A MelanieM Release Day Review: A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Seeing the truth and falling in love.

Dustin Robbins-Grayson was a surly adolescent when Quinlan Gregory started the nanny gig. After a rocky start, he grew into Quinlan’s friend and confidant—and a damned sexy man.

At twenty-one, Dusty sees how Quinlan sacrificed his own life and desires to care for Dusty’s family. He’s ready to claim Quinlan—he’s never met a kinder, more capable, more lovable man. Or a lonelier one. Quinlan has spent his life as the stranger on the edge of the photograph, but Dusty wants Quinlan to be the center of his world. First he has to convince Quinlan he’s an adult, their love is real, and Quinlan can be more than a friend and caregiver. Can he show Quin that he deserves to be both a man and a lover, and that in Dusty’s eyes, he’s never been “just the manny?

Well, now I can say it. A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane is my absolute favorite in the Mannies series.  Yes, yes, I know I’ve said that before.  But this time its true.  This is my favorite story.  Reading this novel is like being enveloped is large, welcoming mommy arms or walking in the door home and getting the welcome you always dreamed about from the family you  always wanted.

And yes, this tale is exactly why I  blather on and on about the necessity of writing, and establishing an amazing cast of supporting or “secondary” characters.  Not that any characters here could  ever be called that. Nope.  From the smallest person, tyke or kitty, to the most imposing. No matter how much time they spend on the page, their impression they make as part of the extended family on Quinlan and the reader is indelible.    There is no way to measure that out be it Wainscott or Nutbar, Jacob or Keenan.  We need them all exactly as they are.

This is a story to make you cry and sooth your heart.  Often at once.  For Quinlan is a broken young man who happens to fall into the family that will adopt, accept, and love him. Permanently.  Here you get the entire progression.  From Quinlan in the band, to his acceptance as the manny on the edge of family life, to watching as he get’s slowly pulled into the middle without his knowledge, the love flowing over and around him, like a healing balm.

As Dusty grows up and waits for him to realize that as well.

I may just start crying all over again.  Damn book.  Amy Lane gets me every time here.

There’s so much more here to this story.  Babies, kitties, a serious illness, a crappy mom, lots of real life stuff going on and its all done beautifully in perfect Amy Lane fashion.

Trust me on this one.  Just pick this book up and watch a fragile young man heal and fall in love.

Of course, the whole extended  Robbins-Grayson family gets assembled in books 1 through 3 so you really need to read those as well to get acquainted with everyone.  They are just as outstanding plus you get to meet all the others first.  Win win.  I listed them all below.  Read the entire series.  It’s one I highly recommend.  Just don’t forget to keep that box of tissues handy!

The cover by Bree Archer, wasn’t exactly my idea of Dusty physically but the emotions come through.  The style brands the series perfectly.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 230 pages
Expected publication: July 17th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleA Fool and His Manny
ISBN139781640805040
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Mannies #4

ISBN139781640805040
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Mannies #4

The Virgin Manny

Manny Get Your Guy

Stand By Your Manny

A Fool and His Manny

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Soul Bond by JS Harker

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Stealing his heart.

As a thief and a warlock, Noah survives by using his wit and charm to prey on the privileged. His dangerous criminal boss wants an enchanted dagger belonging to a family of wealthy mages, including their pampered—but handsome—son, Ben. Failing to complete the job will be hazardous to Noah’s survival.

Noah bumps into Ben at a lavish party, and as soon as they meet, the connection’s undeniable, and it goes much further than ordinary attraction. Their bond reaches into their souls, entwining and changing their magic.

Which Noah thinks he can use to get to the dagger. After all, he isn’t sure this soul bond Ben seems so obsessed with is even real.

He also doesn’t count on being caught red-handed…. Or falling in love.

Soul Bonds by J.S. Harker is another first for me.  New story by a new author, something I have always enjoyed.  It was a easy tale to dive into, starting immediately with its great characters and intriguing plot.  Thieves and warlocks?  Fae and wizards?  A divided society and tight social strata?  All great elements and Harker combined them to wonderful effect here.

On one side is our thief, Noah. He’s on the job to steal a special dagger at the fancy ball when we first meet him.  He moving through the crowd and his plan, sharp, furtive, and totally appealing in every way.  I’m on his side from the get go, and its totally due to his engaging personality.  I’m totally drawn into his situation and Noah.

The introduction of Ben, that dash of sex, danger, and high society comes shortly after.  And starts ramping up the action and suspense. As well as adding in the element of the soul bond.

