Top 5 Wednesday | Favorite LGBTQ+ Reads (19th Apr ’17)

Hello everyone~ Wow, the last time I posted for T5W was March :O

For all those new people who doesn’t know what T5W is… T5W is a discussion group on Goodreads, created by Lainey, and now hosted by Sam. Each Wednesday (duh!) we’ll post our top 5 list (sometimes more) based on the given topics.

This week’s topic is Favorite LGBTQ+ Reads. This has got to be one of my favourite topics ever. The topic is kind of self-explanatory, but to make it clearer, for today’s topic, we’ll get to talk about our favorite books that feature LGBTQ+ characters or are by LGBTQ+ authors. Unfortunately, my LGBTQ+ reads are limited to books featuring only GB and Q.
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Blog Tour: Angelbound by Christina Bauer — Book Review + Giveaway

Title: Angelbound (Angelbound Origins #1)
Author: Christina Bauer
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: December 30th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Star Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

*Now an audio book!*

Eighteen-year-old Myla Lewis is a girl who loves two things: kicking ass and kicking ass. She’s not your everyday quasi-demon, half-demon, and half-human, girl. For the past five years, Myla has lived for the days she gets to fight in Purgatory’s arena. When souls want a trial by combat for their right to enter heaven or hell, they go up against her, and she has not lost a battle yet.

But as she starts her senior year at Purgatory High, the arena fights are not enough to keep her spirits up anymore. When the demons start to act weird, even for demons, and the King of the Demons, Armageddon, shows up at Myla’s school, she knows that things are changing and it is not looking good for the quasi-demons. Myla starts to question everything, and does not like the answers she finds. What happened 17 years ago that turned the quasi-demons into slave labor? Why was her mom always so sad? And why won’t anyone tell her who her father is?

Things heat up when Myla meets Lincoln, the High Prince of the Thrax, a super sexy half-human and half-angel demon hunter. But what does a quasi-demon girl to do when she falls for a demon hunter? It’s a good thing that Myla is not afraid of breaking a few rules. With a love worth fighting for, Myla is going to shake up Purgatory.

Goodreads / Amazon / Audible / iTunes Continue reading

Blog Tour: High Summons by Eli Celata Book

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Title: High Summons
Author: Eli Celata
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours

Blurb:

Jon Blythe is sick of waiting for his Yoda. After years of hiding his magic, he’s ready to retire from his mortal life, drop out of college, and jump into the world of demon hunters. He just didn’t really expect a bleach blond bookstore clerk with light up toys for weapons. Unfortunately, Jordan is Jon’s only hope. When rogue magic users come to Rochester with a malicious plan, the odd couple strikes out to save the day. Jordan might not be what Jon expected, but between demons and Econ homework, the demons win every time. Wild nights drag Jon further from normal into the world where his father vanished. Maybe he’s becoming an addict. Maybe magic just comes with a price. Either way, he’s hooked.

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book-review

This is definitely my kind of book. Magic. I love magic.

It started out slow, but I really enjoyed it as the book progressed. The fact that that the characters in this book is diverse is also a bonus point that makes me like this book.

I love Jordan a lot, and to be honest, I wasn’t that fond of Jon at the beginning. But Jon kind of grew on me. I also like the camaraderie between Jon and Jordan. I laughed a lot while reading this book, even at parts that others (my sister, because I showed her that part) didn’t find amusing.

I think fans of The Mortal Instruments might find this book interesting (because I know I did). I would also recommend this book to fans of YA Urban Fantasy books. I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.


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Author Bio:

Eli Celata was born in Rochester and is currently attending Binghamton University as a doctoral student.

 

Author’s Social Media Links:

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Buy Links for Book:

Amazon:  https://goo.gl/PQ7lzh

Kobe: https://goo.gl/4ZrKVs

Smashwords: https://goo.gl/eYuVNU

iTunes: https://itun.es/us/MEqCdb.l

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Blog Tour: Children of the Gods

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Oppression
Jessica Therrien
(Children of the Gods #1)
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She’s been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than average people, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she’s closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don’t make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she’s been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Some are waiting for her to put an end to centuries of traditions that have oppressed their people under the guise of safeguarding them. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning – and she’s not entirely willing to play by their rules.

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Uprising
Jessica Therrien
(Children of the Gods #2)
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Elyse has done everything she can to protect her friends from The Council’s reach. As long as they believe she’s dead, she has time to rest and train for war. And war is inevitable.

