Tag Archives: YA

Author Showcase: Jeffrey L. Kohanek – “The Emblem Throne” ~ (CONTEST INCLUDED)~

You might recall, back on January 7th, Jeffrey was here giving away a signed print copy of The Buried SymbolHe was so overwhelmed by your support, he asked for a return engagement so he could present The Emblem Throne and once again offer ONE LUCKY WINNER a FREE COPY of The Buried Symbol. This time for your kindle !

He just knows (like me) that once you embark on this journey with Brock, you’ll be eager to ride shotgun on his next adventure, The Emblem Throne. Which will include friends he made from the Ministry and, of course, Tip. Plus, we shall meet many new faces. 

First though, lets take a peek at The Emblem Throne before you leave us a comment and/or question. Reminder, your feedback makes you eligible to WIN The Buried Symbol so, don’t be shy, drop us a line! 

(Contest runs from now until  January 28th, midnight – central time. Winner is selected January 29th and his or her name will be posted on a comment below! BTW: No matter where you call home, you may enter. So enter, my fellow bookworms!!) 

 

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As they strive to become Masters within the Ministry, Brock and his friends resume their training at the Academy, an institution founded on magic, science, knowledge, law, and combat. They soon discover an expansive web of conspiracies and deceit within the Ministry, hidden behind a veil of benevolence and piety. The exposure of one of those secrets forces Brock and his friends to flee the institution with their lives in the balance.

Joined by a fierce Tantarri warrior, the group embarks on a quest to locate a mysterious throne that has been lost for centuries. Guided by the cryptic words of an ancient prophecy, and backed by a forbidden magic that they are still learning to wield, they journey across the continent to save humanity from extinction.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

Many characters we met in book one, The Buried Symbolare back and ready to assist Brock in his mission to save the world. Along the way, we meet several of their family members and begin to understand why they joined the Ministry. Cameron has two jealous older brothers. Ashland has an evil uncle but the sweetest and most loving parents. Benny, his father is a sweetheart and now sporting a wheelchair thanks to Benny’s ingenuity. As for Parker, his father made the biggest impression of all but I won’t disclose more. (No spoilers)  

Along with meeting the kinfolk, the group encounters mystical beings. Wraith: A bacabra, big dog but 3-4 times larger than your normal thought of canine, whom became a great ally. Also, they battled a horde of banshees. 

 

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Ten feet tall, red eyes, and sharp talons — These creatures are the things of nightmares. And unfortunately, the battle with them brought upon more than one death. However, not everything was a loss. Love did bloom despite the bleak future ahead. And with the end of the book came…… a promising start to book three, An Empire in Runes: releasing in Spring of 2017. I’ll be on the look-out for it and I’m sure you’ll be too. 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

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~~ Special note from  Jeffrey L. Kohanek ~~

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Book III, An Empire in Runes, is set to release in Spring of 2017, widening the story’s scope, further expanding the cast of characters, and uncovering the depths of the conspiracy that lies within the Ministry. Find out how this epic adventure ends, for the world will be a much different place at the conclusion of the trilogy. 

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Author Showcase: Jeffrey L. Kohanek – “The Buried Symbol (The Runes of Issalia)” ~ (CONTEST INCLUDED)~

We are a week into the the new year and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than with a FREE PRINT BOOK OFFER courtesy of Jeffrey L. Kohanek. If you haven’t heard of him or his science fiction creations, then let me proudly introduce to you The Buried Symbol,  book one in The Runes of Issalia series. 

After you read the book summary and my thoughts on it, please leave us a comment or question because your feedback makes you eligible to WIN THIS SIGNED BOOK.

(Contest is open to anyone residing in the United States. It also runs from now until  January 8th, midnight – central time. Winner is selected January 9th and his or her name will be posted on a comment below!) 

 

~~ CHECK OUT THE PRIZE ~~

 

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Discover a lost magic, long buried and forgotten…

Without a rune marking his role in society, Brock is doomed to a life below the lowest rung of the social ladder. Unwilling to accept his fate, the teen risks his life to obtain a fake rune that marks him as a member of the Empire’s ruling class. He then embarks on a quest to join an institution where the Empire’s future leaders are trained.

As a student of the Academy, he soon uncovers a chain of secrets kept hidden for centuries, secrets that expose cracks in the foundation of Empire society. Among his discoveries is a powerful magic, long buried and forgotten.

