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To Murder A Saint – Win An Audible.com Copy!!!!

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Now is your chance to WIN a copy of To Murder A Saint by Nicole Loughan!

 

Nicole just published her Audio version of her book at Audible.com. Read by Suzy Lexington the story leads from the swamps of Louisiana to New York City, and back to Louisiana again as Fanchon, one of two lovely girls from the swamps, searches for her best friend Josephine’s murderer. A tightly written story imbued with ambiance, it is a wonderful beginning to the Saints Series!

Blurb:

The ground is too wet…If you bury the dead here, they can come back.” Her father always warned her that the bayou was a mysterious and dangerous place. She never suspected that the greatest danger of her life was lurking in New York City. Before their bags are unpacked one of two Cajun girls in fresh from Louisiana is found savagely murdered in New York. All the clues point to a wild animal, a perplexing development for a third floor apartment. Lacking a suspect the police accompany the murdered girl’s French speaking roommate back to her reclusive Southern Louisiana town in search of a lead. They are met with a warning that the killer is not finished yet and learn that this is not the first mysterious death in the family.

Excerpt:

It’s probably a bad sign on a first date that my mind wandered to how best to bury somebody. Namely it wandered to burying Jason Stepwald: lumpy, chubby, balding insurance salesman, Jason Stepwald. Not handsome, full head of hair, marine ‘Semper Fi Jason’ as advertised on his My Date profile page.

I think I started picturing Jason dead when he would not stop talking about insurance rates while his mouth was stuffed with oysters. The shining grey and white matter swirling around on his tongue as he talked about tort reform set a picture in my mind of him buried in the wet soil of my parents’ front yard. I remember my father telling me when I was young, “The ground here is too wet, cher. If you bury the dead here, they can come back.”

With those words in my mind I saw Jason lowered into the ground, a respectable burial, and then his decayed corpse bubbled back to the surface, his tongue sticking out. It was the very color of the gelatinous goo currently occupying his mouth.

My attention came back to living Jason when I inhaled a pungent fish smell. Jason decided that I might try one of his half shell delicacies if it was swirled within an inch of my face.

“You want one?” he asked. “Clams are an aphrodisiac, you know.”

“Where I come from we call ‘em oysters,” I told him, pushing his hand away. I noticed that his hands were soft. My dad always said nobody dates a man with soft hands.

Jason recovered from my slight and said, “So, Fanchon. That’s an interesting name.”

“Well,” I said. “A name like Fanchon in Louisiana helps people separate poor bayou trash from just plain regular white trash.”

His eyes grew wide and some of his red wine dribbled down his chin. The red wine glistening on his neck was just too much for the dead Jason image in my head. I had to turn away from him or I was going to lose it.

“I didn’t mean to upset you or anything like that,” he said.

While looking away I suppressed a smile and turned back to face him. “It’s fine. If you really care to know it’s a Cajun name. I am from a French parish town near New Orleans. It comes from…”

He interrupted me. “You know what’s interesting about New Orleans?”

“I have no idea,” I said resting my head on my hands, giving up on getting a chance to speak.

“Well it’s interesting because the whole city sits below sea level, you know. What happened with Katrina, it was just a matter of time,” he said chewing with his mouth opened yet again. “That’s the risk of being below sea level; they don’t even offer flood insurance there. I have been to a place in even worse shape called Kiribati. It is so low they will be underwater in the next two years. Talk about an insurer’s nightmare. They are mostly savages in little huts though, so it’s not like they would even have anything to insure.”

After he steered the conversation to insurance yet again I couldn’t take it.

“I have to use the restroom,” I said, walking away before he could reply.

Once safely locked away in the bathroom I sat on a yellow chaise, facing a full-length mirror by the door. I took a deep breath and examined my reflection. I thought I looked pretty good that night, not like my usual self at all. I thought back to how excited I was getting ready with my roommate, Josephine. She sweetly brushed my unruly dark hair, taming it with all her gels and curlers. She pulled out her best red dress and stuffed me into it. It was so tight on me we had to buy stockings that sucked me in from my knees to my chest. I remember I told her, “I hate tight clothes.”

