Medieval Monday ~ Princess of Bretagne

Please welcome Historical Romance writer, Vijaya Schartz to Medieval Monday! Another great Celtic medieval story we can add to our list!

From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse… but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake.

Curse of the Lost Isle – Book One

806 AD – Alba (Ancient Scotland)
As the Vikings raid the coast of Alba, Pressine of Bretagne sets out to seduce King Elinas of Dumfries, chosen by the Goddess to unite the tribes against the foreign invader. Elinas, still mourning his departed queen, has no intention to remarry. Head strong and independent, Pressine does not expect to fall for the very attractive, wise and noble ruler… Furthermore, her Pagan nature clashes with the religious fanaticism of the king’s Christian heir, who suspects her unholy ancestry and will stop at nothing to get rid of her.


Without waiting for an invitation, Elinas stormed into the bedchamber.

Pressine shuddered at the loathing in his dark brown eyes.

“Whatever made you think you could violate the apartments of my beloved queen?” Stopping short in the middle of the room, Elinas glanced around, eyes wide with disbelief.

Pressine struggled to sound casual. “Surely your gracious queen would have wanted these rooms light, warm and clean, even alive with laughter, rather than dark, sealed, and stinking of decay.”

The king’s jaw tightened under the short black beard as he towered over her. His hands balled into fists at his sides. “I alone decide in my castle.” The low voice turned to a raucous whisper, more threatening than the shouts of any battlefield. “I shall not tolerate defiance of any kind under my roof. Restore these rooms to their previous state and leave.”

Barely able to slow her heartbeat, Pressine feigned distraction, dusting her blue riding dress. “It simply cannot be done.”

“You dare challenge me?” His surprise would have been comical, if not for the menacing tone.

“The old linens were burned,” Pressine said with a calm she did not feel, as if lecturing a child. She rose to fetch the bundle wrapped in blue silk and handed it to him.

Elinas looked at it suspiciously. “What is it?”

“Her comb, mirror, distaff, spindle, and other keepsakes.” Pressine waved her hand, encompassing the room. “The apartments themselves will never look the way they did before.” She had made certain of that.

The king’s eyes, velvety brown and soft this morning at the spring, now burned with the fiery amber of a wild cat’s glare. Elinas looked ready to pounce. He snatched the bundle from her arm. “Out!”

Pressine showed none of the apprehension gripping her. The king’s heart, beneath the leather gear, had more mettle than she anticipated.

“Remember that I have your sword.” She paused, observing the sobering effect of her words. “Only this morning, you gave it to me, swearing you would honor your oath of keeping me safe in your halls. Does a king’s word count for so little in Strathclyde?”

“I curse the ill fortune that made me hear you sing, lady.” Eyes tightly shut, Elinas tensed, fists at his side, obviously struggling for emotional control. “I should have known that a princess who refuses to bow to the will of men can only bring strife.”

Encouraged by the spark of reason returning to the distraught Elinas, Pressine hoped he could now face his grief. “I am sorry if I offended you. I meant no disrespect.”

“I have enough Vikings, Angles, Picts and Scots to give me trouble. The gods know I do not want feuds in my home.” Stillness made his stare frightening.

Pressine refused to be intimidated. “Will you honor your word and protect me, then?”

“I should throw you to the wolves!” His voice boomed.

“Wolves?” Pressine repressed a chuckle. She loved wolves. “What would your people think of a king who throws a defenseless princess to the wolves?”

“Defenseless?” The king’s face reddened.

“Everyone in the castle expects to see me at your side at the Beltane feast. If I do not attend, there will be questions. The rules of hospitality state that…”

“Let them ask,” Elinas snapped. “The rules of hospitality do not apply to princesses who misbehave!”


Vijaya Schartz
Romance with a Kick







My guest next week on Medieval Monday is Laura Strickland


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Quote for the Week of October 26, 2014

Lori's iphone 001


“When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, ’tis near Halloween.”

