October 1, 2014

Gone Girl {Book to Movie}

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Coming October 3rd, 2014

Movie Synopsis
On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne reports that his wife, Amy, has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick's portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?
Book Synopsis
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 
My Thoughts
When I read the book I was amazed by how twisted it was. I really had no idea what was really happening and could never have imagined a book like this. Maybe because I don't know anyone as psycho as Amy Dunne. This movie is rated R for good reason. It is only appropriate for adults. The film has Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore,  Profanity, and Frightening and Intense Scenes (all of this is from the Parent's Guide on IMDB). So you are warned and can judge for yourself if this movie is for you.

Gillian Flynn
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What is amazing about her is not only did she write this astonishing book, she wrote the screenplay as well. You don't see the author of the book write the screenplay for the movie very often. Congratulations Gillian Flynn!

Ben Affleck playing {Nick Dunne}
Well we all know who Ben Affleck is and he has been in so many movies I can't name them all. But some of my favorites are: "Dazed and Confused", "Good Will Hunting", "Pearl Harbor" and "Argo". He is currently working on "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"

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Rosamund Pike playing {Amy Dunne}
Rosamund has been in many movies also. Some of her well known films are: "Pride and Prejudice", "Jack Reacher" and "Wrath of the Titans". She is currently working on "Return to Sender".

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Neil Patrick Harris playing {Desi Collins}
Neil Patrick Harris is also well know to everyone. He has been in many movies, TV shows and Broadway plays. He is most known for his work on: "How I Met Your Mother", and "Doogie Howser, M.D."

Director David Fincher

book to movie, 2014, Gillian Flynn
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Wow David Fincher is a huge director. This movie is sure to have a good result. David is known for so many movies you will know like: "Se7en" , "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", "The Social Network", "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", "Panic Room", "Fight Club" and   "Zodiac"

Movie Trailer
Check out this movie trailer and go see the movie October 3rd.

If you liked this Book to Movie check out our other Book to Movie Posts:
The Giver
If I Stay
The Maze Runner

New Ending??
Author Gillian Flynn wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Gone Girl, which is exciting enough—but she also made it known that, in order to keep fans of the book on their toes, the ending in the movie will be different. Although it usually bothers me when film adaptations diverge too far from a book’s plot, I’m intrigued by this one, since it’s coming from the same brilliant, twisted mind that originally wrote the book—what a treat! And, whether or not you loved the novel’s shocking, controversial ending (and there are many who will argue passionately both for and against it), you have to admit that watching for the movie’s divergence from it is going to be quite enjoyable—particularly if the book is fresh in your mind.

I thought I would throw in this picture of me in front of Random House in New York City and their giant poster of "Gone Girl". This was in the summer of 2012. Sorry it's such a grainy picture it was taken at night.

Leave your own movie review in the comments. I want to know what you think of the Book to Movie.

See you at the movies... xoxo

September 30, 2014

Decorating tips and book club ideas for: Ruin & Rising

"Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. 
But what's inside you? That's steel. 
It's brave and unbreakable. And it doesn't need fixing." 

 Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising) 

Here are some decorating ideas if you decide to host a RUIN & RISING book club.
We were inspired by the LIGHT in this book, mainly from Alina who's a sun summoner Grisha.

Sunburst, sun summoner
This books Moderator Angie (pictured above) took it upon herself to find every sun burst mirror and decoration possible to decorate with and I think she succeeded! 
Sunburst Christmas decorations from Pier 1
Antiqued starburst mirror on the left from Hobby Lobby
Large mirror in the center from Gordmans
Small sunburst mirrors (pack of 3) from Kohls 
Mid size sunburst mirror top right (similar) from Target
Book club ideas, sunburst
The large GORGEOUS sunburst mirror above the fireplace was borrowed from a fellow book club member
sunburst, book club ideas
White lights were strung everywhere to make the room glow bright
sunbust, book club ideas
Angie had some gold lamé fabric that she used to swag on the fireplace to add richness and depth to the overall look.
book club ideas for ruin and rising

You can't throw a Grisha party without a few antlers! Luckily for me, my husband is a hunter and tends to have antlers laying around in our garage at any given time. 

Before we started our discussion, Angie asked all of us to enter our names into a random drawing for a change to win the stunning sunburst necklace!
Angie found this necklace on Zulily but unfortunately it's no longer available.
BUT, you can find the necklace I'm wearing HERE 

Angie about to announce the winner of the necklace

Then it was time to Skype with Leigh so we could get all of our burning questions answered, like whatever became of Oncat? 
Seriously, we were wanted to know.

author chat, Q&A with leigh bardugo

We had the most wonderful time throwing one of our book parties for "Ruin and Rising" because Leigh makes it so easy for us to be inspired!