She replied with her usual pseudo French cadence. “Men here drawn to tight clothes and red like flies to honey, cher. Deese men won’t be impressed dat you know how to gut a fish,” she said as she pushed a stray hair out of my face. “You my beautiful friend, cher. It time you act like it.”

And don’t miss Nicole’s second volume in the Saints Series! All Saint’s Secrets is out NOW!!

Blurb:

allsaints“After her death the kids used to say her ghost haunted the plantation.”

The bayou holds many secrets. One of them is what really happened to Lisette, a beautiful Creole teenager who died on the last day of school. Everybody in Fanchon’s reclusive bayou parish knows Lisette died in a boating accident, but when the police take a closer look, they unearth the dead girl and find a surprise in her grave.

All Saints’ Secrets is the sequel to To Murder a Saint. It is highly recommended that the Saint books be listened to in order.

 

About The Author:

new-orleans-maskYou may know her as the syndicated humor columnist “The Starter Mom.” Nicole is a graduate of Michigan State University and an award winning Journalist, recognized by the Michigan Press Association as a top feature writer. She writes for two daily newspapers in the greater Philadelphia area. To Murder a Saint is the first book in the Saint Series. All Saints’ Secrets released in August. It is recommended that the books are read in order.

Nicole loves a mystery. Her favorite female sleuths were dreamed up by Charlaine Harris and Janet Evanovich. She draws inspiration from the classics too such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allen Poe. She said she has to mention her first experiences with New Orleans came from the venerable Anne Rice.

About the Narrator:

Nicole and LizThe daughter of an American diplomat father and a model mother, Suzy Lexington has been traveling the globe since she was born.

Currently, Suzy is working as a journalist and living in NYC.

Click the Audible logo to see Suzy’s other works. audible

 

Review: Spirited Legacy by Kate Baray (Edited:Links Work Now)

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The library, with its Daedalian labyrinth, mysterious hush, and faintly ominous aroma of knowledge . . . – P. J. O’Rourke

I understood right from the start that every set of library doors were the sort of magic portals that lead to other lands. My God, right within reach there were dinosaurs and planets and presidents and girl detectives! – Deb Caletti

When I first met Lizzy in Lost Library, the first in Kate Baray’s wonderful Urban Fantasy Romance series, I was, in a word, charmed. As I said in my review, Lizzy is much like me – She works at home, rarely sees even her own clients, and has a terrific best friend, Kenna. She just never sees herself as anyone who is brave or anyone who could be spectacular in any way.

Of course, in the manner of all things, Lizzy’s comfortable little world blows up in her face when a seemingly ancient book shows up on her doorstep. Well, she supposes it could be a book. If it weren’t blank, that is. And when a hotty McHotterson of a werewolf shows up on her front porch looking for the book, well, all thoughts of safe, calm comfortable Lizzy are blasted right out of the metaphorical water.

Now, in Kate’s second book, Spirited Legacy, both Lizzy and her Alpha werewolf (Boyfriend? Mate? Pack Member? Maybe?) John are back in Prague, ensconced in the Library, drawn there once again by Harrington, Director of the Inter-Pack Policing Cooperative, or IPPC. Just as friendly as ever, if you find controlling stuffed-shirts to be amenable, Harrington has called Lizzy back to the Library to continue her work on translations of the magical books found within. But to a much more serious purpose than simple research. For at the end of LL Sarah, Lizzy’s co-kidnapped from the first book, was injured, severely, saving Lizzy’s life. And the only way to save Sarah’s life may be to find a cure within the Library itself. And the fact that Harrington, a top caster, has offered to mentor Lizzy, is yet another encouragement.

Come, come, time calls our close complots to action.
Go, Proximus, with winged speed flie hence,
Hye thee to Wales: salute great Vortiger
With these our letters; bid the king to arms,
tell him we have new friends, more forces landed
In Norfolk and Northumberland; bid him
Make haste to meet us; if he keep his word,
Wee’l part the realm between us. –
Ostorius, The Birth of Merlin, or, the Childe Hath Found His Father, ACT III SCENE V – Ascribed to William Rowley, and occasionally (most likely spuriously) to William Shakespeare

Of course, life isn’t getting any easier for Lizzy than it has been since the happenings in LL. Even the resident ghost is throwing rocks at Lizzy’s head – literally!

