Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Release - The Sun's Coming Up... Like a Big Bald Head by Norman Reedus

The Sun’s Coming Up... 
Like a Big Bald Head
Photographs by Norman Reedus

About the Book
This is a limited-edition collector's volume of photographs as seen through the eyes of Norman Reedus, that promises to be haunting and sublime. Available for pre-order to ship by October 31, 2013!

About the Author
Among his many creative talents Norman Reedus is an accomplished actor, director of short films, and photographer. He plays Daryl Dixon on the hit show, The Walking Dead, playing a badass zombie killer.

For More Information:

Book Review - Consumed by Skyla Madi

Consumed (Consumed, #1)
by Skyla Madi

Published 2013
406 Pages

There is something about the guy with the devil-may-care attitude, who flips the world the bird and sets his sights high on a female that is his equal, that I love! Despite the 
struggles, the misunderstandings, the yearnings, and all the feelings that these bad boys stir up, they make me stay up way past my bedtime! This was definitely one of those stories

Olivia James has been on her own for a while. She has only had one boyfriend her entire life, and after catching him cheating multiple times she finally sends him on his way. She is fine with her average life and routine. That is, until she walks into her father's gym and sees Seth Marc! An amateur mixed martial arts fighter/boxer, Seth is arrogant from the start, catching Olivia's eye and giving her a cocky smirk while he snuggle up to a knock-out girl in a skin tight dress. Jerk! 

Still, Olivia is very aware of the mutual attraction. And while she knows that Seth is not the "girlfriend" kind of guy, she doesn't want to stay away. Inevitably, things heat up. But Seth pulls away, leaving her feeling humiliated. And when she pulls away, Seth becomes obsessed. The push-pull begins, with Seth using Olivia's father to get to her. But what Olivia doesn't know is that there are deeper issues surrounding Seth... and secrets that he is hiding from the world.  

This story is confusing and aggravating, but all consuming! And I loved it! I would definitely recommend it. No cliffhanger, and a great start to a series! 

Reviewed by Kelli

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Review - Shooting Scars by Karina Halle

Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy, #2)
by Karina Halle
Published 2013
432 Pages

Shooting Scars picks up right where we left off in Sins and Needles. En route to her new life, Ellie becomes keenly aware of the magnitude of her sacrifice, and begins to wonder if she and Camden will ever see each other again. Of course, Javier will do everything in his power to prevent that from happening. And on Camden's end, he is facing his own set of difficulties in staying alive. 

Soon, Ellie realizes that the illusion of control she once had over the situation with Javier was just that... an illusion. Further, she begins to see behaviors in Javier that are more sinister than ever before. The capacity for emotion that he once demonstrated, however intermittently, was no longer there. And where he used to show a flicker of softness in his gaze, now there was only cold detachment. Was losing herself the only option for survival?

Unwittingly sucked back into old patterns, Ellie is dragged down a dark path even more dangerous than anything Javier could conjure up on his own. There are shootouts, car chases, and violence at every turn. There are also moments of beauty, tenderness, and the peaceful solitude of the open ocean. But one fact remains: as these characters' lives intersect hearts are going to be broken, and someone is going to get hurt.

The story felt a bit rushed at the end. Still, I kept turning the pages! Overall, this is a well written book--sometimes painful, sometimes agonizing, but always exciting!

Reviewed by Stephanie

Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Review - X by Jack Croxall

by Jack Croxall
Published 2013

28 Pages

We never learn her real name. All we know is that X is writing in her journal, documenting what she believes to be her last days, and that she sounds more like a soldier than a 15-year-old girl.

Hiding out in the cellar of an old farmhouse, X has a gun with two bullets--one for her defense, and the other perhaps to end her own life, if (or when) it comes to that. She simply doesn't know how much longer she can survive. But she hasn't given up yet! And as long as she can find supplies, to get through the long days and the longer nights, she will continue to hide out in the cellar from the things outside that are trying to get in.

This was such an interesting story! My only complaint is that it was too short! A quick read, full of mystery and gripping from start to finish, I was dying to know what happened with each turn of the page! And somehow (although I cannot tell you how, but it was cleverly orchestrated), I felt pulled into the story and made to be a part of it! Fantastic!

