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Memories Last a Lifetime

21 Oct

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Book Review: Scavenger Girl: Season of Atchem by Jennifer Arnston

21 Oct

 

Stripped of their birthright and shunned by the people of Ashlund, Una and her family are forced to live on the fringe of society as Scavengers. There is no question that her family’s bond is strong, but the law of the Authority is stronger…and soon it will come to collect her. After all, the family is on borrowed time already.

When a night of torment and truth reveals well-kept secrets, Una takes new freedoms – free from the Authority, her family, and possibly her fate. Pulled between the life she’s always known and a world where status and rituals are everything, Una struggles to understand a culture that has rejected all she holds dear. As Atchem comes to an end and she learns who she really is, will Una find the courage to do what it takes to ensure her family’s survival, or will she find the faith to follow her heart?

Available on Amazon Free today only!

 

My Review

I chose to read this e-book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Scavenger Girl grabbed my interest from the beginning and it never slowed down. The world that Jennifer Arnston has built is cruel and violent. Those who have a birthright are naive in many ways but accepting of so many vicious traditions, it’s heartbreaking to read at times.

Una is the main character. She lives with her parents and two brothers and she dreads the day that she has to leave. Since she doesn’t have a birthright, she’ll most likely be sold if she’s not taken from her family by the Authority before then for…who knows what. The apprehension she feels is constant and is portrayed well. I was right there with her feeling her pain. And then there’s the guilt she feels!

Scavenger Girl is full of loyalty, betrayal, lies, true love and more. I usually finish one book and move on to the next but this was one of those rare books that I had to take a short break because Una’s world is still on my mind. The story ends at a good point but I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

 

About the Author

Author, dreamer, and sworn enemy of Caillou

Jennifer Arntson has a long history of crafting tales that people find unbelievable, but often true. As an observer of human and social development through the ages, a curiosity of faith, and dedication to the underprivileged of the developing world, Jennifer finds her creative outlet in stories and fables. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children, and a mini-farm of otherwise useless animals where the family eagerly caters to their every need.

 

Website: www.ScavengerGirl.com

Facebook: facebook.com/ScavengerGirl

Goodreads: goodreads.com/book/show/29509276

Instagram: Scavenger_Girl_Series

Pinterest: pinterest.com/scavengerg

Twitter:

(author) @JennArntson

(characters) @Una_Ashlund  @Cal_of_Ashlund  @Mar_of_Ashlund

#IAmAScavenger

Scavenger Girl Season of Atchem ISBN 978-0-9994-133-0-2

People are Prettiest when…

21 Oct

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New Release & Giveaway: Halloween is Murder by Carolyn Arnold

19 Oct

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NEW RELEASE…

Beware of all that goes bump in the night…

Sean and Sara McKinley are excited about the haunted house they’ve set up as a Halloween charity fund-raiser, but things take a ghoulish turn when the reporter covering their story is found dead. With the media keeping mum about how she died, Sara’s curiosity is piqued, and she convinces Sean to take on the investigation through their PI firm.

But this case is not without its challenges. The police are actively investigating it, as well, and it’s not even clear that the woman was murdered. It will take a little cloak-and-dagger, dress-up, and finesse for the McKinleys to get to the bottom of it, but they aren’t the kind to give up.

As they troll for leads and work through the skeletons in the reporter’s closet, they unearth a few suspects, but they’ll need to carve out the whole truth if they’re going to find her killer. If they do so fast enough, there might even be time for a little trick-or-treating.

Available to buy from…
Amazon   Barnes and Noble    Kobo    iBooks   GPlay   Paperback

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My Review

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What to expect from the McKinley Mysteries:

Romance. Humor. Murder. Are you looking for a murder mystery without all the graphic violence and foul language? Something that you can enjoy in an afternoon and walk away feeling good about afterward? How about a dash of humor and romance? If so, meet former detectives Sean and Sara McKinley. When a billionaire leaves them all his money, they no longer have to work, but they find themselves sticking to what they’re good at—solving murders. Undercover, off the books, and around the world, they’ll get to the bottom of things…and romance it up along the way.

