When Death Draws Near {Litfuse}

When Death Draws Near

A Litfuse Book Review

When Death Draws Near {Litfuse}
About the book When Death Draws Near:

When Death Draws Near (Thomas Nelson, August 2016)

Death has always been part of Gwen Marcey’s job. But when faced with her own mortality, everything takes on a different hue.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs and homes when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky. The Eastern Kentucky town, located deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, has been plagued by a serial rapist and a series of unexplained deaths. Before Gwen can develop a composite drawing, the latest witness vanishes, just like all the previous victims.

Turning her attention to sketching the face of an unidentified body, she discovers a link between hisdeath and a Pentecostal serpent-handling church. Serpent-handling is illegal in Kentucky, and the churches have gone underground to avoid the authorities and continue to worship as they believe. Gwen is offered a handsome reward to infiltrate the renegade members, a reward she desperately needs as it seems her breast cancer has returned.

Joined by her digitally-obsessed, Generation Z daughter, Gwen goes undercover to a nineteenth century revival, planning to draw the faces of the snake handlers so they can be identified and arrested. Instead she uncovers a murderous plot and a festering evil.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2auSB8Y

About the author:

Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.


My thoughts on When Death Draws Near:

I really enjoyed this book.  I wasn’t sure at first.  Forensics is something I love and reading about medical and mysteries always has me hooked.  But, the snakes.  Y’all, I don’t like snakes.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  Those poisonous snakes give me the shivers even just reading about them.  I’m lucky my husband was home the night I read this book or I might have been checking my bed for rattle snakes.  Yikes!  
That makes you know it’s a great book though.  When the book world and your reality tend to melt together and you’re not sure if you are you any longer or if you’ve become the main character.  This is one of those books.  I was in the book.  My life was her life and boy did I not like all those snakes.
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Sweetness Unleashed Prize Pack

Sweetness Unleashed Prize Pack

In honor of the launch of Fetching Sweetness I’m participating in bringing you a great giveaway!  The sweetness unleashed prize pack is a great win for some lucky guy or gal!  Especially if you love pets.  And the book is wonderful.  Make sure to check out my review of the book as well as enter to win in the giveaway. 

A recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest can only be found in Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink. It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Retrieve a reclusive author’s valuable new manuscript and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent. But when the author’s canine companion, Sweetness, makes a break for it and Stephanie has to track Sweetness down, she meets Rhett Hastings. They’re in for a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Celebrate the release of Fetching Sweetness with Dana by entering to win the Sweetness Unleashed Prize Pack!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 24. The winner will be announced August 25 on Dana’s blog.

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Fetching Sweetness {Litfuse}

Fetching Sweetness

A Litfuse Book Review

Fetching Sweetness {Litfuse}

About the book Fetching Sweetness:

Fetching Sweetness (Harvest House, July 2016)

Standing between Stephanie and her dream is one hundred pounds of lovable trouble.

It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Meet up with Agnes Wharton in a small town in California, retrieve the reclusive author’s valuable new manuscript, and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent.

But Agnes’s canine companion, Sweetness, decides to make a break for it before Stephanie can claim her prize. Until Agnes has Sweetness safely back at home in Eagle Cliff, Washington, Stephanie will never set eyes on the manuscript she needs to make her dreams come true.

When Stephanie tracks the runaway mutt to a campground, she meets Rhett Hastings—a man also on the run from a different life and a costly mistake. Rhett agrees to help Stephanie search for the missing dog . . . thus launching a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Once Sweetness gets added to the mix, it’s a recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2auLee3

About the author:

Dana Mentink lives in California, where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third and fourth grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with her husband, two daughters, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.


