Cover Reveal: Whisper-Heather Hildenbrand

Amazon/Goodreads

 Whisper

by Heather Hildenbrand

New Adult Paranormal Fantasy

cooltext1648529215 copyThe Cherokee believe when a person dies, their soul is reborn. Life is repeated. An endless cycle of lessons to be learned, love to be found, destiny to be fulfilled. For the past six months, in every flower, every bird, I’ve imagined my parents, relieved of their human forms.

Now, after five months at the Skye View Wellness Center, it was summer. A time for parties and friends, but that’s the last thing I want to do. So when my best friend Erin convinces me to attend a bonfire at Eagle Point, I can’t handle the crowd full of sympathetic stares or drunken class clowns who would use my tragedy as a way into my heart – or my pants. The solitude of the woods offers an escape, until I stumble upon a boy, unconscious and bleeding, his pockets stuffed not with identification but with poetry illustrating the beauty of dying. I’ve seen enough death. I will not leave this boy’s side.

Even after he wakes, when the only thing he can remember are visions of events that haven’t happened yet…

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Author of Across the Galaxy, Whisper, and the Dirty Blood series. I write, read, and fuss at my kids. Oh, and I do laundry, lots of laundry. I’m pretty good at it, too. Sometimes I even read WHILE doing laundry – and fussing at my kids. I’m a multi-tasker.

For more information on my books, release dates, or just general stalker material, um, I mean FAN material, visit my website. www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.com

I love hearing from readers!

Likes and dislikes? I love vintage tees, hate socks with sandals, and if my house was on fire the one thing I’d grab is my Amazon Fire TV! (oh yeah, I’m a fan of puns.)

Website / Facebook / Twitter

Happy reading,

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ARC Review: Between the Layers-SaraJean Panek

BTL_Cover_1563x2500Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble

3.5/5 Stars

***I received this book in exchange for an honest review via SaraJean Panek and Elephantine Publishing.

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Most fifteen year old girls are trying to figure out who they are; I’m trying to stay alive long enough to figure out what.

I’ve always been on the run. From my guilt about the things I couldn’t change, and from the voice in my head that won’t let me be normal. But yesterday Tommy and I were in a car accident on the way home from school. When I woke up, Tommy was gone, and so was the world I grew up in. Now I’m running less in a metaphorical way, and more in a “pick up the pace if you don’t want to die” way. Why? Because my eyes are blue, and I’m lost in a fantasy world where that means I’m different. It means I might not be human. It means I should already be extinct, and someone called “The Regent” is determined to make me that way.

I need to find the way home, and before I do that, I need to find Tommy. He’s only in this mess because of me. I can’t do it on my own, but it’s hard to know who to trust when everyone keeps trying to kill me.

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Sera is haunted by the traumatizing death of her father and the darkness that seems to shadow her path. She yearns to get back to normalcy, to belong but is bombarded by the voice in her head, a woman named Reeky that has been with her since childhood. As much as Sera’s tried to cope and cling to reality, she’s never felt connected to her surroundings. To top it off, Sera’s nightmares have become far more bizarre and increasingly bleak.

Running late to the bus and drenched in rain, Sera knows she’s going to be in huge trouble when she gets home and even more that she’s late to the annual vigil at her father’s grave. Stomping through puddles, Sera can’t help but let the guilt eat at her over her father’s death, she knows she’s to blame and doesn’t think she’ll ever get over it. When a car pulls up beside her and it’s her biggest crush, her brother’s friend Tommy, Sera is even more disheartened. She looks like a drowned rat. When Tommy offers her a ride to her family, she almost refuses but the kindness in his eyes calls to her and she’s flooded with dark memories. Chatting casually, the two are startled by a fierce flash of lightning and Tommy swerves to avoid the bolt, sending them into a deadly spiral, straight into the overflowing river. Blackness.

