Interview Roulette: E.J. Russell

It’s E.J. Russell’s turn at the wheel!


  1. When it comes to travel, do you prefer to plan everything or play it by ear?
    1. I discovered something unexpected about myself after my husband and I stupidly bought a timeshare: I hate to travel. I had probably tried to ignore this odd kick in my gallop because there are a lot of places I’d love to be—I just don’t want to endure getting there. I don’t find the process of travel relaxing. I get so tangled up in logistics—how will we get to the airport, how will we get from the airport, what about a rental car, what if we don’t get a rental car, and on and on and on—that I can’t enjoy the destination. So when travel looms, hell yes I plan it. It’s the only way to survive!
  2. Which Disney character most closely resembles you?
    1. Probably Bagheera in the first animated Jungle Book—a little uptight, always trying to plan for the benefit of his charge (Mowgli) and counteract the—shall we say, less structured?—parenting style of Baloo. Although if we’re talking about what character I would be cast to portray… Many years ago, when I was still acting, whenever I saw a play or movie with my other actor friends, they would lean over and say, “Ellen, that’s your part.” Usually, these would be quirky, awkward, or just plain weird characters. (What can I say? I was a type.). When I saw James and the Giant Peach, I could imagine them leaning over when the aunts demand, “Where’s our peach?” and saying, “Ellen, those are your parts!”
  3. What invention would you love to see created in order to make your life easier?
    1. I would dearly love a brain-to-laptop interface, so that when I think about a scene, it’s immediately translated to the page without any pesky typing or dictation needed.
  4. Say you met your all-time favorite celebrity, would you play it cool? Or would you utterly humiliate yourself?
    1. My all-time favorite celebrity is someone I couldn’t hope to meet because (sadly) the world lost him many years ago. But if gifted with a trip in the TARDIS, I’d choose to meet Harpo Marx in his heyday for two reasons—first, because I think he was brilliant. Second, because we could conduct our meeting entirely wordlessly—with whistles, horns, ocarinas, charades, and a variety of over-the-top grimaces. This would work perfectly for me, because whenever I meet anyone I’m remotely intimidated by (in other words, everyone), I’m completely incapable of putting together intelligible sentences. Or, if it’s going well, my voice suddenly goes hoarse and I spend all my time coughing as they edge away.
  5. Which holiday is your favorite and why?
    1. This is a tough one because most holidays are weighed down with traditions or expectations that don’t resonate with me. Also, many of them involve celebrations of some type and I’m so not a party person. Thanksgiving? Nope, because I hate cooking and an entire day devoted to a giant meal is not my idea of a good time. Christmas? Now that my kids all live across the country, Christmas has become a logistical conundrum (see answer #1), so nope. New Year’s Eve? Nope, nope, nopity-nope. Party + alcohol + staying up late is a triple threat for me. And as for my birthday? Oh, hell nope. My idea of the perfect holiday, regardless of where it actually falls in the calendar, is a day where I don’t have to worry about outside commitments, where I can relax, perhaps with a (very) few loved ones/friends, and we design our own festivities—even if they just involve watching The Incredibles or The Holiday for the umpteenth time, mimosas optional.
  6. One of your books is being made into a movie. Who would you cast for the major roles?
    1. If Stumptown Spirits were to be made into a movie, I’d cast Dylan O’Brien as Riley and Tyler Hoechlin as Logan, since I was totally shipping Sterek when I wrote the book!
  7. If you could go back in time and change something in your life, what would it be?
    1. When I was eight years old, I fell down in dance class and broke my front teeth. As a result, I wouldn’t go back to class. If I could change anything, I’d change the impulse to do that stupid tour jeté in tap shoes (when I had no clue what I was doing)—or failing that, to put the incident behind me and keep taking lessons. I’ve always regretted not learning to dance.


Book blurb:

The Artist’s Touch

(Art Medium #1)

Two men haunted by more than the past.

Painter Stefan Cobbe was homeless and debt-ridden after the death of his wealthy partner, but the worst loss of all was his artistic inspiration. After two years of nothing, he’s offered patronage by an eccentric gallery owner and starts to produce again, canvas after canvas. The only problem? He can’t remember painting any of them—not one single brushstroke.

Luke Morganstern’s reputation as an art-fraud investigator is in tatters. He can’t afford to turn down any job, even a lousy one for an anonymous client who sends him after an unidentified forger in a remote cabin in Oregon. When the alleged forger turns out to be Stefan, the man he never stopped loving, Luke’s professional ethics are stretched beyond the breaking point.

As the two men take tentative steps toward reconciliation, evidence begins to mount that they’re not alone in the woods. Someone—or something—is watching. Something with sinister plans for them both. To escape, Luke must overcome his suspicions and Stefan must trust Luke with his deepest fears. Otherwise they could forfeit their relationship, their sanity—and their lives.

Publisher’s note: This is a heavily revised and significantly expanded reprint of Northern Light. The second book in the Art Medium series, Tested In Fire, is a first edition. Both are sold together in both ebook and print collections.



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Author bio:

E.J. Russell –grace, mother of three, recovering actor–writes romance in a rainbow of flavors. Count on high snark, low angst, and happy endings.

Reality? Eh, not so much.

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Interview Roulette: Lou Hoffman

Let’s watch Lou Hoffman spin the wheel!


  1. What was your favorite school subject? Least favorite?

I loved Phys Ed, English, and Spanish. I liked school. I can’t think of a least favorite—oh, maybe “health” in junior high. I actually loved math, but disliked geometry, and loved science but disliked dissecting things. I had a hard time in music classes, but that was because, due to my parents’ religion, I wasn’t allowed to participate in anything that had to do with a holiday, so I always felt like an outsider. Art might have been my least favorite, but not because I didn’t like crayons, paints, pastels, and pa·pier mâ·ché. I loved those things. But it always seemed like art classes were really for “cool” kids who knew they were talented. Again, I didn’t feel part of things, and was always a bit embarrassed just to be there. It wasn’t until after I was out of school that I realized I had sufficient talent and vision to, if nothing more, at least create music and art and enjoy it. It’s one of the things I try to instill in the young people in my life—your talent, your ability, your creativity are unique. Don’t be caught in the trap of false comparisons. That other person’s ideas and work are different, but that doesn’t mean better.

