Posts By: Lizzy

May 15

Can’t Wait Wednesday #4 – The Wise and the Wicked

Books/Writing 0

I’m joining in the fun with a Can’t-Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Usually the books are ones yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Can’t Wait Wednesday #4 – The Wise and the WickedThe Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 28, 2019
Pages: 368
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads

Ruby Chernyavsky has been told the stories since she was a child: The women in her family, once possessed of great magical abilities to remake lives and stave off death itself, were forced to flee their Russian home for America in order to escape the fearful men who sought to destroy them. Such has it always been, Ruby’s been told, for powerful women. Today, these stories seem no more real to Ruby than folktales, except for the smallest bit of power left in their blood: when each of them comes of age, she will have a vision of who she will be when she dies—a destiny as inescapable as it is inevitable. Ruby is no exception, and neither is her mother, although she ran from her fate years ago, abandoning Ruby and her sisters. It’s a fool’s errand, because they all know the truth: there is no escaping one’s Time.

Until Ruby’s great-aunt Polina passes away, and, for the first time, a Chernyavsky’s death does not match her vision. Suddenly, things Ruby never thought she’d be allowed to hope for—life, love, time—seem possible. But as she and her cousin Cece begin to dig into the family’s history to find out whether they, too, can change their fates, they learn that nothing comes without a cost. Especially not hope.

This just sounds delightful. There’s nothing I can say to describe it better than the blurb – I’m just so excited! I didn’t get an ARC of this so I’m going to have to wait until the end of the month with the rest of the world…hehe. If you’ve read it let me know what you think!

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May 13

A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell #2)

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★½

A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell #2)A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell, #2) by Deanna Raybourn
Published by Berkley Books on January 10, 2017
Pages: 338
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads four-half-stars
three-flames

London, 1887. At the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task--saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Ramsforth, accused of the brutal murder of his mistress, Artemisia, will face the hangman's noose in a week's time if the real killer is not found.

But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural-historian colleague, Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer. From a Bohemian artists' colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed....

Warning: Possible spoilers for Book 1 of this series, A Curious Beginning. Highly recommended!

A Perilous Undertaking picks up just weeks after A Curious Beginning left off. I was very happy to see that, as I always feel like I’m lost in the sauce when series books have big time gaps between them!

Feels:

Ahhh, I still loved Veronica and Stoker. Stoker’s background came more into focus during this one, as we got to peak a little more into his family. Once again, I would caution anyone who comes to this series looking for a strictly historically accurate book – while the period details of dress, surroundings, etc., are quite good, the language is fairly modern. Veronica has EXTREMELY modern ideas about relationships and sexual encounters, and several of the other characters in this book do as well. Not uncommon perhaps for artists and others of the more “common” classes, perhaps, but for a woman born and raised as she was it would seem unlikely. However, it makes for great reading and a character I can TOTALLY identify with! I laughed out loud quite frequently at the back and forth between her and Stoker – she’s so forthright, and he doesn’t quite know how to handle it!

Characters:

Veronica and Stoker are their usual bantering, bickering selves. They’re still getting to know each other and as they speak more openly about their past life they are (whether they will admit it or not) getting more and more invested in each other. It’s very slow going though!

Just KISS already, damn it!

At one point they seem to make progress, and then a THING happens between them that puts the brakes on everything. Damn, damn, DAMN! I need to know more, people!

I absolutely despised Lady Sundridge. DESPISED. She was so cold and manipulative and unfeeling. UGH! She used Veronica from start to finish – and Veronica LET her, even after she knew she was being used. My heart. Veronica wants to know her family, and thus know herself so badly she puts aside her better judgment and it really bites her in the ass sometimes.

