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Straight for the Kill (Benoit and Dayne Mystery Book 3) by Winter Austin – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Straight for the Kill (Benoit and Dayne Mystery, #3)Straight for the Kill by Winter Austin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Eckardt County has had a certain unsolved case for decades now. The current sheriff Elizabeth, has spend a good part of her career trying to lock up those she knows are involved. She lost her best friend and she knows the ex-sheriff is guilty some how. She just doesn’t have the hard evidence to make it stick though! The death of a young girl in similar circumstances, brings back a chilling feeling of deja vu that opens up the old case again 25 years later. With two dead in the cold case and another dead now, the community is in a state of unrest. When a key witness is kidnapped, the bigger picture starts to unfold. But then prominent members of the community start disappearing, including Elizabeth’s sister, and it’s time to put these cases to bed once and for all. Unfortunately for Elizabeth she just had surgery, so stepping back and letting Detective Lila take the lead is needed, but she can’t keep away. She doesn’t want to! Lila is worried about the legal consequences of those to close to the case, but she’s having trouble lining the clues up to a suspect. Trying not to get tunnel vision with the two cases is hard when all fingers are pointing to crooked town officials. This book is backed full of suspense. I didn’t realize when I started this book that it was part of a series, so I read it as a stand alone. The book did reference some stuff that happened in the previous book, but I was able to understand where the characters were coming from in most cases. I am excited to read the other parts to the set though! It will give me a clearer view. But the book was great alone! I wouldn’t recommend reading it alone, but it can be done. I personally want the rest of the stories!!

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My Pearl Heart by J.N. Sheats – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

My Pearl HeartMy Pearl Heart by J.N. Sheats
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book hooks you in from the very first page! You have to know what and why right away! Jasmine has had some ups and downs in her life. She lost her parents, moved away, started a business with a friend Candence, and has been throwing herself into their business ever since. She and her friend organize events for the social elite with their business- Divine Events. Unfortunately her friend’s extreme personality gets in the way more than it helps!! When a random guy (James) sweeps her off her feet, literally! and kisses her like a starved man, it throws Jasmine off her axel completely. James comes from a rich family who are the closest thing to royalty in New England. His smugness and no care attuite show it too. Drinking and making a mess of his life and business choices has him rethinking his path after Jasmine mistakes him for a guest and kicks him out of his parents anniversary dinner! Yeah she didn’t know who he was! Talk about awkward!! First he plans to marry Candence. Yes! Jasmine’s best friend!! After he just kissed her too! Way to go best friend, kissing the fiancé. Ugh!! Not only that but now she has to help plan the wedding too!! Boy oh boy you are in for a a treat with this one!! Can Jasmine with her redheaded temper cool it enough to plan this outrageous wedding with her friendship in tact? Will Candence find out about the kiss and blow everything up in revenge? Their business is already struggling and this wedding is a bit out of control. Can James keep his hands to himself long enough to make it down the isle and get the money he needs to start his new business venture? What about this crazy contract between James and Candence?! This is just a disaster waiting to happen and time is ticking for them all!

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The Hawke Family Complete Collection by Gwyn McNamee – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

The Hawke Family Complete CollectionThe Hawke Family Complete Collection by Gwyn McNamee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Boy oh boy! Such a GREAT romantic suspense set!! Okay ,so there are SIX books total in this set (Savage Collision, Tortured Skye, Stone Sober, Building Storm, Tainted Saint, and Steele Resolve). YES, you CAN read them alone, BUT you SHOULDN’T!! Just don’t do it! You will want them all! TRUST ME!! They are all so, so good!!! They build on each other so well!! They will mention things in the others and you won’t quite know what they are referring to, but you will get the overall point in most cases. BUT you NEED to read them all! Seriously! I loved them all so much.
The Hawke family lives in New Orleans and just like the town, there is always something going on with them! Lets see…. The mob? Check!… Family issues? Of course. Check!… Workplace Drama? Unfortunately always with clubs. So, check and double check! AND Hurricanes!!!!!?? Oh geesh! Check!! What fires will this family need to deal with in this collection of contemporary suspense romance books?? Read them ALL to find out!!!!!

Savage Collision- Savage is a damaged billionaire who owns and runs a couple of upscale clubs. When a dancer’s sister comes barreling into his office he doesn’t know it yet, but his life will never be the same. He has secrets, but weather he likes it or not, he can’t keep it from coming out, or the consequences afterwards.

Tortured Skye- Skye is Savage’s sister (from book one). She works on the office side of the local hospital and although the family drives her crazy and she’s a bit snippy sometimes, she has a decent life. She likes her work, she’s been “seeing” a guy from HR, and she’s handling life and family. Unfortunately one encounter, at a Hawke Family event no less, has her life flipped upside down. She’s really being tortured at this point!

Stone Sober-
Stone is the younger brother of Savage and Skye (from book one and two). He is a lawyer at an older firm but he still has ties to his home town and unfortunately some dangerous people there. Coming home and setting up shop for himself is looking better and better. But, he’s a control freak who can’t control his life right now! Between the mob and an off limits employee of the family, his world is spinning. He can’t control himself and he finds himself rushing into things unprepared. Hard as stone but a sweet cupcake can make it all burn to the ground!

Building Storm-
Storm is another Hawke sister (from the previous books). She hasn’t really been living. At all. Going through the motions on auto pilot isn’t truly living. Everyone sees it. Even her daughter. She’s failing. The Hawke family means well, but they’re driving her insane trying to control everything. She can’t rely on anyone. She has to take care of her life and her daughter. She can do it alone and she has to. Storms are crashing around in her brain and stomach as she tries to navigate what her new life should be like. The guilt, hurt, and anger are so much. The inferno that ruined her life, flashes like a deja vu, and losing everything has her fighting for her breath and her life!

