Category Archives: Amber

5 Stars for Diving In by Alice Cross #FF

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Title: Diving In (Bridge to Desire Book 2)
Author Name: Alice Cross
Publication Date & Length: November 13, 2014 – 31pgs

Synopsis

Sometimes holding onto love means you’ve got to risk losing it all.

It’s not like Sam to fall too hard for any girl, let alone one who only recently broke up with her boyfriend of several years. But Lissa isn’t just any girl. In three short weeks, she has managed to wrap Sam around her little finger without even trying. Sam knows better than to expect a newly-minted lesbian to settle down with her first fling, but she’s not ready to let her latest catch go just yet. Can she offer Lissa the freedom she needs to explore, without cutting her loose altogether?

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Review

FiveStars

This is a hot and steamy quick read.
I absolutely loved it!
This book draws you in quickly and keeps you turning the pages. It gives you just enough to satisfy yet leaves you wanting more at the same time.
It has just enough bdsm in it for it to be kinky but not to controlling. Just hot, steamy and sexy.
This book is well written and to the point. I didn’t want to put it down even when it was over!
Its easy to read and easy to fall in love with.

Amber

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5, 3 and 3.5 Stars for Coming Out by Kejsi Miller #FF #ComingOut

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Title: Coming Out
Author Name: Kejsi Miller
Publication Date & Length: June 1, 2014 – 222pgs

Synopsis

Coming out is one of the hardest decisions a person can make. All you can hope for is love and acceptance from your family and friends. Unfortunately for Syd, coming out as straight in a world where everyone is gay, love and acceptance was not what she found. What she found instead, was an unwanted car ride to the nearest cleansing center to help her find the ‘right path’ back to being her true gay self. Or so her parents thought when they left her at ‘Straight Away’.
Coming out is a story of love, friendship, self acceptance, and the obstacles one must face to find happiness in a world where fear and misunderstanding rule. Come out, come out wherever you are!

Review

FiveStars

This book is well written and simply amazing!
I was hooked from the first page. I absolutely loved it! I like the way being homosexual is the norm and being straight was unacceptable.
I think this would be a great book for someone who is having a hard time accepting gays. Although it is a great read for anyone!
It made me laugh, it made me cry. I couldn’t put it down. And I this will be one of the few books I will reread.

Amber

ThreeandHalfStars

This was an unusual story where the world is reversed and it’s the straight minority being oppressed. I picked it up because the concept interested me, but ultimately, I thought it fell a little short of its ambitious goal.
I did like the main characters, and I enjoyed the relationship and banter among them. Harper was my favorite. I liked the way she owned who she was and made it into a sort of snooty, self-important persona but had a lot of love and compassion stored underneath. She was wonderfully complex.
I had mixed feelings about the plot in general. It seemed like it wanted to be both cutting-edge and humorous, and it didn’t quite succeed at either. In order to successfully pull off reversing the discrimination, it probably should have been much more serious. The humor would have worked better in our real world. As written, it felt just vaguely dismissive of reparative therapy. I doubt that was intentional; it’s just a function of making light of the situation.
The whole novel probably could have benefited from better editing. There were numerous grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors throughout, and I found the POV-switches at the end confusing after having most of the book be from one character’s POV.
I enjoyed the action scenes in the second half much more than the set-up in the first half. It was fun to read about the daring rescues and what happened afterward.
3.5 stars
Amy

ThreeStar

I found the concept of this book very innovative and refreshing, a world where the majority of people were gay and the outcasts were those who were “straight”.
Much of the book revolves around the four main characters, Syd the “straight” female, Brock the ashamed male “bi”, who Syd fancies, Harper the closeted “bi” and Lex, Syd’s  ex girlfriend.
While in the institution the banter between the young people, who, apart from Lex are there at their parents request, to reprogramme them to become gay, is very amusing and appealing. However as the disturbing scenes of torture begin to emerge we begin to realise the horrors that befall such outcasts.
My criticism of the novel is that I didn’t feel the author managed to weave together the humour of the situation along side the gravity it also tried to convey.
I feel the author is targeting the teen market and I am sure it will be a real success there.
The epilogue for me also let the novel down, although I am a true romantic I did fine the ending far to unbelievable  and sugar coated.
Chris

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AuthorBio

I’ve been writing since I was young. I remember writing a series of stories when I was 7 or 8 about a girl and a ghost called “Jackie & Spookie.” Ever since it was always a hobby just for me. It wasn’t until I was about 16 that I found out there was more to it then I ever thought. Ten years later I was ready to share with the world. Here comes my first novel “Coming Out”, about a world where the roles are flipped and a girl must come out to her family as straight in a world where everyone is gay. They ship her off to a cleansing center believing it will gay her back up, but boy are they wrong. She goes on an adventure to find herself and finds friends she never thought she’d have along the way.

