Category: Books

RELEASE BLITZ: The Black Hand by Jonathan Dunne.

Hey Guys, I am finally back with my bookish posts and we are kicking things off with a release blitz for a new crime thriller by Jonathan Dunne. The author has kindly given us a little glimpse in to the book and we also have a fab giveaway running where you have the chance to win your own copy of the book!!

A bit about the Author

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Jonathan Dunne is a native of Dublin’s north inner city. The Black Hand is his second novel in the crime genre. The Takeover – his first crime novel went on to wide acclaim and regularly featured in Amazon’s bestseller lists.

He is also an avid MMA journalist who has penned articles for some of Ireland’s biggest publications. He holds a Degree from the Dublin Institute of Technology and is a strong advocate of lifelong learning and education. After returning to complete his leaving certificate as an adult in Jonathan has went on to have four novels published.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dublinauthor/

Blurb


In the aftermath of Ireland’s most deadly gang war, Dublin’s ruling family has scattered to the wind.

Into the void steps a criminal genius known only as The Black Hand. His organisation’s powerful grip is ruthless, bloody and barbaric.

With Europe’s biggest crime in play, The Devil needs a distraction. And The Black Hand needs Jacob Boylan to return to Irish shores. He will stop at nothing to provoke Dublin’s most lethal criminal out of hiding.

But has the wily genius misstepped? As all eyes are on Jacob, the Dublin exile carefully plans a gangland wipeout, for he is nobody’s pawn.

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Excerpt of The Black Hand:

A Raid

The Glock was steady in his grasp as he rested it gently under the security guard’s chin. Unloaded, the Glock weighed 660 grams, however this wasn’t empty. A trickle of sweat rolled down the man’s brow as Jacob spoke calmly.

‘Think of your loved ones. It’s only money. It’s replaceable. Take a deep breath and calm yourself.’

The guard’s eyes were wide with fear. His breathing was shallow. He began to urinate down his left leg.

Jacob watched the last bag of cash disappear into the vehicle. ‘Turn around and face the wall,’ he ordered. The guard obeyed without question. Jacob calmly sat in the back seat as they drove away.

The escape route had been planned. The surveillance was disabled. Nobody spoke as they drove. There was no speeding. The getaway was planned and smooth.

Jacob removed the balaclava and ran a hand through his sandy-blond hair. The two passengers in the front seat were giddy with excitement, but they concealed it well; Jacob had no time for juvenile behaviour. Only the passage of time would offer a definite escape, and even then, he wasn’t sure.

For twenty minutes, they drove in silence. The abandoned industrial estate was rare for London, otherwise it was perfect. They stepped from the vehicle, removed their overalls, and placed the weapons on the backseat. They were clean, but Jacob didn’t care; they were to be destroyed. A canister of petrol was removed from the trunk, with a small detonator attached. Jacob flicked the switch and didn’t look back as the car exploded.

* * *

The white Isuzu’s exterior was emblazoned with Green’s Painters and Decorators. It chugged slowly out of London. Jacob drove, as the two youngsters stared hungrily at the cash bags.

Slowly, they drove into a lonely lane, where an abandoned bungalow awaited. They showered under a rusty water pipe before changing into new clothes. The old clothes were placed in a blazing stove and burned.

It took just under two hours to count the money, which totalled £146,400. It had been a good day. Split three ways, after expenses, they bagged £47,500 each.

Jacob shook hands with his two protégés as he watched the bungalow and the van burst into flames. Eventually, all three walked through a narrow-wooded walkway and into a dimly lit car park. It was here they spoke freely.

‘Have you the lodgements separated?’ asked Jacob.

‘Yes,’ replied Donny.

Vincent nodded. Jacob scrutinised the youngsters. ‘There’s no happy ending if you play the gangster. Do you understand?’ They looked at each other. This was old ground.

‘We’ll be careful, boss,’ said Vincent.

‘Lodge it in small amounts to all accounts. Nobody minds £5,000. They do mind

£50,000.’

‘Not a problem,’ said Donny.

Jacob read their faces. They were good lads, quiet and careful in their deliberations. That was rare.

‘Well done, boys. You were very professional today.’ They beamed at his words.

When they left, Jacob scanned the CCTV in the car park. It had been disabled.

He opened the door to his car and drove towards Essex.

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Buy links: 

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2I6LyRP
Amazon US:
https://amzn.to/2I4Wjnw
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1128305853
iBooks:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781370854424
Kobo:
https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=9781370854424
Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/808034?ref=cw1985

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GIVEAWAY!

Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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BLOG TOUR:The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

Hello again guys and welcome to another Blog Tour. On 11th January The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson will be published and unleashed in to the world for you all to enjoy.  I am really excited to be promoting this book ( review coming soon). I was also able to interview the author and find out a little bit more about the man behind the words. 

SYNOPSIS

Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive.

 Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As memories of her old life haunt her, she has been forced to forge ahead in the snow-covered Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap to survive.

 But her fragile existence is about to be shattered. Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community—most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who sets in motion a chain of events that will force Lynn to fulfil a destiny she never imagined.

If you enjoy reading books from the Dystopian Genre then this is definitely one I would recommend. 

If you enjoy getting to know the person behind the pen as much as I do, I did a little Q&A that I have inserted below 🙂

 

  1. Where were you born?

Bellingham, WA.

  1. How many siblings do you have?

Three.

  1. Did you go to college/University?

I went to Seattle Pacific University and then got my MFA in creative writing at the University of California Riverside low-residency program.

  1. Where do you live now?

Kelowna, BC.

 

  1. Do you have any children?

Two. A four-year-old girl named Finnley, and a three-year-old boy named Lochland.

  1. What is your biggest fear?

Something happening to my family.

 What do you feel are your biggest accomplishments so far in your career and in your life?

Publishing my debut novel and having/surviving two children thus far.

Now on to the bookish questions..

