About B is for Barista

B is for Barista

Love is brewing where they least expect it.

Ivy Morehouse loves her hourly-wage job at the funky punk-rock-themed Velvet Undergrounds coffee house. Bentley Hollis grew up in a wealthy family and has a Harvard business degree. The only thing they have in common is an appreciation for ironic branding and great pastry.

When Bentley shows up at the Velvet Undergrounds as an employee, Ivy’s certain he’s just another overconfident, rich, handsome jerk—a type she’s unfortunately familiar with. And he’s clearly keeping a secret. Why else would he be working in a coffee shop? But as she overcomes her first impressions, will they both learn that they could be the perfect blend?

My review

These books in The ABC’s of Love series are so much fun! I read A is for Author last month and loved it. So this month I borrowed B is for Barista. I’m glad I did, I loved everything about it.

Ivy is trying to make ends meet at her two jobs in Phoenix. She works as a CNA at a local nursing home and as a Barista at Velvet Undergrounds Coffee. I loved the way she was with the sweet elderly people. She cares fiercely about them and what happens to them. But Ivy has so many layers. She’s a bit of a rebel. And she walks or bikes everywhere.

One day she’s asked to train the new guy, Bentley, on the fine art of making coffee. But she doesn’t just train him on his job, she also trains him on how he should dress, do his hair and anything else she can think of to make him look more like a barista. Bentley happens to be not only a young man from a wealthy family, he’s also the undercover owner of the Velvet Undergrounds Coffee shop chain.

There were so many parts that I found hilarious about this pairing. It was just funny that Ivy is training Bentley to work in his own store. But she also talks about the owner of the company, sometimes not very nicely. She has valid reasons for that, but I don’t want to give too much away. It just makes for a fun dynamic between the two of them.

I loved the plot of this one. There are so many great parts! And the ending is just what I would have hoped for. I can’t wait for the next book in this series! Make sure you read the other two. They don’t need to be read in any particular order.

I borrowed B is for Barista from Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited.

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About The Heart of a Vicar

The Heart of a Vicar

Young love is all too fleeting, as Harold Jonquil painfully discovered years ago when Sarah Sarvol, the niece of a neighboring landowner, captured his heart. After an idyllic few weeks in the throes of blossoming love, reality intervened. They could have no future. Following their disastrous parting, Harold attempted to push aside thoughts of love and regret, but Sarah has never left his heart. Now, years later, he has achieved his lifelong aspiration of becoming the local vicar. However, the role proves more difficult than he imagined. He feels hollow and uninspired—until the most important person in his past returns, challenging him as no one ever has.

When Sarah’s ailing uncle summons her back to the family estate in England, there is only one person from her past she is reluctant to see again: Harold Jonquil, the only man who has ever claimed her heart. But when she comes face-to-face with her former beau, she hardly recognizes the aloof and dull man before her. She is determined to help Harold rediscover the passion he once felt toward his chosen profession. Soon, despite their exasperation with each other, they cannot deny the stirring of feelings long buried—but is it too late for second chances?

My review

I LOVE Sarah M Eden’s books. She’s created a world and a family of characters that many readers have learned to love and care about. This might be my favorite of the Jonquil books ever!

Harold has kind of been mocked by his brothers in the other books. They love to call him “Holy Harry.” And that’s kind of the thought I went into reading this book with. But Harold has so much more to him. I loved the way this book showed that. It shows how he cares for those around him, especially his brothers. Also how he feels as though he never measures up to his family’s expectations of him. I loved how he was able to grow and change during the course of this book.

A lot of his change was due to Sarah. It was so fun how Harold and Sarah had a backstory. And how their backstory plays into this particular novel. Sarah’s character was awesome! I loved the way she was stubborn and pushed for what she wanted, even when things were hard. She pushes Harold to see that he hasn’t turned into the man he wanted to. And she shows him how to do it.

I loved seeing so many of the other Jonquil brothers and their families. There was one particular scene that was so touching that it made me cry.