When Kara arrives with the news that Anna and Chloe have been captured, Elyse is faced with the realization that no one is safe until The Council is stopped and Christoph is destroyed. She doesn’t need a prophecy to tell her to lead an army. Christoph has done the one thing that ensures she’ll fight to the death. He’s threatened the people she loves.

It will take more than the words of an oracle to help them fight against the most powerful Descendant alive. To break The Council’s oppression and rise up against a plot so many years in the making, Elyse will need to get dangerously close to her enemy. So close, in fact, she may not survive.

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Redemption
Jessica Therrien
(Children of the Gods #3)
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Lead Council member, Christoph, is dead by Elyse’s hand, and Descendants have begun to emerge, exposing their secret to the world. Some see this as the prophecy come to fruition, but the prophecy caries a heavy consequence. It was never meant to be as peaceful as most had hoped.

Humans and Descendants struggle to live together in a world that isn’t ready for such a change. America is divided. Those who glorify the supernatural race believe Descendants truly are the gods they claim relation to. Others see them as a threat.

When Elyse gives birth to the next generation oracle, she sees one final vision—war. The destruction of the country’s major cities, and the end of America as we know it.

After her daughter is born, Elyse finds herself without the ability she needs to predict the future. Desperate to save the world from such conflict, she puts her faith in the hope that Descendants are the key to survival. After all, they have the power to supply a broken society with the means to survive.

Only from the ashes can a new world be born.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

The boxset version of The Children of the Gods was recently released. Jessica Therrien has put it up for sale at $0.99 for the duration of the blog tour.


book-review

GREEK MYTHOLOGY RETELLING!

I was so excited then, because I love Greek Mythology. I was hoping I would love this book as much as I love the Percy Jackson series, and The Song of Achilles.

After reading a few chapters, I had mixed feelings about this book. I like the premise of the story, but the book also contains elements that hits on my nerves, such as love at first sight, the changes made to the Greek mythology (it was hard to wrap my head around it at first) and also the way the character’s features was described. But I persevered, and read till the end.

I’m glad I did.

The book is kind of slow-paced at the beginning of the story, only picking up after the second half mark. But it gets better in the final book. Other than my annoyance towards Elyse at first, as well as the love at first sight aspect of the story, I’ve come to like the book. Each scenes has its moment; some were so sweet it made me go awe, some made me laugh, some made me angry, and surprisingly (or not), some made me feel like crying.

The first book lack any character development, and the many side characters introduced  feels like they were only there as fillers of sort. But please, don’t drop the book because of that. Because as I’ve mentioned, things gets better in the second book. And the side characters will play a larger role in the second and third book. I like William, I really do, aside from the love at first sight thing. You can say that’s just my pet peeves. But Elyse, well, it took me some time to get myself to like her. Her thoughts and attitude was just plain annoying at first. I do love Kara though, for some reason.

Overall, I like the series. Although I may have set my standards too high in the beginning, but it wasn’t all bad, and I wasn’t too disappointed. I’d recommend this book to Greek myth + Dystopia lovers. It can’t really be called Dystopia, I guess, but it has some elements of it, I think.

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Individual book review for each of the books will be available soon.

Author Bio:

Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult paranormal fiction series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release.

Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica’s work can also be found in a published collection of flash fiction stories called Campaigner Challenges 2011. Out of over 350 submissions her story, The Soulless, won first place for people’s choice and fourth place in the judging round of Rachael Harrie’s Writing Campaign Challenge. Her story, Saved, is also available as part of the anthology.

Jessica spent most of her life in the small town of Chilcoot, California, high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In this town of nearly 100 residents, with no street lights or grocery stores, there was little to do but find ways to be creative. Her mother, the local English teacher, inspired her to do all things artistic, and ultimately instilled in her a love for language.

In 2003, Jessica attended California State University Long Beach where her passion for language found her studying Chinese, and in 2005 she moved to Taiwan to study abroad. From 2005 to 2006 Jessica was fully immersed in the Chinese language as she attended National Taiwan University, and in 2008 she graduated from San Diego State University magna cum laude.

Jessica currently lives in Irvine with her husband and two sons. She is working on an adult novel and a children’s picture book.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz: Concealed (Beholder, #2) by Christina Bauer

Concealed
Christina Bauer
(Beholder #2)
Publication date: October 25th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

As a Grand Mistress Necromancer, Elea’s a witch who commands the ultimate power over spirit and bone. It’s magic that she’ll need in order to stop the Vicomte Gaspard from killing her Sisters by draining their magic along with their life force.

