Thankful for You Hop (Nov. 20 – 27)

This week, we’re letting everyone know just what we’re thankful for. And that includes…YOU! There’s a new giveaway at every single stop so be sure to hop around and visit your favorite blogs and find a few new ones to follow, too!

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I am so thankful for all of you that I decided to wear a turkey and make a video… but it was scary. And not scary-funny. 🙂 So these will have to do!

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Thank you for visiting. And thank you for being an awesome reader.

You make our world go ’round. ❤ ❤

In honor of the AH-MAY-ZING that you are, I’m giving away

A $15 Amazon gift card & 

1 Kindle copy of Immersed by Katie Hayoz &

1 Kindle copy Sleeping in the Forest of Shadows by Eli Constant.

Two of some of the best books I’ve read in the last couple months. 

Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ends November 27, 2015




Meet the rest of the incredible participants. There’s a giveaway at each one, so be sure to keep hopping. 🙂

1. herding cats & burning soup (INT) 32. Bokerah–not up yet 63. Tory Richards
2. vox libris 33. LilyElement Book Reviews (INT) 64. The Flare Up (INT)
3. Laughing Vixen Lounge (INT) 34. Susan Arden 65. Romantic Ramblings
4. BIBLIOPHILE MYSTERY (INT)–not up yet 35. Jessica E. Subject 66. Anne Lange (Int)
5. MYTHICAL BOOKS (INT)–not up yet 36. Poppy Lawless 67. Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance (INT)
6. Angel’s Guilty Pleasures (INT) 37. Melanie Karsak 68. Nancy Lee Badger, Author
7. Reading Romances (INT)–not up 38. Natasha Blackthorne 69. For the Love of Bookends–not up yet
8. Selena Kitt 39. Victoria Adams (INT) 70. Reading Between the Wines Book Club (Int)
9. Emme Rollins 40. Sorcha McInnes 71. Celia Breslin
10. Excite Spice 41. Mindy Hardwick 72. Melissa Limoges
11. Share My Destiny (INT) 42. Read Your Writes Book Reviews 73. Author Elisa Marie Hopkins
12. Joanne Jaytanie (INT) 43. V.S. Morgan 74. Rambling Reads
13. BookHounds (US) 44. Jacey Holbrand 75. Sharing Links and Wisdom
14. BookHounds YA (US) 45. Book Lovin’ Mamas 76. Krysten Lindsay Hager, author INT
15. The Kids Did It–Not Up Yet 46. Where the Story Comes First 77. In The Pages of a Good Book
16. Talk Supe 47. Dianne Duvall, Author 78. Tonya Kinzer
17. Iyana Jenna–Not Up Yet 48. Donna Steele 79. Naughty Readers
18. Alicia @ Addicted Readers (INT)–not up yet 49. My Book Snack (US) 80. Deanna Jewel
19. Jennifer Chambers 50. Sara Daniel 81. LeTeisha Newton (US)
20. Rockin’ Book Reviews–not up yet 51. Christine Murphy 82. Essence Write
21. The Book Lovers Codex (INT) 52. Lea’s Crazy Nights 83. Rose Wynters
22. Lucy Felthouse 53. Deal Sharing Aunt 84. Colleen S Myers
23. Read for your future!–not up yet 54. 3 Partners in Shopping 85. On the Broomstick (Dana Wright author)
24. Brittney’s Book Nook–not up yet 55. Night Owl Book Cafe (INT) 86. Bitten by Romance
25. Margo Bond Collins (INT) 56. Brooke Blogs (INT) 87. Romance Novel Giveaways
26. Daryl Devore (INT) 57. Tabitha Conall 88. Savings in Seconds (US)
27. Elisabeth Staab (US) 58. Rosanna Leo 89. The Mommy Island (US)
28. Author Lynn Burke 59. Houston Havens 90. Fire and Ice Book Promos WW
29. Scribbler’s Sojourn 60. The Crafty Cauldron–not up yet 91. Bottles & Books Reviews (US)
30. Pembroke Sinclair 61. Craves the Angst (INT)
31. Erzabet’s Enchantments PNR Author Erzabet Bishop 62. The Jeep Diva

How to Upload to KDP (Basic)

  1. This is Kindle Direct Publishing. Sign in with your Amazon username and password at

A few years ago, ebooks were uploaded to Kindle through CreateSpace. These days, however, the two platforms are different interfaces. CreateSpace is usually used to create print copies of books while Kindle Direct Publishing is how your book is uploaded in ebook form.

When you upload through CreateSpace, you will be given the option to turn your print file into an ebook version, but you are routed to this website to upload. It is important to note that the formatting for an ebook is slightly different than the formatting for a print version of your work.

