Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Second Time's the Charm: A Romance Summer Box Set by Holly Cortelyou, Ja’Nese Dixon, Khardine Gray, Robyn Rychards and T. S. Sharp (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

Second Time’s the Charm
by Holly Cortelyou, Ja’Nese Dixon, Khardine Gray, Robyn Rychards
and T. S. Sharp


GENRE: Romance



What happens when a summer getawayoffers a second chance at love?

Five unforgettable romances. Five delicious heroes. Summer lovin’ doesn’t get any better than this. Escape with these brand new, sweet and sensual second chances at love.

Dive into these lush beachy reads and feel the temptation of lost love rekindled…and lose yourself in captivating, heart-melting happy-ever-afters!



I Love You Again 

by Khardine Gray

"Let's do the bets before the guys get here." Jennifer smiled. Neil and his groomsmen were meeting them for dinner. It was the chance for everyone to meet properly. "Neil's best man is single and a complete hottie." Jennifer giggled.

"Hottie?" Trina asked with narrowed eyes. "Can you even say that anymore?"

"Yes, because my Neil knows I think he's the hottest of them all. Anyway, I've known his friend for years, and I always thought he'd be nice for one of you two. I don't know the other guys that well but this guy has the full package."

Trina rolled her eyes. "Mandy can have him. I bet twenty she'll be the wedding hook up."

"Me?" Mandy pointed to herself. "I bet thirty it's you." "Okay. I'll go with Mandy and Jennifer, Trina," Lizzie said. "I'm going in big for a hundred." Jennifer smiled.

Trina shook her head. Jennifer always went in big. It was sad that this time she would lose a hundred bucks. That was a decent pair of shoes or a nice top in Nordstrom. It was so silly to waste so much on a bet.

"Oh you would wouldn't you," Lizzie grumbled. "I bet one fifty on Mandy then."

"Oh look. They're here, and there he is." Jennifer beamed. They looked across the restaurant, over the crowded tables to the entrance where more people were coming in to start their evening.

Trina saw Neil first. He'd had his black hair cut into a neat style that allowed him to keep his locks. Dressed in a white cotton shirt and dark trousers he looked elegant and carried his tall, muscular stature with grace. Trina thought he moved as if he were floating towards them. No, not them.

He floated towards Jennifer and had the look of love all over him. Jennifer smiled at him and blew a kiss which he made a show of catching and placing on his heart. Mandy and Lizzie both awed and cooed. Trina looked back to Neil and saw two dark haired guys next to him that she didn't recognize.

"It's the guy behind Neil. The really tall gorgeous one with all the muscles." Jennifer giggled. "There."

Trina followed Jennifer's gaze and looked behind Neil. When her eyes landed on the man Jennifer was referring to, her whole body froze.

Completely froze. She was sure her heart had stopped too because she couldn't feel it anymore. Trina drew in a sharp breath and choked back a cry as spasms of shock erupted within her.

She felt faint and feverish both at the same time as she continued to look at him in an attempt to work out if her mind was playing tricks on her. Prolonging her stare confirmed it was not. She'd recognize him anywhere. Yes, he was tall - six feet four to be exact - and still gorgeous with his Hollywood good looks, muscular physique and shiny blonde hair. But this guy was deadly.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

About Holly Cortelyou

Holly Cortelyou is a romance author who pens sweet and spicy small town, contemporary romances as wells as supernatural and paranormal historical romances.

On any given day, Holly can be found sipping coffee and surfing Facebook for gossip on royals, college football (Go Ducks!), knitting, and ghosts!

After trying on many hats as a meeting planner, political scientist, long-haul trucker, and financial services specialist, she’s finally found the perfect fit as a romance writer!

Holly’s living her own Happily Ever After with an uber-handy and sexily broad-shouldered husband, and a fluffball kitty in sun-kissed Southern Oregon…and an exuberant lab puppy who rules our hearts!

She has hazel eyes and a goofy sense of humor…all the rest is subject to change without notice.

You can always find her at her website and via e-mail.

Happy Reading!!!

