Blog Tour: Inclined Elders

INCLINED ELDERS

BY RAMONA OLIVER

Publisher: BookBaby Publication Date: July 24, 2020 Pages: 246 Pages Categories: Nonfiction / Positive Aging

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THIS BOOK WILL BE INVALUABLE IF YOU:

· Have a desire to continue living a purposeful life, no matter what your age.

· Are interested in learning how to maintain a positive attitude from adulthood to elderhood.

· Want to learn how to create a living legacy and serve as a role model for future generations.

WHY EMBRACE AN ATTITUDE OF INCLINE?

For the first time in history we are not only living longer, everyone has an important choice to make: commit to a meaningful, purposeful life of “Incline” as we get older or believe that a new stage – one of steady “decline” – is inevitable. What is not helping is that in the media and society in general there continues the somewhat negative connotation surrounding the concept of aging. And while, at least not now, we cannot do anything about the chronological process of becoming 60, 70, 80 years and beyond, we can change the mindset for it. Embracing change and looking at life with a keener sense of curiosity will lead to living with increased courage to live life to its fullest.

Inclined Elders is a call to action for you to opt for Incline. Not only for your personal fulfillment, but also to help fuel a social “legacy” that increases the number of positive older role models in everyday life. I have written this book to inspire, inform, and challenge you. By the time you reach the last page, I hope you will have made a new choice: to become an inspiring example of a life of Incline so our society relinquishes – once and for all – the notion that aging is synonymous with “decline,” “decrepit,” “senile,” and “over-the-hill.”

In this book over 50 men and women ranging in age from 40 to 100 share their tips and techniques on how to live a life of Incline. Their strategies are supported by scientific evidence from the fields of Positive Psychology, Anthropology, and Sociology.

WHO ARE INCLINED ELDERS?

We are the women and men who have made a conscious choice to ignore society’s negative mindset of “decline” and “over-the-hill” as we age. Instead we embrace a positive mindset of continuing to Incline and climb ever upwards.

Serving as vibrant role models, the Inclined Elders I spoke to for this book are leaving their own unique legacies of wisdom and inspiration for future generations. There needs to be more of us like them to effect real social change. So why not Incline too? There’s an amazing view from up here. Come with us and see for yourself.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Apple Books

*Paperback Use Coupon: AUG31PB
*eBook Use Coupon: AUG31EB

Ramona Oliver has long been a passionate educator with former roles as a human resource manager/director, career coach, and director of outreach for St. Edward’s University. As a human resource director for many years, she championed the professional development of employees. While serving as president of the Austin Human Resource Management Association, she led a team that designed, developed, and implemented an award-wining leadership program. In addition, she launched a workforce readiness committee that partnered with community organizations to implement workforce readiness initiatives. At St. Edward’s University, she promoted lifelong learning and the adult undergraduate and graduate programs to older adults in the Austin community. Ramona currently serves as an advocate of positive aging. Rather than accepting a mindset of decline, she is passionate about living life with an attitude of Incline. Ramona has been published on the Changing Aging website, offering posts with titles such as “Can We Please Stop Calling It Aging,” “What Are We Missing When We Settle for Life Stages?” and “Leave a Legacy and Live It Now!” Ramona is a recipient of a Book Excellence Award for her current book, INCLINED ELDERS: How to rebrand aging for self and society. It has been recognized for high-quality writing style, book design, and overall marketing appeal. She earned her Master of Business Administration from St. Edward’s University. Ramona lives in Austin, Texas where she enjoys practicing yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, and Nia and participating in various community groups.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

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author interview

CHARACTER INTERVIEW

THE AMAZING MISS LEE

Several years ago, I had the good fortune of being introduced to, whom I call, The Amazing Miss Lee. She agreed to be interviewed for my upcoming book, Inclined Elders, as a featured “elder.” Following are some of the pearls of wisdom she shared with me. They and more are included in Inclined Elders.

 

As a young girl growing up in Palestine, Texas, what was your greatest aspiration?

I dreamed of becoming a fashion designer and entered college with high hopes of accomplishing that goal. While the other students completed assigned art projects quickly, I toiled for hours, sometimes days, to finish my work. I began to think that, because it took me so much longer, I didn’t have the talent. After graduation, I sadly decided I would never be a designer. I gave up on my dream and instead settled for a job as a secretary for a large oil company where I worked for many years.

When did this all change and how?

At the age of fifty, I overheard someone make a comment that turned my thinking upside down. The individual mentioned that Beethoven rewrote his Fifth Symphony thirty-one times before it was completed. In fact, he rewrote all his symphonies many times over. Could that be true? Beethoven! Presumably a genius?

I had an awakening in my soul. If it took someone like Beethoven thirty-one rewrites to complete a masterpiece, perhaps talent was more than just a God-given gift. I realized that while talent may come easily to some, perhaps genius level, for others fulfilling a goal may require more work. I had incorrectly assumed that if I had talent, I wouldn’t have to work so hard. I realized that talent plus hard work equals success. I had turned my thinking upside down.

I went on to fulfill a dream. In my sixties, I began a successful career as an inspiring motivational speaker and I’m now the oldest living member of the National Speakers Association. In 2013 I was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Speakers Association Austin Chapter.

You are now 95. What is your “Recipe for Living to 95 and Beyond”?

Like all great recipes, mine includes several ingredients:

Genes: they are important, but they can only carry you so far.

Positive Attitude: this is the key to the kingdom. It’s not genes, it’s positive attitude.

Love: this is the most powerful – it is in every recipe of how to make it into the later ages of life. Love people and be with people. Have a circle of friends and keep in touch often.