  1. Aliens kidnap you and put you in a zoo. What does the sign on your cage say?

Beware: Caffeine is fed automatically. Do not disrupt the supply. 😊

  1. What is a positive personality quality you share with one of your characters?

Wow! That’s a harder question than I’d like to admit. I think I’ll choose Lucky, the main character in The Sun Child Chronicles, for my source. He finds himself in a lot of unfamiliar, challenging situations, and he’s not very confident. Almost always, in the clutch, he’s able to disregard his fears and do what he knows to be necessary, especially if someone else’s safety or wellbeing depend on it. So far, in life, I’ve been able to do that most of the time too. I always wonder when I’ll fail, but hope that I won’t.

  1. Aside from the country you live in now, which country can you best picture yourself living in?

Canada. I only live about 150 miles south of the border. I love what I’ve seen of the country—although that hasn’t been much. I have friends who live there, and my father’s parents (and several more generations back) were from Quebec and Ontario. The country has better (though not perfect) health care and social welfare systems. They still have significantly poor policies dealing with the aboriginal populations, and I’d say they need to work harder at environmental protection, but on the other hand, they do have a diverse, active native community and a lot of open or sparsely populated land. And it’s where Nanaimo bars came from. 😊

Nanaimo Bar Recipe (

Bottom Layer

½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ c. finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ pan.

Second Layer

½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer

4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.


  1. Should he stay or should he go?

If he’s in the upside down, he go back to the world above and demand justice for Barb. She’s my home girl. 😊


  1. We all know about those big prizes such as the Nobel and Pulitzer and Academy Award. If someone invented a new prize that you were a shoo-in to win, what would it be?


The “It-Seemed-Normal-To-Me,” award, which is given to an author who writes really strange stuff but doesn’t realize how weird it is until someone points it out.


  1. What’s the worst disaster that ever happened to you (or one of your characters) while traveling?


I actually had a pretty awful disaster a number of years ago, when I was driving a rental car on a turnpike in New England and had a major wreck. Like I said, it was awful, but nobody was killed or even very seriously injured, and my car missed the gas pumps by a foot or so, so it could have been worse.

That said, poor Lucky has a disaster every time he goes anywhere. When he’s tried to travel by Portal of Naught (like a doorway to another dimension), it’s gone wrong. He’s gotten stuck in one and emerged close to where he started in the middle of disastrous circumstances instead of where he was going, and another time he emerged in a cave where the exit to the world had collapsed. During his adventures in Wraith Queen’s Veil, he got attacked by a pack of large wild cats whose bite and scratch are venomous, got kidnapped and imprisoned, lost his uncle to a broken leg and an ice floe, got separated from his friends, visited a dead queen who knits the names of the dead all day, and then had to help fight a wingless dragon. Oh my.


  1. Pretend you’re a character in your latest book. Give us the paragraph in which the reader is first introduced to you.


The wizard Thurlock glanced at the older woman as she joined the informal war council taking place on the green. Lucky saw his frown, and thought it probably meant he was perplexed. Lucky felt perplexed too—like he should know her but didn’t know why. Gray hair, glasses, short, wearing pajamas in the day time—she could have been a writer, or maybe a grandmother, though he was pretty sure she wasn’t his. She looked a little too normal for Ethra, anyway. That should have comforted Lucky, since he was always hoping for normal, but it didn’t, and that only made him more uneasy.

Han, always protective, stepped forward to stop her before she got too close. “Excuse me, ma’am. What is your business with the Suth Chiell?”

“Uh… I don’t have any. I was hoping to talk to Thurlock.”

“Did you make an appointment?”

“Well, no. But—”

Thurlock interrupted. “What is it, Ms.… “

“Lou. My name’s Lou.”

“What can I help you with?”

“Sir,” Lou said, looking embarrassed. “I came to offer my magic for the cause.”

“You have magic?”

“I do. I know I do, but, well, that’s just it. I can’t remember where I put it.”


Book 1, Key of Behliseth: On his way to meet a fate he’d rather avoid, homeless gay teen Lucky steps through a wizard’s door and is caught up in a whirlwind quest and an ancient war. He tries to convince himself that his involvement with sword fights, magic, and interworld travel is a fluke, and that ice-breathing dragons and fire-breathing eagles don’t really exist. But with each passing hour, he remembers more about who he is and where he’s from, and with help, he begins to claim his power.

Lucky might someday rule a nation, but before he can do that, he must remember his true name, accept his destiny, and master his extraordinary abilities. Only then can he help to banish the evil that has invaded earth and find his way home—through a gateway to another world.

Book 2, Wraith Queen’s Veil: When Lucky arrives in Ethra, the world of his birth and destiny, he expects a joyful reunion, but the first thing he notices when he reaches the Sisterhold—his home—is something false behind his mother’s smile. In a matter of weeks, the Sisterhold becomes agitated with worries and war plans. People he trusts—like the wizard Thurlock—frequently can’t be found. His mother seems angry, especially with Lucky. Even Han Shieth, the warrior uncle he has come to rely on and love above all others, maintains a sullen silence toward him.

When Lucky’s resentment builds to the breaking point, his bad decisions put him and his friends, L’Aria and Zhevi, in unthinkable danger. Han arrives to help, but he can’t claim invulnerability to the hazards and evils that threaten at every turn. Events launch Lucky, alone, on a quest for he knows not what, but every step brings him closer to his identity and full strength. Self-knowledge, trust, and strength lead to smarter choices, but even his best efforts might not render his world truly safe, now or for the future.

Book 3, Ciarrah’s Light: (Coming October, 2018) Luccan, future Suth Chiell of the Ethran Sunlands, also known as Lucky, has completed one harrowing quest, but his adventures and hardships are only beginning. There’s little time to recuperate before his mother’s apparition attacks, drowning Lucky in horrible nightmares that drain his life and nearly kill him. Only through the power of his sentient obsidian blade, Ciarrah, can Lucky claw his way out of the shadowy visions and back to consciousness. But further horrors await him when he opens his eyes, and his country needs him more than ever.