  1. What age did you start to write?

I have the same answer most authors have, which is: to some extent, I’ve always been writing. I used to write poems and little stories when I was a kid. While playing with my G.I. Joes, the storylines used to get so complicated that my dad couldn’t keep up. I’d ask if he was done playing with me so that I could be alone to continue my little dramas. More specifically, I suppose I began to write seriously in college.

  1. When did you know you wanted to be an author?

While getting my undergrad degree, I was debating going into marketing (oddly enough). Then I received high marks on an English placement test and it was like the most obvious light bulb ever. I knew I’d always loved reading and writing. Of course I was going to major in English and do everything I could to become a writer.

  1. What urged you to pursue writing as a career?

The voices inside my head. I’m kidding. Sort of. I think it’s simply the desire to write and create.

  1. Did you do any research about what genre was popular before you started writing?

No. I don’t think writers should. I don’t think your writing choice should be dictated by market trends. I think you should write what you’re most passionate about.

 What is your favourite Genre to read?

I read a fair mix of genres, and my favorite novels tend to be ones that blend genres together. Thriller, literary, fantasy, science fiction? Put them all in a pot and stir.

  1. What is your favourite Genre to write?

Sort of the same answer as above. I like to mix and match. In my mind, my own novel is a post-apocalyptic literary-mystery-thriller with a dash of science fiction.

  1. Do you ever get writers block? If so how do you overcome it?

I don’t really get writer’s block as much as I just get stuck for a little while. There are two solutions to this for me. One is to simply write another sentence—even if it’s a bad sentence; even if I don’t know where I’m going—then write another sentence and another, and often, by that time, I’ll have an idea. The other solution is to get out, go for a walk with my dog, and let my brain relax.

  1. What inspires you to write? Do you have to take notes?

I sometimes make a crude outline that I barely stick to. I take notes if I’m not around a computer and come up with an idea—I’ll jot something down on my phone. My inspiration comes from a variety of external and internal sources. I wish I could pin it on one specific thing. I guess, really, the inspiration to write simply comes from the desire to create.

  1. I always ask this of authors and I am quite surprised at the response I get .. I am not a writer but when I get an idea of something to write (or draw) I have to do it there and then even if it is just a draft ( do i sound crazy?) Do you ever feel like that?

You do not sound crazy! I totally get it. I wrote The Wolves of Winter in a fury of four months. I had an idea that I was excited about, and I felt like I needed to get it out or it would leave me for someone else. Ideas are fickle, traitorous things.

  1. . What is next for you?

Hopefully another book! Maybe The Wolves of Winter 2? Nothing is written in stone yet, so I can’t say anything for sure.

Thanks so much for the interview!

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If I could go around and interview authors and film makers as a job I would love it. People are so interesting to me and I really do enjoy discovering more about the authors behind the books I read. I may sound like a loon but I do sometimes feel it helps me understand the book better and how the characters develop and how the storyline progresses. It is always good to get a bit of background in my opinion.

I cannot wait to post my review and find out what you guys think about it.

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What are you reading at the moment?

Any suggestions on what I should add to my TBR ?

Until next time Be Kind, Be Happy and Stay True to You

x

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BLOG TOUR: Storyland by Bryan W. Alaspa

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Hello!! and welcome to another Blog Tour Post from yours truly.  Today is the turn of Bryan Alaspa with his Thriller called Storyland.

Thrillers are becoming one of my favourite Genres to read and if you like a good Thriller then I recommend Storyland.

To Give you a little sneak peak , below is an excerpt from the book: ENJOY!! (Disclaimer: There is some strong language)

“Martin Brace killed a bunch of people. Holy shit, isn’t that the guy that you grew up with? Are you watching the news?”

“Wait – huh? What?”

I rub my eyes and try to wake up. Where the hell am I? Oh, right. San Diego. Hotel. ComiCon. Here to flog the latest story arc of The Crusader. You know, the thing that has made you sort of famous in a comic book writer sort of way and pays the bills now that they want to make a movie (or series of movies) out of it.

Long night last night. Too much to drink. Too much hanging out with fellow artists and writers and more than a few people dressed in elaborate costumes.

“Ned, are you awake? What are you doing?”

“I’m in San Diego, Frank. Fuck. It’s three hours behind from where you are. Christ. What did you say?”

My partner on the comic, the man who does the coloring, shading and helps me develop the characters and story, Frank Delevagne is on the line. He couldn’t make it because his wife is currently very pregnant and about to pop out twins. His voice is a tad – annoying. This early in the morning, it’s like daggers in my head.

Not the booze. Nope.

Is it still morning?

I wake up and wipe the sleep from my eyes. I put Frank on speaker and set it down on the bed. I turn and fumble for the remote and hit the power button. The TV comes to life and I do a bit more fumbling to find a news channel. I am shocked to see my old stomping grounds from when I was a kid on the national news.

“Frank, what the hell is going on?”

“Weren’t you listening, Ned? I said that famous writer guy, that recluse, Martin Brace has been arrested. He apparently killed a bunch of people. I mean, he went fucking nuts and killed them with a fucking knife. Just cut them to shit and then calmly turned himself right into the cops. Weren’t you two, like, best friends when you were kids?”

I’m back to rubbing my eyes, trying to sort out what I’m seeing on the television and what I’m hearing in my head. “Yeah,” I say, finally. “Yeah, we were. I haven’t talked to him in a long time, though. He hasn’t talked to many people in a long time.”

“Yeah, the guy’s a fucking weirdo, right? I mean, he’s been locked up in that fucking house for years, churning out those weird-ass fantasy and sci-fi novels. The guy’s gotta be a fucking millionaire, but he still lives in that tiny house out in the middle of Bumble-fuck Egypt, right?”

“Pennsylvania. Just near Clarion, Pennsylvania.”

“Yeah, like I said. Bumblefuck. What the hell, man? Are you going to head back there?”