Lifelong Learning: I just love learning. That’s key. It’s a big one.

Sense of Community/Socializing with People: being with people of all ages is also key – both young and old.

Spirit: have an anchor in God, but for people who don’t believe in a superior being, I recommend calling it hope.

How do You Keep Your Inner Child Alive?

When people ask me why I seem so happy and find it so easy to laugh, I tells them, “My inner child is working overtime!” That belief has been with me for my entire adult life. Many times throughout the years, friends and relatives have remarked to me, in a not-so-kindly manner: “Lee, you’re the biggest kid I know! Aren’t you ever going to grow up?” But they’re all dead now and I’m still here.

My mantra is: “Keep your mind on what you want and off what you don’t want. It works.” Keep your inner child alive always – with curiosity, inspiration, laughter, and learning. While we have only limited control over what happens to us in life, we have 100% control over how we react. Therefore, older people who have learned to keep their sense of humor, think positively, and remain active, and who genuinely care about other people, continue to learn, and are interested in life in general truly are “young at heart” forever and die young even at 110.

The 18th Century poet, William Wordsworth, once wrote: “The wiser mind mourns less for what age takes away than what it leaves behind.” What would you most like to jettison, in order to feel lighter and free, as you learn how best to live YOUR life of Incline?

What I think about Wordsworth’s statement is: I partially agree with him. I have come to realize that old age can be a series of losing people and things most dear to us. It can be a horrible trap for those who suffer from physical or mental ailments that cannot be healed, leaving a huge, empty hole. And a multitude of negative things can happen to us about which we have no control. Losing a loved one can be devastating! It is true: “Old age is not for sissies!” I have come to realize that the only thing we do have control over is how we think! Therefore, older people who have learned to keep their sense of humor, to think positively, who genuinely care for other people and REMAIN ACTIVE, who continue to learn and are still interested in life in general, who do not let their INNER CHILD fade away, definitely can “mourn less for what age takes away then what it leaves behind”!

___________________________________________________

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FOUR WINNERS: 2 winners: autographed copies of Inclined Elders. 2 winners: Kindle copies of Inclined Elders. Giveaway ends midnight, CDT, 7/17/21; US only.

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for direct links to each stop on the tour, updated daily. Or, visit the blogs directly:

7/7/21

Notable Quotable

It’s Not All Gravy

7/7/21

Sneak Peek

The Page Unbound

7/8/21

Review

The Plain-Spoken Pen

7/8/21

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

7/9/21

Author Interview

Chapter Break Book Blog

7/9/21

Review

Book Fidelity

7/10/21

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

7/11/21

Excerpt

All the Ups and Downs

7/12/21

Review

Jennie Reads

7/12/21

Character Interview

Librariel Book Adventures

7/13/21

Guest Post

Book Bustle

7/14/21

Review

Hall Ways Blog

7/14/21

Excerpt

That’s What She’s Reading

7/15/21

Scrapbook Page

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

7/16/21

Review

Reading by Moonlight

7/16/21

Review

Forgotten Winds

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Blog Tour: The Uvalde Raider

 

THE UVALDE RAIDER 

A Templar Family Novel

BY BEN H. ENGLISH

Publisher: Creative Texts Publishers
Publication Date: April 17, 2021
Pages: 229 Pages
Categories: Historical Fiction / Military / Texas
The time is the eve of the First Gulf War. The place an abandoned World War II emergency landing strip for heavy bombers, nestled amid the near countless miles upon miles of wide openness in West Texas. Here a climactic battle will be fought, while the rest of the world focuses on what would become known as Operation Desert Storm. But in some ways, the stakes here are even higher as men from other places and past conflicts gamble all that they are, and all they ever were, to prevent a catastrophic terrorist attack unthinkable before on an American city. One group seeks wholesale slaughter, the murder of helpless civilians on a massive scale. The other strives to stop this evil in any way possible, and by whatever means necessary. The key to either side’s success or failure? One old Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, an enduring symbol from another war and ensuing catastrophe of a different era. This relic of a not so distant past is named ‘The Uvalde Raider,’ and this is its story…

Purchase: Amazon | Front Street Books

Personalized Copies: http://thestablealpine.com

Ben H. English is an eighth-generation Texan who grew up in the Big Bend. At seventeen he joined the Marines, ultimately becoming a chief scout-sniper as well as an infantry platoon sergeant. Later he worked counterintelligence and traveled to over thirty countries on four continents.
At Angelo State University he graduated Magna Cum Laude along with other honors. Afterwards Ben had a career in the Texas Highway Patrol, holding several instructor billets involving firearms, driving, patrol procedures and defensive tactics.
After retirement he decided to try his hand at writing. His first effort, Yonderings, was accepted by a university press and garnered some awards. His second, Destiny’s Way, led to a long term, multi-book contract.  This was followed by Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend and now his second fictional work, The Uvalde Raider.
His intimate knowledge of what he writes about lends credence and authenticity to his work. Ben knows how it feels to get hit and hit back, or being thirsty, cold, wet, hungry, alone or exhausted beyond imagination. Finally, he knows of not only being the hunter, but also the hunted.
Ben and his wife have two sons who both graduated from Annapolis. He still likes nothing better than grabbing a pack and some canteens and heading out to where few others venture.
Just as he has done throughout most of his life…
Find out more about Ben English’s Adventures on Facebook,Amazon Author Page, or visit Ben on his Website


Review

Rating :★★★★★
Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of a finished book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is a finished copy of the book. #partner #LSBBT

This action-packed military historical fiction focuses on one moment in history that shaped the overall way the world handled situations that followed. The author uses a narrator-style writing style to allow the reader to be taken on a journey through time and nostalgic moments. The main characters face hard times, challenges, and overcome some of their greatest obstacles all while seeking opportunities to see the truth in every situation. They encounter terrorists, government secrets, and learn to rely on each other in one of the most daring moments in their career. It seems the men have gotten themselves tied up in a sticky situation that they may or may not get out of. You’ll need to read the book to find out.

