Saturday, August 31, 2013

Month in Review: August 2013

What did I do?
  • This is my first month back from my almost 10 month hiatus. I'm so happy to be back to blogging, reading, reviewing, and catching up with you all in the blogosphere!
  • I participated in 2 read-a-thons this month! The first was the End of Summer Read-a-Thon hosted by Lisa @ Turning Pages and Audris @ Ya Bookmark. The second was Bout of Books 8.0. This was my first time participating in both these read-a-thons and I had a blast! Mostly because my two blogging gal pals, Melanie and Brooke, were doing them with me :)
  • My blog was the 4th stop of the Future Savior blog tour. Make sure you check it out and then enter to win one of FOUR signed copies of Future Savior book 1, Conception!
Books Read
  • Rearview(7 Hours Series) - Mike Dellosso
  • Unleashed(Heroes of the Horde, 1) - Jennifer Hartz
  • Recollection(7 Hours Series) - Tom Pawlik
  • Attracted to Fire - DiAnn Mills
  • Prowl - Amber Garza
  • Shiver(Prowl Trilogy, 0.5) - Amber Garza
  • Divergent - Veronica Roth*
  • Insurgent - Veronica Roth
  • The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die - April Henry
  • Dazzle - Amber Garza
  • In Between - Jenny B. Jones
*Favorite of the month

Reviews Posted (title, author, rating)

Read-a-Thon Updates
I really need to get my reviews done for the rest of the books I read this month! This was a very productive reading month for me and I'm very happy with what I was able to accomplish :)
 
That's my month in review. How was your August?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

FS Blog Tour: Interview with The Future Savior (Day 4)


Hey guys! I'm so very excited to have Jennifer Hartz on the blog today. She's the author of the super awesome Future Savior series. If you haven't checked these books out yet, you definitely need to cause you're missing out! Ok, that's all the gushing I'll do about this series for now ;) Here's Jenn!

I have to give a shout out to my friend, Crystal Gomez, for letting me borrow her blog to continue
sharing my conversation with the Future Savior, Christina Vaughn. Before I jump into it let me remind you of the two GIVEAWAYS going on right now. At the bottom of the blog you'll be able to enter to win 1 of 4 autographed copies of FS1: Conception. The other contest is attached to my "Couples Of Meric" blog… click the link below to enter:

http://jenniferhartz.com/2013/08/23/giveaway-countdown-to-fs5-revelation-day-12/

Okay… if you didn't get a chance to check out the first three parts of this blog be sure to do so:


Okee Dokee… now you're ready for the rest of the interview!

***SPOILER ALERT!!! THERE BE SPOILERS HERE IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST 4 BOOKS OF THE FS SERIES***

I fumble and drop my tape recorder. It takes me a moment to get the thing going again, but Christina waits patiently.

"Where did Charis send you?" I ask when I finally get situated.

"It would take me all day to explain it to you --"

"I'm not going anywhere," I interject.

"No, but I have no idea how long I have. Charis could whisk me back to Meric any second," Christina tells me.

"But I have so much I want to ask you. There are so many details you left out," I say, flipping through the chicken-scratch notes I had tried to take while she talked.

"Who knows," she says with a shrug, "maybe Charis will send me back again."

"I hope so!"

She grins at me and continues, "Like I said, it would be way too hard for me to explain where Charis had sent Shaw, Rayliex, and me. Let me just say that we got to learn how the Guardians got their powers." (Check out FS4: Desecration for this story!)

"I bet it was amazing," I say.

"Indeed. We also learned that Meric is more than ten thousand years in the future. We even learned why there are so many different races of people and strange varieties of animals in Meric."

"Oh really? What was it?"

"Nuclear bombs. There was a massive war that wiped out practically everything. What was left was mutated because of the fallout."

"Wait a second… are you telling me there's going to be a massive nuclear war?" I gasp.

"Umm… yes, but don't ask me when. I can't tell you exact dates because I can't change the past," she says with a frown.