Unstoppable wraiths—products of an advanced but dying alien world called Terrathia—are attacking, and swords and arrows cannot stop them. Fortunately Ciarrah’s magical light can, and with his uncle Han, the wizard Thurlock, his winged horse, and a horde of shifters from Earth at his back, Lucky faces them, determined to put an end to his mother’s destructive evil once and for all. But will stopping her end the horrors facing his world?

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Lou Hoffmann has carried on her love affair with books for decades, yet she hasn’t even made a dent in the list of books she’d love to read—at least partly because the list keeps growing. She reads factual things—books about physics and history and fractal chaos, but when she wants truth, she looks for it in quality fiction. She loves all sorts of wonderful things:  music and silence, laughter and tears, youth and age, sunshine and storms, forests and fields, flora and fauna, rivers and seas. Even good movies and popcorn! Those things help her breathe, and everyone she knows helps her write. (Special mention goes to (1) George the Lady Cat and (2) readers.) Proud to be a bisexual, biracial woman, Lou considers every person a treasure not to be taken for granted. In her life, she’s seen the world’s willingness to embrace differences change, change back, and change again in dozens of ways, but she has great hope for the world the youth of today will create. She writes for readers who find themselves anywhere on the spectrums of age and gender, aiming to create characters that live not only in their stories, but always in your imagination and your heart.


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Interview Roulette: Laura Bailo

It’s Laura Bailo’s turn at the wheel!

  1. Describe one especially fond childhood memory—for yourself or for one of your characters. There was this one time, when my dad brought home a kitten he’d rescued from the place he was working at. I fed him milk and took care of it, but we couldn’t keep him in the flat we were living in. At that time, we used to go spend a lot of my summer vacation in a small village in the Pyrenees, where we had – and still have – a house, so we took the kitten with us. And since then, every time we went back, the cat would plaster himself to me, follow me everywhere and even sleep in my bed. I loved that cat.
  2. Which would be your preferred vacation choice: a luxury hotel, an apartment in a historic building, or a tent? Anything by a tent! Seriously, I’m not made for sleeping outside a building. An apartment in a historic building would be my preferred choice, since I like setting my won hours and routines. And this way I could cook – or not – whatever I wanted to eat.
  3. Are you a nerd and/or a geek? Provide evidence to support your answer. I am! My last book is set in a board games convention; do you really need more evidence? 😀 If you need more, I carry a d20 with me everywhere and sometimes use it to make my choices for me. And I meet friends almost every week for some tabletop roleplaying, which usually ends with us throwing dice at the game master.
  4. Describe a hobby one of your characters likes to engage in. Aitor likes playing board games – of course – but he also loves knitting. He saw one of the ladies he works with knitting once to pass the time and he was fascinated. He asked her to teach him and well… Let’s just say he now needs an entire cupboard just to keep his scarves.
  5. Which modern invention could you absolutely not survive without? My Nespresso. It gives me the perfect shot of coffee I need to start the day. I would probably bite someone’s head off without it.
  6. You’re on a ship with Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, Catherine the Great, David Bowie, Billie Holiday, and Gengis Khan. But oh no! The ship is sinking and the lifeboat only holds four people. You get to decide—who gets on that lifeboat? I do! And for company I’d love David Bowie, Albert Einstein and Billie Holiday. It would never be boring.
  7. What is your favorite mythological creature? I’m going to go with something local, since I’ve been researching Basque mythology for the story I’m working on, and say it’s Basajaun. He’s the guardian of the forest. He protects the forest, and the people and animals that share space with it. He could sense storms coming and would warn shepherds so they could protect their flocks of sheep. I think he’s a really interesting creature.
  8. If you could create a phone app, what would it be? I honestly have no idea. Nothing. Nada.
  9. One of your characters comes to you for advice. Who is it, what does he ask, and what do you tell him? It’s Gabriel. He’s drank too much coffee and he’s freaking out about what to give Aitor for his birthday. I make him think about what Aitor loves, but especially about what he loves doing with Gabriel – and I hit his shoulder before he can make any kind of sexual innuendo. In the end we talk it through and he settles for making a reservation for both of them in one of those hotels that are also a roleplaying game. I think he’d going for one where they have to help solve a murder – Aitor has read too many Agatha Christie novels.
  10. What is your favorite insect? The one that’s as far away from me as possible. Seriously, I hate insects, and most of them I find actually terrifying.


Book blurb: When Gabriel goes to the annual gaming convention, planning to play as many games as he can during the next three days, he doesn’t expect to be glared to death in the parking lot by a really cute guy. So when the same guy joins the game Gabriel is playing, Gabriel is determined to make him smile, even if it takes some awkward flirting.

When Aitor makes it inside the convention center after someone steals his parking spot, he doesn’t expect to be so attracted to the man he decided to hate just a few minutes earlier. But as he gets to know Gabriel through gaming and flirting, he just can’t look away.

The game of flirting has no rulebook, but for Gabriel and Aitor, it may just have two winners after all.

Book buy links:

International Amazon link:


Author bio: Laura Bailo is a veterinarian and a teacher in training who can do surgical sutures but can’t sew on a button to save her life.

She lives in Spain with far too many books and boxes full of notebooks. She loves exploring the narrow streets of Pamplona and she’s known to have gotten lost in her own city.

She loves reading, singing and trying out new cooking recipes, and if she’s feeling adventurous she may try to do all of these at the same time.

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Interview Roulette: K-lee Klein

K-lee Klein spins the wheel today!


Hey. Hi! Welcome to my birthday interview. Let’s have some fun.

  1. What is your superpower? Your Kryptonite?

Ah cool! My superpower would be physical and emotional healing. I’m very empathetic so this would suit me well. I like to help people, and as a survivor of abuse, I know it’s just as important to heal the inside as the outside. My Kryptonite is my own emotional instability because my emotions can get overblown and debilitating. I imagine healing people takes a toll on those feelings too. OH AND…I’ll definitely be wearing a cape.

