Thursday, July 27, 2017

Book Shelf: Fallen Flame (Fallen Flame #1) by J.M. Miller

Nineteen years ago, on the island kingdom of Garlin, a girl was born. With charred skin as rough as rock, Vala was instantly feared. For how could one be scorched by magic when it had perished ages before?

Recognizing an asset, the royal family welcomed her on their Guard. Her detail: the prince. To watch. To protect. She has grown with him, lives her life for him. 


When the high kingdom’s princess comes to assess the prince, assassins of rival courtiers come to claim his life. One nearly succeeds in his mission. But with shadowy movements and charred skin like her own, Vala knows he is not like the rest.


As threats to the prince continue and questions about Vala’s life begin to rise, she faces a fear worse than fire or water, worse even than losing him. 


She fears finding out who she truly is.


More info on Goodreads......


Review: 

Fallen Flame is J.M. Miller’s latest release and is a delightfully well told and engaging fantasy tale perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and Sarah J. Maas!

Nighteen year old Vala is a member of the Guard, tasked with protecting the prince of Garlin above all costs. Discovered alone as a baby, Vala is somewhat feared and ostracised for her mysteriously charred skin that is as rough as rock and burns like flame. No one knows her origins, but having grown with the prince, Vala wants nothing more than to protect Caulden, someone she cares for deeply. When the princess and queen of a neighbouring kingdom arrive in Garlin to explore the possibility of a political marriage, everything changes. An attempted assassination of the prince is only the beginning of a series of bizarre and mysterious events. The arrival of an enigmatic and determined stranger who may hold the key to Vala’s history and who seems to share the same afflictions as her may give Vala the chance to find out who she is. Yet with sinister forces working their way through the palace and with motives far from clear, will Vala be able to protect those she’s loyal to? Or will betrayal come in a form closer to home?

You know what? I was really impressed with Fallen Flame. It was a solidly written novel, cleverly paced and depicted with some unique and unseen mythology that has a lot of promise. Mixing together some wonderful fantasy elements, author J.M. Miller creates a very vivid and intriguing storyline that was highly entertaining.

Main character Vala is likeable and genuine and someone you honestly enjoy following. She has interesting relationships with those around her and I was very intrigued to see exactly what Vala is; something Miller holds tightly to the chest until the end of the novel. I give props to J.M. Miller for thinking outside the box and look forward to seeing her explore Vala’s abilities and heritage further.

Throughout the story there is action, excitement and even the smallest hint at romance thrown in, although the romance is at the very bare minimum and barely even worth mentioning. I think it’s more likely Miller will develop this down the track, but the hints are there for her to explore in the future, something I would be keen for.

A refreshing fantasy tale, Fallen Flame was a surprising and highly enjoyable story that J.M. Miller that leaves me ready and willing to read more and discover what happens next!

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by via Netgalley (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Independently published
Format: Kindle ebook via Netgalley
Release Date: June 19th 2017
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Final Thoughts: I was very impressed with this novel and can't wait for the next novel!




Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #187

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....
 
The Rattled Bonesby S.M. Parker
Releases on: August 22nd 2017
Add on Goodreads!
Unearthing years of buried secrets, Rilla Brae is haunted by ghostly visions tied to the tainted history of a mysterious island in this haunting novel from the author of The Girl Who Fell.

Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant.

Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about—if they know about it at all—due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community. All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there—an eerie presence anchored in the stormy sea. Now Sam’s work and the ghostly girl’s song lure Rilla to the island’s shores.

As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow—until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it’s a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla’s past.
Thoughts:
Oooooh. This looks like it could be a very creepy ghostly tale, something I tend to very much enjoy. Thought in some possible romance and I'm looking forward to this one coming out.
What do you think of The Rattled Bones? Is it something you would read?
And what are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Book Shelf: The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game #1) by Evelyn Skye

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


More info on Goodreads.....


Review: 

The Crown’s Game is Evelyn Skye’s debut novel and is a lush and lyrical tale set in a fantastical Russia and introduces readers to a dangerous game of magic where there can be only one winner.

