Monday, January 30, 2012

Catholic Company Book Review: The Sacraments in Scripture

About the Book:
The Bible testifies to the crucial role that the Sacraments play in God's relationship with humankind. Yet sometimes we take them for granted and miss the true power and significance each Sacrament represents.

Lectio divina, the ancient practice of Scripture immersion, is at the heart of this process. It explores complex topics with sequential steps of study, meditation, and internalization. Specifically, every chapter leads you forward through a sequence of:

Listening - Reading Scripture with expectancy, trusting that God will speak His Word to us through it. 
Understanding - Seeking to comprehend the meaning of the text, encountering God there, and being changed by that encounter. 
Reflecting - Linking the truth of the Scriptures to the experience of faith in the world in which we live. 
Praying - A dialogue with God: we listen to God, then we respond in prayer.
Acting - After prayerfully listening to a passage of Scripture, we should be inspired to make a difference in the way we live.

The Lectio Divina Bible Study series is suitable for parish, small group, or individual use.

My Comments:
This book goes through all seven sacraments.  Through chapters such as "Baptism in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit", "God Will Provide the Lamb for Sacrifice", "Entrusted with the Ministry of Reconciliation" and "The Two Become One Flesh", this book not only describes the practice of Lectio Divina, but gives the reader plenty of opportunity to practice it.  Each chapter beings with a few lines to focus  you as you read  scripture passages related to the topic.  Following the scripture passage is some information of the type usually found in Bible study guides.  Reflection questions followed by a prayer and a request for action close out the chapters.

If found the scripture commentary to be very interesting and the reflection questions gave me fodder for prayer.  I enjoyed the book and recommend it for people who want to know more about the scriptural underpinnings of the sacraments as well as for those looking for a guide to prayer.  Grade:  B.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Lectio Divina Bible Study: Sacraments. They are also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Monday Memes

This month, Mailbox Monday is hosted by At Home With Books.  Bloggers list  books that arrived in either snail mail or email.  Snail mail brought me an unsolicited book and a cookbook:

I downloaded a  NetGalley:

 It's Monday What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey.  She asks what we read last week, what we reviewed last week and what we plan to read this week.  Since my last Monday post, I've read:
My Story, My Song (To be reviewed later)

The Priest and the Peaches (To be reviewed in February)

I also published one review of a book read earlier:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

I'd like to welcome everyone to Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival.  We are a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share our best posts with each other.  To particpate, go to your blog and create an entry titled Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival.  In it, highlight one or more of your posts from the past week that you believe would be of interest to Catholic bloggers---whether they are posts reflecting on spiritual matters or posts about antics of Catholic kids, or anything in between.  Come back here and enter the URL of that post below.  Finally, go visit other participants, and leave comments!  If you want a weekly reminder to post, join our yahoogroup.

I'm glad to have everyone here, and just want to remind you that posts linked below should contain a link back here.

I reviewed a couple of books this week that I think you'll find interesting.  The first is Girls Uncovered, a book that uses research and logic, rather than religion or morality, to argue against non-marital sex.  The second is Angelina's Bachelors, a story about a young widow who starts cooking for neighborhood bachelors to earn money after her husband dies. 

How about you?  

My Review: Summer Garden

About the Book:
Falling for "Maddening Moira" O'Malley was the unexpected highlight of Luke O'Brien's Dublin holiday. So when she pays a surprise visit to Chesapeake Shores, Luke is thrilled…at first. A fling with this wild Irish rose is one thing, but forever? Maybe someday, but not when he's totally focused on establishing a business that will prove his mettle to his overachieving family.

Given Luke's reaction, Moira has some soul-searching of her own to do. Scarred by her father's abandonment, she wonders if Luke, with his playboy past, is truly the family man she longs for. Adding to her dilemma, she's offered an amazing chance at a dream career of her own.

Deep down, though, Moira knows home is the real prize, and that love can be every bit as enchanted as a summer garden.

