February 26, 2015

Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Hidden Library by Heather Lyons

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We are dying to jump back down the rabbit hole with Heather Lyons' THE HIDDEN LIBRARY! THE HIDDEN LIBRARY is an Adult Romantic Fairy Tale, full of adventure and fantasy and the second book in Heather’s The Collectors' Society Series! Check out the latest fantastic installment in this series that brings you some of the classics with a twist.

The Hidden LIbrary Cover

The Hidden Library by Heather Lyons
Release Date: February 26, 2015
Series: The Collectors' Society

Sometimes, the rabbit hole is deeper than expected . . .

Alice Reeve and Finn Van Brunt have tumbled into a life of secrets. Some secrets they share, such as their employment by the clandestine organization known as The Collectors’ Society. Other secrets they carry within them, fighting to keep buried the things that could change everything they think they know.

On the hunt for an elusive villain who is hell-bent on destroying legacies, Alice, Finn, and the rest of the Society are desperate to unravel the mysteries surrounding them. But the farther they spiral down this rabbit hole, the deeper they fall into secrets that will test their loyalties and pit them against enemies both new and old.

Secrets, they come to find, can reveal the deadliest of truths.
Purchase the book:
Amazon | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Barnes and Noble (coming soon) | iBooks | Kobo

We are about to open the conference room door and enter the hallway when he stops. He turns to me, his lovely eyes achingly sincere. “I want to take you on a date when all of this craziness is over. A real one. We’ve kind of gone about this all backwards, haven’t we?” 
One corner of my mouth lifts up. “Are you saying you’d like to court me?” 
There is no playfulness to his face, no quirk to his own lips. My heart flutters at his seriousness. “Yes.” 
He wants to court me. 
Too many emotions rush around in a caucus race throughout my body. I have no doubts of Huckleberry Finn Van Brunt’s feelings toward me. I understood them two minutes ago just as well as I did this morning when I woke up and from the night before and from the day in Wonderland where he said, in not so many words, that he was falling in love with me. 
I told him he was my north star, and meant it. He countered we are binaries. 
He and I . . . We’ve never said those words, though, not the ones that truly spell out fragile, deep secrets of a heart and soul. Words so easily and yet unfortunately uttered by many, be it to express their appreciation of fried bits of potatoes to sports teams on the television. Words offered so frivolously about a variety of subjects and yet can be the most difficult, most painful, most meaningful, most cherished syllables we gift another person. 
I have said these words before, to another man. Another man I still love. One I know, in the deepest confines of my heart, that I will love until the last breath escapes my body. A man who courted me in secret and then publicly in the face of astonishment, disapproval, confusion, and, in the end, prophesies. 
I have willingly given the man in front of me my heart, though, whether he knows it or not. He now holds it in his hands, and while I pray he is my future, there is still a part of me that bucks in conflicted confusion and delight by this declaration of his. 
He wants to court me.
And yet, as sweet and romantic as such a gesture might be, I require no such formalities. My affections for Finn Van Brunt have already solidified into something real and wonderful and meaningful.

THL Teaser

Don’t miss the first book in this series, THE COLLECTORS’ SOCIETY!
The Collectors' Society front cover
Purchase the book:
Amazon | Amazon.ca | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Author Photo

About Heather:
Heather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

Where to find Heather:
Website | Author Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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February 23, 2015

More Than Comics by Elizabeth Briggs

More Than Comic by Elizabeth Briggs
Release Date: February 23, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 163
Series: Chasing the Dream
Review Source: eBook from author for review


They're friends online - but can they be more in real life?

Writer Tara McFadden has been friends with artist and drummer Hector Fernandez for years, long before his band became famous on reality TV – yet they’ve never met in person. They finally have a chance to connect offline when they’re both sent to Comic-Con to promote the graphic novel they collaborated on.

Hector's secretly been in love with Tara for as long as he can remember, and once they meet, she sees him in a new light. All the years of longing lead to an incredible night of passion after one of his concerts, but neither is sure if their online relationship can translate into a real life romance – or if this will ruin their friendship forever.

Over four crazy days at Comic-Con, Hector and Tara must decide if they want a future together. But when their story seems to be over, it’s up to Hector’s entire band to make sure he and Tara get their happy ending.
My Thoughts:
This is a short book, but it's a great story. I mean, when the only real flaw is that you wish you had MORE of the characters, that's a pretty good thing, right? So yes, I would have enjoyed a longer, more drawn out story. It might have been more fun to deal with the sexual tension for a while before things progressed -- a longer period of "will they, won't they", but on the other hand because of the short nature of the book you get to the good stuff fast, and it leaves little time for large amounts of drama. What little drama there was, was resolved fairly quickly in a logical way, which is exactly how I like it.

