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Tribute Week For A.M. Willard Review of Taste of Love Series Book 1Frosted Sweets by A.M. Willard
Series: ,
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on May 23, 2016
Pages: 198
Source: Purchased Amazon
Goodreads
Amazon

A romantic comedy from a bestselling author where frosting will never be the same.

I'm a hopeless romantic who thought the wedding dress draped over my shoulder was going to be the start of my future... What I didn't expect was to meet Jayden in the park before witnessing my fiance with someone other than myself.

As my life seems to be fitting in with the latest gossip magazine, I'm trying to avoid the frosted feelings that are baking up in the oven for Jayden.

He's not just new to town, he's new to me and something I'm not sure I'm ready to taste.

This week I am doing something a little different. It was brought to my attention that Author A.M. Willard died at a very young age. (41) Leaving her husband and son behind. Here at Writing Pearls you know I have the heart to support authors and promote them any way I can. I am deeply saddened that this author has been sitting in my To Be Read Pile for nearly two years. I didn’t get the chance to honor her while she was still here. I took the time this week to read and purchase her Taste of Love series to help support this author and her family. We want to do our part to help. I will add a G0 Fund Me at the end of every review this week. If you don’t want to contribute with a donation please go buy her books. Every little bit helps! Keep her memory alive by enjoying her sweet and sassy romantic comedies. My prayers go out to the Willard family.

In an Oyster Shell –  This was a sweet and sassy read with a little bit of heat that will have you falling in love with Morgan and all her friends.

The Pearls –  I love a good Romantic Comedy and they are so hard to find these days. I wouldn’t say these books are completely wholesome as they have some heat but they are not intolerable in that department. This story was sweet and sassy and I love that you get to follow the group all through the four books.

You’ll fall in love with the characters. Warning! These characters will induce binge reading. You’ll want to demolish the whole series as fast as possible. These ladies always have something up their sleeve and are always leaving their men on their toes.

The romance between Morgan and  Jayden is sweet with a side of sexy. I feel out of this series they are the most foundational couple. They are the glue that holds the rest of the group together. Though other couples will get their limelight. Morgan and Jayden were my personal faves in this series.

The Sand – This was a good book.

4 Pearls!

If you would like to help the family with the unexpected funeral expenses go here. 

 

About A.M. Willard

A.M. Willard is a bestselling author. Her books focus on contemporary romance and romantic comedy. Her new release, Follow Your Arrow is available now! Mark your calendars now for her upcoming standalone romantic comedy Forty Candles, coming August 8, 2018.

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Review Kissing Cousins by Savannah SingletonKissing Cousins by Savannah Singleton
Published by Inkitt on November 19, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 106
Source: Inkitt

I received this book for free from Inkitt in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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When Megan Forester’s plane touches down in her hometown of Lubbock, Texas, she is flooded with uneasiness. After moving away with her family 8 years ago and not looking back, she is certain that she’ll be an outsider at her cousin's wedding.

As she collects her bag and considers turning around and booking the next flight out of dodge, she is stopped in her tracks by a handsome young man holding a sign with her name on it. Though there is something familiar about the tall, good-looking man, she cannot place him. Not until, that is, he greets her with an enthusiastic “welcome home, cuz”, and a gentle kiss on the lips.

Stunned, memories and forgotten feelings come flooding back as Megan realizes her mysterious valet is none other than Bradley Bosley; a close family friend whom she spent her summers with as a young girl. He was her first love, and her first heartbreak.

This weekend might turn out to be a lot more interesting than Megan could have ever imagined. Will there still be a spark between the two kids who used to steal kisses behind the Bosley family barn?

Megan Forester is going back to her hometown in Lubbock, Texas for her cousin’s wedding. That town holds a lot of memories for her like her first kiss and love Bradley Bosley. They were so close when she lived there even being confused for cousins through the figured out that was not the case. The wedding weekend gets interesting when Bradley is the one to pick her up. Megan is flooded with memories and nerves as she reconciles her first love and heartbreak.

In an Oyster Shell –  It was a short and sweet read, it would be good if you just want a quick easy read.

The Pearls –  I liked the brevity of this novel. It as short and sweet and to the point. Some people may not like this but I did.

The characters were well developed and were memorable. It’s hard to develop characters in that short amount of time but this author did it well.

The romance was enjoyable. I love first loves being reunited. It’s a dream that a few people have and a fantasy we may all enjoy from time to time. Seeing it played out in this book was entertaining and swoon-worthy.

Sand – There was not too much depth to it which is good but also not great.