My Comments:
This volume of  the Chesapeake Shores saga by Sherryl Woods picks up neatly where An O'Brien Family Christmas ended.  Luke and Moira are a young couple, both with trust issues, both trying to find their way in the world, who finally realize they are stronger together than apart.  They both are trying to prove themselves professionally, though Luke has a better idea of his path than Moira does of hers.

Their story is nicely balanced by the story of their grandparents--people in the twilight of their lives who loved each other in their youth, were separated, married others and raised families, and now are able to be together.  Fans of the series will enjoy catching up on all the members of the O'Brien family.

The book is clearly series romance with a large cast of characters who seem to do little in this book.  Luke and Moira and their grandparents are likable couples that you just "know" belong together and of course, as it is a romance novel, they get their happily ever after (after a few bumps in the road). There is plenty of bedroom activity, but we are left outside the door.

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade:  B.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book Review: Girls Uncovered

About the Book:
Any parent can identify with the feeling that girls growing up in America face a treacherous future; Uncovered Girls unveils the facts. In a follow up to their eye-opening release, Hooked, obstetricians Joe McIlhaney and Freda Bush present stunning scientific research on the development of young girls in America's increasingly reckless sexual culture. They survey the reality of prevalent sexual behaviors and attitudes as well as their psychological, social, physical, and spiritual effects. Despite the harrowing facts revealed by their studies, McIlhaney and Bush give us hope through their expertise as physicians and parents of daughters. Girls Uncovered provides fundamental wisdom and practical advice to help parents, counselors, and church leaders guide young girls safely through the challenges they will face so they can achieve their potential and enjoy full health, hope and happiness.

My Comments:
I'm a middle-aged conservative mom.  "Cool" isn't a word generally used to describe me.  I don't dress or act like a teenager (but according to my teen daughter, that's a good thing).  Part of being not cool is that I think that regardless of your moral or religious beliefs, non-marital sex is just plain dumb.  The authors of Girls Uncovered: New Research on What America's Sexual Culture Does to Young Women agree.  They make a convincing argument backed up by research (which is cited) that non-marital, particular early non-marital sexual activity, works against the goals girls set for themselves.  While girls say they want an education, a career, a stable marriage and children, non-marital sex can lead to pregnancy which derails educational and career plans, and makes a good marriage partner harder to find.  It can lead to disease which causes infertility.  It can cause you to develop relationship patterns that make it more difficult to develop the intimacy skills necessary for a good marriage.  Why then, with all these negatives, are our girls engaging in so much non-marital sex?

The authors go through the hormonal aspects of desire for sex as well as the physiological/psychological effects sex have on us.  In short, our bodies are programmed to want sex, and then, once we have it, it is natural for girls to feel closer to the guy.  Unfortunately the same is not necessarily true for men.

I liked the way this book took readers through the various lies that are told today, like "safe sex" and refuted them not with "The Bible (or Pope) says it's wrong" but rather "This study says that people who abstain from non-marital sex are more likely to achieve the goal you want".  The authors come right out and say "Sex before marriage is sexist"--the bad consequences are far more likely to happen to women--pregnancy, infertility, her caring more about him than he does about her"  They also point out that cohabitation is a bad idea.  Cohabitation before marriage is associated with a higher rate of marital break-up and cohabiting women have a higher rate of unplanned pregnancy than married women do.

While the book as a whole is addressed to parents, there is one chapter addressed to teen girls and my daughter will find herself gifted with it.

My only complaint about the book is that at times it seemed repetitive.  Still, it was an easy read full of good information.  Grade:  B+ . The authors are involved with this organization.

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Monday Memes

This month, Mailbox Monday is hosted by At Home With Books.  Bloggers list  books that arrived in either snail mail or email.  Snail mail brought me

I downloaded a few NetGalleys:

 It's Monday What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey.  She asks what we read last week, what we reviewed last week and what we plan to read this week.  Since my last Monday post, I've read and reviewed:

I also wrote about Kindle freebies.  Let me know if you are a fan of them.

