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Didi Oviatt

Author of suspense novels Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians. As well as the short story collection Time Wasters and (co-author of) The Suspenseful Collection. Columnist for The Conscious Talk Magazine.

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EXCITING GIVEAWAY!! Get your code

A few months ago I posted a review for an awesome memoir/self-help book, Sprouting Spiritual Growth – A memoir and Guide to Spiritual Journaling, by Marie Higgins 4.5 stars. It was all about spiritual journaling, and the author’s story behind her own journey in coming in tune with herself and the usage of a spiritual journal. This book is excellent! I even published my review and recommendation in The Conscious Talk Magazine.

Well, I have great news!!!

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This beautiful book can be downloaded for FREE, now through March 31st!!!!  WOW, right?!?!

Marie Higgins’, Sprouting Spiritual Growth E-book can be downloaded free

HERE

And by using the code:

DOfree

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BOOK DESCRIPTION:

In 2009 Marie left corporate America after more than 15 years in Human Resources Management to pursue life. Before long she found massage therapy and became a nationally certified, state-licensed massage therapist. Having only one previous experience with receiving massage before choosing her new career, she began school with no real understanding of the body, mind and spirit connection. With massage, she came to quickly believe in the healing power of touch. At the same time, she felt a partial hardening of the heart (figuratively and spiritually).

She found a coach to give her spiritual direction. During this time, she learned different spiritual disciplines (ways to pray) which helped her to develop a more personal relationship with God*. It was during 2009 when she became an active journaling person. This activity has grown and changed over the years, but the most constant thing she has put into practice is that, after writing what’s on her heart, she writes both this question: “God*, what else should I know?” and the answers that result. In 2015, she “broke ground” by setting up a blog site and then, beginning in 2016 and continuing, regularly shares some of the insights that come from a journaling practice. With these posts, she also poses questions that offer others some journaling prompts.

More information can be found at CardinalTouch.net. Marie is also a speaker. She presents on a variety of topics concerning the body, mind and spirit connection. For example, as a small business owner and provider of healing touch, she speaks about smart practices for leading a balanced life. Most recently she has been teaching spiritual journaling and other ways to pray and develop our inner spirit wisdom. Venues include schools, especially colleges and universities, women’s groups (large and small), and holistic centers.

* NOTE: Marie uses the term God as a universal term. You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today. It is not for anyone else to decide.

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Review: Danu, by T.L Harty (book 2 in the Line of Enya series) 5 stars

My Review:

The Line of Enya saga is off to a great start. I really enjoyed the first book, Behold Ellowee, and in my opinion this second one is even better! Having the second book in a series actually top the first book is so rare. I couldn’t be any more thrilled that T. L. Harty actually accomplished this task. The content flows from where the first book left off, weaving everything together seamlessly.

Danu has everything, from suspense to family drama to love, and more. It’s also rich in historical culture. Taking what was in many different countries and weaving in it’s own magical past. This braids fiction right along with factual happenings, making the entire story have a real believable feel to it. Also, it’s appropriate for all ages, teen and up!

In the first book Muriel is coming of age and discovering the magical secret heritage that’s thick in her bloodline. She fights it, and wants nothing but a normal life despite how strong her visions are and how powerful she has the potential to be. In Danu, Muriel has come to terms and begins a training on how to apply herself, as well as honing in on what this may mean in her future. The entire book is like a pivotal point in Muriel’s life, and the build up to continue onto the next book is excellent!  I can’t wait to read book three.

One thing I love about Muriel is her wit. The banter in this series is awesome. Muriel is sarcastic and so is her daughter, Deidra, which adds in a little humor and makes the reader feel tied to the characters. I also love how patient Deidra is with her bull headed mom. They’re quite the pare, leaning on and trusting each other.

The story goes back and forth from past to present, just like the first book. It tells of Muriel’s travels with her Grammy as well as her interactions as a teen. All of which is necessary to the story as a whole. Everything blends together, and sets the chain of events to come in play. I was glad to read more about Grammy. The time Muriel spent being raised by the mysterious old bird was imperative, so the story wouldn’t have held near the esteem without her.

Much of the setting of this book is in a beautiful castle, and there are a slew of new characters introduced. Most of which have an abundance of powers of their own. Muriel and Diedra spend some time learning from each of the gifted women. They learn much about their past, and it finishes up with a gigantic surprise!

 

Description:

Muriel is whisked away, safely nestled in Danu castle so she can’t be found.

Still coming to terms with her abilities, she begins to understand their importance, and gains more insight about her ancestry, as historical errors are revealed in a powerful way.

