A MelanieM Review:Strike a Chord (Replay #4) by K.M. Neuhold

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

“You want to fake date me?”

Music is my life, my band is my heart and soul, and it’s all falling apart before my eyes.

A plan hatched from desperation as we both watch our careers burn down around us. Dating my best friend’s twin brother, Paris, who just so happens to be a gay icon at the moment seems like the perfect plan. And if we have a little fun along the way, where’s the harm in that? The band is spiraling, his football career is going up in flames, and the more the world falls down around us, the easier it is to get lost in each other.

But are stolen moments during our own busy schedules and hurried kisses hidden behind social media posts the basis for a real relationship, or is this just another thing that’s going to turn to dust in our hands?

**Strike a Chord is the fourth and final book in the Replay series. This series can be read in any order.

Tying up a series can always be a tricky business, especially if the series has rested its foundation on more than one couple.  In this case, its a band. K.M. Neuhold has stretched the arc over five books.  One a foundation story called Rock Bottom which shows the band Downward Spiral on the edge of imploding due to the personal problems of some of the band members after years of being together and incredible success. After that each band member gets their own story (which I have listed at the bottom of this review).  We see the band, their rise, each person’s demon’s and the SO, the relationship, the issues, and finally how it’s resolved for a HEA for that couple.  But the future of the band?  That’s left to this story and so is Benji, the last band member to get his HEA.

Strike a Chord (Replay #4) by K.M. Neuhold finally gets around to Benji, the “good” member of Downward Spiral, the one that can always be counted on not to bring the drama or any trouble, the stable one.  I am thrilled that Benji finally gets his time in the spotlight, his time to shine because he so deserves it.  Often the lowkey one in all the other stories, here Benji gets to take the stage and oh, my, how he takes command.

With his long flowing hair, elvish beauty, and lean body, Benji is gorgeous although in high school Paris initially thought mistook him for a pretty girl.  From the back at a locker in the hallway.    But that was the last time.  Then Benji turned around and Paris was lost.  And confused and totally in the closet until years later in the NFL.  Not so his twin brother Landon and Benji’s best friend also since high school.   Those two came out together, were inseparable until Benji and his band left for the road and success.

Strike a Chord begins with both men arriving almost at the same place in their careers and both dreading the future.  Benji believing his band will lose their contract and break up because of the deep personal issues of the others, including one back in the hospital and Paris ending his football career because of an injury and his age.  Neither knows exactly what is ahead of them or how to handle it.  Going home seems like the only answer for both.

The characterizations are quiet and fully realized.  I say quiet because while they lack the huge drama and specific medical or addiction issues of the others, the qualities of these men are no less compelling and real because they aren’t as angst driven as rest.  What starts off as a way to keep both men in the media while they figure out what happens next to themselves and their careers and lives becomes a believable and real relationship readers connect with.  It’s backed up by years of history between them so no case of instant love exists here. No, in fact the opposite exists, that both men have been in love with each other since high school and now, finally, get their chance at love and HEA.  After clearing up quite a few misconceptions and misunderstandings of course.

I enjoyed the Christmas family scenes (both families), the snow and the escape to the island paradise.  It was all so lovely and heartwarming. Just the delicious reconnection between them all over again?  Oh my word!   I read several passages over and over for the sweetness and the hotness combined.

The ending and the wrapup is everything I hoped for.  Sexy, all inclusive with all the band and their mates involved and happy ever after for all.  Every loose end tied up with a bow.  And awaiting some rice!  Yes, color me happy and recommending this book and this series.

If you love rock stars on a search for HEA, grab up this series.  Each member is very different and offers something for everyone as does their mate and storyline.  But I promise you each and every one gets their HEA and its a wonderful journey to take with them all the way to the end.  I loved every page of it.