Vika Andreyava is an enchanter, able to summon lightning and control water. She has trained all her life for the day when she will become the Imperial Enchanter, the Tsar of Russia’s most trusted advisor. Yet unbeknown to Vika, there is another…..For the first time in generations there are two enchanters born at the same time and in order to decide who should stand beside the Tsar, both Vika and her opponent must engage in a deadly test of abilities called the Crown’s Game in order to determine the winner. Nikolai Karimov has always known the day would come when the Crown’s Game would be called. Discovered as an orphan by a mysterious benefactor, Nikolai always knew he would have to fight for the chance to be the Imperial Enchanter. Nikolai has always known the fight would be to the death, but he never expected himself to be so drawn and enchanted by the girl who is for all intents and purposes his enemy. It doesn’t help that Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne is also bewitched by Vika and determined to discover her secrets. Though they are opponents in the most dangerous game of all, Vika and Nikolai are unable to deny the pull between them. Only one can win. Only one can survive, but with outside forces determined to invade Russia, having an Imperial Enchanter is no longer a desire, it’s a necessity and either Vika or Nikolai will have to pay the ultimate price…..

After getting off to a slow start, I came to very much enjoy The Crown’s Game. Evelyn Skye has taken Russian history and given it a unique and thrilling twisting, instilling within the story elements of danger, magic and even the perfect hint of romance. The Crown’s Game is beautifully told and lyrical, the writing taking on a fairy-tale like quality that helps give the story such a magical feeling.

Told in third person, The Crown’s Game follows a number of characters to give readers a well-rounded understanding of what is going on. Vika and Nikolai’s voices are understandably the strongest and most prominent given their importance and role within the novel. Personally I liked the majority of the characters and thought Skye did a great job bringing the story to life through their eyes. Everyone has such potential, although I do think Nikolai is shaping up to be my favourite character and I’m keen to see his development in the next novel.

Evelyn Skye throws the possibility of a love triangle into the works with both Nikolai and Pasha finding themselves drawn to Vika. Though I admit I could see where Skye was building and developing both relationships, I don’t necessarily think either boy knew her well enough to be “in love” with her. Attracted to, intrigued by, yes, but not necessarily love. Personally I think this seemed too forced—the idea of them being in love with her—it was too soon, too quick. That being said, I do like both Pasha and Nikolai, although I think Vika’s connection to Nikolai runs deeper.

The Crown’s Game is set in a luscious Imperial Russia and will sweep its readers to a land of danger and possibility. Filled with twists readers won’t see coming and featuring a spectacular ending, The Crown’s Game sees Evelyn Skye leave me keen to discover what happens to her characters next and easily leaves dying to pick up the sequel and conclusion The Crown’s Fate as soon as I can!

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by publisher (Thank you Holly!)
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP: $19.99
Release Date: 30th June 2016
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: I'm glad I finally got around to reading this book and am looking forward to reading the second and final book in this duology!


 
 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Release Blitz: The Gift by Margaret McHeyzer- Trailer & Teaser

Thanks to Give Me Books, I'm excited to help Margaret McHeyzer celebrate the release of The Gift, the first book in her The Butterfly Effect series! I'm currently reading The Gift and am looking forward to sharing my review with you all soon!
_______________________________


 



I have something people want. I have something they cannot take or steal. I have something they'd kill for.
The something I have, isn't a possession, it's more.
Much, much more.
It's a gift.
It's part of me.






Purchase The Gift for only $0.99 release day only:


NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER OF UGLY AND MISTRUST
**Write something worth reading**

I'm Margaret and I'm a self-published author.
Recently I was fortunate in obtaining New York Times best selling status on my YA/NA book - Ugly, and my YA book - Mistrust.

My last three books have been YA and I'm completely in love with the genre. I love being able to communicate with people through my words and stories.

My writing genres all differ, but the one thing I keep consistent is my heroines. All my female lead characters are strong, gutsy and not the 'perfect' woman. While my books all have romantic elements in them, they aren't just about the romance. They're about finding strength, acceptance and making life long connections.

I hope you enjoy my stories as much as I have while writing them.

Visit Margaret:

Keep an eye out for Book 2, The Curse coming 20th August 2017!
 
