Excerpt, Giveaways, Harlequin Spotlight, Meme, Reviews

#Review of To Catch a Thief (a Fitzgerald House novel) by Nan Dixon w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @nandixonauthor @NanDixonAuthor @HarlequinBooks

To Catch A Thief

by Nan Dixon

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GENRE: Contemporary

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BLURB:

What would you do for your family?

When Carolina Castillo’s once vivacious mother becomes ill, she gives up her singing dreams and comes home to Savannah. She’d do anything for her Mamá, even work at Fitzgerald House for the family she should have been part of. She’d even steal.

Carolina’s decisions make perfect sense until she comes up against the immovable rock that is gorgeous FBI agent Sage Cornell. The honorable cop sees the world in black-and-white. He would never understand the difficult choices she’s had to make, the secrets she’s been forced to keep close. And he could never love a woman like her. Or could he?

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Excerpt Three:

He boosted his butt onto the stool, moaning like he was Gramps after being in the saddle for a day.

Two women worked behind the counter drawing beers. He closed his eyes and took a couple of deep breaths.

“Sage?”

His eyes blinked open. “Carolina?”

The napkin slipped out of her fingers and floated to the floor.

“You got the job.” Did that make him feel better or worse since she hadn’t called?

“First day.” Her deep blue eyes had that stunned look, like a white-tailed deer caught in a four-wheeler’s lights at dusk.

“How’s your mother?” He schooled his voice, hoping she couldn’t catch his disappointment.

Her shoulders moved up and down with her sigh. His eyes dropped to her chest. Even in the modest polo, he didn’t need much imagination to remember how she’d pressed against him as they’d kissed.

So why in blazes hadn’t she called?

“They can’t get her seizures under control.” Her fingers crushed the second napkin she pulled for him. “She’s still in the hospital.”

He caught her hand. “I’m sorry.”

“Thanks.” She stared into his eyes.

The noise of the room slipped away. He wanted to make the pain in her deep blue eyes disappear, too.

She shook her head. “Um, what can I get you?”

“What’s on tap?”

“First day.” She winced. “Lots of Southbound.”

“I’ll have their seasonal.” He could have one beer and make it last through dinner.

“I’ll get that.” But she stayed right in front of him.

He smiled. Maybe she hadn’t been blowing him off. Warmth flooded through him.

“Sage?” she asked.

“Yeah?”

“I need my hand back.”

Cripes. He let go and the warmth faded like a leaking balloon. He was an idiot. “Sorry.”

Over her shoulder, she quipped, “I didn’t mind.”

“Like I said, I’m available for dinner or just a shoulder to cry on.” Preferably in bed, but even he wasn’t crass enough to suggest that to her. He wanted to help any way he could. It was the Cornell way.

 

Before you start throwing darts at me because of my ranking of this book, please note that this book has a trigger in it for me.  That’s the ONLY reason why I gave it the ranking I did.  For some people, they will pass over it without a word but for me, I just couldn’t.

I’m writing this review on Mother’s Day and to say that I had major issues with Carolina’s mom would be an understatement.  Look, I get, maybe they why, she had Carolina lie to everyone.  But I didn’t like the way Rosa treated Carolina in the book at all.  I know, she is dying and has seizures/cancer but I just couldn’t get past that she has treated Carolina that way for a while.  At some point, I wished that Carolina had taken up for herself when it came to her mother.  I have a difficult relationship with my own mother and it wasn’t until I was in my 40’s that I finally had to realize that I wouldn’t have the type of relationship with her that I had always craved.  She is who she is and I’m me.

What I truly loved about the book is the romance between Sage and Carolina.  It was extremely relatable and at times swoon-worthy.   Carolina took up for herself when it came to that relationship so I knew that she could have done it with her mom.  *sigh*  Plus, Sage needed to be taken down a peg or two with this holier than thou attitude.  Thank goodness for his mom and the revelation that she told him.  Sage is just the type of hero that I like.  Not alpha or beta.  Just an all-around good guy that needed a slap upside his head by a strong woman (his mom) that finally made him realize what he was truly missing out on in life.

The Fitzgerald sisters are all here.  I’ve read all of their stories, too and it was great seeing them play a huge role in this book.  Of course, the reaction from their mother is priceless but understandable.  Too bad that the sisters had to find out the hard way that their daddy had done.  Parents can do stupid things but they are human.  Maybe more human than children would like to see.  This book is truly about family and what consists of being a family.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  It’s all here and Ms. Dixon wrote it perfectly.  Even if I didn’t like Rosa.

