Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cover Reveal and Announcement - Haunting Obsession by R.J. Sullivan

Art Reveal and Announcement of Blog Tour for R.J. Sullivan’s New Paranormal Thriller, Haunting Obsession

Seventh Star Press is proud to unveil the cover art and illustrations by Bonnie Wasson for Haunting Obsession, A Rebecca Burton Novella, by R.J. Sullivan, as well as announce sites and dates for the book’s blog tour. A pre-order window for a limited edition hardcover is also open in advance of the book’s official release.

The Haunting Obsession Blog Tour will feature 22 events, beginning August 25th and running through September 15th. The tour will feature a number of activities, including reviews, interviews, podcasts, guest blog posts, and contests/giveaways.

Haunting Obsession is the latest R.J. Sullivan story featuring the character Rebecca Burton. The novella tells the story of Daryl Beasley, who collects all things Maxine Marie, whose famous curves and fast lifestyle made her a Hollywood icon for decades after her tragic death. Daryl’s girlfriend, Loretta Stevens, knew about his geeky lifestyle when they started dating, but she loves him, quirks and all.
Then one day Daryl chooses to buy a particularly tacky piece of memorabilia instead of Loretta’s birthday present. Daryl ends up in the doghouse, not only with Loretta, but with Maxine Marie herself. The legendary blonde returns from the dead to give Daryl a piece of her mind—and a haunting obsession he’ll never forget.
The softcover and eBook versions will be released following the launch event for the novella on August 11th. Haunting Obsession is now available for pre-order in a beautiful hardcover edition that is strictly limited to 75 copies.
The limited hardcover edition will be signed and numbered by R.J. Sullivan and includes a bonus illustration from Bonnie Wasson not included in other editions. It will be accompanied by an assortment of collectibles, including a set of glossy art cards, bookmarks, and a set of buttons. Those interested in securing one of the 75 limited hardcovers can place a pre-order at: http://www.seventhstarpress.com/pre-orders/

Further details on the blog tour stops can be found on the Seventh Star Press website.

Random Reads (August 2012)

Random Reads is a monthly meme hosted by I'm Loving Books to encourage us to read some of the books that have been on our TBR list for a long time and may have been forgotten.

I absolutely love the concept of this meme as I am extremely guilty of constantly adding books to read to my pile but then forgetting about them and moving on to others. This will be a great way to slowly start getting to some of the books I've been wanting to read for years.

I'm using my to-read list on Goodreads as my basis to choose from and after putting the numbers into Random.org (I had 247 books to choose from this month!) I got given number 36 which just so happens to be:


I have had this on my TBR list since July of last year but it has been on my bookshelf ever since my husband first moved in with me as it was originally his book as he was the one who introduced me to Matthew Reilly in the first place. It will also be useful for a couple of the reading challenges I am doing this year too, bonus!

I'll be sure to post a review sometime in August as soon as I finish it.

I'd love to know if anyone else participates in Random Reads and what you will be reading this month if you are :-)


Sunday, July 29, 2012

In My Mailbox (29th July 2012)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and is a weekly meme to show what books you have accumulated during the week.

So, these are the books I acquired this week:

For Review:
Chalk Valley Chalk Valley by D.L. Johnstone.

The Hour of Predators by Lane Stark (no cover image on Goodreads as yet)


Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3) Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

What great reads did you get this week?


Friday, July 27, 2012

Review, Guest Post and Giveaway - Shadowland by C.M. Gray

I am excited to bring you my stop on the Shadowland blog tour today where I will give you my review of this awesome book plus a guest post by the author, C.M. Gray, and a giveaway too!


Shadowland by C.M. Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition, 217 pages
Published February 7th 2012 by Amazon Kindle (first published June 26th 2008)

'We grow up with the Legend of King Arthur ... But where did he come from? Who was Merlin? What part did the Druids play in bringing Arthur to his round table? This is the story that came before, when Britain was just a Shadowland.

