Saturday, October 31, 2015

Goldilox and the Three Scares: Rose Red's Three Favorite Halloween Candies

It's that time of year once again - time for Goldilox and the Three Scares!
Because it's called three scares, we asked a few of our favorite authors to give us a scary top three list.

Today's Post Comes From Our Own Rose Red

Okay. Let's talk about something that I know we all do. Whether we eat it before Halloween or if we steal it from the candy bowl, we all eat the candy meant for our incoming trick or treaters. Halloween has some of the best candy. Below are the three that I will always steal from the candy bowl.

My Top Three Halloween Candies I Steal From The Treat Bowl

Reese's Pumpkins
Who doesn't love Reese's pumpkins? Seriously. They have the perfect chocolate-to-peanut butter ratio! I eat so many of these in the month of October that it's scary. Tomorrow, I will go to the store and stock up so my stash lasts until the Reese's Easter Eggs come out. :)

Bottle Caps
 When I was a kid, our family always bought the same candy mix every year for Halloween. Each of us kids had that one candy that we would pick out of the bowl. Well, let's just say that my mother always knew it was me when all the Bottle Caps went missing. They're a weird little candy but I still love them! I'm actually not sure why I love Bottle Caps as much as I do but I will raid the candy bowl for as many as I can get my hands on!

Carmel Apple Pops
Last but not least, one of my favorite Halloween candies are those Carmel Apple Pops the Tootsie Roll company puts out. They just taste like fall to me and I adore them. Sadly, I haven't found them this year. I really hope they still make them!

Today, I'm giving away a copy of Real Vampires Have Curves by Gerry Bartlett, Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill, some Chloe Neill swag, and some Reese's Pumpkins! (Giveaway is U.S. only.)

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Make sure to check out the rest of the giveaways we have going this week! Each giveaway runs until midnight on November 7th! Links below!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Goldilox and the Three Scares: Jenn Stark's Three Favorite Halloween Traditions

It's that time of year once again - time for Goldilox and the Three Scares!
Because it's called three scares, we asked a few of our favorite authors to give us a scary top three list.

Today's Post Comes From Jenn Stark

I'm so excited that Jenn Stark agreed to participate in Goldilox and the Three Scares with us! I discovered her Immortal Vegas books this year and loved the first book! I'm so excited to see where it goes!

Three Favorite Halloween Traditions

Thanks, Rose Red, for inviting me to be a part of Goldilox and the Three Scares! Now that I’ve launched my Immortal Vegas series, I have been immersed in all sorts of magic and mayhem, so any blog on Halloween is right up my alley. ☺

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, in fact, as ancient as it is up-to-the-moment relevant. According to, Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), a little over 2,000 years ago. Samhain was a festival that straddled fall and winter, life and death. The Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead thinned, allowing the spirits of the dead to walk among the living.

Spooky stuff, no? Not as intriguing as these three Samhain (or Halloween) traditions!

1. Soul Cakes

Soul Cakes are small round cakes which are traditionally made for All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day to honor the dead. The cakes were usually filled with all manner of delicious things: allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger or other sweet spices, raisins or currants. Before the cakes were baked, they were topped with the mark of a cross. Today’s “trick or treat” plea for candy has its roots in the practice of individuals (usually children) asking for these soul cakes, or “souling.” In Elizabethan England, legend held that if you ate a soul cake in the honor of a deceased person, that individual’s soul would be released from purgatory. Even if it wasn’t true, that story probably helped sell a LOT of soul cakes!

2. Carving Pumpkins

Who hasn’t marveled at some of the amazing carved pumpkins gracing front porches in the weeks leading up to Halloween? As it turns out, the original glowing pumpkins weren’t pumpkins at all! The Irish carved turnips and put coals or small candles inside to achieve that eerie, flickering light effect. They set the turnips outside their homes on All Hallow's Eve to ward off evil spirits. When turnips weren’t available, rutabagas or even potatoes were used. Anyone up for carving a potato?

