[Guest Post] HOW I WROTE AND PUBLISHED THE DIVIDED NATION by ANGELA R. WATTS

Hello Lovelies! Today I have author Angela R. Watts on the blog sharing about her new novel which has released today! At the end of the post you will find all her social links and book summary below!

 

Every novel writing process, for me, is different. However, I’m a firm believer that every work I write should scare me in its own way. (Ironically, when I attended Realm Makers, Brent Weeks said the same thing. It was funny to have that mindset before hearing it from a NYT bestseller!) And The Divided Nation scared me from the start.

The Divided Nation began as a roleplay, which lasted for a couple years, but when my roleplay partner left for good and told me to do with the story as I wished… I was both lost and ecstatic. It wasn’t the first time a roleplay had gone “wrong”. But it was the first time the story didn’t leave my heart and it baffled me! After all, how could I do this story justice? It was a long series. I couldn’t handle that. “It isn’t the time,” I kept saying to myself. “Dystopian is hard, you will have to research so much.”

After a while, I told those voices to shut up and I listened to what God said. And the journey began. It started with a short Christmas prequel that I whipped up in one day during winter. I liked it. A lot. I couldn’t believe how much I’d enjoyed it, so I promptly got it ready to publish for that December. I had dipped my toes into the world I’d tried to avoid… and came out of the story absolutely in love. Emmanuel is currently free on Amazon but it is priceless to me. Why? Because it proved that these books are not out of my hands. God gave them to me. I just had to grab the bull by the horns. Emmanuel helped me do that on a super small scale.

I had pages and pages of notes, scribbles, snippets, plot ideas, character sheets, etc, for the series before I ever wrote a first draft of The Divided Nation by myself. I gathered all of this together, added some, wrote a real outline… And started writing the first draft in February 2019. Draft one took around a month to finish and I printed it out, wrote out all that needed changing, and started draft two.

After draft two, I self edited a great deal before… beta readers. The beta reader stage was quite a wild ride. Dystopian is a strange genre and not one many Christians read, or so I thought. I had betas loving the novel. I even brainstormed with a few and got epic ideas I hadn’t thought of before… Even if this meant replotting the whole series, but I don’t mind so much.

I wanted to self publish this novel with the new knowledge I had learned: a book should sell itself. How does it do that? 1. The story must be good. This is obviously up to interpretation, but make sure the book is solid, not tossed together. 2. The cover and formatting need to make people WANT that story even more. People like pretty things. If the story is good and the book is nice looking… You won’t have to work so hard later on.

So I hired a cover designer, formatter, and finally decided I’d take the wild ride of using KDP and Ingram to publish… and the rest is history. It took hours of work, hours of talking with the great people I hired to get what the book needed, and hours of research as I figured out Ingram. But it was all so worth it.

And now, I’ll take a moment to reflect on the big lesson that writing and publishing this novel taught me… Changing your lane. What do I mean? Well, all I’ve published thus far is Christian fiction. Clean content, by most standards, nothing too dark. Christian readers have generally enjoyed my previous works. The Divided Nation is different. I knew this from the start. It is one reason I was afraid to write and publish the series. Because these books aren’t limited to the Christian market. They aren’t super clean. They aren’t for people with faint hearts. So, what was I supposed to do? Most of my friends write and read Christian market fiction! And no one published dystopian anymore (that’s incorrect, by the way, I was just blind)!

I had a decision to make. I knew this novel was for readers in search of a story that shows the reality of the world without Jesus, of how every person is a sinner in need of Jesus… This book is for them. Not strictly for Christian readers or secular readers. I wanted it to be flexible. That’s why I decided to market this novel as general fiction with Christian content instead of Christian fiction! I’m so glad I did. This decision was encouraged when I attended Realm Makers this year. “Is it possible?” I asked Robert Liparulo. “To publish a novel with strong Christian content but market it for general audience?” He said it was, reminding me of all the authors who have done just that (TED DEKKER, ANYONE?) so I ran with it. I haven’t looked back. I encourage every single one of you… be bold. Even if it isn’t the norm, even if none of your friends are doing it, even if you don’t get a lot of support… Be true to God and your story. And run with it.

 

                                                 AUTHOR BIO

17597325Angela R. Watts is a Christian fiction author who strives to glorify the Lord in all she does. She’s a homeschooled highschooler living at Step By Step Sanctuary, Tennessee, though with Gypsy and Norwegian in her blood, she tends to travel. She’s been writing stories since she was little, but also enjoys chores, painting, and watching sunsets.

LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AngelaRWattsauthor/
Website: https://thepeculiarmessenger.wordpress.com/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Angela-R-Watts/e/B07F97JNMY?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1564688304&sr=8-1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/angelarwattsauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17597325.Angela_R_Watts

the divided nation_v7 (3)                                      SUMMARY

WHEN THE NATION DIVIDES, THE INFIDELS MUST RISE.

The United States has fallen. Three years after the 2024 presidential election and the declaration of martial law, the nation is at war against itself. Gangs battle, civilians struggle for survival, and officials of the United Nations  thrive. West Johnston, heir to the most powerful ganglord in the country, refuses to continue the family legacy. But, in order to defeat his father, he must become him: bloodthirsty and willing to do whatever it takes for control.

West gains control by helping fellow gangsters, Nate and Simon, when they form an alliance with one of the last remaining townships in America. After years of surviving and winter fast approaching, Springtown is in desperate need of supplies from the two teenagers. When the town leader’s daughter, Rene’, is kidnapped by an unknown rival, Nate and Simon risk their reputations to save her and the town they now love. But without help from West, their rescue mission will fail.

Told in multiple bold, abrasive narratives, THE DIVIDED NATION steps into a future where brotherhood bonds must be stronger than iron to survive a broken world, and faith without courage is dust in the wind.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45150828-the-divided-nation

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Jesus Called. He Wants His Church Back (Book Review)

I was recently given a copy of Jesus Called: He Wants His Church Back by Ray Johnston to review from Book Look Bloggers.

 

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As early as AD 50, Christians had gotten away from knowing who Jesus really is. Our generation is no different.

In every decade we, as Americans, lost something important that we couldn’t afford to lose: • In the 1950s, we lost innocence • In the 1960s, we lost respect for authority • In the 1970s, we lost love • In the 1980s, we lost values • In the 1990s, we lost faith • In the 2000s, we lost security • In the 2010s, we lost hope in the future

What can restore what we’ve lost? Only Jesus. Jesus gave us His name, His friendship, and a commission to accept responsibility for ourselves and for the world. When introduced to His words and ways we’ll rediscover the Jesus who:

• Wants His enemies won over, not wiped out • Wants you to stop playing it safe • Believed great things were possible no matter what things are like right now • Was full of grace and truth • Unleashed compassion • Believed no one was too far from God to return to Him • Came to seek and to save that which was lost • Loves the church

Pastor Ray Johnston shares the Jesus of the Bible and how we can be Christians without being jerks. He reveals how the radical message of the gospel calls us to love and serve not only our neighbors but our enemies as well. That’s the Jesus the American Church has missed and needs to meet.

Jesus’ mission is clear—risk everything in order to take care of people, starting in our home, neighborhoods, cities, and those in need around the world. That’s the Jesus the American Church has missed and needs to meet.

 

My Thoughts

I wasn’t entirely sure what this book would entail and I’m still not sure what to make of it. The book wasn’t bad! Just not what I was expecting. I’m unsure if maybe it;s the fact I’m still getting used to reading more non-fiction or what. I’m starting to ease myself into non-fiction books so sometimes I don’t know what to expect. Aside from that fact I quite enjoyed the book. Though for a non-fiction this one was very factual. In this novel the writer discusses how, since the 50’s, the church and Christianity has changed.  The one thing that jumped out to me was the following statement by the author:

  • In the 1950s, we lost innocence.
  • In the 1960s, we lost respect for authority.
  • In the 1970s, we lost love.
  • In the 1980s, we lost values.
  • In the 1990s, we lost faith.
  • In the 2000s, we lost security.
  • In the 2010s, we lost hope in the future.

This was definitely a good read with facts on the church and how it has fallen from God in some senses then this is definitely a good read

 

 

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Hey look at that! I FINALLY have a book review on here again. I just read this book this weekend and have been reading through it this month with Briana Morgan and I just finished it this weekend! I had … Continue reading

Man, Myth, Messiah

Hello Readers!

