Archives for February 2017

Melissa’s Review: Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel

Small Admissions

Small Admissions
written by Amy Poeppel
published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I loved it! Poeppel’s characterization is fantastic (if a bit over-the-top), and I thoroughly enjoyed the slow reveal. I LOL’d (for real) several times, and I spent some quality time comparing Kate’s friends and family to my own. Small Admissions is a lot of fun–I binge-read it in a day. Keep writing, Ms. Poeppel! You’re delightful!

 

GOLDEN LINE

“So–for the record–you’re encouraging me to work with a young, unqualified, troubled, sweaty person?”

 

 

Would I recommend it: This is a lovely, lighthearted book. Read it.

 

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads: 
For fans of The Nanny Diaries and Sophie Kinsella comes a whip-smart and deliciously funny debut novel about Kate, a young woman unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat world of New York City private school admissions as she attempts to understand city life, human nature, and falling in love.

Despite her innate ambition and Summa Cum Laude smarts, Kate Pearson has turned into a major slacker. After being unceremoniously dumped by her handsome, French “almost fiancé,” she abandons her grad school plans and instead spends her days lolling on the couch, watching reruns of Sex and the City, and leaving her apartment only when a dog-walking gig demands it. Her friends don’t know what to do other than pass tissues and hope for a comeback, while her practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of, from trapeze class to therapy to job interviews.

Miraculously, and for reasons no one (least of all Kate) understands, she manages to land a job in the admissions department at the prestigious Hudson Day School. In her new position, Kate learns there’s no time for self-pity or nonsense during the height of the admissions season, or what her colleagues refer to as “the dark time.” As the process revs up, Kate meets smart kids who are unlikable, likeable kids who aren’t very smart, and Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

Meanwhile, Kate’s sister and her closest friends find themselves keeping secrets, hiding boyfriends, dropping bombshells, and fighting each other on how to keep Kate on her feet. On top of it all, her cranky, oddly charming, and irritatingly handsome downstairs neighbor is more than he seems. Through every dishy, page-turning twist, it seems that one person’s happiness leads to another’s misfortune, and suddenly everyone, including Kate, is looking for a way to turn rejection on its head, using any means necessary—including the truly unexpected.

 

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Melissa’s Review: Hindsight by Mindy Tarquini

Hindsight

Hindsight
written by Mindy Tarquini
published by Sparkpress, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
It’s a cool concept, but Tarquini struggles to keep the (many, many) story lines straight. This book fights entropy the whole way through. I mean, I understand why–no doubt it’s difficult to look at every person and see not only their current incarnation, but also their entire collection of past lives–but I could have done with a few, um, fewer layers, as it were. I like the writing style–it’s delightfully irreverent–and I must say the back-and-forth between Eugenia and Mary made me LOL more than once. Plus, I mean, Chaucer. So. Epically cool idea, fun writing, but a bit more (too?) confusing for me to fall completely in love.

 

Would I recommend it: It’s worth the read if you keep all the story threads organized.

 

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads:

Tarquini’s innovative concept is paired with realistic characters and sparkling wit, making this enjoyable novel a keeper.”
–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Finalist, General Fiction — 2016 USA Best Book Awards

Redbook Magazine, Best Books of 2016

EUGENIA PANISPORCHI LIVES WITH HER MOTHER, TEACHES CHAUCER, AND REMEMBERS ALL HER PAST LIVES. SHE IS DESPERATE TO CHANGE HER FUTURE

Born this time around into a South Philadelphia Italian-American family so traditional, she and her siblings are expected to marry in birth order, Eugenia lives a simple life―no love connection, no controversy, no complications. Her hope is that the Blessed Virgin Mary (who oversees her soul’s progress) will grant her heart’s desire, the option to choose the circumstances of her next life. But when a student reveals he shares her ability, Eugenia suddenly finds herself setting up a Facebook page and sponsoring a support group for others like her, an oddball odyssey, during which she discovers she must confront her current shortcomings before she can break the cycle and finally live the life of her dreams.

A layered contemporary fable, Hindsight reminds us to live this life like it’s the only one we’ll have.

