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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Whar Are Paraprosdokians???




Paraprosdokians are a figure of speech where the latter part of the sentence is unexpected and usually humorous. These are from Carlene Rae Dater.

Here's some of them......

1.  If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, they'd eventually find me attractive.

2.  I  find it ironic that the colors red, white and blue stand for freedom, until they're flashing behind me.

3.  Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation toward the local swimming pool so I gave him a glass of water.

4. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

5.  I'm great at multi-tasking. I can waste time, be unproductive and procrastinate all at once.

6.  If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

7.  Take my advice, I'm not using it.

8.  My wife and I were happy for twenty years, then we met.

9.  Hospitality is the art of making guests feel like they're at home when you wish they were.

10.  I was going to wear my camouflage shirt but then I couldn't find it.



Have any to add to this list?
Jean Hart Stewart

photos: Flickr: dbowman2001 and dusty64
and Nancy M (grammarly)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

OUR GHOST, FRED by Marianne Stephens

In the 1990s, we lived in a large house to accommodate our family of six. Nothing unusual happened our first few years there, but then events started happening that convinced us we weren't living there ALONE. Below are some examples why I say this:

#1: Daughter number two had just finished drying her laundry. I told her to just dump it on her bed and she could fold/put away everything since we were about to have dinner. She dumped the laundry on the bed and brought the laundry basket down to our laundry room (next to our kitchen). All my other kids and husband were already sitting at the table.

After dinner, my daughter went up to her room and screamed. We all ran up to her room. On her bed were her clothes, all neatly folded. None of us had been in her room. She was scared, so slept in another daughter's room that night. We tried to joke about the incident...and hoped the "ghost" would fold ALL laundry from there on. No such luck.

My kids decided to name the "ghost"...and that's how "Fred" came into our lives.

#2: I always kept my phone book under the phone in the kitchen on a desk. But, one day, I couldn't find it. I checked all over the kitchen and then called my kids into the room. No one knew where it was. I sent them into all the other rooms of the house to look for my phone book while I continued, alone, to search the kitchen.

When the kids returned, they all said the same thing....they couldn't find it. At that time, I was standing in front of the desk. Daughter # one peeked to the side of me and pointed. When I turned around, there was the phone book, right under the phone. Once again we joked about it, and decided that Fred meant no harm...he just like to play tricks.

#3: We went on a week vacation to Florida. I had a college student, "Joe", come to the house each day to feed/water our bird and bring in the mail. The birdcage was on the kitchen counter and the mail was to be placed there, too.

When we returned, I called  "Joe" so her could come over and be paid. His mother answered the phone and said she'd come instead. I assumed "Joe" was not home. His mother told me that  on the third day of taking care of our house, he went inside and the birdcage and mail were  in the living room, not the kitchen. Freaking out, he went home and had his father search our house with him to make sure no one was there. They moved the birdcage and mail back into the kitchen. He wouldn't go into our house alone after that...either his mother or farther would come with him. 

And he wouldn't house-sit again.




#4: I was at the kitchen table, doing bills. On the counter was an old, portable black and white TV...the kind you had to turn the dial to change channels. It had a very distinct loud clicking sound as you turned the dial from one channel to another.

I was watching an old episode of "I Love Lucy" while paying the bills.  Suddenly I looked up at the TV and realized that "Lucy" wasn't on. Instead, on the TV was an episode of some court series. I first thought maybe the show had ended and I hadn't realized it. Then I looked at the clock and noticed that "Lucy" still had ten minutes left in the half hour episode.

I got up and went over to the TV. The dial was on a different channel, about five channels from where the "Lucy" show was. As I stated  before, changing the channels involved a loud click sound, and I'd heard nothing. I turned back to "Lucy", and said aloud, "Fred, you have to stop this stuff."

Other things continued to happen, but nothing sinister. I guess that's why we never felt really frightened.

My mother moved in with us after we moved from that house. She finally told me that if we had stayed in that house, she would not have lived with us. Over the years, she and my dad had witnessed some strange things whenever they visited. Mom was afraid of ghosts.

During the twelve years we lived there, we had two dogs at different times. Each dog did the same thing on a routine basis: they'd sit up and slowly move their heads from one side to the other as if watching someone walk across the room. We'd notice the dogs' movements but never saw anything ourselves.

