Archive for May, 2015

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This is my own version of a weekly book haul and all things new on fuonlyknew.

Another fun way to share your book news and enjoy others is The Sunday Post hosted by

Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Head on over and leave a link to your Sunday Post and hop around to visits others.

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Some chit chat.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Sun is shining, A light breeze to keep the humidity at bay. A perfect summer day!

After a week of clouds and rain, the sun finally shows itself again. Glorious day! I rushed outside to meet it, taking my computer, my phone, my Kindle, and a print book just in case. I spent many hours out their, reading, swimming in the pool, and just closing my eyes to listen to the seagulls. Man, I love summer! LOL

I also did a bit of writing.

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Writing, you ask?  Yep, I’ve been trying my hand at a few short stories that have been in my head for years. I don’t plan on trying to publish them.  But I do plan on sharing them on my blog. When I do, Ill be asking for feedback. Good or bad! I thought it would be a fun discussion post and I need more of those.

If you have any plots you’d like me to take on, a challenge of sorts, bring em on. It might take a while, but I’ll try to get to them. Should challenge me and it would be fun to see what I can come up with.

These will be very short stories and flash fiction to start. When I do my reviews, most times I write my own synopsis and that’s whet my appetite to try to do more. Scary!

And a lot of them are horror shorts. I do love my scares. I also learned real quick to not write them on my computer. You’ll see why in the gif below.

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This was me fairly quickly. LOL I now use pen and paper to get a rough draft written first.

So, what are your plans for the weekend?  I’d love to hear!

I’ll be hopping over to check out your Sunday posts so be sure to leave me your link!

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Here are my new books for review.

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The 6:41 To Paris first caught my attention with the cover. Sounds fun.

And I jumped on the authors offer to read Cold Hearted. I loved the first book!

I’ve read books from a few different series’ by Joyce and Jim Lavene and jumped on this new release,

A Watery Death,  from a series I hadn’t read yet!

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New ones just because.

I grabbed these beauties from my favorite used books store. They are in perfect condition and they are autographed editions! How cool.

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And here are some freebies for ya!

Click on the covers to get yours and remember to make sure they’re still free before you click that buy button.

   

     

  Darkwhiskey

 

 

And some freebies for all of you game lovers!

Click on the pictures to get yours.

     

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Books I reviewed this week. Click on the covers for my reviews.

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Books I’ll be reviewing next week.

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What I won.

I won a few books and some awesome swag. Going to wait until it arrives and share the pictures of all the goodies.

I also won a couple of gift cards. I’ll show pictures of what I bought after I finish shopping. LOL

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Other Posts on my blog this week.

I’m tellin ya….Bubba Done It _ Cozy Southern Mystery Review and Giveaway

Shining the Light on Taylor Dean’s Newest Release ~ Girl Of Mine ~ Blast and Giveaway

Teaser Tuesdays #116 ~ Cannibal Reign

Cover Reveal ~ Madison’s Song by Christine Amsden

This it it, the…Climax: The Publicist #3 ~ Tour Review and Giveaway

#T4T Blitz Giveaway ~ Call Me Grim and Into The Fire

Rumble in the jungle ~ Fevers by Joel Homer ~ Tour Review and Giveaway

The Friday 56 #63 ~ Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

GHOSTCROW: A Tale Of Andor ~ Tour Review

Exclusive Character Bios & Excerpt with Giveaway and Q&A ~ Dawn Of The Chupacabra ~ It’s coming!

New Cover! A Haunted House Tale ~ Free Friday and Saturday

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Have you joined TSU yet?

Click on the widget to friend and follow me!

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Fora list of my reviews go HERE

For a list of free books updated daily go HERE

For all of my giveaways go HERE

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So, what did you get to read this week?

Got any recommendations?

I’d love to know and thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew.

Exciting news from Anthony Renfro.

His short story, A Haunted Hose Tale, has a new cover and it’s free this Friday and Saturday. Want to know some more about it?

Here’s my review.

They must have seen the movies, read the books. Yet these five friends think it won’t happen to them.

Clearly something will and does.

The legend is, if you survive the night, you receive untold riches.

The temptation lures them in.

There’s safety in numbers, right?

Then it all goes south and everyone is scrambling to get out.

I never get tired of these stories. I was thinking of Scream, the movie, where they go over all of the rules of what not to do.

If these characters had any sense, they’d know not to go in that house, but then I wouldn’t have had such fun reading what happens to them.

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Now I’m turning the blog over to Anthony so he can share with you more about A Haunted House Tale.

Take it away, Anthony!

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Thanks to James at GOONWRITE for it. He really does great pre-made covers. He also has short stories for sale that I plan to read very soon. I will review them once I read them.

This short story is about five students on Halloween night who discover the secrets and terrors of the town’s most infamous haunted house. Will they live to see the morning?

Haunted House Tale - High Resolution

REVIEWS:

3 out of 5 Stars – Wicked haunted house tale.

AMAZON

Free to read Friday, May 29th and Saturday, May 30th.. 

EBook Links to get your copy:

Amazon US / UK / AU / CA

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So, back to business.

Instead of just putting up a story example from A Haunted House Tale, I thought I would highlight a couple of favorite sections.

First: I love how this part reads, like the house has a soul, a life of its own.

Kevin pushed the two double doors open (as his friends remained quiet behind him), and the house presented itself to them with a mingling odor of must, decay, pee, and feces. It was one big unpleasant smell.