My thoughts on Fetching Sweetness:

This book is so cute!  I expected a dog to steal the show in the book but the characters are complex as well.  The dog is even more complex than I thought.  And the author that Stephanie is trying to track down.  Wow.  Just wow guys.  That author needs some serious help.  Oh and poor lil ol Sweetness, or should we call him big behemoth Sweetness?  Either way he’s super sweet and has a thing for spatulas.  He would not get along well in my house as I use my spatulas too much and would never surrender them to him.
I love the adventures that Stephanie and Rhett have as well as Rhett’s sister Karen.  I personally cannot believe that Rhett thinks he can make everything right with his sister by bringing in her old flame.  That just makes no sense to anyone but him.  He needs some eye opening.  And he does get it to be sure.  But so do Stephanie and even sweet Karen.  
Oh and you’ll meet Panny.  Trust me, you’re going to want to meet her.  And the crazy feral cat.  Not to mention the tiny helpless baby bunny.  It seems caring for stray animals is their lot in life.  Or maybe the not so stray animals. . . . is Sweetness the right Sweetness?  And why does a crazy lady keep calling them?  Oh yeah, you need to read this book. 
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Lark by Julane Hiebert {Book Review}

Lark by Julane Hiebert


Lark by Julane Hiebert

Book Two in the Brides of a Feather trilogy

From the first page to the last, Julane Hiebert’s Lark is a complete delight. From memorable characters that you will fall in love with to a love story that kept me guessing and rooting for the couple at the same time, this novel is one I won’t soon forget. I couldn’t put it down! Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy for a fabulous summer escape!
—Kathleen Y’Barbo, award-winning author of Firefly Summer

Can one wrong turn put Lark’s life on the right pathway?

Lark Wenghold hates Kansas, gets queasy around small humans, and has vehemently declared she has no intention to marry. Ever. However, to honor her papa’s dictum that the Wengholds never go back on their word, she consents to travel to Kansas to be present at the birth of her sister’s first child.

Her obligatory adventure begins when she hurriedly boards the train to Kansas, hoping to thwart Albert Harvey’s uninvited company. On the wrong train, going the wrong direction, and with a family of six children as seatmates, Lark is forced to face challenges that heretofore were her worst nightmares. Within a few short days of arrival in Cedar Bluff, Kansas, Lark’s ordered world begins spinning out of control.

While in a dark cellar of fear and despair, will Lark finally accept that God’s plans are better than hers?



Julane is first of all a child of God. She is also a wife to Bob, mother to two living sons,Kip and Rob, two daughters in heaven, two wonderful daughters-in-law, Becky and Tami, and grandmother to six perfectly wonderful grands, as well as an additional three ‘other grands’. She lives with her husband in a wee cottage by a small lake nestled in the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas.

Though encouraged by many to pen the story of raising two daughters with an incurable disease, she has chosen to incorporate the lessons learned into the lives of her not-too-perfect characters. Her passion is to present the promises and hope found in God’s Word in down-to-earth, everyday experiences through her stories.

Julane loves reading, decorating, junking, antiques, and chocolate! No particular order, but one would be safe to insert chocolate between all other interests.


My thoughts:

Lark is the second book in the Brides of a Feather series.  You can find my review of Robin on my blog also.  You don’t have to read them in order, but things will make much more sense if you do.  I recommend reading all of this book series of course because it’s wonderful!!

I loved reading Robin so I knew I was going to love Lark as well(and I’m dying to read Wren).  The author has a great way with words that makes you feel like you’re actually there.  That Lark is real and you feel you know her and her struggles become your own.  It’s a gift and makes reading so much more enjoyable.

Lark doesn’t want to go out to Kansas to stay with her sister.  She doesn’t like Kansas.  She definitely doesn’t know anything about babies and yet that’s why she’s going.  Robin is expecting and requested Lark to come.  Lark would much rather stay and teach at the girls school she works at.  She loves the safety and security of her piano and the school.

Instead, Lark goes to Kansas.  Well maybe.  Eventually.  Instead of getting on the train for Kansas she gets on a train bound for Omaha on accident as she’s intent on avoiding a suitor.  On the train to Omaha she finds herself helping with six children and, gasp, using her unmentionables to clean up a soiled diaper as well as sick children.  Not what she envisioned for herself and definitely something she’d never done before!  She also becomes friends with the mother of the children who insists she stay with her until they can find out how to get Lark to Kansas as planned.

Unfortunately, things take another unexpected turn when they learn that Lark’s new found friend has lost her husband in a barn fire.  Her husband’s boss is now going to send her to live with Lark at her uncle’s as said Uncle John is a friend of his from the war when he saved John’s life.  Wow.  I couldn’t have made that up if I tried.

Once we get to Kansas Lark finds she does like her suitor(Albert) but he can’t seem to decide if he still wants to pursue her or pursue the recently widowed mother of six instead.  And that’s just the beginning of all the twists and turns!

