Audiobook Review: Heavy Weather

Author: Normandie Fischer

Narrator: Laura Jennings

Length: 11 hours 7 minutes

Publisher: Normandie Fischer⎮2017

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

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Death, life, family, domestic abuse–Heavy Weather explores all these themes in a memorable and compelling narrative. When Annie Mac’s life explodes like a storm at sea, she is helpless to fight back. Left for dead, her two children targeted by her abuser, her life appears to be over. The people who help her show her how to weather a storm that she cannot control.

It takes a town to save a child. That town is Beaufort, North Carolina.

Annie Mac’s estranged husband vows that nothing will stop him from getting his baby girl. Not Annie Mac and certainly not that boy of hers.

Only four blocks away, Hannah Morgan lives in comfort with her husband and dog, making pottery and waiting for her best friend to come home. When she discovers the two children cowering in the bushes and their mama left for dead, it doesn’t take her long to set her coterie of do-gooders to some extra-strength do-gooding. Add in Clay, a lonely police lieutenant yanked out of his comfort zone and into the heart of this small family, and who knows what will happen?

From the author of Becalmed comes this latest tale of the Carolina coast, introducing some new characters to love–and to loathe.

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Normandie Fischer studied sculpture in Italy before receiving a BA, summa cum laude with special honors in English. Her books, which have garnered numerous awards, include her Carolina Coast stories: Becalmed, Heavy Weather, Twilight Christmas, and Sailing out of Darkness. From Fire into Fire and Two from Isaac’s House—a Romantic Times Top Pick—form the beginning of her Isaac’s House series. A lifelong sailor, Normandie and her husband spent a number of years on board their 50-foot ketch, Sea Venture, in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico, sailing home to North Carolina in 2011 to take care of her mother. They have four children, two grandchildren, and an aussiedoodle named Rhion.

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Having graduated with a Masters Degree in Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Laura has an intrinsic
appreciation of the mechanisms and techniques that comprise the art of the tale. She’s able to
analyze the underlying moods and currents of a book and bring these into her interpretation of
the author’s work. She believes her place as narrator is to be the facilitator for all the nuances of
the spoken word and the written word between the author and the listener. Her naturally clear
and fresh voice as narrator contributes that extra dimension of enjoyment.

Laura works full time as a professional narrator and voice-over artist. She has narrated titles for Tantor Media, Audible Studios, Dreamscape Media, Insatiable Press and Cherry Hill Publishing.
She enjoys a quiet lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest with her loving husband and aged beagle, Dottie. Her days are filled with narrating, yoga, hiking and, of course, always reading.

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This audiobook shocked me from the first chapter. It took me straight in the middle of the action and I was so surprised, I even thought I didn’t start from the beginning. I loved every second of it. I loved all the problems that the author has included in the story and I also loved the narration!

Each character has something to fight for. And they do it in their own manner – some do it the right way, fir the right reasons, others do it the wrong way, but also for the right reasons.  Some characters are to blame, some are worthy of respect. This book has it all! There is so much emotion in each chapter that is coming hard for me to make a coherent review, especially since I’ve just finished it.

Two children can rattle so many people. Our main characters will come to understand that they have to treat them with extra care, since they were part of an abusive environment. Hannah’s husband will have to adapt on sharing his wife’s attention. Annie must learn to fight for her kids. The entire town will be united around the boy and the girl, doing their best to keep them safe. Roy, the girl’s father, is a character very (and I mean VERY) worthy of hate. But somewhere deep inside, he has a soft spot. He has another woman who he claims to love, he has his daughter and he seems to have some twisted form of paternal feelings. I am not trying to understand him of anything, just to pint out the complex way in which he, as well as the other characters, was built.

Themes. Oh my! There are a lot of those, and I think the blurb summarize them very well. These are difficult subjects and probably one of the most important messages this book carries is that we should not pretend abuse does not exist. Especially if there is a child involved. I appreciate this book from so many points and I am so happy I have the privilege of writing a few words.

The narration was fabulous as well. I could feel the emotions in Laura Jennings’ voice.  I could feel the insecurities, the fears and the affection. Her calm and easy interpretation is a plus!

Suffice to say this is a audiobook not to miss! There are books one loves, and there are books one feels compelled to thank the author and narrator for sharing them. So thank you! I’ve said it all.

 

 

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Book Review: The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband

When
the truth comes out, Edward may have a few 

surprises of his own for the new
Mrs. Rokesby.

 THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND
Rokesbys #2
Julia Quinn
Releasing May 30, 2017
Avon Books

While you were sleeping…

With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in
the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in
with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option
three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to
health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best
friend, the handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He’s unconscious and in desperate
need of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier’s life, even
if staying by his side means telling one little lie…
 
I told everyone I was your wife
When Edward comes to, he’s more than a little confused.
The blow to his head knocked out six months of his memory, but surely he would
recall getting married. He knows who Cecilia Harcourt is—even if he does not
recall her face—and with everyone calling her his wife, he decides it must be
true, even though he’d always assumed he’d marry his neighbor back in England.
 
If
only it were true…
Cecilia risks her entire future by giving
herself—completely—to the man she loves. But when the truth comes out, Edward
may have a few surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.
 

My Review:

This is not my first novel by Julia Quinn and it will definitely not be my last! As usual, her stories are great and one can relate to the characters. The writing is aligned with the period where the action occurs and there are as well moments that will for sure bring a smile.

Cecilia has never met Edward Rokesby, but they have shared some lines in letters she addressed to her brother. They have started a long distance friendship and at some point in their letters, they became attached. But when her brother went missing and Cecilia’s future was in danger, she goes out looking for him. To her surprise, she ends up tending for Edward in a hospital and assuming a pretend role of a wife. When he wakes with no memory of the past few months, she will have to find the perfect moment to reveal the truth to him. But his name open up so many possibilities to find her missing brother and Edward’s heath is still fragile, that finding this moment never seems to be the right one.

A book full of funny moments and dialogues, “The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband” offers us some glimpses inside military camps, the newly discovered territories from the New World and the life from that time. Cecilia is a respected woman, but without a husband she has no means to support herself, especially since her father left everything to the care of a shady cousin. She finds the courage to travel across the ocean, never even imagining ending up next to officer Rokesby. The attraction they feel for each other seems sudden, but they had so many letters exchanged, that the feeling has grown up in time. So for Edward it would seem logical that his best friend insisted on a marriage between him and his sister.

The conflict building up inside Cecilia’s soul was very well captured in words. I could very much relate to her and I could understand the difficulty of her choices. And spending time with an attractive man would make things much more complicated, or maybe pretending to be a wife comes much more easer. All these secrets will come to light in a great ending – my favorite scene from the book!

All in all, I loved this story and if you are a fan of historical romance or romance in general, I am sure you have read at least one book from Julia Quinn and my review will come as a confirmation. If you have not yet enjoyed one of her titles, please do start with this one, as it will for sure be to your liking.

Enjoy J

 

Julia Quinn is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels for Avon Books, and one of only sixteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.


 

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Book Review: His Accidental Heir

Can she resist his brand of trouble in paradise?
HIS ACCIDENTAL HEIR
Billionaires and Babies 
Joanne Rock
Releasing June 6, 2017
Harlequin Desire

The Boss’s Baby Bargain

 
When resort
developer Cameron McNeill goes undercover to root out problems at his prized
island property, his first discovery is the irresistible concierge, Maresa
Delphine. Her business smarts are vital to his mission. But the struggling
single mom could help with his personal mission, too: fulfilling the marriage
terms of his grandfather’s will.
Maresa is
overwhelmed caring for her infant niece and tending to the demands of the
resort’s sexy mystery guest. When he reveals himself as the owner, she’s thrown
for a loop. But when he proposes…can she resist his brand of trouble in
paradise?

 
Want more of the McNeill Brothers?

My Review:

This book approaches a large variety of themes, but only scratches the surface. It is a 3.5 read for me, but I definitely enjoyed my time reading it. Both characters are strong and both know exactly what they want and what they expect from their partner. I would have wanted a more developed story, as the plot has a lot of potential.

Maresa and Cameron lead totally different lives. While she has to sustain her sick mother and brother not only financially, but morally as well, Cameron has had a life with all he could have wanted, except an absentee father. But he does have brothers he can count on, a grandfather who has become his role model and a fortune envied by many. They meet under false pretenses, but as soon as the veil comes off, they start a different kind of relationship.

What I mostly liked about the story was the numerous themes it approaches. But this was also the thing that made me not like it a little bit, because all these themes are so well mixed and it could have become so much more. We have two different kinds of families: Maresa’s, that above all other issues, has to accept a baby, and Cameron’s, that has to accept the family they never knew about. Also, we have a character that has a brain problem, so we have an acceptance issue. We have child abandonment and some other smaller ones. The way all this blends into the romance building between our protagonists is absolutely divine.

