Author of the Day – Sarah Mallery

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Hi Sarah, we’ve met before and you even have a page on my site, so I feel know you a bit. However, the readers visiting today might not know who you are and what you’ve done. I’m glad you agreed to let me ask you a few questions and to get to know the woman behind the author.

Do you still sing? And how do you think writing lyrics differs from writing fiction? It’s both a story to tell, isn’t it?

As far as singing goes, these days I’m not doing it professionally at all, just for fun in the shower or the car when a particularly great song comes on! Something about that shower….

Interesting question about fiction vs. lyrics. Well, to me, lyrics usually rhyme, but it’s also so often about the way the lyrics are colored—the vowels and tones changing, depending on the singer and the significance of the piece. The same with fiction, I feel. Some words just sound good together, rolling off the tongue perfectly. Others sound forced and awkward. When I write and decide to look up a synonym for a word, I carefully voice that word to see if it will fit in with the tone of the piece, much like the lyrics of a song.

Do you miss teaching?

Actually, I still am teaching ESL to adults, part time, and enjoying it immensely. Love their determination, their grace under fire, and their discussions about the ins and outs of their countries of origin. Fun.

Are you still quilting, and if so, do you use a machine or do you create it by hand? I would love to make a great quilt.

quilt redUnfortunately, I don’t have time to quilt anymore. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day! But when I did quilt, I started out doing it by hand, then, because of my having developed carpal tunnel, had to switch to machine quilting. That changed my life. I learned all about the sewing machine’s potential rhythms, how you learn to drop the ‘feed dogs’ and just let your hands manipulate the fabric. At that point, a Zen thing happens, and as you’re eyeballing the stenciled pattern lines, you get into the peaceful space of Ebb and Flow, much like calligraphy. Anyway, I used to teach it that way, and even got good enough myself that I was able to produce some pretty complicated Amish feather quilting lines amidst their signature simple solid colored quilt patterns. Don’t know if I could still do that today, however!

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Not in my books, but in my life–water or wine, particularly a nice chardonnay.

What is your favorite dish and can you give me the recipe?

I don’t know about favorite, but one dish that has become popular in our watching-the-gluten-intake household is making lasagna with zucchini strips instead of pasta.ZucchiniLasagnaFT

Basically, you can make your lasagna anyway you want, but just cut strips of zucchini and layer them like you would with the pasta. I use a mandolin (not the musical instrument!!) which is amazing, but learned the hard way that those devices could be easily used in a major crime novel, their blades are so sharp! I now use the mandolin c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y, with a fork as the zucchini diminishes. I suppose one could also just cut the thing with a knife as well. Also, be advised that because zucchini when it cooks releases a lot of water, you’ll have to press out some of the extra liquid as it’s cooking.

Find a nice recipe with turkey here, or a vegetarian one here.

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about, and can you give a small taste of it?

The book I would like to talk about is my collection of long short stories, Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads.

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AMAZON

The eleven long short stories in “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads combine history, mystery, action and/or romance, and range from drug trafficking using Guatemalan hand-woven wallets, to an Antebellum U.S. slave using codes in her quilts as a message system to freedom; from an ex-journalist and her Hopi Indian maid solving a cold case together involving Katchina spirits, to a couple hiding Christian passports in a comforter in Nazi Germany; from a wedding quilt curse dating back to the Salem Witchcraft Trials, to a mystery involving a young seamstress in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; from a 1980’s Romeo and Juliet romance between a rising Wall Street financial ‘star’ and an eclectic fiber artist, to a Haight-Asbury love affair between a professor and a beautiful macramé artist gone horribly askew, just to name a few.

