Monday, June 30, 2014

A Moment in Time

A Moment in Time
(Lone Star Brides #2)
Tracie Peterson
(Bethany House)
ISBN: 978-0764210594
May 2014/320 pages/$14.99

Alice Chesterfield is a woman pursued. Having survived an attack that left her scarred and her father dead, she is never free from the fear and memories of the man who is responsible.

Texas seems to be an answer to Alice's prayers, and when she has the opportunity to relocate to a ranch near Dallas, Robert Barnett captures her attention. Unlike any man Alice has ever known, Robert doesn't worry about the obstacles that stand in their way--and he hardly seems to notice the scar she bears.

But there are storm clouds gathering; devastating information about her family comes to light, threatening Alice's peaceful sanctuary. Disillusioned, Alice must learn to place her trust in God as she seeks a measure of peace for her future...and for her heart.


Photo Credit:
©Lissa Barber Photography
Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over one hundred novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. Visit Tracie's website at and connect with her on Facebook.


Tracie Peterson continues her Lone Star Brides series with another captivating story. I loved the first book in the series, A Sensible Arrangement (reviewed here) and was delighted to learn more about Alice. (Yes, this novel can be enjoyed without reading the first one. But the first one is also too good to miss!) Plenty of layers give this story depth. While Alice and Robert are the main focus, the story of Marty and Jake's marriage continues to unfold after its unusual beginning. Peterson weaves danger and suspense into this tale as Alice's peace of mind and her safety are threatened, and I held my breath as I read. More than a savory novel full of gripping moments, however, this beautiful tale demonstrates how love's lens views us differently than we see ourselves. Don't miss this touching story.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Thursday, June 26, 2014


Wow. ICRS was amazing, as always! I told someone while I was there that ICRS and the Christy Awards are like crack to a book lover like me! LOL I arrived Sunday afternoon and hardly took a breath until my plane landed back in Texas Tuesday night. I was exhausted when I got home, not only from the busy schedule and the adrenaline, but from the delayed effect of working right before I left with not enough sleep Saturday night compounded by not sleeping well while I was in Atlanta. So yesterday my goal of being productive and transcribing some interviews vanished in a series of naps!

I'll be sharing my interviews in the days and weeks to come. Highlights include:

  • Finally meeting Angela Hunt in person and interviewing her. What a delight she is!
  • Meeting Mark Hall of Casting Crowns at his book signing for Thrive, which enlarges on the group's song by the same name.
  • Meeting Todd Starnes of Fox News and getting a signed copy of his book God Less America
  • Interviews with authors Hannah Alexander, Katherine Reay, Irene Hannon, Lynette Eason, Karen Witemeyer, Cynthia Ruchti, Robin Jones Gunn and more
  • Meeting and interviewing Alan Powell of Anthem Lights about his music and upcoming movie, and getting a videotaped message for my girl and her friend, ensuring my Mom of the Year Status!
  • Books, books, and more books!
  • The Christy Awards, of course!
  • Informal chats with author friends, breakfasts and dinners together
  • Rooming with Jocelyn Green - such fun we had!

Moody's Promo Pillar
of Jocelyn Green's books

Brandilyn Collins at the Christy Awards

Alan Powell of Anthem Lights

Todd Starnes

Angela Hunt

To see more pictures from the week, visit my FB page


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

CFBA - Rival Hearts

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Rival Hearts
Abingdon Press (June 17, 2014)
Tara Randel


Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn't come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. After finding Romantic Times magazine in a bookstore many years ago, she found information about writing organizations. Soon after, she joined Romance Writers of America. She located the local RWA chapter and immediately attended her first meeting. There was no stopping her after that!

Through Tampa Area Romance Authors, Tara learned all about the business of publishing, starting with the craft of writing to behind the scenes of publishing. She served as contest coordinator for four years and served as President for one year, enjoying the organization and the lasting friendships made there.

When not writing, Tara owns a business with her husband and stays busy with her two daughters. She lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery. Enjoy!


Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver have been rival magazine writers for the same publishing group for years. When both come up for the same promotion, they find themselves in an unexpected competition to win the spot. Molly, editor of Quilter’s Heart, and Ben, editor of Outdoor Adventures, must switch roles, each working for the other for one month, then submit an article at the end of their quests.

