Interview Roulette: Antonia Aquilante

It’s Antonia Aquilante’s turn to spin the wheel!


  • One of your characters comes to you for advice. Who is it, what does he ask, and what do you tell him? I don’t know if any of them would! They’ve got their lives together pretty well right now (the ones whose books I’ve written anyway), and let’s face it, they mostly tell me what to do when I’m writing.
  • If you had a time machine, where/when would you go and why? Everywhere! Is that an acceptable answer? Because I want to see the past and the future and just everywhere. I’ve always loved history, and I just want to see what it was like. Really, I’ve been waiting for the Doctor to show up in the TARDIS and show me all of time and space for ages.
  • Describe a traumatic weather-related experience you’ve had. If you’ve never had any, make one up. Hurricane Sandy was pretty scary. I was really lucky—so many people lost so much, and I came out of it fine. But, yeah, that night was scary. Ninety mile an hour wind gusts were making this huge tree outside sway back and forth alarmingly. I didn’t want to go to bed in case it fell on the house. By the way, the tree survived that storm, but quite a bit of it came down during a March snowstorm this year. It blocked the driveway along with a lot of snow.
  • If you had to spend a week snowed in at a mountain cabin with one of your characters, who would you choose and why? Probably Faelen. He and I have a lot in common. We would just read and talk about books and eat cookies and drink really good hot chocolate for a week, all while curled up in cozy blankets in front of a fire. It sounds delightful actually.
  • What’s the most interesting or weird thing you’ve ever had to research for your writing? I mostly end up researching random things. How far a horse can travel in a day. Renaissance and baroque architecture. Renaissance universities. Which plants have medicinal properties, which also led to which plants can be used as poisons. Like all writers, I’m probably on a watch list somewhere!

Book blurb:

Faelen, cousin to the prince and son of a diplomat, has finally come home to Tournai after years away. The pull to return was almost tangible, and the sense of rightness at being back is absolute. He wants nothing more than to put down roots and build a life among family while pursuing his linguistic studies. Becoming involved in magic meant to protect Tournai isn’t part of his plans…and falling in love is even more unexpected and unfamiliar, but he finds himself doing just that as his friendship with Maxen deepens into something more.

Maxen, second son of a wealthy merchant family, longs to leave Tournai and visit everywhere he can. All his life, he’s found places on maps and dreamed, planning out routes to get to them. For now, he’s tied to Tournai’s capital city by family obligations and his position in their shipping business. Someday, though, he’ll be able to travel. His sudden attraction to Faelen shocks him, but their friendship soon becomes a necessary part of his life. Love, however, has no place in his plans, especially not love for a royal cousin with secrets who wants nothing more than to stay in one place.

For Faelen and Maxen to build something real between them, they must resolve their differences, but when magic goes awry and all Faelen’s secrets are revealed, will Maxen remain at his side?

Book buy links:

NineStar Press



Barnes & Noble



Author bio:

Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.

She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.

Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.

She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Rainbow Romance Writers.

Author contacts:

Interview Roulette: Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell spins the wheel today!


Thanks for hosting me today, Kim!

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

I’m going outside the box with this question.  Simon, my vampire from Shades of Sepia, is allergic to silver as all vampires are in The Sleepless City universe.  Silver can be used to restrain a vampire, and it burns, so he has fine silver lines around his wrists and ankles after a nasty experience at the hands of another vampire.  This is going to be problematic later as the scars on his wrists can be mistaken for something else. Since that incident he usually wears long sleeves to hide them to avoid any awkward questions.

  1. Tomorrow you can consume only foods and beverages that begin with the letter C. What’s on the menu?

Cheesecake, chocolate, carrot cake, celery with cream cheese, cheese and crackers, and cordial (because I don’t drink coffee and need some beverage in there).

  1. What’s one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?

Keep writing whatever happens, and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet your word per day goals.  Little bits grow into bigger bits even though that big picture is sometimes very scary, and seems unachievable.