A big, BIG thank you to Leigh for taking the time to Skype with us and answer all of our questions from silly to serious and we look forward to reading your next series (The Dregs) when it releases in 2015!
And a huge thank you to Angie (our very own sun summoner) and Jen for creating the magic and beauty you just witnessed. You girls are amazing! 

From Ruin & Rising

Antiqued starburst mirror on the left from Hobby Lobby
Large mirror in the center from Gordmans
Small sunburst mirrors (pack of 3) from Kohls 
Mid size sunburst mirror top right (similar) from Target
Sunburst necklace I'm wearing HERE 

September 29, 2014

Food ideas for: Ruin & Rising

"I didn’t plan for the meals (in my books) to be symbolic, but food is never incidental. The act of cooking for people, of breaking bread with friends is so important. Even something like sugar and the rationing of it turned into an important social moment for Alina in the books." 
-Leigh Bardugo in an interview with The Midnight Garden on June 9th, 2014

Let our food journey into Ruin and Rising begin...
the midnight garden
Photo from The Midnight Garden 
I wish I had the pleasure of taking Leigh out to lunch to gab about books and food!
A few decorative touches before the food starts to arrive

Roasted firebird
"Roasted Firebird"
You can't beat the roasted chickens at Costco and  the mushrooms in cream sauce was heavenly spread over top!
We had good intentions of trying to make Elle Jauffret's beautiful WHITE CATHEDRAL CROQUEMBOUCHE (see photo below) but time got the better of us and we had to come up with Plan B to make it happen. Plan B consisted of stacking cream puffs as high as we could manage before drizzling them in caramel and chocolate syrup. 

Please don't judge Elle's stunning creation by our version but at least we had good intentions right?
Sorry Elle, one day I will make it!
Elle Jaufret, white cathedral, croquembouche
Dish: Croquembouche made with “cavernous” and filled cream puffs.
Filling: fig crème patissière, rose crème patissière, almond crème patissière.
Find this AMAZING recipe on Elle's website!
quote about light and dark

Food Links:


September 26, 2014

Ruin and Rising interview with Leigh Bardugo {WARNING: Juicy Spoilers!}

We had such a blast throwing our Shadow and Bone book club party last fall that we couldn't resist reading Ruin & Rising this year to finishing out the series. We asked Leigh if she would consider Skyping with us again and she graciously said Yes! (we all did our happy dance when we first saw her beautiful face pop up on the screen!) We chatted and giggled with Leigh for over an hour and got all of our burning questions answered and even a few tid bits of info we promised not to reveal. Sorry guys, you'll just have to wait and see what Leigh has up her kefta when she decides to share all her book secrets but I promise, you'll be happy!

Here's some of the questions we asked Leigh and her answers:

Q: You told us last time, there would be a character that took after David Bowie. Who were you thinking? 
A: Sturmhond/Nikolai (you would notice more from Siege and Storm)

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Q: We were fascinated with the character Nikolai! But we were sad that he didn't get a hottie at the end of the book. Will we ever see more from Nikolai? A short story or book from his perspective?
A: If I write about Nikolai, it will most likely be a full book, actually. I'm not swearing to it, but . . . (she may have shared some more details here, like a possible title **hint, hint** but our lips are sealed!)

Q: We've heard about this new project you're working on. Can you tell us more about The Dregs?
AOn the map from Siege and Storm or Ruin and Rising, you will see the country of Kerch. While the rest of the world has been in turmoil, Kerch has prospered. It is this neutral country, a great trading power and hyper-capitalist society. It is the jewel of all art and culture. And just like it is the hub of all legal trade, it is also the hub of illegal trading - with a thriving criminal underworld, where all of my heroes come from, of course. I like to describe it as Oceans 11 meets Game of Thrones. Its a rag-tag band of largely despicable characters who have to pull off an impossible heist. 
It's two books and the first one should be out the end of 2015.

Q: Will we ever know where Alina came from and her power? We know Mal came from the Morozova's line, but she's just a huge questions mark for us.
AWhat's interesting about Alina's power is that it's different, but it isn't actually that big. If you remember from Shadow and Bone, it's actually an issue. She's a powerful Grisha, but she isn't as powerful as the Darkling. She knows without the first amplifier she can't enter the fold. So in some ways she's an ordinary Grisha, but she's also an extraordinary one. I have Alina's origin story written down just so I would know. I just thought it was important not to wrap it all up in a bow. I know there's this desire to look at destiny and it's one of the things that Alina falls into - the classic thing in fantasy where everyone falls into this idea that "everyone is chosen". I wanted to play with the idea of "don't tell me I just happened". I wanted there to be possibility. Maybe someday I'll write more of her story, but I don't know. I have a lot of stories to tell.

