Book Reviews now accepted through The Book Escape E-zine. Please contact Jennifer at: thebookescapemag@gmail.com with your blurb, release date, author name, and publisher. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Check out the Amazing Desiree Holt, and her Newest Release, Finding Julia...



 

Not many people now this but I actually started out to write a mystery. Maybe one with slight romantic elements but a mystery nevertheless.  I even had a title—Murder at Mass— and a plot: someone on the Board of Trustees at a small Catholic college murders the chairman of the board while he is alone at afternoon mass, in a small chapel on the campus. It would be a roman a clef—a novel about real life overlaid with fiction. I spent the past ten years of my working life on the executive staff at a small Catholic college so of course all the characters in the book were fictional representations of people I worked with. My staff had a wonderful time helping me plot this, embroider the habits of he characters, figure out the twists and turns.
By the time I retired and my late husband and I moved to Texas, I had a notebook full of outlines, plot points and characters sketches. I was in business, right?
Wrong!
When I finally, three years later, sat down to write, my muse was not only missing, but kidnapped and locked in a dungeon. It took me many laborious days to write three chapters. And rewrite. And rewrite. And rewrite. After three months I was at a complete standstill. Brain freeze. And really, really, really depressed. Where was the writing career I envisioned if I couldn’t even finish one stupid book.
Sigh!
All of this was before ebooks and ereaders, so I, an avid and compulsive reader, belonged to numerous book club. From Doubleday I ordered a book that caught my attention—Cry No More by the in credible Linda Howard. Not only di I then become a Linda Howard addict but I also, when I finished the book, said to myself, Self? This is what you should be writing. Romantic suspense.
I had never even heard the term before. I felt as if I had fallen into an alternate universe. Romance and suspense combined in a story. Okay! I could do that.
I fell in love with Diaz, the hero in Cry No More. The first manuscript I completed (which I sat down to start the very next day) was written in an effort to create my own Diaz—a hero who was emotionally distant but who could step outside his own boundaries to help a woman who truly needed him. The book was titled Run For Your Life, and I thought it was a surefire bestseller.
Not!
It took me five years to sell that book. In the interim I joined a writers group, a critique group (and may I say an essential if you want to be a published author) and wrote other manuscripts. The title was changed and the story received a lot of massage.  But I didn’t just sit around waiting for an acceptance. Nope, not me. I dove right into the next story. And the next one. And the next.
Well, you all know what’s happened since then. I have been blessed with more success than I ever expected to achieve, the most wonderful readers in the world, and yet another career in my life. For me the culmination is the imminent release of Finding Julia, out from Kensington Publishing September 29. And it’s now available for preorder. If you go to the link below, you will find the links to all platforms and formats from Amazon to Kobo.
I hope you will love this book because it is a story from the heart, one it took me a long time to write but one that really represents who I am.


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Referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, Desiree Holt is the world’s oldest living published erotic romance author. A graduate of the University of Michigan with double majors in English and HIstory, her earlier careers include agent and manager in the music industry, public television, associate vice president of university advancement, public relations, and economic development.
She is three times a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award (and a winner in 2014), a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award winner for best BDSM book of the year, and winner of the Holt Medallion for Excellence in Romance Literature.
She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times, The Huffington Post and numerous other national and international publications. She is also the Authors After Dark 2014 Author of the Year.
“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” (Romance Junkies)

Learn more about her and read her novels here:
www.facebook.com/desireeholtauthor
Twitter @desireeholt
Pinterest: desiree02holt
Also on LinkedIn and Google+

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FINDING JULIA EXCERPT:

