Tuesday, July 16, 2019

NO MORE TIME

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No More Time (A Dodie O'Dell Mystery)
by Suzanne Trauth

 

About The Book

 
Cozy Mystery 5th in Series
Lyrical Underground (July 23, 2019) 
Paperback: 214 pages 
ISBN-10: 1516107241 
ISBN-13: 978-1516107247
Digital ASIN: B07JYQD61M

DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY
Restaurant manager Dodie O’Dell has found her niche in the cozy New Jersey town of Etonville, creating menus that make a delicious double-act with the community theater’s productions. Now she’s ready for a vacation at the Jersey Shore town she called home before a hurricane hit. Sun, salty air, and seagulls make for a nostalgic escape from regular life—until a contingent from Etonville arrives to compete in a Jersey Shore theater festival.
Roped into helping her former boss cater the event, Dodie also gets a visit from her old flame, Jackson, who’s hoping to revive his charter boat business and is looking for a place to crash. Before Dodie can tell him that ship has sailed, Jackson’s partner is found murdered on his boat. Dodie knows her ex is a mooch, but she’s sure he’s no killer. But as she follows a trail of evidence that leads into her own past, Dodie stumbles on a dangerous conspiracy theory that could bring the festival to a shocking finale…

About the Author


Suzanne Trauth, Harvard Studio, Montclair, NJ. 06/27/2014
Photo by Steve Hockstein/HarvardStudio.com

Suzanne Trauth is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and a former theatre professor at a university. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Dramatists Guild, and League of Professional Theatre Women. When she is not writing, Suzanne coaches actors and serves as a celebrant performing wedding ceremonies. She lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey.

Author Links
  Webpage: www.suzannetrauth.com
  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SuzanneTrauth/
  Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuzanneMTrauth
  GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6187623.Suzanne_M_Trauth

  Purchase Links

Excerpt

By noon we were both hot and famished. I suggested a break from the sun at the tiki bar and we gathered our beach gear and trudged through the sand to the Polynesian music. We were halfway through our bucket of steamed clams when an elderly twosome at a table next to ours gasped in shock. We couldn’t help noticing.
“Is everything okay?” I asked gently.
The woman’s head bobbled and her wide-brimmed sunhat swung from side to side. She picked up the newspaper she’d been reading, the Candle Beach Courier, a local rag, and shoved the front page at us. “He was such a nice boy. We knew his parents years ago.” I smiled sympathetically and scanned the sheet. Then I gasped.
“Dodie, what’s the matter?” Lola said. “Were you acquainted with him too?” the woman asked.
I nodded numbly. Was I ever. The headline read LOCAL MAN DEAD. Underneath was a photo of the victim: It was Vinnie C. I rotated the paper so Lola could see the front page. “It’s him,” I said hoarsely.
Lola blinked. “Vincent Carcherelli,” she read.
I scanned the story. Apparently his body had been washed up on the beach sometime overnight and was discovered by a jogger early today in time to make the mid-morning edition. The police were calling it a drowning and speculating that he’d fallen off his boat, The Bounty, which had drifted half a mile off the shoreline. No foul play suspected at the moment but the investigation was ongoing.
I offered to return the newspaper but the couple refused to accept it, saying the story was too upsetting. They picked up their bill and left.
“Wow. What a coincidence. We were talking about how Jackson saw him yesterday …” Lola stopped. A light bulb went on. “The police will want to speak with Jackson. He might have been one of the last people to see Vinnie alive.”
It was Lola’s last word that brought me up short: alive. Jackson had been steamed during that meeting on the boardwalk. Did he know anything about Vinnie’s last hours? If Bill were here he’d tell me to mind my own business, let Jackson alone, let the police determine the actual cause of death. Bill was right, of course. But something about the whole event didn’t sit right with me. Why did Jackson lie about what happened when he met Vinnie?
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No More Time

