Thursday, September 30, 2021

Thursday's Opening Scene from Gemstones #BWLAuthpr #MFRWAuthor #Romance #Regency #India #Gems

 Calcutta, July 1810


"Miss Nicola. Miss Nicola."

The whisper woke Nicola Gordon. Like wasps around ripe fruit, tales of native uprisings swarmed in her thoughts. She groped beneath the pillow for the knife she kept there.

The girls. She had to protect her sisters.

"Miss Nicola, wake up."

"Who?" She tried to keep fear from clogging her voice.


"What are you doing here? Where’s Papa?" Just two days ago, she had seen her father and his young native assistant off on a buying trip. Fear gripped her spine. The knife fell from her fingers.

"Your father. You must come."

"I can’t leave my sisters. What if they wake and find me gone?"

"They will be safe. Your papa needs you. We were set upon by thugs and he was hurt. I found a safe place for him to stay until I am sure we were not followed."

Nicola pushed aside the netting that enclosed the bed. She found her shoes and grabbed a dark cloak. Her heart thudded in her chest. Though she and Sarad had engaged in mischief years ago, her childhood friend had become sober and responsible. So had she.

"Where is he?"

"The place is not far." He slid open the door to the verandah. Nicola followed him to the gate in the compound wall. The aroma of wet earth rose from the garden, but outside the gates, the recent rains had failed to mask the scent of exotic flower and spices of the odor of garbage. The absence of the moon created an ominous darkness. She hurried through alleys and along streets beside her silent guide. Her thoughts conjured a thousand tragedies.

She stumbled. A groan escaped.

Sarad gripped her arm. "Be silent as the tiger stalking prey."

His warning chilled her. Who knew what would happen to an Englishwoman caught in the streets at night.

Ahead, she saw the looming shadow cast by one of the city’s many temples built to honor one of India’s multitude of gods. Why had they come here?

Sarad pulled her into a dark passageway that led into the temple. Their passing stirred the dust of the ages, musty and dank. Finally, they emerged in a torch-lit room. She followed her friend to a recessed alcove.

"Papa!" The blood-stained bandages around his chest and head alarmed her. "Papa, oh, Papa." She knelt on the stone floor beside him.

His dark eyes were unfocused. His skin felt hot.

"The eye. Siva. The eye."

"I don’t understand."

"Nicola. Must warn. Must tell."

"She is here, Sahib Gordon."

Nicola gripped her father’s hand. The flickering torchlight revealed his pain-filled features. "Papa, I will take you home and see to your wounds."

He took a shuddering breath. "Must leave Calcutta."

"Where will we go?" She couldn’t think of leaving. Calcutta was home.

"To England. Ian Grey will send an escort." He gasped a breath. "Your grandmother and Denmere. Old Earl dead. Marry the new. Distant cousin."

His words shocked her nearly as much as her memories. "My grandmother did not protect Mama. I don’t want to marry and live with strangers." Why was he saying this? He would get better and until then, she could care for her sisters. For ten years, since her mother’s death, this had been the case.

His fingers tightened around hers. "You must. Danger for you. For sisters." He struggled to sit up. "Your knowledge. Gems."

Fresh blood seeped through the dried stains on the bandages. "Rest, Papa." Tears rolled down her cheeks. "I cannot leave you."

"Protect sisters."

She chewed her lower lip. "I will keep them safe."

He sank back. "Promise. Marry Denmere."

She couldn’t say the words. "Papa."

He pressed a velvet pouch into her hand. "For you and sisters. Not Fergus. Now go."

Though she thought about disobeying, she kissed his cheek. As she and Sarad left the alcove, tears cascaded down her cheeks and blurred her sight. She stopped to wipe her eyes and stifled a gasp.

Torchlight illuminated statues and wall carvings of men and women engaged in activities she had read of in the Sanskrit manuscripts her teacher had given her. Her eyes widened in astonishment. She hadn’t believed the human body could assume such convoluted positions.

Sarad grasped her arm. "We must go."

