Archive for March, 2013

Hello, my lovelies 🙂

Today’s post isn’t part of any blog tour, or promo blitz (although PRINCE OF POWER did just release in January, and I suggest you ALL should be reading Elisabeth Staab’s Chronicles of Yavn series!!). It came about because of a conversation about characters in PRINCE OF POWER, and my curiosity into one part of their description, their tattoos.

In urban fantasy and paranormal romance, tattoos are par for the course. Many, if not most, characters are inked up, for any number of reasons. I asked Elisabeth if she could delve a little into the story behind the body art in her series, and share it with us.

(Check below for a way to win prizes from Elisabeth!!!)

kod_web-181x300Of Tattoos and Vampires by Eliabeth Staab

If you ask me, tattoos are freaking fascinating. The art form that goes back something crazy like five thousand years. People who get tattooed and the reason why are as diverse as the types of images out there. I’ve seen college kids get spur of the moment tramp stamps, and middle-aged housewives get tattooed to cover scarring from surgery. Tattoos can be used to handle a painful event, or even to commemorate life and death. I confess that author curiosity means I tend to stare some when I see a person sporting ink. I want to know the story that put that ink on their body.

This fascination with tattoo goes back as early as the age of twelve, when I recall starting a philosophical debate with my Sunday school teacher regarding whether or not tattoos were acceptable practice. My fascination with vampires, apparently started even earlier. My father sent me a drawing over the summer that I’d done when I was five, of my very first vampire. I’ve no idea how I even know about vampires at that age, but there you go. Even as a kid I was into the dark side and things that go bump in the night. So no wonder when I finally wrote my first novel, I would find a way to marry two great things that taste great together: my love of body art and mysterious creatures with fangs.

In my Chronicle of Yavn series, body modification shows up in a couple of key ways. The first, and most prominent, is on the cover of King of Darkness. The hero has a brand on his arm in the shape of an Armenian cross, because King of Darkness is in many ways a “fated mates” story. The brand has been put on his body to help him find his missing other half. Prophecy has it, his intended will sport a matching mark on her body. The Armenian cross was chosen specifically to tie to the history of the vampires’ origin in King of Darkness and the Yavn world on a larger scale.

Throughout the Chronicle of Yavn, tattoos are woven into the world, particularly in the process of creating a mating bond. When a couple takes vows, they have matching tattoos done on their left hands in lieu of weddings ring. I felt that this carried a greater sense of permanence than an item that could be removed, as vampire tend to mate for life and their lives are very long. While my vampire are not undead, they can live for well over a thousand years.

princeofpower-300 (1)In book two of the series, Prince of Power, the mating tattoo also takes on a poignant cast. Anton, the hero of Prince of Power, is an enemy of the vampire race. His kind, the wizards, have been killing vampires for centuries. He’s trying to make amends because he’s fallen in love with Tyra, the vampire king’s half-sister. At more than one key moment in Prince of Power he is confronted with the painful wrongs his race has done to the vampires in the form of vampires whose mates have been killed by his brethren:

…Not for the first time, Anton’s eyes lit on the mating tattoo on the male’s left wrist.

A hummingbird drinking from a flower. Very attractive. Very familiar.

Something had nagged at the back of his brain since first seeing that tattoo. He remembered. His gut twisted and the words tumbled out before he was entirely aware of what he was saying. “Your mate. I’m so sorry. She was unconscious when they brought her in. Sometimes they aren’t. She didn’t suffer. I hope that helps, at least a little.”

Anton saw the whole thing coming before it began, saw the vampire’s face contort as understanding dawned, saw the knuckles come flying, and the blood spray…


Wizards and vampires have been mortal enemies since the beginning. Now Anton, son of the Wizard Master, has one last chance to steal the unique powers of the vampire king’s beautiful sister, Tyra…and then kill her. But when he meets Tyra face-to-face, everything changes…

Tyra will stop at nothing to defeat the wizards, until Anton saves her life and she suddenly sees an opportunity she never could have imagined…

As the sparks ignite between them, together they could bring an end to the war that’s decimating their people, but only if they can find a way to trust each other…

