☆~Down to Earth and Honest Book Reviews from a Free-Spirited and Custom Bilbliophile~☆

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Books & Writing Amino!

Hey Loves! Have you guys heard of the Books &Writing Amino?! I just joined and it’s pretty awesome! It has different chatrooms for Books, Authors, Bookstagram, Writing and More! Like Wowza, you can personal message on there like text messages, video chat, a forum, buddy reads, Create posts, add Wikis, and so much more that I probably don’t know about but thought I should share! Also here’s where we can connect if you join or are already a member! Lots of Love! Xoxoxo

Check out my profile on Books & Writing: http://aminoapps.com/p/szb2wm

Author Interview Featuring Author Candace Robinson

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Hey guys I am super excited to feature this awesome author/blogger on my blog today! She is such an amazing lady with a sweet presence and beautiful soul. I was so glad I connected with Author Candace Robinson!!!

So I am going to shut my babbling mouth up and start this interview because I am so excited to feature her on my blog! Woot!

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Will you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a writer or at least try to be. I have the tendency to fight with the little demon in my head who constantly tells me that I’m not good enough. Besides that, I live with my husband and daughter who support me through all my insanity. I also have a migraine condition and sometimes they are in the form known as hemiplegic migraines which are utterly debilitating.

Can you tell us about one or more of your novels?

I wrote Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault back in 2016 and ended up self publishing. After one of my new books, Clouded by Envy, got picked up by The Parliament House, I submitted Quinsey and the sequel to them in which they picked them up. After the new editing process, Quinsey is now how it should have been the first time. It’s full of retellings because I absolutely love them, and I chose the ones that shaped me as I grew up. Other than Quinsey, another of my books that I co-wrote titled Bacon Pie also just released. It has bacon and pie and some romance.

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Are the characters in your stories that are based off yourself or anyone else?

So, I have two manuscripts I just finished that aren’t published and I put a little of myself in there. I sometimes use moments that have happened in my life and sprinkle that in as well. In Hearts Are Like Balloons, the opening chapter about my dad ending his life is the same way it happened to me, except I wasn’t a teen when it occurred. Writing that book helped me get through things a little more easily.

What has been the hardest part of becoming/being a published author?

Marketing! Also trying to get an agent. I’ve been on a mission for a while now to find one, and I’m hoping eventually one will fall in love with my words.

When did you first start writing stories or any other kind of writings?

I wrote poems a little after my senior year in high school, but I didn’t actually write anything until I wrote Quinsey in 2016 right after my dad died. I figured life is always unexpected, and you can’t sit there and keep waiting to do something about it.

What inspired you to become an author?

I don’t really have a great answer for that. I just always have little images in my head that are waiting to be pulled together into a story. It knocks, knocks, and knocks some more at my head until they are written down.

Did you take writing classes or are you self taught?

No writing classes! I’m sure someone would argue that I need to! Lol!

What is the most difficult part of writing?

Believing that what I’m writing isn’t a big mess. In all honesty, the first draft is most likely always a catastrophe, but then you can go in there and sew it all back together with new words and removing words. Eventually, it all comes together!

What are your hobbies?

Reading and taking care of my daughter. She’s a huge Harry Potter fan so I’m pretty sure that makes Harry Potter my hobby!

Are there any authors that have inspired your love for writing?

I haven’t read a lot of the classics, so it’s mainly YA for me. And that would be Tahereh Mafi and Sarah J. Maas. I just can’t put their books down!

What is your favorite book? I know this can be a difficult question for readers!

The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi and Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi

Can you share with us your favorite literary quote?

It’s not literary lol, but my favorite quote is actually by the singer Jewel back in the 90’s “I’d rather see the world from another angle”

If you could give young writers (who’s dream is to be published) a piece of advice that has anything to do with the writing process, what would that be?

Just keep at it. If you want to get published, it is probably going to take a while, but there is someone out there who will love your work. We all just have to find them.

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Author Bio:

Candace Robinson spends her days consumed by words. When she’s not writing stories, she maintains a book review blog. Her life consists of avoiding migraines, admiring Bonsai trees, and living with her husband and daughter in Texas—where it can be forty degrees one day and eighty the next.

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Website: http://authorcandacerobinson.wordpress.com

Blog: http://literarydust.wordpress.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/literarydust

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/literarydust/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/literarydust

Author Interview Featuring Didi Oviatt

I am so glad that today I get to feature one of my all time favorite authors and friend, Didi Oviatt! Not only is she super talented, she is also kind, inspiring and has a free-spirit that you can’t help but to love!💖 From my beginning days as being a book blogger, Didi was one of the few people who made me instantly feel at home and after reading two of her books and reading her blog and magazine, I was in awe because of the way she had with words. I hope that when I finish my novel that I am able to become atleast half of the author Didi is!😀 So enough of my babbles. about my innoncent girl crush on Didi Let’s get to the Q&As with her and yours truly!💖🎊🎉

Didi with her latest novel, Search for Maylee

Will you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

My two terrorising, bugar-faced children hold the key to my heart. Writing suspense novels leaves me to feel empowered, grounded, and utterly beside myself all at once.

And…………….

My idea of a perfect evening is to be is standing around a booming campfire, with a cold beer in hand, and in a place where the stars are so bright and beautiful it feels like I can reach up and grab them! I’m a small town girl surrounded by mountain ranges that are to die for. So yes, I totally get to experience this phenomenon often!

Can you tell us about one or more of your novels?

I think I’ll to go with Aggravated Momentum to ramble about today. Mostly because you’re yet to read it, Dani *wink. wink.* This was my first ever Physcological Thriller. It was the first book I wrote that made me realize I have the kind of potential to actually pursue writing as a lifelong career. The premise is centered around a family with dark secrets, and a killer with a knack for psychological torture. The main victim doesn’t die right off, in this creepy little slasher… No, no, that would be too easy. Instead, the people she cares about are picked off around her, one by one, while her tormentor watches her dismay from a distance. I could go on, but I’d rather you find out for yourselves! 😉

Are there characters in your stories based off yourself or anyone else?

