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Penny for Your Thoughts - Book Cover Penny for Your Thoughts -
Book 1 of the Welcome to Fate's Landing Series
Elizabeth Le
contemporary fiction, romance,

Penny Michaels has a gift. At least that’s what her mother has told her from the time she was a born. With sharp intuition and the ability to see people for who they really are, she is her fortune telling mother's daughter. It’s a gift she didn’t want until she completely turned her back on it.

Forced to return to the sleepy town of Fate’s Landing after ignoring the signs of disaster that always seemed to flash around her marriage, she makes a vow to stop ignoring her abilities. Even if that means never falling in love again.

A.J. Murphy has a lot going for him--great job, gorgeous girlfriend, and a very promising payout if he can convince the people of this nowhere town to get on board with building a resort in their backyard. Everything is going according to plan until he steps foot into the new age shop with the neon psychic sign in the window.

She wants to save him from the heartache she wished she’d avoided. He wants to get in and get out of town and back his regularly scheduled life. What neither of them sees coming is a chance at love that was written in the stars.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45018072-penny-for-your-thoughts

Follow Elizabeth on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/elizabeth-lee

Join Elizabeth’s Reader Group Lee’s Legion: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1446287335618329

Instagram: www.instagram.com/elwrites

Facebook: www.facebook.com/elizabethleewrites

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Nick Louth tells us:

The Body in the Mist Book Cover The Body in the Mist
DCI Craig Gillard, The Body in the Marsh, The Body on the Shore, Trapped
Nick Louth
Crime, Police Procedural
Canelo
20th May 2019

A brutal murder hints at a terrifying mystery, and this time it’s personal.

A body is found on a quiet lane in Exmoor, victim of a hit and run. He has no ID, no wallet, no phone, and – after being dragged along the road – no recognisable face.

Meanwhile, fresh from his last case, DCI Craig Gillard is unexpectedly called away to Devon on family business.

Gillard is soon embroiled when the car in question is traced to his aunt. As he delves deeper, a dark mystery reveals itself, haunted by family secrets, with repercussions Gillard could never have imagined.  

The past has never been deadlier.

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I do tend to think for quite a long time about a book before setting out to write it. I currently have 3 to 4 novels sketched out to several thousand words, the ideas still circling in my head like airliners waiting to land at Heathrow. I do find that it helps to begin writing some aspects quite quickly. Characters for example do not become real to me until I’ve started writing down their dialogue, and can hear their voice in my head. But plots I can work on for weeks or even months trying to get something genuinely original wriggling in the dark corners of my mind. A lot of my writing is driven by issues that I want to shine a light on. Mirror Mirror for example concentrated on the concept of the instant celebrity, and the costs of that both for the individual and for society.

  • What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

I am good friends with a retired detective inspector, and have contacts with a Home Office forensic pathologist, and a scientist who undertakes DNA analysis. That is a minimum for anyone who is taking their crime writing seriously. There is a lot, of course, available online but some things never seem to be reflected, and you need to know people to know what the issues are. For example when sending off a DNA sample for analysis, do you choose the basic service which may take a couple of weeks, or the highly expensive express service, which may need a senior officer’s budgetary permission? If you want to be realistic about the police you need to reflect some of their day-to-day concerns: staffing shortages, managerial competence, and outdated attitudes to diversity, for example.

  • How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

The more successful you are, the easier it is to be taken seriously. As a former journalist I have a forthright way of approaching organisations. In general I would give the advice to make a brief phone call first, then follow-up with a detailed email, which also gives your bona fides, including the name of your publisher and/or agent as well as your own website address.

  •  How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

Dozens of times. It was a highly dispiriting experience, but if there’s one thing I should say to budding authors it is do not take no for an answer. Keep going.

  • Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

I was very lucky that my first thriller, while still self published, became the bestselling book in the UK for a couple of weeks in 2014. There were no marketing costs, no agent to pay, and I kept a good slice of the proceeds. That was a phenomenal year, and even though I now have all the apparatus of the professional publishing industry behind me, I still haven’t managed to replicate that experience. But overall, for me, it’s been a decent living.

  • What do you read when you are ill in bed?

I’m almost never ill, and if I was well enough to read in bed, I’d be well enough to write. I certainly written tens of thousands of words when hungover, and sometimes they’re  unusually creative ones.

