Chocolate-Bottom Banana Bars + Book and Tote #Giveaway from Cleo Coyle

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Two layers of flavor and texture make these bars an outstanding treat. A soft banana cake layer floats over a rich, brownie-like base laced with chocolate chips.

Click here for the
Free Recipe PDF.
The bars make an impressive home-baked gift for friends and family, yet they're very easy to create, no special culinary skills required. And they're a perfect cozy snack for winter afternoon coffee breaks or late-night noshing.

To download my Chocolate-Bottom Banana Bars recipe now as a free PDF, click here. 

To read my full blog post, scroll down or click here or on the "Read more" link below, and...

Eat with joy! 


~ Cleo

New York Times bestselling author of...
The Coffeehouse Mysteries &
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries




A Note from Cleo
Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband. 
Learn about their books 
by clicking here and here.


"Lovin' from the oven" is how coffee hunter Matt Allegro described these fresh-baked squares in one of our most popular Coffeehouse Mysteries, Billionaire Blend. And Matt was right. 

You'll notice we put a bit of earthy espresso powder in our chocolate bottom layer. Yes, we’re coffee fiends, but here’s the truth. You won’t taste coffee, only a more powerful note of chocolate. As bakers know, espresso powder is a way to deepen the flavor of chocolate in recipes.

These bars pair beautifully with coffee, espresso, and strong black teas. May you bake them with love and eat with joy!



~ Cleo




To download this recipe in a free 
PDF document that you can print, 
save or share, click here.


Click for the Free Recipe PDF.




Cleo Coyle's 
Chocolate-Bottom Banana Bars

Yield: 16 squares (one 9‑inch-square pan)

Ingredients:

2 cups mashed ripe* bananas (about 4 to 6 depending on size)   
  *See my note at the end of this recipe to ripen bananas in the oven
1/4 cup sour cream 
3/4 cup canola oil (or cold-pressed coconut oil, melt before measuring) 
1/2 cup light brown sugar 
1 egg, lightly beaten with fork 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1½ teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon table salt or finely ground sea salt 
1½ cups all-purpose flour 
1/4 cup baking cocoa (unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder 
1/2 cup chocolate chips 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

Step 1—Prep oven and pan: First preheat your oven to 350° F. Line the bottom of a 9‑inch-square pan with parchment paper, allowing the ends to hang over the side like handles. You’ll use those handles to easily lift the baked banana bar slab out of the pan. Coat paper lightly with non-stick spray. Set aside. 

Step 2—Make batter: Combine your 2 cups of mashed bananas and sour cream with a fork. Add the oil, sugar, egg, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fork-whisk well (or use an electric mixer) to blend until smooth. Now add your flour and mix until a lumpy batter forms, but do not over-mix at this stage.

Step 3—Create chocolate bottom: Remove 1 cup batter and place it into a separate bowl. Add cocoa and espresso powder, fork-whisking until the batter is smooth. Fold in chocolate chips, and (optional) chopped walnuts.

Step 4—Assemble and bake: Spread the chocolate batter across the entire bottom of the prepared pan. Take your time, using the back of a spoon to spread the batter all the way into the corners. Be sure the layer is even. Now pour your remaining banana batter on top and once again use the back of a spoon to even out the layer (otherwise your bars will bake up lopsided). Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.


QUICK KITCHEN HACK




TO RIPEN BANANAS FAST: Place yellow bananas on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake at 350 F. for 10 minutes, turning once. Bananas will blacken. Peel right away (be careful, they’re hot!) and cool flesh in fridge before mashing.

📷

F  o  o  d  i  e
P h o t o s





















Stay Cozy &...





 

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend or follow me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.





Our NEW Coffeehouse Mystery!



Learn more or buy at:

 Amazon * B&N

Indie * 
BAM



Maple-Glaze-Gif-by-Cleo-Coyle.gif

BREWED AWAKENING is a
culinary mystery with a
menu of delicious recipes!


👇



Now in paperback!


Amazon * B&N

IndieBound * BAM



"A gripping and entertaining mystery"
--Library Journal (Starred Review) 
*
"Penetrating insights" --Kirkus Reviews 
*
"Sure to delight" --Publishers Weekly


🍴

Our culinary mystery includes
25 delicious recipes! To get the
Free Recipe Guide, 
click here.



Click for Free Recipe Guide
to Shot in the Dark.




A "Best Book of 2018!"
*

~ Suspense Magazine



"A magnificent cold case 
mystery." ~ Fresh Fiction 

Amazon * B&N

*
IndieBound * BAM

*

"He is hardboiled in the tradition
of Philip Marlowe, and she is a genteel
Miss Marple; yet the two opposites
make an explosive combination..."

