Monday, 29 February 2016

Standing the test of time (Sasha Clinton's You're Still the One)


You’re Still The One

Author: Sasha Clinton
Genre: Contemporary Romance

One love. One man. Two chances.
Ashley has her life sorted out. After a painful divorce, she has now rebuilt her life as an editor. She is happy with her life—until her ex-husband Andrew walks into it, opening up the deep scars that even time has failed to heal.
He’s gorgeous, funny and as utterly tempting as he was seven years ago. Plus, being the editor for his new book, she cannot avoid him. But Andrew has his own issues lingering from the past.
Bound together by work, every breath they take draws them closer, into the same hopeless, passionate love that they once shared...

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My Review

'Love conquers all'... How we wish that would be true, isn't it? But it isn't.

It has happened so often that I would read a happy ending in a book, or watch a 'happily ever after' conclusion to a movie, and I am thinking - 'Good, but how can they continue to be happy? They have so much going against them.'

Sasha Clinton's You're still the one starts with a lovely love story of young love. One that should conquer all in an ideal world. Then it goes on to the not-so-ideal facts of life. Even best of intentions and deepest of feelings can, at times, not protect against the harsh trials that life throws in our way.

Ashley and Andrew had love and they lost it. They meet again.

With many mistakes and disenchantments in their past, their coming together again makes for a good story.

Certain portions of the story seem to be a little hurried, or too-conveniently coincidental. But the emotions keep the story interesting.

You're Still The One is an enjoyable read, to relish the coming together of love and maturity.


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I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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About the Author

Sasha Clinton discovered romance novels at the age of thirteen and has been addicted to the genre ever since. After getting a degree in Chemical Engineering and realizing that there was no way she could ever be an engineer, she decided to follow her passion and write romance novels. Sasha has lived in New Delhi, Melbourne, Manchester and Boston and continues to move frequently. But wherever she is, she’s hard at work on her next book.


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Excerpt

“How're you going to get home?” he asked. Worrying about her didn’t count as love, right?

“Don't worry about it. I'll use Uber. That's how I got here.” She clicked the app on her phone.

“I'll drop you.” he offered.

She narrowed her eyes into slits. “You and I live nowhere near each other.”

“That doesn't mean I can't drop you home.”

She moved her attention away from her phone. “Why should you? You don't need to be courteous to me, Andrew. I'm nobody to you. We've established that.”

“We might not be on the best of terms, but I'm still worried for you. I shouldn't be, but I am. I worry about whether you’ll get home safely. I worry about how you'll feel when you get home. I worry about whether you'll cry when you get home. It's useless when I can't do anything about any of those things. I don't love you, Ashley, no, and I don't want anything romantic or sexual with you. I don't even want to see you after today. I just want to be able to worry about you and take you home tonight.”

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Friday, 26 February 2016

Book Review - K.S. David's Every Broken Wish


Every Broken Wish
Author: K.S. David
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 173
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Litha Adams is a rich and powerful entrepreneur. She is a warm person, but she has her secrets. No one knows about her past.

She's alone.

"Marriage and love were secondary to business news and economic reports. Vacation consisted of 7:00 a.m. calls to staff. She could only relax when she had a stack of 10k’s under her arms. At thirty-eight, Litha was single, childless and it looked like the only family she’d ever have was the collection of companies held in her portfolio."

Now Ethan Garner has returned to her life, years after she had left him, seeking answers. As there is a break-in at her house, they find out that it is Litha's life that is at stake.

As the story moves on, Litha has to figure out whom she can trust.

Every Broken Wish builds up the suspense well so that the pages keep turning quickly, as you find yourself absorbed in the world of Litha Adams.

K.S. David's Every Broken Wish is a grabs your interest from the very first word. The secret and the chemistry between Litha and Ethan makes for a very interesting read. The small details in the writing make the words visually striking.