  • What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

I wish I still had them, particularly some of the stories I wrote when I was seven or eight. In retrospect it does seem clear what I was destined to do.

  • What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

Two things: Managing to maintain a very harmonious marriage for more than 20 years and the books I’ve written. Without the first, I doubt whether I would ever have managed the second.

  • Do you have an unusual hobby?

Not exactly unusual, but I’m a county standard chess player. While I have occasionally included a plot strand or two about chess, I do know that it should never be mentioned on the cover because it’s the commercial kiss of death. 

Author Bio:
Nick Louth is a best-selling thriller writer, award-winning financial journalist and an investment commentator. A 1979 graduate of the London School of Economics, he went on to become a Reuters foreign correspondent in 1987. It was an experience at a medical conference in Amsterdam in 1992, while working for Reuters, that gave him the inspiration for Bite, which was self-published in 2007 and went on to become the UK No. 1 Kindle best-seller for several weeks in 2014 before being snapped up by Sphere. It has sold a third of a million copies, and been translated into six languages.

The terrorism thriller Heartbreaker was published in June 2014 and received critical acclaim from Amazon readers, with a 4.6 out of 5 stars on over 100 reviews. Mirror Mirror, subtitled  ‘When evil and beauty collide’ was published in June 2016. The Body in the Marsh, a crime thriller, is being published by Canelo in September 2017. 

Freelance since 1998, he has been a regular contributor to the Financial Times, Investors Chronicle and Money Observer, and has published seven other books. Nick Louth is married and lives in Lincolnshire.

Website: http://www.nicklouth.com/

Twitter: @NickLouthAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nick.Louth.Books/

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Why this Wedding? Daisy explains

Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello
Tuscan Trilogy Book 1
Daisy James
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
Canelo Escape
11th March 2019

Escape to Villa Limoncello… where dreams come true in unexpected ways. Perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver and Kat French

When Isabella Jenkins is unceremoniously fired from her fancy London job, she escapes to Tuscany. A few weeks hiding amongst rolling hills and grape vines at Villa Limoncello sounds exactly like the distraction she needs.

But Italy holds emotional memories for Izzy and with a hapless handyman, a matchmaking village matriarch and a gorgeous – if infuriating – local chef named Luca Castelotti, her quiet Italian get away turns into an unending cacophony of chaos.

Suddenly Izzie finds herself on a mission to pull off the wedding of the century and maybe get her life in order in the process. If only Luca’s gorgeous smile wasn’t such a powerful distraction…

Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello


Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Q&As

First of all, a huge thank you for having me as a guest on your blog. It’s great to be here to tell you about my brand-new book Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello.

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it?

I love setting my stories in interesting and exotic places, that way I get to spend the day in some amazing parts of the world. I loved the research I did for the Paradise Cookery School series – each morning when I started to write, I’d get to jet off to the Caribbean island of St Lucia and bask in glorious sunshine, relax on white sandy beaches and dream of swinging in a hammock under a swaying palm tree. Heaven! Equally, with the Villa Limoncello series, I get to indulge in all-things Italian, from frothy cappuccinos to crunchy biscotti, tiramisu to a glass of limoncello.  I always make sure I have a fabulous photograph on my screensaver so I can flick back for inspiration.

  • How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I love the research part of writing so I spend weeks immersing myself in the characters whose stories I’m going to tell, and reading up on the setting. For Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello, I did lots of research on Italian wedding traditions, of local floral arrangements, and of course, on the local cuisine – I made sure I tried out lots of recipes too, just to get into the Italian frame of mind, although they didn’t all turn out perfect! I do have a notebook where I jot down unusual facts I stumble across, and I also cut out snippets from magazines. I’ve just finished the Christmas book set at Villa Limoncello, so I’ve had fun testing out some Tuscan Christmas recipes.

  • How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

Before I started to write the first book in my Tuscan trilogy, I spent about a month immersing myself in the places my characters were going to visit, like Siena, Florence, San Gimignano and the history of those places. I was also fortunate enough to visit these wonderful towns and cities with my family which really help to evoke the sights, sounds and flavours of the place. I also managed to do a piece of research on the historical importance of lemons to the local area which was the reason I included the limonaia in Izzie and Luca’s story.

  • What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

I prefer to set my books in places I’ve actually been to. It helps me fix the story in my mind when I know about the places my characters are going to visit, particularly if there are interesting quirks. Of course, I take lots of photographs to refer back to, I always have a note book with me to jot down little details, and, in the name of research, this time I bought a bottle of limoncello so I could make a limoncello tiramisu.

