AuThursday – Joshua Knels

Please welcome Josh Knels, a fellow member of the BisMan Writer’s Guild!  Joshua, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

My name is Joshua Knels. I grew up in Fairview, MT, and moved to Bismarck after I graduated high school and attended Bottineau for a little while. I didn’t get into writing until I was fifteen. I suffered a back injury during a football game that took me out of sports for the remainder of my time in school. That’s when I started reading books and grew a passion for reading and writing. I started writing my first project when I was a sophomore in high school, but later dropped the project when I went to college.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your writing? 

Introvert. It gives me plenty of time to write since I don’t go out much (even less so since Covid-19). The only time I go out nowadays is for work or D&D nights with friends during the weekend

How do you make time to write? 

I usually write between shifts when I get home from work or on my days off. 

What genre are your stories and what draws you to this genre?

I usually write fantasy adventures since I enjoy world-building and creating new worlds. I often mix it with other elements, such as romance and horror. 

Do you ever get writer’s block? 

Not as much as I thought I would get. I am always thinking about character development and story elements and rarely get burned out from it. When I do, I just relax for a day or two and I am back at it. Listening to music while writing a scene also helps me out a lot.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Depression for sure. When I feel overwhelmed and depressed from work and personal matters, it has an impact on my writing. Whenever I am in these funks, I either write scenes where characters feel the same as I do, or I just take a personal day to myself and try to get over whatever is stressing me out or depressed at the time.

So, what have you written? 

Nothing complete right now, I’m afraid, except two books that I self-published in 2011 and 2012.

41xd2DMgXuLThese books, The Seattle Massacre & Trails of Blood were two books of a series of murder mystery & horror books that I was writing a long time ago under the pen name J.J. Knight. I stopped writing them when I lost progress on the third book several times and a lot of my other projects when my computer went out and I didn’t have them saved on any other source. I had lost the passion for writing this series and in general when I hit a very deep depression that lasted for over three years and didn’t write anything during that time. It wasn’t until 2016 when I started writing some Pokemon fanfiction to get back into the groove of writing until 2018 when I started my D&D project. In 2019, I fell in love with one of my favorite D&D characters, Victoria “The Scarlet Rose” Valentine, and decided to write a book series based on her and in a modern setting. 

Where can we buy or see them? 

I think you can see the two books on Amazon. I don’t intend to continue that series unfortunately since there’s no passion left for that project and all energy will be devoted to my next project. 

What are your current projects?

My current project is The Scarlet Rose, a planned multi-part series. It is a modern fantasy story that was inspired by my favorite D&D character, Victoria “Scarlet Rose” Valentine. The story follows the main character Victoria, a girl born with the appearance of a devil (horns, tail, and red tail). I was inspired to write this project from elements of Hellboy, Supernatural, and Men in Black.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Never give up your dream and always practice. Write what makes you happy and don’t be afraid to ask others for help and opinions.

Cover Reveal – Violence by Lily White

Title: Violence

Series: Antihero Inferno #3
Author: Lily White
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: July 29, 2020
Cover Design: Lori Jackson Design
Cover Model: Lawrence Templar
Cover Photographer: Michelle Lancaster
Seventh Circle

Violence
Also Known As Ezra Cross

He’s one of a pair.
Identical twin to Damon.
And an enforcer for the Inferno if one is ever needed.

I knew better than to get involved with him.
With his aggression.
With the constant fights.
With the games the twins were known to play with every woman stupid enough to fall for them.

We made a mistake when we met again as adults.
I fell in love.
He fell in love.
His brother fell in love, too.

What used to be a good time is now a tragedy.

Our story is messy.
It’s cruel.
It’s forbidden.

Despite all that, Ezra refuses to let go.

*** Each novel in the series depicts a unique romance, but the plots through each book connect in one world. For the best experience, read the series in order.
Nine Dangerous Men. Nine Unrepentant Sinners. Nine Irresistible Manipulators.

Lily White is a romance writer who likes to dabble on the taboo side of eroticism. She is most known for her Masters Series, Target This, Wishing Well, and Asylum. In addition to dark romance Lily writes contemporary romance, taboo romance, and psychological thrillers. Lily enjoys stretching her writing muscles by continuing to challenge herself with each book she publishes.