Harker has many layers to her story.  The divided society, the line between warlock and mage, the history which also includes that of the soul bond.  Its enough for a series in order to completely round out the world building.  It’s too much really for one book to carry here.

Ben’s side gets most of the history background.  The top families unification, their tight control via marriage and powers, governing etc.  On the wild, poor side which is Noah?  Not so much.  How the warlocks were left out in the cold so to speak and how their loose associations came to be is never addressed. Which is a shame becaise I found that side  highly interesting considering the part they play in the story…which is huge.

It’s as though there is this huge gap in the narrative where back histories for Noah’s friends and colleagues belong.  It’s noticeable because they make such an impact.

I did like how the soul bond link was instigated…those flashes of power.  Neat touches all and the uses found throughout the storyline.

The development of the romance between Noah and Ben worked, because  despite all Noah’s lies (constantly), Ben accepted that there was more going on under the surface and continued to press forward.  And Noah too struggled against his past, his poor judgement and present entanglements to have faith n Ben.  I really liked it.

I guess it was that ending that I wished has more substance.  It just sort of ended with no real conclusion as to what the parties would do next.  And I like a definitive solution with the villains and didn’t get that either.

I could really see this turned into a series very easily.  I hope the author returns to it after a while.  I’ll be right in line to pick up that release.

The cover art by Aaron Anderson is nice and I liked the visual of Noah.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 208 pages

Published: July 17, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-593-4

Edition Language: English

Series: Dreamspun Beyond

An Alisa Release Day Review: Soul Bond by JS Harker

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Stealing his heart.

As a thief and a warlock, Noah survives by using his wit and charm to prey on the privileged. His dangerous criminal boss wants an enchanted dagger belonging to a family of wealthy mages, including their pampered—but handsome—son, Ben. Failing to complete the job will be hazardous to Noah’s survival.

Noah bumps into Ben at a lavish party, and as soon as they meet, the connection’s undeniable, and it goes much further than ordinary attraction. Their bond reaches into their souls, entwining and changing their magic.

Which Noah thinks he can use to get to the dagger. After all, he isn’t sure this soul bond Ben seems so obsessed with is even real.

He also doesn’t count on being caught red-handed…. Or falling in love.

I really liked this story.  Noah has had to survive on his own for a long time and that causes him to take a bit too big of a risk.  Ben has been looking for his soul bond forever and refuses to settle for anything less than true love.

Noah tries to deny the connection between himself and Ben but every time they are near each other it continues to grow stronger.  Ben jumps in with both feet determined that Noah has to feel the same as him even if he doesn’t say so.  I liked getting to know these characters through their telling of the story.

I really liked how the soul bond connection worked with these characters and how it drew them together.  When Noah didn’t know what to do Ben jumped in to help but it was Noah actually relying on his community that helped them the most.  I felt as though there was quite a bit of background I was missing for this story,  I don’t know how the warlocks and mages got to the point that they were at but the class system they had going on didn’t seem to be working all that well.  I think this story begins to set up a nice world for a series and it would be nice to see what the events of this book does to their lives.

The cover art by Aaron Anderson is nice and I liked the visual of Noah.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 208 pages

Published: July 17, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-593-4

Edition Language: English

Series: Dreamspun Beyond

Tia Fielding on Writing, Major Influences, and her new story ‘Like Breathing by Tia Fielding’ (guest blog)

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Like Breathing by Tia Fielding 

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Buy links for Dreamspinner Press eBook and  Paperback |    Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Tia Fielding here today sharing her thoughts on writing, characters and her latest novel, Like Breathing.  Welcome, Tia.

♦︎

 

Hi, I’m Tia Fielding, and I’m here to answer a few interview questions for you guys!

If I want to use an example, I’ll use one from my July 10th release, Like Breathing, so in case you’re picking it up, you will see what I mean in my answers here.

How much of yourself goes into a character?

I guess there will always be some similarities between my characters and I. In Like Breathing, Dev is a gamer like I am. Seth is oblivious to certain things, much like me. He likes his routines, and even though I’m not quite as anal as Seth can be, I’ve my routines too. Leaf… well, Leaf’s love for dogs and his loyalty to the people he loves is something I identify with. Also when I’m writing about Dev and Seth’s anxiety issues, I know that’s something I have too much experience with.

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

I think some things are universal. Some characteristics are common between people from similar life situations and backgrounds. Not every character can be unique, because we all share experiences as people. I will say, however, that I hope my characters come across much more interesting than me as a person!

