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183 Times a Day by Eva Jordan @urbanebooks @EvaJordanWriter

This is quite a special day for me and so I have decided, after a lot of thought, to make this super book my 300th read and review book of this year.

183 Times a Year by Eva Jordan.

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Mothers and daughters alike will never look at each other in quite the same way after reading this book—a brilliantly funny observation of contemporary family life.

Lizzie—exasperated Mother of Cassie, Connor and Stepdaughter Maisy—is the frustrated voice of reason to her daughters’ teenage angst. She gets by with good friends, cheap wine and talking to herself—out loud.

16-year-old Cassie—the Facebook-Tweeting, Selfie-Taking, Music and Mobile Phone obsessed teen—hates everything about her life. She longs for the perfect world of Chelsea Divine and her ‘undivorced’ parents—and Joe, of course.

However, the discovery of a terrible betrayal and a brutal attack throws the whole household into disarray. Lizzie and Cassie are forced to reassess the important things in life as they embark upon separate journeys of self-discovery—accepting some less than flattering home truths along the way.

Although tragic at times this is a delightfully funny exploration of domestic love, hate, strength and ultimately friendship. A poignant, heartfelt look at that complex and diverse relationship between a Mother and daughter set amongst the thorny realities of today’s divided and extended families

HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW

This was a real fly on the wall sort of read as it looks at every day life of a ‘blended family’ as they go day by day in their ordinary lives.  I feel so darn lucky as I can’t remember having stand-off situations with my parents and didn’t have any with my two daughters or step daughters either.

What I was shocked with as a parent was finding out how many times I survived on a wing and a prayer. I always thought my mum knew all the answers, believe me as a mum myself for a number of years, I know I didn’t I just blagged it because most of the time it was all guess-work. I am almost 61 it is still guess-work.

I loved Lizzie and Cassie and the frustrations of them both, Lizzie really wanting everyone just to help a little more and Cassie seeing the chores as ‘things that mum enjoys doing’, that is just classic, love it. I giggled and chuckled, especially when Cassie constantly used wrong words to describe things, even at the most inopportune moments. The grass was so much greener for Cassie as she so wanted to be in with popular groups in school and leave childhood behind. She has far more to her than she is given credit for.

The story does of course cover the whole family as Lizzie also has a son Connor and stepdaughter Maisy. It is the whole package of mix family problems. Simon is the rock in the house and clearly loves Lizzie and all the kids. There are Grandparents and a reluctant maternal dad  in the picture too. There are betrayals of all kinds from every angle for a few members of the family.

I thought the ordinariness of the whole story to be the magic that made it so special, an instant connection to the family dynamics. Most families face tragedy of all sorts of degree at some time and this family was no different. I think that it is here that author Eva Jordan’s novel went from an entertaining read to brilliant. The changes in the family were captured to perfection. It was a life changing event that hit all of them.

I felt connected to each person in this story, a wonderful debut novel from this very talented author.

HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eva Jordan

Eva Jordan, born in Kent but living most of her life in a small Cambridgeshire town, describes herself as a lover of words, books, travel and chocolate. She is also partial to the odd glass or two of wine.

Her career has been varied including working within the library service and at a women’s refuge. She has had several short stories published and currently writes a monthly column for a local magazine. Eva also works on a voluntary basis for a charity based organisation teaching adults to read. However, storytelling through the art of writing is her passion and as a busy mum and step mum to four children, Eva says she is never short of inspiration!

As well as writing, Eva loves music and film and of course she loves to read. She enjoys stories that force the reader to observe the daily interactions of people with one another set against the social complexities of everyday life, be that through crime, love or comedy.

It is the women in Eva’s life, including her mother, daughters and good friends that have inspired her to write her debut novel, 183 TIMES A YEAR, and her second novel, ALL THE COLOURS IN BETWEEN. Both a modern day exploration of domestic love, hate, strength and friendship, set amongst the thorny realities of today’s divided and extended families.

OTHER BOOKS

Eva Jordan’s much-anticipated follow up to the bestselling 183 Times a Year It’s not a life, it’s an adventure!

All The Colours In Between

 

 

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt #BlogTour @ikillnovel @TinderPress

Firstly I wish to thank Anne Cater and Tinder Press for inviting me on this Blog Tour for SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE by Sarah Schmidt

See What I Have Done: The Most Critically Acclaimed Debut of the Year by [Schmidt, Sarah]

BOOK DESCRIPTION

In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.