—Midwest Book Review


To learn more, visit our
online 
Haunted Bookshop
by 
clicking here.



Our bestselling hardcover is 
now a bestseller in paperback...


3 Best of Year Lists 
Top 10 Mysteries for Book Clubs 2017
Mystery Guild "Most Wanted" Selection

Amazon * B&N

BAM * IndieBound



🍴

This culinary mystery includes
more than 25 delicious recipes!
To get the Free Recipe Guide:

Click Here.


Clare Goes to Washington!
*


Dead to the Last Drop

Amazon  * B&N 






For the Free Recipe
Guide,
 click here!


The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling 
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a
landmark 
Greenwich Village coffeehouse,
and each of the 
18 titles includes the
added bonus of recipes. 



See mini plot summaries 
for every title and news on
 Cleo's next release!





BOOK NEWS AND GIVEAWAYS!

If you'd like to be entered in our giveaways
and receive special 
bonus recipes, sign up for
our 
Coffeehouse Mystery Newsletter...


TO SUBSCRIBE 

CLICK HERE OR...

Simply write an email with the
words 
"Sign me up!" and send it to: 

CoffeehouseMystery@gmail.com

When you sign up, you will receive
links 
to past newsletters,
including the one above. 

*  *  *






Cleo Coyle's 

PRIZE PACKAGE 

GIVEAWAY!


You must subscribe to
Cleo's Free E-Newsletter

to enter this giveaway.

If you're not a subscriber,
you cannot win.


TO SUBSCRIBE: 




Be sure to follow the rules for entering
& include the first seven (7) characters
in the email address that you used
to sign up for Cleo's newsletter.


Good Luck!

87 comments :

  1. Welcome to our readers! We hope you are enjoying our books, recipes, and newsletters. Let us know your thoughts below, and thanks for stopping by today.

    May you read (and eat) with joy!

    ~ Cleo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness, just the tip on how to ripen bananas quickly is worth it's weight in gold, thank-you!! Blessing on you and Marc.

      Delete
    2. Stupid me...got so excited I didn't read all the rules first. Oops. So here I am again...sorry. I enjoy both the bookshop and the coffee house series because the characters are so well written and the stories are captivating and I feel like the leads are old friends and I can smell and taste and feel the atmospheres. Simply perfect. The first seven are adayada. Thank-you!!

      Delete
    3. I love reading your coffeehouse mysteries. They are easy reads. I am transformed to the coffeehouse as I read. They are not blood and guts, nor too sexy. I have to listen to them on audio, as I have damaged my eye. So, I await the library getting one in on the latest novel. Thanks.

      Delete
    4. annette.murphy-shaw@morgancc.edu is my email for the unknown reply. I do love these novels!

      Delete
    5. rls1508 Thanks for the chocolate Banana recipe, looks delicious, can't wait to try. The tip for ripening the bananas is great. I love reading you CoffeeHouse mysteries, have to try the bookshop ones. Keep writing!

      Delete
    6. I have read all of your books. I love the main characters and the interaction you have with both Mac and the Detective who make an interesting life for Clare. I love the interesting coffees as well as the food you introduce. Keep the books coming please. I have requested your latest book from the library and as usual I am around 103 on the waiting list. sherrie36@hotmail.com

      Delete
    7. Hi. The bars look delicious. I've been waiting for this release and cant wait to read it since I e read the whole series.my email is bjhart68@gmail.com since I love having a chance at the giveawy too

      Delete
  2. I love your books and the recipes look delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love all of these recipes and the books!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've been enjoying your books for years! (And look forward to many more.)

    rebarger@bellsouth.net

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh these look so delicious and warming! I need to clean my oveb so I can give them a try. I have to catch up on your books. Thank you <3
    LaurasR

    ReplyDelete
  6. Cozy mysteries with recipes help to inspire me with the age old question "what's for dinner?"

    Email first 7: phdrago

    ReplyDelete
  7. Enjoy reading your books and look forward to ever new one in the series. Love how smart and independent Clare is while still having a wonderfully soft heart. The addition of the recipes are an added bonus. First 7 are jschiro

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm excited to start this series!!! What better way then a copy from you!! I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to. daychamberlin@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love all of your books and I find I re-read them over time. I always crave a good cup of coffee and sweet while reading them too. First 7 are: kovaln@

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have enjoyed all of the coffeehouse mystery books. But i have to say this has to be the best one of all. I was going "oh no, oh no" dont do it in one of the scenes between Clare and Matt. This book will tear at the heart and next has you happy again. How this one will be topped i don't know, but then each book asks the same question. Can't wait til the next one. By the way even though i never get around to trying the recipes i still enjoy reading them. P.S. love the way the chapters are done, some short some not, lets me have a stopping point when i need one (like when the husband says when are you going to turn off the light and go to sleep its 2am).