And yes, I still recommend it.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Award winning author Nan Dixon spent her formative years as an actress, singer, dancer and competitive golfer. But the need to eat had her studying accounting in college. Unfortunately, being a successful financial executive didn’t feed her passion to perform. When the pharmaceutical company she worked for was purchased, Nan got the chance of a lifetime—the opportunity to pursue a writing career.  She’s a five-time Golden Heart® finalist, lives in the Midwest and is active in her local RWA chapter and on the board of a dance company. She has five children, three sons-in-law, two granddaughters, one grandson and one neurotic cat.

 

www.NanDixon.com

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https://www.pinterest.com/NanDixonauthor/

Buy Links – http://www.nandixon.com/category/books/

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

Nan Dixon will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Release Day, Reviews

Happy Book Birthday to Bare: a Hollywood Romance (Exposed #2) by Sarah Robinson w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @booksbysarahrobinson @BooksBy_Sarah @nazareaandrews #contemporaryromance

Today we have the release blitz for Sarah Robinson’s BARE! Check it out and grab your copy today!

Title: BARE: A Hollywood Romance

Author: Sarah Robinson

Series: Exposed, Book 2

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Standalone

About BARE:

 

Following the popular series debut—NUDES was praised as “passionate, emotional and uplifting” by #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Lauren Blakely—contemporary romance author Sarah Robinson weaves a new standalone story where a second chance at romance is found on a Hollywood film set and secrets always have a way of being…exposed.

 

Reed Scott is the hottest actor in LA…

Being a Hollywood heartthrob has its perks, and I’ve damn sure enjoyed every one of them, both on and off the silver screen. The tabloids loved every second of exploiting my privacy, chronicling my mistakes in ink for the whole world to see. Accepting the lead role in a romantic dance film was guaranteed to make me a box office hit and help me rewrite my image, until the choreographer hired to train me turned out to be the only woman I’d ever loved and lost.

 

As beautiful and enticing as ever, Tegan walks in and reminds me of the worst mistake I’ve ever made. She should hate me, and now she has the power to destroy everything I am.

 

Tegan Reynolds is picking up the pieces…

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…never going to happen. I fell in love with Reed Scott once and it nearly killed me—literally. The last thing I want to do now is teach him how to dance, but I need this job and there’s no way I’m letting him take yet another thing away from me.

 

Reed is in my world now, and this time we’re dancing by my rules.

 

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Ever read a second chance book and think, these two are NOT going to make it?  That thought kept coming back to me throughout Reed and Teagan’s book and I was certain of the outcome until the very last chapter.  I literally blew out the breath that I was holding.  These two knuckleheads.  Yes, knuckleheads.  Look, I get that the past changed them and redefined them as adults but when it came to each other.  UGH!!!!  Teagan was the worst but I COMPLETELY understood where she was coming from.  She was hurt from the past and once these two knuckleheads FINALLY talked about what happened those ten years ago, then the book started to really take off for me.

I know it sounds like I hated the book in the beginning.  Actually, I didn’t.  I loved how Reed was never shy about his feelings for Teagan and how it Teagan was making him sweat it out.  For me, that is what made the book.  Second chances shouldn’t be easy to come by and Ms. Robinson’s makes them both sweat it out.  I also loved the scenes between Tea and her two sisters, Aria (LOVE HER–read NUDES!) and Simmy.  I can’t wait for her book next.  No matter how successful they are, they are sisters and will help each other out no matter what.  Oh, my and the scenes with her parents are hilarious.  Her dad is my dad.  Language and all.  I was dying.  Dying, yall.  You just have to read it to believe it.  There is so much love in the book but with that being said, the conflict is pretty intense at times.  Again, I wasn’t sure of anything until the very end.  Well done, Ms. Robinson.  I don’t like tidy endings.  I want to sweat it out like they have throughout the book.

Overall, this is one of the best books that I have read this year.  I loved Nudes and didn’t think this would top it but it did.  Ms. Robinson continues to amaze me with her writing and her characters.  Bring on Simmy and her story.

 

 

 

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Am I cursed? Teagan stared at herself in the mirror of her small apartment bathroom. She felt cursed. Reed-Scott-freaking-cursed.

Life certainly hadn’t handed her the easiest go, and now, just when she’d thought things were finally turning around because she’d landed a fantastic job as a film choreographer, fate was still proving it had other plans for her. This job was supposed to be her big break—well, break-ish. Sure, it wasn’t what she’d wanted out of her life, but her dreams were no longer an option.

And this job? Most people would kill for it. So, she was choosing to be grateful.

