The Queen of Zombie Hearts

( 11 )

Overview

I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak...

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Overview

I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters…and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies…and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing—and turning—Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima—even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Gena Showalter is one of those authors whose works inspire readers to happily snap into auto-buy. Those fans have been nervously waiting almost a year for this grand finale to her undead fest White Rabbit Chronicles and The Queen of Zombie Hearts doesn't disappoint. In terms of the plot, that means that "Ali" Bell finds no rest, her hopes for an immediate happy-ever-after with sweetheart Cole Holland blown to the winds by more monster attacks, slayings, and surprises. A fitting finale to a reader-pleasing series. (P.S. This Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition contains deleted annotated scenes!)

Kirkus Reviews
2014-08-27
Hostilities between Anima Industries and the zombie slayers escalate into all-out war in this trilogy conclusion. The teenage zombie slayers' relative peace is shattered when Anima, the evil company doing zombie research, launches a series of attacks meant to eliminate them. When faced with a comrade's severe injuries, Ali discovers via a desperate experiment that the magical zombie-killing fire heals slayers. Unfortunately, though, it can't help dead slayers, so Ali and friends must find their fellow survivors before it's too late. Publicly, Anima's made it look like the attacks were a gang war between Cole's group and another band of teenage zombie fighters—leading to a tense union of both crowds. While at times it is hard to keep track of the large cast, it's always safe to assume that any given guy is an alpha male. Meanwhile, Ali and Cole incrementally progress in their physical intimacy (subject to comical interruptions). Between finding the missing slayers and the slow march to sex, the story becomes repetitive at times, but Showalter's witty zingers will keep readers cackling. A mysterious woman heralds yet-undiscovered abilities for Ali, as well as devastating secrets from the past that endanger aspects of her personal life and reveal more of Anima's history. The ending thoroughly concludes the series. Funny, sexy, action-packed and tragic in all the right moments. (Horror/paranormal romance. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373211319
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 9/30/2014
  • Series: White Rabbit Chronicles Series , #3
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 49,759
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novles, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and managerie of dogs. Visit her at GenaShowalter.com.

Biography

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Young Adult novels from a multitude of publishers. She has appeared in Cosmo and Seventeen magazines, on MTV, and has also been featured on many regional and national news programs.

Good To Know

Gena credits much of her success to her wonderful fans, amazing family, and the three slobbery English bulldogs who sleep under her desk. She is a self proclaimed coffee addict and when she's not writing she likes to...well, we're not sure. We've never seen her do anything but write.
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Read an Excerpt

"Dude. How about that one?" My best friend, Kat Parker, pointed toward the far corner, to a table occupied by three boys about our age.

One guy was hot enough to melt a polar vortex. One wasn't handsome in the traditional sense, but with his unusual chartreuse eyes, it hardly mattered. The third was amazingly rugged, with a fresh scrape on his cheek and scars on his knuckles.

Well, well. We had finally found a smorgasbord of different flavored man-meat.

"Perfect," I said with a nod.

"I don't know." Reeve Ankh, my other friend, surveyed the boys and chewed on her bottom lip. "I'm getting danger vibes from the one on the right."

The one on the right—Knuckle Scars. Excellent. Her dan-dar—danger radar—was working at optimal levels.

In our little trio, she'd always been the voice of reason. Or, as Kat would say, "the voice of shut up and live a little."

My darling Kat meant it in the nicest way possible, of course. She simply had no filter. She always spoke her mind, always stood up for what she believed—that her way was the best way—and lived by the motto I'm On Board the Awesome Train and You Can Hop On or Get Run Over.

Was it any wonder I loved her so much?

"This is stupid, you guys."

The grumble came from Mackenzie Love. Once my archenemy, now one of my favorite pet projects.

Most people were surprised by our sudden friendship, but I'd learned life could change in the blink of an eye.

Everything could change in the blink of an eye.

I accepted, and I rolled.

"Suck it up." Trina Brighton, the last member of our group, kicked Mackenzie under the table. "This was your idea."

"That's right. You asked for our help, and we agreed to give it to you on one condition. That you do what we say, when we say." Grinning her happy-kitten grin, Kat rubbed her hands together. While I had grown to like Mackenzie, she hadn't. But she had softened…ish. "This is gonna be fun. For me!"

Hated to admit it, but…yeah, it was gonna be fun for me, too.

We were at Choco Loco, a chocolate bar where girls picked up treats and boys picked up girls. Not that I wanted to be picked up.