Overall, the book is filled with twists and turns and will have you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the next event to occur. The patrotism is evident as you continue to navigate your way through the detailed, engaging explanation of each scene. The author does a wonderful job with character development, terms used, and you can tell he did his research before completing this novel. If you’re a native Texan then this novel will make you proud to be a Texan.

I enjoyed the religious aspect of the novel and the moments of wholesomeness. I also enjoyed the moments of reflection. I love historical fiction novels. I studied history in college and have read quite a few books in this realm and this is one of my favorites. There is a moment after the rise of action moments where the book takes a slow pace, but overall I feel does not take away from the story and provides depth.

The question is, can you handle this type of novel and the surprising plot? I guess you will have to read it and find out. This is book one of this series and I am confident you will want more.

This book is suited for adults but can also be read by older teens interested in historical fiction.


Click to visit the LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE for direct links to each stop on the tour, updated daily, or visit the blogs directly:

6/28/21

Review

6/28/21

Kick-off Promo

6/29/21

BONUS Promo

6/29/21

Author Interview

6/29/21

Excerpt

6/30/21

Review

6/30/21

Character Spotlight

7/1/21

Review

7/1/21

Guest Post

7/2/21

Review

7/2/21

Series Spotlight

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Blog Tour: River, Sing Out

   

RIVER, SING OUT

BY
JAMES WADE
Categories: Contemporary / Literary Fiction
Rural Fiction / Crime Fiction / Coming-of-Age
Blackstone Facebook  Twitter   Instagram
Date of Publication: June 8, 2021
Number of Pages: 315 pages
“And through these ages untold, the river did act as the lifeblood of all those things alongside it.”
 

Jonah Hargrove is celebrating his thirteenth birthday by avoiding his abusive father, when a girl named River stumbles into his yard, injured and alone. The teenager has stolen thousands of dollars’ worth of meth from her murderous, drug-dealing boyfriend, but lost it somewhere in the Neches River bottoms during her escape. Jonah agrees to help her find and sell the drugs so she can flee East Texas.

Chasing after them is John Curtis, a local drug kingpin and dog fighter, as well as River’s boyfriend, the dangerous Dakota Cade.

Each person is keeping secrets from the others—deadly secrets that will be exposed in violent fashion as all are forced to come to terms with their choices, their circumstances, and their own definition of God.

With a colorful cast of supporting characters and an unflinching violence juxtaposed against lyrical prose, River, Sing Out dives deep into the sinister world of the East Texas river bottoms, where oppressive poverty is pitted against the need to believe in something greater than the self.

 

 

PRAISE FOR RIVER, SING OUT

”With echoes of Jim Harrison, Cormac McCarthy (and perhaps a smidge of Flannery O’Connor), River, Sing Out is a beautiful, brutal meditation on survival and love in the face of nearly unspeakable violence and depravity in an East Texas community ravaged by the meth trade. Taut, lyrical, and precise, the prose soars in this important new novel by James Wade.” —Elizabeth Wetmore, New York Times bestselling author of Valentine

”If you read one novel this year, make it this one. James Wade’s River, Sing Out, is an instant classic filled with characters that will break your heart, lyrical prose as haunted as the river it evokes, and a Southern Noir undertow that wholly sucks you in and keeps you turning the pages until it’s searing, masterful conclusion.” —May Cobb, author of The Hunting Wives

”Wade, whose striking debut, All Things Left Wild (2020), traveled back a century in Texas history, uses an unlikely friendship to explore an equally wild present-day landscape…A haunting fable of an impossible relationship fueled by elemental need and despair.” —Kirkus Reviews


Review

Rating :★★★★★
Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of a finished book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an advanced reader copy sent to me in exchange for my honest review. #partner #LSBBT

River, Sing Out is a recently published novel that takes you on a journey through drugs, poverty, abuse, and relationships. This high-stakes novel is based in East Texas River bottoms. The story begins with a thought-provoking epilogue before diving into the introduction of John Curtis and his act of redemption. We then are introduced to Jonah Hargrove and later Cade and River. We get a chance to get to know each character as their stories are written from their perspective. As the novel progresses, you feel as though you are transported into the mind of each character, noting that the narrators are the characters themselves. The story continues to unfold in a method that has you both feeling sad and sorry for the characters involved. We get to watch as each character’s lives start to entangle and secrets start to be revealed. Who will leave this situation unscathed and will they ever truly escape? You are left with many thoughts after reading this book.

The author’s writing style continuously allowed the reader to be encapsulated by the total storyline and engaged from page to page. The book gives off a gritty, motel 6, a drug deal gone bad vibe that has you hoping it gets adopted as a tv show. The twists and turns have you on the edge of your seat waiting to find out the outcome of the souls who were mixed up with the wrong crowd. Surprisingly, this book reminded me a bit of my childhood and the challenges that can arise when children get mixed up in Adult choices. My father was a drug addict and no one ever depicts the humanistic aspect of the addict itself and focuses on describing their characteristics. For me, this novel brought back a bit of nostalgia. The author does a great job with the descriptive text, writing style, transitional scenes, and character development. I highly encourage everyone to pick up this novel. You won’t regret it. One being, for every action there is a reaction and for every reaction, there is a potential consequence.

