**My Book Of The Month** April 2016

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I can’t believe we are in May already, it doesn’t seem five minutes since we celebrated Christmas! So for me it’s time to choose my book of the month for April. The gold coffee cup award is chosen by myself at the beginning of every month, for the previous month. I have also added a new feature to this post, and will include books that I would highly recommend from my previous months reading.

The Gold Coffee Cup Award is a  very prestigious award (well I think so anyway!) and will be presented (reality wise anyway) to the author/book that I found outstanding for that month, and would possibly have given a higher rating than a 5 star review, if I could.

Again I have read some outstanding books this month, but my book of the month had the “extra factor” it was compelling, dark with an exceptional plot and I really didn’t want to put it down. So with no further ado and a drum roll the book I have chosen for April 2016 book of the month is………

The Silent Twin by Caroline Mitchell

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Book description

Nine-year-old twins Abigail and Olivia vow never to be parted. But when Abigail goes missing from Blackwater Farm, DC Jennifer Knight must find her before it’s too late.

Twin sister Olivia has been mute since Abigail’s disappearance. But when she whispers in Jennifer’s ear, Jennifer realises it is Abigail’s voice pleading to be found.

A damp and decaying house set in acres of desolate scrubland, the farm is a place of secrets, old and new – and Jennifer must unravel them all in order to find the lost girl. But could Olivia’s bond with her twin hold the key to finding Abigail? And can Jennifer break through her silence in time to save her sister.

Kindle        Paperback

You can see my review and Q & A with Caroline Mitchell here…….The Silent Twin review

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Apologises to any author whose book I read in April, and didn’t make it to my book of the month post, I enjoyed all the books I read, but for me The Silent Twin was  particularly outstanding.

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Books I would highly recommend from my reads in April 2016

Bone By Bone by Sanjida Kay

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You can see my review HERE

The Second Chance Shoe Shop by Marcie Steele

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You can see my review HERE

 

 

**Blog Tour** The Silent Twin by Caroline Mitchell and Q & A

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Today I am so excited to be part of The Silent Twin blog tour, not only that but I get to ask Caroline some questions about her books and much more. Caroline Mitchell’s crime thriller series, featuring DC Jennifer Knight reached the number one position in the Amazon crime charts. These edge of your seat crime thrillers are infused by Caroline’s personal experiences in both the police and the paranormal.A huge thank you to Kim Nash over at Bookouture and Caroline for letting me part of the blog tour for The Silent Twin which I absolutely loved by the way, so with no further ado……

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Hi Caroline I’m super excited to have you stop by the book review cafe, and at the risk of sounding like a OTT book fan, I just love your books. I confess the only one I haven’t read is Paranormal Intruder, it’s on my TBR pile but I’m to scared to read it considering it’s a true story.

Thanks Lorraine, I’m thrilled to be here! Your reviews always brighten my day.

For those readers who haven’t yet heard of you or your books can you provide us with an introduction to the DC Jennifer Knight series ? 

Sure. Jennifer Knight is a detective working in Haven, a creepy, superstitious town where nothing is as it seems. She is a detective with a difference. She senses the dead. She uses her skills alongside her normal police work to help solve crimes with an unearthly edge. Jennifer and her sidekick Will are regular people who find themselves in some very unusual and dangerous situations.

Can you give a description of The Silent Twin?

Nine-year-old twins Abigail and Olivia vow never to be parted. But when Abigail goes missing from Blackwater Farm, Jennifer must find her before it’s too late. But with a media hungry mother and a secretive father, nothing is as it seems.

Twin sister Olivia has been mute since Abigail’s disappearance. But when she whispers in Jennifer’s ear, Jennifer realises it is Abigail’s voice pleading to be found. Could Olivia’s bond with her twin hold the key to finding Abigail? And can Jennifer break through her silence in time to save her sister’s life?

Where did the idea for your latest book The Silent Twin come from?

My mum was an identical twin and I’m married to an identical twin, so the bond between twins is very real, and has always been something that has fascinated me. I wanted to write something with more of a psychological thriller feel for book three and this felt like the perfect coupling.

How do you research material for your book?

Being a serving police officer, most of it is in my head. I’m also very fortunate to have a lot of great contacts who are generous with their time. I was able to speak to the head of the police diving team for one scene, and another fellow colleague is a Family Liaison Officer who has worked on some high profile cases. I also have personal experience with the paranormal, as written in my first book, Paranormal Intruder.

Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?

