Book Blog Tour: Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

stalking jack blog tour

Welcome to the Stalking Jack the Ripper Blog tour. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to be a part of this tour and  the Knights of White Chapel street team. When Ava mentioned she was starting a signup for this tour, I immediately jumped on board. I was lucky to receive one of the first ARC mailings of the book. I completely devoured it the minute it arrived on my doorstep and loved ever second of it. If you want to check out my review go here. I wanted to do something special for this post. I was inspired by some of the chats I had with Kerri about all the lovely dresses and accessories Audrey Rose would wear as a Victorian lady. I used some of my knowledge about period costumes and the fashions of The Victorian period to give you all a little insight on what it would be like to dress like Audrey Rose.

A Look Inside Audrey Rose’s Dressing Room…

The Unmentionables: ::carefully looks around and makes sure Thomas Cresswell is far, far away:: Let’s talk about Victorian Era undergarments. Before lacing up her corset, a Victorian lady would place upon her bare skin a chemise top (usually plain cotton and trimmed in various lace designs. Her bottoms/bloomers/knickers would be placed to cover her nether regions and were considered by the Victorians as the most unmentionable and immodest garments of them all!

Victorian Undergarments
Bloomers/Knickers and Chemise from the Victorian era.
The Unmentionables
Chemise, Bloomers/Knickers, and Corset. Corset Cover (bottom right).

 

The Corset: Next would be the lacing of the corset. This interesting contraption made in a variety of materials usually were lined with steel boning and laced tightly to give the lady her fine hourglass figure. A corset was mainly for the function of making sure the figure was put into the desired shape, but it did not stop the designers from making them in all colors and sometimes elaborately decorated. A corset cover was also usually worn over the corset. The Victorians valued tiny waists and it was known that ladies would often faint from lack of ability to breath. I don’t believe our Audrey would be so vain as to go that far, but she definitely wore one of these. (Personally, I think they are lovely and own several myself, and enjoy wearing them on occasion).

The Corset5d6682a531dabc48738957d466bb2c8b

 

The Stockings: Before putting on layers of more clothing a lady would definitely want to put on her sheer and delicate stockings which came in all shades and designs. (Definitely puts our modern stockings to shame with how beautiful some of these were…look at the detail. WOW!)

The Stockings

 

Shoes/Boots: Shoes and boots came in a mirage of colors, fabrics, and designs. Some you could slip on, but most were either laced or buttoned. I cringe when I look at these dainty images of gorgeous shoes and boots and think about Audrey Rose standing in coagulating blood at her uncle’s lab…ruining these beauties! Luckily she is a lady of means and could afford to buy more.

The ShoesThe Boots

 

I believe that now Miss. Audrey Rose would don a dressing gown while putting on makeup, combing the luscious locks, and arranging the hair to cascading curls of perfection.

 

Hairstyles 1888
1880’s Victorian Hairstyles
The Hair Combs
Beautiful hair combs used for adornment.

 

Under-Petticoats: Once the corset was tightly laced, stockings and shoes on and the every hair perfectly placed, the first of many petticoats would be put on.  These petticoats were made of similar materials to the chemise or with thinner muslin. The petticoats were often edged with lace and some also had dress shaping supports such as horsehair and wiring to sewn into them to help give the dress its finished silhouette.

The Petticoats

 

 

The Bustle: The bustle was usually made of wire that folded and collapsed into itself to allow the lady to sit. This structure was worn over the several layers of petticoats. It sometimes also had some padding and would be tied on tight around the waist.

Bustle The Bustle Dress Profile

 

Decorative Petticoats: These decorative petticoats usually had lots of layers and lace. A fashionable lady would wear no less than two. Sometimes these decorative petticoats would be the actual underskirt of the dress (obviously that would mean at least three-four layers of petticoats, to keep everything “decent”). These petticoats were also what helped the dress have its signature rustling sound; made while the lady walked called the “frou-frou”.

busle and undergarments

 

Once all of these items were on, it was finally time for the actual dress.

 

The Underskirt: This was the first part of the actual dress. Sometimes a highly decorative petticoat would be considered the underskirt, depending on the cut of the dress. This base skirt was usually highly decorated on the front  but plainer towards the back to accommodate the ruffles and folds of the overskirt’s design.