Brock’s compassion and sense of justice are seeds that sprout tight friendships and a blossoming romance. An unwillingness to be bullied earns him a dangerous enemy, growing into a feud that escalates to a climactic showdown.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

No matter your race/religion/gender/nationality, at one point in time you’ll do something to improve the quality of your life. Maybe it’ll involve going to college, switching jobs, or your address. No matter the how, it’ll occur and you have a 50/50 chance your decision was for the better. Brock took steps to improve his station and he brought his friend Tip along for the ride.

Tip didn’t have a rune placed on his head, he wasn’t off to the Ministry academy, but he was content remaining an Unchosen because he had a roof over his head, food in belly, a bed, and a wonderful woman whom he loved dearly.

Brock, on the other hand, felt he was meant for more and his assumptions proved true. He turned out to be a great and powerful student. He was able to harness the power of the Order and Chaos. Not an easy feat. Like his best bud, Tip, he found love — Ashland, a great healer.

~~Other notable characters~~

Cameron (Cam): tough on the outside but gentle on the inside.

Benny: the inventor who brought life to all his scenes.

Corbin: He reminded me of Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter series. Both characters you’ll love hating.  😈 

 

~~ Favorite scenes~~

1.) The boys trying out the Hedgewick Roller (bike). As a mother who’s just watched her daughter learn to ride a 2-wheeler this summer, I had to laugh at their attempt to ride the crazy contraption. Pure hilarity! 

2.) Couple years back, my son was assigned the talk of creating a working catapult. It was a happy moment when he finally got the marshmallow to soar across the garage. If I recall, he got an A on the assignment! Thanks for triggering the memory, Jeffrey!

 

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Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

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Kindle Purchase Link

 

 

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Jeffrey L. Kohanek grew up in rural Minnesota where comic books sparked his young imagination, inspiring fantasies of heroes with super-powers saving the day. His tastes later evolved to fantasy epics featuring unlikely heroes overcoming impossible odds to save worlds born from the writer’s imagination.

Now residing in southern California, Jeff uses that imagination to weave tales of engaging characters caught in fantastic plots to inspire young adults and the child within us all.

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Twitter Link 

 

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Review of “Shadows of a Superhero” – Christopher D. Schmitz

51svghdxo6lPrint Length: 37 pages

 

The Light is his city’s patron superhero. As his sidekick, Red—Zach Redinger, is suddenly thrust into a world without his champion after the mighty TL falls to a mysterious super-powered madman known only as Black. Now Red, a speedster named Janet, and Franklin (The Light’s wheelchair-bound former side-kick,) must find Black and prevent his horrible plans from coming to fruition. If they can’t pinpoint this maniac before his doomsday weapon is activated tomorrow might not come for anyone. The sidekicks’ plan is full of problems: Red doesn’t have any real powers, Janet can’t admit her secret love for Zach, and the deeper Franklin digs, the more he’s convinced that Black isn’t real—but that their enemy is somehow closer than any could ever expect.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

When we think of superheroes, we don’t always stop and wonder how they must feel when a member of their own team gets hurt. The internal battle raging instead them because they feel as if they should’ve done more, fought harder, been quicker, etc.

When you’re a sidekick, you never really imagine your “boss” will get seriously injured. You think of them as super humans but, in actuality, most are merely humans. Ok, some aren’t. We all know some superheroes have wicked cool powers but everyone can get hurt — somehow.  

No matter if you are super quick, strong, or can shine a light so bright everyone around you will need (super)shades to withstand having their retinas fried, all super brings have one thing in common….. a super foe. In this case, we meet Black and his sidekick…. (keeping name a secret)

Like in any comic book, movie, graphic novel, tv show etc, fans will experience a car chase scene, heroes will thwart an evil plan, and futuristic tech will be utilized. Never fear though, Christopher did go old-school with the usage of grappling guns.  The only thing missing from this story was PICTURES and maybe a few… BAM! CRASH! KAPOW! ZAP! ….. thrown into the mix.

 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

Audible – Unabridged Link

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Spooktacular Children’s Books!!

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As a mother of a second grader, I buy her holiday related stories all the time. Below are a few of her favorite Halloween reads. I hope you and your child(ren) enjoy these stories as much as my own little darling. 

 

Happy Reading and Happy Halloween! 

 

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Five of the all-time bestselling Goosebumps books including Welcome to Dead House, Say Cheese And Die!, Night of the Living Dummy, The Haunted Mask, and One Day at HorrorLand.  Each with their original cover in an exclusive retro collector’s tin!

