Category Archives: Fiction

I Am Magical

Title: I Am Magical: magnifiqueNOIR, Book One

By: Briana Lawrence

Publisher: Sewn Together Reflections

Publication Date: October 3, 2017

 

About the Book:

“The revolution will be magical”

There’s a city. It’s like most other cities. Buildings. People. Monsters who can destroy sidewalks by vomiting acid onto the ground, and an elite group of black, queer, magical girls who work to put those monsters in their place.

See? Just like most other cities.

Bree Danvers would’ve compared it to a video game, maybe a cartoon or comic book, except black girls are rarely the heroines of the story. But there her heroine stood, plus size and wonderful, rocking a dazzling amount of purple and defeating monsters with galactic sparkles. Galactic Purple, that was her name, and soon, Bree was joining her on a magical adventure full of transformations and after school battles to defend a city like most other cities.

And soon, others would join them, and each one would be magical in their own way… give or take a few bumps on the acid covered ground.

About the Author:

At the age of nine, like most kids, Briana Lawrence had a dream. She wanted to be the best “WRITER” in the whole wide world. Her fourth-grade class laughed and wondered how one hoped to become a “writer” if they couldn’t even spell the word. Back then her stories were created with crayons and construction paper. As she grew older they progressed into notebooks and colored ink pens of pink, blue, and purple. When she lost her older brother, Glenn Berry, in a car accident, she stopped writing.

Dreams, however, have a funny way of coming back.

Before she realized it she was grabbing her notebook and pens again. She would write stories that ranged from high school romance to her imagination running wild with the likes of Goku, Vegeta, and the other characters of Dragonball Z. This continued throughout college where she would always end up writing about the space exploits of the pilots of Gundam Wing and other works of fan fiction. Soon she realized that she wanted to do more than that. Her head was full of ideas, full of original characters and worlds that she wanted to share with others.

Thus, she stepped into an English Major with some Women’s Studies on the side.

She graduated from Iowa State University in 2006 and moved to Minneapolis with her partner. Here, she tried to get into graduate school, but things didn’t pan out the way she wanted. She ended up working retail, her dream becoming buried by Black Fridays and other busy times of the year. Once again, however, that dream returned. She went from immersing herself in geeky fan fiction to actually writing about the geeky things she loved such as  anime and video game review sites. However, it was her discovery of National Novel Writing Month that made her go back to creating her own characters and plots.

Now, here she is, an author in the writing world.

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Ancestors

Recently, someone asked if I would ever write a historical novel using one of my ancestors.  I answered, yes, if I had any that were colorful.

If any of you do genealogy, then you know how frustrating it can be to do research on your ancestors.  If you are lucky enough to have had someone do the research for you, thank your lucky stars!

One of my great-grandfathers seems to have been born under that cabbage leaf you hear so much about.  Where I grew up when children asked where did babies come from they were told that babies were found under a cabbage leaf.

Yep, Jacob was born under a cabbage leaf.

There is no other explanation for it!

Ancestory.com has no birth record for Jacob.  None of the Census records show his parents’ name.  Nowhere have I found where he was born.

Here is what I know about my ancestor, Jacob.

  • He fought in the American Revolutionary War.
  • He deserted while a soldier in the American Revolutionary War for a Pennsylvania Regiment.  This was not uncommon, as many soldiers did.
  • When he deserted he was headed for Hagerstown, Maryland.
  • Her married, Jane, however, I cannot find a marriage record and have only been able to guess her last name, which is not a “fact.”
  • Jacob and Jane moved to Tennessee.
  • I have found their children’s names.
  • I found Jacob’s and Jane’s death dates.

As with any family, there are stories – which most I have found not to be true.

So, to go back to the beginning – would I write a novel about one of my ancestor…I guess if I ever did, I could always write a historical novel involving Jacob’s parents since I know absolutely nothing about them.  That way, I could really write a historical fiction novel and know for a solid fact that is was pure fiction.

