Thank you Janis Levonitis for a wonderful review!

November 16th, 2014 → 9:12 pm @

Janis Levonitis

Recommends This Book

Yes

WOOHOO, for all us menopausal ladies over 50. Robin Leemann Donovan’s: Is It Still Murder Even If She Was Bitch?, is a hilarious story of a group of menopausal co-workers and a few male coworkers thrown in, who decide to investigate the murder of a former coworker, Claire, who was a back-stabbing, manipulative, hateful excuse of a human being. WHY? To keep suspicion off themselves, because they all could have had motive to do the deed. Lead by Donna, whose inner monologue rolls with humorous observations of others as she deals with God awful hot flashes, memory issues and the ever dreaded hormonal induced emotions that strike at the most inopportune times. But through various misadventures, destruction of public property, they actually, inadvertently catch the killer. This book takes water cooler office talks to a new level. The characters are quirky and a special mention of Clovis, just to help her out with her extreme narcissism. She would be over the moon with happiness with the very mention of her name. This book starts out slow like a day at work that ends up being an extra exceptional day! I liked this book, as an over 50 gal myself, I’d like to think I’ve still got an adventure or two left to experience. I look forward to more of Donna’s adventures.
This book was provided by the publisher and Netgalley for an honest review.
Go to this link to see it in its original form: http://tinyurl.com/mcmercd

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Thanks cayocosta72 For Your Insightful Review

November 11th, 2014 → 7:44 pm @

Check out cayocost72’s review at this link:

http://cayocosta72.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/is-it-still-murder-even-if-she-was-a-bitch-by-robin-leeman-donovan-published-by-writelife/

or just read it below:

Is it Still Murder Even if She Was a Bitch? by Robin Leeman Donovan. Published by WriteLife

When one of Donna Leigh’s ad agency employees is killed, she decides to become her own investigator. Because she like the deceased so much? Hardly. Donna hated the old bag, but she figures the cops will be knocking on her door, ready to pin the murder on her if she doesn’t find the real guilty party. What follows are Donna and her friends somewhat less than successful attempts at investigating the murder.

Just plain funny. I love love Donna’s caustic wit

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KOIL It’s The Beat Interview – Jody and Karen are totally cool!

May 23rd, 2014 → 10:15 pm @

Check out Saturday’s It’s the Beat at 12 noon. It was so incredibly fun! Jody and Karen were hilarious!

20140521_192119 (3)I want to hang out with them from now! And their engineer was awesome as well!

20140521_193723 (3)They all made me feel so comfortable – and encouraged me to talk as much as I want.

Naturally, there will be  some edits!

In addition, they invited me back when book 2 comes out – which should be any time now!

Watch for it – and check out Saturday’s show – it might give you a laugh!

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Radio Interview on It’s the Beat! on the Mighty 1290 KOIL

May 16th, 2014 → 5:40 pm @

Just got a call from producers of It’s the Beat to record an interview Wednesday night featuring Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch?.

 

It will air on Saturday, May 24th between noon – 1 pm!

It will also be available online. I’ll keep you posted!

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A Talented Photographer Can Make Your Book Cover

January 21st, 2014 → 9:27 pm @

I feel very fortunate. Being in the ad business I have access to many very talented artists. When it came time to design my book cover, my designer strongly recommended commissioning a photograph by the incredibly talented Scott Drickey. Scott read the book, asked a few questions and then came up with a cover photo that offered mystery and intrigue. It created a visual tension befitting a suspense-filled story about murder, yet it maintained a whimsical posture which enabled it to pave the way for the comedic nature of the book.

And Scott managed to convey all of these things within an extremely sophisticated framework.

It fit the book to perfection!

So many of my cozy mystery colleagues select covers that are exaggerated and cartoonish in nature. I’m not sure how that trend came about – but I knew right from the start that it did not fit my work.

I relied very heavily on my designer, Jill Rizzo, to find a “look” that would convey my brand accurately, and with the help and talent of Scott Drickey – my expectations were far exceeded!

