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Tag: Christian Romance

Interview with Lila Diller and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am so happy to have Lila Diller as my guest. My husband and I have spent years ministering to marriages, studying male/female dynamics, and writing articles about relationships. It’s always nice to meet someone who has a heart for marriage like we do. I hope you enjoy Lila’s interview and much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win not just one but TWO books in her current series!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hi, I’m an introverted, small-town ginger—novelist, blogger, home school mom—with a humorous husband, two energetic and funny boys, a “knead”-y cat, and a rambunctious dachshund puppy. Our home overflows with cuteness, creativity, and laughter. I encourage Christian wives through fiction and nonfiction to work past disappointment in their marriage to remain faithful to the God who faithfully pursues them.

Tell us about your current release. Her Heart’s Disappointment – #4 in the “Love is” series – continues Morgan’s search for true love in the newlywed phase, which turns out to be less than perfect. After the disappointments and annoyances have worn her down, she is blindsided by the big problems—a close friend’s failed marriage and her possible infertility. Will she stop blaming Jason or just continue sweeping her true feelings under the rug?

Whats the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I think it must have been when the Challenger shuttle exploded, in 1986. I was almost 8 years old. One of the lady astronauts was from my state, and it was a big deal in our school.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? It depends on why I’m blocked. If it’s because I don’t know what to write next, then I need to do more prewriting or character development. If it’s because my creativity is empty, I take a nap or watch a favorite movie to fill it up again.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I have always wanted to write since grade school. I never thought I was good enough, especially after a creative writing teacher in college made some harsh comments. So I gave up on that dream for 15 years. What pushed me to follow my dream again was when I dreamed about my heroine being chased by two men. I prayed and felt the Lord telling me to finish it. When my sister attempted suicide, I put it away as not important in the grand scheme of life and death. Several months later, once she was doing well, I felt the Lord urging me to put my story as a family member of an attempted suicide. Now I want to help Christians grow in their walk with Christ because of my books.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? Well, actually, I was just too impatient to wait for an agent to seek traditional publishing. 😉 I really didn’t know what I was doing at first. I just wanted to be able to call myself a “published author,” so I self-published. Once I did, I realized that I needed to tell others about my book, so I learned everything I could about the marketing and business side.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? That depends on the project. With my “Love is” series, I had the main characters and the overall plotline of chronologically following one couple from friends to dating to engagement to wedding to children… and we’ll see how long it goes. 😉

With my Jane Austen fanfiction, I brainstormed minor characters from Austen’s novels and began with what I knew of them and worked backward.

I have found that I am a plotter, or at least more of a plotter than pantser. The more concrete details I have about each scene, the easier is it to write. I don’t just write to find out what happens. Though I enjoy proofreading other authors’ works, I can’t stand that much editing of my own work. 😉

What is your preferred method of writing? Computer. Though I love pens, I type so much faster than I write. If I take too long to write it, I forget all my ideas. My memory is not good enough to take that chance.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? Morgan in my “Love is” series is taken directly from myself and what I would do if I were ever in those situations. Through her story, I’m trying to show how the Lord has changed me from an insecure receptionist to a more confident woman and writer.

Here is where you can find Lila online:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/loveisseries

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/liladiller

Instagram: www.instagram.com/liladiller

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16575789.Lila_Diller

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Lila-Diller/e/B06XPT2GND

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lila-diller

Booksnatcher: https://booksniffer.com/lila-diller

Lila is giving away the first two books in her “Love Is” series to a reader! See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 1/11/21 – Daisy’s Decision!

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m talking about tomorrow’s release of Daisy’s Decision!

Daisy has had a crush on Ken since high school, so going on just one date with him can’t possibly hurt, can it? Even if she’s just been painfully dumped by the man she planned to spend the rest of her life with, and whose unborn baby she carries? Just one date?

Get your copy on Amazon today!

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Interview with Lori Altebaumer and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am excited to have Lori Alterbaumer as my guest. Her debut book sounds SO GOOD. If you love romantic suspense, you definitely want to check it out. I very much enjoyed seeing the glimpses of Lori’s heart for our God in her answers and hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her book!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Howdy from the Lone Star State!  I’m Lori Altebaumer and admitting to others that telling lies is my passion seems a bit harsh. I’m a fiction writer seems so much more acceptable. I do write both fiction and non-fiction (which means I’m not always telling lies), although fiction is my first love (which might tell you about my propensity for telling lies). Of course, truth is truth no matter where you find it—even if it comes wrapped up in fiction.

