#StayPeculiar

I confess that I am rather late to the wonder that is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar tumblr_oe9z2c850j1vbhfv5o3_400Children, which is something Miss Peregrine herself would likely not appreciate given her talent as an Ymbryne. I owe my curiosity about the series to Tim Burton as I saw the previews for the movie version and thought, “Well, that looks fascinating!” It so happened that on my birthday trip to Books-A-Million I saw the series as a boxed set. I was unable to resist and so, I bought it along with the book, ‘Tales of The Peculiar’, which was signed by the author, Ransom Riggs! (Pretty awesome, methinks!) I’m really looking forward to his next novels, whatever they may be. He has a distinctive style and it really kept me intrigued and wanting more. I’ve also discovered that he’s married to Tahereh Mafi, whom I have heard a lot of good things about too! (Is it too much to hope that they write a book  together? Omg, that would be amazing! Also…their wedding is basically all I could ever want. I saw pictures on Tumblr and I’m terribly jealous. Bookshoppe wedding, bouquet made of book pages…you get it. #EnviousAsHell) I’ve posted two pictures here just so you can see. These two are bookworm goals. ❤

 

Okay, enough about my wedding envy. (I don’t even have a boyfriend, so there is that, lol.) Have you guys read this series of interesting books? I found the premise of living in a  ‘loop’ fascinating and depressing all at once, seeing as they already knew

what would happen every single day. Of course, it was better than the alternative of the house being bombed and everyone killed. It was during the Second World War, that they were in the loop. Jacob is a young man from our day and age who whilst on a journey to learn about his grandfather, who died in a strange way. I don’t want to give away too much if you haven’t read them, but I promise you that if you like history and fantasy, you’ll very much enjoy this series. It’s opened me up to the YA genre of books, a verse that I was trying to keep away from simply because I was worried they’d be poorly written or would deal with issues that I am too old to really be able to relate to. I absolutely loved the 10613999_10204663854820156_1393610062_nold ‘peculiar’ photos that were in the books too. It certainly gave a face to the vast array of characters. It’s an original way to give visual to characters. I very much enjoyed the different take. In the boxed set, it comes with 12 little pictures in an envelope that show
some of the people you’ll encounter in the books. This is one of the images included, this being Miss Peregrine. If you enjoy old photographs…you’ll enjoy these. if I remember correctly, Mr. Riggs found them in travels and wanted to publish a book just of these but instead used them in the Miss Peregrine series.

 

Eva Green as Miss Peregrine

While I loved the image of who Miss Peregrine is, I confess that Eva Green’s face is rather ingrained into my mind. Asa Butterfield is a perfect choice for Jacob. I am dying to see the film, though I’ve been told that it is drastically different from the books. I noticed that they switched Emma’s powers from fire to air for starters. They also made Bronwen into a small child of perhaps six years of age. (She was older in the books.) I can’t judge the film entirely as I’ve not seen it but I do wonder why the change. Hollywood is forever trying to make a movie better than a book, which is seldom (if ever!), achieved. I think the only films that were just as good as the book were the Harry Potter series, The Help and Gone With the Wind. Oh and the Wizard of Oz too! That was a good one as well. Hollywood ought to learn that sometimes changing what is already a good thing isn’t always wise. A prime example of that would be the Divergent series. What a fiasco. I do want to read the books; I read the first one and enjoyed it. However, I saw the second movie before I read the book and it turned me off, which was bloody stupid, don’t you think? Allowing a movie to sway me.

 

What are some book to movies that you’ve enjoyed? What are some that you guys have absolutely loathed? Sound off in comments below or e-mail me and I’ll post some responses in my next posting! ❤

If you go to see Miss Peregrine, do be sure to tell me how you’ve enjoyed it. I’m hoping to see it soon. I am also hoping to pick up the Miss Peregrine funko pop to set on my bookshelf. (I have too many of the blasted things but I just love them. Books and Funkos…I should have incorporated them into my blog somehow too. Ah well.)

I think I’ve rambled quite enough; I bet you’re rather tired of me. I think I’ll leave you with this gif. It’s really a rather perfect ending to this post, don’t you think? (Again, they are goals.)