Do I believe in ghosts? Maybe but I'd like to think of them as helpful or playful.

Do you believe in ghosts? Any ghostly encounters?

In the Naughty Phantasia Boxed Set , I have a paranormal story titled "Cupid's Curious Case":
 
Alan’s last job as Cupid 8
4 involves neighbor Amy and a special box of candy. Both secretly desire the other. Can they find true love?

For buy links, excerpts, blurbs, and reviews, go to:
http://naughtyliterati.com/naughty-phantasia/





Marianne Stephens
http://www.mariannestephens.net
http://www.romancebooks4us.com

Images: 
christmas-graphics-plus.com, animation.dinamobomb.net, animationlibrary.com






Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Most Paranormal Time of the Year

Christmas may be our biggest cultural holiday, but for someone who reads, writes, watches and shops paranormal themes, October is the month for feasting. My favorite purchase so far this month is a pillow with a lovely raven on one side and a floral-and-skull patterened reverse. The burgundy flowers match my parlor decor so well, the skulls don't even pop at a casual glance. I did resist the giant dragon skeleton for the front yard--barely.

Hocus Pocus, Nightmare Before Christmas, and other seasonal classics are readily available on every streaming service, and a new favorite, The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell, a dark, Creature Shop infused cooking, crafting and sewing show is being binge-watched in my house as I type. And to cap it all off, the paranormal romances come out to play.

If you're looking for a quick seasonal read, might I humbly suggest Between a Rock and a Hard Dragon by yours truly. For something with a little more bite, there's my vampire erotic romance trilogy: Exploring Ari, Dani's Demons, and Just for Jess.

In other news, I've just contracted for the re-release of two of my favorite stories, Sea Change, a full-length novel about a merman and a marine biologist, and One Good Man, a ghost story co-written with the fabulous Lacey Thorn. They'll be out early 2019 from Supenova Indie Publishing. I'm very excited to be working with this fabulous group.

Enjoy the fall or spring, whereever you are, and Happy Halloween/Blessed Samhain to all!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

In 1492 Columbus Sailed The Ocean Blue

Posted by R. Ann Siracusa

This blog started out as an update of my article about Columbus Day, but also to debunk the often-taught concept that Christopher Columbus discovered America. But, alas, that was not to be – at least in terms of the total picture.
Since the time I last updated the information, it appears that good old Chris has fallen into disrepute, and there is a major effort to reinvent the holiday as Indigenous Peoples Day.
COLUMBUS DISCOVERED AMERICA ... RIGHT?
Well, not exactly -- even though it may be what you learned in grammar school.
Point one: It depends on what is meant by the word discover.
Christopher Columbus was not the first of human kind to set foot on the North American Continent. There were already indigenous peoples living there when he arrived, both on the islands where he did set foot, and on the North American continent, upon which he did not set foot.
Columbus wasn't even the first European to set foot there, either. In 1960, undeniable proof of Vikings in North America came to light at L'Anse aux Meadows near Newfoundland, Canada. Islandic-style house foundations gave proof that the Vikings briefly settled there around 1100 (five hundred years before Columbus arrived), and artifacts including a needle whetstone, a soapstone spindle whorl, and bronze ring-pins of the Norsemen were also convincing evidence.

Leif (The Lucky) Ericson (970-1020) the Norse explorer and first son of Erik the Red, is regarded by many historians as the first European to land in North America
There are a myriad of other claims that the North American continent was “discovered” before both Columbus and Ericson.
530 AD - St. Brendan
The story of St. Brendan, from Ireland, sailing to America certainly falls within the myth category.


