Monthly Archives: March 2017

Unchained by: Noel Jesse Heikkinen

 

Christians are free in Christ, yet Christianity can feel like a prison.
Unchained helps Christians who don’t feel that grace has changed their lives.
Often when people follow Jesus, they feel more guilty instead of more free. A powerful book for the spiritually restless, Unchained shows readers how to have a robust faith that celebrates their freedom in Christ without compromising their holiness as God’s followers.
Unchained turns to the person and work of Jesus Christ as the source of freedom-not just his work 2,000 years ago but also what he is doing today. As readers dig into the meaning of the freedom that Jesus offers, they will understand, perhaps for the first time, what true freedom in Christ means.


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Review:  Unchained is s wonderful work of non-fiction.  This book was an eye opener for me. This book helps to show me what Grace is truly is about. O received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. This review is my honest opinion. 4 stars.

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Blog tour & Giveaway! Baggage Claim by Cathe Swanson

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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Book: Baggage Claim

Author: Cathe Swanson

Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance

Release Date: February 14, 2017

There had to be at least one healthy branch on his family tree…

Who can he trust?

Ben Taylor, widower and father of four lively children, enjoys his easy, uncomplicated life. He likes his work and has a competent nanny to manage his household. Everything is good until he decides to seek out his biological parents and discovers a family tree with tangled roots and broken branches.

His comfortable life crumbles when he gets caught up in a criminal network of fraud and conspiracy at his new job. When Ben is forced into a dangerous alliance, he scrambles to find a safe situation and protection for his children before setting out to clear his name—all without getting himself killed in the process.

A nanny with a past…

Becoming a nanny was the perfect solution when Teresa Cooper needed a place to hide ten years ago, but now that she’s no longer in danger, she’s ready to move on and make a new life for herself. When Ben asks her to take the children to an unknown relative in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she finds herself in hiding again, this time with four children in tow.

As the children explore the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula, Teresa begins to wonder about God’s plan for her future. Who is this stranger Ben trusts with his children? Why here? Can a city-bred nanny find joy in this wild corner of God’s creation?

About the Author

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Cathe Swanson lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 32 years. They enjoy spending time with their family and being outdoors, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching and fishing, but summer is short in Wisconsin, so it’s important to have indoor hobbies, too. Cathe has been a quilter and teacher of quiltmaking for over 25 years, and she enjoys just about any kind of creative work, especially those involving fiber or paper. She enjoys writing stories with eccentric characters of all ages. Her books will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.

Guest Post from Cathe Swanson

When I was in high school, I thought I might like to become an occupational therapist. Instead, I got married, had babies, raised the children and launched them into the world. I took a few years to regroup, and then I started thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

Shortly after that, my dad had a stroke, and when he came home from the hospital, I was fascinated by the work of the visiting therapists. I did some research and learned that physical and occupational therapy assistants make pretty good money and are able to do the best part of the job – the therapy. Therapists are often bogged down in paperwork and periodic assessments. The assistant has all the fun, and it’s just a 5-semester program.

So I trotted on down to the local community college and asked what I had to do to get signed up. The counselor talked for a while about prerequisites, petitions, waiting lists, internships, and other such things. Eventually I realized she was trying to tell me that I was too old to embark on this career. Too taken-aback to be offended, I went home and wrote a book about it instead. After all, I’d invested a lot of time in research.

I’d been writing stories for years, and already had the bones of Baggage Claim. Once I gave my young hero a job as a physical therapy assistant, the story took on life. My mother’s interest in genealogy had sparked a question: What if a nice, normal person wanted to track down their biological family and it blew up in their face? So that’s where I sent my hero, and as one of my reviewers said, “It was not a Hallmark moment.”

I’m very happy as an author and have no real interest in becoming an occupational therapist. Indeed, that rejection was a turning point for me. I could have pushed forward and got that degree, but instead I went home and wrote. I have no regrets.

Blog Stops

March 28: Books. Books. And More Books.

