Monthly Archives: April 2011

Guest Poet: Sharon Gerlach ~ Naked Before You

Naked Before You

darkbluewater2

If I stand with a naked heart before you,

            will you jest at me, think less of me,

            perfect your vision of what I should be?

 


Sink below the churning waters with me,

            into the deep oblivion where you and I

            cease to exist separately.

 


Hold me as the tide pulls us under,

             caress my soul with your adoring spirit,

             until you see every particle of me—and I, you.

 


Flow out to become one with me

          so we are neither Me nor You,

          but Us, harmonious.

 


Touch my center, feel what creates my soul,

open your spirit, let me sense your being;

seduction on a spiritual plane.

 


Only then can you realize

at the core of our very beings

     we
            

             believe
                                                       

                              in 
                                                                  

                                     the 
                                              

                                               same
                                                                     

                                                       vision.

 

Sharon Gerlach was in training to be a ninja, but a dismaying lack of physical grace and balance—not to mention the inability to keep her big mouth shut—ended her ninja career before it had really begun. Now she writes. She doesn’t write about ninjas because that’s obviously a sore subject. But she writes about other really cool things and figures someone else will cover the ninjas. Life’s really not all about ninjas, anyway. Sharon lives on the dry side of the Pacific Northwest with her husband (who must really be fond of her as he hasn’t left her yet despite her ninja failings); two of her three kids (none of whom possess ninja qualities either); and a Border collie who suffers the presence of seven cats. Yes, you guessed it—ninja cats!

Thank you, Sharon, for taking time during your Writer Unleashed on the World Blog Tour to guest post for National Poetry Month.

You can check out her stop on Random Musings from April 17th here:

https://christel42.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/writer-unleashed-on-the-world-blog-tour-2011nice-guys-vs-bad-boys

Sharon has just released her first novella, Malakh, which is available for 99 cents through April 30th.

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shine

a-line

straight line

down the line

I find

dandelions

in concrete cracks

of sunlight

through storms

in the night

never tonight

in this twilight

of memory

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Every Demon Has His Day by Cara Lockwood (book review)

“One battle of good vs. evil can ruin your whole day.”

Taken from the author’s website.

The Story:
It’s your not-so-typical Girl meets Demon story, where our heroine discovers she’s the Chosen One who must prevent the conception of the Antichrist. Her only helpers are the ghost of her useless almost-ex husband and a talking French Bulldog in a pink sweater. Looks like God likes rooting for underdogs.

The Inspiration:
I am a total horror movie sissy, but I am completely addicted to the History channel (Armageddon Week is like my Shark Week). I started thinking about what if the devil’s army and God’s army were just like us? In other words, there might be demons out there who were stuck in middle management and bored with their jobs. I fleshed out that idea a little more, and voila, now you have “Every Demon Has His Day” in which every other chapter is narrated by a pair of disgruntled demons hoping to get ahead, and God’s Chosen One is, well, just like you and me. 

Anyone who knows me, understands that I frequent my library at least twice a week, and am always reading no less than three books at once. I’ve simply started wandering around the library, and picking up random books based on cover art or genre or whatever strikes my fancy at the time.

Another random library find FOR THE WIN!

Want to know what initially grabbed my attention?

It was the “Demon” in the title, paired with the picture of the dog in a pink sweater. I mean, how can you not be immediately intrigued?! Which becomes even more amusing when you realize that the dog’s name is Frank.

Yes, Frank. As in, he’s a male.

Apparently, his owner, a pop-princess moron/mother of the Antichrist couldn’t even tell the sex of her pet?!?

Awesome.

This novel was a quirky, hilarious, and quick read. I simply couldn’t put it down!

Plus, I absolutely adored the demons! Yes, I said demons.

Yaman and Shadow were two of the most humanesque demons I’ve ever encountered.  And funny!

Their rapport was stand-up comedy.

