Friday, November 30, 2018

Fun Counting Book Video

Fun counting video on Youtube

Blue Unicorn Book Review By L. S. Reading

Having an interest both in fanciful creatures having adventures and the search for better lives, I thought this book called to me. It is written on a middle grade level, with some words needing a bit more work to figure out, mainly the very creative names given to the characters. The author does a wonderful job of world building.It is a story of good vs evil, about how circumstances can change the direction of our lives.Not everything is as it seems and many things take their own time to show their true colors.It is a story about ethics and loyalty, about facing fears and making tough choices.Unlike a famous reindeer with a different sort of nose than his herd, Blue's tribe accepts his difference and includes him. Blue, however, chooses to make his difference hold him back, limit his inclusion. In other ways, he is more open to friendships among people not of his breed than are the other unicorns. The story is very good but this book has messages on additional levels.I recommend it to readers of fantasy fiction and those who appreciate deeper meaning in the stories they read.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Goddess Fish Promotions - Dickensen Academy by Christine Grabowski


Dickensen Academy
by Christine Grabowski

 GENRE: Young YA - fantasy

Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there.

Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs.

When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?

Clues to the secret existed from day one, yet they appeared to belong to separate puzzles. Most students either missed these signs or chose to ignore them. We were busy acclimating—as the faculty called it—to a new environment. Some outsiders might call what they did to us those initial weeks a form of brainwashing or fostering a cult-like mentality.

But not me.

I agreed with Principal Locke. We weren’t ready. We needed time to separate from our families and become a cohesive group. And some of us, myself included, even needed a little nudge to accept the invitation. If someone had told us the truth on Day One why they’d brought us to Dickensen Academy, we would have never believed it. We’d think they were crazy. Or worse, we’d turn around and run back home. But if we left, we would have missed out on something extraordinary. Something worth the wait.

Dickensen Academy is Christine’s debut YA novel. After graduating from the University of Washington, she earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading.

When she isn’t reading or writing, Christine can often be found running, skiing, or hiking. She lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her supportive husband, two avid teen readers, and their energetic wheaten terriers.

So, tell us bit about yourself

I’m a debut author who lives in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, fourteen-year-old daughter, twelve-year-old son, and two wheaten terrier puppies. I’ve been fortunate to stay home for the past decade to focus on my family, but as the kids have gotten older, I’ve had more time to devote to writing.

Tell us about your book?

Dickensen Academy is a young adult book about a girl who is selected to go a boarding school known for their fine arts program. Once she gets there, she learns the faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret. Although there is an interesting fantasy/paranormal element, the novel is more of a coming of age book where a girl blossoms in this new environment while struggling for independence from her family. It is a perfect bridge between MG and YA with the focus on the freshman year of high school

Give us an insight into your main character.  

Autumn is a freshman in high school. At the beginning, she has low self-confidence caused by living with a very controlling father who always compares her to her “perfect” older brother. As the book progresses, she needs to learn to overcome her desire to please her father and learn to please herself.

Is this book part of a series?

I wrote this book as a standalone because the advice I received from experts was to wait and see how it was received by readers. However, my readers have been clamoring for a sequel, so they can follow Autumn through her high school years, so I’m working on that now. I had always envisioned it as Book 1 of a four-part series,

How long have you been writing?

I got the fiction writing bug about four years ago. Prior to then, my personal writing was limited to journaling and writing an annual holiday letter. I honed my writing skills (albeit not very creative) as a marketer, a human performance consultant, and an insurance adjuster.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I’m somewhere between a plotter and a pantser. I always have a high-level outline when I begin, but I usually get so excited to start a new project that I take off writing. The more I write, and the more I get to know my characters, I continue to add details to the outline, so ideally by the time I get to that part in the book, I have a good idea of what I need to include in a particular scene

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I’m a numbers person. I like to keep track of my increasing (and later decreasing) word counts. When I am drafting, I write the number of new words on a wall calendar at the end of each day. Usually I have a monthly goal (rather than a daily one) since my family responsibilities vary day to day. I tend to overwrite, so when I’m editing, I get the same satisfaction from cutting words as I work down to an appropriate word count.