 

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Sold Out on Amazon?

December 30th, 2013 → 6:06 pm @

For the first time ever: Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch? is listed as unavailable on Amazon.com. I emailed my publisher to tell her something was wrong.

She said there’s nothing wrong – it just means that they need to order more copies for their warehouse. Does that mean my book is “sold out” on Amazon? Why do I find this so hard to believe?

I’d love to believe that they just can’t keep it in stock – but I’m having trouble convincing myself. If experience has taught me anything – I’m more inclined to think there’s a technical glitch.

That said, please check out amazon.com and let me know what you find. If my book is truly sold out – I’m going to celebrate more than just the New Year!

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Jennifer Priester, author of the Mortal Witch series interviews Robin Donovan

May 13th, 2013 → 6:15 pm @

Interview with Robin Donovan
Posted on May 10, 2013 by animalsandmagic

What is your name, your books name, genre, age level, and what is it about?

I am the author of the Donna Leigh Mystery series, my name is Robin Leemann Donovan. The first book in this cozy mystery series is entitled Is It Still Murder Even If She Was a Bitch?

Book display

Although Donna Leigh, the protagonist of this comedic murder mystery is a menopausal business woman, I have been told that the book has been enjoyed by men and women of a wide age range. However, I would imagine that my primary target audience would be Women 45 – 64.

Menopausal and sardonic Donna Leigh owns an Omaha ad agency. Sleuthing keeps Donna’s toxic relationship with her murdered former colleague from landing her on the suspect list. Donna and her colorful colleagues hunt unrelentingly for clues, leaving a trail of unintentional destruction in their wake, even after Donna is threatened.

Tell us a little about your books characters.

Donna Leigh is my protagonist, a menopausal ad-agency owner/amateur sleuth. Babs & Peg are her two menopausal cohorts. When the three get together – something always happens.

The murder victim, Claire, a former colleague who was a self-satisfied bitch with a less than perfectly ethical approach to business.

Clovis Cordoba Seville is the former colleague who takes the world record in narcissism. Her mental process is fascinating as she manages to ensure that everything revolves around her – she projects her worst flaws onto Donna.

Other folks around the agency include: Donna’s business partners Liv and Donny, her good friend Kyle and various and sundry other staffers.

Last but not least are Donna’s husband Jon and their three rescue bulldogs. They are her comfort and her solace after some very difficult days.

Do you have a favorite among your characters?

Clovis is my favorite. She was added in as a joke, but she became almost the alter ego of Donna. Clovis is everything that Donna hates, she’s a person who puts herself above all else – and only works to ensure that she remains center stage. We all have those moments periodically – and Clovis is quick to point out any and every minor ego related infraction of Donna’s. She also projects a great deal of her own narcissistic insanity on Donna – and we’ve all met those people – what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

Why did you write your book? Did anything specific inspire it?

I have been in the advertising business for over 30 years and I have met some incredible characters. The book was a chance to explore some of the more outrageous of those personalities and combine them with two of my favorite things: comedy and murder mysteries.

Want to Write a Book?

Want to Write a Book?

During the editing process, a few of my editors were concerned that some of my characters were too outrageous and not believable – my editors hailed from academia. Rest assured there has never been a person in the advertising industry who has not absolutely believed these are credible characters.

Now tell us a little about yourself.

I started out as a high school English teacher and felt very old very fast. After three years of teaching I got a job in an advertising agency and have never felt old since.

Most of my career was in the Northeast, but when an offer came to head the media department in the founding office of Bozell, I jumped at the chance and moved to Omaha. Living in Omaha has been an incredible experience. It has changed me from the fast paced, overly aggressive northeasterner that I was and given me a chance to stop and smell the roses – although some would tell you I’m kidding myself on that count!

Twelve years ago I was given the chance to be part of a group that bought the Bozell brand from IPG. It has been an amazing experience – never easy, but rewarding in so many ways.