Yep. I was hooked immediately.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good paranormal romance. Or anyone who appreciates Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. It was the humor that got me. 😉

ABOUT CARA

I grew up in Mesquite, Texas, which for those of you who like livestock shows, is the home of the Mesquite Rodeo. Ironically, Mesquite was named after Mesquite trees, only none of them now exist in the city, which is about fifteen minutes east of Dallas. No, I don’t own a pair of cowboy boots, although I do own quite an impressive collection of black shoes. My Dad is a third-generation Japanese-American, and my mom is a second-generation Texan who’s mostly English, or at least claims to be because of her anglophile nature.

I went to school at the University of Pennsylvania, only I’m not sure how I got in. I think these days they only accept students who can solve String Theory. Anyway, I majored in English, and because my dad said “and just what are you going to do with an English degree?” I went to work for the school newspaper. After college, I spent four years as a newspaper reporter, working for an overly exciteable editor who sent me running anytime the police scanner went off. I was working insane hours for next to no pay. I was actually sent to cover a grass fire on my 25th Birthday. Let me tell you, it smelled bad. I think some mice may have lost their lives. But that was about it in terms of excitement. Happy Birthday to Me.

So, I decided after I had taken to hiding from my editor in the bathroom at the office anytime the police scanner went off, that journalism probably wasn’t for me. I went to work for a marketing firm and discovered that most everyone else didn’t stay until ten o’clock every night writing up their riveting story about grass fires. I also decided that I would take advantage of that free time to write some fiction. That’s when I started writing “I Do (But I Don’t).” A year later, I finished it, thanks to the help of my friend, Shannon, who wouldn’t let me slack off and kept asking me for chapters.

And that’s how I became a writer. Except that it still feels weird to say, “I’m a writer.” I keep expecting to wake up tomorrow and have to go cover another grass fire.

Follow Cara on Twitter. Or friend her on MySpace.

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Fellow Writer In Need: Step Up

Fellow Writer In Need: Step Up.

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Guest Poet: NL Gervasio (a.k.a. Jinxie) ~ Silence

Thank you, Jinxie, for participating in National Poetry Month!

Silence

Within words

Within gestures

Within expressions

It says nothing

Without words

Without gestures

Without expressions

It says everything

Between the lines

All silence portrays

Words left unsaid

A picture

An action

A reaction

Hidden beneath

Unruly waters

Into the deep abyss

Unspoken

Unbidden

Forbidden

Silence is a beacon

Shedding its light

Onto the path of truth

But you mistake silence

For weakness

For falsehoods

For untrustworthiness

And with your mistake

You sink

Into oblivion

You can find more of Jinx’s words here:

http://twitter.com/Jinxie_G

http://jinxiesworld.wordpress.com/

http://nlgervasio.wordpress.com

http://forevernocturne.wordpress.com

N.L. “Jinxie” Gervasio was born on Friday the thirteenth. Her dad wanted to call her Jinx. Her mom said no. It took thirty-four years for her to discover the nickname, and she’s grown quite attached to it. She lives in Tempe, Arizona with Umi (her mother) and Moon (her Alaskan malamute). She enjoys riding her beach cruiser “The Betty” around downtown Tempe, loves a good pub crawl, and has had the pleasure and the heartache of experiencing a love far greater than she could have ever imagined.

She welcomes you to her world.

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There’s a blood stain on the World!

Brought to you by The Bloggess: http://thebloggess.com/2011/04/honestly-its-sort-of-hard-to-argue-with-any-of-these/

Click the link. No, really. This post will make no sense without a click.

Oh and you totally need a Twitter account. 

Go get one. Then you can join the ranks of nonsensical banter with me.

Then go here, and enjoy. I think I peed a little…

http://yes.thatcan.be/my/next/tweet/

So now that you’ve clicked…….

Yes, that can be my next tweet is just about the funniest thing ever?! No? Then why are you even reading this blog? For the poetry? 😉

Plus, it’s a great way to kill time at your boring office job. That is, if you can muffle your laughter?

So, go to this site, and plug in your Twitter username for your results. It’s awesome. And weird. And vaguely enlightening?

