Thursday, October 31, 2013

Excerpt & Book Tour: Wonderland - David-Matthew Barnes

David-Matthew Barnes

Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal/Romance/LGBT

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

ISBN: 978-1602827882

Number of pages: 181
Word Count: 49,000

Book Description:

Nominated for the American Library Association’s 2014 Rainbow Books!

After her mother loses her battle to cancer, fifteen-year-old Destiny Moore moves from Chicago to Avalon Cove, a mysterious island in South Carolina. There, she starts a new life working part-time as a magician's assistant and living with her eccentric uncle Fred and his hottie husband, Clark.

Destiny is soon befriended by two outcasts, Tasha Gordon and Topher McGentry. She accepts their invitation to accompany them to a place called Wonderland, a former boarding house owned by the enigmatic Adrianna Marveaux.

It's there that Destiny meets and falls in love with Dominic, Tasha becomes enamored with Juliet, and Topher gives his heart to Pablo.

When Destiny uncovers the reason she and her friends have really been brought to Wonderland, she's faced with the most crucial choice of her life.

An Excerpt from Wonderland by David-Matthew Barnes

A hand reached inside the tunnel. I almost screamed and clutched Topher’s arm, nearly crawling into his lap. Tasha kneeled down in the sand and poked her head inside.
            “The coast is clear,” she said. She straightened her yellow headband and motioned for us to get out of the tunnel. I slid out first. Tasha offered a hand and helped me up. I wiped the back of my skirt, hoping I didn’t have sand stuck to the back of my thighs.
            I’ll never wear a skirt again. At least not when I’m hanging out with these two.
            “How’d you get rid of ‘em this time?” Topher asked.
            “How do you think?” Tasha said. “I threatened to put a curse on them.”
            She nodded. “Of course. They still think I’m a witch.”
            Topher turned to me. “That reminds me,” he said. “Destiny, do you believe in magic?”
            I gave them both a look. “Okay,” I said, a hand on my hip. “What’s the deal? Why does everyone keep asking me that?”
            Tasha reached out and brushed a few strands of hair away from my eyes. “Because here,” she said, “you either believe in magic…or you don’t. Topher and I…we believe.”
            “We need to know where you stand,” Topher echoed.
            “Where I stand?” I repeated. “I’m standing on an island in South Carolina a thousand miles from home.”
            Topher slid his arm around my waist. He whispered into my ear, “That life is behind you now.”
            I started to cry, and felt like a complete idiot. “I know,” I said, with a small nod. “I can never go back.”
            “We know what you’ve been through,” Tasha said. She took my hand and placed it in hers. Her skin was as soft  and velvety as it looked. “We know about pain.”
            I looked around, worried people might be staring at three of us. The playground was empty. Except for the seagulls gliding in the air above.
            My voice cracked when I spoke. “I miss my mom,” I admitted. It was the first time I’d said the words. Just saying them made me cry even harder.
            Damn it. Stop crying. You’re such an idiot.
            “She misses you, too,” Tasha said, tightening her grip on my hand.
            “Soon everything will make sense,” Topher promised.
            I shook my head. “No…it won’t,” I said. “I don’t understand why she had to die.”
            “Because,” he said, “it brought you here to Avalon Cove.”
            “To us,” Tasha added. “Everything happens for a reason.”
            “You guys are being super sweet and I really appreciate that,” I said, “especially since you don’t even know me. I swear I’m not usually an emotional mess like this.”
            “We want to take you somewhere,” Topher said.
            “Okay,” I said. “But should I call my uncles first? Do either one of you have a cell phone I can borrow? I left mine in Chicago. I figured it was time for a fresh start. And a new phone.”
            “I promised Sir Frederic the Great I’d have you home by nine,” Tasha reminded me. “And you will be.”
            Tasha and Topher pulled away from me, stepping aside. They gave each other a strange look and started walking away, leaving the playground – and me-- behind.
I followed.
            “I only have one question,” I said, once I caught up with them.
            “You can ask us anything,” Topher said. “We have nothing to hide.”
            “Where exactly are we going?” I asked.
            Tasha smiled at me and said, “We’re taking you to Wonderland.”

About the Author:

David-Matthew Barnes is a filmmaker, novelist, playwright, poet, and teacher.

