Publisher: Penguin

Throwback Thursday Review: Moon Burning by Lucy Monroe

Posted January 21, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Moon Burning by Lucy MonroeReviewer: Holly
Moon Burning by Lucy Monroe
Series: Children of the Moon #3
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Genres: Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 295
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Lucy Monroe returns to her hugely popular paranormal world, where a woman falls under the spell of the beast who is her one true enemy...

Barr never asked to be made laird over the struggling Donegal clan or leader of its werewolf pack. But he'll do his duty, and although he hasn't yet found his mate, he hopes she will be among his people. He expects his new role to be difficult; he doesn't expect to discover a naked woman in the forest whose memory is as fragile as her human body—her delectable, all too appealing body. Could this woman be his true mate?

On a mission to save her people from extinction, Sabrine pretends she has no memory in order to gain access to her enemy: the Donegal clan. A raven shifter, she is determined to retrieve the sacred stone that rightfully belongs to her people. But soon she'll be engulfed in her burning desire and growing love for Barr—and the dangerous and inescapable secrets destined to keep them apart.

This review was originally posted January 31, 2011.

I didn’t love this book as much as I did the previous two in the series. It was good, just not as good as the others.

Sabrine is a raven shifter. For decades they’ve been in hiding, hunted by the other shifters of the world. As a warrior for her clan, she has sworn to protect them..and keep their existence a secret. When a magical stone they need to complete their coming-of-age ceremony is stolen, Sabrine vows to get it back. To do so, she’ll have to infiltrate the Donegal clan..a clan full of wolf-shifters – her sworn enemy.

Barr is shocked to find a naked woman in the forest. Especially when he realizes she’s the perfect mate for him. But not everything about Sabrine adds up. Who is this woman, really? She’s obviously not the helpless thing she’s pretending to be, but will she open up enough to trust him with her secrets? And can he live without her if she doesn’t?

Barr was the best part of this novel. He’s strong and capable, yet tender and loving. It doesn’t take him long to realize Sabrine is his true mate. Once he does, he determines to let her come to him on her own. He doesn’t try to force her to open up to him or punish her when she doesn’t. He’s supportive of her and gives her the time she needs to realize she can trust him. He’s also a fair leader. He knows how to motivate his men, gain their loyalty, and still ruthlessly take control when needed.

If Barr was the best part of this novel, Sabrine was the worst. She spends the length of the novel deceiving Barr, distrusting him, and saying and doing hurtful things. In the beginning, I appreciated her zeal in keeping her secrets and doing what was best for her clan. But as the novel progressed her actions became more and more unreasonable. In the face of nothing but overwhelming support and caring from Barr, she still treated him as nothing more than her enemy. I didn’t understand how she could give her body to him, claim to care for him, yet still deny him all of herself.

That isn’t to say she didn’t have some redeeming qualities. The way she was with the other clanswomen showed she had a compassionate side. I also liked that she was a true warrior. She wasn’t a woman pretending to be strong and capable – she really was strong and capable. She knew her limits and pushed herself to the full extend of them. But the way she deceived Barr and his clan, not to mention her self-righteous attitude about it really turned me off.

The secondary romance between Barr’s second and the Donegal clan healer was well done. I enjoyed watching them circle each other. I also enjoyed the clan dynamics. As Barr trained them and showed them what a real leader should be, the entire clan blossomed.

The suspense plot was somewhat predictable. I feel like Monroe has kind of done the same thing over and over. It would be nice to see a new threat, rather than more of the same from previous novels.

Although there I complained quite a bit, I did enjoy much of this novel. I just didn’t particularly care for the heroine.

3.25 out of 5

Children of the Moon

three-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Reckless Road by Christine Feehan

Posted January 17, 2021 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 3 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. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: Reckless Road by Christine FeehanReckless Road by Christine Feehan
Series: Torpedo Ink #5
Also in this series: Judgment Road , Judgment Road, Vengeance Road, Vendetta Road, Desolation Road
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 480
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: three-stars

Refuel your passion with a new installment of the Torpedo Ink series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

While Gedeon "Player" Lazaroff is one of Torpedo Ink motorcycle club's roughest members, he's also one of the calmest. Little rattles Player, except for the times his gift gets the better of him. When that happens, he has to just lie down in the dark and hope for the best. But on a night when he's on the verge of losing it, he meets a woman who manages to soothe his fractured mind.