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I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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Litha Adams cleared her schedule, deciding to spend the day at home. She needed a break from her chaotic life. She picked a perfect sunny day to relax and just hang out in the garden. Nothing prepared her for the sudden appearance of Ethan Garner. She had walked away from him and spent every day since, building a life on her terms. By day's end, she had another problem. Strangers were in her home. Litha found herself locked away with Ethan as interlopers hunted for treasure. Then came the realization that she was their target. They were hunting for her. 
  • Every Broken Wish is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
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About the Author
K. S. David lives in the Mid-Atlantic with her husband, their three children and a menagerie of pets. 
New storylines are constantly running through her head and she keeps notebooks tucked in pockets of the car, the nightstand and makes voice recordings just about all day long. She's addicted to true life mysteries and crime shows, both of which marry well with a great romance. Some of her favorite things are long walks, reading in bed, baking and of course, writing her next novel.
Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Every Broken Wish.
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Book Excerpt:
Working the soil was a source of comfort for Litha Adams. She liked to feel the rich black granules slip through her fingers. She liked the sense of accomplishment she felt when something as small as a minuscule seed erupted from the earth to produce an edible crop or the vivid canopy of colors that lit up the back wall of her estate. She had purchased Enchanted Island specifically for that purpose. It was an eleven thousand square foot brick-front colonial on ten acres, complete with its own private lake, which she kept well stocked with ladyfish, spadefish, and Alabama darter.
 The estate was a collection of steep undulating hills, surrounded by ten-foot sugar maple, loblolly pine, and yellow buckeye trees, which closed off visibility from neighbors and passersby. Once you turned off the residential road, drove up the long shaded driveway, and passed through the tall black iron gates, there was an immediate sense of isolation. The vast green acreage, the colorful gardens, bubbling fountains, even the man-made lake, was serenity for Litha and the few guests she allowed at her home. The irony was that her quiet oasis was barely a heartbeat away from the bustle of downtown Atlanta.
“Ms. Adams,” said a voice behind her.           
Litha sat back on her heels, removed her lavender rose patterned garden gloves, and waited for her assistant to continue. She rarely took time to do anything for herself, rarer to work in the gardens. She needed a breather from the chaotic treadmill of her life. Instead of hitting the office before sunup, she decided to work from home and sneak in a little solace. She had already run five miles and punched off a dozen emails before telling Courtney, her assistant, to change her schedule. Courtney reported to the house instead of the office and every appointment had been canceled, except one. Even that had been re-routed to the house.
“You have a visitor. The guy didn’t give his name, but he says you know him,” said Courtney.
Litha twisted around and glared at her. “What?”
Courtney shrugged. “He’s at the gate. He insists on seeing you.”
“Here?” confirmed Litha. “You’re saying some random man just drove up and wants to see me?” 
Putting her hand on her narrow hip, Courtney nodded. She wasn’t just Litha’s assistant, but her closest friend. “Shaun has him at the gate. I already spoke with the guy. I asked him to leave his name and a card and I’d have you contact him, but he insists on talking with you himself.” 
Courtney was impeccably dressed in a tasteful, mid-calf, ice-blue sleeveless dress. She wore her hair natural, kept it cut low and perfectly tapered on the sides and at the nape. A hint of red on the edges of her hair set off her toasted-chestnut skin, which was flawless. She had high cheekbones, full lips, and a sultry come-hither voice that made most men stop dead in their tracks. She was also a closet comedienne, with a wicked sense of humor, who had the ability to lift Litha’s mood no matter what was going on. But when Litha looked at her, she didn’t see that spark of wit bubbling behind her dark brown eyes. 
“What does he look like?” She imagined some half-crazed man hanging from the twenty-foot gates. There were dozens of charitable organizations always chasing her down; ladies auxiliaries, educational funds, and church groups inviting her to either speak to their masses, lend her name to their cause, write a check in support, or all three. No one had ever tracked her to the house. Litha had hired personal security eight months ago and kept a guard at the gate twenty-four hours a day. She also had a man present in the house at all times or by her side whenever she left. 
