Friday Reads #20: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Friday Reads

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

29749085Summary (from Goodreads): She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

I am loving this book so far! I’m not too familiar with the Wonder Woman franchise, and I’m enjoying the whole concept. There is so much feminism in this story, and it’s very empowering to read. I can’t wait to keep reading and see what happens to Diana next!

Book Beginning:

You do not enter a race to lose.

Friday 56:

The beginnings of another storm, or maybe the same storm that had caught the Thetis was moving in. She peered along the coastline but could see no lighthouse or harbor, no signs of civilization at all. This place really was isolated.

Waiting on Wednesday #117: Devils and Thieves by Jennifer Rush

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s book:

25843018Title: Devils and Thieves
Author: Jennifer Rush
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 3, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael has grown up surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn’t help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe, the dangerous and enigmatic leader of the Black Devils kindled motorcycle gang and the unofficial head of their turf.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumour begins spreading that someone is practising forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

Thoughts:

It has been so long since I’ve read a fantasy, and an urban fantasy is something I’ve read even fewer of. I am intrigued by the idea of a magic community in a modern setting, and the motorcycle gang is also something I don’t see too often. This book seems like the perfect read for the Halloween season, and I can’t wait to pick it up this fall!

Wrap-Up Post: Summer TBR Wipeout 2017

Wipeout

When I started planning for this challenge, August seemed to be so far away. Well, here we are in the middle of August and this reading challenge is coming to a close! It is a little bitter sweet because I have really enjoyed taking hold of my reading schedule and actually dusting off a few of the books sitting on my physical shelves and reading them. However, I would be lying if I didn’t let you know how excited I am to crack open the stack of books that I have to review in the next few weeks. I suppose it is a way for me to recharge a little bit. I have definitely figured out my reading habits and scheduling backlist books into the schedule is something that I intend to do more often in the upcoming months.

These are all of the books that I planned to read over the summer, plus one additional book, A Stranger in the House,  that I added half way through. These books can all be found on my Goodreads shelf, if you are interested in learning more about them.

My favourite reads this summer were:

I listened to both The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and Noteworthy on Audible and absolutely loved both of these books. I intend to insert a few more audiobooks into my TBR from now on. I really enjoyed being able to read a book while attending to other things. You can’t go wrong with Sarah J. Maas in my opinion, so it is no surprise to me that I loved A Court of Mist and Fury so much. Also, Something Like Happy is a book that really took me by surprise! This one has so many layers to it and really had a nice message to find positivity in your life.

I hope that everyone who participated enjoyed this challenge and that you were able to make at least a small dent in your TBRs! Thanks so much for joining me. If you have any suggestions for future challenges, I would love to hear from you.

 

Audiobook Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Narrator: Christian Coulson
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Stars: 4.5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

When I first heard about The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, I knew it was going to be amusing. It tells the story of a group on a tour of Europe and contains such likeable characters. I listened to the audio version of the book, and I can definitely say that it completes the epic experience of the story and does and amazing job transporting the listener to 18th century Europe. This book is so original, and I would consider it to be a must-read this year.

This book is absolutely hilarious! It follows Monty, Percy, and Felicity on their tour of Europe turned escape for survival after Monty steals a valuable item at a party. I loved learning about the characters’ journey across the continent and how they escape death along the way. I’m not normally a huge fan of historical fiction, but, for what may be the first time ever in a historical novel, I wasn’t bored at any point in the book. There is so much excitement with the pirates, the alchemy, and all of Monty’s shenanigans that it is hard to put down. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue really has it all, and I would recommend it to everyone, even hesitant historical readers like myself.

One of my favourite aspects of this book is the incredible cast of characters. First up, there’s Monty. He’s honestly a spoiled brat sometimes but does the most entertaining and reckless things. He also has such a complex backstory and is so developed. Monty’s experiences and the way he deals with them make the book so enjoyable, and I would love another book about his drama. Another main character in the book is Percy, Monty’s crush. I adored his character since he is so sweet, and I really sympathized with him because he experiences a lot of racism. I totally shipped him with Monty as well. There is also Felicity, Monty’s sister, who is so sassy and intelligent. She has some of the best lines and is honestly the reason why Monty and Percy aren’t dead.

