Friday, February 22, 2019

The Burn Zone - Guest Post

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~




Synopsis:  In The Burn Zone, Renee shares the story of her quest for truth and peace, her nearly seven-year detour into hell at the hands of her spiritual teachers, and her ultimate awakening. 

With honesty and courage, Renee recounts how she got sucked into the University of Mysticism and gave away her cherished possessions, tens of thousands of dollars, and all of her power. Dominated and manipulated, Renee cut ties with loved ones (including her twin brother) and obediently followed command after command. Renee got entangled in a romantic and business mess—and wound up losing over $500,000. 

While lying on the floor sobbing, she finally admitted to herself: “I am in a cult.” Then, she began the hard work of healing, forgiveness, and rediscovering and accepting herself.



Guest Post by Renee Linnell:  Why I Wrote The Burn Zone

I wrote The Burn Zoneas a catharsis; I had to get the story out of me. Dr. Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” I believe she is right. The story was consuming me. It was tearing me apart from within. I was filled with anger and hatred and confusion and I had to let it go. So I wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote. I vomited all of it onto paper. Over and over and over again. The same scenarios, the same pain, the same periods of my life. I wrote hate letters that I never sent. I screamed into pillows. I wrote letters to God. Over 700 pages I wrote. And it helped. The heaviness began to lift. The anger began to abate. The fits of rage dissipated. The overwhelming sadness turned to hope.

As this happened I began to speak bits of my story to loved ones. I began to share what I went through, what I signed up for. People were shocked, amazed, and . . . impressed. I began to realize my story had worth. I began to realize it was a story of strength; a story of the fight of the human spirit; a story of uncovering my True Self from deep within the shattered pile of a whole lifetime’s worth of rubble. As I spoke my story I began to get a consistent similar response, “You have to write a book.” It was then that I realized I had been writing a book; it was then that I made the decision to publish what I had written.

But, it wasn’t easy. Reading through my journals was painful. Reliving those stories, those states of mind, was sickening. However, I kept doing it. Because as I did it I realized I had inscribed a map. It was a description of what so many of us (I may even venture to say all of us) do as we create a life to please others. And it was a map, a stepping stone path, out, back to authenticity. I realized I hadto print and share my story; even if it helped only one other person.  

I suppose my background as a seeker and as a Buddhist monk influenced my writing in that I felt safe being raw. Vulnerable. “In my defenselessness my safety lies,” says The Course in Miracles.I took it to heart. And it has been liberating. Publishing my whole story is so freeing because I get to just be me. And it turns out I’m really good at being me. I sucked at being the versions of me I thought I was supposed to be to please my parents, my teachers, my friends, the rest of the world; but it’s actually not much effort at all to just be me. I had a great writing teacher in high school who taught us all the rules of grammar, but then encouraged us to break them. So, you will notice I break a lot of writing rules, but I write the way I would tell a story. Thought by thought, sentence by sentence. Again, authenticity. This is the way I would tell you a story if we were face to face in my living room; why should I write it any other way?


It is my sincere desire that readers would feel liberated after reading my book. I love to imagine the little child within them smiling, finally feeling like s/he gets to call the shots. I love the idea of my readers making the commitment to love and nurture themselves; to treat themselves to the little joys in life that they love. I would love for my readers to finally let go of shame; to start claiming and even celebrating their stories. Especially the “skeletons in the closet.” I imagine shackles around the soul being removed; the shackles of shame, the shackles of not-forgiving, the shackles of wishing this or that never happened. I love imagining the spirits of my readers dancing around in the joy and wonder of their Earth Walk. Changing their mental paradigms to believing their life has been a wild adventure instead of lugging around the baggage of regret. I love imagining the flames within their hearts, the light within, igniting. And I would love for my readers to pull up to the surface, and feel safe in the exposing of, the parts of them that make them different. I would love for them to put my book down knowing their difference is their destiny and feeling ready to show and tell the world about their story, their fight of the human spirit, all that they have gone through, all that they have learned. I would love for them to discover the exhilarating freedom that comes with forgiving all of it, embracing their battle scars, and using those scars to go out in the world and fulfill their true Divine Purpose. 