Can girly-girl Molly survive the outdoor adventures that Ben has planned? Can Ben navigate the perils of the social dynamics of quilting events without destroying a valuable quilt in one short month? More importantly, in this he-said, she-said situation, will Molly and Ben give in to their attraction and fall in love, no matter who wins?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Rival Hearts, go HERE.


This is a fun read. Tara Randel has created a clever story with endearing and likable characters that made me want both of them to succeed in their endeavor to win the promotion. The resolution, while somewhat predictable, was satisfying. Rival Hearts is another delightful installment in Abingdon's Quilts of Love series.


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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2014 Christy Award Winners!

It was a wonderful night at The Christy Awards in Atlanta. Davis Bunn received the Lifetime Achievement Award. And here are the winners in each category:


Stones for Bread
by Christa Parrish (Thomas Nelson, Harper Collins Christian Publishing)


Dangerous Passage
by Lisa Harris (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)


Take a Chance on Me
by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House Publishers)


Burning Sky
by Lori Benton (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)


Burning Sky
by Lori Benton(WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Burning Sky also won Novel of the Year.


Harvest of Gold
by Tessa Afshar (River North, from Moody Publishing)


by Ted Dekker (FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group)


by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)


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Monday, June 23, 2014


Good morning from ICRS in Atlanta! I'm hitting the ground running after arriving yesterday afternoon and in spite of too little sleep Saturday night and last night. I had a wonderful time meeting and interviewing Angela Hunt yesterday. She has been in my top five favorite authors for years and we have communicated via blog and email, but I had never had the opportunity to meet her in person until yesterday. What a delight she was, as I knew she would be!

Later in the evening I ran into Brandilyn Collins and she invited me to join her, Angie Hunt, Cheryl Hodde (who writes as Hannah Alexander), and Lisa Wingate for dinner. Of course, I couldn't pass that up! Another couple, Dave & Cindy Lambert, also joined us. (They are active in the publishing world via their company Somersault.) It was a delightful time of conversation filled with laughter and good food.

I had peach cobbler with Georgia peaches for the first time (warm from the oven and topped with vanilla bean ice cream), and it was delicious. But I must say it doesn't top one made with Central Texas peaches and topped with Blue Bell! You can take the girl out of Texas...!

This morning I had breakfast with Philip Yancey. He was three tables over from me, but why quibble over such details?!

Lots of interviews today and tonight...the Christy Awards!


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Friday, June 20, 2014

Yankee in Atlanta

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Yankee in Atlanta
River North(June 1, 2014)
Jocelyn Green


Award-winning author Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage in her readers through both fiction and nonfiction. A former military wife herself, she offers encouragement and hope to military wives worldwide through her Faith Deployed ministry. Her novels, inspired by real heroines on America’s home front, are marked by their historical integrity and gritty inspiration.

Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She is an active member of the Christian Authors Network, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Military Writers Society of America.

She loves Mexican food, Broadway musicals, Toblerone chocolate bars, the color red, and reading on her patio. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob and two small children in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at


When soldier Caitlin McKae woke up in Atlanta after being wounded in battle, the Georgian doctor who treated her believed Caitlin's only secret was that she had been fighting for the Confederacy disguised as a man. In order to avoid arrest or worse, Caitlin hides her true identity and makes a new life for herself in Atlanta.

Trained as a teacher, she accepts a job as a governess to the daughter of Noah Becker, a German immigrant lawyer, who is about to enlist with the Rebel army. Then in the spring of 1864, Sherman's troops edge closer to Atlanta. Though starvation rules, and Sherman rages, she will not run again. In a land shattered by strife and suffering, a Union veteran and a Rebel soldier test the limits of loyalty and discover the courage to survive. Will honor dictate that Caitlin and Noah follow the rules, or love demand that they break them?

Learn more about the book and series at

If you would like to read the first chapter of Yankee in Atlanta, go HERE.