With the leaves changing colors, and the turning of the seasons, this is the perfect time to read X! Grab a glass of wine and settle in, just don't forget to lock the doors and windows!

Reviewed by Stephanie


Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Review - Very Bad Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1)
by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Published 2013

343 Pages

Very Bad Things takes place at a private high school that caters to the elite. The subject matter; however, is anything but juvenile! 
Nora Blakely looks like she has it all. Of course, looks can be deceiving. She is bright and capable. Further, coming from a wealthy and powerful family, she is on track to attend Princeton as a legacy. But Nora carries with her many secrets, and is barely holding it together. At nineteen, she is exhausted from the expectations of perfection, and makes a list of all the bad things she plans to do. Alas, she sets out determined to complete her list... that is, until she meets the love of her life. 

At 25, Leo Tate is every girls dream--tall, handsome, well-built, and successful. He is responsible for raising his younger brother after losing his parents. And to avoid more pain in life, he has just one rule: never fall in love. But when he meets his younger brother's high school classmate, Nora, he is drawn to her. Still, he resists. (It is less taboo than it sounds,
although it is a bit shocking in the story.) 

I read this book like a fiend, and almost finished it in one night! It was just so good, I couldn't wait to get to the end to see what happened! I read some mixed reviews, which surprised me. My impression was that of a great book! And I would totally recommend it. There were some tragic moments, but I didn't feel like they were gratuitous or unnecessary to the story. It was tragic, but it had humor, love, and a plot with depth and inspiration. I would highly recommend it! 

Reviewed by Kelli


Book Review - Fueled by K. Bromberg

Fueled (The Driven Trilogy, #2)
by K. Bromberg
Published 2013

356 Pages

I couldn't wait for this book to come out because I loved the first book, Driven! It was worth the wait! 
Fueled picked up right where Driven left off, with the push and pull roller coaster ride that is Colton and Rylee's relationship. 

Rylee Thomas, convinced that she and Colton have more than an arrangement, wants to get closer to Colton. But Colton insists that he is giving all that he can, and pulls away. There are hurtful exchanges between them, and Rylee doesn't know how much more she can take. Not to mention, her home for boys project is needing attention. She has to remember what is most important, and ponders whether or not she can have it all.  

Colton Donavan has never encountered anyone like Rylee. He is used to getting everything he wants. Rylee challenges him and defies him, and it infuriates him! He doesn't know if he can live without her. Still, he doesn't feel worthy of her love. Rylee is a selfless soul, unlike the self-absorbed Colton. Can their love prevail, or will they have to go their separate ways before they crash and burn? 

This was a great second novel! Although (and I never thought I would say this!) there is a bit too much gratuitous sex. I found myself saying, "Come on! Again?" And then, there is the issue of the cliffhanger at the end! Still, I loved the story, and it was worth the read!

Reviewed by Kelli


Book Review - Craving Constellations by Nicole Jacquelyn

Craving Constellations (The Aces, #1)
by Nicole Jacquelyn
Published 2013

305 Pages

I admit it, I love biker books! There, I said it. And it's true! There is just something about the dominant, over-the-top alpha male attitude that is appealing to me... at least in books! In real life, not so much. But this is fantasy, after all, and I love it! And among the biker books, this one was one of my favorites! The only drawback? It was too short. But it stole my heart. 

Brenna wants nothing to do with the biker way of life that she was born into, especially the violence. She does everything she can do to get away, including marrying a clean cut guy, just to escape. But what she soon learns is that violence can lurk around any corner. And when she finds herself desperate, with no where else to turn, she goes back to the only place she knows. Unfortunately, w
ith the damage caused by her departure, returning is not so easy, and all hell breaks loose!

I loved this book! The content is very graphic, and meant for mature readers (just the way I like it)! But I wish it had been a little longer. A great read! 

Reviewed by Kelli

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cover Reveal and Book Release - X by Jack Croxall

Cover Reveal

by Jack Croxall
A Best-selling Short Story
Now Available!

About the Book 

Fifteen-year-old X thinks she is going to die. Shacked up in the cellar of an old farmhouse, she starts a journal to document her last few days. Much less than a few days if the things outside manage to get in.

