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Author Chat with Deb Gardner Allard

bookToday we’re featuring Deb Gardner Allard as she masquerades under the pseudonym of Taylor Jaxon. She’s got a new Young Adult Suspense titled Before the Apocalypse.

QPQ – Congratulations on the new release! You’ve written for children before, but this is your first foray into the world of Young Adult fiction. What prompted you to write Before the Apocalypse?

DGA –Thanks, Pegg. My older grandchildren are now 13, 14, and 15. I wanted to pique their interest, and apparently this book did. While I was writing it, I would catch them sneaking into my computer room to read the latest chapters. It does have quite a bit of excitement in it. A young teen fan told me that he liked the book because there was never a dull moment in the entire book. That blessed my heart.

QPQ – I’ll bet it did! I loved your book and I think it should have a much wider audience that just young adults. There is plenty of story in here for older readers. Biblical prophecy is the prominent theme throughout. Did your interest in this start when you were a young adult?

DGA – Not exactly. I grew up Catholic. My interest in the end times began when I was six years old, and the nun who led our Catechism class taught us about the Tribulation. Everyone in class (ages 6-12) sat on the pews wide-eyed and speechless. From that moment on, I was interested in prophecy. When NASA predicted the four blood moons a few years ago, I read every book I could find about them. I also read the prophets and Revelation in the Bible, attended a year-long eschatology Bible study called The Footsteps of the Messiah by Arnold Fructenbaum, and watched programs on prophecy every week for three years—Prophecy in the News, Prophecy Watchers, Sky Watch News, and several others. After studying the prophecies for myself, I have a different view on God’s purpose for the blood moons. An additional tidbit of information is that although I grew up Catholic, I changed denomination in early adulthood.

img_0512QPQ – Writing for children and YA has its special issues, like dialogue and seeing the world through young eyes. You obviously spent a great deal of time getting these aspects correct in the story. Do you have children or young adults to help you with that?

DGA—I sure do—eight grandchildren. As mentioned above, three are teenagers. They fill me in on their school and extracurricular escapades. Their speech patterns, slang, body language, etc. never escape my eyes and ears. They’re the first to tell me when a teen character would never say – x, y, or z. Taking courses through the Institute of Children’s Literature and belonging to ACFW and Word Weavers International have helped me hone my writing skills. It’s amazing how many older authors have penned books for kids—Roald Dahl, James Patterson, Jerry Spinelli, Mark Twain, C.S. Lewis, Emma Thompson and more. Many of them wrote for their children or grandchildren, just as I do.

QPQ – I don’t do spoilers, but the very end of the book leads me to believe there might be a sequel in the future. Am I correct? (Please say yes.)

DGA –I’ve got about five chapters written on a sequel J.

QPQ – Oh, good! What else is in the works from Deb Gardner Allard – or from Taylor Jaxon?

DGA—Besides the sequel to Before the Apocalypse, I’m writing a humorous youth novel, Surviving Aunt Maisy, and an adult novel that takes place in the Old West.

QPQ – We’ll be watching for those! Where can our readers find you around the web?

Website: www.debgardnerallard.com or  www.wordsalivepress.com
Facebook:
Twitter: @debbie_allard
Pinterest:
Google+:
Amazon:
Goodreads:

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2016 in Author Chat, New Releases

 

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Author Chat with Jodie Wolfe

seams-cover-promo-webToday we’re featuring one of our own! Jodie Wolfe has released her sequel to Hearts Tightly Knit, titled Love in the Seams.

QPQ – Congratulations on the new release! Give us a taste of what it was like to write a sequel.

JW – I found it to be a lot of fun since I was able to pick up with some characters from book one as well as introduce new ones too. I truly enjoyed breathing life into young LillyAnn in my story. She is a precocious five-year-old.

QPQ – This is your second book to self-publish, correct? I find it fascinating that your husband has designed your book covers. What a guy! With all that support, are you planning to continue on the self-publishing path, or work towards a hybrid with some traditional publishers too?