I’m still processing. Still trying to figure out what I’m seeing. I haven’t even had a chance to really understand what the news is saying. “I don’t know, Frank. I haven’t heard from Martin in a long, long time. I mean, it was a late night last night and this is the last day of the convention. It’s supposed to be the big day for the Crusader. Let me try and figure out what’s going on and I’ll call you back.”

“OK. Sorry I woke you up. I just thought you should know.”

“Thanks, Frank. How’s Martha doing?”

“Man, she is huge and she’s going to pop any time now. Maybe today. Can you fucking believe that?”

“No. And you’re going to have to stop swearing so much. You should get a start on that.

“Fuck you. Talk to you later, man. Again, sorry to wake you up.”

“Right. Talk to you later.”

I hang up the phone and hit the volume UP button. The screen is filled with a shot of what looks like the woods. I know those woods. Martin and I, we used to hang out there when we were kids. Hours and hours spent in the woods playing games. It was ages ago. A lifetime ago. There’s police tape and cop cars parked on the road and people in uniform tromping through there. Sheets cover what must be bodies and there looks like tents in the woods. All of this taken from a circling helicopter.

“Reporting again. Author Martin Brace has been arrested by local police near Clarion, Pennsylvnia, for the murder of four people who were camping at a site in the woods nearby. The reports are sketchy right now, but a police source has said that the author showed up ranting and raving and waving a machete. There was a fifth person there, a young boy, who did survive, but it’s unclear if he has been able to offer any information to police. Brace was reportedly covered in blood and  arrested without incident. No motivation has been given, although friends and relatives of Brace have said that his mental health has been an issue for years, but few of them had heard from him in months.”

Fuck.

I am part way through this book and I am loving it.

If you would like to grab your own copy just click the link below (this is an affiliate link, which means i make a small commission off any purchases)

 

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What are your favourite Genres to read/write? I would love to hear from you guys

Until next time. Be Kind, Be Happy and Stay True to You!

x

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COVER REVEAL: Under Seige

covere reveal under seige

What happens when ten-foot-tall and bulletproof asks you to spend thirty days alone with him?

Tinsley Abernathy never thought she’d have to ask herself that question. And Ash Ford isn’t just any run-of-the-mill, drop-dead-gorgeous stranger, he’s the soldier she’s been exchanging letters with every week for the last three years. And now he’s back in town. And he’s ready to meet her.
After all, Ash has a proposition Tinsley would be crazy to refuse….


Warning: Ash is one sticky, sweet, military muscle-man in camo cargos. He’s set his sights on one woman only, and he won’t stop until her heart is Under Siege.

Author Bio

Aria Cole is a thirty-something housewife who once felt bad for reading dirty books late at night, until she decided to write her own. Possessive alpha men and the sassy heroines who love them are common, along with a healthy dose of irresistible insta-love and happily ever afters so sweet your teeth may ache.

For a safe, off-the-charts HOT, and always HEA story that doesn’t take a lifetime to read, get lost in an Aria Cole book!
Follow Aria on Amazon for new release updates, or stalk her on Facebook and Twitter to see which daring book boyfriend she’s writing next!

Sign up to get a NEW RELEASE ALERT from me!
http://eepurl.com/ccGnRX

Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads  Amazon  

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What are your favourite books to read?

Do you have any festive reads that you are looking forward to reading?

Hopefully I will be back to blogging more regularly soon . I apologise that it’s so sporadic.

Until next time Be Kind Be Happy and Stay True to You

x

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BLOG TOUR and Q&A: The Blind by A.F. Brady

Welcome back my lovelies. Today I am coming at you with an very exciting new release my A.F. Brady.  Do you like a bit of a psychological thriller? A novel that will glued to your seat for hours, not wanting to put it down?.. then this is a book for you. 

I have to say this to me isn’t a book you can just half read. It is one that you have to actually pay attention to. I know that seems like an odd thing to say but I do have a tendency, with the more light hearted “Chic lit” type books to skim read. I do take it all in it is just generally, these books have a standard plot and predictable ending. 

Anyway.. this is my little intro to the book and if you want to get your own copy I will leave a link at the bottom of this post. If you want to check out other posts along the tour check out HQ stories on twitter. They will repost all other bloggers who are part of their Blog Tours. I have also attached the banner below:

The Blind_BlogTour SQ2

SYNOPSIS

Every morning, psychiatrist Sam James gets up at six forty-five. She has a shower, drinks a cup of coffee, then puts on her make-up.

She ignores the empty bottles piling up by her door.

On this particular morning, Sam is informed of a new patient’s arrival at Manhattan’s most notorious institution. Reputed to be deranged and dangerous, Richard is just the kind of impossible case Sam has built her reputation on. She is certain that she is the right doctor to treat such a difficult patient.

But then Sam meets Richard. And Richard seems totally sane.

Let the mind games begin.

(I will be posting a full review in the next few days so keep a look out for that!)

I am also super excited to have been given the opportunity to ask the author a few questions which I really appreciate. I love getting to know the people behind the pages:

INTERVIEW

Hello

Thank you so much for doing this Interview with me. I am looking forward to reading your book and doing the Tour. The best thing about these kinds of interviews is getting to know the author. So the first few questions are just “getting to know you?”

  1. Where were you born?

I was born in New York City

  1. How many siblings do you have?

I have one older brother

  1. Did you go to college/University?

I did, I attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and for graduate school I went to Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City

  1. Where do you live now?

Still in New York

  1. Do you have any children?

I have one son so far

  1. What is your biggest fear?

Being buried alive, and losing loved ones

  1. What do you feel are your biggest accomplishments so far in your career and in your life?

My son feels like a huge accomplishment for me, marrying the best person on the planet was a big personal achievement, opening and continuing to operate a psychotherapy private practice, surviving a brain tumor, and of course, publishing a book!

Now on to the bookish questions..

