Book Review of YA Paranormal Fantasy Romance The Subtle Beauty Crowns of the Twelve Book 1) by Ann Hunter

This is another #BookReview by #1 Amazon best selling author & top #BookReviewer Ronda Del Boccio. This one is a #YAFantasy #ParanormalRomance The Subtle Beauty by Ann Hunter #CrownsOfTheTwelve

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. I review well-written books, highlighting what makes each good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it a worthy read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

I want to adore every book I read, but that is never possible. I was given a complimentary Kindle copy in exchange for an honest review, and I am living up to my agreement in sharing this review on my site.

Today's book gets a mixed review from me. Some elements of Ann Hunter's writing and storytelling are skillful, but  Others, for me, not so much. I shall share what worked for me and what did not in this reworking of Beauty and the Beast.

The Subtle Beauty: Crowns of the Twelve Book 1 by Ann Hunter

Cover of The Subtle Beauty (Crowns of the Twelve BOok 1) by Ann Hunter displayed on my iPad #CrownsOfTheTwelveA cursed prince. A vain beauty. Glory is the seventh daughter of Balthazar, High King of the Twelve Kingdoms. Glory hopes that - of all her sisters - she can escape the fate of a loveless marriage. But on the night she plans to elope with the royal falconer, her world comes crashing down: Her father announces Glory's betrothal to Eoghan of the Blood Realm - a prince no one has ever seen. The prince is said to be a recluse, cursed and deformed by the gods for the sins of his power-hungry father. Yet when Glory is trapped in Blackthorn Keep she discovers that not everything is what she expected. An insulting gryphon, a persistent ghost, and a secret plan to usurp the prince keep Glory reeling. Can she overcome her vanity to learn that what you want isn’t necessarily what you need—and save the cursed prince?

Now, no book is "perfect," whatever that may be. No such thing. Any book might be strong in some areas and not so much in others. I read as a writer who learns from how the book author applies skill (or fails to do so), and as a reader who loves to get swept deep into a captivating other world.

So what aspects of the book did I find enjoyable, and which turned me off?

Continue reading "Book Review of YA Paranormal Fantasy Romance The Subtle Beauty Crowns of the Twelve Book 1) by Ann Hunter"

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Book Review of Magical Realism/Paranormal At the Corner of Magnetic and Main by Meg Welch Dendler

Each week, read a #bookReview on WriteOnPUrpose.com by best selling author, speaker & Top #BookReviewer Ronda Del Boccio. This week it’s a #paranormal #ghost story called At the Corner of Magnetic and Main by Meg Welch Dendler, set in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's review is a paranormal romance that's more about the dead than the living. It's called At the Corner of Magnetic and Main by Meg Welch Dendler. THe publisher puts this book in their mainstream category. I'd call it magical realism or paranormal, as it is about ghosts/spirits.

Welcome to all Meg's fans and soon-to-be-fans who are enjoying the blog tour. Click the banner below to see the other reviews, interviews and other other fun stops on the tour.

BLog Tour Banner - At the Corner of Magnetic and Main by Meg Welch Dendler

Here's the book.

At the Corner of Magnetic and Main by Meg Welch Dendler

MagneticAndMainCover

Book Description:

It's hard to get on with your life when you're already dead.

Penny had been stuck in the same diner for decades—ever since she died in 1952. Her diner was comfortable and safe. Serving ice cream to those who dropped in on their way to the next level of existence, she helped to ease their transition into The Light, the one place she can't go. Her afterlife was perfect.

But when the ridiculously handsome, bad boy biker Jake Thatcher shows up and becomes stuck as well, Penny rediscovers feelings that she thought had been buried with her body.

Life is still life, and love is still love. But was her existence really perfect, or was it something else entirely?

Now for my review. DId I find this a magnetic read? Continue reading "Book Review of Magical Realism/Paranormal At the Corner of Magnetic and Main by Meg Welch Dendler"

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Book Review of Humorous Paranormal Dog Tale Twilight Bone byDevin O’Branagan

Each week, read a #bookReview on WriteOnPUrpose.com by best selling author, speaker & Top #BookReviewer Ronda Del Boccio. This week it’s a humorous paranormal dog tale called Twilight Bone: Show Dog Diaries Book 1 by Devin O’Branagan.

