What inspired you to write your book?
One indie writer in the Facebook book groups mentioned how he did NaNoWriMo every year. I thought this was some holiday camp or Japanese game. I soon found out that it wasn’t – it was a writing competition. The challenge was to write 50,000 words in 30 days – in November. I crazily decided to give it a go.

Back in my 20s (in a time far, far away), I’d had this idea about three guys sharing a house. The guitar man would have a pooch, but I wanted to make him a real, thinking character. At the time, I loved Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, with four POVs in separate sections, written in different voices. Of course, I wrote a few chapters and somehow never finished it.

For NaNoWriMo, I started to rethink this idea. The first thing that came into my head was the title: 3 Heads & a Tail – representing the main characters of two guys, a girl and that dog. The furry one had to be in it as he was the hero. He would be the most intelligent and moral character, who saw everything, and around whom the whole book would slowly begin to revolve. He would become its centre. One guy would be nice and cute, one would look like a model but be a total ass, and the girl would be cool and sweet. She’d be the one moving into this house that the others shared, and there would be a romantic triangle. I started writing with this idea. Apart from that, I just had the end scene in my head (can’t tell you what it is, but it was there).

And I finished it on time. Horrah! I think NaNo could be a thing that makes people kick writer’s block up the ass, break a rule or two when writing, and find their inner faith. And that can only be a good thing. Everyone is their own worst critic and that can stop you writing. NaNo sets you free.

Genre and Targeted Age Group
Comedy fantasy romance for age 16 up

About your Book:
When nature lover Josie moves into a house share with two pals, dreamer Ben and model man David, she sees it as a short stop and doesn’t bank on an attraction developing with one of them. Meanwhile, Ben’s dog, Glen, has the hots for Miss Posh, the beautiful golden Lab in the park. When dog meets dog it’s puppy love, but a complication leads to Glen taking matters into his own paws. In this comedy of errors, romance and walkies, it’s anyone’s guess who is going to win the girl/dog and live happily ever after.

Glen has his own chapters within chapters.
For readers aged over 16 due to some adult themes.

[click to continue…]


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Author Bio:
Vickie Johnstone lives in London, UK, where she works as a freelance sub-editor on magazines and an editor on indie books. She has a thing about fluffy cats and also loves reading, writing, films, the sea, rock music, art, nature, Milky Bar, Baileys and travelling.

Vickie has self-published the following books:
Kaleidoscope (poetry); Travelling Light (poetry); Life’s Rhythms (haiku); 3 Heads and a Tail (comedy romance); Kiwi in Cat City (magical cat series for middle grade readers); Kiwi and the Missing Magic; Kiwi and the Living Nightmare; Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle; Kiwi in the Realm of Ra; Kiwi’s Christmas Tail; Day of the Living Pizza (comedy detective series for middle grade readers), and Day of the Pesky Shadow.

The Kiwi Series contains superb illustrations by Nikki McBroom.

What inspires you to write?
What inspires me? All sorts.

I write poetry, so anything can inspire me here – a walk in the forest, birdsong, a spider web, a drink of chocolate… anything. One day the moon was really full and shining really brightly with a halo of mist – I hurried home to write about it. The only problem is that sometimes I think of something in the shower or when I’m about to go to sleep – just a line or two – and it’s lost because I don’t write it down. My memory isn’t the best! :)

3 Heads & a Tail, a comedy starring three people and a dog, was inspired by the challenge of NaNoWriMo – writing a book of 50k in 30 days. I named the dog after my first pet, called Glen, and made him a Labrador – my favourite breed as I always thought Guide Dogs were amazing. I’m not sure what inspired his character – I made that up as I went along! I wanted to humanise him a bit – he’s a little grumpy too, and swears like a trooper. I wrote this book so fast that my imagination took over from any structure I wanted to enforce. It was a seat-of-the-pants job. I didn’t know what would come out.

The Kiwi Series was inspired by a little black cat I used to have called Kiwi. I wrote a poem about her when she was alive. She died in 2000. In 2002, I was made redundant from my job. Sitting at home with nothing to do, I went through some old notebooks and poetry books that I’d written. I found the Kiwi poem. For some reason I started thinking about a story about cats – a world full of cats. I called them catizens and started writing Kiwi in Cat City. Various characters popped up in my head and the plot of a catnapping. I had a whale of a time writing this book. I wrote it in four weeks.

