Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, Literary Humour, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

Woman of a Certain Rage Georgie Hall 5*#Review @GeorgieHallUK @HoZ_Books #WomanofaCertainRage #Women #Ageing #Menopause #humour #loss #BookReview

Eliza is angry. Very angry, and very, very hot.

Late for work and dodging traffic, Eliza’s still reeling from the latest row with her husband Paddy. Twenty-something years ago their eyes met over the class divide in oh-so-cool Britpop London, but these days their eyes only meet to bicker over the three-seat sofa.

Paddy seems content filling his downtime with canal boats and cricket, but Eliza craves the freedom and excitement of her youth. Being fifty feels far too close to pensionable, their three teenage children are growing up fast, and even the dog has upped and died. Something is going to have to change—menopause be damned!

Woman of a Certain Rage is a smart and funny novel for all the women who won’t be told it’s too late to shake things up, and Eliza is a heroine many will recognise. She may sweat a lot and need a wee all the time, but she has something to prove. 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from ‘Head of Zeus’ via NetGalley in return for an honest review. 

My Thoughts…

This story captures the essence of what it’s like for most women growing older, with a wealth of experience and knowledge but not to be seen. Eliza’s story immerses the reader in a myriad of emotions, there are many hilarious moments, but these are tempered by the fear, poignancy and the sense of loss.

Eliza is menopausal and suffering. Her body is unrecognisable, life’s pleasures seem a distant memory, and everyone appears to be getting on with their lives without her. This is an entertaining read written in an engaging but relatable way. It explores many issues that women at this stage of their life face.

It’s an easy read and will appeal to many women of a certain age.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Literary Humour, New Books

The Black Dress Deborah Moggach 4*#Review #DeborahMoggach @TinderPress @headlinepg #Age #Women #Relationships #Humour @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Tinder Press in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Reading the blurb for this story evoked a whole series of images in my mind, which compelled me to read the book. The reader is introduced into Pru’s life when she buys the black dress, and then the reasons for her purchase are revealed intimately and insightfully from the main protagonist.

The writing style is full of sensory imagery, which makes it an easy read. Pru is a conflicted but fascinating character. She appears transparent in her revelations but is really an unreliable narrator. What comes across strongly in this story is her loneliness and how it defines her. Whilst she enjoys a series of adventures, many of which end badly, her need for companionship and identity motivates her.

Sophisticated humour and wit make this an engaging read, but it’s the underlying sadness that resonates.

Deborah Moggach
Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Humour, Literary Humour, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books

Death and Croissants Ian Moore 4*#Review @MonsieurLeMoore @farragobooks @BGLitAgency @RandomTTours #cozymystery #France #Rural #MurderMystery #humour #mystery #FolletValleyMystery #DeathandCroissants #BlogTour #BookReview #publicationday

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author and Farrago Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is an originally styled cosy mystery set in rural France with an unexciting Englishman and a mysterious French woman as the amateur sleuths. The writing is full of sensory imagery, which makes the reading experience enjoyable. It’s easy to imagine the characters and settings. It would translate well to television.

Richard is eccentric and innately humorous. Valerie is glamorous and secretive, and they form an unlikely but mutually beneficial crime-fighting alliance. Whilst the plot is simple, the characters’ dialogue and the vividly described action make this enjoyable.

Ian Moore

Ian Moore is a leading stand-up comedian, known for his sharp, entertaining punditry. A TV/radio regular, he stars in Dave’s satirical TV show Unspun and Channel 5’s topical comedy Big Mouths. He is also the author of two memoirs on life in France. À la Mod and C’est Modnifique. Ian lives in the Loire and commutes back to the UK every week. In his spare time, he makes mean chutneys and jams.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Literary Humour, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Primrose Park Christie Barlow 5* #Review @ChristieJBarlow @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #PrimrosePark #BlogBlitz #BookReview #LoveHeartLane #Humour #Romance #romcom #weekendreads

Vet Molly has always been career driven and focused on caring for her animals, but when she meets a gorgeous Mystery Man at a conference and their connection is off the charts, well, one night off work won’t hurt anyone…except the next morning he’s vanished and all Molly knows about him is his first name.

