Author Interview: Peggy Lampman, Author of The Welcome Home Diner

Author Interview F

Hello everyone! Today I’m happy to share this author interview with Peggy Lampman, author of The Welcome Home Diner and The Promise Kitchen.

If you have missed my review on The Welcome Home Diner check it out here ⇒ The Welcome Home Diner: A Novel by Peggy Lampman

About book-

Welcome HomeBetting on the city of Detroit’s eventual comeback, cousins Addie and Samantha decide to risk it all on an affordable new house and a culinary career that starts with renovating a vintage diner in a depressed area of town. There’s just one little snag in their vision.

Angus, a weary, beloved local, is strongly opposed to his neighborhood’s gentrification—and his concerns reflect the suspicion of the community. Shocked by their reception, Addie and Samantha begin to have second thoughts.

As the long hours, problematic love interests, and underhanded pressures mount, the two women find themselves increasingly at odds, and soon their problems threaten everything they’ve worked for. If they are going to realize their dreams, Addie and Samantha must focus on rebuilding their relationship. But will the neighborhood open their hearts to welcome them home?

About author_edited

peggy-lampman-cooking-2My passion is writing novels, which use food-centric and romantic themes as a means for breaking down familial and cultural barriers. My debut novel, THE PROMISE KITCHEN, and her following book, THE WELCOME HOME DINER, reflect this fascination. I grew up in Alabama and planted roots in my college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan where I owned a specialty food store and wrote a food column. I love trotting the globe with her husband and two adult children while blogging about scratch-made folks and their feasts. You can find hundreds of my well-tested recipes on my blog: www.dinnerfeed.com.

Q&A_edited

Q. When and why did you begin writing?

No person or event inspired me, I started writing in my diary when I was nine years old. I still have all of my old diaries and chuckle when I read the impassioned prose of that angst-riddled little girl! Writing was as cathartic to me then as it is to me now; a way to dig into the pain and root it out.

Q. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

The Welcome Home Diner” was inspired by the intimacy developed with my former daughter-in-law who opened a diner in a rough section of Detroit. I also owned a specialty food store for twenty years and suffered through similar conflicts felt by my characters.  I write about what I know—the food and newspaper industry and mother-daughter relationships. There were experiences in life that changed me, and there was no closure for me until I wrote about them.

Q. What sort of research did you do to write this book?

Working in the food business and having a bi-line in the food section of our local paper was terrific research. Specifically, when writing the Welcome Home Diner, I spent hours in a diner in Detroit and got to know the patrons. Here is a collage of photos I snapped during my research period:

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Q. What have you written? (Books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)

My first book, THE PROMISE KITCHEN, was published by Lake Union in 2016. Winner, Best New Fiction, 2016: National Indie Excellence Awards

Winner, Silver Medal, 2016: IBPA Ben Franklin; Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book

Winner, First Place Fiction, 2015: Royal Dragonfly Awards 

All of my food writing can be found tied up into recipes on my blog: www.dinnerfeed.com

 Q. Where can readers buy or see them? (Include relevant link(s)) Buy from:

amazon.png    kindle     audible.png     indies.png     B&N.png

Q. Your books are in Women Fiction and Food & Drink genre. What draws you to this genre? Do you think your writing will stay in that particular genre?

Absolutely. I’ve always been fascinated by issues that are common to women’s fiction: romance, familial relationships and the complexities faced when negotiating contemporary social issues.

Q. What was your favorite chapter (or part) of writing this book and why?

I sobbed when writing the last chapter in THE WELCOME HOME DINER, esp. Samantha’s segment at the first of the chapter. It was cathartic to me and a way of tying up loose ends that was comforting. From reading early reviews, I see that many readers felt the same.

Q. What was the hardest part of writing the book? Was there anything that you deleted or altered?

When writing this book, I was walking a thin wobbly tightrope trying to give voice to the sentiments of a multi-racial cast with widely differing backgrounds. I’ve seen authors raked over coals after unintentionally offending a culture the writer didn’t fully understand. While writing this book I took authenticity seriously, which was most challenging.

