In Time for Christmas (Romance in the Rockies #2.5) by Heather Blanton

About the book:

Charlene needs a miracle. God has one waiting … a hundred years in the past.

In Time for Christmas — a Novella, is the story of Charlene Williams, a woman trapped in a dangerously abusive marriage. Disappointed that God hasn’t gotten her out of it, or even hears her prayers at all, she has shut down emotionally. When husband Dale becomes suspicious of her daily chats with the mailman, he whisks her out of town and abandons her on his family’s ranch—an isolated, dilapidated place no one has lived on for over forty years. With the promise that he’ll be back in a few days, he knocks her unconscious and leaves.

Charlene wakes up on the ranch—a hundred years in the past. Almost instantly she is drawn to Billy Page, Dale’s great grandfather. The connection is powerful and mysterious, but should she risk falling in love with a ghost? What’s going on here? Is Charlene dead, dreaming, in a coma, or simply experiencing a gift from her heavenly father? She’ll learn one thing for certain: God does see the tears of his children.

My Thoughts:

I won an audio book copy of this novella in a giveaway. This is the first book of Heather Blanton’s that I have read/listened to. I appreciated how seamlessly the author wove the Heroine’s faith in God into this story. In the beginning of the story, Charlene had fallen away from God. However, as we are invited into Charlene’s life and her journey, we get a front row seat to her reconnecting with God. We see how she learns to trust in God again and through her journey of rediscovering her own voice we are reminded that not only are we each a loved and cherished by God, we are also reminded that you can always return to God no matter how far you have strayed.

While I’m sure the time-travel idea is a little far fetched for many, I found that in this story it worked quite well and helped the heroine grow and remember who she really was and to see her own self-worth again.

There could be some triggers in this story for those who have dealt with abusive relationships in marriage.

I enjoyed my time listening to this Christmas novella and I look forward to reading more from Heather Blanton in the future!

(I won an audio book copy of this novella in a giveaway. I am not required to write a review. Thoughts an opinions are my own.)

About the Author:

I write Christian Historical Western Romance. Yes, that often entails the use of firearms in a threatening manner. Sometimes there are fistfights. There may even be politically incorrect but historically accurate language. But also, there is always an inspirational message and strong allusions (at least) to the gospel.

A former journalist, I am an avid researcher and endeavor to skillfully weave truth in among fictional story lines. I love exploring the American West, especially ghost towns and museums. I have walked parts of the Oregon Trail, ridden horses through the Rockies, climbed to the top of Independence Rock, and even held an outlaw’s note in my hand.

I grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina on a steady diet of Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and John Wayne Westerns. My most fond childhood memory is of sitting next to my daddy, munching on popcorn, and watching Lucas McCain unload that Winchester! My daddy also taught me to shoot and, trust me, I can sew buttons on with my rifle.

I can be reached several different ways:

http://ladiesindefiance.com/
https://www.facebook.com/authorheathe…
https://twitter.com/heatherfblanton
https://www.pinterest.com/heatherfbla…

I am a proud member of Western Writers of America.

My novels are all Christian Western Romance because this is the genre that lets me write about strong, pioneer women and men who struggle to find God and then live out their faith in real ways. Like good old fashioned Westerns, there is always justice, a moral message, American values, lots of high adventure, unexpected plot twists, and more than a touch of suspense. Of course, romance is always a strong element in my stories because it is such a beautiful gift from God and a perfect reflection of how he loves us: sacrificially and lavishly. My stories aren’t preachy or cheesy, but I hope they are inspirational, heart-warming, realistic, illuminating, and glorifying to God.

First Line Fridays: A Tale of Two Hearts

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m excited to be featuring A Tale of Two Hearts (Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #2) by Michelle Griep. This delightful story captured my heart! With irresistible characters, a fully immersible setting, and Michelle Gripe’s signature way with words, it all adds up to an unforgettable story that you are sure to need for your keeper shelf. CLICK HERE to read my full review!

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London, 1853

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life,
or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.
– David Copperfield

In the tiny back of the Golden Egg Inn, Mina Scott lowered her copy of David Copperfield to her lap and lifted her face to the October sun.

 

  A Tale of Two Hearts (Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #2)

 12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Once Upon A Dickens Christmas #1)

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

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The Christmas Heirloom: four holiday novellas

Synopsis:

In Kristi Ann Hunter’s “Legacy of Love,” Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman’s grandson, a man far above her station.

In Karen Witemeyer’s “Gift of the Heart,” widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas’s “A Shot at Love,” Fleeta Brady’s rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family’s brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.