Tainted Saint-
Saint is a bouncer at one of the Hawkeye Clubs. He’s an ex ball player which gives him the perfect build to put anyone in their place if they even try to step out of line and break any of the club rules. Working for the Hawke family has been anything but boring though! There is ALWAYS something going on in one of the clubs, bars, restaurants, or businesses. Trouble is just attracted to them! Between lovers, one night stands, family drama, and the Italian Mob…. who knows what will happen to this family next! Unfortunately for him, he failed them when keeping an eye on a family member, so his life is a bit up in the air since the fire. Caroline is a reporter and a friend of the Hawke family. She’s reporting on a masquerade party and she’s excited for some of the fun. Being anonymous gives her the courage to step outside her normal box. With secrets everywhere things are about to change for this family, again.!! And of course Saint and Caroline are being scooped right into the story with them all.

Steele Resolve-
Steele (aka Luca Abello) is a mob boss. Taking over for his father was never in his plans. He wanted nothing to do with him or anything that he did. His father sent him and his mother away because the truth of what he is. He isn’t to be trusted. His father was bad enough, but now that Luca is in town the Hawke family is on edge. Not knowing what Luca is up to is keeping them and their businesses on their toes. Knowing it all, Byron has a hard time staying away. Yes, at first he didn’t know who he was, but now they are both risking it all because they can’t seem to stay away from each other. Secrets and guilt are ripping the poor Hawke family apart. And this rift could ruin a lot along the way. The Hawke’s are the only people Luca has ever cared about and now they are on opposite sides.

What an ending!! Talk about coming full circle. I loved this set!!!! I can’t wait to read the prequel that just came out!! Sad to see this story end, but I am excited to read some of Gwyn’s other books!!!! Think I found another favorite author!! You HAVE TO READ THIS SET!!!!!

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If I Had a Magic Wand by Melissa Lavi – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

If I had a Magic WandIf I had a Magic Wand by Melissa Lavi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is so beautiful and heartwarming! If I had a Magic Wand is a book about wishes for our babies and children of the world. The magic wand is handed from parent to parent and baby to baby throughout the pages. With each pass there is another wish/dream for our babies. It’s also a rhyming book so kids can learn at the same time as reading a book for bedtime. This magical book shares messages for all parents, soon to be parents, and anyone who believes in the magic of our children’s futures. I got this book for my girls who are 7 and 10. Of course with them both it was an easy read, but they enjoyed the pictures and the wishes as the book went along. I think this would be a wonderful baby shower book or maybe even a 1st birthday book for kiddos. So pretty and inspiring!

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Amaleigha Loves a Good Story by Janice Pratt – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Amaleigha Loves a Good StoryAmaleigha Loves a Good Story by Janice Pratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amaleigha is a six year old who loves to help and be kind. She thinks of others and helps when and where she can. She is always having big ideas and some of those ideas turn into big plans! Her grandparents always say she will change the world with her ideas someday! Well, Amaleigha loves to read. She likes to visit her school library when ever she can. It’s a wonderful place to find new books. She loves all the different stories that she is able to read because she has them in their library. But she notices a problem with some of the selections and guess what? She gets an idea! Her community is made up of people who come from different countries and they don’t have much for them to read in their own languages. She couldn’t imagine not being able to read some of the wonderful stories that she’s been able to read, just because it wasn’t in her language. Well Amaleigha comes up with a plan! She takes her plan to some of her family and friends for help. Some of the community member even get involved! Read this super cute book to see how she solves this problem in her community. And how she is going to change the world one big idea at a time! I read this book with my seven year old and she loved it! We have read a couple of them from this author and she has liked every one so far. She was the perfect age for them, but I really think that younger kids would enjoy them as well, with a little help with the bigger words.

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Where Do Pirates Go on Vacation? by Kim Ann – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Where Do Pirates Go on Vacation? : Fun pirate story that encourages imaginative and creative thinking. Ages 3 to 8, preschool to 2nd grade.Where Do Pirates Go on Vacation? : Fun pirate story that encourages imaginative and creative thinking. Ages 3 to 8, preschool to 2nd grade. by Kim Ann
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where do Pirates go on vacation? Do you know?? Do they sail the seven seas? Or maybe they head straight for the highest ground! After sailing all around the world and having no more treasure to find, what will these sea loving friends do? Vacation adventures await! Ready for new adventures, wind in their sails, seas at their fingertips, and lots of friends for fun times they are ready!! But where will they go, what will they do, and what will they see? Can you guess?? So much new fun stuff to try!! Read this super cute fun book with your kiddo(s) and find out what these friends have planned! Pirates, rhymes, and wonderful pictures make up this great book. My seven year old enjoyed it, but I can easily say that younger kids would love it too! The pictures are fun to look at and kids are learning rhyming words throughout the book too!

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Amaleigha and the Big Idea by Janice Pratt – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Amaleigha and the Big IdeaAmaleigha and the Big Idea by Janice Pratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amaleigha is a five year old who has some big ideas. Her grandparents always say that she will change the world. After spending a lot of time in her backyard barefoot doing things she loves, she has an amazing idea. But ideas need plans and actions! Which means she needs help! She brings the idea and plan to her family. She just has to share all the things she loves with them! And maybe even the world!! With the help of her family, friends, and even the community those plans are put into actions! They open something that will change their community for the better. Read the book to find out what her big idea was and how with help, she makes the world better one big idea at a time! This was such a cute story. I read it with my 7 year old, but younger kids would defiantly love this book too!