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About Ja’Nese Dixon

Ja’Nese Dixon pens tales of romance in several sub-genres. But her favorites are the ones that manage to keep readers sitting on the edge of their seats lying to themselves about reading “just one more chapter”.

Ja’Nese is an avid reader and coffee drinker, who also loves to run, cook, and craft. Her ultimate goal as a writer is to give you a little “staycation” with every story. And she aims to make this present story no exception. Sit back, grab a snack and enjoy.

Ja’Nese calls Houston home with her husband, three kiddos and a four-legged diva dog.

Visit her website if you enjoy romance, suspense and good stories.

Stay in Touch

About Khardine Gray

Khardine Gray is a contemporary romance author who lives in England with her husband, two kids, and three crazy ferrets.

She is well traveled, cultured, and a woman with a passion for dancing and ice skating.

When not writing you can catch her shopping, indulging on pizza and hot chocolate, or hanging out with her family and friends.

No need to spend money on an airline ticket. Simply pick up one of Khardine's books to become immersed in the fascinating stories and characters she creates.

Stay in Touch

About Robyn Rychards

Robyn Rychards grew up in the granola bowl of the United States, Boulder Colorado, a town filled with fruits, flakes and nuts. She considers herself a Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none and has taught herself to sew, paint, play the piano, garden, cook, the list goes on. But now that her books are published, she’s thrilled to finally be considered a master of one. At least as much as a person can be, for the learning never really stops.

She feels her active imagination is a blessing and a curse, with the blessing far outweighing the curse since it has led her to fulfill her dream of writing for Harlequin. Robyn started writing stories when she was a teenager because she didn’t have enough books to read. Sometimes she finds it hard to believe that people are willing to pay her to do something she enjoys so much, but mostly she’s happy to have such a wonderful excuse not to cook and clean. And a job that means you can stay in your jammies as long as you want? Priceless.

She also loves to hear from her readers, so send her an email. You can get in touch with her on Twitter, @robynrychards. She loves meeting new people on Facebook too and can be found under her name, Robyn Rychards. Check out her web page for details about her books and upcoming releases.

Stay in Touch

About T. S. Sharp

T. S. Sharp, AKA Tierra, is a driven, passionate and charismatic author hailing from Mobile, Alabama.

A self-described “twenty-something introvert”, T. S. Sharp is truly passionate about anything that concerns words and reading, and she would often spend her time reading even beyond her school obligations, often resting in her bed with her trusty kindle and a wealth of amazing literature at her disposal.

Although she is debuting with her first work, Tierra is a very flexible and eclectic writer with a very kaleidoscopic taste: she loves to read different genres and therefore, she creates very diverse stories in her head, unleashing the full potential of her creativity and sharing her ideas with the readers in a unique and refreshing ways.

Tierra’s passion can only be accurately described with her own words and specifically, with one of her most sincere wishes:

“I hope you enjoy my books as much as I enjoy creating them.” – T. S. Sharp

Stay in Touch




Summer Lovin’ Giveaway

Enter for a Chance to Win

Five unforgettable romances. Five delicious heroes. Summer lovin’ doesn’t get any better than this. Escape with these brand new, sweet and sensual second chances at love.

Grand Prize Winner

$25 Gift Card and five (5) bundle from us.

All Entrants

All entrants receive five stories for your eReader.

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The tour dates can be found here 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

An Unwilling Suspect by Jo Hiestand (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Jo A. Hiestand


GENRE: British mystery



McLaren’s fiancée tragically died one month ago. Trying to heal emotionally from her death, McLaren settles into a rented farmhouse in the woods near picturesque Lake Windermere, in Cumbria. But he’s barely had a chance to rest when Helen, the woman in the neighboring cottage, is killed…and is discovered near his front door.

Because McLaren had spent much of the previous day with her, and his snowy footprints lead to and from her house, he becomes the prime murder suspect in what the police label a frustrated romantic advance.

Motives for Helen’s murder are as chilling as the outdoor temperature. There’s the hands-on garage mechanic who’d like to put his hands all over her, the affluent fishing guide, and Helen’s former boyfriend who wanted to renew the relationship.