Shadowland is a story of historical fantasy set in Dark Ages Britain.

`I have lived more years than I can remember, probably more than the sum of all your years combined. Kings have called me friend and brigands have sworn to burn the flesh from my bones even if they have to search all seven halls of the shadowland to find me.'

On the night of midwinter's eve, a storyteller takes his listeners back to the Dark ages and a tale from his youth.

Deserted by its Roman masters, Britain has been invaded by the Saxons at the invitation of Vortigern, traitorous leader of the Britons. Now, as the tribes unite to reclaim their land, one man must rise to lead them and become their true and only king.'

My Thoughts:
Shadowland was definitely a book that I struggled to put down. The intelligent way it is written to be almost a retelling of the old classic story of King Arthur kept me entranced through to the very end.

There is some great character development throughout this book and to see how the main characters grow and change as the story progresses makes you feel like you are an intimate part of their world.

This is one of those novels that builds up slowly but once once it hits its steady rhythm it stays that way until the last page.

I also loved the way the story was told. It's narrated in a storyteller fashion which adds to the mystery of the book as you want to know why the storyteller is telling the story the way he is and how he is where he is at the time.

For anyone who is a fan of adventure and historical novels, this one should not disappoint. In my opinion it is suited to a variety of readers as it is easy to follow and doesn't contain any material that would offend.

Overall I definitely enjoyed this book and will be interested to read more in the future from C.M. Gray.

Guest Post - Author C.M. Gray:

The road to being an Indie author:
I have been an avid reader since I was about eleven years old. I remember starting on books like Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and The Secret Seven. Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe soon followed and by my early teens I had read everything by Wilbur Smith and was starting on the Stephen King books as they were just coming out (yep, I’m old!).
There is an old saying that everybody has a book or two inside them, I remember that echoing around in my head for years. I discovered the world of fantasy in my twenties when discovering an old copy of The Hobbit in a second hand book shop. The Lord of the Rings soon followed. Those books unlocked a certain something in my head, as I know they did for many writers.
Fast forward a good few years, and after travelling the world, living in places like France, Amsterdam, Israel, India, Hong Kong and The Philippines, I settled in Spain with my wife and two Children, Dylan and Yasmin.
At the time I typed out my first sentence, Dylan was still a baby and my wife had discovered reality TV shows. I took a distinct dislike to watching people make fools of themselves trying to sing, and sat down at my laptop.
‘We all have a book or two inside us... ’ It was still there. Little did I realise, but the experience of writing was better than watching a film, better than playing a game on a computer and even better than reading a great book; it turned out to be all three things combined!
I type really fast and to be honest the first draft of anything I write is filled with mistakes and has very little grammar; I just have to get the ‘story’ out. It’s like reading that great book but controlling the characters as I would in the computer game and the film just plays in my mind.
About four months after sitting down that first time, the first draft of The Flight of the Griffin was born. I proudly typed ‘The End’ and thought I had made it; I was an author! However, reality struck when I started reading and found I had to do an awful lot of work to bring it into any kind of legible state!
I first took the ‘traditional’ route and looked for an agent, sending out at least a hundred manuscripts. Finally, just like the number eleven bus, two came at the same time! I chose one, we met in London to sign contracts and a couple of months later my book was in an auction between two very large publishers; fantastic! ...but then I came down to earth a month or so later when both publishers dropped the book for, what I thought at the time were, crazy reasons... the agent lost interest.
To be honest I lost interest as well for a while; in agents, publishers and even writing.
However, some time later I discovered Amazon’s KDP programme for Indie authors. I had written Shadowland by that time, just for my own amusement, and after getting a professional edit, I put that onto the Amazon programme. The Flight of the Griffin got the same treatment and followed soon after and now with them both on Smashwords .com and in paperback on LULU as well, I am selling quite a few books every day. I’m not making a fortune, but people are reading my work and I’m getting great reviews and wonderful feedback from readers. As you can see from this article I’m now working with some fantastic blog sites and add as much as I can to various websites and forums.
It’s tough being an Indie, but I don’t have anyone telling me what to write and when it has to be done and I’m much closer to you, the readers.
So, if you have ever heard a small voice in the back of your head telling you to switch off the television and write a book, give it a go. We all have a book or two inside us and it may just be an awesome read!

