#BookReview The Dark and Other Love Stories by Deborah Willis

Deborah Willis has crafted one lovely group of stories in The Dark and Other Love Stories.

This collection is full of humor and intriguing content. No, seriously. I was thoroughly impressed by not only Deborah’s incredible writing style but the imagination behind these stories. Some of them were just wild! The weirdest yet most interesting was a girl falling in love with a man who wants her to be a bird. Like… what? How does one come up with THAT idea? Impressive.

My favourite was the story about a woman going behind her boyfriend’s back and trying to go to Mars. It was funny and yet really moving. My heart ached for the poor man as we watched the scenario unfold. But my gosh, so good! It’s hard to get emotions like that for a book!

I would highly recommend this book. Not only is it not your typical anthology full of love stories and dark and twisted humor, but it’s also just really well written. Deborah has a real talent and it’d be a waste for this book not to find a bigger audience (also, she’s Canadian. ReprIndigoesent!).

I do think this book may fit into a niche category for some readers, since it’s not purely about love and romance. This book is not a romance book, it is a contemporary novel written with love themes. That being said, if you go into it understanding that this isn’t a romance novel and it’s purely based on theming and creative stories, you’ll love it. I sure did! I thought it was a fun ride and I’d love to pick up more by Deborah in the future.

Overall, I’m thoroughly impressed by this book. I will continue to recommend it until my dying days, because it’s a real, secret, Canadian gem!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

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Your TBR still need some love and affection? Pack it on with these delightful reads:
#BookReview The Heirs by Fran Hawthorne
#BookReview The Perfect Fit by Mary Jayne Baker
#BookReview Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio

 

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#BookReview Close to Home by Cara Hunter

Holy. Moly!

Close to Home by Cara Hunter is one wildly epic ride that mystery and thriller lovers will absolutely be OBSESSED with! I sure was!

Eight-year-old Daisy Mason suddenly vanishes during her parents party. When the investigation about her disappearance begins, things seem fishy. The family is strange, there’s no clear leads and something just isn’t right… There were tons of guests at this backyard barbecue – friends, family, school mates. Could one of them taken Daisy? The police force won’t stop until they locate this youngling.

For my first point, I did NOT see this ending coming. There was an inkling there, but I was never fully convinced of which way this story was going to go. Cara set this story up so wonderfully that there was never a dull moment and my inner Detective was constantly at work.

I also really appreciated how Cara slowly unwound the story behind this dysfunctional family. They aren’t what they appear to be, and slowly but surely we see what’s truly going on behind the scenes. Because of this, my theories about what happened were constantly being molded and changed, which was really fun! Throw in the fast-paced nature, the epic Tweets and News Reports and the character dynamics presented and you’ve got one amazing book.

My biggest negative about this book was that there was no chapters. This book was continuous which led to me being unsure of where to stop. There are breaks in the story, but I like having a full stop at a chapter. This doesn’t affect the story at all, it’s more of a personal pet peeve.

Another note: This book features child pornography, child kidnapping and abuse, and potential child murder. It’s not for the light-hearted. Reader beware!

I can honestly say I’m surprised this book doesn’t have more ratings, reviews and people talking about it. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time! This book needs to get in the hands of readers because Cara Hunter is marvelously talented! Cat and mouse tales like these are just splendid.

Overall, DI Adam Fawley should be among the top mystery books out there. I’m not kidding – it was one of the best I’ve read in a very long time, and I read a fair about of thriller, suspense and mystery books. I’d highly recommend this! 110% recommendation! I haven’t had this much fun in a mystery in a very long time.

Five out of five stars.

I received an ARC version of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

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If you love mystery, thrills and suspense, check out some other books recently featured on my blog:
#BookReview Law and Addiction by Mike Papantonio
#BookReview The Extra Cadaver Murder by Roy Innes
#TopBooksList Briar’s Crime, Mystery & Thriller Reads

 

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#BookReview Snowman Paul Saves Kate’s Birthday by Yossi Lapid

Snowman Paul is back and this time it’s his friend Kate’s birthday!

Our lead character made a mistake and almost ruined Kate’s birthday, but Snowman Paul came to the rescue! Together, the two of them come up with an epic idea and initiate the plan to make Kate’s birthday super, duper awesome!

This book was sweet and is yet again full of pretty illustrations. There are bright colours with the soft illustrations, which makes for a cohesive story. I honestly love these water colour pictures and I’m glad that they kept it consistent throughout the series.

Overall, this book is a great addition to your picture book and children’s book shelf!

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author Yossi Lapid in exchange of an honest review.

