Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Blog Tour - Depression in Later Life by Deborah Serani

Author: Dr. Deborah Serani
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Pages: 286
Genre: Self-Help/Psychology

The geriatric population, defined as men and women 65 years and older, is the fastest growing population in the world. Little attention has been given to the mental health of the aging, and often treatable disorders are overlooked entirely. Depression is one of the leading mental disorders in any age group, but among the elderly, it is often viewed as a normal part of aging. But it’s not. Depression at any age requires attention and treatment.

Depression in Later Life is a go-to guide that introduces readers to depression among the aging and elderly. It looks at both sufferers who’ve been diagnosed in their younger years as well as those with a new diagnosis, and reviews the symptoms, the diagnostic process, treatment options including alternative and holistic approaches, and long-term care for those experiencing mild, moderate, or severe depression. With real stories throughout, the book illustrates the many forms depression can take, and Dr. Serani offers a compassionate voice alongside practical advice for sufferers, caregivers, and families.

BOOK IS AN AWARD WINNER: 2016 Gold Medal Winner, Psychology, Foreword Review



Book Excerpt:

What is Late-Life Depression?

            I know depression because I’ve endured it my entire life. I had it as a child and it worsened as I became a teenager. And it still lingers in the margins of my life at age 55. For me, depression was a chronic illness that left me in despair and frighteningly unaware of its grinding misery. I didn’t recognize the symptoms – and neither did any family or friends. In fact, as my depression worsened as a college student, I sank into a featureless existence, either awake in a fatigued haze or sleeping the entire day away. Gradually, the bitter brine of depression flooded my mind with hopelessness. I didn’t care about the future and I couldn’t find purpose in the present. It didn’t occur to me that anything was out-of-sorts, short-sighted or even peculiar as my thinking became more corrosive. When I attempted suicide at age 19 with a handgun, it felt right. It felt comforting.
            Of course, looking back, I was in deep emotional and physical pain and believed I found a way to make it stop. But it wasn’t a healthy choice. I was making a decision from an incredibly distorted reality. Luckily my plan was interrupted and I immediately got help. I began intensive psychotherapy and discovered that I’d been living with dysthymic disorder and that it escalated into a major depressive episode. Having both these disorders was called a double depression, and I learned how to replace the quiet agony of my illness with tools to live a more meaningful life. The experience I had with talk therapy was so life-changing and life-saving that it inspired me to become a psychologist. I combined my personal experiences with depression with my training as a clinician and became an expert in mood disorders. I realized that my personal experiences with depression offered enormous insight to those who sought treatment with me because I know the talk and I walk the walk.
            In the 45 years of personally living with depression and the 25 years of professionally treating it as a disorder, this is what I’ve learned:
            Depression doesn’t care if you’re rich or famous, poor or homeless.
            It doesn’t care if you’re young or old.
            Or if you’re ordinary or superlatively gifted.
            Depression cuts across social economic status, is found in every culture and in every country around the world.
            Depression will drape its chokehold over men, women and children - and thinks nothing of how it decays your mind, siphons your soul and crushes the glimpse of possibility, hope and freedom at every turn.
            Depression is not an experience that fades with the next sunrise or can be shaken off with a newfound attitude. It won’t be cured by tough-love. Or rectified by ignoring it. You can’t snap out of it or will it away either. And if you try to minimize its wrenching hold on your health, it’ll root itself even deeper. Depression can’t be ranked alongside adjectives like blue, sad, dejected, down, melancholy or unhappy. Those words just won’t do… because they don’t even come close to describing what depression feels like.
            Depression demands you to see it for what it truly is – an illness. And while it’s a serious illness, it is treatable. The key to success in living with depression is early identification, consistent treatment and planning to manage your illness.

Defining Depression

            Depression is a complex illness that significantly impacts the way you feel, think and behave. According to the World Health Organization, depression involves feelings of worthlessness, decreased energy, hopelessness, poor concentration, negative thinking and disrupted sleeping and eating patterns, just to name a few. The most predominant of these symptoms is a depressed mood, and because of this, depression is classified as a mood disorder. Sometimes called affective disorders, mood disorders are the most common mental illness, touching over a hundred million people worldwide. Mood disorders aren’t the result of a weakness of character, laziness or a person’s inability to buck up and be strong. Mood disorders are a real medical condition.