I have a degree from Texas A&M University in Agricultural Development, and I love my country roots. It’s true that you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. And eventually, the girl moves back to the country. Those country roots are evident in my writing and my perspective on life. I’m a wandering soul with a home keeping heart, so I enjoy exploring new places with my husband—and always coming home to our place in the country. I look forward to traveling more soon, but until then I am visiting the homes of my adult children often where I can rummage through their refrigerators and food pantries while complaining there’s nothing good to eat there.

Tell us about your current release. My debut novel, A Firm Place to Stand, is a romantic suspense that released in January 2020. It’s a story of not only the power of forgiveness, but of the desperate need we have to both give and receive this forgiveness. This is the story of a young woman trying to disappear from her past, who comes to understand this need of forgiveness by looking from the outside into the lives of others. Set at a summer camp for girls in West Texas, Maribel has to contend with both the darker side of human nature as well as the brutal side of Mother Nature. But most deadly of all is the proof that she is being stalked, and disappearing in Turnaround, Texas, hasn’t made her as invisible as she hoped.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No. I answer to God for everything I write. He alone has the final say and He alone is my source of affirmation. When I sit down to write, I am on a path of discovery with God. If I gave in to the pressure to write for worldly success, I am convinced I would lose the joy of writing. The process would lose its ability to be a path of discovery if I tried to direct my steps—my words—to meet the expectations of others.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? The answer to this question depends on the goal and purpose of a work of Christian Fiction. If I’m writing a novel meant to entertain without offending, I think the Christian Fiction market is pretty clear on what is acceptable. But if I’m writing a novel that I hope will inspire a transformation, bring healing, lead someone to the word of God, the expectations get a bit murkier. I believe what is often missing in some Christian Fiction is a more accurate portrayal of reality. We live in a broken and sinful world. The stories that can reflect that without sensationalizing or glorifying it are the ones with the most power to reach the lost. They have the most power to change lives. That is the kind of writing I aspire to. If my writing is to be a path of discovery with God, then I have to be honest about the world around me. I have to go where God goes, and that is often to the seedy side of town in search of a lost lamb.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? The answers to the questions above probably give you some clue as to the reason why I felt comfortable with self-publishing. The real answer is multi-faceted though. For starters, I lacked the platform numbers needed to find an agent. I’m sure I could have shopped around and found someone willing to take the chance, but at what cost of time when I already possessed the resources needed to move forward. Not being an overly tech savvy or social person, I knew it would be a long, uphill climb to reach those numbers. I also knew I would need to hire editors, cover designers, and formatters to tackle the parts I’m not proficient in. I wanted a quality book so readers to feel it was worth their time and money. Oddly enough, publishing my book has done more for my numbers than anything else I have tried, not to mention giving me a boldness to talk about it I didn’t have before. While having the credibility of a traditional publisher behind my book would be great, I don’t regret moving forward with publishing this book the way I saw it and making it available for others to read. I’ve been pleased with the reviews and comments I have received from readers, so it has been worth it for me.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? They definitely develop as I write. I start with an idea—most likely a scene—that has popped into my head, capturing my attention. It demands I find out more about these characters and what’s going on. The characters are often just like people I meet in real life who don’t tell me everything right at first. They are especially annoying when they withhold key information until I’m almost finished and suddenly they reveal something crucial to the plot that I didn’t know… “What do you mean he’s your step-brother and why couldn’t you tell me this twenty chapters ago?” With that being said, I am trying to blend some elements of planning into my process in order to avoid the massive amounts of rewriting I have to do by learning as I go.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? The biggest thing I learned from finishing my first book was that you have to write a book to truly understand how to write a book. I had been reading books on craft for years, but until I actually sat down and did the work to make it all happen, I couldn’t get a good grasp on so many of the things I was reading and learning. Don’t wait until you know it all (you never will) to write the book. Write the book, study craft as much as you can, and engage with a group of brutally honest (not the same as mean) critique partners. And never give up.

