Creating bloggable content

Hi There, My name is Steph and this is my first post on WordPress, but not my first blog piece EVER.

I started my first blog a couple of years ago when I was a mum of none and when my world didn’t include early morning routines, school runs or dedicating time to my little rascals. My posts lacked character, they had no flow and I didn’t make a lot of sense at times. I rambled for a lot of the posts that I wrote. I also never did any socialising or engagement with other bloggers so my blog was never read…or if it was then I never knew about it. I managed a few weeks before I switched my mind to my other love, photography (which I speak about in my ABOUT ME section)

10 years later, 2 kids heavier and full of life experience that I wish I hadn’t got, I have decided to give it another go. I have now got two blogs, 1 on Blogger and 1 on here. I wanted to keep both separate.

My Blogger account (https://stephgearycreativejuice.blogspot.co.uk) is more of a personal accounted diary with stories of my lovable tear-aways, my husband and our 11 week old pug, Harry.

Whereas my WordPress Blog will be more for my creative writing content. I will post short stories, poems and reviews of books and films. I know a lot of bloggers aim to gain money from their blogs (not that it wouldn’t be nice) but I do it more so I can get my work out there. I have enjoyed writing for as far back as I remember and I am having such a good time thinking about what content to create next.

I am not saying that I am great at writing short stories or poems for that matter and I am sure some will think that they are a bit rubbish (that is me letting my un-confidence break through a little) but I am going to put my work out there anyways. Any positive critic is very much welcomed, I am learning all the time – whether it is based on my blog or on my writing. 😀

My WordPress Blog is definitely a working progress. I will learn and tweak it as I go.

S x

 

Featured post

Book Review: London Hat Hunting Mission by Winnie Mak Tselikas #Blogtour

Blogtour – Monday 14th May

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Big Thanks must go to both Rachel’s Random Resources and Winnie Mak Tselikas for inviting me to this fantastic blogtour. This book was enjoyed by both myself and my two young boys. It was both entertaining and interesting; helping my children to learn a little about London and the differing diversities.

Rachel’s Random Resources – https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/

Winnie Mak Tselikas (One Dear World) – www.twitter.com/onedearworld 



When Rachel approached me with this book, I was more than interested in taking part. Every night before bed I read a book to my sons and we love to snuggle and read about a whole new story. We have got mountains of children’s books at home which we read on repeat. From ‘Thankyou Mr Panda’, by Steve Antony
www.steveantony.com to ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’, by Michael Rosen http://www.michaelrosen.co.uk/ and the read ‘very-often’ ‘The Dinosaur that pooped the planet’, by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17612880-the-dinosaur-that-pooped-a-planet so we are always on the look out for new books to read and I jumped at the chance to read this one to them.

It is my absolute pleasure to bring you my review of this fantastic book!

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Colourful, educational and visually enchanting, this book appealed to my two young boys, but also to me as a parent and a reader. But before I tell you more about this book, lets have a little look at the wonderful author, who created this story.


The Author

London Hat Hunting Mission

Winnie Mak Tselikas is a believer in diversity.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, she studied engineering, worked in commercial sales and in 2011 switched to education upon moving to London.

There, she met her half-French, half-Greek husband and they had a son, who now has family in China, France, Greece, HK, the UK and the US.

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Winnie considers her son to be a world citizen rather than of a particular nationality or culture.

Inspired by her family and London’s diversity, she founded One Dear World and created the lovely adventures of Mr. Globe and the little Londoner dolls.

Social Media Links
www.facebook.com/onedearworld
www.twitter.com/onedearworld
www.instagram.com/onedearworld


About the Book

Four little Londoners, Hope, Jun, Lea and Parth, come from a different cultural background, are good friends living in London. They are travelling to the iconic places around the city in search of magic hats to cure Mr Globe’s headache.

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The book is illustrated with a mix of real life photographs of iconic places in London and digital illustration so children can have a vivid visual experience of London and at the same time open up their world of imagination.


My Review

On receiving this book, my boys were very excited to get stuck in. They took the book and read it amongst themselves (My 7 year old reading to my 3 year old) long before I had a chance to look through the pages. I heard my eldest son explaining the areas of London that were pictured on the pages and heard my youngest repeating the many different words for hats that were spoken by his brother. They pawed over the pages and enjoyed the rich imagery.

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This book is an absolute joy for both children and adults alike. The story is a fantastic diversity enriched trip and follows the ‘mission’ of dolls from all backgrounds as they set off to find hats to help heal the world. The story is entertaining and educational. It brought some understanding to my boys about the differing diversities and cultures that enrich the world; they enjoyed seeing as the story unfolded and loved looking at the photographs from around London; a city which is also rich with diversity! Some of our cities top landmarks/attractions are included from Big Ben to Buckingham Palace. And each photograph is colourful and of great quality.

This was a very fun and enjoyable book! Not only did my boys enjoy reading this; I did too. What amazes me even more is how much work the author has done to create these characters, from creating a story to devoting twitter posts and her web page to them. And the scariest thing is that the dolls are available to buy via her website (scary because I kind of really want to buy them ALL) – https://onedearworld.com/collections/multicultural-dolls-collection

My boys have read this several times since we received it and I think it may be ‘re-read’ more than once. This book was cute, engaging and very educational.