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Dream-Shifter by Lois Wickstrom – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Dream-ShifterDream-Shifter by Lois Wickstrom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have never heard of a dream shifter before. I really loved the idea of it and how the author put it into a book that not only I loved, but I think my ten year old will as well. Gwendolyn is a 12-year dream-shifter. She shifts into the animals that she dreams about. Fun right?! Well each night she prepares for the dreams and normally enjoys them. There is one catch to being a dream shifter though. If you wake up normally on your own you shift back to human. BUT if you get woken up suddenly (like from a fire alarm) you stay shifted! Crazy right?! Lets just say that her parents were shocked the first time it happened. Unfortunately, she learns that if you don’t shift back within a few months you get stuck in the form that you last shifted to!! So, she’s leaping around as an Elk and having fun, when she’s bolted awake from the fire alarm. They forgot to turn off the space heater that they used to make smores indoors. Not only is Gwendolyn stuck as an elk now, but their home burned down. To top off her already horrible night, she learns that it’s almost elk season! Which means she has to find a place to hide! Where do you hide an elk?? She’s stuck as an elk with no knowledge on how to turn back and now she must keep away from hunters! Thankfully she can speak English and she still thinks mostly like a girl. But how do you explain this to people? And who would believe her?! Getting the help from a magician that she’s a little scared of is her last resort, but she must. He gives her access to his magical library which she finds out that her grandmother’s written books are part of! Maybe she can find some answers finally!! He does end up having a book that might help, but for some reason she can’t get near it. Oh odd!! Will Gwendolyn spend the rest of her life as an Elk? Will she get hunted and killed during the season?! Hiding out at the magician’s house, putting on magic shows for kids to pay for room and board is just the start to this fun and interesting book!! I got sucked in and I hope my daughter will as well. I’m excided to share it with her. If you have never heard of a dream-shifter (like me) you are in for a treat!!

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The Final Bite by Naomi Valkyrie – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

The Final BiteThe Final Bite by Naomi Valkyrie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a short story that I absolutely LOVED!! I REALLY, REALLY hope that the author decides to either continue it later on or add to it somehow. I would love to read more of this story!! So, every 10 years the Gods choose a paranormal being, who was unjustly killed, and they get a second chance at life. Nice right? Well, there are rules though!! First, you only have three days to find and choose a mate. Second, you can’t use any powers to influence said mate (love potions, mind control, etc etc). Third, you can only choose one person. If that person doesn’t work out for any reason, you go right back to purgatory. No Second Chances within this second chance. Your chance is just lost! And lastly, you have to tell your chosen mate about the challenge and said rules. Maybe not so easy after all! Quinlan is the chosen one this decade and boy oh boy does he have his work cut out for him! The gods have placed him in a hotel, in wolf territory, and in the middle of nowhere. These Gods must be out to get him! At least they gave him three changes of clothes and some cash, but funny thing is that they forgot underwear! What the heck?! Was that on purpose?? What are these silly Gods up to!!? Day one is passing quickly. By the time he catches some animals to eat (as he is a vampire) and looks around the SUPER small town he’s ready to get some sleep and work out a plan for this challenge. Scoping out the town at night might bring some more answers about the town and it’s residents. Will he be able to find a mate time? Three days in a small town with less people could be a big issue. Maybe he needs to take a day to travel somewhere else and up his chances? With not much money he won’t be able to get far. Should he let the alpha in the area know about his challenge? He doesn’t want to tick off the locals and have a wolf war on his hands too! Man oh man you are in for a treat with this one! Like I said it is a short story, but the author packs in some great stuff in those few pages. Give it a shot and see what Quinnlan ends up doing AND what he ends up dealing with.

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Dia’s Lure (Solstice Quartet Book 3) by Catherine Peace – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Dia's LureDia’s Lure by Catherine Peace
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this set! I haven’t read many sifter books outside of the normal werewolves and such, so I was super excited about this set after reading the first book. I am so happy that I gave then a read! I defiantly recommend this set to anyone how loves shifter romance books. Día has been on the run for years. She is always watching her back, changing the way she looks, and always always running. She’s been on the run from hunters trying to keep her family safe, but her luck so far has just run out. She gets caught. But not by hunters! She stumbles onto a colony in hiding and they don’t trust outsiders. This bat shifter and witch colony has been through a lot and many of them are sick and dying. They can’t trust anyone and two strangers showing up on the same day worries them. Her fellow captive (the other stranger) just so happens to be an ex-lover who betrayed her years ago and brought the hunters to her family. Kano regrets so much in his life. Not being able to stop the slaughter of Día’s tribe and family being the biggest of all. He can’t believe his eyes when he drug into colony and he sees her alive. He’s been so focused on his journalism and putting the worst of the worst into the lime-light and behind bars. He can’t escape his own guilt and seeing Día brings it all rushing back. Again. When he gets taken by the bat colony he doesn’t know what he is in for. Día plans to run as soon as she can. She can’t be around him and she needs to find her group and make sure that they are okay. Milos, one of the bat shifters feels like something bad is coming. He can feel it in his gut. So when Día and Kano stumble onto the camp his gut stabs him with fear again. He just wants to protect his colony, find a cure to their sickness, and live! With their leader dying he must do something, anything to help their fast decreasing colony members. When someone from Kano’s past comes and threatens the colony the three of them must put their mistrust aside and fight together. Putting fears behind you can be tricky when fighting for your life. Will they come together and defeat their enemy? Or will history repeat itself. Will fear keep these three from saving everyone? Will Día kill Kano for his part in her family’s slaughter? Will Kano admit his mistakes from all those years ago and get Día to forgive him? Will she be able to? Man this book has so much going on! Those three are in for a lot!! You have to read this set!! If you love shifter books and magic and love you, will love this set!!