Renee Linnellis the author of The Burn Zone (She Writes Press). She is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and cofounded five companies and has an Executive Masters in Business Administration from New York University. Currently she is working on starting a publishing company to give people from diverse walks of life an opportunity to tell their stories. She divides her time between Colorado and Southern California. 

For more information, please visit https://reneelinnell.comand follow Renee on FacebookTwitterand Instagram

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Suspect

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~





Synopsis (from Amazon):  Another razor-sharp thriller, THE SUSPECT reaffirms Barton’s reputation as an author who combines propulsive narrative with subtle, insightful commentary on the universal stories of family, identity, and loss—a writer who belongs on the shelf with Tana French, Louise Penny, Megan Abbott, and Paula Hawkins. 

After two girls go missing in Thailand during their gap year, Kate receives a call from her police contact Bob Sparkes, who wants the media to help sound the alarm. Kate can’t help but think of her son Jake, who ran off to Thailand after a rough patch in school and has barely been heard from since.

When the story of the missing girls turns to tragedy, Kate flies to Thailand to investigate the potentially grisly crime. But upon her arrival, her professional and personal worlds collide in a shocking manner. While Barton’s previous books have posed moral dilemmas about how far Kate would go to get the story, now, Kate must face the question:  what happens when the reporter becomes the reported?

Barton is an award-winning journalist in the UK who has worked for the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, among other publications. She drew on her thirty-five year career to craft Kate Waters into the dogged, resourceful reporter that readers have come to love in the previous two books. Barton says writing Kate feels “like coming home.”



One (or more) Sentence Summary: What an amazing book! A parent's worst nightmare.  Your child and her friend go away to a different country and communication stops. Another child drops out of college and takes off, only to find out the many secrets he kept from his parents, including his whereabouts.  Kate, a journalist, becomes a trusted liaison to the parents.  She uses her connections to help track down the girls.  An incredible surprise happens when they arrive in Thailand and all their worlds collide.

The story bounces back and forth between the parents, the girls (friends), the boy and Kate.  Unbelievably, they all end up being connected in a bizarre twist of faith. 

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I would like to read The Child and The Widow by the author, Fiona Barton?





Fiona Barton is the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow and The Child. She has trained and worked with journalists all over the world. Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards. Born in Cambridge, England, she currently lives in southwest France and England.

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Monday, February 11, 2019

The Corner of Heartbreak and Forever

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~




Synopsis (from Amazon): Leaving New York City and returning to her hometown to teach a screenplay writing class seems like just the break Grace Montgomery needs. Until her sisters wake her at four thirty in the morning to watch the hottest guys in town train wild horses and she realizes that escaping her sisters’ drama-filled lives was a lot easier from hundreds of miles away. To make matters worse, she spots the one man she never wanted to see again—ruggedly handsome Reed Cross.

Reed was one of Michigan’s leading historical preservation experts, but on the heels of catching his girlfriend in bed with his business partner, his uncle suffers a heart attack. Reed cuts all ties and returns home to Oak Falls to run his uncle’s business. A chance encounter with Grace, his first love, brings back memories he’s spent years trying to escape.

Grace is bound and determined not to fall under Reed’s spell again—and Reed wants more than another taste of the woman he’s never forgotten. When a midnight party brings them together, passion ignites and old wounds are opened. Grace sets down the ground rules for the next three weeks. No touching, no kissing, and if she has it her way, no breathing, because every breath he takes steals her ability to think. But Reed has other ideas…

The Corner of Heartbreak and Forever is a Sweet with Heat novel and conveys all of the passion you’d expect to find between two people in love without any graphic scenes or harsh language. If you’re looking for a more explicit romance, pick up the steamy edition, Embracing Her Heart, written by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Addison Cole is Melissa’s sweet-romance pen name.