Three months later, back in Love Heart Lane, everyone loves the story of Molly’s amazing one-night stand.  It’s so unlike her! But when Mystery Man turns up walking his dog through Primrose Park and their night together seems to mean nothing to him, Molly needs her friends and neighbours more than ever. And especially when she’s left with the most unexpected of surprises…

Amazon UK Amazon

I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter and the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Molly, the vet, is the focus for this story, set in and about the lovely village of Heartcross and the iconic Primose Park, where characters often meet. Even though it’s the sixth book in this lovely uplifting series, it reads well as a standalone. Each book focuses on a previously unexplored main protagonist.

Career-driven Molly has an uncharacteristic and unforgettable one night with Cam, who disappears afterwards without a word. They meet again in the park, but it’s not the dramatic reconciliation Molly wishes for.

This story is full of heartache and surprises. Molly needs to solve the mystery surrounding Cam. Contemporary issues are interwoven into the more lighthearted storylines, which give this story an authenticity that makes it enjoyable.

Christie Barlow

Christie Barlow is the number one international bestselling author of fifteen romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.

Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she co-presents The Book Show on Radio Northwich, enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.

Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Posted in Book Review, Crime, Literary Humour, Political Thriller

Facets of Death Michael Stanley 4*#Review The Detective Kubu series @detectivekubu @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #FacetsofDeath #DetectiveKubu #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs

A dark and sophisticated thriller set in the heart of Botswana,
introducing Michael Stanley’s beloved Detective Kubu

Recruited straight from university to Botswana’s CID, David ‘Kubu’ Bengu has raised his colleagues’ suspicions with his meteoric rise within the department, and he has a lot to prove.

When the richest diamond mine in the world is robbed of 100,000 carats worth of gems, and the thieves are found, executed, Kubu leaps at the chance to prove himself.

First he must find the diamonds – and it seems that a witch doctor and his son have a part to play.

Does this young detective have the skill and integrity to engineer an international trap? Or could it cost him everything?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Orenda Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Botswana in the late 1990s, this story introduces the reader to Kubu as he embarks on his career as a police detective. The story is multi-viewpoint and written in a police procedural style with a keen insight into the culture and politics of the Botswanan setting.

This is an atmospheric noir story with multiple murders. Kubu proves to be worthy of his fast-track appointment, as he gradually wins around those opposed to his detective status. He is an intuitive, intelligent investigator. His relative youth makes him impulsive in following leads despite the personal risk, but this is also what makes him effective.

This is an absorbing story with a likeable detective.

Michael StanleyMichael Sears and Stanley Trollip

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialised in image processing and remote sensing and taught at the University of the Witwatersrand.

On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective David ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger.

The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original mystery and was shortlisted for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was shortlisted for an International Thriller Writers award. They have also written a thriller, Dead of Night, following the investigative journalist, Crystal Nguyen, who gets caught up in the war against rhino poaching and rhino-horn smuggling.

Posted in Blog Tour, Guest post, Literary Fiction, Literary Humour, Mystery, New Books

Just Bea Deborah Klee #GuestPost @DeborahKlee @rararesources #homeless #uplit #selfdiscovery #mystery #BlogTour

Sometimes you have to stop trying to be like everyone else and just be yourself.

Bea Stevens and Ryan O Marley are in danger of falling through the cracks of their own lives; the only difference between them is that Bea doesn’t know it yet.

When her world is shaken like a snow-globe, Bea has to do what she does best; adapt. Homeless man Ryan is the key to unlocking the mystery of her friend Declan’s disappearance but can she and Ryan trust one another enough to work together? 

As the pieces of her life settle in new and unexpected places, like the first fall of snow, Bea must make a choice: does she try to salvage who she was or embrace who she might become?

Just Bea takes the reader on a heart-warming journey from the glamour of a West End store to the harsh reality of life on the streets and reminds us all that home really is where the heart is.

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Just Bea -Homelessness Guest Post Deborah Klee

I was inspired to write Just Bea as there were two occasions when women I knew said that they were tempted to offer a temporary home to a homeless man. The first was a single woman whose two children had left home for university. She came across a young man, a similar age to her absent son, who was living in a tent. It was winter and her heart went out to him. She seriously considered offering him a home rent free, until her children talked her out of it as they didn’t want their mother putting herself at risk.

