Sunday, May 31, 2020

Book Tour and Giveaway: The Archer's Diary by Liam Cadoc

Title: The Archer's Diary
Author: Liam Cadoc
Publication Date: April 17th
Print Length: 474 pages
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Since the 14th century, Robin Hood has proven to be one of the most enduring and versatile folk heroes. Medieval historians believed Robin lived during the 12th or 13th century but despite decades of intense research by contemporary scholars, solid evidence has never been found.

Until now.

Logan Daggett, son of Donald Daggett, well known CEO of one of Australia's largest international corporations, has his 21st birthday celebrations disrupted by a family tragedy, the revelation of his mother's decades-old secret—and a birthday gift of a collection of centuries-old family heirlooms. This series of events contrive to change the course of his life forever.

Accompanied by his two closest friends, the young Aussie sets out to uncover the truth behind the accident that irrevocably changed his life, and to research the authenticity of the priceless heirlooms, completely unaware of the adventure and dangers lurking around every corner.

During the course of their journey they uncover irrefutable evidence that causes further turmoil among the family, spark controversy among medieval scholars worldwide, and the potential of sparking upheaval to a country's history and creating conflict between two nations.

Liam Cadoc's stunning debut to historical fiction sweeps readers into a ruthless world where greed and corruption threaten to deprive a nation of historical riches and the world of the truth behind a legendary hero. This is Book 1 of a 2-book set.


Cadoc endeavors to create a feasible balance of historical fact and fiction into his writing in order to meet his obligation, as an author, to his readers. To that end he spends a large part of his conceptual writing on researching the world in which the characters will inhabit. "I've always had a fascination with history, particularly the medieval period of England and the Arthurian Legend. Though my genre is historical fiction, I hope that my readers will come away with a better understanding and appreciation for how people survived and endured before the inception of the basic luxuries we take for granted each day."

He penned his first fiction while in high school and was quickly recognized by the English staff and his class for his vibrant imagination. He was also a talented artist and, after graduating, followed a career as a graphic designer in the publishing industry compelling him to put aside writing for a number of years.

In 1998, he met his wife-to-be on the Internet when online dating was in its infancy. After 18 months of long-distance romancing, they wed in Sydney, Australia and he returned to America with his wife to begin a whole new life together.

Now retired, Cadoc has the time to return to his beloved writing and has spent 9 years working on THE ARCHER'S DIARY, his first historical fiction novel.

He enjoys bare-bow target archery, reading, writing, kayaking, movies, traveling, and doing the occasional commissioned portrait of pets or people. He currently lives in central Florida with his wife.

1. Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Okay, good question. Even as far back (several centuries) as high school, I had a gift for writing and always earned A+s for my English writing assignments. The various English teachers I was fortunate to have all encouraged me to keep writing in order to nurture my gift.

That said, I decided to take another career path because I also excelled in art class and turned to graphic design. In a serendipitous way, several years later I found myself as art director with one of Australia's major publishers designing and laying out books. Then, a few decades later, I happened to read an article that inspired a story idea that took me some 9 years to evolve into my foray into historical fiction — The Archer's Diary.

2. What is something unique/quirky about you?
I've always been intrigued by the supernatural and psychic powers. I read somewhere that we (as humans) utilize only a small portion of our brain's capacity. This led me to experimenting with my mind during my commute to my job with the publishing house. The drive took about an hour and snaked through beautiful bush lands. And for the most part, oncoming traffic was hidden from view by trees and the numerous bends. At first all I accomplished was giving myself some hefty headaches, but over a couple of months, I was able to 'detect' oncoming vehicles with my mind — even to discern the difference between trucks and cars, and eventually their colors.

A few years later, I was introduced to, and subsequently invited to join, a coven of white witches where each of us possessed an unique gift and, combined as a group, we worked to help people outside our group who had physical and mental problems. Unfortunately, being the inquisitive person I am, all this led me down a rabbit hole of experimentation that caused me to have a 'psychic breakdown.'

3. Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
Following on from #2 above, I learned the dangers of 'playing' with the ouiji board, working with mirrors, and the like. I was even invited by various private schools to talk to their students about the subject.

