Medieval Monday: Celebration! ~ Sherry Ewing’s Hearts Across Time

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vintage-holly-clipart-clipart-kid-2MedMon

Celebration!

 is our theme for this round of Medieval Monday!

Join us as we celebrate weddings, holidays, and all manner of medieval events!

This week’s excerpt is from

Sherry Ewing’s

Hearts Across Time

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Excerpt:

The golden sun began to peek over the ocean horizon, splashing the morning sky with a thousand shades of pink and orange. The further it rose, the more color splattered across the cloudless sky until all traces of the earlier shades vanished. ’Twas obvious, the perfect day was a gift from the heavens and a priceless tribute to the woman Riorden would call his wife for the rest of his life.

Riorden was in no rush to head down to the Great Hall.  There was no need. Katherine and her ladies had insisted ’twas bad luck to see the bride afore the wedding. He had never heard of such a custom, but who was he to tempt fate? Nay, he dare not look upon her, if such an occurrence would displease God, and in His wrath, He would wrench Katherine back from whence she had come.

Patrick brought Riorden a small repast, along with water to wash and fresh garments Lynet had lovingly sewn for his wedding. He was not surprised when he saw the tunic. Gilded fabric had been embroidered and used as trim on the deep blue cloth Katherine herself had chosen, saying the color would match his eyes. He smiled, wondering how she would look in the golden material he had chosen for her. He supposed, he would find out soon enough.

A knock roused Riorden from his musings of his lovely lady. Opening the door, he saw Aiden standing there, also dressed in his finest.

“What…no sword?” Riorden inquired in jest. He also was to leave his sword within his chamber, although he stowed a small, serviceable blade in his belt.

Aiden appeared completely ill at ease. “Nay! Amiria refused to allow such in the chapel. God’s wounds, Riorden…I feel as if I am only but half dressed.”

A chuckle rumbled inside Riorden. “Do not be so troubled, my friend. The mass and ceremony should be no longer than an hour or two. Surely, your sister will allow you your blade afterwards.”

“Ha! Easy for you to say. She made it clear she does not trust me.”

“Let me guess,” Riorden mulled over. “She hid it from you, did she?”

“My twin knows me only too well, I am afraid,” Aiden muttered miserably. “Dristan has hidden hers, as well. At least he managed to get her into a dress, instead of boots and hose.”

“Knowing Amiria, I am sure she will in no uncertain terms let me know of the sacrifice she has made, on the behalf of my lady, to appear in such.”

Aiden at last smiled knowingly. “You can count on it.”

“Why are you here? It cannot be time, as yet, is it?”

“Damn, I almost forgot my purpose,” Aiden cursed. “Dristan asked that you come to his solar. He will then accompany you to the chapel at the appointed hour.”

“Then let us be on our way, since I am all but done here,” Riorden said, and they made their way up to the third floor.

He had just taken the last step on the tower stairs, when he halted his progress to peer down the passageway toward Lynet’s chamber. Intent on listening to the bubbly laughter of his soon to be wife and her friends, he began to hear a strange haunting melody, most likely coming from the machine Kat called a cellphone. She was so close, and he found he had missed her company this past eve, more than he would have thought possible.

He took a step in the direction towards where, in his heart, he wanted to be until he felt Aiden tugging at his arm.

“Come on, Riorden. You shall see her afore you know it.”

 

Blurb:

Bestselling author Sherry Ewing presents this special edition box set getting 5 star reviews that is combining Katherine and Riorden’s complete story from For All of Ever and Only For You in Hearts Across Time: The Knights of Berwyck, A Quest Through Time Novel (Books One & Two).

