August 30, 2013

Rob Colton: The Ranch Foreman

Please welcome fellow DsP author Rob Colton! He's here to talk about his release "The Ranch Foreman" (which I thoroughly enjoyed).



Title: The Ranch Foreman
Release Date: August 14, 2013
Author: Rob Colton
Author Website: http://robcolton.com
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link:
Genre: Western

Blurb:
When Madison “Matty” Ward finds himself out of work and without a place to live, his cousin comes through with a job on the Gates cattle ranch. Despite not knowing anything about herding cattle or taking care of horses, Matty does his best to impress the older hunky foreman, Baxter Hollingsworth. Baxter is drawn to the new young hand, but he’s deeply closeted, and after an openly gay veterinarian shows he’s interested in Matty, Baxter’s repressed feelings lead to an explosive encounter. Baxter then withdraws—leaving Matty feeling angry and used—until an accident forces him to confront his fears.



1-Welcome Rob Colton! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your release.
Thanks for having me today, Chris!

The Ranch Foreman is my first professionally published novella. I’ve been writing and posting stories online for a while now. Like many others, I started out as a reader and began writing to fill what I found to be a missing gap. Most of my stories feature big burly bears finding love with a smaller partner. I write the kind of stories that I like to read, and The Ranch Foreman is very much a “Rob Colton” story. So far the experience with the release of this novella has been mind-blowing. I am humbled by the success and am very grateful to everyone who has supported me.

2-In what locale is your book set? Why did you choose this setting?
The Ranch Foreman is set on a cattle ranch in the Midwest. I don’t always give exact locations to my stories and I chose not to be specific with this one.

3-How long have you been writing?
I’ve only been writing for a short time, about five years. In that time, I’ve felt like I’ve grown so much as a writer. The editing process for this book was an eye opener and I learned a lot from the experience. I hope to continue to grow and improve over time.

4-What compelled you to write this particular story?
I wanted to write a genre I hadn’t really tackled yet, a contemporary western. Because who doesn’t love a sexy cowboy, right? As I came up with the plot outline, I knew right away that I wanted the main character Baxter to be closeted. I tried to write him as a realistic portrayal of an older, closeted man who doesn’t live in a big urban city. He may not be completely likeable all the time, but he does have a good heart.

5-What gave you the courage to submit your story to a publisher?
I hemmed and hawed back and forth about submitting this book for months. I admit I was a little afraid of rejection, but I had a lot of support from other authors who gave me great advice. I don’t think I could have done it without their help.

6-When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?
Typically I come up with the characters in my head, though sometimes I run across models—either actors or photos I find while surfing online—that inspire me. In the case of Baxter, he was inspired by a photo of a cowboy.

7-Why did you start writing m/m? Is there something special that draws you to this genre?
As a gay man, it makes sense that I would be drawn to m/m romance. I’m a total romantic at heart and I love reading about men who get their happily-ever-afters. I write the kind of books that I like to read.

8-What are you reading right now? Do you have a favorite author or genre?
The last book I read was “Thick as Thieves” by Tali Spencer. It was fantastic. Next on my list is “Shadows in the Night” by M.A. Church. I’ve been reading shapeshifter books lately. They’ve always been a favorite genre of mine.

9-What are you working on now?
I’m currently putting the final touches on The Cassini Mission, the follow up to The Degan Incident. It will be released to the premium area on GayAuthors.org, followed by an ebook release.

10-When you're not writing, how do you like to spend your time?
I’m a software engineer in my day job, so I spend a lot of time on my PC, developing apps. I also love playing with my gadgets. And I love relaxing at home with my husband and our dog on the weekends!
11-What are your writing goals for 2013?
I’ve already had my first book released, which was my main goal. For the rest of the year, I plan on publishing The Cassini Mission on GayAuthors.org and ebook. After that, I plan on posting another free story or two by the end of the year. For 2014, I’d like to publish three, maybe four books.

12-Do you have personal goals for 2013?
My partner and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary this year. We got married in DC on the day. That was definitely a goal of mine and it was awesome to see it come to pass!


Would you like to share an excerpt from “The Ranch Foreman”?
Of course! I hope you all enjoy the excerpt and thank you for your support!