And if you are ready to upload, this means that you have been through beta reading, content editing, line editing, copy editing, and multiple proofreading passes.

Before I am ready to upload, I pay a formatter since I love all the snazzy designs and artistic interpretations I get from Inkstain Interiors ( Nadège Richards rocks.

However, many authors learn to format their own work for both print and ebook versions.

Also, if you choose to go live on both platforms (CreateSpace and KDP), Amazon will link the ebook and the print version. If they miss it, you can contact Amazon through your Author Central page and ask for the two versions to be linked so that when a potential reader finds your title, both the ebook and the print form are offered under formats and editions.

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  1. This is your KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Bookshelf.

After you sign in with your Amazon information, you should see this screen. If this is your first time to upload to Kindle Direct Publishing, your screen will be blank below the words Your Books.

Click on the rectangle that reads Create New Title.

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  1. Enter Book Details.

By this point, you’ve probably come up with a snazzy title. Enter that under Book Name.

A subtitle is not required. I pretty much ignore edition numbers as I just revisit this page to re-upload the document if I need to make corrections or edits, but you can assign editions and numbers and subtitles until you’re satisfied.

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Under Description, I copy and paste the backcover blurb that I usually spend days weeping and gnashing my teeth over. Many authors feel that it is easier to write a whole novel rather than boil it down to a reader-tempting blurb, so, trust me, you’re not alone in your heartache.

Click on Add Contributor and list yourself. You can use a pen name or however you would like your name to appear in the title information. There’s a drop down menu to the right. Select Author. You can also add others to this list and assign them varying titles. I am unaware of a limit to contributors, but I have not participated in a great number of anthologies.

Verify your Publishing rights. If this work has been drafted through your own blood, sweat, and tears, please click on the second option. You’re creative. This better be your own work. Don’t plaigerise. It’s illegal. Mmm-kay, pumpkin?

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Target Your Book to Customers. Click on Add Catagories. You are only allowed to select two, but don’t worry too much over this. You can sign back into KDP and adjust these as often as you like. When you do, your title will not be removed from the Kindle Store, but it can take up to 24 hours for any changes or updates to take effect. You can select Age Range and U.S. Grade Range, but if it’s a New Adult title or an Adult title, I just select 18+. Be sure to pick keywords that apply to your work, but choose keywords that are not words that are listed in your title or description. Separate these keywords or phrases by commas.

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Select Your Book Release Options. If you want to make your book available for pre-order, Kindle requires at least eight days BEFORE your planned release date. If you are like me and always late to the party, you’re probably just hours before your deadline. In that case, choose the first option. If you haven’t been living fast and loose with your impending deadline or you’re trying to create some momentum, pick the second option and choose a date at least eight days after the date that you are uploading.

If you create a pre-order, all the pre-order sales will apply to your ranking on your selected release day. Many authors finish a book, upload it and select a date 60-90 days from the date they uploaded. They spend this time letting their friends, book reviewers, and hype-makers (such as PR firms) know about their new release. Again, all pre-order sales apply to your book’s ranking on the day of release. This means that if you do a smashing job of momentum building, your book will climb the rankings and possibly receive more exposure from Amazon.

Upload or Create Book Cover. Again, I hire this out. I am not a graphic designer, and I am definitely not a book cover artist.  Click on Browse for Image. You can select the eye-catching book cover your graphic artist made for you. You can also Launch Cover Creator. I don’t have much information about the second option as most successful authors that I know usually pay graphic artists that manipulate the selected stock images.  (Or, even better, those authors hire a photographer / graphic designer for a unique-to-their-book photo shoot with images that will never be used again.)

Upload Your Book File. That yellow button is where your interior document is uploaded. Make sure you select the correct file. There is nothing more embarassing than realizing all those pre-sales orders received your first draft on release day. For good measure, on my next one, I plan on naming the file “PICK-THIS-ONE-YOU-IDIOT” so there’s less chance of getting caught without my edits.

On the DRM (Digital Rights Management), I always choose “Do not enable digital rights management.” I may change my mind later on in the self-pub portion of my career, but you choose what you think is best for your work. You can also read up a little on this if you hover over that “What’s This?” option.

After all this, click that yellow button that reads, Save and Continue. If you’ve missed anything, KDP will let you know.

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  1. Rights and Pricing.

I select Worldwide rights – all territories. Some only wish to have their work available in the USA or the UK – author’s preference.

Set your price. It’s important to note that a book must be at least $2.99 in order to select the 70% royalty option.  At $0.99, you receive the 35% royalty option. You can select $0.99 initially and raise the price later by signing into KDP and changing the price in this section of your book’s information.