Can McLaren find the killer before the police jail him for murder?



The acrid smell of smoke woke him. He lay in bed, trying to understand what was happening. As the significance of the odor occurred to him, he threw back the duvet and got up quickly.

He forgot that he’d looked up a few things last night. He must have fallen asleep without putting away the laptop, for it flipped off the top of the bed and crashed onto the floor. “Damn.” He bent over and picked it up. The top dangled, gripping the keyboard by its left edge. McLaren punched the power button but nothing happened. The screen stayed black. He tossed the laptop onto the bed and quickly slipped into his jeans and shoes as the odor intensified.

He ran into the front room. Fingers of light gray smoke threaded through the air and he coughed, but he saw no other sign of fire. He checked the back room, kitchen and second bedroom, but encountered nothing more than smoke. As he dashed back into the front, he glanced outside. The land was on fire.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British.  Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folk singing stint.  This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Taylor & Graham mysteries and the McLaren cold case mystery series.

 Jo’s insistence for accuracy, from police methods and location layout to the general feel of the area, has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her cat Tennyson shares her St. Louis home.



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The tour dates can be found here


My review:

3.75 out of 5 stars

An Unwilling Suspect by Jo A. Hiestand is a mystery set in England that is part of the ‘McLaren Mysteries’ series. Michael McLaren has availed himself of a countryside retreat in Windemere offered him to use while he tries to recover from his recent tragedy. A neighborly act somehow enmeshes him in a murder investigation with him as the number one suspect. The more he tries to discover the true murderer, the more complicated the case becomes, even when he calls in a former colleague. Danger mounts until it is possible he may not live to uncover the true murderer.

There are beautifully emotional elements in this story and some vividly described scenes that evoke a countryside retreat. The story starts on a gentle mournful note and gains momentum as McLaren interacts with various denizens while battling grief and ultimately, while conducting his own investigation of the murder he is accused of. Clues and red herrings abound until the final exciting twists, and there is a mystical element that adds another layer of mystery to the story.

There are a few elements that were uncomfortable for me, including the shifting and numerous points of view that don’t quite sync with the third person omniscient, as well as the apparent preponderance of characters who seem amazingly bloodthirsty and amoral. Not everything is tied up in a tidy bow, so I still have plenty of questions. Although this is part of a series, there is enough detail that one is not completely lost, but the allusions to previous events definitely encourage one’s curiosity about what would have brought McLaren to this point. I think that those who like mysteries with a somewhat sobering British flair will enjoy this tale.

A copy of this title was given to me for review

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Convenient Risk by Sara R. Turnquist (VBT, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post by author Sara R. Turnquist, who shares...

Can My Writing Be TOO Tight?
by Sara R. Turnquist

As writers, we're frequently told to tighten our writing. It's a common thing. I mean, how many of you have sat in a critique group and not heard that mentioned at least once? 

Believe me, tightening our sentences and paragraphs in general is a good thing. But can we do that to the point where it becomes a negative? Let me tell you about my first experience pitching to an agent.

Too tight? What does that mean?

I attended my first conference. I was so excited (and nervous). Despite the fact I didn't know to sign up for an agent appointment ahead of time, I snagged the last appointment on one of the agent's agendas. Whew! One barrier crossed. Now cue the nerves. But I had been practicing my pitch; I'm really ready to go. And you know what? He liked my story. Truly. He was rather intrigued by my characters, their arcs, and the history I had pulled in. So he asked me to send in the first however many chapters.

And I took the next day and poured over those chapters, making sure everything was how it should be. Hit "send", breathe again. When he responded later that day, I got the most curious feedback I could have ever imagined: "Your writing is too tight." What? Is that possible?

So, I called my writing mentor. Have you ever heard of this? Too tight? Nope. She's got nothing. Never heard of that. I search the Internet. Nothing. All I can find is "How to Make Your Writing Tighter". What am I supposed to do with this feedback? How can I take this and improve if I don't know what this could mean?

