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Sunday Special: Happy Father’s Day

light sunset people water
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Wow! Talk about time flying by. It must be moving at WARP speed these days since we’re half way through June–almost halfway

through 2018.

Today is Father’s Day here. It doesn’t take much to be a father– a shot in the dark as they used to say–but it takes a very special man to be a dad, and that’s the kind of men we honor today.

On this day, we honor the men in our lives who have made a significant difference, men like my father, my husband, and all the others who put themselves out there to support their families in every way possible. They work to put food on the table and supply the day to day necessities, the things we all take for granted until we have to provide them ourselves.

action athletes ball barbed wires
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So here’s to the guy who changes diapers, the one who helps clean the house and do laundry, the one who does outside maintenance, and still has time to tie shoes or take the kids to the park. Here’s to the one who taught you to throw a ball, swim, or skate, the one who coaches soccer, T-ball, softball, baseball, hockey, and more. The one who umps or refs, long after his own kids aren’t playing anymore. Here’s to the guy who loves and will protect his little princesses with everything in him, and will stand by his sons through thick and thin.

woman holding her child walking near windmills
Photo by Josh Willink on Pexels.com

Here’s to the read dads out there, and the women who take on both roles, because sometimes a mom has to be a dad, too.

Happy Father’s Day!

 

 

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Friday’s Featured Author: Samantha Anne and her re-released novel, KIRBY

books in black wooden book shelf
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Join me in welcoming, Samantha Anne, a former Crimson Romance author like myself who’s elected to re-release her novel, Kirby.

Thanks for joining me today, Samantha. I know why I’ve decided to re-release my Crimson novels, but why did you choose to re-release Kirby?

I really wanted to give Kirby new life after my original publisher, Crimson Romance,
shut its doors earlier this year. It’s a really fun read that I’m happy to say has made quite
a few people giggle and happy-sigh! I decided to re-launch it on my own because there is
also so much more I can do with it now that I have the rights to myself.
I can certainly agree with that. What do you hope to do with Kirby now that the book is all yours again?

I’m working on adapting the story into a screenplay, because a lot of readers have said
that they can see it on screen (I admit, I can too!). I also want to ultimately release an
audiobook version, and – well, there’s one more surprise that I’m working on (at the
persistent request of readers who have already devoured Kirby), but you’ll have to wait
until the book comes out!

Everyone loves a surprise.  Any fun facts about Kirby that you would like to share?

• Kirby started out as a defunct screenplay that sat in the bottom of a blue bin in my
closet for close to five years. 2012’s So You Think You Can Write contest came
around, and I decided immediately that I wanted to participate. What ended up
happening was that Kirby was written from start to finish in 12 days!
• The man who inspired the hero (assuming he hasn’t tossed it, of course!) has not only
a copy of the original edition, but also has an early treatment that I wrote for the
screenplay. The latter was not my best work, so I’m fairly certain that made it into the
trash. But see below to find out who exactly inspired the book’s hero, Joe “AJ”
Pavon.

Interesting. It’s always nice to have someone to inspire a character.  Who inspired your  two main characters?
• Rachel was always meant to be an amalgam of myself (well, who I wanted to be) and
Anne Hathaway, though lately I’ve “dream casted” actress Jessica Stroup if it should
ever make it to screen.
• Joe “AJ” Pavon, forever known as Hottie McCoffeehouse in the pages of Kirby, was
100% inspired by Joe Manganiello. The teasing smile he gave me when I told him (I
fangirl-traveled to see him perform in a play in Connecticut) reinforced how happy I
am that I did. 😉

Meeting our heroes in real-life is certainly a thrill. How do you get inspired to write?