3.5 Pearl!

 

3.5 Stars
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Blog Tour with Review – The Lady Loves A ScandalThe Lady Loves A Scandal: Regency Novella by Christina McKnight
on May 22, 2018
Genres: Regency
Pages: 111
Source: Barclay Publicity

I received this book for free from Barclay Publicity in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Originally published in IT STARTED WITH A WHISPER Anthology

Lady Sybil Anson thought she had it all. Even a match of the heart, despite so many London elite marrying for convenience. But the night before their betrothal was to become official, the love of her life vanished—with a hastily scrawled note and little more. She feared the worst as her heart ached for Gideon, and the scandal sheets simply made matters worse with their preposterous musings on the hows and whys of Viscount Galway’s disappearance. Now, more than a year later, he’s unexpectedly back, and Sybil will have her answers.

Many, many years ago, Gideon Lyndon made a grave mistake. One he’s spent most of his adult life trying to rectify. And despite the progress made, the sacrifices were extensive and damaging. On the verge of repairing one misdeed, he finds himself faced with his greatest challenge yet: winning back the woman he has loved since the moment he met her. But after a year of silence, convincing his headstrong paramour to take him back will not be easy. Especially since he can’t even explain why he left—not if he wants to keep her safe.

Lady Sybil Anson was elated that she was going to be betrothed the next day. Much to her shock, Gideon Lyndon leaves town that night with no explanation. Her sorrow and shame are all over the gossip rags lead by Lady X. There is even more to gossip about when Gideon shows up a year later to win Sybil back unable to explain why he left.

In an Oyster Shell – This author is extremely talented and showed again in this novella short and sweet.

The Pearls – I was beyond excited that this Regency had some similarities with my favorite show gossip girl. I was over the moon. Every time Lady X said her peace I was giddy. It was an extremely clever concept and well executed. The story is short but it feels full. I would love if she turned this into a series.

The characters are well developed given the short amount of time you get to spend with them. McKnight packed a lot of punch in few pages. Sybil is strong but faithful and so is Gideon. For a time this is to their detriment. The side characters added depth. I loved Gideon’s friend.

The romance was sweet and palpable. The faithfulness that the two had almost written the story itself. It was why it was able to be done in such few words. They were faithful from the beginning. Their love for each other surpassed the pages of the book.

4 Pearls

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About Christina McKnight

Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since. Currently, she focuses on Historical Romance.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

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Blog Tour with Review – The Wedding Date by  Zara StoneleyThe Wedding Date: The laugh out loud romantic comedy of the year! by Zara Stoneley
Published by HarperImpulse on April 20, 2018
Genres: Chic-Lit
Source: Rachels Random Resources

I received this book for free from Rachels Random Resources in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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One ex.One wedding.One little white lie.

When Samantha Jenkins is asked to be the maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding, she couldn’t be happier. There are just three problems…

1) Sam’s ex-boyfriend, Liam, will be the best man.2) His new girlfriend is pregnant.3) Sam might have told people she has a new man when she doesn’t (see points 1 and 2 above)

So, Sam does the only sensible thing available to her… and hires a professional to do the job.

Actor Jake Porter is perfect for the role: single, gorgeous and cheap! Sam is certain it’s the perfect solution: no strings, no heartbreak and hopefully no chance of being found out.

But spending a week in the Scottish Highlands with Jake is harder than she imagined. He is the perfect boyfriend, charming, sexy and the hottest thing in a kilt since Outlander! And his dog Harry is quite possibly the cutest things Sam has ever seen!

As the wedding draws closer, Jake plays his part to perfection and everyone believes he is madly in love with Sam. The problem is, Sam’s not sure if Jake is acting anymore…

Samantha Jenkins is thrilled for her best friend that is getting married. The problem that she is marrying Sam’s ex’s brother and he’s going to be the best man. Everyone’s going to know he’s cheated on her when he comes with is the hugely pregnant girlfriend. To save face Sam and her friend come up with a plan to pay for a date to the week-long wedding festivities in Scotland. There is one rule no sleeping together. Jake agrees to the terms and as the week goes on it’s hard to remember that it’s all just pretend.

In an Oyster shell –  This author had me laughing out loud and leaving me wanting to share the funny bits with my husband. I almost embarrassed myself because I started reading this on the train and it was so hard not to bust out laughing! Books like this are so rare and so needed.

The Pearls – Sam was just an amazing character. I like how the author wrote from her perspective. Sam’s inner commentary was what sent me over the edge in laughter most of the time. Her humor was absolutely contagious. Jake played a great hero he’ll make somebody a great book boyfriend if you are into that.  The supporting characters added to the humor and dynamic making for a well-rounded story.

