Minaldi Legacy Excerpt by Courtney Cole

We are extremely excited to be able to share an excerpt from Courtney Cole’s new book THE MINALDI LEGACY! THE MINALDI LEGACY is a dark, contemporary romance and will be released on February 6th, 2014!!!

    THE MINALDI LEGACY Synopsis:

“I’m a monster, Eva. There’s no saving a monster. But I love that you want to try.”

Luca Minaldi is rich, powerful and mesmerizing. He’s also a reclusive enigma. He lives in Malta, a fairy-tale place filled with sunshine and sea, beauty and secrets. And Luca’s darkest of secrets is the best-kept of them all. Eva Talbot moves to Malta to finish her doctoral dissertation in Psychiatry. When she meets Luca, there is a very real and instant attraction that she has never felt before. But even still, she senses the darkness that lives within him. Eva is hired to care for Luca’s mother, a woman who suffers from dementia. It is Luca, however, that Eva will eventually risk everything to save… as the legacy that plagues him continues. As the darkness swirls ever more tightly around her, Eva realizes that no matter how hard she tries, she might not be able to save Luca without losing herself. Eva and Luca are thrust into a world where their love is tested and darkness reigns. Amid chaos and treachery, love and hate, Luca and Eva learn one important thing. Love is dangerous. But it also might be the one thing that can save them all. ******** The Minaldi Legacy consists of two parts, part one: Of Blood and Bone and part two: Of Darkness and Demons. It contains adult themes and content.  

    EXCERPT:

Prologue

Luca is gone. I know it before I open my eyes. The weight of his body next to me is absent, the scent of him gone from the air. I sigh, reluctant to begin this day because I know what it holds for me. I know that if Luca is truly gone, I will spend every hour frantically searching for him. Gazing around, I find my large suite empty. Everything is neat and tidy and exactly in place. Each lavish piece of furniture is polished with lemon oil, each extravagant painting on the wall carefully dusted. Each expensive vase, each crystal lamp, each woven rug is perfectly aligned and exactly how I left it. Something is different, though, somehow changed in this room that I fell asleep in last night. My sleepy eyes do another quick sweep, and this time I notice the balcony doors standing wide open while the bright morning sun streams onto the mahogany floor and the white sheer curtains on either side flutter in the sea breeze. This is the difference and it slams into me like a concrete wall. I didn’t fall asleep with those doors open. I would never do that now, not since I know what dangers lurk in the world, the darkness that can find me. Immediately after I notice this inconsistency, I also see that across the room, my bedroom door is tightly closed and the bolt is still slid firmly in place. Just as I left it last night. My heart stutters as I realize what this means. While I slept, Luca must have climbed from my balcony ledge to escape. But the drop is well over thirty feet and there are sharp rocks at the base of the house. There are gardens directly behind, but beyond that, there is a cliff with a hundred foot drop to the sea below. I leap naked from bed and rush to the balcony’s edge. My bare breasts press against the cold railing as I peer down at both the gardens and what I can see of the pristine sand beyond that. Luca is not lying broken and bleeding there, so I try to still my racing heart. I search the beaches and craggy landscape on both sides of my periphery and I still do not see him. He somehow survived the fall. A hundred different things run through my mind, but the one that stands out in the forefront is the image, the possibility, that he managed to drag himself, broken and bleeding, to a different location, somewhere where he is even now waiting for me to help him. Because I promised. I promised him that I would help him, that I would keep him from the darkness that plagues him, that I would heal him. That I would save him. I swallow hard and as I do, I realize that my throat is tender from Luca’s hands last night. I know that if I look into a mirror, there will be a bruise in the perfect formation of his long fingers around my neck. As I softly touch it, I remember his face from the night before. It was shadowed in the moonlight and like always, he was beautiful. Luca is handsome in a very classic and beautiful way, dark hair and cut cheekbones. His bangs are long and almost hide his magnificent dark eyes until he shakes his hair away. And when he does, the sadness that dwells there is apparent to anyone who knows him. But last night, I didn’t need to look into his eyes to see that his darkness had returned. I knew it from the moment he stepped into my room. I can always see it. It changes everything about him, even the way he walks and moves. The way he stands. The way he speaks. The way he feels. He is an entirely different person when the darkness comes. These are the moments that he dreads with every breath when he is himself; the moments when he is no longer Luca. In these moments, he is filled with thoughts that are no longer his own. He cannot help it, he cannot control it, he cannot stop it. But I promised him that I would. And I have failed him. I scramble to my wardrobe and pull on clothing, choosing a shirt with a collar, hoping to somewhat hide the bruise on my neck. The only other people here at Chessarae are servants, except for Luca’s mother in her lonely wing. But she is locked in so she never comes into the main part of the house. No one will see me but the staff. And they are used to seeing strange things. I rush through the house, through the extravagant corridors and over the marble floors, the rich and polished surroundings that I would never have dreamed I would find myself in. I don’t notice it now though. It has faded into an insignificant corner of my mind. All that matters now is Luca. I make my way out the back of the house, through the gardens, through the English maze that is perfectly manicured and challenging to maneuver. I manage it with ease, however. I memorized its twists and turns on a happier day. The weather is stormy today and the normally cheerful and bright Maltese sky is gray and thunderous. I can feel the electricity in the air, snapping the ends of my long hair with static. This day looks as foreboding as I feel, which I hope is not a sign. I search through the maze. I search the beaches as my feet sink into the cool sand. I search the gardens with their exotic and sweet-smelling blooms and then I search the garage. His car, a shiny black Jaguar, is still in its slot and its hood is cool to the touch. Luca has not driven it today. I search the front lawns and the back. And just when I begin to panic, to fear that he has not returned to Chessarae after all, I search the stables. As I walk through the heavy wooden doors, the smells of the horses and the hay and the saddle-soap and leather assail my nose and I breathe them in. I’ve always loved this place. It is peaceful here. And I suddenly know, because I can feel it, that Luca is here. I walk quietly down the main corridor, staring into each stall as I pass. And finally, finally, when I come to the very last stall on the left, Luca is there and my breath hitches in my chest, freezing on my lips. Luca is slumped on the ground, in the corner, his expression desolate. He is beautiful even here, even in this condition, and I cannot help but stare down at him as tears fill my eyes. He is dirty and his clothing is torn. There are smears of blood on his shirt, dried now to a rusty dark brown. I swallow hard, trying not to imagine where the blood has come from. Luca’s face is tortured as he stares up at me, his head in his hands. There is blood on his fingers. “It happened again.” His words are low and husky and rough, yet elegant at the same time. He is always refined, always perfect, always Luca. His self-loathe is apparent and it breaks my heart. I nod mutely because there are no words for this moment. I bend to help him to his feet. At 6’3”, he towers above me. He is slender and strong and masculine. He is lithe and powerful, beautiful and graceful. And sometimes, on his very darkest days, he is a depraved killer. But I have gotten ahead of myself. I should begin at the beginning. If I don’t, you will never understand.  