With so much to learn and loved ones to protect, she can’t afford to ignore the inevitable responsibility of her lineage.
Muriel is destined to complete the Council, which has been missing the Line of Enya seat for over 500 years.

Sometimes, life has to fall apart before it can finally come together.

Book Tour #review The Shadow Girl, by Misty Mount 5 of 5 stars @shanannigans81 @MistyAMount

Genre: YA/ Fantasy/ Coming of Age

Publication Date: December 28, 2017

Synopsis:

Shy, thirteen-year-old Zylia has always known she was different. Most teenagers feel unnoticed and unseen, but for Zylia, it’s something much worse. She’s disappearing from this world and doesn’t know how to stop it. At times, she’s not sure she wants to. Until she stumbles across a family mystery surrounding the disappearance of her great-aunt Angelica years earlier. During her quest to unravel the mystery, Zylia discovers she’s able to cross the boundary and enter the “in between” world. Now, it’s up to Zylia to save herself before she’s trapped “in between” forever.

Goodreads

Quote:

 “As the freezing rain hit me, I could feel the stares…smoldering on my skin. I longed for invisibility. At times like this, the very curse that plagued me was also my protection.”

Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Misty Mount

About the Author

Misty Mount has written since age five and was first published at fourteen. By day she’s a caregiver, wife, and mother to a young son but during the quiet hours of night she becomes a novelist. She resides in Wichita, Kansas.

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Twitter @MistyAMount

Giveaway: 1 print copy of The Shadow Girl and 2 digital copies

Enter Giveaway Here

*Print copy is available to North American residents only

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MY REVIEW:

I think what I loved most about this book is the balance. There is a little mystery tied in, making you think and wonder. But, more importantly it brings about awareness on a couple different subjects that are rarely touched on. They’re real and necessary subjects that actual people and families face oh so often, making the entire story relate-able. From cover to cover this book brings about certain emotions that really tug on the heart strings! Tying it all together is the pace and character development, which was in my opinion perfected. I kind of felt like the pace was a bit slow, which in this particular case it made the story that much more real. It wasn’t rushed.

First lets talk about Zylia, the main character. She’s quiet and socially awkward, not only in school and around her peers, but at home as well. She goes un-noticed more often than not and prefers to disappear into the background. Her ambiance is borderline depressing, but in a poetic way… and its eye opening! Too often this is the case, especially with teens. We all know people who have suffered from this at one point in their lives or another, or even have suffered from it ourselves. Zylia gives us an insight to how it feels to be the outcast, the un-noticed one. I love how amidst her insecurities she’s also kind, compassionate, curious, and even clumsy. Her personality is one of a kind. This is no cookie cutter novel!

For me though there is one aspect that’s even bigger. Zylia’s grandmother has dementia. This aspect of the book really hit home for me, as my Grandpa is in the final stages of dementia as we speak. The similarities in behavior, temperament, and day to day changes of mindset between this character and my Grandpa was almost surreal to read. Misty Mount really hit the nail on the head with this disorder! Dementia is such a hard ailment, not only for the sufferer but also for the families involved. It’s confusing, draining, and just straight up devastating. This book portrayed it exactly as it is.

Kudos Misty! The Shadow Girl is an excellent book, very well written! It’s absolutely captivating and I’m thrilled to have experienced it!

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Book Tour provided by R&R Book Tours

To Love The Journey #poem

Time ticks on,

Constant, it’s steady.

As is the journey,

It comes as we’re ready.

We let ourselves search,

Push through fog, and some moss.

But by loving the road,

We handle this trip like a boss.

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Mini Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson 3 of 5 stars

My Review:

This is possibly the shortest review I’ve ever written, but quite frankly I don’t have a whole lot to say. There are some aspects of this book that I loved, and some not so much. It’s very in your face. It kind of reads like 230 pages of a very heated opinion. A part of me really liked this approach, but only because the way Mark words his opinions is actually really funny. I feel like we’d get along. (but only because he is funny, he is a little raunchy, and also because I wouldn’t take much of his babbling to heart)

It’s snarky, and mouthy, and he uses intelligent words in a creative way in being a smart ass.  There were a lot of points that made total sense to me, stood out as genius prospective, and some that I even highlighted for a reference later on down the line. He told a few interesting stories through out to help really drive his points home. I liked those, especially one that was about a ‘war hero’ who stayed in the woods long after the war was over.

