#BookReview KEEPING UP WITH THE KERSHAWS by HELEN BUCKLEY @ChocLituk


ABOUT THE BOOK

What do you do when your life becomes more dramatic than reality TV?


As the devoted carer for famous antique expert Harold Kershaw, Karrie Morgan was always happy to keep a professional distance from his four spoilt grown-up children, who rarely made time for their father. But then a surprise involving Harold’s Will means Karrie is flung headlong into a press scandal, and into the chaotic world of the surviving Kershaws.
With the support of her trusted childhood friend Andrew, mild-mannered Karrie must face down ruthless ice queen Portia, master manipulator Gabriel, Botox fanatic Arabella, and ladies’ man Rafe, star of reality TV show Raised in Richmond … although perhaps not as fake and flashy as he initially seems?


As vicious rumours circulate and Karrie’s past comes back to haunt her, she struggles to know who to trust. Can she keep up with the Kershaws’ schemes?

Book 4 in Spotlight series but they can all be read as standalone stories.

PUBLISHED BY CHOC LIT

PURCHASE LINKS

Kindle: Keeping Up with the Kershaws: This contemporary has twists, turns & plenty of drama, but also a wonderful slow-burn romance at the heart. (Spotlight Book 4) eBook : Buckley, Helen: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Apple: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/keeping-up-with-the-kershaws/id1606964264?

Kobo: Keeping Up with the Kershaws eBook by Helen Buckley – 9781781895115 | Rakuten Kobo United Kingdom

Google: Keeping Up with the Kershaws by Helen Buckley – Books on Google Play

Nook: Keeping Up with the Kershaws by Helen Buckley | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

MY REVIEW

This was such a fabulous read! Featuring characters that you only wish good things for, against those that make you tremble with rage at just how awful they are!!

Karrie has spent 7 years devoted to Harold Kershaw as his carer, whilst his adult children got on with their lives and didn’t want much to do with the old man….. that is until he dies, and there’s money to be had! Karrie is devastated when he passes as he’s family to her and she’s wondering what to do with her life next but it appears that Harold had her future in his thoughts when writing his will, and that upsets the Kershaw children!

So what transpires is Karrie and her best friend Andrew, doing all they can to survive the mudslinging and dirty tricks of the children – Portia, Gabriel, Arabella and Rafe. They look down on Karrie and think she must have tricked him into leaving her everything and want it stopped. The fact that they’re all well off and living comfortably doesn’t even seem to enter their heads! Greed rears its’ ugly head!

I loved the portrayal of the different character types in this novel! In Karrie you had someone who has had a genuinely tough life, but find happiness in caring for others, always putting them first over her own needs. And the characteristics of the Kershaw children showed what’s wrong with some in society – the ‘me first’ attitude and entitlement is staggering! And they’re not even afraid to badmouth members of their own family to get their own way!!

The more time Rafe spends with Karrie, he begins to see a different side to people that he normally hangs round with, and how there are ‘normal’ people out there genuinely interested in others and having no malice in their bones! It was great to see his eyes being opened to decent human behaviour, other than the fakeness he’d seen in the Reality TV show world he found himself living in.

I loved this story. It’s one of those that you totally lose yourself in and seeing how money brings out the worst in people just makes you cringe! The shock twists along the way add to the drama as well, but no spoilers from me!! A cracking read!!

★★★★★

#GuestPost KEEPING UP WITH THE KERSHAWS by HELEN BUCKLEY #Extract @ChocLituk @HelenCBuckley

So happy to be with you today to share an exclusive extract from the rather fabulous KEEPING UP WITH THE KERSHAWS by HELEN BUCKLEY, which was released yesterday. If you’ve not got your copy, WHY NOT?!!!  Go grab yours now! You will not be disappointed!! I promise!! 

Over to Helen with the exclusive extract for you to enjoy!!

