Thursday, May 2, 2019

Mirta Ines Trupp...The Meyersons of Meryton

Available at Amazon
Author Mirta Ines Trupp is another first time visitor to my blog. Mirta's first Austenesque novel, The Meyersons of Meryton, is our feature today. We are fortunate to have an excerpt, a giveaway, and an interview with Mrs. Meyerson, Hertfordshire's newest arrival. 

It is so good to have you stop by, Mirta! Thank you for including my blog. Now readers, please join me in welcoming Mirta Ines Trupp.


Thank you, Janet, for your warm welcome. I am delighted to have this opportunity to introduce your readers to my latest novel, and my first Jane Austen Fan Fiction, “The Meyersons of Meryton.” 

I began writing a few years ago as my children began leaving home. I was inspired to put pen to paper, as it were, when I came across a quote attributed to Mark Twain: “Write what you know.” Isabelle Allende said, “Write what should not be forgotten.” These directives allowed me to imagine a narrative which combined my passion for Jewish history and my love for historical fiction.

 I am an avid novel reader and have been a great fan of the Bronte sisters, Elizabeth Gaskell, Catherine Cookson and of course, Jane Austen. But, the collective works of these trail-blazing and talented women left me—wanting. What did I want? Nothing so extraordinary—nothing more than any one of us wants. I wanted to see someone like me amid the assemblies and tea parties, strolling through Hyde Park or rambling along the Peak District. But there are so few Jewish characters of worth in historical novels; if I wanted to read something that was not derogatory or tragic, I would have to write it myself! My dilemma, of course, was that I’d never written a romance novel. Here is where Jane Austen’s beautifully written response to librarian, James Stanier Clarke, came into play!

“I could not sit seriously down to write a serious Romance under any other motive than to save my life, & if it were indispensable for me to keep it up & never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter. No - I must keep my own style & go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other.
Simply put, I began following the advice of Twain, Allende and Austen. I began writing Jewish Historical Fiction in a style all my own. I used Miss Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” as a vehicle to present a new family into our beloved story. And now Janet, I would love to introduce you to Mrs. Meyerson as I conduct a brief interview with Hertfordshire’s newest arrival.

M.T.:                Greetings, Mrs. Meyerson. Allow me to welcome you to Janet’s   blog.
Mrs. Meyerson: Thank you, my dear. Pray, forgive my ignorance. I am not   familiar with your modern-day colloquialisms.
M.T:              I do apologize! A blog is a—well—the arrangement is of little consequence, Mrs. Meyerson. Suffice it to say, that you are joining me today, along with Miss Janet’s audience, to discuss your arrival to Meryton. Tell me, what was your first impression of that small market town?
Mrs. Meyerson:  It certainly was vastly different from London, nonetheless, we were greeted graciously by the Bennet family of Longbourn on our first night. I was later pleasantly surprised when we met the congregants of the little synagogue, and understood straight away, the importance of my husband’s presence in that village.
MT:                      Vastly different from London, you say? What was it that you missed the most? The routs? The balls? The fashionable society?
Mrs. Meyerson:  Oh no, my dear! We lived in Cheapside—not quite the center of fashionable society. But, do not misunderstand me. We had our share of good society. My cousin—rather distant, needless to say—is Moses Montefiore. He and his lovely new bride, Judith, are related to Nathan Rothschild by marriage. I have had the privilege of collaborating with Mrs. Montefiore in doing charitable works within the Jewish community. What do I miss? I miss my family. I miss my friends. And I miss the good work, the tzedakah, I was doing. But God is good! Baruch Hashem! I have made new friends in Meryton and have been kept busy with—but perhaps, it is best if I do not delve into matters that might be too delicate in nature.
M.T:                     Let’s change the subject then. Tell me of your new friends, the Bennets. As a mother of five, what did you think of their daughters?
Mrs. Meyerson:  Delightful family! They were a God-send to us. Jane is an angel, a sweet angel. What more can I say? Mary reminds me of a beautiful, but untended, flower. A bit of attention and some loving kindness is all she needs. Lydia, poor dear, was a whirling dervish when I met her—a Chanukah dreidel spinning out of control! Kitty, or Catherine as I prefer to call her, has been like a daughter to me. In some ways, she has also been a teacher. As the rebbetzin, I am called to lead the women of my husband’s congregation. I am supposed to be learned in the ways of our culture. I am expected to be a good example for the women of my faith. Catherine reminded me of something very important, when I lost my way.
M.T.:                    Um…I believe you forgot someone.
Mrs. Meyerson: Heaven’s no! I left Elizabeth for last. Elizabeth is a true Eishet Chayil—a Woman of Valor. Now, I realize that the proverb usually is sung to honor the mother or the matriarch of the house, but Elizabeth has earned this title in my eyes. She exudes the qualities which are attributed to such a woman: Feminine strength, intelligence, wit, and compassion. Even so, I witnessed how she struggled, how she fought to overcome her less than admirable traits, and this made her even more estimable in my eyes. Her worth is far beyond that of rubies, as I am certain Mr. Darcy would agree.
M.T.:                    I have no doubt! Now, in order to entice Miss Janet’s audience further, what do you say to my sharing a snippet of the story?
Mrs. Meyerson: I can only repeat that which someone else, wiser and more learned than I, has already said: “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” By all means, my dear, lead on.
EXCERPT:
Elizabeth gently placed her ungloved fingertips upon Mr. Darcy’s forearm, now that Society would sanction the gesture, and attempted to absorb the gentleman’s forbearance as they listened to her mother rail, yet again, against the injustice and extent of Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s reach. Elizabeth grimaced in recalling the lady’s virulent diatribe when she condescended to pay an unexpected visit to Longbourn, a se’nnight Sunday.