Zyah is a striking, ethereal beauty who seduces him with every word and move. Their night together is one of pure, exquisite bliss. But when Player gets confused and thinks their intimate encounter was nothing more than a dream, his careless dismissal leaves her humiliated and angry.

Now, Player will have to devote his every breath to convincing Zyah to give him a second chance. Because she might be the only one who can save him from himself....

Excerpt

Three of Player’s brothers were in the common room. All traces of a wild party had been removed. He was grateful he had slept through the cleanup. Too many people could have thrown his brain right back into a meltdown. Code, Maestro and Preacher sat at the bar, and all three swiveled around to face him.

“What are you doing up?” Maestro demanded. “You had a bad migraine last night. Steele is coming in to check on you in another hour or so.”

Steele was their resident doctor. Player didn’t want him disturbed, not when he was feeling fine. Steele had a wife and child to look after, and Breezy, his wife, was about to get a surprise when Master drove up, bringing the woman with him from New Mexico. She’d been a friend of Breezy’s. Hopefully, she still was.

“You can tell Steele I’m feeling fine. I don’t even have a headache, but I could use coffee.”

Preacher went behind the bar and poured coffee into a mug, shoving it across the thick oak surface of the bar to Player. “You didn’t look so good last night. Master called in an SOS.”

“Yeah, the migraine was pretty bad, but the dancer you lined up for me managed to turn everything around.” Player tried to sound casual. “Thanks for that, by the way. She was a pretty phenomenal gift.”

The three men exchanged long, puzzled looks while Player took a sip of coffee. Maestro shook his head. “Don’t know what you’re talking about, bro.”

Player set the mug down on the bar. “The dancer. In my room. The belly dancer. You had to have paid her to be there right?” He was beginning to feel a little desperate. They were staring at him with blank faces, like he was a little crazy. He was beginning to think maybe he was. She had to be real. There were the candles. The condoms. Her scent lingering. No, damn it, she was real. “You knew I couldn’t be at the party, so you got me the dancer.” He sounded alarmed even to his own ears. Maybe he had finally gone insane.

“Player.” Maestro waved toward a chair as if he was worried Player might fall on his face. “You came in a day early. No one expected you. We don’t pay women to come here. You know that. If women come to party, they come with friends or another club. We never pay women. What’s this about?”

d eyes of his brothers to stare out the window into the parking lot. It was mostly empty of the vehicles that had been there the night before.

“I took a shower last night and went straight to my room,” he said. “My head was killing me. I intended to go to bed and sleep as long as I could. I knew I had to avoid everyone. The migraine was bad. I was pretty fucked up,” he admitted. He had to admit that. He wasn’t going to lie to them. If he was going insane, he needed to know.

He turned to face them. He had their complete attention. “My head was pounding like a mother. I barely made it to the room, slammed the door and leaned against it. The nightmare world my fucked-up brain creates had been busy working the entire time until I closed the door. Suddenly, I was in a completely different world and there was a dancer in my room.”

“Player,” Code said cautiously.

Player held up his hand. “Hear me out. This wasn’t some twisted version from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from eating Alena’s hallucinogenic mushrooms when I was a kid with a warped imagination. The music, the bells, the candles, the condoms, hell, all of it, was real. When she talked or laughed, her body moved at the same time. It was subtle, but when she did, she had some kind of connection with the earth the way I have. Whatever it was, she managed to take away my headache completely.”

He sounded crazy even to himself. His brothers exchanged long looks while he hung his head, breathing hard.

Torpedo Ink

Giveaway Alert

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Sunday Spotlight: January 2021

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About Christine Feehan

I live on the beautiful Northern California coast and draw much inspiration from the beauty around me. I've always been a writer, for as long as I remember. My sisters were forced to read all of my books from the time I could write a story on paper.