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Parisa by Conrad Trump, a Virtual Book Tour

Parisa by Conrad Trump

Parisa by Conrad Trump

Publisher:  High Peaks Publishing (September 7, 2015)
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Tour dates: Mar/Apr, 2018
ISBN: 978-0976159766
Available in Print and ebook,292 pages
Parisa

 

Guest Post Review by Laura R: 5 Stars

If you love to get lost in a book, you need to read Parisa by Conrad Trump!  The lead character, Scott is in a horrible snowboarding accident.  He then unknowingly releases a century-old spirit.  Her name is Parisa.  Sure, she can grant wishes so it may remind you of the old television show, I Dream Of Genie’ but this has so much more depth to it.  Scott is left with the responsibility of helping Parisa fit into today’s society which is no easy task.  To top that off, he starts to have romantic feelings for her.

This book is well written and full of both drama and humor.  Even though it is fairly short, the characters are well drawn out.  As I was reading it, I felt like I was there in a real place with real people.  I think it would make a great movie! This is book one in a series and I can hardly wait to read book two!  I recommend Parisa for fantasy and adventure readers.  I give it 5 stars!

Book Excerpt:

“What are the X Games?” Parisa asked.

“The X Games are the pinnacle of extreme sports. Athletes from all over the world meet every year and test their skill against one another. I snowboard on the half-pipe.”

“I don’t understand,” Parisa confessed.

“Do you see these boards?” Scott asked, leading her to the wall opposite the front bay window. A pair of silver medals was mounted under the neon-green Burton snowboard splashed with blue paint. Beside the board was a matted picture of Scott rising out of the pipe. His board was pointing upward, and he was holding the tip of it with one hand. His matching green parka looked as if it was speckled with the falling snow. In the pictures, he wore dark goggles and a neon-green helmet. “That’s me,” Scott said, pointing to the picture. “I came in second that day.”

“I have only just seen snow for the first time,” Parisa told him, looking fondly at the photograph.

“The day I released you. I saw you near the ribbon cutting at the bottom of the slope.”

“I wasn’t strong enough yet to stay separated from my vessel for more than a few seconds, but it was long enough to see you and snow for the first time.”

“You had never seen snow before?”

“No, my Scott. I had always wanted to, but I was forbidden to leave the palace.”

“Well, honey, you are looking at the King of the Snow,” Scott said, puffing up his chest. “It’s a shame that we’re in San Diego. There’s no snow here, but when I go back to Lake Placid next week, you’ll see lots of snow—if you want to come with me, that is.”

“Of course I will come with you. You are my Scott.”

“I’ll teach you to snowboard. I would take you today, but”—Scott shrugged his shoulders— “no snow.”

“Would my Scott like it to snow?” Parisa asked, raising her arms above her head. Suddenly the lights in the house dimmed as a heavy cloud cover rolled in from the ocean, west of Coronado. There was a rumbling of thunder, and the windows shook. Scott could feel the barometric pressure sinking around him as he stood there in wonder.

Scott grabbed her arms and gently lowered them to her sides. “It can’t snow here, Parisa. This is San Diego.”

As soon as he said it, the world became a little lighter. The clouds just beginning to form over the city dissipated.

“Could you really have made it snow?” Scott asked.

Parisa smiled knowingly. “If my Scott had wished it,” she answered.

Scott laughed, but the display of power frightened him. It was one thing to float a box of roses. It was another to change the West Coast’s weather pattern. He was humbled by the scope of her magic. It was truly unsettling, but the Locke smile never faltered. He continued to chuckle and shake his head.

“I could take us someplace where there is snow,” Parisa suggested. “Would that be better?”

“What do you mean, ‘take us’?” Scott asked, uncertain that he was ready for the answer.

“Give me your hand, my Scott, think of where you would like to be—someplace snowy, someplace tropical, someplace on a beach—and we will go.”

“You can do that?” Scott asked. “Anyplace?”

“Anyplace,” Parisa assured him.