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Read an excerpt

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About the author

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Find the author on the following sites…
Newsletter   Website   Facebook   Twitter    Google+   Pinterest   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page

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Follow the Book Tour

Read the reviews…

1. Tuesday 3rd October – Miki’s Hope
2. Tuesday 3rd October – Between the Coverz
3. Wednesday 4th October – Lynchburg Mama
4. Thursday 5th October – ebook addicts
5. Monday 9th October – Leels Loves Books
6. Tuesday 10th October – Novel and Mug
7. Wednesday 11th October – Tracy Helps You
8. Thursday 12th October – Sanity is for those without children
9. Friday 13th October – Nicki’s Nook
10. Monday 16th October – I Create Purty Thangs
11. Tuesday 17th October – Jenn’s Review Blog
12. Wednesday 18th October – Musings of a Tired Mummy
13. hursday 19th October – Books,Dreams,Life
14. Monday 23rd October – Bound 4 Escape
15. Monday 23rd October – Totally Addicted to Reading
16. Tuesday 24th October – A GF Mom Reviews
17. Wednesday 25th – October – Beck Valley Books

 

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NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY!

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Win $10 Paypal Cash
2nd winner – choice of ONE McKinley novella books 1-10 
(HALLOWEEN is exempt from this, not included)

Ending on Sunday 29th October at 11.59pm EST

Open Worldwide

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Guest Post: Interview with Authors Andrew Joyce & Danny the Dog

19 Oct

Today we’re sitting down with authors Andrew Joyce and Danny the Dog for a joint interview. Andrew is the author of several novels, including his latest, Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups, and Danny writes a monthly column to keep his legions of fans informed as to his latest adventures. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

AJ: It’s a pleasure to be here.

DtD: Me too … I guess.

Tell me a little about yourselves and your backgrounds?

AJ: I’m a writer, which surprises me greatly. For the first three years of my writing career, I never referred to myself as a writer. It was only when the royalties started coming in and I could quit my day job that I dared think of myself as such.

DtD: I’m a dog.

What book or books have had a strong influence on you and/or your writing?

AJ: The works of Louis L’Amour and Robert B. Parker.

DtD: The genius writings of Danny the Dog.

AJ: Excuse me, but I need to speak to Danny for a minute.

AJ: What are you doing, Danny? You don’t seem to be taking this interview seriously. You’re giving one-word answers and when asked about your favorite authors, you say “yourself.” I know all us writers think of ourselves as our favorite author, but you’re not supposed to say that out loud.

DtD: Whatever! May we continue with the inquisition?

AJ: I’m sorry for Danny’s attitude.

That’s okay, Andrew. Danny and I understand one another. So let’s carry on. Going back to the beginning, what is it that got you into writing?

AJ: One morning, about six years ago, I went crazy. I got out of bed, went downstairs, and threw my TV out the window. Then I sat down at the computer and wrote my first short story. I threw it up on the internet just for the hell of it, and a few months later I was notified that it was to be included in a print anthology of the best short stories of 2011. I even got paid for it! I’ve been writing ever since.

DtD: One day, about five years ago, Andrew went out and left the computer on. He was always complaining about how hard it is to write anything decent, so I thought I’d show him how easy it is when one has talent. Is that a long enough answer for you, Andrew?

Tell us a little bit about your writing process.

AJ: I prefer to write in the early morning hours when things are quiet. I usually get up around 2:00 a.m. and go to work. The commute is not long … only a few steps to my computer.

DtD: I have to wait until Hemingway over there goes to bed.

AJ: By any chance, are you referring to me?

DtD: Yes, but only in an ironic way.

AJ: You see what I’ve got to put up with?

Now, boys, play nice. You are both professionals. What would your fans think?

AJ: You’re right. I’m sorry.

DtD: I’m the only one with fans around here. I’d say that Andrew’s been riding my coattails for years—if I had coattails. But for your sake, I’ll try to be well-behaved.

That’s a good doggie. Do either of you have any hobbies? Or anything you like to do in your spare time?

AJ: I like to read history and do research for my next book. I also like to watch old movies from the 1930s and ’40s.

DtD: My hobby is looking after His Nibs here. I’m always getting him out of trouble or bailing him out of jail after one of his benders. I call him Hemingway because he drinks like Ernie did. You should see ol’ Andrew when he’s had a snootful.

What are you two working on at the moment?

AJ: This interview.

DtD: Ditto.

AJ: High five, Danny.

DtD: Next question, please.

AJ: Hey, Danny. Don’t leave me hangin’.