In Becky Wade’s “Because of You,” Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

   The Christmas Heirloom:

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading the heart-warming stories of love in this delightful collection. Beginning with the first story, Legacy of Love by Kristi Ann Hunter, we follow the legacy of a beautiful brooch as it is passed first from Grandmother to Grandson’s intended and then from mother to daughter.

Each story takes place during the Christmas season, and is sure to put you in the holiday mood! With moments that had me laughing out loud and then gasping in surprise, I was fully enchanted with these charming stories of finding love in the most unexpected places!

What first caught my attention was the luckenbooth brooch on the cover! I first learned about the luckenbooth brooches and the fascinating history several years ago, and I even have my own (though without a pretty stone in the center).  I knew instantly that I had to read this book and I have enjoyed reading each of the four stories in this collection. This collection of stories are delightful and endearing and they are sure to linger in your memory long after you’ve closed the book!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

The Authors:

History of the Luckenbooth brooch:

A luckenbooth brooch is a Scottish heart-shaped brooch. These brooches often have a crown above one heart, or two intertwined hearts. They are typically made of silver and may be engraved or set with stones. (source: wikipedia)

Luckenbooth_brooches_

The Luckenbooth brooch gains its name from the “locked booths” that sold trifles along the Royal Mile near Saint Giles Cathedral in High Street, Edinburgh.

Quite commonly given as a love token or betrothal gift, folklore also invests the Luckenbooth brooch with talismanic value for protection against evil-eye and for nursing mothers to avoid witches stealing their milk or harming their babies. Legend associates the Luckenbooth brooch with Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587). The form with two hearts and crown can be read as a romantic abstraction of the letter “M” in a royal monogram.

Surprisingly, silver Luckenbooth brooches were a popular trade item with American Indians in the 18th century, especially the Iroquois Nations. The design remains a traditional jewelry accessory and is even called “Luckenbooth” by contemporary Native-Americans. (source: Walkers Celtic jewelry)

Purchase your copy:

First Line Fridays: If Not For Thee

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m featuring “If Not For Thee” by Amber Lynn Perry. This is the first Christmas Novella from Amber Lynn Perry and it was a sparkling delight! (You can read my full review by clicking here).

This story is perfect for enjoying with a hot drink and the glow of Christmas lights. If you haven’t yet had the chance to read this charming story, you will want to make sure to snag a copy as soon as possible (the e-copy is  currently on sale for .99c – click here)!

 

IfNotForThee

          “Absolutely not”
          Margaret Main gripped the smooth handle of the axe and raised it over her head before slamming it down on the submissive chunk of wood.

 

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books
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Wrapped In Red (A Three Rivers Romance Novella) by Meghan M. Gorecki

A Steel City holiday romance sure to melt your heart.

Synopsis:

The holidays haven’t been the easiest for Merry Grainger. Five years ago, she lost her grandfather and got dumped by her boyfriend right before Christmas. Each season since sees her determined to avoid getting hurt again, and so she keeps a steel-like grip on her hopeless romantic heart.

Music used to soothe Sam Shepard’s soul until the death of his biggest cheerleader broke his heart, family, and dreams into pieces. Now he’s focused on thriving in the city, and with the people, he’s grown to love—all to keep the hole in his heart from opening anew with every passing holiday season.

Thrown together by a church play and meddlesome family armed with mistletoe, will Merry and Sam unwrap their guarded hearts to let in the true hope of Christmas—and each other?

My Thoughts:

Some Christmas stories are light and fluffy, some are deep, some mysterious. This one is fun, and engaging with elements that will make you pause and think. Just like real life, this isn’t a fluffy, sticky sweet, story. There are rocks in the road, or maybe I should say slide-offs (since its a winter story).

Will this swoon-worthy hero, Sam be able to gain the trust of the heroine, Merrry who has built up a wall around her heart? There are super fun moments in this story that will have you laughing, and there are tender moments that will have you sighing.

This story is so much more than just another sweet Christmas story. This is one of depth with a message that often we need to be reminded of. Because, let’s be real honest, we are all broken and lost and in need of a Savior. We may polish up well, and put on a good front, but deep down, we are all broken.

This is the first book I’ve read by Meghan M. Gorecki, and it won’t be the last! I look forward to reading many more stories from Meghan! I give this wonderful story 4.5 stars. I hope you each pick up a copy to enjoy!

(I purchased an ecopy of this book from Amazon. I am not required to write a positive review. The thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

“We’re fond of saying He came to seek and save the lost. But that doesn’t end when we accept Him into our hearts. He continually pursues us, His love is just that immense, and matchless.”

