Showing posts with label short stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label short stories. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Dear Sugar and Other Sorrows - Irma Fritz, Author

Irma’s Quiche Baskets


1 pkg Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
4 oz Gruyere Cheese (approx. 1 cup)
6 slices of bacon
12 thin slices of red onion, with rings cut in half
4 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
A pinch each of pepper and nutmeg
Cooking spray 


Preheat oven to 400  Thaw puff pastry (2 sheets) at room temp for about 40 minutes.
Spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray
Cook bacon until crisp, blot on paper towel, let cool and crumble
Slice onion
Grate cheese
Mix eggs with cream and spices
On floured surface roll each sheet of puff pastry into a 9x12 rectangle
(be sure to press out the “fold” lines!)
Cut each sheet into 6 squares = 12 squares total
Place each square into a muffin cup – dough will extend over top
Divide cheese, bacon & onion among the 12 cups
Fill egg mixture to no higher than ¾ from top
Fold the overlapping corners of each square to make a “basket handle”
Bake about 10 minutes, switch position of pan, and bake another 10 minutes
Lower temperature to 375, bake until pastry is golden brown and wooden toothpick comes out clean

Yield: 12 servings

I like to serve the quiche baskets as a breakfast treat with fresh fruit, as a party appetizer, or with a simple mixed green salad for lunch or dinner.

Dear Sugar and Other Sorrows - Review by Martha A. Cheves

When I first started reading Dear Sugar and Other Sorrows I was captured by the first story which was made up of letters sent back and forth between to people who were very special to each other.  I couldn't wait to get to the end just to see how things came out between them.  Then I started reading the story about Lyzzie who was a recovering drug addict.  Would the person who got her there in the 1st place take her back down the same path?  And the stories went on with more stories of sorrow and heart wrenching pain.  Each one having me turning the pages just to see exactly how they would end.  

I will have to warn you, the reader, that the stories are 'dark' and somewhat upsetting at times, but they show us just exactly what life around us can truly be.  The stories are true eye openers to a those of us who are shielded from the gates of hell that some actually live in.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Silently in the Night - Graham Clayton, Author

Double Chocolate Ghost Cookies

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 Ghost pepper (fresh)
2 cups flour
2/3 cup of cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups of dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup of dry roasted unsalted almonds or 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat together butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla & Ghost pepper (remove seeds & finely dice & smash up the Ghost pepper) until fluffy.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda & into butter mixture until completely blended, fold in chocolate chips & nuts.
Drop rounded teaspoons of the dough onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake 8-10 minutes, cool cookies on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to cooling rack. Eat & enjoy.

Silently in the Night - Review by Martha A. Cheves

She had ridden without lights for an hour and a half, fearful of barking dogs as she approached the house.  He'd been lying comatose on the sofa, induced by the barbiturates in the casserole.  She'd donned latex gloves and inserted a flexible rubber tube down his throat and loaded him up with a full bottle.  Enough to kill him without him recovering consciousness.  Then she'd put the note on the floor; the note which she'd spent an age producing, copying from examples of his handwriting she'd taken with her.  She'd kept it simple:  'Life is hopeless without her.  No point in going on.'

James bit his lip.  It would be true to say that this time he felt fear.  He was about to meet a ghost; the ghost, in fact, of his cousin who had died at birth and apparently grown up in the neverworld of the hereafter.  It was, he thought, quite bizarre.

Simon pointed his floater to the east and set the controls to 'cojoin'.  The orbicular machine moved across the lunar landscape without further bidding and Simon tried to relax.  He really was too tall for the floater, his bent knees almost shielding the control panel, but a job was a job and he needed the money if he was going to escape the dark side of the moon and return to the relative comfort of Earth.

Above I've given you just 3 samples of the types of short stories you'll find in Silently in the Night.  All are short and a bit on the dark side.  You'll find everything from ghosts to aliens to murders and all are filled with suspense and mystery, many without happy endings.   These stories might just keep you awake at night if you read too many before going to sleep.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Short Stories From The Spiral Galaxy - Lawrence Johnson, Sr,

 Inline image 2

Mini Cheesecakes

8 Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crust
2 package Philadelphia cream cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 can topping

Place cream cheese into a medium size mixing bowl
Slowly incorporate sugar into cream cheese
Blend eggs with cream cheese mixture one at a time
Add vanilla extra 

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Pour mixture into pie crust shells
Place on cookie sheet
Bake for 30 minutes or until center is no longer wet

Remove from oven and let cool before adding your favorite topping. 

