A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: Ghostwriter of Christmas Past by TA Moore

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Ever since ghostwriter Jason Burke ended up in loco parentis for his orphaned niece, Mallory, he’s been trying. He goes to parent/teacher events, and he makes packed lunches, so he definitely didn’t mean to forget about Christmas. He just hasn’t celebrated it since he left home under a cloud years ago.

Put on the spot, Jason makes the snap decision to take Mallory to see where he and her father spent their Christmases as kids. The last thing he expects is to run into Tommy, his ex—ex-best friend, ex-boyfriend—who is still living in town… and working as a sheriff’s deputy.

It’s hard to avoid someone in a small town—and maybe Jason doesn’t want to. He got Mallory a Christmas, and maybe now it’s time to get himself a Christmas boyfriend. But first, he owes Tommy some explanations.

Sweet, somewhat poignant, and full of romance and hope for the future,Ghostwriter of Christmas Past by TA Moore contains so many elements that makes a wonderful holiday story.  Add in second chance at love, a recently orphaned child, and the “bestest present ever” and it becomes one I not only loved reading but absolutely recommend.

Tommy and Jason reconnect in their hometown after a decade or so has passed.  Sweethearts as teenagers, it ended when Jason left without a word to Tommy, leaving a wound and puzzle that exists to the present day.  Jason has returned with his orphaned niece in hand to show her where her he and her father lived and to give her some “Christmas” and snow.

Moore’s writing pulls us into these characters and their lives quickly through the poignancy of the situation and the sadness of the little 10 year old, Mal.  She’s grieving the loss of her parents, unsettled by the new guardianship of an uncle she barely knows, and acting out in exactly the way you’d think a little child in this situation would.  Especially when confronted by the reality of Jason and her father’s hometown.

With Mal at the center, Jason and Tommy (Tom as he insists on being called) start the process of reconnecting with each other, talking about the past, seeing if the sparks between them mean it’s more than attraction coming back to life.  It never feels like instant anything but more like two people who really do belong together, meeting again when the time is right.

I liked the ending.  It’s not a HEA, more a HFN which I feel is in line with the story.  It’s full of hope and exactly the right tone, considering all the decisions that still have to be made.  Anything more would have felt false.  Plus maybe next Christmas T.A. Moore will revisit this small family group and give us an update.  That I’d surely love!

Until then add Ghostwriter of Christmas Past by TA Moore to your holiday reading pile.  It’s exactly what Santa might have ordered.

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza.  I love this cover.  Exactly right and stands out to grab your attention.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 57 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640803138
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Review : On Your Knees, Prospect (Kings of Hell MC #3) by K.A. Merikan

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
— There is freedom in blacking boots for the right man. —

Jake. Kings of Hell MC Prospect. Obedient. Desperate for approval.
Vars. Dominant. Stern. Undead.

Jake is itching to become a patched member of the Kings of Hell MC. 
For two years he’s toiled as the only prospect. So when a new guy swans in and thinks he’ll get a patch in no time just because he’s got friends in high places, Jake is there to stand in his way. 
Only that the guy is older, more experienced, drives a Harley, and has the kind of boots Jake craves to lick. 
But he won’t. 
Because he only fucks patches.

