Book Review: Frightened in France (Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries Book #2) by April A. Taylor

Title: Frightened in France (Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries Book #2 by April A. Taylor)
Author: April A. Taylor
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Alexa Bentley is back, and this time, she’s gone international! A series of disturbing murders in Paris send Alexa to some of the City of Light’s most notable attractions. Can she tap into the spectral network quickly enough to prevent another murder? And what do these crimes have to do with a notorious criminal from France’s past? Alexa scoffs at the idea that a ghost could be the murderer… but what if she’s wrong?

Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries – She’s a witty, mystery-solving ghost therapist. From the author of the Midnight Myths and Fairy Tales Series.

Praise for Frightened in France:

“With book one Alex became my favorite unlikely hero. In book two I realized why…She seems like someone I could befriend. Alex is real, relatable, and relative. The story catches you, draws you in, and keeps you enticed till the end.” -Goodreads Reviewer

“I really enjoyed this read as much as the first in the series! New characters are introduced…the adventures they share are thrilling and entertaining.” -Goodreads Reviewer

“A great read that grab[s] your attention.” – Amazon Reviewer
Praise for Missing in Michigan:

“The story is fast-paced, the plot entertaining, the characters – in particular Alexa – are intriguing…this is a gripping read that fans of paranormal mysteries will certainly enjoy.” –I Heart Reading

“Alexa (Alex) Bentley is the type of main character I love…the plot grabbed me and made me want to read on…this is a book I would be quite happy to read a second time.” –Long & Short Reviews

I previously reviewed (and gave it 5 stars!) the first book in the series, Missing in Michigan. Read my review here.

In this sequel, Frightened in France, Alexa Bentley is back, and this time, a series of disturbing murders sends her to Paris, France. While the city is usually a romantic hangout, now it’s the scene of several gruesome murders… And it’s up to Alexa to prevent the next murder from happening, and to find out who the murderer is, and how she can stop him.

Once again, the story was so compelling I lost all track of time and space as I devoured chapter after chapter. This is my kind of book, spot-on. A relatable, witty heroine who I would love to hang out with in real life, storylines that incorporate murders and supernatural elements, a blast from the past, a setting I’ve visited a few times and really love (who doesn’t love Paris?), and writing that pulls you in from the start.

If you like paranormal mysteries and ghosts, then I absolutely, 100%, recommend this series!

Book Review: Why is it Always My Fault? by Dr. David Yagil

Title: Why is it Always My Fault?
Author: Dr. David Yagil
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self Help, Parenting
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Finally, a book about ADHD and Learning Disabilities that helps parents and children together!

This book, for children age 6-18 years and their parents, illustrates the personal experience of a child who has attention deficit disorder (with or without hyperactivity) and/or learning disabilities to provide better understanding of these phenomena and greater awareness of the child’s internal world. It teaches how to communicate with ones child without accusations, mutual anger, or frustration. It describes the child’s characteristic problems, how he feels and thinks about himself, implications for his academic, emotional, and social functioning and offers practical instructions for parents, teachers, and children.

Share feelings about personal stories with which your child can identify

A unique section features children speaking their own mind, intended for young readers and parents together. It presents children’s stories of their experiences, sense of inability to meet expectations, and personal feelings of pain. As the child reads the story and identifies with the feelings and thoughts expressed, parents can discuss with their child, in a supportive and empathic atmosphere, his academic and social problems and possible better ways of coping.

“Why is it Always My Fault?” focuses on children who have attention deficit disorders (such as ADHD) and/or learning disabilities. On the one hand, the book helps authors to better understand their children who are suffering from this, and on the other hand, it also helps the children themselves, and illustrates their own, internal world.

It teaches parents how to communicate with their children under these circumstances, and helps put things into perspective. Authors who have children with ADHD or learning disabilities, or teachers teaching these children, should definitely read this book.

