Guest · LSBBT

Book Tour – 100 Things To Do in Dallas Fort Worth Before You Die

100 THINGS TO DO
IN DALLAS FORT WORTH
BEFORE YOU DIE
2ND EDITION

by
TUI SNIDER
Genre: Non-Fiction / Texas Travel
Date of Publication: September 15, 2018
Number of Pages: 160 with black & white images
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Have you ever drawn a blank when a friend or family member asks, “What do you want to do today?” Maybe you have visitors to show around the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex, or perhaps you’ve lived here for years but feel like you’re in a rut rather than experiencing anything new.
If so, Tui Snider’s new book is for you! If you live in, or are visiting, the DFW region, this list will inspire you to start exploring. If you’re hungry, flip through the Food & Drink section. Looking for entertainment or want to get outdoors? Dig into the Music & Entertainment or the Sports & Recreation sections. Want to barter for antiques or see a museum? Check out the Culture & History or the Shopping & Fashion sections.
This book is a playful bucket list of suggestions meant to spark ideas: everything from family outings, date nights, and solo excursions, to simply hanging out with friends on your day off.
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The Strangest Places in

100 Things to Do in Dallas – Fort Worth Before You Die

by Tui Snider

My new book, 100 Things to Do in Dallas – Fort Worth Before You Die, is divided into sections covering Food & Drink, Music and Entertainment, Sports and Recreation, Culture and History, and Shopping and Fashion sections.
Even though there was no specific section called “Weird and Quirky,” I couldn’t resist adding a few off-ball items onto the list. Here are three of the most unusual travel destinations included in the book:

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PHOTO – Munster Mansion replica in Waxahachie, TX (c) Tui Snider

#1 Munster Mansion Replica in Waxahachie, Texas
While you can’t set your GPS for “1313 Mockingbird Lane,” you can visit an incredible replica of the Munster family home in the town of Waxahachie. In 2001, Sandra and Charles McKee built a replica of the creepy home depicted in the 1960s-era TV sitcom. The pair carefully rewatched all seventy episodes of The Munsters to perfect their design, which includes a fire-breathing creature under the staircase.
Despite the effort the McKees put into creating their Munster Mansion, it is not a year-round tourist attraction. For them, it is simply a fun project. Even so, since 2002, the McKees occasionally host charity events and private parties.
To see photos from my visit to a Munster Mansion Open House, drop by my website: http://tuisnider.com/2014/10/08/visit-the-munster-mansion-replica-in-waxahachie-texas/

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PHOTO – Da Vinci’s Wax Supper in Ft Worth, TX (c) Tui Snider

#2 Da Vinci’s “Wax Supper”
In 1955, oil tycoon Bill Fleming commissioned a version of Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece The Last Supper. Instead of a painting, however, Fleming paid for a life-sized sculpture made from wax. To complete this project, Fleming hired the mother/ daughter team of Katherine and Katherine Marie Stubergh, a duo well known for their wax sculptures. After eighteen months, their “Wax Supper” was done, and Bill Fleming gave it to the city of Fort Worth.
For the next forty years, the waxwork made the rounds from churches to a shopping mall. In 1997, it was placed in storage, and for a while all seemed lost. In 2009, however, the wax display was restored. The Stubergh’s “Wax Supper” is currently on display at the Christian Arts Museum in Fort Worth, where entry is free of charge.
To see more photos of the “Wax Supper,” drop by my blog: http://tuisnider.com/2016/01/22/quirky-texas-life-size-wax-sculpture-replica-of-the-last-supper/
3221 Hamilton Ave., Fort Worth 817-332-7878 facebook.com/ChristianArtsMuseumFW

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Photo 3 – Headstone for alleged space alien in Aurora, Texas (c) Tui Snider

#3 Space Alien Grave in Aurora Cemetery
In April 1897, the Dallas News reported a UFO crash in the Wise County town of Aurora. According to the reporter, although the petite alien was “not an inhabitant of this world,” his or her body was buried in the local cemetery. This bizarre legend remains popular among mystery seekers and is even mentioned on a Texas State Historical Marker at the site. In recent years, the city of Aurora has embraced its strange legacy by hosting an Aurora Alien Expo, incorporating a bug-eyed alien into the city logo and even erecting a sculpture of a crashed spaceship as you enter town. Keep an eye on the city’s website for tours of the crash site and grave as well as alien-themed festivals throughout the year.
For more about this bizarre slice of North Texas history, check out my article here: http://tuisnider.com/2012/07/09/alien-gravesite-in-aurora-cemetery-the-roswell-of-texas/

Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in hometown travel. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!” Snider’s work has been featured by a variety of outlets, including Coast to Coast AM, LifeHack, easyJet and Authentic Texas. Snider’s award-winning books include Unexpected Texas, Paranormal Texas, Understanding Cemetery Symbols, and more. Tui enjoys connecting with readers all over the globe through her WEBSITE.
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INSTAGRAM
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1ST PRIZE: Signed Copy + $5 Amazon Gift Card
2ND PRIZE: Signed Copy
3RD PRIZE: eBook Copy
(US ONLY)
September 18-October 2, 2018
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

9/18/18

Excerpt

9/19/18

Guest Post

9/20/18

Review

9/21/18

Excerpt

9/22/18

Author Interview

9/23/18

Review

9/24/18

Bonus Review

9/25/18

Review

9/26/18

Guest Post

9/27/18

Review


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Blog Tour & Review — Harmon General

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HARMON GENERAL

Misfits and Millionaires #2 

by

KIMBERLY FISH

Genre: Historical Fiction / WWII / Spies

Publisher: Fish Tales, LLC 

Date of Publication: June 16, 2018

Number of Pages: 330

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In 1943, Lane Mercer and Emmie Tesco had nothing in common. Well, nothing stronger than a town neither of them chose and careers they couldn’t advertise as agents within the Office of Strategic Services. During the days of Longview, Texas’s Friendly Trek Homecoming Parade, Lane was gearing up for the grand opening of a bookshop that also disguised an espionage safe house, and Emmie was chasing a criminal with evil intent through the US Army’s new medical facility, Harmon General Hospital, treating diseased and amputated soldiers. Emmie ropes Lane into international threats at Harmon General, making it increasingly hard for the two spies to navigate the Junior Service League, church life, or anything else that might be considered normal for a town sizzling with oil boom wealth. A friend from Lane’s past arrives and pushes against the fiction she’s created to distance her spy history from the wedding bells ringing her future. Emmie flirts with the idea of finding a life outside of the OSS but justifies the danger as a way to make amends for those she’s betrayed. Connecting the two women, to their surprise, is a rogue agent who targets them for crimes he believes they created. For better, or worse, they have to put aside their differences to share responsibility for stopping “The Grasshopper” before he blows apart the Big Inch Pipeline project and Harmon General Hospital. The hope of malaria treatments for US soldiers depends on it, and justice of the heart demands it. 

PRAISE FOR HARMON GENERAL:

“The war that changed the world brought the world to East Texas through Harmon General, a significant US Army hospital that treated thousands of wounded soldiers in Longview.  In Harmon General, we meet again Lane Mercer, a World War II heroine, and we enjoy again how the drama of her secret service to the nation and her complicated personal relationships pull us into the vast impact of the world war.” — Dale Lunsford, Ph.D., President, LeTourneau University

Harmon General is a brilliant story for historical fiction readers! Set in World War II, the female spies, Army hospital setting, and drama amongst the Longview townsfolk kept me riveted and engaged until the very end.” – Jody T. Morse

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SPECIAL PROMOTION: FREE BOOK!

For the first five days of the Lone Star Book Blog Tours promotion of Harmon General, the Kindle  e-book of The Big Inch is FREE!!  That’s right, from June 22-27, the e-book that started the whole Misfits and Millionaires adventure costs nada! Click to download your copy!

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review

Reading this book for review came at an interesting time for me–we had just returned from a short getaway in East Texas. While we hadn’t quite made it as far as Longview, it was still neat to have the story set so close to where we had been.

In one word, Harmon General is Captivating. It kept me interested and intrigued and needing to know what happened next.

Lane Mercer is trying to figure out what she wants in life, and it isn’t easy. Being an agent, even semi-retired, certainly makes figuring things out a lot more difficult, especially when it seems Longview has become a hotbed for those willing to sell secrets for a pretty penny. Also complicating matters is the fact that Lane hasn’t exactly dealt with her past, and it’s keeping her from moving on.

Lane isn’t the only one this book focuses on, but she is the main one. That’s not to say Emmie Tesco doesn’t have her own things to work through (that epilogue was so emotional!).

The entire cast of characters in this book is unique–each a thoroughly believable individual with their own motivations, agendas, secrets, and prejudices. The setting (location and time period) were very well-researched and represented in these books.