For those that want to know more before getting their copy, here is a taste:


…Saturday, March 25, 1911 started out like so many other days. Sasha woke up in the dark, got dressed with cold, numb fingers, splashed water on her face from the porcelain pitcher and bowl set out on the kitchen table, gently kissed a sleeping Jacob, grabbed a piece of bread she had covered with jam, and let herself out the door. Feeling her way down the pitch-black hallway by running her fingers over the embossed plaster patterns, she almost stumbled on a nail peeking out of a floorboard just before reaching the front door. The gas light in the vestibule had been out for weeks, and their landlord had refused to fix it. She felt tired and depressed, but as bad as conditions were at Triangle Shirtwaist, nothing could compare with being around Moshe, and so taking a deep breath, she gratefully made her way through lower Manhattan to the sewing factory for a day of overtime and its slightly higher pay.
On the sidewalk outside the factory, she caught up with many of the girls with whom she usually worked—three hundred Italian, German, and Yiddish girls, their thread-worn dresses hanging over muddied petticoats and eyes as dark-circled as hers. Trudging up the path, they were all met at the front entrance by Joe Zitto, one of the elevator operators.
“Okay girls, okay. Let’s get goin’. The rest of the building ain’t opened today, so I’m gonna take ya’s up to the 8th, 9th and 10th floors only. Don’t try to go anywheres else for lunch. The doors to the other floors are locked mostly. I guess Old Man Harris don’t want no burglars comin’ in. So, c’mon girls, let’s go.”
Bending over her assigned sewing machine was excruciating. Her entire body ached from the previous day’s abuse; still, she kept working until lunchtime. She was in no mood to socialize—making idle chit-chat was the last thing she wanted to do, but when she retreated to a corner of the factory floor by herself, two of her closest co-workers, Gladie Moskovitz and Irma Delacina, came over to sit beside her.
“What’sa matter wid you today, Sasha?” Irma peered at her friend as she bit down hard on a piece of Italian bread, some crust flipping out of her mouth and onto the floor.
“Yah, you look different. Is evertink all right at home?” Gladie was more privy to Sasha’s problem with Moshe than Irma was.
“I don’t vant to talk about it—sometink did happen, but I not say…” Sasha feared once she started talking, there would be no stopping. Better to keep mute.
In what seemed like a mere five minutes, the whistle blew, followed by numerous deep sighs and groans. Irma threw an arm around Sasha’s shoulder on the way back to their sewing machines, and handing her a delicate-looking locket from around her own neck, told her, “Here, taka dis to wear. It’s a good luck charm necklace. I got it in Italy. If you wear it, maybe you getta good luck from now on.” She leaned over and gave her friend a little kiss on the cheek.
Touched by Irma’s gesture, Sasha instinctively pulled off a little pinkie ring of her own—a small, silver Jewish star pattern with a pink stone in the center. Uncle Samuel had bought it for her the week before at a local flea market, telling her, “Remember, Sashelah, you’re American now, but always, you are a Jewish girl. Never forget the Torah, my child.”
Irma’s mouth curved into a huge grin as she placed the ring on her pinkie finger. Then the two girls gave each other a quick hug before returning to their stations.
The afternoon dragged on. Sasha found that by concentrating only on the rhythm of the sewing machines, she could block out her misery for a while. Closing her eyes and listening intently, she could almost hear the tapping of a marching band: click, click, slam-slam-slam, whoosh-whoosh, rattle-rattle went the machines. Soon, the entire factory room pulsed.
By 4:45 p.m., the whistle blew as if by magic, signaling the end of the workday and going home to face another round with Moshe. Turning off her machine, Sasha stood up, took a deep breath, and steeling herself, tried to remember the good people in her life, like Irma and Gladie, and of course, little Jacob.
Three steps forward, she smelled smoke.
Girls on the opposite end of the floor next to the windows were beginning to scream in a panicked chorus, and suddenly streaking past her, someone shouted, “Fire! Fire!” Still, she remained paralyzed, her arms and legs like lead, her mouth filled with a bitter, chalky taste. Then the adrenaline hit her and she broke into a dead run.
Dark gray swirls of smoke were seeping in from under the doorway cracks while dozens of girls stampeded past the sewing room, heading towards the elevator shafts or stairwells and ending up crushed together against the in-going only doorways. Hysteria rendered each girl strong. No matter how hard she tried, Sasha couldn’t push her way through the group of flailing arms and legs, so she about-faced to explore other escape routes.
Outside on the street, a man walking by pointed upward and shouted, “Look at the smoke coming out ofthe Triangle building!”
“Yeah, it looks like it’s comin’ from the top floors! What’s that coming outa the windows? Looks like bolts of fabric! Old Man Blanck must really want to save his precious cloth!” a woman chimed in.
“Yeah. Wait! Wait a minute!” the man continued. “That’s not bolts of fabric—they’re—they’re—oh, God in Heaven!”
The cynical woman let out a blood-curdling shriek….

 Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Not really. It’s the title of the first story and since it’s about the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and the book’s running theme is a tiny ‘thread’ of sewing/crafts throughout the stories, I decided that was the best title to represent the entire book. At one point, I toyed with the idea of calling it “A Stitch In Time,” but opted for the more unusual title.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

Well, I’m still learning the process of this OMB (Overwhelming Marketing Business), but so far, the attention seems to have been coming from different sources—Goodreads, Facebook, bookclubs. I am discovering that my books can be marketed in more ways than the single area of historical fiction. My novel, Unexpected Gifts, has been labeled ‘Women’s Fiction’ on Amazon, and recently, I have been approached by mystery readers, and an international craft association, who wants to feature these Sewing Can Be Dangerous stories as part of their crafting curriculum next year.

Hahaha, I am abbreviations impaired, but I love that one OMB.

To end this interview I’d like to ask you to tell me something no one has ever heard before from you? Hehehe…I love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

Oh, dear…well, as I have mentioned on other sites and presentations, I have always been fascinated by my ancestors, and having inherited some of their memorabilia, have a confession to make. I hate to admit it… and please don’t think badly of me, but…sometimes I like to slip out of our house during the pre-dawn hours, and with my great grandfather’s 1800’s pitchfork and my grandfather’s WWI binoculars, scour the neighborhood, spying into various windows, waiting for innocent future victims—-NOT!!!!!! (hehehe)

Thank you Sarah, for being here and so very entertaining too! 🙂 Should readers want to know more about you they can find, follow, or stalk, erm, I mean become your greatest fan on your websiteTwitter as @SarahMallery1, on Facebook, and Goodreads. But also on my site where Sarah Mallery has a page.

Three Romances by Tom winton

Three romances? By who?

ONLY £1.99 today and tomorrow!

HA! Don’t tell me you’ve not heard of Tom Winton. The author of

Four Days With Hemingway’s Ghost

Still not sure why you should know this author? Read my review on the above book here and know that the romance box set is on my e-reader ready to be read.

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Right, about this romance box set. Today is your chance to get three great books by a more than talented author (best-selling author) for only £1.99 in the UK!

3 Romances box (1)

AMAZON £1.99 ONLY!

I’m eager to dig in, but I can imagine you want a bit more info, even if they’re all together in a box set and for only $0.99 (can’t go wrong there). Hurry because tomorrow (Saturday April 12th) it will be up to $1.99 and the day after (Sunday April 13th) you will have to pay $2.99. Which still isn’t bad for three great reads.

But, let me give you a small taster for each individual book first.

Beyond Nostalgia
Many readers have said that Beyond Nostalgia is a story that kept reappearing in their minds long after they read it. A multi-category Amazon Bestseller, it is book that will make you laugh and make you cry. It will break your heart and then it will heal it again. You’ll love the main character, and you will hate him as well.


“Dean Cassidy looks back on a life filled with hardship and remembers Theresa Wayman, the bright spark that lit up his world when he was eighteen. As an adult, many years later, Cassidy continues his struggle to be successful in life, but can’t move past his betrayal and loss of Theresa.

Beyond Nostalgia is a poignant story about growing up, making choices, betrayal, forgiveness and moving on. Cassidy and Theresa find inspiration, joy and acceptance together in their world of dysfunctional families and economic hardships. But one night Cassidy, in a drunken stupor, makes a terrible choice that costs him his relationship with Theresa. Twenty-five years later, with the encouragement of his devoted wife, Cassidy focuses his sadness and angst into writing a book – a book that will eventually lead him to another crossroad in his life and redemption from his suffering.