 

Sometimes all you need is to just believe…

For All of Ever: Katherine Wakefield has dreamed and written of her knight in shining armor all her life. Yet, how could she have known that when she and her three closest friends take a dream vacation to England that they’d find themselves thrown back more than eight hundred years into the past? Riorden de Deveraux travels to Bamburgh answering the summons of King Henry II. But nothing prepares him for the beautiful vision of a strangely clad ghost who first appears in his chamber. Centuries are keeping them apart until Time gives them a chance at finding love. Will the past of one consume what their future may hold, or will Time take the decision from them and hurdle Katherine forward to where she truly belongs?

Only For You: Katherine de Deveraux has it all but settling into her duties at Warkworth Castle is not easy and downright dangerous to her well-being. Consumed with memories of his father, Riorden must deal with his sire’s widow. Yet how could he know how far Marguerite will go to have the life she feels they were meant to live? Torn apart, Time becomes their true enemy while Marguerite continues her ploy to keep Riorden at her side. With all hope lost, will Katherine & Riorden find a way to save their marriage?

Buy Link:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Y3XWmL

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1trffVj

iBooks: http://apple.co/1MH6NtO

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxFUv3

 

 

 

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Gone Writing

I am sorry if you’ve visited me in hopes of another snippet of Only Scandal Will Do but I have gone writing this weekend at a wonderful writer’s retreat called The Porches. I’ll be back with more Scandal next week, but for now, take a look at this marvelous place I found to simply write.

Porches in Summer

Porches in Summer

The Porches is located in Central Virginia, about an hour south of Charlottesville. I heard about it from a chapter mate who visited it last summer and was very envious when she told me she was going.

I put a three day weekend at The Porches on my Christmas List last year, and low and room_rate_pagebehold if my daughters didn’t go in together and get me a three day weekend here. I drove up yesterday after my classes and since we have Monday as a holiday, it worked out perfectly.

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This is what I missed last weekend!

It’s way off the beaten track, charming, not rustic. You fix all your own meals with food you bring yourself and clean up after yourself, but that’s it. Other than that, you are free to write to your heart’s content and I have done just that. Quiet time is from early morning until 5:30pm (and I have never been on a retreat this quiet! A train comes by occasionally, otherwise, silent as the tomb). The proprietor makes

everyone welcome, then fades into the background and leaves you to your own devices.

The front porch

The front porch

And it’s working! Since I got here about 9 pm last night, I’ve written approximately 6,000

Not my room, but very like it

Not my room, but very like it

words or two chapters, so I’m thrilled! By the time I leave Monday morning, I hope to be almost halfway through the book I’m writing. I need to have it done by February 1st, so I do have my work cut out for me.

So have a wonderful weekend and week (I know I will!), and I’ll see you back next Sunday for Weekend Writing Warriors.

Jenna

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The Romance of Language: Word for the Week 1/13/17

This week’s word sounds like something straight out of an historical romance novel.(LOL) I will have to find a way to use it in one of my upcoming books!

Marriage a la Mode by William Hogarth The Countess's morning Levee (surrounded by chamberers)

Marriage a la Mode by William Hogarth
The Countess’s morning Levee (surrounded by chamberers)

Chamberer:

“A man who frequents ladies’ chambers,” or “a gallant.”  It’s from 1200-1250 from the French for chamberlain or chambermaid.

It’s also used in Shakespeare’s Othello:

“Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,

I’d whistle her off and let her down the wind,

To prey at fortune. Haply, for I am black;

And have not those soft parts of conversation that chamberers have.”

Othello, Act 3, Scene 3.

According to Martin Elliott in his book on Othello, “Chamberers were gallants who frequented ladies’ chambers…instead of battlefields: boudoir boys, lizards of the lounge. They spend their days on the over-refined softness–and are as much slandered by Othello, with as much unjust generalization, as are the Venetian ladies by Iago.”

 

 

 

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Be My Guest! ~ Author Interview with Patricia Preston

 

banner-memeHello, and welcome to my new feature for 2017.

I’ve begun a Wednesday weekly post to present interviews with authors across all romance genres. Although I’m primarily an historical romance writer, I do read outside my genre and suspect a lot of you do as well. And what’s more fascinating than finding out more about either your favorite authors or new ones? I plan to change up my questions (most of them at least) every three months or so, just to keep the interviews lively.