Scott thought about it for just a second. He smiled and whispered, “I know just the spot.” He took Parisa by the hands. The world jumped sideways. He fell forward without ever leaving his feet. For a moment they were one, traveling not hand in hand but spirit in spirit, moving through the ether at the top of the world. He felt neither warmth nor coolness, and there was no pain. They were slipping through the coil of known science, pushing back against the realities of time and matter. He was free in a way that his greatest, highest jumps had never come close to reaching.

He barely remembered the lingering morphine-induced dreams of floating on his snowboard after surgery. Traveling through space and time now was just like those dreams. He was floating, and he was free—only this time, he was not alone. His essence was entwined with Parisa’s, and together they soared untethered like snowflakes in a blizzard.

Praise for Parisa:

“Parisa held my interest and was hard to put down. I enjoyed it and can’t wait for Conrad to write another story. I believe Parisa would make a good movie!”- Debbie Moore, Reviewer

“I read Conrad’s book in less than three days. Not only is it a good story, but anyone from West Virginia will love the way Conrad blended our home state into the story about a West Virginia native who becomes a world-class snowboarder. This gave us native mountaineers a great deal to be proud of not only with the West Virginia setting, but knowing our native son has developed into a great writer.
I look forward to reading more stories written by Conrad in the future. I loved the book.”-KC Bohrer, Reviewer

“What an excellent book! This book keeps you hanging until you get to the next page. An excellent read by an excellent author! I am looking forward to reading future books by this author! Excellent word choice provides vivid pictures throughout the story. Excellent storyline.”- Meredith L. Zirkleml, Reviewer

About Conrad Trump:Parisa by Conrad Trump

Conrad Trump was raised in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, where he still resides.  He received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from West Virginia University and a master’s degree in Special Education from Old Dominion University.

Conrad has worked with youth, guiding troubled teens for the past quarter of a century at a residential school outside of Winchester, Virginia.

Prior to the publication of Parisa, Conrad had dozens of shorter pieces of fiction published in magazines and anthologies.  In addition to writing, he is an award-winning and published artist with his paintings featured in national juried exhibitions.  Conrad is also an accomplished and published photographer.  He is an outdoor enthusiast and an avid supporter of all things West Virginia.  He and his wife, Kim, have been married for twenty-five years.  Together they have two children, Hilary and Shaun.

Website: http://conradtrump.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/conrad.trump

*****

Where to Purchase the Book:

Amazon
Barnes&Noble
BookDepository

Giveaway Parisa by Conrad Trump

This giveaway is for one print copy or ebook copy of the book.  Print is available to the U.S. only but ebook is available worldwide.  This giveaway ends on April 30, 2018.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Mar 2 Kickoff & Giveaway

Beppe La libreria di Beppe Mar 5 Betty-Guest Review & Excerpt

Dawn Bound 2 Escape Mar 6 Excerpt

Dawn Bound 4 Escape Mar 7 Sal-Guest Review

Candy The Bookworm Chronicles Mar 8 Excerpt

Jonica Amazon  Mar 9 Review

Jeanne Amazon Mar 12 Review

Indie Authors Behind the Scenes WebTV Mar 13 Video Interview

Katy Amazon Mar 14 Review

Cindy’s Notebook Mar 15 Laura- Guest Review & Excerpt

Kimberly Amazon Mar 16 Review

Jas International Book Reviews Mar 19 Review

Debra Amazon Mar 20 Review

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm Mar 23 Review & Excerpt

Nichole Amazon Apr 10 Review

Jessica JBronder Book Reviews Apr 17 Review

Jan Amazon Apr 30 Review

Britni Amazon Apr 30 Review

Rebecca Amazon Apr 30 Review

Parisa by Conrad Trump

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The Lottery

No, I am not talking about the lottery where you buy a PowerBall ticket every couple of days or so.  And no, I am not talking about the state lottery you might play, nor am I talking about those scratch tickets you buy at the Mini-Marts.  I am talking about Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” that was published in The New Yorker magazine on June 26, 1948.

If I am not talking about lottery tickets as we know them today, then what is “The Lottery?”

The story described a fictional town where an annual lottery takes place to ensure a good harvest.  HUH!

How can a lottery ensure a good harvest?