Here is where you can find Lori online:

Website               https://www.lorialtebaumer.com/

Facebook             https://www.facebook.com/lori.altebaumer

Twitter                  https://twitter.com/lori_altebaumer

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

Book Bub             https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lori-altebaumer

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

Lori is giving away an ebook copy of her newest release A Firm Place to Stand. See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Interview with Jennifer Delamere and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I have Jennifer Delamere as my guest. Jennifer’s parents sound like they’d be the starring characters in a contemporary romance novel — the journalist and the Navy pilot. I love it! As an Army brat, I can completely understand moving around a lot, and I think that also inspired my love of reading and traveling. It’s always fun to have a guest that I can relate to. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m the youngest child of a Navy pilot and a journalist. We moved around a lot during my formative years. I credit this for both my love of travel and my love of reading. These days, I live in North Carolina. This affords me plenty of opportunities for day hiking, which is my favorite away-from-the-computer activity. For my “day job,” I’m an editor and project manager for a company that produces educational materials. I love reading history books, so when I became it writer it seemed inevitable that I would want to write historical fiction. My books are set in Victorian England, a time and place I find fascinating. It was a time of great innovation, with many shifts in technology and culture—and in that sense, not unlike our own times!

Tell us about your current release. Line By Line is the first book in my new series about three friends who are telegraph operators in Victorian London. Almost from the beginning, telegraphy was an occupation pursued by women as well as men. Sometimes they worked in separate departments, but more and more, men and women worked right alongside each other. It didn’t escape too many people at the time that this setup could easily give rise to workplace romances. That’s a fun fact that I’ll be pursuing in this series.

Since she was young, Alice McNeil has seen success as a telegrapher as the best use for her keen and curious mind. Years later, she has yet to regret her freedom and foregoing love and marriage, especially when she acquires a coveted position at an important trading firm. But when the company’s ambitious junior director returns to London, things begin to change in ways Alice could never have imagined.

For Douglas Shaw, years of hard work and ingenuity enabled him to escape a life of grinding poverty. He’s also determined to marry into high society—a step that will ensure he never returns to the conditions of his past.

He immediately earns Alice’s respect by judging her based on her skills and not her gender, and a fast camaraderie forms. However, when Alice accidentally angers a jealous coworker and his revenge threatens both their reputations, Alice and Douglas are forced to confront what is truly important in their lives. Will their growing bond give them the courage to see the future in a different light?

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely. My primary aim is always to write books that are entertaining, interesting, edifying, and inspiring. If my book accomplishes any of those goals for a reader, I feel it has been a success. That said, there are always spiritual themes in my books, and I do hope they strike a chord with the reader and help them see some aspect of their lives in a new light.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? It’s quite the opposite, really. I’m always striving to become a better writer, because I feel that’s what will ultimately help me reach a larger audience.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? I sold my first book in the fall of 2011. Self-publishing was still very new at that time, and I never really considered it as an option. Today, I still prefer traditional publishing. I’m thankful for my publisher’s support in marketing, the art department making fabulous book covers, and most of all for the high-quality editing support. These things help me focus on the writing, which is what I love most, and make me feel I’ve produced the best book possible for my readers.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I have the “big picture” elements laid out before I begin writing. I have a synopsis that’s about 8-10 pages long. My books always end up following that general thread (so far!), but there is also room for discoveries along the way. Characters will surprise me at times, and new plot threads will emerge. That’s always exciting! My synopsis is more like a general framework within which the creative process can still thrive.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? There are times when I struggle to figure out what the next scene should be, despite my synopsis. That’s when I find it really helpful to brainstorm with another writer. Talking it out helps me clarify where I’m going. This discussion helps spark new ideas in my mind, plus she’ll offer suggestions that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. I love that collaborative process. At other times, when I know what scene to write but can’t figure out the best way to approach it, I’ve gone a different route. I step away from the computer and sit somewhere comfortable with pen and paper and begin writing the parts of the scene that I do know. That seems to free up a different part of my writing brain. Before too long, the scene begins to take shape, and I know how to use those writing scraps I started with.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? Not sure if this counts, but when I was visiting the Roman Baths in Bath, England, I came across a display in the little museum there that suddenly sparked an idea for an interesting and probably very odd time-travel story. I have yet to write it, but perhaps someday I will!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Write the book you want to read. It’s the best way to discover your writing “voice” and allow it to develop and thrive into a style that is uniquely yours. Understand also that writing is a craft, a skill that needs to be developed. Learn from writing workshops, books, and fellow authors. Not every piece of information you get from others will work for you, but much of it will (or can be adapted to your unique writing process). Don’t expect perfection the first time around. Keep working at it. Enjoy the journey!