"But… I … but… ah…"

"The less you know the better," she tells me.

"If you say so…"

"Anyway, while Shaw, Timothy, and I were learning all about how Meric came to be --"

"Timothy?"

"Oh right, Rayliex embraced his true heritage. That his father was actually my father, Davis. He discovered that our father wanted to name him Timothy so he decided to change his name and become his father's son instead of what his evil mother wanted him to be."

"So he joined your side?"

"Yes, he really became my brother."

"That's incredible!"

"I was so happy he decided to join us and truly become my brother," she says with a smile. "I was able to keep track of things going on in Meric with my powers. Nothing looked promising. All of my dear friends were in dire situations and my mother, Lorna, was abducted by Leticia."

"Oh no!"

"I knew we had to rescue her, but we weren't in Meric. We were in the past, seeing how Meric came to be. Eventually, Charis sent us back to Meric and… guess what…"

"What?" I ask, getting excited.

"Shaw and I were finally married!"

"That's wonderful!"

"Yes," she replies with a huge grin, but her smile faded. "However, our happiness didn't last long. While we were on our very simple one day honeymoon something truly horrific happened."

"What happened," I ask, perched on the edge of my seat.

"A nuclear bomb detonated far off in the southern sky," she says, her voice most serious.

"A bomb… in Meric…?"

"Charis' sign leading us to the Xertic realm and Leticia's sign to call her armies." She looks at me and gives me a very sad smile. Then she gets to her feet.

"Where are you going?" I ask, staring at her in amazement.

"Charis is pulling me back to Meric."

"How can you tell?"

"Oh, trust me, I can tell."

"But what about the rest of the story?"

She just grins at me and vanishes right before my eyes.

To be continued on Friday, August 30th at the blog of Paige McQueen (Page by Paige) … Click the link below:
http://www.thesweetandthesassy.wordpress.com

Learn more about author Jennifer Hartz and The Future Savior Series at the following links: Jennifer's website: www.jenniferhartz.com
Twitter: @JenniferLHartz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFutureSaviorSeries?ref=hl
Amazon buy link for FS1: Conception: http://www.amazon.com/Future-Savior-Book-One-ebook/dp/B0041HXOUG/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

*Giveaway*
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Wrap-up

Bout of BooksBout of Books 8.0 has come to a close and I'm kinda sad about that! This is the first time I've done a bout of books read-a-thon and, though I didn't reach my goal, I still had a lot of fun and can hardly wait for another chance to participate!

I dedicated the entire week to reading, reading, and more reading. My goal was to finish at least 5 books, read 150 pages a day or at least 3 hours a day(whichever came first), and to keep everyone updated on my progress on Twitter! Well, I ended up finishing 4 books, a total of 1427 pages, and a bunch of hours that I didn't keep track of... I was so close to reaching my goal of 5 books! Anyway, here are my updates from this past week..
8/19
Books read today: Divergent by Veronica Roth - Finished!
Books completed so far: 1
Pages read so far: 487
Percentage of current book: 15% done with Dazzle by Amber Garza
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
What a great start to Bout of Books 8.0! I had fun meeting other readers and am looking forward to the rest of the week :)

8/20
Books read today: Dazzle by Amber Garza - only read about 100 pages :(
Books completed so far: 1
Pages read so far: 570
Percentage of current book: 25%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
Bummed out that I didn't read as much as I wanted. There were too many distractions! Hoping tomorrow will be a better day for reading :)
 
8/21
Books read today: Dazzle by Amber Garza - read a couple pages, The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry - Finished!
Books completed so far: 2
Pages read so far: 794
Percentage of current book: 33%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
So glad to have finished another book! I also need to start commenting on other blogs & do the challenges! Haven't had a chance to :/

8/22
Books read today: Dazzle by Amber Garza
Books completed so far: 2
Pages read so far: 940 - oops had page # wrong before!
Percentage of current book: 78%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
*sigh* Felt kinda bleh today, but still managed to get more reading done. I'm halfway there to reaching my goal! YESSSSHHH!!!!
 