“I shall know how to act!” she had avowed. “I will carry my point!”

And by that very same affirmation, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy had suffered their first cut direct. How was it possible that so many things transpired in such short amount of time—Lady Catherine’s unforeseen attack, Mr. Darcy’s renewed declaration…her acceptance? To be sure, her father was all astonishment when he realized she was not indifferent to the great man, that she liked him—that she loved him, but her mother’s rejoinder was the true surprise. When the first blush of incredulity rescinded, Mrs. Bennet was as a soldier called to arms. Calling out for Hill to supply fresh ink and a sharpened quill, she readily began spewing instructions to her bemused audience as she formulated her list of tasks.

“You must and shall be married by special license, my dearest love. And we shall send an express to your uncle Gardiner post haste; he, of course, knows the best warehouses for your wedding clothes!”

But the special license was not to be had. The Right Honorable Lady Catherine de Bourgh was intimately connected with the Archbishop of Canterbury and, more importantly, she was Fitzwilliam Darcy’s almost nearest relation. She declared, in the name of honor and prudence, the match should not be granted any distinct privilege. With the shame of the bride’s familial connections, not to mention the alarming behavior of the girl’s youngest sister, the Mistress of Rosings implored the archbishop to refrain from indulging her nephew’s request. Indeed, the lady made her feelings quite clear, nearly overstepping the boundaries of proper conduct in addressing His Grace with such fervor.

Lady Catherine had been rendered so exceedingly angry upon being crossed by her own flesh and blood that the sudden removal of Mr. Collins and his wife came about in a most propitious manner. Charlotte, of course, rejoiced in the match of her dear friend and Mr. Darcy—she had long guessed Eliza had become an object of some interest in that gentleman’s eyes. Wishing to remove herself from Hunsford and the ravings of the great lady, Charlotte convinced her husband that writing a congratulatory note to Mr. Bennet was all well and good, but what felicity it would bring to the party if they should away to Meryton and bestow their good wishes in person. If the occasion coincided with her upcoming confinement, it was all the sweeter. Mr. Collins would not consider such a course of action without first applying to his noble patroness, for their untimely departure would smack of disloyalty. The lady, in her outrage, was only too happy to see them gone—she did not care to be reminded of their Hertfordshire connections. Seen in this light, Mr. Collins allowed his good wife to scribble a note, alerting their cousin of their imminent arrival.

