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Blogtober 2020

Auto Buy Authors 📚 Blogtober #19

Today I am going to talk about the authors whose books I automatically buy without even reading a synopsis half the time!

1. Maureen Johnson

Truly Devious is in my top five favourite series! I am so keen for The Box in the Woods & I will definitely be pre-ordering it closer to release which is set for 27th of April 2021. I’m also very keen to eventually see what Maureen Johnson comes up with next. She does have one older release that I plan to give a go at some point but it always makes me nervous going backwards in release order because maybe the author wasn’t as good or experienced then as they are now. I do want to have a go at The Name of the Star but the other don’t interest me as they are contemporary romances & that’s just not my cup of tea.

2. Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I’m pretty sure this duo is on most YA readers Auto Buy list at this point. I personally don’t love Jay Kristoff’s writing alone but I do enjoy Amie Kaufmans & I love them together! I can’t wait for Aurora Rising #3 and I’m hopeful that we will see something else from these two in the future!

3. Karen M. McManus

I’ve read all of Karen M. McManus’s released books, the One of Us is Lying duology & Two Can Keep a Secret. I have The Cousins pre-ordered and it is set to release December 1st. So not long to wait! Karen M. McManus is an amazing YA mystery writer and I’m excited for The Cousins and everything else she writes after that!

4. Ashley Poston

So I have only actually read 3 of the 5 that are currently out but I’m getting there! I’ve read Geekerella & The Princess and the Fangirl. I only got Bookish and the Beast recently and I just haven’t gotten to it yet. Hopefully after my spooky Halloween reads and done. I’ve also read Heart of Iron but am yet to get to Soul of Stars but again hopefully soon. I might do a reading vlog binging the Ashley Poston books once my copy of Among the Beasts and Briars arrives!

5. Seanan McGuire (AKA Mira Grant)

So far I have read 6 books by Seanan McGuire but she has SOOOO many its kinda crazy. Not only does she has 40+ books under Seanan McGuire but she also has a heap under Mira Grant. I’ve read book 1 – 5 for the Wayward Children series as well as Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day which is one of her standalones. I’m keen to see what she comes out with next but as for her older stuff I honestly have no idea where to start. I am curious about the Rolling in the Deep (possibly) series but that’s the only one I’m actually sure I might read at some point.

6. Lynette Noni

Another in my top 5 favourite series is The Medoran Chronicles by Lynette Noni. The only book that she has published that I have not read is A Very Medoran Kaldoras which is a Christmas short story set in The Medoran Chronicles world. I also really enjoyed the Whisper duology and I can’t wait for The Prison Healer which is set to release April 2021.

7. Alice Oseman

There is just something about Alice Osemans books that I just love! Solitaire is probably my least favourite but it’s still good. Raido Silence, Loveless & I Was Born For This are favourites in that order. As well as the Heartstopper graphic novels & the companion book to them Nick & Charlie. I can’t wait for Volume 4 and then whatever Alice Oseman releases next!

8. Nadine Brandes

I’ve read Nadine Brandes two most recent releases, Romanov & Fawkes, and both were amazing and extremely unique! I am really keen to see what she comes out with next & I’m also curious about her older series Out of Time.

9. Amanda Foody

So far I have read Ace of Shades & King of Fools from the Ace of Shades Trilogy and I’m really keen to have time to sit down and read Queen of Volts! I’ve also read Daughter of the Burning City which is an amazing standalone! You can bet that I will be pre-ordering The Accidental Apprentice which is book 1 in her new middle grade series & All of us Villains which is co-authored by Christine Lynn Herman, whose writing I also love!

10. Angie Thomas

I have read The Hate U Give three times & I’ve read On the Come Up twice because they are both amazing! I can’t wait for Concrete Rose and literally anything else she writes in the future!

Let’s Chat!

What author/s do you automatically buy?


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Blogtober 2020 Reviews

Salt to the Sea 💫 Spoiler Free Review 📚 Blogtober #16

Title: Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: Feb 2nd, 2016
Pages: 391
Publishers: Philomel Books
Rating:

5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis

While the Titanic and Lusitania are both well-documented disasters, the single greatest tragedy in maritime history is the little-known January 30, 1945 sinking in the Baltic Sea by a Soviet submarine of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German cruise liner that was supposed to ferry wartime personnel and refugees to safety from the advancing Red Army. The ship was overcrowded with more than 10,500 passengers — the intended capacity was approximately 1,800 — and more than 9,000 people, including 5,000 children, lost their lives.