That said, I also wanted this book to be a fun, romantic read and not come across as didactic. One of my main characters is Addie, a co-owner of the diner. A lovely, well-educated Caucasian, Addie was born with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth. Albeit flighty and self-absorbed—particularly in her romantic life––she has a big heart and “Save the World” attitude.

And then there’s the equally beautiful LaQuisha, a black single mother coming from a vastly different background who works for Addie’s eatery. Addie learns much about the world through the eyes of LaQuisha and her child.

Q. What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?

As the world becomes smaller, and communities and ethnic groups homogenize, family traditions can be lost in the shuffle; yet sometimes all we have left of a culture is the food. So if food were personified in my books, food would be the wizened elder, the great-grandmother pointing her finger at you—dear reader––and saying “Don’t forget where you came from.”

Q. Who are some authors in your genre that inspire you? What types of books do you enjoy in your downtime?

I enjoy reading literary fiction, particularly fiction set in the American South, and this has inspired my writing. Think authors like Sue Monk Kidd, Pat Conroy and Rebecca Wells. I also love Ann Patchett and Donna Tart. My favorite memoir is Patti Smith’s, “Just Kids” and I’m currently reading her book “Woolgathers”. I loved Jonathan Franzen’s, “Purity”. It’s filled with psychotic twists and turns and I was intrigued with the quirky mother-daughter relationship. Daniel Woodrell’s work, particularly “Winter’s Bone” that was turned into a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, is quite inspiring. Ree’s character reminds me of Shelby in “The Promise Kitchen”.

Q. If you could spend one day with character from your book/ any other book who would it be? And what would you do during that day?

I’d like to spend a day with Braydon and his dog on a long walk through Belle Isle. Perhaps we’d have a picnic together. Brayson is a quiet, reflective man and I’d like to understand better what makes him tick.

Q. Do you read book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?

I love reading my book reviews as my readers have much to tell me. It is important, however, for me to not be hurt when a less than savory review makes it to Goodreads or Amazon—I’ve come to love my vulnerable characters that I’ve unleashed into the world.

But I’m mindful that, when picking up my book, some readers thought they were in for a “cozy cupcake” sort of a read based on the cover. When they discover that I write about characters that have flesh-and-blood flaws, and I explore the complexity of social issues through my character’s eyes, those readers feel let down.  I love my covers but I sometimes worry that they may attract the wrong reader.

BTW: If a reader enjoys a book, there is no better gift a reader can give to an author than a good review. Yesha, you did such a wonderful job reviewing THE WELCOME HOME DINER. You paid a great tribute to my small, vulnerable tribe of Detroiters trying to put one foot in front of the other in this crazy, complex world. 

I appreciate John Updike’s rule for book reviewers: “Try to understand what the author wished to do, and do not blame him for not achieving what he did not attempt.”

Q. What are your future project(s)? What’s it about? (*if relevant)

I’m currently writing a book, the project called, THE MAIDEN TOWER. It’s set in Key West Florida, another colorful landscape where I’ve spent a great deal of time. Centered around a historic family lighthouse that a family converted into a B&B, it’s a story of the love and complex bonding that entwines a mother and her daughters, and pulls them out of the most primal of despairs.

Q. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

When writing a character, it’s easy to fall into seemingly inoffensive cultural cliché. However, writing about a people and culture of which you’re not intimate—or at the very least, familiar with––has the potential of fostering hurtful and damaging stereotypes. While writing this book, I befriended people I’d never have met in my day-to-day, attended community activist meetings (which I’ve always been loathe to do in the past) and read journals to absorb as many perspectives as time allowed.

Of course in retrospect, the hours spent on active listening and reading were rewarding on a multitude of levels. THE WELCOME HOME DINER is a better read for it. I feel that the book paints an accurate depiction of sentiments felt by a diverse people living in today’s Detroit. And I have grown considerably by gaining a broader perspective about unfamiliar communities of which I previously could not attach a story.