To find and free her fellow witches, Elea must venture into some of the most dangerous places in the realm. What starts off as a rescue quest could easily turn into a suicide mission. And with the handsome warlock Rowan along to help, Elea may be risking more than her life. Her growing feelings for Rowan might put her heart on the line, too.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Rowan stepped into my path, forcing me to stop. “We can’t worry about the Tsar just now.”

“How can I not? This is the Tsar we’re talking about. The man killed off thousands of my people. If he comes back, I’m his top target.”

“No one is getting anywhere near you, Elea.” Rowan’s voice was a rough rasp. “You have my word. I know what you care about, and it’s your Sisters. That’s all you need to think about. At least, for the next two days. Promise me?”

Rowan’s words helped to center my thoughts. “You’re right. Little time remains to save Ada and the others. I need to stay the course. Thank you, Rowan.”

“I’ll always be here for you.” Rowan stared at me for a long moment. I thought he might have more to say. Instead, he shook his head, stepped across the cave floor, and picked up the loops of rope. “Any ideas on where your Sisters are imprisoned?”

“Amelia wants to check the Havilland mansion first.”

“I can send in someone from my team. They’re experts at subterfuge.”

“No. These are my people. I have to go.”

Once again, Rowan moved to stand so close our bodies were only inches apart. “Trust me on this. My people can handle the Royals.” He brushed the backs of his fingertips up my cheek and I melted into the touch. “I want you safe, Elea.” He leaned in until his mouth was only a breath away from mine.

This wasn’t the time for emotion. I couldn’t seem to stop my zuchtlos feelings, though. My heart thumped with such force I thought it might burst from my chest. Rowan’s voice became low and gentle. “Return to Braddock Farm. Stay safe. I will end this. Once it’s done, I’ll find you there. I swear it.”

My legs felt wobbly beneath me. In my mind’s eye, it all appeared so easy and clear. Rowan could handle this. I’d return to my farm and help the faithful servants who’d kept it thriving. Then one day, Rowan would arrive and we’d be together. How wonderful would that be?

I closed my eyes and stepped away from his touch. This was impossible. My people were my responsibility. No one else’s. And the idea that Rowan and I could be together? That was an illusion.

“It’s a sweet dream. We both know it isn’t the truth. You’re part of the Caster Imperial family. Your uncle is none other than Genesis Rex. You can’t have a life with me as a farmer, can you?”

Rowan’s gaze intensified. “No.” He stepped closer once again. “I’ll still find you, though.”

“And when you do, what will I be?” I wanted to touch him and to be with him. I knew that now. But not at any cost. “Your mistress? Your absentee wife?”

“You’ll be mine.” He pulled me into his arms. Every ridge of his hard body pressed against my soft curves. I’d never craved anything more in my life than I wanted to kiss Rowan right now. He leaned in closer than ever before. His warm breath cascaded over my lips. “Don’t fight this. Please.”

My control snapped, and I pressed my mouth to his. Yes. Our first few tastes were tentative. Gentle. Rowan was as delicious as I’d imagined, a flavor that was somewhere between musk and desire. Every touch of his lips sent spasms of want through my core.

Our kiss quickly turned rough. Rowan nipped my bottom lip, and I let out a rough groan. This kiss could go on forever. Still, some small part of my brain shouted for me to stop.

I didn’t know how I found the strength, but I pushed Rowan away. “I want you too. That’s not enough for me. We’re from different worlds. Your place is with your people. I need to save mine. Once this is over, we’ll never see each other again. I can’t afford to feel more for you than I already do.”

Rowan’s eyes took on that intense look I knew so well. A muscle worked in his jaw for a long moment. “I understand. We both have work to do.”

I exhaled. “I’m glad you can accept the truth.”

“I didn’t say that.” He scooped up the ropes and offered them to me. “This isn’t over.”

I stared at the green cords coiled around his palm. I wanted real ties between us as well. Yet wanting a thing wasn’t the same as having it. I pulled the rope from his hand and looped it around my shoulders. “We better get back.”

