Tag Archive | Christian Fiction

5 Thoughts on Mind Writer by Mike Lynch & Lisa Godfrees

Title: Mind Writer
Authors: Mike Lynch & Lisa Godfrees

  • Date read: January 24, 2018
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Genre: Futuristic Thriller / Sci-fi / Dystopia / Christian Fiction
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2016
  • Pages: 360
  • Fave character: Clixon
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I was given a copy of this book when I met the author at a writing workshop. (Thanks, Lisa!) I voluntarily reviewed this; my opinions are my own.
  • Links: Goodreads • AmazonLisa’s Website • Mike’s Website

5 Thoughts on Mind Writer

1. I don’t usually read sci-fi, thrillers, futuristic novels, or dystopia—and this is all of those in one! So I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. 🙂 I do make exceptions in my usual reading genres to try different things sometimes, though, and when I was given a copy of this book and thought the premise sounded intriguing, I decided to dive in. I’m glad I did!

2. Mind Writer is a thrilling, engaging read, very well written and exciting. There are many twists and surprises, and each time the characters have a plan and it’s thwarted, they have to dash right into a new one… Governmental plots, a hired assassin, a heroine on the run with a special ability, crime bosses, and an underground Christian movement. The plot was fascinating to follow, with all its twists and turns, and all the little sub-plots and motives of the different characters! It felt like a movie. 🙂

3. The concept of people who have the ability to transfer someone’s mind/memories/soul to another body was interesting (though it seemed more fantasy-like than scientific to me, personally, which was fine). It was unique, and intriguing how that came into play in the story, particularly the memory aspect, and how the “colors” of people’s souls reflected on their level of goodness… I don’t want to spoil anything, though. 😉

4. I liked the heroine, Rinee, as well as anti-hero Clixon who has secrets of his own and something of a character arc, and other characters like Saminy with her accent and sweet family, and another unexpected ally or two… I particularly loved the parts with Rinee and Clixon—they make a great pair, and I loved their talks; they often made me smile or laugh. 🙂

5. Some of it was a bit scary for me (I just… don’t usually prefer dystopia! Just a me-thing. I know I’m in the minority. XD) and it was a bit gruesome occasionally, but otherwise as far as I remember it’s a clean read, and I believe young adults and adults alike would enjoy it. If you’re looking for a YA futuristic thriller with a Christian theme and a dash of sci-fi and dystopia, this is the book for you! ^_^

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Let me know what you think, and if it sounds intriguing to you!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

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Ten Thoughts on Dissemble by Sarah Addison-Fox (Allegiance Series, #2)

Title: Dissemble
Author: Sarah Addison-Fox

  • Date read: February 20, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Christian / Kingdom Adventure
  • Age: YA/NA
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 305 (ebook)
  • Series: The Allegiance Series, #2
  • Fave character: Torrance (and Mick)
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-ARC of this book from the author (thanks!) and voluntarily reviewed it. These opinions are my own.
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

Ten Thoughts on Dissemble

1. Well, well! That was intense! O_O I enjoyed book one (Disowned), but this sequel takes things to a totally new level. While the first one was a bit more of a quiet adventure (though still with its spots of action/peril) and I really liked that, book two has a whole other feel to it, with stakes raised, and gets more serious with lots of stuff going on. Meep! I was flipping pages there, let me tell you…

2. Dissemble is much grittier, and deals with tougher subjects. We’re also now in the thick of things, behind enemy lines in Kyraenea, with spying and intelligence agencies and double-crossing, and all that exciting stuff. XD Much action and suspense, with a thriller-like dash of agents, etc. Also, while it’s “Kingdom Adventure” in a made-up world (with no fantasy elements), it’s getting a more modern “feel” due to some more sophisticated weapons etc. because of the war, so that made an interesting upgrade.

3. CHARACTERS! I’m almost annoyed at Torrance for stealing top-favorite spot from Mick. Because I still love Mick! They’re both great (and especially fun when they interact. *grin, grin*). But Torrance, yes, is kind of fabulous eventually. *cough* I still like Celeste—she goes through a lot in this book, poor thing! (I was really surprised by liking Amaya too!) I really, really like our main characters, and I’m so attached to them and their journeys! I can’t wait to read more. I especially loved when they all interact—some great dynamics there, which were the best-written parts, in my opinion, and really leapt off the page. 🙂 BUT MICK AND TORRANCE AND EVERYBODY. MY PRECIOUS FRIENDS. *hugs them*

4. There are two EXTREMELY ADORABLE romances in this book. No names, but let’s just say that the continuing one from book one is so sweet (but just talk to each other, already, you two!), and the unexpected other one is UTTERLY PRECIOUS. Awk. There is so much cuteness going on in between the action and peril. XD

5. There were Twists. *evil cackle* Two in particular, which I sort of saw coming but really liked. And I was just really surprised at some of the characters and how they turned out, and I love it! It kept me guessing, but also turned out way better than I thought, especially one or two things I was very much on the edge of my seat about. I was nearly cheering “YESSSS!” near the end a couple times. 😀 I’m just sitting here feeling happy. ^_^ (I do need the next book though. AHEM.) Basically, the plot is exciting and keeps you on your toes!