Within A Man’s Heart

Four years after burying his young wife, New York sales executive Christian Crews still can’t move forward with his life. Day after day, treasured memories of his beloved Elyse continue to drift through his spirit like an endless procession of mournful ghosts.

Chris wants to leave Manhattan—walk away from his job and the apartment he and Elyse once shared. He dreams of moving to New Hampshire, where he feels he just might have a chance of finding peace. But in his grieving mind, breaking away from those memories would be the same as abandoning Elyse—an unforgivable act of betrayal he could never live with.

Then, on the fourth anniversary of Elyse’s death, Chris makes two shocking discoveries, and a part of him begins to believe that she would want him to go on with his life.

Two weeks later he makes the move to New Hampshire, and minutes after arriving in the small rural village of Mountain Step, he meets a beautiful local woman with mesmerizing gray eyes and a heart as big as the surrounding mountains. Beginning another emotional relationship may be the last thing on Chris’s mind, but he soon finds himself falling for Gina Elkin, every bit as hard as she’s fallen for him.

Could there be a future for them? Will Elyse allow it? After all, she’s still deep within Chris’s heart—a place no one else has ever been.

A Second Chance in Paradise
Long Island salesman Sonny Raines has had it. He’s sick and tired of living in a world where wrong always wins over right. Then, on his thirty-ninth birthday, when he loses his job and comes home to the most devastating shock of his life, that’s it. He’s dropping out.


With nothing left to lose, and little in his pocket, Sonny chucks it all and drives his aging van fifteen-hundred miles to the lower reaches of the Florida Keys. All he wants is to get over his recent losses and simplify his hectic life, and that’s exactly what he thinks he’s doing when he settles on a paradisiacal speck of an island known as Wrecker’s Key. While surrounded by the warm aquamarine waters of two tropical oceans, he not only falls in love with the key but also establishes a close bond with the free-spirited locals who call it home.

But all isn’t blue skies, swaying palms, and coconut oil on Wrecker’s Key. There’s trouble wafting in the warm breezes that caress the island. Although Sonny certainly isn’t looking for romance, he finds himself falling for his next door neighbor. Ex-model Julie Albright just may be the kindest, most beautiful woman to ever grace his eyes, but there’s a snag. She has a small physical flaw that, no matter how hard he tries, Sonny can’t overlook. And his feelings are no secret to Julie. She can read them, and they weigh as heavy on her heart as they do on his. Then things get even worse. One night, under the cover of darkness, danger drifts up the deep, silent currents from the lower keys—serious danger—life and death danger. And Sonny Raines finds himself right in the middle of it

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I must admit I’m a big fan, but as you might know, I’m not easily impressed, so when I say this author knows how to spin a yarn and deliver a punch, there’s a big chance I’m not talking rubbish. 🙂
But let me introduce Mr. Winton to you by letting him do the talking. I asked him to give me some really fast answers to a few questions that I think show us more about the man behind the author.
Tom 004Hi Tom, thanks for taking the time to do this Fast Ten with me. Hold on to your seat because here we go.

Sweet or savoury? – I’ll run with savory/savoury for right now, Lucy. Love the aroma of something tasty cooking on the stove.

 Coffee, tea, or anything else? – Just had two cups of Joe, so I’ll take a decaf this time around. I’m wired enough.

Dark or milk chocolate? – Either is terrif, but I’ve been known to walk a mile for dark chocolate.

Favourite dish? – That’s a tough. The best I can do is narrow it down to either seafood or Italian.

Mountains or sea? – For many years I’ve lived near the sea and spent literally tens of thousands of hours fishing either out on the sea in a boat or along its shores. Now I’ll take the mountains. I lived in a rural setting near Maine’s North Woods for five years and still dream of going back. I’m also considering moving to the Great Smoky Mountains in either North Georgia or North Carolina.

Staying or moving? – As soon as I can swing the cost I’m going to move out of Florida and go to one of those places I just mentioned in the previous question.

Organised or go with the flow? – I’m definitely a flow-goer!