Second: Digging this part of the story with a mouth on the wall (I’ve omitted the victim in the story, can’t really give that part away now can I).

The wall behind him turned into a giant mouth with sharp crooked wooden gnashing teeth covered in dried stained blood. Two plaster arms blew out of the wall with hands on the ends of these arms. These wooden hands with rusty nails for fingernails grabbed him as he tried to run away. The rusty nails implanted themselves into his body squirting blood out of him like someone squeezing a tomato too tight. He was stuck, couldn’t move, as he struggled to get free. The plaster arms picked him up and tossed him into the mouth. He was chewed up, and quickly consumed, lost somewhere inside the fabric of the wall.

This story has been rewritten and updated, so if you have read it before you might want to grab a copy today in order to see the new changes. If you haven’t, now is the time to read it. This is the final version of this story. No more changes after this. This story will also be featured in Nightlight Tales, which I hope will be released by the start of September.

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Thanks again for reading and following my work. Remember, it is safer to sleep with the lights on at night. There are things that live in the darkness, things better left unseen.

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Author Anthony Renfro

Anthony Renfro

Anthony Renfro lives in Apex, North Carolina. He is a reader, writer, runner, husband, father, and stay at home dad – one of the toughest jobs anyone could ever do. He was born in Bristol, Tennessee, and is a graduate of UNC-Greensboro.

You can find him at many spots on the web, but if you really need to find his center in the social media storm it would be at his blog, apoetryjourney.wordpress.com.

Now reach out, just beyond the light, right into that big black space, and let him take your hand on a journey into cold dark places. You will be scared, and you may even be terrified, but in the end you might just find you liked the ride.

Find him on:

Blog ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads

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You can find my reviews of the authors other books by visiting my reviews page at the top of my blog.
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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew
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For more free books go HERE.

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I’ve been following Michael Hebler’s Chupacabra Series from the beginning and I’m always anxious to read the next book.

It may be a bit until I get my hands on Dawn of the Chupabara, but Michael did send me the cover art, along with some characters bios, an excerpt and he even took time to answer a few of my questions. Not that I didn’t hound him a bit. I can’t help it. I love this series!

Check out my Interview with Michael!

Hi Michael. I just wanted to remind you that I’m still waiting for Dawn of the Chupacabra! Not to rush you or anything, but…. LOL Just kidding, kind of.

I know. I’m sorry. The fourth book turned out to be more of a monster than I originally intended.

 

Since I haven’t got my hands on it yet, I was hoping you could answer a few questions about it?

Of course. I would love to, but you know me and how protective I am of my twist and plot details. J.J. Abrams would be proud.

 

The other books take place in the old west. Will this one too?

Partially. Dawn of the Chupacabra is a prequel to the trilogy already released. It begins in the final year of the American Civil War and spans through a couple of years thereafter, which is well into to the start of the “Old West” era.

 

A prequel? Other than the chupacabra, will there be many familiar characters?

A couple. I hope readers will have that sense of familiarity with the book. The story also answers some lingering questions from the previous entries. And although [Dawn] will continue to have a lot of the same fun action (as demonstrated in the excerpt), I will advise that this book will be the most brutal in series thus far.

 

You mentioned familiar characters, is that face on your cover anyone we’ve met before?

No. He’s new. And I can’t say who.

 

And what plans to do you have for the rest of the series? Will it advance in time?

Yes. [Dawn] will be the last novel set in the 19th century. Book 5 entitled, Return of the Chupacabra, leaps into the 1990’s at a time when we discover what happened to the creature after the end of [Legend].

 

And how many books are you planning for this series?

There are six currently, but I won’t be a JKR and say nevermore. I’m just anxious to explore some of my other ideas. In fact, I’ve recently decided to take a year off of the Chupacabra Series to concentrate on finishing a novella I’ve been writing off and on for the last 15 years called, The Ghost of Christmas Past. I also want to write a fan-fiction novel based on a popular horror film series, which I’ll do under a pen name. Don’t ask which film series because I won’t tell, but if fans of the Chupacabra Series comes across it, they might be able to figure it out. I hope to release both in 2016.

 

Does that mean Return of the Chupacabra will not be released until in 2017?

That’s my hope and dream. I have the story outlined already so I don’t see why not.

Thanks so much for the fun interview Michael. I’m thrilled about your other stories too. They will do nicely while I’m waiting for Return of The Chupacabra!

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Are you ready to see the amazing cover for Dawn Of The Chupacabra?

Are you sure?

Positive?

Okay.

Here

You

Go!

Dawn Chup DOTC front cover final_web

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Excerpt

Again, lightning pierced the night, followed by an earth-shattering rumble. In that abrupt moment, Jeremiah’s previous assumptions had been confirmed. The kitchen had been ransacked. Burlap sacks lay torn, drained of their contents. The cooler doors hung wide open with the evidence of broken jars and dishes at the foot, but before darkness settled back into place, he caught sight of a lamp that sat on the counter, undisturbed.

A memory awoke of light beaming through the kitchen’s orifices when last here. The matches would be somewhere near, and unlike the sticks inside the house, these would have remained dry. Patting the counter, Jeremiah found them in no time. He struck a flame and discovered a large ale barrel, untouched by time or wildlife. An overwhelming pungency of lime assaulted his sense once he removed the lid. He dipped his hand into the water then pulled out two eggs. They were two-years-old at best, but the solution of lime water would have kept them from rotting. He broke the tip and drank its slimy filling. Yep, still fresh, though citrusy, and could use a bit of spice.