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Don’t get overwhelmed. A book is written word by word, sentence by sentence and chapter by chapter. Experience life—listen to what others have to tell you about their own experience. You must be disciplined and set goals for yourself. For instance, set a timer for 30 minutes each day, start writing and don’t stand up until the timer dings. In a few months, you may have the genesis of a masterpiece!

Q. What is your favorite motivational phrase?

That clichéd, tired Nike phrase always sticks in my mind: Just Do It.

Q. Favorite Book / foods / Colors/ Music / TV show / Film

My favorite book is a difficult question. There are so many books that I’ve loved. I adore fiction in a multitude of genres. But if fiction were “comfort food” I suppose you could say gravitate to women’s fiction that is set in the American South, as is my first novel, THE PROMISE KITCHEN. I’ve loved “The Help”, “Fried Green Tomatoes”, “Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “The Secret Life of Bees”, “The Education of Dixie Dupree”, “The Invention of Wings”, “Saving Cee-Cee Honeycup”.

Q. Describe yourself in 5 words.

Empathetic, Passionate, Fun-loving, Sentimental, Impractical

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: https://peggylampmanbooks.pubsitepro.com

Food/Recipe/Story Blog: http://dinnerfeed.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dinnerfeed

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/dinnerfeed

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2yZM4jv

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peggy-lampman-0a734716/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggylampman/

Amazon Book Links: THE WELCOME HOME DINER: http://amzn.to/2gXTqcz

THE PROMISE KITCHEN: http://amzn.to/2xf6y3m

Many thanks to author for taking the time out of busy schedule to take part in this interview.


I hope you all enjoyed reading this interview as much as I did. Do you have any question for author? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

Happy Reading! 🙂

BTNR_editedBTR signed F_edited

No Vain Loss (No Ordinary Star #3) by M.C. Frank

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Expected publication: November 25th 2017

Read Date: October 16th 2017

Pages: 228

Stars: 4.5/5

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No Vain Loss is third and last installment of No Ordinary Stars series. If you have read my reviews on the first two installment, you might remember what was in them, and if don’t I have briefly written it in the blurb below. You can also read my review here ⇒⇒⇒ No Ordinary Star (No Ordinary Star, #1) by M.C. Frank, and No Plain Rebel (No Ordinary Star #2) by M.C. Frank.

blurb_edited

First installment- No Ordinary Star Introduction to dystopian world – One World. End of year 2524. Felix meets Astra at clock master’s shack and discover library in the basement of the shack.

Second installment- No Plain Rebel- Astra left Felix. Alone in the icy shack Felix learn the secrets hidden in the library that open his blinded eyes towards the Chairman and One World. With the start of his real heartbeat he learned to start clock master’s clock.

Third and last installment- No Vain LossWith the beginning of year 2525, Felix completes the work of clock master. Reveal his finding of the One World and Chairman, bring forward the truth. And proves that loss of the person who tried to save the world was not in vain.

The clock that was meant to be symbol of peace will begin the war. What will happen when Felix tells the truth to the world?

Book description: Inspired by the short stories of Ray Bradbury, this futuristic young adult novel in three parts is set in a world where Christmas -among other things- is obsolete and a Clock is what keeps the fragile balance of peace. Written in three parts, this is the breathtaking story of how two unlikely people change the world, and each other, one book at a time.

In No Vain Loss, the world is on the brink of the greatest war humanity has ever known. Lives will be lost. New truths will be revealed.


review_edited

This book starts literally at climax. It was damn hard to write review on the book that itself is climax. Plus I just read it through and through without stopping to note down the point. You will feel all the thrill and shrill that you can expect from the climax in just 2/3 part of this book. The books was about understanding the true meaning of love, sacrifice, and humanity. It also showed the consequences of war and power greed.

Characters_edited

Felix and Astra were so amazing in this book. These words totally defines them – Natural, emotional, smart, sensible, and sensitive, sense of right and wrong, most important ability to love. It’s hard not to love these two beautiful souls of the book. They are my favorite One True Pairing now.