“That feels good, doesn’t it, boy?”
Using the brush, Matty slowly groomed Chestnut. The horse stood still for the most part, letting Matty pamper him. A sugar cube would calm him when he started to get annoyed. Though Baxter had said Chestnut wasn’t a puppy, Matty still spoke to the horse.
This was his favorite part of being the “stable boy”—taking care of the horses when they were done working. He enjoyed brushing, grooming, and pampering the animals. He made sure they were well fed and had fresh water, all the while having one-sided conversations. Matty didn’t care that he probably looked crazy. Talking to the animals helped pass the time. It made the job calming and peaceful.
“So how was work today?” he asked the horse. “Maybe you could put in a good word for me with your boss. He sure is a big hunk.” Matty let out a soft snort. “Like I need to tell you. He’s on your back every day.”
In just a few short days, all of the animals had taken a liking to him. Even the difficult ones like Chestnut seemed to tolerate him. He was getting the hang of the stables. He could dress and saddle a horse without Clyde’s help. And he no longer gagged when shoveling shit into the wheelbarrow.
Matty was really proud of himself for that.
It was such a change of pace from his old job before he had to quit, but he loved it more and more every day. Surprisingly, he found he didn’t miss the noise or the hustle of the city. He enjoyed the clean air and quiet of the ranch.
With Chestnut taken care of, Matty headed to the other end of the barn where Bolt’s stall was located. He slipped his hand into his jacket pocket, making sure he still had a couple of sugar cubes.
Bolt was definitely his favorite horse. The old horse was so gentle. Maybe Matty was projecting human emotions onto the animal, but it seemed Bolt really liked him back. The horse brightened whenever Matty came near and would nuzzle his nose against Matty.
Okay, so maybe it was because Matty snuck him sugar cubes, and once he even gave him a molasses cookie. The old horse deserved to be spoiled as far as Matty was concerned. Even though he was rarely ridden anymore, Matty still brushed him down every day.
Matty noticed Bolt wasn’t in his stall, so he walked out of the front of the barn toward the paddock. Clyde must have let him out to get some exercise. He saw Bolt at the gate with Baxter, so he hung back, leaned against the barn wall, and watched.
Baxter was petting Bolt’s muzzle and rubbing his ears. “Good boy,” he said. His voice was deep but quiet, and it still carried to Matty’s ears. He reached into the pocket of his jacket and pulled out a large apple. He fed it to Bolt while gently petting him and quietly talking to the animal.
Matty couldn’t help but smile. The big cowboy actually had a soft spot. Who would have thought? Butterflies danced inside Matty’s stomach as he watched the tender moment unfold.
Not wanting to intrude on their privacy any longer, he turned and went back into the stable to get back to work, his mind focused on the sexy foreman and how he could get the man to make a move.

August 29, 2013

Castle: Schloss Drachenburg

Today I took out my Dad to visit Schloss Drachenburg (a pretty castle).



The drive was good even though we were on the road longer than planned (damn traffic!). But it never gets boring with my father. We talked about a lot of things and when I told him about one of my books with a squirrel-shifter he was like "A squirrel. For real? What about werewolves? Is it at least a nasty, biting squirrel? Why couldn't you come up with a snake-shifter?" LOL You gotta love the man.

Once there (and after eventually finding a parking spot) we took the railway up to the castle. We explored the castle, afterward had lunch and then strolled around. We climbed the North Tower, which very effectively turned our legs into jelly. But the view is beautiful!




Eventually we got into the train again and drove up to the Drachenfelsen where the old ruin still stands.


Well, and when it was time to go down the hill again we had to wait for fifteen minutes for the next train. So what did we do? Exactly! We decided to walk and climb into the train at the castle station. Um, yeah... My Dad's sense of orientation is, um, bad but put him together with me and you have a disaster in the making. Soooo, we took the scenic route down and back to the car. lol

Anyway, it was a great day and we laughed a lot. He even made me spit water while we drove because he caused me to laugh so hard. Now my voice is hoarse from all the laughing but I'm happy. :)

On a book-related note:

Thanks to everyone who voted for Secret Chemistry in You Gotta Read Reviews Cover Contest! The cover came out as 2nd place winner! THANK YOU!