Jeremiah rummaged through cupboards and soon discovered a shelf of airtight tin canisters. Inside the first was salt. The next was thyme, and then paprika, cayenne, and cumin. Thrilled by his findings, Jeremiah cracked the top of his other egg then sprinkled a pinch of salt and cayenne before he sucked it down.

By his own doing, Jeremiah’s skin crawled. His feeding hadn’t sounded too dissimilar from the creature’s, but his slurping was not his only reminder of the beast at that moment. The pounding rain on the slate roof had masked the demon’s arrival. And what had felt like a bullet to his neck was none other than the elongated leech that drained the blood from his veins.

Jeremiah twisted to the window where it perched and bore its beady eyes into him as intensely as its tongue, but unlike its previous attack, Jeremiah did not hesitate this time. He reached for his sickle and swung. The might behind his strike would have sliced the tongue in two had the blade been sharp, but the attack was not in vain. The curvature of the steel hooked around the appendage and yanked it from his neck.

The beast reeled in its tongue then bounded inside. Jeremiah gripped his knife when the thing knocked him against the counter. The blade fell to the floor, leaving no chance of slicing its throat a second time.

Face-to-face, once again, Jeremiah twisted his head, hoping it would discourage the slimy projectile from entering his eye, when his focus rested on the set of spice canisters he pulled from the cabinet.

He reached for the tin of cayenne then closed his eyes and held his breath before flinging a wave of the spicy powder into the creature’s face. After a short delay, the thing released its hold to shriek and flail throughout the confined enclosure. Keeping his eyes closed, Jeremiah slid beneath the protection of the counter and crawled towards the exit while the monster ripped through the kitchen like a deadly tornado. Its agony sounded severe. He had succeeded in getting away, but at the cost of pissing it off even more.

Jeremiah crawled outside and into the mud before opening his eyes or taking a breath. He glanced back into the kitchen for a mere second only to be continually surprised by the thing. Not only could it cling from wall to wall to ceiling, but the beast had a ripple of spikes that stretched down its back to a tail that he had not yet observed. No doubt, this beast was like nothing he had ever seen or heard before. There was something special about this one-of-kind creature, and judging by its tenacity for him, Jeremiah had a feeling it wasn’t acting of its own cognizance, but serving a master.

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Character Bios

Dawn Chup Atraco

NOAGUNUM “ATRACO” (age unknown) 
This Pniese Indian was thought to have died as a young boy during the white man’s genocide of his people, but Noagunum lived to become a daring and skilled assassin in his youth. The settlers gave the nickname “Atraco” (Latin for “dark”) to their unknown perpetrator; not only for his ability to keep hidden in shadows, but for the dark heart he carried for any white man, woman, or child. Once too old to retain the stamina of a hunter, Atraco retired to the land of his nation in an incessant search for a curse that would cause their mass extinction.
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*****
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Dawn Chup Adam Johnson
 
ADAM JOHNSON (12) is one of the youngest sniper’s to come out of any Union state. At his previous age, Master Adam went from one of eleven Johnson family members to the only living. While playing alone in the storm cellar, he cowardly watched a squadron of graybacks overtake his family’s ranch then proceed to rape and murder his sisters, brothers, and mother on their front porch. To this day, Adam continues to be haunted by his cowardice, having ignored a faultless opportunity to save his gimp father from the soldier’s extensive torture and eventual slaying. Burdened by the weight of regret, Adam and his dead-eye joined his fellow countrymen as a highly proficient sniper in hopes of filling his bottomless pit of grief with Confederate blood.
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*****
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Dawn Chup Alice Stebbins
 
ALICE SAMPSON-STEBBINS (18) – Alice is as feisty as she is stunning.  Country born to a small Dutch family in the Ozarks, Alice had found friendship in two neighboring boys, Jeremiah Whiting and Martin Stebbins, whom she lured her into her mischievous clutches and consistently helped get into trouble.  At the end of her tomboy days, Alice developed feelings for one of the two boys, Martin, which flourished into love.  To her relief, her feelings were reciprocated in folds and the two formed a union of marriage before her husband left to fight for the Confederacy.  Alice awaits the day for her husband’s return.  Should he survive, her hopes are to start a family that same day.
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*****
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Dawn Chup Elias and Silas Stebbins
 
ELIAS & SILAS STEBBINS (14) – Identical twins, Elias and Silas, perceive war as nothing less than glorious.  Raised in a large and loving family, their eagerness to become a soldier once reaching their father’s approved age of fifteen, is amplified by their elder brother’s stories of battle.  After war, both boys hope to marry beautiful women, but that is where their identities split.  Confident and noble, Silas holds onto aspirations of staying in the Ozarks and taking over their father’s furniture business while Elias, ideological and adventurous, dreams of heading to the Alaskan frontier to live a lavish life bathed in its riches.
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*****
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Dawn Chup Kit_Carson
 
CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON “KIT” CARSON (57) – “Kit” was a non-fictional American frontiersman. The few paying jobs he had during his lifetime included fur trapper, wilderness guide, Indian agent, and American Army officer. Carson became a legend in his own lifetime via biographies and news articles. Exaggerated versions of his exploits were the subject of dime-store novels. Of all his notable achievements, Carson’s supervision of Fort Nichols’ construction is the most relevant to ‘Dawn of the Chupacabra’, a stronghold to protect travelers on the most dangerous part of the Cimarron Cut-off of the Santa Fe Trail from raids by the Kiowa and Comanche Indians.