Christian Coulson does a phenomenal job narrating the audio version of the book. He played young Tom Riddle in Harry Potter, so I knew it was going to be good. His voice is so calming to listen to, and it perfectly captures the emotions (and the sass) of the characters. I loved the various accents in the narration as well. If you are looking for audiobook recommendations, I would absolutely recommend The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, since it really completes the experience of the story.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is an entertaining story about the shenanigans of three friends on a tour of Europe. The characters are all so developed, and I loved the amount of sass each of them is capable of. The narration in the audiobook is also so incredible, making this book the perfect thing to buy with your extra Audible credits.

Friday Reads #19: Something Like Happy by Eva Woods

Friday Reads

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

34808508Summary (from Goodreads): With wry wit and boundless heart, Eva Woods delivers an unforgettable tale of celebrating triumphs great and small, seizing the day, and always remembering to live in the moment.

“It’s simple, really. You’re just meant to do one thing every day that makes you happy. Could be little things. Could be big. In fact, we’re doing one right now…”

Annie Hebden is stuck. Stuck in her boring job, with her irritating roommate, in a life no thirty-five-year-old would want. But deep down, Annie is still mourning the terrible loss that tore a hole through the perfect existence she’d once taken for granted—and hiding away is safer than remembering what used to be. Until she meets the eccentric Polly Leonard.

Bright, bubbly, intrusive Polly is everything Annie doesn’t want in a friend. But Polly is determined to finally wake Annie up to life. Because if recent events have taught Polly anything, it’s that your time is too short to waste a single day—which is why she wants Annie to join her on a mission…

One hundred days. One hundred new ways to be happy. Annie’s convinced it’s impossible, but so is saying no to Polly. And on an unforgettable journey that will force her to open herself to new experiences—and perhaps even new love with the unlikeliest of men—Annie will slowly begin to realize that maybe, just maybe, there’s still joy to be found in the world. But then it becomes clear that Polly’s about to need her new friend more than ever…and Annie will have to decide once and for all whether letting others in is a risk worth taking.

“A special book that will make you laugh through your tears with its heartfelt take on happiness and friendship.”—Amy E. Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

Goodreads | Amazon

When I first saw this book, I was immediately intrigued by the concept. I have often seen others on social media completing the 100 Happy Days Challenge, and it is so inspiring to think that doing something simple each day can lead you on your way to a happier life. I am a few chapters into this one and I am already enjoying the characters of Annie and Polly. I look forward to reading on and seeing where Woods takes their friendship and how the challenge plays into the story.

Book Beginning:

You can’t always pinpoint the precise moment that your life goes wrong. Most of the time it creeps up on you, year by year, moment by moment, until one day you look around and realize you’re so far from who you used to be you don’t even feel like the same person.

Friday 56:

Polly’s gaze was fixed on the altar, her face coloured blue by the shifting light. “It’s what I always thought before. I didn’t want to change my mind just because I had cancer. I guess… all this happy-days stuff, the reason for it, was I wanted my life to mean something now, not just after I die.”

 

 

Link Up: Wrap-Up Post Summer TBR Wipeout 2017

Wipeout

Well, it is time to find out whether everyone was able to wipeout a few books from their TBRs this summer. I am looking forward to reading all of your posts and discover some more books that I will inevitably add to the TBR in the process. Does the TBR ever really get smaller? I do enjoy clearing the books off of my list to make room for new ones, though. So, maybe it all works out in the end! Make sure to add your post to the linky and don’t forget to pick-up some more entries on the rafflecopter!

GIVEAWAY:

To sweeten the deal, I will also be giving away a book of choice worth up to $20 CAD. As always, the giveaway is open internationally as long as The Book Depository or Amazon ships to you!

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SCHEDULE:

May 25- July 7: Sign-ups open!

Week of July 1: Introductory post- What books are you planning to read this summer?