Iiiiiii am back with another book review for you! Today I’m going to be reviewing one of the books I received from BookLook Bloggers and that book is called ‘Man, Myth, Messiah’ by Rice Broocks

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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: I first heard of Man, Myth, Messiah in the movie God’s Not Dead 2 and I was instantly intrigued as to what it was about. So I was quite excited to have been able to read this as a review copy. “Man, Myth, Messiah” is a great book that shows you how and talks about defending your own faith and what you believe about God. As well, the book explores the proof behind who Christ is, why Christians believe in him and it backs it up, with proof, from not only scripture but also proof from history. I found it both shocking and amazing how many other sources, aside from scripture, pointed to proof that Christ exists. I mean I myself know that everything in creation points to Christ but even sources that were supposed to lead away from any proof of Christ’s existence still pointed to him anyways.

I would encourage everyone to read this book. Especially if you have questions about who Christ really is and are maybe on the fence about if He exists or not. It is an intrersting and intriquing read and if you are someone who likes books with a lot of facts and helpful information you can use in your everyday life, this is definitely a book to check out!

Book Review – The Sound of Emeralds

Hello Readers!

I’m back with another book review! It might be the last one for a couple weeks cause I won’t have much reading time but I promise I’m working through like 3 books right now…

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So, with that said. Lets get on to this review!

Sound of Emeralds

 

What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together…

As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders—or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?

 

So basically this book broke my heart, then broke it again…..then broke it AGAIN.

Rachelle has this wonderful way of making you feel the pain and emotions these characters feel even though you may never have felt it before. She just gives this insight that radiates off the characters that you can’t help but sympathize for them and feel their pain and sorrow…or even their joy and happiness too! I just LOVE how Rachelle’s stories are just so true and filled with love and a true picture of what that really is. Especially during hard times and grief. (as this novel captures perfectly.) Honestly, the story was fabulous but what I keep going back to was the emotion and the accurate portrayal of true love and what it actually is. I feel like most novels can twist the idea of love into some almost – impossible, once in a lifetime thing and if you miss it, well too bad. Not to mention love and relationships where two people are in love is conveyed as absolutely flawless and perfect. I mean I’m no expect with love and relationships but to me that seems wrong. But do Rachelle’s books have any of that wrong-ness? NOPE.

anyways

Many tears were shed and much heartbreak occurred while reading this book and I was honestly afraid for how it was gonna end (Can I just say the end/epilogue was PERFECT! ❤ ) but in the end my heart wasn’t as broken and I was able to glue and sew as many pieces together as possible. The feels in this book were absolutely insane and sad and heartbreaking ok?

and what rating do I give a book that completely shattered my heart?

5 stars of course!

 

Honestly this entire book series should get a million and one stars because it is by far one of the best Historical novel series I’ve ever read. I mean…I haven’t read much in this genre but what I’ve read in this genre, The Steadfast Love Series is by far the best…so If you haven’t read it yet you probably should.

BookLook Bloggers

Hello Lovelies!

Just popping in to talk about something called BookLook Bloggers. Basically BookLook Bloggers is a website where, once you have a certain amount of blog followers, you can request books (physical copies and ebooks) for review. Pretty cool right?

Something even cooler (yeah yeah, I know thats not used properly) is that I finally applied today and got accepted!

excited

I kept meaning to apply for a while now but have been crazy busy!  But now I finally just sat down and did it and already I’ve requested some paper back books to read! So, it will be a little while before they come (3-4 weeks cause I’m in Canada but YES they ship worldwide!) but by then I should have life together somewhat and I’ll be almost done school at that point which means REVIEWS AND BOOK READING ALL OVER THE PLACE!

….Or maybe. I know it will for sure be more often because I’ll be free from the clutches of High School. From there I’ll be working but minor details my friends, minor details.

Is this something you’re interested in and want to check out? Well you can click the link I provided above or (hopefully if this works) click this blog button and it should take you to the website.

 

I review for BookLook Bloggers
At this point I’m off to my nannying job but I just had to come tell you all because I’m excited! I’ll let you know what books I requested in another post 😉

Until Next time!

Adriana G.

 

Book Review – Tuesdays with Morrie

Hello Readers!

So its been a while since I’ve written a proper and full book review so I am going to apologize now for the possible mess of a review this could turn out to be. BUT moving on from that warning, Today I am going to review Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom.

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Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn’t you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you?

Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing he was dying of ALS – or motor neurone disease – Mitch visited Morrie in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final ‘class’: lessons in how to live.

Belle talking books

Tuesdays with Morrie is this years novel study for my 30-2 English Class. I’m happy to be graduating but SUPER sad that it means I won’t be able to attend my favourite teachers English Class anymore and just like last years novel study (My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok) I ADORE it.