Conclusion

I love a good children’s book; love seeing my boys get immersed in a book and I was very impressed with this book and story. I would recommend this to all of my friends, family and followers. There really isn’t anything bad to say about this book; my boys loved it and that in itself is far beyond any rating I could leave.

If you long to introduce a new read for your children; something that is enchanting and a story that speaks of acceptance of others and yourself, despite differences, then look no further than this book. I look forward to sharing this review around my social feeds and hope that more people discover this book and its charming characters.

Rating – 5 out of 5 Stars

Thanks all for reading. 

If you liked my review and would like to see what others are saying about this book then check out the other bloggers who are included in this #blogtour

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S x

 

Book Review: To Rise Again by Stewart Bint

Hi All,

It is with great pleasure that I bring you my review of a book that I was sent by an author who is not only a great writer, but also amazingly supportive via social media, etc.

When Stewart offered to send me a couple of his books to read, I jumped at the chance. What can I say? I love reading and welcome all books that are sent my way and I am so happy that I discovered this one. 


To Rise Again – Stewart Bint

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About the Book

Just before the German occupation during World War II, the Marquand family flees their home in the English Channel, and never returns.

Now, it’s the summer of 1983, and the once-opulent Idlewild mansion is crumbling and derelict. The mansion holds a mysterious lure for 18-year-old David Simeon, who dreams of Idlewild years past, as it used to be.

But who is the young girl he sees, endlessly wandering through its corridors?

As the nerve-shattering link between David, the girl, and the mysterious Idlewild comes to light, is it too late to stop the seeds of destruction and world domination planted there long ago, during Adolf Hitler’s last desperate throw of the dice in World War ll?

Fantasy, science fiction, horror and paranormal mingle in Stewart Bint’s To Rise Again, as the threads of 1945 and 1983 slowly intertwine to reveal a world on the brink of destruction.



About the Author

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Stewart Bint is an international novelist, magazine columnist, and PR writer, who usually goes barefoot.

His current publishers are Creativia (To Rise Again), and Dragon Moon Press (The Jigsaw And The Fan, Timeshaft, and In Shadows Waiting).

Stewart Bint is married to Sue, and has two grown-up children, Christopher and Charlotte. He lives in Leicestershire in the UK. When writing, his office companion is his charismatic budgie, or his neighbour’s cat – but not at the same time.

He is a member of the influential international authors group, The Awethors.

A former broadcaster, he has worked as a radio newsreader, current affairs presenter and phone-in show host.

His inspiration to become a writer came at the tender age of seven, through the television series, Doctor Who. He says: “I remember watching the very first episode way back in 1963, and became enraptured by the storylines which could take place at any time in Earth’s history and future, and absolutely anywhere in the universe and beyond. I started creating my own worlds and my own characters, writing my stories in little blue notebooks until my parents bought me my first typewriter for my ninth birthday. And those make-believe worlds became invaluable when my Dad died when I was 11. I retreated more and more into those places where I was in control of my characters’ fate – knowing that whatever happened to them during the story, I could make sure they were okay in the end. My worlds were certainly better than the real one at that time.”

When not writing he is an active awareness-raising campaigner for mental health and sepsis, having gained a place on the 2016 list of “Inspirational Mental Health Advocates that are changing the world.”

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AuthorSJB

Weebly – https://stewartbintauthor.weebly.com/about.html



My Review


As I started to read the pages at the beginning of this book, I was instantly drawn in to the writing style. It was easy to sink into the story and I found myself getting more and more absorbed. Within just a few pages we were drawn into the story and I liked how the character interaction and drama had me engrossed from page 1. One of the biggest interests for me was the ‘World War II’ elements that were incorporated within the whole story. I have always been fascinated reading about the history of the War and this book not only fed my imagination, but it played on my emotions. I was torn; part of me wanting to read each page quickly and without break so that I could find out how it ended and another part not wanting to read anything that would affect me.

And let me tell you…this book affected me. There were some hard parts to read, which were quite emotional to get to through, but the way in which it is written and handled made this story both harrowing and exciting. There were times when my heart was pounding almost out of my chest! It was engaging and a fascinating, interesting read.

The descriptions of Idlewild Mansion really brought it to life on the pages and I pictured each room clearly in my mind. Not only is the mansion beautiful, but it is also kind of…no, not kind of…IT IS creepy. But I loved the secrets that the old building had hidden. The main character, David was a lovely character and the interactions in the book helped build a clear image of him.

I absolutely enjoyed reading this story. It is such an excellent piece of writing; a story that pulls you in from the very beginning.

Stewart really did do a fantastic job bringing this story to life.



Conclusion

I am really happy that I got to experience this book; I loved the WWII elements and whooped at the conclusion. Times I was shocked at parts of the book; almost crying as read some harrowing moments, but I enjoyed reading every page.

One things for sure is that I will be adding Stewart Bint’s other works to my TBR list.



Rating – 5 out of 5

Thanks for reading my review

S x

Book Review: You Send Me (Compass Cove Book 2) by Jeannie Moon

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Hi All

I was honoured to be sent this lovely book via @netgalley and author, Jeannie Moon. Thankyou so much for allowing me to read this lovely ‘lazy-afternoon’ read. 