FIND IT:Amazon|B&N|Indiebound|Target|Walmart|Books On Board|Discover a New Love

Elisabeth Staab still lives with her nose in a book and at least one foot in an imaginary world. She believes that all kinds of safe and sane love should be celebrated but she adores the fantasy-filled realm of paranormal romance the best. She loves to spend time with good friends, good music, good beverages, and good books (when she isn’t making characters fall in love, that is). She lives with her family and one big scaredy-cat in Northern Virginia. Find out more at and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

****SO… who wants to win a copy of either KING OF DARKNESS or PRINCE OF POWER from Elisabeth??? She’s offering one book for one random commenter below. (Or, if you’ve already got the books, she’ll send you an awesome Chronicles of Yavn Swag Pack!!!) To enter, simply comment below with a tattoo you’ve gotten, and what it was for… OR, what tattoo you’d like to get. If you’re like me… fascinated by tattoos, but not in the market for one yourself, you can simply comment about Elisabeth’s post and be entered, as well. 🙂 Make sure you mention which prize you’d like to win. 🙂 Contest will be open until midnight, pacific, on Saturday March 16th. Good Luck, everyone!!

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Cover Reveal: COLD BLOODED by Amanda Carlson

Posted March 12, 2013 By Jennifer

Hello there!! Oh, how I do love shiny new covers 🙂 Today, Amanda Carlson is sharing the cover for the next book in her Jessica McClain series, COLD BLOODED!! The first book in this series is awesome, and I love love love this new cover. First… a quick rundown of the first two covers in the series…

FullBlooded           HotBlooded

FULL BLOODED is available now, and HOT BLOODED will be out this April… and now… COLD BLOODED

Cold Blooded_Final Cover

Here’s a little about COLD BLOODED…

“Jessica arrives back in town to find her best friend missing and the most powerful witch in the country is blaming her for it. But before they can move to save her, the group is attacked.

On the run, Jessica and Rourke head to the mountains. Several surprises await them, but in order to save her father they are forced to leave for New Orleans early.
Arriving on the Vampire Queen’s doorstep unexpectedly, and bringing trouble on their heels, the Sects are thrown into an all out war. The vicious skirmish ends up forcing the vamps and Jessica to fight on the same team.
The Vamp Queen ends up owing Jessica, but what Jessica doesn’t realize is just how soon she’ll have to cash it in.”
COLD BLOODED will be out in the fall this year 🙂
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WickedLIes-Cvr-186x300Title: Wicked Lies (Dark Mission Novella, #4.5)

Author: Karina Cooper 

Date of Publication: 3/5/2013

ISBN: 9780062126733 ASIN: B0092QPCXS

Pages: 112 

Formats available: e-book

Disclaimer: Book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

Karina Cooper’s Dark Mission novels take place in a much darker, much harsher version of our world. With their already crazy lives turned on their proverbial heads, Parker, Silas, and the rest of the crew are scrambling to pull themselves together and keep their people safe. One of their people is Danny Granger, and Jonas is determined to bring him home.

WICKED LIES picks up the Dark Mission novels storyline in a bad place. I’m not much for graphic violence in a story, so the first few pages of this was really hard for me. Danny’s abuse while held at the Mission was detailed, and although I didn’t enjoy that part, I do think it was necessary to feel a little of the anger and helplessness that Jonas felt as he also watched, unable to stop it.

One of the things I love about Jonas is his ability to keep a cool head and a quick wit. That cool head, in the face of all that *could* go wrong, not only maneuvered Danny away from his captors, but the quick wit gave Danny something to smile about before he was even free. Danny’s confidence and determination were essential not only to escaping, but also in dealing with Jonas. The connection between the two was apparent from the beginning. More than just a man saved and his savior… their bond has more to do with their personalities, and how one is strong where the other is weak; making the whole better than the sum of it’s parts.

Considering that this IS a novella, I was a bit worried, honestly, about their relationship. Would we get enough of a buildup that it was believable and didn’t feel rushed? The answer was both yes and no. The relationship WAS rushed, but it was also believable, which is very hard to do. The circumstances were extreme, and the men involved were both strong willed and passionate. That combination created a spark that ignited in the best way. The only thing that bothered me was the “morning after regret” that tends to come in those situations. It makes me crazy, even though it may be realistic. I wish characters would just SAY what they want and mean, but it’s a losing battle on my part, lol. I knew it was coming, it made me mad, and then I got over it. But I did grrrrrrrrrr at one of the men for about a chapter or two. And thank GOODNESS for Naomi, is all I have to say, lol.

