Category Archives: authors

One of My Favorites From 2021: Legacy of Danger #BookReview

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Book Blurb:

Elena Dkany inherits her family’s castle in Romania, a land dipped in myths, folklore, and the legendary walking dead. The local proverb serves as warning: “Do not speak badly of the Devil, because you cannot know to whom you will belong.” When she’s attacked by an international assassin, only her deceased husband and her ex-boyfriend’s live presence can protect her on her journey to the mountainous region of Transylvania.

But that’s not the only problem troubling Elena. Who is that boy invading her dreams? And what really happened to a priceless gem-crusted silver cross buried by an earthquake in the fifteenth century? Who’s stalking Elena? Who wants her dead and why?

My Review:

Rating: ★★★★★

It begins with a subtle, familiar whisper from beyond the grave. Did somebody murder Elena Dkany’s grandmother? If so, who did it? And most importantly, why did they do it?

The voice of her dead grandmother launches Elena on a journey that will take her far away from the life she’s built for herself in Chicago to the ancient land of Romania, a place her people once called home. Here, in a remote village, she inherits her family’s ancestral castle.

But Elena isn’t taking this journey alone. Acting as her escort on this trip is FBI agent Alex Brancusi—who also happens to be Elena’s first love. A young boy haunts the dreams of both Elena and Alex. Who is this child?

Attempts are made on Elena’s life. But who would want her dead? Are they the ones who possibly murdered her grandmother? Why does the ghost who saved her life resemble Elena’s deceased husband?

In Legacy of Danger, author Patricia A. Guthrie has crafted a well-told tale of murder and intrigue. Her skillful style expertly weaves multiple genres into a single, tight narrative that is at once believable and compelling. Romance and murder mingle with the paranormal, and betrayal arrives at the deepest levels. If you enjoy stories that put you on the edge of your seat—and keep you there—this is a book for you.

One of the best books of 2021.

About the Author:

1kcgq8jmvcbght3kqfs5jrjmlc._SX450_Patricia A. Guthrie is the author of romantic suspense, paranormal, mystery novels and short stories. Her current published novels ‘IN THE ARMS OF THE ENEMY’ ‘WATERLILIES OVER MY GRAVE’ and ‘LEGACY OF DANGER’ and her short story ‘WILLED ACCIDENTS HAPPEN’ are available in online bookstores such as Amazon.com. She also has short stories published on Amazon, Skyline Magazine and Affaire Du Coeur and non-fiction articles in the Collie Cassette and the online ‘Nature Journal.’

Guthrie is an accomplished musician: opera singer, church soloist and music teacher. After leaving the opera, Guthrie became a music therapist in a school for children with special needs and then went on to teach music in the Chicago Public School system. She resides in the Chicago area with her cats, Archie and Kitzy Kitty, and her horse, Dixie, who help her write every chance they get. Pat’s an avid animal lover and advocate.

Where to Buy:

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Concordant Vibrancy Volumes 4 and 5 are FREE Until 1/16/22!

All Authors Publishing House is offering two of their short story collections for FREE from January 12 until January 16. Be sure to grab your copies before time runs out!

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Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno

51cgnv22HuLThere is a universal fascination associated with passion―its defining element, fire, as well as the unseen. Yet how many dare to trespass beyond the final product, exploring the ingredients which keep it sustainable?

This is the traverse of the fourth installment of the Concordant Vibrancy collection, presented by All Authors Publications and Promotions, entitled “Inferno”. Nine phenomenal talents diverge under one purpose: the creation of literary works guaranteed to set the mind, heart, and spirit ablaze.

Stories included: “Express-Oh” by Adonis Mann, “Not Always Like This” by Carol Cassada, “The Fireman” by Harmony Kent, “The Complications of Fire” by Beem Weeks, “Calliope’s Inferno” by C. Desert Rose, “Moxy” by Y. Correa, “Antipode” by Synful Desire, “The Chronicles of Aidan” by Da’Kharta Rising, and “The Calefaction of Insight” by Queen of Spades.

CLICK TO GET YOUR COPY!

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Concordant Vibrancy 5: Extancy

51gpBoDKh-LWith a proud and heavy heart, All Authors Publishing House presents the final installment of the Concordant Vibrancy collection, entitled “Extancy”. Eight exceptional talents intermingle to share their interpretations on the following question:

“What intangible elixir is paramount to one’s survival?”

~ C. Desert Rose expands on the elixir of Awareness in her essay “Frequencies Towards Illumination”.
~ Carol Cassada outlines the amount of Strength to tackle the medically unexpected in “Caregiver”.
~ Beem Weeks explores the swiftness of Adaptation in his story “Five Minutes”.
~ Da’Kharta Rising elicits dark humor and strange situations as the ingredients for Felicity in “The Unmasking”.
~ Adonis Mann illuminates the subjectivity of Unity in “Axis … Redefined”.
~ All Optimism needs is a window of opportunity to flourish, as demonstrated in Synful Desire’s tale, “Rome’s Debris”.
~ Evolution is an intangible necessity through the many reincarnations showcased in “The Itinerant” by Queen of Spades.
~ The synergy of the aforementioned elements from Concordant Vibrancy I – IV are given lives of their own through “Soul Searching” by Y. Correa.

CLICK TO GET YOUR COPY!

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Kindness Versus the Truth: Which One Wins?

Just a little observation.

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Kindness versus the truth: Which one wins? It’s a simple enough question—though it may take a heated debate to smooth away all the various rough edges. Some will say you cannot have one without the other. I disagree.

The truth is often brutal in its honesty. If an individual on the receiving end isn’t prepared to hear the unvarnished facts, they will, no doubt, view the messenger as unkind—maybe even evil. This is a prevailing symptom of an all-too-common disease plaguing the world today. And just what is this new plague? It’s the idea that we can no longer offer opinions without some individual on social media becoming offended, hurt, or angered, as if by merely stating an opinion, you have personally attacked another by virtue of their having stumbled upon your tweet or blog or Facebook post.

Okay. Let me explain. On a recent Friday night, I came across a Tweet from an author asking a credible question:

Do you ever feel like the characters are writing the story for you?

Simple enough. And it’s a legitimate inquiry. Many authors tweeted their response. Most of them said, yes, they often feel their characters are writing their stories.

I weighed in with my own opinion. I tweeted:

I am the author, the creator. My characters do not exist without me. They do not have the ability to act independent of me. If they write for me, I am not the author. Those who claim the characters write for them are either short-changing themselves or they aren’t real writers.

Two angry men with crumpled paper

Again, this is simply my opinion in answering the question posed. Well, my opinion earned scorn and derision from a pair of writers who took my words as an attack on them personally. Offended, they were. How dare I “crap” all over another writer’s “process!” Well, no. Claiming your characters are the ones writing your story isn’t a “process.” I do understand the mindset. I get where these people are coming from. You get lost in the creative elements and it feels as if the story is unfolding on its own.

But it isn’t. You, as the writer, are constructing every character, every line of dialogue, building every scene. You did all the leg work in plotting and planning. We all do—regardless of whether we outline our story or write it by the seat of our pants. Even those so-called pantsers usually have some idea where the story will go before they set pen to paper—or tap those keys. When I hear somebody claim the characters are doing the writing, I get the feeling this person might be making it all up as they go along—not a clue as to where it’s going or how they’ll get there.

This brings me back to the title question: Kindness versus truth: Which one wins? You can express kindness in telling an athlete they lack the skills to play organized football, but it’s still going to hurt. You’ve just crushed a dream.

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Over the last two decades, I have watched many seasons of the television show American Idol. The program has been a springboard for some incredibly gifted singers and musicians. We’ve become familiar with their songs, their voices, their names. However, for every Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood, there are dozens of individuals who did not make it beyond the audition stage. I recall many alleged singers who were just plain awful. You can find some of those bad auditions on YouTube, should you need a reference point.

Anyway, when the judges dismissed these performers, telling them that they didn’t have what it takes to move on to the next round, many of the rejected contestants responded by hurling angry insults at those who have built successful careers in the music business.

“How dare you say I can’t sing! My mother says I’m as good as Lady Gaga.”

As writers, most of us have cultivated thick skins. We need it in this line of creativity. Our work is ultimately sent out into the world to be read, judged, criticized, and dissected. For all the positive reviews our work may garner, there will be those who view it in a negative light.

They didn’t connect with your protagonist.

They couldn’t follow the plot.

They just didn’t believe the dialogue rang true.

It happens to the best of us.

Now, to my point in this observation. If you’re a writer, don’t take the little things so personally. If a bad review comes your way, read it, search for those criticisms you might use, then move on. Don’t linger. Don’t replay the negative remarks over and over inside your head. The same goes for opinions—especially those shared in a tweet. They really shouldn’t matter to the writer. Opinions are often little more than the observations of others. If you believe your characters are writing your story, then so be it. Who am I to say otherwise? Just write, create, have fun, and the opinions of others be damned.

And work on that thick skin.

If you offer your work to the world, you’re going to need it.

 

Girl Wears Those Shoes Available for Pre-Order!