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Friday, July 21, 2017

Blog Tour: Trust by Kylie Scott- Excerpt & Trailer

Hello booklovers and welcome to the Blog Tour for Trust by Kylie Scott thanks to Inkslinger PR! Kylie Scott is already an author I love, but Trust is without a doubt her best book yet and easily a favousite of mine in 2017!

I hope you enjoy the excerpt and teasers I have to share with you today and all check out Trust as it's a YA/NA novel you don't want to miss!
_______________________________

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.


Add on Goodreads or check out my 5 star review!

Purchase:


From Trust.....

“You were going to give it up to Duncan Dickerson?” he sneered. “Are you serious?”

I halted, staring at him. This was not good. “How do you know about that?”

“Anders overheard you and Hang talking.”

“Bastard.”

“Well?” he demanded, acting all authoritarian. Idiot.

“To be fair, I didn’t know his last name was Dickerson,” I said. “That’s unfortunate. Though, I wasn’t actually planning on marrying him, so . . .”

“Not funny.”

I shrugged.

“You barely know the guy.”

“Um, yeah. None of your concern. We’re not talking about this.” How mortifying! My face burned bright. People should just gather around and cook s’mores. “I appreciate that we’re friends. You mean a lot to me. But this is going to have to fall under definitely none of your damn business, so go away please.”

“We’re talking about it.” He advanced a step.

“No we are not.” And I retreated.

“You were going to let a complete stranger touch you.” Advance.

Retreat. “People do it all the time. You do it all the time.”

“But you don’t,” he said, taking the final step, backing me up against the side of his car and getting all in my face. “Edie, this is your first time we’re talking about. Isn’t it?”

“Yes, and it’s going to be messy and painful and probably horribly embarrassing and I just want it over and done with.” I tried to meet his eyes but failed, settling for a spot on his right shoulder. “You’re not a girl; you wouldn’t understand. Also, last time I checked, you’re not the gatekeeper of my hymen, John Cole. So back the fuck off.”

He said nothing.

Deep, calming breaths. “Look, someday I’ll meet someone I really like and we’ll have a deep and meaningful relationship and go at it like bunnies. But I don’t want to be the dumb virgin in that scenario.”

He slowly shook his head.

“Also, I do not want to die a virgin.”

“What? What the hell are you talking about?”

“Hey, you and I both know death can occur at any time.”

“This is crazy.”

“I’m seeing a therapist!” I told his shoulder. “I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m a little bit messed up these days. It’s hard for me to trust people. That’s not going to change anytime soon.”

He screwed up his face at me. “Wha—”

“I’m just trying to be practical.”

“Well, you’re being ridiculous. None of this makes sense.”

“It does to me.”

Again, he said nothing.

In fact, he said nothing for so long that I finally looked him in the eye. The anger had left him, replaced by an emotion I didn’t recognize. Worst of all, he still smelled like summer. A little sweat and the open night air, everything I loved. Liked. I meant liked.

“What?” I said, finally.

He let loose a breath. “I’ll do it.”


TRUST by Kylie Scott (Official Book Trailer) from FILM 14 on Vimeo.


Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages.

She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.


Visit Kylie:

Trust is an absolutely beautiful novel. It's gritty and raw, romantic and passionate and perfect if you love Abbi Glines and Colleen Hoover. I LOVED IT and can't recommend it enough!

 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Book Shelf: Trust by Kylie Scott

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.


More info on Goodreads.....


Review: 


Trust is Kylie Scott’s first foray into the Young Adult genre and is nothing short of spectacular. Riveting reading from beginning to end, Trust is a delicious tale of first discoveries, love and friendship unfolding with real, harrowing and gritty moments that give this incredible story life.

Life is all about firsts; first love, first kiss….first time you’re held hostage as part of an armed robbery. All seventeen year old Edie wanted to do was buy snacks for a night of tv with her equally socially awkward best friend when she finds herself with a gun to her head in a convenience store. Held hostage by a drugged out madman, Edie barley escapes with her life thanks to the quick thinking of fellow teenager John who is also inside the store. With her attitude about life drastically altered, Edie decides to escape the snobbery at her private school and enrol in the local public high school, putting her in close proximity to John. Known for his history of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, John is desperately trying to turn his life around. John and Edie should be leagues apart, but as they bond over the traumatic experience they both endured, their strong friendship begins to blossom into something more, bringing them as close as two people can be. But with danger hanging over John, will Edie be drawn back into a dangerous situation she won’t be able to escape this time?