 

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My Favorite . . . Romantic Moment — February 15, 2017

 

My Favorite . . . is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it, the world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive.

 

Each week I will post a new My Favorite . . . post about one subject and I’ll tell you all about it. And the best part? Everyone is welcome to join. The only thing you’ll have to do is sign up on the weekly post, link back to that post, and visit others.

 

This week’s Favorite is: Romantic Moment
I think my favorite romantic moment is when my husband brings me coffee in the morning. Almost every morning, while I’m getting ready for the day, he brings me a cup of coffee just the way I like it. That to me is so sweet and very romantic. Oh! One more romantic moment: he’s making me custom bookshelves!
After my husband proposed (and I forgot to say ‘yes’), he told me we were going out to dinner to celebrate. He’d reserved a table on the second floor of our favorite restaurant, and when I got to the top of the stairs, I saw a giant table and all of my (soon-to-be) family members waiting to welcome me into the family. I still hadn’t actually said “yes,” but Husband and I are going on nine years of marriage and that moment still makes me all melty inside.

 

Boost It Tuesday! – February 14, 2017

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Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free Chance BooksIf These Books Could Talk, and Between My Lines.

 

What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.

 

Here are some tips for Boosting. A big thanks to Kate at If These Books Could Talk for the image!

Boost It Poster

 

We will be featuring one blogger or author on the Boost It Tuesday post. We hope that you will visit that blogger or author and give their page a bit of extra BIT attention!

 

 

 

If you would like to be featured one week, please fill out the form below.

Click Here to Sign Up to Be a Featured Booster!

Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!




If These Books Could Talk,

 

    if these books could talk   Between My Lines
 

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EFC Promotions Blog Tour: The Wolf Mirror by Caroline Healy

 

The Wolf MirrorThe Wolf Mirror
written by Caroline Healy
expected publication February 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksGoodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and as part of an EFC Promotions Blog Tour Event. 

Did I enjoy this book: I liked everything about this book but Cassie. Actually, I didn’t like Lady Cassandra that much either. Don’t get me wrong–I really liked the story, and, you know, Mr. Charles Stafford. Yum. It’s a fun twist on a familiar plotline, and I enjoyed the read. I knew going in that both girls needed to do some serious growing up (it’s in the teaser blurb, for goodness’ sake), but, I don’t know, I guess I’m a bit too old to enjoy the company of teenagers. If I’d have read this book twen . . . um . . . ten years ago I’m certain I’d have given it five stars. I’m old, though, so I was mostly on Judge Miller’s side.

 

Would I recommend it: Yeah. It’s got its moments. =)

 

If you would like to review this book, please email us at efcpromotions@gmail.com.

 

About the book – from Goodreads: Changing places doesn’t always help you see things differently.

Cassie throws the first punch in a brawl at Winchester Abbey Girl’s School. Her subsequent suspension is a glitch in Cassie’s master plan; Finish School/Get Job/Leave Home (and never come back). As punishment her mother banishes her to Ludlow Park, their creepy ancestral home. In the dark of a stormy night Cassie finds herself transported to 1714, the beginning of the Georgian period.

With the help of a lady’s maid and an obnoxious gentleman, Mr Charles Stafford, Cassie must unravel the mysterious illness afflicting Lord Miller. If Lord Miller kicks the bucket the house goes to Reginald Huxley, the brainless cousin from London.

Cassie’s task is to figure out who is poisoning the Lord of Ludlow without exposing herself to the ridicule of her peers, getting herself committed to the asylum or worse, married off to the first man who will have her.

Cassie must learn to hold her tongue, keep her pride in check and reign in her rebellious nature – because the fate of her entire family, for generations, rests on her shoulders.

Meanwhile, Lady Cassandra Miller frantically searches for her smelling salts or her trusted governess Miss. Blythe, whose soothing advice she would dearly love. Instead Cassandra finds some woman and a boy squatting in the Ludlow mansion; her father, her lady’s maid and all the servants have magically disappeared.

Tell-a-vision, the In-her-net, horseless carriages and women wearing pantaloons; Cassandra is afraid that she might have inhaled fowl air causing her to temporarily lose her senses.