Here are some of mine I found amusing:

Day Billy Crystal makes me until I’ve failed to bed last night, and think I could never walk in lieu of.

Apparently something old…Day Old Skool Day Bull penis. (hee-hee…penis)

😛 I’d take the Pacific NW Remind me how much I am extra exclamation points excited. Shuddup. : Totally! (Apparently, I’m a Valley Girl?)

Oh no. Fuck. Thank you! : Malakh: An Angelic Novella by Sharon Gerlach Day So pretty….. (Sharon, you’re a holiday now?!)

I’m open for the human race……

*runs off from the sober chick

Marked as well…. I’m talking about?! And then I know it?! It’s the other such nonsense He marcado un. (And now I speak in foreign languages…)

Fuck if you in the back of Judgement in Portland tonight? Either that was in the bed.

Day post……..* *head desk* FUCK?! Omigod. I saw a YouTube video in Death, by Kait Nolan Long overdue! (I use “fuck” a lot.)

I might be friends? Day post……..* *head desk* FUCK?! Omigod. I saw a bit harsh ~ Um wha? Hell yeah!

*head desk* FUCK?! Omigod. I talk to Concrete Blonde BF only had a nerd thing?

Day Operation Control FTW! Click link if my mom about sums me want to unclick the sink with a bit low! (I really have no idea what that’s about…)

Whoa. I think I received a blood stain on my sobriety blog!

Apparently, I’ve been a really awesome book? Please read me?!

Let us go forth, the Soul today: sometimes i don’t have no fear….” I will continue to shoot against the? (Oh the grammar is killing me?!)

I did! You want to Project Dumping The Demon Slayer Day Meet The monster awaketh?! Oh wait. (snort)

And smell of local people are they even talking about.  (What???)

5 of baby formula in there.

You can use something catastrophic.

Not yet. Tomorrow on the difference between glucose and I’m drunk now? Except not?

Ooh! Pumpkin time?! Don’t talk to jump.

Werewolf cops! book to bed last night, and upside down bumps. Everything Will Be Fine Let us go forth.

 I apologize for his number on the shower?! Hmmm……

Day Gription and my laptop may have officially turned the bed.

And my personal favorite:

There’s a blood stain on the World!

Apparently, I tweet “blood stain” a lot?!

And “fuck”. Obsessively…..

 This is mildly disturbing.

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Guest Poet: M. Hoffman (a.k.a. Wookiesgirl) ~ Locked Door

 Thank you, Wookiesgirl, for guest posting today for National Poetry Month! Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Locked Door

A glittering halo

Once surrounded me

Bright and forgiving

Now gone

Bent and broken

Blackened by reality

Part of my heart died

The consequence of letting you go

Vast emptiness

Stark and cold

Deep inside

I stand alone

Broken

The door is closed

The lock engaged

And still

Love and compassion remains

You are

And always will be

Mine

My heart

My breath…

Mine eternally

When I dream

I see you and feel you

Our souls coalesce

As they’ve always done

Then I wake

So far from you

So far from where we once were

Consumed by the ache

Existing half alive

Knowing all is as it should be

The evidence of you

Is stamped upon my soul

Alone

Missing you

Behind my locked door

All writing/poetry is Copyrighted material under the 1977 Automatic Copyright Protection Act. Magic Magnifying Mind
© 2009-2011 M.Hoffman aka WookiesGirl, All Rights Reserved

M. Hoffman is many things in life: a mother, a wife, and a corporate VP. Less than two years ago, she added “writer” to the list. She was told she had a strong voice, and that she should explore it more. Reluctantly, she did. What’s come from inside her mind since then is over one hundred poems, as well as several blog posts. She found a muse and he assumes many forms; sometimes he manifests from past personal experiences, and sometimes he’s in the music she listens to.

Wookiesgirl says, ” I’ve fallen in love with writing. It’s my outlet and my obsession.”