Our active role in social media started me blogging and once I started writing there was no stopping me. I write for our company blog: Insights, I write a blog on menopause called Menologues, which is republished on Vibrant Nation and Alltop. A few years ago, we got a publisher as a client and I realized that all the pieces of the puzzle were in place and it was time to write my book.

When I’m not at work or writing, I spend time with my rescue bulldogs, ski, dance and I’m an avid reader. I also attend food and wine tastings fairly regularly.

Do you do a lot of reading? And what are a few of your favorite books and authors?

I love to read murder mysteries, both serious and humorous. In general, I love a well written book that reveals a secret. My favorite author is Dickens, but I love Jane Austen.

On the lighter side, I have the utmost respect for JK Rowling and Janet Evanovich. They both serve an important purpose – when my good friend lost her Mom, I sent her the first six Evanovich books – now she’s hooked.

Where can your books be purchased?

Direct book purchase page on my publisher’s website: http://writelife.pinnaclecart.com/humor/is-it-still-murder-even-if-she-was-a-bitch/

Through my author’s website: www.rldonovan.com

The book can also be purchased at the 13th Street Mystery Bookstore – A Stitch in Crime, the Bookworm, Nebraska at the Market and Urban Abbey.

The book can also be purchased on:

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Still-Murder-Even-She-Bitch/dp/1608080382/ref=la_B009G5AKCS_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367857451&sr=1-1

AmazonKindle

http://www.amazon.com/Still-Murder-Even-Bitch-ebook/dp/B009B1AVZ8/ref=la_B009G5AKCS_1_1_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1367857572&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/is-it-still-murder-even-if-she-was-a-bitch-?store=allproducts&keyword=is+it+still+murder+even+if+she+was+a+bitch%3F+

Books a Million

http://www.booksamillion.com/search?id=5678577054418&query=is+it+still+murder+even+if+she+was+a+bitch%3F&where=Books&search.x=49&search.y=10&search=Search

Donna Leigh Mysteries

Donna Leigh Mysteries

Indie Bound

http://www.indiebound.org/hybrid?filter0=is+it+still+murder+even+if+she+was+a+bitch%3F&x=31&y=7

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About animalsandmagic
I am an author and reader of fiction and nonfiction books about animals, the relationships between humans and animals, magic and other supernatural things. My first published book series is called Mortal Realm Witch and is for ages 8-adult. My blog mostly focuses on the topics of animals, magic, reading books, writing books, and sometimes other things as well. I post new blogs every two weeks so be sure to check back then if you like my blog but are not following it. You can also learn when I post a new blog by following me on Facebook and/or Twitter. You can visit my website, www.mortalrealmwitch.com, for the links.
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This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged author interview, book, mystery, Robin Donovan. Bookmark the permalink.
← New Blog Posts and Schedule Begin this Friday night!
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about.me

Jennifer Priester
Author, Publisher, Book Layout Designer, Artist, Reader, & Animal Lover
I write fiction and nonfiction books about animals, the relationships between humans and animals, magic, the supernatural, and superheroes. The genre’s I write in include one or more of the following: Fantasy, Short Stories, Children’s Fiction, Nonfiction, Sci-fi, Sci-fi/fantasy, Supernatural, Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Adventure. I also do my own book cover art and any inside photos or drawings. I layout my own books, both print and eBook, as well as other peoples and publish my books under my own publishing company, A & M Moonlight Creations, which can also publish other peoples work as well as my own.
Besides writing and drawing, I love to read books, ride horses, watch TV/movies, play video games, spend time outside, and spend a lot of time with animals.
I really love animals and have and have owned many, most of which have been rescues. Currently I have a Chihuahua called Taco, two Mini Rex rabbits called Chibi and Kojikaki, and a ten year old Goldfish called Pumpkin. In the past I have owned a Toy Poodle called CeJaye, a Dutch rabbit called Friendly, a Dutch Mix called Oreo who was my first ever rescue pet and ever since adopting her I have become adoption only when it comes to getting new pets. In the past I also lived with a Parakeet called Peekablue, an African Cichlid fish called Trouble, a speckled fish called Speckle, a speckled fish called Sea Star, a Goldfish called Sunny, a Goldfish called Silver, a Dalmatian fish called Perdita, and many other fish as well.
Besides pets I have many anipals; animals that I don’t own but am friends with. One of these animals is my favorite horse at the barn I ride at, an Appendix Quarterhorse called Levi.
At some time in their lives, almost every pet and favorite anipal has inspired a either a nonfiction book, a character or characters in fiction stories, or both. The ones that have inspired fiction characters have their own special dedication page on my website.
I have found that animals are my biggest source of inpiration as a writer.