Vars is ready to find a new home in the Kings of Hell MC after a messy relationship led him straight to hell. In comparison, the pretty, blue-eyed prospect could be just the pleasant rebound he needs. 
The boy is a brat, but that could be amended with a firm hand and a gag.
If only Jake was ready to admit to his submissive needs, Vars would gladly take him under his wing.
That is, until he finds out something inhuman resides inside of Jake. 
Vars didn’t cheat death only to call out to it again.
But stuck together in one room, keeping each other’s secrets, they might just have to become allies, no matter how unwilling. Because if there is something Vars can’t resist, it’s a boy with pleading eyes.
This was another really good installment in this series.  The world these guys live in is nuts but in the best kind of way.  I was a bit hesitant going in to this book because I knew it would be a BDSM book which is really not my jam.  I’ve really enjoyed the previous two books though and I mean really how do you not keep reading about a motorcycle gang living in a demon possessed club house?
We learn more about the demonic entity that invades the clubhouse and some of the aspects from earlier books are resolved butt here are a some new twists which keep the plot creative and entertaining.
While some of the scenes were a bit out of my comfort level overall I really loved these two together.  I really like Jake in the prior books an was rooting for him to find someone who loved him and I think he found that in Vars.  There were some emotionally touching scenes and some smoking hot scenes. 
This has been one of my favorite series this year.  I don’t usually read motorcycle club books but the time travel in book caught my eye the morally ambiguous characters with the paranormal aspect has kept me there.  I don’t think this should be read as a standalone.  You need to read the first two books to understand all the subplots in this one.
Cover:  I think the cover is gorgeous and I really like it.
Sales Links: Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 341 pages
Published December 6th 2017 by Acerbi & Villani ltd
ASINB077TP5YBV
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesKings of Hell MC #3
Characters Vars, Jake Baker
Series:

A MelanieM Review: A Viking For Yule by Jamie Fessenden

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

AFTER SAM’S GRANDFATHER nearly died in a blizzard one year ago, Sam has panic attacks in snow storms. So where does his friend Jackie propose they spend the holidays, as the last stop on their trip around the world?

Iceland. Of course.

But there’s more in Iceland than snow. When Arnar, a handsome Icelandic man, offers to escort Sam on a several-day tour of the beautiful countryside, they soon find themselves drawn to each other. But Arnar is firmly rooted in his native soil, and Sam has to return to the US in a week to care for his ailing grandfather.

Suddenly, yule can’t last nearly long enough.

A Viking for Yule by Jamie Fessenden is actually a sequel to the author’s very likable holiday story, A Cop for Christmas.  But honestly, this is the story I absolutely adore.  At the front?  It  absolutely redeems a wishy washy character so bland he threatened to fade into the snow in the first one.  That would be Sam.  Here he become a fully fleshed adult, someone we can finally connect with away from his Gramps.  We get to see the man,  watch how the gift of independence the trip lays upon him enables him to enjoy himself, the places and people, and grow as a person.  It’s not that Sam actually changes but more our acceptance of him and that’s a really great treat.

Next up is Arnar, the man who helps to act as Sam’s guide when Sam’s “Auntie Mame” and her dear friend take the time to make their own schedule.  Arnar, has his own issues having recently broken up with his partner. He’s not entirely happy to be involved with the “tourist” that his “aunt” has brought with her on her visit to see his mom.  I loved Arnar. He’s a man of depth and deep love of his country, a memorable character all around who sees something wonderful in Sam.

However, it’s Christmas time in Iceland and, while freezing, holiday celebrations are everywhere.  Which brings me to the third marvelous element of this story.  The author’s clear love and familiarity with Iceland.

This is as much a love story to Iceland as it is Sam and Arnar’s.  Sam and Arnar travel to many locations in Iceland, ones often famous for their Christmas markets, some for their geographical formations, and others for their religious significance. These travels are folded into the story with an ease that’s remarkable and a fondness that radiates from every scene.  Iceland is truly another main character here and it helps make the story.

Everything about A Viking for Yule is lovely. From the romance, the characters right to the ending, I just loved it.  You will too.  It’s not just for the holidays but one I could read any time of the year.

Cover Art by Reese Dante is perfect for the characters and storyline.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published November 29th 2017
ASIN B077TLWLZ4

NOTE: Though this novel includes characters from “A Cop for Christmas,” it is a standalone adventure. It isn’t necessary to read “A Cop for Christmas” first.