I'd been going out with the drool-worthy Cole Holland—officially…again—for a little over a month. And, okay, yeah, there was a slight problem with our relationship. In the course of that month, we'd been on…give me a second to count them—zero dates. We'd had a total of…let's see, let's see—zero minutes alone. And we'd kissed…oh, I don't know—zero times.

Here are things that suck worse:_.

Okay, fine. There are a few things that suck worse. Like the time I was an all-you-can-eat dinner buffet for zombies. The time I battled the worst Z-poisoning in the history of ever. And my personal favorite, the time Anima Industries locked me away, electrocuted me, starved me and studied me like a freaking zoo animal.

Considering all I'd been through, my love life should have been a sparkling diamond in a sea of coal. Or a sea of "Cole." Har har. We had tried to get together, like, plan-everything-down-to-the-last-second tried, but each of our sneak-overs had encountered one teensy-weensy problem.

Her name: Nana.

Seriously, my grandmother had morphed into the Make-Out Police, and okay, okay, I didn't really have to rack my brain to figure out why. One night Cole had saved me from a very painful death, and we'd decided to celebrate. Alone. He'd stolen into my bedroom, and we'd done what we always did. (I refuse to provide the down-and-dirty deets. But it was. Down and dirty. Anyway) She'd heard us—the horror!—and had busted in.

We'd still had (most of) our clothes on, but yowza, the position she'd caught us in…

Ever since, Nana has been attached to my side. In fact, the only time she detaches is when I'm hanging with my girls, or when I'm prowling the streets, hunting zombies.

Don't get me wrong. I love Nana to pieces. And so does Cole. When the three of us get together, we actually have fun. But I want more. I need more. I'm addicted to Cole's hands…and his mouth…and oh, Ali-want, his nipple ring. Withdrawals stink!

"What are you waiting for, love buns?" Kat banged her hand on the table. "Did I not make it clear that you don't get a vote in this? That the tribe has spoken? You know what you gotta do, so, do it."

A waiter stepped up to our table before Mackenzie could respond. He set a mousse shooter in front of each of us.

"Um." Reeve frowned. "We didn't order these."

"Compliments of the hounds in the corner." A wink, and the waiter was off.

In unison, my friends and I gazed at our chocolate-addiction enablers. Hot and Chartreuse lifted their own mousse shooters in a toast. Knuckle Scars just stared.

Reminded me of Cole.

Kat stood and called, "My friend MacLovin' will come over and thank you in person just as soon as her heartbeat settles. You totally rocked her—"

Mackenzie tugged on her arm, both returning her to her seat and silencing her. "Do you have to be so humiliating?"

As the toasters high-fived, Kat slapped Mackenzie on the shoulder. "What are you complaining about? We came here to find you a date, and now, thanks to me, it's practically mission accomplished. I've set the stage, so all you have to do is walk over there and pick your favorite boy toy. You're welcome."

Mackenzie leaned over and bashed her forehead against the table.

"Why are you acting like such a baby?" Kat gave her another slap. "You're, like, some kind of super ninja warrior who spends her nights catching butterflies and—"

"Good glory," I said. "Stop calling it that."

"Seriously." Mackenzie stopped bashing and looked up. "You make us sound like—" she shuddered "—girls."

Though Kat and Reeve were civilians, not slayers, they knew about the dark, secret world in operation around them. And Kat, well, she now liked to refer to slaying zombies as catching butterflies. She was sweet like that.

"I'm fine with calling it catching butterflies," Trina said.

Kat smirked.

Mackenzie gaped at Trina.

"What?" Trina shrugged. "I'm confident in my masculinity."

I snorted. Trina might look like she could lift a bus, but her heart was as soft as marshmallows.

"You should talk to the boys and get it over with, Mac." Reeve ran her finger over the rim of her shooter and licked away the chocolate. "Kat looks ready to drag you over there."

"True story," Kat said with a nod. "Just seconds away."

"If she does," Reeve continued, "the last five minutes will become your happy place."

"Fine." A scowling Mackenzie pushed to her feet. "But I'm not going to try to charm them."

"As if you could," Kat said, and Mackenzie's scowl darkened.

"You've got this in the bag." I truly believed that. Mac wouldn't have to use charm. Not with a face like hers.

All of my friends had model-perfect faces. And yet, each was so different.

