RG2E Featured Author Tamara Ward on “How to Use Goodreads”

Happy Weekend, RG2E Peeps!

We’ve gotten a few requests to go over the basics of Goodreads, how to use the site. So, here’s the fabulous scoop from RG2E Featured Author Tamara Ward, who is my go-to Goodreads Guru.

Take it away, Tamara…

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Goodreads is a site that’s all about readers – readers sharing what books they like and don’t like, readers getting and giving book recommendations. As the site says, “Every once in a while you run into a friend who tells you about this ‘great new book I’m reading.’ And suddenly you’re excited to read it. It’s that kind of excitement that Goodreads is all about.”

So you want to know how to be a part of the excitement. The first step is to read a book… or remember the last book you read. It helps if you really loved the book. Then, log onto Goodreads and find the book by running a search for its title.

Hopefully, the book will come up in your search, you’ll click on it, and you’ll be brought to the book’s page. You’ll see the book cover on the left, beside the title and author, and the book blurb. Beneath the cover, five stars are lined up, just waiting for your click. Select the number of stars you feel the book deserves. Get ready to click on the pop-up balloon that gives you the option of writing a review.

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On a book’s page, you’ll see your friends’ reviews of that book, and you’ll also see which of your Goodreads friends have marked the book as to-be-read. (This is all on the left hand side of your screen.)

On the right hands side, you’ve got a bunch of interactive features. You can share that you’ve read the book via a variety of social media sites. You can share or view favorite quotes or trivia from the book. Sometimes even a video related to the book is posted, and you can watch that.

If you really loved the book, see if it’s on any lists (also in that right hand column). Check out the list; perhaps you’ll like another book on the list.

I can get lost wandering around Goodreads. In a good way.

“Goodreads users recommend books, compare what they are reading, keep track of what they’ve read and would like to read, find their next favorite book, form book clubs and much more,” the site says.

And it’s true. I’ve enjoyed all these features on Goodreads, and basically, you just dive in and start going for it. That’s my best advice.

Oh yeah, and if you’re looking for a book club, try the WG2E Street Team’s RG2E club at http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/62304-we-read-indie-books-rg2e.

What do you think, RG2E Peeps? Do you have a favorite way to spend your time on Goodreads?

The Best of Goodreads Wishes — Tamara Ward

Tamara Ward is an Amazon Bestselling Romantic Suspense and Mystery Author. Storm Surge, the first novel in the Jonie Waters mystery series, released in 2011.

Today, here at The RG2E, Tamara is Ebook Gifting her latest release – PRIVATE DECEPTION. So, let us know below if you’d like one, and you just might win!!!

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Sassy private investigator Jade O’Reilly thinks she’s hit rock bottom when, in the midst of obtaining photos of a cheating spouse in a second-story apartment, she falls off a swing set to the feet of an attractive mystery man. But the next day, when Jade discovers the man’s identity—he’s a detective with the local Sweetwater, NC, police—she learns that the cheating spouse was murdered and Jade herself is a suspect. Rock bottom just got a new definition.

For Kindle from Amazon, $3.99
For Nook from Barnes & Noble
In various digital formats from Smashwords

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I’m on Goodreads too, Tamara, and really enjoy it! Here’s my page so y’all can join the fun:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/949843.D_D_Scott

The Best of RG2E Reading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder

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RG2E Featured Author Christy Hayes asks “Book Clubs…What’s Your Stance?”

TGIF, RG2E Peeps!

What a wonderful week of Ereading we’ve enjoyed together!!! I can’t wait to tally up all of your fabulous comments!

In the meantime, let’s give a warm welcome to RG2E Featured Author Christy Hayes.

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Christy has a question for u…

Book Clubs…What’s Your Stance?

Take it away, Christy…

I belong to a book club, or, I used to. My book club fizzled out and I’m not really sure why. Our group was small, our reading tastes similar, and we all loved to read. I think we no longer meet because we couldn’t find a time when all our members could get together.

I miss being in a book club for many reasons. I loved reading books that I would never have picked up on my own. I read books about other cultures, I discovered unknown-to-me authors, and I marveled at the different things people walk away from a book appreciating.

Often, the members of my group were drawn to certain characters and plot points in the books we read. Listening to the members discuss the things they liked and didn’t like was fascinating. As an author, I miss having that research group at my fingertips.

