Guest Post: Corrina Lawson on knowing when a character can carry a story

Today it is my pleasure to host Corrina Lawson who is the author of the Phoenix Institute superhero series, which won the Science Fiction Romance Galaxy Award as “Best Superhero Origin Series.” The next book in that series, Phoenix Inheritance, is out this week. Here she talks about how to know when it’s time for a character to step up and receive their superhero origin. Take it away Corrina!

 

How do you know when a character can carry a story?  

 

When I created the Phoenix Institute series, I deliberately created a supporting cast that might be eligible, one day, for their own stories. But just plucking a hero from a supporting cast isn’t so easy. There has to be a story that needs to be told with that character. 

 

Years ago, when the great teacher Jennifer Crusie critiqued one of my scenes (in a as-yet unpublished romantic suspense), she said “I love her! Can she be the heroine?” And I said, no, I wish she could, but she’s already complete and happy. 

 

I gave the same response to my editor when she asked me to make one of her favorite supporting characters in the Phoenix Institute series, Daz Montoya, the hero of his own story. Daz is a natural leader, confident, smart and, as yet, not the stuff of which compelling stories are made. 

Heck, Daz was supposed to be the hero of book three, Ghost Phoenix, but I couldn’t get it to work. He was too centered, too in control and too calm about the events of the story. Until things happened in Ghost Phoenix and Daz began to doubt his skills.

When Phoenix Inheritance opens, Daza Navy SEAL who left the service to head up a private special forces team, knows he’s in over his head. He inhabits a world where his enemies possess telekinesis that can kill, or they can toss fire with their minds, or they can control his mind with telepathy. How does a normal human, albeit a well-trained warrior, survive in this world? Daz fears he can’t.

More, Daz believes he’s become a liability to those he’s sworn to protectAdd that to his frustration at not being as involved enough in the life of his young son, and guilt over the break-up with his son’s mother, and Dazstands at a crossroads. How does he overcome these obstacles? 

 

He has to become more. 

Hint: I view Daz as my version of Batman.

Now I had a character with a story to tell, a journey to take, and an origin tale that hopefully has resonance. 

Thanks so much Corrina for stopping by and taking us behind the scenes on what it took to tell Daz’s story!


Phoenix Inheritance is available now at AmazonBn.com and Samhain Publishing.

You can also learn more about Corrina by viewing her Website: corrina-lawson.com and following her on FacebookTwitter and Tumblr.  

Interview with Author Karyn Pearson

Interview with Karyn Pearson author of the Hellfire Trilogy.  

Welcome Karyn!



What does the title of this novel signify? 


For the Hellfire Trilogy, I wanted to have a fire motif that carried across the three titles of the series. For Embers, with it being the last novel of the trilogy, it also signifies the final stage of a fire, when it’s burned down to glowing embers. In a way, the title’s also symbolic of what’s left of human society by the end of the final battle–smoldering remnants of what once was.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…


I tried to pick Latin-like names for most part. “Noxius” is “deceiver” or “trickster” in Latin, which I felt suited him, since he is a deceiver demon. The “Amon” part of his name comes from the name of a demon in the Lesser Key of Solomon who, like Noxius, is ranked seventh in the demonic hierarchy. Ardentia’s name came from the root, “ardent”, which has to do with fire or flame. I wanted to keep with the fire motif, not to mention the fact that Ardentia has fire in her too, both in looks and personality. Darius’ last name, Bellatore, translates to “warrior.” Commander Athena Pallantias Thorne is a nod to my favorite Greek goddess (and likely god parent if I was ever a demigod). The “Thorne” part just sounded cool, so it stuck. There’s a few other names that I can’t think of at the moment, but I’m sure if you looked, you’d find the others.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to? 


Nothing really prompted me to write in this genre. I’ve always had a interest in paranormal/supernatural things, and ending up in this genre was by sheer coincidence. My brain took various elements of pop culture (SupernaturalPriest, and Dragon Nest) and threw it together, and what came out was what we now know as the Hellfire Trilogy

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?


Sometimes I have to tell the voices to shut up and leave me alone if I have to focus on real life for a period of time. For the most part, they behave themselves and sit quietly until I’m ready to talk to them. But other times, they don’t behave, and suddenly I find myself speaking in character voices to myself in public spaces and I end up looking like a crazy person. In those instances, I kind of wish I had a t-shirt that read, “I’m not crazy, I’m an author.” As for my characters, they don’t really reflect attributes of maintaining my sanity, rather, they’re amplified aspects of my personality that in time, take a life of their own. The aspect is the foundation block, and once that character finds their voice, they do the rest and invent themselves.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel that was different from others?


