Monday, May 31, 2021

Book I DNF'd in May

The Sorrows
:  I tried to listen to this book a couple of times.  I DNF'd it at about the same place each time.  I didn't like the characters.  There were a couple of scenes that just made me really uncomfortable and I gave up.   Other people seem to like this book, so it's probably just a me thing.

Possession: I gave up about halfway through the book.  I wasn't a fan of the back and forth in timelines.    I was also really bored.  I ended up not caring about what really happened.  I also had a hard time believing that the police investigation would be wrapped up so quickly.  I honestly didn't care to find out what really happened.

The Nearness of You
:  this was a bonus borrow on Hoopla.  I'm glad I didn't waste a borrow on it.  I gave up fairly early. The hero's family was ridiculously over the top about appearance that it got annoying.  I don't come from a small town, so the Thorntons being "town royalty" was lost on me.  Is that really a thing still?  I couldn't buy into the "wrong side of the tracks" scenario.  It knew it would get old.

The Clover Girls:  I definitely think this was a case of wrong book at the wrong time.  I had a feeling after reading the first character's perspective that I wasn't going to like the book.  I was so not in the mood for a woman who has everything whining about how unhappy she is. Really?  Then do something about it. I'm tired of that narrative and gave up.  I did skip to the end and my suspicion was confirmed.  There as nothing new here.  It's a storyline I have read before.

You Will Remember Me:  I predicted the ending of this book from the minute I met the step-sister.  I was really turned off by that storyline.  I stopped at about 25% and peeked at the end.  I was correct and was so glad I didn't finish it.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

May Mini Musings

Before Summer Ends:  Normally, I love this author's books.  But this one was just OK for me.  Honestly, I read it a while ago and I had to refresh my memory before writing about it.  It was a little forgettable.  The characters were OK.  But it felt like a story I had read before.  There wasn't much new here.

Hard Target:  This was an OK romantic suspense  I didn't love it and I didn't hate it.  I thought there were some places where I had a hard time suspending disbelief.  I couldn't understand the heroine's decision toward the end.  Especially given that she had zero reasons to trust the bad guy.  I would have liked more of an epilogue to see what happened next.  I didn't hate my time with it and I can see it being a hit with fans of this author.

Bookshop by the Sea
: I thought this was a sweet clean second chance romance.  The characters had chemistry and I did root for them.  More than the romance, I enjoyed watching the main character finally find the confidence to do something for herself and stop helping her family  They really needed to move on and learn how to be adults.  I do recommend this one.

One to Watch:  This is the third book in the Detective Kay Hunter series.  I am really enjoying this series and am already listening to the fourth book.  This one was not about a serial killer but a "single" murder mystery that Kay and her team have to solve.  I was still kept guessing as it got a bit twisty.  I highly recommend this one.

Don't Call it a Cult:
  This was a fairly quick read.  I learned a bit more about the cult NXIVM but really not much. I was hoping for more but this was much  more surface level than I was hoping for. I did enjoy the parts that dealt with things they would do and say to "hook" you.  Keep this book in mind the next time someone invites you to a "self-help" workshop. 

Little Creeping Things:  I thought this was a fairly solid YA mystery.  I did call the ending, but it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the journey.  I liked the main character and her willingness to do what it took to figure out the mystery.  Even though no one believed  her.  I would recommend giving this one a shot.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Spotlight: Excerpt of Undercover Wolf by Paige Tyler

by Paige Tyler
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: 5/25/2021
When these two agents are under fire, they’ll have to reconsider everything they know...
Werewolf Harley Grant isn’t exactly comfortable with her inner wolf. Even though she’s on a STAT team where she can use her abilities openly, she refuses to do so, putting herself—and sometimes her teammates—at risk.
Alpha werewolf Sawyer Bishop would give anything for his MI6 team to know about his inner wolf, but his teammates are mistrustful of anyone or anything with inhuman abilities. When he meets Harley on an overlapping case and realizes she’s a fellow wolf, he’s more than a little intrigued.
Now that STAT and MI6 have to team up to stop a crew of supernatural bad guys intent on causing a nuclear meltdown, Harley can no longer deny her wolf and Sawyer can no longer hide his. As they grow closer to resolving the case and grow closer to each other, they discover things aren’t what they seem and revenge could cost them their lives.