I LOVED this book! You need to go grab your copy today. And make sure to read the rest of her books about the Jonquil brothers too!

I was sent a copy of The Heart of a Vicar as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About the author

Sarah M. Eden is the author of several well-received historical romances. Her previous Proper Romance novel Longing for Home won the Foreword Reviews 2013 IndieFab Book of the Year award for romance. Hope Springs won the 2014 Whitney Award for “Best Novel of the Year” and The Sheriffs of Savage Wells was a Foreword Reviews 2016 Book of the Year finalist for romance.

Combining her obsession with history and an affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances. She happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library and dreams of one day traveling to all the places she reads about. Visit Sarah at www.sarahmeden.com.

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About Draw Your Way Through The Book of Mormon

Draw Your Way Through The Book of Mormon

Everyone can be an illustrator with well-known artist Annie Poon in Draw Your Way through the Book of Mormon, an innovative art adventure for people of all ages who want to delve into the Book of Mormon as they never have before. Featuring engaging illustrations, ideas, and step-by-step instructions, this doodle book invites budding artists to bring scriptural scenes to life—with no limit on what can be imagined!

What do you think the Liahona looked like? Draw it!

Draw yourself sneaking past the sleeping Lamanite guards.

Captain Moroni carried the title of liberty into battle—draw what you would fight for.

Packed with dozens of creative prompts, this delightful activity book will provide hours of entertainment and thought, offering students of the gospel an opportunity to express their personal impressions of the Book of Mormon through art.

My review

I’ve never read a book quite like this one! This book has so many great features. I actually want to show you one of the pages in the book to show you just how neat it is!

Not every page is exactly like this one. This one has color, while a lot of them are just black and white. I love the way this shows what you’re intended to do with this book though. You are intended to write, draw, doodle, have fun with and learn from this book. And on one of the pages the author suggests to use only pen in this book. Wow!

I love the way this book makes reading your scriptures an interactive experience for the reader. It makes you think. That’s a good thing!

The artist in your life will love this! And maybe it will make you an artist too.

I was sent a copy of Draw Your Way through The Book of Mormon as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Purchase links

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About the author

Annie Poon is a multimedia artist from New Canaan, Connecticut. She is the middle child of a large Mormon family of eleven and has a twin sister. Annie’s biggest artistic influence was her mother Barbara who would take her out of elementary school to explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Annie graduated from Highland Park High School and went on to earn a BFA in drawing and painting from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She has created over 30 short animations in addition to painting, prints, sculpture and music. Poon’s work often addresses her childhood pastimes and mental illness- in particular her diagnosis of Schizoaffective disorder. Most recently, she has illustrated the entire New Testament chapter by chapter.

Career highlights include: The Paris Shorts Film Festival, On Art in Poland, Mormon Artist Group, The Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery, Writ and Vision, MIT, The Museum of Art and Design, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, PBS, CBS, The New Museum, Nickelodeon, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, The LDS Film Festival, The Brooklyn Museum, The Utah Biennial, Brigham Young University, Bonneville Communications, The Madison Square Park Conservancy, Cornell University, and Pfizer.

My animations are in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, The BYU MOA, The Springville Museum of Art, The Harold B Lee Archives, the LDS church history museum, The Chris and Janae Baird Collection, and The Glen and Marcia Nelson Collection.


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About Whatever it Takes

whatever it takes

Sienna has no memory of her late mother, yet every significant day of her life—birthdays, the first day of high school, graduation—has been marked by a letter written during her last weeks of life. Sienna knows her father feels grateful to be able to offer up these connections to the loving, talented woman his daughter never got a chance to know. Yet for Sienna herself, the letters have become a dreaded burden, a reminder that every milestone is less than it would be if both parents were still living.