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for all the recipes that you include in all the books that you write! I have used several with my hubby who is the main chef as I have a disease that is RSD and fingers are crippled. I do the reading and he does the cooking of the good recipes I think that is fair. ptclayton2@aol.com peggy clayton

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love the books because they are engaging throughout and not predictable. The timing is great! Too often in mysteries the action can be formulaic, but Claire & Co. are realized fully and easy to empathize with. And the recipes! Such fun. Email is: jenniferbchambers5 (at) gmail

    ReplyDelete
  13. Man does that look good. I am keto to fight cancer but am looking forward to trying this in the future. I can eat the mushroom recipe and am excited to try it.Fortunately coffee is on the menu.The book looks like fun.first 7 ktpotat

    ReplyDelete
  14. I haven't read any of your books "yet" but I definitely am going to. I haven't read any cozies yet either and it is on my goals to do so this year. Your covers are awesome and I love coffee so I'm especially drawn to Brewed Awakening (plus I have to get the recipe for the Coffee and Cream cake....lol). I love your newsletter and all your recipes in the newsletter looks amazing. Thanks for the chance!!
    Email for newsletter (first 7): tina_al

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love the stories first, but then the recipes have me hooked as well. Always a great read! jeanste

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for all the recipes. Can't wait to try the Blueberry Shortbread! Thanks for a chance to win! ljbonkoski@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the captivating books and the delectable and wonderful recipes. saubleb@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your recipes look so delicious!! Katrinadehart@ymail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I enjoy all the Coffee House books and find the characters are well formed and the conversations witty and smart. I love how through clues, they find the who-dun-it and am happy to spend time with them as the story unfolds. The first seven characters of my email are cylinda

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  20. Can't wait to try some more of your recipes. Love your helpful hints, such as baking bananas. Most importantly look forward to read new book.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I usually just bake brownies and banana bread, but I'd really like to try out this recipe.

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  22. Looking forward to trying your recipes and to reading the new coffeehouse mystery.ellndea is the first seven characters of my email. Putting 7up on my grocery list today.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have read and love all of the Coffee House Mysteries. Brewed Awakening is one of my very favorites; the recognition you are receiving for it is wonderful. cbruseg…..

    ReplyDelete
  24. The Coffee House mystery series is unique and gives me such enjoyment. What enticing recipes. elliotb

    ReplyDelete
  25. The blueberry shortbread looks great! With a good cup of coffee and one of your books it can't be beat.
    darleneat

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love the family of characters in this series. I think Madame may be my favorite.
    turtle6

    ReplyDelete
  27. I can almost smell the coffee. I certainly feel I am on a virtual road trip to NY once I start turning the pages of any book in the coffeehouse mystery series.
    judydee22002....

    ReplyDelete
  28. I picked up a couple of the series from a library sale and got hooked. I'm now on a mission to read them all and get caught up. I love your recipes too.
    kozo8989@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I can't wait to start reading the rest of the series! I have to double check my library, but I'll be getting back to the coffeehouse soon!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have yet to read any of your books. My TBR pile is always full. cheetah first seven of email.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Love the recipes included in the Coffehouse mysteries. Enjoyed the glimpse into Clare's past in BREWED AWAKENING.
    Looking forward to Jack's and Pen's August 2020 book.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Why do I enjoy your books?!!! I love the Coffeehouse Mysteries because they take me to my other life. The one where I'm "Jack" hanging out in the Coffeehouse while all the action take place. I've lived the Coffeehouse life and remember it fondly. I really enjoy these books because it takes me on murder mystery cases with great coffee, delectable goodies, and without risk of anything but staying up too late. I'm am ever grateful for each installment and the many cozy evenings of adventure.
    jstone2

    ReplyDelete
  33. I enjoy the Coffeehouse Mysteries because of the diverse and quirky characters, and the well-plotted mysteries. khpinel

    ReplyDelete
  34. I love and enjoy your books because I have been reading them for years and reading about the characters seems like "going home" to me. I love my coffee, so I also enjoy reading about that in the Coffeehouse Mysteries and I can just picture the shop in my mind because the books are so detailed. bentley

    ReplyDelete
  35. I've read most of your earlier books so I have some catching up to do. No problem,there. I've enjoyed the ones I've already read. One of the things I like are the characters. They always leave you wanting the next book just to see what they do next.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Love all the recipes you share... gonna Veganize these! The Coffeehouse books are fabulous, but the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries are DA BOMB DIGGITY! Jack is totally my favorite <3 Have a Wonder New Year!
    Cheers~
    Kelly Braun
    (1st 7 are: Gaelica)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Love your ☕ 🏠❓Cleo Coyle team! I enjoy your last of characters, plotlines and the recipes from the story included atthe back of the book a wonderful bonus. I have made many of them and they are great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was supposed to say "cast" of characters. 🙁. Sorry.