“Our executive vice president is tied up in a meeting right now,” Howard whispered as the executive staff filed in. “He’s the one who says yea or nay. He’ll join us as soon as he can.”
Great. Would he expect her to do it all over again for him?
She sighed and began her presentation again.
It was well into the afternoon and she was pulling out copies of the proposed budget to distribute when the door to the boardroom opened quietly, and Julia’s stomach dropped to the floor. She felt as if an electric surge slammed into her, plucking at every one of her nerve endings.
The man who silently took a seat at the end of the table wasn’t necessarily handsome, but he was one hundred percent male. Liquid brown eyes were framed by the thickest lashes she had ever seen on a man. She noticed the strong jaw and the lines of character etched on an incredibly masculine face. Straight brown hair, a hint of silver reflecting in the lights, was worn just a little long, giving him a slightly rakehell look.
The classic dark business suit barely concealed the power he radiated. More than that, he exuded an aura of self, of authority, of comfort in his own skin few men were able to attain. She could think of only three words to describe him. Dark. Edgy. Dangerous. In her entire thirty years, no man had ever affected her the way this man did. Certainly not Charles. She clamped down on her reaction, forbidding herself to let her thoughts wander into forbidden territory. As she’d learned, her judgment where men were concerned left a great deal to be desired.
“Let me interrupt a moment.” Manning jumped to his feet. “Julia, meet Lucas Buchanan, our executive vice president. He’s been in another meeting until now.”
“I’m pleased you could join us, Mr. Buchanan.” Julia pasted on her professional smile and hoped her voice sounded firmer to the others than it did to her.
Lucas Buchanan nodded at her. “Luke, please. Sorry to be late. Please don’t let me interrupt.”
She struggled to pick up the threads of what she’d been saying, her brain suddenly addled, and her hands unsteady. It took every ounce of personal discipline to keep focused on her presentation.

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It's a great pleasure to have the very talented, Desiree Holt with us today. I'm a big fan, and this book sounds like yet another amazing read so please enjoy.
Thank you, Desiree for sharing with us. It's great to learn more about you.

Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A New Release with Violet Ingram...

Blurb:
Spending time with a dead guy, being interrogated by the cops and getting stitched up by a cute ER doc wasn’t exactly the evening plans private investigator Kimberly Murphy envisioned. Especially the getting caught standing over a dead body, again, part. Only this time it wasn’t her fault. Just once she’d like it if homicide detective Grant Tompkins didn’t assume she was guilty.
To clear her slightly tarnished name, Kim goes after the clever killer while avoiding a certain hot homicide detective determined to put her in handcuffs – and not the pink, fuzzy kind – not that she’d mind. Too bad Kim’s efforts lead to dead ends and even more dead bodies. Kim will need all her skills and a bit of luck to outwit a killer who’d like to put an end to Kim’s meddling permanently.

Excerpt:
Sunday evening
Cops hate it when you vomit all over their crime scene—a mistake I had no desire to repeat. Then again, the fact I’d just trampled all over this scene was probably a whole new mistake I should have avoided. I stared at the corpse and fought the urge to hurl. If only I hadn’t answered the door, I’d be eating dinner instead of standing in my neighbor’s apartment looking at a dead guy.
Said dead guy was just sitting there in the chair. You would think he was asleep—if not for all the blood and guts spilled onto his lap. I tore my eyes from him and asked the question I most wanted the answer to.
“What the heck did you hit him with?”
Lindsay dropped the strand of blonde hair she’d been twirling and glanced down at the floor. “My shoe.”
“Huh?”
“I’ve already told you. Twice. I hit him with my shoe.”
“Damn it, Lindsay, you can’t kill someone with a shoe!”
“Hello, they’re Via Spiga.”



Death by High Heels available at:

Contact info:
Facebook:  Violet Ingram
Twitter:  @violetingram


Author Bio:
Violet Ingram is a wife, mother, and author. She and her husband have been married for over 24 years and they have 5 children.
Violet’s love of books was the direct result of having spent Saturday mornings going to libraries with her mom. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Encyclopedia Brown were the first books she fell in love with.
Violet lives in the Midwest where she is busy at work on her next book.

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Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~


Monday, September 22, 2014

Hot Older Couples & An Awesome GIVEAWAY with Karen Kennedy Samoranos...

On Aging and Readership

I was asked why I chose to write an Erotic Romance novel that portrays two lovers who qualify as either pre-menopausal or a borderline senior citizen. Writing these MCs in The Secret Life of Richard McCoy wasn’t intentional, but an evolution of sorts. I wanted to write characters I could relate with, who lived healthfully, possessed prodigious sexual appetites, combined with intellect and a well-developed wit.