Next thing you know Lark’s professor from the school she taught at shows up determined to make her his wife through whatever means necessary.  Will he succeed?  Why are the six children scared of him?  Will Albert figure out which woman he loves?  Will Lark survive?  Oh yes, there is suspense, and romance too of course.  Plus we say hi to Robin again and she does have her baby.

Great read!  Make sure to get your copy today!  And don’t forget about Robin and Wren coming soon!


I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced in anyway.

My Father’s House {Litfuse}

My Father's House {Litfuse}
About the book My Father’s House:

My Father‘s House (March 2016)

Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to one constant — her father‘s love.

But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning. There begins Lily’s struggle to find herself and the life she’s lost. . . . Marriage promises fulfillment, but her happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Her husband’s sophisticated façade hides a brooding man with even darker secrets.

When all illusions shatter, Lily must make hard choices — abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she’s meant to be . . . in her father‘s house.

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/217Bvib

About the author of My Father’s House:

Rose Chandler Johnson is the author of the award winning devotional God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments. My Father‘s Houseis her first novel. She happily makes her home near Augusta, Georgia.

My thoughts:
I have to admit this book took some time to get into.  I started to read it, put it down, picked it back up, put it down, etc.  I finally plunged in, sat, and read the book.  Of course, having 10 children it did have to be put down at times.It  took me a few days to complete the entire book.  But, once I got through the first few chapters I really started to be interested and want to know what was left to come.
I began to want to find out how Lily was doing, what she was thinking, why in the world did she do that?!  And of course I was not happy when she married a man she really didn’t know.  I kept saying surely she’ll listen.  But of course she doesn’t.  That would have ruined the story.
Her journey to find who she was and who she wants to be is one that is going to capture you.  Stick with this book and you’re going to see some of yourself.  We’ve all had feelings of insecurity.  We’ve all felt lost and alone at times.  Whether you’ve had the major issues she did or not, you will be able to see some of yourself and commiserate.  Great read!
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Medical Judgment {Litfuse Review}

Medical Judgment {Litfuse Review}
About the book Medical Judgment:

Medical Judgment (Abingdon Press, May 2016)

Dr. Sarah Gordon lost her husband and daughter. Now she’s about to lose her life.

After losing the two people she loved the most, Sarah Gordon doesn’t think life could get worse. But, after a fire in her garage is ruled an arson, she begins to realize someone is after her—and that person wants to see her dead. But first, they want to see her suffer.

Her late husband’s best friend, Kyle Andrews, and a recovering alcoholic detective, Bill Larson, are trying to solve the mystery before it’s too late, and they’re both trying to win her heart, too. Not only does Sarah feel torn between two men, she also feels as though she cannot trust anyone.

With creepy threats that become more and more sinister, Sarah finds herself in constant fear, but even the best home alarm technology won’t protect her. Who is doing this, and why are they after her?

Purchase a copy of Medical Judgment: http://bit.ly/1PjHaAz

About the author:

Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician who writes “medical suspense with heart.” His novels have won multiple awards: a semifinalist for International Thriller Writers’ debut novel; finalists for the Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and Romantic Times’ Reader’s Choice Award; and both finalist and winner of the Selah Award. He and his wife live in Frisco, Texas.

My thoughts:
I love this book!  I love this author.  Seriously.  Richard Mabry’s new book Medical Judgment is a fast paced action packed edge of your seat kind of a read.  You won’t be able to put it down.  I couldn’t!  I had to know what was going to happen.  And really.  Umm I don’t want to tell you who the bad guy is, but that one was a toughie!  I didn’t figure it out for the longest time.  Loved it.  So so much loved it.  I’ve already passed the book on and it’s being enjoyed by others as well.  Make sure to request a copy from your library or purchase your own.  While you’re at it make sure to check out his other books as well. 
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The Glass Castle {TOS Crew Review}

You know I love to read.  It’s hereditary.  My mom loves to read and reads a lot too.  My children are also becoming avid book readers.  A book we’ve recently enjoyed is The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins.  It was a review book through the TOS Crew thanks to Shiloh Run Press.