 You can check out more of her work here:

 
Thank you, Wookiesgirl, for the guest post and the lovely poem! Happy National Poetry Month! 🙂 

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Writer Unleashed on the World! Blog Tour 2011/Nice guys vs. Bad boys

Can I just say that I suggested that title for the blog tour? hee-hee 😉

Today, I have the honor of welcoming Sharon Gerlach to Random Musings. She’s on a blog tour, supporting the release of her first published novella, Malakh. Which is awesome, by the way. Today, Sharon and I will be discussing nice guys versus bad boys, good versus evil, the inherent humanity of her characters, and character development.

Excerpt from the book…

HE HUNTS, SILENT AND UNSEEN

The string of mutilated bodies points to a madman, but the police are stymied. Trace evidence yields no DNA, animal or human. Male, female, young, old—the victims fall without a struggle to the killer in the shadows.

HIS NEXT VICTIM HAS BEEN CHOSEN

For a brief time, Suzanne Harper wielded supernatural abilities and super-human athletic prowess, but that was while she had been the lover of an angel. The murders point to her former lover, and the trail of bodies tells a terrifying tale: he’s working his way to her.

PREY BECOMES PREDATOR

Icarus, an angel who hunts those of his kind who have fallen from grace, enlists Suzanne’s help to stop the killer, for only one as close as a lover can anticipate his next move. Now she must reconcile her heart’s longing for her lost love with her sense of justice and honor, and she must do it fast … because the next murder could be hers.

 

About the book…

Malakh isn’t just a tale about good versus evil. It’s about repentance, redemption, restoration. There is little to no romance—both of Suzanne’s relationships are far in the past—because the focus of the story is Suzanne’s journey from brokenness to reparation and peace, even though it means bringing judgment and justice to a treasured lover.

Malakh is available in several electronic formats from Smashwords, Amazon, and Amazon.com, for a special promotional price of $.99 through April 30.

Purchase the book here for 99 cents through April 30th!

Smashwords:   http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52440

Amazon:   http://www.amazon.com/Malakh-ebook/dp/B004VXK0NO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=books&qid=1302986173&sr=8-1

Amazon UK:    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Malakh/dp/B004VXK0NO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1302986242&sr=8-1

Nice guys or Bad boys?

Oh, I’m a sucker for bad boys, have been all my life.  There’s just something so appealing about someone willing, ready, and unafraid to throw common sense and safety to the wind.

Which characters are the most fun to write?

Bad guys, without a doubt. There are no moral boundaries, no pesky conscience to elbow out of the way.

Who are your labors of love?

My biggest labor of love is my ultimate bad guy, Caleb Schaefer. He is still a masterpiece in progress, and I am quite pleased with him.

His counterparts – his nephew Aaron and Aaron’s wife Kimberly – are two more whose facets I’ve sculpted carefully and lovingly. They feel very real to me, and hopefully to my readers as well.

Note: Caleb Schaefer is the villain in the Wyckham House/Gothic/Sundown books. They are probably my personal favorite books Sharon has written. Unfortunately, they are still unpublished. (hint, hint, hint) 😉

Excerpt from Wyckham House:

Reckless and rash, that’s Kimberly Owens. From the impulsive act of marrying her high school sweetheart, which  ultimately leads to her broken marriage and damaged heart, to her imprudent decision to search for her may-or-may-not-be-missing father in a tiny Pennsylvania town, her life has been punctuated by consequence and regret.

With no regard to the potential danger, armed only with a borrowed identity and a false sense of indestructibility, Kim probes into the mysteries of her father’s disappearance and of the stone mansion in the thick woods behind town.

So it really can’t be much of a surprise to Kim when she finds herself chained to an ancient altar in a house of the damned,  waiting to be rescued by a man she shouldn’t love and who will, no doubt, finish the job of massacring her heart beyond repair. That is, if he manages to save her life before her captor ends it … or worse.

For there are things worse than death. <——-Best. Hook. Ever.

Alas, I digress…….

Physical characteristics that you consider inherently bad or good?