Plot

Much more intriguing than the first! I really didn’t have it figured out by the end, at least not to where I was certain enough to bet on it. 😉 I loved meeting all the different characters in the artists’ enclave, too – though the who’s-sleeping-with-who there really made things SO much more complicated than they should have been, I guess that was really part of the problem! Oh, just a fair warning – there is a LOT of talk about sex in this one. Not sex itself, but a good deal of nudity and frank discussions of sex. 😉

4/5 stars. I didn’t FEEL quite as much for this one, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it and dived right into the third book!

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four-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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May 12

Sunday Post #8 – Trying to Get Ahead

Books/Writing 0

Hey everyone! Back with another Sunday Post update, via Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. I’m really trying to stay up with these! I’m totally patterning mine off of Kimberly’s, at least for now.

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This week I’ve mostly been focusing on getting my life organized! This includes the blog, since I know June and July will be CRAZY for me (taking an entire year of organic chemistry in those two months). I’m trying to get as many posts scheduled and lined up as possible – which also means I’ve been reading like crazy. This upcoming week is a little quiet, but I have a lot of new release reviews and tours coming up in the last half of the month and I’m super excited about them all!

Noah in one of his favorite spots! Mine too, though he seems to spend more time in that chair than I do…hmmm.

Last Week on Blog

Next Week on the Blog

  • A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell #2) – historical mystery review
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3) – historical mystery review

Around the Blogosphere

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May 09

A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell #1)

Book Reviews 2 ★★★★★

A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell #1)A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell, #1) by Deanna Raybourn
Published by NAL/Penguin on September 1, 2015
Genres: Historical, Mystery
Pages: 337
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads five-stars

London, 1887.

After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as wary partners in search of the villainous truth.

“Mrs. Clutterthorpe, I can hardly think of any fate worse than becoming the mother of six. Unless perhaps it were plague, and even then I am persuaded a few disfiguring buboes and possible death would be preferable to motherhood.”

Review of a re-read! I actually read A Curious Beginning almost four years ago, when it first came out. I totally intended to buy the second as soon as it was available, but then it came out with a SHOCKINGLY mismatched cover and yes, I was that shallow. I’m really sad that I didn’t keep up with them (also, note: authors have no control over their book covers so it was really stupid of me to essentially “boycott” the second one just because of the cover, even though I totally meant to read it as soon as I could get over my dislike of the cover).

I recently got my hands on the next three (!!!) books in the series, and when I started the second one I realized that I remembered very, VERY little of the first book. So here we are! My enthusiasm for this book knows few bounds, as is best illustrated by HOW MANY TIMES I had to update my GoodReads status for it whilst reading.

And there’s more…click on the picture and scroll to the bottom of the GR review to see! LOL

Feels

The intrigue! The mystery! The secrets! The sexual tension! Ahem. Okay, I might be getting a little carried away. There aren’t really any punch-to-the-gut feelings that come along with this story, or at least I didn’t think so. It’s much more about the mystery surrounding Veronica, why so many people are suddenly interested in a young, unfashionably scientific woman. Stoker, with whom she is thrown together by chance, has a good many secrets that he is quite determined to keep hidden. He basically oozes bad-boy sexuality (in a Victorian sort of way), but actually has quite a soft heart.

“There are times when it is entirely safe to show one’s vulnerability, to roll over and reveal the soft underbelly beneath. But there are other times when pain must be borne without a murmur, when the pain is so consuming that if you give in to it, even in the slightest, you have lost everything.”

The banter is what really makes this book come alive. I laughed out loud SO many times – and not because the SITUATION itself was funny, or far-fetched. Veronica and Stoker just constantly throw one-liners at each other and it’s hysterical. The sexual tension grows and grows throughout the book and I was totally there for it! I was a bit non-plussed at the “ending,” but it made me all the more excited for the next installment. View Spoiler »

Plot

Since this is a mystery, it’s not possible to say MUCH without giving it away. But, it revolves around Veronica and the circumstances of her birth, and why people appear to be either trying to kill or kidnap her. The details aren’t ever especially gory, but it doesn’t quite feel like a cozy mystery to me, either. I’m vaguely reminded of the Amelia Peabody series, but with more sizzle.