Well, for one, I had to look up demonic summoning rituals, and I ended up on Satanic websites–thanks, Google. So I suppose I’m fortunate the NSA hasn’t showed up accusing me of  being a psychopathic devil-worshipper that does blood sacrifices. Another thing I had to look up was angelology, specifically Lucifer-centric angelology. I learned Lucifer’s history, even his seal, his rank in the angelic hierarchy, and various other things.


What makes you laugh? 

Watching my two dogs slip and slide on the hardwood floor in our house. It’s always hilarious to watch them go splat! as long as nobody gets hurt.


What makes you cry?


Most recently, the mid-season finale episode of The Vampire Diaries. Sheriff Forbes, whyyyyyy? I had to hug my mom afterward.


You can read an excerpt of her newest release Embers right here by following this link.

Excerpt from Embers

On February 27thKaryn Pearson unveils the final chapter in the Hellfire trilogy

“Tell your master that I’m coming for him next,” she said. “We’re going to finish what we started.”



Excerpt from Embers:

A rushing sound filled her ears, Noxius’ power surged to life within her, willing her to dodge to the left. She whirled aside, watching as a hook-sword sailed within an inch of her, the blade singing in the air as it passed. A nearby soul cried out as the sword pierced him in a spray of blood. He slumped over and remained still, put out of his misery at last.

“I thought I smelled a mortal,” said the all-too-familiar voice of Malacoda. “What ever shall we do with you, my dear?”

“She’s pretty,” said a second voice. “Can we keep this one?”

“She is rather interesting, isn’t she?” Malacoda agreed. “How could a mortal make it so far into Hell unscathed?”

The sound of wings was all around them, the Malebranche laughing as they circled their prey. The huntress didn’t need to look to know she was surrounded. This was it, they were done for.

Run!” Noxius yelled. “We need to make it to the next ring!”

Ardentia didn’t need to be told twice. She broke into a sprint, moving as fast as she could down the road. Behind her, she heard Malacoda wrenching his sword from the body of the tortured soul he’d inadvertently killed. The demon was in quick pursuit; the huntress knew she’d be no match for his speed. He was upon her within a moment, so she did the only thing she could. She turned to fight.

Using her forward momentum, she made a quick about-face, swinging her leg as she turned. Her kick connected, the blow startling the demon for a few seconds, as black blood seeped from a fresh wound on his cheek. He snarled at her in rage, raising his hook and sweeping toward her. She dropped and rolled under it, the sword passing over her head harmlessly. Her feet were back under her in an instant, and she was up and running, the demon roaring from somewhere behind her as he chased after her again.

“Keep running!” Noxius encouraged. “We’re nearly there.”

She kept moving, her eyes finding the end of the road ahead and what looked like the edge of a cliff. As she neared the end of the road, she saw the ground gave way into a sharp drop of at least one-hundred feet to the next circle below. To the far right, she saw a set of stairs carved into the side of the cliff. She started for them at once, moving off the road and cutting across a line of staked bodies.

Suddenly, Malacoda materialized before them, standing at the cliff’s edge and barring their path. He smiled, thinking he had her cornered. In her mind, she heard her demon shouting for her to turn around and head the opposite direction. The huntress ignored him, running toward the demon instead.

She barreled straight into the demon, her full body weight slamming into him hard. He doubled over and gave a grunt of pain, losing his balance, and together, they tumbled off the cliff.




 

It all begins with a Spark . . .

Ardentia, a demon hunter with a demon’s spirit bound to her own, goes on a journey to restore honor to her mother’s name. One by one, she hunts down the Saligia, who are responsible for her family’s curse. The closer she gets to bringing the Seven Deadly Sins down, the higher the chances are she’ll lose herself along the way. As the demon inside her awakens and grows stronger, it will only be a matter of time. Ardentia faces but one choice—trust the demon to help her break the curse, and pray he doesn’t betray her in the end.

. . . and blazes into an Inferno . . .

A new threat has emerged. Belial, one of four Crown Princes of Hell, has risen. The Crown Prince intends to free the rest of his brothers. If he succeeds, he will raise Lucifer from his centuries’ long slumber. Belial will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. His influence even extends past the defenses of the holy city of Salvatio. The Crown Prince must be stopped before the last great defense of mankind falls. Ardentia stands to answer the call. She knows the task alone will be dangerous, and that she could easily die in the attempt. But the threat of certain death won’t sway her. She and Noxius will do whatever it takes to thwart Belial, regardless of the consequences, even if those consequences mean paying the ultimate price.

. . . leaving behind a world of Embers . . .