The Geriatric Population
It’s important to know that depression can occur at any age, but in this book, we’re looking at depression in later life. Specifically, the geriatric population - which are individuals 65 years of age and older. Sometimes referred to as seniors or the elderly, geriatric citizens are the fastest growing population in the world.  In America, alone, the baby boomer generation now makes up over 50 million of the senior population. With people living longer, and the combination of medical advances and technology improving the state of healthcare, the senior population is expected to soar to 72 million by the year 2030. More specifically, The US Census Bureau reports that in the next 45 years, people over the age 65 will double, and people over the age 85 will triple. And now more than ever, centenarians, people 100 years of age and older, are not just reaching these amazing ages, but living richly textured lives.                       
            While gerontology, the study of the aging process in human beings, has brought insights about the physical, emotional and social needs of this population, little has been done to train geriatric health professionals. In fact, 97% of medical school students have no training in geriatrics, and the rate of doctors graduating with a geriatrician degree are lower now than ten years ago. 
            Even geriatric psychology, or geropsychology, the specialty that focuses on the mental health of the elderly, isn’t gaining the kind of traction needed to help those living in their golden years.
            This makes identifying and treating depression in later life difficult. But with the help you get in Depression in Later Life, you'll be equipped to see the early warning signs and know where to get help.     

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About the Author

Dr. Deborah Serani is a psychologist in practice over 25 years, an associate adjunct professor at Adelphi University and a TEDx speaker on the subject of depression. She is also a go-to expert on psychological issues. Dr. Serani is the author of the award-winning books, Living with Depression, Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers and Depression in Later Life: An Essential Guide published by Rowman & Littlefield.



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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Navy Seal Promise Book Blast & Giveaway

Author: Amber Leigh Williams
Publisher: Harlequin Superromance
Pages: 384
Genre: Romance

He made a promise he intends to keep.

Harmony Savitt is off-limits for navy SEAL Kyle Bracken. Not only is she his best friend's little sister, she's also a single mother and the widow of a fellow SEAL killed in action. This soldier needs to keep his distance. But something between them has changed…

Despite the new complicated feelings he has for Harmony, when his family comes under attack, there's no one Kyle trusts more than her to help him get answers. When that threat extends to her and her daughter, though, he vows to protect them…even if it means putting his own heart on the line.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Kyle swung the door open. "Inside."
"No kiss this time?" Harmony asked, testing him. Her chin was high.
"That's right." He spoke quietly enough that it didn't carry into the lobby when he said, "You want to know something I'm afraid of?"
"What've you got, superhero?"
"That whatever's happened between us tonight wiped out everything that came before it. Is that what you want?" he asked.
"Are you kidding me?" For the first time, he saw the nerves behind her brave front. Her chin quavered even as she jabbed him with her finger. "Why do you think I didn't say anything before? You think I want to lose my best friend?"
He didn't reply.
She lifted her shoulders in a helpless shrug. "But I the end of the day...I'm not half as noble as you are." 

Amber Leigh Williams is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway ends midnight December 29.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on December 30.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Amber Leigh Williams is a romance writer who lives on the US Gulf Coast. She lives for beach days, the smell of real books and spending time with her husband and their two young children. When she’s not keeping up with rambunctious little ones (and two large dogs), she can usually be found reading a good book or indulging her inner foodie. Amber is represented by the D4EO Literary Agency.


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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Book Feature: How Not To Succeed in Hollywood by Marissa Thomas @marissat20 #humor #blogtour

Author: Marissa Thompson
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 436
Genre: Humor/Fiction


In HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD, Marissa Thomas offers readers an inside view of one young woman’s journey to fulfill her dream of becoming an actor. The personal and humorous story of Lisa reveals the often difficult and inspiring process of navigating the entertainment industry.
The acting bug bit Lisa during her first elementary school talent show. After receiving positive reviews for her performance from her fellow students and impressed parents alike, Lisa basked in the high she felt from being on stage. She ventured further into the acting world as a teenager when she enrolled in a twelve-week acting program. Although plagued with some doubt about her potential to become an actor, the experience reignited the spark that had originally lead her down the road of performance.

HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD follows the staggered path that Lisa took on her journey to achieve her acting dream. Her love for acting expanded when Lisa entered college and began auditioning for plays produced by the theater department. Reassured by the exhilaration she felt while acting, Lisa made the decision to leave her home and move to Hollywood to pursue her passion, but first she had to tie up a few loose ends. After a whirlwind romance with a fellow student, Lisa found herself moving into her own apartment while juggling school and work, as well as taking the steps to fill out her acting resume. A car accident that resulted in serious physical injuries led to a slowdown in her momentum. However, Lisa’s best friend, Mike, who already had a solid plan to move to Hollywood, gave her the encouragement she needed to overcome multiple obstacles so that she could move forward with her goal.

