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Get your dragon on! A review of Fledgling by Nicole Conway

Fledgeling by Nicole Conway (Ebook) This is a fantasy adventure about a hybrid boy elf/human who kinda-accidentally binds himself to a wild dragon that no one else can tame.

While this book is middle grade, it did not suffer from all the juvenile mannerisms that would annoy the adult reader. Nope, no whining and sticking out their tongues in this one (thank goodness)

Our Half-Elf is in an interesting situation. As a dragonrider, he must train to be a flying soldier in an army bent on destroying the elves. That’s kind of a pickle, but this conflict isn’t touched on in book one. I hope they delve into it further in future books.

Anyway, this book deals with the prejudice that this boy faces in the world of men for being half elf, and you also see a hint that the elves don’t care for half breeds, either. Poor kid! The only ones who seem to like him are his roommate, his trainer, and his trainer’s daughter. (Yep, dangerous ground there, and the beginnings of what might be a love interest when these characters age-up a bit)

This book deals with the struggle of a middle grade boy who just wants to fit in, while he sets off on a pretty impressive (and almost believable) adventure to save one of the few people who’d ever shown him kindness. Throw in a couple of dragons, and this reader is totally sold. I wish I’d picked this book up sooner!


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play


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Is writing really a solitary endeavor? It doesn’t have to be. Maybe it shouldn’t be.

Read-hold up PKO_0016876I am running across more and more articles that talk about writing being a solitary endeavor. I see how it CAN be lonely… but really, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Yes, to an extent you need to write on your own (Unless two or more authors write a book together, but I’m not talking about that.)

Anyway, you write on your own, but if you find yourself a great group of writing friends, they are always there to bounce ideas off of, or to rant with when the words aren’t flowing, and to celebrate with when those worlds are flying like dandelion seeds in the spring breeze.

Spread_the_love!

Also – and this is the most important and fun part for me – when you are done writing your fourth or fifth draft… after you have taken the story as far as it can possibly go… you get to hand your baby over to these trusted friends and they can tell you all the wonderful things wrong with it!

And yes, they will be wonderful things, because every comment is an opportunity to make your great manuscript even better! And then you revise, and send it to someone else, and if you are lucky enough, they find even more wrong with it.

Plot hole? Really? Bring it!

Police in rural North Carolina don’t ride on horses? I did not know that!

You can’t see the Aurora Borealis in Florida? Wow! Good catch!

Okay, I made some of that up, but my beta readers find tiny little things like that all the time. Silly little things that read perfectly fine to me, but shout “No way” to someone else. Different life experiences bring something new to the read. It’s those little tweaks that excite me!

So yes, in the end my name is on the cover of the book, but it is really a team effort.

I am nothing without my beta readers. They way I look at it, the more eyes the better.

Don’t write in a little box all by yourself.

Find yourself a team.

It’s fun!

Happy_Writing!

 

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Fire in the Woods CoverYou can find Fire in the Woods at all these awesome bookish places!

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How to create a fully realized mythical world with Nicole Conway

Ummmm… excuse me, but DRAGONS, Baby! I never met a dragon I didn’t like. Today I’m welcoming the dragon lady… wait, that’s not right, but she is the author of three dragon books. Here is Nicole Conway talking about piecing together a bran new world.

A lot goes into creating a full and functioning mythical world. When I begin, I try to start with the basics of society before I even begin to fully flesh out the characters – because characters like people should be influenced by their culture. The roles of men and women are key. Is it male dominant? Female? Or neutral in gender roles? How are children viewed and what are there expectations as they mature? How are marriages performed? What influence do religious traditions have on daily life?

It seems daunting but I’ve found it’s rather fun to sit down and ponder it out. For instance, Maldobarian culture is very much like the standard Western European Medieval culture. Males are dominant, generally. People act and dress modestly. There’s a code of chivalry that one should adhere to. The gray elves of Luntharda, however, are very different. Their culture is more gender neutral, but with family lines being traced through the mother’s bloodlines.

People bathe together as a common social interaction because that kind of nudity isn’t viewed as scandalous. I suppose you could say that they almost have a “Garden of Eden” mentality where they don’t know they should be ashamed of their nudity. Children are raised by families and villages as a whole rather than only by individual parents.

I tend to focus more on the intimate details of a culture than the historical events. That’s not to say there’s any right or wrong way to do it. This is just my preference because it makes me feel as though I’m immersed in that world rather than reading a history book.

Want to read Nicole’s mythical world? You can find all the book at the links down below. Thanks for coming to hang today, Nicole!

