Exploring the Mysteries of the Mind

Tag: Kassandra Lamb (Page 1 of 2)

To Bark or Not To Bark is Live!!

Woot! Woot! We are live!!

Only $2.99 for a very short time after today’s release; then it goes up to $4.99. So grab your copy now.

To Bark or Not To Bark, A Marcia Banks and Buddy Mystery, #12

Service dog trainer Marcia Banks tackles a locked room mystery in a haunted house, while training the recipient of her latest dog.

The border collie, Dolly has been trained to clear rooms for an agoraphobic Marine who was ambushed in a bombed-out building. But the phantom attackers in his psyche become the least of his troubles when Marcia finds his ex-wife’s corpse in his master bedroom, with the door bolted from the inside.

Was it suicide or murder? Marcia can’t see her client as a killer, but the local sheriff can.

Then the Marine reports hearing his ex calling for him to join her on the other side of the grave. Is his house really haunted, or is he hallucinating?

Bottom line: Marcia has lost a client to suicide before. She’s not going to lose another!

Available Now on:

AMAZON ~ APPLE ~ NOOK ~ KOBO  ~ GOOGLE PLAY

 

Enjoy!!  Kass

 

Kass’s Summer Rad Reads

How did it get to be July already? I hope you all are having a good summer.

Here’s some summer reading for you. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any good free or 99 cent books this past month, but two of these are $2.99 (or free on Kindle Unlimited).

Sugar and Vice, A Cupcake Truck Mystery #1, by Emily James ~ Free on KU or $2.99

Isabel Addington is hiding from an abusive husband and trying to make a living selling cupcakes from a food truck. But both her living and her life are in jeopardy when the old man whose 100th birthday party she’s catering drops dead.

I’m familiar with this author, and her ability to develop characters and settings is remarkable.

But I wasn’t completely enthralled with this protagonist at first. She’s got a hard shell, which of course she has come by honestly. And her situation requires that she move frequently, to stay one step ahead of her abusive husband, so what’s the point of making friends, right?

But I really liked the unusual premise of a cozy’s main character escaping abuse and felt a good bit of sympathy for her.

And as the story unfolds, the handsome local detective—who starts out convinced she is the murderer—along with his adorable young niece begin to worm their way past Isabel’s defenses.

I have read all five books in this series, totally enjoying the evolution of Isabel from closed-off and defensive to fiercely loyal and protective of those she loves. The series ended way sooner than I would’ve liked.

I give Sugar and Vice and the rest of the series 4½ fingerprints.

The Medium of Branden Bay, A Ghost Cozy Mystery, by Kelly Mason – $2.99, Free on KU

(Note: I’m not crazy about this cover; I think it makes the story seem frivolous, which it is not.)

I’m not a huge paranormal fan but I do love a good ghost story, and this one is very good indeed. Set in a lovely seaside town in southwest England, it has a touch of humor, some quirky characters, a likeable protagonist and the requisite cat.

Smarting from a relationship gone sour, Becky James moves to her grandmother’s old house for the proverbial fresh start. But she discovers she’s inherited more than the Beach House and Grandma’s love of baking—she can also see ghosts. And her house is full of them.

Soon she is caught up in trying to solve a murder and the disappearance of a young girl.

With some interesting twists, this fun story left me wanting to read more about Becky and Branden Bay.  Book 2 is patiently waiting for me on my kindle.

I give The Medium of Branden Bay 4 fingerprints!

Murder In the Meadow, A Never Too Late Mystery #1, by DonnaRae Menard ~ $5.99 (I think it’s worth it)

(Again, not crazy about the cover; but this book is traditionally published, so the publisher picked it.)

Grandmothers and inheritances seem to be a theme this month. Only in this book, the main character, Katelyn Took has inherited a dilapidated farm, seventeen cats, and an addled old woman she has never met before.

All Kate wants is to sell the place and get back to her own life, which is definitely not in the hometown she fled ten years ago. But there are a few complications. One, a stipulation in Gram’s will says she has to live on the farm until homes are found for all the cats. And two, it’s looking like Gram’s death in the meadow wasn’t an accident!

The plot is interesting, but the characters are the best part of this story. Some of them are quite quirky (especially the four-legged ones), but mostly they are very real. More than once I felt like I was sitting at the kitchen table with Kate and Ruth (the confused old lady) trying to figure out how to make ends meet.