Fortunately, when Irish Immigrants came to America, they quickly discovered that Jack O' Lanterns were much easier to carve out then, say, turnips, so they happily switched to pumpkins. And the tradition was born!

3. Dress for Success

As I mentioned above, Halloween is one of those days where it’s believed that the veil between the worlds has thinned dramatically. While in ancient times that thin veil was believed to enable druids and magicians to more easily and accurately foretell the future, that “access to the other side” has an important side benefit: manifestation. That has evolved into an interesting current tradition that’s gaining some popularity. By dressing as the person you most want to be—whether someone in love, the CEO of a company, a writer, artist or musician, a spouse, a parent, you name it—you can help create that reality for yourself. So instead of dressing up as a Pumpkin this year, consider dressing up as the real you… the you that you most want to be! (Hopefully that’s not Edward Scissorhands. ;) )

Thanks again, Rose Red! Here’s wishing you an amazing Halloween!

Today, we're giving away an ebook copy of Getting Wilde! (Giveaway is U.S. only.)

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Getting Wilde
(Immortal Vegas #1)
Jenn Stark
Release: August 18, 2015
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Using her well-worn Tarot deck, magical-artifacts hunter Sara Wilde can find anything—for a price. And the price had better be right, since she needs to finance her own personal mission to rescue several young psychics recently sold on the paranormal black market.

Enter Sara’s most mysterious client and occasional lover, the wickedly sexy Magician, with a job that could yield the ultimate payday. All she’ll have to do is get behind Vatican walls… and steal the Devil himself.

But play with the Devil and you’re bound to get burned.

Pressure mounts for Sara to join the Magician’s ancient and mysterious Arcana Council, as militant forces unleashed by even darker powers seek to destroy all magic—including the young psychics Sara is desperate to keep safe. The Council may be their only hope. . . but it could also expose Sara’s own dark past.

From the twisting catacombs of Rome to the neon streets of Vegas, Sara confronts ancient enemies, powerful demigods, a roiling magical underworld about to explode… and immortal passions that might require the ultimate sacrifice. But oh, what a way to go.

No matter how the cards play out, things are about to get Wilde.

About the Author

Jenn Stark is a Golden Heart award-winning author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. She lives and writes in Ohio. . . and she writes a LOT. :) In addition to her work in paranormal, she is also author Jennifer McGowan, whose Maids of Honor series of Young Adult Elizabethan spy romances are published by Simon & Schuster, and author Jennifer Chance, whose Rule Breakers series of New Adult contemporary romances are published by Random House/LoveSwept.

The world of her first paranormal romance, which was previously titled BLACK JACK, has now been reimagined as the setting ONE WILDE NIGHT, GETTING WILDE and WILDE CARD, all to be published in 2015, with BORN TO BE WILDE to follow in early 2016!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Goldilox and the Three Scares: Molly Harper's Three Scariest Books of the Year

It's that time of year once again - time for Goldilox and the Three Scares!
Because it's called three scares, we asked a few of our favorite authors to give us a scary top three list.

Today's Post Comes From Molly Harper
Top Three Scariest Books I’ve Read This Year

DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS by Amy Lukevics – I just finished this YA horror novel about two weeks ago and I’m still terrified of mountains, prairies, pigs, scarecrows, and pies. (Read it and you will understand.) It’s like Little House on the Prairie and American Horror Story had an evil, ugly spawn. Teenage pioneer gal Amanda Verner and her family decide the best way to respond to Amanda’s cabin-fever-induced mental breakdown is to move the family into a “murder cabin” on an isolated and unfamiliar prairie. And then ignore the blood-saturated floorboards, weird noises, voices calling for them at night from outside of the cabin. Oh, and then the devil shows up. It does not end well for them.

I was reading this as a fun “I heard about it on Twitter read” while I was traveling with my parents to their college Homecoming. I have never been so happy to have my “mommy” nearby in my entire life! I kept checking the front of the book to make sure it was REALLY a teen book. And I’m still afraid of pie. I cannot recommend this book enough. I asked my book club to read it because I NEED to talk to someone about it!