4. Where were you born/grew up?
I am an Australian, born in Sydney. My parents were living and working in Lae, Papua New Guinea (Google it) and when the time approached for me to enter the world, my mother decided to return to Sydney. Two weeks after being born, we flew back to Lae where I spent the first 5 years growing up.

5. Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
This might be a trifle self-indulgent, but something I would hazard to guess most — if not all — authors have thought on. I can well imagine Book One being made into a 2-part movie, with Book Two the rip-roaring sequel.

6. Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
An incurable inquisitive empathic romantic.

7. What are you passionate about these days?
I believe my compassion for the welfare of innocent animals has heightened ever since looking into the 'blood sport' of dog fighting, and its prevalence here in America and around the world.

8. What do you do to unwind and relax?
As well as a writer, I am a painter and do commissioned portraits of animals and people.

My wife and I are also very keen bare bow target archers; we also love camping, kayaking, traveling, movies, and catching up with old friends.

9. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I can see myself as an Anatolian shepherd dog-sized Border Collie.

10. What inspired you to write this book?
I have always had a fascination for historical fiction and medieval England. After spending 2 vacations driving around England, Scotland and Wales, the immersion in all that history combined with my love for the legend of Robin Hood to conjure up an idea that led me to write The Archer's Diary.

11. What can we expect from you in the future?
Should my debut to historical fiction with The Archer's Diary (Book One), and subsequently Book Two create a substantial following of eager readers, then I dare say I may well be tempted to remain writing in that genre for the foreseeable future.

12. How did you come up with name of this book?
Truthfully, the title for The Archer's Diary gave birth to itself. I had already settled on a broad outline for the story and was giving thought to a suitable name when it just 'came to me.' After all, the diary itself is the pivotal point of Book One and is the cause of all the mishaps and mayhem that occur. Then, in Book Two, readers are given the unique privilege of reading over Robin Hood's shoulder as he pens his thoughts and deeds in his private diary.

13. Who designed your book cover?
After a career of some 30+ years as a graphic designer in the publishing industry, both here and back in Australia, I plead guilty to having the audacity to design my own cover — and will continue to do so while I remain writing. Wouldn't it be crazy to toss aside all that experience?

14. What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
As much as I love writing, when it came to deciding to tackle my first historical fiction, it was the thought of the research that stirred me. Thankfully, with the Internet available at my fingertips, I was able to achieve a great deal of delving into the background of the period. But I was well aware others before me had trodden that path, and it was to their books that I turned for a lot of reference. Then there were those gracious people who were willing to step up when I approached them for professional consult — Ian Richardson, Treasure Registrar, British Museum, London, UK; The Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure, British Museum, London, UK; The National Archives, Kew, UK; Mark Strong, Senior Access Assistant, The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales; Pat E., Hay-on-Wye Tourist Information Bureau, UK; Lynne Moore, Coflein, National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW); and others.
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Book Blitz and Giveaway: Stealing the Heiress (The Kidnap Club #2) by Samantha Holt

Title: Stealing the Heiress
Series: The Kidnap Club #2
Author: Samantha Holt
Publication Date: May 28th 2020
Genre: Historical Romance

She was looking for adventure…

Lady Rosamunde Stanley just never expected it in the form of a kidnapping.

Well, an almost-kidnapping. The dastardly man only went and took the wrong woman!

But she soon discovers the dark, handsome man is not quite the terrible rogue she thinks him to be and she decides to put his experience to use. Her uncle has gone missing and no one believes her when she says he’s in trouble. Can she persuade Russell to help?

Russell might have kidnapped her, but he has no intention of keeping her. Even if the heat between them is driving him out of his wits and her crazy family makes him long for things a battle-hardened orphan like him should never want.

Their societal divide isn’t the only reason to keep his distance. Rosamunde is a bloody knife-carrying, picklock-wielding madwoman.

A far too appealing madwoman…

He’s not the only one struggling. Rosamunde is finding it just as difficult to fight the attraction, despite knowing it is most likely her over-active imagination leading her down this path. Somehow, she must keep her head around the most exciting man she’s ever met.