 

The Overskirt: The overskirt was sort of a half skirt that would cover the back and sides of the dress’s underskirt. This is usually the part of the dress that held the elaborate drapes and folds that would be held up by the bustle. Not that by the late 1880’s most dresses were starting to lose their trains, but some overskirts still had a bit of a train to them. The drapes and folds of the bustle were the stars of the back of the dress.

Formal Dresses

 

The Bodice: Once the overskirt is on, a lady would then put on the bodice of her dress. The bodice of dresses in the Victorian era were pretty conservative and covered all the way to the neck in most cases. Some designs did allow for the neckline to be done is a square, sweetheart and V-shaped. The sleeves were tapered and slim, worn long, or in 3/4 length. They could be very simple, or very elaborate depending on the dress. For as prudish as the Victorians seem, sometimes the ladies of the era wore sleeveless gowns but of course, they also wore satin and silk gloves that covered up almost the entire length of their arms, leaving only a little hint of skin exposed.

Blue Dresses

 

Daytime Dresses: Lighter, more “casual, less “frilly” dresses made to wear around the home. Or for when visitors came calling.

Day Dresses

 

Tea Gowns: These gowns started to grow in popularity around the 1870s. These gowns were unboned and worn without a corset, giving the ladies a respite in the afternoon hours before having to start to dress in formal wear for dinner.

Tea Dress

tea dress blue

 

Walking Dresses: These gowns were more conservative and “simpler” but still lovely. They were worn when paying visits or going for walks in the park or maybe even to visit uncle’s laboratory or Bedlam.

grey simple dress...

One-piece day dress, no date. Gray alpaca with trim of burgundy silk atlas and white cotton and lined in silk atlas. Closes up front with hooks & eyes.

 

Dinner Dresses: These were formal dresses made of silks and varied in color. They were usually more opulent and “showier” dresses.

Dinner Attire

 

Ball Gowns: These dresses were made from exquisite materials, the finest of lace and were elaborate and varied in design.


The Ball Gowns red Evening Gown

 

Before Audrey Rose can go out stalking Jack, she needs to make sure that she has all her accessories….

 

The Hat & Hat pins: A lady would never think to leave the house without a bonnet or hat….I mean what would the neighbors think?::gasp::

The Hats

hat pins 2
Hat pins..also good weapons…like sharp needles. 

 

The Hand Fan: Because a lady always needs to keep herself cool (especially when wearing so many layers) or in case she needs a little more air due to that tight corset.Fans were used while at balls and dinner parties to imply certain messages to people of interest. (This was not covered in the book…but there is a “secret” language of fans. For instance, fanning slowly meant a lady was married. Fanning quickly meant she was engaged. A fan in the right hand meant, “I love another”, or if the lady did not think the suitor anything more than a friend, she would drop her fan, which communicated “we will be friends.”…it’s really interesting, and complex. You can read more about it here.

lace fan

 

The Gloves: A lady would always wear gloves when exposed to the outside elements. These came in a variety of fabrics, but leather ones were usually favored for travel. For indoor use, a lady could choose to wear light lacy gloves. When attending balls and wearing the scandalous sleeveless dresses a lady would always wear gloves of silk and satin.

gloves 1 gloves silk green leather gloves

 

The Purse or Reticule: This was always carried with the lady. There she would keep her perfume vial, fan, handkerchief and also her calling cards when she went to visit friends.

The Purses

 

The Cape or Shawl: When the cold weather comes knocking a lady would most certainly wear a cape over all her finery. These capes would vary in length, style and fabric. Some would have high necks, while others would have an enlarged hood.

The Capes

The Parasol: This “umbrella” was usually made of fabric, and lace and often matched or complemented a lady’s ensemble. Victorian fashion favored a pale complexion and this was used by ladies to safeguard their exposed skin from the evil and devastating rays of the sun. I think Audrey Rose would somehow find a way to use her parasol as a weapon if she ever gets herself in a pickle. The handles of such parasols were also usually made of wood or even ivory and were beautifully carved.

blue and ivory dress


About The Book:

Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Publication date: September 20, 2016
Pages: 336
Find it:
Synopsis (from goodreads.com):

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

About The Author:

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time, she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats. Stalking Jack the Ripper is her debut novel. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history and is the first in a new series of gothic thrillers.

