Book Reviews by JAnn

Past Reviews: April 2017 – July 2017

Book Review: Daria Wagoner

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Blurb: 

A true story of survival against all odds. Growing up unwanted with a bisexual, drug and alcohol abusing Orthodox priest as a father Daria left home at the age of twelve to survive on the streets of Fort Lauderdale. Daria would survive years of physical and psychological abuse, rape, abduction, prostitution and would narrowly escape involvement in murder.

JAnn’s  Review:

This memoir was a true heartbreaking story about abuse a young girl faced while growing up. While I read Daria’s words I could not but hold my breath from crying  Daria is a true survivor plus more. Her story, I hope will help other survivors find their way and their own forgiveness.

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Book Review: Robert W. Soll M.D. Ph.D

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Amazon

Blurb:

Many autoimmune diseases actually are quite common, and any one of them may significantly affect your health. These diseases can be further identified and pointed out as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, celiac sprue, multiple sclerosis (MS), and even some types of coronary atherosclerosis. Altogether, there are over 80 diseases that have been associated with an autoimmune origin. Although each autoimmune disease involves the immune system, they differ in that each affects a different organ or tissue. In this book, Unraveling MS, multiple sclerosis is used as the “model” to explain how the immune system actually is harming your own body rather than defending and rejuvenating it. This is accomplished by describing the immune system in simple, easy-to-understand language for the average lay person. In addition, the fascinating way that white blood cells are communicating with each other, and the dreadful role that viruses are playing in inciting an autoimmune disease are similarly discussed. Since the process underlying all autoimmune diseases is inflammatory, the good news is that correct diet surprisingly is one way to minimize inflammation and improve an autoimmune disease. So, if you, a relative or a friend have an autoimmune disease and you’re looking for more answers on understanding and managing that disease, you’ve come to the right place!

JAnn’s Review:

I found this book to be full of interesting information. I asked for this book because a very close friend, she is like a mom, has MS. Throughout the years I have been there for her to talk to about this disease and I wanted to read this book so I would have a better understanding of the disease and how it affects her. I believe Robert showed some very valuable arguments and detailed information that related to this disease and other auto-immune diseases.

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Book Review: Randal Fosdick Moore

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Blurb:

Pocket Poems is an invitation from Randal Moore into his eccentric yet captivating original observations of the human condition where readers will suddenly recognize themselves. Tears from one page may lead to laughing out loud on the next. Reading Pocket Poems feels like a shag carpet ride from the close of the ‘beat poet’ era–through the hippie ‘pop artist’ culture–to raising daughters in the 80’s on the lyrics of The Beatles and Men At Work. And finally, the carpet makes a soft landing at the feet of young grandchildren excited to learn fun and creative thinking and writing games from their Poppy.

JAnn’s Review:

This little book of pocket poems really captured my attention and with its rhyme scheme and rhythm one cannot help but to chuckle, smile or feel some type of emotions behind the poems Randal shares. I found that a good portion of these poems have become my favorites. I will definitely be rereading this book again!

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Book Review: Reyna Biddy I love my love

Blurb:
The debut collection from 22-year-old poet Reyna Biddy, I Love My Love tells the story of Reyna’s childhood, her parents’ toxic relationship, and how, against all odds, she
learned to love herself.
JAnn’s Review
I could easily relate to Reyna’s poetry. Her thoughts of her past wounded  soul watching a toxic relationship of her parents was one that my heart could feel. My parents also had a toxic
relationship, and one subject as I poet, myself, that I never have touched base
on so I give Reyna kudos for allowing her spirit to go free and write and share
about her story. I hope this helps others in the same way as it helped me.
About the Poet
Reyna Mays, known as “Reyna Biddy”, is a 22-year old spoken word poet, author, and
self-love enthusiast based in Los Angeles, California. Reyna is known for both
her positive affirmations and poetry online. Her work welcomes in the lost,
heals the broken, and gives hope to those who feel there’s none left. Reyna’s
work is brutally honest, allowing you to experience her trauma, her childhood,
her hurt, her healing process, and her journey toward self-fulfillment.
Reyna began her “self love” journey in the beginning of 2015 and has gained
popularity on almost every social site since. By maintaining a structured brand
based solely around what it is and what it means to be a “strong loving
vulnerable beautiful woman – inside and out” Reyna has accumulated a large
variety of supporters. Reyna hopes to continue to grow with her audience as she
grows within her art.
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Book Review: Alicia Cook

Blurb:
Structured like an old-school mix-tape, Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately is Alicia Cook’s lyric
message to anyone who has dealt with addiction. “Side A” touches on
all aspects of the human condition: life, death, love, trauma, and growth.
“Side B” contains haunting black-out remixes of those poems.
JAnn’s Review
Alicia’s poetry is sweet, sad and touching. It’s like riding a roller coaster! I absolutely fell
in love with her style of writing. Her taste of words, the rhyme and rhythm,
the flow is such an ease to the heart. I could really connect with her pain as
she wrote these poems, in which that is what poetry should be all about. The
connection between poet and reader.
About the Poet
Alicia Cook is a writer and creative living in Newark, New Jersey whose words have been
highlighted in Teen Vogue, CNN, and USA Today. Her poetry is usually unfixed
and covers various topics and emotions. Her poetry mixtape, “Stuff I’ve Been
Feeling Lately” was a finalist in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. When Cook
is not creating poetry or drinking Rook coffee, she is writing about addiction
and its direct effect on families.
Her series, “The Other Side of Addiction,” written in honor of her cousin Jessica who lost her life to heroin, has developed a worldwide readership. These are very personal accounts,
written to shed light on this deadly epidemic and prove that anyone can be
affected. Her efforts were featured on the episode “A Family Disease” by the
Emmy nominated documentary series, “Here’s the Story”.
Alicia Cook currently writes full-time as the Director of Institutional Communications at Bloomfield College. She loves the ocean, French fries, champagne, and spending time with
her family.
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Book Review: Amanda Lovelace

Blurb:

the princess saves herself in this one is a collection of poetry about resilience. It is about writing your own ending.
From Amanda Lovelace, a poetry collection in four parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. The first three sections piece together the life of the author while the final section serves as a note to the reader. This moving book explores love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, and inspiration.
 