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Ember’s Secret (Solstice Quartet Book 1) by Catherine Peace – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Ember's Secret (Solstice Quartet #1)Ember’s Secret by Catherine Peace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was so surprised by this book! When I first started reading it I forgot that it was about shifters. I haven’t read many “shifter” books outside of the normal werewolves and such, so I LOVED seeing some other animals being brought into the genera. Ember has a big secret and with the Solstice coming up quickly she’s not sure if she can keep that secret much longer. She want to see more people in her café and in turn be reunited with her two sisters. Her café only sees people that are passing through and she hasn’t turned a good profit in years. Cooking for people she never sees twice is lonely and not at all what she wants out of her café. Food brings people together. She wants more out of her life and she wants more for her café. But can she risk it? Austin is the host of a popular Food TV show Back Road Eats. He’s tired of the same old easy dependable American grilling and BBQ. And being on the road more and more is wearing him out. A chef tv host who’s burnt out on food! While on the way to one last round of shows before heading home his RV breaks down in the middle of no where Wyoming. Dreading the extended stay while him and his camera and editing crew wait for a part for the RV, they learn of a Maori restaurant and his interest is piqued! Sick of BBQ, burgers, and all the normal Back Road Eats he’s been eating for the past few years he is ready to try something new. Once he meets Ember and tries her food he can’t leave without getting her to do his show! He can’t believe the flavors that she brings out in all her dishes. Everything he tries, he loves! But she’s terrified and family comes first. Her father forbids anything to do with the show and he is all she has left. Family first. Can Austin get Ember to do the show? Does Ember bring her whole world down around her and put what little family she has left in danger? Will she get them killed? Will she ever get her café full of people who fall in love with her food? It’s clear that Austin loves more than just her food too! What will come of that?! Dealing with his own father drama he doesn’t want to push to hard. Does he push her away? Or will they over come fears and trials and come together? You have to read to find out!!! You won’t be disappointed!!

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The Dwarves’ Dilemma (Science Folktales) by Lois Wickstrom – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Dwarves' Dilemma, TheDwarves’ Dilemma, The by Lois Wickstrom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was super cute!! I got this thinking that my youngest daughter (7) would like it. My oldest (10) also enjoyed not only the story but the fun illustrations as well. The Queen in this book is know as the most fair and honest person in the Kingdom of Aleta. Everyone comes to her with their problems so they can be solved fairly. She uses a mirror to help her with the harder problems. Looking for the sparkle of fairness in everyone’s eyes each time. When the dwarves bring her a problem where both sides think they are being fair the Queen needs her mirror. But there is a problem when the mirror shows her that SHE isn’t the fairest! Oh my! She entrusts Snow White to get to the bottom of the problem. Can Snow White find out where things went wrong? How is the Queen not fair? Will the poor dwarves’ problem get solved? What will happen to the Queen?! Such a fun book. In the back of the book it has information on how mirrors work and reflect. It’s a great way to help your kids learn about some science stuff while reading a cute book. I would recommend this book (and the other science books she’s written) for kids ages 5-10. I know my two kiddos have enjoyed them all so far!! Can’t wait for more!!

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Soliloquy by Janet Fogg – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

SoliloquySoliloquy by Janet Fogg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I haven’t read many books that have been based in historical times. I normally stick to supernatural, mystery, romance, and children’s (mom of two) books. But I am glad that I gave this one a chance! Erin has a passion for music. She’s a concert pianist and composer, but now she’s been slammed back in time to when Nazi held France! WWII is not where she thought she’d be at this point in her life!! She’s so confused with memories that aren’t hers and of course war time! She must keep up the ruse that she belongs there, while she figures out what the heck happened. And how to get back!! She slowly learns that she’s performing for not only her life, but the lives off all those who live with her. No pressure there!! She’s protecting them by writing music for a nasty German officer. She sees the consequences of creating wonderful music during war time when the German officer asks for more and more. She can’t keep up her lies for long. As Erin tries to hide a British pilot named Arick and help him evade capture and certain death, she can’t help the feeling that she knows this man from another life. And her future life! It’s like her soul knows his. As confusing as it is, she comes to grips with never seeing him again and sending him off with the resistance, but she is betrayed and they are caught. She’s caught in WWII writing music to stay alive, but the darkness’s of war are closing in on her to quick! Time is running out and she still doesn’t know how to get back to her own time!! The German officer is deadly. He also holds all power. He can send them off to a work camp or just kill them outright for anything he wants. As an enemy pilot, Arick can be shot and killed in an instant without another glance. Will she save Arick? Will Erin protect the members of the house? Will they find out she doesn’t belong? Or will they think that she’s gone crazy?! She has to figure out what to do quick, before it’s to late! You have to give this one a chance! You won’t be disappointed. If you love the jumping through time and the suspense of the story unfolding you will love this one. I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to read other books like this one now!! Thanks for a great read!

