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Whole Countries Who Despise Women – Though They Wouldn’t Exist Without Us

LPut yourself in her shoes | the human provinceet’s face it. Men, overall, absolutely despise women. They fear us, hate us, would just as soon see us tied up in a basement to be raped and abused, then forgotten until the next time they need to get off. Or get their food made. Oh, not all of them, certainly. There are men who follow this site who are wonderful, caring gentlemen. But the good ones? The good ones are so very, very few. As Foreign Affairs Reporter for the Toronto Star put it in her March 8, 2008 article, “These things are universal,” says Taina Bien-Aime, executive director of New York-based Equality Now. “There is not one single country where women can feel absolutely safe.”

Yes, the Middle East is a horror story for women, no matter their cast. But watching the first Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders  reminds me that, no matter how bad the treatment of women in the Middle East is, they aren’t the only guilty country. Hatred of women is worldwide. Women and children are not safe. Not in Thailand, where the first show is set (let’s face it, I have always thought Gary Sinise is a great actor. I am excited to watch this show develop. I just hope it lasts longer than Suspect Behavior. I really like Forest Whitaker as well – and Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia had a cameo on each of those as well…. I want to be Penelope in my next life) Horiffic Abuse Of Little Children In Middle East |

OK, off the point. It isn’t just “foreign” countries that hate women. American men are just as bad. Sex slavery is rampant here, with American women and children being victimized just as much as foreign women. Websites brag about how happy American men are with their  “submissive,” “malleable” foreign mail order brides, who can be treated any way the males want without fear of being punished for their brutality. No standing up for themselves or having personalities of their own like American women.

Women carry you in their wombs. They bear you for nine months, withstand the wear and tear of feeding your growing bodies within their own, and suffer the excruciating pain of childbirth. They raise you, feed you from their body and soul. And how is that love returned? With hate, brutality, torture, rape, murder. All that love, and this is what women have to look forward to.

I really believe that, until men learn to love and respect women, to love their children and wish to protect them and the women who bore them above all else, we will never settle as a species. We will never be able to live with one another on this tiny blue planet without totally destroying ourselves and the world we live on. Someone asked  me why I read so much Paranormal Romance these days, and why the particular authors I read. Honestly? There is so much evil in the world, it is refreshing to the mind and the soul to sit down with a good PR, where the men and women are both strong in their own right. Where men are what I consider to be real men, who not only love women, but respect them as well. Who will die rather than injure a child. And who realize that, yes, they may be physically stronger than women and children – but that their strength can be tempered with love and protection without being considered weak. Instead, their love and protection of those who depend on them makes them stronger in mind, body and soul.

 

Review: Last Shot by Eve Gaddy

25342525“My mother detested me. Don’t try to tell me she didn’t. She did. Ask anyone who lived here when she was alive. She wasn’t shy about bad-mouthing me.” – Della Rose, Last Shot

This is what starts it, for the hated child. From this point, no love, no safety, no hope. No loving hugs or kisses for skinned knees. No warm meals or being tucked in at night with a song or a story. This is what starts it. The night terrors, the strange men creeping into your room in the middle of the night when mom is too drunk to notice – and if she is awake, blames you for her scummy boyfriends advances – no matter that you are only six, or nine, or twelve . . . This is what starts the pain, the terror, the loneliness. The choices that must be made, in order to survive. And survival sometimes means doing things, suffering things, which are unimaginable to “normals”.

This was Della’s life. Hated, abused, and made to suffer unimaginable things – things that led to even more unimaginable things. Life has been brutally hard for Della from the time she was born. But now, life is finally stabilized. Oh, she and her daughter Allie aren’t rich, not by any means, but Della’s job as a waitress at the Last Shot Bar and Grill, working for Charlie, her good friend and supporter, cranky old good-hearted man that he is, keeps Allie in clothes and food and a roof over their heads, and her friendship with Mary Lou means that there is always someone home when Allie gets home from school. Life is calm, stable, and more than Della has ever had.

Then, in one night, and a blaze of gunfire and death, everything changes – and Della, Allie and Mary Lou’s life will never be the same. With Charlie dead, and one terrible thing after the other happening, they are all in danger from unseen forces who are apparently searching for something valuable – something they think Charlie had – and that they think Della now has access to. And they are willing to kill to get it.

