Sunday, September 25, 2016

G682 Book Review of The Errant Hours by Kate Innes

Name of Book: The Errant Hours

Author: Kate Innes

ISBN: 978-0-9934837-0-7

Publisher: Mindforest Press

Type of book: 1266, 1284-1285, England, Wales, uprising, King Edward I, journey, travel, being set up, guilty of association, theft, daily life, disguises, monastery, myths, legends

Year it was published: 2015

Summary:

A headlong journey through the physical and spiritual dangers of Plantagenet Britain, in all its savage pageantry.

Welsh Marches, July 1284 - the uprising in Wales is over, the leader gruesomely executed, the dead are buried. But for Illesa Arrowsmith, the war’s aftermath is just as brutal. When her brother is thrown into the Forester’s prison on false charges, she is left impoverished and alone. All Illesa has left is the secret manuscript entrusted to her – a book so powerful it can save lives, a book so valuable that its discovery could lead to her death.

When the bailiff’s daughter finds it, Illesa decides to run, and break her brother out of jail by whatever means. But the powerful Forester tracks them down, and Illesa must put herself and the book at the mercy of an unscrupulous knight who threatens to reveal all their secrets, one by one.

Inspired by the seductive art of illuminated manuscripts, The Errant Hours draws from the deep well of medieval legend to weave a story of survival and courage, trickery and love.

“Kate Innes’s glorious first novel is a lyrical joy. Up there with the best of Pat Bracewell and Elizabeth Chadwick, it offers utter immersion in an intricate, plausible world. A must read for the autumn.”
Manda Scott

Characters:

Main characters include Illesa Arrowsmith who is very devoted to her brother and happens to be a healer and often uses her healing powers for good. She is unconventional, isn't afraid of taking risks be it dressing up as a man, or rescuing her brother and so forth. Her brother, Kit, seems to be a never-do-well and enjoys working with his hands. There is also a knight that is loyal and dedicated to her brother and from whom she learns some secrets.

Theme:

Nothing is hidden forever

Plot:

The story is in third person narrative from Illesa's point of view. From the first few pages, I was hooked on the story and couldn't wait until I learned how it all tied together.I really couldn't find any faults with the story and really enjoyed reading it. The author feels extremely careful with details and it adds a whole lot to credibility of the story. The last quarter of the book was a bit confusing for me, but other than that, fascinating and unforgettable story.

Author Information:
(From inside the book)

Having lived and worked on three continents, Kate Innes has settled enar Wenlock Edge in England, and it is this beautiful historic landscape that has inspired most of her writing.

Formerly a teacher and museum education officer, Kate now writes fiction and poetry amidst the happy chaos of her three children.

www.kateinneswriter.com

info@kateinnespoetry.com

Opinion:

I've studied Medieval Ages when I majored in history (I kept my textbook even) and I have to say that the pictures, the characters, and the setting, it's as the author has secretly built a time machine and traveled there and then spun a story about it. The story feels real and genuine and I'm happy that she is more historical rather than contemporary. I really liked reading it, and found the plot fascinating and wasn't even sure where it would go. I also liked that she included myths behind what people of that time believed in which means that for those who are only getting into historical fiction of Medieval Ages, I would really recommend this be the starting book. A strong unconventional heroine, a fascinating story of discovery, and very imaginative time period of knights, kings, queens and myths and legends.

I won this from Goodreads Firstreads

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G747 Book Review of sense of touch by Rozsa Gaston

Name of Book: sense of touch

Author: Rozsa Gaston

ISBN: 978-0-9847906-2-3

Publisher: Renaissance Editions

Type of book: 1497-1500, France, forbidden love, second chances, admiration, class, rank, daily life, herbs, horses, healing, not giving up, growing up, nation above self, Anne of Brittany

Year it was published: 2016

Summary:

The court of Anne of Brittany, wife to Charles VIII, then Louis XII, brought the glories of the Renaissance to France. To many, however, this achievement was overshadowed by her inability to give the kingdom an heir.