As a side note, I don’t know what that KDP pricing support is. I’ve never clicked on the button that reads View Service.

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I don’t select Kindle Match Book, but it’s an option that allows a reader to purchase the ebook version for a lesser price after purchasing the print version. You can also select Kindle Book Lending so readers can loan your book to others. These options are author’s choice and can also be added at a later date.

See that box? Check that little square and then click that big, beautiful, bright, yellow button that reads….

Save and Publish.

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  1. If you see this screen, your book is being uploaded.

You may click on Back to Your Bookshelf.


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  1. Your Bookshelf.

You should now be able to see your title listed under Your Books. And you will receive an email notification when your title is available for purchase in the Kindle store.

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***As of 11/19/2015, this is what the KDP upload process looks like. If I become aware of any changes, I will attempt to adjust this How To accordingly. Thank you. 🙂


Screenshots taken while uploading

Cold Water Bridegroom.



Published as a part of the Paranormal Love Wednesdays Blog Hop.

Be sure to visit the other awesome participants!

As an author, I already have three times as many rejections as acceptances, but my pile is dwarfed by another fiction writer that I know.

She boasts over six hundred of the old fashioned – paper, envelope, stamps – rejections before she sold her first manuscript to a traditional publishing house. She went on to sell several manuscripts since that first time until finally crossing into self-publishing after her platform grew.

She attributes her success to one thing: perseverance.

While she waited to hear about one submitted manuscript, she wrote another manuscript to submit elsewhere. And then another. She believed that she had a message to give and kept putting herself forward until she was heard.

After each rejection, she returned. And in all this hard work of trying, she improved her craft, and her skills grew until success found her.

Rejection is an inevitable byproduct of trying, but perseverance is the only vehicle that will carry a writer to success.

So, remember, as always, don’t give up. Keep writing!





Coming December 2015


Watch for my Time Travel (SciFi) Romance Novelette

Dogwood Sprocket



Published as a part of the Paranormal Love Wednesdays Blog Hop.

Be sure to visit the other awesome participants!

Grudging by {Michelle Hauck}

Author: Michelle Hauck

Pub. Date: November 17, 2015
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse
Format: eBook
Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads

A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.
The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.
On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.
The Women of the Song.
But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power.  And time is running out.
A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.
Shortly after the combat, Ramiro made his excuses to the men at the wall and left,
returning to the citadel and taking the stairs to the roof. Some alcalde’s wife from the past had turned
this spot into an outdoor garden and dining room, making it a favorite retreat
for many. A peaceful place when he felt anything but.
Other people’s blood spotted his white shirt. Had things gone differently, it could
easily have been his own. He needed a bath and a rest, but his mind hummed from
the conflict, leaving him unable to stop pacing. Cold chills claimed his limbs.
His stomach was sourer than when alcohol had filled it. With no clear single-combat
victory, he hadn’t earned his beard. The night reeked of disappointment.
How long? How long could they keep the Northerners out?
Stars spotted the night sky here, where the citadel met the top of the world. Or so
it had always seemed to him as a child. Life was no longer so certain now that
he was older.
He drew in the cool scent of creeping jasmine, carefully tended and watered by
hand in pots across the rooftop. Colina Hermosa spread before him, a humbling
sight. The city stretched away from the citadel on all sides, a jewel shining
with lights. It spread down the hill, becoming wider and grander as it
sprawled, with imposing avenues and white-clad stucco buildings whose thick
walls and small windows kept out the noonday heat. There was squalor and dirt
as well, fits of temper, rudeness, and often impatience. But the darkness hid
all that, washing the city of its faults and giving it a fresh life until it
tumbled like the sea against the immovable stone walls that now held out the
His heart swelled with love. Something worth defending. Home.
Outside the high, white walls, well beyond arrow shot, was a sight not so welcoming.
There, jammed between the city and a deep, old quarry used to build the city
walls, campfires burned. A red swarm of rage and death, brimstone and smoke,
offering a grim contrast with the peaceful firmament. Not by the hundreds did
they burn, but by the thousands, mirroring the stars in the sky. How many
peasants’ houses did they demolish to feed so much hungry fire? They must be
down to burning cacti. How they kept it up night after night, he couldn’t begin
to comprehend. Salvador had talked on about supply trains and quartermasters, but Ramiro had let his
imagination dwell on his first ride instead. An indulgence he regretted now.
If only each fire meant a single enemy, but that was wishful thinking. Each fire
contained tens of men. Tens and thousands. And behind them, the siege machines
waited their turn. A lethal combination for Colina Hermosa.
He touched the spot above his spleen, and whispered, “Santiago, don’t let me give in
to despair.”
About Michelle: 

Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Two papillons help balance out the teenage drama. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat and Nightmare on Query Street, and Sun versus Snow.