Heartache Falls: My Review

About the Book:
Married for more than twenty years, and with her children out of the nest, Ali Timberlake has come to Eternity Springs alone. She’s looking for answers to heartbreaking questions and searching for something that’s missing deep within herself. Taking a lease on the Bristlecone Café in pursuit of a lifelong dream, Ali feels revitalized as she becomes part of this charming mountain town. But a big piece of her is still back in Denver with her husband, Mac, a successful judge—and a man who isn’t going to let the woman he loves leave without a fight.

When Mac shows up in Eternity Springs—sexy, seductive, and determined to win his wife back—he experiences the wonder of the place that has given Ali such feelings of happiness and belonging. He wants that for her, but even more, he wants that with her. Ali has found a special place for her heart. But is there still enough room left in that heart for him?

My Comments:
I think Amazon recommended either this book or another in the series, so I requested it from my library.  It is a sweet re-romance--a story about a middle-aged married couple who find that life post-kids isn't what they had thought it would be.  She got pregnant in college and has spent her life as a stay at home mom.  He is an attorney who just became a federal judge.  She is the first to admit she is unhappy and to try to do something about it.  At first, he doesn't understand why she is unhappy.  By the end of the book...

I liked the fact that she really didn't know what was wrong at first, it took a lot of time for her to figure out why she wasn't happy, and then he was able to accept that.  It would have been so easy to make her husband a bad guy, but she didn't.  I wonder how many mid-life divorces could be avoided if those involved took time to figure out how they could change to make life better, rather than expecting that leaving a spouse will do that.

This was a sweet read, but one that was obviously part of a series (and I haven't read the other books). There were a lot of useless characters and references to some back story.  There was also a set-up for the next one.

There are a couple of intimate scenes but if you are looking for an instruction manual, you'll be disappointed. However, we are definitely there, not outside the door.

While no literary masterpiece this book was a pleasant afternoon diversion.  Grade:  B.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: Angelina's Bachelors

About the Book:
Far too young to be a widow, Angelina D’Angelo suddenly finds herself facing a life without her beloved husband, Frank. Late one night shortly after the funeral, she makes her way down to the kitchen and pours all of her grief and anger into the only outlet she has left—her passion for cooking. In a frenzy of concentration and swift precision, she builds layer upon layer of thick, rich lasagna, braids loaves of yeasty bread, roasts plump herb-rubbed chicken; she makes so much food that she winds up delivering the spoils to the neighbors in her tight-knit Italian community in South Philadelphia.

Retiree Basil Cupertino, who has just moved in with his kindly sister across the street, is positively smitten with Angelina’s food. In a stroke of good fortune, Basil offers Angelina (not only husbandless but unemployed) a job cooking for him—two meals a day, six days a week, in exchange for a handsome salary. Soon, word of her irresistible culinary prowess spreads and she finds herself cooking for seven bachelors—and in the process discovers the magical power of food to heal, to bring people together . . . and maybe even to provide a second chance at love.

Filled to the brim with homemade warmth, Angelina’s Bachelors is a sweet tale of overcoming grief, redefining family, and following your heart—through food.

My Comments:
This is one that caught my eye when reading book blogs.  I found it at our library last week and must say that it has been a nice change from what has gotten to be a pretty steady diet of romance novels.  Losing your husband must be traumatic for any happily married woman, but Angelina lost hers suddenly when he was relatively young.  I enjoyed watching her use her talents not only to move beyond her grief but also to help others find their way in life.  

The book is about 350 pages long, but it read more quickly than that for me because it featured many pages of complicated multi-ingredient recipes--the kind that take hours to cook and dirty every pot I own.  If you are a foodie, then maybe you'd enjoy reading them in detail; I just skimmed.