41s4c7CaCZL._SX346_BO1,204,203,200_Aspiring young Chinese immigrant Gigi O survives by working as a stripper, but she strives for true success in the U.S. real-estate industry. Navigating this highly competitive business is tough, especially when her only support comes from the deeply flawed man she loves and her old cohorts from the strip club. Issues of betrayal and trust, loyalty and commitment complicate her goals even as one lesbian friend adds new dimensions to her understanding of love versus desire. Then the market crashes and financial turmoil threatens to rob Gigi O of all she has achieved. Can she find new ways to chase her dreams-and still manage to keep her clothes on? Or might she find a better reason to take them off? Girl Wears Those Shoes is a tale of love and power, the story of one woman who wants to make the world her own-if only she can figure out how.

About the Author:

Rp2z7B8S_400x400After two decades in the real-estate industry, Jenny Wang has established her brand, “Jenny Wang Houston,” with JWang Properties, a boutique agency with a personal touch, and JWang Media, a custom-video production team for promotion and marketing. An active community booster, Jenny is the past president of the Women’s Council of Realtors, Houston Network. An Ambassador of the Houston Ballet, she holds a lifetime membership in the University of Houston Alumni Association. Author of her debut novel, Girl Wears Those Shoes, Jenny Wang is proud to live her principles even as she pursues her own unique vision.

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Where to Buy:

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Listen to Jenny’s Interview:

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 #NewRelease – Mountain Laurel Christmas #Christmas #ShortStory @JanSikes3

I am honored to host award-winning author Jan Sikes on the Indie Spot today. Jan is a gifted writer and a wonderful storyteller.

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For a young aspiring musician, getting noticed in Nashville is equivalent to us as authors, trying to get readers to find our books.

Andy Roberts arrived in Nashville a starry-eyed teenager. He put his name on the waitlist at the famed Tootsies Orchid Lounge. I wanted to make this the Bluebird Cafe, but since it didn’t open until 1984, and my story is set in the seventies, that didn’t work.

Nevertheless, he finally got his chance.

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Here’s the excerpt:

I have my name on the waitlist for months before a spot ever opens up. It was the biggest chance I’d get.  I showed up every night, hopeful. After all, it was common knowledge that’s where record executives went to discover new talent.

Nervous as a cat in a room full of rockers, when I finally get my fifteen minutes on the microphone, I sing and play my heart out. I never wanted anything as badly as I did that night. Just one person. That’s all it would take.

Corinna South approached me as I wiped down my guitar. My God, she was strikingly gorgeous. Pure confidence radiated from her as she flashed a thousand-watt smile.

“You’re damned good, kid,” she said. “Did you write those songs?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“How about you come to work for me? I’ll show you the ropes.”

I’d stuttered some stupid reply while her attention turned me various shades of red. Holy Hell! Corinna South was talking to me.

***

We often hear of artists who were discovered by playing open-mic nights at the Bluebird Cafe. Garth Brooks is one example. It’s a tough business. Have you ever personally known anyone who tried to break into the music business and either succeeded or failed?

Mountain Laurel Christmas Blurb:

Orphaned, his family torn apart by tragedy, Cole Knight has come a long way from a ramshackle miner’s cabin on the side of the Cumberland Mountain.

Daring to follow an impossible dream, he’s made it big in the music business. Now, he’s a country music sensation with a huge house, fancy cars, plenty of willing women, money, and adoring fans. He should be on top of the world. Instead, he’s drowning in a swirling pool of self-contempt and relentless guilt.

It’s easier to lose himself in a bottle than face the hard truth…he hasn’t delivered on a promise he made to his father.

It’s almost Christmas, and the sting of failure drives him back to that tiny cabin in the mountains. But has he waited too late to put the shattered pieces back together—to find himself and restore a lost family?

Mountain Laurel Coffee

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PURCHASE LINK:

https://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Laurel-Christmas-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B09KJYMVT9/

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Staci Troilo’s No Such Luck! A #NewRelease

I am excited to host the talented Staci Troilo on The Indie Spot today! She has a new release available! Take it away, Staci . . .

Thanks for having me here today, Beem. Hi, everyone. I am grateful that you’re giving me a few minutes so I can tell you about my new release, No Such Luck. It’s a short and sweet romance just in time for Christmas.

Piper Seidel has run home to her father with her tail between her legs. She’s lost her job, and she feels lost. Compounding her humiliation, she constantly embarrasses herself in front of her high school crush—a man she’d love a second chance to make a first impression on. This excerpt shows Piper’s moment of clarity, when things start going her way and she has the epiphany that will (hopefully) make all the difference.