6. Not sure how realistic it was or not, but some of the characters who’ve spent all their lives being suspicious of other people, when confronted with the Haynes family, realize “Oh, these are good people!” with such surprise, and it’s kind of precious. XD It was neat getting scenes about them and other characters back home in Etraea, while Celeste and co. were off having adventures.

7. I was so sucked in to the setting/world. It was incredibly vivid, and I saw everything so clearly as I read. What a talent! Oh, and I loved the scene on the beach! So beautiful and sweet! 🙂 (How about that AWESOME, GORGEOUS cover? I love it! ^_^) And for some reason I really loved the bits at the safe-house place hidden in the trees. 🙂

8. (TORRANCE THOUGH)

9. Content: While this is a Young Adult, Christian book, some readers might like to be aware that if it was a movie it would probably be rated PG-13 for a little mild language/drinking, some inappropriate implications, and action-thriller-type violence. Despite this, and dealing with some other darker themes, the book did have an overall uplifting sort of feel to it, and there was goodness to counteract the villains, as well as the last chapter ending on a quite hopeful note.

10. Overall, mostly, I loved it! I’ve really enjoyed both books in these series so far, and I’ve gotten incredibly fond/attached to CERTAIN PEOPLE, and just give me book three already, please and thank you. *grabby hands*

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You can read my review for book one: Dissemble by clicking the cover below…

What do you think? Have you checked out this series yet?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Disowned (by Sarah Addison-Fox) – Allegiance Series, #1

Title: Disowned
Author: Sarah Addison-Fox

  • Date read: January 9, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Christian / Kingdom Adventure
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2017
  • Pages: 334
  • Series: The Allegiance Series, #1
  • Fave character: Mick!
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-copy of this book from the author (many thanks!). These opinions are my own.
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

What a unique, enjoyable book!

The story kept me absorbed and guessing, and it’s a nice mix of action/thrilling, and life sequences with character moments. There’s a dash of romance which was alternately cute and frustrating—just say what you mean, already, characters! (The usual. ;)) It could be raw and real and emotional and deal with war and things, but also be lighthearted and fun at other times. Quite balanced and well-written. 🙂 Anyway, I liked the story and I can’t wait to see where it goes next!

On to characters!

Mick was my favorite; I loved him! The soldier type, he has a temper and a gruff exterior at times, but he’s goodhearted and loyal, and has a wry sense of humor. His dialog was the best. 😀 It was also neat picking out his relationships with everyone around him, like his family and Celeste and Asher.

Celeste was a good heroine and I liked how the author did a great job with her outlook on things clearly showing how foreign the more “normal” world of Mick and his family was to her, since Celeste is from the country with which his homeland is at war. I loved Mick and Celeste figuring each other out after being at odds.

Mick’s family, the Haynes, were so nice. ^_^ Having an entire family as central characters was a sweet and refreshing element! I liked how they were just good people, and a tight-knit little group. We have Maggie and Ethan, the parents (who share POV switching back and forth with Mick and Celeste), who were both such homely, good people; Maggie’s so sweet and motherly, and Ethan’s a solid, strong sort of father-figure. Then there’s Joe and Sadie, the little siblings of Mick; they’re fun, though I was occasionally unsure what age they’re supposed to be. A lot of the lightheartedness comes from them. 🙂

Other characters were intriguing, particularly Mick’s friend Asher (I’d like to find out more about him), and the monks who we saw a few times, though not as much as I thought at first. Everyone was very individual and came to life on the page! 🙂

The setting was very interesting! Some might call it non-magical fantasy, but there’s nothing fantastical about it—it’s merely non-historical countries in another land. Hence the newly-named genre Kingdom Adventure, which this book definitely belongs to. 🙂 I thought it might be medieval-esque, but while it does have dashes of that (with a monastery and things), it ended up feeling almost more like a frontier western type of era, 1800s perhaps, with a smidge of more modern feel too. There are guns, horses, potbellied stoves, and a little town with shops, as well as an organized military and intelligence which felt more modern with a lot of the wording, and electricity is a new thing so there’s lightbulbs… But apparently there’s a queen and there are many references to the Crown, so the western feel doesn’t totally fit. I guess it’s like non-magical fantasy meets western meets kingdom meets almost-modern. 🙂 Anyway, the point is that it felt very unique! A few times some of the elements didn’t mesh totally for me, but on the whole it felt like its own individual land that I’ve now become familiar with. ^_^ That’s one of the fun things about Fantasy and Kingdom Adventure—the feel of the world and getting to know it. I hope to go back to this land of Etraea sometime!