 

Author Bio:

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English as well as Television, Radio, and Film Production. Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Zerto. Back in the go-go 90′s, she founded her own software start-up, Mindful Technologies. Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien’s text, it’s entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY! (International)

  • A signed copy of Concealed
  • Elea’s Scarab Ring & Mating Band
  • Elea’s Skull Necklace (personalized with E)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Witches, oh witches. I so love books with witches in them. This book seems so interesting. The excerpt made me feel like reading it. Yeah, I’m easily won, I think. At least, when it comes to book. But since this is the 2nd book, I probably have to look for the first one first 😀

Book Blitz: The Decision by L.K. Kuhl

The Decision
L.K. Kuhl
(Everlasting Trilogy, #2)
Publication date: October 20th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

The guests are invited. The cake is all set. In just a few short hours Sophia Bandell will be saying “I do” to a guy she isn’t sure she loves. But where does she go from here? She feels her life is headed in a downhill spiral. Her first and real true love, Tate Forester, is a ghost. But he’s the man she wants to be with…the one she can’t live without. Sophia is faced with the toughest decision of her life. Does she forget about Tate and marry the egotistical lawyer, Aaron Stuart? Or does she take the plunge and join Tate to be with him for eternity?

Goodreads / Amazon / iBooks

EXCERPT:

I turned again and caught a glimpse of Aaron coming into the backyard, dressed to the nines in a black tuxedo, his arms splayed wide. He advanced toward my sister-in-law Kristy, who had just come out the backdoor, his voice tight and full of despair. “No sign of her. I’ve looked everywhere. I don’t know what to do next.” His arms flopped down to his sides, and he slumped into a lawn chair on the deck. “This is so unlike Sophia to do something like this.”

Just then, all of my bridesmaids, my best friends—Claudia Bunker, Jenny Staid, and Laura Anderson—came out of the house to join them on the deck. All three of them, along with Kristy, were dressed in their lacy purple bridesmaid dresses, long diamond earrings, and flattering braided up-dos.

“Sophia, you’d better go break the news to them now. Don’t put them through this any longer.” Tate gave me a gentle nudge, urging me to put an end to this.

My chin trembling, I answered him with a small nod. I couldn’t speak, couldn’t answer, my mind tossing a stormy chaos of what to do next. Did I go break the news to everyone that the wedding is called off? Everyone go home. It’s over. There will be no Mrs. Aaron Stuart today. My eyes slanted back to the yard again. This time Aaron sobbed into his hands. I blinked, then blinked again, my vision blurry.

My chest ached, and I shivered as though the wind had shifted, wind that carried in cooler air— air consumed with an acidic premonition and a feverish guilt. My hands fell limp and I sagged against the tree, sliding down the length of the trunk to deposit my butt on the ground, too weak to stand.

I rubbed my face, trying to come up with the right words, words that wouldn’t disintegrate me— kill us. There were none. This was going to be the hardest thing I’d ever done in my life, but I’d been weighing the consequences since early this morning. Ever since Tate told me there was no possible way there could ever be a future for us, not in this life anyway. Carrying out this agonizing feat would mean shredding my existence, tearing every piece of livable being out of me and turning me into a hollow shell. But I saw no other way.

My breathing picked up pace, amped, making the dizziness spin my world out of control. I was losing it. It got so bad I could no longer breathe. I gasped and wrenched my body, reaching for the sun— grasping, grabbing, trying to save my life. But the air was gone. Nothing to sustain me.

Tate knelt beside me and clutched my shoulders to keep me sitting upright. “You going to be okay, Ladybug? I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn’t think it would be this difficult for you.”

Finally, my voice spewed the bitter, vile words out like a hot rush of lava. The knife had already sliced its way through and gutted me, my heart pierced to the end of the blade, long before they spilled forth. I was too debilitated to even clear my throat. I gurgled out. “I’m letting you go, Tate.” The repugnant, volcanic ashes floated to the ground in a hushed whisper, singeing the ground as they lit.

Tate tipped his head, his mouth falling open. His eyes wouldn’t move, they drilled into me. “What are you saying?”

The tears… I couldn’t stop them. They surged forth like a rapid river, spilling down my face. “I’m so in love with you and… and I know that this time… this time I’ll never be able to forget you. And I know what that means. It means that in six weeks you’ll be going away. But I can’t fight it anymore. My love for you is too strong, and I’m too tired.” Now that I said the words I knew there was no going back for Tate. He would be gone.

Tate lowered his head, his lips pressed into a thin line. He swallowed twice, a small sound escaping from the back of his throat like something wanted to burst forth but couldn’t quite get the job done, caught somewhere between hurt and anger. He sat back on his heels, looking at his hands that trembled on his thighs, then finally whispered. “Do what you have to do. For as much as it hurts both of us, I think it’s for the best. You’ll find someone besides Aaron and move on, and we’ll be together in eternity.”