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Grave Digger Academy II (Grave Digger Academy Book 2) by C.A. King – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Grave Digger Academy IIGrave Digger Academy II by C.A. King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There’s a reason people don’t believe in monsters and it’s not because they don’t exist!! Boy are you in for a treat with this set!! I am LOVING it!! I could totally see this set put into a movie!! And if it ever does, know I will be watching it asap!! Anyways, to the book!! This is Makayla’s second year in the paranormal academy system. THANKFULLY, she doesn’t have to ride the bus the first day and her brothers can drive her. After finding out last year that she wouldn’t be going to any other school, because she’s being watched, she must make the best of it. She doesn’t know what is in store for her that year until her and her class are called back early. Thinking that she will get some time in the local village she’s excited to get there. Boy is her first day, yet AGAIN, an adventure though!! Maybe she’s seeing things, but getting to the library is strange. With the one and only transfer position withheld last year, she has all the same classmates, so they meet up on the way. Maybe they won’t be separated this year. Maybe classes will go back to normal. Hopefully?? Upon arriving at the school they learn about some changes, good and bad. But at least they are letting her have a bit more freedom! Which is good because the school is participating in an academy competition with the other schools and she can use all the help she can! If they can win they can bring some desperately needed funding and prestige back to the once sought after school, but if they lose the school could close down forever! Then what would happen to her?! No one WANTS to go to Grave Digger Academy anymore. Most are thrown into it like Makayla, without any say in the matter. So if she is kicked out of the one place that took her she dreads what might come next!! But she is determined to save the school, learn as much magic as she can, and find out more about her family history and all the weird things that seem to be attracted to her! But something is off about the competition and the map. The map changes after the competition is already under way. There was to be no interference and no one is allowed on the map except the competitors and their helpers if they choose to bring them. When their own shovels in their back yard throw her in the wrong direction she knows something is up. Will she help win the competition and in turn help save the school? Where is this shovel taking her?! Why does it always have to happen to her?? Makayla is out of options and must do something desperate to not only save herself, but the school. Will her plan backfire and in turn everything burn down around her? And who is messing with not only her, but the competition?! Man oh man I can’t wait to read the rest of this set! I am invested to see what happens next!! You COULD read this book alone, BUT I wouldn’t recommend it. Some stuff happens in the first book that is referenced in this book and you will be a bit lost. Anyways, grab this book (and the others!) and unearth the mysteries to the Grave Digger Academy!

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Mermaid and the Water Magnifying Glass: a Mermaid Science Story Reviewed by: Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Mermaid and the Water Magnifying Glass: a Mermaid Science StoryMermaid and the Water Magnifying Glass: a Mermaid Science Story by Lois Wickstrom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is adorable. And who doesn’t love mermaids?! This book is about two friends playing by a lake (Fig and Maia). Maia can see the mermaid Trezzie, but Fig can’t. It can make this a bit strange when playing. Fig and Maia are playing with stones when Maia spots Trezzie swimming towards them. Trezzie places a small stone next to Maia, but when she shows it to Fig she says it’s to small for their tower. Maia thinks there is something about it because it came from Trezzie. When they look closer they can see that there is something on it, but they need a magnifying glass to see it better. Science to the rescue! Fig says she knows how to make one, and lists an item she needs. Fig doesn’t see Trezzie go into the lake and bring back an item, but it shows up next to her feet!! Fig makes a magnifying glass with the container and they can see what is on the rock. Maia says to show Trezzie, but because Fig can’t see her she lets Maia show her. It turns out that there is a fossil on the stone. Something similar to a Rolly-Polly. The bug that curls up with you touch it. The girls ask if there are more so they can each bring one home. Trezzie leaves and is gone a long time. Fig thinks she got lost and decides to head home. What happened to Trezzie? Does she come back? Do they get their fossils? Read the book to find out that and more!! This book was for my seven year old. She LOVES mermaids and this one is so cute! The story keeps her locked in until the end. And it’s fun to test out some of the science from the books! There are more than one book, but they can be read as stand alone with no problems. I love the added science in the book. That’s not something that is really taught at the younger ages so “sneaking” it in now can’t hurt!

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The Mind-Reading Hat: Invisible Magic Wand Book Six: Reviewed by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

The Mind-Reading Hat: Invisible Magic Wand Book SixThe Mind-Reading Hat: Invisible Magic Wand Book Six by Lois Wickstrom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such a cute book! And I just love the idea of an UnBirthday surprise! Every year Caspin and his Grandpa share a special tradition of a surprise box under his bed for his birthday. This year there was 2!!!! What could that second one be? What could it mean!? He opens up the presents and of course is shocked at what he got. He doesn’t understand why those gifts, but he remembers from previous birthdays (other books in series) that sometimes the gifts are far from what he expects. He brings his gifts downstairs and on the way learns about the first one. After his grandpa explains the bigger gift his mother gives him a hint about the smaller one and rushes off. He smells something out in the hall that brings him to another surprise of the day. What will he do with his new surprises? And what adventures await down the hall? Read this cute children’s book to find out! My 7 year old liked this book. It wasn’t super long and it was a fun plot, so it kept her interest until the end. The illustrations are cute and younger kids can follow the story plot with the pictures easily. I would defiantly recommend this book to kids ages 4-8. Younger kids being read to and the older kids reading out loud. I would also recommend getting the other in the set, but you can read it alone.

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Grave Digger Academy (Grave Digger Academy Book 1) by C.A. King – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Grave Digger AcademyGrave Digger Academy by C.A. King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can not wait to read books 2 and 3!!! I LOVED this book! I love most supernatural books, but I love seeing the character’s at a young point and then watching them grow. In this book we are talking about academy age. So your reading about young witches and different skills they can have or already do. Just like everything you have to learn the skills you are meant to have and then develop them. Makalya is entering her first year of the paranormal academy system, but first she must pick where to go! She gets three choices and if none of those accept her, she goes to the back up academy that no one EVER picks themselves! When she gets no word on the first day of school she has to find her own way with a slip from the library. Talk about a crazy adventuress first day! She’s thrown into a sink or swim maze to find where she needs to be. Unfortunately all three of her picks didn’t accept her and when she finds her path it is right to Grave Digger Academy!! All of her other six siblings went to great top schools. What is she to do, being the first of the family to be put into the worst of the worst!?? She hears of a way out of the school and being transferred to another school, but there is no way she will ever earn the top of the top marks in a curriculum that she’s not even interested in learning! She has more than one scolding about her interests, but looking for answers about illegal witchcraft and her being the seventh born are at the top of her priorities right now. As school progresses she’s half learning about grave diggers and what they do, but it’s not until she is thrown into a bet with another student that she wishes she paid more attention! Something is off at the Gave Digger Academy and she’s only just beginning to learn some of it. Will she make it through the year? Does she even want to, when she has to face her family once she returns home?! With the crazy start to the year, how will the year end? They is certainly a lot to learn about the corpses and how temperamental they can be! Will she survive the dangers of the school or will the headmaster expel her before she can get any real answers. Why does she have more questions than answers?! Mystery, danger, adventures, and lots of witches! Read this young adult paranormal fantasy to learn more! I’m off to get book 2!!