Short Stories From The Spiral Galaxy - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat, Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Terror On Telderan 

Rayna took a deep breath and lifted her head slowly.  "earlier I told you that as High Ruler I only have access to an astral-numerologist however, the Grand Apex has been told by the Oracle that Rotart's attempt to terra form Telderan will have catastrophic results.  The planet will spiral out of control then ultimately out of this galaxy and...onward...toward the Milky Way Galaxy.  It will eventually rip through space and smash directly into your beloved planet Earth."

Murder on the Eros Star 

The Eros Star is an entertainment and pleasure ship that travels throughout the galaxy.  Jada was working a case on the Eros Star.  When she got close to solving it someone pumped poisonous gas into her quarters.  She was alive but sedated.  The doctor feels that she will be ok but he is not 100% certain and the assailant is still on the loose.

Intergalactic detective Da'Quan was on his way to the yearly Festival of Life on the Planet of Lazon when he received word that his assistant Jada had undergone an attempt on her life.  With his plans now changed, Da'Quan   speeds to the Eros Star to not only find the perpetrator before he tried again and succeeded. 

Planet of Doom 
Da'Quan is an Intergalactic Detective. His ship (the Spirit) crashes on the planet Akanon aka The Planet of Doom. Actually, his ship was forced down by a race of deranged androids who are about to go out into the galaxy and take over. Da'Quan meets up the town's people on an island (the androids are afraid of water). The locals help Da'Quan repair his ship but he needs to go to the big city where the crazy androids are to get spare parts. There is another problem. Da'Quan sent out a distress signal right before the crash so his assistant Jada is on her way and he has no way to communicate with her, no way to warn her about the beam the androids used to drag his and hundreds of other ships to crash on the surface. Da"Quan eventually finds a way to use their weapon against them. 

These stories take you right up to the events that take place as earth goes into destruction and the plight its people take to survive on other planets.  You’ll be introduced to new aliens and discover they too have crime, law and order and a force to enforce these laws.  They kept me spell bound and holding my breath all the way through as I’m sure they will you too.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Leave A Message - Faydra D. Fields, Author

Rice and Kielbasa Quick Meal
by Faydra D. Fields

 1-10oz bag Birds Eye Steamfresh Long Grain White Rice with Mixed Vegetables 
 ½ Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa (or any other of your choosing)
 Grated Parmesan
 Garlic Salt seasoning

 Microwave Birds Eye Steamfresh Long Grain White Rice with Mixed Vegetables.
 Microwave kielbasa
 Cut kielbasa into smaller pieces
 Mix rice and kielbasa
 Add grated parmesan and garlic salt to taste.

Serves 2-3 adults.

Leave A Message - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

When I received a copy of this short story I had no idea what to expect.  I'm not going to tell you much about the story other than it's about a girl who met a gorgeous man and had high hopes for the evening.  She just didn't expect to experience what he had in mind for her.

It is short, just a few pages long, but it grabs you from the very beginning.  The tension and suspense in those few pages tell me this author needs to write a full book.  She really knows how to get the reader's attention from page 1.  This would make a great story for Criminal Minds.  I hope to hear more from her.  She has great potential.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

First Priority - B. J. Robinson

BJ's Strawberry Shortcake
(First direction:  Be sure you don't let
 some man knock it 
out of your
 hands while your delivering it)

1/2 cup light butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups self-rising flour
1 cup milk
2-3 eggs
1-2 pints strawberries for mixture
strawberries for toppping
Whipped cream of your choice (I use light Cool Whip)

Stir margarine to soften and gradually add sugar. Cream together and add the vanilla. Beat eggs. Add ingredients and mix. Fold strawberries (washed, drained, sliced or mashed) into batter. Grease two round cake pans or use spray. Bake at 375 degrees until done. When it’s lightly brown and you can pull out a toothpick clean, it’s done. Let cool and remove from pans. 

Note: Some people may opt to leave the berries out of the batter and just use them as topping, but I like them in the cake for true homemade shortcake. Also, some may like a white icing, but I only use the whipped cream topping.

Eat and enjoy.

First Priority - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

The house stood battered and forlorn, surrounded by five live oaks that formed a horseshoe turnaround.  To the right, lay Myrtle's small strawberry patch.  The berry bushes hung with the red-ripened fruit ready for tomorrow's picking.  Berries were rotting on the bushes from all the rain.  To the left, lay her bell pepper patch.  Strawberries and bell peppers were the only living Myrtle knew.