Week of July 15: Update post #1- Tell us how your reading has been going so far. What books have you read? Were they enjoyable? What’s next on your TBR? Etc.

Week of July 29: Update post #2

Week of August 13: Wrap-up post- How did your summer reading go? Did you wipeout some books from your summer TBR?

$20 Amazon Gift Card: Back to School Giveaway Hop

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Welcome to the Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Giveaway Hop hosted by The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It! There is something about back to school season and fall that has me snuggling up in a sweater with a stack of books. There are so many books releasing in September that it makes my mind spin! I am giving away one $20 USD Amazon Gift Card that can be used to purchase books or any other back to school essentials. This giveaway is open to international entries. Rules.

Amazon

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Don’t forget to check out the other amazing giveaways along the hop!

Review: A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: A Stranger in the House
Author: Shari Lapena
Publisher: Double Day Canada
Publication Date: August 15, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): From the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, a new thriller featuring a suspicious accident, a wife who can’t account for herself and unsettling questions that threaten to tear a couple apart.

You come home after a long day at work, excited to have dinner with your beautiful wife.
But when you walk through the door, you quickly realize that she’s not there.
In the kitchen, there is a pot on the stove, and vegetables on the counter, abandoned.
Her cellphone and her purse are still in the house, in the bedroom, exactly where she keeps them.
It looks like she’s left in a blind panic.
You fear the worst, so you call her friends to see if they know where she is.
Then you call the police.
The police tell you that your wife’s been in an accident. They found her in the worst part of town, after she lost control of the car while speeding through the streets. But why would she go to that neighbourhood? And why was she driving so fast? Was she running toward something? Or away from something?
The police think your wife was up to no good.
You refuse to believe it, at first.
Then, as the stories and facts don’t line up, and your wife can’t remember what happened that evening, you start to wonder. You’ve been married for two years and you thought you knew her better than anyone else in the world . . .
. . . but maybe you don’t.

Goodreads | Amazon

Looking for a fast-paced thriller that will keep you guessing right up until the very end? A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena is sure to fit the bill. While I didn’t find this book to be as incredible as her debut, The Couple Next Door, this novel is packed with suspense and is definitely hard to put down. Lapena has a writing style that is easy to follow and quite succinct. The characters are very interesting, and can definitely be found in any suburban neighbourhood, making this story seem relatable.

When a book grabs my attention so much that I am flipping pages all night long, it is safe to say that it is definitely one that has lured me in and won’t let go. Shari Lapena has crafted a murder mystery that unfolds in a quiet neighbourhood with a housewife at the centre of attention. As new details begin to be revealed, and the pieces of the story start to come together, you will want to keep reading to see where the plot is headed next. The concept and storyline are that intriguing to keep you on the edge of your seat, wanting to know more.

If you are familiar with The Couple Next Door, you will come to expect a certain style from Shari Lapena’s writing. Her style is very much to the point and is very easy to follow. A Stranger in the House has a fantastic plot, but it is just not as descriptive as I would have expected. While I enjoyed how quick this story is to read, I would have preferred more details about the setting and the characters than is offered. The book feels a little rushed, and it would have been amazing to have it slowed down just a little bit.

This commuter neighbourhood in A Stranger in the House has some characters that will be easily recognizable. For instance, there is a very nosy neighbour that seems to know quite a bit about what everyone else is up to. Also, for those who have read The Couple Next Door, Detective Rasbach makes an appearance, which adds a bit of an interesting twist to the story because he is a character that we are already familiar with. Rasbach is a detective who seems to be able to solve any mystery, and is a very likeable character.

A Stranger in the House is a perfect thriller for your summer beach bag. The book is a quick read that will satisfy anyone who loves the genre. I look forward to reading more of Lapena’s novels and I am curious to find out if we will be seeing more of the infamous Detective Rasbach.

Book Blitz & Giveaway: I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter

I am so excited to introduce you to a new title coming February 2018 from Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan! Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

I Stop Somwhere by T.E. Carter is described as THE LOVELY BONES meets ALL THE RAGE.  Got your attention yet?