Character Guest Post 2 – Great Escapes Tour

    
     I, Dodie O’Dell, am ecstatic! My summer vacation has finally begun. Meaning I have escaped from my Etonville, New Jersey responsibilities managing the Windjammer restaurant and from the everyday antics of my good friends at the Etonville Little Theatre. It was sheer joy anticipating this getaway with my current squeeze, Bill Thompson, who also needed a break from his daily routine as chief of police of our small town.
     I am also thrilled because we headed down the Jersey Shore to Candle Beach. The town where I grew up and where I also managed a restaurant owned by an old friend, Surfer G aka Grody Van Houten, before Hurricane Sandy drove me north and Grody south. Now he’s back in Candle Beach with a new restaurant—the Sandbar—and from the looks of the line to be seated tonight, he’s crushing it! I am so happy for him…
     Grody is one terrific chef and his seafood specials are to die for. Since we arrived, Bill and I have devoured gourmet seafood risotto, grilled scallops cilantro, shrimp with orange sesame noodles. All of them super yummy. Grody has even begun to lend a few recipes to Bill, who is himself a bit of a gourmet cook. I should know! Vacation doesn’t get any better than this—sunning on the sand all afternoon, hitting happy hour at the tiki bar, and enjoying one of Grody’s specials by candlelight.
     Still, I knew I couldn’t leave Etonville completely behind and when Grody asked me to come up with some theme food ideas for the opening night reception of a theater festival, I surrendered. After all, what are friends for? Besides Grody  heard that I had a track record with the Windjammer serving theme food for the Etonville Little Theatre: a seafood buffet for performances of  Dames At Sea, Italian nights at the restaurant for Romeo and Juliet, a 1940s food festival for Arsenic and Old Lace, early American desserts food for Eton Town, the theater’s adaptation of Our Town. Most of my ideas went over well, even if, at times, the actual menu got derailed by murder investigations. But that’s another story…
     So when Grody asked for my help, I offered to wrack my brain for some inventive reception fare. The problem was the actual theatrical event—the New Jersey Community Theater Festival, an annual gathering honoring the best of the state’s community theaters. In the past, I’d dealt with a single production. Now I was faced with seven play titles, finalists who would each be performing fifteen minutes from the show. Harvey, Mousetrap, Noises Off, The Sound of Music, King Lear, Cinderella, and Death of a Salesman. I recognized all of the titles, mostly because I was privy to the Etonville Little Theatre season selection discussions through my BFF Lola, artistic director of the theater. What did these seven plays have in common? What kind of theme could I create from that group?  A princess and mean stepsisters, a murder mystery, backstage hijinks, the destruction of the American dream, Shakespeare…I was at a loss.
     Then my cell pinged. It was Lola: we’re coming down the shore…the ELT is invited to replace another theater…can’t wait! I found out later that a group from Cranford had been hit with an outbreak of food poisoning at a company picnic. They were out and the Etonville Little Theatre was in… Yikes! Looked like I hadn’t escaped Etonville after all.
     Still unable to come up with a theme food scheme for Grody, I went to sleep, my last thoughts the opening night reception. I guess my subconscious was working overtime because in the middle of a nightmare, an ocean wave curled over my head and I dove into the green foam, swept along by the incoming tide. Next thing I knew—
     But wait! You’ll have to read No More Time to find out what happened in my dream…and to see how I solved the theme food puzzle!
     See you at the Jersey Shore…in Candle Beach!

Monday, July 15, 2019

I Will Follow Him by Holly Tierney-Bedford


I Will Follow Him





A bachelor party on a cruise ship. What could go wrong?




When private detective Francie is hired to spy on a groom-to-be as he and his bachelor party set sail for the Caribbean, she thinks she's landed herself a week of paid vacation. Between lounging in the sun and sipping margaritas, she just needs to--best case scenario--report back that he's on the up and up, or--the unfortunate, more likely scenario--snap a few photos of her target in compromising positions, buy a box of sympathy chocolates for her client, and then collect her pay along with a nice golden suntan.

Blame it on the island breezes or the alcohol, but within hours of setting sail, Francie's leisurely vacation gets complicated when she starts making careless mistakes. Like accidentally becoming friends with the groom and falling for his best man.