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Harley caught a glimpse of someone out of the corner of her eye that made her snap her head around, but she didn’t see anyone. Sure she’d seen something, she skirted the outside of the dance floor in that direction. She was starting to question herself again when she spotted a tall, attractive guy with broad shoulders, casually disheveled brown hair, and scruff on his square jaw. He was circling the dancers on the floor in much the same way Harley was but in the opposite direction, keeping pace with her so they stayed exactly opposite each other. 
Yeah, like that’s a coincidence. 
A little voice in the back of her head told her to get on the radio and call Caleb and the rest of her teammates, but she ignored it, too mesmerized by the handsome man across the room from her. Every few seconds, piercing blue eyes locked with hers, making something inside her—maybe her inner wolf—feel a sensation she didn’t recognize. 
Even if she hadn’t picked up on the scent, Harley would have known he was a werewolf from the graceful, animalistic way he moved. 
He was a predator, no doubt about it. 
Was he a kidnapper as well? 
She wanted to say he’d never do anything like that, which was an asinine thing to consider about a man she’d never met. 
Tired of stalking in circles, Harley stopped, turning carefully to keep her eyes on the big werewolf as he moved closer. She wasn’t sure, but for a brief moment, she thought she caught sight of what might have been a smile tugging at his sensuous mouth. The other werewolf—an 
alpha most definitely—strode past the last few people separating them and came to a halt a few feet away. Harley couldn’t ignore that the man in front of her was possibly the most gorgeous guy she’d ever seen. 
Which pretty much guaranteed he was one of the bad guys. 
Because that was how her luck worked out when it came to the  opposite sex. 
Harley took a single step forward and felt a tingle in her stomach 
when he did the same, that dangerous smile showing up again. She took another few steps toward him when his head whipped to the side. She looked that way, too, trying to see what had attracted his attention, and caught sight of two men slipping behind a black velvet curtain covering a section of the far wall. The second guy cast a furtive glance over his shoulder before disappearing. 
That isn’t suspicious at all. 
She turned back to the alpha werewolf, but he was already striding 
in that direction. She quickly followed, knowing she should call the rest of the team, but once again, her instincts insisted she hold off. By the time she slipped behind the curtain, all she saw was another set of stairs. The mysterious werewolf was nowhere to be found. 
She paused long enough to slide a hand under her dress and pull the small frame Glock 9mm from the tiny holster strapped to her upper thigh, chambering a round as she started down the steps, rather proud of how comfortably she handled a loaded weapon. Considering that before joining STAT she’d never even held a gun, she thought she was doing rather well. 
From down below, she heard the rhythmic sound of rapid footsteps along with the soft murmur of voices but no music or partying people or anything else to make her think this was a part of the dance club open to the public. Whatever the hell those two guys had come down here for, it probably wasn’t on the up-and-up. 
Lit only by three low-watt bulbs mounted in cobweb-covered fixtures hanging from the rough stone ceiling, the room at the bottom of the steps was filled with crates, racks of empty bottles, and bags of trash. The dim glow was barely enough to throw shadows, but Harley didn’t need a lot of light to see the werewolf standing a few feet away, his broad back to her, a pistol down at his side. 
“You always bring a gun when you go to a nightclub?” he asked without looking at her. 
His voice was as deep as she’d imagined it would be, a little rough with a hint of a British accent, like he’d traveled extensively for much of his life and lost a bit of the distinctive sound over time. 
“A girl has to be careful these days,” Harley said, smiling even though she was standing in the middle of a filthy storage room twenty feet underground with an alpha werewolf who’d probably lured her down here with kidnapping in mind—or worse. “I’ve heard big cities can be dangerous.” 
The man turned to look at her, blue eyes piercing even in the dimness as they slid up and down her body. “If you think it might be dangerous, why come to Paris? And all the way from America, if I’m not mistaking the accent.” 
The Brit’s perfectly sculpted nose lifted a little, his nostrils flaring 
the slightest bit, like he was trying to take in a scent he found tantalizing. Harley knew he was picking up her pheromones and couldn’t help wondering what she smelled like to him. 
Did he like her scent? 
Did she care if he did? 
“You know the song ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun,’ right?” She approached him slowly, glancing around and trying to figure out where the other two men had gone. “Maybe visiting potentially dangerous places is how I have fun.” 
“Strange hobby,” he said, his voice dropping down an octave to practically make her tummy vibrate…as well as regions a bit farther south. “I prefer reading, but whatever. You do you.” 
Harley lifted a brow, lowering her gun to a safe position. “Is that what you’re doing down in this dank, dark room?” She stepped to the side a little, making him circle to the right as they resumed the little dance they’d done upstairs. “Looking for a good book?” 
He snorted, coming to a stop again a few feet away. “We both know that’s not what I’m doing down here any more than you’re here looking for some fun. So, as entertaining as this banter is, I think it’s time we get on with what really brought us here.” 
Harley was almost disappointed but knew the man was right. While she’d enjoyed their verbal jousting, she was here for more important things. 
Excerpted from Undercover Wolf by Paige Tyler. © 2021 by Paige Tyler. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the author:

Paige Tyler is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. Paige writes books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines they fall in love with. She lives with her very own military hero (a.k.a. her husband) and their adorable dog on the beautiful Florida coast.

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Friday, May 28, 2021

Blog Tour: Review of Helpless by Tiffany Christina Lewis

Author:  Tiffany Christina Lewis
Publisher: Rebellion LIT
Publication Date: May 28th 2021
Women are powerful and can be rational thinkers under pressure. They can also be devious and vengeful. A woman is not just a ball of emotion. Women can fight, they can protect, and they can win… and it can still be interesting to read about.
These eight stories of women kicking ass, standing tall, and refusing to be victims are Tiffany’s opposition to the tropes of true crime. With stories from five genres including Horror, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Romance, and Crime Fiction, you are sure to find a story you love.

Helpless is a short story collection where all of the stories involve women coming out on top.  I liked the author's note at the beginning where she explained her motivation for writing these stories.   It helped give me context. The stories are really short  and I read this collection in one sitting.  They follow five different themes and each one (except the first) is named for the woman in the story.  
I though this was a solid collection. There is something in here for every reading taste.  My 2 favorites out of the set were the second and third stories.  I loved the twist in "Emma".  I loved the resiliency of  "Anna Holstein".  I haven't read anything else by this author, but I am looking forward to diving into one of her other works soon.  I highly recommend this one.  

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Author Bio:
Tiffany is the author of six books and has been published more than a dozen times in anthologies and magazines.
She is also a publisher at Rebellion LIT who works tirelessly to support other authors looking to bring their art to the world.
She resides in Sacramento, CA with her family and Miniature Pinscher.
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Cover Reveal: Hearts in Darkness Collection (10th anniversary Edition) by Laura Kaye

Laura Kaye is joining us today to share the cover reveal for her 10th Anniversary edition of HEARTS IN DARKNESS COLLECTION!


Title: Hearts In Darkness Collection

Author: Laura Kaye

Cover Artist: Tricia "Pickyme" Schmitt

Dear Readers, It’s my 10th publication anniversary & HEARTS IN DARKNESS is 10!! I can hardly believe it! This book has been such a wild, special ride and I'm so grateful that so many people fell in love with it. It's how so many readers found me and that is just incredible to think about! Thank you so so much for all the love, fun, and support over the past 10 years! To celebrate, I’ve put together a special 4-story collector’s edition volume that includes two new and/or never-before-published stories that continue Caden and Makenna’s story! Preorder the collection for a discount now before the price goes up on release day! xx Laura  

PREORDER NOW at a special price! COMING AUGUST 24!