My next novel was one I had been working on since I was 16, “Which Way Is Witch?” Completely different than “Coming Out”, this takes on a paranormal twist throwing the main character in a world she never expected. Her and her best friend find out things are never as they seem and family and friendship are more important than they even realize.

My writing style may not be perfect, but I try to bring laughter and smiles to every one of my readers. Whether it be paranormal, romance, or a coming of age, I hope you will come on this journey with me. Writing may be my second love (Music will always be my first), but I always put a piece of me in everything I produce. And just so there is no gasps of shock, there most likely will always be a LGBQ message or characters in my stories.

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3.5 and 2 Stars for Pianissimo by Lauren Shiro #FF #Historical #Paranormal

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Title: Panissimo
Author Name: Lauren Shiro
Publication Date & Length: October 16, 2014 – 193pgs

Synopsis

Darryl and Corinne Richards purchase their first house. With Darryl’s army career coming to a close, they feel ready to settle down in Louisville, Kentucky. With impeccable timing, Darryl is sent on one final tour, leaving Corinne to live in this new house and new city alone.

Overwhelmed, Corinne becomes reclusive, living a quiet, boring life with her cats as she adjusts to her new surroundings. The problem is: someone or some thing does not want her life to be either quiet or boring. And then there’s the creepy piano in the basement…

There is more to that creepy, dilapidated piano and her new home than Corinne could ever imagine. Through highs and lows, twists and turns, she begins to understand that even the most softly played music is powerful – and that even soft realizations and quietly subtle changes can have a profound effect.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

I have mixed feelings about this novel. I really enjoyed the historical parts, and I adored Margaret and Agnes. I wish the whole book had been just them without the modern-day parts. They were simply wonderful, and I feel a bit short-changed on seeing their relationship blossom.

I found it confusing at times when it switched back and forth between Corinne’s story of restoring the piano and the past. It was often abrupt and didn’t flow smoothly. The whole thing could have benefitted from tighter editing and some well-placed scene breaks.

I also had mixed feelings about Corinne and the other modern-day people. It read like it was aimed at people who aren’t sure they like gay people rather than at people interested in reading about two women in love. That might be why I didn’t care for the present day stuff—I’m really not the target audience for this story.

Because I enjoyed Margaret and Agnes so much, I look forward to reading Ms. Shiro’s other work, which might be more to my taste.

3.5 stars

Amy

ThreeStar

This book had an interesting premise, but I was definitely disappointed by it. There is relatively no plot, and the plot that is there isn’t in the main part of the book. It was very hard to get into, reading wise. The main character is ridiculously whiny, and by the time we get to any other character in the book, it’s a respite.

I wish that this whole story had been Agnes and Margarette–that would have made it completely interesting and able to hold my attention. Corrine seemed to be a character thrown in there to drag it back to the present, and like I said before, she was really whiny.

I loved the idea of the piano being the connection between all these women and having little bits of information about Agnes and Margaret be filtered through the beginning part, but the main character made it very difficult to continue reading.

Writing wise: the beginning of the book, until we get to actual scenes with Agnes and Margaret is very redundant and repetitive. It’s not well-written. Corrine will say she’s going to do something and then we get to read about her doing it. The redundancy of writing like that happens throughout. What the writing lacked was a really good copy-editor who could catch the redundancy and tone of the main character.

Overall, the interesting premise and my love for any piano fic is what saved this piece and allowed me to continue reading it.

AJ

TwoStars

I give this book 2 stars. If there was supposed to be a plot I’m not sure what it was. I think the idea of the book is good and with a good copy editor it might be an OK book but as it was I found it extremely redundant and boring.
I did like the fact that it shows gays have been around forever and that they are people. It made some good points and has the ability to possibly open some eyes.

Amber

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5 and 4 Stars for Saving Grace by Alex Gryffon #FF #Paranormal @silverflame920

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Title: Saving Grace
Author Name: Alex Gryffon
Publication Date & Length: February 18, 2014 – 144pgs

Synopsis

“Wanting to spend time with my long-lost twin. Together we’re more powerful than anyone who ever lived. More powerful than the people before us and we’ll be more powerful than anyone who comes after us. Join us and be a part of something wonderful, something great.”
“And to do that I must become what? Evil?” Grace yelled, breaking the intimate link.
“Not evil. Darkness doesn’t always mean evil and bad, just as light doesn’t always translate into goodness. You can be more powerful!” Amethyst threw out her arms, power crackling at her fingertips.
“What if I don’t want to be Dark? If I don’t join you?” Amethyst’s eyes darkened and Grace felt more power build up in Amethyst. Yet, deep in her mind she wasn’t scared – she felt almost certain Amethyst wouldn’t hurt her.
“That, my sister, would be a mistake.”