An Alisa Review: Life on Pause by Erin McLellan

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Rating:  2.5 stars out of 5

Niles Longfellow is a nerd, and not the trendy type of nerd, either. He wears a historically accurate homesteader costume to work every day, has a total of one friend, and doesn’t know how to talk to guys. So when he gets a flat tire and the hottest hipster ever stops to help him, all Niles can think is that he’s wearing his stupid cowboy getup. Normally, Niles feels invisible to other men, but he’d take that invisibility any day over Rusty Adams seeing him in suede and fringe.

Rusty moved to Bison Hills to help his sister raise her daughter, and nothing is more important to him than that. He’s also fresh off a breakup, and isn’t prepared for anything complicated. But then he meets Niles. Rusty sees Niles as more than a clumsy, insecure guy in a costume. He sees a man who is funny, quirky, and unexpected.

Nothing about their connection is simple, though, especially the lies and insecurities between them. Niles doesn’t know if he can trust Rusty with his heart, and when Rusty’s sister decides to move away, Rusty doesn’t know if he can stay behind.

I really wanted to like this story but too many little things made it hard to enjoy at times.  Niles can’t even begin to understand that anyone could actually be attracted to him.  Rusty is still reeling from a recent break up and doesn’t really know how to go about wooing the insecure Niles.

I loved Niles and Rusty’s friendship that they striked up at the beginning, they become almost as in tune with each other as Niles is with his best friend Victor.  After they get together though Rusty would use Niles’s insecurities against him when they come up or interfere in their relationship.  At times he is the most caring person and the next he can say something very damaging.

I think Niles was adorable and he really needed the right person to support him in order for him to really grow.  He has been living “on pause” since his father’s stroke and doesn’t know how to move forward.  I could feel for Niles because I know what it’s like to feel out of place and not know how to act around others.  I loved when Rusty was sweet but then he could just cut Niles down and unfortunately it felt like they kept going in a circle.  Niles didn’t seem to really grow in confidence until they had resolved their issues near the end.

Cover art by LC Chase is eye catching and works well for this story.

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 289 pages

Published: October 30, 2017 by Riptide Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-62649-656-9

Edition Language: English

A LIla Review: Came Upon a Midnight Clear by Katie Porter

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Up-and-coming film producer Kyle Wakefield lives in the closet rather than risk the wrath of his influential, conservative parents. The only time he took a chance on love was a tempestuous teenage affair with Nathan Carnes. But when Nathan proved himself hell-bent on self-destruction and wound up in prison, Kyle closed off his heart.

Almost a decade later, Kyle’s production partner hires Nathan’s stunt company, Second Chances, to work on a big-budget action film in London. Nate is floored by his explosive reunion with Kyle. But he sure as hell isn’t surprised that Kyle still treats their mutual needs—and Nate—like dirty little secrets.

As the London holiday season casts its dazzling spell, the two men find themselves falling in love again. Kyle is one breathless kiss away from declaring himself to Nate—and to the world—but they cannot ignore secrets borne of youthful mistakes. To protect their bright new future, Kyle and Nathan will need all their passion and trust . . . and a little Christmas magic.

Came Upon a Midnight Clear is my favorite MM Romance story. I read it for the first time in 2013 and fell in love with Nate and Kyle after their very first scene together. For a couple of fictitious characters, their chemistry is palpable throughout the pages and the longing they have for each other makes their struggle to have a relationship real.

I re-read this book in 2016 and got a paperback copy as well. I loved rediscovering their love and all the scenes that made their relationship special. I’m not entirely sure why, but after reading over 1,500 MM books, this one still my favorite. And that’s why I just read it one more.

This is a re-edited version of this story, but the main events still the same. The only edits I noticed were related to technology and pop culture references. The sense of place, culture, and holiday spirit brings this story together. It’s not a traditional Christmas tale but a second chance love.

Since the start, it’s easy to see how good they’re together. Plus, how well they did without each other. They don’t need the other to be successful. Their relationship goes beyond that, to a friendship that stayed with them even after all the years apart. Their love is just an added bonus and the sex their way to connect.