1170 AD - Prince Madoc of WalesMadoc (Madog or Madawg) ap Owain Gwynedd was a Welsh prince who, according to legend, discovered America in 1170. The story is unconfirmed, but there is a growing belief among many Welsh in the US that the Wales has a claim on the discovery of the continent.
The first written account of Madoc's story is in George Peckham's A True Report of the late Discoveries of the Newfound Landes (1583). There exists disputed archaeological evidence, three hill fort sites similar to Celtic hill forts, along the river in the area they are supposed to have "colonized." The Mandan Indians are reportedly the descendents of these early Welsh explorers. Unfortunately, there are no Mandan Indians left of pure blood to confirm this through DNA testing.
1398 AD - Henry SinclairAlso in the myth category is Henry I Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, Baron of Roslin, and Lord of Shetland (c.1345-c.1400). A Scottish explorer/nobleman and the grandfather of William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness, the builder of Rosslyn Chapel. Henry is also noted for being the subject of legend that he undertook early explorations of Greenland and North America in about the year 1398.
And how about the claims of the Jewish, the Chinese, the Egyptians, Scott Wolter, and everyone else suggested on the History Channel? Every year there are new discoveries with the potential of rewriting the history we're taught in school, and the ability to DNA test certain ancient finds may eventually be able to put to rest old myths and word of mouth stories and establish real evidence.

Point two: It depends on what is meant by the word America in this context.

While it’s true that Columbus never set foot on what U.S. citizens consider “America,” he never claimed he had. At that time, explorers who discovered things they didn’t recognize, fell back on the writings of the ancients, assuming they had wider experience than those who came after.Columbus must have believed the same thing.

He is often accused confusion, of not knowing where he had been or what he had discovered, but the problem then was less a matter of “naming” things as finding the original local names … which no one in Europe would have understood anyway. In all, he made four voyages to the Americas and explored a rather large area, but it wasn’t until the fourth trip that he determined he hadn’t located Asia but another continent heretofore unknown to the Europeans.

Routes of Columbus’ Four Voyages:
 Source:Wikipedia


The name “America” (bestowed on the New World) was derived from the name of explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci (Florence, 1454-1512), although even this “historical fact” is in contention.
Through another ironic quirk of history, Vespucci didn’t name it, either. In fact, both Columbus and Vespucci believed what they discovered to be parts of Asia that, at that point, had not been explored by Europeans. Historians tell us that neither man had any concept of a new continent.

Amerigo Vespucci - photo of drawing


One source indicates Amerigo Vespucci was a merchant from Venice who owned a business in Spain outfitting ships for mercantile expeditions. Another claims he worked for Lorenzo de' Medici and, in 1492, was sent to work at the SevilleSpain branch of the Medici bank. According to that source, King Manual I of Portugal invited Vespucci to participate as observer in several exploratory voyages to the east coast of South America between 1499 and 1502. And, in fact, both versions might be correct.

However he got there, Vespucci accompanied those expeditions to South America and, as a result, wrote letters with glowing descriptions of the newly discovered countries which he called the lands of a "New World."
Vespucci’s letters were read by Martin Waldseemuller, a noted geographer, and Mathias Ringmann, who were preparing a reproduction of Ptolemy's treatise on geography. They decided to incorporate Vespucci's voyage into the treatise. Ringmann, acting as editor, was apparently unaware of Columbus’ discoveries fifteen years earlier and wrote the following in his introduction: “There is a fourth quarter of the world which Amerigo Vespucci has discovered and which for this reason we can call 'America' or the land of Americo."
Their work (entitled Cosmographiae Introductio) was published in April, 1507, and marked the first time the word America appeared in print.
This is sooo not what I learned in high school history. Do we really know anything for sure?
According to Toby Lestera contributing editor to The Atlantic and author of The Fourth Part of the World, “History hasn’t served poor Matthias Ringmann nearly as well as Martin Waldseemuller. That doesn’t seem quite fair. So tonight let’s send up a few of our fireworks in honor of the man who had the audacity to declare, before anybody else, that the world had a fourth part—and to imagine that he might be the one who could give it a name.”

Is nothing sacred? There is also a claim the name America came from Richard Amerike, a Welsh-descended English merchant, Royal customs officer and Sheriff who had sponsored John Cabot's voyage to America in 1497.
Christopher Columbus – Photo of Drawing
https://www.exploration-and-piracy.org



DOES COLUMBUS GET THE CREDIT? A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD

Stories have it that Columbus died broke and in jail, but for the most part, the history books still give Christopher Columbus the credit for “discovering” the new world and opening up the Americas to European colonization. They also lay the blame on him for the negative impacts of his arrival in the Western Hemisphere. A double-edged sword.
He is also blamed for the destruction of the native peoples of the islands he explored, and he is labeled a racist, which was true of most of the aristocracy of that period. People have expended many words on extolling his successes and virtues and criticizing his faults and failures. There is plenty to read, if you want to explore those avenues.