“Stay where you are or I shall shoot,” he ordered firmly.

The driver nodded, his hands trembling around his loose grip on the reins. Russell moved around the carriage and glanced through the window to find two women clutched together. He eyed the younger one. Dark haired and attractive, just as Guy had described.

Very attractive. Russell clenched his jaw. Miss Heston looked a little older than the one-and-twenty-year-old he had expected but Guy had certainly downplayed her looks. She peered at him with wide eyes then murmured something to her older companion.

Before he pulled open the door, the woman shoved it and pushed her head out, meeting his gaze head on. Without the hazy glass between them, he had a full view of generous lips, a slightly stubborn chin, and wire framed spectacles that emphasized a warm, nutty gaze. However, there was nothing warm about the way she looked at him.

He let a brow rise. The woman was an excellent actress.

“Come with me.” He kept his voice low, just in case her companion did not know of their arrangement.

“Like hell!”

He blinked at the blasphemy. As far as he knew, the woman they were kidnapping was gently bred and trying to escape the persistent overtures of a gentleman. Still, perhaps she was trying to play the role of helpless victim for her companion’s benefit.

Very well. She wasn’t the only one who could act. He had not read every one of Shakespeare’s plays for no reason. “Come with me or I shall shoot,” he warned her, keeping his tones low and aggressive.

Miss Heston scanned the length of him and lifted her chin. “If it is money you want, I am quite wealthy.” She put her hand to a broach at the neckline of her crimson gown.

Russell’s gaze tracked the movement, unintentionally. He only realized her cleavage had caught his attention when she began to undo the gold and ruby broach. He swiftly looked away and blinked, feeling as though the image of soft skin, dark shadows, and generous curves might well be burned into his mind. Every time he blinked from now on, he suspected he would see the image there again.

Fool. He’d seen many a cleavage in his lifetime. A little glimpse of what appeared to be a most excellent cleavage wouldn’t be the undoing of him. If he could survive on the streets and forge a life for himself from nothing, he could most certainly rid himself of the image of the faintest glimpse of not even a third of a breast.

Or two.

Damn it. He blinked a few more times then scowled when she handed over the broach.

“Here, this is worth far more than you could get for me from ransom.”

He ignored it, letting his frown deepen. Why the devil was she dragging this out? Much longer and the driver might get the courage to fight him or someone would happen along, and Russell could end up getting shot.

“If that isn’t enough…” She hitched up her skirt, revealing a shapely, stocking-clad leg.

Well, the cleavage image no longer bothered him so that was something. He swallowed hard and frowned as she revealed the lacy edge of her stocking and the garter holding them up. Her hand moved slowly to the band and she tugged out a bank note.

Why the hell did this woman keep banknotes in her undergarments?

She reached for the note then curled her fingers around something else—a jeweled handle.

A damned penknife.

She grabbed it swiftly and thrust it outward. Russell dodged back, the blade skimming past his stomach and catching briefly on the fabric.

“Bloody hell, woman.” He grabbed her wrist. This play-acting was becoming far too dangerous. This needed to end now.

USA Today Bestselling author Samantha Holt lives in a small village in England with her twin girls and a dachshund called Duke. If you’re not sure where to start why not try…

Amelia and the Viscount (Bluestocking Brides #1) for a fun, slightly hot shorter length read. Meet the Chadwick sisters and follow their adventures in each of their standalone stories.

You’re the Rogue That I Want (Rogues of Redmere #1) is a longer read with heat, witty dialogue, a feisty heroine and adventure. All books in the series are standalone.

Sinful Confessions is the first in the Cynfell Brothers Series. These are all novella length and standalone–ideal for a quick dip into the world of the sexy Cynfell brothers.

Wake Me With a Kiss is a sweet, fairytale romance. Twists on Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are also available if you love a clean, fun read.

To Steal a Highlander’s Heart is a full length dive into the world of sexy highlanders. For those who love braw Scots, some steamy scenes, and medieval romance, this series is a perfect escape.