I have ranted lately about how the perception of women in romantic suspense novels has been canting towards the “Oh, save me, Big Handsome Man! Save poor pitiful me!” mentality. Ugh. Women are no longer the swooning Victorian era victims they once were, and contemporary literature should reflect that. “Last Shot” restores some of my hope for the possibilities of strong women characters.

Della is NOT a victim. Far from it. Instead, after all that has happened to her, all the horrors, all the pain, she comes across as strong and self-sufficient – almost to a fault. She takes nothing from anyone, making her own way, taking care of her daughter. And she certainly HATES cops… for very, very good reasons. So imagine her surprise when she finds herself attracted to Nick, the visitor to their small town of Freedom, Texas. Someone she pegged as a cop the minute he walked in the door. Della hates men, is terrified of them – but cops are on the very top of her list of “kill them all and sort it out never”. But Nick? Well, Della feels things she has never felt before. And that oddity has her off-balance, frightened, and terribly confused. Why can’t she take her eyes off of him? And why, when she despises the touch of a man, is she so fascinated with this one? A hated cop?

Nick has his own issues. Issues which leave him screaming up out of sleep, reliving the horrors of his last case – a case that may have broken him for good as a detective. Can these two discover what the murderers were looking for, find out why Charlie was murdered before their eyes? It doesn’t help that Police Chief Brumford Hayes is everything that Della expects him to be – dirty. And Officer Kingston Knight is definitely “off”. Are they involved in what is going on, or are they just despicable?

Eve Gaddy has done spectacular research for this novel. I honestly wondered if she had been subjected to the things that Della was in her childhood, in her life. Apparently not – she is simply that good at doing the research and writing realistically about what a person who has suffered what Della has goes through – how she handles herself and others. Having been through a lot of what Della has, I found Eve’s portrayal of the mindset to be spot-on. I completely identified with Della. Even the part that apparently irritated a one-star reviewer. The first time I was actually attracted to a man as an adult, I was, literally, fascinated. How could this happen? Why? I had never felt attracted to “any” man! It was as if I had lost my mind… all I could think about was what his skin would feel like. I wanted to touch. How did THAT happen? I was, in a word, obsessed. This obsession is shown here as well, so I guess I wasn’t as perverted as I thought I was at the time. All I can think is that ‘one-star reviewer’ has had no experience with, or friends who, have gone through anything like what Della has. The vituperation rained on Ms. Gaddy’s head is unwarranted – but lack of knowledge in this case is based upon valid arguments, even if they don’t apply in this particular scenario. I never carried out my own “lust” for that fascinating guy – which makes Della a great deal braver than I am. Removing oneself from the wasteland of pain, fear and asexuality isn’t something that everyone can do. I wish I had been as brave.

Overall? I loved this book. It is well researched, well written, and touches on issues that, even today, are not addressed nearly enough. Issues of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, child abuse, dirty cops, and a system that betrays the most fragile and helpless amongst us. It is going on my “Keeper” shelf, and I will be adding Eve Gaddy to my “Must Read” shelf.

WARNING: There are remembrances of rape and child abuse in this book. If you can’t read these sorts of things, please take note.

I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. Highly recommended.

Review: Sweet Deception by Angel Nicholas

Sweet Deception: HarperImpulse Romantic Suspense - Angel NicholasAnyone who cannot come to terms with his life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off a little his despair over his fate… but with his other hand he can note down what he sees among the ruins. – Franz Kafka

Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for. – Bob Marley

Sweet Deception. It sounds like one of those “Boy meets girl. Boy saves girl from minor problem. They all live HEA. The end.”

I wonder who decided on that title? Because, though there are six five star and one four star very-well-deserved reviews, the people who are expecting a simplistic story are going to be disappointed, and the readers who would pick up a powerful, contemporary suspense/thriller would not normally pick it up offhand. And this is a powerful book. Oh, the whole HEA romance thing is in there – though it might have been better served in another novel. Just my opinion, because I found that it distracted from the overall story line.

