Marty Chan (Edmonton) AB)

Booking for May 2018 Writers Union Member. A professional liar since 1988, Marty writes books for kids and plays for adults. He’s also a keynote speaker, television screenwriter, radio dramatist, and raconteur.

Marty charges $400 plus HST for one hour-long session, $600 for two presentations, and $825 for three. He charges $1,000 for a full day visit, which allows you to schedule as many sessions as you like into the regular school day. Marty’s fees cover his travel and accommodation from Alberta, and he will offset travel costs through The Writers Union of Canada’s reading program.

If you book a full-day visit and want a family literacy event on the same day, Marty will waive the costs for the evening presentation.

The son of immigrants, Marty grew up in a French-Canadian town where he was the only Chinese kid at school. Bullied and friendless, he found sanctuary in the school library where a teacher-librarian inspired this reluctant reader to fall in love with books. Using his sense of humour, Marty turned bullies into buddies and transformed his passion for literacy into a lifelong career as a writer.

A versatile presenter with a background in theatre, Marty can present to any age and any size audience. He tailors his presentations according to grade levels, creating a unique experience for each group he visits. His sessions incorporate storytelling, humour, games, stage magic, and improv that ignite a passion for literacy in audiences from age 5 to 55. Marty has presented keynote speeches for teachers and librarians, led writing workshops for adults, performed at children’s festivals, and emceed large-scale cultural events.

Venues: Marty is able to present in any venue, but he prefers the library.

Some of his sessions include:

JK to 1: For the price of one full session ($400 plus HST), Marty will deliver two 30-minute storytelling sessions featuring Chinese folktales and stage magic. He’ll also reveal the real-life cats behind his hilarious picture book, True Story. (Maximum audience: 50.)

Grades 2 – 3: With a dose of humour, Marty recounts the real-life childhood experiences that inspired The Mystery of the Frozen Brains and improvises a scene with a few students as the stars of the story. (Maximum audience: 100+)

Grades 4 – 6: Keep the lights on for this thrilling talk about Marty’s scary series, Keepers of the Vault, which was inspired by his haunted elementary school. This session is sure to make a few kids jump out of their seats. (Maximum audience: 100+)

Grades 7 and up: Marty reveals the research he did to write The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles, a steampunk fantasy series featuring magician and escape artist Harry Houdini as the protagonist. Marty will show kids all types of shackles as well as a regulation straitjacket, from which he will attempt to escape. (Maximum audience: 100+)

Keynote sessions: Marty can present a keynote session for mixed grade levels or a family literacy night. His keynotes incorporate elements of humour, storytelling, stage magic, and inspiring stories of overcoming discrimination. (Maximum audience: 400).

Writing workshops: Want to go behind the scenes? Marty shares tips on writing thrillers, creating conflict, and crafting plays. He presents workshops for grades 3 – 12 as well as writing seminars for adults. (Maximum audience: 30.)

Virtual visits: $100 plus HST for a half-hour Skype session.

Teachers and librarians have this to say about Marty’s sessions:

“Wow! What a performance! It is hard to say who enjoyed it more, the students or the staff. We were all captivated with Marty Chan and his engaging, entertaining, and informative presentation. The students were asking for him to come visit us again minutes after the presentation ended. From the moment he began to speak, he enthralled us with details of his journey to become an author. His interactive presentation style and use of humour made his writing process come alive for the students, and murmurs of “I want to become a writer” could be heard rippling through the audience…pure gold to a teacher’s ears!” - Nikki Haight, Prince Philip Public School

“Marty engaged a very difficult group of junior high students the ENTIRE presentation. We have never had a presenter come in who was able to capture and hold their attention. This was awesome. Students were even commenting on their way out the room how amazing he was. It was so great to hear them excited about something related to learning. Students were talking about his presentation for days after. The students say he was the best author they have ever seen.” – Janet Kraft, Ralston School

Marty Chan was able to mesmerize children from kindergarten to grade three with his combination of magic, sketching, story-telling and total body language. His inclusion of Chinese folk tales was a good fit for our grade threes, as they were studying different cultures and traditions as part of the Social Studies curriculum.  In choosing children from the audience to act out his tales, the performance aspect of the Language Arts curriculum was enhanced. All the students were willingly engaged in listening, another component of the language arts curriculum. Our staff were delighted by his revision demonstration, using his “magic book”. The next day when a student was asked to add details to his story draft, he smiled and said,” Just like Marty Chan, right?” – Susan Schneider, I.F. Cox School

Equipment needs:

Marty needs a table to set his props and a glass of water. In a larger venue like the gym, Marty will need a microphone and stand as well as a projector and screen.

