Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and How I’m Getting There

I’ve been through some very dramatic life altering changes over the last six years; from learning that I’m a sexual submissive, leaving an emotionally & verbally abusive marriage (on both our parts), and learning that I’m strong enough to get through any obstacle. I agree; that whole quadriplegic/chemotherapy incident at 17 should’ve taught me that lesson. But, that’s a story for another time, my friends.
In 2011, I began a memoir for a class. It started out as a writing prompt and became a journey to heal from my childhood. My original work was from a place of anger, pain, and hatred. I’ll be honest and admit that there are still times when those are my feelings with regard to the situations. However, I realized if I’m ever going to achieve the thing that I want the most then I have to look at the past through other perspectives than my own.

As an adult survivor of childhood abuse, I have wanted nothing more than the unconditional of my parents since I was 16. During that time I was placed in foster care; eventually ending up in a group home, then returning to my parents when my quadriplegia occurred. All this time, I’ve felt like my mother never loved me; she chose my abusive father over me. Over the years, I’ve tried to talk to her about the things that occurred in the past.Her go-to answer, “You’re an adult; just get over it. You can’t go around blaming all of your problems on me.”

What my mother never understood is that I always blamed myself for the things that occurred when I was growing up. I knew that it was wrong for my father to beat me and that that wasn’t my fault. What I couldn’t understand was why my mother never loved me and my father stopped loving me. I’m beginning to understand that my experiences aren’t the entire picture of my childhood; my sister’s experiences aren’t the same as my own. We all had a role to play; sometimes by choice, but other times the roles were thrust upon us.

Since September 26, 2015, I’ve been getting to know my mother as a person, a woman, an entity outside of our relationship. In some ways, I’m re-learning how to love her. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved my mother. I loved her in the way a child learns to love a parent. To this day, my mother has no idea how much I’ve craved her affection. As children, we forget that our parents aren’t perfect. Well, I wanted her to live up to the ideals that I had of how a mother should behave.

I always knew my mom had the potential to be a good mother. She and my sister have always had a really close bond. When things started to go horribly wrong with my father and my relationship; I attempted to reach out to my mother. I wanted to create a connection. Unfortunately, no matter what I did she excluded me from it. I saw this as confirmation of my belief that she hated me. Recently, I learned that my mother didn’t think I really loved her.I learned that part of the reason my mother stayed married to my father is because of the interaction I had with that woman at church.When I was around 4 or 5, a woman came up to me at church and said that I looked like my mother. I responded that indeed I did NOT, and I was my “daddy’s girl”.

I have an eidetic memory~which is pretty much a fancy way of saying; when I go to recall a memory I literally see a picture of it in my mind. Normally, it’s a really great thing to have. I’m sure it’s what’s made learning all the languages I’ve studied easier. I also have Hyperthesmia~ which is the ability to recall almost every day of my life in near perfect detail, as well as public events that hold some personal significance to me. If the events are positive then no harm, no foul. If the memory involves being chased down and being beaten with a wooden Louisville Slugger bat; it sucks to be able to remember every detail of the event. It’s part of the reason it’s taken so long for me to heal.

I’ve always used this blog as a way to communicate openly and honestly about my life. I’ve always known that I’m not the only person who is facing this distasteful and arduous battle. I’m well versed in the tools of survival. I know there are teens out there in abusive situations, and adult survivors that are still on their own journey to find reconciliation, and love for themselves and their families. If I can be a voice for those who are still too afraid to speak, or a light for a soul that has lost their way, then I will have done something remarkable.
Over the next year,  plan to use this blog as a sounding board, a way to clear my head, re-write previous memoir materials, and of course, a place of support for others previously and currently trying to overcome abusive situations.

Drop me a line if you have any questions….IMG_0143

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No Safeword: Matte—The Honeymoon by Candace Blevins

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No Safeword: Matte—The Honeymoon:
Safeword Series # 8
By: Candace Blevins
Releasing August 1st, 2014

Blurb
The wedding ceremony is over, and the couple is on their way to Hawaii. After so much build-up for the big night, how will Ethan handle it? Sam has no idea, and while she’s pretty sure she’s ready, she’s still a bit nervous. Who wouldn’t be?
Most newlyweds don’t ride bicycles up and then back down dormant volcanos for fun on their honeymoon, but Sam and Ethan aren’t the average couple. They find lots of fun things to do on the islands and in the ocean, and Ethan’s creativity knows no bounds when in the privacy of their secluded beach house.
If you’ve read Safeword: Matte and Safeword: Matte – In Training, you’ve been waiting for the honeymoon. Here’s hoping you enjoy it as much as Sam and Ethan.

 Link to Follow Tour:  
http:// http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/no-safeword-matte-honeymoon-by-candace.html 
Goodreads Link:http:// www.goodreads.com/book/show/22285192-no-safeword-matte—-the-honeymoon?from_search=true
Buy Links
Amazon:  http:// http://www.amazon.com/No-Safeword-Matte-The-Honeymoon/dp/1500453757/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406659029&sr=8-1&keywords=no+safeword+matte+the+honeymoon 

B&N:http://  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/no-safeword-candace-blevins/1119970503?ean=9781500453756 

Author Info
Candace Blevins is a southern girl who loves to travel the world.
She lives with her husband of 16 years and their two daughters. When not working or driving kids all over the place she can be found reading, writing, meditating, or swimming.
Candace writes romance books about characters who happen to have some extreme kinks. Relationships can be difficult enough without throwing power exchange into the mix, and her books show characters who care enough about each other to fight to make the relationship work.
Each book in the Safeword series highlights a couple with a different BDSM issue to resolve. All books are standalone books and can be read in any order, with the exception of the two Davenport books, since Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon is a sequel to Safeword: Davenport.
You can visit Candace on the web at candaceblevins.com, or friend her on Facebook at facebook.com/candacesblevins
* Serious Romance * Serious BDSM *