Overall, I loved the story. It’s, honestly, not much of a plot turner where the series storyline is concerned, but I AM curious how Jonas’ new relationship will change his attitude or personality in the next book. I don’t expect a whole different man, but I wonder how having someone in his life will affect him and his role on the team. Regardless, I CAN’T WAIT for the last book in the series… ONE FOR THE WICKED… available April 30.


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours, you can read a guest post from Karina about her choice to feature two human characters in this series full of witches HERE (includes contest information!) And below is an excerpt from the novella. Also, keep an eye out in the next few days for my interview with “Jonas” and “Danny” for a chance to win a copy of WICKED LIES!



For my Uncle Stephen. You were the first man in my life who bravely came out to me, and who paved the way for me to be myself. I loved you so much before, and I love you just as much now.

You are my inspiration.

And for every gay, lesbian, bi-, trans-, queer, and questioning youth out there. Life can be hard, sometimes it can get mean. There will be days when you feel like it’s impossible, but I want you to know that there are people like me out here who support you. I promise : it gets better.

Chapter One

A blue-white light flickered in the dark. Sparks glinted off the tool racks bolted to the wall across the shadowed room, reflected from the metal braces left leaning against the desk. As silence—mind-numbingly loud, thick as water, and twice as hard to breathe—filled the narrow room, that blue-white light caught in the circular lenses of a pair of glasses and threw a glare across the screen.

Jonas Stone stirred. “It has to be now,” he said, his voice too loud in the oppressive weight of the shadows behind him. He couldn’t look away from the feed spilling its incandescent glow over his desk, his keyboard.

His conscience.

Because the man framed in that digital feed—the kid strapped to the chair dead center of the surveillance footage—wasn’t the first suspected heretic to sit there. To sweat there.

To bleed.

“Be sure, Jonas. We get one shot at this.”

His brain wanted to look at the comm unit beside his left hand. His body refused to obey, every cell focused on the prisoner’s dark, drooping head. Scarred fingers twitched, knuckles whitening, and Jonas frowned as he realized his right hand had closed into a painful fist.

It had to be now. The kid wouldn’t last much longer.

“There’s no alternative,” he replied. “We’re not going to get another opening soon enough to .” He hesitated.

The voice over the comm link didn’t waver. Not even a fracture. “Soon enough to save him.”

Only through recent experience did Jonas know that the raspy, lifetime-pack-a-day voice coming out of the secure line belonged to a woman named May. Leader of a rebellion that had saved Jonas’s life, and the perpetrator behind a string of hacking jobs that left Jonas seriously reconsidering a career shift before the Church had made that choice for him.

The fact that she was very, very good was all that kept him from throwing in the towel now.

But he’d never met her in person. Hell, he’d never met the prisoner now struggling to raise his head in Jonas’s feed, either. Instead, all he had was a picture in a box, a hacked security feed, and too many hours spent staring at the incandescent screen until his eyeballs throbbed and the vicious curl of helplessness inside him turned to a spiraling ache.

That boy didn’t belong in that kind of interrogation room.

A single light, faded blue, gleamed over shoulders broader than Jonas’s, but not by much. The prisoner was athletically lean where Jonas was simply skinny. The narrowly defined muscles of his chest were outlined by the stained remains of a thin, long-sleeve shirt.  Blood and sweat had turned it nearly brown. His slumped shoulders strained against the restraints confining him to the hard metal chair, a position not just awkward but painful as hell. Jonas hadn’t seen his face for over an hour.

He didn’t have to. He knew what he’d see when—if—the kid raised his chin again.

Blood caked into a ridged scab across the fine slash of his upper lip, under his broad nose and over a determinedly sculpted chin. He’d see the blackened stains of it dried into the man’s ears, blending into his dark brown hair. Even now, that greasy fringe flopped over his forehead, long since sweating off the gel that had held it into its fashionable spikes. The longest of the textured strands would slide into one swollen eye, if it ever opened again.

