A Stella Review: Ravel: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story by R. Phoenix

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RATING  4,5 out of 5 stars


RAvel
For the past few years, Reese has hidden away in his home, refusing to venture out where he might have to face what reminds him of all that he’s lost. When Ashton, a human thief, breaks into his home one night, he doesn’t have a choice but to face the harsh truths of the world he’s turned his back on. He knows he supports the society monsters of myth and lore built upon the backs of humans through his silence, but the new leaders don’t tolerate sympathizers.

If a werewolf can’t act against the status quo without facing severe consequences, a human with Ashton’s cunning and experience circumventing supernatural predators certainly can’t risk drawing their attention. Their chance encounter leaves them both shaken and questioning whether they are living life as they were intended—or if surviving is really living at all.

I’m always curious about new authors and I read some great things about this series so I wanted to give it a try and soon jumped at the change to have it.

I have to say I was pleasurably surprised by this book, the story between Reese and Ash was engaging and well done. I was caught by the blurb but the MCs took my attention from the start and I cheered on them till the end.

Reese is a werewolf, he has an outstanding account with the past;  although their first meeting isn’t the greatest, with Ash sneaking in Reese’s home to steal from him,  Reese decides to help the young human, trusting him and his good faith. Living in the slums with his sick  best friend Leo is not easy and safe but in some ways Ash has never totally lost the hope for more, for some pale shine of good to find. Then at first sight, something switches on with Reese, a deep connection hard to ignore. Will they be able to trust each other and try to be happy in a world so dark?

This is a story about needs. About finding a salvation and maybe love in a world that left the human kind with nothing to live for. That was the first element that intrigued me, the choice of the author to create a world ruled by shifters, surely a different approach to the paranormal genre where shifters  are usually in the closet or at best, outcast by humans. This difference was really welcomed.

I liked the pace of the writing, a good tempo never boring. And the dialogues, more banters actually, between the two MCs were great, funny and most of all gave the story a brightness so needed in a world so sad.

Just a note I want to make, I was waiting till the end for a little more to happen, some action, some evil characters to come out. Save a disagreement/misunderstanding between Ash and Reese, the story flew pretty easily and it was okay because I enjoyed very much but I was waiting, for no reason, for that little more and when I didn’t get it, I was just a tiny disappointed.

If you are looking for a quick story and you are fan of paranormal genre, I feel to recommend Ravel. I think the author did really great and I am looking forward the other books in this new series. I’m sure I’m going to discover more characters to love. Although Ravel is the second book, in my opinion it works pretty well as standalone. But if you like to read the series in order, you can get the first book, Bought, for free on Amazon and Are.

I like the cover art cause it’s different and simple, and the black is very fitting.

Sales Links:  Smashwords | ARe | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, Revised/2nd, 74 pages
Published April 1st 2016 by R. Phoenix (first published December 23rd 2015)
Original Title Ravel: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story
ASIN B01DBAV324
Edition Language English

About the series

The Ripples in the Status Quo works are set within a world where supernatural beings seized control from humans and relegated them to the bottom of the food chain. Used for food, entertainment, and worse, nothing protects them from the hands of those who claim them as slaves. But not everyone adheres to the status quo the world at large has accepted…

Please note that the RISQ world has little place for humanity–and the author’s idea of romance may not match yours. As such, there are no guarantees of happily ever afters, and content may be offensive to some readers.

The suggested reading order is below, though these works can be read as standalones.

1. Bought. [Dark Erotica]
2. Ravel. [Romance]
3. Recoil. [Dark Erotic Romance]
4. Owned. [Dark Erotic Romance. Follows events in Bought and Recoil.]

An Alisa Review: Planting His Dream by Andrew Grey

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Planting His DreamFoster dreams of getting away, but after his father’s death, he has to take over the family dairy farm. It soon becomes clear his father hasn’t been doing the best job of running it, so not only does Foster need to take over the day-to-day operations, he also needs to find new ways of bringing in revenue.

 Javi has no time to dream. He and his family are migrant workers, and daily survival is a struggle, so they travel to anywhere they can get work. When they arrive in their old van, Foster arranges for Javi to help him on the farm.

 To Javi’s surprise, Foster listens to his ideas and actually puts them into action. Over days that turn into weeks, they grow to like and then care for each other, but they come from two very different worlds, and they both have responsibilities to their families that neither can walk away from. Is it possible for them to discover a dream they can share? Perhaps they can plant their own and nurture it together to see it grow, if their different backgrounds don’t separate them forever.