The Glass Castle {Shiloh Run Press Review}

Reading has come easily to me.  My two older children it seemed like boom one day they took off and since I haven’t been able to keep their noses out of a book!  My older boy devoured all the Magic TreeHouse books so quickly I couldn’t keep them coming in the house fast enough!  I knew he was going to like The Glass Castle because it’s an action/adventure fantasy type book along the same lines.  It reminds me of The Chronicles of Narnia as well which is a family favorite around here!

This is a hardcover book which bumps it up a notch in my estimation because hardcover books last longer in my opinion as they are harder to tear up in this house of many children.  It isn’t exceptionally long with 256 pages and 41 chapters on the short side.  The chapters aren’t long so your child can read just one at a time and not have issues or they can read the whole book in a day. . .   That is what my oldest did!  She loves to read and once she picks up a good book she doesn’t want to put it down.

The Glass Castle {TOS Crew Review}


My oldest daughter was the first to read the book.  She’s 11.  The target range for the book is 10-14.  My 9 year old son read it next and it was definitely still an easy read for him.  They’re both around a 4th/5th grade level.  After they had both finished reading the book, we used it as our newest read aloud for supper time.  This is when we like to read as a family and then discuss what has happened in the book.  It’s a great time for all!

While this is an awesome and wonderfully written book, it is also a cliffhanger. You’re going to want to read the next book in the series as soon as you finish this one.  But you can’t.  It’s not out yet!  This caused much distress for my kids as they don’t like to wait for the next book in a series to come out.  I can’t blame them.  Once the author has you so thoroughly immersed in the characters you have to find out what happens to them.  They are a part of you and you can’t let go!!

You find yourself wanting to know what happens to all the 13 year olds.  Does the queen kill them?  Is the prince found?  What about Henry? Within this glass castle is a group of children.  All are age thirteen.  They elect a king who appoints an adviser and a queen.  What does Avery know of being a queen?

If you’d like to read the book you can get your own copy for $12.99 currently.  It’s available in hardcover, ePub, and Kindle.  The second book in the series is due out in October I believe and my children are already marking it on their calendar so we can make sure and get it as soon as it’s released. 

Want to learn what other families thought of this great book?  Check out all the reviews on the Main TOS Crew Review Blog.  We’re all different with different reading styles and likes so I’m sure you’ll find someone you can relate to!  You can also find Shiloh Run Press and The Glass Castle through Barbour Publishing on Facebook and Twitter.


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Sister Eve and the Blue Nun {Litfuse Review}

Sister Eve and the Blue Nun {Litfuse Review}
About the book:

Sister Eve and the Blue Nun (Thomas Nelson, May 2016)

After a murder at the monastery, Sister Eve may need a miracle if she is to prove a dear friend isn’t a cold-blooded killer.

Sister Eve, a motorcycle-riding nun with a natural (or is it supernatural?) gift for solving murders returns to the enclave she once called home and quickly finds herself confronting yet another mysterious death.

Someone has poisoned Dr. Kelly Middlesworth—a researcher on the life and ministry of 17th-century’s revered “Blue Nun”—and a set of irreplaceable historic documents have disappeared before they could even be examined.

When all evidence seems to point to the victim’s brother, Sister Eve sets out to expose the killer and learn the explosive truth those missing manuscripts might contain.

Chasing a killer is dangerous work, and as her two worlds collide, Sister Eve may need some heavenly help simply to survive.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1OJcymF

About the author:

Lynne Hinton is the New York Times bestselling author of Friendship Cake and Pie Town. A native of North Carolina, she received her undergraduate degree from the U.N.C. at Greensboro and her Masters of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. She also studied at Wake Forest University and the NC School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking. She has served as a chaplain with hospice and as the pastor of Mount Hope United Church of Christ and First Congregational United Church of Christ, both in North Carolina. Lynne is a regular columnist with The Charlotte Observer. She lives with her husband, Bob Branard, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

My thoughts:
This is the third book in this series and it’s quite the series!  A nun who is also a detective.  She’s had family issues, she’s lived a unique life.  And now her life gets even more complicated when she’s trying to decide if she wants to remain a nun or not.
Her home has been changed so that the sisters can no longer live there.  Which would make her move further away from her father who she’s been caring for.  It also adds another dimension to her dilemma of whether to stay a nun or not. 
While she’s back in her nun environment for a seminar her friend’s (a monk) sister is killed. She’s poisoned the night before she’s going to give a big speech and discovery of ancient papers concerning a nun known as the blue nun who happens to be a favorite of our Sister Eve and the professor who’s killed.  But who killed her?  Can Sister Eve find the real killer before her friend the monk is found guilty for a crime he didn’t commit.  Can she keep herself alive?  And maybe find a love of her own too?
Great read!!  Request a copy for your local library and definitely give this one a read.  It’s suspenseful and will keep you guessing while you’re on the edge of your seat!
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A Daughter’s Dream {Litfuse Review}