Jocelyn Green quickly became one of my must-read authors with her debut novel (and 2012 double Christy Award finalist!), Wedded to War (reviewed here with an author interview), as well as her equally stellar second release, Widow of Gettysburg (reviewed here.) As much as I loved those two novels, Yankee in Atlanta is even better! Easily read as a stand-alone, it does contain characters from the first novel, giving readers who have read Wedded to War an even richer reading experience. Impeccable research and attention to detail transported me back to the days of the Civil War, yet the story was not overshadowed by unnecessary and excessive battle minutiae that tempted me to skip paragraphs or even pages (as I have unfortunately done with other novels in this genre). Green's gift for character development combined with her vivid prose and compelling settings engaged my senses as well as my mind and I experienced, as much as read, this masterful novel. Laced with the sorrow of the tumultuous era and the heartache reaped from desperate and unwise choices, Yankee in Atlanta conveys a powerful message of grace and redemption which is woven beautifully into the story. This is one of those rare novels that I have continued to reflect on long after turning the final page. Don't miss it or any of Jocelyn Green's novels!

This Texas gal is excited to see a Yankee in Atlanta on Sunday when I head to ICRS and have the opportunity to spend some time with Jocelyn Green! Watch for my interview in the weeks to come!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from River North Fiction & Christian Fiction Blog Alliance (CFBA) as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Four Weddings and a Kiss

Four Weddings and a Kiss
(The Mail Order Bride Collection)
Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher,
Mary Connealy, and Debra Clopton
(Thomas Nelson)
ISBN: 978-1401688530
June 2014/400 pages/$15.99

Four best-­selling romance novelists bring tales of feisty heroines, stubborn heroes, and unlikely love in the Wild West in Four Weddings and a Kiss. Don’t miss the latest from the Western Brides Collection from Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy, and Debra Clopton.

Spitfire Sweetheart by Mary Connealy
Maisy MacGregor’s reckless ways injured rancher Rylan Carstens, endangering his livelihood. So she signs on as his caregiver – but just until he’s well enough to run his ranch. Maisy’s tender care soon has Ryan falling hard and fast. Can these two willfull souls give up their solitary ways to embrace love?

A Love Letter to the Editor by Robin Lee Hatcher
Molly Everton writes the most popular features in her town’s newspaper. When newcomer Jack Ludgrove is named the new editor, Molly is flabbergasted. She wants the position for herself and will do what it takes to get it. But Jack is not easily intimidated. He’s determined to change Molly’s mind about him – and win her heart too.

A Cowboy for Katie by Debra Clopton
Katie Pearl must rebuild her ranch after the tornado, but she can’t do it on her own. Treb Rayburn is a cowboy with a serious case of wanderlust. He signs on to help Katie so he can afford a new horse. But once Treb gets to know Katie, will his desire to stay drown out the call of the open road?

Courting Trouble by Margaret Brownley
Grace Davenport is a young widow in a heap of trouble. When her son asks attorney Brock Daniels to take on her case, Brock wants to say no, but then he meets the lovely Grace. As Brock and the boy work to free Grace, Brock discovers that her arrest may be the best thing that’s ever happened to him.


**Margaret Brownley is a NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author and has penned more than thirty novels. Her books have won numerous awards and has written for a TV soap opera. @margaretbrownley

**Robin Lee Hatcher is a Christy and RITA award-winning author. She is the author of over seventy novels and her works often appear on bestseller lists. @robinleehatcher

**Mary Connealy is an award-winning author of romantic comedy with cowboys. Mary and her Nebraska rancher husband have four grown daughters and two spectacular grandchildren. @MaryConnealy

**Debra Clopton is an award winning author of sweet, heartfelt, western romance that face life with a smile. With over 2 million books in print, Debra’s first book-to-movie aired on ABC Family and starred LeAnn Rimes. @debraclopton

Find out more about Brownley, Hatcher, Connealy, Clopton at


This is a charming novella collection by a talented group of authors. While the novellas are unrelated, they are tied together by four preachers travelling together who each share a story around their campfire of a couple they know whose match seemed unlikely. Each novella features unique and likable characters along with both humorous and touching moments. Tuck this into your beach bag for a fun summer read!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson & Litfuse Publicity as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The authors are celebrating with a “Sweet on Love” iPad Mini Giveaway and Facebook party. Details coming soon.