I highly encourage this fast-read novel for any adult interested in a gritty, Texas-sized, high-stakes, action-packed novel that will keep you both entertained and on the edge of your seat awaiting the next move. Due to the violent scenes, sexual content, and language, I recommend this book for Young Adults and up. This book may contain content that could potentially be triggering for those who have experienced drug abuse in their past.


   

James Wade lives and writes in the Texas Hill Country with his wife and daughter. He is the author of All Things Left Wild, which is a winner of the 2016 Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest, a winner of the 2021 Spur Award for Best Historical Fiction, and a winner of the 2021 Reading the West Award for Best Debut Novel. His fiction has appeared in various literary journals and magazines.

Blog Tour: The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts

 

THE CHINESE MURDER
OF EDWARD WATTS
Covey Jencks Mystery, #3
By Shelton L. Williams

Publish Date: December 8th, 2020
Pages: 233 pages
Categories: Mystery / Humor

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Covey and 
 
PURCHASE LINKS:
Amazon | Audible
 

  

  

Shelton L. Williams (Shelly) is founder and president of the Osgood Center for International Studies in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and he taught for nearly 40 years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He has served in the US Government on four occasions, and he has written books and articles on nuclear proliferation. In 2004 he began a new career of writing books on crime and society. Those books areWashed in the Blood,Summer of 66, and now the three books in the Covey Jencks series. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart. 


Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

 


Review

Rating :★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of a finished book  from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an advanced reader copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

Based in Odessa, TX,  Covey and JayJay are back again for another politically thrilling adventure where the two find themselves in yet another sticky situation. The book begins with Covey explaining a deal he refused then receiving an ominous note taped to his car asking if he was looking for Edward Watts. The book begins to then take you on a twist and turn journey to uncover the real reason behind the death of Edward Watts. The goal was to figure out what involvement did the Chinese visit have in his death and what type of retribution his death paid. As the novel continues to unfold new developments start to arise from the real reason behind the connect between Edward Watts and the Chinese government. Could his death be a bad deal gone wrong or could the Chinese have uncovered his true intentions before having him murdered? Or is this all a cover up for a bigger story?

The author starts the novel by diving right in with Covey as the narrator, the storying being told from his perspective with interjections from JayJay throughout. Covey begins by revealing moments prior to the note he found on his car about Edward Watts. The author uses this style of writing to provide the reader with a more in-depth understanding and full backstory. This allowed me to actually have a base to stand on; when the plot occurred I wasn’t at all confused. Covey’s memory takes him back to a boardroom in China with a woman from his past now under a new identity. The story is filled with “ghosts” from the past coming back to “haunt” Covey and JayJay. This comical pair are a match made in partner heaven as they navigate an investigation with multiple loopholes. I did not expect this many twists and turns when I began diving into this novel and I was thoroughly surprised as the story continued to develop. The author does a great job keeping the reader both laughing and on the edge of their seat. I enjoyed the development of the main characters and the overall storyline. 

I highly encourage this fast read novel for any adult interested in a cross country, Texas-sized, comical mystery that will keep you both entertained and on the edge of your seat awaiting the next move. You do not need to read book one and two of this series prior to reading book three. You can dive right into this book and feel connected to the author and the storyline. However, after reading this book, I am sure you will want to rush to buy books one and two of this series.


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THREE WINNERS
First, signed copies of all three Covey books. 
Second, audio books of books 2 & 3. 
Third, Kindle copies of all three books.
(US Only. Ends midnight, CDT, May 21, 2021.) 
 
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CLICK TO VISIT THE LONESTAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH STOP ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
Or visit the Blogs directly:

5/11/21

Audio Review

That’s What She’s Reading

5/11/21

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

5/12/21

Review

Julia Picks 1

5/12/21

BONUS Promo

Hall Ways Blog

5/13/21

Excerpt

It’s Not All Gravy

5/14/21

Audio Review

Forgotten Winds

5/15/21

Audio Clip

StoreyBook Reviews

5/16/21

Scrapbook Page

All the Ups and Downs

5/17/21

Review

Librariel Book Adventures

5/18/21

Character Interview

Missus Gonzo

5/19/21

Audio Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

5/20/21

Review

The Clueless Gent


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Blog Tour: TO THE REPUBLIC

TO THE REPUBLIC
The Republic Series, Book One
BY BRUCE CLAVEY
Publication Date: October 26th, 2020
Pages: 394 pages
Categories: Hispanic American Fiction / Political Fiction

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A novel for our times. A saga for the ages.

On the eve of passing landmark immigration legislation, the entire Texas Senate and its native Tejano leader, Diego Reyes, vanish suddenly from Austin. When news of the disappearance hits West Texas, cowboy Del Woodward isn’t shocked. He knows exactly where the lawmakers are, but he’s not telling. Woody’s been down on his luck, and a shady bargain he’s made puts him tight in the squeeze of Marcos Cepeda, north Mexico’s ruthless drug lord. And Cepeda’s furious with this new stall in the bill. It’s got a loophole he can exploit to add another quarter million square miles of exclusive turf to his cartel—but that territory goes back up for grabs if leader Reyes can’t pass the bill before the Senate session expires in mere days. The brutal kingpin wants what he’s bought and compels Woody to step up. How the cowboy swings the vote isn’t important to Cepeda, but this sure is: if Woody breathes so much as a word of reluctance, it’ll be his last. The prize is Texas, nothing less. It’s real, and it’s on.
The Republic Series launches from true pages of the Lone Star frontera story into a hauntingly modern arena of trade, trafficking, and tradition on the Rio Grande in To the Republic: BOOK ONE.
An Amazon #1 New Release in History of U.S. Immigration
PURCHASE LINKS:

Bruce Clavey of Round Rock, Texas writes with a passion for exploring the Latin heritage tucked in cultural corners throughout Texas, Mexico, and Central America. In 2017, Clavey’s research into perspectives on state history led to his onsite rediscovery of the Mexico City dungeon where the colonial “Father of Texas” was imprisoned, documented in his book “The Inquisition of Stephen F. Austin.” His interest to illuminate compelling historic junctures brought the creation of several feature dramatizations for state museum in-exhibit performance. Clavey’s release of Book One of The Republic Series in 2020 begins the journey of Texas and Mexican characters who confront the pressure points at today’s vibrant river border, a land that has functioned for centuries as both international gateway and barrier.

———————————————————————————————-

Review

Rating :★★★★★
Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of a finished book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an advanced reader copy sent to me in exchange for my honest review. #partner #LSBBT

To the Republic is a thought-provoking, riveting, engaging, and real novel that takes you on a ride from start to finish. The book begins with a conversation between an unidentified subject and a report beginning the novel with you, the reader, already on the edge of your seat. Everything is bigger in Texas, including this informative Texas-sized novel that focuses on corruption, drug cartels, and immigration issues in the Lone Star state. After reading this novel you will be more informed in regards to some of the issues addressed. The author uses a unique but well-written approach to combine three different storylines. He does a wonderful job in this descriptive text allowing the reader to feel the emotional struggles and challenges of each character.

Corruption, lies, drugs, and so much more. This author uses a unique writing style to tell this story and convey the overall message in such a raw, brutally honest way that it forces you to stare each enemy directly in the eyes. I enjoyed the inserted dialogue between the subject and the reporter, as well as the foreshadowing and the narrator’s voice. The dialogue gives a realistic aspect to the novel and provides a bit of humor as the two interact with each other. The subject character is developed as a direct, brutally honest, take no prisoners kind of person and I love it. This type of novel isn’t normally in the realm of books I tend to engage in but I hope to be adding book two to my reading list because “wow” what an unsuspecting read. I found this book to not be a quick read but one that required me to focus on every aspect of the story to fully understand it and each transitional point in the text. I found it helpful to take breaks periodically to give myself a chance to process some of the information just read. Overall, I found this novel to be both well-written and engaging and not at all difficult to dive into. The author does an excellent job merging different storylines and allows for the reader to feel immersed in the text while not feeling intentionally overwhelmed. I am excited for book two and the chance to continue this story.

From the start, this verse captivated me and held my attention as I began the wild ride that was this novel: “What was true for the land was the truth for him. Ghosts didn’t die. And wars never truly ended.”

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in an in-depth look at the politics surrounding immigration issues and a complex story. This book can be viewed as a bit heavy but if you enjoy reading books that focus on informative issues and don’t “sugar coat” specific topics, then this read is for you. I recommend this book to adults.


GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

THREE WINNERS each receive a prize pack including: Autographed paperback copy of To the Republic; unisex tee with the “Texas Forever” design; baseball cap stitched with the “Texas Forever” design; ceramic lapel pin with the “Mano de Tejas” design; vinyl 5” decal with the “Mano deTejas” design.

US only. Giveaway ends midnight, CDT, May 7, 2021

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CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGEFOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH STOP ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, Or visit the blogs directly:

4/27/21

Promo

It’s Not All Gravy

4/27/21

Character Interview

Forgotten Winds

4/27/21

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

4/28/21

Author Video

Chapter Break Book Blog

4/29/21

Playlist

Hall Ways Blog

4/29/21

Review

The Clueless Gent

4/30/21

Review

Reading by Moonlight

5/1/21

Excerpt, Part 1

All the Ups and Downs

5/2/21

Excerpt, Part 2

StoreyBook Reviews

5/3/21

Review

Jennie Reads

5/3/21

Promo

Missus Gonzo

5/4/21

Series Spotlight

That’s What She’s Reading

5/5/21

Sneak Peek

Texas Book Lover

5/5/21

Review

Book Fidelity

5/6/21

Review

Librariel Book Adventures

5/6/21

Review

Momma on the Rocks

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Blog Tour : A Wall of Bright Dead Feathers

A WALL OF BRIGHT DEAD FEATHERS
By Babette Fraser Hale
 
 
Pages: 216
Pub Date: March 1st, 2021
Categories: Short Stories / Literary Fiction
 

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Most are newcomers to the scenic, rolling countryside of central Texas whose charms they romanticize, even as the troubles they hoped to leave behind persist. Twelve stories highlight “the book’s recurring theme of desire—for freedom, for clarity, for autonomy, and for personal fulfillment…When women are alone, unencumbered and unbeholden to anyone, they engage in intense internal reflection and show reverence for nature—and during these scenes, Hale’s language is luminescent” (Kirkus Reviews).
PRAISE FOR A WALL OF BRIGHT DEAD FEATHERS: 
“Hale shows a great respect for her characters and for the difficulty of their deceptively ordered existence, as well as for the problems they suffer because so much cannot be spoken.” — Francine Prose, on “Silences”

“A vivid set of tales about connection to other people and to the natural world…Hale’s lovely prose shows a keen eye for detail…” 

Kirkus Reviews

Purchase Links: 

Winedale PublishingBrazos Bookstore | Amazon

 

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Author Babette Fraser Hale discusses landscapes.

 

I’ve been told that the landscape is a character in my stories. Certainly, the way each character responds to the landscape tells us something important about the person and their point of view.