Though she won the battle against Belial, the war for mankind has just begun. Lucifer is rising. With each passing day, time runs out for the human race. In sixty-six days, the fate of the world will be decided. But before Ardentia can focus on saving the world, she must save her demon. Noxius is dying, and his only hope for survival is to return to his own body. Ardentia must brave the horrors of Hell and its armies to reach Noxius’ court. If she manages to survive, she’ll still need to face the Lucifer, and something far worse—a foe far greater than the Devil himself.

You can get your copy of Embers and the rest of the Hellfire Trilogy now at Smashwords and Amazon.

Embers will soon be available at store.distinguishedpress.com as well.

About the author:



Karyn Pearson is the author of the Hellfire Trilogy and Arcturian Bloodlines. She is a full-time pet parent of her two dogs Nikki and Jamie. Karyn has a B.A. in Anthropology and has explored dozens of cultures in her studies, but has imagined countless more. She enjoys reading, playing action RPGs, and plotting the next adventure for her characters whenever she has a spare moment free of the dreaded and undefeated “puppy dog eyes attack.”

Her upcoming project will be the first novel of a new vampire series, Arcturian Bloodlines. When she’s not writing, Karyn can be found playing with her puppies or Googling various dangerous topics for novel research that make her constantly question why federal agents haven’t yet knocked down her front door.

So Long Leonard Nimoy

This fangirl is very saddened to hear of the passing of Leonard Nimoy.

There are many tributes to him including this fantastic one from Ian Doescher, which I just had to share!

Like so many others, Leonard Nimoy has been a part of my life and fandom for many years and in many ways.

Below are just two of them:

As Spock, he inspired me to think in a logical manner and to learn more about science and data analysis (my career).

As the host and narrator of shows like “In Search of” and “Ancient Mysteries“, he helped me to realize that there may be some mysteries still within the world or in the past that I was not even aware of. 

 

I believe this clip from Star Trek Wrath of Khan conveys best what I want to say right now. 

 https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=9_8nY_LQL3w 

 Basically, THANK YOU Leonard Nimoy for being a part of my life! 

I leave you now with these two quotes that Leonard Nimoy as Spock would say: 

“May You Live Long and Prosper”
“Boldly go where no one has gone before”

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened

It is my honor to reveal the full title and cover of the first part of a YA dystopian romance trilogy by author, friend (full disclosure) AND fellow Fangirl, Pippa Jay.

Introducing Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened!

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Imagine waking up to find the world has ended, but unfortunately you’re not alone…
For Connor Innis, awakening from a year-long coma with no memories, no ability to move, and unable to speak was bad enough. Then he learns that a bioweapon set off a zombie apocalypse—for real—while he was sleeping, and the world he can’t even remember no longer exists.
Rehabilitation might be torture, but far worse awaits him outside. All too soon, the hospital Mentor declares him fit to leave but with nothing to go home to except a city full of mindless, flesh-eating monsters. That is, until he forms a strange relationship with the one he nicknames ‘Zombie Girl’.

Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened is the first part of a YA dystopian romance trilogy, releasing 22nd April, 2015. You can add it to your Goodreads shelf HERE, or sign up for Pippa’s no-spam newsletter for special previews on cover reveals, new releases, the latest giveaways and discounts, and upcoming news HERE!

Excerpt from Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened

The door slid open, and a warm breeze hit him full in the face, the smell of hot glass and tarmac, and a faint scent of grass from the garden area. Nothing more. The Mentor had assured him that the bioweapon had died out as quickly as it had contaminated everyone, job done. Even so, he drew his next breath with caution.
Like I’m just going to go straight into full on zombie mode… It didn’t ease his nerves. No point standing around here waiting for it.
Connor took a step outside. The heat after the temperature controlled interior broke him out in a sweat. He turned back to ask the Mentor one more time to change its mind in these unusual circumstances, but the glass door slid shut.
He bolted for the car. “Open the door!”
The autocar complied, and he threw himself into it, not caring that he banged his head and shoulder getting in, not caring that it put sparks in front of his eyes. “Shut it.”
The reassuring clunk of the door closing answered him, and he collapsed across the seat on his back, gasping like he’d done after his first session on the treadmill. “Oh, man.”
Connor sat up, staring around. Still no signs of life. The glass front of the hospital dazzled him as sunlight struck it, and the breeze blew the grasses and plants around in a mad dance, but that was it.
“Take me home,” he muttered.
“Yes, sir.” The autocar trundled forward and carried him away from sanctuary.
Safely in the confines of the vehicle, he examined the surroundings as he travelled. Except for the total absence of people, the city looked perfectly normal. No. Connor corrected himself. Not normal. It was too clean. Too perfect. The city equivalent of a show home, made up to look like the perfect place to move into, but utterly devoid of personal belongings. Devoid of life. Without the drain on the power systems by several thousands of human beings, and without them making a mess any more, the cleaning systems had kept the city pristine. Just like the hospital. No rubbish, no dirt, and no corpses. It was creepier than any abandoned city of the past, like those the Mentor had shown him. No sign of the deadly apocalypse that had killed part of the population and turned another part into a mindless ravening horde that devoured the survivors.