  1. What age did you start to write?

As soon as I could hold a pencil. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember.

  1. When did you know you wanted to be an author?

Probably as soon as I finished my master’s degrees in psychology. I have always wanted to be a therapist and help people, and once I was professionally able to achieve that, I started toying with the idea of actually writing a book and seeking publication.

  1. What urged you to pursue writing as a career?

I just love doing it. If I can do the two things I love, and make a living off of it, then I will be the happiest person. I love being a therapist, and I love writing. I also feel like it’s an important platform to be able to reach people, and start (or continue) a dialog on important topics such as stigma in the mental health world.

  1. Did you do any research about what genre was popular before you started writing?

Nope. I just started writing. I wasn’t even sure what genre The Blind was going to be when I started writing the story.

  1. What is your favourite Genre to read?

I love reading many different genres. In the same way that I feel there are appropriate seasons to watch movies (When Harry Met Sally in the fall, Home Alone at Christmas, Uncle Buck at Thanksgiving . . .) I like to read different genres during different adventures, and amidst different weather. Mysteries, suspense and thrillers in the fall and winter, history and biographies in the spring, and easy, happy summertime reads. I love anything with subtle humor, that’s not necessarily comedy writing, and I love tear jerkers as well. And non-fiction books about human nature, psychology, science and behaviour are also always on my list.

  1. What is your favourite Genre to write?

Suspense!

  1. The age old question…do you ever get writers block? If so how do you overcome it?

Sure. I have to walk away to get away from writer’s block. It won’t resolve itself if I sit at the computer or with a notebook and think. I have to put it down and come back to it a day or two later. Sometimes, not even thinking, my fingers sort of wrote on their own, and I feel like I don’t have a lot of conscious control over what they’re writing. That’s when the best stuff comes out.

  1. What inspires you to write? Do you have to take notes?

People inspire me to write. Human interactions, the feelings we get when something happens to us, and the emotional response to events. I take notes on my cell phone when something occurs to me at an inopportune time, like at work, or out to dinner, but usually I am able to remember if I’m not busy at the time that something occurs to me.

  1. I always ask this of authors and I am quite surprised at the response I get .. I am not a writer but when I get an idea of something to write (or draw) I have to do it there and then even if it is just a draft ( do i sound crazy?) Do you ever feel like that?

Yes, I do feel like that. Sometimes ideas come like a ton of bricks, and a whole story is suddenly on the tip of my tongue. I feel like if I don’t get it down on paper right this second, then I’ll lose some of the luster or excitement of it. Even if it’s something as small as a great idea for a character name, or if I suddenly realize what kind of car a character should drive, I need to get it out immediately. (At some points, I go back and change it because it was not quite as good an idea as I originally thought!)

  1. What is next for you?

I’m finishing up my second novel now, and will be working on my third and fourth, etc for as long as I can. I will keep up psychotherapy practice, and keep enjoying life, I hope!

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So there we go! The lovely A.F Brady sharing just a little bit more of herself with us, which I really enjoyed!. 

If you want to read this amazing novel just click the link below 

As always I would love to hear from you guys.. Any book suggestions, what books you guys enjoy reading, favourite genres etc 🙂

Until next time. Be Kind, Be Happy, and Stay True to You 

x

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*disclaimer there are some affiliate links in this post. This book was also sent to me by the lovely people at HQ Stories and I always appreciate them sending me books to review. Please note that although this was sent to me any reviews and opinions are my own*

BLOG TOUR: The Watcher by Ross Armstrong

Welcome back My lovelies. I am back with another Blog Tour.

This week we have the amazing Psychological Thriller From Ross Armstrong. Keep your eyes peeled for a full, in depth review!

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But for now.. here is a little sneak peak in to what The Watcher has in store for you and a bit about the author… Are you intrigued?? There is a link at the bottom of where you can get your copy!

She’s watching you, but who’s watching her?

Lily Gullick lives with her husband Aiden in a new-build flat opposite an estate which has been marked for demolition. A keen birdwatcher, she can’t help spying on her neighbours. Until one day Lily sees something suspicious through her binoculars and soon her elderly neighbour Jean is found dead. Lily, intrigued by the social divide in her local area as it becomes increasingly gentrified, knows that she has to act. But her interference is not going unnoticed, and as she starts to get close to the truth, her own life comes under threat.

But can Lily really trust everything she sees?

This is definitely a book you need to have patients with. It is a slow burner but when it gets going it really is a treat.. Keep your eyes peeled for my full review!

About Ross Armstrong

Ross Armstrong is a British stage and screen actor who has performed in the West End of London, on Broadway and in theatres throughout the UK. After gaining a BA in English Literature and Theatre at Warwick University, Ross joined the National Youth Theatre where his contemporaries included Matt Smith and Rafe Spall. The idea for his debut novel,The Watcher came to him when he moved into a new apartment block and discovered whilst looking at the moon through binoculars that he could see into his neighbours’ homes. Thankfully for them, he put down his binoculars and picked up his pen. 

Get your copy from Amazon.co.uk.

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As always let me know what you think. Have you read The Watcher? 

Do you have any good book suggestions?

Until next time Be Kind, Be Happy and Stay True to You.

x

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Book Tour and Review: Welcome to Gomorrah: Daughter of the Burning City. ( PLUS A GIVEAWAY)

Hello and welcome back to the lovely world that is Creative Misfit Reviews.

Now it has been a while since I sat down with an actual paperback book and I am so glad that I chose this as my first book. 

If you are a fan of fantasy with a bit of crime drama mixed in, along with some fun and quirky characters then this is the book for you.

I was a fan from the start! I don’t know what it is about these kinds of books but I just love entering a whole other world that I know doesn’t exist but it feels great to emerse myself in it for a few hours. To escape the rubbish that real life throws at us from time to time. I don’t want to give too much away, but the story, I feel is quite fast paced. You definitely hit the ground running but it does not sacrifice the details. Getting to know the characters and their personalities is great. Amanda definitely knows how to balance great content with a good pace. 