August 27, 2013

Goddess Fish Promotions: Gail Barrett -- A Kiss to Die For





A Kiss to Die For
by Gail Barrett

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:
Homeless Army veteran Sullivan Turner is nobody’s hero. His failure to save his fallen comrades proved that. So when a gutsy social worker gets caught in a drug gang’s crosshairs, he knows he’s the last man who can safeguard her and the pregnant teenagers she’s trying to protect.

Former debutant Haley Barnes learned the hard way how to survive. After witnessing a cold-blooded murder, the terrified teenaged runaway changed her identity and hid to save her life. But when the killer tracks her down and attacks the girls in the homeless shelter she now runs, Haley knows the time has come to stand and fight. But to bring down the powerful killer she must confront her high-society family’s darkest secrets -- and convince wounded warrior Sully Turner he’s the hero she believes.





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Excerpt:

I can get a cop to go with you. I know a few who moonlight as bodyguards.”

Sully shot him a look of disbelief. “You can’t be serious. She needs to hide, not appear in public, risking her life.”

But Haley broke in. “It doesn’t matter. I can’t use the police. The killer could recognize a cop. I need someone less obvious. Someone I can pass off as my date.” Her gaze returned to his.

Realization sank in. He took a quick step back. “Forget it.”

Why not? You obviously know how to shoot. And you’re in this as much as I am. That gang’s after you now, too.”

He didn’t care about himself. He should have died months ago. But Haley needed protection -- protection he couldn’t provide.

I can’t.” He had a bum leg. He suffered from chronic flashbacks. Hell, he was so messed up he could barely function without a drink, let alone safeguard her. And his intuition was off. The last time he’d relied on his instincts, he’d screwed up -- and his men had paid the price.
He’s right,” the cop told her. “No offense to Sully, but you need a pro, someone who can keep his eye out for trouble in a place like that.”

Someone who could stay sober, he meant.

Sully worked his jaw, suspecting his bloodshot eyes had given him away -- or the way he’d guzzled the beer Parker had offered him when they’d first arrived. But even if it humiliated him to admit it, Parker was right. Haley didn’t need a broken man like him.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Gail Barrett is the award-winning author of thirteen romantic suspense novels. A former RITA® and Daphne finalist, Gail has received the Book Buyer’s Best Award, the Holt Medallion, the Booksellers Best, The National Readers’ Choice Award, and numerous other awards. She lives with her husband in Western Maryland. For more information, visit her website: www.gailbarrett.com.


Buy Links:





~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Gail will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift certificate and either a signed print copy (US ONLY) or an electronic copy of Fatal Exposure (Buried Secrets book one) to one randomly drawn commenter during this tour and her other Super Book Blast on August 21st.


Follow the tour and comment to increase your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

August 26, 2013

Personal News Update

Today I had my first three months check-up after the diabetes diagnosis. My numbers are so good that I can reduce my medication. I'm so happy about this, I have no words for this development. I'm feeling much better and the nausea is gone for most day. The occasional bout still shakes me sometimes but it's less frequent now.


In other news: I'm now a blog tour partner for Goddess Fish Promotions. I'm looking forward to this new adventure.

Writing News:

Yesterday I submitted Sacrifices (Jeff Woods Mystery #2). I really hope DsP will accept the manuscript.

A couple of days ago I finished writing the first draft of Tidal Change, a fun fantasy novella about a merman and his mate.

Now I should probably start working on the revised manuscript of Secret Chemistry 2 to get it ready for submission. Don't get me wrong, I still like the characters very much but I've read the manuscript so many times--I think it's dripping out of my ears. lol

Hmm, maybe I'll take a short break and finish another freebie story with Jim, Drew and Tony from A Purrfect Match.

So guys, what are you plans?

August 23, 2013

Lex Chase: Where Geeky Superheroes Go To Make Out & Giveaway!

Please welcome back fellow DsP author Lex Chase. She's here to talk about her new release Cashing the Reality and brought us a fun guest post!