 I have enjoyed all the stories I have read by Andrew Grey and when I saw he had another story with a farm setting I definitely wanted to read it.  It really makes me want to go back and read more in the author’s other series that I haven’t gotten to yet.

 Foster is working hard to get his father to see him as an equal on their family farm and after his father passes away he is left to take the reins.  Javi worked the farm with his family the previous year and Foster was drawn to him then, but when they come back when Foster is by himself he gets more of an opportunity to get to know Javi one on one when he offers to help when they arrive early for the picking season.

 I quickly understood Foster and the fears he had in regards to keeping the farm afloat and making changes to make it his own.  The story is told from Foster’s point of view, but the author really helps you understand the struggle that Javi is going through wanting to have something for himself but feeling responsible for his family.  They both discover their love for the other during their short time together while it feels that most of the book is spent with them apart before and after relationship.

 I really enjoyed this story and it was very sweet and even the sex scenes were more on the sweet side than being “hot”.  I just wish that more time would have been spent on how their relationship grew after Javi came back, it was just a jump ahead in time where everything is going well, but other than Javi showing up on Foster’s doorstep you don’t really get much else.

Cover art by LC Chase really gives you a visual for the setting of the book and the items that are shown are reflected accurately in the book.

 Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe

 Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published: April 11, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634772174
Edition Language: English

Love Fantasy Fiction? Check Out Mary Newman’s ‘A Prince’s Ransom’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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A Prince's Ransom ebook cover

A Prince’s Ransom by Mary Newman
Release Date: March 25, 2016

Goodreadswww.goodreads.com/author/show/6938714.Mary_Newman
Publisher: Mary Newman
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair

Blurb

Prince Itu Graus thought coming out in front of the entire royal court was bad. Being exiled by his father to the frozen wastelands where he struggled just to survive was harsh.

But, running for his life is so much worse.

His planet invaded and the royal family assassinated, Itu leaves his world one step ahead of a death squad. Hiding from those who want him dead and just trying to survive are now his only goals.

Loka Chalce is known as a trader who travels the galaxy to buy and sell goods, but he has a secret life known only to a few as a licensed enforcer for the Interplanetary Council. When a contract comes across the com for a deposed prince who is running directly towards those Loka loves, he only stops long enough to be certain it is genuine before accepting the job.

But what happens when the man you have been hired to keep from ever returning to his world turns out to be someone you would much rather protect?

 

Pages or Words: 139 pages
Categories: Fantasy, M/M Romance

 

Excerpt:

“Not getting in the middle of an established relationship, Salio,” Loka grumbled. “Stop matchmaking. You and Bira are terrible at it.”

“Fine,” Salio huffed. “Find your own boyfriend. I was only being helpful.”

“This discussion is over with,” Loka stated, flatly.

“Uncle Loka, will you help me move another bed from the storage room out to the guest house?” Alor asked as he stepped through the back door. “We can put one in Pop Pops old office and move the desk and chair out.”

“Well, well,” Salio looked at him, eyes gleaming. “I guess that answers that question.”

“Shut it, Salio!” Loka growled, pointing a thick finger at her. “I don’t need or want your help.”

Salio’s laugh was pure evil as she flounced towards the front of the store.

“Hey, Bira, guess what?” she called out.

Loka sighed and scrubbed his face with both hands.

“Oh man, Uncle Loka, you better run now. They’ll have you married and settled before morning,” Alor cackled.

“Gods, why can’t they keep their wedded bliss to themselves?” Loka grumbled. “Come on, Alor, let’s go haul out the desk and chair first.”

Buy the book: Amazon: www.amazon.com/Princes-Ransom-Mary-Newman-ebook/dp/B01D943KAK/ref=sr_1_1

 

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Meet the author:

I’m a self-published writer of stories set on worlds that live only in my mind. If you think it can’t happen, well, I do my best to prove you wrong. I mainly write romance because I like to take the most unlikely of couples (or trios) and give them a happily ever after. My characters quite often pick up the personalities of my family and friends – which can lead to the most interesting of conversations, believe me.

I live in the wilds of Northeast Oklahoma with Mija, a rescued hound of unknown mixed heritage, and a rose point Siamese named Kiko who delights in tormenting both Mija and me when we’d rather be relaxing or sleeping.