A month before her twenty-fifth birthday, Sienna finds a lump. Facing a cancer dignosis, Sienna begins to ask questions about her mother’s terminal illness—questions that reveal unsettling inconsistencies and voids in the stories she’s been told. The deeper she digs, the more the image of her mother as a contented homemaker warps into something much darker and far more troubling. If Sienna’s dad lied about this, what else did he lie about?

What does it mean to be a good parent? What role does the past play in who we are? And to what lengths should one go to protect a child? Like the best of Jodi Picoult, Whatever It Takes delves into these fascinating questions of family and identity with power, insight, and love.

My review

This book really touched me. I loved the way it made me think. There was so many great things about it. I do want to make sure you know that this one is not squeaky clean. It’d probably be rated PG-13 pretty much for thematic elements. There are a few words, but nothing terrible.

I loved Sienna. For me, she was a character who I was able to relate to. She seems to be down to earth. But she keeps too much to herself. She’s home in Wyoming staying with her dad on the ranch she grew up on. And she’s found a lump. Sienna doesn’t want to tell her family about it because her mom died from breast cancer when Sienna was small. So she keeps it from everyone around her, until she could no longer keep it.

Most of the story is from Sienna’s point of view. There are a few chapters with her dad’s point of view and one or two from her grandma’s. I loved the way the author did that. It let the reader know just enough to be able to understand what went out in the past. But not too much to reveal anything too early.

The plot of this one is great. I loved the way the reader learns things as Sienna does and kind of moves with her through the plot. I’m still thinking of the ending. And I’m wondering what happens with Sienna and her family after the story. I’d really like to know. Maybe Jessica Pack can help me with this!

I was sent an e-copy of Whatever it Takes as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About Living the Parables: Applying Christ’s Teachings to Our Lives

Living the Parables

As the world’s greatest teacher, Jesus Christ used His skills as a storyteller to teach and inspire His followers. The parables of Christ contain a wealth of guidance, but the deeper meaning of His words can sometimes be difficult to decipher. Now, best-selling authors Hank Smith and Kathryn Jenkins—known and loved for their ability to approach gospel topics in a clear, light, and understandable way—take a careful look at the finer points of the Savior’s stories. They uncover the profound spiritual lessons hidden within and illustrate practical and accessible application for our day. In Living the Parables: Applying Christ’s Teachings to Our Lives, readers are presented with commentary from generations of Church leaders and religious scholars, as well as modern-day interpretations of the underlying significance of each account. This volume will inspire followers of Christ to draw on the power of His Atonement by embracing a deeper understanding of His parables.

My review

It’s so easy to see why Hank Smith is a popular speaker for youth. The way he writes this book is refreshing. It’s interesting and there are little jokes throughout it.

I love the way Hank Smith took each of Christ’s parables from the New Testament and explained them. We’ve been reading these as a family this year as well as in Sunday School as part of the new Come Follow Me curriculum. And some of them are so confusing! Reading the author’s explanations helped them make sense and almost jump off the pages for me. I almost felt like I needed to have my scriptures open and add notes about what some of the things could mean.

I also loved the introductory materials in this one. The author makes sure the reader knows who each of the Gospel writers were, who their audience for their book was and a little about them. It just helped me put their books more into context.

I know I’ll be using this book the next time we read the New Testament! And maybe even sooner when someone asks a question about a confusing parable.

I was sent a copy of Living the Parables as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Purchase links

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About author Hank Smith

Hank Smith teaches in the Religious Education Department at BYU and is a favorite speaker for Especially for Youth, Best of Especially for Youth, and BYU Education Week. Hank and his wife, Sara, were both born and raised in St. George, Utah. They are the parents of one daughter and two sons. Brother Smith enjoys running marathons and eating lots and lots of ice cream (which is why he runs marathons). More than anything else, he loves being at home spending all day with his wife and children.


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About Love Again at the Heart of Main

Love Again at the Heart of Main

Tory is living her dream running her own coffee shop, Love a Latte, and raising four young kids. But her divorce left her doing it all on her own and not always succeeding. She’d consider marrying again someday– as long as the man was the complete opposite of her ex. But she really has no hope of that, because who would ever willingly step into her chaotic life?