8/23
Books read today: Dazzle by Amber  Garza - Finished!, A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr - read about 10 pages
Books completed so far: 3
Pages read so far: 1075
Percentage of current book: 2%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
What a day! I just want to hide away in the perfect reading spot and get lost in a book...

8/24
Books read today: In Between by Jenny B. Jones - read about 20 pages
Books completed so far: 3
Pages read so far: 1095
Percentage of current book: 5%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
Stopped reading A Cast of Stones, it was moving a bit slow for me :/ Hoping to finish at least one more book before bout of books ends!

8/25
Books read today: In Between by Jenny B. Jones - Finished reading waaay past my normal bedtime
Books completed so far: 4
Pages read so far: 1427
Percentage of current book: 2% done with Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
Last day of Bout of Book 8.0! Felt like I was moving, and reading, super slow. Glad to have finished 4 books! I was THIS close to reaching my goal! :D
Did you participate in Bout of Books? How did you do?? Let me know in the comments :D
 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Review: Unleashed (Heroes of the Horde) by Jennifer Hartz

Unleashed
by Jennifer Hartz
Series: Heroes of the Horde, #1
Desert Breeze Publishing (May 2013)
Source: PDF copy from author for review
Amazon | Goodreads

Six mismatched students at Deacon Proprietary are about to discover the demonic legend of their school’s origin is actually true. Not only have they obtained amazing powers, but they’ve also unleashed the demonic Horde. Now it’s up to these six high school freshmen to stop the Horde before its evil spreads throughout the school and beyond.


Jennifer Hartz is one of my favorite authors, so I was very excited when I found out that she was venturing into the YA genre. I've been reading more and more YA and I just can't get enough of it! It's also a super hero-type story! It's a combination that I found to be pretty awesome. And don't even get me started on the cover. I love the comic book look to it :D

One thing I liked was how the story shifted between each of the 6 high schoolers. I know this would probably be a bad thing if the author didn't do it just right. Trying to keep track of who's who could be distracting and take away from the story, but I thought in this case Jennifer made the story flow effortlessly. Getting multiple perspectives made reading it all the more interesting and fun.

Out of the 6 main characters, Caitlyn was my favorite. I can't exactly pin point what it was about her, I just really liked her from the start. Maybe it was that I could relate to her being insecure. Feeling like she wasn't good enough, or that people still saw her the way she was and not being able to move on from it. I loved seeing her confidence grow a bit more by the end of the story. I also thought the rest of the characters were great. I liked that each of them had their own unique voice that allows us to really get into their heads and see how much they grew throughout the story.

This book has so many different elements mixed into it. There's a little paranormal here, lots of action there, and some sweet romance sprinkled on top. This isn't considered Christian fiction, but there are some Biblical elements in there. One of the characters is Christian and she does quote scripture to fight off the demons. Speaking of the scenes where they're fighting demons, they were pretty creepy and intense! I was actually glad the story wasn't as dark as I had expected. So there you go, Jenn has done it again! I thought this was a great start to the Heroes of the Horde series and I cannot wait for book 2!

Oh and one thing I do want to warn readers about is that there is one heated scene between one of the characters, Jimmy, and his girlfriend. But they're interrupted before anything happens, I'm glad it didn't go further than it did :) As far as I can remember, that was the only scene like that. I just thought I'd mention that as a warning.


