Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Now Available in E-Book: A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE

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Folks, I’m very happy to be able to finally report that my second novel — and the second novel in the Elfy duology — A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE has been released. It’s available right now at Amazon and OmniLit…the latter will be most useful if you need an e-pub version of the file.

Edited to add: Barnes and Noble link is now live as well. Now returning you to your regularly scheduled post…

ALittleElfyinBigTrouble_medIf you have never seen anything at all about the Elfyverse — or read book one in the Elfy duology, AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE — this little blurb may help you with what’s going on:

Young Bruno the Elfy and Sarah, his mostly-human teenage girlfriend, are in deep trouble. Bruno’s Elfy mentor Roberto the Wise is about to be sacrificed by a Dark Elf, and Sarah’s parents have decided to help the Elf rather than the Elfy. Things look bleak and are getting worse by the minute, but Bruno and Sarah have a number of allies — human, Elfy, and ghosts — that the Dark Elf can’t possibly expect. Can young love, desperation, and great unexpected power win out despite it all?

And here’s a short excerpt — note, it first appeared here, as part of the Marketing for Romance Writers Book Hooks blog hop:

Bruno took Sarah’s hand and led her back outside. He looked with his mage senses, and felt nothing; no Elfy magic, no Human magic, and as far as he could tell, no Elf magic, Dark or Bright.

He put up a light shield that should help conceal their voices, and decided it was safe enough to talk for a bit.

“Tomorrow is Baaltinne, Sarah.” Bruno rubbed his fingers through his hair and tried not to look too hard at Sarah. Goddess, she was beautiful. But he had to stay on topic. “That’s your May Day. Tomorrow.” He shook his head and tried not to frown. “How can we get everything together in time to stop Dennis the Dark Elf?”

“I have faith in you,” she said. Her eyes darkened. Bruno felt as if he were falling, before she gently brushed her lips against his.

————————— End Excerpt ————————————-

If this has intrigued you (and of course I hope it has), but you aren’t sure you will like my book yet, I also have three sample chapters available at Twilight Times Books’ website — here’s the link for that: http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com/ElfyinBigTrouble_ch1.html

A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE continues to make me laugh. I’ve enjoyed writing about Bruno, Sarah, Reverend Samuel and his family, Lady Keisha, even Dennis the Dark Elf…and I hope to write more about them, ’cause I have a hunch their stories are not over.

At any rate, most of you know the labor of love that kept me working on Elfy for years. I’m ecstatic that both halves of my novel have now been published, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.

Anyway, both novels are available now as e-books. So what are you waiting for? Go grab a copy — or copies — today! (And be sure to tell your friends. ‘Cause, really…how can you go wrong?)

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 21, 2015 at 7:22 pm

Welcome to the Elfyverse…

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Thank you for stopping by my blog, which is called either “Barb Caffrey’s Blog,” or “the Elfyverse.”

Why two names? Well, I figured it would be easier for people to find me if they used my name. But I’ve been writing about Elfys, Elfs, Dwarves, and more for over ten years — thus “the Elfyverse.”

As for what I do here, it’s simple: I talk about anything I like.

I’ve been blogging now for over five years. (Here’s a link to my first blog post, if you don’t believe me.) Over that time, I’ve talked writing, publishing, music, sports, current events, politics . . . anything that I feel like talking about.

So while you’re here, expect the unexpected . . . because you never quite know what I’m about to say.

Please feel free to stop by any time you like. And tell your friends about all my work, including AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE (Barnes and Noble link is here) and the first two stories of my late husband Michael’s, “A Dark and Stormy Night” and “On Westmount Station,” all available at Amazon.

And remember . . . support a real writer.

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 9, 2014 at 5:21 am

My novel, “An Elfy on the Loose,” Is Now Available

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It’s been a long time in coming, but my first novel, AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE (now with a subtitle of “Book One of the ELFY duology”) is now available at Amazon.com and will be available soon at all major e-book retailers.

**Edited to add: AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE has also “gone live” at BN.com (Barnes and Noble’s website), as Paul Howard told me in the comments. If you have a Nook and want to read AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, now’s your chance!

Now back to our regularly scheduled post.**

I’m very pleased that AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE is now out, even though I hadn’t expected it to “go live” on Amazon tonight, of all nights — but as it has, I figured I’d best skedaddle and get a blog post up, pronto.

For those of you who want a sample, please go here and read the first five chapters of AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE . . . then, I hope you’ll go to Amazon and get the e-book, as it’s on sale for a limited time at the low price of $3.99.