Reviews of my books inspire me and other writers. The first two reviews for Kiwi in Cat City were good and I was soooo happy. I can’t tell you how much. I was so happy, I cried. This inspired me to write more because I assumed the book was garbage because a publisher had rejected it long ago. It made me hope that maybe I can do this. I’ve written ten books since then.

I can honestly say that other indie writers inspired me to write the books that I’ve written since 2011. There is a great community of them online. They rock.

Tell us about your writing process
I don’t really have a process, I think! For example, I’ve been working so hard since Christmas that I haven’t written anything – but that has to change soon as I’m dying to write!! :)

In 2011, on the advice of an indie author, I started keeping a notebook with me at all times. I scribble poems in there and ideas for books, or characters. When I’m writing a book, I scribble down keywords for things I’ve thought of, so I don’t forget. I’ve put rough plot lines down too.

I write on my laptop. I used to write freehand, but this changed in 2011. I think of that time as the year I started writing properly and taking it seriously. I don’t use any software. Just Word.

With NaNoWriMo, my process changed. For that, I had to sit down every day and write something, and think on the spot – I had no plan. This changed the way I looked at writing.

With poetry, I write them fast. I see something in my head – an image or a character or just a feeling about something – and I write. Most are written in five or ten minutes. Most don’t rhyme either. Prompt words really help to get me thinking. I started writing haiku in 2010. I love it, but I have to count the syllables on my fingers. Again, most are little flashes of inspiration in a few minutes.

Most of the time, I just get an idea. I can’t start writing until I see the scenes rolling in my head. That goes into the question below though, so I’ll shut up now!

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Lol, yes! I can’t write until I have the characters in my head and I can see them. I don’t talk to them – although I used to talk to my cat Kiwi, if that counts! I talk through them instead. I have to see the scenes playing. I think of them and try to imagine them. The best thing is if you’re walking down the street and you suddenly see all this stuff in your imagination – that’s so cool. When everything goes quiet and there’s nothing up there, I’m thinking uh oh! But NaNoWriMo taught me that even if there’s nothing going on – no inspiration, so to speak – if you sit down and get out your laptop, something will come. It might not be great, but it will come!

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’ve always written since I was really young and always had my nose in a book. But I never actually finished a book until 2002 – Kiwi in Cat City. I did write a couple as a teenager, but I’ve no idea what happened to them. I probably binned them! Kiwi was my first proper book. I sent it to one big publisher, who rejected it, saying they’d received far too many submissions of children’s books. They made no comment on the book, so I assumed it was rubbish. I gave up. I put it in a drawer and forgot about it. No one read it, and I went back to writing poetry and stuff I never finished.

Around January 2011, my boyfriend read an article about an author who had self-published on Amazon Kindle. When he told me, a little light bulb flashed in my brain – could I do that? It seemed the only way I would ever be published and I started getting really excited about it. My dream from when I was young was to publish a book. What I wanted was for my story to be read and get some feedback. Just to see it in the public eye would be enough.

I self-published Kiwi in Cat City and a book of poetry, called Kaleidoscope, in the first couple of months of 2011. I’ve written ten books since then because the fact that I can publish them and they can be read, and maybe inspire happiness in someone (I know that sounds corny!), drives me forward. They don’t have to sit in a dusty drawer.

I would advise new authors to look at Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. The Smashwords Style and Marketing guides are great. You can also self-publish a paperback on Createspace – it looks hard, but once you find out about it, it isn’t. There are many author groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that you can check out, and really, they will teach you everything. Set up on twitter and make a blog. You can put everything about you and your books on your blog. You need one! I’m currently doing my first blog tour, which is fun – recommended too! There is so much to learn and there is so much on offer – these things above are just the tip of the iceberg. Also, don’t forget to have fun :) And get a good editor. Don’t pay a publisher for anything – that’s vanity publishing. You can do it yourself. All you need is to learn how to format, create a cover and find an editor. You just need Word and PhotoShop.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?