“I still cannot credit how a man of ten thousand a year, would fail to find favor with the Archbishop of Canterbury!” Mrs. Bennet cried, startling Elizabeth back to the present conversation.

“Mama, we have discussed the matter at length. Given Lady Catherine’s passionate disapprobation of the match, Mr. Darcy and I would be required to request a personal interview or, at the very least, present a letter of introduction to His Grace enumerating the reasons for soliciting such a courtesy…”

“But Lizzy, everyone who is anyone is able to obtain a special license to wed expeditiously and wherever they please! I do not see how you, a gentleman’s daughter, and Mr. Darcy, a man of wealth and property, should be denied.”

“Not everyone, Mama,” Mary interrupted, peering up from her book. “Methodists are exempt from the Archbishop’s rules. For that matter, so are Quakers and Jews…”

“Pray, what does that signify? Jews? To be sure, I have not met one in my life!”

Mr. Bennet guffawed at his wife’s remark, as Elizabeth sighed and once more attempted to bring closure to the heated debate.

“It is all for the best,” said Elizabeth, as gently as she could manage. “Do you not see the impropriety of requesting special dispensation? Lydia was wed under questionable circumstances. I would not wish to cast aspersions upon Miss Darcy’s impeccable reputation, or that of my sisters, by giving rise to gossips at the sight of a hurried wedding.”

“That will do, Lizzy!” Mrs. Bennett exclaimed. “I will not hear another word against our dear girl. Had I been able to carry my point in going to Brighton, nothing would have happened, but poor Lydia had nobody to take care of her. Who was there to watch over my child—the Forsters? La! I had always thought they were unfit to have the charge of her, but I was overruled, as I always am and my poor dear child suffered for it.”

“Pray, heed me, Mama—Jane and I are of one accord. We will wait the required three weeks, during which time the banns will be read both in Hertfordshire and Derbyshire, and we shall be wed in our parish church thereafter. That will allow you plenty of time to prepare,” said Elizabeth with not a little concern. Heaven only knew what plans her mother could have in store.
“The banns!” Mrs. Bennet cried. “The banns, you say? That my daughter and Mr. Darcy of Pemberley should be made to post marriage banns as if they were common villagers—like those radical Quakers or those foreign Jews!”

“If you do not include Quakers or Jews in your society,” asked Mr. Bennet, “how would you know them to be common, or radical?

“Or foreign for that matter?” Elizabeth rejoined, unable to check herself.

“Jews are no longer to be considered foreigners, Lizzy. While they had been banned from the country for centuries, you should recall Cromwell allowed for their return.”

“Mary, do please quit the room if you cannot refrain from interjecting such fiddle-faddle. And Mr. Bennet! How can you jest at a time like this? Nobody feels for my poor nerves. Why must you dwell on this subject? I say, I do not know anyone of the Jewish faith and I stand by my word!”

“Then you would be mistaken, my dear. Consider Hellerman, the apothecary, who replaced Mr. Jones upon his retirement to Ramsgate. And what of the book vendor? You oft times patronize Jacobi and Sons whenever you wish to purchase a Radcliffe novel—or some such.”

“My aunt Phillips told us all about the new linen draper and his wife,” added Kitty, wanting her share of the conversation. “Mr. and Mrs. Schreiber are recently arrived from London having purchased the warehouse and the living from Sir William.”

“I am all astonishment!” Mrs. Bennet gasped.

“Are you truly? You know very well Sir William had long been in trade and made a tolerable fortune. Since he quitted his residence and his business—with great fanfare, I might add—and relocated his family to Lucas Lodge, it behooved him to sell the property and be done with it. After all, what would a knight need with place of business in a small market town such as Meryton, I ask you?” Mr. Bennet quipped, his eyes all a-twinkle.

“Mr. and Mrs. Schreiber? I do not believe I have had the pleasure…”

“Perhaps, my dear, it is time you put forth some effort in getting to know our neighbors. After all, those on the other side of the counter are also flesh and blood.”