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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Back to the Hodgepodge

1. Since you weren't Hodgepodging last Wednesday, how did you pass the time?

I forgot it was on break until Tuesday night, so my blog was blank. I worked on Wednesday, the beginning of five straight 12-hour days.

2. What's the first word that comes to mind when I say marriage? Yes, one word.


3. Summer officially arrives in the Northern hemishpere later this week. Does it feel like summer where you live? Describe your idea of the perfect summer day.

Yes, it's summer in Texas! A perfect summer day - sleep in a bit, run some errands, enjoy sweet tea, eat some Texas peaches and watermelon, grill something for dinner, and read a book.

4. "Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability."(Sam Keen) Is laziness ever respectable? Do you have a lazy summer planned, or something semi-ambitious?

I don't know if laziness is good, but rest and relaxation are fine! My summer will alternate between long days at work and days off when I will nap and try to rejuvenate!

5. Past or present, who's your favorite television dad? Why is he a favorite? Is he anything like your own dad?

It's probably a toss-up between John Walton (The Waltons) and Charles Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie). Just like my dad, they both worked hard to provide for their families and were men of integrity and faith.

6. June 18th is International Picnic Day...share a favorite picnic memory.

Fourth of July picnics years ago when our cul-de-sac had neighbors who were friendly and we'd all get together.

7. The travel site Trip Advisor lists the top five islands in the world for 2014 as- Ambergris Caye in Belize Cayes, Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Marco Island Florida, and Lewis and Harris in The Outer Hebrides (Scotland). Have you been to any of these? Of those listed (and if price were not a factor) which would you most like to book for a holiday?

I'll choose Marco Island Florida. I've been to Sanibel Island and would love to go back down there. Minus the sand fleas.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm getting so excited about flying to Atlanta on Sunday for ICRS! And the Christy Awards on Monday night!


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Monday, June 16, 2014

Seagrass Pier

Seagrass Pier
(The Hope Beach Series)
Colleen Coble
(Thomas Nelson)
ISBN: 978-1595547842
July 2014/336 pages/$15.99

In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger’s memories . . . before they cost her everything.

Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit.

But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks—and vivid dreams of being strangled—she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor’s murder.

Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked—by a man she’s only met in her nightmares.

The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent is eager to help her: Agent Marc Everton, the father of Elin’s daughter.

Of course, he doesn’t know about that. Yet.

Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there’s no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her—before she remembers too much.


Colleen Coble has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble’s addictive brand of romantic suspense. Find out more about Colleen at


I have been loving Colleen Coble's Hope Beach series, and Seagrass Pier is another gripping read. An expert at romantic suspense, Coble raises the chill factor of this novel by adding the facet of cell memory into the story, and the danger stalking Elin and the accompanying emotions are palpable. As if her personal safety isn't frightening enough, she must deal with being a single parent to her daughter as well as care for her mother, whose increasing dementia brings its own challenges. Tense moments abound in this story, making it impossible to put down. I highly recommend this book and this series!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson & Litfuse Publicity as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Click the titles to read my interviews of the first books in the Hope Beach series, Tidewater Inn and Rosemary Cottage.

Don’t miss Colleen Coble‘s latest release in the Hope Beach series, Seagrass Pier. The book releases July 1st, and Colleen's publisher is offering the ebook at a special pre-order price of just $4.99 between now and 6/30 everywhere ebooks are sold.

PLUS . . . between 6/9 – 6/30 Colleen will be hosting a Kindle giveaway.


One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Seagrass Pier and the rest of the Hope Beach series by Colleen Coble
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 30th. Winner will be announced on Colleen's blog on July 1st.

Tell your friends via
 FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning;
be sure to stop by Colleen's blog on July 1st to see if you won!


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Friday, June 13, 2014

RUMSPRINGA’S HOPE | Kindle Giveaway from Beth Shriver

Don't miss the first book, Rumspringa's Hope, in Beth Shriver's new Spirit of the Amish series.
Beth is celebrating the series launch with a Kindle Fire Giveaway!


One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Rumspringa's Hope by Beth Shriver
Enter today, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 22nd. Winner will be announced June 23rd on Beth's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun;
enter today and be sure to stop by Beth's blog on June 23rd to see if you won.