Setting

Victorian England, with all the trappings that come along with that era. However, this is probably NOT the book or series for you if you are a stickler for details. The physical details seem fairly accurate, but Veronica is a very independent lady and quite the free-thinker, not just with regards to her whole-hearted pursuit of science but in her “dalliances.” I find it very hard to believe there would be someone in this setting who wasn’t completely ostracized from society…though perhaps I just haven’t studied the right history. I did thoroughly enjoy the scientific aspect of the book, and found myself Googling the scientific names of various butterflies to see what exactly she was looking at!

4.5/5 stars. Half a star reduction was for what I felt was a fairly common plot – not an unenjoyable one, but any means, but a twist could have been nice too. 😉

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five-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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May 08

Can’t Wait Wednesday #3 – Dark Shores (Dark Shores #1)

Books/Writing 0

I’m joining in the fun with a Can’t-Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Usually the books are ones yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Can’t Wait Wednesday #3 – Dark Shores (Dark Shores #1)Dark Shores (Dark Shores, #1) by Danielle L. Jensen
Published by Tor Teen on May 7, 2019
Pages: 368
Goodreads

High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, a thrilling first novel in a fast-paced new YA fantasy series by USA Today bestselling author Danielle L. Jensen.

In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.

A PIRATE WITH A WILL OF IRON

Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.

A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET

Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.

A DANGEROUS QUEST

When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.

Dark Shores (due out May 7, 2019, so it actually came out YESTERDAY) sounds like it could be the start of an amazing new fantasy series, and I sincerely hope it is! Inspired by Ancient Rome…secrets…seafaring adventurer (but NOT pirating)…fierce females…OMG. Need this book ASAP!

 

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May 06

When You Find My Body Review

Book Reviews 1 ★★★½

When You Find My Body ReviewWhen You Find My Body: The Disappearance of Geraldine Largay on the Appalachian Trail by D. Dauphinee
Published by Down East Books on June 1, 2019
Genres: Nonfiction
Pages: 240
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads three-half-stars

When Geraldine "Gerry" Largay (AT trail name, Inchworm) first went missing on the Appalachian Trail in remote western Maine in 2013, the people of Maine were wrought with concern. When she was not found, the family, the wardens, and the Navy personnel who searched for her were devastated. The Maine Warden Service continued to follow leads for more than a year. They never completely gave up the search. Two years after her disappearance, her bones and scattered possessions were found by chance by two surveyors. She was on the U.S. Navy's SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) School land, about 2,100 feet from the Appalachian Trail. This book tells the story of events preceding Geraldine Largay's vanishing in July 2013, while hiking the Appalachian Trail in Maine, what caused her to go astray, and the massive search and rescue operation that followed. Her disappearance sparked the largest lost-person search in Maine history, which culminated in her being presumed dead. She was never again seen alive. The author was one of the hundreds of volunteers who searched for her. Gerry's story is one of heartbreak, most assuredly, but is also one of perseverance, determination, and faith. For her family and the searchers, especially the Maine Warden Service, it is also a story of grave sorrow. Marrying the joys and hardship of life in the outdoors, as well as exploring the search & rescue community, When You Find My Body examines dying with grace and dignity. There are lessons in the story, both large and small. Lessons that may well save lives in the future.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

When You Find My Body is the story of Geraldine (Gerry) Largay, an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker who disappeared in 2013. I was very excited to see this book is coming out, as my husband and I are avid hikers and I distinctly remember hearing about her disappearance and wondering if we would ever find out what happened to her.

First of all: this book is being marketed as a thriller and or true crime. WHAT?!? It is neither of those, least of all true crime. There was no crime committed here! None! Nothing at all! This is a complete misnomer and will undoubtedly lead to a LOT of disappointed readers. I went into this expecting something like an Ann Rule book, as I didn’t actually know what had happened to Gerry and it said true crime.  I was at first very irritated, but decided that it probably isn’t the author’s fault and I really wanted to read Gerry’s story regardless. I’m glad I did, but just be forewarned. NOT A TRUE CRIME OR THRILLER.