His whisper broke the spell. She tore her gaze from the figures that fascinated and repelled. Her cheeks burned as though she stood beneath the mid-day sun. She followed Sarad into the dark passageway.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Wednesday Pursing Doctor West #MFRWHooks #BWLAuthor #Romance #Comedy #Medical

Join the authors @MFRWHooks here  for some great excerpts. Mine is from Pursuing Doctor West. He seems to be dating through the alphabed and Zelda wants him. Her schemes to attract him often go awry.


She reached for a bottle of nail polish, propped her foot on the railing closest to Michael’s balcony. As she stretched to apply the first stroke, the bottle flew out of her hand, soared over the railing, and landed on his redwood lounge. She stood at the railing and watched Red Hot Passion ooze onto the off-white cushions.

He is going to kill me. Especially if Heather, who preferred pastel colors in her clothing, sat before the polish dried.

She considered her options. She could leave town, but he would send a posse containing her mother and his to drag her back to face any punishment he wanted to mete out. So what to do? Call him, visit him or just ignore the situation.

Was he home? She’d seen him leave, but hadn’t noticed him return. Time’s wasting. She had to solve the problem, soon.

She tucked a wad of cotton and a plastic bottle of polish remover in the pocket of her white shorts. Then she gauged the distance between the balconies. Maybe three feet or less away. Doable. She leaned over the railing, using the chaise to push forward, and wiggled until she grasped the rail around his balcony. She wrapped her hands around the metal.


Michael’s shout startled her. When her legs flew from the railing, she nearly lost her grip. “Help!”

“If you’re trying to kill yourself, choose another location.”

She looked down and wished she hadn’t. “Michael, please.” His words had said one thing, but the edge of fear in his voice told her he cared. “Help me.”

“What’s it worth?”

“My life.”

“I’ll hold you to that.” He reached for her arms. “Will you leave me alone?”

“I can try.”

He leaned over, grasped her under her arms and hauled her over. Zelda’s toes found the lip of the balcony. As he dragged her over the edge, she pushed up. Her toes caught on the railing. She slammed into Michael. They landed on the redwood lounge with him on top. Red Hot Passion seeped into her shorts.

She tried to move, but Michael’s body pinned her to the cushions. She felt his skin on hers. She inhaled his citrus scent. Why was she behaving like a lump? He was where she’d wanted him for years. She stroked his arm. “Thanks.”

“What were you doing?” His words vibrated through her.

“Painting my nails.”

“By hanging from my balcony. You’re driving me crazy.”

“You do the same to me.” She wiggled closer and gazed into his emerald eyes.

“Zelda, no.”

Her wish had been granted. Here they were face to face. Her lips touched his. Fire raged, heating her blood. Lord, his kisses were lethal. He tightened his hold and turned so they lay side by side. He throbbed against her. She wanted more. He stroked her back.

She parted her lips. His tongue thrust with a rhythm she echoed by moving her hips. He jerked away.

“Zelda, are you hurt?”


He waved his hand before her eyes. “Then what is this?”

“Red Hot Passion. That’s why…”

The doorbell rang. Michael jumped to his feet. “I’m late.” He grabbed her hand and dragged her thought the apartment. “Forget what happened.”

Forget one of the greatest moments of her life? He was insane if he thought she would ever forget their two kisses. Every second of that encounter was printed on her cells.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - A Little Side Step #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Writing #The Looming Crisis

In football, there is such a thing as the fke. The opposing team sees the quarterback prepared for a pass but he plays a bit of a trick and there's an end run. The fake works. Such a play can add to your story bu faking the reader when showing what will happen. Try a variation of an end run or a fake.

Introduce this bit in a string of events that might or will happen but bury it with a few words that may or may not mean something to the reader. Put this in when a chatacter is dealing with many things in a string of problems he or she faces.

Have a false alarm or two that are slightly similar to the crisis you will be using. Do this in a casual way. Just slid the fake past the reader.

Have the character expecting something dreadful and make this credible. Then the real crisis appears and slams the reader. Make sure your cisisi point is more dreadful than the dreadful one.