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Oscar is short, like all dachshunds, and other dogs make fun of him. On Halloween he takes more ridicule than ever in his hot-dog costume, but one brave act makes him a hero.

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Barbara Gordon, the secret super hero BATGIRL, has been invited to the biggest Halloween party of year. Unfortunately, she already agreed to spend the night with ROBIN, her younger crime-fighting partner. Instead of arguing with her mentor, BATMAN, Barbara decides to bring ROBIN along. That night, the teens arrive at the costume party, hosted by an eccentric collector of Halloween artifacts. Suddenly, all of the lights go out! When they turn on, his prized artifact, a black cat made of rare diamonds, is missing! One of the masked guests must have stolen it, and BATGIRL and ROBIN must capture the feline felon.

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What’s the best way to help a skeleton get over his hiccups?

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This spooky twist on the wildly popular “There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly” is perfect for fun Halloween reading!

What won’t this old lady swallow? This time around, a bat, an owl, a cat, a ghost, a goblin, some bones, and a wizard are all on the menu! This Halloween-themed twist on the classic “little old lady” books will delight and entertain all brave readers who dare to read it!

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Review of “My Father Didn’t Kill Himself” – Russell Nohelty

Genre: (any language warnings, explicit sex or anything that might offend anyone) YA Mystery. This book deals with death, loss, and grief. There are difficult concepts to deal with and uncomfortable.

 

Blurb: 

 
How would you cope is somebody you love committed suicide?

Delilah’s father is the greatest man she has ever known. When he commits suicide her world is shattered. She can’t eat. She can’t sleep. Her bubbly personality becomes ascorbic. All she wants is to be left alone.

When his insurance policy refuses to pay out, Delilah sets out to prove what she’s known all along: that his suicide was in fact a murder.

A story of getting over grief and learning those you idolize aren’t perfect, told in blog posts through Delilah and her best friend.

On the surface My Father Didn’t Kill Himself is a mystery book, but right below the surface is a story of how people get over grief. And not just how Delilah gets over her grief of losing the person she idolizes most in the world. Also about how a wife gets over the grief of her husband, a husband that was supposed to provide for her, but instead left her alone and destitute.

Mixed with that is the loss felt by Alex, Delilah’s best friend, in losing her best friend to the anguish of grief, watching her slip away and pull back from the world, feeling helpless.

 

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DROWNING

Posted by Delilah Clark × December 15 at 9:31 pm.

Here is what The Suicide Handbook says about drowning.

Drowning in cold water is supposed to be like going to sleep. For me, it was a nightmare.

Shivering, freezing, I sat for a minute until my body

Adjusted to the cold. Then I sunk down under the water. The cold washed over me, but my lungs were on fire. Before I could pass out my natural instincts kicked in. I couldn’t fight them. I kicked and screamed

until half the water was gone. I gasped for air. It was frightful.

I performed my experiment much like J. I laid down in the tub until my body adjusted to the temperature. Once I was acclimated, I sunk below the water. I breathed out until there were no bubbles. And I waited. It didn’t take long for the fire in my lungs to start. Soon, it was unbearable. My body thrashed around for a moment before I shot out of the water and gasped for precious air.

I wholeheartedly endorse every word J said.

On top of that I realized something.

If I died in this tub, my bowels would empty, and I would be sitting in feces-filled water until somebody found me. That is not a dignified way to die—my bowel excretion muddying the water and coating me in a fine mist of poop. They’d be scrubbing for days to get me ready for the casket.

No thank you.

CEMETERY

Posted by Delilah Clark × December 16 at 7:22 pm.

Before every session with Dr. Bennett, Susie drives me to the cemetery and tries to coerce me into visiting my father’s grave.

I’d never been to his grave before; not since the funeral. It didn’t seem important to me.

It’s not like he’s in there anyway. Maybe his body, but not him. If he’s anywhere, he’s by my side as I try to fulfill his last wishes, not hanging out in a cemetery.

But Susie always insists on driving to the cemetery anyway. The cemetery is a weird place full of weird people. There’s this tall undertaker who seems a little too into the dead people’s families. He’s like overeager for them to buy something. His smile creeps me out. 

There’s a grave digger who has to be high on something because he moves slower than molasses. Sometimes I catch the funeral director yelling at him, as if that’s going to motivate somebody that digs graves for a living to pick up the pace. Shocker, it never worked. 