 

This book is available on:
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Check out the other books by Yossi Lapid recently featured on my blog:
#BookReview Sasha and his Red Leash by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Yara’s Tawari Tree by Yossi Lapid
Quick #BookReview Snowman Paul and Kate’s Olympic Dream by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Snowman Paul Returns to the Winter Olympics by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Snowman Paul at the Winter Olympics by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview My Snowman, Paul by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Halloween with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid

 

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#BookReview Extrahumans by Susan Jane Bigelow

Not gonna lie, normally I find sci-fi incredibly boring and couldn’t be bothered with it, and then Extrahumans came into my life.

The plot of this book is essentially: closing up a story about superheroes living among us in a dystopian world. Jill is trying to survive, and somehow gets the team back together in the process. There will be love, loss and lots of fighting in this epic finale. It felt like a cool mix of Star Wars, Star Trek, the beautiful landscapes and colours of Jupiter Ascending and a pinch of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It took all the best things of my favourite sci-fi movies and mashed them together in the best possible way (in book form, of course).

There’s something about this book that makes it fun and engaging, and I could barely put it down. It’s packed full of fun character (with real flaws – they’re not perfect!), there’s lots of action and adventure, superpowers galore, dystopian landscapes, a Pakistani woman lead and a little LGBT representation!

I found it a tiny bit difficult jumping into the last book of this series, but I think Susan Jane Bigelow did an excellent job of filling in the blanks within the book. I would have enjoyed understanding the past relationships and struggles the characters had before, but I was still able to fully throw myself into this book. Either way, I’d love to read more by Susan now because she is just a really good writer! Any writer who can make me love a genre I typically don’t is totally worth reading.

I also did not enjoy Jill’s character in the beginning. I found her super annoying and childish, but then she started growing and changing as the events of the novel took place. And, at least for me, the surprises about her in this book were welcome and absolutely lovely. I was very happy to see her character develop into someone I could actually respect instead of dramatically roll my eyes at.

Overall, I would highly recommend this series! It’s a fun, sci-fi adventure with an excellent writing style. If you love sci-fi, I’m sure you’ll love it more than I did!

Four out of five stars.

i received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

You can find out more about this book on:
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If you love this review, this book or sci-fi in general, check out these books:
#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview – The Last Day of Captain Lincoln by EXO Books
#BookReview – Strungballs by Mike Russell

 

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#BookReview Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Smile by Raina Telgemeier is a story that totally connected with me in ways other books couldn’t. Raina’s story echoes a lot of my own, and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to see a story like this get shared. Many kids will face dental issues and bullying, so a book like this could do wonders for them!

I saw this book years ago and wanted to pick it up but never did. Recently, I found it at a local book store on sale and decided this was the time for me to grab it. I also just wanted some more cute graphic novels in my life, so that helped a lot.

I was honestly surprised how addicting and easy to read this book was. Yes, middle grade books tend to be easier for adults to read, but I found myself sinking into the story and not being able to get out. I related to it so much and I could totally feel for Raina. Middle school and high school are hard, especially when going through the pain of braces and surgeries (I for one, can attest to that).

Some of the major positives of this book are as follows:
1. Raina shares a personal stories that many people can relate to. This story will hit many readers in ways they don’t realize.

2. The illustrations in this book was fun and colourful and kept me hooked to the story.

3. The story was fast, easy to read, and quite fun (despite all the pain Raina was going through).

4. Raina standing up to her bullies was a serious “high-five” moment for me. Go Raina! You do you, girl!

5. There’s lots of little references to my own childhood in this book, so I can totally see adults digging this book along with their kids. Seriously, this book can be read by “all ages”. It’s a great read!

Negatives:
1. I didn’t realize this book was a memoir at first. I’m not sure if it was obvious or if I just missed it. That’s literally the only negative I can find. This book is great!

In all honesty, I love this book. I would definitely recommend readers pick this book up for a little fun and a lot of nostalgia. Who doesn’t forget those dreaded dentist appointments? Or if you were lucky enough to have braces, the craziness of those appointments!

I will 100% be picking up any more books by Raina Telgemeier that I come across.

Five out of five stars!

If you’re craving a graphic novel full of nostalgia, check this book out on:
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More middle grade books await, click the links below to find them:
#BookReview The Great Grain Elevator Incident by Kevin Miller
#BookReview Seizure by Kathy Reichs
#BookReview Monster Blood (Goosebumps) by R.L. Stine

 

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#BookReview The Boy on the Beach by Tima Kurdi

The Boy on the Beach is a beautiful yet haunting tale of a heartbreaking story that swept the nation.