He is the award-winning author of nine novels including the young adult novels Swimming to Chicago and Wonderland, which were nominated by the American Library Association for their annual Rainbow Books, a list of quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content for children and teens. His literary work has appeared in over one hundred publications including The Best Stage Scenes, The Comstock Review, and The Southeast Review. He was selected by Kent State University as the national winner of the Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Award. In addition, he's received the Carrie McCray Literary Award, the Slam Boston Award for Best Play, and earned double awards for poetry and playwriting in the World AIDS Day Writing Contest.

Barnes is also the author of over forty stage plays that have been performed in three languages in eight countries. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and International Thriller Writers.

Barnes' first film was Frozen Stars, which he wrote and directed while still an undergrad in college. The coming-of-age independent film stars Lana Parrilla of ABC's Once Upon a Time.

Barnes earned a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. He has taught college courses in writing and the arts for the last decade.

He lives in the city of Denver where he serves as the CEO of Fairground CineFilms.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Giveaway & Book Blitz: Lessons Learned - Jillian Neal

Series: The Gifted Realm #2 
Book: Lessons Learned
Author: Jillian Neal 
Publication date: October 30th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Book Synopsis:
One, breathtakingly hot, passion-filled, night ignites a fire in his soul. Everything in his world should be nothing short of perfection…but he is Rainer Lawson.

His wild evening with Emily is the Realm’s front-page story. Could he have lost the respect of the man that has been like a father to him? Could his family’s hard-earned fortune really dissolve before his very eyes?

Evil rapidly cinches its chokehold, and everything his father fought and died for threatens to implode. Rainer attempts to protect those that he loves and satisfy the fiery passions between he and Emily, but everything in his world is spinning wildly out of control. His desire to prove himself could very well be his undoing.

Sometimes the best of intentions are not enough, but perhaps it is the trials by fire that make the man. Steel sharpens steel, and the passions burn white hot in “Lessons Learned.”


Jillian Neal is a New Adult author with a passion for passion. She tells strong character driven novels told from the male perspective. Her guys aren’t afraid to let us inside their minds or inside their bedrooms. Young love comes to life inside the author’s Realm along with sinister crime fighting, mixed in with a hearty dose of family. The engaging adventures will stretch your mind and keep you coming back for more.

Jillian lives outside of Atlanta with her husband, and children.

Character Interview

Jillian: “Welcome everyone! As promised today I will be bringing you my interview with the up and coming power couple in the Gifted Realm, Rainer Lawson, and Emily Haydenshire. Happy Birthday, Emily!”

Emily: “Oh, thank you.”

Emily is dressed in a darling hunter green sweater dress folks. She’s matched that with some adorable high heeled brown leather boots and an intricate, large canyon rock, necklace. It has to be one of a kind.

Jillian: “I love that necklace, Emily. Was that a birthday gift from Rainer?”

Emily: “Oh no, thank you though. It’s from Uncle Tad. Rainer hasn’t given me my present yet.”

Rainer: “Tonight, Miss Haydenshire. Be patient.”

Rainer and Emily have naturally been holding hands since they arrived at the coffee house. She’s elbowing him for his comment.

Jillian: “Well thank you both for being here with me today and for the interview.”

Rainer: “Well thanks for dreaming us up. We literally wouldn’t be here without you.”

Jillian: “Well, believe me the pleasure is all mine.”

Emily: “You seem a little nervous, Jillian? Is everything ok?”

Jillian: “Uh...” ok how could I have forgotten that she’s a Receiver. I made her that way. “Oh, I’m ok. I guess I am a little nervous. You’re both such big players in the Realm.”

Rainer: “Em, baby, I keep telling you, you freak people out when you do that.”

Emily: “Sorry. I just don’t want you to be nervous. We’re excited to be doing this.”

Jillian: “No, it’s fine. Let’s start there actually. Can you give my readers some kind of idea what it’s like to feel the emotions of other people around you? How do you learn to filter that?”

Rainer chuckles and wraps his arm around Emily. They are just so adorable!