  • How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

I find it invaluable if there’s an expert available to check facts with or to give you a personal perspective on what you are writing about. I have a neighbour who’s Italian and he’s been very generous with his time, talking me through recipes, traditions, customs, particularly around Christmas. I’m always very grateful for his time. How do I approach him? With a bottle of Chainti and a large bag of his favourite biscotti.

  • What is your favourite genre?

MY favourite genre has to be travel memoirs. I love stories about people who have ditched their every day life and taken off for foreign shores to make anew life for themselves and their families, or who have decided to travel around the world with just a rucksack and a guide book. I’ve recently read A Bike Ride by Anne Mustoe, an account of her 12,000 cycle ride around the world – by herself! I also really enjoyed Tuk Tuk to the Road by Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent, a story about Antonia and her friend Jo driving a pink tuk-tuk from Thailand back to London! Amazing people!

  • What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

I’ve been writing since I was in primary school, creating my own hand-made book by stapling pages together and trying to sell them to my relatives. I really wish I had that! I have a full-length novel which I wrote in my teens in a shoebox on the top of my wardrobe , gathering dust. I don’t think it will ever see the light of day, but I can’t bear to part with it.

  • Which of your books are you most proud of?

Gosh, that’s like asking which of my children am I most proud of! I’ve really enjoyed writing every one of them, perhaps for different reasons. Some I love for the exotic settings, particularly The Paradise Cookery School series. Some I love the recipes, like There’s Something About Cornwall and The Vintage Cupcake Company. And some for the fabulous characters, like Kirstie in Christmas at the Dancing Duck or Gabbie in The Summerhouse of Happiness.

  • Do you have an unusual hobby?

Actually, I do. I play archery. Although I wouldn’t say I’m the best archer in the world I really enjoy being out there on a field with my bow and quiver filled with arrows, trying to hit a gold – a rarity for me!

Author: Daisy James

Previous Books: Sunshine & Secrets, Confetti & Confusion and Mistletoe & Mystery

Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her summerhouse, she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

Twitter: @daisyjamesbooks

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Why Rachel isn’t Bitter at all!

Bitter Edge Book Cover Bitter Edge
DI Kelly Porter #4
Rachel Lynch
Crime Fiction
Canelo Escape
Release Date: 25th February 2019

DI Kelly Porter is back, but so is an old foe and this time he won’t back down... When a teenage girl flings herself off a cliff in pursuit of a gruesome death, DI Kelly Porter is left asking why. Ruled a suicide, there’s no official reason for Kelly to chase answers, but as several of her team’s cases converge on the girl’s school, a new, darker story emerges. One which will bring Kelly face-to-face with an old foe determined to take back what is rightfully his – no matter the cost. Mired in her pursuit of justice for the growing list of victims, Kelly finds security in Johnny, her family and the father she has only just discovered. But just as she draws close to unearthing the dark truth at the heart of her investigation, a single moment on a cold winter’s night shatters the notion that anything in Kelly’s world can ever truly be safe. Don't miss this gripping crime thriller featuring a phenomenal detective. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza.

Interview with Rachel

Questions for Authors: choose from list

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
    The crime genre is something that has fascinated me since I was a teenage reader. It’s something about the ancient battle between good and evil that captivates me and urges me to create my own protagonists and antagonists. I think my approach is unique because the protagonist remains the same (Kelly Porter) but the plot line changes dramatically from one book to the next to keep readers attentive. I’ve tackled subjects such as sex slavery, teenage drug abuse, domestic abuse, PTSD and aristocratic angst, and each book can stand alone.
  2. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
    An idea can come from something as simple as climbing a mountain in the Lakes, or visiting a waterfall; and that becomes my next backdrop. The baddies and their dark deeds come as I’m writing.
  3. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?
    My research never stops. I’m always reading about police procedural methods and forensic science, as well as criminal psychology and profiling. Before I start, I guess I spend around four weeks planning what shape the book might take, but this could be in the form of day dreaming about it on a train journey into London.
  4. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?
    The best resource available is the internet. It’s quick, quirky and I can pretty much find out anything I need to from there. Occasionally, I’ll refer to a history book (I used to teach the subject), or check a map of the Lakes. I also like talking to people and I interview police officers regularly.
  5. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?
    Police officers, in my experience, are more than happy to chat about what they do. It’s one of the most satisfying elements of my work, because they share their instincts and passion for solving a riddle.
  6.  How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?
    Before publishing with Canelo, my biggest achievement was finding my agent: Peter Buckman of the Ampersand Agency, in 2016. Before that, I reckon my work had been rejected at least fifty times.
  7. Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
    No.
  8. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?
    It depends what you’re trying to achieve. If you want exposure then you need a team behind you and so the first thing I would recommend is reading the Writer’s and Artist’s Yearbook and getting an agent.
  9. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?
    No!
  10. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?
    I’m digital only until my books are released in paperback later this year, so I’ve never done one, apart from Twitter. Generally reviewers are lovely on Twitter.
  11. What do you read when you are ill in bed?
    Cookery books!
  12. What is your favourite genre?
    This question is a bit like I approach art: it has to touch me, so if I connect with it; any genre. It might make me laugh, cry, recoil or dream about it, but it has to grab me else I’ll put it down.
  13. If you recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