This was an easy and quick read. I had my moments of laughter and also moments of confusion, together with the characters. The writing did catch my attention and I was quickly captured by each page.

I hope you give it a try as well and come back with comments J

 

 

 



Four-time
RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t
like. The author of over seventy books enjoys writing a wide range of stories,
most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An
optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance
fits her life outlook perfectly–love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker
at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the
writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters
degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction
writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine
Mann. When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her
favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three
athletic-minded sons.
 

 

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Audiobook Review: Understanding the Stars

Author: X. Culletto

Narrator: Lori Prince

Length: 5 hours 45 minutes

Publisher: Xela Culletto⎮2017

Genre: Science Fiction

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Alexandra Blackwood is minding her own troubled life when she unknowingly gets caught up in an extraterrestrial conflict. Ronan, a human with his own alien-entangled past, has been keeping an eye on her and sets out to help her escape looming abduction, and maybe win her heart.

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Xela is a working mother of three, living in the Utah. She teaches secondary English and after talking to students for years about following their dreams and doing whatever it takes to achieve them, she decided to take her own advice and complete her lifelong goal of writing a novel. The idea of life on other planets has always fascinated her, and she wondered what they would think of humanity, which is what spawned the idea for the plot of “Understanding the Stars”. When she’s not playing with her kids, or sorting through the endless laundry, you’ll find her watching The Walking Dead, horseback riding, or working on her next book.

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Lori Prince is a classically trained actor with a BFA from Syracuse University. She has performed Off-Broadway as well as at top regional theaters including; The Denver Center, Alliance Theater Company and PlayMakers Repertory Company among others. She has also appeared on Television in Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU and Are We There Yet?. Her voice work includes various characters in the feature film Epic, as well as additional dialogue recorded for over 50 feature films and TV shows.

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There is soooo much blue on his cover! Don’t get me wrong, I love blue. It’s my favorite color, but this being a book about different aliens; it makes me wonder if they are blue or green like in cartoons… Ok, back to reviewing!

This was an amazing audiobook! The narrator did a terrific job with voice acting and expressing feelings. Her alien acting was so great! The small pause between the introductions at the beginning of each chapter combined with the emotions that were so well broadcasted made me love this book and for some moments I even forgot the small things I was not quite ok with.

The writing was nice, the author tried (successfully) to create a story with a little bit of everything: romance, action, aliens, CIA, family drama. So I can say it satisfies a wide variety of tastes. Add to that a dose of humor, and there you have it: a nice book to pass some time.

We have two alien races, one trying to study humans and human life, the other trying to steal the technology used for this purpose. Ronan is a human born in space and raised by the good aliens, who has helped them keep an eye on Alexandra, one of the humans being watched. Once he finds out her life may be in danger, he decides to save her, abandoning his life with the ETs. Alex has her own issues at home, with her father suffering from cancer, all the while trying to keep normal appearances. So when she finds out aliens are out to get her and that someone has been watching her all her life, she has a rather “cool” reaction. She is more bothered of the fact that Ronan knows her more intimately than because of the whole extraterrestrial situation. I didn’t like her that much. She was reckless and naïve even if towards the end gets some courage.

Alex’s mother had few things to object when it came to her daughter’s decisions. She gave her too much liberty and her actions are not so much in the parental area. The cancer struggle was a theme well analyzed in the book. We get to see how it affects the person with this affliction and as well the impact on the others.

I still have a lot to say about the book, but I’m trying to keep a normal length here. I think it’s a great story, I would have liked a bit more info on the extraterrestrial beings, I would have liked a more mature Alex and maybe an ending not so rushed, regardless, this makes a great audiobook with an excellent narrator! Congratulations to Xela Culletto and Lori Prince for a great collaboration! And thanks again to Audiobookworm for such a great audiobook!

 

 

 

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Audiobook Review: Heartborn

Author: Terry Maggert

Narrator: Julia Whelan

Length: 6h 20m

Publisher: Terry Maggert

Genre: Fantasy

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Her guardian angel was pushed.
Keiron was never meant to be anything other than a hero. Born high above in a place of war and deception, he is Heartborn, a being of purity and goodness in a place where violence and deceit are just around every corner.
His disappearance will spark a war he cannot see, for Keiron has pierced the light of days to save a girl he has never met, for reasons he cannot understand. Livvy Foster is seventeen, brave, and broken. With half a heart, she bears the scars of a lifetime of pain and little hope of survival.
Until Keiron arrives.
In the middle of a brewing war and Livvy’s failing heart, Keiron will risk everything for Livvy, because a Heartborn’s life can only end in one way: Sacrifice.
Fall with Livvy and Keiron as they seek the truth about her heart, and his power, and what it means to love someone who will give their very life to save you.