Have the character expecting a crisis but one that's minor and smaller than the crisis you will bring in.

All these tricks will draw the reader in and make them believe the crisis when it occurs. You don't need to use them all. One will work and operhaps two combined. Keeping a reader moving forward with the story is important.

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Monday, September 27, 2021

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Reding #Writing #Thoughts - Deadlines

Meander 1 - Reading - Finished Mercedes Lackey Jouster series. Then I went on to other books. Dean L Hovey -Gator Bait - nice bit about the US Park Service and an enjoyable ride. Then Mike Geraghty - Liam - The third in his biker series and a read that kept me up well past my bedtime. Lady Eleanor's Escape - Linda McLaughlin - a sweet yet tense Regency and When a Marquis Chooses a Bride - Ella Quin - Nice, exciting trip into the Regency world. A nice selection and good readsall.

Meader 2 - Thoughts - One of my friends wrote a bit about deadlines. One thing I could havementioned to her when I responded was that forme every dayis a deadline. At my age, that's how it must be. The deadline to finish the book I'm working on and to tend to matters with friends and family. But I kid you not. I enjoy every moment of the deadlines of life.

Meander 3 - Writing - I have six chapters completely typed ina nd clean. Six to go  a matter of about 12 to 15 days to finish. But I will and then it's off to the puclisher. 

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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sunday's Book Gemstones #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Regency #romance #India


When Nicola Gordon and her younger sisters travel from India to England, she goes to a marriage she doesn’t want.

Drew Barlow has no desire for marriage, but his distant cousin and Nicola’s grandfather, ran the estates into debt. Drew agrees to the marriage for the money and to please the Dowager, Nicola’s grandmother, but he has no trust for women or for love.

When the two meet they clash and come together, igniting a blazing attraction they cannot resist.

Janet Lane Walter's latest book Gemstones is a stunning tale of the differences between two cultures, English and Indian, and what occurs when two different cultures clash. After the death of her father, eldest daughter Nicola Gordon must take charge of her family, fifteen-year-old Elizabeth, a budding flirt, and ten year old Margaret, a hoyden of the worst degree.

Reviewed in the United States on January 7, 2014
by Janet Lane Walters

Nicola has been raised in India but when her father passes, she must seek out marriage to protect her sisters and herself. Drew has his own demons. His childhood shaped the man he’s become. Forced to marry for money, he is pleased with a match with Nicola. Unfortunately, their pasts get in the way of their happiness and future.

The dramatic storytelling of British society against the backdrop of a young lady who is experiencing it new, draws the reader deeply into the tale. Nicola is intelligent, witty, and a take charge person. Yet, she’s insecure, unsure of her decisions and impulsive. All things that make her “real”. Readers will want to shake the characters at times for not finding time to talk or share their feelings but when they’ve had such upbringing, it’s understandable and lends more passion to the story.

Ms. Walters shows a deep knowledge for the culture of India and gemstones in this story as she weaves a masterful tale of two people who need to be loved. I wasn’t able to put the story down.

Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2011
Wonderful quick read. Characters are realistic and personable. Easily understood introduction to Indian culture and gods. Quick moving storyline. Not too wordy. Perfect length. Descriptions of time period, costumes, life, and cultures were great. I really liked this author's work. Will definitely look for her other books.

Reviewed in the United States on April 15, 2013
This was a good read! It kept your attention. You loved the heroine and appreciated all she went through. I love the happy endings :)

Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2012
i enjoyed this book. it was fast paced and fun. characters were believeable. i would enjoy reading books about the sisters also.

Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2013
Well written novel at an excellent price point. Not trashy and has an excellent storyline that keeps you interested until the last possible second.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Saturday Books by Alice Renaud are featured today #MFRWAuthor #Romance #Fantasy #mermaids


Blurb for the Rainbow Desire anthology

Rainbow Desire is a celebration of life and love in its kaleidoscope of exotic rainbow colours. The stories within the book also reflect its vibrant shades of romance from light and dark. I hope you will enjoy the wealth of narratives in this glorious LGBTQ+ anthology.