March 28: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

March 29: Chas Ray’ s Book Nerd Corner

March 29: A Greater Yes

March 30: Genesis 5020

March 31: Reading Is My SuperPower

April 1: Quiet Quilter

April 2: autism mom

April 2: Avid Reader Book Reviews

April 3: Moments Dipped in Ink

April 3: Faithfully Bookish

April 4: Inklings and notions

April 5: Blossoms and Blessings

April 6: Blogging With Carol

April 7: Carpe Diem

April 7: A Baker’s Perspective

April 8: Christian Bookaholic

April 8: Karen Sue Hadley

April 9: History, Mystery and Faith

April 9: Bigreadersite

April 10: His Grace is Sufficient

April 10: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cathe is giving away Grand prize themed gift box that will include:
A decorative suitcase box
Earl Grey Tea
A handmade mug rug
A pretty mug
14 handmade all-occasion cards
And a paperback copy of Baggage Claim!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b2c8

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(Blogtour, Giveaway & Review!)Murder for the Time Being by Joanie Bruce

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Click here to purchase your copy

About the Book

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Book: Murder for the Time Being

Author: Joanie Bruce

Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance

Release Date: November 29, 2016

“You’ll pay for this. I’ll get you both.”

Computer expert Lexi Wynn is frightened. Someone is after her, but she doesn’t know why. Is it because of her past or because she was thrust into a deadly bank robbery and might identify the ones responsible? Escaping a failed kidnapping attempt and not sure who to trust, she hopes her specialized skills with computers might flush out the name of the killer. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger rams into her truck with the hearse he’s driving and puts his life in danger to save hers, can she ignore the attraction she feels for him to concentrate on the killers? Or is God the only one who can save her now?

Drew Sheffield is…

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Review: Lost & Found by Kendra Fletcher

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The “right” homeschooling philosophy. The “right” brand of theology. The “right” meal-planning, home-managing, keep-it-all-together parenting.

Kendra Fletcher, homeschooling mom of eight, had it all “right,” until it all fell apart. In the course of eighteen months, Kendra found her baby in a coma, ran over her five-year-old, and nearly lost her eight-year-old to a septic ruptured appendix. 
Lost and Found is the story of how God used those events to transform her family’s self-righteous religion into freedom in Christ.

Fletcher’s debut book is the gripping true story of how God used suffering to save her family from empty religion. As wave after wave of crisis hit, the Fletchers discovered that getting religion “right” wasn’t a good substitute for a living relationship with a loving God. Through their suffering, they learned about misplaced identities and false hope, and they threw themselves wholly into the arms of Jesus-where they found the grace they needed.

Fletcher, a well-known writer and conference speaker in Christian homeschooling circles, addresses the quiet legalism that so easily infiltrates Christian communities and exposes the dangers of focusing our hopes on the “right” ways of worship, work, and family life. More than a memoir, 
Lost and Found invites all of us to give up the things that hold us in bondage and find our value, worth, significance, hope, and identity in Christ alone.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

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Kendra Fletcher writes on faith and education for a variety of publications, including her blog. She is also a frequent speaker at homeschooling conventions, but she spends most of her time with her very large family. The Fletchers reside in California, where they play in the Pacific Ocean as often as possible.

Find out more about Kendra at  http://www.kendrafletcher.com.

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Review:  Lost and Found by Kendra Fletcher is a story of losing your religion and finding Grace. Learning to cope and deal with the major events that have happened in your life and move forward. A moving story that will bring you to tears. I received a complimentary copy of this book. This review is my honest opinion. 4 stars!

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The Berenstain Bears Easter Fun Sticker & Activity Book by Jan & Mike Berenstain

Review:  The Berenstain Bears Easter Fun Sticker & Activity Book by Jan & Mike Berenstain. This sticker and activity book is a wonderful way to help teach young children about Easter and spring time. It will keep their attention with all the fun things to do throughout this book. It would make a great gift for children and grandchildren. Be sure to get your copy today for the child in your life. I received a complimentary copy of this book. This review is my honest opinion. 4 stars!