Ursa- Polar Bear– my favorite character from the first installment. I can’t tell you guys how happy I was to see her in the book again. She was such a brilliant creature in the book and the timing of her entry was so unexpected and super cool. So if you guys loved this bear in the first book, I’m sure you don’t want to miss this one.

Karim– This dude is taking place in my heart. He was awesome in this book. All his actions and dialogues were coolest. Specially that one when he explained why he came to help Felix. I totally agreed with Felix when he said,

Karim hasn’t lost his sense of humor. They might all lose their lives, but he’ll go down calling everyone ‘an idiot’.

What I liked_edited

Coverrrrrrrr – any doubts!! This whole series has awesomest, most beautiful cover.

Characterrrr- Isn’t that obvious after what I told you about characters.

Authorrrrrrrr- for writing this icy cool, speedy, captivating, action-packed installment.

And of course concept of creative dystopian world and the way it was told in 3 parts. this last part made the perfect end of the series. Book starts with the end of the second book. First chapter first page gave the brief idea who was Felix and what he did in the first 2 books. So whoever in case forgot the story, can recall all events. Writing was captivating from the beginning, it felt like coming from a storyteller. This first chapter would sound most spellbinding one in the audio book, I bet.

he’s only just finding out is that when your heart beats, when it beats strongly -if not entirely regularly- and more importantly when it beats next to the heart of the one person in the Planets who makes you come alive… Then you just follow. Come what may.

I loved the way Felix planned to disclose the truth. It was risky and stupid yet brilliant and simple. Reunion of Felix and Astra was so romantic I was reading the whole scene with goofy smile plastered on my face. It was pretty amazing how two totally different person grown up in the world where even touching a woman considered crime fell in love and started a fire in the world. In this book only I truly got the meaning of character’s name Match Girl and Tin soldier.

This book will be the cause of arrhythmia. I had so many irregular heartbeat while reading this book and I almost forgot how many times I missed my heartbeat. All the tension and action in the first half of the book was so trilling, exciting and was so unpredictable. It was like the winning flag constantly slipping from hero to enemy, and back and forth.

First half the story was narrated by Felix. When I thought this book was seeing its early end, there came unexpected twist. Good lord! What a twist! And the narration was switched to match girl from this point on. There was few new revelation as well. Astra’s bravery was most surprising in the second half.

Development of Felix and Astra by the end of the book, their understanding for the war, sacrifice, and love was remarkable. Best thing was whole that portion where title of the book was justified. Those words by 3 characters in 3 different meaning from their perspective – one as a disappointment, another for sacrifice and third understanding those sacrifices- was most beautiful and was just perfect.

This was the fastest book I ever read, best one sitting book. I thought to take this book on vacation but ended up reading in one day before leaving for vacation.

End- I was not expecting the end at this point. It was open ended but there is no hint of next book/series or epilogue. So I was just guessing what might have happened. I just hope author decide to write sequel of this series.

why not 5 stars_edited

That half star I cut because there is No epilogue. I wanted to read more. I was expecting at least hint for what happened next. 😦

conclusion_edited

Overall, this installment was full of action and surprises, twist and turns, perfect YA romance and unique last book of icy dystopian world.


goodreads-badge-add-plus

Author: M.C. Frank

To read more about author click Here.

*** Note: I received review copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. I’m really grateful to be part of NOS street team ***


What do you think about the book and review? Have you read first two installment of this series? If so what was your thoughts on them? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

Happy Reading! 🙂

BTNR_editedBTR signed F_edited

Hiatus – 1 week break

Hey everyone!

It’s festival season here. Diwali week starting from Monday and I’m going to celebrate it with family. I’m going to Mumbai at my in-laws’ place. My parents are also coming there to see me and we all together going to celebrate Diwali.

I’m not taking my laptop with me and I don’t like to write post in phone so I won’t be posting anything from 15th to 23th of this month. I’m taking books with me, I’ll be reading during my travel but I’ll hardly get time to read once I reach there.

It’s my birthday today and I completed 6 months of blogging today as well. I decided I’ll buy books on my birthday but I’m delaying it as I have found a place in Mumbai where I’ll get books in lower price so I’m very excited to visit that shop and grab as many as I can.