Review

FourStars

This book is a great read. It pulls you in and keeps you. Although it is a stand alone it leaves you wanting more.
I was hooked from the first page and fell in love with Grace and Sarah almost immediately.
The chemistry between them is amazing and very well written. Its not a book you will want to put down.
I highly recommend this for anyone looking for ya f/f or paranormal

Amber

FiveStars

This is by far the most, entertaining, engrossing and exciting book I have read in a long time.
The story evolves around two teenage girls as they approach their 17th birthdays. It is an extraordinary magical love story. The magic begins when Grace moves in next door to Sarah, the pastors daughter, both girls are instantly attracted to each other and their love slowly and gently develops. Along the way they have to deal with, jealousy and bigotry, however, nothing can dent their growing feeling and love for each other.
As the story develop it becomes obvious that Grace has magical powers. These powers are introduced into the novel in such a natural way that Grace’s powers seem perfectly normal and in no way unbelievable to the reader.
The story draws to a conclusion at Grace’s 17th birthday reunion with her family and Sarah, when Grace’s full magical powers are finally revealed. At this point I can only urge you to buy this book and find out just why this book is entitled “Saving Grace.”
This is such a wonderfully refreshing book I can only hope that Ms Gryffon has a sequel at her obviously magical finger tips!!!
Chris

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AuthorBio

I’ve been writing for quite a few years now – it has always been a passion of mine. Not too long ago, I met (via web) an author who turned my world upside down with his fantastic novels. He then proceeded to show me how to self-publish my books.

My first published work: Stranded: Gauturan, I started writing when I was in either my sophomore or junior year of high school that features me and my closest three friends. That story was the kick-off to my writing and self-publishing books that I have a passion for. I have the help of my wonderful partner Kejsi Miller and a web of friends who give me love and support for all the works of fiction I write.

I write fiction, fantasy and LGTB romance novels (or rather just the L) – some longer than others and some more involved in others. Writing is my world and it’s a world I love to write about. I’ve loved books since I was a little kid and my passion for reading has only grown – deepening the well of books I have yet to read and the list grows with each day. I’ve had the pleasure to talk with some authors who have inspired me and I wish to inspire others to not only read, but to write as well. The world can always use a creative mind to send us to another world.

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5 Stars for Which Way is Witch by Kejsi Miller #FF

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Title: Which Way is Witch
Author Name: Kejsi Miller
Publication Date & Length: November 22, 2014 – 143pgs

Synopsis

What if you were to find out after 18 years that you’re adopted? What if your best friend of practically your whole life isn’t who either of you thought she was? And maybe to top it all off, it just so happens that you find out you’re a witch…SURPRISE!
Meet Drina… A girl whose world flips off its axis one night and seems like it will never spin in the right direction again. She gets picked up and thrown into a world where witches, shape- shifters, and Inccu-freaks roam free. She’ll need the help of a little fox, her best friend, and the power within herself to find out… Which Way Is Witch.

Review

FiveStars

This is a great fast read. I love all the twist and turns this book takes! Some you can see coming where others you never expect.
The effects everyone have on each other are perfect the way they all equal out each other and come together.
This book is very well written and I look forward to reading more from Kejsi Miller!

Amber

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AuthorBio

I’ve been writing since I was young. I remember writing a series of stories when I was 7 or 8 about a girl and a ghost called “Jackie & Spookie.” Ever since it was always a hobby just for me. It wasn’t until I was about 16 that I found out there was more to it then I ever thought. Ten years later I was ready to share with the world. Here comes my first novel “Coming Out”, about a world where the roles are flipped and a girl must come out to her family as straight in a world where everyone is gay. They ship her off to a cleansing center believing it will gay her back up, but boy are they wrong. She goes on an adventure to find herself and finds friends she never thought she’d have along the way.

My next novel was one I had been working on since I was 16, “Which Way Is Witch?” Completely different than “Coming Out”, this takes on a paranormal twist throwing the main character in a world she never expected. Her and her best friend find out things are never as they seem and family and friendship are more important than they even realize.