But I think the real point here is the aging of an author’s readership, and may be more receptive to the concept of “older” MCs finding love and having hot, multiply orgasmic sexual interludes.

The original intention of writing The Secret Life of Richard McCoy was to showcase the resiliency of the human spirit. The female MC, Sally, overcomes many abrupt changes in her life over thirty years—building a career in a male-dominated sport (Grand Prix racing), only to experience the enormous life-changing event when she nearly dies in a track accident. Fear of living becomes her greatest challenge, so when Sally is suddenly faced with the prospect of handling her late husband’s financial and extra-marital issues that had been carefully hidden away, her own inner strength is tested. She artfully rises to the challenge with grace but out apology. As I wrote this novel, I realized I was prefacing more than Sally’s personal journey, I was also demonstrating that having a hot sex life after the age of fifty doesn’t have to rely on interventions like Viagra. Living healthy, being in tune with one’s body and spirit, and finding your soul mate serve as the essence of great lovemaking.
* * * *

An author of Fiction Noir, and Erotic Romance, Karen Kennedy Samoranos co-manages a music education business in the Bay Area with her husband, Clifford, focusing on jazz theory and live stage performance for children ages 5 through 18. She has four adult children, and four young grandchildren. In her off hours, she hikes, is an avid fisherman, and motorcyclist (both dirt and street), and an advocate for regular exercise, the modest consumption of red wine, and adherence to whole foods. 

Buy Links for The Secret Life of Richard McCoy:





EXCERPT:
         “If it’s something you can’t change, ma’am, I’d understand,” said Vic. “What’s done is done.”
         She didn’t know if he was referring to Richard’s death, or her husband’s personal and financial indiscretions, though it would be preposterous for Vic to have knowledge of Richard’s overall misconduct.
         “But,” he went on, “if it’s a matter of money, then I have a proposal for you.”
         She imagined he would ask to whisk away the sexual agitation that had been building these last few weeks. She wouldn’t mind putting her faith in a well-built man who oozed with vitality. Speculating beyond his flannel shirt and blue jeans, she envisioned his naked body. Would he have hair on every square inch of flesh, or only in specific areas? Because Sally didn’t mind a little hair, though a cloak of fur was just out of the question.
         “It’s not about finances,” she assured, crossing her legs tightly beneath the table, which only made matters worse for her throbbing crotch. A vision of his lips tweaking her nipples flashed through her mind, and she blushed deeply.
         “Mrs. McCoy, if you’re hell-bent on selling then why not sell only forty-nine percent of the winery to your employees and retain control of fifty-one percent?”
         “Why not?” she said, futilely trying to put aside her oversexed drama.
         She was relieved Vic Callahan hadn’t asked to sleep with her, though she was disappointed that he wouldn’t be servicing her physical needs. What a perfect arrangement it would be, a virile man at her disposal and too past his prime to demand carnal access to her morning, noon, and night, like a sex-crazed college student. Not that she’d mind, but—
         “Mrs. McCoy, are you all right?” Vic asked, because her eyes had a faraway quality, and her cheeks were flushed.
         “Yes. I’m fine,” she said, annoyed with her sexual single-mindedness. She imagined the expression of idiocy on her face. She couldn’t support her cause as a widow with wherewithal by behaving as though she had brain damage, when all she needed was a vigorous roll in the hay.
         “I’m sorry, Mr. Callahan, I am considering your suggestion. It actually makes a lot of sense financially.”
         “Thank you, Mrs. McCoy. Seems to me companies do better when they’re employee owned. And this way, you’d still get to keep major control of the winery.”
         “It’s a very intelligent idea,” she agreed. She pushed away from the table, and stood, feeling the heat disperse from her inner thighs. She hoped he wouldn’t pick up on her horniness from his side of the room.
         Vic got up quickly, and placed his hat on his head.
         “Thank you, ma’am. Now, if I were you, thinking about selling a share of my winery, I’d pay for a smart attorney to keep in my pocket, one that’s versed in corporate law, to make sure I don’t get screwed.”
         Screwed. She burned at that word intoned in Vic’s voice, and involuntarily licked her lips.
         He smiled again, and she clenched her teeth to keep from reacting on a physical level. The man spoke with care in low tones and she supposed his face would eventually look like soft leather from years of exposure to the sun and wind. But at this age, he was attractive, his eyes sharp, and mannerisms infinitely seductive. That physically conditioned body of his was…well, beautiful came to mind, though she figured a man would be less inclined to consider this description of his own physique acceptable.
         She decided he was sexy then, a must-ride. She could feel herself getting wet at the mere thought of straddling Vic Callahan buckaroo, draped across his willing hips, and feeling the smooth stroking of a stiff cock that surely must match his lithe, ageless build. Maybe he would grip her waist with those strong hands, encircling her naked buttocks, and draw her in.
         She let her eyes rove, taking in his broad shoulders and wide chest, curving into muscled loins and a round posterior, a body a woman could enjoy in an erotic sense, even if the man who owned it seemed impervious to love. They were matched closely in height. The thought of kissing a man as enticing as Vic with a mere tilt of the chin made her heart pound. She wondered how his whiskers would feel brushing across her nipples and imagined pulling him in by his narrow hips, wrapping her legs around him while he thrust into her, uttering primal groans of pleasure in her ear—