Here is where you can find Jennifer online:

Webpage : www.jenniferdelamere.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/Jennifer.delamere

Twitter: @JenDelamere

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jenniferdelamere

Jennifer is giving away two copies of Line by LIne to a reader! See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Sherrinda Ketchersid and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I have historical romance author Sherrinda Ketchersid as my guest. I have to say – I LOVE medieval romances – especially Scottish medieval romances. As soon as I saw the cover, I was immediately attracted to his book – and the description even more makes me want to read it! I enjoyed getting to know Sherrinda more and finding a kindred spirit in a Han Solo fan. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release.

Tell us about your current release. When Ian McGowan attempts to claim Whitfield Castle as his rightful inheritance, he finds himself barred by a tempestuous lass who is entailed to be the bride of the castle’s new owner.

Claire Beaumont, the orphaned ward of Whitfield, has good reason to hate Scots, and she is not about to let a Scot enter her beloved home. But when the handsome knight steals into the castle and proves his claim on the land, she must face her ultimate nightmare—marriage to her sworn enemy—in order to save those she cares about most.

Restoring the failing Whitfield Castle while wooing his defiant intended proves more challenging than Ian anticipated. His struggles reach a crisis when his nemesis arrives at the castle, and he must overcome his past demons to prove his worth. He must fight for what is his to keep—and it could well cost him his heart.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher(or agent or audience if you self publish)? I have always been a people pleaser, so this is a struggle for me. I’ve learned over the years to have a tougher skin—you must if you are going to stay in this business. I think what helps is the hope that I can produce a story that readers will enjoy. Reading has been such a joy to me, and I strive to create something that readers can get lost in.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Oh my goodness. This will tell my age, but Han Solo in Star Wars. I was 12 when the first Star Wars came out on the screen, and while everyone else fell in love with Luke, I fell in love with Han. The tough guy with a tender heart. A hero who has a soft underbelly. And he is hilarious. I love a guy with a great sense of humor.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I loved reading, even as a young child. My aunt got me hooked on romances in high school and that is when the dream to write began. I even started a novel in high school. But life got in the way, and I put my dream aside until I turned 40 years old. I decided then that I would cross that off my bucket list before I died! I’ve been writing ever since.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Yes, I like to do character development with the enneagram and figure out their goals, motivation, and conflict. I do like to have the basic plot points laid out but have some leeway in getting to those points. I think it helps to know the character and how they would respond in certain situations before you start writing. Of course, as I write, they will surprise me and act completely opposite, but I figure that is the fun part of writing.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? I would say to read books on how to write and attend seminars and conferences. But most of all, you need to enjoy the journey and don’t fret over getting published. Keep writing. Keep loving it. Keep telling stories. There are so many paths to take on this journey, but you should have fun on whatever path you take.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) I loved C.S. Lewis’s books, The Chronicles of Narnia. I also loved George MacDonald’s fairytales. Of course, Anne of Green Gables, and The Girl of the Limberlost (my grandmother’s favorite book).

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? I would have to say Fiona, Ian McGowan’s sister,  in His to Keep. She is a peacemaker and that is me … I love harmony. She tries to calm down Ian’s nemesis in the story, as well as point Ian to God’s peace. She is the heroine in my next book, which I am now plotting.

Here is where you can find Sherrinda online:

Website: www.sherrinda.com

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

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/sherrinda

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

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19022507.Sherrinda_Ketchersid

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sherrinda-ketchersid

Newsletter Signup: https://www.subscribepage.com/z2m6x3

Sherrinda is giving away an ebook or print copy of His to Keep to a reader! (Print to US only) See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Amy Anguish and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m so excited to have author Amy R. Anguish as my guest. I love how, like me, Amy gets ideas for plots and books during worship service. That happens to me all.the.time. I’m convinced it’s because that’s when I relax my control and really let God speak to me. Amy’s book, Saving Grace sounds incredible! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am a mom of two, a wife of 16 years, married to my college sweetheart. I love cats, butterflies, polar bears, and happy flowers like zinnias, sunflowers and daisies. I eat way too much chocolate, love pop music from the 90s and 70s, and prefer my socks to be patterned instead of white. I read way too much and still have over 500 unread stories on my kindle. I am a people person.