Netgalleyhttps://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/137102

Jeannie Moonhttp://jeanniemoon.com/



About the Author

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Jeannie Moon has always been a romantic.

When she’s not spinning tales of her own, Jeannie works as a school librarian, thankful she has a job that allows her to immerse herself in books and call it work. Married to her high school sweetheart, Jeannie has three kids, three lovable dogs and a mischievous cat and lives in her hometown on Long Island, NY. If she’s more than ten miles away from salt water for any longer than a week, she gets twitchy.

More of her work can be found here:-

http://tulepublishing.com/authors/jeannie-moon/


About the Book

Jordan Velsor didn’t want to need anyone. After dumping her cheating fiancé, caring for her sick dad, and nearly being crushed along with her car during a violent storm, she’s pretty much at her breaking point. If anyone needs some luck, it’s Jordan, but the last thing she wants is gorgeous Nick Rinaldi, her landlord’s grandson, hovering over her while she nurses a bad cold. The wounded Navy doctor seems too good to be true… which means he probably is.

Nick Rinaldi left the Navy broken and adrift, wondering if he would ever practice medicine again. When his grandparents’ tenant is almost killed by a falling tree during a storm, he discovers Jordan is not only in shock, but suffering from pneumonia. Not one to miss an opportunity to play white knight, Nick arrives at her cottage to take care of her during the storm… But the lovely teacher has a fierce independent streak, and as he learns more about her, he wants to do more than merely help.

Can Jordan and Nick let go or their separate pasts and seize their future together?


My Review

I requested this lovely book from Netgalley and I am so glad I did. I am a big lover of all book genres and can sit reading book after book after book until forever, but sometimes all I want is to read a romantic novel which is easy to read and hard to put down. I found THAT book from author, Jeannie Moon. My biggest regret is that I didn’t realise this book is one from a series. You Send Me is the 2nd book of the Compass Cove series. I am always intrigued when books intertwine characters; and I am eager to read the 1st in this series now too which is set in a small beach town, with a heart-warming community.

I have always been a sucker for a good romantic read and this book delivered! The character interactions and dialogue, along with the storyline helped create a very enjoyable story. I believed in the charming characters that I was reading about and read each page hungrily as I longed for Nick and Jordan to get together. I like how the authors writing style is so easy to read; making this book a real ‘lazy afternoon read’.

I am a true hopeless romantic and I enjoyed seeing how the story progressed from beginning to end.

It helped that I could ‘picture’ the ever so HOT doctor, Nick Rinaldi. He is very endearing and I found myself liking him from the very start. I had trouble liking Jordan at first, but I now realise that is how she is written. She is hardened due to pain caused by a previous, traumatic relationship and her guards are well and truly up when she first meets Nick.  Jeannie, the author gave such great descriptions of the characters that they came to life on the pages.

If you like a good romance novel; something that will take you away from the daily grind and a feel-good story that you can relax with then give this one a go!


Conclusion

This book was a lovely read, but somewhere frustrating at times when I wanted to shake the two main characters – but I would definitely recommend.

I have already added the first in the Compass Cove Series to my TBR list – along with Jeannie’s other works. I look forward to reading more from this author.


Rating – 4 out of 5 Stars

See the first of the Compass Cove Series

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/Then-Came-Compass-Cove-Book-ebook/dp/B073YDN7B6/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1525818789&sr=8-12&keywords=Jeannie+Moon

Thanks for reading 

S x

 

 

Book Review: Don’t you Dare by A.J Waines

I was given the opportunity to read and review a book by A.J Waines – this was sent to me via NetGalley. Thanks so much to them and the publishers, Bloodhound Books for allowing me the honour of reading such a fantastic book. 

Bloodhound Books – http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/dont-you-dare/
Netgalley – https://www.netgalley.com
A.J Waines – https://awaines.blogspot.co.uk/

Don’t you Dare by A.J Waine

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Book Blurb

When barmaid, Rachel, discovers her soon-to-be-married daughter, Beth, pinned down by a stranger in the pub cellar, Rachel lashes out in panic and the intruder ends up dead.

In desperation, Rachel convinces Beth they should cover up the crime and go ahead with the planned wedding in one month’s time.

Rachel, however, has her own reasons for not involving the police.

Hiding their dreadful secret is harder than they both imagined and as the big day approaches and the lies multiply, Beth becomes a liability.

Rachel looks on in dismay at the hen party when, after too many drinks, Beth declares she’s about to make a special announcement.

But before Beth can say a word she disappears…

About the Author

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AJ Waines has sold over 450,000 psychological thrillers worldwide and topped the UK and Australian Kindle Charts in 2015 and 2016 with her number one bestseller, Girl on a Train.

She was a Psychotherapist for fifteen years, during which time she worked with ex-offenders from high-security institutions, gaining a rare insight into criminal and abnormal psychology.

She is now a full-time author of psychological thrillers and murder mysteries with publishing deals in France, Germany, Norway, Hungary and USA (audiobooks).