  1. When it comes to travel, do you prefer to plan everything or play it by ear?

I don’t travel often so I prefer to have everything planned out and pack in advance. I’ve also had a lot of experience with ‘whatever will go wrong will at the worst possible moment’ so I don’t like to leave things to the last minute.

  1. Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever written?

Years ago I went on a family picnic by a river, and sat on the side of the riverbank with pen and paper and wrote. It was a great place for inspiration but sadly I got interrupted by people wanting to know what I was doing.

  1. List your three favorite forms of escapism when procrastinating (to meet a deadline).

Housework (although apparently if you’re thinking through what you need to do while you’re doing it, it’s not exactly procrastinating), baking or cooking (as it needs to be done ;)), and Facebook.

  1. You’re walking down the street when a spaceship lands in front of you and a half dozen aliens pile out. What do you do?

I’d watch them for a while from a safe hidden distance and try to work out whether they’re friendly or set on world domination.   If I decide they’re friendly and make contact I’d still be wary until they’ve proven themselves as I’ve read far too much SF.  I’d also need to be sure they’re a threat before contacting authorities because in most SF I’ve read they tend to shoot first and presume all aliens are hostile whether they are or not.



A Knight to Remember –  Dragons of Astria #1

“The last of your line will be in the embrace of a dragon.”

Aric, Crown Prince of Astria, has been brought up to believe that all dragons are evil. But when he speaks with one, he finds himself questioning those beliefs. The dragon tells him to find a sword in Sherwin Forest to save not only his kingdom but also his sister, Georgia, who must otherwise wed the prince of a neighboring kingdom.

At the start of his quest, Aric dons a disguise and meets Denys, an archer and herbalist who lives alone at the edge of the forest. Denys agrees to guide Aric into the forest, but then Georgia appears, revealing Aric’s true identity.

However Aric learns he is not the only one keeping secrets. Denys has a few of his own that could change both of their lives forever.

Book buy links:

Author bio:

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes.  She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ.

Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.

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Interview Roulette: Laura Lascarso

Laura Lascarso spins the wheel!


  1. Are you a nerd and/or a geek? Provide evidence to support your answer.

This question is a lot tougher to answer than I initially thought. Maybe it’s because I have to provide evidence. In order to give a proper answer, I’ll have to define what I believe a nerd/geek to be. I think of nerds as people who are really proficient at a particular subject and can really dig in on an argument or debate and defend their point of view with actual evidence. In that somewhat narrow interpretation, I’d have to say I’m probably not a nerd because I don’t think I’m an expert on anything and usually when debates arise, I doubt my own level of knowledge on the subject. I’d say I’m more of a generalist where I know a little bit about a lot of things. I’m also really bad at remembering information and facts. Like, I’ll do a whole slew of research on a topic for a book and then people will ask me questions about the topic and I’ll completely forget what I’d learned. The same thing happens when I’m revising. I’ll be like, how did I even know this, and I’ll have to look it up again just to be sure I’m not making stuff up. I can’t even trust myself!

  1. Due to a magical curse, for the rest of your life you can read only one genre of books. Which genre will it be?

Another tough question! I’d probably pick Young Adult as a genre because within that category can be any number of sub-genres. Yeah, it’s kind of a cheat answer, but there you have it.

  1. It would be nice if we got medals or ribbons for everyday achievements. What did you earn ribbons for this week?

I paid all of my bills on time and cut my son’s hair without any bald spots. Go me!

  1. Aside from writing, in what ways are you creative?

I’m what you’d call broke with expensive taste, so a lot of times I’ll see things I want and then think about ways to make it myself. Or, if I want to add a piece of furniture, so I’ll find something in need of rehab and refinish it. I like painting and working with wood because it’s so forgiving for an amateur like myself.

  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?

She’s probably asking, is it always going to be this hard? And my character would tell her no, it won’t always be this hard, but you have to go through it in order to reach the other side. I’m sorry. I wish I could take the pain for you, but it is part of your journey. I hope you make some friends along the way and if the journey becomes too hard at points, ask for help.