I just finished reading an advance copy of Book 2 and it’s equally good. Murder on Eagle Drop Ridge releases July 21st.

I give Murder in the Meadow 4½ fingerprints.

(You can also order the paperback HERE and support your local bookstore!)

That’s it for now, folks! Don’t forget to preorder my new book, To Bark or Not To Bark.

 

 

 

Rad Reads for Early Spring

You may think I’m jumping the gun here, calling it Spring, but I live in northern Florida, so our spring has actually started. We have truly beautiful weather for about 2 months; then it gets stinking hot (for 6 months)!

Okay, on to the book reviews in a moment, but first I wanted to give you all a heads up. I have Fatal Forty-Eight on Sale this week for just 99 cents, and I’ll have more bargains to tell you about this weekend.

So stay tuned!

Now for the rad reads…

Murder at the Marina, A Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery, Book 1, by Ellen Jacobson – Free

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book. Let me start with the positives.

Mollie McGhie is hoping for diamonds for her wedding anniversary. Instead her hubs, Scooter, buys her a fixer-upper sailboat. This premise definitely caught my attention, since I was raised in a family of boaters. I spent many a weekend, as a preteen and teenager, hanging out at marinas.

And what married woman hasn’t gotten at least one disastrous present from her husband? (Like the ugly yellow robe mine bought me for Christmas one year.) Mollie’s internal reaction to the boat and her attempts to get her hubs to sell it add humor to the story.

Also, the mystery itself is very well crafted, and the book is well-written. (Only a few typos and one small inconsistency, which is in the subplot).

I did not suspect the person who ended up being the killer, and yet my first thought was that it made perfect sense. That’s the way it should be in a good mystery!

The mystery was what kept me reading, even though I was having trouble relating to this couple. And I struggled to pin down why that was. I’m a fairly visual person (as are 65% of the American population) and I just couldn’t visualize this couple.

So I went back and re-read the first two chapters. There are physical details about these two, and they are very artfully woven into the narrative of the story. So why did I have no internal image of them?

I realized it was because I couldn’t figure out how old they were. They’ve been married ten years, and there’s no mention of previous marriages. Yet, Scooter is “retired,” but only because his business partners forced him to sell out to them, and he made enough from the sale to live independently.

Most of the folks they hang out with at the marina are middle aged or older. But I had trouble visualizing a man called Scooter as middle aged.

Another factor in the “having trouble relating” category was the subplot of Molly competing for an investigative reporter position—at an online publication about alien abductions. Molly is even convinced that one of the women at the marina was a victim of such abductions, but that remains an aside and isn’t really developed.

I think maybe the author worked a little too hard to make the main characters quirky. But there are plenty of other more realistic yet quirky folks at the marina, including a Japanese bobtail cat that adopts Mollie—although she thinks it’s the other way around.

And having said all that, I’ve downloaded Book 2 in the series and plan to read it soon. There are 7 books total, so far—a nice satisfying number for those of us who like to get to know characters and visit them periodically, like old friends.

And the other books are reasonably priced.

I give this story 4 fingerprints!

 

Here Comes the Witch, A Main Street Witches Cozy, Book 1, by Ani Gonzalez – 99 cents (Free through KU)

When I started this book, I thought that I wasn’t going to like it. First, there was the cover. While lovely, I felt it implied a cutesy type of witch cozy, which isn’t usually my cup of tea.

Then there was the premise, which seemed a little over the top. Kat Ramos, a Manhattan jewelry designer, is looking for capital to start her own store when she agrees to an odd proposal. Liam Hagen has renovated his family’s ancestral home (which happens to be cursed) and he wants to sell it, but first he needs to break the curse, by marrying a descendant of the witch who cursed it in the first place.

That descendant is Kat, who agrees to a sham marriage followed by a quick divorce.

She thinks she’s entered the Twilight Zone when she arrives in Liam’s hometown of Banshee Creek. The whole town is haunted and is proud of it. They even have their own ghost-hunting group, which does a booming business.

I like my paranormal in small doses that are at least somewhat realistic, i.e., it could happen, maybe… This story seemed to be heaping the paranormal on.

But I do like a good ghost story. So I kept reading.