It’s expanding. It’s getting bigger and the playing field has been levelled. I think this is the best time to be a writer. Everyone can self-publish a book. There are no limits. I find marketing very difficult. Getting your books and name noticed is hard. You need to build up a following and a good reputation – that’s hard. After all, only the readers can say whether your book is good. Finding your readers is a big challenge. I’d like to see more ‘middle men’ – those offering services to help with marketing and promotion. Also, I hope that everyone starts to take self-published books more seriously. We have to offer the best books we can produce. I think perceptions are changing. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in future. Oh, and I hope the vanity publishers disappear!

What do you use?
Professional Editor

What genres do you write:: Poetry, children’s books (middle grade), comedy and general fiction

What formats are your books in: Both eBook and Print

Author Home Page Link
Link To Author Page On Amazon
Link to Author Page on other site

Your Social Media Links


Animal adventure story for children aged around 8-12 year of age featuring a talking dog and a talking parrot.


Have you ever wondered what your dog would say if he/she could talk? You don’t have to wonder anymore!

This is the story of a puppy called Mo who is rescued from drowning by Martin, a boy who’s Dad Henry is a veterinarian. Mo is unable to bark and Henry decides to help him by getting a scientist friend to grow him a new voicebox in a laboratory.

After the surgery, Mo starts making human-like sounds and the family realize that life is about to get a lot more interesting! The family parrot, Mimic, helps teach Mo how to talk – they both learn a lot from children’s television!

Mo is soon talking almost like a human and starts making friends and enjoying scaring cats and the odd seagull with his unique ability.

But he’s also making enemies as well …

Targeted Age Group: 8-12

Michelle Booth is a Mum and teacher who loves dogs but is actually rather glad that they can’t talk as, with 3 of her own, she’d never get a moment’s peace.

Author Home Page Link
Link To Kindle eBook On Amazon


Christmastime is here! But someone not filled with the holiday spirit is trying to kill an obnoxious dog and cat detective Gatsby finds himself in the crossfire. If Gatsby survives, he wants to throw a Christmas Eve blowout for the neighborhood animals. His partner Yoshi is dead set against the party but he may be able to use it to unmask a would-be killer and teach Gatsby what Christmas is all about. Throw in a canine love triangle and a cute orphan and you’ve got the recipe for one riveting Yuletide affair. The Petectives are throwing a Christmas party and you don’t want to miss it!
A 19,000 word mystery novella

Targeted Age Group: 10-60

Link To Kindle eBook On Amazon


What inspired you to write your book?
I was challenged to use Twitter to create a novel that would be filled with deep and consistent humor. Also Boswell happens to be my pal, muse, watchdog and constant companion. I figured he deserved to be a celebrity.

About your Book:
Boswell Speaks follows the antics and mouths the opinions of an Australian Terrier, Boswell, as he communicates with his magical toy, Stuffy, who can channel a billion human brains. Boswell can delve the secret mysteries of the universe and answer specific questions merely by gazing into the pattern of his kibble in his dog bowl. He comments on the political activities in his garden, the posturing of his screenwriter next-door neighbors, the goings-on in the culture and the absurdities of human life in general, from a canine point of view. Boswell is also in love, with a Standard Poodle named Lulu. He yearns to enhance the relationship but has problems adjusting to her height and female attitudes.

Boswell has a complex and hilarious life and possesses one of the most unusual minds on the planet.

This is a twitter novel, published in three volumes, and illustrated by Eric Hanson.

Book Genre: Humor

What formats are your books in

How do you see writing a book in the Pet Genre as different from writing other genres of books?
Almost all genres are interesting and I’ve written in many of them. We have enigmatic relationships with our pets. We speak to them in a language they do not know (for the most part), are blinded to their emotions, thoughts and intentions. In all these respects they mirror our relationships with our fellow humans but in a different form.

I work off the puzzle of pet/human communications, which creates a special type of humor and leads to a different type of knowledge.

Advice to someone that is thinking about or currently working on a pet book
If you want to write a pet book, don’t get emotionally sloppy. All people care buckets about pets and if they don’t, of course, there should be a special penitentiary to house such perverts. The important thing is to say something new and accurate about the linkage we have with animals. Pets know things that we don’t know. If you can articulate some of these things in a kind and thoughtful way, you’re halfway to writing a book that will be read.

