Category Archives: Book Tour

VBT – THE CABINET

TourBanner_The Cabinet

The Cabinet
by Lindsay M. Chervinsky

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GENRE: History

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BLURB:

The US Constitution never established a presidential cabinet―the delegates to the Constitutional Convention explicitly rejected the idea. So how did George Washington create one of the most powerful bodies in the federal government?

On November 26, 1791, George Washington convened his department secretaries―Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmund Randolph―for the first cabinet meeting. Why did he wait two and a half years into his presidency to call his cabinet? Because the US Constitution did not create or provide for such a body. Washington was on his own.

Faced with diplomatic crises, domestic insurrections, and constitutional challenges―and finding congressional help lacking―Washington decided he needed a group of advisors he could turn to. He modeled his new cabinet on the councils of war he had led as commander of the Continental Army. In the early days, the cabinet served at the president’s pleasure. Washington tinkered with its structure throughout his administration, at times calling regular meetings, at other times preferring written advice and individual discussions.

Lindsay M. Chervinsky reveals the far-reaching consequences of Washington’s choice. The tensions in the cabinet between Hamilton and Jefferson heightened partisanship and contributed to the development of the first party system. And as Washington faced an increasingly recalcitrant Congress, he came to treat the cabinet as a private advisory body to summon as needed, greatly expanding the role of the president and the executive branch.

Cover_The Cabinet

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EXCERPT

At eleven thirty in the morning on August 22, 1789, a large cream-colored coach pulled up to the front door of Federal Hall at 26 Wall Street in New York City. Six matching, perfectly groomed horses pulled the elegant carriage with sparkling gold trim. The coachman, outfitted in crisp white- and red-trimmed livery, jumped down from the back of the carriage and opened the door. An elegantly dressed man with powdered hair stepped down with a portfolio of papers under his arm. He towered over his companion, Henry Knox, the acting secretary of war, and his slaves tending to his horses. His ornate coach and his imposing presence drew curious stares from strangers passing by on the street. He walked up to the front door of Federal Hall and was immediately announced to the Senate. George Washington, the first president of the United States, had arrived for his first visit to the United States Senate.

This was no ordinary meeting. Two years earlier, the delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia had agreed that the Senate would “advise and consent” on treaties and other questions of foreign policy. But in practice, how the president and the Senate would interact remained for the first officeholders to work out….

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AuthorPicture

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lindsay M. Chervinsky, Ph.D. a historian of Early America, the presidency, and the government – especially the president’s cabinet. She shares her research by writing everything from op-eds to books, speaking on podcasts and other media, and teaching every kind of audience. She is Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies and Senior Fellow at the International Center for Jefferson Studies. Previously, she worked as a historian at the White House Historical Association. She received her B.A. in history and political science from the George Washington University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. She has been featured in the Law and History Review, the Journal of the Early Republic, TIME, and the Washington Post. Her new book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, was published by the Belknap Imprint of Harvard University Press on April 7, 2020.

The New Criterion recently said of her book, “Fantastic…Unlike many works of popular history, The Cabinet never feels like hagiography. It lacks the reverence of works like Joseph J. Ellis’ Founder Brothers or the revisionist obsequiousness that now greets Alexander Hamilton’s name on stage…Chervinsky exemplifies the public-history ethos in her new book. The writing is clear and concise…She takes what could have been a dry institutional and political history of the Early Republic and transforms it into a compelling story of people and places.”

When she isn’t writing, researching, or talking about history, she can be found hiking with her husband and American Foxhound, John Quincy Dog Adams (Quincy for short).

Readers can request a personalized book plate here: https://www.lindsaychervinsky.com/book-plate

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Cabinet-Washington-Creation-American-Institution/dp/0674986482/

Harvard link: https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674986480

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lmchervinsky
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lchervinsky/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lmchervinsky
Website: http://www.lindsaychervinsky.com/

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Lindsay M. Chervinsky will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3371

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Q&A With…. Lindsay M. Chervinsky

Tell us about you as a person.

I’m an outgoing introvert and I’m completely obsessed with dogs. I will wrestle and snuggle with any dog on the floor and happily ignore the humans around. I love re-watching silly action movies. I hate being told what to do. If someone says “you MUST watch this show,” I resist mightily. But if someone just suggests it off-the-cuff, I’m much more likely to participate. Finally, I would happily live on bread, cheese, pasta, fruit, and dessert for the rest of my days.

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

Alive or dead? Dead is easier: John Quincy Adams. He saw so much in his lifetime and had such extraordinarily expansive knowledge. Alive is a little bit harder. I think Madeleine Albright. Her life story is so fascinating and she accomplished so much, as both a refugee and a woman. I’d love to learn more about that.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

I couldn’t find anything to read about the creation of the cabinet and I wanted to know where it came from. I could find countless books about George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson, but they all treated the cabinet as inevitable. Because the cabinet wasn’t in the Constitution, I knew that wasn’t the case and I decided to answer that question.

What is your writing process?

For starters, I can’t have silence. Most of the time, I have an oldies playlist going (with everything from the 50s to the 80s). If I’m really struggling to focus and need to block out the lyrics, I’ll listen to French jazz, a Yo-Yo Ma playlist, or Salsa music. But I have to be using earbuds because something about the intensity of the music in my ears blocks out the rest of the world.

