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Quick Five© Rachel Neumeier

     Courtesy of Rachel Neumeier
Courtesy of Rachel Neumeier

Name: Rachel Neumeier

Who is Rachel? Fantasy author that turned her hobby into her full time occupation.

Website: http://www.rachelneumeier.com/

Books: Black Dog, The City in the Lake, House of Shadows, The Floating Islands, Griffin Mage Books 1-3

Buy: Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Itunes

You have to respect the authors that write and write and then write some more and are able to deliver not just quantity but quality as well.

Meet author Rachel Neumeier, a woman whom started writing as hobby and decided to craft it into her life.

Enjoy her Quick Five©

Your style of writing focuses on YA and Fantasy . . . what drew you toward those genres?  Do you have a favorite author or book?  Or do you feel these genres are lacking something you feel you can add?

I’m sure I started writing fantasy simply because I’ve always read a lot of fantasy.  I was just playing when I started writing, and it was natural to play in the genre I like best.  My reading tastes have broadened in the past few years as I’ve followed the recommendations of bloggers I trust into genres that are outside my typical range, but I still can’t really imagine wanting to write, say, contemporary romance.  I expect I’ll always fall naturally into fantasy.

To me, YA isn’t a genre so much as a marketing device.  I don’t really distinguish between YA and adult fantasy when I’m reading – I mean, when I was a teenager, the YA category didn’t really exist, at least not as it does today.  So I just read everything. 

      Strange Chemistry      Published Feb. 4, 2014               130 Pages
Strange Chemistry
Published Feb. 4, 2014
130 Pages

Today, I still barely distinguish between YA and adult fantasy when I write, which sometimes creates a challenge when I actually need to slant a particular book one way or the other.  When I needed to write the second book of the Griffin Mage trilogy, for example, all that would occur to me were YA plots and protagonists.  Finally I just said, Fine, the protagonist is 42 years old.  You can bet that decision gave that novel a hard shove toward the adult end of the spectrum, which was very helpful. 

I’m sure I have too many favorite authors to even begin to list them.  I think Patricia McKillip writes the most beautiful, lyrical fantasy – I think she’s the single best writer in fantasy today.  I think Martha Wells does the most fantastic, visual, panoramic worldbuilding.  I just read The Bones of the Fair by Andrea Höst, an author who is one of my favorite discoveries from 2013.

I wouldn’t say that anything is lacking in today’s genre fiction; there’s so much out there, it’s hard to see how anything could be lacking, though of course it can be hard just to discover the titles that you would most love.  I’m not really trying to achieve something – I’m more just trying to tell the kind of stories I most love as a reader.

Your latest book, BLACK DOG, has just been released.  How were you inspired to write this book?

BLACK DOG is a departure for me, because it’s much more paranormal-ish than anything else I’ve written, and set in  world that looks almost like ours, at least to a first glance.  This is very different from my secondary world fantasy, and presented new challenges and pleasures.

I was drawn to write BLACK DOG because I fell in love with Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, and then with several other paranormal and urban fantasy series.   I really wanted to write something like those series, only of course not too similar.  BLACK DOG was the result.  I do think my black dogs present a somewhat different spin on the “werewolf” tropes, though.

Do you feel that diversity or lack thereof in YA Fantasy is a concern, or do you feel that it is already where it should be?

                  Orbit   Published July 10, 2012             352 pages Kindle
Orbit
Published July 10, 2012
352 pages Kindle

My impression is that there are a lot of authors thinking about diversity issues right now, so I expect to see an increase in diversity of protagonists and important secondary characters in the next few years.  I think many white, straight authors are probably nervous about trying to write diverse protagonists in case they get it wrong, but I also think it’s important for authors to take that risk, and I think more are.

Something that annoys me more than a non-diverse cast of characters is “tokenism”, where an author sticks one or two diverse characters in a book in order to “make a statement.”  I think that it’s usually very obvious when an author does that; it comes across to the reader as manipulative and artificial.  I don’t think there’s any excuse for substituting A Statement for a real story.