Because I’m a new author, and because I’m decidedly not well known, it is anyone’s guess as to whether or not AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE will do well enough to warrant an actual “dead tree” edition (that is, a paper edition).

For all I know, this e-book copy is all that we’re likely to get. So I hope you’ll enjoy it in the spirit intended.

In other words, if you want to read my novel because you’ve been intrigued about Bruno the Elfy and Sarah his human companion and want to know all about Sarah’s house (which is an Elfy trap of major proportions), or if you want to figure out why a Dark Elf would go to Northern California, or if you even want to know why Bruno’s mentor Roberto is worth saving despite being more than a bit of an butthead sometimes, now’s your chance.

I also hope that if you read and enjoy AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, you won’t be averse to letting people know my book exists. Because I need all the help I can get . . . and I’m not shy about saying so.

Written by Barb Caffrey

April 12, 2014 at 12:34 am

New Guest Post at Book Cover Junkie for CHANGING FACES…

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Folks, I’m happy to let you all know that I have a new guest post at Book Cover Junkie today. It’s about the excellent cover artist Tamian Wood created for my new novel CHANGING FACES, and all that went into that…I hope you will enjoy it.

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Here’s just a little bit from that guest post:

As you see, there are two faces on this cover for my new novel Changing Faces. One is my hero, Allen Bridgeway, a thirty-year-old heterosexual male in love with my heroine, Elaine Foster, a twenty-eight-year-old bisexual and transgender female. Elaine is beautiful, while Allen’s an average-looking guy to start off the book. However, as things go on, Allen quickly gets put into Elaine’s body, while Elaine gets put into Allen’s (and in a coma). The reason the cover looks this way is because of the gift of artist Tamian Wood…she captured Elaine, who is Hispanic, beautifully, and gave Allen a depth and richness that I appreciated without compromising his seemingly average looks.

In addition, because this book is set in Nebraska and features two clarinetists, there are subtle touches of musical notes in the lettering, and a long road for the two lovers to walk…

And if you haven’t yet seen the blurb for CHANGING FACES yet, here’s the longer version (not available at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com), as that may give you more of an inkling:

Allen and Elaine are graduate students in Nebraska, have been together for seven years, and are engaged. They love each other very much, and have many things in common. Both play the clarinet, are teaching assistants, are well-respected and seem to have their lives firmly on track. In fact, their life should be idyllic, but Elaine’s past includes rape, neglect, and abuse from those who should’ve loved her—but didn’t, because from childhood, Elaine identified as transgender.

When Elaine tells Allen right before Christmas, he doesn’t know what to do. He loves Elaine, loves her soul, has heard about transgender people before, but didn’t think Elaine was one of them—she looks and acts like anyone else. Now, she wants to become a man and is going to leave.

He prays for divine intervention, and says he’ll do anything, just please don’t separate him from Elaine. And in the form of a car accident, he gets his wish.

Now, he’s in Elaine’s body. And she’s in his. But both were injured, and Allen’s old body (with Elaine inside) is in a coma.

Allen can’t tell anyone who he is. But one thing’s certain: if Elaine can wake up, he wants to be with her. He doesn’t care what body he’s in, or that he, too, is now transgender.

True love matters so much to the universe, once you have found your soulmate, the universe will do anything to keep you together—even change your faces.

Anyway, here are all the links to the various places where CHANGING FACES is on sale, courtesy of Chris the Story-Telling Ape (he put it into this format, and it makes sense, so I’m going to keep crediting him — thank you again, Chris!):

Barnes & Noble

Amazon:

USA  –   UK  –  CA  –  AUS  –  IN

And if you want to try before you buy? That’s all right with me, too. Go read the sample chapters right now:

http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com/ChangingFaces_ch1.html

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 20, 2017 at 1:02 pm

Getting By With a Little Help…

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Folks, this past week has been a whirlwind. I’ve had ups, downs, two band rehearsals, book promotion activities, all that…but one thing is certain:

I appreciate my friends, in and out of the writing community.

Friends are amazing. Having people in your life who understand you is one of the greatest blessings available on this Earth. No, it might not be up there with chocolate, or romantic love, or the Milwaukee Brewers winning the World Series (that has to be on the horizon sooner or later, right?), but friends make a huge difference in your life.

I know this, because without mine, I would be in big trouble.

This past week, I had several friends step up and help me in various ways.

First, Chris the Story-Reading Ape posted a book spotlight for CHANGING FACES, my new novel, at his very busy blog on less than three hours notice. I did not expect this at all — that he’d do it, yes. But that he’d do it in less than three hours? Um, no.

Thank you, Chris!