Goodreads

Buy Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Click here for a chance to win one of Five copies of TRAITOR! Contest ends May 27, 2016

About the author

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. TRAITOR is the third and final book.

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |Goodreads

 

 

Making Fiction Come Alive! Using the Senses for Maximum Impact

Anything that talks to our senses feels a lot more real to us. It is through senses that we experience our entire world. We crave sensory experiences.

Click below- this is an awesome article for writers.

Source: Making Fiction Come Alive! Using the Senses for Maximum Impact

3-2-1 Blastoff! It’s Release Day for ASHES IN THE SKY! Alien Adventure Abounds!

Release day is finally here!

Omigosh, yes, I know it took forever, but here it is! Ashes in the Sky is FINALLY available in all formats at all booksellers.

Rock_On!

Here’s what early reviewers are saying on Goodreads:

85424-ashesinthesky-v6-book2-final-v3Ashes In The Sky is action-packed, fast-paced, and full of creative fun. It’s a book that’s out-of-this-world and will leave many with wanting more, and in a ironic twist probably craving tacos.
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I was so in love with the concept and the writing and the characters that I couldn’t put it down. This is shaping up to be one of my new favourite alien invasion stories and I cannot wait to see where the next book goes!
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After finishing this book I can safely say I’m now a huge/ massive fan of Jennifer M. Eaton’s books, boy does she know how to take you on an epic alien adventure. I absolutely adored this book and book one too it really is a no holds rip roaring ride of a book. I literally speed read this book in a few days, it’s brimming with action, heartbreak, romance and all out catastrophe.

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85424-ashesinthesky-v6-book2-final-v3I really devoured Ashes in the Sky, it was a wonderful sequel and this series is a breath of fresh air. If you don’t fall for Jess and David and if you don’t catch some feels then we were reading different books! Ashes in the Sky is a brilliant adventure, a perfect addition to the series
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If you enjoy young adult adventure stories (or romances) and haven’t read this series, you are missing hours of entertainment.
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I read this book in a day, ignoring all other responsibilities, 100% because the excitement started pretty early on and continued (and escalated) right to the very end. There were moments where I was sure David and Jess were goners, or at least various body parts were!
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85424-ashesinthesky-v6-book2-final-v3This book was breathtaking and I loved reading it. It more than fulfilled the promise of a fantastic book.
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WOW! Jennifer does it again!

I loved this sequel to Fire in the Woods so much! It is definitely on par with, if not better than, it’s predecessor. It was even more action packed and was completely out of this world, literally!

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 If you’d like to see all the Goodreads Reviews, click here.

ASHES IN THE SKY is finally available wherever books are sold

| Amazon | BookDepositoy.com | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | iTunes |BooksAMillion | ChaptersIndigo | IndieBound |

So what the heck  is this book about, anyway?

AshesInTheSkyCover
After inadvertently saving the world, 18-year-old Jessica Martinez is ready to put adventure behind her and settle back into the familiar routine of high school. But when she’s offered an opportunity to photograph the inside of an alien spaceship, Jess jumps at the chance. After all, she would be crazy to turn something like that down, right?
Ashes and FireBut when Jess discovers a plot to sabotage David’s efforts to establish a new home for his people on another planet, neither David’s advanced tech nor Jess’s smarts will be able to save them.

Young adult contemporary science fiction (Because you can’t get enough contemporary or science in your fiction)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23344658-ashes-in-the-sky#other_reviews


Available wherever books are sold

Buy Links:  | Amazon | BookDepositoy.com | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | iTunes |

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23344658-ashes-in-the-sky#other_reviews

It’s the Blog Tour for: Ashes In The Sky (Fire In The Woods #2) by Jennifer M. Eaton

Today is day one of the blog tour for my new release ASHES IN THE SKY!

And this tour includes [GASP] Eighteen review stops!

Eighteen!

No pressure or anything. Yik-a-roonies.

Should be a good time. Click on over to the tour stops for a chance to win.

There’s nothing like a book release to get the old blood pumping. Woohoo!

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AshesInTheSkyTour (1)

AshesInTheSkyCoverAshes In The Sky by Jennifer M. Eaton 
Fire In The Woods, #2
Month9Books
Release Date: March 1, 2016

Buy Links:

BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD

Synopsis:

After inadvertently saving the world, eighteen-year-old Jessica Martinez is ready to put adventure behind her and settle back into the familiar routine of high school.