Sera wakes alone and on the bed of a lake that she’s never seen before. Tommy is nowhere to be found. With the help of some unlikely allies, Sera is thrust into a world of magic, mischief, and an evil overlord (“Regent”) who wants to kill her at all costs. As the truth comes out, secrets are revealed, and the enchanting past of these brave, proud people seems to align with her own. Sera is thought to be someone she’s not, someone impossible and far beyond her wildest imagination. Her blue eyes represent a prophecy, a fairytale that the people believe in that speaks of a princess who disappeared long ago and would return to save them from the Regent. With the hope of the people resting on her shoulders, Sera doesn’t know who she is anymore or even who she wants to be. 

When Sera learns that Tommy is being held captive by the Regent’s lackeys (the Posmen), she makes a deal with her new friends, an incredible sacrifice that will assure Tommy’s well being and get him back to their world. Will Sera and her friends be able to save Tommy, this other world, and her life? 

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Between the Layers is a magical, time-bending read that transports you to another world, one that feels almost Medieval and heavy with lingering spells. Some parts are almost whimsical while others are full of anticipation and quiet dread, the sense of impending doom and hostility. It’s the kind of epic story that draws you in and keeps you captive, eager for more. 

PROS:

  • The Kae-world is like a Medieval, dystopian, fantastical mix of so many elements that are so insanely unexpected that it reads like an epic fantasy, a cross between Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, a more tame Game of Thrones and Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey. The fae are not so abstract that they seem outlandish or awkward, they’re like real, strong people with developed personalities and ideals that happen to be not entirely human. 
  • The flashbacks, the dreams, and the creepy voice in Sera’s head at a vein of horror and mystery to the story that’s almost foreboding and really sinister. They’re detailed premonitions and there are many horrifying, grotesque creatures that sprinkle the story with just the right amount of fear.
  • The history of the people, the story of the blue eyes, everything about this world is a vibrant, wonderfully detailed and plotted mythology that would be amazing to read as its own story. 
  • The Posmen, the toddlers, and the other violent, vicious enemy creatures are truly terrifying almost like rabid zombies. Their descriptions are chilling, the way their bodies move and how they sniff the air hungering for blood is enough to give you goosebumps.
  • Sera is completely authentic, her reactions, her internal dialogue, she’s exactly the scared, scarred teenage girl she’s supposed to be. She does fly off the handle sometimes but she’s loud, she voices her opinions, she’s compassionate and let’s everyone know what she thinks. While Sera is not confident, as the story unfolds she learns what she’s capable of and she’s so much more powerful that she ever expected. Sera has a kind heart, one that shys away from killing even the most vile of enemies and she’s courageous beyond measure. She faces her deepest fears and risks everything, though she does this with a substantial amount of complaining. 
  • The secondary characters had distinct, vastly different personalities that when brought together were an explosion of conflicting opinions and interactions. The group scenes were full of life.
  • Trage and Sera are fun to read together. The way they butt heads and fights is just begging for a future love interest. The scene in the lake when they’re splashing around, playful and full of joy is so cute.

CONS:

  • Some sections were slow and lagged a bit where not much happened. 
  • The shift from the first world to the second was abrupt, leaving very little information about Sera’s life previously. In that way, it feels as though this is the starting point for Sera’s life and her past is no longer a reality, more like an abstract yet extremely realistic dream.
  • There are so many questions left unanswered that it was a little infuriating, I wanted to know so badly about the boatwoman, the gods and goddesses, these entities were so intriguing and added mythology to an already unique fantasy story. Sera’s connection to these magical beings and the mechanics of how this happened make me incredibly eager for the next book. The necklace was also only briefly glossed over. WHAT IS IT?!!!!! 

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SaraJean Panek has loved books since before she could read. One of her earliest memories is of sitting with one of her two older brothers and following along the page as he read her “Rapunzel.” She’s been telling her own stories nearly as long. “Between the Layers” is SaraJean’s debut novel. She travels at every opportunity, but currently lives in her hometown of Virginia Beach and spends most of her free time writing, the work she loves.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Author Spotlight: Kristen Day

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I am a southern belle at heart with a crazy streak that desperately tries to escape at every opportunity. I love all things nostalgic, rustic, and quirky. I’ve been told I see the world through rose-colored glasses, but I prefer to think of them as kaleidoscope glasses – swirling and morphing reality into something I can digest (who hasn’t pretended those pasty lima beans were really kiwi strawberry jelly beans?).