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Exclusive Extract: Keeping Up with the Kershaws by Helen Buckley

Yesterday Helen Buckley celebrated the release of her fourth book with Choc Lit, Keeping up with the Kershaws – the Kershaws being a family with so much drama they could give the Kardashians a run for their money! Are you ready to meet ruthless ice queen Portia, master manipulator Gabriel, Botox fanatic Arabella, and ladies’ man Rafe, as well as poor Karrie Morgan, the devoted carer to the Kershaws’ father, who has to put up with them all? Read this extract and see if you can resist finding out what happens next …

From: Keeping Up with the Kershaws by Helen Buckley

Karrie

Karrie knocked gently on the heavy oak door. She traced the whorls of the wood with her fingertips as she waited for a reply. It often took Harold a moment to respond when he was taking his afternoon rest, and she didn’t want to rush him.

The balmy summer air breezed in from the open windows where the hallway overlooked the gardens. Karrie breathed in the scent of the grass, freshly mown that morning by the gardener. The birds were in fine voice as they serenaded the sky, an endless cornflower blue without a cloud in sight. It was the most beautiful July day and Karrie hoped Harold might like to go for a stroll in the gardens that afternoon.

Karrie rested her fingers on the door and nudged it open a little way.

‘Harold?’ she called softly. ‘It’s 4 p.m. I’ve got your tea.’

The room remained silent and dark. Karrie pushed the door open further, feeling invasive, but knowing Harold prized his routine and would need his medication soon.

She could make out a rumpled figure on the bed, seemingly undisturbed by her entrance. She went to the window and opened the heavy curtains halfway to allow the sunshine to permeate the dark cool air, and turned to Harold. The world-renowned antiquities expert lay still and quiet, curled up on top of the covers.

Karrie paused, her eyes tracing his features, taking in the slack jaw and the waxy skin, a wan pallor unusual even for a man who hated the sun. Her chest tightened and her breathing became shallow as she knew instinctively that something was very wrong. She put a hand to her mouth and tried to will herself to move forwards, but her feet wouldn’t budge.

She wanted to cry out and she opened her mouth, but she couldn’t make any sound. Instead she heaved a ragged gasp, dropping onto her knees, knowing that there was nothing to be done, knowing that from this moment on her world would be very different.

It was quite clear to Karrie that Harold Kershaw was dead.

Rafe

Rafe scowled with annoyance as his phone rang. The jarring ringtone, which he kept meaning to change, completely disrupted his focus on his eyebrows, which needed some work before his club appearance that evening. He needed to finish getting ready and he wasn’t in the mood for chit-chat.

He glanced over at the phone to see his sister’s name flashing at him, the persistent shrill ringing as irritating as seeing her name on the screen. Rafe carried on tweezing. Portia could wait.

He sighed with relief when the phone fell silent, only for it to start ringing again almost immediately. He frowned at it and set down his tweezers with a groan of frustration. He checked his appearance in the mirror, neatened a stray hair or two, and swiped the phone off the table, stabbing at the answer button.

‘Portia, I’m just in the middle of something …’ he began, but his eldest sister’s voice cut him off before he could make an excuse for dodging her calls.

‘Daddy’s dead,’ Portia announced. Though the words she said were far from ordinary, she spoke in her usual icy tone, devoid of emotion, and entirely brusque. Despite her voice being instantly recognisable, Rafe still wondered if this was a prank call, so unbelievable were the words she had just said.

‘Wait, what?’ he said. He must have heard her wrong.

Portia sighed and he could imagine her tapping her immaculate nails impatiently on the nearest hard surface.

‘Daddy’s dead,’ she repeated.

‘He’s dead,’ Rafe repeated dully.

‘Yes, that’s what I said. Dead.’

‘How? When?’ Rafe sat down on the bed, the energy draining from his legs as the news began to sink in. His chest felt heavy as he tried to take a deep breath, but all he could manage was a shallow gasp.

‘He passed away this afternoon, while he was taking his nap,’ Portia said. ‘Apparently it wasn’t painful.’

Rafe detected a slight softening in her voice as she said it. Even Portia wasn’t made entirely of stone, he thought, despite being known for her flinty nature.