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I’m Back!!

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What is up, everyone? 😀 The Quirky Lady is back and ready to review! It’s been a long while, I know. It’s going to take a lot of hard work to get back where I was, seeing as I have lost all of my followers. The unfortunate deletions did a number on me here and I lost my inspiration and inclination. Thus, I took a long break. I am hoping to get back to business though, I hope you’ll all join me once again. I am also opening up to more genres than historical fiction, so please feel free to reach out to me!  (Erotica is the same–not accepting.)

Since the last time I was here, I am now in a new decade! I observed my 30th birthday and as usual, I went to my favorite store…

 

And I just went on Wednesday too! My Uncle came up to visit and brought me to the store. SO thrilled. You can imagine who isn’t too thrilled. My poor bookshelf. I have no room on it as it is, so I’m being forced to be creative until I can get a new one or a bigger one. It’s kind of fun to experiment, however, to see how I can fit them all in. I almost view it as being a form of Tetris. (Which is my favorite game!)

What do you guys do when your bookshelf is getting too full? Do you buy another shelf? Donate some old ones to make room for new? Or do you look on Pintereste for some new interesting solutions. I’ve been eyeballing ‘invisible’ shelves but I’m not quite sure if that’d work in my room. I’m going to figure something out because earlier this year I donated a  lot of books to the local DAWN center, where domestic violence victims stay. I would have given them to Goodwill but I thought this was a far more pleasant thing. I also donated to my local library. 🙂

What have you guys been reading? I’m always up for new suggestions and I’d love to hear what you’re all reading. Please stay tuned as I get set up again, finding new subscribers, new friends, old friends and so forth. As I said, I’m also looking for new books to review. I’ve found myself enjoying YA fiction, but I do ponder, am I too old for it? Or is it silly to wonder such a thing if I’m enjoying what I’m reading? This is my struggle, ya’ll. Haha.

I’m going to keep it short, but stay tuned to this space!

Take care! xx

The Sisters of Versailles (A Review!)

sisters of versaillesThe Sisters of Versailles

Genre: Historical Fiction
Release date: September 1, 2015
Atria Book/Simon & Schuster
432 pages
ISBN: 978-1501102967

Website | Goodreads

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A sumptuous and sensual tale of power, romance, family, and betrayal centered around four sisters and one King. Carefully researched and ornately detailed, The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in an exciting new historical fiction trilogy about King Louis XV, France’s most “well-beloved” monarch, and the women who shared his heart and his bed.

Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters—Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne—four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Their scandalous story is stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail.

Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best feet—and women—forward. The King’s scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, she and her sisters—ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne—will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power.

The Sisters of Versailles is a treat through and through – the characters are witty and engaging and come together to create an undeniable page-turner. Sally Christie has a wonderful sense of pace and the book unfolds in front of you like a delicious gift. Even as the scandals pile up and the intrigue mounts, you can’t help but fall in love with these sisters and their competing infatuations with the King.

In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. Based on meticulous research on a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie’s stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood—of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough.drawing-separatorUntitled-2

There is a gif from Sofia Coppola’s film where Marie Antoinette says, “This is ridiculous.” And a woman replies, “This, madame, is Versailles.” While I was reading, that was definitely playing in my mind. Versailles is ridiculous…and amazing, The rules, the fashion, the people, the scandal. Everything in excess…and even though Louis XV is trying his besst to remain loyal to his wife, the courtiers have other plans for him. I can only wonder if he knew that one of the Nesle sisters would lead to bedding the other three. Thiers is a story one has to read to believe. I had never heard of Louise, Pauline, Hortense, Marie-Anne and Diane Nesle. I can’t imagine a better introduction than the one that Ms. Christie has brought here.

Each sister is so different, Louise is naive, always attempting to try and paint things as being perfectly fine and lovely, not wanting to burden anyone with the truth or if something is bothering her. She is the mistress who asks nothing of Louis, not wanting to be politically active or in riches. Pauline is an ambitious, power hungry tyrant, which even her sisters dislike her for. She is quite the opposite of Louise. Diane seems to be simple, but really, she’s rather clever and people underestimate her. And then there was Marie-Anne who hated Pauline but was the most like her. If Louis liked variety, he certainly got it in the Nesle sisters. Hortense was the only one not to become his mistress and one wonders if she got lucky in that way.

