Category: Features

WTF Cover Saturday (343)

Posted January 18, 2020 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments

This week’s WTF Cover addition has me looking like this:

WTF is he doing? First off, he doesn’t look pissed about being betrayed, he looks like he’s offering up a sacrifice to be in the next Marky Mark music video. Pass.


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What Are You Reading? (513)

Posted January 17, 2020 by Casee in Features | 4 Comments

Casee: I haven’t been reading much this past week. I finished up At Peace by Kristen Ashley which I enjoyed. I can’t decide what to read next. I keep going from Release by Aly Martinez or Vendetta Road by Christine Feehan.

I’m listening to Dirty Love by Meghan March. Or I was listening to it. I haven’t been in the mood for audiobooks this week. I’m just off when it comes to reading.

Holly: I’m finally reading a book, y’all! Tracy turned me on to a new author. I’m listening to and reading Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen. It’s a Steampunk-lite, Gothic novel and I’m loving it. I plan to continue on with this series.

Rowena: Hey guys, Happy Friday! I didn’t get a whole bunch of books read this week but I’m still reading every single day and I’ll take that as a win. I finished up The Witness by Nora Roberts, which I really enjoyed. I really liked the heroine, Abigail Lowery and thought that the hero, Brooks Gleason was an excellent match for her. It’s going to make for an interesting book discussion at book club on Monday and I’m looking forward to it. After that, I read Getting Schooled by Christina C. Jones and that was a short but fun read that I really enjoyed. I need to read more black romances.

Right now, I’m finishing The Kissing Game by Marie Harte and I’m going to be honest, I’m not enjoying it as much as I thought I would. I don’t have much left to read but I’m not all that hopeful that things are going to make a drastic turn so I’m struggling with trying to decide if I should even bother reading it or not. The author’s writing style just isn’t for me. Hmm.

My next read is going to be The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa and I hope I like that one. Fingers crossed.

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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Our Most Anticipated Reads of 2020

Posted January 13, 2020 by Rowena in Features | 3 Comments

Casee


The Darkest King (Lords of the Underworld #15) by Gena Showalter

A merciless prince feared by all…

Cursed by a vengeful witch, William of the Dark will die if he ever falls in love—murdered by the woman who steals his heart. His lone shot at redemption is a book filled with indecipherable code. Break the code, break the curse. Now, centuries later, he’s condemned to a string of one-night stands…until he finds the only woman in the worlds able to set him free.

A rare creature of myth and power…

One of the last living unicorn shifters, Sunday “Sunny” Lane works from the shadows as a cryptanalyst, on the run from assassins and poachers. Then the darkly seductive William abducts her, holding her captive in Hell. The closer they get, the more she hungers for his touch…and the stronger a mystical desire to kill him becomes…

Both forever doomed?

At war with his brother, Lucifer, and determined to become a king of the underworld at long last, William must resist the irreverent beauty who threatens his future. But every day Sunny tempts him more, his hunger for her unmatched. Will he risk his heart—and his life—or will the curse ensure his end?

Casee: William. Finally!


Alpha Night (Psy-Changeling Trinity #4) by Nalini Singh

Alpha wolf Selenka Durev’s devotion to her pack is equaled only by her anger at anyone who would harm those under her care. That currently includes the empaths who’ve flowed into her city for a symposium that is a security nightmare, a powder keg just waiting for a match.

Ethan Night is an Arrow who isn’t an Arrow. Numb and disengaged from the world, he’s loyal only to himself. Assigned as part of the security force at a world-first symposium, he carries a dark agenda tied to the power-hungry and murderous Consortium. Then violence erupts and Ethan finds himself crashing into the heart and soul of an alpha wolf.

Mating at first sight is a myth, a fairytale. Yet Selenka’s wolf is resolute: Ethan Night, broken Arrow and a man capable of obsessive devotion, is the mate it has chosen. Even if the mating bond is full of static and not quite as it should be. Because Selenka’s new mate has a terrible secret, his mind surging with a power that is a creature of madness and death…

Casee: I’m behind on this series, but this one sounds great.


Knight Awakening (Scorpius Syndrome #6) by Rebecca Zanetti

The Line Between Obsession and Love has Disappeared

The world has changed. Any rules that might’ve been in place before the Scorpius bacterium ripped through civilization and decreased its population are no longer in place. Obsession and survival are the new reality. So, Marcus Knight, after a hellish time in captivity that stole most of his memory and all of his soul, has one focus, and that’s keeping Dr. Penelope Kim safe in the aftermath. She’d risked her life to save him once, and she’s all that matters. For months, he’s kept his distance, protecting her from afar, because he knows that one touch—one sigh—one kiss—from her will never be enough.