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Adrienne Kress (Toronto)

Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Writers’ Union Member.Middle Grade, YA.Winner Heart of Hawick Award (UK). Adrienne Kress’s The Explorers has been optioned by Walt Disney Film Studios.

$300+HST for a single session; $500+HST for two sessions; $900+HST for a full day. Prices for larger groups, workshops, panels, etc., to be negotiated*. Outside the Toronto area, add kilometrage and accommodation as necessary.

Adrienne Kress is a Toronto-born actor and author with six novels to her credit, as well as essays, plays and short stories. She has spoken to children and adults in a large variety of circumstances, from school assemblies and classroom workshops to writers’ associations and conference panels. Her presentations have taken her across Canada, the United Kingdom and the US. Adrienne is a dynamic, skillful speaker, insightful, knowledgeable and fun to be with.

READINGS:

Readings based on middle grade books are geared towards children in grades 4, 5, 6 and 7.  They are 45 minutes to 11⁄2 hours in length depending on needs.  The preferred group size is up to 60 children, and the preferred site is the library, but Adrienne can speak to larger groups in other venues.  She has spoken to small groups in a cozy huddle on the floor in a library and to large groups of a couple of hundred in gyms and auditoriums.

As a passionate author, professional actor and teacher, Adrienne brings a large array of skills to her readings.  She starts with a short talk about “how a book gets published” and “working with your editors is like working with your teacher,” continues with a dramatic reading from one of the books and ends with a question period and a book signing opportunity. When her session arises from one of her more swashbuckling books, Adrienne is happy to add a fencing lesson.

PRESENTATIONS:

Presentations can be geared to any audience, for example, Writer’s Craft classes, writers’ groups, book clubs.   The length of the presentation varies according to the needs of the group, but is most often 1 to 11⁄2 hours in length.  The content can be individualized to suit the interests of the group, but usually covers topics like the trials and tribulations of getting published (including how to get a literary agent), the writing process, working with an editor, identifying your audience, trends in modern literature and the importance of studying past works and authors.

WORKSHOPS:

Workshops can be geared to any audience, for example, elementary school students, Writer’s Craft classes, writers’ groups, book clubs. The length of the presentation varies according to the needs of the group but is most often 11⁄2 hours to 3 hours in length, though it can be expanded.  The content usually covers topics like honing your writing skills, creating your own voice, creating a “world” for your writing, the use of dialogue, humour – its types and where to use it­­– identifying your audience, etc.

AWARDS:

Shortlisted for Red Cedar (BC), Audie (US audio book awards), Manitoba Young Readers Choice Awards, The Quill Awards. Winner of The Heart of Hawick Children’s Book Award (UK)

WORKS:

Middle Grade Novels:

The Explorers – The Door in the Alley (Delcourte Random House) (optioned by Disney)

Hatter Madigan – Ghost in the H.A.T.B.O.X. (Automatic Publishing, with Frank Beddor)

Timothy and the Dragon’s Gate(Scholastic)

Alex and the Ironic Gentleman(Scholastic)

Young Adult Novels:

Outcast (Diversion Books, Paranormal Romance)

The Friday Society (Dial Penguin, Steampunk)

Short Stories: In Wow! 366 (UK) and Corsets and Clockwork(USA/UK)

 Essays: Collected in The Girl Who Was On Fire,The Secret Loves of GeekGirls, and CompleteGuide to Writing for Young Adults

 Plays: Sleepy Hollow (Solar Stage Children’s Theatre)  A Weekend in the Country (Adult – TorontoSummerworksFestival  and Edinburgh Festival Fringe)

To book Adrienne, contact Cynthia Kress:

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Casey Lyall (Strathroy ON)

Middlesex County and London, ON. Writers’ Union Member. Middle grade author. $250 for one session, $450 for two sessions, $650 for three sessions, $800 for four (a full day). (Each session is approximately 1 hour.)