I’m so glad I did! The story is well written and the mystery around the ghost and the curse is intriguing, with some very nice twists and turns.

And I kinda fell in love with Kat and Liam as they (slight spoiler alert) are falling in love with each other.

Plus this series is very reasonably priced.

The author just released Book 7, a Valentine book with a wedding! And it is only $0.99, at the moment.

Four fingerprints for Here Comes the Witch.

The First Time I Died, A Garnet McGee Mystery, Book 1, by Jo Macgregor — $4.99 (and worth it)

This is one of the best written books I’ve read in a long time (excluding misterio press authors, of course 🙂 ) And the story concept is quite original, a new twist on the protagonist going home to find closure for old unresolved issues.

Graduate student Garnett McGee goes to her hometown for Christmas, and finds herself drawn into trying to solve the ten-year-old murder of her high school sweetheart. But after a near-death experience, she finds herself thinking thoughts and feeling feelings that are not her own, and having flashbacks to experiences she never had.

When she was brought back to life by the paramedics, apparently she didn’t come back alone.

This story is poignant at times, suspenseful at other times, and engaging throughout.

And kudos to Ms. Macgregor and her publisher for a practically flawless technical presentation. No typos, no grammatical errors. Quite refreshing.

I have read Book 2, and am looking forward to Book 3, which I have on my kindle but haven’t yet read. I’m saving it for a special occasion.

Five fingerprints for The First Time I Died.

That’s it for this time, Folks. Happy reading!!

Kass Lamb

Rad Reads for Winter

It’s that time of year when you just want to curl up near the fireplace, with a hot drink in one hand and a good book in the other.

For the hot drink, I recommend hot chocolate (dark; it’s good for you), with whipped cream.

For the book, here are a few suggestions!

Once Upon a Crime, A Waterfell Tweed Mystery #1, by Mona Marple – FREE this week ( normally a reasonable $2.99 to buy, or Free on KU)

If you like British village mysteries, this series is for you! Sandy Shaw is the village’s primary baker and bookseller, until the man who had just announced he’s going to open a rival bookstore turns up dead. Then she becomes the primary suspect.

This is a fun read, with a well-plotted mystery and a final twist I did not see coming. I give Once Upon a Crime 4 ½ fingerprints. I’ve deducted a half fingerprint because there are some typos. Not enough to be all that distracting, but I’m one of those people for whom typos jump off the page, so I did notice them.

Bound, The Witches of Doyle Cozy Mysteries #1, by Kirsten Weiss – FREE

Being a part of misterio press’s group of authors has certainly broadened my reading horizons. I had never cared much for paranormal stories, but Kirsten Weiss is such a pro at writing them that she has won me over.

Bound is Book 1 in a 10-book series about triplets who happen to be witches—the good kind. Each of the Bonheim sisters has their own type of magic, and Karin—the oldest of the three by a few minutes—senses the threads that tie things together.

But there’s something off about their hometown of Doyle—hikers disappear in the woods and some people seem cursed with bad luck—plus Karin discovers that she’s destined to become the next victim of a family curse. In order to survive, she must solve a murder and the mystery behind what has cursed her town and herself.

In Bound, and the rest of the series, the magic is believable (yes, I realize that is somewhat a contradiction in terms), the plots are twisty and the characters well-developed. I give Bound an enthusiastic 5 fingerprints.

Maids of Misfortune, A Victorian San Francisco Mystery #1, by M. Louisa Locke – FREE

Another subgenre I’ve learned to appreciate more through misterio press is historical mystery.  And M. Louisa Locke is a master storyteller.

In 1879, young widow Annie Fuller secretly supplements her income as a boardinghouse owner by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco’s most exclusive clairvoyants.

But when one of her clients dies—the police assume at his own hand—Annie suspects murder. Enter the victim’s lawyer, Nate Dawson, and sparks fly.

This series is full of great mysteries, seasoned with a sweet romance. And one of the things I like best about it is that each book highlights some social issue of the times; in this one it is the plight of housemaids in the 19th century.

Also, Locke’s books are meticulously written and proofread. I don’t recall finding a single error in any of them. So Maids of Misfortune and the entire series has earned 5 fingerprints in my book!

That’s it for this month’s suggestions. Enjoy these winter reads!