Kat, with her straight dark hair and hazel eyes, was girl-next-door lovely. Reeve, with her brown waves and doe eyes, was traffic-stopping stunning. Mackenzie, with her black curls and emerald eyes, was child-of-an-angel exquisite. And Trina, with her short spikes and black-rimmed eyes, was punk-rocker cool. I was the oddball, with pale hair and eyes so blue they were freaky.

As Mackenzie trudged closer to the boys, a shadow fell over our table.

Kat squealed with delight and threw herself into the arms of the culprit.

No need to glance over to figure out who had just arrived. Frosty, her on-again, off-again boyfriend.

They had a weird relationship, because even when they were off, they were on. Like, all-over-each-other on. I'd never seen two people more bat-crap crazy for each other.

She peppered his face with kisses. "You came!"

"And you look amazing."

"Obviously."

Ha! Such a perfect, confident response. Such a Kat response. I'd have to remember it the next time Cole complimented me.

"I couldn't stay away." Frosty combed his fingers through Kat's hair. "I believe your last text said, and I quote, 'If you aren't here within the next ten minutes, I will probably forget all about you and fall in love with someone else.'"

My girl had such a poetic way with words.

Lucas, as attractive as ever in a polo with the sleeves rolled up to display his dark arms to perfection, stepped out from behind Frosty. He nodded at Trina, peering at her for several seconds beyond polite. A lance of awareness arced between them. Well, well. I'd suspected they were secretly seeing each other, and this just cinched it. Good. They deserved a steamy dose of happiness.

Kat wrapped her fingers around Frosty's wrist and pulled him closer. "I've always believed open lines of communication are the key to making any relationship work. That, and presents. Do you have one for me?"

"Me, too!" Reeve waved her hands expectantly. "Gimme."

Frosty ignored her. As usual, he cared only about his girl. "Shouldn't my exalted presence be present enough? I ditched Cole and Bronx and broke speed records to come snap the spine of anyone who's made a play for you. And since that's surely everyone breathing, I just need you to tell me where you'd like me to start."

My ears perked at the mention of Cole. "Where'd you leave him?"

Of course, Frosty ignored me, too.

"Tatty's Ink," Lucas said. "Bronx is getting Reeve's name inked into his arm. Which, I just remembered, is supposed to be a surprise."

Reeve cooed happily, thrilled with her boyfriend's unexpected gift.

I'd decided to get two new tattoos myself, so…why not drive over there now? Cole could hold my hand through the process, and afterward, he'd realize there had never been a more perfect chance for Nana-free time. Two birds, one delectable stone. Afterward, we could…do things. I shivered with anticipation.

Knowing it would have been criminal to leave a single drop of my mousse shooter behind, I downed it and licked the rim, then licked again just to be safe. I knew I wasn't over-hyping the dessert when I muttered, "This is the best thing in the entire world."

"Agreed," Reeve said.

Finally, I made the brave decision to step between Frosty and Kat.

Yes, other people had been donkey-punched in the throat for doing such a thing, but I was willing to risk it. I needed my best friend's full attention.

"I'm leaving, and I'm taking Mackenzie with me." Love bug was my ride. "You're not going to have as much fun without me, but I hope you're willing to make the sacrifice."

Kat pursed her lips. "What about this most special of occasions? Girls' day out."

Honestly? "It crashed and burned the second Frosty and Lucas showed up."

"Hey," Frosty said behind me. "I only crash and burn the people who say I crash and burn things."

"True story." Kat blinked up at me. "But that aside, let's cut through the crap and focus on what you're really saying. I have to choose between him and you."

If it would save me from having to argue about leaving?

"Yes."

"Oh. Well, then. I choose you," she said with a sunny smile. "Of course."

Should have seen that coming. As much as she loved Frosty, she loved me. Maybe more. We were sisters of the heart rather than blood, and (almost) always put each other's needs above everyone else's.

"Get lost, Frosty." She made shooing motions over my shoulder. "You can remind me of my affection for you later."

"But, kitten," he said, his tone beseeching. And it was funny, hearing one of the biggest, baddest Z-killers in Birmingham, Alabama, reduced to begging, all because a tiny fluff of nothing had decided not to play with him. "I have a fever, and the only prescription…is more cow-kat."

Kat narrowed her eyes at him. "Cow-kat?"

"Dude," Lucas muttered. "Do you want to lose a testicle?"

"Okay," Frosty said, "I'm man enough to admit that might have come out wrong."

I gripped Kat by the shoulders. "You don't have to worry about hurting my feelings. I'm foaming-at-the-mouth eager to see Cole."