I think it’s very important to have great characters who also happen to be diverse, not a token secondary character who is The Black Character or The Gay Character.  One great example – this is contemporary YA – is offered by FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB by Antony John, in which the protagonist is a beautifully-drawn, complex, realistic girl who also happens to be deaf.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer?

Finishing my first book.  Or maybe finishing my second book.  Or, at the moment, I would be pretty thrilled to finish my current work-in-progress.  Actually finishing a complete draft is always reason to celebrate. 

I will say, writing both the second and third Griffin Mage books in six months total was quite an accomplishment.  I would prefer not to have quite such a tight deadline again, though!

When someone reads your books, what feeling do you want them to be left with? 

     Knopf Books for Young Readers     Published July 8, 2008                304 Pages
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published July 8, 2008
304 Pages

What an interesting question.

I don’t write (or read) grimdark, which I think is unrealistically nihilistic and bleak.  That kind of

hopeless despair about the world and the people in it is the exact opposite of what I want to infuse into my stories.

Grim things can happen to good people in my stories.  Certainly that’s true of BLACK DOG.  But, not to provide a spoiler or anything, in my books, the good guys are going to triumph in the end.

I want to leave my readers with the feeling that in the end, good guys do win.  That in the end, striving to overcome evil and make the world a better place is worthwhile, both because of what the effort means to the world and what it means to you

Quick Five© with Travis Luedke

Courtesy of Travis Luedke
Courtesy of Travis Luedke

Name: Travis Luedke

Who is Travis? Hilarious father and full time author with a true love for sexy horror.

Website: http://www.twluedke.com/

Books: The Nightlife Series (Books 1-3), The Shepherd, Blood Slave, A World of Romance (ASMSG Collections#3)

Where to Buy? Amazon and Barnes & Nobles

 

You instantly know when you found the author of your dreams; fun, passionate, knowledgeable and so completely serious all at the same time. Readers meet Travis Luedke a wonderful author who provides a breath of fresh air in genre (paranormal romance) so often used.  Interview by Tania Lasenburg, Travis explains not only his thought process when writing but how serious self-publishing really is.

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Were you always a writer? If not what did you do before you decided to publish your first book and why did you decide to leave it?

I started writing in 2010. It wasn’t until 2012 I decided to self-publish. Once I saw everybody doing it, I knew it was time. I love the control I have over every step of the publishing process.

Control freak? Yes.

 

Why did you choose romance paranormal? What it is about that genre that you feel draws readers

and writers in?

I have always been a fan of escapist fiction like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robert R. McCammon, and Peter Straub. I found horror novels based on the supernatural were my Brian Lumley taught me the dark, wicked beauty of vampires. Then I discovered Anne Rice. I loved The Vampire Chronicles, but these creatures never had any sex! I wanted vampires who get it on, seducers. With Laurell K. Hamilton I finally found the full, combo meal deal. Vicious predators, sexy seducers, and gobs of smoking-hot sex; I’m a total addict now. PNR is my guilty pleasure, and that’s what I write. I have my cake and eat it too. My vampires live in the real nightlife of today: back alleys, ghettos, strip clubs, casinos, drugs, prostitution, escorts, mafia, cartel. All that good stuff.

I like it dark, gritty, violent and sensual, with thriller intensity. I blend these elements into my own wicked cocktail.

 

How has your experiences been in the publishing world? Is there a lot of networking? Sucking up?

          Self Published    Published Aug. 18, 2012              Kindle Edition
Self Published
Published Aug. 18, 2012
Kindle Edition

Or did you have an easier time because your writing spoke for

I pretty much splatter myself on every major social media platform. You could call me a social media junky. I spend more time there than I do actually writing. For those who like a dark, gritty, sexual read, my work does speak for itself, and the Nightlife Series cover art oozes sensuality. Honestly, publishers trying to combat obscurity need to get creative, get guerilla. It’s all about metadata and Amazon’s internal SEO, keywords and categories. We have to grab eyeballs with freebies, giveaways, discounted sales. Our main advantage over traditional publishers is our ability and willingness to sell for less, and give books away. I know, it sucks. We write our masterpieces only to give them away?