Several years later a gentle, caring woman who lived in my village told me about a homeless man who had been sleeping rough in our neighbourhood. This was an unusual occurrence in our little community. This woman befriended the man, buying him food and giving him books to read. As she came to know him better, she was tempted to offer him a room in her house. Again, friends and family advised her not to do so as they felt it was unsafe.

I can understand how a compassionate woman might be persuaded to invite a homeless man into her home. Bea Stevens, the protagonist in my story has more reason than most: Ryan, the homeless man, is known and trusted by her friend Declan, Bea has had too much to drink at the office party and so her judgement is impaired, she spilt hot chocolate over Ryan’s sleeping bag, and it is snowing heavily.

‘Why don’t you sleep in my spare bedroom tonight?’ Bea blurted out and immediately regretted it. She didn’t know anything about him. But he was a close friend of Declan, and she owed it to Declan. It was too cold for Ryan to sleep outside.

            Ryan looked as though he too was surprised by her suggestion. ‘Because you’re a single girl. A slightly inebriated single girl. I’ve got a little sister, about your age. I would be telling her not to let a strange man into her home on any account – no matter what the circumstances.’

            But he’s not a stranger, Bea thought, and then she decided if Declan trusted him, then so could she. ‘Please. It would make me feel better about spilling hot chocolate on your sleeping bag. I could pop it in my washing machine and it’ll be dry by the morning.’

            ‘I’m not sure. This’ll be the booze a talking. You’ll wake up, forget you invited me in, and scream blue murder.’

            They looked at each other, each weighing up the risks. The snow whirled in the light of a street lamp and Ryan pulled his jacket closer around him. ‘I’d better be off. This isn’t going to let up.’

            ‘That settles it,’ Bea said. ‘Come inside before we both freeze to death.’

One day when I was walking across London Bridge on my way to work, I noticed a young Mediterranean looking man huddled in a blanket. I looked closely at his face and imagined him as a tour guide, a gondolier on a Venice canal, anything but a homeless man. He could have been anything. Anyone. He mattered. At that time, I was too shy to talk to him. Further along the bridge I noticed a woman ask another homeless man whether he would like a tea or coffee. I chased after the woman and asked her whether her offer was welcomed by homeless people or refused. She assured me that it was always appreciated. From that day on, I have always offered to buy a drink and sometimes food for the people I meet who are living on the street. It has also helped me in my research. One man told me that by listening to him I had given him all that he needed.

Everyone who becomes homeless has a story. It is easy to fall through the gaps as Bea and Ryan discovered in Just Bea.

Deborah Klee

Deborah has worked as an occupational therapist, a health service manager, a freelance journalist, and management consultant in health and social care.

Her protagonists are often people who exist on the edges of society. Despite the very real, but dark, subject matter her stories are uplifting, combining pathos with humour. They are about self-discovery and the power of friendships and community.

Just Bea is her second novel. Her debut The Borrowed Boy was published last year.

Deborah lives on the Essex coast. When she is not writing she combines her love of baking with trying to burn off the extra calories.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Literary Humour, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Lake House Christie Barlow 5* #Review @ChristieJBarlow @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #TheLakeHouse #BlogTour #BookReview #LoveHeartLane #Humour #Romance #romcom #MondayBlogs

There’s a newcomer to the village of Heartcross and she’s never been more in need of a friend.  

Ella is ready to start afresh ––and that could mean there’s love on the horizon in the form of the gorgeous Roman, the local water taxi driver. Every day Roman is there to ferry Ella to the restaurant on the other side of the lake and every night he makes sure she gets home safe. But Roman has secrets of his own…

Can the Love Heart Lane community offer Ella a chance of a new life? Or will the ghosts of her past catch up with her?

Amazon UK Amazon

I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter and the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This author’s ability, to create a fictional world with believable characters and events, guarantees a lovely escapist read. The Lake House is the fifth story in the Love Heart Lane series, but the story is complete and readable as a standalone.

Ella is looking for a new start and finds a caring community in Heartcross. The Lake House restaurant is a vivid setting. The friendship and romance are realistic, as Ella and Roman learn to trust and fall in love. Dolores is a pivotal and vibrant character in this book, which immerses the reader, in a world of hope, but with relatable conflict, and a recognisable antagonist.

If you are looking for an uplifting story, this book is worth a read.

Christie Barlow

Christie Barlow is the number 1 International bestselling author of ten bestsellers including A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Clover Cottage. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada & Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.

Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Humour, Literary Humour, Romance

One Winter’s Night Kiley Dunbar 4*#Review @KileyDunbar @HeraBooks @rararesources #Romance #Friendship #festive #humour #Literary #BlogTour #BookReview #Shakespeare #OneWintersNight

A gorgeously uplifting, romantic read that will warm your heart – take a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon, where magic happens…

It’s autumn in beautiful Stratford-Upon-Avon and Kelsey Anderson is enjoying her new life in her adopted town. Her Shakespearean tour guide days behind her, she’s now opened her own photography studio and loved up with boyfriend Jonathan – even if a long-distance relationship is sometimes lonely.

When best friend Mirren Imrie moves down from Scotland, Kelsey is delighted to have her friend at her side – and as the nights turn colder, Mirren throws herself into dating, until she finds herself growing closer to sexy journalist, Adrian Armadale. But when Mirren uncovers a long-buried scandal while working at the local newspaper, her big scoop might throw Kelsey’s – and Jonathan’s – life upside down. Will she choose her career over her friends’ happiness?

And when Jonathan returns from America and discovers the secrets Mirren has uncovered about his family, it throws his relationship with Kelsey onto shaky ground. Can they find their way back to love, before it becomes the winter of their discontent?

Amazon UK Kobo Apple

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

There is an impressive originality in this romantic story. The setting in Stratford provides a vivid backdrop for this literary romance.

Kelsey is a positive character, who moves forward despite her fears and lack of confidence. Mirren is flawed, but well-motivated and values her friendship with Kelsey. I haven’t read the earlier book, but this reads well as a standalone.

Mystery, romance and scandal are woven into this engaging story, which tests relationships and the protagonists’ morals. The pacing is gentle, there are lots of details and introspection, but this is a lovely story with a festive twist.

Kiley Dunbar

Hi, I’m Kiley Dunbar, author of heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places.

If you’re looking for travel adventures, swoony heroes, and dreamy escapism that will let you forget the world just for a wee while then I’m your author.

Take your pick from my first three novels:

Summer at the Highland Coral Beach (2020), the first in the Port Willow Bay Series, takes you on an impromptu crafting holiday in the Scottish Highlands and reminds us that after the storm comes the rainbow. Crafts, ceilidhs, coral bays and gentle recovery. (Part two coming September 2021 – both parts can be read alone)

Christmas at Frozen Falls (2019) will fly you to snowy, remote Finnish Lapland over Christmas where Sylvie Magnussen is getting a second chance at love with an old flame – sexy Stellan Virtanen – the one who got away – well, he ran away actually, and Sylvie never understood why. Hot kisses in a cold climate, Northern lights and a stunning resort setting. (Standalone novel)


One Summer’s Night (2019) whisks you away on a working staycation in beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon during a sultry heatwave summer. Kelsey Anderson, Shakespeare nerd and aspiring photographer, navigates her new life in a new town. A starting over story, handsome actors, backstage passes, and a whole lot of drama in the Heart of England. (Sequel coming September 2020 – both parts can be read alone)

And if you’ve enjoyed one of my books I’d be thrilled if you left a review! Thanks a million, Love, Kiley, x

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Literary Fiction, Literary Humour

Midsummer Dreams Ian Riddle @riddleian 4*#Review @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours @MTP_Agency #MidsummerDreams

Midsummer Dreams is a lyrical history of the lives, loves and, in particular, the dreams of several of the inhabitants of the small village of Treddoch Harbour. Treddoch, as it’s referred to locally, is a fictional, atypical, once fishing, now touristy, community situated on Cornwall’s southern coast. Everybody has their dreams, though none more so than the inhabitants of Treddoch. In their case, and this is where they differ from the mainstream, as well as having their own, personal dreams, the residents of Treddoch Harbour also have the one dream, the overarching dream, that singular dream that binds them as a community. This is the dream of having a ‘good Season’. For many of them, who rely on the tourists for their income, their money’s only to be made in the summer, when the tourists are abroad. Winter months can be dire. 

The action is set on the one day, Midsummer’s Day, starting at dawn and ending with dusk. The story’s told through the voice of a tour guide as he takes the reader around the village, introducing the characters one by one, starting with the late Butcher and his Wife, now interred in the local cemetery!