How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
At this point in my writing career, because of the revolutionary changes in the book business, I’ve decided to self-publish through American Letters Press. My books are visual works of art and I cannot afford to give up creative control. Also the commercial publishing business is brutal. Life’s too short and I’m too old to volunteer for medieval torture.

Author Bio:
I was born in Lubbock, Texas and it was downhill from there. I worked as a high-level executive in a large corporation until I was 32 years old, but decided I needed to make money and so devoted the rest of my life to writing poetry and novels. This is madness, of courses, but it’s been an extremely rewarding, albeit challenging, life.

Author Home Page Link
Link To Book On Amazon


What inspired you to write your book?
We had a catered birthday party for Genevieve when she turned one. Genevieve’s doggy parents were there, along with all her littermates and their humans. After the party, I sent the human guests a thank-you note from Genevieve, and my wife also posted it on some doggy newsgroups. We got several emails saying Genevieve was a very funny dog and requesting more Genevieve essays. I wrote and posted a few more, and people started asking if the essays were from a book because, if so, they wanted to buy it. Thus the idea for the book was born.

About your Book:
Genevieve, a seven-pound papillon, takes you into the inner sanctum of dogdom, revealing canine secrets never before shared with humans. Genevieve sinks her teeth into such topics as driving tips for dogs, the tragedy of doorbells in TV commercials, measuring the intelligence of humans, finding a reason for cats, converting your house into an agility course, and productive kitchen behavior.
The book is enjoyed by good readers as young as eight or so, all the way up to senior citizens.

Book Genre: pets/humor

What formats are your books in: Print

How do you see writing a book in the Pet Genre as different from writing other genres of books?
Humans’ love for their pets is a very special love indeed, and writing for other pet lovers is a communion of sorts, a way to share something very wonderful with other people who “get” it.

Advice to someone that is thinking about or currently working on a pet book
1) Don’t.
2) If you must, go to the bookstore and internet and review the kinds of books that are on the market, try to figure out what makes them popular, see how they are priced and how they are marketed.
3) Before you invest any money in your project, decide what you reasonably hope to accomplish by publishing the book: share with some friends and family? try to make a few dollars? try to make a few million dollars? Your answer will determine what form of publishing gives you the best chance of reaching your goal.

How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I originally self-published, sold 20,000 copies with lots of TV and radio coverage, and then the rights were purchased by Simon & Schuster.

Author Bio:
Dennis Fried has “enjoyed” careers in college teaching, marketing, software development, and stand-up comedy. He holds advanced degrees in physics and philosophy, both of which he considers essential to successful dog ownership. He lives in Sarasota, Florida, with his wife, Katrina, and his boss, Genevieve.

Link To Book On Amazon
Link to Book on Barnes and Noble


Feed Your Best Friend

What inspired you to write your book?
When my dog Jackson was diagnosed with lymphoma, I turned to real food just to get him eating again. It worked; over time he not only started eating, he started wanting to for walks, play with our puppy and even started running with me again. Instead of the 9 months that the oncologist said we would have, we had 4 full years – cancer free. When people heard about what I had done for Jackson they asked for hyielp with their dogs that were overweight, diabetic, or with other serious illnesses. I started Dog Stew and fed hundreds of local dogs. However, I wanted to make the information more available so I wrote the book. I spent 5 years researching, writing and recipe testing. I felt the book was good when I sent it off the publisher, but I really felt validated when I started hearing from veterinarians who said that I did a great job and are now carrying the book in their offices.

About your Book:
If people are going to cook for their dogs the recipes need to be easy and nutritious. Feeding dogs fresh foods (even as an addition to commercial food) is a chance to not only give dogs a tasty treat, but also antioxidants and other phytochemicals that are not present in commercial foods. Feed Your Best Friend simplifies not only cooking, but also determining the right portion size for every size dog (every recipe and food recommendation includes serving sizes for 10, 20, 40, 60 and 80 pound dogs.) FYBFB also includes diets for dogs with specific ailments, a guide to picking out a quality commercial food and dealing with problem mealtime behaviors.

