TEN YEARS AGO MY FIRST BOOK RELEASED

Her Baby's Secret FatherIt’s hard to believe that ten years have passed since my very first Harlequin Medical Romance, HER BABY’S SECRET FATHER, was published. I’ll be honest and say I cringed when I heard the title, though my working title wasn’t much better – Code Pink, Surprise! But isn’t that baby adorable?

It has taken many years to get used to Harlequin titles, but I’m thrilled to say I’m currently finishing up book #25 for them. Once you understand the “trope in the title” approach—meant for the readers who follow such things—the book titles make perfect sense.

Back in September 2006, when this book came out, the UK Medical Romance line published six books a month in Great Britain, but only four of those made it to the US Harlequin website for purchase. As the new girl, mine didn’t. I remember ordering 25 books from the UK website, only to have something go wrong and the books never made it to my door. I remember trying to explain that my books hadn’t arrived to a person on the UK side of things who clearly thought I was lying in an attempt to get more books. Talk about getting off to a bad start!

It wasn’t until February 2014 when Harlequin published the e-book version (Much better cover, Her Baby's Secret Fatherdon’t you think?) that the US audience had a chance to read it, and so far, over 4,200 US readers have!

So ten years later my little first book has been translated into French, Swedish and Finnish and has sold 57,000 copies worldwide. Not bad for a first book, eh?

 

 

 

 

This is my most current Medical Romance, WEDDING DATE WITH THE ARMY DOC, released in July. Where two imperfect people discover how perfect they are for each other.  Learn about the GoodReads Giveaway here.

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Watch for my October release, also featuring a military trained hero, and which is an indie book. Thank you Harlequin for giving me back the North American rights on this book—another book that never made it to North America for purchase—A SOLDIER’S SECOND CHANCE. It is set to release October 1st but is available for Pre-Order NOW! at a special discounted price!

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Here’s the blurb:

She owes him the truth. He wants to get even. But that old chemistry keeps messing up their plans.

Thirteen years back Beck Braxton enlisted in the Army and left town, but not before asking his girl to wait for him. She didn’t. Now he’s part of the elite L.A.P.D. SWAT team and he needs a skills refresher course before he deploys next month as a National Guard Medic. Because of his crazy SWAT schedule, arrangements are made with the head ER doctor from St. Stephen’s Hospital to accommodate him. But there’s something suspiciously familiar about the drab nurse he’s assigned to.

January Stewart gave up being that bubbly, carefree girl who’d fallen in love with her high school bad boy when she was forced to make a painful decision all by herself. Thirteen years later, drastically changed by life both inside and out, she goes by the name Jan Ashworth and is harboring a huge secret. She has also been assigned to work with Officer Braxton. He may soon realize she’s the girl who broke his heart while he was deployed, but he doesn’t know the half of it.

Now forced to work together, the ER nurse with every last bit of twinkle and glimmer erased, and Beck, the former wild child turned police officer, must face their past and remember that special feeling that once sizzled between them.

In honor of my ten-year publishing anniversary, I’d like to give away a copy of HER BABY’S SECRET FATHER. I have a print copy (with yellow pages to prove how old it is) or if the winner prefers, an e-book version from Amazon.com. All you have to do is leave a comment about Medical Romance. Have you ever read one? Did you know it existed? If you’ve read one, are you a fan?

Until next time, make it a great one!

Lynne

 

 

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MILO THE MAGNIFICENT

Anyone who knows me from Facebook knows about my sweet little pooch, Milo. In case you don’t, here is a brief history of my precious rescue doggie. Check out this cute little flyer they made for him, long before I met him. Image (11)

Wasn’t he adorable? They’d named him Snoop, but we didn’t like it so we chose one of the top fifty dog names – Milo!

So here’s the story. I had a birthday coming up in 2012 and my husband made the mistake of asking what I’d like. I’d planned the whole thing out. Of course my husband would ask me what I wanted, because he always did. This time I was prepared. “I want a dog of my choice.” As predicted my husband wasn’t happy about my request, but he asked!!!

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On the day of my birthday, we had breakfast with some friends, and out of the blue the wife of the other couple suggested we go a few stores down to the doggie store, which had become our local small animal rescue facility. We walked in to loud yipping and barking, so loud, my husband turned around and walked right back out. I took a quick spin around the room and noticed this little white guy resting quietly in a cage with two other dogs, while every other dog barked their butts off! Boy was it noisy in there. I stepped closer to get a better look and he put his paw through the bars so I could shake his hand.

And as the saying goes…the rest is history.