The plot was thorough and interesting. You had to keep turning the pages to eagerly see what was happening next. These characters always had some kind of shenanigans going around. Even though it was a funny story, there were some somber moments that made it more realistic. That made for a complete story that was wholesome to boot.

This author was in complete command of her British English language. She had great word choices that made this an intelligent write. It read really well and the flow was good. It was very well done.

The Sand – A good book always ends too soon. Don’t get me wrong the ending was great.

I hope to read more from this author.

5 Pearls!

 

About Zara Stoneley

Born in a small village in Staffordshire, Zara Stoneley wanted to be James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. Writing novels means she can imagine she is all these things, and more!

Zara’s bestselling novels include ‘The Holiday Swap’, ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ and the popular Tippermere series – ‘Stable Mates’, ‘Country Affairs’ and ‘Country Rivals’.
She lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a naughty cockapoo, and a very bossy cat, and loves spending time in sunny Spain.

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Happy Friday Everyone!

I’m writing this late (It’s almost not Friday anymore!) and coffee has turned to wine. It was a red blend of sorts I am not even sure how I acquired it, but one glass was enough. If you have any suggestions for excellent wines, let me know.

No matter what you write, a bit of poetic license can be a valuable asset to any writer’s arsenal.” 

Robert Lee Brewer

The last discussion I talked about overcoming writer’s block. I mentioned that poetry was in part, how I overcame it and I want to talk about it. I was inspired by the above quote that I got from the most recent Writer’s Digest. I agree I feel that every writer can benefit from some elements of poetry.

Poetry for me has been the building block of my creativity. I quit poetry five years ago because I was so discouraged by the negativity I found in my local poetry scene. I can’t help but wonder if leaving poetry had to do with my writer’s block. It’s like stopping took the wind out of my creative sails.

What happened was I looked for a mentor in a poet who deemed himself an expert in the city where I live, and it ended very badly. Portrayed himself as a willing person to help up and coming poets. Come to find out he had an insufficient understanding of how poetry should be and hurt me very badly with lack of support all the way to harassment. There is more to the story but not needed for this post. I quit poetry because to me I thought it was nothing but drama.

A few months ago I was sharing some of my writing with a friend, and I snuck in a few poems. She read my poetry and asked why I was not writing poetry. I gave her the answer that it was too much drama. She kept asking questions and it she helped me see that I had quit because I was wounded. She strongly encouraged me to start again. It made me think and meditate on doing just that. I processed through the hurt and worked through forgiveness and it got me ready to get on the right path.

A poetry site that I had been a part of just happened to send me an email to come back, so I did. I found 171 poems that I had written and forgotten. I mentioned this last time I saw a lot of writing I had squirreled away when I thought I had writer’s block. I went through the poems, and it took me three days to find them all and get them organized. Then I took up my pen and started.

When the poetry started flowing, I felt freedom. All these years of writer’s block are now only a memory. When I write poetry I connect to a depth of myself I pour out on paper. It not only makes me a better writer but a more consistent one at that.  I feel like poetry puts the heartbeat in my prose.

The brevity of poetry makes you focus on the poignancy of your word choices. There are also other poetic devices that help with flow and rhythm. When you train yourself to do it on a small scale, you naturally do it on a longer piece like prose. Poetry is my training ground, a prelude to more powerful prose.

Your prose is what most people are going to see. When you do poetry on the side, it’s helping you do the work behind the scenes to strengthen your narratives. If you get into poetry, you can use the poems you generate as another genre to publish in. Poetry itself at the moment is not a big money maker, but it is a satisfying way to get your work out into the world if you so choose.

As Robert Lee Brewer says “a bit a bit of poetic license can be a valuable asset..” I mean it has been for me, and I suggest you try it. There are some great poetry sites online that can help you learn more about it. I am currently taking some free courses on Allpoetry.com If you need help figuring out how to get to the classes message me and I’ll be glad to help!

Whatever helps you to get your words on paper do it with boldness.

Do you have experience with poetry?

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Review Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David AhernMadam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David Ahern
Published by Malin Press on April 12, 2018
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 362
Source: Author
Goodreads
Amazon

A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.

A millionaire banker, a film producer with a mysterious past, a gun-loving wife, a PA with her eyes on Hollywood, a handsome and charming estate manager—each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.

As Derry and her friend Bruce race to prevent a murder, she learns to her dismay that the one future Tulip can’t predict is her own.

Madame Tulip and the Bones of Chance is the third Madam Tulip adventure.