Author Links
http:// www.candaceblevins.com/
http:// www.facebook.com/candacesblevins

http:// https://twitter.com/CandaceBlevins
http:// http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4489132.Candace_Blevins 

http:// https://pinterest.com/candacesblevins/

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Excerpt
Sam awoke first the next morning and slid under the covers. He was soft when she pulled him between her lips, but within seconds he groaned in pleasure and began to fill her mouth.
She intended to get him off, but he stopped her a few minutes into it, flipped her on her back, draped her legs over his shoulders, and gently worked her clit with his lips and tongue.
Sam’s eyes rolled back into her head and she forgot to breathe for several heartbeats. However, after a few minutes she realized he’d stopped her from giving him a blowjob. He hadn’t used her last night, and now he wasn’t letting her pleasure him.
She raised up on her elbows and watched a few seconds before coming to a decision.
“Time out, Ethan.”
He tilted his head to look at her, but kept her clit in his mouth. His tongue ran across it a few times and she had to fight to keep her eyes from rolling back in her head again.
“I was giving you a blowjob, and you stopped me.”
His eyes agreed with her, and then he stopped looking up and went back to work.
She gently bopped him on the head. “Don’t ignore me. I’m trying to talk to you.”
He inserted a finger into her depths, and then another, and Sam fell back, her legs tensed on his shoulders, and she lost control of her body as an orgasm crashed into her with no warning.
She tried to talk through it, but couldn’t come up with an intelligible sentence, and finally gave up and let the bliss sweep her under.
As she regained motor function, she draped her arm over her eyes and let her legs sprawl out to the side. “It seems wrong to call you a jerk after you gave me a mind-melting orgasm, but I was giving you a blowjob and you stopped me, and then you ignored me when I tried to talk to you about it.”
Her voice sounded happy and content, but there wasn’t much she could do about it.
Ethan was still between her legs, and he chuckled before bending to lick her entrance with long, slow, strokes.
“God, you’re impossible. I don’t know whether to beg you to stop, or keep going.”
His tongue kept going, and she added, “We need to talk about why you aren’t using me, and won’t let me pleasure you.” She groaned as he licked and suckled the perfect spot. Quickly losing her resolve, she pulled enough air into her lungs to admit, “But I’m not sure I have the willpower to ask you to stop what you’re doing.”
He brought her to three more orgasms before he kissed his way up to her neck, rolled to the side, and pulled her into his arms.
“I used you pretty hard, and I wanted to give you a little time to recover.” He kissed her forehead. “Take advantage of it while you can.”
“But I wanted to give you a blowjob. How could that be a bad thing?”
“It isn’t, but I’ve made the decision to give you pleasure and pamper you a few days.”
He was holding himself so she couldn’t feel his cock, so she didn’t know if he was hard or not. Her mind shifted into analysis mode, and she ran the possible reasons he might not want to use her, or even get a blowjob.
It hit her out of the blue, and she looked up and said, “You’re sore. My ass feels like someone used a sandpaper-covered toy on it. Your cock has to be sore, too.”
His face told her he was trying to find a way to deny it without lying, and she laughed. “Master Sex-God is sore. Oh, it’s beautiful.” She kissed his chin, and then his lips. “Don’t try to deny it. I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me before.” She shook her head. “I’m not sure how you managed it the last couple of times, though. If you were hurting as bad as me, why did you keep going?” She paused and added. “How did you keep going?”
“I’m pretty sure I’m not as sore as you. Your ass hasn’t had any friction at all until we arrived here, and my cock gets frequent activity. The last couple of times I felt a little tender, but I wasn’t ready to stop yet, and it didn’t hurt bad enough to affect my pleasure.”
He shrugged. “I’m sore enough after the fact, so I figure it’s best to give it a rest.” Soft lips kissed her forehead, then her nose. “I’m quite serious about wanting to give you some rest and lots of pampering, though. You took everything I gave you, and I gave you a lot. I want you to know I understand how hard I was on you, and I appreciate you for it. I don’t want to ever take your submission for granted.”

Personal Target by Kay Thomas

Personal Target
An Elite Ops Novel
By: Kay Thomas
Releasing July 29th, 2014
Avon Impulse

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Blurb

AEGIS: an elite team of ex-military men working under the radar of most governments. If you have a problem no one else can handle, they can help.A former SEAL and Black Ops specialist who left the CIA, Nick Donovan gave up a life on the edge to work in the private sector. But that didn’t stop his enemies from coming after him—or his family. In a case of mistaken identity, a drug cartel kidnaps his sister-in-law’s best friend … a woman from Nick’s past.One minute Jennifer Grayson is housesitting and the next she’s abducted to a foreign brothel. Jennifer is planning her escape when her first “customer” arrives. Nick, the man who broke her heart years ago, has come to her rescue. Now, as they race for their lives, passion for each other reignites and old secrets resurface. Can Nick keep the woman he loves safe against an enemy with a personal vendetta?

Link to Follow Tour:  http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/07/personal-target-by-kay-thomas-elite-ops.html 
Goodreads Link:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22308416-personal-target?from_search=true 

Buy Links
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Personal-Target-Elite-Ops-Book-ebook/dp/B00KACAU5I/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&keywords=personal%20target%20by%20kay%20thomas&linkCode=ur2&qid=1400188200&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&tag=kaytho-20&linkId=VKJ26JGVY7WLJSJ5 
B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/personal-target-kay-thomas/1119566027?ean=9780062290878 
iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/personal-target/id877703928?mt=11 

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Author Info
Kay Thomas didn’t grow up burning to be a writer. She wasn’t even much of a reader until fourth grade. That’s when her sister readThe Black Stallion aloud to her. For hours Kay was enthralled—shipwrecked and riding an untamed horse across desert sand. Then tragedy struck. Her sister lost her voice. But Kay couldn’t wait to hear what happened in the story—so she picked up that book, finished reading it herself, and went in search of more adventures at the local library.Today Kay lives in Dallas with her husband, two children, and a shockingly spoiled Boston terrier. Her award-winning novels have been published internationally.