'I spend all of my daylight hours in this musty old cellar now. It’s woeful, and I bet it smelled this bad even before everything turned to crap. Great. My second sentence and I’ve already resorted to swear words. When I decided I’d start this diary (five minutes ago) I thought it would be my poetic and deeply-moving goodbye to the world. Maybe I’d write about love and loss, or maybe even the splendour of nature. Then, if anyone ever found it, at least I’d have left something to be remembered by. As well as my corpse, of course. This was a bad idea.’

About the Author

Born in High Wycombe, Jack Croxall now lives in rural Nottinghamshire with his chocolate Labrador, Archie. He has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Nottingham, and currently toils away as a science/literature writer in between working on his books. 

Jack Croxall

Connect with the Author!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Review - Beyond Pain by Kit Rocha

Beyond Pain (Beyond, #3)
by Kit Rocha
Published 2013

352 Pages

This series is my little secret pleasure. It is dark, edgy, and not so nice. But I love it! Beyond Pain is the third book in the series, so if you haven't read the first two books you may want to skip this review--it contains spoilers!

The series takes place in the ruins that lie outside the City of Eden. Most of society was destroyed decades ago by solar storms. In these ruins are different sectors that house corrupt bootlegging gangs that fight for survival. Life in the sectors is truly a matter of survival of the fittest.

Six has endured more horror than many others, even by the sector's standards. She was held captive by a deranged leader and eventually rescued by the gang of sector four, led by Dallas O'Kane. Sector four is an entirely new world of loyalty, brotherhood, and open sexuality--not a simple transition for someone like Six, who has survived this long by keeping to herself.

Having risen in the ranks with Dallas O'Kane, Brendan "Bren" Donnelly is a trained killer. His only outlet is pain, in combat and everywhere else. But when he meets Six he is drawn to protect her, even though she won't allow him to. Yet. But resisting Bren proves futile, and eventually Six lets him in. Still, issues of trust, love, and loyalty are tested as their connection is forged.

This is a super gritty, dominant, and beyond-alpha-male cast that I love! And although Six doesn't mind letting Bren lead in their intimate journey, she is a force to be reckoned with! A great series, if you like a little bit of the dark side!

Reviewed by Kelli


Book Review - All Over the Place by Serena Clarke

All Over the Place
by Serena Clarke
Published 2013 

252 Pages

Having lived in England for a period of time in my college years, I’m always anxious to read books that bring me back to that time. So, I was very excited to dig into All Over the Place! The author did not fall short in describing the heartbeat of London, and painting an accurate picture of what it’s really like. The writing was exceptional! The story; however, was a little predictable, and at times a bit unbelievable. Still, it was a fun journey!

Livi Callaway is planning for her upcoming wedding to the man she has agreed to marry (who cares that no one thinks he’s a good match for her, right?), but when he's picked to star in a reality television series her world is turned upside down--he gets a little too cozy with one of his costars, and it's all caught on tape! So what’s a girl to do after experiencing such mortifying humiliation? Well, flee the country, of course! And flee she does, leaving her home and family in New Zealand to start a new life in London.

Now settled into a new job at a popular hair salon, with an array of interesting new friends, co-workers, and a flat-mate, Livi is starting to enjoy her newly single self in her newly anonymous city. Until…a chance encounter on a packed tube ride with a model-worthy American hunk provides a welcomed distraction and flirtation! But before they have a chance to exchange phone numbers, he is pushed out at his stop by the bustle of the crowd. 

Alas, fate steps in, and Livi discovers that he has left his satchel behind! Woo hoo!! 

So, in search of the American hunk, and egged on by her friends, Livi follows clues found in the satchel that lead her to a variety of dead musicians graves in England and Paris, all the while trying to figure out who this stranger is, and what he is all about. She literally travels all over the place, convinced by her friends (and herself) that this guy is the one! But when you're searching, and running in circles, sometimes you need to remind yourself what you're searching for... or running from. 

The story is laced with the kind of British humor that keeps you smirking and chuckling, which I thoroughly enjoyed! And I loved revisiting the historical locations (aww, the Winnie the Pooh farm)! About halfway through, I had a good idea as to where the story was going. Still, while it was a bit predictable, the journey was fun! If you want a feel-good romance that offers a nice escape with a happy ending, you will love this book! 