Angelina is an Italian-American Catholic.  The author is Brian O'Reilly.  With a name like that, I suspect there is some Catholic in his background; however, there were a couple of points that stood out to me, that made me wonder whether he was taking literary license (and if so, why) or if he really isn't that familiar with Catholicism.  Angelina is at a baptism.  The Godfather answers for the baby, not the parent, and the words, other than the actual "I baptize you..." were unfamiliar to me.  Salt was placed on the baby's tongue, as was done pre-Vatican II, and the "I baptize you" part was done in Latin, followed by an English exchange "The Lord be with you" "And also with you".  

As someone married to an Italian-American, I enjoyed reading about the custom of eating seven fish dishes on Christmas Eve.  My husband said he has heard of eating fish; but not seven dishes.  A parallel was drawn between the seven fish dishes and the seven sacraments.  I'll share them with you:
  • Clams and oysters because God is your armor from trouble
  • Salt fish because God's Word gives a flavor to the world
  • Calamari because God can reach out his arms and find you
  • Eels because God's Word goes so quickly
  • Smelts because even the smallest will be as the biggest when the Kingdom comes
  • Flounder because God's eyes are always open
Since it was an enjoyable story not claiming to be religious fiction, I'll give O'Brien a bit of a pass on the religious stuff and give the book a B.

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

I'd like to welcome everyone to Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival.  We are a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share our best posts with each other.  To particpate, go to your blog and create an entry titled Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival.  In it, highlight one or more of your posts from the past week that you believe would be of interest to Catholic bloggers---whether they are posts reflecting on spiritual matters or posts about antics of Catholic kids, or anything in between.  Come back here and enter the URL of that post below.  Finally, go visit other participants, and leave comments!  If you want a weekly reminder to post, join our yahoogroup.

I'm glad to have everyone here, and just want to remind you that posts linked below should contain a link back here.

No real "Catholic" posts this week.  I wrote about free books for the Kindle, reviewed a WWII era thriller (and the author is giving away a "Spy Pack" that includes an I-Pod Touch.  I  wrote about a book titled The Kitchen Daughter and used it as a reflection on some things going on in my life.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Kindle Freebies

(if you click that link to buy a Kindle, I get a couple of nickels)

Last Christmas, two very nice folks for whom I work bought me a Kindle.  It has become my favorite toy.  At this time I have over three hundred books on it, very few of which cost me any money.   Because I am a book blogger, I have access to NetGalley, which offers bloggers and other "professional readers" free review copies of new books.  However, another one of my freebie sources is available to anyone with a computer:  The Kindle Store.  So far this week, I have "purchased" thirty-six Kindle versions of books, none of which cost me a cent (or a dollar).  This week, most of my "finds" are cookbooks, and honestly, I probably wouldn't ever buy most of them, but given that they were free, and only for a limited time, pushing the download button wasn't very hard.  Others were self-published digital format only romance novels which are probably worth what I paid for them, but maybe one day I'll take a look at one of them, if I have time.  At least one is a book for which I've seen reviews of the printed copy on book blogs.  

Where do I find all these freebies?  E-Reader Love has blog that publishes on or more lists daily of Kindle Freebies. So far today (I'm writing just before noon) they have published a list of forty mystery/suspense/thrillers.  Yesterday, they listed sixty-five books, the day before, sixty.  Even I can't read that many books a week.  Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can still download the books to read on  your computer.  

What is in it for them?  I guess the idea is that once I read something by an author, I will want to read something else.  Also, most of these offers are temporary, and my guess is that they sell a few even after they start charging again because people like me see them listed on newsletters, click the button to purchase and then choose to do so, even if they are no longer free.  

What is your procedure for "purchasing" Kindle (or Nook) freebies?  Do you grab stuff when you become aware of it, keeping it until you decide to read it (or not) or do you only review free offerings if you want something new to read--and then read your new books shortly thereafter?  Have you found any gems via freebies?  Do you subscribe to any websites listing freebies, or do you have a favorite search you run in order to find them?  Let's talk about Kindle Freebies.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Blog Tour: Chasing Mona Lisa

About the book:
It is August 1944 and Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country, stealing countless pieces of art. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all, the Mona Lisa, as a post-war bargaining chip to get him to South America. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue DaVinci's masterpiece before it falls into German hands? 

