Monday, May 25, 2015

Favorite Screen Characters Tag

My very dear internet/writer/blogger buddy Tracey Dyck tagged me! She is one of the most loveliest, talented people I know. Every sentence she writes is like poetry. Seriously. Go follow her blog. Like, now. You won’t regret it, I promise! She’s awe-inspiring.

Sooo technically she tagged me like a month ago. *coughity cough* I’m so behind on tags, it’s shameful. But this one I HAVE to do because it’s about screen characters. CHARACTERS, GUYS. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time I’m sure you’ve gathered that talking about characters, any and every kind, is my favorite thing. I could do a whole blog just dedicated about fictional characters. Of course, it’d mostly be screaming, flailing gibberish. BUT CHARACTERS. It was like this tag was created for me.


-List you 10 favorite screen characters (from TV shows or movies)

-Tag 10 other bloggers

Easy, right? HA! Do you call choosing only TEN favorite characters easy??? Excuse my while I break a brain cell choosing only ten. *collapses* At least this only counts screen characters. If it included book characters too I’m pretty sure my brain would crack and shatter into a million pieces.

So let’s see if I can do this without exploding. (No promises though.)

~The Characters~

1.) Merlin


Merlin from BBC's Merlin may be the most adorable human being in the fictional world. I mean, look at him! I have a lot of fictional crushes (an embarrassing amount. . .hush) but Merlin takes the cake. He's my biggest crush. This boy has to live every single day with a secret that if revealed would get him killed. He loses so many people he loves, he gets ridiculed by Arthur daily, he struggles to fit in and keep his secret, and yet he keeps going. His loyalty to Arthur has no bounds and he'll do anything to help those in need. Also he is so awkward and adorkable I can’t. And the development of his and Arthur’s friendship throughout the show just slkdjfkj;oidjdfdf. I LOVE MY BABIES.

Merlin - Almost hug

2.) Sherlock

Sherlock GIF

I love Sherlock. Any Sherlock. From Robert Downey Jr.’s epic portrayal to Arthur Conan Doyle’s original. Sherlock is brilliant, aloof, and cocky in all his forms and I adore him. But since we’re talking about screen characters, I specifically mean my favorite screen version of the genius detective which would be Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC’s Sherlock. Do I even need to explain this one? It’s BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH. And SHERLOCK. And SO MUCH WONDERFUL. He’s perfect. PERFECT. There’s no other way to describe this version of Sherlock. I don’t have a single complaint about this character.  PERFECT. And as we can’t have Merlin without Arthur, we definitely can’t have Sherlock without his Watson. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in this show, guys! It’s not even fair how brilliant they are!

Sherlock and John GIF

3.) The Tenth Doctor

10th Doctor

Okay, so if I was forced absolutely, without a doubt, had a gun to my head kind of forced, to choose a favorite fictional character I’d probably end up saying the 10th regeneration of the Doctor from Doctor Who (yes, another BBC show, they have good shows, okay?!). Each and every version of the Doctor has a huge place in my heart. It is the same man after all, and I’ll be loyal to the Doctor no matter what actor he’s played by. But David Tennant will always by MY Doctor. He’s both silly and serious, playful and tragic, adorable and dangerous. He loved so deeply and lost so much and lived and learned. I think his time during his 10th regeneration shaped who he is, who he’ll always be. And I miss him every single day. So many tears. SO MANY. And. . .and. . .HIS HAIR!

Tenth Doctor GIF

Tenth Doctor Hair GIF

4.) Aragorn


This man is my favorite of the entire Lord of the Rings cast, and that’s saying a lot, let me tell you. How can I not love this ranger who became king? The man who lived among elves. The man who faced a world of ghosts and brought them to his aid. The man who led an army straight to Sauron’s front door all to help a little hobbit. He’s kind and brave and all around inspiring. Good gravy, I love this man!

For Frodo GIFThere goes my heart.

And while we’re on the subject of Tolkien characters. . .


5.) Bilbo

Bilbo GIF

We can’t forget the little hobbit who left his comfortable home in the Shire to face a deadly, fire breathing dragon, all for the sake of adventuring. And he kept going, even when treated wrongly, even when his life was threatened countless times, even when his chair and books called him back home, even when the whole journey wasn’t for his benefit at all. He just kept going. To help a group of dwarves who didn’t even deserve his help. Don’t be fooled by his size. His loyalty and bravery is bigger than ten dragons combined. And don’t even get me started on Martin Freeman’s portrayal of him. I’m not sure perfect is a strong enough word to describe it.

Martin Freeman InterviewI believe it!


6.) Flynn Rider/Eugene Fitzherbert

Flynn Rider Smolder GIF

Favorite. Disney. Character. Ever. And come on, is there any Disney character that’s NOT loveable? Even the villains are loveable! So claiming a favorite is huge. HUGE. But FLYNN, GUYS. I’ve always had a thing for thieves in fiction. Don’t ask me why, I don’t even know, but I just find them awesome. I also love the cocky characters who secretly have a heart of gold. So you can imagine my flailing fangirl heart when Flynn was introduced to my world. A cocky, funny, charming, adorable thief with a sad backstory who ends up sacrificing himself for the one he loves? EVERYTHING I love in a fictional character. JUST LET ME HUG THIS MAN, OKAY.

Flynn-Rapunzel Hug GIF


7.) Rapunzel


I can’t bring up Flynn without Rapunzel, now can I? She’s without a doubt my favorite Disney princess. I love how she breaks the normal heroine most movies have these days and is a little na├»ve, not even that brave, always joyful, and very feminine. She relies on Flynn to help her along the way but when he gets in trouble she finds her courage and uses what resources she has to get them out of a jam. Not to mention she’s just ADORABLE. I want to hug her, too! The babies are so precious together! *happy sobs*

Flynn-Rapunzel GIF


8.) The Mad Hatter

This one is a bit different from the others because it’s technically three different versions of the same character. I don’t even know why, but ever since I was little I’ve had this immense obsession with the Mad Hatter, in ANY form. I LOVE all the different ways he’s portrayed. I tend to love the characters who are a little off their rocker, for what ever reason, and the Mad Hatter, well, he is mad. And I just love him! Used to my favorite version was from a miniseries the Syfy channel did just called Alice set in a scifi version of Wonderland. It’s insanely cheesy but I’ll watch or read ANYTHING Alice in Wonderland. ANYTHING. My obsession for that story has no bounds. And Alice is worth watching just for Hatter. Trust me. He’s amazing.

Hatter Hat Trick GIF

So that was my favorite Mad Hatter for many years. Then I started watching the ABC show Once Upon a Time, which brought in a Mad Hatter. . .which happened by be played by Sebastian Stan. Yes, as in Bucky. THAT Sebastian Stan. *cue the screaming* Technically this was all before The Winter Soldier but Sebastian Stan is amazing in all his forms and as the Mad Hatter just. . . O_O SEBASTIAN STAN AS ONE OF MY FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTERS??? No amount of fangirl screaming can describe the brilliance. I still adore Alice’s Mad Hatter too though. I can’t choose a favorite. They’re both wonderful!

Jefferson GIF

And obviously Johnny Depp was born to play the part in Tim Burton’s movie.

Mad Hatter GIF

Basically, give me ALL the Mad Hatters!


9.) Parker


While we’re on the subject of characters off their rocker. . . Remember how I mentioned I loved thieves? Yeah, Parker is one of those, and one of the best, possibly, the best. She’s from the show Leverage which is about a group of thieves who take on Robin Hood-like heists, stealing from the bad to help the good. Parker used to only ever live and work for herself. She stole for the fun of it and always alone. Her people skills are. . .lacking, to say the least. But when she found herself in this band of thieves she discovered she enjoyed helping others, and found a family along the way. And. . .just. . . *sobs* It’s so beautiful! Parker is a hard person to explain. She’s very. . .childlike. For example, one of their heist jobs involved helping a mall Santa Clause and she was convinced they were helping the real Santa Clause. Then another time she stabbed a man with a fork. . . Again, her people skills need work. Parker is just kind of a person you have to watch for yourself to get a feel of, she’s not an easy one to explain. But oh my is she hilarious, and kind of adorable, in her Parker-like way. I love her so much! And that show. Go watch it, seriously. It’s hilarious and fun and skdjfj;sdjfd YES.

Parker GIF


10.) Lucy Pevensie


Last, but ABSOLUTELY not least. I think we all wish we were a Lucy. Her unwavering faith, loyalty, and love inspires me daily. I adore her child-like wonder of the world, and her joyful outlook of life. Her relationship with Aslan has helped me grow my own faith in Jesus. And her friendship with Mr. Tumnus is adorable. Queen Lucy the Valiant they call her, and it’s so true. Even as the youngest Pevensie child, she stands up to her siblings and leads them in the right direction, encourages them all, inspires them. Lucy is the heroine we all dream of being.

Lucy and Tumnus GIF

Well, I made it without exploding much.

~I tag~

E. Kaiser @ E. Kaiser Writes

Andrea @ Fantasies and Fountainpens

Sky @ Further Up and Further In

Jack @ However Improbable

Kiri @ Lianne Taimenlore

Jameson @ Lovely Whatsoevers

Matt @ Oh, The Humanity

Candice @ O Ye Scribes

Rachel @ Secret Scribblings

Katherine Sophia @ Seek Him First


And there ya have it! But not really. This was barely scratching the surface. Hardly even blowing on the surface! I miiiight have to do a part 2 of this. Before I even started, I listed out the favorites I could think of and, well, the list has a lot more than 10 people. . . So yeah, I might have to do a part 2, and maybe 3. *COUGH* I just love a lot of fictional characters! Don’t judge!

So speak with me, my fellow fans! I know I’m not alone in my love for fictional characters. What are some of YOUR favorites? Agree with any of mine? Totally disagree on any? (Don’t worry, I won’t stab you with a fork. . .hard.) I want to discuss, so flail with me!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Beautiful People - Rose {May 2015}

One of these days I’m going to do a Beautiful People post properly at the beginning of the month. But it is not this day!


Our benevolous (what do you mean that’s not a word? it means benevolent and fabulous, obviously) hosts Sky and Cait have come up with some fantastic questions to torture—ahem, I mean explore our characters with this month. You can link yourself up here or here should you choose to join in. (Pst. You should.)

Beautiful People Button

The moment I read this month’s list of questions Rose, my protagonist from my current WIP Burning Thorns, popped in my head. I’ve since thought about it, weighing out each character and even some from other novels, but it kept coming back to my Rosie girl. So Rose it shall be!

Rose"You know, I could help clean for you." Rose's voice pulled him from his agitated thoughts. "But it's much too nice a day for that right now. Come on." She snatched the feather duster right from his hand and tossed it into the study. It clattered into a bookshelf, making the Beast wince, but Rose seemed oblivious. She snagged his arm and gave it a mighty tug. "Let's go!"

The Beast stared at the feather duster thrown carelessly to the floor, not budging. "We can't."

Her futile but determined pulls halted. "Why not?"

He turned to meet her innocent gaze and the tense muscles in his jaw relaxed. "Because the exit is the other way." He was rewarded with a laugh that made her brown eyes light up brighter than the sprite's.

With his guidance, they made their way to the entrance doors, Rose talking excitedly all the way about nothing in particular. The walls of the castle that held in the tense silence for so long quivered to life with the echoes of her sprightly voice. No, not sprightly. Joyful, alive; as vibrant as the roses.

~ Rose ~

1. Do they get nightmares? If so, why or what of?
Honestly, Rose isn’t terribly prone to nightmares. She’s always held a child-like wonder of the world and keeps tight to her happy-go-lucky personality, despite her not great circumstances. As a result, her dreams soar in the clouds more than creep in the shadows. She does dream often about her deceased mother, though they’re usually happy dreams. It’s the waking up part that’s hard. But from time to time a nightmare will crop up involving her oldest sister, Anya, torturing her in various of ways, but these aren’t too numerous.

2. What is their biggest guilty pleasure/secret shame?
Her father appears to favor her over her two older sisters, in fact most people do. Though she might not honestly know it consciously, Rose loves the attention from others. Love and companionship fill her up, make her whole, they’re her sustenance. Not in a selfish way necessarily, she just loves people and feeling like she belongs. But I think there is a little shame and pleasure there that her father holds her higher up than her sisters.

3. Are they easily persuaded or do they need more proof?
Rose is woefully easily persuaded. It’s not in her nature to believe anyone is a liar, she always wants to see the best in people. Her sisters are about the only ones she’s wary toward, and only because they’ve deceived her time and time again. But even still she tries to see the best in them.

4. Do they suffer from any phobias? Does it affect their life in a big way?
She’s pretty terrified of both her sisters, and since she’s forced to live with them, yeah, that affects her life a lot. She’s spent a lot of her years keeping far away from their wrath.

But as far as actual phobias, she fears being unloved. As I said earlier, she feeds off love and companionship. She clings to any she has and fights to keep it, always having room for more friends and loved ones. Her sense of worth also ties into that. She often worries she’s unworthy for her role in life, and when someone strikes her with an unloving act, it only makes her think she’s unworthy to even be loved.

5. What do they consider their “Achilles heel”?
She clings to her father’s approval more than anything. Since her mother is gone and her sisters despise her, she has nothing left but her father. To fail him would shatter her world.

Then of course she meets the Beast and another weak spot forms in her soul. . .

6. How do they handle a crisis?
Rose’s instinctive reaction is to hide. She hates conflict and hopes if she can hide and ignore it, it’ll eventually go away. But if the crisis involves someone she loves, she’ll pick herself up, swallow her fear, and do what she must to resolve it, however much she wants to run.

7. Do they have a temper?
Gentle, joyful Rose? Nah. Again, she’s the running type, not one for fighting. If things get out of hand she’s more of a mouse in a corner than a lion in the thick of it. She does lose her temper once or twice in the book when her world shatters and everything she loves is stripped away. It has to be something like her sense of justice being provoked or pure tragedy to set her off.

8. What are their core values and/or religious beliefs?
Rose holds tight to her belief in the Giver of Lights (the God-figure in that world). She knows all light comes from Him and strives to seek it even in the darkest places. She believes that everyone deserves a second chance, that good can be found in all.

9. What things do they value most in life?
She keeps her father’s love and memories of her mother closest to her heart. The gardens outside her home also hold many happy moments. She loves sitting in the midst of all the bright blooms and sweet smells where the world feels safe and beautiful.

10. What is one major event that helped shape who they are?
After her mother’s death, her life altered completely. Her father became more distant, her sisters more vicious, and new responsibilities were thrust on her shoulders. Before, she thought life was carefree and full of rainbows, but then reality came and weighed heavily on her heart. She learned the hard way that rain has to come before the rainbow. I think it’s because of her mother’s death that she so clings to the love of others. Losing the greatest loved one in her life pushed her to hold tighter to the others she has.

This was extremely insightful for me! It’s crazy how much one can learn just talking about their characters. BP is a wonderful thing!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Chasing Shadows Book Review

Chasing Shadows CoverWould you choose to entwine your fate with a hero of the past, even if it meant altering the future?
The murder of an ancient king spurs Sarah Matthews to travel back in time, putting her life in jeopardy as she races against the clock to solve a thousand-year-old mystery and pick up the pieces of her star-crossed romance. Her return to Serimone reveals that the kingdom is in upheaval and that the elusive Cadius has sinister plans for the throne. Unable to right the empire alone, Sarah reunites with Will, the love she left behind and the man beneath the Shadow’s hood. As they work together amidst lavish balls and explore the secret depths of the castle, they discover that the conspiracy runs deeper than they ever imagined. And when a counterfeit Shadow claims the life of someone close to her after a personal threat from Cadius himself, Sarah discovers that the price of questioning the new regime is a life.
Guilt-ridden and alone, she discovers comfort in her newfound friendship with Damien, a charming Spaniard who joins Sarah in her personal crusade for justice. But as she draws closer to his dark past and to the faceless killer in their midst, she realizes that the severed threads of time and the mystery surrounding Serimone Castle are unraveling rapidly, weaving new tapestries of devastation.
In this thrilling and deceptive sequel to "Rising Shadows," Sarah is forced into harm’s way countless times as she races to solve the puzzle before it is too late and Serimone becomes nothing more than a faded memory of the past. . . And before Sarah becomes a permanent fixture in history.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Chasing Shadows is the second book of Ashley Townsend’s series and what a sequel it is! A month ago I reviewed Rising Shadows, the first book, and loved it. The story only gets better from there! And can we talk about that cover? Have you ever seen such gorgeousness???

Our heroine Sarah Matthews travels from her modern day life to medieval Serimone once more, but this time the stakes are much higher now that the king is dead. The sinister Cadius may push himself to the throne, which would mean the end of happy days for Serimone.

This story gets so much deeper into the setting and characters than the first one. In Rising Shadows we got to meet the characters and catch a glimpse of Serimone, in this one we dive headfirst right into it. I only thought I loved the characters, but I had no idea how deeply until I delved into the sequel.

Sarah, to me, felt as though she had matured since her first adventure in Serimone. Time and time again she risked danger and shoved down her fear to make things right and help those in need. Her heart swells with love for others. Even though it was often hard, she forced herself to step away from her own selfish desires to aid those in need. It was always a treat returning to reading so I could be back with her, inside her head. Her big heart and totally adorable awkwardness was enchanting.
I was a little disappointed on how few times Karen appeared in the story, but it was a delight when the carefree, fun redhead came in the scene. As well as the family she stays with, the Jones’. Each and every one was as charming as always and never ceased to bring a smile to my face.
And we can’t forget the dear Will, who is as quiet but gentlemanly as always. His entire presence felt comforting to me. He’s the type that’s always there to save the day and protect those in harm’s way. But what really tugs at my heart toward this man is his brokenness. He tries to hide it, to keep a wall between himself and others, but what he really needs is someone to lean on. In this book we watched his character be torn down and built back up again to the point that it brought tears to my eyes. His character arc is reason enough to read this tale.
We also get an entirely new character that managed to steal my heart right from the start. Damien is a handsome Spaniard and knows it. Girls have to watch out for his roguish personality, but those who get to really know him soon discover he’s just a fun-loving young man. His cheeky antics amused me time and time again.  But there’s more to this lighthearted Spaniard than meets the eye. Townsend’s ability to form such heartfelt character arcs puts me in awe.

All the characters, from big to small, stole a little piece of my heart. I can’t express enough how wonderfully done their stories were told. Each one explored deeper, this book discovering tidbits of their pasts and how each reacts to hardships, heartbreak, tragedy, love. Dark sides within them were revealed, as well as good.

I just love these characters, okay!

The plot was also so engaging, though as with Rising Shadows I felt as if there could have been a bit more there. Cadius, our villain, only came into the story about halfway through and had just two or three brief appearances. I would have liked to see more of him and explore his menacing plots. It was sort of more character driven, focusing on Sarah’s, Will’s, and Damien’s relationships, than plot-focused. But, like I said, the characters are amazing and I adored watching their developments. So nothing wrong with that! But, let me assure you, there was still plenty of action and sinister plots to be had. Sarah found herself in danger many a time. The second half of the book especially had much action to keep one on the edge of their seat. I was devouring pages, dying to know what would happen next and how everything would lay out in the end. It kept my mind churning even when I wasn’t reading, and stuck with me throughout the day.

The setting was also enchanting. Serimone is now in the midst of winter and the imagery of snow-topped buildings, woods shimmering in white, and warm fires inside the castle had me wanting to pack my bags, find a time machine, and go there myself.

What really struck me about this novel was Townsend’s ability to make me feel. Whatever Sarah felt I did as well. My heart literally got to pounding a few times, and tears filled my eyes on multiple occasions. I could see and feel everything so perfectly, the whole story just came alive. This author knows how to tug at her readers’ emotions, let me tell you.

While Rising Shadows kept things on a more lighthearted note, Chasing Shadows explores some heavier subjects, which I thought appropriate. The characters are growing and the danger rising, naturally things would take a darker turn. There is blood, corpses (one of which is burned), and a pretty intense fight or two, also a suicide scene. But Townsend handles everything beautifully and never gets too detailed.

One woman in the story is known for selling herself to men and a few things are implied that take a fairly dominant role for a few bits of the story, but, again, nothing is ever said outright and the whole story takes a very Christian viewpoint on the subject.

There is lot more physical touching in this one than the last book. Dozens of embraces, holdings hands, a couple of dances, and a few kisses, one or two rather passionate ones. A couple of characters do even end up accidentally sleeping in the same bed. Both were horrified when they realized what they did, obviously nothing went beyond just sleeping, but I want to make sure and warn you if you’re uncomfortable with that. Despite all the physical scenes, the characters were very firm in keeping to their morals. Sarah has strong Christian values and keeps a tight hold of them, even when they’re threatened.

Ashley Townsend clearly put her heart and soul into this novel. Chasing Shadows is a tale of love and heartache. It’s engulfed in a beautiful message of how even the most broken can be repaired, that God never forsakes His people and can pull them back up no matter how far they’ve fallen, and as Christians it’s our duty to show them His love. It has a cast to both laugh and cry with, a beautiful setting, and engaging plot, with a writing style that pulls you right in and keeps you there. There were also quite a few nods to Robin Hood which excited me greatly.

And that ending! Oh how I need the next one, which currently isn’t even out. How shall I ever wait?

Basically, if you like time travel, a beautiful medieval setting, sweet romance, and a high stakes plot, you need to read these books.

4 out of 5 stars

NOTE: I received a free ebook copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Finding the Magic Cover Reveal

Snowy Archway

Do you know how sometimes you read a story and it sticks with you? It clings to your heart and when life gets hard it creeps up to your mind and makes you smile. Well, I am beyond ecstatic to be revealing the cover for one of those stories today!

One of my very dearest blogging buddies, Jack Lewis Baillot, is soon releasing her Beauty and the Beast retelling novella and I cannot be more thrilled. I had the honor of beta reading it and knew right away that it NEEDED to get out in the world. I so want others to read this beautiful story!

Are you ready to see this beautimous cover?


The Cover

Finding the Magic Cover
Belle's father has always taught her to see the magic in the world around her, but when war comes it suddenly becomes harder to find. During the bombings of London, Belle is sent to live with Adam Prince, a bitter gentleman who has lost much and has therefore locked himself away in his mansion. When Belle meets Mr. Prince she decides she will show him the magic her dad told her not to forget, but it isn't as easy as she thought it would be.

Aided by her new friend, Belle begins to break down Mr. Prince's wall. But, just as she is helping him find laughter again sorrow strikes too close to home and Belle herself begins to lose hope.

The Author

Jack chases Dragons on a daily basis though has yet to decide if she wishes to slay the Dragons she finds or ride them. She wishes she had a library as big as the Beast's, or Prince Adam, or whatever you wish to call him. She's working on that goal currently, at the same time searching for a house with two stories so she can slide down the banister every morning on her way to breakfast.

As a general rule, Jack doesn't write sad books, but she might have slipped in this area when she started to write about World War Two.

When she isn't writing Jack is researching, which means she is reading. And when she isn't reading, it might mean she's sleeping, but probably means she's eating. Especially if the food is cookies.

Currently Jack is trying out the life of a Dwarf, even though she's a Hobbit. She's traveling about, looking for her home, and hoping the end of her search leads her to a cave with a Dragon who needs to be battled and enough Arkenstones to fill her dream library with books.

You can learn more about Jack and her newest books at

My (mini) Review

Finding the Magic is set during World War II, a wonderfully unique setting for a Beauty and the Beast retelling. It’s a tale about hard times and loss and friendship that tugged at my heartstrings and wouldn’t let go. Belle is just a young girl forced to leave everything she knows and stay with a grumpy man while bombs threaten her home in London. As time goes on and she befriends the very interesting and fun staff in the mansion, she decides she wants to help her bitter and recluse host, Adam Prince. She and her new friend Chip take on such a daring endeavor which results in many smiles, laughs, and heartwarming moments.

The message of this tale struck home—no matter the hardships and difficulties life bogs one down with, there is always magic to be found. God loves His people and with His all-consuming light there is always something to smile over. Life is beautiful, even in the hardest of times.

With one of the most delightful cast of characters I’ve ever read, a charming snowy setting and alluring mansion, many smiles and laughs, and a beautiful message, I recommend Finding the Magic to anyone who loves a sweet, heartwarming tale.


Finding the Magic releases July 17th!

You can check out Jack’s GoodReads Page for more info.

A delightful cover for a delightful little book! I do hope you will get yourself a copy once it releases. And you should totally go follow Jack's Blog, she’s one of the most fun people I’ve ever encountered. I get a laugh every time I read her posts.

Have a magic-filled day, my dear bloglings! <3

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