And there’s a lot of sex in this story. Hard, raw, loving, but always as part of their developing story. This is definitely an erotic romance. Even so, the romance is as important as the plot itself. There’s a lot of angst too and Kyle’s and Nathan’s original relationship will pull your heartstrings, but it’s worth it.

This book is not perfect or a writing masterpiece but the authors did an excellent job developing the characters, creating an interesting supporting cast, and making Kyle’s and Nathan’s love believable. As a reader, we get to cheer for them until the very end. The epilogue is the perfect ending to the book. And yes, I’d read it again. 🙂

Also, Came Upon a Midnight Clear is now a 2017 Riptide Holiday Charity Novel benefiting The Russian LGBT network.

The cover by Natasha Snow is sweet and festive, just a bit too generic for this story. Other than the London Bridge, it doesn’t give the reader a feel for the story.

Sale Links: Riptide | Amazon | NOOK

ebook, 291 pages
Published: November 20, 2017, by Riptide Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-62649-673-6
Edition Language: English

RG Thomas on A Father and Son Journey and his new release A Tangle of Secrets (guest blog and tour)

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A Tangle of Secrets (The Town of Superstition #4) by R.G. Thomas
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Buy Links: Harmony Ink PressAmazon |  Apple BookstoreBarnes and NobleKoboGoodreads

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host R.G.Thomas here today on his tour for A Tangle of Secrets. Welcome, R.G.

 

✒︎

A Father and Son Journey

In my young adult fantasy gay romance series The Town of Superstition, the main character Thaddeus Cane has a very close relationship with his father, Nathan. Thaddeus never knew his mother as she died shortly after he was born. His father keeps a photograph of her on the dresser in his bedroom, and each time they move — we meet Thaddeus and Nathan as they’re unpacking for a thirty-second time — he places it in the same spot.

While far from perfect, I wanted the relationship between Thaddeus and his father to be strong and loving. Thaddeus was about to go through a lot of changes, both physically and emotionally, and secrets would be revealed to challenge both him and Nathan. I wanted their relationship to be strong to begin with, and so I didn’t want to go into the details of how Thaddeus came out to his father. Instead, I wanted the fact that Thaddeus was gay to be a non-issue. He hasn’t come out to his father, but Nathan has told him he would not have a problem should he realize he is gay. While the series deals with Thaddeus learning about himself, I wanted the fact that he was gay to be beside the point.

When Thaddeus meets Teofil, the garden gnome who lives next door, he feels an immediate attraction. He’s known for a while that he was gay, but he’s never had a boyfriend or even been kissed before. And when Nathan discovers they are together, it is not the fact that Teofil is a boy that makes him upset, but a number of other things that are revealed within the story.

My father died of a series of strokes back in 2010. My mother is still living and going strong at the age of 87. She has accepted my husband with open arms and supports us in all ways possible. While my relationship with either my mother or father is nothing like that between Thaddeus and Nathan, I did base a lot of the feelings of security and support Thaddeus feels on my experiences growing up. My parents have always supported me and I will always be appreciative of that.

Thaddeus’s journey of self-discovery continues in the latest book of my Town of Superstition series: A Tangle of Secrets: The Town of Superstition Book Four. In this book, Thaddeus attends Superstition High School, and begins developing a bit of an edge. He gets in trouble at school and at home, arguing with Teofil as well as other people who care about him. These are tough times for Thaddeus as he tries to find a balance between his life as a fledgling wizard and a teenager in high school. It’s been a long road for him during the summer, and his journey is not over yet.

A Tangle of Secrets: The Town of Superstition Book Four blurb 

Following the conclusion of his greatest adventure, Thaddeus Cane’s life is changing once again. He is finally reunited with his mother—and dealing with her dangerous new powers—and about to start the year at yet another new school. While he contends with making new friends and facing the school bully, Thaddeus’s boyfriend, garden gnome Teofil, spends his time locked in Leopold’s study, reading through the late wizard’s journals for any clues that might lead them to Lucian—Thaddeus’s murderous uncle—or finally give the Rhododendron family some answers about the fate of Teofil’s brother.