Passion is a Dangerous and Deadly Temptation

Penny Kim is one of the few doctors still living, and she alone holds the key to ensuring the human race continues. Several of her friends are pregnant, and the clock is ticking down on their survival. Her days are filled with experiments and hope, while her nights are consumed with visions and dreams of the hard-bodied and powerful soldier who’s made her safety his one and only mission. She should be wary of him; she should be terrified of him. Yet all she feels is an unreal craving for his touch that gets stronger every day. Life is short, and she’s unwilling to wait, unaware of the danger already hunting them both. Some risks are worth it, even in this new and dangerous world.]

Casee: I have long awaited Penny and Marcus’ book.


Shadow Flight (Shadow Riders #5) by Christine Feehan

Nicoletta Gomez was a terrified teenager when Taviano Ferraro and his brother saved her life. Ever since, she’s been trying to rise above what was done to her, molding herself into a survivor under the protective eyes of the Ferraro family. All the while, she’s been falling hopelessly in love with the man who knows her darkest secrets.…

With one look, Taviano knew that Nicoletta was his, just as he felt their shadows connect. But no matter how much he wanted to claim her, he knew she needed time to become her own woman. When Nicoletta once again finds herself in the sights of dangerous men, a split-second decision has Taviano breaking all of the Ferraro family’s rules to keep her safe. And as far as he’s concerned, the reward is more than worth the risk.

 
 
Casee: This series isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely for me.


The Fight for Forever (Legend Trilogy #3) by Meghan March

You can only keep what you can protect.

That’s all I’ve ever known. It’s the way I’ve lived my life.

Now, everything I never knew I needed is at risk, and I’m not letting anyone take it from me.

I won’t let anyone take her from me.

They say love is a battlefield, so I’m ready for war.

This time, it’s the fight for forever.

Casee: I’m really looking forward to the conclusion to this trilogy.

Holly

These are in no particular order. Rowena was mean and said I could only put down 5, so many are missing from this list. I was at 12 when she cut me off, and hadn’t even gotten through June yet. Still, these 5 are much anticipated by me.


A Heart of Blood and Ashes (A Gathering of Dragons #1) by Milla Vane

February 4th 2020

A generation past, the western realms were embroiled in endless war. Then the Destroyer came. From the blood and ashes he left behind, a tenuous alliance rose between the barbarian riders of Parsathe and the walled kingdoms of the south. That alliance is all that stands against the return of an ancient evil—until the barbarian king and queen are slain in an act of bloody betrayal.

Though forbidden by the alliance council to kill the corrupt king responsible for his parents’ murders, Maddek vows to avenge them, even if it costs him the Parsathean crown. But when he learns it was the king’s daughter who lured his parents to their deaths, the barbarian warrior is determined to make her pay.

Yet the woman Maddek captures is not what he expected. Though the last in a line of legendary warrior-queens, Yvenne is small and weak, and the sharpest weapons she wields are her mind and her tongue. Even more surprising is the marriage she proposes to unite them in their goals and to claim their thrones—because her desire for vengeance against her father burns even hotter than his own…

FINALLY we’re getting another book from Milla Vane (Meljean Brook). I can’t even begin to tell you how effing excited I am for this.


Chasing Cassandra (Vine Witch #2) by Lisa Kleypas

June 4, 2020

Everything has a price…

Railway magnate Tom Severin is wealthy and powerful enough to satisfy any desire as soon as it arises. Anything—or anyone—is his for the asking. It should be simple to find the perfect wife—and from his first glimpse of Lady Cassandra Ravenel, he’s determined to have her. But the beautiful and quick-witted Cassandra is equally determined to marry for love—the one thing he can’t give.

Everything except her…

Severin is the most compelling and attractive man Cassandra has ever met, even if his heart is frozen. But she has no interest in living in the fast-paced world of a ruthless man who always plays to win.

When a newfound enemy nearly destroys Cassandra’s reputation, Severin seizes the opportunity he’s been waiting for. As always, he gets what he wants—or does he? There’s one lesson Tom Severin has yet to learn from his new bride:

Never underestimate a Ravenel.