Ummm, not sure what you mean by that, but…as usual I will assign my own meaning. 😀  Generally when someone calls someone else “charismatic,” I think uh-oh, bad news!  Which is why my favorite bad guy, Caleb Schaefer (in my paranormal series), chills me to the bone at the same time he’s so darn compelling and unforgettable.

Do you prefer a balance of good/bad in your heroes/heroines?

I don’t like perfect characters. We’re all flawed, make mistakes, make bad decisions, have flawed judgment. Why should my characters be any different? Who would relate to them if they were the paper embodiment of perfection?

In my fourth novel, one of the main female characters becomes the victim of her own impetuousness and ends up wrecking her own marriage. She knows she’s wrong, she knows she made a mistake, she knows it’s her fault, but can she bring herself to apologize? Nooooo!

Do the good guys always win? Should they?

The good guys don’t always win in real life. Therefore, they don’t always win in my fictional worlds. The truth of the matter is, you can only keep evil at bay; you can’t ever completely stop its influence or eradicate its existence. My stories are about the efforts to hold it at bay, and to keep from succumbing to its siren song.

Would you/could you kill off a character that you’re in love with simply for the sake of the plot?

Funny you should ask that. Yes, I could kill off a character I’m in love with. In fact, one of my all-time favorite characters is poised on the chopping block. But that’s a book I haven’t started writing yet.

Why

 Sometimes you have to kill off a treasured character—even a main character—to keep things realistic. People lose the ones they love all the time in real life, and to think that fictional life is any different isn’t being true and isn’t being fair to the readers. Not everything is happily ever after. You want happily ever after, best not read my stuff. lol

Is redemption attainable by your villains?

Oh, definitely. Even dastardly Caleb Schaefer has his regrets. Will I allow his redemption? That remains to be seen.

How blurry do the lines between good/evil become when dealing with angels as opposed to humans?

Actually, for me, the lines clarify rather than blur when dealing with angels. The good angels—these still in service and obedience to God—are obviously held to a higher standard, which makes Raum’s affair with Suzanne and his subsequent murderous spree a greater affront to the heavenly realm.

Demons, on the other hand—well, one can’t expect too much by way of good from them, and they rarely disappoint.

It was actually harder to write the angels because good and bad with them are so clearly defined. It’s much easier when dealing with humankind, who can be flawed and yet still be good; or can come across as pure as the driven snow and have a heart as black as sin.

Thank you, Sharon for these awesome answers. I know we’ve discussed villains versus nice guys previously, and I think we’re on the same page, as far as bad boys go. 😉

Sharon Gerlach is a Program Specialist II in a financial aid office at a community college. She is also a writer in her spare time, and has completed three novel-length manuscripts. Two more are in various stages of production. She loves very dark beer, tequila, and scotch, although not at the same time. Her husband, Gail, is her best friend, and she loves her life!

In Sharon’s words:

  • I believe there is room in friendship for people to believe in different things without it affecting relationships.
  • I collect antique teapots, kids, and cats.
  • I have been writing since the age of 11. I didn’t complete my first novel until the age of 42. Go figure. Middle-age is my golden era.
  • I am not afraid to get old. I am enjoying life more now than I did when I was younger. Beauty fades; wisdom shines.

Find Sharon Gerlach here:

http://sharongerlach.wordpress.com/

http://forevernocturne.wordpress.com/

facebook.com/writerunleashed

http://www.goodreads.com/sharonlgerlach

http://twitter.com/SharonGerlach

“Let us go forth, the teller of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart long for, and have no fear.” William Butler Yeats, The Celtic Twilight

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Writer Unleashed on the World! (via Writer Unleashed)

Coming soon to Random Musings!