I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter
Publication Date: February 27, 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

THE LOVELY BONES meets ALL THE RAGE in a searing, heartbreaking contemporary story of a lost teenager, and the town she leaves behind.

Ellie Frias disappeared long before she vanished.

Tormented throughout middle school, Ellie begins her freshman year with a new look: she doesn’t need to be popular; she just needs to blend in with the wallpaper.

But then the unthinkable happens and Ellie is trapped after a brutal assault. She wasn’t the first victim and now she watches it happen again and again. She tries to hold on to her happier memories in order to get past the cold days, waiting for someone to find her.

The problem is, no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place.

TE Carter’s stirring and visceral debut not only discusses and dismantles rape culture but also makes you slow down and think about what it is to be human.

Here’s what readers have to say:

“an unputdownable mystery. Don’t miss it.”  – Hayley Chewins – Author

“Visceral with both rage and tenderness and impossible to put down.” – Amelinda – Goodreads Reviewer

“unapologetic and gorgeous and raw”Rachel Solomon – Author

“powerful and profound and makes you think” – Amanda Searcy – Author 

Pre-order your copy today, and don’t miss out on this upcoming title from Macmillan!

Amazon | B&N | BAM | Indies | Powell’s | Macmillan

Nobody noticed me as I cut through the room. I made my way outside, into the cold. Spring was playing games with us. Weeks earlier, it had snuck in overnight, erasing our memory of winter in a matter of hours. When we’d gone to bed, winter had lingered in the snowbanks and in the way the trees still hunched over from the weight of it. And then suddenly, spring. We woke to birds singing, birds who appeared to have been shipped overnight on a secret train, and we remembered music.

But now, winter was trying to force a comeback. Everyone outside stood looking at the pool, wondering what happened. I was shivering, wearing a skirt and thin shirt I’d borrowed from Kate when spring was still a promise.

I saw him from the periphery. From the in-between where the people inside faded into the background, but the people outside were only figures in the night. It made sense; I was a periphery girl.

“Hey,” I said to his back.

When he turned to look at me, I swear the light from the porch surrounded him. But I think I made that up. I think I want to remember him that way. I want to believe there was something that made him special. I want to believe that loneliness doesn’t just mess with our hearts.

“Ellie! You came,” Caleb said.

“I said I would.”

“I know. I wasn’t sure, though. I worried. You’re late.”

I’d walked to the party, after telling my dad I was going to a friend’s. He wouldn’t have stopped me from going to Gina Lynn’s. I didn’t have other friends, so it wouldn’t have made a difference if I’d said her name. But, for some reason, I lied. I lied and I don’t know why I did.

“Yeah, well, I was doing things.”

He laughed. “Mysterious things. Of course. I’d expect nothing less from my Elusive Ellie.”

My. I heard it. The claim he laid on me. I smiled at the word.

He moved closer and I stepped back. It was automatic. Since earlier in the week, by my locker, I hadn’t stopped thinking about the possibility. But now that he was close again, I was scared. I was afraid of the way I knew I’d hurt if he waited months to talk to me again. I didn’t want to fall for a guy just because he’d smiled at me and said my name a few times. I was afraid of what would happen if there was more to it than that, but I was also afraid of how I’d feel if there wasn’t.

“I don’t think I’m supposed to be here,” I said.

I’d always imagined being wanted. Of someone loving me. Choosing me. But here was this boy and if he kissed me, I knew I’d always worry about going back to not being wanted.

TE Carter was born in New England and has lived in New England for pretty much her entire life. Throughout her career, she’s done a lot of things, although her passion has always been writing. When she’s not writing, she can generally be found reading classic literature, obsessing over Game of Thrones (she’s one hundred percent Team Lannister), playing Xbox, organizing her comic collection, or binge watching baking competitions. She continues to live in New England with her husband and their two cats.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway: Love is Both Wave and Particle by Paul Cody

TOUR BANNER

Welcome to my stop on the tour for Paul Cody’s Love is Both Wave and Particle hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! I am really excited for this contemporary that has just been published by Roaring Brook Press. Be sure to read the guest post written by Paul’s wife, Elizabeth Holmes. It is a witty and interesting look into what it’s like living with an author.

