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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Book Blitz: A Roman Death by Joan O'Hagan #historical #thriller #promo #excerpt @DeniseOHagan3


Historical Thriller
Publisher: Black Quill Press

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Skullduggery and scheming in Ancient Rome on the eve of Caesar's assassination.

Historical thriller set in Ancient Rome. In 45 BC, Julius Caesar is at the height of his power. Lucius Scaurus, the young, good-looking fiancé of a high-society girl is poisoned at the couple's own pre-wedding banquet. In the trial that follows, Roman society is shocked when the girl's mother, Helvia, is accused of not only of murder, but of incest. Cicero comes to Helvia's defence, but the killer's identity remains a mystery until the final twist – or two.


Praise for A Roman Death:

‘Poison, poetry (both high-minded and salacious), marriage for money, marriage for love, gang-rape, cowardice in battle, scheming slaves, conniving aristocrats, malicious matrons casting magical curses, and (as if all this were not enough) a previously unknown oration by Cicero - there's so much going on, so expertly conveyed ...’ —  Steven Saylor


‘An absorbing story, with fully drawn characters, a fascinating place and period, all given vibrant life in the author’s best work so far.’ — Kirkus Review


‘An original setting, carefully researched and vividly portrayed.’ — The Times Literary Supplement


‘Religious beliefs and superstition in the ancient world play a key part in Joan O’Hagan’s novel about mayhem in Rome … The identity of the killer, in this excellent classical puzzle that is also a classic whodunit, is revealed in a splendidly contrived shock ending.’ — Gerald Kaufman, The Listener


‘Who put the poison in Lucius’s wine, what truth in the scabrous accusations? Cicero for the defence; an unusual treat, don’t miss it.’ — Christopher Wordsworth, The Observer


‘The contexts are all smartly timed … beware of wicked terminal twists.’ — Stephen Walsh, The Oxford Times


‘In this novel, excellent as a mystery and as a reconstruction of the life of upper-class Rome in 45–44 BC, O’Hagan tells a story of murder, magic, love, greed and intrigue, the plot of which could have come right out of an oration of Cicero.’ — Fred Mench, Fictional Rome: Authors & Reviews.






Excerpt

A ROMAN DEATH - Excerpt: pp 184-7


‘Oh judges, I tell you that this woman — intelligent, wilful and passionate — is far from being the conventional and trustworthy Roman matron she appears to the world. I have already underlined her implacable opposition to her husband’s wishes. Not for her to conform, oh no! Nor in other ways does she conform. Not for Helvia the devotion to her household gods, not for her the religious observance that is the duty of women and the strength of our society. I regret to tell you, gentlemen, that Helvia is a devotee of that Egyptian goddess, that Isis, whose worship has so many times been banned from our city — was forbidden, indeed, as recently as four years ago.’

The advocate paused, glancing at the judges, singling out L. Aemilius Paullus in particular. ‘You will remember how one of your numbers, when Consul, once tore off his toga and drove an axe through the temple doors to set an example to the workmen who had been told to demolish the Iseum. Anyone will applaud such an example, who is a true Roman and faithful to the gods who protect our state.’

The speaker could ignore the waves of muted protest rising from angry spectators now, so many of whom were humble folk. None of the judges, all coming from that comfortably enshrined noble or knightly class, upheld such worship. All the same, he was on delicate ground. Caesar was in power and Caesar had reinstated Isis.

‘Imported worship which deals not in solemn rites owed to traditional gods, but in mysteries and frenzies and incited enthusiasms,’ rumbled the advocate ominously. ‘Why would a lady of Helvia’s class and background have recourse to such practices?

‘I do not ask you what can happen in the temple of linenclad Isis, gentlemen,’ he went on ironically. ‘I do not care to ask you — nor, judges, would you particularly wish to know. But we do know that in other towns the shrines of that goddess are generally not too far from the brothels, and we are content to remain in ignorance of those who give their devotion to bulls and monkeys and reptiles and birds of all sorts, and,’ Messalla paused delicately, his face a study in lofty distaste, ‘those who are said to indulge in practices erotic or magical …

‘Helvia’s resort to Isis worship, to magic, is alien to women of her status. Who can trust a woman who covertly enlists the forces of darkness and evil? She who does so is clearly capable of any deed. But this is not all …’

Messalla paused again.