By Edmund S. Morgan - The Gallery Collection / Corbis 

CONTROVERSAY OVER THE HOLIDAYAlthough celebrated in some locations since the 1800s, Columbus Day as a national holiday was not declared until in 1937. Over the decades, as civil rights came into focus, it has become more and more controversial.

According to Nadra Kareen Nittle’s article in www.thoughtco.com, March, 2017, “Native American groups argue that the Italian explorer’s arrival in the New World ushered in genocide against indigenous peoples as well as the transatlantic slave trade.” Much like Thanksgiving, it highlights Western imperialism and the conquest of people of color.


THE HOLIDAY CELEBRATES THE EVENT, NOT THE PERSON
Columbus Day marks the first encounter that brought together the original indigenous Americans and the future Americans and changed the history of the world.
The Holiday does not commemorate the person nor does it celebrate the ultimate outcome of the voyages. It is the historical event Columbus Day honors and is neither a positive or negative comment on the value of the event or what happened subsequently.
Nearly all events commemorated by any culture, have their positive and negative impacts.

Travel to Foreign Lands for Romance and Intrigue with a Novel by
AUTHOR R. ANN SIRACUSA
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Sources: 2018









Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Visiting History #Williamsburg #melissa_keir

Visiting History

Welcome back to another (I hope) interesting blog post about writing and a writer's mind. To celebrate my husband's birthday, we did a small vacation to Washington DC and nearby Williamsburg. He hadn't been to the area since Nixon was president and I'd never been, so it sounded like a fun getaway. Two days in DC and two days in Williamsburg with a day in between for travel. We did the quick trip due to the doggies at home who don't do well with strangers or kennels. 

Step back in time. The buildings and town of Williamsburg are set in the Early Colonial period when the small area was the capitol of the English settlement. Governor's appointed by King George made their home in the Governor's Palace. Later, Thomas Jefferson would spend time in the building and left behind detailed drawings and floor plans which became important in the reconstruction of the historical home. 

Today, you can tour the Palace and walk through the gardens. While at one time, the main floor collapsed into the cellar, having the drawings was vital to the reconstruction. With the attached ballroom, marble entryway and fragrant gardens, be sure to spend time examining all the details of a time long past. 


At the Palace are working kitchens where you can see actual food from the period being made as well as many helpful docents wearing a variety of clothes from the period. Horse-drawn carriages travel the roads giving visitors a glimpse into history.




Additionally, there are other wonderful historic buildings in the town. We sat in and participated at a reenactment in the courthouse, which shed light on how right in Williamsburg the seeds of the American Revolution as well as the Bill of Rights began. 


For those people who are looking for more than history, the surrounding area boasts world-class golf courses, outlet malls, children and pet friendly hotels and amazing eateries. Busch Gardens, Water Country USA, and Great Wolf Lodge are close by and it's only a short drive to the ocean. In addition, it's the location of The College of William and Mary.

The historic shopping district was one of my favorites as I was able to see items made in the village as well as sample some local food in a historical tavern. But there was so much to see and do, that we could have easily spent more than two nights in town! Two other historic towns- Yorktown and Jamestown are both close by and form a triangle of history!

But you don't have to take my word on all the amazing things you'll see. You can check it out for yourself. Williamsburg Tourism

My trip was for pleasure but I did get some work done as well. I have a new release coming out in a few days. Only This Tuesday: A Copper Mills Novella is a stand alone story (for now) which takes place in Arizona.

Blurb:
Only This Tuesday...
Tuesday Benson sets out to escape her past. A thieving boyfriend. A bankrupt restaurant. Memories of her brother. She's started over in Copper Mills with a taco truck more popular than most of the local eateries. But when Tuesday hires a local boy to help, will she stir up something more than a tasty treat?

Mayor Blake Rodgers enjoys the simple things in life. An early morning jog. Down-home cooking. The comradery of the small-town residents. With his help, Copper Mills has become a trendy tourist destination. But when Blake falls for the controversial food-truck owner, will he lose the town's backing?

Toss in bigotry and gossip as well as the mayor's former fiancée, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Come Visit Copper Mills, Arizona--a small town with a heart as big as the wide-open spaces and a long history of making dreams come true.