Back in 2015 there was a very viral picture of a young, Syrian refugee boy washed up on the shore of the Mediterranean. It was heartbreaking, knowing that these people were seeking help and they didn’t get it. Alan Kurdi was the young boy, and Tima Kurdi (his aunt) shares the powerful story of this tragedy in this beautifully written novel.

This book is one for the ages: it showcases real human emotion. Syrian refugees are normal people (which some people on the internet do not seem to get) and were just living their lives and doing their best. Families, jobs, education, marriages, pregnancies, miscarriages, etc. They all had experiences and were doing their best. Then the Syrian War happened and ruined everything. The war went on for ages and people tried to escape, many of them taking the refugee route. These people bargained with smugglers and tried to escape to another nation, but many did not make it.

This story HURT. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be on the other side of that picture. I remember seeing it and having my heart ache, but not to the level that Tima and her family would have felt. To lose one’s children and wife, or nephew and sister-in-law, to know that you tried to get them freedom and one small decision is what hurt them. It’s heart breaking.

If there’s a positive about this book, hopefully it’ll open some hearts up and someone will be able to help someone else. Not only is this book written beautifully, but it reeks of empathy. My heart felt like it was going to explode reading it. I felt so attached and I felt so strongly for Tima. That writing ability, it’s one for the ages.

My only negative for the book is that is was sad, and that’s not even a negative – it’s reality. I almost cried reading this book because it’s just so darn awful yet amazing. It’s a horrible story, one that definitely was not deserved by all of those involved. The inhumane crimes… it’s despicable. But Tima’s ability to write and make me feel for her and want to do everything in my power to help, that’s just amazing. There’s also so much love and adoration in this book as well. The love of her family, the desire to do better – it’s worthwhile.

You’ll be grateful for the position you’re in and you’ll feel things you’ve never felt before once you pick up this book. I swear. Hug your family a little closer tonight and realize things can change in an instant. This book also gave me a reminder that you don’t know what’s going on in other people’s lives, so respect, respect, respect. And give a little empathy once and a while. Maybe don’t go judging based off Twitter and Fox News.

I’d 100%, highly recommend this book. It’ll make you cry and feel things you never did. It’s beautiful, astonishing and moving. I can’t recommend it enough – non-fiction lovers, history lovers, explorers and people who just want to feel something. Seriously, pick up this book.

Five out of five stars. I would give it six if possible.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. My copy was also an arc, so it may have changed upon publication.

 

You can find more about this book on:
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Here are some other books you might enjoy if you liked this book or review:
#BookReview The Fencers by Geza Tatrallyay
Book Review: Ugly by Robert Hoge
#BookReview Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

 

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#BookReview Michael James by Lisa Andrew

If you’re looking for a hot erotica that will leave you steaming up your house, pick this book up!

Michael James is a purely hot erotica following the Queen and her husband Michael James. The Queen is a CEO and she just got back with her husband, another prominent business figure with intriguing tastes. They have a Dom-Sub relationship, and tend to get into very naughty scenarios. This relationship isn’t easy, especially with Michael spying on his wife and her escapades. Michael is having some issues in the sex department (erectile dysfunction) which is causing problems in their open relationship.

This book is about domination and control in a celebrity like marriage. The couple explore various kinks and constantly tease each other. Michael crosses some lines, which the Queen is none to happy about, but they eventually get back to getting hot and heavy with each other. Boundaries are pushed and pulled and rubbed and everything in between. But there are secrets in this relationship too, which slowly unfold over the course of the book.

There’s lots of aggression in this book, and thankfully Lisa Andrew put a little disclaimer at the beginning of the book about consensual sex. People need to realize this is a work of fiction and for people’s fantasies, and it is not recommending being mean to your spouse and flogging them because you had a bad day. To add to the realness, there is sex therapy and the two deal with their problems.

This book is going to be in a niche market – you need to like erotica and BDSM relationships in books to enjoy it. I’m not the biggest fan of BDSM anymore, but I can totally appreciate it for what it is and shout to the hills that you need to read this book if you love erotica. It’s a lot more sex than plot, but that’s what some readers desire.

Overall, this book is a pure fantasy for erotical overs. I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking to add another erotica to your TBR shelf. Lisa Andrew has crafted a wickedly wild book!