I love family. I love my brothers and sisters, my children, my grandchildren and my great grandchildren. My home was always full of kids and children give me so much joy.

I also love my "sisters of the heart", those friends who have supported me through my life, laughed with me, cried with me and loved me regardless of how crazy my life got. I am a strong supporter of women helping each other which is why I became a third degree black belt and taught self-defense to women who'd been abused.

I love people and dogs, good books and great coffee and I'm lucky to know just how blessed I am.


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Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Stygian’s Honor by Lora Leigh

Posted January 14, 2021 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Stygian’s Honor by Lora LeighReviewer: Tracy
Stygian's Honor by Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #19
Also in this series: Megan's Mark (Breeds, #6), Dawn's Awakening (Breeds, #11), The Magical Christmas Cat , Mercury's War (Breeds, #12), Coyote's Mate (Breeds, #13), Bengal's Heart (Breeds, #14), Lion's Heat (Breeds, #15), Lion's Heat (Breeds, #15), Navarro's Promise (Breeds, #17), Cross Breed (Breeds, #23)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 374
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Window Rock, Arizona, is the last known location of Honor Roberts, who vanished when she was just thirteen. It was her only sanctuary from the Breed research that would surely have ended in her death--one such insidious experiment should, indeed, have killed her. That she lived is both a miracle--and a great mystery.

Stygian's mission is to find Honor Roberts, no matter the cost. Now, with the help of Liza Johnson, assistant to the chief of the Navajo Nation, he is closer than ever to his goal. But will the discovery of Honor Roberts mean the destruction of the mating heat that has developed between Stygian and Liza?

This review was originally posted October 12, 2012.

Liza Johnson has lived a relatively simple life but now the Genetics Council is after her and she has no idea why. The Breeds show up and they plan to protect her – but protect her from what? Jonas Wyatt is determined to find a girl by the name of Honor Roberts because he thinks that her and her friend hold the key to healing his dying toddler.

Stygian Black first saw Liza when he was in a bar (during Malachi and Isabelle’s story) and he’s been hooked on her ever since. He knows that she’s his mate but she’s all about her independence and isn’t keen on being controlled by her mate as that what she thinks will happen. He’s determined to get her to see that life with him will be wonderful and she’ll still have her independence…to a point.

But Liza’s kind of screwed up. She starts having memories that can’t possibly be her own and she starts to doubt that she is who she thinks she is. How can she be Liza and yet have memories of things that never happened to her? And why is her father lying to Jonas Wyatt about her and the Navajo Nation’s database?

This is book 27 in the series – yes, you read that correctly – 27! I think that it’s time to wrap things up. Maybe I’ve said that before but it’s true. The stories are all slightly different but basically the same. Men feeling the mating heat and the women fighting it. When the women do capitulate it’s always the most wonderful thing on earth and they fall in love quickly.

In this story we do have the issue of Amber, Jonas’s adopted daughter being sick – but we had that in the last book. How long can this child be sick without assistance and still make it. I thought for sure that we would get some closure with that but unfortunately we didn’t. That poor child has to suffer some more while we watch another couple get mated. Sigh

While the story was decent and I did like Stygian I didn’t care all that much for Liza and that put a damper on things. I know she was going through a lot but still – IDK, I just never warmed up to her.

I will probably end up reading the next book to find out about poor little Amber but hopefully things will be wrapped up soon.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Breeds

three-stars


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Joint Review: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

Posted November 23, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee & Holly
Archangel's Sun by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #13
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Blade, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's War, Archangel's War , Archangel's Kiss
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 24, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A horrifying secret rises in the aftermath of an archangelic war in New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s deadly and beautiful Guild Hunter world...
The Archangel of Death and the Archangel of Disease may be gone but their legacy of evil lives on—especially in Africa, where the shambling, rotting creatures called the reborn have gained a glimmer of vicious intelligence.
It is up to Titus, archangel of this vast continent, to stop the reborn from spreading across the world. Titus can’t do it alone, but of the surviving powerful angels and archangels, large numbers are wounded, while the rest are fighting a surge of murderous vampires.
There is no one left…but the Hummingbird. Old, powerful, her mind long a broken kaleidoscope. Now, she must stand at Titus’s side against a tide of death upon a discovery more chilling than any other. For the Archangel of Disease has left them one last terrible gift…