They’re not weird in a bad way though. Some of them I could like if I didn’t hate everybody on principle. There’s this guy who is always reading comic books. He introduced himself to me one day as “Roscoe. Roscoe Fay.” Like he’s James Bond or something. He just sits under this tall oak tree overlooking the cemetery and silently reads comics. I would watch him read sometimes, letting my eye catch a cool image every once and a while.

I would usually just sit there, looking out at the cemetery, until Susie gave up and drove us away. But today was different. Today, I felt a twinge in my stomach, a pang, not quite a stress baby, but maybe a stress zygote, or an unfertilized egg.

I needed to see his grave. I needed to talk to him.

Susie was ready to fight, but before she could open her big mouth I pushed out of the door and walked over to his grave.

It was weird.

For all my research on death, I had no idea how to act in a cemetery. I saw a few people crying over graves and placing flowers on them as they rehashed their day.

That isn’t me. I’m cried out.

His gravestone was simple and to the point.

 

Tim Clark. Devoted husband and father.

I read it over and over again. Have you ever noticed that any word you say over and over again sounds super weird? Just try saying neck two hundred times and tell me that’s not a silly word by the end?

By the eight millionth silent loop, my dad’s name sounded like an alien language. Maybe Zorgblopple, which I just made up.

“Hey dad,” I finally said. “How are you doing? Probably not so bad, right? I mean worms might be eating your insides, but at least you can’t feel how cold it is, right?”

I paused, waiting for a response from him. I felt like an idiot.

“It’s been snowing here a lot. Remember when Mom went out of town for the weekend and it rained? You always said that God was crying because he missed her. I thought that was silly, but I always think about that when it rains or snows now.”

I liked it. I liked it so much I skipped therapy and sat there most of the day. I really can’t tell you how much better than therapy it is.

 

Amazon Print Link / Kindle Link / Wannabe Press Website

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
 
My Father Didn’t Kill Himself discusses several touchy subjects: suicide, underage drinking, and a sex game high schoolers have conjured up using jelly bracelets. 
 
Fortunate for me, I have a son who’d rather stay at home and play video games than go to parties. Yes, I lucked out. However, many other parents aren’t so lucky. I firmly believe they’ll be some long talks after a parent reads this. Actually, I hope teenagers decide to speak up and discuss this book, their problems, basically whatever is on their minds, with someone — mom, dad, grandparent, etc. 
 
IMHO, and maybe I’m wrong, but I think opening a dialogue between caregiver and the young adult was the intent of My Father Didn’t Kill Himself. For that purpose, I think Russell nailed it. 
 
Despite the nature of each chapter, only one bothered me the most — “Jenny’s Party”. As a reader, as a mom, I found this section rather disturbing. I can see the point of the chapter. Yes, parties occur and terrible acts happen at them; those punishable by law. I, for one, DID NOT like the name of the drink (too disgusting to say) and I DID NOT like how Delilah (Russell) described high school boys. As I stated above, I am a mother to a almost severteen year old and my son is NOT 5 drinks away from forcing himself on an unconscious anyone. 
 
Not all boys are like that. Frankly, to say so was in extreme poor taste. 
 
With that rant over, I will reiterate, My Father Didn’t Kill Himself will and should make parents sit down with their child(ren) and have a great heart to heart talk. 
 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 

Amazon Print Link
Kindle Link
WANNABE PRESS STORE LINK

 

Russell Nohelty is a writer, publisher, and consultant. He is the publisher of Wannabe Press and its main author. Russell likes to write genre fiction with deep character studies. He’s sadistic with his characters, putting them in the worst situations and watching them claw their way back up, just to kick them back into the abyss. Russell started his career writing comics, and now writes novels and children’s books as well. 

Social Media Links: @russellnohelty (twitter/Instagram)

www.facebook.com/russellnohelty

Author email address: russell@wannabepress.com

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Author Showcase/Interview – Melissa (M.S. Kaye)

 
 
Book 2 of the Born from Death series
Young Adult
Paranormal novel, coming soon from Jupiter Gardens Press
by M.S. Kaye
 
The only emotion Ilona can muster is anger for the death of her mother. Barely engaged in life, she focuses all of her energy on finding and punishing her mother’s killer.
 
Since Ilona can see ghosts, Archer has to find unique ways to hide while watching over her. When Ilona is in danger of being mauled by a dog, he desperately tries something that shouldn’t be possible. And yet he succeeds. This is just the beginning of his discovery of who—what—he truly is.
 