So now gather round the tea table, grab a scone or cookies, and a cup of tea or coffee and discover a new friend in the writing world.

This week on Be My Guest, I have long-time online friend,  author Patricia Preston. I knew her first through the Six Sentence Sunday blog hop as the author of the hysterically funny novella Laid to Rest with its quirky Southern characters who were near and dear to my heart. Now she’s moved on to a fantastic contemporary series she’s going to tell you about today.

 

ppreston-author-450-mfrwPatricia Preston loves writing mainstream romantic fiction where love matters most as well as short stories and historicals. She has won the William Faulkner Award for Short Fiction, the Lone Star Writing Competition for Historical Romance, and Harlequin’s World’s Best Romances Short Story Competition. The small Southern town where she resides and her work in local medical clinics and hospitals both provided inspiration for her “Love Heals All” series. Besides writing, she enjoys photography, cooking, movies, bargain hunting, driving the Natchez Trace and visiting historical sites.

 

For info on new releases and contests, sign up for her newsletter

Visit her Blog. Follow her Twitter and Amazon

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So nice to see you, Patricia! Thank you so much for coming by today!

Who is your favorite romance hero or heroine and why?  What qualities do they possess that make them memorable?

Rhett Butler…Do I need to say more?

Actually you don’t. LOL Okay, so who was the first romance author and book you read?

Actually, I think it was Helen Hunt Jackson’s classic, Ramona, back when I was in school. Then when I was working as a librarian a friend insisted I read Kathleen Woodiwiss.

Oh, Kathleen Woodiwiss was my first romance author!

Who or what inspires your writing?

Music. By all means.

Which of your own books is your favorite and why?

What a hard question! I have a historical set in French Quarter that was my labor of love.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Halloween. I love October.

Again, we are kindred spirits with this.

If you could have one wish granted just for you (not world peace, LOL), what would you wish for?

A time machine where I could travel back and forth in time. That would be awesome!

I do like the way your mind works, Patricia! 🙂

What is your biggest regret?

That I didn’t get rid of the toxic people in my life sooner. I will tell anyone that if you have people in your life, this includes family, who projects their misery, negativity and unhappiness on you, walk away. You will not regret it.

Do you have any hobbies/passions outside of writing?

Photography.

Ooh, I hope we get to see some of it sometime!

Who is your favorite non-romance genre author? What is your favorite book of theirs?

Robert Crais. I love his characters, Joe and Elvis. I could read about them all the time.

Now, tell us a little bit about one of your books.

I have book coming out this month, Everything His Heart Desires, which is the second book in my single title series, Love Heals All. This book deals with a heroine who has a tragic past and is looking to find a new beginning in her hometown where she is reunited with an old adversary from high school, who is now a doctor. All the books have a love story, some humor, lots of drama, and a large cast of colorful characters.

What was your inspiration for this story?

I love romantic stories like the movies “The Holiday,” “Letters to Juliet,” “The Lake House,” and “Practical Magic.” They inspired me.

Oh, I love The Lake House!

 I don’t think my books are quite as mainstream as those movies but they aren’t what you’d call formula romances either. My characters don’t do formula very well (i.e. Darlene) LOL!!!  

You know I adore Darlene. And yes, you’re right, they are definitely not formula! LOL

I am a fanatic about my character names. Are the character names special in any way?

For me, yes, I have to have character names immediately. Brett’s nickname, Hot Rod, came to be when I was thinking about the story and there was an image in my mind of him asleep in the doctor’s lounge and someone had written Hot Rod on soles of his shoes. That part was never in the book but it was the beginning of the nickname.

Do you have plans for a sequel to this book?

The third book in this series is due out in June. It isn’t a sequel, but the characters in the first two books are back in this book. I’m in the pre-planning stages for the fourth book now.