Ha ha, yes! Before I begin a new book I must have a new Paperchase notebook. It doesn’t matter that I’ve got loads hidden away in a cupboard, it has to be new. Usually I’ll stare at it and think what a shame it is to mess it up with my scribbles, and after five minutes of pondering, I’ll get stuck in. I usually get the initial idea for my book while out walking or doing something mindless. I’ll scribble down plot and character points before taking it to my computer. I work on a writing programme called Scrivener, and do the first draft there before then putting it on to a word document for my editor. On launch day I celebrate with a bottle of champagne and a portion fish and chips from the local chip shop. ☺

Do you write an outline before you start writing?

Oh gosh yeah, I have to, but it’s always subject to change. I write a full timeline of events in Excel, just a couple of sentences for each chapter.

How long did it take to get your first book published?

I self published my first book, Paranormal Intruder, so not that long. I submitted to Bookouture after I wrote Don’t Turn Around, (which was named Deadly Suspect initially) and that was fairly quick too. That’s the benefits of working with a digital publisher, once they accept you, there’s no hanging around. I’ve been writing for about four years in all.

Are your books based on anyone you know? or are they just fictional?

They’re all a product of my bizarre imagination. Having said that, I’ve met some very interesting characters over the years, so there might be a sprinkling of their personalities here and there.

Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?

Only in my first book, Paranormal Intruder. That is a 100% true account of my experience with an unknown entity in my home. Some of the banter between Will and Jennifer has been taken from real life experiences, I used to say to my colleagues ‘anything you say can be taken down and used against you!’

What do your police work colleagues think of you writing books?

They’ve been brilliant, so supportive and excited for me as they watched my journey. I’ve recently given in my notice to become a full time author. I will miss my colleagues, but I’m so excited to be starting this new chapter in my life.

If you could co write a book with another author, who would it be and Why?

This is an interesting question, because it’s something Mel Sherrat and I have talked about several times. Mel and I have similar dark minds, I would love to work with her in the future.

Describe your book in 5 words?

Psychological, thriller, spooky, gripping, mysterious.

Describe yourself in 5 words?

Ummm that’s a very good question. Where to start? Introvert, laid back, dreamer, coffee addict, buddah fan (I cheated on the words but that was a tricky one).

What authors/books do you like to read in your spare time?

I adore my fellow Bookouture authors and they have produced some amazing novels. My all time favourite author is Stephen King though, he’s the master in my eyes. I think I’d faint if I met him!

What book are you reading now?

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King.

During all the interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?

I guess I’m excited to talk about what’s coming next. I’m writing a new series featuring a detective sergeant by the name of DS Ruby Preston. Based in Hackney, this series is written for readers who prefer their crime without a dose of paranormal. I enjoyed writing Jennifer, but I would love to appeal to a wider audience. Ruby is a fun loving, popular gal who doesn’t always play by the rules. I’m very excited for the new series and I think my readers will enjoy getting to know her. I’m also working on another book which is under wraps at the moment, so expect some exciting news, due to be announced soon.

I have to ask your first book Paranormal Intruder is described as one of the best documented cases of paranormal activity, do you still have problems with scary events in your home?

Yes we do, although it’s very diluted compared to what it was at the height of activity. Recently my husband has made a cup of tea and found the milk had disappeared from the fridge into the cupboard over his head. If we redecorate the house something usually happens too. But thankfully nothing as frightening as before.

And finally Kindle or Book? 

Both! And audio book too. I think it’s great to have the option of all three.

Thank you for popping by The Book Review Cafe and good luck with The Silent Twin, and I can’t wait to read the first in the DS Ruby Preston series.

Thanks so much for having me Lorraine, I’ve really enjoyed answering your questions.

About Caroline Mitchell

Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her husband, four children and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. Her crime thriller series, featuring DC Jennifer Knight reached the number one position in the Amazon crime charts. These edge of your seat crime thrillers are infused by Caroline’s personal experiences in both the police and the paranormal.

Links to Caroline 

Website     Goodreads      Facebook     Twitter     Bookouture

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Links to Caroline’s other books 

Paranormal Intruder

Books in the Jennifer Knight series

Don’t Turn Around

Time To Die

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This is the third book in the Detective Jennifer Knight series and I must say I approached this book with caution! Why? I hear you shouting The first two books in the series Don’t Turn Around and Time To Die, I gave them a resounding 5 stars, so I was concerned that Caroline wouldn’t be able to maintain this caliber of writing (sorry Caroline for having my doubts, I promise never to doubt you again!). I’m glad to say any concerns I had were dispelled when I read the prologue, and I’m ecstatic, Caroline Mitchell has done it again and wrote another riveting book.