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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Book Tour and Giveaway: FracMan Conflicted by Ian Dexter Palmer

Title: FracMan Conflicted 
Author: Ian Dexter Palmer
Publisher: Deep River Books
Publication Date: March 12th 2020
Print Length: 360 pages
Genre: Christian Romance 
Fracking for oil is both dangerous and controversial. Cautious and talented Kelly is a successful young petroleum engineer intent on climbing the corporate ladder. She suddenly finds herself on shaky ground when assigned to work with the FracMan, Jordan, a reckless older engineer whose risk–taking propelled him to the top of the field. Their unlikely attraction brings challenges to them both, as they wrestle with love, risk, and tragedy, while seeking God.

A love story that is both entertaining and informative, FracMan Conflicted takes readers on a journey around the world and into the everyday workings of the oil and gas industry.

Explore the science of fracking and earthquakes while contemplating love, loss, and the need for faith that goes deeper than it all.

If you are concerned about or interested in fracking in the oil and gas industry, then this novel is for you. You will be exposed to the intricacies of fracking while at the same time be entertained by this author in a manner which is unique to him. Love his style… you are in for a treat.” ~ Garland W. Ray, Retail Store Manager, Pep Boys, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This novel is about the work life of Kelly, a young engineer in the oil and gas industry, who starts her career working on wells in the USA. The story of her work life is joyful and amusing and her challenges during the work and relationships with her colleagues make the novel highly entertaining. How she gains experiences during her career and evolves from a rookie to an experienced engineer is beautifully told in this book.” ~ Alireza Salmachi, Professor, Australian School of Petroleum, University of Adelaide.

Dr Palmer has skillfully combined an intriguing story of love, faith, real life experiences, and professional challenges in the field of oil and gas drilling and production. This is a well-rounded rendering of life in the real world, all the while keeping one’s attention, and making the technical aspects of the book entirely understandable. His love for God, people, and nature has culminated in a book that is both highly enjoyable and informative.” ~ Don Minton, Accountant (ret.), Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Ian Palmer lives near the mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has a PhD in physics from Adelaide University, Australia. By profession, he is a petroleum engineer, who consults all over the world. As a Christian, Ian has always been fascinated by the interface between faith and science. Of special interest to him are the powerful concepts of grace, forgiveness, and insights from God. In his local church, he has taught Sunday school classes on a wide range of inspirational but practical topics.

Ian’s six grandchildren are a source of joy when he plays tennis or basketball or goes skiing or hiking with them. His hobbies include hiking, dancing, tennis, eating out, and stimulating conversation. After a dinner of cheese enchiladas with green chiles, Ian can sometimes be found two-stepping in the local country-and-western dancehall.

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Friday, May 29, 2020

Book Tour and Giveaway: Sailor Take Warning (The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries #11) by M K Scott

Title: Sailor Take Warning 
Series: The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries #11
Author: M K Scott 
Publisher: Sleeping Dragon Press
Publication Date: May 2nd 2020
Print Length: 170 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery 
The commissioner banned citizen interference in police investigations, but that’s never stopped Donna before and won’t stop her now.

A race yacht has capsized. A millionaire has gone missing. If that and the involvement of a would-be psychic aren’t reason enough to worry, adding Donna’s meddling mother to the mix will jeopardize Legacy’s reputation even further.

Can Donna rein in the chaos before it spells disaster for everyone involved?

**Only .99 cents!!**

The round golden sun glistened in the pristine blue skies rather like a Christmas ornament, except it was May. The low hum of the waves punctuated with an occasional childish scream of joy as a child met the ocean for the first time provided background sound. Donna Tollhouse, innkeeper, and her sister-in-law Maria stood on The Painted Lady Inn’s wraparound porch while peering in the direction of the ocean, which would have been visible if the trees hadn’t leafed out so much.

“I could help with your regatta-themed dishes,” Maria offered with a grin.

There were a few more screams, not so childish but equally playful. Donna, who had been holding Baby Cici, her niece, cut her eyes to her sister-in-law Maria and asked, “Did they hire another half dozen hot life guards this year?”