I am the author of the DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA series, which includes FORSAKEN, AWAKEN, CHOSEN, HEARKEN, PROVEN (2014).I love all books, but really enjoy writing young adult, paranormal romances. I’ve loved to write for as long as I can remember. My first published work was my poem RED in second grade (you guessed it – it was a poem about the color red – life altering, I know) that won me 5 gold stars and a spot in my elementary school’s poetry book. That’s when my addiction to the written word officially began. I was the only kid in fifth grade that actually enjoyed diagramming sentences. Go ahead and laugh – its okay.

When I’m not writing I’m making jewelry, painting, drinking sweet tea, watching the discovery channel, or going on random adventures in the mountains of North Carolina with my amazing husband.

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10519191_10152492784246311_9034369593574094807_oGoodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble

Once you’ve been touched by darkness, it never leaves you…

Abandoned by her parents as an infant; seventeen year old Hannah spent her childhood wading through countless foster families until being adopted by the Whitmans three years ago.

Unfortunately, Atlanta’s high society wasn’t quite ready for Hannah…or the strange events that plague her.
Chilling visions of murder, unexplained hallucinations, and a dark, mysterious guy who haunts her nightmares all culminate to set in motion a journey of self-discovery that will challenge everything she’s ever believed; not to mention her sanity.

Sent to live at The House of Lorelei on Bald Head Island, NC for ‘kids like her’, Hannah quickly realizes things are not what they seem. Her fellow ‘disturbed’ teens are actually the descendents of mythical Sea Gods and Goddesses. And so is she.

But when Finn, the ghost from her dreams, appears in the flesh; her nightmares become reality and her dark visions begin coming true. Inexplicably drawn to him, she can’t deny the dangerous hold he has on her heart. The deadly secrets he harbors will ultimately test her courage and push the boundaries of her love.

She must decide if she is ready to embrace the ancient legend she is prophesized to be a part of. The fate of all the descendents will forever depend upon it.

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Alice is dead but her life isn’t over. After battling her way through a hallway full of doors leading to experiences she never had in life and past an insidious demon she finds herself in a place called Beyond. A sort of middle ground between life and death. There she meets Michael, a handsome World War II casualty, and Leigh, a pint-sized murder victim who tell her that Beyond and all its inhabitants are in danger and she may be their only hope. Alice must come to accept the circumstances of her death, move past the experiences she had in the hallway, and ultimately face the same demon who nearly kept her trapped in limbo forever.

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Goodreads/Blog/Twitter/Amazon/Facebook

I hope you all enjoyed learning about this wonderful author and those who have never been exposed to Kristen’s work have found something new and exciting to add to your TBR :) 

Happy reading, 

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Upcoming Reviews

I know it’s been an extremely long time since I’ve done one of these posts and I’m still a little behind on reviews but since I can never keep track of when I receive books to participate in Stacking the Shelves, this is the next best thing. I’ve decided to do color as theme. This week is blue :) There will probably be more than just these four but for now…

Coming up:

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Between the Layers by SaraJean Panek

Most fifteen year old girls are trying to figure out who they are; I’m trying to stay alive long enough to figure out what.

I’ve always been on the run. From my guilt about the things I couldn’t change, and from the voice in my head that won’t let me be normal.But yesterday Tommy and I were in a car accident on the way home from school. When I woke up, Tommy was gone, and so was the world I grew up in. Now I’m running less in a metaphorical way, and more in a “pick up the pace if you don’t want to die” way. Why? Because my eyes are blue, and I’m lost in a fantasy world where that means I’m different. It means I might not be human. It means I should already be extinct, and someone called “The Regent” is determined to make me that way.

I need to find the way home, and before I do that, I need to find Tommy. He’s only in this mess because of me. I can’t do it on my own, but it’s hard to know who to trust when everyone keeps trying to kill me.

The Silver Tower by Colee Firman

At eighteen-years-old, Sophie Hayden’s entire life has already been planned out for her. Just like her parents, she’s on the fast track to becoming a Guide for The Silver Tower. In three weeks, she’ll graduate from Slatemore Academy and move away from home—away from her controlling father and spoiled siblings.