That’s normal, right?

But seriously, anybody who can any sort of eat pie immediately after reading it is either a badass or has an iron stomach.

THE STAND by Stephen King – One of my favorite books ever. I have to read it every year just to remind myself what approachable, epic storytelling is supposed to be. Every time I read it, I find some new element to utterly terrify me. (Damn it, Trashcan Man, why?) As I get older, the horror takes on more relatable elements – Would I be immune to the super-flu? (Probably not, given the vicious cold that took me down last week.) Would my kids be immune? What would happen if I died, but they lived?

And in the midst of all this projection and spiraling, I fall in love with Stu Redmon all over again. This was one of the first true horror novels I ever read – in eighth grade, tucked inside my grammar book.* Stu Redmon was my first true book crush. He’s everything an awkward eighth grade Molly wanted in a man – smart, sarcastic, immune to deadly viruses, and willing to overlook the fact that Franny had occasional problem acne. Oh, and she was carrying another guy’s baby. Gary Sinise playing Stu in the ABC mini-series version of the book did not help my book crush in the least. Le sigh.

· Yes, I was a precocious and sneaky Stephen King reader. This is something that, to this day, my English teachers brings up as I am now married to her nephew and I think she’s waiting for me to get notes homes from my daughter’s teachers about Darcy attempting to hide Harry Potter inside her textbooks. (Karma!)

WAIT TIL HELEN COMES by Mary Downing Hahn – Speaking of my 11-year-old daughter, she’s only recently become interested in reading. (Clearly, the fact that her mom makes a living writing books wasn’t nearly the same sort of lure as finding out what happens to Peeta before the final Hunger Games movie comes out.) And after the dystopian chill-fest of Pan Em, I thought she could use a little age-appropriate scariness. I went to my mom’s basement and found all of my old Mary Downing Hahn titles – CHRISTINA’S GHOST, A DOLL IN THE GARDEN, WAIT TIL HELEN COMES – and decided to read through them before I gave them to Darcy.

No wonder I was reading Stephen King in middle school! I was dead inside! These books are freaking terrifying! WAIT TIL HELEN COMES is basically about a girl whose creepy, bratty little stepsister makes friends with the evil dead girl living in their new house. And the dead girl promises to take the stepsister to a kingdom of unicorns and rainbows… once she takes out a few family members and drowns herself. Darcy could handle mutts and trackerjackers and President Snow’s poisoned breath, but I’m going to let her wait a few years before she meets Helen.

Molly Harper's giving away a signed copy of The Single Undead Mom's Club and some Half Moon Hollow goodies! (Giveaway is U.S. only.)

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The Single Undead Moms Club
(Half Moon Hollow #4)
Molly Harper
Release October 27, 2015
Widow Libby Stratton arranged to be turned into a vampire after she was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. It wasn’t the best idea she’s ever had, but she was desperate—she’s not about to leave her seven-year-old son to be raised by her rigid, overbearing in-laws.

On top of post-turning transition issues, like being ignored at PTA meetings and other mothers rejecting her son’s invitations for sleepovers, Libby must deal with her father-in-law’s attempts to declare her an unfit mother, her growing feelings for Wade—a tattooed redneck single dad she met while hiding in a closet at Back to School Night—and the return of her sire, who hasn’t stopped thinking about brave, snarky Libby since he turned her.

With the help of her new vampire circle, Libby negotiates this unfamiliar quagmire of legal troubles, parental duties, relationships, and, as always in Harper’s distinct, comedic novels, “characters you can’t help but fall in love with” (RT Book Reviews).


About the Author 

When Molly Harper was eight years old, she set up a “writing office” in her parents’ living room, complete with an old manual typewriter and a toy phone. And she (very slowly) pecked out the story of her third-grade class taking a trip around the world and losing a kid in each city. She had a dark sense of humor even then.

When Molly was considerably older, she headed for Western Kentucky University, where she majored in print journalism. After graduation, she landed a job with The Paducah Sun and married her high school sweetheart, David, a local police officer. After six years at the newspaper, Molly took a more family-friendly secretarial position at a local church office.