Marissa wrote HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD to give “anyone curious about Hollywood culture another point of view from someone coming from a completely different world, aka the Midwest, taking the plunge, and immersing herself in a new life.” Marissa says the book is “the story of my life. I can’t tell anyone any surefire methods of getting cast for your dream project. I’m just sharing my life experience. Anyone with a relentless dream has to find sanity in the limbo between a self-motivated fantasy career and the harshness of having to survive real life in the process. We’re all human, and sometimes all you can do is laugh. Set a goal, and break a leg.”


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt:

“I’m glad you get to come to opening night of the play,” I said to my boyfriend, casually, while we started digging into our boxed dinner.
“I know. I’m glad, too.  You’ve been working hard, and it seems pretty important to you,” he replied.
“It is. We’ve all been working on it for months,” I reminded him.
“Well, is it because you’ve been spending all this time on it, or is it because it’s something you really want to do?” he asked.
It seemed like a very obvious question. I hadn’t thought about it that way. Why do we put all the time and effort into projects like this? Projects that don’t provide a paycheck, cause us to rearrange our schedules, and even add stress due to the unwritten requirement to provide a quality performance. He really made me think. It wasn’t even a conscious decision on my part. I welcomed the chaos of the production into my life. The answer to his question was as obvious as the soy sauce on the egg rolls.
My mind started to wander. I almost felt like I was becoming a part of an actors’ anonymous group and professing my addiction. My name is Lisa, and I’m an actress. I could picture the scene:  Beautiful people sitting in a circle, each of them with a monologue in hand. And everyone waiting his or her turn to speak about the repercussions, good and bad, that the industry has had their lives. It was like a support group, to help each other through the bad auditions, drop hints about where to find the legit ones, and tips on how to nail them. Who knew how true that statement was? After a brief moment of fantasy, I was back to reality.
“I do. I really want to do it.” I turned back to my food and continued eating. “It’s something I want to pursue.” It felt good to say it out loud, and to admit it to myself.

About the Author

Marissa Thomas left her home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to pursue her dream of acting in Hollywood. Without industry contacts, she had to educate herself about the business. In How Not to Succeed in Hollywood, Marissa shares her experiences, both good and bad.
In addition to writing, Marissa is a licensed hair stylist. She also enjoys painting and produced the artwork for the cover of How Not to Succeed in Hollywood.



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Monday, December 4, 2017


Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling is his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

His latest book is Monsterland.



Welcome to Monsterland—the scariest place on Earth.

The last couple years of high school have not been fun for Wyatt Baldwin. His parents divorce, then his dad mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather, Carter White, either.
An on-going debate with his best friends Howard Drucker and Melvin over which monster is superior has gotten stale. He’d much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade. However, she’s dating the brash high-school quarterback Nolan, and Wyatt thinks he doesn’t stand a chance.

But everything changes when Wyatt and his friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a groundbreaking theme park where guests can rock out with vampires at Vampire Village, be chased by actual werewolves on the Werewolf River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.

With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?



Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m a movie buff and will watch anything when not writing. I have created a music playlist every season since I’m 15 years old (first tapes, then burning CDs, now making playlists on iTunes. I’ve never not missed creating a playlist for any season. I love to cook. I haven’t eaten fruit or vegetables in 3 years. I only eat meat, dairy and eggs, and I’m in the best health of my life. I just started lifting weights again.

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since I’m 15 years old, about the time I started making music playlists.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

When I got an entertainment attorney. I literally cold-emailed a top entertainment attorney in Los Angeles who introduced me to a literary agent. The rest was history. I owe my career to her.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I don’t like to travel if it’s not New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas or Orlando. I’m a creature of habit. I always write in New York. The other places are my playgrounds.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Lay out in the sun to soak up some Vitamin D.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I recently watched 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and I’m modeling that submarine backdrop for my next book Monsterland 3.

Back to your present book, Monsterland, how did you publish it?

It’s a pretty incredible story that I have a hard time believing. I wrote Monsterland and self-published it in 2015. My mom is my publicity manager and she blitzed the bloggers with my book. That fall I was reading a book called Selling a Screenplay by Syd Field. In the book, there was an entertainment attorney named Susan Grode who seemed very knowledgeable about the publishing and film industry. I told myself, when I receive my first contract, I’m going to reach out to her to see if she could help me. About two months later, I received a post on Facebook from an agent in London who asked to represent me. I said sure and asked him to send me a contract. I emailed Susan and introduced myself and mentioned that I had someone who wanted to rep me and I was hoping she could read this contract. She told me before I sign with this London agent, why don’t I meet her friend in Brooklyn, an agent named Nick Mullendore with Vertical Ink Literary Agency. I met Nick for lunch and he signed me that day as his client. That evening, Susan brought me on as her client as well.