Writer Unleashed on the World! My blog tour officially begins today. During the tour, Running Ink Press is dropping the price of my novella, Malakh, to 99¢. So I hope you buy it because I have one expensive hearing aid to pay for this year, and I'm relying on you. No pressure. To kick off the blog tour, I wanted to talk to you all about writing. No, I'm not going to tell you how to do it, because everyone's style and method are different, and who am I to say how you should wri … Read More

via Writer Unleashed

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“Now it’s time to jump.” / Flat Out Love by Jessica Park

I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

About Flat-Out Love

 
Flat-Out Love is a warm and witty novel of family love and dysfunction, deep heartache and raw vulnerability, with a bit of mystery and one whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees romance. 
Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it.When Julie’s off-campus housing falls through, her mother’s old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side … and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.And there’s that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That’s because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie’s suddenly lonesome soul.

To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that … well … doesn’t quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.

 
First and foremost, I have to holler from the top of my lungs, “SQUEE!”
 
No, really! This book is awesome! I just happened to be scanning my Twitter account one day, and Jessica was looking for reviewers, so I thought “Hey why not?” I enjoy a good YA novel, and I was not disappointed. Immediately, I was sucked into the plot: lost and alone college freshman in a strange town. Cue flashbacks of my first night in the dorms. Fortunately, I was neither alone nor lost. Alas, I digress.
 
The initial rapport between Julie and Matt was eerily familiar, almost like siblings. And the humor?! Don’t get me started! Within the first chapter, I laughed out loud no less than four times. The characters were well-rounded, and strong while still vulnerable.
Being a female, I obviously identified with Julie, the narrator, but Matt satisfied my inner math-geek. I adored the descriptions of his geeky t-shirts.
 
 
 
Flat Out Love is a shining example of romance in the internet age, complete with IM chats, Facebook status updates, and email communications. I found it rather indicative of the technological advances society has made since the mid-nineties when I was in college. Heck, I didn’t even own a computer until 2000?! I always tell the youngsters the story of “How I Graduated From University Without A Computer”. With an English degree?!
 
They simply look confused. Apparently, they thought there was no life before computers.
 
You know, back in the Dinosaur Age, when people actually had to speak to each other in person (gasp), and busy signals were not a thing of the past.
 
In all seriousness though……oh who am I kidding?!? I’m not serious! Well, rarely anyway.
FLAT FINN! <——-coolest idea ever. Kind of makes me want to have a two-dimensional friend to cart around? Ya know, like maybe a Doppelganger? No. Too creepy. I mean, if Jessica can have a Flat Rick, maybe I should have a Flat Prince or something? You can check out Jessica’s inspiration for Flat Finn here: http://flatoutlove.blogspot.com/p/chapter-tidbits.html
 
Speaking of Flat Finn, there were hints of emotional instability from the get-go, as far as the family dynamic is concerned. For anyone who has ever dealt with depression, either their own or a loved one, the characters were true yet gritty. Whole, yet fragmented. Without spoiling the entire plot (go read it yourself), I questioned and suspected a few things, but even I did not figure out the whopper of an ending until just before the secret is revealed. Loved the suspense!
 
I highly recommend this book to everyone! Especially anyone who loves YA books or just humorous Romance!
 
Thank you, Jessica, for a lovely and enjoyable read! You’ve got a new fan here! 🙂
 
You can check the book out yourself over on Amazon:
 
Find Jessica Park here:
Flat Out Love website: http://flatoutlove.blogspot.com/
 
Jessica Park is the author of the young adult novel RELATIVELY FAMOUS, five Gourmet Girl mysteries (written as Jessica Conant-Park) and the e-shorts FACEBOOKING RICK SPRINGFIELD and WHAT THE KID SAYS (Parts 1 & 2). She grew up in the Boston area and then went to Macalester College in frigid St. Paul, Minnesota. During her freshman year, there was a blizzard on Halloween, and she decided that she was not cut out for such torture. So she moved back to the east coast where, she’d forgotten, it still snows. Oops. She now lives in New Hampshire with her husband, son, bananas dog named Fritzy, and two selfish cats. When not writing, she is probably on Facebook , pining over 80s rock stars, or engaging in “Glee” activities. Or some combination of the three. Probably with a coffee in hand. 
 
 

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