What’s a perfect writing day?

After I get the kids off to school around seven, I write a couple of hours before going to the gym. Afterwards, I write a couple more hours at a coffee shop then come home and walk the dogs. When the kids return home, they miraculously don’ t need me, so I write until dinner. Unfortunately, this perfect day doesn’t happen often.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Hang out with my kids, watch a movie with my husband, hike with the pups, and read when I have a moment of free time alone. Our favorite family activity is skiing in the mountains.

Do you have any specific advice for aspiring writers?

Find a critique group, educate yourself, and immerse yourself in the writing community (local or online).
Christine Grabowski will be awarding $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Blue Unicorn Book Review By LauraThomas61

Having such a love for the wonder of unicorns it was an easy choice to read this book. Magical unicorns with metal horns. All shapes and sizes. And one unicorn, Blue, who has no magic, but is supposed to be the savior for the tribe. Sounds like a grand adventure to me.

And it was. Filled with lots of beautiful illustrations portraying many of the fantastical beings that roam these lands, it kept me enthralled. However, it had some dark moments that caught me by surprise. Going in thinking this was for younger readers, some scenes of death and danger now have me thinking this would better fit older teens and young adults.

This well written fantasy has plenty of intriguing characters and plenty of action, with some doses of peril that will keep you reading and crossing your fingers for a happy ending. I sure enjoyed it and would love to read more about Blue, his friends, and this magical world.

I received a complimentary copy. My review is voluntarily given.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Book Hub Christmas Kindle Competition - 2018

Enter For A Chance To Win a Book Bundle and Other Great Prizes. 
Competition closes Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Book Hub is giving you the chance to win an Amazon Kindle, Amazon Vouchers, and a Book Bundle of your choice!

Grand Prize - Kindle Paperwhite + Genre Book Bundle

Second Prize - £50 Amazon Gift Voucher + Genre Book Bundle

Three Runners-Up Prizes - £10 Amazon Gift Voucher + Genre Book Bundle

Plus a Book Bundle for each genre group winner.

(Please note, these prizes are available in any currency)


Monday, November 26, 2018

Sybrina's Blue Unicorn Book Store - Unicorn Wrist Band

Sybrina's Blue Unicorn Book Store

Where you'll find unicorns, more unicorns and nothing but unicorns!  Visit now.

Unicorn Wrist Band

Sunday, November 25, 2018

What is a Blauthor? Kristine will tell you!

Thank you for the shout out, Hall Ways Blog!

A Blauthor, according to Kristine Hall is an author who blogs.  Christine leads Texas Bloggers blogging for Texas Authors! (supporting Lone Star Literary Life acting as Lone Star Book Blog Tours)

There are many Texas bloggers in the group who do blog tours for Texas authors for Lone Star Book Blog Tours.  

Nine of them  are author bloggers who write fiction and non-fiction, juvenile to adult, romance, history, fantasy, and photography, they've got your favorite genre, sub-genres, and topics covered! They are Melissa A. Bartell, Jennifer Belden, Amanda Panda Jauregui, Sybrina Durant, Max Knight, Maida Malby, Christena Stephens, Belle Whittington, & Sydney Snelling Young!  

Check out some of the books at

  #LSBBT #LoneStarLit

Unicorn Book Feature - The Thirteenth Unicorn by W.D. Newman

Unicorn Book Feature

The Thirteenth Unicorn

Book #1 In The Ben Alderman SeriesBy W. D. Newman

While spending the summer with their grandparents on a remote farm in South Carolina, Ben Alderman and his sister Casey uncover a hidden world of magic; a world their grandmother is secretly visiting. It is a world where elves and dwarves are locked in mortal combat against a witch who is trying to free the last surviving wizard from exile. The witch has been defeated once before but with the combined power of the wizard, no one will be able to stand against them. Much to Ben's dismay, he learns that he is the one foretold in the ancient elfin prophecies to bring about the downfall of the witch and save this exciting new world from destruction.  Get it at Amazon.