Author Links
http://www.kaythomas.net/ 
https://www.facebook.com/KayThomasWrites
https://twitter.com/KayThomaswrites

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Black Widow Witch by A. J. Locke

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Title: Black Widow Witch
Author: A. J. Locke
Release Date: 5/15/2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy

A deadly curse, a deadly assassin, and one shot to save everyone she loves…

Malachi Erami can’t fall in love. After she’s caught with Knave, the witch Queen’s favorite lover, she’s cursed to savagely butcher any man she falls for. Exiled to live among humans, Malachi runs a bar that serves magic-laced drinks, but since her curse labels her high risk, she’s also closely monitored. Julian Vira is her latest babysitter, but he’s also the first man since Knave that she’s been attracted to. Good-looking and nonjudgmental of her horrible curse? Yeah, he’s hard to resist.

  But when Malachi finds a body behind her bar, she knows she’s in trouble. If the Witches Control Council gets wind of it, she’ll be accused of murder and sent to her death. And when her friends start getting framed for murder, she realizes she’s not the only target. Malachi and Julian dig into the evidence to clear her name, but the closer they get to answers, the closer the curse comes to taking over. So when Malachi uncovers a plot to kill the witch Queen, she finds herself suddenly recruited into service, with the promise of having her curse lifted and a reunion with Knave as well. But if she fails, Knave will die. And she and Julian might not live long enough to see that happen.

Excerpt: Chapter One

Today was the anniversary of the worst day of my life, and I’d been trying to forget about it by consuming a vast amount of booze. The fact that I owned a bar greatly helped with that endeavor, and the fact that I was drunk was an accomplishment, since witches weren’t easily susceptible to alcohol. Humans were onto something with this whole drinking-to-forget-one’s-crappy-life thing.
Behind the bar, I poured a shot for an eager customer. Amaretto, Southern Comfort peach liqueur, and sweet-and-sour mix went into the glass, then I held my hand over the drink and let a stream of purple magic, the same color as my eyes, flow into it. The drink glowed purple for a few seconds, then I handed it to the customer, who drank it with no hesitation. After slamming the glass down, he grabbed the tipsy woman who’d been hanging on him and gave her a sloppy kiss, then led her out of the bar. I smiled and shook my head. The magic I’d put into the shot, aptly named Piece of Ass, would ensure they didn’t leave the bedroom tonight.

Somewhere in the room I heard riotous laughter, and above that the voice eliciting that laughter. Xiune was having a good night for a change and wasn’t holed up in my office. Though since she was just a head inside a clear acrylic box, it was understandable that sometimes all she wanted to do was hide.

“Malachi, darling!” Xiune called. “Seven handsome young men have requested the Challenge!” I smiled slyly. I loved administering the Challenge.

“It’s time for the Seven Deadly Sins Challenge!” I announced, filling up eight shot glasses with vodka, one of which I downed. “Which sin will it be and what will its victim do?” People shouted their guesses while I sent tendrils of magic into the shots. My magic sparked like tiny bolts of lightning, and like the shot I had just made, the liquid briefly glowed purple. I focused on one of the glasses and started whispering a spell, channeling the essence of one of the seven deadly sins through my body. For a brief moment, my body became flushed with a feeling of ravenous desire, then it flowed out of me into the shot glass. I felt rather charged and wondered if this had been the right sin to choose tonight. But hey, I was drunk, and I kind of wanted to see someone suffer. Misery loves company right?

I levitated the shot glasses onto a tray and sauntered over to the table where Xiune was entertaining the men who thought they were up for the Challenge. With her flawless complexion, golden eyes, and vibrant red hair, Xiune didn’t need a body to be beautiful. I’d known her when she had one though, and if she’d been sitting there in all her glory, she’d have every man kneeling at her feet. Her allure was only heightened by the fact that she was a bodiless beauty who used her magic to float herself around in a box. The box wasn’t necessary for Xiune to move around, but she felt safer inside it when she was out in public. That way if a witch hater spat on her, she’d have a shield. It also prevented those on the other end of the spectrum, people who were fascinated by witches, from getting too close. I set the shot glasses down and motioned for the men to stand around the table. They looked like your typical college fare: unkempt hair, sagging pants, and some sort of ironic or sports themed T-shirt. High-fives and shit talking all around.

“Now boys,” I said, leaning forward on my forearms, giving my cleavage time to shine. “Are you sure you’re ready for this? One of you is moments away from experiencing a sin you may or may not enjoy.” They assured me they were man enough to handle any sin, and I smiled. The fun thing about the Challenge was that everyone handled it differently. One man caught with gluttony had run across the street to McDonalds, spent over a hundred dollars on food, then sat on the floor and gorged himself. A woman under the same gluttony spell had tried to eat her friend’s purse.

“Let’s hope it’s lust and let’s hope it’s me,” one of the men said, winking at me. He stood a couple of inches over six feet, had brown hair and a lanky physique. If he started spending time at the gym, maybe his lame come-ons would give him more luck getting laid.

“Honey, I would eat you up,” I said with a slow smile. Normally I would never have said such a line, but all the alcohol I had consumed was speaking for me. He probably had no idea how true those words were though, because his smile never wavered. However, for a moment after I spoke, I saw another face in place of his, and it cut through my drunken haze like a knife. I gasped, and he must have thought that was a sign he had a chance with me, because his smile became more lascivious. Lucky for him, he did nothing for me.

“Malachi, let’s get this show going.” Xiune slid her box over to nudge me, and I shook my head and turned back to the waiting crowd.

“All right, it’s about to go down!” I yelled. “For anyone who hasn’t witnessed the Challenge before, I’ll explain how it works. One of these shot glasses is infused with the essence of one of the seven deadly sins, and the recipient will be overcome with that sin for the next half hour, while the others will experience the most euphoric feeling they’ve ever experienced from a shot of alcohol.” I motioned for the men to pick up a glass, and Mister Flirtatious had one more wink for me.

“Gentlemen, take your shot of sin!” They took their shots to the head. When they slammed their glasses down, every eye in the room was on them. After about twenty seconds, one of the men—not Winky—suddenly gasped, whipped his head around, and bolted from among his friends to accost a mildly attractive woman standing nearby.

“Fuck me! Fuck me, please!” He shook her by the upper arms while she stared at him, mortified, as his friends tried to pry him off her. I brayed with laughter, as did Xiune and everyone else in the bar.