She had to choose to be grateful a lot, actually. If she didn’t, then life would have gotten the better of her years ago. Teagan glanced down at her legs, tracing a finger across the long scar that stretched from her knee to her hip. She tried to hide it under leggings and skirts, but it wasn’t always possible.

When she’d almost died in a car accident at the age of twenty-one, she’d thought she’d never walk again. Hell, the doctors had told her exactly that. And dancing? That was an impossibility.

The years and years she’d spent training to become a professional dancer had all been wiped away in less time than it took for that car to slam hers into a ditch. Despite the doctor’s predictions that her wheelchair would become a permanent fixture, though, she’d proved them all wrong. She’d spent years learning to walk, and then dance, again. Sure, she’d probably never have the agility to become the famous dancer she’d always dreamed of being, but she could at least teach. And with that, she’d found a way to keep doing what she loved…even if it was not exactly what she loved.

So, she chose to be grateful.

But seeing Reed Scott again? The man who made her believe in everlasting, soul-deep, earth shattering love and then left her standing alone at the altar on their wedding day? The man who had left her just to star in a movie that would make him famous?

She was not grateful for that—or for him—one bit.

Teagan finished putting on the last touches of her makeup then changed into a new pair of leggings and a leotard. Glancing one last time in the mirror, she fluffed out her wavy brown hair nervously. As much as she might hate him, she found herself wanting to look her best for him anyway. Make him eat his heart out. Make him regret ever leaving her like that in the first place.

She swallowed, trying to push away her frustration. That didn’t seem possible right now, though. Sighing, Teagan grabbed her car keys off the small table by her front door and gave one last glance around the small Los Angeles apartment she called home. Benson, her incredibly fat tabby cat, was lounging on the windowsill, lazily yawning and watching her. “Bye, Benson. Be good.”

He didn’t even blink at her. He’d probably still be lying in that exact same spot when she came home later.

Teagan blew him a kiss then headed out, locking her front door carefully behind her. Within a few minutes, she was behind the wheel of her car and heading toward the studio. It was still dark outside, but she didn’t mind one bit. She enjoyed early mornings when the world was quiet and the roads were clearer. Driving was still something that made her a little tense after her car accident, and traffic in Los Angeles was always horrendous. But, at five o’clock in the morning, it was a lot more manageable and didn’t make her feel so…terrified.

Luckily, her commute was short and she arrived on set twenty minutes later. She headed straight to the studio where she’d told Reed to meet her, but he wasn’t there yet, which she’d expected since she was a bit early. Placing her dance bag on the shelf to one side of the studio, she pulled out her heel dancer shoes with a cute buckle T-strap over the top of her foot and put them on. She pulled on a loose fitting, light sweater over her leotard for some coverage, since it reached almost to the bottom of her ass.

Next, she began to shimmy out of her leggings, since she was able to work a lot better in her leotard without restriction to her legs. She got down to her knees before she realized that being bare legged would reveal the scar on her leg. Quickly, she slid them back up her legs.

“Shit.”

Teagan whirled around, looking for the person who’d just broken the silence around her.

Reed Scott. Of course.

“You scared the crap out of me,” she told him, grateful that he hadn’t been able to see her scar from where he was standing for the brief moment her leggings had been down.

“Sorry,” he replied, clearly making an effort to look anywhere but at her. “I didn’t know you’d be…uh, I mean, I wasn’t expecting…”

She rolled her eyes. Actors were so dramatic. “I’m not getting naked, Reed. I was just, uh, putting on my leggings to dance.”

“Sure. Right. Yeah.” He was rambling, clutching the gym bag over his shoulder. “So, time to get started?”

“Yep. Put your stuff on the shelf and we’ll get started,” she instructed, doing her best to ignore the butterflies fluttering in her stomach at the very sight of him. Fuck, he looked even better than he’d looked the last time she’d seen him. Tall, broad shoulders, olive skin under thick black hair with a scruffy beard she remembered was very soft. And those eyes…God, the way those light green eyes pierced through her.

He stood you up at the altar, she reminded herself. For a damn movie.

“Sure.” He headed toward her and placed his bag on the shelf. “What are we practicing today?”

“It’s a pretty short routine today, actually. It shouldn’t take us too long.” Though she doubted he’d be the quickest learner after his warning yesterday. “Ready?”

He turned around to look at her, his eyes trailing down her body in a way that made her heart pound faster and faster. Suddenly his gaze stopped, pausing on her legs.

Her heart pounded, terrified he could see through her thin leggings to the bump of her scar. But he said nothing, and his gaze kept traveling. She was safe.