Where to find the author:

 


BannerTemplateTour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, The Jena Wade, Bayou Book Junkie, Kirsty Loves Books,

The Hat Party, V’s Reads, MM Good Book Reviews, Velvet Panic, Molly Lolly, Oh My Shelves,

Open Skye Book Reviews, Alpha Book Club, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Full Moon Dreaming,

BFD Book Blog, A.M. Leibowitz, Havan Fellows, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words,

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

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In Our Audiobook Spotlight: Determined Mate ( Holland Brothers #2) by Toni Griffin and Narrator Dominic M. McCartney (giveaway)

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AudioBook Determined Mate ( Holland Brothers  #2) by Toni Griffin
Narrator: Dominic M. McCartney

Release Date: Mid-April

Goodreads Link

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Cover Artist: Meredith Russell

Blurb:

Jason Matthew’s is a broken man. He’s lived through hell and barely come out the other side. All he can think about is getting to his best friend, Brian, after that he has no idea. Jason’s scared out of his mind when he’s met by not only Brian but two large men as well, he does the only thing he can think to do. He tries to run. One of the men, though, turns out to be his mate. A mate he is in no condition to have or want, a mate that won’t allow him to flee.

Alex Holland is forced to stand by and watch as Jason is taken to the safest place they know, too scared to be around him. He knows something bad has happened to Jason and he’s going to need every ounce of his Alpha control to give his mate the time he needs to heal and start living again.

 

 

Audiobook Time: Approximately 5 hours
Series should be read in order for maximum enjoyment
Categories: Fantasy, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Wolf Shifters

 

Buy the book

Audible  | Amazon  | iTunes

 

 

Meet the author:

Toni Griffin lives in Darwin, the smallest of Australia’s capital cities. Born and raised in the state she’s a Territorian through and through. Growing up Toni hated english with a passion (as her editors can probably attest to) and found her strength lies with numbers.

Now, though, she loves escaping to the worlds she creates and hopes to continue to do so for many years to come. She’s a single mother of one and works full time. When she’s not writing you can just about guarantee that she will be reading one of the many MM authors she loves.

Feel free to drop her a line at info@tonigriffin.net anytime.

Where to find the author:

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Tour Dates & Stops:

11-Apr

The Novel Approach, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Velvet Panic, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words,

Bayou Book Junkie, Book Lovers 4Ever

12-Apr

Love Bytes, Nic Starr, Inked Rainbow Reads, A.M. Leibowitz

13-Apr

Happily Ever Chapter, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, MM Good Book Reviews, Alpha Book Club

14-Apr

BFD Book Blog, Mikky’s World of Books, Open Skye Book Reviews, Full Moon Dreaming

15-Apr

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Havan Fellows, Outrageous Heroes, Kirsty Loves Books,

All I Want and More Books, Up All Night, Read All Day

Final

Giveaway

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Our Author & Book Spotlight: Meg Harding on Inspiration and ‘The Last Favor’ (author interview and giveaway)

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The Last Favor

The Last Favor by Meg Harding
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reamspinner Press
Cover art by Bree Archer

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Meg Harding here today to answer a few questions and talk about her latest novel, The Last Favor.  Welcome, Meg!

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Hi and thanks, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, for having me 🙂 I’m excited to give readers a glimpse into the craziness behind me and how stories like The Last Favor get created.

• Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?

For me, the inspiration for every book tends to be different. It’s whatever happens to pop out at me at the time. Normally it’s rooted in personal feelings and interests. I’m the type of person who, when I’m busy, thinks of eighty million other things I could be doing, and more often than not I get an idea that pops up, and I like to run with it.

• Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And why?

I’m a pantzer all the way. I’ve tried to do outlines for stories before and what that leads to is me focusing too much on “Well, when you started you said this was the direction you wanted to go” when the characters aren’t feeling it. I work based on what feels right at the time I happen to be writing it.

• Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?  Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?

Oddly enough, my preferences for writing and reading are different. I prefer supernatural/fantasy books for reading because I’ve always had a love for things outside of the box. I love the idea that there’s more to things than reality, if that makes sense. For writing I tend to veer towards contemporary. I’m honestly not sure why.

• Can a author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?

I think an author can. I do have favorites, and they tend to be the characters that are the most awkward and unable to understand their feelings.

• If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?

This would be a ridiculously long list if I had all day to write it…. Off the top of my head, I’d say Falls Chance Ranch would factor pretty high up on the list. Gena Showalter and Lynsay Sands would be on there too. And anything by Margaret Weis or Tracy Hickman. Oh, and Shelly Laurenston.