Archangel’s Sun begins where Archangel’s War left off. The war with Lijuan finally came to an end in a rather spectacular fashion. Now the Archangel’s are trying to rebuild their territories. Titus is fighting to defend his territory in Africa from the reborn. The reborn are creatures that Lijuan created and Charisemnon helped change into bigger abominations than they already were. When the Cadre sends him the Hummingbird, he wonders how exactly such a fragile creature could help him. Chaos ensues.

Casee: I honestly wasn’t sure of this book when I first saw the blurb. Although the Hummingbird has been an interesting character in this series, I always thought of her in the abstract. I wasn’t really interested in her or her story. Ironically, she turned out to be one of my favorite characters in this series.

Holly: I was really intrigued by The Hummingbird in the previous books, and I was glad she was featured in this one. I really loved her personal journey in this book.

Casee: I feel like this was more about Sharine’s personal journey than it was about the romance between her and Titus. I thought the romance was really sweet, but I was more fascinated by Sharine herself. What did you think of Titus?

Holly: I really liked Titus. He made me laugh early on with his whole neanderthal attitudes, but honestly he was a big marshmallow underneath it all. I think he was a good fit for Sharine. I agree the romance took a back seat to her personal journey. I’m okay with that. I liked how things progressed as she came out of her shell and learned more about herself. I’d have liked to see more of her realizing her skills, but I’m hopeful we’ll see more of her in the future.

Casee: I really liked Titus, too. I liked how he interacted with his sisters. He never thought that he was superior to Sharine, which I really appreciated. I thought this really captured what the Hummingbird represented to the angels.

“Everyone loved the Hummingbird. Even Titus loved her—in a distant kind of way. He didn’t know her as a person. He knew of her. That she was a gift to angelkind, that her kindness was legendary, that she had never had an enemy in her life. And of course, that she had given birth to Illium, a young angel Titus greatly liked.”

I adored Sharine’s relationship with Illium. Aodhan too.

Holly: I loved that the entirety of angelkind had Sharine on a pedestal, but she was so sassy Titus couldn’t believe she was the same woman everyone went on about. It cracked me up every time she got miffed at him and he was baffled.

I really liked Sharine’s relationship with Ilium and Aodhan, too. It was good seeing her slide back into a more maternal role and taking back some of that responsibility from him. Her guilt over what she perceived as her weakness really tugged at my heartstrings.

Casee: I also loved how Sharine baffled Titus. He just couldn’t reconcile Sharine with the Hummingbird that everyone adores. I also enjoyed the progression of their relationship. It was a relationship that was built over months, not days. It was a very believable love story.

Holly: It was, except for the end. View Spoiler ».

Casee: I can understand that. Usually I’m not happy with HFN endings, but this one worked wonderfully. Sharine knew that she still had healing to do and while she loved Titus, she wanted to find herself on her own. I admired that.

I forgot another thing I loved. Raphael and Sharine. Sigh. So sweet.

Holly: To clarify, I’m totally good with the HFN, I actually wanted them to be LESS committed than they were. Which is a weird thing for me to say. lol

Oh, I really liked Raphael and Sharine, too. They’re relationship is so sweet.

Casee: That is weird. Lol

Where does it fall in the series for you? It’s not one of my favorites, but I did enjoy it. I would give it a 3.75 out of 5.

Holly: It wasn’t a favorite for me, either. I really liked Sharine’s personal growth and I enjoyed Titus, but the romance wasn’t my favorite. 3.5 out of 5 from me.

Final Grades

Casee: 3.75 out of 5.
Holly: 3.5 out of 5.