Ally Thompson’s life is boring. Go to work in insurance claims, come home, have dinner, pour a glass of wine and read a book in bed. (Hey, that is my life!) Tired of listening to all the fun that her coworkers had over the weekend on Monday mornings, she decides it is time to do something adventurous. Well, not too adventurous, but riding a roller coaster is a start, right? Ensconced in the “special” seat at the rear of the coaster she finds herself seated next to (of course) tall blond and sexy detective “Surfer Dude”. When one of the riders is murdered and thrown from the car, Greg the Surfer Dude saves her life (of course) and thus begins a much more serious contemporary tale than I had expected based on the cover and title. In a word, this is one thrilling book – but it is also excruciatingly current in what is, to me, the best sort of way. Angel Nicholas rips the blinders off of modern issues that many would like to ignore – or pretend don’t exist in the first place.

Drug running, human trafficking, sex trafficking, dirty cops – all play a gut wrenching role in the tale. And this is why I would have been happier with the book if it left out Ally pining over Mr. “I’m too gutless to have a real relationship but I am more than happy to bang you blind – and if you try to have a relationship with anyone else I will stalk you and show up on your doorstep” Guy. Yeah, yeah, he finally “comes around” several months after the end of the ‘action’ – and yeah, yeah, she takes him back. Meh. It detracts from the importance of the book itself as it tries to pull in both the romance and the suspense crowd.

The person expecting a ‘sweet’ romance isn’t going to like this. There is brutality, rape, sex slavery of both adult women and children, (two instances of which Ally is forced to watch, as “training”), and several scenes where the heroine is subjected to the worst kinds of humiliation, though she is not actually raped.

Yes, yes, I know. I get psychotic over books that depict rape and sadism – but my problems with those books are where the actions are presented as being “acceptable”. This isn’t that sort of book. It brings into the light things that society would rather keep hidden, stripping off the blinders and making the reader truly see.

Something else it brings to light? How our government will allow these things to continue to happen as they “build their case” – no matter the suffering that women and children go through as the “case” is built. Sometimes YEARS of torture, rape and sometimes death – which can honestly be a blessing given what they are subjected to day after day. All enslaved  by monsters, of course. But the real monsters? The ones who live next door – who have wives and children and jobs, who attend PTA and host cookouts in the back yard and birthday parties for your children. And who slip away at odd hours to rape and brutalize women – and of course, children the same age or younger than their own little ones.
/
So. My recommendation? READ. THIS. BOOK. But don’t expect “sweet and cuddly.” Expect realism, expect truth, expect good writing (well, except for the romance part – IMO Ally would have been better off sticking with being the strong, wonderful woman she was, and she does create something truly wonderful with her life before Greg comes back around) than sticking around for Mr. “It’s All About Me” but there was finally a HEA so those that wanted it got a sweet ending.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own, and I am very happy to recommend it! If you like my reviews, please let me know on your country’s Amazon.com! I post to US, CA, AU, UK.

Review: The Burning By Jane Casey

burning
Click to purchase!

First, to get this out there, I love British police procedurals. They are normally crisp, compelling and well written. The Burning is a premier example of the best the genre has to offer. Written from the viewpoint of Detective Constable (DC) Maeve Kerrigan, the story focuses on the hunt for “The Burning Man” a serial killer terrorizing London. His crimes are horrific, and no young woman is safe. There have been four murders committed which can obviously be credited to the killer – but now a fifth murder has been committed. And Maeve questions whether this particular killing shouldn’t be attributed to a copy-cat killer.

Maeve is an extremely likable heroine. She takes serious verbal abuse from her so-called colleagues as they make sexual and misogynist comments about her work style. Abuse that she handles with dignity – even when it comes from her own partner. As the story evolves Maeve becomes more and more involved with the fifth killing, following a trail of murder, drugs, deceit and violence that goes back several years to the victim’s college days. Maeve is smart without being omniscient, funny and serious by turns, and is willing to put herself on the line for what she knows is right and true.

Filled by turns with violence and heartbreak, deceit and deep sociopathy, The Burning is a must read for anyone interested in police procedurals, thrillers and suspense novels, with a very light dose of romance to round things out.