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Dinosaur Friends: 2 books in 1: A Present for the Volcano and Saving Conifer’s Eggs by Lois Wickstrom – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Dinosaur Friends: 2 books in 1: A Present for the Volcano and Saving Conifer's EggsDinosaur Friends: 2 books in 1: A Present for the Volcano and Saving Conifer’s Eggs by Lois Wickstrom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I originally picked this book/books for my 7 year old daughter. She has a speech issue right now, so she is a little lower on the current reading level that she should be. Anyway, she did GREAT with these! And who doesn’t love Dinosaurs! I would recommend this book for any 5-8 year old, maybe younger if your reading it to your dyno loving child(ren). This book is great as an eBook, but I personally would recommend the other version because kids love to hold books and this one flips over and it’s another story! How fun is that, right?! On to the books…. The first book (A Present for the Volcano) is about two Dino friends and a Volcano. One dinosaur (Conifer) is afraid of the volcano and wants to run, while the other Dinosaur (Spike) thinks that the volcano is sad and needs a present. The two dynos give the volcano a necklace to make the volcano feel better. It takes all day, but their gift is complete. The volcano bursts and the dynos run. Read the book to find out the ending!! I don’t want to give anything away 😉 The next book ( Saving Conifer’s Eggs) is the flip side book, book 2. Conifer has a nest with three eggs that she is sitting on. Spike smells smoke and comes to warn her. They must run from the fire, but she can’t carry her three eggs with her two little hands. The friends face a few problems as they try to make it to safety with the three eggs. Will they make it safety? What happens with the eggs? Do they break along the way? Get burned? How do Conifer and Spike fair at the end?! Read this fun children’s books to find out more!! Both books are so fun! I really think kids will love not only the pictures, but the story too!

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In Plain Sight (Logan McKenna Mystery Series Book 8) by Valerie Davisson – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

In Plain Sight: A Logan McKenna Mystery Book 8In Plain Sight: A Logan McKenna Mystery Book 8 by Valerie Davisson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book took me a while to get into, but I honestly had some personal things going on and I didn’t give it a REAL first chance. I made myself go back and reread it and give it the chance that it really deserved. I am SO GLAD that I did too!! It hooked me with its claws and held on tight! Anyways, to the book! Lol. Logan volunteers at a animal rescue center. She’s loving it more and more the deeper she becomes a part of the wildlife center. She is loving the hawks, eagles, and owls. She’s slowly becoming closer to some of the other staff too, especially the vet of the center. When she comes in early one day all things come to a screeching halt with the center. She find’s a coworker’s office ransacked and the coworker dead in one of the other rooms, along with a dead raptor she was helping with! What has she stumbled into?! No sign of what caused the death has everyone stumped. With no leads the investigation stalls, but Logan thinks there is more to this story. With the help of two friends, they look into what they believe might be murder! The killer’s attention turns towards Logan the more that they dig into the murder. Before she becomes the killer’s next victim Logan must find out the truth about what happened to her vet friend. She knows something is off, but can’t put her finger on it. Will Logan find out the truth of what happened before the killer gets to her. Will she be silenced before the truth comes out? Will she be the killer’s next prey? What about her friends helping her? Will the killer get them too? Will the killer get away with the vet’s murder?! And possibly theirs too? This mystery thriller will hook you in! I read this book as a stand alone, but there are more to the series that you can read first. It isn’t needed, but I personally can’t wait to read the others in the series. I also LOVE that the book is about raptors and it touches on a great cause of saving these beautiful wild creatures.

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Bake Happy (Bake Believe Series Book 3) by Cori Cooper – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Bake HappyBake Happy by Cori Cooper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cat has got this baking happy thing down! She visited her family’s bakery and learned so much from her aunt and GG. Cooking for parties and family members has been great practice and she’s baking the world a better place one recipe at a time. Everything is going great until she has a surprise visit from someone she’s not fond of. Not only that, but her aunt JoJo has an announcement that no one saw coming! Wishes get thrown around and magic baking gets mixed up with some crazy effects. How can Cat bake happy now?! Life has turned upside down and she hasn’t a clue of how to fix it all. Bake Happy is the last funny young fantasy book to the Bake Believe series. It’s such a fun book and I can’t wait for my daughter to read it so we can talk about the series while we bake some of the recipes that are included in amazing book set!!

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Bake Off (Bake Believe Series Book 2) by Cori Cooper – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Bake OffBake Off by Cori Cooper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cat and her family are on a family road trip to Arizona for a Thanksgiving week. While on the break they hope to find some answers about their family bakery and the way they can bake. Now that she knows what she can do, she NEEDS to know how this happened and why! Cat has to know EVERYTHING, which is a lot. While hunting for answers, Cat and her family gear up for a baking showdown with the other bakeries in the area. Cat, her best friend (and cousin) Robyn, and her sister investigate the competition in disguises and find out a lot about the different characters who bake in their town. They also find out really quick just how crazy things can get when they bake with magic without following the number one rule: Bake Happy. Bake Off is the second book in this fun unique high-jinx kids fantasy. I personally read this book, but I think my ten year old would love this book too. If is so funny and has recipes too!! I know my daughter and I will love trying some of these recipes and trying to make them low carb and low sugar.