To give you a little sneak peak of what this book has to offer I have included an extract from the book and the Synopsis below:

SYNOPSIS

Even among the many unusual members of the travelling city-sized carnival that has always been her home, sixteen-year-old Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years.

This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all of their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.  An eclectic group one could barely imagine, Sorina’s family includes Tree, a sentient, humanoid covered in bark; Nicoleta, a maternal illusion who has super strength (unless she’s got stage fright); and Crown, a wise, Father-figure who grows finger nails on his body instead of hair.

Despite how life like they seem, Sorina knows her illusions are just that – illusions. But when one of them is murdered Sorina’s perceptions of the world are shattered and she must unravel the horrifying truth before the rest of her family meet the same fate.

aCHAPTER ONE

I peek from behind the tattered velvet curtains at the chat- tering audience, their mouths full of candied pineapple and kettle corn. With their pale faces flushed from excitement and the heat, they look as gullible as dandelions, much like the patrons in the past five cities. The Gomorrah Festival hasn’t been permitted to travel this far north in the Up- Mountains in over three years, and these people look like they’re attending the opera or the theater rather than our traveling carnival of debauchery.

The women wear frilly dresses in burnt golds and oranges, buckled to the point of suffocation, some with rosy-cheeked children bouncing on their laps, others with cleavage as high as their chins. The men have shoulder pads to seem broader, stilted loafers to seem taller and painted silver pocket watches to seem richer.

If buckles, stilts and paint are enough to hoodwink them, then they won’t notice that the eight ‘freaks’ of my freak show are, in fact, only one.

Tonight’s mark, Count Pomp-di-pomp—or is it Count Pomp-von-Pompa?—smokes an expensive pipe in the second row, his mustache gleaming with leftover saffron honey from the pastry he had earlier. He’s sitting too close to the front, which won’t make it easy for Jiafu to steal the count’s ring.

That’s where I come in.

My job is to distract the audience so that Pomp-di-pomp doesn’t notice Jiafu’s shadow-work coaxing the sapphire ring off of his porky finger and dropping it onto the grass below.

A drum and fiddle play an entrancing Down-Mountain tune to quiet the audience’s chatter, and I let the curtain fall, blocking my view. The Gomorrah Festival Freak Show will soon begin.

This is my favorite part of the performance: the antici- pation. The drumbeats pound erratically, as if dizzy from drinking several mugs of the Festival’s spiced wine. Every- thing sticks in this humid air: the aromas of carnival food, the gray smoke that shrouds Gomorrah like a cloak and the jit- tery intakes of breath from the audience, wondering whether the freak show will prove as gruesome as the sign outside promised:

The Gomorrah Festival Freak Show.

Walk the line between abnormal and monstrous.

From the opposite end of the stage, behind the curtain on stage right, Nicoleta nods at me. I reach for the rope and yank down. The pulley spins and whistles, and the curtain rises.

Nicoleta struts—a very practiced, rigid strut—into the spotlight, her heels clicking and the slit in her gown revealing a lacy violet garter at the curve of her thigh. When I first created her three years ago, she had knee-shaking stage fright, and I needed to control her during the show like a puppet. Now she’s so accustomed to her role that I turn away, un- needed, and tie on my best mask. Rhinestones of varying sizes and shades of red cover it, from the curled edges near my temples to the tip of my nose. I need to dazzle, after all. ‘Welcome to the Gomorrah Festival Freak Show,’ Nicoleta says.

The audience gawks at her. Like the particular Up-Moun- tainers in this city, and unlike any of the other members of my family, Nicoleta has fair skin. Freckles. Pale brown hair draped to her elbows. Skinny wrists and skinnier, child-like legs. Many members of Gomorrah have Up-Mountain her- itage, whether obvious or diluted, but these northern city dwellers always expect the enticingly unfamiliar: sensual, audacious and wild.

The audience’s expressions seem to say, Poor, lost girl, what are you doing working at Gomorrah? Where are your parents? Your chaperone? You can’t be more than twenty- two.

‘I am Nicoleta, the show’s manager, and I hope you’re en- joying your first Gomorrah Festival in…three years, I hear?’ The audience stiffens; they stop fanning themselves, stop chewing their candied pineapple. I curse under my breath. Nicoleta has a knack—a compulsion, really—for saying the wrong thing. This is the Festival’s first night in Frice, a city- state known—like many others—for its strict religious leaders and disapproval of the Gomorrah lifestyle. Three years ago, a minor rebellion in the Vurundi kingdom ousted the Fri- cian merchants from power there. Despite quickly reclaiming its tyrannous governorships, and despite Gomorrah’s utter lack of involvement, Frice decided to restrict the Festival’s traveling in this region. I can’t have Nicoleta scaring away our few visitors by reminding them that their city officials disapprove of them being here, even at an attraction as in- nocent as a freak show.

‘For those of you with weaker constitutions, I suggest you exit before our opening act,’ Nicoleta says. Her tone rises and falls at the proper moments. The theatrics of her performance in our show are the opposite of Nicoleta’s role in our family, which Unu and Du have dubbed ‘stick in the bum.’ Every night, she manages to transform—or, better put, improve— her entire demeanor for the sake of the show, since her own abilities are too unreliable to deserve an act. Some days, she can pull our caravans better than our two horses combined. Others, she needs Tree to open our jars of lychee preserves. ‘The sights you are about to witness are shocking, even monstrous,’ she continues. A young boy in the front row clings to his mother, pulling at her puffed, apricot sleeves. ‘Children, cover your eyes. Parents, beware. Because the show is about to begin.’