    Living author- Stephen King. Dead author- Thomas Hardy
  14. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?
    I have developed my own style through hundreds of edits and good old fashioned hard work. If I tried to be like anyone, else I would fail. I reckon I wrote about a million words (ten books) before I produced anything any good.
  15. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?
    Ben Elton
  16. Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

    No. It wouldn’t be convincing.
  17. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?
    Lost them!
  18. Do you have any pets?
    1. If so, what are they?
    2. And what are they called?
    3. Do they help you write?
  1. Yes, a dog, she’s called Poppy and she’s a border/Jack Russell cross. She watches me write and guards my door! She scared the life out of me one day when she started barking and scratching the door- she’d seen something in the garden. I let her out, after tutting loudly and probably swearing like Kelly Porter, and she caught a squirrel! Oops. Instinct: it can’t be tame

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:

Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years. A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.

Twitter: @r_lynchcrime

Previous Books: Dark Game, Deep Fear and Dead End

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Animals and Farms – what’s not to like? The author explains

ReInventing HillWilla Book Cover ReInventing HillWilla
Hillwilla Trilogy #3
Melanie Forde
Literary/Women's Contemporary
Independently published
(November 4, 2018)

Life on a llama farm, set in remote “Seneca County,” West Virginia, transitions from contented to chaotic in this final novel in the Hillwill trilogy -- all under the watchful eye of canine guardian Ralph. Five years after we first met northern urban transplant Beatrice Desmond, she is finally adapting to her mountain hollow among the wary “born-heres” and is more open to the blessings in her life. She has developed a rewarding mother-daughter relationship with troubled local teenager Clara Buckhalter and is inching toward marriage with dashing, but complicated entrepreneur Tanner Fordyce. Meanwhile, Clara sets off on a productive new path, one that would have been unthinkable had Beatrice never come into her life. All of that progress is suddenly jeopardized by Clara’s scheming mother Charyce. Ultimately, the upheaval touched off by Charyce’s schemes serves as the catalyst for new beginnings for the Seneca County misfits (even Ralph).

Questions for Authors:

  • How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

There’s been no set time-frame for thinking through novel ideas. Once an idea seems to have legs, I set up a “fermenting file,” which will collect odd bits of research (90 percent of it never used) and random notes to myself. My initial idea may change dramatically even before I start writing, as well as during the writing process. I’ve published four novels now (and am currently working sporadically on two at the same time) and with every one, I start out knowing how the novel should begin and how it should end. So far, that certainty has not changed. It’s that large space in the middle that gets tricky. After the first few chapters, I inevitably get stuck. This is probably because my novels are so character-driven and the characters start having minds of their own and taking me places I didn’t anticipate going. If I let them talk to me, without my losing control completely, the workflow changes halfway through the novel. At that mystical halfway point, I suddenly know how to get to that previously envisioned final chapter. Suddenly, I’m able to chart out six or seven chapters at a time. The main challenge then becomes keeping up with the flow. I may still get stuck occasionally, but nowhere near as profoundly or frequently as in the first half of the writing process.

  • How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

The research time frame varies with every book. My first two books were non-fiction, ghostwritten with a deadline and overall subject area someone else proposed. That was a much more structured process than for fiction writing. With both of those non-fiction projects, I had six months to deliver the draft. In both cases, I spent four of those months researching and two months writing. Although there was some spillover, the research and writing phases were largely segregated.