With nonstop action, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get readers' adrenaline pumping as they join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh country chateau, the race is on--and the runners are playing for keeps. 
My Comments:
I enjoyed this World War II thriller about two Swiss agents and two French nationals who work together (sort of) to keep the Mona Lisa out of the hands of the retreating Nazis.  Within this thriller the reader is given information about the painting itself (it is painted on wood, not canvas, for one), about French politics of the era and about the German occupation of Paris during the war.  The four main characters make up two couples so there is a little romance involved, but it isn't a romance novel.  It is a fast-paced book with a happy ending.  

While published by Revell, a Christian imprint, the book isn't the slightest bit religious--well, it did mention church bells, that one man was a minister and that one of the characters said a prayer (but readers are not privy to the prayer) and that there was a thanksgiving service at Notre Dame where DeGaulle said the Magnifcat .  I'd say it earns its "Christian" designation by being squeaky clean--despite the subject matter never is a swear word uttered, and the couples in question are clearly chaste.  

The story grabbed me early into the book and kept me turning pages until it was over.  If I had to criticize the plot, I'd say that things worked out too well, but then I'm not a real fan of death, mayhem and sadness so  for me, that's not really a problem.  

I'd like to thank the folks at Lifuse for providing a complimentary review copy.  You can see what other folks touring this book think by clicking here.  

Have you ever wanted to be a spy?  In connection with this blog tour, a "Spy Pack" including an I-pod Touch is being given away.  See my post. 

About the authors:
Tricia Goyer is the coauthor of The Swiss Courier as well as the author of many other books, including Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights, both past winners of the ACFW's Book of the Year Award for Long Historical Romance. Goyer lives with her family in Arkansas. For more about Tricia and her other books

Mike Yorkey is the author or coauthor of dozens of books, including The Swiss Courier and the bestselling Every Man's Battle series. Married to a Swiss native, Yorkey lived in Switzerland for 18 months. He and his family currently reside in California. For more about Mike and his other books visit

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Thoughts: The Kitchen Daughter

My Comments:
This is really more of a post about my life than this book, but good books are supposed to make you examine your own life.  Some of my readers know, my nineteen year old son is on the autism spectrum.  I've always said it was on the mild end, and I guess that's true, but honestly, right now, I don't know.  After graduating from high school last spring (a year late, but with a regular diploma) he said he was tired of school and wanted to get a job.  We live near a major street with fast food places, grocery stores etc., so I sent him out to pound the pavement.  He returned, saying that they told him to apply on-line.  At the same time we were working with the State to get him into a job placement program for the handicapped.  The idea is that they would help him find  a job and then provide a job coach to teach him the job,and then phase out.  The state contracts with private companies to provide this service.  We chose the company my son wanted to use, not the one I would have selected, and nothing happened all summer.  I was not concerned because I know the economy isn't the greatest and a lot of my daughter's friends who were looking for work were not finding it.  

When school started in the fall, I told him  that since he had not found a job, he had to go to school.  I took him to the local community college and signed him up for the program he chose.  If I had just dropped him off with a credit card, I doubt he would have figured out the system well enough to make it through registration.  I read in the paper that about 70% of the students at the community college were required to take remedial classes.  My son was not in that number.  However, if he returned this semester, he'd be on academic  probation and would need to retake at least two of his three classes.  The really frustrating thing is though, that looking at his grades,he got A's and B's on the work he turned in; he got bad grades because it took me figuring out how the school's computer system worked, among other things, to get him to the point of being able to hand in his work--but even after that was taken care of, this kid who was at school from 8-5 two days a week, and only taking nine hours, chose not to complete all his assignments.  