• How early in your life did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since elementary school. I read a lot of fantasy and poetry when I was younger, and I’d tell these stories to myself when I was bored.

• Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?

I was. My mom and I used to alternate reading chapters together probably until I was 11 or 12. And before I could read, she’d read books to me every evening. Cornelia Funk’s books and the Magic Treehouse series are probably the two that stand out to me the most. I remember wanting to be Cornelia Funk at one point.

• What question would you ask yourself here?

How can you write normal conversations when you have such a hard time talking to people yourself? (I wouldn’t be able to answer, tbh. But I’d like to know.)

• If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?

I Tripped and Fell.

 

BlurbThe Last Favor

Three years ago Andrew Wilson and Flynn Barnett were in a relationship, until Flynn made a mistake that nearly cost Andrew his life. Andrew walked away from the FBI, his home, and his partner, and started over back in Montreal, running a restaurant. 

Fast forward to the present and Andrew is knee-deep in preparations for his sister’s wedding. When an ex-colleague calls to ask for one last favor, the last person he expects to walk through his door is Flynn, in need of a place to stay. Only thing is, Andrew can’t say no. 

Two weeks of wedding hijinks bring back all the old feelings that have simmered below the surface. Caught in a cycle of fighting and making up, the two men try to figure out if there’s anything they can salvage. And even if there is, Andrew can’t be sure this time will be any different.

Buy Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe 

 

About the Author

Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF, and is completing a masters program for Publishing in the UK. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything. She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next. She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes.  In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.

Website: megharding.wordpress.com
Facebook: facebook.com/meghardingwrites
Twitter: twitter.com/cumberstone61

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Giveaway

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Can Ex-Lovers Find A New Future Again? Find out with Black Dust by Lynn Charles (author interview, excerpt and giveaway

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Black Dust 900px COVER (web Tumblr)

Black Dust by Lynn Charles
Release Date: April 7, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Cover Art and Design by C.B. Messer

Today Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is very lucky to be interviewing Lynn Charles author of Black Dust. Hi Lynn, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

I’m happy to be here! I’m an author, wife and mother living in Central Ohio. I’ve been writing—from lavish journal entries to fictional stories—most of my life. My first novel, Chef’s Table, was published in December 2014 with Interlude Press. Black Dust is about a couple who, fifteen years after a tragic car accident tore them apart, are given a second chance to heal and to love.

  • When did you write your first story/book? How old were you?
    • I honestly can’t tell you when I wrote my first ever story, but I didn’t realize I could write compelling stories until I was in my thirties. I had always had an interest in creative writing and was an avid journaler, but the bug didn’t bite me until adulthood.
  • Are you a plotter or pantser?
    • I am a pantsing plotter? That sounds like I’m out of breath. I like to have some idea where I’m going, but I’m usually pretty free to let the story take me places as well. I am learning in transitioning from writing “stories” to writing books to be more intentional with each scene. What is supposed to happen here? How does it contribute to the movement of the plot? It can’t just be a cute scene because it’s fun to play with the characters.
  • What do you think makes your book stand out from the crowd?
    • I tend to write stories about people who have much of life pretty settled. Mature love, so to speak. Now, their settled life might get upended, or they may realized that “settled” means they’ve let something go they should reach for again, but the men in my stories are grown. Adults. And saying that is not to disparage the younger protagonists that frequent romance novels, because god knows I love to read them too. There is plenty of room in the inn.
  • How do you find or make time to write?
    • Here’s where being a bit older than some of my fellow novelists is an advantage: my children are grown. I am fortunate enough that I was able to quit what was even a part time job to focus more on my writing (and to avoid a working situation that was making me battier than usual). I also have an incredibly supportive husband that says, “Get to it,” when I have fallen behind and need to dip into evening hours to get something done. My creative brain seems to kick in in the afternoon hours, so I use mornings to do the chores of life and work, and the afternoon and evening to write.
  • What do you like to read in your free time?
    • Recently I have been reading books by Indian and Bengali authors as my next book has a Bengali-American protagonist. Generally speaking, I love books with interesting characters. I think I could read a book that’s light on plot so long as the people driving the story have something to say, and they say it in compelling ways. With that in mind, I will always be happy to soak in a great memoir.