The prisoner had eyes the color of the computer-lit confines of the places Jonas preferred to inhabit. Almost black, even without pain stripping them to an endless void. When open, those eyes all but crackled with an intensity that could take a lesser man’s objectivity away in a single glance. Like a hungry kid or a kicked puppy.

Or a man on the edge of desperation.

Jonas’s chest kicked.

“Let me know when your people are ready.” He didn’t bother hiding the raw regret in his voice. He’d felt a lot of it, lately. After all, he used to be the man who helped put people into rooms just like that.

“Fine.” May’s voice cracked. Flattened. “I’m trusting you, Jonas.”

“I know.” They always did. “Let me try. I’m positive I can get him out. They won’t expect it this soon.”

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Blog Tour: WICKED LIES by Karina Cooper

Posted March 8, 2013 By Jennifer

Wicked Lies Button 300 x 225Hello, my lovelies!!! Today’s post is really exciting for me, because it involves one of my very favorite people, and a story that I absolutely adore!!

This week, Karina Cooper released a novella in her Dark Mission series called WICKED LIES. OH. MY. WOWZA!! I loved this story (you can read chapter one, and my review HERE), and I love the series in general. There were a lot of interesting things about this novella. First, in a series focused on witches (and those that hunt them), this story was about two NON witches. Two characters that are caught up in the fight, and involved in all the aspects of the paranormal world, but whose strengths and weaknesses are purely human. Also, it features a M/M romantic relationship, something I’ll talk more about when I post my interview with “Jonas” and “Danny” in the next few days. Keep an eye out for that!!

Here’s a little about WICKED LIES…

WickedLIes-Cvr-186x300Wicked Lies – A Dark Mission Novella

Karina Cooper

Genre: Paranormal Romance (Avon’s first male-male romance)

Publisher: Avon Impulse

Date of Publication: 3/5/2013

ISBN: 9780062126733


Number of pages: 112

Word Count: 29,159

Formats available: e-book

Purchase Links:

Book Description:

Jonas Stone has been given his first independent operation: rescue the insurrection leader’s imprisoned grandson from the Mission. Getting the job done means more than getting Danny Granger out-it means staying with him while he heals. Staying too close, for way too long.

Danny is everything Jonas isn’t: confident, optimistic, honest–a man to be reckoned with. If only it didn’t mean going against everything Jonas has planned. He’s kept his secrets for years, hid behind a mask no one could see through…until now. Danny isn’t the kind of man Jonas deserves. But he might be exactly the man he needs…

Karina was kind enough to share this about her choice to share Jonas and Danny’s human story…

imgBioPhotoBWIf you’ve been following along with the Dark Mission books, you know that the premise—witches versus witch-hunters, morality versus survival, good versus evil—makes for a rather explosive environment. Blood of the Wicked introduced a witch and a missionary in a pairing unlikely to go quietly. Lure of the Wicked pitted a witch-hunting missionary with a human descended from witches.

I go on like this in every book: two witches from opposing forces, a missionary and a hunter double-teaming it for the witches, and—in One for the Wicked’s finale, I drop the head missionary’s daughter in with a human insurgent looking for revenge on the witch-hunting Mission. It’s true, I won’t hide it. I take twisted pleasure shacking up two people diametrically opposed and—if you’ll forgive the borrowed phrase from Robin Williams’ Broadway insanity—making them deal with their shit.

Wicked Lies is different. Jonas Stone and Danny Granger are both human as they come.

Jonas was never a hunter, not in the same way Silas, Naomi and Simon are. He was part of the administrative arm of the division, like Parker but with none of the authority. He was the eyes and ears, the info-gatherer and the troubleshooter behind the comms keeping everybody together. Magic? None, unless you count what he can do with computers “magic”—a very human talent. Combat prowess? Not in any way that would make a difference on the field, which is why he wasn’t the kind of missionary you took to the fight.

Danny Granger is no fighter. Grandson to the rebellion leader, he’s a guy who believes with his whole heart that everybody should get the chance to live free. He’s got no magic, and no martial skill. He’s not a killer. He’s just this guy, you know?