Marta, in Motes, notices mainly the thorny, pain-inducing plants as she walks.

In Cicadas, Lily senses threat within the odd noontime silence along a country road.

The stunned countryside in Drouth can’t be separated from the apprehension Ro feels about Cam’s mental state.

The flow of the creek where Hattie fishes, in Fireflies, makes her “go all satiny” inside, giving her rare respite from a harsh life.

Eric’s flirtation with danger in Silences becomes far more real than the perils he imagines on a moonlit night in the woods.

And so on.

What occupies the hidden recesses of our minds influences what we see, in terms of landscape, and what we perceive about people, ourselves and others.

In A WALL OF BRIGHT DEAD FEATHERS, we observe the characters in each of the twelve stories as they react to their place, its land and people, across seasons.

I have lived in the area I’m writing about off and on for thirty years, watching the changes—and no doubt making some, mostly unintentional.

I’ve watched the effects of drouth and flood, the death of trees, the planting of other trees, the erasure of houses and the construction of other houses. Barns are moved into town where they become shops. A small high quality antique show years ago morphs into three weeks of antiques and “junque” along a ten mile stretch of roadway.

The characters in my stories who effect these changes and are changed by them bring this world to life. It is not an exact depiction by any means. It’s the place I live in and love, seen “slant”—through the eyes of invented people. The gift of fiction.


 
 
 

Babette Fraser Hale’s fiction has won the Meyerson Award from Southwest Review, a creative artist award from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston, and been recognized among the “other distinguished stories” in Best American Short Stories, 2015. Her story “Drouth” is part of the New York Public Library’s digital collection. Her nonfiction has appeared in Texas Monthly, Houston City, and the Houston Chronicle. She writes a personal essay column for the Fayette County Record.

 
 
 
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Click to visit the Lone Star Literary Life Tour Page
for direct links to each post on this tour, updated daily, 
or visit the blogs directly:

3/23/21

Author Video

3/23/21

Excerpt

3/24/21

Review

3/24/21

BONUS Promo

3/25/21

Review

3/25/21

Author Interview

3/26/21

Review

3/26/21

BONUS Promo

3/27/21

Excerpt

3/28/21

Guest Post

3/29/21

Review

3/29/21

Author Interview

3/30/21

Review

3/31/21

Review

3/31/21

Guest Post

4/1/21

Review

4/1/21

Review

 
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Blog Tour: Scorched Earth

SCORCHED EARTH
THE HALO TRILOGY, BOOK 2
by Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays
 
Publisher: Pumpjack Press
Pages: 318
Date of Publication: February 14th, 2021
Categories: Science Fiction / Hard Boiled Detective

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The year is 2188 and the Earth—long-ago abandoned for Mars by the plutocrats—is scorched by poverty, disease, and environmental collapse. What these wealthy elite don’t know is that on his last trip upuniverse, Detective Crucial Larsen stumbled onto a secret that could destroy them. But he doesn’t intend to use it. Fighting back against the ruling Five Families of Mars is a fool’s game destined for failure—or worse, he thinks. Plus, he never wants to set foot on that damn planet again. Then Melinda, his long-lost love and a staff scientist on Mars, begs for his help clearing her fiancée of a murder charge. Crucial jumps on the next q-rocket, hoping maybe this time he can patch things up with Mel. His investigation ultimately leads back to the radiation-blasted sunbelt, where cannibal lizard-people—a climate change mitigation genetic experiment gone terribly wrong—hold the key to a different future, if only Crucial can stay alive long enough to unlock it.

Praise for Scorched Earth:

“Others have attempted to blend the genres of an investigative detective piece with sci-fi, but few achieve such a seamless integration as do McFall and Hays … a compelling saga, edgy and different, thoroughly absorbing.” 

Midwest Book Review

Purchase:Amazon

 

Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed.  Scorched Earth is their ninth co-authored book. Pumpjack Press  ║  Pumpjack Press on Facebook ║ Authors’ Facebook ║ Authors’ Instagram Connect with Kathleen Goodreads ║ Amazon ║ Facebook ║ Twitter Connect with Clark Goodreads ║ Amazon ║ Facebook ║ Twitter

Blog Tour: Alfie Carter

BNR Alfie Carter

ALFIE CARTER
by
BJ Mayo
 
Published by Skyhorse Publishing Pages: 288 Published: January 19th, 2021 Categories: Southern Fiction / Rural Fiction / Mystery
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Cover Alfie Carter med res

The seemingly never-ending Cabinda War (1975—) has left multitudes dead in its wake and thousands of children homeless and orphaned. Jackaleena N’denga, a young Angolan girl, has become the sole survivor of one specifically brutal village massacre carried out by a band of guerrilla boy-soldiers. Jackaleena’s resilience leads her to an orphanage on the west coast of Africa, known as Benguela by the Sea, where she and other children are taken in and protected. Her brilliant mind and endless questions capture the heart of her mentor, Margaret, who ensures her that her survival thus far—especially being the survivor from her village—must mean she has big things ahead of her. When the opportunity arises, she must find her purpose. Not without a plan, Jackaleena stows away on a mercy ship that has made its yearly visit to the orphanage and is now preparing to return to America. Her journey takes her across the ocean, into the arms of New York City’s customs officials, and finally into placement in a temporary foster home in Texas. Enter Alfie Carter—a workaholic, small-town detective who is also battling memories of his past. His life is forever changed when he meets a young African girl looking for her higher purpose.