Many authors will admit they read differently since they started writing. I find it much harder to enjoy a book and really lose myself in the story because I’m too busy dissecting the plot, looking for the hook, anticipating the climax, and thinking of ways I would have written the book differently. I know I’ve discovered a truly gifted author when I no longer look for these things and just get caught up in the story.

So what about you, RG2E? Are you in a book club? If so, what do you appreciate most about the experience? 

I’ll be giving away my romantic women’s fiction title, Angle of Incidence, today at RG2E.

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Here’s a short synopsis:

Gwen Perry has the picture perfect life. Her Washington D.C. based photography business is booming, her husband’s law career is lucrative, and after years of trying, they’re only months away from the birth of their first child. 

While a nasty turn of fate leaves Gwen devastated, angry, and on the verge of depression, her husband Rob walks a dangerous tight rope. He’s hiding something from Gwen that could destroy their marriage. But even the deepest secrets won’t stay buried forever. 

When Rob’s past is revealed, Gwen agrees to join her college friend at the artists’ retreat he’s leading in Colorado despite the consequences to her marriage. But Rob’s not the only one keeping secrets from the past and her trip down memory lane could burn the bridge leading her back home.

Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

$3.99

About Christy:

Christy Hayes writes romance and romantic women’s fiction. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Romance Writers of America Women’s Fiction chapter. She lives outside Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two children, and two dogs.

Please visit her website at www.christyhayes.com for more information.

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Awesome scoop, Christy, and thanks bunches for the Ebook Gift Copies too!!!

RG2E Peeps – let us know below if you’d like an Ebook Gift Copy of ANGEL OF INCIDENCE, and you just might win one!

Did y’all know that The RG2E also has its own Book Club on Goodreads?! You can join here:

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/62304-we-read-indie-books-rg2e

The Best of RG2E Reading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder

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An RG2E Ereading Experiment – When, Where and How Many Pages Per Day Are We Ereading?

Happy Weekend, RG2E Peeps!

We’re kicking off our first RG2E Ereading Experiment today!

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For the next few days (thru 2/28), I thought it would be great fun and superfab informative to “track” – When, Where and How Many Pages Per Day We’re Ereading.

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Here’s how it will work…

Each day (or several times per day-each time you read a bit more), stop by The RG2E, and leave a comment in this post answering the following questions:

1.) What time of day did you Eread? (Examples: during my lunch break, on the commute to and from work, while waiting on my children at various sporting event practices or games or other activities, after supper, in bed before going to sleep, etc.)

2.) Where did you Eread? (Examples: on the subway or train, in the car, in my company’s breakroom, at home in my fave reading chair, in bed, in the kitchen while preparing a meal, etc.

3.) How many pages did you Eread today? (of if your Ebook doesn’t have a page count…just let us know the percentage of each book you’ve completed)

***Note: If you want to toss in what you read and any other cool scoop you’d like to add about your reading habits over our experiment period, go ahead!

I’ll tally up everything you comment on and do a fabulous wrap-up so we can all see how much Ereading is a part of our every day lives.

Sound fun?!

Also, every time you comment, I’ll add your name to a “magick hat,” and throughout the week, you’ll have chances to win Gift Cards (Amazon, B&N, or Kobo – winners’ choices).

Okay…ready…set…Eread…then Show-and-Tell us About It, Peeps!!!

The Best of RG2E Ereading Experiment Wishes —

D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder

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P.S. We’ll go back to our regular schedule of RG2E Featured Authors and Ebook Gifting on March 1st!!!

What Are You Reading, RG2E Peeps?!

Wavin’ atchya, RG2E Peeps!

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I thought it might be fun to check-in and let each other know what fabulous Ebooks we’re reading!

For me, reading one book at a time just doesn’t cut it! LOL! I’m usually reading between 5 and 6 books at once. Seriously! Depends on what kind of mood I’m in as to what I’m reading. Also, I’ve always got included in that mix at least one, usually a couple of, non-fiction books too!

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Here are the gems I’m currently enjoying on my Kindle Fire:

THE GOOD DAUGHTER by Diana Layne (*found here on The RG2E)

THE GENEVA DECISION by Seeley James (*found here on The RG2E)

FIRE BURN AND CAULDRON BUBBLE by H.P. Mallory (*FREE on Amazon as of 2/20)

THE PRICE: MY RISE AND FALL AS NATALIA, NEW YORK’S #1 ESCORT by Natalie McLennan

GARDEN WITCHERY: MAGICK FROM THE GROUND UP by Ellen Dugan

APE: AUTHOR PUBLISHER ENTREPRENEUR by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch

Okay, RG2E Peeps…how ’bout you?! What are you reading?! And, let us know below if you found your current reads on The RG2E, and if not, how you learned about them…

The Best of RG2E Reading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder

RG2E Featured Thriller Author Seeley James talks “Making It Real” For You, The Readers

Happy Hump Day, RG2E Peeps!

