Friday, June 22, 2018

Delightful Discoveries

Delightful Discoveries are not yet or newly published books that we have discovered recently. 


Jenn: 



Sherwood
Sherwood by Meagan Spooner
Robin of Locksley is dead.

When news comes that he's fallen in battle at the King's side in the Holy Land, Maid Marian doesn’t know how she’ll go on. Betrothed to Robin, she was free to be herself, to flout the stifling rules of traditional society and share an equal voice with her beloved when it came to caring for the people of her land.
Now Marian is alone, with no voice of her own. The people of Locksley, persecuted by the Sheriff of Nottingham, are doomed to live in poverty or else face death by hanging. The dreadful Guy of Gisborne, the Sherriff’s right hand, wishes to step into Robin’s shoes as Lord of Locksley, and Marian’s fiancĂ©. Society demands that she accept her fate, and watch helplessly as her people starve.
When Marian dons Robin's green cloak, and takes up his sword and bow, she never intended that anyone should mistake her for Robin, returned from the Holy Land as a vigilante. She never intended that the masked, cloaked figure she created should stand as a beacon of hope and justice to peasant and noble alike. She never intended to become a legend.
But all of Nottingham is crying out for a savior. So Marian must choose to make her own fate and become her own hero...
Robin Hood.

Sawkill Girls
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.
He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.
Who are the Sawkill Girls?
Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.
Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.
Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.
Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.
Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.




The Disasters
The Disasters by M.K. England
Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours.
But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.
On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.
They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.




Ash: 





A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries.

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.

Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renee Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong.

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.




Now You See Her
Now You See Her by Lisa Leighton and Laura Stropki
AMELIA has always felt like a happy life is just out of reach. Having moved every few years with her mom and sister, she’s always had a hard time making and keeping friends; there’s never enough time, and never enough money to stay in one place. And now, in her senior year, right before tennis season, Mom wants to move again.
SOPHIE has a perfectly curated, Instagram-ready life, from her first singles wins to her cute, long-term boyfriend to the beautiful, landscaped home where she lives with her parents. Though they’re tennis teammates, the two girls almost never speak.
But then one night changes everything. When Amelia’s car breaks down on the side of the road in a rainstorm, a man she thinks is a Good Samaritan pulls over to help her. When he tries to abduct her instead, she escapes into oncoming traffic.
In one inexplicable moment, Amelia and Sophie switch bodies. Amelia wakes up in Sophie’s body. Amelia’s body is in a coma. Now Amelia needs to find a way to switch back into her own life—but before that, she must retrace her steps to unravel the mystery of the accident, her attempted abduction, and how it’s all tied to her mother’s secret past.




The Life and Death Parade

The Life and Death Parade by Eliza Wass
 
One year ago, Kitty's boyfriend Nikki Bramley visited a psychic who told him he had no future. Now, he's dead.
With the Bramley family grieving in separate corners of their home, Kitty sets out to find the psychic who read Nikki his fate. Instead she finds Roan, an enigmatic boy posing as a medium who belongs to the Life and Death Parade--a group of supposed charlatans that explore, and exploit, the thin veil between this world and the next. A group whose members include the psychic... and Kitty's late mother.
Desperate to learn more about the group and their connection to Nikki, Kitty convinces Roan to return to the Bramley house with her and secures a position for him within the household. Roan quickly ingratiates himself with the Bramleys, and soon enough it seems like everyone is ready to move on. Kitty, however, increasingly suspects Roan knows more about Nikki than he's letting on. And when they finally locate the Life and Death Parade, and the psychic who made that fateful prophecy to Nikki, Kitty uncovers a secret about Roan that changes everything.
From rising star Eliza Wass comes a sophisticated, mesmerizing meditation on the depths of grief and the magic of faith. After all, it only works if you believe it.




Review: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotic by David Arnold

The Strange Fascinations of Noah HypnotikTitle: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotic
Author:  David Arnold
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date:  May 22nd, 2018
Pages: 432
Genre: YA Adult Contemporary, Coming of Age 
Series:  Stand Alone
Source:  Audio
 

This is Noah Oakman → sixteen, Bowie believer, concise historian, disillusioned swimmer, son, brother, friend.
Then Noah → gets hypnotized.
Now Noah → sees changes—inexplicable scars, odd behaviors, rewritten histories—in all those around him. All except his Strange Fascinations . . .