Purchase: Skyhorse Publishing

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author pic Mayo

BJ Mayo was born in an oil field town in Texas. He spent the first few years of his life living in a company field camp twenty-five miles from the closest town. His career in the energy industry took him to various points in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Louisiana, Bangladesh, Australia, and Angola West Africa. He and his wife were high school sweethearts and have been married for forty-six years with two grown children. They live on a working farm near San Angelo, Texas.
Visit BJ Mayo at his website: https://bjmayo.com/

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Review
Rating :★★★★★
Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of a finished book  from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in this review are advanced reader copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

Alfie Carter is a tale that takes you on a journey of one young girl’s resilience during one of the toughest moments in her life. Jakaleena, the main character, is faced with a life-altering moment in the beginning stages of her childhood. She is forced into a position to make decisions on how to care for herself and keep herself alive. Faced with daily adversity she rises above the occasion and sees the purpose in her life. Destined for greatness and opportunities, she takes a huge risk in an attempt for a better life in America. A chance encounter with a thoughtful Doctor propels her life into a direction that others could not fathom. Will she allow her past to define her or will she use it as a way to inspire her?

BJ Mayo takes an interesting approach in this historical fiction. His writing style allows for the reader to have a front-row seat to the retelling of the life of Jakaleena. The story begins with engaging first chapters that start with the present-day and transition to the past. The reader gets a full retelling of the story of Jakaleena and her beginning. The author does a wonderful job with the development of the main and supporting characters as well as the full storyline. The story has twists and turns but it is also filled with moments that will make you cry, be empathetic, and be grateful all in the same moments. The ending has you wanting to find out more about her story and why her past made a sudden appearance. This book highlights the effects of trauma, healing, and growing through the pain. There are some faith-based moments, biblical references, and minor profanity towards the beginning of the novel, which does not take-away from the overall storyline.

I highly recommend this book for adults interesting in historical fiction but be aware there are triggers. If you have experienced trauma associated with killing, death, sexual assault, or loss, I recommend treading slowly when reading this novel. There are quite a few moments that can be triggering. However, you will enjoy the honesty, biblical reference, and family dynamic. You will feel inspired after reading this book. Once you begin, you won’t want to put it down.


FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:

2/23/21

Review

Reading by Moonlight

2/23/21

BONUS Promo

All the Ups and Downs

2/23/21

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

2/24/21

Review

Missus Gonzo

2/24/21

Review

The Clueless Gent

2/25/21

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

2/25/21

BONUS Promo

Hall Ways Blog

2/26/21

Review

Jennie Reads

2/26/21

Review

Jennifer Silverwood

2/27/21

Review

Bibliotica

2/28/21

Review

Carpe Diem Chronicles

3/1/21

Review

Book Fidelity

3/1/21

Review

That’s What She’s Reading

3/2/21

Review

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

3/3/21

Review

Forgotten Winds

3/3/21

Review

Librariel Book Adventures

3/4/21

Review

It’s Not All Gravy

3/4/21

Review

The Plain-Spoken Pen

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Blog Tour: Network of Deceit

NETWORK OF DECEIT
An Amara Alvarez
Stand-Alone Novel
by
Tom Threadgill
Categories: Mystery / Suspense / Detective
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: February 2, 2021
Number of Pages: 384 pages
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She’s following her instincts. They’re following her every move. 
After her rescue of nearly fifty kidnapped children made international headlines, Amara Alvarez gets what she’s worked for: a transfer to San Antonio’s Homicide Division. But reality sets in quickly when her first case, the suspicious death of a teenager at a crowded local water park, plunges her life into chaos. 
As the investigation moves forward, Amara finds herself stalked online by cybercriminals who uncover her personal life in frightening detail. With few leads, she’s forced to resort to unconventional methods to find the killer and prevent her first murder investigation from ending up in the cold case files. 
Tom Threadgill is back with another riveting page-turner featuring the detective who is willing to put everything on the line to see justice served and lives protected.

CLICK TO PURCHASE!
Tom Threadgill is a full-time author and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). The author of Collision of Lies, Tom lives with his wife near Dallas, Texas.
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Review

Rating :★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of a finished book  from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in this review are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

This book follows the life of a newly spotlighted detective Alvarez. A level-headed, strong willed, female detective trying to make a name for herself in a new town. She struggles with a new boss who is unwilling to give her more responsibility, a thorn in her side co-worker, and a potentially budding office romance. The story unfolds as she navigates a new case that seems to have more twists and turns than anticipated. All while trying to manage the fact that her office is a foldable table. Will Alvarez solve the case and provide some closure to the family or will she get caught in the mix of the case itself?

Network of Deceit is book two in the series. This is my first time reading a book by the author and it definitely won’t be my last time. This novel is told from the perspective of the main character which allows for you to feel like you’ve been transplanted into her mind. It actually helped me paint a better picture of the full story and feel more connected to each character. The simplistic writing style allows for a quick read and for the reader to not be distracted by complex terms but to be captivated by the story. The storyline flows well, and the book had my attention captured the whole time. I was thoroughly surprised by some of the twists and turns the novel took. Toward the end I was shocked by the plot twist and was on the edge of my seat during the epilogue. The author does a great job with character development of both main and supporting characters. I enjoyed the insertion of family history of the main character, the budding romance, and the work conflict. I like how the author shed some light on the challenges women face in often male dominated positions and the challenges of being a Rookie cop. This story will have you both laughing, gasping, and holding your breath the whole way through.

I highly recommend this book for teens or adults. The writing style is simple enough for others to grasp the concepts and not get lost in the complexity of terms. Once you begin, you won’t want to put it down. I am excited to see what the next installment in this series holds.