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week, I'm reviewing a fun and touching book told from the point of view of show dog Tally. This book has certainly gone to the dogs. O'Branagan anthropomorphizes dogs, and I often don't like when authors do that. You'll find out if this is an exception shortly. Here is the description:

Twilight Bone by Devin O'Branagan

The Twilight Bone: The Show Dog Diaries, Book 1, by Devin O'Branagan

In this tale of the paranormal, Talisman the Australian Shepherd is a feisty, young show dog with psychic gifts who is called upon to ghostbust at a prestigious dog show. Tali's companions include her neurotic sisters, the hilarious spirit of Mae West, a hyper, freestyle-dancing Border Collie, and her heart person Valentino DeMitri--who has just found his own heart person. In this humorous novella, Tali must deal with star-crossed love and a terrifying ghost haunting the dog show she is attending. Can her innate ghostbusting abilities save the day? Funny and exciting, touching and inspiring, The Twilight Bone is a chewy treat for humans of all ages!

What makes this book a worthy read? Continue reading "Book Review of Humorous Paranormal Dog Tale Twilight Bone byDevin O’Branagan"

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Book Review and Excerpt of Paranormal Romance Thriller Glory: The Legend of Glory Book 1 by Devin O’Branagan

This is an in-depth book review and excerpt of Glory, first in the Legend of Glory series by #1 best selling author Devin O’Branagan.

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read.Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's excellent read is Glory:  The Legend of Blory, Book 1 by #1 best selling author Devin O'Branagan.

I've known #1 best selling author Devin O'Branagan since I helped her with the first book launch of GLory. Now, she is talking with a producer about turning the book into a movie or TV program. I hope that comes true, because Glory is an excellent book.

Read my 5-star Amazon review.

5 Star Review Graphic

Cover of Glory by Devin O'Branagan

This is a story about a teenager who rises to meet incredible challenges. Her helpers include a fabulous dog, an angel and a vampire. It is the first of a trilogy, and I have read and reviewed them all.

Starting The Story Where The Change Happens

No matter what genre you write, it's important to start where the change begins. Ruminating over tea doesn't cut it these days. Glory begins powerfully, with the impending death of Glory's father.

A pandemic is sweeping the country, and Glory's blood has the antidote, but not only the "good guys" are after it.. Here is the Glory book trailer video:

Watch the video.

Amp up the Story with Internal and External Conflict

Conflict makes a story interesting. After all, if nothing happens, you don't have a novel. There are two kinds of conflict that make for a good book. Both are important. This trilogy has them both in roughly equal measure.

External conflict

External conflict refers to those elements outside the point of view character. these challenges come from outside the person and include the major plot hurdles for the story. in Glory,  our hero deals with the nasty bug and with people who are after her because of her uniqueness.

Internal conflict

Internal conflict comes from a character struggling with her emotions and actions. Glory's struggles include losing her father to the pandemic and the feelings she develops for her vampire and angel guardians.

The internal landscape is what distinguishes one book from another. Many would argue that there are perhaps only 30 or 50 plots around love, revenge, achievement and the like..

It's how the point of view character(s) handling their challenges, their road of trials, that distinguish a book. The character-against-world themes are similar. How a hero interacts with her world sets a story apart from the rest.

That's why I say the internal conflict makes a book even more than the more obvious plot elements, such as in this case the pandemic, good and evil beings, and the scientists.

While this is a young adult tale with a 17-year-old hero, it is a good read for adults as well.

A Curvaceous Protagonist

I LOVE books with a strong female character who's curvy, not twiggy. I'm writing one like that just now myself. Here's how Glory reacts when she hears a policeman tell a friend they're looking for a girl about her age but "much heavier":

I bristled. I wasn't heavy. I was--as dad had described me--voluptuous : chesty, hippy, and curvaceous, but most certainly not fat.

Yay! Having so often been shamed for my size, I can appreciate a character being proud of her curves. I'm so sick of movies and TV shows glorifying women who could blow away if you sneeze on them.

Wits Win

While there are numerous supernatural elements and beings, both helping and detracting from Glory and her mission to save the world, there is no savior. No rescuer. She must rely on her own wits and strength. This is an element that improves any story, and I like the way O'Branagan handles the balance.

Glory Book Excerpt:

I floated and it felt good. It was warm and bright and I was at peace.

Dominic appeared. “Don’t go,” he said.

I looked down at my body lying in a soggy ditch in a pool of blood. “I don’t have a choice anymore.”

“I’m here now. I can help if you want me to.”

I didn’t want him to. The world and all its misery had lost its allure. I was done.

He knew what I was feeling and I could feel him too. It was shockingly intimate. He yearned for me to want to return; he needed me to be noble.

“I’m not your salvation,” I said.