DtD: Pleeease … give us the next question!

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use a set formula?

AJ: I usually sit down to write a book with no idea where my characters will lead me. I start out with what I hope will be a killer first sentence … and the last paragraph of the book. Then I set out to fill the in-between space with 100,000 words. I find that the easy part. Sometimes I will bring my characters to a certain place, only to have them rebel when we get there. They’ll tell me they want to go somewhere else and take off on their own. I have no choice but to follow.

DtD: That was a pretty artsy-fartsy answer.

AJ: Was not.

DtD: Was too.

AJ: Was not!

DtD: Was too. Was too. Was too!!!

Boys! If you can’t behave, I’ll have to end the interview. As a child, Andrew what did you want to be when you grew up? And, as a puppy, Danny, what did you want to do?

AJ: I never wanted to grow up, and I believe I have succeeded.

DtD: I think he has, too. As a puppy, I only wanted to survive Andrew.

What would we find under your bed?

AJ: The monster that lives there.

DtD: When it thunders, me (and Andrew’s monster).

If you could travel into the past or future, where would you want to go? Why?

AJ: Egypt. I’d like to see the Great Pyramid being built.

DtD: The caveman days. I think it would be super-duper to be in a time before dogs allowed themselves to be “domesticated.”

What has been your worst or most difficult job?

AJ: Some jobs I’ve had in the past have been real doozies. I’ve done back-breaking physical labor. I’ve worked as a waiter for a short spell and hated every minute of it. I worked with and breathed in chemicals that have done a number on my lungs. But the worst job I ever had was when I was eighteen. I worked at a McDonalds for one day. At the end of the shift, I walked out never to return. I didn’t care about the pay I was owed or anything else. I just wanted out of there.

DtD: Looking after Andrew.

What group did you hang out with in high school?

AJ: I had no friends in high school. Still don’t … come to think of it.

DtD: At last … Andrew has said one true thing! I, of course, had no need of schooling. I was born brilliant. Not to mention wonderful, marvelous, and good looking.

What is something that you absolutely cannot live without?

DtD: If you don’t mind, I’ll field this one for both of us. For Andrew, it’s vodka. For me it’s Andrew.

AJ: Aw shucks, Danny.

Thank you for stopping by. It’s been a little different. However, I believe we’ve learned a few things about your writing processes … and a few other things as well.

AJ: Thank you for having us.

DtD: Yeah, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Continue reading

Book Review & Giveaway: Tribal Affairs by Matt Dallmann

18 Oct
 

Book Title: Tribal Affairs by Matt Dallmann
Category: YA Fiction, 277 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Matt Dallmann
Release date: July 2017
Tour dates: Oct 9 to 27, 2017
Content Rating: G (No bad language or sex)

 

Book Description:

Dahlia, a centuries-old genie, lies hopelessly trapped in a damaged golden locket charm attached to an ankle bracelet. Its owner, sixteen-year-old Liana, wears it for the first time during her father Jamison’s opening night illusion spectacular. Not only does its presence cause Jamison to folly his performance, but it also starts a chain of bizarre events that lead to a showdown with Dahlia’s mortal enemy, Stefan, and an unsuspecting romance between Liana and his son.

Buy the Book:

 Amazon

 

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

 Tribal Affairs has two stories. One is about Liana who is 16 and lives with her father, a magician who is closing in on the end of an amazing career. The other is about Dahlia, a genie who lives in a locket that Liana has on a chain around her ankle.

Dahlia’s story is told mostly through Liana’s dreams. As the dreams progress, at some point Liana realizes that they’re not dreams but something more. Visions? Memories? Each story is told from Liana or Dahlia’s point of view and it works well until the very end. It got a bit confusing at the end.

This story contains some vivid descriptions and I like the author’s writing style. I did have a little trouble, however, toward the end. There was a lot of action and I couldn’t tell what was real and what wasn’t or who was doing what. It all came out okay in the end though, I’m just not positive on how we got there. 

I recommend Tribal Affairs to anyone who likes fantasy and I look forward to reading more by this author.

 

 Meet the Author:

 

Matt Dallmann has a background in acting and holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. His films and screenplays have been featured at film festivals across the United States including Cinequest, Big Apple Film Festival, Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, DragonCon and Zero Independent Film Festival. His piano compositions have been published for commercial use and he is a member of ASCAP. Matt is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of the boutique medical billing firm VGA Billing Services, Inc. in New York City. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.