JW – Indie publishing is a lot of work, but I’m leaving that door open if I decide to go that route again. I also like the idea of being a hybrid author. 🙂 I recently signed my first contract with a traditional publisher and I pray there will be more of those contracts in the future.

QPQ – Congratulations on the contract! That’s awesome! Tell us a bit about Love in the Seams.

JW – Here’s the back cover copy.

Mae Stafford longs for the companionship and unconditional love her sister has found in her new husband. But after years of refusing potential suitors because of a pact they made as children, Mae no longer has any choices left once their agreement is broken. She’s given up hope that God will give her what she desires most, a family of her own. Instead of dwelling on what she doesn’t have, she throws herself into her work as the recent sole owner of the local dress shop.

As a promise made to his late wife, Johannes Mueller agrees to travel west to be a school teacher in Calder Springs, Texas, away from the bigotry associated with being an immigrant in New York City. He hopes to improve his life and forget his loss. Johannes isn’t counting on his five-year-old daughter’s search for a new mother when they arrive. His little LillyAnn finds ways to bring the seamstress and him together…often. Can he learn to embrace his German heritage and unlock his heart to love again?

QPQ – What inspired you to write this story?

JW – Hearts Tightly Knit ended with Ellie Stafford finding her happily-ever-after and I knew that I wanted her twin sister, Mae to have one too.

QPQ – What do you like best about Mae?

JW – The thing I like about Mae Stafford is that even though God hasn’t given her what she most desires yet, it hasn’t embittered her while she waits. Instead she pours herself into her business and works to bring joy through each garment she sews.

QPQ – What will make your readers swoon over Johannes?

JW – Johannes is doing what he can to provide for his daughter’s needs, but he still is missing his deceased wife. But when he finally figures out what he wants in life, there is no stopping him. Look out Mae. 🙂

QPQ – What’s next in the hopper from Jodie Wolfe?

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Jodie dancing with her husband at their son’s wedding

JW – I have a novelette coming out as part of a collection in spring 2017. Here’s a small teaser.

Esther Love, is a dime novelist who finds herself desperate to save the home she loves, even if it means she has to go husband hunting to do so.

I’ll be having a FB launch party on December 2nd from 6-9 PM (EST).

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE FUN!  

I’d love for you to stop by.

Website: http://www.jodiewolfe.com
Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Seams-Twins-Needles-Book/dp/0997502622/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jodie-Wolfe-553400191384913/; https://www.facebook.com/jodie.wolfe.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodieAWolfe
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/JodieAWolfe
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15220520.Jodie_Wolfe
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/116840153259583634192/posts
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Jodie-Wolfe/e/B01EAWOHXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

 

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2016 in Author Chat, Jodie Wolfe, New Releases

 

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Author Chat with Linda Yezak

jess-and-me-2012-bayou-writers-group-conference

Linda Yezak with fellow author Jessica Ferguson

Today we’re featuring one of our favorite authors, Linda Yezak. She’s one of four authors in a collection titled The Bucket List Dare.

QPQ – Congratulations on the new release! I love the premise of this collection. It’s about four college friends who decide to check something off their buckets lists before they turn thirty. How did this come about?

LY –  Actually it was Jessica Ferguson’s idea, which is a bit of a surprise, since she didn’t go to Texas A&M. She called me when Billy and I were driving home from our annual trip to the Hill Country, and the excitement over her story idea made an eight hour drive seem like three.

QPQ – I absolutely love your characters – in all your books – but JoJo may be my most favorite yet. You write such fun dialogue, but it’s the inner dialogue of JoJo that had me laughing out loud. How much of the real Linda Yezak are we seeing in JoJo?

LY – Other than the snark, absolutely none. I want to jump from a plane so bad, I can feel it.

QPQ – As much as we may love the heroine, let’s face it, we read romance for the hero. Was Mitch modeled after anyone special in your life?