Only when both girls can get over their pride, societal prejudices and self-importance will they be able to return to their rightful century. Until then, they are free to wreak maximum damage on their respective centuries.

 

Interview

Describe your ideal writing space?

I was once fortunate enough to win an award to attend a writing retreat at Cill Rialaig in Ireland. It is a very special place in County Kerry in the townland of Ballinskellig.

Ballinskellig, historically, was a secular settlement for holy men and women who wanted to live a quiet life. They grew food for monks who lived on Skellig Micheal, which is a World Heritage Site and the location where they filmed the most recent Star Wars film.

This place in Ballinskellig consists of eight tiny cottages dating from the medieval period. The cottages are bare and only contain the essentials for visitors. No television, no internet, no distraction, lots of gale force Atlantic wind, sea swell and squawking seagulls.

This place was the most magic of places, a really beautiful setting. I was stranded here for two weeks. At the beginning I thought I was going a bit mad because it was SO quiet but I managed to write a huge amount because there were NO distractions. My ideal writing space.

What are your five favorite words?

I love the word actually. When I was a kid I used to add the word actually, actually to every actual sentence I actually said. It used to actually drive my brother mad. Actually.

Cretin is always a good word to have handy. Most cretin’s can’t really understand that you are insulting them when you use that word to their face.

Starlight (is that two words or one?) I love this word because it makes me smile when I think of it. I saw my first shooting star this summer and it was magic. So Starlight makes me think of magic and that always makes me smile.

Unicorn (see reasoning above).

Pajamas – who doesn’t like that word and all it brings to mind.  Every now and then I like to decree that it is Pajamas Day . . . a day where I loll about in my pajamas drinking tea, reading, eating cake . . . in fact . . . I now declare . . . Today Shall Be A Pajamas Day!

Please tell us why we should read your book. Use one sentence only.

You should read this book because it is about young women learning to be strong, to be independent, to kick-ass.

Why did you did you decide to write The Wolf Mirrror?

I wanted to write a historical romance for young adults, a take on the classic that includes modern influences. In The Wolf Mirror, there are corsets and carriages but there are also mobile phones and Snapchat.

Do you have a favorite character in The Wolf Mirror? A least favorite?

It took me blood, sweat and tears to write every book so a character, even one with flaws is close to my heart. Every character is necessary in this book and so all have a role to play, there is no lesser or greater.

What is your process? Do you plan everything out before you begin writing or just go for it?

I learn from my mistakes and I once spent six months writing a project with no plan, no breakdown, no chapter outline…needless to say it went in the bin because it was totally disorganized and manic. I get an idea and I plan in stages of three, a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. Then I work to chapters with beginning, middle and end and I build characters that start from one place and progress to another (in terms of character development).

Computer? Typewriter? Pen and paper? What is your favorite way to write?

I plan in paper and ink, and I complete with keyboard.

Coffee or Tea?

Tea.

What kind of background noise do you prefer when you are writing?

The sweet sound of silence.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Historical. No fantasy. No wait, mystery. Actually the classics . . . ahhhhh, it’s really hard to decide.

Who is your favorite author?

That’s a question right up there with picking favourite child or pet. It is not possible to answer.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?  Jane

What did you want to be when you grew up? An archaeologist

Tell us three things about yourself that cannot be found on the Internet.

I hate marmite. I have two tattoos and my best friend from primary school is still my best friend today.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?

I am writing two books at the moment . . . (a big no no but can’t be helped). I am working on a middle grade historical adventure called Leonard Moonfinger and the Giant’s Ring and I am also just finished first edit on an adult book called Which Craft?, about a witch.

 

About the author: Caroline Healy is a writer and community arts facilitator. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University. She alternates her time between procrastination and making art.

In 2012 her award winning short story collection A Stitch in Time was published by Doire Press. Fiction and commentary has been featured in publications across Ireland, the U.K. and more recently in the U.S. Caroline’s work can be found in journals such as Wordlegs,The BohemythShort Story IrelandShort Stop U.K., Five Stop StoryProle, Literary Orphans and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice

Her debut Y.A. novel, Blood Entwines was published by Bloomsbury Spark in August 2014 and she is in the process of writing the second book in the series, Blood Betrayal, as well as a short story collection, The House of Water.