–Author Unknown


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WINNERS! Spotlight Interview with Ria Cantrell and Giveaway

Congratulations, Marilyn Munro! You are the winner of all three digital books of the Celtic Storm Series by Ria Cantrell!! Please send me your email  at:, and I’ll get those books off to you. 

Also, we have a second winner, which Ria will give another set of her Celtic Storm Series – Congratulations, Dianne! An email has been sent to Ria and she will be in contact with you!








Thank you everyone for stopping by and leaving a comment. And don’t forget, KNIGHT STORM, book four in the Celtic Storm Series comes out on November 2nd!

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Announcements, Giveaways

Spotlight Interview with Ria Cantrell and Giveaway!

Ria Cantrell

I had the great pleasure of interviewing my friend and author, Ria Cantrell, writer of the Celtic Storm Series! She writes beautiful, heart-wrenching stories that will stay with you long after the story ends….

Here is my interview with Ria ~

Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon or night owl writer?

I can’t say I am any of those…or maybe I should say I am all of those. I write when the mood strikes (which is pretty much all the time).  I get up in the morning and grab a coffee and sit out on the lanai with my laptop. When I am in the zone, I write until it becomes too hot to sit there and either I will have a swim or I will go inside where it is cooler. I will do errands and chores intermittently and come back to writing throughout the day. I must admit, that sometimes when the house is quiet and the pup and the hubby are sound asleep, I do get some of my best work done. The other night I was up till nearly 5 a.m. and had a very productive time. Sorry, I guess that really did not answer your question.

Can you tell us about your current work in progress?

I would be happy to. I am currently working on the fourth book of the Celtic Storm Series called Knight Storm. It takes place in Medieval England. The heroine, Rhianna du Montefort is a daughter of Welsh and Norman parents. Both parents met an early demise because of a shipwreck. The young Rhianna started having visions the night her parents died, which marked her as one who follows the Old Ways early on. She is really a healer. She and her brother are left to run the du Montefort holdings. Her brother has been missing and is presumed to be dead so the king sets one of his best knights to take the profitable du Montefort lands under his protection. Only, he has to marry the Lady of the Keep, much to his horror and protests. He believes that Rhianna is a crone and a witch, to boot. Nothing could make him want to marry her less. Rhianna has no desire to marry anyone, let alone a man who has Norse heritage. Erik Ragnorsen sounds like one of the Viking invaders from the past and Rhianna is loath to marry him. There are many trials and tribulations, but ultimately, love has a way of thwarting the best of their intentions.

I am also working on a novella called Morag’s Tears. This novella is about the old mystical woman who appears in all of the Celtic Storm stories. It is told in first person and describes the life of the old woman and the choices she made, all of which brought her to the point in her life that she is now able to relate in the telling of her story. She tells her tales of love, loss and redemption.

What inspires you when you are writing?

Love. Love inspires me. I am an incurable romantic so I seek out stories of love. Stories of love and the struggles to keep it. Stories of love that conquers all obstacles. Stories of love and passion. Love and passion are my greatest inspirations. My husband Paul is a complete romantic and he encourages me to write about love. He gives me great inspiration because he reminds me what love stories are all about.

What’s your favorite item on your writing desk?

I am laughing. Paul bought me a beautiful Elvin-style tiara/headpiece, which I leave dangling on a mirror on my desk (That is ELVIN, not Elvis).  When I am writing medieval stories, I put the tiara on and am in the moment. I love that piece. Yes, I am wearing it now.

Do you Prefer

Champagne or beer?  Definitely Champagne, especially pink champagne

Southern Drawl or Scottish burr? Definitely the burr, but I do a great southern drawl, much to Paul’s horror. He is English and when he learned I lived in Florida he imagined me talking “real southern, y’all.” I am actually from Long Island…so he was happy with that accent much more or should I say maw. When I write Scottish burrs, though I hear them all as Rona Downey…which I know is Irish.

Kilt or Leather Pants?  Yes, please.

Print or e-books? I love printed books, but I also love the ease of e-books. The instant gratification thing, you know? Also, my books are e-books, so of course I love them. I have some treasured print books, though.