Can she get herself and her mission back on track, or has she blown her cover and possibly even her career?
Purchase  Link:
US - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QVB2XS7\


Summer brings on thoughts of vacations and lighter reads. This is one of a collection of books, written by various authors, set on a cruise ship, the Oceanic Aphrodite. It reads well as a stand alone and can be read easily enough in one sitting or lounging.

While Francie's assignment is to keep tabs on a certain groom-to-be, this cruise is designed for singles. As her own thirty-second birthday looms, Francie begins to question her own relationship status. She attempts to remain professional and blend into the background, a tactic that was never difficult before. This time, however, she finds herself closer than she could ever imagine. As a result, all aspects of her life choices come into question.

When a P.I. is hired, where do your sympathies lie, with the person accused of doing someone wrong or with the client doing the accusing? Francie gets all sorts of information on the subject and his friends, but begins to learn more about the woman who hired her. As the reader learns more, your sympathies may redirect. It is difficult in a short novel to build depth and show growth in characters but Author Holly Tierney-Bedord does a great job of making this a character driven story. Even secondary characters, such as an elderly brother and sister, show fun personalities.
It was difficult to feel too bad for Francie's own alleged fiance but in case you do, the author takes care of that as well. In the end I got a feeling that everyone has the potential for happily ever after, just not as in the original plan.



Author bio: Holly Tierney-Bedord is the author of over twenty books including Kindle Unlimited All-Star winner Sweet Hollow Women.

Links:

Oceanic Dreams Series
Set sail for love and laughs aboard the Oceanic Aphrodite. 
This series of stand-alone romantic comedy novellas releases throughout the summer of 2019.
To learn about the contributing authors and each book, watch our trailer, here: https://oceanicdreamsbooks.com/series-trailer/   and visit our website, here: https://oceanicdreamsbooks.com/ 

The Oceanic Dreams series is a collection of romantic comedy novellas by eight award-
winning, bestselling, and critically acclaimed authors from around the globe.

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

GUILTY AS CHARRED



Guilty as Charred (A Cook-Off Mystery)

by Devon Delaney

About the Book

 
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series
Kensington (June 25, 2019) 
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496714474
ISBN-13: 978-1496714473 
Digital ASIN: B07HVYY7KN 

Sherry Oliveri has attained celebrity status after winning the America’s Good Taste Recipe Contest with her delectable New England Crab Cake Sliders. But now that she’s back home in Connecticut, she’s got to deal with something else fishy . . .
Sherry’s making a guest appearance on a local radio show when the news comes in: Poppy Robinson has been found dead in the town’s community garden. Sherry was supposed to be taking questions about her win in the national cooking competition, but instead the callers start dishing dirt.
Poppy and Sherry were both involved in the vegetable garden, and while Poppy may have been a bit priggish, it wasn’t anything that called for a shovel to the back of the head. There was already trouble brewing, with the owner of the land threatening to renege on their agreement, and this murder has taken tensions to a new level. Now while Sherry’s organizing a Fourth of July cook-off event, she’s also got a murder investigation on her plate . . .
Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Excerpt