Mr. Darcy lightly squeezed Elizabeth’s hand. Sheepishly she turned to gaze into his eyes and could only imagine what clandestine message he wished to impart. How she longed to shield the gentleman from the indecorous outbursts and silliness of her relations, for they had had so little time together as a betrothed couple. She was yet uneasy in his company and unsure of his reactions as a whole. Elizabeth looked forward to the time when they should be removed from her family’s society and be safely ensconced at Pemberley. There, shielded and secluded, they would learn from one another and garner little confidences that surely would bring them pleasure.

“If we may come to a right understanding, Mama,” Elizabeth persisted, “the date has been set. We four are in agreement. We shall be wed on the eighth of November. This will allow for our dear family and friends to join in our felicity. Colonel Fitzwilliam and Miss Darcy will, of course, be in attendance and will need to make their arrangements.”

Jane, who had sat in silence, her sweet disposition unable to reconcile the animosity between a most beloved sister and her own mama, sought Mr. Bingley’s unspoken encouragement. She was obliged to take part in the conversation, to be sure, for her nuptials were involved in the matter, yet how could she choose sides and be satisfied?

“Miss Bingley and Mr. and Mrs. Hurst shall be joining us,” Jane ventured to say, as Mr. Bingley’s eyes shone with great admiration. “My aunt and uncle Gardiner will wish to be present, Mama, and they too will need sufficient time to prepare.”

Mrs. Bennet, stunned by the shocking statements uttered in her parlor that afternoon, was only capable of nodding, causing her cap, copiously trimmed with ribbons and lace, to flounce comically upon her head.

Mr. Bennet stood and bowed to his family as he made to quit the room. Having had the opportunity to taunt his wife sufficiently, the solitude and silence of his library now beckoned as no other temptation could. Mr. Darcy, seeing at last the matter had been resolved and desiring a few quiet moments alone with his beloved, came to his feet as well.

“Miss Elizabeth, might I ask you to see me to the door?”

“It would be my pleasure, Mr. Darcy,” she replied, as the handsome pair made their escape. “Will you return to dine with us tomorrow evening? I must advise you—I have had a note from Charlotte. She and Mr. Collins will be joining the party, and the Lucases as well, I’m afraid.”

“No doubt you will find it exceedingly diverting to observe my weak attempts at making conversation.”

“Never say so!” replied she, feigning dismay. “Do you suppose I would reference such a shocking lack of talent?”

“Do not distress yourself, dearest. Your quick wit is a quality I much admire.”

“And what of my beauty?” she had the temerity to ask. “May I presume you now find me at the very least tolerable?”

“Ah—of that, there can be no question. I have never ceased to meditate on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow.”
“You flatter me, Mr. Darcy. I was of a mind that you were not so easily tempted.”

“My comments that night at the assembly, I suppose, will haunt me to no end in the years to come.” Mr. Darcy smiled as he tilted his head and gazed upon those fine eyes. “In matters such as these, I would beg you to recall your own philosophy.”

“Pray, enlighten me, sir,” she said with a giggle.

“Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure,” Mr. Darcy said as he gently took hold of her hands. “I would entreat you to recall my finer moments, dearest, for I have long considered you the handsomest woman of my acquaintance.”

Delighting in the easy banter they now were able to share, their silly conversation was easily discharged as Mr. Darcy bent to deliver a tender kiss on lips which were still smiling.

*****

It was many hours later, in the darkest part of night, when a series of harried knocks were heard upon the door that caused the Bennet family to stir in alarm.

“What is it, Mr. Bennet? Who is at the door?” cried Mrs. Bennet pulling the bedclothes under her chin.

“I have not a clue, but I doubt we will learn the meaning of this rude interruption by hiding under the linens!” Mr. Bennet declared in a huff as he pulled on his dressing gown and stuffed his feet into his slippers. Carefully managing the staircase as he held a flickering chamberstick in one hand and wiped the sleep out of his eyes with the other, the master found himself at his front door just as Hill came from behind with a few coins from the household funds at the ready.

