*ARC Review* Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

Title: Kingsbane (Empirium #2)Kingsbane

Author: Claire Legrand

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: May 21, 2019

Page Count: 608 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary:

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Furyborn, two queens, separated by a thousand years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength—and their hearts.

Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist.

Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity’s long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana’s power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother’s power, or rejecting it forever.

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Beware! If you have not read Furyborn, please do not read this review, as it contains spoilers. If you would like to read my review of Furyborn, click here.Thank you to the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Holy cow, what a ride! I thought Furborn was amazing, but Kingsbane was outstanding and emotional and beautiful. Kingsbane left me emotionally drained for days; even now just reflecting on how much happened in that book brings back all the emotions.

Sometimes sequels don’t live up to expectations or the hype of the first book. Kingsbane outshines Furyborn and brings to the table a continuation of the epic fantasy world Claire has created. The writing, the characters, the world…everything is so well done and breathtaking. Kingsbane is easily one of the best sequels I have read in the YA fantasy genre.

Claire Legrand has proven to be a phenomenal fantasy writer. She weaves words together to create a captivating and poetic world that any reader can get lost in. Two worlds fitted across time make for a magical story and epic world building, which Claire succeeds at creating. The world in Furyborn and Kingsbane is vast, but Claire’s writing and descriptions bring the world to life and help to not make the world feel so big. She’s truly a talented fantasy writer and I cannot wait to see what she does with the third book.

“She had felt in that moment, that she was a mere vessel. A conduit between the power in her blood and the flames overhead, licking for a taste. Would there ever come a time when she could use her power and not feel as if it was using her?”

Rielle continues to be the butt-kicking hero we all want, but as we learned in Furyborn, she’s not destined to be the hero, but the villain. But even throughout this book, as her mind and her journey start to take a darker turn, she still remains the powerful girl we all loved in Furyborn. However, like all great heroes, temptation can easily sway a hero to do things one normally would not do. And that starts to be the case for Rielle, even as she fights Corien and even as she tries to prevent the world (and her closest friends) from seeing what she is truly becoming. She doesn’t want Audric to see her differently, but how can Rielle prevent that when darkness starts to tempt her?

Eliana, on the other hand, does not want to become what she is destined to be: the Sun Queen. She would rather neglect her powers and her future, fearing the possibility of her becoming just like her mother, Rielle. She struggles coming to terms with her new life and what she represents to the people. She struggles with how her life has drastically changed and how there is no going back. The only path is forward and watching Eliana’s character development throughout Kingsbane reminds me how we all have journeys and how, eventually, we all have to find out who we are meant to be. So, overall, both of these girls’ characterizations in Kingsbane is phenomenal and well written.

Don’t go into this book underestimating these two girls: they are powerful and inspiring and fierce. Though they struggle with defeat and living up to their purpose, they both prove that they have what it takes to handle any battle, any hardship that is thrown their way. And just seeing these two characters go through so much (good and bad and evil) reminds me just how fragile, yet strong they really are and that both are still human.

Kingsbane is an outstanding sequel to Furyborn and, in my opinion, some of Claire’s best work. I honestly cannot wait for book 3. I am so invested in these characters and this world that I need to know what happens and if there’s a happy ending for a few of the characters (one can hope).

Kingsbane is out in the world today, so go grab your copy! And if you have not read Furyborn yet, I highly recommend!

nikole

 

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Top Ten Tuesday 3/19/19

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This Week’s Topic is: Books On My Spring 2019 TBR

The Unhoneymooners- Christina Lauren

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Storm and Fury- Jennifer Armentrout

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Finale- Stephanie Garber

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Semper Augustus- Makenzi Lee

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His Hideous Heart- Dahlia Adler

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Here There Are Monsters- Amelinda Bérubé

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Maybe This Time- Kasie West

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Waiting For Tom Hanks- Kerry Winfrey

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Rooms- Lauren Oliver

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This Book Is Not Yet Rated- Peter Bognanni

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stacy

 

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 3/4/19

Monday is upon us again. A new week means new books. This is what I plan on reading this week, What are you reading?

Bookish Boyfriends: The Boy Next Story- Tiffany Schmidt

41104127This is the second title in a paperback original series about a girl whose classic literary crushes manifest in real life, this time told from Rory Campbell’s point of view and inspired by the timeless classic Little Women. Rory likes Toby, but Toby likes Rory’s sister Merrilee, even though Merrilee is already dating Toby’s friend Fielding—and it’s all about to get even more complicated at Reginald R. Hero High . . . where our leading ladies’ romantic fantasies come true, often with surprising consequences. Perfect for younger readers of YA or older readers of middle grade, this squeaky-clean series is sure to charm any reader who’s ever had a book boyfriend of her own.