Before the pandemic, I preferred to write from home in the morning and then switch to a coffee shop in the afternoon. I tend to get sleepy after lunch, and the hustle and bustle of a shop helps me stay focused. Now that I’m home almost all the time, I’ll try and switch locations around the house. When that fails, I’ll take a nap and get a second wind around 4 or 4:30 and I’ll often write after dinner.

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

There have been lots of actors that have played George Washington, but I think Jeff Daniels is probably my favorite. Michael Douglas would have also been great when he was a bit younger.

What are you working on next?

I’m starting my second book, which compares John Adams and Thomas Jefferson’s cabinets. They are one of the worst and best, respectively, in American history and I’ve become complete fascinated by what cabinets reveal about the presidency and presidential leadership. All presidents have to deal with egos, ambition, and power struggles, so this story will definitely be relevant for the contemporary moment.

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

You have to be your own best advocate. No one else will do it for you. Don’t be afraid to ask to be on a podcast or have an event at a historic site or bookstore. You should do your research and make a compelling case for why your work would be a good fit, but the worst they can say is no. Also, be generous to others and they will return it to you.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes is my favorite recent fiction read. How the South Won the Civil War by Heather Cox Richardson was the last non-fiction book that really blew my socks off.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I feel pretty ordinary, but I guess I’m shockingly persistent. Which has positive benefits for my work, but also results in a dog who can do lots of tricks and an ability to frost cookies in absurdly complicated designs. Both took a lot of time and patience to master!

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

Apparition! My family and friends are all over the country and I wish I could just pop around see them without the wasted time and hassle of travel. I also love traveling abroad but get really bad jet lag, so if I could just zip to Paris in a moment, I’d be the happiest!

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Travel extensively: a few top choices include Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, and go back to Amsterdam
  • Learn to speak French
  • Hike Machu Picchu
  • Buy a house in the Shenandoah Valley
  • Make the New York Times Best Seller list

Any final thoughts?

Thanks so much to all of my readers’ support and encouragement during the book launch. Publishing my first book during the pandemic has been a bit of challenge, but I’m grateful for every sold copy, every reader, every kind note, and every review.

VBT – BLOOD PROPHECY: QUEEN’S ASCENSION

Blood Prophecy: Queen’s Ascension

by Barb Jones

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GENRE: Paranormal

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BLURB:

When the darkness was compelling and the heart knew no bounds, was there really a right choice? With Michael’s life hanging in the balance, Amber had a choice: save her star-fated love or keep on the crusade to unite the magical community. For Amber, her fate was sealed even before her birth and it was her destiny to fight the great battle ahead of her. But, when it came to her heart — her friends, her great love — Amber’s torn. Not only was she the Queen, but she was a human in every sense of the word. She was vulnerable. And so the very people — Chloe and Michael — that gave her strength, quickly became her weakness. It wasn’t her fault she loved too much, was it?

Nevertheless, the Tall Dark Man had set a plan in motion that could threaten the very existence of the Blood Prophecy. Would he gather his dark forces and succeed in destroying Amber once and for all? Or, would she assemble her powerful friends and save the world?

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EXCERPT

Malakai, Seattle, Present Day 

With the betterment of both Michael and Rae, Malakai was glad that they were well and fine; nevertheless, he needed some time to decompress. All the magical commotions that had occurred were too overwhelming for him. He needed some sort of release. 

He enjoyed the brisk jog in the park, as he cut through the sharp wind of the cold night. But this did nothing to lift his spirits. He was happy that Amber’s smile finally met her eyes. That was all he’d ever wanted for her: happiness, that’s it. There was nothing more he could ask for—she was his priority. Yet, in the back of his mind, as in his heart, he couldn’t help but believe the ancient legend that he’d heard so long ago was the certifiable truth, as it was written in Eschmun’s scroll. 

…her fate is tied to the true alpha of the wolves. A blood drinker will stand formidable, but it is the nature of the child to call upon the true alpha and bring him to the queen’s inner heart.

Could this be the truth? he often wondered as he traveled the world collecting artifacts and evidence supporting this notion. Yes, he’d crafted a reliquary, quite accidentally, and people assumed it was to keep the magic insulated, away from the humans. But that wasn’t the case, at least not for him.  He so wanted to believe, just from the sheer fact that it was said in the scroll. But Malakai was a man of logic, driven by cold hard data. Although wanting to romanticize that his destiny was tied with Amber’s, he needed confirmation. He wanted validation for the strong emotions he was feeling.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I was born in Hawaii, a place rich with culture and storytellers. As a little girl, scary tales about vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, and witches were my favorite kind — much to my mother’s dismay.

The scarier, the better.

My love for the supernatural never went away, even after moving to Seattle, far from Hawaii’s majestic beaches with unusual colors. Nothing compares to the landscapes of Maui, Lanai, or Oahu. But somehow, Seattle stole my heart anyway. It became the place where my love for stories took on a new form, in a book of my own: The Adventures of Little Arthur and Merlin the Magnificent. This book is for kids who love stories, just like I did.

Then I had an idea while sleeping.

One night, my mind began to work overtime. In a dream, I saw a unique storyline involving all the races and an epic battle of good versus evil. It was a modern day plot with a three thousand year old prophecy, The Blood Prophecy. I finished the first book in 2014, The Queen’s Destiny. Two years later, I released The Queen’s Enemy. The last book in the series, The Queen’s Ascension, released on August 17, 2020.