Sounds insane.

But Amazon is the self-publishers best friend. A massive freebie campaign, giving away twenty thousand books, is

really a smart move. Everybody debates the pros and cons, but this is the best way to get our books in front of thousands of eyeballs. For prolific authors with a series, numerous titles available, a fat ass freebie run brings loads of attention to our other books.

 

 What in your daily life allows you to stay creative?

I have a constant stream of ideas. Never dries up. My critique partners look at my ideas and give me a score on the suckometer (usually needs a lot of work). They know my writing intimately, and they bring me back down to reality. It’s easy to become consumed with a new idea. I need my team to point out the gazillion flaws in my genius (lots and lots of flaws). Either it sticks, or the idea is discarded for something better. A novel is constantly evolving, right up until the moment I click publish. The real problem is putting away the social media to focus on writing. Social media will consume your life, an addiction worse than drugs.

 

Finally, how has your writing changed from your first book to your last?

Its sexier, meaner, leaner, tastes great, and less filling. I write the light beer version these days, a minimalist approach. Lots of chopped clauses. A sprinkle of touchy-feely. Some wall-smashing, toe curling sex scenes. Sift in a few pounds of crushing violence and cover it in blood frosting (several quarts of arterial flow sprayed across the room). I have a lot of fun with my writing. Got no problem getting into the mind of villains. It’s the heroes I always struggle to write.

 

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               Amazon   Published May 1, 2013              Kindle Edition
Amazon
Published May 1, 2013
Kindle Edition

To know more about the always active Travis Luedke or simply enjoy some good

Twitter

Goodreads

Blog

Wattpad

Facebook

(truly king of social media)

 

 

 

 

                                       For your Quick Five© email wordpress174@gmail.com for details.

 

Quick Five© with Dawn Robertson

     Courtesy of Dawn Robertson (EroticaDawn.com)
Courtesy of Dawn Robertson (EroticaDawn.com)

Who is Dawn Robertson? Sarcastic realistic mother & lover of romance, smoothies and the convenience of a drive thru.

Book: Her, Finding Willow and Kink in the Halls

Website: http://www.eroticadawn.com/

Where to buy? Amazon and Barnes & Nobles

Everyone loves a good naughty book. Ether its plain old nastiness or just a good story with some great sex, everyone enjoys a book that heightens the physical imagination. With that being said Motif Ink would like to introduce Amzon Best Selling Erotic writer Dawn Robertson. Mother and happy Pitbull owner, Dawn explains to Tania Lasenburg why writing is her life and how she makes it work.

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What was it that made you leave you full time job to write? Was it a specific event or just a build up?

I just couldn’t do both anymore. I originally started writing as a hobby. Then it slowly became a full time job, which I absolutely loved doing. I really believe to be happy in life, you need to love what you do.

How did you handle a full house with a new career? 

I still have no idea. I try and write while the kids are at school or sleeping, since it is quiet but with deadlines sometimes that doesn’t always work.  It is a lot of give and take.

Why did you choose Erotica as the genre for your first novel?

Published Oct. 10, 2013       Kindle Edition
Published Oct. 10, 2013
Kindle Edition

This is my first erotic novel, I have written romance under my real name, but when I decided to branch off into something a little more “outside the box” I wanted to distance myself.  I am an erotica junkie myself, and I had so many ideas that fell right into the genre so easily.

How are you able to balance sensual scenes in your novel and the story between the characters?

I still am trying to work on that. I *think* I got it right with Hers, but I certainly struggled. It is a hard balance, because I often found myself questioning whether the sex was too much, or not enough; maybe too early in the book, or not hot enough once the couple established their real relationship. I kind of just threw caution to the wind and hoped it all worked out for the best!

Finally, what inspires your writing?

Everything. But I think most of the time it is a scene.

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Always love connecting with her fans follow Dawn Robertson here:

Twitter

Goodreads

  For your Quick Five© email wordpress174@gmail.com for details.