I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. All comments and thoughts are my own.

Review: Death’s Rival by Faith Hunter

jane
And another strong heroine bites the dust…. sigh.

Jane is raped, tortured and betrayed by everyone she held dear. Beast was raped, tortured and betrayed, and is now enslaved. And you people think this is good? The total annihilation of yet another strong female character?

Hunter did a crap job in this one. Leo sent her to Ashville to do a job, she protected herself from death, and protected his scions also, and she was punished for it.

A man breaks into her room in a hotel while she is sleeping, naked, and shoots at her, TWICE, before she responds, so SHE is guilty of starting a war, NOT him. Yet she is punished by the most vile rape scene I have had the unhappiness of witnessing in an author I used to respect.

And then, Hunter has Leo give and take Jane’s blood – – – which, remind me if I am wrong, turned the last Skinwalker into a raving lunatic. So, she is going to use the vaunted next three novels she was just awarded for this stupidity into us watching Jane turn into a raving lunatic, killing and eating humans until she is hunted down and destroyed?

Hunter has lost my respect, and my money. I am sickened and disappointed, not only by the turn the books took, but by the number of people who found this sort of rape and destruction of a once strong character both exciting and wonderful. Where are your minds, people? I don’t know what is worse – the fact that I am so deeply sickened by the people that liked this book, or the fact that I am so deeply HURT by Hunter’s betrayal of her character – and her betrayal of me, as a reader.

I liked and admired Hunter’s portrayal of Jane Yellowrock. She has known more pain in her life than any one person should have to stand. She lost her life, her friends, her self respect, and yet still she helped people, she met her responsibilities, and she gave of her heart, her body and her soul. Everyone. EVERYONE. Betrayed her. And yet she soldiered on, only to be demeaned, raped, and tossed aside like a used come rag. And everyone read it and called it good. I suppose I feel so deeply betrayed because I, like Jane, have been so brutally betrayed through my life. I too was used, betrayed, and thrown aside. Brutalized and yet I still tried to do my best. I Identified with Jane’s strength and caring. Only to have her turned into a broken mess, with even Beast ripped from her, chained to Leo, a prisoner in her own mind. Her life, her very soul, is destroyed. Sort of like mine.

I suppose I shouldn’t allow myself to become so tied in with a character in a book. But with my own life of pain and betrayal, I had found a friend in Jane. Through Hunter’s betrayal of her character, I have again been betrayed. It hurts. And it is a sad, sad thing…

Review: House Of Jaguar By Mike Bond

jaguar
A bloody, horrific tale based upon True Events…..

Humankind seems to have an enormous capacity for savagery, for brutality, for lack of empathy, for lack of compassion. – Annie Lennox

Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter. – Winston Churchill

I read a lot of thriller and action adventure novels, so I expected this novel to be yet another rollicking read for me. To say that I couldn’t have been more wrong is a gross understatement. I mean no disrespect to Mr. Bond. I know that he lived through a lot of this hell as the story is based on his own horrifying experiences as one of the few journalists to survive this ghastly American funded war. Caught up in bloody, savage battles between Guatemalan people, their oppressive army and the secret machinations of the CIA (why is one not surprised?) Bond pulls you into the horrors of life in Guatemala, forcing you to nearly breathe the oppression and senseless and horrendous slaughter.

Ok, that is the “good” stuff. Other reviewers have written of who, and what, Joe Murphy is, and what the story is “about.” Which is good, as I was totally unable to finish it. I know that monstrous things happen, usually to people who do not, under any circumstances, deserve the sort evil they are forced to suffer. Normally, I have a pretty high tolerance for that sort of thing. In this case, that is so far from reality that we aren’t even on the same planet.

The descriptions of rape and slaughter were so hideously explicit that I simply had to stop before I totally lost my mind. The descriptions of the rape of young girls – and especially the scenes where the rape is portrayed from the rapist’s point of view, turned my stomach.