Courtney considered the question and shifted her iPad to the opposite hip. “If I may say so . . . he’s fine. He’s well dressed. He’s driving an
Affalterbach. Speaks well. He’s very clear about your association.”
Sighing, Litha slapped her hands together, sending up a small plume of dust. She brushed off her jeans and pressed her hand against the front of her t-shirt. “And he won’t give his name?” asked Litha.
“No. Shaun wants to know how you want to handle it. He’s ready to dial 9-1-1; he’s just waiting to finish the call.”
 Litha looked back at her unfinished work. She’d been planting larkspur and penstemon for added color in the garden. Small black containers waited to be transplanted. “I’ll go see what the guy wants,” she decided.
She and Courtney took a narrow cobblestone path that rounded the east end of the home. As they stepped onto the paved driveway, Litha noticed the shiny black car idling outside the gate. The heavy tint on the windows made it impossible for her to see who sat in the driver’s seat. Shaun stood at the edge of the guard’s house holding a cell phone. 
The extreme security measures hadn’t been her idea, they’d had been put in place at the insistence of Ed Mitchell, the Chief Operating Officer of her company. He was afraid that the recent protest at the company could spiral out of control. After weeks of cajoling, begging, and pleading, Litha finally conceded to a personal escort, the fortress-like gates circling the property, the armed guard, handpicked drivers, and the fleet of secured vehicles. Her personal staff had swollen and been required to submit to extensive background checks, polygraph exams, take basic training in selfdefense, sign rigid confidentiality agreements, and had been taught to remain on alert at all times. Litha agreed to all the changes even though they resulted in every facet of her life being utterly and completely invaded. 
A walk to Starbucks for an iced coffee was an act of defiance. Ed and the entire team would spin into action, hustling about in a fury trying to find her. When they did, they'd swoop in like a SWAT team to form a secure bubble around her. Slipping away occasionally was her way of keeping her sanity, retaining her independence, and proving to Ed that his concerns were unwarranted. It was also her way of reminding all of them that she was the one in charge. 
Courtney slowed her pace then touched Litha’s arm to halt her. “I . . . I don’t know about this,” she said. “Maybe it isn’t such a good idea. He didn’t look crazy, but you never know.” Then deciding. “I’ll have Shaun just get the guy’s name and number. He’ll have to be satisfied with that. Ed would kill me if anything happened to you. The protocol . . .”
Litha held out a hand. “Whoa. Stop.” She turned to Courtney. “Has
Ed been harassing you about what goes on in my house?”
“Not exactly harassing,” evaded Courtney. She was uncomfortably aware of the tension that had developed between Litha and Ed Mitchell recently. She wanted to stay clear of it. “You know him,” she urged, “Ed’s all about rules and has his ideas about how things should run.” 
Litha sucked her teeth, crossed her arms, and said, “I haven’t abdicated control of my life to anyone. If Ed Mitchell thinks any differently, then he’d do well to remember who owns the company, who he works for and this house. If I choose to walk to my gate, then I will.” 
Not offended by Litha’s directness, Courtney pursed her lips, snapped her fingers. “Alright, Boss Lady.” She stepped aside and pointed toward the gate. 
At their approach, the car door opened. Shaun’s hand swung to the gun on his hip. “Sir, please stay in the car.”
Ignoring him, a tall, well-built man stepped out in a crisp, tailored suit. He had skin like whipped dark chocolate, a broad regal nose, a firm jaw, and narrowed eyes that went immediately for Litha. 
She stopped. Her heart thumped in her chest so hard it hurt. In a quaking breath, she huffed, “Shit.”
“You okay?” asked Courtney, protectively stepping between Litha and the gate.
The man closed the door, letting her see the full measure of him. 
“Sir, please get back in the car,” said Shaun. “I’m going to have to call the police if you don’t comply.”
 “I’m fine,” said Litha, regaining her composure.
She willed herself to steady and pinched her hands closed for a moment to stop the shaking. Imagining herself a bar of unbendable steel, she stepped around Courtney, walked toward the gate. Wrapping her fingers around the bars and she stared at the man for a moment. 
When the man took a step forward, Shaun pushed his hand into the stranger’s chest and warned, “Sir, I’m serious. All I have to do is hit ‘send’ and I’ll connect with the police.” He held up the phone.