Quick Five© with Wendy Owens

 

     Courtesy of Wendy Owens
Courtesy of Wendy Owens

Name: Wendy Owens

Who is Wendy?  A down to earth mother, artist, and writer with her priorities straight.

Books: The Guardians Series (1-5), Stubborn Love, Only in Dreams, Ruination Part One

Website: http://wendy-owens.com/

Buy:  Amazon and Barnes & Nobles

Not every interview is honest and not every person you interview is blunt. But every now and then you find a gem in writers and know that deep in your heart you found an amazing writer.  Motif Ink is proud to introduce Wendy Owens. Interviewed by Tania Lasenburg, Wendy explains that writing is her passion but she does have a life.

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For years you were selling your artwork. How was creating and selling your art able to help you write and sell your books?

As an artist I learned a lot about finding my own voice. Once I became a writer there was a period of trying to find that again. I knew my art sold because of the uniqueness I put into it. Books work the same, readers are looking for those same qualities, a tale they have never heard before, or at least told in a new way.

Are there writers that influence you to keep writing? If so who are they and how do they influence you?

There are writers that keep me going. I’ll be honest, I love writing for the sake of writing, but it is a business, and if I can’t make a living doing it then I can’t afford to keep doing it. We all have good months and bad months when it comes to sales, but luckily the indie author community is one that pushes you and keeps you going when you are feeling down. Ladies like Samantha Young, Mercy Amare, and Ella James have all given me a push or a bit of advice to keep me going when I worry I might not have what it takes.

       Four Bean Soup Publishing              Published Sept 27, 2013               290  Pages Ebook
Four Bean Soup Publishing
Published Sept 27, 2013
290 Pages Ebook

Do you feel that there is more competition as a writer to get a notice as mainstream now since essentially everyone can be published through self publishing?

There is a ton of competition, but I think the quality authors will always rise to the top. I also think that we are a community that pulls together and helps support each other as authors. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of this community of indie authors so bring on the competition, it’s healthy.

How are you able to balance writing full time and taking care of a full household with pets?

How do I find balance? I don’t. I do my duties as mommy, then write, then do more mommy duties, and then panic when I am behind on my deadlines. Luckily every single time my knight in shining armor, my husband Josh, always comes riding in to save the day. He tries to give me weekends twice a month to have mass focus time. But I live in the real world, laundry often gets done when we run out of clothes, dishes pile up in the sink until we are having company, and there are days we all live in our pajamas. I quit trying to be perfect a long time ago and now I get by happy I get to do what I love and spend so much time with my three kids.

Finally,   why did you choose Young Adult as your genre? Did it prove the creative freedom you was looking for or are you using the Young Adult genre to build your fan base?

I am not one who ties themselves to a genre when I write. I have written young adult as well as new adult, and plan to write adult as well. Each thing I write has simply been a story that forms in my mind. I figure out where it fits on the bookshelf when it’s done.

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For the latest and greatest on Wendy Owens follow her:

Twitter

Goodreads

Facebook

                                    For your Quick Five© email wordpress174@gmail.com for details.

 

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Quick Five© with Lizzy Ford

    Courtesy of Lizzy Ford
Courtesy of Lizzy Ford

Name: Lizzy Ford

Who is Lizzy? Veteran writer with a taste of travel and all things outside of the box

Books: Rhyn Trilogy, Witchling Series, War of Gods Series, Incubatti, and Rhyn Eternal Series

Website: http://www.guerrillawordfare.com

Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Itunes, Smashwords, Sony , Wattpad & Kobo

 

Every once in a while you meet an author so filled of knowledge and excitement it just makes your day. Lizzy Ford has written over 17 books and is still writing. Not many authors these days have longevity like that and it was Motif Ink’s pleasure to have Tania Lasenburg interview Lizzy to find out what makes her tick.

 

Enjoy the Quick Five© below

 

With 17 books under your belt how does that feel? Do you feel that you’re at the top of your game or do you feel you still need (not want) to grow?

I feel like I’m just getting started. Hahaha! I’m always growing, always learning more about my craft, marketing and re-evaluating what I’m doing to continue to improve. I constantly challenge myself to write differently and to find new ways of reaching new audiences. I feel like, if I stop growing, I stop selling.

