Friday, November 30, 2012

NaNoWriMo Celebration!!

It's the last day of the month!!

I've been watching my fellow writer friends on Facebook and seen many of them nearly down to the wire, but pushing forward strong.

It was a daunting goal.

50,000 words in ONE month.

A month with a major holiday.

Did we survive with the same amount of hair and family members as when we went in?

Do we even recognize ourselves in the mirror after pushing hard 'til midnight to make. that. goal?

Did ya make it?

It was a lot. Yes siree, no two ways about it...it was a HUGE task. 

But we're done. You've got just a few more hours and this month will be over

Don't look back on what you DIDN'T accomplish, face forward and celebrate with you DID. 

Can't edit an empty page!

How'd you do? 

It's time to CHEER!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Heartwarming Storytelling ~ A Brides Sews with Love...by Erica Vetsch ~ Review


Oh sweet romance, what a pleasure you are to indulge in.

            Yes, I am emotionally passionate reader. I liked the romance of Julie Lessman and Laura Frantz, but a sweet romance such as this title makes me just as happy and satisfied. A compelling time period matched with equally as compelling characters and I found a sweet, enjoyable story that warmed my heart to read.
            
One thing I loved: Meghan’s spunk. I wish I had just a little dose of her spirit in dealing with difficult situations. Caleb is a complex (and frustrating) character, one that I wished would simply share what was wrong with his situation and why he hadn’t enlisted in the war. But then, as I so often like to instruct my dad in these kind of novel situations: then you wouldn’t have a story.
            
And what a fun story it is! Needles must be one *hot* place, because I felt the oven baking heat through the entire book. I enjoyed the glimpse into the life of a Harvey girl and the devastating calamity of an influenza outbreak.
           
Truly? A wonderful book to add to my collection. It’s charming and sweet of course, but lively and spunky. The romance is a forbidden one that drives the characters all the further toward resolution until it seems quite impossible.
           
Heartwarming story telling from page one.
            
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author and publisher for my copy to review.


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More about the novel...

When her brother is injured fighting in France, Meghan enlists her fellow Harvey Girl waitresses to sew a Red Cross signature quilt to raise money for wounded doughboys. Local horse breeder Caleb McBride longs to join the battle, but the army won’t take him. Because he has kept his shameful infirmity a secret, the townsfolk have labeled him a coward and war profiteer. When Meghan uncovers his malady, her poor opinion of Caleb unravels. Can this beautiful seamstress find a way to mend his heart? 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Giveaway! The Heart's Lullaby by Jen Stephens!


Welcome back to Writing for Christ Jen Stephens, I am excited to have you here for a second time.

What has changed in your writing life since you were last here?

Well, I finished the 2nd book in the Harvest Bay series, The Heart’s Lullaby. It released October 1st. Ands that’s about it, but A LOT has changed in my personal life. I recently moved from Tennessee to Ohio, near my hometown, and am now on my own with my 2 beautiful daughters. The thing with writers is that their writing life and personal life is so closely connected that a change in 1 can directly affect the other. Now that I’m settled and all 3 of us are adjusting well, I’m ready to start book 3 and am actually really excited about it. Some parts of it might be difficult, but I strongly believe it’s a story that needs to be told for women everywhere of all ages.

What recent read stood out to you as truly spectacular?

I am currently reading Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (cause I want to read the book before the movie and I REALLY want to see the movie) and Home Front by Kristin Hannah. Both are incredible stories, the kind that I find myself thinking about the characters in the middle of the day. To me, THAT is a spectacular read.

Do you have favorite authors?

Yep! The 2 I just mentioned: Nicholas Sparks and Kristin Hannah.

What do you find the most enjoyable part of writing or connecting with readers?

I love hearing how my stories affect someone else, what someone else got out of it, how it helped them in a given situation. That is a truly satisfying feeling.

What do you find the most ideal atmosphere for writing? Do you ever get those surroundings?

I’d LOVE a quiet mountain retreat, with an inspiring view, and nope! Doesn’t happen. My step-mom and her husband live on a lake in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and sometimes I get that, but we are usually out on the boat or playing something. I’ll take my quiet bedroom instead, after the girls have gone to bed.

Okay, something fun for those writers out there: In what point of your writing career did you surprise yourself by writing the most words ever in the shortest amount of time?