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Author Michael Hebler

Michael Hebler

Prior to becoming an award-winning author of his dark fiction Chupacabra Series, Michael was a full-time international film publicist who had worked on multiple titles for Walt Disney, Pixar, Lionsgate, Lakeshore Entertainment, Warner Bros., Summit Entertainment, and the 2013 Academy Award-winning Best Foreign Language Film, “La grande bellezza” (The Great Beauty).

Born in the early 1970’s in Los Angeles County to a salesman and homemaker, Michael dreamed of following his passions for entertainment and storytelling by acting. It was while studying theatre arts at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, did he realize his penchant for stories were better suited on the page rather than the stage. But creating tales with suspense, laughter, and heart is not Michael’s only love. Hebler also enjoys volunteering in his local community, as well as aid in the capture/spay/neuter/release feral program.

To date, Michael’s publications include NIGHT OF THE CHUPACABRA, CURSE OF THE CHUPACABRA, and LEGEND OF THE CHUPACABRA (Books I, II, & III of the six-part Chupacabra Series) as well as his first publication, THE NIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS, a holiday picture book for believers of any age. Michael’s fourth book in the Chupacabra Series, DAWN OF THE CHUPACABRA will be available in print and for ebook on October 13, 2015.
Michael currently resides in Southwest Florida.
Author Links:
Email:
Michael also in the beginning stages of organizing a newsletter.  If you would like to be included on the list once it’s up and running, you can email Michael at the link above.

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Last week I shared the new cover art for Night Of The Chupacabra.

I also reposted my review and Michael offered an awesome giveaway!

Here’s what you can win.

 One Winner of either:

 1) a signed paperback copy of the new edition (USA only) OR 2) 4 ebooks (Night of the Chupacabra, Curse of the Chupacabra, Legend of the Chupacabra, and an ARC of Dawn of the Chupacabra when it’s ready sometime this summer) (choice of formats: MOBI, EPUB or PDF)

Go HERE to enter.

Giveaway Ends June 8th.

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For all of my giveaways click on the chupacabra below.

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Ghostcrow banner

Title: The Ghostcrow: A Tale of Andor
Author: M.K. Theodoratus
Publisher: Smashwords
Pages: 55
Genre: Supernatural Fantasy
Format: Kindle/Nook

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My Review

This short story made a big impact on me.

Dumdie can see ghosts. They terrify her.

A trip to the local park to watch a military reenactment leaves Dumdie frozen in her tracks, her eyes closed against all of the ghosts that mingle with the living crowd. If only she’d stayed home.

Her father is disgusted with her. Her mother is impatient with her. Her sisters are embarrassed to be seen with her. Only her grandma shows any compassion and shields her when she can.

Dumbie feels safest when she’s tending the garden her family shares with her kindly neighbor, Mr Carson. Weeding the garden, picking the vegetables as they ripen is a soothing ritual and one of the few places the ghosts leave her alone.

When Kyle, the school bully, steals some pumpkins and terrorizes Mr. Carson, Dumdie can do nothing. She’s just a small, thirteen year old, facing off against the football jock.

What she saw in Kyle’s eyes that day was pure evil. Somethings changing in Dumdie’s world, something bad.

When I first started reading this short story, I stumbled over how the author wrote references to people as Herfather, Hergrandma. I thought they were typos. It soon became clear this was Dumdie’s view of people. How she sees them.

Dumdie is a nickname given to Dorry by her sisters and school kids. Even her parents call her Dumdie. As I got to know Dorry, came to empathize with her, I no longer noticed the name Dumdie. She was much more than that, so from here on out in my review, she will be Dorry.

Dorry is obviously coping with a social anxiety disorder and I connected with her quickly. My son has similar difficulties and I recognized her coping methods, such as counting things, isolating herself, trying to be invisible.

I was proud of Dorry as she ventured to make friends, spoke up for herself, and even started looking at the ghosts in a new light.

A coming of age story with a supernatural element, Ghostcrow grew on me. The authors writing grew on me.  Dorry grew on me. And I think she’ll grow on you as the author shows you her inner and outer demons.

There are several more stories in the Tale of Andor collection and I’ve now added all of them to my list of books to read.

Give Ghostcrow a read. And I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

5 Stars

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Synopsis

Seeing ghosts has plagued Dumdie Swartz since early childhood.

Afraid that ghost guts might stick to her if she stepped through them, thirteen-year-old Dumdie Swartz still cringes when she encounters them.

Her strange attempts to avoid spirits create a lonely life.

Her sisters constantly mock her strange behavior, her parents are clueless, and her social life is zero. Dumdie finds solace working in a shared garden with her elderly neighbor, Mr. Carson. When teens from her high school steal pumpkins from his garden, Mr. Carson is hurt during the theft, and later, dies.

Dumdie’s life takes a dark turn.

She learns there are stranger things than ghosts, when she senses something evil living in Kyle, one of the boys who had raided the pumpkin patch. Kyle bullies Dumdie to scare her into silence. The more Kyle threatens her, the clearer she perceives the evil thing possessing him. Dumdie finds support in an unlikely group of girls who befriend her when she helps them with their costumes for the Pumpkin festival. During the festival, Dumdie’s fears explode when the thing possessing Kyle decides it wants to possess her.

