview me and the puppies were delighted when I told them that you were interviewing us! Well, I started writing almost by accident. While chatting on the phone with an author friend of mine she was talking about her children (of the 2 legged persuasion) I thought I would be funny and started telling stories about my children (of the 4 legged persuasion). She suddenly said ‘Wait, you told me you didn’t have children. Are you talking about your dogs? Between giggles, I confirmed her suspicions. She told me I should write a book about my dogs. After thinking about it for a while, and talking to a couple of my other author friends who agreed that I should, they talked me right into it. Thanks to their inspiration, here we are six months later. Two books out and two to go!

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You do quite a lot to help your favorite authors on Facebook. Besides me, name three you’d like to see become more popular than they already are?

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That’s easy…Barbie Shannon, and not just because she is a wonderful person and a very good friend. But because she’s an extraordinarily talented writer and deserves to be recognized in children’s and adult genres!

Cindy J. Smith would be my second choice. Before I read her poetry I have to admit that I wasn’t what you’d call a fan of poetry. She has opened my eyes to the feelings and emotions that poems can bring to the surface. She is wonderfully talented and doesn’t realize just how extraordinary she truly is!

OK, its not fair you took yourself out of the equation, knowing how I’m a huge fan of your work and you too deserve huge kudos. That being said I could put several here but I’m going to say I’m a Ditter Kellen fan. She is extremely talented writer and I love her books.

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Thanks for your comments about me, Kim. I really appreciate them. Now, back to the interview. Which one of your dogs will be featured next and how have the other two – Prissy and Yogi – taken to their celebrity status?

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Maxwell (Max) Page is next. He is a Yorkshire Silky Terrier and so very sweet. Everyone will fall in love with him…just like we have.

As far as the other two and their celebrity status…they haven’t noticed any difference really. I’ve tried to keep them from the lime light because the last thing Prissy’s ego needs is the Paparazzi chasing us down or camping out on our front lawn!!! Hahaha.

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Do you think authors of children’s books get no respect by more serious ones, and if so, why?

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Actually I haven’t experienced that myself. The response I’ve gotten from ‘adult’ book writers has been wonderful and very supportive. Even from those I don’t know personally.

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You would rather —- have a book signing / have an interview on a local TV show / get a day of beauty at a massage spa and forget about your troubles for a few hours?

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Hahaha… Well, it embarrasses me to have attention drawn to myself in that way, although I’ve been known to be the comedian in a group setting with friends. That being said who wouldn’t want to be pampered for a day with a massage and such….Aaaahhh, sounds great to me.

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Have you ever read a book that drew you out of your comfort zone and, if so why?

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I have actually, to the point that I couldn’t finish because I kept crying and the more I read the more I literally felt pain in my heart so half way through the second of a three book series I stopped. A bio…the author telling of his horrific childhood filled with physical, sexual and mental abuse at the hands of the people who are supposed to love him unconditionally and protect him from harm.

I grew up with very loving and protective family which is why I have such a strong reaction to the abuse of any kind.

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You’ve moved from Maine to Florida. What was the biggest cultural difference between the two?

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Besides the difference in weather? I guess I miss the visual of all four seasons. I absolutely do not miss the extreme cold and snow! I have to laugh when the southerners pick on me about my Maine accent with their distinct southern drawl to which half the time I find myself saying, “Excuse me?” Hahaha.

When I first moved here I had a few people ask me if northerners were as rude as their reputation, I laughed, having no idea we had that reputation!! Where did that come from? (Editor’s note — It’s been ingrained in us since the Civil War days. )

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That’s it for the conversation. If you have small – tween children, or you’re a dog lover, you’ll have no excuses in adding Kim’s two books to your collection.

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yogi Yogi  Page Puppies Book 1

SYNOPSIS — Yogi is adopted into the Page family and immediately becomes a treasured member. He takes you on a journey through his life full of laughter, love and promise.

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BUY LINK — http://www.amazon.com/Yogi-Page-Puppies-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00HYEUUXM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405363111&sr=1-1

(Also available in Paperback)

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MY REVIEW ON AMAZON

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A Sweet Book for Children and Pet Lovers May 18, 2014

By J.D.Tucker  Format:Kindle Edition
A Review of Yogi (The Page Puppies) by Kimmy Harris.

This is a heart-warming book for kids fourteen and under, or any dog lover out there. It deals with two dogs who have grown up with each other until one passes away. To cheer up the depressed survivor, the family adopts Yogi. Then the book switches back and forth from funny anecdotes from the family concerning the two dogs and gives the reader a POV from Yogi’s point of view. There are also cute pictures scattered throughout the book. It’s fun to read and teaches a lesson about shelter dogs. I give it Five Woofs.

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PrissyPrissy Page Puppies Bk 2
SYNOPSIS —  Prissy is confused and hurt by her families sudden decision that she be placed in a new home. It didn’t take long for Prissy to find out that her new family was just what she needed. Her Momma and Daddy never calls her ugly, only tells her she is the Princess. Prissy could learn to live with that. Prissy shows love and teaches acceptance…with a huge dose of humor for fun.
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RANDOM REVIEW
beautiful story told from Prissy the dog’s perspective April 30, 2014

By Cynthia J. Smith  Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another enchanting tale of a puppy who finds her forever home! Kimmy seems to have channeled the thoughts of this little girl right into her pen! Great read for young ones! Love how Prissy fits right in to her “Princess” shoes! Sorry about Oscar’s passing and Momma’s illness. Yogi, Prissy and Max are very lucky to have such a loving home! Can’t wait for Max’s story!
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LINKS ~~~~~
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E-mail address: kimmy903@yahoo.com

Twitter: Kimberl60605613

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kim.h.page?fref=ts