We study the injustices of history for the same reason that we study genocide, and for the same reason that psychologists study the minds of murderers and rapists… to understand how those evil things came about. – Jared Diamond

Overall, what I did read of the book before I had to strip it off my Kindle was a story of the slaughter of innocents – men, women and children suffering a depth of brutality that is unimaginable. Bloody carnage beyond all sense of humanity, fed by lies and political agendas, drugs and drug lords, all at the expense of the poor and the innocent. While this book clearly wasn’t one that I enjoyed in any way, I am certain that there are those out there who will have the opposite reaction. 75% of readers who posted reviews on goodreads found it acceptable, or even “good.” That simply wasn’t my finding. The unrelenting, mindless brutality is highly disturbing and absolutely not a read for the faint of heart. Or even the hearty of heart, like me. I would think you would need a cast-iron constitution to handle this book.

I received this edition from Mandevilla Press in exchange for my honest review.

Help Support RAINN: The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network

cut
Too many young women suffer the horrors of Rape, Incest and Abuse – and MEN suffer these same horrors. Please help fund The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) with your purchase of Cut Too Deep. Thank you!

As a firm believer that more needs to be done to prevent sexual assault as well as bring offenders to justice, KJ Bell is donating a percentage of week one sales for Cut Too Deep to rainn.org. RAINN The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is an American anti-sexual assault organization, the largest in the United States.

RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline and carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help victims, and to ensure that rapists are brought to justice.

About Cut Too Deep:

A woman traumatized by her past, beaten, battered, and unwilling to trust.

A man held captive by his greatest failure, lost, and self-destructive.

Letters that unexpectedly bind them together.

Is their bond strong enough to survive each other?

As a web of deceit is revealed, will they be able to determine what’s real, and what’s worth fighting for? Or will they crumble under the weight of secrets that cut too deep?

Can Miller forgive himself and move beyond his fear of failing the one he loves?

Can Hadley accept the love she desperately wants but doesn’t believe she deserves?

http://www.rainn.org

RAINN.org | RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network

PURCHASE LINK:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nqZ2sL

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cut-too-deep-katrina-bell/1119608187?ean=2940149182480

​​Here is the link for the Book Trailer as well

http://youtu.be/Hto6uSeIVK0

 

Juries, Biological Warfare, Helix And Penelope Garcia

insomnia
Thanks to “The Covenstead”
http://covenstead.wordpress.com/
For the cool graphic!

This is going to be a really weird post, but maybe it will get some conversation going. You see, I am sort of a geek. Well, a lot of a geek, really. I just finished reading Breath by Kristen Ashley which made me laugh hysterically at all the references to Battlestar Gallactia, Fringe, etc. Then I have been struck by one of my whacko insomnia binges (three days so far) and I also got called for jury duty (well, I got the notice, but they went to 5098 and I was 5172, so I didn’t have to go, but still). Now, I am watching Helix the new Scifi channel show, and so far it reminds me a lot of The Stand.

So anyway. . . when I am on an insomnia binge my mind goes into overdrive, and I start thinking about things, and then I think about more things, and my Weirdo Monitor goes off the scale. Well, my friends used to say that I was more like a Mad Scientist than anything else. I get to thinking and can’t even remember how to tie my shoes much less remember to eat or sleep!

I started out thinking about Juries. And U.S. legal customs. Which really tick me off. Come on – a defense

http://cjaronu.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/not-so-deep-thoughts-for-the-day/
Thanks to Cjaronu for the gif!
http://cjaronu.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/not-so-deep-thoughts-for-the-day/

attorney’s job is to get people off, no matter that they are guilty, no matter what they have done. Rape, murder, sadism, you name it. A prosecutor’s job is to get the defendant prosecuted – no matter if they did it or not. Cops jobs are to get a suspect and get them prosecuted (and having worked with police for dogs years, I can tell you, the concept of “close the case” is more important than whether the person is innocent or guilty). So I am sitting here thinking, the last time I had jury duty, the guy was soooo guilty (a brutal rapist) and yet the defense attorney was turning himself inside out to make the poor victims suffer the horrors of the damned in order to get his client off. Twelve people, none of them but me and one other had any experience in forensics, police work, evidential procedure, or the law. “A jury of your peers.” Pffft. I can tell you, this guy was NOT my “peer” by any stretch of the imagination. Yep. That definitely keeps me up at night.

breath
Kristen Ashley has a great geek character in this one!