More Than Comics was a bit more sex focused than I prefer, but the scenes were definitely very hot. I think why I would have preferred less sex, or maybe just more of other parts of the story, is because Hector and Tara had such an amazing friendship. Their conversations and just hanging out together were so cute and fun, so I wanted more of that aspect of the story. I liked seeing their chemistry in more than one way. Another thing I loved was seeing from Hector's POV. He's this ripped guy who could totally be cocky, considering he's insanely successful in two professional avenues and is super gorgeous, but he's actually quite sensitive and he almost has low self esteem in some instances. He doesn't see himself as anything special, whereas Tara sees all the good in him.

This book has a great setting and plot point, being set at Comic-Con. You get to experience some of the panels, signings, and costumes, which makes it a lot of fun. Despite the short length of the book and my wish for more time with these characters, More Than Comics does cover a lot of ground. I obviously liked the romance angle, but I also liked how Tara had to make a huge decision which would impact her future. I liked that she thought about Hector when deciding which job she should take, because it was realistic, but I loved that Hector and his friends showed her how she had to make the decision based on her wants and needs. Overall, this is a great second book in this series, and I wholeheartedly look forward to reading Elizabeth Briggs' next book.

The Cover:


Purchase Links:
Kobo | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Google Play | All Romance | Smashwords

About Liz:
Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.

Where to find Liz:
Website | Facebook fan group | Newsletter | Twitter

More Than Comics playlist:

As much as I enjoyed this book, I absolutely *loved* the first book, More Than Music. Click on the graphic to find purchase links for this great book:

If everything else hasn't convinced you to check out this book and this series, maybe this will. Here's an excerpt of More Than Comics from Tara's POV:

The lights dimmed and the entire crowd seemed to jump to its feet at once, including me. Fog crept across the stage and a red glow slowly illuminated the darkness. The stadium was silent except for the buzz of excitement, the anticipation for the band about to come out. My chest was tight, my breathing difficult, my heart a speeding train that threatened to derail at any moment.

Just when I thought I couldn’t take any more of it, the room burst into sound with the opening of “Uprising” by Muse. The lights brightened, gradually revealing the band already on stage. Maddie on the right, her fingers flying across her guitar, the fake wind blowing her hair like in a music video. Kyle on the left, rocking out behind his keyboard, his black hair hanging in his eyes. And Jared in the middle, playing bass.

A spotlight flashed on him when he started singing. In person he was even more drop dead gorgeous than on screen, with his tattooed arms, sinful blue eyes, and naughty smile. His voice had a way of creeping into your very soul, and he had this crazy magnetism that made it nearly impossible to take your eyes off him. Especially when he wasn’t playing and could grip the microphone like a lover and croon into it. No wonder so many ladies threw themselves at him.

But while everyone drooled over Jared, my eyes sought out Hector, who had gone shirtless tonight. It was harder to see him in the back, but I could still glimpse his muscular arms and shoulders while his drumsticks danced through the air. He was an animal, pounding against the drums like he was possessed by something, yet somehow never completely losing control.

The big screens beside the stage flashed between the different band members and showed Hector from behind, giving a shot of his smooth back, all those coiled muscles flexing and rippling while he played. Sweat slicked his arms as he poured himself into the music, his drumsticks moving fast yet never missing a beat. He was glorious. Strong. Powerful. And ridiculously sexy.

I wanted to lick the sweat off him, which was sort of gross, but I didn’t care. I’d do it to taste him, to explore that hard, muscular body with my tongue. And my hands. And every other part of me.

I couldn’t deny it any longer. Meeting Hector in person had awakened something in me. I’d always found him hot, of course. And sure, I’d fantasized about him a few times, but I’d never seriously thought of him as anything more than a friend. He’d always been too far away, too off limits, too impossible to even consider. But now he was more than a daydream I tried desperately to ignore—he was a very tempting reality.

Once we’d come face to face a flick had been switched, and I felt something…more.

And seeing him play tonight? That made me want him.

So, yeah. Hector = hot, sensitive, artistic, rock band drummer. Yes please?

February 22, 2015

Tour Review & Giveaway: When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill

When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 368
Series: n/a
Review Source: Netgalley


In the tradition of New Adult superstar Jessica Sorensen, Ellie Cahill’s debut novel is a charming friends-with-benefits story . . . with a twist!