Her husband worked nights and Molly was alone with their small child in the “The Apartment of Lost Souls.” A big fan of vampire movies and TV shows, she decided to write a vampire romance novel. Molly created Jane Jameson, a bit of an accidental loser.

Molly’s books are published by Pocket Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. They are available in print, as e-books and audio books at major book stores and on Amazon. Molly is a native of Kentucky. She lives in Paducah with her husband and children.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Goldilox and the Three Scares: Rinda Elliott's Top Three Horror Movies

It's that time of year once again - time for Goldilox and the Three Scares!
Because it's called three scares, we asked a few of our favorite authors to give us a scary top three list.

Today's Post Comes From Rinda Elliott

I'm so excited that Rinda Elliott agreed to participate in Goldilox and the Three Scares with us! I read my first book from her this year and I loved it! It was a great mix of creepy and sexy and I loved the paranormal aspect and the bayou setting! I'm so excited to see more of the Berneaux brothers!

My Top Three Horror Movies

The Changeling. This is an old movie and I saw it as a rerun when I was a kid. It scared me to death. In fact, I watched it with my sisters and all three of us were so scared, the movie stuck with us all these years. We still try and watch it on Halloween sometimes.  

Alien. I think of this as science fiction, but it's often listed under horror because it's scary. Really scary. The thought of being trapped on that ship with a relentless creature? Ripley knows nothing about it, which makes it even scarier. I'm a huge fan of this movie and the one that came after.

The Thing. Another old one. I think all of these resonate with me because I was so young when I first saw them all. Plus, they are just really good movies. (Science fiction horror is probably my favorite genre. In fact, I could keep this list going with more up to date films like Pandorum. Loved that one!) In The Thing, it's the same concept. Trapped somewhere with a creature you don't understand. And what makes this one even more terrifying? It mimics--so you can't trust anyone or anything.

Today, we're giving away an ebook copy of Raisonne Curse, the first book in The Brothers Berneaux series ! (Giveaway is U.S. only.)

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Raisonne Curse
(The Brothers Berneaux #1)
Rinda Elliott
Release: July 14, 2015
For the past five years, Elita Raisonne has been on the run from a curse that started with her grandmother, and gradually reached out evil tendrils to kill her mother and her aunts. Now, healing from another nasty accident, Elita can feel the curse coming for her like icy breath on the back of her neck.

Her only hope: trek deep into Louisiana’s Atchafayala Basin and ask the mysterious Bernaux brothers for help.

Pryor Bernaux takes one look at the black smudge clinging to Elita like a shroud, and recognizes the work of a powerful hex worker. Together, all three Bernaux brothers could easily break it—if Mercer and Wyatt weren’t away.

As the curse sinks deeper into Elita’s soul, Pryor realizes time is running out for the beautiful redhead who makes him want things he and his brothers swore they’d never have. He has no choice but to help her. But the magical backlash is torture. And without his brothers’ help, it could even be deadly.


About the Author 

I’m an author who loves unusual stories and I credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Goldilox and the Three Scares: Deborah Blake's Three Favorite Witches

It's that time of year once again - time for Goldilox and the Three Scares!
Because it's called three scares, we asked a few of our favorite authors to give us scary a top three list.

Today's post comes from Deborah Blake
When I was asked to pick my three favorite somethings for the season, naturally, I picked witches. Not only are my books (both fiction and nonfiction) about witches, but I actually am one. (Don’t worry, I’m a good witch…mostly.) My upcoming book, VEILED MAGIC, features a witch-cop, and is set in the near future of a world almost like ours.

Here are my three favorite witches:

In books—Rachel in Kim Harrison’s Hallows series. She’s kick-ass and magical, but still flawed and trying to learn her place in the world. (Fun fact: This series was part of what inspired me to write VEILED MAGIC.)

In movies—I love the sisters in Practical Magic, but my real favorite character is their aunt, played by Stockard Channing. So quirky and fun!