One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Sigh.....Who wouldn't want a Reed in their life?  Grace didn't but did....and she ran away to NYC.  Returning home to help her sister's bookstore out by put on a workshop, she stumbles upon Reed on her parent's front porch.  Sparks fly immediately, both out of anger and passion.  

I absolutely loved Reed, his Aunt and Uncle, Grace, her many, many siblings, her parents, and all the characters that take the workshop and write a screen play.  There was so much happening in the book, yet it all went just happened together.  Great setting, different (somewhat predictable) storyline, steamy, wonderful characters, and left me wanting more.  Even though this is a stand alone book (it truly was and I would never have known there are others in the series before this book), I can't wait to read the others in the series.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Absolutely, I would love to read the rest of the books in the Sweet with Heat: Weston Bradens series as well as the rest of the books in the Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers (read book 1), and the whole Sweet with Heat: Bayside Summer.  Oh heck, any book she has written!  Links to reviews: 




Addison Coleis the sweet-romance pen name of New York Timesand USA Todaybestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. 

Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Visit Addison on her website or chat with her on social media. Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.



Giveaway Grab link (Five Digital Copies of SWEET LOVE AT BAYSIDE)

THE CORNER OF HEARTBREAK AND FOREVER:
KINDLE   APPLE   KOBO   NOOK   GPLAY  PAPERBACK


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Thursday, February 7, 2019

I Invited Her In - TLC Book Tour

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~


Synopsis: Imagine the worst thing a friend could ever do.
This is worse.
When Mel receives an unexpected email from her oldest friend Abi, it brings back memories she thought she had buried forever. Their friendship belonged in the past. To those carefree days at university.
But Abi is in trouble and needs Mel’s help, and she wants a place to stay. Just for a few days, while she sorts things out. It’s the least Mel can do.
After all, friends look out for each other, don’t they?
I Invited Her In is a blistering tale of wanting what you can’t have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.


One (or more) Sentence Summary:   I am sitting here trying to figure out how to put what I think of I Invited Her In into words.  This book was not what I expected, in a good way.  I couldn't put it down.  It frightened me, but I had to keep turning pages.  I thought I had the story figured out by the time I got to the second chapter; however, I was clueless all the way to end.  If you were a Revenge watcher (TV), you will love this book.  I want a sequel.

The secrets some people can keep.  Mel and Abi were full of secrets (they just kept coming!).  Mel and Abi were friends at Uni and drifted apart for 17 years.  Abi leaves her husband and shows up on Mel's door.  What happens once Abi settles in is crazy good!  Mel has a ton of secrets that impact her family and Abi is out for the ultimate revenge when she discovered them.  

I Invited Her In is a great book with amazing characters and crazy storyline.  It is perfect for curling up on the couch or laying in a hammock!  You won't want to put it down.

Adele’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS: Make sure you stop by the sites on the TLC Book Tours for additional reviews and highlights.
Monday, February 4th: Jathan & HeatherWednesday, February 6th: Cheryl’s Book NookThursday, February 7th: Seaside Book NookMonday, February 11th: @thecityofdarkclockworkTuesday, February 12th: Bewitched BookwormsTuesday, February 12th: From the TBR PileWednesday, February 13th: @thepagesinbetween and The Pages In-BetweenSunday, February 17th: Lori’s Reading Corner – Guest Post
Monday, February 18th: @jessicamapTuesday, February 19th: @thesaggingbookshelfWednesday, February 20th: @novelmombooksThursday, February 21st: @girlsinbooksFriday, February 22nd: @readingbetweenthe_winesMonday, February 25th: @scaredstraightreadsTuesday, February 26th: @shereadswithcatsWednesday, February 27th: A Chick Who ReadsThursday, February 28th: Books and Cats and CoffeeFriday, March 1st: Rad Babes Read and @radbabesreadMonday, March 4th: Tar Heel Reader and @tarheelreaderTuesday, March 5th: Books and BindingsWednesday, March 6th: Kahakai KitchenWednesday, March 6th: @hollyslittlebookreviewsThursday, March 7th: The Lit BitchThursday, March 7th: Thoughts from a Highly Caffeinated MindFriday, March 8th: Novel Gossip and @novelgossip


Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I believe I would enjoy reading Adele's other books, especially, The Image of You and Game Over.




