Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Afterparty by Daryl Gregory Blog Tour #AfterpartyBlogTour

DGregory_Book Cover_High ResolutionAfterparty by Daryl Gregory (April 22, 2014, Tor Books) is part science fiction, part thriller and completely mind-bending.

This futuristic novel opens in Toronto, in the years after the smart drug revolution where all you need is a chemjet and Internet connection to print—or invent—drugs. One such drug is the brain-altering Numinous, new to the street drug scene.  Credited with leading people to God, it is being used as a sacrament by a new church that preys on the underclass. 

After Francine, a 17-year-old street girl and victim of that church, is thrown into a detention facility and in withdrawal from Numinous, she meets Lyda Rose who has a dark secret: she is one of the original creators of the drug that she thought no longer existed. After Francine commits suicide, Lyda sets out to make things right.

With the help of an ex-government agent and an imaginary, drug-induced doctor, Lyda begins a fast-paced chase across Canada and the United States to find the other survivors who created Numinous—and stop whoever is making the drug.


This thought-provoking novel about neuroscience, drugs, crime and God is one unique, exhilarating adventure; it has been featured by Kirkus Reviews and Publisher’s Weekly.

Me

About the Author
Daryl Gregory is an award-winning writer of genre-mixing novels, stories, and comics. His first novel, Pandemonium, won the Crawford Award and was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. His other novels include The Devil’s Alphabet (a Philip K. Dick award finalist), Raising Stony Mayhall (a Library Journal best SF book of the year), and the upcoming Afterparty. Many of his short stories are collected in Unpossible and Other Stories, which was named one of the best books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. He lives in State College, PA.
Follow Daryl Gregory online at darylgregory.com or on twitter @darylwriterguy.





Monday, April 21, 2014

GIVEAWAY: SPUN by Catherine McKenzie

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In this funny and touching novella, bestselling author Catherine McKenzie returns to the story of Amber Sheppard, It Girl and celebrity train wreck from McKenzie’s reader-favourite novel, Spin.

Life has been rough for starlet Amber since leaving rehab. She’s been two years sober, but no one seems to believe her -- not the gossip media, not casting agents, and most certainly not her spotlight-loving parents. With her friendships ruined by betrayal and her career at a standstill, Amber’s just trying to get her life back on track. It doesn’t help that her former love, movie star Connor Parks, keeps trying to draw Amber back in, not just to their relationship but to his hard-partying ways. One fateful night, Amber breaks down and agrees to join him on board his private jet as it readies for take-off -- a decision that will change her life forever and expose her to a whole new level of scrutiny and heartbreak.

Enter giveaway HERE

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Kate's To-Do List: 

1. Go to rehab 
2. Befriend/spy on "It Girl" 
3. Write killer expose 
4. Land dream job 

Piece of cake! 

When Kate Sandford lands an interview at her favorite music magazine, The Line, it's the chance of a lifetime. So Kate goes out to celebrate—and shows up still drunk to the interview the next morning. It's no surprise that she doesn't get the job, but her performance has convinced the editors that she'd be perfect for an undercover assignment for their gossip rag. All Kate has to do is follow "It Girl" Amber Sheppard into rehab. If she can get the inside scoop—and complete the thirty-day program—they'll reconsider her for the position at The Line. Kate takes the assignment, but when real friendships start to develop, she has to decide if what she has to gain is worth the price she'll have to pay.

BUY THE BOOK


Sunday, April 20, 2014

IESODO “FAITH” RELEASING MARCH 18th

                    
“THE LION KING OF CHRISTIAN TOONS”                “BEAUTIFUL!  VERY IMPRESSIVE.”
                   -Examiner.com                                                        -Homeschool.com

“EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY WILL LOVE THIS SERIES.”          
-Dove Foundation

“A DVD THAT PARENTS WILL LOVE”               “A BEAUTIFULLY ANIMATED SERIES.”
        -American Family Association                                         -Movieguide.org
     