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Blurb:

Fifteen years after a tragic car crash claimed a friend’s life and permanently injures his then-boyfriend, Broadway musician Tobias Spence reconnects with his former love. As Emmett and Tobias explore their renewed relationship, the two men face old hurts and the new challenges of a long-distance romance. Will Tobias lose his second chance at love to the ghosts he can’t seem to put to rest?

 

Pages or Words: 312 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt

“I can’t, Emmett. I—can’t go back.”

“Then we are clearly not ready for any sort of commitment.”

“Wait. You won’t agree to—to us—unless I come to Indiana?”

“I won’t,” Emmett said. “It’s all feeling a little one-sided to me, and I’m not okay with that.”

“You don’t understand.”

“I do understand, Toby. I was there for everything that makes you afraid of that place.”

“Yes. You were,” Toby said, taking Emmett’s hand in his. “But my concerns about going back have nothing to do with you.”

“Maybe they should have something to do with me.”

“That’s—” Toby pulled his hand away. “That’s not fair.”

“It really is,” Emmett said. He reached across the table for Toby’s hand again. “Please?” Toby took his hand and Emmett squeezed, holding on as if he might never let go. “We experienced a great tragedy together. And while Scotty’s parents lost their son, no one felt the things we felt. No one else woke up screaming and sweating when we heard the sounds of the crash in our sleep.”

“Emmett—”

“No one else knew the fear of maybe never walking again. No one else lost weight and a semester of school because he might get thrown in jail. No one else felt the things we felt together. That’s all ours. As much as you want to, you cannot take me out of the equation.”

“But, that’s just it, Em. I don’t want to feel those things again. I cannot walk back into that—that darkness.”

Emmett pulled their joined hands to his lips and kissed Toby’s knuckles. “You already have. You have been so enamored­—you’ve practically spent this entire week making love to my scars. You’re there. And it’s not so dark anymore.”

“No, because you’re whole again. You’re not broken anymore.”

Emmett saw it, then. He saw in the way Toby had almost obsessed over the ridiculous tattoo and Emmett’s scars, as if begging for them to also bring him the powers that Derek had wished upon Emmett’s body those years ago. He saw it in Toby’s insistence that they start all over as if the accident never happened, as if the years of silence weren’t strung between them like a rope and plank bridge connecting two separate lands.

So he said it. To give it power. To make it a truth they shared—like their shared tragedy. “And you still are. Broken.”

Toby nodded, grasping at Emmett’s fingers like a lifeline. “I’m so—” He took a deep, shuddering breath. “I’m so exhausted making sure no one knows.”

“Oh, Toby.” All the more reason “trying again” was a bad idea. Unready to let go, Emmett kissed Toby’s fingers again. “Then come to my home,” Emmett offered, trite as it sounded in his own ears. “I’ve remodeled the master and made a party room in my basement for the kids.”

“You’ve never told me—”

“It’s beautiful, really. It’s on a couple of acres, and the back of the property is lined with a stream you can hear from the kitchen when the windows are open. It’s very peaceful. It sounds like you need some peace.”

“You deserve a beautiful life.”

“So let me share it with you. At least think about it?”

Toby nodded and began to clean up. “Will you still come see me in San Francisco after school’s out?”

“I don’t know. I’d really like an answer before I agree to see you again.”

“Okay. I’m sorry it’s not as easy as it should be.”

“I am too, Toby. Being with you was always so easy.”

Buy the book:

 

 

 

 

Meet the Author

Lynn Charles earned her degree in music education and for many years performed and directed choral music. When she’s not writing, she can be found strolling through local farmers markets near her home in Central Ohio in search of ingredients for new recipes. Her novel Chef’s Table was published in 2014 by Interlude Press.

Where to find the author:

 


Banner300x250Tour Dates & Stops:

7-Apr: Love Bytes, 3 Chicks After Dark, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Hearts on Fire, Jessie G. Books

8-Apr: Happily Ever Chapter, Bonkers About Books, My Fiction Nook

11-Apr: BFD Book Blog, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Oh My Shelves

12-Apr: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Divine Magazine

13-Apr: Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Velvet Panic, Book Lovers 4Ever

14-Apr: Louise Lyons, Unquietly Me, Havan Fellows

15-Apr: MM Good Book Reviews, A.M. Leibowitz

18-Apr: Alpha Book Club, V’s Reads

19-Apr: Butterfly-O-Meter, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Bayou Book Junkie

20-Apr: Up All Night, Read All Day, Outrageous Heroes, Molly Lolly, Mikky’s World of Books, Inked Rainbow Reads

Final

Giveaway

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