 

What is it about Young Adult that you love? Do you feel any restrictions in the YA genre or are

                Indie Ink   To Be Published Oct. 22, 2013            E-Book 196 Pages
Indie Ink
To Be Published Oct. 22, 2013
E-Book 196 Pages

you comfortable with the guidelines of YA?

Honestly? I’ve only written two Young Adult series. The rest of my books are a mix of sweet paranormal romance and non-sweet paranormal romance for adults. I’ve never read YA books since leaving high school, except for those of my indie colleague Julia Crane. She’s the one who got me into writing YA.

I don’t feel any restrictions in YA at all. It’s kind of funny. I didn’t know there were restrictions until after the first three Witchling books were published. Then people told me that you’re not supposed to do X, Y, and Z. I just laugh. I’m a non-conformist at heart. I write what FEELS natural, and if that violates the unwritten rules of YA, then so be it. I’d rather be true to the story and characters than follow rules that don’t really make sense to me to start off with haha!

What keeps you passionate about writing?

I’ve always had a crazy-active imagination and always been super shy. So it was natural, I think, that I gravitated towards a way of expressing myself that didn’t require people skills, since I’m a bit socially awkward. Ha! I have so many ideas, so many stories going on in my head at once, that I can’t imagine not being a writer.

How has your life in Southern Arizona shaped your writing, not only skills but the actual stories?

I’m not entirely certain. I’ve lived here about two and a half years. I’ve moved around a lot in my lifetime, so I never really grew roots anywhere. Traveling has introduced me to a lot of new people, new customs, and new subcultures and also, new places, all of which end up in my books at some point!

 

Finally, you’ve been writing for some time what advise would you give to those who are trying to get into the writing industry for more than just a single book or series?

Here’s a few!

 

  • Persevere. True success is built over time.
  • Never stop writing.
  • Being an author isn’t about the sales – it’s about the connections you build with others through your stories.
  • Never let someone else make you doubt your books or yourself. Just write.
  • Follow your gut when it comes to writing.
  • Always remember that it’s what the reader thinks that matters – not what the industry or industry professionals tell you to write or how to write it. If readers love it, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
  • Think outside the box in every way from your genre to your marketing. If people tell you it can’t be done – do it anyway.

 

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LIzzy Ford is constantly interacting with her fans to be apart of her world follow these links:

Facebook

Goodreads

Twitter

Google+

 

For your Quick Five© email wordpress174@gmail.com for details.

 

Don’t forget to like & Share

                 

Quick Five© with Michelle Warren

Name: Michelle Warren

 

Who is Michelle? A professional illustrator and designer with a passion for travel and creative writing

 

Books: The Seraphina Parrish Trilogy

 

Where to Buy? Amazon and Barnes & Nobles

 

You don’t meet many authors who live what they write. Granted that is a bit hard if you are writing about fantasy but author Michelle Warren has that taken care of. Interview by Tania Lasenburg, Michelle explains what truly inspires her writing and why she started in the first place.

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    Courtesy of Michelle Warren
Courtesy of Michelle Warren

Why did you choose Young Adult? Was it an easier genre for you to launch yourself as a writer or do you have a genuine love for YA?

I was an avid reader of the young adult genre long before I ever attempted to write. Writing YA was a natural transition because I loved reading about those angst-ridden teen years. Reading and writing about it makes me feel young again! And that’s always a good thing.

 

What exactly led you to become a writer? Was it a gradual or sudden change?

Like so many families, the recession really hit my home life hard. And needing a mental escape, I started playing with story ideas in my head. Gradually, I started brainstorming the ideas on paper, sketching scenes out, and finally, after about a year of this, I decided to attempt to write them in novel form.

 

You state on your website that you travel and your travels inspire you to create. What are some places you have traveled to and what types of creations have you created?

My husband and I have done quite a lot of international and domestic traveling. In fact, I’ve visited every place my main characters have traveled in Wander Dust, excluding one. (Paris is next on my list of places to see.) Many of the details in the story about each city are from my own experiences, photographs, and sketches. So travel is definitely my biggest inspiration in writing.