‘As we all know, the great bulwark of our community, its whole strength, is the family, by reason of its natural and human ties. As we all know, the greatest merit of all from the family is this union of man and woman for the procreation of children.

‘I do not argue that Helvia was not a devoted mother.’ Another pause. Messalla looked round for absolute quiet now and waited until he got it. ‘I do not argue that, iudices. I argue only that Helvia was, as well, too devoted a sister. This woman, married to the honest Fufidius for almost twenty years now, since she was fifteen years old, has for long had a most delightful relationship with her brother. With her brother Cinna, the poet, who is now also Tribune. I regret, however, that it is a most unnatural relationship, as well. I speak, gentlemen, of an incestuous relationship.’

A long collective sigh rose from the audience. This was better than any theatre. Helvia sat as if turned to stone, her mature beauty etched in the band of light that fell on the bench. Aghast, Fufidius rose to his feet, but was motioned down by Cicero.

‘This relationship may have been suspected by a few, but it was well hidden by the incestuous pair. As you know, slaves cannot testify against their masters except in one instance — in a case of incest...



About the Author



Joan O'Hagan's other books include Incline and Fall (Angus & Robertson), Death and a Madonna (Macmillan), Against the Grain (Macmillan) and Jerome & His Women (Black Quill Press).


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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Teaser Tuesday: Cracked Mirror, Clear Reflection by Julie Barbera #christian #selfhelp #nonfiction #personalgrowth #teasertuesday @inspireu2action #rabtbooktours


Christian Self-Help; Self-Help Personal Growth
Date Published: Sept. 6, 2019

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A pursuit for perfection may drive you to do more, have more and be more—but at what cost?

In Cracked Mirror, Clear Reflection, author and life coach Julie Barbera invites you on a journey from fear and doubt to discover your confidence. After struggling with an illusion of whom and what she should be, clear reflections in her cracked mirror gave her the courage to take a chance.

Freedom is on the other side of expectations—freedom from a feeling of not being good enough, fear of what others think and a need to be perfect to begin new projects. You will learn how to do what you love, love what you do and live a life of purpose. You can become who God has called you to be.

Perfection is an illusion. Despite the cracks, your reflection can be clear. When you look in the mirror, in weaknesses you may find your greatest strengths—and this is the clearest reflection of all. 









About the Author

Julie Barbera is a life coach and the president of Inspireu2Action. It is her mission to help you to find balance, become the most authentic version of yourself and break through to your potential. This passion comes from finding a purpose in her life.

Writing Cracked Mirror, Clear Reflection gave Julie the confidence to step out. After years of struggling with an illusion of whom and what she should be, clear reflections in her cracked mirror gave her the courage to take a chance.

God gave Julie the gift of language. Self-taught in four languages beyond English, her goal is to use this gift to impact as many lives as possible. Julie is on a journey to do what she loves, love what she does and live with purpose. She resides in Florida with her husband German and two young sons, Sebastian and Deangelo.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Tour Kick Off: Hopey by Hope Mueller @hpmueller242 #nowontour #blogtour #nonfiction #inspirational #memoir


Inspirational Memoir
Publisher: Inspire-Books
Release Date: October 1, 2019

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Hopey chronicles the story of a courageous girl in a '70s Southern Indiana commune, complete with flowers for dinner, a ball of acid in the freezer, and orgies on the living room floor. The chaos of her formative years, which are littered with violent episodes, periods of hunger and assaults, leads Hope to set off on her own at the age of fifteen.