Truly, I had no idea where this book was going to lead me. I remember being almost exactly at the halfway point, and my heart was breaking for Lane, and I had no idea how the situations were going to play out–and that was just the middle! While I feel I can’t really comment on anything past that halfway point, I will say it was a great ride!

I really loved Lane’s scene at the golf course. I’d have to say, it’s certainly a wonderful way of dealing with Lane Mercer’s Pet Peeve, being underestimated because you’re a woman.

If you enjoy historical fiction, espionage, or women defying social norms/expectations, I’d highly recommend picking this book up.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My review of The Big Inch.

a8b60-abouttheauthor

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR:

Author Pic Fish

Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won The Writer’s League of Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting. 

She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats and in January 2017, released the first novel in the Misfits and Millionaires series set during the World War II years in Longview, Texas—The Big Inch. Her second book, Comfort Plans, was published later that same year.

She lives with her family in East Texas.

WEBSITE   INSTAGRAM  FACEBOOK  

TWITTER   GOODREADS   AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE  

Visit Kimberly Fish’s YouTube channel

to see book reviews and behind the scene peeks

at places that have inspired the novels! 

~

From kissing couples to fabulous fedoras,

Kimberly Fish’s Pinterest Board shows her

inspiration behind Harmon General!


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TWO SIGNED COPIES OF HARMON GENERAL

JUNE 22-JULY 1, 2018

(U.S. Only)

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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

6/22/18 Top Ten List That’s What She’s Reading
6/23/18 Review Books in the Garden
6/23/18 Excerpt Book Fidelity
6/24/18 Guest Post Chapter Break Book Blog
6/25/18 Review Syd Savvy
6/25/18 Character Interview The Librarian Talks
6/26/18 BONUS Review Hall Ways Blog
6/27/18 Review The Clueless Gent
6/27/18 Top Ten List Kelly Well Read
6/28/18 Playlist StoreyBook Reviews
6/29/18 Review The Love of a Bibliophile
6/29/18 Excerpt Books and Broomsticks
6/30/18 Review Reading by Moonlight
6/30/18 Guest Post Dressed to Read
7/1/18 Review Missus Gonzo

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Blog Tour & Review — Sins of the Younger Sons

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SINS OF THE

YOUNGER SONS

by

JAN REID

Genre: Literary Fiction / Romance / Spy / Thriller

Publisher: Texas Christian University Press

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Publication Date: February 28, 2018

Number of Pages: 296 pages

24dd0-synopsis

Cover lo res Sins of the Younger Sons

Sins of the Younger Sons has received the Jesse H. Jones Award for Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters! Luke Burgoa is an ex-Marine on a solitary covert mission to infiltrate the Basque separatist organization ETA in Spain and help bring down its military commander, Peru Madariaga. Luke hails from a Basque ancestry that came with the Spanish empire to Cuba, Argentina, Mexico, and, seventy-five years ago, to a Texas ranch. Neighbors consider the Burgoas Mexican immigrants and exiles of that nation’s revolution, but the matriarch of the family speaks the ancient language Euskera and honors traditions of the old country. Luke’s orders are to sell guns to the ETA and lure Peru into a trap. Instead he falls in love with Peru’s estranged wife, Ysolina, who lives in Paris and pursues a doctorate about an Inquisition-driven witchcraft frenzy in her native land. From the day they cross the border into the Basque Pyrenees, their love affair on the run conveys the beauty, sensuality, exoticism, and violence of an ancient homeland cut in two by Spain and France. Their trajectory puts Luke, Ysolina, and Peru on a collision course with each other and the famed American architect Frank Gehry, whose construction of a Guggenheim art museum seeks to transform the Basque city of Bilbao, a decrepit industrial backwater haunted by the Spanish Civil War—and a hotbed of ETA extremism. Ranging from the Amazon rain forest to a deadly prison in Madrid, Sins of the Younger Sons is a love story exposed to dire risk at every turn.

PRAISE FOR SINS OF THE YOUNGER SONS:

“Reid’s story is a fascinating blend of page-turning thriller and vivid tableau of Basque culture and the movement that battled the Spanish establishment for many decades. A reader can’t ask for more—a book that’s engaging, entertaining, educative, and unique.”