Honestly, she was a little surprised he didn’t already know about her accident. It hadn’t been a secret. Everyone in her life knew, and she’d certainly expected someone to pass along the message. Or for him to check in, even once.

She’d waited for him in the hospital, expecting him to come. Expecting him to apologize. Expecting him to beg her forgiveness, realize what an idiot he had been and take her back, care for her, return her to health with his love and affection.

That hadn’t really worked out.

Finally, his eyes returned to his face, and his tongue slid across his bottom lip. “You look…damn, Teag. You look amazing.”

“Listen, Reed,” she began, setting her jaw and sticking out her chin. “We work together. That’s it. You don’t get to look at me like that anymore.”

Reed looked startled, taken aback at her abruptness. Then the saddest look she’d ever seen passed over his face. “You’re right. I’m sorry.”

“Let’s get started.” She moved to the center of the studio. “I’ll show you today’s sequence, and then we’ll go through it step by step. Okay?”

He nodded, but said nothing.

Carefully, she posed herself in the center of the room with her toes pointed and her arms around her waist. In one slick move, she sidestepped and kicked one leg out to her left, flipping her hair with the motion. She then tucked her foot, her knee pointed out horizontally from her body and spun in a circle.

On her second spin around, she kicked up high, like an incredibly tall karate kick. When her foot touched back down on the ground, she lunged to the right and threw her arms out, tossing back her head with the motion. She curved her spine outwards, pulling her stomach in as she moved her arms in a circular motion toward herself.

She twirled then, spinning on the tips of her toes while keeping her eyes on one stationary spot so she didn’t get dizzy. After her fourth spin, she shoved her arms down by her sides and lifted her chin. With that, she spun back in the direction she’d just come from and leaped multiple times across the room with her arms out and her fingers pointed.

Finally, she came down on one foot and spun in several circles before coming to a stop in front of Reed. “Annnnnd, that’s it.”

“Shit, that looked complicated as hell,” he admitted. “Though you looked incredible doing it.”

She ignored his compliment. Or, rather, she tried. Admittedly, her heart pounded a little harder. But, that was being ignored for now. “Let’s go over the first step.” She repeated the side steps and kicking her leg to the left. “Just like that. Let’s see what you can do.”

Reed followed in her footsteps, and honestly, it wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t great either. “Like that?”

“Close,” she admitted. “Let’s go through it again.”

 

 

About the Author:

Aside from being a Top 10 Barnes & Noble and Amazon Bestseller, Sarah Robinson is a native of the Washington, DC area and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in forensic and clinical psychology. She is newly married to a wonderful man who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiasts as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescues including everything from mammals to reptiles to marsupials, as well as volunteering and fostering for multiple animal shelters.

Subscribe to her newsletter at www.subscribepage.com/sarahrobinsonnewsletter

Visit the author’s website for more information about Sarah and her books: http://booksbysarahrobinson.net/

 

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Reviews

Review of Duke du Jour by Petie McCarty w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @petiemccarty @authorpetie #historical #timetravel

Duke du Jour

by Petie McCarty

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GENRE:   Regency Time-Travel Romance

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BLURB:

..a reverse Kate and Leopold…a light-hearted time travel romance where a bewildered modern-day duke ends up in Regency England and meets the girl of his dreams…

Jared Langley, present-day Duke of Reston, tumbles into an abandoned fountain on his ducal estate and travels back in time to the year 1816. There, Reston servants and local villagers think him a dead ringer for his namesake and rakehell ancestor–the seventh Duke of Reston, gone missing at the Battle of Waterloo. Unfortunately, Seven got mixed up with French spies out to assassinate the Duke of Wellington, and an unwary Jared ends up in their crosshairs.

Lady Ariana Hart has loved Jared Langley, the seventh Duke of Reston, since she was twelve years old, until the night the rogue broke her heart. Given up for dead, her rakish neighbor makes a miraculous return from Waterloo–only Jared shows up a changed man and reignites all the feelings Ariana had long ago buried.

Jared is in a race against time. He must waylay the suspicions of his quirky servants and neighbors, get to Wellington before the French spies do, fix his fountain–before Seven shows up–so Jared has a way home, and definitely not fall in love with the irresistible Lady Ariana.

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Excerpt Three:

Jared quietly closed the door and snicked the feeble lock into place.

“That wouldn’t keep a child out,” he muttered.

“Are you worried Dexter can get past the lock?” Ari asked, her cheeks flushing bright pink.

“Now, you are going to accuse me of ungentlemanly behavior, too?”