Spoiler: I think what happened to Pauline was well deserved. I wish it had happened to Marie-Anne…but I was pleased with what did happen to her. I detested both of them. Diane was my favorite.

Louis XV, also known as the well beloved, was not the best in decision making, something that his courtiers knew and did their best to influence what he would do. His advisers essentially ruled but it was he who was King. I was struck by his carelessness to the common people–really, all of them were pretty horrible in their thoughts of the common people. I truly understood why there was a revolution, however, that it took so long to happen was rather aweinspiring. You’ll read and find out, I promise you’ll see what I mean.

The writing was sumptuous and rich…I really couldn’t get enough of it. I felt like I was really there and I lost myself in Versailles, as ridiculous as it were. I know this is the first in a trilogy and I think the next one is about Madame Pompadour, so I really can’t wait for that! Ms. Christie has a fan in me…I can’t wait to read the next books in the series.

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Sally Christie was born in England of British parents
and grew up around the world, attending eight schools in three languages. She spent most of her career working in international development and is currently settled in Toronto.
A life-long history buff who wishes time travel were a real possibility —she’d be off to the eighteenth century in a flash!

The Sisters of Versailles is her first novel.

Learn more about the sisters and the mistresses in the Versailles trilogy on her website. Become a fan to hear about her next novels!

Check her Pinterest page

Follow Simon & Schuster on Twitter and Facebook

Enter the global giveaway here.
Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
they are listed in the entry form below
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Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to US/Canada residents:
5 participants will each win a print copy of this book.

***

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Naked {A Review!}

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Synopsis: We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true story.

We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.

Naked
is an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion,Naked brings an epic story new voice.

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Alright, so firstly, in case you didn’t know; yes, Lady Godiva was a real person. Yes, she took that ride.

But why? That’s the question that most people want to know.

Fortunately, Ms. Redgold delves into Lady Godiva’s mind and weaves together the story of her life. It is a bit more on the romance side of things, which I wasn’t expecting, but didn’t really turn me away. There was enough history that it kept me happy. I do wish there was more detail into the  way the world was in the 11th century. I didn’t feel that there was enough description of that. There are very few books based in that time period, so I wanted the full experience. I also found that the description of the Saxons and Danes a bit amusing…the Saxons have a code of honor and are gentlemanly whereas the Danes are a pack of heathens hellbent on taking over. It seemed biased to me.

I found that Godiva was a bit of a feminist for the time, refusing to marry Leofric unless he allowed her to keep and rule her lands–alone. That was unheard of for the time, that I know of. Also, riding through Coventry in the nude was something no one would ever have considered, but such is the love she has for her people that she takes her fateful ride.

I enjoyed the story and though I have some complaints, it wasn’t bad. I enjoyed it a good deal of the time. Ms. Redgold has a gift for storytelling, I only wish that she had endeavored to be a slight bit more descriptive. Her explanation of the ruling classes showed me that she very much cared about this time period and wanted us to understand how things were and for that I am appreciative because I really didn’t know. Also, her characterization of Leofric and Godiva was enjoyable, they were well developed and kept me going. Theirs was a romance that most would envy and was uncommon in those days as most marriages were arranged and not love matches.

I think you ought to give it a read and be sure to tell me how you enjoyed it!

3star

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03_Eliza Redgold_AuthorEliza Redgold is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. English folklore has it that if you help a fairy, you will be rewarded with red gold. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. As a non-fiction author she is co-author of Body Talk: a Power Guide for Girls and Stay-at-Home Mothers: Dialogues and Debates. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia.

 

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Helen of Sparta {A Review!}

Please join author Amalia Carosella as she tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours for Helen of Sparta, from April 1-22.