For the most part, no. However, I do have a short story collection that is based on myself, and some elaborated silly memories of my younger years. There are six stories total, and the series is titled Time Wasters.

What has been the hardest part of becoming/being a published author?

Time management!! Hands down, juggling life as a (excellent) mommy and (incomparable) wife (lol), working part time outside the home and writing full time inside the home. It’s hard not to get a little ran down in finding the time. I’ve definitely learned a thing or two over the last couple of years about prioritizing over stressing. Sometimes you have to take a breath and slow yourself down! Becoming a successful writer is huge, but that can never be accomplished without at least trying to keep your sanity intact.

When did you first start writing stories or any other kind of writings?

I’ve always dabbled some in poetry, and excelled in creative writing projects up through high school, but it wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties and going through a bit of medical struggles, that I found my love to create literature. I had to stop drinking, and spent a lot of time on bed-rest… so, naturally I was bored! I decided that I needed a hobby that was constructive, and might help me to feel capable and competent again despite my body’s pitfalls. I turned to writing as an outlet, something to help pull me me away from self-pity and boost my overall health in general. Ultimately, writing turned into a passion much bigger than I’d ever dreamed it could! In a way, you could say writing changed my life.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

Making Mind Over Matter a Reality

Did you take writing classes or are you self taught?

I’m completely self taught. Although, I like to think of the novels read as the best teaching tool available to writers. In my opinion, creativity can rarely be taught, and everyday choices in life itself can offer the biggest lessons. You just need to pay attention, open your mind, and allow yourself to learn.

What is the most difficult part of writing?

Edit. Edit. Edit.

What do you enjoy most about being a published author?

I love the feedback and the growth in it. I guess you could say the whole process of self-improvement is absolutely addicting!

What are your hobbies?

OMG where to start! I probably have too many hobbies, that’s why I’m always strapped for time, and utterly behind on my promised reads and writing projects! I’m very outdoorsy. If it involves fresh open air, the sun and the wilderness, then consider me in! I’m like the most opposite of a ‘city girl’ one can possibly get. Some might even go as far as to call me a redneck… and so be it! That said, I spend a lot of time getting dirty. I hike, ride ATV’s, hunt (my favorite is archery), lots and lots of fishing, swimming/boating. I also love Native American artifacts, so I spend a lot of time looking for arrowheads etc, mostly in desert ranges. I also LOVE to take the time teaching my kids dance, sports, and music!

Are there any authors that have inspired your love for writing?

Every single book I’ve ever read has inspired me in one way or another. I pick up on the qualities I love, and I take note of what I don’t. BUT, if I have to pick just one author then I’m going with Colleen Hoover. Not only because her writing is absolutely amazing, but because she’s a beautiful person in general. She’s a giver, an absolute inspiration in every way. She donates and raises money for charities often, and is a pillar of the community. I actually got to interview her for The Conscious Talk Magazine and it was absolutely a dream come true!

If you could give young writers (who’s dream is to be published) a piece of advice that has anything to do with the writing process, what would that be?

Take your time, and take breaks before you do any rounds of edits and revisions. Once you’ve stepped away from a project for a while, you’ll come back with a clean slate and a fresh perspective. Overall this will help your piece to be better rounded and prettier polished.

Here’s a bio on Didi with links and about her books! I got this bio from her author/book blog. You can connect with Didi on her blog @ https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/about/

Growing up in a small town had more than several advantages and disadvantages. Saying that my childhood was sheltered is nothing short of an understatement. Unlocked doors, cleared streets, and the quiet of a trustworthy neighborhood were all welcomed features of my hometown. As a small child I baked cookies with the old lady down the road. I sat next to my kindergarten crush in sun day school, and literally rode my bike in the middle of the road without a care in the world. We didn’t have what kids have today. We actually had to use our imaginations to have a good time. There were no smart phones, tablets, or 64s to keep us occupied. We were perfectly content to play with our stick guns and a water hose for hours on end… And I loved it! Along with my scrapes and bruises I also maintained a simple, happy for the little things attitude, and of course a great tan.

Now that I have made my childhood out to be nothing but cherries and smiles, I have to point out the disadvantages that came with the small town upbringing– before the world of electronics took over the young mind. One word distinctively comes to mind… Boredom! As I grew into adolescence I no longer cared much for silly toys, dancing, baking, or crafts. I rebelled like many young adults do. With a sever chip on my shoulder and a lack of coordination in the sports department, I spent the majority of my time partying. Nothing too outrageous, mostly close friends, fires, and beer.

As much as I would love to say that living in a small town gave me an overactive imagination and love for books, that is unfortunately not the case. I cared more about having a good time than I did about school. I was voted wild child twice in high school. I cheated my way to passing grades.

It wasn’t until I was settled and married with a child on the way that I found my love for the literary world. Rearing out of my mid twenties left me a bit more mature, having to find more important things to do with my time than re-occurring nights at the bar. This is when it started – I read one book after another for a few short years, then decided to give writing a bash. I’m completely amazed at the love I developed! Once I started putting the world of imagination that has long been trapped in my overactive mind into a keyboard, the transformation of self began. A new aspiration in life has formed. I want nothing more than to be known as the unexpected novelist who took the literary world by storm!

My novels include three stand alone thrillers, Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, and The Stix. I’ve released the start to a YA dystopian trilogy New Age Lamians (books 2 and 3 are intended to be released in 2018). I also have a few short story anthologies, Time Wasters, and The Suspenseful Collectionpartnered with Kim Knight.

Follow me on Amazon: Didi’s Amazon Authors Page

Follow me on Facebook: Didi’s Facebook Author Page

Follow me on Twitter: Didi’s Twitter

Follow me on Goodreads: Didi’s Goodreads

Follow me on Instagram: Didi’s Instagramthree

One of Didi’s quotes which she likes to share on her Bookstagram!