The Lost Twin tells the story of nine-year-old twins Abigail and Olivia who have vowed never to be parted. But when Abigail goes missing from Blackwater Farm, DC Jennifer Knight is firmly planted in the investigation as a family liaison officer, considered to be ‘psychic’, she deals with supernatural occurrences, and it soon becomes clear that there are plenty of unexplained ‘going on’s” at Blackwater Farm. There is a supernatural element to The Silent Twin, but Caroline writes with such conviction, that it makes the plot very plausible and damn right scary (at one point I had goose pimples on my goose pimples, it was that convincing!)

Jennifer’s character continues to evolve in The Silent Twin giving her real depth, I also liked the way her relationship with her work colleague Will has progressed in The Lost Twin. As the investigation intensifies to find missing Abigail, the urgency Jennifer experiences is tangible. As Jennifer experience’s “psychic” moments throughout the investigation, the darkness surrounding her is palatable, and makes for a very creepy read. The Silent Twins presents the reader with a well defined plot, and multiple threads as Jennifer tries to unravel a family’s secrets to get to the truth.

Caroline has managed to capture both the atmosphere and the setting with her descriptive writing, you can almost feel the darkness pulling you in as the plot picks up momentum. Yet again Caroline has weaved her magic spell and created another fantastic read, and dare I say it? I think it’s her best book yet. It’s dark it’s creepy and compelling, and as it reached its dramatic, jaw dropping conclusion my heart was racing (a cliché I know, but in this case true!). I just hope this isn’t the last we see of Jennifer now Caroline is going on to write a new series, if that’s the case I may have to start bombarding Caroline on Twitter with a #bringbackjennifer campaign. If you haven’t read a book by Caroline Mitchell you don’t know what you are missing, if you love a good crime thriller with plenty of suspense you may want to pop over to Amazon and buy them NOW!

My thanks to Kim over at Bookouture and Marcie for an ARC in exchange for an honest review

5☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ out of 5

Print Length: 322 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (14 April 2016)

Further stops on the blog tour

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**Blog Tour** A Faerie Wedding by Stephanie Keyes & Givaways

 

 

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Today I am part of the blog tour for a very different kind of  book to my usual read,  it’s A Faerie Wedding by Stephanie Keyes, and after reading the book description I will definitely be adding it to my TBR pile. This tour is hosted by Jenny from Neverlandblogtours. For the first time ever I am letting Gabe Stewart (a character in Stephanie’s books) takeover my blog, I hope you like Gabes review, it certainly made me chuckle.  Dont forget to enter the two competitions at the Bottom of the page, to win a beautiful necklace or earrings

 

Gabe Stewart’s Blog Takeover
Book Review: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Hey dudes and dudettes! My name is Gabe Stewart and I want to thank the righteous The Book Review Cafe for letting me take over her site today.

So recently, my best friend Kellen St.James, or K, as I like to call him, told me that I could really win a girl over if I quoted stuff from the books people call “the classics.” I was all like, “Heck, Yes,” so I’ve been working my way through them. The Classics–not the girls. Today I’m going to be reviewing Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

I’ve gotta be real, here. When I first started reading this book I was super-confused. I mean, it starts out with a mom and dad wanting to set up one of their daughters with this new guy in town. Now here’s the confusing part. I thought their daughter, Miss Bennet, had, like, five different personalities, but then I realized that there are five daughters and they’re all called Miss Bennet. I’m not sure what you were up to with that, Jane, but I bet those girls went through a major identity crisis in their twenties.

Once I sorted out who the Miss Bennets all were, I kind of felt sorry for them. I mean the mom is constantly trying to get these girls to marry these guys who have a “title” and money. I’m not sure why her daughters have to be married, because it’s pretty obvious that all of the women in this story are running the show.

My favorite is Lizzy. She doesn’t put up with a lot of crap, especially from this guy, Mr.Darcy, who’s kind of a jerk. Who wants to hang out with some guy that pouts all over the moors? It’s probably damp there anyway, ’cause this takes place in England, after all. I wonder if Singer would like me better if I found some grassland to pout in. Okay, K just told me I’m getting off topic–back to my review.

Anyway, Lizzy gets together with this Mr.Darcy, but only after so many misunderstandings that I really wanted to just set fire to this book. In the end though, it was sort of mushy and I was all like “Aw,” but I didn’t cry. Wait, K didn’t tell you I cried, did he? Cause I totally didn’t.

Gabe’s Take: There were definitely some cool quotes I could use from this book. I’m just not sure I understand any of them.

Gabe Stewart is a fictional character in Stephanie Keyes’ The Star Child Series. This piece is intended as a parody review and should not be interpreted as a true analysis of the book. Read more about Gabe, Singer, Kellen, and Calienta in A Faerie Wedding and Into Faerie.