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

This is another great question. I am not the best at performing (I’m more of a backstage person), so I would probably rely on my strongest talent and read aloud from books that either I’ve written or gotten permission to read or classics where I’m not infringing on copyright. I sometimes read whole books aloud to my family and it’s pretty fun, though I don’t know anyone would pay me to do it J

  1. Which modern invention could you absolutely not survive without?

Honestly, because I live in Florida and I absolutely love it, I’d probably say air conditioner, because without it, I’d have to move north into cooler climes. A close second would be a word processor. I can’t imagine not being able to “delete” in a manuscript.


Book Title: When Everything Is Blue

Publication Date: Dreamspinner Press: March 4, 2018

Book blurb:

Sometimes the people we need most aren’t bonded by blood but by something deeper.

When they were kids, golden boy Chris Mitcham rescued dweeby Theo Wooten from the neighborhood bullies and taught him how to “be cool.” Now, years later, Theo’s developed romantic feelings for his best friend that “arise” at the most inopportune times. Theo hates lying to Chris, but in coming out, he might lose the one person who understands him best, a risk he’s not willing to take.

When a relationship with another young man goes south, Theo is forced to confront his own sexuality along with his growing attraction to Chris and the stunted, tenuous relationship Theo has with his father. Will Chris abandon Theo when he learns the truth, or will he stand by him in this tumultuous season of self-discovery?

In this quirky coming-of-age romance, Theo’s path to manhood is fraught with several awkward firsts, a few haters, but also the tender comfort of an unexpected lover.


Book buy links:


Author bio:

Laura Lascarso wants you to stay up way past your bedtime reading her stories. She aims to inspire more questions than answers in her fiction and believes in the power of storytelling to heal and transform a society. When not writing, Laura can be found screaming “finish” on the soccer fields, rewatching Veronica Mars, and trying to convince politicians that climate change is real. She lives in North Florida with her darling husband and two kids. She loves hearing from readers, and she’d be delighted to hear from you.

Author contacts:

  • Website:
  • Facebook: /lascarso
  • Twitter: @lauralascarso

Interview Roulette: Kelly Haworth

Today is Kelly Haworth’s turn to play!

  1. Describe one of your characters’ dream vehicles.

Ooooh. So Riese is one of those guys who likes to pretend he’s a bad boy when he’s really not. All bark and no bite, you know. His favorite vehicle (which he does actually own but only because he’s trying to maintain that bad boy look) is an emerald green Yamaha motorcycle. With matching helmet. Why green? Cause it matches his eyes. *rolls eyes*

  1. Which house did the sorting hat put you in?

I love harry potter as much as the next guy but for some reason I’ve never really cared about what house I would be in? I think I’ve been sorted into Gryphondor and Ravenclaw depending on the test and I just don’t really feel a connection to any of it. *shrug* Now if you were to ask me what kind of bending I would have (from Avatar the Last Airbender) I would be like AAAGGGHHH I WANT TO SAY FIRE BUT IT WOULD PROBABLY BE WATER NOOOOOO ^_^

  1. If you could go back in time and change something in your life, what would it be?

This is such a hard question because I feel like any mistakes or inconveniences I have made have helped shape who I am today. But I think it would be to go back in time to me as a teenager, thinking that I was a boy in a girl’s body because I had no other way to describe how I felt, and explain to past-me what being transgender is. It may have changed my whole future, and who knows if I would still have ended up with my husband and have my two children. But I do still wish I would have known. That way I wouldn’t have pushed the feelings away for almost a decade and maybe would have figured out my identity sooner.

  1. You are permitted to place ONE ITEM in a time capsule chest to be buried and unearthed 100 years from now. What would it be, and why?

A diary.  I’m not saying specifically mine or anything, but just a really thorough diary describing modern life. I feel like it is really hard to picture in detail how a person lived a hundred years ago—like, we could say a teen in 1918 was dealing with WW1, but how was school? What did they do for fun and entertainment? What was common knowledge and what wasn’t? I think a diary would be a really precious gift to that future generation, a unique peak into what was.