I’ve really come to enjoy non-fiction novels more and more over the last year – so tell me some of your fave non-fiction! – and a bit as it kind of gives you a peek into the lives of other amazing people AND you always come away learning something. Not that you don’t learn something or aren’t impacted by works of fiction (All The Bright Places anyone?) but it is a different effect and approach in non-fiction vs. fiction.

But anyways, I fell in love with Tuesdays with Morrie. When I first got the book in the mail (online homeschooler, yo. ) I looked at it and kinda frowned at it. I was very hesitant and unsure of the book at first so I wasn’t too keen to start it because there is NOTHING worse than having to do a novel study on a book you hate. But it was short so I figured that, either way I would just read it and get it over with. BUT THEN I WAS VERY SURPRISED GUYS!

Myself and Ms. Dunn at the Graduation Retreat I went to in March.

Myself and Ms. Dunn at the Graduation Retreat I went to in March.

A few says before we started the novel study my English teacher Ms. Dunn spent a lot of the class talking about how much she loved the book and was excited for us to read it and then I got really excited! Because I could tell her excitement and love for the book was genuine. (and the whole time there was part of me who was also pretty sure the book was good from the start as well cause Ms. Dunn and I like a lot of the same books and yeah she’s pretty cool so..)

I swear that I was in LOVE with this book by the first page I probably finished that book in a span of 3 days I think and right now my copy I borrowed from the school is covered in Dalek Sticky Notes to mark my favourite chapters, pages, and quotes. This book was definitely one of those amazing and impactful books that more or less changes your outlook on life. Basically I’m needing my own copy at this point so I can highlight and underline and then give the book to others to borrow.  Amazing book with some WONDERFUL life lessons.

5 Star Rating!

 

Cover Reveal! ~ A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna White

Hello Lovely People!

Its been forever and a year ago that I’ve done a cover reveal (or it feels like it) but FINALLY I’m doing one now! Today I’m going to be revealing the cover for Book 3 of Roseanna White’s Ladies of the Manor series and I’m super excited to show you the cover because IT. IS. STUNNING!

BUT! Before I show you it, its time to tell you lovely people about the series first.

 

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SO! The Ladies of the Manor Series take readers back in time to Edwardian England, when automobiles and electric lights were all the rage, but the old way of life still ruling the land. Lords and ladies, maids and valets…and in this case, a dose of danger and mystery to take them all on their journey to love.

“With the momentum and drama of a modern thriller and the charm and intrigue of an Edwardian upper-class romance, White balances hearty helpings of names, ranks, and family history with highly entertaining situations and plenty of humor.” ~Booklist on The Reluctant DuchessBlurb for A Lady Unrivaled

“White Is Quickly Becoming the Top Name in Edwardian Romance! Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile–even if it’s just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well the danger that has haunted her brother and their friend, and she won’t wait for it to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better. Lord Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he’s determined to live a better life. But that proves complicated when old friends arrive on the scene and try to threaten him into a life of crime. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won’t budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her–and his daughter–from those dangerous people who seem ready to destroy them all?” ~Amazon Review/Blurb

 

Author Bio

Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna’s novels range from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at www.RoseannaMWhite.com

 

and now! with all this lovely info shared about the series and the author that is BOUND to have you dying to read this story its time to reveal the cover! So without further ado. Here is the BEAUTIFUL and STUNNING cover for A Lady Unrivaled!

LadyUnrivaled_mck.indd

 

TA-DAAAAAA!!!!

 

Links for A Lady Unrivaled

Find it on Amazon | Find it on Christian Book | Find it on Goodreads | See the Pinterest Page

Castle of Sighs || It’s Release Day!

Hello Readers!

Apologies on my absence on the blog as of late. Life is CRAZY and I’m drowning in assignments these last few weeks haha. I may not get a writing post up Wednesday but I will try to get it up sometime this week 😀 But for now….It’s time for a release day celebration!