 

 

HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW

This is a deep dark and very compelling read that stirred up extremely vivid images from the pages that I was reading. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, was a true event that occurred on 4th August 1892 and discovered by Andrew Borden’s youngest daughter Lizzie. In my younger days I skipped along with friends while we sang the song about this case. The whole thing was brutally violent and bizarre to say the least.

The events surrounding the case are told by four people, Lizzie and Emma, are spinster sisters and daughters of Andrew Borden, the housemaid Bridget and a stranger called Benjamin, a friend of the girls uncle John. This is not a household to be envied. It is cruel with a feel that it will never let its occupants leave. There is 9 years age difference between Emma and Lizzie, with Lizzie being in her early thirties but seem much younger. Bridget is bound by threats and a sense of needing justice for a wrong done to her. I never knew if I could trust Benjamin and his account of the facts he puts forward.

I loved the writing style of this author as in such a depressing house she brings it to life. The fear, the frustration, tastes and smells, the smallest details of textures along with the touch of madness that has been used to torment the sisters and maid in terrible ways. An aging father that still rules with intimidation and violence. The whole thing feels like it is a visual account that is just happening and not something in the past. I had a loathing for Andrew and Abby Borden and an uneasiness about the strange relationship that the two sisters had, something I felt that they would never give up and share or even talk about together but more of an understanding between them. To be honest they were darn weird, even shudder worthy weird.

A super debut novel that made a piece of history come to life and give the brain matter something to ponder about. Loved the time line in the back of the book that covered from September 1822 until 1948. If you want a bit of fact mixed with characters that have soul this really is a perfect read for you.

HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah  Schmidt

After completing a Bachelor of Arts (Professional Writing and Editing), a Master of Arts (Creative Writing), and a Graduate Diploma of Information Management, Sarah Schmidt currently works as a Reading & Literacy Coordinator (read: a fancy librarian) at a regional public library. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her partner and daughter. See What I Have Done is her first novel.

http://www.tinderpress.co.uk
http://www.sarahschmidt.org

The Devil’s Lieutenant by Shervin Jamali A Novella @shervinjamali #Paranormal

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BOOK DESCRIPTION

In the blink of an eye, Michael loses his family. As his life spirals out of control with grief, he is presented with the possibility that the souls of his family might be trapped in Hell.
Thus begins an unimaginable and nightmarish journey to rescue his family from the depths of Hell, with the Devil as the puppet master pulling his strings.

Warning: Graphic violence and profanity included.

“Fast paced, dark, cleverly plotted” – S.G. Redling, author of Flowertown.

“An excellent first book from a promising new author” – Robert Cowan, author of The Search for Ethan.

“Jamali’s work read like fishing with dynamite. And I mean that in a good way” – Bradley Ernst, author of the Law of Retaliation series.

HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW

Michael, a now ex-cop, thought that he had faced his darkest hour a year ago when he found his son dead in his wife’s arms and his gun in her hand, within seconds she was dead too but now he faced a more horrific thought. The Devil was stood in front of him with a deal. Michael’s son and wife were not in heaven but in hell being tormented for eternity unless he agreed to do the Devil’s bidding. Then he would release their souls so they could enter heaven.

This is an incredible story from debut author Shervin Jamali, a story that literally rips into your heart and plays with your mind. I ashamedly felt little pity for the victims but I felt compassion for Michael for what he had to do. The more he did the harder the next task was. I really doubted that he would be able to complete what he had begun.

This is a very descriptive and graphic story that holds back on nothing but wow what a story it is. Superbly written it is a very quick paced read that packs what feels like a lot of story into a novella of under 200 pages. It flows beautifully, is very original and for the best reasons possible, as I didn’t want this story to end, I needed Michael’s torment to continue because it was such an awesome read, even though he had suffered for the last 5 years! Ok I aren’t a good person. The good news is there is another novel out now, which I have just got and a further book in the making.

One of my favourite characters has to be God, yes the big fellow himself puts in an appearance, he did make me smile, a brilliant character, in fact a perfect creation, sheer perfection!

HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shervin Jamali

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until recently that it just seemed to click. I’ve had stories locked away, but suddenly, and unexpectedly, they now need to get out. I completed the first draft of “The Devil’s Lieutenant” in just two months, and that was as a result of writing when I had the opportunity to do so. My 8-5 job and family still came first. I look forward to the day when I can be a full time writer who can take my children to school, pick them up and chauffeur them to various activities, with a healthy dose of writing in between. I believe that day might be right around the corner.