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Kingsbane- Claire Legrand

40895030Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien — but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist. Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity’s long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption — fear of becoming another Rielle — keeps Eliana’s power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted — by embracing her mother’s power, or rejecting it forever.

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stacy

Top Ten Tuesday 2/26/19

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This weeks topic is: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit 

1. Caraval- Caraval by Stephanie Garber 

2. High Court of Faerie- The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

3. Aritas- Furyborn by Claire Legrand

4. Wonderland- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

5. Orléans- The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

6. The Continent- The Continent by Keira Drake

7. Lanos- Grace & Fury by Tracy Banghart

8. Alcatraz 2.0- #Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil

9. The Home for Peculiar Children- Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

10. Somewhere in Northern Italy- Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

Which places made your list?

stacy

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday 2/19/19

Happy Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This weeks topic is Books I LOVED with fewer than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads.

These are my top ten and they are in no kind of order.

Which books made your list?

Unnatural Deeds- Cyn Balog

28755323     Some secrets are worth killing to protect.

Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, not that she cares what anyone thinks. She and her homeschooled boyfriend, Andrew, are inseparable. All they need is each other. That is, until Zachary Zimmerman joins her homeroom. Within an hour of meeting, he convinces good-girl Vic to cut class. And she can’t get enough of that rush.

Despite Vic’s loyalty to Andrew, she finds her life slowly entwining with Z’s. Soon she’s lying to everyone she knows and breaking all the rules to be with Z. She can’t get enough of him—or unraveling the stories of the family he’s determined to keep hidden.

Except Z’s not the only one with a past. Straight-laced Vic is hiding her own secrets…secrets that are about to destroy everything in her path.

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Die Young With Me- Rob Rufus

29093776    The true story of a teenager diagnosed with cancer and how music was the one thing that helped him get through his darkest days.

Punk’s not dead in rural West Virginia. In fact, it blares constantly from the basement of Rob and Nat Rufus—identical twin brothers with spiked hair, black leather jackets, and the most kick-ass record collection in Appalachia. To them, school (and pretty much everything else) sucks. But what can you expect when you’re the only punks in town?

When the brothers start their own band, their lives begin to change: they meet friends, they attract girls, and they finally get invited to join a national tour and get out of their rat box little town.

But their plans are cut short when Rob is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has already progressed to Stage Four. Not only are his dreams of punk rock stardom completely shredded, there is a very real threat that this is one battle that can’t be won.

While Rob suffers through nightmarish treatments and debilitating surgery, Nat continues on their band’s road to success alone. But as Rob’s life diverges from his brother’s, he learns to find strength within himself and through his music.

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Naked ’76- Kevin Brooks

29058349     London, 1976: A summer of creation, destruction, and blistering heat.

Lili Garcia stands at the edge of London’s growling punk scene, playing bass with Naked, one of city’s wildest bands. The group’s success has only strained things between Lili and Curtis Ray, her cool, rebellious boyfriend and band mate. A born rock star, Curtis Ray’s got it all: talent, charisma, and hunger for excess.

As the year rushes on, Lili meets William Bonney—a guitarist from Northern Ireland known as “Billy the Kid.” William is as reserved as Curtis Ray is loud, haunted by the life he left behind, but he’s every bit as brilliant a musician. In a scene full of spit, violence, and feedback, William’s quiet confidence moves Lili to search for what she really wants. But the secrets of William’s past could mean danger for both of them…

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Where Did You Sleep Last Night- Lynn Crosbie

23269048     Lynn Crosbie’s new novel is a fantastical love story about a teenage girl who embarks on a relationship with the dead spirit of Kurt Cobain.

Evelyn Gray is a miserable sixteen-year-old girl from Carnation, Washington, who is in love with Kurt Cobain. When Evelyn is taken to the hospital after a drug overdose, Cobain’s spirit reanimates itself in the body of a young man who is convalescing in the bed next to her.

Evelyn and the man — now named Celine Black — escape the hospital and run off together, determined to become famous. They find the musical success they seek, but despite their mutual devotion, they are tormented by their passion and jealousy. As their fame grows, their relationship becomes more excessive and an episode of sexual violence explodes into a shocking murder.

This is a highly original work of haute fan fiction, written in Crosbie’s poetic and emotionally evocative prose.

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The Nerdy and the Dirty- B.T. Gottfred

27779274    Pen Lupo is sick and tired of hiding who she is. On the outside, Pen is popular, quiet, and deferential to her boyfriend. On the inside, however, Pen is honest, opinionated—and not quite sure that she’s like other girls. Do they have urges like she does?