Many of your featured authors here at The RG2E write fiction. But here’s the thing…even though we’re writing fiction, we need to make it as “real” as we can to treat you, as our readers, to a fabulous adventure.

Here’s Thriller Author Seeley James on that very topic…

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Main characters have to feel real or you, the reader, will abandon them. I write thrillers and I’m forever striving to write that perfect visceral character. Hemingway’s advice: “From all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive.”

I wanted to make a thriller heroine who was a whole new thing from a unique experience in my life that I felt perfect for a heroine’s backstory. The part I cannot know, the elements that my character keeps hidden, presented a challenge.

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The Geneva Decision on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or Kobo

$3.99

The true story is stranger than fiction.

James Rollins once said, “You can write a story about telepathic marsupials in Antarctica as long as you have the Starbucks in Kansas City on exactly the same corner as the real one. Put it on the wrong side of the street, and telepathic marsupials cease to exist in the reader’s mind.”

Thrillers tend to avoid family members for that reason.* If we get the family relationships wrong, we lose you. Did Sherlock Holmes’ mother hound him about marriage? Did James Bond ever drive his daughter to soccer practice? Would Hercule Poirot take cooking tips from his sister? Writers leave out the one thing we all have in common, family, to avoid complications.

Cowards.

I wanted my heroine to have an involved father. And not a wise, calm and patient father from central casting either. I wanted an accidental father. One who was not even the biological father but was tossed into the role by fate.

When I was nineteen, an acquaintance told me that daycare costs were killing her. She had been sixteen when she conceived her daughter and three years later was working a night shift. She asked if I could help by watching her child from the time I got off work until she came home at midnight. Without realizing how that would change my life, I said, “Sure!”

The next day, I stopped at the daycare facility and announced that I was there to pick up a child. I didn’t know the mother’s last name, and didn’t know the child’s name. And they looked at me blankly. (This was before people worried about child abduction.)

I’d seen the girl once at a distance and described her to the daycare workers: she’s about so high, three years old, blonde hair. They took me to a room filled with three year olds about so high with blonde hair. It struck me that I might have been a bit unprepared for the responsibility I’d agreed to shoulder.

The workers looked at me. I looked at them.

A little girl came running out of the crowd, her arms outstretched, shouting, Daddy, Daddy Daddy, and leapt into my arms. She squeezed me tight with unconditional love and never let go—for the next thirty-seven years and counting.**

As so often happens in unplanned teenaged parenthood, her biological mother had every intention of being a good mother, but jumped at the chance to start over when I offered to raise the child.

I had no idea what was involved.

I only knew that for the first time in my life I was desperately important to someone. We all want to be important to someone. It is the primary motivator in human life.

Experiencing the dynamics of an inextricable relationship was something I felt you wanted in a thriller. The trick was to make it fascinating. The real story would never work in fiction; it would come off as manipulative or melodramatic. It needed a better, more believable catalyst.

I experimented with short stories, piecing together the things I know and the things I cannot know, and came up with a back story. When my editor read it, he said, No one will believe it in one big chunk. Dole it out over the course of the three plus books. I took his advice.

After all, my first priority was making sure the Starbucks was on the right corner.

Peace, Seeley

* Yes, I know there are exceptions like Zoe Sharp’s Charlie Fox and James Rollins’ Gray Pierce, can you just bear with me a minute?

** There was a small gap in that love-fest when she was a teenager, but we survived. She just turned forty and lives in Seattle with her husband and children. We talk regularly.

About Seeley:

Seeley James is the author of the Pia Sabel series of thriller short stories and novels. He was first published in The Battered Suitcase, was a Finalist for DeMarini Award in fiction, and was short listed for the Fish Publishing Award and the Debut Dagger Award.

He discovered his love of creativity at an early age, growing up at Frank Lloyd Wright’s School of Architecture in Arizona and Wisconsin. He carried his imagination first into a successful career in advertising and marketing, and then to his real love: fiction.

He created Pia Sabel to be the kind of character that his friends and children would want to read. James has three children; he adopted his first, a precocious and beautiful three-year-old girl, when he was a single nineteen year old. Twenty years later he married, and he and his wife have two more children. They live in Scottsdale, Arizona, and enjoy youth soccer games and sunshine.