      Delete
  38. I really love your books. I started with Shot in the Dark and then quickly read all the others (okay, not in order...)! I was perturbed when I discovered I'd reached the end of the series last year, and I'm looking forward to reading Brewed Awakening. By the way, your recipe for Chocolate Bottom Banana Bars has become a favorite way for me to use up ripe bananas. Unfortunately, I can't make the bars too often because they're too tempting!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Yum,chocolate and bananas! Always so many great recipes in your books. I love catching up with Clare and the gang. I'm on the waiting list for Brewed Awakening at my local library.

    valleyr

    ReplyDelete
  40. Cozy coffee, yummy recipes, smart characters and just a little murder. I'm making 7 up Slab Biscuits tonight and can't wait for my next book. Thanks! email is nancy.k

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm not a fan of bananas, but the bottom layer of these looks divine. And the blueberry shortbread looks yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Just finished Brewed Awakening. It was fantastic! Now find am eagerly awaiting the next novel of Clare and Mike, as well as Madam and the whole coffee house crew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read Brewed Awakening.G (read all the coffee house and ghost in the bookshop series) Good to know you are writing the Ghost in the bookshop series again!

      Delete
  43. They are the best books around. I was hooked on the first one and could not put it down. i anxiously await each and every new book. I can not say which is my most favorite as they all have special interest and i like something about each one. Looking forward to your next book as I have already read Brewed Awaking.

    ReplyDelete
  44. mi3sons I haven't read any of your books. I like your newsletter and I like that you like to bake. I love to bake. I would like to read your book,

    ReplyDelete
  45. We love clever mysteries with well-drawn characters! jsmith3

    ReplyDelete
  46. I love all your wonderful characters in both series and eagerly await the twisted mystery plots. doward1

    ReplyDelete
  47. These books are a great series. Claire's character is so well crafted and prefectly suited to her stories that the stories really create an immersive read. Every time a new book is announced, I have to get my local library to buy it!!
    Thank you both for this great series!- Krys_db

    ReplyDelete
  48. I love the way you make the characters come alive. The coffee info and recipes are great.

    Lou817bee@neo.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. I am sitting here drooling over the recipes and thinking of what I have onhand to bake tomorrow during our snowstorm. I wish I had read this earlier in the day. I don't want to cook and eat at 9:30 PM. Thanks for the wonderful recipes as always and the fun books for gloomy winter days. mwatts14@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'm hooked on this series! I love the well written characters and watching them develop from book to book. The recipes are a great bonus!
    general

    ReplyDelete
  51. I love chocolate and I love bananas, so this recipe is right up my alley!! Can't wait to try it, with a good cup of coffee and a great Cleo Coyle book! AND... I just adore Bobo!! what a cutie!
    kjkoukl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AND... forgot to mention just one of the other reasons I love reading your Coffeehouse mystery series, besides the fact they are so fabulous! I never really appreciated coffee before starting this series, but since then I've learned so much from your books and I have become pretty discriminating about my morning brew now. My taste buds thank you!
      kjkoukl

      Delete
  52. This looks like a good one! Espresso powder pulls on the cocoa to make recipes soooo tasty.
    I loved the Billionaire Blend as much as all of them through number 12. I am bit behind but in a way that is good...I don't have to get anxious waiting for the next one when I have a few more waiting.

    ReplyDelete
  53. This is absolutely my favorite cozy mystery series. My favorite city, my favorite beverage. Truly every book has been better than the previous one. And the recipes - easy to follow, don't use hard-to-find ingredients, and come out perfectly delicious every time.