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Pippa Jay’s bio:

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After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, like I am, she blogs at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), two self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply and The Bones of the Sea), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website http://pippajay.co.uk, or at various blogs including Adventures in Scifi, Spacefreighters Lounge, Romancing the Genres, SFR Brigade, Google+ or Pippa’s own blog http://pippajay.blogspot.co.uk.

However, without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on social media sites including Twitter as @pippajaygreen, Facebook, Pinterest or Wattpad.

You can also learn more about Pippa’s stories via her Amazon or Goodreads author pages.

Interview with Author Misa Buckley

It is a great honor to interview Misa Buckley, Author of the Amazing Grace series of stories.

Welcome Misa! 

 What does the title of the series signify?

Amazing Grace is a series of shorts – last “episode”, Grace got herself into trouble, requiring her lover, Benedict, and her friends, Emery and Charity, to rescue her.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

Sci fi romance is my favourite genre to write. The particular inspiration for the Amazing Grace series was a scene in Stargate SG-1 (there are actually a LOT of references in the stories)

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

Writing itself keeps me sane… to a degree. There’s a lot that can distract you – other authors getting deals, awards, etc etc – but every person’s path is different. It’s best (though hard!) to not compare yourself to others.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel that was different from others?

I did absolutely no research whatsoever. There wasn’t even any plotting done. I literally made the story up as I went along, but keeping a bible meant I could tie in loose ends and ideas.

Thank you so much Misa for agreeing to this interview!

You can learn more about Misa and her writing by visiting her website or you can follow her on Twitter!

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The latest “episode” in the Amazing Grace series, Saving Grace, is now available from the following retail outlets:

ChampagneKindle and AllRomance

You can read an except of this story right here!

Archetypes: Hero

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Originally posted on Alex Hurst:
Life is full of peril. Danger and darkness lurk the corners, and in our blackest moments, most of those journeys would fail if not for the Hero rising up to save the day. He–or she–is the final trump against evil: resilient, strong, and death-defying. We experience most stories from the eyes…

Game Review: Doctor Who Legacy for iOS

I decided to share the review I posted today at the Apple App Store for my favorite game Doctor Who: Legacy for iOS devices.

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I have been playing this free game for over a year and it is the only game that lets me play without requiring me to pay anything unless I really want to! However, I like many others support this great game by paying a small amount to unlock the Fan Area. This purchase was well worth it because it give you access to levels that help level up characters so you can get to the next level. Also, you can se where your money is going because these guys are always adding new levels, characters and freebies. If you are a Doctor Who fan this game is a must! Cannot wait to see what comes next!

You can find out more by visiting the developers website or by visiting the Apple App Store.

And for those who may be wondering below is a screenshot of one of my favorite teams:

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Excerpt from GRAND MASTER’S PAWN

It is my honor to present an excerpt from the novel GRAND MASTER’S PAWN by Aurora Springer, which is being released in 4 parts.

She flipped her laser on low beam to illuminate the cave. Two large golden eyes gleamed only a few paces in front of her. As her sight adjusted to the dim light, she perceived the eyes were set on a long narrow head. The head swung from side to side in a mesmerizing motion.
Violet blinked, and the rest of the large animal became clear. His bulky body loomed above her head. He had four legs, and a long thin tail curled around his clawed feet. The beast shifted position uneasily. A great leathery wing lifted on one side, while his other wing drooped at an unnatural angle. Ythris was a dragon.
The dragon swung his great head to peer at her, perplexed by her lack of fear. Violet was fascinated. At last, she stood next to one of the fabled dragon lords of Sythos. A fleeting nudge at her collar marked the Grand Master’s interest.
“Your wing is injured,” she said, reaching out her hand in sympathy.
His head recoiled and Ythris hissed in distaste, “You are a Vron, an ugly human!”
“Yes, I am a human. I have permission to venture onto your lands,” Violet said firmly, refusing to be overawed by the huge dragon. “Will you permit me to examine your broken wing, Ythris?”
The dragon’s luminous eyes blinked, and his head curled round to stare at the unusable wing, “I have little choice. No one else has replied to my calls for help.” His head swiveled until his long nose almost touched her face. Violet noted the curved white fangs protruding from his jaws and the flat black scales over his narrow face. He was deadly, yet she did not fear him.
“I am pleased to meet a dragon lord,” she said, emoting reassurance.
Ythris placed his clawed forelimb on her shoulder, and she stood motionless, feeling the sharp claw tips prick her skin even through the insulated suit. “You do not fear a dragon lord?” he said, emitting intense curiosity.
Violet shook her head, “No, you’re hurt and need my help. Why should I fear you?”
“Many people fear Ythris the Black!” the dragon hissed, and swished his tail from side to side to demonstrate his ferocity.