—Thomas Zigal, author of Many Rivers to Cross and The White League
“What a fine book Jan Reid has written! At once history—both cultural and political—and sensual love story, it reaches beyond genre to make for a magical and profound reading experience. Don’t start reading it at night unless you want to stay up until dawn and then some.” —Beverly Lowry, author of Who Killed These Girls? and Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life
“Page by page, Sins of the Younger Sons invites the reader to dwell for a while within its unique world, to suffer and celebrate with its unforgettable characters. It’s a trip that, if taken, is well worth the effort.” —Ed Conroy, San Antonio Express-News
“Sins of the Younger Sons vividly takes us into a world few of us have seen and into a bitter conflict most of us have never considered nor understood.” —Si Dunn, Dallas Morning News

CLICK TO BUY

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review

This is certainly an intricately crafted, thoroughly thought out, and researched novel.

In the beginning it almost seems like a handful of only slightly-related stories, but as the novel progresses you realize just how tied together these stories are. It’s also a reminder that politics stretch over time periods, each with their fingers entwined in what has happened in the past, and what they want out of the future. Isolated incidents are rarely such, and sometimes the reasons reach far into the past.

I love how much of the language, culture, and explanations found their way into this novel. It was certainly an immersive experience in that way.

However, because of the use of Basque, Spanish, and sometime French dialogue, the reading was greatly slowed down. There were also times when the characters would slip into thinking about their past almost imperceptibly, and I’d have to go back and find the place where it changed so I could know it wasn’t the “current” time of the story. I found this book to be a but more challenging than what I typically choose; that’s not a bad thing, it just requires a different amount of effort and type of reading headspace.

I think the characters in this story are very human and want a lot of the same things most people do–a better world–even if the means to the end aren’t quite ideal. I didn’t really find myself empathizing with them though.

This book is a great choice for people who enjoy literary pieces that turn on the brain.

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Author Reid

Jan Reid’s highly praised books include his novel Comanche Sundown, his biography of Texas governor Ann Richards, Let the People In, his memoir of Mexico, The Bullet Meant for Me, and The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock. Making his home in Austin, Reid has been a leading contributor to Texas Monthly for over forty years.

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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

5/17/18 Promo The Page Unbound
5/18/18 Review Hall Ways Blog
5/19/18 Excerpt Texas Book Lover
5/20/18 Author Interview The Librarian Talks
5/21/18 Review Books in the Garden
5/22/18 Promo Book Fidelity
5/23/18 Playlist The Clueless Gent
5/24/18 Review The Love of a Bibliophile
5/25/18 Promo Forgotten Winds
5/26/18 Review Reading by Moonlight

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Blog Tour — Blood and Remembrance

BNR Blood & Remembrance JPG.jpgBLOOD AND REMEMBRANCE

by

CHRIS MANNO

Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction

Publisher: Dark Horse Books

Publication Date: March 3, 2018

Number of Pages: 321 pages

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Continue reading “Blog Tour — Blood and Remembrance”

Garden

#GardenWithJulia 2018 – May 6 Update

Garden Graphic (3)

2018 Intro – Here I Come! | Seeds! | Seeds, Round Two! | Feb. 3 Update | Mar 11 Update

Whew it’s been a while, but here’s an update! Really though, I’ve been working on this update for over a month, and I keep coming back and adding more, and putting off publishing it because of the work involved in the images (I like to resize them so they don’t use all my media storage on WP). Here’s a quick video update of the garden from April 23:

And a video from May 6:

I’ll eventually get the images added to this post, but if I don’t publish it now I never will. I think the fact I’ve been up to doing video updates but not blog posts shows that the same way doesn’t always have to work every time. I hope you enjoy getting to see the garden and how it’s doing.

On March 30 I DID A LOT in the garden.

I purchased this, a 2 pack of 50″ diameter 12″ deep plastic planting bags (way cheaper than the fabric ones), and filled it with 9 1.5 cu ft bags of gardening soil. Then I transplanted a zucchini plant, two eggplants, and planted seeds for 2 yellow squash plants, one more zucchini plant, and several marigolds and nasturtiums. The transplanted eggplants seem to be doing okay, but the zucchini not so much. The yellow squash and zucchini seeds have sprouted, as have the nasturtiums (but not the marigold). The second one I’m not filling right now. Maybe in the fall or next spring.

I also filled 4 5-gallon buckets and 8 5-gallon fabric planters with soil, and transplanted 2 of each of the following plants: beefsteak tomatoes, red cherry tomatoes, Yolo Wonder bell peppers, sweet banana peppers, cayenne peppers, and jalapeno peppers. Just a few days after doing this we had a cold front come through with strong winds and a day of at-freezing temperatures with rain, but the plants seem to have survived. An old fence panel fell on some of the peppers, with one Cayenne pepper taking the bring of the fall. But it’s still green, and it has a baby pepper on it, so I think it’ll pull through. I’m not sure if the tomatoes are doing well or not, I guess time will tell.