For more information about Kerri Maniscalco, check out her social media platforms.

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website | Tumblr | Pinterest


Thank you to Ava from Bookishness and Tea for hosting this amazing tour, and to Kerri for writing such a great book for us all to read and fangirl about.

I really enjoyed working on this post for the Stalking Jack the Ripper blog tour (I spent so many hours on Pinterest looking at pretty dresses…no regrets…lol) and being a part of the Knights of Whitechapel street team. I hope you found all the dresses as pretty and as glorious as I did. Hopefully, you also learned a little something about the typical Victorian attirement ritual.

I am so excited for Stalking Jack the Ripper to finally be released in stores and for the finished copy to finally be in my hands. Are you planning on reading the book? What did you think about all the layers of clothing Victorian ladies had to wear? Have you or would you ever wear a corset? Let’s chat!

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YA Book Review: Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown

YA Book Review: Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin BrownGeorgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
Published by HarperTeen on August 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, GLBT, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Goodreads
four-stars

Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.
Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?

This year I’ve been trying to amp up my contemporary YA reading because (normally I am all about YA fantasy) and Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit was one of my top choices to read in this genre. I feel that this book will be an important read for teens dealing with their sexual identity and having a crisis in faith because of it. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit had a little bit of everything I have come to expect with contemporary YA. It was funny, witty, romantic, and dealt with some pretty vital issues plaguing queer teens in today’s society. The book deals with finding acceptance, new family dynamics, faith, and friendship (but don’t worry it doesn’t get overly preachy or overly religion filled).

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit is the story of Jo’s journey to accepting herself. It is also about Jo’s struggles in finding acceptance in her personal life, family, and faith. Jo was one of my favorite characters. She often made me laugh out loud with her observations of things. It was easy to root for her and hope that she would find happiness with her new romance. What bothered me about Jo was how easily she accepted her pastor father’s wishes to “tone down” and basically go back in the closet. I assumed she did it out of love for her dad, but I also felt like she didn’t mind being closeted. However, I reminded myself about how young Jo is and reflected on how hard it is for a teenager to freely admit to being different. I also really liked Jo’s best friend Dana, she’s wild and thinks she can turn anyone gay and is the epitome of the term “YOLO” (you only live once) which reminded me of a good friend of mine. I liked that we got to see Jo’s relationship with her new stepmom grow and develop, even to the point that Mother #3 became “mom”. There are a few plot points that seemed a bit far-fetched but I could overlook those because I really liked the characters the author created and the overall message of the book.

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit is beautifully written, the author does an amazing job exploring how religious faith doesn’t always equal to closed-mindedness or hate. I would highly recommend Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit to all readers (queer or not). I think it is an important book for young teens to read, especially those struggling with accepting themselves and their fear of how their family or religion might react to their sexual identity.

Thank you, Harper Teen and Edelweiss for providing me with an E-ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

four-stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That Have Been On My TBR List From Before I Started Blogging That I STILL Haven’t Read Yet

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by the ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week we get a new topic for a top ten list. This week’s prompt is all about the many books on our TBR (to be read) list that we still haven’t been able to read yet (since before we started blogging) for one reason or another. There are quite a few on mine, but here are the top ten books I actually plan to read soon.

 

Anna and the French Kiss and That whole series by Stephanie Perkins

AnnaFrenchKiss

I know! How have I still not read this? Especially now that my friend Rachel has loaned the entire series to me. I swear I am going to read it, but it will probably take me some time since I have plenty of books to read for reviews and such. I also want to just enjoy it, and not have the pressure of having to review it or read it along with everyone else.

 

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall

This has been on my radar, but I spend so much time with fantasy and kids books that I don’t have much spare time for contemporary. This year though I am really trying to read more contemporary books, so when Rachel threw a used copy into my shopping basket during independent book day at Harvard Bookstore I had to buy it. I have heard AMAZING things about this book, and I think it is time to take the plunge.