The intercom crackled to life. “Ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for your cooperation. We have passed through the rough air and there’s blue sky up ahead. It’s safe to leave your seat, if nature calls.”
“That’s my cue to return to Nine B.” Nolan unbuckled his seat belt and stood as best he could, with limited headspace. Sherry shifted her legs toward the aisle, providing him with an extra few inches to maneuver by.
“It was nice talking to you, Nolan. You made the bumps tolerable.” Sherry waved as he wiggled past her. After a flex of one leg, followed by the other, Sherry yawned, pressed her cheek against the back of her chair, and closed her eyes.
“Pardon me, I hope I didn’t wake you.”
Sherry raised her heavy lids to the sight of the stewardess with her arm around a woman in a beige cardigan and jeans. “This nice lady would like a photo with you before we land, if possible.”
“Patti. You don’t really need another photo of me, do you?”
Patti Mellitt, food journalist and restaurant reviewer, winked at her friend. “No, no. I got hundreds at the awards ceremony. I wanted to tell you, you’re the talk of first class. I admit I might have made the suggestion to the stewardess to alert the captain you were on the flight. Hope you don’t hold that against me.”
“No hard feelings. Wonder how I can get the contest sponsors to upgrade my ticket to first class next time so you and I can sit together.” Sherry returned a wink.
“I had no choice. The plane was nearly booked and the only choices of seats were in first class. I had to follow my favorite cooking contester on her way to further success. You don’t disappoint. Oh, and I emailed a press release on the cook-off and there’s tons of interest in interviewing you.”
“Thanks, I think.” Sherry watched the woman, who’d covered many contests over the years for various media outlets, make her way up the aisle before disappearing behind the curtains that separated the pricy seats from economy class. Sherry stifled a developing yawn and stretched her arms until they slammed into the headrest in front of her.
“The life of a celebrity,” Herb called out from across the aisle. “No rest for the weary.”
“When you get home, dear, try to get some rest. You do look dead tired,” Bea added.


About the Author


Devon Delaney is a wife, mother of three, accomplished cooking contester, recent empty nester, and lifelong resident of the Northeast. 
She has been handsomely rewarded for her recipe innovation over the last twenty-plus years, including a full kitchen of major appliances, top cash prizes, and four trips to Disney World. She has also won the Grand Prize in a national writing contest for her “foodie” poem “Ode to Pork Passion.”

Check out Devon’s website at: www.devonpdelaney.com and find her on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/devonpdelaney/

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Emerald Tablet: Omnibus Edition and Convergence


The Emerald Tablet Omnibus Edition; three books in one.

Shaun can’t shake the deep anger over his mother’s death. But when his father’s desperate actions release parasitic hell-beasts upon the world, he has a much bigger fight on his hands.
Kevin hoped his country would be immune to the pandemic turning everyday people into psychopaths. But as his horror grows, an incredible new power could be the only thing
that prevents Earth’s destruction.



Sophia is terrified of God’s plan for her. Plagued by visions of planetary devastation, she prays she can reach her allies in time to save humanity.
As doomsday approaches, can the teens accept their destiny in time to protect their world?

The Emerald Tablet: Omnibus is three books of dark speculative fiction in one. If you like brave teenage heroes, intriguing mystical connections, and apocalyptic international settings, then you’ll love JM Hart’s incredible collection.

Buy The Emerald Tablet to unlock the adventure today!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QH8KWDZ  Reduced price for a limited time: $4.99 ebook only on Amazon



Convergence
As doomsday approaches, can the teens accept their destiny in time to protect their world?

Seven special teens. A deadly ancient evil. Can they combine their unique powers and halt the infection before humanity is obliterated?



Shaun is dying. The plane’s engine is failing.  Kevin must open a portal to catch the falling plane and save Shaun's life.

Sophia is terrified of God’s plan for her. Plagued by visions of planetary devastation, she prays Shaun and Kevin can reach her in time to save humanity.

Convergence book three in The Emerald Tablet Series


For a limited time only book one, of the trilogy Shadows of Doubt is only  $1.00 on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K69DXG4


Author Bio –

JM Hart was born in Sydney, Australia and has been a storyteller from a young age, with a particular interest in horror and things that go bump in the night.  Favorite authors include Stephen King, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, to name but a few.  After being told at the age of 11 that writing about dead bodies and newlyweds dying in a plane crash was unbecoming, JM’s life was instead directed towards bookkeeping and finance.
For the next twenty years, immersed in a point-of-sale advertising company, JM occasionally wrote advertising blurbs, learnt how to ride a motorcycle, taught color physiology to spiritual mediums, meditation and relaxation, studied Religions, Kabbalah, tarot cards, astrology, creative and professional writing, philosophy and volunteered at palliative care, and worked on the local church newsletter – not quite the appropriate outlet for a writer interested in the supernatural. And she became a grandmother.
Social Media Links –
https://twitter.com/JMHartWriter 
@
jmhartwriter.com.au