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Berenstain Bears Easter Fun Sticker and Activity BookOver 50 reusable stickers

By Jan & Mike Berenstain
Published by Zondervan

Book Description

The Berenstain Bears come to life this joyful Easter season with puzzles, activity pages, and more than 50 reusable stickers in The Berenstain Bears Easter Fun Sticker and Activity Book.

Featuring Papa, Mama, Brother, Sister, and Honey and the rest of the Bear Country gang, kids are sure to find lots to do helping Honey Bear find hidden Easter eggs and chocolates around the Bear family treehouse, doing crosswords and word searches with Brother and Sister, and even helping out at the Easter sunrise service at Chapel in the Woods.

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(Blogtour, Giveaway & Review!)Murder for the Time Being by Joanie Bruce

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Click here to purchase your copy

About the Book

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Book: Murder for the Time Being

Author: Joanie Bruce

Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance

Release Date: November 29, 2016

“You’ll pay for this. I’ll get you both.”

Computer expert Lexi Wynn is frightened. Someone is after her, but she doesn’t know why. Is it because of her past or because she was thrust into a deadly bank robbery and might identify the ones responsible? Escaping a failed kidnapping attempt and not sure who to trust, she hopes her specialized skills with computers might flush out the name of the killer. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger rams into her truck with the hearse he’s driving and puts his life in danger to save hers, can she ignore the attraction she feels for him to concentrate on the killers? Or is God the only one who can save her now?

Drew Sheffield is irritated when a cute lady stops abruptly in front of him and he plows into the back of her pickup. After their initial confrontation, flashbacks of honeysuckle and sassy green eyes linger in his thoughts. When Lexi is threatened, he steps in to help the feisty young woman, in spite of agonizing over a past relationship.

Can Lexi and Drew forget the tragedies of the past and embrace the feelings between them or will ghostly memories snub out the promise of a future together?

About the Author

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Joanie has a strong passion for reading, and her love for books with nail-biting suspense, inspires her to write contemporary suspense books. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write from her home in the country, she strives to use that opportunity to honor Him in all of her writing. Joanie and her husband, Ben, live in a country home near Madison, Georgia, right in the middle of a pasture full of beef cows. There they raised and homeschooled their three children. She enjoys cooking, taking long walks, painting oil portraits, and caring for their home in the country.

Guest Post from Joanie Bruce

Have you ever been devastated by a certain event in your life, and later it turned out to the best thing that ever happened to you? That’s what happened to Lexi Wyn in this book, “Murder for the Time Being.” Something unthinkable happened to her family, but in the end, it changes Lexi’s life forever and introduces her to the love of her life.

In this story, both Lexi and Drew have things in their past that discourage them from seeking a lasting relationship. However, God has a plan for them both, and through His Divine engineering, they are thrown together in circumstances that nurture a growing appreciation and affection for each other.

This book was fun to write because I anchored the story in my sweet little town of Madison, Georgia. I wasn’t raised in Madison, but I’ve called it home for much longer than any other place I’ve ever lived. While growing up in the big city of Memphis, Tennessee, I had definite plans for my future. All I ever wanted was to “marry a country boy and live in the country.” The Lord heard the desires of my heart and gave me what I wanted … a country boy, born and raised here in Morgan County on a dairy farm.

After we married, I adopted Madison as my home, and I love it so much that I wanted to feature some of the fun spots in Madison as the backdrops for the scenes in my books. I hope when you read through the pages of my book, you will get an idea of what a sweet little town Madison is and enjoy reading about Lexi and Drew and how they let God guide them in discovering that murder CAN be “for the Time Being.”

Blog Stops

March 14: Ashley’s Bookshelf

March 14: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

March 15: autism mom

March 15: Inklings and notions

March 16: A Reader’s Brain

March 16: Blossoms and Blessings

March 17: Blogging With Carol

March 17: A Greater Yes

March 18: Radiant Light

March 18: Reading Is My SuperPower

March 19: A Baker’s Perspective

March 20: Moments Dipped in Ink

March 20: Karen Sue Hadley

March 21: History, Mystery & Faith

March 21: Through the Open Window

March 22: cherylbbookblog

March 22: Seasons of Opportunities

March 23: Daysong Reflections

March 24: Pause for Tales

March 24: 2014 and Beyond!