As his troubles at home and school mount, Thaddeus’s mood grows dark and he retreats from all those who have supported him in the past. Just when he thinks things can’t get any worse, the Bearagon returns to threaten not only Thaddeus and those he loves, but his new school acquaintances as well. This confrontation brings to light the last secrets from Thaddeus’s past, more than one shocking revelation—and more than one enemy.

Excerpt from A Tangle of Secrets: The Town of Superstition Book Four

He followed his father out the side door and got into their beat-up Toyota Camry. Thaddeus’s legs bounced impatiently as the engine sputtered and died with each turn of the key. He looked at the clock and closed his eyes, mentally willing the car to start.

Just get out of your father’s loser car and walk to school. What will everyone say when they see you in this heap of junk? The snide inner voice was back, and he tried to ignore it.

“Isn’t there a spell you can use?” Thaddeus asked.

“If there is, I haven’t found it yet,” his father replied. “Celeste needs a tune-up, but I haven’t had the money for it.”

“It’s really late, Dad,” Thaddeus said, trying to keep the impatience and aggravation out of his voice.

“Just give her a little time to warm up. She isn’t used to these early mornings.”

“Celeste is ready for the junkyard,” Thaddeus grumbled.

“Hey now, this car has been good to us for almost as long as you’ve been alive.”

“Yeah, I know.” Thaddeus winced as he shot another look at the clock.

After a few more turns of the key, the engine finally caught.

“There, see?” his father said with a smile. “She’s fine. Here we go.”

The closer his father got to Superstition High, the stronger Thaddeus’s embarrassment grew. Did he really want the kids at his new school to see him get out of this beater car driven by his unemployed father? It was only his second day, and it would give Dixon ammunition to use against him in the halls and at lunch. So much for keeping out of Dixon’s way.

“You can drop me off at the corner,” Thaddeus said. “It might be faster because a lot of cars pull right up in front of the school, and there’s kind of a traffic jam.”

“Looks pretty clear to me,” his father said. “Almost there.”

The squeal of the brakes as his father eased up to curb sounded like the wail of a banshee in Thaddeus’s ears. He shoved the door open before the car had come to a complete stop and jumped out. Kids standing on the steps leading up to the main doors of the school had stopped and turned to look in his direction. Some were grinning or laughing while others started talking excitedly at the sight of him. Thaddeus’s face burned with embarrassment as he ran to put as much distance between himself and that damn car as possible.

His father honked a farewell, and Thaddeus waved without looking around. Before he stepped inside the main doors, Thaddeus glanced back and grimaced when he saw that one of the brake lights on his father’s car was out. With a sigh Thaddeus turned toward the school, adjusted his backpack on his shoulders, and went inside.

About the Author

 

About the Author

R. G. Thomas has been reading books from an early age. As a young gay man, however, he found very few characters with whom he could truly identify. Now that he’s an adult—or at least older than he used to be—he likes to write stories that revolve around gay characters. The Town of Superstition is his YA fantasy gay romance series which includes wizards, witches, and other magical creatures.

When he’s not writing, R. G. Thomas loves to read, go to movies, watch some TV, and putter around in the small suburban patch of ground he calls a yard. He visits his mother once a week, not just for the free cookies, and enjoys spending time with close friends drinking wine and making up ridiculous things that sometimes show up in his books. Although he hates the process of travel, he does enjoy experiencing new places. His dream trip is to one day visit the country of Greece, and he is currently saving his nickels and dimes to make that a reality.

Twenty years ago he met a man who understood and encouraged his strange, creative mind, who made him laugh more often and more freely than anyone else. They were officially married in November of 2015 and today they still laugh often as they live in a suburb just north of Detroit with their two cats who act as both muse and distraction to him while he writes.