Here is a peek into the third book of the Celtic Storm Series, CELTIC SPIRIT:


Can a man be redeemed of his ills of the past? Derek Campbell did not know the answer to that. All he knew was the pain and suffering he had caused…and the pain he now felt from the fateful fall from the tree limb that now lay splintered beneath him. As certain death was about to befall him, he was granted a chance of redemption. Somehow, he was deemed worthy of a second chance but it would come with a price. The price would plunge him into a world between the living and the dead, where isolation was his only companion. Isolation and time….Those were things he would have an abundance of to ponder the misdeeds he had wrought throughout his life. Old hatreds of the past prevented Derek from opening the path of redemption. Love would be the only thing to save his soul from the endless years spent not quite a man; not quite a ghost. His punishment was severe and an ancient curse prevented him from satisfying his human needs in every sense. He knew want; he knew loneliness. Only in the Tower, protected by the Guardians of the past, could he claim his humanity. The tower held the key to unlock Derek Campbell from the prison of his soul and of his heart. 

Kiera Callum was running from a failed relationship and a career with a sadistic and abusive boss. The Highlands of Scotland seemed like just the balm to soothe her battered spirit. She never dreamed that taking the menial job as a tour guide would afford her to actually live in the main quarters of Castle Campbell. She also could not imagine that the Keep came complete with a 700 year old spirit. It seemed Kiera ran from many things in her life when the going got tougher. One of those things was her ability to sense the spirits of those who had gone before. She had denied that gift her entire life because it marked her as a freak. Only now there was nowhere to run. Kiera had to finally face everything she had run from in order to help the trapped soul of a medieval man whose presence was the most vital thing she had ever encountered. She would have to learn to trust in the things that could not be explained. Things are not always as they appear… 

Could love end his torment? Would Kiera be able to open her heart enough to release him from the prison of isolation? Would her love be strong enough to let him go? Celtic Spirit spans six and half centuries where the past and present collide. Love can bridge time and space. Love is eternal. 

As a special treat, I’m doing a giveaway to one random person. The prize is e-copies of all three of Ria’s books! All you have to do is leave a comment. I will announce a winner on Saturday. 







And look for Ria’s upcoming book, KNIGHT STORM due to be released November 2, 2014! 

Buy Links Amazon:

Celtic Fury Celtic Tempest Celtic Spirit

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Medieval Monday ~ My Noble Knight

Please welcome Laurel O’Donnell to Medieval Monday Author Exchange and her new release, “My Noble Knight.” As a lover of knights in shining armor, this one is definitely on my list to read.


Layne Fletcher, the only girl in a family of three boys, has grown up learning to use a sword and joust, but she is not a knight. She and her brothers have been traveling from tourney to tourney to make enough coin to buy their own farm to shelter their ailing father. When her brother is found unconscious before an important tournament, Layne takes his place on the jousting field against…

Griffin Wolfe, the undefeated jousting champion. When he is unhorsed by a slip of a woman who is not a knight, he demands retribution. His honor will not allow him to let a woman be thrown in the dungeon and he has no choice but to pay her fine, ordering her to travel with him until her brothers can repay him. Griffin attempts to educate Layne in the art of being a woman, but finds he is attracted to her exciting personality and uncommon beauty despite her less than lady like ways.

But someone is trying to sabotage Griffin as he competes in the tournaments. Can Layne and Griffin discover who the culprit is while keeping their families safe and their growing attraction secret?


Griffin stared down the field of honor at his opponent. Daunger sat as still as a stone, staring at him. He had not been in any other tournament, so this was the first time Griffin or any of the other knights were seeing him joust. He was well known for his participation in the melees, known for being rash and reckless and unpredictable. Despite his inexperience in the joust, Griffin suspected he was going to be a dangerous opponent.

Griffin lowered his visor. He had to stay focused, watch for an opening. But as soon as the visor closed and the cheers of the crowd muted, the image of a woman with glorious blue eyes filled his mind. Why had she been near his weapons? Was she really worrying about him?