Blurb for Love Comes in Many Shapes, my story in Rainbow Desire

Bryony, a shifter mermaid, has run away with sexy witch Maia, and now they're living the dream in Las Vegas. But Maia is hiding a secret. When her ex, a super-hot warlock, turns up, Bryony can't fight her attraction to him. Will she choose him? Or Maia? Or both?

Buy link for Rainbow Desire:

Blurb for Mermaids Marry in Green

Caltha Dooran is the toughest, fiercest shape-shifting mermaid in the western seas. She has three Clans to rule, and no time for romance. But when a warlock, Jonty, turns up and asks her to come with him to London to capture a water monster, she can't say no. In London, away from her duties, her attraction for Jonty grows... and they soon fall under each other's spell. But will his past and her responsibilities pull them apart, or can they find the only true magic, the one that binds two souls together?

Buy Link for Mermaids Marry in Green:

Blurb for Music for a Merman

Rob Regor knew that humans were trouble. All the shape shifting mermen of the Morvann Islands knew it. And human women were double trouble... especially when they were lying on the road in front of a digger.

Rob has a mission. Go to the mainland. Work as a policeman. Spy on humans. Report back to his father, the head of the Regor Merman Clan. It should be easy. Until he has to arrest Charlie. Rob can’t fight his attraction to the sexy eco-warrior, and it puts him on one hell of a collision course with his family and his Clan. Will he break the rules – or break her heart, and his?

Love ‘em and leave ‘em, that was Charlie’s motto. It had served her well until now. But Rob is different… Can she open up her heart to Rob - when a secret buried in her past surfaces and changes her completely?

Buy Link for Music for a Merman:


Friday, September 24, 2021

Friday Alice Renaud it visiting and Talking about Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFWRAuthor #Fantasy #Heroes #Villains


1.       Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write?


I find heroines easier to write than heroes, because I’m a woman so it’s easier for me to picture myself in another woman’s skin. My favorite characters to write are villains, though. I love a good villain!


2.      Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?


Usually I have an idea for the story first, then the hero develops from that idea. My novellas and short stories are all connected. A secondary character in a story will often become the main character in the next story. My heroes come mostly from my imagination, I don’t base them on real people. Once I have written the story, I look for pictures that resemble the character I’ve created.


3.      Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?


When I have an idea for a story, I usually imagine one of the characters first – sometimes it’s the hero, sometimes the heroine. If I have imagined the hero first, his character will influence how I create the heroine. She has to be right for the hero, but there also needs to be an element of conflict. For example, in my story Music for a Merman, the hero is a cop. I made the heroine into an eco warrior and made him arrest her. If the heroine comes first, then she will grow from the idea I had for the story. Again, heroines come from my imagination. I’ve never based a hero or heroine on someone I know, though sometimes they have elements of myself.


4.       Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?


My Sea of Love series is made up of three novellas, each one centred on a young shifter merman or mermaid who falls in love with a human, in defiance of the laws of their people. In the first two books the antagonists are the heroes’ fathers, the elders of the merfolk community, who are conservative and opposed to their son marrying a human woman. I made sure I explained their motivation – fear of change, fear of losing their identity.

In the third book, Mermaids Marry in Green, the villains are proper monsters – bloodthirsty, cannibalistic red hags. Monsters are great fun to write. I intend to show more of the hags’ character and motivation in future books, however, so they too will become more “human”.


5.      What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?


Love Comes in Many Shapes is my first gay romance/menage story. It is included in the new BVS anthology of LGBTQIA+ love stories, Rainbow Desire, on pre order sale only $0.99 until the release date 1 October. It has two heroines, Bryony the shifter mermaid, and Maia the witch. The antagonist is Ariel, Maia’s ex, a powerful warlock. Maia and Bryony have run away together and are living the dream in Las Vegas, but their relationship comes under strain when Ariel turns up.


6.      What are you working on now?


I am writing another short story for the next BVS anthology, “Dark Desire,” which is planned for 2022. A shifter mermaid teams up with a vampire to steal a magical jewel… with unintended consequences. I have also just finished the first draft of my next novel, “How to win a sea-witch.” I am hoping it will be the first book in a new series, “Conjuring Love,” about time travelling witches and warlocks.