Now, the Infamous Lightning Round: (Choose 5-6 of the questions below)

Tea or coffee? Sweet iced tea! The wine of the South.

Beach or mountains? Mountains.

Chocolate or vanilla? CHOCOLATE

Boxers, briefs or commando? (preferred for your heroes) Boxers

Would you rather skydive or scuba dive? Neither.

Would you rather vacation in Hawaii, Vegas or London? How about Paris?

Ah, the city of love! Mais oui!

 Thank you so much for coming by today, Patricia. We’ll leave everyone’s mouths watering with the blurb and a short excerpt from your up-coming release. Just remember–it releases TODAY, January 11th!

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BLURB:

The man most likely to drive her crazy…

Growing up in Lafayette Falls, senator’s daughter Natalie Layton hid her sorrows behind a bright smile that charmed everyone in high school—except Brett Harris. Hardworking and highly motivated, Brett dismissed Natalie as a slacker. Instead, she’s become an acclaimed photographer. And when Brett, now a successful cardiologist, needs her family’s help to secure a coveted position, Natalie’s more than happy to prescribe a little payback…

Hailing from the wrong side of the tracks, Brett believed he could never win the school’s popular princess. Now he’s intrigued by the complex and compassionate woman Natalie’s become. Gaining her grandmother’s goodwill is the key to becoming chief cardiologist—and Natalie has no intention of making it easy. But as mutual mistrust gives way to pure chemistry, there’s more at stake than either ever expected—and much more to learn about matters of the heart…

EXCERPT:

Talk about the opportunity of a lifetime. If he could become Anna Layton’s physician, he would literally have it made. He would have Harry and Sheldon’s support and gratitude, which meant he could create a superior cardiology program at LFMC. Perhaps, someday, there would be a heart center named after him and he would be remembered for all posterity. Yes, he was definitely Type A.

“Do you want to speak with your mother and then give me call?” he asked Harry.

“Well, we have a little something different in mind.” Both Harry and Sheldon looked at Natalie as if it were her turn to speak up.

She tapped her fingers on the table. “I’m home for a few weeks, and I’m staying with my grandmother.” She managed to choke out the rest, “You can come over as my dinner guest tomorrow night.”

It took him a moment to process that. “Okay. So I’m not coming over as a doctor. I’m coming over as your date?”

“A date is kinda stretching it,” she said as if to say that was never gonna happen. “An old friend from high school.”

“Friend,” he repeated, meeting her gaze. “Seriously?”

“It was Uncle Harry and Aunt Lorraine’s idea.” She was quick to clarify, and she frowned at her uncle, who had a mouthful of cheese Danish. “And it’s not a good idea. It’s not going to work. Not with Nana.”

“Natalie, you promised us you’d help out.” Harry took a swig of coffee. “We’re counting on you.”

She shook her head, and Brett realized she was totally against the idea, which might cost him the chief of cardiology position.

He sat up straight. “Natalie, you do understand what’s at stake here?”

“Besides your ego?” She didn’t blink as she looked him straight in the eye. It appeared that, since high school, she had developed a Terminator stare.

He didn’t flinch. “Do you want me to help your grandmother or not?”

Her phone lit up, and she checked a text message. She stuck her phone back in her purse and withdrew a small notepad. She scribbled on it, then tore off the paper and folded it. “I’ve got to meet someone,” she announced.

She hitched her purse strap on her shoulder, and she leaned across the table to hand Brett the folded paper. “Here’s my cell number. If something comes up and you can’t make it tomorrow night, call me. Otherwise, dinner is at seven. Sports jacket. No tie. Be at Nana’s house, which is the Castle House on Rosewood, by six forty-five.”

“I’ll be there.” He tucked the paper into the pocket of his jacket.

In a low, vindictive voice, she said, “Isn’t it amazing to think that I’m the key to your success?” She glanced at Sheldon and Harry before she delivered a parting blow. “Nana is a piranha, Brett. She’ll eat you alive and not even burp.”