Written as intense past moments, reflective chapters, and flash-forwards, these three voices come together to transcend time and connect the past and the present. Honest and raw, with no request for empathy or complaint, the book is a celebration of the human spirit and an exhilarating read. Hopey is a reminder that we can love, we can believe, and we, too, can be successful beyond all expectations—if we only dare to hope.






Hope Mueller is an author, inspirational speaker, executive, and active non-for-profit volunteer. A results-driven leader and change agent, Hope is passionate about career development and community service, among others. Her early years were marked by the experiences on a hippie commune. Hope’s unique childhood shaped her approach and interaction with the world, with a gift of creating order out of chaos and turning vision into reality. She lives with her husband in northern Illinois and actively parents her four daughters through the phases of their lives.

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Facebook: Hope Mueller Author
Twitter: @hpmueller242




Barnes and Noble


August 20 - Beach Bound Books - Spotlight
August 21 - Crossroad Reviews - Spotlight
August 22 - The Avid Reader - Interview 
August 23 - Sylv.net - Spotlight 
August 24 - Nana's Book Reviews - Spotlight
August 25 - Book Reviews by Virginia Lee - Spotlight
August 26 - My Reading Addiction - Interview
August 27 -  On a Reading Bender - Review
August 28 - Amy's Blog - Spotlight
August 29 - Truly Trendy - Review
August 30 - Lisa Queen of Random - Spotlight
September 1 - Jazzy's Book Reviews - Excerpt
September 2 - Book Lover Blog - Spotlight
September 3 - Book Junkiez - Excerpt
September 4 - Voluptuous Book Diva - Spotlight
September 5 - Mythical Books - Guest Post
September 6 - The Sexy Nerd Revue - Spotlight
September 8 - Stephanie's Book Reviews - Spotlight
September 9 - A Life Through Books - Interview
September 10 - Tea Time and Books - Spotlight
September 11 - Texas Book Nook - Review
September 12 - The Indie Express - Review
September 13 - RABT Reviews - Wrap Up


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Tour Kick Off: Shoes on the Stairs by Jan Steele @jbaby711 #blogtour #nowontour #womensfiction #giveaway




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Women's Fiction
Date Published: 7/27/2019
Publisher: Acorn Publishing

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Claire Blackwell can’t find that damn white light. Thanks to a mishap at an intersection, she’s dead and stuck somewhere between Heaven and what seems like Hell as she is forced to watch her husband and children unravel without her. While she struggles to find answers for her limbo state, her family begins to see her, offering what she believes, is a gift of second chances.

As she navigates through this new, untouchable world and the challenges it creates, she is forced to face some sad and potentially dangerous truths. Determined, she works to mend her relationship with her family, but her stubborn teenage son refuses to acknowledge her, and when tensions escalate with his long-time bully, her inability to control the physical world around her leaves her fearing for her family’s safety. With her time running out, she must find a way to save them before the progress she has made is lost and she fades from this world forever.




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Jan Steele grew up in the burbs of Chicago and after thirty-two years of shoveling snow, moved to Southern California with her husband and children. She has taught everything from Kindergarten through high school but found her passion for writing years later while living as an expat in Asia for four years. She’s a contributing author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Miracles and More (2018), shares a blog with her sister-in-law, and is an MFA student at UC Riverside. In addition to writing, she loves to travel, volunteer, watch college basketball and sunsets. She’s also passionate about shedding light on the lasting effects of bullying.