Also, my favorite punctuation mark is the semi-colon; it’s often used incorrectly, but it’s always winking at you!

Website
Universal buying link:
Twitter:
@shervinjamali

Genuine Fraud by e. lockhart @elockhart @BonnierZaffre

Firstly I wish to thank Imogen Sebba of Bonnier Zaffre for inviting me to read Genuine Fraud by e. lockhart

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BOOK DESCRIPTION

The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW

Well I have to start by saying that I haven’t read anything like this before. Loved the story but whoa this is such an unusual way to tell it. Each chapter was a fascination to me as each one took me back another step in time. At times it was quite sad as I already knew what lay head in their future for some of the characters. I also already knew the end, or did I?

The way in which it was told is really priceless. Most stories of course work up to a climax from before the event but well this brilliant written character is a master of cover up. I didn’t like her, she got under my skin and I feared her because she is a chameleon that can become whoever and whatever she needs to be for who she is with. The further I read into the story the closer I came to the beginning and the end.

It was a strange book in the way of I didn’t want to be close to the main character and yet other characters in the book weren’t round long enough for me to really get to know them. They were portrayed more as a pest that needed to be swotted or avoided at all costs. Now this may sound like a strange book and to be honest it was but hell it was tense, it was compelling and I loved everything about it.

This is the first book that I have read by this author but feel that this style of writing is a one-off kind of book. The impact wouldn’t be as great to repeat this style again, it is sort of a novelty novel. Just brilliant!

I wish to thank Imogen Sebba of Bonnier Zaffre for inviting me to read this book which I have reviewed honestly.

HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

E. Lockhart

I am the author of We Were Liars, Genuine Fraud, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and a number of other novels.

Website

 

Twitter

 

Jennifer Brown’s Journey by Angie Langley @JenBJourney

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Amazon

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Five feet one and full of fizz, Jennifer Brown lights up the room. She has a gorgeous partner, a wicked best friend, and a boss who doesn’t mind that she’s the worst typist on the planet. She’s loyal, generous and irredeemably ditzy. Everyone loves Jennifer Brown. But can she learn to love herself? When her world caves in, she needs every ounce of her steely core to step back from the abyss and take charge of her life, reinventing herself first as cook and housekeeper to a saucy sexagenarian, then as manager of a tumbledown country estate with sensitive secrets. Peopled by a battalion of hilarious characters from the caustic, cross-dressing confidant to the besotted ex-boyfriend with a barmy ex-wife, Jennifer Brown’s Journey is a heart warming, thoughtful, often poignant portrait of the trials of life as a thirty-something woman. Jennifer Brown champions the importance of self-belief, and the value of a bucket-sized glass of wine in a tight spot. And always in the background, there’s the quiet man with the warm eyes and the velvet vowels. What on earth is Jennifer Brown going to do about him?

The first in a series of three, Jennifer Brown’s Journey is a story of female self-empowerment and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of challenges that many women will recognise. Lighthearted and poignant, the story gives readers a very real sense of a woman, initially rather ditzy, maturing into a redoubtable, self-possessed individual who faces her many challenges with developing aplomb.

HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW

What a lovely light-hearted gem of a read this book is. When I met Jennifer Brown she was at that point in life that she would have been able to tell what day of the week it was by what was for tea that day and what chores had to be done. The dull lull of life that we all fall into that gets us through each week. Now although everyone at work sort of had her down as a bimbo, for good cringe-able memorable moments I might add, stupid she wasn’t. So when her hunk of fella, that she had lived with for ten years plus, starts acting a little out of character she soon pegs him for the two timing cheat that he is.

Jennifer’s life is about to get some zing about it but she has to hit rock bottom first. No fella, no home and having to leave her beloved dogs behind but a true friend is the first step up on the ladder to rediscover herself and build her confidence. Jennifer doesn’t do things by half as she jets round the world and really turns into quite a mischievous character that bends the rules and adapts her work experience to fit what ever job she fancies.

This is a super pick me up read that at times made me giggle, envy and recognise myself in. There are some wonderful full-blown characters that she meets on her get to know herself journey but there are also some anchors back home that she doesn’t let go of. There were times when I just sat back with pure admiration for Jennifer with some of the bold steps she took, as she not only made a difference to her own life but to others too.

This is the first book in a series and I really am eager to know what happens next. What I do know is it will be entertaining. I feel Jennifer has a lot more to discover yet.

HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Angie Langley

I grew up in Somerset and have lived in the south west of England all my life. Nowadays my home is in the beautiful Woodford Valley near Salisbury, on the banks of the river Avon. A tiny piece of heaven and a true writers paradise.
When I’m not writing, I’m a keen wildlife photographer and am currently working on a book of poems for children all about the local wildlife who live along the riverbank.
Writing Jennifer Brown’s Journey was a labour of love for me. Most of the book is based on my true-life experiences, enhanced by my furtive imagination which takes over as humorous characters and situations are brought in to provide the chapters with the emotional balance I feel is required. Many of these humorous elements are the result of everyday observations.

Authors website
Twitter
@JenBJourney

Trading Down by Stephen Norman #BlogTour #TradingDown @stephennorman49 @midaspr @EndeavourPress

Firstly I wish to thank Alice Geary of Midas Public Relations for inviting me to take part on this Blog tour for TRADING DOWN by Stephen Norman

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Trading Down by Stephen Norman is out now, published by Endeavour Press

‘If this program is run, it will destroy this bank as surely as a neutron bomb.’
 
A chilling financial thriller that brings home the true threat of cyber terrorism, perfect for fans of Stephen Frey and Robert Harris’ The Fear Index
 
A terrifying look at what would happen to the world if the banking infrastructure was entirely destroyed, written by longest-standing ex-CIO of RBS Global Markets
 
Inspired by 20 years’ experience, Norman reveals the real world behind the trading floors: the greed, the politics, and the relentless pressure to perform

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Chris Peters loves his work in a multi-national bank: the excitement of the trading floor, the impossible deadlines and the constant challenge of the superfast computers in his care. And he loves his beautiful wife, Olivia. But over time, the dream turns sour. His systems crash, the traders turn on him, and Olivia becomes angry and disillusioned. So much bad luck.

Or is it? A natural detective, Chris finds evidence of something sinister in the mysterious meltdown of a US datacentre. A new kind of terrorist. But can he get anyone to believe him? His obsessive search leads him to a jihadist website, filled with violent images; a man beaten to a pulp in a Dubai carpark; and a woman in a gold sari dancing in the flames of her own destruction. Slowly, a tragic story from decades ago in Yemen emerges.

Too late, Chris understands the nature of the treachery, so close to him. His adversary knows every move and is ready to strike. Even his boss agrees: if this program is run, it will destroy this bank as surely as a neutron bomb. And Chris Peters has 48 hours to figure it out…

HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW

This story has a real feel as it sets the stage for the possibility of Cyber Terrorism one day grinding the world financial markets to a halt and it is absolutely fascinating. The story travels between different countries and time lines, the big financial players and the people who put their money and trust in banks, each a little cog that works smoothly together until one day a decision really puts a spanner in the works and sets in motion devastating consequences.

The opening chapters begin way back in 2007 in Yemen with a horrific scene that was an extremely powerful calling card. A brilliant mix of traditions, cultures and up to the minute financial traders in the modern world are woven together and unless the cause and reason behind the attacks on the major money players can be found out and neutralised then the world markets could take a dive they can not pull out of.

On a night shift at the US datacentre an event takes place so massive that a scapegoat has to be found because thinking that the alternative could be possible is just simply, well, unthinkable. Tense doesn’t even cover the pending disaster that could grind world trading to a halt and cause chaos at astronomical levels. This makes brilliant reading!

Chris Peters has a personal interest in delving into the reasons behind these attacks, a detective he isn’t but knowing his stuff and self preservation goes a long way, as suspects names are thrown into the mix and drawn out randomly as being responsible for the cyber attacks. Peters is a bloke that is real easy to like and get behind only thing is can he solve the problem before he is carried out kicking and screaming as culprit?

The story itself makes you pick up the pace of reading as each chapter has its own urgency about it. A story of smoke and mirrors, a race against time but mostly nerves of steel. It has a bit of everything, refreshing, thrilling and chilling.

Now there is a bit of jargon in the story, which to be honest I was fine with, in fact I learnt quite a bit. If you get stuck at any time too in the front of the book there is a Who is Who list of characters and explanation of Acronyms and Jargon used in the book which is always handy to look back at. Brilliant story!

 

HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Stephen Norman spent 20 years at the forefront of investment banking IT, facing industry turbulence, from the rise and fall of the dotcoms, the destruction of 911 and the banking collapse of 2008. He has worked in financial centres across the world – from London and New York, to Hong Kong and Tokyo – and has fulfilled a range of high powered roles including Chief Technology Officer at Merrill Lynch and an unusually long 7 year stint as CIO of RBS Global Markets. In 2012, he left the world of finance to focus on his writing. Trading Down is Stephen’s first novel.

