Thursday, November 10, 2022

NBTM Virtual Tour and Giveaway: Maz, Origin by T.L. Ford

Welcome to my stop on the NBTM virtual tour for Maz, Origin by T.L. Ford. This tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a fun guest post from the author regarding handling negative criticism. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Maz, Origin
Author: T.L. Ford
Publisher: Cattail.Nu, LLC
Publication Date: August 20th 2022
Print Length: 293 pages
Genre: Speculative Science Fiction
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Entering the witness relocation program after lawfully escaping a massive walled-in prison, teenage Merrill tries to fit into our society. Her background and decisions may not let her.

Maz, Origin is a story of growth and love, guilt and innocence, and changing goals. What is morally right and what is legally right? What's legal for humans may not be for aliens...

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EXCERPT:
"Play it again," I said and James did. I listened. "They have vocal cords similar to ours, but I'll bet we're missing some of the pitches. We'll probably sound flat when we speak their language. Have they sent anything in any of our languages?"

"No."

"Any video?" Ron asked.

"No."

"Maybe they're waiting to see if there's intelligent life on our planet?" I said.

"Not likely," said James, putting his laptop away. "The transmission came in on our own satellite frequency bands. It was precise. They can pick up our own signals."

"Then they know more about us than we do about them," Ron observed.

James nodded. "If they're hostile, it makes no sense to announce their knowledge."

"Unless they're trying to get inside our defenses," Ron replied.

"You're supposed to make me less paranoid, not more," James said sourly.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
T. L. Ford is a programmer, writer, and artist. She spent most of her professional career supporting the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in southern Maryland. Her science fiction novels imagine possibilities while focusing on society and personal relationships and decisions. Her fantasy novels are heavily influenced by Dungeons & Dragons and are light "weekend reads". She's also created two art books, a thriller novella, and an interactive math iBook. She enjoys sailing, hiking, and spending time with her family.

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GUEST POST:
How To Handle Negative Criticism
by T.L. Ford


Vanilla ice cream. It's really the only one worth anything and we should throw the others away and never sell them again. Say goodbye to chocolate - chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, chocolate chip cookie dough, rocky road, cookies and cream, and Neapolitan ice cream. Also get rid of strawberry, butter pecan, pistachio, cake batter, and coffee-flavored ice cream. Let's not even get into the disaster that is Italian ice and popsicles.

Hold up a minute. My favorite is mint chocolate chip. Who likes vanilla ice cream when there are these other fantastic choices? I suppose someone does somewhere or stores wouldn't sell it any more, but it isn't me.

When I hear negative criticism for my writing, I categorize it as "gee, maybe I should try to do differently in the next book (or fix this one)" because it's a valid suggestion, OR "well, my story wasn't the right flavor of ice cream for them".

Everyone has a different kind of thing they like. Some people are going to think my stories are the best things they have ever read and are going to be deeply moved and feel the words in their souls, and some people are going to wish they had ordered something else. I'm really ok with either type of person. It doesn't mean my writing is horrific just because someone doesn't like it. Someone else WILL like it.

It's certainly not worth getting devastated and giving up or crying over. Some people present their criticisms poorly, and I categorize those into "lack of experience and training on how to give critiques" and "elementary-school insults". The first, I forgive, because I have not always been the best at giving feedback. The second, I ignore, because I'm not in elementary school anymore and I have stories to write.

Ok, I confess... sometimes I like vanilla ice cream too, but it's still a good way to think about negative criticism.
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GIVEAWAY:
T.L. Ford will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

618 comments:

  1. My brother would like this book.
    Thanks for the contest.

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    1. Wonderful! The contests do seem like fun. Good luck!

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  2. this book sounds so interesting. moral right vs. legal right is a great question to address and i love how it's snuggled into an already interesting storyline. also i too love mint chocolate chip. does anyone else remember the chocolate chip one with the little bits of butter brickle? i do. i miss it like a friend. so good.

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    1. I miss that chocolate chip with the butter brickle! Mmmm. Yes! I like sneaking in things to think about in my stories. I like letting readers choose how they feel about those type things, too.

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  3. Looking forward to picking this on up on KU!

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  4. Glad this book is on Kindle Unlimited, great way to try out a new author.

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    1. KU does seem to be the way to go. I hope you like it!

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  5. Negative Criticism post is interesting and helpful, T.L. I also enjoyed the excerpt and Maz, Origin sounds like a fantastic book for me to read and enjoy!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have a terrific day!

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    1. I see many people getting hurt by "someone didn't like it" or "someone demanded this get changed" (repeat after fixing, but this time with someone else's opinion). It's your work and you can decide if you agree with those comments and what serves your goals the best. A lot of it is about the ice cream flavors, and you can get stuck trying to please everyone.