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I tend to like things I can research, mostly because I’m Finnish and I’ve lived in Finland my whole life. My stories are mostly set in the States, so the geographical location alone makes me have to research quite a bit, just to make it all sound plausible, if not 100% accurate! I’d love to write something sci-fi one day, or maybe something futuristic in a different way, but it does sound quite daunting for someone with my anxiety issues!

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

No, not really. Well… I did read a lot of contemporary stories then, but my love was fantasy, and I don’t really like to write fantasy at all.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

I have, if it has become too heavy for me to write at that moment. Or if I feel like I don’t have the right words to use about something heavy. I tend to write angsty stories, but they never get to the point of angst I think they will, mostly because while I love to read angst, I’m afraid of not pulling it off as a writer. Conflicts in my stories, whatever they might be, are always resolved pretty quickly.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I read a lot of gay romance, yes. I grew up reading fantasy, but Catherine Cookson was one of my favorites even in my teens, and she wrote (mostly historical) romances. There’s just certain type of escape that comes from reading romance, back then and now, too.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

I don’t think I’ve taken any direct influence, at least not on purpose, from anyone, but some of my favorite authors I’ve admired for different reasons growing up and now are David and Leigh Eddings, Neil Gaiman, Catherine Cookson, Donna Tartt, Karin Slaughter, Astrid Lindgren, Tove Jansson, and a handful of Finnish authors, just to mention a few!

 

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

Somewhere calm. I love to write here at home at my own desk, on my big computer screen. I have ADHD, so it’s easy for me to have those “ooh, squirrel!” moments, and I’ve figured out a way that helps me write despite those. What I do, is that I have my manuscript on half my screen, and the other half is for, say a Netflix show. Then, whenever my mind tries to wander off somewhere, I click play on the show and let it run until my concentration gets back to me. Sometimes it’s ten seconds (honestly) and sometimes twenty minutes or something in between, but it works. It literally makes me able to write on the days when my ADHD is trying to kick my brain’s butt!

 

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To wide our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write because I have to. It’s a part of me. I write to tell stories I want feel like telling at any given time, and I can just hope someone will enjoy them one they’re out there for everyone to read. If my stories give even a temporary escape from the madness that’s going on in the world or someone’s personal life, it’s the greatest gift I can get as a writer.

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

I’m starting a new series! It’s going to be set in Brighton, England, and well, let’s hope I can get it out of my head and to you guys, eventually!

Thanks so much for having me, and hope you enjoy your summer reading, whatever it might be!

Blurb:

A love as easy as breathing.

Life started out rocky for Devin Rice, but it’s turned out pretty well. He has adoptive parents and a brother who love him, and he works as a coder for his dad’s video game company. Romance is scarce, but a chance encounter leads to more than he ever expected.

While dropping off an assignment for his sick brother, Dev meets his mentor. Art history professor Seth Kent is brilliant and gorgeous, just what Dev has been looking for. Except that he’s in a long-term committed relationship.

Seth’s partner, Leaf, is older and sees the world differently due to his unusual upbringing. To him, the clear attraction between Seth and Dev isn’t a problem, it’s an unexpected gift. After all, Leaf is often on the road, going wherever rescue dogs need rehabilitation.

When Leaf meets Dev, all the missing pieces fall into place, and three men from different worlds and at different points in life fill each other’s empty spaces. For them, building a future together is the most natural thing in the world. But their unconventional love causes waves in their careers and family dynamics, and each man has his own doubts and fears to overcome.

About the Author

Tia Fielding is a thirtysomething Scandinavian who is a lover of witty people, words, cats, sarcasm, autumn, and the tiny beautiful things in life. Tia struggles with stubborn muses and depression, but both are things she has learned to live with. Tia identifies as genderqueer, but isn’t strict about pronouns. Why? Because luckily, in her native language there aren’t gender-specific pronouns. Being a reclusive author living with her fur-babies is another fact of life for Tia, among the need to write that seems to be a part of her psyche by now. In 2013 one of Tia’s novels was recognized by the industry’s Rainbow Awards in the Best LGBT Erotic Romance (Bobby Michaels Award) category.

Social media information:

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/authortiafielding

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/tiaf/

Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/tiafielding

JS Harker on Romance, Writing, and her new release Soul Bond (author guest blog)

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Soul Bond by J.S. Harker
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon  | Barnes and Noble  | 

Kobo  | iBooks   |   Google Play 

 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have JS Harker here today talking about their new release Soul Bond, from Dreamspun Beyond series at Dreamspinner Press.  Welcome, JS.