Though when she’s offered an opportunity to photograph the inside of an alien space ship, Jess jumps at the chance. After all, she’d be crazy to turn something like that down, right?

Spending time with David on the ship has definite advantages and the two seem to pick up right where they left off. But when Jess discovers a plot to sabotage David’s efforts to establish a new home for his people on another planet, neither David’s advanced tech nor Jess’s smarts will be able to save them.

ASHES IN THE…

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Why aren’t you querying those finished novels?

A few days ago I shared a list of all my upcoming projects on social media. It looked something like this:

Here’s what’s coming down the pike:

  • Ashes in the Sky {Fire in the Woods #2} (In production Release date March 1)
  • Fire in the Woods #3 (Contracted: In developmental edits. Release date TBD)
  • YA Science Fiction (95% complete Work in Progress)
  • Adult Contemporary Science Fiction (Aliens) Mystery/Horror (First draft complete)
  • Adult Paranormal (Shifters) novel written in serial (Uncontracted: Number one complete)
  • YA Dystopian Romance (Uncontracted, Complete)
  • YA Space Opera – 8 book series (First draft complete)
  • Middle Grade Contemporary Adventure (First draft complete)
  • Hard Sci Fi Space Opera three book series (First Draft of all three books complete)

 

Outlined concepts prepped, outlined, and ready to be written:

  1. Adult/New Adult Fantasy-Medieval setting
  2. YA Contemporary Science Fiction (Aliens)
  3. Adult/YA Shifter (Dragons) First chapter written
  4. YA Time Travel (Aliens) First chapter written
  5. YA/New Adult Contemporary Science Fiction (Aliens)

 

A few people have asked why I have two complete novels, and four “First Draft complete” while it looks like I am currently working on something completely new.

Well, to be honest, I didn’t realize how many things I had partially finished until I created this list. For me, the fun of creating a story is the best part. I love starting a story, and torturing my heroes to the very end of the tale. So much fun!

Usually, by the time I finish a first draft, I’ve already outlined several new ideas that I came up with along the way. Some of these I take a few notes on, and then never go back to. But many, like the five above, get 7000-10000 word outlines, because I love the premise so much that I don’t want to lose even a single spec of the idea.

Unfortunately, I cannot type anywhere near as fast as my brain works, and that list of stories to write keeps getting longer.

Basically, when the time comes to write a new book, I just pick one from the list. Sounds easy. But sometimes there are several stories screaming at me, and even after I choose, a different story keeps me awake at night.

It all comes down to my writing process, which I love… but the business of publishing usually gets in the way of the fun part. That’s why I have so many first drafts right now.

When I finished this post, it was over 800 words long. I was going to talk about my writing process, but I’m going to leave that for my next post. I think this will explain some of the insanity of my current “too many almost-finished books” situation.

See you next time!

 

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You can find Fire in the Woods at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound |

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Alien Lineup

Catch up with me on social media!

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Careful

This is a great article.

This very thing happened to me just last night when my teenage son asked about the book I wrote and abandoned about three years ago because I realized I wasn’t talented enough to do the story justice.

Listening to him fanboy all over the story, and point out how he thought it was better than the NYT bestseller he just finished (I don’t know about all that) – but anyway, it really got me thinking about that story again, and wondering if I’d learned enough about writing to re-envision that epic tale.

I’m trying NOT to think about it until I get my current WIP done, but the story is very much on my mind again.

Views from a Window Seat

After years of writing without seeing a book land on shelves, I’m happy to have a new book in the world and two others on their way. But I still have work in earlier stages of progress to tend to. I love the generosity of early drafts, how they offer a place where mistakes are welcome. And I like the word-fixing of final drafts, the excitement of seeing a story head to new readers. I recently sent a book to a copy editor after some dwelling on whether it was okay to write “Ho, gluepots,” instead of “Ho, glue pots.” And making sure that the ten children in a family stuck to their proper ages during the narrative’s course of years. But those drafts in between that are good enough to show someone else, but still mistake-ridden? Well. I was just reminded of how fragile those can be.

Last month…

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Is Weisel Hostel Haunted? Well, This is what happened. It was a dark and stormy night…

Let me start off here by saying that I while I am a very spiritual person, I’m not really one to believe in ghosts. But a few things have happened to me recently to make me wonder.

Several years ago, I started attending writer’s retreats twice a year. If you haven’t been to one, I highly recommend it (but I did have a bad experience once that you can read about here. Make sure you know what you are getting into).