JAnn’s Review
First off I am not a huge fan of erotic poetry however, I am not going to judge Amanda’s work by the theme she chose to write about. Amanda is a talented poet who’s words flow with ease which makes it comfortable to read. The imagery is great, and the rhythm and rhyme is something that drew me in the most.
About the Poet: 
growing up a word-devourer & avid fairy tale lover, it was only natural that amanda lovelace began writing books of her own, & so she did. when she isn’t reading or writing, she can be found waiting for pumpkin spice coffee to come back into season & binge-watching gilmore girls. (before you ask: team jess all the way.) the lifelong poetess & storyteller currently lives in new jersey with her fiancé, their two moody cats, & a combined book collection so large it will soon need its own home. as of 2016, she is working towards her b.a. in english literature with a minor in sociology. the princess saves herself in this one, originally published in 2016, is her debut poetry collection.
you can also find her as ladybookmad on twitter, instagram, & tumblr.
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Book Review: Rodney Jones

Blurb:

“A novel in language as dense and lush and beautiful as poetry . . . [or] a book of poetry with the vivid characters and the narrative force of a novel? Whatever you care to call it, it’s a remarkable achievement.” — Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Empire Falls

Village Prodigies imagines the town of Cold Springs, Alabama, from 1950 to 2015 and unfurls its narrative reach as six boys—prodigies and swains—grow up and leave the familiarity of home and the rural South.

Yet all prodigies, all memories, all stories inevitably loop back. Through a multiplicity of points of view and innovative forms, Rodney Jones plays with the contradictions in our experience of time, creating portals through which we travel between moments and characters, from the interior mind to the most exterior speech, from delusions to rational thought. We experience Alzheimer’s and its effect on family, listen to family lore and read family Facebook posts, relive war, and revive half-forgotten folktales and video games. In this deep examination of personal and communal memory, Jones blurs the lines between analog and digital, poetry and prose.
 JAnn’s Review

This book of poems and prose was an excellent read! I enjoyed the narrative voice about the tender years of life of the characters and the rhyming scheme was beautiful. The imagery was unbelievable and left me at times in awe. The rhythm of the words were like that of any I have read in a long time in theme of narrative poetry.

About the Author:

Rodney Jones, born in Alabama and educated at the University of Alabama and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, has published widely in leading magazines, in The Oxford Book of Contemporary American Poetry, and in eight editions of The Best American Poetry. His books include Imaginary Logic (2011); Salvation Blues: 100 Poems, 1985-2005, which won the Kingsley Tufts Prize and was shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize; Elegy for the Southern Drawl (1999), a Pulitzer finalist; Things That Happen Once (1996), a Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist; and Transparent Gestures (1989), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Other honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Jean Stein Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A professor and distinguished scholar emeritus at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, he teaches in the MFA program at Warren Wilson College and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

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Book Review: Gene Scott

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Website

Blurb:

Jellybeaners is a contemporary novel set in the heart of Appalachia, revealing the money ties, political corruption, wasted lives, and overall cash-churning nature of the prescription pill culture from perspectives spanning both sides of the law.

JAnn’s Review

What drew me in on this story was my own past of seeing my family struggle through their own addiction to drugs and alcohol. Gene’s book depicts today’s society in the Appalachia’s and their story of addiction to opioids. His descriptive words draws the image clear that we are in an epidemic of addiction to prescription drugs. The way he formats this book helps the reader to better understand the content he has written and one that anyone can enjoy. The pace of the story is good with highlights that will stay with you long after you read.

Author Bio:

Gene Scott, a retired English and reading teacher, was born and raised on the prairie of Western Illinois, and has lived in Johnson City, Tennessee for thirty years with his much better half, Lana.

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Book Review: Analie Shepherd

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Blurb:

A hauntingly beautiful memoir! A shocking true account of horrific abuse within therapy! Although these two statements don’t seem congruent, this book, although telling a tragic story, does so in a poetic, life-affirming way.
Analie Shepherd, the author, found herself in need of the support of a therapist after a tragedy in her life. Within the confines of this relationship, Analie suffered extreme abuse: verbal, physical and emotional. As Ananlie says of herself during the abuse, “I had no voice and no reality.”
Finally able to leave the abusive therapist, Analie reached out to TELL, an online support group, whose goal is to help victims in the struggle to regain their lives after abuse by a health care practitioner.
Through TELL, Analie connected with responder Laurie, a retired Psychiatrist who was herself sexually abused in therapy for ten years. Contained within the book, is a four-year email exchange between Analie and Laurie, in which both of their stories are told–the tragedy and the triumph. Laurie, wise and compassionate, speaks truth to Analie and stands by her side on her journey to reclaim her heart, her reality and her voice. The relationship between the two women is a beautiful picture of growing friendship, and the story of this relationship is a lovely part of the book.
Analie’s story is complicated by the fact that she is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personalities. Much of the abuse within her therapy, was perpetrated on her eight alter personalities, and their voices and stories are included in the book, as well as some of their original artwork and poetry. Analie presents the existence and reality of The Others in a gentle, innocent way which helps the reader understand her experience of living an internally split life. Analie also includes narratives of her early life, to give context and understanding of what caused her to be vulnerable to the abuse she suffered in therapy.
From the very first page, this story will enthrall you … the conclusion of the book is amazingly beautiful and deeply satisfying.

JAnn’s Review

I was reluctant to start reading this book, it sat beside my bed for a long time. But I am glad I finally took the time to read this story about the journey through therapeutic abuse. When we think of trusting someone, like a counselor, with our upmost private thoughts and demons, we expect them to be there to help us through and see us achieve. However, this journey was nothing like this until she received the help and guidance through email then a friendship of trust was created. This story will rip your heart out and mend it all back together before you even finish the story. Kudos to Analie for sharing her amazing journey. I just hope this story will bring hope to others. 

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Book Review: Sanjeev Kumar

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Blurb:

A true presence is beyond thoughts, words, and actions. Accept this moment fully and look inside. There is stillness that speaks within at the center of being, where you are beyond all experiences. There is no good or bad, positive or negative, but you are just as you really are. Everything is dissolved, and you become one with everything.
In Practicing the Power of Present Moment, Sanjeev Kumar explores and understands how we can witness and observe our thoughts in order to look within and find a deep connection with the Universe. Through Mindfulness Practice, we embrace the Power of Now which can free us from anger, fear, and stress. It brings divine peace, inner joy, and happiness which can help us to build a positive relationship, prosperity, and well-being.

JAnn’s Review

As a strong believer of meditation and being present in the moment, this book was a must read for anyone wanting to learn more about the practice. Sanjeev depicts his words carefully and uses them at the right moment to teach just how important it is to be in the moment, to react less, and to have peace, gratitude and happiness in your life.

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Book Review: Todd Erick Pedersen

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Blurb:

As with the subtle starlight of the soul, Sophia: The Heart of Holy Wisdom is above all an uncovering of the sacred wisdom of the divine, as it is pervasively present everywhere within our world. Thus, here in this collection of original poetry in prose are themes such as the sublimity of nature, along with the weaving together of this world and the otherworld, and so the convergence of a genuine spirituality with our daily living, as an evocation of what it means to discover at last a home beneath the stars.

JAnn’s Review

Todd’s words are full of wisdom, evocative and a true connection to the spiritual side. I found his writing to be very poetic with use of metaphors and similes that help bring imagery and focus back to the emotions behind the poems and prose. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a lighthearted read with a strong poetic touch.

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Book Review: Paul Glenn

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Blurb:

There are whole worlds that exist, and infinities that are placed inside the seconds we take for granted. And for those that have found the one that they cannot live without, those moments are filled with the truths of their longing and the desperation of their desires.
The Long Night of Pleasure is the latest book by romance writer Paul Glenn that perfectly blends poetry and prose with romance and erotica.

Review:

Sensual poetry packed with great talent!
I have read other works by Mr. Glenn and I have enjoyed them all. This book of poetry shows a true romantic and sensual side of his work. His taste for romance, love and sex are present in each poem with unbelievable imagery and rhythm. His work is one that I would recommend anyone looking for honest, true romantic and erotic poetry to read, Within this book of poetry, Mr. Glenn tossed a hot, steamy erotic short story in the middle of the book, this to me really helped pick up the pace of the book in which the reader can truly enjoy.

The cover of Mr. Glenn’s book is just beautiful. His cover model, CK Stephanie has that aurora to her eyes that draws the reader to his work. CK Stephanie is just beautiful and welcomes you to the world of Mr. Glenn’s poetry. The color scheme is just gorgeous around her face with a mystery touch behind it.

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Book Review: Ellie Douglas

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Blurb:

Imagine waking up from a blackout, your memory betraying you as to where you have been or what you have done. This is what happens to beautiful and sexy, 24 year old, Annabelle Worthington.

Growing up, Annabelle’s life was anything but normal. Living with loveless parents, she was subjected to unimaginable abuse and torture at the hands of those who should have protected her. Her saving grace was her relationship with Ivy and Eva.

As an adult, she met Brett Campbell and finally her world became filled with the happiness, stability and love that she had never known. Then something unthinkable happens that destroys her idyllic life and fills her with rage. Annabelle’s blackouts increase and memories of her abusive childhood threatens to imprison her.

When Ivy and Eva comes back into her life, Annabelle elicits their help to rid the world of all cheating bastards.

Is there anything that can stop them before they wreak havoc on California? Which of them really poses the most danger to those who least expect it?

How many lives will be lost because of sexual desires and memories from the past?

JAnn’s Review:

This book was packed full of excitement and steamy scenes and murderous plots. Throughout the story is every type of chaotic events a reader would want, The pace of the story is in full force. Ellie’s writing is so engrossed with talent on creating each chapter of charters that just continued to build till the end. Ellie’s imagination had to be captured onto paper for all of us to enjoy her characters of Toxic Desire, the overall feeling of the book is a turbulent ride of flashbacks with the urge to get even.

The cover of Ellie’s book is what drew me to choose this book to read. Her color scheme was eye catching and the image of the city with a lurking view of a girl intrigued my thoughts of wanting to read her book. The title definitely fits the book with toxic desire of wanting to get even and rage of hate.

I give big kudos to Ellie for her writing is so easily paced and so chair griping. I would highly recommend anyone who is looking for a hot steamy murderous read to grab her book and enjoy over a weekend read!

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Book Review: Lyman Ditson

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Blurb:

Please Don’t Ask is an eclectic mix of spiritual and secular poetry written by Lyman Ditson. You will find inspirational as well as comical work in this book. Do not be surprised by the occasional critique of situations that are happening in the world today. Two poems, “Cricketland” and “Adobe Land” will seem very familiar to those who know Austin, Texas, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The inspiration for these poems comes from not only a deep commitment spiritually but also an awareness of how day-to-day life can be affected by things outside of our understanding. Please Don’t Ask is enjoyable both as a casual read but will also be of interest to students of life in general. Please Don’t Ask is suitable for readers of all ages and all students of life.

JAnn’s Review:

The poems in this book are mystical and mysterious in spiritual and secular way. Lyman’s writing was whimsical and fun to read. His poems touched on spiritual feelings in a secular world of ideas, thoughts and emotions. His imagery was will painted and the rhythm flowed nicely. I would recommend any one to read this book of poems.

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Book Review: Vincent G. Topp

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Blurb:

Drinking From The Sane Water is the first collection of poems from the poet Vincent Topp.All moods are accounted for, the hidden and the obvious.

JAnn’s Review

Vincent’s poetry is the type of poetry that will harness the soul and grip the heart and make you want to question everything in life. His emotions are strong throughout the book and the imagery he paints is one that flashes before your eyes. I truly enjoyed this book of poems! I would recommend to anyone who is a lover of words, life and enjoys exceptional talent of penning the poems.

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Book Review: Kori Reed

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Blurb:

ZagZig Parenting invites you to explore a married couple’s contemporary perspective on parenting through comical vignettes that share their differences, struggles, mistakes, and failures (with raw feedback from the kids).

Written by Kori, a career-driven mom, with commentary from Mike, an over-twenty-year primary caregiver to their four children, this book shows work-life integration from a different lens and creates a safe, nonjudgmental, positive environment to reimagine traditional family frameworks, including dad as the dude who does the dishes and other duties while mom makes the moola.

These genuine, transparent, and vulnerable stories about life as a nontraditional family aim to paint a picture of everyday chaos, provide comic relief, and permit parents to thrive as they embrace their perceived shortcomings in the context of work-family flow. Parenting issues don’t discriminate. All parents experience similar challenges, regardless of their family dynamics.

This is how we F.A.M.I.L.Y. Feel free to laugh, cry, and learn from our chaos.

JAnn’s Review:

This book is packed full of hilarious stories about parenting in a contemporary time. Kori’s stories ring truth, advice, and laughter that any parent can relate too. I enjoyed reading these stories and found that I could relate to many situations as well. Kudos to Kori for involving the children in her writing of this book.

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Book Review: Roseanne Liesveld

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Blurb:

Day 209

And so each day goes; the grief and the gratitude fighting for the bigger spot in my heart. The tug of war between these emotions exhausts me most days. If you see me in the grief mode, you’ll think I’m a wreck. But if you see me in gratitude mode, you’ll think I m doing well. Neither is 100 percent true. I am what I am most days, leaning toward finding more gratitude than grief as the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months.

After the unexpected death of her husband, Rosanne Liesveld felt a desperate need to communicate gratitude to those who helped her through the shock that death left in its wake. The day of Curt’s funeral, Rosanne wrote a Facebook post expressing how, in the midst of profound grief, she found a space in her heart for gratitude. The next day, she wrote another post; then another.

Rosanne’s daily posts throughout her first year of widowhood attracted hundreds to follow along on her journey. Her words inspired those who were not only grieving in some way, but those who wanted to build stronger relationships or live life with more intention and gratitude. It was messy. It was raw. And it was healing.

Rosanne’s posts have been compiled into this 366-day journey and are accompanied by beautiful photos taken by Curt.

JAnnn’s Review:

I enjoyed reading this journal of 365 days of aspiring and inspirational entries written by Roseanne. Her book deals with the hardest and most enduring challenges in life. When we lose a love one, it is sometimes, we all have a grieving process but most do not also show gratitude towards the moments they did have with that loved one or the ones we encounter on a daily basis.. Grieving and Gratitude is the true collusion of our lives and Roseanne’s book gives us hope that we can get through these moments.

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Book Review: Guido Parisi

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Blurb:

“The settings of the stories, the facts described and the style of writing spring from the wealth of experience of a teacher and writer who has lived in many countries of the world.”

The main purpose of Emotions of a Book is to analyse the relationship between the author, depicted as an artist, and a book presented as a living being gifted with its own personality. This axiom can be extended to any other category of artist: musician, painter, sculptor and so on, in their interaction with their respective working tools or objects. Guido asks if a book, a musical instrument, a paint brush has its own soul, sensitivity, the power to influence, to shape another’s will, to make its own decisions? Is it possible that these ‘things’, these apparently inert objects, can be supplied with an energy to give them their own life?

Indeed, it is not only an artist who, when face to face with his working tool, engages in long dialogues with it as if it were a living thing. This happens to anyone used to seeing or dealing with the same things every day: a writing desk, a hammer, a spade or even a computer. Is, then, the process of creativity conditioned by this interaction? Each of us can give his own interpretation and answer.

Guido has tried to monitor step by step the inner drama of an author, aware of his talent, but incapable of expressing it for various reasons. A few of these reasons are personal, such as precarious health, a lack of will and motivation, and another is the fact that the invisible life-blood of a blank book appears with an autonomous life. It expresses its world and its long history with the same human feelings as any person but it also possesses a power which it uses to influence talented authors.

This book will appeal to those who enjoy reading about literature, history and culture.

JAnn’s Review:

Being a writer myself, I believe that each blank page of a book that has not been written does have a soul that is screaming to be created. The emotions and balance the author shows in his book is one that I hope any creative person can relate too. I too, struggle with a disability and the downfalls of not staying motivated. Kudos to Guido and please continue to write.

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Book Review: Jasper Salway

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Blurb:

Written as a sketching artist’s companion, this guide by a noted author of art instruction manuals attests to the value of sketching as a distinct art form rather than merely a vehicle to achieve more polished works. Artist and author Jasper Salwey details advantages of many drawing media, from pencil to watercolor, and their application to depictions of interior studies, figures, landscapes, seascapes, and architecture.

Suitable for artists and students of moderate to advanced skills, the book makes a case for why the artist needs to sketch and the importance of sketching to the history of art. Salwey’s advice and insights are illustrated by relevant examples that range from works by the Old Masters to those of his great contemporaries, including Frank Brangwyn, Dame Laura Knight, and John Singer Sargen

JAnn’s Review:

Jasper’s book depicts real professional knowledge about the art and practice of sketching. I am new at sketching and not good with my hands but his easy to follow directions an d advice made me feel comfortable and at ease. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a good book that teaches the craft of sketching.

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Book Review Timothious Smith

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Blurb:
When you find an old notebook you never know what you will find some times. I was going through what I thought was a notebook with my first book of poems in it. Instead I found a few poems that I had left out for one reason or another. Which leads to this book and it’s title. This is a group of poems that I wrote over several years about several different subjects. Mostly about relationships and love. I hope you enjoy these poems.
My Review:
I have read other books by Timothious but I can say this is my favorite. It rings a bell with life, love, and nature mingling together to form beautifully penned poems. Three of my favorite themes. I like his rhyming scheme and the flow his poems are as gentle as a mountain spring. The rhythm beats like a lyric more than a poem.
My favorites were “Elf Princess” with lines such as “Elf Princess have you put a spell on me? My heart swells like the raging sea” or in the poem “When thou Touch I,” with the lines “In the near past I had lunged.” ‘Opening a closed heart door.” Timothious writing of love so wanted and pure but so sad and heartbreaking at the same time.
I recommend this book to any poetry lover or to anyone who wants to dip there hands into poetry will find a good book poems and also learn from the poet too.
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Book Review: Timothious Smith
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Blurb:

Alfonso the Tortoise: A Royal Tortoise Tale – is a beautiful illustrated children’s book by Susan Moffat.

Alfonso the Tortoise teaches children about solving problems and the importance of friendship. Perfect for bedtime or for older children to read to themselves.

This is a story of a very special tortoise who lives in the Land of Garden, far away from his royal home.

Meet Alfonso the tortoise. A Prince who left home to make new friends. The Royal family is now very cross with Alfonso. Find out how he can start to make things right with his Mummy and Daddy… the King and Queen of the animal kingdom.

Used to the easy life, discover how Alfonso tries to solve the problem of his very rumbly tummy.

Join Willie the worm, Jeremy the bird and the rest of the gang in the first book in the Royal Tortoise Tale series. A series of books that will reveal the secret world of the animal kingdom.

Fully illustrated by author Susan Moffat.

My Review with my 11 year old Autistic son, Hayden:

As a parent’s view it is always fun to read a book with your child. And, this book of Susan’s was no different. I enjoyed reading this book with Hayden just as much as he enjoyed listening to it. We talked throughout the story for he always asks many questions when a book is being read. We laughed as well at several different parts of the story.

Prince Alfonso was a cute little tortoise that woke up one morning and found no breakfast in his bowl. He adventured throughout the garden in seek of something yummy. He met new friends who offered their help in trying to fill his tummy.

My son especially liked Alfonso and Jeremy.

As a parent, I highly recommend this book as a joyful time to bond with your child by reading a cute funny tale about Alfonso the Tortoise.

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Past Reviews July 2017

 

Book Review: Blaque Diamond

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Book Blurb:

First, comes love, then lies, and then heartbreak. Well, at least that’s the case with the couples in these captivating short-stories in this collection of love gone wrong. It seems like some people say, “I love you” and don’t mean it and loyalty to their partner isn’t their strongest character trait. How would you feel if you were Davon and you found out a child you have raised for the last ten years wasn’t yours? How about if you were in Regina’s shoes, dealing with a husband who thinks you’re his personal punching bag? Lisa isn’t being satisfied at home the way she thinks she deserves, so she seeks pleasure elsewhere, and guess who it is. Tamika thinks she has the perfect man, but she’s wrong when his other woman shows up to get what she believes is rightly hers. When you’re scorned, sometimes it causes you to do things you wouldn’t normally do, such as in Kimberley’s case, but you can snap when you’ve been pushed too far. Come along for the journey through the relationships of these five couples as they deal with love, lies, and heartbreak. Love isn’t perfect, and these couples prove just how imperfect love can truly be.

JAnn’s Book Review:

Blaque’s writing was so natural and easy to enjoy. Each short story captured my attention and held it there until the end. My favorite story about Regina & Calvin. It clicked close to situations a lot of women find themselves in and her character building was tremendous and done just at the right moment throughout the story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a piece of good literature.

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Book Review: Ron Shaw
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Amazon

Book Blurb:

Travel back to 1958 with an angel on a mission to a CHRISTMAS PAST, as we’re shown a heart-rending story of a destitute family who happiness and Christmas had all but passed over.
Do the impoverished deserve kindness, generosity, or love?
Striving to survive life’s frigid and bitter winds, a jilted mother and her four, young children will be tested like never before.
Despite the crushing odds, will one boy’s prayers be answered?
Only time and AN ANGEL’S STORY will tell.

JAnn’s Book Review:

This was such a sad story based on true events with a happy ending. I give kudos to Ron for writing this book with such a force where one can feel as if they were there at Christmas in 1958. His words bring hope back into Christmas and what it really means. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a warm-hearten story to read.

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Book Review: LiYana Silver
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Amazon

Blurb:

There is a particular kind of insanity running rampant in the world that compels most women to stuff down, ignore, or hide parts of ourselves in order to be acceptable, attractive, or taken seriously.

Which doesn’t work. It actually ensures we remain unfulfilled, miserable, and at war with ourselves—and that is a war no woman can win.

So now comes the good news:
There is a path to help you become the woman you are aching to become.

This path is unruly, messy, a wee bit naughty, and audaciously asks you trust the very parts of you that you previously warred against. While this path has no script, map, or blueprint, you’ll learn to use your sensuous, desirous, wildly feeling female body as a steadfast and trustworthy compass.

This is the path of Feminine Genius.

To get you started, you’ll have the best of guides: women’s life coach LiYana Silver. “One of the most enduringly inspiring things in my life,” says LiYana, “is to watch a woman slip the Gordian knot of self-loathing, people-pleasing, and over-achieving and become simply and fully herself.”

Partly an irreverently reverent feminist treatise and partly a non-denominational devotional hymnal to the Sacred Feminine, Feminine Genius just might change forever what you know about your body, soul, sexuality, intuition, and power. In these pages, LiYana invites you to:

  • Go deep and reconnect with the powerful parts of yourself you’ve hidden away
  • Meet your innate genius: the wild, creative, and infallible wisdom of your body
  • Brighten your everyday with hands-on practices
  • Tap into your inner knowing so you can stop second-guessing yourself and get clear about your next steps
  • Learn how to embrace your sexuality, emotions, desires, and cycles so you can achieve enormous effectiveness and fulfillment in life
  • Navigate your “dark” and work with painful, difficult experiences in healthy ways
  • Learn how you overuse your “masculine” strengths to the point of personal, cultural, and global breakdown
  • Discover why your “feminine” isn’t weak, but is one of the strongest and most trustworthy parts of you
  • Explore the history, physics, and biology of a universe built for harmony between “masculine” and “feminine”
  • Look in the mirror and see the face of the Goddess gazing back at you

If you found a dusty bottle on a shelf of your cellar, there would be only one way to know if it contained an all-knowing genie with the power to actualize your deepest desires: open, and look inside.

Feminine Genius is a provocative wake-up call, nudging you to uncork that fabulous flask and find out just how much magic you’ve been hiding. Because you do have a genie in your bottle—and genius in your body.

Are you ready to open, and look inside?

 

JAnn’s Book Review:

First off I wish every women in the world would receive a copy of this book in the mail as a gift. This book is the one we have been waiting for. The one we have stood and searched the book shelves of our local book stores or small libraries. This book will help! It has hands on activities that will teach a woman to rebuild your inner worth for it to shine on the outside. It helped me in many ways in dealing with writing my last novella about my past and it taught me how to accept, move on and to shine once again.

My Thoughts:

I usually don’t add any extra thoughts to book reviews but this book was something I found that I could use as a masterpiece to maybe give the next woman who came across this book review some hope. My novella, “It’s Now My Time: Coffee, Poetry & The Past,” is my survival story from a long spiel of tragic events in my life and how I was affected. I started reading this book while I wrote and within the first couple chapters I felt a spark go off in me like nothing before I knew I was going to write and finish my book this time because I had my spark in my inner child of what my dream of being a writer met to me back. LiYana’s activities helped me face pain I never knew I had and it helped me put that pain down on paper.

I just suggest if any woman feels like she isn’t worth anything or if you are a writer you is just starting and need something boost your self-esteem; then I suggest you read LiYana’s book, “Feminine Genius”

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Hayden’s Review for Author Pete Leriget
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My son Hayden is 11 and is Autistic. He struggles with his Language Arts but loves being read too and he enjoys sharing his thoughts about books. I received this book for him through WordSlinger. Here is his thoughts on Pete’s story about two dogs who go on an adventure.

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Amazon

Blurb:

Hi I’m Blitz…. I’m a German Shorthair Pointer. A bit of a working dog. My job is to take care of things here on the farm where I live with my owner, Pete. My duties include keeping the peace on the farm among the other critters that live here, keeping the riffraff away and playing, but don’t tell Pete about the last one. Well enough about me, this is a story about how Uncle Drake came to live with us, the dangerous mission we embarked on and the lifelong friends we made along the way. Uncle Drake came to us badly beaten and half-starved, it took Pete and I weeks to nurse him back to health, but other than the health problems something always seemed to bother him, when I finally got him to tell me what was wrong I couldn’t believe it, he told me he had to go back to where he came from and get something his mother had left him. So that’s where the first adventure begins. Getting there was only half the battle, but when we got there the trouble really began.

Hayden’s Review:

Uncle Drake is my favorite character in this story, along with Beaver John. I liked how Uncle Drake was able to get back his mother collar. The art is good. Hermit Sam is the bad guy in this story, and I’m glad Uncle Drake doesn’t live with him any more. I also this the title is a good name for this book.

If you are a children’s author and would like Hayden to review your book in physical form, you may send me an email at echoic.jenniferann@gmail.com and I will discuss a review.

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Book Review: Renee Scattergood
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Amazon

Book Blurb:

“This is the first time I’ve read a serial and I didn’t know what to expect. I was pulled into the story right away. The pacing was cleverly crafted so that while the action had the pages turning, there was enough back story to keep you rooted in the plot.”
~ Melissa Barker-Simpson, Author of the Morgan and Fairchild Series

“Scattergood’s writing style is simple and straightforward and her characters very believable.”
~ Grant Leishman, Author of Tortured Minds

“One of the best things about the series are the characters, who are human and sympathetic. The heroine is both a tough, capable young woman, and a naive and self-centered teenager; the tension between the two sides of her personality as she is suddenly forced to leave childhood behind and enter into adulthood is often well-captured, as is her ambivalent relationship with her foster father.”
~ E.P. Clark, Author of The Zemnian Trilogy

The Hidden Truth (Episode 1)

A young shadow stalker is destined to enslave the people of the Serpent Isles, and the Galvadi Empire want this child of prophecy dead. Auren Trasks perfectly normal life is disrupted when the Galvadi invade, and she learns a startling secret about her past. A secret that will change her life forever.

The Delohi-Saqu’s Fate (Episode 2)

Auren is being targeted by the Council of Elders, and the only one who could put an end to their corruption is her father. But leaving the Dark Isle would turn Kado against her.

Shadows’ Betrayal (Episode 3)

After seeing the monster she will become, Auren swears not to leave the Dark Isle. Despite that, the elders are conspiring against her. To escape their scheming, she and Kado decide to explore the Dark Isle. But worse things await them in the forests.

Forbidden Love (Episode 4)

Kado and Auren survive a deadly storm, but when Auren is forbidden from pursuing love with another young shadow stalker, will it be enough to drive a wedge between her and her foster father?

Destiny Reconciled Part 1 (Episode 5)

Auren and Kado accept that they may not be able to avoid her leaving the Dark Isle. Now they have to prepare for that eventuality. Will the training be more than Auren can handle?

Destiny Reconciled Part 2 (Episode 6)

Cathnor has been arrested and is facing a death sentence. The Dark Isle is out of control, and Kado is the only one who can help his people. So he prepares Auren for the possibility that she may have to leave the Dark Isle without him and face her destiny alone, but can she leave him and do what must be done?

JAnn’s Book Review:

First off this is the first time in ages I have read this genre but I am glad I did. I truly enjoyed Renee’s work and her character building kept me wanting to turn the page. Her story starts of The Hidden Truth and ends at Destiny Reconciled Part 2. My favorite was The Hidden Truth, I found it to be the most intriguing episode. I loved the way she created each scene and with each page her plot continued to grow and shine. This is a great story and one I will be moving on to the next bundle of Episodes. I recommend this book to anyone who likes strong characters and a good plot.

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Book Review: Gwen Hernandez
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Amazon

Blurb:

Can’t find that amazing idea in your pile of sticky notes? Distracted by blog posts, social media, and email? Looking for an easy way to keep track of your research?

This booklet (about 30 pages) introduces handy–and often free or inexpensive–computer-based tools to help you eliminate distractions, track your progress, organize your research, capture new ideas anywhere, streamline your writing process, and safeguard your hard work.

Lessons in this booklet are based on a week-long class Gwen taught for the Romance Writers of America in June 2013.

My Review:

Being a writer for years now, this book was interest to me in hopes it held unknown tips. However, I feel this book would have been better and more useful years ago. I would recommend this book for new comers to the writing world. Gwen does make some valid points and tips throughout the book.

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Book Review: RM Cruz
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Amazon

Blurb:

Paper Towers is the second collection of poetry by RM Cruz. This collection is inspired by the females who roam the night and enjoy having fun. Whether you’re the loud and rambunctious specimen, or the strong and silent type; this is the poetry collection meant for you. Never stop dazzling for anyone!

Review:

This book of poems was an enticing read of great work by RM. Her poetry stalks the every day emotions of life. With great imagery and rhythm the poems flow like water and they reach out and touch the soul of the reader.

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Book Review: G H Neale
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Amazon

Blurb:

ARCHIPELAGO, a literary fiction of four characters’ discrete lives one random day in one random town.

The reader is chaperoned through the animated reality of this town. A town which “not in all historie, any memorable thing concerning it” occurred and, through performances of the characters, is invited to consider his own communal actions.

The novel commences with inquisitive poet Philomena Isabela Cordova passing her second novel to newly found friend Parveen Pattni, a young Hindu lesbian and burgeoning fine artist. Parveen begins to read Philomena’s book at the same time as Stephen Rei, disillusioned and hedonistic literary agent of some fifty years, is reading another one of Philomena’s “scribblings”. Philomena is lustily pursued by her step-sister’s husband and, as per the classical myth, Stephen and Parveen read of her assault, her retribution and more.

For ARCHIPELAGO is a very queer affair, unbearably queer perhaps

JAnn’s Review:

This book reveals the minds of some of what life is like for the deepest & greatest thinkers. It depicts a novel where one may scratch their head and wonder or one may find themselves agreeing what is written on the fine pages of this book.

Archipelago tells a rather interesting story about several characters, one being a shy but geeky poet. As you read about her travels and life in a small England village the reader becomes captivated by how G H creates so many characters and their lives all in one day of life in this village. Simply put, the complexity of this story is that it covers so many lives in such a short about time

G H’s words play out in many different elements of literacy and prose that entice and keeps the reader wanting to flip the page and read more. He pushes every boundary just likes the greats of Yeats, Elliot, & Joyce. This is a must read for anyone who seeks to find a great work of literacy.

Interview with G H Neale

I had the honor of working with G H Neale a few months back when I was running my own e-magazine for writers. This is a clip from my last issue. It is an interview I had with G H.

Q1. Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I was born the same week as the death penalty was abolished in the United Kingdom – a matter of some good fortune.

 

Q2. What does “being creative” mean to you?

An author’s task is to reveal what is real, that which hides behind cloistered, back-stories. To say something about a something, for art really does have purpose. All dice are cast toward that, forward, in a general determined trajectory. Even though everything may be foreordained. Persuaded that the censure of human error and vices, the peculiar function of art, can be likewise extended to the non-plastic, I have extracted from innumerable extravagant vices and follies, a commonality of human society, those that on one hand invite ridicule, on the other an indulgence of fancy. It is, hopefully, assumed without temerity that the shortcomings will be easily excused. Within these selections the universal seems most apropos of its end, united as it were, with the shared circumstance that nature provides. From these convictions, ingeniously interpreted, are results which should not please travesty but earn instead the servile epithet of inventor of the creative.

Q3. What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

Mankind and wine.

Q4. Do you have any current or future projects?

My second novel, ARRIBA, is completed and I am now outlining a third.

Q5. What is the relationship between your speaking voice and your written voice?

I am a meta-fictional author. The lines of authorial voice are complicated, confusing and cryptic. This is deliberate.

Q6. What is the best advice you have for other authors?

Study all assiduously and write these observations down in a notebook, one which you must always carry.

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Author Bio:

Mr G H Neale was born the same week as the death penalty was abolished in the United Kingdom – a matter of some good fortune. He is occasionally accompanied by his wife and three children as he traverses the highways and byways of the Kentish countryside.

He appears in pseudonym as Señor Sin Nombre, and from time to time blogs a bit about distressing matters here: Archipelago: A Problem Blog

Twitter

 

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Book Review: Tina-Marie Miller
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Blurb:

Shaken from the sudden death of her mother, Poppy Jackson’s only light amidst all the darkness is the prospect of embarking on an exciting new career with major investment stockbrokers Hawkins, Munroe and Sable, working as PA to the amiable Greg Sable.

The company’s Annual Conference is a big deal in the stock broking world and though keen to impress, Poppy’s focus wavers at the appearance of the cheeky Oliver Sullivan. After a rocky start, an unexpected romance begins to bloom. Can their love overcome their conflicting backgrounds? And how will Poppy cope when tragedy strikes a second time?

Meanwhile, having made the shocking discovery of his real birth father’s identity, Richard Jones decides to earn the right to take control of the family business and not just because he’d inherited it. His mother, however, is growing increasingly frustrated at his refusal to step up. Itching to put her own plans into progress she increases the pressure, completely oblivious to the consequences.

Curl up and relax with this tale of love, loss and everything in between, and watch as the worlds of Poppy and Richard are drawn together in a twist of fate, proving that everything really does happen for a reason…

JAnn’s Review:

I truly enjoyed Poppy’s story! Poppy’s adventure through was will written and not your usual chick lit that is staged. I found it to be a light read with unexpected twists and challenges in Poppy’s life. Being career driven but also seeking and wanting the love found in a marriage and family Poppy faces many ups and downs but always comes out strong. Between Poppy’s memories of her mom and past and looking towards the future, this story was one many of us face daily.

Tina-Marie did an excellent job in creating her characters and plot planning was incredible by showing us two sides of life, one in the city and one in the country which kept things rolling smoothly throughout the book. She wrote this has if it was everyday life for many of us to relate too.

The cover is what actually caught my eye on Twitter. The bright colors and illustration gave me the feeling of a warm, clean read and that is exactly what I received. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an adventurous story about life, love, and everything else.

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Book Review: Suzy Davies
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Amazon

Goodreads

Twitter

Blurb:

“Snugs The Snow Bear” is the first in a magical series of stories about a lovable, snuggable, huggable polar bear, and his tales of derring-do, along with a menagerie of animal friends. Come and meet Snugs, The Two Moose, Mrs Merryweather, Carla and James, as they take the voyage of a lifetime to a lighthouse on The Isle of Wight, a sunshine island off the South Coast of England, and miles and miles beyond! This first adventure will warm your heart as Snugs, in his own unique way, leaves a radiant, magical impression, especially on one little boy and girl.

JAnn’s Review:

Suzy’s story about Snugs the Snow Bear was such an enjoyable and fun read. A must read for all audiences who want to take a travel with a fun-loving polar bear and all of his friends. Snugs the Snow Bear was obviously my favorite character with his sweet personality and huge imagination keep me wanting to read more.

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Book Review: MG Wells
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Amazon

Goodreads

Twitter

Blurb:

Moobala Schmoobala is a big-hearted, fun-loving alien from the planet Googala. He and his best friend, Boobala, visit Earth and have tons of fun traveling the globe meeting lots of new friends along the way. An artful, educational children’s rhyming picture book designed for children K-3. Available in Engllish via Kindle Format at Amazon World Wide. Throughout the year MG offers FREE Amazon KindleBook Promotions, and honest reviews are appreciated, especially from your child’s point of view. Thanks For Your Support.

JAnn’s Review:

Moobala Schmoobala was such a cute little read. It runs like a poem with lots of rhyme about this fun-loving alien named Moobala and his friend Boobala that travels the Earth meeting all sorts of funny friends. MG does such an awesome job in writing this children’s book which I found to be a joy. Her illustrations are prefect and fits this story so well.

I will be adding my son’s review later. He wasn’t present when I posted mine.

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