Sometimes, music does it. Other times, people-watching is a sure fire way to get me
going. Then of course there are times where inspiration pops up out of nowhere! Those
days are why I have a notebook on me at all times.
I find places can be great sources of inspiration.  What’s the best thing about being a writer?
The best thing for me is being able to clean my brain out on a daily basis. Sometimes, just
having the ability to write my thoughts out is a huge blessing. When someone reads it and either relates or enjoys it, well – that’s just ten times more awesome.
On that we can agree. Talking about your book with someone who read and enjoyed it is definitely the ultimate thrill.  What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
I tell everyone the same thing that was told to me: Write. Seek inspiration. Then write
more.

Any final words?

Thanks so much for supporting the re-release of my first Contemporary
Romance and 2014 Rone Award Nominee, Kirby!

Kirby, is up for pre-sale. 

Blurb:

Kirby Front Cover 2018“What she wanted to find was her heart’s desire. What she found was her sassiest self – and Hottie McCoffeehouse.”
Rachel Sirianni is a twenty-seven-year-old native New Yorker with dreams of becoming an editor for Equinox Publishing, one of the top imprints in the city. And it seems she’s finally gotten her foot in the door, until one wild morning turns her fast track into an uphill climb.
Unable to pay her bills, she takes an unlikely second job to make ends meet and finds herself struggling to maintain two lives – her own, and that of her alter ego. Kirby is a sassy, imaginative, and extroverted fireball whom Rachel had no idea was lying dormant inside of her.
Enter Joe, a larger-than-life, brutally hot writer with a heart of gold. Rachel can’t seem to control herself around him, despite the fact that she’s sworn off men until she can get her career back on track. Their backgrounds and interests very nearly run parallel, and the Universe seems to keep pulling the pair together – in every aspect of Rachel’s life.
What happens when two worlds collide, particularly where it concerns Joe? The ride of her life may just lead to love – or it could lead back to the drawing board.

The Amazon Pre-Sale begins today June 15th! Click here to order: https://amzn.to/2Mn0xcT

Excerpt

“I’m screwed.” Rachel sat across a small round table from her best friend Camille, as they both sipped from two abundantly filled glasses of riesling. Camille raised an eyebrow and gave her a smirk. “You make it sound like a bad thing.” Rachel pursed her lips and fought a smile. “Cami, I’m serious! I’m only making a dollar more an hour than I was at StarChefs.” “I thought we were here to celebrate,” Camille teased, “You’re in the company you’ve wanted to work for since freshman year. So you’ve got to start back at the beginning. Suck it up and wow them, now! And if that doesn’t work, just sleep your way to the top.” Rachel snickered and tilted her head to one side. “Cami, please.” Camille gave Rachel a wink and turned to hail their waiter. “Don’t you worry Rach, we’ll make this week disappear and you can start fresh on Monday.” Rachel smiled at her best friend. Camille had just turned thirty, and somehow seemed more worldly than most women ten years her senior. The fact that she was a fashion photographer might have had something to do with it. She’d been to many different countries, and had met some of the world’s most interesting people. The way Cami told it, the most interesting were usually found in back alley bars, local watering holes, and hole-in-the-wall pubs. She’d seen it all, done it all, and captured it all. Buying Cami a glass of wine would get you hours of some of the best stories ever told — and Rachel got to hear them all for free. A waiter approached and filled their glasses once more. Camille held her glass up to toast Rachel. “To the finest junior editor the publishing world has ever seen,” she announced with a smile, tossing her thick ash blond locks behind her shoulder. Rachel blushed. “The finest almost junior editor.” “Semantics,” Camille replied with a sly smile, “Your future is set, and I say that it’s so. Now clink my glass and drink already!” Rachel laughed and saluted her buddy, taking a long, satisfying sip. Camille studied her closely, and allowed herself a serious moment. “Honey, listen,” she said, placing a comforting hand on Rachel’s forearm, “This may be a setback, but it’s a minor one. I know how talented you are, and I know how much you love books and the business. You will get the position you were hired for; I know it. You’re already a star, now you’ve just got to prove it.” Rachel smiled. “Thanks, Cam. And thanks for dinner! I’m not going to need to eat until Monday! Then again, I can’t really afford to.”
“Now, now, enough of the pity party,” Camille chided, “You know if you need money I
can lend it to you. It comes with an open-ended payback policy, and zero interest.”
“Thanks, but I think I’m just going to have to find another job again.”
Rachel breathed a heavy sigh at the mention of a second job; she was so tired of it! Losing sleep
to barely get by wasn’t her idea of living life. She’d expected to have that under control by now.
But, it was the price one often paid to live their dream.
“It’s only six months,” Camille insisted, “You can make it. You’ll be fine by the end of
the year.”
Rachel leaned back, stretching her arms. “God, I hope so. I’m pretty much over the four
hours of sleep routine.”
Cami took a long sip from her wine glass. “You can get through it. What you can’t do,
however, is be late again.”
Rachel nodded, giving a yawn. “Let’s call it a night. Or at least let’s get a bottle to go and
watch some movies at my place.”
“Is the roommate home?”
“Nope, she just left on an improv tour.”
Camille stood. “Throw in a couple of Diane Keaton movies and I’m there.”
Rachel grinned. “Annie Hall?”
“Annie Hall.”