ABOUT COURTNEY COLE: Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people. Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.     LINKS: Website: http://www.courtneycoleauthor.com/ Blog: http://courtneycolewrites.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Court_Writes Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/courtneycolewrites Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3112212.Courtney_Cole The Minaldi Legacy Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/97613-the-minaldi-legacy Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Courtney-Cole/e/B004Y4Z8ZU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1375577792&sr=8-2-ent

A Blog Name….where does it come from?!

Well, I realize I should have done this post at the very beginning of my blogging experience and like everything in a working mom’s life, you forget, get behind and generally do things out of order.  I was recently asked where the name of my blog came from and honestly, it popped into my head when we were redoing our gallery wall on our staircase.  I ordered some pretty cool paper mache letters from Flea Market Sunday on Etsy.  Check out the shop here. namehttps://www.etsy.com/shop/FleaMarketSunday?ref=l2-shopheader-name


I ordered both NC (for my home state) and DC (for John’s home).  I wanted to add them to our gallery wall and after we installed the wall, voila.  I signed up for blogger and From NC 2 DC wasn’t being used…a blog was born!

(Not the best pic but you get the idea!)

I thought I would also post some pics of the process we used for laying out our entire staircase gallery wall.  Hanging this many frames can be pretty daunting but after checking some of my favorite DIY blogs and websites, we decided to take on the project.  Make sure to check out Young House Love’s gallery wall here.  http://www.younghouselove.com/2011/04/its-done-and-we-heart-it/.

We grabbed some of the awesome paper rolls from IKEA, cut out all of the frames we already had and the newly purchased IKEA frames using the paper, and started taping them up.  There was quite a bit of switch-a-roo going on until we finalized where the frames would go.







These pics are at odd angles but it gives you the general idea of using the paper cut outs to help for layout purposes.  We only used nails for the very large frames and used 3M photo strips for the rest.

We have really enjoyed the frames.  They hold the boy’s artwork as well as family pictures.  It is a nice reminder of all the fun things our family has done over the years!