  1. If you were a shapeshifter, what shape would you most likely shift into?

It’s very cliché, but I’d be a wolf—probably the same one that’s tattooed on my arm; Mika, one of my characters from Family of Misfits. This is a description I found on the personality of a wolf. It totally speaks to me.

“Keep in mind that a wolf’s real personality is often hidden under the character of his or her social position. Intelligent, non-aggressive, and friendly with the ability to make strong emotional attachments are among those traits we can generalize about the magnificent wolf.”

  1. What food would you only consider eating if you were stranded on a desert isle with nothing else to consume?

Definitely sashimi, but I’d need someone to prepare it. 😉 In truth I could eat it all day long even without the desert island, especially my faves salmon & octopus.

  1. What’s the most interesting or weird thing you’ve ever had to research for your writing?

While maybe not so weird, I have a series set in Loveland, Colorado—Welcome to Loveland—and this past fall, I was able to visit the city. It was so cool to imagine Lucky and Jack having coffee at one of the cafes or heading to the local movie theatre for a night out. I could actually picture them walking down the street.

  1. Describe a traumatic weather-related experience you’ve had. If you’ve never had any, make one up.

This time I do have a weird one—or at least embarrassing one! I was on crutches for 3 years, and since I live in Western Canada I had to navigate the snow and ice. One day I was getting out of my truck and my crutches slipped in the ice. I ended up on my back under my truck, laying there stunned and feeling mortifyingly ridiculous. Luckily my neighbour across the street saw me and was like, “Hey. You need a hand?” Lol. After that, I ordered what they call crutch snow-boots that provide traction.

  1. One of your characters just won a prize for doing something really well. Who is it and what prize did he or she win?

Brett Taylor from Unbreak My Heart won Song of the Year at the Grammy’s for a song he wrote about and for JT. *spoiler alert* Of course he brings JT on stage with him and proposes as a surprise.

  1. Invent a new national holiday. What does it commemorate and how is it celebrated?

I’ll go with a light-hearted approach to this one. SUPERHERO DAY! I’m totally a middle-aged woman who loves superheroes. Of course my faves are Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier and Captain America. Superhero Day would be an international holiday where everyone dresses like their favourite superhero, talks about superheroes, goes out to meet other superheroes—eats, sleeps, and dreams superheroes all day long. Lol.

Thanks so much for having me. I hope my answers have entertained you a little. 🙂 Happy February.



Book blurb:

Title: Unbroken Hearts

Series: Unbreak My Heart, book 2

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

~~Country singer turned rancher Brett Taylor fought his way out of the bottle, so he could have JT Campbell in his life.  JT’s patience, intelligence, and humor broke through Brett’s walls of depression, and now the once-isolated rancher and his young California guy in search of himself are together on Brett’s Texas ranch.

While Brett and JT are more in love than ever, they’re still dealing with past baggage and learning how to move forward. Brett’s former lover casts a long shadow over their lives—one JT tries to pretend doesn’t bother him. Can Brett soothe his fears with the sort of sappy, sentimental Valentine’s Day JT was taught to shun growing up—but secretly always wanted?

When Halloween rolls around, a costumed night out at the local bar might lead to another romantic first. And on Christmas morning, JT awakes to some sweet loving and the most meaningful gift he could ever imagine. The New Year truly brings a new beginning—ushered in by some silly, sparkly, and sexy fun.

One year. Four important holidays. Two men who have worked hard for the love and trust they share and the bright future that’s finally within their grasp.~~


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GoodReads Link:


Author bio:

K-lee Klein loves guys with long hair and tattoos, and you’ll often find her front and center at her favorite rock concerts. She has bounced around Western Canada all her life, but will always consider the solitude and beauty of the British Columbian mountains home. Her life is blessed as the proud mother of three now-grown but still spoiled kids, the servant of two bossy felines, and the wife of a truly patient husband.

Her writing muse is terribly temperamental, so to keep him close by and in check, she had him inked on her left calf. The gorgeous, long-haired, mostly naked, kneeling angel that resulted is truly a work of art, although he’s still a handful and hopelessly uncontrollable. She writes on his schedule and inspiration.

K-lee tends to fall easily into obsessions. When something grabs her attention, she jumps into it headfirst with complete abandon. Actors, musicians, superheroes, fictional characters, and brainwashed assassins all hold spots on her cannot-get-enough list. She once followed Thirty Seconds to Mars around the United States and Canada and saw them perform fourteen times that year. Obsession sometimes leads to ideas for her kneeling angel to turn into stories.

Although an introvert in person, she’s extroverted online and has met many wonderful friends there, sometimes with the added fun of meeting them in person at gay romance conferences. She’s grateful for all the people in her life who accept her as she is and support her through her ups and downs as mom, wife, and joyfully obsessed writer.

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Interview Roulette: Blaine D. Arden

Today’s player is Blaine D. Arden!


  1. What advice would you give your 17-year-old self?

For crying out loud, research economics instead of enrolling because you like to play with numbers and they offer computer sciences. Most importantly, don’t put writing second. Just go for it and keep creating fantastical worlds.


  1. You’re being transported to the Middle Ages and can take with you a single piece of modern technology. What do you choose?

To be honest, being transported back in time, my whole life experiences could well be considered a piece of modern technology, having been brought up in this modern world. Still, in the end, I’d go for a fully charged e-ink ereader filled with information to help me MacGyver my way through the Middle Ages, and maybe a small number of books for those first dark nights of settling in.


  1. If you had a time machine, where/when would you go and why?

My first instinct is to go back to 1992, about a year before my mother’s cancer diagnosis, and just hang out with her.


  1. There’s Tumblr site called Describe a Film Plot Badly. Describe one (or more) of your own book plots badly, in no more than 140 characters.

Lovesick tree hugger pines for mourning friend’s cinnamon buns.

(not sure I’m very good at this)


  1. Aside from the country you live in now, which country can you best picture yourself living in?

That’s a tricky one. For a long time, I’ve been thinking about moving to the UK after my husband retires. Buy a nice idyllic cottage somewhere rural, where the hubs can tinker with cars and tend a luscious garden, and I can have a secluded hiding place to write, read, sing, and practice whatever hobby du jour. This whole Brexit thing more or less ruined that dream, though.