Adele Parks one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women’s fiction writers in the UK. She has sold over 3 million books and her work has been translated into 25 different languages.
1500+ 5 star reviews have kindly been written by her fans on Amazon.co.uk 🙂
She has published 15 novels in the past 15 years, all of which have been London Times Top Ten Bestsellers.
Adele was born in the North East of England, in 1969. She enjoyed a traditional 1970’s childhood, watching too much TV and eating convenience food because nobody minded if kids did that in those days. Since graduating from university, where she studied English Language and Literature, she worked in advertising and as a management consultant. In 2010 Adele was proud to be awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University.


Connect with Adele

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Accessible Fine Dining Guest Post






THINKING IN MEALS, NOT IN DISHES (an excerpt from Accessible Fine Dining by Noam Kostucki)


When I was a kid, I remember my dad taking me to restaurants where he knew the chef. The waiter would bring us the menu, and my dad would tell him we didn’t need it. He would ask the waiter to tell the chef that we have this amount of money or that, and to serve us the best for that amount. At first, I was shocked: “but I didn’t even see what’s on the menu? How do I know I will like it? I want to choose my dinner!”. Then, the waiter brought us the tiniest plate of food I had ever seen. There was no way I was going to be full from that dinner. Four hours and thirteen plates later, I was full and amazed. I had tasted so many different things that I was in heaven. Not every single dish was the best, but there was at least one dish I still remember almost 20 years later. It was a Chinese-style spoon filled with roasted duck. The chef asked us to hold the spoon in our hand and walked around sprinkling something on top before allowing us to eat it The barbeque roasted duck sparkled and exploded in our mouths. It was unbelievable. Later that night, he revealed his trick to me, and I was blown away. That’s how I discovered the concept of discovery menus: let the chef give you the best dishes that they can cook. Let them decide what different types of dishes they want to bring you, and it will become a full evening, very much like going to the theatre or opera.

As a result, one of the things I dislike most about going to restaurants is having to choose what I’m going to eat. It feels like a burden. I want to be satisfied and happy, but I don’t want to always eat the same thing. Do I go for a dish I know I will like or do I try something that seems strange and interesting? Most of all, how do I know which dish the chef prepares best? When you go to a restaurant and eat one dish, there is a lot of pressure for that one dish to be amazing. If it’s not, all you have is one plate that you don’t like. By serving people a lot of small dishes, you grab people’s attention, and you keep them awake. The best part is that different guests will have different preferences. That’s why one of my favorite part of dinner is when I ask at the end what is everyone’s single favorite dish. It’s fascinating to see the different opinions people have, and by serving a lot of dishes, you give people something to choose from. If they remember just a single dish from the entire dinner, in my eyes, you have succeeded not only as a chef, but as an artist.


Book Details:
Book Title: Accessible Fine Dining - The Art of Creating Exciting Food in Your Everyday Kitchen by Noam Kostucki, with Chef Quentin Villers
Category: Adult Non-fiction , 128 pages
Genre: Creative Cookbook / Fine Dining
Publisher: Amazon
Release date: Dec 10, 2018
Tour dates: Jan 7 to 31, 2019
Content Rating: G
Picture

Book Description:

Six months after opening my first restaurant, one of my dishes was selected as "25 dishes to travel around the world", featuring me next to culinary legend Heston Blumenthal.

Exciting and healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Over the years, I have seen some of the most exciting dishes come from the simplest kitchens and the most modest ingredients. The purpose of this book is to focus our attention away from the distractions of fancy kitchen equipment and luxury produce and instead focus our attention towards ingenuity in the kitchen and culinary innovation.

For some strange reason, cooking is taught in books as a series of mechanical steps to follow and repeat with precision. I see cooking as a creative art like painting or playing music: it is the freedom of expression that is most interesting to me. When we create from an artistic perspective, we give birth to something new and potentially magical.

The purpose of this book is not to teach you specific recipes, because the ingredients you will find in your local organic food market will likely not be the same as the ones we see here. Nor is the purpose to show you how to imitate us. The purpose of this book is to guide you into thinking about your dishes in a way that elevates them to a fine dining level, from ingredients which are easily accessible to you. Naturally, you will find a few recipes, but most importantly you will find a new way to look at food.

We will share how we think about food shopping, searching for unusual ingredients, the combinations of flavors, techniques, textures, nutritional value, and of course, plating. The purpose of this book is to guide you to become a more exciting, creative and adventurous version of yourself in the kitchen. What separates a craft from an art form is the story behind it; cooking is a craft, while fine dining is an art form.

If you want to create fine dining dishes, start to focus your attention on the different stories a dish can tell. Some stories can be told through your cooking, and others are told through words. Taking the time to present your dishes before people eat is crucial to creating anticipation for the food they will eat.
Picture

Buy the Book:





Watch the book trailer:





Meet the Authors:


Noam Kostucki

MY NAME IS NOAM KOSTUCKI AND I CREATE SPACES FOR MAGIC TO HAPPEN.

I was an awkward child, so I changed school 5 times. I spent most of my life trying to please others, and be the kind of person I believed everyone else wanted me to be. I wasn't happy and I struggled to get what I want. Everything changed when I started changing.

I spent the last 12 years creating the life I dream of. I've had the privilege to be homeless twice, and to speak at Harvard about entrepreneurship. I have grown to be myself more fearlessly than ever before. I am now surrounded by people I love, and who love me.

I traveled over 40 countries, and I've helped over 25,000 people create magic. For example Patryk Wezowski who raised $500,000 in 8 weeks and Esther Perel who gave the 30th most viewed TED talk. Some less public successes include a blind eyed student who experienced his blind eye for the first time and a journalist who left an abusive relationship.

As a university drop out, I was surprised when my first book (personal branding) became required reading at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, as well as receiving the UK Business Speaker of the Year runner up award, and a honorary degree in Business from Hofstra University. As an artist, I was honored to exhibit my photography at the European Union's Innovation Conference.

My most recent venture is HiR Fine Dining, a jungle culinary adventure. I create a discovery menu of 7 plates per person for groups of up to 12 people. HiR Fine Dining became #1 fine dining on TripAdvisor in Tamarindo within the first month. Within 6 months one of my plates was selected out of 40,000 restaurants by OpenTable as one of "25 dishes to travel around the world for". I was invited to speak at Chateau 1525, Costa Rica's most reputable cooking school and our guest chefs include a blind chef who traveled all the way the United Kingdom.

Quentin Villers


Quentin has been cooking in restaurant since the age of 18. He helped his brother build a restaurant for which they received a Michelin Star. Quentin moved to Costa Rica to consult for hotels and restaurants. He managed 3 of the 4 restaurants at Hotel Nayara in La Fortuna, for which he lead a team of over 20 people to be selected to enter Relais & Chateaux, a prestigious network of unique luxury hotels with exquisite cuisine. Quentin is a regular guest chef at HiR Fine Dining and consults for a number of fine dining restaurants in Costa Rica.

Connect with the Authors: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Feb 7, 2019




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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Accessible Fine Dining + Giveaway



Book Details:
Book Title: Accessible Fine Dining - The Art of Creating Exciting Food in Your Everyday Kitchen by Noam Kostucki, with Chef Quentin Villers
Category: Adult Non-fiction , 128 pages
Genre: Creative Cookbook / Fine Dining
Publisher: Amazon
Release date: Dec 10, 2018
Tour dates: Jan 7 to 31, 2019
Content Rating: G
Picture

Book Description:

Six months after opening my first restaurant, one of my dishes was selected as "25 dishes to travel around the world", featuring me next to culinary legend Heston Blumenthal.

Exciting and healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Over the years, I have seen some of the most exciting dishes come from the simplest kitchens and the most modest ingredients. The purpose of this book is to focus our attention away from the distractions of fancy kitchen equipment and luxury produce and instead focus our attention towards ingenuity in the kitchen and culinary innovation.

For some strange reason, cooking is taught in books as a series of mechanical steps to follow and repeat with precision. I see cooking as a creative art like painting or playing music: it is the freedom of expression that is most interesting to me. When we create from an artistic perspective, we give birth to something new and potentially magical.

The purpose of this book is not to teach you specific recipes, because the ingredients you will find in your local organic food market will likely not be the same as the ones we see here. Nor is the purpose to show you how to imitate us. The purpose of this book is to guide you into thinking about your dishes in a way that elevates them to a fine dining level, from ingredients which are easily accessible to you. Naturally, you will find a few recipes, but most importantly you will find a new way to look at food.

We will share how we think about food shopping, searching for unusual ingredients, the combinations of flavors, techniques, textures, nutritional value, and of course, plating. The purpose of this book is to guide you to become a more exciting, creative and adventurous version of yourself in the kitchen. What separates a craft from an art form is the story behind it; cooking is a craft, while fine dining is an art form.

If you want to create fine dining dishes, start to focus your attention on the different stories a dish can tell. Some stories can be told through your cooking, and others are told through words. Taking the time to present your dishes before people eat is crucial to creating anticipation for the food they will eat.
Picture

Buy the Book:





Watch the book trailer:





Meet the Authors:


Noam Kostucki

MY NAME IS NOAM KOSTUCKI AND I CREATE SPACES FOR MAGIC TO HAPPEN.

I was an awkward child, so I changed school 5 times. I spent most of my life trying to please others, and be the kind of person I believed everyone else wanted me to be. I wasn't happy and I struggled to get what I want. Everything changed when I started changing.

I spent the last 12 years creating the life I dream of. I've had the privilege to be homeless twice, and to speak at Harvard about entrepreneurship. I have grown to be myself more fearlessly than ever before. I am now surrounded by people I love, and who love me.

I traveled over 40 countries, and I've helped over 25,000 people create magic. For example Patryk Wezowski who raised $500,000 in 8 weeks and Esther Perel who gave the 30th most viewed TED talk. Some less public successes include a blind eyed student who experienced his blind eye for the first time and a journalist who left an abusive relationship.

As a university drop out, I was surprised when my first book (personal branding) became required reading at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, as well as receiving the UK Business Speaker of the Year runner up award, and a honorary degree in Business from Hofstra University. As an artist, I was honored to exhibit my photography at the European Union's Innovation Conference.

My most recent venture is HiR Fine Dining, a jungle culinary adventure. I create a discovery menu of 7 plates per person for groups of up to 12 people. HiR Fine Dining became #1 fine dining on TripAdvisor in Tamarindo within the first month. Within 6 months one of my plates was selected out of 40,000 restaurants by OpenTable as one of "25 dishes to travel around the world for". I was invited to speak at Chateau 1525, Costa Rica's most reputable cooking school and our guest chefs include a blind chef who traveled all the way the United Kingdom.

Quentin Villers


Quentin has been cooking in restaurant since the age of 18. He helped his brother build a restaurant for which they received a Michelin Star. Quentin moved to Costa Rica to consult for hotels and restaurants. He managed 3 of the 4 restaurants at Hotel Nayara in La Fortuna, for which he lead a team of over 20 people to be selected to enter Relais & Chateaux, a prestigious network of unique luxury hotels with exquisite cuisine. Quentin is a regular guest chef at HiR Fine Dining and consults for a number of fine dining restaurants in Costa Rica.

Connect with the Authors: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Feb 7, 2019




Picture



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