Derry is back waiting for that next big audition. When she is given a spot on a movie with no audition she is very skeptical. Especially when she finds out she was recommended by someone she does not trust. After some negotiating she and Bruce get onto the movie. Things get dicey when she puts on her Madam Tulip costume and finds herself deep in a mystery. As always she gets more involved than planned as she tries to figure out what is going on.

In an Oyster Shell –  I feel like this was the best installment yet. I love this series and am excited when a new book comes out.

The Pearls – I love the push and pull of Derry and her Madam Tulip persona. She’s getting to be well known in Europe and that makes for exciting possibilities. It’s very interesting that she get’s cast as a fortune teller though they really wanted Madam Tulip. I love her seventh son sense that always seems to get her in trouble.

This book is extremely well written. There is great word economy with excellent style. Ahern is a very talented author and it came through in this particular book. The writing devices used made for an almost immaculate novel.

You can’t talk about the Madam Tulip series and not say something about the characters. I love that Bruce is Derry’s sidekick and is often there in her time of need. There was a nice array of characters that were causing lots of trouble this made for an interesting read. Vanessa and Jacko always add depth to the story and more problems for Derry.

The Sand –  There is one part of the story I don’t understand but I’ll ask the author. I’m sure I just missed something.

5 pearls! Well done David!

5 Stars

About David Ahern

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate and taught in major universities but could never explain to his granny why he didn’t own a stethoscope.

Finding the challenge of pretending to know things exhausting, David Ahern shaved off his beard and absconded once more, this time to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series. He won numerous awards but found nobody was much impressed.

For want of a better plan, David Ahern took to writing fiction. Madame Tulip isn’t his first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’s ever had with a computer. He is now writing the third in the series and enjoys pretending that this activity is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.

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by Jodi Carmichael
Published by Great Plains Publications

Ford is on a family trip to Paris where his family can regal in the history of his great-grandfather. A strange thing happens when he starts getting visions of the past. He and his brother with their American cousin get thrown in a decade’s old mystery that needs to be solved. With his newly manifested clairvoyant abilities, they try to get to the bottom of it. Little do they know that they also have the attention of MI6 and the CIA.

In an Oyster Shell – This was a surprising read that I didn’t think I was going to like and left me completely astounded.

The Pearls – At first I thought I had stumbled on a middle-grade read and was a little disappointed. Not much after that, I was wowed by a mystery that engrossed me. I don’t think this is middle-grade though it does have younger characters. It was a beautiful meld of paranormal, mystery, and an exotic setting.

The characters where few. There is usually a myriad of side characters and in comparison, this book had very few. It made the focus on the characters very powerful. The few characters packed a punch. It was quite refreshing for once.

I like the paranormal aspect. I’m not a fan of all paranormal but a clairvoyant of the past I’m okay with. Using it to solve a family mystery made for a really great story.

The Sand – It was a really great story. I really hope that the author turns this into a series!

4 Pearls!

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About Jodi Carmichael

Jodi Carmichael’s dreams of becoming an author began to come true when she attended her first SCBWI conference in Los Angeles in 2007 and was nominated for the Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award. A champion for the underdog and kids who think differently, she wrote SPAGHETTI IS NOT A FINGER FOOD AND OTHER LIFE LESSONS (2013) which won numerous awards including a Gold Mom’s Choice and a Silver Moonbeam in 2013. In 2016 her novel about relationship abuse, FOREVER JULIA (2016) won the Manitoba Book Award; The McNally Robinson Books for Young People Awards – Older Category and received a Bronze Moonbeam Award for Young Adult Fiction – Mature Issues.

When not channeling characters from her books, she can be found strolling Manitoba beaches with her husband, two daughters, and exceedingly scruffy Border Terrier named Zoe.

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Sunday Post – April 22, 2018

Happy Earth Day!

This ” is what has been going on this week at Writing Pearls –

Blog Tours and Reviews – Click the Image to see the reviews.

This week’s discussion talks about my personal journey with Writer’s Block.

Check out all the posts!

The Question of the Week –  Spring has been slow to come here in the PNW? How has spring been in your part of the world?

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Today ” I’m cheating and drinking a delicious instant espresso with a little bit of cream. Somedays I’m too busy to go to the coffee shop.

What’s your drink of choice today? Wine doesn’t count unless it is after 5! HaHa!

For the last five years, I’ve been dealing with a wicked case of writer’s block. It was all an internal struggle of emotional and mental dilemmas. My main problem is I worked myself into a petrified fear of success and assurance of failure. I worked myself into so much fear that I couldn’t work on my stuff.