Thanks so much everyone for stopping by and reading my interview with the lovely Didi Oviatt!😀📚 Until next time, lovelies!Xoxoxo!

*~Author Interview With Annie Woods~*

 

Author Interview

Hello there, lovelies!!!!😍 Today I am sharing with you my interview with Annie Woods! Annie Woods is the author of First Come Forever which is the first installment in the Angelheart series! I met Annie last year and was thrilled to read her book and LOVED it! You can find my review here. Not only was her book fantastic, she is a kind and supportive author. Annie gets involved with her readers, posts her own book reviews and goes the extra mile by featuring her reviewers and other special book enthusiasts on her website. You can find my Sunday Spotlight post I made about it here. Annie has been an inspiration to me and turned out to be a great friend!😍 Now let’s get to part where we learn more about Annie and First Came Forever!📝💖🌠

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About the Book
wp-1521050094537.jpgFirst love. A promise of forever. A lie that changes everything.

Backpacking with her high school friends, Erica Lindell’s life takes a thrilling new turn. Meeting the fascinating Sasha Ailes, she can’t help but fall completely and irrevocably in love with him. When he feels the same way about her, Erica finds herself drawn into a fairytale love story that will set her life on a new direction. But Sasha has kept his true identity a secret. Finding out who he really is, Erica must overcome the betrayal and make the hardest choice of her life. Can she give up her own dreams to live in his world, or leave and lose him forever?

First Came Forever is an enchanting, heart-wrenching story about finding true love and the devastating consequences it can lead to. What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Where to Buy It

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Questions-and-AnswersWill you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in Stockholm, Sweden, but I’ve spent a lot of time in the USA and UK. Currently I am partly living in the US, dividing my time between Stockholm and New York.

Reading has always been a big part of my life, I love to read and travel through books! My favorite genre is definitely YA, both contemporary and fantasy.

Other things I love are Italian food, champagne and, embarrassingly enough, Cosmopolitan drinks (yes very 1990s and Sex-And-The-City-ish, I know…)

I’m also kind of always freezing (you know, always wearing twice as much clothes as anyone else…), so I love the sun and being in warm countries. Funny, considering that I live in cold Sweden most of the time and in NY during winter, which is also as far from warm as you can get… My favorite thing is when it’s warm enough to lie under a sunshade (preferably in a hammock under a large tree) reading books without being cold. I love the feeling of being outdoor and healthy, when in reality you’re just lying still and reading…

Another “fun fact” about me is that I am super clumsy. I always drop things and spill food and drinks on my clothes. It even happens that I walk into walls, missing the door opening…

 

What are your hobbies?

Besides books I also love music, theatre, dance, art and movies; anything that brings magic to your life, really. And I love to run, so I’m spending quite a lot of time with my running shoes on.

I also love traveling with my family and experiencing the world together and doing outdoor activities, like hiking, surfing or skiing. On the top of my bucket list I have walking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, climbing the Kilimanjaro, exploring the Great Wall and seeing the cherry blossom in Tokyo. I hope to be able to check some of those things off the list soon. (One can always dream, right…?)

 

Can you tell us about your new novel, First Came Forever?

First Came Forever is my first novel and it means so much to me! It’s the first book in The Angelheart Saga trilogy following 18-year-old Erica Lindell as an unexpected meeting changes her life forever.

It’s a story I’ve been carrying with me for years. The image of Erica and how she moved to US for love came to me on a vacation in California over four years ago. Driving along Highway 1 the plot and the other characters crystalized; how she meets Sasha and falls heads over heels in love with him, but how difficult even such a strong love can be when reality hits with their different worlds and the mixed feelings for Tyler that intrudes Erica’s mind. On the plane back home I started writing this book. Then it was the song Moonlight by Stevie Nicks that gave me the final direction for the book, and the courage to start writing it. When I learned about how the song is a combination of Stevie’s own personal relationship and the love story between Bella and Edward in Twilight it just hit me how to get the story I’ve had in my head for so long together. That it should focus on something both ancient and up to today. So, my book is a love story of the same kind as Bella and Edward’s, but instead of a vampire tale, it’s a conventional kingdom and its old-fashioned rules that forces Erica to decide what is worth giving up for love. I think that First Came Forever is a lot about finding your directions in life. To find out who you are and feel comfortable in your skin. To stay true to yourself and make your own decisions no matter how hard they are.

 

Are the characters in your story based off yourself or anyone else?

Yes, I have to admit that Erica is very much based off myself. Erica is just a tiny bit (oh, alright, A LOT!) smarter and better looking and with way more integrity. But, just like me, she’s clumsy, a bookworm, too serious for her own good at times, a kind of bad driver, but a great runner finding peace and quiet and respite from all demands out in the woods with her running shoes on.


But Tyler on the other hand was not based off any person, he was just supposed to be this secondary character, the stereotype High School bad boy/jock that was not meant to play such an important role in the story at all. But when I started writing the book that changed completely. Or rather, he worked his magic on me… He really made me so interested and intrigued that I just wrote more and more about him, so in a way Tyler created his own character.
Also, most of the places described in the book are based off my own experiences. I’ve been to all places described myself, and I really love Cambodia and Vietnam, which I hope shows in the book.

 

There have been so many positive reviews on First Came Forever and everyone I know (including me) loves the story. Did this positive feedback take you by surprise? Were you nervous about the publishing process?

Oh my gosh, I was so nervous! Having your book published is like sending your child off to school for the first time. I’ve been living with the characters in the book for years now, so I actually think about them as real-life-persons, like my children or old friends that I wish the very best for. So it was so devastatingly nervous to have the book published and wait for the readers’ reactions, hoping that they would love Erica, Sasha, Tyler and all the others just as much as I do.