Cuisine Style or Food Genre
Dog Food

Sample Recipe or Food Advice
Even if it’s not cooking, sharing simple ingredients off your cutting board can be beneficial and tasty. The more you do the better it is for your dog. Here’s a quick and easy recipe using ingredients you were probably going to throw away anyways. (There’s also plenty of meals, treats and cookie recipes in the book.)

Tuna Sandwich Leftovers
When you’re making a tuna fish sandwich, what’s the first thing you do? You drain off the water and pour
it down the sink. Next you grab two pieces of bread, being careful to avoid the heel of the loaf. Put these two things you weren’t even going to use together and you have a nice little pick-me-up for your pooch.

1 slice whole-grain bread
1 (6-ounce) can tuna, packed in water

Place the bread in a small bowl.

Drain the tuna water over the bread and let sit for 3 minutes to allow all the liquid to be absorbed.

Add 1 tablespoon of the tuna, blend with a fork, and serve.

Yield: 1 slice; store extra in the refrigerator for up to 3 days

10-pound dog ¹∕³ slice
20-pound dog ½ slice
40-pound dog ²∕³ slice
60-pound dog ¾ slice
80-pound dog 1 slice

What formats are your books in Both eBook and Print

How do you see writing a food/cookbook as different from writing other genres of books?
A love of food is unlike any other endeavor. Food not only tantalizes our taste buds, but it builds our bodies and energizes us through the day. That’s no small task when you consider your body is built out of food. It’s the same thing for our dogs. However, the concern about nutrition is even greater for dogs and there is a pretty high standard to be met. Research and recipe testing can be both fun and arduous. After testing the same recipe a dozen times to fine-tune it, you might start disliking the recipe until you finish putting the words on the page and then you can be really proud.

What advice would you give to someone that is thinking about or currently working on a food book or cookbook
When recipe testing, have a friend in the kitchen to help you out. Having somebody question everything you’re doing might seem like it would get in the way, but an extra set of eyes helps to ensure any nuances in your preparation will be conveyed and that a reader will be able to reproduce your results. Plus it helps when somebody does the dishes or takes notes while your doing dishes.
Consider using a site like nutritiondata.com to include specific nutrition information like calories.

How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
Feed Your Best Friend Better is published by Andrews McMeel. I took a daring step to submit my book to a cookbook agent and was snapped up in just a matter of hours. I feel lucky to have an agent who walked me through some things I didn’t understand and to help negotiate everything from my contract to the voice of my design. My book would not be the same without Sally Ekus of the Lisa Ekus Group.

The design team at Andrews McMeel was fantastic and came up with many options. Although I had a design concept, they took it much further than I would have been able to on my own. I was very specific about the recipe layout and had to convince the publisher that it would work with long and short recipes. The special touches added by the design team made it even better.

Although first time authors don’t often receive much in the way of publicity, the publicist at Andrews McMeel – Shelly Barkes, has been amazing. Shelly takes all my ideas and helps form them into what she knows media outlets desire.

Then of course, there is my editor, Lane Butler. She’s been through the thick of it with me and has ensured that the book is an reflection of me and my philosophy. The book wouldn’t have turned out the same way without her positive influence.

Finding the right publisher is important and for me that was made much easier by having the assistance of my agent. So much of the writing process is solitary, it feels really good to be part of a team that is supporting your work and bring it to a larger audience.

Author Bio:
Rick Woodford witnessed the healing power of healthy, whole foods when he began preparing home-cooked meals for his dog, Jackson, who was battling cancer. He then opened Dog Stew, a company that produced nutritional, homemade food for dogs in the Pacific Northwest. He went on to help many dogs with a variety of medical conditions, much to the delight of his human customers, who dubbed him “Dog Food Dude.” He currently lives in Portland, OR with his partner, Gregory, and their four furry kids.

Author Home Page Link
Link To Book On Amazon
Link to Book on Barnes and Noble
Link to Book for sale via other sites

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What inspired you to write your book?
I’m a certified animal behavior consultant and author of more than two-dozen nonfiction pet care books. This thriller was the opportunity to write in “dog viewpoint” and offer insight into how dogs (and cats) learn and react to the world around them–as well as edu-tain readers with a fast paced story.

