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Dog Bone Soup by Bette A. Stevens Review


Bette A. Stevens:

🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸 DOG BONE SOUP! Thank you, Pamela.

Originally posted on Poetry by Pamela:

What a delightful story of a young boy growing up dirt poor. Dinner, many times, was dog bone soup. But the children still had fun. They made their own fun. They grew up together. So much I would like to say but don’t want to spoil the story for you.

This is an absolutely perfect book for a middle grade boy, but reads well for a grandmother as well. It illustrates that a good book can be entertaining without foul language or sex.

I fell in love with Shawn. As a grandmother, I think I would have wanted to take him and hold him and protect him from his own life. He is such a good boy who did so much to help his mum and family. This book also shows how much words can hurt a child. Children get made fun of because…

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In the Spotlight: ANNWYN’S BLOOD by Michael Eging


Aldonzo—Prince, Fop or…Hero?

Annwyn's Blood CoverAnnwyn’s Blood has its share of heroes and villains that you recognize as soon as you see them chew up the scenery. However, one character in particular developed to be far more than we imagined when we began this journey. Aldonzo, the pampered prince from Southern Gaul is not your typical heroic character. Yet, as the story develops, he finds strength within himself to carry on following some horrific events. The following is an excerpt from Annwyn’s Blood, highlighting this fish-out-of-water prince.

“Sail to port!”

Aldonzo didn’t dare look up from scrubbing the deck. Ever since the previous evening, when he had been dragged aboard this miserable tub, his stomach had been turning in continuous knots. But he didn’t dare vomit. He’d seen a very graphic example the previous evening of what could happen if he did.

There had been an old slave aboard who’d suffered badly at the hands of the pirates—battered and bruised, cursed and tormented constantly. The extent of the abuse had been obvious to Aldonzo from the moment he had laid eyes on the wretch. But in the midst of the evening mess the oldster suffered a fit of coughing that ended in a vomit of bright red blood splattered across the Captain’s plate.

Fearful that he suffered from consumption (not to mention outraged at the slave’s audacity to spit up on the captain’s food) the pirates killed him on the spot before he could infect any others in the crew. So Aldonzo fought down the waves of nausea that washed over him. There was no telling what the pirates might think he could have.

He held no illusions why he, alone out of the entire expedition, had been kept alive. All the others had been merely soldiers. Even Kien, stout, dependable Kien, had been nothing more than another trooper to them. Aldonzo, on the other hand, was different—he was ransom material. He was nobility, from a rich, landed family with ties in both Britain and Gaul. The pirates knew well they could expect a healthy reward for his safe return.

Ha, he thought bitterly. Qualify that ‘safe’ return to mean simply in one workable piece. They beat him thoroughly to find out who he might be, and, much to his disgust and shame, he told them. He’d always imagined that in such a situation he would be filled with iron-willed resolve to oppose his foe, who would have to kill him before anything of use could be revealed. Some hero, he thought ruefully. But he had never imagined reality to be so brutal.

His left hand throbbed in its rough bandage where they had severed his finger to remove his ring.

So it was that when the lookout reported the sail of another ship, Aldonzo just kept his head down, his right hand scrubbing despite the splinters and lye, his left cradled against his chest. He fervently hoped the ship approaching would be one of Cynric’s war vessels. But even that hope hung by a thread. The Anglan king possessed little by way of a navy and lacked sufficient skilled sailors to use even what he did have. And even if he had, they seldom ventured this far from land.

He kept at his work, removing the accumulated filth of regular neglect, working his way aft from the stem to the mast and listening to the shouts and orders around him. Yes, it was a trader’s vessel and, yes, it attempted to evade this vessel crawling with unkempt reavers. The other captain probably knew this ship for what it was even before it sailed into smelling distance. Slow and cumbersome, the merchant’s ship would be no match for the faster raiders’ vessel. All around Aldonzo, the brigands prepared themselves for yet another plunder, yet more death.