In December 2017, she signed a UK two-book deal with Bloodhound Books.
AJ Waines has has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Times and been ranked a Top 10 UK Author on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).

The author lives in Hampshire, UK, with her husband.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7142865.A_J_Waines
https://sites.google.com/a/awaines.co.uk/aj-waines-crime-fiction-writer/
https://twitter.com/AJWaines

My Review

I was sent this book by Netgalley and I am so glad I got the opportunity to read it.

I was hooked from page 1!

We are introduced to Rachel, who on thinking that her daughter is being raped; kills the ‘attacker’ only to realise that all is not as it seems….what happens next is a dramatic battle as they fight to ‘bury’ what happened….resulting in them getting rid of the body.

The pace was managed really well and I believed in the characters I was reading about. My favourite was Beth, she was a victim of circumstance, even if she did bring the situation on herself……but she was slightly ‘hen-pecked’ by her dear old Mother, who goes beyond the job of protecting her daughter; I can’t say I was a fan of her, especially as she came across quite intimidating towards her daughter at times and took it upon herself to interfere (way too much) which I felt uncomfortable with but saying that, I know that it shows the talent of the writer when they don’t only create likeable characters, but the not so likeable too. The character interactions were written really well and I related to some of the over-protective moments that Rachel showed towards her daughter. I felt the difficult tension building between these two characters which made for very fascinating reading.

I love when books have chapters from differing viewpoints, so it was nice to read this book from both angles (Rachel’s and then Beth’s) – it was easy to see where this book was going at times but I still enjoyed every page turn I made. This book had some nice little twists right up to the last few pages. I am hoping that the ‘almost’ open end means that there could be another book…..because it would be great to see how the author could continue this story.

All in all, this book was a really enjoyable read and I would recommend.

Conclusion

I wrote my Goodreads review yesterday and gave this a 4/5 stars….but the story has stayed with me all day, so I have changed it to 5/5 stars! This is a really good read! Intense, dramatic story with twists and turns to keep you guessing!

S x

If I Want You by Rachel Brimble #Blogtour #Review

If I Want You Without

#Blogtour – 28th April 2018

Hi All.

I am so very thrilled to bring you a review of this book from the wonderful mind of Rachel Brimble. It is such an exciting read and I am itching to tell you all about it….(Spoiler free of course)

First though, I would love to thank the wonderful Rachel’s Random Resources and Author, Rachel Brimble for inviting me along on this fantastic #Blogtour.

Rachel’s Random Resources – https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/
Rachel Brimble – http://rachelbrimble.com/

All Aboard Guys! This is my Stop!

Thrilling, Dangerous and captivating; this book had me enthralled from the very first page.

Cover (med)

When I sign up for a book tour or for any review at all then I always try to not read too much into the book, so that I can go into the book blindly and without any hindrance or disturbance from other reviewers, etc. I like to form my own opinions of a book I read and enjoy guessing what a book is about simply from the front cover. 

So, as always, I only had a small summary of the book to go on and the image of the front . The male model they used on the front had me interested from the beginning; but I have always been a sucker for a tall, dark, handsome strange. The impression I got from the front that this story was going to be passionate, dangerous and thrilling. 

Never judge a book by its cover; I thought this was going to be sexy love story with plenty of passionate scenes…little did I know how this story would play with all of my emotions, this book is more than a love story. And I loved every minute of it.

Before I head further into my review, let me tell you more about the author, Rachel Brimble.



About the Author

Rachel Brimble

Author pic - Dec 2017

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK.

After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had seven books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and an eighth coming in Jan 2018.

She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press as well as writing several single titles for the Wild Rose Press.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest.

When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family.

Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

Website – http://rachelbrimble.com/
Blog – http://rachelbrimble.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RachelBrimble
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/rachelbrimbleauthor/
Facebook Street Team – Rachel’s Readers – https://www.facebook.com/groups/RachelsReaders/?fref=ts#

https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Brimble/e/B007829ZRM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1490948101&sr=8-1



About the Book

When local journalist, Tori Peterson, fails to prevent a child abduction outside her niece’s school, her horror and guilt sparks a vow to do whatever it takes to get little Abby Brady home to her parents.

While Tori battles the vile memories of her own kidnapping as a child, she accepts the help of widowed father, Mark Bolton. As he and Tori join forces with the local police, their attraction and intimacy grows…along with their fears for Abby.

Links are uncovered between Abby’s disappearance and Tori’s kidnapping, and Tori is forced to accept the monster who held her captive is back. But this time, Tori is all grown up, and there is no way she will let him hurt another little girl.

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Purchase Links – 

Amazon UK:  http://amzn.eu/190CYmx
Amazon US:  http://a.co/c5O5R7s
Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-i-want-you-rachel-brimble/1127157672?ean=2940158911118
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/if-i-want-you
Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rachel_Brimble_If_I_Want_You?id=E-g7DwAAQBAJ



My Review

Sometimes you come across a book that truly gets you in the ‘feels’ and this book was one of them. Reading through the first couple of chapters, my mouth was dry, my heart was racing and I was on the edge of my seat…quite literally! Every parents nightmare was happening in right in front of my eyes and I felt every word that was written. My mind flashed to my two young boys and I felt the fear resonate as I read the opening chapters.