Book Review: Ruined by Jus Accardo

Ruined (The Eternal Balance, #1)Ruined by Jus Accardo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These days paranormal books seem to be a dime a dozen and believe me when I say, I never really get sick of them. However, it is refreshing when you stumble upon a new take on the paranormal world. Jus Accardo has crafted a really interesting take on demons.

In Ruined, Jus Accardo takes the story of Cain to a whole new level. When Cain murdered his brother Abel he committed the ultimate sin and because it was so heinous his descendents must carry the burden. Generation after generation must carry a demon inside of their bodies. A demon they wrestle with every day not only mentally but physically. The demon feeds off the most negative of human emotions and wrecks havoc for the human they inhabit.

Jax has struggled every day of his life with his demon. His mind is filled with violent thoughts towards his brother Chase. When he is in his senior year of high school, he finally moves out of town to escape the darkness, leaving behind his beloved uncle, his brother, and his best friend Samantha whom he cares for deeply. When his uncle gets sick, Jax returns home. He knows it is a bad idea because when he is close to his brother, his demon is at its worse. To make matters worse, Sam seems to be in trouble and Jax can’t just leave her behind again.

The chemistry between Jax and Sam is palatable. It oozes off the pages. In the beginning, the sarcasm, contempt, and anger between the two is enjoyable to read as they try to understand each other after three years of separation. Sam doesn’t understand Jax’s reason for leaving with no explanation and she refuses to let him in again. Jax tries desperately hard to stay away from Sam but it is clear early on that he isn’t going to be able to do it.

The end of this book provided some really good conflict and if I am honest, I didn’t see some of the story lines she threw at me which is always a good thing! There is so much left to tell of this story and I look forward to the next installment! This was my first Jus Accardo book but definitely will not be my last!

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5 Chapter Reveal from Be With Me by Jennifer Armentrout (writing as J.Lynn)

BE WITH ME Synopsis:

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wait for You

Do Teresa and Jase have a real shot at getting together or will life get in the way?

Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, life-changing kiss. Then she got out of a terrible relationship. Now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for plan B: college. And maybe she’ll have a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone—especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about is kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.

As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Teresa can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not. . . .
I can’t tell you how excited I am for this book.  Jennifer is one of my favorite authors and I am always waiting for her new books.  The first book in this series, Wait for Me was one of my favorite New Adult books of last year.  When she announced to readers that she would be writing a book about Cam’s best friend Jase I was thrilled.  He was one of the characters that jumped out to me in Wait for Me.  Click on the link below for the first five chapters of Be With Me.

Jennifer L. Armentrout/J.Lynn Bio:
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. 

Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

Temporarily Yours (ARC Provided) by Diane Alberts…releasing on February 3rd!

Temporarily Yours (Shillings Agency)Temporarily Yours by Diane Alberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book read hot from the first Chapter! I can guarantee that absolutely no one would mind the hassle of flying if there flight was anything like Kayla Moriarity’s. Cooper Shillings, ex marine, can’t seem to stop himself from helping people and when he meets Kayla in the airport he immediately can’t seem to stay away from her. Kayla’s endless babbling that includes statistical data from everything from relationship survival ratings to the percentage of people who die in flight vs. on the runaway are absolutely refreshing to Cooper. He can’t remember the last time he was this intrigued with another person let alone a woman. Kayla’s fear of flying soon leads to Cooper paying to upgrade to first class to sit beside her. Needless to say, what happens next definitely changes the way you look at taking flights. It was so hot my cheeks were burning while I read it.

What starts out as a mind blowing one night stand quickly changes to Cooper escorting Kayla to her sister’s wedding as a “pretend” boyfriend. Kayla and Cooper agree to keep the relationship just physical and fun but before long they are both in over their heads. These two needed each other to realize that they are both running from problems instead of facing them. And maybe just maybe they are misjudging the people who love them the most. Sometimes honesty is the best policy and having a little faith that your loved ones want what is best for you even when it doesn’t seem that way.

Temporarily Yours is another fantastic example of why I love Diane Alberts. She writes storylines and characters that you not only identify with but fall in love with. She knows how to write sexy, steamy scenes with laugh out loud moments mixed in. This is another winner! Read it soon!

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Book Review: All the Pretty Poses (ARC provided)

All the Pretty Poses (Pretty, #2)All the Pretty Poses by M. Leighton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My first M. Leighton book was All the Pretty Lies and I really enjoyed it…Hemi and Sloane were both enjoyable characters with compelling backstories and it was a fast read. However, All the Pretty Poses knocked my socks off! I couldn’t get enough of this book. It was fast paced and hard to resist. I sat at work trying to not think about what would happen next and I finally succumbed and finished it at work!