Casey is the author of the middle grade mystery series, Howard Wallace, P.I. She is a library branch assistant experienced in running programs for both elementary and high-school-aged students. Casey aims to entertain and inform while leaving her audience excited about creating their own stories.

Writing Workshops: $400. (Approximately 90 minutes each.)

Virtual Visits: 60 minute Skype visits are also available for $150 a session.

Travel fees: No travel fee if booking within 100km of London, or 150km if booking for a full day. Neighbouring schools can split the full day cost.

Presentation Details:

Casey takes students on an in-depth, behind the scenes look at her path to publication. She shares every part of the process: elementary school writing, failed projects, rejection and editorial letters, as well as revised and finished manuscripts. She offers tips and tricks for finishing a story and how to tackle the dreaded revisions. Other topics Casey will touch on include developing characters, the elements of a mystery, writing with humour, surviving rejection, the value of persistence, and how to find your voice as a writer.

Casey is a very flexible presenter and will adapt her program to suit any audience of grades three and up. Each presentation is approximately 1 hour with time allowed for student Q&A throughout.

Writing Workshops are also available for smaller groups and run for approximately 90 minutes. (Maximum size is one class.)

Workshop topics available:

Building Your Story - focus on creating a story arc, writing dialogue that crackles, and developing characters and setting.

Making Your Story Shine – focus on pacing, building tension, deepening relationships between characters, and sticking the ending. (Students should have an in-progress story to work on during the session.)

Venue: Casey prefers to present in a classroom or library space.  Maximum group size per session is 3 classes or approximately 100 students. A librarian, teacher, or other school representative should be present throughout the presentation (or workshop if the group is a full class.)

Equipment required: a glass/bottle of water and a table. A microphone for larger groups if the room acoustics require it. Lunch if booked for a full day presentation.

Casey will also deliver presentations for adult writers as well as educators looking to start a student writers’ workshop. Listed pricing would apply. Please contact her for more details.

 

 

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Deborah Kerbel (Thornhill ON)

dkerbelWriters’ Union Member. GG finalist. MG, YA Fiction. $325 for one presentation, $575 for two, $850 for three, $1000 for four, + travel (no travel costs within GTA). Full day fee can be split between two neighbouring schools. Out of town visits require two or more bookings.

Deborah Kerbel was born in a police station, smack-dab in the centre of London, England. She moved to Canada before she was old enough to cultivate a posh accent or a love of marmalade. She grew up in Toronto and is now the author of six highly-acclaimed novels for kids and teens. From school groups to large events and international festivals, she’s an experienced presenter and enthusiastic speaker who uses an interactive style to engage her audience. Deborah loves visiting schools, travelling, sharing her passion for books, and meeting readers and writers of all ages. Based in Thornhill, Ontario, she’s the proud mom of two book-loving kids, both of whom continue to inspire many of her story ideas.

Presentations

Deborah’s 60 min presentation consists of:
-details about her Middle Grade and/or Young Adult novels (depending on ages present)
-motivation, rejection, determination, and the rocky road to publication
-interactive PowerPoint quiz about famous children’s authors
-discussion about where ideas come from
-personal anecdotes about writing
-reading and Q&A session
-each student receives a signed bookmark

Grades: 4 - 8

Maximum number of students per session: 60-80 (flexible)
Venue: All acceptable, but library preferred.
Equipment requirements: Projector and screen, glass of water, microphone for larger groups

Workshop details:

Deborah enjoys mentoring emerging writers through workshops, library visits, and short-story competitions. Her interactive workshop is designed to help emerging writers take their craft to the next level. Participants can expect to come away with a variety of creative new ideas and material for their writing as well as the tools to implement them. During the final part of the workshop, participants will take several minutes to write a scene using some of the character traits, setting ideas, and action scenes that were collectively brainstormed within the group.