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Double Trouble Tuesday – The Finish Line

As I’ve said before it is often the case where titles have the same title.  I happy to share two books by two of my friends that share a similar title – The Finish Line

The Finish Line by Leslie Scott 

Another night at the races is more than burnt rubber with a hit of nitrous. For one young woman, it’s navigating trauma, love, and loss in the stifling Texas heat under the watchful gaze of her brother’s best friend and reigning King of the Streets, Jordan Slater. Home in Arkadia again, Raelynn Casey starts to heal from a terrible incident at college. She finds love in Jordan, a member of her brother’s circle of racing buddies. When another in the racing circle, the guy who took her to her high school prom, exposes his feelings for Raelynn, tragedy erupts like a tank of race fuel. Guilt, remorse, and pain must be overcome before Raelynn and Jordan can race to The Finish Line.

Kindle *** Nook*** ibooks*** Kobo*** Paperback*** Audible

 

The Finish Line by Vania Rheault

The Finish Line (A Tower City Romance Trilogy Book 4) by [Vania Rheault]

Running toward their futures . . .

Eighteen months after the end of Running Scared comes a final look at how Dane and Nikki, Alyssa and Brett, and Marta and Ian are handling life’s rockiest running paths.

Managing The Finish Line, taking a step away from the running community, and raising children isn’t easy, and when the group decides to go their separate ways, can they remain friends, or is it time to make a clean break once and for all?

Amazon

 

Cover Reveal – Treasure You by Crystal Perkins


Title: Treasure You: A Fusion of Universe Novella
Author: Crystal Perkins 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 10, 2020
Cover Design: Kari March

 

Tira
Everyone has always told me I’m the best baker. My family, my friends, my town. Going on a televised baking competition should have been a dream come true, but it turned into my worst nightmare. Now, I need to start over in a new town, and with an old friend.
Dario Wells was once honest with me, and I punished him for it. I’m getting a second-chance at making things right–and falling back in love with him. But I need to believe in myself before I can believe in a future for us.
Dario
I worked hard to become a successful businessman, but there’s always been something missing. Or someone. When Tira Coulson needs me, how can I say no? She hasn’t talked to me in six years, but I’ve never stopped loving her.
It’s time for me to prove to both of us that I can be the man who treasures her above all else–and maybe get her to bake for me again.

 

 

Crystal Perkins has always been a big reader, but she never thought she would write her own book, until she sat down in 2014 and did it. She’s now published over 40 books, and has been featured in several anthologies as well.She lived in Las Vegas for over a decade, where you could find her running author events and winning bookseller awards. She’s currently living in North Dakota to be closer to her family, but she still considers Vegas to be her home city. When she’s not reading a few hundred books a year or chasing after her grandson, you can find her watching hockey (Go Knights Go!) and trying to find the perfect shade of lipstick.

She loves Star Wars AND Star Trek, but if pushed to choose, it will always be Leia and her crew who come out on top. Her love of all things nerdy comes through in her book characters, no matter the genre. A mac and cheese connoisseur, she travels the world looking for the perfect version, while attending book conventions and signings as a cover for her research. Poutine research is also conducted regularly on her trips.

 

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AuThursday – Rosanna Leo

Rosanna Leo author photoWelcome Rosanna!  Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Thanks so much for having me here, Tina!

I’m Rosanna Leo and I write contemporary and paranormal romance. When not writing, I work at my local public library in an Acquisitions role, so I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to see all the new books when they first arrive. I come from Toronto, Canada, and I try hard to insert a bit of Canadian flavour into my books. I’ve been writing for over ten years now and am fortunate to be part of the romance community, as a writer, blogger, and reader.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

With the subgenres of romance that I write, I really do get the best of both worlds. With my contemporary romances, I get to explore the conflicts of “real” people, and I love showing how they can grow and learn to love. In the case of my paranormal romances, the characters and situations might be a bit more outrageous, but it’s fun for me to be able to push those envelopes. Each type of writing compels me to think differently, so it’s a great exercise. The one commonality, of course, is that in those stories, the protagonists have to fall in love and be committed to one another by the end of the book. However, that journey to love is the whole point, and it’s the reason I love this genre so much. It carries a powerful sense of hope. 