LY – Hate to disappoint, but no. Mitch just developed as I went along. I wish I could’ve deepened his character a bit more—shown some of those “warts” Jojo wondered about—but I started running out of wordcount.

QPQ – Oh, I know that feeling! It’s the price we pay for writing in a collection. And now the pivotal question for readers everywhere. *insert drum roll* Have you ever jumped out of an airplane?

LY – I had the opportunity once, and if Billy hadn’t been there when I was asked, I would have. Maybe Jojo is modeled on him . . . Nah. He loves to fly too much.

QPQ – Is this on your personal bucket list?

LY – Actually, yes. I have a niece who has promised to do some of the crazy things I’d love to do with me, but she also wants to go down in a shark cage. I drew the line.

QPQ – Smart woman! What’s next in the hopper from Linda Yezak?

LY – I have another novella coming out with some friends—The Tiny House Collection, in which all the characters live in/buy a tiny house. Mine, titled Kayla’s Challenge, is the prequel for my new series, tentatively called Southern Challenge, the first of which I intend to finish next year. Next for this year and in to next is Book Three of the Circle Bar Ranch series, Ride to the Altar. And if I don’t get started on that one soon, I’m gonna miss my deadline!

bookQPQ – Give us some links where readers can reach you … and then get back to work!

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/GivetheLadyaRide

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lyezak/

Twitter: @LindaYezak

Goodreads: http://dld.bz/dSPmg

777 Peppermint Place: http://lindayezak.com

Newsletter: http://dld.bz/CoffeewithLinda

Amazon: http://dld.bz/LindaWYezakAmazon

 

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2016 in Author Chat, New Releases

 

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Out of The Frying Pan: Behind the Story

The September 9th and 23rd posts showcased the romance/mystery novel, Out of the Frying Pan by authors Michelle Griep and Kelly Klepfer. Today we learn how the story materialized!61tvSrINcpL

Kelly, welcome back! Tell us how you and Michelle came to write Out of the Frying Pan.

Michelle and I met a very long time ago. In fact we say we are sisters from another mother but didn’t meet until we began interacting on an on-line Christian fiction critique group. We knew right away that we were soul sisters. We both consider our major spiritual gifts to be sarcasm and smacking. I know that’s not Biblical, but let’s just say we employ both of these skills often so it’s good that we have each other.  

While slicing-and-dicing each other’s writing, one of us suggested we write a book together. I had a story idea birthed long before. One of my former co-workers (The woman had a Bachelor’s Degree in theater. Nuff said.) used to run a non-profit alongside mine. She worked with retired adults. We enjoyed her interactions way too much. One day she ran across a name. “Kelly! This name needs to be a character in a book. A murder mystery. Zula. Isn’t that a wonderful name?” I agreed. And when I shared this tiny seed of an idea with Michelle the brainstorming blossomed into Out of the Frying Pan and the larger than life Fern and Zula Hopkins.

photo (11)Of course, that was the beginning. And this novel has taken a 10 year journey to see the light of day.

The plot line was skeletonized super speedy. We knew our murderer, our red herring coulda-woulda folks, the motives and the major characters right off the bat.

We wrote Out of the Frying Pan from different states, bouncing ideas off of each other and putting each other in challenging literary hot water. I wrote two major characters, Michelle wrote the other two. We’d write a scene, tag the other person and wait for a response with the scene cliffhanger. It was really challenging and fun. Michelle would work her magic and write about her character’s world, weaving my character in and causing me to have to rethink what I thought she’d be doing next–and vice versa. It really stretched us as writers and our characters grew more three-dimensional because of it. As Michelle wrote about my characters, they grew even more loveable because someone I cared about was describing them to me.