Now for the other hand. The hand of shit that filled up just as much and just as fast as the hand with great aspects, giving my review an even amount of both (hence the three stars… an honest middle rating). There were a lot of things about this book at rubbed me the wrong way. Some of the writer’s opinions, in my opinion, are a little over the top in negativity. It was meant to explain how we as humans are for the most part average and by accepting that, we are more apt to move forward rather than depressing and obsessing about not being above average and standing out. I get the point, it makes sense, I even somewhat buy into a fraction of it.

But, the fact that practically this entire book is pushing Mark’s prospective on this matter onto the human race as a whole is ridiculous. The concept is explaining how we should all realize that we are different and average in our unique ways and with different prospective, yet we should look at it and understand it by a certain approach is pretty much an oxymoron in and of itself. I struggled with that. I felt like I had to wade through too much crap to find the gold buried beneath it.

Ultimately, I’m glad I read this book. I DO actually recommend it to other readers. But, I also recommend that one goes into the read with an open mind and then please oh please make up your OWN opinion about the content. What works for some doesn’t work for everyone, and as long as prospective of the opinions in this book are taken in a way that is beneficial rather than offensive then it can be very helpful once all the shit is sorted and discarded appropriately.

Description:

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Over 1 million copies sold

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

Review: The Stone Arch Secret, by K. D. Dowdall 5 of 5 stars

My Review:

The Stone Arch Secret by K. D. Dowdall is my favorite of all the books I’ve read so far this year. What I love most about it is the deep rooted feeling of authenticity poured into each sentence. Dowdall has the gift of giving life and appreciation to the setting in a way that’s like no other author I’ve followed. The characters are excellent, I love Lilly and Noah both! They’re developed perfectly. It’s packed with personality, physical explanation, and the emotions felt as the reader are booming from cover to cover.

The main setting is in a place with beautiful, mysterious, and even creepy wooded areas, along with many old colonial style homes and places of business. Dowdall draws attention to the details that matter. As a rule, most colonial homes have a history, and The Stone Arch Secret brings this feature to the surface. Colonial building restorations, as well as usages are explained in a way that really give the entire book a rich authentic historical feel, and I love that!

It offers a few twists here and there that are shockingly unexpected. Enough so to keep you on the edge of your seat, yet still have a realistic feel!

Lilly, the main character, experiences a strange encounter of sorts as a teenager. She goes exploring in the woods with her cousin Dax, and something happens that changes her life forever and is shocking enough for each of their subconscious to block it. Dax winds up in a mental institution, and neither he nor Lilly can remember exactly what played out. Years later, upon hearing of the death of Dax, Lilly goes back to their childhood hometown Salmon Brook looking for answers from that life altering day.

Noah, a now grown man remembers Lilly from their childhood. He liked her then and is utterly drawn to her now, as she is him. He’s spent the last several years building a life for himself, and has also returned on a mission of his own. The two wind up weaving themselves into each other’s lives, and helping one another with each agenda. The flow is lovely, and the pieces of these two characters fit together seamlessly.

I love the unique angle of the villain (s). The community of Salmon Brook is not how it seems at first blush. There is a group of religious fanatics that are extremely shady. Their leader is a super creepy, calculated, and vindictive guy. As was his father and several others before them. The history of the group is disturbing and the current state of it is pure evil.

I love this book, and I look forward to reading even more of K. D. Dowdalls books!!

Description:

Readers who like books by Debra Burroughs and Melinda Leigh will like, The Stone Arch Secret. Twenty-eight-year-old anthropologist, Lilly Allaire, receives a phone call telling her that Dax is dead. The cause of death is unknown. At the age of fourteen, best friends, Lilly and Dax, experience a traumatic incident. After the incident, Dax is institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital in a catatonic state. For Dax, his memory loss is a subconscious act of self-preservation, a blocking out of all memories. Lilly still suffers a blocked memory of that day and has frequent nightmares. After Dax’s funeral, Lilly decides to go back to Salmon Brook, her hometown, to find out the truth about the mysterious incident that destroyed Dax’s life. While searching for clues to the incident, Lilly has a chance meeting with a former high school classmate, Noah Hawthorne. Noah remembers Lilly as his high school secret crush and offers to help her. Together, they try to unravel the mysterious incident that plagues Lilly’s dreams and turns them into nightmares. They soon realize that their hometown has a deadly secret and both their lives are now in danger. However, Noah has a secret of his own that puts Lilly in harm’s way.

 

New Age Lamians #teaser

26 Amazon reviewers have given New Age Lamians an average of 4.2 of 5 rating saying things like “Excellent Quick Read worthy of any nightstand.” and “More Than Your Average End-Time Novel!!” It’s  multi-genre steam-punk with a mythological twist.