IESODO
 “FAITH” RELEASING MARCH 18th
A beautifully crafted animated series to help teach children “The Way of Jesus”

Los Angeles, California- Iesodo (YAY-sa-doe) is a highly acclaimed Telly and Accolade Award winning series featuring a cast of animated birds who live in a Cypress Tree on the shores of Galilee.  Presented with cutting edge imagery, Iesodo, which means “The way of Jesus”, is a wise and gentle dove that gives an allegory to the stories and messages of Jesus with “solid biblical teaching.” (American Family Journal). With each and every story, he and his lovable feathered friends “present the essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a winsome, compelling way” through music and adventure (MovieGuide.org).

Zaya Toonz and Rollman Entertainment, the animation companies behind Iesodo, assembled a collaboration of experts with experience in both the children’s and Christian markets.

“Children learn and sometimes even emulate the actions and personalities of loveable animated characters such as Bugs Bunny or Mickey Mouse, and we want them to do the same with Iesodo,” said executive producers Jared and Natalie Hankins. “The Iesodo character is a representation of Jesus, and the stories shared throughout each episode are based on Jesus’ teachings.  They are universal principles we hope all parents wants to instill in their children, such as loving one another, conquering fear, sharing and being kind.”

Directors for the series include Brian E. Ray whose credits consist of Muppet Babies, My Little Pony Tales and Ed, Ed, and Eddy, as well as Colin Brady, whose credits include Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and A Bug's Life. Brady also served as the former animation supervisor for Pixar Animation Studios. Producer Eric S. Rollman, President/CEO of Rollman Entertainment, formerly served as President of Production for Fox Kids and Marvel, and writer/producer Rob Loos is an Emmy Nominee and writer/producer for McGee and Me! Christmas Lamb, Kids 10 Commandments and Touched by an Angel. The Iesodo series also features the voice of Erin Bethea (Fireproof, Amazing Love) as Maggie.

Capitol Christian Distribution, the market leader in Christian and Gospel music distribution, as well as chart topping Christian films and books, distributes the Iesodo DVD series, which can be purchased at Christian retail stores, Walmart and Amazon.com. For more information on Iesodo, visit http://www.iesodo.com.










Review: The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story (The Berenstain Bears Living Lights) by Jan Berenstain, Mike Berenstain

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The Bear cubs and Papa are candy-crazy this Easter! But Mama, with help from Papa, tells the cubs about Jesus' resurrection and shows them that salvation is much sweeter than candy. Includes a colorful sticker set.


Who doesn't love the Bearenstain Bears?  I remember reading these books when I was growing up and I love sharing them with my children.  I enjoyed reading The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story with my boys because it brings to the heart what the Easter holiday is all about, not the candy and the treats but something so much greater.  It was a great way to answer questions and stress the importance of the religious side of the holiday while also enjoying some treats along the way! It was a great blend of both sides of the tradition!!! 4 stars! 





Friday, April 18, 2014

Showcase with reviews: The Imaginary Veterinary Series by Suzanne Selfors





Suzanne Selfors lives on an island near Seattle where it rains all the time, which is why she tends to write about cloudy, moss-covered, green places.

She's married, has two kids, and writes full time.

Her favorite writers are Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Dickens, and most especially, Roald Dahl.

Please visit her at www.suzanneselfors.com to learn more about her books.

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The Sasquatch Escape (The Imaginary Veterinary #1)


When Ben Silverstein is sent to the rundown town of Buttonville to spend the summer with his grandfather, he's certain it will be the most boring vacation ever. That is, until his grandfather's cat brings home what looks like . . . a baby dragon?

Amazed, Ben enlists the help of Pearl Petal, a local girl with an eye for adventure. They take the wounded dragon to the only veterinarian's office in town -- Dr. Woo's Worm Hospital. But as Ben and Pearl discover once they are inside, Dr. Woo's isn't a worm hospital at all -- it's actually a secret hospital for imaginary creatures.

