Tag Archives: kindle first

Book Review: North of Here by Laurel Saville


North of Here by Laurel Saville (click on book or see below for description)
Releases 3/1/16
February Kindle First Read

Rating: 2 bones (2/5 bones)

I wasn’t expecting a happy story in picking up this book.  Actually I’m not sure what I was expecting, but let’s just say I’m happy to be finished with this book now as it got a bit to weird for my liking.

It started out ok.  It was clear by the section titles “Miranda & Dix” then “Darius & Sally” (and so on) that there would be a few stories/characters that the reader could likely assume would intersect at some point.  This was true and it was enjoyable to see how it would happen.  The first section kept my hopes high although it was a story I have read many times before.  Unapproachable, tough guy eventually opens up to naive girl after tragedy.  I’m not spoiling anything, you can see it all coming.  The second section, well there was no guessing what was going to happen when a rich boy trying to break free from his family buys a large abandoned piece of property.  And still – I didn’t see it coming, but maybe I should have?  Still holding out hope – I trucked on.

But then it just got weird.  Not good weird, just creepy, uncomfortable and I wanted it to be over.  Now don’t get me wrong, the pages kept turning, it didn’t drag on by any means, I just really didn’t care for it.  I could have handled a whole host of emotional topics, as I mentioned, I wasn’t looking for happy, this just didn’t do it for me.  The writing was decent as I had a clear picture of some of the very vivid (disturbing) scenes described, my review is solely based on the subject matter.

As to not spoil anything, I’ll keep this vague and stop here.  The ending I guess I would say is sweet, after a few more unexpected twists, but by that point, I was done.  Maybe I have piqued your interest?  It is worth reading so you can share your thoughts – I’d love to talk about it more.

Thank you to Kindle First (Amazon) for the opportunity to preview this book!

Book Description:

The sounds of unexpected tragedies—a roll of thunder, the crash of metal on metal—leave Miranda in shock amid the ruins of her broken family.

As she searches for new meaning in her life, Miranda finds quiet refuge with her family’s handyman, Dix, in his cabin in the dark forests of the Adirondack Mountains. Dix is kind, dependable, and good with an ax—the right man to help the sheltered Miranda heal—but ultimately, her sadness creates a void even he can’t fill.

When a man from her distant past turns up, the handsome idealist now known as Darius, he offers Miranda a chance to do meaningful work at The Source, a secluded property filled with his nature worshipers. Miranda feels this charismatic guru is the key to remaking her life, but her grief and desire for love also create an opportunity for his deception. And in her desperate quest to find herself after losing almost everything, Miranda and Dix could pay a higher price than they ever imagined.

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Teaser Tuesday: January 12th 2016

Happy Tuesday!

Back again with my current read.  Still way far behind on reviews – but something to keep the blog up-to-date.

This week I’m reading The Moonlit Garden by Corina Bomann, one of the Kindle First January Selections releasing 2/1/16.  I’m about 2/3rds of the way through and I’m really enjoying it.  I’d describe it as a pretty mystery. Not dark like my normal reads, but still intriguing as the mystery of this violin is traced back from its current owner.  And my teaser today I thought was good advice for everyone!

“The important thing is that, whatever rubbish the world throws at you, you don’t lose heart, and you make sure you always find a way to rid yourself of the bad stuff.”
(10% into book)

Book Description:

Lilly Kaiser had come to terms with her solitary, uncomplicated life after becoming a young widow. So when a stranger delivers an old violin to her Berlin antiques shop and tells Lilly it belongs to her, she’s completely bewildered. Why should she be the one to inherit such an exquisite instrument?

Together with her best friend, Ellen, and handsome musicologist Gabriel Thornton, Lilly sets out to explore the violin’s legacy. From England to Italy to Indonesia, she follows its winding trail. Along the way, she learns of Rose Gallway, a beautiful woman of English and Sumatran descent who lived among Sumatra’s lush gardens more than a hundred years earlier. A celebrated and sought-after musician, Rose once owned Lilly’s violin and regularly played concerts for Sumatra’s colonial elite—until, one day, she simply disappeared.

As Lilly unravels the mystery behind Rose’s story—and uncovers other unexpected secrets—she’ll come to see her own life in an entirely new light. And as each shared discovery brings her closer to Gabriel, her heart might finally break its long-held silence.