  1. Somebody gives you $10,000 with the provision that you can’t save it and you can’t spend it on anything altruistic or practical. What do you do?

Down payment on a new car. Because excuse me but a brand-new car isn’t practical at all.  What car you ask?  I guess a Tesla is out because that’s too much on the practical side? That’s too bad. I guess I’ll go for *my* dream vehicle—a blue corvette.

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

Okay my aforementioned Riese in question 1? He’s a shapeshifter. So I’ve thought about this question way too much and have an immediate answer: a man, specifically a cis-male body. Assuming of course I would be able to shift back. But yeah, I want to know what it’s like and experience first-hand the differences in the way they’re treated and the things they can do that I can’t. Wink wink. Nudge nudge. LOL!

  1. Black licorice—yay or nay?

UUUUGGGHHHH *throws up* yeah that’s gonna be a nay from me.

  1. What is your theme song?

This is so hard for me because I used to be so incredibly passionate for music and lately I haven’t been able to concentrate on music at all. So, current theme song is a big huge shrug or maybe kid’s music (thank you toddlers). The most recent song I could call a theme song would be Muse’s “Madness.” Despite some negative themes, the song is really inspiring to me and my romances. I think it may be the theme song to my entire Under the Empire series.

  1. What is your least favorite writing trope, cliché, or character archetype, and why?

Well, if this isn’t the most loaded question ever. Or maybe I spend too much time on twitter.  I don’t have a definitive answer for this, but I could mention a few ones that irk me. Gay For You has its place, and that place is the character realizing they are bisexual and living happily ever after. I really don’t get the allure of billionaire stories. Mpreg is definitely not for me, and likewise I don’t understand alpha/beta/omega/knotting at all. For those of you reading this who love those tropes, that’s totally okay! I’m happy you love them and encourage you to. 🙂

  1. Name a guilty pleasure you indulge in.

Watching cartoons. I think all my favorite TV shows are cartoons—Steven Universe, Legend of Korra, Avatar the Last Airbender. They are just such delightful shows full of depth, diversity and brilliant storytelling. They just give me so much joy and inspiration.


Book blurb:  Read My Mind

Scott Kensington lives happily without magic; prayer is all he needs to worship the gods. Then he starts his studies at the University of Frannesburg, and not only is he suddenly surrounded by eccentrics—those gifted with magic—but his own latent ability begins to surface, with consequences that could tear his soul and family apart.

Nick Barns is grieving for his lost mother and desperate for distraction—usually in the form of limited-edition action figures. As a telekinetic, he’s no stranger to magic, so he offers to help Scott adjust to his new powers. They quickly learn how their magics interact, their shared passions soon growing beyond superheroes and immortals. But Nick’s not taking his studies seriously, and his father threatens to pull him from the university. Overwhelmed by his own crumbling family, Scott’s convinced he can’t handle a relationship, but he doesn’t want to let Nick go.

With grief, guilt, and magic complicating everything between Nick and Scott, it seems that not even the gods—or a new comic book—can save their relationship now. Sometimes, even reading someone’s mind won’t help you understand what they want.

Book buy links:

Author bio:

Kelly Haworth grew up in San Francisco and has been reading science fiction and fantasy classics since she was a kid. She has way too active an imagination, thus she channels it into writing. Kelly is genderfluid and pansexual, and loves to write LGBTQIA characters into her work. In fact, she doesn’t know if she’s ever going to be able to write an allo-cishet couple again. Kelly has degrees in both genetics and psychology, and works as a project manager at a genetics lab. When not working or writing, she can be found wrangling her two toddlers, working on cosplay, or curled up on the couch with a good TV show or book.

Author contacts:

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.



Book buy links:

Amazon US:






Books2Read universal:


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.

Author contacts:

  • Website:
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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.


Author contacts:


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.

Author contacts:

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.

Author contacts:

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.

Author contacts:

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!

Author contacts:

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  • Twitter: @KarennaColcroft
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