Available in ebook and print

Until next month...

Melissa Keir

Saturday, October 6, 2018

What happens when a sexy vampiress and a panther shifter hook up? Magic and mayhem. DESIREE AFTER DARK #TinaDonahueBooks #ParanormalDatingAgency #EroticPNR



Do you love shifters and vampires and lust and romance?

Then do I have a tale for you...

Desiree After Dark - part of the Paranormal Dating Agency world.



Blurb:

Passion demands full surrender…

When it comes to men, Desiree’s had crappy luck, like her last boyfriend turning her before she realized he was a bloodsucker. Undead but wiser, she hosts an internet show—Desiree After Dark—to help women avoid users like him. However, his ex-girlfriend’s stalking Desiree, blaming her for stealing him away.

So not true, but escalating threats are coming hard and fast.

Enter tall, dark, and muscular Hunter, a bodyguard to die for. Recommended by the PDA, he’ll protect Desiree from any peril.

Would that include those to her heart from his heat, scent, and touch?

As a panther shifter, Hunter’s never been into vamps, but Desiree’s his fated mate. Before long, these unlikely lovers can’t keep apart during steamy nights and sensuous days.

But there’s trouble in paradise. The stalker’s upping her game, and Desiree has one last hurdle to overcome or she’ll never become Hunter’s…




Excerpt:

A tall man, at least six-three, stood at a respectable distance in the hall. His firm jaw and rough good looks put him in his early thirties, hotter than Gerard Butler in 300. This guy certainly had as many muscles. They strained against his black T-shirt and snug jeans, the bulge between his legs forming a solid ridge behind his fly. His biker boots also kicked serious ass.

Her knees sagged. She gripped the door to stay upright. “You’re Hunter Klein?” Even his name was awesome. So were his bristly cheeks and throat. However, she didn’t like how he kept glancing from side to side. Searching for something or someone? “Did you see a woman lurking out there?”

“No.” He met her gaze.

Everything stopped, the air between them sizzling, intense heat settling in her pussy.

She dug her nails into the wood.

His eyes were the same color as dark chocolate, his hair matching the shade. Those locks tumbled over his ears and forehead, his complexion a deep bronze.

Again, he glanced to the right. “We should speak inside.”

She couldn’t manage a protest or more than a few steps to allow him entrance. The space so narrow he brushed against her, delivering his fragrance: a dangerously heady scent bringing to mind power, sex, and the animal within tinged by musk.

Weakened, she leaned against the wall for support.

He closed and locked the door, close enough to kiss.

Stop it. She reined in her idiotic feelings, the same ones that had delivered her to Zander.

Hunter regarded her. “Are you all right?”

Except for wanting to lick him from head to toe, sure. “Why do you ask?”

“You seem…” He scratched his neck.

His biceps bunched.

She liked that and his hesitation in telling her she was behaving like a loon. “I’m fine.” She shook off her lust, for the most part, and stuck out her hand. “I’m Desiree.”

“Hunter.” His firm grip warmed and caressed.

Her teeth tingled. If forced to wager, she’d bet he was an angel. No other being was this perfect. As Gerri had said, a hero. He certainly looked the part. “Are you human?” He couldn’t be.

“Panther shifter.”

She would have paid good money to see him turn into the animal he was, but wasn’t foolish enough to ask and betray her interest. Despite how great this was unfolding, she had a show to finish and a confession to make—in case Gerri hadn’t told him the truth or she didn’t know the full situation herself. “Do you know what I am?”

His eyebrows inched up.

She got clammy and pulled her hand from his.

He noted her reaction but showed no emotion. “You mean the host of your own show, a woman being stalked by a jealous rival, or that you’re a vampire?”

She winced at the vile word but feigned indifference. “All three, but especially the last.” In the paranormal world, bloodsuckers ranked lower than dung. Even zombies received more sympathy and regard. Now that she’d laid everything bare, she expected him to flee.

He hooked his thumbs in his front pockets. “Yeah, I know about you being turned. Not how though.”




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Friday, October 5, 2018

Happy Halloween...a little early!