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author, Lisa Andrew, in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
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Amazon.ca
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Find out more about the author, Lisa Andrew, on:
Goodreads Author Page
http://www.lisaandrewerotica.wordpress.com/
Twitter – @thewife101

 

If you love erotica, you might enjoy these books too:
#BookReview At Mother’s Command by Kay Brandt
#BookReview For Her Own Good by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Safe Landings by Kay Brandt

 

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#BookReview Naked 2 by Kay Brandt

Oh boy, they’re back!

Cadence has a chance to go back on the naked survival show that she survived last time around. She’s very tempted, especially since there seems to be something between her and Jackson, but her boyfriend and job might be left behind. Chris, her boyfriend, isn’t too comfortable with Jackson and Cadence’s closeness from the previous time around which makes this more difficult.

This book is a great sequel in this series, and it leaves me grasping for more. I’m truly intrigued if they will go back for the show or if something more will develop between Jackson and Cadence. It left on a bit of a cliffhanger though, which is going to drive me mad! I am so invested in these characters and I need to know what’s going to happen! That only happens when you’ve got some good quality writing, so kudos to Kay. Either way, I’m one hundred percent going to be sitting around and waiting for book three! Gimme more, to quote Britney Spears.

Kay is great at writing sexy erotica scenes, and this book is no different. The book is littered with erotic sex that will make you melt in your seat. Add in there’s a great plot that makes it not just a book of sex and you’ve got a real winner! This is how erotica should be – a great story to pull you in and some super hot scenes to keep you hanging on.

Four out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Kay Brandt, in exchange of an honest review.

 

Pick up this book on:
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You can find out more about Kay Brandt on:
Goodreads Author Page
Amazon Author Page
Twitter – @MsKayBrandt

Here’s some other books by Kay Brandt featured on my blog. If you liked this book or review, you’ll love them too:
#BookReview Hotwives and their Dirty Desires by Kay Brandt
#BookReview At Mother’s Command by Kay Brandt
#BookReview At Mother’s Command 2 by Kay Brandt
#BookReview Safe Landings by Kay Brandt
#BookReview Naked by Kay Brandt

 

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#BookReview Seeing Colour by Amber Faucher

If you’re seeking a fun and flirty romantic comedy, then Seeing Colour is the perfect fit!

Welcome to Scotland! Evie, a young adult from good ol’ Alberta, Canada, packs her things and moves to Scotland as a bit of a rebellion against her troubles. She’s an Optician (a person who makes the lenses for glasses), and manages to find a job working for an Optometrist named Mara, and with a sexy Scot named Connie. Did I mention that she manages to hook up with Connie on night one without knowing he was her co-worker? Oh yeah, it’s awkward. And it looks like Mara and Connie are or were married? Just great! Things are getting better! Her luggage gets lost, her new living arrangements fall flat and life just seems to be giving her the book.

But don’t worry! Her internet bestie has her back, Connie is the hottest Gaelic man you’d ever see and Scotland is… well, Scotland! It’s super cool! But, things are only going to get more confusing, dramatic, funny and romantic along the way…

This book was such a fun ride! It has comedy, romance and drama all laced throughout the book. It’s hard to believe this is Amber’s first published novel because it’s so good it seems like she’s been doing this forever! I seriously need more books from Amber ASAP!

So, why did I like it?
1. There is nothing hotter than a man asking if he can have you. Go Connie for being decent!
2. “Gaelic god” kept autocorrecting to garlic god in my notes, and I kept laughing at myself and kinda wishing he would have been Italian or a vampire instead for a really funny joke in my review.
3. LGBT friendly! Yay! I won’t give it away, or else it ruins the book!
4. The ending was surprising! It was the kind of plot twist I had thought I saw coming, but was still surprised by it nonetheless! There were really two fun twists to follow, but I won’t tell you which one surprised me more. Comment or message me to find out which!

My only negative about the book was Mara. I wasn’t entirely sure if she was supposed to be a sympathetic bad guy, if she was just mean, or if she was doing everything out of the kindness of her heart. We don’t see her side of things often, so it’s hard to tell. I’m an analytical person, I like knowing these things!

Regardless, I love this book! I highly recommend it to those who want a romantic comedy on their TBR. It’s sugary sweet, sitcom level funny and by an indie author! Support the Indies! Insert joke about Indiana Jones here….

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Amber Faucher, in exchange of an honest review.