From his position by the helm, the first mate shouted orders, and the distance between the ships closed. Aldonzo glanced up. The other ship teemed with passengers—Saxon settlers in search of a new life in Britain.

The other sailors hustled women and children below the decks. The crew and male passengers strapped on leather-covered bucklers and hefted weapons, arming for the impending attack.

Aldonzo put his head back down and slowly crept across the deck to the starboard side, away from the other ship. Deck crew cursed and kicked him as they ran past whether he was in the way or not. Others heaved ropes up from the hold and tied on the grappling hooks. Then the brigands clustered so tightly on the port rail that the ship heeled from the weight.

Due to an unfavorable wind, the fleeing ship wallowed a bit, wind spilling from her sail, and the pirates cut through the waves to close the distance. Aldonzo’s stomach churned with apprehension. The helmsman appeared not to be as skilled as he had thought, taking an unfavorable approach, but it only prolonged the gut-wrenching anticipation of the inevitable, and Aldonzo’s innards had had about all they could take.

A great shout broke from the pirates as the grappling hooks sailed through the air to the other ship’s gunwales. Some caught, some didn’t. But enough held to allow the raiders to start hauling the ships together by hand.

The defenders wasted no time hacking at the ropes, but the pirates constantly pitched out more hooks as archers picked off the defenders. Steadily, the ships rocked closer together, and with a great crash and grinding they struck sides. Brigands poured over the bulwarks to the other deck. The Saxons made a fight of it, but Aldonzo, peeking over a coil of rope, clearly saw they would not be the victors of the brutal engagement.

There were only a few experienced seamen on the Saxon ship; most of the rest were only farmers and had no sea legs. Their difficulty in keeping their feet on the pitching deck proved to be fatal. The Saxons briefly rallied near the afterdeck, but the stand was cut short when those pirates occupied with finishing off the Saxons in the fore completed their task and moved rearward to reinforce the aft contingent.

The entire battle lasted only minutes. Then the real killing began.

Mike Eging-9468sml
Meet Author Michael Eging

Author Bio
Mike has wanted to write since he was very young. His earliest memories are of carrying a battered old notebook around full of illustrations and stories. He would often transpose those ideas on his grandmother’s old typewriter. While in college, he was inspired by professors and visiting writers to BYU. Literary classics such as Song of Roland and Inferno were often in his backpack, along with Russian textbooks. Chapter 4 of Annwyn’s Blood was written during this time as a short story.

Mike works in Washington, DC since pursuing graduate studies in Russian History. He focuses in domestic policy issues. Recently, Mike has pursued an interest in writing screenplays for feature films with his first option being a medieval epic, Song of Roland. He continues to focus on a variety of script/movie projects, most recently a horror thriller, Feast of Saint Nicholas, and a political thriller, The Prince. Recently, he founded and launched Filibuster Filmworks with his partners to produce and develop feature films, television and other projects.

He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, Lori and his wonderful children. He dreams of one day driving to Alaska in his old Defender with his kids and their dog, Marlin.

  • What's In A Name CoverAnnwyn's Blood Cover
    Book Links:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 

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Amazing Matilda by Bette Stevens Review


Bette A. Stevens:

Award-winning picture book gets another ★★★★★

Originally posted on Year 'Round Thanksgiving Project:

I love children’s books and read quite a lot of them to children (4-6 yrs). This story of Matilda shows how a caterpillar develops and changes into a beautiful Monarch butterfly. It is done in a way that is just perfect for young children to understand. I think this book could serve as a great introduction to more learning about butterfly development and habitat. And what a perfect thing for children to learn so they can become advocates for the environment.

Five out of five stars

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Kathleen Andrews Davis


Kathleen Davis, author of the EMERSON'S ATTIC series.

MEET Kathleen Andrews Dave, author of the EMERSON’S ATTIC series, middle-grade fiction. Kathleen began writing stories so that she could leave her grandchildren a legacy.