SM_picAbout the Author:

Samantha Anne is the author of Kirby and Company Ink (nominated for a 2014 Rone Award and a 2016 Rone Award Finalist, respectively) and has been writing Contemporary Romance since 2013. She grew up writing fan fiction for her friends (dubbed ‘Daydreams’) and their first book boyfriends, as a result, included the likes of Joey McIntyre, Kevin Richardson, and JC Chasez.
Her writing style was built on a healthy diet of Anne Rice, Nora Ephron, Amy Heckerling, GarryMarshall twisted with the comedic stylings of Mel Brooks and National Lampoon set to the tune of The Ramones, David Bowie, Bon Jovi, and Joan Jett, and it often shows in her work.
When she’s not writing about flawed heroines and their charming love interests, Samantha loves playing bass, baking, feeding her friends, podcasting, singing and drowning in Disney movies and 80’s/90’s pop culture. Learn more about her at http://www.samantha-anne.net

Social Media Links
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/author.samantha.anne
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thatrtchik/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/SamiAnneRT
Twitter: https://twitter.com/samiannert
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SamanthaAnneAuthor

Posted in IWSG Monthly, Uncategorized

Insecure Writer’s Support Group Monthly Post

THERE ARE TWO POSTS TODAY, SOMETHING OI DO EVERY NOW AND THEN. PLEASE READ DOWN TO FIND TODAY’S MIDWEEK TEASE.

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeWelcome to the June edition of the IWSG’s monthly blog post. This is open to all writers. Click on the link below for more information. While your post doesn’t have to be about the question, one is always provided.

June 6 question – What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Interesting question. Until recently, that is the ‘cockygate’ thing and trademarking issues, I never had a problem with titles. It didn’t bother me to find other authors had selected the same title that I had–in fact, I never checked to see if there were books out there with the title I’d chosen, because it wouldn’t occur to me to try to trademark words. Am I naive? Maybe. For example, there are several books called Fire Angel and variations of it, just like there are many Echoes of the Past out there, including one written by a close friend. I don’t worry my readers can’t find my books because my name’s there, too. Will I be concerned about titles in the future? Probably, although I have no idea where one would look to see if a title or series name had been trademarked.

As far as names go, I usually name the hero or heroine after friends, but sometimes I just pick a name I’ve heard and like. I can’t name babies anymore, so book babies are the closest I’ll get.

Looking forward to hearing how others are dealing with this. Have a great Wednesday.  Check the sign-up list for other great posts and answers to this question. http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

 

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Friday’s Featured Author: Connie Ann Michael

Welcome to another Friday’s featured Author. Once more, I bring you one of Anaiah’s Press’s authors.  These inspirational novels are good for all ages.