Next, I reached out to Jason Cushman, the Opinionated Man himself. Jason has a huge blog following of over 60,000 people over at his blog HarsH ReaLiTy, and he agreed to host a guest blog from me less than a day after I asked him.

That guest blog, Music and Love in CHANGING FACES, got a number of positive comments and I made at least one new fan out of it from India. (She thinks I should start up a YouTube channel on music, because I know so much about it. I had never considered that before, but I am now…thanks to her.)

Thank you so much, Jason!

Then, I reached out to Sally Cronin, a wonderful woman who has a solid and eclectic blog following of her own. Sally agreed to host something about me, my overall work (including my short stories and previous two novels in the Elfyverse as well as CHANGING FACES), and let people know I had a new release available within a few, short days as well; that blog also featured authors Angie Dokos and Deanie Humphrys-Dunne.

Thank you so much, Sally!

(My goodness, I am blessed with friends, aren’t I?)

And that doesn’t count the people who shared on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, much less my friends over in the Marketing for Romance Writers group, not to mention my writer-friends Katharine Eliska Kimbriel, Mr. and Mrs. N.N. Light, Jason Cordova, and Chris Nuttall, who all gave me encouragement as I was afraid my book would just sink like a stone.

I mean, there is nothing else out there like CHANGING FACES. Nothing whatsoever. And that makes it a challenge to market. It’s about music, love, friendship, sacrifice, all that — but it’s mostly about what makes a person, her soul or her body? (Obviously, I think it’s the soul. If it were the body, why would human beings be so concerned, as a species, about a positive afterlife?)

And yet, it’s not a Christian inspirational. It’s not a NeoPagan inspirational, either. There certainly are a lot of LGBT themes in there, as it features a lesbian wedding at the beginning and a wedding between my protagonists Allen and Elaine, now both transgender, at the end, but I like to think it has broader appeal as well.

In other words, I believe that CHANGING FACES is timeless. Anyone who believes in romance, much less likes music a great deal, should find a way to appreciate it.

No, it’s not like anything else. But it is honest, it is heartfelt, and it has a lot of interesting stuff in there about music, writing, the meaning of love, and how LGBT people are just like anyone else that may intrigue you, if you only give it a chance.

I am proud to have written CHANGING FACES. And I hope that you will look for it, and buy a copy, as it’s only ninety-nine cents (or ninety-nine pence in the UK).

First, here’s a link to the sample chapters:

http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com/ChangingFaces_ch1.html

Next, here are all the links to the various places where CHANGING FACES is on sale, courtesy of Chris the Story-Telling Ape (he put it into this format, and it makes sense, so I’m going to keep crediting him — thank you again, Chris!):

Barnes & Noble

Amazon:

USA  –   UK  –  CA  –  AUS  –  IN

Finally, here’s a link to my Amazon Author’s page (at Amazon US only, sorry), which may give you an idea of other books I’ve written, to show range and all that other good stuff (note that CHANGING FACES is not yet listed there, but it will be, and soon, if I have anything to say about it):

https://www.amazon.com/Barb-Caffrey/e/B00H8EROC8

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 17, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Barb Caffrey, Angie Dokos and Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

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Thank you so much, Sally, for your help and support!

Authors, Sally Cronin is a wonderful person you need to get to know. (Seriously.)

And do take a look at the other two authors here, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne and Angie Dokos. They’ve got interesting stuff, too…we interesting authors and bloggers must stick together. 🙂

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

author-update-jpgWelcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates this week and three featured authors. Barb Caffrey, Angie Dokos and Deanie Humphrys – Dunne.

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Now for a book released on February 7th by sci-fi/fantasy author Barb Caffrey. In the fantasy romance Changing Faces, a couple find themselves at a crossroads in their lives that might separate them for ever…The Ebook version is currently on offer at 99c.

About the book

Allen and Elaine are graduate students in Nebraska, and love each other very much. Their life should be idyllic, but Elaine’s past includes rape, neglect, and abuse from those who should’ve loved her—but didn’t, because from childhood, Elaine identified as transgender.When Elaine tells Allen right before Christmas, he doesn’t know what to do. He loves Elaine, loves her soul, has heard about transgender people before, but didn’t think Elaine was one of them—she looks and acts…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

February 13, 2017 at 11:54 am

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#MondayMotivation: Write for You

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Folks, I’m going to take a time-out on my book promotion activities with regards to CHANGING FACES (if you want a copy, just follow the pages backward and you’ll be able to get one) and talk about one of the things that motivates me, it being Monday and all.

So, without further ado…what motivates Barb Caffrey as a writer?