Connect with Seeley here:

Seeley@seeleyjames.com

http://seeleyjames.com/

https://twitter.com/SeeleyJamesAuth

http://www.facebook.com/SeeleyJamesAuth

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Wow, Seeley! What a story!!!  A-mazing!!!

Thanks bunches for sharing with us and with that special little girl you now call your daughter.

Okay, RG2E Peeps…who all would like an Ebook Gift Copy of THE GENEVA DECISION?! Let us know below (and include your email address too), and you just might win one!

The Best of RG2E Reading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder

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RG2E Featured Author L. Leander talks 3-D Characters and Circus Star Elephant Riders

Happy Tuesday, RG2E Peeps!

Let’s go to the circus today…with RG2E First-Time Featured Author L. Leander.

Take it away, L. …

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A character that’s well developed has a rich history.  You should not write your heroine, for instance, as a lifeless person or no one will want to read about her.  For that reason, many writers compile an in-depth biography of their main characters.  It’s quickly apparent that family history provides the traits that form unique characteristics.  When I wrote early on in my career, I didn’t know I should do a bio of the key players.  I fleshed a person out bit by bit as I wrote and added in their idiosyncrasies and personal flaws as the tale evolved.  The problem with that was that my characters remained flat.  They weren’t in 3-D.  Even if you’d put on those cute little glasses they give you at the movie theater you wouldn’t have seen a change.

Once I learned about character studies I found that I enjoyed writing them.  If I put a little time into researching a certain type of people, culture or country I had a much better idea for who the person was and it became easy to understand how he or she would react in certain situations.

Take, for instance, my protagonist in the Inzared series.  She is born Bertha Maude Anderson, to a family who lives in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina.  Her ancestors are Scottish – proud people who are unafraid to face life circumstances.  Stoic and not always affectionate, they face adversity with hard work and determination.  Bertha Maude is the dreamer in the family – she wants more and yearns to travel and become famous.

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On Amazon

$3.99

Bertha Maude Anderson has no inkling of how famous she will become. She lives in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina in the year 1843. Her world changes forever when she is enticed to join The Romanoff Brothers Circus and her name is changed to Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders. Inzared discovers her true calling while learning to live with the nomadic Gypsies. From the hatred shown by some of the performers to the love she finds along the way, Inzared finds herself immersed in the rich folklore and customs of the misunderstood people who call the circus their home. Her one constant is Cecil, the elephant, and together they form a bond that no one can break as Inzared finds herself lured into the world of the Gypsies while clinging to her own roots and trying to break free of the chains that keep her from her destiny.

It was easy to fill in the physical characteristics just by pulling up old photos similar to the hardy stock Bertha Maude came from.  Her inner personality was achieved through getting into her head.  Yes, I said getting into her head!  To do that I sat in a quiet room with no distraction and wrote everything I had learned about my main character.  I included her ancestors, her surroundings, her feelings and her aspirations.  Since she comes from a poor part of Appalachia in the 1800’s, I included her education and indigenous speech.  After a couple of hours of intense writing she took shape and became Inzared, the name given to her by the circus owner after she has joined the troupe and is picked to ride the elephant in a performance.

I next had to do an intense study of the Gypsies, as the setting is a Gypsy circus set in 1843.  Again, once I spent time reading and delving into everything I could find on the subject another character, Paytre, emerged.

I followed this procedure for the main characters in the book and also did mini-bios on the supporting cast.  I found that knowing about a person’s heritage and background makes the story take shape much more quickly and the characters spring to life on the page.

What if a character has no background, you say?  We all have one, however some of us for one reason or another don’t know the details of our past.  My husband fits in that category; adopted at birth by a couple old enough to be his grandparents, he lived a solitary life on a rural farm and survived bullies and being called names at school.  As an adult he sought to find his forbears but was thwarted at every turn by an uncaring judicial system that held onto a birth certificate that was “locked.”  That meant he had no right to see or have it, including who his real parents were.

Even as I write this I understand the deep character traits I’d include here just by studying the man.  However, I put my research and writing skills to use and after a lot of doors were slammed others opened.  Just this week my sixty-four year old husband received the news that he is a member of the Chippewa Sault Saint Marie Tribe – now fancy that!