Largely known for her brilliant adult romances, I truly believe Kylie Scott has really outdone herself with Trust. There is really nothing I can say that will do this book justice, nor can I fault the way Kylie Scott has written this story. Trust was perfectly paced, featured teen characters who were relatable, believable and true, and managed to weave together all my favourite aspects of an authentic contemporary story dealing with hard hitting teen themes.

Though Trust is classed as a YA novel, I do think it’s more appropriately a NA tale, or at the very least an upper class YA as it does deal with some strong topics, includes some realistic violence and depicts sex scenes. That being said, Kylie Scott explores these topics so very beautifully and in an authentic, believable way. These teens felt real. They experienced emotions and insecurities all teenagers experience at some point or another; trauma, body issues, insecurity, uncertainty, embarrassment, sex, drugs, alcohol, relationships and betrayal---the whole kit and caboodle. It was there; Trust explored it and managed to do so through the eyes of a genuine down to earth seventeen year old girl who embodied so much of who today’s teenage girl really is.

Breaking away from your typical jock/cheerleader school dynamic or tales where the ‘plain Jane” still manages to entrance every boy she comes across, Edie does break the mold in the sense that she is what a lot of teenagers seem themselves as. She’s junk food addicted, awkward, chubby, bitter and somewhat jaded. She’s been bullied and betrayed, but as Trust unfolds Edie finds her own happiness amongst a great group of friends and thanks to a teenage boy who is determined to help her with all her “firsts” and who comes to adore her for all she is; seeing in her what Edie can’t seem to see in herself.

I mean John; John has been a “bad boy”. He’s dealt drugs and dabbled in his fair share of teen shenanigans, but in his final year of high school he’s determined to turn things around. He’s Edie’s savior during the robbery and quickly becomes a very focal point in her life as a friend, a confidant and eventually a lover. What I adored about John—aside from the fact Scott writes him as a fantastic specimen of a man—is that he cares so deeply for Edie. He’s a typical guy, but he’s also a loyal friend. He’s kind and protective of her and thinks the world of her. John thinks she’s hot and there’s nothing sexier than a man who adores his girl for everything she is.

So in saying that, I absolutely adored the relationship between John and Edie that Kylie Scott has written. They developed such a beautiful friendship on the back of a tragedy and managed to truly help each other. The kindness between them, seeing them really care…about the small things and the simple things with each other was wonderful to witness unfold. And then there’s the romance that develops.....

No spoilers where this is concerned as we all just knew it was going to happen, but that didn’t make the burning attraction any less addictive. The small touches and emotions that developed as they crossed the bridge from friends to lovers in an honest way was perfect and so alluring. Sex is messy and awkward and difficult under the best of circumstances, and Kylie Scott doesn’t shy away from making the intimate moments between Edie and John as realistic as possible. And props to her for writing Trust this way and being truthful in her writing. The sex scenes were sexy and appealing in their honesty and were perfect with the rest of the tone within the story.

Gritty and raw, Trust is a real beauty, perfect for those who love Colleen Hoover and Abbi Glines. Kylie Scott has created something wonderful with Trust and even though I’m sad to say goodbye to Edie and John, I will definitely revisit their story again and again…..

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by publisher via Netgalley (Thank you!)
Publisher: Published by author
Format: Kindle ebook via Netgalley
Release Date: July 18th 2017
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Final Thoughts: Without a doubt one of my favourite books of 2017 (possibly ever!) I can't recommend Trust enough!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Blog Tour: Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener- Excerpt & Giveaway

Hello everyone and welcome to the Blog Tour for Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener thanks to Xpresso Book Tours! Yesterday I posted my 5 star review of Amid Stars and Darkness and today I have an excerpt and giveaway to share. This book is something I definitely recommend.
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Delaney’s entire world is thrown into chaos after she is mistaken for Lissa Olena, an alien princess hiding out on Earth in order to escape an arranged marriage.