He doesn’t’ like to have his picture taken, but he tolerates my attempts.13680745_1270479306298479_7342207564870615831_n

 

He loves to wear his reindeer ears at Christmas. (ha ha, right)

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Because he is white and has pink skin, he has issues with a dermatitis problem. He was diagnosed with Discoid lupus erythematosus of the nose. He has lost the pigment on his nose and we have to protect him from the sun with this awful looking nose guard, but it will keep him from getting cancer. He doesn’t mind it, and he can open his mouth and pant as well as breathe perfectly well when wearing the device. It was made by another loving pet owner for his own dog. Evidently many dogs with pink noses have this problem. If your dog has similar issues, check out this website.  IMG_1196

He also had to get some treatments that weren’t very fun, but here he is looking like a superhero waiting for his laser treatments for his nose.

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Milo certainly outdid the pet rescue predictions for size and weight, currently at 22 pounds. I love his long legs and Whippet-like body. He enjoys taking walks with me, as long as we don’t overdo it. He is a very loving dog who likes to sit on my lap, though realistically, he’s too big for it. He still insists, so I let him. That’s our ritual every morning. I have my cup of coffee in the living room, he sits on my lap and watches out the front window for anyone trespassing on “his yard”. And yes, because he is part terrier, he is a barker. I tell him to use his indoor voice and he muffles his bark, which is cute and funny.

IMG_3637He recently turned four. Here he is looking regal and proud, while (you guessed it) sitting on my lap.

Can you tell I love my dog?

WHAT IS YOUR PET’S NAME AND WHAT KIND OF PET IS IT?

 

Until next time, make it a great one!

Lynne

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Annual RWA Conference Fun

Every July the Romance Writers of America, the only writers’ organization I belong to, hold their annual conference. This year it was in San Diego.

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It always starts off with a bang on Wednesday night with a huge author signing (over 400 authors took part) to raise money for literacy.  IMG_2329I visited loads of people, but here I am with the lovely Sarah Morgan!

 

As a person doing a solitary job, it is always great to come together with a couple thousand other people who understand what it takes to write day in and day out, to the tune of three books a year for me. Some authors at the conference are prolific writing machines and produce six to eight books a year. Yes, my jaw always drops with that bit of information, too.

IMG_2339Here I am on Thursday meeting with friends at the bar for drinks and appetizers.  L-R: Dee J. Adams, Roz Lee, Me, Trish Cerrone and Roben Grant. I’d been running non-stop all day up until this time. Believe it or not, we found time to discuss works in progress and give each other tips for when we get stuck.  Somehow I managed to say something that cut loose Roz Lee, the short cut red-haired lady sitting next to me, from her block.  It had something to do with starting at the wrong place. See, that’s the beauty of talking the talk with folks who understand.

The point of the conference is to present workshops on craft, career, and self-publishing, plus author panels and chats, as well as publisher spotlights.IMG_2349Here are a bunch of pictures that took place on Friday morning starting at the Harlequin author spotlight and ending with a great lunch hosted by the Medical Romance editors. Left to right – Medical Romance pals Amalie Berlin, double Rita finalist for short contemporary Scarlet Wilson, Amy Ruttan and me! On the right my Harlequin Intrigue pal, Carol Ericson.IMG_2357

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Here I am with my July book buddy, Susan Carlisle.  We wrote Summer Brides stories and decided to set the books in Savannah, GeorgiaIMG_2356

IMG_2363Last year’s double RITA finalist, and winner, Caro Carson surprised me and we had a good giggle.

IMG_2358The highlight of my day on Friday was catching up with my favorite Romance author, Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  Can’t wait to read her next book – FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT – due out August 23rd, and available for preorder now!

Then there were the lunches hosted by the editors from both sides of the pond.  Friday was Medical Romance and here is my gorgeous salad. IMG_2360Then, of course Friday night was the Harlequin party. Fun, fun, fun!  Here are the medical romance ladies striking a pose: RWA Harlequin 2016 Med Gals

 

On Saturday I got to have lunch with the Harlequin Special Edition crew, hosted by Gail Chasan, the Senior Editor for the line. IMG_2365L-R: Caro Carson, Terri Wilson, Gail Chasan, Shirley Jump, Michelle Major, Stacey Connelly, Me, Rachel Johns and Judy Duarte.

Can you say B U S Y?

Eighty percent of this conference involved my publisher, Harlequin. Everything from focus groups to the powers that be giving a general state of the state of Harlequin business in publishing, to fabulous editor/author lunches. Of course the highlight of the weekend is the Harlequin party on Friday night (see above masquerade picture) and the RITA awards on Saturday night.