After Ben accidentally leaves the hospital's front door unlocked, a rather large, rather stinky, andvery hairy beast escapes into Buttonville. Ben and Pearl are tasked with retrieving the runaway creature, and what started out as an ordinary summer becomes the story of a lifetime.

Suzanne Selfors delivers a wild journey filled with mythical creatures and zany adventures that are anything but imaginary. 
This book includes bonus writing, art, and science activities that will help readers discover more about the mythological creatures featured in The Sasquatch Escape. These activities are designed for the home and the classroom. Enjoy doing them on your own or with friends!

REVIEW:

This is the first book in the Imaginary Veterinarians Series. This is where you are introduced the trouble making Pearl and the story telling Ben. My boys and I loved this book so much. The characters are well developed, there is humor, mystery and imagination. This is a new favorite series and one we will continue to read and adore! I highly recommend it as do both my boys, ages 5 and 7! 5 stars.

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The Lonely Lake Monster (The Imaginary Veterinary #2)


Pearl Petal and Ben Silverstein can't wait for their first official day as apprentices of Dr. Woo, veterinarian for imaginary creatures. That is, until they are tasked with clipping the sasquatch's toenails. Gross!

Then Pearl spots a monster in the lake behind the hospital. Even though they were told not to leave the building for any reason, Pearl sets off for a closer look, with Ben trailing cautiously behind.
The outing goes awry when Ben is captured by the creature and held hostage on an island in the middle of the lake. It's up to Pearl to hatch a rescue mission. Will she save the day or cement her reputation as the town troublemaker? And will the hospital's secret patient be able to help?
Suzanne Selfors takes readers on an incredible adventure full of mythical creatures and astonishing discoveries that are anything but imaginary.
This book includes bonus writing, art, and science activities that will help readers discover more about the mythological creatures featured in The Lonely Lake Monster. These activities are designed for the home and the classroom. Enjoy doing them on your own or with friends!

REVIEW:

This is a quirky and fun book (the second in the series). This book sparks imagination and mystery in your young reader. There are some great elements to this book; fun creatures, mystery and some nice lessons. They have such an engaging story...my boys and I cannot get enough of this series.  Pearl and Ben are such great characters that any child can relate to. This is the best of this genre. Clean, great story, great characters and a series that keep you wanting more. 5 stars


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The Rain Dragon Rescue (The Imaginary Veterinary #3)


Someone or something is stealing from the peaceful residents of Buttonville. But is the thief from the real world...or the imaginary one? Ben and Pearl are about to find out. When they report for duty at Dr. Woo's, Mr. Tabby hands them a bucket and a shovel -- for the collection and proper disposal of dragon droppings -- and directs the apprentices to the hospital's roof. Soon, they come face-to-snout with the dragon that lives there and find a pile of proof that he is the thief.

Before Ben and Pearl can persuade the dragon to stop stealing, an emergency call comes in from the Imaginary World. The rain dragon has been injured! But with Dr. Woo out of town and Mr. Tabby busy with percolating pixies, time is running out. 

Will Ben and Pearl finally get a chance to travel to the Imaginary World? Even if it means breaking Dr. Woo's rules? Even if it means they might never come back?

Suzanne Selfors delivers a wild journey filled with mythical creatures and zany adventures that are anything but imaginary.

This book includes bonus writing, art, and science activities that will help readers discover more about the mythological creatures featured in The Rain Dragon Rescue. These activities are designed for the home and the classroom. Enjoy doing them on your own or with friends!

REVIEW:

The books just keep getting  better and better.  I just love watching Ben and Pearl grow during their adventures.  These books are so full of imagination!  I love the adventures that await us in the imaginary world.  I love it even more when the imaginary world clashes with the real world...because adventures happen!   These books bring me and my boys together every night to snuggle and enter the town of Buttonville with Ben and Pearl...such a gift!  There is mystery, suspense and fun within the pages and we can't wait for the next book.  5 stars! 