“Oh god, I’m so horny. Someone please, fuck me!” He struggled against his laughing friends, trying to reach any female in sight, with his erection leading the way. Lust had been the winner tonight, and for the next thirty minutes this poor sap would be lusting after every woman he saw, whether she was twenty-eight or eighty-two. He even lurched toward Xiune, but she floated out of the way. Xiune was one sexy head in a box and had a mouth she could work wonders with. She often came out of her box to work those wonders on any willing man. There were more than you’d think.

“Right sin, wrong guy, right?” brown-haired dude said to me.

I rolled my eyes. “You and your friends will have your hands full for the next half hour. I suggest you hold on to him real good and don’t be surprised if he turns to one of you when it starts to look like he won’t be getting any women.”

He laughed and pulled out his cell phone. “I’ll call his girlfriend, though she’ll probably be too pissed at him for doing this to alleviate his lust.” He left the bar to make the call, while the other five continued to hold on to their friend, laughing like they’d never experienced anything so hilarious in their lives. Some of the more mischievous or drunk women teased the guy by parading in front of him and doing dirty little stripper moves. Only his friends’ hold stopped him from tackling one of them and trying to rip her clothes off.

I wasn’t afraid of things getting out of hand because I could break the spell any time I wanted. There was always a point where things stopped being amusing and started getting annoying. I left them and headed back behind the bar, while Xiune found another table of people to entertain. She was a wonderful songstress, and soon her melodic voice filled the bar as I went back to making magicked drinks. I glanced at my watch, noting that it was almost midnight, which meant the day was almost over. That didn’t actually mean anything though. The day passing didn’t mean I would forget the curse that was hanging over my life.

“Hey, Malachi, can you pass me a knife?”

“Knave?” I quickly turned to the busboy, James, who was bent over a box behind the bar.
“No, I said knife,” he said. My throat was suddenly tight, but I reached under the bar, got a knife, and handed it to him. I stood back and ran my hands through my short black curls, blowing out a slow breath as I tried to rein in my reaction to thinking I had heard the name Knave. That was the name attached to the face I did not like to think about, but no amount of alcohol and rowdy college boys taking the Challenge could truly put him from my mind. I didn’t want to see Knave’s face, didn’t want to think about the hard muscles my hands used to slide over, following the planes of his body to his waist and not stopping until I touched something that arched his back and made him whisper my name. I didn’t want to think about the nights we’d spent wrapped in each other’s arms, feeling our hearts beating against each other. But of course, since his name crossed my lips, he was all I could think about.

Falling in love with Knave was why I was cursed. And I could only blame myself. I should have known better than to take someone else’s lover to my bed. Especially if the woman crossed was a witch queen who was powerful, sadistic, and known to curse people just for sneezing out of place.
“Malachi? Excuse me, Malachi?” I blinked and brought myself out of my thoughts, turning to see that one of the other busboys, Dan, was trying to get my attention. He held a box of empty liquor bottles and needed me to move so he could pass. I shuffled out of the way, but thinking of Knave and my curse, along with all the beer and shots I’d drunk tonight, made me feel slightly unstable. Suddenly, the rowdiness in my bar wasn’t fun; it was obnoxious, and I wanted to get away from it. I headed through the door Dan had passed through, into the hallway that led to my office and the Dumpster out back. Halfway down the hallway, I heard a crash, followed by a scream. I ran through the back door, taking in several things at once that left me rooted to the spot. One, the revolting stench that went far beyond what our single Dumpster could give off. Two, Dan standing rigidly a few feet away with broken bottles scattered at his feet. And three, the thing that had caused him to drop the bottles and scream. Behind the Dumpster was a dead body.

Buy Links:
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Black-Widow-Witch-A-J-Locke-ebook/dp/B00KD43GUY/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1400235454&sr=8-3&keywords=black+widow+witch
All Romance E-books http:// www.allromanceebooks.com/product-blackwidowwitch-1515482-140.html
Barnes & Noble http:// www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1119529212?ean=2940149353361
Kobo http:// store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/black-widow-witch

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Authors Bio:
A.J. Locke is an author and artist, originally from Trinidad, now residing in New York City. Black Widow Witch is her second published novel, and other than writing she enjoys reading, drawing, painting, graphic design, and watching too much television.

Blog:  http://iqurae.blogspot.com/
Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/pages/AJ-Locke/522250584507699
Twitter:   http:// twitter.com/maqueripe
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20643885-black-widow-witch

Other books:

Affairs of the Dead http:// www.amazon.com/Affairs-of-the-Dead-ebook/dp/B00CF0OWAW/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366379644&sr=1-6&keywords=affairs+of+the+dead
Elemental Inferno http:// www.amazon.com/Elemental-Inferno-A-J-Locke-ebook/dp/B00GWO0Z26/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385425858&sr=8-1&keywords=elemental+inferno

The Howling Heart by April Bostic

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An Excerpt:

Chapter Two

The dream lingered when I arrived for work. I sat at my desk and immediately booted my laptop. I should’ve been reading company e-mail, but I went on the Internet, instead. After a quick Google search, I found a photo of a white wolf and saved it as my wallpaper. I immediately closed the browser, my eyes darting around the office. I had to be cautious when browsing the Web. My boss could walk by at any minute, and she didn’t tolerate a moment of company time spent indulging in personal, online pleasures. If she caught you, you had better have a convincing reason, or she’d fire you on the spot.

I took my position seriously and enjoyed my dream job at Elle, a prestigious fashion magazine. I started as an intern five years ago while I was a freshman at New York University. When I graduated last year, they offered me a position as the Assistant to the Creative Editor.

Nina Fuentes is my boss and one of the most respected Creative Editors in the magazine industry. She’s also the first Latina to hold the position at Elle. I’ve always been ambitious and hoped to sit in her office one day instead of outside of it.

My phone rang, and I heard our receptionist, Lacey’s, voice on the other end.

“Nina is on her way up and wants to see you in her office, now.” Her voice sounded serious.

“Sure, but how did Nina sound when she called you? Did she sound pissed off?” I nibbled my bottom lip nervously.

Lacey giggled. “No, she sounded normal. I don’t think you’re in trouble.”