Cover art is just not something I liked.  That’s not either mc.  Paris is a big brawny football player.  Benji?  Long flowing gold hair that is often up in a main bun, thin elvish gorgeous face and long, lean body.  Uh, no.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 216 pages
Published May 14th 2019
Edition Language English
Series Replay #4

Replay Series with links to Goodreads:

Rock Bottom meet the band

Face the Music #1 Lincoln

Play it by Ear #2 Lando

Beat of Their Own Drum #3 Jude

Strike a Chord #4 Benji and the series finale

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: By Way of Pain – Criminal Delights: Assassins by J.M. Dabney

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is part of the Criminal Delights series, which are standalones by different authors revolving around dark themes. Pay attention to the trigger warnings. This book is about a lawyer named Cowan Kingley, who is a hired assassin. The reader sees him at different ages to establish him as not quite right, and much of the book is in his first person POV. The reader also gets the first person POV of the man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and ends up kidnapped instead of killed. The key here is the why of it. What would make an assassin not kill a witness right away?

The warnings say dubcon, but I would say this is noncon. The Stockholm Syndrome contributes to the confusion. As a virgin with no experience, the captive has never had the chance to find out what he likes. Once Conway starts with the humiliation, whipping, spanking, choking, and breath play…his captive realizes he likes it. I don’t think this will convince anyone who isn’t predisposed to liking this sort of book. The book really has two acts. The first half is more intimate with just the two of them. The second half has John Wick style action sequences. While the whole book is actually effective, well written, and way more entertaining than it should be with a satisfying conclusion…there is a major issue.

Although Conway thinks of himself as a sociopath and has studied human psychology, I can’t agree since he is able to become obsessed, possessive, and caring–genuinely caring as the reader knows his POV–towards his captive. In the thank you note at the end, the author calls him a psychopath. These are not interchangeable words; they are two different things. One lacks empathy and the other lacks conscience, but neither would care about anyone else, let alone fall in love. This is the downfall of the book. If you are willing to ignore clinical definitions of these mental illnesses and suspend disbelief, it is well done for what it is.

The cover by was done by Natasha Snow. The covers of the whole series are stylized and match

Sales Links:  Amazon | Universal Link: books2read.com/CriminalDelights-Pain

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 166 pages
Published May 20th 2019 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC
Edition Language English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Chef vs Chef (Sizzling in the Kitchen #2) by M.J. O’Shea

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

We first met Bobby Diaz in book one, Chef in the Wild, as Baldwin Powell’s sous chef. Bobby now has his chance to leave the mad world of the Manhattan restaurant business when Baldwin offers him the opportunity to help run his new restaurant in Montpelier, Vermont. But what Bobby doesn’t know is that Baldwin also offered his cousin Cal an opportunity to help run the restaurant while Baldwin is away filming a new chef show in the city. 

Two chefs + one kitchen = disaster in the making. Well, at first it does, and then Bobby realizes what a prima donna he’s being and decides to relax and just be himself. And “himself” is a happy, humorous, laidback kind of guy. And once he does, Cal falls head over heels for him and vice versa. That’s a simplified way of summarizing this nice MM romance that slowly builds from enemies to lovers, to friends, to romantic relationship. The complicated world the author builds makes for interesting, humorous, and heartwarming reading. The secondary characters, including Baldwin’s family, the owner of the bakery café, and even the dastardly rival chef, are all well-developed and realistic.

The principal secondary characters in this book were the MCs in book one and their story here intrigued me so much I had to go back and grab book one to read their love story. That’s now been devoured, too, so I can honestly say this series is MJ O’Shea romance at it’s best. No one does small town romance as well. From the moment I first read Coming Home and the rest of the Rock Bay series, she’s been among my favorites and these stories gave me similar warm and fuzzy feels. My heart is happy. Highly recommended.

Cover by LC Chase features a good-looking bearded man, wearing T-shirt and jeans set against a bright background. I assume this is Bobby and he definitely attracted my attention.