With fiction, there’s much less compartmentalization. Reinventing Hillwilla required the least amount of research time of any of my books. Even though I wrote it as a standalone, it is, after all, the third in a series, with the same venue and same principal characters. So those characters were well-developed by the time Chapter 1 ended up on paper. Nevertheless, there were lots of facts I had to check — for example, about the legal system, about the exotic locales Tanner visits, etc. And before I plunked Clara in the middle of Wellesley College, I trekked up to Massachusetts and chatted with students to get a better sense of the current campus culture. That way I had something firmer than memories of my own college years, and I learned about some key changes in campus venues and dormitory life.

One final comment about research… My most valuable research tool is bald observation. A favorite pastime is to park myself, solo, in a restaurant, in a region that will be the venue for part of a novel. Then I shamelessly eavesdrop on conversations at nearby tables. I’ll make mental notes of vocabulary choices, pronunciation, phrasing. At one point, I overheard a local speak about the need to “ponder” something before finding the solution to a problem. That verb struck me as downright eloquent, uniquely West Virginian. And you’ll hear it coming out of Ben Buckhalter’s mouth.

  • What is your favourite genre?

My favorite genre? Hmmm, depends on my mood. I’ve certainly had my cop-shop whodunit phase, cozy mystery phase, family saga phase, biography/autobiography phase and period novel phase. Literary novels are a constant, however. Especially those involving flawed, complicated characters with dark pasts. Not surprisingly, those are the kind of novels I want to write, too.

  • If you recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

Recommendation of a living author? When it comes to wordsmithing chops, the first name that pops up is Alexander McCall Smith, author of the Botswana lady detective agency series and the Scotland Street series (my favorite), among many, many others. That man can string words together so eloquently, combining both economy of language and lyrical flow, he just makes my jaw drop. He also has a talent for delicately tweaking certain social trends, without coming across as preachy.

As for dead authors, oy, so many. If I focus on economy of language, John Cheever and Emily Dickinson come to mind. Both could pack so much into so few words, in very different ways. Both had an appealingly dark sense of irony, too. Writers who stretched my brain — but made that painful effort worthwhile — include such greats as Shakespeare, Goethe, Rilke, Eliot. I’m sure I’m forgetting others who had a major influence on me.

  • Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

No, I’ve never tried to imitate another writer’s style. But I’m sure I’ve subconsciously absorbed elements from other authors. Perhaps because I spent most of my professional life as a nonfiction ghostwriter, it’s really important for me to speak in my own (unique, I hope) voice as a novelist.

  • Do you have any pets?

Do I have pets? Is accounting boring? The numbers are down to a precious few these days: one soft-eyed English setter who looks a lot like Ralph (but was born years after Ralph); one English cocker spaniel with the swagger of a rhinoceros and a great sense of irony; and one gray barn cat who has staff.

  1. If so, what are they?

Over the years, my life has been blessed by llamas; a string of English setters, one Old English Sheepdog (hmmm, there seems to be a pattern here of English-bred dogs), one mutt; one ginormous Newfoundland; a bunch of rescue and feral cats; a series of fancy long-haired cats (Himalayan and Birman); one Peruvian guinea pig (whom I named Fash, short for Fascist Pig); and two parakeets, who got me through the terrible five-year era when my childhood family was dogless.

  • Do they help you write?

Yes, my pets help me write. I can’t remember how many dog-walks have freed up writer’s block. Mainly, my animal companions have safeguarded my sanity, which fiction-writing constantly undermines.

Do you want to add a photo of them to this Q&A?

If you’re interested in pictures, you need look no further than the cover of Reinventing Hillwilla. My current setter Finnegan ably stepped up to portray the spectral Ralph. But, yes, I had to bribe him with treats.

Author Details:

Melanie Forde is a veteran writer, ghosting in diverse formats—from academic white papers to advertising copy. Under her own name, she has published numerous features and commentaries about the natural world, as well as the first two novels in the Hillwilla trilogy (Hillwillaand On the Hillwilla Road). She lives in Hillsboro, West Virginia.

Connect with Melanie:

Website:  https://bit.ly/2Aokmfm 

Facebook: https://bit.ly/2LLPOsj

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2Vnr2TS 

Twitter: https://bit.ly/2C0dJjA 

Purchase Reinventing Hillwilla on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QkqLgH 

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