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Castle of Sighs
(Forest of Whispers #2)
Author: Jennifer Murgia
Release Date: September 15th, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

SYNOPSIS:

castle of sighs new coverIn this sequel to FOREST OF WHISPERS, Some secrets cannot be kept—in life or in death. Months have passed since Rune has heard a single whisper from her long-dead mother, the great witch of Bavaria. But the absence of one evil has only made room for another.
After rightfully inheriting her ancestral home, Pyrmont Castle, Rune settles into a quiet life taking care of two orphans left in the wake of the terrible witch hunt that claimed dozens of lives in the nearby village. As the days grow colder, the castle’s secrets beckon and Rune finds herself roaming where no one has set foot in a long time. In the bowels of the fortress is a locked room full of memories that hang like cobwebs—shelves stacked with jars, strange specimens, putrid liquids, and scrolls of spells. Rune is undeniably drawn to what she finds there, and she begins to dabble in the possibilities of magic, hoping to find a cure for the strangeness overwhelming the castle.
As secrets unspool, the delicate thread of Rune’s world is threatened when she realizes the key may lie in the dark forest she once called home and the boy she thought she knew

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

PRAISE FOR FOREST OF WHISPERS

FOREST OF WHISPERS drew me in from the very first page! Rune is a capable and empathetic heroine who had me rooting for her from the start. Fans of witch and rune-lore will enjoy this darkly woven tale.” ~Amalie Howard, author of critically acclaimed Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kids’ INDIE NEXT title.

 

“NOT your average teenage witch! Jennifer Murgia’s FOREST OF WHISPERS is a dark, brooding mystery/thriller that captures the paranoid, plague-driven frenzy of 17th Century Europe with the speed and power of a galloping stallion. Rune, a 16-year old with formidable abilities that she herself can barely understand, must fight her own inner demons as well as what seems to be a whole world gone awry with bloodlust for her kind. This is a thrilling read.” ~ Molly Cochran, author of LEGACY & POISON

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Murgia writes moody fiction for teens—from paranormal fantasy (Angel Star, LemniscateThe Bliss), to contemporary gut-punchers (Between These Lines). Her latest, Forest of Whispers, a 17th century historical mystery (about witches!) was a School Library Journal Fall 2014 HOT TITLE, and a 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Literature Award Winner. Look for the sequel,Castle of Sighs, to hit shelves 9.15.15 from Spencer Hill Press. In 2012, Jennifer Co-Founded YA FEST with YA author/friend, Cyn Balog. She coordinates this unique annual festival, bringing teens and fellow Young Adult authors together at her hometown library in Easton, PA.

WEBSITE | EMAIL | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST

Publicity inquiries: brooke@spencerhillpress.com

GIVEAWAY

1 Winner will get a key necklace and special spell kit (US Only)

 

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A Very Merry Book Birthday

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THE SOUND OF SILVER IS RELEASED TODAY YOU GUYS!!!! I CANNOT CONTAIN ALL THE EXCITEMENT!!!!

 

In celebration of the release of The Sound of Silver, I’m gonna post a book review. (Also if you missed my cover reveal for the third book in Rachelle Rea’s series you can find it here.)

 

The Sound of Silver

The stalwart saint and the redeemed rebel. One is fighting for faith, the other for honor…

After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile—and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.

Meanwhile, Dirk’s quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth’s searching hearts ever sing the same song?

 

 

I LOVED this book you guys! It was beautifully feels crushing. I also hated one of the characters so much…but I’ll get there in a second. I gotta make sure this all makes sense so one thing at a time.

So, I loved this book a lot! The feel of it was very very different compared to book one as there was a lot less action and this focused a lot on the emotional journeys of the wonderful characters Rachelle has crafted but even though there was a lot less action I was very pleased. (The romance novel loving side of me adored this book a lot for the reason that is ROMANCE ❤ )

Not only did I adore this book, but it absolutely destroyed my heart okay? The feels were definitely present in this book. As usual I also adore the characters. Dirk is kinda my favourite. I love him a lot. I also LOVE Gwyn she is the absolute best and therefore I love Dirk and Gwyn together…. and talking about these characters brings me to a new character…and *yells* I HATE HIS GUTS! *takes deep breath* *clears throat* Okay… Where was I?  Oh right. So, that character is named Anders and I have one word that described him. That word is: Ship-Wrecker.

*clears throat* Anyways. That aside this book was absolutely wonderful. The characters were amazingly beautiful (except Anders. Don’t like him. Nope Nope Nope) and let me just say the ending for this book was a terrible cliffhanger I wanted to cry. Let me just say book 3 has a lot to clear up now.

 

 

So! That’s my review! Hope you liked it!

 

Until Next Time!

Adriana G.