Even the dim candlelight could not hide the guilt in her eyes. “I am sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.”

“You’re right. I have given you no reason to think—”

She raised skeptical brows.

“Well, except for those few kisses.” He cleared his throat. “You liked them, too. You cannot deny it.”

Her lips twitched as she fought back the smile that angered him for some reason, and he felt like an errant schoolboy and probably looked like one with his brows indignantly bunched.

“No, I cannot deny it.”

Instead of feeling smug at being right, her words sent his blood racing to places off-limits—at least for now.

“But that doesn’t mean—”

He held up a hand. “Please, no more swipes at my character. I’ve had all I can take this evening.”

She snapped her lips together, then grinned.

“Best take your boots off to be comfortable.” She opened her mouth to object again, and he added, “Since you are unlikely to remove anything else with the two of us locked in here.”

The opportunity to tease him in his misery must have overwhelmed her. “Well, actually I could, but I won’t.”

He groaned. “Do not leave me with that particular movie running in my head and my two-hour first watch to face.”

“Movie? What do you mean? What is a—”

“Did I say movie? I meant movement,” he said before she could finish. He scrubbed a palm over his face. His head had begun to ache.

“Are you all right?”

“Fine,” he bit out. “Just leave—”

“Leave you alone? Fine.” She went over and sat on the bed.

“What I was going to say was just leave your boots by the bed. Close by in case we need to leave in a hurry.”

“That is a lie, but it was sweet of you to be concerned about my feelings. The old Jared wouldn’t have given a baker’s tart about them. Or any other kind.” She giggled at her own humor.

“What’s so funny?”

“Oh nothing. Just that we seem to have made a mull of things, I suppose.”

“I do not see anything funny about it,” he grumbled.

“You wouldn’t, but I cannot get these boots off without help. They belong to Aidan, our stable boy, and the fit is a bit too tight.”

“Yes, of course.”

Jared came over and knelt next to the bed, then took her booted foot in his hand. He swore he could feel the warmth of her leg right through the leather, but that was impossible. Tell that to the blood raging through his veins and heading south, like the River Kennet at flood stage.

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What can I say?  Another historical homerun for me.  Plus, its got time travel, too.  I hate to offend Ms. McCarty but I never did like the movie Kate & Leopold but I did love this book.  Especially that it was about the hero going back in time.  Score for me.

Jared is one of those heroes that just grabbed me from the start.  He was caring, a bit of rakehell in the present but knew that he wouldn’t marry any woman because of his title.  Dealing with the mess of becoming unengaged to a cheater, they way that he ended up in 1816 is a delight.  A fountain?  With statues?  Oh, my…later in the book, I was laughing when he made references to all the statues that he kept seeing.  He’s keen eye for history really helped him in 1816 but it didn’t give himself away too much.  In fact, he realized that with his knowledge of the period, he could blend in better.  Losing his memory was genius, too.  It allowed for some madcap moments when it came to Bullen, Ari, and even Dexter.  My heart broke a bit when he made his decision to leave in the end.

Ari is such a strong heroine for the time period.  She is no damsel in distress and to say that she was in love with the old Jared and scared of the “new” Jared would be stretching it a bit.  Needless to say, she fell hard for the “new” Jared and kept wondering when the old Jared was going to show up.  But what really stood out for me with her was her ability to be true to herself and in the end Jared.  She loved him too much to truly let him go.  Of course, her father had a hand in that, too.

Dexter and Bullen are two secondary characters that really stood out for me.  Normally, I don’t pay attention to them in a historical romance but Ms. McCarty wrote them so that I would care about them and like them right from the start.  Everyone should have these two in their corner.  The mystery and intrigue that holds this book together is divine.  Normally in historical romance, its fairly simple but Ms. McCarty delivered it in spades.  My head at one point was spinning with all the twists that she kept throwing at me.  *shakes head*  I love a good intrigue when I CAN’T figure it out.  Well done.

Overall, I just flat out loved this book.  Everything about it.  The romance, humor, intrigue and best of all…it’s NOT a fish out of water tale.  Jared knew what had happened.  He just couldn’t figure out why.  With the help of his newfound friends and the love of his life, he finally figured out his place in his lineage.  I will definitely re-read this book again.  Yes, it’s that good.

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time-travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-elements-of-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.

Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue

Visit Petie’s web site online at http://www.petiemccarty.com or her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/petie.mccarty.

BIO Social Media:

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanie-mccarty-30851412

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

 

Petie McCarty will be awarding 3 ebook copies of Betting on Cinderella by Petie McCarty

(US and International) to three randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

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