Lettie continues to interact with Ilona, her one friend, even when a Messenger warns her. Eventually, Lettie remembers the ancient connection Archer and Ilona share, as well as her part in the punishment Archer bore as a result of that connection.
 
 
 
 
The blond boy didn’t walk up to a urinal or into one of the stalls, or even up to the mirror. He stood in the middle of the room.
 
Invisible, Lettie watched curiously.
 
Something moved backward away from him. Out of him.
She recognized Archer’s shiny black hair and strong frame even before she could see his face.
 
She gasped. But ghosts can’t inhabit people.
 
The blond boy shook his head and looked around. “Fuck.”
 
“I’m sorry,” Archer murmured so the boy wouldn’t hear.
 
Lettie stared at both of them.
 
The blond boy turned, leaned his hands on the counter, and looked at himself in the mirror…not the way people usually looked at themselves. It was more like he was trying to see something more than was in the reflection.
 
Archer watched him, as if waiting for him to see something.
 
Then Lettie understood. Archer hadn’t merely inhabited the boy—he’d possessed him. But there were only a couple ways that’d be possible—if he were half ghost, or if he…
 
A memory struck Lettie like a horse galloping across a battlefield. An ancient memory. Lettie had been around since the beginning of time on Earth, but most of those thousands of years she let slink around the crevices of her mind. It was mostly just walking the bridge with the newly deceased. There were a few memories, though, that burned into her every time she let herself pull them forward. And burned was precisely the right word.
 
 
She knew—or rather, remembered—why Archer would never leave Ilona.
 
 
Book 1 in the Born from Death Series
 
Ilona runs from her sheltering mother in order to find the truth, why
she’s seeing people who are invisible to everyone else. A mysterious boy named
Archer guides her through Brooklyn and introduces her to Hendrick, the man who
claims to be her father—though he died in 1890. Ilona must discover not only
what she must do to rid the city of Soll, a sadistic and powerful spirit, but
also what it means to be half ghost. She proves what her mother told her—love
is stronger than death.
  
 
 
 
1. Welcome, Melissa (M.S. Kaye).
For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the
readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
 
(Melissa)  It was kind of like a lightning bolt for me. I’ve
never had a talent for writing, but one evening it hit me that I had a story in
my head that I wanted to tell. I grabbed a notebook and started writing, with
no intention of showing it to anyone else, and have written every day since.
Eventually, I improved enough to show my work to a critique group, and now I
win awards and am published by three publishers. Proof that you don’t need
talent to become a good writer. (And that first book is now published: Endless
as the Rain.)
 
2.  All writers fear
the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it. 
 
(Melissa) I don’t believe in it.
 
3. Contrary to what some people envision about a romance
writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us.
With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend
your time? 
 
(Melissa) Work as an
assistant property manager and take care of my husband and two fur babies.
 
4. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their
pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are
their thoughts?
 
(Melissa) Everyone knows
I write!
 
5. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If
you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten. 
 
(Melissa) Charlotte Bronte, John Steinbeck, O.
Henry, J.K. Rowling, Madeleine L’Engle, L.M. Montgomery. 
 
6. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen,
yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see
casted in the parts? 
 
(Melissa) Mine, of
course! With some books, I don’t know if I could be happy with anyone in the
roles—the characters are so solidly formed in my head. But maybe Fight Princess, and Rhonda Roussey the
fighter could play Celisse and Josh Duhamel could play Cullen.
 
7. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now?
That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I
swear it’ll go no further.
 
(Melissa) I
JUST finished the third book in the Taken
series (Endless as the Rain, and Overcast).
 
8. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular
reading order? 
 
(Melissa) Read the series
in order, of course. Otherwise, it depends on what genres you like. Everything
has a romantic storyline, but they range from romantic suspense, paranormal,
young adult, and contemporary/lightly inspirational.
 
9. Would you please share how your present and future fans
can contact you?
 
(Melissa) My website www.BooksByMSK.com and social media: Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Goodreads  ~  Amazon  ~  TSU  ~  Pinterest  ~  LinkedIn
 
10. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you
have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours. 
 
(Melissa) Thank you for having me!!
 
 
Ladies and Gents, I
hope you enjoyed my interview with Melissa (M.S. Kaye). If you have any questions
or comments for Melissa, by all means, leave her a message below. Thank you in
advance for your visit! 
 
 

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