Buy Links: 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 167 pages
Published June 4th 2019
Edition Language English
SeriesSizzling in the Kitchen #2

An Alisa Review: Azaran (Brotherhood of Ormarr #1) by Jacki James

Rating:  4 stars out of 5


I was born a dragon rider. A member of the Brotherhood of Ormarr, son of Cadmar, and the eldest of four sons. I was raised to defend the innocent and protect the secret of the dragons, but when I was eighteen, my parents were brutally murdered and the training and care of my brothers fell to me. My entire adult life has been spent helping my brothers grow into the strong, brave dragon riders they were born to be. Now that the youngest of my brothers is close to adulthood, the last thing I need is someone else to worry about—someone else to be responsible for. If only the handsome doctor fate had chosen for my mate wasn’t so perfect for me.


AlI I ever wanted was to help people, that’s why I became a doctor, but I quickly learned that modern medicine was more about the all-mighty dollar and less about saving lives. It wasn’t long before I was doubting my life choices. A vacation to the ocean was supposed to leave me refreshed and ready to get back to work, but instead, I found myself pulled into a world I never knew existed. A world where dragons are real, men fight like medieval warriors, and my soulmate has his very own bat cave. Azaran thinks the last thing he needs is a mate to worry about. Good thing I don’t need anyone to take care of me. My sexy dragon rider, on the other hand, needs someone to take care of him, and I think I’m just the man to do it.

Azaran is the first book in The Brotherhood of Ormarr series. While each book focuses on a different couple, the overall story arc continues in the next installment. For maximum enjoyment, we suggest reading in order. Azaran is a m/m romance, and is recommended for adults 18 years and older.

This was a nice start to a new series but as they often do there was a bit of the book spent on world building.  There were some little questions I still had at the end but there is the hope that they will be answered in the other books.  I loved these dragons, they are adorable and I think it is fascinating how they can shift into different forms and how different each dragon seems to be.

I really liked Toby, he is so sweet and really just wants to help people.  I hate seeing that he was being stifled in his job and then when Azaram was ignoring him.  Now, unfortunately Azaran didn’t do much to improve my opinion of him throughout the story.  I could see that he is dedicated to his family and what they do as dragon riders but I hated his assumption that a mate would be more work for him and how he continued to hurt Toby with his actions and I had a lot of trouble accepting his sudden flip of feelings towards Toby that finally got them together.  It seems there connection is solid but it was just one of those times where one action just doesn’t out weight the others.

The cover art by Jay Aheer is great and I love the picture of Sindri in her warrior form.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 139 pages

Publication: May 20, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Brotherhood of Ormarr #1

TOUR Malachite (Brotherhood of Ormarr #4) by Michele Notaro and Sammi Cee (excerpt and giveaway)



I have a wonderful life. I have no room to complain; between my brothers and their new mates, this is the most alive our home has felt since my parents died. Unfortunately, all of them being mated is making me miserable. When it was just the four of us, it was us against the world. Now they’re paired up and it’s only me and my dragon, Kesia. Until I happen to walk into the Overlord’s Lair and I see him: Quentin. Mine. Mate. As much as I want to win him over without telling him I’m a dragon rider and we’re mates—which I know he’d love—I’m not sure I can. The minute I’m around him I act like an idiot.


Every time the goofy guy walks into my store, he brightens my day, and I look forward to his daily visits. There’s just something about him that draws me to him, to the point he leaves me pining after him the moment he’s gone. But the thing is, I can tell he’s hiding something, and my wild imagination is coming up with the craziest explanations of the secrets he’s keeping. Maybe he’s a vampire that’s come to whisk me away—ridiculous, right? But a guy can dream. And I’ve definitely been dreaming of that big, muscular man wrapping me in his arms at night.

Malachite is the final book in The Brotherhood of Ormarr series. While each book focuses on a different couple, the overall story arc concludes in this installment. For maximum enjoyment, we suggest reading in order. Malachite is a m/m romance, and is recommended for adults 18 years and older.

Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Goodreads

About the Series:

SERIES Brotherhood of Ormarr

Being a dragon rider for the Brotherhood of Ormarr is filled with adventure, but danger can lurk behind every corner with the Order of Amsel set out to destroy the riders. Azaran, Zale, Eeli, and Malachite have spent their whole lives training, but will it be enough?

The brothers lost their parents years ago to assassins, but they’ve never been able to figure out who was behind the attack. Follow the journey of these dragon riders, along with their faithful dragons, as they find their mates and discover clues that will lead to the final epic showdown.