Maybe there is no such thing…

Fast forward to my next conference. I schedule appointments ahead of time (learned my lesson). Only this time, I scheduled a Mentor session first and an Agent session second. The Mentor read the same first page the agent at the previous conference had looked at. Her response? "I wouldn't call it 'tight', I'd call it concise...and that's not a bad thing. But as I went through it, I didn't get a picture of what your main character looked like."

Oh. So, I've tightened it to the point, I've left out some necessary description. Maybe that's what that first agent meant. So, I take the manuscript, add in some description. Now I'm golden, right?

Now I get it!

Well...that's not where this story ends. At some point along the way, I decide to do a 10K day. That means a lot of writing, right? At some point in the day, you get to a point where you let loose your internal editor and just write.

And something clicked. As I'm writing that day, I found a rhythm to my writing that had not existed. I discovered something else. In my striving for tight writing, I had lost flow. 

There wasn't the smoothness to the manuscript that should be there.

So for me, I would say that yes, there is such a thing as writing that is too tight. As a general rule, I would say newbie writers need to strive for more tight, concise writing. But the "sophomore" level writers out there need to make sure they aren't sacrificing a nice flow for the sake of tightness.

There's my two cents, for whatever that's worth.


A Convenient Risk
by Sara R. Turnquist


GENRE: Historical Romance



He never imagined her heart would be so hard to reach.

Forced into a marriage of convenience after her husband dies, Amanda Haynes is determined she will never love again. Not that it bothers Brandon Miller. He needs her husband’s cattle ranch and life insurance policy. She needs financial stability and long-term support for her son and herself. But she never expected to care so much about the running of the ranch.

Butting heads over the decisions of the ranch, adding to her frustration and grief at her loss. Her wellbeing is soon threatened as their lives become entangled with Billy the Kid and his gang. What has she gotten herself into? What kind of man has she married? Is there any way out?



A strong arm grasped Amanda, catching her upper arm and dragging her onto the horse. As soon as she was solidly on the animal, she grabbed ahold of Brandon as tightly as she could.

They took off. The bull pawed at the ground, making all manner of grunting noises, but as if by some miracle, he ran off to the left. All of this happened as if time had slowed.

The horse continued to push forward. And as they neared the edge of the fence, Brandon urged the horse to go even faster. Were they going to break through? What would happen to the cattle with the fence destroyed?

But as they approached the fence, the horse leapt. Amanda gripped Brandon impossibly tighter. Jolted when the horse landed, her teeth chattered.

Only then did Brandon slow the horse. He then placed a hand on her upper arm and pushed.

She released him.

He sucked in a deep breath and expelled it.

Had she been holding him too tightly? Her face warmed.

He took hold of her shoulders. “Are you all right?”

She nodded, and though their faces were but a breath apart, she was not quite able to meet his eyes, fighting tears in her own. Only then she found herself staring at his bare chest. Jerking her head away, she averted her gaze.

“Do you realize what could have happened?” His voice rose.

She nodded, still not able to meet his eyes. The force of his emotion hit her. Was he so concerned after her?

“I would have had to shoot that bull.”

What? Eyes wide, she tilted her face up to look at him.

“That bull is worth half my herd.”

So he was only worried about the cattle. Not her. His precious cattle.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sara is originally from Middle Tennessee. After a short stint in Memphis, where she earned a degree in Biology and began a career as both a Zoo Educator and a Sleep Technician, she then followed a dream to work for a large zoo in Orlando, FL as an Educator. Once she and her husband started their family, they moved back to Middle Tennessee where they currently reside. Sara and her husband now enjoy a full life with their three beautiful and very active children. She enjoys many creative outlets – singing, piano, drawing, drama, and organizing anything. And even though she has enjoyed her career as a Zoo Educator, Sara's great love of the written word continued to draw her to write. She has always been an avid reader and, for many years, has been what she terms a “closet writer”. Her travels and love of history have served to inspire her to write clean Historical Romance. Sara has made several trips to the Czech Republic. Her time among the Czech people and the landscapes of the country inspired her and greatly influenced her work on her debut novel, The Lady Bornekova, set in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. Sara is also the author of The General’s Wife, Off to War, Hope in Cripple Creek, and A Convenient Risk and a member of ACFW.