His classmates may consider him a nerd, but Benedict Pendleton knows he’s destined for great things. All he has to do is find a worthy girlfriend, and his social station will be secured. Sure, Benedict is different–but that’s what he likes about himself.

When fate intervenes, both Pen and Benedict end up at the same vacation resort for winter break. Despite their differences, the two are drawn together. But is there such a thing as happily ever after for a nympho and a nerd?

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Feel Me Fall- James Morris

35094517     Secrets and survival in the Amazon

Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon. Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other. With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. Emily must explain why she’s the last left alive.

But can she carry the burden of the past?

Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we’ll go in order to survive.

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The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky- Summer Heacock

33198766    A humorous novel about a cupcake shop owner with a physical ailment that’s kept her from having sex for two years, and the desperate antics that ensue as she tries to overcome it.

Having sex wasn’t a big priority while Kat Carmichael’s successful cupcake shop was taking off. But when she realizes that it’s been nearly two years since she and her boyfriend, Ryan, have been intimate, she makes a pact to break her dry spell-and cure her vaginismus, a muscular condition that can make sex physically impossible.

Out of guilt, Kat calls for a break in her relationship with Ryan, so that he can see other people while she attempts to fix the issue on her own. She throws herself into physical therapy, but soon discovers her solo mission is more complicated than she anticipated. Fortunately, Ben Cleary, the shop’s best (looking) customer, is also a physical therapist, and volunteers to help out.

As time goes on, however, the boundaries Ben and Kat have set between friendship and love quickly become blurred, leaving her more confused than ever about what to hang on to and what to let go.

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Rosie Coloured Glasses- Brianna Wolfson

37548443     Sometimes even all the love in the world is not enough to save someone.

Willow Thorpe knows friction… The friction between her parents, Rosie and Rex. The friction inside herself as she tries to navigate two worlds since their divorce.

But life has not always been like this.

When Rosie and Rex first met, theirs was an attraction of opposites. Rosie lived life for those heightened moments when love reveals its true secrets. Rex lived life safely, by the rules. Common sense would say theirs was a union not meant to last, but it was genuine love.

Now Willow just wants to be with Rosie, to bask in her mother’s outsize glow and, she thinks, protection. Because Rosie is the only person who can make Willow feel totally alive and completely loved.

But as Willow and Rosie and Rex try harder and harder to stay connected as a family, Rosie’s manic tornado of love continues to sweep up everyone in sight, ultimately to heartbreaking results.

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The Falling Between Us- Ash Parsons

35440777    All-consuming fame and fortune prove too much for a teen popstar who suddenly goes missing–Eddie and the Cruisers for the Justin Bieber era.

After 15-year-old Joshua Blackbird posts a performance of an original song on YouTube, he becomes an overnight sensation, catapulting to the dizzying heights of celebrity. Joshua is plucked from his middle-of-nowhere small town to pursue a pop star career complete with million-dollar record deals, international tours with sold-out crowds, and a diehard following who call themselves “Birdies.” But it’s not long before the never-blinking eye of fame begins weighing this bird down–the constant hunger of managers, record execs, paparazzi, even family, all leeching onto him. Then there is the staged romance with a teen pop princess and the unsettling fear brought on by a stalker. Everyone reaching out, determined to grab their piece of stardom, forgetting that an actual person–a kid nonetheless–is on the other side their grasp. It’s all too much.

Until, that is, Joshua Blackbird disappears. Was it a suicide? An accident?

Narrated from the perspective of Joshua’s girlfriend from home, Roxie, The Falling Between Us presents every wannabe teen heartthrob’s dream come true . . . only to realize it is a nightmare.

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Nightingale- Amy Lukavics

37004950     At seventeen, June Hardie is everything a young woman in 1951 shouldn’t be–independent, rebellious, a dreamer. June longs to travel, to attend college and to write the dark science fiction stories that consume her waking hours. But her parents only care about making June a better young woman. Her mother grooms her to be a perfect little homemaker while her father pushes her to marry his business partner’s domineering son. When June resists, her whole world is shattered–suburbia isn’t the only prison for different women.

June’s parents commit her to Burrow Place Asylum, aka the Institution. With its sickening conditions, terrifying staff and brutal “medical treatments,” the Institution preys on June’s darkest secrets and deepest fears. And she’s not alone. The Institution terrorizes June’s fragile roommate, Eleanor, and the other women locked away within its crumbling walls. Those who dare speak up disappear…or worse. Trapped between a gruesome reality and increasingly sinister hallucinations, June isn’t sure where her nightmares end and real life begins. But she does know one thing: in order to survive, she must destroy the Institution before it finally claims them all.