About the Author:

Meghan Gorecki Meghan M. Gorecki is an author of inspirational fiction about what God can make beautiful from the ashes of history, and hearts. A lover and avid studier of people, times gone by, and fiction, she has been writing since childhood and now houses her books under Northern Belle Publishing. Coffee and red lipstick color her days as a redhead from a box, alongside her treasured tribe of family and friends in her beloved hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Connect with her on social media and at her blog/website at: northernbellemeg.com
Northern Belle Publishing

Amazon // Facebook // Goodreads // Instagram // Twitter

 

 Snag Wrapped in Red today for just 99 Cents!

WrappedInRed

A Match of Sorts by Lucette Nel

Synopsis:

As Christmas approaches, widowed Reverend Caleb Brennan needs a wife, or his vengeful father-in-law will take his young daughters. When his mail-order bride jilts him, Caleb grows desperate. During a storm, he finds an unconscious boy outside his home with signs of foul play. Despite his previous misfortune, obligation compels Caleb to lug the stranger inside. But as he provides first aid, he discovers more than he expected.

Bounty hunter Grace Blackwell refuses to owe a debt to any man, especially one as charming as Reverend Brennan. To repay him for saving her life, Grace agrees to pose as his mail-order bride. If their ploy is discovered, Caleb could lose his daughters. But in their pretense, the reverend and the bounty hunter might just both lose their hearts.

My Thoughts:

If you are looking for a sweet Christmas western novella, then look no further! Just released this month, A Match of Sorts is a page-turning delight.

Caleb Brennan is a hero you won’t soon forget! A widower with two adorable daughters that will steal your heart. He is a devoted and tender father, a caring brother and a handsome rescuer.

Grace Blackwell is tough as nails. She has to be, she’s been on her own since she was 16. Suddenly she finds herself needing someone, and that revelation is scary.

Will these two unlikely characters be able to allow themselves to trust each other, or will the walls they’ve built keep them apart?

Pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa, and settle in for a delightful, page-turning story that is sure to not only entertain you but to also remind you of the deep love of our Savior, who gave up everything for us.

(I purchased a digital copy of this book from Amazon. I am not required to write positive reviews. The thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

AMatchOfSorts

About the Author:

LucetteNel  Lucy Nel is a coffee addicted work-in-progress daughter of the Lord Almighty. She’s a mommy to a rambunctious toddler and wife to her best friend and real-life hero. Along with three spoiled Pugs, they make their home in Gauteng, the smallest of nine provinces in South Africa.

She works as a bookkeeper and uses every available second to create interesting characters in historical settings.

She’s a member of American Christian Fiction and her dream came true when she signed a contract with Pelican Book Group for her Christmas themed novella, The Widow’s Captive.

Web Page // Facebook // Goodreads // Twitter // Pinterest // Amazon //

  A Match of Sorts

Also from Lucette Nel:

The Widow’s Captive

 

 

A Wreath of Snow (A Victorian Christmas Novella) by Liz Curtis Higgs

Synopsis:

All Margaret Campbell wants for Christmas is a safe journey home. When her plans for a festive holiday with her family in Stirling crumble beneath the weight of her brother’s bitterness, the young schoolteacher wants nothing more than to return to the students she loves and the town house she calls home.

Then an unexpected detour places her in the path of Gordon Shaw, a handsome newspaperman from Glasgow, who struggles under a burden of remorse and shame.

When the secret of their shared history is revealed, will it leave them tangled in a knot of regret? Or might their past hold the threads that will bind their future together?

As warm as a woolen scarf on a cold winter’s eve, A Wreath of Snow is a tender story of love and forgiveness, wrapped in a celebration of all things Scottish, all things Victorian, and, especially, all things Christmas.

My Thoughts:

My first experience reading A Wreath of Snow came in 2011 when the book was first published. My sweet husband, purchased me a hard copy of the book for Christmas, knowing that Liz is one of my favorite authors. I may have given him hints (okay, left sticky notes in locations where he couldn’t miss them). Since that year, I’ve enjoyed reading A Wreath of Snow several times.

This story takes place in Scotland (yet another reason to love it!), and as with all stories written by Liz, I feel as if by simply opening the pages and beginning to read that I’ve taken a time machine, back in time and across the ocean.

If I had to narrow the theme of the book down to one word, I would choose Forgiveness. As you read the story, you will see that choosing to carry the burden of past wrongs, only weighs you down. Once you can let go, and forgive, then you can thrive!