I released a breath. Although I’m ambitious, I tend to be a little absentminded at the wrong times. It’s never intentional, and I hope I hadn’t exhausted Nina’s patience. I couldn’t count the number of instances where I thought she’d fire me. I guess she realized I had potential if I could organize myself better. The BlackBerry she gave me really helped, and I’d gone five months without forgetting anything important. That was a record for me. She was the one who hired me as an intern. I thought that perhaps she saw me as her protégé. Any opportunity she presented to me, I always tried to impress her and give 110%.

After I hung up the phone, I walked swiftly to Nina’s office. I should be sitting in her office when she arrives, not the other way around.

The door to her office was open, so I took a seat on the other side of her massive, birch wood desk. She’s meticulous about her belongings, and everyone in the office knows never to touch anything unless she gives you permission. I sat patiently with my hands folded in my lap and watched the second-hand tick on the fourteen-karat gold Tiffany clock on her desk. I heard her voice within close distance, so I quickly retrieved my BlackBerry from my pocket. In addition to working on my absentmindedness, I worked hard on my preparation skills.

I heard Nina’s voice behind me, her Spanish accent prominent. “Ah, Paige. I needed to see you.”

I turned my neck to look at her, but she quickly walked to her desk. She wore a turquoise dress by Donna Karan featured in this month’s issue, and silver pumps with stiletto heels that clicked on the floor. My gaze followed her every move intently. I was secretly envious. Nina always dressed like she could be photographed at any moment.

“Yes, is everything all right?”

Her black tresses were styled bone-straight with a part in the middle. She put her Coach bag on the desk before she sat in her cream leather office chair. She didn’t answer me right away, and I just looked into her toffee brown eyes in anticipation.

She smirked and lifted an arched brow. “Don’t worry. You’re not in trouble.”

I sighed in relief before I let out a nervous laugh. “Oh, that’s good.”

“I wanted to thank you for helping us get Hilary Duff for the August cover. I saw her photos from the shoot, and they’re beautiful.” She smiled brilliantly with perfect Veneers and leaned back in her chair.

“You’re welcome. When Keira Knightley canceled, I knew Warren would be pulling his hair out and running around like a headless chicken trying to find a replacement. I had the contact number for Hilary’s publicist, so I figured it was worth a shot.”

“When Farrah was injured and went on disability, you stepped in and took the lead on her unfinished projects. The people from Burberry told me they were very impressed with you. I want you to know I appreciate you coming through for us in times of desperation.” Her voice lowered. “I know I don’t always thank you.” She leaned toward me and crossed her arms on the desk. “I’ve noticed how hard you’ve been working.” She paused and sighed. “I know you’ve had problems organizing, but you’ve improved tremendously. I think it’s time we recognize everything you’ve accomplished here.”

I felt my blue eyes widen. The anticipation to hear the rest of her conversation was killing me.

With a smile, she said, “As you know, we’re doing a shoot in three weeks for Vera Wang’s new Princess bridal line.”

I unconsciously leaned toward her and felt my BlackBerry about to slip out of my sweaty palm. I clutched it tightly.

“I want you to lead the project. I’m giving you full creative control. This will be your photo shoot. Consult with me if you need anything that requires my approval.”

I gasped, and her shimmering, glossed lips spread into a wide grin. “You do know what this means, don’t you?”

I swallowed against a nervous lump in my throat, and my voice was a pathetic croak. “No…what?”

She leaned back again but tapped her French manicured nails atop the desk. “I’m promoting you to Creative Designer.”

I squeezed the life out of my BlackBerry. I was so stunned that I gaped openly.

“Yes, you’re excited. I know. I can tell,” she said dryly.

I smiled in relief, and this time, I could appropriately express my gratitude. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

She started typing on her laptop, indicating she was dismissing me. I rose slowly from the chair, because my knees felt weak.

As I turned to walk out, she said, “Wait, I need you to get Marc Jacobs on the phone. I must speak with him as soon as possible.”

“Sure, right away!” I scurried toward the door.

“Oh, and Paige…”

I paused in the doorway and whirled around. “Yes?”

She gave me a hard look. “Don’t let me down.”

I hoped she could hear the earnest conviction in my voice. “I won’t…I promise.”

After I connected Nina with Marc, I went downstairs to the Advertising department to share my promotion news with my boyfriend, Trevor, who worked as a Junior Executive. Relationships in the workplace were not encouraged, but we’ve successfully kept ours a secret for the last six months.

Excitement filled me as I walked swiftly down the hallway. His office had a giant window facing the hall, and what I saw inside made me halt my steps. He had a visitor, and they seemed a little too close for my comfort. Heather, one of the project leaders, was a smitten schoolgirl while she chatted with my man. With her legs crossed, her short, black skirt rode high up her thigh as she sat casually on the arm of his loveseat.

I slowed my steps and proceeded with caution. I didn’t want to jump to conclusions, so I continued to observe them. Trevor has always been outgoing and friendly with everyone, but his demeanor toward Heather caused me concern, especially the way he hovered over her and rested his hand on that exposed thigh.

She flipped her long, blonde hair over one shoulder and dipped her head back as she laughed. I knew that move—expose the curvature of your neck so he wants to put his mouth there. Her tangerine top was cut ridiculously low this afternoon and showed more cleavage than was professionally necessary. The closer I crept, the more details I noticed. Her black lace bra peeked out from underneath her top, and Trevor’s long fingers made small circles against her skin.

When Heather put her hand on his cheek, and he encouraged her by moving in closer, I entered his office without knocking. The doorstop twanged as I swung the door open. Trevor jumped away from her, and his hand went to his chestnut hair in a nervous gesture.

He stammered, “Oh hey, Paige. What’s up?” Then, he cleared his throat and glanced warily at Heather.

Busted.

I stood with a fake smile plastered on my face. “Hi, Trevor. Got a minute?”

He returned a tight smile. Then, he focused his blue-gray eyes back on Heather. “Could you excuse us?”

She sucked in her cheeks and threw me a superior look.

I lifted an eyebrow and put a hand on my hip. Bitch, I dare you to say something to me.

She took her time getting up, almost reluctantly. Rolling her blue eyes, she huffed in annoyance. “Yeah, whatever.”