But it’s such an amazing thing to share your story with others, and getting positive feedback is just magic! I love the bookworm community and all the wonderful contacts; I’ve gotten so much love and support and encouragement, it’s just unbelievable! (This is also the reason why I started my “Sunday spotlight”-series on my blog, where I try to share and return some of all that love and support I’ve received by shining some light on an amazing blogger, bookstagrammer or other lovely book community person every Sunday.) And I’ve really found some amazing friends, found some true kindred spirits, like you, Dani! I can honestly say that getting to know you is one of the absolute highlights of having my book published!

 

How long has it been since you first started writing and created your own stories?

In a way the answer could be “always”, or at least as long as I have been able to write… When I learned to read a whole new world opened up to me. I can still remember the feeling of being blown away. So, reading has always been a big part of my life, and soon (I think already in first or second grade) I started to write my own stories. But I never thought I could be a writer, so I went on to study other things and pursued another career, and never really did a serious attempt to write. I guess I didn’t believe enough in the story or in myself… So First Came Forever is basically the first fiction I’ve written. When this story came to me, I felt that it was so strong that I just couldn’t let it go but had to try and write it down.

 

Who inspired you to become an author?

I really have to say thanks to my parents for opening up my eyes to the wonderful world of books, by giving me books at an early age and by always coming along to all bookstores I dragged them to. In school I also had some wonderful teachers who encouraged me a lot. And then there was my grandmother who was a painter, but who’d never dared to follow her dream and instead only painted ”for fun” at home, who taught me the importance of being brave enough to pursue your dreams. But I’m a late bloomer, so it took me quite a long time to really do that… I guess that you could say that it was the story itself that inspired me to dare to write it down!

The feeling when I held the first copy of the book in my hand was so overwhelming, I can’t even try to put it into words. I wish so much that I could go back in time and tell the younger me to believe in myself and pursue my dream to write much sooner, not to wait this long to do it.

 

What is the hardest part of writing?

I think that the hardest thing is to deal with a writer’s block. I’ve had a few of those, but I try not to worry too much about it (easier said than done though…) and allows myself to take a break from writing when I feel a block coming up. Instead I try to get some new inspiration from reading books and watching movies. And I also use running as a way to clear my head and get new inspiration.

Another hard part in writing a sequel, when so many have loved the first book, is that you are afraid to disappoint the readers. It was so much harder writing the second book than the first one, I have really struggled with writer’s blocks and anxiety this time.

 

Are there any authors that have inspired your love for writing?

Oh, yes, there are so many amazing authors out there! I love YA authors like Rainbow Rowell, Marie Lu, Cassandra Clare, E. Lockhart, contemporary authors like Maggie O’Farrell, Curtis Sittenfield, Nobel prize winners like Toni Morrisson, Nadine Gordimer, Doris Lessing… And an all time favorite is Joyce Carol Oates. I also have to mention Stephenie Meyer, since the Twilight series was the series that really opened up my eyes for the YA genre, even though I’m not sure that I would love the series quite as much if I reread it now.

 

What is your favorite book? I know this can be a difficult question for readers!

Right now the two books on the top of my mind is The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice And Virtue by Mackenzi Lee and Carry On by Rainbow Rowell; I’m so in love with these books and the characters! But if I have to choose one “life-time” favorite book, it would have to be the Harry Potter series. To me, those books are pure book perfection! The way J.K. Rowling has created a whole universe on her own and all the characters that you love and carry with you in your heart forever. With Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling has also helped so many troubled and lonely children, giving them hope and bringing them joy, it’s utterly amazing. There’s even a research study proving that the Harry Potter books help children to be more accepting of LGBT persons, so the books are literally making the world a better place.

 

If you could give young writers (who’s dream is to be published) a piece of advice that has anything to do with the writing process, what would that be?

The best advice I can give is to believe in yourself and never give up on your dream! And to just get into the habit of writing, a little bit every day. It’s really the hard work and actually putting the words in your head down on the paper that makes you a writer. Writing down the initial concept is so much fun, then after that it is basically just a lot of hard work… But just keep in mind the story you want to tell, and that you will get to share it with others when the book comes out, and it will be so worth it all!

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*~Book Spotlight: Color Me Murder by Krista Davis~*

Hey guys! I have missed you these last few days! I am going to be trying to catch up with everything and everybody because I miss all of your lovely face! I hated being away from the blogoshpere while being with my family at the hospital but things have stabalized finally and I am able to start catching up with everyone’s post and all my reviews within the next few days. But enough about me!! I want to show off my current read that is so AWESOME and today is the book’s birthday! Yay! I want to give lots of thanks to Kensington Books to providing me with an ARC of this book! I get to color and read it! Two of my faves wrapped in one! So I will get to the best part, let’s hear about this book!

Title: Color Me Murder (A Pen & Ink Mystery Novel #1)

Author: Krista Davis

Publisher: Kensington Books

Page Count: 281 Pages

Publication Date: TODAY!!! 2/27/2018

Order Links: U.S. Amazon Link / U.K. Amazon Link / Barnes & Noble / Indie Bound

Goodreads: Click Here To Check Out on Goodreads

Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color!
Download the PDF and start coloring today.

By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There’s plenty of inspiration in her new apartment—a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition—she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.

When the professor’s nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It’s not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery—there’s a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn’t so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.

Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries and the Paws & Claws Mysteries. Several of her books have been nominated for the Agatha Award. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two cats and a brood of dogs. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices they keep coming back for more. Please visit her at kristadavis.com.

ARC Book Review: Home With You by Shirlee McCoy

I would like to thank Kensington Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Rating:

U.S. Amazon Link / U.K. Amazon Link

Click Here to Check out on Goodreads

The Bradshaw brothers never dreamed they’d return to their hometown. But tragedy has brought them back together in Benevolence, Washington, where they’re finding generosity, surprising revelations—and unexpected love . . .