Blue Unicorn Book Review by Books Are Love

books are love rated it really liked it 

This is precious. It has a lesson as well. We learn that being different isn’t bad and can lead to wonderful things. It shows how unique and special you are.

Blue is born different from the other unicorn’s. He was supposed to be the one to save them but everyone feels disappointed because they don’t see how. He has no metal horn which is where their magic is. So Blue feels alone. Accept for his friend Ghel, the one he loves. He hides from groups and learns from Gaiso how to fight and becomes stronger. He feels he has something to prove.

Suddenly the danger is closer and his family is in danger. Blue must go out on a journey filled with danger and his friends Gaiso and Girasol are by his side the whole way. It is a magically written journey that has you smile and love the imagination of Sybrina.

Each unicorn is unique and wonderful. Each one plays a role in Blue becoming who he is and learning something. When the journey is done and Blue is transformed you learn so much and had a fun time as well.

The book is imaginative and lovely. So adorable and creative. Your attention never sways and all ages will love the story of blue and how he helps his fellow unicorns get to safety and find their home and family amongst themselves and loved ones long lost to them. Such a fun imaginative story to the end that is filled with adventure, whimsy, magic and intrigue.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Sybrina's Blue Unicorn Book Store - Unicorn Beanie Hat

Sybrina's Blue Unicorn Book Store

Where you'll find unicorns, more unicorns and nothing but unicorns!  Visit now.

Unicorn Beanie Hat


Thursday, November 22, 2018

123 Count With Me by Sybrina Durant


123 Count With Me

Sybrina Durant is the author of a sweet counting book which is illustrated by the fabulous artist, Parbonni.

Check out the book on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Unicorn Books on Pinterest

Unicorn Books On Pinterest

If you love unicorns books, you will find them here!  This board has over 200 Unicorn book pins and it is growing.  Check it out!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Phrase Thesaurus Samples - Vol 1 - Moving Parts - Head 106

Sybrina's Phrase Thesaurus Sample Phrases

Volume 1 Part 1

Head 106 (Tilting The Head)

Sybrina's Phrase Thesaurus is a 4 Volume Set of thousands of descriptive phrases to help authors break through writer's block.  This group of phrases describe morning sunrises. 

Get this writer's aid at all online book stores.  

Monday, November 19, 2018

Pump Up Your Book Blog Tour - Fatal Agreements by Ashley Fontainne

FATAL AGREEMENTS by Ashley Fontainne, Suspense/Mystery/Thriller, 449 pp., $15.99 (paperback) $3.99 (kindle)

Author: Ashley Fontainne
Publisher: RMSW Press
Pages: 449
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Whispered rumors tickled the ears of the residents of an entire town
for decades about the disturbing secrets of the old Halstead House,
dating all the way back to the early 1920s. Most people didn’t believe
them. Several people will soon discover they should have listened.

Three years after struggling to cope with the death of her beloved
father and escaping an abusive relationship, Samantha Chapman decides
it’s time to return to her hometown of Hot Springs. She buys the
ramshackle Halstead House, eager to transform the dilapidated, abandoned
piece of history into her new law office and residence, hoping it will
be the start of a brighter chapter and a safe haven to escape her
personal demons.

Instead of newfound freedom, things take a dark turn when the
resurrection of the old home reveals the disturbing secrets hidden
within its walls. When youthful transgressions of numerous people come
to light, including ones some members of the Chapman family are
desperate to contain, it reveals the sins of the past. They collide with
the grave mistakes of the present, creating a perfect storm of chaos
and death for not only the Chapman family but others as well.

Some will survive.

Others will get burned.