Anyway…

For a few years now we’ve dumped that cabin atmosphere and moved into a big, really old house. The advertising for Weisel Hostel says it is a hundred years old, but from the architecture and the ruins around it, I’d say it is probably closer to 200 years old.

I think the age is an important detail for what I’m about to discuss.

Now remember — I am not the type of person to scream “ghost”. I’m not even sure I’m screaming “ghost” now. But during my two hour drive home today, I found myself piecing things together.

Let me preface a little of this saying I LOVE shows like Ghost Hunters. I find the whole idea of it all, and the science behind ghost hunting very interesting. Especially when they debunk things and find out it is animals in the attic, or faulty wiring, or some sort of radio waves in the house. I find all that more believable than an actual ghost. Even when they record something and play it back, I rarely can hear what they say is a voice from beyond… so call me a hostile witness, because I don’t believe any of this.

But you be the judge.

The first time I stayed at Weisel Hostile in Quakertown, PA, I slept in the bottom bunk in the women’s dorm between the two windows. Now, You need to understand that this is a house built out of stones and mortar. I an sleeping in a bed pushed up against an outer wall, between two original windows. And it is November.

I woke up in the middle of the night freezing. I mean, not just cold… I mean, run out in the snow with bare feet kind of cold. I thought my feet were going to fall off. I was so cold I couldn’t even move. There were five other women sleeping in that room. No one else was cold, so I figured it was just because I was between the two windows, so the next night I piled on the blankets and was fine.

I remembered that experience, though.

The next time I went, I got there early and scoped out the bed right next to the radiator. I also had an extra blanket to go over my feet, and I had big wooly socks to sleep in.

All was right in the world! Nothing happened at all the second trip.

Fast forward one or two retreats. Again, everything has been fine for at least two trips. Nothing happened. I always have lots of blankets and layer when I go to sleep.

This time I am in the common room. I am busting out my word count like nothing! I am on such a roll that I’m afraid to stop. Slowly but surely, everyone else goes to bed. But there I was, still busting out words at 2:00 in the morning. (I am estimating that time. I know it was really late.)

Anyway… I am working at my laptop, and someone walks into the common room from the hall, past the two easy chairs, plops down on the couch next to the fire, and stares into the glowing embers. I stop typing, and am about to look up and say “You can’t sleep?” and I realize there is NO ONE THERE.

I stared at the empty couch.

After a minute, I decided I must be more tired than I thought. I packed up my computer and went to bed, saying “goodnight” to the empty seat by the fire, just in case, but laughing all the way up the stairs.

I really didn’t think too much about this. The whole thing just turned into a funny story I would tell the group now and again. Because, seriously, I know I was just really tired and seeing things.

But after this weekend, I am seriously wondering.

This is what happened:

I got to the hostile early and scope out my bed by the radiator (This has been “my spot” since the one freezing night)

The hostile is strangely warm. The fireplace is broken, so they must have had the heat pumping like crazy. It was almost hot when I went to bed. Remembering how cold it can get, I still wore pants, shirt, and socks to bed, but I didn’t bother with the extra blanket on my feet, because the heater was making the bed a toasty paradise. So, off I went to sleep.

In the middle of the night, I woke up FREEZING. Had someone turned off the radiator? I reached over and touched it. Nope. Still warm. So why was I so cold? My feet actually hurt. I thought about my fuzzy jacket laying across the top bunk, but I couldn’t get myself to move enough to go get it. You know how it is… tired and all… so I just braved it out and eventually went back to sleep.

That brings us to last night.

Now… No one is allowed to say I’m crazy. Ya hear? Because I am sure there is a logical explanation for what happened to me that has nothing to do with freak temperatures, or vision problems.

This is what happened…

I go to bed, and since it is so freakishly dark in the middle of the woods, I leave the light on in the hallway (probably mistake number one)

I then hung my laptop bag off the top bunk at the foot of my bed (mistake #2)

I remembered the freak cold in the middle of the night, so I grab an extra blanket and put it over where my feet will be. Despite the temperature being fine, I wear my sweats, two shirts, socks, and also my fuzzy jacket to bed. Hey, I was ready this time!

So, ready for a night in the arctic, I eased down into my bunk and cuddled in with my kindle.

Now, I have to admit mistake #3.

I was reading Death Becomes Me by Elizabeth Holloway… and the freaking GRIM REAPER is chasing the main characters, and there is this little girl with no eyes… so I am probably in a bad frame of mind to be sleeping in a somewhat unfamiliar place.