Tori Peterson witnesses a child’s abduction outside her nieces school and is forced to relive her traumatic past experiences. Suspecting that her abductor could be back to cause her further heartache and trauma  she and fellow parent, Mark Bolton set out to help solve the crime; hoping to get the child back home safe where she belongs.

This story was fast paced and kept me interested from beginning to end. Tori’s character was difficult to like at first, she was rude and stand-offish but I realise that this was the authors clever way of showing Tori as a rather broken person. Over the years following her abduction she puts up her guards and refuses to let anyone in; fearing that she will be hurt again. Even her close family are held at a distance. But behind her tough exterior she is still a young girl trying to survive; constantly looking over her shoulder in case HE comes back. 

As always I love a good love story and enjoy reading passages that get the heart racing and this book sure does deliver. The connection between Mark and Tori is palpable and I loved reading the interactions between them.

I read this book fairly quickly as I was eager from the beginning to find out what happened to the characters. The ride I was on was thrilling and dramatic; I was not left disappointed by the ending.

If you are looking for a book which is hard-hitting yet entertaining look no further than this book!

Conclusion

There wasn’t anything about this book that I didn’t like; it was such an entertaining read and I am so honoured to have been asked to take part in this blogtour. The character’s were realistic; the story flowed really well and was action-packed from Page 1!

There were some rather heart-wrenching moments and this book had me teetering on the edge of wanting to put the book down and cover my eyes in one hand and wanting to read until my eyes hurt in the other. Rachel Brimble did so well with this book and I applaud her for fantastic work. One thing for sure is that I will be adding Rachel’s other works to my To Be Read (TBR) list. I look forward to seeing more from her in the future.

5 out of 5 Stars!

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806411.Rachel_Brimble

Giveaway to win a PDF of any book from Rachel Brimble’s Back List (Open Internationally)

Rachel Brimble has a rather varied and extensive backlist, and one lucky winner can win a PDF of a book of their choice from it. Full back list can be viewed here – https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js OR if you don’t like html or are on WordPress http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949478/? Notes for Bloggers: (Don’t include on the post). Thank you so much for taking part in this blog tour. Please put you post live as early as you can and either tag @rararesources or send me the link via email so that I can start sharing it. Please also tag Rachel Brimble if possible. Use whichever way of displaying the rafflecopter that you prefer – if you can use the code please do, if not including the link is good. Please use all the blurb and author details on your posts, and format them to your own blogs needs. I’m just providing the text and links, as I’m aware all blogs are individual. If you are going to have any problems posting on your scheduled date please let me know as soon as possible. Please if at all possible can your review (if you are reviewing) go onto Amazon and Goodreads”>https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Brimble/e/B007829ZRM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1490948101&sr=8-1

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949478/&#8221; rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”33c6949478″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_tpw2rogs”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
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OR if you don’t like html or are on WordPress
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949478/

Thanks all…..Be back soon!

If you liked my review and want to hear more about this fantastic book then check out some the other Bloggers who are aboard this #Blogtour

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The Picture by Roger Bray #Blog Tour #Review

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#BlogTour 23rd April 2018

Hi All!

I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources and Author, Roger Bray for including me on this fantastic #BlogTour.

Rachel’s Random Resources – https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com
Roger Bray – https://rogerbraybooks.com

All Aboard!! This is my Stop!

The author, Roger Bray has gifted us with a beautifully written story.

The characters were captivating and the story was very powerful, beautiful and moving. 

But before we get into the book, lets have a little bit first about the author.



The Author

Roger Bray on Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roger-Bray/e/B0725KF3NF

In this own words:

I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.

My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.

Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

Social Media Links –

https://twitter.com/rogerbray22
https://www.facebook.com/rogerbraybooks/
https://rogerbraybooks.com



About the Book

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A warehouse in Japan used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. A distraught, young Japanese woman in dishevelled clothes sits on a box, holding her infant daughter.

Ben, a US rescue volunteer, kneels in front of her offering comfort. They hug, the baby between them. The moment turns into an hour as the woman sobs into his shoulder; mourning the loss of her husband, her home, the life she knew.

A picture is taken, capturing the moment. It becomes a symbol; of help freely given and of the hope of the survivors. The faces in the picture cannot be recognised, and that is how Ben likes it.

No celebrity, thanks not required.
But others believe that being identified as the person in the picture is their path to fame and fortune. Ben stands, unknowingly, in their way, but nothing a contract killing cannot fix.


My Review

Again, as with previous book reviews I didn’t delve too much into reading about the book, as I like to be surprised as I start to turn the pages. I prefer to read a book based on just what I see on the cover. Never judge a book they say, but I am a real sucker for a beautiful external imagery and this book drew me in with just its cover alone.

I was drawn in by the beautiful, yet sad image on the front. At that point I wasn’t sure why the picture of the woman cradling the baby was so sad, but I got the feeling that this book would be a bitter-sweet read. I wasn’t wrong. Here in all its glory is my review.