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

For me, the part I dread is the initial brainstorming. I know of writers who can just shoot out fresh ideas on the spot, but I’ve never been good at that, not even in non-writing situations. I have to let my thoughts marinate for a while, and I second-guess a lot of my ideas. Nevertheless, as much as it sometimes pains me, I do try to get some ideas down. It’s the first step, after all, so it has to be done.

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

I do believe in writer’s block, and I know I’ve experienced it before. It tends to affect me at particular times, however. I had it after losing a loved one, during moments of stress in my career and family life, and I’ve experienced when I’ve written myself into a hole (when I haven’t thought out a story properly and I begin to flounder.) It happens. I won’t call myself an expert in dealing with it. For the most part, I just try to either write through it, or I take a break from writing altogether. 

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

My recent release is A Good Man, Handymen 1, a contemporary romance. It released on June 9, 2020. It’s been published traditionally with Totally Bound Publishing. I’ve been working directly with publishers for a few years now and have worked with some great people. I appreciate that my publisher handles a lot of the details that I don’t feel confident handling (i.e. covers, formatting.) So, for me, it’s a good fit.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

I haven’t ruled out self-publishing and may attempt it down the road. I have many author friends who prefer that method, and they have it down to a fine art. Not having done it myself, I probably can’t speak to its disadvantages, and I think a writer should always do their research before committing to either path. 

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I like to think my writing is more polished now, more pared down. When I started writing, I used some overly-descriptive language and made some interesting style choices. It’s all part of learning, and it was definitely part of my process. Now, I try to take a lot of care with my word choices, and if I can simplify a statement, I will.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

I don’t have a favorite motivational phrase, but I do believe in the power of positive affirmations. For the most part, I try to express gratitude for where I am in life, and I try to be grateful for something each day. 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Blog: https://rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeoRosanna

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rleoauthor1

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

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rosanna-leo

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Sure! I’d love to share an excerpt from A Good Man, Handymen1:

AGoodManCover_1500x2400Emily threw herself at him and wrapped her arms around his torso, cutting off his words and his breath. Only when he hugged her back did he realize how hard she was quivering.

She wasn’t just crying about the old photos.

“It’s okay, Em. Let it out, sweetheart.”

The collar of his shirt grew wet but he didn’t care. Wardrobe had tons of shirts. Besides, she felt good in his arms, all soft and warm. He rubbed her shoulders and the back of her waist, exploring and familiarizing himself with her luscious body. He breathed, drinking in her scent. His nasal cavities had never known such bliss. It was like that first clear breath after a long period of congestion. His fingers were pretty happy too, enjoying the give of her body. It was all he could do not to slide them down, cup her sweet ass, and pull her up against him.

Just not while she was crying over another man.

She lingered in his arms and he did nothing to push her away. In fact, it surprised him how badly he wanted to keep her there, so much so that when Emily finally extricated herself, he wanted to pull her back into his embrace. Instead, he wiped her cheeks clean of the remaining tears.

“The makeup ladies are going to kill me for making you cry.”

It might have been his imagination, but her tears made her eyes appear even greener. In fact, her entire face seemed a riot of tempting color. Each shade called to him. The crushed roses in her cheeks. Her strawberry lips, so plump and moist. Even the doeskin brown of her freckles fascinated him to no end. He wanted to count them, to kiss and mark them all.

Kissing her made a whole lot of sense right now. Kissing her senseless seemed even better.

Emily’s eyes widened. Her lips parted in invitation. Michael paused, knowing it was wrong, even though every raised hair on his arms told him it was right.

As he debated with himself for a split second, she brushed her lips against his. It was quick and soft, hunger masquerading as something platonic. Even though a spectator might have called it a friendly kiss, he knew the truth. As brief as it may have been, he felt her yield to him, even if just a little.

From the startled look in her eyes, Emily knew it too.