“The world has experienced cyber-warfare since the 1980s and built up elaborate defences against external attacks.  The elephant in the room is treason – an attack from within. Every week we see the devastating effect of accidental IT errors on airlines and banks and phone companies.  A determined insider could create mayhem on a different scale entirely.  Without its hundreds of systems, a major bank would sink as swiftly as the Titanic, leaving its customers without cash, wages, cards, loans and repayments – and threatening the entire financial system. 
“It is difficult to convey the terror and mind numbing panic that accompanies the simple words ‘The trading floor is down.’  During my 20 years in the financial markets, I experienced that fear many times.  When you read Trading Down, I hope you will share it, and also glimpse the brutal, high pressure world behind the slick images of traders and trading floors that you see on the news.”  – Stephen Norman
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The Pipeliner by Shawn Hartje @pipelinernovel

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BOOK DESCRIPTION

For seventeen-year-old Jason Krabb, high school life in 1990s Idaho is a world of cargo shorts, cassette tapes, and junk food. Plagued equally by algebra and puberty, Jason sets out to find a girlfriend and become a rock guitarist. His quest is irreversibly jolted when he attends a bonfire and meets an alluring girl from the other side of town and a rag tag crew who are bringing gas lines through the desert in order to keep the lights on in Portland and Seattle, places where Jason hopes to find his nirvana as a guitarist.

Meanwhile, things deteriorate at home. Jason’s pediatrician mom, Leah, sadly faces the twilight of her parenting years while his father, Curtis, contends with the enormity of running a big ticket research laboratory and coming to terms with his son’s wayward path.

Pipeliner is at once a coming of age love story and a comical timestamp of early 90s family life. Set in the fictional Idaho town of Helen Springs, pop. 58,000, its characters are as vibrant as the lofty peaks and purple sunsets of the high desert. Here we find rich farmers, poor ranchers, dutiful Mormons, government honchos, disgruntled vets, drug-dealing bruisers, irksome teachers, and spirited students, all doing their best to keep the lights on.

GENRE: Coming of Age, think Holden Caulfield meets Dazed and Confused.

BOOK LENGTH: 248 pages

 

LEVEL OF SEXUAL CONTENT: Hearty, descriptive and numerous sexual scenes

Publication Date: Published on Amazon and via Smashwords 11-30-2016. Also on Goodreads

HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW

This story is set in Helen Springs, a fictional town in Idaho USA.

This is a super journey back into the 90’s to remember the era as a teenager or as a parent, either way you will do it with cringes and giggles as you recognise so many familiar scenes and scenarios.

Jason is really a young man on the brink of coming of age. The time when decisions have to be made whether to stay on at school, to follow in the foot steps of his successful older brother, knowing he hasn’t a cat in hell’s chance of being above average himself or on the other hand he could just do his own thing. Well this is the Summer to find out.

At 17 the world is at his feet and he knows all the answers, I mean what 17-year-old kid doesn’t? so leaving home to go and join a work team of men laying gas pipes, so he can earn enough money to move on and join a Rock Band as a Rock Guitarist sounds a pretty cool plan! Now with best laid plans and all that, they aren’t worth pursuing if it is easy.

Of course in any story there is always a girl, Betsy, and the first clumsy fumbles and mishaps, which are not only very descriptive but also funny. Well they say practice makes perfect and the way they go at it they should be pretty darn good now! Think parties, think music and think experiments with a few substances too. It all gets real crazy and nostalgic.

The story is full of vibrant characters that radiate pure energy and passion on every page. Jason wants desperately to leave childhood behind and be an adult, to have choices, even if that means making the wrong one at times. It is really a timeless story, which could be set in any year,  with the same choices just to different music. Shawn Hartje’s tell it as it is book is one for adults to read and look back on as their own memories as it is a definite adult only read because of the content. A real clever book.

I wish to thank the author for an e copy of this book which I have honestly reviewed.

HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shawn Hartje

Shawn Hartje was raised in Sioux City, Iowa and has lived in Idaho, Colorado and West Virginia. He has lived in Northern California since 2002. He enjoys high desert scenery, paddling rivers, and skateboarding with his kids.

Website

http://www.shawnhartje.com

 

Twitter

pipelinernovel