First I had dinner on Saturday night. IMG_2361Then my roommate for the conference, Dee J. Adams and I enjoyed the fabulous RITA awards. IMG_2364

I don’t go every year, but when I do I have a ball, and it takes a full week to recover once I get home.

But I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m sitting here looking at these fun pictures and smiling all over again.

Do you ever go to work or hobby related conferences? What’s your favorite or least favorite part?

Until next time, make it a great one!                                                                                              Lynne

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WEDDING DATE WITH THE ARMY DOC and Zombies

It’s true, I am fascinated with zombies.the-walking-dead-poster

I’m a fan of The Walking Dead, absolutely loved Warm Bodies, thoroughly enjoy Zombieland, laughed my butt off in Shaun of the Dead, got a real kick out of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and had the beans scared out of me in World War Z and 28 Hours Later. So it has been a stealthy plan of mine for a long time, to put them in a book at some point.

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Now I’ve done it in WEDDING DATE WITH THE ARMY DOC!

Zombies in a Medical Romance, you say? How did that get through?

“Vee have vays” (to be said with a bad German accent)

No Seriously

How does a writer get zombies in a Harlequin Medical Romance?

Huge build up including DRUM ROLL!

I included a Zombie Run. Sorry to let you down a bit, but I had to be somewhat practical.

Business Man Running With Zombie

So, what are Zombie Runs? They’re the big craze, thanks to all of the above mentioned (but mostly The Walking Dead) shows. People want to have the wits scared out of them while being chased by zombies. As always, business savvy and inventive people came up with a way to accommodate them. And I came up with a way to put it in a book.

Zombie Runs! http://www.zombiebites.net/zombie-runs-and-events-2015.html

Yes, these will probably imitate a comet and burn bright for a while then fizzle out, but for now, people are loving them!

How Did I do It?

Fairly close to the beginning of my book, I have my lovely heroine, Charlotte—who happens to be a pathologist, so she was perfect for the zombie aspect—take part in a fundraiser 5 and 10K run for the hospital where she works. Employees could pay extra to get made up as zombies and chase the real runners as they participated in the foot race.

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I was overjoyed when my editor let that stay in the book, but I wisely made that part a turning point scene. Other writers will know what I mean about “turning point” but to explain a bit for romance readers: It is a scene where something happens between the two main characters that changes the course of their relationship. The Zombie Run scene in WEDDING DATE WITH THE ARMY DOC, certainly did that. I hope you’ll read the book to find out how.

But Wait There’s More!

To make the book even more influenced by Zombie shows, I chose Andrew Lincoln as the prototype for my hero – Jackson Hilstead III, M.D. Oh, yeah, I had fun where I could in this otherwise tragic and dramatic story. A writer’s got to keep her sanity some way, right?

See a resemblance here? I do!330px-Andrew_Lincoln_2012

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Here’s a bit about my book: WEDDING DATE WITH THE ARMY DOC (part of the Summer Brides duet with Susan Carlisle in the UK – see above left in book banner)

It started at a wedding…

Since her recent lifesaving—and life-changing—operation, Charlotte Johnson has steered clear of romance…but brooding Jackson Hilstead is too delicious to resist! Surely some harmless flirting with the sexy army doc can’t hurt?

Charlotte knows Jackson has his own emotional battles to fight, but she believes they can be stronger together. So when she accepts his invitation to a family wedding, Charlotte hopes it’s a sign that one day she’ll be walking down the aisle…with Jackson by her side!

Here’s another place it’s on sale in both print and e-book format

Thanks for reading!

Lynne

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FUN IN MAINE – PLUS NEW RELEASE!

I’ve just returned from a visit to one of my favorite places, Maine! Well, Portland, Maine that is.

I was lucky to attend the Maine Romance Writers annual retreat, and to get to give a workshop titled REDEEMING DESPICABLE CHARACTERS. The workshop was well received and the weekend retreat was really fun and informative. IMG_3321

 

I especially liked the workshops on self-editing and writing the male point of view. I met lots of great ladies and got to talk with a few I already know. Had some good laughs with fellow Harlequin author Terri Brisbin (Historical line) and Luanna Stewart from Entangled.

This is the picture everyone liked the most from my presentation. Sexiest of allI wonder why?

The coordinator, Marianne Rice, bent over backwards to make everyone happy, and she did a phenomenal job! IMG_3324

 

What more can a lady ask from an author retreat, you may ask?

 

Well how about this?

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Or this  IMG_3333

 

 

 

 

 

And what about this? IMG_3365IMG_3369IMG_3353

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York isn’t the only place with a flat iron building!