So, now I’m still looking for a new moving dream. It can’t be anywhere light and sunny, since I’m very light sensitive and don’t do heat very well, which leaves some lovely northern countries to choose from. Most of which I’ve never really looked at before. Though, Canada comes to mind. I’ve always wanted to visit. Still, should Scotland ever become independent and decide to stay in the EU, that would definitely be my first pick.


  1. What’s the one article of clothing you love, but really should throw away because you’d die if anyone ever caught you wearing it?

Maybe not so much die if anyone caught me, but more die if anyone realised just how threadbare a certain pair of trousers really are. I do tend to overwear trousers that fit me well. And the fabric of my favourite black pair(s) tends to fray white. It’s a good thing I prefer to wear long tunics over them.


  1. If one of your characters were to practice a random act of kindness, what would it be?

The guide exists for random acts of kindness, but choosing him is a bit of a cop out. Still, since he’s one of my personal favourites, I couldn’t help but mention him.

Ianys, though, from my Triad in Three Acts, would gladly pay a full meal for the family with four children whose parents are counting their cash to make sure they have enough for four burgers. He has a weakness for seeing children happy.


  1. If you could build any kind of structure to live in, what would you choose and why?

There are endless possibilities, yet, because I’m only slightly obsessed with them, *cough*, my brain immediately conjured up a cute tiny house with multifunctional furniture, including a sturdy and comfy writing desk, that we could take anywhere we wanted. When not travelling, it will connect to three others. One would be a bedroom/bathroom combo, and the other two would be our offices slash work spaces. Mine, of course, would have purple accents everywhere, no matter how much the hubs protests.

A good second would be a hobbit house that’s partially dug into the ground.


  1. Pick a politician and give him or her one piece of really good advice.

Such a funny question for someone who, though rather opinionated at times, knows nothing about politics, and prefers looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses. Why do you think I create my own worlds?

Even worse is that I read more about American politics than Dutch politics, since my timeline is filled with the results of the Trump administration. (though I fully understand it).

My advice, as much as I’m qualified to give advice in this matter, would be for politicians in general: “Think before you speak.”


  1. What’s the longest road trip you’ve been on?

I’d have to say my honeymoon. The hubs and I travelled from the Netherlands (where we live) through Germany, Poland, the Chech Republic, Austria (taking a day trip or two into Italy), and back through Germany on the drive home. We were young, carefree, and just married. We had a brilliant time.

Though our 2005 UK camping trip (from Dover to Scotland, Wales, Devon, and back to Dover) with the kids is a close second. Well, aside from eldest (then 13) breaking his wrist rolling down Greenwich park.



A Triad in Three Acts (the complete Forester Trilogy)

Book blurb:

“There is always a way.”

Kelnaht, Taruif, and Ianys are meant to be together, but old promises and the decree of the elders prevent them from claiming each other openly at Solstice. Kelnaht can investigate murder and foul play, but he can’t see how he can keep both his lovers without breaking the rules. But if he believes in the guide’s words and trusts his faith in Ma’terra, they will find a way to clear the fog and puddles from their paths.


The Forester

Kelnaht, a cloud elf, is a truth seeker caught between love and faith, when a murder reveals an illicit affair between two tree elves he desires more than he can admit. Kelnaht’s former lover Ianys once betrayed him, and the shunned forester Taruif is not allowed to talk to anyone but the guide, their spiritual pathfinder.


Lost and Found

A stripling goes missing from the tribe, and heavy rainfall hides all traces of his whereabouts. With days creeping by without a lead, it’s hard to keep the tribe’s spirits up, more so when Kelnaht’s own future depends on the elders. Taruif has been shunned for almost twenty turns, but now that a possible forester’s apprentice is coming of age, the elders consider reducing his sentence. Taruif could be set free.


Full Circle

When several children fall ill with more than a summer bug, truth seeker Kelnaht is assigned to investigate. What he finds is deadly and threatens the life of every underage child in the tribe, including Ianys’ daughter Atèn. Then a wounded traveller is found in the forest, left to die after a vicious attack.


Book buy links:  (universal link)

Author bio:

Blaine D. Arden is a purple-haired, forty-something author of queer romance mixed with fantasy, mystery, and magic who sings her way through life in platform boots.

Blaine is an EPIC Award winning author and has been published by Storm Moon Press, Less Than Three Press, and Wilde City Press. Her scifi romance “Aliens, Smith and Jones” received an Honourable Mention in the Best Gay Sci-Fi/Fantasy category of the Rainbow Awards 2012.

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Interview Roulette: Karenna Colcroft

Now Karenna Colcroft takes a turn at the wheel!


  1. What is a positive personality quality you share with one of your characters?

I would say my sense of humor. Being able to laugh at myself (without being mean), and to get others to laugh, is definitely a benefit sometimes.


  1. If you could be any other living person for a single day, who would you be?

Hmm. I’m not sure about that. Most of the time, I’m pretty happy being me. I guess if I had to choose, I would want to be J.K. Rowling, because I would love to see what being a hugely successful author is like.


  1. Is there a New Year’s resolution you’ve made more than once? Did you keep it?

Most years, I’ve made resolutions about what and how much I’m going to write that year. I pretty much never keep it, because things change through the course of any given year and sometimes I just don’t have the time or motivation to write. And unfortunately sometimes I don’t have the ideas. This year, I’ve resolved to just try to write things and enjoy doing it.


  1. Which of your characters would you most like to be romantically involved with?

Out of my books that are currently still in print, I think I would choose Hunter, from I Should Tell You. He’s quiet and mellow, the type of personality with which I get along well. And he’s a musician, which is a definite plus. Maybe he would teach me how to play guitar.


  1. What’s the most interesting or weird thing you’ve ever had to research for your writing?

Recently, for a book I’m working on under a new pen name, I had to look up bondage equipment because I couldn’t remember the name of something my characters were using. Apparently a bondage bench is actually called a bondage bench, at least according to the information I found.