On June 27, every year, children gather stones while the townspeople gather for the event.  Slips of paper are placed in a box for a drawing.  One slip of paper has a black mark.

 

Doesn’t this remind you of The Hunger Games

Anyway, once a family draws the slip of paper with the black mark, the members of the family must draw to see which one of them gets a slip of paper with a black mark.

Once a family member draws a slip of paper with the black mark, they become the scapegoat or the sacrificial lamb that will cleanse the town of its bad doings.  The townspeople gather around the unlucky person and stone them to death.

Not quite like The Hunger Games, but similar.  In The Hunger Games, teenagers are selected from a district to compete with other districts in a game of “to-the-death.”

If you travel to one of the districts from The Hunger Games, the dates on the tombstones might be close, but probably not exactly the same day.

How would you like to browse a cemetery and realize that someone died on the same day every year for many decades?  What would you think about that?

Well, I don’t know about you, but that would be one lottery I would not want to participate in.

 

*** Note, both Shirley Jackson and The New Yorker received hate mail over this story.***

***This short story was made into a movie.***

 

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Holiday Book Gift Guide

A while back I put out a call to authors to be included in a Holiday Book Gift Guide that I was creating.

WOW! What a turn out.

I really did not expect too many to participate, but am so happy they did.

You can view the Holiday Book Gift Guide here:

Be sure to take some time to visit all the authors who participated.  Some have special sales going on until December 31.  Others are offering free chapter samples and others, if you sign up for their newsletter, will give a free copy of one of their books.

I ask everyone who is reading this post to please share on your social media sites.

Note-authors were NOT charged a fee to participate in the gift guide.  This was FREE for all who participated.  And if everyone promotes this guide, the cross-promotion has a huge wide potential.

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Holiday Book Magazine

Hop on over to my Page “Holiday Magazine” and see the information I need if you wish to have your book(s) listed in the 2017 Holiday Gift Magazine I will be sending to all my newsletter subscribers.

If you participate by having your book(s) in the magazine, I will give you a pdf file of the magazine to share with your newsletter subscribers.

This is a great way to promote your book(s) FREE of charge…well, you will need to spend a little bit of time getting me the information for the magazine then sending it out to your readers.

The more that participate the more circulation your books will have!

And, I will feature a book a day on this blog throughout the Holiday Season!

 

 

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Brief Review, Ice Blue by Anne Stuart

Ice Blue
By: Anne Stuart
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: 2007

Brief Review:

Anne Stuart has created a story that should be on the silver screen.  With well-developed characters, fast-moving plot, and an exotic location, this could be a movie similar to the James Bond films.

Ice Blue is the third book in the Ice Series.

Hana Hayashi hid a Japanese ice-blue ceramic bowl in the care of her charge, Summer Hawthrone, a museum curator.  After Hana Hayashi was killed in an accident the bowl held great sentimental value for Summer.  The bowl, a ceremonial kimono, and a handmade kimono were all that Summer had left of Hana.

Lianne Lovitz promised the bowl to the leader of the True Realization Fellowship without asking her daughter and Summer was bound and determined the man wouldn’t get it.  What she didn’t know was there were more than just the True Realization Fellowship after the bowl and both sides were ready to kill for it.

After a museum exhibit which featured the ice-blue bowl, Summer is kidnapped then rescued by Takashi O’Brien, an international operative for The Committee.  His orders were clear, keep the bowl out of the hands of the True Realization Fellowship and kill anyone who knew the whereabouts of the Hayashi mystical location.  Did Summer know the whereabouts of this location?  Takashi thought so.

 

Author Bio: (From author’s Amazon page)

I’ve been writing since the dawn of time. A child prodigy, I made my first professional sale to Jack and Jill Magazine at the age of 7, for which I received $25 (admittedly my father worked for the publisher). Since then I’ve written gothics, regencies, romantic suspense, historical romance, series romance — anything with sex and violence, love and redemption. I misbehave frequently but somehow have managed to amass lots of glittering prizes, like NYT, PW and USA Today bestseller status, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Romance Writers of America, and a decent smattering of Romantic times and RITA awards.