My writing style may not be perfect, but I try to bring laughter and smiles to every one of my readers. Whether it be paranormal, romance, or a coming of age, I hope you will come on this journey with me. Writing may be my second love (Music will always be my first), but I always put a piece of me in everything I produce. And just so there is no gasps of shock, there most likely will always be a LGBQ message or characters in my stories.

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TWO 4 Star Reviews for Sandcastles by Suzie Carr – #FF #Health #Literary @girl_novelist

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Title: Sandcastles
Author Name: Suzie Carr
Publication Date & Length: January 28, 2015 – 235pgs

Synopsis

Lia is smart, successful, and best friends with Dean, a gay man who is just as neurotic as she. Life is smooth and flowing, unmarked by much more than a little family jealousy here and there, until she runs into Willow, an exciting enigma from her past.

Willow, a psychic, receives a sense that something is off kilter surrounding Lia. Should she tell her, even though Lia, the person she’s never been able to stop thinking about since childhood, might run the other way? It’s a risk she decides to take, and Lia’s curiosity surprises her.

As truths about life, love and uncertainties are unearthed, Lia and Willow, along with Dean, learn to seek strength from unexpected places and people. Along their journeys, the three learn what a struggle it is to maintain their sandcastles as they embrace the parts of their lives that really matter.

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Review

FourStars

This was a long read, but worth it. I love Suzie Carr’s writing style. For anyone who likes a lot of plot with a side of romance, this fits the bill nicely. There are a few great scenes between Lia and Willow, enough to satisfy but not so much they overshadow the storyline. The steamy-but-not-graphic sex was perfect for my preference.

I enjoyed the characters, but Dean was by far my favorite. I thought he was a good balance for the story. Lia was the textbook definition of stressed workaholic, and Willow was a bit much sometimes on her end, too, so it was good to have something in between.

My only hesitation (and why I can’t give it 5 stars) was that Willow and Yvonne came across as somewhat judgmental and like they had an agenda for the reader. There was also a bit of body-, health-, and fat-shaming (for example, Lia assuming a plump boy was running to get ice cream, or the character running a wellness session on the “causes” of obesity). I wasn’t fond of the part where a couple of the characters seemed to be saying people cause their own illnesses and that emotions other than peaceful/happy are bad. I think those elements could be triggering for some people.

Otherwise, it was an enjoyable read. I’ve been a fan of Suzie Carr for a while, so my concerns with this story will in no way keep me from reading her work and recommending it to others.

Amy

FourStars

Its not exactly a page turner in my opinion but it is a good book full of life lessons that everyone should take to heart. Its a easy read and full of love,happiness and pain just like life.
It is very inspirational and just the right mix of deep and humor. It will have you laughing while thinking how true, and good of a point it is. I also like that it shows the importance of being open minded, how you hurt truly great people by being small minded. This book is a eye opener and we’ll written.

Amber

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AuthorBio

Suzie Carr is a prolific novelist, publishing company owner, philanthropist and avid blogger. Occasionally she sleeps, but not often.

Whether it’s writing about women in love, inspiring new authors, advocating for lgbt equality and animal welfare or blogging about community awareness, positive living, taking action and inspiration… Suzie remains passionate in her beliefs!

She believes in the power of community and fostering a welcoming place where everyone feels connected and their voices are equal, valued and appreciated. Bullying, bigotry and inequality are not welcome… but curves always are.

Suzie’s love for the written word started back when she was a child. She enjoyed visiting the library every Saturday to spend hours reading. Books quickly became a constant companion to her and remained as such throughout her childhood.

Always in the creative mindset, she dreamed of a life where she would work by day and write books by night.

Unfortunately, twelve hour work days left her no time or energy for learning how to craft a novel. So, off to college she went to pursue her passion for writing.

College fed her hunger for the written word and Suzie devoured anything and everything written on the subject of novel writing while pursuing her degree in communications at Rhode Island College.

Soon after graduating, The Fiche Room, a coming-of-age novel about two women falling in love, was born. Over the years The Fiche Room grew from its humble e-book origins to an Amazon Kindle best seller receiving glowing reviews and recently giving rise to its adaptation, The Curve, a short film currently in production.

With six bestsellers on Amazon Kindle in the lesbian romance and lesbian fiction genres, Suzie continues to write about the beauty of women falling in love with each other to the rave reviews of her growing fans, loyal followers and fellow authors.

Suzie Carr believes strongly in giving back to the community. She donates a portion of book sale proceeds to the Hearts United for Animals and NOH8 Campaign.