  1. One of your characters has an allergy that’s proved problematic. Tell us about it.

Weston, one of the main characters in Dawn Over Dayfield, is allergic to dust. Since his job is maintaining the historical records for the town of Dayfield, Massachusetts, he’s often given old papers and other items by town residents. And most of them are covered in dust. Trying to clean them and display them properly is not easy for him.


Dawn Over Dayfield:

After the death of his adoptive mother, Andy Forrest decides to track down his biological family. The search leads him to the struggling central Massachusetts town of Dayfield—and local historian Weston Thibeault, the town’s only other openly gay man. With the help of Weston, Andy uncovers secrets about his birth father, the youngest son of the Chaffees, the family that once owned Dayfield’s largest employer, a furniture factory that closed thirty years earlier.

As Andy and Weston work together, they find a connection to a scandal that rocked the Chaffee family over 125 years ago. But small towns like to bury their secrets, and many of the older residents of Dayfield will do anything to stop Andy and Weston from discovering the truth about the town and its inhabitants.


Book buy links: DSP Publications:

Karenna Colcroft is the alter ego of a shy, sedate wife. Well, okay, maybe not THAT shy and sedate. She believes that love is love, regardless of gender or how many people are involved, and she tries to show this in her books as well as in her life. She lives in the northeastern United States with her husband and spends time with her committed partner. She also has three cats, but is determined not to become a cat lady!

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Interview Roulette: Alix Bekins and Connie Bailey

Today we have a two-fer! Alix Bekins and Connie Bailey spin the wheel.

  1. Say you met your all-time favorite celebrity, would you play it cool? Or would you utterly humiliate yourself?


I have met an all-time fave celeb: Art Garfunkel. I tried hard to play it cool, but he saw right through me. I had done a sketch of him in hopes of getting an autograph. I gave the sketch to the guard at the stage door and he took it to Art. Art invited me backstage and talked to me for what seemed like hours, but was probably five minutes. He complimented the drawing and I gushed about my favorite songs. He asked what I particularly liked about the songs. He was terribly gracious and I got a memory that will last till I die.


I would like to think I’d play it cool, but if I was trapped in an elevator with Robert Downey, Jr., I’d probably hyperventilate from trying not to giggle for a few moments until I managed to get myself together.

  1. What advice would you give your 17-year-old self?


Everyone is just as unsure as you are. Keep moving forward and don’t stress over all the small details.


Please ask your parents if you can see a therapist. It will help you so much. But if not, I can promise you that everything in your life will get better once you move away to college. Relax a little. Oh, and ice cream is not an acceptable source of protein; anemia is no fun. Eat properly, damnit.


  1. Describe an annoying habit one of your characters has.


Annoying but (I hope) kind of cute, Seva Song deliberately mangles English sayings to irk his partner.


Keller never puts the top on the toothpaste. It drives Seva (and me) nuts.


  1. One of your books is being made into a movie. Who would you cast for the major roles?


If I was allowed to cast Song and Key, Keller Key would be played by Chris Evans with the personality of Chris Pine as Capt. Kirk. The role of Seva Song would go to Lee Byung-hun.


I was sort of thinking of Liam Hemsworth for Keller. I’m fully on board with Connie’s casting for Seva, though – yum!


  1. A 17-year-old girl has asked one of your characters for advice. What is she asking about and what advice does the character give?


Sweetie17 wants to know what Keller has to say about coming out in high school. Should she, or should she just wait until college, like her friends say? Or until she has a serious relationship with a girl? Being bisexual is confusing.

Keller says that being bisexual is FABULOUS. But haters are gonna hate, so you gotta take care of yourself. If you have a supportive family and friends, and think you won’t get hassled at school, be out and proud. If you want to wait until you’re a little more grown up and living life on your own terms, that’s cool too. If someone tells you bis don’t exist, tell them you’re fine with being an incredibly sexy hallucination.


  1. What is your most dreaded household chore? Your favorite?


I hate cleaning up after cooking. I adore doing laundry.


I hate mopping. So much so that I’d rather clean toilets. I secretly love doing the dishes though, especially after a big holiday meal where everyone is grateful to have me do the washing up and—far more importantly—I get to hide in the kitchen and get some peace and quiet for a little while.


  1. When you read, is there a trope you just can’t resist?


I love reading about a boy in disguise as a girl, or a girl in disguise as a boy. My favorite romance novel is The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer.


I have a weakness for the fake relationship/engagement trope. Especially if the two start off somewhat hostile to each other, but are secretly super attracted to each other. I do love me some verbal sparring.


The Men from GLEN

Dreamspun Beyond | #11

So-called monsters won’t hold these spies back!

For two secret agents on a mission to a secluded Romanian village, the toughest fight they face may not be against the folktale monsters lurking in the foggy mountains and old ruins, but against their unlikely attraction to each other.

Keller Key is the top operative at the covert Global Law Enforcement Network—and boy, does he know it. Sexy half-Ukrainian, half-Korean Sevastyan Song is a close second. When the agents go undercover to investigate an old friend’s suspicious death, it soon becomes clear something sinister is afoot in the ancient forest and decrepit abbey. If an evil organization doesn’t spell the end of them, the angry locals might. But if they’re going to conquer their enemies, they need to keep their hands off each other and their minds on the case, in a rivals-to-lovers paranormal mash-up that gives new meaning to spy-on-spy action.


Available January 2, 2018 from Dreamspinner Press:


Amazon UK:

Barnes & Noble:



Alix Bekins lives and writes atop a treacherous hillside in the Santa Cruz mountains. Her days start with a cup of proper British tea and end with knitting while watching TV. In real life, Alix is a no-nonsense, judgmental-eyebrow, whip-cracking admin whose turn-ons include glitter nail polish, hiking, dogs, chocolate, and sensual walks in the rain. Without the rain, because that sounds cold.

Alix is pretty sure she’s the only person in the world who wears a plastic Viking helmet as a thinking cap when she battles writer’s block. She always wins.

Connie Bailey is a Luddite who can’t live without her computer. She’s an acrophobic who loves to fly, a faultfinding pessimist who, nonetheless, is always surprised when something bad happens, and an antisocialite who loves her friends like family. She’s held a number of jobs in many disparate arenas to put food on the table, but writing is the occupation that feeds her soul.