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Born in 1968, I discovered fishing shortly after walking, a boon, considering I lived in South Florida. After a brief move to Kentucky, my family trekked back to the Sunshine State. I had the good fortune to attend high school in idyllic upstate New York, where I learned about a mythical substance known as “Seasons”. After two or three failed attempts at college, I bought a bar. That was fun because I love beer, but, then, I eventually met someone smarter than me (a common event), and, in this case, she married me and convinced me to go back to school–which I did, with enthusiasm. I earned a Master’s Degree in History and rediscovered my love for writing. My novels explore dark fantasy, immortality, and the nature of love as we know it. I live near Nashville, Tennessee, with the aforementioned wife, son, and herd, and, when I’m not writing, I teach history, grow wildly enthusiastic tomato plants, and restore my 1967 Mustang.

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Julia Whelan is an actor, writer, and audiobook narrator. She is perhaps most well known for her acting work on ABC’s Once and Again and her award-winning narration of over 200 audiobooks (including Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl). Her debut novel is forthcoming.

After a healthy career as a child actor, Whelan attended Middlebury College and Oxford University, graduating with a degree in English and Creative Writing.

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I was quite confused about this story and I must admit I even lost track of the action several times. The audiobook was a welcome, as the narrator did a wonderful job of voice acting.

If I were to summarize the plot, it all starts with Keiron’s decision to save Livvy’s life. Being a Wind angel, with the purest heart, his destiny is to sacrifice himself for the well being of others. He will come to Earth from his home in the sky so he can meet his fate. Livvy was born with half of her heart and has endured several treatments and hoped for a suitable donor all her life. But it seems to be more to the story than that.

The writing was great, even if sometimes I felt it went too deep in details regarding some of the characters’ past. We find out a lot about the difficulties Livvy has had because of her condition. This makes the reader feel sympathy towards her, even if she has never looked for pity from anyone. The instant attraction between her and Keiron can be understood to a point. He did come for her specifically and she could feel his pull. But at some point, it all moved too fast.

While on Earth Keiron had his own path to follow un in the Sky his family has to fight the council  to defend one of Keiron’s brothers – the one who clipped his wings and pushed him down to Earth. I didn’t understand the need for this action, as I did not understand why didn’t they just explain the situation. And the accused son is nowhere to be found since the beginning of the book.

The ending lost me a little, as we find out what exactly was the relationship between Livvy and the other world, I didn’t get that either. I am seriously thinking of listening to the audiobook again to see what I’m missing.

The narrator was amazing! The voice acting was in perfect accordance with each character’s personality. She was a definite plus and for this reason I gave this book 4 star.

Well, let me just say that I do plan on listening to it again. This is a series that I intend to follow, as it has great potential. This is not my first book by Terry Maggert, but is definitely the best I’ve listened to. He is indeed a great writer and this series is more complex. Oh, and I hope the next book will also be narrated by Julia Whelan

 

 

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Book Review: Eye of the Storm

About the book:DSCN1618

 

Title: Eye of the Storm

Author: Frank Cavallo

Published: August 10th 2016 by Dark Serpent/Ravenswood Publishing

Source: received copy from BOOK PUBLICITY SERVICES

Format: paperback

Blurb:

On a research mission in one of the most remote regions of the world, former Navy SEAL Eric Slade and Dr. Anna Fayne are caught in a mysterious storm. Catapulted through a rift in space-time, they are marooned on a lost world.

Struggling to survive and desperate to find a way home, they must confront the dangers of this savage land—a dark wizard and his army of undead—a warrior queen and her horde of fierce Neanderthals that stands against him—and a legendary treasure with the power to open the gateway between worlds, or to destroy them all: the Eye of the Storm

Check it on: Amazon & Goodreads

My Review:

 

As any book blogger, I am so excited to receive new books to review, especially if they are a paperback or hard copy. So before going into my review, I would like to issue a big thank you to Book Publicity Services for their effort to send me the copy!

This is a story that evolves gradually and becomes and explosive combination of wizards, queens, multiple worlds and so much more. It all starts with a group of experts in various fields that decide to explore a region where the body of a Neanderthal has been discovered. And from this point, I was expecting a story about getting lost in an unknown territory and trying to survive and so on. But it gets more complicated as the pages turn. Our main character will get involved in the mystery of an ancient treasure, all the while trying to get back home.