It has been wonderful 6 months and I’ve met amazing bloggers and friends, learned lot during this time period and I feel like I found a community where I belong. When I started blogging, I never thought I will get 350 followers in 6 months. It was most amazing 6 months of my life. So thank you all for showing love and appreciation.

See you all once I return from vacation.

Have a great time everyone!

BTNR_editedBTR signed F_edited

The Welcome Home Diner: A Novel by Peggy Lampman

Welcome Home

Published: October 10th 2017 by Lake Union Publishing

Read Date: October 12th 2017

Pages: 352

Stars: 4.5/5

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Goodreads blurb_edited

Betting on the city of Detroit’s eventual comeback, cousins Addie and Samantha decide to risk it all on an affordable new house and a culinary career that starts with renovating a vintage diner in a depressed area of town. There’s just one little snag in their vision.

Angus, a weary, beloved local, is strongly opposed to his neighborhood’s gentrification—and his concerns reflect the suspicion of the community. Shocked by their reception, Addie and Samantha begin to have second thoughts.

As the long hours, problematic love interests, and underhanded pressures mount, the two women find themselves increasingly at odds, and soon their problems threaten everything they’ve worked for. If they are going to realize their dreams, Addie and Samantha must focus on rebuilding their relationship. But will the neighborhood open their hearts to welcome them home?


review_edited

The book simply is beautiful with delicious food of Welcome Home Diner. It’s about struggling life of Jaworski sisters in new business and their personal life surrounded by lovely staff and hesitant, fearful neighbors of Detroit. Book revolves around The Welcome Home Diner and its owner Addie and Sam narrated in their alternative perspective. You will see ups and down of not only these sisters but the staff of their diner and their home like diner. It’s a journey of diner and its owner of starting a business from scratch to running it with a vision – an old fashioned place serving authentic and organic food and welcoming all races with blessing and recipes of their beloved grandmother. 

Characters_edited

Addie– Brain and owner of diner. She was sensitive, warm hearted and ambitious woman with spreadsheets and to-do list of diner and also her life. Sam– Addie’s cousin, partner of diner. Cook of the diner, who never organize anything and live and walk the present.

Staff of diner– Braydon (manager), Quiche (works the grill at counter), Lella (waitress). Diner started with these 3 staff and added new additions eventually- Paul, Sylvia, Gary. They all were amazing. They all had life story to share in the book.

There were other important characters in the book who were connected to the member of diner whom you will love to know and connect with. Specifically Addie and Sam’s babcia (grandmother) and Sun Beam– Quiche’s daughter, she was so adorable and I loved her sandwich inventions. Oh and magical hot sauce vendor Jessie, you would love the company of this woman and her tricks of calming down inner demons and purge the place with negative energy, she was one interesting character in the book. Hero, Sam’s dog, was a real hero in the book. And there was that angry neighbor Angus.

I’m feeling like I just started and I’m leaving out many other characters in the book but trust me you won’t forget all these characters. Character development of main characters was brilliant, heartwarming.

What I liked_edited

First that cover. Isn’t it beautiful? Here is the fact, when I got review opportunity, I decided to read this book by just looking at the cover. I read blurb later and I liked it but cover has already taken my heart. It’s so perfect with the theme of the book. Talking about theme and concept, this book covered lot of things and I really loved the way author represented it with unique writing style and delicious food.

The worst time to bring up a sensitive subject is when emotions are running high. But Bottled-up questions can’t be healthy, either.

Book started with the Polish word guide, tour to Welcome Home’s area, introduction to the staff, conditions of Detroit and their drawbacks with the area and weather. I loved the way all staff connected to diner and to each other to become a family. Best thing was life story of all characters, story of Addie and Sam’s life, their family and grandmother was beautifully narrated. They all had something to tell, something to teach and something to learn from them.

Heartache’s universal, and all of our plots and little schemes, in the end, are futile with love hinged to fickle whim of fate. A fate that can strip you raw, leave you empty-handed, busted, no cards left to play.