Sepetys (writer of ‘Between Shades of Gray’) crafts four fictionalized but historically accurate voices to convey the real-life tragedy. Joana, a Lithuanian with nursing experience; Florian, a Prussian soldier fleeing the Nazis with stolen treasure; and Emilia, a Polish girl close to the end of her pregnancy, converge on their escape journeys as Russian troops advance; each will eventually meet Albert, a Nazi peon with delusions of grandeur, assigned to the Gustloff decks.

This book is absolutely amazing! This is actually my reread of this one as I did listen to the audiobook a couple years ago and loved it then too. However, I didn’t end up reviewing it last time so I decided to do it this time!
Firstly I highly recommend the audiobook! It is amazingly done & has full cast narration. It’s definitely worth the listen.

This is a very emotional and hard hitting book. I spent the last couple chapters with tears in my eyes & actually had to put the book down twice to pull myself together. It is written in a way that you have an instant connection with these characters (well most of them) and you just want them to get to freedom. Of course this is based off WWII and a lot of people did die, so it’s something you know is likely coming in the book but it doesn’t make it easier to read when it does.

I love and care for Florian, Emilia & Joana so much and genuinely hate Alfred as a person and a character. These characters feel so fleshed out and you learn their stories & their history. It makes it hard to not think of them as real people.

This book also drags you in and won’t let go. I didn’t want to put it down as I just wanted to find out what happens next. It’s also very unpredictable. Just when you think everything is going alright the shit hits the fan again and you are left in shock because of it.

I also love that the author kept the book as historically accurate as she could. Not only did she do that but she also explained it all and told you what really happened and what was fiction. I love that this also focuses on a lesser known event that was extremely deadly. I wish more YA books focused on specific lesser known events so as to educate readers.

Overall I highly recommend this book. Of course it is a WWII story and it’s extreme and hard hitting. There is of course the obvious trigger warnings for a war book such as violence, death, children suffering, etc. but also, please be aware that there is references & discussion of rape in this one. However I think it is an important read and one that needs to be discussed & promoted more.

Let’s Chat

Have you read Salt to the Sea? What is a similar book that I should also read?


You can order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.
There is an alternate cover for the Paperbacks & a second Hardcover available which I’ll pop below.

You could also use my affiliate link for Book Depository if you would like to support this blog.

Book Depository
Paperback
Hardcover
Hardcover (brown cover)

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Paperback
Paperback (Brown Cover)
Hardcover
Hardcover (Brown Cover)

Amazon Australia
eBook
Hardcover
Paperback (Brown Cover)


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Blogtober 2020 Meme

The Finished Books Tag 📚 Blogtober #17

Today I am doing The Finished Books Tag! I have no idea who created this tag as no one else seems to have tagged a creator either. If you know who did let me know & I will give credit!

1. Do you keep a list of the books you’ve read?

Multiple actually.
I track all books read on Goodreads

I have a monthly reading tracker spread sheet that tracks what pages exactly I’ve read of each book (this helps with my Bullet Journal & ReadAThon tracking a lot). This one I adapted a little bit from the ReadAThon Tracker that Caz @ Little Book Owl created.

I also have a yearly spreadsheet that tracks what I read as well as details about the books & author which I use to track my stats.

I also track in my reading journal & Always Fully Booked Planner what books I read each month

2. If you record statistics, what statistics do you record?

I track a fair bit actually.
Total books, Books DNFd, Books reread, New to me Authors, Pages read, stand-alones read, 5 star ratings, eARCs/ARCs Read, 2020 releases read, LGBT+ books read, Authors of Colour read, Genres Read, Age group read, Format read, Page length of read books, Publication year of read books, authors gender, what LGBT+ representation is in the book I read and my yearly reading goals.

3. Do you give star ratings for books and if so, what do you score books out of and how do you come about this score?

Of course! I rate out of 5 and you can check out my Rating System below.

4. Do you review books?

I sure do. I try and review every book I physically read. I don’t always review audiobooks or graphic novels I read though. That just depends on the book.

5. Where do you put your finished books?

If I enjoyed or loved them then they get moved from my TBR shelf to my Read Shelves. You can check out my Book Shelf Tours for those shelves on my YouTube Channel.
For the books I didn’t enjoy they will go on my unhaul pile. Once I get a decent amount of books on that pile then I do an Unhaul video on my Channel. Those books are then sold on Facebook or donated to out local used book store. The funds from that store goes towards the local seniors bus which runs seniors and disabled people to Drs appointments and such.