Her epic fantasy, Kindar’s Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing. Her short story, Frost and Fog, is published by The Elephant’s Bookshelf Press in their anthology, Summer’s Double Edge. She’s repped by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary.

Writer’s Life Blog Challenge

This post is a part of the Paranormal Love Wednesdays.

Be sure to visit all the other awesome bloggers. (:

This will be fun! I was tagged by Katy Huth Jones over on her blog, Life is a Four Letter Word, for the Writer’s Life Challenge! This was a fun tagging to find this morning. I wish I could get birds to land on my flute, Katy. 😀

Write Fuel: What do you eat/drink while writing?

I drink lots and lots of coffee. I need to drink more water. At least coffee is made with water. Sometimes, I drink Singing Canary (It’s a delicious support drink for Adrenal Fatigue).

I like salty snacks, but I have a hard time snacking while I’m writing because I hate to get residue on my keyboard. I usually write for an hour or two, and then I take a break to read something while I eat. I started that read-while-eating habit when I spent summers at my Grandmother’s. We could go whole days without talking while each of us had our nose in a book. It was glorious.

I’m happy to say that I’ve passed the habit on to my kids, too.

Write Sounds: What do you listen to while writing?

Recently, I wrote the first draft of a space opera, and I was obsessed with André Rieu’s Bolero. The crescendo reminds me of the order of story-telling. Scene by scene, chapter by chapter, until we meet the climax.  I have always loved the piece, but I listened to it on repeat for most of my first draft. Also, The Piano Guys!

I have learned that the tempo of any music is directly related to how fast my keyboard clacks. Sometimes, I listen to things I already know by heart (so I am not listening to the words or tune) or wordless music. Recently, I’ve listened to Aerosmith, Johnny Cash, Lana Del Rey, Maroon 5, Adele, Norah Jones, Imagine Dragons, Secret Sisters, Punch Brothers. But everything is from a few years ago, so I already know the words.

However, I also really enjoy the Dr. Zhivago soundtrack as well as The Hunger Games (Songs from District 12 and Beyond). I connect the feelings I get from reading or watching a great story told with the music in it. When I saw Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, I listened to Gollum’s Song sung by Emiliana Torrini on repeat for several days, and for several weeks after we watched The Hobbit, my middle son asked to hear the Misty Mountains song before bed. And Pippin’s Song… I could go on.

Write Vice: What’s your most debilitating distraction?

Facebook and Twitter usually catch me. Although, I do spend a significant amount of time researching the publishing industry and book marketing techniques.

Write Horror: What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you while writing?

Editing. Editing is brutal. It’s horribly dramatic in the vicinity of my desk when I have to remove superfluous characters or cut scenes. So far, in my rather limited experience, this is the most dramatic occurrence.

Write Joy: What’s the best thing that’s ever happened while writing or how do you celebrate small victories?

I love it when I complete a story. I spent 20 years starting stories, but never finishing. I get to the end now. That’s a huge accomplishment, and it means that I’m closer to being a decent writer. There’s nothing that beats the learning curve of taking a story from concept to completion, then through all the stages of editing and proofing.

To celebrate? Coffee. I drink coffee, and start over.

Write Crew: Who do you communicate with or not communicate with while writing?

My older boys are getting mature enough that I talk to them about things that I’m trying to work through in plots. They also help name planets or people. Birthdays often appear in my books as codes for locks. They ask regularly if I will make them characters in the science fiction series that I am writing. I probably will.

Otherwise, when I’m spending thousands of words a day on a manuscript, I sort of turn into the writer recluse cliché. I try to remember to lift my head up every so often and contact people outside of my home. Sometimes, it takes those “Hey, are you alive?” texts to remind me.

Write Secret: What’s your writing secret to success or hidden flaw?

I have no secrets to success. The only way to success that I know is hard work. But if you think of something faster, however secretive, I’d love to know. 😀

I think my biggest flaw is that I crave monetary success. Sometimes, I worry more about whether I can sell my idea than whether it’s the story I’m supposed to tell right now. I’ll take lines or ideas out to make the story line more generic.

It’s difficult to walk the line between who I am, my voice, and what I am meant to say, and the desire to be commercially viable in a broad market.

Write-spiration: What always makes you productive?

Music makes me productive. Sometimes, I take a break of a week or two off. But by the end, I’m ready to write everything. Blog posts, flash fiction, short stories, novels, all of it.