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  6. Sounds like a great book. Thank you for hosting.

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  7. this sounds like a wonderful book, thanks

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  8. This looks wonderful and intense. Good work

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    1. Thank you, Paige! I certainly do like to challenge my poor characters.

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  9. The book sounds good and the cover is great.

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    1. Thank you! That cover has a couple elements from the Smithsonian Open Content, and a LOT of photoshop. I must have spent 8 hours trying to choose how much of that face should show. It was supposed to be both there and not there.

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  10. This sounds very good. I'm new to the author.

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    1. Thank you! It's a very dynamic story. The excerpt is from later on in the book - midway, maybe.

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  11. Happy Thursday!

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    1. Happy Thursday (or Friday if this finds you then!)!

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  12. Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm experimenting with trying to get my books into the hands of people who will enjoy them. It's an interesting Real Life adventure, for sure.

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  13. Replies
    1. I have been toying with a romance novel about a couple at the edge of the desert, on another planet, roughly time-placed just a little bit before the industrial age (for available tech).

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  14. The book sounds very interesting. Great cover!

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  15. What does Speculative Science Fiction mean?

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    1. Per dictionary: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. Per me: science fiction with less science, more about the people and society, although really, science fiction includes spaceship and aliens, so is it science fiction or speculative fiction?

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  16. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! That's from about midway through the book.

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  17. Happy Friday!

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  18. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  19. I love the cover art, synopsis and excerpt, Maz, Origin is a must read for me. Thank you for sharing your guest post, bio and book details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work

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  20. Replies
    1. This seems to change for me seasonally. Probably "whichever holiday is upcoming next." Yours?

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  21. Replies
    1. Of course, but more often, I have what I like to call "kindergartener must sharpen pencil homework-avoidance". i.e. before I can write, I must... do this, this, this, this, this, this, this... and I never get to writing. Have to recognize it and just sit down and write. It's hard.

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  22. Happy Saturday!

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  23. What do you drink while writing?

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    1. Water, tea, sometimes coffee. I don't do soft drinks at all, very rarely, wine, and I make my own fruit juices in my vitamix blender, and am usually too lazy to do that when I just want a drink. What do you drink?

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  24. do yuou live in the country or a city?

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  25. Do you have a pet? Tell me about them.

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    Replies
    1. I have 2 cats - Bean and Lady. They don't like each other much, but are slowly getting used to moving around each other. Lady is new, and likes heights. Bean is older and prefers to hide whenever anyone comes to visit. How about you?

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  26. Really nice cover and excerpt, looking forward to reading this!

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  27. thanks this sounds like a really interesting read

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  28. Have a decent Monday!

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    Replies
    1. Have a great Tuesday!!! (I'm noticing a trend of... post/reply a day later)

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  29. How long does it take to write a book?

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    1. Everyone writes at their own pace, but the writing the initial bit goes pretty fast, depending on how many distractions there are (a couple months to 6 years, sometimes more). The editing process seems to run 6-8 months, again, depending on breaks, availability of editor-readers, beta-readers, etc.

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  30. What author do you most admire?

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    1. This is a tough one, because there are so many excellent authors, and my answer is likely to change day-to-day based on my mood. Today: Chaim Potok, for both The Chosen and My Name is Asher Lev.

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  31. how long does it take you to write a book

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    1. It really varies a lot, depending on other projects. On a good writing day, I'll get 1000-1200 words written, but most often, more like 800. Then there's revisions and editing. Then there's an editor and more editing. Add a bit of other things like research, getting feedback, etc. Maz, Origin took over a year.

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  32. Do you the weather now?

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    1. It's chilly and rainy. Yes. Honestly, I think life would be very bland and boring without varying weather. I even wrote weather systems into my other sci-fi, Colony One, with staff to create it. How about you?

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  33. What did you want to be when you grew up?

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    1. A teacher, then an author, then a musician for Saturday morning cartoons (the scores in those are amazing). Ended up doing programming, then writing, then teaching. Now I just cycle through each of these as the mood fits.

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  34. Replies
    1. 2 cats - Bean and Lady. Maybe 5 cats if the strays outside keep coming to eat. Hoping the one wants to be adopted. Gorgeous black floof. You?

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  35. What was your favourite subject in school?

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    1. Algebra, with the least favorite being history, although I think I would have enjoyed that without all the pesky "you must memorize these facts" tests. How about you?

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  36. Do you like this weather?

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  37. Have you started another book yet?

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    Replies
    1. Several, actually. It's still a tossup for which is going to solidify and become a completed entity that rushes into the universe without consulting me.