In a voice that had turned cool and hard, Litha said, “Shaun, put the phone away. Let him through.” 
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Thursday, 25 February 2016

Recognitions through ages (Daniela I. Norris' Recognitions - Book Review)

Recognitions
Author: Daniela I. Norris
Publisher: Roundfire Books
Pages: 200
Genre: Inspirational/Women’s Fiction



Amelia is struggling with separation from her husband of - years, two teenage children, her job, and a novel that she has been writing. She agrees to hypnotherapy, although she has doubts about it.

What follows are creative inspirations, striking dreams, and surprising discoveries.

Recognitions is not one story. It is three different plots, each a treat in its own right.
As the author moves from one story to another, and then comes back, I, as a reader, was eager to find out how each one would pan out. And obviously, how the three will intertwine.

Adele, a French girl at crossroads in life. Does she make the right decision finally?

An African Shaman makes some tough choices.

Amelia is a witness to it all, initially wary. As she accepts changes in her old relationships, and paves a way for new, the three different tales merge.

Daniela I. Norris has weaved an emotionally potent tale of that spans centuries and is connected through it all. Feelings don't change as generations do, do they?

The language of is detailed, almost leisurely so, and yet, doesn't come across as unnecessarily verbose. It lingers on emotions, and thoughts, and events. Yet, it is engaging.

Recognitions ends with a certain contentment. A peace, that is satisfying.
Recognitions also leaves you with a need to know what next.


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I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

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Blurb

Amelia Rothman, a foreign-rights editor from New York, has a turbulent personal life. She juggles a divorce and two teenage kids, and decides to seek hypnotherapy to help her deal with insomnia and anxieties. But when during the session an unexpected event emerges, she tries to understand how it is relevant to her current life and why it suddenly triggers a series of synchronicities that take her on an unexpected personal journey to the depth of her subconscious. 

At once a spiritual and psychological novel, Recognitions explores the concepts of past lives, recognition of people and their roles in our present lives and life lessons. 

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About the author


Daniela I. Norris is a former diplomat, turned political writer, and with age and wisdom - inspirational author and speaker. Her award-winning stories, articles and essays have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.
Published books include -
- Crossing Qalandiya - Exchanges Across the Israeli Palestinian Divide (Reprtage Press, 2010)
- On Dragonfly Wings - a skeptic's journey to mediumship (Axis Mundi Books, 2014)
- Collecting Feathers: tales from The Other Side (Soul Rocks Books, 2014)

Recognitions, part of a trilogy, is her first novel.

Daniela lives with her family near Geneva, Switzerland, and is co-director of the Geneva Writers' Conference and part of the International Grief Council panel (www.internationalgriefcouncil.org).

For More Information
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Praise for Recognitions

Think Cloud Atlas, a classic story of rebirth, many lives, and reincarnation on a level that involves protagonists in other lives – but take it a step further in Recognitions, the first novel in a trilogy, which presents a woman under hypnosis who sometimes encounters a French girl on the cusp of marriage and sometimes an African shaman facing a village’s struggles with illness and slavery.
  
Then take these diverse lives and weave them together in the story of a modern-day woman, Amelia (who must deal with these other lives and her own daily challenges, and who faces her own struggle to understand the connections and messages that lie in her dreams and hypnotic state), and you have an emotionally charged saga filled with three threads that lead back to one tapestry of wonder.
  