“Oh, my!” Maria rolled her eyes and waved her hand in front of her face as if the thought heated her up. “You should see them. I doubt they’ll be here long. Most probably aspire to be models or actors.”

“Well then,” Donna began, then cast a mischievous glance behind her where her husband, Mark, was seated in one of the wicker chairs reading the local newspaper. “It’s been quite a while since I’ve taken a stroll on the beach.”

Mark lowered his newspaper to reply, “I’ll be more than glad to take a walk on the beach with you. No reason for you to join the mob of Legacy women drooling over boys young enough to be your son.”

A derisive snort erupted from Maria. “There’s a female lifeguard, or maybe two, attracting all the old geezers’ attention.”

**Books 1-4 are on Kindle Unlimited and all books in the series are $0.99! **

M. K. Scott is the husband and wife writing team behind The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries. Morgan K Wyatt is the general wordsmith, while her husband, Scott, is the grammar hammer and physics specialist. He uses his engineering skills to explain how fast a body falls when pushed over a cliff and various other felonious activities. The Internet and experts in the field provide forensic information, while the recipes and B and B details require a more hands on approach. Morgan's daughter, who manages a hotel, provides guest horror stories to fuel the plot lines. The couple's dog, Chance, is the inspiration behind Jasper, Donna's dog. Murder Mansion is the first book in The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries. Overall, it is a fun series to create and read. Drop Dead Handsome is the second book in the series.

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway: Storms of Malhado by Maria Elena Sandovici


Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Independently Published
Date of Publication: March 26, 2020
Number of Pages: 252

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Galveston Island, Texas, September 2008 

Katie doesn’t believe in ghosts. And she certainly doesn’t believe the rumors that her family’s home is haunted, despite its tragic history: two young women who lived there in different eras died in hurricanesone during Hurricane Carla in 1961, one during the Great Storm of 1900, the greatest natural disaster to befall the United States. But that was the past, a fact Katie reminds herself of when she returns to Galveston to await Hurricane Ike with her parents and boyfriend in her family’s Broadway mansion, hoping to rekindle her flailing relationship. 

While Katie is not afraid of the ghost stories she’s heard, she is afraid of the monster storm approaching. As even die-hard Islanders evacuate, her fears grow—fear of the looming hurricane, fear that she’s talentless as a painter, fear that her relationship with her boyfriend is already over. As Katie struggles against her fears, the past whispers to her of the women who died there and the haunting similarities they share with Katie’s own life. 

Through three different timelines, Storms of Malhado weaves a story of Galveston’s past, underscoring its danger and isolation, as well as its remarkable resilience, and its capacity for both nostalgia and reinvention. Full of contradictions, at once insular and open to the world, Galveston Island is as much a character of the novel as Katie, Suzanne, Betty, their lovers, and their confidantes.

"Taking place entirely on a beautifully moody Galveston Island, Ms. Sandovici weaves three simultaneous stories with ease. With a timeless tale, ethereal language, and complicated characters, readers will be entranced by this modern ghost story. How many times can the past repeat itself? How do we recognize people through generations? The author tackles this topic amid a backdrop of violent nature and intangible dreamscapes." — Courtney Brandt, author of The Queen of England: Coronation, Grand Tour, Ascension

"Three women, three great storms, and one house, haunted by forbidden love and frustrated ambition. Get ready to be swept away by Sandovici’s foray into Galveston Island’s tempestuous history in this tale of lives intertwined across time.” Donna Dechen Birdwell, author of Not Knowing
I admit that when I read the book synopsis for Storms of Malhado by Maria Elena Sandovici and saw there were ghosts involved, I knew I had to read this book! While I felt it was not so much of a ghost story but something more supernatural, it was still a great read!