He grit his teeth. He couldn’t think of her now. Firmly, he pushed Layne’s image from his mind. But it wasn’t as easy as he would have liked it to be. Her vision haunted his days as much as his nights. Everywhere he went, he looked for her, listened for her laughter. He missed her.

Adonis pranced nervously beneath him.

Griffin tugged on the reins, urging Adonis into a circle to calm him.

Carlton lifted his lance to him.

Griffin took it and spurred Adonis. Through the slit in his visor, he saw Daunger charging toward him down the field. He couched the lance, holding it firmly.

Adonis suddenly slowed and threw his head, balking.

Daunger’s lance struck Griffin hard in the shoulder. His body half turned in the saddle, and if he was any less experienced Griffin would have been unhorsed. His arm was numb and throbbing as he rode to the other end of the field. He tossed down his lance and turned Adonis toward his side of the field. He passed Daunger who had flipped up his visor and was grinning ear to ear.

Griffin did not look at the grandstand where he knew his family watched. He already felt the incredible weight of their presence.

His arm pulsated from the blow, but he pushed the pain aside. He pushed all other thoughts aside. Dispatch Daunger. That was all that was important. Winning this joust.

Griffin grabbed the lance from Carlton and whirled Adonis, spurring him on. No hesitancy. Just letting the horse and the lance become one with him. The roar of the crowd thrummed in his ears, a distance boom of thunder. His heart hammered in his chest.

Daunger came closer. Closer. His lance aimed at Griffin’s chest.

Griffin leaned in slightly. He would not be denied. Not this time. He was rewarded by striking Daunger near his stomach, Daunger’s lance struck his arm, succeeding in aiding the thrust forward. Griffin’s body twisted slightly, enough force behind the strike to throw Daunger up and out of his saddle.

Griffin’s lance pushed him back as Daunger’s steed continued on. Daunger fell back into the dirt and dust as Griffin rode past him.

Griffin rounded the opposite end. When he saw Daunger lying on the ground, he straightened. The roar of the crowd was thunderous, drowning out all else. He lifted his visor and waited until Daunger staggered to his feet.

As he rode forward, his body in rhythm with Adonis, he realized something was wrong with his arm. If he lifted it even a little bit, shooting pain erupted through his limb. He held it against his stomach and left the field of honor.


Buy Link: Amazon

To learn more about Laurel and her books visit her website:



Next week on Medieval Monday my guest is Vijaya Schartz

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Quote for the Week of October 19, 2014

Keep Calm


“You need not feel guilty about not being able to keep your life perfectly balanced. Juggling everthing is too difficult. All you really need to do is catch it before it hits the floor.”

–Carol Bartz

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Spotlight Interview with J.C. McKenzie and Giveaway!

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Please welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, J.C. McKenzie today! We’re celebrating her new release, “The Shucker’s Booktique.” I’m really looking forward to reading this story! Also, don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win some fabulous prizes.

Yet, before I give you a peek into her new book, here is my interview…

Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon, or night-owl writer?

I’m a “toddler is asleep” writer. Anytime my little man takes a break, I run to my laptop and madly type away my ideas before I lose them. I also keep a little journal in my purse where I can scribble down stuff.

Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?

My current WIP is the fourth book of my Carus Series with Andrea “Andy” McNeilly, getting into the think of it (again) and using her sass and skills to (hopefully) get out of it. There’s some pretty emotional stuff planned for this book and the next (last) of the series, and I’m both dying in anticipation and dreading the moments where I’ll have to delve deep and write those scenes.

How do you relax after a day of writing?

I sleep!

What’s your favorite item on your writing desk?

There’s two pictures: one of my son in a bubble bath when he was one, and the other is a wedding photo of me and my husband.