FORGOTTEN-1600x2400T

Publisher: Anaiah Press

Genre: Inspirational Young Adult

BLURB:

Oli left the safety of her home to spread God’s word to a world that’s forgotten He exists. She never expected to become a pawn between a mother she thought was dead and two competing sanctuaries, all of whom see her as nothing more than a tool to gain more power. But when the Governor shows up to take Oli back to the barrier, she discovers a horrible truth: her mother used Oli as a bartering chip to save herself, and she’s about to do it again.

Oli finds an ally in a scarred boy named Matty—and now he’s her only hope of survival. Unfortunately, the only way to safety is to head into a city full of Screamers. Along the way, they encounter Luca, a man who realizes Oli’s true potential, and he’s going to use her to cement his position as a powerful leader.

Forced to go The Station, a true house of horrors that might hold the answer to the illness, Oli must save her friends and get out before she becomes the next test subject.

You can pick up a copy of Forgotten from Amazon!

https://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Screamers-Book-Connie-Michael-ebook/dp/B07BF4PQWM

10431934956741AUTHOR BIO:

Connie was born and raised in Seattle Washington but recently moved to Montana. She lives with her husband and her two dogs and enjoys any activity which will get her outdoors. Connie has two sons who have successfully graduated from college.

 

Find her at her WEBSITE, Facebook, or on  Twitter.

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Midweek Tease : On His Watch, Vengeance Is Mine Series, Book One

MWTease15Welcome back to the Midweek Tease. Thanks to Angelica Dawson and all the lovely and talented authors who participate in the blog hop each week.

Today, I bring you another scene from On His Watch, Book One of the Vengeance Is Mine Series.

Nikki smiled and closed the bedroom door. She crossed the hall to the children’s bathroom. How could one small girl make such a mess? She took the basket hanging from a hook on the wall and tossed in the dolls and other essentials Mandy needed to take a bath. She hung the forest-green towels on the bar, sprayed and wiped down the tub, and put away the hair dryer, her On His Watchmind traveling a mile a minute as she worked.

She glanced at the clock on the counter. Eight-fifty. Normally, her husband’s clinic closed at eight, but Sam had called earlier and said an emergency had come in. He’d sounded tense, so she suspected the injury must be a bad one.

Satisfied the children’s bathroom was as clean as she could get it, she turned on the nightlight and went down the hall to the master bedroom. She removed her clothes and donned the new royal blue silk lounge pajamas she’d bought last week in Santa Rosa when she’d gone in for her prenatal visit. The baby bump was barely visible beneath the loose, flowing top.

She hadn’t gained a lot of weight with this pregnancy, but she was older, and everything seemed a little harder than five years ago when she’d carried Mandy. She was tired a lot of the time—too tired to spend much time on her artwork—but she rested a bit during the day while Mandy and her older brother, Danny, played quietly indoors.

This child, whom they’d tentatively named Kylie Elizabeth, was unexpected, and although Sam had been upset when he’d learned she was pregnant again, he’d slowly come around. He seemed happy about the prospect of another daughter.

Moving here had been the right thing to do. Sam seemed more relaxed than he’d been since before they’d left San Francisco. He’d let her help decorate the clinic, and she handled the reception on his secretary’s day off. They were almost a team again, the way they’d been before they’d married. He worked hard to make the clinic a success and while she admired her husband’s skills as a physician, as a father he had a lot to learn.

Could his age have something to do with that? He was welcoming daughters when his friends were welcoming granddaughters. There’d been a few of his colleagues from the hospital at their wedding, but she didn’t think she’d ever met a friend of Sam’s who wasn’t involved with the hospital or the clinic in some way. He didn’t golf or fish, and he wasn’t much of a sports fan. Before moving to Larosa, he’d spent most of his time at the hospital. Now, he spent his days at the clinic. She couldn’t remember the last time he’d taken a weekend off. He needed to spend more time with his kids and get to know them.