The Brotherhood of Ormarr series consists of four books, each with its own HEA. While each book focuses on a different couple, the overall story arc continues into the next installment. For maximum enjoyment, we suggest reading in order. This is a m/m romance series, and is recommended for adults 18 years and older.

Other Books in the Series:Azaran (book one) | Zale (book two) | Eeli (book three)


Sammi & Michele are giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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MEME1 - Eeli


The hot mound behind me moved a little, jostling me awake, and instead of being afraid of another body in bed with me, I felt safe enclosed in his arms. With my eyes still shut, I smiled and sunk back into Malachite. I was sandwiched between him and Gizmo, who was lying in front of me, pressing his body into my belly—though he seemed to be taking up a lot of room. My arms were under the blanket, and I could feel Gizmo on top of it, but I was hardly paying him any attention since I had a hunk of man meat behind me.

I scooted back into Malachite a little and he groaned, making me grin and open my eyes. The last thing I expected was to find giant bright green eyes staring at me. It only took a split-second to realize those eyes were attached to a face… a scaly face.

“Ahhh!” I yelled and jumped back, hearing an “Ow” behind me as I scrambled out of the covers and over top of Malachite’s huge body. “Wh-what is that?”

Malachite sat up, holding his nose, and looked at the scaly head. “Nice way to wake our mate up, Kesia.”

I glanced between him and the scaly thing as I ducked behind Malachite’s back, then realized he was rubbing his nose. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah. You’ve got a hard elbow.”

I winced. “I’m sorry.”

He grinned at me and dropped his hand. “No big deal, I just wasn’t expecting it.”

“Sorry.” He waved me away, and my gaze traveled over to the scaly head that hadn’t moved. “Is that thing real?”

He sighed. “I was hoping to maybe ease you into it, but yes, she’s real. This is Kesia, my dragon.”

I blinked at him, then looked at the scaly head and back at Malachite, sure he was playing a trick on me. “Did you say dragon?”

He smiled. “Yes.”

Squinting at him, still suspicious, I turned to the scaly head and leaned over Malachite with my finger stretched out. Right before I touched it, I paused. “Is it going to jump and scare the crap out of me?”

“No, she won’t hurt you.”

Frowning and fully prepared to jump off the bed, I poked the head in the middle of its snout. The thing huffed and opened its mouth, licking its lips. Snatching my hand back, I blinked at it. “Holy shit.” I moved the blanket and pillows that were surrounding it and discovered an entire body attached to the head. It was bright green with glossy wings and sparkling green scales. “Holy crap, Malachite. That’s really realistic. Where did you get it?”

He rubbed my upper back. “She’s real, Quentin.”

Shooting him a glance, I rolled my eyes. “You know I love fantasy stuff, especially dragons, so it’s not nice to pretend it’s real and get my hopes up if you’re only playing a trick on me.”

“Kesia,” he said quietly.

The green scaly dragon stood up on the bed and moved closer to me, and my eyes widened as I veered back in surprise. The freaking dragon stretched its head toward me, and I automatically leaned farther back, not believing what I was seeing. I leaned so far, I slipped off the bed and fell on my ass.

“Oh shit,” Malachite said as he reached for me. “Sorry, I didn’t think you’d fall or I would’ve caught—”

“Malachite!” I yelled, cutting him off. I looked at him with wide eyes and a huge smile. “There’s a fucking dragon in your bed!”

His eyebrows lifted a little, but he chuckled as he pulled me back up beside him. “Her name is Kesia, and she’s couldn’t wait to say hi. She was supposed to wait until I woke up and told you about her, but apparently, she was too impatient. She’s been dying to meet you.”

“She has?” I couldn’t take my eyes off the dragon’s beautiful, bright scales. She was bigger than the average dog with spikes down her back and her wings tucked in at the sides. “You promise you’re not playing a trick on me?”

He laughed. “I promise.”