What great inspirational words we could all gain from listening to!!

And now for the exciting part, I have one kindle edition of Shadowland to give away to a lucky reader. Entries are via the Rafflecopter form below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author's Blog

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WWW Wednesday (25th July 2012)

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

To join in all you need to do is answer the following three questions:

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

• What am I currently reading? At the moment I am reading Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2). It hasn't grabbed me as much as the first one did yet but I'm hoping it will get better.

• What did I recently finish reading? I only recently finished reading my Random Reads pick for July which was Stanley and Sophie. You can see my review for it here.

• What do I think I'll read next?  Next I think I will start reading Intuition (The Elite Series #1) which sounds like a very intriguing book. 

What have you been up to this week?


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review - Stanley and Sophie by Kate Jennings

Stanley and SophieStanley and Sophie by Kate Jennings
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published August 5th 2008 by Scribner
Source: My own copy

'"I fell in love with a prideful, tense bundle of muscle and sinew that stood seventeen inches high. You would see a small brown dog; I saw perfection."
So begins the story of Kate Jennings's unexpected love affair with two border terriers, first Stanley, then, a few years later, Sophie. A fiercely intelligent writer, an astute observer of people and her surroundings, a recent widow not ready to face her grief, an irascible Australian with no time for indulgent New Yorkers and their pampered pets, Jennings falls hard. She is swept off her feet, stunned by the depth of her love. Her life is suddenly overtaken by Stanley and, when she is seduced into getting him a companion, by the pair of them.
But after several years with her willful yet cherished dogs, Jennings came to the heartrending realization that they needed more than she could give -- and that she must reassess her own life, too. First and foremost, "Stanley and Sophie" is a book about dogs, understanding them, doing the best by them. It is also a vivid chronicle of Jennings's grief and sadness -- for the loss of a husband, for the city after September 11, for two pigtailed macaques in Bali, for a world going to hell in a handbasket. This is a bittersweet and darkly humorous memoir about the way two rivalrous, demanding, idiosyncratic, exhilarating dogs gave Jennings daily purpose and showed her the way to her own heart.'
My Thoughts:
This wasn't at all what I expected. Maybe I'm just not a memoir kind of person but I was after a happy story about the life of the author with her two dogs. Instead I got a story about a person who couldn't cope with her two pets and gave them away on a whim so she could go travelling around the world instead.

All I kept thinking through the whole book was 'Stop complaining about giving the dogs away. You shouldn't have done it in the first place!'

Plus another thought constanly kept coming to mind 'Have you never heard of obedience training or making some other type of effort to fix the behaviour of a dog rather than just giving them away?'

All in all I don't really have much that's positive to say about this book unfortunately. It just frustrated me to no end and I was always left feeling that there just should have been a bit more to it.

If you're after a story of a person dropping everything in life to try and find herself, then this is a story you might like.

As much as I love animals I probably shouldn't allow myself to read books like this where pet ownership is explained from other points of view. My pets are like fur children to me who I have committed to owning, therefore have committed to the good and bad times that come with that. I just get too angry when I see instances where other's don't feel anywhere near the same.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WWW Wednesday (18th July 2012)

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

To join in all you need to do is answer the following three questions:

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

• What am I currently reading?  At the moment I am reading my Random Reads pick which is Stanley and Sophie. It's ok so far but nothing I would rave about.

• What did I recently finish reading? This week I finished reading The Iron Maiden which is the second instalment in the Dragonslayer series. You can find my review here.

I also finished reading The Stone of Darkness (Dragonslayer, #3) which is the third instalment in the Dragonslayer series. I will be having an interview with the author as well as posting my review on this book on the 10th August as part of a blog tour.