Under a different hand, this saga of birth, death, and afterlife could have easily proved confusing: it’s no simple matter to create three disparate, very different lives, and weave them together with purpose and discovery; no easy venture to bring all these pieces to life and then meld them into one… a story that is quietly compelling: a moving saga highly recommended for any reader interested in predetermination, past lives, and how three disparate worlds weave together.

-- Midwest Book Reviews

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Excerpt
   I was still considering cancelling it all as I entered through the building’s gate and stepped towards the door. I took a couple of deep breaths and looked around for clues, to help me decide whether I should go ahead with this craziness or not. I could hear my own heartbeat, which I thought was a bit weird, as I’d never noticed it before. Not like this, thumping in my ears like a distant drumbeat.
   There was no name on the door – just a sticker of a dragonfly, and her initials. It looked as if it were the door to a student’s apartment, or to the practice of some dodgy manicurist, certainly not a door to another state of consciousness. When Lauren, my editorial assistant, first suggested hypnotherapy, I laughed. Lauren is the spiritual type, taking three yoga classes a week and constantly talking about meditation, energies and karma.
   It isn’t that I don’t believe in these things. In fact, I don’t really know what I believe in, I just know that between my teenage kids and my day job and my attempts at finishing my never-ending novel, I hardly have time to explore all sorts of strange mind-body-spirit connections or whatever they call them these days. But since Don left I pretty much lost it, in more than one way.
   I couldn’t focus on the books piling up on my desk, silently filling me with guilt for letting them sit there for so long. I was supposed to be spending my days securing foreign rights for American books, mostly working with French-language publishers. But I couldn’t do my job properly. I suffered from sudden anxieties during the day, and at night I couldn’t sleep. It’s not that he broke my heart or anything, it’s more like he somehow managed to crack the fragile confidence in humanity 1 that I’ve managed to maintain over the twenty years of living in New York City.
   But I couldn’t spend the entire day in front of that door with the stupid dragonfly sticker, so I decided to knock. If she turned out to be some kind of witch with missing front teeth and hair coming out of her ears, I could always make a run for it. A woman in her late thirties opened the door, and all her teeth were intact. In fact, she had a pleasant smile. “Come in,” she said as she shook my hand, and then signaled towards a coat hanger by the door. As I took my coat off I felt a knot of anxiety in my throat, but I just swallowed it.
   There was no way back now. Taking my coat off made me feel vulnerable, as if a dice had been thrown; a decision had been made, one I couldn’t go back on anymore. I wasn’t used to feeling vulnerable; it was a recent state-of-being that I still didn’t wear well. “So why are you here?” she asked. I was seated in front of her in a black leather armchair, and noticed that both my hands were clenched into tight fists. I had to choose my words carefully because I didn’t want to let the wrong ones out. Even though I didn’t know her, even though she was supposed to be able to help me with my fears and my worries and my questions, still – I wanted to make a good impression.
   “I came because I can’t sleep well,” I said. “And I’ve kind of lost interest in things. I’ve been working on an historical novel for three years now, and it’s not progressing. I also have some…I suppose they’re called anxieties. About the future. Also about the past.”
   I stopped there. I didn’t want to sound too neurotic. “Have you gone through any major life changes recently?” she asked, noting down my words. She stopped writing and looked at me with gentle eyes. I then noticed that she was perhaps somewhat older than I initially thought; at least her eyes seemed old.
   So then I had to spill it all out. I told her how Don decided one day he’d had enough and how I was initially relieved he left because by then I’d had enough too. We’d been at each other’s throats for years and now that the kids were a little older there was no need to pretend any longer. But when he almost immediately moved in with some woman called Claudette, that’s when the anxieties started. What if I had made the wrong choice? Was it too late to change it now? Besides, what kind of name is that, anyway, Claudette? Sounded like some granny from a bad fifties movie.
   But Claudette was no granny. I saw her when they came to pick up the kids together one Saturday morning about two months ago, shamelessly sitting in the passenger seat of our car, or what used to be our car, not even bothering to come out and introduce herself. She wore a little black halter-top despite the fact it was a cold day, exposing skinny shoulders and a big red pendant of some kind draped around her neck like a hangman’s noose.
   Maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part, but I was more than pleased when Tom and Jen came back and said they didn’t like her at all. “She’s trying to be funny,” said Jen. “But she isn’t.”
   “Yeah, she tried to bribe us with ice cream as if we were little kids,” said Tom. He was now a tall, slim teenager, his voice breaking as he spoke. But none of that mattered now, for I was lying on the therapist’s couch as she started counting backwards in a slow, monotone voice, instructing me to relax, breathe deeply, let go of all my worries and put them in a small imaginary box which – she assured me – I’d be able to pick up mentally when we finished the session. It felt nice knowing that I could put away all my worries for a little while, but then get them back if I wanted to.
   I was quite attached to my worries and anxieties by then, they even felt comfortable and familiar. I could not help but wonder if I was truly and honestly ready to get rid of them.