Reese Spencer is rich, handsome, and privileged. Kennedy Moore could argue that he might be heartless as well. Being center stage at an exotic dance club was a means to an end for Kennedy. She used dance as an escape from a life and past she chooses to forget. Little does she know that one night will change everything as she comes face to face with Reese Spencer….the boy who promised her so many things one day in the woods. The boy she loved.

Reese is floored. As he watches the dancer and realizes it is Kennedy, the girl who he still thinks about after 14 years, Reese is floored. He never imagined seeing Kennedy in one of his clubs or he can’t believe that she is dancing for a living. He wants to know why Kennedy is dancing, what she has been doing with her life. He wants all the answers so he makes her an offer she can’t refuse.

The heat between Reese and Kennedy is palatable. It oozes off each and every page. Kennedy tries desperately to keep it professional between the two of them but her feelings can’t stay buried with Reese pushing to be with her. He is hard to resist and Kennedy isn’t so sure that she wants to even after all the hurt he caused when they were younger. Reese assumes that all he needs to do is get Kennedy out of his system and he can move on with his life. He is sorely mistaken and it is great fun to see him realize how much he needs Kennedy in his life. The emotional ride that Kennedy and Reese take together is fantastic. Their backstory seems simple at first but as the book progresses, it turns absolutely heart wrenching. I couldn’t put the book down!

This is a must read for 2014. I now must read all of M. Leighton’s books because I am a fan!

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Book Review: Shredded by Tracy Wolff…makes me eager for the Olympics!

href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18283137-shredded” style=”float: left; padding-right: 20px”>Shredded (Extreme Risk, #1)Shredded by Tracy Wolff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to say that I found it surprising that I haven’t really seen anyone dive into snowboarding in the New Adult genre. Tracy Wolff not only dove in to the snowboarding world in Shredded but she nailed it with a YOLO flip! I couldn’t put this book down.
Z Michaels is a top snowboarder, trust fund baby and severly scarred individual. He uses his time on his board to physically push himself to the point of pain to dull out the demons rattling around in his head. He doesn’t find any comfort in his day to day life and barely gets. His best friends from childhood and fellow snowboarders (Cam, Luc and Ash) are the only solid thing he seems to have in his life. They are his voice of reason and are constantly bringing him back from hitting the self destruct button.
Ophelia has recently left her home in New Orleans to come to Park City. She too is running from her past. He is broken, battered and mentally in a terrible place as well. She is hoping to start fresh and getting involved with Z is not something she wants or needs. At least that is what she thinks. She has heard the rumors about Z: the womanizing, the drinking, partying. She wants know part of it but as she gets to know Z, she realizes he is wearing a mask every day just as she does. They wear masks to get through the day and make sure everyone around them doesn’t see what is really rattling around in their heads. They both have been through extremely painful ordeals and instead of dealing with it, they both chose to block out the pain in their own ways.
I love that Z’s back story isn’t revealed until very close to the end. From the first chapter, you want answers about both Z and Ophelia’s past. Tracy does a fantastic job at revealing small snippets of each all the way through. Watching the two characters open up to each other was heartwrenching. They both clearly need someone to understand and care and thankfully they get their HEA. The cliffhanger at the end was unexpected and I wish I could pick up book 2 now! I can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of the gang in the series!

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Book Review: Rome by Jay Crownover

Rome (Marked Men, #3)Rome by Jay Crownover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Marked Men are hands down one of my favorite series! I was worried that I wouldn’t love Rome as much as I had his younger brother Rule but I was definitely mistaken. I would strongly suggest that you read both Rule and Jet, the first two books in the series first because Jay Crownover does a good job of really building relationships between all of the characters from the three books.

Rome, a soldier that has seen some of the worst things you can see on the battlefield, is trying to find his place back in Denver in civilian life. His role as son, brother, and friend have all changed while he has been away and he can’t seem to get his footing. He is drinking too much, feeling sorry for himself and pissing off his friends and family.

Toss in Cora, the pixie who happens to handle all the piercings, runs the business side of the tattoo shop where his brother and friends work, and is on the hunt for Mr. Perfect. Cora ‘s last relationship crushed her to the core and she refuses to settle for anything but Mr. Perfect. In comes Rome, one of her best friend’s brother, who seems to be Mr. Right Here and not Mr. Perfect. Cora has a knack for telling people the truth and she isn’t loving Rome’s brooding vibe especially since he seems to be upsetting all of her friends.