Today, I live in Florida with its beaches and sunshine. But I’m still a Seattle girl at heart. And so all my stories take place in the Northwest.

I always keep to my roots when I write.

Website: https://www.thebloodprophecy.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Blood_Prophecy1

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

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Queens-Ascension-Prophecy-Barb-Jones-ebook/dp/B08DKK66PM

Barnes and Noble Buy Link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/queens-ascension-barb-jones/1137386713?ean=2940162985693

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Barb Jones will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3482

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Author Interview

Tell us about you as a person.

I tend to call myself a “closet nerd.” It’s a term I came up with because well, I am nerdy but I don’t always show it. It really comes out though, when I talk about random, out of the ordinary facts. I’m also an adrenaline junkie, fitness fanatic. But probably the number one thing about me is being a mother. I have two fantastic teens, ages 19 and 15. I have never experienced some of the challenges that parents face – my kids don’t party, don’t get into trouble, you name it. Both are so studious that no matter how much I begged her to go, my 19-year-old chose to miss Prom and study for an AP exam. She graduated high school at age 15 and did the whole 4-year course study in 2. Other than that, I am part Hawaiian, Filipino, German, Jewish and a few other things. The Hawaiian part is what I am truly studying right now in greater detail than ever before.

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

If I could spend the day with him, it would be the artist Diego Velazquez. He painted Las Meninas in 1656 and that is one of my most favorite pieces of art. He was probably the most famous painter during the Spanish Age. That particular painting is what people often think of as the Infanta Margaret Theresa, but that is speculation, while some people hold it to be true. His use of color, realism and all – I would want to spend a day with him and learn about the emotion that goes into his paintings to bring them to life.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

Well, originally this was going to be the final installment of the Blood Prophecy series but I couldn’t end it. The characters have been growing and preparing for this battle and once the battle ended, along with my fans’ input, I wanted them to live and fight another day.

What is your writing process?

I write anytime something comes to mind. It does not matter where I am. If it hits me, I begin writing but if I am in my office and writing, I must listen to Nickelback.

Tell us about your main character.

Amber was born human, though she didn’t learn until later that her mother is a witch and her father is a werewolf. She learned through her dreams of a destiny that awaited her. She was born over and over to unite the races and bring the world together. Having been abandoned as a child and eventually adopted, she learned about what it means to have a family, through adoption and with her friends. She became a vampire and learned her destiny after she was turned. From there, she embarked on a journey that gave her an amazing sense of strength, unity and more.

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

For Amber, I would be honored if it was Lauren Ambrose. If you haven’t seen some of her roles, she has this “air about her” that makes her relatable. But, I was impressed when she played Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady on Broadway.

What are you working on next?

I am currently already on Chapter 3 of Book Four: The Rise of the Hunter, the next in the series. I am wrapping up a couple of novellas from the series as well.

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

Find a way to connect with your readers, get to know them.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

I would have to say any book by Lee Child. He is one of my favorite authors and I have read all of the Jack Reacher series. I am looking forward to the next one with his brother taking over.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I can bake and cook very well. I enjoy it and like to be creative in the kitchen.

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

I would have to say the power of premonition. I would love to be able to see things in the future, not everything, but get little glimpses.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. Going to Scotland as soon as it is safe to travel again (It’s already booked, I just keep moving it out due to things right now)
  2. Would like to really explore and learn more gourmet cooking (with a healthy flair to it)
  3. I’ve thought about opening my own fitness center with tailored cooking classes, etc
  4. I plan on my retirement cruise around the world
  5. Planning to really tour and study the history of Romania

Where can readers find you on the web?

Twitter is Blood_Prophecy1

Instagram is thebloodprophecy

www.thebloodprophecy.com

www.facebook.com/bloodprophecybooks

VBT – Sleeping with the Enemy

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.

When Mrs. Laura Farnsworth discovers the blood-stained body of a man wearing the distinctive red coat of the British army, her first instinct is to let dead dogs lie. It has, after all, been just two days since the Battle of Plattsburgh, and the disposition of enemy corpses is hardly her purview. But then the man proves himself to be very much alive by grabbing her ankle and mumbling incoherently.

After almost twenty-five years in His Majesty’s service, Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey Langston never expected to wake up in heaven, much less being tended by an angel. But when he regains consciousness in the presence of a beautiful, dark-haired woman and with no memory of how he came to be there, what else can he think? Except it’s rather odd for an angel to have an American accent.

As the long-widowed Laura nurses the wounded Geoffrey back to health, the attraction between them heats from a simmer to a boil. Bound by his oath to the British crown, Geoffrey should be working to find his way back to his regiment and from there, to England. Instead, he’s sleeping with the enemy…and thereby committing the crime of desertion if not treason. But then, who’s going to find out?

If only Geoffrey didn’t have a family back home who refuse to take “missing in action” for an answer.

Read an Excerpt

Where the hell was he?

Well, in a room, certainly, since there were four white walls and a white ceiling. And since he was lying on a bed, covered by a white—well, perhaps it was more cream-colored—duvet, it would be reasonable to posit he was in a bedroom. But a bedroom where?

The last thing he remembered was… He frowned in concentration, which hurt, so he immediately stopped.

He had been encamped with his battalion on the north side of the Saranac River, awaiting the order from Prévost to begin the ground offensive.

Well, this certainly was not a tent in a military encampment.