I held her steely glare as she walked past me, and I was tempted to extend my foot. In my mind’s eye, I saw her fall ungraciously into a heap of slutty clothes and cheap hair extensions. I heard her voice behind me, sounding like a seductive purr.

“Talk to you later, Trev.”

Trevor gave her a dismissive wave. “Okay, yeah.”

I heard Heather’s footsteps until they faded around the corner. I waited for Trevor to explain, but he just looked at me with a blank expression. I guess my hard stare was making him uncomfortable, because he moved to sit behind his desk.

“What’s up?”

I marched up to his desk. “What’s up? I should be asking you that question. What’s up with you and Heather? What was that about? You guys were a little too chummy, don’t you think? Your hand was on her thigh, and you looked like you were going to kiss her.” My jealousy bubbled just below the surface, now.

Trevor wouldn’t meet my gaze, and I felt my anger rising. To think that I came here, excited to share my good news. Thanks for bursting my happy bubble with your playboy tendencies.

“I was bribing her, because I need her help with something,” he said nonchalantly. “She’s attracted to me, and I know she’ll give into me if I pretend to flirt with her.”

I scoffed. “Really? You expect me to believe that bullshit?”

He finally met my gaze. “Yes, I do.”

He stood abruptly and came around to the other side of the desk. His six-foot-two stature towered over my five-foot-seven frame.

“I expect you to trust me.”

I sighed. “Yeah…well, it’s difficult when I see you in compromising positions like that.”

His arm encircled my waist. “I’m sorry, babe.” His expression softened. “It was nothing…really. I’m just using my natural, God-given gift of charm to get what I want from her. She means nothing to me.” He winked and gave me a roguish look.

I was about to put my arms around his neck, but I remembered people could see us. My arms remained at my sides.

“What if she wants something else in return? Like a jump in the sack?”

He laughed lightly. “No way. I told her I had a girlfriend.” My eyes widened. “Don’t worry. I didn’t mention your name.”

Deep down, I wished he had.

I sat on one of the chairs in front of his desk. “I came here to tell you some good news.” Trevor smiled and perched himself on the edge of the desk. “Nina promoted me to Creative Designer.”

His brows shot upward. “Really? That’s great, hon.” He put a gentle hand on my shoulder. “Hey, you deserve it,” he said tenderly. “I hear you’re always helping people get out of tight situations and still meet their deadlines. It’s about time Nina recognized it, too.”

“Thanks, baby,” I replied fondly.

He moved from his spot to stand behind me. “Do you know what we should do?”

I felt him massage my shoulders, and a soft moan escaped me. “No…what?”

“We should celebrate.”

“Really? How?”

He moved in front of me, his expression joyous. “What about a little get-together at your apartment? You could serve finger foods and break out the champagne. It’ll be awesome!”

I smiled at his enthusiasm and agreed with his great idea.

My Review :
This book starts off during Paige Donovan’s youth. Her father & mother decide to take a family vacation at a cabin in the Colorado Rockies, unfortunately, her parents are unable to break their normal routine of arguing. After hearing her mother blame part of the problems on her for being too messy, Paige decides to pack a bag & run away. While she’s in the woods that she ran away to, she discovers she ran a lot further than she thought and starts to become scared.
Luckily for Paige, a wolf pup comes to befriend & comfort her. She begins talking to him, and even shares her juice box with him. His pack surrounds them and the young pup convinces his pack that she is a good person, and not to harm her. Paige hears her parents calling her and is able to locate them. When Paige wakes up the next morning she discovers a dead rabbit on her bed. Paige’s mom decides she’s had enough of the cabin, after another dead animal is on Paige’s blanket the following morning.
Fast forward 14 years, and we find Paige dealing with her father’s death, and discovering not only did her father not sell the cabin, but he’s left it to her in his will. Imagine her shock when she discovers wolf prints leading from the window to her bed. After trying unsuccessfully to convince the sheriff that indeed a wolf was in her cabin, she decides to get the neck out of dodge. However, she has a wreck on her way out of town, and is confused when she awakes in the sheriff’s house.
Paige quickly discovers that there is a secret that sheriff & his family are trying to keep from her.
After deciding to stay & discover the secret that the town’s residents are trying to hide, she discovers that the sheriff’s son is the wolf she’d met as a child. Riley convince her that he’s the wolf pup she met as a young girl, and that she’s been his one & only love for all these years.
Paige is faced with wanting to learn about the feelings of love she has for Riley, or leaving for the promotion she’d received the day of her father’s death. Can she give up everything she has, for life as a member of the pack? Or, will the guy who’s always been jealous of Riley & the girl who’s always wanted him, be enough to convince her to head back to New York?

The Howling Heart by

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An Excerpt:

Chapter Two

The dream lingered when I arrived for work. I sat at my desk and immediately booted my laptop. I should’ve been reading company e-mail, but I went on the Internet, instead. After a quick Google search, I found a photo of a white wolf and saved it as my wallpaper. I immediately closed the browser, my eyes darting around the office. I had to be cautious when browsing the Web. My boss could walk by at any minute, and she didn’t tolerate a moment of company time spent indulging in personal, online pleasures. If she caught you, you had better have a convincing reason, or she’d fire you on the spot.

I took my position seriously and enjoyed my dream job at Elle, a prestigious fashion magazine. I started as an intern five years ago while I was a freshman at New York University. When I graduated last year, they offered me a position as the Assistant to the Creative Editor.

Nina Fuentes is my boss and one of the most respected Creative Editors in the magazine industry. She’s also the first Latina to hold the position at Elle. I’ve always been ambitious and hoped to sit in her office one day instead of outside of it.

My phone rang, and I heard our receptionist, Lacey’s, voice on the other end.

“Nina is on her way up and wants to see you in her office, now.” Her voice sounded serious.

“Sure, but how did Nina sound when she called you? Did she sound pissed off?” I nibbled my bottom lip nervously.

Lacey giggled. “No, she sounded normal. I don’t think you’re in trouble.”