I am a huge David Arnold fan. I have read both of his previous books and I always come away feeling like I was a part of a magical world. Just for a bit. His books are contemporary but they are also so magical. I fall in love with all his characters and the stories and his beautiful words. This book was no different than its predecessor. So wonderful, magical, lovely, beautiful... and so many other words, which none can give the book justice.   
Noah is a junior and a swimmer and a writer. He lives his life hanging out with his two best friends, Alan and Val. He is on the swim team. He gets good grades. He writes. He reads and gets fascinated with history. 

One night he goes to a party with his friends, he drinks, gets drunk, goes home and goes to bed. The next morning he wakes up and many little things are different. Little things that only he is noticing. Something is off and he doesn't know what happened but he knows its from the night of the party. Noah goes on a mission to figure it all out which in turns leads him to some very interesting things, people, and places. 

I am so in love with this book and the writing, and the writing in all of David Arnold's books. He is amazing. If you have not read his books you need to like now. ASAP. He has a way of writing that just sings to the soul. All his words, the way things are described, the thoughts of the characters, the character development. It's all so beautiful, lyrical, and just fascinating. I can't sing enough praise for this author. 

That being said. This book left me feeling no different than the other two books I read. They leave me with a smile because the story was so good. They leave with me warm fuzzies because his characters are so beautiful and amazing, then they leave me all empty inside because it's over and I no longer know what to do with my life. 

I can't say whether I like the writing or the characters the best. They are both so good. The writing is beautiful but the characters are magnificent. They are so well developed and every sing character in the book (which there are many) are strong on their own. They have such strong voices and strong personalities, it doesn't matter how much story space they take up, they all feel just as important as the main character. They are different and kooky and so amazingly strange. I love them all. 

Noah and Alan and Val have such a wonderful friendship. They are loyal to each other and they understand each other completely. Alan was my favorite. I missed him when he wasn't in a scene. Everything that came out of his mouth just cracked me and had me rolling. I loved him and I just wanted him in my life.

Noah is pretty amazing too. He had so much to say and such an intersting thought process. He understood all the connections in the world and put meaning to them all. He understood the world and knew the history of so much, yet he couldn't figure out his own life or himself. He was searching for sure. 

The story was just so very unique and interesting. I enjoyed following Noah and his quest to figure out what the heck was going on. I loved unraveling all the changes he was seeing in his world. I loved seeing things through his eyes, discovering the little things, and meeting all the amazing new people. The best thing about the story was though, the weight it puts on the fact that this life was not meant to travel through alone. We need people in our lives, family, and friends, that help us navigate through the journey of life. 

I really could go on and on and on about my love for this book but my words would never do it justice. This book and all his books really are amazing. READ THEM! I mean it. I think this one was by far my favorite though. 

I absolutely adored this book!!!! 


David  Arnold


David Arnold lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his (lovely) wife and (boisterous) son. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Mosquitoland, Kids of Appetite, and The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik; his books have been translated into over a dozen languages. Learn more at davidarnoldbooks.com and follow him on Twitter @roofbeam and Instagram @iamdavidarnold.

Author Interview: Glenn Bullion


This special interview is with Glenn Bullion, the author of Dead Living, and many other books. I read Dead Living a bit ago, and I really enjoyed it. 

Dead Living

When I decided to do author interviews, Glenn was one of the first people I thought of to interview and I'm so happy that he agreed to let me do this and answered all my crazy questions. 

He is so fun to talk to and completely down to earth. And I loved reading his responses.

So without further ado, Mister Glenn Bullion.

First let's get to know a little bit about what makes you, you...

Where are you from? 

I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but now reside in Glen Burnie (suburb outside Baltimore). Been in Maryland all my life. Sales tax isn’t fun, but the crabs are awesome.

Is your name a pen name? If so what inspired you to pick that name?

No, my real name is Glenn. I’ve always wondered if I had to start writing all over again if I’d go with a pen name. I thought using my real name would cause issues of some sort down the road, but it never has.

3 facts about yourself?

I juggle.
I am an introvert, which turns out to be pretty cool for writing, but not so good for marketing.
Am left handed, and have a weird talent for spotting other left-handed people.