Book Review: Creative Marketing by Dr. Yaniv Zaid

Title: Creative Marketing: How to Sell more, Get High Prices and Develop Your Business to Success
Author: Dr. Yaniv Zaid
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self Help, Guide
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Do you want to jump start your business to reach amazing levels?

This book reveals the most innovative and successful tools for increasing your income, building your professional authority, creating and maintaining a community of customers, engaging in creative marketing, and maximizing your sales. Apply the skills and strategies you will gain here, and your business will soar!

Acquire all the skills you need for unprecedented business success!

Learn all about:

  • asking and getting high prices for your products and services, even in a “saturated” market
  • thinking creatively at all times, even in a competitive market
  • turning compliments into income and motivating people to act, even if they had not been planning to buy from you
  • creating a growing community around you and “educating” it to patronize you and not your competitors
  • marketing and selling differently and more effectively than do your competitors
  • making as many people as possible talk about you as much as possible, saying only good things
  • and more…

In “Creative Marketing”, the author showcases some creative, innovative ways oto market objects, and to create and maintain a community of customers, engage and maximize your sales. Using psychological techniques to influence other people’s opinion, this book is informative, scientific and to-the-point.

The book is entertaining and well-written, and the message is interesting and something I will definitely utilize soon. The author apparently also gives seminars, which I think can be helpful too, in addition to the book, to give more real-life examples.

Book Review: The Magnet: The Way to Fulfill Your Dreams by Oriella Paz-Maureen

Title: The Magnet: The Way to Fulfill Your Dreams
Author: Oriella Paz-Maureen
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self Help
Rating: 3 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Regain the powerful, priceless inner compass that you once possessed naturally!

You were born with a unique, priceless, internal compass. Like any infant, you could direct your surroundings to satisfying your desires, which were very clear to you then. However, as the years went by, your connection with this internal magnet has weakened. The Magnet connects readers to the internal, inherent magnet with which every one of us is born and which opens the opportunity for change and realizing one’s dreams. It is a unique way to attract desired reality, opportunities, and wishful “coincidences” into our lives.

This book will guide you in your self-transforming work to achieve the reality you desire

This method is not magic; it requires working through all four of the echelons of our existence: physical, emotional, mental, and energetic. With methodic practice, which can also be assimilated with unique meditations studied in the course, one is opened step by step to change and success, altering the automatic mode of existence to a conscious and fulfilling life.

“The Magnet: The Way to Fulfill Your Dreams” helps readers to get back in touch with their own internal compass. Infants are more in tune with their surroundings. As adults, we often feel distanced from everyone and everything. This book is meant to help re-connect readers with their inner magnet, with their true self.

I found the book a bit hard to follow. Even the examples weren’t always as straightforward as I had hoped. Some things are described as being easy while in reality, and for someone with little practical experience with meditation and such, it can be hard.

Still, it’s an intriguing book and the message is one that could change many people’s lives, for the better.

Book Review and Giveaway Amelia, The Merballs And The Emerald Cannon

Title: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon
Author: Evonne Blanchard
Genre: Children’s Books
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Amelia and Uglesnoo land on Mercury.  They meet the Merballs, the friendly aliens that live there.  All goes well, until an asteroid hits their planet. Amelia and Uglesnoo find themselves in deep trouble. How will they convince the Merballs of their innocence? And how will they manage to collect the flying shoes, escape Mercury and continue their quest to save Uglesnoo’s sister?

I previously read and reviewed Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage, book two in the series, and really enjoyed it. So, when I had the opportunity to read book three, Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon, of course I couldn’t say no.

With the second book, I was amazed by how creative the author was, and I have to say, this third book is even more original, fun and creative!

In this book, Amelia and Uglesnoo land on Mercury where they meet the Merballs. All seems to go pretty well, until an asteroid hits Mercury, and the Merballs areconvinced Amelia and Uglesnoo are somehow involved. With aliens, different planets, a good dose of humor and excellent storytelling that is age-appropriate, this is one of the best kids series out there. The illustrations are pretty fun too and fit the story well.