For More Information

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Book Excerpt:

The family car prowled the parking lot of the state park as Herfather searched for an open space. He muttered curses under his breath. Other kids called their male parent “dad” or “pop”, but Dumdie Swartz never could remember doing that. The words had never made any sense to her in reference to the cold man before her. He had been Herfather to her for since forever.

Dumdie clutched her arms tight to her body, holding back a scream when he drove through a group of ghostly soldiers standing at attention, wishing he could see the specters as plain as she did.

Please. Let the ghost guts stay on the outside of the car.

Ghosts turned her blood cold. She didn’t understand them, and she knew no one to ask about them. She was the only person she knew who saw the remains of people floating around or acting like wispy people, who sometimes could grab you if you weren’t careful. She gave up long ago trying to explain why she twitched and cringed when she saw cold misty people no one else could see. The others in Herfamily thought she was crazy or pretending or seeking unwarranted attention.

The sharp scent of pine needles, spicing the air of the state park, entered the open window, giving Dumdie a hint of normalcy. She clenched her fists in her lap and closed her eyes. She couldn’t remember ever being like the other kids at school or anywhere.

More ghosts appeared in the parking lot. Wide-eyed, Dumdie Swartz recoiled against the seat. She’d never seen so many ghosts at one time. Her panic rose like sour bile in her throat. Everything was changing. The specters were becoming sharper and harder to ignore.

“Hah!”

The big family sedan darted forward, stopping just inches from the bumper of a car pulling out of a space. Herfather waited patiently as it maneuvered among the people walking towards the reenactment ceremonies. Dumdie huffed for air, waiting for more ghosts to appear in the empty spot. Luckily, this time everyone in the car ignored her in their excitement. Herfather followed the car closely so no other car could steal the space.

How can they like going to strange places?

Sue, her older sister and worst tormenter, pinched her arm. “Don’t you go all weird on us. I saw all sorts of kids I know from school here,” she whispered. “I don’t want them to see me with you drooling like an idiot.”

Pulling her arm away, Dumdie hunkered down as a ghost floated across the hood. The trip was supposed to be fun. Herfather said it would be fun. It wasn’t supposed to be a ghost convention. Dumdie could feel the terror rise in her throat, but knew her male parent wouldn’t help her. I should have stayed home, where I’m safe.

But that morning at breakfast, Hergrandma had coaxed her to join the family outing when Herfather had thrown his hands in the air as she refused to go on the outing.

For once, Herfather’s muttering was clear. “Why can’t we do something like a normal family? Half the town’ll be there.”

“Please, child. Keep peace in the family,” Hergrandma had said.

Hermother, who loved to sew, added, “You might enjoy it. All the enactors’ll be wearing authentic period costumes.”

Hergrandma reached across the kitchen table to pat her hand. “You like history. You’ve read two history books since I’ve been here.”

Dumdie had given in. Now she wished she hadn’t joined Herfamily. I’m going step through one of the cold, clammy things. My own innards’ll freeze. There’s way too many ghosts to avoid all of them, especially if I walk with my family. They always barge right through the ghosts.

The doors of her car popped open as soon as the engine stopped. Sue and Lizzy, her nicer sister, bounded away. To prove her reasoning, Sue and Lizzy plowed through a group of three misty soldiers. Dumdie stopped at the side of the path.

“Dum – dieeeeee!”

Hermother’s shriek rose like an opera singer’s, but Dumdie’s feet refused to move. She wanted Dumdie act normal, like her sisters. Dumdie’s avoidance tics made Hermother nervous. She glanced at her parents as they whispered together and glanced at her.

Words drifted towards her. “Crazy”. “Can’t you control her?” “People are looking at us.”

Dumdie wondered what their reactions would be if she didn’t move from the parking lot. If she just stayed in the car.

I should’ve stayed home. Why wouldn’t Myfather let me stay home?

Her feet shuffled forward but came to a halt at the path to the fort’s grounds and stopped. Ghosts in hooped skirts and military uniforms crowded the path ahead of her. Dumdie’s toes wanted to dig into the ground like roots. Her breath came in sharp gasps. Hermother yanked her arm, but Dumdie didn’t move. More transparent people roamed around the entrance to the enactment. Ghosts infested the parade grounds, chatting in groups or standing alone staring at nothing Dumdie could see.

“Dumdie, get a move on, for goodness sake,” grumbled Herfather. “We’ll miss the re-enactment of Fort Bonnet’s fall to the Tejanos.”

Hermother yanked harder on her arm as Herfather strode ahead of them without looking back. A pat on her shoulder from Hergrandma encouraged Dumdie to lumber forward. She closed her eyes to a slit and stared at the ground immediately at her feet, hoping none of the ghost guts would stick to her.

Shrieks and proddings from Hermother had lost their power to scare her into action long ago. Ghosts were more terrifying than her parents ever could be, and Dumdie’s feet dug deeper into the ground. You never knew when a ghastly specter would reach out with its clammy hands and try to squeeze your heart, like the Stalkerghost back home. Her shoulders wriggled as the memory rose in her mind from where it hid. She shivered, remembering the last time its cold hand dug into her chest before she could escape.

Why are there so many misty people? Panic rose until she could taste it. There’ve never been this many of them before. They’re easier to avoid when there’s just one or two at one time.

Hermother’s pull and Hergrandma’s push prodded Dumdie into motion. Why am I the only one who sees things? Life was so much simpler before, when I was little.