Oh, good heavens, Casey! I truly don’t remember writing a lot of words in a short amount of time. I wish I did, but my whole writing career I’ve had 2 small children so I’ve had to write when they were napping or in bed or at a friends. I’ve gotten pretty good at writing at doctor and orthodontist appointments, music lessons, and sports practices. I use my smart phone for that. I’ve surprised myself by utilizing every single second I have.

Thanks for being here again! It has been a joy and we wish the very best with your novels.

Thank you for having me, Casey! It’s always a pleasure and a joy for me!

Readers, here is your chance to enter to win Jen's book!

Please leave an email address! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.
For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

For an additional entry, please rate my review. I'd appreciate the help! :-)

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on December 7th
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 

Friday, November 23, 2012

To The Ones Who Inspire Me

This post is inspired by this beautiful post by Rachelle Rea...

Yes, it's the day after Thankgiving.

Yes, I know most people are probably out braving the mad shoppers (I won't go there...)

But I'm not. I'm actually heading across my fair state to spend a late Thanksgiving with some dear family friends.

And I'm thankful. Oh, so thankful for the people in my life (and this post doesn't begin to do them justice) that I raise my eyes and hands to heaven and say thank You.

This is my feeble attempt and to those this post doesn't do justice, I thank you.

Photo Credit
To the women who I get to "hang out with" each and every day...you inspire me.

To the author who responded to an excited girl's fan letter and became a life-long friend.

To the mentor I asked God for and He blessed me beyond my wildest imagines.

To the coworker who walks into the office every day and asks if I've heard from the agent.

To the husband and wife who are fighting for their child half a world away and praising God every step of the journey.

Photo Credit
To the friend who makes me laugh, simply by talking and the writer I met at ACFW who I'm sure Chip MacGregor will be selling a novel for very, very soon. 

For the love and heart and sweet, sweet encouragement of an author who motivates and inspires me to higher greatness.

To the blogger who came out of nowhere and encourages me every time her name lands in my inbox or blogger feed.

To the fellow writer who stopped me at the MBT pizza party and blessed me with encouragement she didn't know I needed.

Photo Credit
To the author who invited me to ACFW and then became the easiest person to hug and a dear friend in the process.

To the critique partner who writers better than I could dream of attaining and pushes me hard to reach the same level.

To a dear friend I didn't expect to find in my backyard. The artist that challenges and blesses me with her love and friendship. Countin' the days until Christmas Break!!

To the people who are reading this post and some that probably never will. To the love of family and friends and supporters that I would be lost without. You make my world a better place. So I say, thank you, and praise God every. single. day with gratitude that He has put me here. To know and love all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Comeback Novel/Message ~ Summer's Song by Lindi Peterson ~ Review


It’s a comeback novel with strong premise: that God can take our ugly and broken and turn it into something beautiful.
           
Summer Sinclair has a name like music to go along with a flourishing career, but the one man she shouldn’t allow herself to love is the one person who could change her life completely for the better.
           
I loved Levi. Though I’m not sure that many female readers could read this book and not love him. He’s chivalrous, hunky, kind and caring, wanting the absolute best for Summer as she discovers her new relationship with God.
           
I would definitely qualify this book as being for more mature audiences. Summer comes with a great deal of influence from her old life and that influence plays upon the page in ways that should be expected before starting the book. It’s not your “sweet” romance, but real life isn’t. I thought it portrayed reality well, though I would have preferred the language referenced twice be left out of the dialogue.
          
  Summer and Levi’s coming together and eventual falling apart (this is a romance after all) combined with their past and the haunts that have risen up to threaten their future played well with the story and created good tension.
            
All in all, a good story with good morals and I appreciated its message.
          
  This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author for my copy to review.

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More about the novel...

All she has to do is prove that she's changed . . . completely. 

Pop-star princess Summer Sinclair doesn't know what to do with herself now that she's cleaned-up and sober. She knows God's been nudging her, but since God is unfamiliar territory, she feels scared and alone. Everything changes when she meets Levi Preston, a Christian musician who's falling for Summer and wants her to be who God created her to be. But when the reality of her life takes Levi to places he's vowed to stay clear of, will Summer's newfound freedom be what breaks her heart as she does what is best for Levi? 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Giveaway! Devotion by Marianne Evans!



Welcome to Writing for Christ Marianne Evans, it is great to have you here! Do you have an interesting fact about yourself the average reader probably doesn’t know?

 Well, I can name two right off the top of my head. First, I’m a collector of antique salt cellars. These are the small, bowl-shaped containers that held salt cubes before pourable salt came into existence. They’re so beautiful, and often times
come with the tiny spoons that were used to chip and scoop salt onto food. Second, I’m a bread baker. Love the process of prepping, kneading and baking!!