I came up with a plan. I started a book blog. I was told once that the best reader was the best writer. If I couldn’t write for myself, I would write for other people. All the while getting a backdoor experience of the industry I am trying to be connected to. I considered it constant forward motion even if it wasn’t a direct way of writing for myself.

I attended an author/reader conference this fall as I am on staff with the magazine that holds it. I poured over the agenda and picked out the workshops that promised would help with writer’s block. One particular workshop was done by a well-known alleged author. (She is not well known to me) It specifically said that she would cover writer’s block.

I get into the workshop a few minutes late. The perks of being on staff you don’t have to pay for anything but a plane ticket. The downside is sometimes your duties pull you away. So she’s in the middle of giving us a blow by blow description of one of her books. I was super confused because nothing that she was supposed to cover was being covered. I held in there thinking she would eventually get to the topics I was desperately wanting to be included. In the end, she didn’t cover them but opened up the room for question. So I ask the million dollar question How do you deal with writer’s block. Her answer quite condescendingly Is “I never get writer’s block.” I was shocked and a little offended. I had to quickly bite my tongue because my retort would have been excusing me for being a mere mortal. LOL! Thank goodness I do have manners and kept my thoughts to myself.

I was so discouraged; her answer made me feel alone and inadequate. Like I was the only one It did not help the ever-growing insecurities that were holding me back from writing.

On a more positive note, the next day a writer who had been at the workshop pulled me aside and nicely gave me some useful pointers on how to work through my problem. His answer simple write. Didn’t help with the raging battle of conflict I was dealing with, but his kindness did lift my spirits. I am so appreciative that he took the time to soften the blow. I knew to write, but it was holding me back.

A few months ago I handed some old writings of mine to a friend some of its poetry some of its prose. I stopped writing poetry about the time the intensity of the writer’s block started. I had one excuse but she help me get to the bottom of the cause and that was some discouragement that I had obtained from a local poet. That again fed my fears and insecurities.

She encouraged me to pick up my poetry again. I didn’t do it right away I thought about what she said.  It helped me to look at the real issue that was keeping me back constant discouragement. At the same time, I got an email from a poetry site that I used to use. Some would call it kismet I call it G-d’s timing. I took a peek at my old account and was astonished that I had a queue of 171 poems, which I had written and forgotten about. This peaked my curiosity what else did I write and forget about?

I scoured all my files both on the cloud and my hard drive. I found another 30 poems and the starts of 10 books. Some more complete than others. I was astonished though my conscious was ignoring my efforts my sub-conscious was finding a way to get itself known even if it would be years for me to discover what it was trying to say!

It encouraged me to pick up poetry again. I will talk in another post about how I feel poetry personally puts the pulse back into my creativity. It frees me to want to work on my prose. I found a way just to write quieting the destructive voice of fear and insecurity.

This is my journey with writer’s block. What my kind acquaintance at the conference said was true write. What I learned from all this if you are a writer at heart and soul even if you are struggling to get your head above water your sub-conscious will find a way out yet if it has to do it without your knowledge for a time. I would also like to mention in my season of self-perceived writer’s block I also wrote hundreds and hundreds of reviews for this blog and other outlets. I was fooling myself; I hope I am finally finding my way out of that.

Writer’s are going to write one way, or another is what I learned, even when we are not paying attention.

In conclusion, this is my personal experience with writer’s block. Writer’s block can happen for many reasons. You could just be stuck in a storyline. You could be lacking inspiration, or it could be as serious as being blocked by some severe mental and emotional trauma.

I had to learn how to fight my own battle with writer’s block. There was no amount of advice that was going to help me until I was ready to face the root issues of holding me back.  This may be true for where you are at, but I will share my thoughts anyway.

With that said here is my advice from my experience.

It is true to get over writer’s block just write. If it has to be something as simple as journaling do it. If you are stuck read a good book and write a review. You learn a lot by merely reading others works and writing your reflections. Writing poetry can be an instant gratification that will quickly satiate the hunger of the creative writer. Try your hand at writing articles and submitting them. Start small if you have to work up to your goals. It will help boost your confidence and get you out there. If you’re stuck on what to write about Google writing prompts. There is no shame in that!

Last but certainly not least don’t be shy about connecting with other authors. Ask for advice. If they are rude (like that one author), just ignore it and move on to someone else with a little more compassion. Keep fighting until you get where you want to be!

It’s been said over and over to me lately that the world needs your story and nobody can write it but you! Do whatever it takes to make it happen. Be sure find a way to move in constant forward motion even if it feels like crawling.

I could go on an on about this subject because it has been a critical hindrance to my achieving my writing dreams. I hope this helps.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

 

 

 

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