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Kobo 


August 19 - Rolo Polo Book Blog - Excerpt
August 20 - Stephanie's Book Reviews - Spotlight
August 21 - Java John Z's - Interview
August 22 - Jazzy's Book Reviews - Excerpt
August 23 - Tea Time and Books - Spotlight
August 24 - JB Bookworm - Guest Post
August 25 - Shalini's Books & Reviews - Review
August 26 - T's Stuff - Spotlight
August 27 - The Avid Reader - Interview
August 28 - Beach Bound Books - Spotlight
August 29 - Truly Trendy - Review
August 30 - Silver Dagger Scriptorium - Spotlight
August 31 - Dina Rae Writes Stuff - Spotlight
September 2 - Book Junkiez - Excerpt
September 3 - Momma Says to Read or Not to Read - Spotlight
September 4 - Alyssa Faye Blog - Interview
September 5 - Voluptuous Book Diva - Spotlight
September 6 - Momma and Her Stories - Review
September 7 - Sylv.net - Spotlight
September 9 - A Life Through Books - Interview
September 10 - Crossroads Reviews - Spotlight
September 11 - The Indie Express - Review
September 12 - Romance Writer Elodie Parks - Spotlight
September 13 - The Bookworm Lodge - Spotlight
September 14 - Amy's blog - Spotlight 
September 16 - On a Reading Bender - Review
September 17 - Book Reviews by Virginia Lee - Spotlight
September 19 - Mythical Books - Review
September 20 - RABT Reviews - Wrap Up




RABT Book Tours & PR

Book Blitz: A Beginner's Guide to Skepticism by Maor Kohn & Mati Cohen #popolarscience #promo #bookblitz


Popolar science
Publisher:  Simple Story
Date Published: January 14, 2019

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Never in history have we known more than we know today. In the age of knowledge, science has enveloped our lives and influences humanity in almost every aspect. At any given moment, dozens of studies are published in countless areas of knowledge – studies that bring us closer to understanding the laws of nature, as well as advance human thinking towards the future. Nevertheless, faith, religion, spirituality and divinity still play a central role in the lives of many people. With the gap between what we know and what we believe is constantly growing, the authors of this book has found it necessary to offer tools for critical thinking about the relationship between science and faith.





Mati Cohen
Ph.D. in Biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, specializing in structural biology, cancer research, gene therapy and pharmacology.






Maor Kohn
Ph.D. in Geography, with specialization in Environment and public health from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. M.a. in Geopolitics and B.A in Political Science. A Society and Environment lecturer.



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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Book Blitz: The Paradise Man According to Thomas Merton #religion #spirtuality #selfhelp #nonfiction #promo #excerpt


Religion, Spirituality, Self-Help
Publisher: Xlibris

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Since Adam and Eve left Eden, humanity has endured through long millennia of hardships and sufferings, especially death. But the hearts of their children and great-grandchildren have never given up the hope that, someday, they could return to the place of happiness that once had been their inheritance. It is a legitimate and dignified dream. In fact, since the day Adam and Eve left, paradise has remained on earth, waiting for every single human child to return.

Mertons paradise, in the last analysis, is on earth, but it is not a spacious place. It is rather an attitude of heart, a state of consciousness, in a spiritual journey. The recovery of paradise occurs when the ego in us becomes empty like a desert. The more the noisy ego diminishes, the more the paradise appears in all its beauty. In fact, this paradise is the face of God, not just an imaginary picture but the true God Himself. The more the face of our ego fades out, the more the face of God shines in his glory, might, and goodness. The desert path is more a journey within our consciousness than through geographical space and time. That is why it belongs to all people and is not just reserved for desert hermits.

According to Thomas Merton, you need not be a bishop, a priest, a monk, a nun, a religious person, or a hermit to enter the spiritual journey. You may be a lay person, a normal churchgoer very busy with your daily duties, but you certainly could be a real paradise man.







Excerpt

Since Adam and Eve left Eden, humanity has endured through long millennia of hardships and sufferings, especially death. But the hearts of their children and great grandchildren have never given up the hope that someday they could return to the place of happiness which once had been their inheritance. It is a legitimate and dignified dream. In fact, since the day Adam and Eve left, paradise has remained on earth waiting for every single human child to return.


Following the great journey of humankind in the search for the paradise, utopias and fairytale worlds expressed in many centuries in various cultures and religions, this present work describes the arrival of the search that means paradise is found. We seek to understand what is the life of the Paradise Man? What is the Paradise World?


Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church spoke to the US Congress on September 24, 2015, and he gave praise to four great Americans: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton. The last of these four great heroes, Thomas Merton, will be the lead contributor for this work.