Links to come: GooglePlay, paperback, hard cover

About the Collection:

"Laura Kaye has a gift for writing beautifully damaged men." ~ NYT Bestseller Tessa Bailey Two strangers. Four hours. One pitch-black elevator. And their struggle to find love in the light… This beloved, bestselling series has it all! Scorching hot chemistry. Achingly heartfelt emotion. Strangers-to-lovers, forced proximity, and opposites attract goodness. And, with “one of the most beloved couples in romance,” Caden Grayson and Makenna James will stay with you long after the last page! Plus, a brand-new story and a never-before-published epilogue. All in one gorgeous edition!   This Special Collector’s 10th Anniversary Edition Includes: Hearts in Darkness – the bestselling story that started it all! When two strangers get trapped in a pitch-black elevator, they find connection, attraction, and red-hot heat in the darkness. Lovers at Dawn – a brand-new follow-up story! In the light of the morning after, these new lovers wake up in each other’s arms. But will this buttoned-up accountant and tattooed paramedic still want what they found in the darkness? Love in the Light – the bestselling sequel to Hearts in Darkness Can a man who’s lost everyone he’s ever loved trust that he won’t crash again if he lets himself fall? Or will the pressures of commitment be more than Caden and Makenna’s love story can handle? Forever in the Light – a never-before published epilogue to the series The happily-ever-after story Caden and Makenna deserve, including their heartfelt wedding and sexy wedding night! "Passionate and poignant! This will have readers falling in love with Caden and Makenna all over again!" ~ NYT Bestseller Jay Crownover  


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About the Author:

Laura Kaye is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of over 40 books in contemporary romance and romantic suspense and has sold more than one million books in the U.S. alone. Laura grew up amid family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. A former college history professor, Laura also writes bestselling historical women's fiction as Laura Kamoie. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of MU: The Grimm Cases Collection Part One by Lyla Oweds


A must-read for fantasy world lovers, and if I may be so bold, for Mortal Instruments fans too...

Author: Lyla Oweds
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 667
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

The things I see aren’t for the faint of heart.

And I am no longer willing to ignore them. Not even when my family, and my best friend, tell me to keep quiet about what’s happening. They say people will think I’m crazy.

Maybe I am.

But the spirit haunting my professor’s house is definitely trying to tell me something, and I’m the only one who can see it.

The one person who can help me is my best friend’s brother. But I don’t know if I can trust him or his friends. Or if I can step outside the protective bubble I’ve built around myself.

At this point it’s a toss up: the ghosts will kill me or my panic attacks will.

Either way, I figure I’m going to die.

My thoughts:

MU: The Grimm Cases Collection Part I is the beginning of a supernatural world as seen through the eyes of Bianca.  Bianca suffers from severe panic attacks.  She has always seen odd things, but the doctors told her she was schizophrenic.  When she encounters a violent entity in the house she is taking care of, she seeks the help of her best friend's brother.  This opens up a world she never knew existed.

I was only able to finish the first book in this collection before my  posting date.  However, I am intrigued and definitely want to finish reading the rest of the collection.  I was left with many unanswered questions and I want to know more.  Like what the attraction and pull is between Bianca and the 4 men who have taken her under their wing.  I look forward to Bianca growing into her abilities and gaining more confidence.   I do recommend picking this collection up and giving it a try.


“The place I’m house sitting is haunted.”

My statement was brave—considering—and I hoped I’d spoken loud enough to be heard by the intended recipient. I didn’t want to repeat myself. It had taken a lot of courage—or foolhardiness—to say it the first time.

The paranormal was one of those difficult-to-approach topics, especially with my best friend. History had proven our differences of opinion. Despite being inseparable for over ten years, I knew this was a topic where we were unlikely to reach a consensus.

But at this point, I was desperate. I might be going crazy, and only Finn could help me.

Yet, there was no response. No reaction.

Across the small cafe table, Finn furiously typed on his laptop—undisturbed by my nervous confession. He’d made no outward acknowledgment of my words, and it made me wonder if he’d even heard me.

The coffee shop was rather loud, after all.

“Finn.” I pressed my foot against his shin, trying to get his attention. “Finn, did you hear what I just told you?”