 

 

 

 

 

MLK Sale ~ Police Protection Just $0.99 This Week

A quick Announcement to let you all know that Police Protection is On Sale this week for Only 99 Cents!!

Police Protection, #10 in the Kate Huntington Mysteries

A story ripped from real-life headlines! A police detective is found in an alley standing over the body of an unarmed African-American boy. Gun in hand and groggy from a concussion, he has no memory of what happened.

To the police department’s I.A. division, it’s a slam-dunk. But various forces push psychotherapist Kate Huntington and her P.I. husband to investigate behind the scenes, and what they find doesn’t add up. Why did the boy’s oldest brother disappear on the same day? And did the third brother, who’s on the autism spectrum and nonverbal, witness something relevant?

For Kate, the case becomes personal as she connects with the grieving mother, whose dead son was the same age as her Billy. Then a series of seemingly unrelated events emerges as a pattern of intentional obstruction of their investigation, and Kate and Skip conclude two things.

Whatever happened in that alley, it was more than just a bad shoot by a stressed-out cop. And while the answers may come from unexpected sources, they had better find them soon… before another life is lost.

 

 

Delicious Deals and Rad Reads ~ Caturday Edition

The August edition of my new book review feature is great for foodies and cat lovers! Two out of three of this month’s books involve food, and they all have a cat in them.

Up first, another fantastic first-in-series by PD Workman, who is now very near the top of my favorite authors list. Boy, can this woman write!!

Gluten-Free Murder, An Auntie Clem’s Bakery Mystery #1, by PD Workman – FREE

All too often characters in cozies seem a tad two-dimensional. I mean, they’re usually interesting and relatable, but maybe not completely fleshed out.

Not so with Erin Price. She has come to the small town of Bald Eagle Falls to turn her late aunt’s tea shop into a gluten-free bakery. But things go south on opening day when her rival, the owner of the only other bakery in town, dies after eating one of Erin’s muffins.

Workman seamlessly weaves Erin’s back story as a foster child into the first few chapters until you feel like you’ve known her for years and are right there with her as she drags herself out of bed each morning to bake and then searches for clues in the afternoons.

She is soon joined in these endeavors by a young woman named Vic and a stray tabby kitten, both of whom worm their way into Erin’s heart.

This book ticks all the boxes for a cozy—small town setting, determined amateur sleuth with an interesting/somewhat different vocation, a cute animal, a human sidekick, and a police officer whom said sleuth isn’t sure is friend or foe.

But despite it being a cozy, the author isn’t afraid to tackle real-life issues and her climax scene will have you sitting on the edge of your seat.

A wholehearted five fingerprints for Gluten-Free Murder. Now I have to hurry up and read the other 15 books in the series, including her newest release Hot On the Trail Mix.

And PD Workman has three new releases in the Reg Rawlins Psychic Investigations series:
Skunk Man Swamp  and Magic Ain’t A Game came out in June and July, and Without Foresight will release on August 20.

Next up, a culinary cozy series with a twist—a main character who can’t cook!

One Taste Too Many, A Sarah Blair Mystery – by award-winning author, Debra H. Goldstein ~ Free for Kindle Unlimited, Only $1.99 to buy on Amazon; $6.99 Elsewhere

Sarah Blair can’t cook. But her twin sister is a gourmet chef, and Sarah is determined to help her when she’s accused of poisoning someone with her rhubarb crisp. Especially since the victim is Sarah’s ex-husband.

This is a fun story, with well-developed characters, tight writing and clear descriptions of settings that don’t slow down the pace. I could easily picture the large conference hall, with its many booths, and the stage where the cooking competition is held.

Oh, and did I mention there’s a cat? A feisty Siamese named RahRah, who becomes the focus of a custody battle.

I give this first-in-series four and a half fingerprints. The next book in the series is already waiting for me on my kindle, with two more after that, including the newly released Four Cuts Too Many.

And last but not least… You’ve heard of “sweet” romance, well this next story is a sweet mystery.

Fish Out of Water, A Seaside Bookshop Mystery #1 – by Emily Selby – FREE in Kindle Unlimited; $2.99 to buy

The main character of this series, Amelia Barry, is obviously intelligent; after all she’s an IT security consultant back in London. But she’s taken a break from that job, at her boss’s suggestion, after running amok in her communications with clients. She’s come to Leah-by-the Sea to visit her godmother who’s just bought an old bookshop there.