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A thousand years in the future, instant travel via portals links the civilized planets. Now, portals fail at random and wars disturb the outer planets. Do the powerful Grand Masters conspire to disrupt galactic civilization? Drink tea with the White Mother Tingu, soar through the skies with dragon lord Ythris, and slip through a portal to explore another planet. Follow the adventures of Violet Hunter as she explores unknown planets, while pursuing the truth about the mysterious Grand Masters.
Violet Hunter seems an ordinary student, graduating with a master’s degree in xenobiology from the Terran Space Academy. In secret, she is a trained empath, and the unwitting catalyst of her father’s prophesy. One Grand Master took the risk and selected the girl with the star mark on her forehead. He gets more than he expected. Violet is an impudent and disobedient pawn, but her secret talents lead to successful missions. She gains new powers, strange allies and snatches clues to the identity of the Grand Masters. Violet is hurled into explosive conflicts with her adversaries, while the galaxy flies toward chaos. Will she survive the confrontation?

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Parts 1 – 3 of Grand Master’s Pawn are now available from Amazon, with part 4 coming soon.

Grand Master’s Pawn, part 1
Grand Master’s Pawn, part 2
Grand Master’s Pawn, part 3
Grand Master’s Pawn, Part 4 coming soon

About the author:

After a career in science, Aurora achieved her life-long ambition to publish novels. Her published works include science fiction and fantasy with romance and a sprinkle of humor. Aurora was born in the UK and now lives in Atlanta with her husband, a dog and two cats, who are always sitting on her laptop. Aurora’s hobbies, besides reading and writing, include outdoor activities like watching wildlife, hiking and canoeing.

You can find out more about Aurora and her writing via her Blog, her author page on Amazon.
You can connect her via social media as well through Facebook, Twitter and Google+

Excerpt from Saving Grace

It is my pleasure to share with you an excerpt from Saving Grace, the fourth story in the Amazing Grace series by author Misa Buckley.

Emery put his mug down. “Okay, so what now? We are gonna go get her out of there, right?”

Cupping his drink in his hands, Benedict considered the situation. Just the thought of Grace at Hammel, subjected to their horrific tests, made his blood run cold. Emery was right- they had to get her out. But that meant going in there himself, and he wasn’t sure he could. It wasn’t what they’d done to him, but what they’d made him do to others. He’d killed someone. Her name had been Eloise Suarez, and he’d burnt out her mind. And she was who he remembered killing–there was a good chance that there were others he couldn’t.

That he didn’t want to remember.

Shaking his head, he spoke in a low voice. “I can’t go into Hammel.”

Emery sat straighter. “What do you mean, can’t? You did it before.”

“And look where that got us!” Benedict took a breath and raked a hand through his hair. “I want Grace back. But if they have her, then they’ll be expecting a rescue attempt. They have a suppression field that dampens abilities. Not even I’m strong enough to counteract it. The only person who’s been able to manage that is Grace.”

“And she’s in a tank,” Charity said.

The thought made Benedict ill. “Yes.”

“We have to do something,” Emery stated.

“Don’t you think I know that? I know what they’ll do to her, what they’re probably already doing. Do you imagine I’d be sitting here if I’d any idea of how to get her out?” Benedict glared at the other man, frustration mingling with guilt. He wanted to act, but so had Grace and look where that had gotten her. “I’m no coward, Emery. But Hammel turned me into a weapon and I will not allow them to do so again. You know what they made me do. Now consider that used against you or Charity.”

 

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With Grace held at Hammel, it’s down to her lover Benedict Thomas and the other “abnormals” he and Grace rescued to return the favour. Yet going back to the institute holds a special danger for Benedict – it was there that his powers were used to “train” others… and to kill those who didn’t make the grade.

Facing the nightmare of his past is one thing, but there is another that worries him even more: that he is playing right into the hands of the enemy.

You can purchase the story from the following retail outlets:

Champagne
Kindle
AllRomance

You can learn more about Misa and her writing by visiting her website or you can follow her on Twitter!

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