I live on a lake in Northern Vermont with my incredibly fabulous husband. My two children have flown the coop, but the three cats do their best to keep us from being lonely.

In my spare time I quilt and play around with wearable art, and the rest of the time I write write write. Apparently, women of a certain age get a rush of creativity, and I’m currently enjoying it. Too many stories to write, not enough hours in the day.

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Authors do research to

My favorite places to do research are in archives, historical societies, and libraries.

Whether you are a writer of non-fiction or fiction, research is probably a part of your writing.  And it is always good to have extra funds when researching.

There are many fellowships available to individuals and here are the ones from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for 2018.

If you apply for one of these fellowships and get it, let me know and you can do a guest blog post here on Cindy’s Notebook.

 

2018 UCLA Library Special Collections Short-term Research Fellowships

http://www.library.ucla.edu/special-collections/short-term-research-fellowships

The UCLA Library Special Collections Research Fellowships Program supports the use of special collections materials by visiting scholars and UCLA graduate students. Collections that are administered by UCLA Library Special Collections and available for fellowship-supported research include rare books, journals, manuscripts, archives, printed ephemera, photographs and other audiovisual materials, oral history interviews, and other items in the humanities and social sciences; medical, life and physical sciences; visual and performing arts; and UCLA history.

The Fellowships

James and Sylvia Thayer Short-term Research Fellowships

Thayer fellowships provide support for research in any collections administered by UCLA Library Special Collections. Stipends range from $500 to $2,500 and vary yearly; grants in 2016 averaged $1,770 and in 2017 averaged $1,500. Awards are funded by an endowment established by longtime UCLA benefactors James and Sylvia Thayer.

Barbara Rootenberg Short-term Research Fellowship in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences

The Rootenberg fellowship promotes the use of materials in History & Special Collections for the Sciences in UCLA Library Special Collections. One annual fellowship is awarded in the amount of $1,000. The award is named for Barbara Rootenberg, an alumna of the UCLA School of Library Service and an internationally-renowned antiquarian bookseller.

Kenneth Karmiole Endowed Research Fellowship in UCLA Library Special Collections

The Karmiole fellowship supports the use of UCLA Library Special Collections materials by visiting scholars and graduate students. One annual fellowship will be awarded in the amount of $5,000 to allow scholars to pursue research lasting from one to three months. The award is funded by an endowment established by Kenneth Karmiole, an internationally-renowned antiquarian bookseller who earned his master’s degree in library science from UCLA in 1971. Information and application details are available at http://www.library.ucla.edu/special-collections/karmiole-fellowships .

R.B. Kitaj Fellowship

The Kitaj fellowship will allow scholars to pursue research lasting up to two months in UCLA Library Special Collections. One fellowship will be awarded in the amount of $2,500. The R.B. Kitaj Research Fellowship award is funded by the R.B. Kitaj Studio Project, a non-profit dedicated to promoting the legacy of American painter R.B. Kitaj (1932-2007). The fellowship was initiated to encourage research into and creative work inspired by Kitaj, an internationally renowned painter and intellectual. Born in Ohio, Kitaj spent much of his career in London, where he was a key participant in what is known as the “School of London.” He spent the last decade of his life in Los Angeles. In addition to a rich body of artwork, Kitaj left behind a large collection of papers and musings, now housed at UCLA Library Special Collections in the Charles E. Young Research Library. Kitaj Research Fellow awardees are expected to be in residence at UCLA Library Special Collections and to make use of the R.B. Kitaj Papers (Collection 1741). Information and application details are available at http://www.library.ucla.edu/special-collections/kitaj-fellowships

Ahmanson Research Fellowships for the Study of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Books

Ahmanson Fellowships support the use of medieval and Renaissance monographic and manuscript holdings in UCLA Library Special Collections: the Ahmanson-Murphy Collection of the Aldine Press; the Ahmanson-Murphy Collection of Early Italian Printing; the Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana; the Orsini Family Papers; the Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts Collection; the Richard and Mary Rouse Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Early Printed Books; and the Medieval and Renaissance Arabic and Persian Medical Manuscripts. The fellowships provide $2,500 per month for up to three months. Administered by the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, this program requires an application separate from that for Thayer, Rootenberg, Karmiole, and Kitaj fellowships, and delivered to a different address; information is available on the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Center’s website athttp://www.cmrs.ucla.edu/awards-fellowships/ahmanson/ .