Emily: “Well it does take a little getting used to. I mean,” Emily glances around. “Ok you see that guy over there with the beard? He’s really, really depressed. Like something really bad has happened. He feels really hopeless. So, I’m worried about him, but I can only read his emotions so I rarely know what’s causing someone to feel the way they’re feeling. And then there’s the guy in the back corner that’s pretending to read a magazine. He’s uh been staring at my chest since we walked in, and I can feel his sort of lewd energies.” Emily’s nose wrinkles as Rainer leans forward and shoots an infuriated glare at the guy in the corner. “The lady paying for her coffee is really stressed out, and the barista is frustrated. The little boy over there is happy but he’s got a mischievous streak. That lady over there is reading “Within The Realm,” and she’s kind of getting all turned on. She hasn’t seen us over here thankfully. And that guy over there, I have no idea what he’s thinking about, but I can tell you he’s having very devious thoughts. He could be anything from a mugger, or a murderer, or he may just have given in to a few darker thoughts. I mean everyone has them occasionally. I don’t ever know, but I can feel all of that all the time. The only time I kind of get any reprieve is when I’m in Rainer’s shield. Well, I mean, Logan and Garrett’s shield work the same way, but obviously I prefer to be in Rainer’s.”

Jillian: “Ok let’s talk about that. Rainer can you explain to us how an Ioses Shield is formed and what kind of protection it offers either you or Emily?”

Rainer: “Sure,” he pauses for a moment to shoot another glare at the guy that is still rather overtly staring at Emily’s cleavage. “Uh, my shield forms out of my cells just like everyone’s Gifted energies, and it comes out of the pores in my skin. It’s a combination of gravitational and kinetic energy along with electromagnetic energies that are constantly switching polarities. That’s how I block out things like bullets. The polarity reversal is actually what causes it to appear green. I can fill my shield with any kind of energy. So, if Em’s cold, I’ll fill it with warmed thermal energy. If she’s scared, I can fill it with my own soothing energies. That’s what I do when the emotions all around her just get to be more than she can take. I can block out all other energies from my shield. Other people’s emotional energies are what her body picks up on so if I block out the energy then she can’t feel them anymore. I form a vacuum that forces everything but me away from her. It’s kind of hard to explain if you’re not an Ioses. I just do it.”

Jillian: “Interesting. So since we’re talking about your being a Shield tell us a little about working with Iodex. What’s working with Dan Vindico like?”

Rainer: “Uh well, I do love my work. It’s kind of exhausting since I’m just getting used to everything. The Academy really didn’t prepare me for Elite as well I would have liked. Vindico is...well... the fiercest Ioses shield ever. I think I would say he’s kind of like awe-inspiring and terrifying. But maybe don’t tell him I said that.”

Jillian: “I will never mention that. Did you ever think maybe Dan’s not so bad? He’s had a lot of stuff to deal with. Maybe he has a soft side somewhere?”

Rainer: “ don’t really think so. You may have written him, but I have to work for him.”

Jillian: “O...K, uh Emily why don’t you tell us a little bit about playing Summation professionally. What’s it like to be an Arlington Angel?”

Emily: “Being an Angel is just amazing. I mean, it’s an honor to be a part of such an outstanding organization. The Angels were the first Summation league for female players and they ultimately worked until we were able to challenge the male teams. Now, women are allowed to try-out for any Summation team. Summation is obviously the only Gifted sport, but since we only have six to ten challenges every year, the Angels focus more on our service projects. We work in orphanages, food pantries, inner-city Non-Gifted schools and daycares, and with the Auxiliary Department of the Senate doing volunteer work.

Jillian: “Any upcoming service projects coming up that you’re particularly excited about, Emily?”

Emily: “Well, kind of, but that’s in the fourth book and you told us not to give away any spoilers.”

Jillian: “Right, ok well how about “Lessons Learned” it comes out in two and a half weeks. I’m releasing the synopsis on the site tomorrow. How do you feel coming out the other side of our second novel.

Rainer: “We were morons.”

Emily: “Well, maybe let’s just say we had a lot of learning to do. I think you really see Rainer and I grow up in this novel.”

Jillian: “I totally agree. What would each of you say was your favorite part of “Lessons Learned?”

Emily gives her signature giggle, and before I know it, her hair is pushed back behind her right ear and her bottom lip locates her teeth. Rainer’s shaking his head at her.