Do you have a favorite genre to read/write?

Oh, yes. In fact, it’s my passion: Christian fiction and
romance!

Do you have a nugget of writing advice that has completely changed how you view writing?

Yes, and it comes through my former agent, now retired. Persevere through adversity and the
temptation to quit. Don’t ever, ever give up on the call God places on your heart and the passion
he’s given you to write! The stories are His, and you are His messenger. Don’t let anyone deter
you from that vocation!

5 things you love?

(God, along with my family and friends come first and foremost…so, let’s assume those facts are a given – LOL!!) 1) Uninterrupted, productive writing time. 2) Hot, buttered popcorn from the stovetop. 3) Guilt-free reading time. 4) Traveling. 5) Restful, uninterrupted sleep.

What novel have you recently read that has stood out to you that both teens and adults will
find enjoyment in?

Without question the “Bailey Flanigan Series” by Karen Kingsbury. Leaving, Learning, Longing and Loving are amazing reads that show a college-aged, devoutly Christian woman, coming into her own as life, and love unfold. This series shows anyone, no matter their age, the power of faith and putting their faith into action.

Places for readers to learn more about you?


www.marianneevans.com
www.marianneevans.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/Marmo212
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Marianne-Evans/308711716744?fref=ts


Thank you for being with us today!



Readers, here is your chance to enter to win Marianne's book!

Please leave an email address! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.
For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on November 30th
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 

Friday, November 16, 2012

When You're Two Feet Tall

Photo credit
Sometimes you walk out on a day feeling two feet tall.

You know those moments? No, it's not like going to the principal's office. And no, it's not like you've been scolded.

It's more like you've been beat.

Hammered down and then given a pat on the head like you're...two feet tall.

I have no wise words of wisdom, no witty remarks, because to be honest, I still, in some regards, feel much that same height. (hey, no short jokes about not having far to go, even though I know you're thinkin' them. ;-)

I'm still in the prayer stage. Still begging God for direction, where HE wants me to be. And if He wants me moved, then He'll move me. 

It's about letting go and giving over...and boy I struggle with that. It's SO much easier to rant and complain and spew to family and friends. It's easier to verbally vomit then it is to release the situation over. 

But all verbal vomit does is get messy. And smelly. And sticky when left to dry in the place it fell. God wants to come along side, lift our burdens and carry them in our stead.

One thing I've come to determine this week: man's opinions (while important to me, I hate making people unhappy!) aren't what's the big deal. The big DEAL is that God has me where He wants me. I made a "bargain" with God this week...yes a bargain. Asking that He move me, separate me from frustration and discontent.

BUT if He didn't, that if He had something bigger in mind for me, then I would accept the reason to keep me here as something to teach me. Something that would grow me. I might not like it. I might down-right hate it. But that's the deal. 

When we hand God our life and ask Him to take care of us, we accept this bargain...or we  don't. If I don't, I'm just going to live my life in verbal vomit and that's not a very pretty place I like to hang out.


Since I AM accepting this bargain, it doesn't mean life will be free of challenges, that's not the nature of life, what it does mean is that through valley or mountain peak, He's right there beside me. 

Verbal vomit and all. ;-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lovely Collection ~ Christmas in Apple Ridge: Three-in-One Collection by Cindy Woodsmall ~ Review


I’m a big-time collector of all Cindy Woodsmall’s books. So even though I’d already owned and read the first two novellas in this collection (you can read a previous review here), with the addition of “The Dawn of Christmas” I had to read this latest sweet story.

            And a sweet one it was. Novellas are not known for their depth of content as the word count just isn’t there to fully play with characterization. But what was included within these less-than-two-hundred-pages was a story of forgiveness and growth that left a sweet sigh in my heart when I read that last page.
            
Sadi and Levi have much working against their “relationship” due to personal issues in their past, but when life continues to throw them together, as a reader, I had the great fun of watching them fall in love and come together.
           
The Amish world is one that seems to hold no end of fascination for many readers. I thought this latest novella showed a different side of that world with a more welcoming touch to the outside electronic offers than in previous Orders.
            
A sweet story told in just a few pages, weaving in characters from the previous two novellas, making a lovely well-rounded collection. Perfect to curl up with on a cold winter’s day!
           
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.

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More about this collection...

Experience the holidays with the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania, in these touching novellas centered around love, romance, heartache, and restoration from best-selling author Cindy Woodsmall. 