About the author
Jennifer Hartz wrote and illustrated her first novel, an epic tale featuring winged fairies losing their magic wands to evil trolls, back when she was six years old. She has been a fan of fantasy and science fiction ever since. From the land of Mordor to a galaxy far, far away, Jennifer loves it all. Born in Pittsburgh, but currently living in northeast North Carolina with her amazing husband and beautiful son, Jennifer spends her days teaching, reading, and writing. The Future Savior series is Jennifer’s first crack at a novel since the early days of fairy wand heists and she couldn’t be more thrilled with its quick success.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 : Goals + Progress

Bout of Books

Bout of Books 8.0 is a few days away and I can hardly wait! Here are the goals I've set for myself. I'm hoping they don't change during the read-a-thon, but I'm totally fine with it if I need to tweak them a bit. I won't be doing a daily progress post, this is the post you can come back to where I'll be updating each day. You can also follow me on Twitter where I'll be giving more updates throughout the day. If you'd like to learn more about the read-a-thon or sign up, go here.
 
-My Goals-
  • Read at least 3 hours or 200 pages a day(whichever comes first!)
  • Finish at least 5 books
  • Read 2 review books, 2 just for fun, and 1 reread
  • Comment on 3 or more blogs daily
  • Participate in challenges
  • Update frequently on Twitter
  • Have a great time reading a whole bunch!
-Books to read-
(This is the list I'll be choosing from. *Rereads)
  • Lethal Remedy by Richard L. Mabry
  • In Between by Jennie B. Jones
  • The Next Target by Nikki Arana
  • Dazzle by Amber Garza
  • Red Dawn Rising by Sue Duffy
  • The Pawn by Steven James
  • False Pretenses by Kathy Herman
  • Indelible by Kristen Heitzman
  • The Girl Who Was Supposed To Die by April Henry
  • Submerged by Dani Pettrey
  • Diviner by Bryan Davis
  • Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer*
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins* - I just had to add this as a reread!
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth*
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth*
  • Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey
 
Updates
8/19
Books read today: Divergent by Veronica Roth - Finished!
Books completed so far: 1
Pages read so far: 487
Percentage of current book: 15% done with Dazzle by Amber Garza
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
What a great start to Bout of Books 8.0! I had fun meeting other readers and am looking forward to the rest of the week :)

8/20
Books read today: Dazzle by Amber Garza - only read about 100 pages :(
Books completed so far: 1
Pages read so far: 570
Percentage of current book: 25%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
Bummed out that I didn't read as much as I wanted. There were too many distractions! Hoping tomorrow will be a better day for reading :)
 
8/21
Books read today: Dazzle by Amber Garza - read a couple pages, The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry - Finished!
Books completed so far: 2
Pages read so far: 794
Percentage of current book: 33%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
So glad to have finished another book! I also need to start commenting on other blogs & do the challenges! Haven't had a chance to :/

8/22
Books read today: Dazzle by Amber Garza
Books completed so far: 2
Pages read so far: 940 - oops had page # wrong before!
Percentage of current book: 78%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
*sigh* Felt kinda bleh today, but still managed to get more reading done. I'm halfway there to reaching my goal! YESSSSHHH!!!!
 
8/23
Books read today: Dazzle by Amber  Garza - Finished!, A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr - read about 10 pages
Books completed so far: 3
Pages read so far: 1075
Percentage of current book: 2%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
What a day! I just want to hide away in the perfect reading spot and get lost in a book...

8/24
Books read today: In Between by Jenny B. Jones - read about 20 pages
Books completed so far: 3
Pages read so far: 1095
Percentage of current book: 5%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
Stopped reading A Cast of Stones, it was moving a bit slow for me :/ Hoping to finish at least one more book before bout of books ends!

8/25
Books read today: In Between by Jenny B. Jones - Finished reading waaay past my normal bedtime
Books completed so far: 4
Pages read so far: 1427
Percentage of current book: 2% done with Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
Last day of Bout of Book 8.0! Felt like I was moving, and reading, super slow. Glad to have finished 4 books! I was THIS close to reaching my goal! :D

Bout of Books 8.0 (Sign-Up Post)

Bout of Books
Official Blurb:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
So here's my official sign up post for Bout of Books 8.0! This is the first time I'll be participating in this read-a-thon so it should be loads of fun. Since we're only a couple days away from the start I'll be working on my "Goals and Progress" post today. That's where I'll be updating everyone on how I'm doing throughout the week.
 