She stepped into the adjacent bathroom, brushed her chin-length copper hair, checked it for signs of tell-tale gray, and pushed it behind her ears. One of the perks of being a redhead was her hair would lighten, but not necessarily turn gray. She’d taken a chance, cut a foot off it a few weeks back, and liked it this way. Sam hadn’t been happy and he’d voiced his displeasure loudly, but after admonishing her never to do it again, he’d relented, another sign that life might be better for all of them here.

Nikki added a fresh coat of mascara to her hazel eyes and touched up her lipstick. Slight swelling was part and parcel of this pregnancy, and her hands and feet were puffy tonight. When she tried to remove her rings, they wouldn’t budge. She would take them off before bed—a little soap and water should do the trick—and ask Sam to put her diamond in the safe until after the baby was born. As an afterthought, she spritzed the air with her favorite perfume and walked through the mist. If Sam wasn’t too tired, maybe they could talk about getting away as a family for a few days next month, maybe plan a visit to the San Francisco Zoo over the Columbus Day Weekend. There was a new baby orangutan the kids would love to see.

The sound of breaking glass coming from downstairs shattered the stillness. Nikki tensed. Had the sound come from the kitchen? Had she left a window open? She’d shut the bedroom window a few moments ago because the wind had picked up and its whistling sound bothered her. Could it have knocked over the crystal vase of roses Sam had sent her this morning? Perhaps Mrs. Olsen’s tabby had jumped in the window and knocked the vase over. The cat had been a regular visitor when the previous owners had lived here, and he saw no reason to curtail his visits. She’d almost had a heart attack the last time he entered, bringing her a gift—a dead mouse—and Danny had laughed himself silly at “Mommy’s girliness.” Sam, not an animal lover, had threatened to poison the animal if it came into the house again. If the cat had broken the vase, its days were numbered.

She swallowed and wring her hands. What if she was wrong and there was someone in the house?

Recently, she’d noticed an influx of strangers in town, some looking more unkempt than others. There were plenty of family campers, migrant workers looking for work in the vineyards, but every now and then, she’d seen so-called gold prospectors combing the Larosa Hills. Trudy, Mandy’s best friend Lily’s mother, had said they were harmless but to a girl like Nikki from San Francisco, dirty, half-starved men meant trouble. They could easily be junkies desperately needing a fix.

She took a deep breath. She didn’t hear any other suspicious sounds. As Sam would say, she was letting her imagination run wild. Most likely it was one of Larosa’s minor quakes that had caused a glass to slip off the table. Just a few miles off the San Andreas Fault, the town was constantly trembling. She barely noticed the Earth’s slight shaking anymore.

Even though she’d convinced herself nothing was amiss, Nikki tiptoed to the guest room, got down on all fours, and peeked under the bed. Mandy was asleep. The child slept like the dead once she was out. Nikki reached for the flashlight, turned it off, and used the bed to leverage her body upright again.

She picked up the cellphone she’d left on the dresser earlier, made sure it was on in case Sam called, and dropped it into the right pocket of her pajama top. Carrying the flashlight, she slipped out of the room, closing the door softly behind her.

Maybe getting a dog was a good idea. Not only would it offer protection, it would keep the damn cat out of the house.

Nikki stood still in the hallway and listened. The only thing she could hear was the sound of the television in the den. Someone was buying a vowel.

You can get On His Watch from Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D3RKDLK

Now check out the rest of this week’s teasers.

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Mother’s Day Book Fair: Find Something Great to Read

Banner Mothers Day Book FairAmidst all the hoopla of today’s world, all the negativity abounding, it’s nice to be able to take one day to pay tribute to one of the two people responsible for our birth. As a friend put it–the woman picks up the ball, runs with it, and scores the touchdown.

Not everyone celebrates Mother’s Day on May 13 this year. If you’re curious about who does, here’s the list.