Recent Posts
Interview with Robin Donovan
New Blog Posts and Schedule Begin this Friday night!
Author Interviews Coming Very Soon! (And other news too)

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FAQs on Authoring a Book: Getting Started – Part 2 Continued

January 28th, 2013 → 9:55 pm @

We’ve already addressed three of the four basic categories that new authors tend to fall into:  the I have an idea I’d like to share with the world group, typically consisting of business advice – an idea, the I have a story to tell group, often about overcoming adversity, and/or self-help advice and the I want to write a book and give my business, or personal brand, a boost folks. We’ve given these author-types some advice on the best way to get things started.

Let the creative juices flow!

Let the creative juices flow!

That leaves our fourth and final category, consisting of the I love to write and I’m pretty good so I should probably write a book folks. For them the subject of the book is often secondary to their desire or even need to express themselves in writing.

At the risk of seeming immodest, that’s where I place myself. As an English major and a former English teacher, I have always wanted to write a book and I’ve never been shy about sharing that fact. When I finally got around to actually writing a manuscript there were those who asked “why did you wait so long?” And the answer is simple. I envisioned pouring my heart into my life’s work and spending the next decade receiving one rejection after another from heartless publishers who would ignore and overlook my brilliance, thus shredding my very soul.

Getting to know a publisher gave me the courage to take a shot. Once I’d made the decision to finally write the damn thing – I hadn’t a clue of what to write. A chat with this publisher helped to get me focused.

“What do you love?” he asked.

“I love comedy.”

“Then write your comedy and show it to me,” he suggested.

That was it. Next challenge – decide what funny things to write about. As a lifelong aficionado of murder mysteries – both serious and comedic – the old adage “write what you know” seemed applicable.

Once my genre was set I sat down to write. The first three chapters virtually wrote themselves. I packaged these up and sent them to my “publisher acquaintance” to await his verdict.

A few weeks later confirmation arrived. My chapters were of enough interest to warrant finishing the book. It was a bittersweet moment that juxtaposed the thrill of having a publisher’s interest and the terror of being clueless as to how to write a whole book.

For me, the next step was to continue writing while simultaneously creating a writing process. There are some who would say my journey appears to have been backwards. But it’s what worked for me.

Here are a few pointers for those of you raring to go:

  1. The writing is so much fun! If it’s not, maybe you have the wrong topic (obviously if you’re writing about a somber subject it won’t be a laugh riot – but it should “feel good”).
  2. You need some kind of a process. Everyone asked me if I had an outline – I never did. I found that the writing just took its own twists and turns. What I did need, however, was a process to determine:
    1. How long before I start to write the ending: I decided to split the book into quarters – and not start writing the ending until the fourth quarter – that was an enormous help.
    2. How many pages does it need to be:  I did some checking on several books in the genre – and they were books that I enjoyed so I knew that the length did not prove to be an obstacle in the enjoyment of the work.
    3. How to determine how many instances of physical comedy should be included: Again, research other authors in the genre – try to focus on books you thought worked well and see how many individual times they used physical comedy.
    4. How to remember details so I could tie up loose ends: I kept a notebook with notes on every chapter. I chronicled when every character was introduced and when every plot turn occurred – it’s impossible to remember every detail – notes are a godsend. I also took notes on every character’s name – you’d be surprised how you can forget a character’s last name – or how you spelled their name.
    5. In my case, folks always ask me if I knew who the murderer was in the beginning. The answer is “no.” At times I thought I knew, but as things progress I changed my mind – several times. Letting the prose take you where it does is known as creativity – don’t try to jam your creativity into a pre-determined outline!
    6. Let the editors do their work! If you are self-published, make it your business to find some great editors and ask them to be ruthless. If you publish traditionally or collaboratively your publisher will take care of that for you. Remember, a suggested change by an editor is not a failure of your manuscript – if you let the creative juices flow there are bound to be mistakes or awkward areas. A great editor will honestly improve the quality of your end product – we don’t always see the flaws in our own creation – nor do friends and relatives!
    7. If all else fails, just write and see where it takes you! You can always turn it into a book later. The whole key to your success is to let yourself go! After that, process and editing (not to mention proofing) will clean things up and make you ready for “prime time!