♦︎

Hey there, I’m JS Harker. I’m on my first blog tour ever for my book Soul Bond and I’m thrilled it’s release day! Getting published has been a dream for a long time and I’m in a bit of shock I finally get to say those magic words. I thought I’d answer a few interview questions so you could get to know a little bit more about me.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I started reading romances a few years ago. I will totally own up to being one of those people who didn’t see the awesomeness of the genre for a long time. I have a degree in English which only focused on Literature, and my college friends were snobs about what was “art” and therefore worthy of time and discussion. Romance wasn’t really encouraged. I came to the genre through fanfic after college. A majority of fanfic seems like it should be considered a Romance subgenre, and I realized I liked reading and writing about people falling in love. The last few years, I’ve needed a place where I can reliably find hope. Romances are great at that.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Both! Both are good. I like reading a series, which usually means the ending is more of a HFN. If it’s a long, standalone novel, then I need it to have an HEA if it’s a romance. Stories should have satisfactory endings and for romance that means happy relationships.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

Media as a whole definitely plays a part in my writing. My projects tend to start as a reaction. I’ll see a trope overused or a plot device that agitates me and I just have to toy with it. With Soul Bond, part of the inspiration was the love at first sight trope combined with the fated mate trope. Choice doesn’t always get to be as big of a factor as it should be in those stories, so for this world there’s actually a range of magical compatibility. I wanted to see something different, and thus got inspired.

As for my style, I have to admit Joss Whedon and Buffy the Vampire Slayer played a major influence on how I learned to tell a story. There are some major flaws in his storytelling, especially concerning the treatment of women, but with BtVS and Angel the monsters were monsters and the heroes were heroes. A few characters were in more of a gray area (Spike and Faith come to mind). It was one of the first shows I truly loved and remember having feelings for. As an adult, I can look at it and see what I liked, but see what I wish was done better too.

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

Hidden intelligence. The way someone smiles and lights up when they get excited. The ability to empathize and listen, to understand. These main traits tend to get split between the protagonists of my stories. My plots tend to shy away from the miscommunication trope for that reason. In Soul Bond, Ben has most of these traits. But then I adore Noah because he lies to everyone in sight (and to himself). Mostly, people are most interesting when they’re being human and have a willingness to grow.

What’s next?

I have a few WIPs. I tend to bounce around until a character grabs me by the hand and leads me into their world. (Okay, in Noah’s case, he kept coming into my mind and crashing into a chair and going, “So let me tell you about my absolutely SHIT day.” He was pushy and demanding and I loved him for it. And as I’m finishing up this blog piece, another character is knocking at the door loudly.)

I am working with Dreamspinner on a holiday paranormal novel. A young man working holiday retail falls for one of the guys playing an elf at Santa’s workshop—who turns out to be an actual winter fey. It’s charming and sweet and if you’d asked me a few years ago, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to write it. I’m happy I challenged myself. The more I write and share my work, the more I see where I can grow and the more stories I want to try. Hopefully you’ll enjoy what I have to share!

Blurb:

Stealing his heart.

As a thief and a warlock, Noah survives by using his wit and charm to prey on the privileged. His dangerous criminal boss wants an enchanted dagger belonging to a family of wealthy mages, including their pampered—but handsome—son, Ben. Failing to complete the job will be hazardous to Noah’s survival.

Noah bumps into Ben at a lavish party, and as soon as they meet, the connection’s undeniable, and it goes much further than ordinary attraction. Their bond reaches into their souls, entwining and changing their magic.

Which Noah thinks he can use to get to the dagger. After all, he isn’t sure this soul bond Ben seems so obsessed with is even real.

He also doesn’t count on being caught red-handed…. Or falling in love.

About the Author

JS Harker loves stories. She was one of those kids who always had a book in her hands and spent many hours adventuring with her siblings. These days she wanders into her imaginary worlds and conjures up tales of magic, passion, and happily-ever-afters. She currently lives in the part of the Midwest that makes Tatooine look interesting by comparison (not that she’s ever obsessively thought about becoming a Jedi or anything).