 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist

This book has been on my TBR for a very long time. I had several people recommend it to me. I don’t like readings books that are super hyped or the “it” book of the week. This is probably one of the reasons why I have not picked this one up yet. However, recently I came upon a few quotes from this and several other books by Mr. Coelho and I feel like I need to start reading it. Also Coelho means “bunny” in Portuguese. 🙂

 

The Woman who Gave Birth to Rabbits:Stories by Emma Donoghue

WomanRabbits

Another book that I have purchased, but it has been seating on my bookshelf patiently waiting for me to read it. I won’t lie, I did buy this because there was a bunny on the cover, but also because I had read Emma’s novel Slammerkin.

 

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Scorpio races

I got so obsessed with the Raven Boys series that I still have not yet read this book. I probably will now, to fill the void now that the Raven Boys series is over.

 

Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo

ShadowBone

I actually haven’t read any of Leigh’s books yet, and I know I really should. Everyone is always raving about them, but as I mentioned before I usually stay clear of books that get “too popular” at least for a while. Maybe I’ll get to this one this winter.

 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

fangirl

Just bought the Barnes and Nobles Red cover edition for my friend Elizabeth for her birthday and it’s so pretty that I need to get myself one too. Also, all of Rainbow’s books have been on my list for years now (I know…shame on me).

 

Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan

Red Spikes

I purchased this book just before moving to our new home and it got “lost” amongst all the various book totes. I just recently uncovered it and am looking forward to reading all the strange short stories throughout this Fall season.

 

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

Odd

One of the few Neil Gaiman books left that I have not read, sometimes it’s good to have something unread…saved up for a special rainy day when you need magic in your life.

 

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

The Enchanted

This one came out just as I was starting to get into the blogging world, I have heard wonderful recommendations for it, but for some reason I still have not read it, I think this will be rectified before the year is out.

 

What are some of the books on your TBR pile that you have yet to read? How long have they been there? How do you decide to pick what to read next from your TBR pile? (I usually base my choices on my mood). Let’s chat, and if you participate with Top Ten Tuesday, make sure to leave me your link below.

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The Sisterhood of the Traveling ARC Book Review: The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

five-stars

Welcome to The Sisterhood of the Traveling ARC

TravelingARC2

A new feature dedicated to sharing our ARCS and our love of reading. Hosted and created by Elizabeth at BookYabber, Nicole at Nicole’s Novel Reads and myself here at The Plot Bunny.

If you missed our intro post about this feature you can view it here. Nicole, Elizabeth and I all love to read ARCS and after brainstorming how we could all get to read more ARCS and also help promote upcoming authors and books, we decided that we would start to share whatever ARCS we were mailed by the publishers. By sharing our ARCs we all get to read more books, and at the same time the author, book, and publisher will get book promotions and reviews from all three of us. It’s a Win-Win! This also allows us to have a mini book club of sorts and we are able to sit down, drink some tea and discuss the book together. 

 The ARC we shared this time around was The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics. Elizabeth was lucky enough to get a copy of it and since we all had previously read Amy’s first book Daughters Unto Devils. We knew it was the perfect ARC to share. 


WIW The Women in the Walls

By: Amy Lukavics

Publish Date: Sept. 27th, 2016

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Pgs: 304

My Rating: 5 stars

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

“Lucy Acosta’s mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They’re inseparable—a family.  

When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she’s ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother’s voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin’s sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.”


MY REVIEW

Lucy Acosta lives in a grand mansion with her father (Felix), aunt Penelope and cousin Margaret. The book opens with Lucy telling us about how she found the dead body of their cook (Walter) hanging in his bedroom. Her aunt and father seem completely stoic about the whole thing, and expect her to go on with daily life as per normal. Not too long after her aunt goes missing, and her cousin Margaret starts to act strange and distant. Lucy tries to deal with Margaret herself, but unable to get through to her she tries to tell her father about the concerns she has about Margaret. Unfortunate, Lucy’s dad is more concerned about keeping up appearances with the prestigious country club he and Penelope are a part of. Lucy starts to question why the club is more in important to him than his own niece or why he never called the cops when her aunt went missing. To make matters worst Margaret confesses to hearing voices in the attic walls. Something is definitely not right in this household and Lucy needs to find out what before everything falls apart.