I released a breath. Although I’m ambitious, I tend to be a little absentminded at the wrong times. It’s never intentional, and I hope I hadn’t exhausted Nina’s patience. I couldn’t count the number of instances where I thought she’d fire me. I guess she realized I had potential if I could organize myself better. The BlackBerry she gave me really helped, and I’d gone five months without forgetting anything important. That was a record for me. She was the one who hired me as an intern. I thought that perhaps she saw me as her protégé. Any opportunity she presented to me, I always tried to impress her and give 110%.

After I hung up the phone, I walked swiftly to Nina’s office. I should be sitting in her office when she arrives, not the other way around.

The door to her office was open, so I took a seat on the other side of her massive, birch wood desk. She’s meticulous about her belongings, and everyone in the office knows never to touch anything unless she gives you permission. I sat patiently with my hands folded in my lap and watched the second-hand tick on the fourteen-karat gold Tiffany clock on her desk. I heard her voice within close distance, so I quickly retrieved my BlackBerry from my pocket. In addition to working on my absentmindedness, I worked hard on my preparation skills.

I heard Nina’s voice behind me, her Spanish accent prominent. “Ah, Paige. I needed to see you.”

I turned my neck to look at her, but she quickly walked to her desk. She wore a turquoise dress by Donna Karan featured in this month’s issue, and silver pumps with stiletto heels that clicked on the floor. My gaze followed her every move intently. I was secretly envious. Nina always dressed like she could be photographed at any moment.

“Yes, is everything all right?”

Her black tresses were styled bone-straight with a part in the middle. She put her Coach bag on the desk before she sat in her cream leather office chair. She didn’t answer me right away, and I just looked into her toffee brown eyes in anticipation.

She smirked and lifted an arched brow. “Don’t worry. You’re not in trouble.”

I sighed in relief before I let out a nervous laugh. “Oh, that’s good.”

“I wanted to thank you for helping us get Hilary Duff for the August cover. I saw her photos from the shoot, and they’re beautiful.” She smiled brilliantly with perfect Veneers and leaned back in her chair.

“You’re welcome. When Keira Knightley canceled, I knew Warren would be pulling his hair out and running around like a headless chicken trying to find a replacement. I had the contact number for Hilary’s publicist, so I figured it was worth a shot.”

“When Farrah was injured and went on disability, you stepped in and took the lead on her unfinished projects. The people from Burberry told me they were very impressed with you. I want you to know I appreciate you coming through for us in times of desperation.” Her voice lowered. “I know I don’t always thank you.” She leaned toward me and crossed her arms on the desk. “I’ve noticed how hard you’ve been working.” She paused and sighed. “I know you’ve had problems organizing, but you’ve improved tremendously. I think it’s time we recognize everything you’ve accomplished here.”

I felt my blue eyes widen. The anticipation to hear the rest of her conversation was killing me.

With a smile, she said, “As you know, we’re doing a shoot in three weeks for Vera Wang’s new Princess bridal line.”

I unconsciously leaned toward her and felt my BlackBerry about to slip out of my sweaty palm. I clutched it tightly.

“I want you to lead the project. I’m giving you full creative control. This will be your photo shoot. Consult with me if you need anything that requires my approval.”

I gasped, and her shimmering, glossed lips spread into a wide grin. “You do know what this means, don’t you?”

I swallowed against a nervous lump in my throat, and my voice was a pathetic croak. “No…what?”

She leaned back again but tapped her French manicured nails atop the desk. “I’m promoting you to Creative Designer.”

I squeezed the life out of my BlackBerry. I was so stunned that I gaped openly.

“Yes, you’re excited. I know. I can tell,” she said dryly.

I smiled in relief, and this time, I could appropriately express my gratitude. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

She started typing on her laptop, indicating she was dismissing me. I rose slowly from the chair, because my knees felt weak.

As I turned to walk out, she said, “Wait, I need you to get Marc Jacobs on the phone. I must speak with him as soon as possible.”

“Sure, right away!” I scurried toward the door.

“Oh, and Paige…”

I paused in the doorway and whirled around. “Yes?”

She gave me a hard look. “Don’t let me down.”

I hoped she could hear the earnest conviction in my voice. “I won’t…I promise.”

After I connected Nina with Marc, I went downstairs to the Advertising department to share my promotion news with my boyfriend, Trevor, who worked as a Junior Executive. Relationships in the workplace were not encouraged, but we’ve successfully kept ours a secret for the last six months.

Excitement filled me as I walked swiftly down the hallway. His office had a giant window facing the hall, and what I saw inside made me halt my steps. He had a visitor, and they seemed a little too close for my comfort. Heather, one of the project leaders, was a smitten schoolgirl while she chatted with my man. With her legs crossed, her short, black skirt rode high up her thigh as she sat casually on the arm of his loveseat.

I slowed my steps and proceeded with caution. I didn’t want to jump to conclusions, so I continued to observe them. Trevor has always been outgoing and friendly with everyone, but his demeanor toward Heather caused me concern, especially the way he hovered over her and rested his hand on that exposed thigh.

She flipped her long, blonde hair over one shoulder and dipped her head back as she laughed. I knew that move—expose the curvature of your neck so he wants to put his mouth there. Her tangerine top was cut ridiculously low this afternoon and showed more cleavage than was professionally necessary. The closer I crept, the more details I noticed. Her black lace bra peeked out from underneath her top, and Trevor’s long fingers made small circles against her skin.

When Heather put her hand on his cheek, and he encouraged her by moving in closer, I entered his office without knocking. The doorstop twanged as I swung the door open. Trevor jumped away from her, and his hand went to his chestnut hair in a nervous gesture.

He stammered, “Oh hey, Paige. What’s up?” Then, he cleared his throat and glanced warily at Heather.

Busted.

I stood with a fake smile plastered on my face. “Hi, Trevor. Got a minute?”

He returned a tight smile. Then, he focused his blue-gray eyes back on Heather. “Could you excuse us?”

She sucked in her cheeks and threw me a superior look.

I lifted an eyebrow and put a hand on my hip. Bitch, I dare you to say something to me.

She took her time getting up, almost reluctantly. Rolling her blue eyes, she huffed in annoyance. “Yeah, whatever.”

I held her steely glare as she walked past me, and I was tempted to extend my foot. In my mind’s eye, I saw her fall ungraciously into a heap of slutty clothes and cheap hair extensions. I heard her voice behind me, sounding like a seductive purr.