“For the runner, sir,” she said with a shaky curtsey.

“Thank you, Hill,” he replied gratefully, for he had not thought of compensating the errant messenger.

Mrs. Hill bobbed once more and stumbled back to her quarters as the master made quick work of opening the door. The messenger grinned an apology at the lateness of his arrival. Handing over the missive, he touched his cap and bounded off into the night. Mr. Bennet, now fully awake and justifiably curious, held his hand high and allowed the candle to illuminate a path to his library. Once there, he quietly shut the door, sat down in his familiar welcoming chair and was adjusting his spectacles when Mrs. Bennet came rushing in, followed by his two eldest daughters.

“How cozy you are, Mr. Bennet!” cried she. “With no consideration to my poor nerves, you have sequestered yourself without further thought of your wife or children who lay trembling in their beds. What has happened?” she beseeched. “Is it from Lydia?”

As he unfolded the object in question, Mr. Bennet peered over his spectacles and looked at his girls. “Jane? Lizzy? Were you all a tremble?”

“No indeed, sir, but we are anxious to know what news comes at this hour,” Elizabeth replied, taking hold of her sister’s hand.

The women gathered in front of Mr. Bennet as he silently read through the brief message. Satisfied that he was at liberty to share the contents, he cleared his throat and turned to his fretful wife.

“I trust you have ordered a good dinner for tomorrow evening, my dear, for I have just been informed we may expect an addition to our family party.”

“Pray, who would be so indelicate as to awaken us in the middle of the night for such a matter? Who, may I ask, wishes to trespass on our hospitality without so much as a by your leave?”

“‘Tis your brother who has written...”

“Edward? Whatever is he about?”

“If you would but calm yourself and allow me to read the letter, all will be explained.”

Jane gently guided her mother to a seat, as Elizabeth lit the candles on the mantelpiece to better illuminate their surroundings. Mr. Bennet hemmed and hawed before commencing:

Gracechurch Street, London

Dear brother, I know you will understand when I say things are well in hand here in town. I have met with Mr. Moses Montefiore and found him to be the best of men, brilliant as he is honorable! Upon his expert understanding of the current situation, Mr. Montefiore conveys the Meyersons to your good care. This letter is to be accepted as means of an introduction for the rabbi and his family into Meryton society. You can expect a party of three—husband, wife and child—to arrive by four o’clock on Wednesday. I have assured them of my sister’s fine hospitality, but tell Fanny not to fuss for their accommodations; they will only be staying the night. Montefiore has made arrangements for a living to be had in town. Fanny, I have no doubt, will be happy to know the Meyersons have need to be settled in that establishment by Friday afternoon! Now, with regards to…

Mr. Bennet stopped at this juncture, folding and placing the letter most purposefully in his pocket.

“I believe therein lies the crux of the matter. The rest involves business that I will need to attend in the coming weeks.”

“How extraordinary!” exclaimed Jane. “Whatever does my uncle mean by ‘things are well in hand in town’?”

“Are you at liberty to divulge anything further on these people and their business in Meryton?” Elizabeth asked, covering a yawn with the back of her hand. “Who is this Montefiore? Can he be a sensible man, ushering these people to us in this manner?”

Mrs. Bennet had more pressing matters to discuss and would not be silenced. “We are in the midst of planning our daughters’ weddings! My poor nerves cannot take much more agitation, Mr. Bennet. What does my brother mean by sending strangers to our home? And what, pray tell, is a rabbi?”

The hour being late and with no desire to entertain any further debate, Mr. Bennet stood and waved his hand, signaling towards the door. “Off with the lot of you. Tomorrow is another day and it will come soon enough. I am to bed and will brook no argument, Mrs. Bennet. Good night, Jane. Good night, Lizzy,” he said, with a kiss to each daughter’s brow.

Elizabeth blew out the candles and followed her father and sister as they wearily climbed towards their warm and welcoming beds. Mrs. Bennet, alone in the darkened room, sat down on Mr. Bennet’s favorite chair and indulged in a good cry, presumably relieving her poor nerves.