7.      How can people find you?


You can find me on the following links:






Amazon page:



8.      Who are your favorite authors? Your favourite book?


My favorite authors are Tolkien, Ursula Le Guin, and Robin Hobb. My favorite book remains The Lord of the Rings. It’s the book that made me want to become a writer.


Thursday, September 23, 2021

Thursday;s Opening Scene from A Marriage Takes Two #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Romance #Medical #Contemporary

 Two hours of pep talks, a dozen whispered mantras, and five sets of calming breaths, failed to settle Carrie Graham’s acute case of nerves. Get a grip, she told herself. She was going to see Tony, childhood defender, teenage ego booster, and the one person who’d always listened. Besides, she’d already eliminated every other candidate for the position.

Who are you kidding?


From the moment she’d been presented with her current dilemma, he was the only possibility. All she had to do was convince him… But could she?  Sure Tony listened, but he didn’t talk about his problems, or his feelings.

The fading light of dusk made her slow the car in order to read the street signs. She’d planned to leave the apartment at noon, but the short nap after her night shift stretched until late afternoon.

She made the final turn into Fourth Street in a small West Virginia town established in the days when coal mining dominated the area. She shook her head. Rundown houses and boarded storefronts were the norm along the town’s main street. Why was Tony practicing medicine in this end-of-the-road place?

She hadn’t seen him for years, not since several months after his marriage, an event that had shaken her life. His wife hadn’t understood the friendship, or Tony and Carrie’s mutual interest in medical mysteries. With a flash of anger, Carrie recalled the night that woman stormed into the hospital cafeteria and spewed jealous accusations.

Carrie’s hands tightened on the steering wheel. She’d been embarrassed, hurt, and angry enough that she’d walked away from her best friend.

She’d heard rumors Tony’s wife had taken off for greener pastures. At least that’s what the hometown gossips said. Not that Carrie believed in gossip, especially after the news of her inheritance brought the tongue-waggers out in force.

She slowed the car to a crawl. Waves of panic lashed against her momentary calm. The place in her head where she’d filed his address was empty. She braked. The paper with the directions fluttered from the dashboard. She bent and grabbed them.

One glance was enough to retrieve the forgotten data. She eased off the brake and cruised the street. Half the houses were missing numbers. What now? Then at the foot of the dead end street, she saw the ones she’d memorized displayed in shiny brass on a massive gray house that looked like the setting for a Gothic novel.

A broad lawn fronted the house. The tailored grass stood in contrast to the tangles on either side.

“This is the place.” She gulped a breath.

After parking at the curb, she slowly released a held breath. She strode up the walk and onto the wide porch. Muffled shouts and noises came from inside. She rang the bell. What sounded like a slammed door nearly sent her back to the car. Who was staging a major temper tantrum?  She thought Tony lived alone.

She rang the bell again, this time holding it for several peals. The door opened and she forgot why she’d come. She forgot to breathe. Her eyes widened and her heart pounded in a staccato rhythm until she thought her ribs would crack.

He was more than she remembered.

Are you sure you want to be here?

“Tony.” His name escaped on a sigh. She felt like a teenager come face to face with the latest movie hero. This was the man she planned to ask…She changed her mind. Time to retreat. The plan wouldn’t work, not with the things he made her feel, and what he made her want.

“Carrie...Oh lord, it’s been ages. What are you doing here?  You look terrific.”

She did?  He must be blind. Even her coworkers had made comments about the deep smudges beneath her eyes. Most days, she felt as though she was suffering from terminal exhaustion.

“Come in.” He took her hand.

Exhaustion vanished. He’d always made her feet great, but this instant tonic-effect startled her. Coming to see him had grown corners she couldn’t see around.

“I can’t believe you’re here.” He drew her inside. “What brings you to town?”

She wanted to tell him, but the words caught in her throat. “Would you believe I was in the neighborhood?