Women in the Walls was everything I was hoping and expecting it to be. This book is dripping with eerie atmosphere and creepiness. Amy Lukavics writing is detailed and haunting. She knows exactly how to lure you in and get under your skin. The pacing is slow to start, but that is just how Lukavics sets the table of this disturbing and chilling tale. She creates a story enwrapped in layers and layers of mystery so the reader can come along on the journey just as she intended them to. This is the sort of story that sticks to you like coagulating blood and seeps deep into your thoughts. You might think you can read it and then simply to bed peacefully but no…you will start to think about the story and all of a sudden you are covered in goosebumps and legitimately freaked out. Her previous book Daughters Unto Devils did the same thing to me.

Reading Women in The Walls made me cringe and it made me uncomfortable, as any good horror story will. There are moments from this book that will haunt me for a long time. I’m probably never going upstairs to my attic again, or at least not by myself. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone seeking a twisted and blood curdling story, filled with mystery and definitely some gore. Plus you won’t see the insane ending coming…no matter how good you might be at solving mysteries.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

amy

Ever since she was little, Amy was especially intrigued by horror books and movies. Raised in a small mountain town in Arizona, she sustained herself on a steady diet of Goosebumps, Fear Street, and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books before discovering Stephen King in her mother’s bookshelf.

Amy lives with her husband, their two precious squidlings, and an old gentleman cat by the name of Frodo. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, crafting, and playing games across many platforms.


Special “THANKS” to Elizabeth for sharing her ARC with us, and to Harlequin Teen for making it possible. 

Let us know what you think of our Traveling ARC feature. Make sure to also visit Nicole and Elizabeth’s blogs to check out their reviews. Do you enjoy horror books? Have you read Daughters Unto Devils? Are you planning on reading Amy Lukavics new book? Let’s chat!

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five-stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Set In Castles

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by the ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week we get a new topic for a top ten list. This week’s prompt is Top Ten Books Set in X… I decided to choose books set in castles because I seem to read lots of books that often have this setting. Castles are pretty awesome places to live and I and would totally buy one if I ever won the lottery. With that said, here are my books:

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Ashton Brodi, and Jodi Meadows

my lady jane

This is one of my favorite books of 2016. There are a few castles, the Tower of London, and a few of those Tudor mansions too. A hilarious read, that I recommend to everyone I meet.

 

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

The sleeper

A retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty, with a twist. Plus it’s written by my favorite author, so it had to make the list.

 

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula

My very first vampire novel and it forever made them my favorite monsters. Count Dracula lives in his enormous castle in Transylvanian and he is immortal but has to feed on the blood of the living…(a small price to pay for eternal youth and a kickass castle right? )

 

Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin


game of thrones

So many castles, some pretty, some plain, some falling apart. Between all the books I lost count of all the different castles. Plus I am sure the next book will have at least one or two more to add to the count.

 

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
by Robin McKinley

beauty

It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and since it’s my favorite fairytale I had to add it to this list, and it is also set in a castle.

 

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

prince

One of my favorite reads, though the whole book is not set in a castle, but there definitely is one. Let’s go capture the castle…

 

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

white queen

Probably my favorite in the whole series. I love historical fiction and the writing in this book made me feel like I was there. Clearly, there are castles…

 

Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel

palace

I liked this book so much more than I was expecting to. It was a fun and fast read. There is betrayal, and friendship and a great glimpse into court life and all its lurid and juicy gossip. It’s based on some real history so that was also a plus. Oh did I mention castles?

 

Marie Antoinette Serial Killer by Katie Alender

marie serial

Okay…this book was pretty absurd…and I am sure it probably is but I still want to read it. I’m pretty positive there are castles since this is Paris and Queen Marie Antoinette we are talking about.

 

Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

glitter

This book is not published yet (October 2016), but I have been hearing some great things about it. Again…it’s set in Versailles which is my dream castle. I would totally go back in time if the Doctor came for me with the Tardis to have cakes and champagne with Marie Antoinette.

 

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

glass spare

This book does not even have cover art yet, but it’s Lauren DeStefano and she does not mess around when it comes to writing awesome books. This is the story of Wil, she is the youngest daughter of the world’s wealthiest king. She also has a deadly power, she can crystallize living things. Obviously being a princess she lives in a castle… Can’t wait for this one to be published, which will be sometime in September 2017.

 

What are some of your favorite books with castle settings? What would your dream castle look like? Share with me your comments below, and if you participate in Top Ten Tuesday, leave me your links too. Let’s Chat!

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