I *do* believe in spooks, I *do* believe in spooks. I do, I do, I do, I *do* believe in spooks, I *do* believe in spooks, I do, I do, I do, I *do*! The Cowardly Lion, The Wizard of Oz, 1939

After injuring the evil Zach Worth, soul sucker extraordinaire, at the end of the last book, Lizzy and her compatriots don’t know if he is still even alive – but all bets are on that he is – and that he has something even more evil up his sleeve than anyone ever imagined. What is a poor Caster to do? Is it not bad enough that John slipped in a, “Oh, BTW, you are my mate now and Female Alpha of my Pack and also BTW, my Pack hates you, even though they have never met you?” smack upside her head? Oy.

The previous cast of characters are all present-and-accounted-for, and we get to meet some awesome new characters, like Harry, Sarah’s healer (Yes, yes, “Harry the Healer.” Well, at least he thinks it is funny.) Oh, and did I mention the dragons?!

Kate’s writing remains crisp, her character development spot-on, and the intensity in this book keeps the reader enthralled from first page to last. There is a bit more relationship building between Lizzy and John, her Alpha boyfriend who is trying to pull his pack out of the Dark Ages in terms of their view of the world. John is one of the more interesting Alpha characters on the scene today. Much like Kate Daniels’ Curran, John comes off at first as all macho-macho man, and yet, if you look closer, there is a great deal of compassion and understanding underneath all that drool-worthy body and drive to protect. Independent Lizzy is having a heck of a time managing the transition from Totally Independent Lizzy to part of a couple, and John is having a hard time learning that sometimes being the full-time protector isn’t the right way to go. But they are getting there, and again, this is one of the more interesting couples that I have read in Urban Fantasy recently.

I highly recommend both books in the series, and would suggest that you grab a copy of Lost Library and read it now. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway to win a copy of Spirited Legacy. If you can wait that long, that is. Once I ended LL, I couldn’t wait to start SL!!

I received an ARC of Spirited Legacy from the author, Kate Baray. This fact does not influence my reviews of either book.

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Blog Tour And Review: Spirited Legacy: A Lost Library Novel, Book 2 by Kate Baray

Hooray!!!! Spirited Legacy is out, and after Kate Baray’s splendid first novel, The Lost Library, this newest edition does not disappoint! My review later today, but until then, enjoy the Tour information, read my review of The Lost Library – and don’t forget to get your copy of Spirited Legacy, available NOW!

Synopsis
Lizzie receives an offer she can’t refuse—an internship at the Lost Library, home to hundreds of magical books. And to make the deal even sweeter, her prospective boss has offered to act as her magic mentor. What’s a girl to say, but yes? Except…there are the questions of her unresolved love affair, her recently acquired arch enemy, and a haunting past.
 
Can Lizzie tackle a new job, learn the magical ropes of spell casting, and save her relationship with an amazing man—all while eluding her nemesis? She’ll sure as hell try.
 
Join Lizzie as she muddles through another magical adventure, with old friends and new, making the most of what life—and the afterlife—throw at her.

Buy Now

 

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Excerpt
This excerpt is unedited and subject to change.
Lizzy felt a hard yank on her scalp. She wanted to cry out, but no sound emerged from her lips. Someone was dragging her down the path. Her muzzy, pain-filled brain tried to put the pieces together. If he was carrying a gun, he might have a very good reason to hate her. A personal reason to become emotional over her appearance at his front door. Maybe his magic was gone, too?
The painful pulling at her scalp was joined by a steady wrenching feeling in her shoulder. She must have passed out for a moment, because suddenly she was inside the house and being pulled across a floor. She could feel the wood floor and then the rug underneath her—but it was all distant and fuzzy, like she’d just woken from a dream but wasn’t yet able to think clearly or move. She could feel even these sensations start to slip away as her thoughts became hazier. A sharp pain pierced through the darkness. Her body slamming into a wall? A doorway? Briefly she tried to grab at the door jamb she was being yanked past, but her fingers wouldn’t move to clench the frame.
She was so tired. Even the mounting terror—what would happen to her?—couldn’t keep her awake. She didn’t want to die like this. She didn’t want to die at all, she thought right before she lost consciousness.
She woke briefly as a guard pulled her body this way and that as he restrained her. Her shoulder screamed with a tearing pain, and tears were running down her face. She could just barely make out Worth speaking in the background. He was giving instructions to one of his men for evacuation. As she struggled to hear anything that might hint at their destination, the guard had finished binding her feet and moved to her hands. He pulled her hands together, wrenching her damaged shoulder. She bit down on her cheek frantically as waves of pain tore through her. She didn’t want Worth to hear her scream, she thought a fraction of a second before her mouth filled with her own blood, and she lost consciousness.
MeetTheAuthor


