Monthly Archives: February 2020

VBT – THE TWISTED OAK

Tour Banner_The Twisted Oak(1)

The Twisted Oak

by Sarah Hadley Brook

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GENRE: LGBTQ Romance/MM Romance

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BLURB:

Wade Dwyer’s life is turned upside down when his father dies and he learns he must marry or he and his siblings will lose the ranch. One last jab of the knife from his father. On top of that, his father’s only friend knows about the stipulation and is determined to own the property by any means necessary.

He’s facing the very real possibility of being the reason his family loses their home when his brother’s best friend, Lance Matthews, offers to walk down the aisle with him. A faux marriage to the man he’s loved for years is a torture he isn’t sure he can endure.

Can he keep the ranch … and the man of his dreams, too?

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Cover_The Twisted Oak(1)

EXCERPT

Over an hour later, covered in dirt and grime and smelling like cattle, Wade walked through the back door into the kitchen and was immediately met by a furious Allyson.

What the hell? Do you know people are already arriving? The wedding starts in fifteen minutes, Wade.” She stood in his way, her hand on her waist. Her purple dress clung to her small frame, ending just above her knees, and Wade couldn’t help think that Casey was a lucky man. Allyson was beautiful in a wholesome, girl-next-door kind of way. Her auburn hair, more red than orange, hung down in ringlets around her shoulders. Her cornflower blue eyes sparked with anger as he met her gaze and he wanted to take a step back, but refused to cower to someone standing barely over five feet.

Well?”

He lost the battle and took that step back. It didn’t matter. She took a step forward.

Cattle got out. I texted,” he explained, his eyes flitting around the kitchen. Something smelled really good, like apples and cinnamon, and his stomach rumbled. He was starving.

Lance and Casey have already brought everything over from Lance’s and they’ve dressed for the wedding,” she accused, pointing a finger at him. “You know you could have let Charlie handle this.”

His hackles up, he straightened and looked her in the eye. “He’s got some people fixing the fence right now, but no, I needed to handle this. Milton Randle tried to steal some of our cattle. A Dwyer needed to be there.”

Her shoulders sagged a little and she let out a huff. “Fine, but you owe Lance an apology. He thinks you don’t want to do this.”

Wade stared at her. “It’s a fake wedding. Of course I don’t want to do this.”

She pressed her lips into a thin line and looked at him hard. “Go get ready, Wade. And you better think about what you just said. This man is uprooting his life to ensure you and your brothers can keep your land. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never known anyone that kind. Have you?”

No. Definitely not. Properly chagrined, he nodded. “You’re right.”

Of course I am.”

Wade smiled. She may not be married to his brother yet, but she was already part of the family.

What?” she asked, obviously not quite ready to let go of the mad.

Casey’s lucky.”

She blushed and shook her hair. “Right again. Now go get ready. You’ve got maybe ten minutes, tops. Your suit is laid out in Casey’s room. Use his shower—your room is a mess with the move right now. I’ll stall for as long as I can, but you make sure you look and smell good when you come downstairs.”

Yes, ma’am,” he replied and watched her turn on her heels and leave the kitchen, mumbling something under her breath—something that sounded suspiciously like “idiot,” but he didn’t have time to dwell. He took the back stairs two at a time.

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Author Avatar(1)

AUTHOR Bio and Links

Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the non-profit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures up in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have co-starred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity to live. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.

Website: www.sarahhadleybrookwrites.com

Email: contact@sarahhadleybrookwrites.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorsarahhadleybrook

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/SHadleyBrook/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SarahHadleyBrook

Instagram: @sarah_hadley_brook_author

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/?s=sarah+hadley+brook&search_type=book_search

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Sarah Hadley Brook will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thanks for being my guest Sarah. Tell us about you as a person.

I’d describe myself as an introvert, but due to my full time day job, I have to be an extrovert at the office. I suppose that’s true with a lot of people, though—we wear different masks at the office than we do at home.

I’m a mother and a (young!) grandmother. My children are grown and it’s wonderful to see them starting their own journeys as adults. I’m also a huge animal lover and have always had cats and dogs in my life. Right now, I have two cats, Mimi and Tiger, who definitely keep me busy.