I did get to read Kristen Ashley, as I said. I have read her other Colorado Mountain series books, but Breath was good in that the main female character is such a geek! When I am having sleep issues, I find that reading something that is totally just for fun is about the only thing I can handle. Certainly can’t do anything that takes mental concentration or hand/eye coordination! LOL But it is fun, sorta like being all juiced up on endorphins after a long run. It just doesn’t help the spread of my thighs as well as running does! ROFL

helix
SyFy Channel new program.
I liked the first one!
biohazrd
Biological warfare. No matter that the government says,
who really thinks the military doesn’t do it?

So, Helix you ask? Well, I am nine minutes down from the end of the first episode, and I have to say, I really like it so far. I could get all intense talking about medical labs and ancient viruses, biological warfare and all that . . . all sorts of fascinating issues, but that is several pages of ranting and raving, and you would be either bored or think I am a total whack job, so what can I say? (GRIN) The last part of the show – – – there is a scene that is totally, totally C.R.E.E.P.Y. . . . Monkeys will never look quite the same to me! I hope they don’t shut this show down. I am way sick of really good shows being taken off the air and replaced with stupid “reality” programming . . . come on, reality? More like “let’s all do the “I’m too stupid to live” programming.

penelope-garcia-criminal-minds
Criminal Minds
Penelope Garcia

Maybe tonight I will sleep. Then I can put up some good reviews instead of mad rambling! For now, I finished the first episode of Helix and now I am watching the newest Criminal Minds. Gotta love Penelope Garcia!!! Oh, she is mentioned in Breath also. Cool.

Review: Full Dark A Novel of the Hidden – Ty Lawrence

fulldark
Recommended if you like the dark . . .

Full Dark by Ty Lawrence is not what I expected when the publisher first offered me a copy for review. In the modern supernatural world populated by fantasies of sexy vampires and alpha weres, Full Dark is entirely different in ways breathtaking, horrifying and deeply disturbing on a visceral level. This is a world of darkness, a Dante inspired fantasy of blood and death. In these pages, the dreams of the Dark Ages are born anew, brought forward into modern times. These are not the fangs of teenage dreams, nor the fur and claws of the ‘sexy wolf’. This is black blood and torn flesh, torture and enslavement and pain.

Ashlyn is a sorceress in a world that makes her a victim, her blood a narcotic to vampires. At a very young age her family is slaughtered and she is taken from her home to be savaged by a group of feral vampires. Rescued by the Master Vampire Brennan she is still a captive, kept for her addictive blood. But at least she is safe from the rouges who would keep her chained and savaged. Called The Hidden, the supernatural exist in a dark and dangerous world, hidden amongst the humans, who know nothing of their existence.

Or do they?

War is coming in this dark and hidden world. And while war foments Ashlyn has become a pawn of forces out of her control, forces who wish to use her, or hold her for their own. And the relationship between Ashlyn and Brennan becomes even more strained as Ashlyn strains against Brennan’s control, while knowing that her only safety is actually within his care. Further complicating matters is Lord Sorcerer Finn, a sorcerer of great and terrible power, who controls the Vox, the lands inhabited by the supernatural Hidden, who has his own agenda, and a strange and terrible control over Ashlyn.

This is a magnificent and terrible story. The characters are more than just well written. The reach out of the pages and pull you into their story, whether in hate or admiration, and often in both at the same time. Ashlyn herself tugged me in both directions. A victim for so long, she made me deeply sad one moment and furious the next. She is deeply scared, reaching for a life she will never have while turning her back on the one she might, a life of strength and control over her own fate. Desperate for a humanity that is not hers to have, she protects the police officer, Hayden, who has secrets of his own which will put him directly in the sights of Brennan. And in so doing, places herself in tremendous danger on his behalf.

This is a multilayered tale of power and depth that I would not wish to have missed. A tale of bitter and broken characters, of hate and pain, loss and death and the choices one must make to survive. And yet, through it all, there is a thread of love and warmth which can be found in the worst of situations. But can one learn to accept that love, and what will one do to protect those whom we love?

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