Maximum workshop size: 15

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Frieda Wishinsky (Toronto)

FriedaHCA Toronto, ON. Writers' Union Member. Author of 60+ books available for school and library presentations

Her rate is $350 for one session, $600 for two, $850 for three and $1000 for four, plus HST. Frieda prefers to take public transit outside of Toronto and those costs will be added to her fee. On the rare occasion that she drives, kilometrage will apply.

Here’s what Teacher/Librarian Margaret Litch of Nanaimo, B.C. has to say about Frieda:

“Frieda was a delight! She captivated my grade 2's with her energy, and her winning manner with children. She transformed them into actors which had them talking for days about the story she helped them act out. Her writing speaks to children's real world as well as their imagination and especially to their sense of humour. I have also had Frieda for older students and she is equally comfortable talking about the writing process and sharing stories. I would recommend Frieda Wishinsky for any school author presentation with confidence.”

Presentation Details

1. Schools and Libraries

Frieda’s presentations are fast-paced, interactive, humorous and geared to each group’s level and interests. She uses storytelling, drama, personal stories, chanting, rhyming, props and a lively Q&A to engage her audience about fiction, non-fiction and the writing process. Her teaching background is invaluable when speaking to students of all ages.

Grades: Kindergarten- Grade 7
Maximum number of students per session: 20-100
Setting: Classroom or the school library. (No gym, please!)

Requirements: Table and water. For larger audiences (over 80), the use of a microphone is appreciated (clip-on preferable)

2. Writing Workshops

"Hands-on" workshops for young authors and adults.

3. Professional Development

Frieda has presented at professional development events across Canada, and in the US. She loves sharing her experiences, teaching background and "what she's learned along the way" with her audiences.

Some Possible Topics:

Great Books-Spring Boards for Writing
Every Child a Storyteller
You Can Be a Writer Too!
How to Use Personal History in Storytelling
The Power of Stories in a Changing World
How to Write with a Buddy

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Catherine Austen (Ottawa)

catherineausten7

National Capital Region. Writers’ Union Member. YA, MG and Picture Book author. Multiple awards. All ages.

$250 for one session, $450 for two, $600 for three, plus HST (plus travel if outside of Ottawa/Gatineau).

Catherine Austen writes funny, sad, award-winning fiction for all ages. Her school presentations divulge everything she has learned about writing books, accompanied by dramatic readings and adorable cat photos. Catherine has led presentations and writing workshops for the MASC Young Authors’ and Illustrators’ Conference, the TD Children’s Book Week, the Hackmatack Author Tour, the Gaspesie Bookfest, and the Vancouver Island Children’s Book Festival.

Presentations:
Catherine offers the following presentations for different ages:

“10 Tips for a Fearless Writing Life.” Everything Catherine has learned about becoming an author summed up in an hour and accompanied by cartoons, memes, and fun facts about phobias. Learn how to spot a good story idea, face years of rejection, and take grammar tips from Yoda. With personal anecdotes, Q&A throughout, and a reading in a devil voice. Adaptable to grades 3-7. One hour.

“Making up Stories: My Cat Isis and my cat Isis.” Meet the cat that helped Catherine write a book about ancient Egypt. Learn about all the things every writer needs to succeed. Explore everyday writing opportunities you couldn’t find 3,000 years ago. And discover how a picture book is made. With ancient Egyptian props, cute cat pictures, Q&A throughout, and a reading of My Cat Isis. Adaptable to grades JK-3. 45-60 minutes.

“Writing and Reading Dystopian Fiction.” Share the joys and heartaches of being a writer in this sad and beautiful world. Read cruel statistics about the publishing industry and learn to rise above them. Embrace testimonials to the benefit of books as entertainments, lifelines, and blueprints for a better world. Analyze a scene from the first awful draft to the final excellent polish. Own your love of literature and embrace your inner author. With tips for teen writers, bad puns, Q&A, and a reading from All Good Children. Adaptable to grades 7-12. One hour.

Writing Workshops: Catherine can take students in grades 4 and up through a series of grade-appropriate exercises on a theme discussed in advance of her visit (e.g., writing funny stories; developing an idea into a story; writing dialogue; revising). Writing workshops are tailored to each class in sessions up to 2 hours long.