The first few pages introduces us to one of the main characters. Ben Davies is a very likeable character from the start and I was taken aback by the first few chapters when we witness him getting hurt during a routine shop trip. From here we are introduced to him as a character and with the right wording we read more about this deep, slightly broken man. He has a lot of heartache in his past but he is still cheerful in his resolve and he has a big love for motorcycles.

With the help of his friend, Paul we are told the story of Ben and the people who he has lost and the disasters he has witnessed. The story started off at a slow pace but with every turn of the page I found myself liking Ben that little bit more.  One of the good things about this book is how believable the characters are. There are people who I love, like Ben and Maggie, but then there are people like Vince who are very easily disliked. The writing flows so well and I found myself reading it a steady yet fast pace. I was eager to see how the lives of these characters intertwined and I was not disappointed by the final conclusion.

Touching on some very traumatic events, we are torn from one emotion to the next. This book is both unbelievably raw beautiful. It delivers bitter-sweet moments which sweep you along with every word. Character interaction is paramount in this book and it helps to create a real person in our minds. Each character is different and the conversations between them are both realistic and engaging. There are some wonderful dialogue moments between Anna and Paul as they discuss Ben and what he means to them. From this dialogue we learn more about this wonderfully kind man. Each word spoke volumes and I lapped up each chapter greedily.

I love when a book switches between characters and situations; this not only creates more interest but it helps to see points of view from all angles and builds a better story. This book does just that. Not only are we introduced to the likeable characters, but we are also shown the protagonists too. This helps us to create a clear picture of all people involved and to understand their interests, whether Good or Bad.

If there is one thing I would have liked then it would have been to see more of Vince’s character; maybe see more of his past and why he was the way he was, but this didn’t take away from the book at all.

If I were to describe this book in 5 words I would say; Beautiful, Harrowing, Touching, Thrilling and Traumatic.

Towards the end of the book, I shed a tear. It was a very welcome beautiful read. It touches on some sensitive subjects, which are difficult to read at times but it says a lot for the author when he can word it in a way that still pulls you on to read despite the traumatic moments.

Its difficult to write a review, want to rave about it but still try to not give ‘spoilers’ away. Roger Bray did a fantastic job creating this story; it was a real page-turner and I look forward to reading more of his work.



Conclusion

I would recommend this book to everyone. The drama is slow-building but this only helps to create a fantastic story. The dialogue and fantastic descriptive writing creates a great reading experience with every turn of the page.


Rating

5 out of 5

S x

Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green


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In between my busy #blogtour reading, I am still trying to get through my TBR list for. I set my Goodreads reading challenge to 40 books for the year and I am making steady progress.

Today I bring you  review of a book I read within just a few days; a story that I can’t quite get out of my head. 

But before I get down to my review, here is a little bit about the author.

The Author

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John Michael Green is an American author, vlogger, writer, producer, actor, editor, and educator

John Green’s first novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award presented by the American Library Association. His second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

His next novel, Paper Towns, is a New York Times bestseller and won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best YA Mystery.

In January 2012, his most recent novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was met with wide critical acclaim, unprecedented in Green’s career. The praise included rave reviews in Time Magazine and The New York Times, on NPR, and from award-winning author Markus Zusak. The book also topped the New York Times Children’s Paperback Bestseller list for several weeks. Green has also co-authored a book with David Levithan called Will Grayson, Will Grayson, published in 2010. The film rights for all his books, with the exception of Will Grayson Will Grayson, have been optioned to major Hollywood Studios.

In 2007, John and his brother Hank were the hosts of a popular internet blog, “Brotherhood 2.0,” where they discussed their lives, books and current events every day for a year except for weekends and holidays. They still keep a video blog, now called “The Vlog Brothers,” which can be found on the Nerd fighters website, or a direct link here.

Green lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife, Sarah Urist Green, whom he married on May 21, 2006.

Book Blurb

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

My Review

I found it difficult to get into this book at first; I didn’t understand Aza’s character, but I think that comes from how well the book is written. The complex feelings and mental anxieties were written clearly and the reason why I found it so hard to read at first is because I don’t understand mental illness as much as I should. This book is a real eye-opener into the world of OCD and although I don’t suffer with the same disorder; I could relate to some of the main characters anxieties. The words flowed very well and I found myself wanting to reach into the pages and give Aza a big hug; the burden she has to live with on a daily basis was evident and I felt her pain resonate from the pages.

John Green took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. I was laughing at the character interaction between Aza and her best friend, Daisy. And then I was crying at how much Aza’s character was fighting a lonely battle with her inner demon. It was heart-wrenching at times and I hoped for a quick fix for her, but as I found out, that’s not easy with mental illness. There is a part of me that was disappointed with how the story ended and I was going to leave this story 4/5 but I now realise that Aza’s battle with her demon would be long-lasting. There is no fast cure for what she feels and we were left knowing that she would go on fighting way after the last turn of the page.

There were some comical character interactions between Daisy and Aza which helped to throw in some lighter moments to the quite ‘harrowing’ read. The characters are brilliantly written and likeable. I love that each character has their own feel to them and I read with both tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.

With every spiral that Aza battled I felt every twist and turn and understood the intensity of struggle to remain normal and to ignore her invasive thoughts; especially when she tries to have a romantic relationship with Davis.