I'm kind of on a roll with these read-a-thons right now, LOL! I'm excited :D 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

End of Summer Read-A-Thon (Wrap-up Post)

The End of Summer Read-A-Thon is hosted by Lisa from Turning Pages and Audris from YA Bookmark; running from August 9th through August 12th. The End of Summer Read-A-Thon is a long weekend filled with books, challenges, giveaways and other special posts.
Here's how I did!
 
Books read: 4
Recollection by Tom Pawlik, Attracted to Fire by DiAnn Mills, Prowl by Amber Garza, Shiver(Prowl Trilogy, 0.5) by Amber Garza
 
Books started, but didn't finish: 2
Divergent by Veronica Roth & A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr
 
Pages read: 584
This was a fun Read-a-Thon! It seemed to pass by so fast. Thanks again Lisa and Audris for hosting it. You guys did such a great job with everything, especially the challenges. They were tough! Lol :D but that's what made it funner(I know that's not a word!) I hope you two decide to host this read-a-thon next year, I would love to participate again.
 
And thanks to Melanie and Brooke for doing this with me. Let's do it again sometime!
 
Even if you didn't participate in the read-a-thon, this question is for you.
What did you read this weekend?

Monday, August 12, 2013

End of Summer Read-a-Thon Update #2!


Sorry I didn't update on my progress for the past two days. My weekend was busier than I expected, but I was still able to finish another book and a half! Here's how I've done:

What I've read:
 
What I'm reading now:
Wow, at first I found it creepy, but I like it!
 
Next on my list:
I hope I can get to this one! It sounds like a great read and I just love the cover :D
 
I'm sad that today is the last day of the read-a-thon :( it's been fun! I do wish I had more free time for reading, but what can you do? Life does unexpectedly get in the way sometimes. I'll be better prepared next year!
 
There'll be one more update post from me, so hopefully it'll include at least one more finished book. We'll see!
 
Happy Reading!
 

Friday, August 9, 2013

End of Summer Read-A-Thon Update #1

The first day of the End of Summer read-a-thon is coming to a close. I had hoped to spend most of the day reading, but since it's Friday, that just wasn't gonna happen. But I'm sure I'll get more reading done this weekend! Here's what I've read so far...
 
 What I've read:
This was really good. Not too sure how I feel about the ending, though =/
 
What I'm reading now:
Taking a bit long to get into it.. I'm sure the pace will pick up soon :D
 
Next on my list:
I've heard great things about this book and can't wait to start it!
 
I wanna thank Lisa @ Turning Pages & Audris @ YA Bookmark, for hosting this fun Read-a-Thon!
 
If you wanna follow my progress throughout the day, check out my Goodreads page or my Twitter.
How are you doing in the read-a-thon? What are you reading right now?
 
One more thing...
 
Happy National Book Lovers Day!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

End of Summer Read-A-Thon! (Sign-up post)

Hosted by Turning Pages and YA Bookmark
 
I have a fun weekend ahead of me doing what I love most! The End of Summer read-a-thon will run from August 9 through August 12. There's gonna be challenges and giveaways throughout, so this should be fun! There are 2 reasons I'm really excited about this Read-a-Thon. 1) I'm gonna FINALLY get some books off my TBR list. Most of them are review books, so it'll be great to check a couple off! 2) I'm doing this with, Melanie, one of my blogging buddies!!
 
Here's a bit more info from the Hosts:
 ***
 
What is The End of Summer Read-A-Thon?
The End of Summer Read-A-Thon is hosted by me (Lisa) from Turning Pages and Audris from YA Bookmark; running from August 9th through August 12th. The End of Summer Read-A-Thon is a long weekend filled with books, challenges, giveaways and other special posts.