In television—this one was tougher. I loved the early Willow from Buffy, but not so much the darker one. To be honest, I still have a soft spot for Samantha from Bewitched. It was a silly show, admittedly, but it was the first time I can remember a witch being the heroine and not the villain!

Deborah Blake's prize pack has a Veiled Magic tote bag, a hand-painted Halloween cat, a black cat magnet, a broom pen, and some bookmarks and other swag. (Giveaway is U.S. only.)

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Veiled Magic
Deborah Blake
Release: November 17, 2015
Goodreads Amazon
Since Witches came out of the broom-closet in the early 21st century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world...
Police officer and Witch Donata Santori spends her days interrogating dead witnesses by summoning their spectral forms. Normally the job is little more than taking statements and filing reports. But when she’s called in on the case of a murdered art restorer, she finds herself suddenly in possession of a mystical portrait that both the human and paranormal communities would kill to get their hands on.

Unable to take on the forces hunting her alone, Donata seeks help from two unlikely and attractive allies: a reluctant shape-changer and a half-dragon art forger. But as the three of them hurry to uncover the truth about the powerful painting, Donata realizes that she’s caught in the middle of not one but two wars—one for possession of the painting’s secrets and one for possession of her heart...

About the Author

Deborah Blake is the author of the Baba Yaga Series from Berkley (Wickedly Dangerous, Wickedly Wonderful, Wickedly Powerful) and has published nine books on modern witchcraft with Llewellyn Worldwide. When not writing, Deborah runs The Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and also works as a jewelry maker, tarot reader, and energy healer. She lives in a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with five cats who supervise all her activities, both magical and mundane.


Meet Deborah Blake, along with lots of other great authors, and our very own Goldilox at Coastal Magic Con.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Goldilox and the Three Scares Kickoff Post

It's that time of year again - time for Goldilox and the Three Scares!
Because it's called three scares, this year we've asked a few of our favorite authors to give us a scary (or Halloween-y) top three list. We'll have a new author and a great giveaway every day this week. But first here's one of my top three.

My Favorite Monsters

3. Frankenstein's Monster - I have a newfound affection for Frankenstein's Monster because of Penny Dreadful. He's both tragic and hopeful and he kind of makes you want to take care of him.

We're starting to see a lot of retellings of Victorian literature, like Penny Dreadful. Perhaps they'll even replace fairy tales as the next big trend. I kind of hope they do. The monster is a character that I'd love to see re-imagined in lots of different ways.

Also, I wanted an excuse to share this cute handprint art.

2. Witches and Wizards - Witches were really my first supernatural love. I went as a witch for many Halloweens as a child. And while I realize that they're not all monstrous - Glinda looks a lot like Cinderella - the bad ones are often the most fun. I love fact that anything is possible when magic is involved. It can be spectacular or go spectacularly wrong. Whether it's Gargamel or Gandolf, the wand-wielder is usually my favorite character.

Though I've just given two male examples, I think that witches are some of the first powerful females we encounter in life. Even though in fairy tales not all of them use that power for good, I suspect that's what drew me to them as a child. I still love a story with lots of girl power.

1. Vampires - I might have mentioned before that it was vampires that got me started reading Urban Fantasy. I watched the first season of True Blood and had to read the Sookie Stackhouse books, of which there were seven or eight at the time. That was enough to get me hooked. So the vampires still have a special place in my heart because they got me reading again.

One thing I love about vampires is that almost everyone has a different take on them. It's so interesting to see how different authors take the classic mythos and twist it into something new, but still recognizable. Even the naked, mindless things they become in the Kate Daniels world, which are probably the least like Stoker's Dracula of all contemporary literary examples, bear some resemblance to Murnau's classic Nosfratu.

What's your favorite monster?