March 25: Lights in a Dark World

March 25: For The Love of Books

March 26: Carpe Diem

March 26: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 27: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

March 27: His Grace is Sufficient

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Joanie is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b291

Review:  Murder for the Time Being by Joanie Bruce. If you love suspense then you are going to love this book. This is the first book that I have read by Joanie. It sure won’t be my last. I loved this book. Grab a drink and kick back and enjoy this wonderful book. I received a complimentary copy of this book. This review is my honest opinion. 4.5 stars!

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(Review & Link to Facebook Party) Home at Last by Deborah Raney

Home at Last is book 5 in the A Chicory Inn series by Deborah Raney. Deborah has written another book that is so wonderful. I didn’t want to put this book down is was that good. This story is full of love, faith, trust, heartache, and pain. Grab a glass of sweet tea and a few tissues as you kick back and enjoy this most wonderful book. I received a complimentary copy of this book. This review is my honest opinion. 4 stars!

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About the book:

Why did their differences matter so much?

Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he’s stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters’ efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.

All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother’s white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn’t repeat in polite-well, in any company. Her father’s family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry’s incarceration, life has left Shayla’s father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn’t people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?

Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl’s aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee’s On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society’s view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?

Learn more and purchase a copy. 

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About the author:

 

Deborah Raney’s books have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas-the setting of many of Deb’s novels-for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita.

Find out more about Deborah at http://deborahraney.com.

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Blogtour & Giveaway! Meddlin’ Madeline Such A Tease by Chautona Havig

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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Book: Such a Tease

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical/Mystery

Release Date: March 21, 2017

Madeline, with a little assistance, discovers her old adversary is gaining a following in Rockland! Can she expose him for the fraud she’s sure he is?

In book two of the Meddlin’ Madeline series, Madeline Brown has a new endeavor to occupy her time. But is it to keep her out of the way or a reward for her work in Sweet on You? With the help of her young friends, Madeline discovers her old adversary is gaining a following in Rockland! What’s a girl to do?

But her new position also gives her opportunities to observe, and what she sees sets more than one new investigation in motion. What does her old suitor, Delbert Jackson, know? Why is Mr. Merton giving important papers to that scoundrel, Vernon Smythe, and whatever happened to poor Abigail Cooper?

Add to these intriguing questions Henry Hardwick’s continued attentions, Edith’s newfound devotion to the temperance movement and Madeline’s determination to find her a more reliable suitor, and strange behavior from her Aunt Louisa and things heat up as summer fades from Rockland.

Her dear friend, Russell, busy with an important project at work, finds himself unable to help keep her out of trouble and away from danger. Is Madeline going too far? Will her meddling get her in serious trouble this time, will it destroy her reputation irreparably, or will she rid Rockland of a scoundrel once and for all?

About the Author

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Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie, Past Forward, and HearthLand series, Chautona considers herself blessed to live in California’s Mojave Desert with her husband and five of her nine children. When not writing, which she admits isn’t often, Chautona enjoys blogging, paper crafts, sewing, smocking, photo editing, and old (read: before her parents’ time) music.

Guest Blog Post from Chautona

Leon Czolgosz is my new nemesis. He’s dead, but he ruined my book. No, really. The guy totally destroyed the opening pages of Such a Tease.

Now, these days, not a whole lot of people remember the name of Leon Cozolgosz. I didn’t. But I’ll never forget him now (although I may never remember how to spell his name).

Who is he? Only the guy who shot President McKinley. Why am I annoyed with him over a hundred years later? The idiot did this thing on September 6, 1901. You know, four days after this book opened? Yeah. Couldn’t he have done it on say… January 6, 1901? Even January 6, 1902 would have served my purposes.

Look, I’m not as callous as I appear. Truly. But if President McKinley had to die, did his murderer have to do it when it would completely mess up my book?

How did it mess up my book you ask?