Kidnapped by the princess’s head bodyguard, Ruckus, and imprisoned in an alien palace, Delaney is forced to impersonate the princess until Olena can be found. If she fails, it will lead to an alien war and the eventual enslavement of the entire human race.

No pressure or anything.

Factor in Trystan, the princess’s terrifying betrothed who is intent on unraveling all her secrets, and her own growing feelings for Ruckus, and Delaney is in way over her head.

Get lost Amid Stars and Darkness, in this YA sci-fi romance from debut author Chani Lynn Feener.

Add on Goodreads or check out my review!

Purchase:
 From Amid Stars and Darkness.....

“Hold on to me,” he ordered against the crown of her head, bringing her up high enough so that she could wrap her arms around his neck. She hesitated and he shook her. “It’s either this or die here, Olena,” he hissed. “They will kill you.”

“Thanks, Captain Obvious.” They were shooting at them, after all. “I’m just not sure what makes you a safer option?”

Before he could respond, another round of gunfire when off, and Delaney’s panic spread. She linked her arms around his neck without further protest, her only thought on getting out of there intact. 

“Put your legs around my waist,” he asserted, and this time she didn’t hesitate. The second he was satisfied that she was secure, he pulled on the metal bar. 

“Activate extraction shield and pull us up, Fawna,” he said, and it took Delaney a second to realize he must have a communicator in his ear. A thin, see-through beam wrapped around them and the man still on the ground. It was green, and from the other side she saw the men shoot at it, bullets bouncing off as it hitting bulletproof glass. 

When they started rising, she yelped and tightened her arms and legs around him. She thought she heard him chuckle, but she couldn’t pull her eyes off the slowly receding ground to check. 

They were high enough now that she could see over the tops of the buildings, and more soldiers dressed in all black were approaching the mouth of the alley. She counted a dozen before stopping, not wanting to waste her time. Another black bar on a long silver string zipped past her head, and she watched it drop to hover over the guy who was firing on their attackers. 

Without looking, he reached up and grabbed on, yanking once before it started pulling him up toward them. He continued to fire his weapon, a gun she’d never seen before, the color of melted silver with a line of bright red lit up on its side. 

“Hurry it up, Fawna,” Ruckus growled. 

This time she did look up, and sucked in a deep breath. The ropes were being drawn into the underside of a large ship she hadn’t been able to make out from the ground. It reminded her a lot of a jet plane, except three times the size and with circular wings instead of sharp-tipped ones. It was black but had somehow been programmed to camouflage with the night sky. Stars winked back at her from its metallic surface as if really there. 

A bottom hatch opened up when they were only a few feet away, metal doors sliding to

the sides to expose a deep beige room. The ropes bringing them up were attached to the ceiling of this room, and instead of a crank rolling it, the line merely disappeared within the metal. 

“Oh, shit,” she repeated, vaguely recalling she’d already said that. She was so distracted by the gaping mouth of the alien ship she was headed toward, she didn’t noticed the green force field around them flickering and then disappearing. 

She totally felt the bullet that sliced through the side of her left arm, though. It was a searing sensation, like someone was branding her with a hot knife, and it shot bolts of fire that immediately spiked through her bloodstream. 

She cried out, saw a burst of red stain the white leather of her jacket, and had one last moment of panic before her vision winked out and everything went black. 

Want more? Get your copy today!

Chani Lynn Feener has wanted to be a writer since the age of ten during fifth grade story time. She majored in Creative Writing at Johnson State College in Vermont, and graduated in 2012. To pay her bills, she has worked many odd jobs, including, but not limited to, telemarketing, order picking in a warehouse, and filling ink cartridges. When she isn’t writing, she’s binging TV shows, drawing, or frequenting zoos/aquariums. Chani is the author of Amid Stars and Darkness and the teen paranormal series the Underworld Saga, originally written under the penname Tempest C. Avery. She currently resides in Connecticut, but lives on Goodreads.com.

Visit Chani:

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