Twitter: @sarat1701
Facebook: AuthorSaraRTurnquist
Pinterest: SaraVTurnquis



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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Nathan's Big Sky by M.L. Buchman (review)

Nathan's Big Sky
by M.L. Buchman

-a Henderson’s Ranch romance-

When Emily Beale and Mark Henderson retire to the family ranch in Montana, they enter a whole new world. Meeting all new people.

Chef Nathan Gallagher’s escape from New York City lands him in the most unlikely of places: Montana. With his past dumped and his future unknown, he seeks something new. If only he knew what.

Julie Larson, former rodeo star and born-and-bred cattle rancher, loves the prairie and the horses. The cattle ranch work with her three brothers? Not so much. The local cowboys labeling her as a Grade-A Prime catch? Even less. When she rescues Nathan from a near-death experience, her future and her heart alter past all imagining.
The only place a New York chef’s future and a Montana cowgirl’s heart can thrive? Under Nathan’s Big Sky.


My review:

4.75 out of 5 stars

Nathan's Big Sky by M.L. Buchman is part of the “Henderson’s Ranch” series and details the challenges of Cordon Bleu chef Nathan Gallagher, who has made a radical change in his life and fled from his prestigious job in New York and retreated to rural Montana, ostensibly to visit his brother. His determination to find a niche for himself is complicated by his attraction to the heroine who ‘saves’ him from a longhorn cow named Lucy. Can this city boy make a home for himself in the wilds of Montana?

I loved the contrasts in this story, and the way perception is so deftly portrayed by the author. The opening scene is priceless, with the juxtaposition of Nathan’s desperate attempt to defend himself with a tire jack against the ‘vicious’ animal, let alone deal with the unfamiliar weather and confusing geography, and the ‘heroic’ rescue by a beautiful and capable but disdainful cowgirl. As with most of M.L.’s stories, the action starts immediately with characters who catch one’s attention and the more the tale unfolds, the more fascinating it becomes.

Nathan’s first encounter with Ama, whose striking appearance is…enhanced…by her bunny slippers, Lucy’s sometimes dangerous propensity to be somewhere she doesn’t belong (causing Mark’s showoff piloting to be extra exciting), and, best of all, Mark’s version of fly fishing as complicated by the eoose/melk/mook family unit kept me enthralled (and laughing maniacally) throughout the story. The beautiful romance that slowly flourishes is icing on the cake and of course, it was delightful as always to get glimpses of Mark and Emily and their remarkable capacity to excel and enjoy life. This was another excellent story from an impressively prolific author who never fails to entertain, and I look forward to reading other stories in this series!
I received a copy of this story for review

(and yes, I DID ask why it was Henderson's Ranch rather than Hendersons' Ranch, lol)


Friday, June 16, 2017

The Ripped Bodice and Lady Jane's Salon, OC in celebration of LGBTQ Pride month

The final meeting of the Orange County Lady Jane's Salon at the Ripped Bodice in Culver City took place last Sunday, June 11, 2017. In celebration of LGBTQ month, a delightful combination of authors read excerpts from their works. These are ADULT titles!

I was particularly thrilled that the delightful Tara Lain was one of those featured, and it was lovely listening to her read. My apologies that some of the pictures are a bit fuzzy (and yes, I did tell the proprietors that they had a typo on their fun display, lol)

Tara Lain was on last, but not least, and read from her book, The Chauffeur's Son.

Tara Lain with just a few of her wonderful books

The lovely Melanie Hansen read from her book, Unquiet. It wasn't until I looked her up later that I realized I had read and was really impressed by her story, Signs of Life, which was definitely full of emotion and angst! My review for that one is at this link.

We had the opportunity to hear the charming Caraway Carter, who read from his sizzling erotic short story, The Doctor and the Mechanic, but got a little flustered reading his graphic m/m descriptions to a primarily female audience, lol. I was impressed he was able to read for so long...I'm tongue-tied in front of an audience no matter what I'm reading, lol.

Laina Villeneuve shared passages from her book, Return to Paradise, and I have to say, I agree...the horse Houdini is a great secondary character, lol. I probably will still mangle her name if I ever meet her again in person...I THINK it's something like...vil-nwev...but I am very much at the beginning of French lessons, lol.

And, the talented Louisa Bacio graciously hosted temporarily and then read excerpts from her mermaid tale (sorry, I didn't catch the title), but I do see she is part of a boxed set (Steamy and Dreamy) that released earlier this year and is only $.99 at the time I am writing this and also

Kudos to the Ripped Bodice for holding events like this. I wish the turnout was a little larger, but hopefully it will grow as more folks get familiar with the store and its events. I love chats that allow readers to interact with authors...and even if you live somewhere that is not as accessible for these kinds of events, don't forget there are online chats (e.g. on various nights and Night Owl Reviews every other Monday). Check the schedule, they're held in early evening for us west coast folks but it is later for other areas.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Goddess's Choice by Jamie Marchant (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Jamie Marchant


GENRE: Fantasy (epic)



In a world where the corrupt church hides the truth about magic, the fate of the joined kingdom falls on the shoulders of two young people from opposite ends of the social hierarchy.

Crown Princess Samantha’s life begins to fall apart when she starts seeing strange colors around her potential suitors. She fears that she’s going insane--or worse that she’s defying the Goddess’s will. Robrek is a lowly farmboy with incredible magical powers. He has been biding his time waiting to get revenge on those who call him a demon.

Thrown together by chance, they must overcome their differences to fight their common enemy Duke Argblutal, who, with dark magic, is slowly poisoning the king’s mind and turning him against his own daughter.  Time is running out for those chosen by the Goddess to prevent the power mad duke from usurping the throne and plunging the joined kingdoms into civil war.



He returned to the horses, loaded the supplies on Wild Thing, and rode in silence to the abandoned stable. Robbie led the horse inside. When he lit the lantern he kept there, he let out a whistle of amazement. The horse was a bronze-colored mare that looked more like it was forged out of metal than living flesh! But the horse’s impossible color wasn’t the only thing that struck Robbie. Sores spotted the beast’s body; puss and blood oozed from under the saddle. The horse’s coat was matted with dried blood. Her ribs stood out in stark detail. How could anyone neglect a horse so badly? “Where could you have come from, girl?” Robbie could feel a wail building up inside the horse, so he hurried to take the armor and other equipment off her back, unsaddled her, and removed her harness. 

 “I don’t think you’re a demon. But I don’t know what you are. By the look of the armor you must have been some knight’s lady. But what happened to him? Sores like these don’t form overnight. If he’s still alive, he obviously doesn’t deserve a lady like you. So how about it? Will you be my lady?” He paused at the sound of his own words. Milady. “I had a lady once. For one day, that is. My brother didn’t approve—I’m sure he wouldn’t approve of you, either.”

Amazon link

.99 on release day only. 


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jamie began writing stories about the man from Mars when she was six, and she never remembers wanting to be anything other than a writer. Everyone told her she needed a back up plan, so she pursued a Ph.D. in American literature, which she received in 1998. She started teaching writing and literature at Auburn University. One day in the midst of writing a piece of literary criticism, she realized she’d put her true passion on the backburner and neglected her muse. The literary article went into the trash, and she began the book that was to become The Goddess’s Choice. She is now releasing an expanded edition of the novel. Her other novels include The Soul Stone and The Ghost in Exile. In addition, she has published a novella, Demons in the Big Easy, and a collection of short stories, Blood Cursed and Other Tales of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has also appeared in the anthologies--Urban Fantasy and Of Dragons & Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds—and in Bards & Sages, The World of Myth, A Writer’s Haven, and She claims she writes about the fantastic . . . and the tortured soul. Her poor characters have hard lives. She lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and four cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She still teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. She is the mother of a grown son.




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