Not only has Nate’s marriage failed, but during the entire time he was married, he’d failed at convincing his ex that they should start a family. Now he keeps busy with his construction company to keep him from dwelling on what he’s lost. Or on how his divorce has left him with little faith that he could ever be a successful husband to anyone.

When a tree falls on Love a Latte during a lightning storm, causing extensive damage to the building, Nate steps in to help Tory rebuild. As the damaged building is being mended, can working side-by-side also mend their damaged hearts?

My review

I read Second Chance on the Corner of Main by Meg Easton a couple of months ago and I loved it. It was way exciting to see that there was another book in this same series. I love how the author is writing about all the characters in Nestled Hollow. They are all kind of intertwined so the reader gets to “see” how they’re doing in each consecutive book. And each book stands alone, that makes it even better.

This book was a quick read for me. I read the whole thing in an afternoon. That’s my favorite way to read a book. This book has great characters, a fun plot, and a great ending. I didn’t want to put it down.

Tory is one of those amazing mothers who seem to be able to do it all. She has 4 kids who keep her busy, and she’s a single mom. Tory runs the shop Love a Latte on Main Street in Nestled Hollow. I loved the way Tory was with her kids. She worked hard, and taught them to do the same. It was fun to see the kinds of things she did to get her kids to like to work. I may have to steal some of her ideas.

Nate runs a construction company. It’s a busy time of year for him, and he has a lot going on. But he jumps in to help Tory when a tree falls on her shop. On his own time. I loved the way he went out of his way to help her. And watching him with Tory’s kids was fun. It’s always great when the male characters like kids.

I loved the plot of this one. It’s fast paced, light and fun. This would be a perfect summer read for lounging in the sand or by the pool.

I was sent an e-copy of Love Again at the Heart of Main as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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Deep Conviction

About Deep Conviction

deep conviction

Deep Conviction features four ordinary Americans who put their reputations and livelihoods at risk as they fought to protect their first amendment right to live their personal beliefs. Though these individuals couldn’t be more different, they share a similar conviction and determination, and the principles of religious freedom apply equally to all of them.

In 1813, a Catholic priest in New York City faced prison after a grand jury subpoenaed him for refusing to divulge the identity of a jewelry thief who admitted to the crime during the sacrament of confession.

In 1959, an atheist in Maryland was forced to choose between his job and his beliefs when the state required him, as part of the hiring process, to sign an oath that said he believed in God. The United States Supreme Court would decide his fate.

In 1989, a Klamath Indian man walked into the highest court of our nation to fight for the right to practice the central sacrament of the Native American Church after the state of Oregon had declared it illegal.

And, finally, in 2017, a Christian baker and a gay couple took their cases to the United States Supreme Court after the baker declined to create a custom wedding cake to celebrate the couple’s same-sex marriage, fearing it would violate his duty to God.

Chosen for their universality and for the broad principles they represent, these true stories reflect the diversity of beliefs in the United States, the conflicts between religious freedom and other interests, the perils individuals face when their right to live their beliefs is threatened, and the genius of America’s promise of religious liberty for all.

My review

I have never read a book quite like this one! It was amazing just how much I enjoyed this one. It is well-written, interesting and informative.

The way this one is written, it discusses 4 first amendment cases that went to the Supreme Court. 3 of the four cases were before I remember being cognizant of the news. The 4th is a case that I remember hearing a bit about, but not a lot.

Reading about the Supreme Court cases was really interesting. I’ve never really known how the court worked and what exactly the judges would do with a case. This book talks about how the Supreme Court operated in these specific cases. As well as what kind of precedents they use to figure out their ruling. It also includes some of what the lawyers said during the specific trials.