Dumdie had started seeing dim transparent people back when she was practically a baby, in kindergarten. Today they swarmed among the clumps of real people, back in the parking lot and along the path before her. Everywhere Dumdie looked ghosts milled, many going about their business in strange repetitive patterns that never made any sense. Dumdie wished she were three-years-old instead of thirteen so she could jam her thumb into her mouth.

Among the tall trees on either side of the gravel path and in the meadow ahead, the state park crawled with ghosts, parading as if they had come for the reenactment, too. Two groups of real people pushed around Dumdie’s family onto the path to the fort. They passed through the entities without a cringe or shiver. Dumdie had never really seen ghost guts attached to any one, not even herself, but new things were always happening.

Hermother grabbed Dumdie’s arm. “This is not the time to go all goofy, girl. I’m tired of your hysterics. Dumdie, why can’t you be normal for once? We’re in public. Please don’t be strange. Please?”

Clenching her teeth, Dumdie swallowed the saliva slithering down the back of her throat. My name is Dolores. You named me Dolores. Dumdie kept the protest to herself. She’d given up on her name long ago. Teachers might call her Dolores or Dorry, but the kids called her Dumdie.

An unintelligible grumble rolled in Hergrandma’s throat. Hermother’s fingernails dug into her arm. Dumdie’s eyes opened wider. Hermother was pulling her forward to where a group of ghosts stood, two soldiers flirting with a lady in a wide skirt. As Hermother yanked her forward, Dumdie closed her eyes, preparing for the sharp cold to pierce her. Her stomach churned. She swallowed, ready to run to a tree and scrape off ghosts’ guts if she passed through them. Before Hermother could shout at her, Hergrandma grabbed her arm.

“Oh, thank you,” she said. “I could use a little help on this loose gravel, Dumdie.”

Hergrandma limped besides her. When Dumdie’s muscle’s tensed Hergrandma moved in the direction Dumdie wanted to jump. “Come along, child. We’ll miss the enactment if you don’t hurry.” Her grip on Dumdie’s arm was warm and encouraging.

Wishing she could be normal like her sisters, Dumdie willed herself to ignore the ghosts. She closed her eyes. When she opened them, the haunts still milled about.

Dumdie looked at the semi-circle of faces focused on her, making her cringe. Hermother looked exasperated like always. Hergrandma’s face was filled with concern but still frowning. Herfather glanced from side to side to see if anyone was looking at them and their strange daughter. For once, her two older sisters were not in sight. They had run ahead to watch a squad of enactors march across the meadow to the sound of snare drums. The pageant had started. Dumdie dropped her gaze to stare at her toes. As usual a lace was untied, but Hermother gave her no time to tie it. Just jerked her forward.

Hermother’s sharp nails dug into Dumdie’s hand as she yanked both Hergrandma and Dumdie down the path. “Come along. This is not the time to dawdle.” The shoelace caught under her foot, and Dumdie stumbled.

Herfather’s bass rumbled. “You’re getting too old to behave like a baby, girl. You’re going into high school this year.”

Closing her eyes, Dumdie did her best to walk normally. Behind her the soft voice of her sister Sue, who had circled around and appeared from the pines, began to chant, “Dum-di-dum-de-dum” over and over again to tease her. Dumdie pulled a hand free and balled it into a fist. She wished she dared smash Sue’s face in. Dumdie’d given up singing to herself long ago. She hunched her shoulders, wishing they could cover her ears.

Shut up. Shut up.

But hitting Sue was stupid. When her sisters decided to tease her, she had to bear it. If she lashed out, her sisters would just find a sneakier way to make her look in the wrong. Herfather would take their side. Not hers.

“The rest of you go ahead,” said Hergrandma. “We will join you when we find you.”

Dumdie stumbled forward, the thumb of her free hand touching each finger in turn, counting her slow steps. One. Two. Three.

Hermother left Dumdie and Hergrandma to find their own way to the parade grounds.

Dumdie scrunched her eyes tighter. She refused to see the cold darkness when she passed through a ghost. She didn’t care if she stumbled over a rock or skinned her knee. The transparent people made the hair on her neck and arms twitch. Dumdie wished they would go away or that she could have stayed home, where wispy nasties didn’t prowl among real people.

Why do ghosts have to torment me? Ten. Eleven. Twelve…

“Come on, slow poke,” smirked Sue, her second oldest, more pudgy sister. “Lizzy’s saving us some of the extra chairs they’re putting out. The ushers let her because of Grandma being old.”

On the meadow parade grounds, the clumps of ghosts grew thicker. The adults pushed forward. Hermother let go of her hand just as she stepped through a misty soldier. Dumdie jumped back from the clammy air. She opened her eyes just wide enough so she could step around it and all the other specters walking on the path to the bleachers. Sue scowled at her as she and Hergrandma wobbled her way to the gate leading into the open-air theatre.

Sue stopped as Hermother and Herfather pressed forward ahead of them. “Oh look, there’s that geekie Brody who used to come over and work on that project last year. He’s with Kyle, my friend from the football team.”

Dumdie glanced up and thought Brody, who lived a few blocks away from Herfamily, looked like a midget next to the other, more massive guy.

“Kyle.” Sue waved as the two teens climbed the bleachers with their family. “Hey, Kyle.”

The two boys ignored Sue like Dumdie wished she could.

“They ignored me.” Sue pinched her before Dumdie could jump out of the way. “If you weren’t so strange, Kyle wouldn’t have given me the cold shoulder.”

“Don’t be silly, Sue,” said Hergrandma. “The boys probably couldn’t hear you over all the noise.”