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The Order of the Unicorn (The Imaginary Veterinary #4)


At Dr. Woo's Worm Hospital, Pearl and Ben are greeted with some bad news. A human has been spotted in the Imaginary World! Dr. Woo suspects it might be Maximus Steele -- a poacher with his sights set on prized animal horns. What creature will he attack next? Will it be a unicorn?

Together, Pearl, Ben, and Dr. Woo travel to the Tangled Forest. It's an amazing, colorful, and wild place. Ultimately, the responsibility falls to Pearl to find the lost unicorn. But in a land of fire-breathing insects and flesh-eating flora, is she up for the challenge?

Suzanne Selfors delivers a wild journey filled with mythical creatures and zany adventures that are anything but imaginary. 
This book includes bonus writing, art, and science activities that will help readers discover more about the mythological creatures featured in The Order of the Unicorn. These activities are designed for the home and the classroom. Enjoy doing them on your own or with friends!

Releases on July 22nd!!!





Braden: How did you start you writing career?

A. I've spent my whole life writing stories. But I never thought of myself as a "writer", and I never thought I could actually do this as a career. So I went in another direction. But when I turned 39 and my youngest child started school, I realized that I really wanted to give writing a serious try. So I started my very first novel about ten minutes after the school bus drove away.

Braden: I like to write, do you have any advice for me?

A. I think the most important thing to remember is that, first and foremost, write about something you love. Don't be tempted to write a vampire book just because everyone else is writing one. There are lots of fairy tale books right now but don't jump on that bandwagon if your passion is for realistic fiction. You will spend a lot of time with your story, you will carry it around in your head all day long, so choose your subject as if you're choosing your new best friend. 

MMB:  What inspires your writing?
A. My children. I wrote my first book, To Catch a Mermaid, for them. My rainy Pacific NW environment inspired the book, Fortune's Magic Farm. My dog, Skylos, inspired Smells Like Dog. There's a little bit of my own life in every one of my books.
MMB:  What is your favorite thing about being an writer?
A. I love, love, love getting letters from readers, especially handwritten letters. Written in crayon, pen, pencil or typed, they come in all shapes and sizes and they are like little gifts. I love opening them. Sometimes readers will send photos, or drawings. Going to my post office box has become my favorite time of the day.  

MMB:  What is the toughest part of being an writer?

A.  The solitude. While I need to be alone to get the bulk of my work done, sometimes I start to feel lonely, so I make sure to meet with other writers as much as possible for coffee and lunch. And I make sure to take long walks with friends, just to get away from my laptop.
MMB  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A.I think I'd be a movie director. Which I guess is just another form of story-telling. :)
Braden:  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. Island Girl. (Because I've lived on the same island most of my life and people say I'm like a barnacle - you'll have to scrape me off this rock to get me to leave.)

JD:  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. I'm a huge Roald Dahl fan. I love everything he wrote. Matilda is one of my favorite characters ever.
MMB:  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. Well, I wrote a book called Coffeehouse Angel, and the main character, Katrina, is very  much like me. I didn't realize that I'd basically written about myself until after I'd written the book.
JD:  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. Wow, what a great question. I'd love to go to Hogwarts for a weekend. Wouldn't that be fun? Well, as long as Voldemort wasn't visiting.
MMB: What is your favorite season?
A.I love fall, mostly because I love the crisp days, the colors of the leaves, and hot apple cider.
MMB:  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. Many people don't realize that authors don't usually choose their covers. It's a decision made by the publisher. I really love the covers for my new series, The Imaginary Veterinary. Dan Santat is an amazing illustrator. I'm very lucky to have him.
MMB: Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. It's always an adventure. The most embarrassing moments are when I get asked a question by a reader about a specific character and I can't remember who the character is. Seriously. It happens all the time. I've written so many books, and have so many details crammed in my head, I forget things. 
When I was touring for Smells Like Dog, lots of kids showed up with their basset hounds, which is great except when the dog takes a piddle in the bookstore, or tries to eat someone's sock. I hope no one brings a sasquatch to my next tour. 
MMB:  Are you working on something new?
A.  Yes indeed. I'm working on a new Imaginary Veterinary book and a whole new series that will be announced and released in 2015. (Shhhh, it's a secret.)
JD: What made you want to create a story with a sasquatch in it?