 

What do you think?? Thanks for stopping by – please share yours in the comments!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB/Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

6 Comments

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Teaser Tuesday: August 25th

Tuesday already??  That last week seemed to fly, but then again drag on.  I’m still reading the book I teased last week – The Murderer’s Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman.  Great book, just long!  Almost done!  AND I just sent my firstborn to Kindergarten – how did that happen!!??  (And I’m still like 6 book reviews behind!)

So for this week I’m going to pick a true random teaser from my next read – The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner, one of the August Kindle First choices, releasing 9/1/15.  Click on book or see description below.

“I grabbed my cell phone from the nightstand, punched in 911.  My fingers trembled; I thought I might faint.  An operator’s nasal voice came on the line.  “Shadow Cover 911, where’s your emergency?”
(5% into book)

What do you think?  Pretty vague – where’s it going to go??  Even I don’t know yet! Please leave your teaser in the comments and thanks for coming by today!

Book Description:

From a phenomenal new voice in suspense fiction comes a book that will forever change the way you look at the people closest to you…

Shadow Cove, Washington, is the kind of town everyone dreams about—quaint streets, lush forests, good neighbors. That’s what Sarah thinks as she settles into life with her new husband, Dr. Johnny McDonald. But all too soon she discovers an undercurrent of deception. And one October evening when Johnny is away, sudden tragedy destroys Sarah’s happiness.

Dazed and stricken with grief, she and Johnny begin to rebuild their shattered lives. As she picks up the pieces of her broken home, Sarah discovers a shocking secret that forces her to doubt everything she thought was true—about her neighbors, her friends, and even her marriage. With each stunning revelation, Sarah must ask herself, Can we ever really know the ones we love?

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB/Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

5 Comments

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Teaser Tuesday: July 14th

Where is the time going??  Fast and slow at the same time – fast that it is already mid-July and school starts up again in a month.  Slow in that we are still without a kitchen, but seem to be on the more fun side of things now as our cabinets are going in!!

I’ve been reading – just slower.  And no books have really stood out.  I’m so far behind on reviews right now – I think I’m due a “catch-up” post.  But I did start a new one this week.  A July Kindle First read.  Crooked Little Lies by Barbara Taylor Sissel releasing August 1, 2015. (Click on book or see below for description.)  Doesn’t have me hooked just yet – but we’ll see – it’s still quite early!

“Why hadn’t she asked him what was wrong?  Why hadn’t she slid in beside him and put her arms around him?  She bit her lip.  How many times in that single afternoon, after she’d spoken to him in her brittle, authoritarian voice, had he told her he was sorry; he would do better, he promised.  But just listen, he’d said, I heard talking…
(21% into book)

What do you think?  Thanks for coming by and bearing with me through my “construction” – please leave your teaser in the comments!

Book Description:

On a cool October morning, Lauren Wilder is shaken when she comes close to striking Bo Laughlin with her car as he’s walking along the road’s edge. A young man well known in their small town of Hardys Walk, Texas, Bo seems fine, even if Lauren’s intuition says otherwise. Since the accident two years ago that left her brain in a fragile state, she can’t trust her own instincts—and neither can her family. Then Bo vanishes, and as the search for him ensues, the police question whether she’s responsible. Lauren is terrified, not of what she remembers but of what she doesn’t.

Unable to trust herself and unwilling to trust anyone else, Lauren begins her own investigation into the mystery of Bo’s disappearance. But the truth can prove to be as shocking as any lie, and as Lauren exposes each one, from her family, from her friends, she isn’t the only one who will face heart-stopping repercussions.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB/Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

5 Comments

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Book Review: A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White


A Dark Lure (clock on book or see below for description)
By Loreth Anne White
Released 7/1/15
June Kindle First Read

Rating: 4 bones(out of 5 bones)

Talk about a page turner.  This book was way darker than I am used to.  I’m not lying when I say that to finish the last half of this book, I stayed up WAY past my bedtime.  I could not put it down without closure (and probably some resulting nightmares!)  While I did thoroughly enjoy it, I am happy it is over, and need to move on to something lighter!

I can’t say I wasn’t warned by the description.  But just be prepared for your heart to race along with Sarah’s/Olivia’s.  You’ll want to scream at her to trust her gut and run!  Your heart will hurt for her.  And you’ll hold your breath until all is resolved.  This book never slowed down either – so set aside a few hours to dive into it.