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Wow, what a great read. Thank you for sharing with us Karen!

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Karen has generously decided to give and e-book copy of the book to one lucky commenter. So please leave a comment with your email address' at the bottom of this post for a chance to win it!

We'll announce the winner on Friday September 26th.

Good luck!

Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Deleted Scenes & New Releases with Palessa...

That Delicious Ache: Deleted Scene from Story of Us

If you had the chance to take back that one person who you loved with everything but who left you broken in so many pieces, would you? I'm talking about that person who you swore you would have children with, grow old with and just die with.  It's hard to give up on that kind of love because it's such a deep obsession that you would take any chance, any risk to resume it.

Take the case of Emiline Woodbridge and Julian Baxter. They were each other's first love and it was a powerful kind of love that made everyone who saw them together both envious and happy. But when a well-placed lie forces Julian to do the unthinkable, Emiline is the one who's faced with the decision.

Here's a deleted scene from Baxter Family Saga 3: Story of Us
Julian along with a few of his managers finished setting up his spot at the trade show conference. Baxter Chemicals was slowly getting back to rights after the rumors. It had taken him all this time to regain the reputation and put everyone's mind at ease. He looked at the wedding band on his finger and shook his head. Many seemed surprised by the news of his marriage to Joan but none more so than he was. For her part, she was trying to make the best of it but it took all his strength to be in the same room with her much less the same bed.

On their wedding night, all he could think about was Emiline, how responsive and beautiful she was. That got him through that night and few others since. Now that she was pregnant, he didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Joan's lecherous uncle made it a point to congratulate them on their joyous news and all he wanted to do was vomit.

What was done couldn't be undone, much like his father's marriage to his mother. He had barely spoken to his parents since the wedding and when he did see them, his father looked withdrawn, steeped in loathing. His once youthful visage had aged by a dozen years in a matter of months. His mother's wit was  more acerbic than ever and she used it more on herself than anyone else.
In the midst of his discontented musing, Julian saw her. She had her back to him, talking to an older man as he gave her some papers. Before he knew what he was doing, his feet were making their way to her.

"Excuse me," Julian saw her back stiffen when she heard him.

Emiline didn't dare turn around. Even after all this time, she remembered his beautiful eyes and how she loved peering into them. She graciously excused herself and walked away.

Julian quickly followed. Her pace was quick as she deftly maneuvered her way around every human obstacle in her path.

"Em, please." Julian cried, his voice taut. They were attracting some stares but neither cared.

Questioning why she was running, she stopped short and turned to him. "How dare you, Julian." She spat defiantly. Her hostility was not just against him but against the feelings he was stirring within her. The  feeling she had successfully convinced herself she no longer had until the moment she heard his voice. "You have no right to call my name or even speak to me as if we were friends."
Julian absorbed her verbal slap. She had a right to it but he had a right to grab the one moment of happiness he had since he married Joan.