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This Time Around by Jane Suen – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

This Time AroundThis Time Around by Jane Suen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Katie and Chase were high school sweet hearts. They planned to go off to college together, but when they each get accepted into different colleges plans changed. Katie breaks it off as Chase is proposing and leaves town. Now ten years have gone by and they haven’t spoken a word to each other. Katie has come home for a friend’s wedding and the bride-to-be has put her foot down about couples only. The bride sets her up to be another single’s plus one and it just so happens to be Chase! Talk about freak out! Now his plus one, to his cousin’s wedding, she’ll have to finally face him and all the past drama they never resolved. They have both moved on and built their lives. Katie rising up the cooperate ladder and Chase fathering an orphaned nephew. But now there worlds are colliding weather they like it or not! Will they be able to put the past behind them? Can they reconcile after ten years of hurt and moving on? This book read surprisingly fast. I sunk into it and finished it in a few hours. If you like small towns, romance, and a bit of drama this is a great book for all the above.

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Between Darkness & Light (War of Destiny Book 3) by Theresa Van Spankeren – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Between Darkness & Light (War of Destiny #3)Between Darkness & Light by Theresa Van Spankeren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Julia has done the unthinkable. Plagued by voices and people only she can see, she betrays her ka-tet. Her family. Her friends. She left them and joined the Vampire King Valentino. They think that she’s gone insane. She’s teamed up with the enemy after all. So they shun her and barley speak to her. She fears the voices and ghosts and no one understands. While she tries to repair the friendships that she has torn through Samuel disappears. To find their resistance leader she must seek help from a fellow ka-tet member. The one that hates her the most. The one who moved out to get away from her. Matthew the fire vampire. Their bond used to be so strong. They were so close. But now that bond is all hostility. He will barley even speak to her. When Julia shows up and interrupts Matthew’s new life he’s created to distance himself from Julia it is unexpected, unwelcome, and extremely inhospitable. He won’t let her try to explain. He wants nothing to do with her in any way. Along the way to find their leader enemies start to close in on Matthew and Julia. They realize that something isn’t right and more is going on than what they thought. Something dark is happening. Something sinister. Something that is tampering with true destiny. They must find out who it is and what they want before it can destroy them and their whole ka-tet. Will Matthew finally let Julia speak and let her explain what really happened with Valentino? Will he set her ablaze and not think twice? Will she get through to him or will it be to late? And what about their leader?! Will Samuel be attacked in Rome and never make it out? Such a great set of books!! I wish there was more!! I could totally read a few more to this set easy!! If you haven’t read this set I would recommend you do! It took me a minute to get into the first one as the author was building up the story, but once I was hooked I was hooked!!

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Pursuit into Darkness (War of Destiny Book 2) by Theresa Van Spankeren – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Pursuit into Darkness (War of Destiny, #2)Pursuit into Darkness by Theresa Van Spankeren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Seventy years ago Julia was recued from her horrible abusive husband by a vampire named Samuel. He offered her a deal of becoming a vampire and she agreed to become part of the resistance and help overthrow the King Vampire Valentino. She has been gaining her strength and letting her abilities develop but the King shows up to destroy the threat to his thrown. Samuel, Julia and the rest of the ka-tet intend to run before he is to close because they just aren’t ready for a huge battle yet. Julia is to young, her gifts are still in a processing stage, and she just needs more time to become stronger. But their plans fail. They can’t get out in time. Julia has no other choice in the matter but to try and fight him. Her mind is being attacked. She thinks she’s going insane. This danger is unlike anything they have ever faced before. The whole ka-tet’s safety is at the stake. Can she find a way to get passed the voices in her head and stop Valentino? Will she ever stop doubting herself and everyone else? Will she be strong enough for the fight ahead? Will Valentino destroy everything that she clings on to? Her only family. Her only source of strength. Man do you have to read this set! It is getting better and better with every book!! I can’t wait to read part three!!

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Lost Soul Book (War of Destiny Book 1) by Theresa Van Spankeren – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Lost Soul (War of Destiny # 1)Lost Soul by Theresa Van Spankeren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Julia is in 16th century London. She is the daughter of a wealthy family. She has grown up with servants and has wanted for nothing. When she starts to fall in love with Adam, a servant’s son her father and older brother shatter her heart. They arrange a marriage and force her into it. Her husband is cruel. He’s not kind in any way. He’s a monster with no mercy. Julia tries to keep the people she cares about safe from his wrath, but it’s becomes harder and harder throughout their 3 years of marriage. Her husband finally does the unthinkable. He lands a blow to Julia that devastates her and she can’t see a way out. When a stranger shows up and offers her a way out she takes it. With nothing else to live for she agrees to a deal that will change her life and destiny forever. Said agreement will grant her freedom, but there is ALWAYS a catch! Accepting this deal will put her into a vampire resistance against a strong vampire king who refuses to step down and he’ll destroy anyone who is against him. Will Julia accept? Will she choose freedom and another enemy just to be rid of her husband? What will her husband think and do? Will Julia end up dead no matter the path she chooses? And will her love ever forgive her for all she has kept from him? What an interesting book! It took me a little to get into because the author was building the story and slowly sucking me in, but man oh man was it good! I can’t wait to read the others in the set! If you haven’t given this one a chance do it!! Read half of it at least! If you aren’t sucked in by then I would be really really really really surprised! Give it a chance! You won’t regret it!

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The Mermaid and the Ice Cube Necklace (Mermaid Science) by Lois Wickstrom – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Mermaid and the Ice Cube NecklaceMermaid and the Ice Cube Necklace by Lois Wickstrom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is such a cute book for younger kids. I read it with my 7 year old who LOVES mermaids. This book is a great way to add a little science into your kids life without them even realizing that they are learning something! The book is about a pair of friends (Maia and Fig) who are out on a picnic together. While on the picnic they blow holes into ice cubes they brought for their lemonade, so they can make a necklace for Trizzie the mermaid. One of the girls notices that the ice cubes that were in their cup were melting faster than the ice cubes they blew the holes into. “That’s Science!” was the other’s response. How cute right?! The book also adds in more information on other forms of water at the end. My daughter really liked the book. I feel adding in small bits of information like this helps kids retain it for later when they learn more about it in school. I’d personally recommend this book for kids ages 3-8.