“Polperro very much inspired this novel,” admits the author. “I wanted to take people beyond the daytrips they experience in these villages, to really get to know the people and what they strive for – which is a strong summer season that allows them to keep their families buoyant all year. There’s a massive collective spirit among the locals, that outsiders seldom see.”

Continuing, “I’m so thrilled that many people have likened the book to Thomas’ ‘Under Milk Wood’. It’s a story that will capture the hearts of people from all walks of life, with its innocent undertones and deep longing for stability among forces the locals can’t control.”

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story has a quaint, quirky style which draws the reader into the Treddoch Harbour residents’ world. The reader has an omnipotent view of the village and its inhabitants, even those who are dead, through the information imparted by the tour guide.

Its originality is engaging, and it captures the tourist coastal village’s ethos perfectly. The season’s success is the Treddoch Harbour’s inhabitants’ collective dream and underpins the events on Midsummer Day.

There’s a list of players with chapters corresponding to acts in a play. Insightful character portraits and vivid descriptions make this a treat for all the senses.

Ian Riddle

I was born a long time ago now and like both Mary Wesley and Sir Christopher Bland have taken to writing rather late in life.

Following graduation from the University of East Anglia (UEA), which has subsequently become something of a literary mecca since my days there, I worked, briefly, as an Economist in London but soon moved to Cornwall, where, together with my wife, I ran my own business for many years. We lived in the small Cornish fishing village of Polperro which has provided a rich source of material for my first novel, Midsummer Dreams, due to be published Spring 2019.

I began work on the novel last January and eight months later had a rough draft ready but feeling the need of a break from it I put the manuscript to one side and thought to write just a couple of short stories. Twelve months and fifteen stories later it became clear that it was time to put this volume, Collected Writings to bed and return to where I left off, one year past, especially as I can already feel a second volume of shorts tugging at my sleeve.

After over forty years in Cornwall I crossed the Tamar and moved back to England (!) a short while ago, although only as far as Devon, where I still maintain a ‘day job’. How much longer this will last though, I’m not sure. Writing can become a seductive and powerful mistress for which one can easily develop an all consuming passion.

With thanks to Michael Terence Publishing www.mtp.agency

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Literary Humour, Mystery

Tipping Point Emily Benet 4* #Review @EmilyBenet @rararesources #Mallorca #Humour #holiday #relationships #BlogTour #BookReview #literaryfiction #mystery

The sun … the ocean … the farmhouse … the scammer… the police… the 3-legged dog?

George and Ellen have retired to sunny Mallorca. Social butterfly Ellen is itching to make yacht-owning friends while George’s heart is set on a secluded farmhouse in the country. In fact, now that they’re no longer living busy London lives, they’re beginning to realise they have very different ideas of happiness.

Private investigator Salva specialises in cases of adultery. That’s why it’s particularly embarrassing that he didn’t realise his long-term girlfriend has been cheating on him. He has no time to nurse a broken heart, since his family are the victims of a property scam they urgently need him to solve.

Robyn Chase is giving talks on her self-help book, No More Toxic Relationships – 7 Years, 7 Lessons. She’s finding it awkward being a relationship guru when her own boyfriend is avoiding her.

The sun is shining in Mallorca and everything looks beautiful. But the residents of one particular apartment block are about to discover it all might be too good to be true.

Amazon UK Amazon

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Moving to Mallorca is a dream come to true for many, but what happens if the reality, is not what you imagined? Ellen ponders the wisdom of moving and wonders about her marriage to George in retirement. Salva is a private investigator but failed to notice his girlfriend’s infidelity. When his family invade his small apartment after a scam life is anything but ideal. Robyn writes about overcoming toxic relationships and positivity, so why can’t she find her happy place?

The characters are relatable and vibrant. The inclusive writing style uses sensory imagery well. There’s a balance of humour, mystery, poignancy and romance in this lively story, good holiday reading.

Emily Benet

Emily Benet is a journalist, award-winning blogger and author of contemporary fiction. Her books include the blog-to-book Shop Girl Diaries, Wattpad hit Spray Painted Bananas and social media romcom #PleaseRetweet. She lives in Mallorca with her husband and daughter and the sunny island is the setting for her latest novels The Hen Party and Tipping Point. She writes regularly for the luxury lifestyle magazine abcMallorca.

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