“Rescue Smiles” Wins Best Book: Human-Animal Bond Category—Will Put a Smile on Your Face Too!

rescuesmilescoverlodropWe’re very please to announce that our 2017 release, Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation, won the Dog Writers Association of America “Best Book: Human-Animal Bond” Category.

Explain co-editors Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne: “We titled the book Rescue Smiles because we wanted to remember—and for all of our readers to remember, too—that despite the inevitable heartache that comes from opening ourselves to animals in need, there exists such a magical connection that one cannot help but fall in love anew each day.

“We give our heartfelt thanks to all our contributing authors for opening their hearts to our readers and making the book so memorable and poignant.”

Rescue Smiles features the following tales and authors:

The Bandit and the Engineer: Alice, by Laura Koerber
The Beauty of Rescue: Una, the Biggest Ish, by Tamira Thayne
Home at Last: Sarge, by Reg Green
Heart of a Rat: Sabre, by Heather Leughmyer
In the Beginning: Blue and Ranger, by Joe Maringo
Coming in From the Cold: Misty, by Patti Lawson
For the Love of Blind Dogs: Dimitri, by Sarah Barnett
Mind of a Mouse: Pez, by Heather Leughmyer
Everlasting Love: Hope, by Joe Maringo
Inseparable Surprises: Cissy and Missy, by Barb Michael
Catalysts for Change: Cinnamon and Spice, by Sunny Aris
Her Gift to Me: Miss Rat, by Christopher C. Barnekov
Dying to Live: Gene-O, by Gayla Frances Evans
Uncompromised Compassion: Layla, Ricky, and Lucy, by Andee Bingham
A Feral Princess: Bootsie, aka Tootance, by Tamira Thayne
And All Things Nice: Cinnamon and Sugar, by Tamira Thayne
Finding Sanctuary: Von Truman, by Rachel Ogden
No More Chains: Gator, by Melody Whitworth
The Church Ladies: Lonestar and Tejas, by Joe Maringo
Sparrow in the House: Birdie, by Liz Woloski

Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation is available in paperback, kindle, kindleunlimited, and audiobook, at this link, and makes a wonderful gift for the animal lover in the family:

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This Christmas, Finally, Pennsylvania Chained Dogs Will Find a Gift Under the Tree

Great post and op-ed for PA chained dogs.

Tamira Thayne's "Untethered"

(This Op-Ed appeared in an edited version in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, and can be read and commented on at this link. I encourage you to post a comment, as it will encourage the paper to print more animal opinion pieces.)

op-edbannerIn the past, Pennsylvania winters have brought the gift of anxiety to both dog rescuers and caring citizens forced to witness the suffering of neighborhood dogs from the warmth of their kitchen windows.

unchainpaWhile some humans hung lights from their porches and stockings from their chimneys, their dogs hung from tethers in the backyard—cold, hungry, thirsty, miserable, and, most of all, isolated.

Anyone who stepped forward to ease the suffering of these forgotten dogs was told to “mind their business”, or, worse, arrested for the “crime” of providing food, water, or medical care to one of God’s creatures.

As founder of the first national nonprofit focusing solely on backyard…

View original post 988 more words

Who Chains You Books Receives Two Nominations in the Dog Writers Association of America 2017 Writing Competition

Color us excited to announce that our publishing company, Who Chains You Books, has two nominations for our titles in the Dog Writers Association of America 2017 Writing Competition.

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In the Rescue or Adoption Books Category, author Laura Koerber’s I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue received our first nomination.

The book chronicles the story of not only one rescued dog, Daisy, but all one hundred and twenty-four dogs—and one snake—from the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, the only large-scale dog rescue in the U.S. to be carried out with no support from local government. The OAS rescue was an epic narrative that extended over several years and featured small town politics, protests, assault, lawsuits, arrests, and a midnight escape, all played out to a nationwide audience.

I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found is available in paperback, kindle, and audiobook. Learn more at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Once-Was-Lost-But-Found/dp/194604413X/

rescuesmilescoverloOur second nomination came in the Human/Animal Bond category, where Rescue Smiles: Favorite Animal Stories of Love and Liberation received a favorable nod as well.

The book is edited by Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne, and offers a look into the emotional lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear. Join us for the heartwarming anecdotes, as Cinnamon steals Spice’s puppies, Alice steals everyone’s shoes, and a host of other animals conspire to steal our hearts.

Through these tales, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes peek into the relationships between rescuers and not only dogs and cats, but horses, goats, pigs, rats, mice, and birds, in this delightful first installment of Rescue Smiles.We hope you’re as captivated by the kinship between human and animal as we are.

With contributions by: Laura Koerber, Tamira Thayne, Reg Green, Heather Leughmyer, Joe Maringo, Patti Lawson, Sarah Barnett, Barb Michael, Sunny Aris, Christopher Barnekov, Gayla Evans, Andee Bingham, Rachel Ogden, Melody Whitworth, and Liz Woloski.

The book is available in paperback, kindle, and audiobook. Learn more at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Rescue-Smiles-Favorite-Stories-Liberation/dp/1946044105/

We’re extremely honored and grateful to be nominated, and we wish all the nominees in all categories the best of luck. Thank you for all your efforts on behalf of our beloved companion animals!

Who Chains You Publishing Supports Humane Education in its Quest to Promote Kindness to Animals for Today’s Youth

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Humane Education is one of the most important tools we have to engender a sense of kindness in future generations. By breaking the chain of cruelty to animals through direct communication with youth in schools, we create a more caring society, for humans as well as animals. Our wholesale program is perfect to assist Humane Educators in teaching our youth about animal issues in society.

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We offer wholesale pricing of only $6.50 per book (with FREE Shipping—U.S. ONLY, please contact us for shipping to other countries), mix and match, to humane educators—and every book is available for the program. There is a 10 book minimum order for this program, after that the sky’s the limit!

Even better, for humane educators who need books in higher quantities, orders of 50+ books are only $6.00 each, a savings of over 50% off retail.

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Are you a humane educator in need of books? Then look no further! If you have questions or special needs, or would like to ask about other wholesale opportunities, email us at info@whochainsyou.com for more information.

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Interested in checking out all our available books? Please use the order form on our site to check availability and place your order.

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Our books are already in use in classrooms and libraries by teachers nationwide, like Sonya Wilson, pictured left.

Humane Educator Susan Hergert took books from Who Chains You to her first school visit. She writes in her blog: “When it was all over, I gave the students some books to keep there. They were thrilled with the selections and began to immediately read them! I truly wished I had brought more…a book for each child, perhaps. As I left, I told Nancy that I will bring more in the future.”

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Calling all Humane Educators:

Let us know what other topics or animal issues you are interested in sharing with students, and the age ranges you’d like the books to fit. We’d be happy to get our authors brainstorming book ideas for your topic of interest. Leave us a comment, below, with your suggestions. Thank you for caring about the kids and the animals!

WCY Holiday GiftPaks: Save on Ideas for the Book-Reading Animal Lover in the Family

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Who Chains You Publishing is offering a limited number of Holiday Gifts Packs direct from us to those who love animals or want that special gift for a loved one. We’re also adding in Free Shipping in the U.S., with shipping added for international orders.

Our combo packs are saving anywhere from $4-$17 dollars off retail prices, and are extremely limited due to our low in-house inventory.

First come, first served! Check out all eleven GiftPaks at this link: http://whochainsyou.com/giftpacks.html

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Our Crescent Renewal Imprint is now in full swing, and offers books which feature educational and/or uplifting books that—while they aren’t animal-themed—ensure any animals playing a part in the book are treated with the respect and caring they deserve. We currently offer three children’s books under this imprint, and they are also available as part of our GiftPaks: http://whochainsyou.com/giftpacks.html

Our online store offers a wide variety of animal-themed merchandise and holiday ornaments, including our Rescue Angel line, which offers dog, cat, or dog and cat together, as pictured here. Check out our full line and make your choices today at: http://www.cafepress.com/whochainsyou

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There’s nothing much more exciting for dog lovers who’ve seen the misery of a dog on a chain than to see this meme put out by the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office. Can you imagine? All those years of fighting for a law, and now the governor is making sure everyone knows the law and to bring their dogs inside from the cold! Color us happy.

Currently Accepting Submissions for 2018

Have you written a book for animal lovers? We’re currently accepting books submissions for publication in 2018. Visit our page at http://whochainsyou.com/submissions.html to learn more.

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A Teen Fights for Guinea Pigs and the Planet in “Bravo’s Freedom”

Now Available, from Who Chains You Books and author Samantha K. Riggi: Bravo’s Freedom.

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In Bravo’s Freedom, fifteen year old Gabriel is chosen by his village to travel to Old Guinea, where he must face the rulers to stop them from destroying the planet. With the impacts of global warming in full effect, Gabriel leaves his village with evidence that there is still time to reverse the damage and repair the planet. Will the rulers of Old Guinea listen to what Gabriel has to say, or will Gabriel and his new friend Bravo get locked away forever?

Bravo’s Freedom makes a wonderful classroom addition for environmental and humane education studies, and is perfect for ages 8 and up.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle

About the Author:

samanthariggiauthorphotoSamantha K. Riggi is an elementary school teacher with a passion for animals, the environment and writing. She lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband, children and two old dogs. She is the author of Bravo’s Freedom, and Wesley Reese: Fourth Grade Hero.

About the Illustrator:

aprilpedersenApril Pedersen is a freelancer based in Reno, Nevada. She is partial to frogs, geocaching, science fiction, video poker, and chess. April is the illustrator of Adopting Adele, Brave Benny, and Bravo’s Freedom.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle

“I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue” Now Available in Audio, with its own Book Trailer, Too!

lostcover-audioloFor those who enjoy listening to books on audio while commuting to work or traveling, we’ve got a great new selection for you: I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue.

The book is written by author Laura Koerber, with audiobook narration by Kelly Libatique.

On the far side of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, halfway between the mountains and the ocean, stands the little town of Forks. In that town, in a quiet neighborhood of modest homes and shabby businesses, there remains a dilapidated pink warehouse.

Packed inside that warehouse, living in deplorable conditions, were once over 120 dogs. Some of the dogs were kept in crates piled high on shelves, arranged in rows along the walls, and shoved into corners behind heaps of garbage and urine-saturated straw. Some of the dogs were confined to wire-sided or glassed-in kennels. One was kept in an old horse trailer. Dead ones were stored in a cooler.

In one of the crates was a black dog named Daisy. This is her story.

It is also the story of the rescue of one hundred and twenty-four dogs—and one snake—from the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, the only large-scale dog rescue in the U.S. to be carried out with no support from local government. The OAS rescue was an epic narrative that extended over several years and featured small town politics, protests, assault, lawsuits, arrests, and a midnight escape, all played out to a nationwide audience.

Interested? Watch the Book Trailer for “I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue” by Laura Koerber. Audiobook Narration by Kelly Libatique. Available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook from this link: https://www.amazon.com/Once-Was-Lost-But-Found/dp/194604413X/

YouTube video link: https://youtu.be/F3eAbE5OUSE

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year | Buy Audiobook | Watch Book Trailer

About the Author

Laura Koerber is an artist and writer who lives on an island with her husband and her two dogs. Her first book, The Dog Thief and Other Stories (written as Jill Kearney), was listed by Kirkus Review as one of the Hundred Best Books of 2015. She’s also the author of The Listener’s Tale, I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, Limbo, and the upcoming The Shapeshifter’s Tale. She is a contributing author to Rescue Smiles.

About the Narrator

Kelly Libatique began his career in the high-tech and telecom industries in the early ’90s as a technical writer and trainer. Since then, he has done training, speaking, marketing, and representing around the country for some of the biggest players in the corporate world, including Sony Electronics, Cisco Systems, and Verizon Wireless.

Kelly has been a theatre performer since grade school still regularly performs as an actor, singer, dancer, and choreographer. Although he does camera and commercial acting from time to time, he found his true love to be voice-over.

Kelly holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Education and resides in the San Francisco East Bay area. Check out all his work at his website: https://www.klvoice.com/

WCY has Published our First Ghost Title just in Time for Howloween—”Limbo” by Laura Koerber

If you like ghosts—but not the scary kind—then Limbo is for you.

cold fog in mountain village at nightHow would you spend your time if you died and found yourself in Limbo? Most see Purgatory as a kind of in-between afterlife for people who didn’t rate Heaven and don’t deserve Hell. The author’s Limbo is a ghost town that includes animals that had been killed by humans: a dog, some cats, cows, chickens, and wild creatures, too. The animals are content with their lot in the afterlife, but the humans have an infinity of time on their hands and not enough to do. They think about the big issues, of course: the nature of God, how they screwed up in life, and how they can escape Limbo and get into Heaven.

But no one can spend all their time thinking higher thoughts, so mostly they do what they did in life: they gossip, they get on each other’s nerves, and they play poker.

Darla runs the village politics like a PTA Mom. Emmanuel, who has a wonderful singing voice, most enjoys fellowship with the cows. The Preacher, still in his hospital gown, gathers a congregation and makes it up as he goes along. Warren, a former college professor, seeks something to study in a bookless afterlife. You’ll meet The Naked Man, Lily, Traveling Jack, The Chinese Lady, and Trey, a quadriplegic who is freer in death than he was in life. Seventeen-year-old Alyse, the newest person to join the village, decides to bring everyone together by throwing the Limbo equivalent of a neighborhood block party.

If you like Ghost-Lite stories, you’ll love Limbo…you’ll laugh, cry, and ponder what comes next in the great beyond.

“I love this book. It wraps itself around you with its ghost arms and seeps its way into your soul.”—Tamira Thayne, author, The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year

About the Author

Laura Koerber is an artist and writer who lives on an island with her husband and two dogs. Laura divides her retirement time between dog rescue, care for disabled people, political activism, and yes, she tells herself stories while driving.

Her first book, The Dog Thief and Other Stories (written as Jill Kearney), was listed by Kirkus Review as one of the Hundred Best Books of 2015. She’s also the author of The Listener’s Tale, I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, Limbo, and the upcoming Shapeshifter’s Tale.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year

“Papa’s Pumpkin”—New Children’s Book Now Available from Author Sandra Biersdorfer in Time for Halloween and Thanksgiving

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Just Released!

Papa’s Pumpkin

by Sandra Biersdorfer
Illustrated by Nikki Cooper

Kylee Rain loves cupcakes with sparkly sprinkles, anything pink, Paris, France, and her Papa—her favoritest person in the whole wide world.

Her Nana and Papa live with them in a big old house on a farm in the country, where she gets to cuddle with her grey kitty Purrlock Holmes and explore their HUGE vegetable garden with its extra large pumpkin patch.

Ever since she was little, Kylee’s helped Papa take care of the pumpkins. Sometimes he tells her, with a wink and a grin, “Why when you were just a teeny weeny baby, you showed up one day in that pumpkin patch, and you were so stinkin’ cute we decided to keep you! That’s why to me you’ll always be ‘Papa’s Little Pumpkin.’”

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Kylee and her Papa prove that the bond between a grandparent and a grandchild can indeed be something special. From motorcycles to airplanes and everything in between, join Papa and Kylee in this heartwarming tale as they make lifetime memories while waiting for their pumpkins to grow into the prettiest, plumpest pumpkins in the patch.

Perfect for ages 4 and up—and all the young-at-heart grandparents too—this book from Crescent Renewal is sure to find a spot on your family’s bookshelf.

ISBN-13: 978-1-946044-16-7

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year

About the Author

authorphotoSandra Biersdorfer, a native of East Texas, has been an avid reader since childhood. Some of her favorite books are the Nancy Drew mysteries and The Little House on the Prairie series. She is an advocate for reading and enjoys reading to children and visiting schools as much as possible to share her love of reading and becoming an author.
Sandra currently lives in Nacogdoches, Texas, with her two feline fur babies Shadow, an adopted male black domestic short hair, and Ethel. Ethel is a rescue kitty, too, and is the subject of Sandra’s second published children’s book, The Kitty with the Itty-Bitty Tail, because she does indeed have an itty-bitty tail. Her first children’s book, Nana’s Banana, was published in 2014.

Sandra enjoys reading, writing, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends including her two grown children. Her son is a Math major at Stephen F. Austin State University, and her daughter is a high school English teacher in Katy ISD.

About the Illustrator

nikkicooperNikki Cooper lives in Wisconsin with her husband, three children, lots of animals, and her ’72 VW Beetle Ernie. She began drawing cartoons for her local paper at the age of 16 and continued as she attended college. She obtained degrees in animal science and agricultural education, but the twists and turns of life sent her down an artistic path. Nikki’s love of animals and passion for art serve her well in her current occupations as a teacher and artist. She teaches elementary school art and brings her cartoons to life as comical fabric mache sculptures made from recycled materials, as part of the Green Chicks Studio.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year

“I Found Myself Laughing and Crying”: Narrator Lee Ahonen on Creating Audio for “Foster Doggie Insanity”

fdinsanityaudiocoverloAuthor Tamira Thayne wanted to take her book Foster Doggie Insanity into audio, but needed to find a narrator who ‘got’ her voice. She was thrilled to find Lee Ahonen, telling her: “Your reading is EXACTLY how I would have wanted it to sound if I did it myself. You got right into the character and created all the nuances and inflections the way I would do it or want to do it. Thank you!”

We asked Lee some questions about her narration and how she chooses her books.

Q & A with Lee Ahonen, Narrator and Producer of the Audiobook for “Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent” by Tamira Ci Thayne

Q:        How do you choose the books you audition for?

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A:        When it comes to nonfiction, I look for books that interest me and that have a positive message. Then I review the writing itself. Does it flow when I read it aloud? Does it make sense? Will the listener be able to connect with it? I don’t expect all books to be written perfectly when it comes to grammar, punctuation, and spelling. However, the author’s meaning needs to come through so that I can inject the correct feeling behind the words and the listener can get caught up in the narrative.

Q:        Is it difficult to interpret the meaning and feelings behind the author’s words

A:        Well, sometimes, yes. That happens when books are poorly written, meaning there are incomplete sentences, the use of pronouns makes it confusing, and the information is disorganized, which makes it difficult to follow the story. I don’t audition for those books. But when a book is well written, the story flows and it is easy to get into character. That’s why I enjoyed narrating and producing Foster Doggie Insanity. I felt Tamira’s personality in every word, and she was consistent throughout the book.

Q:        What does that mean – that you felt the author’s personality?

A:        The author was able to express her feelings with words. Her caring nature and sense of humor were interwoven with the gritty, day-to-day work of rescuing and fostering dogs. Also, she made herself vulnerable by sharing some of the bad stuff she experienced during her many years of service to dogs. It was very real. I could feel what she experienced, and I hope listeners will feel it, too. It’s powerful.

Q:        Was there anything in particular that stood out in this book?

A:        There were a couple of things. First, there were many emotional moments in this book – happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, and more. Somehow, Tamira was able to balance the good and the bad with humor. As a result, while there was tension in the book, it was not overwhelming. However, this is the first book in which I found myself laughing or crying too much, forcing me to do more takes so that I didn’t sound too emotional in the recording. Second, I realized that much of her advice could be applied to anyone – not just people who foster. There are many great “life” tips in the book that can help people take care of themselves so they are healthy and happy while caring for others.

Q:        To whom do you think this book will appeal?

A:        I think this book has a very broad audience – not just people who foster or rescue, but anyone that has ever had a dog or thought about having a dog in their family. It certainly would make people think about adopting a rescue dog rather than “buying” one from a pet store or a non-reputable breeder. And for anyone who currently has a dog in the family, it will make them appreciate their doggie even more!

Q:        When you do take time off, what are your favorite hobbies or things to do?

A:        I love to read. I read all types of fiction – mysteries, romance, science fiction, etc. – and I read nonfiction, which includes self-improvement, health and nutrition, business topics, and more, while lounging with my dogs, Bella and Bear (both rescues). I also spend time with my granddaughter, which now that I think about it, also involves reading! Reading has always been a big part of my life. I guess it’s not so surprising that I got involved with audiobook narration.

Q:        And where can we find you online? Do you have a narrator page link we can visit?

A:        You can find me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/leeahonen/, ACX at https://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A28X5JDMI20RBN, and AudioFile at https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/referenceguide/detail/6193/.

Q:        Do you have a couple other favorite books you’ve narrated our readers can check out?

A:        Yes, I do. “Entangled Empathy: An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationships with Animals,” by Lori Gruen; “Don’t Stay Stuck!: Eliminate Your Excuses and Gain the Confidence to Achieve Your Dreams,” by Lori Chavez-Wysocki; and “Sport Is Life with the Volume Turned Up: Lessons Learned That Apply to Business and Life,” by Joan Cronan and Rob Schriver. Although, honestly, they’re all my favorites because I’ve learned something from every nonfiction book I’ve worked on. That’s another reason I enjoy the process so much – continuous learning.

About the Narrator, Lee Ahonen

I began my audiobook narration and production career a year ago. It was a couple of years after finishing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (with a concentration in management) and a Master’s Degree in Instructional Design and Technology while working full time. I tried to enjoy my free time after being so busy, but I became unhappy with so much time on my hands. I needed to be productive, and I wanted a creative outlet. Narration provides the creative outlet, and production satisfies my detail-oriented nature. I’ve completed 23 books to date while continuing to work full time as a legal assistant, and I have six books currently in production. It’s been a very busy year, and I love it!

Foster Doggie Insanity is available in paperback, kindle, kindle unlimited, and audiobook at the following links. For a limited time, buy Foster Doggie Insanity on Audiobook, and get the code to any of our other audiobooks FREE. Just forward your receipt to info@whochainsyou.com:

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue | Buy Audiobook

Author Tamira Thayne lives in Northern Virginia, and is available for speaking engagements and author visits. She can be reached at tami@whochainsyou.com.