Sullivan Bradshaw is in way over his head. A car crash killed his brother, Matthias, and critically injured his sister-in-law. It’s Sullivan’s turn to care for the couple’s six children and the ancestral farm, but the die-hard bachelor and art professor is hardly family-man material. What he needs is the perfect nanny-miracle worker-saint. What he gets is pretty Rumer Truehart, a free spirit who will change everything he ever thought he wanted . . .

Rumer learned the hard way that nothing is for sure, much less forever. And she certainly understands why Sullivan’s unhappy childhood makes him a strictly no-commitments kind of guy. But she can’t help being drawn to this thoughtful, gentle man. And when trouble strikes, she’s determined to win his trust—and show him love can be a promise for keeps.

Praise for Shirlee McCoy’s Sweet Haven

“Fans of Debbie Macomber will appreciate McCoy’s sweet, funny, heartwarming romance with its friendly, small-town setting.”
–Booklist (starred review)

“A delicious small‑town treat.” ‑‑Library Journal

Holy, Moly! What a book!❤ When I first saw this novel in the Kensington catalog and requested, I thought I would be reading a sweet romance. I couldn’t imagine that this story would hit so close to home that it blew me away! This book is way more than what meets the eyes! I could relate to Rumer so much. She had so many trust issues and was scared of getting hurt because of her traumatic past and her run in with the foster system just made things that more relateable! She was so strong though and it really touched my heart. Heck yes for strong people who lived through the system and are awesome! The characterisation in this book was fantastic!

The 6 Bradshaw children all touched my heart in so many ways. Each of them troubled from a rough life before adoption and were battling the system. Now faced with having their father, Matthias Bradshaw dead from a car accident and their mother, Sunday Bradshaw, is in coma fighting for her life, they must push on again with the help of their Uncle Sullivan Bradshaw who has no idea what he’s doing. When thankfully, Rumer Truehart starts helping out at the Bradshaw house. Everything flowed so well in this story and was an incredible family drama that I would re-read! The realistic and raw emotions in this story touched my heart but also gave me a sense of hope.

The reason I love this story so much and how it is deeply embedded in my heart is because I could relate to everything that happened in this story. Reading the premise, I had no idea that this story would capture my heart and have me wishing the second installment was out already!

I don’t want to give any spoilers away but in my reviews I like to open myself up and share how I can relate and why a book effected me so. My life is not identical to the Bradshaws but I am going through situations that just relate in a powerful way. So, I’m going to share a little about me and how this book effected me. I went through group homes, residential treatment facilities and all the ugly sides of the system that are kept on the hush. As a child, I was in the system and had histories like Heavenly Bradshaw and Rumer Truehart. There characters are so relatable because they come off harsh and Heavenly like a punk kid when there is so much more to them. Once when I was staying in this couple’s house I spent 24 hours in a car trunk for not doing a foster mother’s dishes correctly. So it can be really rough in the system to say the least and it changes you. Going through the experiences that I did helped created the woman I am now and you can see in this novel that Rumer is so strong and scarred because of her life as a broken child. There were so many experiences that have your emotions on a whirlwind but all of them are worth it. Your heart will be touched in so many ways.  While reading this novel, I was rooting for Sunday Bradshaw to get better. She adopted 6 children that had been through difficult experiences and had such a great heart. I had so much respect for her and it hurt me to see this family shattered. This book was surely worth any tears!

The romance between Rumer and Sullivan was sweet and so relatable. Sullivan Bradshaw also had a very rough childhood that kept him from Benevolence but his return was awesome! He struggles with thoughts of his alcoholic father but he strives to be a better man. Reading about him growing to love the kids and Rumer and him growing from the experience of taking care of 6 kids they didn’t know.

I also could relate to this story because my son’s father was in a horrific accident 4 years and only given 6% chance to live and if he was to live they didn’t think he would be able to walk or talk again. It was horrible waiting for weeks not knowing if he would wake out of a coma then come out of a vegetated state but he did. The doctors thought it was a miracle he is able to function and do as much as he can. 4 years later, I am still his caretaker and will be forever and he never remembers what happens the previous day and sometimez just 5 minutes ago. He has long term and short term memory loss and even though that has effected my life tremendously he can do everything else pretty normal physically! So we were lucky but we suffer the effects daily with his brain; not being able to remember simple things, retain memories, schizophrenia, and tourette’s syndrome. We make it though and push through one day at a time.

In this story, I felt like I was living my life in a way that is hard to describe. The situation is not the same but I could relate on so many levels that this book truly felt like Home. I always try to tell everyone how I can relate to a story by opening up in a way so people can understand more about how I feel about a book. This book was fantastic in every sense. Home With You made me laugh, cry, and root for the family to succeed! It was truly a remarkable story! Shirlee McCoy gave amazing descriptions and a plot that had a steady pace that is sure to win your heart! This story leaves a lot for the next in the series and I can’t wait for the next installment!!!! When I read that this story was a spin off, I just couldn’t believe it! Most spin offs are confusing and just aren’t up to par like this story!

Thanks so much for reading my review! Followers have always loved when I shared and opened my heart when a story was relatable in some way so that’s why I decided to open up. I also wanted to let whomever is reading this know that this book is so much more than what meets the eyes. I’m so glad I got the chance to read this book and read it within a day! I highly recommend this heartfelt story.

Shirlee McCoy

New York Times best-selling author Shirlee McCoy loves books. She loves reading them. She loves writing them. She loves sharing them with family, with friends, and with total strangers on airplanes and in doctor’s offices. It’s no surprise that she loves being an author. Her first book was published in 2004. Since then, she’s written more than 45 novels. Her books have appeared on the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and USA Today bestsellers lists.

Of course, her love for books pales in comparison with her love for family. When she’s not writing, she’s homeschooling her two youngest children and spending time with the people she cares about most. Her books are a reflection of her passion for relationships and community. An advocate for adoption and a firm believer in the power of faith, love, and compassion, Shirlee writes books that explore the dynamics between siblings, parents, children, and friends.