Sam and her loved ones realize some family secrets should have remained buried.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, April 14, 1993
“I HOPE OUR chat made my intentions clear about what I expect from you, Samantha. Another incident like today will force me to contact your parents about your behavior.
Again. This is junior high not elementary school. The days of disrupting class
are over. Do I make myself clear?”
Biting her lip to keep from saying something nasty, Sam nodded. Rather than look at the irritated, sour face of Principal Townsend, she kept her gaze on her lap. She understood the proper response was “Yes, ma’am,” yet the words wouldn’t form on her lips. She was still too angry to play nice after Ms. Jolly sent her to the office.
The old hag English teacher, one of many in a school overrun with them, should have sent both guilty parties. Sam had no control over someone passing her something during class. Resa should be sitting right next to her, forced to listen to Terrible Townsend’s yammering about following rules and respect.
Sam tried to talk her way out of the situation. The thought of spending more time in detention or listening to yet another lecture from her mother made her mad. She tried to reason with the principal earlier, but it was a waste of time. Sam didn’t understand why she was the only one sent to the office. Resa passed the note to Sam during a pop quiz, not the other way around. Of course, Resa’s
actions were sneaky. Sam’s loud argument in class with Ms. Jolly about the
existence of the note and the request to produce it earned the trip to Terrible
Townsend’s office.
“I can’t hear your head nod, Samantha.”
Raising her gaze, Sam stifled a laugh. Ms. Townsend’s ugly, beady eyes glared back, awaiting the proper response. Eager to escape the office, join Suzy for lunch, and read the note which started the mess, Sam caved. “Yes ma’am.”
“Thank you.
You’re excused.”
Jumping to her feet, Sam strode toward the door.
“One more thing before you leave, Samantha.”
Cringing at the false assumption Ms. Townsend would let her go without some sort of punishment, Sam’s fingers wound around the doorknob. Terrible Townsend was fond of handing out detention as though it were Halloween candy. “Yes, Ms. Townsend?”
“When you enter high school, you should enroll on the debate team.”
Shocked by the words, Sam turned around. “Excuse me?”
After removing her glasses, Ms. Townsend stood, smoothing out imaginary wrinkles on her linen dress shirt. “Samantha Chapman, you have a way with words like your sister, though she’s yet to come out of her shyness. You have the command of a room like your parents; a perfect mixture of Big Sam’s joviality and Charmaine’s cool elegance. For a few seconds, you almost swayed me over to see your side of things. Your temper derailed you. It is something you need to work on controlling. I believe you are a natural debater and would make a great
litigator someday.”
Sam had no idea what the term meant.
Coming around from behind the desk, Ms. Townsend smiled, something she rarely did when alone, much less around the student body of Lake Hamilton Junior High. The student’s bright blue eyes were wild with curiosity and a hint of pride. As an educator, Ms. Townsend had seen the look enough times during her career in the public-school system. Samantha Chapman would go places if she learned to corral her mouth.
“Have you
ever watched the TV show L.A. Law?”
“No.” Sam wondered where the strange conversation was headed.
“Lawyers who argue cases in front of judges and juries are known as litigators. I think you might be blessed with the raw abilities I mentioned. Don’t waste them. Focus your natural gifts and harness them while taming your tongue. If you do, I assure you great things will happen in your life, not only for you, but for those around you.”
Stunned by the surprising praise, Sam blinked several times before responding. “Thank you, ma’am.”
“Go before you eat lunch too fast. No need for you to get sick.”
Disappearing out the door, Sam headed toward the cafeteria while extracting Resa’s note from the front pocket of her jeans. A hint of smile danced on her lips while thinking about Ms. Townsend, pleased she didn’t hand out any detention. Maybe it was time to give the woman another nickname? She wished her mother would say such nice things; be more complimentary, but the kind words were saved for Suzy only.