02_Helen of Sparta CoverPublication Date: April 1, 2015
Lake Union Publishing
Formats: eBook, Paperback
ISBN-10: 1477821384

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Long before she ran away with Paris to Troy, Helen of Sparta was haunted by nightmares of a burning city under siege. These dreams foretold impending war—a war that only Helen has the power to avert. To do so, she must defy her family and betray her betrothed by fleeing the palace in the dead of night. In need of protection, she finds shelter and comfort in the arms of Theseus, son of Poseidon. With Theseus at her side, she believes she can escape her destiny. But at every turn, new dangers—violence, betrayal, extortion, threat of war—thwart Helen’s plans and bar her path. Still, she refuses to bend to the will of the gods.

A new take on an ancient myth, Helen of Sparta is the story of one woman determined to decide her own fate.

 

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I admit that at first, I was a little apprehensive. Seldom have I paid much mind to Helen of Troy because history has presented her as this vapid woman who I admit, just did not care about in the least. However, when I saw Stephanie Thornton had expressed delight over this book, that told me, “Give it a try.” I’m glad I listened and that I gave it a try! What a book! Instead of this wilting flower of a woman, Helen is given a story–a real story and she’s given life in a new, refreshing manner that made me look at her in a completely different way. Helen is willing to defy the gods  to choose her own fate and to pursue happiness in her own life. She is not willing to sit idly by and allow her parents or gods decide who she should marry, what she should do and so forth. She is a woman with her own mind and her own ambitions. It’s a delightful ride and I was glad to embark upon it.

My only complaint was that it stopped very abruptly–however, I hope that means a sequel? I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that! (See, even found a gif for that sentiment! 😉 ) Anyway, you should most certainly check this out if you like mythology, new takes on old stories and are in need of a good histfic novel to read. I plan on rereading this soon…but my mom has my copy and is reading it, haha. Be sure to let me know how you liked it and send the lovely author lots of love and good reviews on goodreads or facebook…wherever! 🙂

My rating: 
4Star

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About the Author03_Amalia Carosella Author

Amalia Carosella graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelors degree in Classical Studies and English. An avid reader and former bookseller, she writes about old heroes and older gods. She lives with her husband in upstate New York and dreams of the day she will own goats (and maybe even a horse, too). For more information, visit her blog at www.amaliacarosella.com. She also writes fantasy and paranormal romance as Amalia Dillin.

You can also connect with Amalia on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter here and here.

Helen of Sparta Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, April 1
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, April 2
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, April 3
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Saturday, April 4
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Monday, April 6
Review at Curling Up By the Fire
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, April 7
Spotlight at leeanna.com

Wednesday, April 8
Review at Historical Reads and Views

Thursday, April 9
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!

Friday, April 10
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, April 13
Interview at Book Babe
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Obsession

Tuesday, April 14
Review at Forever Ashley

Wednesday, April 15
Review at Just One More Chapter
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, April 16
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, April 17
Review at Impressions in Ink

Saturday, April 18
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Monday, April 20
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Interview at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, April 21
Review at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, April 22
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

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Spotlight: Journeys Through France and Life

Journeys Through France and LifeJourneys Through France and Life

Release date: March 23, 2013
Journeys Press
296 pages
ISBN: 978-0615660875

Website | Goodreads

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SYNOPSIS

Month-long trips to France twice a year – that was the life! Until real life intervenes and everything changes. Come on a journey through France with the author and her husband, eating delicious cuisine, seeing fabulous sights, mixing it up with the French. Stay on the journey as a crisis reveals that her son from a previous marriage has schizophrenia, and that her husband is not only unsympathetic, but something more.

Travel with the author as she faces her fears, and finds a way back to her true self. Through her experience, others may find insight regarding dark corners of their own lives. She puts a human face on the stigmatized illness of schizophrenia, while sharing her love of France, where she finds frustration, humor, and joy. [provided by the author]

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

De VaneySmitten with France, Glenda de Vaney has traveled there
over thirty times to photograph châteaux, gardens,
villages and whatever is beautiful.
She presents slide shows on France and sells framed pictures.
The author is a former volunteer for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
and an advocate for those suffering from mental illness.
She is also an avid table tennis player
who strikes fear in her opponents’ hearts,
or at least wishes she did.
Glenda lives in a historic home in a suburb of San Diego with the younger of her two sons.