The chase for Cassandra’s hand may be over. But the chase for her heart has only just begun…

I’m super excited to learn more about Cassandra and Tom. They were both enigmas in the previous books. Plus, it’s Lisa Kleypas.


Dragon Unleashed (Fallen Empire #2) by Grace Draven

June 9th 2020

A dragon shapeshifter and a healer with power over the earth fight a corrupt empire in this thrilling and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Magic is outlawed in the Krael Empire and punishable by death. Born with the gift of earth magic, the free trader Halani keeps her dangerous secret closely guarded. When her uncle buys a mysterious artifact, a piece of bone belonging to a long-dead draga, Halani knows it’s far more than what it seems.

Dragas haven’t been seen for more than a century, and most believe them extinct. They’re wrong. Dragas still walk among the denizens of the Empire, disguised as humans. Malachus is a draga living on borrowed time. The magic that has protected him will soon turn on him–unless he finds a key part of his heritage. He has tracked it to a group of free traders, among them a grave-robbing earth witch who fascinates him as much as she frustrates him with her many secrets.

Unbeknownst to both, the Empire’s twisted empress searches for a draga of her own, to capture and kill as a trophy. As Malachus the hunter becomes the hunted, Halani must risk herself and all she loves to save him from the Empire’s machinations and his own lethal birthright.

This book was supposed to come out last year, but it got pushed back for some reason. I really hope we’re getting it in June after all. Fingers Crossed.


Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson #12) by Patricia Briggs

March 10th 2020

Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, faces a threat unlike any other in this thrilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

I am Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman.
My only “superpowers” are that I turn into a thirty-five pound coyote and fix Volkswagens. But I have friends in odd places and a pack of werewolves at my back. It looks like I’m going to need them.

Centuries ago, the fae dwelt in Underhill–until she locked her doors against them. They left behind their great castles and troves of magical artifacts. They abandoned their prisoners and their pets. Without the fae to mind them, those creatures who remained behind roamed freely through Underhill wreaking havoc. Only the deadliest survived.

Now one of those prisoners has escaped. It can look like anyone, any creature it chooses. But if it bites you, it controls you. It lives for chaos and destruction. It can make you do anything–even kill the person you love the most. Now it is here, in the Tri-Cities. In my territory.

It won’t, can’t, remain.

Not if I have anything to say about it.

Any day we get another Mercy Thompson book is a good day.


Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians #1) by Kit Rocha

May 12th 2020

Orphan Black meets the post-apocalyptic Avengers in the vein of Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author duo Kit Rocha

The United States went belly up 45 years ago when our power grid was wiped out. Too few live in well-protected isolation while the rest of us scrape by on the margins. The only thing that matters is survival. By any means. At any cost.

Nina is an information broker with a mission: to bring hope to the darkest corners of Atlanta. She and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to help those in need. But altruism doesn’t pay the bills—raiding vaults and collecting sensitive data is where the real money is.

Knox is a bitter, battle-weary supersoldier who leads the Silver Devils, an elite strike squad that chose to go AWOL rather than slaughter innocents. Before the Devils leave town for good, they need a biochem hacker to stabilize the experimental implants that grant their superhuman abilities.

The problem? Their hacker’s been kidnapped. And the ransom for her return is Nina. Knox has the perfect bait for a perfect trap: a lost Library of Congress server. The data could set Nina and her team up for years…

If they live that long.

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Two words: Mercenary. Librarians. COME TO MAMA.


Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

June 30, 2020

From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a reimagining of the classic gothic suspense novel, a story about an isolated mansion in 1950s Mexico—and the brave socialite drawn to its treacherous secrets.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

I’m sneaking a 6th onto this list because that cover and blurb are going it for me.

Rowena


Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan

A second chance STANDALONE romance featuring Kimba from THE KINGMAKER & THE REBEL KING.

You do NOT have to read those books to enjoy this story.

I did not know that Kimba was getting her own set of books! Finding this book while browsing for 2020 releases brought me so much joy that I had to add this book to my most anticipated reads of 2020, first.

Kimba was the best friend that Lennix could ask for. She was fiercely loyal and protective of her loved ones and I was here for all of her goodness. I cannot wait to see who her love interest is. I am not going to lie, I’m hoping and praying that it’s David. Maxim’s friend David. The minute this book becomes available, I’m going to be on it like white on rice. Bring on main character Kimba!!


Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5) by Ilona Andrews

Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, continues her spellbinding series set in the Hidden Legacy world where magic controls everything…except the hearts of those who wield it.