While the audience leans forward in their seats, I prepare for the upcoming act by picturing the Strings, as I call them. I have almost two hundred Strings, glowing silver, dragging behind me as I walk, like the train of a fraying gown. Only I can see them and, even then, only when I focus. I mentally reach down and pluck out four particular Strings and circle them around my hands until they’re taut. The others remain in a heap on the wooden floor.

‘I’d like to introduce you to a man found within the far- away Forest of Ruins,’ Nicoleta lies. Backstage, Hawk stops playing the fiddle, and Unu and Du reduce the tempo on their drums. I yank on the Strings to command my puppet.

Thump. Thump.

The audience gasps as the Human Tree stomps onto the stage. His skin is made entirely of bark, and his midsection measures as wide as a hundred-year-old oak trunk. It’s dif- ficult to make out his facial features in the twisted lumps of wood, except for his sunken, beetle-black eyes and empti- ness of expression. Leaves droop from the branches jutting out from his shoulders, adding several feet to his already daunting stature. His fingers curl into splintery twigs as he waves hello.

From backstage, my hand waves, as well. If I don’t control Tree, he’ll scream profanity that will make half these fancy ladies faint. If he works himself into a real tantrum, he’ll tear off the bark on his stomach until blood trickles out like sap.

His act begins, which is mostly him stomping around and grunting, and me yanking this way and that on his Strings to make him do so. I crafted him when I was three years old, before I considered the performance potential of my illusions.

The six other illusions wait with me backstage.

Venera, the boneless acrobat more flexible than a drip- ping egg yolk, brushes rouge on her painted white cheeks at a vanity. She pouts in the mirror and then pushes aside a strand of dark hair from her face. She’s beautiful, especially in her skintight, black-and-purple-striped suit. Every night, the audience practically drools over her…until they watch her body flatten into a puddle or her arms roll up like a croissant.

Beside her, Crown files the fingernails that grow from his body where hair should be. He keeps the nails on his arms and legs smooth, giving him a scaly look, but he doesn’t touch the ones on his hands and head, which are curled, yel- low daggers as long as butcher knives. Though Crown was my second illusion, made ten years ago, he appears to be

seventy-five. He always smokes a cigar before his perfor- mance so his gentle voice will sound as prickly as his skin.

Hawk plays the fiddle in an almost spiritual concentra- tion while what’s left of a chipmunk—dinner—hangs out of her mouth. Her brown wings are tucked under her fuchsia cape, where they will remain until she unfolds them dur- ing her act, screeches and flies over the—usually shriek- ing—audience. Her talons pluck at the fiddle’s strings at an incomparable speed. Her ultimate goal is to challenge the devil himself to a fiddle contest, and she figures by travel- ing with the world’s most famous festival of depravity, she’s bound to run into him one day.

Blister, the chubby one-year-old, plays with the beads dan- gling off of Unu and Du’s drum. Rather than focusing on their rhythm, Unu and Du bicker about something, per usual. Du punches Unu with their shared left arm. Unu hisses an unpleasant word loudly, which Blister then tries out for him- self, missing the double s sound and saying something re- sembling a-owl.

Gill snaps at them all to be quiet and then resumes reading his novel. Even wearing a rusted diver’s helmet full of water, he manages to make out the words on the pages. Bubbles seep from the gills on his cheeks as he sighs. As the loner of our family, he generally prefers the quiet company of books to our boisterous, pre-show jitters. He only raises his voice dur- ing our games of lucky coins—he holds the family record for the most consecutive wins (twenty-one). I suspect he’s been cheating by allowing Hawk, Unu and Du to forfeit games on purpose in exchange for lighter homework assignments. ‘Keep an eye on Blister,’ I remind the boys. ‘Those drums are flammable.’

‘Tell Unu to stuff a drumstick up his—’ Du glances hesi- tantly at Gill ‘—backside.’

‘That’s your backside, too, dung-brain,’ Unu says. ‘It’s an expression,’ says Du. ‘I like its sentiment.’

It would hardly be a classic Gomorrah Festival Freak Show if the audience couldn’t hear my brothers tormenting each other backstage.

‘I’ll stick it up both your assholes if you don’t shut it,’ I say. They pay me no attention; they know I never follow through with my threats.

‘A-owl,’ Blister says again. ‘Language, Sorina,’ Gill groans.

‘Shit. Sorry,’ I reply, but I’m only mildly chagrined. Blis- ter’s been hearing all our foul mouths since the day he came to be.

One by one, they perform their acts: the Boneless Acro- bat; the Fingernail Mace; the Half Girl, Half Hawk; the Fire- Breathing Baby; the Two-Headed Boy; and the Trout Man. The audience roars as Hawk screeches and soars over their seats, cheers at each splash of Gill flipping in and out of his tank like a trained dolphin. They are utterly unaware that the ‘freaks’ are actually my illusions, projected for anyone to see.

The only real freak in Gomorrah is me.

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This was my first book by Amanda Foody and it will not be my last! Such a  great writer with a big imagination and characters with even bigger personalities! 

If you couldn’t already guess. Daughter of The Burning City gets a 5 out of 5 from this Misfit

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 DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY(UK ONLY)!!!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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As always I would love to hear your thoughts/suggestions/comments! Let’s keep it positive guys!

I would love to hear your recommendations

Until next time, Be Kind, Be Happy, and Stay True To You!!

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x

 

TEASER TUESDAY!

Hey Guys. How are ya’ll doing? I hope you are all well.

Welcome to my first ever Teaser Tuesday! We have FOUR books for you today, which i’m excited to share. Below is just a bit about each book along with some great art work. Personally I am most excited about The Mercenary and I will be getting stuck in to the book this week. 

PETRA LANDON  – The Mercenary
 
 
SYNOPSIS:
She’s a prisoner of the Imperial Forces. He’s a nomad with a private mercenary army. Can a desperate girl’s risky gamble and a fierce warrior’s love turn the tide of war and alter the balance of power in their slice of space?