We had two publishers early on interested in the book but the cozy mystery portion of their house shut down before anything materialized there. Then we sat on the book for a long period. Michelle wrote and published a couple of books in that time frame. I sunk into a season of insecurity in my skill set and was not writing at all. Michelle finally told me that we needed to start pushing the story again. I agreed to massive editing and finishing the final chapters. Interestingly, while I wasn’t writing, I was reading and reviewing during my dry spell. During that time, some of the areas in which I struggled became more natural and part of who I was as a writer. That season was valuable because I grew into my training and stored knowledge.

So if you happen to be a discouraged writer and aren’t able to write right now, read. qtRead good books and think about what makes them good and why you love them. And read not-so-good books and decide what makes them a bit on the stinky side and how you might do something different as a writer. You might just discover the rules begin to gel and become part of you, too. I’d been trying so hard not to break the rules that I was stilted and stunted in my writing, until the rules worked their way into me. And this has spiritual application. How many walk and struggle to obey God’s rules in their own weak power? Instead, Jesus offers us His indwelling. He works to make the rules a natural part of us.

Michelle had an agent at the time. We finished the book and she shopped it for us. We had a couple of bites but nothing real tempting. She ended up parting ways with her agent and a year later we landed this contract. When our Bling! Editor read it she suggested we ramp up the romance angle and sell it as a romance. So, newly challenged, we recreated deeper pasts for our former secondary characters and wove in more action. The whole process has been so challenging, involved, and exhausting, but most of all, fun.

Over all, my favorite comments and delightful moments are recent. Michelle is a genius editor and will not let a book go to a final print without her last go-through. She texted me throughout that weekend. “I am laughing out loud. How can I think this book is so funny when we stinking wrote it?” “I love our characters. I mean love them.” “Favorite paragraph: Oy. The heat from Zula’s blistering gaze began to melt Fern’s rubber-soled Keds. She didn’t even need to look in that direction to know that two baby blue beams were fixed, locked, and loaded. How was she going to get out of this situation without any open veins? A story. A good story.This says it all. Some of Michelle’s admiration might come from the fact that people die and are injured in Out of the Frying Pan. Because she loves nitty-gritty historicals, she’s always killing off a character or two, so there’s that. Remember our “spiritual” gifts. ♦

unnamedKelly Klepfer had ambitions to graduate from the school of life quite awhile ago, but alas… she still attends and is tested regularly. Her co-authored cozy/quirky mystery, Out of the Frying Pan, is the culmination of several of the failed/passed tests. Kelly, though she lives with her husband, two Beagles and two hedgehogs in Iowa, can be found at Novel Rocket, Novel Reviews, Scrambled Dregs, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter with flashes of brilliance (usually quotes), randomocities, and learned life lessons.

 

 

View More: http://bethanyaleshire.pass.us/michellekelly

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. Historical romance is her usual haunt. THE CAPTIVE HEART is her latest release. Follow her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or www.writerofftheleash.blogspot.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

 

~ Jericha Kingston

 

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Animals & Authors with Michelle Griep

Writing – they say – is a solitary occupation. But is it really? Let’s visit with author Michelle Griep and ask her about her constant companion.

QPQ: Welcome, Michelle! Introduce us to the fuzzy-muzzle of love you’re sharing with us today.

Ada & IMG: I live with a slightly-neurotic . . . wait a minute . . . scratch that. I live with a super-psychotic boxer named Ada Clare. After meeting her mother and father (okay, so, yeah, I’m the psycho here) my husband and I decided to adopt a pup from their litter. We chose the black one. Really she’s brindle, but you can only see brown if the sun shines on her just right. That was 2 ½ years ago and we’ve been loving her ever since.

QPQ: Boxers are such amazing dogs! Since you’re an author and you come up with names all the time, how did you come up with Ada Clare?

MG:I’m a Dickens freak and Bleak House is one of my favorites of his. Ada Clare is a sweet but strong character in that story.

IMG_8963QPQ: I wondered if Bleak House was the inspiration for your Ada Clare! How does Ada help you in your writing?