The author gives a lot of background information on Gerry, which I was very glad to read. It made her seem more like a real person and less like a statistic. It was also rather sad, as clearly her husband, children, and grandchildren miss her deeply. Gerry touched a lot of lives not only in her “regular” life but also in her life on the Appalachian Trail, where she was known as Inchworm. I loved that she clearly had a sense of humor and could laugh at herself, as she was one of the slower hikers on the trail.

One thing that really was a drawback to this book was the amount of time the author spent on things that had very little relation to Gerry, her family, or her disastrous hike. In one case several pages are spent going over details about the Navy SERE school…totally unnecessary. There is also a lot of background on the AT itself and how it came to be, which might be considered unnecessary as well, but I think gives a really nice look into the history and motivations of people who hike the trail, both in the past and present.

Gerry’s story in the end is a real tragedy, especially when reading how – if she had possibly been better prepared – it most likely would have been avoided all together. I’m sure the author and her family hope that from the writing of this book, people will go out better equipped for whatever adventures in the outdoors they might seek.

3.5/5 stars.

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three-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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May 05

Sunday Post #7 – In Which My Brain is Mush

Books/Writing 0

Hey everyone! Back with another Sunday Post update, via Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s been a LONG time since I did a Sunday Post, but I’d like to get back into it regularly as a way to wrap up. I’m totally patterning mine off of Kimberly’s, at least for now.

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Finals are FINISHED! Thank you to everyone who left encouraging comments, it was so kind and such a mood boost! I have until June 3rd off now…and then it’s all systems go to cram an entire year of organic chemistry into two months. So best just not to think about that for now…hehe. This week has been good, I just feel like I’ve kind of been drifting around in a fog. I’ve done SOME reading…I finished the middle-grade series I’d been working on, AND the first book in the Twilight Saga. THAT was very…interesting. I have a lot of thoughts about it, hopefully for a later date.

Check out my Instagram story highlights for a play-by-play of my Twilight readthrough. Oh, the drama! *eyeroll*

Last Week on Blog

Wow, I actually had quite a few posts (for me) this week!

Next Week on the Blog

  • When You Find My Body – nonfiction review
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell #1) – historical mystery review

Around the Blogosphere

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If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

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May 02

Deposing Nathan – Blog Tour!

Book Tours 0

 

Deposing Nathan – Blog Tour!Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley
Published by Page Street Kids on May 7, 2019
Pages: 400
Goodreads

Nate never imagined that he would be attacked by his best friend, Cam.

Now, Nate is being called to deliver a sworn statement that will get Cam convicted. The problem is, the real story isn’t that easy or convenient—just like Nate and Cam’s friendship. Cam challenged Nate on every level from the day the boys met. He pushed him to break the rules, to dream, and to accept himself. But Nate—armed with a fierce moral code and conflicted by his own beliefs—started to push back. With each push, Nate and Cam moved closer to each other—but also spiraled closer to their breaking points.

 

Purchase Links:

GoodreadsAmazonB&N – iTunes – Bookdepository – KoboGoogle Books

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I am so excited for this book! I think it is SUCH a needed story. I’ll have a review coming out at a later date. You can check out the rest of the book tour over here on The Fantastic Flying Book Club’s page. Also be sure to enter the giveaway below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Zack Smedley was born and raised in southern Maryland, in an endearing county almost no one has heard of. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from UMBC and currently works within the field. As a member of the LGBT community, his goal is to give a voice to marginalized young adults through gritty, morally complex narratives. He spends his free time building furniture, baking, tinkering with electronics, and managing his obsession with the works of Aaron Sorkin. DEPOSING NATHAN is his first novel.