The description roped me in promising a girl running from the past.  Sarah Baker, now Olivia West, was “the one who got away” from the Watt Lake Killer.  Despite a man being convicted and later killed at his own hand in prison, recent news and her gut are telling her different.  Now a ranch hand at the Broken Bar Ranch, Olivia has a secluded life, with her trusty partner, Ace, a German Shepard, and is getting by.  Not happy, but content after all that had happened in her past.

Throw in an aging and dying ranch owner, his two distant children, a forced-to-retire widowed cop, his very curious daughter, and a medley of other ranch workers, this book packs a lot into a fast-paced story.  Some parts I quickly figured out, others I was theorizing throughout, and others were filled in over time.  Olivia was a complex, yet likeable character.  And add in a dog, and I’m sold!  Her bond with Ace and the story of how he came to be her companion will warm anyone’s heart!

I’ll leave it vague for you to enjoy on your own, but if you are in for a dark yet very well written, very satisfying story, don’t miss this one!

Great June selection Kindle First – already picked out my read for July!

Book Description:

Twelve years ago, Sarah Baker was abducted by the Watt Lake Killer and sexually assaulted for months before managing to escape. The killer was caught, but Sarah lost everything: her marriage, her child, and the life she loved.

Struggling with PTSD, Sarah changes her name to Olivia West and finds sanctuary working on Broken Bar Ranch. But as her scars finally begin to heal, a cop involved with her horrific case remains convinced the Watt Lake Killer is still out there. He sets a lure for the murderer, and a fresh body is discovered. Now Olivia must face the impossible—could the butcher be back, this time to finish the job?

As a frigid winter isolates the ranch, only one person can help Olivia: Cole McDonough, a writer, adventurer, and ranch heir who stirs long-dormant feelings in her. But this time, Olivia’s determination to shut out her past may destroy more than her chance at love. It could cost her her life.

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Teaser Tuesday: June 30th

You’ll have to forgive me.  I don’t know where June has gone!  I’m so far behind on my reviews and even missed last Tuesday.  I promise I have a good excuse though!  On Monday we tore out our kitchen (voluntarily for a remodel I’ll hopefully document later!)  Then on Tuesday, we woke to water in the basement.  So we’re done to a living room and bedrooms right now for all 7 of us!

But I have been reading and will catch up on reviews at some point.  This week, my book choice has me chilled to the bone.  I had to try hard to get this one out of my head so I could sleep last night.  So dark (hence the name) and scary!!  It is A Dark Lure, by Loreth Anne White, and it releases TOMORROW!  It was one of the June Kindle First choices.

“And he was seeing a woman who was trying to hide.  It raised more questions in his mind.  Hide from what?  Where did she come from prior to eight years ago?  Had she tried to kill herself?  Why? When? What exactly was she to his father, to his ranch? What would she do when his father died and this place was sold?”
(26% into book)

What do you think?  I know – very vague – but I thought a good list of questions that I know I hope this book will answer!  Thanks for coming by and bearing with me through my “construction” – please leave your teaser in the comments!

Book Description:

Twelve years ago, Sarah Baker was abducted by the Watt Lake Killer and sexually assaulted for months before managing to escape. The killer was caught, but Sarah lost everything: her marriage, her child, and the life she loved.

Struggling with PTSD, Sarah changes her name to Olivia West and finds sanctuary working on Broken Bar Ranch. But as her scars finally begin to heal, a cop involved with her horrific case remains convinced the Watt Lake Killer is still out there. He sets a lure for the murderer, and a fresh body is discovered. Now Olivia must face the impossible—could the butcher be back, this time to finish the job?

As a frigid winter isolates the ranch, only one person can help Olivia: Cole McDonough, a writer, adventurer, and ranch heir who stirs long-dormant feelings in her. But this time, Olivia’s determination to shut out her past may destroy more than her chance at love. It could cost her her life.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB/Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

15 Comments

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Teaser Tuesday: April 21st

Happy Tuesday!! (Yes I had the wrong date at first!) First I have to put a little shout out to my husband today on our 8th Anniversary!  We celebrated last weekend at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – amazing night!