A. I came up with the idea for The Imaginary Veterinary while sitting in the veterinary clinic with my dog. I looked at the cat poster on the wall and thought, what if that was a poster of a dragon? And I looked at the bowl of dog treats and thought, what if those were chunks of raw meat? And what if the thermometer was three feet long? The story began to take shape that day.
I chose sasquatch as one of my first creatures because I live in the PNW where the sasquatch legend was born. Sasquatch is everywhere up here--on keychains, umbrellas, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, etc. It seemed a natural fit for me.

JD: Where did you come up with the name Buttonville for the city?

A. That's from a story I wrote as a kid, called Conrad Moonbeam and the Buttonville Boas. About a boy who lives in Alaska and wants to help save some boa constrictors who've lost their habitat in the amazon rainforest. So he ships them up to Alaska, but has a whole lot of trouble trying to take care of them. I liked the name Buttonville so I used it again.

Braden: Can we expect many books in this series? I sure hope so, because we LOVE them.

A. I just finished writing the fifth book, about a griffin, and I'll begin working on the sixth book this summer, about fairies. I hope to write more!!!

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A.  One of the things I love about The Imaginary Veterinary series is that I've included additional art, creative writing, history, and science lessons and activities at the back of each book. So readers and their parents/teachers can take the stories to another level. I hope the creative writing prompts help encourage kids to write their own stories!

And be sure to visit me at http://www.suzanneselfors.com/  I love to hear from readers and you can join my mailing list to get sneek peeks at new covers and details about my appearances.

BUY THE BOOKS:





PREORDER BOOK FOUR NOW!!!



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

GoodReads Giveaway HIDDEN by Catherine McKenzie

Excited to announce the release of Hidden by Catherine McKenzie! It's a compelling novel about the complexities of marriage and the aftermath of a loss. You can read more here: http://catherinemckenzie.com/

GIVEAWAYS!!!!

Enter on Good Reads HERE

Enter on the blog HERE


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About the book:

While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. Not one but two women fall to pieces at the news: his wife, Claire, and his co-worker Tish. Reeling from her loss, Claire must comfort her grieving son and contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members and the arrival of Jeffs estranged brother, her ex-boyfriend Tim. With Tish's co-workers in the dark about her friendship with Jeff outside of the office, she volunteers to attend the funeral on the companys behalf, but only she knows the true risk of inserting herself into the wreckage of Jeff's life. Told through the three voices of Jeff, Tish, and Claire, Hidden explores the complexity of relationships, the repercussions of our personal choices, and the responsibilities we have to the ones we love.





"But, of course, everyone has regrets. Loose ends. Things they could do if they had more time." (Hidden, ebook pg 103)

Catherine McKenzie has spun a tale that is still resonating with me. She wrote what is was like to have to face a loss and to make life work under a new and uncarted set of circumstances. When Claire loses her husband, Jeff, expectedly her life is turned upside down. But, when she has an encounter with one of Jeff's co-worker at Jeff's funeral her life takes another unexpected detour down a road she may wished she never explored.

"I've spent a lot of time thinking about this, too much probably, and I don't think that bad actions erase good ones. Not really." (Hidden, ebook pg 278)

We all too often just go along with life, not wanting to upset the order of things. Not really wanting to discovering what may lie ahead. Hidden explores what happens when people make choices, how each choice affects others in ways we may never had intended. How we, at times, are forces to move ahead and take the reins in our own new reality.

"That I'd been letting life act itself out on me when I should have been directing it." (Hidden, ebook pg 139)

How many of us wish we could go back and unlearn something that was completly unexpected and rocks our world to the core. Hidden explores what is the best about literature; human relationships at their best and worst, complexities in marriages, the impact of loss and how every action has a consequence.