‘That’s good,’ he said. The words sounded flat and odd to him, the lack of emotion in his voice not reflecting the turmoil in his head where all his thoughts were suddenly entangled with so many memories. He put a hand to his mouth as a powerful wave of sadness crashed over him, and he swallowed hard against the lump in his throat.

‘What happens now?’ he asked, knowing Portia and Gabriel would sort everything. Although he had suffered under their authoritative and manipulative dominion when he was younger, in some ways it was a relief knowing that his two eldest siblings would have everything under control at a time like this. He didn’t need, and wasn’t expected, to take responsibility. They would never have let him anyway.

‘We’re going to start making funeral arrangements. I’ll text you the details of when to come to the house to meet,’ Portia said, as if she were discussing a business meeting and this were merely a work call rather than a family tragedy. She hung up before Rafe could reply.

He sat for a moment, his hands twisting in the sheets, trying to remember the last time he had seen his dad. He felt a chill shiver of shame run through him when he realised it had been over six months ago, at Christmas. Since then he had been too busy wrapping up filming the latest series of Raised in Richmond and trying to find other projects, to visit his elderly father.

He flopped backwards onto the bed and lay down with a heavy sigh. He would have to cancel his club appearance tonight, he thought; a shame as he was really desperate for a drink right now. He reached out to the bedside table, where a glass stood with a double Scotch he had poured sometime last night and fallen asleep before drinking. It would do for this moment when he didn’t want to move off the bed. He extended his arm and grabbed the glass, tipping the tepid amber liquid down his throat with a single flick of his wrist.

He closed his eyes for a moment and thought back to Christmas, remembering how his dad’s hazel eyes, misty with cataracts, had been brightened by the candles and the Christmas lights. Rafe scrolled through the photos on his phone, looking for photos of them together, but there weren’t any recent ones. The last one he had was from two years ago at a garden party, when Raised in Richmond had the best ratings it had ever had, and his engagement to Megara was all over the magazines. He and his dad were standing side by side, clinking a glass. His dad’s usual solemn expression was lightened, a real pleasure sparkling in his eyes. Rafe would have liked to think that his dad’s joyful look was to do with the success of Raised in Richmond, but he knew that was unlikely. His dad’s happiness that day was caused by the success of his fundraiser, and not anything that Rafe had achieved.

He clicked on the photo and uploaded it to Instagram to share with his 900,000 followers, carefully choosing the best filter, cropping out a little of the background so he and his dad were framed exactly in the centre of the image.

#RIPdad. He typed the caption, and pressed Share. He waited for the inevitable slew of likes and comments and buried his face in his pillow to allow his grief to finally take hold.

© Helen Buckley

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About the Book:

What do you do when your life becomes more dramatic than reality TV?

As the devoted carer for famous antique expert Harold Kershaw, Karrie Morgan was always happy to keep a professional distance from his four spoilt grown-up children, who rarely made time for their father. But then a surprise involving Harold’s Will means Karrie is flung headlong into a press scandal, and into the chaotic world of the surviving Kershaws.

With the support of her trusted childhood friend Andrew, mild-mannered Karrie must face down ruthless ice queen Portia, master manipulator Gabriel, Botox fanatic Arabella, and ladies’ man Rafe, star of reality TV show Raised in Richmond … although perhaps not as fake and flashy as he initially seems?

As vicious rumours circulate and Karrie’s past comes back to haunt her, she struggles to know who to trust. Can she keep up with the Kershaws’ schemes?

Buying links: 

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3NkarLM

 Kobo: https://bit.ly/3wyer5n 

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3LjiQ0d 

Nook: https://bit.ly/3DasoYi

About the Author: 

Helen Buckley lives in Bedfordshire with her husband and two sons. After working in the charity sector in the UK and abroad, she turned her hand to writing and her first novel, Star in the Shadows, was published in 2019. She writes any moment that she can, enthralled by stories of fame, romance and happy ever afters. Apart from being addicted to writing and enjoying soft play with her sons, she’s an avid reader, action-movie fan and chocolate addict.