 

Cover Reveal – Behemoth by D.M. Earl


Title: Behemoth
Series: Grimm Wolves MC Series #1
Author: D.M. Earl
Genre: Paranormal Romance/MC Romance
Release Date: July 31, 2020
Cover Design: Jo-Anna Walker @ Just Write Creations

 

How does a man live two lives? One part is with honor as a firefighter and the other questionable as a nomad in a motorcycle club. Add into the already confusing mix an unbelievable skill set that allows him the uncanny ability to absorb other’s thoughts and emotions, and things can become complicated.

 

 
Francis M. Stein, aka Stitch is surviving the best he can with the hand he has been dealt. He has found an extended family in his brothers in both his firehouse and MC. Still he is alone, isolated, and living a solitary life, seeing no changes in his immediate future. He is simply existing. 
 
That is until a young boy named Damien enters his life and introduces him to everything he is missing. Francis finally is able to see a future for himself that includes a woman of his own and a family. Grace Sinclair is everything he could ever dream of and more. 
 
As with everything in Francis’ life, there is good and there is bad. Will Francis, Grace, and Damien be able to overcome their problems for a happily ever after or will fate once again cause chaos for them? Only time will tell.

 

USA Today Bestselling author D. M. Earl spins stories about real life situations with characters that are authentic, genuine and sincere. Each story allows the characters to come to life with each turn of the page while they try to find their HEA through much drama and angst.

 

 
DM resides in Northwest Indiana with her husband and 8 fur babies. When not writing she loves to read, ride her Harley and garden. Also DM likes to spend time with her family and friends.

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Cover Reveal – Angel Face by Nicki Rae


Title: Angel Face: A Life in the Crosshairs Novel
Author: Nicki Rae
Genre: Suspense w/ Romance
Release Date: August 1, 2020
Cover Design: Colbert Creative Design

 

Dalton
The thing about love…
It’s kind & beautiful, soft & hard, forgiving & emotional, but love can also be blind. Love can twist and turn you into someone unrecognizable.
That’s the way it was for Josie and me. She became my everything. I fell heart over mind, allowing her to take the only thing that I could call my own. The life I envisioned for us was blurred by secrets, hard to overcome. She made me question whether what we had was based on truth or a lie.
 
 
Joselyn
Dalton was an obstacle in the way of what I’d always shied away from, and the only way to reach my end was through him. So, I made a choice to get close to him, even when I shouldn’t have. We were never meant to be what we became. I didn’t intend for something forced to turn into something real. In the end, Dalton was so much more than just a means to an end. He held the key to everything, including my heart. It was his to have, to hold, to break, and to mend.
That’s the thing about love…
It can’t be forced. It just happens, and once it’s in motion, it’s impossible to stop.

 

Nicki Rae is the author of Broken Minds, Lather: A Moore Love Story and The Date: A Moore Love Short Story, The Perfection Series: Damaged and Resisting Perfection. She’s a born Buckeye turned Hoosier who loves to spend time with her family. Along with being an avid reader, she also loves animals and the Indianapolis Colts. 
 

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Saturday Spotlight – Risk by Juliette Mousseau

Title: RISK

Series: Brothers on Ink and Steel
Author: Allie Juliette Mousseau
Genre: Enemies to Lovers/2nd Chance Romance
Release Date: June 23, 2020
Cover Design: Allusion Graphics
USA Today Bestselling Author Allie Juliette Mousseau delivers a sexy, quick-witted and sassy enemies-to-lovers second-chance romance featuring one smoldering alpha attorney; a feisty, determined social worker; and three young orphans in trouble… 

Saint Sophia the Mother of Orphans, help us!