Opening the crinkled paper, she paused in the hallway, ignoring the sounds of laughter and clanking of dishes coming from the cafeteria. The aroma of sloppy joes and coleslaw filled the hall, making her mouth water and stomach rumble.
“There you are! Come on, hurry!” Resa’s long fingernails dug into Sam’s forearm. Her blonde, frizzy curls bounced in time with her rapid pace while tugging her friend toward the cafeteria doors.
“What’s going on?”
The paper slipped from Sam’s fingers, flittering to the floor.
Bending over, Resa scooped up the note while continuing to drag Sam toward the doorway. “I tried to warn you when overhearing Kathy and Tanya planning it out in first period. I begged them not to do it, but Kathy wouldn’t listen. Hurry up because he’s started! Kip’s at her table!”
“Started what?”
“Kathy’s game. Suzy’s today’s victim.”
Yanking her arm away, Sam stopped inches from the double metal doors leading to the cafeteria. “Are you sure?”
“Yes. He plans on flirting with Suzy before asking her to the Spring Fling dance loud enough for everyone to hear the words before he…”
“Oh, shit!”
Sam’s pulse quickened.
Kathy Poole was known for insensitive pranks. Even the slightest annoyance like bumping into her in the hallway was justifiable cause to be in her crosshairs.Pushing Resa aside, she peered around the doors. Kip Hale sat on the edge of the table, peering down at Suzy, his smile fake and movements practiced. Suzy’s blue eyes were laser-locked on Kip’s tan, gorgeous face, mesmerized as though the boy cast  some sort of hypnotic spell over her love-struck mind.
Sam spotted Kathy Poole, Tanya Reynolds and the rest of the cheer team three tables over, hands covering their mouths as bouts of laughter made their bodies shudder. Sam didn’t care for any of the snotty cheerleaders, yet she despised Kathy Poole.
Tanya and the others were mindless followers—Kathy was the mean ringleader.
Every single student at Lake Hamilton Junior High understood head cheerleader Kathy Poole claimed track star Kip Hale as her own, including Sam’s twin sister, Suzy, who had a massive crush on the hunk.
The “game” would break Suzy’s love-stricken heart. Suzy tried out for next year’s squad and made it, beating out one of Kathy’s friends.
Shoving her books into Resa’s hands, Sam scowled. “If you’re the one who blabbed about Suzy’s feelings toward Kip, I’ll whip your ass next.”
Resa said nothing so Sam ran to Suzy’s aide.
The din of laughter from the boisterous students disappeared after they let out a collective gasp while watching Sam race across the floor, her unruly coppery
hair flapping behind her like fluttering flames.
Kip’s devious smile vanished as Sam barreled toward him.
Suzy turned her head at the commotion.
The flush of
embarrassment made Suzy’s normally pale cheeks vibrant burgundy. The smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose and cheekbones disappeared. A trail of wet tears spilled from her sister’s eyes, rolling down the red cheeks in a steady stream.
“What an idiot! I can’t believe she fell for it! Like Kip would ever take
her ugly ass on a date or to the Spring Fling dance! She looks like Bozo’s
The snickers from Kathy’s table ignited Sam’s fuse. She balled up her fist, never slowing her pace.
Kip stood, holding his hands out in mock surrender. “Hey, it was a joke…”
She never let him finish the sentence. The sound and feel of her fist smashing into his face made her own devious smirk appear even though the impact hurt like hell.
Kip flew backward, head grazing the edge of the table behind him. He landed with a loud thump on the stained tile floor.
Kathy stopped laughing as blood squirted from in between her boyfriend’s fingers. “You crazy bitch! Look what you did to him!”
“I’m not finished yet.”
Sam turned the focus of her rage on Kathy, splitting her lip before the faculty swooped in to intervene. The metal braces on the girl’s teeth ripped open her knuckles.
She didn’t care. Wrapping her fingers around a wad of thick, brown hair, Sam
yanked, ripping out a large chunk.
Ms. Townsend arrived, pulling the girls apart as another teacher helped Kip to his feet.
Kathy sobbed on the floor.
“My office, all of you! Now. Looks like our little chat earlier fell upon deaf ears,
Glaring at Ms. Townsend, Sam yanked her arm from the woman’s grip. “They deserved it, trust me. No one messes with my sister. No one.”