What do you do?
All you have to do is gather up a big stack of books, either summer themed, or books you planned on finally reading this summer, and start reading and don’t stop until Monday August 12th!! I plan on reading books that have been sitting on my shelf for months now, unread. Also tons of giveaways, challenges, and special posts are planned out on both Turning Pages and YA Bookmark, so it’s easy to be able to join in on the fun!
 
***
 
 A good friend once tweeted me, "It's always more fun to do read-a-thons with friends..." So, c'mon! Sign up and join us for an awesome weekend of reading :) To learn more and sign up, you can visit either Turning Pages or YA Bookmark
 
 
My goal is to read at least 3 review books and 1 just for fun. Don't know which ones yet, I'll probably just pick up whatever looks good from my ever growing pile and start reading. I'll also be tweeting my progress and updating on Goodreads so you can see how I'm doing :) Hope some of you guys join so we can cheer each other on!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Review: Rearview (7 Hours) by Mike Dellosso

Tyndale House Publishers (April 2012)
Source: Kindle freebie
Series: 7 Hours, #1
Amazon | Goodreads

Professor Dan Blakely has it all . . . until a false accusation leaves him in financial ruin with nothing to fall back on and little hope. In a moment of desperation, he decides to do the unthinkable. But when he loses control of his SUV and careens down the side of a mountain, his plans take another turn. Trapped beneath the frame of his mangled vehicle, Dan is visited by a mysterious stranger who offers him three choices. Filled with regret, Dan makes a decision . . . but little does he know that his troubles have only just begun. The clock is ticking. What will you do with the time you have left?

 
This is the first of Mike Dellosso’s books I’ve read and, what can I say? I'm a fan! From the moment I started reading I was basically glued to my Kindle and would not COULD NOT stop reading until I got to the end. I just had to know what would happen to Dan. What an intense thrill ride Rearview turned out to be!
I don’t want to try and give you my own summary of the book because I’m afraid to give away any spoilers, but I will say that this story stayed with me days after I finished reading it. It has a touching message that makes you think about life and the choices you make. About not being stuck in regret and living each day like it was our last. I even began thinking of how I’d decide to spend my 7 hours if I were in Dan's position. I’d hope it would be with the people I love.
For those of you who love stories with lots of suspense, this had plenty of it! It oozes with tension and a sense of urgency. I was nervous and anxious along with Dan as he watched his 7 hours dwindle away. And the ending had me crying! I think it’s safe to say that I really enjoyed reading this story. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the 7 Hours Series now. Thanks to Mike Dellosso for a great read!

 
About the author
Website | Twitter | Facebook
Mike Dellosso is the author of numerous novels of suspense, including Darkness Follows, Darlington
Woods, and Scream. He is an adjunct professor of writing at Lancaster Bible College and frequent contributor to Christian websites and newsletters. Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers association, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer’s Network, and FaithWriters, and he plans to join International Thriller Writers. He earned his BA degree from Messiah College and his MBS from Master’s International School of Divinity. He lives in Hanover, PA, with his wife and daughters. Hometown: Hanover, PA

Friday, August 2, 2013

Oh how I've missed you!

 
Hey everyone! Wow, I can't believe I haven't been around for more than half of 2013. It's like I fell off the face of the earth! :( Believe me, going MIA was not by choice.. Not only did I not have Internet access, but my computer conked out and refused to turn on anymore. But, as of last month my dreaded computer problems FINALLY ended cause I got a new laptop. Woohoo! And as you might have noticed, I have Internet access again. Yipee!

Oh and I have some other news! I went back to school this past spring. Yay =D I'm going for Medical Assisting and it has been a wonderful experience so far. When I first started I was so freaked out about giving people shots, but thank God I'm used to it now. LOL! Anyway, I'm on summer break right now so I have some time for blogging. During this free time I'll be doing my best to get as many reviews and other things scheduled to post throughout the coming weeks cause I might not have as much time once classes start again in September. So I hope you guys stick around a bit longer! Thank you so much to those of you who are still out there reading this blog. You mean so much to me and I appreciate you! I'll talk to you soon :)


Happy Reading!
 
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