So where the hell was he, and how had he come to be here?

Gingerly, he turned his head…and found an angel.

She sat in a chair that had been pulled up alongside the bed. Her dark hair had been arranged in a simple knot at the back of her head, but curling tendrils of it escaped here and there to brush her cheeks and forehead. The dress she wore was not white, but a very pale shade of gray that sparkled in beam of light streaming in from the window behind her. In profile, her features were as fine and lovely as a porcelain doll’s, the way he imagined an angel’s would be, though there were tiny laugh lines around her eyes and mouth that seemed a trifle out of place on a divine being. But then again, perhaps angels had a lot to laugh about, seeing as how they lived in paradise. She didn’t seem to be laughing now, however. Instead, her head was bowed and her expression conveyed a state of relaxed concentration.

Prayer?

He squinted. Maybe the question was not where the hell he was, but where the heaven he was.

About the Author:

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer when I grew up, but there were plenty of times when I wasn’t sure I ever would be. As it turns out, it just took me about twenty years longer to grow up than I expected!

On the road to publication, I took a few detours, including a stint in academia (I hold an MA in Classics from the University of Chicago and was a recipient of a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities) and many years as a technical writer/instructional designer for a data processing company. I still hold my day job, but my true vocation has always been writing fiction and romance in particular.

I’m a firm believer that love is the most powerful force in the world, which that makes romance the most powerful genre in the world. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise!

Website: http://www.jackiebarbosa.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jackiebarbosa
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JackieBarbosaAuthor/

Buy Links for Sleeping with the Enemy

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B085GK6Y1T
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/sleeping-with-the-enemy-39
BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sleeping-with-the-enemy-jackie-barbosa/1136596890
Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/sleeping-with-the-enemy/id1501443490?ls=1

Jackie Barbosa will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

VBT – NEUROGARDEN

NEUROGARDEN

by Bryon Vaughn

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GENRE: Science Fiction, Techno-thriller

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BLURB:

Where can you run when there is no place to hide?

Brenna Patrick is a brilliant technologist specializing in neural-cognitive functions and AI. She has cracked the code to solve one of the most troublesome problems in the field, and turned that into the multi-billion dollar NeuralTech Corporation.

Working quietly with the U.S. Department of Defense, NeuralTech is poised to leapfrog the competition with a revolutionary system for tracking people, starting with the world’s most wanted terrorists. But there are only so many terrorists in the world, so who’s next?

When a pair of Columbia graduate students, Jenny and Leo, stumble on the dark secret of NeuralTech’s success, it kicks off a tense game of cat and mouse. As they fight to defeat the powerful forces arrayed against them, nothing less than the fate of humanity hangs in the balance…

NEUROGARDEN is a roller-coaster ride of a thriller, one that will have readers pondering the nature of memory, and of reality, long after they’ve read the last page.

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EXCERPT

Every morning for Brenna Patrick began with a hot shower and a hotter cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in the same oversized mug she had stolen from a cabinet while studying at Oxford. Some poor British sod probably spent days looking for his ever so clever black-and-white yin and yang mug, and now, here, it played a part in the daily rituals of the world’s most renowned expert on artificial intelligence.

Halfway through her coffee, Brenna’s usual routine of morning news about the weather or the latest political storm was interrupted by a story on the previous day’s event at NeuralTech.

“According to sources, yesterday, in an impressive display of technical wizardry, the notorious Ethiopian strongman, Azim Dibaba, was eliminated by the U.S. military in partnership with NeuralTech. Stay tuned for exclusive video footage from the NeuralTech facility coming up after the break.”

With a dismissive wave of her hand, the television powered off, and she downed the last of her coffee. Explicit rules about keeping cameras from the Observation Deck were put in place to stop this kind of leaked footage, not so much to keep it a secret, but to control how the message was released. There was no way NeuralTech would have built such an elaborate display of lights and gadgetry if the world was never going to see what they were doing. The fanfare was all a show, a carnival for the masses to distract from the visceral heart of what they were witnessing. Hell, they used to run the ops from a small conference room in the basement of NeuralTech HQ with two laptops and an iPad. The spectacle was created for virality, but she wanted the first glimpses to be better than some shaky cell phone video from a reporter behind glass.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ever since reading Douglas Adams back in my formative years, I have had an interesting relationship with humor, science fiction, and technology. My first computer was a TI-99/4A, so yeah, I’m old, but only until scientists have cracked the code on transplanting our brains into shiny new vessels.

My body may be showing signs of wear, but I’m keeping my brain tight.

When I am not dreaming of far off worlds and writing, I am living a semi-normal life working in New York City, and watching movies with my wife and her spastic cat, Moss.

Relevant Links

Web site: https://www.bryonvaughn.com

Facebook: https://facebook.com/bryonvaughnauthor

Instagram: https://instagram.com/bryonvaughn

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bryonvaughn

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Neurogarden-NeuralTech-Corporation-Book-1-ebook/dp/B08F7BWCDZ

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

The author will award a $50 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via rafflecopter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3502

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INTERVIEW 2

Do you listen to music when you’re writing?

Always. Life can be distracting, especially in these times where many people are working and living in their homes hiding out from the ‘Rona. When I sit down to write, I put in my Air Pods and play something that drowns out the world around me. One note, though, I find it almost impossible to write if I am listening to something new. It has to be something that I can listen to on auto-pilot so it is not distracting.