In a distant corner of the galaxy, Quadrant Five burns in the flames of a deadly war. The Budheya people are one of the worst affected. Once the most advanced civilization in the quadrant, they now struggle under the cruel yoke of Ketaari occupation.

Saakshi
Imprisoned by the Ketaari Imperial Forces, a young Budheya girl is sent to a distant space station to work in an alehouse. For a girl who has known only hardship in her short life, things could be worse. Until an old foe walks into the alehouse.

Zoran
Zoran is Hadari’Kor – notorious across star systems for their prowess in battle. Their fierce reputation allows them to retain their independence, even as others are forced to choose sides in the war. Drawn to a weary-eyed server girl, Zoran is forced to confront age-old traditions and question his role in the war.

The Prisoner & The Mercenary
Alone, friendless and far from home, Saakshi makes a desperate gamble to trust a formidable and enigmatic stranger whose hot gaze haunts her dreams. The fallout from this improbable pact reverberates across space. As a relentless enemy hunts her, Zoran must fight to protect Saakshi through a minefield of shifting alliances. When passion ignites amidst the embers of a smoldering war, will a warrior’s quest for justice bring a mighty Empire to its knees …

Author’s Note : A spirited and resilient girl, a fierce warrior with a conscience, a fiery passion that flares amidst the debris of a deadly war and a love that will alter the fate of an entire quadrant forms the tale of The Mercenary, a standalone story that sets the scene for The War Chronicles – a collection of SciFi Romance & Space Opera tales with romance, swashbuckling adventure & a sprinkling of action.

petra
 
ANGELA J. FORD – Eliesmore and The Green Stone
SYNOPSIS:

Run, run as fast as you can. Never stop…Changers have arisen, wreaking havoc as they harvest the world, searching for the Green Stone. The South World sinks in despair, holding its breath, waiting for the One.

Eliesmore is a Blended One, growing up on the edge of the forest of the creatures of the wood. Young, headstrong, and inspired by magical rituals, he spends his time between his overprotective mother and sneaking out to dance with the wild things.
His courage is tested when Eliesmore discovers that he is the One who is meant to save the Four Worlds from the Changers. Unwilling to accept his fate, he turns his back on the prophecy and the futile quest to dissolve the Green Stone.

But Eliesmore will soon learn he cannot escape his destiny. Beset by creatures of the deep and hunted by servants of the Changers, Eliesmore finds his task will test the loyalty of his companions and help him answer the ultimate question:

Can he trust the immortals – or are they the reason the Changers have come to power?

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SHAKYRA DUNN – First Words:Final Lesson

 
SYNOPSIS:

A recently-crowned princess with a thirst for magic accidentally destroys her home. A simple youthful rebellion grows into a lifelong friendship. A young woman meets reliable allies. And a young boy is dealt a harsh hand when he sets out to make his own path.

Four tales. Four parties. All intertwined to set the stage for a bigger event. The sense of adventure builds as lessons prepare to be learned.

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J.J. MARSTEAD – Tackling Lauren

SYNOPSIS:

Lauren
My brother’s best friend, Beckett… God, just the sound of his name sends shivers down my spine. He’s hot and he knows it.
And I want him.
But when a mistake I made comes back to bite me in the ass, will it cost me a chance at happiness? Or will Beckett finally be able to see me as more than just his best friend’s little sister?

Beckett
My life couldn’t be any better. My dreams are coming true, with everything I could ever want at my fingertips. I get to play football and have my choice of any woman I desire. But my life gets turned upside down when my best friend Eric’s baby sister Lauren comes to stay with us for a month.
How will I be able to control myself around the eighteen-year-old if she can’t keep her hands to herself?
God, help me.
Give me strength that I’ll need to survive the month. I’m going to need it.

Marstead

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As always I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on new books that are coming out. I can never add too many books to my TBR!

Until next Time Be Kind, Be Happy and Stay True to You

x

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BLOG TOUR: AN Almond For a Parrot by Wray Delaney

Hello my lovelies, welcome back to another Blog Tour!!. sorry I am late with my post but I have been so busy this week.  

I have started reading this book and cannot wait to finish and write my review.

Once again I am stepping out of my comfort zone and reading something I don’t normally read. I am probably going to need a few tissues as i get further in to the book but i don’t care. I am prepared for the emotional roller coaster  I will no doubt be taken on. 

Below is an extract of Chapter one just to give you a little teaser.. 

 

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London, 1756: In Newgate prison, Tully Truegood awaits trial. Her fate hanging in the balance, she tells her life-story. It’s a tale that takes her from skivvy in the back streets of London, to conjuror’s assistant, to celebrated courtesan at her stepmother’s Fairy House, the notorious house of ill-repute where decadent excess is a must…

 

Tully was once the talk of the town. Now, with the best seats at Newgate already sold in anticipation of her execution, her only chance of survival is to get her story to the one person who can help her avoid the gallows.

 She is Tully Truegood.

 Orphan, whore, magician’s apprentice.

Murderer?

 

Chapter One

Newgate Prison, London

I lie on this hard bed counting the bricks in the ceiling of this miserable cell. I have been sick every morning for a week and thought I might have jail fever. If it had killed me it would at

least have saved me the inconvenience of a trial and a public hanging. Already the best seats at Newgate Prison have been sold in anticipation of my being found guilty – and I have yet to be sent to trial. Murder, attempted murder – either way the great metropolis seems to know the verdict before the judge has placed the black square on his grey wig. This whore is gallows-bound.

‘Is he dead?’ I asked.

My jailer wouldn’t say.

 I pass my days remembering recipes and reciting them to the damp walls. They don’t remind me of food; they are bookmarks from this short life of mine. They remain tasteless. I prefer them that way.