Q: When Alina and Mal's powers left them at the end, did Alina create a new kind of  Grisha or were they Sun Summoners, like she was or something combined with what they old Grisha power was?
ANo Grisha becomes a Sun Summoner. All the ordinary people are the ones who become the new Sun Summoners. If the amplifiers had been brought together by a tide maker, then it would have created a bunch of tide makers. Morozova wanted to bridge the gap between the Grisha and everyone else.

Q: The sea whip and the stag: did they have that dual life (like Mal who, when he died, he let go of the extraordinary life he had, and become ordinary)?
ANo, this is something I could have done a little bit better, but it was this game of trying to reveal what Morozova was doing without revealing everything. If you look back to all the references of his journals, you see that he killed animals and brought them back - that's the way create an amplifier. Then he chose these extraordinary animals (not like some arbitrary rabbit you find on the side of the road) that he brought back to life with Morozova's power/magic.

Q: When you started writing the trilogy, did you know then who or what the three amplifiers would be or did you figure that out along the way.
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ANo. I  when I started book one, no. I didn't plan on it being three books. I had never written a book before. My only goal was to finish this book (I had started many books before and never finished).  About halfway through the book, I realized that the ending I had come up with was wrong - that it was a bigger story - and that there was a larger arch at play, this girl's journey didn't last this short period of time. So I started taking notes and when I signed with Jo (my agent) she said she got the feeling like this wasn't just one book and I told her I pictured it as a trilogy. So she said we would just go with that and luckily, Macmillan wanted all three books. But we had to submit a synopsis fro books two and three. So I used my notes and I came up with a synopsis and I turned them in. While my editor had book one, I was on a shoot in upstate New York, and I decided to revise my outlines. At the time there were three amplifiers, but there were at lot of things that were different. I'm sorry for those that didn't have read all the books yet, but Nikolai originally died in Siege and Storm, (**We all gasped we she said this**). I know . . . He was going to be murdered by Vacily and Alina was going to be framed for it.There was originally a split POV between Mal and Alina. And there were three ordinary amplifiers. The final showdown took place at the Grand Palace. When I went through this long walk in the snow for like 2-3 hours, and I was like, "NO!" I rewrote the two books on this long walk, went home and changed the outlines and sent them to Macmillan. Nothing changed after that. But it was during that walk that I realized that Mal was the third amplifier and when I started building out Morozova's history. And it's whe i got a better sense for what the arch of the story was going to be.

I went to this conference at DragonCon and there was this panel on morally ambiguous characters in Harry Potter. There was this lively debate about Snape and about Dumbledore and Percy. The thing that was interesting to me is that I think there is this desire among readers, myself included, to believe that Authors have it all mapped out, like they know everything from moment one. I just don't think its true. I don't think the Queen, JK Rowling, had it all mapped out. So, yes, I will confess that I didn't have it all mapped out. But I did always know the way it would end. That would never change.

Q:  So about Oncat (Harshaw's cat), we were wondering if at any point during your writing process if Oncat had something sinister behind him.  One of us thought that he might have been spying on them for the Darkling . . .
A: (lots of laughing) I think that is the best question I have ever had!! No, Harshaw was just nuts! Oh my Gosh, I love that - the cat was behind all of it! That's great!

Q: Did you have a favorite character?
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AI know it sounds obnoxious, but I love all of them. It kind of came over the course of the books to have a soft spot for everybody. I think Genya arch for me was one of the most important in the series for me - she's really near and dear to me. Her story has been really important to me and its the story that I get the most touching email about. She's one of my favorites. I have to say that in book three, my favorite character to write was Zoya. It's funny, I love her so much. She's such a b****. And I really enjoyed somebody who could be a good guy and a hero and also just awful. I am just with you, Zoya. We are kindred spirits because that would be me. I would be like, "I want a nap, I want a glass of wine, I want everybody to shut up, and don't talk to me." Yeah. In fact, I just got a new car and I named it Zoya. 