All in all, this book was a very interesting read and I can see how it could help a lot of people who are in the same boat as our main character. Even if it gives them words to show their family/friends so they can get a better understanding of what they go through.

I would highly recommend this book!

Conclusion

I have been excited to read this book for a while now and during the first few pages I actually wondered whether I would enjoy reading it. Then I let myself try to understand Aza’s mental illness more and with each page I was opened up more to what people with OCD must go through and as I said previously, it really was an eye-opener. The story was easy to read and I came away still with it in my mind. When a book stays with you way after the last full-stop then you know it was a good one! John Green did a fantastic job; not only has he raised awareness, he has also brought us another loveable character. Like with his other works, I hope to see this on the big screen one day. 

So, re-thinking my earlier premature rating….I now going to give this 5 out of 5!

Thanks for reading Guys!

S x


 

The Penance List by S C Cunningham #Blog Tour #Review

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#BlogTour 22nd April 2018

Hi All!

I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources and S C Cunningham for including me on this #blogtour.

Rachel’s Random Resources –  https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com
S C Cunningham  – http://www.sccunningham.com/

I am more than delighted to be included in this blog tour and I am itching to tell you about this thrilling book from this fantastic author.

The Penance List is sexy, dangerous and a real page-turner.

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But before I tell you a bit more about this book, lets have a little bit about the author.

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The Author

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British Crime Investigator & Crime Writer, Siobhan C Cunningham creates steamy psychological thrillers and kick-ass paranormal romance with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour, and pulsating sex scenes. Having worked in the very industries she writes about, her novels offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction.

An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of music, film, sports celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the British Police (Wanted & Absconder Unit, Major Crime Team, Intelligence Analyst, Investigations Hub).

Abducted as a child, she survived; and every night for months afterward, she prayed to God, asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Fallen Angel Series. Twenty years later she crossed paths with a violent serial attacker who haunted the streets of London, the seed for The David Trilogy was sown, book one is The Penance List, and has been adapted to film screenplay.

She is the proud mother to contemporary Artist Scarlett Raven and is owned by three dogs.

Social Media Links

Website – http://www.sccunningham.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/SCCunningham8

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pg/sccunningham8/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/siobhancunningham8/

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sccunningham/

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+SCCunninghamAuthor

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.co.uk/S-C-Cunningham/e/B002L3ZC2U/

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About the Book

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The Penance List (David Trilogy #1)
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
9 Editions
Language: English
436 Pages

This one comes with a warning – a steamy suspense-ridden psychological thriller – think Silence of the Lambs meets 50 Shades and hold on tight! S C Cunningham writes with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating sex scenes. Grab a glass of wine, close the bedroom door and read alone!

What happens when opposites attract – when a scorned childhood sweetheart grows into a gorgeous sexual tour de force – when a fun loving career girl, her racy girlfriends and insatiable lovers get caught in his revenge – when sex becomes a weapon, hearts become bait and straight tastes gay – when hi-flying careers, clandestine affairs and wannabe starlets are hunted by celebrity hungry press? Obsession, kidnap, murder… and he’s just getting started!

Purchase from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Penance-List-David-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00B0HMTW4

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My Review

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Wow! What a read! Like previously mentioned, I was lucky to receive a copy of this book as part of a blogtour. As such, I didn’t research the book and delved into it blindly, only having the summary to go by and not completely knowing what the book was about.

And all I can say is what a fantastic find!

I was gripped from the very first chapter! It was dark, sexy, provocative, thrilling and oh so exciting! The characters were deep and brought a lot of great reading material to the book.

This story made ’50 Shades’ look like a tame children’s book. It was so raunchy and I loved every word of it and lapped it up enthusiastically. The pages turned quick and fast as I hurried to see how the story would end. I was not disappointed when i did finally get to the last page; instead I wanted more!

I was so pleased to find out that there is more to this book; and that the story isn’t over yet. The books in this trilogy have already been put into my TBR list.

There is a big part of me that understands why David is the way he is and I feel sorry for the person that is lost and who could have been, but damn he is a evil-dark-sexy-man. To say that he is ‘hot’ is an understatement. Yes he is troubled, yes he is angry and at times very scary, but there is something about the character that draws me in. The whole story got me hot under the collar more than once.

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The author, S C Cunningham has a really good talent for writing and knows exactly how to engage her readers. There was a lot of great character interaction, especially between the 3 best friends, Helen, Josie and Tara. The lunchtime meet ups reminded me of some of the conversations I have had with my girlfriends over time and it was very relatable. More so the topics they discussed which would make most people blush. The script between these friends flowed naturally and it felt like we knew the characters more intimately because of how well they were written.

If you like a book with a bit of spunk, a story that leaves you gagging for more and a ‘villain’ who is drop-dead-evil-sex-on-legs then read this! It is raunchy in all the best ways; it is filthy and crude but it is all the more enjoyable because of it. But take the debauchery and raunchy scenes out of it, then there is still a fantastic dramatic, thrilling story hidden in the pages. This book is an amazing read with a host of likeable characters.

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Conclusion
This was a very enjoyable read. I had completed the story within a few days and was very pleased with the fact that there is another couple of books in the series. And I look forward to seeing how the rest of the series pans out.