"Everyone says that, but we all lie about things. Little things, big things. We all keep stuff hidden. And the longer you're with someone, the more stuff there is like that, I think. That doesn't mean he didn't love me, or wasn't good to me in other ways. So it made me think. Maybe honesty is isn't always the best policy. Because him telling me about it was selfish. The only person it was going to make feel any better was him. So maybe if you make a mistake, you have to live with it by yourself, and that's how you fix it." (Hidden, ebook pg 278)

5 stars!!!!

Can't wait??? Order Here



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CLP Blog Tour: A Questionable Friendship by Samantha March

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Follow the tour and enter the GIVEAWAY HERE

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Brynne Ropert and Portland Dolish have been best friends since being paired as roommates in college. Seven years later they are now twenty-five, married, and living in Maine–– but the two women couldn’t be more different. Brynne finds fulfillment in her life as a wife, mother and owner of a small cafĂ© and bookshop, but is struggling to expand her family. Portland is still coping with her mother’s death during her childhood, and her marriage is unraveling before her eyes. Portland envies her friend’s seemingly stable and easy life while Brynne doesn’t understand the growing distance between them and cannot begin to guess what secret Portland is hiding about her husband and crumbling marriage. While one woman feels shut out, the other enters into a web of lies to protect herself. 
A Questionable Friendship explores what really makes someone a true friend, a support system, a sister. How much trust goes into a friendship and when is being a friend not enough? Brynne and Portland’s story will attempt to answer those questions, and show that happily ever after isn’t in the cards for everyone.

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March has really evolved as a writer.  With each new book her voice because so much more defined, polished. A QUESTIONABLE FRIENDSHIP is one of her best books to date.  I love that March does not fear difficult topics.  She takes these topics on head first and creates a wonderful backdrop for her story. She seems to find a way to make you feel connected to the characters; to their struggles and to their joys.  A QUESTIONABLE FRIENDSHIP is an emotional read, but one that causes you to become retrospective about your own friendships and relationships. 4 stars

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Author Bio:
Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and celebrity related. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and has three published novels – Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket and A Questionable Friendship. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers. Samantha lives in Iowa with her husband and Vizsla puppy.
Connect with Samantha!



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Paving Your Own Way

In 2009, I made the decision to spend a few hundred dollars and invest my time in creating a book blog, Chick Lit Plus. Two months after launching the site and dedicating countless hours to learning how to run a blog, reading and reviewing books, and making a social media presence, I was approached by Jackie Collins’ publicist and ask to review her books, plus phone interview Jackie. That was one of the first of many highlights from starting Chick Lit Plus, and my life has really changed with that one small decision of creating something that I was truly interested in.
After starting Chick Lit Plus, I got serious on writing my first novel, and published Destined to Fail in 2011. At the same time, I bought rights to a LLC and created an independent publishing company, Marching Ink. From there, Marching Ink has gone on to publish six titles, three of my own and three from other authors.
Around that same time, I decided to venture out further, and created CLP Blog Tours, a blog tour company mainly marketed towards independent authors looking for more promotional services to get the word out about their book. At the time I started there wasn’t a lot of companies yet and really nothing for indie authors, and the company took off faster than I expected and is still going strong today.
Like I said, my life has changed a lot since 2009 and starting a small and simple book blog. I learned that paving my own way and being my own boss is what I love to do, especially when I get to work in an industry that I care about so much. Books are my thing, plain and simple. I love reading, I love working with authors, and I love helping authors promote their work. It’s a satisfying feeling and one that I truly cherish.
Do you have something you love doing, a field that you are particularly interested in? Is there a way that you can connect with your passion? Think hard, do some research online, and open your mind. I’ve always wanted to be an author. I did not think when I graduated high school in 2005 that blogging would open me up to that world – heck, I really didn’t think that in 2009. But times are changing. People are carving their own paths by creating blogs, YouTube channels, Instagram accounts. Be smart, take your time, and work hard. If it’s truly your passion, you’ll take it seriously and strive hard to make your achievements. Good luck!

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Buy the Book!


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