Q: If you had to chose one guy from the Grisha trilogy that you could have a happily ever after with, who would you chose?
AOkay, this is going to sound crazy, but Tolya. Because he is sweet and loyal. He's tall, tough, and loves poetry - like a jock who loves poetry. Admittedly, he's a religious fanatic, but for me, Tamar and Tolya's faith was important for me to present in a positive way and I feel like I would be fine with him being like, "I gotta go take care of my Saint right now." I just really love Tolya. He's just not as much of a pain in the butt as everyone else. He just doesn't spend as much time brooding and moping and trying to save the world. He's just doing his job.

Q: Where are the film options at right now or do you know?
AWhat I do know I'm not really allowed to talk about. They make you sign these insane disclosure documents that basically say, "If you speak about this publicly, we will sue you." and stuff like that. I get asked all the time about casting and I try to skirt around it by saying, "A young this or and young that." Yeah, I don't really know. We'll see.

Q: Will you be involved in the movie?
AWell, I met David Heyman (owns Heymaker Films, who bought Harry Potter). He asked how much I wanted to be involved. I was like, "How much will you let me be?" Contractually, they have no obligation at all to involve me. I know there is a screen play, but they have not let me read it yet.

Q: Last time we Skyped with you, we asked you: who would marry, make-out with, or kill. This time, we want to know: who would you go dancing with, who would you like to have a sleepover with, and who would you like to go on vacation with?

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AI would go dancing with Harshaw. I would have a sleepover with all the ladies. I love the Grisha-lady crew. I would love to have a Grisha sleepover.  (We said: "Like the scene where Alina is sharing all her dresses and they are all trying them on."). Yes, I know that scene seems kind of frivolous. But I have the incredible group of female friends in L.A. and before my launch party I went over to their house because I didn't know what I was going to wear. And then when we got the film deal, one of my friends made this Pinterest board that was for 'Red Carpet Wardrobe'. It was all that we were going to wear. I love these girls. So I wanted to have that scene of shameless, female bonding that wasn't all about "we must bond, we are going to war" but more like, "we can bond, let's try on dresses." I had a lot of fun writing that and I want to try on all those clothes! So definitely have the Grisha slumber party. I if had to pick just one, it would have to be Genya. Zoya would be a pain in the a**. And for vacation, I'd pick Nikolai because he would be like (and Leigh says this with a fabulous Russian accent), "We only stay in five-star resorts and we travel by flying ship." 

Q: What is one of your favorite questions that you've ever been asked?
AYour Oncat question!

Q: What really happened to Oncat after? Sitting by a glowing fire? At the palace?
AFunny you ask that because when one of my friends read the book early and she warned me in several texts, "If you kill this cat, we can't be friends anymore." Stags, yes. Poor sea dragons, yes, But you can't kill the CAT!  I love that Oncat is now the secret villian or hero. He's going to have to be the new novella!

The best question . . . I think it is the overall discussion now that I enjoy. It has been really fun to talk about the book (now that all of them are out) and not have to hide anything anymore. I do think it funny when people come up to me and say, "You've destroyed me! It wasn't supposed to end like that." I get a lot of teary -eyed teenagers asking, "Was there ever a chance Alina and the Darkling could have ended up together?" Yeah, I think the two questions I get asked most frequently are that one and did I know how the series was going to end. And the answer to the Alina and Darkling is: NO! 

Q: So we know that they made an impostor Alina for her funeral pyre. We were wondering if that was possible for the Darkling?
AAs Nikolai would say, when people say impossible, they usually mean improbable. And I'm just going to leave it at that . . . 

"Ruin and Rising" {by Leigh Bardugo} Book Review (WITH SPOILERS)

the book cover of Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
TITLE OF THE BOOK: Ruin and Rising (Grisha Trilogy #3)
AUTHOR: Leigh Bardugo
PUBLISHER: Henry Holt and Co
GENRE: Fantasy

SUMMARYThe capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

We rated Ruin and Rising 4.1/5 stars
4.1 out of 5 Stars

 OUR GROUP REVIEW: We decided for this book club to celebrate the light over the dark - our gold and white decor and costumes set the scene for this special night. Angie moderated our event and dressed the part, a golden Sun Summoner with an amazing crown she made herself, see it HERE! While we ate, she had a slide show playing from Leigh Bardugo's Pinterest board for Ruin and Rising.

As you can tell from our star rating, we all loved the book - the plot, the characters, the fantasy elements and world. I think we all wished we could be Grisha, or at least take a character or two on vacation with us.

As with most series that we read, we kind of hope that last book would be amazing, but prepare ourselves for the worst. Leigh Bardugo didn't let us down with this book. Ruin & Rising continued to take this series to a whole new level and even managed to pull a few fast ones on us.