Print Length: 152 pages  Publication Date: April 22, 2014

Read Free with Kindle Unlimited

***** Snippet*****

I studied the drifters face as I listened to his words. He was obviously aged by the sun and weather.  His  skin was like leather, with eyes covered in wrinkles, and a chin blanketed with hair.  His beard touched down to his mid neckline and moved as he spoke.  I listened to the scratch in his voice and watched the slight shake in his hands.  I wondered how old this man must be.  He spoke with a certain confidence and truth in his voice.  With his arms wrapped around the rolled up snakes skin, he left the crowd making his way to the tree line.  Bending at the waist, he unraveled the skin.  I watched as this towering man unrolled the ball.  He left one end at edge of the grass, and slowly rolled the rest through the waiting crowd, to the other end of the clearing.  The rolling ball grew smaller and smaller as the laid out portion was left behind in one long, thick, impossible skin stretching out across the entire length of the clearing.  Shock instilled into the voices of the men and women standing next to me. I on the other hand stood speechless along with my silent father.

The dead and detached skin of this snake stretched along the entire distance of the clearing that we had proclaimed as the marketplace.  Each scale was larger in diameter than the length of my wrist to forearm.   Fearful whispers lingered amongst the crowd.  “Where did you come across this snake skin?” ask my father.

“It has been passed through two other travelers before me, along with the story of its origins.  But I assure you sir, this is the skin of no snake.”

“It sure does look like a snake to me.”

“At first glance yes.” He replied, “But notice the shape.  It does not shrink down on both sides nor have the head of a snake.  It is triple the size on one end as the other.”

Again my father retorted “Well that doesn’t mean anything.  What if it is much larger and just broken in the middle?”

Rolling laughter escaped from the drifters lips. “I do like your style my good sir!…  come along with me to the end and I’ll show you something before I tell you all the tale of what this skin belongs to.”

My father walked next to the drifter and I followed close in tow.  The rest of the crowd slowly made their way behind us at a cautious distance.  I stared down at the skin laying at my feet as I made step after step to the edge of the clearing.  The skin grew wider and wider until it came to an abrupt stop. Pointing at the end of the shedding Johnson explained the way that scales shrunk back down around the edges and rounded out into a different shape along the final row.  In conclusion he noted the slight indents at the outer edges indicating the way the scales formed and attached to the creature.  Nodding his head my father seemed to agree with the drifters logic. I let my eyes wander down the length of the shedding.  I was overwhelmed by the size and mystery of it.  It was dark gray in color, unlike the average clear tan pigment held by most other reptile shedding.  Each scale had been diamond in shape.  An eerie beauty radiated from it, as its flow filled the grassy clearing and demanded the attention of every man and woman standing close to it.

“You do have my attention, Mr. Johnson.”

“Just Johnson please.”  He stated with a warm smile.  “They are calling these creatures Lamians.  Half serpent, half man… Well woman I should say.”  Already a head above the rest, he seemed to stand even taller.  His proud smile quickly faded into a menacing blank stare.  A cloud crossed over the wrinkles in his face and bags under his eyes.  “Upon much study, the story has been passed along with the skin. After seeing the terror in the eyes of a few men and women before I came across it, I believe every word.  It is said that snakes carrying the Lamian venom were stirred awake from an ancient sleep.   The shock of the lightning and the horrendous roll of the omnipotent thunder, unleashed its power.  Snakes containing the most potent of a magical line awoke from centuries of undisturbed slumber.

“The original beast was said to be transformed from a human into a serpent hundreds of thousands of years ago by an overwhelming loss in her life.  She cursed the Gods, and in turn was cursed herself to live out her life as a serpent.  Her name was Lamia. Upon being slaughtered, the unborn snakes inside of her was also put to rest by the gods.  Until the lightning began.  The storm awoke the decedent snakes of Lamia.  Her blood boiled in their veins.  Her sight peered through their eyes seeking out only the most beautiful woman alive.  Upon finding these women the snakes would sink their fangs deep into the flesh infecting them with their venom.  It is said that over time this venom changed the women bitten.  At first their beauty lasted for years not allowing them to age.  As time went on the serpent inside of them started to surface changing these women into an awful creature that feeds off of the pure blood and flesh of humans.  Once the serpent has completely taken over, the evil that is their new selves devour their old souls.  They can smell human life just waiting to be fed upon from miles away.  They move from house, to hut, and to cave consuming every human they come in contact with.  They travel and feed at night, amongst the lightning, when the rest of the world is in hiding.”