What are some of your favorite things in general? (Food, shows, movies, anything you want to share with us)

Favorite things….
Food is scattered all over the place. Mushrooms, crabs, shrimp, chocolate milk.
I don’t watch as much TV as I used to. I was a big fan of The Walking Dead, but haven’t watched a lot of it lately. I love horror movies, science fiction. The old slasher movies, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street. All awesome.

Now let's talk about you as an author...

When did you start writing and what was the first thing you ever wrote?

Ah, the early bad stuff. :) My first attempt, for lack of a better word, was when I was twelve. I don’t have a copy anymore, but I remember it being horrible. Written on a Commodore 64. So, I’ve been writing for a while, with breaks here and there. My issue in the past was always starting a story, but never finishing. I have a bunch of half-written novels from years ago.

What inspired you to start writing?

Never really thought about that before. The horror movies I mentioned above I think helped a lot. The thing I love about horror movies is the imagination that goes into them. Even if the movies are “poorly made”, you usually can’t deny that someone was in a mighty strange place when they thought of them.

What is your writing process? Do you make a timeline first? Or just write what comes to your mind?

Typically, I write “off the cuff”. I’ll make a general outline in some cases, usually a chapter at a time. But that’s only after starting something and then just trying to map things out. I find that in the middle of writing a chapter, the rest of the story slowly reveals itself. So, I don’t “plan” a whole lot. If I did that, those plans would always change too much anyway.

Do you do a lot of research?

I do research, probably not as much as other writers. I try to write what I know and do enough research for what’s necessary for the novel. I won’t study something front and back for something that will get like two paragraphs in the novel.

What are some of your favorite authors/favorite reads?

I used to read a ton, but it’s not always easy to read a work and write at the same time. But when I do read, it’s pretty much all horror.

Brian Keene, Richard Laymon, Robert McCammon, Edward Lee, are the big ones. I’ll also read anything zombie related I can get my hands on.

What do you have planned for the future? Any other book or series ideas?

Oh, always have ideas. :) Right now, I’m working on the next novel in the Damned and Cursed series. That’s the “bread and butter”, the series readers seem to love. The nice thing about that series is the cast of characters. It’s grown enough now that I can pick and choose a “cast”, and the stories can range from big “we must save the world” type stuff, all the way to down to “solving one particular simple case.”

I read Dead Living, and I really enjoyed it. I love anything zombie and this was such an interesting take on the whole idea of the zombie apocalypse.

Where did you get the idea for Dead Living?

Most of my work involves a “special” person in some way. Whether they’re psychic, a vampire, etc etc. I wanted to tackle a zombie story in which the person was special in the simple fact that zombies “accepted” him. They didn’t attack him, didn’t try to hurt him.

A lot of my ideas in Dead Living are plucked right from Romero’s work. I’d like to think my world in Dead Living could line up with his. The idea of zombies “evolving” is something he did. I wanted to take zombies in a similar direction, but not stray too far off course. I’ve read zombie novels where they’d taken human brains out and moved them to a zombie. I didn’t want to go that far.

Would there ever be a sequel to Dead Living?

This gets asked a lot. I want to do a sequel, but nothing has come to mind yet. I’ve had some “sparks” of ideas that would either continue to follow Aaron and Sam in the world they’re carving out for themselves or maybe even following the young cast that was introduced as well.

Which book was your favorite to write? 

That’s a tough one. My problem and I imagine other writers go through this, too, is that they’ll re-read an earlier work and cringe. They see mistakes they should have corrected, phrases they could have substituted instead. So any favorite work at one time becomes “Man, I could have written that better.”

I think Shapeless is still a solid novel. I re-read that one weekend and didn’t cringe. :)

I think my most “defining” novel so far has been Jack Kursed. That’s the novel where the Damned and Cursed series really began. There were novels before it, but Jack Kursed is the one where the series started to take off.

Do you have any favorite characters?

Another toughie.

Jack Kursed is a challenge to write, and so much fun as well. For those who don’t know him, he is as close to a “bad guy” as you can get. Cursed by a witch (hence his name) he’s unable to die or sleep, and that’s twisted his mind over two hundred years. He doesn’t care about anyone, but you truly do root for him in the challenges he faces.

I like Aaron and Sam from Dead Living. I love the idea of a regular guy, basically untouched by the apocalypse. Living with zombies in a city fears people more than the undead. And it’s a “cold” survivor that pulls him out of his shell. Despite what I’m sure has a ton of things I’d change, Dead Living still has appeal.