Guild Hunter Series

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

Posted November 22, 2020 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 6 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. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini SinghArchangel's Sun by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #13
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Blade, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's War, Archangel's War , Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Sun
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 24, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

A horrifying secret rises in the aftermath of an archangelic war in New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s deadly and beautiful Guild Hunter world...

The Archangel of Death and the Archangel of Disease may be gone but their legacy of evil lives on—especially in Africa, where the shambling, rotting creatures called the reborn have gained a glimmer of vicious intelligence.

It is up to Titus, archangel of this vast continent, to stop the reborn from spreading across the world. Titus can’t do it alone, but of the surviving powerful angels and archangels, large numbers are wounded, while the rest are fighting a surge of murderous vampires.

There is no one left…but the Hummingbird. Old, powerful, her mind long a broken kaleidoscope. Now, she must stand at Titus’s side against a tide of death upon a discovery more chilling than any other. For the Archangel of Disease has left them one last terrible gift…

Excerpt

Excerpt from Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

The Archangel of Death and the Archangel of Disease had created a horrific hybrid. But the ugliest “improvement” was why all of the dead in Titus’s territory were now being cremated—these reborn had the ability to pass on the infection to the dead who yet had a shred of flesh on their bones. The creatures dug up graves, hauled out corpses, fed on them, but if any flesh remained afterward, the dead would be reborn.

An entire village had been butchered by their just-buried war dead in the hours after Titus left the continent to fight Lijuan. Now, people across this land spent daylight hours digging up their dead as tears streaked their faces and their hearts broke; each body was treated with respect, but there was no choice—their dead had to go into the cleansing cauldron of fire.

“Charisemnon and Lijuan must’ve had a plan to spread this new strain,” Tzadiq had said to him after they first became aware of the horror they faced, his second’s clean-shaven head gleaming in the reprieve of the dawn sun. “Why do you think that plan stalled in Africa?”

“We’ll never know for certain,” Titus had answered, his back drenched with sweat after yet another night fighting the reborn, “but if I had to lay bets, I’d say that whatever Charisemnon did to blend his disease with her death, it cost him.” Disease was a “gift” that cut both ways. “He likely couldn’t maintain the projected pace.”

But the archangel formed of pestilence and vanity had done plenty.

It was all more than enough to deal with—yet a nagging worry haunted Titus. When he’d entered Charisemnon’s inner border court after his return from New York, it was to find a number of badly decomposed bodies. No one had been inside the court buildings in the interim, both his and Charisemnon’s former forces caught in a desperate battle against the reborn.

The creatures had gone berserk upon the death of their master.

Only later, after questioning several senior members of the enemy court, had he learned that Charisemnon had shut off the inner court to everyone but a favored few. The other courtiers had worried they’d fallen in their archangel’s favor. Turned out, from what Titus had discovered, that the favored few had actually been the unlucky few.

For the vampires, Titus believed that their liege had either accidentally infected them with a disease or he’d used them as guinea pigs. It was possible the angels had been thrown to the vampires as sacrificial food, but it was equally possible the decomposition hid what might’ve been indications of disease. It was the latter prospect that haunted Titus—because angels weren’t supposed to be vulnerable to disease.

It was a law written into stone.

As immutable as the wind and the sky.

Or it had been before Charisemnon.

Then Tzadiq had discovered the worst thing: a slimy black-green trail along the hallway that led out of the room of the rotting dead . . . in a shape that couldn’t be of anything but an angel. No other being in the world could’ve made that particular pattern. Only an angel whose wings were dragging along the stone as they clawed and crawled their way down the hall.

Needless to say, Titus was handling serious and deadly problems.

The Hummingbird had exactly zero useful skills when it came to the grim tasks that lay ahead.

He wanted to groan all over again. Did he even have anyone left on his staff who could pretty up a room for her?

This was going to be an unmitigated disaster.

Copyright © 2020 by Nalini Singh

Guild Hunter Series

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: November 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 Nalini Singh

I've been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There's no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).

So far, I've worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer's mill.


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