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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Match the TNZ author with their “Scary Summer” story and WIN!

Ahh, summer! What does the warm-weather season make you think of? When 80 degrees hits, we start reminiscing of camp when we were kids: early-morning swims in the lake, mystery meats in the mess hall, writing letters to friends and family back home, and . . . s’mores and stories by the campfire!

To celebrate summer, TNZ is hosting Scary Summer Nights. Eight of your favorite TNZ Fiction authors have created original scary stories perfect for telling around the campfire. From June 1–22, read each of the scary stories, match them to their correct authors, and you might win! One grand prize winner will receive a Coleman camping kit (You can use it to create your own scary summer nights!) and a set of books from the participating authors. Five runners-up will receive five books of their choice from the participating authors.

Coleman Camping Kit includes the following:

— Coleman RoadTrip LXE Propane Grill

— Coleman Sundome 4-Person Tent

— Two (2) Coleman Camping Chairs

— 1 copy of each of the books featured:
  1. Critical Condition by Richard Mabry
  2. Stranger Things by Erin Healy
  3. Storming the Black Ice by Don Brown
  4. Distortion by Terri Blackstock
  5. Snapshot by Lis Wiehl
  6. Mark of Evil by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall
  7. A Deadly Business by Lis Wiehl
  8. Spirit Bridge by James L. Rubart
  9. Butterfly Palace by Colleen Coble


Click the button for a chance to enter to win.

Thomas Nelson Zondervan Fiction Harper Collins


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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hallowed Halls

Hallowed Halls
Hannah Alexander
(Christian Writers Guild)
ISBN: 978-0578137070
May 2014/269 pages/$14.99

When Dr. Joy Gilbert is fired by a grieving boss who wants more from her than she's willing to give, she returns to her tiny hometown of Juliet, MO to find her ex-fiance still single, her once-strong and independent mother struggling in every way. Before she can make a move, however, the back door of her car bursts open and Tressa, her former employer's fifteen-year-old daughter, clambers out, refusing to return home to either of her divorced, embittered parents.

Zack Tyler, director of Juliet Hospital's ER, is stunned to see the woman he still loves has returned to town, apparently unbroken by the rejection of her former employer. That same employer, Weston Cline, told Zack last year that Joy wanted to spread her wings and take the job Weston offered her in a suburb of Kansas City. Zack would have expected to see her heartbroken, in tears, but all she's worried about is her mother's health and Tressa's rebellion. To help her financially, Zack hires her to work in the ER, but the minute he does that, he knows he's in for another wild ride of the heart.

When Tressa first begins having blackouts, she's relieved that they take place when she's alone. If she's not careful, she's afraid Joy will feel the need to tell her parents, who will insist she return home. But more and more often, the blackouts hit, and she's in grave danger before Joy and Zack can discover what is causing them, and what caused the deaths of her brother, her father's baby brother, a great many unexplained deaths will her family have to endure?

Read an excerpt.


Hannah Alexander is the pen name used by Cheryl and Mel Hodde. They chose “Hannah Alexander” to incorporate their two names. To them, Hannah means hope in the Lord and Alexander means servant of mankind. They have published 22 books with Steeple Hill, Harlequin Suspense, Love Inspired, Summerside Press, and Bethany House. Their romance has been written up in Charisma Magazine in years past, and can be found at


I've been a fan of Hannah Alexander's books for years so I pre-ordered a copy of Hallowed Halls and eagerly awaited its arrival. I was not disappointed as once again this duo has penned an engrossing tale of family dynamics, medical intrigue, and romance. Character development is one of the strengths of this novel, and while Joy and Zack were easy to connect with, Tressa immediately stole my heart due to her dysfunctional family background as well as her frequently-spoken wisdom beyond her years. Alexander capably portrays a variety of relational difficulties as the story progresses - employer/employee, parent/child, estranged spouses, and more - and demonstrates how God uses trials to prompt us to reorder priorities and begin the process of mending the broken connections in our lives. Add this book to your summer reading list!

I'm delighted to have the opportunity to meet and interview Hannah Alexander at ICRS in Atlanta later this month. Watch for my interview coming here!


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