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Jake the Growling Dog Shares His Trail (Jake the Growling Dog Book 3) by Samantha Shannon – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Jake the Growling Dog Shares His Trail: A Children's Picture Book about Sharing, Disability Awareness, Kindness, and Overcoming FearsJake the Growling Dog Shares His Trail: A Children’s Picture Book about Sharing, Disability Awareness, Kindness, and Overcoming Fears by Samantha Shannon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have read the other books in this series and find them all adorable and a great way to teach kids about different things. In this case, the book is about overcoming fears and worries. This book starts with Jake out on his normal neighborhood trail when he meets up with his squirrel friend Neet. As they continue along the trail they find some tracks that they don’t know. Neet thinks that they’re from an alien from another planet! Jake comes up with a few ideas as he gets more and more scared. They move off the trail and catch the new scent as they started to hear a rustling sound coming near. They both dive to their bellies in fear. The scent and noise pass, but neither friend had the courage to move their paws from their eyes and look at what the strange creature was that passed by. Jake runs home and doesn’t sleep well thinking about it all night. When Neet meets up with Jake the next morning she looks like she lost sleep as well. They plan on going out with some other friends to find the creature on Jake’s trail. Along the way they find a new friend. The new friend ends up helping them with the mystery! Jake feels silly about being so scared, but learns that just because the tracks were different and new didn’t mean that the animal they belonged to would be mean and scary. Such a cute book. At the end of the book it has more information to help parents teacher their kids about fears and some tips on getting passed them. It also talks about helping others, donating, meeting new people, and appreciating differences in others as well. I would defiantly recommend this book to younger kids ages 5-10.

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Oliver, A Story of Adoption by Lois Wickstrom – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Oliver: A Story about AdoptionOliver: A Story about Adoption by Lois Wickstrom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a great teaching book for younger kids. Being adopted has many struggles that can come up. It teaches kids that many people imagine different lives when they are in trouble and/or upset and that it is normal. Especially when you’ve been adopted and don’t know much about your birth family. The book follows an adopted lizard named Oliver. Oliver is playing and climbs a little tree that he is pretending is a pirate ship. The tree is young and because of Oliver’s weight and the tree’s flexible branches he falls overboard onto the grass and hurts his hip. As he’s in his room upset and thinking about how to play more safely he thinks about his birth parents. He imagines many different things. He thinks about a different life that he could be living if he wasn’t in his room upset. It’s a cute book and the pictures are fun. My now 7 year old enjoyed the book very much when we read it together at bedtime. It was also a great book to read and then talk about adopted families and how other kids may feel.

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The Curse of a Faeblood by MK Lorber – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

The Curse of a FaebloodThe Curse of a Faeblood by M.K. Lorber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Kingdom of Morvak seems like a great mountain realm with a divide between the peasant class (the territories below) and the magical nobility (the mountain top). But things are changing and the Faebloods are greedy to assert their continued control over the peasant humans. Ember has been raised on the run most her life. All she wants is to find others like her. To belong. Somewhere. Anywhere. She doesn’t know who her father is and her mother is the only family she has ever know. They must stay isolated as much as possible, so no one discovers Ember’s Faeblood, her curse. When her mother is murdered she is forced once again to run, but this time all alone. In the territories she is in more danger of being discovered, but she must find food. The different territories favor strong bodies who are able to fulfill the annual tithe to the Kingdom’s nobility. Ember is caught stealing food by Gavyn; an elite fighter, head trainer, and right hand to the village’s leader. He has a reputation of being hard and defending his family with everything he can. Ember threatens all he tries to protect. Can these two put their passions aside and protect not only themselves but Gavyn’s found family? Will the Kingdom find Ember and kill her for threatening the delicate balance of power in the realm? This is SUCH a great book! I can see this one turning into a movie easy!! You have got to read it! I personally can’t wait to read the others in the set!!

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Nite Fire: Slash & Burn (Book 4) by C.L. Schneider – Review by Jaimie Salmon-Colburn

Slash & Burn (Nite Fire, #4)Slash & Burn by C.L. Schneider
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sentinel City has become a ticking time bomb towards total destruction as creatures pour into earth from the worlds of the veil. Dahlia has returned from her crazy ordeal on Drimera. If you haven’t yet, you have to read the first 3 books!! Man so much action missed if you haven’t!! Anyways, she has picked up her life (somewhat), and is TRYING to move on. You know grow and do better. Well, under the cover of the city’s darkness, she is hunting monsters, again. Yep she wants to help human kind! She vows to keep the streets safe, while at the same time trying to harness the dragon eye’s abilities. Will she figure out the eye’s secrets and use it for good? Dahlia is always stretched to her limits and this time is no different. Unfortunately the impending destruction of her adopted home makes her worry if she will be enough to stop it all. After all how can she help the whole city? She’s only one half dragon shapeshifter. Dahlia shies away from the latest murder spree, but the victims’ identities grip her. Trying to unravel the truth, she uncovers something deeper. Of course! Nothing can ever be simple right? This mystery and the many threads of murder tying together are impossible to ignore and she has to find out who is behind this plot once and for all. Who is against her at every turn! Could this all lead back to the beginning? What does Ella have to do with it all? Will this bring the linked worlds into the light more? Will her new team help her to save the city once and for all? Man oh man!! Such a great set! I didn’t want to put it down! This set had me up late all week, so I could binge the whole thing. I can’t wait to finish book 5 now!! Less sleep but SO WORTH IT!!!!!

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