I love October! We've had a few chilly days here in the mid-west and even though tomorrow is going to be warmer, I think I'm more than ready for a change and that includes watching some old favorites (and new ones) on DVD. What is it about a scary movie that scares us? When I was a kid, it was the suspense. Does anyone remember "The Spiral Staircase"? A mute girl trapped in the house with a psychopathic killer, is the stuff my nightmares were made of when I was a kid. Of course for chills, I could always depend on the original "The Thing" with Kenneth Tobey. I always screamed when the scientist opened the cabinet and the frozen corpse of a sled dog rolled out. I think my brother actually waited for that part so he could have a good laugh.

Several years ago, as a nod to the old black and white werewolf movies of the forties, I wrote a little story called "I'll Be Seeing You". I fell in love with the characters as they showed up on the page and the story nearly wrote itself. I can't remember the last time I had that much fun doing what I love. I hope you love it too. The cover is by "chico san" a very talented artist who also happens to be a friend.   








I’ll Be Seeing You

20th century historical romance with a paranormal twist…

Jack Howland, part of an elite group of OSS special agents can’t resist the pull of the moon or the memory of his brief wartime romance with widowed USO hostess, Lulu Lane. After the war, their paths cross again, but will the truth about what he is send Lulu screaming into the night or back into his arms?

Take one plain Jane Hollywood scriptwriter, add a creepy sanitarium with an even creepier staff; fold in Nazi war criminals and a war hero with a dangerous secret and you have a recipe for a roaring good time.


Excerpt: PG13


May 1944
USO Club, Los Angeles, California

There were girls in soft summer dresses, all pink and flowery, smiling and perfumed. None of them would have turned down the handsome lieutenant. Why ask her?
She placed a hand on his solid chest. “Did somebody put you up to this? Did you lose a bet or something?”
He loosened his grip and took a deep breath right before he slid her left hand to his shoulder. When his fingers brushed over the third finger of her right hand, and detected the evidence she was a widow, he uttered a harsh, whispered word that might have been a vehement curse in another language.
“Or something,” he said very clearly, his breath warm against her ear. “Have you ever felt like you’ve lost your mind?”
“Daily. What’s that got to do with you asking me to dance?”
“What’s your name?”
“Lulu Lane. What comes after Lieutenant?” she asked, trying not to get lost in the sensation of being moved around the floor by a handsome man while people stared.
“Jack. Jack Howland,” he snapped, but then he snugged her tighter to his chest and his hand drifted over her back as if he were soothing a wound.
“Asking me to dance doesn’t seem to be making you very happy. Why did you?”
He looked as if he were losing an argument only he knew about.
“I leave in two days. I shouldn’t have spoken to you, let alone asked you to dance, because no matter what I say, it’s not going to come out right.”
“It’s not going to come out at all if you keep talking in riddles.”
He looked surprised for a moment and she was gratified that she could at least break through his maddening, mysterious behavior. “I’ve got forty-eight hours left on a three-day pass and I want to spend it with you. Clear enough for you?”
It took a few moments for what he’d said to sink in, and even then she had trouble believing him. This had to be some kind of a joke.
“You’re smart, Howland; I’ll give you that. You picked out the only wallflower in the bunch—”
“I don’t want to scare you, Lulu, but you don’t fool me. I’m glad nobody else has sense enough to see past the glasses and sensible shoes. You’re an open book for the lucky somebody willing to peel back the cover.
“I’m not looking for romance. I’m looking for forty-eight hours with someone who looked back at me the same way I was looking at them.”
 





iTunes: : https://apple.co/2KsXoL9



Do you have a special memory of something that spooks you or something you always do to celebrate  Halloween? I'd love to hear it!

However you choose to celebrate, enjoy!
Happy Halloween,

Love,
Paris




USA Today bestselling author Paris Brandon writes contemporary, paranormal, erotic and historical romance, throwing in a little mystery and suspense for good measure. She can be found most days bent over her keyboard creating worlds where sleeping beauty turns out to be a cursed bootlegger or an outlaw shifter decides to go on the run with the assassin tasked with killing her.

When not dreaming up stories featuring heroes who aren’t intimidated by strong heroines, she can be found searching through antique and thrift stores for vintage treasures, or communing with nature, which is code for sitting on the patio with a cup of tea and a good book. And as with any activity, chocolate is usually involved.

 

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