But she finds the house and bookshop empty, and a stray cat leads her to a corpse on the beach. Having not seen her godmother in many years, she worries that the dead woman might be her.

Although the author doesn’t say it in so many words, it quickly becomes apparent to the reader that Amelia is on the autism spectrum. She takes things literally, misses social cues, becomes easily overwhelmed, and doesn’t like to be touched.

I found her endearing, as does the local constable (who has a cute dimple when he smiles) and his talkative mother, Mrs. Webb, the B&B owner who takes Amelia in until things can “get sorted.”

There are plenty of interesting twists as Amelia and the constable sift through clues, often with the unwanted “help” of Mrs. Webb.

These delightful characters made this a fun read, and I’ve already downloaded the next book in the series, also reasonably priced at $2.99. Plus, her newest release in the series, Not the Only Pebble on the Beach, was $0.99 last time I checked. Grab it quick; it won’t stay that low.

I would love to give this book 5 fingerprints, but I am deducting one because it has a few too many errors. Not a huge number, but I’m one of those people for whom typos jump off the page. Also, it is formatted in a somewhat unusual way, with block paragraphs and spaces between. This was distracting at first, but I eventually got used to it.

Stay tuned! In September, I’ll be reviewing the delightful first-in-series, Undertaking Irene, by Pamela Burford.

 

Funny Valentine is Live and Buy Audio Books Directly Now!

Woohoo!! The next Marcia and Buddy book is live!

My Funny Mayfair Valentine, A Marcia Banks and Buddy Mystery, #10

A newcomer to Mayfair charms the socks off of Susanna Mayfair, the sheltered niece of the town’s elderly matriarch. In a panic, the aunt turns to service dog trainer Marcia Banks to dig into the man’s past.

What Marcia finds, with her detective husband Will’s help, is disturbing—a trail of broken hearts and outstanding warrants. But when the older gentleman is arrested, he claims it’s a case of mistaken identity.

While Will attempts to untangle the truth and Susanna struggles with her feelings, Marcia is worried about her friend’s mental health, unaware that Susanna may be in physical danger as well. Will Marcia figure it out in time to protect Susanna…and herself?

AVAILABLE NOW FOR $0.99 for a very limited time!

AMAZON ~ APPLE ~ NOOK ~ KOBO ~ GOOGLE PLAY

Paperback format is in the works!

 

And great news, folks. You can now buy my audio books directly, usually at a lower price than charged on audio book retailers.

Check it out HERE:

Download an app at the store to listen on your Android or iOS device!