 

Social Media :

R. G. Thomas Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/authorrgthomas

R. G. Thomas Twitter: @authorrgthomas

Sean Michael on his Mannies Incorporated series and new release ‘Composing a Family’ (guest blog and tour)

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Composing a Family: A Mannies Incorporated Novel

by Sean Michael

Buy links: Evil Plot BunnyAmazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Sean Michael on his Composing a Family tour. Welcome, Sean.

✒︎

Thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today!

Composing a Family is the sixth book in the Mannies Incorporated series. And as I do one every year just before Christmas, that makes this the sixth year of them! I can’t believe it had been that long, but at the same time, it feels like I’ve always been doing them.

I love coming back to the series every year and finding new fathers and mannies who need to be together to make their families complete. Whether there is one kid or eight, or anything in between, the men and the kids come together to be a whole, a complete unit. I hope I can keep coming up with new men and situations for them.

These stories are gentle and sweet, and a nice contrast to the BDSM series that I write. They help me have a rounded “writing meal”, so to speak.

In Composing a Family, Daniel knows he wants a family and did the research, hired the surrogate, and wound up with more than he’d bargained for when it turned out there were triplets on the way. He’s in over his head and he knows it. I don’t think he believes he can actually do this until he’s in the middle of doing it -trial by fire!

One of the neat things about the book is that there are two generations of mannies involved. Daniel’s own manny is still in the picture and I loved how Tenor and Matt got along – they had a common bond right off the bat. And it amused me that Daniel wound up hiring a manny for his own children who was reminiscent of his own manny.

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I liked writing it! Please see the excerpt below for a bit of a tease.

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything

Blurb:

Tenor Abriole has just finished his stint as nanny for the Wilsons. He was with the family for twenty-one years, ever since he was eighteen. Now he’s looking for a new family, but finding that at thirty-nine, many people think he’s too old, and those who don’t think that’s a problem are balking at the fact that he’s a man, or that he’s gay, or both. He finally turns to Mannies Inc. for help finding a new position.

Daniel Thorpe is a well-known composer who lives and breathes music. He very much wants to be a father, so he goes the surrogate route, and winds up with triplets on the way. He turns to Mannies Inc. well before his girls are born, but so far has not been happy with any of the men who have applied, until Tenor shows up for an interview. Tenor’s experience being nanny to five children, as well as the fact that he stayed with a single family that long are both pluses in Daniel’s book.

Could it be that Tenor is the last note Daniel needs to compose his greatest work yet – his family?


Excerpt:

“No, I love my work. I’m always in that space.”

“I love my work too, but I still like some time off.” He shrugged. “Whatever works for you, man. You do know that babies will screw with your schedule, eh?”

“Yeah. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be all party pooper.”

“Nah—if you need to get to bed, you need to get to bed. It was a good time, though, wasn’t it?” He offered Daniel a warm grin.

“It really, really was. I’d like to do it again if you would.”

He was more than pleased by the request. “Yeah, I definitely would.”

“Me too.” Daniel reached over and shook Ten’s hand.

A handshake? He used the connection to tug Daniel toward him and gave him a hug, a good, long one. Daniel took a deep breath, then hugged him back.

The guy was more solid than he looked and he was a better hugger than Ten had anticipated. He approved. Ten liked the contrast between Daniel’s delicate appearance and his hidden strength.

He realized suddenly that he’d been hugging his boss for far too long and he wasn’t sure how to let go without it being super awkward.

It then became apparent Daniel was asleep, breathing slow and easy, resting against him. Oh man, that was… really kind of adorable, actually.

He moved slowly, managing to get Daniel back onto the love seat without waking him up. Then he draped a cover over him. He hoped it wasn’t too uncomfortable for Daniel, what with the way his feet were hanging over the edge of the seat, but the only other solution was putting Daniel in his bed, and even though it was huge, he didn’t think it was a great idea. He wanted to keep this job.

Daniel settled in with a soft little sigh.

He fought the urge to kiss Daniel’s forehead, but he did whisper, “Good night, dear prince,” before moving into his room and going to bed.

About the Author

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web: