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Archive for the ‘April 2010’ Category

The second title in her new Eternal Guardians series, here’s the back cover blurb for Entwined:

ZANDER — The most feared of all the Eternal Guardians. It’s rumored he can’t be killed, and he always fights like he has nothing to lose. But as a descendant of the famed hero Achilles, he’s got to have a vulnerability… somewhere.

Forces of daemons are gathering and have broken through the barriers of the Underworld. Now more than ever the Eternal Guardians are needed to protect both their own realm and the humans’. Zander can’t afford to think about what might have been with the bewitching physician he once regarded as his soul mate. But with eternity stretching before him, he also can’t fathom spending his life without the one woman who makes him feel most alive. Perhaps he’s found his weakness, after all…

The first novel, Marked, introduces this wonderful new world: (more…)

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Whore…gift…and unexpected ally.

Eden Trilogy, Book 1

In Dagran society, Alex is the lowest of the low—a “mare”, an object to be used by the nobility. When her owner, Stephen Garnath, gifts her to his greatest rival, she begins plotting her path to freedom. Nothing and no one will ever control her again. Not her degrading past, and certainly not her growing attraction to a man reputed to be an even crueler master than Garnath.

Robert Demeresna is instantly suspicious of such a generous gift. Yet she comes to him armed with only her sharp mind—a potent weapon he can use to defend his people from the enemy. And underneath, an unbreakable spirit that besieges the walls of his heart.

Slowly, Robert chips away at Alex’s defenses, striking sparks that make her begin to believe even a lowly whore like her could be worthy of him. Until Garnath springs a trap so cleverly hidden, war is unleashed before either of them sees it coming. A new kind of war fought with steam engines, explosives—and magic with a killing edge…

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What was the inspiration behind Before the Storm?

A few years ago, I read Anne Bishop’s Daughter of the Blood, which features a dark and corrupted land where male pleasure slaves are common. One of them has been forced into such a position for years and is cold, bitter and lonely – but of course he’s also very, very appealing.

I put down the book and wondered, “Can I do the same thing, except with a woman?”

Right away I had the heroine and hero of Before the Storm. Alexis Khayne is a mare, a woman kept for the pleasure of the nobility and considered lower than a prostitute, because at least whores get paid. But her training made her manipulative and charming. It sharpened her already quick mind into an icy intelligence and turned her beauty into something she uses to get the most out of the men to whom she’s lent.

Until she’s actually given away to one of them.

Robert Demeresna is quite different. Although he’s extremely conservative – you can tell he went to boarding school and called his father “Sir” – he’s honest and straightforward and always treats women courteously. Not that there have been a lot of women in his life, since he’s as plain in looks as in speech. He’s also a little preoccupied by an impending invasion of his land.

And the man who handed Alex over to him is behind that, which makes Robert suspect that his gift wasn’t given out of generosity. No, she’s probably an assassin. So now he’s even more reluctant to touch her, much to her confusion.

Two other novels which influenced me very much were Phillipa Gregory’s Wideacre and Gone with the Wind. The English countryside forms an beautiful background to Wideacre, as much a living and breathing part of the novel as any character. So Before the Storm is set in a land that’s part Victorian England and part medieval fantasy, with the formal elegance of the one balancing the strange and sometimes brutal nature of the other.

As for Gone with the Wind, that’s simply my favorite novel, so I wanted to give Alex what Margaret Mitchell gave Scarlett. Overwhelming challenges, but enough strength to face them. A man who fell in love with her, but who wouldn’t let her take advantage of him. And a proposal which ends in a passionate kiss when words alone don’t work.

Reading those books was wonderful. Writing this one was even better. I hope you enjoy it!

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Many thanks to Marian for being our guest today. You can find out more about Marian at her website and her blog where she discusses writing and publication. When she’s not writing, she studies medical laboratory technology (one more year of college to go!). Comments always welcome! Don’t forget to leave a comment to win a download of Before The Storm. Good Luck!

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This was rereleased today through Samhain Publishing. Even though I’ve already read this when it first came out, I had to get it today because I want to see what differences there are in the books. Shiloh is also running a contest at her blog for those interested in entering it.

One woman, one man, and a love that won’t let either of them go.

Born on the wrong side of the tracks and dealt a fair share of hardship, Nikki Kline never gives up a fight. Even when her reason to keep going is ripped from her, Nikki tries desperately to hang on. But when the man who broke Nikki’s heart comes back into her life she doesn’t know how much she can take. Especially since that man seems determined to win back her damaged heart.

Wade Lightfoot is a man who knows he’s made more mistakes than most. As much as he would like to repair the damage he’s done to those he loves, Wade also knows there is no going back. But when he sets out to put things right the last thing he’s prepared to find out is that he had a son. A son he’ll never get the chance to meet.

When the truth is out and all the old wounds are bared, it seems impossible that Nikki and Wade will find their way back to each other. But true love is an undeniable force that even past hurts can’t destroy.

This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.

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Scandal is only the beginning…

Charlotte Fallon let her guarded virtue fall once—and she’s paid dearly for it ever since. She swore she’d never succumb to men’s desires again. But even a village spinster’s life miles from temptation can’t save her from a sister with no shame whatsoever. Or a heart that longs for more, whatever the cost…

Sir Michael Bayard found more than he expected in his bed when he finally joined his new mistress. He’d fantasized about her dewy skin and luscious curves, assured her understanding that what passed between them was mere dalliance. But he didn’t expect the innocence and heat of her response in his arms. Nor her surprisingly sharp tongue once she was out of them…

A few days of abandon cannot undo the hard-learned lessons of a lifetime. Nor can an honest passion burn away the restraints of society’s judgments. Unless, of course, one believes in nonsense like true love…

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My call story? I have two. You’ll hear about the first one on June 1, when I magically turn into an entirely different writer, Margaret Rowe, author of Tempting Eden, a Regency Noir erotic romance coming from Berkley Heat. But today I’m Maggie Robinson. Maggie writes lighter yet still emotional, sexy historical romances for Kensington Brava, and today is the release day for Mistress by Mistake. MBM is the first of the Courtesan Court trilogy, featuring three unlikely mistresses and the men they master.

Yes, the two of me have two debuts, a little more than a month apart. I could not be more happy or more terrified. I’ve been writing for almost seven years. One night I was so angry with my husband  I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to create a fictional man who would do just what I wanted him to. Hah. My characters do seem to have a mind of their own—I still have no luck bossing anybody around, but I got hooked at the keyboard and here I am.

I got my wonderful agent Laura Bradford in 2008 (after finishing three very bad books and then writing Tempting Eden), and got a two-book deal with Berkley in April of 2009. Then, two months later, I sold 4 books and 2 novellas to Kensington. Sounds crazy, right? It was! Especially when we’re talking a total of 8 books, only four of which had been written at the time.

We gave my Berkley editor a first look at the trilogy, and she liked it but wanted me to make significant changes—in effect, make it darker and more similar in tone to Tempting Eden. Well, my husband (he of the writing inspiration) will tell you I’m stubborn, and I didn’t want to rewrite anything. I have no problem with revisions—I had to change the last third of Tempting Eden, but I loved Sir Michael Xavier Bayard and Charlotte Fallon just the way they were. So I asked Laura if she would proceed to submit the books elsewhere.

That was scary. But that same day she sent MBM out, she got positive e-mail feedback from Megan Records at Kensington. The next day we got the lovely offer, less than 24 hours after I got stubborn!

But other publishing houses had the book too. Laura called them and told them to read fast.

A week went by. A long week. Some passed right away. Some waffled. One was very interested. So we waited until Friday.

It turned out the first offer was the best offer. I walked around with my cell phone in a death grip all day, even when I got a pedicure. No news as I got back into my flip flops with wet toes. But on the drive home, Laura called and I pulled over in front of the courthouse. I was thrilled to know my books had a home, and Megan called me the same night to welcome me.

You can read an excerpt of Mistress by Mistake on my website, www.maggierobinson.net I’ll give away a copy today to one commenter—let’s talk toes. Do you do your own, or spring for the luxury of a pedicure? Wild colors or neutrals?

If you don’t win today, follow me on my Magical Mistressy Tour for another chance. Thanks so much for having me on the blog today to celebrate my debut!

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Thank you for your visit, Ms Robinson, and best of luck with Mistress by Mistake!

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Lindsey Baker knows Clay Talbot’s dirty little secret—he likes to watch, he likes to share, and he likes his sex a little on the rough side. So does she. Six years ago he was quick to brush her off for being too young and inexperienced. Now she’s back in small-town Grayson, Texas, determined to show Clay she’s all grown up and knows exactly what she wants—him.

Clay doesn’t play in his own backyard. His dark cravings are better fed at Silver House, a private fetish club where his identity is protected and his privacy respected. And where the women know the score. But Lindsey Baker pushes all the right buttons and he soon finds himself torn between keeping her at the edge of his world and dragging her into it.

Saddle up for a smokin’-hot turn between two cowboys who like a little twist with their ride.

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So, you’d expect characters in an erotic romance to misbehave, especially those partaking of a little (or a lot) BDSM action. After all they love the punishment administered for their naughty actions. But I’m talking about those characters who won’t cooperate with you as their creator. They do things you don’t expect, sometimes the exact opposite that you want them to, which can take the story in directions you never dreamed or intended. Suddenly you’re confused and faced with a difficult decision. Do you press that magic button—I’m talking about the backspace key, couldn’t survive without it—and make the unplanned behavior go away, pretend it never happened, and start all over? Or do you turn a blind eye to the errant whims of your character and let him or her have their way?

The heroine in my new release from Ellora’s Cave, Saddle Broke, surprised me more than once over the course of the book. Lindsey had a mind of her own—as Clay quickly discovered—and for the most part her instincts were spot on. She knew better than I what she wanted and how to get it. I simply had to trust her enough to show me where we were headed and why. I suppose I should thank Lindsey for her willful determination. Though, knowing her as I now do, she probably would prefer a good spanking.

What I’d like to know is, as a reader, do you like a headstrong heroine? Or a submissive one? A mixture of the two? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Saddle Broke. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow at noon.

Have a great week!

Darah

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Many thanks to Darah for being our guest today. For more information on Darah and what she has coming up next, visit her website here. Don’t forget to leave a comment to be in the running to win a download of Saddle Broke. Good Luck!

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Unrepentant rake Rule Dewar is living the good life when a most surprising event occurs—he falls in love with his wife.

After their strategic “marriage of commerce” three years ago, Rule quite forgot about Violet Griffin, the teenage heiress to a Boston manufacturing fortune. He simply spoke his vows, took over her father’s business and returned to England to resume his usual pursuits: high-priced wine, high-stakes gambling and highborn women.

Yet when Violet, now a sophisticated woman, unexpectedly appears at Rule’s London town house, husbandly duties no longer seem so odious—he can’t wait to take his stunning bride to their marriage bed. Violet, however, is not so easily led: she has her own ideas and is seeking an annulment to marry another. But as Rule attempts to win her over, someone else is determined to frame him for murder and keep him out of the way for good….

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I think of myself as a very plot-driven author.  I love creating the excitement and adventure that a hero and heroine must go through on their journey to lasting love. 

But once I have the idea for the story, I have to find just the right people.  A hero to die for.  A heroine strong and smart enough to stand up to him.  To be just the right match for him.

In RULE’S BRIDE, I had a lot of fun with my search.  Rule was wild and roguish, not ready to give up his freedom.  But Rule couldn’t resist the tempting offer Howard Griffin made, the keys to the future he had always wanted, a way to fulfill the promise he had made his dying father. 

All he had to do was marry Violet Griffin, Howard’s sixteen-year-old daughter.

Which sounded good to Rule at the time.  He wouldn’t have to be a real husband until Violet matured into a woman, which would take at least several more years.

But time flies when you’re having fun and Rule was having plenty.  Considered the most eligible bachelor in London, no one knew about his secret marriage–not until his unwanted American bride showed up at his town house door.

I loved Rule for his audacity.  But I admired and liked Violet for not being afraid to stand up to him.  She was exactly what Rule needed in a wife.

But nothing is ever easy and it took a dangerous adventure and attempts on Rule’s life before either of them realized how perfectly suited they were.

I hope you’ll watch for RULE’S BRIDE and that you enjoy!  All best wishes, Kat

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Many thanks to Kat for being our guest today. For more information on her books and what she has planned next, visit her website here. She also has a contest at her site that you can enter by going here. If you’re on Facebook, you can become a fan of Kat by visiting her Fan Page here. Don’t forget to leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of Rule’s Bride. Good Luck!

 

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He found the right girl…too bad he’s the wrong date.

The Lonnigans, Book 1

Kyle Lonnigan can’t say he hasn’t enjoyed the bachelor life. Good times and good money have always come easily to him. But now he wants something more, maybe even—gulp—a wife and family. Always the man with the plan, he consults the expert in boring, his identical twin Lucas, who suggests secretly switching dates for a night. Kyle never expected to meet his dream woman…and now she thinks he’s someone else.

Career-minded Jessica Saunders fully intends to break up with Lucas, but the man who meets her for dinner is soooo delicious, she can’t resist seducing him first. When she learns she’s been duped—worse, that Kyle wants more than a part-time lover— she sends him packing. Jessica doesn’t believe in happily ever after. If her early life taught her anything, it’s to trust no one but herself.