 

Giveaway

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Book Review: Small Steps to Great Parenting by Dr. Kalanit Ben-Ari

Title: Small Steps to Great Parenting: An Essential Guide for Busy Families
Author: Dr. Kalanit Ben-Ari
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-Help
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publsher in exchange for an honest review.

Are you drained by the daily power-struggle with your children?

In this book, Dr. Ben-Ari provides concise and proven tips that can be used in everyday family life. With clear examples taken from the author’s research, extensive clinical experience, and personal experience as a mother, the reader will soon learn how to look at issues through the lens of the parent-child connection rather than as a “child behavior problem” that needs to be controlled. This understanding, along with practical tips, will enable one to solve any problem.

…and too busy to read a lengthy, theoretical parenting book?

With small yet highly effective tweaks, parents will learn to turn conflicts into opportunities for growth and connection, repair situations when things go wrong, and bring joy, calm, and balance to family relationships in our fast-paced world. This cutting edge book is perfect for anyone who really wants to improve parenting skills with immediate success and acquire building blocks for a strong family relationship.

In “Small Steps to Great Parenting”, Dr. Kalanit Ben-Aari, a parenting expert, gives small but helpful tips on how to become a better parent. Rather than diving off into complicated, long explanations, the tips are short and to the point, with chapters that focus on particular, challenging subjects.

The approach is simplistic and easy to understand, but this adds to the merit of the book and makes it easier to understand for everyone. It also transforms the book into an useful, practical guide.

Not being a parent myself, I’m not really the targeted audience for this type of read, but I enjoyed it nevertheless, and I think that for parents, especially busy parents, this can be a helpful guide.

Book Tours: Starter Day Party The McKenzie Files

I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for science fiction “The McKenzie Files”. The tour runs from August 17 to September 17. Welcome to the party!

Tour Schedule

August 17th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

August 17th: Promo Post @ Author C.A. Milson’s Blog

August 19th: Book Excerpt @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

August 23rd: Guest Post @ Mythical Books

August 26th: Book Excerpt @ Bright Street Books

August 27th: Character Interview @ The Book Daily

August 29th: Promo Post @ Nesie’s Place

August 31st: Book Review and Giveaway @ Books are Forever

September 1st: Book Excerpt @ Bookish Madness

September 3rd: Author Interview @ The Single Librarian

September 5th: Promo Post @ Bedazzled Reading

September 8th: Guest Post and Giveaway @ I Heart Reading

September 10th: Book Excerpt @ Nesie’s Place

September 12th: Book Review @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

September 13th: Author Interview and Giveaway @ Rising Indies United

September 15th: Promo Post @ Cassidy Crimson’s Blog

September 17th: Book Excerpt @ Indy Book Fairy

 

About the Book

Title: The McKenzie Files

Author: Barry K. Nelson

Genre: Science-Fiction

The United Protectorate is under attack by the Brelac, a bloodthirsty reptilian alien race bent on destroying humanity. A dark alliance between the Brelac and the Vendetta, a separatist organization, looms over the Protectorate. The Brelac’s onslaught brings forth the creation of the genetically engineered humanoid weapons called Reploids. Reploids are identical copies of real humans captured, killed, cloned, embedded with powerful psionic abilities, and programmed to serve the Brelac. They are untraceable and blend into human society so believably, the Reploids themselves do not know they are clones.

Colin McKenzie, part of a military team sent to a remote planet to investigate and capture a downed Brelac ship, turns on his commanding officer in an attempt to protect a shipwrecked band of Brelac soldiers. But he is captured and reprogrammed – along with two other arrested Reploids – to serve the government they were originally created to destroy.

The balance is upset when a weapon powerful enough to bring the Protectorate to its knees is about to be unleashed – and the Protectorate’s only hope of stopping it is the three Reploids.

Author Bio

A Pennsylvania native, Barry K. Nelson has attended college and has worked at a variety of jobs, including retail and the corporate environment. Barry enjoys reading and gardening and is a fan of science fiction and horror movies, Marvel comic collecting, and the X-box gaming.