Buy Links:  Amazon   Nook   Kobo  Google Play  iTunes

Thank you all so much for stopping by for tea and cookies and some striking answers from Patricia.

Please come back next Wednesday when I’ll be sitting down with Viviana Mackade, author of delightfully different contemporary romances. I know you won’t want to miss meeting her!

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Medieval Monday: Celebration! ~ Elisabeth Hobbes’ The Blacksmith’s Wife

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Celebration!

 is our theme for this round of Medieval Monday!

Join us as we celebrate weddings, holidays, and all manner of medieval events!

This week’s excerpt is from

Elisabeth Hobbes’

The Blacksmith’s Wife

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Excerpt:

Thundering beats on the door roused them from their bed as men from the villagers came to claim ale from Hal as Lord Danby’s representative. He allowed himself to be taken away, leaving Joanna in the hands of Meg and the other women to gather flowers and greenery from the moors and bind them into wreaths.

The women arrived on the village green at midday. Raucous, uncontrolled games were taking place amid cheers and catcalls of the onlookers already well into the ale, but stopped as they appeared.

‘Crown the queen!’

The call was taken up and repeated by everyone present. Girls giggled and blushed, young men freely ogled them and Joanna felt hands in her back pushing her to the front of the crowd.

Hal appeared from among the men. He took her by the hand and turned her to face everyone. A crown of twisted greenery was placed on her head to cheers and good-natured whistles from everyone watching. Pipers began to play and dancers found their partners.

‘I thought the May Queen was supposed to be a maiden,’ Joanna whispered to Hal.

He held her waist tightly as he led her to the circle. ‘This year I thought I’d exercise my rights to choose.’

‘You can do that?’

‘I can do what I like, I’m their lord’s son,’ he joked. He put one hand on her back, the other to her cheek and looked into her eyes. ‘I cannot give you tournaments and pageants to delight you, but I wanted to give you something to remember.’

She covered her hand with his. ‘You have,’ she said. ‘This is enough.’

She realised as she said it that she spoke the truth.

The dancing and games carried on long into the night. As the sun set Hal and the men carried brands from the forge and lit the bonfire. More barrels of ale were tapped and the ox that had been roasting all afternoon was speedily eaten.

As groups and couples began to disperse to find their own diversions Joanna sat alone by the fire, warming her hands and yawning. She’d danced until her calves burned and drunk far too much wine. Her bed called her. Hal had vanished a while before, called away by the miller, and she was becoming tired of waiting. She walked home and was halfway to the door when she noticed light coming from the forge.

Curious, she walked across the dewy grass. The door was partly open, but no sound came from within. Cautiously Joanna pushed the door wider and peeped around it.

Hal was standing by his workbench. In the dull glow of the furnace Joanna could only see his back.

‘What are you doing?’ she asked.

Hal jumped at her voice. He strode towards her, blocking her entry into the forge.

‘What’s wrong? Why won’t you let me in?’ she asked.

‘Nothing’s wrong. I’m coming now,’ Hal said. His voice was guarded. He took hold of her arm and tried to turn her away.

He was so obviously hiding something. Determined to find out what, Joanna twisted from his grip and pushed past him. Her blood drained slowly away, leaving her cold to the bone as she recognised her own drawing pinned to the beam above the furnace.

‘That’s mine!’ she hissed. ‘How did you get it?’

‘You dropped it on the moors,’ Hal said.

She remembered the day, but that had been over a week ago and he had kept it all this time! Furious, she lunged and ripped the drawing from the wall. She rounded on Hal.

‘How dare you keep it,’ she stormed. ‘You had no right to do that.’

She pushed roughly past him and wrenched the door open, stumbling out into the darkness.

Blurb:

Rejected by her favored knight, Joanna Sollers knows she will never love again. Especially when the man she’s now forced to marry is none other than her beloved’s half brother!