Rainer: “You know, honestly, I really liked that drive we went on towards the end of the book. That was a great day. That night was horrible, but the day was good.”

Emily: “I loved that, too! One of my favorite parts would probably be New York. It was crazy, but it was really good too! Very hot, but you already knew that.

Jillian: “Let’s talk about some of the reviews of ‘Within the Realm,’ we had a few female reviewers that seemed to think you might be a little bit abrasive Emily. How would you respond to the slight criticism?” Rainer huffs audibly and rolls his eyes. I get the distinct impression that he doesn’t take kindly to anyone speaking ill of Emily.

Emily brushes a kiss on his cheek, and he seems to instantly calm. 

Emily: “Well, I suppose, I am me. I mean, I grew up with seven older brothers that were simultaneously terrorizing me and then terrorizing anyone that messed with me. I learned really quickly never to act afraid and not to put up with anyone’s crap. I’m just not the kind of girl that doesn’t really have opinions or thoughts of my own. And I probably do have kind of a temper, but like I said, that’s who I am. And you know, after “Lessons Learned,” I really think that I like who I’m becoming.”

Rainer: “And I love who she is, exactly the way she is. I wonder if people get that I need her to be her. In fact, she is the only thing I need.”

Jillian: “Well said. All right, let’s talk a little about the upcoming novel. The third in “The Gifted Realm” series will be called “Every Action.” Without giving too much away, what are we going to see coming up for Rainer and Emily?”

Rainer gives me a smirk. He really is such a cutie.

Rainer: “Well, we do quite a bit of traveling.”

Emily: “Let’s just say that my family has a really rough time coming up.”

Jillian: “Agreed. Ok, well your relationship is a little different in that you really grew up together. Rainer you moved to the farm permanently when you were just barely fourteen, and you spent a great deal of time there before that. What was that like growing up together and being so in love? Any stories you’d share with us that maybe we haven’t heard just yet?

Emily: “Well I mean, we never got away with much with all of my brothers there so much. Oh, there’s the you and Levi paintball story.” Rainer looks momentarily horrified. I’m intrigued.

Jillian: “What paintball story?”

Rainer: “Em you are not gonna tell that story, please...”

Emily: “Oh it’s so sweet. It’ll be fine. Ok, so my brothers and Rainer used to play paintball all the time together. Even Will and Garrett have guns out in the barn and they actually still play, but anyway it was a few weeks after Rainer came to live with us. So he was just fourteen, and you know, when you first kind of finish puberty it’s a little hard to fully control all of the Gifted Energies...”

Rainer: “Em!”

Emily: “This was so sweet. So, they’re all out there playing, and they’re playing teams. Well, Logan and Rainer kind of gang up and take out Levi and he was the last man on the opposing team. Well, I had just come out to the back fields, and when I saw Levi go down I started cheering. Well, Levi was furious, and he turned around and shot me with the paintball gun. He wasn’t that far away, and he left huge whelps on my thigh.”

At this point Rainer’s head is in his hands.

Emily: “So, Rainer just gets really, really mad. And he’s an Ioses that had just kind of gotten all of his energies so his shield just sort of explodes from him, and somehow he threw Levi back like ten feet. He couldn’t control it, but he also couldn’t hold it very long. Levi got up and came after him. Will and Garrett had to pull them apart. Mom and Dad were really mad.”

Jillian: “Wow! Levi is quite a bit older than you two. That must’ve been some shield.”

Rainer who is now the color of a beet nods his head.

Rainer: “I saw the whelps, and she started crying. I just lost it. I threw him before I even felt my shield develop. I was just as shocked as everyone else. It’s like that for a few months after your energy is fully in place. It’s really powerful and really hard to control. It’s quite a change.”

Jillian: “Ok, well why don’t you tell us one about Emily?”

Rainer chuckles as he begins to consider my offer. Emily is already blushing.

Rainer: “Oh, how about when you were five and decided we were all gonna play hair salon with you?” Rainer begins laughing hysterically. Emily’s eyes squeeze shut.

Rainer: “Ok, so Em had just gone to the salon with her mom, and she comes home and somehow convinces me and Logan and Connor that she can cut hair.”