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About the Book
A Faerie Wedding (The Star Child #4.5)
by Stephanie Keyes
Release Date: February 12, 2015 | Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Genre: New Adult | Designer:  Naj Qamber

Gabe Stewart has everything he ever wanted. Mortal Earth is safe. He’s a super-hero Protector whose best friend is within telepathic shouting distance. And then there’s his soul-mate, Singer. He knew right away she was the one he’d been waiting for.
But Gabe’s world shatters when Singer professes she doesn’t love him. On top of that, his mother admits she’s been messing with his memory making him doubt everything he’s ever known. And just when it seems things can’t get any worse, his best friend in the whole freaking world, Kellen St. James, wants Gabe to stop being his Protector. Being a Protector is who Gabe is. What will

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happen if he’s not standing between the prince and danger?
When the man who’s sacrificed his freedom is faced with life alone, which path will he choose? Will he remain the last Protector? Or will he finally get the happy ending he deserves?
*A Faerie Wedding is a companion novella–intended to be read after the other books in the series. It is a New Adult novella and features adult language and situations.

Buy links

Amazon

Kobo

iTunes

About the Author

Stephanie Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which includes The Star Child, After Faerie, The Fallen Stars, The Star Catcher, and The Last Protector. The Boy In The Trees, part of the Blood In The Shadows anthology, released in November 2015.

The Star Catcher won first place in the 2014 Dante Rossetti Young Adult Novel Awards—Mythological Category. The Star Child was a finalist in the 2015 BTS Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards. Keyes was also selected as a 2015 Rutgers University One-On-One Plus Conference mentee. She’s an active member of SCBWI.

Steph lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with Mr. Keyes, her boys, Hip-Hop and Bam-Bam, and dogs Duncan MacLeod and Princess Riley. Steph is a hopeless romantic and Whovian who’s shamelessly addicted to Nutella and spontaneous singing.

*Author photos courtesy of Kristina Serafini Photo

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 Links to Learn more about Stephanie Keyes

Website

Facebook

Twitter

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Instagram

 Giveaway

Giveaway 1: Just One More chapter necklace

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http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf63305750/

GIVEAWAY 2: WOODLAND EARRINGS

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http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf63305751/

**Blog Tour** and Review SunKissed by Carys Jones

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Today I am part of the blog tour for SunKissed by Carys Jones, hosted by Jenny from http://neverlandblogtours.weebly.com. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post to win a £10 Amazon voucher 

Excerpt from SunKissed

In the warm glow of the fire he kept one ear tilted to the now open window, listening for any sound which might hail Dawn’s return, but the night remained silent and still. As the hours passed his frustration grew; like dark ivy coiling within his body, tightening its grip on his organs until he could no longer still idly by merely waiting.

The fire was now almost burnt out; only the occasional flame danced upon the now smoking embers. Thomas paced over to the window and looked out on Fandova. The dark of the night had lifted, just slightly, to a shade of grey indicating the sun would soon be rising to welcome in a new day.

He felt a mixture of anger and panic engulf him. If Dawn was out in the sunlight she could be badly hurt, but then she had gone against his wishes and left so perhaps she deserved to suffer her burns? It might teach her to be more respectful of her future husband’s wishes.

Clenching his fists Thomas paced beside the open window, his mind tossing over various scenarios of what he should do. The anger in him tried to drown out the worry, assuring his conscience whatever happened to Dawn would not be his fault; he had tried to protect her. But it was his love for her which eventually made him leave the house and go out in to the dying night.

As it was not yet morning, Fandova was eerily quiet as a majority of residents enjoyed their last few precious hours of sleep before their busy days began in earnest. Even the horses were still.

He didn’t dare call out for Dawn and disturb this peace, so instead he began a methodical search of the town, although he had no idea where she could have gone. In the hours which had passed she could have left the village and be half way to another town by now. He just had to hope that this wasn’t the case, and so he scoured all the places he knew Dawn to love; the vast open fields, the well by which they had first met, the modest stables where the horses slept. But, he found no sign of anyone. The village remained deathly quiet.

Even though his search was proving fruitless, Thomas continued wandering around the village in the vain hope that Dawn would suddenly appear. Yet these notions were dashed when the sun began to creep over the horizon, bathing Fandova in its warm glow and rousing the villagers from their slumber. Almost as soon as the glowing ball of fire starting its ascent in to the sky, people were up and bustling around, carrying buckets to the well, heading out in to the fields to plant crops.