Write Peeve: What’s one thing writers do (or you do) that’s annoying?

Those that try to make someone else’s work fit their mindset. I enjoy reading a wide range of voices, but I don’t think I could say that if the editor had said, “Okay, you need to put more ______ in because that’s what’s expected.”

Obviously, certain genres require certain things, but it’s awesome when there’s a spin on the normal. It’s okay to stand out, to be different. The key is to learn to do your version of story-telling well.

Write Words- Share one sentence from a project. Past or present.

Here’s a line from Dogwood Sprocket. It’s a novelette that I’m polishing for inclusion in an anthology later this year.

“Parallel realties?” Grace considered his explanation. “Above my sink?” Of all the bathrooms in all the world…

Thanks for tagging me, Katy! Don’t forget to check out her blog, Life is a Four-Letter Word.

I think I will now tag Cassidy Salem and her blog Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes. Can’t wait to read your answers, Cassidy!

This post is a part of the Paranormal Love Wednesdays.

Be sure to visit all the other awesome bloggers. (:

Coming Spring 2016

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Daughters of Men by {A. R. Draeger} + Giveaway


Daughters of Men
by A.R. Draeger
published April 5, 2015

Devastated by the loss of her son, Rebecca is struggling to salvage her marriage to Jacob, a cold and detached pastor. When he goes on a men’s hunting retreat and does not return on time, Rebecca fears the worst. Jacob arrives three days late, citing bad weather and poor cell service as the reasons none of the men called home. Jacob appears healthy, but Rebecca is concerned with the deep gashes on his arms and is even more alarmed when he tells her that he stitched them himself. As the weeks pass, Rebecca begins to wonder what happened in the mountains. Jacob is not the same man he was before. While she is relieved he is no longer detached, she cannot comprehend why he’s become so flirtatious, so sexually aggressive. So obsessive. Jacob’s odd behavior mounts, and the actions of the men who joined Jacob on the retreat grow more and more strange, convincing Rebecca that the men who came home are not the men who left. Who are these pretenders… and what have they done with her husband?


A.R. (Amber) Draeger resides in rural Texas with her husband, Josh, and son, Logan. When not writing or reading, she is watching reality TV shows or tromping through the nearby woods.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Sad woman in a forest. Loneliness and melancholy concept


KindleFire HD
Daughters of Men by A.R. Draeger (ebook + paperback)
Of Ocean and Ash by A.R. Draeger (ebook + paperback)
Immersed by Katie Hayoz (ebook)
Untethered by Katie Hayoz (ebook)
Sanguinary by Margo Bond Collins (ebook)
Waking up Dead by Margo Bond Collins (ebook)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Brief Review:

Daughters of Men is a SciFi written with a substantial basis within our current reality, but with strong undertones of horror. It begins like any other novel, but quickly takes a turn for the thrilling. There’s a great twist in the second half, and it will keep you guessing.

Love A.R. Draeger’s mind-bending take on Genesis 6:2. Chilling, spooky, and she does a wonderful job of describing things for the reader to experience – sights, sounds, smells, feelings. As her debut novel, I cannot wait to see what A.R. Draeger writes next!

Several surprises and lots of “just one more chapter.”

Recommended Reading.

***Some Adult Themes, Situations, and Language***


This post is a part of the Paranormal Love Wednesdays Blog Hop.

Be sure to check out the other awesome participants!

Margo Bond Collins

Books That Aim for the Heart

Blaire Edens

I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak by {S.A. Molteni}

New Release 11/1/2015

I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak: Along the Bumpy Road of Rural Life



After ditching a full-time career and moving to a small hobby farm to enjoy a slower pace and a healthier lifestyle,  isn’t  everything supposed to be idyllic or “peaches and cream” as they say in the South?  Well, not exactly …

In this second installment of the I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak series, follow the author as she holds on for the ride, “along the bumpy road of rural life” where her friendly neighbors become not so nice and her farm animals evolve into completely coddled pets – with her Royal Palm turkeys becoming the most pampered ones of all.

Available on Amazon:

I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak: Along the Bumpy Road of Rural Life (Book 2)

Daily updates of the happenings on the farm and the latest adventures of the farm animals can be found at: I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak on Facebook

Enter the New Release Give-a-way! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

About the Author:

S.A. Molteni is a retired systems engineer. She is also currently a hobby farmer, avid traveler and an author of several award-winning short stories. She lives on a small homestead with her husband and a menagerie of farm animals.

S.A. Molteni can be found on the following social media sites:

Blog –
Facebook –
Twitter –