I also planted several flowers along the back of the house. The cosmos and allysum have survived and flowered a little, and the snapdragons look pretty good but still small/not flowering. It also looks like the seeds I’ve planted are sprouting. I also received some canna bulbs from a family member, and they’re shooting leaves up from the ground now too.

Written out, that sure doesn’t seem like much, but it was a whole day’s worth of work!

My greens bed seems to be doing… half-well? The arugula and kale have really taken off, but I’ve only got like 3 (out of 8) lettuce still trying and only 1 spinach, which seems to be getting eaten by something. The broccoli plant hasn’t done much but the cauliflower has put on several more leaves. And the baby onions… I’m not sure if something is eating them or they’re just not doing well. They’re still green and trying but some are broken and I just haven’t really seen any progress. As of May 6, the arugula has started bolting and I don’t think I’ll see anything but greens from the cauliflower, but I think it was worth the try.

The peas are doing alright, I think, and I’ve used some old branches to give them something to climb. They are now flowering and making pea pods!

My onion plants (planted from pantry onions that began growing inside) are GINORMOUS and soon to flower. My sage (started last year, survived the winter) is blooming and looking very good.

I’ve eaten a few sweet strawberries from my plants already, and there’s a wild dewberry bush by the back door that I’m keeping an excited eye on. However, something gets to about half of my strawberries before I do, and while I was thinking it might be slugs…one day I went out there and the strawberries were still juicy like they’d been eaten recently, and there were giant drops of strawberry juice on the leaves…do rats do this?

I’ve also had some flowers from previous years come back and bloom!

I noticed some (A LOT) of ants in my potato plants. My guess is that they are after the aphids and their sticky stuff. I guess that’s my next thing to figure out how to deal with. After a little while, the ants seemed to have disappeared. I’m not sure if I should be more relieved or worried.

In some ways I still feel so new to gardening. I feel like an imposter. I see other people’s pictures and how tightly placed and green and lush their plants look. Am I doing something wrong? Starting my plants too late or spreading them out too much? Starting some of them too early? Not watering right? I guess it’s all learned in experience, and I don’t have much of that yet.I get started with so many plans and so much excitement, but it doesn’t feel like anything pans out the way I’m hoping.

Book Review · Guest · LSBBT

Blog Tour & Review — Mornings on Main

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MORNINGS ON MAIN:

A Small-Town Texas Novel

by

Jodi Thomas

Genre: Mainstream Romance

Publisher: HQN

Number of Pages: 320 pages

AVAILABLE APRIL 10, 2018!

Continue reading “Blog Tour & Review — Mornings on Main”

LSBBT

Release Blitz – Dam Nation

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DAM NATION 

BOOK RELEASE BLITZ 

Bonnie and Clyde #2

by

CLARK HAYS AND KATHLEEN McFALL

Genre: Historical / Alternative History / Romance 

Publisher: Pumpjack Press

Date of Publication: March 24, 2018

Number of Pages: 266

CLICK TO PURCHASE

cover HI RES Dam Nation

Bonnie and Clyde: Defending the working class from a river of greed.

The year is 1935 and the Great Depression has America in a death grip of poverty, unemployment and starvation. But the New Deal is rekindling hope, with federally funded infrastructure projects, like Hoover Dam, putting folks back to work. So, why is someone trying to blow it up? That’s what Bonnie and Clyde set out to uncover in the novel Dam Nation by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall, the second book in a provocative speculative fiction series that re-imagines the outlaws’ lives. 

“A rollicking good read!” — Midwest Book Review 

EXCERPT

WHAT IF?

 The Texas Ranger looked up at Sal, a mixture of fear, respect and revulsion in his eyes. “Let’s pretend for a minute it wasn’t Bonnie and Clyde in that ambush,” he said. “Why? Why would it be different people in that car?”

 “How would I know?” Sal asked. “I work for the government. I trust that the government has my best interests at heart. I follow orders. You didn’t.”

 “I won’t be quiet about this unless you can tell me why anyone would try to save them outlaws.”

 “If they were still alive, I would tell you that everyone has a purpose in life, and perhaps they are fulfilling theirs. And if they were still alive, I would tell you that you don’t use good dogs to guard the junkyard, you use the meanest goddamn dogs you can get a collar around.”

CLICK TO PURCHASE

   Authors Hays_Mcfall Photo

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed. Dam Nation is their sixth co-authored book. 

 

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BONNIE AND CLYDE: DAM NATION

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