Eligibility

Thayer and Rootenberg Fellowships:  United States citizens and permanent residents with the legal right to work in the U.S. who are engaged in graduate-level, post-doctoral, academic, or independent research are invited to apply. Research residencies may last up to three months between January 3 and December 15, 2018.

Karmiole Fellowships:  United States citizens and permanent residents with the legal right to work in the U.S. who are engaged in graduate-level, post-doctoral, academic, or independent research are invited to apply. Research residencies may last from one to three months between January 3 and December 15, 2018.  Information and application details are available at:  http://www.library.ucla.edu/special-collections/karmiole-fellowships

 Kitaj Fellowships:  United States citizens and permanent residents with the legal right to work in the U.S. who are engaged in graduate-level, post-doctoral, academic, or independent research are invited to apply. Research residencies may last from one to three months between January 3 and August 31, 2018.  Information and application details are available at:  http://www.library.ucla.edu/special-collections/kitaj-fellowships

 Ahmanson Fellowships:  United States and international graduate students or scholars holding a PhD (or the foreign equivalent) who are engaged in graduate-level, postdoctoral, or independent research are invited to apply. Applications are due March 1, 2018; research residencies may last up to three months between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. Information and application details are available at: http://www.cmrs.ucla.edu/awards-fellowships/ahmanson/ .

Application Contents and Instructions for Thayer and Rootenberg Fellowships

Researchers can submit a single application for “Short-term Research Fellowships” in order to be considered for either the Thayer or Rootenberg fellowships. Applications must be received on or before November 1, 2017.

Applications must include:

·         Cover letter

·         Curriculum vitae

·         Outline of research topic and special collections to be used (two pages maximum)

·         Brief budget for travel, living, and research expenses

·         Dates to be spent in residence

·         Two letters of recommendation from faculty or other scholars familiar with the research project. Please note that the committee cannot consider letters of recommendation from librarians or staff of the UCLA Library.

Application materials for the Thayer and Rootenberg Fellowships, including letters of recommendation, may be submitted in PDF format by email to lib_lscfellowships@library.ucla.edu .  Letters of recommendation in PDF format can also be sent by email, either by the person writing them or by the applicant.

 Review Process and Notification

A committee will evaluate the research proposals, and applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by email on or before December 1, 2017.  Fellows may be asked to speak briefly about their recent or ongoing research at an informal brownbag session with local scholars during their visit.

Contact Information

Submit applications or direct questions about fellowships to:

Short-term Research Fellowships Program

UCLA Library Special Collections

A1713 Charles E. Young Research Library

Box 951575

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575

Phone:     310.825.6940

Email:     lib_lscfellowships@library.ucla.edu

 Web:  http://www.library.ucla.edu/special-collections/short-term-research-fellowships

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And the Winners Are!

All winners have been notified and the books are on their way!

Congratulations to:

 

Janice J. is the winner of Hometown Appetites!  Hope you enjoy learning about Clementine Paddleford and trying out some of the recipes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He wrote me a note saying that he too had a nose for justice!  The winner of A Nose for Justice is James W.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Z. is the winner of A Flower for My Mother. 

The stories in this book are fun for both young and old.

 

 

 

 

 

The winner of Both Sides of Nice is Helen R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone who participated in this giveaway.

The next giveaway is Banned Book Week Giveaway, September 15-30.  Again this is a hop that I am participating via bookhounds.net

 

 

 

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Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop

BookHounds.net  is hosting “Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop” starting tomorrow, August 15th through Wednesday, August 30th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am participating in this hop, so check back tomorrow to see what I will be giving away.

 

 

http://www.sparkinganvil.com/cindy.html 

 

 

 

 

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