Emiline walked away from him down the corridor past a few vacant rooms, looking for the exit.   Desperate, Julian caught her by the elbow and pulled her into one of them, eliciting a squeal along with a few choice words. He pushed her against the door, shutting it loudly. Even with the barrier of clothes between them, Julian could feel the heat emanating from her. He could smell that delicious sweet scent that made him heady every time they made love. 

Emiline looked at him. The man she loved to madness, whom she had wanted to have a house full of kids with, the man she would do anything for was in pain. His eyes held a deep sadness that made her heart tremble with grief. She still loved him.

“I'm sorry. I...” He leaned back, not pressing against her as heavily but he still held her because he missed he skin on his. “This wasn't how it was supposed to be.”

“I begged for you to tell me, Julian. I begged you to let me in and you slammed the door in my face. After everything, you just did that so easily.”

“It was anything but easy, Em.” She could see that same powerless look he had that night at her house.

With a trembling had, Emiline cupped the side of his face. Julian closed his eyes and leaned into her touch. He grabbed her hand and kissed her palm.

Unable to help herself, Emiline brushed his lips with her own. It was all it took for the passion to ignite as Julian held the back of her neck and pulled her to him. Her body was flush against his and he let his other hand wander down her back as his mouth devoured hers.

Emiline groaned as she felt his hardness against her stomach. She had been numb for so long that even the faintest touch from the only man she loved made her drunk.

“I missed you so much, Em.” his voice was breathy and gruff. “I missed your smell, your taste, the feel of you. She's not you.”

She.

That was the chain that yanked Emiline back to reality. She pulled away leaving Julian dazed and wobbly. He was no longer hers. He had left her cold and dead inside for months after shattering her heart. She would be damned if she would settle for his crumbs.

Pushing him gently away from her, it would take a force of will to calm her body back from the edge. Emiline straightened herself as best she could without a mirror. She touched her lips and made a mental note to reapply her glaze later.

Emiline looked at Julian, his eyes pleading and vulnerable. “Go back to your wife, Julian. There's nothing more for you here.”

For more about Julian and Emiline love, read Story of Us: http://amzn.to/Y5LnPe


About Story of Us
A Well-placed Lie...
Sadie MacManus dreams of having her own fashion house, much like up-and-coming French designer Dior. An unwanted and invisible orphan during WWII, her self-reliance and love for fashion are the only things she can count on. But Paris takes money. Thanks to a few little white lies, she trains and becomes a top notch secretary, good enough to grace the offices of Capitol Hill. With that opportunity, she earn by day so that she can keep her dream alive at night. Paris is getting closer…as long as she sticks to the plan.

Congressman-at-large Edward Baxter, nicknamed the Whirlwind of Washington uses his cleverness and smarts to get what he wants from the Hill. If he keeps it up, he may well be in line for one of the top spots one day; that is as long as the secrets of his life stay hidden. He's a dogged politician, a man focused on doing his best for the people of the country but he longs for something more to care about.
When Sadie and Edward first meet, it isn't exactly love at first sight. She is young, serious, and focused while he was always on the move wheeling and dealing. But through a series of events and encouragement from an unlikely source, they find their way into each other's arms and hearts.
They are at their happiest when an unexpected enemy threatens the career and life Edward had so carefully crafted. Decisions are made and lives are forced to change, including that of Edward's only son, Julian, who must do the unthinkable to save his family and the Baxter Chemicals legacy.
It's the story of how one family was brought to its knees by a well-placed lie and how it's haunted them for three generations until one belated act of love finally heals their heartbreak.