HOURS LATER, EARS ringing from her mother’s yelling, Sam stared at the ceiling while Suzy finished brushing her teeth in the bathroom. Ms. Townsend suspended her for three days, which ended up getting her grounded for three weeks. She didn’t care. The punishment was worth it because Kathy, Kip, and Tanya were suspended as well. She won her argument this time with Ms. Townsend.
After Resa showed the note to the principal, their plan in black and white doomed them.
Less than twenty minutes after the battle in the cafeteria, several students
humiliated by the trio in the past came forward. Once they spilled their
stories, Kip was kicked off the track team, Kathy and Tanya stripped of being
cheerleaders, and they all received a week’s suspension.
A soft knock on the bedroom door made Sam smile. Suzy slammed the bathroom door shut.
“Hey slugger.
I brought some ice for your hand.”
“Thanks, Daddy.” Sam noticed the gleam in his baby blue eyes. It looked like he had some new grays, making his fading auburn hair shimmer under the overhead light.
“Does this mean you aren’t mad at me anymore?”
Easing down on the edge of the bed, Big Sam smiled after handing the ice pack to his daughter. “Your ma’s the one who’s got her feathers all ruffled. Not me. I’m a preening peacock. You stood up for your kin when the bullies attacked. I’m proud of you.”
Sam’s mouth
dropped open. “ You are? Why didn’t you say something when Mom was tearing into me?”
“Because over the years, I learned when to try and battle your ma and when to let her have the reins and run amok. Tonight, I picked the latter.”
After resituating the ice pack, Sam asked, “When my grounding’s over, may I start watching L.A. Law on Thursday nights?”
Big Sam raised an inquisitive brow. “Fine by me but TV ain’t my preferred entertainment choice. You know your ma watches Knots Landing on Thursday
nights. Good luck convincing her to give up her nighttime soaps. Why the sudden interest?”
Sam shrugged her shoulders. “I’m thinking about what I want to be when I grow up. Being a lawyer sounds like fun.”
Ruffling the mop of dark auburn curls on his daughter’s head, Big Sam smiled. “You can be anything you want, darling daughter. Put your mind to it and stay focused. I’m behind you, and your sister, one-hundred percent with whatever career choices picked.”
Yanking the door open, Suzy stormed out of the bathroom and jumped into bed. “I hope you aren’t letting her off the hook, Daddy. What she did was wrong.”
Sam gaped at her sister.
Big Sam chuckled, rising to his feet. He found it rather amusing the twins looked identical yet had polar-opposite personalities. One’s attitude was courtesy of his wife, and the other was more in tune with his laid-back style.
He sensed an epic battle looming between his girls. “Well, enough raging estrogen for one day. Time for me to retire to the back porch with a good book and cigar. Try not to leave marks on each other or make a mess, girls. Love you both.”
Neither sister spoke for a full minute after their father left. Sam sensed Suzy’s anger from the across the dark room. She couldn’t fathom why in the world her twin was mad at her instead of the mean kids at school.
“You ruined my life.”
“My turn to talk, Sam! You did enough gabbing all day, and when talking didn’t work, you acted like a boxer. Don’t stick your nose into my personal life again. Ever.
I’ll handle things on my own. You may not mind being a social outcast, but I
do, so butt out.”
Stung by the harsh words, Sam remained quiet. Suzy had never, ever, spoken to her like that before. For thirteen years they were consumed by the tight, twin bond between them. Silent tears trickled from her eyes, soaking the pillowcase while fuming over the day’s events.
Streaks of lightning lit up their bedroom, followed by a crack of thunder so loud their beds shook. Sam was terrified of storms and Suzy knew it. Closing her eyes, she counted to ten, waiting for her sibling to come snuggle next to her like she always did when thunderstorms came.
Suzy never moved a muscle.
When the second boom rattled the bed, Sam’s eyes popped open. “Are you…?”
“No, I’m not.
Deal with your fears while I handle mine.”
Sam sensed things would never be right between them. The knowledge made her sad and angry at the same time. She did nothing wrong and yet was being treated as though she did.
She wouldn’t grasp until many years later the devastating effects of the day’s incident, and how her actions to protect her sister would end up being the downfall of her entire family.

Ashley Fontainne writes in multiple genres ranging from
mystery/thrillers to suspenseful paranormal to dark comedy. The
recipient of numerous awards for her gritty, no-holds barred style of
writing, her stories will captivate and pull you inside the lives of her
characters and intricate plot lines.

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