Anyway, as I’m reading, I see a shadow at the base of my bed. I stop and look, but the shadow is gone. I laugh at myself, because I know it’s the laptop bag.

Suddenly I realize my feet hurt. They’re cold? I’ve only been here for a few minutes. I check the radiator. It’s cuddly warm. I guess there is a draft from the window again. I go back to my reading. The shadow pops up again.

Why the heck did I hang my laptop there? I totally know that is what I keep seeing.

I thought of getting up and turning out the light in the hall, but then if I had to go to the little girl’s room in the middle of the night, I’d probably kill myself. So I left it on.

Three more shadow sightings, but I just ignored it. It was my imagination. I knew it was. I am, after all a logical, adult. I’m not afraid of things that go bump in the night.

The funny thing was that I really wasn’t scared. I never thought ghost. Not even for a second.

When I turned my Kindle off, and laid my head down to sleep, I didn’t even check the foot of my bed. I never even thought of looking under it.

I’m serious… I was not thinking supernatural, paranormal, or ANYTHING like that. I just closed the scary book that I was reading, cuddled into my pillow, and closed my eyes.

Now, I want to say I only closed my eyes for a second. I’m willing to say it was longer than that. I want to believe I fell asleep. In a way, I do believe I fell asleep. I just would be lying if I did not say that I don’t THINK I fell asleep.

I THINK I had only closed my eyes for a second.

Now remember … I am not a nut case.

Someone tried to push me out of the bed.

Yes. Physical. A push. I moved. Someone pushed me.

I gasped out loud and my eyes popped open to see who it was, and I was facing the wall. Only about six inches between my body and a few feet of two hundred year old stone and mortar.

I looked toward the center of the room, expecting there to be someone there, messing with me.

The room was empty, except for my roommate at the far side of the room, sleeping soundly.

Being a logical person, I decided I must have fallen asleep for a fraction of a second. Strange, though, that I have never had that kind of experience (being “pushed” awake) anywhere else. I did, right then, at least consider the possibility of a ghost. Especially since I was freezing.

Was I afraid? Oddly enough, no. I’d slept in that very bed at least six times. Nothing had ever happened. If it was a ghost, they were probably just messing with me. After all, I sleep in that bed twice a year. Maybe they feel like the know me?

I remembered a ghost show that I watched once where a woman said the ghost in her house would hide her keys, but return them if she asked. So I cuddled back to my pillow, closed my eyes, and said aloud, “I’m really tired. Please let me go to sleep.”

And that was it.

Except one more strange thing. I don’t know how long that I did sleep, but I woke up later really hot. I had to take my jacket off.

So, there you have it. That’s my story.

When I told my roommate the next day. You should have seen the look on her face. “Weren’t you scared?”

And honestly, I really wasn’t. I never felt threatened.

Will I sleep in that bed again?

YES!

The more I think about it, I definitely will. If there is something there, it left me alone when I asked it to. If there is something there, I don’t think it is anything to be afraid of.

For the record, I really do think I was just punchy when I saw the person by the fireplace.

And I really do believe I fell asleep for a fraction of a second, and dreamed that someone pushed me.

Other than the house being old and drafty, I don’t know how to explain the off and on freezing cold (that no one else seems to experience.)

Funny. I just laughed at myself for even typing all this out, when it is late and I need to go to work tomorrow… But I find this fascinating.

So, go ahead and make fun of me in the comments. I’m making fun of myself.

I still don’t really know if I believe in ghosts. But I might give him/her a gender-neutral name and make sure I say “goodnight” next time so I don’t get a shove for ignoring him.

Have you ever experienced anything strange like this?

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Where have I been? I’ve been editing! No Nano for me, again this year.

Lady Waves HiYes, I’ve been lax on the old blogging front.  So sorry.

But I figured I’d stop in real fast to say “Hi!”

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(Waving madly)

Swish thin

I’ve been working really hard to finish book one in my new series (which I hope to finish on a writer’s retreat coming up really soon.)

Ashes1But currently, and maybe even more exciting, is that I’m in the middle of the final proofread for ASHES IN THE SKY.

Wahoooo!

After this the book will go to formatting, and then it’s one more check in epub, pdf, and mobi format, as well as a check on the print proofs.

Once that is done we are good to go.

So, that’s where I’ve been… working hard to get some more stuff out there for you guys to read. I’ll keep you posted as news pops up.

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Flames longFlames longFlames longFire in the Woods Cover

You can find Fire in the Woods at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound |

Flames longFlames longFlames long

Alien Lineup

Catch up with me on social media!

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