“Talk to you later, Trev.”

Trevor gave her a dismissive wave. “Okay, yeah.”

I heard Heather’s footsteps until they faded around the corner. I waited for Trevor to explain, but he just looked at me with a blank expression. I guess my hard stare was making him uncomfortable, because he moved to sit behind his desk.

“What’s up?”

I marched up to his desk. “What’s up? I should be asking you that question. What’s up with you and Heather? What was that about? You guys were a little too chummy, don’t you think? Your hand was on her thigh, and you looked like you were going to kiss her.” My jealousy bubbled just below the surface, now.

Trevor wouldn’t meet my gaze, and I felt my anger rising. To think that I came here, excited to share my good news. Thanks for bursting my happy bubble with your playboy tendencies.

“I was bribing her, because I need her help with something,” he said nonchalantly. “She’s attracted to me, and I know she’ll give into me if I pretend to flirt with her.”

I scoffed. “Really? You expect me to believe that bullshit?”

He finally met my gaze. “Yes, I do.”

He stood abruptly and came around to the other side of the desk. His six-foot-two stature towered over my five-foot-seven frame.

“I expect you to trust me.”

I sighed. “Yeah…well, it’s difficult when I see you in compromising positions like that.”

His arm encircled my waist. “I’m sorry, babe.” His expression softened. “It was nothing…really. I’m just using my natural, God-given gift of charm to get what I want from her. She means nothing to me.” He winked and gave me a roguish look.

I was about to put my arms around his neck, but I remembered people could see us. My arms remained at my sides.

“What if she wants something else in return? Like a jump in the sack?”

He laughed lightly. “No way. I told her I had a girlfriend.” My eyes widened. “Don’t worry. I didn’t mention your name.”

Deep down, I wished he had.

I sat on one of the chairs in front of his desk. “I came here to tell you some good news.” Trevor smiled and perched himself on the edge of the desk. “Nina promoted me to Creative Designer.”

His brows shot upward. “Really? That’s great, hon.” He put a gentle hand on my shoulder. “Hey, you deserve it,” he said tenderly. “I hear you’re always helping people get out of tight situations and still meet their deadlines. It’s about time Nina recognized it, too.”

“Thanks, baby,” I replied fondly.

He moved from his spot to stand behind me. “Do you know what we should do?”

I felt him massage my shoulders, and a soft moan escaped me. “No…what?”

“We should celebrate.”

“Really? How?”

He moved in front of me, his expression joyous. “What about a little get-together at your apartment? You could serve finger foods and break out the champagne. It’ll be awesome!”

I smiled at his enthusiasm and agreed with his great idea.

My Review :
This book starts off during Paige Donovan’s youth. Her father & mother decide to take a family vacation at a cabin in the Colorado Rockies, unfortunately, her parents are unable to break their normal routine of arguing. After hearing her mother blame part of the problems on her for being too messy, Paige decides to pack a bag & run away. While she’s in the woods that she ran away to, she discovers she ran a lot further than she thought and starts to become scared.
Luckily for Paige, a wolf pup comes to befriend & comfort her. She begins talking to him, and even shares her juice box with him. His pack surrounds them and the young pup convinces his pack that she is a good person, and not to harm her. Paige hears her parents calling her and is able to locate them. When Paige wakes up the next morning she discovers a dead rabbit on her bed. Paige’s mom decides she’s had enough of the cabin, after another dead animal is on Paige’s blanket the following morning.
Fast forward 14 years, and we find Paige dealing with her father’s death, and discovering not only did her father not sell the cabin, but he’s left it to her in his will. Imagine her shock when she discovers wolf prints leading from the window to her bed. After trying unsuccessfully to convince the sheriff that indeed a wolf was in her cabin, she decides to get the neck out of dodge. However, she has a wreck on her way out of town, and is confused when she awakes in the sheriff’s house.
Paige quickly discovers that there is a secret that sheriff & his family are trying to keep from her.
After deciding to stay & discover the secret that the town’s residents are trying to hide, she discovers that the sheriff’s son is the wolf she’d met as a child. Riley convince her that he’s the wolf pup she met as a young girl, and that she’s been his one & only love for all these years.
Paige is faced with wanting to learn about the feelings of love she has for Riley, or leaving for the promotion she’d received the day of her father’s death. Can she give up everything she has, for life as a member of the pack? Or, will the guy who’s always been jealous of Riley & the girl who’s always wanted him, be enough to convince her to head back to New York?

The Payment Series by Cassandra Carr

The Payment Series
CASSANDRA CARRPrized

Prized: The Payment series, part 1
After agreeing to a one-year term of service with a benefactor who can pay her debt, Catrina Carter begins training in how to please a man. But will a benefactor be willing to spend such an astronomical sum-one hundred and fifty thousand dollars-just to have her for a year? She’s about to find out.

The Payment Series by Cassandra Carr

Possessed: The Payment series, part 2
Jared, Catrina’s “benefactor”, has agreed to pay off her debt in exchange for one year of service to him. In addition to taking his own pleasure with her, Jared offers Catrina to friends, colleagues, and even total strangers on his whim. But it’s not all fun and pleasure for Jared. As part of the agreement, he’s tasked with helping Catrina get her life back on track. He’ll succeed even if he has to spank every piece of financial information into her, and he finds he just might have to do that.

Purgatory: The Payment series, part 3Purgatory
Catrina has finished her year-long term of service to Jared, her benefactor, who paid all her debt off. Now she’s on her own again. Will she be able to keep the lessons Jared literally spanked into her topmost in her mind, or will old habits rear their designer heads?

Author bio
Cassandra Carr is a multi-award winning erotic romance writer with Ellora’s Cave, Sybarite Seductions/Twenty or Less Press, Decadent Publishing, Siren Publishing, and Loose Id. She lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out online. Cassandra is the co-founder of two successful group blogs, Romancing the Jock and Dirty Birdies, and participates in several others as a contributor. Currently Cassandra also serves as president of Western New York Romance Writers.
For more information about Cassandra, check out her  website,  “like” her  Facebook fan page  or follow her on  Twitter .

Links:
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