She enjoys hearing from readers and writers. You can email her at

shirlee@shirleemccoy.com or catch up with her life and writing at http://shirleemccoy.blogspot.com/.

*Interview With Frank Morelli ~Author of No Sad Songs*

Hello lovelies! I hope everyone is having a fantabulous weekend! Today I wanted to share an interview with you with an author that I became to admire, Frank Morelli. I am currently reading his novel, No Sad Songs, and I am totally fangirling over it! Not only do I love Frank’s writing style, Frank is an interesting and good person. He is always ready to take the extra step for his readers and be more involved in whatever way he can. Frank can also be found on his WordPress site @ https://frankmorelliwrites.com I loved the results of this interview and I hope you enjoy learning more about him and his upcoming novel, No Sad Songs. I will start with the synopsis of No Sad Songs and then we will get to learning more about the author behind the book!😍

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgFollowing a family tragedy, eighteen-year-old Gabe LoScuda suddenly finds himself thrust into the role of caregiver for his ailing grandfather.

Between the shopping trips and the doctor visits with Grandpa, Gabe and his friend John try to salvage their senior year, meet girls, and make the varsity baseball team.

It doesn’t take long for Gabe to realize that going to school and looking after a grandfather with Alzheimer’s is more work than he ever imagined. And when long-lost Uncle Nick appears on the scene, Gabe soon finds that living with Nick and Grandpa is like babysitting two grown men.

Aside from John, the only person who truly understands Gabe is Sofia, a punk-rocking rebel he meets at the veteran’s hospital.When these three unlikely friends are faced with a serious dilemma, will they do what it takes to save Grandpa?

If there’s a chance of preserving the final shreds of Grandpa’s dignity, Gabe may have to make the most gut-wrenching decision of his life—and there’s no way out.

Available February 20Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgPre-order Today!

Add on Goodreads No Sad Songs

 Frank Morelli, Author of No Sad Songs

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m from the Philadelphia area originally, but now I live just outside of Greensboro, NC with my best friend/partner in crime/chief critic, Alexandra, and our crazy gang of cats and dogs. We don’t have any children, but we’re passionate about rescuing animals, so the second we bought a house with a big, wooded backyard we adopted lots of pets. At the moment, we have two doggies (Stan and Brooklyn) and two cats (Jackie and Henry Aaron). Both of us are massive baseball fans, so we named our buddies after some of our favorite players and baseball towns. We spend the vast majority of our time reading, writing, editing, and cooking.    

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

No Sad Songs is the story of Gabe LoScuda, a high school senior who loses his parents and is forced to take on the role of caregiver for his ailing grandfather, an Alzheimer’s patient. The story is definitely close to my heart because I wrote it as a way to exorcise the demons of watching my own father take care of my grandfather when I was a teen. To this day, I wrestle with the question: did I do enough to help my father? It’s the exact kind of conflict Gabe battles throughout the book, as we watch him struggle to be a student, a caretaker, an adult and a kid all at the same time. No Sad Songs a story about our innate sense of duty that, as humans, we often allow to override the very essence of our lives…even when it becomes clear that our help is no longer making a dent.  It’s a feeling that Alzheimer’s caretakers deal with everyday. And there are over 15 million of them–family members of the afflicted–right now in this country as I write this line. 

What do you do when you are not writing?

I’m a naturally active person and writing is one of the most sedentary professions on the planet, so I try to spend my off time doing things that involve exercise. Writing is also a solitary act and it makes me miss being part of a team. My solution has been to never stop playing the sports I love. On teams. With old guys. My knees and my back are not fans of this strategy, but if I lather up with enough Tiger Balm I’m good for a few games of ice hockey a week at the local rink. Believe me, all the bumps and bruises are worth it when you find something that prevents you from ever forgetting what it feels like to be a kid.

Do you have a day job as well?

I’m a teacher by day and a writer in the early morning and late at night. Like the vast majority of writers, I find the balancing act of work life and writing life to be a constant struggle. There’s not much time for sleep. That said, I’ve been teaching for fifteen years and I wouldn’t trade a day of it for anything in the world. Teaching and coaching middle and high school aged students is part of what I was put on this planet to do, and my experiences in the classroom are exactly what allowed me to see how my writing style and my mindset are best suited for communicating with a young adult audience. On top of all that, I learn from my students on a daily basis. They see through the nonsense adults often get mired in. They understand truth, justice, and balance. I firmly believe today’s brand of teenager is what has made the young adult book market so influential in recent years. They are discerning and smart, and I feel honored when I can use my experience to help them avoid the obstacles that may lie in their paths.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I didn’t really know it at the time, but I probably started writing when I was about seven or eight years old. That’s when I became annoyed at the limitations of the original Nintendo Game System and decided it was my duty to rewrite the book on just about every video game ever invented. As far as I know, none of my game ideas ever made it to prime time, most likely because I squirreled them away and never showed them to anyone besides my younger brother. I also wrote some really terrible poetry in high school. But it wasn’t until college that I started treating writing more like a career choice. I got into journalism and wrote sports stories for various local newspapers, and then I moved to New York City to chase a job in publishing. But sitting in a cubicle wasn’t my idea of the writing life, so I became a NYC Public School teacher and began spending my summers writing for about ten hours a day. For fifteen years! I spent most of my time writing short stories, flash fiction and essays. I finally took the plunge into writing novels about five years ago. No Sad Songs took about two years start to finish. 

How did you choose the genre you write in? Where do you get your ideas?