A Daughter's Dream {Litfuse Review}
About the book A Daughter’s Dream:

A Daughter’s Dream (Avon Inspire, May 2016)

A young teacher and farmer discover they have much in common, especially when it comes to healing old wounds from the past . . . and finding love in one another.

Rebecca Kinsinger has always dreamed of being a teacher. But when she’s given the opportunity she’s been waiting for at Charm Amish School, she’s dismayed to discover that teaching is hard work—work she’s afraid she’s not very good at.That is, until Lilly Yoder joins the class. A thirteen-year old who’s just lost her parents, Lilly is in need of someone like Rebecca. For the first time since starting her new job, Rebecca feels a sense of purpose. But when she meets Lilly’s uncle, Jacob, his good looks and sweet, easy-going temperament are hard to ignore. How can she even entertain romantic thoughts of Jacob when his niece is her student?Suddenly becoming Lily’s sole caregiver, Jacob Yoder never thought he’d be a single parent—or a farmer. Having been living in Florida as a carpenter, Jacob feels more at home wielding a hammer than a backhoe. The only bright spot in his life is Rebecca Kinsinger. As Lily and Rebecca develop a bond, Jacob’s fondness for the pretty teacher grows, too.

But when a fateful accident brings them together, Rebecca and Jacob must choose between duty and desire. Will they follow the path before them? Or set out to find true happiness . . . and true love?

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/20vVAye

About the author of A Daughter’s Dream:
Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
My thoughts:
I loved the first book that brought us to Charm and I can’t wait to read the next one as well!  This book the second in the series was no disappointment either.  I enjoyed getting to know Rebecca better and learning more about what she dreamed of in life.
The problem is when she’s given the chance to pursue her dreams she begins to realize that maybe it wasn’t really her dream after all.  Can she find out what her true dream is?  What she really wants to do with her life?  
When a new teenager comes to school while Rebecca is helping out and she meets said girls uncle her world becomes even more turned upside down.  Can she make a decision about love when she can’t even decide where she wants to work or what path is right for her?
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Anchor in the Storm {Litfuse Review}

Anchor in The Storm {Litfuse Review}
About the book Anchor in the Storm:

Anchor in the Storm (Revell, May 2016)

One plucky female pharmacist + one high-society naval officer = romance-and danger

For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg’s attentions only annoy—even if he is her brother’s best friend.

During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves—and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions for sedatives Lillian has filled? The two work together to answer that question, but can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?

Sarah Sundin brings World War II to life, offering readers an intense experience they won’t soon forget.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1YFAtJ9

About the author of Anchor in the Storm:
Sarah Sundin is the author of Through Waters Deep, as well as Wings of the Nightingale and the Wings of Glory series. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist’s mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force. Sarah lives in California.
My thoughts:
I am a fan of Sarah Sundin and of the WWII era.  I deeply enjoyed this book and love the suspense!  I’m loving this series and cannot wait until the next book in the series comes out.
Journey back in time to WWII on our own Eastern shores where danger was still lurking and even being in the city didn’t mean you were safe.  Spies abound and danger could be just around the next corner.  Oh and you also might run into a charming pharmacist with a fake leg.  Watch out for that one!  She’s much tougher than she looks.  
I loved getting to know Arch better as you’re introduced to him in a previous book in the series.  And of course, there are some great medical facts in the book which make me love the author even more.  Check out prosthetic eyes too guys before you read the book.  The information might come in handy.
Lillian is brave and strong and wants to prove herself worthy of her degree as well as a patriot to her country.  But can she do it once her boss thinks she’s inferior due to her prosthetic?  Can she earn his respect and make changes around the store to make it more inviting?  But most importantly can she escape the drug ring going on with her life?  Check it out and make sure to request a copy of the book in your local library!
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