Our first giveaway includes a copy of Spider's Trap, the latest Elemental Assassin novel by Jennifer Estep, and some spider-themed goodies including earbuds, socks, and Crawly the Beanie Boo spider. This giveaway is U.S. only.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Really Short Reviews: Dark Kings #4-5 by Donna Grant

The Really Short Reviews of the books in the Dark Kings series continues with the next three books! Things are getting exciting, y'all! I loved them. I loved them so hard. Such amazing book crack! Like some serious book crack. I couldn't put them down once I started them. I'm officially caught up until the next book comes out next month and the wait may kill me! Seriously. Things are starting to go down finally! Just a reminder: If you haven't read anything by Donna Grant, don't start with this series! I would recommend picking up her Dark Sword books and the Dark Warriors spin-off series before starting this one to avoid spoiling both of those series. Have you started this any of these series yet???

Warning: These reviews are for the fourth and fifth books of this series. There may be spoilers so scroll down at your own risk.

Hot Blooded
(Dark Kings #4)
Donna Grant
Release: December 30, 2014
Goodreads Amazon

I was super excited for this book because we finally get to know more about Laith who runs the pub in town for the Dragon Kings. He is one of my favorites. 

Iona has come back to Scotland to bury her father after her mother took her away twenty years before. She is struggling to reconcile the what her mother has told her about her father and who he actually was. Her distance from him has left her clueless to the job her family has helped the Dragon Kings with for centuries.

Laith's resistance to being the one to help Iona is understandable. He feels something for the beautiful photographer but he doesn't want to get pulled into the whole mate thing like the other Kings. But Iona is showing a preference to him and Con is pushing more and more for him to be the one to introduce her to their world so she can take over protecting the Campbell land.

As with the other ladies of this series, Iona proves to be a lot stronger and more capable than these dragons give them credit for. Iona holds up pretty damn well considering all the news that just keeps coming at her from the time she reaches Scotland. When the crap starts to hit the fan and the dragons finally see what they are up against, they will call on their allies for help. I loved seeing the Warriors again in this book! After reading Iona's last name, I was hoping that there was a connection to one of the Warriors. It was a nice touch!

This book also sets things up for the next one. One of the Dragon Kings is in a bad spot. His story is next and after all he has been suffering through, I can't wait to see how he comes out at the end of this. Another character I was dying to know more about makes an appearance, and the difference in this person, and what they are struggling with just mystifies me. I can't wait to see what direction that person is going to go!

  4 /5 Stars

Night's Blaze
(Dark Kings #5)
Donna Grant
Release: March 31, 2015

Guys! This is my favorite book in this series so far! I've been dying for this one since Burning Desire because I needed to know what was going to happen to Rhys! Not to mention, I've been waiting several books for him to finally admit that he's attracted to the shy Lily.

Night’s Blaze was hard to read because you could just feel how hard not being able to shift was affecting Rhys. He's in a bad spot mentally since he's been unable to help his fellow Dragon Kings in battle. So he steps away from Dreagan and hides from the world until Rhi shows up and convinces him that he's need not only by the Kings but by Lily as well.

Lily's backstory is heartbreaking and terrifying. It has left behind scars both physical as well as emotional. I love that she escaped the hell she was in and I'm glad she got to start a new life when she started working for Dreagan. Her job working at the distillery's gift shop is what gives her stability, hope, and the chance she needed to find who she is again. Unfortunately, the past rears its ugly head and becomes a stumbling block in her endeavor to build a new life.

I loved Lily and Rhys together. Unlike t
he other couples, they have known each other already for awhile so their relationship is past the attraction stage already. There's been some serious sexual tension between the two for several books so we all knew they destined to be mates. It's very evident from the get go that they need each other and I loved watching their relationship develop from the first.

Donna Grant never ceases to amaze me. I never saw most of this book coming.
The last half was one hell of a roller coaster ride. I can't even begin to contemplate what's going to happen next and I'm dying to know! Hell, so much I thought I'd gotten from the previous books just got turned on its head.
Night's Blaze is definitely the book which changes the whole series from here on out.

Also, if something doesn't change about that last scene, I'll be highly disappointed and angry. I already about threw my kindle across the room when I read it. Fingers crossed that things change and quickly.

  4.5 / 5 Stars

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