Is there any chance that this book would become a movie? Or a tv series? 

There is an option out now, a screenplay is being written. Now, whether anything happens after that, or if the screenplay ever sees the light of day, is anyone’s guess. I’d love for that to happen, though. I could see it being a fun little entry on Amazon Prime.

My website: www.glennbullion.com
Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Glenn-Bullion/e/B004ETIH4Y
Facebook: www.facebook.com/glennbullionbooks

About Glenn Bullion from his website:

I’ve been wondering if a decent “About The Author” section would really help me as a teller-of-stories who would like to sell books. One of the great mysteries of life. Would a reader check that and say “Oh, wow. Glenn plays Heroes of the Storm and has a few cats. So do I. I must buy his books now.”
Anyway, I like to read and write, obviously. Horror, paranormal, supernatural, sci-fi type stuff, if you couldn’t tell. I’m a game and movie nerd. I’m really big into tech. I work as an IT guy during the day. Because of that, you’d think I’d be better at social media.
Okay, enough about me. You’ve got the Damned and Cursed series to check out, with some very fun characters. A man who can talk to demons and ghosts, a witch, a vampire, a man who doesn’t sleep, with the anger issues to show for it. People seem to enjoy them, hopefully, you will too.
Don’t forget the standalone novels, some fun reads there as well. Zombies, souls, shapeshifters. What’s not to like?


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Review: Now You See Her by Lisa Leighton and Laura Stropki

Now You See HerTitle: Now You See Her
Author:  Lisa Leighton and Laura Stropki
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Publishing Date:  June 26th, 2018
Pages:  320
Genre:  YA Mystery
Series:  Stand Alone
Source:  ARC
 

AMELIA has always felt like a happy life is just out of reach. Having moved every few years with her mom and sister, she’s always had a hard time making and keeping friends; there’s never enough time, and never enough money to stay in one place. And now, in her senior year, right before tennis season, Mom wants to move again.

SOPHIE has a perfectly curated, Instagram-ready life, from her first singles wins to her cute, long-term boyfriend to the beautiful, landscaped home where she lives with her parents. Though they’re tennis teammates, the two girls almost never speak.

But then one night changes everything. When Amelia’s car breaks down on the side of the road in a rainstorm, a man she thinks is a Good Samaritan pulls over to help her. When he tries to abduct her instead, she escapes into oncoming traffic.

In one inexplicable moment, Amelia and Sophie switch bodies. Amelia wakes up in Sophie’s body. Amelia’s body is in a coma. Now Amelia needs to find a way to switch back into her own life—but before that, she must retrace her steps to unravel the mystery of the accident, her attempted abduction, and how it’s all tied to her mother’s secret past.




I didn't know what to expect when I first received this book. It sounded interesting, I just didn't know what kind of read it would be. It's not fully mystery, supernatural/paranormal- or contemporary. Its a little bit of them all. For the most part I would say mystery. It was a good mystery too. It kept me turning the pages. It was a quick fun read. 
Amelia has moved many times over the years. Where she is now she has been longer than any time before. She loves her life in this town. She is good at tennis and she is good at school. She doesn't have many friends, but she has her sister, Mae. She is happy. Then one night everything changes. 

Amelia is head home, a man tries to abduct her, and when she tries to run away, Sophie hits her with her car. Amelia wakes up in the hospital in Sophie's body and her body is in a coma. No clue how or why this happened, she is determined to figure out who the man was and why he was trying to abduct her, also try to find out how to get to her own body again... oh and warn her sister, Mae, about the man that tried to grab her. 

Amelia soon finds her life, her mother, nothing is what it seems. She also discovers that Sophia's life isn't as perfect as she always thought. 

I really enjoyed this book. I liked the mystery part of the story. Who the man was, what did he want, was Amelia and Mae safe? Really this is what kept me reading. It was also entertaining to watch Amelia navigate through Sophie's life. The writing was good, the plot was interesting, the pacing was set just right. The only thing I didn't really get on with, the entire body switching thing was never explained. I am confused how this fit into everything. I mean it was good it happened because Amelia couldn't investigate while in a coma, but it was never explained how it happened. That was left a mystery. The mystery was good and I could figure some of it out but it took me a while. The author did a great job weaving everything together. 