Where to Find Zach

Website – Goodreads – Twitter – Instagram

 

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May 01

Can’t Wait Wednesday #2 – Wild and Crooked

Books/Writing 0

I’m joining in the fun with a Can’t-Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Usually the books are ones yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Can’t Wait Wednesday #2 – Wild and CrookedWild and Crooked by Leah Thomas
Published by Bloomsbury YA on June 4, 2019
Pages: 448
Goodreads

Critically-acclaimed author Leah Thomas blends a small-town setting with the secrets of a long-ago crime, in a compelling novel about breaking free from the past.

In Samsboro, Kentucky, Kalyn Spence's name is inseparable from the brutal murder her father committed when he was a teenager. Forced to return to town, Kalyn must attend school under a pseudonym . . . or face the lingering anger of Samsboro's citizens, who refuse to forget the crime.

Gus Peake has never had the luxury of redefining himself. A Samsboro native, he's either known as the "disabled kid" because of his cerebral palsy, or as the kid whose dad was murdered. Gus just wants to be known as himself.

When Gus meets Kalyn, her frankness is refreshing, and they form a deep friendship. Until their families' pasts emerge. And when the accepted version of the truth is questioned, Kalyn and Gus are caught in the center of a national uproar. Can they break free from a legacy of inherited lies and chart their own paths forward?.

Wild and Crooked (due out June 4, 2019) first caught my attention because of that beautiful and adorable cover. Also it sounds a little bit dark and a little bit hopeful and a whole lot intriguing. I also love that the main characters, while a guy and a girl – apparently remain platonic! YES SEE IT IS POSSIBLE. Thank you.  Anyway, I’m sure it will be awesome and I can’t wait!

 

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May 01

The Sisters of Salem – Cover Reveal

Book Tours, Books/Writing 0

Not going to lie, I was attracted to this series ENTIRELY by the gorgeous covers! And then the synopsis totally hooked me…I have the first one downloaded to read on my iPad!



The Sisters of Salem
Tish Thawer
(Witches of BlackBrook, #3)
Published by: Amber Leaf Publishing
Publication date: Summer/Fall 2019
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Through space and time, sisters entwined. Lost then found, souls remain bound.

After facing a relentless foe, three sister witches are forced even further back through time to a place that holds just as much sorrow for them as it does joy.

Returning to their origins in 1685, the trio races to save not only their mother from the clutches of their new enemy but also to secure the future they’ve worked for centuries to build.

Avoiding their younger selves is a necessity that proves difficult, especially when one sister isn’t sure she wants to leave the past behind. Faced with love and loss, these witches are forced to endure the burning times again, and one wrong step could alter history and their future forever.

Add to Goodreads

Previous books in the series:

 

Author Bio:

2017 – #1 Bestseller in Historical Fiction (Witches of BlackBrook)
2017 – Top 100 Bestselling in Paid Kindle Store (Witches of Blackbrook)
2015 – Best Cover – Penned Con (The Witches of BlackBrook)
2015 – Readers Choice Award – My New Favorite Book Awards (The Witches of BlackBrook)

Bestselling and Award Winning Author, Tish Thawer, writes paranormal romances for all ages. From her first paranormal cartoon, Isis, to the Twilight phenomenon, myth, magic, and superpowers have always held a special place in her heart.

Tish is known for her detailed world-building and magic-laced stories. Her work has been compared to Nora Roberts, Sam Cheever, and Charlaine Harris. She has received a RONE Award nomination (Reward of Novel Excellence), as well as nominations for Best Cover, Reader’s Choice, and Author of the Year (Fantasy, Dystopian, Mystery).

Tish has worked as a computer consultant, photographer, and graphic designer, and is a columnist for Gliterary Girl media and has bylines in RT Magazine and Literary Lunes Magazine. She resides in Arizona with her husband and three wonderful children and is represented by Gandolfo, Helin, and Fountain Literary Management.

You can find Tish on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTishThawer

A common FAQ: “How do you pronounce her last name?”

Answer: Think “Bower” or “Thow-er”. It’s Persian!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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