I wouldn’t say I chose the genre I write in. It definitely chose me. I spent a long time spinning my wheels and writing across many different genres, until it finally dawned on me: why don’t I take what I do in the classroom and translate it into what I do on the page? The first chapter of No Sad Songs is literally the first piece of young adult fiction I’ve ever written. It’s not a long chapter. Only a few pages. But as soon as I wrote the last word of the first draft of that very first chapter, I just knew. Falling into my niche and finding that focus has made all the difference. As far as where I get my ideas, I think most writers would agree that you need to write what you know. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write an autobiography. It just means your personal experiences need to bleed out on the page and dictate the directions you plan to take your characters. It’s the only way to create reality within a fantasy. 

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

Not anymore, but that’s only because I stopped believing in the concept of writer’s block. When you get to the point where you have deadlines to meet, whether self-imposed or thrust upon you by an editor, there’s really no time for writer’s block. You can’t sit around sipping drinks and waiting for inspiration if you ever want to finish something as complicated as a novel. You have to sit down in the chair everyday and write, even when it feels like all you’re doing is splattering gibberish on the page. Some of my best writing has come in these moments, and it makes you realize writer’s block only happens when you’re fighting against yourself. When this happens in a baseball game, a coach would tell his hitter, “You’re gripping the bat too hard.” When it happens to a writer, the writer has become the hitter and the coach.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

When I first started writing short stories I was so against the idea of planning a story ahead of time. It was like a cardinal sin to me. It was also an example of short-sighting thinking. You might be able to write something short without a road map, but if you’re trying to write a novel you better know your final destination and every point in between. My pre-planning process has become increasingly more complicated over the years. I probably spend about two months creating and refining my characters, charting plot points, building believable settings, and doing miscellaneous research before I ever write the first word in chapter one. I create a master outline for the novel ahead of time and then break that down into smaller outlines for each individual chapter as I get to them. With that said, I try to keep my outlines basic so I’m not overly locked into anything and I still have freedom to create on the page. It seems to work for me, but I’m continually trying to refine my process and make it work better.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? What inspired you to become an author?

J.D. Salinger’s A Catcher in the Rye and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird are the books that made me fall in love with reading when I was growing up. I didn’t know why at the time, but I’m now sure it’s because of the unique and authentic narrative voices created by both authors. I love voice. If I can hear a narrator’s voice in my head long after putting the book down, I’m basically in love. I think the voices of Holden Caulfield and Scout Finch play on a loop in the heads of many young adult authors. Certainly mine. The desire to be able to create a voice like one of these was definitely one of the things that inspired me to become an author, but there are so many others. I guess they all boil down to one thing: I love the idea of creating worlds that presumably go on without us between the covers of a book.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

Getting a book published is not easy. The competition is insane and the chances for rejection are plentiful. I lost count of how many times I’ve been rejected by agents, publishers, or editors. If you want to write, you have to learn to live with rejection. But it never gets easier to accept a rejection. To me, that’s the hardest part of getting anything published, whether it be a piece of flash fiction, an essay, or a two-thousand page novel. If you’re able to continue believing in your work and push on to the next submission, you’ll find the right person who will champion your book. Jon Wilson at Fish Out of Water Books was that person for me and I’m so thankful we found each other.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?

I wouldn’t change a thing about the book. No Sad Songs, as it stands, is exactly what I set out to write and I believe in it. I’m proud of what I created. The only thing I’d change is that I’d go into the process with a better awareness of the business side of things. Making blurb requests and seeking out press opportunities and finding reviews…these are not easy things to do. They consume time and they stop you from creating new work. But they’re essential if you ever want readers out there to know your book exists. Anticipating these steps on my next go around will definitely help me to find a better balance and build more buzz before the release date.  

How do you market your work?

Social media is a major tool, but I also try to keep my name visible in as many venues as possible. I continue to write short stories for publications like The Saturday Evening Post and I contribute a monthly column to Change Seven Magazine. Fish Out of Water Books also helps me to secure reviews and press in newspapers, blogs and other publications. I also have a bunch of public appearances coming up over the next few months. There’s really no better way to connect with your audience than by reading your work to them in a live setting. You can find a listing of my upcoming events here.

What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

I think young adult literature thrives on the examination of current social issues. Whether a story is set in a present-day high school or in some far-away galaxy, I think a novel written for young adults must still focus on the issues that affect our youth in the current time. That’s one of the reasons why I felt it was important to write No Sad Songs, because Alzheimer’s isn’t just a disease that affects the old. It affects all of us.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

A few years ago I abandoned a horror novel that took place in a real ghost town in Pennsylvania. The town of Centralia was a coal mining boom town that was officially evacuated back in the late 1980s after a mine fire had been raging under it for almost thirty years. The place is still on fire as we speak. I went to college not too far from the town and it fascinated me, so I tried to build a story around it, but I could never pull the threads together enough to gain any interest. It’s definitely a story that haunts me a little. I have a feeling I haven’t seen the last of it.  

What is your favorite book? I know this is always a difficult question!

This is an easy one for me. It’s Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Hands down. Atticus Finch is possibly my favorite character in all of literature.

Thanks for checking out my interview with Frank Morelli! Please leave your thoughts and comments!😍 Love ya guys!

Love,

*~Book Review: Rise by M. Ainihi~5 Stars~*

I want to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Title: Rise (A Blood Inheritance Novel)

Author: M. Ainihi

Rating: 5 Badass Skulls/Stars

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When Amanda Garrett stumbles across a strange artifact in the woods, she has no idea of the dangerous secret it holds. The teen soon discovers that she has unwittingly released Erol, an imprisoned jinni, and whether she likes it or not, they are bound together until death.
Amanda’s life soon begins to spiral out of control and she finds herself orphaned, kidnapped, and thrust into a terrifying reality. Her captor is convinced that Erol knows the whereabouts of a powerful relic which has been hidden from him and he wants the pair to retrieve it. Still reeling from her loss, and hoping to be spared further pain, Amanda agrees.
As the pair set off on their journey and Amanda learns more about the existence of the realms and the magical beings which reside within them, the clearer it becomes that nothing is quite as it seems.
After Amanda discovers the power of the relic that her captor seeks, the only thing she knows for certain is that her true suffering has only just begun, because no matter how great the sacrifice, she can never allow the relic to fall into her captor’s hands.