Donovan heads Bozell Books, a division of Bozell designed to help authors and budding authors from inception through promotion of their published work. She has authored a novel entitled: Is It Still Murder Even If She Was a Bitch? www.rldonovan.com, and the second in her Donna Leigh Mysteries series is currently being published. Her next installment of FAQs on Authoring a Book will address the prospective author with confidence in their ability to write and how it impacts their process of “Getting Started.”

 

 

 

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THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP

December 17th, 2012 → 7:34 pm @

There are the books everyone had heard about: Twilight, Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Gray. But what about all those books written by people you’ve never heard of? Some of them are treasures, just waiting to be found, and that’s what this blog hop is all about: the books you might not have heard about, but that you might end up loving.

This blog hop is like a game of tag. One author posts and tags five other authors who link back to their website the next week and tag five new authors. If you follow the blog hop long enough, you’re bound to find some books you’ll love! Maybe you’ll even discover a book that ends up being the next big thing.

I was tagged by Sally Deskins. You can learn more about her fascinating series Les Femmes Folles: The Women, 2012 on her website:  Les Femmes Folles: The Women, 2011. The blog hop includes ten questions to help you learn more about an author’s current work in progress, so here’s a little info about my current project:

1: What is the working title of your book?

I Didn’t Kill Her, But That May Have Been Short-Sighted.

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

The positive feedback from my first Donna Leigh mystery: Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch? http://www.rldonovan.com/ and for the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmgkpYPi5q8

has really encouraged me to write a second and I’m even working on a third (I Don’t Know Why They Killed Him, He Wasn’t Really That Annoying) in the series.

The initial idea for the Donna Leigh Mystery series came from the fact that I’ve been an avid murder mystery buff since I was a kid; enjoying both dramatic and comedic treatments. With years of experience as a reader in the genre, I developed some pet peeves about certain types of plot treatments, e.g. it never failed to amaze me that brilliant and acclaimed women would invariably walk right into a killer’s trap with no means of defense and no back up. I felt many of the mechanisms used by authors were “easy” but didn’t always make sense or lend to the credibility of the plot.

In the Donna Leigh Mystery series I had the creative license to craft my plot in such a way as to be light and humorous, yet not completely out of the realm of possibility. My characters are not superhuman and recklessly heroic, they are normal people who behave in a normal and often excessively narcissistic (that may be redundant) way.    

3: What genre does your book fall under?

Cozy mystery – although there is a slightly higher propensity for realism in the Donna Leigh series than in some of the cozy mysteries.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

My protagontist, Donna Leigh is a tough one as many, including myself, identify her as me. To flatter myself I’ll say Meryl Streep or Glen Close could easily handle the role – I think Emma Thompson with a blond wig and an American accent would be brilliant!

My murder victim, BJ Thornton could be played by Shelley Duval – with a mass of long tight curls and a bad make-up job.

Detective Warren could be played by Eliza Coupe of Happy Endings fame. She has the beauty as well as the hard edged, obsessively focused characteristics of the lead detective.