 

Connor Callahan, once a North House teen who shed his own blood to become a Brother of Ink and Steel, is now a powerful attorney and the Twin Cities’ most eligible bachelor. He challenges stereotypes and melts panties with his rugged good-looks, colorful tattoos, and brazen piercings. When he’s handed the case of a lifetime with the promise of partnership in the firm he’s dedicated his career to, he knows his destiny is close.
Then he gets a glimpse of the familiar Saint Sophia pendant his opposing council wears, and he finds himself wondering… could it really be her, the girl he met as a teenager? He never thought he’d see the blond whirlwind again after she blew in and out of his life, but she was wholly unforgettable. Like a tattoo over his heart. If only he could get close enough to be sure it’s really her… but she’s never going to let that happen.
Elle Hayes despises the formidable Mr. Callahan and everything he stands for. Though he puts on an immensely charming act—and is hotter than the desert sun—she knows he’s a fake. There’s no way she’s going to let Callahan interfere with her objective: finding a home for the vulnerable orphans his client has torn apart.
Then an unexpected set-up has Connor and Elle playing house together for a week…
As the tension—and heat—revs up between them, they discover that they each have a whole lot more to lose than just a court case. Their hearts are on the line—and so much more.
But to experience the greatest things in life, we have to take the greatest risks.
RISK Brother of Ink and Steel (Book 4) is a standalone novel. There’s no need to read the earlier titles beforehand, but this book features charming cameos by title characters from the Brothers of Ink and Steel and True North Series. You’ll want to go back and read them all.

 

I’ve been watching my favorite distraction ever since I first discovered him working with the kids in the ring—teaching them how to box and better their mixed martial arts abilities—shortly after I started working at The Core. He’s here with them three days a week like clockwork. I’ve also seen him sparring with some of the other guys who seem to be regulars here too. You can tell they’re all friends by the way they hang out, laugh and mess with each other. They’re all gorgeous, but I’m drawn to my mystery… errr… distraction.His body is cut and sculpted with lean long muscles, while every inch of his exposed skin is etched with ink that ripples and moves with him like he’s an exotic tiger. His movements make the tattoo artist’s canvas come alive. The tats adorn every line and ridge, precisely cut against the muscle.
I want to get closer! I want to touch them! I want to touch him.My favorite tattoo is the black scrawling letters over his left ribcage that read, “I AM MY BROTHERS’ KEEPER.” What a beautiful mantra to live by.
I wonder if it’s his religion.Good God, he’s the definition of sex appeal. Any kind of day I’m having, everything starts looking up when I get a chance to watch him move.I’ve actually never seen his face. His nose and cheekbones are always hidden behind a padded, grilled face guard. So I’ve just had to imagine the face that goes with that amazing body.
He looks like an experienced fighter. His skin is stretched drum tight over taut muscles. Every inch of him is iron.
Christ, he’s hard all over.I shake my head to dissipate the musing of how hard that body could get under his shorts.
Back to G-rated fantasies! There are kids around, I scold myself. At least… PG-13.He shows the kid how to move, what muscles to put behind the punch. His side ripples in waves as he arches and stretches his ribs and shoulders, twisting to the side.
My eyes trail his movements, mesmerized.
It’s been so long since I’ve felt desire.
I’ve wanted to get close enough to see into his eyes, but I haven’t had the guts. He’d totally know I was checking him out if I did. So, I keep my distance.The thin boy sends a right hook against the man’s face—the puffy glove connecting to his equally padded face mask. I can’t help but laugh when he pretends the hit is hard enough to knock him off balance, as he stumbles over his feet dramatically, then acts as if he’s shaking it off.
The young boy jumps up and down and raises his arms in triumph.
This guy could be the man of my dreams.

 

USA Today Bestselling Author Allie Juliette writes sexy, emotionally-charged New Adult Romance and can usually be found daydreaming and writing about heroic, alpha males; and strong-willed, intelligent women, and plotting ways to make them fall in love! 

Fall in love again! Read all of Allie Juliette’s books.

 

 

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Cover Reveal – Finding Peace by Adelyn Zara

Title: Finding Peace

Series: Tales of Resilience #1
Author: Adelyn Zara
Genre: Romance
Release Date: July 9, 2020

 

Struggling after the death of her husband and hindered by her inability to recover from cancer treatment, Lynn isn’t expecting to find anything other than entertainment at an awards show. When she meets music exec Donovan Rue, there’s instant chemistry – and instant chaos.