IMG_3385I had great weather, great food, and made new friends.

Portland, Maine at its best.

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IT’S RELEASE DAY!

I’m also super excited that today is release day for my contribution to the Hollywood Hills Clinic series – HIS PREGNANT SLEEPING BEAUTY is book #6.  I hope you’ll consider reading it.

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Until next time, make it a great one!

Lynne

 

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Getting Used to Being Me

After catchin10710741_10153227531464062_175066825557071363_ng myself say this while watching Jeopardy the other night: “I was going to say George Carlin, but I couldn’t think of his name.” I’ve decided it’s time to re-evaluate the “me” I’ve become.

 

 

It’s not all bad.  Turns out I’m good at being a Grandma.  When told my two year old granddaughter, Thea, woke up one morning saying this:  “Trucks wake me up. Beep beep beep.” I’m proud as punch to know at twenty-six months of age, she is speaking in sentences, and though giving the credit to her parents, I also pat myself on the back for singing The Wheels on the Bus with her all the times she asks me to.  The horn on the bus goes beep beep beep.

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Talking and reading and singing to our grandkids is soooo important!

So, on those many times where I have to consult my favorite thesaurus in order to come up with the exact word for what I’m writing, and by the time I find it, I forget that perfect sentence I’d planned to use it in…

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I will choose to go easy on myself instead of withdrawing from the human race

11987115_1294635350641395_2391152954603421360_nRather than becoming a recluse, I’m gonna keep chugging along embarrassing myself with delays in conversations while I remember what I started out to say, inadvertently repeating the same story to the same person again and again, and insisting I need ten seconds longer to fish the answers out of the deep recesses of my brain while playing along on TV Jeopardy.

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I also intend to take time to smell those flowers and taste the wine along the rest of the journey of my life.

HAPPY MOTHER‘S DAY FRIENDS AND READERS!

 

Until next time, make it a great one,

Lynne

Watch for my new book HIS PREGNANT SLEEPING BEAUTY June 1st, available for pre-order now:

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Ran a Contest and Discovered a Survey

Hands At WorkFor those who may not know, I make it a habit to run a contest of some kind with every newsletter I sendIf this interests you, feel free to sign up in the sidebar next to this blog to receive occasional e-mails from me.  I promise not to send out more than six in a year, and as I already stated, I always run a contest when I do.

 

On April 1st, I mailed a newsletter with a different kind of contest – multiple books (5) and multiple story tropes to choose from.  Normally, I use Rafflecopter for my contests, since I get so many entries, but this time I took a different route.  I was very specific about how to enter – here’s what I wrote:

Send me an e-mail. Include in your e-mail whether you would prefer a print or e-book and include your address if you want a print copy. Then tell me which one of the following you are interested in reading: 1.) Western setting, 2.) Adoption theme, 3.) Road trip, 4.) Reunion story, 5.) Not the hero’s baby.  I will randomly choose one winner for each of the five choices and contact the winners before April 10th.  The winner’s names will be listed in the June newsletter. 

As the entries came in, I realized I had the perfect opportunity to turn my findings into a survey.  Of course, this, by any means, isn’t a scientific survey, just anecdotal findings. Nevertheless, I think the results are interesting, and they will make me think twice before I plan my next books!

Here are the results:Story SurveyNot Hero’s baby 7%; Road trip 14%; Reunion Story 19%; Adoption theme 19%; Western Setting 28%; Happy with any 13%

It seems that the western set romances are a big hit with the most readers.  I was sorry to see that “not the hero’s baby” isn’t as popular because I have written 2 or 3 such stories and find them both satisfying and challenging.

What do you think?  Do you agree or disagree with these findings?  Let me know what your favorite trope is in the comments section.

Until next time, make it a great one!

Lynne

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FOOL ME ONCE…FOOL ME TWICE

funky concept illustration for april fools daySpecial Announcement: I’m retiring from writing!

Not!

We all know the saying, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me,” yet every year on April 1st many of us fall prey to yet another April Fool’s prank.

 

 

 

Here’s a list of the top 100 pranks of all time beginning with the top ten.

Find a favorite?  Which one?

Close up portrait of hard laughing young man. Isolated on whiteI’ve never pulled off a really good hoax, but once I did attempt it. I got the bright idea to call some good friends and disguise my voice to pose as a local journalist wanting to interview them. There had recently been a mini tornado whipping through their town, and I wanted my friend to describe what had happened in her own words. Here’s where the prank went sideways, instead of her giving me the details, she put her twelve-year-old (at the time) son on the phone to do it. What seemed funny to pull on my friend just the second before, suddenly seemed like a mean joke on an impressionable preteen, and, well I couldn’t go through with it. Instead, after the young man began his completely sincere experience, I confessed that it was me, their family friend, and apologized. So you see, I don’t have the heart for pulling the wool over people’s heads. Or let’s just say I have my limits on who I am willing to make a fool out of.  Friends? Sure.  Children of friends? Nope.