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She leaned over to hug him. “Good night, Tom.”

“Night.”

After she climbed out of his cab, he sat in the driveway, truck idling. Finally, he rolled down the window. “What are you doing?”

“I was going to watch you drive away.”

“I’m waiting for you to go in the house. It’s the considerate thing to do.”

She chuckled. Touché. “You’re right. Good night.” And with a final wave, she ran to the mudroom door.

But she didn’t go inside. After Tommy left, she headed for her car.

It was time she took her own advice.

Life wasn’t about being cool. It was about being considerate.

No wonder she’d lost her last job. She’d been a raging pain in the butt.

But she could find another job. Pittsburgh had a bunch of online magazines that might need writers. And a great newspaper. If worse came to worse, the small-town local newspaper was an option. The editor tried to convince her to work for him every time he saw her during a visit.

The thing that scared her was that she almost lost the most wonderful thing in her life because she hadn’t been considerate.

Worse, she’d been blind. For years.

Piper had been living in the past for too long. She finally stepped into the present. Hopefully her epiphany wasn’t too late to change her fortune.

I hope you enjoyed that quick sneak peek. No Such Luck, the first installment of the Keystone Couples series, is available now on Amazon.

No Such Luck

Blurb:

Seeds of luck usually wither. The rare one grows and blooms.

Piper Seidel has one thing going for her—a red carnation given to her by Tommy Burnett in the tenth grade. It might have dried over the years, but it’s still her good luck charm. Losing it sets her life in a downward spiral, forcing her to return to her hometown where she comes face to face with her high school crush.

The years have been kind to Tommy, who looks better than ever. Unfortunately, Piper is at her worst, continually embarrassing herself whenever he’s around. The only plus? Her long-time friend, Jack Rhodes, still lives in town. Since she last saw him, his legs have grown longer, his biceps thicker, and his shoulders broader. He was always the brother she never had, but now she can’t help noticing him in an unsisterly way. Jack is every bit as caring as he’s ever been—until her bad luck drives him away, maybe forever.

Piper needs a new good luck charm, and fast, before she loses her final chance at happiness.

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09J31935Z?

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Author C. S. Boyack Offers Freebies!

Author C. S. Boyack will be pushing his Hat stories during the month of October. These stories have a Halloween vibe, which fits well with the month. He will be doing a volume per week, and two of them will have free days.

THE HAT

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BLURB:

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs, and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.

Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon.

The Hat will be FREE from October 5 – 7.

THE BALLAD OF MRS. MOLONY

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BLURB:

Lizzie and the hat are back, and this time they’re chasing vampires across a subculture of America. A pair of rodeo cowboys are holding a woman captive to use like a milk cow since they joined the undead.

The person who put them onto the trail is also a vampire, but he has to be the worst vampire in history. Is he really that pitiful, or is he setting a trap for our heroes? Does the woman even exists? Can Lizzie and the hat find her before she also takes up blood sucking?

Follow Lizzie and the hat as they use their cover band to stalk vamps across the country music scene.

The Ballad of Mrs. Molony will be FREE from October 19 – 21.

The entire push will involve a Tuesday and Thursday blog tour, with a push of the free volumes by Fussy Librarian

Country Music Hall of Famer Returns!

Country Music Hall of Fame and Fresh Ink Group member Mark Herndon is back to performing again with his wife, country/gospel singer Leah Seawright. Mark is the author of The High Road: Memories from a Long Trip, his memoir about growing up an Air Force kid who went on to live his dream playing drums with supergroup Alabama, selling out arenas worldwide for decades of #1 hits. Watch for Mark and Leah to appear on Fresh Ink Group’s Voice of Indie podcast with hosts Beem Weeks and Stephen Geez this summer, taking your calls and responding to your tweets. You can order inscribed and autographed copies of Mark’s book at MarkHerndon.com. Hardcovers, softcovers, and all ebook formats can be found at your favorite retailers worldwide, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Fresh Ink Group produced the book trailer below to help promote Mark’s fascinating behind-the-scenes story. Every country-music fan knows Alabama and likely has seen Mark perform in person, on TV, or at sites such as YouTube. What a terrific gift an autographed copy makes! How great is it that Mark and Leah and her terrific band are back on stage again, starting with small clubs in—where else—Alabama?Mark and Leah

Mark and Leah Closeup, Easy Street, June 2021

Book Signing Featuring Fresh Ink Group Author B. A. Johnson

Today I am sharing a post written by Fresh Ink Group author B. A. Johnson. She shares details of her recent successful book signing.