Content-wise, for those who wish to know, it’s a little bit gritty at times, so I’d recommend it to slightly older teens. There’s a little bit of gruesomeness due to war, and some other references/things which might make it more PG-13, but fairly mild. And there’s a faith element which was nicely integrated, since there’s an allegorical God and so forth. I liked how faith-filled the Haynes family was. 🙂

That ending! It didn’t cliff-hanger, exactly, but it sort of… stopped rather suddenly, and there are quite a few questions left hanging, including some big changes. I keep wondering what happens next (I want the next scene!) and I’m extremely curious to find out what will happen in later books! I want to know what happens with Mick and Celeste and their stories!

Overall, I enjoyed it very much indeed! ^_^ It was just… really good, and I loved the characters! ❤ (And and and — book 2, where are you?!) I recommend it to anyone who likes a good adventure story, and I’ll be watching for more books by this author! 😀

Favorite Quote

“You picked a bad time to get shot.”

Mick raised an eyebrow. “Is there a good time to get shot?”

~ ~ ~

What do you think? Sound intriguing? Don’t you just LOVE that cover? ^_^

[NOTE: Although I’m not part of it, there’s a month-long January blog tour going on for this book! You can find the links in this post.]

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Indie Christian Books: Black Friday Sale + Giveaway!

Hey guys! Here’s an online book sale/giveaway event you may have seen around, but if not, read on for some juicy deals! 🙂

It’s that time of year. The time for buying presents, making wish lists, and planning New Year’s Resolutions. If any of those activities involve books for you, Indie Christian Books has a perfect event for you.

From Nov 24th through Nov 30th, a large selection of independently published Christian books are on sale. You can find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if your budget is depleted from Christmas shopping, they have some freebies for you! Need even more of a reason to support indie authors and fill your shelf with good stories? When you purchase a paperback book through indiechristianbooks.com you’ll be eligible to enter an exclusive giveaway including free books and an Amazon gift card! (Link at end of post.)

You can meet the participating authors by visiting the Author Database on the website. Want to get to know the authors better AND have the chance to win some fun prizes? For those of you on Facebook, you’re invited to join the week long Facebook party which will feature 39 authors over 7 days. (From November 24th through the 30th, same dates as the sale.)

And a list of the other blog-tour bloggers sharing about this awesome event, including some reviews and interviews with some of the authors, can be found here. 🙂

My Recommendations

Books I’ve read and enjoyed which are on sale (some in paperback, some in ebook), if you’re curious for my recommendations, include: Burning Rose, A Different Kind of Courage, Kate’s Innocence, Kate’s Capitol (or both), Poison Kiss (free! I loved this one! ^_^), CinderEddy, Lost Lake House, Death Be Not Proud, and Captive of Raven Castle.

Some I haven’t read yet but am really looking forward to reading include: Disowned, The Rise of Aredor, The Wildcat of Braeton, Adela’s Curse, The Traveler, Sew It’s a Quest, The Bells of Paradise, and the Firmament Series (also available individually on the Spec Fic page).

So many cool books on there! 🙂

Notes

A note on the Ebooks Only page. Many of the books are listed as “Sold Out.” This is because we aren’t selling those directly through our site. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Giveaway

You can enter the giveaway for an Amazon giftcard and some books HERE!

I hope you find some great deals and I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving! What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Blog Tour, Giveaway, + Review: “Dreams and Devotion” by Sarah Holman

Welcome to the blog tour for the release of Sarah Holman’s latest book in the Tales of Taelis series: Dreams and Devotion!

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been reading through the series up to this point, and enjoying it greatly, so I’m excited to share it with you! 🙂

Here’s a bit about the book, as well as a GIVEAWAY and other tour stops, and then below is my review. 🙂

Dreams and Devotion

Some dreams will be dashed, and their devotion will be tested.

Dara’s life is full of farm work and worries, especially now that her older brother is a priest in a far off city. Yet she still has time to dream of the life she hopes will someday be. She dreams of marrying her dear friend and the worries of her family ending. Now, the selfishness of one person threatens her very way of life.