IMG_0001 IMG_5431

Just finished super sad, yet extremely powerful, Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani (my April Kindle First choice.)

Moving on to a NetGalley read, When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord which releases TODAY.  Not quite sure what to think about this one, a bit odd so far, very curious to see where it goes!

“The truth is, I liked my strange country.  But I didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for me, as though I were in quarantine.  Couldn’t they see my aloneness was a freedom rather than a prison?”
(24% into book*)

What do you think?  Thanks for coming by – please leave your teaser in the comments!

Book Description:

A small, quiet Midwestern town, which is unremarkable save for one fact: when the teenagers reach a certain age, they run wild.

When Lumen Fowler looks back on her childhood, she wouldn’t have guessed she would become a kind suburban wife, a devoted mother. In fact she never thought she would escape her small and peculiar hometown. When We Were Animals is Lumen’s confessional: as a teenager she fell beneath the sway of her community’s darkest, strangest secret. For one year, beginning at puberty, every resident “breaches” during the full moon. On these nights, adolescents run wild, destroying everything in their path.

Lumen resists. Promising her father she will never breach, she investigates the mystery of her community’s traditions and the stories erased from the town record. But the more we learn about the town’s past, the more we realize that Lumen’s memories are harboring secrets of their own.

A gothic coming-of-age tale for modern times, When We Were Animals is a dark, provocative journey into the American heartland.

*Disclaimer: This quote was pulled from the ARC received through NetGalley and may not match up to the final book.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB/Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

14 Comments

Filed under Celebrations, Chapters

Book Review: Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani


Trail of Broken Wings
By Sejal Badani
Releases 5/1/15
April Kindle First Pick

Rating: 4 bones(out of 5 bones)

Wow.  This book was super powerful.  I have a hard time with books like this.  It was so incredibly sad, heart-breaking, and hard to read at times.  So it’s not a book that I can easily say “It’s so good go read it”  But if I look at the writing style and the story of overcoming your past, redemption, and moving forward, it is a powerful read.  Just be prepared and warned.

The story follows an Indian family, moved to the United States from India when the children were young.  The father, Brent, is now in a coma, and the family comes back together as he nears the end.  Like many books, this book flashes back to the past to explain what is going on in the present.  Brent’s wife is Ranee and together they have three girls, Marin, Trisha, and Sonya.

We come to know each of these characters very intimately.  Brent only through his wife and daughters and their memories.  In reading the book description, which I pasted below, I’m not sure that I ever really came to understand Brent’s actions or at least never felt any bit of sympathy for him.  His wife, Ranee, tried hard to be the typical submissive wife all while holding in and experiencing a lot of pain at Brent’s hand.  And seemed to constantly struggle with providing for and protecting her daughters.  She is really a complex character as the book goes on and I came to really understand her decisions, some of which I couldn’t ever imagine having to make.  But she probably surprised me the most of anyone.

Marin, the eldest, forced into an arranged marriage, much like her mother, is the Type A, super competitive sister, daughter, wife, and mother.  We get glimpses into her marriage to Raj, and her daughter Gia is a prominent character throughout the book as the past meets the present.  Also tormented growing up at Brent’s hand, we come to understand why she is who she is and how to use that moving forward.

Trisha, the middle daughter, works hard to maintain perfection.  Married to a man of her choice, and always Brent’s favorite, she appears to have it all together.  As we learn more about Trisha, we see this is not the case, as she holds some dark secrets from the past that come to light throughout the book.

Then there is Sonya, who throughout her entire life, had been told she should have been aborted.  Promised a boy, Brent decided to not abort Ranee’s third pregnancy, but when Sonya arrived, she took the majority of his frustration and could never live up to his expectations.  Now a world-traveled photographer estranged from her family for the last many years, she comes home to face her demons.

I could go on, this book had so many levels and characters, but all so flawlessly brought together for this powerful story of not letting your past define you and moving forward.  It ends with an encouraging message and left me thinking about it for days.

I would recommend this book, just go in expecting to be challenged.  Hugging my kids a little tighter after this.

Thank you to Kindle First for offering this book for April.

Book Description:

When her father falls into a coma, Indian American photographer Sonya reluctantly returns to the family she’d fled years before. Since she left home, Sonya has lived on the run, free of any ties, while her soft-spoken sister, Trisha, has created a perfect suburban life, and her ambitious sister, Marin, has built her own successful career. But as these women come together, their various methods of coping with a terrifying history can no longer hold their memories at bay.