6. Do you have any other rituals for when you have finished a book?

My ritual is: I add the info to my spread sheets, GoodReads & Bullet Journal. I then write out review notes in my Always Fully Booked Planner if I will be reviewing. If it’s a physical book I will add it to the top shelf of my TBR cart until I film my end of month wrap up. Then after that’s filmed it will either go on my read shelves or to the unhaul pile. Then at some point I will write my review to post on here.

Let’s Chat!

Well that is all the questions! What bookish stats do you track?


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Blogtober 2020 Reviews

A Song Below Water 💫 Spoiler Free Review 📚 Blogtober #16

Title: A Song Below Water
Series Name: A Song Below Water
Author: Bethany C. Morrow
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2020
Pages: 288
Publishers: Tor Teen
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.

I was highly anticipating this book before I picked it up! A siren story with POC MCs & Black Lives Matter themes?! Sounded like the perfect mix of contemporary issues & fantasy elements. What could go wrong? Well, turns out a fair bit. I easily have more negative points than positive and while I did have a good time actually reading it and it dealt with some good topics the overall execution just wasn’t there.

So as I said I did enjoy the discussion on the Black Lives Matter topics. I enjoyed that the author blended the hate towards the black community in with the hate towards the siren community. I’ve also seen some own voice reviews that claim the book has good representation, so that’s a positive as well even if it’s not something I can directly comment on.

However, that and the general enjoyability of the audiobook experience is really the only reason why this book got the rating that it did. It isn’t necessarily bad but it could have been done SOO much better.

Firstly for the negative side of things, there is basically no world building or background given at all. You are just thrown in and are just meant to understand what is going on when really you have no idea. There were also a general lack of explanation for a lot of aspects and also a fair few references to things, events, etc. that just weren’t explained. As if you are magically meant to know the back story and understand the references.

The main thing that bugged me with A Song Below Water is that it was advertised as a Siren Story but kinda wasn’t. Yes it started out that way but after a certain point Tav (the siren) basically doesn’t matter anymore and it’s all about Effie. The story turns into Effie trying to find herself and figure out what she is. What about Tav? And the siren hate? And her accidentally exposing her voice? And basically everything siren related?
Also slight spoiler but when Effie’s species is revealed it’s one we basically hadn’t heard of and have no idea what it is but everyones just like yeah cool she is a ….. And that’s it. We are just supposed to be like ‘yeah, makes total sense’ and move on. Prime example of lack of explanation.

I did start reading this book physically but found myself pushing to get through it due to simply not feeling any connection towards Effie or Tav. I like Tav but there was not real connection there and the characters had no depth. They felt very flat and one dimensional which makes it hard to connect to them as they have basically no personality. So, I ended up swapping to the audiobook which definitely made it easier to read.

Overall I am not particularly impressed with A Song Below Water. This book had so much potential but it just didn’t quite hit the mark. I’m not sure if I will end up picking up book 2. I’m kinda curious but also not really that curious, so I don’t know. If the audiobook pops up on Scribd I may end up giving it a go but I don’t think I will go out of my way to buy it.

Let’s Chat

Have you read A Song Below Water? What were your thoughts?


You can order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.
There is an alternate cover for the Paperbacks which I will leave down below!

You could also use my affiliate link for Book Depository if you would like to support this blog.

Book Depository
Hardcover
Paperback

Angus & Robertson
Hardcover

Amazon Australia
Hardcover
eBook


Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

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Blogtober 2020 Meme

Last Year I Was Reading… 💫 #6 📚 Blogtober #15

So, I’m joining a weekly feature that is kind of like a Throwback Thursday! Last Year I Was Reading… was created by ReadingMaria!

Take your current read and compare it to what you reading this exact time last year. Which one do you like better? What is different about the books? Any special facts/things you want to make note of or bring attention to? Be sure to link it back to my blog so I can see them!

This Year I Am Reading…

The Tea Dragon Tapestry by Katie O’Neill

This was so amazing! I’m sad that the series is over but I could read about these characters and these tiny creatures forever. This series is cute, has gorgeous art work, amazingly diverse characters & is just such a feel good book!