Please, if you haven’t already, check out the author, S C Cunningham and her work!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/S-C-Cunningham/e/B002L3ZC2U

Fantastic Read! Fantastic Writing!

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Rating

5 out of 5 star

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Giveaway – Win 1 x Signed Copy of The Penance List (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.
Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email.
If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Thanks for reading my review.

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S x

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold Review

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The first time I read this book was around 7 years ago. I was away on a girlie holiday and I took a book with me in case I had time amongst sunning it and drinking copious amounts of alcohol. This book stood out to me when I brought it due to the beautifully, simple cover. Standing in the charity shop in my local town I was drawn in even more when I read the summary on the back of the book.

Needless to say, I didn’t even wait until my holiday started to open this book. I opened up the book the day before thinking that I would just have a peek at the first page; by the end of the day I had already read half of the book with the rest completed whilst we travelled to our destination. 

If for some reason you have never heard of this book! If for some reason you have felt that you need to find a book that is ABSOLUTELY amazing! If you need a story that is heart-breaking, thrilling and beautiful all at the same time. If you want a book that will have you crying one minute, angry another and then laughing, then my Dear you have come to the right review!

As always, I will be providing a SPOILER FREE review. The best thing about reading is finding out the best bits for yourself so you really don’t need me spoiling it for you, but let me tell you…if you read this book! You…will….not…be…disappointed. 

Before I start my review, lets look at some of the blurb. 

About the Author

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Alice Sebold is an American writer. She has published three books: Lucky, The Lovely Bones, and The Almost Moon. Sebold was born in Madison, Wisconsin. She grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where her father taught Spanish at the University of Pennsylvania. Sebold graduated from Great Valley High School in Malvern, Pennsylvania, in 1980.

Following graduation from Syracuse in 1984, Sebold briefly attended the University of Houston in Texas, for graduate school, then moved to Manhattan for the next ten years. She held several waitressing jobs while pursuing a writing career, but neither her poetry nor her attempts at writing a novel came to fruition. 

At age 33, Sebold then began writing a novel called Monsters, about the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl. The story was based on her realization that “within the suburban world of my upbringing there was as many strange stories as there were in the more romanticized parts of the world. The novel eventually became The Lovely Bones, which one reviewer called “a disturbing story, full of horror and confusion and deep, bone-weary sadness. And yet it reflects a moving, passionate interest in and love for ordinary life as its most wonderful, and most awful, even at its most mundane.” The New York Times observed that “Ms. Sebold [has] the ability to capture both the ordinary and the extraordinary, the banal and the horrific, in lyrical, unsentimental prose.”

Sebold was previously married to Glen David Gold. She lives in San Francisco.

Book Blurb – The Lovely Bones

My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie.

I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.

In heaven, Susie Salmon can have whatever she wishes for – except what she most wants, which is to be back with the people she loved on earth. In the wake of her murder, Susie watches as her happy suburban family is torn apart by grief; as her friends grow up, fall in love, and do all the things she never had the chance to do herself.

But as Susie will come to realize, even in death, life is not quite out of reach . . .

A luminous, astonishing novel about life and death, memory and forgetting, and finding light in the darkest places, Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones became an instant classic when it was first published in 2002.

There are now over ten million copies in print. It inspired the film starring Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon and Saoirse Ronan.

My Review

I always think that you can tell how much you like a book by how quickly it takes you to read it. I am a big fan of Stephen King books but his Dark Tower series, despite being well written were a bit of a drag and after almost 10 years since I started reading them, I am STILL struggling to get through the final book; I started reading it 3 years ago and pick it up/put it down regularly.

But this book had me enthralled from the very first chapter and within 2 days I had turned the final page with tears in my eyes and with a heavy-beating heart. It was heart-breaking to read of the characters situation. We are introduced to 14 year old Susie Salmon who was raped and murdered by her creepy next door neighbour. The book shows us from Susie’s vantage point; she is in her own version of heaven and watches over her family and friends as they deal with the aftermath of her devastating death. The powerful struggle the character goes through as she finds it difficult to accept her fate is both enthralling and difficult. I love Susie’s character; she watches over her family with both loyalty and heartache. If there is one thing that Susie would like, it would be to be back with her family, but she knows it isn’t possible so she must watch with wander and sometimes envy as her family lives a life that she was forced out of.

It feels wrong to say that this book is beautiful, especially as some of the subject matter is so haunting, but the finality of the characters acceptance and the journey she and her close ones go on is marvellous. To say I was blown away by this story is a little bit of an understatement. The story is fantastically told and despite the ‘true’ reasoning behind some of the book, Alice Sebold has told a story she should be especially proud of. It is the details and moments of character interaction which truly bring this story to life and create something rather special.

Conclusion

A book about rape and murder should not be seen as a great book, but this one is. I have read many books, some of which completely got me in the ‘feels’ but none as much as this one. I went through a vast array of emotions when reading this and it really says something about the book when it stays with you even years after finishing it.

I cant give this book anything else but…

5 out of 5 Stars!

If you haven’t read this already, please look it up, get yourself a copy and read a truly remarkable book.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my review.

Speak soon Guys

S x

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