All presentations require a projector and screen or an HD monitor or a smartboard; writing workshops require a blackboard and/or flipchart.
Presentations are suited to audiences of up to 100 students; writing workshops are for single classes (25 students).
Catherine will present in any venue but prefers a library; writing workshops are best in classrooms.

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Patricia Storms (Toronto)

PatriciaStormsNewPhotoToronto. Writers’ Union Member. Fun and funny cartoonist, children’s illustrator and picture book author and ukulele lady.

$300 + HST for 1 session, $500 for 2, $800 for 3 and $1,000 for 4. I’m very happy to do 2 one half hour JK-K sessions for $300 + HST. No charge for travel within Toronto and the GTA.

Patricia Storms is a picture book author, and an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator specializing in humorous illustrations for children and adults. She can do illustration and writing workshops for JK all the way up to college level.

Presentation Details

Humour is essential in Patricia’s workshops! Laughter & learning go hand in hand. Doodling and drawing cartoons is a great way to in enhance memory, focus, and independent thought. Creative children become great problem-solvers. Patricia is very versatile and will tailor each talk to the age level of the group. Original drawings are always donated to the class at the end of the session!

JK-K:
Patricia performs an entertaining and dramatic reading of The Pirate and the Penguin, as well as a cartoon demonstration.

K- Grade 2 classes:
THANKFUL PRESENTATION
Patricia sings the song ‘If You’re Thankful And You Know It’ from her new illustrated book with the help of her ukulele and the class. There will be discussion of the holiday Thanksgiving and most important, what we all are thankful for in our lives. A drawing workshop ends this presentation, showing kids how to draw fall images such as pumpkins, scarecrows, leaves and squirrels!

THE GHOSTS GO SPOOKING PRESENTATION!
Singing with a ukelele! Drawing! Puppets! Cute ghosties! In this fun Halloween book, THE GHOSTS GO SPOOKING, written by Chrissy Bozik, little ghosts go trick-or-treating by ones, twos and up to ten in this spooky and fun-filled take on ‘The Ants Go Marching’. After the presentation, Patricia engages the audience in a ghost drawing workshop.

NEVER LET YOU GO PRESENTATION
Patricia shows a slide presentation of her picture book NEVER LET YOU GO, along with a quick drawing demo showing the class how penguin families are similar to people families. After the slide show Patricia demonstrates to the group how to draw a penguin. Time permitting, Patricia encourages the kids to make their penguin look like someone within their family or themselves.

Grades 3-6:
CREATE A CHARACTER WORKSHOP
This workshop engages the class into drawing and creating characters as well as introducing concepts such as setting, characters and action in creating a story.

Patricia invites the students to be her art directors, providing ideas of what kind of hair, eyes, nose, clothes, etc., to draw, in order to create their unique character. In the second half of the session Patricia becomes the art director and editor of a picture book. She presents a short silly story and then encourages the audience to illustrate all or part of the story explaining the concepts of setting, characters and action.

Grades 5-12:
CREATE A BOOK COVER WORKSHOP
The first half of the presentation is a slide show demonstrating the development process in creating book covers for publishers. In the second half of the presentation the class gets to create their own book cover, with guidance and inspiration from myself, if needed.

Grades 7 to college level:
The art of writing a picture from an illustrator’s perspective.
or
The step-by-step process of illustrating a picture book.

Maximum group size for presentations: 45 for JK to 2, 100+ for everyone else

Patricia is comfortable presenting in a classroom, library, auditorium or gymnasium.
Equipment required: Easel, flip chart, and coloured markers. and for the students if they are drawing: paper, pencils and erasers. A table at the front of the group in order to showcase books and art.

Data or media projector and laptop for slide presentations, and a sound system or microphone for large group presentations. A librarian, teacher or other school representative should be present throughout the presentation. Water and lunch would be lovely for a full day presentation.

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Hélène Boudreau (Markham)

HeleneBoudreauWP1Markham. Writers’ Union Member. Parents’ Choice Award. Fiction. Non-Fiction. Humour. Picture Book. Middle Grade. Tween. K to 8.

Hélène’s rate is $250 for one 45-60 min session, $450 for 2, $650 for 3, $850 for 4 (max 4 per day), plus travel by car. HST extra.