What if after every bad breakup, there was someone to help “cleanse your palate”—someone who wouldn’t judge you, who was great in bed, someone you were sure not to fall in love with? “Sorbet sex” could solve everything—as long as it never got too sweet.

Joss and Matt have been friends since freshman year of college, meeting one night after Joss is dumped by her boyfriend. After a few drinks, Matt humors her with a proposition: that he’ll become her go-to guy whenever she needs to heal a broken heart. In return, she’ll do the same for him. The #1 Rule: They’ll never fall in love with each other. People scoff at the arrangement. But six years later, Joss and Matt are still the best of friends . . . with benefits.

Through a string of boyfriends and girlfriends—some almost perfect, some downright wrong—Joss and Matt are always there for each other when the going gets tough. No strings. No attachments. Piece of cake. No problem. After all, since they wrote the rules, surely they can play by them. Or can they?
My Thoughts:
THIS BOOK. I read a lot of books, so it really means something when it’s been months since I’ve read a book and I still remember not only a lot of details about it, but also how much it made me feel. And this book? It totally made me feel. It was a completely frustrating reading experience at times, because of how long it took the characters to see how good they were together. I mean, they couldn’t admit how they felt to themselves let alone to the other person, so it definitely took a while. But it was gorgeous, swoonworthy frustration. There are just so many good moments in When Joss Met Matt (including non-romantic ones, such as Joss with her cat).

It takes talent to tell a story of flashbacks mixed with the present and I think the author did an awesome job of it. Towards the beginning I kept wanting to know more of the present, but very quickly the book hit a groove and the way things were presented fit so well in the present context. It was amazing to see Joss and Matt’s friendship evolve and experience how they always belonged to one another even when they didn't know it. I completely fell in love with these characters and I loved how they developed throughout the book. It was especially awesome to see Joss grow up, especially when she had the realization about Matt.

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was that there was a decent chunk of story at the end when we were caught up with the present and got to be along on the emotional journey with Joss. It’s not often that I fall in love with a book that is basically only about sex/romance, but I think I liked the characters and wanted them to be together so much that it worked for me. It was enough about them as individuals growing to a place where they were ready for the relationship that it stopped it from being one dimensional.

Overall I found this book to be a lot of fun. It was certainly frustrating at times, but it was also lovely and funny and sweet. A great New Adult romance.

The Cover:
Not amazing, but okay. I like the title placement.


Purchase Links:
Kobo | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | Chapters-Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Praise for When Joss Met Matt:

“Hands down, one of my favorite New Adult reads . . . Ellie Cahill is definitely one to watch!” — New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack

“This is one of those books that make you forget everything around you. Prepare to be consumed by this story.” — Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author of Wild

“Fun, sexy, and full of amazing chemistry, When Joss Met Matt is an entertaining escape that will leave you smiling with every turn of the page.” — Cassie Mae, author of The Real Thing

About Ellie:
Ellie Cahill is a freelance writer and also writes books for young adults under the name Liz Czukas. She lives outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her husband, son, and the world’s loudest cat.

Where to find Ellie:
Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Instagram

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Be sure to follow along with the blog tour on Ellie's site.

February 12, 2015

Cover Reveal: Sarina Bowen's GRAVITY series

Angsty Vermont snowboarders, anyone?

I'm so pleased to be sharing the covers for Sarina Bowen's Gravity series. I absolutely adore Sarina's New Adult books, and these adult romances are just as good.

Here's the cover for Falling From the Sky, as well as the synopsis:

Falling From the Sky by Sarina Bowen
Available now!

She's the woman he doesn't remember. He's the man she can't forget.

Bad boy Hank “Hazardous” Lazarus used to have everything: a gorgeous girlfriend, a career as a freestyle snowboarder and a spot on the US Olympic team. Nine months ago, after a bad crash in the half pipe, he woke up in the hospital, unable to move his legs. Now he’s landed there again, but gravity is not the culprit. With his family pressuring him to try a groundbreaking treatment, Hank self-medicates with too much tequila instead.

Doctor Callie Anders has the courage to restart a patient’s heart with a thousand volts of electricity, yet she’s afraid to risk her own. So she doesn’t confess to the clinic’s newest patient that they met just before the accident, an encounter that he doesn’t remember. Even as their friendship develops, she won’t admit she regrets turning down his dinner invitation, or that her heart stutters every time those inked shoulders roll through the door of the therapy department.

With another Vermont winter coming again, Hank needs a hand out from under the avalanche of his disappointments. If only Callie were brave enough to take the job.