When Sophie heads out to do fieldwork required for graduation, she hardly expects to cross paths with students from her school—much less witness them using an ancient relic that’s not supposed to leave the grounds of Slatemore.

Sophie’s decision to find out exactly what they’re up to nearly costs her everything. It seems like a miracle when Leo Emerik swoops in and saves her from disaster. Sophie’s ready to thank him and move on. He has other plans for her.

The minute Leo set his sights on Sophie she knew she was in trouble. Just being in the same room as him has her perfect world ready to spin off its axis. Getting mixed up with Leo is the last thing she needs, and suddenly the only thing she wants.

A catastrophe with Sophie’s name on it seems to be waiting around every corner since meeting Leo. Somehow, he’s always there to bail her out.

Everyone else can see the one thing she can’t—her bad fortune may all lead back to him.

*WARNING* CONTAINS ADULT LANGUAGE. MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR YOUNGER AND/OR SENSITIVE READERS.

Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer Ellision

Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Perfection comes at a price.

As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

For fans of Kiera Cass’ Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.

If you have a color you’d like to see for the following week, feel free to comment. As always, if you’ve read any of these and would like to discuss them or really would like to nominate another blue book comment as well :) 

Pleasant reading, 

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Teaser: Freak of Nature-Julia Crane

Freak of Nature

Book 1 – IFICS series

Donate Body to Science. Check.

When seventeen-year-old Kaitlyn checked the box, she never suspected she’d have her life–and her body–stolen from her. She awakens one day in a secret laboratory to discover that her body is now half-robot and is forced to hide her own secret: that she still has human emotions and a human mind. If the scientists who made her find out, they’ll erase what remains of who she was.

Kaitlyn finds an unlikely ally in Lucas, a handsome, brilliant scientist who can’t get over the guilt he feels knowing she was once a vibrant, beautiful young woman. He never expected a science project to affect him the way she does. As he tries to help her rediscover her past, he finds himself falling for the brave girl struggling to find her place and acceptance between the human and computer worlds.

Add to Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble

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Julia crane is the author of the Keegan’s Chronicles, IFICS. She has a bachelors degree in criminal justice. Julia has believed in magical creatures since the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. Growing up her mother greatly encouraged reading and using your imagination.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

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FreakofNature Teaser

Sounds amazing right? Definitely picking this one up.

Happy reading, 

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Review: Doppelganger-Milda Harris

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Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble

3/5 Stars

Doppelgänger (The Doppelgängers, #1)-Milda Harris

***I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley and Createspace.

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Citrus Leahy is having a really bad day. First she’s late to school. Then she runs into the girl who drives her nuts because she always calls her Orange instead of her name. To cap it all off, when Citrus finally makes it to class, she sees herself already inside. Wait. What? Citrus Leahy has a doppelganger! It’s probably aliens taking over the world and her life has just turned totally upside down. Goodbye, normal. Hello, paranormal! Luckily, her crush Aedan has the exact same problem!

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Citrus, or as her nemesis likes to call her, Orange, is late to school for the first time ever. Exhausted and dragging, she rushes to get to class in time for her history exam. After being stopped by security and forced to go to the office, she’s harassed by Melissa (nemesis) and runs to class, 10 minutes late. Pausing just before the door, she peers inside and is confronted by her mirror image, a girl that looks just like her already busy working at the exam. Citrus is more than disturbed, she’s no longer sure of her sanity. Was she hallucinating? Who is this girl and why, if the doppelganger was in fact some sort of alien species determined to hijack her life, would they choose someone so boring? And furthermore, why bother to maintain her grades? Citrus is slowly slipping into hysterics when a voice sounds behind her. Citrus is startled, entranced by the guy she’s been crushing on forever that she almost misses what he’s saying. He too is already in the class room, the doppelganger wasn’t alone and now their intentions seem far more sinister. Teaming up with Aedan, Citrus must get to the truth, find out if her friends are okay or they’ve been body snatched, what they’re doing with the original bodies, and how to save the world from what’s looking more and more like an all out invasion. 