Another thing that was really interesting was the aspect of religious freedom. It made me think of some of the things I’ve been reading other places. I’m grateful that we have religious freedom in our country. It’s something I know I’ve taken for granted. Hopefully after reading this, I won’t anymore.

Make sure to read this one! You won’t regret it!

I was sent a copy of Deep Conviction as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Purchase links

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About the author

Steven T. Collis is the Chair of Religious Institutions and First Amendment Practice Group at Holland & Hart LLP. He regularly represents religious institutions, school districts, and traditional employers nationwide regarding a broad range of religious liberty issues. He is an adjunct professor of law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he teaches courses on religious liberty law. Steven received his MFA in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School. He and his wife have four children and reside in Colorado.

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About A Proper Scandal

A Proper Scandal

Grace Sinclair has been callously cast out of her home. And though taken in as an orphaned child by the vicar and his wife, her unsurpassed beauty makes it impossible for her to remain in the vicar’s household—with two daughters of their own about to enter Society, the vicar and his wife see Grace as nothing but competition. Thankfully, Grace’s estranged Aunt Bell has agreed to take her in to her home in London. But Grace soon learns her situation has just gotten much worse.

It takes only a moment’s acquaintance for Grace to ascertain that her aunt has married a detestable rake. And Aunt Bell, recognizing the danger of having her lovely niece too near her husband, gives Grace an ultimatum: the young woman has two weeks to find a man to marry, after which she will be turned out. With no experience in the art of attracting a husband, Grace quickly realizes that a worthy suitor might not be so easy to ensnare.

My review

I love it when I find a great book that I don’t want to put down. This was definitely one of those! I loved everything about it from page one. The characters were amazing, the plot was perfect, and the little trains in each chapter were adorable. And I can’t even tell you how much I love the cover!

Let’s start with Grace. She’s gone through some hard times. Her parents died, leaving her to live in the vicarage in her town. But now it’s time for her to move on. One thing about Grace is that she just wants to have a place for just her. She’s been removed from her home by the man who inherited her father’s estate. The vicar and his wife wanted her to move on. She just wants to be loved.

It’s a bit ironic how she escapes the crazy man on the train only to be in her uncle’s household. I loved this aspect of the plot. For Grace, it’s kind of just one unfortunate event after another. And she must work to get herself free of them.

That’s where Nate comes in. I loved Nate. He’s a gentleman, even when Grace is not quite acting as a lady ought. I loved his humor. And the way he goes out of his way to watch over Grace, even when he has no idea why.

This book is amazing! Make sure to go grab your own copy. It’s a perfect summer read.

I was sent a copy of A Proper Scandal as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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Top 5 Can't miss things at the Disneyland resort

There are so many ways to save money on a Disneyland vacation, and the best way to figure it all out is to turn to an expert. My partners at Get Away Today have been in the travel business nearly 30 years, and offer the best service and prices for vacations. Today I have tips from them for picking hotels near Disneyland to get the best deal.

4th Night Free at Hotels Near Disneyland

Get Away Today partners with a lot of hotels near Disneyland, and below you can read about five of my favorite recommendations from them. The best part is you’re not just getting a 4th night free; at some of these hotels there are additional perks just for booking as a Get Away Today guest!

4th Night Free at Hotels Near Disneyland

In addition to offering free nights and other complimentary amenities, these hotels are actually pretty close to Disneyland. So you’re not sacrificing convenient location for better price!

Hyatt Regency Orange County

4th night free at hotels near Disneyland

Hyatt Regency Orange County is the perfect choice for the family that not only wants to visit Disneyland, but enjoy some recreational activities as well. This hotel is only 1.4 miles from Disneyland, and it offers outdoor amenities such as two swimming pools, a basketball court and a tennis court. Additionally, the Hyatt Regency Orange County offers Get Away Today guests their choice of deluxe guest rooms, including studio and one bedroom options. The king and bunk bed suite is super popular! When you book with Get Away Today, you can get your 4th night free on select dates, and enjoy in room conveniences such as mini fridge, microwave, Wi-Fi, cable TV and more. At the Hyatt Regency in the OC, kids eat free (one per paying adult) which is another way to save more on your Disneyland vacation.