I give this story 5 stars and encourage you to find a copy to enjoy and share with a friend. May the season of Christmas live in your heart all year long.

Bonus:

You can find a free preview of this wonderful story by visiting Liz’s web page (click here)

About the Author:

Liz-beside-red-door-CROP-300-224x300 In her bestselling series of Bad Girls of the Bible books, workbooks, and videos, Liz Curtis Higgs breathes new life into ancient tales about the most infamous—and intriguing—women in scriptural history, from Jezebel to Mary Magdalene.   She is the author of more than 30 books, with more than 4.6 million copies in print. Her popular nonfiction books include Bad Girls of the Bible, Really Bad Girls of the Bible, Unveiling Mary MagdaleneSlightly Bad Girls of the Bible, Rise and Shine, and Embrace Grace. She’s also the author of the award-winning novels Here Burns My Candle and Mine Is the Night.   Her children’s Parable series received a 1998 ECPA Gold Medallion for Excellence, her nonfiction book Embrace Grace won a 2007 Retailers Choice Award, and her novel Whence Came a Prince received a 2006 Christy Award for Best Historical Novel. Here Burns My Candle was named 2010 Best Inspirational Romance by Romantic Times Book Reviews, and her 2011 novel, Mine Is the Night, was a New York Times bestseller.  On the personal side, Liz is married to Bill Higgs, PhD, who serves as director of operations for her speaking and writing office. Liz and Bill enjoy their old Kentucky home, a nineteenth-century farmhouse in Louisville, and are the proud parents of two college grads, Matthew and Lillian. Visit Liz’s website,LizCurtisHiggs.com.

Web Page // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads // Pinterest

 

A Wreath of Snow

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If Not For Thee (Daughters of His Kingdom Novella) by: Amber Lynn Perry

Synopsis:

With only three days to decide her fate, Margaret Main must make a choice: concede to the demands of her parents, or keep the vow she made to her beloved sister-in-law. The answer is simple. The solution aches her heart. For to keep her word–and her freedom–she must marry the only man she’s ever loved, with the knowledge he may never love her in return.

Holdwell Estate is his home, the place of his youth—his future. But to keep it, Marcus Wells must find a woman willing to marry him by morning. For years he was warned against giving away his heart, against the damage love would surely bring upon him.But this woman is far too lovely, far too spirited and kind. How can he keep himself from giving away the one thing he knows, once gone, will be lost forever…

My Thoughts:

This is a delightful Christmas Novella! A marriage of convenience between childhood friends brings unexpected outcome.

Margaret wasn’t looking to get married, but it seemed that was the only way to keep her promise to her sister-in-law. Marcus had spent his youth avoiding the entanglement of love. But forces outside their control have brought them together. Is it possible for two people from different walks of life to find their happily-ever-after, or will well-meaning, busybody relations drive a wedge between the tenuous relationship?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent reading this light-hearted Christmas story. It is sure to warm your heart. I give this charming story 4.5 stars and I look forward to reading more of Amber Lynn Perry’s stories in the future.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

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About the Author:

AmberLPerry  A Pacific Northwest native, Amber Lynn Perry lives in Washington state with her husband and two daughters. She studied humanities at Portland State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree focused on art history. As a homeschooling mom, Amber spends much of her time teaching everything from Shakespeare to science.
When she isn’t crafting with her kids, making dinner or driving to dance classes, Amber is either reading or writing about her favorite time in American history. The Revolutionary era has captured her imagination from the time she was in middle school. Through her books, Amber hopes to not only give readers a glimpse into the past, but to instill in them a lasting love of liberty.

 

 

 

  If Not For Thee (Daughters of His Kingdom Novella)

So Fair A Lady (Daughters of His Kingdom #1)

So True A Love (Daughters of His Kingdom #2)

So Rare A Gift (Daughters of His Kingdom #3)

  So Pure A Heart (Daughters of His Kindom #4)

  Daughters of His Kingdom  (4-book series)

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A Rock Creek Christmas Collection by: Linda Brooks Davis

A Rock Creek Christmas” Newly released in a companion collection! Two novellas in one: A Christmas to Remember and A Christmas Measure of Love. In the 1908 novella, A Christmas to Remember, readers peek into Ella’s and Andrew’s life in their cottage on the banks of Rock Creek. Three years into their marriage, Ella’s life is about to be transformed … again.

In the 1910 novella, A Christmas Measure of Love, Lily returns to life along Rock Creek for her first Christmas as a grown woman. But she’s in for a Yuletide surprise she hasn’t reckoned on.