Reviewed by Leslie


Monday, September 9, 2013

Book Review - The Forever Girl (Part One) by Rebecca Hamilton

The Forever Girl (Part One)
by Rebecca Hamilton
Published 2012

116 Pages

This book started out with a bang, and just kept going! I was immediately fond of the lead character, Sophia. As an awkward young woman, living in a small town and working at a diner, Sophia is trying to find her place in the world after suffering from the loss of her parents. But she has the added burden of navigating life in a town that has all but shunned her. 

Sophia's gifts (or curse) have made her life complicated. Moreover, practicing Wiccans apparently aren't always welcomed in small towns. Go figure. But now, things are intensifying. With the help of her friend Ivory, a night out on the town to an underground club (no, it really is underground) has opened up Sophia's eyes, and all her senses, to another world that she never knew existed. But a hot guy that has just caught her eye is occupying her thoughts and feelings at a time when clarity is vital. You never know what might be lurking in the forest... or outside your bedroom window! 

This was the free version of the full length book, The Forever Girl, which I hope to read soon! But with so much going on in Part One, I felt compelled to review it. I loved Part One! The most unique aspect was the imagery. It followed closely with Sophia's experiences, describing the colors, tastes, scents, and everything around her so vibrantly that I felt as though I had stepped into her world, complete with crunching leaves of the forest under my feet. Gorgeous! I look forward to the full length version.

Reviewed by Stephanie


Cover Reveal and Book Release - HASH: The Secrets of Startech by April M. Reign

HASH: The Secrets of Startech

The Imprint Trilogy, #2 
by April M. Reign 

Now Available!

About the Book

Fugitives from Startech, Jade and Aric follow their map to Dieter Copeland’s house in the backwoods of Rutherford. While in hiding, Dieter teaches them how to connect with their alien metal. But their teacher is keeping his own deep, dark secret—a secret that could affect both their lives.

Aric and Jade grow closer, falling more in love, but being on the run has its drawbacks. When it becomes apparent that Startech will stop at nothing to recover their technology, the pair comes face to face with imminent danger, their fears and the truth behind the company that threatens their existence. Ultimately, as Jade and Aric fight for their lives, they discover there is only one place they can go...

About the Author

April M. Reign is the bestselling author of The Mancini Saga, The Dhellia Series, The Disciples of the Damned Series and The Turning Series. She started her writing career long before she could read or write. While bundled around a campfire at the beach in Southern California with her family, she'd share stories about sea monsters and land creatures.

In her teenage years, authors such as Nora Roberts, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Jude Deveraux, Anne Rice and many others were the influence that shaped her career as an author.

April lives in Southern California with her two teenage sons, her attention-seeking cat and the glorious beach, which is almost close enough to be her backyard.

April M. Reign

Connect with the Author

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Book Review - Withstanding Me by Crystal Spears

Withstanding Me (Breakneck, #2)
by Crystal Spears
Published 2013

264 Pages

I rarely read the author bio. This time, I'm really glad I did! I learned that the author had first hand experience living with a motorcycle club. Withstanding Me is a raw, explicit, and genuine portrayal, which must have taken a great deal of courage to write. So, I tip my hat to the author for telling it like it is! 

In the world of Breakneck love does not come in a neat or tidy package. It comes with blood, pain, and a heavy dose of reality. No one knows this better than Storm. As the rescued beauty, she is bright, quick-witted, and in matters of the heart she is holding out for the real deal. And after the most traumatic of events, and having a way of life forced upon her, she remains steadfast in her personal vow. But Zig Zag "ZZ" wants Storm in a bad way, and he wants it his way! He is relentless in his pursuit of Storm. And although she resists, a friendship is forged that develops into a strong bond. With all the craziness in ZZ's life, Storm becomes his one constant.

I enjoyed the story, with all its grit and intrigue. The chaotic world of Breakneck is truly a fantasy for me, and I read straight through to the end! Still, there were aspects that reached far beyond my comfort zone. Overall, it was a great read! And I am eager to hear more about the characters and where they will take us.