MG: Being that I live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, she keeps my feet warm. Or if she lays on them too long, they go numb.

QPQ: Oh my. Can’t relate to that kind of cold! Have you ever written one of your pets into a story?

MG: Not one of mine but one of my mom’s. She seriously had the world’s ugliest dog. In my new release written with co-author Kelly Klepfer, we wrote in a pup that only a mother could love.

IMG_8990QPQ: Let me guess… that would be Fifi The Wonder Dog! Tell us three things you and Ada have in common.

MG: One, we love treats and snoozing. Two, taking walks is one of our favorite things to do. Three, chin whiskers. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

QPQ: Too funny, Michelle! Thank you for visiting here at the Quid Pro Quills. Where can readers find your new release?

MG: For zany fun with the world’s ugliest dog, check out my co-authored release of OUT OF THE FRYING PAN.

Murder in Paradise whips life into a froth for Fern and Zula Hopkins. When the retirement center’s chef is found dead, the two ladies get folded in with the case. Their zany attempts to track down the killer land them in hot water with Detective Jared Flynn. Should he be concerned about their safety—or the criminal’s?

But there are deadly ingredients none of them expect. Drugs. Extortion. International cartels. And worst of all…broken hearts, especially when the Hopkins sisters’ niece KC arrives on the scene.

Life at Sunset Paradise Retirement Village will never be the same.

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View More: http://bethanyaleshire.pass.us/michellekellyMichelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. Historical romance is her usual haunt, THE CAPTIVE HEART her latest release. Follow her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or www.writerofftheleash.blogspot.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

 

~ Jericha Kingston

 

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Animals & Authors with Kelly Klepfer

Writing – they say – is a solitary occupation. But is it really? Let’s visit with author Kelly Klepfer and ask her about her constant companions.

QPQ: Welcome, Kelly! Introduce us to the Beagles you’re sharing with us today.

IMG_20160219_071503373 (1)KK: Sweet mercy. You are giving me carte blanche to blab about my babies. Gertrude and Gladys are sweet (most of the time) little sisters we’ve had almost two years. Their mama died just hours after they were born from a urinary tract infection that went to her bloodstream. The babies all had to have antibiotics, too. A friend of a friend does wildlife rescue and since this was so sudden, the babies went to her for bottle feeding. At five weeks of age my friend (who has offered us pets for years including squirrels and raccoons) did her usual shout out. “Kelly, you want a sweet little Beagle pup?”

I said, “No, Rob wouldn’t want a Beagle.” (Rob is the husband, should you wonder.) But I didn’t know that he secretly did want a Beagle. His boss has one and Rob just can’t stop talking about it. So he said yes. When I told my friend she nearly wet her pants. (She’s of a certain age where one must be careful when jumping up and down.)

IMG_20150828_131128177 (1)Then the gal sent a picture of our new baby. And there was another one in the picture and she referred to them as they. Rob said, “You know, if we’re potty training one, might as well get two.” And I said, “Yes!” Someone else had spoken for the other in the meantime. I actually prayed we could get both of them.  Yes. I did. The other person backed out because she was excited that the little sisters could stay together.

Can I just say I adore my girls? They are so ridiculously cute. Their personalities are night and day different, of course. I’m so glad we said yes. And they are pretty spoiled.

QPQ: Aww! They sound like sweethearts! Since authors come up with names all the time, how did you come up with Gladys and Gertrude?

KK: My daughter has two sister dogs as well. Lilly and Lola. They came to live with her while she still lived at home with us. I fell in love with them and when they all moved out into their own place it got really quiet in our house. Lilly and Lola are much larger than my girls. They are boxer/lab mixes. I liked the alliteration of their names and I wanted a pair of names that made me smile. I considered flower names which was pretty cute. I kept going back to the older lady names though. We ran the name choices past a few friends. When it came down to it the alliteration won. The names fit them perfectly.