Tony laughed. “No.”

She inhaled and the spicy scent of him invaded her space. “I came...” She couldn’t finish the sentence. He’d been her hero, her prince, her fantasy lover. In the flesh, he relegated those images to black and white.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Wednesday Code Blue #MFRWHooks #BWLAuthor #Medical suspense #Romance


Join the authors at #MFRWHooks here  for some great excerpts. Mine is from Code Blue, a medical suspense/


In the medical suspense Code Blue by Janet Lane Walters, published by Books We Love and previously published as Obsessions, nurse Susan finds the body of the hospital’s “gossip queen” in the orthopedic storage room. She doesn’t realize this is the first of a series of murders involving her colleagues or that her life is in danger. She is a widow and is exploring a new romantic relationship that promises love but she fears the man she is falling for is as controlling as her dead husband. The arrival of courtship gifts, at first, seen as innocuous soon takes on a sinister note.


This book kept me on edge from the first page to the last. Several times I just 'knew' I'd figured out who the killer was, but each time, there was a bit of doubt there until the very last paragraph! I highly recommend this book. 4 Stars (Excellent!)"--Tracie's Book Reviews by Kathy's Faves and Raves

"A series of murders, suspense, action, a tad of love makes OBSESSIONS an intriguing tale designed to mystify your mind. If you love mysteries, you'll love Janet Lane Walters newest release. 4 Stars!"--Just Views

"Fast-paced mainstream novel ... Walters plots carefully, each scene constructed to perfection. For readers who enjoy being terrified, this is an author to turn to for entertainment. She tells all, while managing to create paranoia among the characters."--Affaire de Coeur


Susan sighed. She could, but would anything be done? The practical had been reported more times than the rest of the evening staff combined. She had never been warned let alone disciplined.

With quick steps, she headed for the storage room. To her surprise, the door was locked. "Why? Had Kit forgotten to open the door after the day shift left? Susan pulled the large ring of keys from her pocket. She unlocked the door and flipped on the lights.

The disorder made her groan. Why had the orthopedic cart been left in the middle of the room? The stench of urine assaulted her. Who had left a dirty bedpan behind?

The cart blocked the path to the shelves at the end of the room where most of the supplies she needed were stored. She pushed the cart toward the wall. The wheels caught on an obstacle. She tried a different angle with the same result. With a jerk, she yanked the cart toward the door and edged around it.

Her eyes widened. A harsh gasp escaped. "Barbara!" Guilt over her earlier anger warred with fear. She stepped closer. "Oh God!"

The streak of red on the practical's white uniform spoke of violence. Susan had seen death many times, but never like this. A soundless scream reverberated in her thoughts. Who had done this and why? She stared at Barbara's battered head and face and fought the need to flee.

Several minutes passed before the scattered hundred dollar bills registered. Susan blinked but the money remained. Who had given Barbara the money? Had it been her killer?

She inhaled. She had to do something. Like a robot programmed to perform a series of tasks, she knelt beside her co-worker. She pressed the bell of her stethoscope against Barbara's chest and stared at the sweep second hand on her watch. One minute passed. Then two. She heard nothing.

With a shudder, she rose. Questions fomented in her thoughts. The desire to bolt grew stronger. The clutter in the room impeded her escape. Step by step, she backed around the ortho cart. Three more steps took her into the hall. She held back the fear-generated sobs that threatened to burst free and hurried to the nurses' station.

There for stability, she grasped the counter of the U-shaped desk. She swallowed convulsively.

Kit held the phone to her ear. The two practicals sat at the long section of the desk. Trish lounged in the med room doorway. The mundane scene failed to erase the bizarre picture in the storage room.

"" The words emerged as a harsh whisper. She gulped a breath.

Julie stepped out of the semi-private room across from the desk. "What took you... Susan, what's wrong?"

"" Susan couldn't force her frozen tongue to form the words.

Trish strode across the green carpet. "You look like you've seen a ghost."

Susan cleared her throat. Her knees buckled. Only her grasp on the counter kept her erect. "In the storage room... Barbara..."

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