Nick began trying to sell my book Monsterland to the publishers and it was rejected. Throughout his attempts of selling, he had a call with a film agent and he was pitching her a romance novel. She said she wasn’t really into romance and was looking for something with monsters. He sent her my book Monsterland, she read it over a weekend, and we had a call that Monday. She told Nick and me if we get the book published, she will get it into a producer’s hands to make into a film. Nick found the publisher WordFire Press owned by Kevin J. Anderson, who has written all the Star Wars and Dune canon books. WordFire signed me to a two-book deal for Monsterland 1 & 2. After the deal was signed, my film agent did what she promised and got my book into the hands of a billion-dollar grossing producer who is now shopping my book to certain studios.  It’s been a wild two years.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

Just the comfort of my den where I write every night.

Why was writing so important to you?

I’ve been writing since I’m 15. I love watching movies and telling stories that really reverberate with readers. When someone is reading a good book, they don’t think about anything but the story. I feel I did my job.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

I get all my ideas from listening to music and watching movies. There is something creative that happens to me when I’m watching or listening to other’s people’s creations.

Any final words?

Monsterland 2 is completed and coming out May 26, 2018. I’m knee-deep in Monsterland 3, and beating out the story for Monsterland 4. Looks like I’m going to be writing monster stories for the next five years. There are eight books planned in the series.

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Book Feature: Lydie of Peruwelz by Richard Burack, SR., MD

Title: Lydie of Peruwelz
Author: Richard Burack, Sr., MD
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Ebook
In 1839, Lydie Fougnies, 20 years old, is attractive, refined, and educated. Her father is a well-to-do businessman. She meets Felippe Van Hendryk, single child of wealthy aristocrats. They fall in love and a two-year chaste affair leads to talk of marriage. However, his class-conscious, bigoted mother severs their relationship because Lydie is not from high society. Unhappy Felippe is sent to university in Switzerland where he marries, and divorces, the wanton daughter of a wealthy Swiss banker. Lydie is angry and resentful. She is a victim of emotion and, bent on revenge, she cannot think rationally. Believing she can wreak revenge on Mme Van Hendryk by proving her worth only if she belongs to the aristocracy, she directs her attention to Count Hippolyte de Bocarmé, a farmer who lives in a dreary, desolate 16th century chateau. Unschooled and crude, his size and strength seduce her. Certain that the rustic, prodigal son of a fine family can easily be led to the altar, she mentors him in reading, writing, and manners. Never does she suspect that he’s a conscienceless psychopathic felon. He conceals his craving to know her sexually, and plans to steal her family’s fortune.
Richard Burack has a BA from the University of Wisconsin and an MD from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He served as a Medical Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard in the Pacific Theater during the Korean War. In 1960 he was appointed to the pharmacology faculty at Harvard Medical School, and later practiced internal medicine before embarking on a career as a medical director for two U.S. non-pharmaceutical corporations. In retirement, he was a part-time physician at a charity hospital in St. Lucia and has devoted himself to writing. In 1967, Dr. Burack published The Handbook of Prescription Drugs, alerting doctors and the public to the availability of less costly generic medications. Fifty years later, the public buys the majority of its prescription drugs as “generics.” He and his wife, Mary, reside in New Hampshire. They have five children and ten grandchildren.
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Book Feature: Home Coming by Charles Lansford and Irene Nickerson

Title: Home Coming
Author: Charles Lansford and Irene Nickerson
Publisher: XLibrisUS
Genre: Coming of Age
Format: Ebook
Homecoming is that surreal feeling that a soldier has when he has returned home. For our heroes, each is facing new challenges, hopes, and fears. Ti is worried about what the shape-shifter major told him. He wonders what other secrets might be hiding in the shadows and what dangers they might hold for his family. Beary and Crew have returned home to build a new warship to face the growing threat to the Bearilian Federation. It is one that is pointed directly at his family like a dagger to his throat. Angelina and Octavious have discovered that old enemies have joined in the vendetta against their family. Old secrets may surface. Old threats may appear. All the pieces are now in place. It has been a month since everyone has returned.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Book Feature: Everything You Need to Know About Camping and RV'ing by Ghislaine Bourdon

Title: Everything You Need to Know about Camping and RV'ing
Author: Ghislaine Bourdon
Publisher: XLibrisUS
Genre: Sports & Recreation/Camping
Format: Ebook
These are informative and entertaining lessons that teach the ways and etiquette of camping that will lead to a more relaxed and enjoyable vacation for everyone. Learn to organize, plan, and prepare with eagerness and excitement. 