I came to admire the heart characters of this book (Addie and Sam) by the end of the book for their relationship, for their unique vision and thoughts on diner, city, and all those sensitive issues discussed in the book, and for the way they handles everything. They first won my heart when wind was against them they never discriminated or blamed their staff. The trust they had for them was remarkable.

There was very detailed history of Detroit from motor city to demographics, racial discrimination and segregation to revitalization of the city (it’s beginning of this time when our character started a business), weather of the city to the musical culture. I got very close look to this city and how characters were attached to it and loved it. History of the city played important role in the book as characters and city were struggling with the after effects of the city’s downtime. It was very delicately and perfectly handled.

There were other sensitive topic apart from color discrimination like, sex trafficking, kidnapping, impersonation and defamation that created problem to city and diner. Friendship, family, love, and community together poured warm and touching feeling to book. Romance and love story in the book was desert amid the terrific dreadful subjects.

I loved it when Addie compared some situations with the mythology. Specifically when she was asking the power of all the Goddess to conquer the problems of her personal life. The philosophy in the book, talk of Jessie and Addie’s references were so thought provoking and brilliant, they had left great impression on me and also turned me into believer like Addie.

Climax– finally the revelation of antagonist, who gave hard time diner and its staff was shocking. I couldn’t guess that person would do such things and the reason behind doing all the evil damage was so small. I couldn’t have guessed that person in ages. End was so feel-good and fair. I surely want to read more books by this author.

One last thing there are recipes from diner’s menu so don’t miss it. Book is also best for group read. It was fun thinking about answers of discussion questions given at the end of the book.

why not 5 stars_edited

Only teensy thing. In the beginning of the book I was struggling for getting into the book. But once I learned little more about characters and situations, it was smooth till the end.

conclusion_edited

Overall, book was steady paced, with tasty family and romantic drama, sour sensitive issues of city and delicious food of dinner served at the end with desert of love, friendship and community. I recommend this book to everyone who love to read women fictions that serves something different.


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Author: Peggy Lampman

To know more about author click Here.

Buy Here: Amazon.com / Amazon.in.

*** Note: I received review copy of this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I am glad I got a chance to read this book. ***


What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book already? Do you like this genre? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

Happy Reading! 🙂

BTNR_editedBTR signed F_edited

What Makes You Happy Tag

happy tag

I I’m happy to do this happy tag today.  Thank you Dawlyn and Krista @ Little Blind Book Finds for tagging me. 🙂 Don’t forget to check their blog, they write beautiful detailed reviews. You can read their answers to this tag here.

5 Things That Make You Happy!

Family

Books – Obvious!! More happiness when it’s paperback.

Doing something productive and new- I love learning something every day. I involve myself in different activities.

Being myself- I know it sound weird but when I have to be something else, to just keep people around me happy.. it steals my happiness. Where I can be myself without being judged is the happiest thing I can ever ask for.

Wrist Watch- I collect watches. I love wearing different Watches.

5 Songs That Make You Happy

  1. Raabta – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d9nvq3402M

2. FROZEN | Let It Go (sing along)- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0MK7qz13bU

3. Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPf0YbXqDm0

4. It’s hard not to smile and dance with this song. American Authors – Best Day Of My Life- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y66j_BUCBMY

5. Hailee Steinfeld – Love Myself – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMpFmHSgC4Q

Bonus: 5 Foods That Make You Happy

Pani Puri- delicious

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Pasta

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Burgers

Burgers.jpg

Cakes and pies

Cakes and pies .jpg

Ice cream- but no butter scotch flavor

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I tag –

https://coffeelovingbookoholic.com/

https://thewitheringblog.wordpress.com/

https://nevernotreadingblog.wordpress.com/

https://readwithloveblog.wordpress.com/

https://booksandmunches.wordpress.com/

ANNDDD… everyone who read this post. 😉


Okay! I’m damn hungry! *signing off*.

I would be happy to hear what makes you happy. I’m coming back after I put something in my stomach. So leave comments before you run off like me to eat. 🙂

Happy Reading! 🙂

BTNR_editedBTR signed F_edited