Where Geeky Superheroes Go To Make Out

Hello everyone! I’m Lex Chase and Chris has kindly let me take over her blog for the day. I’ll be having two giveaways for this blog tour, so don’t forget to comment with your email! As for me? I’m the author of the Checkmate series for Dreamspinner Press (which you can find here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=54_913) it’s the tale of disgraced superhero Memphis Rook and his climb back to redemption alongside his boyfriend/sidekick Hogarth Dawson.
Something we need to make clear is Garth is quite obviously nerdy and rife with current pop culture knowledge. Rook on the other hand is a not so secret old school geek that loves all things from the ‘80s. Rook and Garth also deeply love each other. They also like being in one another’s pants. And so… I present the Top Five Spots Where Geeky Superheroes Go To Make Out.

#5: Twede’s CafĂ© of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks




Twin Peaks has fans that transcend generations, and Rook and Garth mutually enjoy the dreaminess of Kyle McLachlan as Agent Cooper and the damn good pie. While Hogarth and Rook inanely have an entire conversation in quotes from the show over the cherry pie alamode, they’ll be playing footsie under the table. When it gets to the point where Hogarth very sternly quotes the Log Lady and says “My log saw it. My log saw it all!” and Rook obscenely sucks the whipped cream off the spoon, they’re ready to Get. It. ON!

#4: Flight 815’s Fuselage of JJ Abram’s Lost


Considered the Twin Peaks of the New Millennium, Lost, and its sexy castaways have Hogarth swooning. Despite the… well… pretty gruesome concept of a catastrophic plane crash, it’s the story of Lost and the romanced context that makes Hogarth want Rook to press him upside the ruined seats and take him for all he’s worth. Rook, like a logically thinking man, doesn’t see what’s sexy about a plane crash at all. But that Sayid Jarrah guy just does it for him.

Oh my DAYUM~

#3 Dumbledore’s Headmaster Office of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter


So, Hogarth totally has that fantasy that Rook is a cruel headmaster of Hogwarts, and Hogarth is an ever eager to please student. And then Rook demands Hogarth come to his office for his punishments.
Wait. You thought I was serious?
MEANWHILE, SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD: Thousands of Checkmate/Harry Potter AU fanfics are being furiously written.

#2 The S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier of Marvel’s Avengers


Because they’re superheroes, and superheroes totally need a superheroic space to get their jollies. The possibilities are endless. Stripping on the landing strip, ‘examining’ the beakers in Banner’s lab, being frisky in Fury’s office, bringing it on in the Brig… that is until they notice Loki’s there with them.
Well. Doesn’t that make things interesting? Huu huu~

Who’s the mewling quim NOW?

#1 Maine North High School of John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club


Rook, being a lover of the ‘80s, Maine North High School would be his ultimate getting busy between the stacks spot. The primary filming location of the iconic ‘80s movie The Breakfast Club is one of Rook’s favorite films, if not the favorite. Hogarth doesn’t get his fixation with Molly Ringwald, or John Hughes, but he does agree the modern covers of “Don’t You Forget About Me” originally by Simple Minds have got to stop.

*** *** ***

GIVEAWAY TIME! One lucky winner for August, and one lucky winner for September will receive a set of Series 1 and Series 2 Checkmate buttons, a Lex Chase.com pen, and both Checkmate covers! August winners to be announced August 31st! September winners will be announced September 30th!




Pawn Takes Rook: Cashing the Reality Check Blurb
Even after eleven months of keeping the mean streets of Axis City safe, superduo Checkmate—Hogarth Dawson—and his boyfriend, Memphis Rook, still receive the cold shoulder from the Power Alliance. Undeterred, Hogarth brings his intense focus to bear on Rook, and after Hogarth makes an accidental marriage proposal, it becomes all too clear Rook isn’t quite at the same place. But before life gets awkward, duty calls.

Booted-off female contestants of the romantic reality show Single and Super are being found in comas, and Checkmate needs to get to the bottom of it. As part of Rook’s plan, he cleans up his bad boy image and goes undercover as a bachelor looking for love among twenty-five frenzied women. Against Rook’s wishes, Hogarth sneaks onto the set as a cameraman to investigate the case on his own. With questions unanswered between them, emotions run high, distracting them and feeding a trap of their own making.