• What do I think I'll read next?  Next I think I might finally start Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2) as I'm super intrigued as to how this story continues.

What have you been up to this week?


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review - The Iron Maiden by Resa Nelson

The Iron MaidenThe Iron Maiden by Resa Nelson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
204 pages
Published December 31st 2011 by Mundania Press LLC
Source - Author for review

'Astrid is reluctant to travel the winter route beyond the Northlands, even though it's her duty. She'd rather stay home in her village, surrounded by friends and neighbors. Ignoring the bonds of tradition, she decides to spend the cold winter months in the warmth of her blacksmithing shop. Why should she leave the comfort of her cottage to serve and protect foreigners who might raid and harm her native Northlands?

Everything changes when a traveling merchant steals Starlight, the first dragonslayer's sword Astrid forged and her last link to her sweetheart DiStephan. Having no time to alert her friends, Astrid races in pursuit of the merchant, determined to reclaim Starlight as her own and return home in time for dinner. Instead, her quest leads her to new lands, unexpected friendships with foreigners, and a harrowing encounter with the damage done by the followers of a new god that considers women as nothing more than servants to men. All the while, she must be ready to face any dragon traveling the winter route.

In Book 2 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid must learn that deciding who she is isn't a decision she can make just once. Instead, it's a decision she must make every day.'

My Thoughts:
In this book Astrid makes a choice to stay in her home village of Guell rather than perform the dragonslayer duty of following what they call 'the winter route' keeping the lizards under control for other villages as the lizards migrate during the colder months.

Unfortunately, this decision is changed for her when her beloved sword 'Starlight' is stolen and Astrid has to leave Guell to follow the thief and try to get it back.

It is this adventure that brings Astrid into new lands where the laws and customs are not like they are in her home village so Astrid has to learn tolerance and to accept the ways of others even if they are not what she is used to.

I thought this book was much easier to follow as far as the flow of the plot than the first book and again I was very easily swept up in the story and world of Astrid and the dragons. The refreshing differences in these books to other fantasy stories make it an interesting read and the short chapters make it an easy book to devour in a couple of hours or so.

In the first book you learn that Astrid is a very head strong and stubborn female character and these traits are also very apparent in The Iron Maiden. Sometimes this stubborness gets Astrid in trouble but throughout the story she seems to grow and learn that her ways are not the only ways in the world. This character development is great and it's nice to see it happening as by the end Astrid is a much more mature person and also more accepting of her role as the Dragonslayer and what such a title means.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book and found myself starting to feel as if I was part of the world within it. I am definitely looking forward to reading the third instalment in the Dragonslayer series, The Stone of Darkness, just to see what adventures await Astrid next.

The Dragonslayers Sword (Book 1) Review
The Book Depository
Resa Nelson's Website

Sunday, July 15, 2012

In My Mailbox (15th July 2012)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and is a weekly meme to show what books you have accumulated during the week.

I only got one book this week for review as I'm on a bit of a book buying ban until I get through some more on my TBR list. It was:

Intuition (The Elite Series #1) 'Olive Morgan is not your typical psychologist. She can also access the memories of anyone she comes into contact with. After an explosion in a Sydney shopping mall, Olive is enlisted alongside a team of 'Elite' consultants. She joins Canan Jones who can attune to the emotions of other people, including Olive. Initially, she distrusts the agency, but when another explosion threatens more lives Olive has no choice but to use her skill to prevent another disaster.

Is terrorism really at play or is the agency hiding the real reason behind these attacks?

Olive wants to solve the case, but her personal life is suffering. Despite having a boyfriend, she feels a connection brewing with Canan, who has an uncanny way of making her feel calm when life becomes overwhelming...'

What great books did you get this week?


Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Finds (13th July 2012)

Friday Finds is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading where you show off all of the great books you have come across in some way or another during the week.