I’m a Star Trek Voyager fan, and would choose to be Captain Janeway in another universe! My favorite color is pink, although that changes often. I love learning about ancient civilizations, reading romance, politics, and sci-fi, and I trying new recipes. I bake when I have writer’s block.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

I’d love to meet Mary McDonnell and spend time getting to know her. She’s not only an amazing actress, but she’s a strong, independent woman that cares about people and stands up for her beliefs.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

The Twisted Oak is a faux marriage, western MM romance that takes place in the fictional town of Ruby, Wyoming. It’s about love and fighting for your family when you’re faced with possibly losing everything.

Wade’s been in love with his brother’s best friend for years, but one stupid incident from his past has kept him from pursuing the man of his dreams. When Lance is thrust into his daily life, they must work together and try to save the ranch.

What is your writing process?

Sometimes I listen to music—anything by Matchbox 20 pumps me up—but when I’m really engrossed in a story, I need quiet. No music, no TV—just the laptop and me. The quiet helps me focus. I tend to write early in the morning before I leave for my day job, usually around 5:00 or 5:30—after I’ve had my caffeine, of course!

Tell us about your main character:

Wade Dwyer loves the land. Other than when he was away at college, he’s lived on the family ranch his whole life. He’s close with his two brothers and wouldn’t dream of leaving, despite having a cold father who spewed hate. The ranch was still his home as long as his brothers were still there.

Wade’s a quiet man and somewhat introverted—people are not really his thing, however Lance definitely is. He’s tried to hold onto his heart for years, but he doesn’t think he can much longer—and he’s pretty sure he doesn’t want to.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.

Anson Mount! He’s incredible and I loved him in Hell on Wheels. Rugged and sexy and able to play a brooding man. He would be my first pick.

What are you working on next?

I’m actually working on the sequel to The Twisted Oak right now. I loved the town of Ruby and the sequel follows some of the backstories, with a new love story.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

I’ll be honest, I’m still learning about the marketing phase! But contacting review sites, offering ARCs, and utilizing social media as much as possible has helped me tremendously. There are also sites you can offer a free book which can help get your name out in front of people.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

The Secret by Julie Garwood. I’ve read and reread that story so much, I know it by heart. But there’s just something that tugs at me about it. The romance, the history… it’s a beautiful story to get lost in.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

During the fall, I volunteer at the Chiefs games to help raise funds for a local nonprofit. Each morning, I write up a quick little poem for the group to get them pumped. It’s usually only 16-20 lines, but I always try to include the name of the opposing team and it absolutely must rhyme. Think Dr. Suess meets Football. I wouldn’t call it a special talent, but it’s something I like to do and it revs us all up!

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?

FLYING! I would fly! Over the cities, among the clouds, diving down toward the grass and zipping back up again. As a child I had a recurring dream I could fly and the sense of weightlessness, the freedom as I soared, stuck with me.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. Visit Scotland (and stay in a castle)
  2. Alaska Cruise
  3. Learn how to work with stained glass
  4. Attend a Star Trek Convention
  5. Take my grandson to Disney World (when he’s older!)

Where can readers find you on the web?

www.sarahhadleywrites.com

Twitter: @SarahHBrook

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahHadleyBrook

Any final thoughts?

Thanks for having me! Great questions. Readers, drop me a line if you get a chance to read The Twisted Oak and let me know what you think. Contact@sarahhadleybrookwrites.com.

VBT – POISONED PAWN

TourBanner_Poisoned Pawn

Poisoned Pawn

by David Siegel Bernstein

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GENRE: Detective, Mystery

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Cover_Poisoned Pawn

BLURB:

Caleb Jacobs is a man with a past. After serving on a failed dark ops assignment in Afghanistan, he leaves Marine Corps Intelligence to try to build a new life in Philadelphia as a homicide police detective.

Jacobs is happy, for a time, until he is assigned to solve the murder of Shannon Faraday. During the investigation, he is convinced the evidence points to him as the killer. He knows it is only a matter of time before other investigators see the same. He has no alibi and the clock is counting down.

Behind his partner’s back, Jacobs hires a private investigator named Lawrence Holmes. The PI is an irritation to the police, but he is unmistakably brilliant. And, many powerful people in the city owe him favors. Holmes is a bit odd. He insists on calling Jacobs Watson but claims to never have heard the name Sherlock. Jacobs can live with this kind of crazy as long as together they find the real killer.