Thomas Merton (1915-1968) is recognized as the most influential American Catholic author of the twentieth century. His autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, has sold over one million copies and has been translated into over fifteen languages. He wrote over sixty books and many poems and articles on various topics. The most central themes are the monastic life and contemplative prayer. He was also a strong supporter of the nonviolent civil rights movement. Thomas Merton was born on January 31st, 1915 in Prades, France, to a New Zealand father and an American mother. Both were artists. Merton converted to Roman Catholicism whilst at Columbia University in 1942. He was called to priesthood and entered the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, a community of Trappist monks, the most ascetic Roman Catholic monastic order. In Gethsemani Abbey he lived for twenty-seven years and went through profound ongoing conversion. During his last years, he became deeply interested in Asian religions. The Dalai Lama praised him as having more profound understanding of Buddhism than any other Christian he had known. He died in Bangkok on December 10th, 1968 by an accidental electrocution during a conference on East-West monastic dialogue. 2


Thomas Merton left in many of his writings profound observations concerning the noble human dream and in particular he introduced us to the paradise of the Desert Fathers:


Modern studies of the Fathers have revealed beyond question that one of the main motives that impelled men to embrace the “angelic life” (bios angelikos) of solitude and poverty in the desert was precisely the hope that by so doing they might return to paradise. 3


Thomas Merton wrote the above lines in his book: Zen and the Birds of Appetite. This book was Merton’s dialogue with Dr. Daisetz Suzuki, the famous Japanese scholar and writer, about the transcendent experience of paradise in both Christian and Buddhist traditions. Thomas Merton openheartedly shared more with us what he found: “Paradise is not ‘heaven.’ Paradise is a state, or indeed a place, on earth. Paradise belongs more properly to the present than to the future life.”4


Paradise! What is it like? It is not a material paradise providing bodily satisfaction and mental relaxation like that of vacation locations: Hawaii, Miami, Las Vegas and Hollywood. It also is not the paradise of Milton, which has been said by E.M.W. Tillyard to be too weak and unconvincing because it has “too much leisure and . . . nothing to do.” He also compared Adam and Eve in Milton’s work to “old age pensioners enjoying a perpetual youth.” 5 The paradise which Merton talked about was the paradise of the Desert Fathers.


Merton’s paradise, in the last analysis, is on earth, but it is an interior place. It is rather an attitude of heart, a state of consciousness, in a spiritual journey. The recovery of paradise occurs when the ego in us becomes empty like a desert. The more the noisy ego diminishes, the more the paradise appears in all its beauty. In fact, this paradise is the Face of God, not just an imaginary picture, but the true God Himself. The more the face of our ego fades out, the more the Face of God shines in His Glory, Might, and Goodness. The Desert Path is more a journey within our consciousness than through geographical space and time. That is why it belongs to all people and is not just reserved for desert hermits.



This book will include the following aspects of the journey:
  • Ø   the traveler’s experiences of the transformation into a Paradise Man in union with God;
  • Ø   the traveler’s union with fellow humans though still in a challenging world;
  • Ø   the traveler’s harmonious union with the world of creation in a “cosmic dance.” God is the dancer and we are the dance.6



The focus of this work will be on “The Paradise Man;” therefore, we will not go into detail about the biography of Thomas Merton and this is not the study about only Merton’s theory. We should say that we all enter a mysterious world of Paradise and Thomas Merton is our guide leader.  This work is also not aimed as a profound academic research but only a collection of precious notes to help the author himself and other average churchgoers in finding some inspiration for their spiritual journey. “The Paradise Man” will always be the common expression applicable for both “Man” and “Woman.” Biblical citation will be taken from The New American Bible, revised edition.


According to Thomas Merton, you need not be a bishop, a priest, a monk, a nun, a religious or a hermit; you may be a lay person, a normal churchgoer very busy with your daily duties, but you certainly could also be a Paradise Man.