Sassy Discovers the AME Church

Noted children’s literature author, Beverly Cleary, said, “If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf write it.” Barbara Johnson was looking for a children’s book that narrated the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in language children could understand. She did not find that book, so she wrote it. Sassy Discovers the AME Church details the founding of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in a story narrative that children can read and understand for themselves.

Book Signing, MeSassy seeks information about the AME church from her “Big Momma” who has been an AME all her life. She and Big Momma begin the journey of learning everything there is about AME history in preparation for Children’s Church. Along the way, Sassy learns why everyone is so proud to be AME.

Sassy, her brother Franklin, and their friends encounter issues kids deal with daily, such as bullying, inclusion, death, grief, and forgiveness. They along with other AME members must deal with the deaths of nine members of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. No other story has been written from the children’s perspective regarding the deaths at Emanuel AME Church. Sassy and her friends share their feelings for the first time.

The book launch party for Sassy Discovers the AME Church was held on Saturday, May 1, 2021 on the grounds of historic, St. John AME Church. Church members, family and friends came out to purchase an autographed copy of the book and take a photo with the author. Everyone was excited to receive a copy of the book with a picture of St. John AME Church on the cover. All expressed great interest in reading the history of the church from a child’s perspective.Book Signing, Owens - Copy

Barbara Johnson is a retired educator and a lifelong member of historic, St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church in Huntsville, Alabama. She writes under the pen name, B. A. Johnson.

Sassy Discovers the AME Church is published by The Fresh Ink Group. Books may be purchased online at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and BooksAMillion.com.

Book Signing, Malone Book Signing, Tami Book Signing, Vazquez Family Book Signing, PKW

Crackles of the Heart: Divergent Ink Book 1! A #BookReview

Blurb:

Divergent Ink is the mesh of different frames of thoughts, various interpretations of one core question that yearns for universal expansion. Although the subject matter may change every year, the purpose of the Divergent Ink series will remain the same.

The first book in the Divergent Ink anthology series, “Crackles of the Heart”, centers around the following question: Can the hot, handsome guy fall for the average, awkward woman?

Six Divergent Inks exploring “Crackles of the Heart”. Will there be hearts rejoicing or hearts breaking?

Featuring

Da’Kharta Rising: A five word invitation sets the tone for an afternoon journey. Short, provocative connectivity sizzles “Inside Me”.

Queen of Spades: One look from Her was all it took to put a ladies’ man into early retirement. Yet, the very object of his affection has no clue of his reform. When he opts to take a huge gamble, will his fairy tale end happily ever after or be deemed a “Tale in the Keys of Drastic”?

Adonis Mann: The dark of night can be more than scary, it can be downright intoxicating. When pleasure meets stupefaction, a man with a secret whirls into rapture at the hands of an unknown force. To which end? Will his secret be revealed, or will he revel in the delight it brings? Nothing is as it seems during the wonderment of “Mystical Nights”.

Y. Correa: Steampunk Earth, set in the distant future. When an ambitious city guy meets a carefree country lady, what starts out as a getaway to finish an important project turns into a interesting journey. Steam intersects and hearts collide in “The Steam of Opposites”.

C. Desert Rose: Terah has the misfortune of being given news that puts an expiration date on her life. In her desire to get away from the chaos, she has a chance encounter with the very one that can put the turmoil to rest. Is “Serendipitous Mirth” dumb luck, or preordained destiny?

Synful Desire: Bette is a hard working small town woman with simple pleasures. When visually stunning Jesse comes into the store on what’s normally her day off, her mind accelerates into complex overdrive. In this small town, a lot can happen in seven days. Will one of those events serve to satisfy Bette’s “Seven Days of Stimuli”?

 

My Review:

Rating: ★★★★★

This collection contains some truly intriguing works by authors who are skilled in the fine art of storytelling. Six writers lent their talents here. They have each taken a core question and answered it in their own unique words.

Though there are different styles at work, there remains a thread that connects each of the tales in this book, like a well-groomed path cutting through a summer wood. I’ve read some of these authors before. I am never disappointed in plots or mechanics or inspiration. Good writers know how to pull the reader in and dazzle.

The stories are provocative, dark, and at times, steamy in their telling—though not in an over-indulgent sort of way. There is an order to the chaos. I honestly couldn’t settle on just one or two as favorites, so I’ll give applause to each of these writers: Da’Kharta Rising, Y. Correa, Adonis Mann, Queen of Spades, C. Desert Rose, and Synful Desire. Cheers for a job well-done, authors!

I am a fan of the short form of fiction. This collection will sit on my shelf along with the others I’ve kept and returned to time after time.

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