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LEFT FUR DEAD


Left Fur Dead (A Jules & Bun Mystery)

by J.M. Griffin

 

About the Book

 
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Kensington (June 25, 2019) 
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496720571 
ISBN-13: 978-1496720573 
Digital ASIN: B07HVS38YB

On Fur Bridge Farm, Jules cares for rescued rabbits. But when a killer strikes, she'll need a rabbit to rescue her . . .
Juliette “Jules” Bridge prides herself on the tender rehabilitation she provides for injured or abused rabbits on her New Hampshire rescue farm, but she has a very special relationship with one bunny in particular. Bun is a black-and-white rabbit who happens to have the ability to communicate through mental telepathy. Once she got over the shock, Jules found her furry friend had a lot to say.
One frigid March morning on their walk together, Bun spots a body. The police identify the frozen stiff as Arthur Freeman, aka Arty the Mime. Jules and Arty knew each other on the children's party circuit, where he’d perform magic tricks and she had an educational rabbit petting pen. With Bun egging her on, Jules decides it’s time they hop to it and put their heads together to discover who silenced the mime. But their investigation leads them down a rabbit hole of more suspects and lies, while a killer sets a trap for them . . .

About the Author


  J. M. Griffin is the bestselling cozy mystery author of sixteen novels, including the Vinnie Esposito series. She lives in rural Rhode Island with her husband and two very mysterious cats.
Visit her at jm-griffin.com. Author Links Website - Facebook - Blog
Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo - Google Play - IndieBound

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Out Of Options


Out of Options: A Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries 

by Dianne Ascroft

About the Book

 
Cozy Mystery Prequel Novella 
Independently Published (April 28, 2019) 
Paperback: 126 pages
ISBN-10: 1096163373 
ISBN-13: 978-1096163374 
Digital ASIN: B07R4GQWQN

Out of Options is a prequel novella to the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series, and introduces Lois Stone and her companions, Raggs and Ribbons, a pair of perceptive calico cats.
A dry district, a shocking secret, a missing person. When Lois Stone’s friend, Beth Darrow, arranges to meet her to reveal an astonishing discovery, Lois’s curiosity is piqued. Then Beth doesn’t keep their lunch date and Lois becomes worried. What has happened to her friend?
Middle-aged widow Lois is settling into life on her own in her neighbourhood and in the library where she works, and she is just about coping with her fear of strangers after her husband was mugged and died in the park at the end of their street. But her quiet existence is rocked when her friend and fellow local historical society researcher, Beth, arranges to meet her to reveal an exciting and shocking discovery she has made about the history of prohibition in West Toronto Junction, the last dry area in Toronto, and then goes missing before she can share her secret with Lois. There isn’t any proof that Beth is missing so the police won’t actively search for her. Only Lois and Beth’s niece Amy are convinced that Beth’s disappearance is very out of character, and they are worried about her. Where has Beth gone? Is she in danger? And, if she is, who might want to harm her and why? Lois knows she must find the answers to these questions fast if she wants to help and protect her friend.
And so begins a weekend of skulking in the park, apple and cinnamon pancakes, familiar faces staring out of old newspapers, calico cats, shadows on the windowpane, and more than one person who might want Beth to disappear from the quiet, leafy streets of the historic and staunchly dry West Toronto Junction neighbourhood.