About the Author

Linhxuan Vu or Fr. Peter Dat Tien Vu is a priest and Cistercian monk graduated MDiv (1983) and MA in theology (1987) from Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at Graduate Theologian Union in Berkeley, California. After some years being sub-novice master at Thien Phuoc Cistercian Abbey in Vung Tau City, Vietnam, he is now serving in the chaplain team at the Retreat House of Assumption Abbey in Ava, Missouri.



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Book Blitz: Assertion Trials by Melaina Rayne #paranormalromance #pnr #promo #excerpt


A Wilder Novella
Paranormal Romance
Date Published: August 6, 2019

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I am Shala Wilder. It is time for my coming-of-age celebration. Eligible males from every wolf pack have come to compete in the brutal trials of the Assertion.

When all is over, the victor will claim me as his companion. The problem? My heart isn’t set on a competitor, but on an off-limits guard who has no interest in me.

What fate awaits me at the end of the trials? Will I fulfill my duty as obedient pack member, or will I forge my own path?




Excerpt

“Shala Wilder, get your skinny ass down here right now!”


My heart sank at the sound of Nettie’s frustrated tone. I knew she’d come looking for me when she realized I wasn’t in bed, but I didn’t think it would be so soon. I barely had time to get comfortable on my little perch, no chance to calm my frazzled nerves. My anxiety over the coming events was still too raw. I needed more time alone, but I wouldn’t get it.

“I mean it, girl. I know you’re up there. Don’t make me come get you.”

We both knew she couldn’t climb the thirty feet up to my little ledge. Still, I was in big trouble if I didn’t at least answer her.

Shifting onto my belly, I peered nervously over the edge to find her standing with her hands on her hips, her foot tapping out an impatient rhythm. That was just like her, always looking so stern and serious. She didn’t have a fun bone in her body. At least, not since I’d known her. She was a no-nonsense kind of woman. She didn’t have time for games, but no matter how harsh she could be, the woman loved us all fiercely.

“I’m just staring at the stars, Nettie,” I called down to her. “Don’t have a pup.”
Her wrinkled face pulled into a tight scowl. “I am well beyond my birthing years, girl. There’ll be no more heathen pups for me.”
I rolled my eyes. She’d missed the point. Again. Sometimes, I couldn’t help thinking she did it on purpose.
From behind Nettie, Rendall stepped into the open, her short cap of pale hair gleaming silver in the moonlight. “You should be sleeping, Shala. You’ll need the rest for your big day tomorrow.”
I flopped onto my back again, letting out a short puff of air. “I can’t sleep. I’m too nervous.”
My twentieth birthday—the beginning of my adult life—was only a few hours away and sleep refused to come to me. Anxiety and worry made it impossible. Not only had ten years passed since I last saw my parents, but the next few days held unknown things for me.
Over the course of my stay in the mountain stronghold, I endured the emergence of my wolf, struggled to get control of her, and mastered the art of shifting with ease and deftness. Still, I had my misgivings about the changes I faced in the coming days.
“Come down and I’ll make you some tea,” Rendall offered.
“I don’t want tea,” I grumbled. “I want to stare at the stars until my eyes cross and I fall asleep from sheer exhaustion.”
A small silence followed my confession before Rendall pressed. “Come now, Shala. Nettie may not come get you, but I will.”
The stiff tone in Rendall’s voice told me all I needed to know. She was usually one of the gentler elderwomen, but she was a good climber. If she came after me, I’d likely be thrown from the low cliff.
With great reluctance, I joined the two women and walked silently between them all the way back to the village. Nettie said goodnight once we reached the main hall, leaving me to follow Rendall to the kitchen.



About the Author


Melaina Rayne is author of The Jagara Series, Warriors of Lykarthia series, and Assertion Trials: a Wilder novella. She's a sucker for a down-and-dirty romance whether it's paranormal, fantasy, or contemporary. She wholeheartedly believes a great love story transcends the boundaries of genre. But, as much as she loves reading, she especially loves to write stories of beastly men, headstrong women, and the untamable passion that always draws them together.


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