Side note: The cute picture Amber drew in my book gives it a sixth star. IT WAS SO CUTE! Personalized books always make it on my office shelf! I can’t wait to show it off! ❤

 

You can find this book on:
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Check out Amber Faucher on:
Goodreads Author Page
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Twitter @FaucherAmber

If you love romance and comedies, check out these other reviews recently featured on my blog:
#BookReview After the Sack by Savannah Adams
#BookReview Barefoot Beach by Debbie Mason
#BookReview The Perfect Fit by Mary Jayne Baker

 

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#BookReview Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I have been eying Throne of Glass for YEARS. Quite literally, since this book has come out I’ve been wary to touch it. It’s so well hyped and sometimes that hype doesn’t live up to all of it’s praise. Not too long ago, I came across this book at a local discount store and I jumped on it. Why not just give it a try and see if it’s like what everyone says? AND IT IS. At least for me, anyways. It was so worth the hype.

Throne of Glass features Celaena, a young adult who was raised and trained by an assassin when she was found dying along a river bed. She paid her dues, and has now unsuccessfully escaped to a worse life in a mine. When the Crown Prince Dorian comes and collects her to be the King’s Champion, everything changes. Calaena must go through a series of test to prove herself worthy, but that’s not all she faces. There’s something evil lurking in the castle, and the old spirits and fae lore are whispering at her to help fix the problem. On top of all that, the handsome Captain of the Guard Chaol and Crown Prince Dorian both appear to be transfixed on our murderous leads. Annnnd, are some of these friends Calaena has made truly trustworthy? Or will they be the foe we’re all worried about?

This book has a lot going on but it’s super easy to follow. It’s definitely a young adult or even new adult novel, but the typical tropes always get me grinning along the way. The old nostalgia I got in high school for The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Divergent – that sense of being apart of something and reading something many others have enjoyed – came back and made this book all the better.

Are there “problematic” parts of this book? Yeah, sure. Would a trained, rough and tough assassin act like a teenager? Maybe not. Did some of the rules for the competition seem to change throughout the book? Yes. Did any of that bug me? Not really. For me, this book was lots of fun and the little problems it had didn’t really phase me. I glossed over a lot of it, because this was fantastical, full of action and had those darn romance triangle tropes that I fall for EVERY SINGLE TIME. If you’re going into this book wanting to analyze all the faults, go for it. I just wanted a nice escape. Reading the other reviews, especially the bad ones, has me scratching my head. I’ve yet to meet an eighteen year old assassin who had a really tough life and actually seen their behaviour. Can’t a teenage protagonist who’s finally “free”, to a degree, be allowed to be a teenager? But, if you take a peek at the good reviews, people say the farther you get into the series the better it gets. So I’m pumped. Get me these books ASAP!

Ah, oh well. Either way, this book was a fun ride for me! Calaena was head strong, sassy, a hard worker and loyal. Chaol was super hot and my goodness she better end of with him. Dorian’s character grew a lot from the first to the last page, and I am beginning to like him more. Nehemia seemed sketchy at first but I am curious how her story would grow. Is Nox gonna come back? Because Nox seemed sweet. Also, there’s gotta be more to Cain and his back story, I’m nosy. And Elena! More lore please? SO MUCH GOOD STUFF.

Also, no cliffhanger in this book! Sarah does not want to torture me with a cliffhanger, it’s great! And the cover is absolutely stunning! I got the second cover, with the blue illustration instead of the girl – it’s crazy cool!

If you get the same copy I did, there’s a little Q&A at the back. I was surprised this book was based off Cinderella, but I was also really intrigued. It’s amazing the ideas we can get from other works and how they can mold and change over time.

Here’s my recommendation:
If you like popular YA books and diving into the hype: GET THIS BOOK.
If you’re looking for Game of Thrones: THIS IS NOT YOUR BOOK.
If you’re looking for something full of fantasy, has a fast pace, has lots of YA fun (romance, drama, the likes): THIS IS YOUR BOOK.

What I would like to see out of future books:
This book seemed to be more New Adult. The descriptions of the brutality was wicked and definitely for an older crowd. But, the talks about sex was nil. Not an exact quote here – Dorian sees many women – come on Sarah, we know what you meant. If you can talk about a man being sliced to bits and eaten then we can hear that Calaena has some sexy feelings for the boys.

Overall, I really liked this book! I want the rest of the series now. I’m pleasantly surprised and want to pick up more by Sarah.

Five out of five stars.

 

If you haven’t checked this book out yet, here’s where you can find it:
Goodreads
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
B&N
Kobo
Indigo

Find out more about Sarah J Maas:
Goodreads Author Page
http://sarahjmaas.com/
Twitter – @SJMaas

If you’re looking for more fun YA novels to add to your TBR, here’s some other books featured on my blog you might enjoy:
#BookReview Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
#BookReview White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
#BookReview The Great Grain Elevator Incident by Kevin Miller

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