Connect with the author: Website
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Learn the Rules

18 Oct

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Simplicity

17 Oct

Book Review & Giveaway: The Sky Throne by Chris Ledbetter

17 Oct
 
 Book Title: The Sky Throne by Chris Ledbetter
Category: YA Fiction, 300 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Month 9 Books
Release date: April 18, 2017
Tour dates: Sept 18 to Oct 20, 2017

Content Rating: PG + M (No f-words but there may be some mild profanity, and mild religious expletives such as “damn”, “hell” and “Oh God!”, some depictions of violence. No drug use or underage drinking. Some semi-mature themes – suggestion of sexual misconduct by certain characters, but not the actual performing of it.)

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Book Description

Duality dwells at every turn, and an adolescent Zeus will learn that all too well when Hyperion attacks his family on Crete.

When the dust settles, his mother is unconscious and his best friend left for dead.

Stacking epic insult upon fatal injury, Zeus discovers the woman who raised him is not his biological mother. But to ensure her safety while she recovers, a heavy-hearted Zeus leaves her behind to seek answers at Mount Olympus Preparatory Academia.

Zeus embarks on a quest to discover who ordered the attack on his home, avenge the death of his friend, and find his birth mother. When some of his new schoolmates vanish, Zeus’s quest is turned upside down, and the only way to make things right is to access the power of The Sky Throne, confront a most dangerous enemy, and take his life back.

On his way to becoming king of the Greek gods, Zeus will learn to seize power, neutralize his enemies, and fall in love.

To read reviews, please visit Chris Ledbetter’s page on iRead Book Tours.

 

Buy the Book:

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Sky Throne captured my attention from the very beginning and was a quick read. It is the story of Zeus’s early years. He finds out that his mother is not really his mother but more of a caretaker to keep him safe from his true father. When Hyperion comes looking for him, his best friend is killed and his “mother” is injured. This changes his life forever. He’s immediately taken to Mount Olympus Prep Academy for protection but once he’s there, he finds out that he’s been handpicked as one of the students because of his gifts. He never knew he had gifts!

I haven’t ever gotten into mythology so I didn’t have too much of an idea what to expect. What I got was an interesting young adult fantasy with several twists, action, mystery, and a touch of romance. I like the author’s writing style. It’s easy to follow and flows well.

If you enjoy Greek mythology, or even if you don’t, if you like young adult fiction, I recommend Sky Throne. 

 

 

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Meet the author

 

Chris Ledbetter is an award-winning author of short fiction and novels for young adults. “Jason’s Quest,” a short story retelling of the Jason and Medea Greek myth was published in the anthology, Greek Myths Revisited. His first full-length novel, Drawn earned him two awards, Library of Clean Reads Best YA 2015 and Evernight Publishing Readers’ Choice Award Best YA 2015, as well as a USA TODAY “Must Read” recommendation. His second novel, Inked, concludes that duology. The Sky Throne is his newest young adult novel. The second book in the series is set to release in 2018.

He’s a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. He now writes and lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ facebook ~ Pinterest

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Book Review: A Wanted Man by Robert Parker

17 Oct

 

 

Title: A WANTED MAN
Author: Robert Parker
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Pages: 307
Genre: Crime Thriller

It’s down to fathers and fatherhood.

Ben Bracken, ex-soldier, has just got out of Strangeways.

Not by the front door.

With him, he has his ‘insurance policy’ – a bag of evidence that will guarantee his freedom, provided he can keep it safe – and he has money, carefully looked after by a friend, Jack Brooker.

Rejected by the army, disowned by his father, and any hopes of parenthood long since shattered, Ben has no anchors in his life.

No one to keep him steady. 

No one to stop his cause…

The plan: to wreak justice on the man who had put him in prison in the first place. 

Terry ‘The Turn-Up’ Masters, a nasty piece of work, whose crime organisation is based in London.

But before Ben can get started on his mission, another matter is brought to his attention: Jack’s father has been murdered and he will not rest until the killers are found.

Suddenly, Ben finds himself drawn into helping Jack in his quest for revenge.