I’ll tell you. I left it out—the whole assassination thing. There I was, fixing a wedding date for one of the characters, when a thought occurred to me. She could be married on Flag Day—if Flag Day was a thing then. I didn’t think it was. I really thought Wilson was responsible for that—you know, creating holidays in between his notes to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany or something like that. But I hoped. Somehow—just maybe. I mean we had Labor Day from Cleveland, why not Flag Day from McKinley. But noooooo. He didn’t. What did he do?

He got shot. Four days after my book opened. And there wasn’t a single word about it in the story.

Like I could ever get away with that. This was news! Big news. And nothing about it in the life of a daughter of a politician? I think not.

Not only did this Leon Czolgosz (no, really. It’s spelled correctly) shoot the president on September 6th, but he didn’t do a good job of it! Look, I think I’ve established that I didn’t want President McKinley killed. But if the guy with the unpronounceable last name had to do it, couldn’t he have done a good job of it? Couldn’t he have shot the president in the head? McKinley suffered for eight days before he died. Eight days! They thought he was getting better and then gangrene killed him.

It would have been a mercy had Leon just shot McKinley in the head or the heart. Why the abdomen? Cruel, if you ask me, even for an anarchist.

And it made adding the whole affair to my book even more problematic. No, really! Think about it. I couldn’t have the newspapers announce the death of President McKinley on September 7th and then have a few mentions of the bank being affected or something. No… no… now I had to have a headline event, give false hope, and then add the death on top of it all.

Look, I do an obscene amount of research for my books. No, really. Keen was slang in 1901. Woohoo! Look up “peachy keen”? Yeah. Can’t use it. 1950s. The telephone? Can Madeline expect to use one in a burgeoning city in 1901? Considering there were over 850,000 telephones in use, yes. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that a photographer who works for a local paper might have a telephone in order to receive calls requesting him to come photograph some big event—like the Mayor’s speech on the death of President McKinley, perchance?

Yep. Somehow, I almost missed one of the biggest events in US history. Research saved the book—and ruined my timeline. All at the same time. Gotta love history. Or not.

And Leon Czolgosz? Yeah. Thanks for nothing.

Blog Stops

March 21: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

March 21: Jeanette’s Thoughts

March 22: Bibliophile Reviews

March 22: Captive Dreams Window

March 23: Blogging With Carol

March 23: A Greater Yes

March 24: Carpe Diem

March 24: A Baker’s Perspective

March 25: Reading Is My SuperPower

March 26: Back Porch Reads

March 27: Splashesofjoy

March 28: Christian Bookaholic

March 29: Lots of Helpers

March 29: The Scribbler

March 30: Neverending Stories

March 30: Bigreadersite

March 31: With a Joyful Noise

March 31: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

April 1: Pause for Tales

April 1: Avid Reader Book Reviews

April 2: Ashley’s Bookshelf

April 2: A Room without Books is Empty

April 3: The perfect beginning

April 3: His Grace is Sufficient

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a Reader’s Teaser Package
that includes:
A paperback copy of both Sweet on You and Such a Tease
A “Tea-for-One” teapot
A Tin of loose-leaf tea of your choice (six options available from our local tearoom)
A pound of assorted See’s chocolates
A set of six handmade antique-inspired note cards
A $25 Amazon Gift Card
And, for the teaser… the winner will also receive the exclusive short story (usually reserved for pre-orders) The Fate of Abigail Cooper!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b2b8

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March 18, 2017 · 6:14 PM

The Best “Girl” Movies of All Time

Amy Lillard Romance

I recently ran across an article online that listed the top 30 chick-flicks of all time. As I read through them I admit there were several that I agreed with, a few that I haven’t seen, and several more that I knew had a sad ending, which knocked them off my list for sure.

I’m sure there are plenty of movie goers out there who don’t mind leaving the theater with mascara tracks down their cheeks, but I’m not one of those. If you’re going to make me cry, it better be for a darn good reason.

So I decided to come up with my own list of the best chick-flicks and invite you to add your vote in as well. Here’s the link for the original article so you can judge those for yourself.  LINK

Here’s my list:

Sweet Home Alabama

French Kiss

Sabrina

Steel Magnolias

Mom’s Night…

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