Emily: “No, I promised if you’d play with me that I’d give you all my Easter candy.”

Rainer: “That’s right. Ok, so she starts like wetting our hair down and combing it and stuff, and I don’t think we knew that she was really gonna cut our hair. She brought out the Crayola scissors, and we all looked like deranged elves.”

Jillian: “And the Governor said...?”

Rainer: “I think he just sat us all down and gave us buzz cuts. There wasn’t much that could be done but let it grow back out. Oh, and as I recall she did have to give us all of her candy and lost her scissor privileges.”

Emily: “I think that was very harsh.” She can’t really get her statement out without laughing.

Jillian: “Well I really can’t thank you both enough for sharing with us today. I really appreciate it! You were both great!”

Rainer: “Well, I mean, can we ask you some stuff? Since you write us and all?”
I consider this for a moment.

Jillian: “Uh, well, maybe a few. I guess...”

Rainer: “Ok, first, why do you feel it necessary to always tell everyone whenever my pants get tight. I mean, it’s a little embarrassing.”

Jillian: “Uh well... I suppose that I want to tell your story to the best of my ability, and I am a romance writer so that is part of your story. I don’t think you should be embarrassed. It’s a perfectly normal reaction.”

Rainer: “Right... uh you know all of the guys on Elite that Logan and I work with read your stuff. Do you know how many hard-on jokes we’ve heard lately?”

Jillian: “Sorry... I guess...?”

Emily: “Oh, what about the trial with Adeline’s mom? Is she going to have to go to jail because of that horrible woman?”

Jillian: “You know guys, I’m really sorry, but I have to get back to work. It’s been so great talking with you. Happy Birthday, Emily!”
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Monday, October 28, 2013

{Nerd Blast} Giveaway & Book Blast: Knowing Vera by Rachelle Ayala

Book: Knowing Vera
Series: Chance For Love
Author: Rachelle Ayala
Genre: Romance

Some secrets are best untold.
Vera Custodio has never fallen in love, though she has strong feelings for her friend and sometimes lover, Zach Spencer. Long-forgotten memories resurface when Vera discovers Zach’s mother was the woman her father supposedly murdered many years ago.
After losing his leg, former triathlete Zach Spencer reevaluates his life—and realizes he’s falling in love with Vera. When she ends their relationship, Zach is determined to prove his love and follows her to Australia in search of the killer.
Caught between a web of family secrets and a deranged adversary, Vera and Zach must depend on each other for survival. Love blossoms, but the truth explodes everything Vera knows about herself. Will she close her heart forever or risk it all for a shot at happily-ever-after?

Rachelle Ayala: 

Rachelle Ayala is the author of dramatic fiction crossing genres and boundaries featuring strong but flawed characters. She writes emotionally challenging stories and is not afraid of controversial topics. However, she is an optimist and laces her stories with romance and hope.

Rachelle Ayala has written four novels. Michal’s Window is a powerful and emotional journey as lived through the eyes of Princess Michal, King David’s first wife. Broken Build is a story of redemption and healing where a man learns to love and trust the woman who destroyed his life. Hidden Under Her Heart is a heartfelt love story mixed with controversy over difficult decisions.

Her latest is Knowing Vera , a steamy romantic suspense involving family secrets, disability, and an unsolved murder.

Contact Her:

Giveaway is open to US Only. | Must be 13+ to Enter

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{Nerd Blast} Giveaway & Book Blast: Pendomus - Carissa Andrews.

Book: Pendomus
Author: Carissa Andrews

Book Synopsis:
Humanity has colonized on the tidally locked planet Pendomus.

Residing between extreme heat and frigid cold is the complex known as the Helix. Within lies a highly sophisticated society functioning solely on humans fulfilling their life’s purpose as determined by their natural aptitudes and daily brain scans.

Seventeen-year-old Runa Cophem has found her calling studying the ancient trees nearby and anxiously awaits a professional placement which will allow her to continue her work.

Runa’s life takes an unforeseen turn when she’s brutally attacked and left for dead in those woods. Rescued by a stranger with blue hair, she’s immersed into a surprising way humanity has survived without the Helix. Fueled by a yearning to understand and an attraction she didn’t even know was possible, Runa tries to make a new life for herself. Yet, there’s much she doesn’t know about herself, about the planet, and the forces controlling her from afar.