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Copies of both Collision of Lies
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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:
2/17/21 Series Spotlight All the Ups and Downs
2/17/21 BONUS Promo Hall Ways Blog
2/18/21 BONUS Promo LSBBT Blog
2/18/21 Review The Adventures of a Travelers Wife
2/19/21 Review That’s What She’s Reading
2/20/21 Excerpt The Page Unbound
2/21/21 Excerpt Texas Book Lover
2/22/21 Author Interview StoreyBook Reviews
2/23/21 Review KayBee’s Book Shelf
2/24/21 Review Librariel Book Adventures
2/25/21 Character Interview The Clueless Gent
2/26/21 Review Tangled in Text
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Blog Tour: Pudge and Prejudice

PUDGE AND PREJUDICE
by
A.K. PITTMAN
Categories: YA / Clean & Wholesome Romance / ’80s
Publisher: Wander (a division of Tyndale House)
Date of Publication: January 12, 2021
Number of Pages: 352 pages
 
 
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A Mixtape of Big ’80s Style, High School Angst, and a Classic Jane Austen Tale

It’s 1984 and after moving to Northenfield, Texas, with her family, Elyse Nebbit faces the challenge of finding her place in a new school, one dominated by social status and Friday night football. When Elyse’s effortlessly beautiful older sister Jayne starts dating golden boy Charlie Bingley, Elyse finds herself curious about Charlie’s popular and brooding best friend, Billy Fitz. Elyse’s body insecurities eventually complicate her relationship with Billy, leaving Jayne and Elyse’s exceedingly blunt friend, Lottie, to step in and help Elyse accept herself for who she is, pant size and all.

 
PRAISE FOR PUDGE AND PREJUDICE:

Written with wit and considerable insight into the highs and lows of first love, this coming-of-age twist on the Jane Austen classic had me laughing out loud, singing ‘80s lyrics in my head, and cheering on the brilliant, yet self-deprecating heroine. Pudge & Prejudice is a joy to read from beginning to end! Lorie Langdon, author of Olivia Twist and the Disney Villains series

Allison Pittman will have readers laughing (and singing) on every page of this delightfully tenderhearted novel for all ages…[She] crafts a particularly savvy character who learns that beauty really is soul-deep…. Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Perennials

I can’t remember the last time I loved a book as much as I love this one. It’s an instant classic I will return to time after time.  —Bethany Turner, Award-Winning Author of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

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Allison Pittman is an award-winning author of thirteen novels, including the Christy-nominated Sister Wife series and the critically acclaimed The Seamstress. An enthusiast for all of the writing world, Allison holds active leadership in her local American Christian Fiction Writers chapter, and she heads up a thriving critique group in the San Antonio area. When not writing, Allison teaches middle school English, working as a conduit to introduce her students to new, fresh literature. You can follow her around on Instagram or Twitter and keep up with her writing news on her Allison Pittman Author Facebook page. Here you’ll learn what’s going on with new books, next books, and day-to-day life with Allison and her husband, Mikey. You’ll also get a peek at Snax, the world’s worst dog.

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Review

Rating :★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of a finished book  from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in this review are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

This book follows the life of main character Elyse. A sophomore in high school who has been forced to relocate to Texas after her dad gets a new job. Elyse is one of five children and she isn’t the one that is the most accepted but the one who wishes to disappear off the family’s radar. Her size isn’t quite what others would call “normal,” but to Elyse, she’s comfortable the way she is. Will Elyse find love or even get a boyfriend?

Elyse is developed as a strong female character who aims to not fit into society’s view of normal. Throughout the book she challenges authority, societal norms, and her parents.  It can be tough to not look like others but it is even tougher when your family points that out constantly. The greatest act of rebellion is to do the exact opposite and live her life the way she wants to. The author does a wonderful job developing the main characters and supporting characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the family dynamic and the teenage angst. It reminded me of many times when I was in junior high and high school. It is hard to deal with those emotions and I loved how this book brought a humorous and empowering approach to them. I only wished I was as determined as Elyse. 

The author spends time highlighting the challenges that Elyse faces with her weight but also encourages the reader to feel empowered by the way Elyse handles the backlash from others. This reminds us to embrace who we are and to not focus of what others think of us but embrace your own individual characteristics. This book has love, loss, family, and forgiveness as the author dives into relatable topics. Although, the book setting is based in Texas during the 1980s, the story reads as if the events were happening today. 

I highly recommend this book for anyone middle grade and up. The humor will have adults feeling nostalgic and younger kids gaining tools to face their fears of social interaction. Once you begin, you won’t want to put it down. I am curious if there will be a book two, if so, I can’t wait. 

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THREE WINNERS
Each winner receives a SIGNED COPY of the book,
a hair scrunchie, and a $25 Visa Gift Card
Giveaway ends Midnight, CST, 2/13/2021
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:
2/3/21 Review The Page Unbound
2/3/21 Review Missus Gonzo
2/4/21 Review All the Ups and Downs
2/5/21 Review Carpe Diem Chronicles
2/5/21 Review That’s What She’s Reading
2/6/21 Review The Adventures of a Travelers Wife
2/7/21 Review Rebecca R. Cahill, Author
2/8/21 Review Nerd Narration
2/8/21 Review Rainy Days with Amanda
2/9/21 Review Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
2/10/21 Review StoreyBook Reviews
2/10/21 Review Momma on the Rocks
2/11/21 Review Book Fidelity
2/11/21 BONUS Promo Hall Ways Blog
2/12/21 Review Librariel Book Adventures
2/12/21 Review Jennifer Silverwood
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