Patches is Live!! (and about That Contest)

~~~

First the great news!! Patches In The Rye is live!!!

Anyone who scored an ARC through my newsletter or street team, I would appreciate a review (links below).

Second, the contest program somehow neglected to collect names, so I can’t readily announce our winner. The email address starts with shirley, so if this is you, please check your email (including your spam folder). Thanks!!

Patches In The Rye, A Marcia Banks and Buddy Mystery #5:
.

Nothing about her new client is what service dog trainer Marcia Banks expected—from the posh house that says family money to his paranoid preoccupation with his sister’s love life—but when he dangles a thousand dollar retainer under her nose, she can’t resist his request to play private detective.

In between training sessions with her client’s new service dog, Marcia learns the sister’s boyfriend has a sketchy past. He seems to have turned over a new leaf, but as she digs deeper, more disturbing and confusing questions arise. How is a disastrous frat party five years ago linked to blackmail, prostitutes, and murder today? And who is behind the wheel of the black SUV that keeps trying to turn Marcia and her canine companion Buddy into roadkill?

Marcia can’t let it go, not when there are innocents at risk who are depending on her to find the truth. But the deepest, darkest truth is one she wishes she never uncovered.

Available Now for $0.99 for a limited time!

AMAZON    NOOK    APPLE    KOBO

Paperback will be out soon!

anxiety attack is live!! (& Love and Murder Boxed Set still on sale)

 

The next Kate Huntington Mystery (#9) is NOW LIVE!!

And LOVE and MURDER, a Kate Huntington Romantic Suspense Collection is ON SALE for JUST $0.99 for THREE more Days!

book cover

ANXIETY ATTACK, A Kate Huntington Mystery #9

When an operative working undercover for Kate Huntington’s husband is shot, the alleged shooter turns out to be one of Kate’s psychotherapy clients, a man suffering from severe social anxiety. P.I. Skip Canfield had doubts from the beginning about this case, a complicated one of top secret projects and industrial espionage. Now one of his best operatives, and a friend, is in the hospital fighting for his life.

Tensions build when Skip learns that Kate—who’s convinced her client is innocent and too emotionally fragile to survive in prison—has been checking out leads on her own. Then a suspicious suicide brings the case to a head. Is the shooter tying up loose ends? Almost too late, Skip realizes he may be one of those loose ends, and someone seems to have no qualms about destroying his agency or getting to him through his family.

AMAZON US    AMAZON UK    AMAZON CA    AMAZON AUS

APPLE    KOBO    NOOK

JUST $1.99 ~ for 5 days!   Goes up to $3.99 on 2/22/17.

 

And LOVE and MURDER is  $0.99  until 2/20/17   (Books #2-#4 in the Kate Huntington series)

LoveAndMarriageMurder FINALTHREE ROMANTIC SUSPENSE STORIES for LESS THAN the PRICE of ONE!

​Newly widowed Kate Huntington is sure that romance is a thing of the past for her. How could anyone replace her beloved husband? But when she reconnects with the hunk of a bodyguard who protected her from her late husband’s killer, she isn’t sure of anything anymore.

There’s only one thing that P.I. Skip Canfield knows for sure. He’s fallen hard for the young widow Kate Huntington. What he doesn’t know is legion. Can his love banish the ghost of her dead husband? And most important of all, can he stop three killers bent on their destruction?

AMAZON EVERYWHERE    APPLE    NOOK    KOBO

ENJOY!!

Anxiety Attack Cover Reveal (& Love and Murder Boxed Set is On Sale!)

The next Kate Huntington Mystery is finally here!! Cover reveal this week, and it goes live on 2/18/17.

(Psst, you can PREORDER it now.)

And I’ve got the LOVE and MURDER, a Kate Huntington Romantic Suspense Collection ON SALE in honor of Valentine’s Day. More on that below but first, the new cover!!

book cover

My cover designer outdid herself this time, and this was a tough one. It was hard to come up with the right concept for this complicated plot. Here’s the blurb:

When an operative working undercover for Kate Huntington’s husband is shot, the alleged shooter turns out to be one of Kate’s psychotherapy clients, a man suffering from severe social anxiety. P.I. Skip Canfield had doubts from the beginning about this case, a complicated one of top secret projects and industrial espionage. Now one of his best operatives, and a friend, is in the hospital fighting for his life.

Tensions build when Skip learns that Kate—who’s convinced her client is innocent and too emotionally fragile to survive in prison—has been checking out leads on her own. Then a suspicious suicide brings the case to a head. Is the shooter tying up loose ends? Almost too late, Skip realizes he may be one of those loose ends, and someone seems to have no qualms about destroying his agency or getting to him through his family.

AMAZON US      AMAZON UK     AMAZON CA     AMAZON AUS

APPLE      KOBO     NOOK

JUST $1.99 ~ for you my loyal readers, until 5 days after release on 2/18/17.

Goes up to $3.99 on 2/22/17.

 

And here’s the sale for LOVE and MURDER, for your Valentine’s Day reading pleasure ~

LoveAndMarriageMurder FINAL

Just $0.99 for 10 days, from 2/10/17 to 2/20/17 

(Books #2-#4 in the Kate Huntington series)

THREE ROMANTIC SUSPENSE STORIES for LESS THAN the PRICE of ONE!

​Newly widowed Kate Huntington is sure that romance is a thing of the past for her. How could anyone replace her beloved husband? But when she reconnects with the hunk of a bodyguard who protected her from her late husband’s killer, she isn’t sure of anything anymore.

There’s only one thing that P.I. Skip Canfield knows for sure. He’s fallen hard for the young widow Kate Huntington. What he doesn’t know is legion. Can his love banish the ghost of her dead husband? And most important of all, can he stop three killers bent on their destruction?

AMAZON EVERYWHERE    APPLE    NOOK     KOBO

HAPPY READING, EVERYONE!

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