 

 

 

Donovan faces lawsuits and complaints from disgruntled employees. Lynn’s fragile self-esteem and her recent personal tragedy make her leery of Donovan’s interest. As things heat up between them, their chemistry threatens to implode.
As outside tensions and pressures mount, Lynn breaks away, but Donovan refuses to give up on the strong, resilient woman he sees beneath the damage. Can these two people find peace?

 

An exhausted puppy was asleep in his crate near Lynn’s bedroom fireplace. Lynn and Donovan snuggled together, leaving the young people downstairs.“I hate when Christmas day ends,” Lynn declared as she stared into the fire. “It was such a nice Christmas. I’m glad that you and Dara could share it with us.”

“Thank you for having us,” Donovan answered. He smiled softly and asked, “Are you ready for your present, Peace?”

A small thrill ran through Lynn followed by guilt.

“You’ve given me so much, Donovan! Fancy clothes, jewelry, a chair …”

“But today is Christmas!”

Donovan stood up, found new music on his playlist. He motioned for Lynn to join him in another dance. Ben Harper’s Forever played as they swayed gently in place. Lynn’s body grew warm, her heartbeat increased at an idea of what Donovan’s present might be.

“Donovan,” she whispered as his lips grazed her cheek, their feet barely moving as he swayed her back and forth. His dark eyes sparkled, but he looked intense, needy.

“Just let me talk, please,” he pleaded.

He quit dancing. Taking a deep breath, Donovan took both of Lynn’s hands into his own.

“Lynn, you totally captivate me.”

His hand swiped through that raven hair again.

“I can’t imagine being without you. I love you so much.”

Donovan looked upward, closing his eyes tightly for a minute.

“Shit! I can’t even put this into coherent words.”

Lynn’s eyes widened in amazement. She was tongue-tied, too. Before she could find words to encourage or comfort him, Donovan was on one knee, still holding her hands. Lynn gasped, breaking her right hand loose from his hold, covering her mouth in surprise.

“Lynn, would you marry me?”

Now Lynn took back her left hand, bringing it up to join the other on her face. Tears sprung into her bright blue eyes; she still could not communicate.

Donovan wasn’t sure what to make of a subdued Lynn.

“I know we haven’t known each other long, but I know what I want when I see it.”

Again, he ran his hand through his hair.

“You see me for who I am, not the celebrity that the media makes up. You bring peace, happiness … shit, Lynn! I don’t care if I get sixty years with you or six minutes. I can’t live without you! I don’t know how to …”

“Yes.”

Lynn sucked in a breath after she said the one word. Looking down at the man she loved, she saw a mixture of surprise, then relief, then complete love.

“Yes?” he whispered.

“Yes!” Lynn repeated, then grabbed his hands, intending to help him off the floor. Instead, Donovan pulled her down, wrapped his arms around her, and kissed her as if he was afraid the answer would change.

“I was afraid you would say no, say it’s still too soon,” he said when he broke the kiss.

“What’s too soon?” Lynn asked. “I’ve been thinking a lot about this since your first proposal. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that time does go quickly, and you’d better grab what you want when the opportunity presents itself. And enjoy every second you have.”

Donovan pulled Lynn to him, surrounding her with strong arms.

“Absolutely!” he agreed, then continued. “I mean it when I said the time thing. I need to enjoy every minute with you, whether it’s ten minutes or one hundred years.”

Lynn leaned over to give Donovan another big kiss.

Adelyn Zara knew she wanted to be a writer after creating a paragraph about a snowman in 4th grade.
 
She taught herself to type when her grandfather brought home an old typewriter from his job in Chicago.
 
She loved working with international students but hated the pressure cooker of work. So, she retired! But she continues to belong to NAFSA, National Association of International Educators.
 
She has compassion for the mentally ill because of her daughter, joined NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness), taught Family to Family classes for them, and keeps learning more about it.
 
She has an ongoing battle with breast cancer and considers herself earning a Ph.D. in it, something she never wanted to do.
 
She’s been told she’s RESILIENT, and by God, those are the woman she admires most! Her stories feature men and women who are encountering problems in life and figuring out how to overcome them.
 
Curious? Give her a read.

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