Interview Roulette: Grace R. Duncan

Grace R. Duncan is here to play today!


  1. What are you wearing right now?

My Dr. Who T-shirt, purple leggings, and socks. I actually get dressed every day, even though I work from home. I’ve worked from home with other jobs and found it actually helps me switch to a working mindset. Though it goes against my not-wanting-to-adult mindest of not putting on pants. 😉

  1. If you were magically transported into one of your own books, which one would you choose and why?

Any of my Forbes books. I would so love to be a shifter. If nothing else, because in my world, my shifters don’t have the typical human health problems so I’d be nice and healthy and energetic.

  1. Describe your ideal writing environment.

Uninterrupted. Seriously. I have a great desk, a beautiful computer… and constant interruption. If I could truly lock everyone out while I’m working, I think it’d be heaven.

  1. Describe one especially fond childhood memory—for yourself or for one of your characters.

The one I remember most is actually not entirely fond, but it wasn’t exactly unpleasant, either. I was (according to my mother) only two at the time, but we took a trip to Atlantic City. I remember being terrified of the ocean. I also remember we went into a souvenir shop and while my mom was at the register checking out, I point out these milk-glass coffee mugs that my grandma would have liked. Years later, I realized those mugs were in my grandma’s cabinet, though I don’t remember my mom actually buying them, it was really cool to me that she did get one for my grandma.

  1. If you were to become a street performer, what would you do to entertain people and earn some money?

I could probably sing. I have a weird talent for mimicry (it’s one reason I can pick up languages pretty well) and that goes for music. If I can hear the singer, I can (mostly) mimic it. I might scare potential listeners away, but… maybe not. 😉

  1. Name a guilty pleasure you indulge in.
    I guess if there’s anything it’s my sweet tooth. It’s so bad for me, but I love sweets of all kinds.
  2. Describe a memorable dream—or nightmare!
    I don’t remember a lot of my dreams. My nightmares usually involve losing one of my kids or my grandson so I try not to dwell on them.

    There was one dream that I recall parts of that involved a refrigerator at McDonalds stocked with lunchmeat, the yakuza at the meat counter in my favorite Pittsburgh butcher show, and pirates kidnapping all of use to make us sing bad sailor songs. I woke up laughing my ass off.


Interview Roulette: Matt Doyle

Today Matt Doyle takes a spin!


  1. What’s one thing that inspired your latest book?

You know, it was more of a conglomerate of things than a single thing. The earliest inkling that I had that I was going to write Addict actually just came out of the blue. I was playing BlazBlue Central Fiction online – and by playing, I mean getting whupped by complete strangers for the most part – when the thought popped into my head that my next book was going to be a sci-fi mystery novel. After that, I left the idea alone while I was sorting out some other stuff, but once I was ready to begin work, I kinda thought that it would be interesting concept to work with. Most of my work fits broadly into the science fiction category, but it always takes some cues from other genres too, and mystery was something that I hadn’t really approached before.

So, I decided to get some inspiration by binge watching a couple of films: Blade Runner, The Maltese Falcon, and L.A. Confidential. The reason I picked those three is because I wanted a very specific feeling for the book; I wanted to take an old school hard boiled PI, and place them in a cyberpunk-y setting (albeit one that is more near future than far future) that had a ton of corruption running in the background.

And so, the basis for Addict was born. From there, I really just started sucking in different things as I went along. The tech that I touch on for example, is noticeably close to what we have now. Like I said, we’re looking at near future stuff here, so I basically took what we have and gave some thought to where it could end up if we didn’t take care to avoid some pitfalls. I mean, let’s be honest here: is the idea of VR addiction really that unrealistic? Of course not. With how immersive things are now in games like Resident Evil 7, it’s easy to see how people could get hooked. Add that in with the reliance of an online environment when it comes to business, and you have a bit of a volatile mix if both of those sides of the electronic world were to intermingle. And as for metallic animal suites used in Tech Shifting? That’s really just a tech-heavy extension for both the furry fandom and the pup play community.


  1. When you read, is there a trope you just can’t resist?

Hmm … now, I had to look up the actual term for this – thanks TV Tropes dot org! – but I do seem to be quite partial to the ‘Action Girl’ trope. The thing is, I never really enjoyed the whole ‘damsel in distress’ storyline. I grew up in a household with a Mum that held her own when she had to, and a little sister who remains one of the toughest women I’ve known. As a result, the idea of sitting around and waiting to be rescued just seemed really odd to me.

So, when I was enjoying fiction, what female leads did I enjoy? Well, I was reading Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series from the age of about nine, and I always did love werewolf cop Angua von Uberwald. Then, when it came to live action stuff, Ellen Ripley in the Alien franchise always stood out to me. Cartoons were the same too. Growing up, I always enjoyed anime, and my favourites as a kid tended to be those like Rika (Digimon Tamers) and Sakura (Cardcaptor Sakura), neither of whom were the sort to sit back and wait for a prince.

As I’ve grown, the same thing still holds true in my reading (and other fiction based) habits. I still love Angua in Discworld. Urban Fantasy works well for me in a similar way – characters like Kelley Armstrong’s Elena Michaels or Cherie Priest’s Raylene Pendle for example. Oh, and don’t forget the comics! Give me an Alopex (IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), or a Revy (Black Lagoon) as a lead any day!


  1. Write a haiku poem about your favorite beverage.


Milk dashed, a true brew,

Strong in flavor and colour.

Ah, dear friend! Such warmth!


  1. What’s one event in your life or on your travels that you wish you’d caught on film?

I’ve been lucky insofar as I did catch a lot of the fun moments on film. For example, when my youngest gave her first smile, my camera just happened to be on. I spent ten years as a professional wrestler too, and while we didn’t film too much at training, pretty much every show I’ve been on has been filmed by someone. Like I said, I’ve been lucky with catching stuff. As to something that we didn’t catch though …

Okay, so when I was younger, I used to love tormenting my Dad. There was one prank that my brother and I pulled that I would have loved to have caught on film, but we were too busy having fun to even consider doing so. You see, my Dad used to fall asleep in front of the TV a lot. Of course, if you turned it off, he’d immediately wake up with a cry of, “I was watching that!” As long as you left it running in the background though, he’d remain asleep through most things. So, this particular day, we decided to take advantage of his sleep routine by grabbing a few rolls of masking tape and attempting to mummify him while he slept. It sounds ridiculous, and truth be told, it was. We got a fair way up his body before we accidentally woke him though! The look of slow realisation dawning on his face, and the mix of bemusement and annoyance that crept in afterwards were priceless. That I would have loved to have captured on film.