Tell us about your current release. Saving Grace is a friend-to-romance story, but not a typical one. Through the whole book, Michelle doesn’t realize that Greg loves her and always has. And there are several moments when he begins to doubt chasing the dream of having her as his wife is worth it, especially considering she wants to adopt an orphaned child as her own.

Book Blurb:

What if saving Grace doesn’t mean what she thinks it does?

Michelle Wilson’s one goal in life was to become a top journalist at the local paper back in her hometown of Cedar Springs, AR. But on the way to bringing that dream to reality, a life-changing wreck interrupts Michelle’s plans and adds an orphaned baby into the mix. Now, she has tough decisions ahead—did God put her in that accident to save baby Grace? And if so, why is it so hard to convince everyone else she should be the baby’s new mommy?

Greg Marshall has been Michelle’s best friend his whole life. He’s thrilled she’s moving back home, but not so sure about her sudden desire to be a single mom. His feelings for her have grown through the years, but she’s never seemed to notice. Can he help Michelle with the adoption and grow their relationship at the same time?

What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? So many things. One time, before we started dating, I told my now-husband, “I’d never marry a guy like you.” Talk about eating those words!

I also said I would never live in Texas, but we lived in Round Rock for five years and Tyler for 6. And loved it.

And being on YouTube. Add that to the list. I am one of three authors who run the channel Once Upon a Page, and we’re about to celebrate posting videos for a year. It’s been a lot more fun than I thought when I first agreed.

I also have had pink streaks in my hair about four times now. And I’d do it again. It’s really fun.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? I don’t know about strangest, but I can honestly say the most annoying place to get an idea is during worship services. Especially when it’s one that won’t leave you alone until you scribble something down on the edge of the bulletin. I sort of have to send up a “Sorry, God” as my mind takes me away from the sermon every now and then.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? Fun fact, I started writing full-length novels during Nanowrimo. The goal for that is 50,000 words. Once upon a time, I thought that was long enough. However, the last three years or so, I’ve upped my goal to closer to 75,000 words … and actually accomplished it in the 30-day timeframe. Novembers are brutal for me, but so worth it. Every single one of my novels that has been and is being published have come from participating in Nanowrimo.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? Partly, I think I wanted to be published traditionally for the validation. Granted, the editing and having someone else pay the upfront costs that come with publishing are also major perks. But to have someone else look at my story and agree it was worth it to put out there where people could pay money for it? That was amazing. And I’ve had it happen four times now!

I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction? You assume a lot! Ha! I will say, when I start to write down a book, most of the time I know the beginning and the end, along with several scenes between. Other than that, I don’t always know what’s going to happen. I started out a pantser, allowing my characters to dictate what happened in my story. I’m more of a “plantser” now, planning more of it, or at least scribbling down the ideas as they come so I can arrange them in an order that makes the most sense. But my husband just shakes his head at me, because every now and then I stop writing and say, “Huh. I didn’t see that coming.” Why? Because one of my characters just said or did something that makes perfect sense, but it hadn’t even crossed my mind when I started writing the story. I’ve learned that if you develop your characters well enough early on, they’ll write the story for you. All you have to do is point them in the right direction.

Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when you started this story? Honestly, I was probably in bed. A lot of times, while trying to sleep, my mind wanders through story ideas, plotting out scenes, wondering what a character would do in this or that situation. I think the way this story got started was the idea, “What would happen if the best friend you’d been in love with forever finally came back home, but she didn’t come alone? Instead, she came home with a baby.”

Here is where you can find Amy online:

http://abitofanguish.weebly.com

https://www.facebook.com/amyanguishauthor

https://www.pinterest.com/msguish/my-books/

twitter.com/amy_r_anguish

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEiu-jq-KE-VMIjbtmGLbJA

Amy is giving away a copy of her book, Saving Grace to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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