For blacksmith Hal Danby, marrying Joanna makes his lifelong dream of entering the Smiths’ Guild possible, even if the secrets in his past mean he’ll forever keep his distance. But everything changes with one stolen night, and in the arms of his new bride, Hal wonders if this loveless arrangement could transform into something real…

Buy Link:

US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017RCL96M

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blacksmiths-Wife-Mills-Boon-Historical-ebook/dp/B01B16JQ10/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

 

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Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 01/08/17 Only Scandal Will Do ~ Temptation

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I am moving on this month, in preparation for my April 2017 release, Only A Mistress Will Do, by sharing snippets from the first book of the House of Pleasure series, Only Scandal Will Do. It’s one of my favorites of my books, and although many of you may remember it, I do want to share that 18th century world of Georgian England with you once more.

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I began at the very beginning last week, with an introduction to the heroine, Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam. This week we move on to the auction block, where Lady Katarina is perused by Duncan Ferrers, the Marquess of Dalbury.

sold5The slave was dressed in an almost transparent white gown, in flowing Grecian style, its folds torn in places and streaked with dirt. A daringly low bodice displayed full, enticing breasts, with a hint of dark nipples showing through the gauzy fabric. When she’d been flung to the floor, the straight tunic had revealed generous curves at her hips and buttocks.

Duncan’s labored breathing sounded harsh in his ears, drowning out the rest of the clamoring patrons. When he tried to swallow, he found his mouth so dry he had to peel his tongue from the roof.

The scenario itself did not appeal to him, but that girl…that girl with the incredible hair. The mass flowed shiny clean, obviously well tended; it would fall well below her waist. But the most enticing attribute by far was its fiery, bright auburn color. The long tresses, like molten flame, spilled down the slave girl’s back and around her breasts. Temptation incarnate.

BLURB:

He has the woman of his dreams, but what price will he have to pay to win her heart?

Kidnapped and sold at auction in a London brothel, Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam squelches an undeniable attraction to the masked stranger who purchased her, pits her wits against him, and escapes him and the scandal that would ruin her life.

Unable to resist temptation in a London brothel, Duncan Ferrers, Marquess of Dalbury, purchases a fiery beauty. She claims she’s a lady, but how can she be? No lady of his acquaintance in polite society is anything like her. Then he discovers she is who she says, and that this latest romp has compromised her reputation. He knows how that is. One more scandal and he’ll be cast out of London society, but he needs a wife who’ll provide an heir to carry on his illustrious family’s name. He seeks out Katarina, intending only to scotch the scandal, but instead finds his heart ensnared. He’s betting their future he’ll capture her heart, but does he have what it takes to win the wager?

WARNING: A blade-wielding heroine who crosses swords with a master of sensuality.

Books in the House of Pleasure series:

onlyscandalwilldo sizeONLY MARRIAGE WILL DO31d7tkacmyl

 

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here.  There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.

 

 

 

Posted in Historical Romance, House of Pleasure, House of Pleasure Series, On Only Scandal Will Do, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , , | 21 Comments

SNOW DAY!

I don’t usually post on Saturdays, but we’re in the midst of a record (for us where we live, since we’ve been here) snowfall today. So I had to share these pics of the snow here. The picture of the house and car were taken at approximately 9:00am today. Snow started falling at midnight and is not predicted to stop here until 3:00pm. It was at 9 inches at 9 and is currently at least 10 inches. Possible 15 inches, but more likely 12 before it stops.

Lots of writing ahead for this weekend!

I’ve already made muffins (my favorite thing to do on a snowy day) and now settling down to write my 3K for the day. After which I am sure there will be more binge watching of Downton Abbey. 🙂

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Our house under first snow of 2017 Picture Courtesy my husband

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Our snowy neighborhood and daughters car Picture courtesy of my husband

 

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Out my front door, just now

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Front garden under snow

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Birds in the back yard

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Kitty prints on back stoop

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