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bonaire, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Cuba, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Pakistan, Papa New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sint Maarten, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay, Vietnam, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe

If your country isn’t among those named above, don’t be concerned. I’m sure you simply celebrate on another day of the year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take part in this wonderful chance to find a new author to enjoy.

Sometimes, it’s nice to retreat into a book and, if only for a short time, become part of something else, letting the world around you manage on its own.  Escape isn’t always the answer. Sometimes we have to deal with the clutter and confusion, but after we do, we all need a break. Reading can be that break regardless of the kind of book you like to read.

Since the book fair takes place in Australia, today is tomorrow for me. International authors have selected some of their best work just for you. Like contemporary romance? Prefer mystery and sci-fi in it? How about historical romance? Or maybe steampunk is your thing. There’s definitely something for everyone, so click on the link and have fun. Book prices range from free to $2.99.

Enjoy!

http://irisblobel.com/bookfair052018/

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Midweek Tease: A Tidbit from the New Vengeance Is Mine Series: On His Watch

MWTease15Good morning and welcome to this week’s Midweek Tease. Thanks to Angelica Dawson for making this possible each week.

As you may recall, I’m waiting to re-release three of my books. These were published by Crimson Romance and since Simon and Schuster has closed the imprint, I was able to gets my rights back. Now, it’s just a matter of revising the books and waiting for the originals to come down so I can get my grown-up babies out there again. Here’s one of the new scenes from On His Watch, Book One of my Vengeance Is Mine Series. It has a pretty new cover, too.  Re-branding these as romantic thrillers with new scenes.

On His Watch“Son of a bitch!” Jason Spark cursed for the umpteenth time, running his hand through his hair. How the hell had he gotten himself into this mess? He should’ve spent the night in Sacramento with Anderson, the other agent on vacation this week. They’d flown out together and Jason had offered him a ride. Whoever said it never rained in California must’ve been a tourist.

This early spring storm was one of the worst he’d ever seen. Would’ve been nice if Rick had mentioned it when he’d called him after his plane had landed in Frisco. The weather there had been fine. It was amazing how quickly things had changed.

So far tonight, he’d skirted several fender-benders along Highway 101 as he’d traveled west from the capital city. The deeper into the hills he drove, the nastier it got. As much as he needed a change, he didn’t intend for it to be permanent. The last thing he wanted to do was exchange his gun and badge for a halo and a harp. Who was he kidding? If he was going to trade them in, it would probably be for fire, brimstone, and a pitchfork.

He pulled off the main highway onto Dry Creek Road and had traveled no more than a dozen miles when a flash of lightning illuminated the sky. In the distance he could see the road blocked by a large tree. The news lately had been full of images of torrential downpours complete with mudslides and flashfloods. He couldn’t imagine a worse fate than being buried alive.

He sighed. The last thing he wanted to do was get out of the nice warm cab to pull a tree off the road, but it didn’t look as if he had much choice. The damn thing blocked both lanes.

Tapping his Bluetooth, he contacted his brother.

“Rick, it’s me. It looks like I’m going to be later than I expected,” he said. “Don’t wait dinner for me.”

“How are the roads?”

“Like shit. Would’ve been nice if you’d told me I should’ve requested an ark from the rental place rather than a truck.”

Rick laughed. “It’s just a little rain. Don’t be a wimp.”

“A little rain, my ass. Noah probably didn’t have this much to cope with. Listen, you should know there’s a tree down on Dry Creek Road. I’ll pull it to the side enough to pass, but you should send … What the hell?” He stopped the truck, slammed the gears into park, and turned on his brights, not that they helped much with the way it was coming down. “Rick, it looks like the tree hit a car. I’m going to get out and have a look, but you’d better send someone a.s.a.p.”

“I’ll send a tow truck. Let me know if you’ll need an ambo. Where are you?” he asked, the humor gone from his voice.

“About a dozen miles from the cut-off. I’ll call back when I know more.”

Now, please check out the rest of this week’s teases.

#MidWeekTease May 9, 2018