About your Book:
An autism cure will kill millions unless a service dog and his trainer find a missing child . . . in 24 hours.

AN AUNT searches for her lost nephew—and dooms her sister.

A MOM gambles a miracle will cure—and not kill—her child.

A DOG finds his true purpose—when he disobeys.

Animal behaviorist September Day has lost everything—husband murdered, career in ruins, confidence shot—and flees to Texas with her cat Macy to recover. She’s forced out of hibernation when her nephew Steven and his autism service dog Shadow disappear in a freak blizzard. When her sister trusts a maverick researcher’s promise to help Steven, September has 24 hours to rescue them from a devastating medical experiment impacting millions of children, a deadly secret others will kill to protect. As September races the clock, the body count swells. Shadow does his good-dog duty but can’t protect his boy. Finally September and Shadow forge a stormy partnership to rescue the missing and stop the nightmare cure. But can they also find the lost parts of themselves?

Book Genre: Thriller

What formats are your books in

How do you see writing a book in the Pet Genre as different from writing other genres of books?
The author of a pet book better darn-well LIKE pets, and also be knowledgeable about them. People who love pets are passionate about their cats and dogs, and they also know a lot and will catch errors immediately. That will lose the author credibility quicker than anything.

Pets in fiction are especially difficult, because cats and dogs do not think, act, or want the same things as humans. They are not little people in fur coats (unless you’re writing shape-shifter fantasy–that’s a whole different thing), so in order to gain suspension of disbelief needed in fiction the author must be very adept.

Advice to someone that is thinking about or currently working on a pet book
Write your passion. Write what YOU want to read. Don’t chase trends–it’ll be over by the time you’re ready to publish. Once it’s written, set the book aside for a few weeks, and then re-read and edit. Do it again. And again. Once the book is published, you have only one chance to make a good impression so don’t be in a rush to get it right. Dogs (and cats) aren’t born fully trained, there is a relationship that grows over time and the same is true for your book.

How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I published many best-selling nonfiction cat and dog care/behavior titles through New York publishers (Ballantine, Penguin/Putnam, Rodale Press and more), but fiction is a totally different animal (pun intended!). I had worked with Cool Gus Publishing/Who Dares Wins to bring back to life some of my out of print nonfiction books. So I approached my editor there first when my thriller was ready, and they gave my debut fiction a wonderful publishing home. I have several nonfiction books with them and now LOST AND FOUND, at www.coolguspublishing.com

Today publishing has been turned on its furry ear. Look for opportunities to work with other savvy authors in your genre. It’s difficult to go it alone, but a co-op approach to promoting each other, offering beta reads, sharing ideas about book covers and editors/publishing opportunities can be very helpful.

Connect with genre-related writer organizations. I’m a founder of the Cat Writers Association (www.catwriters.org), a member of Dog Writers Association of America (www.DWAA.org) and an active member of International Thriller Writers. I have garnered much support from the members of each of these organizations.

Author Bio:
Amy Shojai, CABC has been reinventing herself for years. She’s a certified animal behavior consultant, and the award-winning author of 26 best selling pet books that cover furry babies to old-fogies, first aid to natural healing, and behavior/training to Chicken Soup-icity.

She is the Puppies Guide at puppies.About.com, the cat behavior expert at Kitty’s Corner Blog for Chewy.com, as well as cats.About.com, and hosts a weekly half hour Internet Pet Peeves radio show. Amy has been featured as an expert in hundreds of print venues including The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, and Family Circle, as well as national radio and television networks such as CNN, Animal Planet’s DOGS 101 and CATS 101.

She’s been a consultant to the pet products industry and a host/program consultant for select “furry” TV projects. Amy brings her unique pet-centric viewpoint to public appearances, writer conferences keynotes/seminars and THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Author Home Page Link
Link To Book On Amazon
Link to Book on Barnes and Noble
Link to Book for sale via other sites

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Crazy Critter Lady by Kelly Meister

What inspired you to write your book? My love of writing, and sharing critter stories with fellow animal lovers, is what inspired me to write Crazy Critter Lady. About your Book: In a world where animals are often seen as impediments to progress or expendable pests, Crazy Critter Lady is the story of one woman’s […]

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