Last Year I was Reading…

When She Reigns by Jodi Meadows

When She Reigns is Book 3 in the Fallen Isles Trilogy which is an awesome fantasy series with a focus on dragons! I loved this series and book 3 was my favourite. In my opinion this series got better and better with each book. Definitely need to do a reread of these soon!


How can it really compare? While I loved When She Reigns it just can’t hold up against The Tea Dragon Tapestry.

Let’s Chat!

What were you reading this time last year? Did you love it?


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Blogtober 2020

Goodreads “Want to Read” Clear Out #2 📚 Blogtober #14

So I thought it was time for another Clear Out on my Goodreads “Want to Read” Shelf. I have removed 79 books from my Want to Read Shelf this time around but last time I removed 180+ books! So if you want to check that out you can find that post HERE!

Basically all of these book are either sequels to books that I have read but I’m not interested in continuing or books I simply lost interest in. So, here are all the books I scraped!

Let’s Chat!

Have you read and loved any of these that you think I should put back on my TBR!? Let me know!


Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

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Blogtober 2020 Meme

Top Ten Tuesday 📚 Books I own with the longest titles! 💫 Blogtober #13

Yes, I am jumping back on the Top Ten Tuesday band wagon but it may not be every week. I’m just planning on jumping in when I enjoy the prompt of the week. So these will be pretty random.

Top Ten Tuesday is a monthly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish but now lives at The Artsy Reader Girl and you can find all the info and upcoming prompts Here.

Prompt: Super Long Book Titles

1. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

2. Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden

3. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

4. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

5. The Strange Case of the Alchemists Daughter by Theodora Goss

6. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

7. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

8. A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

9. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

10. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Let’s Chat!

What’s the longest title on your shelves?!


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Blogtober 2020

10 Black Authored Books On My TBR 📚 Blogtober #11

Today I want to talk about 10 books on my TBR that are by Black Authors that I am keen for! I own 6 of these physically but most of the others are on Scribd. So I’m hoping to read these soon!

1. Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

I was hoping to read Cinderella is Dead in September but I didn’t get the chance! So hopefully I will get to it in October. I love the idea of a dark Cinderella retelling so I am super keen for this one!

2. This is My America by Kim Johnson

This is my America is being compared to Dear Martin by Nic Stone which I LOVED so I’m interested! This also sounds like it deals with a bit of a mystery which I have been loving lately.

3. The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

This is actually a Historical Fiction as it’s set in the 90s but it definitely gives me The Hate U Give vibes which I am currently rereading as I type this! I also got told by the person that served me at QBD when I bought it that it was amazing, so I have high hopes.

4. Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

Dear Justyce is the sequel to Dear Martin which I read last year I think and LOVED! Dear Martin was a very short book but god damn did it pack a bunch! It was amazing but also extremely emotional and I hope Dear Justyce is just as good! Might just do a reread of Dear Martin before picking this one up.

5. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanna A. Brown

I have heard amazing things about A Song of Wraiths and Ruin and that cover is gorgeous! I also want to read more fantasy by black authors as I feel like most of the books by black authors that I read are contemporary. So I want to branch into other genres as well! So this is perfect for that.

6. The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

Speaking of other genres, The Sound of Stars is a Sci-Fi! I have not even read the full synopsis of this book as I was SOO freaking intrigued just by reading the bold bit at the top of the Goodreads synopsis and also the bit on the front cover of the book!

Can their love of books and pop music save the world?
(Front Cover)

Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity?
(Goodreads Synopsis)

I am so keen for this!

7. A Phoenix First Must Burn: Sixteen Stories or Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and Hope

A Phoenix First Must Burn is an anthology about “Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and hope” and I’m very keen! I hope to start this one at least in October and read a couple stories here and there. This cover is also stunning!

8. A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney

A Blade so Black is a dark & black Alice in Wonderland retelling which just sounds like an amazing combo! There has been pretty mixed views on this one but I am still keen to give it a go!

9. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Dread Nation has SOO much hype around release but I feel like it has kinda fallen off the planet since then. I didn’t get a chance to read it around release but I am still very curious about it and hope to read it soon. This is a Historical Horror/Fantasy which I’m down for!

10. The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

This is another Historical Fantasy and the synopsis for this one sounds really interesting as well. I’m also super keen for the historical aspect as I get the hint that this will deal with slavery and such which is a topic I haven’t read enough about.

Let’s Chat!

What books by black authors are you keen to read? Are there others I should be adding to my TBR?! Let me know!


Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

All the links!