Barry has written several short stories, and his first book in the science fiction series, The McKenzie Files, followed by the sequels, Assassination Anxiety, Obliteration, and Maximum Deevor.

Barry is a member of Ning and Goodreads, can be found on Facebook, and can also be reached through Dreaming Big Publications..

Links

Facebook

Dreaming Big Publications

Amazon (eBook)

Amazon (Paperback)

Book Review: Incomplete Silence by Paul Usiskin

Title: Incomplete Silence
Author: Paul Usiskin
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Revie copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Police investigator Dov Chizzik combats a murderous right wing coup attempt

In this second Chizzik Saga, police investigator Dov Chizzik stumbles into a right wing coup to depose Israel’s Chief of Staff. Spearheading the coup is Rivka Aaronson, queen of settlement construction, assisted by Hodaya a ruthless killer. Rivka believes that only if Israel is occupied by religious settlers from the West Bank can it be authentically Jewish. Her first move is to replace the army’s Chief of Staff with a religious general.

Will Dov derail the coup without giving up everything he stands for?

Funding Rivka is the almost anonymous tycoon, Barry Hareven, with several Israeli politicians in his pocket, including the defense minister. Key to the coup are insect drones, which one of Hareven’s companies is developing. Dov is seduced, poisoned, and nearly murdered. Will he have to cross his own red lines to survive? Incomplete Silence is a futuristic thriller that keeps you breathless until the last page.

In Incomplete Silence, police investigator Dov Chizzik accidentally uncovers a right wing coup to depose of the Chief of Staff of the Israeli army. Rivka Aaronson is the woman leading the coup, a woman with certain ideas about religion that could potentially be dangerous. Dov’s life is put at risk more than once during his quest to stop the coup. Will he survive?

This book is a fast-paced thriller with an intriguing plot and one action sequence following the other. It explains a complex political situation in a straightforward way, and implements it into the story rather well. One downside is that some parts of the book are harder to grasp if you’re not familiar with the situation in Israel; however, this doesn’t derail from the story.

Author Interview Gazelle in the Shadows

How long have you been writing?

My novel “Gazelle in the Shadows” is my first serious writing but I have always loved writing.  I first started writing a diary when I was in elementary school.  I recently read one of my earliest diaries which made me laugh because of a funny spelling mistake. I wrote “use your woolly” instead of “usually.” I thought that was cute.

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

I love to write thrillers especially espionage.

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I would like to try out a true crime story.  I enjoy watching and reading detective stories.  “Gazelle in the Shadows” has clues throughout the plot which the reader can use to guess the ending.

  • Please tell us about your book.

Gazelle in the Shadows is a tense, fast-paced political espionage thriller, based in the Syria of the nineties. Elizabeth is a hopeful, adventurous and romantic Arabic student who sets out for Damascus for her year abroad. During her time there, Elizabeth improves more than just her Arabic as she falls headlong in love, not only with her beau, but also with the Syrian culture. But while the passion is mounting, the unsuspecting Elizabeth – and we, the reader – are drawn into a world of politics, intrigue and terrorism.

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

The protagonist, Elizabeth Booth, was definitely my favorite as she is me.  The story is mostly based on my life so I found it easy to write about myself. The least favourite was my father as I had a troubled relationship with him and although it is obvious in the novel that Elizabeth has a difficult relationship with her father, I didn’t go into great detail as it conjured up some strong emotions for me.

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

I relied on my memory for names of buildings, places and locations in Syria.  When in doubt, I turned to Google to verify facts but it often took a long time to find them on the internet from that time period.  The internet was flooded with pictures and news from the decade long conflict.