 

 

Kate Baray is a paranormal romance and urban fantasy writer. She writes and lives in Austin, Texas with her pack of pointers and a bloodhound. Kate has worked as an attorney, a manager, a tractor sales person, and a dog trainer, but writing is her passion. When she’s not writing, she volunteers with a search and rescue team, sweeps up hairy dust bunnies, and watches British mysteries. Sign up for Kate’s newsletter:

 

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Review: Lost Library By New Author Kate Baray

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A great story by a new author who I will definitely be following! Click for the Goodreads page!

There are a lot of things that catch my attention about different books. Interesting story lines, great character development and wonderful world building are all equally important to me. In the case of Lost Library: An Urban Fantasy Romance it is the heroine of the piece that truly tickled my fancy and kept me reading. This is not to say that the story line and world building aren’t superb. They are. But I could really identify with Lizzie. Maybe it is the fact that she is a lot like me. She works at home, rarely sees even her own clients, and has a terrific best friend, Kenna. She just never sees herself as anyone who is brave or anyone who could be spectacular in any way. But that is about to change.

A book has shown up a Lizzie’s house. A very unusual book. Very old and bound in leather, at first she thinks there is nothing in the book. But she slowly realizes that not only is there writing on the first page of the book, but every time she opens it the writing, and the hand it is written in, changes. Now, if only it wasn’t all blurry and unreadable . . .

Kate Baray has written a fast paced, interesting book which I glad to say is much more story than ‘romantic scenes.’ Her magical world building is both unusual and comprehensive, and made me smile over the creativity. Overall, the only thing I don’t care for is that now I have to wait for the next book! It seems clear that there is more coming in what I hope will turn out to be a series. However, there is no real “cliffhanger” at the end. There is plenty of room for “more” but if you want a stand-alone, well, you could certainly end here and be satisfied. Of course, again, I really like Lizzie and hope that we can learn more in future about her growth as magical ‘Record Keeper’ and her interactions with others of the magical world.

Highly recommended – and not just for romance readers. While there is an undercurrent of romance and “boy gets girl” there is good, solid storytelling to be had in what appears to be Ms. Baray’s first published work. I look forward to more from this talented writer! Besides, anyone with a pack of pointers and a bloodhound has got my attention anyway!

Review: Shiftless – Aimee Easterling – A Paranormal Fantasy

Sometimes, being a female werewolf can be a flat out nightmare. Especially when your father, the pack alpha, is a brutal, psychotic mess whose only interaction with you is to issue orders on your birthday every year, then walk away. And things are made even more difficult when you can’t seem to manage your shifts, making the thought of saving yourself from the situation even more impossible.

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A new author with a fresh perspective on the werewolf world. Worth spending a bit of your precious reading time with.

Hated by her own father and marginalized by her father’s repressive, misogynist pack, Terra struggles with her change and, when her father demands on her sixteenth birthday that she be mated and bred, Terra finally gathers her strength and flees her fathers hateful pack. Now on her own, life as the equivalent of a teenaged runaway is hard, cold, and more often hungry than not. Then, when the unthinkable happens, Terra knows that it is time to step up and bring her wolf under control – to lock her away and live solely in the human world.