With perfect lips turned downward, he glanced up, meeting my gaze. His gray eyes were normally playful and light, but at the moment were sharp—disapproving. At once, I was thankful his black-rimmed glasses offered a filter for his judgment.

“I heard you.” His distinctive baritone dipped an octave lower than normal, signaling his annoyance. “Considering the absurdity of what you said, I chose to ignore it.”

Then without further ado, he refocused his attention on his laptop.

I gasped. How could he be so callous and uncaring?

Even if he didn’t believe me, he could at least hear me out. He was my best friend and the only person in the world I cared about besides my parents. But he could be such a jerk!

I was being haunted. I could die.


Lyla Oweds is an Amazon bestselling paranormal romance and urban fantasy author who resides in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. She grew up near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and has a deep appreciation for the paranormal, hauntings, and Edgar Allan Poe. As such, she loves all things fantasy, mystery, crime, and horror.

When not reading, writing, or working as a web programmer, Lyla can be found doing adult-y things such as being a mom to small children, cleaning, and gardening. She also frequently enjoys makeup videos, massages, wine, and coffee.












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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Spotlight: Excerpt of Disaster Girl by Michelle Dayton

Author: Michelle Dayton

Tess Greene knows disaster—dating disasters, computer disasters, family disasters, you name it. But just when her life is finally almost perfect, she’s targeted by an internet celebrity who runs a revenge porn site admired by douchebags across the country. She has one month before the entire world will have an up-close-and-personal view of her sexual history. Tess has always handled everything on her own, but for this disaster, she needs backup.
Max Hampshire, a brilliant hacker, is exactly the lifeline Tess needs. What she doesn’t need is Max himself. She does not need his quick wit, sexy black-framed glasses, or all-around sweetness. The last guy who helped Tess left with his life crushed and his heart broken, so she knows that staying far away from Max would be safer for everyone.
But safety isn’t really an option when dealing with sleazy predators—or love
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Copyright 2021 @Michelle Dayton
Like a lot of other people who often have sex without an emotional connection to one’s partner, I usually dislike all the stuff that comes after orgasm. The awkward cuddling and excusing myself to pee so I don’t get a UTI and the finding a nice way (or a blunt way) to explain that a sleepover isn’t happening. I don’t like sharing a bed, and I don’t like waking up with a stranger.
I should have known that everything with Max would be different.
The orgasm left me almost catatonic for a few minutes. I was vaguely aware of Max leaving the room to get rid of the condom, and I felt the mattress dip when he got back in bed. My body felt deliciously banged around, and my brain was mushy enough that I was almost dozing. I didn’t even squeak in protest when I felt Max’s fingers caress my face.
I did, however, shriek in pain when he yanked out one of my eyelash extensions. “Ow!” I smacked his arm as hard as I could. “What is wrong with you?”
He ignored my outburst, examining the eyelash between his fingers with fascination. “Look at this beast. It’s enormous. Stop your whining—they’re not real, right? How much could it hurt?”
In another bed, with another man, I probably would lie and say they were my natural lashes. But with Max, the filter between brain and mouth was just never where it was supposed to be. “It hurts a ton, you ass,” I snapped. “They’re stuck on with medical-grade glue. It hurts ten times more for you to pull out one of those than if you pull out a normal lash.”
Finally, he looked sheepish. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” A telltale flush on his neck. “I’ve just looked at your eyes so much lately. I’ve been curious. Why do you get fake eyelashes?”
What a dumb question. “Because I’m vain, you imbecile.” I was also a strawberry blonde, which meant my own lashes needed a heavy coat of mascara to be visible. With the extensions, I woke up already looking like my eyes were done for the day and without any smudging. A solid investment, in my book.
He rolled the lash between his fingers. “It feels like a pine needle.”
I started laughing. This was the oddest post-coital conversation. “You might be the strangest person I’ve ever had sex with.”
He looked between the lash and my face, laughing along with me. “Ditto.”
He blew the lash away very deliberately. Had he made a wish? Did wishes made on false lashes count? “Lie on your stomach,” he said.
Curious, I obeyed, curling my toes over the end of the mattress. Max pulled the sheet down, exposing my bare back. “You have a tramp stamp.” I could hear the smile in his voice.
“You already knew that from the countdown picture on the Sex Ghost website.” I tried to yank the sheet back up to cover the tattoo at the base of my spine, but he wouldn’t let me.
“When did you get it?” he asked, dancing his fingers over the decorated skin.
I snorted. “When every girl gets a tramp stamp. I was eighteen.”
“Why did you choose an anchor?”
Normally, I deflected when someone asked this question. I’d say, “I just liked the design” or “I have a pirate fetish” or “I dream of sailing around the world someday.” I always found it kind of funny-sad that no one ever looked at me skeptically and commented that none of my explanations sounded like me.
Maybe that was why I didn’t lie to Max. If he hadn’t been skeptical, I would have been so disappointed. Which would have been idiotic since I’d known him for a matter of weeks.
Daniel and Kat were the only two people to whom I’d tried to explain why I’d chosen that particular image. Daniel had immediately co-opted the meaning, which I didn’t appreciate. Kat didn’t really understand, but that was my fault because my explanation to her was incomplete.
So I didn’t lie to Max. I didn’t tell the truth either though. Instead, I deftly changed the subject. I gave a dramatic sigh. “I’d like you to know that the phrase ‘tramp stamp’ was not in the common vernacular when I was eighteen. If it had been, I would not have chosen to get a tattoo on my lower back.”
I was rewarded with his laugh. His hand rubbed harder, from the base of my spine all the way up to my neck. I arched my back like a cat. I hadn’t had an unprofessional back rub in years. I meant to make a flirtatious comment, something along the lines of “You’re good with your hands.” But what actually popped out was “I like the way you touch me.”
I immediately stiffened. That sounded both goofy and way too serious. I should probably get up and go now. It was definitely time to make a graceful exit. But Max just chuckled again and lay next to me, so close that we brushed against one another from shoulder to toe.