I felt his disappointment. He wanted to love humanity for his father’s sake, and I was conscious of his regret at not being able to. I felt his remorse for having failed me, his tenderness for me, and how that new emotion surprised him. I wanted to comfort him and take away his pain. He sensed my affection for him and was moved by it. Our empathic connection was exquisite.

I realized that what we shared at that moment was what everybody longed for—the merging of bodies was a poor imitation of the merging of hearts.

Suddenly, I wanted to do whatever it took to relieve his suffering and the suffering of all those who could benefit from my blood. In that moment, I suffered the pain of all creation. I needed to heal it.

My translucent hand reached for him. “Take me home.”

He didn’t ask which home I meant. His heart knew.

I hope you'll get your copy of the whole trilogy.

About #1 Best Selling Author Devin O'Branagan

Author Devin O'BranaganBestselling author Devin O’Branagan writes novels about uncommon heroes. Her genres include young adult urban fantasy, paranormal romance, paranormal thrillers, and romantic comedy. She’s been published by Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books, German publisher Heyne Verlag, Turkish publisher Dogan Egmont, and indie publisher Cornucopia Creations. Her books are available in print, eBook, and audio book formats.

Connect with Devin

Buy Glory: The Legend of Glory, Book 1

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best selling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

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#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

PS

Want to republish this review?

I am delighted for you to repost this review on your blog or website. You are most welcome to republish this review following standards established by best practice and copyright law. This is true of any blog post, by the way.

Here are the guidelines that help you play nicely and give credit where it is due.

  • •You must use the permalink for the specific post, which is the direct article link, also called  the original article source.
  • You must include my byline and author information, or I shall come after you
  • Following these guidelines helps my website traffic as well as yours. Thank you for playing nicely.

If you are an author

Want your book reviewed?

If you are an author or publisher desiring a review, here is everything you need to know:

Each Tuesday, read a book review on WriteOnPUrpose.com. I delve deeper in these than I do for what I post on Amazon

Focusing on what makes a good read, these reviews benefit authors and readers alike. Each contains helpful hints to help authors make their books more compelling.

Before posting here, I first write a review on Amazon, and I am an Amazon Top Reviewer; read my reviews at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviews.

If you are an author or publisher wanting a book review, go to my Review Request Page at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviewrequest and complete the form.

You will need to provide a digital copy of your book and be willing to accept my honest review or the possibility that I may choose not to review your book at all. My aim is to showcase good writing, and I won't know if your book measures up until I read it.

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Book Review of Paranormal Romance Suspense Voodoo Butterfly by Camille Faye

This is a book review of the paranormal romantic suspense novel Voodoo Butterfly, by Camille Fay. Each Tuesday, read a book review on WriteOnPUrpose.com. I delve deeper in these than I do for what I post on Amazon

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read.Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's excellent read is a paranormal romantic suspense story Voodoo Butterfly by Camille Faye. This is her first book, anhttp://writeonpurpose.com/wp-admin/plugins.phpd it is so good!

Read my 5 star review of Voodoo Butterfly on Amazon.

Here is the book description from Amazon:

Voodoo Butterfly by CAmille Fay CoverWhen twenty-five-year old Sophie Nouveau inherits her grandmother's voodoo shop she knows nothing about voodoo. Or her family's history of Mind Changers, who have the power to change evil people to good. To complicate matters, someone doesn't want Sophie in New Orleans and sends a series of death threats to scare her away from her new enchanted life.

Tipped off by her grandmother's ghost, Sophie realizes her mind-changing spell's been missing one magic ingredient: true love. If Sophie cannot experience transformative love, she cannot make her spell work, and she will be powerless to fight back when confronted by the one who wants her dead.

Fatal Flaw

No matter what genre you may prefer to read, the "ideal" point of view character has both strengths and flaws. Just like "real" people out here in the tangible world.

The most interesting tales feature 3-dimensional lead characters who have a fatal flaw which could keep them from reaching their ultimate desire.

Sophie's fatal flaws are her doubt and her walls. So scarred by her past is she that she is unable to open up to love. And I'm not only speaking of romance, though there is a strong romantic storyline.

As Sophie enters her new life in New Orleans after her grandmother's death, her emotional armor prevents her from experiencing friendship freely given. Poppy, co-owner of the Voodoo shop Sophia inherited, offers her open love and acceptance, yet she is too closed and distrusting to see it.

Sophie's past haunts her and affects current decisions and actions. This makes for good reading, because the reader wants her to overcome those old traumas and embrace her new power.

While her mindset definitely interferes with the budding romance, it also informs her daily decisions.

Author Tip: As an author, if you want to write deeper stories, pour that fatal flaw into every chapter. It adds emotion and intensity to your story. Give your reader something interesting to chew upon even after she finishes the book.

Where to Start Telling the Story

Common wisdom on where to begin a book is right in the middle of the action. I like to say start at the first sign of conflict. You only have a page or two to grab the reader by the metaphorical collar and compel her to keep reading.

For a few months now I have been reading submissions for a publisher, and I have become more keenly aware than ever how important the first couple of pages have become.

Indeed, some samples I have read are so awful that I don't get past page one, or even all the way to the end of it.

Voodoo Butterfly dives into the first conflict fairly quickly, but it begins with the past. The writing is good enough I turned the page, but I thought it was strange to start with history.

The tale began with Sophie's mom's funeral., which is back story, not current conflict  Back story is the stuff we want to learn about as it comes up in the POV character's memory or in some other direct experience.

Beginning with a funeral is tricky business, as the reader has not yet developed any affinity for the narrator. We don't know her yet, so how can we?

If I were to recommend one thing for this book, and it is a minor one, I would suggest making a slight modification to the start of the book.

Not that Ms. Faye asked me, BUT it's my review and my chance to give my own humble opinion while helping authors, so here goes. This is what I would do.

I ould take out the whole section about the mother's funeral and those feelings. THey'll all come up soon enough.

HOWEVER, from that section, I would definitely certainly bring in mom's box of secrets, as it is significant. That box, not the funeral or family oes, pulled me into the tale.

Imagine opening the story something like this:

I just inherited a voodoo shop in New Orleans? Fingers trembling, I read the letter again to review two shocking discoveries:I had an until-now unknown grandmother whom I would obviously never meet, and I now owned her business about which I knew nothing in a town about which I knew nothing. I had never even left my hometown.

Making a small shift to where a story starts can add even more suspense and build empathy. Right after a strong opening, there is time to have Sophie look through her box of secrets, perhaps adding the will to it.

The next thing that happens is the million butterfly march, so that definitely captures the reader's imagination.

Author Tip: Power up Descriptions

Powerful writing does not end with -ly. Power emanates from verbs and imagery. Here are some of my favorite examples that will help you show rather than explain action through the narrator's perceptions:

Describing emotion: Don't write "I was afraid" or I felt afraid." Show the reader how the fear acted and felt. Fiction writing is about the experience through the perception of the point of view character.

Whispers of fear slithered through me as reality settled in. I was lost.

Sadness pinned my heart to my chest.

Describing movement: You can avoid the more simplistic word and make the book more interesting for the reader. Look what word the author described the motion of the monarchs in these three passages.

Millions of monarch butterflies rushed down the street like a tangerine river.

The mass of them actually churned the air, making me feel as if I was in a churning cauldron of steaming stew.

Monarch butterflies crawled over every square inch of the building, making the church come alive The building twisted and turned with the movement of muscles and joints underneath a skin of orange and black iridescent wings.

Transformational Storytelling

Transformational stories are those with three basic elements:

  • Quest:  The hero searches for something important and undertakes a journey of transformation in order to attain it.
  • Tests: A road of trials
  • Loss: A dark night of the soul during which the hero could lose everything
  • Victory (or sometimes not): The hero ultimately wins despite insurmountable difficulties and crushing defeats.

In short, personal growth of the hero is a requirement. Change is what makes people want to read books. Something needs to be different by the end of the novel.

Throw a person into a situation she didn't ask for but ultimately decides to embrace. Add numerous challenges to overcome, including in this case death threats and someone actively trying to lead the Sophie off her path. Include allies and useful tools. And be sure to bring the point of view character to the brink of giving up more than once.

FUll of emotional scars, Sophie inherits a whole new life in a strange town and an innate power she didn't know she possessed when she inherits the shop. Thus begins her journey.

Her own doubts and fears make the various trials and tribulations she faces that much worse. Death threats frighten her, sure, but facing down her own personal demons terrifies her more, especially once she opens enough to truly care about those who care for her.

Personal Power

Voodoo Butterfly is a self-help book as well as a good read in that the reader learns about the power of the mind and heart while reading. There are lots of great mindset teachings threaded through the tale.

That's one of the things I love most about this book. Sophie doesn't merely make choices and deal with challenges. She develops a whole new perspective, and in so doing, the reader may perhaps glean some knowledge to help her develop her own personal power.

Get your own copy of Voodoo Butterfly

Buy Voodoo Butterfly on Amazon

You can read the book on any device or computer by downloading a free Kindle Reading App. If you need one, you'll see a link right there on ANY Kindle book page, below the buy box.

Want to republish this review?

I am delighted for you to repost this review on your blog or website. You are most welcome to republish this review following standards established by best practice and copyright law. This is true of any blog post, by the way.

Here are the guidelines that help you play nicely and give credit where it is due.

•You must use the permalink for the specific post, which is the direct article link, also called  the original article source.
•You must include my byline and author information, or I shall come after you.

•Following these guidelines helps my website traffic as well as yours. Thank you for playing nicely.

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best selling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

Join Ronda's Readers

* indicates required

Powered by MailChimp

If you are an author

Want your book reviewed?

If you are an author or publisher desiring a review, here is everything you need to know:

Each Tuesday, read a book review on WriteOnPUrpose.com. I delve deeper in these than I do for what I post on Amazon

Focusing on what makes a good read, these reviews benefit authors and readers alike. Each contains tips to help authors make their books more compelling.

Before posting here, I first write a review on Amazon, and I am an Amazon Top Reviewer; read my reviews at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviews.

If you are an author or publisher wanting a book review, go to my Review Request Page at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviewrequest and complete the form.

You will need to provide a digital copy of your book and be willing to accept my honest review or the possibility that I may choose not to review your book at all. My aim is to showcase good writing, and I won't know if your book measures up until I read it.

Please share this review all over the social web!

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

 

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Book Cover Reveal: Glory and Pretty Sacrifices by Devin O’Branagan

This is a double book cover reveal for two paranormal romances by Devin O’Branagan, best selling author of various genres. These covers are beautiful!

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Best Selling Author Devin O'Branagan writes stories about uncommon heroes, people who rise to the occasion and embark upon a journey of self discovery while fighting seemingly insurmountable odds.

Now, her books are under consideration for a movie or television series, and she has brand new vibrant covers to celebrate the relaunch of this series. I have read and enjoyed her paranormal thriller series and her dog stories as well The Legend of Glory. Here are the new covers for books 1 and 2:

Glory (The Legend of Glory, Book 1) by Devin O'Branagan

Seventeen-year-old Glory Templeton's blood holds the cure for a deadly pandemic-plague and she embarks on a quest to save humanity.

When evil forces conspire to stop her, three supernatural beings are assigned to be her guardians. Forbidden love, mysterious companions, ancient secret societies, vampires, witches, and angels all contribute to the high adventure that tests the character of this remarkable young woman. The legend of Glory begins! Buy on Amazon

Read my 5 star review on AmazonCover of Glory by Devin O'Branagan

 Pretty Sacrifices (The Legend of Glory, Book 2) by Devin O'Branagan

In the post apocalyptic world following a pandemic, dark angels arrive in Glory Templeton's small hometown to claim the eternal souls of her loved ones. Targeted by evil because of her heroism during the great plague, Glory fights back with the help of gutsy young witch Kaia, inexperienced guardian angel Sasha, and her intrepid demon-fighting dog Hallelujah.

Complicating everything, a rift in time reunites Glory with an old flame and forces her to pay a huge price for love. Angels, witches, vampires, and time travel all contribute to this thrilling tale of courage, faith, and fighting the good fight.

Pretty Sacrifices is the sequel to the bestselling urban fantasy, Glory, which was nominated by the American Library Association for their Best Paperbacks for Young Adults List.

Genesis, the third novel in The Legend of Glory trilogy, is forthcoming. Buy on Amazon Read my 5 star review on Amazon.Pretty Sacrifices by Devin O'Branagan Cover

About Devin O'Branagan

Author Devin O'BranaganDevin's genres include paranormal thrillers, young adult urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and romantic comedy. Her books have been published by Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books, German publisher Heyne Verlag, Turkish publisher Dogan Egmont, and indie publisher Cornucopia Creations.

She writes for Paranormal Galaxy Magazine and TAILS Magazine, is a member of the Dog Writers Association of America, the Cat Writers' Association, and many of her writing projects support animal rescue. Her books are available in print, eBook, and audio formats. Visit her author page for details.

She is represented by Deborah Schneider of Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents in New York City, and Josie Freedman, ICM International Creative Management Partners, Los Angeles. Devin is a prolific author with several wonderful series.

See her Amazon author page.

Happy reading, and as always... Follow your BLISS!

Ronda Del Boccio

Award winningg and and best selling author, and Amazon Top Reviewer

Join Ronda's Readers for free stories and more

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