The freaking dragon scooted closer to me again, then hesitantly leaned toward me. Slowly, I lifted my hand toward her and she pushed her snout into it. The moment my hand touched her scales, I gasped. She was surprisingly soft, and very obviously a real live fucking  dragon. “Holy shit,” I whispered, completely awed. “I’m touching a dragon.”

Author Bios

Sammi Cee was raised in a family of readers. Summer vacations consisted of a good book while sitting lakeside from as far back as she could remember. After growing up and having her own children, her appreciation of how the written word could transport you on an adventure, bring you to tears, or give you hope, took on a whole new meaning.

These days Sammi is watching her children develop into fine young ladies while doing the things she enjoys most: drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and writing her own stories.

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSammiCee/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/cee_sammi

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sammi_cee_author/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18471771.Sammi_Cee

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/sammicee

Michele Notaro is married to an awesome husband that puts up with her and all the characters in her head–and there are many. They live together in Baltimore, Maryland with their two young boys and two crazy dogs. She grew up dancing and swimming and taught dance–ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, & modern–for ten years before her kids came along. Now she stays home to write about the sexy men in her head and does PTA everything–as long as coffee is involved. Two other tattooed moms run the PTA with her, and though she wants to rip her hair out from it, she still loves it.

Author Website: https://notarobooks.com/

Author Facebook (Personal): http://bit.ly/2lMPlLk

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/author.notaro/

Author Instagram: https://instagram.com/michelenotaro.author

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16187122.Michele_Notaro

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/michelenotaro

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Love LGBT SciFi? Check Out the Tour for Tales From Ardulum by JS Fields

Tales from Ardulum

J.S. Fields has a new FF sci fi book out: Tales From Ardulum.

One year after saving the Neek homeworld and redefining the people’s religion, the crew of the Scarlet Lucidity returns to the Charted Systems for a much-needed break. For Nicholas and Yorden, the Systems will always be home, but for Emn and Atalant, too many memories compound with Emn’s strange new illness to provide much relaxation.

TALES FROM ARDULUM continues the journey of Atalant, Emn, Yorden, Nicholas, and Salice as they try to define their place in a galaxy that no longer needs them while battling the artifacts of Ardulan colonization. Other stories include Yorden’s acquisition of the Mercy’s Pledge (and his grudge against the galaxy), Atalant’s exile from her homeworld, Ekimet and Savath’s romance, and many others.

Series Blurb:

The ARDULUM series blends space opera and hard science into a story about two women persistently bound to their past, and a sentient planet determined to shape their future.

Get It On Amazon


J.S. Fields is giving away four prizes with this tour: a collectible soft enamel pin of the Mercy’s Pledge (2), and a high res version of one of the interior illustrations (their choice, pick from Yorden, Nick, Emn, or Atalant) (2). Enter via Rafflecopter:

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Tales From Ardulum meme

“She is nothing, anymore,” the president responded. “She is Exile.”

“You can’t!” Neek burst towards the door just as it slammed closed. She rebounded and fell back to the floor, her tailbone taking the brunt of the fall. The ship’s engines began to whine, and the floor jostled as the craft left the surface.

Neek ran to the controls and slammed her hands on the stuk interface. Through the viewscreen, she saw capital buildings, the Ardulan Temple, and then treetops as the skiff left the city and moved to the suburbs. She tapped command after command into the computer, but each try brought an angry beep and no change in course. The ship was on autopilot and password locked. She had no control.

Neek swallowed, trying to ease the ache in her throat. Wherever they stashed her, she would find a comm. She would smuggle out handwritten messages if she had to. She wasn’t going to give up. That she had lost the robes, lost the Guard…she could mourn that in time. Saving the forests, that was her job. Helping her people move beyond Ardulum so they could truly participate in the Charted Systems, that was why she did all this, right? That she loved piloting was just a bonus.


A low tremble went through the ship. Neek had never felt a skiff do that before. Had she lucked out? Was it malfunctioning? Neek sent another query to the computer. The ship was…

Neek blinked. It couldn’t be.

The ship was going up.