They quickly link the murder to a series of seemingly unrelated crimes occurring throughout Philadelphia, and Jacobs becomes convinced the murder is related to the truth of what had happened during his time in Afghanistan. Old secrets have come back to haunt him.

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EXCERPT

I felt like shit for having to hire a private investigator, especially one who was most likely insane. Still, I couldn’t deny that his type of crazy got results. Reluctantly I handed over an envelope to the man sitting on the sun-bleached bench.

He opened it. Satisfied with my offering, he slid it into his jacket. “Ah, Watson,” he said. “Good to see you again.”

I shook my head and dropped onto the bench next to him. “My name is Jacobs. Caleb Jacobs,” I said, hoping the reminder might stick this time.

He turned to me. “Did you say something?”

I sighed. “No, Holmes.”

If I wasn’t desperate for his help, I’d strangle him. Of course my superiors at the Philadelphia Homicide Unit wouldn’t appreciate that. But I wondered if a cop hiring a private investigator was any worse of a violation. I needed Lawrence Holmes for his connections and unique viewpoint, things my PHU colleagues couldn’t provide. He might not be the fictional character he played at, but he was a talented PI.

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AuthorPicture

AUTHOR Bio and Links

To support his writing addiction and excessively extravagant lifestyle, David Siegel Bernstein, PhD, is a data scientist who consults as a forensic statistician. That sounds really boring until you realize that his clients include the US National Security Agency (NSA), the Secret Service, the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and a host of other acronymonious agencies who cultivate exciting and shadowy reputations. Alas, those reputations are mere facades that disguise the real reason these organizations exist, which is to keep him entertained and fed.

When David wants a break from this spellbinding work, he writes. His fiction credits encompass two novelettes and sixty shorts. His nonfiction has appeared in newsletters, popular blogs, academic journals and he is the author of the book Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in Science Fiction.

He lives within the shadow of Philadelphia with his wife, Michelle, two children, Seth and Gwendolyn, and a dog named Ringo Biggles Woofington.

DavidSiegelBernstein.blogspot.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/bernsteindavid1

facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DSBernstein/

twitter: @DavidBernstein

instagram @davidsieglebernstein

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

David Siegel Bernstein will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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David, thanks for being here today. Tell us about you as a person.

I want to start by thanking the CA Milson for taking the time and space for this interview.

To support my writing addiction and excessively extravagant lifestyle, I am a data magician—only without the magic. Math, machine learning, and science are my tools. I’m a forensic data scientist who specializes in looking for patterns in data that reveal patterns in human behavior. I know that sounds really boring until you realize that my company’s clients include the US National Security Agency (NSA), the Secret Service, the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and a host of other alphabet agencies who cultivate exciting and shadowy reputations. Alas, those reputations are mere facades that disguise the real reason these organizations exist, which is to pay my salary.

I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and taught martial art classes at the university where I did my undergraduate work. This is the style of fighting Poisoned Pawn main character Caleb Jacobs uses in fight scenes. I have a kick-ass comic collection (which makes me popular with the ladies). And, I enjoy a good game of chess.

To go with my tough guy motif, I own a Toy Poodle named Ringo Biggles Woofington.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

If I could choose anyone in history, I would like to hang out with physicist Richard Feynman. He would be a lot of fun to talk to. I would love to hear some of his legendary stories in person. It would also be interesting to get his take on the current state of science. If I’m limited to choosing among the living, I’d hang with David Tennant. I’m a huge Dr. Who fan.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

The modern mystery screams for a thriller component mashed up with sexual tension. Poisoned Pawn yells back with a fast-paced story loaded with femme and homme fatales.

It is also about the perfect crime and getting away with it… almost.

What is your writing process?

My process is a messy one. I write when I have the free time and in almost any location. To make matters worse—for fiction—I do not write from an outline. I let the story unfold organically. The characters usually tell me what’s needs to be done. That said, I do workshop parts in a writing group I lead.

On the other hand for my nonfiction books such as Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in Science Fiction, I do create an outline and spent part of each day conducting research before pen to paper (cursor to screen).