I felt that the plot for Storms of Malhado was fairly original. The reader is taken through three different points in time starting in 1900 with Suzanne's story, followed by 1961 with Betty's story, and then to 2008 with Katie's story. We learn of how each woman is with a man that is slippery and unobtainable yet each woman yearns to make the relationship work. Each story leads up to a horrible hurricane from each year. What will each woman sacrifice for love, and will it lead up to their demise? Storms of Malhado is full of life lessons, the strongest being that those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. There is so much symbolism throughout this novel which I didn't catch some of it until I finished reading and reflected back on what I had just read. Sandovici does a fantastic job at painting a beautiful picture of what life was like for each woman. It's easy to get lost in the narrative and forget you're only reading about the characters instead of living their life! The only thing about the plot that lets it down a little is the ending. It just felt a bit messy and confusing. I can't go into great detail because of spoilers. The ending, while I believe in what happened, just seemed a little far fetched and a little too neat if that makes sense. Three people experiencing the same thing at the same time and calling each other by different names, well, it just seemed kind of out there. I wish I could go into more detail, but I really don't want to give too much away. However, all loose ends are tied up by the end of book, and it becomes obvious how all three narratives within Storms of Malhado are related.

The majority of the characters in Storms of Malhado were well fleshed out and very realistic feeling. I enjoyed reading about Suzanne, Josephine, and Desmond. Suzanne was an interesting character to read about, but there were times she made me angry especially towards her ending. I could actually feel how much she loved and longed after Desmond. I just felt that she could be a little selfish at times. However, I feel that we've all been a little selfish when it comes to love. I could really feel how much Josephine loved Suzanne and wanted the best for her. Josephine was such a great character! Betty, Edna, and Cornelius also had an interesting story line. I felt like I connected with Betty the most. I could feel her frustration with Carl seeping through the pages as well as how much she wanted Cornelius no matter how frustrating he was. I loved Edna the most though, and it made me wish I had an Edna in my life to care for me and be there for me. Betty seemed to not have her head in the clouds as much as Suzanne did which was nice. The narrative I felt that was a little underdeveloped was that of Katie, her boyfriend George, and her mother. We don't get to read much about them until the very end. I would have liked more insight into George and Katie's relationship before the storm hits. The reader gets all this backstory into Suzanne's and Desmond's relationship as well as Betty's and Cornelius' relationship, yet there isn't much back story for Katie and George. All of a sudden towards the ending, we are told that Katie and George have a rocky relationship. I wanted to know why it was so rocky instead of just little bits and pieces. Katie's and George's relationship just felt like it was missing so much. The relationship between Katie and her mother also felt lacking. If her relationship was a strong with her mother as the relationship between Suzanne and Josephine as well as the relationship between Betty and Edna, it did not come across that way in the book. Katie's relationships just felt rushed.

Trigger warnings for Storms of Malhado include infidelity, adultery, alcohol use, death, drug use, some light profanity, and sexual situations (although not graphic).

All in all, Storms of Malhado is a highly interesting read that will leave you hooked on each and every word. It grabs you by the hand and doesn't let go until the end. With fantastic writing, a highly interesting plot, and entertaining characters, Storms of Malhado is a must read. I would definitely recommend Storms of Malhado by Maria Elena Sandovici to those aged 16+ who are after a book that will leave them thinking about it long after they are done reading it.
(A special thank you to Lone Star Literary Life and Maria Elena Sandovici for providing me with a paperback of Storms of Malhado in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.)

Maria Elena Sandovici is a full-time writer, artist, and gallery owner living in Houston, Texas. After obtaining a Ph.D. in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 2005, her curiosity led her to Texas, where she taught at Lamar University for fourteen years. She felt attracted to Galveston Island from her first visit and lived there part-time for three years before her artistic career took her to Houston. 

Sandovici is a 2008 graduate of John Ross Palmer's Escapist Mentorship Program, a program that teaches artists business skills. She resigned from her tenured academic position in December 2018 and opened her own private gallery space. Her previous works of fiction are Dogs with Bagels, Stray Dogs and Lonely Beaches, Lost Path to Solitude, The Adventures of Miss Vulpe, and Lone Wolf. She is also the author of Stop and Smell the Garbage, a volume of poetry in the voice of her dog, Holly Golightly. You can follow her daily adventures on her blog
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