Anaheim Marriott Suites

Anaheim Marriott Suites is only 1.6 miles away from the Disneyland Resort, making it another conveniently located option. This is a deluxe, all-suites property, so it is a great choice for larger groups and families. Get Away Today guests have their choice of suites that sleep from four to six guests. Other amenities in addition to the 4th night free include a free, daily breakfast buffet (exclusions apply), in-room microwave and in-room mini fridge. Other features of Anaheim Marriott Suites that guests love are the outdoor pool, hot tub, video game room, free Wi-Fi and the $6 shuttle to Disneyland.

Sheraton Garden Grove Anaheim South

Sheraton Garden Grove Anaheim South is another hotel less than 2 miles from the Disneyland Resort. When you book this Anaheim hotel through Get Away Today, perks include 4th night free, complimentary Disneyland shuttle, free on-site parking and free meals for kids (per one paying adult). You’ll also enjoy amenities such as a heated outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, an in-room mini fridge and more.

Ayres Hotel Anaheim

4th night free at hotels near disneyland

Ayres Hotel Anaheim is just a little farther away from Disneyland, but not too far. At 2.6 miles away from the Resort, it is still an ideal choice for those who don’t want to be too far from all the magic. Ayres Hotel Anaheim guests who book with Get Away Today can take advantage of the 4th night free special, as well as complementary services such as on-site parking, daily breakfast and Wi-Fi. In-room amenities include a microwave, mini fridge and coffee maker. The Ayres Hotel is within walking distance to the Honda Center and Angel Stadium, so if you want to catch a game you can zip right over on foot.

The Hotel Fullerton

4th night free at hotels near disneyland

The Hotel Fullerton is the farthest from Disneyland (on this list) at 5.8 miles away. But thanks to Get Away Today, guests can make arrangements to ride the free shuttle to and from Disneyland. It’s best to make arrangements ahead of time to ride since the shuttle doesn’t run on a regular schedule. In addition to the 4th night free deal, Get Away Today guests can also save with free parking, free breakfast and in-room freebies such as a mini fridge and microwave.

Book with Get Away Today and Save

As you can see, the savings start to add up quickly with Get Away Today. Combine 4th night free, complimentary breakfast, free parking and suddenly a Disneyland trip starts looking more affordable than you realized! And with Get Away Today’s Layaway Plan, you can book now for only $175 down to lock-in current savings. As long as you pay in full five days before you travel, you’re good to go! You can see all the vacation options at www.getawaytoday.com, or call an agent at 855-GET-AWAY if you have questions. When you book with Get Away Today, let them know My Book a Day sent you, and use promo code BookaDay for an additional $10 in savings on your vacation package.

Everything you need to know about Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland

I know a lot of people are excited about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening at Disneyland in a few weeks. My friends at Get Away Today have everything you need to know about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Boarding Pass System June 24th and Beyond

Beginning June 24, 2019, guests will have the opportunity to visit Galaxy’s Edge via a virtual line. Guests may enter the virtual queue once they are inside Disneyland Park. You can find more details on how that will work on Get Away Today’s website.

Specials for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Get Away Today’s best specials for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge include their 5th Day Free Disneyland Resort tickets, Extra Night Free hotel specials and their Layaway Plan that allows you to hold your vacation for just $175 down.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Reservations for May 31 – June 23, 2019

If you can’t wait until June 24th, you can still get a “sold out” reservation to enter Galaxy’s Edge by staying at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels between May 31 – June 23, 2019. Here are the current available dates that include an automatic reservation to Galaxy’s Edge:

Disney’s Paradise Pier® Hotel: June 1 – 6, 2019

Disneyland® Hotel: June 1 – 7 and June 9 – 17, 2019

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel® & Spa: June 1 – 18, 2019

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