June was Myrtle's only child.  In Myrtle's opinion, she should have been born a boy, then she would have someone to help her out around the farm.  But no, the same God that took her husband had only seen fit to give her a daughter.

June is determined to prove to her mother that she can do everything that a son could have done.  This has become her obsession with the hopes that her mother will finally accept her.

This short story brings warmth to the heart.  I felt for Myrtle as well as June, understanding them both.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

After Armageddon - Brian L. Porter, Author

Conglomerate Salad
(Due to the mixture of stories this salad is perfect for this book)

1 bag boil in the bag brown rice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup light Caesar salad dressing
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup chicken, cooked and diced
1 can (11 oz.) Mexican-style corn, drained
4 green onions, thinly sliced
Spinach leaves (optional)

Prepare rice according to package.  In a large bowl, combine Dijon mustard and Caesar salad dressing.  Toss in rice, beans, chicken, corn and green onions.  Chill or serve at room temperature.  Garnish with spinach leaves, if desired. 

Suggestion - Serve in large tomato with pulp and seeds removed.

After Armageddon - Book Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Imagine a world devastated by the unthinkable, a global war enveloping almost every nation on Earth.  Imagine the death, the disease and the wholesale slaughter of million upon million of our fellow beings.  This, then, is the post-apocalyptic setting for After Armageddon, as one solitary scribe attempts to set out in words, for posterity, the results of the terrible religious wars which rose from the intolerance and ignorance of fanatics from all sides of the religious spectrum, at some time in a future we have yet to meet.  Is this a portent of what may be yet to come, or a timely warning for mankind?

After Armageddon is just one of the short stories included in this book but I must say that due to the world as it is today it was one that hit home most.  It scared the heck out of me because it is so possibly true.  So if you don't read any of the other stories within this book's pages, make sure you read the 2nd story in the book titled After Armageddon.

The other stories within this book are at times dark as well as entertaining.  I found that I had to read at least one each night and when time permitted two.  The story 'The Devil You Know' takes place in Mexico after the death of a priest.  It will take you into the depths of crime as well as archaeological events in history.  You will follow a young lady as she is kidnapped  where the kidnapper finds out he made a really big mistake.  And then there is the story of a woman and her husband as they attend the 'festival'.  Will they enjoy it or will they find themselves lost forever?  You'll also go back in time to the year 1816 where you'll meet James who loves dead things.

So, if you enjoy a good scary story, this book is for you but be careful when you read them at night or you might be like me... hearing noises that I know aren't there.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Dimensions In Time - Lawrence Johnson, Sr.

Shrimp Salad
(less fat – less carbs.)
2 1/2 cups Elbow macaroni (low carb.)
2 tablespoons Dijonniase mustard
2 Eggs (large) boiled
2 stalks Celery (diced)
2 pounds Shrimp
3 tablespoons Lemon juice
4 tablespoons Mayonnaise (low fat)
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper (white)
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
Cook macaroni, drain and let cool. Cook shrimp, peel, devein and cut into half's or thirds depending on size. In a large mixing bowl combine macaroni, oil, shrimp, celery, eggs and stir.
Add Hellmann’s Mayonnaise and Helmann's Dijonnaise then stir again.
Add remaining ingredients stir. This dish may be served warm or chilled.
Original recipe by Larry Johnson – The Budget Gourmet
Dimensions In Time - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
'Aunt Judy gave him a smile as she walked over to the old desk near the window. She reached into the bottom drawer of the battered oak desk and pulled out a cigar box and tattered dog-eared copy of the novel Journey to the Center of the Earth. The elderly woman handed the book and cigar box to her nephew.'
Uncle Joe was Eddie's favorite. Most people considered him a bit 'odd' but Eddie could never get enough of his stories about flying horses, dragons and elves. He would be surely missed by Eddie but at least he had something to remember him by, his cigar box and book, or at least that's what he thought until later that night, when he actually opened the box and found it contained an old map and a silver ring with a sapphire stone in the center. His mind raced and his heart beat faster than normal. "A treasure hunt. What was Uncle Joe trying to tell me?" Eddie asked himself.
Well, being like his Uncle, Eddie knew there was only one way to find out. Take the map and find the 'treasure.' The trip would take him to the Amazon and since Eddie's brother Michael was getting married soon, this would be the perfect trip for the two of them to make before he took on the life of a 'married man.' What he didn't expect to find when arriving at the spot described on the map was a second Stonehenge, flying horses and little people. He also never expected to be given the chance to change the outcome of one of the greatest disasters of his time and save hundreds of lives.
I've read several of Author Lawrence Johnson's books and this short story e-book will take you on a journey through time that only he can do. It's a great quick read for those who love a little adventure in your life, like I do.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Torn Page - The 2012 Spring Short Fiction Anthology