Buried secrets rise to the surface as their father—the victim of humiliating racism and perpetrator of horrible violence—remains unconscious. As his condition worsens, the daughters and their mother wrestle with private hopes for his survival or death, as well as their own demons and buried secrets.

Told with forceful honesty, Trail of Broken Wings reveals the burden of shame and secrets, the toxicity of cruelty and aggression, and the exquisite, liberating power of speaking and owning truth.

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Teaser Tuesday: April 14th

Happy Tuesday!!  Finally catching a glimpse of spring up here on Lake Erie!  To celebrate – I took my old girl (soon to be 12) for a beautiful walk on the lake!

photo (27)

I’m being a bit lazy this week and teasing the same book as last week.  After spending 10 days on The Turner House, I’m a bit behind on where I thought I would be – so bear with me as I get through this book.  Another sad story – my April Kindle First selection: Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Hadani.

 

“Some moments in your life you wish never happened; you would do anything to take them back.  They make you realize you are not all-powerful.  That there is a force stronger than you at work.  In those moments, you fall to your knees and abdicate all sense of power.  Offer your hand and ask for help.  If you are lucky, you will feel the touch of something or someone to help you rise.  If not, you stay kneeling, left all alone”
(32% into book)

What do you think? I cannot express how sad this book is, not that I should be surprised by it, but it is hurting my heart so much.  I’m hoping it moves into a message of healing very soon (I’m about half-way through.) I am a strong proponent that all things do happen for a reason, if not immediately apparent, someday to make you stronger or to help someone else.  No idea where this will go, but such a great (or missed) opportunity to bring God in the details.  We’ll see!

Thanks for coming by – please leave your teaser in the comments!

Book Description:

When her father falls into a coma, Indian American photographer Sonya reluctantly returns to the family she’d fled years before. Since she left home, Sonya has lived on the run, free of any ties, while her soft-spoken sister, Trisha, has created a perfect suburban life, and her ambitious sister, Marin, has built her own successful career. But as these women come together, their various methods of coping with a terrifying history can no longer hold their memories at bay.

Buried secrets rise to the surface as their father—the victim of humiliating racism and perpetrator of horrible violence—remains unconscious. As his condition worsens, the daughters and their mother wrestle with private hopes for his survival or death, as well as their own demons and buried secrets.

Told with forceful honesty, Trail of Broken Wings reveals the burden of shame and secrets, the toxicity of cruelty and aggression, and the exquisite, liberating power of speaking and owning truth.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB/Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

10 Comments

Filed under Canines, Chapters

Teaser Tuesday: April 7th

Happy Tuesday and Happy April!  I’m still working my way through The Turner House by Angela Flournoy, releasing April 14th (which I teased last week.) Keeping with just random teasers – this week I’ve chosen one (randomly!) from Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Handani, my Kindle First choice for April (releasing May 1st), which I’m hoping to start later this week!  Take a look at the description below – another kind of heavy one…we’ll see!

“I lock the door after she leaves.  Taking the desk chair, I nudge it against the doorknob.  It is the only way I can sleep at night.  It is the only way I know how to stay safe.  That and to keep running.  Because as long as you keep running, they can never catch you.” (6% into book.)

What do you think? It’s quite sad to me especially if it’s a child speaking. Thanks for coming by – please leave your teaser in the comments!

Book Description:

When her father falls into a coma, Indian American photographer Sonya reluctantly returns to the family she’d fled years before. Since she left home, Sonya has lived on the run, free of any ties, while her soft-spoken sister, Trisha, has created a perfect suburban life, and her ambitious sister, Marin, has built her own successful career. But as these women come together, their various methods of coping with a terrifying history can no longer hold their memories at bay.

Buried secrets rise to the surface as their father—the victim of humiliating racism and perpetrator of horrible violence—remains unconscious. As his condition worsens, the daughters and their mother wrestle with private hopes for his survival or death, as well as their own demons and buried secrets.

Told with forceful honesty, Trail of Broken Wings reveals the burden of shame and secrets, the toxicity of cruelty and aggression, and the exquisite, liberating power of speaking and owning truth.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB/Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

5 Comments

Filed under Chapters