In the process, he descends into the fold of Manchester’s most notorious crime organisation – the Berg – the very people he wants to bring down…

This action-packed and fast-paced story will keep you turning the pages. Manchester is vividly portrayed as Ben races around the city seeking vengeance.

 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

A Wanted Man is about Ben who was wrongfully imprisoned but has escaped and is now on the run. His main objective is revenge and justice. At first for himself but then his friend Jack whose father has been murdered asks for his help, so he decides to help him first. The thing is that he ends up knee deep in the mob that he wants to take down. Can he go as far as to work with the police when he is on the run?

This book is a page-turner, it is action-packed and you never know what to expect. Ben is not perfect but he is an honorable man trying to make things right. 

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Excerpt

It’s not long before I am there again. Haugh Road, right in the middle. Everything looks the same, right down to the chewing gum on the pavements. There’s the old off-licence, the pub I used to drink in. There’s the phone box I’d call my mates from, out the front of the house I called home for thirty years.

My heart feels a hot stab at seeing it, worse than I expected. Home.

It’s a terraced house that could do with some work. The lawn is a bit longer than Dad used to have it, by quite a bit, actually, and the PVC window frames we had put in on a government grant to promote greener living a few years ago are a bit mucky. The door is still painted red, with a brass knocker.

What are you doing here, Ben? Are you going to invite yourself in for a cuppa? Or stand out here like a stalker?

I hadn’t really thought that far ahead. But somehow, I needed to see it. I needed to see something concrete, to remind me where I came from… Christ, this fucking neediness… I don’t like it.

I feel abandoned by them, for sure, but they had their reasons. They were so proud, and suddenly all that pride was gone.

And now, with my visit this evening? I suppose I just need to know that, even though everything else is chaos, things back here at home remain the same. We wouldn’t even need to talk, just…

In fact, despite the curtains being open, it doesn’t look like they are home.

Wait. I can see in through the front window, despite the dwindling light. Something’s different: On the left-hand side, Grandma’s mirror is missing, the one passed down to Mum when she died. It had a gold frame – well, gold edging on top of tin – and it was Mum’s pride and joy. And the curtains that are open… there are no curtains. Looking closer I can see the tie-back hooks stand visible and empty.

I walk up the path, leaving prints in the long grass, and peer inside, and more and more of my past looms up in front of me the closer I get. But this nostalgia and the stir of anticipation that has arisen despite my efforts to subdue it is quickly replaced by something cold, something bitter.

The room is empty.

I can see through to the kitchen along the old carpet that runs right through the downstairs, which in the emptiness now looks more threadbare. There’s nothing.

They’ve gone. My parents have left here.

I stand simply staring into the hollow space, and feel as if I’m gazing into the very emptiness that has been abruptly carved inside of me. My feeling of loneliness is complete.

I have no way to contact them. They are gone, and from the look of things, gone for good. And considering that they never sent me a forwarding address while I was in prison, they clearly don’t want me to know where they are.

All I wanted was to see that they were ok, but as far as I can tell, they didn’t even want me to have that. They have disowned me. I should have guessed from their passive stares in the public gallery at my trial, fixing on any point but their own son’s searching gaze. I can’t help but stand and dwell.

I quickly decide that I’ve had enough. I walk away because there’s nothing for me here anymore, not for the first time. Rawmarsh is no longer my home. I feel I could cry, but I won’t. No chance – those bastards, they won’t get that from me.

I walk down the path to the scuffed, mucky pavement. The gum on the concrete beneath my shoes, some of it is undoubtedly mine. My DNA lies at my feet, inseparable from my town, my past. That DNA is now the only evidence I was ever here. Thirty years of love, life, family – all reduced to a dirty bit of gum on an old pavement.

This will steel me. Toughen me. It has to. Because this would, could, should break a lesser man.

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About the Author

Robert Parker is a new exciting voice, a married father of two, who lives in a village close to Manchester, UK. He has both a law degree and a degree in film and media production, and has worked in numerous employment positions, ranging from solicitor’s agent (essentially a courtroom gun for hire), to a van driver, to a warehouse order picker, to a commercial video director. He currently writes full time, while also making time to encourage new young readers and authors through readings and workshops at local schools and bookstores. In his spare time he adores pretty much all sport, boxing regularly for charity, loves fiction across all mediums, and his glass is always half full.

 

His latest book is the crime/thriller, A WANTED MAN.

 

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

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