  1. One of your characters has a guilty favorite TV show. Tell us about it.

Heh. Our heroine in Addict, PI Cassie Tam, is a big fan of horror films. Most of the time, she’s happy to stick something spooky on, and huddle up on her couch with her robot gargoyle Bert. The funny thing is though, it’s really bad for her. Horror movies are virtually guaranteed to give Cassie terrible nightmares, but she just can’t get enough of them. Despite this though, we learn in the upcoming second book, that she does have a soft spot for slightly hammy stuff too. You see, she goes to a variety show at the local theatre that sees a Tech Shifter – someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal – performing a mix of stories and songs in the guise of a family of Japanese Kitsune spirits. By the end of the show, she’s actually considering looking for download purchases of previous shows! So, despite her tough exterior and love of scares, if Cassie were to stumble across anything a little fantasy based with a touch of cheesy romance, she’d no doubt get hooked within minutes. In that regard, and in keeping with her coming from a Chinese-Canadian family, I would say that he guilty pleasure TV show would like be the 2016 drama series ‘Legend of Nine Tails Fox’ (or 青丘狐传说).


  1. What food would you only consider eating if you were stranded on a desert isle with nothing else to consume?

Grapes. It’s a simple answer, but seedless grapes are one of my favourite foods ever. Seriously, you give me a few packets of them, and they’ll be gone far quicker than is probably healthy!


Book blurb:

New Hopeland was built to be the centre of the technological age, but like everywhere else, it has its dark side. Assassins, drug dealers and crooked businessmen form a vital part of the city’s make-up, and sometimes, the police are in too deep themselves to be effective. But hey, there are always other options …

For P.I. Cassie Tam, business has been slow. So, when she’s hired to investigate the death of a local VR addict named Eddie Redwood, she thinks it’ll be easy money. All she has to do is prove to the deceased’s sister Lori that the local P.D. were right to call it an accidental overdose. The more she digs though, the more things don’t seem to sit right, and soon, Cassie finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. But that’s just the start of her problems.

When the case forces Cassie to make contact with her drug dealing ex-girlfriend, Charlie Goldman, she’s left with a whole lot of long buried personal issues to deal with. Then there’s her client. Lori Redwood is a Tech Shifter, someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal. Cassie isn’t one to judge, but the Tech Shifting community has always left her a bit nervous. That wouldn’t be a problem if Lori wasn’t fast becoming the first person that she’s been genuinely attracted to since splitting with Charlie. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the police wanting her to back off the case.

Easy money, huh? Yeah, right.

Book buy links:


Author bio:

Matt Doyle lives in the South East of England and shares his home with a wide variety of people and animals, as well as a fine selection of teas. He has spent his life chasing dreams, a habit which has seen him gain success in a great number of fields. To date, this has included spending ten years as a professional wrestler, completing a range of cosplay projects, and publishing multiple works of fiction.

These days, Matt can be found working on far too many novels at once, blogging about anime, comics, and games, and plotting and planning what other things he’ll be doing to take up what little free time he has.


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Interview Roulette: Rebecca Cohen

It’s Rebecca Cohen’s turn at the wheel!

  1. If you had to live in a movie, TV show, or book, which would you choose and why?

I’d like to be in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  Douglas Adams and his story telling were a major influence on my writing. I adore sci fi with humor and I’d love to have dinner at the restaurant at the end of the universe.

  1. Describe a really bad decision you once made.

I don’t linger on mistakes, regrets aren’t something that help me move forward. Even a bad decision can lead to somewhere that will ultimately work out. There’s a part of me that thinks I should have left a particular job earlier than I did (it really didn’t help my mental health) but that in the end put me on the path to where I am now.

  1. A genie pops up and offers to grant you one talent. What do you choose and why?

Patience. I have a 5-year-old little boy, and some days I need to count up to 100!

  1. Who’s one of the most interesting people you’ve met?

An elderly gentleman who at one time been a professional actor, stage, screen and radio, and had story after story about both amateur and professional theatre. He was quite the character, once proclaiming that he believed in ghosts but not gravity.

  1. You’ve just met an alien from a planet where there’s no such thing as fiction writing. Explain to him/her/it/them why humans read made-up stories.

Because sometimes life is hard, and we want to escape – whether that is being swept up in a romance or questing as a knight. Reading can take you on a journey away for the immediate issues of real life

  1. Which (living) celebrity would you most want to have dinner with?

Mark Gatiss – I think he would be fascinating to talk to and discuss which was his real love, the writing or the acting, and which he would chose if forced to do so

  1. Cats or dogs? Discuss.

Growing up I’ve always had cats as pets. I like dogs, but cats are what I know. I love it when then curl up and purr, their attitude that they are godlike, and there’s nothing like kitten tummy fur to run your fingers through.

Not All Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks

Neither of them wants to fall in love, but getting exactly what they don’t want might be the best thing to ever happen to them.

Mark hopes his boredom with his current job will be alleviated by a short stint in Basel, Switzerland. When he meets Steffen, who struck out on his own from an old-money family to establish an IT firm, Mark expects some fun, great sex, and a clean break when his job is done. The arrangement is perfect for Steffen, who has been content with casual after a betrayal—and has a taste for British men after attending university in the UK. But as they explore the city’s rich history and traditions, Mark begins to see Steffen as much more than a tour guide with benefits. If he isn’t careful, the trip meant to break the lull in his career might end up breaking his heart instead….

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.


Book buy links:

ebook Dreamspinner Press


Author bio:

Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she left London behind and now lives in Basel, Switzerland with her husband and young son.

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