I tell you this because with this week of uncovered secrets and watching my husband weep for joy at finding who he is and where he comes from, I realized how important our character studies are.  Everyone has a story.  Authors use them to give our readers a glimpse into the past.  It makes our books shine for you – the reader!

~~~L.Leander

About L.:

L.Leander is an author, freelancer and award-winning songwriter.  Her first novel, Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders was published in June of 2012.  The second book in the series, Inzared, The Fortune Teller is slated for publication in early 2013.  The author has also published a short non-fiction series titled 13 Extreme Tips for Writers, targeted to the beginning writer.

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Ms. Leander manages a blog titled L.Leander’s Reviews and Interviews that offers book promotion to Indie Authors.  The author currently resides between Wisconsin and Mexico.

Connect with L. here:

13 Extreme Tips to Self Publishing by L.Leander

http://amzn.to/Vlcq2v

13 Extreme Tips to Marketing an eBook by L.Leander

http://amzn.to/Xu0Qk0

L.Leander’s Website:  www.lleander.com

L.Leander’s Reviews and Interviews: http://lleandersreviewsandinterviews.wordpress.com/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/L.-Leander/e/B008IVRNU8

Facebook Page:  http://facebook.com/lleanderbooks

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/lleander11

@lleander11

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lleander11

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6441993.L_Leander

Google+: https://plus.google.com/100076816458862731821

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I luuuvvv the circus and gypsies too, L.! Your book sounds fabulous!!!

Thanks bunches for sharing with us today!

Okay, RG2E Peeps…who all would like an Ebook Gift Copy of INZARED?! Let us know below, and you just might win one!

The Best of RG2E Reading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder

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RG2E Featured Author L.C. Giroux Treats You to a Steamy Hetero Romance and The RG2E’s First Male/Male Romance Too!

Happy Monday, RG2E Peeps!

Here’s the Amazing L.C. Giroux with not only a steamy hetero romance but also The RG2E’s first featured male/male romance too!

Take it away, L.C….

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As an author, every book I write is a chance to step outside my comfort zone and experience new things. I say this as a romance writer, some of my thriller author friends may not feel the same way. Actually, they probably do but their kicks are a lot scarier than mine! I don’t want to experience zombies chasing me even in my head. In the romance world it is considered a hard fact that readers will not cross genre lines, that is a Historical reader will not even consider a Contemporary romance. So I’m asking, why? I write contemporary romance and read almost anything (except horror: see above!) I just assumed everyone else did too. My thinking is you never know where your next favorite story is going to come from. I grew up loving mysteries thanks to my mom’s mother. She had stacks of Agatha Christie and Ellery Queen but she also had Robert Ludlum, John Le Carre, and Ian Fleming (who wrote not only the James Bond books but Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!) so I love me some spy novels too. My other grandmother read ‘sensible’ books so I learned to love my ‘how to’ books from her. As a family we are big believers in the phrase -if someone wrote a book on it, I can learn to do it. Where did I get my love of romance? I fell in love with the Greek and Roman myths early and most of them are about somebody falling in love with someone that they shouldn’t be loving, sound familiar?

What started all the crossing genre questions for me was my new book. I write pretty steamy, very hetero romance and don’t expect that I will stop any time soon (The series I am in the middle of is planned out till the middle of 2014!). But… sometimes a character comes along that as a writer, you know needs a story of their own. Kevin was that character. So writing a sweet, as in no sex on the page, Male/Male love story for him was a stretch. But here is the thing about stretching sometimes you reach further than you ever have before. He and Bo are sweet, funny, brave, and 100% male just like a lot of gay men I have known. “Where’s My Cowboy?” ended up being my most romantic story to date.

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On Amazon

B&N Nook

Kobo

$2.99

So tell me, reading-wise what is a stretch for you?

Leave me a comment below and I’ll send you a copy of “All In” the story that introduces Kevin and “Where’s My Cowboy?” where he gets his happily ever after.

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On Amazon

B&N Nook

Kobo

$3.99

About L.C.: 

L.C. Giroux is an Amazon bestselling author in the US and the UK. She writes steamy contemporary romance because she doesn’t need a vampire to see the magic in the every day. Her previous career was writing laboratory protocols. Romance is much more fun. She is also a founding member of WG2E’s Beach Book Blast.

Connect with L.C. here: 

http://www.lcgiroux.com

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/Pacuzc

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LCGiroux

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lcgiroux/

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/QCVyTB

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Thanks bunches, L.C., for bringing another fabulous new genre to The RG2E!

The Best of RG2E Reading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder

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