Here are the books that interested me enough to add to my ever growing TBR list this week (click on the covers to go to Goodreads):

Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death
From one of the finest naturalist/writers of our time, a fascinating investigation of Nature’s inspiring death-to-life cycle

When a good friend with a severe illness wrote, asking if he might have his “green burial” at Bernd Heinrich’s hunting camp in Maine, it inspired the acclaimed biologist to investigate a subject that had long fascinated him. How exactly does the animal world deal with the flip side of the life cycle? And what are the lessons, ecological to spiritual, raised by a close look at how the animal world renews itself? Heinrich focuses his wholly original gaze on the fascinating doings of creatures most of us would otherwise turn away from—field mouse burials conducted by carrion beetles; the communication strategies of ravens, “the premier northern undertakers”; and the “inadvertent teamwork” among wolves and large cats, foxes and weasels, bald eagles and nuthatches in cold-weather dispersal of prey. Heinrich reveals, too, how and where humans still play our ancient and important role as scavengers, thereby turning—not dust to dust—but life to life.

                                                                   The Forsaken Templar (Demons Rising, #2)
Templar Knight Geoffrey le Court has been stuck in purgatory for the past seven hundred and thirty years. He’s been forsaken and forgotten. But the sorcerer, Nathan Gray, has the power to release Geoffrey, and a plan to help him complete the quest that got the Templar stuck in purgatory in the first place. Nathan also knows the perfect person to help Geoffrey with his quest to destroy the Demon Gate.

Librarian Kelly Grant is a powerful Arcanist sorceress. Kelly has vital information Geoffrey needs to complete his quest and liberate his soul. There’s only one slight problem. The Arcanists and the Templars hate each other. They have been at war for thousands of years. There is no way Kelly would ever work with a Templar.

At the center of their war is the Demon Gate. Created in Atlantis at the dawn of recorded time, this portal to another dimension is at the heart of humanity’s worst problems. Only by working together can Geoffrey and Kelly hope to destroy the Demon Gate. But can they put aside their differences in time to stop a flood of demons poised to invade our world?

The Forsaken Templar is the second book in the Demons Rising saga. It’s a love story between two special people who live in a very dangerous world.

                                                                    The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, #2)
I've seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he's a mystery. But to me . . . he's one of us.

Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we'll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio—and failed.

I am Number Seven. One of six still alive.

And I'm ready to fight.

What great reads did you find this week?


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WWW Wednesday (11th July 2012)

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

To join in all you need to do is answer the following three questions:

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I finally seemed to get my reading mojo back this week after just giving up for a little while when I was ridiculously sick.

Here is what I have been up to this week:

• What am I currently reading?  At the moment I am reading the second instalment to the Dragonslayer series which is The Iron Maiden.

• What did I recently finish reading? This week I finished reading Shadowland. I am part of a blog tour for this book so look out for my review, guest post and giveaway happening on the 27th July!

I also finished reading The Dragonslayer's Sword (Dragonslayer, #1) which is the first book in the Dragonslayer series. I really enjoyed this book and have reviewed it here.

• What do I think I'll read next?  Next I'll most likely go on the third instalment in the Dragonslayer series which is The Stone of Darkness (Dragonslayer, #3). I am part of a blog tour for this book in August which I'm quite excited about.

What have you been up to this week?


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review - The Dragonslayer's Sword by Resa Nelson

The Dragonslayer's Sword (Dragonslayer, #1)The Dragonslayer's Sword by Resa Nelson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Author for review
288 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Mundania Press LLC

'For Astrid, a blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers, the emergence of a strange gemstone from her body sets in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy her life. Her happiness is shattered when her lover-the dragonslayer-disappears without a trace, and the life that she knows and loves implodes without warning. Astrid lives in a world of shapeshifters whose thoughts have the power to change not only themselves but others. Everything Astrid knows to be true is called into question when she learns the truth about her past and the mysterious family from which she was separated as a child. Reality turns inside out as Astrid gradually learns the truth about the people she loves as well as those she disdains. With the fate of dragons, ghosts, and slaves in foreign lands resting on her shoulders, Astrid faces the challenge of deciding who she is and how she will stand up inside her own skin. Will she withdraw and hide from the world that has disappointed her so much...or will she rise to lead others to freedom and peace.'

My Thoughts:
This was a captivating story with an imaginative world full of interesting characters and a unique plotline that made it difficult to put this book down.

It started off a little slow compared to what I normally prefer but once I got past the half-way mark it sped up to a fast pace where I was totally hooked and from that point I struggled to stop reading to perform other daily functions.

The author paints a world that is very unique and something I haven't come across before. I was fascinated by the way the character's have the ability to shape shift if they have had the fortune of being able to eat lizard meat during their life. There is also a distinction made between actual dragons that have special powers and what are so-called 'lizards' which look very similar to dragons but are not as powerful and like to attack and eat humans.

Enter the dragonslayer, a certain individual that is hired and given a specially made sword so they can hunt and kill any of the lizards that pose a threat to the villagers.

I was pleased to read a book with a strong female lead character for a change. It was interesting to see the growth in Astrid from the child with no confidence due to being badly scarred when she was almost eaten by a dragon, to being the village blacksmith who creates the dragonslayer swords to eventually becoming the dragonslayer herself and protector of her people.

There was a side story of where Astrid came from and how she became what she was which I did find a little confusing at times and I thought this part of the story would have benefited from a little more detail to give a better view of the big picture.

Overall I found this a very entertaining read and can't wait to follow more of Astrid's journey in the next instalment.

The Dragonslayer's Sword in the first book in the Dragonslayer series.

The Book Depository
Resa Nelson's Website

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July Pinspiration

First up, I have to apologise for the lack of review posts lately. I've been sick for over two weeks now and to top it off my hubby and 16 month old are also now sick so reading has unfortunately taken a bit of a back seat. I'm trying to get back into the groove of things so will hopefully be back to normal soon.

Now, I have become unbelievably obsessed with the website Pinterest lately since being sick and needing brainless entertainment. I could waste so many hours on this site if I was allowed as you can literally find pictures of anything that you might be interested in. In the last couple of days I discovered so many bookish things on this site as well and decided to start sharing some of my favourites with you:

This is amazing! First up - how cool is this tattoo. Even if you're not a tattoo fan you have to appreciate the detail in this one and the time it would have taken to have it done!

I so do this all the time!Yep, I do this all the time...

Sadly true.I think this is a common problem among book bloggers, don't you?

yepI know, it's wrong but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't true....

Definitely my motto in life!Pretty self explanatory really....

 How gorgeous and open is this room. I can see myself sitting here for many hours on end.....

readingSuch a cool saying...

readingI absolutely love Dr Seuss

reading!Most definitely true!

Reading.If only...... A girl can dream.....

So, they are some of the inspiring images I found on Pinterest lately. Looking at these has made up for the fact that I lost my reading mojo while being sick I think.

I'd love to know of any other inspiring sites you might know of?


Friday, July 6, 2012

RAK Wrap-Up - June 2012

RAK button FINAL1
Random Acts of Kindness is hosted by Book Soulmates. It's where you sign up every month and give your current wishlist so that others may gift something to you and where you can gift to others. It's a great way to promote goodwill amongst fellow book lovers.

This month I was lucky enough to get the following:

I can't wait to read this book as I've heard so many good things about it. Adam from Roof Beam Reader was the kind gifter of this book to me.

I chose to send an RAK to Nikki at Realm of the Sapphired Dragon which I don't think she's actually received yet :-( Therefore I can't tell you guys what it is as I don't want to spoil the surprise. I hope she likes what I got her though.

I definitely recommend participating in this exchange as it's so fun sending and receiving gifts to others 'just because'.

I'd love to know who else participated in the June RAK and what you sent/received for the month.

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