Capture

There are a lot of things that I enjoyed in this book. Starting with how the strange world was built, the creatures living there, their system, customs and so on, everything was very well described and it felt real! I was very much impressed as how vivid all the images were, I really felt I was part of the expedition. The author did a very good job at increasing the pace of the action – we get from a lost group of experts to a search for a treasure with a different group of beings. It’s mind-blowing! Let’s not mention the art work on the cover, which is in line with the intensity of the story…

Eric and Anna are normal people, each focused on the job they have to do and what they have to achieve with this trip. But faced with the unusual, they will evolve and become more focused. Their reaction in some situations was pretty natural as well. But except them, I appreciated the diversity when it comes to other characters.DSCN1619

To conclude, this is indeed a book one will not get bored with. A fantastic universe, a lot of action and with so many characters, each with their own agenda, I am sure everyone will find something to enjoy. I can say I am lucky to own it, thanks to the author and Book Publicity Services.

 

Let me know your opinion in the comments bellow and see you soon with a next review!

 

About the Authorfrank

 

Frank Cavallo’s new novel, the dark fantasy “Rites of Azathoth” is currently on sale from Necro/Bedlam. He is also the author of “Eye of the Storm”, “The Lucifer Messiah” and the weird western “The Hand of Osiris.”

His short fiction has appeared in venues such as Another Realm, Ray Gun Revival, Every Day Fiction and Lost Souls. He has worked in the Warhammer universe, penning the novella “Into the Valley of Death” included in the “Gotrek & Felix: Lost Tales” collection as well as a number of short stories available as part of Black Library’s “the Best of Hammer and Bolter: Volume 2.”

Book Review: The Nanny Arrangement

 
Their story would make one heck of a country song. 

THE NANNY ARRANGEMENT
Country Blues #2
Rachel Harris
Releasing May 22, 2017
Entangled Bliss
Soft-spoken  and shy Hannah Fisher is determined to make the man she’s loved her entire life  finally see her as a woman. With the help of a makeover, a new
mission—Operation Find My Happy—and the convenient forced proximity of a tour
bus, she vows to win her best friend Deacon’s heart.
 
Former bad  boy and current fiddle player Deacon Latrell has the world at his fingertips: a  new gig with a famous band, plus his best friend on tour as his son’s nanny.
Life couldn’t get much sweeter. Now if only he could stop imagining kissing the
daylights out of his childhood BFF…
 

With one friend set on  pushing the boundaries and the other afraid to rock the boat, one thing’s for  certain—their story would make one heck of a country song.


My Review:

As you’ve probably figured out by now, this book is about two friends trying to deal with their attraction for one another, in different ways: one tries to get the other’s attention, where the other tries not to put their friendship in danger.  The question is how do you cross the “Friend Zone” without destroying it?

I found the story quite enjoyable, especially because it covers with sensitive aspect of becoming more than friends. There may be more things I was not quite comfortable with, but at the end of the book, I felt satisfied enough with giving three stars.

Hannah is a nice character. She’s determined to make Deacon see her as more than his best friend, after a year away from him. Being away from her loved ones made her become more confident and become mature enough to follow her goals. Throughout her childhood, she found comfort in Deacon, him being the only kid her age interested in becoming her friend. Because of her stutter and her cheap clothes, she has always been regarded as an outsider.

With a significant number of people that had abandoned him, Deacon appreciated the little girl’s gesture of talking to him that day and ever since he’s done and nothing but protect her. She’s given him the family he’s never had. Her parents welcomed him and provided support when his drunk mother was not able. He has a great career ahead only because of his best friend. She pushed him towards his dreams, so he wants to fight this insane attraction at all costs, or else it will destroy their friendship, his heart and especially his little boys heart. His son regarded Hannah as the mother she never had the chance to meet.

I like this fight that torments each character and I like more that they were pushing for completely different things. But I was not at all comfortable with all the talk and no action from Hannah’s side. She is portrayed as such a determined person, willing to do a lot to gain Deacon’s heart. But only when pushed by her new friends does she act on her plan. And I also was a little confused at what Deacon’s feelings were. We also find out things about his ex-girlfriend, with whom he appeared to be in love at some point. She is described to be such a mean person and criticized that at some point you get to hate her completely, even though she’s not a character in the book.

I still have mixed feelings about the story, but at least now I can say I enjoyed it. I expect more from the other books in the series.

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings, witty banter, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing. 


An admitted bookaholic and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!