Lizzy stood and waved from seats near the bleachers. Dumdie let Hergrandma lean on her. She was comfortable to be around. Her hair was light-colored, though darker than Dumdie’s light brown shade, and she moved carefully, unlike the rest of Dumdie’s bouncy, black-haired family. Dumdie wished the rest of her family were as restful. Hergrandma never surprised her by acting in incomprehensible ways. Her family thought Dumdie strange, but most of the time she never understood why the others did the things they did.

I wish she visited more often. And stayed longer.

Attendants were adding rows of folding chairs on either side of the bleachers while people milled around them nervously waiting. Herfamily picked up speed to claim the seats. Sue pushed right through a wispy soldier in a cavalry uniform without slowing down. Dumdie helped Hergrandma sit down and scooted into the chair beside hers.

“Fantastic, you got here before the play actually started.” Lizzy, her older sister, leaned over to pull on Hergrandma’s hand. “People were trying to get me to sit on the ground. I had to fight to save your seat.”

Ghostcrow 3

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About the Author

Ghostcrow M.K. Theodoratus

 

Hooked by comic books at an early age, M. K. Theodoratus’ fascination with fantasy solidified when she discovered the Oz books by L. Frank Baum with his strong female characters. She has traveled through many fantasy worlds since then. When she’s not reading about other writer’s worlds, she’s creating her own.

 

Most of her stories are set in the Far Isles where she explores the political effects of genetic drift on a mixed elf human population. Lately, Theodoratus has been setting her stories in an alternate world of Andor where demons stalk humankind.
A sixth grade English assignment started her writing. The teacher assigned a short story. Theodoratus gave her an incomplete, 25-page Nancy Drew pastiche which turned into a full novel by the next summer. She’s been writing happily ever after ever since…for four or five writing careers. Most recently she’s been concentrating of her Andor stories, set in an alternate world where demons and magic plague humans.

 

Her latest book is the supernatural fantasy novelette, The Ghostcrow: A Tale of Andor.

For More Information

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Until the next time….

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

Welcome to The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice.

 

This is a really fun meme!

The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader and find a sentence or a few (no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.

Then go over to Freda’s Voice and leave your link so we can visit your 56!

My 56 for this week is from

Dark Places

by Gillian Flynn

8427679

 

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My 56 

“Fact: Somewhere around 2 a.m. on January 3, 1985, a person or persons killed three members of the Day family in their farmhouse in Kinnakee, Kansas.

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Synopsis

Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars.

Since then, she has been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben’s innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her brother’s? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back?

She begins to realise that everyone in her family had something to hide that day… especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find.

Who did massacre the Day family?

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This book is so intense and so freakin good!

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

Leave your link and I’ll drop by your 56.

fEVERS

Fevers by Joel Homer

Joel HomerPublisher-ebook:  Zac Homer, (April 20, 2014)
Publisher-Print: Bantam
Category: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller, Some Romance
Tour Date: May/June, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook, 261 Pages

FEVERS is a novel unlike any you have ever read. Exotic adventure, white knuckled suspense, torrid romance, and a haunting portrait of three damaged individuals – one man who has turned beast, one who must confront the beast within himself, and the woman torn between them.

Rio de Janeiro. 1984.

There are rumors that somewhere deep in the steamy rainforest of the Amazon a man, once civilized, is hiding in green shadows. To the primitive Brazilian Indios, he is considered their long-awaited “pale-skinned messiah.” Others believe he is an evil god with powers to stir the native masses to a frenzied, killing pitch. And others suspect he might be Michael Fevers.

Into the lush tropics comes a troubled American, rebellious journalist, embittered Vietnam vet, desperate soldier of fortune. William Straw, who soon forms an uneasy alliance with a beautiful anthropologist, continues his tortured upriver journey-from jungle shantytown to opulent plantation, from explosive passion to brutal murder. Whether he is pursuing a story, an adventure, or a chance to finally exorcise his own inner demons, nothing will prepare William Straw for the sudden violence and bizarre cruelty of the one who is waiting ahead — Michael Fevers.

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My Review

Have you seen the movie Apocalypse Now? That’s how this story felt. A madman enters the jungle with a twisted crusade to save the Indios of Brazil.They are being enslaved and their culture is being erased. Michael Fevers has a plan to unite the tribes and wage war.

Another man enters the jungle on a mission to find Michael Fevers. William Straw, a journalist haunted by his time in the Vietnam War. He’s damaged,  bitter, angry, and determined to get his story. At all costs.

Though the title suggests this story is about Michael Fevers, I felt it was more about William.  At least for the first half of the book.  Michael may be crazy, but William Straw is no  angel himself.

Then things start ramping up. Blood flows. A lot of it. I just want to warn you some scenes are visceral, raw, the author doesn’t spare you. I felt the descriptions were important to get me engaged, outraged, to get the full experience.

I’m not sure if the plight of the Brazilian Indios is real. Their situation made me think of the Aborigines.  Very similar situations. Slavery, forced to leave their way of life, their culture, behind.

As the story escalates in the second half, I couldn’t stop reading until I reached the end. The slow start to this story was worth it for the finale.

There’s something about the jungle, the primal feel of it, that fascinates me. I’m always looking for books like this. Movies too.  If they ever made this into a movie, I’d be in line for a ticket. I’d settle into my seat with a big bucket of popcorn with extra butter and enjoy the show.