Find out more about Helen here:

https://www.facebook.com/Helenbuckleyauthor

https://www.instagram.com/helencatherinebuckley/

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#GuestPost STRICTLY CHRISTMAS SPIRIT by HELEN BUCKLEY #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @HelenCBuckley



Hello!  Happy Tuesday and Happy Publication Day to STRICTLY CHRISTMAS SPIRIT by  HELEN BUCKLEY!  What a cover!! That glitterball!! I want one!!  
So it’s a pleasure to hand over the blog today to Helen as she shares some thoughts with you all!


Over to you Helen…..


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Release Day: Strictly Christmas Spirit by Helen Buckley

When I was younger, I was obsessed with celebrity gossip. I loved reality TV, and spent hours poring over gossip magazines with friends. I started out with J17 and Smash Hits, devouring information about the bands and singers I loved. Then I moved on to Cosmopolitan, Heat, Now!, Grazia, and Glamour, soaking up the fashion commentary and the celebrity interviews.

But the snippets of information in the glossy pages never felt quite enough for me. I wanted to know more. What was it really like being a famous person? What were they like, and what was the reality behind the headlines?

I have never been famous and I don’t know anyone famous so my guess is as good as yours. But my overactive imagination, coupled with my love of all things romance, led to my Spotlight Series – a series of standalone contemporary romances about love and fame.

All those years spent reading gossip magazines and watching reality TV fed in to the dramatic, thrilling stories I wanted to write. So far I’ve taken inspiration from Dancing on Ice, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, and Strictly Come Dancing to create my Spotlight Series.

Ironically, the time I now spend writing means I barely have time to watch any reality TV, but I try to keep up when I can and often you’ll find me commenting about various aspects of reality TV shows on my blog at buckleybooks.org

Some people might think it strange, to take inspiration from TV shows to write books. But these TV shows bring joy to millions of people every week. I’m just trying to capture a little bit of their magic, drama, and excitement, and put it into book form, with my own unique twist and characters (always fictional!) to root for.

I hope that people will enjoy the stories I write as much as the shows they love to watch on telly.

             Helen’s latest ‘Spotlight’ series book, Strictly Christmas Spirit, is out now!

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About the book:

From disco balls to Christmas baubles …

Ex-dancer Emily Williams turned her back on the sparkle of popular dancing show Strictly Dancing with Celebs to help those in need. Now the only dancing she does is teaching lonely pensioners to waltz, and the closest she gets to disco balls is making baubles with the homeless people in her Christmas crafts class.

She’s certainly not star-struck when Hollywood heart-throb Blake Harris is sent to her at short notice for community service, and has no desire to babysit the arrogant actor with his bad boy antics and selfish ways. Christmas might be a time for miracles, but Blake seems to be a lost cause.

But Emily’s reasons for abandoning her dancing passion means she understands the Hollywood wild child more than she’d like to admit. Could their time together, coupled with a dash of Christmas spirit, lead to a miracle change of heart for them both?

Book 3 in Helen’s Spotlight series but they can all be read as standalone stories.

Buying links: 

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3jqLu3O 

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3m0ukvI 

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3nh3AGP

About the Author: 


Helen Buckley lives in Bedfordshire with her husband and two sons. After working in the charity sector in the UK and abroad, she turned her hand to writing and her first novel, Star in the Shadows, was published in 2019. She writes any moment that she can, enthralled by stories of fame, romance and happy ever afters. Apart from being addicted to writing and enjoying soft play with her sons, she’s an avid reader, action-movie fan and chocolate addict.

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#GuestPost CELEBRITY SOS by HELEN BUCKLEY #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @HelenCBuckley

Delighted to be handing over the blog today to the lovely HELEN BUCKLEY to help celebrate the publication day for CELEBRITY SOS!! Another stunner of a book that you all need to be adding to your TBR piles ASAP!!


Over to you Helen….

Release Day: Celebrity SOS by Helen Buckley

I love all the couples in my books, but I must confess, Finn and Kat’s story in Celebrity SOS: Love Survives is definitely one of my favourites.

Here’s why:

Firstly, I’m a sucker for a teenage romance. It was a joy to write about Finn and Kat and the sweet intensity of falling in love for the first time as they were thrown together as leads in the school play.

Secondly, all my books have a dramatic reveal and this one is probably the most dramatic yet as it takes place on camera, in the middle of a blizzard. It was very intense to write!

Thirdly, I’m obsessed with snowy mountain scenery, and a large part of the book takes place in Alaska, as a group of celebrities take on the challenge to survive in the wilderness. It was the perfect excuse to lose myself in Google images for a few hours and stare in wonder at the vast, inspiring scenery of a place I’d love to visit.

Fourthly, I love reality TV survival and physical challenge shows. From the hilarity of I’m a Celebrity to the jaw-dropping feats of Bear Grylls, from the sweat and strain of SAS: Who Dares Wins to the sheer bravery of those on Naked and Afraid, I’m hooked on them. It was great fun to write a book based on these shows, with both survival and love at the heart of the story.

I really hope readers will enjoy Celebrity SOS, which is the second book in my Spotlight series, although it can be read as a standalone. There will be more to come in the series soon, as always with slow-burn romances, shock twists and bags of drama!

About the book: 

I’m a celebrity … trying to escape the past!

When Katerina Murphy agrees to take part in Celebrity SOS, a reality TV show where celebrities have to fend for themselves in the Alaskan wilderness, she’s up for the challenge. But then she locks eyes with fellow contestant Finn Drayson of 1Dream boy band fame and realises that the show is going to push her further from her comfort zone than she ever imagined.

After all, Finn wasn’t just Katerina’s co-star in the school play adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s where she discovered her acting confidence, he was also her first love – and the first boy to break her heart. Even years later, the secret kisses and shared packets of crisps on park benches are never far from her mind.

Will award-winning actress Katerina Murphy’s talents stretch to staying composed in the face of Arctic winds and blasts from the past?

Book 2 in the Spotlight series but it can be read as a standalone novel.

Buying Links:

 Kindle .

 Apple Books .

 Kobo . 

Nook

About the author:

Helen Buckley lives in Bedfordshire with her husband and two sons. After working in the charity sector in the UK and abroad, she turned her hand to writing and her first novel, Star in the Shadows, was published in 2019. She writes any moment that she can, enthralled by stories of fame, romance and happy ever afters. Apart from being addicted to writing and enjoying soft play with her sons, she’s an avid reader, action-movie fan and chocolate addict.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HelenCBuckley

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Helenbuckleyauthor 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/helencatherinebuckley/

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#BookReview STRICTLY ON ICE by HELEN BUCKLEY @ChocLituk

ABOUT THE BOOK


When falling in love comes with the risk of falling flat on your face …
Former Olympic skating champion Katie Saunders is well known for her ‘ice queen’ persona in the press. On the face of it, perhaps Katie should have forgiven her former skating partner and ex-boyfriend, Alex Michaelson, for the accident that shattered both her ankle and their Olympic dreams – but she just can’t seem to let it go.
When Katie reluctantly agrees to take part in a new TV skating show, it’s only because she’s desperate for cash. What she didn’t count on is the drama – not only is she partnered up with infamous love rat rugby player Jamie Welsh, but one of the judges is none other than Alex Michaelson himself.
As the show progresses, will Katie be shown the hard way, once again, that romance on the ice should remain strictly off-limits?


PURCHASE LINKS

Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Strictly-Ice-heartwarming-inspirational-romance-ebook/dp/B08T9VL7KG/

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/strictly-on-ice

Apple: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/strictly-on-ice/id1549538869?

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/strictly-on-ice-helen-buckley/1138643197?ean=2940162187776

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Helen_Buckley_Strictly_On_Ice?id=3UMZEAAAQBAJ

MY REVIEW

Loved, loved, loved this! When can this be a real show?!  Playing on the reality success of Dancing On Ice, but with a twist, this was a wonderful story that puts 2 former sports stars together for a TV show and waiting to see what happens! Will there be arguments? Romance? And will it help them heal their pasts?