Fifteen-year-old Nicole St. Sylvain, new to the queen’s court, possesses a healing sense of touch—a talent she demonstrates when caring for one of the queen’s stallions. Nicole’s ability does not go unnoticed by Anne. Nor does Nicole herself escape the admiring gaze of nineteen-year-old horse trainer Philippe de Bois—the man Nicole loves but cannot have. An arranged marriage makes any hope of happiness impossible.

When Anne's only living child falls ill, she pleads with Nicole to save the princess, promising anything in return. Should Nicole succeed, will the queen reward her with her heart's desire? And should she fail, what will the future hold?

Characters:

There are quite a few memorable characters, namely Anne of Brittany that has been touched by tragedy throughout her young life and has done her best to do what she can for others. I often felt sad that one of the things she is well remembered for is that almost all her progeny has died and not for anything else. Nicole is one of the ladies in waiting for Anne of Brittany, a noblewoman on her mother's side and merchant on her father's side and often admires the queen and does her best to emulate her. She leads a parallel life of sorts to that of Anne of Brittany's and also grows up and is not afraid to after what her heart desires. Philippe is a talented young man who becomes smitten with Nicole and shares similar interests to her. He comes from a poor class however.

Theme:

Don't give up on your dreams

Plot:

The story is told in third person narrative from Nicole's point of view. I do think that characterization of the queen could have been done better and I would have liked there to be more details about the characters' lives during that time. I am also curious what, if any, ancenstry did Anne of Brittany have when it came to the Sun King Louis XIV. But it is a wonderful story of growing up and facing fears as well as conquering them and not giving up on your dreams.

Author Information:
(From the book)

Rozsa Gaston writes playful books on serious matters, incoluding the struggles women face to get waht they want out of life. In addition to Sense of Touch she is the authro fo Paris, Adieu, Black is nto a color, Runing from love, Dog Sitters, and lyric.

Gaston studied European intellectual history at Yale and received her masters in international affairs from Columbia.

Gaston has worked as a singer and pianist all over the world. After leaving the entertainment industry she worked at Institutional Investor, then as a hedge funds marketer. She lives in Bronxville, New York, with her famly and is currently working on Anne of Brittany: Girl Who ruled a country, the sequel to Sense of Touch.

Gaston can be found onloine on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rozsagastonauthor, or at her website, http://www.rozsagaston.com/. Her motto? Stay playful.

Opinion:

Although I didn't review it yet, I previously read a wonderful novel titled The Errant Hours by Kate Innes where I found myself transported into the daily life of the late 13th century. When I glanced and looked through Sense of Touch, I thought it might be similar to The Errant Hours. It was, yet it wasn't. Sense of Touch, like Errant Hours, feels incredibly human and the reader is focused more on molecular level on the lives of Anne of Brittany's ladies-in-waiting. But unlike The Errant Hours, there is something poetic and lyrical about the story, especially about the life of the unknown queen of Brittany and France. I found myself admiring her and its obvious that the author had done research on her and included a lot of intimate things about her life.

This is for amazon campaign for pump up your book

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

G750 Book Review of The lobby by Randi m Sherman

Name of Book: The Lobby

Author: Randi M Sherman

ISBN: 9781460278116

Publisher: Friesen Press

Type of book: Hotel, hour-by-hour, multiple characters, California, travel, experience, business, high school reunions, fame, humor, comedy

Year it was published: 2016

Summary:

Welcome to The Shipley Hotel, where the perky and attentive staff provides the gold standard in artificial concern and comfort to all the colorful characters who pass through its polished brass revolving door and find themselves in The Lobby. Practically engineered for eavesdropping, San Francisco's juiciest hotel lobby offers the perfect place to witness the comings and goings-and the most comedic intersections-of staff, long-term residents, and eclectic guests. Featuring over fifty stories all transpiring in a single twenty-four hour period and intersecting in the Shipley's elegant lobby, readers will meet an eccentric and vast array of characters, most of whom will look awfully familiar and all of whom will speak to the heart. Employing acute skills in human observation and a keen understanding of the essential human needs-frequently unplanned and unexpected rendezvous, ready laughter at others' expense, and maybe even a little love and acceptance-Randi M. Sherman's unique wit and candor will surely make the reader sit up, stand up, roll over, or assume an interested leaning position and take notice. Get comfortable (on the exquisitely upholstered lobby couch) and spy on those checking in and out of the Shipley. Careful: you might just encounter a version of yourself among the ornate balconies and intricate woodwork.

Characters:

There are way too many characters to keep track of, but let me give a few of them; one of them includes a movie star that's hiding out from the world and enjoys pulling pranks; then there are various husband and wife duos who either came on vacation or to meet family members; there are also business people and their traveling lives; also there are cheating spouses, people who work in the hotel and so forth.

Theme:

Life is interconnected

Plot:

The story is in third person narrative from what seems to be everyone's point of view. Despite the constant change of point of view, the stories are interlinked and each represent an hour in a day. Later on in some cases the narrative returns to the previous characters. Something else that's constant is the humor that's included in the stories. The characters do tend to be a bit exaggerated, but that is what makes them fun and memorable. It is something fun and lighthearted to re-read whenever one gets a chance.

Author Information:
(From back of the book)

The Lobby is Sherman's fourth novel. Her third novel, The Truth About Caroline is a continuation of the story begun in Caroline Stars Over. Her first book, Paula Takes a Risk, was released in 2012. Sherman lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an excellent parallel parker and a fantastic cocktail party guest.

Opinion:

At times I really need a breather from reading serious literature, and this perfect little book comes into play. At only 222 pages, The Lobby describes and goes into a lot of details about what is going on in the lobby with the guests. And apparently, there is a whole lot going on from renewing wedding vows to meeting family to business life, etc. I was surprised by how much went on in a 24 hour day. The stories also use a bit of dark humor and comedy to really make them stand out and feature all sorts of diverse characters. There are a few constant characters throughout the 24 hours, but most of them change and it makes a bit difficult remembering who's who. (Perhaps chapter headings or a character sheet might have helped?) Something I didn't appreciate about the book is towards the end when a group of Asians arrive at a hotel. I honestly was confused because the Asian group claimed they were from China, but one of the group leader's name is in Korean and when they spoke English, I thought they were Japanese.

This is for amazon campaign for Pump Up Your Book

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Monday, September 19, 2016

G735 Book Review of Bossy Flossy by Paulette Bogan

Title of the book: Bossy Flossy

Author: Paulette Bogan

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Publishing Date: 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-358-2

Summary:

Flossy is the bossiest girl around. She's bossy at home and she's bossy in school. She's bossy with her friends, and sometimes she's even bossy to her teacher! Well-meaning Flossy doesn't understand why no one will listen to her.

Then Flossy meets Edward, a boy who is just as bossy as Flossy. But the collision of these two strong-willed forces has a surprising result: they learn how to be a friend.

Buy the Book:  AmazonBarnes and NobleBook DepositoryChapters Indigo

Author Info:
(From iRead Book Tours)

Meet the Author:

Paulette Bogan admits she was bossy as a child. She is the author and illustrator of Virgil & Owen, which was chosen as one of Bank Street Best Children's books of the Year 2016, Virgil & Owen Stick Together, which won a Mom's Choice Award Gold Medal for Picture Books, and Lulu The Big Little Chick, which won a Children's Choice Book Award. She lives in New York City with her husband, three daughters, and two dogs. They ALL think she is STILL bossy. But they've never told her to go to her room!

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook 


Personal Opinion:

Being born in March of this year, my son is a little too young to vocalize his opinions,although he really loved the colorful and bold illustrations, and I also liked the fact that a male character in the story appears to be Asian which will help him in the future relate to the story. It's a short, funny and somewhat exaggerated story of Bossy Flossy and how she meets her match in Edward. I will continue showing him the book so he can enjoy the colors. It's a small thing, but I do wish that cardboard pages were used in the book so he can practice turning pages without tearing them. Still I hope in a few years or so, if all goes okay, I can share memories of showing him this book.

This is for iRead Book Tours

TOUR SCHEDULE:

Sept 1 -   
Rockin' Book Reviews - review / guest post / giveaway
Sept 1 -   Did YOU Hear About the Morgans? - review
Sept 1 -   Domestic Chanteuse - review / giveaway
Sept 2 -   100 Pages A Day - review / giveaway
Sept 2 -   Singing Librarian Books - review / author interview / giveaway
Sept 5 -   Bookroom Reviews - review / guest post / giveaway
Sept 5 -   I'd Rather Be At The Beach - review
Sept 6 -   Working Mommy Journal - review / giveaway
Sept 6 -   Cheryl's Book Nook - review / giveaway
Sept 7 -   One Frugal Girl - review / giveaway
Sept 7 -   Library of Clean Reads - review / author interview / giveaway
Sept 8 -   Sahar's Blog - review
Sept 8 -   The Writing Garnet - review / guest post
Sept 9 -   Christy's Cozy Corners - review / guest post / giveaway
Sept 9 -   3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! - review / giveaway
Sept 12 - Katie's Clean Book Collection - review / giveaway
Sept 12 - Living à la Smart - review
Sept 13 - New Horizon Reviews - review / author interview
Sept 13 - Heidi's Wanderings - review / giveaway
Sept 14 - Fantastic Feathers - review
Sept 14 - Blooming with Books - review / giveaway
Sept 15 - Seasons of Opportunities - review
Sept 16 - My Journey Back - review / author interview / giveaway
Sept 16 - Writer with Wanderlust - review / giveaway
Sept 19 - Bookworm for Kids - review / giveaway
Sept 20 - Brooke Blogs - review / guest post / giveaway
Sept 20 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review
Sept 21 - Pause for Tales - review
Sept 22 - Stranded in Chaos - review / giveaway
Sept 23 - Reading Authors - review / giveaway
Sept 26 - Bound 4 Escape - review / giveaway
Sept 27 - Life as Leels - review
Sept 28 - Reader's Cozy Corner - review / giveaway
Sept 29 - KC Beanie Boo - review / author interview / giveaway
Sept 30 - Create With Joy - review
Sept 30 - All the Doodles 'n Scribbles - review

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

G739 Book Review of The last relicuin by Hargus Montgomery

Name of Book: The last relicuin

Author: Hargus Montgomery

ISBN: 9780989965408

Publisher: Self published

Type of book: futuristic, 22nd century, recreation, museums, glassers, science fiction, dystopia, 12th century, power, battles, survival, France, schools, enemies, politics, history

Year it was published: 2013

Summary:

In the 22nd century, twelve percent of the world's population chooses history. Safe inside the guarded borders of living museums, museum dwellers resist attempts by Metro leaders to seize their lands and force them back to the cities. When Alexander Kane, (son of a powerful Metro Senator) leaves the protection of the City to enter the Federal Museum Academy, he becomes the target of a growing political struggle. Crossing borders into the 12, 18th, and 20th centuries, The Last Relicuin follows three generations of a family torn between the past and the future.

Characters:

There are a lot of characters, but here are the important ones; In beginning there's Alex Kane who happens to be the son of  the man who seems to be the futuristic Donald Trump and desires to get rid of the museums. There is also Thomas Kane, Alex's son who is trying to figure out what to do and what decisions to make. Thomas Kane is resourceful and often looks up to a local man named Tony. There is also Tony who took a strange liking to Alex and later on to Thomas and isn't willing to communicate about his past. Javits is a man tasked with putting down Cartel and normally doesn't question his orders. He likes to antagonize everyone he meets on purpose. Margaret Sullivan is a president of future who tries to buy time for museum closures rather than shutting them down immediately.

Theme:

I recall a long time ago I watched a movie about a teen boy that gets trapped in favorite 1950s show of his and begins to change things in the show for better or worse,and learns a valuable lesson along the way. Reading the book and thinking of museum dwellers as well as the lives they chose to live trapped in a specific period without making technical progress, it may sound odd coming from me, but it feel as if they are trapped in these museums.

Plot:

The story is in third person narrative from Alex's and later on his son Thomas's point of view, and yes, the story does progress linear and doesn't jump back and forth. It's not a typical historical fiction where two or three interweaving stories make one narrative, and something else that is unique about the novel is that it takes place in the future and time periods are museums. Whether on purpose or not, the author doesn't divulge much history as to how things became the way they are, and a lot of questions go unanswered. Also as well, a lot of time is skipped when it comes to Alex Kane's life post-museum which means that some of the characters that we are introduced to haven't previously appeared in the book.

Author Information:
(From HFVBT

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION | GOOGLE PLAY |ITUNES

About the Author

03_Hargus Montgomery
Hargus Montgomery is the author of The Last Relicuin, and The Seventeenth Pocket, part of the Kerious Pye series. For more information, please visit Hargus Montgomery’s website athttp://www.hargusmontgomery.com.

Opinion:

Upon reading the summary, I thought the book would be a time travel of sorts, perhaps like previous stories I read where one event takes place in 1940s for example, but it connects to 2000s, except that the story promises connections between 12th century, 18th century, and 20th centuries. The 12th and 20th centuries are counted, but I didn't see a lot of 18th century. (Is 18th century referenced to the Museum schools?)  What I liked about the story is the world building because its really intriguing and interesting, I liked how 1950s and 12th centuries were portrayed and its obvious that the author has went into a great deal amount of research when it comes to fighting medieval style, living in 1950s, holding a sword, importance of community and even various phrases There are also a lot of unanswered questions which means and promises a sequel to the story. The premise is definitely interesting; places and dwellings where people are sent to live and recreate various time periods for the rest of their lives. (Imagine living in 1950s decade for the rest of one's life.) All of the story takes place in 22nd century where people live in isolation from one another, even refusing to, well, procreate naturally. I did find a few things frustrating, namely I felt that the story stretched out, and a lot of the questions that were posed in beginning weren't answered. By the way, the word, Relicuin means original dwellers

This is for HFVBT

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 15
Review at Diana’s Book Reviews
Wednesday, August 17
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Friday, August 19
Review at Reading Is My SuperPower
Monday, August 22
Review at Book Nerd
Tuesday, August 23
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Monday, August 29
Review at Creating Herstory
Tuesday, August 30
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Thursday, September 1
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Guest Post from Amy Koko

I would like to thank Amy Koko for taking the time to write this lovely guest post 

One of the questions I receive most since my book has been published is, “What did you learn from the experience?” Well, first off, I learned DO NOT have the big Congrats! You sold your book! party until you actually have the contract in hand. So embarrassing having to give back the Chihuly fountain pen and the beautiful leather bound journal and all the other gifts presented to me at the party, after the first deal fell through. Luckily, another deal appeared and was successful, but you know, by then the bloom was off the rose.

Another very hard lesson I learned is that just because your book is on Amazon, does NOT mean you are going to get a movie deal and get to meet Meryl Streep and be on the Ellen show. My book came out and I immediately blasted it out on Facebook and Twitter. Then I waited for the phone calls, shout outs, inquiries. I did have the local neighborhood paper call me but it was because my cat kept getting out and laying by the neighbor’s pool. Could I please figure a way to keep the cat indoors? What I wanted to say was “Hey did you know I wrote a book and it’s on Amazon? Amazon!” What I did say was, “He has a mind of his own but I’ll speak to him.”

I learned that you have to believe in your work and may have to make a few sacrifices to get it out there. And by a few sacrifices, I mean, you could lose friends and anger family members when they appear in your book. My kids were not thrilled that in my book, I exposed the little pot parties that were taking place in my garage, when I assumed they were in there playing Twister and eating popsicles. But, you know, I had to explain what was happening in our lives during that time, so it had to be told. They forgave me in time.


Finally, I learned that I have to write. There is always a story to be told. I have a need to be heard, a need to connect to other people, but I hate big groups and get really weird at parties, many times just sitting in the bathroom with a glass of Pinot playing Solitaire on my iPhone. So, writing is the best way for me to communicate, for me to put it out there to, my way of saying “Hey! listen to this!” And of course there is always the hope that Ellen and Meryl will invite me up for a few days to hang out. What? It could happen…  

G745 there's been a change of plans; a memoir about divorce dating and delinquents in midlife

Title of the book: there's been a change of plans; a memoir about divorce dating and delinquents in midlife

Author: Amy Koko

Publisher: Martin Brown Publishers

Publishing Date: 2015

ISBN: 978-1-937070-62-5

Summary:

Blogger Amy Koko bears her soul in her witty, bittersweet memoir, There's Been A Change of Plans: Divorce, Dating & Delinquents in Mid-life. Expecting a trip to Italy, Koko is blind-sided by her husband’s confession that he’s been putting his shoes under a much younger and prettier woman's bed. After twenty-seven years of marriage and four children, she faces the unimaginable: her life as she knows it is unraveling around her and her family’s future is anything but certain.

In the literary tradition of Nora Ephron's Heartburn and Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Koko’s memoir details her journey from hearing the news that her husband is in love with a blonde, thirty-something Swiss pastry chef to trying everything from thong underwear to a mini-facelift to save her marriage, only to see it die in the parking lot of gas station.

With incredible honesty and humor, Koko takes the reader on a wild ride through the tough, emotional times of starting over through divorce, mid-life, finding a job, and Internet dating, all the while trying to keep her four teenagers out of jail.

There’s been a change of plans, and that’s just the beginning.

Author Info:
(From iRead Book Tours)

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes and Noble

 Meet the Author:

After 27 years of marriage, Amy Koko went into divorce, kicking, screaming, stalking and drunk texting but lived to tell about it. She is the creator of the popular blog Exwifenewlife and a contributor to Huffington Post Divorce as well as Huffington Post Women. Amy lives in St. Petersburg, Florida where she begins each day with a freshly ground cup of good coffee and ends it with a good glass of pinot noir. Or chardonnay. Or a dirty martini. Whatever's handy.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook
Personal Opinion:

When I read bits and pieces out loud of the book to my five month old baby, I actually found Amy's misadventures funny, and I do congratulate her on her successes. Most of the time though, I tend to read silently and it's really not a story to be read silently. I really have not been in Amy's shoes when it comes to being married or having kids who seem prone to attracting Trouble (my baby is only five months of age, and I'm a single mother being helped by my parents) and I haven't been in a position where the husband decides to take up with a pastry chef from Switzerland, but her dating experiences, I can relate to quite a few of them, from being stood up by a guy when I came to a meeting place one time to being disappeared on to also not being seen as a person but more as an object. It's good to know that it gets better, and its amazing to see how optimistic the author is in the matter of hardships.

This is for iRead Book Tours

TOUR SCHEDULE:

Sept 12 - 
Olio by Marilyn - review /author interview / giveaway
Sept 13 - Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
Sept 14 - Corinne Rodrigues - review / giveaway
Sept 15 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review / guest post
Sept 15 - Deal Sharing Aunt - review / author interview / giveaway

Sept 16 - NorthernMSW - review
Sept 19 - Ali - The Dragon Slayer - review / guest post / giveaway
Sept 20 - The World As I See It - review / giveaway
Sept 21 - The All Night Library - review / author interview
Sept 22 - The Autistic Gamer - review
Sept 23 - Jessica Cassidy - review / author interview / giveaway

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)
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