Where To Buy:
Goodreads:
Catch up on Checkmate #1, Pawn Takes Rook:

*** *** ***
Pawn Takes Rook: Cashing the Reality Check Excerpt
Rook’s lips parted to speak, then shut, then parted again, then finally shut. He rumbled a thunderous laugh. “You dirty minx.” He closed the distance between us in less time it took to blink. The padded palms of his fingerless gloves cupped my rear, and he scooped me up before dropping me hastily on the desktop.
The loud thump of the desk smacking the wall made me curl my fingers into his coat lapels. “Shhh!” I warned him. “Do you wanna get caught?”
He leaned in and nipped my ear, his tongue exploring my lobe. I might have squealed very inappropriately. Might have.
Don’t you wanna get caught?” he growled, planting searing kisses on my neck. His hands roved my cold body and the soft pads of his gloves coupled with his hot fingers sent sparks up my spine. I parted my legs wider, ready to accommodate whatever he was going to throw my way. He pulled his teeth away from my neck in a long scrape, and he slanted his mouth over mine. I gasped into him, and our tongues met in a starved need to taste one another. With a deft flick of the wrist, Rook stroked me easily between two broad fingers. My stomach tightened with the intimate contact, and I buried my fingers in his hair. He chuckled against my mouth and captured my bottom lip with one of his pronounced canines. Rook pulled away for the slightest of seconds to watch my reaction as he teased at my entrance with his fingers, trying to relax me enough into relenting for him.
Do it,” I said, and it came out like a begging whimper. “It’ll only hurt for a second,” I lied out my—wait. This metaphor is really inappropriate for this moment. I just lied, okay. The laws of physics when it comes to me and Rook getting busy boggle the mind. I always get the feeling somewhere he’s concerned about hurting me, but I can’t seem to make him understand it’s that pain of him just being him that sets me off into the stratosphere. “It’s okay,” I whispered. “It’s—” I started to say but broke into a high pitched crack when he entered me with two fingers.
I turned up my chin to kiss him again as he tenderly worked me over. All the troubles of the world seemed to melt away when we were like this. No ruined apartments to worry about how to fix. No case to fret over. Nothing. We were just two guys, stupidly crazy about each other, and on a mission to get each other naked as often as possible.
Here’s the kicker though—you might want to sit down for this part.
Ever get that moment where everything is just so incredibly perfect that out of your mouth comes the stupidest thing ever? Well, yeah. Stupid comment in three… two… one….
Marry me…,” I groaned. I needed him and needed him now in every possible way. My body ached for him.
Rook, on the other hand, froze faster than Han Solo taking a dip in carbonite. “Hogarth,” he said flatly. His hands rested on the desk next to my thighs.
I searched his face, hunting for what I could have possibly said and turned the mood to a steaming pile of shit. “Why not?” I asked. “I love you, you love me, Axis City legislation made it legal, we want to be together forever, and—”
Hogarth,” he spat, then turned away. He ran a hand through his long blond hair and tugged at his roots.
I knew that completely at-a-loss gesture all too well. And I became far too aware that I was naked. Like way naked. Like that dream of being in high school in your underwear. My lip quivered. It could only mean one thing, one horrible thing, and I was going to be the overdramatic boyfriend.
You don’t… love me?” I said, and my voice cracked as all my insecurities flopped out like a beached beluga. And there I earned my dubious place in Encyclopedia Dramatica.
Rook spun to face me, waving his hands quickly in a halting gesture, “Jesus, no! It’s not like that, okay?”
Somehow this didn’t exactly inspire confidence; shocking, am I right?
He brushed a long streamer of blond from his eyes and palmed his face. “Do you even have any idea how intense you are?”
You know… if the world could suddenly open up and swallow me whole, that would be just ducky. I wanted to tell him: “Here, Rook, here’s my heart. Just for you. Shattered like glass into a million tiny shards. I hope you fucking choke to death when you eat it.

*** *** ***
Bio:
Lex Chase is a journalist by day and a writer by night. Either way you slice it, she makes things up for a living. Her style of storytelling is action, adventure, and a dollop of steamy romance. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes it’s never a party until something explodes in a magnificent fashion, be it a rolling fireball of a car or two guys screaming out their love for one another in the freezing rain.