Katie is a former Olympic ice skater, whose career was tragically ended by an awful accident.  She has spent the years since being unable to move on or forget her dreams, and that has led her to this stage in her life where she has to accept an offer from a TV show for the money.  She has already refused previous offers, so it’s a big coup for the TV show when she accepts this one.

And then there is Jamie, a former Rugby international, who has also suffered in the years after his career finished.  They have both experienced major disappointments in the world of sport, so maybe that shared bond will allow them to relate to one another – and not to believe the press perceptions that have been allowed to grow over the years.

What I loved about this story was as well as the experience they both get from this reality show, we also see flashbacks into their previous lives – the training, the dedication, the sacrifices, the mistakes – and that really builds up the connection you have with them as characters.  You can understand their reluctance to open up to one another in the beginning, but the more time they spend together,the more they begin to understand each other and realise there is more to them than they’ve been led to believe from press attention.

This was one of those books that I raced through and was reluctant to put down at all! It has the excitement of a real reality show as you see how they progress from week to week, alongside the human side of their story and some very shocking revelations that just goes to show you shouldn’t believe everything you read about people!

Strictly Superb!!

★★★★★

#GuestPost STRICTLY ON ICE by HELEN BUCKLEY #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @HelenCBuckley

An honour, as always, to share my Blog with an author on publication day and today it’s the turn of HELEN BUCKLEY who releases STRICTLY ON ICE into the world today!! Congratulations Helen!! So excited to read this release!

So now here’s a little piece from Helen who shares some thoughts on her book and what inspired her to write it.. over to you Helen!!

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When Dancing on Ice airs each January, speculation abounds about which skating pairs are hooking up, or falling out, behind the scenes. I love all the gossip and the drama, not to mention the amazing skating, so it seemed like the perfect setting for a fun, romantic story. I love writing about fame and slow-burn romances, and Strictly on Ice is my second novel, the first in a new series to be published by Choc Lit.

In the book, Katie is a former Olympic skating champion with a busted ankle and a bad attitude. She takes part in a new TV show to earn some cash, but she gets more than she bargained for when she’s partnered with a love-rat rugby player, and finds that her ex-boyfriend is on the judging panel!

The joy of writing Strictly on Ice was the excuse to really delve into the world of figure skating, to watch beautiful and breath-taking routines by the likes of Yuna Kim, Nathan Chen, Mao Asada, Evgenia Medvedeva, and of course, our very own Torvill and Dean.

It’s a beautiful and awe-inspiring sport, and I hope I capture some of the magic of it in Strictly on Ice.

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About the Book:

When falling in love comes with the risk of falling flat on your face …

Former Olympic skating champion Katie Saunders is well known for her ‘ice queen’ persona in the press. On the face of it, perhaps Katie should have forgiven her former skating partner and ex-boyfriend, Alex Michaelson, for the accident that shattered both her ankle and their Olympic dreams – but she just can’t seem to let it go.

When Katie reluctantly agrees to take part in a new TV skating show, it’s only because she’s desperate for cash. What she didn’t count on is the drama – not only is she partnered up with infamous love rat rugby player Jamie Welsh, but one of the judges is none other than Alex Michaelson himself.

As the show progresses, will Katie be shown the hard way, once again, that romance on the ice should remain strictly off-limits?

PURCHASE LINKS

Kindle UK . 

Apple Books . 

Kobo . 

Nook

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Helen Buckley lives in Bedfordshire with her husband and two sons. After working in the charity sector in the UK and abroad, she turned her hand to writing and her first novel, Star in the Shadows, was published in 2019.

She writes any moment that she can, enthralled by stories of fame, romance and happy ever afters. Apart from being addicted to writing and enjoying soft play with her sons, she’s an avid reader, action-movie fan and chocolate addict. 

Follow Helen on Twitter: @HelenCBuckley Like her page on Facebook: Helen Buckley author

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