So many things, actually. I want to tell stories with heart, that matter, that feel real, that have empathy, that maybe shed light on the human condition in new ways…of course, all of that sounds quite profound, doesn’t it?

Really, I write for me.

(Picture my big, evil grin here.)

Seriously. I write for me. I’ve done this since I was small, on and off…I wanted to read stories that I didn’t see anywhere, but knew had power and resonance. And the only way to read those stories, under the circumstances, was to find a way to write them myself.

I think a lot of writers are that way, actually. We have a need to read stories that aren’t out there yet. We get a germ of an idea, and we keep going until the idea is finished.

Yeah, it seems to take me longer than some novelists to finish my ideas. (If I had to judge myself against my friend Chris Nuttall, for example, and how fast he can write a novel, I’d quail at ever writing another word.) But I’m not the only one out there who takes a bit of time with a concept to get it right.

For example, I know two writers very well who have had to take long periods of time to finish a novel, albeit for different reasons. In one case, my friend needed to take time out for health concerns, but she had a third novel in her in a series and she wanted to tell it. It took her a number of extra years to do this, but she didn’t let her health concerns defeat her; in the end, her novel was published, to wide acclaim, and now there is hope that she’ll have a fourth book (or at least novelette) in the series available soon.

In the other, my friend tried for years to get his novel to come clear for him, but for whatever reason it didn’t quite feel right. He published several other things, including a couple of acclaimed short stories and several co-written novels along with some other solo works, but he kept coming back to this particular novel because he needed to tell that story and wanted to get it right. And now, that book is out, and he’s got a contract for a couple more in the series, with readers saying, “More, please…” and not understanding he has a day job.

But I digress.

Or am I?

This is Monday Motivation, after all, and me talking about two of my friends and how they’ve persisted in telling the stories they need to tell does matter. They didn’t give up, and they got out books that readers love, that are helping to build their names and careers, and are continuing on with their efforts to write more stories that they absolutely have a burning need to tell.

Good for them.

I know I have tried to do that, too. The Elfy novels took over ten years to find a publisher, but I didn’t give up. CHANGING FACES went through at least five major revisions and a late-round revision and updating I’ve gone into multiple times in the past year before it finally came out earlier this month, over fourteen years after it was started.

See, if you have a story that is inside you, you have to tell it. Or you aren’t being true to yourself.

So write for you. Tell that story. Don’t give up, no matter how long it takes, nor how many revisions you need to go through, nor even whether it seems like it won’t matter ’cause sales aren’t brisk and you aren’t making a dent.

Do it anyway.

Do it for yourself.

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 13, 2017 at 11:21 am

Music and Love in CHANGING FACES

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Go take a look at my newest guest blog! (Thank you so much, OM, for having me!)

HarsH ReaLiTy

Folks, I want to tell you a story about why I loved writing my new LGBT-friendly contemporary fantasy romance novel CHANGING FACES. Because I am both a musician and a writer, when an unusual story about two clarinetists in love showed up in my head, I wrote it down…and only later did I think about how music helps nearly everyone cope with life, especially when it’s challenging and/or frustrating.

But maybe I’d best start at the beginning.

beauitful elegant mature woman portrait in garden beauitful elegant mature woman portrait in garden

Here’s the blurb:

Allen and Elaine are graduate students in Nebraska, and love each other very much. Their life should be idyllic, but Elaine’s past includes rape, neglect, and abuse from those who should’ve loved her—but didn’t, because from childhood, Elaine identified as transgender.

When Elaine tells Allen right before Christmas, he doesn’t know what to do. He loves Elaine, loves her soul, has heard…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

February 12, 2017 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

When Love Disappoints, What is the Point?

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img_8906The title, above, is the main question at the heart of CHANGING FACES, my new fantasy romance set in modern-day Nebraska featuring a bisexual and gender-fluid woman, Elaine Foster, and her heterosexual boyfriend, Allen Bridgeway. These two have overcome much to find each other, fall in love, and now want to get married — but Elaine’s been keeping her gender-fluidity secret, as she’s desperately afraid Allen will not be able to understand it.

The problem is, when you don’t have open communication, love has no way to grow and becomes less sustaining and fulfilling. Ultimately, if you are holding a big secret inside, as Elaine is at the start of CHANGING FACES, it starts to poison your relationship…that secret has to come out, or you end up with the question I posed above: when love disappoints, what is the point?

See, you need to share all of yourself, when you’re in love with someone else. The good stuff, the bad stuff, the in between stuff…it all has to come out, or you aren’t truly joining with someone else. (That “two shall become one” Bible verse is not just about children, after all.) You have to be willing to be vulnerable, to open yourself up to potential ridicule — though someone who truly loves you isn’t going to do that, we are all human and we all worry about such things — and to hope that your love will grow, change, and flourish over time.