"You planning to make out with him?"

"Yes," I admitted, even as my cheeks heated.

"That's so cake. And you'll give me every detail?"

Wait. "Cake?"

"My new favorite word, meaning so totally beyond amazeballs."

Well, okay, then. Soon, it would be the world's favorite. "If you insist, I'll give you a play-by-play." I knew she would.

She thought for a moment, sighed. "Fine. Go. We'll reschedule."

"Really?"

"What can I say? I'm a giver."

"Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you." I kissed her cheek and raced to Mackenzie's side.

"—must be a light switch, because every time I look at you, I'm turned on," Chartreuse was saying.

No. Just no. Pickup lines were never okay. "We've gotta go," I told her.

Chartreuse frowned. "But she just got here."

Relief radiated from Mackenzie. "Sorry, boys. It's been. Yeah." She said no more as she tugged me toward the door.

"Hey!" Reeve called. "No one said 'bye to me."

I waved, saying, "'Bye. We love you!" over my shoulder.

She blew me a kiss.

Trina laughed at something Lucas said, unconcerned by our departure.

Mackenzie and I stepped into the wintry afternoon. The sun was shining but the air was chilled. Shoppers wove in and out of nearby boutiques, each lost in their own little worlds.

"Thank you," Mackenzie said with a shudder. "The only guy I had any interest in never spoke a word to me."

"Let me guess. Mr. Knuckle Scars."

"Yeah. How'd you know?"

"We have similar taste." Proof: we'd both dated Cole. "He would have been my choice, too." And not just for his rugged appeal.

Every slayer in the war against Z's had lost loved ones to bites and battle wounds, and the sorrow and grief tended to build barriers around our hearts. More and more, it became clear that the strong had a better chance of survival; Knuckle Scars had definitely been the strongest of the bunch.

Shockingly enough, Frosty—who had lost more than most—was the exception to my theory. He'd fallen for Kat despite her kidney disease. But I wasn't going to think about her illness and the pain she was—and would be—forced to endure. I'd break down and be forced to compartmentalize, shoving the heartbreak into a deep, dark corner of my mind, to be dealt with later.

My compartments were almost full.

I'd told myself I'd stop doing it, stop locking away the hard emotional crap and finally deal with my feelings, but I'd fallen back into the habit…and honestly, I wasn't in any hurry to change.

"Where are we going?" Mackenzie settled behind the wheel of her truck. "It's too early for patrol."

Oh, yeah. We had to patrol for zombies this evening. We'd be with Gavin the man-whore—another one of my pet projects, despite his warped sense of humor—and the mostly silent Bronx. Time was limited.

"We're going to Tatty's," I said and explained why.

"I'd advise you to play a little hard to get, but I swear, it doesn't matter what you do. Cole thinks it's the most adorable thing ever. It makes me want to stab you both in the eye."

A few weeks ago, she would have spat those words at me like weapons. Because the moment Cole had displayed an interest in me—which had been at moment one, thank you very much—she'd hated me.

My sparkling personality had eventually won her over.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2014

    love the book, it can't be over!!!

    love the book, it can't be over!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2014

    Amazing

    It is an amazing book, my over all favorite part is, and dont take this the wrong way, when kat died because i was able to feel what the characters were feeling: grief, fury, and regret.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 12, 2014

    Let me begin by saying this is my favorite series i have read an

    Let me begin by saying this is my favorite series i have read and i was so sad for it to end. there was so much going on in this last book i couldnt stop reading, it was everything and more. i nearly cried near the end of the book and i am in my 30's! if you are considering reading this series please do it, you won't be sorry it was fantastic, action-packed and so much more. loved every minute of it and i will always have a special place in my mind for the characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2014

    Crowns&

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2014

    Thane

    We dont work im sorry turns to leave.

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  • Posted October 1, 2014

    Amazing! An epic conclusion to one of the best YA series I've ev

    Amazing! An epic conclusion to one of the best YA series I've ever read. I don't even know where to begin. I laughed, I swooned, I got goose bumps . . . I fought the tears as I gripped the edge of the pages in my fists. There's so much emotion, twists, turns, and loops that I was on a white-knuckled roller coaster ride the entire time! I found myself second guessing things I thought I knew and blindsided by those I should have seen coming! It felt like I'd been punched in the gut and crumbled over. Secretly, I wanted to throttle a few characters as I thought, 'Oh no, you did not just do that!" (Yeah, Veronica, I still have your number.) 