Yet for a man who’s done everything wrong, wants everything she’s not and drives her absolutely insane, Kyle is getting under her skin. And into her bed. And, if she’s not careful…into the heart she thought no longer existed.

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Believe it or not, Virus’s have a lot in common with ex-boyfriends.

When first you meet, you become flushed, frazzled, filled with disbelief that you’ve come across this extraordinary experience. Then, of course, you spend all your time in bed. Of course, too much of that and dehydration sets in, because the fever just won’t let up. Then, eventually, you get some of your sanity back. You can’t just put your whole life on hold because he wants to keep you in bed like a princess without a pea. Sure, the break was nice, but you’ve got to get back to reality. You have things to do. Commitments to keep. If he can’t understand that, he’s just going to get over it or get going.

Yeah, you get back on your feet. You recover from the break up. It was never meant to last anyway and you feel better about it now that it’s been a while. Can be a little circumspect…at least, that is, until he comes back again, a little stronger, a little spiffier and completely intending to make you fall all over again.

I admit, I’ve had this kind of relationship with my colds and flus and stomach bugs. In fact, I’ve acquired the Indian name “Little Black Raincloud” from a friend of mine (who is so not an Indian, but as I am, she figures it’s good enough) to commemorate just that fact. I just don’t often meet a germ that doesn’t want to stalk me.

This year alone, I’ve already been sick five times. Not sniffles sick. 

I mean, lay on the floor and beg for medicine sick. Throw up so much you worry you might be preggers sick. But, of course, as a writer, I can’t let this twisted relationship keep me from my deadlines. No writer really can. The writing still has to get done, even if your brain is boiling.

So, as part of my author training, I’ve devised a way to keep writing no matter the conditions.

1) Play music to keep you awake and in the right mood. (Slip cotton in your ears to lesesn sound impact if needed)

2) Have crackers or tea to power you up. The primary goal is to stay awake while you spill thoughts and other unmentionable body fluids on the keyboard.

3) Write. Don’t worry about making it all flow together, just get it down for possible editing later.

4) Juice: Sugar goes a long way toward making you hyper enough to write something you won’t be blinking in shock at later.

5) What ever you do, don’t give up. Set hundred word goals. Find something that inspires you and put it front and center. When your eyes start to cross, take a gander at it and like one of those Magic- eye posters, your goal comes back into focus.

As for me and my icky ex-boyfriend, I have another secret weapon to help me kick him to the curb–my fabulous hubby who  is wonderful enough to invent great tasting soups to feed me through my on-again/ off-again relationship with his rival. The way to this girl’s heart is definitely through her tumm.

So how about you tell me, what are your best tips for kicking off that pesky sickness that won’t quite go away? Post a thought on the subject and be entered to win an eBook of your choice from my backlist! I’ll be checking in!

Dee

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Many thanks to Dee for being our guest today! For more information on her and her books, please check out her website here. Don’t forget to leave a comment for the chance to win a book off her backlist, too! Good Luck!

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Elizabeth Naughton’s Stolen trilogy was only the beginning. Follow this author into the realm of paranormal romance with Marked, the first title in her new Eternal Guardians series (available April 27th on bookstores near and far).

To celebrate this release, Ms Naughton is holding a cool contest on her blog–go enter!

As unrest in the Underworld threatens, seven immortal warriors descended from the greatest heroes in all of Ancient Greece may just be mankind’s last hope.

THERON – Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.

From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life—silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.

She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron’s duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendent of Hercules, he wasn’t strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.

As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

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What’s a girl to do when she’s secretly in love with a friend and he’s married to someone else? She gets over it. That’s what Amy Parker has done. Rather than lose her best bud Quinn Whitfield with an ill-timed, crazy confession of affection, she’s taken the smart route. She’s eased away from him. Just enough to get past the unrequited bits. And you know, it’s working.

Until the day Quinn announces he’s now single. That’s right. He’s single. And he wants to hang out. With her. Get reconnected the way they used to be.

Oh, this is so not good for Amy’s equilibrium. Daily doses of Quinn remind her of everything she loves about him. But if he’s free…and she’s free…well, maybe the time has come for one of those crazy confessions.

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The subject of coming home again is something that’s been pretty close to my heart lately. After two years living in New Zealand, me and my man have recently moved back home to Australia to my home town of Melbourne. We’ve also been on the hunt for a new house.