As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers—powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart.

The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won’t rest until she stops the use of the illicit, power-granting serum that’s tearing their world apart.

Squee. I cannot wait to read more books from the Hidden Legacy series. I’m ready for more Catalina. More Arabella. More Baylors. And more Alessandro. Yeah buddy, this is definitely on my most anticipated reads list.


Daring and the Duke (The Bareknuckled Bastards #3) by Sarah MacLean

New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean returns with the final book in the Bareknuckle Bastards series focusing on the third brother Duke and the sweet Grace.

Grace Condry has spent a lifetime running from her past. Betrayed as a child by her only love and raised on the streets, she now hides in plain sight as queen of London’s darkest corners. Grace has a sharp mind and a powerful right hook and has never met an enemy she could not best, until the man she once loved returns.

Single-minded and ruthless, Ewan, Duke of Marwick, has spent a decade searching for the woman he never stopped loving. A long-ago gamble may have lost her forever, but Ewan will go to any lengths to win Grace back… and make her his duchess.

Reconciliation is the last thing Grace desires. Unable to forgive the past, she vows to take her revenge. But revenge requires keeping Ewan close, and soon her enemy seems to be something else altogether―something she can’t resist, even as he threatens the world she’s built, the life she’s claimed… and the heart she swore he’d never steal again.

Dude, we’re finally getting Grace and Ewan’s book. We’re finally getting their back story. We’re going to get to know all of the nitty-gritty shenanigans that led them to now. It’s going to be filled with so much drama and I am here for it all. Come to Mama, please!


The Earl Takes a Fancy (Sins for All Seasons #5) by Lorraine Heath

New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath pens another richly satisfying romance in her Sins for all Seasons series.

She’s looking for a nobleman to wed…

Though born out of wedlock, Fancy Trewlove is determined to fulfill her mother’s wish that she marry into nobility. Fancy’s keen intellect and finishing school manners make her the perfect wife for any gentleman—if he’s willing to overlook her scandalous lineage. But Fancy’s plans are thrown into chaos when an intriguing commoner begins visiting her bookshop—and she finds herself unable to stop thinking about him.

He’s looking to escape his title…

Widowed just a year ago, the reclusive Matthew Sommersby, Earl of Rosemont, has been besieged by women hoping to become his next wife. Desperate for anonymity, he sheds Society life to search for the peace that eludes him. Fancy’s shop is his one refuge, until the night their passion erupts into a kiss that nearly leads to her ruin—and leaves both longing for much more.

Together, they discover an unlikely love…

As Fancy finds herself torn between her family’s expectations and her growing feelings for Matthew, secrets are exposed—secrets that force Fancy to question if she can trust her heart’s desire…

Fancy’s book!!! I have wanted Fancy’s book since Mick’s book but she was much too young in Mick’s book so it’s time. It’s time for us to see a grown up Fancy, living her grown up life with her family, her bookstore, and finally meeting this Earl that takes a fancy. Squee, I can’t wait to dig into this one!


Heart and Seoul by Jen Frederick

A romantic K-drama duology in which a South Korean adoptee journey to Seoul to find her birth parents, but her mission threatens the position of a powerful female CEO and her heir.

It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by Jen Frederick but I’m really looking forward to reading this one. I’m not a die-hard K-Drama fan but the ones that I’ve watched, I’ve binged the shit out of them so yes, I’m mighty intrigued by this k-drama like story that Frederick is going to tell in this book. I’m so here for it.

There are plenty of other releases coming out in 2020 that didn’t make our shortlists. Which books are you most looking forward to reading in 2020? Share your most anticipated reads in the comments!


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The Weekly Recap: January 6 – January 12, 2020

Posted January 12, 2020 by Rowena in Features | 1 Comment

What We Reviewed

Holly reviewed Warrior Fae Princess by K.F. Breene | 3.25 out of 5
Rowena reviewed Marriage on Madison Avenue by Lauren Layne | 3.5 out of 5
Rowena reviewed The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole | 4 out of 5
Rowena reviewed The One for You by Roni Loren | 5 out of 5
Tracy reviewed His Convenient Husband by J.L. Langley | 3.5 out of 5
Rowena reviewed Grand Theft N.Y.E. by Katrina Jackson | 4 out of 5

What We Posted

Best of 2019: The Books
Best of 2019: The Heroes
Best of 2019: The Heroines
Best of 2019: The Authors
Best of 2019: The Series
What Are You Reading? (512)
Worst of 2019: The Books
WTF Cover Saturday (342)
Sunday Spotlight: Grumpy Jake by Melissa Blue

Current Giveaways

Monthly Reads: December 2019

Sunday Spotlight: January 2020

That does it for this week’s recap. How was your week in books? Hear any book news that you’d like to share? Get any new books you want to share? Review any books we should check out? Please share.