Rise is a fast-paced introductory novel to an alternate world where mundane humans are oblivious to the existence of the realms that separate them from other magical races.

When she feels, the darkness closing in around her, Amanda is not sure if she can hold onto a single speck of light, and soon she comes to understand that some secrets are better left buried.
(YA Dark Fantasy)

Wow! What a book! When I received this novel I wasn’t sure how I felt about the premise because of my previous experiences but I am so glad I chose to read this debut novel! Rise captured my attention from the very beginning and held it all the way until the end. I was able to read this novel in one sitting and it was completely worth my sleepless night! The story even moved a bit slow at times but I was still turning pages! Trust me, that’s usually a big turn off for my scattered brain but the author’s descriptions were amazing!

This book was beautifully written and I didn’t want the escape of the real world to stop at that time. I found the characters relatable. I LOVED Amanda and could relate to her on so many levels. This may have been more of a YA Fantasy novel but I could feel Amanda’s emotions through the pages and I hurt along with her.

As an adult who survived a terrifying childhood, I have faced many things that would shock the world. Reading this novel helped me face reality through this fantasy. I’m glad I had the chance to read this novel and highly recommend this to anyone who loves a great YA or fantasy novel!

M. Ainihi is a passionate independent author and adventurer. Hailing from the wilds of Upstate New York and currently residing in the Chicagoland area, Rise is her first novel in a planned quartet.
https://mainihi.wordpress.com/

Book Review: The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary

I want to thank NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

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Rating:

Synopsis:Macy’s school officially classifies her as “disturbed,” but Macy isn’t interested in how others define her. She’s got more pressing problems: her mom can’t move off the couch, her dad’s in prison, her brother’s been kidnapped by Child Protective Services, and now her best friend isn’t speaking to her. Writing in a dictionary format, Macy explains the world in her own terms—complete with gritty characters and outrageous endeavors. With an honesty that’s both hilarious and fearsome, slowly Macy reveals why she acts out, why she can’t tell her incarcerated father that her mom’s cheating on him, and why her best friend needs protection . . . the kind of protection that involves Macy’s machete.

I give this book 5 out of 5 Freakin Fantastic Stars! I am over the moon about this BOOK!

What attracted me to this book was the cover and the title, then I read the premise and was sold. This book meant more to me than pages in a book, I understood Macy. I was Macy.

I saw many reviews on this book and so many DNF this book because of the spelling and grammatical errors. I understand the need for proper grammer but this was about Macy expressing herself. I thought it was beautiful literature!

This was beyond realistic. When Macy battled Child Protective Services and dealt with all her raw and intense emotions, I was brought back to when I was considered the “disturbed” girl who didn’t have a chance in the system but proved them all wrong.

Being a teenager and facing more things than many adults will ever encounter in their lifetime is tough. When it’s the normal to go without food or deal with “the system” tearing your family apart, it’s tough as a teenager. You’re dealing with all these hormones and messed up emotions but have no idea what to do with it all because you have no choice but to be strong. I have seen the scary side of “the system” and my normal has been “disturbed” just like Macy’s. Macy comes off as a pain in the ass and an angry/crazy teenager. When Macy has all this on the outside, all she really is doing is trying to survive and hide her brokenness. I enjoyed all the characters in this story and loved their backgrounds. Alma and George were great in their sweet but complicated way. Macy’s mother was a complete hot mess. All the characters in this story were realistic in their own messed up and unique way.

This book made me laugh, smile, and cry but overall was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I can’t express enough how hilarious this book was and realistic at the same time. I highly recommend this book to whoever can relate or wants to experience something different! I am so glad that I was able to experience Macy’s journey and to read a disturbed girl’s masterpiece!

NoNieqa Ramos grew up in the Bronx, where she started her own publishing company and sold books for twenty-five cents until the nuns shut her down. A frequent foster parent, NoNieqa lives in Ashburn, Virginia, with her family.

Author’s Bio and Page

*~R&R Blog Tours Blitz: The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount~*

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The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount

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Genre: YA/ Fantasy/ Coming of Age

Publication Date: December 28, 2017

Synopsis:

Shy, thirteen-year-old Zylia has always known she was different. Most teenagers feel unnoticed and unseen, but for Zylia, it’s something much worse. She’s disappearing from this world and doesn’t know how to stop it. At times, she’s not sure she wants to. Until she stumbles across a family mystery surrounding the disappearance of her great-aunt Angelica years earlier. During her quest to unravel the mystery, Zylia discovers she’s able to cross the boundary and enter the “in between” world. Now, it’s up to Zylia to save herself before she’s trapped “in between” forever.

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Quotes from “The Shadow Girl”

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“I have always known that I am invisible—I had no idea that eventually I would fade away completely.”

 “Blackness. Nothingness. It was in the shape of a giant, hazy shadow, enveloping me, swallowing me, and digesting me into the unknown. It was my biggest fear and my ultimate fate.”

 “As the freezing rain hit me, I could feel the stares…smoldering on my skin. I longed for invisibility. At times like this, the very curse that plagued me was also my protection.”

 “…in school I felt more undetectable than ever. I walked through the crowded hallways like a human pinball, careening off one person and bouncing into another.”


 About the Author

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Misty Mount has written since age five and was first published at fourteen. By day she’s a caregiver, wife and mother to a young son but during the quiet hours of night she becomes a novelist. She resides in Wichita, Kansas!

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Thanks for checking out this book blitz post, my friends!😍 I have become friends with this author over the last few months and not only is she talented she has a custom and sweet personality to go a long with it!😉 None of which will impact my review though, I pride myself on honesty! Just thought I would share this lady is the bee’s knees!😊😍 I hope everyone has a great week and thanks again for stopping by! Leave me some LOVE in the comments!😘📚Xoxoxo

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