Lex is a pop culture diva, an urbanite trapped in a country bumpkin’s body, and wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse. She has learned that when all else fails, hug the cat.

She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine residing in the ‘burbs of Northwest Florida where it could be 80F and she’d have a sweatshirt on because she’s freezing.

You can find her on those Facebook and Twitter things at:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LXChase
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lex_Chase
And her blog at http://lexchase.com.

August 21, 2013

Cover Contest at You Gotta Read Revies is now open!

Hey all!

The voting for  the August Cover Contest at You Gotta Read Reviews is now open (until August 26th). Please have a look at the covers and I'd be delighted if you'd vote for Secret Chemistry. I still love this cover by the wonderfully talented Anne Cain.




August 19, 2013

Winner & Cover Contest Entry at "You Gotta Read Reviews"

 So, the winner for the giveaway is...

Nancy!

Congrats! I'll send you an e-mail in a few minutes.




The cover for Secret Chemistry is up as entry #19 at You Gotta Read Reviews. The voting for the cover contest will be between August 21st and August 26th and I'd be very happy if you'd vote for Anne Cain's marvelous cover.



August 16, 2013

"Hunter's Hunt" Promotion & a Giveaway

My first book with Torquere Press – Hunter's Hunt – will be released on September 18th. To give you a little eye candy, I'm sharing the cover with you:

Cover artist: Brandon Clay

So, what do you think? Most of you know I'm not a big fan of the covers with bare torso and without heads but, well, this is a, um, intriguing image, right? ;-)

Hunter's Hunt is a light BDSM story about Hunter Bell and Adrian Michaels and I'll share the official blurb as soon as it's available. For now, I'll share the blurb I have so far:

Hunter Bell is on the prowl. He's looking for a specific type of man: burly, hairy, and apt at taking a paddle. Hunter knows where to find his prey: at the Bear Trap, a gay leather bar. He's about to pounce when a newcomer enters the bar. Adrian Michaels is everything Hunter despises: lean, boyish looking, and with the deepest dimples he's ever seen.
Hunter can't deny his immediate attraction to Adrian and neither can Adrian. With both of them to astonished to do anything about their apparent interest in each other, they waste their chance. Now it's up to Hunter to forget about his stereotypical preference and go for the guy that has entered his dreams.


I realized today—while I moved the lawn (yes, it was that time of the week again)—that I need to set up a blog tour for this release. Now, I do have two spots at other author blogs secured and I'll probably ask around for more. In case you read this and would be up to offer me a spot for a post, interview or simple promo, I'd be delighted.

But (there's always a but): Hunter's Hunt is only around 11k. How many guest posts can I write without giving away the whole plot? I don't like using the same post on different blogs, which is why I always come up with a unique (I said unique not awe-inspiring...) post. So, what else could I do?

I made a list. I always make lists for everything. You should see me freaking out when I can't find a list I need it. Or, well, maybe you don't want to see that. All right, where was I? Right. The list.

I could get an ad somewhere. I could ask review sites for a guest spot or for a giveaway. I could write a character interview (although I did that once for Too Good to Be True? and I'm not sure how well that went over). Well, and then I stared at my list and came up short. So, here's my question: Do you have any suggestions for promotion?

To make this more interesting for you I'll offer you an e-book from me (your choice) or a $10 Amazon gift card. How does that sound? Anyone game? I forgot to add: Contest ends on Sunday, August 18th at midnight. :)

August 12, 2013

I'm back :)

So, as you can see I'm back from our very relaxing vacation. Most of the time we were lucky with the weather and could spend many hours at the beach.



You probably won't believe it but I didn't write a single word in the last three weeks. Instead I read a lot and enjoyed it greatly. I re-read Rolf and Ranger's whole Falls Chance Ranch series (yep, all 4 books plus all the stand-alones). Then I read David Eddings "Elenium" triology and now I'm waiting impatiently for the sequel "The Tamuli", which should arrive tomorrow. Oh, and I also read Julie Lynn Hayes "To The Max" and "For the Love of Max"--both very enjoyable books.

Hope everyone is well. :)