A doctor was called for. Who sent for or paid for him I don’t know, and uncharacteristically I do not care. He was very matter of fact and said the reason for my malady was simple: I was with child. I haven’t laughed for a long time but forgive me,

the thought struck me as ridiculous. In all that has happened I have never once found myself in this predicament. I can hardly believe it is true. The doctor looked relieved – he had at least found a reason for my life to be extended – pregnant women are not hanged. Even if I’m found guilty of murder, the gallows will wait until the child is born. What a comforting thought.

Hope came shortly afterwards. Dear Hope. She looked worried, thinner.

‘How is Mercy?’ I asked.

She avoided answering me and busied herself about my cell.

‘What does this mean?’ she asked, running her fingers over the words scratched on a small table, the only piece of furniture this stinking cell has to offer. I had spent some time etching them into its worm-eaten surface. An Almond for a Parrot.

‘It’s a title for a memoir, the unanswered love song of a soon to- be dead bird. Except I have no paper, no pen and without ink the thing won’t write at all.’

‘           Just as well, Tully.’

‘I want to tell the truth of my life.’

‘Better to leave it,’ she said.

‘It’s for Avery – not that he will ever read it.’ I felt myself on the brink of tears but I refused to give in to them. ‘I will write it for myself. Afterwards, it can be your bedtime entertainment, the novelty of my days in recipes and tittle-tattle.’

‘Oh, my sweet ninny-not. You must be brave, Tully. This is a dreadful place and…’

‘And it is not my first prison. My life has come full circle. You haven’t answered my question.’

‘Mercy is still very ill. Mofty is with her.’

‘Will she live?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘And is he alive?’

 ‘Tully, he is dead. You are to be tried for murder.’

‘My, oh my. At least my aim was true.’

I sank back on the bed, too tired to ask more. Even if Hope was in the mood for answering questions, I didn’t think I would want to know the answers.

‘You are a celebrity in London. Everyone wants to know what you do, what you wear. The papers are full of it.’

There seemed nothing to say to that. Hope sat quietly on the edge of the bed, holding my hand.

Finally, I found the courage to ask the question I’d wanted to ask since Hope arrived.

‘Is there any news of Avery?’

‘No, Tully, there’s not.’

I shook my head. Regret. I am full of it. A stone to worry one’s soul with.

‘You have done nothing wrong, Tully.’

‘Forgive me for laughing.’

‘You will have the very best solicitor.’

‘Who will pay for him?’

‘Queenie.’

‘No, no. I don’t want her to. I have some jewels…’

I felt sick.

‘Concentrate on staying well,’ said Hope.

 If this life was a dress rehearsal, I would now have a chance to play my part again but with a more favourable outcome. Alas, we players are unaware that the curtain goes up the minute we take our first gulps of air; the screams of rage our only hopeless comments on being born onto such a barren stage.

So here I am with ink, pen and a box of writing paper, courtesy of a well-wisher. Still I wait to know the date of my trial. What to do until then? Write, Tully, write.

With a hey ho the wind and the rain. And words are my only escape. For the rain it raineth every day.

 

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Please let me know if you read this and what you think about it?

Any suggestions on what I can add to my TBR?? just leave a comment below..

As always , i encourage dialog so get involved, start a conversation.. and until next time

Be Kind, Be Happy and Stay True to You..

x

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BOOK REVIEW: My Shadow Is My Enemy by Kayla Kirby

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*I was gifted this book by Quill and Ink Book Tours , however this has had no sway on my review. All opinions are honest and are my own *

Okay, so, this is my second Kayla Kirby book and once again gripped from the start of the book. IT is only a novella , which means it is quite short and for me that is the only downside to this book. There was quite a lot of character development for such a short book, however I would have liked to delve in to Their pasts a bit more, maybe see things a bit from Richards perspective, get to learn more about Tag and what happened to him.

Kayla has a way of introducing topics in to her books that could be triggering for people or uncomfortable because it isn’t touched on a whole lot but she does it in an empathetic way. It is hard to describe unless you read her work.. Once you do it will click and you will get what I mean.

James is a great main character, so complex. Clearly has a lot going on inside that he hasn’t dealt with. I definitely felt a bit of his anxiety and fear throughout and again you will understand what I mean by that when you read this for yourselves. I don’t want to give too much away but if you would like to find out what kind of author Kayla is before going in for a full length novel then I recommend this novella.

Now on to a bit about the author…

Author bio

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Kayla Kirby was born and raised in Washington State, a place she has never really considered home. She dreams of traveling someday with her family to see new sights and discover the secrets of the world. She began writing when she was a young child and started with writing Harry Potter fanfiction.

 Kayla met her now-husband in High School through a debate about the similarities of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Their romance started nearly two years after meeting and the pair eloped shortly after. Kayla packed up her life in Washington and moved to California with her husband, finding her home under the warm sun and close to the water fronts. However, a year later, they moved back to Washington where they currently reside, waiting to once again leave the rainy, Evergreen State behind.

When she isn’t writing, Kayla is either spending time with her husband, their young and active toddler, and their family including their dog Kodiak or working on her photography or, on a not-so-rare occasion, having arguments with her fiction characters inside her head.

If you would like to follow Kayla on her social media I have linked them below.

click here if you would like to see my review on her first Novel – Souls of This Broken City.

 Author links

Facebook- http://bit.ly/2gEtYsN

Twitter- http://bit.ly/2gRELh5

Goodreads- http://bit.ly/2hrxLrY

Amazon- http://amzn.to/2gsCCrf

Instagram- http://bit.ly/2gsQEcb

Website- kaylakirby.com

Overall I really enjoyed My Shadow is My Enemy I would just have enjoyed it more if it had been a little bit longer but that is just a personal preference because I do enjoy a slightly longer book especially if I enjoy books from a specific author. 

All in all it was a 4 out of 5 from this Creative Misfit. 🙂 

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If you enjoyed this little review come and show me some love 🙂 

What books do you like to read? Get a conversation flowing I am all up for book suggestions.

As always, Be Kind, Be Happy and Stay True to You.

x

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