As the sun rose his heart sank. He had not managed to find Dawn. Wherever she was, he hoped she was being wise enough to seek shelter from the sun. His head heavy with resignation, he returned back to the Summers’ household, knowing not where else to go. He was weary from spending the night awake and vowed to resume his search the following evening.

On pushing open the bedroom door, Thomas immediately realised that something was different. The window and the shutters were now tightly closed, plunging the room into an unnatural darkness. More than the lack of light it was the pungent smell which met him which made Thomas recoil back, placing one hand over his mouth and nose in an attempt not to wretch. The smell was of raw meat and something else which he couldn’t identify.

“Dawn!”

“I’m here,” came a small, frightened voice from the back of the room.

Emboldened by her presence, Thomas ventured deeper in to the room. As he drew closer the smell intensified, but he could make out Dawn’s silhouette. She was knelt on the floor in the far corner, gazing down at something on the floor. Thomas stepped closer and looked to the floor and stopped as his heart turned to ice in his chest.

About Carys Jones

Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader’s imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.

When she’s not writing, Carys likes to indulge her inner geek by watching science- fiction films or playing video games.

She lists John Green, Jodi Picoult and Virginia Andrews as her favorite authors and draws inspiration for her own work from anything and everything.

To Carys, there is no greater feeling then when you lose yourself in a great story and it is that feeling of ultimate escapism which she tries to bring to her books.

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You can find more on Carys at:

http://www.carys-jones.com/

https://twitter.com/tiny_dancer85

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Book description

Dawn Summers is dying. It’s 1853 and as the seventeen year old continues to fade away she has visions of the father she never knew, urging her to fight for her life.

In the small village of Fandova the only medical care is in the form of the mysterious Dr. Moralus who has a known penchant for bloodletting. Thomas, Dawn’s fiancé, is warned against inviting his intervention, but feels he has no choice, he pleads with the doctor to save Dawn’s life…whatever it takes.

My review 

This is a fairly short book at 271 pages so it’s a fairly quick read. It’s a Fantasy/Paranormal book, so I was definitely out of my comfort zone reading this one. I much prefer a good crime thriller, but I was intrigued by the book description, so I was willing to give it ago, not convinced I would make it past the first couple of chapters!

Sun Kissed begins its story back in the mid 1800’s with Dawn about to meet her maker, Dawns fiancé begs the mysterious Dr Moralus to save her life, not realising that once done, Dawn will become a vampire. As Dawn recovers and realises life will never be the same again she struggles to keep her humanity, as she fights against her urges as a newly turned Vampire. As Thomas too becomes a vampire, he embraces everything he has become and cannot understand Dawns need to retain her humanity.

Carys Jones manages to deliver characters that are both interesting and intriguing. You can’t help but feel empathy for Dawn, who struggles to retain her “human” beliefs, whilst Thomas is only to happy to embrace the vampire lifestyle, and swiftly moves onto killing humans, without any qualms.What starts out as a very endearing relationship, soon turns to something much darker as Thomas attempts to get Dawn to let go of her humanity, and become the vampire he desires.

As Dawn Flee’s from Thomas she takes with her a secret that may hold the key to the future of Vampires. The next time we read of Dawn we are in the present day, she has a job which she enjoys and a boyfriend she adores, but with Thomas scouring the country for her, will she able to have the life she craves? I enjoyed Dawn’s story in the 1980’s, but I found it slow to get started, for me the book really took off when we meet up with Dawn in the present, It was interesting to see how Dawn managed to firmly plant herself amongst humans, and live a relatively “normal” life, well that is until Thomas catches up with her!

Much to my surprise I really enjoyed Sun Kissed, it has a well written plot with plenty of “vampire” twists and turns along the way. The book left me feeling slightly disappointed (in a good way) as it finishes on a cliff hanger, leaving lots of questions unanswered, but I would certainly read a sequel (which I hope there is), to see what happens to Dawn.

4☕️☕️☕️☕️ out of 5 from me

Kindle

Goodreads 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28185079-sunkissed?from_search=true&search_version=service

publication Date: 15th February 2016

Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf63305748/

Tour Schedule
15th – 22nd January

Fri 15th: Lynsey James, Lil Novelist
Sat 16th: Ali – The Dragon Slayer, Book Review Café
Sun 17th: Book Lover Worm Blog, Lilac Diaries
Mon 18th: Me, My Books and I, This Chick Reads
Tues 19th: Bookabie, Gina Dickerson
Wed 20th: Shaz’s Book Boudoir, Aggies Books
Thurs 21st: Sky’s Book Corner
Fri 22nd: Amanda Oughton