What she needs are some answers.

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Meet Carissa
Carissa Andrews

Born and raised in central MN, Carissa Andrews has always loved books. She started her career at 15 in a bookstore, just to be able to afford her book fetish. By 19, she worked for a magazine publisher. At 22, she was working for printers to learn their trade. At 27, she went back to school for graphic design, and became an award winning designer. Little did she know all of her experiences would lead her to becoming a self-publishing power house.

Stalk Her On

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Cover Reveal : Beneath Manhattan Skies - Emma Meade

Book: Beneath Manhattan Skies
Author: Emma Meade
Publication date: November 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

November in New York is cold but full of possibility for college freshman Erin Harris. When her twin brother, Nick, shows up on her doorstep for a surprise visit, Erin is delighted. Unfortunately, Nick’s arrival coincides with the discovery of a body outside her apartment building, a body drained of blood. Right away, Nick assumes vampires are involved. He’s not exactly their biggest fan since Erin dated one in high school.

Juggling nosy roommates, a first date with a gorgeous guy from college and a brother on a Van Helsing kick is enough to keep any nineteen year old girl busy – And then Erin’s old flame walks back into her life.

Is Erin destined to be caught up in supernatural shenanigans, or will she choose a different path?

(A 45,000 word Novella).

Find It On: Goodreads

Meet Emma:
Emma Meade writes paranormal fiction.
She lives in rainy Ireland and loves all things supernatural. Stephen King's The Stand is one of her most loved books and she's lost count of the number of times she's read L.J. Smith's trilogy, The Forbidden Game.

Books, DVDS & TV show boxsets take up lots of space in her home and she collects all the Point Horror books she can get her hands on.

She is not ashamed to admit that Dirty Dancing and Twilight make her top ten movie list but wishes to point out that The Last of the Mohicans, Reality Bites, Dead Poets Society, Stand by Me and The Goonies are in there too.

Writing supernatural stories & watching marathon re-runs of Buffy are some of her favourite ways of escaping reality.

Connect With Her On:

{Nerd Blast} Giveaway + Book Blast: The Siren's Tale - Anne Carlisle


Series: Home Schooling
Book: The Siren's Tale
Author: Anne Carlisle

It’s 1900 in remote Wyoming, where a smart young siren in human form falls into a trap.  Because of a curse, her lover may die if she acts on her passionate instincts.
Blurb/Description: The novel is a new take on speculative fiction, treating real coming-of-age issues of choice for modern young women and meanwhile weaving a cautionary tale of paranormal romance and terror set in the distant past.
This is the story of a group of sirens, told in part by the ghost of the main character, Cassandra. The sirens are creatures who are part human but who have strange powers and skills. Cassandra’s love life in the Old West results in a curse which passes down the generations.
A family of paranormal women, an ancient lineage of sirens in human form, are  threatened by extinction, unless Marlena, the youngest, carries her pregnancy to term in 1977. Cassandra,  the siren ghost, tells Marlena her own story, how back in 1900 in Wyoming, she followed her passion rather than a code of human values.  Falling into a trap, she brought on the family curse and disaster. Now the men loved by the sirens face an untimely end.

Find It On:
Goodreads | Amazon  | B&N | LazyDay Publishing | AllRomance eBooks

Meet Scott Tracey

Anne Carlisle, Ph. D.,  is an award-winning author. The Siren’s Tale is the most recent release, from LazyDay Publishing and available on Amazon, B&N, and ARE. It is the second novel in her Home Schooling trilogy, paranormal-romance novels for New Adults which feature the sexual exploits of sirens in human form as they emerge into adulthood. Carlisle holds a doctorate in 19th Century British Literature from Case Western Reserve University. Currently Professor and Course Chair at the University of Maryland, she teaches college writing worldwide to U.S. military students. Formerly, while working as a newspaper columnist, magazine editor, and theatre reviewer, she authored a book on writing, wrote hundreds of articles, and was awarded prizes by the ANPA and the National Writer’s Club. She also served as a dean for Golden Gate University in San Francisco. She works from her homes, in Seattle, Key West, and Wilmington, NC.

Connect with Anne:

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