    ReplyDelete
  54. As a lover of mystery books, I particularly enjoy this series not just for the mystery but also for the characters, recipes and coffee information.....whenever I read one I crave good coffee, feel like I am catching up with friends and often want to try a new recipe. Great reading, but not so great for my waistline ;)
    adbec

    ReplyDelete
  55. When I was growing up, we always made banana nut bread when the bananas had gotten over ripe. My Mom had 2 big pecan trees that produced a lot of nuts. That was kind of like a chore, to collect nuts. Then Mom would make something really good for dessert, and we'd sit and crack nuts. I love your books and think you are such a gifted talent.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I loved "Brewed Awakening" and couldn't put in down until I finished. I've been a fan since the very first book, they combine my two favorite things, coffee & mysteries! The recipes are always a bonus and so much fun to try. Awaiting the next book.. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Have read every book and looking forward to many more. Here's to 2020 with hopefully no more medical issues just writing, writing, writing of your wonderful books. Love trying recipes from your books and other cozy authors who publish them. Have gotten some wonderful recipes from them. I never win by entering these contests but like the lottery, you cannot win unless you enter. First seven of my email is notifym. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I just finished Brewed Awakening, I think this book is one of the best. That's saying a lot because I have read all of your books and enjoyed everyone. The cast of characters are like old friends that you see once or twice a year but know well and like.

    ReplyDelete
  59. First I would like to say your Coffeehouse Mystery series is absolutely the best! Ssshhh...don't tell anybody but I like it better than the Stephanie Plum series. Your stories are always unique, relevant, honest, and addictive! I can't put it down to go to sleep at night! The recipes are an added bonus, and have made many of the recipes. You guys are incredible cooks! Can't wait to see who wins your fantastic, super giveaway! Happy New Year! Many blessings and wishes for fun, cheerful and healthy new year! All my best, Michele The first six letters of my email are deseng@

    ReplyDelete
  60. In addition to great books, your recipes are always delicious. Just a bit more difficult than those recipes that promise to be oh so quick and are tasteless, but not so difficult as to put me off unless I have a lot of time. This time I found myself downloading PDF after PDF - thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forgot to enter my email info: sallyco......

      Love the way the storyline has progressed over the years while still keeping our favorite characters front and center. And the food just keeps getting better. We could live off your recipes alone!

      Delete
  61. I enjoy your newsletter! This recipe looks yummy. I like the combination of banana and chocolate. glindathegood@bellsouth.net

    ReplyDelete
  62. I have read your books since the very first one came out. I have never been to New York, but your books make me feel I have. Everyone of your characters is well written and quirky, just love it. I have also enjoyed our chats on Facebook over the years. Wondered why you have been absent. Hope you and Marc are well now and have a safe and peaceful new year. Can't wait for my favorite ghost to "appear" again!
    bobnton

    ReplyDelete
  63. Taylor R. WilliamsJanuary 12, 2020 at 7:27 PM

    your books sound wonderful and those bars look so delicious - thanks for the photos of the process - and thanks for the chance to win - trwilli

    ReplyDelete
  64. I always enjoy your recipes, and your books. You are from the West Mifflin Area where I live. Your Dad was a cousin to my Uncle Sisto by married. My Uncle was married to my mom's younger sister Connie. Can't wait for the next book to come out. Hope you and your husband are well. valu772@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  65. The Chocolate-Bottom Banana Bread looks amazing, can't wait to try them. I enjoy all your Coffeehouse Mystery books & recipes. Would love to win the book & the Coffee! Thank you. mcoffey54@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  66. Bobo is so cute! I did not realize you lived in PA, where did you reside? You already know I enjoy all of your books and I look forward to your newsletters. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  67. This recipe looks great! I will have to try it. I love reading the coffeehouse mysteries. The characters are delightful and the books contain so many great looking recipes! mcastor

    ReplyDelete
  68. I read because they are fun, light, and keep you on your toes. The characters have substance. The books have recipes. I am learning something new everytime. bessdee

    ReplyDelete
  69. I really enjoy reading The Coffeeshop Mysteries because they have relatable characters and are they keep missing until the end. You feature some amazing recipes and the pictures and directions make them easy to follow. I'm going to try the breaded pork chops and German potato salad.
    diannekc

    ReplyDelete
  70. I love reading all of your Coffeehouse Mysteries. I have read them all except for Brewed awakening. I am looking forward to reading it. Your number one fan.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Coffeehouse mysteries was the first cozy mystery series that I read and is my favorite. I love the setting and the recipes. I can almost smell the coffee and desserts. Can't wait to read the next. ☕�� Tenntri is the first seven of email. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  72. I like your books because they are unique and your recipes are wonderful. clugsto (first seven of email).

    ReplyDelete
  73. Thank you so much for your wonderful books and recipes. I love your characters and your descriptions of the products make me feel like I can smell the coffee and test the treats. ash500@

    ReplyDelete
  74. Love your books because the characters are real people and love the Village setting. Many happy memories! teaberr

    ReplyDelete
  75. I love all your books...though I’m behind on a few! Thanks for restarting the older series...loved the first one. I know it sounds like I am repeating what others are saying. The characters are so real...as well as the location. LafonRC.

    ReplyDelete