Clovis Cordoba Seville, the totally narcissistic pain in the rear is custom-made for Angela Kinsey of The Office, who can be brilliantly self-involved as well as somewhat acerbic. A slightly younger Shelly Long would have been the perfect fit for Clovis, however she lacks the diminutive stature required.

And finally, Peg and Babs. Peg’s role could easily be handled by Better Midler, or Sherri Shepherd. That no nonsense “don’t get in my way and I’ll fix this” attitude they both exude would enable either to play Peg to perfection! Cathy Najimy as the consummate support person would serve well in the role of Babs as she quietly labors to support and sometimes correct Peg’s continual well-meaning meddling.  Debra Monk, Sherri Shepherd’s co-star in the Evanovich film One For The Money might also make an excellent, laid back, Babs.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A comedic romp through murder, mayhem and menopause that may change your viewpoint of menopausal women forever! 

6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

My book will be published by WriteLife, http://www.writelife.com/. They published the first Donna Leigh Mystery: Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch?.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft?

Although the first draft of the premier Donna Leigh mystery took only three months to write, the second in the series took considerably longer – probably about a year all told. There are a few reasons why the second book took as long as it did. The first and most compelling reason is that I had to stop writing when book number one came back to me for edits. All systems were ‘go’ on book number one and nothing stood in the way of getting it finalized for publication.

The second reason had more to do with self-confidence. I wasn’t positive my first book would actually get published until the eleventh hour. On some level I feared my publisher coming back to me saying they’d changed their minds and it had been shelved. It was hard to motivate myself to finish that second book until I knew the first one was really happening!

The third reason my second book took so much longer than the first was that I genuinely enjoyed the writing process itself and I wanted to prolong the pleasure. I know I could have finished the second book and begun the third – but I really wanted to see that first book in print before embarking on a third.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

A lot of cozy mysteries are kind of sloppy and loose with the facts. They don’t try to create realistic characters that are outrageous – they go all the way to ridiculous.

Phyllis Richman has published The Washington Post Dining Guides and she also has a food-related series of cozy murder mysteries such as: The Butter Did It, Murder On The Gravy Train and Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Ham? Phyllis’ books are sophisticated yet funny and compelling. They portray a protagonist who’s cool, smart and edgy even though she’s closer to menopause than her coming out party.

9: Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Authors like Phyllis Richman, Janet Evanovich, JK Rowling, Agatha Christie and Pat Cornwall were an absolute inspiration to me. They all share a gift of engaging the reader and giving them an experience that transcends the simple story in some way. Often it’s a lesson in humankind – sometimes it’s about how to relax and not take oneself too seriously.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The Donna Leigh Mysteries are all about not taking others at face value and realizing that things are often different from how they appear. Some of the recurring themes are: older women really can be cool, women who aren’t skinny can be chic and desirable, living in Omaha is something many people choose to do, very capable people are not perfect, and intensely self-involved people do function at some level – just not the level they credit themselves for achieving.

The books are mysteries on multiple levels. Yes, people are murdered and those murders must be solved; but the characters and how and why they function are often mysteries in and of themselves since virtually any genuine account of people interacting often proves to be pretty strange – if we’re to be totally honest with ourselves.

Donna Leigh Mysteries are designed to make you laugh and take your mind off your troubles for a bit by illustrating the value of taking ourselves less seriously and laughing at ourselves once in awhile. Thanks for reading. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Here is a list of authors who will be joining the hop for week of December 24. I hope you’ll visit their blogs next week and learn more about their books. Maybe one of them will become your new favorite author!

1 Michelle Cohen Corasanti

Marcia Calhoun Forecki 

Barb Malek

 

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Thanks to SheWrites Writer for the Awesome Comment on my Book Trailer!

December 7th, 2012 → 6:10 pm @

Comment by Gabrielle Mazur 34 minutes ago
Delete Comment

Just watched your video. It looks great! Very professional looking. Sounds like a book I’d love to read 🙂 And love your doggies, I have an Old English Bulldog. He’s lying at my feet this very minute. I wish you all the success in the world!

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