Is your life anything like it was two years ago?

I am a creature of habit, so it is in my nature to try and find some routine and stick to that until it stops working or some outside force mixes things up. About a year ago, I was hit with an idea that dredged up that old fire to write and that changed my life greatly. I still had my work routine, but everything else was upended. I spent every spare moment writing, working to turn that idea into something more than my thoughts, and now with that fire stoked, my life is definitely different from what it was a year ago.

How long have you been writing?

When people ask me this I say I have been writing all my life, but aside from a few short stories published in the 90’s, this novel is my first professional writing experience. I think everybody that decides to put their work out there for the world to see is a lifelong writer, so it is splitting hairs when you separate profession from spilling your mind out onto the page. Writers are always writing, even if it is only for themselves.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

That is easy. Read as much as you can, live your life and fill it with experiences, and then just write. Write about everything and anything. Write about the subway ride to work or school. Write about the trash that was thrown out by your neighbors. Write about your first kiss, or the color of the hair of that boy that sits in front of you in biology. Just write and you will find your voice, and then start writing stories that you think people will want to read.

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

I don’t call it out in the blurb, but the main character, Jenny Mercado is Puerto Rican. It is not a critical plot point, but I wanted my characters to be representative of the diversity that is a big part of living in New York City. As the story unfolds, we also discover that she is bi-curious, which is tied more to the plot as the female antagonist has a growing obsession with Jenny.

VBT – THREADS

TourBanner_Threads

Threads
by Charlotte Whitney

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GENRE: Historical Fiction, Women’s Lit, Book Club Lit

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BLURB:

It’s a boring, hardscrabble life for three sisters growing up on a Michigan farm during the throes of the Great Depression.  But when young Nellie, digging for pirate treasure, discovers the tiny hand of a dead baby, rumors begin to fly.  Narrated by Nellie and her two older sisters, the story follows the girls as they encounter a patchwork of threatening circumstances and decide to solve the mystery.

BookCover_Threads

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EXCERPT

When I woke up this morning the first thing I thought of was that baby. What a dark, scary place for a baby to be buried. So alone, away from everyone. Where were its parents? Babies need to be held and cuddled and kept warm. Even dead babies need to be buried in the churchyard with purty flowers, not off in the cold, dark backwoods.

I keep thinking ’bout the Preston’s baby girl, such a sweet baby. I held her once when Mrs. Preston was sitting beside me on the davenport. The baby kept sleeping, then blew a little bubble and later I could feel her little fart that warn’t stinky at all. All the time she jist kept sleeping. When she finally woke up and fussed, Mrs. Preston picked her up and jiggled her and talked baby talk to her so she quit fussing. That’s how babies are posta be treated.

But thinking ’bout the Prestons made me sad, too. They lost their farm and had to move away to Mrs. Preston’s parents’ place in Indiana. Ma said we might never see them again. Ma and Mrs. Preston both cried when we said goodbye. Pa and Mr. Preston shook hands and Pa bit his lip. I’d only seen him do that once before, at my grandpa’s funeral.

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Author Image

AUTHOR Bio and Links

Charlotte Whitney grew up in Michigan and spent much of her career at the University of Michigan directing internship and living-learning programs. She started out writing non-fiction while at the University and switched to romance with I DREAM IN WHITE. A passion for history inspired her to write THREADS A Depression Era Tale chronicling the stories of three sisters on a farm during the throes of the Great Depression. She lives in Arizona, where she loves hiking, bicycling, swimming, and practicing yoga.

BUY LINK:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/THREADS-Depression-Tale-Charlotte-Whitney-ebook/dp/B07ZBN35JF/ref
IMPORTANT LINKS:
Author’s Website:
http://www.charlottewhitney.com

Facebook Author Page:
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LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlotte-whitney-8235463a/

Twitter
https://twitter.com/CWhitneyAuthor

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Charlotte Whitney will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC –

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Q&A With …. Charlotte Whitney

Tell us about you as a person.

Many people know me as an academic from my work at the University of Michigan. I’m a wife, mother, dog-lover, and exercise enthusiast, including Zumba, yoga, swimming, biking, and hiking. Also, I must add travel. I’m happiest when I’m planning the next trip

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

Eleanor Roosevelt, definitely. This former first lady overcame so many obstacles and brought about so much positive change in the world. She was ridiculed for her appearance, treated poorly by her mother-in-law, cuckolded by her husband the President, yet she did so much to help the working class, women, and people of color, back in the 1930’s and 40’s. She had a daily newspaper column that spoke to women, validated them. She set up a furniture factory, Val-Kill Industries to employ people during the Depression. She was a diplomat at the United Nations, and an advocate for labor, for servicemen, and child welfare. My favorite story about her is when Marion Anderson, an African American opera singer, in 1939 was banned by the DAR from singing at Constitution Hall because of her race. Eleanor resigned from the DAR and arranged for the concert to take place at the Lincoln Memorial. The event was attended by 75,000 people.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

Set in 1934 during the Great Depression, three sisters living on a Michigan farm, relate their stories of hardship, romance, and crime. It all starts when young Nellie goes out to the woods looking for pirate treasure and digs up the tiny hand of a dead baby. The sisters decide to form a club to solve the mystery, taking them down many different paths until it’s resolved.

What is your writing process?

In the summertime iced coffee is my inspiration; in the winter time it’s hot coffee. Seriously, I have no magic formulas for up-and-coming writers. Simply stick with it and get good editors.