 

What has changed for you as a writer since your first book?

   Kristine Michelle Preast    Published Nov 30, 2011                374 Pages
Kristine Michelle Preast
Published Nov 30, 2011
374 Pages

The biggest change is that work more than I ever have! I’m also a full-time illustrator and designer so adding writing to the mix has been an enormous challenge in time management.

 

Finally, any new writing coming soon?

Honestly, I have a running list of about 30 ideas for novellas, short stories, and novels. The genres range from revisiting the world of Wandering to contemporary Romance, and suspense. I’m really excited about two current works. One is inspired by a trip I took with my husband to California and the other is inspired by the six years I spent living in Miami.

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Along with traveling Michelle Warren loves people following her (not literally) so follow these links to updates:

 

                                                                    Twitter

 

Goodreads

 

Website

 

If you are interested in having your book reviewed or having a Quick Five© with Tania, please email her at wordpress174@gmail.com

 

Don’t forget to like & Share :)

 

 

 

 

Quick Five© with Anya Allyn

Quick Five© with Anya Allyn

Name: Anya Allyn

Who is Anya? An adventurous mother of four that lives by the sea, walks in the forest and writes horror.

Books: Dollhouse Series 1-4

Where to Buy? Amazon, Itunes, Barnes & Nobles

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Psychological thrillers get the blood pumping and no one knows that

Courtesty of Anya Allyn
Courtesty of Anya Allyn

more than author of the Dollhouse Series Anya Allyn.  Interviewed by Tania Lasenburg, Anya explains the importance of horror and what its like to self publish.

Enjoy the Quick Five© with Anya Allyn below:

What made you decide to be a writer? Was this your first choice in a career or did you happen to fall into it?

I worked for seven years as a Features’ Editor before starting to write fiction. I’ve been writing stories since I could hold a crayon though – in very detailed pictures before I learned to write :)

Why did you want to write Young Adult? Was it the appeal that YA is about inch different from Adult fiction?

 Young Adult fiction appeals because that period in your life is a time of so many possibilities and where so many things are new. It’s a time of excitement and change, of leaving childhood behind, and also of discovering who you are as a person. It can also be a time of difficult transitions. For an author, those things are great to write about, especially if your book is set over a length of time – because your character is growing and changing so rapidly.

         Self Published         Published 2012              373 Pages
Self Published
Published 2012
373 Pages

Your books the “Dollhouse series” is considered horror, was there anything that influenced you to make a horror book?

Dollhouse is a psychological or ‘quiet’ horror, as I’m not a fan of violent horror. I think horror is an important genre. It helps you to experience something very scary and know that you got through it – because life throws lots of scary things at you and it’s good to know that you can get through those things, too. It’s a very individual thing though – some people may be so frightened by a book or movie that it affects them adversely, and those people may be better off not watching or reading horror.

Describe your process of being a self published author. What are the pros and cons of being a self published author?

I wrote Dollhouse as a short story and thought I’d try putting it on Amazon. But the story grew so much that it became a book, and now four books – I loved the story and the characters and wanted to tell everything that was forming inside my head. People come to self-publishing in all different ways – some have been previously traditionally published, some come in with a business plan and others just want to write!

The pros of self-publishing are control over your work, control over the book covers, and for some self-publishers they’ve been able to create a viable income that has even enabled them to give up their day job. The cons are the upfront costs; having to do everything yourself and trying to discover the best information and people that you need to put your best work together. The people you need include editors, cover designers and formatters.

Finally, is there anything you would do differently regarding your writing?

I think I just want to try lots of different things, and to do all that I want to do, I need to increase my input. Writing is like a muscle that develops – you do get better and quicker as time goes on. I love learning about the craft of writing, and I can’t see that ever changing!

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Anya Allyn loves new followers so follow these links:

Twitter

Goodreads

Website

If you are interested in having your book reviewed or having a Quick Five© with Tania, please email her at wordpress174@gmail.com

 

Don’t forget to like & Share :)