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I am a night writer as I enjoy the quietness of the house late at night when my children and husband are asleep. Before I start, I have to feel warm and comfortable with my fluffy socks and cozy PJs on. (I crank up the AC in the summer)

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

I took approximately three years to write it but I did go through some slow months during that time.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

My first step was to enroll in a creative writing class that not only helped me to be committed, at least on a weekly basis, to writing but also it helped me to plan the beginning of a story arc.  I was lucky to meet and become friends with one of the teachers who did freelance editing.  When I was ready to produce chapters, he became my go-to-editor and super fan.  He has been with me throughout the three years and I’m very grateful for his support and help.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

I have only one sequel in my head although I have not begun to write it yet.

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

I would advise aspiring authors to commit to a class like I did as it made me accountable in the early days to writing the story.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

My hope is that people will want to read about the Syria which I came to know before the conflict began. To read about the beauty and history of its lands and the hospitality and traditions of its people which have been irrevocably changed.

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

I would love to meet Gertrude Bell, and talk to her about her travels in the early twentieth century to the Middle East.

Also, Fadwa Tuqan who was a renowned female Palestinain poet. I did my thesis on her work in my final year at Durham University.

Lastly, I would love to talk to J.K. Rowling about how she got started and her path to success.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

I was inspired to write because I am stay-at-home mom and I wanted my children to know what I had done in my former career as a diplomat traveling all over the world before settling in America.

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

At the moment, I am consumed with marketing my book but when that is over, I will start to plan the sequel to “Gazelle in the Shadows.” The sequel will be based in Dubai where Elizabeth will be working undercover for MI6. The sequel will be based in Dubai where Elizabeth will be working undercover for MI6 and faces some familiar adversaries.

About the Book

Gazelle in the Shadows is a new political thriller by Michelle Peach. The novel takes place in Syria and is largely based on the authors real life experiences.

“For many years, I have wanted to write this book. The story is largely based on my life,” says Michelle Peach, author of Gazelle in the Shadows. “Although a majority of the novel is entirely true, there are parts that are fictionalized.”

Synopsis –

In the mid 90s, Elizabeth Booth, a young British college student studying Arabic at Durham University, travels to Damascus to immerse herself in the Syrian language. Taken aback by the generosity and kindness of the people there, she easy slips into a life in the ancient city. She has friends, her studies, and even a handsome boyfriend. But things aren’t always as they seem. Soon, in a world where mistrust and disloyalty are commonplace, Elizabeth finds herself navigating a web of lies, betrayals, and a murder involving MI6, deadly terrorist factions, and the shadowy Syrian secret police.

 

From the Prologue –

When I traveled to Syria as a Durham student in 1992, I knew very little about the country. From the onset, I was overwhelmed by their welcome. But the longer I stayed in Damascus and especially when I started working for Dr. Andrew Rathmell, as his Arabic translator and assistant researcher, the more I understood of Syria’s tumultuous and violent history. At the time, Hafez al-Assad, the President of Syria since 1971, was at the height of his autocratic power and the country was in a state of relative calm since the end of the Gulf War in 1991. His vast security apparatus was evident on every street corner whether army, police or civilian informants. My travel guide dedicated an entire page to the various types of mukhabarat, secret police, present in the country but also reassuringly wrote that Syria was a “safe” country for travelers. Not so obvious was the fear, paranoia and suppression which his people lived under…

Praise for Michelle Peach’s Gazelle in the Shadows:

“Compellingly realistic and packed with both psychological and physical action, Gazelle in the Shadows adds an extra layer of cultural understanding to its espionage thriller theme.” -D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

 “Peach integrates myriad plot developments into her exciting and ambitious work … The central conceit is both original and compelling.” -BookLife Prize

“Michelle Peach brings Syrian culture and cityscapes to life with her descriptions and characters… the author is able to accurately capture a specific moment in Middle Eastern history that still has ramifications on modern-day Syrians. For those looking for a glimpse into new cultures with a taste of a spy thriller, Gazelle in the Shadows will both warm your heart and send shivers down your spine.” -Red City Review

“Gazelle in the Shadows is both a coming of age story and a reflection of life in the looking glass world of Hafez al-Asad’s Syria. While told through an intensely personal lens, Michelle’s story provides a sideways look at a Syria that is now gone but also hints at some of the underlying factors that contributed to the country’s ongoing agonies. The book is an unusual combination of bittersweet student memories, geopolitical machinations, and “factionalised” adventures; well worth a read.”– Dr Andrew Rathmell, Author of Secret War in the Middle East: The Covert Struggle For Syria 1949 -1961

About the Author

Michelle Peach graduated from Durham University in 1995 with a B.A. in Arabic with Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. During 1992, she spent her second year of college studying abroad at the Arabic Teaching Institute for Foreigners in Damascus. Since then, Michelle’s love for Syria has never been far from her thoughts. When the unrest began in 2011, her determination to start writing Gazelle in the Shadows intensified. “I was distraught and appalled by the suffering of the people and by the destruction of its historical sites in Aleppo, Palmyra, Bosra, Homs, Damascus and elsewhere. I know that many will not have the opportunity to see the sights of Syria due to the ongoing conflict, but I hope that through my story readers can enjoy the cities, landscapes and culture of Syria.” Gazelle in the Shadows is set to be released in September 2018, published by IngramSpark.

Michelle lives in Atlanta, GA. She is a stay-at-home mom, married with three children. Readers can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to  https://michellepeach.com/

Book Tours: Starter Day Party All That Compels The Heart

I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for contemporary romance “All That Compels The Heart”. The tour runs from August 15 to August 22. Welcome to the party!

Tour Schedule

August 15th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

August 15th: Promo Post @ Stormy Night Reviewing

August 16th: Promo Post @ Bare Back Magazine’s Blog

August 16th: Promo Post @ T’s Stuff

August 18th: Promo Post @ Bright Street Books

August 20th: Promo Post @ Fantasticando Sui Libri

August 21st: Book Review @ Crazy KALM

August 21st: Promo Post @ Nesie’s Place

 August 22nd: Book Review and Author Interview @ The Book Garden Reviews

About the Book

Title: All That Compels The Heart

Author: Erin Bowlen

Genre: Contemporary Romance

All That Compels the Heart is the story of Aoife O’Reilly’s unintentional journey towards self-discovery.

Aoife O’Reilly seemingly had the perfect life: a good job, successful boyfriend, and the two best friends a woman could ever ask for.  However, when tragedy strikes, she begins to feel like her life is unraveling.  After a visit to the monastic site of Glendalough brings her to the nearby charming village of Ballyclara, Aoife makes the bold decision to leave her friends and family in Dublin, and moves to the Irish countryside.

Purchasing the long-abandoned Aldridge Manor, she throws herself into the task of renovating the house with the help of local pub owner and contractor, Michal Flanagan.  While Aoife begins to settle in well with the other villagers, she finds herself perpetually at odds with Michael.  Aoife strives to find some common ground with him, but the more effort she puts into building a life in Ballyclara, the more she feels herself drifting apart from her friends and family back in Dublin.

Just as Aoife makes a choice between her life in Dublin and life in Ballyclara, a career opportunity in New York presents itself and she is left with the question: will she choose to stay in Ireland?  Or should she take the job in New York and leave everything behind?

Author Bio

Erin Bowlen was born and raised in New Brunswick, Canada. Growing up, she was influenced by her family’s artistic roots in the art of storytelling, which fostered a deep love for literature at a young age.

Erin began her writing career during her postgraduate studies at the University of New Brunswick. Finding herself at a crossroads with her academic writing, a friend suggested that she try writing fiction. Afraid she might be too much of a storyteller to be completely academic (and afraid she might be too academic to be a storyteller), she decided to participate in a 30-day writing competition. At the end of the month she was surprised that she not only met her word count goal, but she had also developed several novel ideas.

After a few years of developing her craft, she finally took the next step and published her first novel: All That Compels the Heart.

Erin currently lives in New Brunswick.

 

Links

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