She has a fondness for dark chocolate, cups of tea and winter woollies.

(More details can be found on her website www.carolinehealy.com)

Find Ms. Healy here: Web, FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest

 

Tour Stops

Feb 13: EFC Kickoff (review)

A Good Book Can Change Your View For Life (spotlight, interview)

Feb 14: The Desert Bibliophile (review)

Feb 16: Maureen’s Books (review)

Rainy Thursdays (review)

Feb 17: Glorious Panic (review)

Feb 18: CBY (spotlight)

Sip, Read, Love (review)

Feb 19: Bound4Escape (review)

Feb 20: Second Run Reviews (guest post)

 Daughter of Moonlight (review)

Feb 21: Romantic Escapes (review)

Feb 22: A Page to Turn (review)

Feb 23: Zerina Blossom’s Books (review)

Writing Pearls (spotlight)

Feb 24: Underneath the Covers (spotlight)

Feb 25: The Pages In-Between (review)

 

 

 

 

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#ChickLitLoveHop 2017

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Join 50 chick lit and romantic comedy authors in celebrating friendship and romance in the #ChickLitLove Hop on Facebook. We’ll honor Galentine’s Day on February 13 and Valentine’s Day on February 14 with giveaways, freebies, and entries for the chance to win the grand prizes of SpaFinder gift certificates.

 

Here’s a list of the participating authors:

GALENTINE’S DAY (Monday, February 13)
Traci Andrighetti
Melissa Baldwin
Tracie Banister
Kathryn R. Biel
Renee Conoulty
Geralyn Corcillo
Whitney Dineen
Lauren Faulkenberry
Amy Gettinger
Elizabeth Hein
Laura Kenyon
Liberty Kontranowski
Jennie Marts
Monique McDonell
Kirsty McManus
Becky Monson
Joy Norstrom
Kate O’Keeffe
Meredith Schorr
Carol Maloney Scott
Holly Tierney-Bedord
Barbara Valentin
Heather Wardell
Stacey Wiedower

 

VALENTINE’S DAY (Tuesday, February 14)

Cindy Arora
Glynis Astie
Laurie Baxter
Laura Chapman
Adria J. Cimino
Karen M Cox
Maggie Dallen
Lindsay Detwiler
Katlyn Duncan
Liz Durano
Laurie Finkelstein
Tina Ann Forkner
Hilary Grossman
Kate Hewitt
Cristina Hodgson
Erin Huss
Elaina Jadin
Andrea Johnston
Beth Labonte
Robyn Neeley
Elise Noble
CeCe Osgood
Amy Rivers
CF Rose
Charlene Ross

Check the Facebook event page (click here to join) throughout the days of February 13 and 14 for prompts on where to hop next and how to enter to win prizes. Be sure to check out the Galentines and Valentines shared on each the pages. You’ll learn more about your favorite characters and meet new ones. Plus, you never know. Maybe you’ll find the perfect way to say “I love you” to the loved ones in your life.

 

We’ll see you at the party!

 

Romance is in the Air Giveaway Hop

 

I’m pleased to participate in this year’s Romance is in the Air Giveaway Hop hosted by Bookhounds!

 

I’m giving away any book by Aven Ellis. I love her stories. They are fabulous, feel-good, happily ever after reads that always leave me with a smile. You can find her books on Goodreads, Amazon, and Book Depository. The winner can either choose the book or I will choose one.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Be sure to stop by the other stops on the hop!




Chrissy’s Review: Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics (Mr. Lemoncello’s Library #2)
written by Chris Grabenstein
published by Random House Books for Young Readers, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, TargetBook Depository, Goodreads


Did I enjoy this book: 
After reading Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, I had to dive into this book. I really enjoyed this read as well, not quite as much as the first book, but it was still great.

We are back with Kyle Keeley and his friends, the champions of the library escape. They have now been challenged to a library olympics against teams of kids from across the country. Mr. Lemoncello devised another fun set of games, but as always, there is a twist. I did like the twist at the end of this book.