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Happy Reading!

stacy

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Blog Tour + Q&A + Giveaway* You Asked for Perfect – Laura Silverman

You Asked for PerfectTitle: You Asked for Perfect

Author: Laura Silverman

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: March 5th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary

My Review

Synopsis:

Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one. Not when his peers can smell weakness like a freshman’s body spray.

Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options.

Ariel may not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

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AUTHOR INFORMATION

laura-silverman_author-photoMy debut novel, GIRL OUT OF WATER, is a summery coming-of-age story about a California surfer girl sent to landlocked Nebraska for the entire summer. It debuted in May 2017. You can order it from most book retailers and of course request it at your local library! My second novel, YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT, is about the effects of intense academic pressure on a teenage Valedictorian-to-be. It comes out March 2019, and you can add it on Goodreads here.

I have degrees in English and Advertising from the University of Georgia, and I have an MFA in Writing for Children from the New School. While I lived in NYC, I interned at Penguin and two different literary agencies. In addition to writing, I also freelance edit manuscripts and query letters. Please check out my services if you’re interested! I particularly love helping with those query letters!

You can find Laura Silverman at the following sites:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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Q&A WITH LAURA SILVERMAN

Thank you, Laura, for stopping by on the blog! I had so much fun chatting with you!

1. Your second book is coming out in March, that’s so exciting! What inspired you to write this story?

I went to an extremely academically competitive high school. We were pressured to take as many AP classes as possible and do well in them. At the time, almost ten years ago now, this high school experience was pretty unusual. We jokingly called the school a university instead of a high school. But I’ve noticed in recent years it’s been more and more common to put this intense academic pressure on high school students all over the country, and that amount of pressure can be extremely harmful to the mental and physical health of the students. I wanted to write a book where high school students feel seen and heard. I wanted to tell them that they are much more important than their grades. I also wanted to send a message to teachers, parents, administrators, etc. Many already know this pressure is an issue, but I hope they will work harder to solve it.

2. I read an ARC of YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT a couple months ago and I absolutely loved it! I related to Ariel so much, and I know a lot more readers will, too. Was it difficult writing Ariel’s character, or any of the other characters?

Ariel’s voice came fairly naturally to me. He’s one of the other main reasons I wrote this book. I’ve had his voice in my head for years now. Originally, he belonged to another book I scraped after a few chapters, but his voice stayed in my head, so a couple years after that, I started writing YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT. That said, it was definitely still difficult in a way to write his voice because the poor guy is super stressed out for a large portion of the book. I felt that stress right along with him and would often continue to feel it after my writing session. Thankfully there are some fluffy, happy scenes in the book as well that gave us both some relief J

3. If you could give one piece of advice to those struggling with any type of pressure to be perfect, what would it be?

Reach out to people and ask for help – whether it’s parents or a therapist or someone else. Perfection is overrated, and hopefully someone in your life can work with you, provide comfort, and help shift your perspective.

4. What was your writing process like for YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT?

As mentioned above, it was super stressful! I had a lot of high school flashbacks. I wasn’t exactly like Ariel, but there were times when I felt like a single grade or project was the end of the world. I really dipped back into that internal spiral, and it was a difficult space to live in again.

5. There are a ton of inspiring authors out there. What advice would you give them?

Write what you enjoy! I strongly recommend writing fanfiction if you’re just starting out. I wrote a ton of fanfiction in college, and it was the best writing practice. You get instant feedback from your reviewers, and you’re incentivized to keep posting new chapters because they’ll want to know what happens next. And most importantly, it’s really fun!

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TOUR SCHEDULE

See what other amazing blogs joined this fantastic blog tour!

http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2018/12/tour-schedule-you-asked-for-perfect-by.html

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YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT GIVEAWAY

Prize: Win a copy of YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT by Laura Silverman (INT)

Disclaimer: INT as long as Bookdepository ships to the country of the winner.

Start Date: 11th February 2019

End Date: 24th February 2019

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, so much for having A Court of Coffee and Books on the blog tour!

*First Line Friday* A Danger to Herself and Others- Alyssa Sheinmel

39986808   Only when she’s locked away does the truth begin to escape… 

Four walls. One window. No way to escape. Hannah knows there’s been a mistake. She didn’t need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at her summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctors and judge figure out that she isn’t a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. In the meantime, she is going to use her persuasive skills to get the staff on her side.

Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage. And she may be the only person who can get Hannah to confront the dangerous games and secrets that landed her in confinement in the first place.

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“When I first got here- when they brought me here- a man with blue pants and a matching shirt, both of which looked like they were made of paper, asked me questions.”

Hope you guys have a great and safe weekend!

stacy