And despite the fact that they’re living in this world saturated with witchcraft and paranormal elements, surrounded by men and women with “extras”—power, authority, cultivated genetics—their problems are not “paranormal” problems.

I wanted to take some time off from the paranormalcy and show that people in New Seattle still have the problems we do. They still have trouble communicating—with each other and themselves. They still can’t read minds; they still aren’t sure of themselves, whether they should speak out or remain silent, reach out or keep to themselves. Danny isn’t sure that Jonas would appreciate a come-on from another man, while Jonas doesn’t want to drag Danny into his internal mess. They still do what we all do for those we care about—protect each other from themselves.

Wicked lies. We tell them, to ourselves and to others.

But hey, look at it this way: paranormal world or normal, dystopia or utopia, isn’t it a little bit comforting to think that we’ll always be doing the same dance, nursing the same dreams and regrets, and striving to make ourselves—each other—better?

So… How important are the human characters in the worlds of urban fantasy and paranormal romance? Do we need that grounding familiarity in the fantasy story? Personally, I think yes, what do YOU think?? Each commenter will have a chance to win the WICKED LIES novella. Contest will be open until the end of the tour, April 1st.

And there’s MORE!!! Below is a link below for a tour wide contest to win a complete print set of all currently released Dark Mission novels!!! If you have NOT read this series… go… now… click… enter… READ THEM!!!!

Enter To Win Karina Cooper’s Dark Mission Novels!

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Words & Music Monday with K-Lee Klein

Posted March 4, 2013 By Jennifer

It’s that time, again, my lovelies. Today’s guest is someone I came to know about BECAUSE of her musical taste, even before I was aware of her writing!! Anyone who knows me personally, knows that I’m a HUGE 30 Seconds To Mars fan. K-Lee Klein first caught my attention on twitter by mentioning something about the band, so I had to check her out. Turns out her cool factor doesn’t end with her musical taste, as she’s got quite a bit of fantastic storytelling to share. Check out the info after K-Lee’s post to see how you can win a copy of LUCIUS’ BITE!!

young tatooed man with dreadlocks with a woman in lingerie behind himMusic has always been an important part of my life and never more so when than when I’m writing.  I’m not someone who can have silence in the room when characters are pushing each other around in my head demanding to get their turns. Maybe music distracts them or distracts me from them, but however it works “the voices” always seem to have their favorite songs.

I was a rock and roll groupie long before I became a writer and gay romance enthusiast. From tagging along on a bar-circuit, Western Canada tour with a gloriously 80’s, beautifully coiffed band called Lion during college, to following a little band called Thirty Seconds to Mars across Canada and the US in 2010 (13 gigs, baby – & I managed to do a little Seether stalking at the same time), the music I love has always become an obsession for me. And I believe more than just listening when I write, each character also ends up with a go-to song of their own or knowing the pushiness of my muse, they decide on one for themselves. Whether that song defines them or is just something they enjoy while they wait their turn to torment me is another matter entirely.

Lucius’ Bite is a perfect example of a book where the characters each had their own personal styles in terms of music and song preferences. Please let me introduce to you my Family of Misfits through the music they love.

collectorcard-2.5inx3.5in-h-frontLucius Moretti – Arctic wolf shifter

As one of the MCs of the book that’s named for him, Lucius has always struggled with who he thought he should be and who he wanted to be. “The Kill” by Thirty Seconds to Mars is a perfect song for him because of the internal battle he fights to define or undefine the boundaries he holds for himself; loner or lone wolf if you will. The lyrics couldn’t be more perfect, right down to viewing the world through the eyes of his wolf. “…look in my eyes…this is who I really am…” Lucius is also partial to Seether’s “Fake It” because he tried so hard to do just that when he met and fell in love with Nicu.

Secret faves include – “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi and “Drops of Jupiter” by Train

collectorcard-2.5inx3.5in-h-frontNiculae Petulengro – Roma (gypsy)

Nicu is ever the optimist and hopeless romantic. He was sheltered by his grandmother for most of his life and didn’t discover his true musical identity until a year or so before he went on his journey to find Lucius. He was partial to 80’s ballads even before he met his spirit mate; Extreme – “More Than Words“, Journey – Don’t Stop Believing“, and “Something to Believe In” by Poison define Nicu’s sweet soul. He never so much screamed for attention or for his turn when I was writing Lucius’ Bite, but rather had me swaying with a lit lighter in my hand whenever he was up to bat.