Do you prefer…

Champagne or Beer? Champagne

Southern drawl or Scottish burr? Scottish burr

Kilt or Leather pants? Kilt

Print book or e-reader? E-reader



After her fiancé dumps her and her beloved Aunt Jenny goes missing, Willa Eklund travels to Lobster Cove with a broken heart to search for Jenny while running her bookstore. When a mysterious man visits the Shucker’s Booktique on a stormy night drenched in rain and covered in mud, Willa’s heart melts under his stormy gaze. She wants Lon and the answers he may have, but he also has a secret. Can Willa trust him?

Lon Devlin is a Tempest, a water sprite who can only take a human form during stormy nights. He rides the waves, lives by the tides, and nothing can hold him down, not even a beautiful woman. When he visits his mortal friend, he discovers she’s missing and her intriguing niece has taken her place. He wants Willa, but he also wants answers. What happened to Jenny?


Thump! Thump! Thump!

No! She gasped. It couldn’t be. The banging on the front door of the booktique had to be a figment of her imagination. She couldn’t will Lon into existence. Why would he come back? Especially if he was involved. Unless…cold ice prickled up her spine…unless he needed to eliminate her to take care of loose ends.

No. Crazy thoughts, Willa. He could’ve taken care of her the night before. No, her heart hammered against her chest for a different reason. But it didn’t matter. The knocking on the door wouldn’t, couldn’t be him.

Thump! Thump! Thump!

Could it? She clutched her hot mug in both hands and turned toward the doorway leading to the bookstore. From the kitchen in the back room, she had a clear view through the store to the front door, but not who stood on the other side.

“Willa!” Lon growled. “Wake up and let me in!”

Willa gasped and almost dropped her cup. The tea sloshed around and some spilled over her hands. It burned, but she didn’t move. She couldn’t breathe. Somehow the air got trapped inside her throat. Why was he here? What did he want?

Oh God, let it be me!

Buy Links: Amazon The Wild Rose Press

Contact Information:

J.C. McKenzie’s Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | The Wild Rose Press| Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Medieval Monday ~ The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride

Please welcome medieval romance author, Cathy MacRae, and her stories of Highlanders!

9469304I’d like to introduce you to my latest novel, The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride. The setting is 1377 and King Robert II is on the throne of Scotland. Though relatively quiet at this point in his reign, the time is still fraught with peril from pirates roaming the western coastline and the English control of much of the Lothians and the border lands to the south. In the first book of the series, The Highlander’s Accidental Bride, King Robert demands the end of a feud between two Highland clans. Though he allows his southern earls to engage in activities to regain their lands from the English, he has less tolerance for Highland clan feuds- especially when they are continually brought to his notice. In The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride, the king responds to a plea for help against the pirates.

Book cover blurb, The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride:

Determined to keep the Macrory clan’s holdings out of the clutches of marauding pirates, King Robert II sends his man, Lord Ranald Scott, to hold Scaurness Castle. There, Laird Macrory lays dying, awaiting word from his son who is missing on the battlefields of France. If the son is not found before the old laird dies, Ranald will take over as laird—and marry Laird Macrory’s headstrong daughter.

Lady Caitriona sees no reason she cannot rule the clan in her brother’s stead, and is bitterly disappointed with the king’s decision to send a man to oversee the castle and people. Not only is Ranald Scott only distantly related to the Macrory clan, but he was her childhood nemesis. She has little trust or like for him.

Her disappointment turns to panic when the king’s plan is completely revealed and she realizes she must wed Ranald. Pirates, treachery, and a 4-year-old girl stand between her and Ranald’s chance at happiness. What will it take for them to learn to trust each other and find the love they both deserve?
* * *

“So, the king forced Eaden to wed,” she murmured. Her gaze caught Ranald’s. “What will he do to me?”

Ranald noted Riona’s sudden pallor, her gray eyes widening until they were naught but huge silver orbs glowing against her skin. Now was as good a time as any to tell her what King Robert intended for her, but he could not force the words.

“Ye are a laird’s daughter,” he reminded her. “And an heiress. Yer mother’s dower lands north of here are of great value to the king.”

“And I am of little worth, aye?” Riona flared.

“Nae. Ye are of great worth.”

“But a pawn to the king.”