From the beginning she tells him just what she thinks of him….”We don’t need all that negative, Captain No-Fun. Why don’t you go spread your doom and gloom somewhere else.” And she dumps a beer on his head. Is it a recipe for disaster or for what could be a great relationship? Cora and Rome might just be a perfect pair. I couldn’t finish this book fast enough. Can’t wait for the next Marked Men book….Nash.

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Cover Reveal for Elizabeth Lee’s Taking Something

We are so excited to share the beautiful cover of Elizabeth Lee’s TAKING SOMETHING! This is the second book in her Give Me Something Series. You will want to grab this one when it’s available February 18th!! As a special treat for her readers and in celebration of the cover reveal for TAKING SOMETHING, GIVE ME SOMETHING is only $.99 for a limited time!   Taking Something -Front Cover   About TAKING SOMETHING:   I know what you’re thinking. “You were such a jerk, Nick!” Believe me, I know I screwed up the best thing I had going in my life, but that was kind of my thing. I’d learned how to run cons before I could even form complete sentences, and I’d always been selfish. But I changed. Lila forgave me, my brother and I were getting along, and I was trying to make a name for myself in the music world.   At least that was what I was trying to do when I negotiated my way into the recording studio with pop superstar Sadie Sinclair. I thought it would be a piece of cake—charm my way into her heart and into her record label’s good graces.   Just when I thought I had it all figured out, I got mixed up in a web of lies, manipulation, and deception. A web that had me questioning my motives and desires altogether.   Was the fame and fortune really worth the price?     Taking Something - Full Cover Wrap   Excerpt: “Tell me again how you plan on pulling this off?” Lila asked as she sat down on the edge of my bed. I had called her first thing that morning to tell her that I was heading to Los Angeles to produce Sadie’s album, and within the hour she was knocking on my front door to offer her insight and suggest what was and wasn’t acceptable Hollywood attire. “Same way I pull everything off,” I answered quickly. “I don’t think making her fall in love with you is going to work this time, Nick.” “Seriously?” I smirked. “Now you’re doubting my abilities with women?” “Not women in general. Just this one.” “She’s no different than the rest, Rae.” “Yes she is,” she disagreed. “How?” “Well, for starters, she’s like the most famous person on the planet. You’re not going to be able to make her fall for your charms, record the songs you want her to, and then just bolt when it’s over. She’ll run your name through the mud and people will listen. So it will have all been for nothing if you can never get another job.” “What makes you think I’m going to bolt? We might actually fall in love.” “Are you capable of that?” Ouch. That hurt. “I’m just saying that you might want to consider convincing her in a way that makes her not think she has a future with you. Nothing is worse than a scorned woman, Nick. Look at how Brynn took it. She told everyone that would listen how big of an asshole you were. It’s a wonder you made it through graduation without being murdered.” Brynn was a mistake. She had run a couple cons with me a few years ago when Lila went and fell in love with my brother. I should have known better than to sleep with her, but dammit she was good looking. Not to mention a hellcat in the sack. I had needs. Sue me. It wasn’t my fault that she hadn’t understood our arrangement. Run cons and have sex. I never said anything about a relationship. “I have other ways of making women bend to my will,” I said, trying to convince Lila. “Do you?” She laughed, obviously not buying it. “Don’t get me wrong, Nick. You’re a good guy, deep down, but you know as well as I do that every single scam we ever ran was based on one thing. She’s gotta be different if you want to turn this chance into a career. You break her heart and you’re as good as done in that world.” “Celebrities date and break up all the time.” “You’re not a celebrity.” She shook her head. “I mean, you’re kind of known, but…” “Are you here to give me a pep talk or completely kick me in the nuts? Jesus,” I sighed. “You know what I mean,” she smiled. “She’s more well known. People will take her side. Believe me. I’ve read enough gossip magazines to know what happens to the guy who dumps America’s Sweetheart. Have you seen Kevin Federline lately?” “I don’t even know who that is, Rae.” Her eyes went wide and hands went up as if she’d proven her point. “Exactly.”     Author PhotoElizabeth Lee Bio: When I’m not writing or playing the part of wife and mother, you can find me dancing back-up for Beyonce, singing back-up for Miranda, or sunning myself on the beach with a drink in hand. Here’s the thing about being born and raised in a small town—you have a very vivid imagination! Now, I channel it all to create stories where the girl always ends up with the right guy, first kisses are magical, and a happy ending is just that!   Buy Links for GIVE ME SOMETHING: Amazon Barnes & Noble   Links: Facebook: www.facebook.com/elizabethleewrites Twitter: www.twitter.com/elwrites Website: http://elizabethleewrites.blogspot.com Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6542627.Elizabeth_Lee Novel Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18463336-taking-something

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