Reviewed by Kelli 


Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Review - Pinked by J.C. Mells

Pinked (Pierced, #3)
by J.C. Mells
Published 2013

442 Pages

As with the other books in the series, Pinked is thorough, deep, and heartfelt. I enjoyed the author's use of humor and wit, and found myself lost in the pages. I absolutely love the characters, with all their flaws and quirks.

So, Pinked was full of surprises! And although I was crushed by some plot twists, I understood why they occurred, and in no way did they affect how much I loved the story! Pierce is devastated, traumatized with a personal situation. She has been transformed, and is adjusting to her new world. And now, she has a permanent shadow watching her every move. Still, the one watching her is only trying to ensure that she does not hurt herself, or anyone else! 

But her newfound freedom brings a new set of challenges. Pierce spends time cooking for everyone. And with Lucas by her side, things are only going to get more interesting.

I loved this book, and cannot wait for more in the series! I think it is brilliant that so many of the reveals are truly unexpected! I laughed out loud through most of the book, and felt as though I was right there with the characters. I absolutely recommend it!

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Kelli & Stephanie


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Book Review - Escaped by J.C. Mells

Escaped (Pierced, #2)
by J.C. Mells
Published 2013 

109 Pages

I was so excited to read this novella! In the first book, Pierced, we learn about a man named Oscar; however, not much insight is given into his character. In this novella we get to know Oscar. Further, we delve deeper into Pierce's world beyond the walls of the vampire compound. And what a world it is! 

Oscar was the only child of a doting mother and father. A privileged boy of Spanish and Mexican descent, Oscar lived most of his life in Spain. Traveling overseas to attend New York University, he becomes enthralled with the city. He also falls for a young woman--a woman too young to become his wife, so he must be patient. He builds his life with her as the foundation, until he discovers that sometimes life has other plans.  

Things began to unravel, and Oscar finds himself working for a psychopath. The psychopath is holding girls hostage. And Oscar decides to help the girls by setting them free. Things continue to unfold, taking us on a frightening journey. And soon, Oscar's world as he knows it is changed forever. 

Such a great story! I love this writer. The plot, characters, and the depth of feeling in her work is limitless. I was on edge of my seat, and transfixed on what was going to happen next! My heart ached, but it was just so good! A truly amazing story, thoroughly complete for a novella, this is a must read! But only after you read Pierced

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Kelli & Stephanie

Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Review - Saving Margaret by Krystal Shannan

Saving Margaret (Vegas Mates Series, #2)
by Krystal Shannan
Published 2013
143 Pages

When Margaret, a female werewolf, learns of the violence that has occurred between shifters, and that more violence is being planned, her world is shaken off course in a most disturbing way. She has always counted on her father, the pack alpha, for guidance. But in the midst of such upheaval, she must put her trust in a shifter whom she has just met... and a bear shifter, no less! Her only experience with bear-shifters has been frightening so she is hesitant, to say the least. Bear-shifters are fiercely independent, and notoriously aggressive creatures. Living mostly in remote, mountainous regions they lack an understanding of pack life, and are intimidating to the most formidable of werewolf. And yet, Margaret feels drawn to this one. At 6'11" tall, Scott has just walked into Margaret's world and is about to turn it upside down.  

Upon their first meeting, Margaret's urge is to run and hide. In fact, that is exactly what she does! But Scott won't take no for an answer. And to further complicate matters, Margaret's own wolf is screaming out to her that Scott is their mate! A crossing between shifter species is rare, but not unheard of. What will her parents think? And fear keeps creeping up on her ... fear, based on a frightening experience from her past ... an experience that is about to catch up with her. With a war brewing, and faced with an uncertain future, will love prevail? And how will a bear and wolf's pairing affect her own pack? These are just some of the challenges she and Scott must face as their growing attraction pulls them together at a time when the world seems to be tearing them apart. 

I loved this book! As the second book in the series, it picks up right where the first book leaves off. Filled with great characters, both familiar and new, Saving Margaret is an exciting and fast paced read that you won't want to put down! There are plenty of twists and turns that I did not see coming, nothing is contrived, and the humor and wit flow naturally from page to page. I loved when Margaret's friend responds to Scott's aggressive nature by stating, "Take it down a notch or two, okay, teddy bear." Ha! I look forward to the next book in the series! 