Glancing around at the faces in the crowd his expression remained the same as it had when he began his tale.  He explained that he had made it his mission to travel as far and as fast as he could to warn survivors of the storm, that the Lamians are coming.  He doesn’t know how far away this skin was picked up or how fast the creature moves.  He also stated that it has been at least a year since he has been to a place that had already heard of the beast.  I looked up and down the length of the clearing at the giant shed skin of the serpent as he spoke.  No mater how hard I imagined I just could not picture this horrendous being.  My stomach twisted and stirred at the thought.  I was only 22 years old at the time with no life experience other than that of our cave and the marketplace.  I am now 26, and my story is one of courage and heartbreak.

When You Love Making Writing Progress!

We’re officially one full month into 2018, and holy crap on a cracker where does this time go?! For only 28 days, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster month with Loss (my grandma), excitement (I’ve quite possibly sold my house), progress (in writing), and even sickness in my house. As a mother there are little things worse than having children with infections, colds, and even croup. YES, all of those things already have plagued my house this year and it blows. We’re usually a super healthy family too. Luckily, we’re getting over and past it so we can move on into a healthier rest of the year (knock on wood).

I know there was a lot of parenthesis in that paragraph ^^, but I’m totally fine with that.

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So, without further adieu, I’d like to focus on the progress I mentioned. This is after all a bookish blog and making progress in writing is SO UPLIFTING!!  The feeling of accomplishment and empowerment that comes with moving forward and sticking to the process despite any personal hardships is a beautiful thing. 

I’ve been able to do a little bit of Life Reflection and in the process I’ve realized just how important writing is for me! It helps me to focus and makes me feel like I have a project that actually improves my overall well-being. I hope that plenty of you authors out there can relate. I know that without writing I wind up a bit scatter-brained. Without a particular place to put  my rambling thoughts, I get carried away with far too many things that really don’t even mater in the general scheme of things. I get stressed about silly stuff, and I my anxiety skyrockets because I feel constantly distracted. Writing helps me to channel the mental chaos into one particular thing, and in turn clears out the clutter.

Hopefully I’m not the only weirdo out there who processes this way!

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I’ve totally used this GIF before, but I love it haha so here I am repeating myself!

Anyway, back to the point of my post… As this month draws to a close, I’m happy to reflect on the fact that amidst all of my life’s roller-coaster moments this month, I’ve still made some pretty awesome progress in writing!  My goal is a summer release on my next book, and so far I’m right on track!!!   

 

 

Review: Tess and Tattoos, by H.A. Leuschel 4 of 5 stars (now #free 1/27/18)

My Review:

For being such a short and easy read I’m insanely impressed at how impacting it is. Talk about a powerhouse! Tess is an elderly woman in a nursing home with a super dicey past. She had life frosted with regrets, all forced onto her by the hand of a person who was supposed to love her. Sandra is new on the job as a caretaker at the nursing home that’s housing Tess.

I really like Sandra. She’s genuine, down to earth and understanding. With a hard back story of her own packed to the brim with love and loss, she’s an excellent mom to her children and an equally excellent friend and confidant for Tess in her final days.

What I liked most about the story is how it’s weaved together in a way that really shows the rich and classy side of each woman, as well as Tess’s son. It’s beautifully written with a well painted and grounded feel to it. I love that Tess’ love for painting is braided into the good and bad through out her life. She’s an extremely talented woman who manages to keep her love of good and her dignity in tact despite the hardships of her past.

My only complaint is that it’s too short. I would have loved to see more especially with Tess’ son and his dad. A full length novel with this very story and these very characters would truly have been a force to be reckoned with. Kudo’s H.A Leuschel for telling such a powerful and heart pinching story, and in such a beautiful way. You’re amazing and I can’t wait to read more of your work.

Tess and Tattoos is FREE right now on Amazon and is well worth the read, so don’t pass up grabbing your copy now!!!

DESCRIPTION:

A suspenseful and emotional novella exploring whether we can ever be free from our past mistakes.

In this story, the reader is taken on a compelling journey into the human mind where genuine friendship offers the key to inner peace.

Meet Tess, an elderly lady living in a care home apartment in the outskirts of Edinburgh, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision. She meets Nurse Sandra, a warm and bubbly single mother of three, who is instantly intrigued by Tess’s personality and the mystery that surrounds her.

‘Tess and Tattoos’ is one of five gripping stories in HA Leuschel’s story collection Manipulated Lives centred around psychological manipulation.

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