  
My Life Now: Lois Stone

In the spring and early summer I used to enjoy walking in the park and watching the sunset with my husband, James Stone. We held hands and didn’t need to speak. But since his death three years ago, I don’t go to the park in the evenings. To be honest, I’m nervous to go there on my own. So, instead, I sit on my front porch and watch the sunset from here. I have the company of neighbours who stop and chat as they pass by on their evening strolls and my two calico cats are only a few feet away, behind the screen door, watching from the living room.  
One of my cats, Ribbons, is very protective toward me since James died and sometimes I’d swear she’s keeping watch over me from her perch inside the door. Her steady purring as she sits there is comforting. At times though it’s almost drowned out by the high-pitched trill of grasshoppers on the lawn, a sound that has accompanied my summers from childhood until now. More than 50 summers.
            Life is different since James died. I still miss him so but I’m adjusting to being on my own. The house is quieter but the creaking of the wooden floorboards as the building settles each night makes me feel as if it is keeping me and the cats company.
I’m fortunate with the neighbours I have. The Rizzos took me under their wing after James died, bringing me meals from their restaurant and checking that I was okay. And there’s my best friend Marge. She moved back to her childhood hometown to be near her elderly mother a few months ago but we keep in touch. We used to spend lots of time together when we both worked at Annette Library. But we’re only a phone call away from each other now. It’s not quite the same as seeing each other every day but we’re still as close as ever. Marge wants me to move to Fenwater now that I’m on my own. I don’t know about that though. I’ve always lived in Toronto and I’ve never thought of living anywhere else. I love going to visit Marge but I don’t know whether I could live in a small town.
            As I mentioned, Marge and I worked together at Annette Library. I still work there and I love my job as a librarian. Helping patrons find the right book or information they need is so satisfying, and the library is a beautiful old building. Just sitting behind the worn wooden reception desk gives me a feeling of kinship with all the librarians who sat there before me during the past century.
            You may have guessed that I love old things. That’s one of the reasons I joined our local historical society. We’re collecting original documents and interviewing the older residents of the community to preserve information and memories of West Toronto Junction. Several of us are working on a really interesting project: sorting through the personal papers and possessions of Reverend Payne who campaigned to introduce prohibition to our municipality in 1904. At the beginning of the last century there was such a struggle between those who wanted prohibition and those who wanted to be able to drink in local bars. At times tempers really flared.
            Speaking of which, tempers still get riled about the subject of prohibition in this area. Some people think that in this day and age – 1983 – it should be done away with. The rest of Toronto rescinded their prohibition laws decades ago. But being a dry area is one of the things that makes this neighbourhood unique. It has a different character than other parts of the city: dignified and tranquil. Well, it seems tranquil on the surface but the controversy surrounding the prohibition law is always bubbling underneath.
            When I started reading through Reverend Payne’s personal papers I found them interesting historical documents. I never imagined they might impact on my quiet life and change it forever. But they did. Well, I have to stop here but if you’d like to know more, I’ll tell you about it in Out of Options.

            


This was actually two short reads in one. The main book, Out Of Options, is a mystery but it is built upon the shorter story at the end of the book, called "City Sunset."  You can read the two stories in either order.
City Sunset tells you how the main character lost the love of her life and why she doesn't walk in the park any more. It is an unsolved case.
Out Of Options, this series starter, builds upon that unsolved case which led to Lois's melancholy life as a librarian and historical society member. This is a bittersweet story of friendship and misplaced enthusiasm. This promises to be a gentler, clean cozy mystery series.

It is not a difficult case to solve, nor is it as light hearted as some cozy series. Still, it is an enjoyable read and a nice introduction to this series.


About the Author


Dianne Ascroft is a Torontonian who has settled in rural Northern Ireland. She and her husband live on a small farm with an assortment of strong-willed animals.
She is currently writing the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series. Out of Options is a prequel to the series.
Her previous fiction works include The Yankee Years series of novels and short reads, set in Northern Ireland during the Second World War; An Unbidden Visitor (a tale inspired by Fermanagh’s famous Coonian ghost); Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves: A Collection of Short Stories (contemporary tales), and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars, which explores Operation Shamrock, a little known Irish Red Cross humanitarian endeavour.
Dianne writes both fiction and non-fiction. Her articles and short stories have been printed in Canadian and Irish magazines and newspapers. When she’s not writing, she enjoys walks in the countryside, evenings in front of her open fireplace and folk and traditional music.

  Author Links Website: http://http://www.dianneascroft.com
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  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1357575.Dianne_Ascroft
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