Purchase the book... Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Sounds so good, right?? Well, it is. But you don't have to believe only me... here's some more praise for Sarina and Falling From the Sky:

"One of the highlights of my 2014 reading year." —Jane Litte at DearAuthor.com

"4.5 stars. Hank and Callie are an inspiration to love stories everywhere. HOT." — RT (Romantic Times) Book Reviews

"What a book! I’m always looking for different, inspiring, more in my books and Sarina Bowen delivers every time." — The Bookish Babe

"Sexy and heartwarming, Falling From the Sky is a story of redemption, trust and falling in love." — Mandi Schreiner of SmexyBooks

That cover is awesome, but it's only the beginning. Here are the covers for the series and their release dates:

If all that awesome doesn't convince you, here's an excerpt from Falling From the Sky:

“Hi,” Callie said softly. “I’m Doctor Anders. Or Callie, if you wish.”

“Callie,” he cleared his throat. “You look really familiar.”

That wasn’t what she had expected him to say. It would have been as good a time as any to mention that they’d met about ten minutes before his accident, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Who would want to be reminded of that afternoon? “I’ve been here all week,” she said instead. “But we don’t expect you to keep track of the dozens of people who prod you all day.”

“And all night,” he added.

She sat down on a stool next to his bed. “That’s my fault. I need to know that they’re looking at your vitals every three hours. It helps me sleep.” She winked, and was rewarded with half a smile. “Now, quick—before the room is invaded again by nurses’ assistants—how’s your pain? Is there anything you need?”

Hank lifted one hand to his face, and Callie was glad to see it. If his injury had happened farther up his spine, he wouldn’t have been able to do that. With his palm, Hank rubbed several days’ worth of whiskers, which only served to make him look more rugged, while he considered her question. “Let’s see…I need a full rack of Curtis’ ribs, with spicy sauce and a baked potato. And I need to get the hell out of this hospital.”

She nodded obligingly, even though she couldn’t fulfill any of those requests. But if he was talking about food and getting out of here, those were both good signs. “You’ll be transferring to a rehab facility soon.”

“Yeah,” he sighed. His gaze wandered again, his eyes aiming at the window.

“The rehab place will let you sleep through the night,” she said, keeping her voice light. “And you’ll have your own clothes. I hear the food is better, too.”

“Couldn’t really be worse,” he said, turning to face Callie again. His dark eyes locked onto hers, and Callie felt the moment stretch and take hold. He didn’t say anything more, but he didn’t have to. Silently, an understanding passed between them. It didn’t matter if the food got better. Hank Lazarus was in for a shitty time, truly the shittiest time of his life. The distance he’d come these past five days was a descent from the highest high to the lowest low. And there wasn’t a damned thing either of them could do about it.

“Hang in there,” Callie whispered. “This right here is the very worst part.”

He didn’t break their staring contest. “You promise?” he rumbled, his voice pure whiskey and smoke.

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February 5, 2015

Loving You is Easy by Wendy S. Marcus

Loving You is Easy by Wendy S. Marcus
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Publisher: Loveswept
Pages: 276
Series: n/a
Review Source: Netgalley

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

She’s a survivor of the front lines of politics. He’s a wounded soldier returning home from the battlefield. Can they place their trust in the power of love?

Nobody plays the role of perfect politician’s daughter better than quiet, respectable math teacher Brooke Ellstein. But she won’t be caught swimming with the sharks again, not after the son of a wealthy donor sinks his teeth into her and gets away with it. Still, political connections have their perks, such as heading up the governor’s “Support Our Troops” pen-pal initiative—and getting first dibs on the smoking-hot sergeant whose picture shakes her right down to her goody-two-shoes.

When corresponding with sweet, classy Brooke, Shane Develen instinctively hides his commando tattoos and blue-collar roots—and he can tell that she’s hiding something, too. But Shane knows he’s gained her trust when Brooke gives him a blisteringly sexy photo. Then he’s injured in an ambush and a fellow soldier posts the snapshot online. Overnight, Brooke’s reputation turns to ashes. Even though he’s totally wrong for her, Shane shows up on Brooke’s doorstep, determined to set things right—and discovers that right or wrong has nothing on the chemistry they share.
My Thoughts:
Loving You is Easy is one of those books that contains a lot of tropes. The ones I found include: the girl with a mysterious damaged past, the girl with family issues (bonus points: her father is in politics), the injured young vet fresh back from war, and the sex scandal. Now, if I see a book that is too much like every other book out there I get a bit cautious. There's a reason why tropes are tropes, though, and that’s because when they’re done well? They’re irresistible. In this case I loved the characters in Loving You is Easy and I adored the way the story played out. It was deeply emotional -- as in, I had actual tears streaming down my face several times. I could really feel for the characters and their circumstances.