 

 

“When an adult can read a young person’s book and find it entertaining, adventurous and cool, you know you have found a treasure.”
— Sandra F. Geimer

 

Welcome, Kathleen. I’m so excited to have you as a guest author at 4writersandreaders today to share your writer’s journey and tell us more about your fantastic middle-grade fiction series, EMERSON’S ATTIC. I’ve just finished reading The Blue Velvet and I loved it.

First, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, author and now a blogger. I came to writing late in life after a long and varied working career. I was a math and science student so it never dawned on me that I would be interested in writing. I remember breaking into a cold sweat every time I entered my English class in high school.

I’m not one of those people who can say they were born to write. I was always a big reader but never thought about writing until I became a grandmother and decided I wanted to leave my grandchildren a legacy. I can’t leave them a million dollars but I can leave them a million words. After much thought, the light bulb came on and I realized I had been writing for the last 17 years. It was commercial writing, everything from inter-company memos to developing marketing materials. My favorite assignment was as managing editor for an in-house newspaper that required, writing, photography, and layout. If I liked business writing, surely I would like creative writing.

I always believed an author had to be possessed with the unquenchable thirst to write and to have something vital to say, I had neither. After weeks of thinking about what I would write, I saw a hat on television, not an inspiring or significant hat, just a woman’s hat. That was the spark that ignited me, finally! Old hat led to old trunk, trunk led to attic, attic led to memories and a story.  And so, Emerson’s Attic was born. In my first book, Emerson’s Attic, The Blue Velvet, I wove a story about a time-traveling, 14-year-old with some of my real family history to share with our grandchildren when they were older.

Emerson's Attic KATHLEEN DAVIS

My husband and I are empty-nesters with two beautiful daughters, two wonderful grandchildren and two Godchildren. We live in the mountains in Central Pennsylvania, five minutes from a beautiful lake and surrounded by beautiful forest. We’re greeted every day by wildlife of some sort; whitetail deer, wild turkey, a rare fox, and I’ve even had a too-close-for-comfort encounter with a very large black bear.

How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?  

I have only been doing creative writing for about three years.  My favorite genre is middle-grade; hence, my Emerson’s Attic series. That age was one of my favorite growing up and I find it very easy to write about. I have also completed an adult manuscript and am working very slowly on a second. The characters in the first adult novel invaded my brain and refused to be ignored.  It’s a story about mature, smart women who are drawn into a 50-year-old mystery. I love these characters and loved writing the book. The second idea for an adult novel took me totally by surprise and I find this one a challenge with subject matter I never thought I would be interested in writing about.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of the EMERSON’S ATTIC series?

The Emerson’s Attic series is about a 14-year-old girl who unwillingly becomes a time traveler. The first book, The Blue Velvet, lays the groundwork with family history and takes “Emerson” back to Victorian England. She is guided through time by her grandfather in her dreams. There’s a purpose for her journey which she figures out only after she returns home.

EASmokeandMirrors Front Cover KATHLEEN DAVIS

In the second book, Smoke and Mirrors, Emerson’s best friend, Sarah, inadvertently joins her and they land in a 1905 Circus. When I did the research I was amazed at how interesting Circus trains were. There’s lots of fun and action in this book.

The third book takes Emerson to yet another location and a new adventure. I hope to keep writing this series until I can no longer hold a pen or more realistically, type!

What prompted you to write….

I wanted to leave something for our grandchildren that they will remember long after I’m gone.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?  

Not really. I like Emerson’s thoughts and realizations as she adjusts to each new situation.

Who is your favorite character and why?  

It has to be Emerson, the main character, because she is smart and brave. However, I really enjoy making up the other characters, each with their own distinct personality.

What was the hardest part about writing your book? 

The last chapter was probably the hardest. I wanted to end it with a mystery that the reader had to figure out on their own, however, teacher friends and my editor said I needed to tie up loose ends because readers at this age would probably not get it. I resisted at first but once it was done I had to admit they were right.