Camping is fun for everyone especially if you know how to do it right! Let me guide you to your greatest adventures.

Ghislaine Bourdon has a bachelor's degree in studio art. She was a swimming instructor for most of her life and taught swimming for the school system in France for many years. Ghislaine bicycled across most of Europe including the Alps alone when she was sixteen years old. She has climbed many mountains and does extensive camping trips. Trying not to be hindered by a past mental illness Ghislaine has overcome many life long difficulties. She is an extremely diversified individual with talents that abound.

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Interview with David Penny, author of Evolution Now

Publication Date: March 27, 2017
Publisher: XLibrisNZ
Formats: Ebook
Pages: 229
Genre: Science
Tour Dates: August 14-25

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This is a very Popperian approach to evolutionary study. Karl Popper was a philosopher of science, who took science very seriously, and had a profound influence on the chemists and zoologists where I did my undergraduate degree. The book starts from about 1600, when people accepted that life continued to arise “naturally,” and then moves to the pre-evolutionary concept of the fixity of species. Darwin started as a geologist in the Hutton-Lyell tradition and quickly became convinced that current causes were sufficient to explain geology, and he then moved to biology. I gave an account of his theory in some detail. However, there is also an update on what we have learned since Darwin. This is followed by a chapter on human evolution, especially human speech and the Out of Africa theory. This is followed by two chapters on beliefs that maybe incorrect (one of which is the extinction of dinosaurs from the extraterrestrial impact at the K-Pg boundary—maybe incorrect). The other is the direction of change between eukaryotes (which have a true nucleus) and akaryotes (without a true nucleus). The book finishes with a section on what is left for the future. In good Popperian style, there is a lot left for us to discover!

Could you please tell me a little about your book?

It is a dynamic view about what we have learned but we are still learning. It is an optimistic view.

Who or what is the inspiration behind the book?

Karl Popper, who taught philosophy when I did my first degree.

What cause are you most passionate about and why?

Our ideas are still progressing, we have a lot to learn yet. 

Do you have any rituals you follow when you finish a piece of work?

Write some more!

Who has influenced you the most through your writing career?

Karl Popper.

What are some of your long term goals?

Write, write, write.

David Penny is a 'Distinguished Professor' at a New Zealand University, and has a PhD from Yale University. He is a New Zealander by birth.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Book Feature: 2D Surgical Hospital by Lorna Griess

Title: 2D Surgical Hospital
Author: Lorna Griess
Publisher: XLibrisUS
Genre: Military Biography
Format: Ebook
This book is about living and working in a mobile army surgical hospital (MASH) in South Vietnam. It talks about the hospital itself, the setting, how we lived, how we coped with less-than-good circumstances, the type of patients we received, the equipment we worked with, and the emotional highs and lows that were part of every day. The stories are true. Some of the dates and numbers of things may be off a little; that was a long time ago. Names have not been used to protect the wonderful, dedicated people with whom I worked and lived with.
Lorna Griess made the Army Nurse Corps her career after her tour in Vietnam. She served in hospitals worldwide for almost thirty years. She retired as a full colonel and chief nurse at Letterman Army Medical Center on the Presidio in San Francisco (now closed). Fully retired from nursing, she joined the Military Officers Association of America, California Council of Chapters, and became their legislative liaison. She serves as a veterans’ advocate in the California State Legislature. She is a member of several other veterans’ organizations including Vietnam Veterans, AMVETS, and VFW. She writes articles, reporting on current legislation for local newsletters. For relaxation, she has become an artist. Her oil paintings have been on display at several galleries around Sacramento, including the Crocker Art Gallery.

Monday, November 20
Review From Here
Literal Exposure

Tuesday, November 21
Mythical Books
Born to Read Books

Wednesday, November 22
A Book Lover
I'm Shelf-ish

Thursday, November 23
The Dark Phantom
The Zen Reader

Friday, November 24
My Bookish Pleasures
Inkslinger's Opus

Monday, November 27
All Inclusive Retort
T's Stuff

Tuesday, November 28
Bent Over Bookwords
Lover of Literature

Wednesday, November 29
The Book Czar
The Book Refuge

Thursday, November 30
The Hype and the Hoopla
The Revolving Bookshelf

Friday, December 1
Voodoo Princess
My Life. One Story at a Time.

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