Lactose-Free Pumpkin Pie
(Shared with us by Dan O'Brien)

Using fresh instead of canned pumpkin is a bit labor intensive, but it’s worth it. Plus, the color of a fresh pumpkin pie is bright orange.

Ingredients: 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
1/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon

prebaked pie shell (if you’re lactose intolerant, check for milk ingredients)

Directions: Wash, deseed, and steam a small pumpkin in a large stockpot. Cook until the flesh scoops away from the skin with a spoon. If you have trouble cutting it when it is fresh, steam it first in a large stock pot. Wait until it cools and the puree in food processor or blender.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat on medium speed for a minute or two. Pour into pieshell and bake 45 minutes or until firm.

A Torn Page – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

One of the best parts of reading short stories is that it’s like reading ‘a whole bunch’ of books in one.  I’ve always loved the fact that I can involve myself in so many stories in such a short period of time and A Torn Page is no exception.  The Authors, of which there are too many to list, put the reader into many situations… some make sense, some don’t, some are realistic, some aren’t.  Some are happy, some are sad.  But one thing they all have in common is that they are enjoyable to read.

Silky is the story of a young lady who returns home to her mother after not speaking to her in several years.  Will her mother welcome her with open arms or turn her away.  And what will she do when she is introduced to the baby?

In There Was a Naked Man on the Terrace you find yourself thinking ‘what would I do?’  Call the police?  Ask him to come in?  Or maybe join him?  This one was really quite interesting. 

Remnants is about the town that was.  You ask ‘was what?’  The answer is simply the ‘town that was.’

In Therapy you just might find out that you must be insane to be a therapist.  After reading Therapy I must say it makes sense to me.

And one of my favorites was The Day I Met Jesus Christ.  Possible?  I think so.

Those are just a few of the stories you’ll find in A Torn Page.  This is one of those books that you can pick up, read a story at random and come back a week later and read another.  A Torn Page will have you thinking and even analyzing what you’ve just read and you just might find yourself reading the same story more than once and coming up with a different conclusion each time.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Mafia Funeral and Other Short Stories - Morgan St. James, Author

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Fancy without the fuss. Chicken roll-ups with a golden coating and ham and Swiss filling

8 boneless chicken breasts
8 slices of thin deli ham
8 slices of Swiss cheese
2 eggs
1 cup 2% milk
2 cups of crushed cornflakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sale
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Flatten the chicken breasts by placing each one between two pieces of waxed paper or a plastic baggie. Start from the center to the outer edges and pound with the flat side of a meat mallet to an even thickness. Top each breast with a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss cheese. Roll them up, tuck in the ends and secure with a toothpick.

2. Whisk the eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. Combine the cornflakes and seasonings in another shallow bowl. Dip each rolled chicken breast in the egg, then roll in the cornflake mixture.

3. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until juices run clear. Discard the toothpicks before serving.

I’m a big fan of things that are easy to make and look like they took lots of effort. Here is an easy recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu. For those cooks who are adventurous, different fillings can be substituted. I’ve used spinach and gorgonzola cheese or sautéed mushrooms and onions to name a few. If you use more than one filling and are serving this to a large crowd, it’s fun to put a toothpick with a little sign saying what the filling is in one of the pieces in each group.

The Mafia Funeral and Other Short Stories – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

The procession of forty black limos and one flashy yellow convertible made its way along the thirty-five mile route from downtown Los Angeles to the cemetery in Tustin, flanked by at least fifteen officers on motorcycles.  The heads of drivers in nearby cars whirled to take in the sight, probably wondering which dignitary had died.

In The Mafia Funeral the dignitary that died turned out to be a family member of the mafia.  Eliot’s wife is mistaken for the daughter of a Mafia Don and has a time convincing the ‘Uncle Johnnie’ that she isn’t.  This story has a sadness, a touch of humor and a bit of oh my.

Rip Off takes Stephen Rollins from a bad life to a good life and back to the ultimate of bad. 