I thought it would be fun to share some April Fool’s pranks that went terribly wrong – here

So let that be a lesson. What may seem funny at the creation stage, could turn out to be a total disaster!april-fools-day-joke

I hope your April 1st is a good one. If you pull off a joke, make it a fun one. None of us want to be responsible for someone else’s heart attack, right?

Have any doozy pranks to share with me?  Please leave a comment.

Until Next time, make it a great one!

Lynne

Here are the beautiful new covers for my two bigger romances:  Check them out at Amazon

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Romance When You Need It – Thanks Harlequin

I’m sharing this fun video with everyone.  Plus – Harlequin is giving Seventeen free books to those who might like to try a new line or who have never read one before.  Check it out!

Here’s the link to the free books deal: www.RomanceWhenYouNeedIt.com  Download you free book now.

You’re Welcome!

Lynne

 

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The Story behind the (En-)Counter

United hands on bright background. Conceptual photo of teamworkLet me start by saying we interact with people each and every day, and sometimes we don’t like how the interaction goes. Having lived a long time, I have come to understand that the problem is we, none of us, know what is going on in the person’s life who has just irritated us. There are simply too many scenarios to consider—cancer, debt, abusive spouse, lousy night’s sleep, anxiety—like I said, so much goes on behind the scenes in people’s lives. When we focus on ourselves, it’s easy to take everything personally and to get offended easily. I say this as someone guilty of just that.

Let me share a story that happened to me a few years back. I went to the market and stepped up to the deli counter to make an order. No one was there. I thought, okay, I’ll do my shopping and come back later. Well, later I went back to the deli counter and saw a couple of people running around like crazy in the back putting food on a cart and pushing it outside. Inwardly I got upset, irritated, you know the saying the customer must come first, and right then I felt completely overlooked. It ticked me off.  So I gave up, feeling neglected and upset that I didn’t get my sliced turkey breast deli meat, and I showed them, they lost my purchase. Yeah, I showed them all right.

As I left the market heading for my car in the parking lot, I saw a deli counter person helping a man load the food into the back of his car. When the deli guy passed me as he headed back into the market, I said, “You guys don’t have enough help today.” He said, “Yeah, we had a last minute order that needed to get filled. It’s for a funeral for a two-year-old, and this needed to get to the church ASAP.”

Insert that moment when you feel like a total selfish jerk HERE.

Puts things into perspective doesn’t it? Need I tell you how awful I felt for being resentful that my personal needs hadn’t been met by the deli department during my shopping that morning? I stopped right there and asked for forgiveness in a prayer for being so self-centered.

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When I wrote the difficult opening scene for A MOTHER FOR HIS ADOPTED SON, I wanted to portray that kind of encounter where one party hasn’t a clue what the other party has just gone through, and then reacts in a negative way. But I walked a fine line of setting up my heroine, Andrea Rimmer, as unlikable if I did. I believe I found a balance by showing what she was struggling with on a personal level while dealing with the hero in their first meeting.

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The set up: Dr. Sam Marcus has just come from watching his 3-year-old son have surgery to remove his eye for retinoblastoma. He seeks out the person who makes prosthetic eyes in the hospital expecting to find the head of the department. Instead, he finds a young woman. Focused on his need he comes off a little arrogant and demanding toward her. The problem is, Andrea doesn’t know this guy and she has a history of being pushed around by her surgeon father who is also arrogant and demanding. She reacts to Dr. Marcus from her viewpoint in a very negative way, and he reacts to her from his position of need, also in a negative way. Let’s just say that first meeting doesn’t go well.

If both characters had a clue what the other was dealing with in their personal lives, they would have both cut each other some slack. And that’s my takeaway for this blog. To go out into the world less focused on ourselves. Consider what might be making that prickly person who has just annoyed the heck out of you act that way, and cut them some slack. Then treat them with respect–who knows, you may be the only person to do it that particular day.  Oh, and it never hurts to say a little prayer giving thanks for our blessings either.

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A Mother for His Adopted Son

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you haven’t YET checked out A MOTHER FOR HIS ADOPTED SON, I hope you’ll give it a try.

Available at all online book outlets.

  

Kobo Books   Google Play   iBooks

Until Next time, make it a great one!

Lynne

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