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  38. Replies
    1. I'm a cat person. Currently, I'm trying to lure a stray into my family. He/she is out eating the food I set out just now, after having observed me through my window for about 15 minutes.

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  39. What do you do when you're not writing?

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    1. I program things (currently fiddling with a midi player), and teach watercolor classes. Poke around my website - lots of free content there.

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  40. Replies
    1. Too many, although lately, writing, watercolor, and programming can't be counted as hobbies anymore. How about you?

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  41. I so enjoyed reading the excerpt- well done!

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    1. Thank you! What do you think you'd do if aliens arrived tomorrow?

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  42. Happy Friday!

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  43. Replies
    1. If by "relax", you mean knock another few items off of the to-do list and work on projects, yes, I do. :)

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  44. Replies
    1. The question is too hard to answer - there are so many amazing authors (both well-known and indie) and I change my mind daily. I'm a fan of L. M. Bujold, Jean Auel, Stephen R. Donaldson. Today, I'm going to say: Neal Stephenson for Snow Crash.

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  45. Where did you go on your favourite vacation?

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  46. Do you worry about things?

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    Replies
    1. I worry about the safety and health of my family and friends and acquaintances and complete strangers.

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  47. do you have any favorite childhood memories

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  48. Happy Sunday!

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  49. Replies
    1. As my favorite changes constantly based on my mood, I'm going to say A Civil Campaign by L. M. Bujold. Yours?

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  50. What sort of events do you like to attend?

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    Replies
    1. Gaming conventions. With costumes, panels, creative people, nerds, and games.

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  51. Will you be traveling for Thanksgiving?

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    1. Not this year, although I'll get around some a bit later. You?

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  52. Replies
    1. Oh my! Author-of-the-moment: Judith McNaught for Double Standards. Yours?

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  53. What are your aspirations in life?

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    1. I suppose I should write a couple more books (I have several outlines/chapters/etc.), and finish more art projects, and teach more classes, and get my audiobooks done, and write this current program I'm trying to finish, and do needed tasks for various organizations I hold positions in, and get the business completely set up, and and and and ... You?

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  54. Do you have a good friend? Tell me about your adventures.

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    1. I have many good friends. Lately, we talk online a lot. We recently went on a couple of train tours that were really fun, with beautiful scenery. You?

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  55. hows the weather where you live> any snow yet

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    1. No snow in southern Maryland yet. January, usually. The huge bird flocks haven't really gone by yet for migration. You?

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  56. Happy Tuesday!

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  57. Are you glad when a book is finished?

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    1. I like to celebrate all of the steps as I progress through (chapter, draft, finalization, editing done, cover done, website done, etc), but actually having the book appear in my mailbox, and in my hand... that is the very best.

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  58. favorite cookie?

    mia2009(at)comcast(dot)net

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  59. Replies
    1. Quite a few - I'm in several writing groups/organizations. You?

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  60. Happy Wednesday!

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  61. Do you have a favorite author and/or genre?

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    1. This changes based on my mood. Mostly sci-fi, fantasy, romance. Today's favorite author is... Neil Gaiman for Stardust.

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  62. Happy Thanksgiving! What are your plans?

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    Replies
    1. Hi! Had a fantastic dinner at my mother-in-law's house. How'd your day go?

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  63. How's your Thanksgiving today?

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  64. do you have a celebration after finishing writing a book

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    1. Yes, but generally brief because the next project is already started.

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  65. Happy Friday!

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    1. Happy Saturday!

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    2. Yeah - the anonymous was due to a ladybug deciding to crawl across my monitor at that except moment, going across exactly where I was typing at.

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  66. Replies
    1. I won a beautiful dice giveaway once-upon-a-time. They're stunning. I do wish everyone luck with it!

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  67. Replies
    1. Same here! Absolutely gorgeous. I was out bicycle riding yesterday.

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  68. Do you like the cool weather?

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    1. I do! I can bundle up nicely to stay warm and pretend I'm a fire-breathing dragon with smokey breath. Do you?

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  69. Replies
    1. I had a wii for a while, and I have a Quest 2, and my computer/phone. Regular consoles, no. You?

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  70. Do you listen to music when you write?

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    1. Sometimes, but usually I'm too focused to notice. What do you listen to?

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  71. Replies
    1. Peter Jurasik, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter O'Toole, Danny Kaye. If we want to go with actresses, Jodie Foster, Sigourney Weaver, and ALL of the ladies of Babylon 5.

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  72. Replies
    1. Typical high school / college classes, plus some technical writing and proposal writing classes. I just like writing. :)

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  73. Happy Sunday!

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  74. What other genre are you interested in writing?

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  75. Do you have any promtions on your books for Cyber Week?

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