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Doppelganger is a short and sweet read that takes you on a journey full of mystery and science fiction. The swift plot and lively characters put the reader front and center to the panic and danger of the precarious situation without feeling overwhelming or too serious.

PROS:

  • The overall story concept is fascinating. Doppelgangers have always been intriguing but here they take on a dual role of invasion, not only of the individual but also the world. Their function as alien/vampire-like creatures that prey off of their victims is unique and extremely dark. 
  • Citrus’ frazzled, almost nutty personality as she freaks out about the situation is light and hysterical, adding a realistic and almost comical undertone to the plot. Citrus is open, honest, she knows who she is and thinks things through, working through the situation based off of lessons learned in books and films. Her failures are silly, she makes mistakes, and this makes her more real, firmly situating her as an average teenage girl.
  • The chemistry between Aeden and Citrus is soft, casual, a budding like blossoming into something more and it’s really fun to watch it develop. 
  • A major theme is judgement, knowing our friends, and being able to recognize behavior patterns. Doppelganger gets at the heart of the different sides of people, that we have layers and shouldn’t be too quick to make assumptions. 

CONS:

  • Citrus is like one of those girls in horror films who sees the “dead” axe-wielding psychopath on the floor and decides to get closer to examine the body. She runs head first into danger, and while it is planned and she does think through her choices, why she feels the need to be so heroic is undeveloped and not really backed up. As far as the story goes, Citrus has one friend and there wasn’t substantial insight into their relationship to really understand why she would go to such extremes and why it has to be so immediate. There’s little build up of secondary characters, there’s a general disconnection between almost every character and Citrus/Aeden. 
  • Although Citrus has had a crush on Aeden for many years, the feelings are there almost immediately, not just attraction but more and in the span of a few hours. It was just so fast and the situation was so crazy. However, I really did love them together. More honest interaction and maybe more time just to solidify these feelings would have made it more stable, believable and more crushing when reality sets in.
  • Some of the spazzy internal dialogue was repetitive and Citrus’ constant internal rants can be a bit too much.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading, 

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway-Of River & Raynn: The Catalyst by Rebecca Ethington

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00024]Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00024]Have you met River and Raynn yet? 

It’s time to get lost in a new world.

Add to Goodreads

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They found me when I was five; a little girl sitting on a bench in Grand Central Station, soaking wet, asking about the rain.

I remembered nothing about how I got there, or who my parents were. I couldn’t even remember my name. I was tagged, labeled and doomed to cycle through state care for the next twelve years; moving from one family to another. They all rejected me as the dreams began to come, the memories began to return, and things around me began to explode.

Now my mind is full of a world of shadows, things that my heart pleads with me to be true, that I hope are only fantasy. That the disturbing past I see is not mine.

When I sleep I hear whispers of magic, and of evil queens, and a world that exists alongside our own. Things that could never be. But, there is one thing I know to be true. That there was a boy who was torn from me. A boy that I know means more to me than a brother, or than a lover. But what he is to me, I am not sure. I hear him cry for me in my dreams, I hear people call him The Catalyst.

I know I need to find him.

I wouldn’t have tried, if I would have known that finding River, would have made all my dreams turn into a haunting reality.

Check out Rebecca Ethington’s YouTube page for some live interactive videos of River & Raynn

Check out the YouTube site

Check out the Of River & Raynn officail website

Of River and Raynn

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2f776d78dfa50a7f023586.L._V400800682_SX200_Website † Facebook † Twitter † GoodReads

Rebecca Ethington is a story teller and author from Salt Lake City, Utah. She has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then in stage with years of theatrical performances. Rebecca’s first stint into the world of literary writing, The Imdalind Series, was released in October 2012 and since its release each book has been found in several top 100 lists on Amazon. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her crazy family.

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Rebecca Ethington is also a featured author at Chapter by Chapter BookRave in NY on September 20th! YA BOWLING, ADULT/NEW ADULT Mingling party! Get your tickets today! Book Signing FREE and open to the public. 

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For the full author list visit: www.cbcevent.com

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