About Palessa:

Palessa started reading her first romance novel, at the age of 11. Then she got introduced to V.C. Andrews, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Anne Rice and many more notable contemporary authors as well as some of the classics, Age of Innocence, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Great Gatsby and others. It was during her teenage years that she dabbled in writing. First, it was in her diaries, then she started creating characters, stories about romance, the supernatural and much more. Being an International Baccalaureate student as well as entering college, left little time for writing and so she put it and the ideas aside to pursue a career. It would take almost 20 years, a radical move from the city she grew up in, Miami, FL back to her Caribbean birthplace, and a chance Facebook meeting with Sable Hunter to start the juices flowing again. After some fits and starts, the Baxter Family Saga was born. Unchained Hearts is Palessa's first published fiction book with Beau Coup Publishing. Book 2: Portrait of Gray was released April 2014 and Book 3 will be out Aug/Sept 2014. She considers herself just a storyteller that sees no reason to shy away from the juicier romantic elements. She currently lives in the mountains of Jamaica with her crazy, cracker-munching-mutt Ivy and a farm, primarily managed by agribusiness partner, also known as Dad.

Check out Palessa on:
Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/1edEviD

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In honor of the new release of Story of Us, Book 2, Portrait of Gray is on sale for just $1.89 from 9/19/2014 – 9/21/2014
Here's a sneak peek:


"Close your eyes," she ordered.

"What?"

"Just do it."

Grayson complied. He heard a rustling sound, light footsteps, and then she said, "Open your mouth." He tried to partially open one eye and she barked, "No peeking."

When he did, she gently placed something round. He closed his mouth and when he broke the chocolate shell, molten lava of milk chocolate coated his tongue.

"Oh my God," he moaned, chewing. "What is this?"

"My cousin came back from Switzerland and brought these truffle balls. She snuck them in a stuffed animal with a note. I tasted one and I couldn't stop. Good thing she sent me two bags."

Chocolate was on the list of forbidden foods for many of the residents. It wasn't that they could never eat it, but at a time when their bodies were so new to the healing process, milk chocolate could trigger a blood sugar spike, according to Damian.

Looking at Bindi, Grayson narrowed his eyes. "How many have you had?"

"Three or four," she admitted coyly. He kept staring at her. "Maybe seven or eight."

He made a quick dash and grabbed the bear, holding it high. "I think I should store these with me for safe keeping."

"Like hell you will," she said, jumping to try and get the bear from him. Why did he have to be so damn tall and why wasn't her five-foot-eight height enough? She stopped momentarily, breathing heavily and growling at the satisfied look on his face. She had to wipe it off and that was when she came up with a different tactic. Narrowing her eyes, she poked him in the ribs. That produced the reaction she needed as he gasped and lowered his arms. She did it again and Grayson felt his knees weaken. It was a good thing the bed was right behind him. He had no idea he was even ticklish and unfortunately had no way to fight back against the assault.

Bindi grinned evilly, enjoying the torture she was inflicting. He was laughing so hard that he couldn't breathe and if he was ever going to survive this he had to stop her. He put his arms around her and held her close to him. She squealed and laughed, pleading for him to let her go and give her the bear. She got an arm free and reached for it, her breasts brushing against his chest. Their laughter was dying down. Her hot breath moistened his lips. He looked into her eyes and saw them burning bright. He’d never seen a more beautiful sight in his life.

They leaned into each other and their lips met. At first it was tentative, tender, as if they were testing and teasing each other. Then their passions flared and their tongues fought for delicious domination. Grayson moaned. A part of him wanted to run away. The intensity he felt overwhelmed him.

Sensing his trepidation, Bindi pulled away. "It feels like it's your first time, doesn't it?" Grayson nodded, his breath ragged. "It's like you don't know what to do and you just want to run away."

"How did you know?" he asked her.


Bindi got up from him and she slowly unbuttoned her shirt, keeping her eyes on his. There it was, that sensuous curve he remembered from that night at the pond. He stared at her, licking his lips. "I've been there. The sensations of pleasure you feel, it's like you're drowning and need to come up for air." She unhooked her bra and gently shrugged it off. Her succulent breasts spilled over and Grayson felt his manhood come to life. She unbuttoned her skirt, then discarded it along with her panties. She stood there fully naked and unashamed....

Grab your copy of Portrait of Gray on sale 9/19-9/21: http://amzn.to/1lBpfGD

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Thank you for joining us today, Palessa.

Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~
http://www.jenniferlabelle.com