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Saturday, 20 February 2016

Cremation Smoke - Haiku

Carpe Diem's Theme Week #1 has opened up the world of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying to me.
It is heartening to find similarities between the thoughts of different beings and religions over the centuries.
The one truth of life is death.


The day dawns, and then it ends, and the night passes away. Mortals do not realize that this life is diminishing. Each day, the mouse symbolizing death is gnawing on the rope of life. 


desires diffuse
a lifetime's worth
cremation smoke




Prompt by and Shared with-
Carpe Diem Theme Week #1 episode 4: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: Insight 3 "thinking about death gives life meaning"
http://chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.in/2016/02/carpe-diem-theme-week-1-episode-4.html












Thursday, 18 February 2016

Book Information (Mya Kay's Fumbled Your Heart)


Fumbled Your Heart
Author: Mya Kay

Genre: Christian Romance

Jezzy Watson, a fiery, sports agent from Philadelphia, rose to the top of her game in just four years. She has an inkling for getting some of the best deals in the business and this earns her an Agent of the Year honor at New York Fashion Week’s charity event.
It’s been ten years since she’s seen her high school sweetheart, Trent Rucker, who now plays for the New York Giants. As soon as she lays eyes on him at the event, the memories and pain come flooding back. When Trent broke up with her on prom night, he not only broke her heart, but his promise to go to college in New York with like her so they could conquer the sports world together.
Upon reconnecting, Jezzy makes it clear she’s very much in love with her fiancĂ©, Marcus. When Trent pays her a visit at her office bearing flowers as a peace offering, she immediately shuts him down, revealing a secret that leaves Trent speechless.
With the truth out, Trent is more determined than ever to make things right with Jezzy, at least to maintain a friendship. But his actions to do so show not only him, but his fiancée Kelli that a friendship is not the only thing he wants from Jezzy. Over the next eight months, Trent goes to the ends of the earth to get Jezzy back.
Will Jezzy tell Trent the truth about having never stopped loving him and forgive him for hurting her or will she move forward in her courtship with Marcus, knowing her heart isn’t really in it?
Love and pain resurface in this Christian romance novel where Trent will soon learn that he may have completely fouled out.

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About the Author: Mya Kay



Born and raised in North Philadelphia, PA, Mya attended the prestigious Philadelphia High School for Girls’, Jill Scott's Alma Mater. After graduating in 2002, she attended Community College of Philadelphia and enrolled into the dual-degree program, catapulting her straight into Temple University where she completed her Bachelor's in Magazine Journalism. She received her Master’s in English from Arcadia University in 2010. She relocated to Atlanta, Georgia in November 2011 and spent a year teaching English overseas in South Korea from August 2012 to August 2013. She self-published her first book, Speechless: Short Stories on June 6, 2012. In addition to novels, Mya writes screenplays and owns a nail polish line and writer’s coaching agency in Philadelphia, PA. She’s also currently working on her second Master’s, an MBA from Philadelphia University.

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/writermya
On Twitter: @writermya

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Tour organised by -
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