The Sound of Sleigh Bells 
Beth Hertzler is unable to let go of a past tragedy, but when she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds. Determined that her niece meet the gifted artist, her aunt tracks him down, but it’s not that simple – will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love?
 
The Christmas Singing 
Mattie thought her childhood sweetheart adored her until he abruptly ended their engagement on Christmas Eve. Brokenhearted, Mattie moves away and pursues her longtime dream of becoming a cake decorator, and even finds a new beau. But when Mattie is forced to return home three years later, will learning the truth behind Gideon’s rejection restore her Christmas joy – or open the door to even deeper heartbreak?
   
The Dawn of Christmas 
Sadie enjoys her freedom away from home and her mission trips to Peru, but after four years, her Old Order Amish family insists it’s time to come home and settle down. Levi, a bachelor who distrusts women after a family heartbreak, also has no desire for romance. To keep their families from meddling in their lives, Sadie and Levi devise a plan—but soon discover that the walls around their hearts are breaking down. Can they let go of their prejudices, learn to trust each other, and embrace a future together?


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Will you please consider rating my review? Your email is only to ensure that one person does not accidently rate a certain review more than once.

I'd appreciate the help! Thanks. :-)


Monday, November 12, 2012

Giveaway! Shadowed Dreams by Tina Pinson!


Welcome back to Writing for Christ Tina Pinson, I am excited to have you here for a second time.What has changed in your writing life since you were last here?

I now have four books available. In the Manor of the Ghost, Touched By Mercy, When Shadows Fall and Shadowed Dreams. Number 5, To Carry Her Cross releases in January. and In the Manor of the Ghost goes paperback in February. I find I am busier with promotion and doing more editing. I am trying to keep a balance and get more writing done as well. Right now, I'm trying to finish a children's picture book I started many moons ago when my 32 year old was three.

What recent read stood out to you as truly spectacular?

 Divergent, by Veronica Roth (and Insurgent, waiting for book three), a dystopian tale where the world is split into five factions;  Candor (the honest)  Erudite (the intelligent)  Amity (the peaceful) Dauntless (the brave, Or Tough)  Abnegation (the selfless) was an interesting story, I also enjoyed For Such a Time as This, by Ginny Aiken. Think Esther in the Old West.

Do you have favorite authors?

I don't know that I can say I have favorites. I have several I've been reading of late, along with the books mentioned above, I've been reading Elizabeth Camden, Julie Lessman, Mary Connealy, Sandi Rog, Shawna Williams, Melanie Dickerson, Maggie Brendan, Dan Walsh, Robert Liparulo, Colleen Coble, Anita Higman, and more.

What do you find the most enjoyable part of writing or connecting with readers?

With writing, the accomplishment of getting to the end, although that can bring a touch of sadness when you let go of characters and move on. I haven't much interaction with readers, but I suppose I'm like most authors, who enjoy it when they hear someone has picked up their book, read it and liked it.

What do you find the most ideal atmosphere for writing? Do you ever get those surroundings?

Right now, I have a great atmosphere for writing, I have the home alone with an office and sometimes a comfy couch, the question is… do it use it? I suppose everyone would love the chance to break away and write in a cabin for a week or more. I wonder if I'd go through all the trouble to get to the cabin and have my imagination free up though.

Okay, something fun for those writers out there: In what point of your writing career did you surprise yourself by writing the most words ever in the shortest amount of time?

When I first started on until my children were in school, I could get some words down but it was hit and miss. Once my children went to school, I could sit down and just write and write. I finished a 900 page novel, somewhere around 500,000 words in just over six months then finished a 200,000 word novel by the end of the year. And went on to write three more novels in the next year, all 90 to over a 100 thousand words.

Thanks for being here again! It has been a joy and we wish the very best with your novels. 

Readers, here is your chance to enter to win Tina's latest ebook!

Please leave an email adddress! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.
For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber


Contest is open internationally as the winner will receive a PDF to use on their computer or ereader. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on November 23rd.
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fun Friday Features

As I settle in for a relaxing (hmm-mm... ;-) day of NaNo-ing, I thought what fun it would be to talk the latest BOOK COVERS.

I'm sure you've seen a great many of them over at Rel's blog, but in my humble opinion, you can never see a great book cover too many times. Several of them I've already pre-ordered and soooo excited that I get to live in a world of great Christian fiction. We might be busy readers, but we're certainly not bored readers. :D

Check 'em out. And tell me in the comments which one is your favorite(s).