First of all, since most of us are Nikolai fans, we were shocked by the turn of events for him (I'm not going to lie. When I read where he changes into one of the volcra, I think a few tears may have been shed . . .). We were so happy that things turned out for him in the end, though we wished that he somehow would have ended up with a hottie and his own happily ever after. Come on, Leigh, write that book for us!

The second shocker of all time is when we found out that Mal was the third amplifier. I think we all had to pick our books off the floor and re-read that part! That is one thing that I don't think any of us saw coming. How Leigh was able to make everything work out in the end is amazing. A few of us had read that some people didn't like the ending, but the majority of us loved it. I have to admit that I somehow wished that Alina could have kept her powers and continued to use them for good.

The overall story arch of Alina and Mal ending up back together in the same way they began gave us all a feeling of fulfillment. It may not have been exactly a happily ever after for every character in the book (darn you, Darkling! Why couldn't you have given up the dark side?), but overall, each character that we cared about grew.  Genya learned who her true friends were and the importance of inward beauty and confidence.  Mal stayed strong and showed his deep love for Alina. Alina learned to be strong and stand up for herself and her country. Together, they all learned that the exponential strength of one villain could be overcome by the combined might of a team.

After our discussion, we spent a few minutes discussing some questions we wanted ask the author because, drum roll please . . . LEIGH BARDUGO SKYPED WITH US. Want to find out what we asked her and her responses? Stay tuned. You won't want to miss out on this conversation and what Leigh Bardugo has up her sleeve now that the Grisha trilogy is complete.
Read our interview with Leigh.

MODERATE (D and A words)
MODERATE (brief sex scene, not explicit)
MODERATE (fighting, killing, blood)


September 25, 2014

GET THE LOOK: "Ruin and Rising" Makeup and Dress Ideas

"I'm the Sun Summoner. It gets dark when I say it does." 
— Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising)

We read Leigh Bardugo's "Ruin & Rising" for our September book club book and the Moderator Angie took it to the next level of awesomeness! Angie decided to embrace the over arching theme of Ruin & Rising which focused on the LIGHT which is the opposite of how we celebrated our Shadow and Bone Book Club.

The main character Alina is a Grisha with a special power that allows her to summon and harness the power of the sun. She is called a SUN SUMMONER and that's the theme Angie choose to focus our evening and her outfit on.

Angie dressed as the sun summoner.

DRESS: Sequin dress (yes that is a dress with a skirt layered over top) was from Dorothy Perkins 
SKIRT: Golden mustard skirt was from ASOS
(Sorry, the dress from Dorothy Perkins and skirt from ASOS are no longer available but they have other amazing items that are similar)

JEWELRY: She found the House of Harlow sunburst necklace, earrings and ring she is wearing at Nordstrom rack on sale BUT you can find it HERE if you are looking for one of these beauties for yourself.

SUNBURST CROWN: Angie created her amazing sunburst crown herself with gold leaves, Christmas decorations and jewels she found at Hobby Lobby. She purchased the braided gold headband separately and began the task of constructing it with some hot glue and creativity. 

HEADPIECE: She created her stunning stag head dress by combining two necklaces. The stag necklace that's been placed on her forehead and the long gold chain necklace that's hanging down around her face. She added a few clasps to combine them together and voila, instant gorgeousness! 
(I think she mentioned finding the long gold chain at Joanne's fabric and craft store)

Find the stag necklace Angie is wearing HERE

MAKEUP: All of the makeup items Angie used to create her look are listed at the bottom of this post but most of her inspiration came from this photo collage she found on Bardugo's tumbler page.
She also pulled ideas for her makeup and outfit from Leigh Bardugo's Ruin and Rising Pinterest board.

While you pursuing Pinterest, you should also check out Angie's Ruin and Rising board.

So pull out all of your gold jewelry, sequins dresses and yellow accessories and create this radiant look for yourself!

-Above the lip (in the dip) & inner corners of eyes (can find at ulta & sephora): Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Midnigjt Cowboy
-Lips: MAC Wonder Woman Lipglass in Wonder Woman (discontinued)
-Cheekbones, lip dip & chin: NYX Loose Pearl Eyeshadow in yellow gold
-Face: Hard Candy Glow All The Way Bronzer in Glamazon Bronze (can find at Walmart)
-Eyebrows: bareMinerals High Shine Eyecolor in Patina
-Eyes: L'oreal HIP in Visionary & L'oreal Voluminous Mascara (one of Leigh's favorite makeup items that you can buy at any drugstore!)
-Eyelashes: any of these Ardel Rhinestone lashes would work great (can find at Smith's, Walmart, most large chain grocery/drug stores)


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