Secret faves include – “Keep on Loving You” by REO Speedwagon and “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi.

collectorcard-2.5inx3.5in-h-frontAlistair Antoine Arbiteur – white witch

Ali cannot be defined by any one genre of music and his tastes can be completely schizophrenic (much like my own). From Christmas (Solstice) songs and “Give It Away” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the sweet voice of Johnny Rzeznik & the Goo Goo Dolls in “Iris“, he is always a surprise in his choices and ways of getting my attention.

Secret faves include – Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca“, “Don’t Cha” by the Pussycat Dolls and “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” by Wham.

Emmanuel Evans – mountain lion shifter

Manny is a sweet but tormented soul. He leans toward emo-rock/alternative songs like My Chemical Romance’s “I Don’t Love You“, 30STM’s “Attack” (because his lion identifies with it) and “Broken” by Seether for obvious reasons. Manny really only wants to find his one true love and his favorite songs reflect his hopes and dreams.

Secret faves include – Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ “Your Guardian Angel“, Staind’s “Believe” and “Gunnin‘” by Hedley.

Kristof Constellano – Kermode bear shifter

Kristof is a big, happy-go-lucky mountain of a young shifter and though he hasn’t had his turn in really defining himself or his story yet, I’m pretty sure he’s country through and through. I’m not much for country myself except my current obsession with Christian Kane but I know for a fact Kristof is a fan, as well. “Just Drinkin’ To Drink” is one of his favorites, though only for the premise and the catchy lyrics and tune, not the drinking itself because Mama-Ali would not approve. He loves “Small Town” by John Mellencamp and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama“.

Secret faves – Kristof is an open book with the inability to hide anything from those he loves.

collectorcard-2.5inx3.5in-h-frontKalo – ???

Kalo was introduced during a very small moment in the last scene of Lucius’ Bite. He’s still a mystery but I can tell you his tastes are harder and louder than the rest of the Misfits. “Enter Sandman” by Metallica, “Prayer of the Refugee” by Rise Against and Bullet for My Valentine’s “Tears Don’t Fall” are Kalo’s cup of tea.

Secret faves include – “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam, Hurt’s  “Falls Apart” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns ‘N’ Roses.

All these characters and their musical tastes will be back in the sequel to Lucius’ Bite that I hope to have out by the fall. It’s Ali’s book so I’m sure my white witch will take me on an interesting ride. Music will have a big role in my Family of Misfits second book, as well, so stay tuned.

So as you can see, music is a huge part of who I am as a writer and who I am as a person. It’s gotten me through harsh times of stress or sadness, as well as just letting me express myself in the comfort of my home as I dance around my living room singing at the top of my lungs.

Music has brought me together with new and old friends, it’s secured bonds with my kids and tempted my muse to come out of his cave to provide a little inspiration. Music is everywhere and in everyone, and I’m very happy that’s the case.


K-Lee Klein has lived in one part of Western Canada or another for her entire life. She’s a doting mother of three now-grown kids and has had characters and plots running around her head for as long as she can remember. Though she’s very new when it comes to throwing her original fiction out into the web universe, she hopes to substitute her passion for writing beautiful, emotional men for her previous jobs as a hockey manager/coach, school band volunteer and overall chauffeur.
She lives with an overly-patient husband who totally does not get her thing for gay men, two spoiled but wonderful sons (who don’t get it either), two also spoiled but beautiful cats, many phone calls with her daughter who has already left the nest, and an abundance of fabulous gay men, large and small, bouncing off the walls of her skull, competing for their turns to tell their stories.

** So… we’ve got an awesome mix of characters and tastes going on here!! Thanks so much to K-Lee Klein for sharing!!! Now I have a question for all of YOU! Which of these characters’ musical tastes do you most relate to? Let me know which of them you’d like to go concert hopping with in the comments below, and one of you will win an ecopy of LUCIUS’ BITE! Contest open until Sunday, March 10th, at midnight pacific. I can’t wait to see who you all choose!!! Good Luck, everyone!!**

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