Do you do anything besides write?  

Yes, I still work part-time doing medical transcription (more time at the keyboard), I teach knitting, and coordinate a local charity project called Warm-Up America. I have tons of interests in addition to writing and find it hard to squeeze everything in.

How can our readers get copies of the EMERSON’S ATTIC series?  Amazon.com or ask your favorite bookstore to order it.

What’s next for Kathleen Andrews Davis?   More Emerson’s Attic, more blogging, and anything else that comes my way.

Readers are invited to visit author Kathleen Andrews Davis at her  website and her blog

It’s been wonderful having you visit today, Kathleen. I can’t wait to read more of the Emerson’s Attic series.

~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author/Illustrator

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African Me and Satellite TV by Jo Robinson


Bette A. Stevens:

Learn more about author Jo Robinson and her book ‘African Me & Satellite TV’. I highly recommend it! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Ms M's Bookshelf:

I received a free copy of this ebook in an online giveaway.  These are my honest views of this novel.

AfricanMeTVJo Robinson’s novel, African Me and Satellite TV, is a most compelling and powerful novel, with a wide range of characters drawn with deep emotions, and a message some may find uncomfortable.  Which is not necessarily a bad thing.  Jo’s main character, Suzette Hertzog, is caring, artistic, somewhat emotional, and extremely inhibited.  She has lived with pushing down her abhorrence of the way whites treat blacks in Zimbabwe ever since she saw “her father punch their driver in the face.  Her 10-year-old heart had frozen in her chest, and over the next few days of listening to her parent’s vicious racist rants over his suspected, but unproven, theft of five litres of fuel, and watching him sobbing, denying it, begging them not to make him go, she finally decided to stop looking.”

This…

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MEET THE POET: Pamela Beckford introduces Third Solo Poetry Collection


LOVE AFLAME by Pamela BeckfordPamela Beckford publishes her 3rd solo poetry collection. Using various poetic forms she illustrates how love can set the heart on fire but also shows how that same love can turn to ashes. Poetry is an expression from deep within the soul. It can be therapeutic and healing. It can bring out all the best or the worst in life. Her poetry comes from the heart, not the head. It is an outpouring of emotion and she exposes it to the reader in the pages. She leaves a piece of her soul in every poem.

Love Aflame by Pamela Beckford at http://www.amazon.com/Love-Aflame-Pamela-Beckford-ebook/dp/B00SRRKADA/

Reviewers have said things like:

“Pamela’s poems are refreshing since they are truly written from the heart. She has a gift of writing a poem that speaks to each person’s heart and emotions.”

“Breathtaking. That singular word – breathtaking – is the best one-word description of ‘Dreams of Love’ by Pamela Beckford that kept coming to mind as I lingered within the pages.”

DREAMS OF LOVE by Pamela Beckford

Dreams of Love by Pamela Beckford at http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Love-Pamela-Beckford-ebook/dp/B00NVDUYQS/
“These are not just words strung together in forms. Somehow she manages to share huge and deep emotions with two words – or one.”

“Pamela’s poetry is diverse and creative. Lyrical without self-conscious fluff. Quiet confidence in her abilities with the various forms.”

LOVE LOST and FOUND by Pamela BeckfordLove: Lost & Found by Pamela Beckford at http://www.amazon.com/Love-Lost-Found-Pamela-Beckford-ebook/dp/B00LEST9Z4/

Pamela Beckford has been writing poetry for about two years. She began writing with the encouragement of a couple of friends and has found that it has taken over her mind. She is a nonprofit CEO and enjoys reading with children on a regular basis, as well as her own reading. She lives in northern Indiana where she devotes her life to others through her job and her family.

YOU CAN’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER


Bette A. Stevens:

Reading with kids is FUN-damental! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Barbara Ann Mojica's BLOG:

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Read Your World

January 27, 2015

Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

mcbd,PIC

Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom teamed up in late 2013 to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. On January 27th, 2015 this dynamic duo will be hosting yet another Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books.

The Multicultural Children’s Book Day team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and…

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Book Launch Tour: DOG BONE SOUP is Simmering!


DOG BONE SOUP Launch Banner

DOG BONE SOUP is not only the title of Bette A. Stevens’s debut novel; it ranks high among the paltry meals that the book’s protagonist, Shawn Daniels, wants to forget. Plodding through mounting snow and battling howling winds, Shawn is ready to leave it all behind—living in poverty, Dad’s drinking, life in foster care, the divorce, the bullies….

Travel with Shawn Daniels through the guts and the glories of life. You’ll find them all in DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming-of-age saga.  Available now at “YOUR AMAZON”

From the Reviewers

“Dog Bone Soup is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when most others were on the crest of a wave. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry. But most of all it will make you glad you read it.” ~ Charlie Bray, founder of the Indietribe

“In Dog Bone Soup, Bette Stevens captures the feeling and images of growing up in hardscrabble times perfectly.” ~ John Clark, librarian and author

DOG BONE SOUP

READ the opening Excerpt from Chapter One right here…

DOG BONE SOUP BW Border 2015The postcard arrived four days before my eighteenth birthday. All I had to do now was sign the final papers and light out for basic training. I could hardly wait to leave this place behind.

There were six of us ready to become soldiers. The other five guys were headed to Fort Dix. Soon as we were inducted, the sergeant who swore us in started calling us a bunch of lily-assed bastards and worse. When the jerk marched the other five guys off, I was happy as hell I wasn’t one of them.

Lieutenant Richards called me into his office. “You’ll be heading out tomorrow, Private Daniels. Here are your tickets.”

We sat in his office and talked about my future with the U.S. Army. Then he handed me a schedule for the next day’s journey and we went over every detail.

“Now let’s get you home so you can get a good night’s sleep before you fly off to serve Uncle Sam, soldier.”

“Good luck Private,” the lieutenant said when he dropped me off at the house. We saluted and I stood there watching until his car disappeared over the hill.

I’d always liked army people. They called me Mr. Daniels and even sir sometimes. Now I was officially a private in the U.S. Army and I was ready to start a new life. I pictured myself in an officer’s uniform one day—a lieutenant, a captain, maybe even a general.

Mum and I didn’t get much more than a few winks of sleep that night. I don’t know how many pots of coffee she perked while we sat at the kitchen table and talked the night away. Of course, it was Mum did most of the talking. Once she opened her picture books, I felt like I was drinking in the life I wanted to leave.

Mum took all of those pictures with her Brownie—that camera was her pride and joy. None of us kids was allowed to touch it unless she supervised a picture taking every now and then. If Dad wasn’t around, it was me peeking through the lens. Mum was fussy about taking pictures just so.

Five books were piled on the table and we went through them one page at a time. Mum had a story for every snap shot. Some made me laugh so hard that I doubled over.

It was two minutes shy of three when she closed the last album.

“Thanks for staying up. I’ve got the alarm set for six and I know that won’t give us much sleep.” Mum pulled out her hanky, sniffled and hugged me before we turned in. My leaving would to be hard on her.

Willie was snoring away, likely dreaming about cars. I slipped in next to him and pulled away some puffs and huddled under them.

The minute I closed my eyes I started dreaming about my new life. No more freezing to death up north. I was headed for southern sunshine and I saw myself soaking it all in.

Bzzzzzzz. I jumped out of bed, threw on my clothes, grabbed the suitcase and headed for the kitchen. Mum already had breakfast on the stove, so I ran outside to do my business and came back in to grab a hot biscuit and down it with a cup of steaming coffee.

I was half frozen and snow was whipping around me in circles when I headed out on the three-mile walk into town to catch that bus.

I shook flakes big as quarters from my jacket when I climbed the steps of the Greyhound. Two hours and I’d be boarding a plane headed to Fort Jackson. South Carolina was sure the place to be, especially in February.

### end of excerpt

About the author

BAS Author logo stamp 2015Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Bette A. Stevens is the author of award-winning picture book AMAZING MATILDA; home/school resource, The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to DOG BONE SOUP.

Find out more about the author and her books right here on “YOUR AMAZON”

MEET THE AUTHOR & Join the Tour (freebies for you)!


Echoes  Banner

Donna thought there was something wrong with her. That she was suffering from a mental illness that has caused her husband to despise her, distance himself from her, and cheat on her. She blames herself for the desolate, miserable thing that is her marriage and her life. Then she comes across a book that will change everything for her, and reading it, she discovers that there’s nothing wrong with her mind at all, but that there is something very wrong with her husband instead. Marco, she realizes, is a malignant narcissist. A text-book case. He has a real and documented mental disorder, and that he’s been controlling, manipulating, and abusing her for decades. The sudden full knowledge of all that he’s purposely done to her enrages her. Not sure how to leave after thirty years of what she finally knows has been intentional mental and emotional abuse from him, and believing that she has nowhere to turn, being so physically isolated, she bides her time. Then she meets and befriends a group of unusual people who share her passion for gardening, and so begins her journey to escape. She joins her new friends in their project to assist elderly people in old age homes care for their small gardens, as well as secretly supplying those suffering from painful and terminal illnesses with medicinal herb and plant remedies, including illegal plants such as cannabis. As weeks go by, she delves into her memories, relearns what it is to be respected, liked, and loved again, and slowly she formulates a plan to safely leave her dangerous husband. But unbeknownst to Donna, Marco is in serious trouble, and has desperate plans of his own, and absolutely no regard for her safety.

** This is a work of fiction, but malignant narcissists really do exist, and it is a recognized mental illness. Unfortunately, many people never realize that they are involved with a narcissist, because their actions are so demonically bad as to be unimaginable and unbelievable, and so they spend their lives in misery, depression, fear, and isolation. If only by the accidental reading of a fictional story, I hope that this book will help even one person, unknowingly suffering , to realize that they don’t have to, and that it’s never too late to start over, be happy, be fulfilled, to love and care for yourself, and be truly loved and respected by others.

Narc12349N1T (2)

Available now from AMAZON

MEET THE AUTHOR: Jo Robinson very recently returned to her homeland, South Africa, after having lived in rural Zimbabwe for eighteen years. Her obsessive affection for the African continent, most humans, and all creatures feathered and furred are what inspire her writing. She is the author of African Me & Satellite TV, the science-fiction/fantasy series Shadow People, and a couple of short stories, which will be free to download from Amazon from 26 to 30 December, Fly Birdie and The Visitation.

  • To win eBook copies of Shadow People and African Me & Satellite TV, send Jo a message from THIS page.

 

  • Author Jo Robinson

    Author Jo Robinson

    Find author Jo Robinson on

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My Third Annual Sherri’s On-Line Christmas Book Fair


Bette A. Stevens:

Some join us and be sure to ENTER THE GIVEAWAY…
MERRY CHRISTMAS! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on rithebard:


bookfair psd (2)

Happy Holidays! Welcome to  my Third on-line Christmas Day Blog Book Fair. We have a great mix of books here. All kinds, for all tastes. So please browse and choose a wonderful book to keep you entertained!

The books for the raffle for this years book fair are below.  I will announce three books every hour and you will have the full hour to put in your name and email in the remarks below.  I will contact you and then announce the next books. This book fair will go live 24 Dec. so you can start putting your names in then. The raffle will only be open during the open hours of the book fair, 11am to 6pm. Several authors are giving both e-books and physical copies of their work and some are giving multiple copies so there are a lot of chances. There are some really, exciting books up…

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