Don’t miss the book that started it all!

The Calling of Ella McFarland

TheCallingofEllaElla McFarland’s dream is a teaching position at Worthington School for Girls. But scandal clouds her family name and may limit her to a life of grueling farm labor in the Indian Territory. Her fate lies in the hands of the Worthington board, and there happens to be one strikingly handsome man with a vote. Will they overlook the illegitimate son recently borne by her sister, Viola?

1905 brings hope of Oklahoma statehood and the woman’s suffrage debate is raging, forcing Ella to make decisions about her faith, family, and aspirations. When she comes to the rescue of a young, abused sharecropper’s daughter, her calling begins to take shape in ways she never imagined. Education is Ella’s passion, but a new love is budding in her heart. Can she find God’s will amidst the tumultuous storm that surrounds her?

A story of family and faith in 1905 Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood, a time when women’s voices were silenced in public and often stifled at home.

About the Author:

LindaBrooksDavis  Reared on a farm in South Texas, Linda earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Abilene Christian University and Houston Baptist University. She devoted 40 years to students with special needs and reared a daughter and son who are now veterinarians practicing together.

Linda was introduced to the world of publishing in 2007 by winning an essay contest that resulted in the Christian Writers Guild’s Writing for the Soul Conference. Subsequently, Gospel Publishing House featured her article “The Choice” in their quarterly publication, LIVE. The article revealed the agonizing choice physicians presented her daughter in her at-risk triplet pregnancy. Linda published articles in two other collections of stories about God’s grace.

THE CALLING OF ELLA MCFARLAND, a romantic historical written from a Christian worldview, was the winning entry in the 2014 Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel contest and won ACFW’s 2016 Carol Award.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest //

 

 The Calling of Ella McFarlin

 A Rock Creek Christmas Collection (2 Novellas in 1)

Waiting For His Return (A Novella) by: Carrie Turansky

Synopsis:

The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor falls in love with an injured artist-correspondent on assignment to cover battles near Union occupied Nashville.

The year is 1864 and the Civil War continues to impact families in the North and South. British born James Galloway, a special artist for Harper’s Weekly, travels with the Union troops, sketching battle scenes to bring war news home to those in the North. It’s dangerous work, but he is committed to the Union cause. When he is captured by Confederate troops, he spends several months in a prison camp. Finally, he escapes and travels north, hoping to reach the Union lines, but a bushwhacker attacks him, steals his horse, and leaves him seriously injured at the side of the road outside Nashville.

Rachel Thornton, a kind-hearted doctor’s daughter, takes James into their to home and nurses him while he recovers. Her feelings for James grow, but she has already lost one man she loves in the war. How can she give her heart to James, when she knows he may become another casualty of the war? With family drama, romance, and inspiration, this novella will lift your spirit and satisfy your romantic heart.

This novella was originally titled Though the Mountains Tremble and published in A Blue and Gray Christmas novella collection in 2009. It has been revised and updated for new readers to enjoy.

My Thoughts:

From the first chapter till the last, I found myself welcomed into the warm embrace of the Thornton residence just outside of Nashville, TN. While the weather outside was cold and dreary, the fire was warm and the company inviting.

This sweet novella is a heartwarming story of love and a tender reminder that if we but take our burdens to the Lord, He will carry us through the darkest days. A perfect story to enjoy snuggled in your living room enjoying the Christmas lights, and your favorite hot beverage.

I appreciated learning about the courageous reporters, who risked their lives to stay close to the front lines of the battle, to draw pictures and write the stories that would not only be printed and told to families around the country but be carry far into the future.

I enjoyed reading this sweet Christmas story. The characters are believable and the story itself is realistic and enjoyable. I give this endearing story 4.5 stars.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

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Bonus:

Click Here to visit Carrie’s Pinterest board for Waiting for His Return to see the characters and the setting.

About the Author:

174914Carrie Turanksy has loved reading since she first visited the library as a young child and checked out a tall stack of picture books. Her love for writing began when she penned her first novel at age twelve. She is now the award-winning author of seventeen inspirational romance novels and novellas. Carrie and her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, author, and speaker, have been married for more than thirty-five years and make their home in New Jersey. They often travel together on ministry trips and to visit their five adult children and three grandchildren. Carrie leads women’s ministry at her church, and when she is not writing she enjoys spending time working in her flower gardens and cooking healthy meals for friends and family. She loves to connect with reading friends.

  Web Page / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Available today:

WaitingForHisReturn  Waiting for His Return (Christmas Novella)

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