LoveIsBothWaveAndParticle_COVER

Love is Both Wave and Particle
by Paul Cody
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Genre: Young Adult,  Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis: This achingly beautiful novel considers how to measure love when it has the power to both save and destroy.

Levon Grady and Samantha Vash are both students at an alternative high school for high-achieving but troubled teens. They have been chosen for a year-long project where they write their life stories and collect interviews from people who know them. The only rule is 100% confidentiality—they will share their work only with each other. What happens will transform their lives.

Told from the perspectives of Levon, Sam, and all the people who know them best, this is a love story infused with science and the exploration of identity. Love Is Both Wave and Particle looks at how love behaves in different situations, and how it can shed light on even the darkest heart.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Kobo

Unknown-1Paul Cody earned an MFA at Cornell University, and has published several novels and a memoir for adults. He lives in Ithaca, New York, with his wife, the poet Elizabeth Holmes, and their two sons. Love Is Both Wave and Particle is his first novel for teenagers.

Website | Goodreads

LIBWAP-guestpost

by Elizabeth Holmes (wife of Paul Cody)

I come home from the gym, early in the morning before work, and when I open the front door the first thing I see is my husband, Paul Cody, across the room. He’s sitting at one end of the sofa, hunched over his laptop, typing. He’s a big man, tall, and the laptop looks too small for him. Shoulders up to his ears, elbows pressed in, wrists bent and fingers curled over the keys, he looks like an oversized owl crouched over its prey.

He might look up and say hello, or he might not.

That spot on the couch is HQ, command central, home base, and crow’s nest. The end table beside it is crowded with little things he might possibly want during the long hours he spends there—a cup of coffee, nail clippers, bookmarks, cell phone, the prescription nicotine cartridges he puffs on instead of smoking. He can reach them all without getting up. Two floor lamps, one to light the room and one that bends to shine precisely on the keyboard, or a book.

Oh yes, books. In the small space between the wall and the arm of the sofa are three stacks of them, each about three feet high. Novels, history, memoirs, biographies. Books are stacked on the end table, they fill up its single shelf right to the tabletop. They spill over to the floor beyond the end table. Some sit on the back of the sofa, leaning against the wall next to a box of tissues.

Our sons begin calling the two stacks on the end table the Twin Towers. They point out the Empire State Building (the tallest stack beside the sofa), the Bronx high-rises (the bookcases on the far side of the room).

Reading and writing are Paul’s mission, lifeline, and purpose. His world. He reads for hours and hours every day, fascinated by the words and all they evoke in his mind. I’ve never seen anyone who could read so long without getting restless and moving on to something else.

When he’s writing a book—and he has written many over the years I’ve known him—the process is tightly structured. There may be a brief period of trying out an idea, a couple of false starts, but then he’s off and running. He sets up a schedule and sticks to it. After a writing session he sometimes says it was like pulling teeth—but he always does it. Other times he emerges elated, thrilled and surprised by what he’s done.

Each time he announces how many words he added to the novel that day—seven hundred, a thousand, twelve hundred. He may not know how the book will end, but he knows how long it will be. “Crossed 35,000 words today,” he’ll say. “Halfway there.”

Some days he knows he’s a star, he’s brilliant, his work is up there with the novels of his heroes, James Joyce, Henry James, Don DeLillo. Other days it’s all crap, nobody would want to read this, and it’s stupid.

He has put his heart into writing books that he completed but wasn’t able to sell, and into books that were published with considerable success. But he always puts his heart in it.

He likes to quote James: “We give what we have. We work in the dark.” In other words, when you start a book, you don’t know if you’ll succeed or fail—artistically or in the marketplace. You just do it. And if you’re Paul, you love doing it.

LIBWAP-giveaway

1 copy of LOVE IS BOTH WAVE AND PARTICLE by Paul Cody
US/Canada only (No Giveaway accounts)

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