Dusk Angel Reads:
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Some of the links on my blog are affiliate links. This does not change the price of your purchases, however, I receive a small commission if you use any of those links to make a purchase! Which I highly appreciate!

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Blogtober 2020 Challenges/Readathons TBR

Graphics-A-Thon TBR 📚 Blogtober #11

Let’s talk about all the books I hope to read during Graphics-A-Thon!!

Graphics-A-Thon is a 9 day ReadAThon dedicated to reading Graphic Novels! It’s hosted by Destiny @ Howling Libraries, Ellyn @ allonsythornraxx & Rebecca @ Booksihly Rebecca
Dates: 11th – 19th October
Graphics-A-Thon Twitter

Read a book with BIPOC rep

Goldie Vance: Vol 1 by Hope Larson, Brittney Williams & Sarah Stern

Read a graphic with disability &/or mental health rep

The Tea Dragon Tapestry by Katie O’Neill

Read a graphic with LGBTQIA+ rep

Fence: Vol 2 by C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad & Joana Lafuente

Read a spooky graphic

Uzumaki by Junji Ito

Read a graphic you predict will be a 5 Star

The Avant-Guards: Vol 1 by Carly Usdin & Noah Hayes

Other possible reads

Let’s Chat!

Are you participating in Graphics-A-Thon? What are you reading first?


Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

All the links!

Dusk Angel Reads:
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Dusk Angel Store:
Buy Candles, Book Sleeves, Sprayed Edged Books & more on our website!
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Blogtober 2020 Tags

How I Read Book Tag 📚 Blogtober #10

I haven’t done any tags in ages so I thought I would throw some in during BlogTober! This one was apparently created by EnyasCorner on YouTube but it no longer has any content on the account so I can’t be sure. The post I saw this on was from 6 years ago! But I like the questions, so let’s jump in!

1. How do you find out about new books to read?

At the moment Booktube & Instagram mostly. Also Facebook Groups are a good place to find recommendations as well! I haven’t really been reading blog posts lately as I just haven’t been in the mood but I usually get reccs from there too.

2. How did you get into reading?

I have always been kinda interested in reading and I used to read books when I was in primary school but then I didn’t read for most of High School until I received a copy of Switched by Amanda Hocking in a Dolly Magazine and read it and loved it and then read the other books in the series as well as other books by the author. I then read Vampire Academy & the companion series Bloodlines and then took another long break. It wasn’t until I discovered The YA Chronicles subscription box (No longer available) & the Book Blogging community that I fully dived into read again and I haven’t stopped since.

3. How has your taste in books changed as you’ve gotten older?

Fantasy has definitely always been my favourite genre with Sci-Fi, Mystery & Historical Fiction being my second favourites and I have never been interested in romances. However now I am kinda discovering that my taste is changing from Fantasy being my favourite genre to Mystery/Thriller/Horror being my thing. I love a fantasy with a mystery as well but I am gravitating more to Mystery/Thriller/Horror now than I am to any other genre.

4. How often do you buy books?

Often! I generally buy books in batches of 4 or 5 because then I can get free shipping through Angus & Robertson which is my go to store. I usually place an order anywhere from 1 to 4 times a month depending on cash at the time but I do tend to pre-order a lot too so those orders come in over a couple months.

5. How did you get into BookTube/Book Blogging?

I’m answering this for both as I have both. For Blogging I really don’t remember who I read or what made me think ‘hey I can do that’ but I love designing websites and I used to spend hours messing with my Tumblr accounts so I took some time and set up a blog through WordPress and my first post was a review of Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton which is still an all time fave!
As for BookTube I’m also not sure what specifically made be do it but I discovered BookTube and at the time I was filming a lot on Instagram Stories for my Bookstagram account so I thought fuck it, why not do YouTube too.

6. How do you react when you don’t like the end of a book?

I honestly don’t know how to respond to this? I finish the book and review it like usual? Depending on whether I liked the book overall I may continue if it’s a series. But that’s about it.

7. How often have you taken a sneaky look at the back page of a book to see if it’s a happy ending?

I have never actually done this. Or even ever been tempted really.

Let’s Chat!

Has your taste in books changed over the years?! Or am I the only one that did a full 360 on what genre I enjoy most!


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Personal:
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Photography:
Automotive Photography Blog
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Some of the links on my blog are affiliate links. This does not change the price of your purchases, however, I receive a small commission if you use any of those links to make a purchase! Which I highly appreciate!