BLURB:
When a new family, thought to be associated with the House of Rothschild arrives in Meryton, a chain of events are set in place that threaten the betrothal of Miss Elizabeth Bennet to her beloved Mr. Darcy.

Rabbi Meyerson and family are received at Longbourn. This inconvenience leads to misfortune, for when the rabbi disappears from the quiet market town, Mr. Bennet follows dutifully in his path. Her father’s sudden departure shadowed by the Wickhams’ unannounced arrival has Elizabeth judging not only her reactions to these tumultuous proceedings but her suitability as the future Mistress of Pemberley.

A sensible woman would give her hand in marriage without a second thought. Can Elizabeth say goodbye forever to the one man who has captured her heart?
The Meyersons of Meryton is a Pride and Prejudice variation. The narrative introduces Jewish characters and history to the beloved novel and, although there are some adult themes, this is an inspirational and clean read.

AUTHOR BIO:

Mirta is a second generation Argentine; she was born in Buenos Aires in 1962 and immigrated to the United States that same year. Because of the unique fringe benefits provided by her father's employer- Pan American Airlines- she returned to her native country frequently- growing up with 'un pie acá, y un pie allá' (with one foot here and one foot there).

Mirta's fascination with Jewish history and genealogy, coupled with an obsession for historical period drama, has inspired her to create these unique and enlightening novels. She has been a guest speaker for book clubs, sisterhood events, genealogy societies and philanthropic organizations.


CONTACT INFORMATION:

 *****
Thank you for joining me and my readers today, Mirta. It is so good to have you visit. I enjoyed reading your introduction. The interview and excerpt that followed were both involving and intriguing. You have my interest and I'm ready to know more! The Meyersons of Meryton sounds like it will be a good book, and from the excerpt, I liked your style of writing. I wish you much success with this book.
Mirta Ines Trupp is giving away one eBook of The Meyersons of Meryton to one lucky reader. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment. What do you think about the interview? The book? Have any of you read it yet? I would love to know what you thought about it, if so. Be sure to leave contact info if I do not already have it. Thanks to all for stopping by and having your share. Thank you again to Ms. Trupp for visiting and having a giveaway. It is international and will end at 11:59 PM central on the 7th of May. Good luck to all!

18 comments:

  1. Look forward to reading as it sounds like this would be a good read

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    1. Yes, it does sound like a good read. Thanks for stopping by, Vesper.

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  2. Yay, Mirta! This looks like a delightful one. Enjoyed the character interview and excerpt!

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    1. Weren't they both good! Thanks for stopping by, Sophia Rose.

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    2. Thank you Sophia Rose. I am excited to share this story!

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  3. I enjoyed the excerpt and meeting Mrs. Meyerson in the interview. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Good luck in the giveaway. Glad you enjoyed meeting Mrs. Meyerson and also the excerpt.

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    2. I'm glad you stopped by. Thank you!

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  4. Carole in CanadaMay 2, 2019 at 10:09 PM

    Congratulations! I had to laugh at Mrs. Myerson's description of Lydia! So true! I read most of the excerpt and fully enjoyed Mrs. Bennet getting into a tizzy. I will save the rest for when I read the book...which I hope will be this month!

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    1. Good idea, Carole. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Good luck in the giveaway.

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    2. Carole, I look forward to hearing your thoughts! Thank you for your support!

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  5. Thank you Vesper. I hope you enjoy it!

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  6. This story sounds very interesting. I love reading variations with situations that I haven't encountered before, and this is certainly one. I am eager to read it.

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    1. Hi Gail. It's good to have you drop in. Isn't it nice to read variations that are unique. This one is for me too.

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    2. Gail, I do hope you enjoy the story. I appreciate your interest!

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  7. I loved this story. I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC and then I purchased my own copy... so, don't include me in the giveaway. I look forward to reading it again. Blessings on the success of this book and future writing endeavors.

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    1. Thank you J. W. Garrett for stopping by. I appreciate your kind and generous support and look forward to reading your thought

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