Ranald sighed. This was not going as he planned. “We are all pawns in one way or another, Ree. The king willnae let ye stay on yer own. Ye are a ward of the crown, now.”

“So, he’ll marry me off to some rebellious laird he wants to drag over to his side, using me and my lands to hold him?”

“Nae. No’ so bad as all that.”

“Mayhap to a wealthy laird who’s all but doddering in his cups, hoping I’ll no’ breed an heir before he dies, giving title of the land to the king and my next husband?”

Ranald lifted an eyebrow. The lass was getting worked up over nothing. “Marriage, yes. Doddering auld man, no.”

Riona snapped her head to one side, a glower on her face. “Then, who?”

Ranald swallowed and offered a crooked smile.

* * *

Amazon Buy Link:

Please visit with me on my website:
or on facebook_ Cathy MacRae or Cathy MacRae Author

I love to hear from readers!



Next week’s guest is Laurel O’Donnell

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Quote for the Week of October 12, 2014

York, England

York, England


“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.”

–Allen Klein 


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Medieval Monday ~ Time Enough To Love Series

Welcome Jenna Jaxon to Medieval Monday and her series, Time Enough To Love!

This novel was released in e-book format as three novellas over the course of the last year. It is now available as one print  volume as well.

They are betrothed by law but can he make it an affair of the heart?

betrothal-with-logo1Lady Alyse de Courcy has fallen in love with Lord Braeton, a nobleman in King Edward III’s court and a man to whom she has barely spoken. Fate, however, has decreed her betrothal to his best friend, Sir Geoffrey Longford—a handsome and imposing knight, yet hardly the man she wants to wed.

When Sir Geoffrey is bound in betrothal by his father, he could not have expected the beautiful stranger to win his heart the moment they meet. Nevertheless, the fascinating Lady Alyse has done exactly that, and his feelings for her only grow as he learns more of her gentle yet spirited nature. But Alyse’s infatuation with his friend casts doubt on whether she can ever return his regard and their wedding day is fast approaching…

Will he have time enough to win her love?

Available in e-book at AmazonBarnes & NobleARe, and Smashwords.

The worst betrayals come from within.

After a night of passion with her betrothed, Sir Geoffrey Longford, Lady Alyse de Courcy isBetrayal_logoeagerly looking forward to her wedding. But when Geoffrey is forced to marry another, a heartbroken and possibly pregnant Alyse finds herself in her own private hell. She must either gamble with her reputation or marry someone she does not love.

A reputed connoisseur of women, Thomas, Lord Braeton, has dallied with many ladies of King Edward’s court, although he has favored none. However, as Geoffrey’s best friend, Thomas has sworn to serve and protect Alyse, an oath now sorely tested when he agrees to marry her—in name only—to guard her reputation. Yet, as they grow closer, and Thomas discovers Alyse’s sweet but spirited nature, he comes to desire a marriage in truth. Can he overcome her memory of Geoffrey or is Thomas doomed to burn with passion for a woman he can never possess?

Available in e-book at AmazonBarnes & NobleARe, and Smashwords.

Beleaguered3When death holds sway in the world, can even the greatest love survive?

Finally in France, Alyse and Thomas return to their roles as courtiers to Princess Joanna. Their passion for one another continues to smolder hot and deep—until one fateful encounter changes everything.

During a formal banquet, Alyse must share an intimate dance with Geoffrey, her first love. His searing touch proves Alyse’s love and desire for him is as strong as when they first met. Tormented by this revelation, Alyse is bitterly torn between the love of her life and her love for her husband.

Into this agonizing situation, the disaster of the Black Death rears its head, decimating the princess’s retinue and threatening all their lives. Alyse, Thomas and Geoffrey must try to save the princess from the ravening disease but at a dire cost to themselves. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both of the men she loves. But which love will survive?

Available in e-book at AmazonBarnes & NobleARe, and Smashwords


Time Enough to Love is now available in print from Amazon.

TETL front

Visit Jenna Jaxon on her website at:



My guest next week is Cathy MacRae

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