Hélène is a seasoned presenter and award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults. With a focus on humour, her books are popular and accessible to readers. Hélène’s presentations reflect this with her upbeat tone, fun content, and energetic performance. She is bilingual and available for presentations in English or English/French (ideal for French Immersion schools).

PRESENTATION DETAILS: available in English or English/French (bilingual)
Hélène is a member of The Writers' Union of Canada, and so schools wishing to invite her may be eligible for a travel and fee subsidy to off-set the cost of her visit.

GRADES k-3: her 45 min presentation consists of:
-a dynamic reading of I Dare You Not to Yawn and a yawning challenge
-fun facts about the science of yawning
-an insider’s view about how books are published and what it's like to work with an illustrator
-an exploration of how certain words, actions, and things can make you feel sleepy
-an interactive ‘I Spy’ game showing the before and after of the book’s illustrations

GRADES 4-8: her 60 min presentation consists of:
-details about her tween novels in the Real Mermaids series
-the business of writing, seeing a project from concept to publication
-the team approach to writing including critique partners, agents, editors, and designers
-Power Writing Techniques, including story structure, adding tension and conflict, and writing with all five senses, drawing from concrete examples from her Real Mermaids books

Grades she will present to: Grades K to 8
Maximum number of students per session: 60-80 (flexible)
Venues she is comfortable in: classroom, library, auditorium, gymnasium
Equipment requirements: LCD projector/screen/ lapel microphone for larger groups

 

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Helaine Becker (Toronto)

Helaine Becker

Toronto. Writers' Union Member. National Bestseller. 2+time Silver Birch winner. Multi awards. K-8. Please note:

Helaine’s rate is $750 + HST for two sessions, $1000 + HST for three and $1200 +HST for four, plus travel from Toronto.

Helaine is an experienced and passionate presenter - and so funny that she is often told she should be a stand-up comedian. She can do up to four side-splitting and inspirational presentations in the same school or area in a day. As the author of picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, non-fiction and YA novels, she routinely presents to an entire school over the course of a day. She also loves speaking to adult groups and showing off her underwear (her underwear puppet, that is).
Helaine is a very versatile presenter. She adapts every presentation to the age and interest level of her audience, and will shift topics on the fly if kids seem especially keen on a particular subject. Every presentation includes both funny bits and serious bits - about the power of literacy and the importance of hard work and determination. Her goal: to make sure every kid leaves with at least one inspiring new idea.

Here is an example of her themes by grade:

JK to 2: two 30 minute storytelling sessions for the price of one full session ($375+HST) using The Haunted House That Jack Built, Little Jack Horner: Live from the Corner, Ode to Underwear and/or Juba This, Juba That (Christmas books, seasonally) + Q and A

2 to 4: 45 to 60 minutes: How and Why We Write/The Power of the Written and Spoken Word Intro plus free-wheeling Q&A, discussion/reading of assorted titles as per kids interests. (Zoobots, Dirk Daring:Secret Agent, The Insecto-Files, quiz books, and picture books may all feature; Christmas books, seasonally)

4 to 8: 45 to 60 minutes. How and Why We Write/The Power of the Written and Spoken Word Intro plus free-wheeling Q&A touching on Writing Techniques (the dreaded Rough Copy, How to Come Up with Ideas, The Power of Punctuation, Knowing Who Your Audience Is); Dealing with Rejection/disappointment, What Science Is, and Creating Humour.

(Zoobots, Dirk Daring:Secret Agent, Gottika, Trouble in the Hills, quiz books, and picture books may all feature)

Maximum group sizes for presentations: 45 for JK to 3. 100+ for everyone else.

Writing Workshops work best wish 16 so so participants

Writing Workshop Topics:

Funny Business: How to Write, Draw, Direct or Sing Seriously Funny Stuff. This session teaches tried-and-true comic techniques, plus idea development for writers (of any age)

All Venues, library preferred.

Equipment required: A glass of water, lunch and coffee if she’s staying for the day. A table to spread her things out on. A microphone for larger groups or in the gym, or if the room acoustics are questionable. A chair.

Virtual Visits: $200 plus HST, 60 minutes (may be divided) Skype

 

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