I really liked Amelia as a character. I felt she had a great head on her shoulders, I felt she was responsible and down to earth. A little angsty but she was a nomad teen, not by her choice. I guess that would cause anyone some angst. She is also very upset that her mother has been hiding things from her for her entire life. So, yea I understood her and she was really easy to connect too. 

I didn't get to know Sophia as much as I wanted to but I enjoyed what I did find out about her. I like her story and how her story intertwines with Amelia's. That was one part of the story I never expected. 

There was a teeny tiny bit of romance and it was sweet. It was barely there though. This was okay by me since there was no way to really work in a great love story. This story was more about family secrets and self-discoveries. 

It was a good read and I really did enjoy it. I just needed a bit more around the body switching and then it would have been a great read. 

Quick fast read and very enjoyable. 





Lisa Leighton and Laura Stropki are the coathors of Now You See Her. They are sisters who live in Cleveland, Ohio. They have two husbands, five children, and two dogs that are technically half brothers. The sisters grew up fighting over terrible clothes and sharing Harlequin romance novels and Christopher Pike mysteries. Their goal is to write the kind of books they would have stayed up all night reading without killing each other. So far so good.

Cover Up: Dressed in Black

This feature I will just gab, remark, feature book covers. 

For this Cover Up we will be featuring our favorite books with white dresses on the cover



Stealing Breath (Stealing Breath, #1)
Stealing Breath by Joanne Brothwell

Deep in the backwoods of North Dakota, twenty–one year old Sarah Ross is searching for a missing child when she is attacked by a glowing–eyed, transparent... creature. Sarah survives, destroying the monster by using mysterious abilities she didn’t even know she had.
Bloody and bruised, Sarah flees the scene and runs directly into Evan Valente, a handsome, charismatic stranger who helps her back to safety. But what is Evan doing out in the forest at five in the morning?
Turning to a healer, Sarah is shocked to learn her eyes bear the mark of the Indigo Child—an evolved human with the ability to feel the emotions of others. But her indigo aura also makes her an easy target for those who wish to consume her powerful essence.
Soon, Sarah is falling deeply in love with Evan and wants nothing more than to follow her heart and trust that he is the man he says he is. But she can't ignore the lingering feeling that Evan is hiding a terrible secret. The deeper she digs, the more danger she faces, leading her on a course that will force her to face the darkest, innermost parts of her soul.



The Redemption of Ajax (The Mephisto Covenant, #1)
The Mephisto Covenant
Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—she is an Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx's biggest threat.
A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God's promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he's finally found the girl he's been searching for: Sasha.
With the threat of Eryx always looming, Jax knows he has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?



Airel: The Awakening (The Airel Saga: Book 1, Part 1)
Airel by Aaron Patterson and Chris White
All Airel ever wanted was to be normal, to disappear into the crowd. But bloodlines can produce surprises, like an incredible ability to heal. Then there’s Michael Alexander, the new guy in school, who is impossibly gorgeous…and captivated by her. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she can hear the sound of pages turning, and another, older story being written. It is the story of an ancient family, of great warriors, of the Sword of Light, and the struggle against an evil so terrible, so far-reaching, that it threatens everything. Airel knew change would be an inevitable part of life. But can she hold on when murder and darkness begin to close in and take away everything she loves? Will she have what it takes when the truth is finally revealed?






Taste
Taste by Kate Evangelista
At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans. When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn't realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.







Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn Trilogy, #1)
Darkness Before Dawn by J. A. London
 

At seventeen, Dawn Montgomery knows that monsters really do come out at night—after all, they are her job. It’s just after the thirty-years war between vampires and humans, and as an ambassador between the two sides (a role she inherited when her parents were killed), Dawn quickly learns that balancing schoolwork, teen life, and the requests of Lord Valentine, the most frightening vampire in the region, isn’t easy.
And it only gets more complicated when she forms a tentative friendship with Victor, the mysterious stranger who rescued her from a hoard of vampires…only to discover that not only is Victor a vampire, but that he is Lord Valentine’s son.
Soon Dawn is struggling to remember that with everything on the line, she can’t afford to fall for the enemy…
Lusciously romantic and full of action-packed drama, readers will be swept away by this thrilling novel, the first in a trilogy


 
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