    And then of course, there's Cole--powerful, strong, dangerous, and super hot to boot. A man brought to his knees by one female. Ugh. The chemistry. So. Intense. 

    However, nothing is ever as it seems. I don't want to post too much without giving away any spoilers, but if you haven't read this series, start now. If you are waiting for this third installment to The White Rabbit Chronicles, you are in for a real treat because Ali-gator is wickedly awesome and totally puts Zombie Alice to shame. As if she hadn't already! ;)

    Showalter has thrown off the gloves and truly delivered a fantastic and compelling story. Mix in her amazing writing skills and fabulous imagination . . . well, let's just say . . . I loved it! 

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  • Posted September 30, 2014

    This being the third and final book in this series , I was excit

    This being the third and final book in this series , I was excited and sad at the same time.
    I truly LOVED this YA twist on one of my favorite childhood stories.
    With that being said….

    Ali , Cole and friends are typical high school kids or that’s what they are going for. They attend school during the day and fight Zombies at night. Now that everyone is in on the zombie apocalypse… the slayers not only have to protect themselves but the humans they love.

    The slayers have special abilities to help with finding and killing the zombies and not only does Alie have her sister Emma ( a witness/ghost) to guide her but her abilities are changing. She has some news about her life that will throw a damper on things but can help them in their quest to end Anima, the people that are using the zombies to take over.

    When Cole’s team joins forces with River ( another slayer team) they find out someone is a spy and when the spy is revealed it’s a shock to all of them.

    Two of Ali’s friends are missing and Anima has them, they want Ali for the trade and she just might agree but not if Cole has anything to do with it. ( although Ali does make her own choices)

    There is so much going on in this book and I don’t want to spoil it for you so just go and read it !!!

    It was an emotional roller coaster for me…happy, sad, angry and excited!!!

    Thank you Gena for this great series!! YOU ROCK !!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2014

    Amethyst

    Yo

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2014

    I had a big decision to make when I received this book. Did I wa

    I had a big decision to make when I received this book. Did I want to stay up all night devouring every page as I usually do with Gena Showalter’s books or did I want to savor this one and take my time reading it?


    I decided on the latter since this was the last book in the series. Let me tell you it took lots of discipline for me not to rush through the pages especially during certain scenes when I needed to know immediately if what I just read was right or if there was still some hope to cling to. Ah, HOPE you demon trickster!


    Ali has survived the death of her parents and little sister, the destruction of her home, kidnapping, torture, and a break up with the smoldering Cole Holland. Evil Zombie Ai is gone for good and finally she’s getting a break. Her and Cole are back together and ready to take the next step in their relationship! YES! Everything is on the bright side of life where unicorns, hot springs and rainbows exist until Anima Industries launches an all out war on the slayers. This time Anima isn’t just looking to get Alison back in their clutches they want to wipe out every single slayer for good and they are willing to do anything including putting innocents at risk. 


    Ali and the rest of the slayers have to pull together to fight for their lives. This time they’ll need to join another group of slayers to win and the costs will be high for everyone. Hearts will be broken, lives lost and shocking secrets revealed.


    I knew going into the book that there were going to be some punches to my gut but I was still unprepared for the heartbreak and death. Oh my, the lives lost. I can’t even get into it because I don’t want to spoil anything and I don’t want to cry AGAIN! I enjoyed the twists regarding the revelations of Alice’s past and the addition of River and his gang of slayers. More cute guys to drool over! 


    I was enchanted by the story. I was laughing one minute and crying the next. I have so much love for this series, every character, every scene, every bump, twist, heartbreak and bit of happiness. The ending was perfect and I was blubbering when a certain Witness appeared. Cue the boxes of Kleenex and sad music. 


     There are some characters I hope are revisited in future short stories or novellas. I would love to have some in-depth stories involving some of the other couples that came together in this book and please, PLEASE one day revisit our heartbroken boy (you know who I am talking about, won’t say names, spoilers). I really need to know that at some point he finds some peace, some calm, a way to smile and a way to move on happily. I don’t think I will feel completely at ease until I know he’s okay. 


    When it comes to creating characters that you would love to hang out with, characters you become so wrapped up with that you don’t ever want the series to end Gena Showalter is a writing genius. You hear that Gena? I’m declaring you a Genius! Also this Alabama native thanks you for making Birmingham the backdrop of such an amazing story. 

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    Posted May 28, 2014

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    Posted October 4, 2014

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