This story was fun and kept me reading from beginning to end.

Would I recommend it: Sure! I loved the first book, and this was a great follow-up. I can’t wait for book 3, Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race.

 

Chrissy


About the book – from Goodreads: 
Welcome, boys and girls, readers of all ages, to the first-ever Library Olympiad! Kyle and his teammates are back, and the world-famous game maker, Luigi Lemoncello, is at it again!

This time Mr. Lemoncello has invited teams from all across America to compete in the first ever LIBRARY OLYMPICS. Will it be fun? Like the commercials say. . . HELLO? It’s a Lemoncello! But something suspicious is going on . . . books are missing from Mr. Lemoncello’s library. Is someone trying to CENSOR what the kids are reading?! In between figuring out mind-boggling challenges, the kids will have to band together to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Now it’s not just a game—can Mr. Lemoncello find the real defenders of books and champions of libraries?

 

 

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Gina’s Review: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

The NestThe Nest
written by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
published by Ecco, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazon, iBooks, TargetBook Depository, Goodreads


Did I enjoy this book: 
I loved this book. I loved the dysfunctional family as if it were my own. The characters were developed very well, and it was easy to know which chapter was about which sibling. I also liked how some of the secondary characters were brought to the front when the next piece of the puzzle needed to be set.

The one character that never grew on me was Leo. There were times when I questioned what he was doing, but most of the time I wanted to punch him in the face. He didn’t know how to treat someone well, and I don’t believe he was even trying very hard to be part of his family. However, I think that is really what Sweeney wanted you to feel.

I wasn’t bored with any part of this book. I wanted to keep reading and was willing to stay up into the wee hours of the morning to do so. I even ended up crying sentimental tears at the end and texting a friend from book club to share my emotions.

 

 

GOLDEN LINES

“Nothing was a sure thing; every choice was just an educated guess, or a leap into a mysterious abyss. People might not change but their incentives should.”

 

 

Would I recommend it: Definitely! Read this one!

 

Gina

About the book – from Goodreads: A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.

 

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Melissa’s Review: Unexpected Love by Kristy Kryszczak

Unexpected Love

Unexpected Love
written by Kristy Kryszczak
published by She Writes Press, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazoniBooks,Book Depository, WalmartGoodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
The story is cute, but Ms. Kryszczak has some serious work to do on her prose. I think she must’ve forgotten to read her dialogue out loud, because real people just don’t speak the way she’s written them. For example:

“‘So you know Jason, Inez’s fiance?’ Sam asked. 

‘I’m Inez’s fiance’s brother . . .'”

I mean, I nearly always refer to my husband as “John, my husband,” Um. I mean . . . I nearly always refer to John, my husband, as “John, my husband,” and I ALWAYS introduce myself to people as “Chris’s husband’s sister,” too. It just flows off the tongue, you know?

I’d also have preferred a little less wardrobe description and a little more story depth, but as the Internet would say, it’s still a better love story than Twilight.

 

Would I recommend it: If you have to choose between reality television, a fashion magazine, or this book, then read this book. Otherwise, not so much.

 

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads: 
As a young woman living in the wondrous city of New York, Inez Champlain has always aspired to be like Carrie from Sex and the City, sans the tulle skirts and poor financial decisions, of course. Inez has it all: great friends, her dream job as a notable beauty writer, a studio loft on the Upper East Side, and no messy romantic drama to get in the way. But life takes a surprising turn when Inez catches the eye of the charming and handsome Jason Parkson, who fearlessly introduces himself the moment he sees her. Romance is the last thing on Inez’s mind, but there is something about Jason she can’t resist, and before long she’s hooked—that is, until she’s introduced to his brother, Jimmy, and the two share an instant connection she can’t quite understand. Inez tries to resist Jimmy, but there’s no denying the feelings growing between them. Her mind and heart are at odds—will she stay with the man she thinks she loves, or surrender to a more precarious yet alluring fate? When Inez is pulled away from New York, the balance of her life shifts yet again. Soon she is caught in a web of confusion and heartache while trying to do the right thing. Could the love Inez never set out to find cost her everything she cares about?

 

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