1458259479172QPQ: You chose well! How do Gladys and Gertrude help you write?

KK: Very little. Seriously. Gladys loves to hop on my lap when I’m writing. She’s a solid 38 pounds and loves to wrap her arms around my neck and cuddle. There is very little writing that gets done when she’s in one of her snuggle moods. Gert cuddles up next to me if I’m on the couch, but she does this little dog-in-the-manger growl when her sister gets near. So I’m always a little leery of the forthcoming wrestling match. (True story, one leapt over my computer which was on my lap one day and snapped my period key right off the computer.)

61tvSrINcpLQPQ: Oh no! Of all the keys to lose…. Have you ever written one of your pets into a story?

KK:  Out of the Frying Pan has a doggy character. Fifi, the Wonder Dog. I must tell you, Fifi’s title is full of sarcasm. See, Zula and Fern inherited Fifi when one of the residents moved on, and well… Fifi has some issues. However, Fifi, not based on my pups, is adorbs in her own way.

QPQ: Oh my. We’ll have to learn more about Fifi! Thank you so much for visiting today, Kelly. Final question: What are three things you and Gladys and Gertrude have in common?

KK: One, quirk. Gladys is a quirky gal. Two, Gertrude is pretty focused. Not that I am, but I’m stubborn and that’s kind of a focus. Three, both of them are pretty treat-motivated. Nuff said.  

unnamedKelly Klepfer had ambitions to graduate from the school of life quite awhile ago, but alas . . . she still attends and is tested regularly. Her new, co-authored cozy/quirky mystery, Out of the Frying Pan, is the culmination of several of the failed/passed tests. Kelly lives with her husband and two Beagles in Iowa, and can also be found at Novel RocketNovel ReviewsScrambled DregsInstagram, Pinterest,
Facebook and Twitter with flashes of brilliance (usually quotes), randomocities, and learned life lessons.

~ Jericha Kingston

 

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Author Chat with the Quid’s Own Jodie Wolfe

Author PhotoQPQ: Congratulations on the release of your novella, Hearts Tightly Knit! What an exciting time for you.

JW: Thanks, Pegg. It definitely has been a whirlwind the past couple months getting everything lined up. I’ve been blessed to have a loving and supportive husband who helps any way he can.

QPQ: What was the inspiration for your story?

JW: I’ve always enjoyed the thought of either having or being a twin. I grew up with two older brothers, so I longed for a sister to share things with. That got me thinking about what would sway twin sisters to marry after making a childhood vow to always stay together.

QPQ: Your heroine, Ellie, is a great cook and a knitter. How much of Jodie Wolfe is in Ellie?

JW: LOL. I’m definitely not a great cook…just average. As for knitting, I guess you could say I’m experienced. I’ve knitted hats, sweaters, slippers, scarves, dishcloths, baby blankets and I’m not sure what else. Perhaps a little of me is in Ellie. J

CoverQPQ: Your hero, Luke, is a rancher who needs a cook to keep his ranch hands happy. What will your readers like best about Luke?

JW: I hope readers will find him to be a strong, godly hero who looks to the Lord for wisdom and strength. A man who isn’t afraid to release the hurts from his past and move forward to discover what God has for him.

QPQ: What do you hope your readers will take away from reading Hearts Tightly Knit?

JW: That no matter what difficult situation you are facing, God is waiting to take you up into His loving arms and provide what you need. All you have to do is turn to Him.

QPQ: We look forward to many more books from you in the future, so where can our readers find you on the Internet? (Other than right here on the Quid Pro Quills, of course!)

JW: They can find me here:

Website: http://www.jodiewolfe.com
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Jodie-Wolfe-553400191384913/; https://www.facebook.com/jodie.wolfe.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodieAWolfe
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jodie-Wolfe/e/B01EAWOHXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/116840153259583634192/posts
Blogs I contribute to: Stitches Thru Time, Putting on the New and of course, Quid Pro Quills.

 
 

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