Flash forward ten years, and we find Terra curled up in a chair in a bookstore, intent on a Patricia Briggs novel. If she can’t have a pack, she can at least read about them, right? But again, fate deals her a blow as a pair of werewolves, an alpha – on leash of all things – and his beta walk into the bookstore, and straight into Terra’s life. Oh, shit. Not another alpha! And the world continues to crash around her when her father reappears in her live with ultimatums and torments, threatening to force her back into the life of servitude she has worked so hard to escape.

Will the alpha known as Wolfie and his highly unusual pack be able to protect Terra and her nephew from the torments of her father? Or will she be forced to give up her life, to bend to the will of her brutal former pack in order to save her nephew and the members of Wolfie’s pack?

This is a first novel for Aimee Easterling, and for a first, it is very well written. Even more pleasant, it is well edited, which in and of itself is a positive. The book has many of the same tropes as the ubiquitous werewolf and paranormal romance novel, which in itself is not a bad thing. Ms. Easterling has put her own unique twist onto the culture, especially in regards to Wolfie and his oddball, loveable pack. They were my favorite characters, from the yahoos (you will get the reference when you read the book) to the lesbian couple, something one doesn’t often show up in the werewolf/paranormal genre, and is a pairing that I found quite refreshing.

Overall, this is a pleasant, quirky read, recommended for a lazy afternoon with tea and a quilt, curled in your favorite chair. The book does end on a tiny bit of a cliffhanger, but not unpleasantly so. I look forward to reading the next book and watching to see if wildly disparate groups can learn to function as a community.

This book was reviewed at the request of Readergiveaways.com. All remarks and thoughts are my own.

Yippee! Beta Reading Book Three – The Pierced Series by J. C. Mells

Perfect Cover 2
The cover for “Perfect” – Book three of the J. C. Mells “Pierced” series!

Just finished the Beta and, OMFG!!! J. C. does it again – another brilliant story full of pain and hate, love and understanding and a tremendous cast of characters. Watch here – I will let you know as soon as I know when it is coming out – and you have to read this book! Of course, if you haven’t read the first ones, you have to read those too- – – these are too good to miss!

Thanks, J. C. Mells!!!

 

“Can’t live with him, can’t live without him.”

Never have these words seemed more true to Pierce as she deals with the aftermath of Salt Lake City. She and Lucas can’t seem to stay apart from each other for very long without the night panics happening again – but being together is almost as torturous. Will her past ever allow her to be intimate with him? Can she afford to let her guard down and allow herself to be happy? She’s still suffering from the post-traumatic stress of what happened to her the last time she did that.

But on the plus side, their little town of Nowhere is coming along in leaps and bounds. So much so, that it has appeared on the radar of the wolf community. Or at least Pierce’s presence has.

Suddenly it seems like Nowhere is THE place to be these days..

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Who is Pierce?

______________________________

Keep your eyes open – I will post when the book is published!

Review: Maggie for Hire: Maggie MacKay Magical Tracker Book 1 by Kate Danley

Maggie For Hire Book One of the Maggie MacKay Magical Tracker Series

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Come on, get the series. If you have a great sense of humour, this is a great series!

First, let’s get out of the way what Maggie isn’t – this isn’t a “romance” paranormal or not. It isn’t a “serious” urban fantasy work in the vein of Kate Daniels or Mercy Thompson. It is, instead, a pure and total snarky laugh riot. It is total enjoyment, a few hours of pure relaxation, where the weight of the world goes away and you can immerse yourself in another world.

“I suddenly felt like I was about to learn that I had walked into a great big game show of The Multiverse’s Next Top Stooge, Riiight.”

The world that you are immersing yourself in is really two worlds – the “normal” everyday world, and another, sitting side-by-side with this world, where all of our dreams and fears exist. If you have ever read Heinlein’s “The Number of the Beast” you are familiar with multiple world theory (well, if you are familiar with modern science, you are also familiar, lol) The Other Side, in Maggie’s case, is a world that fairy tale creatures and monsters of all types populate. As a Tracker, Maggie finds, and brings back to the Other Side, those who ‘slip’ across the barrier between worlds. What happens in this edition is exciting and entertaining, and full of a kind of snarky attitude that had me laughing out loud all through the book.