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5, 4 and 3.5 Star Reviews for Godsend by Sloan Johnson – #MM #Romance @authorsloani

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Title: Godsend
Author Name: Sloan Johnson
Publication Date: February 2015

Synopsis

You can’t choose who you fall in love with. Despite knowing from a young age that he was gay, Scott Murphy couldn’t imagine life without Shelly. He threw away the labels and had eleven amazing years with her, but now, he feels even more lost trying to figure out how to move on after Shelly’s death. After nearly a year of watching Scott fade away, Shelly’s father forces him to start living again.

As much as Chris loathes the idea of attending a bereavement group week after week, it’s one of the only places he can go in this town, other than the bar, to not feel so alone. When there’s nothing to distract him or dull his senses, he spends too much time obsessing over how he should have been able to help his sister. When Scott shows up at his group session, Chris decides that maybe some good can come out of his sister’s death.

There’s no denying that Chris is the first man to catch Scott’s attention in a long time, but how can he move on when just thinking of Shelly sends him to his dark place?

The road to recovery won’t be an easy one, but Chris is determined to help Scott see that life is still worth living. But before Scott can allow himself to admit what he feels for Chris, he knows he has to reveal the full truth about Shelly’s death.

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Review

FiveStars

Wow… This book started off tough. I was crying by page 3. The way this author handled this subject was heart-warming and believable. My heart ached. I was invested.
You can’t choose who you fall in love with. Despite knowing from a young age that he was gay, Scott Murphy couldn’t imagine life without Shelly. He threw away the labels and had eleven amazing years with her, but now, he feels even more lost trying to figure out how to move on after Shelly’s death.
Scott and Chris meet at group grief therapy and there is some chemistry but Scott is nowhere near ready to let anyone in his life. What this journey shows is Scott coming to grips with Shelly’s death and letting people back in to his life, and his heart. There is some light paranormal and the author did it in a way that warmed your heart and was believable. This is a tough subject to write about (you will know when you read it) And I felt this whole story was a realistic view of what people go through. Sometimes you read stories because you want to get caught up in a journey and other times, you want a dose of reality. This story will do both!! There was anger and anguish, and love and lust. It was a heart-wrenching and heart-warming journey that will have you cheering and smiling through tears. The intimacy (sexyyyy time) was smoking hot!!!! Bring extra panties 🙂
Some people might even find it therapeutic to read this story. They will see there is a light at the end of a very tough tunnel.
Good job Sloan Johnson!!!
Kimberley
FourStars
Godsend is a stand alone and I give it 4 stars. This is a great read.
This book is very well-written. I love how it comes together, and I feel it is very inspirational. Although there is a lot of pain in this book it shows as long as you push through you can be happy again.
I also love how it shows the importance of not giving up on people you love just because they try to push you away. Not to give up on life because even when you feel you cant go on, if you push through it, there is a chance you will be happier than ever before.
Although this book is full of broken people they all come together to make each other whole again. They won’t ever be the same but they learn how to live, and smile and be truly happy again despite what they have been through.
Amber
ThreeandHalfStars
I picked this one because I liked the concept looked interesting and because of the “bisexual” nature of the story. I was honestly a bit disappointed after reading it.

I really like Ms. Johnson’s writing style–it’s excellent. Although I found that the story dragged a bit for my preference, it’s well-written and that’s more personal taste than anything else. Other readers would enjoy the pacing of the book more than I did. The emotional drama was also a bit much for my preference, but again, others would love it. The strictly romance aspect of the book is what a lot of people want.

For me, though, it was the characters who fell flat. Scott and Chris felt as though they could be the same person, and they were generic examples of men. There was nothing that stood out as unique or interesting. Even Scott’s supposed “bisexuality” was a bit of a disappointment. I really felt like his self-reflection could have been expanded on to round him out as a person. Bi men already feel erased in queer lit, and many are put off by a plotline of “a gay man who happens to fall in love with a woman.” It felt more like a flaw in character development than anything else.

I was also disappointed that Shelly’s ghost disappeared partway through and didn’t return. That was a quirky angle I enjoyed and missed when it was gone; it made for faster pacing and a bit of extra insight.

The one big thing I really loved was the grieving and healing. It’s relatable and it was interesting how every single person in the story viewed the process differently. Readers should be forewarned, though. That aspect might be either really hopeful or really triggering, depending on the person.

3.5 stars

Amy
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muscular young man lying on his hands, studio shot

AuthorBio

Sloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girl’s body. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?

Now, Sloan is a tattooed, purple haired mom of two kids, one of which was a thank you present to her husband for letting her get a Staffordshire Terrier with more anxiety issues than Sloan has, which is saying something. She’s been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she’s been known to lose herself in a good book and forget that she has somewhere to be.

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