 

Author Bio:

L.K. Kuhl lives in Nebraska with her husband Gene of twenty-nine years, young son, Nathan, and Greg, their Black Lab dog. She has two older daughters, Morgan and Brittani and son-in-law, Trevor. L.K. has been writing for over twenty years. She first began writing children’s books and poetry, moved on to writing music, and is now writing Young Adult and Adult novels. She loves spending time with her family, vacationing, writing, reading, and taking long walks. It’s the characters who write their own stories in her novels, and she is just their messenger, sharing it with the world.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram

 

GIVEAWAY!

· $25 Amazon Gift Card (International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Usually, I am not that into Paranormal books, but gah! The summary and the excerpt made me feel like reading the book.

Blog Tour: The Shattered Seam by Kathleen Groger Book Review + Giveaway

Title: The Shattered Seam (Seam Stalkers, #1)
Author:
Kathleen Groger
Publisher:
Leaf & Thorn Press, LLC
Publication date:
September 13th 2016
Genre:
Horror, Paranormal, Young Adult
Edition:
eBook
Source:
Xpresso Book Tour
Rating:
4/5

Spending spring break on an isolated island rumored to be haunted is not sixteen-year-old Sam’s idea of fun. Spending spring break with her uncle and his ghost-hunting film crew on an isolated island is even worse.

Way worse.

Her family’s secrets—and a genetic ability she can no longer deny—surface, along with the ghost of a rich serial killer who left behind a trail of trapped souls.

And he’s not through yet.

With only one chance for escape, Sam must embrace her family’s curse and close the Seam between the living and the dead. Or be lost, forever.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes

The Review

I never thought I would love this book so much, but I did. It feels like I was watching (reading) Criminal Minds, if CM has paranormal activities, and less police work/investigation. So, we all know not to go looking for ghosts, that’s like looking for trouble but I guess no one sent these characters a memo.

Because of her parents anniversary trip to Jamaica, and her grandmother had already passed away, Sam had to spend spring break with her uncle and his TV crew, and two other guests on an isolated island to shoot an episode for her uncle’s show, “Horrors and Hauntings” at a supposedly haunted castle. What’s worse is that Sam could “see” things, and she thinks she’s crazy because of it.

While some parts of the story is slightly predictable, most of it kept me guessing (and I love this book because of it). I didn’t remember why I read this book with the mentality that everything/ everyone was going to be fine till the end, and I ended up so surprised and upset in the end. And I was thoroughly creeped out by this book. Since the beginning, I had this scared feeling while reading, the same feeling you’ll feel when you’re about to go into a haunted house, and then the feeling you get when you’re inside said haunted house. I read this in the middle of the night, which probably contributed to the reason why I was so creeped out.

I fell in love with Sam’s character throughout the book. One of the reasons is because she could draw. I love drawing, but my talent (or lack thereof) is nowhere near Sam’s. She’s a brave and strong character, another reason why I love her. If I was in her shoes, I will probably breakdown early on.

I had also came to love Eric, Daniel, and Randall. The way they are protective over Sam sometimes, and just how they act when it comes to Sam, I guess. It just makes my heart fluffy. I even came to like Brett, and Marisol. Although, I have to admit that at first I thought Marisol was a fraud. As for Kyle, well… I know I like him, but I can’t say how much yet because he wasn’t in it much. But I hope the second book has more of him.

To sum it up, this book has managed to pull me in, made me so interested that I read it all in one sitting. It hooked me, and became like a guessing game to me, making me so curious that I couldn’t wait to get to the end to see if I was right. I love how Kathleen described some scenes—the description of some gruesome scenes was graphic, which efficiently freaked me out (so kudos to Kathleen). Or maybe, that’s just me because it’s easy to creep me out. This book made me laugh, made me scared, and made me sad. I think fans of The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater might enjoy this book too.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Author Bio…

Kathleen wrote her first story in elementary school about a pegasus named Sir Lancelot. It had no plot or conflict, but it sparked a dream. After serving a fifteen-year sentence in retail management, the bulk in big box bookstores, she turned her love of reading into a full-time career writing dark and haunting characters and stories. She writes paranormal, fantasy, suspense, horror YA books. She is a contributing member of READerlicious, writers who love readers. Check out her blogs here.

She lives by the mantra that a day is not complete without tea. Lots of tea. Kathleen lives in Ohio with her husband, two boys, and two attention-demanding dogs. When not writing or editing or revising, you can find her reading, cooking, spending time with her family, or photographing abandoned buildings.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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