Neek frantically queried the computer. The viewscreen still showed treetops, but that silo in the distance…that had been there the first time she’d looked. It had seemed closer for a while, but now, she realized as she squinted, it was far away again. She was watching a prerecorded loop!

“No!” The skiff was clearly going up. Neek’s ears were popping, and there was a funny feeling in her gut. Her planet’s skiffs were not designed to leave even the lower atmosphere. Only settees could do that, and this was no settee. Whatever the president’s engineers had done to make it spaceworthy, it hadn’t been nearly enough.

Neek threw commands at the computer. Land. Coast. Glide. STOP.Each returned with a ping and the perpetual image of treetops. He couldn’t do this. He had no right to do this! What in Ardulum’s name was the president thinking? Neek pounded at the controls, and the recorded loop fuzzed out to reveal space. Endless space.

Text scrolled across the computer screen:

Hours of air left: 233

Gallons of water remaining: 2

Food rations available: none

Communication systems: disabled

Destination: high orbit around planet Neek

Entertainment options: one video available of Heaven Guard airshow #4194, highlighting the double barrel rolls of Guard Four; all Neek holy texts available

Neek screamed. She kicked the console, her boot denting the cheap biometal. The Neek did not leave their planet. They did not live on space stations or strange worlds. They stayed put, to wait for Ardulum’s return. And she…she was meant to rotup here, in Neek space—rot while watching a planet she could see but never again touch. Rot while the Heaven Guard executed flawless formations in Neek’s upper atmosphere, ignoring her gold coffin spinning by. Rot while reading texts she’d had shoved down her throat since she was old enough to read—texts that were slowly destroying her planet.


She would never get her settee.

She was only nineteen years old, and she was going to die, alone, in space.

And there was nothing she could do.

Author Bio

J.S. Fields (@Galactoglucoman) is a scientist who has perhaps spent too much time around organic solvents. They enjoy roller derby, woodturning, making chainmail by hand, and cultivating fungi in the backs of minivans. Nonbinary, and yes, it matters.

Fields has lived in Thailand, Ireland, Canada, USA, and spent extensive time in many more places. Their current research takes them to the Peruvian Amazon rainforest each summer, where they traumatizes students with machetes and tangarana ants while looking for rare pigmenting fungi. They live with their partner and child, and a very fabulous lionhead rabbit named Merlin.

Author Website: http://www.jsfieldsbooks.com

Author Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/galactoglucoman

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16484795.J_S_Fields

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-s-fields/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.S.-Fields/e/B071YWC4VN

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Check Out the Review Tour and Giveaway for Chef vs Chef (Sizzling in the Kitchen #2) by M.J. O’Shea


Buy Links: 
Cover Design: L.C. Chase
Sizzling In The Kitchen Series
Book #1 – Chef In The Wild – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Bobby Diaz has worked his whole life to get where he is – running a restaurant with his two closest friends, no boss, and generally content. When his best friend Baldwin gets the gig of a lifetime, he asks Bobby to take over the restaurant while he’s gone. He’ll miss his friend, but he’s excited to put himself to the test. He can’t believe he’s getting the chance to finally run his own kitchen.

Cal Mayer is thirty and starting over. His last relationship was a failure. His job went down the drain. So when his cousin Pete, a.k.a Baldwin Powell celebrity chef, offers him a gig in his restaurant, he can’t help but to jump at the offer to reinvent himself.

Bobby and Cal don’t exactly hit it off—to put it lightly. Bobby resents getting Cal dumped in his lap. Cal doesn’t appreciate Bobby’s frosty attitude. They’re stuck together day and night, and their chemistry is undeniable… but will it be sweet summer love or a case of too many chefs in the kitchen?

 Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here, we highly recommend it.

MJ O’Shea has never met a music festival, paintbrush, or flower crown she can stay away from. She loves rainstorms and a perfect cup of tea, beach days, music, bright colors, and more than anything a cozy evening with a really great book.

She is from the Pacific Northwest. While she still lives there and loves it, MJ has the heart of a wanderer. So she puts all her dreams of far off places and extraordinary people in her books.

Except for every once in a while when she does what all travelers have to do on occasion… come home.

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