Being close to our family again has been, in a word, fabulous. Yes, family can be messy and demanding and noisy and, at times, deeply frustrating, but the connection I feel to the my people is a powerful, powerful thing. I love having my sister drop by the house after school for a quick visit and a cup of tea. I adore having my brother over to watch a DVD. I love being able to go to my nephews’ basketball games. I am absolutely gagging to see my niece’s first calisthenics review. And being close to my parents as they age and explore their latter years is a gift beyond price.

As for house hunting…well, it sucks, pure and simple. The lying real estate agents, the soaring Melbourne property prices, our ever-diminishing hopes…it’s been a roller coaster ride, pure and simple. But, as of this week, we are officially home owners again. At last, after four unsuccessful attempts, we signed a contract and will shortly be moving into our own home again.

After two years of renting in a foreign country, the idea of having my own house once more, of being able to hang a painting without asking permission or plant a tree in the garden or paint a wall is a joy beyond words. I cannot wait to move in. I cannot wait to have a home of my own again.

The notion of coming home is something I thought about a lot when I was writing my latest Super Romance, Her Best Friend. The story is set in the small rural town of Daylesford, about an hour’s drive north of Melbourne, and centres around Amy and Quinn. These two grew up next door to each other and fell in love with each other when they were barely teenagers, although neither of them was brave enough to admit as much to the other. And then a new girl came to town and drew Quinn’s attention and he wound up moving to Sydney with her and marrying her and leaving Amy to deal with her broken heart alone.

Sixteen years later, Quinn returns home to help Amy take on the local council so she can fulfill her big dream of buying back the old Art Deco cinema her great-grandfather built way back in the Thirties.  Coming home for Quinn is a bittersweet thing – so many memories, many of them tied up with Amy, the girl next door, and also with the woman who is soon to be become his ex-wife.

I loved writing this book and exploring those themes of homecoming, and they resonate for me even more now that I have come home myself.

I’d love to hear your stories of homecoming – what home means to you, where it is, etc, etc. And to celebrate both the release of Her Best Friend and the purchase of my new home, I’d love to give away two sets of Her Best Friend, my latest Super Romance, and Her Secret Fling, my February Blaze. All you have to do is comment and you’ll be in the running.  Over to you!

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Huge thanks to Sarah for being our guest today! For more information on her books and what’s coming up next for her, please visit her website here. Also, don’t forget to leave a comment for the chance to win a book by her. Good luck!

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The “edgy and erotic” (Shannon McKenna, New York Times bestselling author of Tasting Fear) author of Tie Me Down and Full exposure offers another steamy novel of sex, lies, and sultry games.

Burned once too often, true crime writer Lacey Richards has sworn off love. Instead, she explores her deepest desires through her anonymous- and very provocative-blog. Anonymous, that is, until her dark and ultrasexy neighbor discovers her dirty secret.

Stockbrocker-turned-carpenter Byron Hawthorne gave up life in the fast lane, hoping to start over in a new city. When he learns his alluring neighbor is the one writing the sizzling blog that keeps him up all night, he can’t resist offering to fulfill her fantasies in the flesh. But Byron isn’t the only man provoked by Lacey’s writing. Now Lacey doesn’t know who she can trust-and who she can dare to tease.

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When I sat down to write my brand new erotic suspense, Tease Me, almost a year ago I did something I had never done before—something that I had never imagined that I would do.  I, the lover of all dark haired, miserable, tortured Alpha heroes, set out to create a different kind of hero, one who was a lighter, happier match to my dark and frightened heroine.  It took a little doing (after all old habits are hard to break) but I finally did it.  I created Byron Hawthorne, a sexy, strong, relatively well-adjusted blond hero. 

Now, while Byron has his issues (hard to find a romance hero without them), all in all, he’s a pretty great guy.  He understands my heroine before she understands herself and goes out of his way to make her job, her life, and her neuroses a little easier for her to handle.  He also creates beautiful furniture, plays all kinds of sweet and sexy games and dedicates himself to fulfilling all of my heroine’s fantasies, one sultry blog entry at a time.  Add in his love of hard rock and his penchant for seduction and I have to admit, I’m a goner … Though I usually like my guys on the tortured side, I’m a huge fan of my stockbroker turned sexy carpenter. 

So what kind of heroes do you like?  Dark and brooding?  Charming?  Happy-go-lucky?  Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Tie Me Down, my last erotic suspense—and one which contains the darkest, most brooding alpha hero a girl could ever ask for 😉

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Special thanks to Tracy for being our guest today. For more information of Tracy and her books, visit her website here. Also, don’t forget to leave a comment to be in the running to win a book by Tracy. Good Luck!

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