Dresden’s initial excitement about living a life devoted to the service of God quickly is dashed on the rocks of reality. The life of a priest is nothing like what he imagined. To make matters worse, he finds out his family back in his home village is on the brink of disaster. Torn between his vows and his love for his family, what will he choose?

Dreams and Devotion releases July 15, 2017

Buy the book for the special preorder price, here.


Giveaway

*****ENTER GIVEAWAY VIA RAFFLECOPTER HERE*****


About the Author

Sarah Holman is a not so typical mid-twenties girl: A homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings, and author of many published books and short stories. If there is anything adventuresome about her life, it is because she serves a God with a destiny bigger than anything she could have imagined.

Find her at www.thedestinyofone.com


Stops on the blog tour:

July 8

Bookish Orchestrations ~ Faith Blum

July 9

His Princess Warrior ~ Katie Hamilton

July 10

In the Book Case ~ Tarissa Graves

Jessica Greyson ~ Jessica Greyson

July 11

Gods Peculiar Treasure Rae ~ Raechel

Read Another Page ~ Rebekah Morris

July 12

Whimsical Writings For His Glory ~ Jesseca Dawn

Shannon McDermott ~ Shannon McDermott

July 13

The Page Dreamer ~ Deborah O’Carroll
(You are here! ^_^ Thanks for dropping by! <3)

July 14

Knitted by God’s Plans ~ Kendra E. Ardnek

With a Joyful Noise ~ Amanda Tero

Once Upon an Ordinary ~ Kate Willis

July 15

Jaye L. Knight ~ Jaye L. Knight


Title: Dreams and Devotion
Author: Sarah Holman

  • Date read: June 17, 2017
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Genre: Christian / Adventure / Historical Fiction (in fictional country, medieval times)
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2017
  • Pages: 137 (Kindle)
  • Series: Tales of Taelis, #4
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-ARC from the author for review purposes (many thanks!); these opinions are my own.
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

Dreams and Devotions is a well-written medieval tale about a brother and sister, Dara and Dresden (love their names!): a peasant girl’s life at her farm and home village, and her brother’s life as a new priest, separately facing adversity and growing stronger in their faith. It’s an extremely emotional and rather bitter-sweet book, focusing on the little things, but it kept me so absorbed and it was overall quite good.

My favorite part was the moonlit harvest scene—I loved it! ❤ There’s a scene that’s staying in my memory for a long time. ^_^

Even though it was not an “exciting” story, and focused mainly on the day-to-day life of farming in medieval times and other struggles, it was so well-written and had me absolutely hooked. I could NOT stop reading! I was super caught up in it. 🙂 It’s definitely an unusual and unique tale, more somber and thoughtful than fun or adventurous, but keeping the reader’s attention all the same.

There were many heart-touching or heartbreaking moments, both good and sad, which made me tear up a few times. I don’t always like when books do that but it definitely made me feel strongly. 😉 Sometimes there seemed to be no hope for awhile, but it did sometimes bring goodness out of the darkness and show God using some things for good. There were a lot of good messages throughout the story, many of which I liked. 🙂

I’m continuing to love visiting this land of Taelis! 🙂 Delmore Castle and various characters from Courage and Corruption feature in this book, which was super neat! The harvest song even came back! I’m curious to see where the rest of the stories will take us, so I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series! ^_^ In the meantime, this is the fourth and latest Taelis book (though they can all stand alone!), and I’ve enjoyed the whole series so far. 🙂

It was a lot sadder than books that I normally like to read, feeling more like real-life sometimes than a work of fiction, leaving a few threads not wrapped up in a (to me!) satisfactory way (I wanted one character’s story to end up differently, but all we got was a note in the epilogue that unfortunately left it hanging, and I also expected a romance but didn’t find one; both were sad parts), but despite all that I’d still say it’s a good book, even if not my usual cup of tea. It was very well written, and I’m so impressed with the fact that, despite any quibbles or sadness (and these are my own, personal opinions!), it was still a very good book and had me extremely absorbed. Overall, quite good. 🙂

If you like Christian fiction and medieval times, a well-written book with heart, some bittersweetness, and people overcoming daily struggles and growing closer to God, you will love Dreams and Devotion. ^_^

Favorite Quotes

It was a stick he had fashioned into a crude bow. He had made it in their younger days when he and Geoffrey would play The Archer in the forest. She had been allowed to play with them at times, sometimes playing the part of the brave princess Brianna, sometimes playing a maiden in need of rescue.

***

“Dara, the greatest gift that we can ever offer anyone is ourselves. You have been a friend to me and so many others. You have not let the disappointments of this year keep you from being someone who dares to dream, hopes for the best, trusts God, and loves without holding back.”