About Michelle Dayton

There are only three things Michelle Dayton loves more than sexy and suspenseful novels: her family, the city of Chicago, and Mr. Darcy. Michelle dreams of a year of world travel – as long as the trip would include weeks and weeks of beach time. As a bourbon lover and unabashed wine snob, Michelle thinks heaven is discussing a good book over an adult beverage.
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Blog Tour: Review & Audio Excerpt of The Ninth Session by Deborah Serani


Author: Deborah Serani
Narrator: Deborah Serani
Length: 6 hours 62 minutes
Publisher: TouchPoint Press2021
Genre: Suspense
Release date: Apr. 16, 2021

An edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller that brings a unique mix of psychotherapy and sign language and Coda culture. Just when you think you have it figured out, think again!

Dr. Alicia Reese takes on a new patient. Lucas Ferro suffers with crippling anxiety, and as sessions progress, he begins to share the reasons why he's struggling. As Ferro's narrative becomes more menacing, Reese finds herself wedged between the cold hard frame of professional ethics and the integrity of personal truth. And, finally, when Ferro reveals his secrets, Reese learns how far she's willing to go, willing to risk and willing to lose to do the right thing.

The Ninth Session is a psychological thriller that follows psychologist Alicia as she digs into the psyche of new patient Lucas.  He is struggling with crippling anxiety.  As the sessions progress, Alicia begins to sense that she may be in danger.  I thought this was an enjoyable thriller.  While it was a bit predictable, I still had fun being in Alicia's head as she pieced things together.  I also liked the exploration of ethics within the world of therapy. I'm not sure how I would handle the situation that Alicia found herself in, but it's something to ponder.  I listened to the audiobook and enjoyed the experience.

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About the Author: Deborah Serani

Deborah Serani is an award-winning author, writing about psychological topics in many genres. She is a psychologist in practice over 30 years and  a senior professor at Adelphi University. Dr. Serani   has worked as a technical advisor for the NBC television show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - where a recurring character, Judge D. Serani, was named for her.