In the case of CHANGING FACES, Elaine is worried that Allen can’t possibly understand her gender-fluidity, as she barely understands it herself and she’s lived with it her entire life. She also was a child of the foster homes, as was Allen…while Allen was able to find a loving adoptive home after a while, Elaine never was, and worse, Elaine was raped while resident of her last foster home by five young men. It’s because of this atrocious act that Elaine can only barely accept Allen’s love for her in the first place, and it adds stress to an already stressful situation.

You might be wondering why Allen keeps trying, hey? Well, he truly is in love with Elaine. He sees who she is, even if he doesn’t know about her gender-fluidity (he doesn’t care about her bisexuality at all; he figures he looks at women, she looks at women too, and they only go home with each other so that’s fine), and he loves her indomitable spirit. He sees her, entire, sees her soul, and loves her for who she is.

But of course, when she finally tells him about her gender-fluidity (and how she believes she’d rather live as a man, maybe get the surgery down the line to become a man outwardly, even though she’d always think of herself as a woman — did I mention that Elaine is a feminist scholar? No?), Allen is completely thrown.

Who wouldn’t be?

I mean, you live with someone for seven years, right? You love that person wisely and well, knowing how much she’s been hurt, appreciating that despite it all, she’s willing to turn to you and give you everything she has…and then you find out this secret.

Allen’s a very good man. He wants to be with Elaine so much, even though he doesn’t understand any of this, he prays that she won’t leave him (as she’s confused, hurt, and upset, and is about to do that very thing even though she still loves him every bit as much as before).

And his prayer is answered by two quirky, shapeshifting angels…

Look. My view of love is very simple. Love matters, period. You have to have communication and trust and honesty, or love can’t flourish as it should. (I think it dies, personally, if you don’t have those things, but maybe that’s just me.) The right person at the right time in your life can work wonders — refer back to everything I’ve said about my late husband Michael if you don’t believe me (I have a category for it, even, if you haven’t read anything about Michael before, on the side of the blog) — but you have to be open and vulnerable and real and tell the truth about yourself, or love will be ultimately less than fulfilling and highly disappointing.

Telling the truth and being vulnerable is a big risk. That’s why it’s so hard to do. And it’s even harder when you’re someone like Elaine who’s been badly hurt and who doesn’t really know how to explain who and what she is…she’s not lying to Allen, but she’s not able to tell him everything, either, and thus, a wedge grows between them.

A wedge that can only be fixed by the two quirky angels and their solution of changing Allen and Elaine’s faces (that is, putting Allen in Elaine’s body, and Elaine in Allen’s, so they’re now both, in effect, transgender in every sense).

As I’ve said in the past several days, I believe in love. I believe in honesty. I believe in miracles, faith, optimism, second chances all unlooked for, and I think we need more of it in this world.

I’m proud to have written CHANGING FACES, and I hope you will enjoy it as well. Do let me know what you think…especially about how you, yourself, have transcended the disappointments you’ve found in your own love relationships (as trust me, every single one of us has been disappointed in a love relationship one way or another — it seems to be part of the human condition).

********

Edited to add:

Here are all the places you can find CHANGING FACES…Chris the Story-Reading Ape put it in this format (so thank you again, Chris!):

Barnes & Noble

Amazon:

USA  –   UK  –  CA  –  AUS  –  IN

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 12, 2017 at 12:35 am

Read New Release – ‘CHANGING FACES’ by Barb Caffrey for 99c/99p…

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Thank you so much, Chris, for sharing this! (Folks, now you have all the links I know about to go find yourself a copy of CHANGING FACES forthwith. So what are you waiting for, hm?)

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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Genre: Romance, romantic fantasy, LGBT

99c/99p for a limited time in e-book

Allen and Elaine are graduate students in Nebraska, and love each other very much. Their life should be idyllic, but Elaine’s past includes rape, neglect, and abuse from those who should’ve loved her—but didn’t, because from childhood, Elaine identified as transgender.

When Elaine tells Allen right before Christmas, he doesn’t know what to do. He loves Elaine, loves her soul, has heard about transgender people before, but didn’t think Elaine was one of them—she looks and acts like anyone else. Now, she wants to become a man and is going to leave.

He prays for divine intervention, and says he’ll do anything, just please don’t separate him from Elaine…and gets it.

Now, he’s in Elaine’s body. And she’s in his. They’ll get a second chance at love.

Why? Because once you find your soulmate, the universe will do…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

February 11, 2017 at 9:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized