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I Belong


Early Review: Flirting with Fame by Samantha Joyce

February 9th, 2016 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Bridget under Review Tags: , , , ,

Flirting with FameTitle: Flirting with Fame

Author: Samantha Joyce

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Series: N/A

Publication Date: February 29, 2016

Format: Ebook, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 1501126830 (Simon & Schuster)

ISBN-13: 978-1501126833 (Simon & Schuster)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

Elise Jameson is the secret author behind the bestselling, cult hit Viking Moon series. But when a stranger poses as Elise, the painfully shy, deaf nineteen-year-old starts to see how much she’s missing. Can she really hide in the shadows forever? This clever, coming-of-age debut is for anyone who has ever felt unsure in their own skin.

After a freak childhood accident leaves her deaf and physically scarred, nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson retreats into a world of vibrant characters she creates on her laptop. She is shocked when her coping mechanism turns into a career as a phenomenal bestselling novelist. Fans are obsessed with Elise’s Viking Moon series and its author—a striking girl with zero resemblance to Elise who appears on the back covers. Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor following a minor panic attack. Now, horrified to learn she is expected on set of the television pilot based on her novels, Elise tracks down her anonymous stand-in. To Elise’s surprise, Veronica Wilde has been taking credit for Viking Moon for years. She eagerly agrees to keep up the charade if Elise will pose as her assistant.

It’s hard for Elise to watch a stranger take credit for her work and get all the perks she desires, including admiration from the show’s heartthrob star. Edged onto the sidelines of her own life, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay anonymous. Is she ready to come to terms with her true identity—and with the long-buried secrets that could cost her her career, her fans, and the few precious friendships she’s made?

Quick & Dirty: Adorable coming of age story filled with sweet romance, laugh out loud humor, fun characters and a great inspirational message!

Opening Sentence: If the Queen of England booked a gig at Fernbrooke’s only theater to do a lyrical jazz routine with a unicorn, I might’ve had an easier time finding parking than I did that night.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Elise Jameson is a nineteen year old bestselling author of the Viking Moons series! At the age of fifteen she sold her first novel and it has became a huge success! The film rights were bought for it and it is going to be made into a TV series. All of this is amazing until Elise finds out that they want her to be on set while they are filming so she can give everyone her opinion. Most authors would jump at the chance to be on set and seeing their dreams becoming a reality, but Elise hasn’t been 100% honest about herself.

When she was younger there was a terrible accident that left her face scarred and she went deaf. She is very self-conscious about her scars so when it came time to send in her author photo instead of sending a picture of herself she sent a picture of a beautiful girl she found on the internet! Instead of coming clean Elise decides to track down the girl in the photo and convince her to pretend to be her on the set of the movie. Elise will pose as her assistant and no one will ever have to know the truth.

But watching someone else take credit for all her hard work was much more difficult then Elise thought it would be! Is she finally ready to be honest with her fans, with her friends and most of all with herself?

Elise is a very sweet girl and I definitely sympathized her. Obviously she doesn’t have the best self-esteem, but given her current situation I can understand why. She’s very self-conscious about the scars she has on her face and while most people can’t tell by looking at her, she is also deaf. I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through high school like that, but I loved that she found comfort in writing. Instead of dealing with everything that was going on in her life she wrote all of her aggression, pain, and happiness in to her books. While I can understand her lack of confidence there were a few times it was a little bit frustrating. But overall, I thought she was a wonderful character and I thought her story was very inspirational.

Gavin is a sexy guy that is basically every girls dream come true. He is gorgeous, kind, and a movie star. I loved how sweet he was to Elise right off the bat and the fact that she was deaf didn’t bother him at all. He did act really superficial sometimes, which I didn’t love, but it made sense for his character. I also found his background story interesting and it made me understand him much better. The romance between Elisa and Gavin was cute and slow burning. There was a little more drama between then I liked, but overall, I loved them together!

Flirting with Fame is a cute romance that will make you swoon. This was a fairly quick read and even though it is a new adult novel, I felt like it was very much a coming of age story. There was great humor in the story and I found myself laughing out loud multiple times! The drama was a tad bit overdone at times, and there were a few things that felt a little too convenient. For the most part the pacing was great, but there were a few spots throughout that story that seemed to drag. I liked how Joyce integrated a physical disability into the story. I personally don’t think I have ever read a book where the MC was deaf and I enjoyed learning more about that particular disability. I also loved the inspirational message that was delivered. You should never be ashamed of who you are and no matter what your problems are in life, maybe you can overcome them. The story wasn’t perfect, but overall, I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a cute new adult romance.

Notable Scene:

Pain shimmed up my cheek and behind my eye and the world spun, threatening to go black. I moaned and closed my eyes, willing everything to stand still.

A hand touched mine, making me jump. I opened my eyes. At first, all I saw was the sun, piercing my retinas and blinding me. I moaned again and squinted against the light. Something touched my face and shaded my eyes.

With my vision cleared, I found the bluest eyes I’d ever seen—in person, anyway. I knew those eyes well. I’d seen them in plenty of movies. But I’d always thought they were too perfect, added cosmetically, maybe a product of contact lenses. At that moment, they were real, though. And they stared down at me with real concern.

“Gavin Hartley?” I mumbled.

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FTC Advisory:  Pocket Star/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Flirting with Fame.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

February 8th, 2016 @ 12:10 am
Posted by Kristie under Blog Tour Tags: , , , ,

Sophie Jordan“Fantasy” February continues with Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan! Her new novel is about a world that has been thrust into darkness for the last seventeen years. Please check out the intense excerpt below. It is from the POV of Fowler, the male lead in Reign of Shadows. This YA high fantasy novel will be released on February 9, 2016 from HarperTeen.

A huge thank you to Sophie for today’s giveaway! One lucky reader will win a $50 Amazon GC and signed copies of Reign of Shadows, Firelight & Uninvited! This contest is open to U.S. addresses only.

About Sophie:

Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she’s also the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avon historical romances. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes and Diet cherry Coke preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows. Sophie also writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler.

You can visit Sophie around the web here: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Want to read more from Sophie Jordan?

Firelight Vanish HiddenForeplay Tease WildUninvited UnleashedReign of ShadowsSins of a Wicked Duke In Scandal They Wed Wicked Nights With a LoverWicked in Your Arms Lessons from a Scandalous B... The Earl in My Bed How to Lose a Bride in One ...Once Upon a Wedding Night Too Wicked to Tame One Night With You Surrender to MeA Good Debutante's Guide to... An Heiress For All Seasons All the Ways to Ruin a RogueAll Chained Up Hell Breaks Loose

______________________________________________________________________

Reign of Shadows

Excerpt

(From Fowler’s POV)

“Do you hear that?” Luna’s voice rippled over the chilled stillness, a current swimming in the breathing dark. Her question was the first time she had spoken to me in hours and only a thin thread of sound.

I froze in place and listened, already knowing to trust her ears over my own.

There was nothing at first, simply the rush of blood in my ears and a solitary bat chirping in the far distance. Then I heard it. Them. A low, intermittent rumble of voices, ebbing and increasing and then disappearing altogether.

“They’re . . . people.” Her voice shook a little and I knew that she would have been less nervous had they been dwellers.

I peered into the dark. There were no torches. No flickering fire through the trees. But we were headed straight for them. Or they were headed in our direction. Either way, everything inside me tensed.

I squinted into the opaque air. We could try to skirt them, give them a wide berth, but there was always the possibility that they had their own scouts ferreting the perimeter of their group. Especially if they were soldiers. That was common protocol.

Normally, I would investigate to verify who—or what—was out there. Constant awareness is what kept me alive this long, but I wasn’t functioning under normal circumstances anymore. I had Luna to consider.

“Maybe they’re friendly,” she offered, breaking into the quiet of my thoughts.

I shook my head, tension knotting my shoulders as I stared ahead into the cold ink of dark. A quick glance upward revealed the thick tangle of branches obscuring the moon’s glow. That was being hopeful. She didn’t fully understand. Aside from soldiers, she thought the dwellers were the worst thing out here. She thought everyone else was like us, survivors banding together for a like purpose—to further our existence. She would understand in time.

“Stay here,” I commanded, unloading my pack and adjusting the quiver at my back.

Her shoulders squared, and that rounded little chin of hers went up. I could tell she wanted to argue. Or simply ignore my instructions and follow me. Just like the boy, Donnan. An ugly feeling swept through me at that reminder, and my movements became more jerky.

“I’m going with you—”

“No. I’m not Sivo or Perla for you to twist and manipulate. Out here, I’m in charge.” The hard fall of my words made her back away, stopping only when she collided with a tree.

I sighed. “If you stay here, you’ll be safe,” I said, my voice softer. I stared down at my hands a long moment before looking back up at her. Skepticism was writ all over her features.

“I’ll move faster knowing you are here waiting safely.” It irritated me that I felt the need to prove myself sincere.

She brought her arms up to hug herself. “Are you coming back?” Doubt tinged her voice. “Tell me the truth.”

I told myself distrust was normal. Good even. I blew out a breath and squeezed my eyes shut for a moment before opening them again. The slightest quiver to her bottom lip revealed she wasn’t as unaffected as she pretended to be leaning there against the tree.

ReignofShadows_cvr

I gestured to my pack as though she could see it there in the dirt by her feet. “I’m leaving my supplies.”

She nodded stiffly, but didn’t appear to fully accept my explanation as proof enough that I would be coming back.

I started to leave, walked several feet, but the image of her face—the big dark eyes—burned an imprint onto my mind. I knew that visual would follow me, and I didn’t need that. Not when I needed a clear head.

With a muffled curse, I whipped back around. She was scared and not totally convinced I would be returning for her. What if I was gone longer than she expected and she took it into her head to leave?

Several strides put me back in front of her. My heart thumped hard in my chest. Even though she was taller than a good many women, I still looked down at her.

Resolve fueled me. I reached for her, taking her face firmly in both my hands, fixing her unseeing stare on me. She jumped a little at the contact but didn’t pull away.

This close, the freckles spattering her nose and cheeks were clearly visible—a collection of brown dots of varying sizes, all several shades lighter than her dark hair.

Trapped in my hands, staring sightlessly up, she seemed so vulnerable. A single budding lily in a world of night. One clap of my hands and she would be crushed, her light snuffed out.

“I will not abandon you, Luna.” It was the reassurance she had asked for before, but I had been unable to say the words then. “Ever,” I added.

It didn’t mean she would never get hurt. It didn’t mean either one of us would make it, but if something happened to her it would not be because I had failed her. I would never do that. Not again.

Her lips parted in the slightest gasp. She blinked, looking as startled as I felt at my avowal.

“Do you understand?” I slipped my fingers deeper into her hair, cradling the back of her skull. “You believe me?”

Her shock at my promise was palpable.

And there was my own awareness of her slighter body so close to mine. Her fragrance filled my nose. I felt alive for the first time in a long time. My skin prickled and pulled tight, sensitive even to the slightest gust of air. There was no part of me that didn’t feel.

If she touched me, I might come apart. My stomach pitched and turned, hoping she did. Hoping she didn’t.

She was a girl who somehow managed to smell good and fresh in a world of stinking rot. It was not a situation I would have chosen for myself, but here I was.

She nodded and those lips of hers—so loose and soft and appealing—grabbed all of my attention. I gave in and dropped my forehead against hers. I breathed in deeply, filling my lungs with her.

My blood pumped thickly through my veins. She sucked in a breath, her only reaction to our sudden closeness.

My lips rested at the corner of her mouth, not quite touching. I only needed to turn slightly, and our mouths would meet…

______________________________________________________________________

Tour Schedule

Week One:

2/1/2016- Supernatural Snark  Interview

2/2/2016- Good Choice Reading – Excerpt

2/3/2016- Seeing Double In Neverland – Review

2/4/2016- NightlyReading – Review

2/5/2016- Fangirlish – Interview

Week Two:

2/8/2016- Dark Faerie Tales – Excerpt

2/9/2016- Unabridged Bookshelf – Review

2/10/2016- Bibliojunkies – Review

2/11/2016- Two Chicks on Books  Interview

2/12/2016- Fiktshun – Review

______________________________________________________________________

contest

This contest is provided by Sophie Jordan & RockStar Blog Tours!

One lucky reader will win a $50 Amazon GC and signed copies of Reign of Shadows, Firelight & Uninvited!
(US only)

ReignofShadows_cvr

Available February 9, 2016 from HarperTeen

About this Book:

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

Pre-Order from

GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:

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Early Review: To the Stars by Molly McAdams

February 8th, 2016 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Bridget under Review Tags: , , , , ,

To the StarsTitle: To the Stars

Author: Molly McAdams

Genre: NA Romantic Thriller

Series: Thatch (Book #2)

Publication Date: February 9, 2016

Format: Paperback, 416 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062358456 (HarperCollins)

ISBN-13: 978-0062358455 (HarperCollins)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

In the second book in New York Times  and USA Today  bestselling author Molly McAdams’ Thatch series, Knox Alexander must convince his long-time love Harlow Evans that they’re meant to be together.

He promised to wait for her.
She told him he was wasting his time.
Not waiting for him ended up being the biggest mistake of her life.

When they were younger, Knox Alexander swore to Harlow Evans that he would wait for her to turn eighteen so they could be together. But that was three and a half years away, and Harlow couldn’t ask him to give up all the fun and thrills of going away to college for her. As the years passed, Knox remained a constant in her life—whether she liked it or not—but when her eighteenth birthday came around, Harlow’s heart belonged to someone else.

Every day for the last four years, Harlow has been haunted by that fateful choice. And though he may appear unaffected by what happened in their past, Knox has always tried to fill the void Harlow left. But when he comes stumbling back into her life and refuses to leave, will Harlow finally let him into her heart…?

Quick & Dirty: A suspenseful story full of steamy romance, great drama, and wonderful characters. I would highly recommend to this anyone looking for a romantic thriller.

Opening Sentence: “Happy Birthday, Low. I waited for you.”

Excerpt: No

The Review:

When Harlow Evans was fifteen years old she met Knox Alexander and sparks flew! They were instantly attracted to each other but Knox was already eighteen and starting a relationship wasn’t wise or legal. Instead, Knox promised that he would wait for Harlow to be old enough for them to be together. Harlow never thought nor did she expect Knox to actually give up the opportunity to date and have fun in college. But over the course of the three years the two developed a very deep friendship. A few months before Harlow turned eighteen she left for college and met someone else. She fell quickly in love and when Knox finally asked her to be his she said no.

Harlow married the boy she fell in love with and it was the biggest mistake of her life. Not only has she been unhappy in her marriage she has come to fear for her life and for the life of the people she cares about most. When she has a chance encounter with Knox, she can’t help but feel all those feelings she had for him come rushing back. But starting anything with Knox isn’t only stupid it is also extremely dangerous!

In the story you jump back from the past to the present so you get to see two very different sides to Harlow. The younger version of her is sweet, fun and extremely insecure. I liked her but she had some really frustrating moments. I get that she was really young and to some extent that does excuse how she acted, but I still struggled with some of her decisions! The older Harlow amazed me. She lived a life of constant terror and there was absolutely nothing she could do about it. My heart broke as I read about her struggles and her fear. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be in her shoes and it amazed me that she never stopped fighting. Overall, I thought she was a very dynamic character and I loved reading her story!

I loved everything about Knox. He is one of those guys that you meet and fall for instantly. He is sexy, charming, strong and loyal. Knox was very consistent and no matter what was thrown at him his feelings for Harlow never wavered. He always treated Harlow with the utmost respect and they were freaking adorable together. Watching them fall in love was perfect and they definitely had amazing chemistry!

To the Stars
was a beautiful, heart breaking romance that was full of suspense. From the first page I was hooked and I seriously could not put the book down until I finished. I have read a lot of books by Molly McAdams and her thrillers have been my been by far my favorite books of hers. This wasn’t a mystery,  but it was definitely very intense. The romance was steamy and written perfectly. I enjoyed seeing some old faces from the previous book and also getting to know new characters. The only thing I struggled with in the story was that there was cheating. It was a very small incident but no matter how justified the circumstances are, I always have a hard time with cheating of any kind. Overall, I really enjoyed the story and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a suspenseful romance!

Notable Scene:

“You think I don’t know what’s right here?” he asked as his fingers gently ran over the inside of ym elbow, and then my forearm. “And here? You think I didn’t see the pain on your face?”

“You need to leave, Knox,” I pled. “If anyone sees you with me, it will get back to him.”

“Low, he can’t—“

“He’s coming to look for me if I’m not back out there in ten minutes. You don’t get it.” I searched his face wildly and hoped he understood the urgency in my tone. “He can not find you with me. He can’t find out about you. Please, Knox.”

Knox didn’t blink, and didn’t move. “Why was he hurting you?”

“He wasn’t,” I insisted, and jumped when his voice boomed in the small space.

Thatch Series:

1. Letting Go

2. To the Stars

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FTC Advisory:  William Morrow/HarperCollins provided me with a copy of To the Stars. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Black Wolves by Kate Elliott

February 8th, 2016 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Roxanne under Review Tags: , , , ,

Black WolvesTitle: Black Wolves

Author: Kate Elliott

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Black Wolves (Book #1)

Publication Date: November 3, 2015

Format: Paperback, 780 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316368695 (Orbit)

ISBN-13: 978-0316368698 (Orbit)

Reviewed by: Roxanne

Synopsis:

Twenty two years have passed since Kellas, once Captain of the legendary Black Wolves, lost his King and with him his honor. With the King murdered and the Black Wolves disbanded, Kellas lives as an exile far from the palace he once guarded with his life.

Until Marshal Dannarah, sister to the dead King, comes to him with a plea-rejoin the palace guard and save her nephew, King Jehosh, before he meets his father’s fate.

Quick & Dirty: Eagles, demons, and an epic game of thrones, will Kellas and Dannarah figure out who killed King Atari before King Jehosh loses his throne?

Opening Sentence: “The whole business stank of rotting fish.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Dannarah, Kellas, Sarai and Lifka are the four major point of views throughout this novel. Dannarah is a reeve (eagle rider), she used to be the Chief Marshal until her nephew, the King, relieved her. Kellas used to be the Captain of the Black Wolves (the King’s personal unit), he left after he failed to save King Atani. Sarai is a mysterious young girl trying to take her life into her own hands after her mother disgraced the clan by running away (remember this, it becomes clear and important later.) Lifka is a young girl chosen by the eagles with another tie in that is important to remember as well.

The first part of the book is mostly told through Kellas’ perspective and it ties into the second half of the book when they are finally figuring out who killed King Atani and why. Then it jumps 42 years into the future and a good portion of that is told through Dannarah and Sarai, with Lifka coming in as well. The beginning part of this section is a bit rough because you go for from one cast of characters to Dannarah, who is in the front portion, but minor in the scheme of things to full drop down into the middle of what is going on currently. Dannarah is a marshal in the reeves (eagle riders) and she is still haunted by the death of her brother, to the point that she has really ignored the rest of the royal family and immersed herself in the reeves.

King Jehosh is Dannarah’s nephew, and the son of her brother, Atani. He is the ruler of the Hundred, a small kingdom surrounded by the Empire and other larger nations. For most of his reign, 22 years, he has been fighting an unpopular war to the north. When he returns he begins to suspect his wife of moving against his second wife and her children. He asks Dannarah to get Kellas back, so that they can stop what is going on. With Kellas returning will they be able to figure out who murdered King Atani, and what danger King Jehosh is in?

I will say this, I liked the story in the beginning, Kellas’s part was really interesting and kind of enough to invest me in the story. I do admit that when it jumped 42 years in the future and introduced the three other perspectives, I found it hard at times to know if I was in the past, future, or who was telling the story and it made it a little hard for me to keep going. But I pushed through and I am so glad I did because when it all started coming together, everything started making sense. So while it may seem that Sarai and Lifka really have nothing to do with what is going on, you just have to get past the halfway point in the book and bam do the hits just start coming.

This book is a slow burn in the first half and total punch in the face in the last half. Kate Elliott wove a completely subtle and complex tale that has so many pieces it just blows your mind. I really cannot rave about it enough. I loved, loved the second half of Black Wolves and was totally invested, shocked, dismayed and blown the heck away by the end. This is a GRRM level epic and in length too, but the worldbuilding, and the characters makes it all worth while. If high fantasy is your thing, than this book is definitely a need to read. I am seriously a little upset that I have to wait until the end of the year to get my hands on book 2. I guess in the meantime I will check out the other series that is referenced in this book.

Notable Scenes:

“He was sure they were being watched and there was in fact still one youth unaccounted for, but he heard nothing and saw no one except, once, a crow perched on a fallen long in the clearing.”

“Her gaze devoured him, for that was the particular sorcery of cloaked demons.”

“It seemed that the disgraced young malcontent of eight years ago had, without intending to, climbed Law Rock into the very heart of the palace.”

“If only Atani were, here, he would uncover the young man’s entire history of a cup of tea.”

“The demon prised open her mind and exposed her memories like the guts of a slaughtered soldier.”

” For a long time I’ve known I am a demon, bound to the land.”

“Each pillar carved with the same words, the same laws, the same sentiments.”

Black Wolves Trilogy:

1. Black Wolves

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FTC Advisory: Orbit/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Black Wolves. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Event: ApollyCon After Party Tickets Available!

February 7th, 2016 @ 10:36 am
Posted by Kristie under Event Tags:

Apolly Con Official

We have an update to the exciting ApollyCon Event! Do you want to meet Jennifer L. Armentrout and more awesome authors? You can get your chance at the ApollyCon Event in Savannah, Georgia. There are still tickets available to the After Party! The After Party will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2016 from 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Don’t wait too late to buy your ticket, sales end on Feb. 19th! For more information on this event please visit the offical ApollyCon page HERE. To purchase tickets to the event, click HERE. Check out the latest news on ApollyCon’s official Facebook page.

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