Saying Goodbye to Miss Molly is a story that brought tears to my eyes.

Morgan St. James has written a garden of stories with some of them being as beautiful as the daisy, some with the beauty of the rose but will stick you with their thorns and some that are as threatening as a weed.  The Mafia Funeral is a collection of short stories, some true, some fiction but all well worth reading.

Now I’m impatiently waiting on her next book Confessions of a Cougar that is due out in late 2012. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Unsavory Delicacies - Russell Brooks, Author

Crème Brulee
(A Brooks' Favorite)

Things You'll Need

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar for the crusts
  • Groceries
  • Baking Pans
  • Cooking Pan
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Ramekins
  • Wire Whisks
  • Propane Torches
  • Mixing bowls
  • 1. To make creme brulee, heat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  • 2. Scald the cream and vanilla extract by heating them in a nonreactive pan over low heat until steaming.
  • 3. When the cream is hot, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well blended.
  • 4. When cream starts to steam, shut off the heat.
  • 5. Pour some cream (maybe 1/2 cup) into the egg yolks while whisking quickly. This will slowly heat the yolks, reducing the chance of curdling them.
  • 6. Remove the whisk from the eggs, start whisking the cream, and steadily pour the yolks into the cream while whisking quickly.
  • 7. When thoroughly mixed, divide mixture into oven-safe individual ramekins.
  • 8. For best results, an optional step is to chill the filled ramekins overnight before cooking.
  • 9. Place ramekins in a tall-sided baking pan. Pour simmering water into the pan about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • 10. Bake for about 35-45 minutes. See tips for how to check for doneness.
  • 11. Cover and chill at least two hours.
  • 12. When ready to serve, sprinkle the top of each serving with a thin, even layer of sugar.
  • 13. If you have a propane kitchen torch, heat the sugar with the flame until it begins to brown. Stop when it reaches a golden color. It should not get too dark.
  • 14. Without a torch, use the oven's broiler setting to caramelize the sugar. Broil for 20 to 30 seconds within at least an inch of the flame or heating element.

Unsavory Delicacies – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds 

Unsavory Delicacies is made up of three short stories that will give you a taste of tantalizing suspense. 
Crème Brulee – Monique Beauvais an agent for Ares.  She has no qualms about double crossing those who supply her with the information she has been assigned to acquire.  Curtis White is truly a nerd that has no qualms about drooling like a dog when he meets the beautiful Monique.  But this story has a moral…Never underestimate a Nerd.

To the Last Bite – Dennis Kirby is a food critic who has a tendency of “killing” a restaurant due to the comments he posts in his column To the Last Bite.  After eating one of the most delicious meals of veal and liver he puts in a request to meet the Chef hoping to find out his cooking secret.  Of course the Chef declines to give out his secret recipe.  Kirby has nothing but praise for this superb meal and reflects his delight in his next column.  But what was really in such a spectacular dish?  Kirby will soon find out.

Shashlyk and Morozhenoe – Ridley Fox is a CIA operative.  He has been assigned to take possession of some nationally important documents that are in the possession of Maksim Antanov.  Antonov is known to be linked to the Arms of Ares and is next in line to take over after his father retires.  But the secrets discovered by Ridley will have Antonov in his pocket for as long as he wants.

Watch for my review for Russell Brooks' next upcoming thriller Chill Run which will be available on December 1, 2011. Follow him on his website as a reminder

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

13 Horror Stories - John McDonnell, Author

"Black Bean Pie"
(a John McDonnell Special)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 6 servings

2 cups canned black beans, drained
1/2 cup medium salsa
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pie shell
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar-monterey jack blend cheese

Combine the beans, salsa, roasted peppers, and seasonings.
Empty the mixture into the pie shell.
Top the mixture with the shredded cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Allow to cool slightly before cutting.

13 Horror Stories – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

As the title states – 13 Horror Stories is made up of 13 horror stories.  They range from The Beauty Part, which is a story about a woman who didn’t accept rejection, to Stuck, which is a story about a man who can’t get the image of a tree, a car and the moonlight out of his head.  You also have The Thing in the Basement.  You can imagine what the outcome will be when Billy is sent to the basement as punishment – or can you?  The Box can bring knowledge to the one who opens it -- or maybe not.  In Conclusions – will the wife allow the girlfriend to move in with her and her husband?  And the stories go on…….

13 Horror Stories is an amusing book that may be short but it’s packed full of horror.

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