Shortly before Christmas we changed employment vendors since the previous ones did not appear to have done anything.  The new ones evaluated him and told me that he was  not ready to get a job--that he lacked the basic skills of listening to the boss and doing it the boss' way, and sticking with it until it was done.  The recommended a program to teach those skills, but that program can only be bought with money from a different pot and we are only in the process of applying for it (applying for all these programs is practically a full-time job).  That money won't come through for 3-4 months, assuming things go our way.  Until then, I'm trying to keep him busy with housework and whatever else I can cook up.

What does all that have to do with this book? The book is about an autistic young woman.  What video games are to my son,cooking is to her.  It is what she does, what she loves, what she thinks about, what she talks about.  The book takes place in the weeks following her parents' accidental death.  It is told in the first person and she tells us about her sister trying to get her to sell the house and move in with her--which she does not want to do.  She also talks about her sister's young daughter, who may be autistic too--and another  autistic family member.  

Ginny, the autistic woman, has been sheltered all her life (and yes, in some ways, we shelter my son--like navigating  college registration for him) and is trying to figure out how to deal with life on her own. That's the hardest part of parenting a kid like mine--how much do you push, how much do you allow, how much do you shelter.  We  have chosen to allow him to drive--and shortly after he got his license he was in an accident.  Did we make the right choice?  I don't know-I heard lots of stories about lots of kids who got in wrecks shortly after they started driving.  We've limited his driving, but he still drives;another accident and we'll have to reconsider.  I told him to take the bus to go pay his ticket.  He called me, upset that the bus stop was not where he thought it should be.  He got my voicemail, and by the time I called him back,he had figured it out.  He doesn't want to work--he is perfectly happy living as a twelve year old on summer vacation.  While it is nice having a live-in  housekeeper, my goal is for him to be gainfully employed.  My goal is also to make it possible for him to survive without us, and without being a burned on his sisters.  I don't know if we'll be able to achieve the second goal.  

I liked reading what being autistic is like, from Ginny's point of view, though, as she notes, it is a spectrum and different people react differently.  I liked it when Ginny realized that her mother was a major reason she was able to do what she could--the reason she hadn't been held back in school or shunted into special ed classes devoid of academic work.  I've put a lot of work into my son's education and yes, I wonder if I shouldn't have pushed harder, or run more interference at the community college,but at some point he has to stand on his own.  

Yea, its been a disappointing couple of months and while The Kitchen Daughter doesn't say that it will all be perfect in the end, it does remind me that my son is a great guy with his own talents and that once we find them and give him the support he needs to transition to adulthood, he has a grand adventure awaiting him, even if he'd rather stay home.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Monday Memes

This month, Mailbox Monday is hosted by At Home With Books.  Bloggers list  books that arrived in either snail mail or email.  I downloaded a few for my Kindle:

I used a gift certificate to go to the bookstore and buy:

 It's Monday What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey.  She asks what we read last week, what we reviewed last week and what we plan to read this week.  Since my last Monday post, I've posted only one review:

I also read:
 Will be reviewed this week.  Click here for giveaway.

Win an i-Pod Touch Spy Pack

Win an iTouch SPY Pack in the Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway from @triciagoyer @mikeyorkey! Chasing Mona Lisa is the continuing tale of Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler (first introduced in The Swiss Courier). This time the due are on a relentless quest to save the most famous painting in the world  - the Mona Lisa. You can help Gabi and Eric with your very own spy pack when you enter The Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway!

One passionate protector will receive:
  • iTouch (The must-have device for any spy. Camera, Maps & Music.)
  • Starbucks Gift Card (For all those late nights.)
  • Moleskin Notebook (For those important notes.)
  • Invisible Ink Pen (Don’t want anyone reading those important notes.)
  • Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey (Great handbook and intriguing tale for any spy-in-training!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on January 31st. The winner will be announced at the Chasing Mona Lisa Facebook Party on 1/31. Tricia and Mike will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from Tricia's website) and giving away their books and a Book Club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Tricia and Mike.)

So grab your copy of Chasing Mona Lisa and join Tricia and Mike on the evening of the 31st for an author chat, spy training (do you know how to pick a lock?) and lots of giveaways. 

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 31st!

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