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie

Read my review for the first book in the series:
Chasing Sam (book #1)

Book Review - On Every Street by Karina Halle

On Every Street (The Artists Trilogy, #0.5)
by Karina Halle
Published 2013

262 Pages

First, let me start off by saying that I loved the first book in the series, Sins & Needles. On Every Street is a prequel to the first book, and takes us back into the lives and history of Ellie Watt, also known as Eden White; and Javier Bernal. I generally prefer moving forward with stories, rather than delving into past histories. But I was so intrigued with these characters that I was eager to learn more about them. And for the most part, the characters did not disappoint!

Javier, both suave and charming, was quick to sweep Eden off her feet and into the blissful land of love, money, and indulgence--albeit, a land of crime, murder, and drug cartels. Still, Javier seemed genuinely over the moon in his feelings for Eden. But as the story points out, this was a pairing built on a foundation of lies and vengeance, with two very broken people trying to come together to make themselves whole. And although I was rooting for love to find a way, I could not imagine a viable solution. Could either of these two lost souls dig their way out from under the mountain of lies and deceit upon which their union was being constructed? You will need to read the book to find out! There is pain and heartache, but it is a worthwhile journey.

Generally speaking, I am forgiving when it comes to typos and formatting issues that have no impact on the story. Content, however, is an entirely different matter, and this book contained some repetitive words and phrases that were hard to ignore. I tried to, I really did! But after the first 75 pages or so, I began flagging them. For example, I would have liked to see some variety in how Javier's facial expressions were described, besides the manner in which his lips twitched. And in the span of approximately 80 pages, the word "stain" or "stained" was used at least five times to describe Javier's desire to mark Eden as his own. It was difficult to ignore, and slightly annoying.

Minor annoyances aside, this was a well written book with characters that jumped off the pages! I craved insight into these characters after Sins & Needles, and On Every Street definitely delivered! I felt their emotions, and when their hearts were being ripped out it felt like mine was being ripped out, too! It was painful, but I could not put it down. We saw the characters in all their raw, tortured glory. And although it was gut wrenching at times, it added important context to the series.

Reviewed by Stephanie 


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Cover Reveal and Book Release - Pinked by J.C. Mells

Cover Reveal and Book Release!

Pinked (Pierced Series #3)

by J.C. Mells

Available Now! 

About the Book
While Pierce tries to deal with the after effects of her new and "unpierced" self, Lucas relives the week leading up to that fateful night when he was forced into doing the one thing he vowed he never would - inflict his disease on another human being. As if he didn't hate himself enough already. 
As she attempts to come to terms with the new her - the Pierce that is stronger, faster and less reliant on her former "dependencies" - she begins to settle into an unfamiliar, yet longed for, "normal" life with her newfound circle of family and friends. Pierce is finally able to do what her maker never was - embrace, accept and thrive from what she has become. It is tricky negotiating the relentless pull of the mate bond between them when one is still traumatized by memories of abuse, and the other pointblank refuses to acknowledge (out loud at least) that there is a mate bond at all.  
With Pierce's not-so-subtle help, Lucas comes face to face with the fact that maybe it's time for him to start coming to terms with this "affliction" too. But it is not going to be easy. Especially when they come into contact with another pack for the first time. Please note: This book is for readers 18 years and over.
About the Author
J.C. Mells has had a variety of jobs, from working in a chocolate factory in Yorkshire, England, to running a pub in London, to waiting tables in a fine-dining restaurant in Las Vegas, NV. Somewhere in the middle of all that, she stopped off in new York, NY for a spell and picked up a BA degree and two MA Degrees. And she has the hefty student loans to prove it! 
J.C. Mells started reading Paranormal Romances and Urban Fantasies soon after she bought her first Kindle. Trying to lessen her expensive book-a-day habit, she started filling up her Kindle with freebies by self-published authors. She read some awesome stuff - and some pretty dire stuff, too! Either way, she decided why not give it a go herself?  She went into work and announced that she was going to write a book. They all laughed. Today, with the release of Pinked, J.C. Mells has three published books out and available for your reading pleasure! Woot!

J.C. Mells

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