Visit her website.

Follow Glenda de Vaney on Facebook

Buy the book | on Amazon

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Oracles of Delphi: A Review.

9780989207935-Perfect.inddPublication Date: October 15, 2014
Blank Slate Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 324

Series: Althaia of Athens Mystery
Genre: Historical Mystery

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READ AN EXCERPT.

All Althaia wants on her trip to Delphi is to fulfill her father’s last wish. Finding the body of a woman in the Sacred Precinct is not in her plans. Neither is getting involved in the search for the killer, falling for the son of a famous priestess, or getting pulled into the ancient struggle for control of the two most powerful oracles in the world. But that’s what happens when Theron, Althaia’s tutor and a man with a reputation for finding the truth, is asked to investigate. When a priest hints that Theron himself may be involved, Althaia is certain the old man is crazy — until Nikos, son of a famous priestess, arrives with an urgent message. Theron’s past, greedy priests, paranoid priestesses, prophecies, and stolen treasures complicate the investigation, and as Althaia falls for Nikos, whose dangerous secrets hold the key to the young woman’s death, she discovers that love often comes at a high price and that the true meaning of family is more than a bond of blood.

Praise for Oracles of Delphi

“Mysticism, murder and mystery in ancient Delphi: Marie Savage weaves intrigue and suspense into wonderfully researched historical fiction while introducing the reader to Althaia, a spirited Athenian woman with a flair for forensic detection.” (Elisabeth Storrs, author of The Wedding Shroud and The Golden Dice)

“Oracles of Delphi is an original and compelling mystery. Savage’s complex characters and deft writing shine as she pulls readers into the fascinating world of fourth century B.C. Greece. A wonderful debut!” (Sarah Wisseman, author of the forthcoming Burnt Siena Flora Garibaldi art conservation mystery and the Lisa Donahue archaeological mystery series)

“It is hard to make a female character both strong and vulnerable, but Marie Savage has done just that with Althaia of Athens. Well done!” (Cynthia Graham, author of the forthcoming Beneath Still Waters)

Buy the Book

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About the Author02_Marie Savage_Author Photo

Marie Savage is the pen name of Kristina Marie Blank Makansi who always wanted to be a Savage (her grandmother’s maiden name) rather than a Blank. She is co-founder and publisher of Blank Slate Press, an award-winning small press in St. Louis, and founder of Treehouse Author Services. Books she has published and/or edited have been recognized by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), the Beverly Hills Book Awards, the David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction, the British Kitchie awards, and others. She serves on the board of the Missouri Center for the Book and the Missouri Writers Guild. Along with her two daughters, she has authored The Sowing and The Reaping (Oct. 2014), the first two books of a young adult, science fiction trilogy. Oracles of Delphi, is her first solo novel.

For more information visit Kristina Makansi’s website and the Blank Slate Press website. You can also follow Krisina Makansi and Blank Slate Press on Twitter.

Oracles of Delphi Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, January 7
Review at bookramblings
Review & Giveaway at Brooke Blogs
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

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My Review:
Historical setting? Check.
Murder/Mystery? Check.
Fascinating plot? Check.

I love a good murder mystery and if you mix it with historical fiction, it’s even better. I love that there isn’t all of the doodads that we see on CSI and shows of that ilk. There is detective work, there is a swift moving plot and it is never slow. Althaia, Theron and her slaves are wonderful characters and are well balanced. They’re well rounded and quite complex. That is always the fun part to me; to see how the author will ‘draw’ them, so to speak. No one is who they seem and everyone in Delphi seem to have secrets and are somehow involved in some manner of crime.

This said, it meant that Althaia and Theron’s list of suspects is long and lengthy…which is brilliant and definitely leads down some interesting trails. Considering the day and age, Althaia is spunky and sassy and smart. She takes no nonsense and says what she thinks, displaying her knowledge for all to see despite the limitations that they would place on her because of her sex. I am loathe to say too much–I don’t want to give away spoilers! (You know how I feel about spoilers!) So, go and read it!

Don’t waste a moment…go on and read it. 🙂

Rating:4auqZQi

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