Our main character Brooke is tough. She’s very determined and self-aware. Brooke falls in love with Shane and is willing to wait for him to be ready for the relationship. When Shane comes back from war injured she’s not scared of the situation and is willing to love and support him no matter what. As I mentioned, Brooke has had a hard time with her family, but she’s very strong and brave, distancing herself from a poisonous situation.

Shane first appears to be the typical good time guy, a guy’s guy, but since this is a romance novel, he’s definitely using bravado to cover up the major feels he’s feeling. He doesn’t think he’s good enough for Brooke, and it’s even worse when he comes back injured and his ego is bruised along with his body. On top of that he has PTSD and thinks of himself only as weak. Shane is actually dealing pretty well, considering he has no idea where his life is going now that his chosen career is over, and on top of that he’s dealing with the death of his best friend. He’s pretty strong, considering all of that, but Shane only sees the negative: the weakness of his leg and his vision, the nightmares he has, etc.

I really liked that Shane and Brooke had a background of writing letters and emails to each other for years. This gave them a real chemistry straight away that made sense. They knew each other’s deepest secrets, so it was logical that they worked so well together in person. I got a little angry at Shane constantly thinking he wasn’t good enough, but I liked that even when he was trying to push Brooke away he didn’t go into unforgivable territory. So often “heroes” do and say horrible things in the name of “saving” the woman they love, so I’m glad it didn’t go to that level.

Besides the romance, there’s also a whole side plot about sexy pics being leaked online, which actually turned out to be less of the story than I expected. It’s this huge mess of false accusations of Brooke, who is a middle school teacher, sexually abusing her students. I wasn’t sure how I liked the message overall, about the dangers of false reporting and why it’s so dangerous to use just witness testimony, and also how you automatically assume the guilt of the adult in these situations. It worked in the case of the book, but it seemed a dangerous topic to explore, considering how many actual abusers get off scott-free in situations like this. I was afraid this story line would go to the side when the romantic conflict came to the forefront, but I thought the way it was wrapped up was satisfactory, if a bit convenient.

I loved this story for the most part, and found both the main and secondary characters to be interesting. Brooke’s BFF is kind of insane, but I love their relationship. I’m sure we’re getting a book with her and Shane’s army buddy, considering they were pen pals as well, and had some crazy incident between them. I also thought Shane’s family was a hoot, with his mother being lovely and his one sister being absolutely crazzzy. Overall, recommended.

The Cover:
Not bad.


Purchase Links:
Kobo | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble

February 3, 2015

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Pages: 400
Series: n/a
Review Source: Netgalley

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.
My Thoughts:
Wow. If you’re looking for a beautifully written book, I suggest you check out I’ll Meet You There. When I first started this book I hadn’t read the description in a while, so I had forgotten that the love interest was a wounded veteran. Considering this character (and the related subject matter) the book got pretty deep and sad at times, but it was so well done.

As much as this is Skylar’s story (more on her later), this is also a book about Josh and his journey. Josh has a lot to deal with: the death of his friend, the loss of his leg, just being home, etc. That’s heavy stuff, but I feel like Heather Demetrios did his story justice and told it with respect. It’s not that I haven’t read books about similar scenarios (Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins comes to mind), but Josh himself felt unique and real. I was very moved by his character and his circumstances.

Skylar’s story was also tough to read about at times, and was sadly realistic. Her character deals with poverty, a deceased dad, and a mom with drinking problems. Skylar has had so much responsibility in her life for so long, and just when she thinks she’s getting out for college, things start going wrong. It was sad to read about, but I also liked that it put me out of my comfort zone.

I think what was tough about this book and what was great about this book at the same time is that both characters make bad decisions (or fail to make decisions). They both did things that drove me crazy. For instance, Josh doesn’t seem like a great person for Sky to rely on at times. On the other hand, Sky is often too willing to sit back and use her mom’s situation as an excuse. She’s almost too giving and doesn’t prioritize her own well being. These were great characters, they were flawed characters, and I empathized with and cheered for them even more because of that. I would also be remiss not to mention the chemistry between Josh and Sky. Woah. Like seriously. Major, major sparks.

There were so many other great things about this book, including the setting and the secondary characters. The motel setting was a lot of fun, especially with the themed rooms. The owner of the motel was an amazing character, a steady influence on both Josh and Sky.

I highly recommend I’ll Meet You There to all YA contemp fans, especially to those looking for a moving, meaningful story and an incredible romance.

The Cover:

[Strong 4/5]

Purchase Links:
Kobo | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | Chapters-Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


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