Morning or evening? – Morning for sure. Far and away the best time of each day is just moments before a morning sun rises–when that rose-colored glow of new hope appears on the eastern horizon.

Complain or act? – I’m one heck of a good complainer, but when it’s time to act I can really kick it in gear too. The hard part is to get me moving. At the only parents/teacher meeting my mother and father ever bothered to go to, my second grade teacher told them that, “Tommy can do anything, BUT he has to be pushed.” It’s too bad I never liked to be pushed. Ha!

Fight or flight? – Lucy, although I could write an entire trilogy about all the fights I’ve had in my life, I’m at the point now where I let a lot of negative events slide by. But if I get cornered, I’m gonna come back swingin’ — hard and fast. I have absolutely no room for blatant injustice or instigation. Thanks heaps for having me on your great site, Luce!

You, and your books are more than welcome anytime! Well, readers, didn’t I tell you his answers would reveal more of the man behind the author? But now you want to know where to find and follow him online, I guess? Let’s not keep you waiting then, You can stalk, erm I mean follow, yes follow, Tom Winton on:

Have you got your copy yet?

The Untimely Deaths of Daryl Handy by Patrick Rutigliano

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Daryl Handy has never been lucky. Cursed with an awkward appearance and unmarketable skills, his life is a constant struggle. However, an assassin bearing a grudge—and Daryl’s face—is about to prove he could have done far worse. Driven by a hatred that spans dimensions, only Daryl’s death will satisfy his double, and not even other worlds offer any place to hide…
If that has made you curious, below I have a small excerpt for you.
Darrell Handy staggered back into his world. His street. He stumbled hard to the left, nearly into the middle of the road. Blood trickled from his nose, mingling with the light rain striking his face. The honk of a passing driver brought him hopping back toward the well-groomed lawns. He laughed when his legs finally buckled under him and left him sprawled atop the wet grass.
Gabe—his Gabe—looked at him, confused. The boy was digging in his driveway again.
“Are you okay, Mister Handy?” the kid asked.
Darrell chuckled and waved from his lawn. “I’m fine, Gabe. Just thought I’d rest my back and feet a minute. I had a long walk.”
Gabe’s round face frowned.
Darrell tasted copper as blood dripped into his mouth from his nostrils. He took a handkerchief from his pocket and tried to dam the flow.
The pain was every bit as bad as he remembered. The migraine and disorientation were worse than the effects of any binge. His brain felt as though it was more liquid than solid. He almost expected little chunks of the organ to start pouring out his nose. Like the rest of his body, the gray matter was wrestling its form back from the space he’d traveled. Only the essence of his consciousness had made the trip all in one piece. The rest could only try to catch up.
Darrell blew his nose and examined the stain spreading across the cloth. There was more blood than when he’d jumped to kill Darrell Number Six, but no solid matter. That was good.
He stretched on his lawn, testing the readiness of his limbs before climbing to his feet. He noticed Gabe’s eyes were still on him as he brushed off the dirt. Darrell smiled when he finally noticed the large strip of moss in his neighbor’s hand. He almost pointed before he remembered he was still holding the bloody handkerchief.
Darrell returned the cloth to his pocket. “How’s the battlefield coming?”
“Almost done,” Gabe said. The frown continued to crease the boy’s brow. “Are you sure you’re alright, Mr. Handy?”
“Yeah,” Darrell said. “Just a little sore and tired like most people my age. I should probably get some rest. See you later, Gabe.”
“Later,” Gabe called after him.
Darrell rested his back against his front door once he was inside. He did ache, yet the worst of the fatigue was already fading.
So quiet. Finally, finally quiet…
He breathed a deep sigh of contentment as he fished for the pack of smokes in his pants pocket. His knuckles struck oiled metal when they grasped the cigarettes. A whiff of gun powder entered his nostrils as he lifted a cancer stick to his mouth. The click of a lighter replaced the acrid smell with tobacco smoke.
Darrell made a note to get a new pair of pants. As small as it was, the .32 was a tight fit. He took care not to crush the cigarette between his teeth while he pulled the weapon free.
There were still six rounds left in the clip. Darrell Handy—the other Darrell Handy—hadn’t had time to plead. He’d managed only a single scream from the pain of the first bullet wound before the second one silenced him.
Darrell pulled the smoke into his lungs and let it linger before blowing it back out. He couldn’t hear Gabe outside. There were no insects thrumming or so much as a passing car. Darrell grinned at the tortured faces on the mute Bosch prints gaping at him from the hallway. There were only his thoughts and the cycle of his respiratory system. It was bliss.
To read more click here.
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Let me now introduce the author.
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Patrick Rutigliano grew up on a steady diet of comic books and horror movies. Making his first sale to Permuted Press in 2007, he has since placed short stories with several publications in addition to his first collection, “Black Corners of a Blood-Red Room.” “The Untimely Deaths of Daryl Handy” is his first self-published work.
He can be found online at:

Book Tour and Giveaway – Claimed in Canada by Christine Edwards

The Holiday Party Blog Tour stops again! 🙂

Today we get to read about Claimed in Canada by Christine Edwards

WARNING THIS BOOK HAS ADULT CONTENT

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When Violet London travels to the Canadian Yukon on a research grant, she can’t imagine greater excitement than the chance to study wolves firsthand. Yet more thrilling than any wolf is Luke Benoit, a handsome French Canadian Logger whose brute desire to dominate both tempts and frightens her. Unnerved by her craving to submit to primal passion, Violet is drawn to another man, Damon Holden. Damon is a gorgeous surgeon with everything a girl could want—money, education, and sophistication. Violet must choose between the man who saved her life during an attack by the very creatures she is sworn to protect and the man who offers her the comfort of financial security and solid social standing.

Damon is the safe choice, or is he?

Curious? Want more? Lucky for you there is an excerpt to read, But you will have to click here.

Or get your own copy from:

Amazon ● B&N  ● Smashwords  

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Enter to Win! 

• 5 digital copies of Claimed in Canada in mobi, epub or PDF
Click here to be zoomed to the Rafflecopter giveaway
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About the Author:

Erotic Romance Author Christine Edwards grew up in the Deep South on Hilton Head Island, SC. At an early age she developed a passion for the arts that led her to earn a bachelor’s degree in Art History from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Christine has a special place in her heart for reading and writing erotic tales. She continues to publish stories that immerse readers in exotic and realistic geographic settings amid interesting subcultures of adult life.

Within the vein of BDSM romance, her main focus is on loving, multi-faceted relationships involving intense alpha males and feisty heroines. She adores snow skiing, traveling the world, and spending time with her amazing family. Christine currently resides in the sleepy coastal town of Beaufort, SC.

Christine’s social Links:  

Website  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads ● Fanny Press 

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Tour Coordinator:

I ♥ Bookie Nookie Reviews



Please check out the other stops on this tour today:

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I ♥ Bookie Nookie Reviews This Holiday Party Blog tour is being run in conjunction with the 

Check out the entire schedule of the 18 Holiday Party Blog Tour stops & participating bloggers HERE.

Join the party and win from a prize pool of over 1,500 books and prizes by these generous authors!

Short Story Contest – No Entry Fee! – Win a Kindle!

Announcement Golden Shorts

 

Calling Writers – Short Story Contest

Do you have a short story begging for some recognition? There’s still time to submit your story to this new, no-fee contest! Prizes, banners and bragging rights could be yours.

The seven genres accepted are:

Contemporary Fantasy

Horror

Historical

Paranormal Romance

Romance

Young Adult

Mystery

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Submissions will be accepted now through November 30th, 2013

Grand Prize – a Kindle Fire HD

Other prizes include Gift Cards, ebook bundles and winner banners

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For complete information, please see the rules here: http://maerwilson.com/golden-shorts-a-story-contest-in-7-genres/

Or on the Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/383924478377223/?ref_dashboard_filter=calendar

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Don’t waste any time and dig up your unpublished ready to submit short and enter this great contest to win, fame and a Kindle!

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Best of luck!