Tell us about your main characters

Poisoned Pawn is the story of Caleb Jacob, a man with a dark past. After serving on a failed dark ops assignment in Afghanistan, he leaves Marine Corps Intelligence to try to build a new life in Philadelphia as a homicide police detective.

In this novel, he is forced to partner up with a private investigator named Lawrence Holmes. The PI is an irritation to the police, but he is unmistakably brilliant. And, many powerful people in the city owe him favors. Holmes is a bit odd. He insists on calling Jacobs Watson but claims to never have heard the name Sherlock.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead roles and why.

David Siegel Bernstein as Caleb Jacobs (okay, maybe not). How about my look-alike Chris Hemsworth? (okay, again maybe not). I think Karl Urban or Eric Bana would be good choices. As for Holmes, I’d go with Nathan Lane. With this combo, viewers would get a good feel for both the darkness of the story and the humorous moments.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on the next book in the Caleb Jacobs series titled The Queen’s Gambit. A frighteningly skilled assassin hires Jacobs to find her latest assignment and to then protect him from her.

I’m also working on a science fiction novel set on a planet where time is literally a currency. The wealthy live for hundreds of years in dewy youth while the poor are geriatric.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

Build a platform before your book comes out. This makes it much easier to get the word out when the project is complete. Then, by hook or by crook, find a way to get onto C.A. Milson’s blog!

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I can be very annoying. It is a gift.

You are given the choice of one superpower. What superpower would you have and why?

To be able to speak any language upon hearing or reading it. This includes computer programing languages.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

The PG version bucket list

  1. To have a bestseller (and have it made into a movie)
  2. Travel to Japan
  3. Get a Tattoo
  4. Have a secret admirer
  5. Play my guitar with a band on stage

Any final thoughts?

Why do you ask? Am I dying? I am too young for final thoughts. I hope your thoughts are on the best way to get a copy of Poisoned Pawn.

Book Blast – FAR REACHING CONSEQUENCES

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Phoebe needs a second chance at life.

In the aftermath of the devastation from her failed marriage, Phoebe returns to her old stomping grounds to open her own bed and breakfast. Starting over is the bravest thing she’s ever done – or so she thinks. But opening her front door to find a blast from her past on her front porch changes all that. The teenager she’d once known has become a jaw-dropping, dominant man in his prime.

He wasn’t looking for a relationship until she blazed back into his life.

Graham runs his own construction business, remodeling homes, and building brand new ones. When his buddy gives him a lead on a new project, he never expects to run into Phoebe, the woman he shared a single kiss with eons ago. Nor is he prepared for the Dominant in him to stake his claim before the end of their first meeting. He wanted her in high school but there had been too wide a gulf separating them. Now, Graham will stop at nothing until he makes her his. But there are larger forces at work, attempting to tear them apart.

When everything Phoebe holds dear becomes a target, Graham will risk it all for the one woman he knows he can never live without.

Publisher’s Note: This steamy second chance romance contains elements of power exchange. While it is the second in the Crescent City Kings series, it can be enjoyed independently.

Read an Excerpt

She opened the door to the small groundskeeper’s house, which was really nothing more than a glorified pool house. It was four hundred square feet, little more than a studio apartment in size. The only thing enclosed was the tiny bathroom. But she had spruced her home up as best she could, painting the walls a fresh, light powder blue and had put her bed near the window to catch the early morning sunlight.

There was room enough for her couch and a small television, plus the eat in kitchen with her small, pine dinette set. She’d painted the walnut cabinets an eggshell white, giving the place a farmhouse look. Daisy made a beeline toward her water bowl and dog bed up against the far wall.

“This is where you’re living?” Graham studied her place without judgement, his gaze assessing the space.

It might not be much, but it was home and, best of all, hers. “Yep. I don’t need a lot of space or things. Most days I will be over at the main house from sunup until sundown, at least until I can afford to hire help.”

If things worked the way she hoped, she would have a hostess and servers for the dining room. Phoebe already had her eye on a waitress at the nightclub to entice to come work for her. While she was confident in her abilities, it would be a juggling act to cook and serve meals in the dining room at the same time. At first, there was no way around it and she would be forced to manage it somehow. But she hoped this place would be successful enough that a few months after opening, she would have the available budget to hire help.

“Have a seat. Would you like a cup of coffee? And I have some croissants on the table there, just baked them fresh this morning,” she said, rather thrilled to be playing hostess. Phoebe enjoyed cooking and had found early in life that she had a knack for it. But this was a new croissant recipe she was testing out, and she was interested to see Graham’s reaction.

“It’s barely ten.” He smiled as he sat, facing her and the kitchen.

“I tend to be an early riser. Always have been.”

“I’m the same.”

Using one of her good mugs, she served him a steaming cup of coffee, then brought over all the accoutrements on a wooden tray: sugar, cream, and sugar substitute. She noted that he took his coffee black as night, but he slathered the croissant with her homemade jam.

“Mmm, oh my god.” He groaned, and the sound pinged low in her belly. “You made this?” Graham asked, looking at her and then back at the pastry as if he had died and gone to heaven.

“Yep.” She expelled a breath. The new recipe appeared to be a hit. Graham ate the croissant with relish. Pinpricks of satisfaction flowed through Phoebe. She slid into the seat across from him as he put a thumb covered in jam into his mouth and sucked it off.

Her girly bits throbbed at an unexpected blast of desire that struck her system like a thunder bolt. It had been an unconsciously sexy move on his part. It wasn’t like he was attempting to get into her pants. He was here to earn a potential payday, and work. Yet when he glanced her way with sublime satisfaction in his eyes, across the small expanse of her pine dinette table, her insides quivered—and not with fear.

She needed to shut the gate closed and seal it tight. Phoebe didn’t do relationships anymore. That wasn’t in her plans for her life any longer.

No matter how sinful the packaging happened to be.
About the Author:

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

Website: http://www.anyasummers.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AnyaSummersAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anyabsummers

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15183606.Anya_Summers

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2SmLqWm

Anya Summers will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

VBT – ESSAYS FROM DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILIES

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Two books in one (Kinda Sorta). Something Different. Essays from Dysfunctional Families is a fictional book which contains essays from ten different American residents. The book is written by fictional writer Dean K Brent. The book Literary Betrayal is a fiction written by Casey Bell, which tells the story of the aftermath of Dean writing the book Essays. Betrayal explores the possibility of what people might do if they discovered a bestseller written by a relative/friend is based on their life.

 

Read an Excerpt
Cover_Essays from Disfunctional Families

Allison K.

Village of Shorewood, Wisconsin

When I was seven years old, I was adopted by a gay couple. I really didn’t understand the concept, but a part of me was happy to be living in a home and not at an adoption agency. They were really nice to me and treated me very well. I never wanted for anything. I guess you can say I was spoiled. However, there was always a part of me that wondered where my real parents were. I would ask on occasions, but neither one of my dads would answer me. After being ignored I began to become that loud wheel. You know the one that gets the most attention. I would ask about my parents more frequently and would ask if we could go to the adoption agency and figure out where they are. Finally, after much reservation my dads finally caved in and took me to the agency. To my surprise my parents lived not so far from me, but signed papers stating they didn’t want to see me; that hurt. However, through much research I found both my grandparents and without my dads’ knowledge sought them out. Both sets of my grandparents were happy to meet me. It was by them that I found out the truth about my parents. It was truth that I did not want to know. Both my parents did not want a child at the time…the condom broke. I never in my life felt so unwanted and angry.

About the Author:

Proud Uncle Casey Bell has authored two Young Adult books, three General Fiction, three Non-Fiction, two Short-Stories, one Horror, one book of Poetries, five Children books, one book of collection of Art, and has produced four Word Search books. Twenty-two books in total, but has no intentions of slowing down. He enjoys sharing stories, ideas, and art that cause people to think beyond the box. Not only a writer, but also a playwright, graphic designer, fine artist, and fashion designer.

Website: https://www.authorcaseybell.com

Tumblr: https://caseysbell.tumblr.com/

MySpace: https://myspace.com/caseysamuelbell

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15362662.Casey_Bell

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/caseysbell/

Buy the book for only $0.99.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Essays-Dysfunctional-Families-Dean-Brent-ebook/dp/B00RBV05C4/

Casey Bell will be awarding a free eBook copy of the book as well as a free eBook copy of her book A Family of Strangers to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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