A couple of favorite quotes:

“Lacy interrupted herself to shout at the zombie porter, “Cut it out! He’s a vampire! he doesn’t have a brain!”

“Locking eyes with a vampire: “Way To Get Yourself Killed Right Quick #84″ in the Idiots Guide to not Getting Dead By A Monster.”

See? Pure fun, with a bit of action, a lot of crazy uncle and grins galore.

Now, “I shall run a load of laundry before we kick the bad guys’ asses.”

Read. Relax. Enjoy. And don’t go in with any expectations other than the fact that it is supposed to be fun and you will be very glad you did.

Review: Pinked – J. C. Mells

PINKED BC3Take a pinch of Othello, throw in a heaping handful of Mildred Pierce and a big splash of Jack Kerouack. Serve with a blast of What It’s Like by Everlast. Stir well and serve with a side of desperate hope. Just read it.  – Me.

These were my final words in my review of Pierced the first volume in J. C. Mells Pierced series. I raved and carried on about Pierced – it’s depth, storyline, amazing characters and creative twists. I loved it, and I hope you got a chance to love it too.

The second volume of the series, Pinked is out now, and it does not disappoint.  J. C. reaches deep in Pinked, expanding upon an already fascinating character, reaching deeper into her psyche, and twisting her life beyond anything she ever imagined it could be.  Pinked shows yet again that, though she may have lived through horrifying perversions, she still has an ability to not only survive, but to thrive in circumstances that would warp a weaker person’s soul.

Things are moving fast for Pierce, in ways she never would have expected. Life, family, tragedy, its all here with a vengeance.  As if life wasn’t hard enough for Pierce, even her DNA has changed, as Lucas has been forced to change her in order to save her life. Now, Lucas looks back at what led up to Pierce’s change, and what it means not only for Pierce, but for himself and the rest of his extended family. Can Lucas learn to get past his self-hatred, his fear of his wolf and the need of those around him for him to step up and accept his place as Alpha?

The story cranks up fast, and blasts into a race against time. Action, adventure, mystery, fantasy, suspense, it is all here. Just as Pierced was, Pinked is wonderful and complete, with a raw brutality that sucks in the reader, keeping you on the edge of your seat and drawing you into a world so very like our own, and yet so very strange.  Once again, you are in for a book of depth and character I haven’t seen since, well, since Pierced!

Highly recommended with a bullet!

TWO Happy Dances!!

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Click the cover to purchase!

The amazing Jillian Klein Der Lowe just shot me an e-mail letting me know that her book, Wicked, just hit the #3 spot in her genre on Amazon!!

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Icon courtesy of
http://unf.edu
Thank you!

Click the cover to grab the book from Amazon FOR FREE!!!! Then, of course, after you have read it, I am sure Jillian would love a review. (Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge!)  My review is here in case you want to refresh or haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet.

Congratulations, Jillian!!

Now, for even MORE good news, we turn to another wonderful author, J. C. Mells, author of the Pierced series.

J. C. is happy to announce that her next book in the series, Pinked is nearing the end of editing, and will be out soon! Pinked continues the adventures of Pierce and Mia, a fascinating pair, with a story that is one of the most interesting I have read in recent memory.  Watch for the review here, and for publication at Amazon soon. Until then, you really MUST pick up your own copy of Pierced! Click on the book cover to order. My review is hereIt is only 99c right now, and J. C. is sure to be a wonderful addition to your ‘must-buy-as-soon-as-published’  author list!

Also, be sure to pick up a copy of Escaped, volume 1.5 of the Pierced series! It is also only 99c for a short time at Amazon.

Congratulations, J. C.!

Shrieking and Jumping up and down! J. C. just sent along the cover for PINKED!!!

Drool worthy, huh?  Click on the cover to see the video trailer!PINKED BC3

J. C. just sent me the cover!
Click on it for the YouTube Video
for the upcoming book!
Squeeee!!!!
pierced
For now, Pierced is only 99c at Amazon.
Click cover to order!
escaped
Click to purchase from Amazon!
Only 99c for a short time.
You KNOW you won’t be able to live without it
after reading Pierced!

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