4 Stars

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Praise for Fevers by Joel Homer:

“Very engrossing novel. It felt a bit like reading a modern version of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The plot moves quickly and smoothly. The excitement never ends.”- Gerald Loev, Amazon Reviewer

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About Joel Homer

Joel Homer

Joel Homer was raised in Greenwich Village, attended New York University and was a medal-winning veteran from the Vietnam war. Upon returning to the states, he began his writing career as a senior editor at Saturday Review.

His books include “Marathons” and “Jargon.” His produced plays include “Scenes Dedicated to My Brother,” “What People Do When They’re All Alone,” and “The Lieutenant Snuffs the Light.” In 1984 he was the first recipient of the prestigious Glickman Award for playwriting. His last play ‘Private Scenes” was a huge hit in San Francisco. While working in Los Angeles, he co-wrote the original script for “Beauty and the Beast” for EuroDisney….to date the most popular stage play in Disney’s history.

Joel Homer passed away in 2003 at the age of 58.

 

Buy Fevers by Joel Homer

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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I have one copy of Fevers to giveaway.

Ebook or Print copy (Winner’s Choice)

Print copy is US Only

To enter, please leave your email address so I can contact you if you win and leave a comment

Tell me something you like about the book, comment on the review. Anything you want!

Giveaway ends June 17th.

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Follow The Tour for more fun posts:

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Lady in Read May 12 Review (postponed)

Mallory Heart Reviews May 14 Review

What U Talking Bout Willis? May 15 Excerpt

Feel the Need, Need to Read May 19 Review, Excerpt,  & Giveaway

Mom Are We There Yet  May 20 Review

Readers Muse May 25 Review

fuonlyknew May 28 Review & Giveaway

Inspire to Read May 29 Review

Always Falling for Book Guys Jun 1 Excerpt

Lisa’s Writopia June 2 Review

Celticlady’s Reviews Jun 3 Excerpt

Mary’s Cup of Tea Jun 5 Review

Books, Books & More Books Jun 8 Review & Ecerptx

Cyn Harris Jun 15 Excerpt

Deal Sharing Aunt Jun 18 Review

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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T4T-Banner

Hello and welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:

Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway and
Into the Fire by Ashelyn Drake

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Call Me Grim

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The truck should have turned Libbi Piper into a Libbi Pancake—and it would have, too, if Aaron hadn’t shown up and saved her life. The problem? Aaron’s the local Grim Reaper . . . and he only saved Libbi’s life because he needs someone to take over his job. Now, Libbi has two days to choose between dying like she was supposed to, or living a lonely life as Death Incarnate. Talk about a rock and a hard place. And the choice goes from hard to sucktastic when her best friend shows up marked: condemned as a future murderer. Libbi could have an extra week to stop the murder and fix the mark . . . but only if she accepts Aaron’s job as Reaper, trapping herself in her crappy town forever, invisible and inaudible to everyone except the newly dead. But, if she refuses? Her best friend is headed straight for Hell.

add to goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | TBD | iBooks

WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:

Call Me Grim is humor, brilliance and a success altogether.” – Paula, Her Book Thoughts

 

“Okay, just the story line over all was GENIUS. I have NEVER EVER read a book like this before. It was just so original and plain awesome. MEGA props to the author. I’m still grinning from what I’ve read.”Rachelann, Goodreads Reviewer

 

“Call Me Grim is one of those books that you do not want to put down. At the same time there is something about it that makes you just want to savor it – you want to know what is going to happen next but at the same time you do not want it to end.” – Mike, Goodreads Reviewer

about-the-author

Elizabeth Holloway

Elizabeth Holloway is a maternity nurse living in Southern Pennsylvania with her two teen children and their pets, Bam-bam the dog and Tinkerbell the cat. In addition to nursing and writing, she’s also an avid reader, an artist, a karaoke singer, a music lover, and a kick-ass Pictionary player. Her debut YA novel, CALL ME GRIM, will be released from Month9Books in Fall 2014.

 

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

*****

Into the Fire

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Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s life is a perfectly normal one until Logan Schmidt moves to Ashlan Falls. Cara is inexplicably drawn to him, but she’s not exactly complaining. Logan’s like no boy she’s ever met, and he brings out a side of Cara that she isn’t used to. As the two get closer, everything is nearly perfect, and Cara looks forward to the future.

But Cara isn’t a normal girl. She’s a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical phoenix bird, and her time is running out. Rebirth is nearing, which means she’ll forget her life up to this point—she’ll forget Logan and everything they mean to one another.. But that may be the least of Cara’s problems.

A phoenix hunter is on the loose, and he’s determined to put an end to the lives of people like Cara and her family, once and for all.

add to goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | TBD | iBooks

WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:

 

“You witness a major loss to the main character that does not involve a death, and also fully understand just what is about to face the main character. It was such a hook for me and I just had to find out what would happen next.”Maria, The Paisley Reade


“I love finding series about unique paranormals, and Ashelyn Drake did a really good job with this one.”Michelle, Book Briefs

 

“Kelly Hashway aka Ashelyn Drake has created an impeccable story surrounded around mythology, romance, family and deceit.” Nay Denise, Nays Pink Bookshelf

about-the-author

Kelly Hashway

Ashelyn Drake is a New Adult and Young Adult romance author. While it’s rare for her not to have either a book in hand or her fingers flying across a laptop, she also enjoys spending time with her family. She believes you are never too old to enjoy a good swing set and there’s never a bad time for some dark chocolate. She is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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