Find me on social media:

www.jsharker.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/j_s_harker

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/js.harker.169

Audiobook Tour for Unscripted Love (Road to Blissville #1) by Aimee Nicole Walker (excerpt)

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 Unscripted Love Audio Tour Banner

UNSCRIPTED LOVE

Road to Blissville Series, Book 1

AIMEE NICOLE WALKER

M/M ROMANCE

AUDIO RELEASE: 05.29.18

 

Unscripted Love Audio Cover 

PHOTOGRAPHER: Wander Aguiar

COVER ARTIST:  Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art

Narrator: Joel Leslie

Listening Length: 8 hours and 49 minutes

UL Full Cover 

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2uzVnkV

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2tzosN1 

BLURB 

Kyle Vaughn had three goals in life: become a vet, find the man of his dreams, and start a family. He easily checked off the first item on the list when he took over his grandfather’s veterinary practice. Too bad he wasn’t as lucky in love.

Chaz Hamilton took a leap of faith when he decided to pursue a career in writing, but one best seller didn’t mean he could quit his day job. All work and no play threatened to make Chaz a very dull man when the only romantic action he saw was in the pages of his manuscript. Too bad he couldn’t write his own happily every after.

Circumstances pushed the two men together, and one magical kiss beneath fireworks and stars changed everything. Kyle knew his luck had finally turned around and Chaz found a man far better than any book boyfriend ever written. There was just one problem. Chaz has kept a secret from Kyle that could ruin their chance at a beautiful life together.

Kyle and Chaz learn that the best-laid plans often go awry, the heart has a mind of its own, and the greatest love is unscripted.

The books in the Road to Blissville series can be read either as standalone books or as part of the series. This book contains sexually explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 and older.

UL Teaser 4

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EXCERPT

“What’s wrong with Harry?” Dr. Vaughn aka Dr. Dimples, Dr. Do Me, and Dr. D asked me. Harry? No, I manscape to within an inch of my life. No wild bush with hairy man berries here! Dr. Vaughn narrowed his eyes and leaned toward me a little bit. I leaned back in surprise causing him to chuckle. “Stay still a second,” he said, “you have something in the corner of your eye.”

Dr. Vaughn cupped the left side of my face in his big, strong hand and gently worked something loose from my right eye. Hand to God I thought I was going to faint right then and there. I prayed hard that the trembling I felt was internal because I was nowhere close to being in the guy’s league. I saw the kind of man he dated, and I didn’t measure up—probably in more ways than one. In fact, I’d just seen him flirting with his ex-boyfriend in the damn lobby. I couldn’t blame him for wanting to climb the hunky detective, but I had a feeling that ship had long sailed. Detective Wyatt had his eyes set on my best friend Josh, who tried really hard to hide his mutual attraction to the man.

“There,” Dr. Vaughn said. He held his finger up to show me the eyelash he’d worked free from the corner of my eye. “Aren’t you supposed to make a wish and blow on it?”

Do me, Dr. Dimples. Do me, Dr. Dimples “Are we still talking about the eyelash?” I asked. I felt my face flame red with embarrassment when I realized what I’d said. Dr. Vaughn’s eyes widened as if maybe he imagined my lips wrapped around his cock, but that was probably wishful thinking on my part.

“Uhhh,” the normally unflappable man said.

For the life of me, I don’t know what made me do it. Perhaps it was his blown pupils or the racing pulse at his neck, but I wrapped my hand around his wrist and lowered my lips until they hovered over his finger with the eyelash. I kept my eyes locked on his while I gently blew on his finger. Dr. Vaughn swallowed hard then broke eye contact long enough to look down at his finger. A wide smile had bloomed across his face before he said, “Looks like you need to blow a little harder.”

Sure enough, my eyelash dangled from the tip of his finger. That little bastard was clinging to the sexy vet’s fingers for dear life. Dr. Vaughn cocked his eyebrow as if he dared me to do it again and I surely couldn’t back down after the stunt I pulled.

Aimee Logo

I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy

who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees.

I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever-after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.

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Joel Leslie/Narrator

Joel Leslie is a UK transplant, growing up with American parents in a British commonwealth.  A classically trained actor with an MFA in theatre from USC, he is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of American and British sounds.  His great range and ability to bring characters to life with honesty, wit and versatility delights producers and listeners alike.

He is proud to have a strong following with m/m listeners and an ongoing relationship with some of the finest writers in the genre.  He loves that every day he gets to share these beautiful, inspirational and empowering GLBT characters with the world.

His authors have praised him as “a narrator among narrators, a man whose ability to create different characters rests on the power of his voice and his impeccable delivery,” and a “true delight…” “his professionalism, good humor, and charm make him a dream to work with,” “Anyone else would only be second best”.

Joel has consistent access to his home studio for all production needs.  When not in the booth he spends his time chasing after two loquacious wiener dogs.

http://www.joelleslienarration.com/

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