Tell us about your main character:

There are three main characters: Nellie (age 7) is imaginative and talks to animals, Pottawatomi Indian boys, and a space alien named ZeeZee. Irene (11) is smart, arrogant, and judgmental to a fault. Flora (17) would like to become a farm wife but a vicious rumor quashes her hopes. All three are likeable in different ways and the reader sees how they develop and change over time.

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

Real-life sisters Maude and Iris Apatow types, for sure. Both have played spunky girl roles. The movie would open with an aerial shot spanning the entire farm, including the back meadow, woods, and creek. Roosters would be crowing while the neighbor man swears at his cattle. Then we’d see all three sisters waking up to face their chores collecting and washing dirty eggs, going to the windmill to pump water for the day, and setting a fire in the cookstove to begin breakfast.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on another historical novel, again set in rural Michigan in 1934. In this book twenty year-old Polly is suddenly widowed. As the book unfolds, it’s unclear if this was a suicide, homicide, or bizarre farm accident. There are plenty of twists to keep you guessing. The working title is VEILS: A Depression-Era Tale.

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

Get lots of reviews, get as much publicity as possible, even if you’re shy. Have a super-fun Launch Party; that will keep you motivated for a long time.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

I just finished Finding Mrs. Ford by Deborah Goodrich Royce. I’m fascinated by her success of weaving back and forth in time. Usually I find those dual time-lines distracting, or I lose interest in one of the story lines. Not this time.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

Perseverance. That’s a much needed quality for writers.

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

Invisibility and time travel. (Yes, I know that’s two.) I would love to listen in on so many conversations in so many strange places. It would provide great fodder for stories.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • A tour of Christmas Markets in Germany
  • Two weeks in Amsterdam
  • Sequoia National Park with my family
  • Tahiti and Bora Bora with my husband
  • A day at a fancy spa without once thinking about how much it costs

Any final thoughts?

I love to hear from readers. Let me know what’s on your mind, some of your favorite books and if you belong to a book club.

The following is a talk on YouTube where I describe my own childhood experiences as they relate to THREADS:

VBT – APOPHIS

TourBanner_Apophis

Apophis – Into the Folds of Darkness
by Raj Anand

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GENRE: Sci-fi, Science Fiction

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BLURB:

January, 2022: A dark monstrous twin-headed apparition – Apophis – feverishly races past the expanse of the Milky Way galaxy and bolts to the edge of the solar system. Recklessly accelerating, the sinister rock-dyad enters the gravitational keyhole of the blue planet and continues its resolute inebriated journey – to soon arrive with an apocalyptic impact on Earth.

December, 2012: Five sentient beings born in different cities – New York, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Azores Islands and Istanbul, discover amongst haunting memories of their phantasmal past lives, that it is their destiny to save humanity from the evil forces unleashed by the alien fiends – the Skyllats.

And now, the reincarnated 9-year-olds must rely on their shared, ancient wisdom to prepare humanity for the war across the galaxy that is imminent.

Cover_Apophis

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EXCERPT

The Barred Spiral Milky Way Galaxy
At the Edge of the Solar System
January 17, 2022 (Earth Time)

A dark monstrous apparition, slingshot from across another realm, camouflaged in a jagged, charcoal black rock, adroitly surfed the gravitational waves of the universe. Feverishly racing past the expanse of the Milky Way galaxy, it bolted to the edge of the solar system and arrived from above the plane of the ecliptic – gyrating closer to the sun.

The dark fiend continued its charge forward, cutting across the path of Venus – nearly crashing onto it, before it deftly decelerated and reached a stable orbit in a retrograde rotation around the pale-yellow planet. This tenacious temporary satellite immediately scrambled to steal a fragment of the protesting planet’s enormous momentum. Catapulted along the plain of the ecliptic, recklessly accelerating at an impossible speed – it shattered, splitting into two.

The newly formed rock dyad – a small black moon orbiting a sphere of death – pulled free from Venus. It continued its inebriated journey, salivating at the opportunity to rain a resolute chaos upon an orphic azure-blue bubble still 40 million kilometers away.

Unbeknownst to the alien rock dyad, a faint sliver of gold orbited nearby. The 7.5-meter-tall and 3.2-meter wide Sentinel Space Telescope clothed in a gold foil, with a giant heat-reflector shield strung along its back; cooled to 40 degrees Kelvin by a two stage, closed cycle Stirling cryocooler. Its 0.51-meter aluminum mirror, dutifully scanned any and all Inner Earth Objects larger than 90 meters in diameter that ever dared to fly across its 200-degree angle of regard.

The Sentinel Observatory, alarmed by the presence of the ghostly twin-headed monster, recorded the black rock dyad’s trajectory, shape, size, mass, and rotational dynamics, before it urgently sent a coded message to its home base in southern Japan.

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Author Pic

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Savinder Raj Anand is an architect and has been teaching Architecture & Design at various Universities in India for more than 12 years. A long-distance runner with a wanderlust to explore the world, and write stories that traverse across diverse cultures. He lives in Goa with his daughter, a dog, and two cats.

Inspired by his then 18-month-old daughter – when she quoted Socrates – while they together sat in a children’s bookstore in Bangalore (LIGHTROOM) in early January of 2015, he has completed this – his first book – as she turns 7 years old.

The book is $0.99 During the Tour

https://www.rajanandbooks.com/

https://www.instagram.com/rajanandbooks/

https://www.facebook.com/rajanandbooks/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Enter to win a $0 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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1. Can you describe your dream home?
That is an interesting question to ask of an Architect and an Ex-Professor of Architecture. I have lived most of my adult life on rent, given the paucity of funds and growing up in financially very difficult circumstances. So obviously the dream to finally design and build my own house one day – remains still only a dream. It is quite ironic, that I have designed more than 100 houses for my clients over the past 23 years, but have been unable to realize my own home yet.
But I have faith in the will of the Universe.
About the house – one day! A large green space for my dogs to roam around freely, the open space of course is as important for my young daughter to play in and for me to grow fruits and vegetables. Enough light across the whole house with large windows, a skylight, large volumes and of course an expansive study, where I can immerse myself in writing and happily adding to my extensive book collection.

2. If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?
I love to cook, but I am a vegetarian. So, I can promise you a great vegetarian (but not vegan) meal. It would certainly be baked, for I love to bake my vegetables, pastas, pizzas and potatoes. I am becoming better by the day in baking my own bread, so that would certainly be part of the menu as would a lemon zest vanilla cake for dessert.

3. Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.
In the beginning of April, 2020 (about 4 months before the formal book launch) and amidst the Corona virus epidemic, I began sharing a few chapters every week of the finished manuscript, with everyone who subscribed to them on my website. As an introduction I also made a short video, explaining the larger concept and idea of the book. Over the next few weeks the video went viral across the world, garnering nearly 200,000 views in less than one month and over 1000 readers had subscribed from across the world to read the early chapters – much to my happy surprise and amazement.
One of the earliest reviews volunteered by a reader was as follows:
“APOPHIS: I am closing my eyes and seeing the book wining many accolades and getting made into a Hollywood blockbuster, my friend. What a study, articulate language, thorough details – impressive all the way! I thank you for sharing these early chapters. Pleasure to be a part of this unfolding journey…”

4. Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
Obviously, the upcoming book would be the second in The Kleos Chronicles! For the second book I would love to travel to Mexico and Greece as part of my research (I shall not reveal more! Shhhhh!!!!)

5. Who designed the book cover for the book you are touring?
The book cover (after approaching several graphic designer) was finally designed by an Architect cum Artist based in Ahmedabad, close to the western coast of India. Ashish Dave, being an ardent, self-professed Science Fiction junky for more than 20 years was extremely excited at the prospect of designing the book cover for APOPHIS – his first! As he revealed later, to design a book cover for a Science Fiction book was a dream that had been festering inside of him – for a very long time!
And as the Universe always does, if your hearts are pure – it brought us together, through a common friend. Ashy (as he prefers to be called) and I together worked on the ideation of the book cover for several weeks, before he proposed a book cover that went beyond my wildest imagination!
It was dynamic, beautiful and so perfect in the context of the story and the book.
Thank you, Ashish ‘Ashy’ Dave!
He can be found online on his Instagram handle @flyashy

VBT – MIMI TAKES PARIS

TourBanner_Mimi Takes Paris

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.

It is the start of the adventures of a small black poodle, escapee from a cruel puppy mill, who is rescued by Nicole Marcel, a pretty girl singer in the City of Paris. The two become inseparable.

The little dog has an animal intelligence and a tremendous sense of smell, and proceeds to solve a murder, and other crimes by nasal prowess. Mimi gains celebrity status, as does her PERSON, Nicole.

It is a Cozy Mystery like no other!

In book two, titled “Mimi’s Paris Dilemma,” Mimi’s reputation, (and that of Nicole’s), is sullied by an unfair assessment by the public. The little dog slowly regains status by solving other crimes.

Cover_Mimi Takes Paris

Read an Excerpt

Mimi was fortunate enough to live in Paris, and she knew it. She, and her ‘person’ resided in a petite hotel on the Left Bank. That ‘person’ was young and pretty and would leash Mimi for walks.

In winter, Mimi wore a pink wool coat with a tiny, white handkerchief peeking out from a pocket on the back. It was so handsome against her jet -black toy-poodle hair. Of course, in warm weather, she only sported the leash.

How proud was Mimi to parade along the rues and boulevards. All of 12 inches long and perhaps 10 inches high, she walked with such elan, that people noticed her. She liked that. But most of all, Mimi reveled in the fact that she had been lucky enough to be endowed with a moist, black muzzle with two intense nostrils that provided her with a world of sensuality.

The scent of companion dogs with messages left behind, greeted her at every corner. The odor of soupe a l’oignon or boeuf, simmering in wine, emerged from the bistros as the two passed by, one two legged, the other on four. Oh, and to pass a fromagerie, was a special delight. The smell of the pungent cheeses from across the country within the little store could not be contained, and all of France was laid before Mimi’s hungry little nose.

Occasionally, Mimi was lucky enough to find a morsel of crepe au sucre on the rue Cler, inadvertently dropped by a hungry tourist who had been munching while he walked. Ah, life was good. What a lucky dog am I, was her constant thought.

Mimi knew she was smart, and she knew her sense of smell was extraordinary, even for a dog. She could define with her nose every herbal addition to a stew of veal with sage, or rosemary in a gigot d’agneau. Oh, the herbal names meant nothing, but the specific tingle in her nostrils made everything so clear, distinct and utterly delicious.

But not this time. This was a dark odor. It was the smell of blood.

About the Author:

The daughter of the Dean of Medicine at Columbia University, Elizabeth Cooke was raised in Manhattan, graduating from The Brearley School, and Vassar College, with a major in Drama, and minor in Art. As a young woman, she worked in theater and as a casting consultant, briefly served on the board of MoMA, before moving to Paris for three years, after her marriage ended. There, she immersed herself in the museums, studied at the Sorbonne, cooked at The Cordon Bleu, and traveled all over Europe. Until recently, Elizabeth Cooke resided on the East End of Long Island. For 10 years, she was the Chairman of The Bide-A-Wee Home, a prestigious animal shelter complex in New York City and Long Island. She also served on the Executive Committee of the Westhampton Free Library for 30 years.

ParisIn “Eye of the Beholder,” completed after the memoir, Elizabeth Cooke writes in rather irreverent terms, of the lives of six artists and the most compelling muse in each of their lives: next came, “A Shadow Romance,” an odyssey of an unfulfilled love affair between a mature New York City couple: then, the four “Hotel” books. She has just completed “How To Game People Without Even Trying,” the true story (fictionalized) of the murder of her second husband in his Paris apartment. A fifth ‘hotel’ book, titled “Rendezvous at a Small Hotel” has just been released. The sixth hotel book, “Intrigue at a Small Hotel” has received top honors from The Paris Book Festival for 2016. The seventh and final in the hotel series, “The Hotel Marcel Dining Club” is currently available.

For her, there is great joy in having the gift of expression that writing provides, and this is reflected in her rather prolific output.

https://elizabethcookebooks.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54433406-mimi-takes-paris

https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethBuffyCooke

https://twitter.com/MimiTakesParis

http://www.bookstagram.com/elizabethcookebooks

http://www.instagram.com/elizabethcookebooks

http://www.pinterest.com/elizabethcookebooks

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

Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/38G7W2m

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

VBT – TIDE’S END

TourBanner_Tide's End

Tide’s End
by Meredith Egan

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GENRE: Contemporary Fiction

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BLURB:

Taylor Smythe dreams of having a loving family. But first, he has to rescue his little sister Jenny from the gritty underbelly of the child cyberporn industry. Taylor journeys from homelessness in the inner city to a community in the dripping forests of the Pacific Northwest to confront the relentless pounding of his fiercest pain. Can he become the big brother Jenny needs right now, and for the rest of their lives? Tide’s End explores the many faces of sexual assault and human trafficking, and how life can shatter for those most affected – the victims. Because #MeToo is more common than we can imagine. As is #ChildrenToo and even #BoysToo. It tears apart our families and neighbourhoods. And wherever there is suffering, there are guardians and helpers who still the relentless pounding to encourage Tide’s End.

Cover_Tide's End

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EXCERPT

If this is what I have to do to rescue Jenny, I’ll figure it out, I thought as I drove along the dark, narrow roadway. My little sister is worth it, even if I feel like throwing up. Occasionally the overhanging trees dropped massive dumps of water onto my car. Or rather, into my car through rust holes and windows that didn’t seal. Every time there was the thunder of falling water, I ducked.

What the hell have you gotten me into, Marta? I thought, wishing daggers at the social worker who’d sent me here. Crawling further up the driveway, I turned a corner and gasped.

Holy crap, I thought, staring at the building in front of me. I’d stayed in dodgy motels. Run down apartments. But I’d never been in a place like this before. Ever. In my life. This place was huge, and gorgeous, and knew I wouldn’t fit in. I’d registered for the Survivors of Sexual Assault Retreat, but would it be okay? What would it take to blend?

The money I’d need to pay for the rest of the damned retreat was in my torn duffle. But this looked decidedly upper class, and, well…here I was hoping my junker would make it up the driveway. It’d been my home for the last three months…so not upper class.

Is this really what I need to do to get Jenny back? I’d just turned 19, and getting custody of Jenny Benny, being an epically amazing big brother for a change…that was the most important thing to me. Marta thought I’d better deal with my sexual…history first.

My mind bounced all over. Then it landed on maybe tonight I’ll get warm. Like, to my bones, warm. I smiled.

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AuthorPhoto

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Meredith Egan is an author of critically acclaimed novels, Just Living: a novel and Tide’s End: A Just Living novel. The stories are shaped from her work with crime victims and violent prisoners over more than thirty years. Meredith is trained in mediation and peacemaking circles., and has been honoured to learn from many First Nations peoples. Meredith coaches writers and other creative folks and offers workshops and training through her Daring Imagination work.

Meredith is the principal at Wild Goat Executive Coaching where her clients include leaders in the automotive, technology, government and small business fields. She lives at the Groundswell Ecovillage in beautiful Yarrow, BC. with her dog Mollie, and rambunctious feline sisters Firefly and Filigree. For fun she dabbles in cooking soup for her neighbours, and soaking in her hot tub with her four adult children when they visit.

You can find Meredith through her website, and on Facebook and Twitter for information about her novels, and her coaching work. Meredith welcomes opportunities to speak with groups about justice, and writing. Her books are available through Amazon and local bookstores.

Website: http://www.meredithegan.ca/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meredith.egan.writer/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WildGoatCoach
Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.ca/Tides-End-Just-Living-novel-ebook/dp/B083HCP264

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Meredith Egan will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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