Coming May 2013

Coming June 2013

Coming June 2013

Coming May 2013

Coming August 2013

Coming July 2013
Coming May 2013
Coming May 2013

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Quirky. Funny. Charming ~ Till Grits Do Us Part by Jennifer Rogers Spinola ~ Review


I came into this series a bit blind…but came out laughin’ and lovin’. When I purchased the second novel “Like Sweet Potato Pie”, I didn’t know I was getting the second book in a three part series. But I loved it. It was quirky. Funny. Charming. So I requested the third title “Til Grits Do Us Part” for review (I’m still waiting on getting that first novel. ;-).
            
Aside from the titles being stinkin’ cute (!), the stories are goofy, but serious. Involving with characters that steal the show. Much is going on in this third book and Shiloh’s life. I didn’t expect a stalker in a chick-lit-type book, but oh there was. And the stalker is determined to ruin all of her long-planned wedding dreams. I wasn’t even sure where would be a wedding (except for the whole concept of “happily ever after” and that title.)
           
The secondary cast of characters have charm aplenty and an accent that couldn’t be found anywhere but in the deep South. I have no point of reference that the accents were even remotely accurate, but I loved the voice!
           
For the most part, I listened to my Kindle read this book to me. You can tell a good book when a computer’s voice can make the story interesting. Now I just need to go back and read the beginning of Shiloh’s journey!
           
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through Netgalley for my ARC to review.

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More about the book...

Shiloh Jacobs is planning her wedding without family, without money, and without a clue--and trying to make a go of small-town Southern life. Until she stumbles on an unsolved case about a missing woman that makes her run in the opposite direction--right into the would-be killer's web of plans. In the midst of sorting through her tragic past and strained relationships, Shiloh finds herself on the run from a madman--and hoping she can make it to her wedding alive.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Giveaway! The Road to Mercy by Kathy Harris!

Welcome to Writing for Christ Kathy Harris, it is great to have you here! Do you have an interesting fact about yourself the average reader probably doesn’t know?

I worked in the card catalog department of the school library when I was in college and, although I love e-books and new technology, I really, really miss that old-fashioned way of looking for books in my local library J 

Do you have a favorite genre to read/write?

Women’s fiction, especially “edgy” women’s fiction.

Do you have a nugget of writing advice that has completely changed how you view writing?

Writing, just like aerobic exercise, can be accomplished in small segments or bursts of time. Even if you only have time to write one scene a day, you will eventually complete a book!

5 things you love?

Spending time with my dogs
Relaxing at the beach
Getting together with friends
Sharing life with my family
Praising God for the good things and trusting Him to get me through the hard things.

What novel have you recently read that has stood out to you that both teens and adults will find enjoyment in?

I recently read and loved Lisa Wingate’s Blue Moon Bay. It’s a “timeless” story that should appeal to readers of all ages.

Places for readers to learn more about you?


Thank you for being with us today!

Thank you, Casey!

Readers, here is your chance to enter to win Kathy's book!

Please leave an email adddress! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.
For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on November 16th
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Power of A Touched Life

More days than not, I wish I didn't live hundreds of miles from the people who have touched my lives in the greatest of ways. I wish I lived right next door so I could run over when the urge presented itself and wrap them in a tighter than tight squeeze. 

It's people like this that have become the reason I continue writing. People who have selflessly given and given without asking for anything in return. Sometimes it's hard saying 'yes' to these dear people, knowing you're probably taking them from something they should be doing, but still they offer. And bless. And give the gift of Christ here on earth.

These people become brothers and sisters of the heart. The people you cherish seeing and cling to those moments of connection for as long as God grants them. 

You have them in your life. People that when you hear, see or say their name, a smile blooms across your face. People that shine Christ's love simply by being them.

I can think of so many names of people that are this in my life. And several of them are throughout my post today. 

I can only hope and pray you have such people in your life. People that pray the grace of God upon your life simply by being them.

I've done this once in the past and wanted to do it again. Tell me in the comments of someone who is the ultimate blessing in your life. Next week I will draw one person from the pool and send a  set of matching bracelets: one to you. One to the person who has so richly blessed your life.

As we come into the month of Thanksgiving, I know I give thanks for those who have touched my life and maybe don't even know it.

Challenge: go and be a blessing in someone's life today. Even if it means smiling for the grouchy grocery clerk...then thank God for the people who smile at you when you're grouchy! 

FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

 
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