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Sunday Spotlight: Grumpy Jake by Melissa Blue

Posted January 12, 2020 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 5 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Grumpy Jake by Melissa Blue came on my radar last month when I saw that gorgeous cover. Then Rowena read it and said she really liked it, so I bumped it up on my list. I can’t wait to read it.

Sunday Spotlight: Grumpy Jake by Melissa BlueGrumpy Jake by Melissa Blue
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 8, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 104
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Bailey Thorne doesn't hate Jake the Rake, just despises him. She blames the rumor mill at her school...and, okay, him. His adorable son has only been in preschool, but Jake has already made an impressive dent in dating the unmarried faculty. She's had to hear of his every exploit from the broken hearts he's left behind. She was fine to loathe him from afar, but now his son has entered kindergarten--and she's the teacher. It's going to be a very long school year.

Jake Polaski was more than fine to avoid Ms. Thorne after it became clear she was not amused by his very existence. But then they get stuck in an elevator for an evening. He finds out that underneath that baleful glare she always gives him, lies a warm, funny and sexy as hell woman. He does his best to not be smitten after every exchange afterward. His son needs him rational, steadfast...and love is the most uncertain thing.

It was the elevator's fault. Had it worked like it should, Bailey would have gone on with her life without seeing why so many of her co-workers had fallen for the grumpy single dad. (It's his dry wit, his playful teasing and the drool-worthy cut of his jawline.) And now she's caught in the way he doles out smiles and the dark depths of his secrets. If nothing else, she knows from rumor there's a clock ticking on their affair before it implodes because things always do with Jake the Rake, but she can't seem to walk away first.

Excerpt

He tossed the suit jacket on the arm of the couch. She hesitated then walked over to the photo album to pull out the braces picture. He just smirked at her as he settled into the cushions.

When she came back in with two cups, he did indeed have the album open on the table.

“That was the only picture in there where I cringe.”

He sat back. “I noticed. There’s just a void of you and your family until high school.”

“Sophomore year to be exact.” She handed him the cup then put hers on the table to cool off. “By then I grew boobs, got a bit of style and no longer wore braces.” She bit her lip for a moment.

“What is it?”

“I think it’s only fair you show me an embarrassing photo.”

He put his cup down on the table. “For the record, I don’t cringe at any of my old photos.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“I was born handsome.”

She cackled. “Lies.”

He didn’t smile but there was a light in his eyes. “You’ve caught me. I was ugly as shit until fifteen, and then there were some questionable style choices for me.” He scrolled through his phone, stopped to look at her then shook his head. “I can’t believe I’m about to show you this.” He hesitated. “No. I absolutely cannot show you this.”

Red blossomed on his cheeks. Grumpy Jake was blushing. “I have to see this picture now.”

He glanced at his phone then shook his head. She put her hand out. He pulled the phone just out of her reach. “I can’t do it.”

“Okay,” she said, placing her hand in her lap.

Their gazes met, held, then she lunged for the phone. She ended up sprawled across his lap on her stomach as they both laughed. They playfully wrestled for another moment until her hand brushed something hard, something thick. She snatched her hand back and tried to untangle their limbs from his. He wrapped his hand around her waist and pulled her into him until her butt settled on that hard and thick part of him between his legs. The laughter had died away. Bailey brought her gaze up to his. Heat and lust had darkened his blue eyes, seeping into her and leaving every part of her buzzing with—everything.

Jake cupped her cheek. “I want to kiss you, Bailey.”

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: January 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Melissa Blue

Melissa Blue’s writing career started on a typewriter one month after her son was born. This would have been an idyllic situation for a writer if it had been 1985, not 2004. She penned that first contemporary romance, upgraded to a computer and hasn’t looked back since.

Outside of writing, Blue works as a mail clerk for the federal government has a paralegal certificate (that she has more use for as a dustpan) and is a mother of two rambunctious children. She lives in California where the wine is good and, despite popular belief, is not always sunny.


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