***

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Read my other reviews for the series:

  

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Have you tried the Tales of Taelis series yet? Thanks so much for dropping by, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! ^_^

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

5 Thoughts on “Father, Forgive Them” (Short Story) by Sarah Holman

Title: Father, Forgive Them
Author: Sarah Holman

  • Date read: July 4, 2017
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Genre: Short Story / Christian / Biblical-Era Fiction
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2017
  • Pages: 30 (Kindle)
  • Source: Amazon
  • Notes: Short Story; read for the 10/10/10 challenge (reading/reviewing 10 of Sarah Holman’s books/stories in 10 weeks)
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Blog

1. There’s not really a lot to say about this without giving it away, since it’s such a brief glimpse, like a window looking at a few scenes, but I enjoyed it. 🙂

2. This is an interesting short story focusing on the story of the Crucifixion and Resurrection, and specifically on a few words Jesus spoke which the hero of the story, Jonathan, can’t get out of his head.

3. The setting was vividly painted—I could see the olive trees and hill in one scene. There were also some poetic turns of phrase and imagery which I quite liked.

4. Jonathan and his encounter with the stranger at the end was my favorite part. 🙂 Beautiful. ^_^

5. I don’t usually read Biblical-setting fiction, so I don’t know how this compares, but if you want a quick read with a different look at the Resurrection story, you’ll enjoy this touching short story. 🙂

(Listening to the song “Stronger” by the Newsboys while I write this review—fits together, somehow!)

~ ~ ~

Do you ever read short stories? Have you tried Sarah Holman’s fiction yet — she’s great! And, randomly, do you like listening to the Newsboys band? Thanks for reading! ^_^

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

10 Thoughts on “Courage and Corruption” by Sarah Holman

Title: Courage and Corruption
Author: Sarah Holman

Date read: June 16, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Christian / Adventure / Historical Fiction (in fictional country, medieval times)
Age: YA
Year pub: 2016
Pages: 161 (Kindle)
Series: Tales of Taelis, #3
Fave character: Uncle Edwin and King John
Source: Amazon
Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

Ten Thoughts on Courage and Corruption

1. Still enjoying this series. 🙂 I think this one was the most well-written in the series yet, and it’s awesome to see this author’s writing improving more and more over time!

2. It’s about a twin brother and sister (Christopher and Catherine) who don’t… erm… get along. 😛 They have to learn to become better people etc. There are a lot of strong Christian messages/themes along this line throughout the book. 🙂

3. I didn’t enjoy the first half of the story as much because it was hard reading about these characters being so angry and argumentative, so I… kind of didn’t like them very much then because they had so much to learn. Likely just one of my reading quirks. 😛 So for that reason, it wasn’t my personal favorite of the series, even though it’s the most well-written and would likely be a favorite with most readers. 🙂

4. In the second half of the book, I warmed to the story much more, and I found myself quite enjoying the intrigue and excitement, once most of the character-building parts had been dealt with. 🙂

5. I LOVED the plot that emerged in this one, linking back to a certain event in Adventures and Adversities, and featuring descendants of the little prince from that one! :O I was so hoping that plot would come back and it DID. 😀 That was one of my favorite things about the story. ^_^

6. My other main favorite thing was all the little stories Uncle Edwin told. 🙂 That was so fun, like lots of mini tales within this one; my favorite was the one about the Shepherd King and the one about Princess Brianna and John in the garden. 😀 Lovely little follow-up to Brothers and Betrayal! AWK. Such cute. ^_^

7. It’s been great reading more of these books set in the medieval country of Taelis! I especially loved seeing familiar places like Coraway Castle and Delmore Castle (both of which are super super cool… I’d love to live in Coraway Castle! I hope to see more of it in future books too. :)).

8. There are also lots of references to characters and events from the first two books, which I loved. ^_^ (Some of that’s inevitably a little sad though, of course, with multiple generations. 😦 But oh well. Otherwise I liked the references.)

9. Oh, and along that line, it was neat to see the main characters from Brothers and Betrayal in this one a little, much older but still lurking around being great. 🙂 Bryon, John, and Brianna all make appearances. 🙂

10. Overall, while some of it didn’t click for me personally, I think most people would really enjoy this! If you like Christian fiction with strong themes and families and adventure and medieval times, you will probably like this one; and like I said, it’s probably the most well-written yet. 🙂 Can also stand alone. I’m definitely curious to continue reading this series in this lovely land of Taelis. ^_^

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In the series so far (will update with links to my posts as I review them):

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Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer